The Heroes of the Dragon War pooled their resources to erect defenses around the Orbs of Dragonkind. They decided that five of the Orbs would be defended in the same location by a nearly impassable obstacle. The other five Orbs would be hidden separately within dungeons that the Heroes would build and protect. Continue reading
Tentineh labored to build defenses for the Dragon Orbs entrusted to his care. Shratalanda, Bigby, and Danar assisted in designing the protections for the Orbs. While working they discussed the inevitability of their deaths and the release of the dragons. No matter how well-designed their protections were, they would eventually be breached. The Orbs would be found and broken, releasing the terrible scourge of dragons upon the world again. No matter how well defended, the Orbs simply could not be locked away for all eternity.
Tentineh suggested a solution. Each of the Heroes of the Dragon War could bind his or her soul to one of the Orbs. When the Orb was broken, that Hero would be returned to life, ready to fight the dragons once again. There was only one problem with this plan, in order to bind a person to the Orb, that person would have to voluntarily give up their life. A death without the afterlife. Their souls would not pass on to Erebos and Elysium. They would remain with the Orbs ready to reappear when they were needed.
Shratalanda, Bigby, and Danar approved of the idea. They would get their affairs in order before binding their souls to the Orbs. Danar left to inform the other Heroes of the Dragon War who had spread out across Cimmeria. Shratalanda, Bigby, and Tentineh set to designing the specifics of this unusual soul-binding spell.
Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 11
911BCE: Danar ruled justly for a decade. Rilopenaril and Langudina both advised him, but Danar always followed the advice of the bronze dragon brother. Langudina took to sulking within Apollo’s Hill as Rilopenaril had before her. After ruling as a good king for a time, Rilopenaril informed his descendant of the plan he had concocted with Shratalanda to end draconic tyranny over the land forever. Danar embraced the idea and began training the people of Sheerzen so that they would be ready for the coming war.
900BCE: The mortal led armies of Gorwinua, Amalgami, Toffoun, and Tentineh operated in the open, taking actions to counter the rule of the dragons. Tentineh called the heroes of the land together to organize the overthrow of the dragon hegemony. Gorwinua, Amalgami, Toffoun, and Tentineh gathered in Greshendale along with Danar, Jovy, Cecilia, Shratalanda, Tracy, and Bigby.
Shratalanda revealed the plan she had begun enacting nearly a century before. The dragons were divine creatures and could thus never be truly killed, but they could be imprisoned. What could bind a beast as powerful as a dragon though? Shratalanda suggested using the dragon’s magical powers against each other. Since the dragons ruled in pairs, the power of each could be turned against the other.
The group of heroes even had an ally among the dragons. Rilopenaril hated the evil rule his relatives had imposed upon the mortals of Cimmeria. He had been working with Shratalanda to steer events towards the Dragon War which now began. The ten heroes vowed to combine their forces and exploit the disunity of the dragons. Each of the pairs could be brought down and imprisoned one by one.
899BCE: The ten heroes struck quickly, imprisoning three pairs of dragon monarchs, white, black, and brass. Three powerful orbs were constructed to contain the dragons. One of each pair was locked within the orb while the other was bound to protect it from all who would seek to misuse or destroy it. Tikanile was imprisoned within the White Orb with Shivara set as his guard. Pithwatolzar was imprisoned within the Black Orb with Kovan’rorshac set as his guard. Hazorshrakan was imprisoned within the Brass Orb with Forsoman set as her guard. These orbs were dubbed the Orbs of Dragonkind.
898BCE: The dragons organized their defenses against the heroes and their armies. Mortals loyal to the dragons rose up to defend their masters. The flames of the Dragon War grew hot as battles raged all across Cimmeria.
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 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
Tracy was a Halfling trickster and diplomat during the Age of Monsters. She singlehandedly prevented war between her kinsmen and the Conclave after the little people parted ways with the organization. After stopping the war, Tracy became a leader among the Halfling people and helped found the towns that grew into Crafterton and Nomingburg. Tracy joined the other heroes of the land during the Dragon War and imprisoned the blue dragons at the war’s conclusion. Tracy joined her companions in their slumber, only to be reawakened when the dragons were freed. Tracy was the first to wake up when the Blue Dragon Orb was broken , but she died in her attempt to defeat the blues’ patriarch, Bavastatner.
Tracy’s story begins as tension grew within the aging Conclave that once ruled mortals’ lives in Cimmeria. Continue reading
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.
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 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.