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Summerhill Hounds

by Håvard

Summerhill Hounds is another First Quest novel, by J. Robert King (who also write Rogues to Riches). The novel is not set on Mystara, but not set in any other official setting either. With a few modifications, it can easily be moved to Mystara should one wish so:

Summerhill Hounds relates the story of a group of dogs (and a cat) of extraordinary intelligence and abilities who live in Castle Dunkirk. When the Castle is attacked by Orcs and their human masters are captured, the animals set out on a quest to free their masters. After meeting fairies they are given magical collars that can turn dogs into humans or humans into dogs. They now discover that the orcs have sold the humans off to a pirate named Captain Klay who intends to take them to the New World where he can sell them off as slaves. The dogs and some newfound human allies set after Captain Klay's ship and eventually defeat the Captain and rescue their master. Finally the dogs and their masters, now both able to take both human an dog form settle in the New World where they found a settlement named New Summerhill.

Adapting to Mystara:
The best location for Castle Dunkirk and the Summerhill is the Isle of Dawn. The culture of the humans is quite close to that of Redstone of Caerdwicca. I suggest that the Summerhill is located within West Portage. Other locations featured on the map include the Solway River and a settlement (Town) named Carnic on the western coast. This also provides some interesting ideas about the Fey of the Isle of Dawn. Not far from the Summerhill is a Fey Mound and the gateway to a Fey City (New Concept?) called Ardulla. On their way to the New World, the animals stop at the Isle of Orcus. This could be a small island anywhere between the Isle of Dawn and the Known World, or possibly south east of Thyatis.

The dogs and Cat are likely Pookas, though for some reason these Pookas have been estranged to other Fey. Captain Klay has a pistol of some kind. This could be a smoke powder weapon from the Savage Coast. The New World could simply be the Known World. Klay would likely be interested in selling slaves to Thyatis. The area the dogs eventually settle in is home to a race of proud red-skinned humans, most likely the Atruaghin Clans.

Interesting details:
* St. James: The patron of Sailors
* The Silver Dog: An Immortal worshipped by Dogs, whose symbol is the moon. It could be another name for Asterius.
*Aglion: A Gigantic Fey, protector of Ardulla.
*Ardulla: The smallest of Seven Fey Cities.
* Goldie, one of the dogs (a cocker spaniel) learns the powers of divine magic either becoming a druid or Cleric during the course of the novels. Assuming she is a Pooka, Druid is probably the best interpretation.
* Slav, another dog has the ability to breathe fire. It is suggested that he gained this ability due to having a Wizard owner.