Characters of Cimmeria: Salzar

Salzar

Salzar was a Grey Elf warmage. He played a pivotal role in the First Alliance War as an organizer of the Alliance. It was on his urging that the Alliance broke the Golden Covenant that forbade the use of large-scale destructive magic against living targets. Salzar’s actions allowed the Xorians to retaliate and he became a war criminal. Amalgami the Betrayer, fearing that he would be blamed for Salzar’s actions, murdered his companion. Salzar’s life ended prematurely and the First Alliance crumbled soon afterward. Continue reading

On Killing Book Review

On Killing

I finished Lt. Col Dave Grossman’s book On Killing recently. It’s about soldiers’ resistance to kill, how the military overcomes that instinct, and the larger reprecussions of that type of training on society. It is not a “how-to” book as I feared many people might’ve thought whenever I read it in public.

At the start I should say that Grossman presents a good case. He backs it up with hundreds of interviews with soldiers and his personal impressions from being in the service. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a lot of hard data to support his point. Why? Because for the most part there just haven’t been a lot of studies on how to get someone to kill another person. It ranges into the unethical territory of psychological studies. The data he does have is convincing. Continue reading

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

Cimmerian Timeline Part 12

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

Cimmerian Timeline Part 9

Cimmerian Timeline Part 8

968BCE: The dragon monarchs began exploiting the labor of their subjects to build grand palaces and monuments. The bronze dragon siblings, Rilopenaril and Langudina, disliked these vain practices. They used their power to provide patronage for adventurers that aided the bronze dragons’ subjects on a personal level. Rilopenaril and Langudina’s taxes were minimal compared to their cousins. The only exceptions were mithral, adamantine, and lead, which were taxed at enormous percentages, all but denying those metals to the common inhabitant of Apollo’s Plains.

967BCE: The dragons inbred with their subjects and in many cases, the local wildlife. Draconic half-breeds became relatively common.

964BCE: An adventuring group caught the eye of Rilopenaril and Langudina. The adventurers had kept the bronze dragons’ more civilized subjects safe from a raiding band of white dragon hybrid ogres. The adventurers were honored and named the Bronze Chords. Their names were Brelfagar the Dwarven fighter, Shoree the Human paladin, Sunrise the Elven wizard, and Jeffery the Human cleric of the Muses.

963BCE: Rilopenaril tasked the Bronze Chords with gathering all the people of Apollo’s Plains in one central location, the sacred Hill of Apollo where the draconic pair made their lair. He wished to make an announcement to his subjects. Langudina was oddly absent when Rilopenaril gave this task to the Bronze Chords.

959BCE: After many years the Bronze Chords completed their task. They traveled the length and breadth of Apollo’s Plains and slew many beasts and monsters to ensure safe travel for the weaker subjects of the bronze dragons. All the people of the Plains packed up their belongings as directed and migrated to Apollo’s Hill.

958BCE: All the people of Apollo’s Plains came together as one. Rilopenaril announced that they would no longer live separately. They would live together in a new home of his design. Rilopenaril intoned a divine spell and a magnificent structure rose from the crown of Apollo’s Hill. The stone castle rose a thousand feet into the air reinforced by adamantine and lead. The town of Sheerzen came into existence in less time than it takes to bake a cake. All those present were invited to inhabit the castle or return to their villages as they wished. Rilopenaril named the Bronze Chords the leaders of the new community.

957BCE: Rilopenaril mated with the Bronze Chords and some of their existing children, infusing their bloodlines with draconic power. Langudina rarely emerged from her home beneath the Hill.

-GoCorral

Cimmerian Timeline Part 10

Cimmerian Timeline Part 7

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

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.

Continue reading