Historical Cimmeria

I write a lot of stuff about my D&D campaign world which I’ve dubbed Cimmeria. I’ve plopped the Greek Pantheon of gods into Cimmeria to use. Its easy for my players and me to remember which god is which and there’s a deep reservoir of myths to aid storytelling. Most of you probably already know these things from reading my blog. What you might not’ve known is that Cimmeria was a place attested to in The Histories of Herodotus and a few other early histories. Whether that makes the place “real” or not is probably up to how trustworthy you consider those sources. Regardless, there is some historical justification for why the geographical region of my D&D campaign world is called Cimmeria.

The historical Cimmerians are described in the Assyrian archives from about 700-600BCE. They engaged in a number of border skirmishes with the Assyrians and other ethnic groups around the northern coast of the Black Sea. After 600BCE they disappear from the historical record. It is likely that after a particularly harsh defeat by the Assyrians that the Cimmerians were assimilated into one of the other cultures in the area. As they sought protection from that stronger group they ceased to be a distinct people.

I’d like to incorporate the historical events into my campaign world. The dates are a little uncertain with different historians using different dates. I’ve decided to use the estimates provided in The Landmark Herodotus. The rough events are detailed below. I’ll need to incorporate them into the story, but that will have to wait until after I’m done with The Days of Kruk-Ma-Kali and have gotten a decent way into the Time of Prosperity period. Basically, I want to finish everything else in my campaign world up to 600BCE and then wedge in the historical events however they fit. Probably as the early history of the Xorian Kingdom.

So here are the historical events for Cimmeria with the dates I’ve decided to plop on them.

714BCE: Suicide of Rusas I of Urartu, after defeat by both the Assyrians and Cimmerians.

705BCE: Sargon II of Assyria died on an expedition against the Cimmerians.

695BCE: Cimmerians destroyed Phrygia. Death of king Midas.

679BCE: Cimmerians invaded under King Teushpa. Assyrians led by Esarhaddon defeated Cimmeria and incorporated a Cimmeria unit into army.

676-674BCE: Cimmerians invaded and destroyed Phrygia, and reached Paphlagonia.

669BCE: Attacked Lydia.

660BCE: Teushpa died, but his son Lygdamis was even more aggressive. Gyges asked for Assyrian aid.

657BCE: Gyges defeated Cimmeria.

651BCE: Cimmeria civil war. Tomb along Don River.

644BCE: Cimmerians pressured out by Amazons, captured Sardis and killed Gyges.

640BCE: Failed attack on Assyrian turkey and death of Cimmeria King Lygdamis. Succeeded by King Sandakhshatra.

626BCE: Lydian Alyattes defeated Cimmerians.

Cimmerian Timeline Part 33

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This post will cover the lives of the Restnor family.

882BCE: Humans freed from the dragon’s tyranny began to settle around Valor’s Forest.

880BCE: The Human settlements around Valor’s Forest suffered a number of monster attacks. They petitioned the Elves of Valor’s Forest for assistance. Rather than directly protecting the settlements, the Elves offered to train one hundred Humans to be monster-hunting rangers. Restnor the First was one of the Humans who volunteered for this training.

879BCE: Restnor the First fathered a child with an Elvish woman, Tialafosnor. Rather than raise the child in Valor’s Forest, Tialafosnor elected to travel with Restnor on his monster-hunting treks. While Restnor the First was trained to be a ranger, the boy, Restnor the Second, was born a ranger.

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The First Vampire of Cimmeria Part 7

The Lich-queen on her bone throne

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Tracy needed to feed the information on the tying of immortal threads to the Blue Dragon Cult. Relying on the same methods she’d used during the Dragon War, Tracy formed an information network in Cimmeria. Her spies told Tracy that the Cult was making inquiries on the subject in Greshendale. Tracy went there with copies of Shratalanda’s notes and sold them to the Blue Dragon Cultists. The seeds of discord were sown for her enemies and they paid her to do it. Now all she had to do was wait.

As predicted, Bavastatner acted on the information. He sent his followers to the Temple of the Fates on Crete. They stole the threads of Bavastatner and the Styx. With the threads in his possession, Bavastatner entwined his fate with that of the River Styx. With that, he broke his contract with the Lich-queen. All his offspring were recalled to the Shacklack, except for the eggs the Githyanki took to the Astral Plane. These captive hatchlings would be raised by the Githyanki and bred within the Astral Plane to maintain their draconic force for centuries afterwards.

Furious, the Lich-queen prepared to go to war with the blue dragons. She led the assault herself rather than relying on the sarath or the adlishar. All the resources and manpower of her interdimensional empire came bearing down on the Shacklack Desert. Bavastatner’s children defended their home alongside their patriarch’s demon experiments. The Second Dragon War had begun.

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The First Vampire of Cimmeria Part 5

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Githyanki invaders touched every part of Cimmeria. Rather than target the politically powerful they attacked mortals skilled in the martial or magical arts. Powerful warriors, magicians, and clerics disappeared as the adlishar and sarath elite of the Githyanki swept across Cimmeria. With the strongest protectors removed the Githyanki infantry invaded. They attacked the city-states, pillaged their treasuries, and enslaved the urban people of Cimmeria to provide resources and servants to the Astral Plane.

Tereman had been spying on the Githyanki using dimensional portals. He learned of the attacks before they occurred, but underestimated the scope. Thus Tracy and the Gish Trio had only been able to organize defenses for Shalerton, Crafterton, and Nomingburg. After the initial attacks failed on the strongest of those cities the Githyanki didn’t follow up with a full-scale invasion. The Lich-queen was content with the prizes she had earned across the rest of Cimmeria.

Tracy and the Gish Trio began planning how to drive back the Githyanki and defeat Bavastatner. The problems would undoubtedly be easier to manage if the alliance between the Lich-queen and Bavastatner was destroyed. Tereman’s divinations revealed that the pair had sworn their alliance on the River Styx and that Bavastatner was searching for a way out of his oath. Tracy came up with a plot. The Gish Trio would help Bavastatner achieve his goal and then with their enemies divided they would strike.

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Cimmerian Timeline Part 32

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841BCE: A group of Humans, Elves, and Halflings settled a small village at a river junction in the Aractrashan Jungle. It was an important trading post for hunters and traders. Many visitors stayed at the village inn, the Inn of Lost Souls. The village was named Satronwook.

820BCE: Dionysus and Pan began their parade tour of the Caspian starting at the Persian trade post of Baku. They traveled northward, keeping the Sea on their right.

816BCE: Dionysus and Pan arrived at Satronwook. Dionysus created the famous alcohol fountain and the pair founded the drinking contest that now decides the leadership of Satronwook. The first winner was a Halfling woman, Baradera, who the contest is named after. Dionysus crowned her and turned her into a magically intelligent panda. He gave Panda Baradera the command of a pack of blink dogs to enforce her decree for a single year until the drinking contest was held again.

815BCE: The Baradera of Satronwook crowned a new Panda, but Baradera was shocked to learn that she would not be transforming back into a Halfling. Her true form would forever be that of a talking panda. The blink dogs served the new Panda, enforcing her decrees and those of all previous Pandas.
The novelty of Satronwook’s leadership and alcohol fountain attracted many people to the village and it grew into a sizable trading town.

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Kingdoms Sprouting Up Part 5

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Satronwook
After the Dragon War a few Humans, Elves, and Halflings settled within the Aractrash Jungle. One group founded a small village named Satronwook on one of the upriver intersections of the Aractrash River. As trappers and traders moved through the village they stayed at the Inn of Lost Souls. The establishment was right on the village square, an optimal location for all those who wished to do business in town.
One day Dionysus got it in his head to go on a tour of Cimmeria to witness the food, drink, and culture of the Olympians new playground. Of course Dionysus brought his entourage, maenads, and Pan. They started in the West and proceeded clockwise around the Caspian Sea in a meandering path. Along the way the members of their troop shifted and changed. When they neared the end they had acquired a pack of magical blink dogs. The final stop on their tour was Satronwook.
When Dinoysus arrived in Satronwook he struck his thyrsus into the ground of the village square. The staff grew and grew into the alcohol fountain that makes Satronwook famous today. The pair stayed for a month in the Inn of Lost Souls, partying in their characteristic destructive way. At the end of their visit every citizen of Satronwook was either dead, cursed, or enriched by some blessing of the gods. Continue reading

Cimmerian Timeline Part 28

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1091BCE: Hephaestus presented Karnafaust with a gift, the Fierce Axe of Dwavish Lords. With the Axe came a promise, that the Dwarves were Hephaestus’s favorite people, even beyond death. King Karnafaust adopted the Axe as a symbol of his right to rule.

1045BCE: With Karnafaust’s death the Fierce Axe of Dwarvish Lords passed to Cogard. The Dwarven Regency Council held the Axe to Cogard came of age, just as they held his governmental powers.

996BCE: King Cogard turned 50 and came of age. He was coronated, but the Dwarven Regency Council did not relinquish governmental control to their designated sovereign. Cogard received the Fierce Axe of Dwarvish Lords at his coronation. Continue reading

The Fierce Axe of Dwarvish Lords

Fierce Axe of Dwarvish Lords
Dwarvish lord not included

The Fierce Axe of Dwavish Lords is the symbol of supreme Dwarven leadership. It was gifted to Karnafaust after his resurrection by Hephaestus. With the Axe came a promise, that the Dwarves were Hephaestus’s favorite people, even beyond death.

Karnafaust held the Fierce Axe until his death in 1046BCE. The Axe passed to his swaddling nephew, Cogard. As the boy had just been born, the Axe was entrusted to the Dwarven Council. The Axe was wielded by the head of the council, not as a weapon, but as a symbol of the infant king’s authority. When Cogard was coronated he took the Fierce Axe as his birthright. The Axe’s presence provided a boost to Cogard’s popularity as he toured the Dwarven lands before returning to peacefully oust the Dwarven Council from power.

King Cogard used the Axe during the Dragon War, slaying many of the lesser dragons with it. Cogard also had a tendency to execute traitors of the other Conclave races using the Fierce Axe. Treasonous Dwarves were killed by Cogard’s executioner instead.

The Fierce Axe was lost during the Dwarven Civil War. The Dwarves claim that the Axe abandoned the people as it could only be used by a united Dwarven race. Others say it was simply hidden by a group who didn’t want it used as a bargaining piece in the conflict between Cogard’s sons.

It was many centuries before the Fierce Axe of Dwarvish Lords resurfaced. Atreides was a Dwarf aiding Princess Tarigananata’s claim to the throne in the First Alliance War. He had a vision that led him to the Fierce Axe’s hiding place. He slew a giant guarding the weapon and claimed it for the Dwarven race. Before returning the Axe to his king, Atreides took it into battle with the Xorian Rage, Grave. Amalgami took the Axe and gave it to the Xorians when he negotiated his personal surrender. The Axe would linger in the Xorian Museum of Power for two more decades. 

When the Dragovinians rose to power, Jevaninada II had to renew alliances with the vassals within the Xorian Empire. He used the Fierce Axe to bribe the new Amazon Queen Ashabodai. She wielded the Axe for the initial push into Eastern Cimmeria.

The Hill Dwarves came to the assistance of the Alliance at the Battle of Phoenix. When the Dragovinians assaulted the city, Torin came face to face with Ashabodai. Athena possessed Torin and with the help of his goddess and his friends, they defeated Ashabodai and reclaimed the Fierce Axe for the Dwavish people.

Torin gave the Fierce Axe of Dwarvish Lords to King Dainlin of the Hill Dwarves. Dainlin used the Fierce Axe to call for a meeting of the four Dwarven Kings. The meeting would decide which of the four would take his place as High King over all the Dwarves. Dainlin supported Torngar on the condition that Torngar join the Second Alliance. Sandil supported Torngar as well. Deekgaon refused to provide his support until Torngar named him general of all Dwarven armies.

With decision finalized, Torngar became High King of the Dwarves. He wields the Fierce Axe of Dwarvish Lords and rules over a united Dwarvish nation once again.

Cimmerian Timeline Part 26

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1072BCE: The Orcs took matters into their own hands. They left the Conclave and elected a group of elders to lead them. This council is known as the Maglibarjil. The Orcs went east and carved out a region of Cimmeria for themselves. The Orcs integrated the Goblins of that region into their new society instead of enslaving them.

1046BCE: War with the Humans had subsided and the leaders of the Maglibarjil separated to lead their individual communities. These communities developed their own cultures and became the many tribes of the Orclands.

1021BCE: Bugbear raids against Orc settlements increased drastically. The Goblinoid cannibals carried away Orcs and ate them.

1020BCE: The Maglibarjil reformed to combat the Bugbear threat, but each tribe sought to protect only itself from the incessant attacks. The cannibal raids continued.

1018BCE: A powerful Orc, now known as the First Chief, rose up and drove away the Bugbears around their tribe. No one knows for sure which tribe the First Chief came from or what their name was. Each of the oldest tribes claims the hero as their own. The First Chief commanded their tribe to protect the closest neighboring tribe. They drove off the Bugbears there and the process continued.

1016BCE: Each of the Orc tribes worked together under the First Chief’s leadership. No quarter was given to the cannibal Bugbears. The First Chief’s genocidal war resulted in the almost complete destruction of the Bugbear race.

1015BCE: The First Chief swore that the orcs would never know fear like the Bugbear raids again. The hero took their fight to the source of the Bugbears menace, Zeus himself, for who else controlled the fates of mortals? The First Orc Chief marched against Mount Olympus and engaged Zeus in combat. Zeus killed the rebellious mortal, but not before the First Orc Chief had cut off a tusk of Zeus’s. The tusk fell to the earth beside the First Chief’s body.
To honor the hero the Maglibarjil took the tusk of Zeus and forged it into the tip of the First Chief’s sword. Additionally they took the First Chief’s skin and made a suit of hide armor out of it. These items were to be wielded and worn by the greatest champion of the Orkish race. The sword is known as Ynedg-Drathul the Tusk of Heaven and the armor is known as the Skin of the First Chief.

Next: Cimmerian Timeline Part 27

Characters of Cimmeria: The First Orc Chief

This post deals with a little splash of syncretism. There are many races in Cimmeria and it’s natural for them all to view the gods as physically similar to themselves. And who can say that they aren’t?

When the Orcs left the Conclave to conquer the Goblins they were a single unit led by a council of elders known as the Maglibarjil. Once they subjugated the Goblins the Maglibarjil elders split apart to lead different communities. These communities developed their own cultures and became the many tribes of the Orclands today.

All the separated Orc tribes soon learned of a threat the Goblins had kept secret, Bugbears. The Bugbears raided Orc settlements relentlessly. The Maglibarjil attempted to organize the tribes, but each tribe wished to protect only themselves and not the Orcs as a whole. Cannibalistic attacks continued until a powerful Orc rose up and drove away the Bugbears around their tribe. No one knows for sure which tribe this Orc came from or what the Orc’s name was. Each of the oldest tribes claims the hero as their own.

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