Arcane Apocalypse Alternate History - Copied Post

Originally posted by Raddu76:

" The current state of the Athasian tablelands is a result of an apocalypse not thousands of years in the making, but of one monumental arcane apocalypse that happened less than a thousand years ago. Not that the tablelands were some verdant slice of paradise before, but the twisted wastelands and mutant mongrels you know as home are not how it’s always been.

The great and mighty sorcerer kings and kings, may the true gods damn them, have constructed their lies to beguile the minds of weak men for the sake of control and protection. This is not to say that the rulers of the seven city-states do not have the tablelands in their thoughts, they do, they have saved us from an unimaginable fate. How do I know this?

Have you ever meet someone that has been beyond the Ringing Mountains? Ever meet someone that’s traveled across the Sea of Silt? How about past the Deadlands? To the north? Perhaps you’ve heard tale of Kurn and Eldaarich, but do you know anyone who’s ever been there? Well I have, I’ve been beyond the periphery, been to lands beyond the control of the exultant sorcerer-kings and I could barely get back here fast enough.

The watchful eyes of our bloody saviors see that which hour minds could not comprehend. And the Dragon? He is the greatest of them all, we owe him everything. You’ve heard tales of the Dragon’s levy, of thousands of slaves being sacrificed to this great beast? Ever seen it? No, I thought not. But we have all seen slaves being taken out to the desert by templar and army units, and they never come back either. Ever seen those slaves…most are fit to be gladiators, but they are sent out to be “sacrificed”. And we’ve all heard tale of the Dragon wiping out huge patrols of the kings and queens men in the wrong place at the wrong time, to his terrible fits of rage have we not? These are not sacrifices, not accidents, these are conscriptions. Conscriptions into the Dragon’s army.

What does the Dragon’s army fight? They fight that which is beyond the periphery, just beyond the domains of the sorcerer-monarchs. They are trained and fortified to fight that which mortals mens’ minds are not meant to ever witness. They die on a daily basis so that we may live.

Why don’t they just tell us so we can fight? They tried that once. The armies of men, and elves, and orcs and every other native being to this planets fought…and nearly died. As I said, the sorcerer monarchs are our blood saviors. Together they prepared a vast ritual to take place in the complex of the Pristine Tower, together they purposely drained and warped the life for a thousand miles in every direction. Those that were not inside the protective sanctums of the sorcerer kings, their most favored templars and generals, most knowledgeable nobles and merchant-lords were subject to the effect of this ritual. Some of the sorcerer monarchs would not participate in the apocalypse and so were not ready for it, the ruins of Kalidnay, Yaramuke, and Giustenal bear silent witness. To plants, it devastated them, wilting them, mutating them. To beings and animals it drained their essences making many dimwitted and permanently dazed and warping their very beings into braxats, anakores, and the like.

Doing this served several purposes, one, it created the Periphery. The things that live beyond it must take great will to enter the Periphery, and when they do the Dragon’s army is there to stop them from coming closer. Secondly the things beyond the Periphery need the essence of plant life and our life like we need water and as you know…there is not much life here now…so they do not have much incentive to come here.

Thirdly it changed the way magic works. When defilers cast their spells they drain the land and some life essences of the people around them, thus protecting us from that which is beyond the Periphery. So you see the Veiled Alliance has it wrong, casting magic and preserving the life force around us will only make it easier for Them to reach us in the long run. I have heard tell of a league of arcane warriors who call themselves the Knights of Borys, they actually push out beyond the Periphery and use defiling magic to wreak havoc on our great foe! Amazing, I know.

What of our current situation? Well the fools in Tyr may have killed us all. For the sorcerer monarchs use much of their arcane might in maintaining the Periphery. Without the King of Tyr each of the other sorcerer monarch will have to devote that much more energy to the task. And Kalak, he was a god among kings, his ziggurat was going to enable him to search out across Athas to find other pockets of civilization beyond the Periphery, but that hope is gone now.

How do I know all this? There are ruins in the periphery where the reach of the Dragon’s men are not absolute. There places where knowledge has not been completely eradicated by the minions of the monarchs and I have spoken to spirits of times long past."

After the vision Hammanu clutched his clawed fingers, enclosing the psi-crystal within his huge paw.

“What of the man this memory came from?” Hammanu asked eagerly.

Aerix, the wandering templar-spy proudly stated, “He no longer lives my liege.”

“Who else knows about this?”,the Lion of Urik asked.

“No one my lord. This nomad felt the sting of my bard’s friend not long after he finished his tale.”

Hammanu resolved himself, Aerix was a loyal servant, but he was away from Urik too much and this kind of truth could not be afforded to be let out. He gave a sharp look to Aerix, sharper than any blade. Blood dribbled out of the templar’s nose and he collapsed.

Borys would hear of this…perhaps a levy of a thousand slaves was not enough to keep up tight patrols of the Periphery if this nomad was able to get to it and return.

As a campaign arc think it’d be great to just have your regular Dark Sun adventures with small hints as to possible alternate histories. Then around Paragon tier they get more and more info. Perhaps incursions from the Periphery further into the tablelands.

In my mind the things beyond the Periphery would be beings from the Far Realm or something similar.

Originally posted by Raddu76:

Tales of the Boogeymen…

We’ve all heard the tales of the grandmothers meant to scare their children to their beds. Tales of creatures that live in the dark places, the cruel G’lins. Stories of foul Nogmes who trick young mothers to giving them their newborns with illusions, tales of barbarous Trolls who lure warriors in challenges to never be seen again, not to mention the Xies who lure great men to the depths of silt pits with the promise of lust. These are all tales with truth in them. Tales from the old days of Athas.

What happened to these fabled creatures? These races, along with the lion like wemic, the vicious orcs and the noble high-g’lins died so that we may live. The demons of old infested these noble races and turned them against us even as they fought for us. Even though the old races were corrupted the High Kings found ways to rally them to our cause, to convince them that the demons were the real enemies, for not all of the race was corrupt.

Wars were raged for generations. The demon plague was seemingly unstoppable, kingdom after kingdom was ravaged and our protector races fell to corruption in total in addition to many forces of the fair races, the humans, elves, and dwarves. And as the demons inched closer to our realms their taint and corruption spread to our races. These abominations were worst of all. The clan of the Trollmoors once famed human warriors corrupted to evil brutes. The elves of the Wemi planes, elves who befriended lions and used them as mounts were desecrated by being merged with their sacred animals to become Wemics. It was during these wars that the half-giants were made. The noble high-glins had become horrible creatures called hob-goblins and led much of the battles. Once proud orcs now fought us tooth and nail with an uncivilized rabidness never before seen. And it was decided that these abominations must be cleansed.

Again the wars raged on, but the High Kings were victorious , the last of the corrupt races were put down. It was with heavy hard that several of the High-Kings realized they must protect their own people from the corruption and to do this champions must be created to do what they themselves could not. To this end, Borys Butcher of Dwarves, Albeorn Elf Bane, and others were created to remove the Taint of evil from the pure races.

Once the corrupt portions of the races were exterminated and the lines of battle held, the High-Kings created the Periphery to hold the demons at bay indefinitely. For a time there was relative peace or at least the siege mentality faded, but the High-Kings were brought back to the mindset of war and heavy decisions as one of their own fell to the corruption of the other realms. The High-King Daskinor mind was eroded by his struggle against the taint. He began having delusions and in the end used magic and psionics to allow strange aberrations into Athas from the outer realms. Keltis, High-King of Kurn tried to help his brother, but could not.

Fearing Daaskinor’s abominations would siege the other cities Keltis drew his own Periphary between the cities of the north and the cities of the Tablelands, thus Kurn and Eldaarich became the Lost Cities of the Forgotten North.

Originally posted by Raddu76:

This did not turn out how I wanted, but I’m posting it here in the hopes that someone can help me out. Basically what I wanted originally was some kind of Templar Secret Society. It doesn’t necesarily have to be against the SK, that’s just how this one turned out. I was thinking something along the lines of the real Knights Templars, the Illuminati, the Masons, etc. Ideas?

The Ogrim
Few would argue that Tyrian Templars are a deceitful bunch, that they can always be trusted to look out for themselves. However; who would agree that Templars are capable of deceiving their revered Sorcerer-King Kalak? It is true, there are those in the ranks of the defiler-bureaucracy that have sacred duties unto themselves.
They, of course, have been indoctrinated in layers of mystery and symbolism in ancient ways. They are the Ogrim, the descendants of Athas’ Ogres. Few know of the true histories of Athas and few Ogrim know more than what is in their secretive rites, but one thing the Ogrim know is that Kalak, Ogredoom, was an Ogre himself.

Before the time of corruption the Ogrim were a human civilization who’s communities were formed in clans. They were a fierce people who had rudimentary understanding of magic. When the fell invaders came the Ogrim held their borders and fought savagely, but year after year and generation after generation the purity of the Ogrim line was besieged by the corruption that seeped from their foes and the Ogrim slowly became the hulking Ogres of history. Kalak, already a might psion and magic-user was a Clan Lord and he ignored the corruption of his people, for he was of them.

Kalak and his fellow High-Kings cried in victory as they created the Periphery and sealed the Tyr region from the onslaughts of the demonic invaders. But his victory cry was cut short as the other High-Kings demanded that he purify his line with blood. Kalak was not alone, many of the High-Kings had to purge their line for the safety of those uncorrupted by the fell invaders. Some of his clans sided with him, others against and a great civil war raged.

Kalak had already given so much for the freedom and safety of his people and he could not bear was he must do as the last of the Ogre clans were defeated. His most loyal Ogrim clans volunteered to slaughter their brethren, which they did with glee. Kalak was disgusted at what his people had become and used his greatest magic to destroy all in the final battle, corrupt and pure of blood alike.

It was there that the true pogrom began. Kalak sent assassins to finish off the last of his line where they could be found. This cloak and dagger game continues to this day. Kalak’s assassins (Brothers of Doom) struggle to root out the Ogrim bloodline while the Ogrim fought to continue their line.

While most of the true Ogrim bloodline has died out, this secret templar society continues its brotherhood in the shadows of Kalaks bureaucracy. Ogrim’ are not recruited from the ranks of Templars and is unknown how their society grows. The purpose of the Ogrim simple revenge, to make Kalak pay for the transgressions against his people. They have tried numerous plots to overthrow and kill the Sorcerer-King, but have yet to succeed. They use all that is available to them, noble favors, Veiled Alliance contacts, anything.