Kalid-Ma & Andropinis

Hey everyone. My campaign will (if the PCs survive that far) eventually see Kalidnay returned from Ravenloft to Athas and Kalid-Ma herself resurrected. I’m also toying with bringing Andropinis back from the Black.

My questions to the community are:

  1. What do we think relations between the 2 southern city-states and their monarchs were like?
  2. Would those relations change with a reborn powerful Kalid-Ma ruling a smaller city and a returned Andropinis having to re-establish his rule over his own?

Anyone have any thoughts?

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If Kalid-Ma returned, or was reborn through the orbs of Kalid-Ma, he would have a big empty city. He may not re-establish it if something better presents itself. Perhaps he sees Balic as ripe for the pickings with no SK to protect it.
It was my understanding that the Kalid-Ma in Ravenloft is a reproduction, created just to taunt the high templar dreadlord there. The real Kalid-Ma was killed by Borys, Kalak, and Hamanu.

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Well that’s a core question: is the body of Kalid-Ma in Ravenloft genetically the same as the original? My thoughts were along the lines of it being so, the Orbs being brought to Ravenloft and body and soul of the SQ (I have KM as female to boost gender parity) being reunited. That triggers a Conjunction causing the RL city of Kalidnay to reappear over the ruins in DS.
The planar rift/breach opens a hole in the Black that lets Andropinis out at the same time. Hence KM and Big A are both in their own cities at the same time (and Thakok-An having been obliterated by a vengeful Queen), and the question of diplomatic relations pre and post KM’s death and return.

One of the things I liked about Paizo’s Dark Sun was the representation of Andropinis / Balic in the context of classical Greece’s contrasting democracy and autocracy vis-a-vis Athens and Sparta. That Andropinis pre-black was very on-the-surface Athenian democratic, but after he clawed his way back went full-on Spartan warrior-king autocrat. I personally like the idea of Athas’ civilizations actually literally in-game being based on historical Earth autocratic civilizations, and would consider this being Andropinis thinking “well I’m tired of trying the ‘democracy’ route, let’s try something a little different this time!”

Kalidnay is repeatedly mentioned as being one of the (if not THE) wealthiest of the city-states. Also, Kalid-Ma is apparently the first of the SMs to try the whole “massive ziggurat / pyramid” skipping ritual in dragon hood thing. That speaks to a lot of intelligence, ego, and verve. Those combine to tell me that he/she was in the top tier of SMs, KNEW it, flaunted it, but also had what it took to back all that up. If he/she were reborn, I would expect some reflection: trying to go full-bore dragon resulted in three other SMs ganging up on and killing him/her. Also it resulted in some insanity. Is that worth it to try again? Also consider what happened to Dregoth. The cautionary tales of Dregoth and Kalid-Ma I think contribute to the apparent feeling amongst the remaining SMs in Rise and Fall of a Dragon King that none of them actually WANT to finish their transformations.

BUT. I think Kalid-Ma would still have a bit of an ego. So who knows? Maybe the other SMs would consent to Kalid-Ma taking Borys’ place (assuming Borys is dead in your campaign).

tl;dr I think Kalid-Ma would go rather isolationist at first in order to consolidate power/position and suss out his/her place and the place of a Kalidnat reborn in the world. The city-state itself would have essentially gone from being top tier out of all the city-states to firmly at the very bottom.

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Andropinis is going to be busy restoring order. Is he returning with Maedar as in the Paizo version of Dark Sun?

Androponis is going to be in a worse position than Kalid-Ma. I presume that Kalid-Ma will be returning with the Ravenloft version of Kalidnay, while Andropinis will have to reestablish his authority while also contending with marauding giants, a constant problem for Balic.

I’m thinking KM will return as a sane 7th stage dragon with the Kalidnay domain coming too - so about 2.5-3k people. I like the idea of Andropinis coming back with some new followers - whether maedar, shades or some other shadow based race I haven’t decided. Possibly he’s switched metamorphosis from Dragon to Shadow Shifter during his imprisonment.
I’m going to end up with a personally powerful KM ruling a much smaller city but quite focused while Andropinis is going to be less powerful but with the resources of Balic, even if he’s more distracted reasserting rule.
That’s where the interplay between the two becomes important, both their historical relations and how the future would pan out in this scenario (eg: Walis likely falling under Kalidnay’s control?

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Much will depend on what happened in Balic after Andropinis disappeared. Did Balic’s templars survive, or did the citizens rise up and slaughter them? If its the latter, Andropinis will have to rebuild his state apparatus.

From my own perspective, I like the idea of someone gathering the orbs, the last one being within Grey Kalidnay itself, then using the Dark Powered body of Kalid-Ma to resurrect her while sidestepping the requirement of getting another SK involved. There’s a ton of work that would go into actually finding out it exists, then actually getting there. Once there you have to do with Thakok-An and the renegade templars who oppose her but I think if she can swing it to her being responsible for waking Kalid-Ma she’d do it.

Once awake Kalid-Ma would be sane, the body would morph into a 7th level dragon as it changes to meet the expectations of the mind that occupies it, and Kalid-Ma would start looking at getting citizens back to Kalidnay and reestablish her power (and deal with Thakok-An). Due to the comments below, I’d have her focus more on dealing with the current Trade Lords, the Shadow Templar Council, his old friend Andropinis in the Black, and al the changes that have occurred. I’d play up the friendship between the SMs, considering that Androponis undoubtedly knew what she was up to, didn’t say anything, and didn’t help kill her.

For Andropinis, I wouldn’t have him return. I’ve read a few places about his return 1000 years later or managing to find a way back early. For my own campaigns he’s still stuck in the Black and always will be. Rajaat cursed him with “eternal confinement” in the Cerlean Storm novel (pg 314) and was about to hit Nibenay with a 1,000 year torment when he lost the Lens (pg 315). He’s in the Black, contactable by spells, his remaining templars were trained by a shadow wizard to utilize energy from the Black and contact him. I’ve got plenty of fun with him trying to further his aims in Balic without actually being able to step foot outside the Black.

He’s trying to increase his Templar’s power, find a way to connect to the elemental planes to grant spells again, torment some elves, and get things back on track. I actually had a Shadow Wizard try to free him at one stage in the hopes of a great reward. He was able to find Andropinis in the Black, open a portal to him, only to find he had absolutely no interest in going back to Athas physically. The Curse was such that he can’t even conceive of a reason WHY he would want to. When the Shadow Wizard tried to force him by moving the portal, the portal went right “through” him as though he was intangible, so he physically couldn’t go back to Athas. He ended up being the one who trained the templars.

SeruZmaj, have you been reading my campaign notes? The campaign is set up so the first Orb of KM is indeed in the Black-orbiting domain of Kalidnay (it didn’t make it all the way to RL, having hit the Gray on the way out and bouncing off). My players are on a grand quest to find the other 4, having effected a jailbreak from the isolated domain to do so. Only problem is Thakok-An wants the Orbs as well and managed to sneak some of her own people out during the planar breach.

Nope :slight_smile:

The Orb in Grey Kalidnay came from Dungeon 190. The rest I think came from my own head as I remember things I’ve read over the years. I like the SKs and my campaigns tend to have more of them appearing, not less, so I thought of using the duplicate body as a way back.

I also like the idea that Dregoth originally created the Dragon Metamorphosis inspired by Daskinor, that’s why Rajaat recruited him (to learn how to do it and he did), Kalid-Ma searched out and improved on Rajaat’s design (specifically the accelerated metamorphosis that was detailed in Dungeon 56) and was so good at shape shifting that it was Kalid-Ma who figured out how to advance through all the stages without going mad. What Kalid-Ma didn’t count on was Thakok-An screwing it up by trying to help.

My own notes on exactly where each of the orbs are located are a bit sparse. Kalak had one, The Order had one, one in the Grey. I never worked out where the last two were but a little while back I took the idea of Andropinis’s elven torture island from this board and hid one there. My players are a rather mature, so I populated the island with mutilated elves (all with legs removed at the knees) bound to the island with magic so they can never leave. They also don’t die, no matter what is done to them, have been turned into elven cannibals who hate the taste of the other cursed elves (with one exception), and spend all time trying to catch food and fulfill some rather twisted implanted thoughts. Completing them gives them momentary relief from the physical and psychological torture right up until they realize what they have become and it kicks in again. The one exception on the island is Coraanu himself. He has his legs and is the tastiest elf of them all, he spends his days running from his own people trying not to be eaten but every step he takes causes him pain and he is fully aware of everything happening. He’s scared nearly out of his mind of elves but he can never really escape them.

I’m hoping to get a Kalid-Ma focused adventure going here soon once my current group wraps up this latest one.

–edit Dungeon 190 says orbs are in the hands of a lich in Kalidnay, Hamanu has one, Absalom has one, and two unknown but a rumor of one in Kalak’s ziggurat has surfaced. Maybe I made up the one in the Gray.

The order’s was supposed to have been the one that belonged to the House of the Mind in Draj. That could be Kalak’s or a missing one. I like the idea of one still being in the ziggeraut though.

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I went with Laylon-Ka having one as per Dmg 190, the party have found another (wrested it from a party of Thakok-An’s templars and henchmen) and the other 3 are in play in Athas. I’ve sewn together a number of the published adventures into a wider Kalidnay metaplot. There are a few natural opportunities to weave orbs into the established adventures so that saves some work.

Albeorn’s Island of Elven torture sounds a bit messed up (in a good way). I like the idea that Coraanu started the elves running but was caught by Albeorn nonetheless.