Last post (and month) I did promise the 3rd tier of Power Groups from the Kopesh Setting. Here's two of them, with an awful lot of waffle accompanying.
What world doesn't need a race of blond, tanned, carefree and slightly slow barbarians in the tropics? The Drakkan started as a rebellion against all blond muscular cultures being from the snowy north with false-Nordic kitsch adornments, and I think was inspired by The Court of Ardor, both the coolest and most horribly inappropriate MERP setting ever. The Hathorians, from this book, were also a happily Nordic race living in tropical splendour.
Anyway, the Drakkan are a tribal people living on the sub-tropical western shores and forests of the main continent, separated from Celise by the towering Drakkan Peaks. Robust, tending from muscular to slightly fat, with the odd skinny disaffected youth, and pale of skin with golden or blond hair. Given the temperature, they are usually well tanned. They practise subsidence agriculture, well supplemented with game and fish, and all are adequate hunters and trackers. They have no cities, but a network of tribal centres connected by subtle trails, and there is no real government, just meetings of all the chieftains that bother showing up.
As the land is rather rich in food and supplies, there is a remarkable amount of recreational time for the peoples. Crafts, building wooden totem towers, brewing liver-curdling alcohols, drinking said alcohols, and raiding other centres are all considered normal and virtuous pursuits. A band of drunken axe-waving barbarians can be a problem, as they are rather bloodthirsty, but killing them leads to blood-debts to their kin, and they can take up to a week to sober up from a good bender.
But this does not explain why silent, stern, and decidedly sober bands of well-armed Drakkan that seem to be moving through the wilds of central and eastern Celise. Who or what is their purpose? The Border guards of Eastern Celise are concerned enough to hire parties to track the bands that move into the Khosh Marshes to try to discover what their purpose is.
The Mad Mage of the Khosh
The Dragon Lord of the Khosh is not the only power in the marshes, even if it is the most overtly powerful. The Mad Mage is both known as a fact, as he travels into Zaireta, the only point of civilisation in the Khosh, for supplies and deliveries several times a year, and also the centre of many rumours and tales of disturbing nature.
His tower lies directly east of Zaireta, on a particularly disease prone, vermin invested and ghost haunted spit of marshy land. The tower is solid, and appears to be Ancient-built, with several thousand year old elven alterations to the exterior, and maybe more to the inside. It rises from the coastal sands, with a rough wooden dock jutting into the channel.
Little is known amongst the learned of the marsh of the Mad Mage's works or ambitions. They would be surprised at the Powers he communes with in the depths of the tower; strange insane spirits of a lost age that so far have delivered unto him the power to raise artificial man-like beings from dirt, and to draw magical power from several ancient artifacts of the Ancients, to further his already powerful wards and enchantments.
His network of newly raised Ur-men now scour the lands for more of the artifacts the Ancient Powers seek, accompanied by the remaining long-sleeping contacts of the Order of the Blistered Hand, and his sorcerous weavings. A small part of his mind is wondering if he is getting in over his head, but it is kept safely locked away most of the time.
Perhaps a noble or a temple has a useless but ancient heirloom stolen, a strange non-man encounters the party, or a clue about the secretive Blistered Hand Order comes to light?