Friday, March 20, 2009

The Souless Eleyan

The City of Omonyr, while only recently founded, has ancient origins steeped in the modern political realities of the surface world. The Souless, or political head of the civic entity that is Omonyr, is a Shadarkai woman names Eleyan. Eleyan is the ancient and young sister to the Queen of old Khepathia, the Raven Queen. She is said to have studied civil rule with that, the most enigmatic of multiplanar roaylty, the Queen of Pain in Sigil, the nexus city at the hub of the Astral world.
During the fall of Khepathia, do we first hear the name Eleyan, in the Lae of Durag, a ballad of orcish song, infact the first dirge from where the druidic barding traditions of the Order of the Nine Stars comes from.
Eleyan would have no man
to hold in her gaze
in lonely heart with fist
does the silver queen spend her days-
Tigers and drum remind her
of name and place
in cold shadow with Zce
with no sun and only pale face.

Omonyr, City of Shadow

"Omonyr, yeah, I've been there." Says Dezr standing on the precipice overlooking the city on the void. "It just hangs there, like a bat or a drip of water, on the edge of the infinite hallow. Most surface folk don't know the world is mostly hollow. Not only that but there is a vast underground network of political powers that web this underplace together and feed dark markets across the globe. In reality, Omonyr is probably only one of many such pirate coves. This one just happens to be here. Under Gavin Wel, the seat of the origin of the largest mine of Zce, or Cathoid, or whatever you call it, in the history of the world."
"Yeah, you humans, man, you guys like to get high so much that you will go to war over it. again and again., alcohol, weed, opium, cathoid, you cling to these evils. It taints you and now it taints the land. This is where it is coming from. Erythia, the artificial mountain next to the City was closed to mining the silver substance fifteen hundred years ago and it is not here any longer, or at least, that is what they tell you. The new mine is the kingdom of Beris far away. There is a war on the surface between here and there. How do you get the stuff here? underground. Through Omonyr."
"Looks like it has come into its own too, moneywise. Those three airship docks that extend out from the face of the cliff are new. That means more traffic. Look at all those boats! some are blighted too. Means they're from Beris."
"Better watch yourself down there. Put on a damn cloak Zarconus. Cover that holy armor. This is dark people doing dark things. Plenty of secrets and plenty of money, means plenty of violence."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Altar of the Demon Queen of all Dragonkind

This map below describes the events that transpired at what was once the Altar of Tiamat of Old Khepathia. The date when this went down was the second month of Summer, 2011, 6th epoch of the Raelfaen. Gavin Wel Valley. In the UnderWeb road between Old Fang and Starry Gardens.

click on each image to enlarge. This entry is best read top to bottom.

1. The return of Zarconus and Walder to this space and this time. What was it that wripped them from their continuum some three thousand years before in old Khepathia? The Platinum eye as Zarconus suspected or was it Tyrara, Walder's love, the Titan Magician? Had she saved them? Walder felt it to be true in his longing heart. Back in this room. This terrible place. The Necro lab where they had found the crystal ring that transported them across an ocean of history to be champion of dubious fate. Be that what ever it may, there they were: still bloody, still deeply wounded from the fight with dragon in the ancient arena.
Their nature, altered. With no longer a beating heart but rather an artifact of his ancient diety, Zarconus the knight reflects a dragon magic that manifests in this cold place as a dark visage: close to wyrm kind magics that mortals rarely encounter.

2. The litter of the Dead and the Heartless. Stacked in a pyramid of litters containing the bodies of fifteen men, including Bartok Tigeon and Warren Bessallyn whose bodies had been defiled, hearts removed and then resewn in a particularly macrabre fashion.

3. Dezr the Waiting. "Yeah, I'm still here!" The orcish captain has been unaffected by the wandering cathidic magic that haunts this mysterious chamber. He says it has been three days since the Paladin and the Rogue had found the crystal ring and disappeared and Tim the Ranger and Avari the Waif had left this material plane. Hungry and used to waiting, the smelly warrior is glad to see Zarconus and Walder.

4. Tim the Meditating Ghost. The poor ranger sits in mistform, eyelids half closed. Walder says he had seen this kind of ritual before on marks of his in Femin. Raven Queen priests. It is likely that Tim is deep in the Shadowfel. Dezr says "Yeah, he ain't dead or nuthin, just not here, off on an adventure with only half his body...hope he's got his whole mind!"
5. Avari the Held. More disturbing than Tim's plight is poor Avari who hangs suspended in the air on the other side of the litter of bodies from Tim. A single electric fork massages her blank staring face and seems to be the cause of her catatonia.
6. The Necro Lab and the Altar revealed. Large glass balls hang near brass mechanical compontents in mysterious purpose. Dezr explains that none of the magic in here seems to affect him, "could be a function of bein' an orc, ya know, druid magic is not tiefling, titan, raelfaen or human magic, not by a long bit." Beyond the glass electricity machine is a large crystal down the hall. When Walder investigates a second bolt of eldritch energy sparks from another glass bulb similar to the one holding onto Avari, begins to track Walder, slowly closing toward him. Dezr exclaims "That's it! You say the word Walder and I am ready to smash this dumb machine." Walder obliges and when Dezr busts one of the globes with the Tommyknocker a large explosion reveals a beautiful golden altar under the waxy film coating the walls.
7. No exit. Zarconus investigates Avari's stasis and in so doing hears whispered in a sweet motherly voice "Know me and my love, be of me and mine..." At that streams of green, red, white, black and blue magic envelope him, curing him of his injuries and feeding him power.
9. The Crystal Eye of the Chaos Queen. The Crystal down the hall that Walder investigates is six feet tall and is embedded in a large ceramic base. There are handprints pressed into ceramic, presumably when it was wet and in ritualistic fashion. The hand prints are large and reminds Walder of Tyrara. Pain enters his heart and is foreign to the sometime assassin.
10. The Champion of the Dead. Up through the floor as an enraged wraith springs a champion of old Mitanthea with five crystals in its skull: red, blue, black, green and white. "Am I too fight your champion after you just healed my wounds?" Zarconus ponders as he begins a long sword battle against this enemy wielding a vicious falchion. Upon his demise the creature portends "The only thing you take in my end is my place!"

11. Cleo. Through the unsettled dust a woman appears and at first Zarconus is sure that it is the Shadar, Miskatel, a love of the knights left in Old Khepathia. When she gets closer he sees that she is not her, although reminicent. She says "It is an honor to know you Grandfather! I honor you by returning you to the Earth!" At that the girl reveals herself to be a descended made from Zarconus's coupling in the alternate time dimension so many thousands of years before.
12. Pit Goblins. Cleo the grandaughter of Zarconus arrives with two dozen pit goblins who set upon Walder and Dezr like a pack of rabid dogs. Dezr swings his mighty club, the Tommyknocker as a bat to the wretched creatures, smashing them in waves.
13. Tel Omad. Zarconus engages Cleo in combat and is taken by a beath of truth, a voice from beyond. The voice of his true mother, the warrior who bequeathed unto him the Sword of his Calling as a knight of Bahamut, the silver elfwrought blade that he currently wields. "Stikarus!" is the true name of the sword as it cries and pierces the heart of Cleo the granddaughter.
It bright light eminating radiant magic, Cleo's nature is revealed. No real creature is she but made of pins and cogs with constructed illusion. Running the length of the floor and the ceiling is an intricate network of strings and wire. Cleo is a puppet! a ploy to corrupt Zarconus' mind.
the puppeteer: Tel Omad, the Ogre Mage who so plagued Tiki Mumbai click here to bounce to that entry. Angered at his trap foiled, the enraged beast engages Dezr in melee and finds a worthy advisary. Dezr's original command was with the Whistle Skull Orcs who were kidnapped and corrupted by Tel Omad, set upon then by Tim so many days before. Tel Omad proved cowardly after being smacked by Zarconus and his Mother's blade of Light and left the Necro lab in a blast of shadow magic.
14. Snarl Hellwind. Revealed there too was a small creatures. Low and hateful, running to crystal shard, instercepted by Walder who skillfully tackles him. Transforming his body into snakes the apparent goblin wizard cries from the mouths of a thousand tiny serpents still running to the crystal "No one can master Snarl Hellwind! Blight lord!"

15. Revelation. The thousand serpents that made up little Snarl find the handprints of the ancient titan masters and activate the old device to much more terrible ends than any could have ever imagined. Awakened, enraged and called to this world for the mechanations of the world now can not be denied: the wall that was the altar of Tiamat collapses to reveal an ultimate image: Tiamat herself! Glorious, terrible and beyond apprehension.
In the breath that passed, Walder turned his face from the madness image pressing down on his mind to see a vision (?) of Tyrara, his love pulling a lever that she needed help protecting field immediately shielded the once Necrolab from the ferocious demon queen of all dragonkind.

16. Repentance. In a unholy moment of temptation, the visage of Tiamat disappeared and Zarconus was left with a suit of chromatic armor and called with that motherly voice from before: "Come and be with me and mine..." With his trembling hand reaching toward the new calling, he takes a quick kick in the gut leaving him winded.
A booming voice covers him "You of the Platinum Heart do not know your place! The two mother and father were one once but now there is good and there is evil. You can not see the balance, therefore you must be destroyed!"
It is the Concordant Killer: an angel of watching who may or may not have been under the employ of Bahamut. At that, Zarconus kneels and then prostrates himself, belly down infront of the angel. "Please spare me. I serve Bahamut and Bahamut only."
Tiamat, enraged that her new champion is denied her, blast the necrolab and it is only with the powerful and ancient Titan made forcefield augmented by the power of the Concordant Killer does the area survive. The surrounding cavern: the once electric fields are destroyed in an instant. The three heroes sit alone after the angel disappears in a heartbeat. The mistform of Tim remains as does the unconcious Avari. On a plateau in a void of room so many fathoms beneath the surface Zarconus declares: "This was once a temple of Tiamat. Again it shall be a temple, but a temple of the good father of the sky. I shall erect a pillar of platinum light to the stars so far above our heads." All Walder can do, after restraining Snarl with tight bonds, most likely not a blightlord at stare at the inky space and wonder where this adventure takes them next.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Walder the Rogue

While Tim Tigeon was a happy farmer's boy, Walder's dad, the town's tanner, was a violent drunk. The miserable tanner's boy would routinely greet Tim by punching him in the face, although the future ranger never begrudged him for it, much. When Walder's father beat his mother to death when he was was not much more than a boy, he ran from the town of Maeiah, swearing never to return. He spent his young adulthood in the shadow alleys of Femin surviving as a hood, thief and sometimes killer. He petitioned to join the Mice Eyes, a particularly nasty guild and made a small chest as a cutthroat. Figuring himself badass enough to make a future fortune as an adventurer, he left the Mice Eyes by running to the woods and eventually made it to Gavin Wel.

Walder became companion with Zarconus, the knight of the Platinum Dragon, by a dark path. Having arrived in the Emerald City with a heavy satchel of gold, Walder spent a few nights hanging out at the Glowing eye, a place known for society types and high rollers. Growing impatient after having found no work, he eavesdropped on Zarconus going over maps and a plan to open the Shadow Road with a duo of adventurers, including the knight's younger brother Kaiel and a young boy, presumably rogue. While assigning all the scouting and thieving details to this one young rosy-cheeked kid, probably the son of one of the others, Zarconus does not notice Walder behind a lantern enrapt and waiting the wait of a predator. Holding until the kid made a pit stop in the privy to make his move, Walder silently dropped down on him and opened him from navel to neck with his sharp shank. When the tavern exploded in commotion and shouting twenty minutes after upon the discovery in the privy, Walder slid up next to Zarconis and whispered, "I don't mean to pry, but it seems to me as though you may be in the need of a good sneak."

(entry by Obi and Benjie Watterson)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

To Take a Dragon with a Ancient Knife

Zarconus, before a audience of thousands eager for the spilled blood of a gladiator, bested the dragon Dardaripan with only minor help from his friend Walder. Armed only with an ancient short sword made of cathoid, the two fought for nearly an hour in the twilight radiance of the brass arena. It was there in the dragon's blood upon the death of the young and furious beast, that the two were able to activate the gem known as the Eye of Bahamut and return, ultimately, to their own time and their own place.

The Platinum Heart

Knowing that her lover face certain death at the clawing maw of the Black dragon in the arena, Mistalen the Shadar blessed Zarconus with the gift of the platinum heart. No longer would the half elf's heart beat with mortal blood but rather the arcane tick of a beat inscrutible to contemporary scrutiny.

The Raven Queen of Khepathia

Summoning the Moduru outlanders, Riapaho and Zarconus to her court, the then mortal Raven Queen, sovereign monarch of Khepathis, bid them love and courage in times ahead. Infact, recognizing their discrepancy of time, informed Riapaho/Walder of how to get back to the right time, by their perspective. Riapaho is to steal the eye of the Platinum Dragon while Zarconus is to fight the Black Dragon Dardaripan in the Arena.

The Founding of the Mice Eyes Guild

It was in a simple game of cards and dice that the outlander Moduru (an eladrin word for the clayborn, or those later to be called human) named Riapaho, or Walder, became the founding member of that the notorious and terrible guild of criminals and assassins, The Mice Eyes was founded. The Tielfing twins Arimen and Gelthspein were the other two in the game. It all was based on the token that Walder presented as a gambling piece that was made into a deal. Riapaho/Walder only made the equivalent of five gold pennies on the deal.

A temple in an ancient context

Walder and Zarconus found themselves in an ancient place beyond imaging: the exact spot they were at with their friends of the Shadow Road, but four hundred yard above in a tall spire and three thousand years before! The City of Khepathia flourishing before the coming of men, populated by nearly one million eladrin, tiefling, shadar and titan kind. The rogue and the paladin were then the only two humans in a sprawling and prosperous urban city that covered the whole of what would only become, much later, the City and Valley of Gavin Wel. The overwhellmingly tall spire they were in was part of a temple complex of Bahamut (then called Unonbate) that in ancient times had long ago collapsed to become the chamber of the Father Light.

New Love in the Ancient World

In a sullen and dank corner of the underroad, the four now included in the Party of the Shadow Road found themselves in a dismal place. After the battle with the undead dragonborn, Tim Tigeon found the repositories of bodies. Stacked in a pyramid of litters, the fifteen ancient bodies lay stacked around chests filled with their worldly possessions. The walls, no longer made of the volcanic landscape that had previously defined the landscape, now were found to be coated with a thick layer of black wax. Walder the Rogue uncovered enough wax to reveal a small drawer and in there, a tiny crystal ring decorated with a tiny skull.
Gazing into the eye of the skull, Walder gasped in horror as he heard he name cried out in a clear voice: "Your name is Riapahoh!" then having looked up at Zarconus, the only one who was not enwrapped in a strange trance that seemed to hold the rest of his party, He stood agape. At that terrible moment, reality seemed to be made of huge and moving stone blocks that tore Avari and Tim apart with them, leavine Walder and Zarconus in a different place of void where time and space slipped away in a breath.

Awakening in the bright sun on the cold marble floor of an opulent bedroom, Tim and Zarconus found themselves in the company of two beautiful women. The first, who later became known as Tyrara, stood ten feet tall and with a greenish tint to her skin was identified as a titan. It was later learned that Riapahoh is an ancient derivation of a version of the Giant Language that later transformed into Orcish and translated, means "Titan Blood."

Tyrar and Walder found a common tongue based on the magic ring Walder wore.
Zarconus found himself face to face with an elder race known as the Shadar...a term they later learned was an elder form of the Shadar Kai: an incarnation of the race before the coming of men. Mistalen was her name and great love immediately flourished between the two...across language and before destiny, these two brought themselves together across oceans of time.