Friday, March 30, 2012

A Short History of Tim's Campaign World, Mondial

Tim's Trailblazer campaign has recently resumed, and we've picked up two new players from the Traveller game.  They've been...  somewhat confused, though.  Here's a brief summary of everything we (the players) know about Tim's world (I'll add a map if and when I can get a scan of Tim's paper map).

Timeline (dated YBN - Years Before Now):

>5000 YBN - The Chromata, a group of five dangerous artifacts, are created.  We have one of them - Mavrilith the Spelldrinker, a black blade.  Also known are a white shield (Breath of the Dead), blue suit of mail (don't remember name, illusion properties), green something (the Gentle Master - enchantment of some kind), and red something (the Mind's Anchor or something similar).  Each is, at the present time, guarded by a dragon of the same color, except for black and white.  We slew the black dragon and took the black Chromata, and the white shield is known to be in the hands of the enemy (more on him later).  Art objects recovered from the hoard of the black guardian predate recorded history, but also bear the likenesses of forgotten human emperors; this gives rise to speculation that the chromata are of human origin, and lays to rest earlier theories that they might be draconic in origin (which stemmed primarily from the fact that their guardians were dragons).

~5000 YBN - The Elf-Gnome War.  High elven masters of enchantment vs gnomish masters of illusion.  Both civilizations effectively destroyed during a prolonged war of tricks and deception.  The region of unstable magic known as the Impasse is created as a last gnomish superweapon illusion.  It's a funky place.

5000 > x > 40 - Other civilizations develop.  City State of Dehlia founded by humans.  Kathras Deep founded by dwarves.  Araduin Hills settled by halflings.  Duskvale, Malas Farngrey, and Mekbah founded by humans.  Lizardman empire of Sol Magnar founded in the southern deserts (believed to have been founded earlier than these others, as they possessed data on the chromata in their libraries).

~30-40 YBN - The Goblin Wars.  Goblins invade the settled southlands from the Nordham Reaches; dwarves largely repulse them from their territory.  Halfling homeland of Araduin Hills burns, primary population center moved to fortified Hollowtown of Three Rivers.  The involvement of the humans of the City-State of Dehlia is uncatalogued, but there's a reason the city has some pretty serious walls, I suspect...

~20 YBN - Kathras Deep burned by Anaximath the Red Terror, who sets up a lair there.  Fjolkir goes mad, lives out in the woods.

~5 YBN - Gygas the Black crushes the town of Duskvale, sets up a lair there with his brood.

~1-2 YBN - Information on the Chromata surfaces.  The Black 13, a splinter cabal of gnomes who survived the war outside the Impasse, becomes aware of an elven artifact of significant power.  They use their ties with Malakax University of Dehlia to send Ythir, a human illusionist, to go get it for them.  Ythir gathers a band of companions including Qual, a surviving (but largely clueless) high elf, and retrieves the artifact.  Upon its return to the Black 13, it devours one of them and transforms into the High Elf King, kills several more, laughs maniacally, and teleports to parts unknown.  Ythir is contacted by Two of the Black 13 and told of the Chromata; he makes their acquisition his goal (I believe in order to fight the elf king...  not really sure though).  This is also the first time that rumor of the chromata appears, historically; there is speculation about a mysterious force implementing a time delay of some sort on the dissemination of this information.  For more information, see this post.

~0.06 YBN - Three Fists of Dehlia form. Two, alias Adam the Bard, creates several faux Rods of Wonder and uses them to erase the memories of several parties of adventurers.  He sends these parties, each working under the name The Fists of Dehlia, after the chromata.  Fists 1, comprised of Barradin Took, Fjolkir the Beardless, Somak the Druid, and Alonso the Thief slay Gygas, then manage to defeat the Rod and Two's influence, claiming the black chromata for themselves.  Ythir appears and tries to take it from them, but is likewise defeated (but permitted to live).  Alonso disappears mysteriously, and Somak sacrifices his life to close a portal to hell after regaining his memories.  Fists 2, comprised of the Mighty Shin-Yao, Karath the Quiet, and several unknown (deceased) others, slays the white guardian, but are subsequently defeated by Two / Adam; the white chromata falls into his hands.  The target, composition, and success or failure of Fists 3 is unknown.

0 YBN - Free Fists of Dehlia formed when Barradin, Fjolkir, Shin-Yao, and Karath meet by happenstance in Malas Farngrey, City of Temples, and decide to join forces.  They choose the green dragon of Helheim Woods, believed to guard the green chromata, as their next target.  The Elf King is discovered to have taken control of the City of Dehlia, and is believed to be using mind control magics on its population (due to reports of willing cooperation of criminal elements with the new regime).

So that's the timeline we're working with...  Here's a list of PC-threat dangerous NPCs expected to recur:

Ythir the Illusionist - He's after the chromata, and probably has some kind of devious master plan.  Thanks, Jared.  Illusionist 9 when last a PC; when last encountered by PCs, most potent traditional spell (ie, not Tim handwaving) witnessed was Resilient Sphere, so no clear increase in power.  Expect this to be remedied when next we meet him.

Adam / Two - Gnome bard / illusionist or something...  Appears to have distributed copies of himself via the Rods of Brainfuck.  Also has the capability to erase and modify memory.  Believed to have two 'copies' on the loose; one has the white shield taken from Fists 2, the other is expected to be with Fists 3.  As with all distributed systems, I expect he has at least one more backup somewhere...

The Elf King - Capabilities largely unknown, but disintegration and teleport suggest spellcasting of >= 11th arcane caster level.  And since it was technically a quickened split ray disintegrate, possibly much, much higher...

Hethras the Vampire - Vampire Monk; energy drain unarmed strikes urrrgh...  He knows we have the black chromata.  Combat opportunist; has aided us previously when it was in his own interests, but has also showed up at inopportune times to try to kill us and take Mavrilith.  Expect him to show up for bossfights and possibly backstab us.

Somar the Savage - Somak's half-brother, an orc barbarian / druid chieftain (have witnessed Wild Shape + Rage, so we know he's at least Druid 5 and Bbn 1).  Responsible for the burning of Druidtown, possibly with aid from Ythir (last known possessor of the Black Lotus Dagger, which Somar used during his assault).

Seche Peret - Dehlian halfling mob boss.  Formerly a (dangerous) patron of sorts of Aluna the Sorceress (believed to have been a member of Fists 2; her last stated objective was to acquire the white chromata.  Possibly deceased, possibly future ally.  She and Barradin would get along splendidly), now believed mind-controlled by Elf King.

Asmir the Assassin - Last known to be hunting Ythir; expected to reappear, but unknown whether as an ally or an enemy.  Rogue 5 / Assassin 4 when last a PC.  Master of disguise; could be anyone we meet.

Anaximath - Not technically a recurring hostile, but expect to fight her.  Mature Adult or stronger red dragon.  's gonna be a good one.

Mavrilith - Come on guys, it's a sentient black sword that thirsts after all magic.  How can this possibly not come back to bite us in the ass at some point?

Possible high-power NPC allies (mostly good-ish aligned PCs from last campaign):

Qual High-Elven - High elf ranger, and last of the (known) high elves besides the Elf King.  Original creator of Qual's Feather tokens.  Unfortunately, he's forgotten a lot in his 5000 years...  Last known objective was going south across the sea in search of old elven libraries for data on Chromata.

Miranda - Dwarven paladin from the Hammer Temple of Dehlia; child of dwarven refugees from the burning of Kathras Deep.  Last known objective was to aid the Singed Brigade in the containment of Anaximath.