Cimmerian Timeline Part 8

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 7

1042BCE: Numerous clerics and magicians studied the intricacies of Hades’s Resurrection Pact with the mortals of Cimmeria. These necromantic scholars formed an enclave for research beneath the Terror Mountains in the north between the Jenarild River and the Curving Stream. This settlement came to be known as Crux.

1035BCE: Seeking to gain more power to assault Colchis with, Hades sent an emissary to Crux. His messenger took the form of a three-headed bodak called the Antenator. The creature gave the people of Crux a set of standard practices for bringing the dead back to life and controlling them, either with their souls or as soulless husks to do the bidding of their necromancer master.

1034BCE: The Antenator created the Silver Tower at the center of Crux and took up residence there. His persisting influence emanated from the Tower keeping the numerous undead of the city easily controlled by the city’s living residents. While the Antenator occasionally addressed the people of Crux, approaching him was now impossible. Entrance into the Tower required passing a series of insurmountable trials.
At the same time that the Silver Tower rose, Vecna, the powerful lich, arrived in Crux. She set up her alchemy and spell shop at the Tower’s base and began her own research on death magic.

1030BCE: The Conclave setup a trading post with the Elves of Valor Forest. The post grew to become the town of Shalemstead.

1011BCE: A prominent Human leader of the Conclave, Tisaphernes, was murdered by an Orc slave of his. Anti-Orc sentiment increased among the Humans in the Conclave.
A solar eclipse occurred and Hades attacked Colchis once again. Aeëtes inscribed explosive glyphs throughout the city that would only activate when one of Hades’s creatures passed by. These glyphs, along with a well-trained corps of archers, ended the threat during the solar eclipse.

1000BCE: After multiple raids into the Orcish settlements, the Humans of the Conclave organized a large scale expedition. The Halflings  refused to participate. The split thwarted the expedition before it could reach the Orcish lands in the east due to a poorly maintained supply chain. The Humans returned in humiliation.

976BCE: Sadroston died at an advanced age. Thousands mourned the great hero’s passing. Sadroston’s descendants would carry on their forebear’s legacy. Others rejoiced in silence and began to plot.

975BCE: The dragons of Cimmeria attended the Draconic Convocation. The direct descendants of Echidna and Typhon were present. The red dragon couple, Invernix and Sartoria. The blue dragon couple, Bavastatner and Renvesharhialisv. The black dragon brothers, Kovan’rorshac and Pithwatolzar. The green dragon sisters, Cordax and Hashterainon. The white dragon couple, Shivara and Tikanile. The gold dragon siblings, Agohimano and Hontalawi. The silver dragon twins, Jimarohzaj and Falron. The bronze dragon twins, Rilopenaril and Langudina. The brass dragons, Hazorshrakan and her father Forsoman. The copper dragons, Thaitonzao and his mother Blathorwa. All were present.
The dragons agreed to conquer all of Cimmeria and split the provinces of the realm among themselves. They were the strongest beings in the Olympians’ new creation. Why not take control? Each pair of dragons would rule a region of Cimmeria and could do what they saw fit with the land and people of that region. The dragons took wing and set about subjugating the different people of Cimmeria.

973BCE: Within two years the dragons subjugated all mortals of Cimmeria.  Red Invernix and Sartoria took the Northern Terror Mountains around Horror Peak. Blue Bavastatner and Renvesharhialisv took the Shacklack Desert. Black Kovan’rorshac and Pithwatolzar took the land that would eventually be called Danar’s Swamp. Green Cordax and Hashterainon took the Dry Woods that would eventually be called Bigby’s Forest. White Shivara and Tikanile took the Western Terror Mountains around Doom Peak. Gold Agohimano and Hontalawi took the Caspian Coast. Silver Jimarohzaj and Falron took the Eastern Terror Mountains around Fear Peak. Bronze Rilopenaril and Langudina took Apollo’s Plains. Brass Hazorshrakan and Forsoman took the Orc Lands in the east. Copper Thaitonzao and Blathorwa took all the lands between the Black River and the Great Divide.
The Olympians sat and did nothing to help their mortal subjects. The new turn of events amused them. They watched, curious what would happen next to this new world of dragons and mortals.

970BCE: The dragons declared a new set of laws in effect throughout Cimmeria. These laws set up dragons and their progeny as the aristocracy of the land with all others being second-class citizens. Additionally, the new laws forbade mortals from forming large armed groups without approval from their dragon lord. During their initial conquest the dragons had learned to respect the threat an army posed. They sought to prevent any such danger from arising ever again.

-GoCorral

Next: Cimmerian Timeline Part 9

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Cimmerian Timeline: Taking a Breather

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Taking a breather you say?

I’m a little scatter-brained and need a post to outline what I’ll be doing next in the continued detailing of Cimmeria’s fictional history.

I’ve got about 100 years of history that needs additional description between 1040BCE and 940BCE.

Here are the events that I need to hit:

  1. Whatever I decide Shratalanda was doing before she started meddling in the lives of the heroes of the Dragon War.
  2. Additional details of the Resurrection Pact with Hades. Formation of Crux. Antenator and Vecna coming to Cimmeria. Founding of the Iron Bank of Lamentation. Vecna begins designing the Devastation Spell.
  3. More details on Halflings leaving the Conclave
  4. Elves leaving the Conclave. Foundation of Shalemstead. Events of Restnor’s life.
  5. Dragons ruling over Cimmeria and giving everyone a bad time.
  6. Boring timeline entries about all the times Hades attacked Colchis and inserting Shratalanda into previous timeline entries.

A simple enough list with some things that probably aren’t even worth including in a post, looking at you #6.

But it’s a bit more than I want to do at the moment. I’ll get started on this and have something more concrete to post next week!

-GoCorral

Crux

Crux

Crux is on the east side of the Jenarild River nestled in the mountains. The surrounding land mass between the Jenarild and the Curving Stream has almost no living animals on it. Due to the lack of herbivores the plants have grown to great heights except around the city where the plant life is held back. This is due to the necromantic nature of Crux.

Crux has a population of about 11,000 living people. The rest of the population is undead. The workforce for the city is Skeletons and  Zombies for menial tasks and Ghouls and Wights for tasks that require intelligence. Almost all the people in the city have the ability to turn or rebuke undead from one class or another. This power is necessary to make an unliving servant do your bidding, unless it is intelligent and not already under orders from somebody else. A quirk of the city is that positive energy will allow control of undead in Crux instead of destroying them.

This city is made possible by the silver tower at its center. Inside at the top of the tower is a three-headed Bodak, known as the Antenator. The Antenator imposes his will upon all undead in the city to serve living people if the living people can call upon the power of Hades. Intelligent undead are affected by this to, but can resist it if they have an extremely strong willpower.

In some sense this is Hades’ city on the real world. All the intelligent undead must swear an oath to serve Hades or risk him collecting their souls for his kingdom. He hates losing any subjects unless they continue to serve him in the Material Plane. Any knowledge about rituals related to death can be easily found in the city, but not demon lore.

The buildings in the city get progressively higher as they go away from the city wall until they reach the silver tower at the center of town. It is more than five hundred feet high and reinforced with adamantine and alchemical silver. Anyone may enter the tower in an attempt to reach the top where the Antenator resides. It is said that the Bodak will answer a single inquiry or attack anyone who reaches the top based on that person’s intentions. Most wish to ask it a question about a dark ritual that cannot be found in any book, but some go to try to kill it. The many challenges on the way up have stopped everybody so far.

The Bank of Lamentation is found in Crux. It is a bank staffed entirely by Vampires. They protect the valuables put inside without question no matter what they are and collect their fees in blood or in a percentage of what is stored. The bank is guarded during the day by golems imported from Crafterton and is only open at night for withdrawals or deposits. The bank does not offer loans unless you are willing to put up souls for collateral.

There is a potion shop in the city of Crux run by the venerable lich, Vectra. Not much is know about this old specimen, but she seems to know everything about anybody who walks into her shop. It is said that she does not belong to Hades, but to herself. She is missing her left hand and eye probably from before her, “death,” or she has used them as her phylacteries. Every potion imaginable is available in the shop including some rarities from the Factory of Ideals in Crafterton. An amazing destructive spell is also sold in Vectra’s shop. It is rumored that the spell ends all life within a three mile radius of its casting. She sells the scroll of this spell to countries, kings, and other powerful people, and is willing to do a demonstration casting on the land outside of Crux for any who seems capable of paying her. The countries that are known to possess this spell are Xoria, Persia, India, and Ethiopia. None of these countries plans on invading the others.

In recent history the city of Crux has begun to move southwest. Undead work tireless, day and night, to pick entire buildings up, move them a few hundred feet southwest, then go back to bring forward another building. Rumor says that Crux will enter the Second Alliance War, but it is not yet know which side they will fight on.

-GoCorral

Colchis

This is the first of these entries that requires more significant editing. I admit that when a character never showed up in my previous campaigns I saw no reason to change the name or provide a different story. The same can’t be said for Aeëtes. He played a large role in the events over the past forty years in Cimmeria and he also died. I needed to detail the more recent history of Colchis which will become relevant in my campaign soon. I also needed to remove the references to Aeëtes that used the present tense. Additionally, there are a few words and mythical characters that you might not be familiar with in this post. Rather than define them here, I’ve added links to appropriate webpages with additional information if you wish to access it.

Colchis

Colchis is the famed holy city where Jason ventured to find the Golden Fleece. Before the Trojan War the city was ruled by King Aeëtes and the same king continued to rule into the new age. After having his city’s prized possession stolen from him he panicked and immediately sought out a way to extend his natural life. He found his answer in undeath. Aeëtes forced the city magician to transform him into a Curst. With eternity on his side, Aeëtes studied as many magical tomes as he could get his hands on in order to increase his inhumane might. He later had his eternal power increased by having himself spell-stitched.

This unholy process didn’t go without attracting some attention from Hades, Lord of the Underworld. Every mortal who becomes an immortal has effectively escaped Erebos and Hades doesn’t like losing any of his citizens, especially kings. Hades put a bounty on King Aeëtes. Hundreds of Marut inevitables, demons, devils, bounty hunters, and hopeful heroes swarmed to Colchis in the wake of the Trojan War. They all failed and died due to Colchis Castle’s excellent defenses and the intervention of Demeter who stepped in to save Aeëtes due to her old grudge with Hades. Some of the warriors were captured and made to serve King Aeëtes through magical charming, bribing, or in the case of the inevitables, reprogramming. The other creatures have since died out, but the inevitables survived the centuries. Aeëtes even made more inevitables to increase their numbers.

While Aeëtes lived Hades sent another army to attack the city every blood moon. Aeëtes fought off all of these attacks but he could not defend against the Seven Rages of Jevaninada the First. The Seven came to Colchis and subdued Aeëtes. They forced him to undergo a permanent quest spell that bound him to serve King Jevaninada the First. This enchantment was broken by Amalgami and Salzar during the First Alliance War. Aeëtes engaged the Rage, Grave, during the uprising and lost his soul in the conflict. With his soul imprisoned in Grave’s ruby dagger, Aeëtes could not return to life as he once did. Some say that Grave bartered the soul to Hades, but others say that the soul still resides in the ruby dagger, now lost after the death of Grave.

At the conclusion of the First Alliance War, Queen Anajakaze put ruling ladies in control throughout the realm, replacing existing lords or absent lords such as King Aeëtes.  In Colchis she installed Lady Shunawo Ka, the sorceress, as the city’s ruler. Shunawo is one of the few ladies to survive the purge that King Jevaninada II instigated upon taking power. She married the King’s friend, Wulang, adopting his surname, Li. As Wulang often went away on eforcer missions, Lady Li continued to rule in his absence. She keeps control in Colchis Castle to this day, even with Wulang missing and presumed dead in Bigby’s Forest.

Colchis Castle has long been known for its amazing defensive capability. The castle is a built on a solitary hill in the middle of the city. The Don River has been rerouted to flow around both sides of this hill creating a natural moat. A large clutch of about thirty Tojanida were persuaded by Aeëtes to live in the moat. They prevent anybody from swimming across in exchange for food and gold from the ruler of Colchis, now Lady Li.

The Castle itself is an extradimensional space much bigger than it would normally be. There is space enough for the 65,000 people of Colchis to fit along with the food and water necessary to sustain them for four months. Every single one of the statues in the Castle animates upon intrusion and seeks out the trespasser. A guards and wards spell is also in effect for when the castle is under attack with the added effect of a suggestion over every significant entrance to join forces with the good and just Lady Li and receive great rewards. There are numerous other traps within Colchis Castle to prevent an army from ever reaching the basement where the population of the city waits during an attack. There are even rumors that the ancient sleepless dragon that Medea defeated is still somewhere within the citadel with an army of its Spartoi waiting at Lady Li’s command.

Colchis is practically a Greek city and thus the typical Colchian diet is also practically Greek. The farms in Colchis are especially plentiful because of Demeter’s help. They provide onions, wheat, olives, grapes, and goats for the people to eat and plenty left to export and earn money for the city’s defense against Hades. Some of the best wine in The Magical Lands comes from Colchis. The Colchians also consume fish and urchins that are taken from the Black Sea. Colchis has a small navy that can contend with any of the other tiny fleets on the Black Sea. They need fear no invasion from the Mediterranean due to the Symplegades.

A huge temple to Demeter was built after Aeëtes received her help in the first invasion of Hades. The temple walls are made of magically hardened glass that helps the indoor jungle plants grow. A special breed of faeries was made by Prometheus in exchange for a favor from Aeëtes at a later time. These faeries, dubbed Washernias, fly around on small water jets that keep the plants inside the temple hydrated. At the end of the temple away from the huge glass doors is a thirty foot high statue of Demeter standing with her arms spread out to the sides. In her left hand she holds a shaft of wheat and in her right, an apple. A smaller statue of Persephone rises to her navel. A large basin is carved into the floor at the statues’ feet for sacrifices to be offered into.

A large tomb to Aeëtes’s only son, Absyrtus, exists in the market district of Colchis. The custom of touching one’s hand to the lips and then to the heart as one passes the shrine has continued even after Aeëtes’s death. The interior of the tomb is open to those who wish to see the gold, jewels, treasure, and body contained within. The valuables are cursed and cannot be removed from the tomb. When the tomb was first opened many thieves tried to steal the items only to dissolve into putrid liquid as they exited the tomb. The corpse of Absyrtus was magically put back together after Medea eviscerated it and is now preserved with a magical effect emanating from the tomb itself. On the anniversary of Absyrtus’s death a day of the dead is held which includes a solemn parade that terminates at the tomb’s threshold.

It is not clear to the public why Aeëtes did not bring his favorite child back from the dead. Legend says that he attempted a resurrection that the soul of Absyrtus refused. The citizens of Colchis believe the corpse is animated and is simply under orders to remain in repose at the tomb until some mysterious event has passed. If this is true then Absyrtus would be an extremely powerful being after having nothing to do but gather his power over the centuries.

Colchis is a melting pot for the people of The Magical Lands and those of Greece. It attracts tourists from both sides to enjoy its mixed culture. The city also brings in many religious tourists due to the monuments built to the many heroes who passed through the city on the Argo. A strange effect has been noticed by those who visit Colchis. Whenever Lord Aeëtes or a Dragovinian pass by one of the fifty-two statues to the Argonauts, the statue’s eyes glow an eerie green. No one is sure why this happens, but some believe it to be due to the immortal nature of Aeëtes and the Dragovinians. This has infuriated Hades but his hands are tied by the blood moon restriction on his attacks on Colchis.

The city has many places to stay for tourists, travelers, pilgrims, and merchants. By far the most popular boarding house for adventurers is the Broken Wagon. The first room of the Broken Wagon was built from discarded wagon parts deemed unsalvagable by Colchian wainwrights. That room now serves as the entryway to a far larger structure. The Wagon is owned by the Nima family. The current owner, Dreyus Nima, is the descendant of the original builder, Gestor Nima. Dreyus was an adventurer for a time during his youth, but stopped after losing his hand. He has since regenerated the hand, but the fear of losing it again dampens his thirst for excitement. He loves to hear the tales of other adventurers and vicariously experience their thrills.

The rough and tumble appearance of the Broken Wagon provided the attraction for adventurers initially and now more and more come due to the network effect. Jobs a plenty can be found at the Wagon, bounties are collected at the Wagon, magical items are identified and traded at the Wagon, and everyone has a story to tell at the Wagon.