Coldforged: The Warlords of Killbarum – Part 3: The Southern Marches

Each Thursday this year, I focus on a different aspect of the world I’ve created and played D&D in for over 20 years, in the hopes of honing the ideas and cementing enough in place to settle the world in my own mind. This week, having finished the general histories and overviews, I am going to start winding down the regional information, This time dealing with the Warlords of what remains of Killbarum


Rubius is ruled by Archmagus Morastus Alcuris, who lost his mind partially to the mind plague, but due to his arcane power and dark cunning was able to avoid capture and death at the hands of the General. Once he heard the fate of Killbarum and the General, he returned to Killbarum from his self-imposed exile to reclaim what he sees as rightfully his, the Consulship of Killbarum. He is willing to do anything he sees fit to accomplish his goals, even if it includes razing every city and town in his way, and killing a few million people in the process. Morastus Vast power overshadows his nearby rivals, and they each wait for the time that comes that he decides to take their cities and simply does with his frighteningly powerful army and personal wrecking power.


The City of Dorium has remained nearly untouched by the calamities that have befallen much of the Republic, and even the continent as a whole. Through this good luck, the town continues to be ruled by an arcane Magister, one dwarf names Ottious Ciceria. Ottius is seen as generally good-natured, but can take offense to simple things, and has a tendency to rule with a stern hand over his limited subjects, awaiting the day that the Senate is reformed and he is able to report his good deeds and continued governance to the Republic. He is assisted by an elected council of Magus who represents a half dozen mage colleges, further cementing his continued semblance of what once was.


Sabis, once a prosperous maritime trade town, is ruled by the hag coven known as the Demonskin Sisters, each purportedly born of the same father to different women. Powerful scions of divination magic, they user their arcane powers and inborn talents to see the future, sending raiders where defenders are least, and pillaging the most unprotected treasures. Their power grows with each passing year, and they are a major threat to all of Tysis if they maintain power.


Ignatius is ruled over by a Zealot Templar who has declared anathema all the enemies of Killbarum, Including the nearby Tyndarians, who raid the land nearby and other territories on a regular basis. Titania Karah, a Half-giant who came to prominence through her ruthless devotion to Dagor, the god of Death, and her ability to rally people to her cause. Each year she gathers a throng of hopefuls in the fortress of Deaths Honor, pledging to each of them the spoils of the Tyndarian cities if they can reach one and sack it. Each year, few survive to tell the tale, but she always leads those who remain back, and their rewards are always beyond their imagination if they are one of the lucky ones who survive.


Sustarus is a maritime fishing town that once was a safe harbor for traders and fishers from all over the bay and beyond. Now, they struggle to keep themselves from famine as Curia Shi (abalrithialiadlus) forces them to tithe almost all of their food and money to her, where she lives a life of luxury and power. She is no powerless buffoon, however. She is deadly with her axe, an elven relic from the age of might, passed down through the generations, and though she cares little for the individuals under her control, she does see them as a means to enable her power, and she aches to become a greater warlord, with eye on the Demonskin sisters to the north and Lucillus Argus to the South.


Lucillius Varun Kalrax is one of the greatest warlords in all of Killbarum and is hampered in their conquests only by the numerous rivals that surround them, waiting for their moment to strike. Curia, Tatiana, Ionna, and Chiran are all competent foes, and Lucillius does well not to underestimate any of his rivals. That has not, however, prevented them from plotting against each warlord in turn. There are detailed plans they have worked out with their subordinates on the quickest and easiest ways to take down each foe, as well as extensive intelligence on their military and arcane might. While their foes might underestimate Lucillius, it will not be reciprocated.


Enfamae, as a border town between Tyndaria and Killbarum, has always been subjected to raids and warfare. It’s a fortified juggernaut of a citadel standing along the main road from the Silentknife territory and into the Killbaran lands. The recent destabilization of Tyndaria has made the region around Enfamae a continuous war zone, with Killbaran and Tyndarian forces clashing with both each other and themselves on a regular basis. Defending Enfamae from all of these threats is the determined and wild Jasar Illraith, a fiery and wild woman who, through her sheer willpower and dominance over the political and military forces of Enfamae, has been able to stand strong in the face of unending enemies crashing at her door.

Pelmis and Amrinia

Pelmis was the natural jumping-off point for the Archmagus Numer, an elven Killbaran mage who believes that his vision and power will usher in a new age of Killbaran prosperity and power, where he will lead a reconvened Senate as Supreme Magus as long as he lives. He’s announced his intentions and made clear his goals and has marched forth in conquest, set on taking back as much territory as he can. He’s already conquered and executed Volir of Amrinia, bringing that city under his heel, and presses forward, with forces marshaling against Ketros, Phesus, and Ostinium. Few doubt his arcane might, and the praetorian General he has recruited to lead his soldiers is clearly talented. Over the coming years, it is hard to predict if he will prevail where others have failed, but it is also hard to bet against him.


Labrumae is ruled, weakly, by a merchant prince from Tyndaria, Keala Broadbrow. A dogged fighter on the battlefield, he still pursues riches when not forced into combat against upstart rivals, local rivals or simply Goatfolk Raiders. He understands where and how money is made, but also keeps a tightlipped secret on a recently discovered gold mine that is providing him with more riches, again secretly, than his wildest dreams would have had.


Gnarus is in an unfortunate position among the waring cities of fallen Killbarum in that once its defenders were drawn off to fight in the war against Moduru, it was quickly set upon by a flock of harpies of unprecedented size. Now, their harpy queen rules over the city, having subjugated all within its walls. Her ambitions are low, and she squanders all her potential power due to her selfishness and rapacity. It is only a matter of time before the city rises up and slays the Harpy Queen Herriara and all her servants.


Being on the edge of the Great Swamp, Astoria is fairly safe from many of the other Killbaran Warlords, but is very vulnerable to raids from the swamp, as it has been for as long as it has existed. Xethian Obreth has taken his defensive oaths to the Senate of Killbar, and then the General of Killbar seriously, and though he has not participated in many of the overall struggles of the Killbaran republic, he continues his defense of the people in his area, as well as raiding the swamp in punitive expeditions. Now, though, he knows that he is on his own, the last of the reinforcements came years ago, and he spends the lives of his soldiers dearly when he must.


As the Furthest south and most completely forgotten city, Nisitium has been abandoned by almost all of Killbar, going so far as to have been taken over by a marauding pirate from Brokensail, Atria von Lialla. The pirate captain revels in the fact that she has captured a Killbaran city once considered the most magnificent of prizes. While she is gone on her marauding adventures, Governor Kalius Okera, a gnome with ruthless glee and a bit of a sadistic streak takes over and makes the decisions in Atria’s stead. Neither of the two convinced that they would be able to hold the city against a concentrated force of Killbarans, they are committed to milking the most wealth out of the city while they retain it.