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C2:  The Ghost Tower of Inverness

The Ghost Tower of Inverness is a very interesting adventure.  The backstory to C2 has some fairly important implications for the history and development of Greyhawk, due to the age of Castle Inverness:

Know you that in the elder days before the Invoked Devestation and the Rain of Colorless Fire, when the ancient peaks of the Abbor-Alz still thrust skyward sharp and majestic and the Flan tribesmen were but newcomers to the land, there existed between the Bright Desert and the mouth of the river Selintan a great fortress called Inverness . . .  Know you also that here was said to dwell the great wizard Galap-Dreidel at the height of his power and glory, and that he did lift the Castle Inverness from the very foundation of rock upon which it rested. [citation]

Key points:

  • The Flan tribesmen were at that time newcomers to the Flanaess, so there must have been a Flan Migration prior to the Suel and Oerid Migrations after the Twin Cataclysms.  Where did the Flan arrive from? Does a mythic Flan homeland exist, similar to the Oeridians'?

  • The Bright Desert already before the time that Galap-Dreidel took residence in the Ghost Tower.

  • The Fortress Inverness existed prior to the Migrations, when the Abbor-Alz were still young mountains (in the way that the Rocky Mountains are still young when compared to the Appalachian Mountains; a secondary corrolary of note is that the Abbor-Alz mountains are ancient). Also note that the background does not mention any ghostly phenomena, and the surviving tower is not singled out in any manner (yet).

  • The tale suggests that Galap-Dreidel discovered Castle Inverness; perhaps he built the central tower as an addition to the already-existing fortress.

  • Galap-Dreidel may have been Suel (assuming he wasn't Jewish ;-) ) since so many Suel names are hyphenated, which would place the Suel in the Central Flanaess much earlier than many have postulated thus far (perhaps he was a contemporary of the outpost that eventualy became the Suss's lost Suel city?) [i can't recall where i read the idea that the Suss lost city was ahead of the time of the Migrations, and was an outpost; anyone else recall??]

Now, for my misunderstanding/inspiration:  I (mistakenly) thought that the keep was located on the mouth of the Velverdyva River rather than the Selintan, and I consequently placed the original location of Castle Inverness on the banks of the Nyr Dyv somewhere near the future site of Dyvers, before Galap-Dreidel moved it to the present site in hex A4-92 of the old Darlene map (or 15 B1on the new Living Greyhawk map).  For my purposes, switching from the Velverdyva to Selintan doesn't change my inspiration much, beyond moving the keep further to the east and south.  This is becuase my idea centers on Galap-Dreidel's original dungeons:  if  Castle Inverness was moved from somewhere far away to it's present location, perhaps his original dungeons were left behind, and an enterprising DM could design them for intrepid adventurers to discover.

Some other thoughts on C2:  

  • If you decide that Inverness was always in its present location and was never moved at all, the idea of a keep being moved and leaving behind dungeons that ache to be discovered could be applied to Rary's tower, shifted from Ket to the Bright Desert.  

  • What was it that dragged Galap-Dreidel away on a trip to the north and west, "over the River Selintan" (so it may not have been a far trip?), from which he never returned?  Was he going to the Isles of Woe, calling on Vecna (perhaps a social visit, or one less so...), visiting that Suss lost city, exploring a Star Cairn?  Surely Hardby, Greyhawk, and Dyvers didn't exist yet.  

  • The mob destroys the castle, but the keep ruins retain the Ghost Tower (the concept of a ghost building is not exploited very well by the module and could be expanded upon by a DM as well).  I'm thinking of a cross between C2 and a haunted/ghostly version of The Vanishing Tower of Voilodon Ghagnasdiak, from Michael Moorcock's Elric saga.  

  • "Inverness" is short for Inverness-shire, a former county of northwestern Scotland; it is also the capital of the Highland region of present-day Scotland; lastly, an inverness is a loose belted coat having a cape with a close-fitting round collar (think Sherlock Holmes)

  • The listing of players and PC's in the original Dungeon Master's Log appears similar to the list of playtesters for C2, although it doesn't match exactly. C2's inclusion of a fire giant, manticore, lurker above, umber hulk, wights, and gargoyles is also suggestive (though by no means making the two a definite match).

    It's worth comparing the limited edition, tourament version of C2 to the published module, keeping these suggestions in mind.

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