Web Enhancements11/19/2004

Complete Arcane
Tarth Moorda

Complete Arcane offers a wealth of new spells, standard classes, prestige classes, feats, and magic items for arcane spellcasters. Tarth Moorda, a fortified complex dedicated to one of the new standard classes, the warmage, is mentioned in a sidebar in the book. This web enhancement details that isolated warmage training facility on the outskirts of Urnst.

The number of deaths and disappearances from the complex has been increasing, and the high warmaster is concerned. Has a breach in security occurred? Penny Williams offers an adventure site that may be used to generate scenarios for characters from 10th to 13th level.

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Tarth Moorda

On a high crag in the arid hills of the Abbor-Alz stands the ancient fortress known as Tarth Moorda, which once housed the garrisons that defended Urnst against gnoll and nomad raids from the Bright Desert. Abandoned when adventurers finally drove off the humanoid tribes, Tarth Moorda stood empty for many years and eventually fell into ruin. Finally, some fifteen years ago, the Duke of Urnst gave the old fortress to the Order of the Fire Hawk, an enclave of warmages who wanted an isolated stronghold in which to train new initiates.

The Fire Hawks renovated the fortress and reinforced its defenses. Some of the old buildings were razed to make room for student quarters; others were simply refurbished and put to new use. The area was thoroughly scouted and defenses against mundane and magical intrusion were set in place.

Since the Fire Hawks made it their own, Tarth Moorda has become the principal training academy for Urnst's warmages. The uncomfortable climate and rugged terrain of the surrounding area are considered advantageous for training recruits in the art of war, since they quickly become used to harsh conditions.

About five years ago, Sereda Ostarte ascended to the position of high warmaster at Tarth Moorda. Like her predecessors, Sereda runs the academy with an iron hand. Since she took over, the graduates of Tarth Moorda have proven their valor and might on the battlefield and shown an increased aptitude for strategy and tactics that is largely attributed to the changes she has made in the curriculum.

But Sereda is not as confident about the impregnability of the fortress as her predecessor was, and with good reason. In recent months, the academy has begun to lose members. Five of her most promising students, two senior students, and one of her instructors -- a warmaster -- have died or disappeared. Unfortunate accidents do claim the lives of occasional students, and desertions are not unknown, since not all can tolerate the harsh conditions of training. But Sereda fears that the security of her enclave has been breached.

About the Authors

Penny Williams joined the roleplaying game industry as Game Questions Expert for TSR, Inc. in the 1980s. Since then, she has served as RPGA Network Coordinator, Polyhedron Newszine editor, and Senior Editor and Coordinating Editor for the RPG R&D Department at Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Now a busy freelancer, Penny edits for several game companies and runs the online playtesting program for Wizards products. When not enhancing the cruelty of designers' creations, Penny puts up jam, works jigsaw puzzles, and tutors students in math and science.

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