Will fill in details later.
Will fill in details later.
“When the meteor struck inland, no region remained unbent”
–Jena Ogra, before Whitecliff
Ogre legends persist not just because of oral tradition, no. Oral tradition dies out when all the men die in battle…or all the women are taken by invaders. Ogre legends persist because we hide. Humans, dwarves, giants…they think they are superior by their eyes. We hide in places that dwarves deign no dig, humans dare not build, and giants are too proud to look.
What is now eastern Galentaspar, the cratered land of Rodorax, is the only place dwarves have actually collected adamantium from in two thousand years. Not only was the ground rent by an asteriod, the asteroid was ridden by two battling titans whos burning ends warped the continent with tricks and curses that changed a simple place into an interplanar battlefield for the rest of time. The region was turned from grassy plains to a desert of planar kaleidescopes for a century while ash of impact settled.
The great civilization of humans on the planet suffocated. There were fey in vast bamboo forests…all consumed in flames. Geology was never studied, and gnomes that dwelt in the roots of the great planes…surviing the great fires, organized armies to negotiate the sudden influx of short humanoid called dwarves that popped out of planar gates in the sky and dug up from the ground, gasping for air.
Tzoltiv, leader of Gnomes since the Dawn, formed a band of scouts: Tsildir, Psyden, Ysidril, and Wfoldin, to travel the world, learn, speak and spread hope…if the peoples of the world needed help or hope, head to the plains and join Tzoltiv’s clan. He would help.
Decades passed and Tzoltiv never heard from his band, until a single gnome from afar walked into the town of Tzova’a, proclaiming himself as Vvillin, grandson of Wfoldin Thus he spoke, “Tall folk, elves, live now in the mountains. Large folks, ogres, live far to the south along a cragged spit, and snakes live below them, fighting everyone they meet, the yuan-ti. To the east, larger peoples bigger than ogres tower over the forest, claming most of the north–they are giants. There are mountains where there were hills–there are islands where there were reefs.” Vvillin did not stay long, his sense of community was lost, and the people of Tzova did nott trust him. But a faction of Tzova’ans followed Vvillin west, intrigued to meet these people called dwarves.
Tzoltiv’s grandson, Mittir, was visited hundreds of years later by a grandson of Vvillin named Tsotur, a gnome bard who lived among the ogres. The ogres, sons and daughters of Tautus of Nuumg, live on the slopes of Whitechalk Cliffs, or Witkif, in ogre slang. They are ruled by matriachs of Eeroi, a line of ogre magi transplanted from their first home to Sing’jar by the starfall. Ogre magi of Eeroi are secretive, and enslave dwarves to build large tunnels into the Whitechalk cliffs for them.
The sons of Eeroi are left to fend for themselves, and are mostly rough barbarians, hunting to survive. Only one of a generation is born smart enough to be a leader–a Nuum’gar. Aaron Umgar is the smartest yet, and is a sorcerer charismatic enough to have enrolled the mothers of junior orge magi to form a school and library on Witkif: Kifskuul.
Farming, ranching, and some mining are all present on the Whitechalk cliffs. Brave outcast dwarves are among the ogres, helping manage the chalk and chalcendony mines. Minotars are uncommon but welcome. Hill giants have never been welcome and have not been seen south of Sing’jar for 1200 years. Elves are very rarely found, only ones brave enough for a specific task.
This is peculiar because a population of High Elves lives to the east of the hobgoblins of R’rusk, forming the eastern border of Witkif. R’ruskins trade with the yuan-ti to the south confidently because the hobgoblins built a defensive zone one hundred miles long and three miles deep to defend their soverignty. Dzennin’gen Harfolk is an ancient Hobgoblin paladin that leads the community.
There are thousands of elves in a magically protected community to northeast of R’rusk: Innlend. Mostly wizards and rangers, the borders of Innlend are invisible and manifest as unlucky encounters with wilderness hardships: rockfalls, quicksand, swam creatures, confusion and lost adventurers dead of inexplicable dehydration. This appears to be an invite-only kingdom, and the leadership is hidden. Not even general Feltor of the Sing’jar mountains knows anything of Innlend, being a son of an emmigree.
Zsolissar and the Yuan-ti
The islands to the west and south of the Whitechalk Cliffs (Witkif) are all military holdings of the Yuan-ti. This was a rough region briefly ruled by many rough reptilian tribes, and humans have been considered lunch for centuries. Just getting into the bay requires skillful negotitation of schools of gigantic squids and other sea denizens. The minotar who used to rule the southen shores were roughly beaten back to one island as slaves, the remained having fleed north four hundred years previously.
The Yuan-ti are strict about their secrecy, brief sun exposure, and never relinquishing lands. They expect counter-strikes and rebellions. To meet these threats, they take slaves and other intelligent prisoners as cattle and display them in public suffering labor or as food stock for fesival menus. High preistess Zsolissar presides the festivals and her maiden’s sharp blades turn slaves into cold cuts on the seasonal holiday festivals.
For five hundred years, no pink skinned humanoid has withstood a yuan-ti south of the Whitechalk Cliffs. Whatever deity or power protects Zsolissar or her preistesses, not even the agressive male yuan-ti have broken or subverted it in many generations.
Made these out of a reclaimed piece of 4×10. Threw out quite a bit of eaten wood and threw out the ones that started to issue termites.
Next time, I will use forstner bits or drill ahead of time and trim them down on the table saw to correct the chip out.
Gromet Silvering and Cupola Coglatch are a pair of gnomes living under Faroth mountain in the Rudston Classic tunnels, the first dwarven works on Faroth. This is the tunnel system that Jamnut Fender Works started in. Gromet and Cupola don’t care much about being forge gnomes but live on the sidelines of the forge dwarves of Fenderworks.
Today, a rowdy crowd of human sailors squeezed their way into the Drunken Whaler pub, and started talking rude about the dwarves. Gromet was quick to play both sides and soon the dwarves had flattened the sailors and both the mine police and shore patrol were headed in.
In the last few seconds of the fight, Gromet convinced Knifeswill, the Dwarven barkeeper to pay him to stop the fight. Messaging with Cupola, Cupola impersonated sheriff Ironblock, abd the dwarves were distracted from killing the humans. The next moment, Ironblock himself steps onstage and pounds the handle on his hammer on stage to marshal the attention of the dwarves.
Later, Gromet and Cupola get kicked iff the docks suspiciously watching the Serpent Blue docked with the wounded humans being carried on board. Visibly irritated, a Yuan-ti in a golden robe berates the crew.
Clearly, this Yuan-ti needs his purse lightened, but no good plan arrives until Sarah Tite’nale, a banished faery who doesn’t sparkle, decides to join the fun.
Made from reclaimed 1×6 lumber found in firewood pile.
The islands south of Faroth start with Belgar island. Belgar is populated with sea elves, and they trade mostly with the eastern shore, the Burati valley. Burati is populated with elves and humans, bounded on the north by Burati mountains and to the south by the Burati river. The mountains are enough of an obstacle that overland trading is uncommon at best.
On the south side of the Burati river, is the kingdom of Kyln. Kyln is ruled by hobgoblins who have an amicable peace with the elves to the north and an active defense to the west against the Ogres of the Whitechalk cliffs. This far south, the southern end of the Sing’jar mountains curves west and ends as the Yil range, holding the Yil valley. Kenku and hobgoblins freely mix, under the rule of the Kyln kingdom.
The Whitechalk cliffs are a giant slope from north to south, with giant chalk cliffs on the south side facing Danclar bay. Not only do communities of ogres protect the peninsula, other accursed beasts and undead inhabit the chapparal of the region. Deep canyons hide communities of lycanthropes and rumors of dinosaurs have been heard, too.
At the western tip of the cliffs, the Danclar islands are a dangerous place for sailors to stop: Yuan-ti have occupied these islands once peacefully occupied by lizardfold sahaugin. Trade is sanctioned in official marketplaces and tourists are arrested and deported if they are caught away from the marketplaces. There are no inns on the Danclar islands. Any ship sailing south is obligated to pay for permits for access to the south. The Yuan-ti navy patrols the islands.
If a crafty trader sails south east of the Danclars, heading into Danclar bay is frought with challenges that often take rituals and sacrifices to avoid. Elasomosaur, chaotic aquitic elves and merfolk populate the bay. Sirens camp on the rocky shores beneath the chalk cliffs. Navigating to the Yil valley, you would meet the last free lizardfolk and kua-toa, that are ostensably policed by the yuan-ti Yaan’bu empire. Since the lizardfolk are unable to escape, they are the only effective kelp farming and fisherman for the Danyil bluffs region, and given some latitude of freedom.
Yuan-ti bougeoise live above the Yil valley in the rocky bluffs in the Danyil bluffs. These snake peope own the trading companies that operate out of Dardan City, in the bay to the southeast of the bluffs. Dardan city is the heart of commerce, with a healthy population protected from the dinosaurs and other sea monsters to the northwest.
Off the west shore of Danyil bluffs is Egza island, the largest prison island of the yuan-ti. Egza island used to be the prison island of the previous despots: the Naga nation of Bundash. Egza island is now a prison for the remainder of the Bundash naga. The waters around Egza are policed by sahaugin and other aquatic races allied with the yuan-ti.
The other island on the south side of Dardan bay is Fylwen island, another yuan-ti prison. Fylwen is the ancestral home of the region’s minotaur. Six hundred years ago, Sing’jar straight saw a fleet of minotaur refugees travelling north. This was the wave of refugees displaced by the Yaan’bu empire. High elves and sea elves were also displaced by this yuan-ti expansion hundreds of years ago.
Shane and I worked up a setting for the Fall season: we’re sailing south! South of Sing’jar we have other kingdoms that have run many races out of their borders. The minotars and many sea elves came from the south seas. What drove them north?
Geography plays a part in separating the west coast of the continent. South of Sing’jar, the Whitechalk Cliffs are an accursed ridge that splits the currents of the ocean and defy overland travel. Kingdoms of ogres and oni defend the the ridge.
South of the ridge there are dramatically warmer currents and climates. Strange sea beasts, like elasmasaur and giant kraken patrol the islands and bays. Escaped lizard folk tell of snake people who held them prisoner. Black bird people and hobgoblins live behind the Ogre kingdom. South of them is an even stronger empire, possibly entire of snake people.
Islands can be traps and prisons. Remnants of previous societies remain isolated on some southern islands, unable to sail off or trade because of the brutal marine animals swiming in the surrounding waters. When Crimskill traveled south, what did he see? Did his giant’s hand play an unfair card to the nacent evil nations in the south?
Last game at BUF this season is 10 June. I know many will not be present. We will be discussing Fall seasons options.
Would like to have a BBQ D&D day sometime on/after 21 July, weekend preferred. Please contact me directly about your availability.
Amroth Cavepool, a young 70, was a bright miner and good with his fellow dwarves who lived deep below the Sing’jar mountains. Almost since his birth under these mountains, he had been present either defending the clan against the Cult of Ulexnil or repairing dammage to the tunnels from purple worms. Everyone had been busy for years, people were constantly being hurt, but they were saved by two things: the passages between east and west slopes of the mountains that brought trade with the surface, and plentitude of fungus that grew in the old passages left by the purple worms.
Uncle Harnig Ruktite had spent many years leading ore cars up to the elves on the east and out to the humans on the west to trade for game and wheat. On his latest trip he was late, and Agus Cavepool, on patrol, found him slumped against the wall, unconcious from a stab wound in a tunnel on the west side. This was unusual, because the Cult would not have used blades, it would have been magic. The humans were too loud and typically repelled by the traps near the entrances to get so far. Some malicious cavedweller was on the loose!
Amroth, Agus and aunt Elinke stuffed their packs with jars of pickled mushroom slices and salted deer jerky, hefted their picks and set out to find the culprit. First, the connector tunnels between the family areas and the mining viens: normal. Next the ore discard paths that lead east: interesting lone tracks on the gravel. Then the discard paths that lead west: more tracks by the same foot prints and signs of dwarf scat. A new tunnel was found dug to the mushroom grove and it had regular footprints. No one would notice stealing fungus from the back of the cave. The team retreated to watch the path.
A single young dwarf appeared, climbing over a bolder they hadn’t considered had any room behind it, and started walking the path to mushrooms. As he approached, they noticed he was bald with barely a beard. Was he burned? He barely stood out from the darkness as if he was also the color of shadow. Agus signaled and they all jumped down from the walls and surrounded the fellow. Amroth felt a jab below his eye and immediatly fell backwards, but Agus and Elinke both struck him with their picks and he went down.
The prisoner was clearly foreign, and appeared to resent the sight of them. He was gray skinned and had a few spines as wiskers on his chin. This was a Deurgar, but none had been seen in this land…ever. His name was G’ning-ar, and he didn’t now how to get home. He liked how dark it was in the caves, because where he came from it wasn’t dark enough. But wherever that was, he couldn’t find a way back. He was lost from his family and doing fine by himself, thank you. The shook G’ning-ar down and found almost a sack’s worth of daggers, gems, and stolen jerkey from their pantries.
There was no way this Deurgar was going to live among the Cavepools, he was a thief and an unrepentant one. No recognition of good dwarven god was about him…this was a rogue from another world here for no apparent reason. Agus, Amroth and Elinke tied his hands and lead G’ning-ar up a dozen levels, nearly to the surface, and left him there on the floor, without his daggers. “Go any lower,” they said, “and we’ll break your legs and leave you on the surface, you thief!”
G’ning-ar hated the Cavepools. Hated them more than the other wierdo magic using dwarves he met in the south that kept shooting magical arrows and fire at him. That wasn’t comfortable, but at least he didn’t get a chance to be insulted and humiliated. These Cavepools were all dicks. Any chances to steal from them would be welcome!
And for the next 200 years, G’ning-ar make a trip every week to wreck something owned by the Cavepools. Not always successfully, but enought to keep them constantly cautious. No dimwitted knuckle dragging pick swinging dwarf would find a rogue deurgar in a million years, right?
Gruuden’kar son of Gnuden’tik, slayer of Shivvek, was always full of stories, and constantly derailing conversations with a “one time, you know…” and a “that reminds me of,” to the point at which granson G’ning-ar son of Pubshan son of Gruuden’kar learned to just say “that’s right, grandpa,” and go on swinging his toy hammer when being toted about on Pubshan’s back.
They, Pubshan and Gruuden’kar, would take G’ning-ar scavenging in the old city Tatus, once home to a hundred-thousand Githyanki. Old buildings would be stacked with abandoned weapons, magic wands, staves and bows decorated in many manners. Not all of them were safe, either. Before touching any appealing item, it would get collected into a blanket and not directly touched until cleric Tru’de-gar could determine if it was cursed.
G’ning-ar, when he was a young thirty or so, decided to wander off while Pubshan grandpa were moving a pile of fallen bricks away from a big door. Duergar are hardy, but any chanse of slipping away and finding some silence always appealed to G’ning-ar. It became very quiet, very suddenly…and he couldn’t hear his clothes rustle, he breath, or his heart beat. He looked down and found himself in a glowing circle of runes.
The next place he saw was nothing but endless sky. In the far, far distance was a floating island that looked like a corpse covered in tiny buildings…just floating in the sky…getting smaller. Turning around, he saw an short, iron banded house floating about twenty steps away. He was twisting to the left, the house was slowly twisting to the right. He waved his legs and started twisting backwards.
This was trouble. Shouting wouldn’t help, he knew. Duergar common sense told him that he was probably doomed. But Gruuden’kar might have told a story about something like this. So he spun and thought. And got more and more hungry. Grandpa Gru once told a story about how he followed a Githyanki through a portal onto a field of air. It didn’t make any sense to G’ning-ar at all at the time. But Gru said he figured out that in the field of air, if you thought in unison with your feet, your intention would wisk you along. Gruuden’kar finally cought up to the Githyanki and stabbed him in the back, stole his purse and satchel of onyx stones that he then threw away becuase they would only be useful to a filthy wizard.
The iron-banded house was slowly rotating into view. G’ning-ar purposefully swung his leg and opposite hand in stride as if we were walking to the house. And he got moved closer. In a few strides he even felt like he was walking on a path. In a minute, he grabbed the handle to the door, swung it open, and stepped through.
And his back smaked as if he fell twenty feet onto a tallas slope. He slid down and crumpled up against a rock wall. Welts and scratches along along his back, arms and legs were stinging madly. And it was much darker than he remembered seeing in a long time. Grampa Gru tended to wander about the city in it’s dim light so frequently that the total dark of a cave was rather rare.
Letting his head spin, his ears ring, and his welts throb…slowly the shape of the tunnel, the rubble, and the pick marks of the mine he was in became clear. This tunnel was crap dwarven work! Their tools were dull, the idgit bastards! They didn’t clear a path on the floor so they could keep clearing. Sigh–he got up, shook himself a bit and found his balance, and decided that he brought this exile on himself. He would miss his dad and grandpa, but clearly, this place was entirely new…