How Corruption Sculpted Galentaspar

Ludhold mine started as the churned crater where a metacarpal of the astral giant landed, shattering deep in crust and triggered a churn of planar gaps and the poorly preserved remains of strange creatures can be found frozen in the ore in the depths. The impact changed the water table in the plane, and tends to collect into an underground chamber 100 feet below the surface. The high elves called this underground lake Rondo’huta’linya, the domed cursed lake. The dwarves named it Zarag Der’kurzr, pool of curses. This cave lake has been trouble for thousands of years.

Belgar island has always has eyes and ears everywhere. Being the first city with extraplanar magic in Vastus, ambitious high elves with the help of dragons of High Burati scoured the landscape for reminants of the astral giant’s collision across the continent. When one of our greedy elves from Belgar island encountered a crater two days east of the Sing’jar mountains with a glowing crystal of ruklaf growing out of the middle, plans to capitalize on that quickly formed.

Val’aiwe, a son of Elucius, too charge of the mining operation and brought the Ludroth familiy of dwarves to develop the mining operation and sold ruklaf and other magic minerals to the families of Belgar Island. The Great Hall Ludhold hid a lot of troubles, but a very tough and magically literate dwarven community. Duergar and deep gnomes from varous other underdark worlds would wash up on the shores of the Zarag. Competing underground communties were developing at the fringes of the mines.

Four centuries later, Crimskill and Rodorax eventually attacked Ludhold and ransacked the upper levels, leaving just the wrecked crater, Galentaspar. They forced orcs to haul tons of magical ore and dwarven weapons back to Rodorax’s caldera. Belgar Island had also changed a lot in this time, and the initial peace and propserity of the Sing’jar valley had repeatedly decayed with the severing of relations with the wood elves and the attacks of giants. Belgar decided to use what was available to reclaim the remaining value of Galentaspar: the underdark. Sending a mage to Rondo’huta’linya, a family of drow were summed thru thte lake, and left in charge. The clan of Burzel’i sold magic items available by portal for the next 200 years. They maintained power of the desert by assembling a pentagram of monoliths that cast a protection spell in a 20 mile radius around Galentaspar..

Preceeding the devil incursion on Sing’jar, hundreds of years later after Crimskil defeated Thromcron, Sing’jar adventurers were expanding and developing their strength. In an unprecedented move, two of the monoliths were destroyed and the magic protection disappeared. New foes moved in and forced the Burzel’i out. Now, if you sit on the shores of the Zarag, you will see a monster with three eyes set vertically in it’s skull.

(D&D) Drums and Undead

barrel-headThe party rested in Botilo after they dropped off the captured renegades to Wiri Bentspear. These cairn towns lacked anything such as an inn, so they had to sleep wrapped in their cloaks outside town. With the late rising moon, about an two hours from dawn, the sound of a drum woke the party. Then a second drum added a counterpoint to the beat. Then some cheering and chanting.

Our party gathered their weapons and walked in the south road. As they walked into town, they watched a party of six dark figureson horses, two with banners, ride in on a trail from the east. The only thing from the east was the huge gravel pit of Galentaspar. This probably meant drow.

Behind the crowd near the casino in at the town pavilion, Wiri Bentspear stood before the cairn with a black staff. Wiri then bowed formally, “Lieutenant Webcross, you and your drow are welcome in Bilito. It has been a long time, Vino.” They did not meet each other with friendly eyes, and Wiri was clearly not enthusiastic about this visit.

Quickly, the riders unmounted and a moment the tall drow commander tossed back the hood of his dark grey robe, showing his purple hair and blazing purple eyes was raising his left hand to the sky. The crowd quieted. When he raised his right hand, in it was a terrible mace made from silvered bones and the now silent crowd stepped back. In abyssal, he shouted: All hail thee, Lolth!

Lolth! The crowd answered. Some of our party didn’t understand what was being said, and when the crowd started to kneel, some of them didn’t. This could not have been more conspicuous…hiding in shadows or not.

“I am Vino Webwright, priest of Lolth. The priests of Lolth congradulate you on your fine trade topside! However, we hear of outsiders infiltrating our outposts, and are here to help rid you of your infiltrators. We’ve heard of the elven attack, but there has been too much trouble of late…

“Who here among you does not belong? Bring them forth!” Reaching into his saddle bag, he produces a huge helping of gold coin in loose sack, and jingles it. “This for those who bring them forth!”

Lotheric is turned on by a huge half orc, one of the many anti-paladin soldiers occupying the cairn towns, and is pushed forward. Lotheric swings repeatedly and the half orc deftly dodges. They are not surrounded by orcs and half orcs. More creeping in around them.

A battle starts when one of the orcs staggers back with a sword sticking out of him, A hail of daggers wounds a half orc, and Lotheric swings again. But they are surrounded and pushed forward again…to see six exhumed graves in the pavilion with skeletons staring up out of them.

“Oh, this will be easy…why are they even bothering?” mutters Lotheric, confident that skeletons will cleave like paper under his attacks.

Wiri raised his black staff, and the slowly brightening sky instantly grew inky clouds that boiled from directly above the cairn. A purple glow issued from the black pyramid atop the cairin. The skeletons started shaking and rolling in the graves. But then the smell hits them as the skeletons start to move in their graves….graves too large for the … multiple…human skeletons in each shallow pit…

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Faroth: Avo of Knives

One hundred years before the orc’s sacked Sing’jar, the elven tribes of the Sing’jar mountains ruled out to the plains far to the east. The crops were bountiful, and there was feasting every season. Thoughts of the fire giant were distant and dim. Ginndale the Swift, at five hundred years old, decided he would push the eastern border of further to the river of Y’lima. The quest was worthy and fighters from north and south trekked through the mountains to join up.

I was a child, and my father was tempted to join up as well. His friends would stop by our tree and ask if he were going, but I was always at his knee with my wooden play sword pretending to fight orcs. I’m glad he didn’t leave me, and those are my fondest memories. When the crusade to the east left, I remember trumpets playing to send our troops off.

I must have had two birthdays before we heard from them…of them again. A wildfire was set in the fall when the hay was dry, before winter began, and burned many farms on the east side of the mountains. Maybe a dozen families lost their trees and houses. The eastern foothills were black for years. The place where the fire started, there was a burnt wagon with the skeleton of an elf placed with a red sash over its rib cage, with the symbol of a serpent-haired monster.

My uncle told me that story, because he was right next to my father when they both discovered the wagon. The circlet on the skeleton was of Bindle’ti, a young second cousin that went on the crusade. The wagon was filled with elven skulls. The night my father’s patrol found that wagon, they were attacked by a hundred orcs, and he and the rest of the squad, except Feltor, were killed.

Only magic could have masked the scent or sound of that many orcs from an elven patrol. Since then, the orcs reclaimed the eastern foothills and have pushed west almost right through the middle of the mountains. With our best warriors lost, the camps of the Sing’jar elves retracted and became defensive.

I harnessed my anger and hatred and forsook Ehlonnah and all the spirits of the trees and I looked to the stories of Erevan to help me take revenge on the orcs. Down through the east foothills I traveled, constantly sharpening my knives, shadowing the orcs, flaying and torturing them to find which killed my father, and who led them.

In one midnight fight, a Drow priest of Lolth and an unnaturally ageless priest of Sevarash caught me in a magic circle. Playing up my madness, I tried to convince them we were on the same side: full of vengeance, powered by hatred. The priest of Sevarash said, “You lie, green stick of an elf. You love killing orcs, but you are not mad.” And the priest of Lolth said, “We plucked you up in the night, creature of the day. Your hatred is only a folly. If you drip your blood in this circle, you will be bound to powers greater than Ehlonna, and no orc nor man will stand in your way! But you will sacrifice your vengeance forever.” Faced with this dark choice, I rejected it and they released me.

Halfway to the river, I found a huge pit mine, home to a thousand orcs. The whole countryside stank of waste and was littered with corpses of starved and mutilated cattle and humans. This wasteland was an orc’s dream, but on a scale that no elf had ever told stories of. I only made it as far as the edge of the pit mine before some frightening magicĀ  began to hound me…and I fled. Nightmares for two years drove me to the islands. The sight of trees made me break out in a sweat–trees felt like skeletons to my spirit–all my hope drained away for months.

The mountains have no love of me–I’m a bad example. I have no respect of those cowardly elves, either. These islands are full of survivors, and I respect that. So it is quite a surprise to see Simon here. It is time I related my story to Simon, of the dark evils on the east side of the mountains. The young fighter, Eliza, she reminds me too much of my youth and I don’t want her company. This Lothric and his gang…they can be my hammer to flatten more orcs.