The Lords of Dread are iconic legends, their stories retold so many times that many of the events and characters would be unrecognisable to someone that was actually alive at the time. Their title makes them sound like some sinister force for evil, but as we all know they were a great force for good. They earned their their title as many of their earliest exploits were around the Isle of Dread, a region they helped, if not tame, at least make inhabitable.

In truth we cannot even be sure that the Lords of Dread were real people, they were more likely amalgamations of several different characters from history. I feel it is unlikely the same characters could be involved in all the legends attributed to them, Journey’s End, the Savage Tide of Kraken Cove, Into the Maw. Still with any great legend their is a seed of truth behind the stories. Let us introduce each hero in turn.

Valdis Aldranna, the noble wizard. Skilled in the arcane arts, some claim his families wealth allowed him to learn his skills of warfare in the colleges of Sassarine, others that he was born a sorcerer and was cast out from his family, cut off from their wealth. The Aldranna family name is recorded in the heraldic records of Sassarine, although in the Aldranna family Valdis was traditionally a female name so it is unclear if the character has a historical counter part.

Tamzana Alteresine, the noble warrior. The opposite to Valdis, the yin to his yang. A dark and brooding character haunted by the sins of her forefathers. Like Valdis she too is skilled in magic, but she was also skilled with the blade. In some tales she is part demon, in other wholly human.

Trantil, the angry giant. A strong warrior that stood nearly 8ft tall. Some even claim he was a not a man at all but a Goliath, other he was giant-kin. He is most likely an amalgam of several characters that fought in the gladiatorial pits in Sasserine, before the sport became illegal. Certainly no man alive to day is capable of the feats of strength attributed to him.

Shallasar, the untrusted outsider. This character is usually of some race typically viewed as untrustworthy in the locality the story is told. So to the a fisherman of Sasserine, Shallasar might be a sea-elf, in a cultured city of Greyhawk, he becomes a feral half-orc, I have even heard him described as a dwarf in the by one bard in the halls of elven court. He was most likely added as a morality tale my some early scholar.

Dalrin, the turbulent priest. In these stories there is always a priest, standing for what is right, even if it goes against the will of church authority. Dalrin according to legend associated with prostitutes, even marrying one and owed his life to a demon lord, but still put himself before his flock.

“Two Feathers”, the wild shifter. She represents the old faiths, the Earth mother, but also as a hunter civilizations domination over nature. In all the tales she has strong ties to the wild and savage lands, and yet slays some of it’s greatest beast.

extracts from Lords of Dread (and other legends of the Azure Sea)

This is one groups experiences with the Savage Tide Adventure Path which appeared in Dungeon 139 to 150 (it’s final print issue).

The group played first five adventures upto Tides of Dread, using the 3rd Edition Dungeons and Dragons rules. When 4th Edition came out the campaign was put on hold for over a year and when it came back (first session this coming Sunday, 5th July), the heroes had undergone a transformation to 4th Edition rules. In some case this meant a change of class and/or race, hence the choice to introduce them as legendary characters with sketchy details above.

Oh and Valdis is actually female but I keep forgetting, looks like the bards did as well. :)

Savage Tide

Title piece 1 geroth Jen azaroth42 Deree darthloser