The First Vampire of Cimmeria Part 8

Previous: The First Vampire of Cimmeria Part 7

Well armed, the Gish Trio and Tracy waited for the right time to strike. Tracy’s network of informants watched for when the Lich-queen was weakest. Their chance came after a battle between the Githyanki and the blue dragons. The Lich-queen personally took part in the battle, expending a portion of her magical energy to secure victory. Tracy learned of the Githyanki leader’s anemic state. The Halfling hero and the Gish Trio immediately began their planned assault on the Lich-queen’s fortress outside Phoenix.

Even with her strength depleted the Lich-queen was a formidable foe surrounded by dozens of guards. Galandir and Blendegad occupied the guards while Tracy and Tereman confronted the Lich-queen with their banishment spell. The ancient Githyanki matriarch fought without reservation, but in the end her will was denied. Tracy and Tereman banished her back to the Astral Plane. Their victory came at a cost though. As the Lich-queen departed she ripped Tracy’s soul from her body and consumed it. The Lich-queen would never return to Earth, but neither would Tracy.

The Gish Trio mourned Tracy’s death, but would not let her sacrifice be in vain. They rooted out every powerful Githyanki in Cimmeria, forcing them to retreat to the Astral Plane or die. As they worked the Trio gathered more silver swords and alchemical components to further enhance their weapons and armor.

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The First Vampire of Cimmeria Part 7

The Lich-queen on her bone throne

Previous: The First Vampire of Cimmeria Part 6

Tracy needed to feed the information on the tying of immortal threads to the Blue Dragon Cult. Relying on the same methods she’d used during the Dragon War, Tracy formed an information network in Cimmeria. Her spies told Tracy that the Cult was making inquiries on the subject in Greshendale. Tracy went there with copies of Shratalanda’s notes and sold them to the Blue Dragon Cultists. The seeds of discord were sown for her enemies and they paid her to do it. Now all she had to do was wait.

As predicted, Bavastatner acted on the information. He sent his followers to the Temple of the Fates on Crete. They stole the threads of Bavastatner and the Styx. With the threads in his possession, Bavastatner entwined his fate with that of the River Styx. With that, he broke his contract with the Lich-queen. All his offspring were recalled to the Shacklack, except for the eggs the Githyanki took to the Astral Plane. These captive hatchlings would be raised by the Githyanki and bred within the Astral Plane to maintain their draconic force for centuries afterwards.

Furious, the Lich-queen prepared to go to war with the blue dragons. She led the assault herself rather than relying on the sarath or the adlishar. All the resources and manpower of her interdimensional empire came bearing down on the Shacklack Desert. Bavastatner’s children defended their home alongside their patriarch’s demon experiments. The Second Dragon War had begun.

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The First Vampire of Cimmeria Part 6

Previous: The First Vampire of Cimmeria Part 5

Before entering her slumber Shratalanda used her psychic powers to telepath the location of the Shacklack School of Psions to all the psions of Cimmeria. Many of them answered the call, but with Shratalanda gone the School changed. Shratalanda led a place of pure learning and study. Her older students abandoned the free thinking and open experimentation encouraged by their absent master in favor of hierarchy and ritual. When the Gish Trio arrived they hoped the urgency of their quest would earn them immediate access to Shratalanda’s notes. The new masters of the Shacklack School had other ideas.

To gain access to Shratalanda’s texts Galandir, Tereman, and Blendegad would have to prove themselves worthy. They underwent a trial of the mind, body, and soul. Working together they overcame the challenge. With their virtue proven the masters of the school allowed the Gish Trio to view Shratalanda’s research notes.

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The First Vampire of Cimmeria Part 4

Previous: The First Vampire of Cimmeria Part 3

The Blue Dragon menace had returned to Cimmeria, but there was a silver lining; Tracy had returned as well. The magic tying her return to the breaking of the Blue Orb also controlled the location of her return. Tracy reappeared next to the people most likely to help her fight the blue dragons. Those best suited for reimprisoning Bavastatner and Renvesharhialisv were the Gish Trio, Galandir, Tereman, and Blendegad.

Tracy cheerfully introduced herself to the Gish Trio and the four agreed to a partnership in their mutual goals of ending the threat of the Githyanki and the blue dragons. Galandir, Tereman, and Blendegad were accomplished warriors and magicians. Additionally, they had the most experience out of anyone in fighting the Githyanki. Tracy was a trickster thief of legend and could call on the resources of Nomingburg and Crafterton to help their struggle.

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Mortals and Dragons

There was no isolated incident that instigated the Dragon War. Toffoun and Amalgami killed Blackheart. Tentineh revealed his army in Greshendale. Lord Shaelin killed Kenderax. Gorwinua’s army was earliest of all, waging a guerrilla war against Bavastatner for six years before the Dragon War officially began. The combination of these events led to the meeting of the ten heroes of the Dragon War.

While the ten heroes of the Dragon War were united in their efforts, the same could not be said for all the leaders of Cimmeria. The heroes asked for help from the mortal leaders of Cimmeria and most came to their aid. King Cogard of the Dwarves wished to remain out of the war, but Shaelin’s attack on Fangaroot made neutrality impossible. He joined the fight against the dragons. The Elves of Valor and Hardtop fought for the mortal armies. Tracy brought Crafterton and Nomingburg into the fight. The human settlements of Nox and Phoenix joined the mortals as well. Continue reading

Cimmerian Timeline Part 17

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 16

882BCE: Gorwinua’s wild nature made her unsuited for helping to construct the Orbs’ defenses. She began writing an epic poem that detailed the Heroes’ exploits during the Dragon War.
As work on the defenses for the Dragon Orbs continued, Tentineh and realized that no matter how well-constructed their protections were, they would eventually be breached. Tentineh suggested a solution. Each of the Heroes of the Dragon War would 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. The other Heroes approved of the idea and Tentineh began designing the complicated spell that would put each of the Heroes in stasis when they were ready to “die.” In this stasis each would await the breaking of the Orb their soul protected.

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After the Dragon War: Gorwinua, Tracy, and Cecilia

Gorwinua was 44 at the end of the Dragon War which would make her solidly middle-aged for a Human. For a full-blooded Orc she was practically frail. Gorwinua spent a few years writing an epic poem about the Dragon War. She hoped the poem would provide guidance for the Orcs and the other races to live in harmony. After completing the poem she went into hibernation at the age of 50.

Tracy was 119 at the end of the Dragon War. The Dragon War had occurred when she was already in her twilight years. She was the first to enter hibernation when she was 121.

Cecilia was 55 at the end of the Dragon War. She returned to her hometown, now a thriving city. The place felt alien to her. Everything was unfamiliar and strange. The few old neighborhoods and shops from before the war brought back painful memories. Cecilia was trapped between neophobia and reminders of the evil acts she committed while under Warlock Hargath’s spell. Additionally, she disliked the predictability of retirement compared to the excitement of adventuring. Tentineh’s hibernation idea appealed to her and she accepted soon after Tracy, entering hibernation at the age of 57.

 

Cimmerian Timeline Part 12

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.

-GoCorral

Next: Cimmerian Timeline Part 13

Cimmerian Timeline Part 7

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 6

Working on the prelude to the Dragon War has been tough. Each post ends up being far longer than I usually aim to make my posts, resulting in me often missing my target of having a new D&D related post ready every Monday. Thankfully, I’ve finished the short descriptions of lives of the heroes of the Dragon War before the war itself. I’ve been working those into the Timeline as I go. The only ones that remain to be included are Shratalanda, Tracy, Bigby, and Gorwinua. After this I have a few gaps to fill in for events prior to the Dragon War as my next goal with occasional diversions as needed.

1002BCE: Tracy the Halfling was born in Phoenix.

996BCE: Shratalanda murdered Tracy’s parents. She never discovered who killed them. The orphaned Tracy turned to burglary and pickpocketing to support herself.

990BCE: Anti-Halfling feelings in the Conclave increased. Halflings left Conclave cities in a slow trickle.

986BCE: Shratalanda delivered Bigarius to his Elven parents in the Dry Woods. He quickly took on the nickname of Bigby.

983BCE: The Humans of the Conclave blamed all the organization’s shortcomings on the other races. A few demagogues whipped the people into a fury and a pogrom broke out in Phoenix against Halflings. Businesses and homes of the little people were looted and burned.

982BCE: Halflings leave the Conclave cities en masse to found two new settlements, Crafterton for the Halflings of Western Cimmeria and Nomingburg for those of the east.

980BCE: Continuing their paranoid racism, the Conclave sent an army composed of Humans to march on Nomingburg. The Halflings fought back with hit and run ambushes as the army approached. When the army reached Nomingburg, the Halflings armed themselves and prepared for a set piece battle. On the morning of the battle, both sides found all their weapons missing. Tracy had stolen them. She vowed to return the weapons if both sides agreed to a lasting peace and to only use their weapons for good. The peace was accepted and the Humans went home.

979BCE: Tracy became the matron of the Halfling race, guiding the major cities of Nomingburg and Crafteron on their paths as well as the villages and caravans sprinkled throughout Cimmeria. Her guidance shaped Crafterton into the technomaturgical wonder it is today. Sadly, her desire for Nomingburg to become a haven for trained survivalists backfired as it became a den of assassins, killers, and thieves after her death.

977BCE: Bigby began his apprenticeship to a magical tutor.

970BCE: Bigby rapidly learned all his tutor could teach him and moved on to another tutor. He invented his own style of casting spells, incorporating the particular techniques of each of his mentors into his own as he saw fit.

927BCE: Gorwinua was born in a small Orc village north of the Shacklack Desert.

926BCE: Bigby decided he was down apprenticeships. At a startingly young age he began defending the Dry Woods. Using his hand magic he fended off an incursion of Orcs into the woods.

924BCE: Bigby defeated a group of Gnolls that attacked the Dry Woods.

921BCE: A group of Human loggers from the Conclave cut too deep into the Dry Woods. Bigby drove them off.

919BCE: The loggers returned to the Dry Woods. Instead of driving them off Bigby cast a spell with Shratalanda’s help that caused the Dry Woods to grow beyond the loggers ability to cut it. The forest advanced southward at a slow and steady pace despite a large logging industry owned by the Humans of the Conclave. Due to this spell the Dry Woods would eventually be renamed Bigby’s Forest.

912BCE: Gorwinua turned 15, the age of adulthood for Orcs. Shratalanda, disguised as the storyteller of Gorwinua’s tribe, trained the young Orc in the art of inflaming people’s passions and spirits. Gorwinua left her village to go questing with other Orc warriors in the Shacklack.

910BCE: Gorwinua had a string of successful quests into the desert.

909BCE: Gorwinua broke her leg. Her questing group brought her home, but died when they returned to the desert without her.

908BCE: Gorwinua gathered warriors from many different Orc tribes and returned to the cave where her companions had died. The large band succeeded in slaying the cave troll only thanks to Gorwinua’s magical song which focused and unified their efforts against the huge troll.

907BCE: Gorwinua’s desert raiding band grew in size as more and more Orcs joined her rather than quest on their own. Questing glory was shared among the whole Orc race.

906BCE: Bavastatner saw the large Orc band that looked suspiciously like the armies that the dragons had forbidden. Bavastatner told Gorwinua to disband the army, but she refused. Bavastatner burnt and scattered the Orcs and Gorwinua escaped.

905BCE: Gorwinua organizes a true Orc army in secret with commanders, discipline, and battle formations. She planned to use the army against the dragons themselves when the time came.

904BCE: Bavastatner and the other blue dragons chased Gorwinua and her army down, but she evaded them at every turn as her army grew.

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

-GoCorral

Next: Cimmerian Timeline Part 8

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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