Monday, January 27, 2020

Creedhall

art by Mark Molnar
Creedhall
A location in Krevborna

Creedhall is a melancholic town that is home to the renowned Creedhall University. Under the deanship of Padric Wolfstan, the university has amassed a vast library of obscure and forbidden tomes. Creedhall is situated on the shore of Loch Riven, a lake whose depths disclose hideous portents on nights of the full moon.



Aesthetics
  • Weathered neoclassical architecture, domed buildings, and Grecian columns.
  • Thick mists that roll in from the lake with the coming of night.
  • Scholars and students garbed in dark robes bustling to and fro throughout the town.
  • Fetid swamps and disorientating moors surrounding the town.
  • Curious shops peddling volumes of occult lore tucked away on forgotten avenues.
  • A lake whose surface turns mirror-like when struck by moonlight, revealing horrific deeds committed by past generations and monstrous omens of things to come.

Themes
  • Some knowledge was never meant for mortal minds.
  • Scientific experimentation that overreaches our ability to direct and control the dictates of nature.
  • Strife between the students and scholars of the university and the townsfolk.

Adventure Hooks
  • Locate a book of occult lore and safeguard it from falling into the wrong hands.
  • Abduct the eldest child of a wealthy family who has run away from their familial responsibilities to pursue an education at Creedhall University. 
  • Destroy the hungry, rampaging reanimated corpses created by a researcher who has breached the boundary between life and death.
  • Delve into the lost archives located beneath an obscure and condemned library to discover the secrets it imprisons.
  • Escort a spiritualist into the moors surrounding Creedhall so they might follow the vision they gleaned from the waters of Loch Riven.

Notable Residents
  • Padric Wolfstan is the dean of Creedhall University. 
  • Rumored to be a professor of the dark arts at the Malcovat, Doctor Ulric Montmort makes rare appearances in Creedhall. These sabbaticals are always in service of discovering rare books of occult lore to aid in his unhallowed research, which centers on the connection between nightmares and other planes of existence.
  • Once a revered nun, Abbess Emeriana has become an antlered haint that stalks the grounds of Halehurst Keep on the moors. She regrets the blood she must spill.
  • Martinus di Rosalba is a wealthy dandy who pays well for artifacts of an occult nature. He is merely a collector of strange ephemera, but his cabinet of curiosities is something to behold.
  • Ellena di Rosalba is Martinus’s kind, long-suffering sister. She was once afflicted by a flesh-warping curse, thus she now strives to help other who are hexed, jinxed, or otherwise marked by the evil eye.

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Director's Commentary
Creedhall is my Arkham, with a bit of Thomas Ligotti influence sneaking in as well. Since Creedhall has the most obvious Lovecraft influence, it's the place I'd be most happy adapting Call of Cthulhu adventures to Krevborna. There's plenty of opportunity for research and exploration-based play, but there's also enough opportunity for violence to make it sill feel like D&D to me. 

The experience of growing up in a college town with a sharp divide between "townies" and "students" has crept in as an influence too.

The Martinua and Ellena di Rosalba are NPCs who featured prominently in one of my campaigns; the players were the ones to cure rescue Ellena her from a vile cultist and take her to an abandoned church to cure her of her flesh-warping curse.


2 comments:

  1. For some reason, the details that really catch my attention right now are the books. Where do they all come from? Is it the faculty's own research productivity? Do they arrive on their own from some other world? Does Creedhall employ agents who scour Krevborna looking for new tomes?

    You've got a professor who only shows up to find new books in the library, the potential for the players to adventure as library trawlers, and town bookshops that sell books that sound like they were discarded (or stolen?) from Creedhall's stacks. My imagination is whetted!

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    Replies
    1. Probably a mixture of places, really. Imported from all across Krevborna--surely down on their luck former aristocrats have tomes to liquidate. Or they may come into Piskaro from overseas. New treatises are inevitable with a scholarly populace. And the university may be funding expeditions to venture into Grail Tombs to find the books of the ancient Lilitu.

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