Sebecloki's Untitled Campaign

Game Master Sebecloki


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Samuquan Kubburummelemana, umunsikgal of the Great Court of the Smoking Mirror in Eridug, teeming city of the Umbral Kobolds, found himself, for the first time in a very great number of cycles, at a complete loss for words.

But it was not just words that failed the regal seer, a gap in audible speech filled by the ethereal susurrations of his highly-ornamented kaunakes, the innumerable pinions of its terror bird feathers seeming to whisper menacingly in the still air of his departed master's bedchambers.

No, it was also action which failed to take shape in his usually acute mind.

He continued to stare at the enigmatic sand pictures which completely filled the expansive surface of the low altar. The rainbow array of colored granules twisted in a multitude of at once erotic and threatening patterns, as if it depicted a nest of vipers prepared to simultaneously consummate their desires and savagely attack some new prey.

"Great Mother of the Deeps!" Samuquan thought remorsefully to himself, "but what is to be done? And what could it all mean?"

Where was his departed master, the umunsikgalgal of the Great Court of the Smoking Mirror, greatest seer of the Master and Mistress of Eridug?

The Grand Conjunction of the Greater and Lesser Eclipses was due in only a paltry handful of cycles, and absent Enlil-Utu's assured guidance, the successful resuscitation of the dragon seeds stood in doubt, leaving the great city of the umbral kobolds in peril of a renewed assault by the formless xxyth and their endless legions.

Samuquan sighed again. Whatever he would intend to do, it must be done quickly.

A sudden noise arrested his attention, darkening the seer's vision before he could even turn his head...

I had a stroke of inspiration for a very distinctive campaign set in a homebrew world I've been developing for a little over a year, and which emerged as a customization of the Dark Sun setting.

This is the basic set up: the players are the inhabitants of a great city of umbral kobolds that exists in the Black, the dark plane and planet which exists as a dark reflection of Athas. This strange world was created during the Cleansing Wars when a creature of primordial chaos known as a xxyth devoured the Feywild. Now, the blighted world of dark skies, known alternatively as Tenebrian, Bane, and Shadowsfell, among other appellations, exists as a shadowy version of Athas, its sphere suspended over an immense black hole.

One side of the planet, facing the void, is consumed in a greater darkness than even the remainder of Tenebrion. The Dark Side, known also as the Void, is the domain of the creatures of chaos known as the xxyth. These entities were created from the nightmares of the long-departed creator god of Athas, whose anger called them forth from the northern seas of the Dawn Age to consume the world along with his rebellious divine children. Somewhere in the deepest recesses of this blighted region is the great maw of the xxyth lord, a dreadful pit of woe that reaches deep into the core of Tenebrion.

The lighter side of Tenebrion is populated by many strange peoples, including the rakshasa city of Alaka, a dark reflection of the city-state of Raam, and more importantly for the present story, the great city of the umbral kobolds, which is known as Eridug.

Eridug stands in the same location in Tenebrion as does the Free City of Tyr in the Tablelands. It is, however, a reflection of the greatness of the material plane city which was lost in previous ages. Eridug was founded by the kobolds who fled the wrath of Sacha, Champion of Rajaat, when he assaulted the Green Age city of Tyre, the last incarnation of the city-state before the rule of Kalak.

As such, it reflects Tyr's ancient majesty, with the four immense spires of the plinths known as the talons rising into the dark sky at the cardinal directions. Suspended above the dark lake at the center of the metropolis is the seemingly limitless expanse of the Great Pyramid of Ta'amtum, a vast black triangle miles in length, breadth, and height. It is only accessed via magic and the high tower which rises from the island in the midst of the deep black lake around which the city sprawls.

During the earliest era of the Green Age, the kobolds were the vice regents of the dragon kings, mysterious reptilian entities that arrived on Athas from a distant world, bearing the enigmatic blessings of the tenebrian seeds, mutagenic artifacts that took the form of obsidian orbs. These strange cold blooded monarchs ruled a large territory to the south of the Tablelands throughout the Green Age, but departed under circumstances in mystery equal to their appearance, leaving their former deputies at the mercy of Rajaat's savage generals.

Since those dark days, the umbral kobolds have adapted to their new lives in the Black, and tried to keep alive the memory of their former masters. Primarily they cherish the safekeeping of the last tenebrian seeds, whose powers shield them from the hordes of the xxyth. During their tenure in the Black, the priests of the umbral kobolds have devised a means of imbuing the seeds with the power of the Two Eclipses, the permanently obscured suns that hang in the sky above the 'light side' of Tenebrion.

However, the city has recently been thrown into chaos by the disappearance of its high priest, along with all the tenebrian seeds. He left only enigmatic hints of his plans, including a vast tome inscribed in an unreadable language and a complex mandala composed of multicolored sand.

Without the power of the tenebrian seeds, Eridug is thrown open to assault by the hordes of the xxyth, as well as their other enemies in the Lands of the Well, the dark inversion of the Tablelands. It falls upon a band of unlikely heroes to discern the fate of the seer and ensure the future of their people...

..................

So... if that all sounds interesting and I can get a decent group together, I'll start throwing up some additional fluff and character build rules. I'd want most of the characters to be umbral kobolds -- this is a variant LN kobold developed by a 3pp. publisher, but I'm open to other interesting shadow creatures that might be staying in the city. Check out my 'Dark Sun' campaign in my profile if you want to get some more setting info and an idea of my highly-customized gestalt build rules.

This would be a very story/fluff intense home brew adventure for people that enjoy that kind of thing, like to read long posts, and want to take an active role in contributing to a setting. I'll have a lot of fluff to offer, and make up a lot as we go along, but I'm also very open, and will want, players to help add to and expand the lore.

Let me know!


It certainly sounds interesting, and it bodes well that you've put so much thought into this. Plus, I do love kobolds.


Here's a rough map I'm working on of the city: here. You can see the Lake Nammu at the center of the vast metropolis, as well as the 'four towers of brass' -- the Spires of Larsam, Badtibiraki, Zimbir, and Šuruppagki.

This is a link to the stats for umbral kobolds.

As you can see from some of the naming conventions, the city and its society is going to have a quasi Sumerian feel to it.


As always, an interesting idea to build a campaign around. This sounds like a mystery investigation campaign?

I was going to ask about a Judow from Co7S, but after looking at the Umbral Kobold that might be a bit OP if most folks should be kobolds...

Anyhow, dotted.


I just looked at the picture for that race, and that looks close to the aesthetic I'm going for. I'm not opposed to 1-2 exceptions in a larger party, but I do want most of the players to be umbral kobolds.

We can toss in some templates or something for the kobolds if we need to even everyone out.

This is supposed to be about the umbral kobold society and city, and the main motivation has to do with their culture and history, so I do need most of the players to be members of that race.

And yes, a lot of it will be a mystery. The first thing that happens is that several who have investigated the high priest's disappearance start turning up dead in pretty disgusting ways, and the party has to figure out what's going on without getting axed themselves.


Very interested, LOVE KOBOLDS!!!


Here is some more info on the city and its society --

The umbral kobolds are a largely lawful neutral society, and see themselves as a bulwark of civilization against the xxyth and other chaotic forces of Tenebrian. Even within the other city-states of the Lands of the Well, the Sublime City of Eridug is generally held to be one of the fixed points of relative safety within the dangerous climes of the Golgoroth Continent.

Their government is comprised of the Ensik and Enheduanna, the Lord and Lady of the Sublime City. Each rules over a separate court, the Lord that of the Emegir, and the Lady that of the Emesal.

The umbral kobolds are divided into a number of castes. The ruling caste, which consists of the priests and other high officials, are descendants of the servants of the Dragon Kings. These are known as the dragonborn. They maintain their power through hidden knowledge of the tenebrian seeds, mutagenic artifacts that both increase the power of the dragonborn, but also provide one of city's primary means of defense.

The lower castes consist of merchants, farmers, and those tasked with butchery, garbage disposal, and the burial of the dead.

The religion of the umbral kobolds holds that the Dragon Kings are currently waging an intense struggle against ancestral foes in a far off dimension. The prayers and offerings of their children strengthen them in their battles. Those sentenced to execution have their blood split on the altars of the great pyramid to feed the power of the Dragon Kings.


There is also a strong parallel society within Eridug that is dissatisfied with the current state of affairs. They question whether they were the beloved children or simply the slaves of the Dragon Kings. Likewise, they are skeptical of the ruling hierarchy of the dragonborn, as well as the umbral kobold's position within the Lands of the Well. Whereas the traditional allies of Eridug have been the inhabitants of the city state of Leviathan, dominated by the Screaming Choirs of the kytons, these doubters wonder whether alternative alliances would be more beneficial -- particularly, the merchants among this group contemplate a closer relationship with the awakened blink dogs who conduct much trade throughout the Lands of the Well.


would you allow spheres of power and spheres of might? I definitely have some ideas and would probably be just fine playing a kobold just to save me time from looking up some other race that might fit. though i have never gotten to play a kyton or blink dog before, so that could be a lot of fun

i love dark sun and look forward to seeing what youre doing with it


Tenro wrote:

would you allow spheres of power and spheres of might? I definitely have some ideas and would probably be just fine playing a kobold just to save me time from looking up some other race that might fit. though i have never gotten to play a kyton or blink dog before, so that could be a lot of fun

i love dark sun and look forward to seeing what youre doing with it

Yes to all 3pp. stuff. Look at my Dark Sun game through my profile, I allow basically anything.

The kytons and blink dogs are just examples, there are lots of weird races running around the Lands of the Well. I really do want a party mostly of umbral kobolds because of the story set up, but we could do all kinds of templates or other crazy stuff to fit any character concept. For instance, if you want to build a tank, we can create a case of mutagenically enhanced large size umbral kobolds that are as large as half-ogres and can be good martials.

The only caveat about magic is that I want you to build towards a fluff idea of there being a specific number of magic traditions in this world, and yours has to come from one of them. These are:

Sun Magic
Moon Magic
Defiling
Preserving
Shadow Magic
The Gray
Storm Magic (Cerulean)
Geomancy (Earth Magic)

I have notes on all of these for what fluff effect your mechanics should be aiming for. For me, there is more than one way mechanically to build a defiler or shadowmage, but you have to have that idea in mind. I want you to have a clear fluff answer as to what power source/magic tradition your caster is coming from. This is basically expanding on the idea of the different 'power sources' from 2e Defilers and Preservers of Athas, except I'm making them into entirely different kinds of magic, instead of just flavors of defiling and preserving.


interesting. I was thinking of a shadow magic/illusion kind of idea, with something sneaky and stabby on the other side of the gestalt.

but now your post has me wondering, are there folks that cross traditions? for instance shadow magic + grey (whatever that is)?


I have a lot of notes on my setting stuff, but here are the major notable points if you want some info:

In this version of Athas, there was a Dawn Age, like in 4e, where there were real gods. I based this period on a 3pp. setting called Violet Dawn that is inspired by Dark Sun. The basic additions to canon are that there was a creator god named Temulea who destroyed the world by submerging it with creatures of chaos called xxyth which he called from from the northern ocean. His divine children all died in this war, which set the stage for the Blue Age.

This Dawn Age was also a time of high technology, of which half-remembered remnants still exist in isolated pockets.

The Blue Age was influenced by extraterrestrials, expanding on the space faring ideas of Dark Sun 2e and the rhulisti. The halfling civilization was visited by the glassmakers and stoneburners from the Star Drive Alternity setting. The glassmakers are responsible for lifeshaping and the stoneburners for naturebending.

Rajaat was taught defiling and preserving by the disembodied minds of glassmakers and stoneburners caught in artifacts the survived the destruction of the Blue Age.

The different city states have the same basic culture but have different maps and more complex political situations. For instance, Gulg is populated by thinking apes, and the caverns beneath the city are home to Resident Evil type zombie experiments by the sorcerer-queen. Tyr has a more complex history and an evil cult that lives in the ruins below the city. Urik is on the edge of a Borrow-esque hellscape.

The planet of Athas is much worse than the 2e setting -- the Tablelands are essentially the only semi hospitable area. The other continents are surrounded by seas of methane, liquid carbon, and other horrors. The poles are made out of salt and dry ice.

There is an interior world that is also very savage.

Generally, the setting could be a kind of Starfinder setting. There is a high degree of scifi mixed in with the fantasy. It's very much inspired by John Carter and other planetary romance.


Tenro wrote:

interesting. I was thinking of a shadow magic/illusion kind of idea, with something sneaky and stabby on the other side of the gestalt.

but now your post has me wondering, are there folks that cross traditions? for instance shadow magic + grey (whatever that is)?

I haven't dealt with that much fluff wise yet, but there could be -- the idea is that there are simply different power sources you can do magic from, so it's not in theory impossible, though there are sects that would disapprove.

Here are my notes on magic:

Magic on Athas

Sun and Moon Mages:

I love the idea for using the godling classes for the sun and moon mages.

It also gave me another idea -- the fluff I'm using has twin dead gods of the sun and moon. Part of the 'godling' idea is that sun and moon magic draws on the residual powers of the dead divinities of these heavenly bodies. The dead deities of the sun and moon essentially form 'Living Vortexes' of the sort the Templars draw upon to harness power from the sorcerer-kings and queens.

For both solar and lunar magic, the powers of the mage will be increased during the time of day with which their powers are associated, and decline during the opposite period of time.

The powers of moon mages will also wax and wane with the cycles of the moon.

The twin moons of Ral and Guthay each offer slightly different suites of abilities depending on which entity the mage directs its attention. Ral is based on Barsoom, and offers gravitational and teleportation powers, among other abilities. Guthay is a destroyed gas giant whose orientation is more Lovecraftian, and is home to psurlons. The latter can somehow use psurlon-related leaches to channel or increase their powers.
Moon mages also draw power from the Athasian zodiac and other astral phenomena.

There are several significant cabals of moon mages in the city of Draj, where they are a part of the sorcerer-king Tektuktitlay's cult.
Sun mages run the risk of immolating themselves if they overstretch their capacities with meta-magic feats, which allow them to use their own life force to increase the effect of spells. This is a kind of blood sacrifice to the power of the sun. Sun magic requires blood as a material component, either that of the caster or a material component sacrifice. They can achieve exceptional results by channeling their powers through blue age artifacts like the Pristine Tower.

Shadow Magic

Shadow magic derives from the residual powers of the Feywild after it was devoured by a xxyth lord during the Cleansing Wars, resulting in the creation of the Black. The primary orientation of Shadow Magic is illusion and darkness/concealment. Just as the Feywild was a kind of spirit world or first world that represented a primal, enchanted version of Athas, so the Black is a twisted, macabre copy. The powers of shadow magic draw upon an individual's shadow to power their spell weaving. The shadow is a doppleganger that perpetually seeks to control its material plane partner. The excessive use of shadow magic always risks the shadow 'taking over' from its twin on Athas. Over time, shadow magic users can also fade into shadow stuff.

Geomancy

Earth magic is the most closely related to psionics of the other power sources, and would include builds that incorporate the cerebremancer prestige class. It involves drawing on gems and crystals that channel the innate powers of the living world that is Athas. This includes dealing with lesser earth spirits and drawing power from mana nodes. The physical corruption of Athas can afflict those who employ these arts, potentially causing geomancers to go crazy and become 'dire' mutants that wander the wastes until they are 'put down'.

Cerulean Mages

These magic users draw upon the Living Vortex which contains the powers of the Dragon's spirit (since the Dragon is still alive right now, I suppose he will be killed in game to facilitate these options), and focuses it through the Dark Lens. Cerulean mages risk being turned into 'storm wraiths' who are trapped with the Dragon and Tithian if they are too zealous. Each Cerulean mage carries a shard or copy of the Dark Lens known as an obsidian spectacle. Their powers increase in close proximity to a Tyr storm.

Grey Mages

These casters draw upon the powers of the grey, binding spirits to enact powerful enchantments. These arts created the Dead Lands, and were developed when the survivors received tutelage from the free willed undead lords of the obsidian plain in the arts of nethermancy. The powers of Grey Mages increase in the vicinity of the Dead Lands. However, they risk possession by these spirits, as well as prematurely fading into the realm of the dead. Grey mages also can draw the life force out of living beings to power their spells, an effect which is comparable to a free willed undead's energy drain ability. Whereas sun mages sacrifice blood, grey mages offer life force to power their enchantments.

Defilers

These mages draw upon an other worldly power taught by the ancient race of extra terrestrials known as the Stoneburners, who are responsible for both the mutagenic tenebrian seeds of the dragons of Serran and the hideous 'evolutions' cased by the naturebenders of Athas' halflings ann their descendants, the zik'chil of the Kreen Empire. Defiling magic saps of the life of the world to power these evolutions, and the excessive employment of its arts inevitably deforms the user in hideous ways. Defilers create a toxic aura that pollutes their vicinity, and adherents of this form of magic gain additional powers in the presence of a powerful locus of defiling magic, such as a sorcerer-king or arch-defiler.

Preservers

The preserving arts were first introduced to Athas by the enigmatic Glassmakers, patrons of the halfings and their fraal masters in the Blue Age. Preserving channels positive energy but is the most unstable form of magic, and will inevitably result in bizarre wild magic effects when used regularly. The latter are responsible, most notably, for the Brown Tide during the Blue Age.


i got really interested at the mention of the terulean seeds as i recall the obsidian orbs in the Prism Pentad books


hmm cool the tech elements interest me as well. would tech stuff be available to players at the start (in terms of theme?). Perhaps a kobold who was an ambassador at a more tech-established setting and recalled to investigate? or a blink dog ambassador from elsewhere? dusk kobold is fine with me as well i generally like +INT races.


well this is more complicated -- the tenebrian seeds are alien artifacts created by the stoneburners that are responsible for defiling/naturebending kinds of powers on multiple planets.

Part of this setting is that Athas exists in a godless cosmos that includes the Arcana Evolved Planet from Monte Cook's Diamond Throne setting. The Dragon Kings, which is based on another 3pp. setting inspired from Dark Sun, are the Dragons from Arcana Evolved. When they left that setting, they came to Athas, and when they left Athas, they went back to the Arcana Evolved planet.

The Dragon Kinds received the seeds from Stoneburner artifacts uncovered by one of their luminaries. Many of these artifacts hold the minds of powerful alien intelligences.


Tenro wrote:
hmm cool the tech elements interest me as well. would tech stuff be available to players at the start (in terms of theme?). Perhaps a kobold who was an ambassador at a more tech-established setting and recalled to investigate? or a blink dog ambassador from elsewhere? dusk kobold is fine with me as well i generally like +INT races.

The high tech stuff consists of old artifacts from the alien visitors and the Dawn Age. There are certainly pockets of this kind of stuff in the setting, but is would be available to characters like scholars/archaeologists.

I haven't thought much about the other parts of the cosmos -- I have decided that the Stardrive universe is out there somewhere, so there are high tech races floating around somewhere far away.

The blink dog merchants would be more in the first category of beings that uncovered a cache of material, or have some kind of heritage, like the kobolds.

For the kobold characters, I would imagine them having a relationship to technology more like the tech priests in Warhammer, like they'd pray to a laser gun.


ah ok. Yes so i am mostly familiar with Spheres of Power and Spheres of Might, so a Fey Adept would be fun for Shadow Magic. A Technician would be fun for technology based stuff. I wouldnt put these two as the same character, mind you, but the ideas are in my mind separately. Doing Moon Magic with Shadow Magic might be a cool idea, or Sun + Shadow would be a strange one. Not sure why anyone would be using Sun magic at all on a dark copy of the planet, though. I'm mostly thinking of someone sneaky and stabby combined with one of the above ideas rather than trying to mix magics, though. Either Shadow + stabbing, or Tech + stabbing.

I just like the blink dog idea because its nonstandard (i could play a wolf with a knife in its mouth!!) and i've never played one, while i have played kobolds (but not dusk kobolds). and the blink dogs are merchants, which i also like.


Here are some additional setting notes:

I've decided the Sea of Silt is the least toxic/dangerous of Athas' oceanous bodies. There is also (at least) a large sea of liquid mercury, liquid carbon dioxide, and liquid sulfur.

There are three major land masses

Hargalor -- containing the Tablelands and Kreen Empire, as well as large waste areas with other nomadic kingdoms.

Saan-Gabiathan -- situated across the Sea of Silt from Hargalor, this contains the Realm of the Merchant Princes, from which the former rulers of Balic sailed, as well as other strange realms. The coast beside the Sea of Silt, across from the Tablelands, is by far the most civilized and heavily settled, as well as conducive to life.

The continent of Chasth'nakk'karr is immensely inhospitable to life, surrounded by the poisonous seas of mercury and sulfur, and is more mysterious to the inhabitants of the other 'civilized' lands.

There is, in addition, a 'pole of Salt' at the 'top' of the world -- which resembles an arctic region made of ionized crystals, as well as comparable but infinitely deadlier Carboniferous Pole at the 'bottom' of the planet, the latter made from 'dry-ice'/solid carbon-dioxide.
Neither of these is a true pole, since Athas tilts wildly on its axis, and the real 'poles' are constantly changing.

There are also more than a half-dozen levitating continents that are not pictured, as well as a hollow world that is accessed through large gaps in the poles.

My basic conception is that the inland sea of silt, which is situated between opposing coasts of Hargalor and Saan-Gabiathan, and encompasses the Tablelands, the Realm of the Merchant Princes, and the Empire Archipelago of the Dragon, is the only real settled area of the planet.
Everywhere else is much, much worse.

Carabianathil-Chthon the Carboniferous Pole, for example, would have a human population that have to live in hermetically sealed arcologies and wear alchemical suits and gas masks when they venture 'outside'. They're beset by horrendous creatures called cryomantilids that are adapted to the climate, as well as other monstrosities.

On the opposite side of the planet, As’Ahash’Kavaah the Pole of Salt is partially inhabited by a race of Salt Elves with hardened exoskeletons that give them the appearance of insects. They worship a shaggy diamond-headed, horned creature called the Great Tuunbaaq that is generally considered to be invincible, in that it will reform quickly if its physical body is somehow defeated, and also actively hunts all interlopers. The Salt Elf tribes assist in this Great Hunt with packs of crystalline foxes that can run as fast as a quickling, teleport like a blink hound, can become incorporeal, and are also linked with a psionic hive mind.

The Methane Sea has gigantic predatory and godlike worms that live in its depths, insane cults of which exist among the few pockets of settlement on scattered isles.


Tenro wrote:

ah ok. Yes so i am mostly familiar with Spheres of Power and Spheres of Might, so a Fey Adept would be fun for Shadow Magic. A Technician would be fun for technology based stuff. I wouldnt put these two as the same character, mind you, but the ideas are in my mind separately. Doing Moon Magic with Shadow Magic might be a cool idea, or Sun + Shadow would be a strange one. Not sure why anyone would be using Sun magic at all on a dark copy of the planet, though. I'm mostly thinking of someone sneaky and stabby combined with one of the above ideas rather than trying to mix magics, though. Either Shadow + stabbing, or Tech + stabbing.

I just like the blink dog idea because its nonstandard (i could play a wolf with a knife in its mouth!!) and i've never played one, while i have played kobolds (but not dusk kobolds). and the blink dogs are merchants, which i also like.

Well the planet is illuminated by 2 eclipses (i.e., the inverse of the two moons of Athas), so there could be shadow + sun in that sense, like an Eclipse tradition.


everything about this setting sounds awesome! especially the stuff going down on the poles


Just to be clear -- that's Athas. This planet in the Black is a dark version of that material plane planet. So the Lands of the Well containing the kobold city are Black's version of the Tablelands and so on.


yeah makes me wonder what is going on in the poles of our version. Im kinda thinking of a character like if Riddick was a Blink Dog


I was actually thinking about one side being like Pitch Black where there's just a horde of gribblies.


If you're thinking of going the blink dog direction I can work on their fluff.

They're native to the equivalent of the Land of the Merchant Princes in Athas -- which is on the other side of the Sea of Silt, facing the Tablelands.

They are kind of an inversion of the Merchant Prince city-states because they are nomadic instead of sedentary, and are also animals instead of humanoids. Thus, they are outsiders to the Lands of the Well.

Their territory is known as the Uther East and is primarily centered on the Prismatic Cupola. There is an immense, dome-like rainbow-colored awning of sorts that hangs over several hundred miles of territory on the coast of the Porphyric Sea which divides the Lands of the Well from Prismatic Cupola and other territories in the Uther East.

They engage in commerce throughout the city-states of the Lands of the Well, including Sublime Eridug, and organized into a number of merchant clans.

They also hire themselves out to inhabitants of the Lands of the Well that want to explore in the more dangerous areas outside of their territories, as they have visited most reaches of Tenebrian.


ok so what do you think of a character that is a Blink Dog, i will keep the merchant theme, but also he will have some tech theme (tech sphere) and the other side melee of some sort and sneaky (perhaps some illusion)...?


I'm fine with it, but you'll need to work on an explanation of how you get tied up in the story line.

The current plot is that the high priest of the kobolds disappeared and those investigating his absence are getting murdered in horrible ways. He disappeared with the artifacts the kobolds use to defend themselves, so they're very worried. It seems like a merchant character might try to somehow use that to their advantage, but you'll have to think about it.


im thinking that the blink dogs faction is trying to solidify their bond with the kobold elite by aiding in this venture. he was instructed by a higher ranking member of his merchant clan to get involved so that not only it makes the blink dogs look better than the kytons, but specifically his clan among the blink dogs so that they can try to get a monopoly on trade here, thereby giving them an edge elsewhere in their trade routes.


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Secret Blink Dog Lore:

The other factor will be that the higher-up in the clan will want you to investigate the fact that the murders appear to be linked to blink dog lore about the Unmentionables, which is their name for the xxyth who dwell on the other side of the planet.

The blink dogs, who refer to themselves as Companions, were the aides of a highly technological civilization that crash-landed on Tenebrian (the planet is basically in a version of hyperspace, and the vessel was essentially destroyed by warp demons/Event Horizon-esque badness). They managed to survived the crash and thrive in their new environment. The Prismatic Cupola is a remnant of this civilization. The Companions still worship the artifacts and cryogenically preserved bodies of their former human allies, known as the Makers.

While they have established a role for themselves within the strange ecosystem of Tenebrian, they are still intent on reviving the Makers and leaving the planet at some future juncture.


awesome. I will run with that, it definitely aligns well with one of the ideas i was looking at.

do i just use the basic blink dog stats, or do you have a link to a version you prefer?


Let me look into it once I see what everyone else wants to play; I still need to decide exactly what build rules I'm going to use. It will be very high powered, but it's going to be a synthesis of a number of ideas I've kicked around.

If we only get 2-3 interested people, I will still run this if everyone will make a second character and/or animal companion etc. And also if everyone promises to post :).


ok well i am willing to make a second character, which would be a dusk kobold so as to keep the race balance towards the direction you want.

Scarab Sages

Just popping in to say I'm interested in this game, Sebecloki. Haven't gone anywhere with character ideas yet, we'll see about that tomorrow.


I would build out something focused on shadow magic, probably with either a psionic or akashic class. Though now that you've made almost a tri-stalt in the Runelords I keep finding more combinations and variants of things that would be cool to put together...

EDIT: OOOH!!! I could do that opposing twin idea I had in the other campaign and dropped after we had enough people to continue.


River of Sticks wrote:

I would build out something focused on shadow magic, probably with either a psionic or akashic class. Though now that you've made almost a tri-stalt in the Runelords I keep finding more combinations and variants of things that would be cool to put together...

EDIT: OOOH!!! I could do that opposing twin idea I had in the other campaign and dropped after we had enough people to continue.

Yeah why don't you do a set of kobold twins for this game.

Another thing to think about: I want every character to develop some kind of kryptonite/serious flaw/weakness. I will work with everyone individually on this.

When I do build rules, I'm going to do them in a campaign info page so I can edit it and update as questions arise.


do you mean build one in? like just ignore a certain save or have dumpy HP?

or make one up, and then you make some rules about it (like my character recoils at the color yellow)?


Sebecloki wrote:


Yeah why don't you do a set of kobold twins for this game.

Sure. I'l have one focused on Shadow and another on Geomancy. Possibly the Geomancy focused one as a social buffer/diplomat type, and the shadow as a martial assassin kind of character. .


Tenro wrote:

do you mean build one in? like just ignore a certain save or have dumpy HP?

or make one up, and then you make some rules about it (like my character recoils at the color yellow)?

the latter.


River of Sticks wrote:
Sebecloki wrote:


Yeah why don't you do a set of kobold twins for this game.
Sure. I'l have one focused on Shadow and another on Geomancy. Possibly the Geomancy focused one as a social buffer/diplomat type, and the shadow as a martial assassin kind of character. .

interesting, might have to change my theme a bit. i was gonna do shadow and martial assassin/merchant. haha

i have ideas for days though


I made a campaign page -- I'm starting to post some setting info on it.


@Tenro: copied from my original post on it, this was my idea:

So I'm thinking if we go this route to invert a bunch of assumptions and create fraternal twins. : Twin A as the dark, brooding character, but he is actually a great buffer - handing out bonuses to the group and taking some of the battlefield control types of paths. Sort of a deep voiced, pessimistic guy, but working to make sure the worst is staved off through thinking ahead and planning. Twin B is light hearted kind of gal, who takes on a fierce aspect in battle with hugely destructive blasts/attacks and a shining glory of righteousness that strikes fear into the hearts of the enemy - a blunt hammer that can smash into whatever stands before, but tempered by her brother's advice. She rushes into situations, and he tries to plan ahead to get them out after the fact.

I think there are plenty of ways to approach the concept, especially with the many 3PP options. If you have specifics in mind I can avoid stepping on your toes. I'm not dead set on assassin-type fluff; shadowy magic and martial just made for an easy venn diagram of "assassin".


I will also probably work the twins into some setting lore -- their eggs hatched under special auspices, and are considered to have a great fate in store for them.

I also want to emphasize that this setting, as I'm sure is already clear, is going to be WEIRD. Think oceans of jelly, enormous cyclopean structures hundreds or thousands of miles in size, creatures that 'speak' in languages that are pronounced faster than the speed of sound and cause glass to shatter in their presence, etc. etc. etc.


i like weird.

@Sticks no worries. I'll be a blink dog, which is different. I will have a tech theme going on as well, and be a merchant because thats what blink dogs do in this setting and i like playing merchant characters. i will ease away from the dark and stealth stuff, i might go another route.


I worked a little more on the city map. I think the border with the reliefs from the Northwest Palace really adds to the ambience I'm going for here.


Are the blink dogs still typically LG? I imagine theyre rather different in a dark copy of a darker version of athas which is already a rather dark sort of world.


Tenro wrote:
Are the blink dogs still typically LG? I imagine theyre rather different in a dark copy of a darker version of athas which is already a rather dark sort of world.

Yeah, that definitely doesn't work for this setting. I'd say more like LN or N.


Welp, this sounds like an awesome concept that I just can't keep away from!! Obviously with my work so far with Hamza, I am a fan of the The Black in general, so getting an opportunity to to play in that setting entirely greatly appeals to me.

I have a few different concepts in mind.

One question though, what role do Kytons play in this setting??


I'm still working on fluff. What I have so far is that they live in a city-state known as Leviathan which is the Black equivalent of Urik. Eridug and Leviathan have an alliance (sort of the opposite of the situation in the Tablelands where Tyr and Urik are traditional rivals).

I was imagining them being enforcers and peacekeepers, and would provide military support to the umkbral kobolds in their wars with the xxyth legions. Some might be contracted out by the dragonborn nobility to maintain order in Eridug.

Tell me if you have other ideas.

I also have in mind that one of their primary monuments is the Cathedral of Screams, which would look a lot like La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.


Also, I want to emphasize that, while there will be some combat, this campaign is going to make more use of non-combat skills than most. Characters with abilities like illusion, bluffing, and so on will be very useful. The goals will mainly be things like solving puzzles, convincing other characters to do things, solving mysteries and so on. It will be useful to have abilities like reading minds, telekenesis, etc.


I would be okay with running two characters, but not simultaneously. I would endeavor to swap them out 'per mission' as befits the scene/story arc.

In order to help facilitate this, I have two wildly different characters in mind:

One would be an Umbral Kobold that I would like to have the Apostle Kyton template. This character would likely be some sort of divine priest, of either the Dragon Kings or the Kyton Demagogues(Assuming they exist in this setting).

The other character would also be an Umbral Kobold, and some sort of skill monkey.

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