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Old 12-30-2015
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The Turning of the Seasons

The Sundarian Empire

It is the advent of a new age.

With an earth-shattering crack, the falling City of Sundren had brought with it changes to the valley beyond what most could see. While the Day of Broken Blades was a fading light, the settlement of the City was a new dawn that signaled the coming of a new era of peace and prosperity for all who called Sundren Valley their home.

The Vigiles

When the City fell, so too did the barriers preventing people from entering and exiting the City. No longer protected by its unreachable heights, the Emperor's decision to form the Senate and Regional Council acted more of an ameliorative effect on the valley than any army or magical feat of prowess. Aquor, Avanthyr, and eventually Sestra all banded together, united in their desire for stable trade among the valley's inhabitants. This Council is headed by the main families who rule their respective city-states, recognized in their independence by the Imperial Seat. Meriadoc hails from Avanthyr, Pendraig and its governor River Highsun from Aquor, and the militaristic ruler of Sestra, Hashart Datton.

Realizing that no one group could ever provide the strength and stability to the roads that they needed, and more pragmatically preventing any one city-state from gaining too much power, the Regional Council enlisted the aid of those most beholden to the laws of the land: the Helmite Church. Called to do their duty once more beyond the gates of Sundren City, the Helmites have turned to their roots and have become Road Wardens in charge of enforcing the laws of the trade-ways. This in turn has generated significant revenue used to support these Vigiles, and their order has flourished after the long drought of lawlessness in the valley.

The Senate rules the City proper, its districts electing representatives to speak for the people of Sundren City, pouring back into the lands in and around the now fallen metropolis.

The Senate

The Ulsteris family, their lands valued once more by the incoming refugees seeking their old homes and fields, has gained a prominent seat in the Senate. Since the fall of the City refugees not settled in the varying lands have drifted back to Sundren City based solely on Ulsteris' reputation as a fair, hard-working man.

A merchant house that clawed its way to nobility, House Zenten holds a seat on the Senate representing the Cheapside. Their reputation even amongst other nobles is low, and they are often regarded with suspicion and distrust by the rest of the nobility. The ruined remains of several houses lie in their wake and serve as warning to any who would deal haphazardly with the Zenten. And yet, they hold sway in the slums as the principle group to get 'things done.'

Renowned as a House where honor meets pragmatism, the ValíTess are skilled diplomats, advisers, counselors, and arbiters. Many a nobleman seek the ValíTess out to represent them in trade disputes and other conflicts. As a result, they have garnered the favor of Aspirations and the businesses within. This in turn led to their eventual rise as a district representative within the Senate.

Finally, the Veritas have risen to prominence within the military district of Castrum. Arguably one of the oldest remaining families in Sundren, they have supplanted the LaCroix as the most involved noble house within the Sundarian Legion. The Veritas family's bid on the Castrum seat is consistently challenged by the LaCroix, the two families almost bitter rivals over the coveted position.

The Factions of Sundren City

Condottieri


The noble families in both the Regional Council and the Senate seek out skilled individuals in both blade and word, elite fighters and diplomats to serve them in their dealings.

Mercenaries sworn to noble service, the Condottieri are men and women acting as the arms, hands, and fingers of the noble families. While each adventurer serves his or her own particular family, they are viewed as a whole as noble servants. Sworn to service, these unique men and women answer to family problems, represent family interests where there is no familial member present, and fight their battles whether by word or blade.

Legio Discenius


With the separation of power within Sundren City from the Emperor, and the landing of the City, there came a need for more specialized soldiers. As a result, the Imperial Government, while consolidating its forces at home by dissolving the Legions into a single Legio and incorporating the Helmites into the Vigiles, or Sundren Constabulary, has seen the need for soldiers with unique skills and backgrounds who do not toil away at the trenches. As a result, those with specific skills are sorted into the Legio Discenius .

The purpose of this particular Legio is to spread into the valley and work the Empire's will: whether that means securing its borders, or obtaining new resources, or even normalizing relations with other city-states. These soldiers can act in any capacity, be it spy or warrior, mage or priest. Their skillsets still define their ranks and specializations, but they are no longer bound to a singular command branch. Instead, these men and women serve under the direct supervision of the Evocati, the elite soldiers of the Sundarian Legio.
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Old 12-31-2015
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The Aquoran Protectorate

Aquor gains autonomy five years after the Day of Broken Blades, under the protection Felicia Pendraig and by extension the Zakharan Empire. The Zakaharans negotiate a deal with Felicia’s cousin, Evelyn Meriadoc, for immigration rights from Zakhara. As a result, Aquor has a rolling influx of Southern Continent merchants and coin, which diffuses through the country through the now protected roads of the Regional Council.

With the return of Felicia Pendraig, the town has once again come under the rule of the noble family albeit with loyalties to a nation thousands of miles away. Felicia and her Zakharan troops took the town, with the help of River Highsun, turned it into a trading region for the entire country. Goods travel from the Port, Sundren City, and even Sestra to be traded for the rare furs, metals, and goods from the Spine. A simple taxation on the transactions has turned Aquor into a wealthy town once again, attracting mercantile interests of all kinds. Of course, this could not have happened without an intervening force. Avanthyr still takes a strong stance against both Thay as well as Sestra, and the Sundarian Empire too ostensibly refuses to conduct trade with Sestra straight out.

The Silent Peace

The Silent Peace was established as part of Aquor's bid for independence from the Sundarian Empire. An agreement
between the Republic in Sundren City, Avanthyr’s Port Council, Sestra’s Stratocracy, and Felicia Pendraig to treat Aquor as neutral territory. Within its borders, and while on any Aquor approved business near its lands, no harm is done directly or otherwise to trading parties. Myrkulites can trade with merchants from Sundren City, Sundren nobility can bargain with Avanthyr representatives, etc., without the fear of direct conflict.

That said, there are elements that do work indirectly on each respective city-state's behalf. Mercenaries, spies, agents of all kinds are an accepted reality, giving rise to games between them. What some call the greatest game to ever grace Sundren politics, the Silent Peace acts as a deniable barrier to the economic and political forces at constant work to grasp at the riches pouring through Aquor as a result of Zakharan influence and Felicia Pendraig's cunning. Confidence games, persuasion tricks, and every other type of scheme and ill-reputed feat are tried and fail under the watchful gaze of the Pendraig familiy and its governor.

The Factions of Aquor

The Saharin


What some call the Silent Peace made this feasible, with the Zakharans sworn to Felicia keeping the peace and profiting from the nexus of trade. The Sarahin, as they call themselves, are sworn to the Pendraig family and its masters in the Southern Continent. Zakharan men and women who grew up in the wastes and deserts of their homeland, they hold unique views on everything from honor to hospitality. The cultural and racial differences between the and the residents of Sundren valley has at times caused distinct tensions, but the growing population cannot be ignored.

What the Saharin do not lack, is skill and loyalty. Their lives are dedicated to the Pendraig family, and their blades are bound to keep the Silent Peace. Woe be to those who seek to violate the Peace, for the Saharin's curved blades wait patiently.

The Whurest Kazhunki



The Whurest Dwarves' investments made by their wise leader Dryn Stonewhisperer have borne fruit. With Aquor's rise in riches, so too has the dwarven hold risen in power and prestige. Well funded, Dryn has seen fit to outfit some of the hold's dwarves as elite units, forged to defend the hold's interests within the valley and beyond.

These knights, or 'kazhunki', differ from their predecessors in temperament and ability in that they are the first organized military presence in Whurest since the Skullcleavers first swore allegiance to the Whurest Clan. No longer having to split their time between forging a life for themselves in the inhospitable North and fighting in the southern valley, these dwarven soldiers are entirely dedicated to the betterment of the hold and the protection of its interests in Sundren. While some dwarves may still hold to forgecraft and the like as per tradition, the Kazhunki are foremost Whurest's military arm in the Spine.
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The Sestran Stratocracy

Sestra undergoes a revolution, of sorts. Under the iron leadership of Grand Marshal Hashart Datton and his troops, the town flourishes in light of the Emperor's olive branch of peace. Datton cracks down on the fanatic tendencies of the Black Hand, forcing out those who would continuously seek open warfare with the Sundarian Empire and Port Avanthyr. After the Colibrite vampires mysteriously vanish, Hashart's efforts come to fruition; the Black Hand as it was known in the past is completely eradicated.

Instead, Hashart's philosophy of iron order combined with a tempered approach to other religions has proven to improve the lives of Sestran peasantry. Festivals to Chauntea are encouraged, and while Bane is the patron god of the town, those who worship goodly gods are not killed on sight. However, that isn't to say that those who swear fealty to other cities and the Triumvirate are welcomed. A non-aggression pact, supported by the Regional Council, is hardly a full peace treaty. Rather, Sestra instead seeks to gather resources and strength by instituting mandatory military service.

The Factions of Sestra

The Sestran Guard



The Sestran Guard is both ruling power and main military force in Sestra. Descended from Korvus Tehk's Knights of the Black Gauntlet, as well as the Sestran Militia headed under both Dreadmaster Exitium and Marshal Datton, these men and women are dedicated to the preservation of not only their home, but the expansion of Sestran power. Firmly holding the belief that discipline and obedience are the twin virtues that precede any other, the Sestran Guard rules Sestra in both its military matters and day to day governance.

While some claim that such an organization is merely a dictatorship under the Grand Marshal, those within instead offer that the government is headed by those most worthy to do so: those who risk their lives in order for it to function. This meritocratic governing system has worked out well over the last fifty years; those who serve in the military are granted citizenship and the right to take a government position. Those who do not are not spurned, but rather devote their lives to the betterment of the town in other ways. For example, a small sect of monks devoted to Bane have grown at the city's heart as a result of its patron saint, Keegan Deverall.

The Sable Order



However, there are those who seek a more elite government. The Sable Order espouses a government ruled not by the Black Hand descended military, but by those native Sestrans who lived here before the takeover. Calling for rule by Sestran nobility, or in the alternative native Sestran families, the Order favors its members who can trace their lineage back to before the Invasion.

The Order holds many members who worship Siamorphe, the goddess of nobility or divine right, and many former military men and women have joined their ranks in response to their inability to rise higher in the Sestran Guard as a result of their 'lack of loyalty' to the Sestran cause and ideals.

Its members hold ritualistic risings in rank, each having to be sponsored by another of the Order of a higher rank. As a result, each member is intensely loyal to their superiors who have mentored them to reach higher positions within. The Order espouses a right to rule that stems from Sestran ancestry, and is beginning to hold sway with those not within the military organization, or are not 'citizens'. Many Chauntean farmers, craftsmen, and traders are finding opportunity with the Order's financial connections to large corporations such as Exigo.
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Old 01-10-2016
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The Magisterium


Heralding the creation of a new world was the death of the old. A cacophonous rumble signaled the dying breath of Sundren City's magical reactors at the hands of the Sinister Three, former Left Hand archmagi twisted to destructive ends by one of their own, the Banite elven sorceress Edaphriel.

A brave adventuring party, led by another group of Left Hands calling themselves members of the Magisterium, evaded dominated Legionnaires and infiltrated the City to discover it was blanketed in chaos. The group deftly avoided battle, and confronted the archmage Severax deep in the bowls of the City. But it was too late to stop him from corrupting the reactors.

At this point, the group sacrificed one of its own, Aeron Ancrath, to bring the City down to safety. Finally, the City had landed along with the thousands of people that called it home. The threat gone the adventurers were hailed as heroes in defense of the City. At the Emperor's decree, the Left Hands that had fought in defense of the City were declared free of the order of exile plaguing them since the Day of Broken Blades. And it was then that the Magisterium was truly born.

A remnant of Left Hand magi, the Magisterium was formed by those magi who sought to enact what they viewed as the true will of Mundus: Magical innovation tempered by control. Some call it a guild, others a cult, the Magisterium acts as both a binding on its mages and a magical collegiate on par with the greatest of magical schools. A strict hierarchy controls the guild as a whole, headed by a council of Masters. Beneath them, a blossoming school of magical invention is guided by its elders and is pushed to the boundaries of arcane theory and practice.

The Magisterium's laws only govern those who adhere to its will; it holds no sway in the valley's city-states. But woe to those who cross the Magisterium, for its protective wings shelter those who call it home.
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The Ducal State of Avanthyr

Following the Emperor's announcement and Avanthyr's declaration of independence, the Legion withdrew its troops and the Meriadoc family took control of the Port's civil governance and security, the latter made possible through partnership with the Northern Watch in conjunction with the Avanthyr militia. Founded by Esmond Aurelianus, the Watch supplemented the Port's newly minted militia to keep peace within the city while safeguarding its borders.

A meeting was called among the Port's various leaders and stakeholders, including the two noble families Aurelianus and Meridoc, temple representatives, and prominent merchants. Having no desire to reinstate the Arbiters' system of government yet not wishing to relinquish their power as the city's founders, the Meriadocs now guide Avanthyr's future ruling as heads of state, supported by the Council of Ten, Supreme Tribunal, and General Assembly - a mixed government combining monarchy/aristocracy and democracy.

The Duke serves as Avanthyr's head of state and chief executive and passed down the Meriadoc family tree. Starting with the first Duke of Avanthyr, Nicantor Meriadoc, the role is inherited through birth - though it may also be bequeathed to the most able family member if one's direct descendant is unqualified or unwilling to serve. While the office comes with considerable power, the Duke is fully subject to prosecution to the fullest extent of city laws. The Council of Ten becomes the central political body of the Port whose members are voted in from the General Assembly (after a minimum 1 year of service), serving limited terms of 2 years. Former Councilmen may be voted in again but not consecutively. The Council was given authority over the public finance and improvements, military action, and law making.

While the Duke has the right of veto over Council actions, the Council in turn has the power to investigate and even remove the Duke from power (to be replaced by another Meriadoc) if sufficient evidence of dereliction is presented to the General Assembly.

In order to ensure such powers are not abused by any government body, the Supreme Tribunal was formed five years after the declaration of independence. Three state inquisitors - one selected from the Duke's advisers, two from the Council of Ten - are employed to regulate the governmental powers, to prevent any one group from gaining too much power.

The General Assembly represents the common people and other Port stakeholders (currently between 50-60 members). Yearly elections are held among the citizens, and most Representatives are prominent merchants, respected clergy, public servants and other local leaders. Campaigning for this office is forbidden, and indeed, one can be elected to the Assembly without running for office at all - at which point it is a citizen's patriotic duty to serve. Anyone currently living within the Port (for at least one year) can participate in this process.

The Northern Watch


The Northern Watch has grown from the small order of knights headed by Esmond Aurelianus into a full military force stationed within Avanthyr. While by no means as numerous as either Sestra's military forces nor the Legion, the Northern Watch serve as heavy cavalry to Avanthyr's own corpsmen by acting as both diplomatic emissaries as well as wartime commanders. As it was founded by an Aurelianus, so too does the family hold sway as the Grandmasters of the Watch. Their lands moved to Avanthyr in the wake of the declaration of independence, the Aurelianus family has headed the Avanthyr military forces since the Day of Broken Blades.

The Watch holds many minor nobility and religiously inclined warriors, but by no means is it restricted to carrying a blade and riding a horse. The Watch officially accepts all members of good-aligned churches and unaffiliated worshipers, though the most common patron deities are that of Helm, Tyr and Torm. The Northern Watch is led first by it's Grandmaster and second by it's Council of Three. This council is an honored replica of the Companions of the Radiant Heart's Prelates, listing it's most senior elected knights to fulfill the position upon the death of a councilman.

The Watch Grandmaster, an Aurelianus, answers to the Countil of Ten during times of peace. That said, during times of war the Grandmaster has complete control of both the Watch and the Meriadoc naval forces, in turn kept in check by the state inquisitors.

The Eboncoin



The Eboncoin has always been a group shrouded in mystery, and that has hardly changed. The Eboncoin has steadily spread its tendrils throughout Port Avanthyr, claiming the trade-rich territory as its own. Smuggling into the country illegal goods, and siphoning organization's like Exigo's own resources out from under the noses of the authorities, the Eboncoin is jealous of any crossing into its territory without permission. Of course, what it considers its territory is sometimes up for dispute, but the 'Family' is always willing to come to some sort of a deal.

However, there are even rumors among those who work in the shadows every eve. Whispers of the Eboncoin having another purpose, a higher calling. While no one is able to pin down anything specific, there is a name that echoes in the black, empty night: The Guardare. Those who watch, it's said, have a great interest in the balance of power in the valley and seek to enforce it through any means possible.

Of course only a fool gives stock to such rumors.
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The Fall of Hellstrom




The death of Harold Hellstrom had an extreme effect on the Hellstrom family and holdings. Their Exigo shares were bought up by the Emperor himself, and the family fell out of favor with all of the nobility within Sundren. Forced into exile, the Hellstrom family retreated to its grounds. The only thing left to it are its arena, and a smattering of properties that are quickly sold off to pay debts.

However the Hellstrom family invests the money from the former Exigo stock into its arena. Games are thrown more often, and slowly but surely the games are more bloodthirsty, attracting warriors from near and far. The Hellstrom family becomes of financier for bets, and grows increasingly wealthy from the games, restoring some of its fortune. Monsters are brought in from near and far, slaughtered to the amusement of the now wealthier crowds.

Nothing brings in money like war during peacetime, as the Hellstrom spokesmen are wont to say.

The Blackwood Mercenaries


When the Hellstroms fell from power and their investments vanished overnight, the Blackwood saw this as a way to escape the majority share that Hellstrom used to control their activities. Ryzad Kalim, seeing his connections within the Hellstrom family now almost entirely worthless, used his own funds to buy out the stock invested in his own mercenary company. Quickly turning to their longtime partner, Exigo, the Blackwood Mercenaries are now an independent organization within the valley; their contracts span among the city-states.

The Blackwood now work exclusively on the basis of guild contracts, no longer tied exclusively to Exigo or Hellstrom interests. As a result, the guild has seen an expansion of business in Sundren City, Avanthyr, Aquor, and even Sestra. Blackwood mercenaries are still known as some of the toughest mercenary guilds out there, but they are no longer a standing army of soldiers. Rather, the mercs seek out lucrative jobs that they can then bring back profits to their guild and seek greater benefits for 'retirement'. Although, this is hardly the case for the majority of their men and women, as one can imagine for a violent profession.

The Final Battle of Kyle Rendell


Art credit to Will Sliney

The quintessential example is that of Blackwood's most infamous member, Kyle Rendell. The swordsman had an impressive pedigree. Kyle fought in battles that shook the foundation of the nation, allied himself to mighty champions like Lord Tornbrook, and sought out the toughest fights simply for the joy of battle. Truly, Kyle Rendell, the 'Sword Saint', was a man of infinite tastes for combat.

Which made his final battle all that more legendary. Calling forth Vaer Vitori, the progenitor of the Red Blade style of combat, Kyle Rendell met him on the top of Mount Schild. A storm brewed in the distance, lightning flashing as thunder crackled around the two supreme swordsmen as their blades clashed with a ring of tempered steel. They fought for a full hour, neither man giving an inch. Their swords moved like the lightning now surrounding them, each touch resounding like the thunder that rattled their bones.

Finally, the battle came to an end. Vitori misjudged a feint, and found himself on the defensive. Backed against a cliff, the aged swordsman faced the mighty Rendell as rain pelted his face. Kyle raised his blade, prepared to strike him down. He took a powerful step forward, swinging his blade down. And then the unthinkable happened.

He sneezed.

A torrent of air threw his blade off balance, and he went tumbling down the side of Mount Schild. Painfully, for a solid thirty seconds, Kyle tumbled, rolled, stumbled, and fell down the side of Schild to Vitori's amazement. With a final crash, Kyle landed on his ass at the bottom; his scream of pain echoed within the small valley. Swearing vengeance, Kyle waddled off to parts unknown, his battle forever debated among the drunkards in taverns as to whether or not he was the Greatest Swordsman in the World. Either way, Kyle was never seen again in the valley of Sundren.
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The Tuatha



With the falling of the City, the Tuatha have been working steadily to repair the damage done to the ley lines by its rising. Their work has not gone unnoticed by the powers that be, either, and the once secretive group has seen an increase in membership in the last fifty years. Druids, mages, and nature priests alike have flocked to the Tuatha's teachings of balance in the face of chaos and destruction. Thus far, without interruptions, the Tuatha have done an admirable job in maintaining the ley lines within the valley.

The Daloidhche


However, not all has been ideal. With an increase in membership, there has been a similar rise in those who may differ in how to protect the ley; there have even been members who have explored the corruption beyond what might be needed to repair it. It's said that the nature of men is to be corrupted, and the centuries of hiding had done much to prevent such corruption from reaching the Tuatha.

This innocence has been sullied, though, with a small circle of Tuatha who have been claiming that the corruption of the ley is as natural as the ley itself: the life of a line has a beginning and an end, and to prevent that end is unnatural. The majority of the Tuatha decry this blasphemy, as it went against the eternal nature of the ley. The ley is a living thing, but it is a representation of the Weave and the land. Like the land it can wane in its season, but its purpose is to ever return to strength afterwards.

The two groups are not in direct conflict, although at times they may actively work against one another in trying to save a ley line that is in decline.


This schism began with the fabled two daughters of Greagrios Whiteflame: Starweaver and Windwood. Heroines of the Citadel, mothers of the Tuatha in the current age. Windwood's approach to the teachings of the Siud was the more traditional one; her followers and colleagues approached the protection of the ley in the way it had been done for centuries before. Windwood's leadership inspired acolytes to the Tuatha's mysteries to devote themselves to the balance of the ley lines and protection of their silent strength. Her mastery of the ley grew slowly, carefully, like a sapling into a giant redwood. She became an elder of the Tuatha, and quietly teaches new acolytes who seek out her wisdom garnered over the last fifty years.

Starweaver's disastrous first encounter with the ley lost her the use of her arm. In the years that followed, her pursuit for the knowledge of the ley gathered her followers who saw more use in actively using that knowledge to prevent ley destruction within Sundren. These more pro-active druids believed at first that they could alter the nature of the ley by altering the land around it; corruption in the form of undead or dark forces weren't necessarily injurious to the ley lines, simply acting as a reflection of the state of it.

However, as the years passed, these 'Daloidhche' began to lose faith in the traditional teachings of repairing the ley and seeing the land improve as a result. They instead became convinced that when a ley dies, it was a natural process that must not be artificially interrupted. As for the Starweaver herself, she vanished several years after the fall of the City into the ley lines. Rumors about that she still travels their infinite length and depth, now fully a creature of the ley.
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Advent of the Artificer and Exigo


Credit to Bryce Gunkel

Following the declaration of Peace with the Veritas syndicate during the Bloodmaim Wars, Exigo went to some lengths to acquire the service of many of their engineers who specialized in the constructs that had protected and maintained their mountain stronghold, striking a deal between Sundren State and the Veritas forces to take possession of their former base of operations.

In the years that followed the birth of the Senate and fall of Hellstrom, Exigo poured development money into the Schild Mountain Facility, creating one of the most cutting edge construct development sites known outside of Latan. This was bolstered further after the Lantan Schism, where a chief artificer fled to Sundren after he was accused of treason by the Lantan government. Rumor dictates that the Sundarian nobility was to some extent involved in aiding him in his flight, but the gnomish artificer was welcomed into Sundren City with open arms. His defection provided an influx of keen minds from the famous island; artifice becomes popular within Sundren City and its wealthy citizens after the Artificer partners with the Oghma temple and Exigo interests to spread it.

Hellstrom's fall from grace in turn offered Exigo a chance to solidify its ties with Blackwood, as the Hellstrom family collapsed Exigos management team took the opportunity to purchase as many of their own shares and Blackwoods as they could, rendering themselves a truly independent organisation.

Their relationship with the Dwarves of Whurest remains strong, even though time, distance and convenience have loosened their partnership. They still remain a valuable trading partner however as folk the world over understand the value of dwarven goods.

Ixis Island


Credit to Ben Jaramillo

Ixis has been a success story for Exigo, a previously untapped bounty of exotic materials located near to the Northern trade routes. Recent upheavals within one of the friendlier native tribes have allowed it to put in place some solid trade deals, meaning much of the mining or forest work is undertaken by local labor at a fraction of the cost of importing human labor from Sundren.

In recent years Exigo have begun to try and push into the main islands ruins, on this score they’ve been less successful, numerous parties have vanished into the jungle never to be seen again, though the occasional (normally half mad) survivor burbling about hidden treasures and cities of gold is enough to keep interest going. Being first and foremost a business Exigo themselves no longer undertake missions, though they do occasionally sponsor well prepared adventurers for a cut of the potential finds.

Approximately 25 years ago an attempt was made to set up a colony on Ferracosta, the iron rich island was seen as a potential mining site by would be settlers. Some 130 colonists consisting largely of humans and dwarves with smaller numbers of other races made landfall and erected a small fortified village named Freetown. Over the following months the village became more secure, attracting further colonists and traders. A little under a year after its founding traders reported seeing quarantine flags flying from one of its watchtowers, all attempts to communicate with the colony went unanswered. Fearing plague it was some time before the colony was explored, when a party did eventually break into the locked compound they found the place abandoned. Some small signs of a struggle were found in the watchtower displaying the quarantine flag and two other locations, other than that there were no bodies, notes or other symbols that might have shown the fate of the towns 200+ inhabitants.

Since the failure of Freetown excursions to Ferracosta have been rare, though thanks to the mystery of the townsfolk’s disappearance and the rewards for information offered by numerous relatives trips to the island are not unheard of. So far though no further information has been found and Freetown itself has been slowly overtaken by the island's flora.

Exigos presence on the islands hasn’t been all smooth sailing. Their dealings with the lizardfolk have had unintended consequences across the islands.
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The Triumvirate and The Blinding of the Gods

Ten years past, the gods went blind.

There was no sign, no celestial event when it took place. But when it did, the entire valley slowly realized what it meant. Those touched by the gods, paladins and blackguards alike, came to the realization that they could no longer sense the righteousness of the soul. No longer were paladins able to discern the holy from the corrupt, nor those fiendish warriors who served dark gods able to distinguish potential tool from dangerous foe. This strange happening seemed to take place only within Sundren's borders. The farther one got from the formerly war-ridden country, the ability to sense good grew.

The knights of the Triumvirate, though few in number, gathered at a summit in the halls of the Temple of Lathander. While at first formal and restrained, the more the holy warriors debated the cause, the more fractious the meeting became. There were those who believed that it was a test from Tyr and the other goodly gods, while some thought it a sign to abandon the valley to its devices. Others proclaimed a holy crusade, asking to bring faithful from other lands in, while yet still more remained steadfastly certain that their power to see the hearts of men was clouded by their own sins, and that they had all fallen.

Finally, a holy knight of the Lathanderite temple called a pause to the deliberations. Speaking calmly to those gathered, the knight brought forth an empty hand and spoke.


Quote:
"I do not know why the gods have stripped us of our power to see into the hearts of men. But I do know that such power is inconsequential when we examine our duty and calling. A tool removed by my Lord Lathander does not excuse me of my duty; it does not change my mission to spread Lathander's Light across this valley. In truth, my brothers and sisters, it does not change a single thing.

Because light never vanishes, it can only be diminished for a time.

I shall continue to uphold my knightly duties. I shall serve my Lord as best I am able, and I shall seek to spread His word across this land. And I shall continue to trust the heart of a man unless proven otherwise."
Those gathered heard the wisdom in the knight's words, and to a great extent agreed: their mission had not changed, nor had it any bearing on their behavior in the eyes of their gods. Calling the summit to an end, the knights filed out.

The Vanitium



All that is, but one. Lady Tehk of the Lance, sworn paladin of the Red Knight sought favor with her fellows for a purpose: to seek out the reason behind the blindness, and to remove it. A sworn faithful of the Red Knight, Lady Tehk rode off into the wilds of Sundren with a small cadre of knights, calling themselves the Vanitium. These knights are a small group even within the Triumvirate, and are seen mostly as foolish wanderers who chase the wind. Ridiculed by some, they are a priceless aid in the wilds. While they are seen rarely within civilized lands, the Vanitium protect explorers and travelers when they are come across in the wilds. Many a merchant or explorer has owed their lives to these questing knights, and they have a fearsome reputation as trackers and warriors.
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Last edited by [DM] Grinning Death; 02-24-2016 at 04:51 PM.
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