Cimmerian Timeline Part 14

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 13

893BCE: Eathirilu led the dragon-allied Elves of the Dry Woods in a raid against Bigby’s encampment. The raid proved an amazing success. Bigby himself was captured along with the Copper Orb of Dragonkind. Eathirilu ensured that no messages left the Dry Woods before beginning preparations for an attack on Phoenix.
Knowing that he needed additional assistance, Eathirilu called upon the dark fey of the forest. Davonisi, the druidic leader of the hostile Unseelie faeries, answered Eathirilu’s call. She joined his march through the countryside towards Phoenix. Davonisi’s fey scouted ahead and committed unspeakable atrocities against every mortal they encountered on the way. None were left alive to bring word of the army’s approach to Phoenix. Eathirilu was unsettled by Davonisi’s actions and began to wonder which side was truly just in the Dragon War. Continue reading

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Barakah

Barakah was an NPC with a sliver of a backstory that one of my players adopted as his PC. He greatly expanded Barakah’s place within Cimmeria. While I helped with some parts of the conception, Throgg rightly retains most of the credit and this entry would be incomplete without mentioning it.

Barakah

Barakah is the last of the sand giants and the vessel of Ammutseba the Demogorgon. His life was saved by Hektor and he promised to fight against the Aractrashan wizard’s enemies. He helped Hektor and the Exiles briefly against the Dragovinians, but was overwhelmed by the dangerous beast within him. He consumed his own ally, Zelus, and fled to parts unknown.

Barakah was born several hundred years ago amid a sand giant society that was threatened by outside forces. Continue reading

Cimmerian Timeline Part 7

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 6

Working on the prelude to the Dragon War has been tough. Each post ends up being far longer than I usually aim to make my posts, resulting in me often missing my target of having a new D&D related post ready every Monday. Thankfully, I’ve finished the short descriptions of lives of the heroes of the Dragon War before the war itself. I’ve been working those into the Timeline as I go. The only ones that remain to be included are Shratalanda, Tracy, Bigby, and Gorwinua. After this I have a few gaps to fill in for events prior to the Dragon War as my next goal with occasional diversions as needed.

1002BCE: Tracy the Halfling was born in Phoenix.

996BCE: Shratalanda murdered Tracy’s parents. She never discovered who killed them. The orphaned Tracy turned to burglary and pickpocketing to support herself.

990BCE: Anti-Halfling feelings in the Conclave increased. Halflings left Conclave cities in a slow trickle.

986BCE: Shratalanda delivered Bigarius to his Elven parents in the Dry Woods. He quickly took on the nickname of Bigby.

983BCE: The Humans of the Conclave blamed all the organization’s shortcomings on the other races. A few demagogues whipped the people into a fury and a pogrom broke out in Phoenix against Halflings. Businesses and homes of the little people were looted and burned.

982BCE: Halflings leave the Conclave cities en masse to found two new settlements, Crafterton for the Halflings of Western Cimmeria and Nomingburg for those of the east.

980BCE: Continuing their paranoid racism, the Conclave sent an army composed of Humans to march on Nomingburg. The Halflings fought back with hit and run ambushes as the army approached. When the army reached Nomingburg, the Halflings armed themselves and prepared for a set piece battle. On the morning of the battle, both sides found all their weapons missing. Tracy had stolen them. She vowed to return the weapons if both sides agreed to a lasting peace and to only use their weapons for good. The peace was accepted and the Humans went home.

979BCE: Tracy became the matron of the Halfling race, guiding the major cities of Nomingburg and Crafteron on their paths as well as the villages and caravans sprinkled throughout Cimmeria. Her guidance shaped Crafterton into the technomaturgical wonder it is today. Sadly, her desire for Nomingburg to become a haven for trained survivalists backfired as it became a den of assassins, killers, and thieves after her death.

977BCE: Bigby began his apprenticeship to a magical tutor.

970BCE: Bigby rapidly learned all his tutor could teach him and moved on to another tutor. He invented his own style of casting spells, incorporating the particular techniques of each of his mentors into his own as he saw fit.

927BCE: Gorwinua was born in a small Orc village north of the Shacklack Desert.

926BCE: Bigby decided he was down apprenticeships. At a startingly young age he began defending the Dry Woods. Using his hand magic he fended off an incursion of Orcs into the woods.

924BCE: Bigby defeated a group of Gnolls that attacked the Dry Woods.

921BCE: A group of Human loggers from the Conclave cut too deep into the Dry Woods. Bigby drove them off.

919BCE: The loggers returned to the Dry Woods. Instead of driving them off Bigby cast a spell with Shratalanda’s help that caused the Dry Woods to grow beyond the loggers ability to cut it. The forest advanced southward at a slow and steady pace despite a large logging industry owned by the Humans of the Conclave. Due to this spell the Dry Woods would eventually be renamed Bigby’s Forest.

912BCE: Gorwinua turned 15, the age of adulthood for Orcs. Shratalanda, disguised as the storyteller of Gorwinua’s tribe, trained the young Orc in the art of inflaming people’s passions and spirits. Gorwinua left her village to go questing with other Orc warriors in the Shacklack.

910BCE: Gorwinua had a string of successful quests into the desert.

909BCE: Gorwinua broke her leg. Her questing group brought her home, but died when they returned to the desert without her.

908BCE: Gorwinua gathered warriors from many different Orc tribes and returned to the cave where her companions had died. The large band succeeded in slaying the cave troll only thanks to Gorwinua’s magical song which focused and unified their efforts against the huge troll.

907BCE: Gorwinua’s desert raiding band grew in size as more and more Orcs joined her rather than quest on their own. Questing glory was shared among the whole Orc race.

906BCE: Bavastatner saw the large Orc band that looked suspiciously like the armies that the dragons had forbidden. Bavastatner told Gorwinua to disband the army, but she refused. Bavastatner burnt and scattered the Orcs and Gorwinua escaped.

905BCE: Gorwinua organizes a true Orc army in secret with commanders, discipline, and battle formations. She planned to use the army against the dragons themselves when the time came.

904BCE: Bavastatner and the other blue dragons chased Gorwinua and her army down, but she evaded them at every turn as her army grew.

900BCE: Tentineh called the heroes of the land together and the Dragon War began.

-GoCorral

Next: Cimmerian Timeline Part 8

Characters of Cimmeria: Gorwinua

gorwinua

Gorwinua was the finest bard the lands of Cimmeria ever knew and one of the many heroes who fought against draconic tyranny during the Dragon War. During her life she was a shining exemplar of Orcish virtues. She organized Orc armies, practiced the traditional rituals, and chopped down foes with the best of the Orcish warriors. Gorwinua remains a powerful cultural icon for all Orcs. Many Orc leaders have attempted to emulate her accomplishments hoping to unite their fractured peoples, but none have yet succeeded. Continue reading

Mars’ Oasis

Mars' Oasis

Mars’ Oasis is a large settlement of 50,000 people in the Shacklack Desert. The city is built around two oases, a large one full of water, and another minute oasis full of a magical liquid called Dythalid. When objects are immersed in Dythalid for an entire month they acquire magical properties, while the Dythalid is consumed. Metals that go through this process become Dythalidium and have the same properties as Dragonsteel. Plant material that goes through the process becomes Dythalidare and has the same properties as ironwood, but can still be consumed for 1d8+3 healing for each serving eaten. Minerals that go through the process become Dythalidem, a crystal that radiates blue light as well as enough heat to protect against cold temperatures as low as 0˚ F. Other liquids that go through the process become Dythalidos, a liquid that explodes under pressure or when the smallest spark touches it. Dead animal products that go through the process become Dythalidon, a virtually weightless substance that still provides ample sustenance if consumed.

Naturally, the liquid is unbelievably valuable. An equal amount by weight is needed to change an object into a Dythalid substance. Dythalid is sold by the government of Mars’ Oasis for 1,600 GP an ounce to citizens of the desert. It is sold outside of the city for more, but this is illegal and carries a very severe punishment that is kept in vague secrecy. Civilians are terrified of this punishment but the fugitives who sell Dythalid to outsiders think the worst that can happen to them is starvation in a prison cell.

Dythalidium is used by the nobles of the city, but is too expensive to give to the soldiers who could easily desert and sell their armor and weaponry for a fortune. Select super soldiers, called the Dythalidee, are chosen to be guards of the Dythalid Oasis from birth. They are always extremely exceptional in every aspect, resistant to mental corruption, have psionic abilities, Dythaldium weapons, Dythalidare armor, and know all the secrets of Dythalid. No Dythalidee has ever fallen in combat.

The city needs food to survive. A little grain does grow around the oasis, but the people need water to drink as well as for irrigating crops. There isn’t enough water for livestock and people to drink, so few beasts are kept at Mars’ Oasis. A special fruit bearing cactus known as Sithica grows throughout the whole Shacklack desert. It is poisonous in its normal form, but if soaked in Dythalid one of the fruits can support someone for a week. The Sithica fruit is the only known substance that does not consume the Dythalid in its incubation period. These fruits are the staple crop of Mars’ Oasis.

The government of Mars’ Oasis is based around a caste system. The lowest caste is slaves, next servants and laborers, moving up to merchants, craftsmen, artisans, and specialists, then nobles and other people from rich or powerful families, the final caste is the royal family who has control over the Dythalid pool. Taxes go through the castes. King Mero III taxes the nobles, the nobles tax the merchants, the employers tax the servants, and the owners take everything they can from the slaves. King Mero decides where the money goes, usually into the army.

Mars’ Oasis needs a good army. It has a constant struggle with the desert environment as well as the other inhabitants of the desert. Bavastatner, the oldest of the blue dragons, lived in Shacklack and his progeny are one of the biggest problems for the people at the oasis. A dragon slayer’s guild has come into existence to deal with the problem. They provide free weapons to the public whenever the city is under attack and King Mero III himself is an accomplished member of the guild. Brass dragons also help against their worst enemies, but only when required.

An enormous formian hive has been set up in the desert. The hive has 25 queens and almost 10,000 workers in it. These outsiders are seeking to enslave the other humanoid species of the desert. To counter the ant encroachment Mar’s Oasis has welcomed a group of Dionysus missionaries. The chaotic clerics are able to keep the lawful Formians away from the city proper whenever they decide to attack.

Previously, undead were an even bigger problem than the blue dragons. In the east of the desert a powerful lich lived in an enormous stone monolith surrounded by legions of undead. The people of Mars’ Oasis, never knowing the lich’s true name, called it the Bane. The Bane sent huge armies of undead to attack the city every few years. The Bane didn’t seem to have any particular goal beyond getting more corpses to make more undead to attack the city to make corpses. It may have wanted control of the Dythalid pool, but the pattern of the attacks were never aimed at that area or any specific area of the city.  Recently the Bane was defeated by the exiled members of the Alliance. King Mero III planned to reward them, but ordered them to leave the city when he discovered that the exiles weclomed an undead in their midst.

Prior to the defeat of the Bane, the mages and clerics of Mars’ Oasis had been thinking of different tactics for driving the undead off for centuries. The most basic tactic is using lots and lots of clerics to turn and destroy the undead. The most effective tactic the mages have created so far is the Rot Reaver. It is a monster that eats and controls undead. It is a little on the black side of magic, but it was seen as necessary to fight the thousands of undead that attacked the city.  With the defeat of the Bane, the mages of Mars’ Oasis are now tweaking their Rot Reavers to prepare for a conflict with the Dragovinians.

Other dangers that threaten the city include lamias, manticores, dragonnes, basilisks, sphinxes, hyenas, giant insects, braxats, dune stalkers, sun giants, asabis, brown dragons, stingers, harssafs, witchknives, and all different kinds of lizards. These creatures never attack in large groups and are usually just one rogue monster that has got the suicidal idea that it can attack an extremely militaristic civilization on its own and survive.

Mars’ Oasis’s army has 3,500 people on active duty patrolling the city, making weapons and armor, and out in the desert killing any monsters they can find. The men are all able to turn undead due totheir clerical or paladin training. They all wear at least breastplate armor and carry masterwork bows and weapons. All of them are trained for killing undead and desert monsters. Their other equipment includes a bead of dryness to store water, cold weapons, potions of healing, holy water, and an oil of gentle repose to be applied immediately upon death to prevent being turned into a zombie or other undead monster.

The name of the city, Mars’ Oasis, comes half from the oasis and the other half from Mars, the Roman version of Ares. In 700 BCE he led a group of Roman soldiers to the dark side of the world and then back around. They fought many orcs, goblins, monsters, and demons on their journey. Ares gave the Romans peace at the end of the journey in his Oasis. Out of the fires of the desert a lake arose with many desert nymphs to become the legionnaires’ wives. From those Romans and nymphs the indigenous humanoid population of the desert has sprung.

With the war between the Alliance and Xoria, Mars’ Oasis is suffering under a constant barrage of diplomats requesting that they enter the war with the Aliiance.  This is due to Mars’ Oasis unique experience in defeating dragons and undead of which Dragovinians are a hybrid. Until now, Mars’ Oasis declined to join the war. The milieu of threats within the desert kept the Mars’ Oasis army busy enough without having to deal with threats outside their immediate region. The situation is about to change though. The Alliance exiles vanquished the Bane and recently slew Bavastatner. Additionally, they negotiated a peace treaty with the formians. Removing the three primary threats to Mars’ Oasis frees them up to join the war against Xoria.

-GoCorral