After the Dragon War: Bigby

When the Dragon War ended, Bigby was 103, still young for an elf. He helped the other Heroes to design defenses for the Dragon Orbs. After twenty years most of them had moved on into the stasis. All the other Heroes could only be awakened by the destruction of the Orbs of Dragonkind. Bigby and Toffoun were all that was left.

Bigby was happy to retire to the forest that grew to bear his name. He lived for dozens of years supporting himself by teaching his magic to the Elves of his homeland and any others who wished to learn. Romantic relationships came and went, lasting for years or decades and then dissolving amicably as is the way of the Elves. Bigby had three children and played an active role in their upbringing. The outside world was not without conflict, but Bigby stayed apart. He had seen and done enough during the Dragon War.

When Toffoun retired, the dwarf took one last trip to see Bigby. The two reminisced about their times together. The visit was what Bigby needed to say goodbye to the world. He made his farewells to his family, his friends, his children, and the places he knew. After all was finished Bigby was the last to enter the Dragon Orb slumber.

-GoCorral

Next up I’ll be turning each of these After the Dragon War articles into timelines. After that I’d like to explore the Dwarven Kingdom a bit more. I’ve laid the foundations with Toffoun, Cogard, and the Fierce Axe. Just gotta hammer out the specifics.

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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: Bigby

Bigby is actually not a creation of my own, but that of Gary Gygax and Robert Kuntz, two of the original creators of Dungeons and Dragons. My creation is more of tribute than a direct port of the character that Gygax and Kuntz created. If you’d like to learn more about the original Bigby, he’s actually important enough to have his own Wikipedia page! Who’d have thought?

bigby

Bigby was an Elven sorcerer whose magical style revolutionized many magical fields and has been often duplicated since. He lived in the forest that now bears his name and defended it from attackers of all sorts. Bigby joined with the other heroes of his time to fight in the Dragon War. He imprisoned the green dragon matriarchs that plagued his forest in the Green Orb of Dragonkind. After sealing away his foe, Bigby slept along with the other heroes of the Dragon War, ready to wake when the world needed him again.

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Shalemstead

ShalemsteadShalemstead is a small town of 3,500 people along the eastern bank of the Isdmir River. The town is growing due to its proximity to the Elves of Valor’s Forest. The Elves do not allow any non-fairy creature to stay in the forest, so they must find shelter in the Human settlement nearby or camp in the much less hospitable outdoors. Many of the citizens of Shalemstead have grown to rely on this tourism and their reputation for hospitality is well known throughout Cimmeria.

Shalemstead is self-sufficient and requires a lot of farmers to provide for its own citizens as well as the many tourist and trade caravans that pass through on the way to meet the Valor’s Forest Elves. The necessary professions in town are monopolized by guilds that are controlled by the descendants of the original settlers of Shalemstead. The guilds are named after their founding family member. All the blacksmiths belong to the Boris guild, all the innkeepers belong to the Shord guild, all the wainwrights belong to the Tama guild, etc.

The town’s government is solely composed of the guild leaders. This council of elders meets every three months to make important decisions for Shalemstead. They contribute all the funds for any necessary expenses such as paying guards, maintaining roads, or building bridges. These funds are in turn collected through guild dues, tariffs, and the personal profits that the guild leaders make on their own operations in town.

Many years ago the Shalemstead was attacked by a cabal of vampires. A fire started during the attack and dozens of people were injured or killed. The town’s only cleric at the time, George, also perished in the attack, but the small shrine he had built remained untouched by the flames. As the town has grown a new and larger temple was built. Regardless, many of the townsfolk continue to pay homage to the gods at this small shrine in George’s honor.

Shalemstead has joined the Second Alliance to fight the Xorians. The town cannot contribute much in the way of manpower, but their trade connections with the Elves have proved valuable.

-GoCorral

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

Harbinston

Harbinston isn’t nearly as politically important to Cimmeria as the other cities I’ve detailed. It is a small village on the border of the territories influenced by Bradel Fields and Dalleer. I wrote a description of the out of the way town because a series of adventures I ran for my players was based in the village. Maybe the village will be important in my current campaign and maybe it won’t. Time will tell!

Harbinston

Harbinston is a small town of little more than four hundred people. The town sprung up as a trading stop between Dalleer and Bradel Fields. Merchants and traders traveling on the Black River would stop at the easy banking spot close to Robber’s Canyon. As trade increased along the river it also increased the number of robbers from which Robber’s Canyon gets its name. Many of the townsfolks had two lives, one of theft, and another of reprovisioning their victims. No concrete evidence of the duplicity was ever discovered, but the traveling merchants eventually grew suspicious and switched their method of travel to caravans along the eastern shore, safe from the robbers’ ambush tactic.

Harbinston’s large bandit population was a result of no administrative control in the town. No system of government controlled the town and for a long time both Dalleer and Bradel Fields claimed the small town as their own. The dual claim caused a standoff where neither city sent representatives to the town as doing so might spark a war between the two larger city-states.

About sixty years ago a group of adventurers did take an interest in cleaning up the town and cleaning out the nearby dungeons. The adventurers provided a steady flow of income to the villagers from the dungeons they raided. Highwaymen moved back to town and reopened their old shops to draw the heroes’ attention, greatly reducing bandit activity. The peace did not last forever. Eventually the adventurers retired to various mansions they had built close to the town and the highwaymen came back to prey on what little river traffic remained. One of the adventurers, Burne, even led the bandits for a time.

When the adventurers retired Harbinston lost its temporary protection against the many different monsters and creatures that have chosen to live around it. The town had no real guardians to act as predators for the monsters of the world, so every beast imaginable invaded the area surrounding the little village. Constructs, undead, plant monsters, mutated beasts, trolls, minotaurs, and even a dragon with its kobold servants moved to the fertile and previously unsettled fields around Harbinston. The dragon, called Joker, took a maiden from the town every decade.

To make matters worse two decades ago Harbinston had an outbreak of the plague. Without an experienced enough cleric to cast remove disease, the town sought help from Dalleer. Surprisingly, Dalleer agreed to send some strong clerics and medical supplies downriver and for once it looked like the town would have a lord to protect it. Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding, the town’s bandits attacked the medical barges. The medicine was not lost because of the strong guards Dalleer had hired, so the sick people in Harbinston were saved. The same could not be said for the dozens of young men who lost their lives in the foolish battle. Diplomacy with Dalleer was broken off after the incident.

The same guards who killed so many of Harbinston’s men to defend the medicine took it upon themselves to remove the other afflictions that plagued the town. They slew Joker and freed the maidens he had taken as his captive wives. The guards cut a bloody swath around the town, removing every monstrous threat for miles, save the kobold servants of Joker who were left to their own devices.

The town began to thrive again after the monsters were slain. With the bandits gone as well, trade resumed. Only the occasional kobold attack interrupted the town’s resurgence. During the recent negotiations between Bradel Fields and Dalleer, Bradel Fields agreed to cede all claims to Harbinston in exchange for Dalleer’s entrance into the Second Alliance War against Xoria. Harbinston now has official protection from a large city-state as well and it seems could never be brighter for this small settlement in the wilderness.

Most of the original band of heroes that protected the town are now long dead. The remaining hero, Sherlock the Warlock, built a tall tower for himself a day’s journey outside of town. He hasn’t left the tower in decades. Adventurers visit him occasionally and tell tales of all manner of strange things in the tower. Sherlock appears very knowledgeable if knowledge is what you seek. The adventurers who have gone to the tower also say that the old wizard has lost his mind.

-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