Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wrath of the Dragons Part III

"A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials. "
- Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Alf's Note: This update will bring everything up to speed with my campaign.  For more information about the city of Genkar, including most of its history, please see this link: http://artificersintuition.blogspot.com/2012/04/we-built-this-city.html

As the party stood in the Hall of Justice, they heard Mekkalath the red dragon flying about and roaring in rampage over the loss of his treasures.  They were weak, tired, and no idea what to do next.  The dragon landed atop the building, spewing fire into the night sky, and bellowing a challenge.  If the thief did not come forward, he would destroy the town of Daemonwe.  Krenlor did not move, and in an instant, the dragon flew off into the night.

Bastin led the group back into the wilderness surrounding the plateau of Dovesong Abbey.  Their group was much smaller.  Niz, the pirate they had met, had fled, while Pog and Sir Oakley had both died in the chambers below.  Zaktis was weak, but alive, and Krenlor smugly clutched the treasures he had stolen.

While wandering back around the ruins to find the secret stair to lead them back to the city, a hooded figure approached the group.

"You have much to answer for," he said solemnly.  Krenlor immediately became invisible, leaving Bastin to speak with the new figure.

"You must go save the people of Daemonwe," the hooded figure said.  Krenlor and Bastin argued against it, saying they were going back to Genkar.  The hooded figure followed the group down the secret stair, and the wizard and the paladin began heading west, back to the merchant city.

Zaktis, uncertain of the right choice, eventually decided to journey to Daemonwe by himself.  When he arrived, the town was a smoldering husk.  The streets were empty, except for a lone tiefling, who spoke wildly about fire raining from the sky.  When Zaktis went to help him, he suddenly noticed he was surrounded by mysterious figures in full body armor.  Zaktis begged for help, but they began attacking the minotaur.

Elsewhere, the hooded figure continued to follow Krenlor and Bastin.  The wizard and the corrupted paladin tried to run, each seeking Genkar.  The mysterious figure continued to chastise them, telling them they needed to help.  Eventually, he saw the futility of it, and ran off to Daemonwe to help as well.

The hooded figure arrived soon enough.  He was able to rescue Zaktis, but not the tiefling.  He witnesses the knights create a beacon into the night sky.  As they fled, they heard the roars of Mekkalath flying back overhead to the ruins of the town.

Zaktis awoke on the southern banks of the river known as the Serpent.  The figure had removed his hood, revealing himself to be a half-orc.

"I am Gregg," he said.  "I have long roamed the ruins of Dovesong Abbey, seeking to eliminate the orc tribe.  Now we seem to have a new enemy."

After healing, Zaktis and Gregg continued south, into the Shepherd's Hills, the lush farming area south of the Serpent River and Genkar.  They came to an area of ruins, where refugee goblins from the Churra tribe were sheltering.  The goblins welcomed the two survivors, and when Gregg and Zaktis went inside the ruins, they saw Lord Padraig and other hurts refugees from Daemonwe.  Padraig welcomed them, and took them to see the goblin matron mother.

The matron mother was a small, gnarled blind goblin.  She had a dire rat that sat next to her.  She spoke only in goblin and gave the two newcomers cryptic prophecies.

While resting and recuperating, Padraig brought forth another survivor, fished from the Serpent.  The half-elf pirate Nizumo Misoka had been found drunk and unconscious floating in the river.  The goblins fished him out.

Padraig informed Niz, Zaktis, and Gregg that the Churra goblins had succumbed to dissension in their ranks.  The Matron Mother's grandson had chosen to ally himself with the dragon Mekkalath.  Re-naming the tribe the Drakka-Churra, they sought to eliminate the other members of the tribe that disagreed with his new policies.  The Matron Mother and her supporters managed to flee, but suffered heavy losses.  They would now be moving down into the tunnels of the ruined cities of the Shepherd's Hills.

The Churra began to move on, leaving the survivors of Daemonwe amongst the ruins.  Shortly after, Voenn appeared from out of the surrounding area, surprising the group.  He had located them by using the Sending Stone Padraig possessed that was given to him by Valthrun.  He informed them that their presence was required in Genkar.  After completing a complex teleportation ritual, he teleported the group and the survivors into the Steward's Palace in Genkar.  The refugees were escorted to safety and first aid, while Voenn brought Gregg, Niz, Zaktis and Padraig into the central meeting chamber.

Gold dragon motifs made up most of the decor, with a large mosaic of Bahamut on the center floor.  Inside the room was gathered the Merchant Council of Genkar.  They are as follows (clockwise, starting at 12 o'clock):

The Merchant Council of Genkar
  • Aadris, the Steward of Genkar
  • Janubiz (YAN-oo-biz), the Whirlpool Rider, a Githzerai privateer
  • Sake Unterco, artificer of the Fabricators
  • 138, Artificer Unterco's warforged bodyguard
  • Unknown Tiefling female (the players never spoke with her)
  • Camilla Sierett, of House Sierett
 There was some talk about the dragon Mekkalath before the prisoner was brought forth: Krenlor.  The group learned that the dragon had the Bloodmarked Orcs (of Dovesong Abbey) now followed Mekkalath, along with the Drakka-Churra.  A messenger had been sent to inform the city of Genkar to give up Krenlor.  This had been found out through dragon magic and an orc seer.

Bastin was seen as a threat to Bahamut, being a corrupted and cursed paladin.  His fate remains unknown.

The party (Niz, Gregg and Zaktis) persuaded the Council to let Krenlor go with Voenn's help.  The Council was happy to know that Krenlor specialized in fire magic, the exact element that Mekkalath himself used.

Voenn informed the party that they should take the Trials and Genkar.  With no other choice, they agreed.

The next morning, the group journeyed to the Tower of the Protector, where Voenn dwells.  He informed them that the dragon Genkar was buried underneath the city.  The monument over his grave was called the Tower of the Protector.  Invoking an old ritual, Voenn revealed the entrance to the tomb.  The group descended the stairs, leaving Voenn behind.
In the first room of the tomb, the group encountered an angel of Bahamut, who informed them that they would face three trials: the Trial of Honor, the Trial of Justice, and the Trial of Courage.  He warned them that their own fears and doubts would be carried with them.  The group thanked the angel and began journeying deeper into the tomb.
Speaking with the Angel of Bahamut

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

All That Glitters Is...A Dragon

“If gold rusts, what then can iron do?”
- Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales

I got these off of ebay a month or so ago, yet because I didn't see my friend for that long, I wasn't able to get them.  I wanted to share them with all of you, especially after posting about Genkar.  Is there a connection?  Maybe.....

This gold dragon is medium size.  Not a huge dragon, but still pretty cool. 

Large gold dragon

The Children of Khala

"Sheeter buri ashchhe dheye"
- Bangla saying for "The winter old woman is coming fast."

A number of posts back, I wrote about the Star Wars minis I was using in my DnD games and what they were standing in for.  I also commented on how I had no idea what to do with my Clone Trooper/Stormtrooper minis.  After much brainstorming and more world building, I finally have a new culture/race that these minis will provide.

Far north, at the edge of the world on a foreign continent (not Aradove), a group of reclusive guardians dwell among the Frostbyte Mountains.  Those traveling the mountain paths claim to see figures enshrined in white, fading into the snowy winds as soon as they appear.  They are covered from head to toe, some wearing armor, others donning cloth robes.  In the end, all are mysterious, for they speak little and never show their faces.  Their dwellings are unknown, and who they are, none can say.  The villagers who live at the foot of the mountains have a name for them: The Children of Khala.

Amongst the Frostbyte peaks, the Children of Khala dwell.

Scholars know that Khala was once the goddess of Winter.  In her struggle for control, she began a war that drew the gods out of the world and placed it in the hands of the Primal Spirits.  This war was known as the War of Winter, and many heroes rose and fell throughout its length. In the end, only one true fact of the war is known: Khala lost.  Whether she is dead or something else entirely, none can say, and many have sought to reach the summit of Vetr, the highest peak amongst the Frostbyte.  Vetr is so tall, that if one stands at the foot of it and looks up, the peak itself becomes lost in the clouds.

And yet, while many do not know much about the Children of Khala, they continue to exist and thrive in their hostile environment.  At various points and elevations amongst the Frostbyte are camps that are utilized by them.  Some adventurers have told tales of leaving the Elemental Chaos, only to arrive back in the world lost in the Diamond Blades, soon to be rescued by the Children and sent on their way. 

An ex-Child of Khala.  I want to play this character at some point.  His armor is not bonded with ice anymore.  Why has he returned to the Frostbytes? 
 Followers of the Raven Queen hold the Children in hostility, for they feel that they are choosing to hold their allegiance to the wrong goddess.  The Raven Queen is now the mistress of Winter, not Khala.  However, the Children have never spoken that they do follow Khala, or any god in particular.  That is something that was brought on in the stories told by the people below.

Other scholars and sages have speculated that the peak of Vetr holds some unspeakable horror, something that the Children are protecting the world from.  Wizards in the Elemental Chaos whisper of a great elemental power atop the mountain, while priestesses of the Raven Queen maintain that something is there that will bring about their goddess' destruction.  What that could be, none will say, and even among the Children, many do not know.  Only those that live at the top of the mountain, amongst the most terrifying conditions know, and they do not share their secrets.

The Frostbytes are also home to many fearsome predators, from yetis, frost giants, and remorhazzes.  Rumors of white and cobalt dragons making their lairs among the many peaks is also known.  The Children of Khala are aware of the dangers and are able to allow themselves to survive.  The most experienced and formidable warriors patrol farther along the mountain paths.  The novices scout amongst the lower elevations, while all the rest patrol the middle heights.

An ex-Child of Khala leads his companions into the dangerous lairs of the Frostbyte Mountains.

The armor worn by the Children of Khala protects the entire body from the frigid temperatures the mountains have.  They take snow and ice and magically meld it with their armor, giving them camouflage and stealth in the peaks.  Because their armor has the properties of snow and ice, it is said to better resist such conditions as well.  Some wear cloth robes, with ice and snow blended with it.  Needless to say, whatever the Children need, they use the ice to their advantage.  Those that seek to endure cold climates have been known to travel to the Children and attempt to trader or barter for a suit of their ice armor.

Even without their armor, the Children of Khala are formidable.

Their weaponry is basic, though all are known to use alchemical items, sometimes creating devices that can fire them from a distance.  There are also alchemical items that allow them to hover for a short amount of time.  They use those items to cross deep gorges and trenches that can form in the Frostbytes.  Legends speak of warriors who wield blades made entirely out of diamonds.  These blades can be found in the peak known appropriately as the Diamond Blades.

A group of Children deal with a white dragon in its lair.  Note the two warriors who hover over the chasms with their alchemical gears.