Cimmerian Timeline Part 55

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 54

This one details the heroic rise of Balin that led to him retaking Fangaroot from the kobolds.

638BCE: Balin, the great-great-grandson of Shaelin got the idea to gain glory so he could replace the insane Bjorn. He made a team with his halfling friend, Terry, and his wizard cousin, Isdmir. Together they planned to rid the Dalleer area of monsters.

637BCE: Balin, Terry, and Isdmir destroyed various lizardfolk bands that had been driven west by the rangers of Eastern Cimmeria.

635BCE: Balin, Terry, and Isdmir slew kobold raiders that were pillaging the settlements west of Dalleer.

632BCE: Balin, Terry, and Isdmir thwarted a troglodyte attack against Dalleer. The smelly beasts had tunneled underneath the city to capture citizens for cannibalistic rituals. The heroic trio discovered the threat, rallied the city’s defenders, and journeyed into the Underdark to slay the troglodyte chief themselves. Within a week Balin, Terry, and Isdmir were the heroes of Dalleer.

631BCE: Isdmir suspected that the troglodytes had been working with someone inside the city. The monsters had gotten too close to completing their plan to have been working alone. Isdmir began investigating.
Balin used his heroic reputation to insert himself into the upper ranks of Dalleer’s politics. Terry retired to a life of luxury and ease. Balin, Terry, and Isdmir maintained their friendship.

Continue reading

Style Change

I’ve been mulling over a writing style change to the D&D section of the blog that I’ve decided to implement.

The capitalization of different races in D&D is a little strange. Normally you wouldn’t capitalize a word like “elf,” but what do elves speak in D&D? They speak Elvish and the current convention in English is to capitalize the names of languages. In English, languages are associated with racial identities or nationalities and thus one would also capitalize the nationality. So, “a Spaniard speaks Spanish,” is correct and, “a spaniard speaks spanish,” is incorrect. That puts me in a weird position where “elf” is not normally capitalized, but seems like it should be. After all, if Elvish is capitalized as a language then “elf” should also be capitalized as a national/racial identity.

That’s how I wrote the blog for a couple years, but the style is now starting to irritate me. It has internal consistency, but no matter how I look at it, the style looks wrong. I’ve decided to change it. Going forward, I’ll be only capitalizing fantasy races when referring to languages they speak or some sort of official group identity. For example, “the dwarves live in the Dwarven Kingdom,” or something like that.

I’ve also changed all my previous posts and pages to align with this standard. Everything should be fairly consistent across the blog now.

Cimmerian Timeline Part 38

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 37

Here’s the story of Kruk-Ma-Kali condensed into timeline entries! As well as the conclusion to Shortrastor’s royal line. Of course more happens to Kharad-khor after Kruk-Ma-Kali’s death, but that will be covered another time.

722BCE: Kona-Ranor gave birth to Kruk-Ma-Kali.

710BCE: Kruk-Ma-Kali’s psionic powers emerged.

709BCE: Kona-Ranor noticed Kruk-Ma-Kali’s powers and sent him away to learn how to control them. Kruk-Ma-Kali joined the Shacklack School for Psions.

703BCE: Kruk-Ma-Kali left the Shacklack School for Psions with a journeyman’s understanding of telepathic magic.

702BCE: Kruk-Ma-Kali joined Lork-Bran-Dron’s army. He rose through the ranks quickly as Lork-Bran-Dron led the Goblinoids of Trung Town against Tomak’nax. During the Siege of Tomak’nax, Kruk-Ma-Kali found Kharad-khor. With the Sword of War in his hand, Kruk-Ma-Kali came up with a plan that enabled the capture of the city. At the victory parade, Kruk-Ma-Kali challenged Lork-Bran-Dron for control. He defeated his king and took the crown for himself. Kruk-Ma-Kali led his army on a conquering sweep of the Hobgoblin Lands.

701BCE: King Kruk-Ma-Kali used his secret telepathic powers to forge alliances. Kharad-khor provided the knowledge of how best to defeat those who would not be swayed. In two years of lightning campaigns, Kruk-Ma-Kali unified the Hobgoblin Lands under a single leader.

700BCE: Kruk-Ma-Kali began a long campaign in Eastern Cimmeria. His hobgoblin army marched through the Orc Lands to gain allies. The combined army of goblinoids and orcs attacked Valor Forest, but couldn’t penetrate the interior. Kruk-Ma-Kali took captives, including the elven mage, Sahamathrian. Kruk-Ma-Kali set fire to the forest and left. His army sacked Fangaroot and, thanks to Kruk-Ma-Kali’s telepathic mind, walked away with more troops than they started with.

699BCE: Bjorn Skizofren tricked Kruk-Ma-Kali, allowing Dalleer to be evacuated. Kruk-Ma-Kali burned the empty city and vowed to return to do the same to its people. He sacked Bradel Fields and placed it under occupation. The people of Eastern Cimmeria unified against the goblinoids. The year’s campaign continued as Kruk-Ma-Kali fought battle after battle towards Nomingburg.

698BCE: Kruk-Ma-Kali reached Nomingburg and placed it under siege. He defeated Nomingburg’s defenses by using portal magic to flood the city. Sahamathrian assisted with the portal ritual. Nomingburg was sacked and then abandoned to water and disease. Princess Alfeita died during the looting of Nomingburg.

697BCE: Kruk-Ma-Kali assaulted Jipangu at great loss of life. The goblinoids pillaged the city and occupied it. Kruk-Ma-Kali ordered the execution of all dwarves at Jipangu due to the casualties they had inflicted on his army. Next, Kruk-Ma-Kali led his people into the tunnels beneath the Dominarie Mountains on a genocidal extermination of the dwarves there.

696BCE: Kruk-Ma-Kali’s army ambushed and killed the remnants of the Dominarie army led by Queen Shortrastor. They continued on and reached Shortrastoria. The hobgoblins burned the capital. Princess Tandia entered labor during the fighting, but went missing shortly thereafter.

695BCE: Kruk-Ma-Kali’s army completed their west to east circuit of the Dominarie Mountains, having slain every dwarf they could find. Satisfied with the destruction of Eastern Cimmeria, Kruk-Ma-Kali led his people home to celebrate in the empire’s new capital, Trung Town.

694BCE: Kruk-Ma-Kali enacted many reforms to strengthen the Hobgoblin Empire and its capital, Trung Town.

693BCE: Kruk-Ma-Kali began planning a second long campaign in Eastern and Northern Cimmeria. Before the plans could be finalized, he was assassinated by a goblin servant wielding a poisoned dagger. The hobgoblin generals that Kruk-Ma-Kali had unified through his telepathic might split into warring factions. Overnight the Hobgoblin Empire became a set of squabbling states.

692BCE: Khuz-kukk-ghor and Vokh-jrozzhul began building a tomb for Kruk-Ma-Kali with the help of the elven wizard, Sahamathrian.

672BCE: General Graz-Khrodun emerged from the wars after Kruk-Ma-Kali’s death as the owner of the Trung Town capital.

670BCE: Work on the Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kal was completed. Sahamathrian turned Khuz-kukk-ghor and Vokh-jrozzhul into undead guardians of the tomb as his last act to earn his freedom.
The elf went to Crux to learn the secret of becoming a lich.

640BCE: Graz-Khrodun’s daughter, Graz-Lokbar, ascended to the throne of “Emperor of the Hobgoblins.” Her charismatic pull actually made it seem that she could reunite the Hobgoblin Lands. Many unaffiliated goblinoids flocked to her banner at Trung Town

639BCE: Graz-Lokbar led her legion of goblinoids on an invasion of Dalleer’s territory. The Bjorn took the city’s army out and waited to ambush the hobgoblins. The enemy entered the kill zone, but the Bjorn refused to give the command to attack. The hobgoblins walked past the Dalleer army and raided villages. The Bjorn’s commanders were infuriated. They took the army into their own hands and vanquished the hobgoblin threat.
When the generals returned they conferred with the other authorities in Dalleer. They agreed the new Bjorn couldn’t be allowed to make decisions. The position’s power was reduced to that of ceremony while the civil servants would run the city from the shadows.
Graz-Lokbar returned to Trung Town in disgrace. Her magnetic personality brought her followers, but she had no skill in battle. The former capital of the Hobgoblin Empire entered a steep decline.

Next: Cimmerian Timeline Part 39

Cimmerian Timeline Part 37

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 36

In working on Kruk-Ma-Kali’s story I realized I hadn’t filled in the gaps for Shortrastor. Kruk-Ma-Kali provided the end of her life. I felt I’d already touched on her life in other ways that a full narrative post wasn’t really needed to finish out her life’s story. Instead I decided to cover it using a timeline post. While doing so I realized that she’d interacted with Bavastatner a little bit, so I pumped that up some more. And now we have the recipe for a dead civilization and their murdered royal line!

1110BCE: Shortrastor was born to a pair of common created dwarves.

980BCE: Shortrastor married a close friend, Tionthony, making him the Queen’s Consort.

974BCE: Queen Shortrastor gave birth to Princess Alfeita.

891BCE: Invigorated by their success at Phoenix the Heroes of the Dragon War moved upon Bavastatner’s kingdom in the Shacklack Desert. Seeing the writing on the wall, Queen Shortrastor pulled her dwarves back to the safety of the Dominarie Mountains. Bavastatner vowed vengeance as he organized to fight the mortal forces. Bavastatner’s children were the fiercest of all the dragons, trained to fight from their previous conflicts with the Heroes and Gorwinua’s orkin army. Surviving in the desert proved a challenge as well. Despite these impediments the Heroes managed to pierce Bavastatner’s defenses. They imprisoned his wife Renveshalhiarisv inside the Blue Dragon Orb and set Bavastatner to guard it.

883BCE: Queen Shortrastor and King Aeetes suffered a loss of prestige for allying with the dragons during the Dragon War. Many cities refused to trade directly with them for years afterwards. The nomadic halflings of Cimmeria stepped in and took over the exchange of goods for Colchis and the Dominarie Mountains.

854BCE: The wife of Toffoun’s eldest brother Jotuon, took ill and died within a few days. Jotuon controlled the influential Firebeard family. His matrimonial availability attracted many women, including Princess Alfeita of Dominarie. While Jotuon publically observed the appropriate mourning period, he began to see Alfeita in secret.

852BCE: Princess Alfeita married Toffoun’s eldest brother, Jotuon.

830BCE: Princess Alfeita gave birth to Princess Tandia.

811BCE: The githyanki ceased their attacks on Bavastatner and the blue dragons. The Draco-Gith War was over.

806BCE: Bavastatner turned his ire upon Queen Shortrastor who had betrayed him during the Dragon War. He sent his children into the Dominarie Mountains to slay dwarves.

805BCE: The Dominarie Dwarves retreated from the surface into the tunnels beneath the mountains. The blue dragons followed.

804BCE: Queen Shortrastor called for help, but none came. Cimmeria remembered which side she had chosen during the Dragon War.

803BCE: Queen Shortastor went personally to Bavastatner and unconditionally surrendered. The Blue Dragon Primach allowed her and the Dominarie Dwarves to live. In exchange they would vacate the surface of the mountains, provide Bavastatner with a large tribute every year, and all but one of Shortrastor’s children and grandchildren would be brought to Bavastatner. Any terms were better than the destruction of her kingdom, so Queen Shortrastor agreed. She sent her relatives to Bavastatner and never saw them again. The Dominarie Dwarves remained in the Underdark and began their yearly tribute to Bavastatner’s hoard.

770BCE: Princess Tandia married Stroso, the grandson of Lord Bjorn of Dalleer.

761BCE: Lord Bjorn of Dalleer died of old age. Bjorn’s son, Olofric, did not succeed him. Instead, Ballath, a wise, human friend of Bjorn’s, assumed the lordship. Bjorn’s family was outraged. Ballath took Bjorn’s name as a title in a failed attempt to keep the peace, but he refused to surrender control. Queen Shortrastor cut off trade to Dalleer and threatened war.

759BCE: Bjorn’s children moved to Jord. Most of Dalleer’s dwarven population followed to Jord or went to the Dominarie Mountains.

Next: Cimmerian Timeline Part 38

The Days of Kruk-Ma-Kali Part 10

Previous: The Days of Kruk-Ma-Kali Part 9

Kruk-Ma-Kali moved to attack Queen Shortrastor and the Dominarie Mountain Dwarves. He led his army to the western hills of the Dominarie Mountain range. His troops entered the tunnels with their king in the lead. Kruk-Ma-Kali used magic crystals to boost his telepathic powers. His enhanced brain detected dwarven minds for miles ahead of him. With his psionics as a homing beacon, Kruk-Ma-Kali found every Dominarie Dwarf settlement and eradicated them. The hobgoblins got closer and closer to the capital, Shortrastoria, killing and eating every dwarf they came across in a cannibalistic genocide.

Knowing she had to do something, Queen Shortrastor took every able-bodied dwarf out to defend the tunnels. Finally sensing the army’s presence ahead of him, Kruk-Ma-Kali ordered the hobgoblins to prepare a trap. As the dwarves approached, Kruk-Ma-Kali collapsed the tunnels upon them. Those that survived were butchered by hobgoblins at the exits to the cave-in.

With no considerable force standing in his way, Kruk-Ma-Kali marched on the Dominarie capital. Princess Tandia, the grandaughter of Queen Shortrastor, took up the defense of the city. Although she was nine months pregnant she fought on the frontlines alongside the remaining defenders available to the dwarven people. A sling bullet to the head knocked Princess Tandia out and initiated labor. Her attendants took her off the battlefield as the hobgoblins swarmed over the walls of the capital.

Kruk-Ma-Kali heard of the Princess’s pregnancy and promised an enormous reward to whoever brought him the baby to eat. Hobgoblins raged through Shortrastoria, searching for the royal child, looting and burning as they went. The Princess and her child were not found. Figuring that she had left the city, Kruk-Ma-Kali continued his rampage, going east through the entirety of the Dominarie Mountains. Every dwarf was slain, but none could be positively identified as Princess Tandia or her infant.

Kruk-Ma-Kali ordered a return home. With the whole treasure of Fangaroot, Bradel Fields, Nomingburg, Jipangu, and the Dominarie Dwarves in their possession the army was quite satisfied. The races of the Conclave had been chastised and the Hobgoblin Empire now extended west to the Caspian. Kruk-Ma-Kali gave the goblinoids a portion of their homelands back and they would remember him forever for it.

Next: The Days of Kruk-Ma-Kali Part 11

The Days of Kruk-Ma-Kali Part 9

Previous: The Days of Kruk-Ma-Kali Part 8

The hobgoblin army pushed towards Jipangu. Kruk-Ma-Kali’s orc and kobold allies had mostly deserted after Nomingburg. All that remained was his loyal goblinoids. Against them stood the Humans and Dwarves of Jipangu along with the Dominarie Dwarves. The allied defenders offered no battle in the open field. Instead they burned their crops to deny them to the hobgoblins as they retreated to the safety of Jipangu’s plateau. With food in short supply, Kruk-Ma-Kali resolved to take the city quickly by force.

The plateau of Jipangu made regular approach a suicidal proposition. Kruk-Ma-Kali built a dozen metal covered wagons to protect his people from missile attacks. These wagons were brought to the base of the plateau and parked. A group of sappers set to work beneath the wagon roofs. The sappers aimed to build a tunnel into the center of Jipangu. Unfortunately, the seers of Jipangu predicted the tunnel’s egress point. As the sappers broke through they were greeted by large cauldrons of boiling oil poured down the whole of the shaft.

Kruk-Ma-Kali ordered an attack through the tunnel despite the defenders’ preparation. The Dwarves of Dominarie held the tunnel mouth for hours, but it soon became clear that the tunnel attack was just a diversion. Kruk-Ma-Kali had used the distraction to move an enormous ram up to the city gates. The people of Jipangu refocused their forces, but it was too late. The ram broke the gate and the Hobgoblins flowed into the city. The diversionary attack caused enormous losses for Kruk-Ma-Kali’s army, but Jipangu was now his.

The majority of Kruk-Ma-Kali’s casualities were inflicted by dwarves. Kruk-Ma-Kali ordered the execution of all dwarves in Jipangu and served their bodies to his army as a victory feast. The king put General Lohk-Ho-Nor in charge of an occupation force. Kruk-Ma-Kali’s next conquest would be those who had bloodied his nose. The Dominarie Mountains would feel the might of Kruk-Ma-Kali.

Next: The Days of Kruk-Ma-Kali Part 10

The Days of Kruk-Ma-Kali Part 8

Previous: The Days of Kruk-Ma-Kali Part 7

The approach to Nomingburg is where resistance to Kruk-Ma-Kali’s invasion truly began. The Halflings of Nomingburg organized an alliance while the hobgoblins were busy along the Black River. Elvish mages from Valor Forest came south. The Humans of Jipangu sent their best. The Dominarie Dwarves also joined the defense of their neighbor. Leading the combined forces was Princess Alfeita of Dominarie. Queen Shortrastor was too old to stand in battle, so she sent her daughter in her place.

The combined force seemed ideal for countering the hobgoblin invasion. Even with all their advantages, they fell before Kruk-Ma-Kali’s strategic genius. Flanks, feints, and counterattacks, with lightning speed and skill Kruk-Ma-Kali’s army always had the upper hand against the allied army. Every battle was a victory for the hobgoblin king and every battle brought him closer to Nomingburg.

Nomingburg itself was well prepared for an assault. A dry moat lined with stakes surrounded the city walls. The dirt from the moat was used to create a further earthen rampart surrounding the moat itself. Archers, ballistae, and catapults topped the walls, ready to fire on anyone or anything that approached. Tons of food were stockpiled inside for a lengthy siege. Kruk-Ma-Kali ordered the town encircled by siege walls and began to starve the city out.

Continue reading

Cimmerian Timeline Part 31

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 30

761BCE: Lord Bjorn of Dalleer died of old age. Bjorn’s son did not succeed him. Instead, Ballath, a wise, human friend of Bjorn’s, assumed the lordship. Bjorn’s family was outraged. Ballath took Bjorn’s name as a title in a failed attempt to keep the peace, but he refused to surrender control.

759BCE: Bjorn’s children moved to Jord. Most of Dalleer’s dwarven population followed.

737BCE: Bjorn Ballath of Dalleer died of old age. Like his successor before him, Ballath overlooked his children in favor of an experienced friend, Skizofren.

736BCE: Bjorn Skizofren began to drink heavily after Ballath’s death. He started drafting insanely foolish laws while drunk and he was always drunk. Ballath’s heirs attempted to correct Skizofren’s decisions, but the Bjorn seemed unnaturally skilled at political manuevering.

735BCE: Bjorn Skizofren insulted Ballath’s family. Frustrated with the Bjorn, the children of Ballath left Dalleer. They traveled downriver and founded Bradel Fields near the mouth of the Black River.

Continue reading

Kingdoms Sprouting Up Part 4

Previous: Kingdoms Sprouting Up Part 3

Dalleer
Shaelin left Dalleer in the hands of his trusted friend, Bjorn, when he left to reclaim Fangaroot. Bjorn guided the city through the Dragon War and through the Dwarven Civil War. They emerged as a city-state that nominally owed their fealty to King Yentbern in Jord.
Bjorn ruled through a golden age for Dalleer as the metropolis grew and welcomed people of all races. Eventually Bjorn died as one of the most loved rulers in all Cimmeria. The lordship did not pass to his son. Instead , Bjorn willed his position to a wise human friend of his, Ballath. Ballath took the position gladly. Outraged, Bjorn’s living family moved to Jord. Many dwarves followed suit, not wishing to live under the rulership of a human. Ballath wished to keep a hold on the city’s past, so he took the name of Bjorn as a title in a failed attempt to keep the peace. He lead the city well, but it was not what it once was.
When it came time to choose a successor, Ballath also passed over his own children. While they were well trained and ready for leadership, Ballath wanted to follow in the footsteps of Shaelin and Bjorn. When Ballath passed, the scepter of Dalleer went to a philosopher and friend of Ballath’s named Skizofren. This man took up the title of Bjorn.
Skizofren seemed like a wise and just choice during Ballath’s life, but after his friend’s death he began drinking heavily. Some claimed that it was no longer blood that flowed through his veins, but red wine. Skizofren made foolish and insane laws while drunk and he was always drunk. Ballath’s family followed the path of the original Bjorn’s and quit Dalleer. They went downriver and formed a new settlement named Bradel Fields.
Many expected Dalleer to collapse under Skizofren’s rule, but the man proved them wrong. The populace plotted a revolt. Skizofren befriended key members of the revolution during his drunken escapades and stopped the revolt before it began. The actions of a reckless mage opened Dalleer up to interdimensional attack. Skizofren drunkenly led his people through the portal to find a means to close it. An army from the new city of Bradel Fields threatened Daller. Skizofren led the citizens in building catapults and trenches that warded off the attack. He organized crop planting and seemed to miraculously predict which crop’s would survive and where they would thrive. Skizofren’s tenure as the Bjorn seemed blessed by the gods despite his constant drunken state.
Skizofren ruled for close to one hundred years. When his time came he named a unknown young man as his successor. The people honored Skizofren’s request and made the young man the Bjorn. This Bjorn became stark mad when he took the throne. He blundered through problems for Dalleer, but never with the same style and flair as Skizofren. The people of Dalleer were too attached to the ways of Skizofren to remove the man from office. Instead they largely removed power from the Bjorn and gave his advisors discretion in how they led the city. The position of Bjorn became largely ceremonial.
The tradition of each Bjorn naming their successor remained. Every Bjorn since Skizofren has named an insane male human as his successor. The Bjorn is now a figurehead for an unstructured oligarchy that rules Dalleer from behind their puppet.

Continue reading

Kingdoms Sprouting Up Part 2

Previous: Kingdoms Sprouting Up Part 1

Jipangu
While the races of the defunct Conclave were distracted by the Dragon War, the hobgoblins of Eastern Cimmeria were preparing for war. In 876BCE the leader of the hobgoblins, Kruk-Sho-Kar, invaded, laying waste to all of the small settlements around the Aral Sea.
Toffoun had been trying to stop the Dwarven Civil War. He realized that his efforts were getting him nothing and that his talents could be better used defending his old home in Eastern Cimmeria. Toffoun went with his old friends, Amalgami and Jovy, to stop the hobgoblins. Together they organized the Eastern Cimmerians into an army. Continue reading