Barony of Horn is setting for Gamma World module GW1: Legion of Gold, by Gary Gygax with Luke Gygax and Paul Reiche III. The module is seen as a true classic, and it is praised for being a "sandbox" setting, akin to Basic D&D module B2: The Keep on the Borderlands, and lack of "railroading" seen in later modules. The module has number of side-quests, but the primary goal is to track down and destroy a a mysterious army known only as the Legion of Gold.
The Barony of Horn, a middle-region state of relative insignificance in previous decades, began to flower and expand under the despotic but clever Jemmas, Warder of the Barony, whose military excursions added considerable territory (from the shores of Great Mitchigoom to the Rocky Ford of the Stone River to the morass of Mendomarsh).
Perhaps it was during these expeditions that the marauders triggered something ancient, for not long thereafter disaster fell upon the Barony from the north. One spring evening a dozen warriors, in glowing yellow armor, appeared in the border village of Deerld. The soldiery reacted well, attacking with all weapons at their disposal, but to little avail. In minutes the guards were dead, the cabins in flames, and a score of more of the adult population had been marched away. Whether the fate of the captives was death or slavery, no one knows. What is known is that within a month the yellow-armoured raiders struck again — this time, an attack by over two dozen on the village of Esvil. No weapon brought to bear by the defenders seemed to have any effect upon the golden figures.
In less than an hour, the entire settlement was destroyed, the troops dead or routed, and the adult populace led away to the northwest. A steady series of such incursions has borne the same results, until the Legion of Gold (as it is known), now numbering in perhaps the hundreds, has torn away all of the Barony's northern and western territory.
ATTENTION: SPOILERS AHEAD!
(Barony of Horn is located south-east of modern day Madison, Wisconsin (west of Milwaukee, but Milwaukee is deep underwater) You can find the map here.
The stronghold of the Barons of Horn dates back to the age before the Shadow Years, and its former history is now only legendary. Tales of the town having been a seat of government of the Ancients and of the famous persons who hailed from it can be given little, if any, credibility. There is no question, however, that some of the buildings in the place are very old. Their construction and materials predate the Shadow Years, possibly by several centuries. Most of the buildings in the stronghold are built from the remains of older ones which likewise date back to ancient times. Most of the individual dwellings, and some of the other buildings, are of more modern construction employing the typical native fieldstone, brick, and wood.
The inhabitants of Horn are generally pure-strain humans (about 3000), or mutants with few perceptible aberrations (about 400). There are only a few obvious mutants, all of whom dwell in the southeast quarter of the fortress. The people of Horn are quite clannish, tactiturn, and generally resentful of strangers (except those with many domars to spend). There are also 10 to 40 mutated creatures visiting Horn at any given time. Most of the western portion of the town consists of residential areas. The southeast quarter is the roughand-and-tumble section of the town. There the human mutants, mutant creatures, and adventurous humans will be found. These folk are more tolerant, but no more friendly, than the other inhabitants. Visitors will generally be ignored. If they begin frequenting the saloons, they will certainly be in for a bit of trouble, from fist fights to duels-to-the-death, depending on their actions. Once established as "rough and ready" (brave, tough, capable) individuals, however, they will be accepted as brothers by most of the regulars.
Around the town is an earthen rampart, atop which is a wall of stone. The original Baron Jemmas (the current Baron is the third of the same name) began construction of the stronghold decades ago, and work is still going on. The original stone walls, only four meters thick, are now being strengthened by an earth embankment on the inner face. Brick and timber are being employed to create a gallery rising from the lower wall, so that the completed barrier will consist of the two-meter high, grass-covered rampart and the fieldstone and stone block original wall of about five meters in height. The surmounting brick parapet, with openings for defenders, will have a total height of slightly more than two meters. The latter is only just above the level of the interior earth embankment. It is backed and roofed by stout timbers and the openings in the parapet are protected with wooden shutters, plated with duralloy wherever possible. The entrances to Horn are cut through this rampart. Each gate is secured by heavy timber doors, plated with metal, and long, sharp spikes pointing outwards. Guards are always alert at these three points. In addition to their normal thrusting and cutting weapons, these soldiers are given Ancient weapons with which to defend their positions. The gates are open during the day, but at sunset they are shut tight and not reopened until morning. In time of need, the citizens of Horn can muster some 250 militia to help defend the place. Militia have leather or padded armor, wicker shields, clubs, axes, spears, and light bows and crossbows (20 and 40 respectively of the last two).
UNIVERSITY OF HORN. Baron Jemmas' pride and joy is the center of learning he has established in his capital. All citizens of Horn are entitled to spend two years of their childhood learning to read, write, and do simple sums. Thereafter, most enter some useful occupation but are still eligible to attend trade classes one day per week for another two years in order to make them into more skilled craftsmen, tradesmen, etc. The very brightest of the common folk are allowed to attend middle school, if their families can pay the tuition — a rather modest 20 gold pieces per semester. Children of soldiers, administrators, aristocrats from outlying villages, and the gentlefolk of Horn proper attend a private Lower School, Middle School, and then Upper School. The cost of the Lower and Middle Schools is 40 gold pieces per semester. Upper School tuition is 60 gold piece per semester. Graudates may then enter one of the three colleges — Military, Technical, or Administrative. College costs depend upon type and scholastic merit, but range from 10 to 1,000 gold pieces per semester.
The staff of the University consists of approximately two dozen instructors. They seldom venture outside the precincts of Horn. (This is a center of Restorationist concepts and beliefs, although the Baron doesn't know it. The Restorationists do not think highly of feudalism.)
(Horn was once called Elkhorn)
This small community of about 700 persons is tucked away in a valley amid large hills. Its inhabitants are primarily farmers, herdsmen, and hunters (the area teems with game). Many escaped to the hills and forest when the Legion of Gold attacked. There are many stone buildings still intact, and some of the wooden ones were not burned down.
Big Foot LakeEdit
This is a lake south of Duck Lake. (Big Foot Lake was once called Geneva Lake)
While local inhabitants are able to utilize the waters of the lake for fishing or transportation, it is highly dangerous to those not familiar with its perils. (this lake was once called Lake Koshkonong)
This small village was formerly home to about 400 individuals. The place was an agricultural community and boasted of its water-powered sawmill (logs were brought from the forest to the northeast). It is extensively damaged now, as most of the buildings in the place were wooden. (once called Deerfield)
This is a flourishing farm village of about 1000 persons, with considerable small craft activity as well. Weaving, the production of leather goods, and pottery are typical examples. The place has many substantial structures and there is a force from the Baron's army stationed here (a squad of 10 soldiers, two NCOs, and a junior officer), and the local militia numbers about 50 men. (Devin was once called Delavan)
A small, long lake north of Big Foot Lake, and south of Horn. (Duck Lake was once called Lake Como)
This village was a farm and trading community of some 300 persons. It is extensively damaged now. (Esvil was once called Evansville)
This large village of about 1200 residents was a thriving center for trade. Besides prosperous farmers and merchants, it also housed a 40-man detachment of the Baron's army. Its ditch and rampart is intact, but most of the wooden pallisade is struck down or burned. Its wooden buildings are also mostly burnt, but many others still stand intact. (Fort Attson was once called Fort Atkinson)
This is the great inland sea. The was once a big city (and more land) east of Horn, but it now under Great Mitchigoom. (Great Mitchigoom was once called Lake Michigan)
This rural village held only 200 persons, with a now destroyed palisade surrounding it. The place was a frontier town composed of farmers and hunters, and its buildings are now extensively damaged. (Jeffton was once called Jefferson)
A town of about 2000, Jen City is an active trading and small industry center as well as a major agricultural community. All trade from the south passes through here. The town is also famous for its very superior ice, and during the winter, sledge loads are sent to both Horn and Devn. The site is protected by a fairly elaborate wall, moated in places. Besides a garrison of some 60 troops, a strong militia company of 100 men guards Jen City. It was planned to expand the city wall to accommodate more structures, but work is now suspended while existing fortifications are strengthened due to the threat of the Legion of Gold. (Jen City was once called Lake Geneva, the home of TSR)
Is is a lake at the edge of Mendomarsh. (Lake Keeg was once called Lake Kegonsa)
This marsh is is a place of a sunken complex. Much of this area is largely unexplored, and full of damgers. (This is swamplands was once Madison. The lake noted with 12 in the Game Master's map, is most likely Lake Kegonsa, and is now infested by a powerful amoeboid creature - but what is new?)
This lakeport village of 900 persons is always a busy place. Its main activities are shipping and seasonal fishing. It has a well-constructed stone wall protecting its buildings and there is a small fort on a nearby hill which is garrisoned by 60 of the Baron's soldiers. The Mucktown constabulary is well known as an effective force. It numbers over 50 men, serving as both police and harbor guards. When the shipping and fishing businesses are active, the population nearly doubles due to the influx of seasonal laborers. During these heady times, Mucktown is known to have need of its constabulary. (Mucktown was once called Mukwonago)
This prosperous agricultural and lumbering community numbers about 1000 persons. Only 20 or so years ago, Murce was a mere hamlet of about 200 persons. However, because the demand for lumber has increased considerably due to the Baron's activity in organizing and protecting the area, Murce has undergone a tremendous population boom. The town is protected by a wooden stockade, with sections of ditch and rampart, while stone walls are under construction. (Murce was once called Monroe)
This small village of 500 persons is strictly an agricultural community. It has a wooden pallisade to protect it from marauders, but these have been few in recent times. It has a militia force of about 30 men, armed predominantly with the Baron's rifled muskets.
This village was once home to nearly 700 residents, but New Edgetown is now deserted and in ruins. The stockade lies burnt and demolished along its western section and the wooden buildings in the town are also generally razed. There are still a few fishing boats along the shore of Death Lake, but the larger craft are burnt or broken. (New Edgetown is named after Edgerton, but is closer to the lake)
Similar to Mucktown, this village of 1300 persons is a fishing and shipping community. It is, if anything, even more rough-and-tumble than Mucktown. The Baron has a garrison of 60 soldiers here and the community has three companies of militia (Slade's Soldiers, named for a former commander, the Green Company, and the Port Police). Each company numbers about 40 men. There are many human mutants dwelling here, as the populace is quite tolerant. The site has an excellent harbor, so shipping activity is greater here than in Mucktown. The walls of Port Munster are well built of packed earth, with deep ditches, and stone or brick battlements atop the ramparts.
This community of 300 residents is comprised of farmers, hunters, foresters, and the like. Some of its folk even derive their livelihood from pillaging the extensive ruins some 11 kilometers northwest. Shopp is mostly comprised of wooden buildings and protected by a wooden stockade. A squad of 10 of the Baron's troops are stationed here, and they can be reinforced by village militia numbering about 30 men armed with bows, crossbows, and a few muskets. (It is rumored that there are quite a few better weapons scattered among the villagers, but that they are kept hidden to avoid confiscation by Baron Jemmas' soldiers.) (once called Shopiere)
An agricultural village of 800, Whitter also provides a living for a number of stone masons, since there are several good rock quarries nearby. Naturally this place is well fortified by stone walls. At one time there was a scholastic community in the village, but it has since been removed to Horn. There is a double-strength squad of 20 of the Baron's troops here, and the village militia numbers about 50 men. (Whitter was once called Whitewater)
(do to the open-ended nature of this module, a number of NPCs encountered are nameless - its up to the Game Master to name them)
Jemmas, Wander of the Barny of HornEdit
Baardesh, Badder LeaderEdit
Baardesh and his band have come south to raid and slay. They are moving through the woods towards the village of Devn, planning to strike isolated farms and any vehicles caught on the roads.
Ydal Eilffik, Professor at the University of HornEdit
Nameless Mutant from Shelter #8Edit
He appears physically weak and twisted. His skin is a light green and his eyes are golden with black slit irises. He uses his illusions powers to scare off intruders.
Garth, Mave, Aaron, and EileeEdit
They are a family that traveled east from Frico (San Fransisco?), and are making their way to Horn. Garth is the father, and he was once in the Coast Guard. His wife is Mave, his adult or teenage son is Aaron, and his 10-year old daughter is Eilee. Eilee has somehow poisoned by radiation, and has developed mental mutations. Its mot stated, but the family is likely "sleepers" from the past.
(all stats are converted to the Mutant Future rules)
|No. Enc.:||1d6 (1d6)|
|Attacks:||2 claws, 1 bite|
One glance easily identifies a bigoon as a giant, mutated raccoon. The creature is well over 6 feet tall (old males being known to reach ten or more feet in length, nose to tail). The bigoon's teeth are very much enlarged, and it bites for 4 dice (4d6) of damage. The creature also has heightened strength to complement its native intelligence and cunning. Despite its increased size and strength, the bigoon has lost none of the manipulative dexterity of its small progenitor. The hand-sized forepaws of a bigoon are quite nimble and can be used to open simple closures and latches. The bigoon is a nocturnal hunter and has infravisual capabilities. When hungry, a bigoon attacks virtually anything, but the creature is prone to ignore other creatures if well fed, unless its curiosity is aroused. A well-fed bigoon has been known to playfully knockdown a passing human in order to tear open a carried sack. Fortunately, a blow from a bigoon's forepaw does only one die (d6) of damage. A lone bigoon is usually a rogue male. If three or more are encountered, they are likely to be a mother and her immature young. Bigoons are all capable of climbing trees sturdy enough to hold their weight.
Mutations: Increased strength (+900 xp per added mutation)
|No. Enc.:||1d6 (1d6)|
|Movement:||150' (50'), 180' (90') for short burst of speed|
|Attacks:||2 claws, 1 bite, or by weapon|
|Damage:||1d6/1d6/1d6, or by weapon type|
Katkins are a mutated form of the common house cat, standing about three feet tall when walking erect (which they often do). Coloration can range from white- to orange-striped, but gray-striped and brown or black solid colors are the most common. These intelligent creatures have not lost their fangs or their claws, although the claws of their manipulative forepaws are not proportionately as long as the rear ones. Katkins are rather shy and reclusive, using their enhanced speed and balance to live arboreal lives, ranging amidst the upper branches of woodlands to hunt and explore. One or more Katkins will construct a well-concealed hut of woven vines and branches high up in the largest of trees, dwelling there during summer months. Winter quarters are typically in hollow tree trunks. Katkins have both sound and thought reflection capabilities; so, in addition to their normal body weaponry (two claw attacks and a bite per turn, each doing 1-6 points of damage), they have dangerous reflective abilities as well. Katkins have been known to possess and use small technological devices (pistols, energy weapons, etc.). Employment of normal weapons suited to their size and strength is fairly common around the creatures' home.
Mutations: Quickness, Increased Balance, Mind Reflection, Sound Reflection (special) (+700 xp per added mutation)
The Amoeboid (the creature of the lake)Edit
|No. Enc.:||0 (1)|
|Hit Dice:||? (1000 hp, 50 hp in nucleus)|
|Damage:||2d6 to exposed skin|
This is a gigantic aquadic life form unlike anything known, which does think and reason in its own right. This monster is huge with its body being over a mile in diameter, and occupes a whole body of freash water. Passerbyes might note that there are no birds, animals, or even insects within 300 feet of the crystal clear water. Any living creature which ventures within 60 feet of the edge of it's lake is subjected to a mental attack of 12 strength. Creatures who are successfully attacked come under the control of the amoeboid, and march into the water where many pseudopods grasp and drag the prey inside the creature to be absorbed. Even microscopic life forms normally inhabiting lakes are devoured by this monster when larger prey is unavailable, and vegetation is consumed when nothing else is available.
It lurks underwater and is basically immune to all forms of attack, save radiation of 9 or greater intensity which kills it in 100 rounds of exposure but leaves behind 5-30 cysts which then develop into smaller versions of this creature within 1-4 hours after the affecting radiation drops below intensity 9. When other food is unavailable, it is able to photosynthesize nutrients and go into a semi-dormant state. It can withstand up to 1,000 points of damage over its entire body. The nucleus can only absorb 50 points before being destroyed, and thus killing the creature. However, the nucleus is in the center of the lake, and under 500 feet of water. Mental attacks do not work upon the creature, nor does a death field. A life leech attack does affect the amoeboid, causing it to send a pseudopod out to capture the attacker. Pseudopods sent outside the lake are charged with an acidic secretion which inflicts 2-12 points of damage each melee round of contact with animal or vegetable matter but is too weak to affect metal or like substances. Communication with the monster, mental or otherwise, is not possible.
Mutations: Possession (+??? xp per added mutation)