Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kopesh - Hall of Heavy Hitters #2

So An Echo Resounding takes your simple map and gets you to add things to make it more dimensional.

The Hall of Infamy is one of the great ideas, meaning that various tiers of opponents can be established at the start, and foreshadowed from early levels - introducing a NEW ultimate evil at each level that no-one had ever heard of can't really be done all that often.

I've found that my style of DMing doesn't have too many 'real' evil opponents out there, and pragmatism and politics can make unlikely bedfellows. So my Hall is actually of the major power groups present, even if most of these are likely to be opponents.

I've covered the top two last post; here's the second tier down.

The Dragon Lord of the Khosh

The Khosh Marshes hold many forgotten ruins, dark mysteries, enchantments and oddities. There are many power groups manoeuvring for power and territory, heedless of the few human intrusions into the vast greenness.

Of these, the one with the greatest attention on human activities is the Dragon Lord. Perhaps an actual dragon, perhaps a creature with dragon blood or spirit, or something of reptilian tendencies birthed from the mists, no human has seen it. The only knowledge of it comes from the mutterings of insane goblins found wandering the coastal marshes, and strange tattoos found on both Lizard People raiders on the eastern marshes and wild elves of the western fringes, that speak of draconian influences in Ancient Proto-Elven runes.

Needless to say, it uses deep scrying magics and winged lizards and goblins as spies and minions, and may at times capture small bands of explorers in the depths of it's realm, and return them with mental blocks and changed loyalties. It is physically powerful, but its abilities of misdirection, illusion and psychological terrorism are its greatest weapons.

The Black Prince of Orlam

The Free City of Orlam is the gateway to the Coastal Cities of the Mainland, and is, and has always been, ruled by the Jedula Clan. The city is open for trade both day and night, and as taxes are reasonable, laws permissive and commercial enterprises encouraged, a sizeable black market has developed. Thieves, smugglers, mercenaries and mages are common inhabitants, and the black garbed City Guard are easily bribed, but can be harsh and intimidating. They, and a network of spies, including the Thieves Guild, answer to and provide a constant flow of information to Mordul Jedula, the playboy ruler of the City, known as the Black Prince.

He rules the city well, quietly dealing with trouble makers and miscreants and keeping firmly aware of the flow of events and feelings in the streets. He sits in the middle of this information web, like a nimble but poisonous spider. However, he also respects honour, respect and good humour, even if he cannot afford these in his current role.

Ekkar the Worm, Goblin Warlord

The lands south of the Yar River are fertile, open, green and infested with goblins. Ordinarily this would be no problem for humans, with soldiers and mercenaries to beat them back, but in this case, the civilisations bordering the area are in no position to mount a campaign of force, and the goblins have a very cunning warlord.

Ekkar is a strange goblin, possibly with some fey blood somewhere in his ancestry, but he has organised the forces of many, many, many goblins (even the brightest goblin can't count above about 80) into a bizarre but effective force. He was raised by Ogres, but betrayed them to goblin forces some 60 years ago, and rose from a suspect slave to outright leader in a matter of a decade. He is a master tactician, speaks five languages and has slain and eaten over a dozen goblin challengers. The eating part is not a normal aspect of these formal challenges, but has made others more circumspect in their challenges. He usually sits on his throne of skulls in a ruined mountain fortress, directing raiding parties through the use of an ancient magical table that shows a 3D view of the land, including little flashing red and green circles for various forces. Dressed in armour made from the skin of the Land Wyrm he slew (and ate the heart of) many years ago (and gained his name), and platform shoes, he is bound to intimidate any PC's brought before him...

The Elves of the Sailith

Nasty xenophobic, bloodthirsty, violent and insular, they are also elegant, gracile and dressed in shiny clothing, mostly blue and silver. They will shoot first, hog tie those who are unarmed, and show no distaste for slaying those who fought. Some say that individually they can be urbane and courteous, but their sense of honour does not allow them to spare trespassers.

 None dispute that they are allowed to deal with trespassers as they wish, it's just that they claim most of the area as 'their' land, despite the wishes of others (like those who live there). Fortunately, they are not enough in number to venture across the Var, but those south of it, especially towards the Sailith Woods, must watch for any sign of them. This is usually an arrow to the throat...

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