This section details the preliminary events to my last campaign in Cimmeria. The rise of the Dragovinian threat in Xoria as Blendegad the Reaper began to compose a new pantheon of gods. Events that are specific to the PCs during this campaign will be added in at a later date.
420BCE: Jevaninada II attempted to assassinate the Queen with the assistance of the last two Rages, Wrath and Havoc. During the battle an unexpected presence arrived, Blendegad the Reaper. He had been in the Dark Reaches killing monsters. Years previously, Blendegad had discovered a ritual that would turn any dragon into a god. All it required was the deaths of thousands of creatures, slain by the dragon’s own hand. With every beast Blendegad slew he grew closer to godhood. Now, this god of death wanted to test the small amount of divine power he had obtained by taking over the greatest Cimmerian kingdom that had ever existed.
Blendegad easily killed the queen and the two Rages. The Reaper advanced upon the cowering King and bit him. The godly draconic vampiric mix infected the already slightly divine blood of Jevaninada II. A new creature was born. King Jevaninada II arose and named this new species, Dragovinians. The King made a pact with the Reaper. They would rule together with Blendegad as the god of the new empire and Jevaninada II as his avatar.
Jevaninada revealed his new body and his new master to his subjects at his coronation. The assembled people began to run, fearing the evil of a vampire immune to sunlight. Jevaninada II stopped them with a stirring speech in which he promised the return of power to men. The people were won over and declared their new king to be Jevaninada the Second.
Jevaninada II immediately set about removing the female lords of the land and replacing them with his own servants. His servants were made into Dragovinians under his absolute control and through them, control over any Dragovinians they created. A new aristocracy was formed, a vampocracy.
The Realm of Olympus was shaken by these developments. Hera was infuriated with Zeus for allowing her present to return to the control of men. Zeus was distracted with trying to win Hera back when the unthinkable occurred. The Dahak ambushed Zeus in the very domain of Olympus. The Dahak punctured Zeus’s belly with a special pitchfork and removed the Titan, Metis, who had lived in Zeus’s stomach for centuries. The Dahak fled with his prize. Zeus was too injured to pursue and the other gods were too shocked to react in time.
The gods pooled their power into healing their father, but they failed. Zeus remained confined to Olympus and storms were absent from the land for a time. The young gods, devoid of leadership, decided on their own how to approach the problem. Ares revolted and claimed the sky and the thunderbolts for his own. Hephaestus resisted Ares and Aphrodite was caught in the middle between the two. Apollo journeyed through the mortal world, looking for a cure for his father. Dionysus swore off alcohol until his father recuperated. Hera and Hestia remained by Zeus’s bedside and cared for their brother. Athena and Artemis scoured the world for the Dahak. Hades, Poseidon, and the older gods awaited further developments.
Amalganus, a powerful man in Jipangu, acted out of fear of an old rival nation now being headed by a vampire dragon god. Amalganus started organizing a Second Alliance of Cimmeria in hopes of taking offensive action against Xoria.
419BCE: Without divine intervention Blendegad and Jevaninada II were allowed to take further action. They went to Jeutontic and easily eliminated the proto-vampire presence. The city was restored to its state before the War of the First Alliance. The new leaders and new religion of the Xorian Empire were hailed for freeing the city from almost two decades of slavery.
418BCE: The new Xorian religion, Dragoviniysm, gained a clergy and official organization. All citizens were required to join the faith. The lords of each city acted as figureheads for the churches in each city-state of the Empire. A top-down pyramid structure for the church was formed. The lords of the cities had more important duties to attend to, so the position of cardinal was made. Each cardinal oversaw an entire city-state. Within each city-state a bishop was appointed for each church. Various other clergymen served the bishops.
The rewards of joining Dragoviniysm were quite clear. If you served the Empire well the church rewarded you with the everlasting life of a Dragovinian. All the cardinals and bishops were Dragovinians. Services were held at the beginning of every tenday. At the services various propagandic hymns were sung. Verses were read from an altered history of Xoria’s expansion which told various moral lessons as well as encouraging obedience and subordinance. Communion consisted of the bishop and any other Dragovinians in attendance drinking the blood of the laymen. No laymen were killed by this procedure, so none of them turned into Dragovinians.
Many people rejoiced at the promise of true immortality. Thousands flocked to the new religion in spite of its horrible practices. All those who resisted suffered the ultimate punishment. They were imprisoned and transported to the Xorian capital at Nox and fed to the god, Blendegad. Additionally, all those sentenced to death for secular crimes were fed to the dragon as well.
The Amazons rose up in revolt against Dragoviniysm, led by their new queen, Ashabodai.
417BCE: The Dragovinians fought the Amazons back to Dradelden. Jevaninada II met with Queen Ashabodai to discuss a truce. The Queen agreed to serve King Jevaninada II if he gave her the Fierce Axe of Dwarvish Lords and gave immortality to any Amazon who wished it. In one night the Amazons went from the biggest liability for Xoria to the kingdom’s greatest asset.
The tyranny of the new religion spread throughout the land. Thousands attempted to evacuate the country. Many who tried were fed to the dragon. Eventually fear forced all the citizens of Xoria to go to church and offer their necks to the new vampocracy.
After the religious upheaval was finished peace settled over the Empire. The gods stayed out of the affairs of mortals. The only threats to the Empire consisted of Underdark slave rebellions, border incursions by the Dwarves, and guerilla tactics used by the rebels of Bigby’s Forest. All these problems were dealt with by a crushing display of force by the Xorian army. The Xorian army no longer contained women.
The Rebellion consisted of Gazearans, Semanariens, Xorians loyal to the First Alliance, Amazons, Elves, Dwarves, and Xorians escaping from Dragoviniysm.
The years passed without event beyond the occasional great storm set upon the land by Ares. The Second Alliance formed by Amalganus chose to take defensive actions only.
410BCE: An assassination attempt was made on King Jevaninada II’s life. The King Jevaninada scoured the city of Nox for those who conspired with the criminal to take his life. Soldiers searched every house with wizards scanning the minds of every citizen to find the conspirators. The people rioted in the streets. Blendegad the Reaper came out of his tower atop Nox Castle and breathed fire upon the crowds. The people dispersed in terror and Blendegad feasted on their barbequed flesh. The incident became known as the Scouring By Fire.
401BCE: Hera finally gave her support to Ares as regent for Zeus. Ares, in gratitude for his mother’s new position, created a massive hurricane in the western Caspian Sea. The hurricane caused major flooding for Crafterton, Cecilia, and Makotako. The people called out for help from their god and leader. Blendegad used his divine power to grant all Dragovinians wings for one day. The Dragovinians of Xoria assisted all the mortals to escape the flooding, winds, and lightning of the Hurricane of Ares. The image of the Dragovinians and Dragoviniysm was greatly improved.
400BCE: The years of peace came to an end. Jevaninada II and Blendegad the Reaper decided to act with the new popular support found by protecting the people from the Hurricane of Ares. The dictator and the god reassembled the grand army of Xoria. Conscriptions began enmasse. The popular support for Dragoviniysm continued, but support for King Jevaninada II quickly evaporated.
The people’s emotions were already running hot after the hurricane. Waves of dissension rose across the whole Empire. Jevaninada imposed a new method of policing his citizens. He and his Dragovinian nobles began biting dogs and other animals. Those beasts became the spies and enforcers of the Dragovinian aristocracy. The Dragovinian beasts supernaturally sniffed out treasonous acts and conversations. The beasts reported the criminals to their masters or acted on their own, immediately and severely punishing the guilty. It was said that the creator of a Dragovinian beast could see through the beast’s eyes, hear with the beast’s ear, and even speak with the beast’s tongue.
399BCE: With the homefront supposedly secure and his new army trained, Jevaninada II marched into the Eastern Cimmerian lands. The Mercenaries and Adventurers Guilds of Phoenix quickly mobilized to stop the advance of the Xorian army. The Xorians were prevented from crossing the Delain River. Phoenix called for aid from the other Alliance members, but the call was unanswered.
398BCE: More conscripts joined the Xorian army. Those guilty of treason and heresy were now punished with conscription instead of execution by dragon. The Xorian army almost tripled in size in one year. With the use of a special forces platoon composed of Dragovinians, Jevaninada II was able to take the eastern bank of the Delain River. The Second Alliance of Cimmeria voted to protect Phoenix. Jipangu, Bradel Fields, Jord, and Restnor’s Point sent troops, supplies, and experts to Phoenix to aid in the protection of the city.
Jevaninada II attempted to storm the city with siege towers and battering rams led by his Dragovinian platoon. The attack failed. His second attack consisted of a silent Dragovinian assault during the night. Many Phoenixians were slain, but the Dragovinians, in their bloodlust, did not target military personnel. The Phoenix military mobilized and a great number of Dragovinians died in the retreat. Jevaninada II backed his troops away from the city. The people of Phoenix feared an ambush and did not pursue. The armies of the Second Alliance gathered in the city. As soon as the Xorian King was sure all the allies were gathered in the city walls he pushed his frontline forward. The Xorian army began building a siege wall to enclose the entire city of Phoenix.
397BCE: The Alliance attempted a countersiege wall to the northeast of Phoenix. The countersiege wall was heavily defended during its constructions. Many Alliance troops died, but the wall was successfully built. The day after its completion the wall was entirely underdug by Dragovinian burrowing animals. The Alliance soldiers patrolling the wall were all slain by the Dragovinian beasts. The slain troops rose again as Dragovinians loyal to Xoria. The new “recruits” were placed in the old Dragovinian platoon.
Jevaninada the Second called for the surrender of Phoenix. Phoenix refused. The building of the siege wall continued at an increased pace. The Alliance attempted an attack on the center of the siege wall. Dragovinian troops engaged in a melee with the Alliance while thousands of arrows were shot from behind the siege wall into the fighting. The Dragovinians were immune to the damage of the arrows, but the Alliance troops could not say the same. The Alliance ordered a retreat, but their route was cut off by the same burrowing animals that had collapsed the countersiege wall. The Alliance troops involved in the center wall attack suffered 50% casualties.
396BCE: The siege wall was completed in June. The Alliance considered recruiting new allies from the rest of Cimmeria to assist in breaking the siege.