Introduction to the Shifting Twilight Campaign
“Through the muted glow of the shifting twilight, the sun is on the horizon. It is uncertain, however—will the shifting twilight reveal the arrival of a new dark age of savagery and barbarism—or the dawn of a new age of glory and prosperity?”
--Garrius Saranus Tarberus, 6th King of the Kingdom of Varanthus, DC 1470
The Shifting Twilight Campaign is an “Old School” 1E AD&D campaign set in the world of Thandor. The world of Thandor has been continuously developed over the last 30 years, and had its humble roots in 1980. The Shifting Twilight Campaign begins in the rugged Kingdom of Varanthus, located on the frontiers of civilization and the bordering territories of the glorious Vallorean Empire.
In flavour, the Shifting Twilight Campaign highlights a world that is swallowed in darkness, savagery and barbarism. The struggle of humanity is desperate, as not only do humans face their own kind as enemies, rivals and competitors, but also the realms of the dwarfs, ancient and powerful in their dark halls below the ground; in the deepest and most ancient forests, the mist-shrouded realms of the elves rule with a fierce pride and devotion. In the wilderness, vast hordes of beastmen, orcs and other monsters gibber and gather, eager to subjugate all that is good and righteous, and extinguish the flickering light of civilization in a savage orgy of blood and fire. In the great places of mystery and ancient power, the divine titans still remain—most are terrible demi-gods of awesome power and dark tyranny, working to rise again in their dreaded dominion.
The Shifting Twilight Campaign is a huge, wondrous world of ancient antiquity, full of myth, monsters, and epic adventure. While most standard “vanilla” D&D campaigns have their milieu’s center of gravity firmly rooted in a Medieval Western European focus, with heavy infusions of the renaissance period—the Shifting Twilight Campaign takes a different approach, wherein the campaign’s center of gravity is centered more on the cultures and civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean; with heavy infusions from Dark Ages Northern and Western Europe, as well as infusions from ancient Africa, the Middle East, India, and China. To this palette, then, is added various doses of the Middle Ages, with only the lightest flirtation with the renaissance period.
Welcome to the Shifting Twilight Campaign!
Player characters should carefully read and review all race and culture sections described in the campaign gazetteer. Most of the special racial characteristics remain the same as per the OSRIC manual, pages 3-7. Height, weight, and so on for various races and characters are significantly different, however.
Standard Human Adjustments
The player of a standard human character may select any two characteristics and gain a +2 bonus to them at character creation. In addition, standard human characters receive a +10% bonus to earned experience points. Furthermore, standard human characters begin the game with (6) Fate Points.
Players of Demi-humans and other allowed humanoid races are unrestricted in the maximum level they may achieve; however, there are restrictions on armor for multi-classed characters that include magic-users. (mages, wizards, etc.) Demi-Humans and humanoids begin the game with (3) Fate Points.
Common Languages Available of the Varanthus Region
Unusual Languages of the Varanthus Region
Troll—The tongue of trolls; known most often in the far north; in the Varanthus region, troll is mostly only known by some of the Gharnoth barbarians
Tegheran—the tongue of the Tegheran Empire
Narmedian—The tongue of a feudal, fairly urban and sophisticated kingdom of humans who are tall, and athletic, with dark black skin and fine features, from the distant land of Aghanda; Mercenaries, provincial soldiers, scholars, adventurers, priestesses and merchants from Narmedia occasionally live or visit the kingdom of Varanthus.
Mbornu—The tongue of a mostly rural, tribal kingdom of humans with broad, strong physiques, beautiful features, and dark black skin from lands in distant Aghanda. Mercenaries, provincial soldiers, priestesses, adventurers, and merchants from Mbornu occasionally live in or visit Varanthus
Margoth—The dark, ancient tongue spoken by beastmen, and dark champions of the eldritch gods and divine titans
Perrenar—The tongue of Deer Men
Harthak—The tongue of Hippo Men
Albeeri—The tongue of Elephant Men
Lugonde—The tongue of Lizard Men
Segande—The tongue of Snake Men
Sylvan—a polyglot common tongue for creatures of the Faerie Realms; dryads, nymphs, pixies, brownies, korreds, korrigans, and so on. Such creatures still maintain their own racial languages, however. Sylvan represents a common language of communication amongst all of the faerie races.
Amazon--Amazon is the strange tongue of nomadic tribes of mythical Amazon women, alleged to live in forest regions to the north-east of the varanthus region. Typically, only a few old adventurers, daring explorers and the occasional eccentric scholar possesses knowledge of this language.
Additional, though restricted languages are noted in the various race and cultural sections. Dwarf, Elf and High Vallorean, as well as regional Archaedian languages may only be known if the character is of the specific race, or in the case of regional Archaedian dialects possesses some specialized training and education. Furthermore, any standard monster and humanoid languages from the standard OSRIC manual, Player’s Handbook/Dungeon Master’s Guide have carefully restricted access, and such permission must be gained from the DM for a character to have such languages. Gnome is not immediately available in the campaign, and races that have Gnome as a standard known language must replace it with a selection from the appropriate campaign language table.
Coins are large, and heavy, weighing 1.60 ounces. There are 10 coins to a pound.
Coins are noted as follows: Name (M, for multiple)/Name, (S, for singular); followed by their respective valuations, and then a description of the coin.
Minas(M) /Mina (S): one PP=5 EP
Drachmas(M) /Drachma (S): one EP=2 GP
Dranus (M) /Drani (S): one GP=10 SP
Denarius (M) /Denari (S): one SP=2 BP
Sallius (M) /Salli (S): one BP=5 CP
Dherus (M) /Dheri (S): Copper
The Mina is a platinum coin, featuring a relief of the current reigning emperor's image, and the year the coin was minted. The obverse side features a stylized dragon raised up, as if attacking. A single platinum piece equals 5 Electrum.
The Drachma is an electrum coin--combining elements of gold and silver together. One side features a relief of the reigning emperor's image, and the year the coin was minted. The obverse side features the image of a bull. A single electrum piece equals 2 Gold.
The Drani is a gold coin, featuring the relief of the reigning emperor's image, and the year the coin was minted. The obverse side features a two-headed eagle, one is facing east, and one is facing to the west. A single gold piece equals 10 Silver.
The Denari is a silver coin, featuring the relief of the reigning emperor's image, and the year the coin was minted. The obverse side features the head of a wolf. A single silver piece equals 2 Bronze.
The Salli is a bronze coin, featuring the relief of the reigning emperor's image, and the year the coin was minted. The obverse side features a rampant lion. A single bronze piece equals 5 Copper.
The Dheri is a copper coin, featuring the relief of the reigning emperor's image, and the year the coin was minted. The obverse side features the head of a stag. The copper Dheri is the lowest valued coin.
Initial prices for goods are as for the OSRIC manual, pg. 28-30. This is to provide a common baseline of equipment and goods prices that everyone has access to for ease of initial play of the game in the PBP format. In the future, extensive price revisions may be made, or may be encountered during the campaign that deviates from the standard prices in the OSRIC manual.
Calendar and Days of the Week
There are 12 months in the Vallorean calendar, which marks time and the passage of months by the term “DC”—which stands for “Drannicus Calendi”, short for “The Drannicus Calendar”. Each month is divided into 30 days, similar to other kinds of calendars. There are a total of 360 days throughout the entire year.
Vallenari--First Month of the Year
Dhoranni--Second Month of the Year
Teganni--Third Month of the Year
Martherri--Fourth Month of the Year
Sarmandi--Fifth Month of the Year
Aribethi--Sixth Month of the Year
Galdari--Seventh Month of the Year
Paladari--Eighth Month of the Year
Taarnu--Ninth Month of the Year
Nohbirri--Tenth Month of the Year
Mallannu--Eleventh Month of the Year
Ulleri--Twelfth Month of the Year
Days of the Week
A day is always considered to begin and end at dawn. The day is generally considered to be 12 hours, and the evening is likewise 12 hours.
Mardann—First Day of the Week
Haldann—Second Day of the Week
Valdann—Third Day of the Week
Thordann—Fourth Day of the Week
Galdann—Fifth Day of the Week
Saradann—Sixth Day of the Week
Sindann—Seventh Day of the Week