What’s this? An article by someone other than Tionas? What madness is this?

It’s actually pretty simple. I’m Andon, Tionas’ brother. And I am going to be doing a weekly article on his D&D campaign that’s set to start on Tuesday. For some background information, I highly recommend going through the Mythology Monday bits. They set up a lot of the mythology around the world and are quite a good read.

Since the campaign hasn’t started yet I can’t introduce you to the characters that don’t exist yet – But I can give you some of the information that we’ve been given on the campaign.

The campaign is set in Killbar, or rather, what’s left of Killbar. About 50 years before the campaign’s start, Killbar was a great nation, a Mageocracy run by Killbar City’s Wizards School. However, the mages of Killbar contracted the Mind Plague, which drove them all slowly and irrevocably insane. In comes the General, heading a military dictatorship which hunted down and slaughtered as many mages as it could get its hands on.

His homeland secure, he set his eyes on expansion – He went east, into Tyndarian lands. He went south, conquering Jeslith, the home of the Halflings. His treatment of them was no better than the treatment of the mages. Then he went north, hungering for the Elvish lands, but was stopped by Moduru’s Second War, in which he was slain.

After his death, Killbar City was besieged, conquered, and then razed and salted for good measure. Where once had stood a thousand years of history now only ashes and death remained. Moduru held control over Killbar for a few years but they were also defeated – Not by a single conqueror, though. No lone person came to unite the Killbarans, and two decades after the sacking of Killbar City, the rest of the once-great nation is under the sway of city-states and warlords. Some rule through trade and money. Some rule through strength of arms, and others through deception and cleverness.

These city-states are willing to cooperate enough to ensure no single entity gains too much power, but as soon as the threat is gone, so is the cooperation. This allows for bandits and cutthroats to thrive in the lands between cities, just waiting for those brave enough to travel between them so they could liberate their hard-earned belongings.

Our characters have assembled in the port town of Parminium, where the Obsidian Vault Reclamation has its base. They specialize in reclaiming goods and items from the former Killbar territories, and our characters will be under their employ. This could take us in many directions, and I am excited to see what Tionas has in store for us.

I’ll be back next week, with information on the characters, and perhaps some more information on what our goals in the campaign will be.

Ariannas, Goddess of Violence

Other Titles: Rogue Maiden, The Bandit Queen, The Bloody Flame
Alignment: CE
Weapon: Heavy Spiked Flail (Bloodbreaker)
Major Domains: Violence, Banditry, Uprisings
Minor Domains:  Ruthlessness, Vengeance, Berserk Rage, Subjugation
Totem Animal: Bull

Holy Symbol: The Holy Symbol of Ariannas is a face with one half covered in a steel mask, and the other nude. The masked half of the face is of shining, gleaming steel with an Emerald eye, a wicked grin, and a bull’s horn. The unmasked half has long, flowing red hair with a wild green eye and a grin to match the mask. These two sides represent the two aspects of her personality. The masked aspect is that of her dedication to the art of war, particularly the crushing of your enemy, the ruthlessness of the battlefield and the subjugation of the weak. Her unmasked aspect represents her dedication to banditry, ambush, revolt and uprising.
Favored Appearances: Ariannas, in the time before the godswar, led her human servants and warriors against the forces of the other, powerful gods. In that time, she favored a towering, powerful Human form that was both beautiful and terrifying. Her powerful form moved gracefully and purposefully, her long red hair trailing behind her. She knew she was a beauty and used it to her advantage. In war, however, the beauty of her form was subservient to her terrifying armor, accentuating nothing of her physical form and built for protection and movement equally. A full helm with bulls horns graced her head, and her godly chain mail shone in the sun. When ambushing , she was as plain as anyone else, her hair tied back, her movements quiet and her leather and chain oiled into silence.
Ariannas is also one of the few Gods that feels a deep connection to one sex over another. While she has been seen and has used a male form, it is generally nondescript and boring, with a flat, tired face with a broken nose and scars on his face. He is neither bulky nor thin, and is uninspiring in every way. It is as if she puts no effort whatsoever into this form.

Warform: Ariannas’ Warform on the Iron Marches is that of Bull made almost purely of flame, with hardened ash hooves and a black-fire horns. Her Teeth are jagged obsidian and her eyes are blazing yellow flame. She leads the troops in battle from the front, goring, charging and rampaging through the enemy lines. She seems impervious to pain, with the wounds just stirring her to greater and greater feats of violence.

Personality: Ariannas is a violent, temperamental and wicked being. She is quick to be offended, hard to placate and swift to violence. She ruthlessly hunts down those who offend her to either kill or challenge them. She followers her own set of rules and has keep vendettas of her own for years and years. Within all of that chaos, though, is a dedication to her causes and her father, Takannas. She believes so strongly in subjugation of the week, and the uprisings of the conquered that she supports these events unconditionally. Knowing this, she was approached by Ferosh, god of ambition when he first hatched his plan to rebel. Though Ariannas originally considered their position, she felt such a strong tie to the subjugation of the lesser gods by her father that she stood by his side. However, she kept to herself the knowledge of the eventual rebellion, and that knowledge resulted in the deaths of many gods.

Teachings: Ariannas teaches a simple theology of retribution and violence. She teaches that violence, far from being an unnecessary solution, is the most simplest, direct and convincing solution to almost every problem. When you can’t beat the enemy in war, beat them in ambush and assassination. Kill the enemy however long it takes, however difficult it may be. Don’t make the end easy on them either.  Her domains of both subjugation and revolt seem to cause a conflict of interest, but her real calling is violence. If no one set out to conquer others, there would be little violence, and if none of those people who had been conquered revolted, there would be even less. Building on that theme, Ariannas very much differentiates resistance and governance from revolt and subjugation, respectively. You cannot revolt until you’ve already been subjugated, and you cannot subjugate that which you already rule. Though these ideas seem to conflict, the spread of violence, through whatever means, is her main goal.

Abode: The great, gleaming silver castle of Crushing Doom stands forbiddingly at the edge of the territory that the Paltonarchs control at the edge of the Iron Marches. From here she leads her forces into bloody ambushes and crushing pitched battles. Crushing Doom itself is a fortress filled with ruthless cutthroats, bloody warlords and victorious dictators all vying for Ariannas’ attention.

Clergy: The priests of Ariannas are great war-leaders and rabble rousers, delivering the message of power through strength in arms. They give their clergy hope no matter which side they take, and stride into battle with them, propelling them to great fits of violence, bringing the goddess directly onto the battlefield with them in spirit. Those who die in battle are glorified, being willing to shed not only the blood of others for her glory, but also their own lives.

Knightly Orders: The Children of Battle are Ariannas’ most famous knightly orders. These knights, if they can even be called that, turn into frothing berserkers at the first sign of conflict, raging against their foes, but often flying out of control and causing damage to their allies before being stopped. Together, these warriors find glory in death, violence, and the revolts of the conquered. The Children of Battle tend to offer their services to revolts and uprisings, as they tend to tolerate the ends justifying the means of the berserkers they have hired where armies of subjugation tend not to.

Clerical Attire/colors: Deep red cloaks adorn both the clerics and the Children of Battle while they tend to their flocks and enter battle. They adapt to the method of combat they are attempting, adopting gleaming, bright, silver armor, often adorned with great forward angled bull horns, in pitched battles and conquest while taking a more subdued, natural approach with greens and browns along side their deep reds.

Followers: The followers of Ariannas tend to be short tempered, and quick to violence. As such, she tends to patronize athletes, barbarians, and of course berserkers, in addition to Kings, emperors, revolutionaries and a few assassins and thieves.  She also has a sizable population of Orcs and Goblins with even dwarves under her purview.

The concept for Ariannas is that of a battle goddess that is one of the twins born to Takannas, the god of war. While he embodies the concept as a whole, his twin daughters represent the dark side and the honorable side of combat. His younger sun, Kalboras, represents the personal side. She should be chaotic, dangerous, and unstable. 

Kalboras, Accursed of Glory

Other Titles: The Lost Son, Battlemaster, The Firebrand

Alignment: CG

Weapon: Warhammer (Blackfang)

Major Domains: Glory, Triumph, Victory

Minor Domains:  Champions, Conquest, Arrogance

Totem Animal: Ram

Holy Symbol: A full face view of a Ram, with heavy, broad horns curling to the side. In the center of the forehead there is a 10 pointed orange star. The Ram tends to be black, red or purple, with variations depending on locale. While it is oftentimes a simple three dimensional representation, if painted it tends to be on a dark slate-gray background

Favored Appearances: Kalboras, like all of the Accursed, tends to walk the world very rarely in aspect form. However, when he does, he generally takes the visage very similar to his Father, Takannas. He is large, burly, and covered in hair. His full, red beard and long red hair flame in the sun, as if he is on fire himself. He is muscle bound, almost to the point of fable, wearing his breastplate as armor, with nothing else to protect himself. His clothing tends to be black, red and grey, and moderately tight in order to be ready for combat at any time. When he feels the need to be represented by a woman, his choice is that of a gruff dwarven woman. She, too, has red hair, strong muscles, and wears only a breastplate. She is modest in both dress and form, with her hair generally wrapped around the top of her head in a braid.

Warform: The Warform of Kalboras is that of a great, fiery ram. Its body is purest fire, while its horns, hooves and teeth are razor sharp obsidian.  The Ram can breath fire, and uses its great bulk and power to bully around others on the battlefield.

Personality: Kalboras is introspective and contemplating most of the time, but when roused to battle or brought to a cause, he is dedicated and completely absorbed by it. Son of Takannas by an unknown entity he is the eldest child of the Fire family.  Arrogant to a fault, he was one of the first of the lesser gods turned by Ferosh against his fathers family, and was the first to fall in line when the Black Pact was suggested. He was completely committed and believes event to this day in the cause of the rebels and the Tyranny of the Paltonarchs

Teachings: Kalboras Teaches a simple philosophy of warfare, conflict and self confidence. He is the Patron of many warriors who have fallen on hard times, and has a very strong cult following. The main tenants of his cult teach that you must rely only on yourself, and sometimes on subordinates who have proven their worth, lest you fail in an action. Nothing is greater than completing a task, preferably during a conflict, and doing it singlehandedly for all to see. Nothing is worse than failure. Unlike many deities who look at failure as a chance to learn, Kalboras teaches that failure is, at its heart, not trying hard enough to achieve that goal. Quitting is committing the greatest sin against the cause of Kalboras, and is punishable from within the faithful by death.

Abode: Kalboras lives in a megalithic structure from before even the Demon Queen came to the Iron Marches. Called the Champions hold, it is the farthest point on which the Accursed can call the Iron Marches their territory. Made of huge blocks of nickel, with what seems to be no mortar or cement of any type, the hold stretches almost 100′ in to the sky to be the watchtower of the Accursed forces, and the bastion that the retreating forces come to receive Succor and rest.

Cultists: Different from many of the Accursed, Kalboras has few priests and clerics, and many less cultists overall. Though he reaches out to many minds that will let him explain his position, few believe or take him up on his offer. Those few that do roam the land looking for disenfranchised, down on their luck warriors to convert to the Horned Companions. They teach that their god will bring unmitigated glory, victory unending and triumph over all those who have committed wrongs against them.

Knightly Orders: The main order of knights dedicated to Kalboras is the Horned Companions, though there is also a suitable number of warriors in the Order of Victory as well. The Horned Companions are a group of covert and discreet champions who wander the land looking for causes to champion, rebels to aid, and establishments to destroy. Many of them have headed out from Killbar in recent years, looking to destabilize the government of Tyndaria and hopefully destroy it in that weakened state. The Order of Victory is the known militant arm of Kalboras’ religion, and is known to reside on an island in the middle of the sea, and is used to send soilders and champions to lost causes, hoping to aid them in turning the tide to victory, but knowing that all to often that is not the possible case.

Clerical Attire/colors: Cultists of Kalboras wear little different do make themselves known, other than their secreted away holy symbol, but many of them tend to lean towards cream or white  clothing with red or maroon accents. Even this, though, has been taken by some towns to mean that a hero of the Accursed Kelboras is there to be rooted out and slain.  Both the Order of Victory and the Horned companions wear unadorned Tabards, with the Order of Victory tending to Purple-Red and the Horned Companions wearing a deep earthy red.
Followers: Followers tend to be Arrogant clerics, shamed offenders, dishonored Knights and these bent on personal gain above all else. His cultists tend to be people how would lead their communities, who believe in nothing short of Victory or Death. Warriors, Monks, Bards and Sorcerers are drawn to the reverence of Kalboras as well, hoping for redemption once they die.

Kalboras: The basic concept for Kalboras was an Accursed that could have easily swapped sides at one point, but choose not to. I wanted a stubborn, callous god that give the other godes a run for their money when he gets a good mind to it. 

Last week, Corvus Belli worked together with Beasts of War to provide a sneak peak at the Infinity N3 rules that are on their way. I was able to gather up a few of them , but Friday proved to be the lions share of rules, going over Close Combat, Hacking and Weapons and Ammo, along with a two part battle report using a pile of the new rules. I spent last week talking about Infinity itself, and today, prompted by my experiences over the last few years, I want to ramble for a bit on the subject of edition changes within games.

It feels like, back when I was playing games as a younger man, that they never changed unless I wanted them too. Board games rarely changed, and D&D, at the time, was fairly stable. The first real change that I’d encountered was in MTG. While the sets pushed forward and added new and interesting events and cards, there was’t really a philosophical design change. The story followed the same characters, the same locations and felt almost eternal. With the end of The Weatherlight Saga and the departure from Dominaria, I felt betrayed, I felt lost. I didn’t want any part of this new game that had forced itself into the world that I had created for it. Now, with a changed world, new characters, and an inevitable change in philosophy upcoming, I snapped. I played the game at friends houses fairly regularly for a little bit, but the love had died off. I sold almost all my cards, keeping just a few here and there, and left the game.

during and after high school, I was also playing pen and pencil RPG’s, most notably D&D. My experience in MTG Still colored my opinions, and the change from 2nd to 3rd edition was one we did not embrace readily. It wasn’t until our group was introduced to the new edition by a friend who loved it deeply that we even gave it a shot, right before 3.5 came out. Again, we were convinced that the game we’d come to enjoy and love was being replaced with this foreign object that has the name and face of the game we still played, but the soul of it had changed, and the body had morphed into something wholly unrecognizable.

Shortly after my break with MTG, I was introduced to Warhammer 40K, a game that filled a similar void, that allowed me to nerd out with my friends and flexed my brain meat in methods that didn’t really get exercised with board games. I felt that I was making tactical and strategic decisions about the game on a scale that I’d not been able to with games like D&D. I spent and unknown amount of money and time on Warhammer. I poured many hours of creativity, thought and artistry into the hobby, eventually even getting a job at the local store and suckering in masses of people. Then, My first edition change with the game came, and man it was a doozy. I’d heard of the long ago days of Rogue Trader, and how it was a vastly different game and again the legends of the fabled Second Edition of the game, with complex and strange rules interactions. Now, Living in the age of Third edition, I was experiencing a toned down version of the game, streamlined to a basic, no frills game that allowed me to simply play. I’d built armies using all sorts of obscure and insane lists. Now, with the coming of fourth edition, I experienced something I’d never known before. Obsolescence. The army I had grown to love and enjoy playing the most, with which I had put tons of time and labor into converting and collecting, had been discontinued. This army was so specific I could never even pretend it was something different. I, as a player, had been tossed aside. I played the Fourth edition for a short time before being fired for Poisonous Thinking. Between being fired and having a favorite army discontinued, I’d quit Games Workshop games completely.

While I was playing these two games, I was also playing pen and pencil RPG’s, most notably D&D. My experience in MTG Still colored my opinions, and the change from 2nd to 3rd edition was one we did not embrace readily. It wasn’t until our group was introduced to the new edition by a friend who loved it deeply that we even gave it a shot, right before 3.5 came out.

 

While I was working at Games Workshop, I was introduced to this amazing miniatures game with a very different style of play than the one I was selling. A number of us all got into it at once. The game was over-the-top crazy! It has robots and undead and this new theme called Steampunk, with tokens and gadgets and all sorts of effects all over the field of play. The experience was as different from any wargame I’d played before or sense.  I’d fallen in love with a game in its first edition.

I hadn’t quite learned. I thought that FAQ’s and Errata would be enough to stem the tide of a new edition forever. I never thought there would be a day when the game would need to be looked at in such glaringly harsh light that it would need to be upended, rewritten, and brought back into line with what the creators and designers of the game really wanted. Inevitably, though, it happened. This time, though, was different from all the others. This time, there was an open, public beta test that gave us insight into how and why the changes were coming. This was the first I had heard of such things happening, and dove in deeply, submitting feedback and trying to balance a game myself.

This was a turning point in my understanding of how and why games go through changes. What had once been assumed to be an ever stable landscape of games, founded on a bedrock of impenetrable rules and infallible game designers was now show to be what it was. These games I played were created by gamers like myself and my friends, who had a great idea and decided to run with it. They would play-test it and enjoy it and hone it, but inevitably, mistakes would be made, loopholes would be left open, and strategies would be missed. Game design, especially now, is a quick turn around affair, with internal testing and outside playtesters doing their damnedest to try and iron out all the kinks and make a spectacular game.

But, as more and more gamers get a hold of a product, these seemingly small portions of the game that were missed become magnified and extrapolated. It is especially obvious in the United States, where the culture of taking any edge to win is so ingrained that we don’t even find it problematic. In general, Americans enjoy pushing the boundaries to win and enjoy pushing themselves to discover new and unintended loopholes and kinks that they can exploit to their benefit. This comes not just from our culture, it is almost who we are as gamers, brought up on video games and sports, where anything that isn’t explicitly called out is fair game. To take that a step further we were even encouraged to find that way around that lead us to victory. Built into Super Mario Brothers are the warp pipes that let us cheat out whole levels!

Many times, it is this wide exposure and popularity that leads to a streamlining and changing of a rules system. To some, this is the worst of the worst, and evidence that the game designers are pandering to the masses by making the game more palatable, more understandable, and easier to sell. While this sometimes may be true, I would instead counter with the fact that it is under this new weight of players that the game must be rebalanced. A player base is a much greater testing ground than anyone could possibly hope to achieve prior to release, and many times this player base will find and exploit a system in the rules that allows for victory at a much lower cost than one is used to. This is countered by a tactic or seldom used loophole, and the rabbit hole continues. After years of these cycles, the game is often at a point that no one could have ever intended when they launched the game or wrote the rules, and the change of edition is a come back home moment.

The big problem with players is that they have very little of that frame of reference, and even less of a problem with the problems in a game. Between a lack of perspective into game design and Edition Fatigue starting to lay thick, many people rile against the changes in edition not even as a necessary evil, but as a betrayal of trusts.

These changes never get easier, but these companies will never stop making them. In the last 5 years, I’ve seen D&D, Warmachine, Infinity, Malifaux, and Descent each change editions and rulebooks. Each release I have looked at with enjoyment, trepidation, excitement and anticipation. These events are going to happen, and if you think your playing in the final edition of a game, I envy your ability to look at the here and now without looking towards the future. Each of these games changed, sometimes in significant ways, from the edition that preceded them. Some, Like Malifaux, Warmachine, and the Most recent D&D, have changed for the better, adding and subtracting complexity and rules where needed. Descent and Infinity are, currently, mixed bags, with Descent going to far, and maybe infinity not going far enough.

I’ve found its best not to look at the game you love, the one you currently play, with rose colored glasses proclaiming it to be the best ever, but once an edition change is announced, take a critical look at the game your playing and see how it varies from what seems to be the goal of the game in the first book, and how it contrasts with its image from the outside. Take your time and try to get inside the head of the developers. Remember, they don’t want any model, unit, or rule to be a stinker. They want every option to be good, competitive, and worth considering. Every bad model they make is simply another model that they have to pay development, design and production to make that will very likely never, ever sell.

Well, perhaps until a new edition comes out. Then some of those scrap models will have life breathed into it once again, as I very much hope some of the Haqq models are this year.

 

 

 

Retren is a god close to my heart. where there are many gods of suffering, pain and other related maladies are represented as purely evil,  there is also an aspect of pain that can be beneficial.  There is pain in many natural things, as well as what each person puts themselves through. There is pain in testing your limits, there is suffering through adversity and coming out the other side better, and then their is the pain of physical improvement. There is suffering in knowledge, in learning, and in life itself. I want him to be a complex god that is neither god nor evil, but what you make of him.

Retren, God of Pain

Other Titles: The Scourge, Barbed Lord, Proctor of Trials, Breaker of Wills

Alignment: CN

Weapon: Scourge (Peeler)

Major Domains: Suffering, Pain, Endurance, Wisdom

Minor Domains:  Grit, Toughness, Spite, Birth, Trials

Totem Animal: Wasp

Holy Symbol: A blackened and gnarled hand wrapped in brambles  with long, red claws.

Favored Appearances: While Retren rarely walks the earth itself, when he does he takes very little care to disguise himself. His two favorite forms are that of a wild, unkempt male elf, with Hair untamed in all direction. He wears no armor, covering his body with torn and ripped clothing stained in all sorts of blood, enough so that it simply looks brown. His teeth are filed and constantly cut his tongue when he speaks. His eyes are bloodshot and extremely intense. His female form is that of a pain woman heavily pregnant, with long disheveled hair and the most threadbare of wrappings for her feet and body. her blue eyes are extremely lucid, however,  and she speaks from the wisdom of a woman who has suffered much and learned much as well.

Warform: One of the few gods of three elements, Retrens WarForm is also of three elements. A Gigantic wasp of stone and iron, held aloft by wings made of Thunderheads. It eyes, mandibles and stinger are made of ice and frozen lightning.  Retren does not enjoy leading men and battle itself, but he is at home there, and with three elements, he is afield more than most.

Personality: Retren is a striking dual personality. His is at once unforgiving and compassionate, and both a stern teacher and an uncompromising taskmaster. His greatest derision is for lessons learned without suffering, but also for those who have innate knowledge and ability. He is the champion of those who have had to break their backs to learn, achieve and succeed.  He tests those under him, and those who would seek to learn from him, but only as much as he feels that they can take. His leadership on the battlefield is of the same mannor, though it gives some of the other gods pause.

Teachings: Retren teaches that pain is the basis of all knowledge, and that pain is the only way that one knows that you are learning. Pain without reason is torture, and that is the realm of Telaxus. Seek out painful revelations, grueling tasks and singular moments of enlightenment through pain, and you will be one with the greatest knowledge of the universe. Additionally, no pain exists which cannot be learned from. Teach others, and learn yourself. Life is nothing but a series of painful events, leading, eventually, to death.

Abode:Retren lives in the Palace of Thorns, an enormous building of silver and bronze brambles that sits on the front line of the Paltonarch controlled area of the Iron Marches. Though he is home less often than he would wish,  he knows that if the Accursed ever attack, they will be in for some very serious and painful lessons.

Clergy:  The Clergy of Retren are a dark and brooding people, having suffered their lives for the enlightenment and information that they have attained. They tend to be headmasters of large schools, where they inflict tedious, monotonous study rituals and long, grueling physical tests for even the most basic of educations. These church-schools are in direct conflict many times with the schools of Farlorn, a god who’s belief in the power of study and education by itself is directly antithetical to the teachings and blessings of Retren.

Knightly Orders: The Greatest knightly order of Retren are the Lonesome Teachers. Greatly skilled warriors and weaponmasters, they travel the land seeking the best and most powerful fighters, challenging them to duels to learn, or be killed. Many of these duels are to the death, though if the challenged balk at that ending, the stakes can be lowered, though never to less than first blood. 

Clerical Attire/colors: Clerics and Lonesome Teachers both where a singularly vibrant yellow color known only to the priests of Retren. While the Clerics use this color as their main palette, accenting it with black, green, blue and brown, the Lonesome Teachers trim their olive green Tabards in it, symbolizing both their attachment to, and their separation from, the Church of Retren.

Followers: The followers of Retren tend to be warriors, Teachers, humans and anyone willing to sacrifice a little of their personal comfort to learn. While they may not be popular, the priests of Retren, no matter their temperament, have always been proven to be good teachers. 

Note: I’ve made a few changes to the layout to be more streamlined to read. I am getting a better feel as I go on with these. I’ll have to update the originals soon.

Decarin, God of Illusion

Other Titles: The Shadowed One, The Face of Spite, Dark King

Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Weapon: Morning Star (Nightbringer)

Major Domains: Darkness, Illusion

Minor Domains:  Shadows, Power through Magic, Dread, Resolve

Totem Animal:  Bat

Holy Symbol: Three equal sized black pearls on a strand of silver. Referred to as “The Dark Kings Eyes” by those outside of the clergy, these three pearls symbolize the priests or followers dedication to the three mantras of Decarin: Darkness, Shadows, and Power

Favored Appearances: Decarin is a wicked person who loves inflicting torment on others, and his forms belie that as well. His favored male form is that of a young man, perhaps early twenties, who dresses in black and brown leather armor. His arms are unnaturally long to the eye, but when measured reach no further than they should. He is decked out with spell pouches and bags of oozing components. his face is smiling and happy, though, jovial to the unsuspecting, with twinkling black eyes and dark, short cropped black hair. He can swing in wild moods, though, where his eyes darken and his mood grows foul, granting him a sneering scowl.

His female form is much more pleasing, that of a voluptuous woman with long, dark hair, a smiling face, and dark, smooth skin. She, too, wears black and brown leathers, and smiles seductively at those who pass her by. She’s perfectly proportioned and beautiful in nearly every way.

Warform: Decarins warform is that of a great earthen bat, impossibly flying through the air on granite wings, with blackened eyes, fangs and claws. His screech is, unlike most bats, able to be heard by other living beings, though many who hear it are ultimately destroyed.

Personality: Among the gods, there are few more reviled than Decarin, and his wife and Consort Ariannas. He is dark, he is scheming, and he is completely obsessed with taking down the Accursed. He deceives without thought, he cloaks himself, his deeds and his allies in darkness, but he is also a great leader of war. Thankfully, all of his genius and time is spend to that end, and not against his fellow paltonarchs, as that would inevitably end in bloody power struggles, underhanded schemes, and a great conflict. His hatred of the Accursed stems from the loss of not only his twin sons, Galeeba and Frelmis The respective gods of Terror and Rage, but also his only daughter, Kashua, Goddess of Dying.  To this end he has been known to take the fight to the Accursed the hardest, wasting soldiers, resources and seasons to capture on hill, a small fort or even just a strip of ground. There, he will hold until his reinforcements or relief comes. While he can, and has, taken the enemy on in a pitched battle, he prefers to win through either overwhelming force or, no surprise, clever, powerful and deceitful tactics.

Teachings: The teachings of Decarin are extremely simple: The world is your to take from it what you can. You must be strong, you must not fear, and you must not be seen. Above all, others will seek to take power away from you, or, if you are seen gaining power, you will be struck down. Instead, take the power first, hold it tightly, but let others take the fall for you. There are simply to many pawns in this world for the kings and queens to worry about.

Abode: Deep under the earth of the Iron Marches is a great cavern, the immense fortress of Decarin, Resonatus. Here, the marble is black and brown, the colors more muted, and the world more of Decarins style. His fortress lies on a great underground lake of mercury, into which a river flows from the Accursed lands of the Marches. His spires reach completely to the ceiling of the 100′ tall cavern, with great, flickering shadow bridges leading between the 18 seperate towers are all sorts of angles. It is from here that he has, seven times, halted invasion fleets and landings of thousands of the Demon Queen and Accursed armies.

Clergy: Clerics of Decarin are a generally secretive lot, though they are not ones to hide themselves. They do, however, practice Illusion, and this has lead to some believing the cult is much larger than it actually is. They teach the populace how to not fear the darkness, how to embrace the knowledge of transiency, and how to overcome what fears and dreads you may already have. The clergy care for cowards and deserters, ensuring them that they are not the terrible person they think that they are, and that at least one god, perhaps Decarin, will forgive them and take them back.

Knightly Orders: While many orders devoted to gods or goddesses are out to form a name for themselves or their god, some do not. Those few devoted enough to Decarin to learn both the Illusory arts and basic combat can join the Cabal of Those who Seem to be Others.
Or the Seemers. This devoted group is dedicated to the spread of Darkness, Shadows, and Magical Power, reaping a great and terrible toll on civilization. Though many seem them as assassins, the Seemers may not be purchased but instead find those they deem worthy of death, and hunt them down, many times under the face of those that the hunted once loved.

Clerical Attire/colors:

Clerics wear simple, black tunics and shirts, with a single brown-and gray stripe down the left side of their body. Many of them wear leather armor underneath their clothes and seem to be rarely with out their signature Black Iron Morningstars. There is no grooming or structure of any sort to their outward appearance, though, as they should be seeking to enhances themselves, not be associated with a single Church.

The Seemers wear simple brown robes with a silver collar embroidered with three equidistant black eyes. They tend to carry both morning stars and staves, with neither tending to take preference over the other. Though they have a fairly consistent face that they deal with the outside world with, they are masters of illusion, and can wear anything and appear as anyone.

Followers: Decarin attracts followers from every walk of life and every race. He embraces both the dread of the world and the resolve to overcome it, but he also has his much darker side. He condones killing, violence when needed and power through power, but he prefers to do it in the dark, away from prying eyes like his.

Woan is the first Accursed, in any manner, that I am going to be detailing to any great degree, so I’ll have to first set some ground rules

The Accursed are just as powerful as the gods. They were once counted among the gods in their own rights, but had to flee to the realm of the Demon Queen after the Dark Pact in order to survive. in addition, not all the Accursed are evil. They have made a pact with a great evil, so few of them are definitively good, but it was done for what they thought was legitimate reasons. The accursed also foster cults in their name. These small cults have to be extremely secretive about their nature, as they are rooted out when discovered. The Accursed, though, tend to be more actively involved in the cult than the gods, as they have so few worshipers and agents to bring to the Iron Marches to fight on their side.

Woan, Accursed of Madness

Other Titles: He of Many Faces, Tomelord, The Dread Voice

Alignment: CN

Weapon: Twin Flail

Cultist Attire/colors:
Traditional Cultists of Woan favor a deep maroon robe with long, flowing sleeves and hoods and a mask divided into three distinct, unique sections. Each cultist chooses their own trio with which to make their mask. Once the mask is donned, that is the face of the cultist to all other cultists. Many times they are combination animal, humanoid and some form of the cultists personal creation.

Major Domains: Lost Knowledge,  Madness

Minor Domains:  Truth, Oracles, Suicide, Deformity

Totem Animal: Moth

 Holy Symbol: Woan has no specific holy symbol, and his cults, much like each cultist, each create a unique and specific three part mask symbol to represent him.

Favored Appearances: Woan very rarely wanders the earth, instead he will make his way into lost and unclaimed libraries and temples seeking for knowledge long lost and buried. When doing this he favors a stout yet deformed dwarf, with one eye much larger than the other, a club foot and an arm that ends in a single, grasping digit. He is hairless, covered in warts and boils, and looks to have never bathed.

His female form is none better, though he favors a battle-scarred human woman missing and eye and an arm. She has bright red burns along her face and back, and walks stiffly. Her hair is long, black, and patchy where it exists and it unkempt and knotted. They both wear dirty, crusted Maroon robes.

Warform: The Warform of a moth is generally not impressive, but Woan is known to lead from his position of knowledge and surety in the rear.  When forces to take warform, he is an enormous moth with crackling wings of lightning and storm clouds while ice forms the creatures face and body.

Personality: Woan is legitimately insane, and has completely embraced it. He is truthful in his answers, though often cryptic, and he never lets his oracles lie. He Is an immensely prepared general, and can assault the most dire of positions with confidence. He is beloved by the rest of the Accursed for his undying ability to tell the truth to the faces of the group, and they have learned to take his absolute word on any aspect of the war. Sadly, however, he is only vaguely aware of whats going on, and from time to time all he says is nothing more than gibberish.

Teachings: The Cultists of Woan are an honest, truthful bunch for the most part, but will slide around topics and answers with ease. While they hold the truth sacred above all others, many will bend the truth to remain hidden, as worshipers of the Accursed are in dire danger at all points in time.  Woan teaches to tell the truth, and to make it available to anyone who asks, though should not be easy to decipher. The ability to cut through to the truth is an ability that all can appreciate.

Abode: When not leading troops to battle, Woan lives alone in a giant tree of blackened, Rusted Iron and Corroded bronze. Its wide, leaden leaves are the home to thousands of native birds from Lead to Iron. The inside of the trunk is carved into a great fortress, though the rooms, hallways, and stairways are always on the move like some living creature.

Cultists: Woans cults are learned, subtle affairs made up of nut jobs, oracles and sages. They tend to be small, no more than a dozen or so individuals with no contact with a greater organization or even the accursed himself sometime. They give honest, truthful answers to those few who seek them out and charge vast sums of money for the privilege of perusing their library.  The Cultists themselves are a little unpredictable as well, and no two encounters manage to be alike.

Followers: Madmen, Cripples, Deformed, Knowledge Seekers, Lore hoarders, Mages, and Sorcerers.

I again have a request, this time for Nera, God of Oceans.

 

Nera, God of the Oceans

Other Titles: Queen of the Tides, Lady of Fortune

Alignment: Lawful Good

Weapon:Trident (Sailors Doom)

Clerical Attire/colors: 

The Sea Priests of Nera wear loose blouses and Pants so that they are generally unhindered both in and on the seas. These clothes tend to be the colors of the sea, with light greens, pale blues and bright grays most common. These same clothes tend to be relatively unadorned and easily replaceable,  as months at a time at sea can build up quite a crust.  If there is any adornment, it tends to be white, symbolizing both salt and the tips of rough waves, with Gauntlets being the most often accented items. Priests of Nera that stick to the land prefer white cloaks to denote their devotions.

The Order of Knights dedicated to Nera called the  Sons of the Discovery wear simple dark grey trousers and shirts accented in a pale blue, if desired, most often with the simple wave of her holy symbol upon their chests.

Major Domains: Water, Wandering, Exploration, Discovery

Minor Domains:  Simple Solutions, Travelers, Caregivers, Fortune at Sea

Totem Animal: Snapping Turtle: The Snapping Turtles of Kasan live in both salt and sea water and aggressively defend their territories and their families. They may seem slow, ponderous and inevitable, but they will be deadly in a fight.

Holy Symbol: An Aquamarine wave set in silver or platinum

Favored Appearances: Nera seems to favor her female form more than her male, and in many cases appears as a tall, voluptuous woman with long, blue-green hair. She seems to flow as she walks, with every move deliberate and meaningful. Her face is long and drawn, with deep blue eyes that seem to go on forever and a sing-song voice that can entrance even the most dour.

The Male form tends to take the view of an old, crusted man, bend over a stout driftwood staff and mumbling to himself. Wispy White hair flies in every direction from his face and head, with little rhyme or reason to its nature. He constantly talks to himself, asking questions and receiving answers from unknown sources

Warform: When Nera takes to the battlefield leading the troops of the Water Family, she does so as an enormous snapping turtle composed mostly of water, but with a beak and claws made of salt and a shell made of Ice. Little can penetrate that shell and she wades into combat with a single minded devotion to destruction.

Personality: Nera may seem capricious to some, but she is governed by strict rules. Homage to her is honored, and disrespect is punished. she is jovial and life giving most of the time, but when set loose or angered she can be as destructive as fire and as merciless as the earth itself. It is dangerous to cross her, but it is just as dangerous to ignore her. She is happy, melancholy, and always a force to be reckoned with.  She feels a deep attachment to many of the creatures of Kasan, and can be found many times aiding them and attempting to save their lives in dire times.

Teachings: Nera teaches that respect of water, the life giving essence of all things, is the most appropriate respect that can be had. Be firm in your stances and decisions, and follow through on any consequences that you either promise or deserve. She also encourages wandering and exploration, as only through new experiences and places can one truly find the means and knowledge to both teach others and be reach true enlightenment.

Clergy: The Clergy and churches of Nera tend to be places of rules and laws, where those who have committed wrongs come to seek justice for their crimes. They will be forgiven of them, but they will also pay a strong penance. In addition, they tend to the young of those away on trips, no mater what the reason. Discovery and exploration are the largest reasons, but there are also merchants and kings who will leave their children in the care of Nera’s faithful when they must wander abroad.

Knightly Orders: The Sons of the Ocean are the most prolific and strongest of the Knightly orders pledged to Nera. They have taken upon themselves to protect, with magic and strength of arms, the ships of all waterways and oceans. They make the appropriate sacrifices, homages and prayers to Nera to ensure speedy travel, safe passage and beautiful sails. Nera’s sacrifices require a strict following of specific procedures, and a Son of the Ocean will ensure that your ship is safely on their way.

Second in scale and power are he Wavebrothers, a small but powerful sect of he dedicated hat are used to guard, defend, and educate the sons and daughters of explorers, merchants and kings, treating all equally and training them all to a high standard.

Followers: Sailors, orphans, Sea Mages, Witches, and Pirates

Let me know what you think, and what suggestions you’d make.

Thanks for reading!

These last few weeks since NOVA have been killer. I’ve not had the motivation, opportunity or drive to really get into a whole lot of gaming, and I think its creating an even further slump that continues to drive downward.

What I have done, I’ve not really been doing in detail, so I’m just going to rattle over some high-view stuff on what I’ve been up to, and what I am considering doing.

Continue reading

As I move forward with each god, I’m hopefully going to do more discussion and theorizing about them. Takannas is one of the gods I have the firmest and best grasp on, but I still have questions, and I might change what goes on with each god, but I’ll make sure to keep a running tally. In addition, keep in mind that the world I am originally looking to explain the gods for is slightly colder than normal. Warforms are hard for those creatures that wouldn’t generally live in that environment or directly south of it. Of course, things like Elephant/Mammoth or Rhino/Woolly Rhino can be justified, animals that cannot live in cold environment will get a thorough looking at first.

As the gods killed each other, some of them would have happened to kill gods that don’t necessarily align with their original portfolio, and will have some strange contradictions or dichotomies. If you think of any, let me know!

I’ve also added Knightly Orders to the descriptions, as well, as in my world almost every god has one or more order dedicated directly to their teachings.

Farlorn, God of Knowledge

Rank: Minor Younger

Other Titles: Father of Writing, The Old Man, Lorekeeper

Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Weapon: Maul (The Historian)

Clerical Attire/Colors: 

Clerics and Priests of Farlorn tend to wear long, hooded, gray robes with voluminous sleeves and great pockets within. The robes will generally have green stripes running along the seams and trim. A holy symbol is generally not displayed predominately, as Farlorns faithful tend to be the subdued type.

The Monastic order of Khelm, or the Khelmik Monks, are the martial arm of the church. They Wear loose-fitting grey clothing, with bands of green showing their dedication and training. They wield both the immense Mauls and can attack with their bodies, and tend to be completely shorn, like their patron

Major Domains: Knowledge, Learning, Writing, Magical Information

Minor Domains:  Clarity of Mind, Knowledge over Power, Commitment, Dedication, Logic

Totem Animal: Crow: The Crow is wise and smart, depending on the flock for survival while also innovating and remembering deeds, both good and Ill

Holy Symbol: An Open book with a bookmark in the center. On the bookmark is written Victory, while on the left page is written Knowledge, and on the right is Understanding

Favored Appearances: Farlorn is one of the great wanderers of the material plane through one of his aspects. He is known to have two or even three of them on the material hunting information and gathering lost bits of knowledge. His male favored form is a small but sturdy, though not dwarfish, individual wearing a green toga and a gray belt. He is hairless and smiles both disarmingly and widely and carries himself with a regal bearing.

The favored female form is that of an ageless elf, tall and regal, with the same wide smile and quick wit. This form tends towards long, conservative green dresses, using a gray ribbon to tie back her long black hair. She is neither beautiful nor ugly, and tends to pass unnoticed until she wishes you to see her.

Warform: Though rarely personally involved, the Warform of Farlorn is an immense crow of mist and steam. Its beak and claws are of pure ice as well as the razor sharp tips of his wings. He can, and will, fight, but prefers to lead Nera’s troops to battle as a general and a leader

Personality: Farlorn is generally stoic, measured, and polite. He listens to those around him, and speaks only after having thought over all the possible angles and ideas that he has been exposed to. He is a consummate tactician and historian, and studies war constantly looking for the edge with which to defeat the Accursed and return to his desired studies of creation, the world, and its people. While he can seem dour and direct, he is simply speaking form the vast wealth of knowledge he has accumulated.

Teachings: Farlorn teaches that the quickest way to a solution is often not only the wrong one, but the most damaging outcome as well. Instead, one should search for the correct answer throughout their life experiences and what they have learned from others. Inaction, however, is also a damaging decision. When given no way out, Try and make a logical assumption based on the information at hand. He also teaches about the preservation and accumulation of knowledge, the value of both learning and teaching. Finally, writing down information is the most sacred and valuable task that can be given or accomplished, and each written letter is proof of your dedication.

Clergy: The Clergy of Farlorn tend to run schools and academies for both Magical and sectarian studies, teaching that reliance on one’s self for judgment and decision making is the way to hubris and folly. One can only come to the correct conclusion through study, reflection and application of Logic

Knightly Orders: There is but a single order dedicated to Farlorn, and it’s the Khelmick monks. Founded by the late Chosen of Farlorn, Khelm, this monastic order is dedicated to the defense of the sacred texts, sites and schools of Farlorn. Thought they generally act only as guards, they are required to study an equal amount to their martial training every day. In addition to being trained and having studied almost every martial and weapon technique that they have record of, they have been imparted the knowledge of how to turn your body into a weapon when all else fails. Many warlords, kings and sorcerers have looked to plunder the wealth of the undefended Farlorn Temples only to learn to late that some of the studious individuals within are also the most deadly.

Followers: The Followers of Farlorn tend to be librarians, mages, tacticians, dwarves, and scholars, but he can also count among his faithful warrior-philosophers, bards, students and teachers.

Concept of the God

The concept of this god is to be a more active god of knowledge. He is meant not to be like Vecna, the god of secrets, or a god of learning and study, but a god that makes informed or logic based decisions. He encourages study, but not paralysis in the face of danger. Most often the knowledge gods are boring or uneventful, but like all the gods I have, I wanted this one to be capable and meaningful in combat and in standard life.