Cimmerian Timeline Part 22

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 21

995BCE: King Cogard swiftly realized that the royal courtiers were cutting him out of decision making to enrich themselves and their clans. Not wishing to play the dance of politics, Cogard went on a tour of the far-flung Dwarven communities.

994BCE: King Cogard met with the disparate Dwarven settlements in Zeus’s Canvas. He listened to the concerns about resource distribution among the clans and promised to resolve it. He organized trade deals between the different villages and granted titles of nobility to those who cooperated. The Dwarves of Zeus’s Canvas became enamored with their king.

993BCE: The inept Dwarven Council realized King Cogard’s tour was an attempt to circumvent their control and go directly to the people for support. As Cogard continued on his journey to the Dominarie Mountains, the Dwarven Council sent emissaries ahead to spread rumors that would upset Cogard’s diplomatic visit to that country. When the Dwarven King arrived he proposed a united kingdom through his marriage to Queen Shortrastor. The deceitful warnings of the Council spoiled Cogard’s plans. Shortrastor rebuffed his advances. Cogard left with nothing gained for his trip to the south.

991BCE: King Cogard continued his journey northward and met with the clans of the Terror Mountains. He offered human slaves as sacrifices to the dragons, ingratiating himself into the favor of the clan leaders by following their local customs.

989BCE: Cogard went deep into the Terror Mountains and eventually he reached the Underdark. His entourage had grown considerably since the start of his tour. In the Underdark where the dragons couldn’t reach they grew into an army. The Deep Dwarves were in conflict with the other Underdark races. King Cogard organized his citizens and went on campaign for the first time.

984BCE: King Cogard’s campaigns in the Underdark went well. His talented command earned him the loyalty of the Deep Dwarves. He began the return journey to the Dalleer refugee camp.

983BCE: King Cogard arrived back in Dalleer. The Dwarven Regency Council knew they were beat. They surrendered control to their king.

-GoCorral

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Cimmerian Timeline Part 21

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 20

One thing I forgot to mention in my previous post was the necessity of a separate Dwarven kingdom in the Dominarie Mountains. This kingdom will be wiped out by a Hobgoblin invasion later on in my campaign world’s history. I forgot about it because the kingdom doesn’t exist in the “present” (~400BCE).

1046BCE: A red dragon named Kenderax attacked Fangaroot along with thousands of Kobold soldiers. Kenderax incinerated Karnafaust and most of the royal family in the initial attack. Without leadership the Dwarves were unable to organize an effective defense against the draconic invasion. Fangaroot was abandoned and the Dwarven population fled to the south along the Black River.
While going downriver on a raft, Karnafaust’s sister-in-law gave birth to a son named Cogard. Cogard was the nephew of Karnafaust and heir to the throne.

1045BCE: The Dwarven refugees established a camp on the location that would eventually be Dalleer. Cogard was obviously too young to rule so a group of Dwarven elders formed a council to govern the dispossessed.

1044BCE: The Dwarven people quickly realized the ineffectual leadership of the Dwarven Council would not save them or revive their culture. Thousands of Dwarves left the refugee camp to settle in smaller communities across Cimmeria.

1042BCE: A group of Dwarves settled in Zeus’s Canvas in loosely linked communities structured around rigid social structure with theocratic leadership.

1039BCE: Dwarven settlements spring up all along the Terror Mountains. These Dwarves paid homage to their dragon leaders with Human sacrifices.

1035BCE: The loose theocratic organization of the Zeus’s Canvas Dwarves was not well-suited for everyone. A significant group of Dwarves led by a Dwarven woman named Shortrastor headed south. They formed a new kingdom in the Dominarie Mountains with Shortrastor as their queen.

1024BCE: Many Dwarves were upset by the sacrifice of sentient life in the Terror Mountain Dwarf communities. Unfortunately, their status as draconic subjects meant leaving could be a short and lethal endeavor. To escape the dragons a group of Dwarves went into the Underdark where the dragons could not follow. In the deep earth they made a life for themselves.

996BCE: King Cogard turned 50 and came of age. He was coronated, but the Dwarven council did not relinquish governmental control to their designated sovereign.

-GoCorral

Next: Cimmerian Timeline Part 22

Characters of Cimmeria: Karnafaust

karnafaust

Karnafaust was the first Dwarf and the first Dwarven King. King Karnafaust always put his people first, but his hot temper often led him to make decisions to their detriment. He led the Dwarves in quitting the Conclave to found the city of Fangaroot and he was the first mortal to be brought back to life under the Resurrection Pact of Hades. Karnafaust died a second time during Kenderax the dragon’s attack on Fangaroot. The dragon devoured his bones, so he was never buried, but a shrine in his memory was built in Dalleer. Continue reading

Characters of Cimmeria: The Dwarven Kings

Dwarf King

The Dwarves of Cimmeria are split into four races led by four kings. The four races are Hill Dwarves, Mountain Dwarves, Deep Dwarves, and Duergar. Hill Dwarves live in the lowlands of Cimmeria with a large concentration in Jord where the Hill Dwarf King is. The Mountain Dwarf Kingdom is in the Terror Mountains with their capital at Highhold. Deep Dwarves live in the tunnels of the Underdark under Northern Cimmeria. Similarly, Duergar live underneath Western Cimmeria.

Torngar, Dragonslayer, King of the Mountain Dwarves, and High King of All Dwarves

Torngar reigns over all Dwarves from his seat at Highhold. He is a gruff old man, but skilled in the arts of statecraft and war. In his youth he spent his time with a group of dragonslaying adventurers, but he has long since settled down. When the Fierce Axe of Dwarvish Lords was reclaimed from the Xorians a Kingsmoot was called. Torngar invited the other Kings to Highhold and held the meeting there to decide which of them would wield the Fierce Axe and preside over a united Dwarven people. Torngar won the Axe by promising aid for the Alliance to King Dainlin, the Generalship of the army to Deekgaon, and the reclamation of the Duergar homelands to Sandil.

Dainlin, Master of Hammers, King of the Hill Dwarves

Dainlin joined the Second Alliance just as his father had joined the First Alliance decades before. He fought alongside other Alliance soldiers in the battles leading up to the Siege of Phoenix. During the siege, Dainlin returned to Jord to placate his advisors who did not wish him to die in a battle defending foreign lands.

When the Fierce Axe of Dwarvish Lords was found by Dainlin’s great-nephew, Torin, the King toyed with the idea of taking the Axe for himself and proclaiming himself High King. Dainlin reasoned that he had to call a Kingsmoot instead. Taking the High Kingship for himself might not bring aid to the embattled Alliance and could even lead to a civil war amongst the Dwarves.

At the Kingsmoot, King Dainlin threw his support behind any who would bring the entirety of the Dwarven forces into the Second Alliance War on the Alliance’s side. Torngar agreed to this condition and Dainlin pledged his fealty to the new High King.

Deekgaon, Axe Seeker, General of the Dwarven Army, King of the Deep Dwarves

Deekgaon sought the Fierce Axe of Dwarvish Lords all his life. Often he neglected his kingly duties to practice with a magic axe he had made in imitation of the Fierce Axe or searching for its location in forgotten tomes and ancient books. Occasionally, Deekgaon left on forays to some supposed resting place of the Axe, but he always returned empty-handed.

When the Hill Dwarf Atreides unearthed the Fierce Axe during the First Alliance War, Deekgaon rushed to reclaim it, but he arrived too late. The Axe had been stolen by Amalgami and sold to the Xorians. Roaring with frustration, Deekgaon slew a few Xorians, but he could never hope to take the Axe back by force against a force such as the Xorian army or the Seven Rages. Deekgaon sunk into a depression that lasted many years.

When the Duergar were forced from their homes by the enslavement raids of Havoc the Rage, Deekgaon took his fellow Dwarves in. Duergar and Deep Dwarves lived side by side, learning each others customs and culture. Dwarven brotherhood has not been this strong in an age. This brotherhood extended into the Second Alliance War, with Deekgaon and the Duergar King, Sandil, agreeing on nearly everything.

Deekgaon was ecstatic when the Fierce Axe was reclaimed by the Hill Dwarves. At the Kingsmoot he put forth his own name to wield the Axe and lead the Dwarven people. Deekgaon cared little for the leadership, but the Axe… He had dreamed of holding it and swinging it into an enemy’s head his whole life. Sandil supported Deekgaon during the initial stages of the meeting, but the Duergar King betrayed Deekgaon later on and supported Torngar. Deekgaon insisted on receiving something during the negotiations, so the others granted him Generalship of the Dwarven Army. He grudgingly accepted this second place prize, never getting his hands on the Fierce Axe as he’d always wished.

Sandil, Trickster King, Homeless King, King of the Duergar

The Duergar King Sandil is a weaker warrior than the other Dwarven Kings, for he does not study the way of the axe, hammer, or sword, but that of magic and enchantment. When the Xorians invaded the Underdark, taking slaves and killing many others, Sandil fought back for a time. Eventually, the odds proved insurmountable. King Sandil brokered an agreement with King Deekgaon of the Deep Dwarves and fled the Western Cimmerian Underdark. Few know that this agreement was not achieved through negotiation but through magical domination. Sandil had enthralled his cousin, Deekgaon. Deekgaon’s weak will bent for Sandil, allowing a smooth transition of the Duergar into Deep Dwarf communities at the Deep Dwarf King’s insistence.

At the Kingsmoot, Sandil played Deekgaon by backing his claim to the Fierce Axe at first, before switching to his support to Torngar, whom he had always intended to back. Sandil now advises High King Torngar on most decisions he makes, slowly working himself deeper into the High King’s graces. Soon he will be close enough to Torngar to dominate him as well. Then Sandil will be the undisputed power behind the throne of one of the most powerful nations in the world.

-GoCorral

Characters of Cimmeria: Jevaninada II

Time to talk about the BBEG (Big Bad Evil Guy), King Jevaninada II,  leader of the evil Xorians and first of the draconic vampire Dragovinians.

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King Jevaninada II leads the Xorian people both as their monarch and as the living avatar of Blendegad’s divine might. Jevaninada II grew up under the feminist regency of his mother, Queen Anajakaze. Blendegad attacked and turned Jev into a Dragovinian on the same night that he became King. Jevaninada spent twenty years undoing his mother’s reforms and spreading his condition to those he deemed worthy within Xoria. Over the last five years, King Jevaninada led an invasion into Eastern Cimmeria against the Second Alliance. Continue reading

Sheerzen

Two notes about this city. First, it uses a numbering city in parenthesis to indicate which floor the current description applies to. Second, the concept for the history of this city was created in part by a member of my D&D group. His screen name is Zigfried and he deserves a lot of credit for developing the unique flavor of Sheerzen’s history.

Sheerzen.png

Sheerzen is a town of about 10,000 people built in the middle of Apollo’s Plains. The town was constructed by an early group of heroes, Brelfagar the Dwarven fighter, Shoree the Human paladin, Sunrise the Elven wizard, and Jeffery the Human cleric of the Muses. This adventuring party known as the Bronze Chords served their bronze dragon master, Rilopenaril. There are not many useful resources in the area around Sheerzen besides good soil. The city is not along any large rivers or trade routes. Earthquakes routinely rock the area destroying most buildings and any tunnels that would provide a connection to the Underdark. Sheerzen was constructed in this location precisely because it had little to offer. With no resources, the Bronze Chords hoped it would always be a peaceful city.

Sheerzen has only one building, a gigantic castle built atop an even bigger hill and surrounded by a moat. The keep rises about one thousand feet into the air. At the center of the tower is an empty space about forty feet across. This area is called the levitation elevator and bestows the power of levitation on all those who come into it.  There are stairs, but most residents use the elevator. The elevator does not reach the top six levels of the fortress. A magical waterfall goes through the center of this great empty space and provides all the water the citizens need. The waterfall disappears into a magical hole in the ground floor to prevent flooding.

The whole structure is reinforced with adamantine and lead making it impossible to teleport or scry into. The first five (1-5) levels of the castle are entirely defensive except for a park at the base of the elevator. These defensive levels are a show of force to visitors and an actual precaution against those who might attack Sheerzen. Hundreds of arrow slits look out on Apollo’s Hill making sure no army can approach within a mile without being shot at by ballistae, bows, crossbows, slings, catapults, and magical defenses.

The next dozen or so (6-19) levels are mostly commercial, so that tourists and visitors to the city need not go too far to find what they are looking for. The town sells commemorative items with a specialty in complex imitation weapons and armor for children to wear. Many famous painters, sculptors, and architects are also from Sheerzen and copies of their works are sold in numerous shops. The hotels and restaurants of the city are also on the commercial levels.

The next few (20-26) levels are where crafting takes place. These levels although unattractive need to be low in the fortress so that resources would not have to be taken all the way up to the top of the building. Sheerzen has a large available space for making items, but not enough people using that space. It would be a rival to Crafterton if it shared a similar central location in The Magical Lands. The work place and tools are free to use for all, but craftsmen must provide their own materials. A popular recreation for the people of Sheerzen is to see who can make the best of a particular type of item or how fast someone can make such an item.

The next couple dozen (27-93) levels are mostly residential with parks on some levels surrounding the elevator. A few hotels, restaurants, and other small businesses take up shop on these levels as well, but it is against an unenforced law for them to do so. These levels are considered claustrophobic by the people who do not live in Sheerzen because of the low ceiling on the wide boulevards.

The next (94) level of Sheerzen contains the city’s legal facilities, jail, and police headquarters. The police headquarters is on the inner circle with the jail in the middle circle and the courts and lawyer’s offices on the outer circle. The town has no punishments for which the jail is required. The jail is used to house criminals before their trials. Sheerzen’s legal code is regular except that during a siege or war almost every punishment is death. Capital punishment is always carried out by tossing the convict off the roof of the fortress. The landing spot is surrounded by a railing to prevent an innocent person being crushed by any falling felons.

The next three (95-97) levels are for the administrative offices of the town. The treasury of Sheerzen is on the 95th level with an extensive guard contingent to prevent theft. The bureaucrats are on these levels as well as the library and hospital. The elevator does not reach these levels. Permission from Sheriff Dratles or another person of similar importance is required to access the staircase to the 95th floor and above.

The 98th level is entirely empty except for the stairs going up and down directly across from each other. Most people upon entering this room for the first time find it unsettling due to the low ceiling. Some with weaker constitutions have even thrown up when walking across it. The rumor is that it serves some purpose for the defense of the city, but no one really knows.

The 99th and 100th levels make up the palace of the large royal family. The royals are descended from the Bronze Chords. Rilopenaril repeatedly seeded the adventurers’ descendants with his own bloodline ensuring that any member of the Sheerzen royal family would have some draconic features. Additionally all of the royal family members have some command over arcane power due to their draconic descent. Rilopenaril encouraged the development of this arcane power in the royal family and eventually he became obsessed with it. The dragon organized magical duels for his children to determine who was the best sorcerer. This tradition expanded until the successor to the current monarch was chosen by the winner of a series of lethal duels between the bronze dragon’s grandchildren.

Danar the Beastslayer was the most significant king in Sheerzen’s history. Exiled at an early age, Danar returned to the city after training for many years in the swamp that now bears his name. Danar slew his elder brother, Einhart, in a magical duel and claimed the crown. He joined the other heroes of the age in their fight against the tyranny of the dragons. Danar helped defeat his own ancestors, Rilopenaril and the dragon’s twin sister, Langudina. The mortal warrior locked away the dragon monarchs in the Orbs of Dragonkind, becoming the guardian of the Red Orb.

Rilopenaril left Sheerzen after his sister was locked away in the Bronze Orb. He guards the Bronze Orb at a hidden location close to the tower city. The conditions of Rilopenaril’s magical bondage allow him to visit Sheerzen for the coronations, funerals, and weddings of each successive monarch. The current king and queen are Dominiic and Freya. Forty years ago the Xorian army marched upon Sheerzen. The king and queen surrendered the city to Xoria on the condition that their line and traditions be allowed to continue. King Dominiic and Queen Freya elected to keep their mortality, but do not judge the decisions their subjects make. Under these conditions, a mortal and Dragovinian aristocracy have peacefully mixed in Sheerzen.

Sheerzen was built to be a haven for artisans and craftsmen to practice their art without worrying about their income. The city’s enchantments allow the monarchy to easily provide patronage for hundreds of artists. To defend the city the army is outfitted with the best weapons available and focuses on learning defensive battle strategies without losing a single man to the opponent’s weapons. Because the fortress creates its own food and water within it is always prepared for a siege. The magical nature of the monarchy extends to the army where mages are trained to dispel and counter enemy battle mages.

Danar has recently returned to life due to the destruction of the Red Orb. The magic that orchestrated his return will only allow him to rest once Invernix is defeated once more. Danar decided to delay his confrontation with Invernix due to the numerous other contemporary threats to the people of Cimmeria. Once he feels the world is safe enough, Danar will confront Invernix once more.

-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