Design Intent: 4-6 3rd-level characters
Starting Conditions: Kashin, Rakore; ECL 3 (DM approval)
Enemies: ogran, undead, giants, humanoids
Start Date: 16th of Vor, 1329 Avard
On the 16th of Davor, 1329 Avard, the Ogre Nations invaded Rakore. For decades, the armies of the Ogre Nations had been tied up along one border, defending their homelands from the animalistic Srik'Kr'Sril. Early in the summer of 1329, however, the Srik inexplicably stopped attacking along a long front of that border -- freeing up a considerable force to attack Rakore. The Supreme Ruler of the Ogre Nations, the despicable ogremai Itzak, quickly forged an alliance with the vile Nabrolians. Itzak utilized a deep-cover spy within Rakore to obtain secret magical information; this information allowed Itzak to instantly teleport several large armadas of Nabrolian ships into the waters near Rakore while his own armies attacked the borders of Rakore in a surprise attack.
Itzak's deep-cover agent had acquired massive stores of food and gold, and cached them years in advance of the invading army for just such a day. The agent also sewed chaos and confusion in the Rakoran ranks by using assassins and filtering battle knowledge and information to the ograns.
The nearby nation of Kur Maeth would cackle in glee with the ogran invasion of Rakore, for Kur Maeth's theocracy had long been at odds with Rakoran mage-tolerant policies. The Kur Maens even sent their own fleets to battle Rakore's, hoping to forever end the threat of a nation that harbored mages. When the Nabrolians arrived on the scene, however, the Kur Maens had to respond to their ancient foe, and side with the Rakorans against them, even invading the Ogre Nations from along their border.
The Srik attacks had stopped because a new enemy had been unleashed. A Srik colony had accidentally uncovered an ancient ruin crawling with necromantic magics and powers. The ruins were once the heart of a large kingdom ruled by evil elves that enslaved or destroyed all other races in their path. The desert kingdom had begun to splinter when some of their members became intent on freeing slaves and overthrowing tyranny. Many of the fallen elves and their necromantic powers were revived by the War of the Undead -- but had no way to escape the dunes of sand and rock that had buried the ruins. When the colony freed the undead, they slaughtered the colony. The leader of the undead forces within the ruins sought to revive his undead elven masters, and return the elven Kingdom of Dharlveil to rule over all peoples.
The ogran armies had learned conventional-style discipline and warfare at the hands of experienced mercenaries, paid for with stolen Rakoran gold. The training was necessary to survive the onslaught of the Srik, and that training and discipline was then turned on the Rakorans. Itzak managed to redistribute his armies, freeing up four for the invasion of Rakore, while reinforcing the front with the Kur Maens by one army, and holding the lines with the remaining Srik with five armies. The inexplicable silence of the Srik along an entire front was not lost on Itzak, but he decided the time had come to gamble; once the Rakoran lands were in ogran possession, the ograns could reproduce to awesome numbers and overcome any foes.
One army had always been poised on the border of Rakore, but it had become lackadaisical because of Itzak's deep-cover agent and his intelligence information. A massive changing of the lines took place, with the lazy army being moved to the silenced border, and the four battle-hardened armies replacing them along the Rakoran line in preparation for a surprise attack. A classic ogran army had the following components:
1 ogremai general.
500 orc clerics.
1,000 minotaur lizards.
Herod Notimeh was the Duke of Korthair, and Itzak's deep-cover agent. A gifted orator and professional spy, he helped set up the King's intelligence network, the King's Quarrels. Able to track the Quarrels wherever they went, as well as having the careful counsel of the king and the other duke's, Herod was perfect in his machinations for the Ogre Nations. Raised by Itzak specifically against the day when a man of undetectable evil would be needed, Herod was perfect for the heavily-protected Rakoran council. Having been a respectable member of the Rakoran ruling class for over a decade, none had suspected him -- or his minions.
Rex is a powerful fighter that uses a double-bladed sword like a quarterstaff. He has stolen a great deal of gold and supplies from Rakore, both as a bandit, and as a treasure-seeker. His accomplice is a female half-acquatic elf by the name of T'sara, with a vast range of magical and divine powers. Together, they covered Herod's tracks, kill his enemies, and acquire as much power for him as they can without ever casting suspicion on him. 'Doom' Rex, as he is known to the ograns, also hires the best of mercenaries, calling them his Marksmen.
Doom Rex stats.
One of Rex's most recently acquired items was a gauntlet that empowers him considerably -- the Gauntlet of Storms. T'sara's spellbook confirms (incorrectly) that there is an entire suit of armor along the same designs as the powerful gauntlet, and she and Rex had been searching for it in their spare time. The gauntlet they had found had been part of a scrag's treasure, though where the scrag had gotten it is unknown.
Kur Maeth would become an ally with Rakore, but only against the combined might of the Ogre Nations and the evil Nabrolians. Rakore's true ally at the time was the Wuron S'fa, otherwise known as the Dragon Nation. Unfortunately, the dragons were having their own difficulties, recovering from an invasion that had cost them their most beloved Ancient One. It would be some time before the dragons could intervene on behalf of Rakore, and even then, the dragons would not be able to give the war their full attention because of issues at home and abroad.
The Church of Brigain called what was coming a 'conjunction of destinies'. Several possibilities were joining, and what would come from it all would determine much of the future. The Church of Brigain had called in many of the other neutral churches, especially the Church of Mikindim, because of the massive rebuilding efforts that would be needed -- whichever side won. Brigain and his minions were trying to temper the world for the upcoming Sister Worlds War.
The God of Blood and Slaughter, Nabrol, has sent one of his clerics to lead the invasion of Rakore. Grand Heme Vrel Kolath despises the navy he has to work with, but has a large armada of heavy triremes at his command -- some 150 triremes armed for combat. The Grand Heme also seeks a Nathelian relic, supposedly lost in Rakore's bread-basket during the original Storm Wars. Armed with the Nathelian relic, Grand Heme Kolath hopes sweep Kur Maeth away, and dominate Nabrolian politics.
Grand Heme Vrel Kolath's stats.
Grand Heme's Hill Giant stats.
Nabrolian cavalry stats.
Nabrolian infantry stats.
Nabrolian hill giant stats.
Once the Nabrolians find out about the Dharveil, they will seek to destroy them -- while at the same time, learning from them. The Nabrolians believe in the Inquisition with single-minded tenacity, and will seek to destroy all arcane magic.
The Grand Heme searches for the Armor of Gathelist -- one of Nathel's generals and high priests.
Armor of Gathelist: demonic-appearing full-plate +4 that allows the wearer to make claw attacks (1d10, crit20x2) that strike as +1 weapons, and afflict the target as though struck with the contagion spell (Fort DC 14 negates). It bestows 1 negative level on any non-evil character, gives the wearer SR 15, heavy fortification, and acid resistance 10.
Long ago, they had been one kingdom, ruled by a necromantic priest of considerable power. The Dharveil were elves that bred themselves for power and rulership, creating the line of desert elves. Cruel rulers, they enslaved all races that opposed them; those that could not be enslaved, were destroyed. Some of the ancient dwarven ruins found inside Rakore indicate that those dwarves had been fighting the Dharveil for centuries, though no one in Rakore truly understood what the ruins meant -- and no one could have suspected that the Dharveil would return, more terrible than before.
The Dharveil ruled through necromantic magics, and were sorcerors and wizards of phenomenal power. With slaves at their disposal, they had become so powerful that the weight of their kingdom was destroying them from within. Some thought to free their slaves, or even trade with distant nations, and a civil war had begun to brew. The desert itself destroyed the Dharveil, but left intact many of their structures, and the bones and desiccated bodies of its followers.
The current leader of the dreaded Dharveil is a greater vampire elf known as Lebrange. She wields banshee-like powers in addition to her vampiric abilities, and has at her disposal all the treasures of upper Dharveil. When she has collected enough desert elven souls, she will be able to reawaken her dread master, the King of the Dharveil -- a lich whose powers would reawaken all of the Dharveil. Lebrange will also need magical artifacts from the lower Dharveil, and when these are not found, she will need substitutes to fulfill those roles.
Lebrange served as a cleric, and draws her power from the 'new' God of the Dead, Dakis. Her willing servant and lover is an Al Fahiman dancer and assassin with a personal vendetta against the desert elves. The dancer, Amilee en Shilaem, is a charming woman with considerable prowess both in bed and with her legs in combat.
Amilee en Shilaem stats (recommend 9th-level monk, with diamond ring of Alibazcar).
The power of the undead -- mummies, vampires, wraiths, and shadows -- is what has destroyed the Srik in the vicinity. Some range about, confused by the scent of death from the former colony, built right on top of the ancient ruins of Dharveil. Some of the Srik themselves are shadows and worse.