The Eldritch Empires campaign is currently being run between 1 and 8 PM on Sundays. We currently have a full table, but for those who would like to join, shoot me a message on Facebook and I’ll make note of it on the off chance that a player decides to bow out.
The Campaign Setting
Eldritch Empires takes place upon the world of Ki’rous. Ki’rous is also the name of the True Neutral god of nature and of the world, this is because one is tied to the other and vice versa. At its heart Ki’rous has a hollow core made entirely of crystal. Within this hollow core is a dark and evil entity of destruction. She is one of the creator gods that formed the world in it’s earliest days, and her brother, the creator god of goodness and life sacrificed himself to imprison her, becoming the crystal core, but also shifting some of his essence into the god Ki’rous, thus tying him to the world and giving strength to the prison.
The god of magic, Torata was also in on this, as his energy forms supports that keeps the prison closed. These supports are also known as ley lines as they carry massive amounts of magical power and they produce waste energy in the form of crystals. These crystals, called eldritch crystals are needed to cast magic spells (read – wizard spells) without pulling energy from the ley lines. Those who cast without crystals can suffer horrible consequences, including the energies of the dark entity in the core leaking out and forming creatures formed from her nightmares. The gods even made a decree that drawing power from the ley lines was forbidden, as even the gods of darkness fear the destructive powers of the dark one.
So it should be apparent that casting wizardly magic in this world without the aid of eldritch crystals is a dire proposition indeed. Yet the dark one, also known as Nexara has influence in the world, and a number of cultists would see her released so that they will gain the power that she has promised them in their dreams. One such cultist gained the throne of a very powerful empire some 500 years ago, and he waged war looking for the magic that would release his goddess. He almost succeeded, and the war only aided in his efforts as the empires that warred among themselves were highly dependent upon magic, and a wizard in wartime is not likely to disappear to restock on crystals if he manages to burn all of his out.
The gods grew angry with the mortals and split the land to stop the wars. This event is known today as the Sundering, and most people are now afraid of magic because they know that it was magic that angered the gods. Though there are still practitioners of magic, and even an entire nation ruled by mages, magic is heavily regulated and there is a huge trade in eldritch crystals so that magic, when it is used, remains safe.
Currently the world is still recovering from the Sundering, even though it was over 300 years ago. Nations are once again becoming great, but not as great as they once were, and they are also much more fractured than they were in the past. No nation fully trusts another, even if both are of a similar alignment. the nations range from the Camelot-style Kyrador, to the druid forests of Duania, the merchant city-states of Mir, the dark Castlevania-inspired lands of Justavia, and the magocracy of Aerinvale, to name but a few. There are also the remnants of the elven and dwarven empires as well. It is in these times both dark and hopeful in which our heroes arise.
Current PCs –
Zan-yi Hupo (Female Hornhead Saurial Mage/Shugenja)
Zan-yi is the younger sister of Nei Hupo, one of the original heroes that thwarted the plans of Selania Moonshadow – the high priestess of the Cult of Nexara. Zan was sent to one of the (now) prestigious school for adventurers due to her sister being one of the school’s primary sponsors, after all it was her adventuring group that ratified adventurers and made their image more appealing.
Zan studied the ways of the Kami spirits and the elements before travelling to the Free Cities of Mir to undergo her adventuring training in the small village of Free Drake.
Shiroi Hasu (Male Finhead Saurial Fighter (Samurai) –
Shiroi of the Hasu family has led a fairly sheltered life, though that does not mean he did not go through hardships. From an early age, like most members of his house, he went through rigorous training to harden him into a warrior capable of defending his realm against any and all enemies that may come their way. After the recent invasion by Nexara’s armies, the training became even more strenuous and harsh. After all, the warrior caste had failed once, it could not fail again.
With the rumblings that Nexara’s cultists may be on the move again, and the disturbing news that the youngest Hupo sister may be dead at the talons of a red dragon, Shiroi was sent to find out the truth of these rumors. When he arrived in the Free Cities, he found that the rumors of Zan Yi’s death may be true, and it was while on his way out of Mir to travel back to his homeland with the bad news that he heard of Zan Yi being sighted somewhere in Kyrador. He used the final teleportation spell on the amulet he carried to arrive in Kyrador only to find that his trip had not been in vain. Now he travels witht he Company of the Golden Hound as the bodyguard of Zan Yi.
Alaxandrath of House Aelther (Male Crystal Elf Vanguard Fighter (Centurion)-
Alaxandrath – Alax for short – was born to unknown parents and left with the Temple of Corellon shortly after his birth. It was from there that he was placed with the soldiers of House Aelther for training as the military needed as many able-bodied soldiers for their war against the shadow elves as they could muster. He excelled quickly and was drafted into the elite Centurion regiment where he furthered his training before heading to the front lines.
In a very short time (by elf standards) Alax distinguished himself on the battlefield, slaughtering hundreds of shadow elves and surviving against impossible odds in order to save even a single crystal elven soldier. It was during his tour that he began developing strange manifestations of power, causing explosions and objects to move around him during times of great stress. These manifestations often aided him or his comrades in battle, but it frightened his fellows. It was this power that caused his commander to send Alax to the adventurer’s school in Free Drake so that he might train as an adventurer and eventually figure out how to control his obvious magic talents.
Gavin Medkov (Male Human Arcaneblade (Magi-Knight) –
Gavin was raised in a life of privilege, despite the low standing of his family. His father is a non-land owning lord in Kyrador’s court, but even that provides plenty of luxury. Despite that Gavin was expected to pull his weight in the family, and underwent the usual training that all families under the Bearovs go through in learning the art of operating a ship at sea. Shortly into his stint as a deckhand on a Bearov war galleon, it was discovered that Gavin had a knack for magic, and was sent to the War Wizard Academy for evaluation. It was at the academy where they found that his talents and temperament would be better suited to the esteemed Magi-Knights.
After training with the Magi-Knights for many years, he was sent to the Drakenblade Lodge in Kyrador, the most prominent of the lodgehouses and learned the skills he would need to become an adventurer. The upper echelons of the Kyradorian government were made aware of the civil unrest throughout the other kingdoms and wanted to make sure they had a crop of adventurers to stem the possible tide of trouble. So it was that when Lyra sent out the call for adventurers, Gavin was sent to meet with her.
Verhanna of Celini (Female Half-Elf (Crystal) Thief/Sorcerer (Fey Blood – Wild) –
Verhanna was raised by her elven mother in Celini and caused a lot of trouble as a child, constantly getting into places she shouldn’t have been and often taking things that were not hers. It was during one of her early escapades that she found that while she had a talent for magic, she couldn’t always control it – a hint of chaos from her distant bloodline.
She would eventually join the Brotherhood of the Fey and learn to better control her magics, all the better in a world where magic in general is mistrusted, and those who do not control their magics are often put to death if found out.
Shortly after a spell gone awry, even the Brotherhood thought she might just be a touch too wild, even for their order, and was sent to a Drakenblade Lodge in Kyrador figuring that Kyrador’s strict policing of magic may help bring her more in line. While at the lodge Verhanna heard about Lyra’s need for heroes and decided to check it out if for no other reason than to prove to the Crystal Elves who had shunned her all her life that she was indeed worth something.
Lyra Treesong (Half-Elf Fighter/Bard (Runic Knight)
Not much is known about Lyra Treesong except that she belongs to a small order called the Runic Knights which she claims exists as a counter to the Cult of Nexara. So far her words ring true as it seems she is always a step ahead of the cultists and seems to know their every move… for the most part. She has been a boon to the group and has aided them where she can.
Snow of the Blizzard’s Fury (Human Female Barbarian (Ravager)
Snow is the daughter of the chief of the Rimefrost barbarian tribe in Maerrheim and has always been a bit of a wild card. She left her ancestral lands when she was but a teenager in order to learn how to fight as the Maerrheimian Raiders do, as she saw one kill five of her fellow tribesmen as a child. She found one of their cities and petitioned to join one of their fighting orders. It just so happened that her skill with a blade was already superior than most her age and the Death’s Enforcers saw her as an apt addition to their order.
Shortly after joining their order, and learning their fighting style, she was betrayed and sold to slavers to fight in the pits. After many, many victories, she was then sold off to slavers from far away Arazor to fight in their arenas there. It was one such caravan that was discovered and attacked by a Mirian patrol that saved her from further slavery. The group came across her, and she mistaken Hadi as yet another slaver (due to his manner of dress being from Araz) and broke his nose an attempt to escape again before finding out that the group meant her no harm. She has traveled with them ever since, if for no reason than they often find a good fight.
Update – Snow has since split from the group at Lyra’s behest, hearing that her former homeland was in peril from a huge white dragon that is terrorizing the area.
Brother Marius (Male Human Friar (Sacred Harrier) –
Brother Marius was always a child of the temple of Kyra. He was found on the doorstep of a Monastery of Kyra and raised by the clergy within. It was a rough upbringing with little freedoms and a lot of discipline. Despite this, there was always compassion and honesty, two values that Marius himself took to heart. Once he became of age, the head priestess of the temple told him that he was to leave and experience the world so that he may further his education in a more practical manner and to spread the word of Kyra as all friars must do in time.
So it was that Marius found himself in Free Drake, figuring it was a good place to further his training and experience and perhaps to convert those within the small village into following the ways of healing and mercy.
Update – (Due to the player no longer being able to join us – the character is now retired but is an active NPC) – Marius has since split from the group to aid those in need in Maerrheim in an effort to prove that despite their bloody history, Kyrador and Maerrheim can work together against a common enemy.
Zarek the Dreadblade (Male Human Paladin (Blackguard) –
Zarek’s motivations for joining the group are not in question – he seeks to clear the name of his temple which has been wrongfully accused of inciting civil unrest across multiple nations. Though his evil nature puts the rest of the group in an uneasy situation, he has so far comported himself with honor uncommon to those of an evil heart. How long he will remain with the group and whether or not he will end up being an enemy in the future is unknown, but for now he remains a boon to the group with his vicious fighting abilities and ruthless demeanor when taking on those who would harm his companions.
Hadi of Arazor (Male Halfling Thief (Urban Thief) – Killed in action from a Red Dragon’s fiery breath weapon
Hadi was orphaned at a young age and sold into slavery in Araz. When he got older he managed to escape captivity several times, which is what caught the attention of a prominent thieves guild. He was sold to the guild for a pretty hefty sum due to his obvious abilities and told that he would work for the guild until his debt was paid off. In that vein he was sent to Free Drake to train and become an adventurer, the guild figuring that he would come into quite a bit of money while doing so.
Hadi would never manage to pay off that debt however, as he would come to an untimely end in a battle against the red dragon Pyrothian, whose fiery breath would destroy young Hadi’s life.
Campaign Synopsis (so far)
The group started out benignly enough – told by their trainers at Free Drake to kill some goblins and bring back their ears as proof of the deed. It was their return to Free Drake that shattered their lives and turned them upside down. The village and training camp was under attack by what appeared to be an army of bandits led by a blue half dragon and a huge red dragon. After the destruction was over and the bandits had left, the group crept back into the village to look for survivors. There were two – Bolter, the Mirian hound that belonged to the owner of the general store, and Rose, the daughter of the smith and the waitress at the inn.
With Bolter and Rose in tow, the group would come to Pelosa and warn them of the bandits, but would not be heeded (after all the military made regular patrols through the area). They left Bolter and Rose with the temple of Kyra that was just outside of the village and went looking for the bandits that attacked Free Drake. They would find them and defeat them, but not before discovering some collusion with kobolds and their leaders known as the Scales – a cabal of kobold wizards.
The group would then come back to Pelosa to find it occupied by bandit forces and Rose gone, though Bolter was still there but barely alive. They healed Bolter who then tagged along with them. They eventually lifted the bandit occupation of Pelosa and defeated the particular bandit group that had taken the village and defeated yet another kobold Scale.
Taking various clues and messages taken from the various leaders the group managed to piece together that the kobolds were congregating in the Imperial Highlands on the western side of Mir. They traveled to the crypt there and discovered that the three remaining Scales were attempting some ritual. After defeating the Scales, they would come to see a skeletal and malicious dragon being raised – a dracolich and the first of its kind on Ki’rous.
From here the group went on the trail to find the final bandit group who had proven to be very elusive. They were eventually approached by one Lyra Treesong who knew of their search, and knew how to find the bandits. They followed her lead and attacked a group of them to get uniforms. Afterwords they would infiltrate the bandit stronghold and then turn their own siege weapons against them, decimating a large portion of the army they had been building up. Lyra’s people then moved in and finished the job. All of it would be for naught as Grothar – the bandit leader was nowhere to be found. After questioning his men the group found out that Grothar had left the day before for Norwellis – the slaving nation to the south – in order to secure an arms trade of some sort.
The group followed and found the ogre leader of the bandits, only to find him dealing with dark skinned elves that were not shadow elves, but instead dark elves, or drow, of legend, supposedly extinct in the modern age. They fought a pitched battle with the drow and ogres, only to have the leader of the drow party slip away from them. It was still a fruitful venture as they found documents among Grothar’s possessions that would lead them to a temple deep in the Lavasteam Mountains north of Mir.
The group made all haste to the temple on the map and found that it was built into the side of an active volcano. The temple was dedicated to the evil dragon deities of Tiamat and Falazure and though it was mostly empty, when they came to the main worship chambers, they found the one individual they had been seeking from the very beginning – Kaeleth the blue half dragon warrior that led the destruction of Free Drake, who had been rallying the various bandit groups under his banner for some unknown reason.
After a massive battle Kaeleth would fall, rising the ire of his companion the red dragon Pyrothian who called from his lair for the group to face him. And they did. After a devastating battle that saw the death of Hadi, the group would defeat Pyrothian, setting off an eruption as an elemental diffusion spiraled out of Pyrothian’s body.
As the volcano began to erupt three figures would coalesce in front of the group – two armored figures and a little girl. the little girl turned out to be Rose and apparently she was born to replace Selania Moonfrost who had failed Nexara. Figuring the group for dead – Rose spelled out her plans – Kaeleth was just the beginning, he was to bring the disparate bandit groups together to form mercenary groups so that they could be hired out.
Next was the unrest among the Temples of Darkness, tired of not being able to have temples and churches out in the open like the Temples of Light and the Temples of Balance. A full blown civil war would erupt across many of the regions across the three continents, at which point the mercenary groups would hire themselves out to the temples to further the war. Then as the nations were still reeling from their own civil wars, Tiamat’s dragons would come back and retake their empires of old, all without the interference of the metallic dragons. Apparently Rose had some form of leverage against the good dragons, and Tiamat aligned herself with Nexara in promise of power and the retaking of the Dragon Empires.
After divulging this information she shrugged and bid the party a swift and merciful death as the volcano came crashing down around them… only to have them awaken in a cozy cabin far from where they were. The cabin’s owner – a beautiful blonde woman would take care of them and heal them over the time they stayed there. The day the group decided to leave the woman was gone and the awoke to an abandoned cabin that looked like it hadn’t been lived in in years.
Now the group travels to Kyrador to find out the latest word. The woman told them that the temples were at war with one another and that the lands were rife with civil war- all except a few places. Places like Kyrador that had no dissension amongst the Temples of Darkness because there were no representative temples in their kingdom. It looks like the darkness was falling and Nexara would finally win…
Important NPCs from Previous Campaign
NOTE – These NPCs may yet play an important part in the current campaign – thus their bios remain here.
Earl Cyrus Drakclar (Earl of Kyrador) –
Cyrus Drakclar was responsible for creating the first adventuring group that thwarted the plans of the Cult of Nexara, and as a result averted a massive war against a combined humanoid force. This has risen him and adventurers as a whole into prominence throughout many lands. As a result schools called Draken Lodges have sprung up around the the three continents in order to train a new breed of adventurer.
Lightning Fangs was once a proud member of the Tribe of Storms in the Stormlands. Though his status as the son of a chieftain afforded him a lot of privileges and leeway, when he saw one of his own shaman dealing openly with the Shadow Elves and using dark magic to capture the souls of his own people for trade, Fang decided to inform his father. Unfortunately this information would be the downfall of his family. As is the way of his people, the chieftain openly accused the shaman, who had gained much favor among the tribes. The shaman was the personal advisor of the high chieftain, and Fang’s father was one of the many chieftains that answered to him. The accusation didn’t stand, and a challenge was called for. The shaman chose the best warrior guard of the high chieftain to be his champion, and after a grueling fight, Fang’s father fell, but as he did so, he told his son to run from the Stormlands and to fight evil where ever he found it until he was powerful enough to return and vanquish the evil shaman. He has since returned and destroyed the evil shaman that sought to control his people and give their lands to the shadow elves. He is now the reigning chieftain of his tribes.
Krysta & Kyrsta Starleaf (Female – Wood Elf Ranger (Forest Crusader) (Krysta) – Crystal Elf Wizard (Essenceweaver) (Kyrsta) –
Krysta and her twin sister, Kyrsta are half wood and half crystal elves. Krysta took the physical traits of the crystal elves, but the affinities and aptitudes of the wood elves, while Kyrsta is her opposite, taking on the physical traits of the wood elves but having the affinities and aptitudes of the crystal elves. The two sisters grew up in the relative seclusion of Safonia where they were born. Their parents were very much in love and the sisters had a happy home life. They played together, chased boys, and went off on “adventures”to save their woodland realm from the evil “goblins” (who were really a trio of rival boys). Then came the ominous scout reports – undead had been sighted near the borders of the forest.It seemed that Shadestone was attempting to move undead forces through the forest. The Starleaf homestead was in their direct path. The parents of the twins would not give up their home without a fight, but they would not risk the lives of their children. They trusted the old elven magics to destroy the undead, as they always have, but they would not risk the lives of their beloved twins, just in case the magic failed this time. After all, it was old magic, and it had faltered from time to time.
They heard that others were evacuating, just in case, and they sent the twins off with those elves that were leaving for lands abroad, as they had heard rumors that other elven courts had survived the Sundering. So it was that eventually the girls ended up seperated. Krysta would end up with surrogate parents that lived in the wood elf nation of Elinia. She knew that her sister was in Celini, and they often sent missives back and orth to stay in touch. Meanwhile, Krysta had taken to the teachings of the rangers in Elinia, and showed great promise. Her skill and aptitude towards rangering, soon led her to be selected to join the Forest Crusaders, as well as the Forest Guardians.She climbed the ranks and became a well-respected member of both organizations. Despite the success, there was always a hole in her heart. Eventually she asked to visit her sister, and wasgiven leave to do so. When she met up with her sister, Krysta heard that their parents had not been heard from since they were sent away. Krysta eschewed returning to her plac ein Elinia and travelledwith her sister to Safonia. There they found that the “undead” had been a goblin trick…
Kyrsta has a similar background as Krysta, except when she arrived in Celini, her obvious magic potential was sighted early on, and a special instructor requested her as a student – a silver dragon by the name of Lightwing. Lightwing was a female, but her only polymorph form was that of a young elven man. While training Kyrsta, she fell in love with her instrctor, who was going by Feranis at thetime. When ‘Feranis’ learned of Kyrsta’s infatuation, he returned the affection, and eventually revealed her true form, and gender. This did not stop Kyrsta’s love, though it did confuse her for a time. She asked for a break from her studies to travel the world and get more practical experience.
Knowing that it was a ploy to clear her head and get some space, Ligthwing allowed it. When Kyrsta reunited with her sister and traveled to back to their childhood home of Safonia, they found that the undead attack was actually a goblin ruse to allow them to make a devastating assault on the elven forest. Many died during the attack, including Kyrsta and Krysta’s parents. Krysta swore ever lasting vengeance against the goblin kind, and the creature that led them – a green dragon. Kyrsta knew then and there that they had to help against the rising goblin menace, and they heard rumors of the goblin activity in Kyrador, and they have headed there in hopes of finding the goblins that attacked Safonia. Now they seek aid from the other elven nations to help drive back those that invade their homeland. They have since aided in the defeat of the humanoids that sought to roll through their kingdom on the way to Kyrador due to the Drakenblades breaking the armies by defeating Selania’s primary wizard. Krysta and Kyrsta have since taken to the road and have yet to be seen since, but they still have a part to play…
Albrecht Firesteel is the seventh son of a seventh son, this may help to explain the amethyst eyes he was born with or perhaps not. The Firesteel clan has always followed Clangeddin Silverbeard, while most are warriors true many are also shrewd tacticians and strategists. There have been but a few that have joined the clergy, of note here Albrecht’s father Dain Firesteel. Perhaps it was that fact or perhaps from birth it seemed he was fated to join the clergy in some fashion. Albrecht’s mother died shortly after his birth he never knew her.
Though born into a prestigious family Albrecht never took to politics as his six brothers did he claimed it was because politics were to slow and boring. He did seem to enjoy working in the mines during his teenage years but those that knew him best knew he was not truly happy. It was on his twentieth name day he decided to join his father in service to the Father of Battle. Dain could not have been happier to learn this, nor more shocked when the High Cleric said no. The High Cleric did agree to test Albrecht for magical talent and also to ask the Lord of the Twin Axes to help find a path for the young man.
During the testing it was revealed that Albrecht did indeed have the divine spark, what happened next surprised everyone. Albrecht went to the altar alone and prayed to Clangeddin asking for a chance to carry on his family’s legacy; it was during this time that the High Cleric also beseeched Silverbeard asking for guidance from him. He got the answer he was looking for in one simple word and Albrecht’s life forever changed, that word was Albir (ForgeWarden).
From that day and for the next twenty years Albrecht was in training, whether it was martial skills or academic he excelled at it. He exemplified what it meant to be a dwarf working every bit as hard in his training at its application as he did in the mines. For the first time in his life Albrecht felt he had found his true calling, though he couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. In his forty-fifth year his clan was called to war against orcs and trolls. He fought in many battles in the four and a half years the war raged, often at his father’s side.
It was during clan Firesteel’s final push that tragedy once again struck; Dain was struck down and died in his youngest sons arms. Albrecht was crushed but he preformed his duty nonetheless. He brought his father’s body back to be entered in the family crypt. His brothers tried to console him but he would have none of it and buried himself in his work. About a year passed when the High Cleric called Albrecht to him to give him a new mission. That mission simply was to go out from his ancestral home and show others what a paragon of Dwarven society is, to teach them that there is more to them than ale and battle.
Albrecht was a great boon to the Drakenblades and many still consider him as part of that group. He has since returned to his homeland and discovered a great secret about his heritage, and that heritage will play a large role in Alax’s upcoming ordeals.
Kordan “Deepstrider” Lavaspike (Male – Steam Dwarf Fighter (Sharpshooter)-
The fifth son of Dogna and Rika of the Lavaspike clan, Kordan was always an adventurous child, always off exploring the wilderness on the surface, but not too far from his home of Karjith-tyr. His father trained him from an early age the basics of using a Thunderstaff so that Kordan would always have a way to protect himself. It was during this basic training that his aptitude with the weapon surfaced. It seemed that he was a natural talent with the wapon, and that put his parent’s minds at ease. Little did Kordan know, but his father was having him watched from afar by an old family friend. When Kordan took down a raiding ogre from over 300 yards away with a single shot, that old family friend approached Kordan about joining the group that he belonged to – the Mithril Skyguard, the most prestigious group of soldiers among the steam dwarves. Kordan readily accepted and told hisparents. His father was proud, as was his mother, though she was sad to see him off at such an early age. His training with the Skyguard progressed quickly, and he was soon a junior member of the order. Shortly after his training was complete and before he was to start his second tour aboard one of the great airships, Kordan had a vision granted to him by his patron deity, Clangeddin. He was told to seek out one of his priests, a stone dwarf, as he would soon need Kordan’s skills as a rifleman in order to combat a growing darkness that threatened to take hold across the land.
Kordan’s family ended up corrupt throughout and he has since returned to his family home and weeded out the cultists within. He left the steam dwarf lands and currently aids the Runic Knights where ever they come across the Cult of Nexara.
Not listed here are Moonshadow – the fae thief that was the de facto leader of the Drakenblades. She has been missing ever since the Drakenblades secured victory against the cult of Nexara – for what reason no one knows. The other is Nei Hupo – the older sister of Zan-yi. Nei is at this point represented by her sister.