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The Sylvan Veil (2e/SAGA)
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The Sylvan Veil (2e/SAGA)

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For centuries, the Silvanesti elves remained aloof from the rest of Krynn. Many times they retreated to their sacred forest, taking no part in world events until some outside force invaded their sanctum. Soon after Chaos ascended to power on Ansalon, the Silvanesti took extreme measures--magically shielding themselves from humans, dwarves, dragons, and even other elves.

As the years passed, those outside the Silvanesti Shield wondered what was going on behind it. Some even attempted to penetrate the barrier or bring it down. But the shield never yielded.

Let your heroes be the first to set foot into lands newly exposes by the mysteriously retracting shield and find out secrets of the Silvanesti Forest heretofore known only to the elves. Life has not been idyllic for those inside the sylvan veil. In fact, your heroes find themselves on a desperate quest to save an elven city from extinction.

More than just an adventure, this book also details Silvanesti culture and politics, geography and places of interest, important individuals, and elven magical items and artifacts. Players can use The Sylvan Veil to flesh out their Silvanesti heroes, while Narrators will find an abundance of ideas for further adventures in the forest and its environs.

Discover the Mysteries Behind the Veil!

Featuring a story concept by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Product History

The Sylvan Veil (1999), by William W. Connors and Miranda Horner with Stephen Kenson, is the first Battle Lines adventure for the Dragonlance: Fifth Age RPG. It was published in February 1999.

Sources. The authors aren't hesitant in listing their prodigious sources, which reveal a wealth of knowledge about the elves of Krynn. They include: the Elven Nations trilogy (1991); DLS2: "Tree Lords" (1991); "The Sacrifice" in The Second Generation (1994); and The Dragons (1996). DL10: "Dragon of Dreams" (1985) isn't mentioned, but as the primordial reference for the Silvanesti it was clearly another reference.

Origins (I): A Line of Chaos. The June 1998 Dragonlance Summit changed everything. It solidified the idea of a new Dragonlance event called the "War of Souls", leading the Fifth Age team to revamp their line, moving it away from its early Fifth Age setting.

The first sign of that was Seeds of Chaos (1998), the first new AD&D Dragonlance book in five years, set during the Summer of Chaos. Now The Sylvan Veil appeared as a new Fifth Age supplement, but it was trending in the opposite direction: it moves beyond the "Dragons of a New Age" novels (1996-1998) and adventures (1996-1998) to what comes next.

Origins (II): The Battle Lines. When The Sylvan Veil was first envisioned in Spring 1997, it was probably seen as the next incremental step in the story of the Fifth Age. After the June 1998 Summit it instead became a "prelude to the War of Souls novels". This can be seen in its new branding: "Battle Lines". Probably, it was intended to suggest that "The Battle Lines are being drawn for the War of Souls."

Origins (III): Supporting the War of Souls. Steve Miller says that Wizards wanted the "Battle Lines" adventures "to make DL gamable instead of just a backdrop for novels". Thus this supplement takes a major plot device of the Fifth Age, the Silvanesti Shield, and writes a whole adventure about it.

This was also a strong setup for the first War of Souls novel, Dragons of a Fallen Sun (2000), which is largely about the Silvanesti Shield (and its fall).

Origins (IV): The AD&D Line. Though The Sylvan Veil isn't a full AD&D supplement like Seeds of Chaos, it does include AD&D conversions. This was a big change for the Fifth Age line. A TSR staffer explained, saying, "Pre-orders on 'Seeds of Chaos' were such that we're looking into supporting both systems in all future products", suggesting that the AD&D book had done better that the Fifth Age supplements of recent years.

The trade dress heavily promotes this dual-statting, with the AD&D logo big and at the top and the SAGA logo small and at the bottom. The words "Fifth Age" don't appear at all — which was pretty much false advertising, as the AD&D conversion was clearly an afterthought for what's predominantly a SAGA book.

Origins (V): An RPGA Prelude. As with many of the supplements of this time period, The Sylvan Veil received support through an RPGA "Adventurer's Guild Module", available only at tournaments in stores. "The Spawn of Sable: A Prelude to the Sylvan Veil" (1999) was a 16-page adventure by William W. Connors, Duane Maxwell, and Steve Miller.

Adventure Tropes. Like most of the Fifth Age adventures, The Sylvan Veil is carefully divided into Acts and Scenes, resulting in pure episodic encounter play. However, there's a bit of a change from the older adventures: though the Scenes are still carefully organized, the sections for Actions, Atmosphere, and Characters are now gone!

The adventure itself is a MacGuffin Quest for an artifact; in fact, the players have to track down the Heart of Irda twice!

Ages of Krynn: 417 AC (34 SC). The Silvanesti Shield has been raised for twenty years but now is contracting, a major change in the area.

Exploring Krynn: The Silvanesti Forest. The Sylvan Veil contains some of the best details ever on the Silvanesti Forest, including its peoples, its houses, and its geography, especially the city of Silvanost.

NPCs of Note. The Sylvan Veil is full of notable NPCs. Alhana Starbreeze is featured in the adventure, while other important elves appear in the source material, including Kiryn Starbreeze, Military Governor Konnal, and Rillion Dawnbringer. Finally, Dalamar can be found wandering the forest.

On the adversarial side of things, the evil green dragon Cyan Bloodbane is back, while the dragon overlord Onysablet appears through some of his minions.

About the Creators. Connors was an experienced member of the Fifth Age team, with previous works including Dragonlance: Fifth Age (1996) and A Saga Companion (1998). Horner worked more extensively as an editor at TSR, but had also contributed to Citadel of Light (1998).

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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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on June 27, 2017.