Characters of Cimmeria: Zelus

Zelus

Zelus is the Classical deific embodiment of zeal itself. He encapsulates excitement, eagerness, rivalry, and unwavering devotion to a sworn cause. Zelus is one of the Daimons, the divine children of Pallas and the River Styx. He currently aids the Exiles in their quest to eradicate Dragovinians from the face of the earth.

Zelus has a complicated place in the Olympian pantheon. Continue reading

Characters of Cimmeria: Cecilia

Whew! This one took a lot longer to write than I thought it would. A little late for “D&D Mondays.” I should still be able to keep up with one post a week though.

Cecilia

Cecilia the Salt Champion was the daughter of Zeus and the mortal Hymniara. The founder of the city that now bears her name and liberator of the Caspian, Cecilia slew the great sea beasts that prowled the sea. She accomplished many other great tasks on land as well as befriending the dolphins and the people of the sea. During the Dragon War, Cecilia imprisoned the black dragons. All her tasks were done in the name of her lord-father, Zeus, while wielding a shining sword that he gave to her. The sword was buried with her deep beneath the earth where Cecilia slumbers, awaiting the return of the black dragons.

Continue reading

Restnor’s Point

I talk a little bit about distilled beverages in this entry as if they are a secret that no one knows about. While that’s not true now, it was for when my campaign is set! The events in Cimmeria take place 400BCE and the first alcoholic beverage wasn’t distilled (in reality) until 1200CE, 1600 years later.

Restnor's Point

Restnor’s Point is a small mining town with a population of about 11,000 people. Restnor’s Point is named after its original founder Restnor the Third. He was a schizophrenic ranger who enjoyed exploring the northern wilderness along the Terror Mountains. In his travels he found a waterfall with a gold mine behind it. He returned to his hometown of Dalleer and made a large bet that there was a large treasure behind the waterfall. The man he made the bet with accepted thinking that Restnor had imagined the gold deposit during a schizophrenic episode. The man lost the bet and Restnor used the wager to set up a mining operation by the waterfall for people with socially devastating disabilities like his own. Thus, Restnor’s Point has become a place where the majority of the population have physical or mental disabilities.

Hephaestus has risen to a place above Zeus in the pantheon of Restnor’s Point. His lame leg and status as the god of mining make him at fitting patron deity for the city. Hephaestus has blessed the town and given them astoundingly high and thick walls made of adamantite. The walls are 32 feet high and 10 feet thick. No known weapon has been able to get through the town’s gates when they are closed except a dragon’s breath or a disintegrate spell, and even then only after repeated attempts.

West of Talon’s Waterfall is a large alcove bored out of the mountain wall. This alcove is used for Restnor’s Point’s temple. It is devoted largely to Hephaestus, the town’s patron god, but also to Apollo, for he is the god of healing, and to Hades, for his dominion over wealth. These three are the only who have statues in the temple, but the largest altar is still reserved for Zeus and the rest of the pantheon. The High Priestess of the temple, Titandra the blind seer, is the spiritual leader as well as the actual leader of Restnor’s Point, although she spends most of her time in Bradel Fields aiding the Alliance’s efforts against the Xorians. The only tax in the city is a tithe, but it is also considerably larger than most tithes. This tithe is used for all typical religious practices and for secular secular services that the town needs, such as paying for food and textiles from downriver.

The town exports the products from their divinely blessed mine for their economic livelihood. They sell stone, jewels, iron, bronze, copper, tin, mithral, and adamantite. They also produce cold iron, alchemical silver, normal silver, and gold. The town has grown to a position of wealth, but not arrogance. It has no standing army and has not increased prices even though they have a virtual monopoly on some metals.

The town does have a few barley and potato farms, along with a banana orchard that is magically enchanted to survive the freezing temperatures during the winter. These crops are not used for food except in the most dire of circumstances. They are more frequently used to make beer and an exotic banana wine. Dwarven alchemists in Restnor’s Point have also perfected a process where the alcohol of many different beverages is combined to make the hardest liquor anyone has ever laid eyes on. This, “vodka,” as they have named it, is exported throughout the known world and the secret to its making is guarded vehemently by the very few brewers who have access to it.

The mine of the town has its entrance behind the waterfall, known as Talon’s Waterfall, at the start of Talon’s Bed. Every morning the majority of the town’s adult populace gathers in the temple to the west of the waterfall for a blessing before going into the mine. Because the people of the town have worked for so long in the same place they have acquired many magical digging and appraising tools to help them in the excavation of ore. There are so many of these tools that they could be worth quite a  bit more than the metals, jewels, and stones they are used to mine, if one could find a buyer for them.

Restnor’s Point is also home to some of the best falconers in the entire world. They have bred normal birds of prey with other magical varieties to make a super hunting machine that still acts docile around humanoids. This new species has been dubbed the Asestaro. One of these creatures can be purchased at maturity for 20,000 gold pieces, at a young age for 15,000, and in the egg for 10,000. The bonding process between the new owner and the animal is amazingly only one week. At that point the Asestaro will do anything it has been trained to do for the owner.

In recent years Restnor’s Point has joined the Second Alliance against Xoria. The town cannot contribute much in the way of troops, but the wealth and resources produced by the town’s mine have proved useful for the Alliance. Additionally, Titandra receives prophetic visions of the future that have occasionally aided in the conflict with the Xorian Empire.

-GoCorral

Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 7

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 6

I was playing Spore around the time we were playing this part of Dawn of Worlds.

In Spore you can defeat other nations by fighting them or by converting them to your cause.

I tried to do the conversion thing with the Dwarves, but the other players wouldn’t have it. It’s difficult to convert people when each race has their own living god (Drolfo, Navillus, Izquitl, and The Books).

36 NA: Without definite proof of the demonic presence in the Upper Maw the Merfolk refused to form an offensive alliance with the Dwarves against the Humans. The Dwarves asked that a commission of Merfolk be sent along with the Dwarven missionaries to the lands of the Najar. There, the people of the sea would see the threat that loomed in the North.

40 NA: Now that the people of Bwolark had settled themselves on the newly christened, Bwolo Isle, the Merfolk decided to intervene. The fish-men demanded tribute in rice from the Humans on their island. Just as Bwolark had spat at the offer of Navillus the Black Prince, the Bwarlor rejected the random demands for foreign crops by the Merfolk.

50 NA: After years of trying, shaky diplomatic relations were finally established between the Dwarves and the Avians. Unfortunately, the Avians rejected the Dwarven offer to arbitrate peace between the Avians and the Merfolk. Since the death of Trebor the Avians lacked true central leadership. While the Prophets of Cui-Xoloc were recognized as the Avian rulers, they held little real power. Generals, sages, princes and prophets seemed a dime a dozen, each vying for control of the Hrududu.

The Avians were too proud to accept the humiliating terms of the Merfolk. They could not let their people’s spilled blood go unpunished and yet… they lacked united leadership and the military discipline to formulate an attack. They posed little threat to the Merfolk, beyond the occasional raid on Tortuga. With each passing decade their attacks became less ferocious, smaller, and more content to merely pilfer outlying farms and villages.

52 NA: The Dwarven missionaries, after failure at Rontu-Aru, took the Merfolk embassy to the port city of Alixria. The Dwarves reminded the Merfolk of the worldwide earthquake many years ago. The Dwarven sages believed the quake was some sort of demonic presence entering the world and corrupting the Humans. The Dwarves showed as much of the Human devil worship as they could manage without endangering themselves. Unfortunately, the Najar were good at hiding their villainy. The Merfolk rejected the alliance offer, seeing no danger in the Najaran Empire’s existence.

The Dwarves went home, defeated before any battles had even taken place. Without any allies they had no hope of winning a war against the Humans.

67 NA: The wraith-like race of Grez emerged in the cold reaches of Glacierstone. Who knows how long they had been there, biding their time.

78 NA: The growth of the Halusho Forest manifested itself in new, mysterious ways. A new race came walking out of the trees, the Elves.

83 NA: The Elves quickly organized their civilization with their natural talents. They built a city around a giant oak in the forest, Crodolan. There the Elves created great works of art with wood from the Halusho and with metal mined from the Mandibles.

97 NA: Reesrevo, the god of winter and patron god of the Grez, guided his people as they established themselves in the new world. The Grez moved into the cold ocean between Glacierstone and the Upper Maw. They created Reesrevoton by freezing the ocean and making a giant glacial tower surrounded by a layer of ice under the command of their god. The Grez turned all of Glacierstone and parts of the northwestern Maw to ice.

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 8

Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 3

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 2

This update is marked by sections I may not consider useful, but may become useful later on.

Is it really necessary that the timeline list when a forest expanded? Maybe not.

But what if we ever run a campaign where it becomes important how old a tree is?

The timeline shows that the oldest trees in a certain section of the world can only have been around for a finite number of years.

This update also shows off another thing that Dawn of Worlds encourages, technological and cultural advancements!

The Dwarves got architecture. The Merfolk got aquatic animal domestication and Avian slaying. The Avians got blood rituals. The Humans got nothing this time, but more will come.

3488 BE: The Merfolk domesticated aquatic animals. The people of the sea became experts at dolphin, shark, and whale riding. The cetaceans were used to pull underwater carts along with trout and bass. Whales were used to haul larger vehicles. Rare visits above water were achieved via riding in tortoise or turtle palanquins.

3322 BE: The fertile ash from the primal volcano promoted the growth of forests in an outward crescent from the igneous mountain.

3167 BE: The Metal Tiers rumbled out of the earth as the world matured and ripened.

3039 BE: A great bird was born among the Avians, the immortal wing-prophet, Trebor Ydorg. He founded the cliff city of Zener’hro on the side of Cui-Xoloc and brought the Avians out of their preliterate society and into the light. Trebor organized his people with rituals. Blood sacrifices were absorbed by the great sacred altar at the top of Cui-Xoloc.

2864 BE: Up from the depths of the Maw rose Selcatnet the Eight Armed. Selcatnet was a gift sent by Drolfo to his industrious children, the Merfolk. Selcatnet became the guardian and protector of Drolfo’s Cove.

2777 BE: The great Dwarven city of Golden Mach was founded in the west. It reigned for centuries as the greatest architectural achievement of the land.

2600 BE: Humanity grew increasingly barbaric as the forest spread around them.

2492 BE: The Avians’ knowledge of blood magic grew with each passing year. Hrududu’s shade expanded west.

2330 BE: The northern forest continued to expand, now touching both the Maw and the Northern Sea.

2294 BE: The industrious Merfolk along with their faithful servant, Selcatnet, began to dig a channel through the Lower Maw, allowing easy access to the Neck.

2276 BE: The Great Canal is completed.

2269 BE: The trading post, Tortuga, is established in the Fluren Bay.

2244 BE: The Avians viewed the Merfolk traders as only a new form of prey for their blood rituals. The Merfolk soon learned not to trust the Avians. Tortuga’s trading post design was abandoned in favor of that of a fortress. The city became a repository for the best Avian-slaying techniques.

2131 BE: The eastern side of the Metal Tiers turned to sand.

2076 BE: The Hrududu Jungle crossed the Groshan Sea and established a new jungle on Hearthland. The new jungle was known as Turashtegal.

2046 BE: Drolfo gave his people a gift. He created a new race of Merfolk that no longer feared the world above without water. These Merfolk were referred to as Landwalkers.

1988 BE: The Landers clear-cut the Fluren Peninsula.

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 4

Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 2

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 1

I realized I didn’t like what I’d done in Part 1 much.

One of my goals with the revision was to give the timeline a consistent voice and right now the voice changes too much.

Sometimes there’s flowery prose and other times there’s informational text. Sometimes there’s even dialogue!

I’ve decided to edit it down to just informational text. That way it’ll be easier to find and recognize what we want to know later on when we use the new timeline as an information source.

So here’s the redo of the first section of the Timeline.

4121 BE: The Merfolk came into existence with Drolfo Sitnalta, god of the sea, as their patron deity.

4037 BE: Drolfo told his followers to build a city between the islands of the Maw. The Merfolk named the city Drolfo’s Cove in honor of their god.

3983 BE: On the island, Rontu-Aru, the great Egg Mother, Izquitl, created Cui-Xoloc, the tallest mountain in the world, to rest upon. The sheer faced mountain rose miles high, dividing the southern island-continent in two. An enormous waterfall sprung off the north side of the mountain, joining the river leading to the ocean.

3837 BE: Izquitl called up Hrududu, a vast rainforest covering the eastern half of Rontu-Aru. The Egg Mother started singing the first song of the world. The many birds of Hrududu listened and when she stopped her song the birds had taken on tall forms and gained intelligence not present in their lesser cousins. The Avians took flight.

3734 BE: Into the world came Humankind, timid and savage, knowing not from whence they came but living ever in decadent fear of the great fiery abyssal Najar Volcano, their own window into the beating heart of the world. The only thing greater than the Humans fear of the Volcano was their fear of the outside world. Their fear manipulated the physical world and protecting mountains grew up around the Humans.

3654 BE: After the last cycle of the world ended the Dwarves had buried themselves deep within the earth. Now they crawled up out of the dirt and rocks in the mountains in the west. The Dwarves got out their picks and shovels to create a new home in the new world. They would venture out of the mountains once the world “ripened.” The writing in their Holy Books  preserved between each generation would tell the Dwarves when the world ripened.

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 3

Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 1

One of the problems that comes up in D&D is whether races are capitalized.

English is clear on that topic. African is capitalized because its a continental descriptor, but black is not because physical descriptors are less important.

Hobgoblin is a race in D&D, but is it a “nationality” or a physical descriptor?

The issue becomes more confused when languages are considered.

In D&D a race’s native language is often just referred to by that race’s name. Elves speak Elven. Hobgoblins speak Goblin.

The simplest way out for me was to just capitalize all races all the time, so I will be attempting to do that as I go forward with the work on Gurutama. This includes Human, Dwarf, Elf, and anything else that would not normally be capitalized in English.

4121 BE: The Merfolk came into existence and their god was Drolfo Sitnalta, god of the sea.

4037 BE: Drolfo told his followers to build a city between the islands of the Maw. The Merfolk named the city Drolfo’s Cove in honor of their god.

3983 BE: On the island, Rontu-Aru, the great egg mother, Izquitl, needed a perch, so she created Cui-Xoloc, the tallest mountain in the world, to rest upon. Cui-Xoloc rose sheer faced, miles into the sky, dividing the southern island-continent in two. An enormous waterfall sprung off the north side of the mountain, joining the river leading to the ocean.

3837 BE: Izquitl needed beauty and love and blood, so she called up Hrududu, a vast rainforest covering the eastern half of Rontu-Aru. Izquitl needed more, so she started to sing the first song of the world. The many birds of Hrududu listened and when she stopped her song the birds had taken on tall forms and gained intelligence not present in their lesser cousins. The Avians took flight.

3734 BE: Into the world came Humankind, timid and savage, knowing not from whence they came but living ever in decadent fear of the great fiery abyssal volcano, their own window into the beating heart of the world. The mountains grew up around the Humans for their fear of the outside world was even greater than the terror within the inferno.

3654 BE: The Dwarves knew that the world came and went in cycles just like the seasons. They knew how to survive the cataclysms and be reborn afterwards. They had buried themselves deep, deep within the earth. The Dwarves crawled up out of the dirt and rocks in the mountains in the west. They looked at the new world around them and said, “Oi! Whot’s all this then? The old one was better!”

The Dwarven chieftain calmed his people, “Calm thyselves! Have we not read that it takes time for a new world to ripen? We shalt go back into the ground until this Earth is ready for our holy presence.”

“Aye! The chieftain is wise! Into the ground again!”

The Dwarves got out their picks and shovels to create a new home in the new world. They would venture out of the mountains once the world “ripened.” For what purpose would they venture out? Only the writing in the Books they preserved between each generation could tell.

 

A few minor edits, but not much to do for this first part. I’ve considered taking out the parts about physical features of the world, but there’s nothing major here. Besides, what’s the difference between myth and legend for history this old?

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 2

An Overview of Gurutama Part 2

This maps shows the vast trade area influenced by the Merfolk in Gurutama.
This maps shows the vast trade area influenced by the Merfolk in Gurutama.

Previous: An Overview of Gurutama Part 1

The Merfolk inhabit the seas, islands, and coasts of the flat world, Gurutama. At the edge of the world the sea runs off, so the Merfolk stay in the central seas where no such threat worries them.

The Merfolk have two basic sub races within them, true Merfolk and landwalkers.

True Merfolk dwell within the sea and leave their saline environment for extended periods of time. True Merfolk speak two languages, one for the water and one for above it.

Landwalkers are a race of Merfolk that can breath air just as well as water. They seen publicly far more often than True Merfolk, leading many people to think that there is only one race of Merfolk.

Landwalkers serve as the intermediates between True Merfolk and other races. Without them it is unlikely that the Merfolk would have the significant impact on the world that they do.

The Merfolk leadership was never described in our game of Dawn of Worlds, so that remains to be written. However, we did create an active and present patron god of the Merfolk, Drolfo.

Many of the tools and skills that the Merfolk have are attributed to Drolfo. He built the Great Canal. He tamed the animals of the sea for the Merfolk. He gave them ships. He modified the True Merfolk to make the Landwalkers. Or so the stories say.

Other fantasy worlds would make these stories fact, but we prefer an open interpretation. Whoever decides to DM with those myths as plotpoints may choose which way they go. Still, the stories remain and our characters can debate about which version is true and which version is false.

Along with the Avians, the Merfolk were one of the first races to develop a civilization. The two civilizations soon came into contact and conflict.

The Avians attempted to win the conflict by building a large nest on the Lower Maw. The nest is marked on the upper left of the Lower Maw as Nanatok.

The Merfolk prayed to Drolfo and Selcatnet, the giant octopus, tore apart the nest, causing the Avians to flee.

The Merfolk used their superior knowledge of hydraulics to flood the eastern half of Rontu-Aru, creating the swamp it is today.

The Avians are a jungle people and they could not adapt to the swamps fast enough to fight back against the Merfolk.

The Merfolk won the day and the Avians have essentially be a slave race ever since. If a slave is encountered in Gurutama there is a significant chance that the slave is an Avian with clipped wings.

Recently, a resurgence of religious zealotry entered the Avian jungle. More and more crusaders for the Avian god, Izquitl, joined the fight against the Merfolk.

The Avians retook the Fluren Peninsula from the Merfolk and rechristened Tortuga as Hubru-Peche.

From Hubru-Peche, the Avians flew across the Neck to the Halusho Forest in the Lower Maw.

The Merfolk retook Tortuga, but the Avians have become a force in the world once more.

That’s about all we got on the Avians from the Dawn of Worlds game, but there’s lots more to come about the Merfolk in the Maw!

-Mister Ed

Next: An Overview of Gurutama Part 3

An Overview of Gurutama Part 1

The map I made of Gurutama using Campaign Cartographer.
The map I made of Gurutama using Campaign Cartographer.

Starting off the posts on Gurutama will contain information my D&D group has already written.

After we’ve covered that background information I plan to post more indepth descriptions of places or cultural aspects. Religion, art, holidays, monuments, military, civil administration, all these things were touched on but not explicitly described in our Dawn of Worlds game. I’ll do what I can to get those ideas fleshed out here.

So first up, what are these continents we’re looking at on the map? There are four continents on Gurutama, Glacierstone, Hearthland, Rontu-Aru, and the Maw.

The Maw is split up into four sub continents, the Upper Maw, the Eastern Maw, the Lower Maw, and the central islands (islands aren’t really a continent, but inner oceans are still defined by tectonic plates).

Rontu-Aru, the southern continent, is inhabited mostly by bird people called Avians.

Avian culture is loosely based off of Aztec, Mayan, and Inca cultures. Avians build ziggurats like the Aztecs and Mayans did. They live high in the mountains like the Inca did. They sacrifice intelligent beings like the Aztecs and Mayans did. I avoided the term human sacrifice, because in there are more races than humans in our fantasy world.

The Avians came into contact with the Merfolk early in our world’s history. The Merfolk are fish people that live around the islands in the central sea of the Maw.

This map shows the Avian continent of Rontu-Aru and the central islands of the Merfolk.
This map shows the Avian continent of Rontu-Aru and the central islands of the Merfolk.

The Merfolk wished to make trade easier with the southern sea, The Neck. They prayed to their god, Drolfo, to open up a quick path to the Neck.

Drolfo summoned a giant octopus named Selcatnet which dug a trench through the mountain range on the northern edge of the Lower Maw. This trench became the Great Canal that separates the Lower Maw from the Eastern Maw.

The Merfolk came down to Rontu-Aru and set up trading outposts with the Avians.

The Avians were resistant to the outsiders. Eventually a prophet rose up and formed an army to attack the Merfolk.

War raged for many years and eventually the Merfolk won. The fish people enslaved the bird people. Now intelligent beings are exported along with goods from the jungles and marshes of Rontu-Aru.

The Merfolk are in an excellent position for trade at the physical center of Gurutama. They trade with all the civilized races of our world, humans, dwarves, elves, gnomes, halflings, and the Rana. Rana are frog people that live in the Eastern Maw.

There’s more to get into, but that feels like enough for one blog post. That’s all for now!

-Mister Ed

Next: An Overview of Gurutama Part 2