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WGS2 Howl from the North (2e)
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WGS2 Howl from the North (2e)

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Barbarian legends tell of five magical blades of measureless power. The more civilized cultures of warmer climes believe these tales to be nothing more than delirious dreams of frost-bitten brains. "Those frozen louts- they're trying to scare respect out of us!" At least that's what they want to believe.

Three of the legendary blades of Corusk have been unearthed, and their powers have proven to be all that the tales claimed. You have been given these to use in the quest for the remaining two blades. However, word has spread to the peoples of the neighboring areas, and two groups are working against you to prevent your securing these swords. Beware the Hold of the Stonefist and the Rovers of the Barren! Only so much time remains for you to locate the last two Blades of Corusk ... and your enemies are on the horizon.

Find the blades, and reclaim your birthright of honor and respect; fail, and be outcast from your tribes for life. The choice is yours.

Product History

WGS2: "Howl from the North" (1991), by Dale "Slade" Henson, is the second World of Greyhawk Swords adventure. It was published in September 1991.

Origins: Rebooting the WG. With WGS1: "Five Shall Be One" (1991), TSR started a new series of epic Greyhawk adventures that would have major repercussions on the world of Greyhawk. Yet "Five Shall Be One" started off small, with a search for five swords that led to the frozen barbarian wastes of Oerik. "Howl from the North" continues with the search for two more swords … but becomes something more by its end.

"Howl from the North" calls itself the second of a trilogy of adventures. The third part of the trilogy is listed as the Greyhawk Wars (1991) boxed set, but if players were hoping for a mega-adventure … they'd be disappointed.

Metaplotting Along. Though the early parts of "Howl" focus on recovering swords, the metaplot begins to simmer in the background: great armies are moving across the frozen wastes. However, it's really the ending that reveals that something bigger is occurring: the armies of the ice, snow, and frost barbarians are united, to be led by their resurrected Great God.

He will bring war (or Wars) to Greyhawk.

Adventure Tropes. As was common for metaplot stories of this type, "Howl" is almost entirely episodic. Treks across the wilderness are interrupted by encounters and by traps. A camp delve offers one of the few opportunities for players to exert more agency.

Exploring Greyhawk. "Howl" continues the exploration of the area around White Fanged Bay, in 582 CY. It visits Kelten and from there travels to the Hold of Stonefist. Overall, it provides considerable detail and texture for the barbarian lands of northeastern Oerik.

Monsters of Note. As one might guess from the name, wolves receive a special spotlight in "Howl". They'd already appeared in MC1: Monstrous Compendium Volume 1 (1989), but a new entry gives normal wolves an opportunity to shine, apart from dire wolves and winter wolves.

NPCs of Note. The big NPC of this story is theoretically the Great God of the North, who Greyhawk Wars would identify as Vatun. He awakens and prepares to lead his barbarian children to rage across Oerik.

Except, it's actually Iuz who takes the form of Vatun, thanks to some trickery on his part. "Howl" thus continues to expand the role of Iuz as a major adversarial force in Greyhawk, following the depredations of his priests in the Falcon adventures (1990).

Future History. The "WGS" trilogy finished up with Greyhawk Wars, a board game that also details the history of the war that Iuz begins here.

About the Creators. Henson wrote extensively for TSR in the early '90s. Other major projects at the time included a series of supplements for both Lankhmar and Buck Rogers XXVc.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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Product Information
Author(s)
Pages
64
Edition
1.0
ISBN
1-56076-143-1
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9337
File Size:
12.91 MB
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File Last Updated:
February 11, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on February 14, 2017.