Cimmerian Timeline Part 9

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 8

968BCE: The dragon monarchs began exploiting the labor of their subjects to build grand palaces and monuments. The bronze dragon siblings, Rilopenaril and Langudina, disliked these vain practices. They used their power to provide patronage for adventurers that aided the bronze dragons’ subjects on a personal level. Rilopenaril and Langudina’s taxes were minimal compared to their cousins. The only exceptions were mithral, adamantine, and lead, which were taxed at enormous percentages, all but denying those metals to the common inhabitant of Apollo’s Plains.

967BCE: The dragons inbred with their subjects and in many cases, the local wildlife. Draconic half-breeds became relatively common.

964BCE: An adventuring group caught the eye of Rilopenaril and Langudina. The adventurers had kept the bronze dragons’ more civilized subjects safe from a raiding band of white dragon hybrid ogres. The adventurers were honored and named the Bronze Chords. Their names were Brelfagar the Dwarven fighter, Shoree the Human paladin, Sunrise the Elven wizard, and Jeffery the Human cleric of the Muses.

963BCE: Rilopenaril tasked the Bronze Chords with gathering all the people of Apollo’s Plains in one central location, the sacred Hill of Apollo where the draconic pair made their lair. He wished to make an announcement to his subjects. Langudina was oddly absent when Rilopenaril gave this task to the Bronze Chords.

959BCE: After many years the Bronze Chords completed their task. They traveled the length and breadth of Apollo’s Plains and slew many beasts and monsters to ensure safe travel for the weaker subjects of the bronze dragons. All the people of the Plains packed up their belongings as directed and migrated to Apollo’s Hill.

958BCE: All the people of Apollo’s Plains came together as one. Rilopenaril announced that they would no longer live separately. They would live together in a new home of his design. Rilopenaril intoned a divine spell and a magnificent structure rose from the crown of Apollo’s Hill. The stone castle rose a thousand feet into the air reinforced by adamantine and lead. The town of Sheerzen came into existence in less time than it takes to bake a cake. All those present were invited to inhabit the castle or return to their villages as they wished. Rilopenaril named the Bronze Chords the leaders of the new community.

957BCE: Rilopenaril mated with the Bronze Chords and some of their existing children, infusing their bloodlines with draconic power. Langudina rarely emerged from her home beneath the Hill.

-GoCorral

Next: Cimmerian Timeline Part 10

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

Characters of Cimmeria: Shratalanda

shratalanda

Shratalanda was a masterful elvish psion and the hidden guide of the Dragon War’s heroes. She foresaw the injustices the dragons’ law would create and set in motion events leading to the Dragon War. Many of the heroes of the Dragon War were unknowingly touched by Shratalanda at some point in their lives. For her own part in the Dragon War, Shratalanda favored magically transforming her body into a weapon in its own right and going toe to toe with her opponent.

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Cimmerian Timeline Part 5

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 4

I’m taking a swing at finishing more of the Cimmerian Timeline, but this entry is not chronologically synced with the others. Instead, this post will be about what I’ve written for the first five heroes of the Dragon War. Where do their exploits stand in time prior to the events leading directly to the Dragon War? What year did Tracy steal all those weapons? How long did Jovy and Cecilia travel for? Now’s as good a time as any to input that information into the Timeline. Some of those events are still dependent on other factors though before I decide the specific year in the Timeline. Because of that, I’m only putting in Tentineh, Jovy, and Cecilia’s backgrounds.

954BCE: Hymniara was born along the western Caspian coast.

945BCE: Tentineh was born to a merchant couple in Greshen Valley. His mother had been stung by a wyvern in her youth. The wyvern’s poison still festered in her body and it transferred into Tentineh, giving him great physical and magical strength.

941BCE: Hymniara began running with the followers of Artemis and considered joining their band permanently.

939BCE: Hymniara’s dreams were cut short when she encountered Zeus in the form of a trout. The pair enjoyed carnal relations. Hymniara declared the loss of her innocence to Artemis. She left the band on good terms with a gift of fish scale armor.

938BCE: Hymniara gave birth to Cecilia. Tentineh began his apprenticeship to a wizard and descendant of Sadroston.

937BCE: While still a babe, jealous Hera sent scorpions to poison and kill Cecilia. Instead of dying, Cecilia slew the scorpions and ate them!

933BCE: Jovy was born to a farmer couple in Zeus’s Canvas.

930BCE: Tentineh completed his apprenticeship two years early, already having surpassed his master. He started traveling to learn more about the four elements and how to channel their energy.

926BCE: Cecilia grew into beauty and womanhood. Men approached her and her mother asking for her hand in marriage. Cecilia challenged them to contests of skill and might. If she lost she would marry them. If she won, the men owed her their shield and armor. Many men lost their panoplies and Cecilia stayed a maid.

921BCE: Cecilia left home to travel the world and do great deeds in honor of her patron gods, Artemis and Zeus.

920BCE: Tentineh completed his travels. He built himself a tower in Greshendale and studied summoning magic within his warded home.
Cecilia settled with the Elves of Bigby’s Forest for a time and learned much from then. She mastered wrestling, swordplay, and the basics of magic. While staying with the Elves Cecilia defeated many wolves, bears, basilisks, and orcs.

915BCE: Jovy had grown to be an unruly teenager. He avoided his responsibilities as often as he could, electing to swim, play, and steal rather than complete his farmyard chores. Jovy’s father arranged an early marriage in the hopes that it would force his son to settle down. Jovy took off in the night and never returned home. He journeyed westward, stealing valuables and girls’ hearts along the way.

914BCE: Cecilia learned everything she could and her time with the Elves came to an end. She traveled to the Caspian Sea and followed the coast eastward.
Jovy’s journey took him southward along the Caspian shore.

913BCE: Jovy reached the Aractrash River where Hermes spoke to him. The Olympian told Jovy to build a giant bowl and push it into the River. Jovy built the wooden bowl, but he lacked the strength to push it into the river. At this time Cecilia arrived on her journey. She easily pushed the bowl into the river. As she did so the bowl turned into a double-masted ship with a crew of phantom sailors. Jovy and Cecilia sailed the ship, named Mira Miro, into the Caspian Sea where they slew many sea monsters.

910BCE: Satisfied with all he discovered about of summoning magic, Tentineh finally decided to get married. A ceremony wedded him to his long-time maid and assistant, Fafarella. Fafarella was soon pregnant and the line of Tentineh continued.

908BCE: A troll army attacked Greshendale. Tentineh was unable to defeat the army solely with his command over elemental fire. Forced into a corner, the great wizard summoned a beast from the fiery pit, a great fire slaad. The monster slew the trolls and rested afterwards to regain its strength. Fearful that the people of Greshendale might be the next to feel the slaad’s evil heat, Tentineh poured over old scripts and tomes for a method to seal the slaad away.
Jovy and Cecilia defeated the majority of the sea monsters in the Caspian, freeing the sea for the people of Cimmeria to sail and fish upon. Cecilia returned to her home and protected the growing coastal town from the prevalent monster threats of the time. Jovy stayed upon the Caspian Sea to survey Those Blasted Islands in the sea.

907BCE: Tentineh’s search proved successful. He found a ritual to bind the slaad into an eternal prison. The beast was contained. not wanting to resort to such magic again, Tentineh began training the people of Greshendale to fight and cast magic despite the rule of the dragons that forbade such practices.

906BCE: Jovy completed his survey of Those Blasted Islands. He began transporting people from the Caspian coast to the islands to colonize them. Jovy proclaimed himself King of the Caspian and he began taxing/extorting valuables and commodities from his citizens.

901BCE: A horde of giants attacked Greshendale. Left with no other choice, Tentineh revealed his army in open violation of the dragons’ laws. The giants were defeated, but greater dangers might come as a result.
Jovy took some time off as King of the Caspian to visit the Dwarves in Jord. He fit in like fingers in a glove and became a minor celebrity to the Hill Dwarves.

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

-GoCorral

Next: Cimmerian Timeline Part 6

Characters of Cimmeria: King Jevaninada the First

Today we take a short departure for the heroes of the Dragon War and focus on Jevaninada the First, the villain of a previous campaign I ran in Cimmeria. King Jev was a bit of wish fulfillment on my part for where I wanted my first D&D character, Anxe, to end up if I played him all the way to level 20. I gave Jev a whole kingdom, sweet loot, and an angel for a wife. Might not have been the most mature thing, but I was in high school when I created this character…

Jevaninada I

King Jevaninada the First set Xoria on a path of rapid expansion that has continued to this day. His personal magnetism and cunning manipulation of the Xorian nobles allowed him to discredit his sister’s claim to the throne. With her out of way Jevaninada built an unshakable power base for his invasions into the surrounding lands of Xoria. A well-timed marriage to Anajakaze, Queen of the Amazons and daughter of Zeus, ended the war between Xoria and Amazonia. As if the combined might of the two militaristic cultures wasn’t enough, Jev also commanded a mysterious group of powerful warriors known as the Seven Rages. Jev planned to conquer Cimmeria in its entirety, but his plans were cut short by the mercenaries his sister hired to oppose him. Jevaninada the First was slain at the Battle of Danar’s River. Queen Anajakaze carried on his dream of conquering Cimmeria and after her, his son, Jevaninada the Second.

Jevaninada was born the first prince of Xoria in 478 BCE to his father, King Demotinira, and his mother, Queen Biiratofara. The Queen died in child birth, leaving Demotinira with Jev and his older sister, Tarigananata, as the only surviving members of the royal family. Jev was raised by his Greek wetnurse, Andreiya, while his father attended matters of state such as warring with the Amazons and supplying the new Xorian colony of Petar. Andreiya was an Ionian Greek priestess of Artemis at Ephesus before she was enslaved and sold to the Xorian royal family. She tended the library at Ephesus and had read and copied many books prior to her captivity. She passed this knowledge onto the young prince as he was brought up. There was nary a topic that Jevaninada did not know something about.

When Jevaninada was not studying with Andreiya he learned martial arts with his instructor, General Antapike. The general used a spear when teaching, augmenting his already superior reach. Jev learned to close the gap with speed and trickery. Additionally he learned warcraft from Antapike and his father while observing their war councils before their numerous battles with the Amazons.

Jev’s final teacher was brought about by his father’s neglect. Demotinira believed a Spartan lifestyle bereft of comforts would develop sympathetic feeling in his children for their subjects. this worked for Tarigananata. She developed a natural love for the people of Xoria. Jevaninada reacted… differently. Lacking the luxuries he felt he deserved, Jev turned to theft. He stole jewelery, fine weapons, and elaborate toys from visitors to the castle. When Jev was taken on trips outside the castle he always managed to sneak something back in with him, be it a gold necklace or only a sweet bun. His father ordered Jev’s bodyguards to put a stop to it. The prince only learned which guards could be bribed and which he could hide from.

As Demotinira grew old he made it clear that Princess Tarigananata was his heir. She was the first born and she was a kinder, more generous person. Demotinira wanted a virtuous kingdom to follow his death. Jev’s father died when the prince was 20 years old. At that point Jev had already set his plans in motion to disinherit his sister.

Jevaninada had many friends at court. He convinced the nobles to forestall Princess Tari’s coronation until after consulting the Oracle at Delphi, the Oracle which he had already bribed to reveal a prophecy to his liking. The Oracle returned a prediction that Tarigananata would loose a terrible demon into Xoria twenty years after her father’s death. Jevaninada had her arrested and supposedly executed. In fact, she was saved by General Antapike who had realized Jevaninada’s trickery even if he could not prove it. The General and the Princess fled Xoria while Jevaninada was crowned King Jevaninada the First.

After stealing the throne, Jev was quick to restart war with the nearby Amazons of Dradelden. Half a decade of war proved indecisive until Jev disguised his army as slaves and snuck into Dradelden along with them. A chaotic melee broke out between the Xorian and Amazon troops while Jev sought out the Amazon Queen. After a day and a night of fighting King Jevaninada and Queen Anajakaze emerged together and declared an end to hostilities. From that moment on Xorian and Amazon would work together. Combat stopped and a magical spell initiated an orgy between the previously adversarial parties. King and Queen were soon married with seven strange warriors in attendance. These warriors would come to be known as the Seven Rages.

King Jevaninada used the combined strength of the Xorian army, the Amazon warriors, and the Seven Rages to conquer Makotako, Semanarie, and Colchis. King Aeetes of Colchis was cast into magical servitude, forced to serve Jevaninada as a lord against his will. Meanwhile, Princess Tarigananata had gathered allies of her own.

Nineteen years after King Demotinira’s death, his daughter struck against Jevaninada in a three pronged assault. She led an attack from the east along with Leopold Anigama, Atreides, Salzar, King Archidamus II of Sparta, King Willard of Aractrash, and Amalgami of Phoenix. In the south, Duke Prusu’s city of Jeutontic revolted and the Persian Satrap Orontes invaded. In the west, Tari had freed Aeetes from his the King’s binding magicks. Aeetes led a revolt as well.

King Jevaninada met the eastern attack himself at Danar’s River. Tari’s forces used magic to halt the river’s flow while they crossed and collided with the King’s waiting army. Jevaninada may have prevailed, but the war mage, Salzar, used forbidden destructive magic to kill the king and decimate his army. The Xorian loyalists lost the battle and Jevaninada’s body was taken by the rebels.

Queen Anajakaze ruled on in King Jevaninada’s stead, only recently pregnant with their first child after over a decade of marriage. Jevaninada’s spirit slept fitfully, but when resurrection was attempted upon his ransomed body he chose to remain in the afterlife rather than return to lead his country through the war. Queen Anajakaze’s regency for her unborn son would continue until her death twenty years later.

-GoCorral

Sacramento Underground Tour

This weekend my wife and I went to Old Sac to take one of Sacramento’s Underground Tours.

Old Sac is a historical neighborhood in Sacramento that has turned into a bit of a tourist trap.

All the old buildings from the Gold Rush in the 1850s and 60s are still there, converted into restaurants and gift shops instead of hotels and supply stores.

(I also feel a personal responsibility to warn you about La Terraza restaurant in Old Sac. Food’s bad! Don’t be tempted by the spectacular view! Stay away!)

Bunch of old buildings, right? What can we learn from the tour?

Tour comes with everything you see here!
Tour comes with everything you see here!

Our tour guide, Schoolmaster Mrs. Appleton, told us the basics of Sacramento history first that every Californian knows. Continue reading

Characters of Cimmeria: Cecilia

Whew! This one took a lot longer to write than I thought it would. A little late for “D&D Mondays.” I should still be able to keep up with one post a week though.

Cecilia

Cecilia the Salt Champion was the daughter of Zeus and the mortal Hymniara. The founder of the city that now bears her name and liberator of the Caspian, Cecilia slew the great sea beasts that prowled the sea. She accomplished many other great tasks on land as well as befriending the dolphins and the people of the sea. During the Dragon War, Cecilia imprisoned the black dragons. All her tasks were done in the name of her lord-father, Zeus, while wielding a shining sword that he gave to her. The sword was buried with her deep beneath the earth where Cecilia slumbers, awaiting the return of the black dragons.

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Characters of Cimmeria: Danar

My friend, Zigfried, chose a character that already existed in Cimmeria’s history as his PC. I gave him a lot of leeway to design the character how he wanted and Zigfried ended up shaping the history of Cimmeria in a big way through his choices. He wrote the backstory for his character, Danar, which is presented here. I have edited it, but this is primarily Zigfried’s work. As such this post is written in a different style than my own.

Additionally, Danar’s history is still a work in progress. I will return to this to edit existing information and add more events in Danar’s life at a later time.

Danar

The Nameless Childhood

Danar was born into a hatch of six brothers and sisters, himself included. This hatch was the 10th royal-blooded generation spawned from the mating of the bronze dragon, Rilopenarol and his human mate, Izalith. From birth, each child of Rilopenarol’s blood was destined to have a brutal upbringing on account of Sheerzen’s laws of royal succession.

For the 10 generations prior, the throne of Sheerzen had been decided by natural selection: every child with a claim to the throne was made to compete in a fraternal contest of might and deception. Only one child could live to assume the throne of Sheerzen, the rest must die. Traditionally, the royal family’s worth was decided through magical duels to the death. A dangerous future loomed before Danar, as he was considered in court to be the “runt” of the litter in terms of magical aptitude.

Danar’s difficulties in harnessing his magical abilities were further compounded by his compassionate spirit. He could not bear the idea of bringing pain to his brothers and sisters during their sparring sessions. Filled with despair, he went to the grand dragon Rilopenarol, who showed compassion to all of his broodlings, and asked for his wisdom. Rilopenarol heard his pleas and said “Henceforth, you are exiled from the city of Sheerzen. Cast aside your surname and flee now.”

The words were harsh, but the tone and meaning were not. Danar understood what it was that he must do. It was forbidden for any broodling to leave Sheerzen before an heir had been decided, so that night Danar fought through a number of guards as he escaped the city and the contest for the
throne. He fled deep into the wilderness until hunger, exhaustion, and his wounds began to overtake him.

Deep in the marshlands east of Sheerzen, Danar saw the flickering lights of a small village. Danar called out to the villagers as he approached and collapsed as several men ran over to meet the wounded young man.

The Rise of Danar

Danar was nursed back to health by the village that had taken him in, and he soon realized that this humble settlement was plagued by all manner of monstrous beasts. Sympathetic to their plight Danar steeled his will and made a resolution: he would protect these people that had saved him or die trying. He borrowed the largest axe he could find from one of the village’s woodcutters and sat himself in a pose of meditation at the center of the town.

That night a black dire wolf approached. The villagers of the town quickly fled into their homes leaving only Danar outside, waiting in the firelight at the center of town. The wolf lunged at him with intent to kill! Danar dodged and struck it down with a furious and desperate assault from his axe. The villagers emerged from their houses as the wolf howled its death throes. Seeing Danar there, standing over the dead beast, they felt truly safe.

In the years that followed Danar became masterful at slaying dangerous creatures with only an axe and martial prowess. Those that saw him were inspired by his strength and courage and in turn Danar was thankful for the humble people that supported his newfound livelihood. Danar began to teach the other men of the village how to fight and soon enough, he had grown a stable troop of warriors brave and strong enough to easily defend their homes.

Although it was only a small militia, in Danar’s eyes they were greater than any king’s army. He began to lead his men on expeditions to tame the surrounding marshlands and begin more settlements. Danar showed his people what they were capable of by doing it himself first. He never asked a follower to undertake a task that he himself was unwilling to perform. In this way the small village began to thrive and grow.

Invernix Cometh

Stories of Danar the Beastslayer and Hero of Men spread far and wide. His brothers and sisters heard of him in Sheerzen, but cared little. Danar was the runaway that had cast off his responsibility to fight and struggle for the throne. Officially he had been exiled and his existence was no longer of concern of the royal court. But the tales of Danar the Beastslayer and the prosperity of his growing federation of villages reached further to other, more sinister ears.

Invernix, the great red dragon and infernal wyrm, heard of the broodling of Rilopenarol who had arrogantly cast aside his draconic heritage to gallivant with men among the swamps. Enraged by the thought of a mere dragonkin believing himself to be greater than his draconic bloodline, Invernix took wing and flew to Danar’s Marshlands. For weeks Invernix burned out settlement after settlement among the riverlands in order to force Danar into confronting him.

Danar hesitated to confront Invernix directly. Not for fear of his own life, but for fear of what would become of his people should he fail and allow Invernix to destroy him. He spent this time evacuating his people safely and trying to devise some means by which to defeat the great red dragon. His hand was forced, however when a brave young elf approached him with a plan to confront Invernix.

Danar had met the elf named Eathirilu before. Eathirilu was a druid, a priest and defender of the wilds. Eathirilu wished to halt the spread of civilization into the unspoiled marshlands which hmade him an enemy of Danar’s in the past. He had been causing issues with Danar’s settlements by destroying dams and foiling the attempts of hunting parties. Despite this, the intrinsic value of human life still held a place in Eathirilu’s heart. Invernix’s wanton destruction was far worse than the slow encroachment of civilization. Eathirilu sought the only one strong enough to standup to Invernix, his previous enemy Danar.

Danar and Eathirilu battled Invernix for hours, surviving by the skin of their teeth by using the dense cover of the marshlands to their advantage. Invernix rained down hellfire and would dive only to find his prey had eluded him. Each time he became more and more enraged by the insolence of the mortals. Inevitably, the brave duo succumbed to Invernix’s power. The young druid was unconscious and on the edge of death and Danar found himself pinned beneath Invernix’s massive foreclaw. It was then that Danar made a final desperate plea to Invernix. He shouted that he would do anything the dragon wished, but spare the elf and his people. Invernix was pleased.

Invernix made Danar a solitary offer. Return to Sheerzen and take the throne with extreme prejudice. Should Danar fail to become king of Sheerzen, Invernix promised that he would hunt down every construct of man west of Sheerzen and raze them to the ground. At this time, a small group of Danar’s men charged Invernix hoping to free their endangered champion. Invernix quickly smote them to ash and a large swath of greenery with them to punctuate his conditions.

Danar’s heart sunk as he watched the men die. He steeled himself and agreed to the great dragon’s terms. With his pride satisfied, Invernix moved his claw from Danar and departed as swiftly as he had descended on the marshlands. Danar pulled himself up. Seeing the spirits of nature approaching to care for Eathirilu, Danar left the elven druid and trudged his way back to his village to lick his wounds…

Ascent to the Throne

Danar healed quickly and began to make plans for the return to his city of birth. He had always attempted to fight and lead without the use of his magical potential, but still practiced it all these years, combining his magical talents with his martial abilities in secret. Danar instructed his best blacksmiths to forge a new weapon of his design. This axe was not merely a large implement to behead creatures. No, this time he had his men make a truly elegant weapon of masterful design.

Danar told his people that he needed to seek protection for their settlement from the grand city of Sheerzen, and to know that they were always in his heart. And thus, the hero left the people he had saved to confront his past.

There was a great uproar when Danar showed up at the court of Sheerzen. All were outraged at the audacity of returning to claim what he had cast aside, whilst his siblings had been battling their entire lives for the throne. Furthermore, the heir of Sheerzen had all but been decided already. Danar’s eldest brother, Einhart, had proven himself to be the strongest and most gifted and all of their other siblings had undergone voluntary sterilization rather than be executed. Danar challenged Einhart to mortal combat to be held the next day. The court hissed, saying that Danar no longer had the necessary standing, but Einhart ignored them. The heir apparent confidently accepted the duel with the prodigal son, eager for any chance to further prove his right to the throne.

The two brothers fought the next day in the central elevator for all of Sheerzen to see. Einhart was a truly gifted sorcerer, but Danar had spent years facing overwhelming odds and teaching others how to accomplish the same. He would not be defeated. He cleaved his eldest brother in twain, but not before losing his right eye to a bolt of energy. Danar proved himself the true heir of Sheerzen and no other would challenge his claim to the throne after that day…

Danar, King of Dragonkin

Danar’s coronation was a momentous occasion for the city. The nobles hailed him as a prodigy tempered by the wilds, returned to restore order to the city. Danar was disgusted by the insincerity of the court he now presided over; however, he was overjoyed to be welcomed back by his ancestor Rilopenarol, who seemed truly unsurprised by the events as they unfolded.

Days after Danar’s coronation, an elder earth elemental named Rhinston arrived bearing a gift from the king of earth elementals. It was the fossilized gem eye of one of Rilopenarol’s own ancestors. The eye of an ancient dragon in crystal orb form, magically resized with the intention of serving as Danar’s replacement for the grievous injury he had suffered. The orb looked much like a living draconic eye and glowed with a pale green magical aura. Danar accepted the gift and allowed the earth elemental to place it in his gaping socket. All surviving portraits of Danar display him after this day, wearing an eyepatch of royal status over his crystallized draconic eye.

And so Danar was king of Sheerzen, but in his heart he was biding time. His hate for Invernix and the tyranny he had suffered festered, and Danar dreamt of the day that he could truly ensure that his people were safe. He honed his skills as a warrior, and developed his potential for magic much further than any would have thought possible for the “runt” of his hatch. Under Danar’s wise rule, Sheerzen prospered and the king cared greatly for his people regardless of their dogma for draconic superiority.

The people of swamp, however, forsook his name. They believed their savior had abandoned them for the glory of the throne. They no longer saw him as the hero that had led them to survive and later thrive when it seemed impossible. Eventually, without Danar’s immediate protection, the people of the swamp lands drifted away from the Fingers, leaving it the uninhabited waste that it is today.

To be continued with stories about the Dragon War!

-GoCorral

Cimmeria Planning: The Dragon War

There’s an event in Cimmerian history that I described to my players but never really detailed called the Dragon War.

It’s a turning point in the history of my campaign world. I have a basic outline of it, but managing the writing of it is difficult with the way I’ve set the blog right now.

Let me explain what the event is first.

My campaign is currently taking place around 400BCE. 500 years ago, around 900BCE, dragons ruled Cimmeria.

The dragons were definitely evil and nasty. They ate people, stole wealth, and burned crops just to watch people starve.

Ten brave heroes, who had accomplished many things on their own, joined together to lead a rebellion against the dragons.

The dragon’s slave armies were defeated and the heroes took the fight directly to the dragons.

Dragons come in ten varieties in D&D, Red, Blue, Green, Black, White, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Copper, and Brass. One for each of the ten heroes.

Death is only a temporary thing for divine creatures in Greek mythology so when the heroes defeated the dragons, they imprisoned the monsters instead of killing them.

A pair of dragons had ruled each of the colors. The heroes trapped one dragon of each pair in a mystical orb while the other dragon was set to guard the orb for all eternity. The orbs, infused with draconic might, give whoever holds them the power to command dragons of that orb’s color.

If you’ve played D&D, yes, these are the infamous artifacts, the Orbs of Dragonkind.

The heroes split the Orbs up and set further defenses around them. Additionally, instead of dying normal deaths, the heroes accepted a sort of cryopreservation. If the Orbs were ever broken and the dragons released upon the world once more, a hero would be awoken to renew the fight against the flying lizards.

One of my players, Zigfried, has a character who is one of these awakened heroes, Danar.

But back to the point of this post, why is it difficult to write about this for my blog?

The problem hinges around the heroes having “accomplished many things on their own” prior to working as a group.

If I write this as a Timeline post first, then I practically have to come up with the history for all ten heroes before even starting.

If I write this as Characters of Cimmeria entries, I still have to come up with the specific events of the Dragon War as all ten of the heroes would’ve interacted with that part.

I’m going to break away from the boundaries I set for myself a little bit and write about the events leading up to the Dragon War in a different way.

I’ll start with an unfinished Characters of Cimmeria entry for each of the ten heroes detailing their adventures during the time of draconic opression before joining together. Once the events of the Dragon War are completely written I can go back and complete the Characters of Cimmeria entries along with the Timeline.

Zigfried already did a lot of work on Danar’s backstory. I’ll post an editted version of his work on Monday and start writing the others for the coming weeks.

-GoCorral

Nox

Nox

Nox, the jewel of Xoria, boasts a population of over 200,000 people and the largest collection of magical artifacts. The artifacts are kept at the Museum of Power in the center of the metropolis. Because of the destructive potential of these various weapons, visitors are only admitted to the museum by petitioning King Jevaninada II himself. The collection includes the Sanguine Belt of the Night Mother, the Mace of Slaughter, the Invisible Ring of Cats, the Crescent of Wrath, the Fork of Horripilation, the Ten League Boots, the Face of Gods, the Ring of Impervious, the Prismatic Blade, Sin’s Mask, the Shadowstaff, the Staff of Not, the Ring of Draconic Wizardry, the Orb of Omniscience, a Hammer of Thunderbolts, a Deck of Many Things, and a Staff of the Magi. A few more items would be in the stockpile if the king himself was not using them. The possible depredations these items could commit led to the gods themselves granting aid for their protection. Hades allowed the resurrection of Argus from the dead if he would keep his hundred eyes upon all the artifacts in the Museum of Power. The museum is one large hall with Argus standing in the center of it, eternally watching and guarding the items to make sure none of them go missing.

Nox is the capital of Xoria and is ruled by King Jevaninada II, patriarch of the Xorian royal family. While Jevaninada II’s official duties include the administration of  Nox, he is far too busy with the ongoing war between Xoria and the Alliance in Eastern Cimmeria. Daily tasks in the city are delegated to Firotoshan, one of Jevaninada’s friends from childhood with a great head for numbers. Nearly every day he can be seen leading some public works project to benefit the upper class, executing criminals, or welcoming new Dragovinians into the fold. To many citizens, Firotoshan is the symbol of Xorian oppression. The Rebels have tried to assassinate him several times, but failed in all attempts. Firotoshan was the one who suggested the practice of using Dragovinian beasts to monitor the commoners and crush dissent.

The Kingdom of Xoria began its true expansion under King Demotinira. He conquered the cities of Jeutontic and Cecilia and setup the successful colony of Petar. When Demotinira died he left his throne to his eldest child, his daughter, Tarigananata. His son, Jevaninada I, rallied the nobles of Xoria against Tarigananata, claiming that she was possessed by a demon. She was exiled and Jevaninada I took control of Xoria and Nox. He continued the expansion of the Kingdom, taking over Dradalden, Colchis, Makotako, and Semanarie. As his invasions threatened more and more of Cimmeria, the First Alliance was formed by Princess Tarigananata to reverse Jevaninada’s actions. The First Alliance took several cities and killed Jevaninada I. Jevaninada’s Amazon Queen Anajakaze took control of the growing Empire and ultimately crushed the Alliance.

During the last months of the war, Anajakaze gave birth to Jevaninada II, the son and king of Xoria. Until he turned eighteen and could take the throne, Anajakaze ruled as his regent. She continued the relentless expansion, taking over Gazeara, Danar’s Swamp, Crafterton, and Sheerzen. Anajakaze implemented a matriarchal system of leadership, placing women in positions of power to undermine the traditional patriarchy. Jevaninada II resented this system and wished to return to the old ways. Anajakaze, aware of this, did not surrender her regency when Jevaninada II came of age.

Both Jevaninada II and Anajakaze were in for a surprise. After months of insisting that his mother step down, Jevaninada II attacked her in an attempt to force her compliance with his wishes. Their battle was interrupted by the arrival of Blendegad the Reaper, vampiric red dragon. Blendegad slew the queen and drank the blood of Jevaninada II. The vampiric dragon blood mixed with Jevaninada II’s divine royal blood creating a new form of vampire, Dragovinians.

A new religion was created for Xoria, Dragoviniysm. The deity, Blendegad, and his avatar, Jevaninada II, asked for service from their subjects and the immortal status of the Dragovinian was gifted to the faithful. The matriarchal reforms were reversed. Jevaninada II spent twenty years securing his power within his own Kingdom. Then in 400 BCE, Jevaninada II mobilized the Xorian people to attack the Second Alliance city of Phoenix. After several years, the city was taken. Jevaninada II splits his time between directing activities on the front and performing his duties in Castle Xoria at Nox.

Originally all the buildings of Nox were contained within the city walls, but more and more people immigrated to the city over the years. Now less than twenty percent of Nox’s population is actually protected by the walls. The rest of the city sprawls outwards to the west and north. After a large fire within the walls decades ago the city was rebuilt with orderly straight streets. The fire also allowed the nobles of Xoria to cluster their estates around Castle Xoria in the center of Nox.

Although Castle Xoria is not as physically strong as Colchis Castle or Sheerzen, it does have the advantage of being a complete maze. Most of the inner passageways are only two or three feet across. Guests often get lost if not accompanied by a member of the castle staff or a noble. There was even one noble who was thought dead for ten years who resurfaced in the castle. He had lost his way and survived on rat flesh and moss for a decade. The problem is so severe that some visitors to the castle are sure that magic is at work.

The nearby wood is called the King’s Copse because only Jevaninada II and his guests are allowed within the forest’s borders. He goes there occasionally on hunting trips, but the copse is used for nothing else. Any who venture into it are never seen again. The wood that Nox uses for fires, buildings, and furniture is acquired from the thin Royal Forest to the northwest or imported from Makotako.

Nox’s main export is food. In the past this was sent to Persia, Scythia, or the rest of Cimmeria. With the war underway, all excess food is sent to the front to feed the troops. This is especially necessary due to the shortage within Phoenix due to the prolonged siege. Nox continues to import luxury items for the many nobles in the city. With the explosion of Dragovinianism among the nobles, rare bloods are now in high demand.

The high concentration of Dragovinians in Nox has also put a great deal of pressure upon the common people in the capital city. The nobles and others gifted with Dragovinian status don’t spend all their time drinking exotic imported blood. Usually they gain their sustenance from the weekly ceremony where citizens are forced to gather in Dragovinian churches to “donate.” Bloodletting is spread throughout the populace to prevent injury or death, but the practice remains demeaning. Coupled with the everyday depridations of the Dragovinians due to their naturally evil disposition and the people of Nox are ready to revolt. The Dragovinian beasts prevent direct action within the city, so many people have fled the city to join the Rebellion in Bigby’s Forest.

-GoCorral