Characters of Cimmeria: Amalgami the Hero

This post needs a little bit of clarification. As much as possible I try to avoid two characters having the same name in my campaign world. It happens often enough in real life and in real history, but it easily confuses people (Just try and explain the Norman Conquest of England to someone). Unfortunately, I couldn’t avoid having two people with the same name in this case because one of my players wanted to name their character after an imagined hero of the past. I’m getting around to filling the gaps and now that hero of the past has his own story below. This post details Amalgami the Hero of Old, not Amalgami the Betrayer.

amalgami-the-heroAmalgami the Hero was known as the Lightning Knight. He joined the other heroes of the Dragon War in casting down their draconic oppressors.  He was a son of Zeus and his father gifted him with power over lightning and storms. Amalgami made friendships easily and if it weren’t for him the heroes of the Dragon War may never have worked together to accomplish their great deeds. At the conclusion of the war he slumbered along with the other heroes to return when the world needed him again.

Zeus found himself attracted to Brina, a priestess of his wife, Hera. Zeus will be Zeus, so he had his way with Brina and then left her to the anger of his wife. Infuriated that one of her own clergy would betray her (regardless of Brina’s own wishes in the encounter), Hera decreed a similar punishment that was given to Leto, the mother of Apollo and Artemis. Brina would never deliver her child on dry land.

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Characters of Cimmeria: Toffoun

Toffoun was a Dwarven cleric of Ares who fought with twin swords against the Goblins of the east. Along with Amalgami, Toffoun protected and organized the Humans, Dwarves, and Halflings of Zeus’s Canvas during the Goblin resurgence of the late 10th century BCE. He founded the city of Jipangu and passed on his particular code of honor to its citizens. Toffoun joined the other heroes of Cimmeria during the Dragon War. He bound the draconic benefactor of the mortals, Langudina, within the Bronze Orb before entering his slumber along with the other heroes.

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Characters of Cimmeria: Tracy

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Tracy was a Halfling trickster and diplomat during the Age of Monsters. She singlehandedly prevented war between her kinsmen and the Conclave after the little people parted ways with the organization. After stopping the war, Tracy became a leader among the Halfling people and helped found the towns that grew into Crafterton and Nomingburg. Tracy joined the other heroes of the land during the Dragon War and imprisoned the blue dragons at the war’s conclusion. Tracy joined her companions in their slumber, only to be reawakened when the dragons were freed. Tracy was  the first to wake up when the Blue Dragon Orb was broken , but she died in her attempt to defeat the blues’ patriarch, Bavastatner.

Tracy’s story begins as tension grew within the aging Conclave that once ruled mortals’ lives in Cimmeria. Continue reading

Cimmerian Timeline Part 4

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 3

1070BCE: Human raids into Eastern Cimmeria discovered that the Orcs now staunchly defended the Goblins.

1068BCE: The Conclave declared war against the Orcs and their new Goblin allies. Halfling slingers and Humans riding chariots brought the Conclave victory in set-piece battles. The Conclave sold prisoners of war into slavery, both Goblin and Orc alike.

Hades marched upon Colchis once more. Aeëtes fought the undead off with a combined army of trained soldiers and Goblin slaves used as shock troops.

1065BCE: The Human attacks pushed the Orcs and Goblins further east. Meanwhile, the Goblins integrated into the Orc tribes and switched from their old pantheon to worshiping the Olympians alongside the Orcs.

1050BCE: Time passed and the borders between the Conclave, the Orcs, and the independent Goblins stabilized. One hundred years of war resulted in the defeat of the Goblin gods and their absorption through syncretism into the Hellenic pantheon. The Olympians began to entertain themselves with their new sandbox full of people.

1049BCE: The Olympians longed for the exciting times prior to the Trojan war. What was so great about the Heroic Age? Monsters! The Olympians dredged up all sorts of monsters from Tartarus. Trolls, sea serpents, krakens, giants, chimeras, basilisks, beholders, lycanthropes, dinosaurs, and even dragons! All of these beasts and more were set upon the mortals of Cimmeria.

1047BCE: The new dragons of Cimmeria found the spartoi soldiers that sprouted from their planted teeth severely weakened in form but extremely loyal to the dragons themselves. These new soldiers were dubbed Kobolds.

1046BCE: A red dragon named Kenderax attacked Fangaroot along with thousands of Kobold soldiers. Kenderax incinerated Karnafaust in the initial attack, preventing any organized defense against the draconic invasion. Without leadership the Dwarven citizens fled south.

1045BCE: The new sea monsters in the Caspian all but ended the fishing industry. Certain death awaited any ship that goes more than a few dozen feet from shore.

1044BCE: Orc culture always promoted physical combat as a rite of passage for the young. After the end of the Goblin War young Orcs had started fighting each other to prove their worth. The elders of the tribes saw the self-destructive path this would lead the Orc race down. They directed the violent energy of the Orc youth outwards instead of inwards, specifically towards the Shacklack Desert. Many Orcs traveled into the Shacklack to slay the myriad of monsters there.

-GoCorral

Next: Cimmerian Timeline Part 5

Cimmerian Timeline Part 3

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 2

The first timeline entry where I have to include some stuff that should’ve been in previous timelines! This has to do with Aeetes in Colchis. Originally I had him being attacked by Hades every blood moon; that was until I realized that blood moons happen at least once a year. I was imagining this as an every few dozen years thing. I changed it to every full solar eclipse and I specified to myself, “Only the ones over Colchis!” I then had some fun looking up past eclipses over Colchis and adding them to the timeline. All the eclipses I’ll mention are actual events that occurred over Colchis sometime in history.

1131BC: During a complete solar eclipse, Hades’s army emerged from the depths to attack Colchis. Aeëtes fought them off with his magical power, slaying every undead being that showed its face.

1124BCE: Another solar eclipse allowed Hades to attack Colchis once more. Aeëtes predicted the eclipse and ensured that one of Sadroston’s children was in Colchis at the time. Sadroston rushed to the child’s aid and helped defend the city from Hades. This blatant manipulation infuriated Sadroston. The old hero vowed to never help Aeëtes or allow a member of his family to go to Colchis again.

1099BCE: The Elven leaders became jealous of the Dwarves independence. Constant complaints by the Humans about the Dwarven traitors further frustrated the Elves. The Sylvan people left the Conclave and setup new societies in the forests of Cimmeria.

1098BCE: A series of cold winters caused by the Goblin gods strained the resources of the Conclave and the Dwarves. They began fighting over sheep herds in the region between Phoenix and Fangaroot.

1097BCE: War broke out between the Dwarves and the Conclave. In response the Goblins reclaimed territory around the northern Caspian.

1092BCE: The Elves negotiated a truce between the Humans and the Dwarves. Karnafaust insisted on honorable single combat with Drolofo to settle their personal issues. The duel commenced and Drolofo emerged victorious. Karnafaust’s subjects accepted the peace terms, but were unable to accept the death of their leader. Numerous sacrifices were offered to Hades in the hopes that he would return their king to them.

1091BCE: Hades set down the rules of the Resurrection Pact, allowing beings to return to life if the proper rituals were performed and the ritualist returned a portion Hades’s diamond wealth to the shadowy Olympian. High King Karnafaust was the first to come back to life.

1087BCE: Setting their animosity aside, the Dwarves and Elves united once more with the Humans, Halflings, and Orcs of the Conclave to attack the Goblins. They cleared the region around the Caspian and forays were made east across the Black River into the Goblin heartlands.

1084BCE: The Conclave and its allies successfully contained the Goblins in Eastern Cimmeria. Attacks into the east no longer focused on taking and securing territory. Raids became commonplace. Groups of soldiers would head east and return with booty and a train of manacled Goblin slaves.

A solar eclipse over Colchis allowed Hades to attack the city once more. Aeëtes had prepared by keeping a standing army to fight the undead hordes. These well-trained soldiers along with the king’s own magical prowess won the day for the Colchians.

1083BCE: Expeditions to the south discovered a separate community of savage godless Humans living in the Aractrashan Jungle. The Conclave deemed these people Primitives and elected to ignore them.

1075BCE: Hades sent a larger force against Colchis as a solar eclipse occurred once more. Aeëtes had not prepared for the magnitude of this new challenge. The Colchians repelled the attack, but thousands of soldiers died in the battle.

1073BCE: Raids into Eastern Cimmeria continued. The Orc faction of the Conclave demanded that more serious action be taken to permanently defeat the Goblins, but their protests were blocked by the Human leaders who profited from the Goblin slave trade.

1072BCE: The Orcs took matters into their own hands. They left the Conclave and carved out a region of Eastern Cimmeria for themselves. The Orcs integrated the Goblins of that region into their new society instead of enslaving them.

-GoCorral

Next: Cimmerian Timeline Part 4

Cimmerian Timeline Part 2

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 1

Composing the Cimmerian Timeline has an issue that if I do it chronologically I risk missing events that I put into various cities’ backgrounds and later forgot. I’ll do my best to get everything as it comes up chronologically. Inevitably I will make mistakes and need to include events that are in a period of time that I already covered. I’ll just note that in each update that requires it and edit the complete timeline on the menu bar at the top of the site.

1150BCE: The Olympians held a convocation. The Trojan War devastated the greatest heroes of Greece and now the oldest survivors had died. The gods wished to continue their philandering and fun, but the Fates decreed that no such business would occur in Greece. A decision was made to head east, to the land of the Goblins.

The Goblins had a pantheon of their own which the Olympians had to combat with before their rule of Cimmeria could be secure. The Olympians created many new mortal servants to war against the Goblins while the Olympians engaged the Goblin gods themselves. These new mortals organized themselves into a governmental body known as the Conclave. Humans, Elves, Orcs, Dwarves, Halflings, and other races of Cimmeria all worked together in the Conclave.

1149BCE: Threatened as they were, the Goblin pantheon called upon a most terrible weapon, the Phoenix. The Olympians battled with the Phoenix. They defeated the great bird but found that it arose anew from the ashes, stronger than it was before.

1147BCE: After many attempts to destroy the Phoenix, the Olympians turned to their mortal allies. They gave the mortals access to powerful magic and combat techniques in the hope that with their combined force they could vanquish the Phoenix for good.

1146BCE: The health of King Aeëtes of Colchis began to fail without his daughter Medea’s magic. He started feverishly studying to reclaim the arts she once used to extend their lifetimes.

1140BCE: Years of planning allowed the mortals, led by the sorcerer Sadroston, to defeat the Phoenix. A city named after the bird was built upon its ashes. This was the first Olympian city in Cimmeria.

1139BCE: The war with the Goblins and the Goblin pantheon continued. King Aeëtes mastered the unruly magic of the Olympians to immortalize himself. Hades was furious that a subject escaped entrance to his realm. The God of the Underworld began preparations to reclaim the old Aeëtes’s soul.

1118BCE: The war raged on. The Conclave pushed the Goblins out of Western Cimmeria and founded the city of Nox as a center for people living in the west.

1113BCE: Tensions rose between the Dwarves and the Humans over how to coordinate the actions of Phoenix, Nox, and smaller population centers against the Goblins.

1102BCE: Karnafaust, First High King of the Dwarves, stormed off with his army after a disagreement with the Human leader, Drolofo. Karnafaust struck into Goblin territory in Eastern Cimmeria, stopping only when he reached the Black River.

1101BCE: Karnafaust founded the city of Fangaroot upon the Black Mirror Lake. He declared an independent Dwarven state from the Conclave of Humans, Elves, Halflings, and Orcs.

-GoCorral

Next: Cimmerian Timeline Part 3

Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 14

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 13

The Bwarlorn Dwarves finally get their vengeance in this post. Their act parallels the original Dwarf curse in many ways. They target a group that did not suspect such an attack. The group suffers heavy causalities and then forced pregnancies. The pregnancies result in horrible unwanted mutant babies.

The Bastards of the Book don’t target the Dwarves though. They attack the Dwarven allies, the Elves.

But in the grand scheme of history, rape is just another tragedy of war. What makes this special enough to include?

The creation of a new race because the hybrid genetics is why. The Hobgoblins will come to play a big role in the Lower Maw.

And we’ve also got the Rana slowly developing into their humanitarian selves by founding Gurutama’s equivalent of the real world charity organization, The Red Cross.

429 NA: The group of Najaran men sought to rebel against their Dwarven overlords. They sent scouts into the Eastern Maw to recruit primitive Humans outside of the boundaries of the Empire to assist in fighting the Dwarves. While the small rebellion of these men was one among many to be squashed by the Dwarven jackboots one good thing came of the Najarn scouts’ journey. They made contact with the Rana.

The words of the Najarns troubled the Rana and left a lasting impact. They had never heard of people who openly sought violence upon other intelligent beings. The Rana set about to bring light to all those who wanted to see once again…

The Rana gathered many of their beloved children, great sages, silver-tongued peace-makers, and humble friends, and sent them forth into the world. And they named them, the Monks of the Gossamer Waves, an order of peace, pacifism, and kindness.

441 NA: With each year the ranks of the Bastards of the Tattered Book grew and their fury seemed endless. Many spoke of purging the Metal Tiers and of making the women and children of Hearthland suffer as their men made the Bwarlor suffer. Still more wanted to storm the Najaran coast and join forces with the Najarns against the Empire Dwarves.

But a cruel streak coming from their primitive ancestors inspired another course of action. The Bastards unfurled their black sails and set out, not west to the Hearthland nor north to join the numerous rebellions against the Empire Dwarves. No, the Bastards went south to the ripe forests hidden behind the indomitable Mandibles.

442 NA: It is said that history is doomed to repeat itself, and just as the Dwarves of Hearthland imposed their sons on the Bwarlor, so did these new Dwarves rape the city of Shianosoth and sow their children amongst the innocent Elven people. A new breed coalesced in the shadow of that damned city, mockery of the goodness and order, a savage combination of its three father races: the swiftness and stature of the good Elves, the greed and steadfast determination of Dwarvenkind, and the madness of their grandfather, Humanity. The first Hobgoblins were born into the world…

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 15

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 12

D&D Races

Previous: An Overview of Gurutama Part 11

I lied! There was one more Gurutama Overview of Races post left.

Dawn of Worlds has a slightly different game definition of what a fantasy race is.

In D&D a fantasy race is any genetic group similar to humans in shape, intelligence, and power (no angels or demons).

In Dawn of Worlds a fantasy race is a construct for influencing the world.

A Dawn of Worlds race doesn’t even strictly need to be people. It could be something like a combination of computer programs.

What this means is that some of the typical fantasy races in D&D were not created in our Dawn of Worlds game.

Orcs, halflings, gnomes, gnolls (dog people), etc, were not created as official races in the Dawn of Worlds game that created Gurutama.

That doesn’t mean those races don’t exist in Gurutama!

All that means is that we decided the world’s history already had enough forces influencing it with the races we had created.

So what place do the other races have in Gurutama?

It depends on which race you’re asking about.

Halflings and gnomes exist in Western Hearthland, the dwarven continent.

The halflings and gnomes are also buddies with centaurs that live in that area.

Goblins (smaller versions of hobgoblins) live all over the place, but have a large concentration within the Turashtegal Jungle.

Orcs live all over the place too.

We’ve been discussing the placement of other races within Gurutama such as gnolls and bugbears, but nothing concrete has been decided yet.

My plan is to hammer out the timeline over my next few posts on Gurutama and then get into the specifics of other parts of the fantasy world.

I just wanted to let you all know that the other races were not left out. They were just not heavy-hitters in our Dawn of Worlds baseball game.

-Mister Ed

The Amazing Spiderman 2

I saw The Amazing Spider-Man 2 this weekend with my wife.

She’d liked the first one even though she claimed it was scary.

That was pretty much her reaction to the sequel too. She only likes watching romantic comedy movies when we go out.

I liked it a lot because it stayed true to the comics in many ways that the last series of movies did not.

And for those who haven’t seen the movie, I will be talking about spoilers and stuff in this blog post so you should avoid it if you want to keep the movie as suspenseful as possible.

The Amazing Spiderman series has Gwen Stacy as the Peter Parker’s love interest. The original movie series had Mary-Jane Watson.

In the comics Mary-Jane goes to high school with Peter and Gwen does not. Peter never becomes involved with Mary-Jane until they are 23 or something.

Gwen is Peter’s college girlfriend in the comics. They shifted her to high school in the movies to advance the narrative faster.

In the comics, Peter has no girlfriend in high school.

This can get confusing because they rebooted the comics as well. I mean the original Amazing Spiderman comics.

So the new movies have kept Gwen as a first girlfriend and written their relationship to be realistic and charming.

The original movies made you wonder why Mary-Jane dated someone who didn’t seem to care about her emotions and physically endangered her (I started wondering less after I realized how that type of relationship matches Mary-Jane’s parents’ relationship in the original movie series).

Other parts of the movie called back to the comic as well.

The scene on the airplane is very close to how its described in the comic, Aunt May’s oblique references to Spiderman match the comic (she knows that Peter is Spiderman already), J. Jonah Jameson is still a dick even through email, Harry “goes away for awhile” and then comes back to “do drugs” before he becomes the Green Goblin (his voice is also perfect for the Goblin), Norman’s creepy green skin matches how he looks in the comic reboot (Ultimate Spiderman), etc.

The music in the movie was also amazing. I’ve been listening to it at work this week.

And now for the spoiler part!

Gwen Stacy is killed almost exactly how she is in the comic.

The Green Goblin drops her and Peter catches her with his webbing, but she dies regardless.

One of my friends posted on Facebook that this type of plot twist is too common in modern movies.

The female lead dies to make the hero feel sad, but it also sends the message that women are expendable.

I agree. They could’ve just as easily referenced the comic with her plunge to earth, but had Peter rescue her successfully in the movie.

I’d much prefer a sequel where Gwen Stacy was still Peter’s girlfriend instead of Mary-Jane. It’s hard to imagine Mary-Jane being anything but inferior to the relationship Gwen and Peter displayed in the first two movies.

But the little fanboy in me is happy that they stayed by the comics.

-Mister Ed