Jovy was 50 years old at the conclusion of the Dragon War. Most men didn’t live to such an old age and those that did would be thinking only of resting their tired bodies. Not so for Jovy! Continue reading
This one is a PC created by one of my players with the screen-name, Ozymandias. While Ozymandias designed Preta mechanically and ran him during the events of the campaign, I was the one who came up with his backstory as an exiled Persian Prince.
Preta is a Persian Prince, the Arch-Wizard of Aractrash, and a circle magic master. He is the son of Xerxes II and the true-born heir to the throne of Persia. He was a member of the Second Alliance involved in many of the Council’s most discussions and missions. Preta used lethal force during on a riot in Bradel Fields and was arrested. He fled the Alliance and took Hektor’s spot as the Arch-Wizard of Aractrash. Continue reading
Another PC coming at you! This character is played by my friend who goes by Middle_Snu on the Internet. We worked together on writing his backstory so he deserves equal credit for what you see here.
Hektor Rackgard is a powerful wizard and a key figure in the Alliace and the Exiles that split off from the Alliance, secretly maintaining a place in both groups for a time. Hektor’s magical expertise lies in summoning, shapeshifting, scrying, and quick elimination of foes through a number of offensive but not necessarily lethal means.
Hektor Rackgard was born to a minor noble of the small Aractrashan town, Lakatia. His father wished Continue reading
This character’s story was largely created and written by Throgg, a player in my D&D campaign. Amalganus is the son of a previous character of his and the father of his current character, providing a paternal link through the time that passed between his two PCs.
Amalganus was a Jipanguese military leader, politician, and international organizer. In his military career he fought on the frontlines with his men, often protecting them from blows with his mighty shield. Amalganus was catapulted to fame when King Jevaninada II and the Dragovinians rose to power in Xoria. Only a minor lord at the time, Amalganus’s extraordinary charisma allowed him to organize the Second Alliance of Cimmerian city-states. Approximately a decade after the formation of the Second Alliance, Amalganus disappeared on a journey with uncertain goals in the west and was never heard from again. The Second Alliance is certainly Amalganus’s legacy, standing as a bastion of Cimmerian independence and courage against the imperial threat of Xorian expansion.
Amalganus was the son of Amalgami the Betrayer and Emelia, the daughter of a Phoenixian merchant. Emelia’s father disavowed her and kicked her out of his home after Amalgami betrayed the First Alliance. Pregnant with Amalganus, Emelia fled to Yuettencal in the Aractrashan Kingdom. She gave birth in June 438BCE.
Emelia supported herself and her son by selling her fine clothes and jewelry she brought with her from Phoenix. In time this money dried up. Left without other options, Emelia used her remaining clothes and refined social skills to become an upper class aristocrat. She quickly attracted the attention of an elderly Jipanguese lord named Humanto Moshiro who visited her on business trips. Humanto loved Emelia dearly and brought her back to Jipangu as his concubine. Amalganus was raised as a ward by the military household of Kowitari.
Amalganus trained with the other young nobles showing incredible talent and potential. He squired for a respectable officer, Dilaeon Kowitari, performing admirably and winning much honor. Amalganus was soon placed at the side of ranking officers as he was groomed for a command of his own. Around this time Emelia and Humanto were blessed with a son, Purodu.
Amalganus accompanied a small mission to defend the countryside from trolls. Amalganus demonstrated exceptional skill and decision making by saving the life of his superior officer, as well as rallying his unit’s forces for a decisive victory over the trolls. Unfortunately, in the aftermath tragedy struck the Moshiro family. Purodu who had always been sickly, died. Humanto’s old body could not bear the sorrow. His heart gave out soon after and he followed Purodu into the Underworld. With his sole heir by blood dead, Humanto’s lordship passed to Amalganus.
Amalganus’s military record continued to shine. He received many marriage proposals and decided to solidify his relationship with the Kowitari family by marrying a daughter of their house, Hiroka. Amalganus’s house commanded respect throughout the city, even though he possessed a mere 18 years. The public loved him and he was commonly referred to as, “an old soul”, having inherited the charisma that propelled his ancestors into power. Amalganus recognized the growing threat of the Dragovinian aristocracy in the west. Almost as soon as Jevaninada II took the throne, Amalganus began to organize the Second Alliance.
Amalganus continued to gain honor and respect, both as military leader in Jipangu but also as the head of the growing Second Alliance. Hope spread that the Xorians would not invade if presented with a united resistance. As the Second Alliance grew, so did Amalganus’s family. Hiroka bore Amalganus his first son, Amalius, in February 420BCE. Amelia was born in May 418BC and Amalchus in October 417BCE.
In 412BCE Emelia grew incurably sick. On her deathbed, she revealed to Amalganus the truth about his father, a fact she had kept hidden, as well as the family name “Halkias”. Shocked and horrified, Amalganus vowed to reclaim the honor of House Halkias. The only path to clear the Halkias name lay in bringing Amalgami to justice. Amalganus secretly began the hunt by pouring through historical documents for clues to Amalgami’s location.
After two years of research and hired detectives, Amalganus tracked Amalgami down in Greece. In a rare moment of poor judgement, Amalganus abandoned his family and responsibilities in Jipangu to travel west in search of his father. He found Amalgami posing as a noble named Alcibiades in Athens. Amalgami had long since abandoned his humanity and he attacked Amalganus upon seeing him. An epic combat ensued. Amalganus fought valiantly, forcing his lich of a father to his knees. Amalganus stopped short of delivering the final blow to his own father. Amalgami took advantage of this moment of hesitation and decapitated Amalganus with Korm.
Amalganus’s body was brought to Amalgami’s hideout in Ionia along with Amalius who had witnessed the final combat between his relatives. Amalgami locked the body away in a room that Amalius was forbidden to enter. The body was presumably experimented on before being disposed of. The final resting place of Amalganus Halkias remains unknown.
Yuettencal has a population of close to 150,000 and is the capital of Aractrash. Satronwook, Tetalya, and Lordodo are all vassals of Yuettencal. Yuettencal fits perfectly within the jungle. All but the most fortified buildings are made of wood, dirt, or underground entirely. Fire prevention would usually be a problem, but the moist conditions of the rainforest and numerous spellcasters with create water at the ready prevent the spread of any blaze. Starting a fire without magic or tindertwigs is a bigger problem than preventing them.
Yuettencal’s production is mostly tropical fruits, tropical wine from tropical fruits, tropical art, tropical animals, and spell components you can only find in the jungle. Jungle trees produce poor quality wood and the surrounding soil is also poor. Yuettencal’s economy would fall apart were it not for the gold mines to the north that belong to the royal family.
The gold mines are controlled by the king and are not allowed to be traded or even worked on by contractors or other interested parties. The king doesn’t want any of the gold being stolen or given out as a finder’s fee. The gold is mined entirely with slaves and sorcerer guards. The sorcerers have found numerous uses for a detect gold spell. They use it on slaves to ensure no thefts occur, On a rich vein to see the best way to dig, and to find out if a vein is done. The sorcerers have plenty of spells for their most important duty, preventing riots and revolts. The conditions for the slaves are brutal, but after five years they are freed and allowed to work for one year in the mines earning 3% of what they find. Once a slave no longer works in the mines a geas/quest is cast upon them to prevent discussion about activities in the mines. Most slaves do not make it through those five or six years dying from exhaustion, a broken limb, or poisonous gas. Very few clerics are posted to help the slaves.
Yuettencal has the largest slave market east of Xoria. Any type of slave can be purchased here, but mostly the ugly races such as Orcs, Goblins, and Gnolls. Very few Elves, Dwarves, and Halflings are up for sale. Their kind does not usually commit crimes or go to war. Imprisonment is a much worse punishment for a race that is close to immortality as well. Suicide is a common cause of death for the enslaved elder races. The slave market is located in the west of the city in a plaza known as the Merchant’s Domain.
The selling of sentient flesh at the slave market fostered a thriving market for animals as well. Alongside mundane animals many exotic pets or mounts can be purchased in D Park, north of the Merchant’s Domain. Venders sell griffons, hippogriffs, and pegasi for riding; moon rats and pseudodragons for familiars; and trainers and caretakers for teaching how to ride and take care of all the beasts. Rarer animals for sale include dragons, nightmares, and pretty much any mystical animal, but only with a special permit. Dragons are usually only sold as eggs. Live ones are considered too dangerous to be kept inside the city and must be sold outside the walls.
Yuettencal is ruled by King Staynard. He recently took the crown upon his father’s assassination. Prior to becoming the royal family, Staynard’s ancestors discovered the gold mines and slowly grew to a position of power. They were crowned as royalty by the priesthood of Zeus when the first King Gollard married a nymph. King Staynard is inexperienced and afraid of the power that comes with his position. He relies heavily on his advisers and the counsel of his family’s silver dragon mount, Kinderax. The people of Aractrash believe that Staynard’s father, Ballard, was assassinated on the order of the Xorians. Staynard plans to join the Second Alliance and enter the War, but he fears he may regret this decision.
A particular type of spider lives in Yuettencal called Redwire Spiders. Their webs are red and cannot be cut by a sword without a few seconds of vigorous sawing. The spiders are domesticated and trained to spin their webs in long lines of thread. This red cloth is very comfortable and has the strength of studded leather armor. The spider is the crest of the king, is on the Aractrashan flag, and is worn on the armor of the Aractrashan soldiery. The Redwire cloth is highly valued by civilians in the city and by foreigners, but the king keeps a monopoly on it and does not sell it to anyone. A black market does exist, surviving off of Redwire cloth taken from bribed or mugged soldiers. The punishment for losing or selling Redwire cloth is severe, 50 lashes and expulsion from Yuettencal.
Tetalya is a jungle city with a population of about 45,000 along the Aractrash River’s exit from the Aractrashan Jungle. The city is a center for alchemy of all kinds. Magic potions and nonmagical salves are made in great quantities in Tetalya. The surrounding trees, plants, and animals have many different type of spell components that fetchers bring in to the city to be harvested for spell components. The more rare and dangerous specimens such as Basilisks are processed in a cordoned area just outside of the city.
Tetalya has a popular battle arena that attracts visitors from other cities. Many husbands have lost their life savings and gone home to the verbal abuse of their wives while others have moved up to positions of insane wealth. The arena is special in that it does not hire new people or use beasts except for its most special combats on holidays. The arena has rotated through a set of twelve different combatants since its formation. The fighters rarely leave their cush arena position thanks to the large cut of the betting, luxurious living space, and the best food that can be given to them. The twelve combatants currently active in the arena are: Hargoth the Axe Rager, Dylan the Sword Ranger, Julian the Drunk Monk, Shara the Half-elf Grappler, Tira the Knife Woman, Organ the Buffing, Sheera the Elven Archer, Tjakres the Githzerai with Magic Arms, Batinhen the Dwarven Paladin, Constance the Dwarven Defender, Kuvintal the Rapier using Acrobat, and Bats the Halfling with a Hooked Hammer and Net. There are contingent spells put on the combatants to prevent them from dying. All of them are best buddies and spend most of their off time together.
The biggest production of alchemy ingredients is done at Grandma Sullust’s Garden in Tetalya. She has a virtual monopoly in the East on magical plants that can be grown domestically. She sells some of her crop in the city itself but most goes to the druid’s guild in Lordodo. They use the plants they can to make salves and the rest are exported mostly to Crafterton to make alchemist’s fire and other offensive chemicals.
The Druidic Healing Guild of Lordodo has an office in Tetalya. This office is the organizational center of Tetalya, filling the basic function a lord’s castle would in a feudal town. The druids do pay fealty to King Staynard of Aractrash and defer to his authority when he is in the city. The druids increased sanitation to levels that some of the public think is unnecessary, while the rest think the clean streets are the best thing since bread. The guild built many public parks and improved the fire prevention service. Overall the druids have drstically improved the standard of living within the city while restricting most of the city’s more dirty medieval traditions.
Satronwook is the party capital of the world. It’s like a festival there every day of the month. Pigs, goats, sheep, and sometimes other people are torn apart by the citizens in Bacchanal rites and eaten. If you ever wanted to reckless fun without a thought for tomorrow this is the place.
Even with such a wild reputation Satronwook isn’t without a police force, albeit an untraditional one. Instead of a trained militia of humans the town is policed by a large pack of blink dogs that take their orders directly from Panda Traks. The dogs make their living through the confiscation of criminal property and either selling or using it. They were brought along with Dionysus’ entourage when Pan founded the city and were abandoned when the drunken pair left. Satronwook has no army or police force besides the dogs making them an integral and needed part of the city.
Satronwook has a population of about 34,000 and is inhabited mostly by Wild Elves, Humans, and Halflings. Most of the other races have moral codes that prohibit the kind of behavior that goes on in the city. Fey also walk openly here making up a significant minority of the population.
The star attraction of Satronwook is the fountain in the center of the city. It was built by Dionysus’s good buddy, Pan, when he first came to Satronwook. The fountain spurts out alcohol of some kind, but the specific substance coming out changes randomly each day. It can be anything from wine coolers to rubbing alcohol, but whatever it is there’s always somebody drinking it. The alcohol disappears if it is put into any container, so if one wants to get some of it you must do so directly from the source.
The Inn of Lost Souls is the biggest tavern in the whole city. It’s front door is right outside of the fountain and the alcohol of the day is entirely free. The annual drinking contest, Baradera, is held there. The spirits in the inn are sold at a reduced cost compared to the rest of the city because, Edgar, the owner, also owns his own vineyard, winery, barley fields, and brewery.
The leadership of Satronwook has been using the same system since Pan blessed the city. The goat-footed god started the Baradera at the Inn of Lost Souls. The winner is named ruler and Panda of the city, for Pan and for the animal which lives nearby. The Panda wears the Crown of the Panda which gives them the skills and knowledge of how to work the government system and make profitable agreements with other cities and countries if necessary. The crown also gives the wearer the form of a panda and lets him speak the animal’s language. The crown is worn for a year and then falls off. Any past Pandas retain their new form and a golden band of fur is still seen around their foreheads where the crown was placed. The golden band is seen as a sign of honor, but any past Pandas may no longer participate in the Baradera. Some go back to their old lives while some live in the Panda Garden inside the city with animal pandas and past Pandas.
The Panda also gets an administrative power that they use once during their inauguration. They can add or subtract one law from the city’s legal code. The most often law to flip-flop is prostitution, but some things such as littering and eating lotus plants have also changed frequently. The cardinal laws such as stealing, murder, and rape have stayed the same since their creation. Alcohol was only outlawed once, but it was assumed to be a joke even by the Panda who did so. The current Panda of Satronwook is Panda Traks. His story is typical of past Pandas, a Dwarven Drunken Master who won through his skill and fortitude. His rule change was to disallow prostitution again. The blink dogs enforce his decrees just as they have done for all of the Pandas in the past.
The city does export commodities, but the government of it does not. Given how the leadership of Satronwook is acquired and the culture of freedom, the government stays out of the affairs of the citizens with the exception of foreign affairs and controlling crime. The city exports are the many varieties of fruits grown there and the huge amount of booze. The city imports animals, animal products, metals, and stone.
Lordodo has a population of over 80,000 people and is a mush pot for Aractrashans and Xorians; their starkly different cultures have combined to make a port fit for rowdiness and gambling. Almost all the people here can speak and write several different languages. The port was originally founded by Jovy the first sailor. He received a message from Hermes to build a giant bowl out of wood on the Aractrash River. He did so and was rewarded. The bowl grew until it became a boat with sails, rigging, and fine sailing men, the first carack vessel. Jovy was named captain of the boat and discovered Those Blasted Islands in the Caspian Sea. He invented classic pirate speak.
Jovy sailed to many small settlements around the Caspian Sea and is in a great way responsible for modern sea trade. Near the end of his career Jovy purposely ran his boat aground at the Aractrash River mouth. The magical sailors all disappeared back to Hermes; however, the boat, Mira Miro, stayed. It is now the city hall of Lordodo and the wood has not rotted after all these years.
Lordodo is a province of Aractrash and pays homage to the Aractrashan king. The port has a navy peacekeeping force with Admiral Lucas at its head. He is the legislative and executive head of the city and has the responsibility of stopping crime in the city and judging any criminal cases lower judges find too complicated. Most of the navy sailors under Lucas’s command patrol the streets as well as the seas. The navy has a total of five thousand sailors manning dozens of ships of different sizes.
Lordodo does not have much it produces on its own, but it is the waypoint between the Aractrashan Jungle and the rest of the world. The city does not have any income taxes. The city attains revenue by charging a fee for protecting any caravans, boats, or individuals that travel in and out of its walls. If the city does not receive payment, then it will simply not protect somebody. Word gets out soon to thieves that a particular person hasn’t paid the guards and that person will soon wish they had forked over the entry fee to the city. This practice provides enough funding to pay all the navy troops and to keep the public buildings in good order. Lordodo also serves as a shipbuilding center for the Caspian, exporting well-constructed trade ships to merchants originating from other port cities.
Lordodo has three major guilds that almost everybody worth mentioning is a part of, the Druidic Healing guild, the Navigator’s guild, and the Bounty Hunter’s guild. The Druidic Healing guild is a hospital set up by druids inside the city. It is made out of living wood and has an herbal garden with almost every spell component and potion worthy ingredient imaginable. If someone has a rare disease this would be the place to get it cured. After the destruction of the druid enclave in Semanarie, the Druidic Healing guild of Lordodo is the largest gathering of druids in Cimmeria. The Navigator’s guild is an organization for sailors to get drunk, gamble, and fight without the city watch interfering. The Bounty Hunter’s guild is where you should go if you want somebody killed, but you don’t want the law knowing about it. It is also the only know place outside of Phoenix where anybody can reliably redeem monster parts for cash. The guild maintained an outpost in Phoenix prior to the Xorian invasion where they accepted contracts and paid for monster parts, but they did not accept new members there. The Thieves guild exists as a fourth shadowy presence that provides the pressure to enforce the city’s fee based tax system. The Thieves guild works closely with the guards of the city, but good luck getting them to admit it.
Gambling is prevalent in the city. Rare is an event that goes by that isn’t bet on at all. You can even see sailors betting on how loud their next burps will be in the tavern and winning a small fortune in the process. The largest and most popular casino in Lordodo is called the Hunter’s Best. It has all the usual games plus once a year they will hold a contest to see who can bring back the most of something like Orc’s ears or the biggest Minotaur horns. The entry fee is 50 GP and the prize is the bounty for the amount or size of the things brought in plus 50% of the entry fees. Occasionally the Hunter’s Best holds a tournament at the end of the year with a threshold of bounties to enter.