The expedition to the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth was a disaster, but Maylin did manage to gain enough experience points to advance to 10th level. He failed to locate a suitable trainer in Thornward, though, and his performance rating wasn’t high enough to self-train, so he decided to head back to Greyhawk. Before leaving, he spent some time looking for new henchmen, a fighter and a magic-user. He failed to find a new magic-user apprentice, but he did find one fighter with potential. Maylin and Volgar, the fighter, then hooked up with a caravan going east, and headed for Greyhawk.
Maylin is a fun character to DM for. He somehow manages to survive in spite of himself. He's talked about a return to Tsojcanth, but I don't think so. Right now his plans are to find a trainer and another henchman or two, and then probably spend some time exploring Castle Greyhawk to get his new henchmen some experience.
Maylin is from the northwest Wild Coast. He’s lawful good, but he does have a greedy streak that can test his lawful nature. He’s done a lot of exploring in and around Greyhawk Castle, and he’s built up a barely controllable animosity for the groups who tax those entering and exiting the dungeons. More than once he’s tried to convince his adventuring companions to attack the tax collectors with him, but so far he hasn’t been able to talk anybody into joining him. After his last foray into the dungeons, a group of elves took the only magic item he found, and he threatened to return with an army to wipe the elves out.
I've always found the tax-elves to be an absurd level of meta-gaming which does nothing for a swords & sorcery atmosphere.* Castle Blackmoor has these tax-elves as well, and even turnstiles (1 gp admission), buttons ("I visited Blackmoor Dungeon"), and an ELVEN TOUR. It all implies a local economy mainly based on tourism at the local dungeon, which is essentially a local amusement park. I know it's authentic history, but it is just irritating. I would gladly help Maylin kill the tax-elves, because they offend me. They're like Disneyland in France. They don't belong, and they should be destroyed.
*Maybe this is more in line with Jack Vance humor than anything else (i.e., situations more humorous to the reader than the protagonist, such as in the Cugel stories):
"Naturally," said Cugel, "the possibility of exorbitant charges has occurred to me. Since I do not intend to pay, I care not a fig for expense."
Both Yelleg and Malser murmured in surprise. "That is a remarkably bold attitude."
"Not altogether. At any instant the sun may lurch into oblivion. At this time, were I to owe Twango ten thousand terces for a long series of excellent meals, my last thoughts would be happy ones!"
Last Edit: Nov 23, 2009 21:03:11 GMT -5 by GRWelsh
I’m surprised. There are definitely some areas where the standard swords and sorcery atmosphere is abandoned, but a band of opportunistic bandits extorting money and magic from vulnerable adventuring parties offends you? It reminds me of the swindlers who would come up to me when I would park in a free parking lot downtown, pretending to work there and telling the charge was five dollars. It seems like an almost natural occurrence. When Tenser, Robilar, and Terrick could pull it off, they did the same thing. The Greyhawk Castle Dungeons, as I currently envision them, are outside of the standard swords & sorcerery universe. Not to say that there isn’t plenty of that in there, but it’s also an almost anything goes type place where jaunts to the Wild West with Murlynd, New York subways, Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Skull Island, etc. are all possible. A place where you might run into 16 trolls in a cave with a jug of alchemy, a machine level. A place where, as a DM, I can relax a bit, not worry about viable ecosystems, rhyme or reason, etc. and just provide entertaining challenges to the players. Outside of that bubble, I try to keep it all business.
Just downloaded "The Mad Demi-god's Castle" and the extra first-level pdf from DF last week, and they're excellently done, and give a real flavour to CG itself. The tax elves and so on I know from Greyhawk Ruins, and I like the idea.
Have to agree with Scott - it's an 'anything goes' place, and better to have it all under one roof!