Cimmerian Timeline: Taking a Breather

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Taking a breather you say?

I’m a little scatter-brained and need a post to outline what I’ll be doing next in the continued detailing of Cimmeria’s fictional history.

I’ve got about 100 years of history that needs additional description between 1040BCE and 940BCE.

Here are the events that I need to hit:

  1. Whatever I decide Shratalanda was doing before she started meddling in the lives of the heroes of the Dragon War.
  2. Additional details of the Resurrection Pact with Hades. Formation of Crux. Antenator and Vecna coming to Cimmeria. Founding of the Iron Bank of Lamentation. Vecna begins designing the Devastation Spell.
  3. More details on Halflings leaving the Conclave
  4. Elves leaving the Conclave. Foundation of Shalemstead. Events of Restnor’s life.
  5. Dragons ruling over Cimmeria and giving everyone a bad time.
  6. Boring timeline entries about all the times Hades attacked Colchis and inserting Shratalanda into previous timeline entries.

A simple enough list with some things that probably aren’t even worth including in a post, looking at you #6.

But it’s a bit more than I want to do at the moment. I’ll get started on this and have something more concrete to post next week!

-GoCorral

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Sacramento Underground Tour

This weekend my wife and I went to Old Sac to take one of Sacramento’s Underground Tours.

Old Sac is a historical neighborhood in Sacramento that has turned into a bit of a tourist trap.

All the old buildings from the Gold Rush in the 1850s and 60s are still there, converted into restaurants and gift shops instead of hotels and supply stores.

(I also feel a personal responsibility to warn you about La Terraza restaurant in Old Sac. Food’s bad! Don’t be tempted by the spectacular view! Stay away!)

Bunch of old buildings, right? What can we learn from the tour?

Tour comes with everything you see here!
Tour comes with everything you see here!

Our tour guide, Schoolmaster Mrs. Appleton, told us the basics of Sacramento history first that every Californian knows. Continue reading

Semanarie

Semanarie

Semanarie was founded by a group of druids who wanted to create an ideal lifestyle free of the first part of modern civilization, buildings. It was believed that without buildings people would live in peace with no worries beyond food and social interaction. The innovative plan worked. A city of 500 people was founded and quickly grew to 6,000 citizens through immigration and a druid assisted birthrate.

Semanarie was ruled by the original druids who founded it. Due to the ageless nature of practiced druids these ancient men and women still seemed to be in healthy condition until late in their lives. They organized the city’s foreign affairs and settled all disputes between the citizens. The druids ruled peacefully and the most common punishment they handed out was simple expulsion from the community.

The Semanarians had unique and clever ways of overcoming the difficulties of not having any buildings. A simple tree for protection from rain or a modification of Tenser’s Floating Disk. Most cooking used exclusively open fires instead of stoves or ovens with porridge replacing bread as the staple food. Most of the populace learned some form of magic in order to protect themselves from the elements. The head druids controlled the weather so that no huge disasters ever threatened the citizens.

Semanarie was well known as the greatest gathering of culinary excellence outside of the royal kitchens of Greece, Xoria, and Persia. Goats, sheep, cows, pigs, chickens, horses, and even rocs were reared for meat, eggs, dairy, and transportation. Wheat, barley, rice, rye, oats, and alfalfa were cultivated to feed the livestock, and to make into flour. The farmers brewed beer and wine for their tables and to sell. A variety of fruits were grown in natural rowless orchards in Bigby’s Forest. Every vegetable imaginable was grown with magical help from the druids. The only thing that Semanarie truly lacked was spices, but the druids supplemented that section of cooking by summoning spices from the inner planes.

With all these ingredients gathered in one place it is no wonder that Semanarie had some of the best cooks in the world. The revered chef, Geeardo, set up an academy in Semanarie for the training of chefs and it was the site of some of the largest structures in Semanarie, outdoor ovens. Would-be chefs came from around the world to learn the art of gourmet cooking, but many left after finding out that the only shelter they will have is a four foot pile of bricks. Geeardo died without naming a successor. He said his successor would be revealed when the next perfect chef cooked the perfect meal using perfect ingredients. Many have tried to do so by emulating Geeardo’s style but none have succeeded.

Unfortunately this little paradise was horribly changed by Xoria’s invasion. In the past the druid council had warded off raiding parties using their own magical powers, but they had never enacted a heavy defense system because they believed there was nothing they had of value for an invading force. King Jevaninada I attacked because he saw in the Semanarians the potential for a druidic battalion in his army. He, Queen Anajakaze, and their three generals defeated the druids in single combat while the townspeople were subdued by the well-trained Xorian army. The druids were imprisoned separately. King Jevaninada brainwashed one of them to serve him. This druid aided the Xorians during the First Alliance War, but died at the Battle of Makotako.

King Jevaninada I attempted to convert Semanarie’s druidic culture to that of a traditional town. Against the ethos of Semanarie adminstrative buildings were put in place. District Commissioner Thron was sent to the town to impose order. His brutal rule incensed the people of Semanarie to rise up in rebellion during the First Alliance War. They fought alongside the other Alliance members and lost. Those who did not return to Semanarie drifted into Bigby’s Forest to live with the elves there. These people formed the core of the Rebellion to dethrone King Jevaninada II.

-GoCorral

Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 28

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 27

Last Timeline Revising post! Here we go!

Like I said in the last post, the Avians are coming back so that their race will have more places to interact with the world than as slaves or a mysterious culture physically constrained to one location. Strife continues in Hykma in various ways. Fortunately, that strife can be used for a bunch of adventure hooks! I keep mentioning adventure hooks because that was the whole point of creating Gurutama with the Dawn of Worlds game.

This post also sees the weakening of the Merfolk trade empire a little bit. They’ve started having to negotiate with Hykma instead of dictating as they did during the Great Blockade.

One of my favorite points is the return of Engrenildo! We decided about halfway through our Dawn of Worlds game that the world was flat, not round. How did Engrenildo circle the globe if the globe isn’t round? A question for someone to answer when it really matters! Also, an opportunity for a particular GM to make up geography in a different place that the Engrenildo family discovered on their voyage.

And war consuming the world everywhere if GMs want to use that as a background for a plot. All great stuff!

My next step for working on Gurutama will be:
1. Going through the timeline as a whole in a printed off version. I find this works better for catching small errors that I might’ve missed. Any edits I make at that point will be included in the Revised Timeline page, but not as individual blog posts.
2. Race descriptions. I’ve got that little tree of races set up on the menu bar of the website, but there’s no info there! I want to get some pictures in there and short descriptions of what the races are like and basic history. I’d also like to put in some stuff about statistics for the races in different gaming systems. I currently plan to include stats for D&D 3.5, D&D 4E, Hackmaster, and possibly Dungeon World (I don’t know much about the last one but someone in my gaming group does).
3. Religion descriptions. A few of the religions were introduced in the timeline updates, but we don’t know much about them. We never want to fully flesh out every single religion to maintain creative freedom for GMs and players, but a little more stuff would be nice. I’ll probably work on this in tandem with the race descriptions, jumping back and forth as feels appropriate. For example, I’ll describe the races of Hearthland and describe their religions in the same spat of updates I write on Gurutama.

That’s all for now! Enjoy the update and look to see more Gurutama stuff in the future.

751 NA: Hykma and the Hearth, both wounded by the civil war and the battles afterwards, began to rebuild. This process incorporated much of the artistic movement the Rana initiated, and so the cities reveled in the new beauty.

After negotiating the terms for passage through the Great Canal with new reps from the Revered Administration, the Merfolk organized more and more armies in Proaxium, Drolfo’s Cove, and Cyflenwi. The new recruits were sent to retake Tortuga along with a massive fleet. The Avians were cast out, but separate roosts had already been established on the northern side of the ocean, creeping ever north towards the high cliffs of the Mandibles.

The city of Balkus, already a fine port city, continued to grow in size and wealth. While the Merfolk occupied themselves with the Avians, a new settlement, named Mershe, appeared on Crautor Island. A new Bwarlor nation came onto the global scene.

752 NA: The True Arrows infiltrated Rotandean. They found allies there among all those who resisted the Brotherhood of Living Immolation. The common man may not have known of the Brotherhood, but the Arrows knew. Frugal Profiteers who went into hiding after the end of the civil war also joined up with the True Arrows. Sabotage and trickery were rampant in the city. Rumors of rebellion spread.

753 NA: Engrenildo’s grandson, Engrenildo the Third, finally docked on the western side of Hearthland with grand stories of land beyond the four known continents. He established a colony at the edge of the river named Victoria, after his mother.

754 NA: The Metal Dwarves formed up more armies and then went marching out against the Grez. Machines were made to assist in crossing the ice and breaching the fortress of the wraiths. A few soldiers were lost in the trek to Reesrevoton to eliminate the Grez threat, but discipline kept the men in line. Upon arriving, the monstrous creations of the Grez shocked the Dwarven armies. They fought and fought, before realizing that their only chance laid in retreat. The Dwarves pulled out, but only a few survived to tell the tale of the ice golems of the Grez.

755 NA: King Tenzomak sat in the throne room of Syluk. His father’s armor stood in a trophy case against the wall. The King stared at the armor and felt it calling to him. He walked over to it in silence and slowly donned the armor. He felt vast strength flowing in his veins. He had to use the strength quick! Before it consumed him! He lashed out at the grand columns supporting the ceiling of the throne room. His kicks and punches, powered by the ruby plate, brought the walls down around him. Servants fled the royal castle and a few were crushed in the ruins. The King dug himself out of the collapsed keep with his bare hands. He addressed the gathered crowd around his former palace, “For too long we have sat in luxury, enjoying the splendors the world has given us! It has weakened our resolve! Made us like the little people who think of nothing but their pipe-weed and mushrooms! NO LONGER! We shall forge our bodies into a new army and reclaim the glory of the dwarves! NO MORE MERCY FOR THE EMPIRE!” A cry goes out among the Dwarves and Humans of the city.

Immediately the city prepared for war. Old metal was melted down for new. Fine heirloom luxury goods were sold off to incoming merchants to finance the growing army. Thousands of men reported for the draft. Those that do not were found and punished. Bards were sent out to spread tall tales of Tenzomak’s Ten Hundred Thousand.

756 NA: The first graduates of the agoge assembled outside of Crodolan. They marched forward without fear, thousands dying to the ancient magical defenses around the city. The Hobgoblins had been told from a young age; a Hobgoblin never gives up, never surrenders, and never retreats. That is for the lesser races. Hobgoblins are strong, brave, and as hard as steel. They marched forward, unfazed as their brothers were blown to pieces by fire and lightning. The defenses around Crodolan were used up except for an odd one here and there.

The humanoids and Giants reached the city walls. Grand General Krak-Sho-Khan ordered the rams brought out. The Elves tried to defend their city, but for every Goblin they shot, two more took its place. Giants and Trolls helped with the siege of the walls. The Elves ran out of arrows, and then they fell. Crodolan was taken. Krak-Sho-Khan named himself King of the Halusho Forest, with his generals as the official council.

757 NA: The Humans of New Prestounasi grew wary of the war between the Elves and the Hobgoblins spreading to their city. The ships were made ready to cast off if the Hobgoblins turned their way. The generals of the Bastion felt secure behind their walls, but awaited an order from Hykma to cross the Bridge and engage the filthy Bwarlor spawn.

The Rana kept the influence of Navillus out of the Shanties with many spells, wards, baptisms, and exorcisms. This earned them many friends among the commoners, but few among the faithful in the Brotherhood. It was no longer a rare incident for a Gossamer Monk to be attacked on his way home from a house call. The Brotherhood’s spies are everywhere and their thugs are ready to pounce.

The Grez learned of artificial intelligence for their golems. An unthinking automaton is a foe worthy of the greatest heroes, but a thinking one? Only the immortal gods could slay such a beast. The Grez rejuvenated their golem armies in Reesrevoton and sent the golems at the Bronze Port. The Dwarves and Profiteers evacuated the city, but many did not make it out in time.

758 NA: The Grez attacked Bronze Port last winter. It is spring and a new year dawns upon the world. What quests lie in wait for those who seek adventure? Only the gods know.

-GoCorral

Back to the beginning: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 1

Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 27

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 26

With the Hykman League now under the power of Navillus they’ve gotta start doing some evil stuff, like taking over other cities with bloody massacres for example! Rotandean is reintegrated into the League and Elves become second class citizens. The Hobgoblins are locked out as well. Amidst all this turmoil in the Eastern Maw, the Rana initiate a artistic revival. While playing Dawn of Worlds we imagined this to be kind of like the Renaissance. That should give us an excuse for pretty much any sort of art style existing in Gurutama if the DM wants to describe something in a particular way. It also gives the DM the excuse to have crazy Renaissance tech like pedal-powered hang gliders.

This post also features the return of the Avians. Prior to this point we’d imagined the Avians as something similar to a slave race. They’ve been a subject population to the Merfolk for centuries and the Merfolk had been exporting sentient beings from Rontu-Aru. Slavery is bad and all, but this is the way the world worked in the past and still somewhat today. I wanted the Avians to have a little bit of power in the last stages of Gurutama, so I initiated the uprising with my Dawn of Worlds points.

Najar also cleanses the Grez ice, proving that such a thing is possible. Maybe that’s a campaign plot there! And we’re closing in on the final Gurutama Time Revising post. Next one should be the last!

743 NA: With battle hardened soldiers at Hykma and the Hearth, the new Hykman League exploded outward. Troops from the Hearth were sent northward to conquer Farpoint and integrate it into the empire.

And with word of the Elven betrayal ruminating in Hykma, the city struck south at Rotandean. Despite being unaffiliated with the True Arrows, the Elven soldiers of Rotandean were mercilessly slaughtered by the followers of Navillus.

Finally, rather than brave the Freedom Road and the fighting between the Hobgoblins and the Elves, the Hykman Empire sealed the Homestone Bridge. The Bastion was fortified to defend the bridge and more soldiers quartered there in preparation for future conflicts.

744 NA: The strife of the wars tested the mettle of the Rana. They overcame and learned from the challenge; their ways of peace and kindness grew. Strife, chaos, and unchecked emotion ravaged the lands of the Hykman League, and yet the Rana were able to channel the horrors. An artistic renaissance permeated from Pulchrito and Domicilius: painting, poetry, literature, sculpture, and theater. For the first time, creativity and expression began to overcome the blunt wealth and splendor that previously dominated the minds and hearts of the Hykman people.

745 NA: With the world at war, mercenaries were in high demand. On Balkus, Captain Lucrais DeBaal of the Zephyr formed a fleet of sails for hire. He was quickly contracted by the Bastion to defend their channel. A fleet was formed to defend the Canal from Elven small boats and to prevent passage across the Canal by any means other than the Homestone Bridge.

746 NA: Farpoint falls to the Hykman siege and becomes a subject province the the League.

748 NA: Shrieking noises could be heard day and night in the southern jungles. Old fears awoke in the hearts of the Merfolk. The Avian menace had returned at the same time that passage through the Great Canal was disrupted. Izquitl sent forth her feathered warriors. The city of Tortuga was taken and renamed. The place became Hobru-Peche to the Avians, or New Roost in the Human tongue.

The Merfolk, not wanting to start a war with Hykma, begin fervent negotiations to move an army through the Great Canal. The Hykmans delay and block negotiations.

749 NA: A Merfolk fleet is sent to Rontu-Aru via the Groshan Sea. The fleet sustains heavy losses to Avian aerial raids on the way and is unable to retake Tortuga.

750 NA: The Avians, now firmly in control of Hubru-Peche, started flying across the ocean to harass the Elves of the southern forest as well as any ships that sailed in The Neck or the Groshan Sea.

The volcano at the heart of the Red Peaks continued to pulsate and radiate heat. The ice, both in the mountains and in the city of Najar, melted. The heat remained. The sun always seemed to shine bright and strong on the city and the place was always warm. The days could be sweltering, but the nights were simply heavenly. Cool breezes gently flowed throughout the city and from his throne, the Mercenary King Jizero smiled. The ruins themselves seemed to melt away and be reshaped. Soon enough, one could hardly see signs of the terrible plight so many years ago. Najar, the Holy City, the City of Endless Summer, was reborn.

-GoCorral

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 28

Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 26

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 25

There’s a Chinese proverb that I love, “The Empire, long divided, must unite: long united, must divide.” Unity comes and goes. Same thing happens to the Hykman League in this post. Previously they united four races, Human, Elf, Hobgoblin, and Rana. Now everything falls apart. The Hobgoblins go independent, the Elves factionalize, the Humans war upon each other. And… evil wins! Why does evil win? So that good adventurers have something to strive to defeat of course! It’s all about making interesting campaigns later on. Navillus spreads his influence out of the Upper Maw into the Eastern Maw.

737 NA: The Hobgoblins, enthusiastic at the new found technology of the Humans, built cities to gather their people in the forest. Cities were built at the head of each of the rivers in Halusho: Drukana, Nazarak, and Tentomrozan in order from west to east.

A faction of Elves was outraged that the Hobgoblins were allowed by the Hykman League to settle in the Halusho and the Mandibles. The faction split from the League and went into the forest “back to its roots.” The faction named itself the True Arrows. The True Arrows formed an elite soldier corps to hunt Hobgoblins and any who associated with them.

738 NA: The return of Navillus and the actions of the True Arrows put too much stress upon the Hykman League. The Brotherhood of the Living Immolation revived and clashed with the Revered Administration in the streets of Hykma and the Hearth. The frustrated poor enacted their revenge fantasies on the rich. The streets were stained with blood and both cities descended into chaos. A bloody civil war wracked the Hykman League.

The Hobgoblins broke off regular relations with the Hykman League having learned enough to maintain a civilization of their own. The Hobgoblins created schools with a sort of Hobgoblin agoge (Spartan training). The Hobgoblin militocracy conscripted armies in the three new cities.

Tension mounted in the Elven forests. The armies at New Prestounasi redeployed and martial law was declared. The armies struggled to maintain peace, defend against Hobgoblin raids, and contend with the True Arrows. The armies were called to return to Hykma – by both sides. The generals refused to return, staying in the forest, fearful of aiding the wrong side.

739 NA: The Grez researched improved ice magic and architecture. They used their improved skill with cold magic to create ice golem creatures. The Grez formed armies out of these ice golems in Reesrevoton.

The son of King Hrotomak, Tenzomak, conscripted a new army to defend his beautiful city of Syluk.

740 NA: The True Arrows kicked the Hobgoblins out of Shianosoth and reestablished the ancient Elven city. Many of the old buildings were left as ruins, reminders of what happens if Hobgoblins are allowed free reign.

741 NA: The Elves of Rotandean and Crodolan feared that the civil war might spill over into their territories. Rotandean created an army. Crodolan’s mages used their enchantment magic to charm the commanders of the Hykman army to stay in the forested city. True Arrow leaders convinced the people of Crodolan to mercilessly execute the Humans within the army. A new Elven army was formed at Crodolan to defend from reprisals.

In Hearthland, the Metal Dwarves realized that their military was ill-suited for fighting the undead abominations of the Grez. A new military organization was created, vastly superior to that of any other nation. Promotions were now based on intellectual merits instead of connections or prowess in battle.

742 NA: The Hykman Civil War ended, leaving a wake of carnage and a strong military presence in both Hykma and the Hearth. The Brotherhood of Living Immolation took control of both cities, though the proxy of the Revered Administration still remained, now many of the Administrators were themselves members of the Brotherhood. The Revered Administration had too many things working against them, the infiltration of their order, the burning fanaticism of the Brotherhood of Living Immolation, and the greed of Revered Administrators.

In honor of their victory, the Brotherhood of Living Immolation built a massive and wonderful temple to Navillus in the Elven Gardens of Hykma. While the true nature of the Brotherhood of Living Immolation was still concealed under infinite veils of secrecy, the temple was a rallying point for common men.

-GoCorral

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 27

Crafterton

Crafterton

Crafterton is town with a population of about 60,000 people, most of whom are Halflings. The town’s economy is based around factories powered by the strong wind blowing to the west towards Cecilia. The factories were once powered by wood fires, but the island’s forest has been severely depleted. Cutting wood is now only allowed during winter and even then only by government permit. Some of the more entrepreneurial Halflings import wood from the lumber port of Makotako, but most are content to do without.

The ban on woodcutting leads to many of Crafterton’s dishes being uncooked, heavily spiced, and/or soaked in acidic juices. All the newer buildings and furniture in the city are made from stone imported from Bradel Fields. Any of the city’s surplus tax revenue instead of being saved is spent on a restoration project. The City’s Commercial Council (CCC) once worked in line with the thief’s guild of Balin’s Holt to discover many new secrets that can help Crafterton’s factories and forests. This cooperation stopped after the Xorian occupation.

Crafterton’s factories do not use an assembly line, but put a bunch of people in the same space using the same large power machine to make many products at the same time. The power comes from windmills on top of the factories and from imported fuel for the bigger factories that use fires. When no wind blows laborers are hired to turn a large crank that keeps the machine going.

The factories produce everything. One of the more famous ones, Lindertur’s factory, makes houses and then exports them. The exportation of the larger commodities requires help from golems made in Havdrast’s factory. The fault in this whole system is that Crafterton has almost no natural resources beyond fish and good soil that is only being used for personal gardens. Everything has to be imported or magically created.

Due to the large demand for transportation many magical schools have opened in Crafterton about those disciplines. Most wizards in the city are conjurers. Bags of Holding, Portable Holes, and Heward’s Handy Haversacks are all produced in Heward’s factory. The Wayfarer’s Union, providing teleportation services, is also located in Crafterton.

Something even more preternatural than the rest of the city is the Factory of Ideals. It produces potions that twist people’s thoughts to a different prospective. The Factory of Ideals produces potions that make people fall in love, do evil things, do good things, and even release bodily waste in public. The factory is allowed to keep working for unknown reasons by the government. Most people assume bribery.

The CCC is a guild comprised of all the factory owners in Crafterton. They decide the amount people are taxed and where that money goes. They are in effect an aristocracy without representation. They are all very rich and have no obligation to the poor of the city. Prior to the Xorian occupation the public accepted this arrangement. Whenever the public was upset they would strike and start building up farms to live off of. The strike negotiations started quickly and the problems are always quickly resolved. This feeling of goodwill has changed since the Xorian occupation.

Crafterton was occupied by the Xorians in 437 BCE. A military governor, Commander Borgawitas, oversees the CCC now, preventing any possible seditious activity. Many of the factory owners have become Dragovinians and enjoy the benefits of integration into a larger empire. The common folk of Crafterton have easier access to goods with the removal of import tariffs, but their civil liberties have been seriously limited. Many of the Halflings have been forced to work on the restoration project without pay.

The hurricane floods of 401 BCE destroyed many of the smaller buildings of Crafterton and without the wind break of large trees, almost all the efforts of the restoration project were undone in one night. The CCC was quick to rebuild the factories, but the rest of the city has been left to languish. Efforts to strike are no longer met with concessions and negotiations, but whips and executions. Dragovinian animals are everywhere, watching the captive populace to prevent insurrection.

-GoCorral