Characters of Cimmeria: Amalius Halkias

amalius2

Amalius Halkias is a controversial figure in the Second Alliance and a powerful psion proficient in telepathy, hypercognition, time manipulation, and elemental magic. His father, Amalganus, founded the Second Alliance, and Amalius followed his father’s footsteps to become a member of the Alliance Council. He was subsequently ostracized from the Alliance once it was discovered that he was an unwilling Xorian spy and the descendant of Amalgami, the same man who had betrayed the First Alliance and left it to ruin. Amalius managed to repair his reputation by striking a deal with Hades to resurrect thousands of Alliance soldiers, but his relationship with some of the other Alliance Council members is still rocky. Continue reading

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: Amalchus Halkias

Amalchus

Amalchus is the son of the founder of the Second Alliance, Amalganus Halkias, and the grandson of Amalgami the Betrayer as well. His father’s accomplishments gave Amalchus a position of power and respect in Jipangu. He used this clout to become a successful horse merchant; however, when his grandfather’s name became public, Amalchus was exiled from Jipangu. He has survived living off his business experience and the generosity of his older brother, Amalius. Continue reading

Characters of Cimmeria: Hektor Rackgard

Another PC coming at you! This character is played by my friend who goes by Middle_Snu on the Internet. We worked together on writing his backstory so he deserves equal credit for what you see here.

Hektor

Hektor Rackgard is a powerful wizard and a key figure in the Alliace and the Exiles that split off from the Alliance, secretly maintaining a place in both groups for a time. Hektor’s magical expertise lies in summoning, shapeshifting, scrying, and quick elimination of foes through a number of offensive but not necessarily lethal means.

Hektor Rackgard was born to a minor noble of the small Aractrashan town, Lakatia. His father wished Continue reading

Locations of Cimmeria: Geyser of Talos

Geyser of Talos

The Geyser of Talos is a magical location in the far north of Cimmeria. The Geyser lies about a day’s journey west of the origin point of the Great Divide river which separates Cimmeria’s western and eastern halves.

When the Olympians moved to Cimmeria, Hephaestus was looking for a location to set up his new forge. Before finding his permanent home in Horror Peak he made a temporary work station for himself at the base of the Terror Mountains. Needing water to quench his red-hot iron, Hephaestus struck his hammer upon the ground and a geyser shot up. Since the smith god vacated the area, the Geyser has dwindled, only erupting every few months. The water still retains the magical qualities imbued into it by its progenitor, making it useful for all manner of things. Continue reading

Characters of Cimmeria: Amalganus Halkias

This character’s story was largely created and written by Throgg, a player in my D&D campaign. Amalganus is the son of a previous character of his and the father of his current character, providing a paternal link through the time that passed between his two PCs.

Amalganus

Amalganus was a Jipanguese military leader, politician, and international organizer. In his military career he fought on the frontlines with his men, often protecting them from blows with his mighty shield. Amalganus was catapulted to fame when King Jevaninada II and the Dragovinians rose to power in Xoria. Only a minor lord at the time, Amalganus’s extraordinary charisma allowed him to organize the Second Alliance of Cimmerian city-states. Approximately a decade after the formation of the Second Alliance, Amalganus disappeared on a journey with uncertain goals in the west and was never heard from again. The Second Alliance is certainly Amalganus’s legacy, standing as a bastion of Cimmerian independence and courage against the imperial threat of Xorian expansion.

Amalganus was the son of Amalgami the Betrayer and Emelia, the daughter of a Phoenixian merchant. Emelia’s father disavowed her and kicked her out of his home after Amalgami betrayed the First Alliance. Pregnant with Amalganus, Emelia fled to Yuettencal in the Aractrashan Kingdom. She gave birth in June 438BCE.

Emelia supported herself and her son by selling her fine clothes and jewelry she brought with her from Phoenix. In time this money dried up. Left without other options, Emelia used her remaining clothes and refined social skills to become an upper class aristocrat. She quickly attracted the attention of an elderly Jipanguese lord named Humanto Moshiro who visited her on business trips. Humanto loved Emelia dearly and brought her back to Jipangu as his concubine. Amalganus was raised as a ward by the military household of Kowitari.

Amalganus trained with the other young nobles showing incredible talent and potential. He squired for a respectable officer, Dilaeon Kowitari, performing admirably and winning much honor. Amalganus was soon placed at the side of ranking officers as he was groomed for a command of his own. Around this time Emelia and Humanto were blessed with a son, Purodu.

Amalganus accompanied a small mission to defend the countryside from trolls. Amalganus demonstrated exceptional skill and decision making by saving the life of his superior officer, as well as rallying his unit’s forces for a decisive victory over the trolls. Unfortunately, in the aftermath tragedy struck the Moshiro family. Purodu who had always been sickly, died. Humanto’s old body could not bear the sorrow. His heart gave out soon after and he followed Purodu into the Underworld. With his sole heir by blood dead, Humanto’s lordship passed to Amalganus.

Amalganus’s military record continued to shine. He received many marriage proposals and decided to solidify his relationship with the Kowitari family by marrying a daughter of their house, Hiroka. Amalganus’s house commanded respect throughout the city, even though he possessed a mere 18 years. The public loved him and he was commonly referred to as, “an old soul”, having inherited the charisma that propelled his ancestors into power. Amalganus recognized the growing threat of the Dragovinian aristocracy in the west. Almost as soon as Jevaninada II took the throne, Amalganus began to organize the Second Alliance.

Amalganus continued to gain honor and respect, both as military leader in Jipangu but also as the head of the growing Second Alliance. Hope spread that the Xorians would not invade if presented with a united resistance. As the Second Alliance grew, so did Amalganus’s family. Hiroka bore Amalganus his first son, Amalius, in February 420BCE. Amelia was born in May 418BC and Amalchus in October 417BCE.

In 412BCE Emelia grew incurably sick. On her deathbed, she revealed to Amalganus the truth about his father, a fact she had kept hidden, as well as the family name “Halkias”. Shocked and horrified, Amalganus vowed to reclaim the honor of House Halkias. The only path to clear the Halkias name lay in bringing Amalgami to justice. Amalganus secretly began the hunt by pouring through historical documents for clues to Amalgami’s location.

After two years of research and hired detectives, Amalganus tracked Amalgami down in Greece. In a rare moment of poor judgement, Amalganus abandoned his family and responsibilities in Jipangu to travel west in search of his father. He found Amalgami posing as a noble named Alcibiades in Athens. Amalgami had long since abandoned his humanity and he attacked Amalganus upon seeing him. An epic combat ensued. Amalganus fought valiantly, forcing his lich of a father to his knees. Amalganus stopped short of delivering the final blow to his own father. Amalgami took advantage of this moment of hesitation and decapitated Amalganus with Korm.

Amalganus’s body was brought to Amalgami’s hideout in Ionia along with Amalius who had witnessed the final combat between his relatives. Amalgami locked the body away in a room that Amalius was forbidden to enter. The body was presumably experimented on before being disposed of. The final resting place of Amalganus Halkias remains unknown.

-GoCorral

Jipangu

Jipangu

Jipangu is a large city of 110,000 people in the middle of Zeus’s Canvas. Most of the people in the city have some relation to one noble family or another even if they are several hundred steps away from being leader of their family. All this nobility confuses outsiders, but for those who grow up with it, the whole hierarchy makes perfect sense. In fact, the natives find societies without this level of nobility difficult to understand.

Jipangu is built on Zeus’s Canvas, a place in which great storms rage year round. The city is atop a large, dirt-covered, rock plateau. The constant deluges do not have disastrous effects for the citizens when they are inside the city. Irrigation canals reroute the large amount of rain from the plateau into the rice patty fields that feed the large population of Jipangu. An ancient orchard also exists close to the city. It has many different types of fruit that are eaten by the Jipanguese and the birds that flock around it. Sounders of pigs are kept around the city for the disposal of waste and to provide fresh meat for the citizens.

Honor is very important to the Jipanguese. The slightest offense or indignity is settled with a duel or immediate compensation; thus, there are many duel shrines in every section of the city. These places look like large square gazebos with benches on the outside for spectators to watch the duels if they wish. Within the shrine a weapons bracket holds a variety of wooden weapons. Most duels are decided by the first hit landed with a wooden weapon. Serious offenses will proceed until one combatant is rendered unconscious. Only in extremely dire circumstances are duels to the death. Duels to the death are scheduled in advance to allow both sides to make arrangements should they die. Such duels attract large crowds.

Because of all these duels the average citizen in Jipangu can act to carry out his own justice. The high sense of honor prevents most of the citizenry from abusing their skills. Jipangu has neither police force nor the need for it because of all the trained swordsmen. Secret crimes, like burglary, are still committed in Jipangu. Such crimes are investigated by the government detective agency, Tarot De’Longshare. The army handles riots and revolts when they do occur. The system works well and crime in the city is swiftly punished.

Jipangu has a militaristic culture. A strong man is respected and gains honor with every fight he wins. Weak men lose their political power without repeated reinforcement from their other traits. The high value on physical strength makes surrender an unacceptable and cowardly option. The Jipanguese army does not retreat from battle. Politicians do not change their positions when the situation changes. This adamancy in one’s decisions once they are made means very few things are said with uncertainty in Jipangu. An unofficial law has sprung up that if one breaks their word, they will be exiled.

Jipangu has a traditional style of clothes that is worn at all times by people in the city-state. Anyone not doing so is socially ridiculed and outcast. The traditional garb is a long, colored vest worn over a white shirt. The color of the vest indicates the wearer’s honor and position in the hierarchy of Jipangu. A headband is also worn that signifies special achievements by the symbols upon it. The pants of the outfit are extremely baggy below the knee, but no other special significance is applied to them. Silk is of course better than cotton or wool. Pants are worn by both sexes except at special ceremonies. There are no special shoes worn with the outfit. Armor is not worn within the city except by soldiers.

The official Jipanguese army of 7,000 is one of the best equipped and trained in Cimmeria, but it lacks unity. The soldiers fight for themselves and their own honor. Tactics are often simply choosing where the troops will charge from. The army does contain infantry, cavalry, archery, clerical, and magical units. Each unit has its general and each general has his centurions. They meet before each battle to discuss where they will fight, but since honor is obtained through killing with your own sword, instead of the overall victory, they will work on their on.

Jipangu has a First Family that rules over the whole city and decides disputes between the other families. The most honorable family holds this position and only loses it in a challenge by another family or through a major dishonorable event for the First Family. In the case of a dishonored First Family a council of all the families is called to decide which of them will take the place of the First Family in the new order.

The art of the city is some of the best in the world and it is present throughout the whole city. Almost every object, piece of furniture, and wall is decorated in some way. Vines, flowers, and all things natural and beautiful are usually the subject of art. If Jipanguese art was a representation of the real world then there would be no people, actions, or conflict in it. These things are always absent from the walls, paintings, and sculptures of Jipangu. Their focus is on still-life pictures.

Jipangu joined the Second Alliance against Xoria. Arendil, the current head of the First Family, leads the Alliance as well. Jipangu is currently hosting thousands of refugees that escaped from Phoenix when the city was conquered by the Xorians. The influx of people puts a strain on Jipangu’s resources, but imports from the rest of the Alliance have alleviated some of that burden.

The refugees of Phoenix along with many people from Dalleer, Dorrowsan, and Shalerton have all gathered outside of Jipangu for military training. Gradorian and Junai, the previous leaders of the Mercenaries Guild of Phoenix, are in charge of this vast training program. Kig Yupington assists the two generals as he can with the Dorrowsan Scepter. The training is further accelerated by rituals read from the Tome of Agamemnon. These rituals purify water teleported to the city from the Geyser of Talos. Any who drink this water are transformed into a terrifying warrior for a day. This transformation allows the trainees at Jipangu to learn techniques and strategies that would normally be beyond their abilities.

Geyser of Talos
Where ye Geyser of Talos is for reference

-GoCorral