Cimmerian Timeline Part 11

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 10

927BCE: Danar didn’t know how to survive in the wild. He was taken in by a group of kind villagers. They accepted him into their community and he took up a woodcutter’s axe to protect them from the monsters that plagued them. Danar never publicly used magic, but he continued to practice his arcane skills in secret.

925BCE: Danar rose to become headman of his village. He organized the people of the swamplands into a militia, so they could deserve themselves and keep order while Danar was occupied elsewhere. The black dragon brothers, Kovan’rorshac and Pithwatolzar, permitted Danar’s actions as it indirectly benefited him. Wealthier citizens meant more tribute for the dragons.

924BCE: Danar’s civilization of the swamp encountered resistance when the Elven druid, Eathirilu, arrived in the area. Eathirilu viewed Danar’s efforts to expand farm lands and hunting grounds as antithetical to nature itself. He attacked and sabotaged many of the exiled prince’s projects. The two figures crossed paths numerous times, but neither could get the upper hand over the other.

923BCE: The red wyrm, Invernix, witnessed Danar’s charitable work in the swamplands. “Why had the black dragon monarchs done nothing?” thought Invernix. “Were they lazy and decadent or was this an alliance between bronze and black?” Invernix disliked the situation either way. He entered the swamplands and began burning settlements.

922BCE: Danar refused to engage, but not for lack of courage. Rather, Danar was concerned for the fate of his people should he die. They could be killed and broken by lesser threats without his protection. Danar hoped that Invernix would grow bored and return to the Terror Mountains.

921BCE: Invernix did not leave and Danar confronted the fact that he would have to face the dragon. Danar teamed up with his previous enemy, Eathirilu, to fight Invernix. Unfortunately, Invernix defeated the pair. The great red wyrm promised to leave the swamplands untouched if Danar returned to Sheerzen and claimed the throne. Invernix planned on using Danar as a pawn in Rilopenaril’s kingdom.
Danar visited the first village he had stayed at. Revealing his magic powers he told the villagers that he was returning to his birthright in Sheerzen. People from all over gathered together to say goodbye to their leader. The combined their varied talents and made Danar a superb axe of unequaled quality to replace the old woodcutter’s axe he had used for so many years.

920BCE: Danar returned to Sheerzen to challenge the throne. His parents had died and his brother, Einhart, had defeated the other four siblings. Prince Einhart’s coronation was imminent. The people of Sheerzen protested Danar’s return, saying that his exile made his claim illegitimate. Ignoring the voices of the crowd, Einhart accepted Danar’s challenge. The two dueled in the vast, open, central elevator of Sheerzen. Danar’s axe brought him victory, but his brother shot out Danar’s right eye with an electricity spell.
Danar was coronated in his brother’s place. At the ceremony an elder earth elemental, Rhinston, attended. The elemental gave Danar a magical gem that could take the place of an eye. The gem fit perfectly in his eye socket. Danar chose to keep the eye hidden behind a patch. It was said that when Danar revealed his gem eye he could see to the truth of all things.

-GoCorral

Next: Cimmerian Timeline Part 12

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

Jevanicia

Jevanicia

Jevanicia was a small mining town of around 3,000 inhabitants established by Queen Anajakaze after the destruction of Tectoctar. The town was named in honor of her son, Jevaninada the Second. Jevanicia was built with military precision after scouting out a good location, both in terms of access to resources, such as the nearby mines and farm fields, and firm ground for construction of permanent buildings. In almost every way that Tectoctar was bad, Jevanicia was good.

Jevanicia was expanded from the basic plan of a military encampment. A stockade surrounded the town proper with areas marked off outside the walls for planned expansions. This blueprint gives the town decent defense capability and provides a clear layout for foreigners. Most buildings were made out of wood while permanent structures were built out of stone. The intent was to move the “temporary” structures such as the smithy and stable, to alternate locations if the town expanded in the future.

A fair amount of rice was grown in Jevanicia just as it was in Tectoctar before. Shorehorn flowers were also often used in dishes. Jevanician citizens used similar protein sources, lizards, fish, and snails, as the people of Tectoctar but with one important difference. Jevanicia was not cut off from the Xoria Empire and thus the new city had  ample access to spices to make their vile food much more palatable. Peppered snail and curried leeches are only a few of the delicacies one could’ve eaten in Jevanicia.

The new city did not serve as a refuge for exiles as Tectoctar did. Jevanicia’s primary draw was working in the mines. The city had an iron mine, a silver mine, and a stone quarry. Hundreds of tons of metal and stone were taken from the earth and sent downriver to the rest of Xoria. These raw materials were made into coins to fund the war, weapons and armor for soldiers, and keeps that protect the roads of Xoria. Unfortunately, the flow stopped recently due to an attack on the town by the Geriviar giant, Bill.

Bill believed the town was responsible for the death of his pet dog, Scruffy. He beat the buildings of the town into dust and splinters. Hundreds died in the attack in a vain effort to save their town. After Bill left Jevanicia in ruins, slavers descended on the area, capturing those who attempted to rebuild their homes. Many miners were taken captive and sold downriver. By the time the Xorian government learned of the destruction of Jevanicia it was too late to reverse the decline. No manpower could be spared to rebuild the town, so it was left abandoned.

-GoCorral

Tectoctar

Jevanicia

Tectoctar was a small city of 6,000 people who the rest of the world described as degenerates. Tectoctar was one of the most awful places one could imagine to live in. It had food and shelter, but not of a particularly good kind. The place had its share of problems with all the bugs, the seasonal flooding, and the continual sinking of any building into Danar’s Swamp. It’s rumored that some of the oldest buildings have basements so far done that they go into the Underdark.

Tectoctar was built on Danar’s Swamp, not next to it, under it, or over it, but on it. The town was built by Tectoctar, a Xorian general turned renegade, who led his army to the north and settled in the swamp when he received a sign from Zeus. Zeus had intended the usurper to die in the swamp, but Tectoctar was an excellent commander and managed to force his troops to stay and work through the absolute discipline he had instilled in them prior to their expedition. Additionally he had his lieutenant general cast a spell that let him read people’s thoughts allowing him to punish traitors before they committed their first act of sedition. Unfortunately for Tectoctar the side effect of knowing every man’s thoughts within a two mile radius is rather destructive. The tyrant general went insane and disappeared into the western reaches of the bog. The citizens of the city had already settled down and knowing they would not be welcomed back in Xoria decided to stay.

Tectoctar had no city plan of any kind. Occasionally an architectural accident would make a front door unreachable and required a new one to be cut in the walls. The principal building material was wood sent upriver from Bigby’s forest. The wood was used to create a frame for the house and then covered with hides, leaves, or hay to keep the rain and bugs out. Any building made with a heavier structure sank into the ground within a few months and even the wooden structures were constantly sinking, creating basements of ever increasing size beneath the city.

The extremely moist soil of Tectoctar was quite good for growing rice, but excruciatingly bad for anything else most people consider edible. A type of flower grows in the swamp that can be eaten called Shorehorn. The animal life that served as the protein for most Tectoctarian dishes is revolting. Snails, slugs, leeches, unclean fish, snakes, and other reptiles. The lucky outsider was served Tojanida. These monsters dwell in the swamp and when a dead one is found it was often sold to the wealthy of the town.

As Tectoctar grew older more people immigrated who were rejected by other cities and countries and were told of a paradise where everyone is welcome. Many of them were not impressed by the “paradise.” Some vagabonds left if they could, but most had run out of money getting to the city and were forced to stay. The rare few actually liked Tectoctar better because at least they are the same as everyone else here. The descendants of these immigrants composed the majority of the city’s population.

Tectoctar neither exported nor imported anything because it is nothing more than a large poor town in the middle of a swamp. The one attraction to the town was their local artifact of chewing gum, a type of food that oozes from trees that you cannot actually stop getting sustenance from. You could chew gum forever and never have to worry about eating, drinking, or going to the bathroom again. Unfortunately this miraculous item does not keep for more than a day, so it was only traded in mass quantities to the most foolish of tourists.

The city was ruled by the Race Council. An influential member of each race that lived in Tectoctar was appointed by their brethren to the council. The council had representatives from many different species including, Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, Dragons, Ogres, Giants, Goblins, Orcs, Lizardfolk, Gnolls, Trolls, Kobolds, and Troglodytes. Each off shoot of one race was still considered the same. A rather extreme example of the inequity of this policy was present in the representation of Drow by a High Elf councilor. The Race council met once every three months to decide on issues that affected the entire city.

The Xorian government long resented the existence of Tectoctar as it was technically a rebel city. During the regency of Queen Anajakaze, the Xorian army attacked and defeated Tectoctar. It’s people were executed, enslaved, or driven out of the city. With no one else to inhabit the buildings, the city slowly sank into the swamp. The structures still exist beneath the muck, slowly rotting away, but also perhaps holding magic treasures for explorers brave and clever enough to find them.

After the destruction of Tectoctar, Queen Anajakaze created a new colony on the edge of Danar’s Swamp named Jevanicia.

-GoCorral

An Overview of Gurutama Part 2

This maps shows the vast trade area influenced by the Merfolk in Gurutama.
This maps shows the vast trade area influenced by the Merfolk in Gurutama.

Previous: An Overview of Gurutama Part 1

The Merfolk inhabit the seas, islands, and coasts of the flat world, Gurutama. At the edge of the world the sea runs off, so the Merfolk stay in the central seas where no such threat worries them.

The Merfolk have two basic sub races within them, true Merfolk and landwalkers.

True Merfolk dwell within the sea and leave their saline environment for extended periods of time. True Merfolk speak two languages, one for the water and one for above it.

Landwalkers are a race of Merfolk that can breath air just as well as water. They seen publicly far more often than True Merfolk, leading many people to think that there is only one race of Merfolk.

Landwalkers serve as the intermediates between True Merfolk and other races. Without them it is unlikely that the Merfolk would have the significant impact on the world that they do.

The Merfolk leadership was never described in our game of Dawn of Worlds, so that remains to be written. However, we did create an active and present patron god of the Merfolk, Drolfo.

Many of the tools and skills that the Merfolk have are attributed to Drolfo. He built the Great Canal. He tamed the animals of the sea for the Merfolk. He gave them ships. He modified the True Merfolk to make the Landwalkers. Or so the stories say.

Other fantasy worlds would make these stories fact, but we prefer an open interpretation. Whoever decides to DM with those myths as plotpoints may choose which way they go. Still, the stories remain and our characters can debate about which version is true and which version is false.

Along with the Avians, the Merfolk were one of the first races to develop a civilization. The two civilizations soon came into contact and conflict.

The Avians attempted to win the conflict by building a large nest on the Lower Maw. The nest is marked on the upper left of the Lower Maw as Nanatok.

The Merfolk prayed to Drolfo and Selcatnet, the giant octopus, tore apart the nest, causing the Avians to flee.

The Merfolk used their superior knowledge of hydraulics to flood the eastern half of Rontu-Aru, creating the swamp it is today.

The Avians are a jungle people and they could not adapt to the swamps fast enough to fight back against the Merfolk.

The Merfolk won the day and the Avians have essentially be a slave race ever since. If a slave is encountered in Gurutama there is a significant chance that the slave is an Avian with clipped wings.

Recently, a resurgence of religious zealotry entered the Avian jungle. More and more crusaders for the Avian god, Izquitl, joined the fight against the Merfolk.

The Avians retook the Fluren Peninsula from the Merfolk and rechristened Tortuga as Hubru-Peche.

From Hubru-Peche, the Avians flew across the Neck to the Halusho Forest in the Lower Maw.

The Merfolk retook Tortuga, but the Avians have become a force in the world once more.

That’s about all we got on the Avians from the Dawn of Worlds game, but there’s lots more to come about the Merfolk in the Maw!

-Mister Ed

Next: An Overview of Gurutama Part 3