Plane Shift: Sigil in the Mirrored Cosmology

Sigil, the City of Doors.

In the Mirrored Cosmology, Sigil is, even more, the center of everything. Yes, that is what the citizens of The Cage think, but it is also fairly true. There are portals in Sigil that can take a character anywhere in the Multiverse — known and unknown. The city is home to such a wide variety of peoples and other things that it has become a melting pot of beliefs, ideals, and, yes, even prejudices.

Faiths are strong in this version of The Cage, and gods that are unknown (or dead) in the standard Planescape cosmology have a place in the Mirrored Cosmology’s version of Sigil. Aoskar, for example, is alive and well in this cosmology. What is the Shattered Temple in Planescape is still the Great Temple of Doors in the Mirrored Cosmology. Aoskar made no play for Sigil in this cosmology, although the dabus now known as “Fell” still fell out his lord’s favor. (Fell was rejected by Aoskar.) Many in the city do worship Aoskar, but few have ever believed that the Keeper of Gateways has ever wished to have overt control over Sigil.

For while portals are vital to Sigil, there are also the floating piers.

Sigil is a port city in as much as it is a portal city. The floating piers allow egress into the city for airships, flying creatures, and spelljammers. Visitors must leave their vessels tied to the piers and travel to the City of Doors on aerial skiffs controlled by the dabus. Docking fees can be quite expensive, and if a visitor can’t pay the fee for the full time, said visitor can soon find themselves sold to fiends or maybe just have to give up their ship. Despite the risks, sky travelers visit the City of Doors every day at all hours. The Spirelands offer an alternate route to Sigil for those who don’t trust portals or wish to pay the tolls collected by the priests of Aoskar on behalf of the Lord of Agony.

With so much aerial traffic to and from Sigil, it was obvious that faiths to gods of travel would find a place in The Cage. The most powerful travelers’ faith in the city is that of Ptah, an Egyptian god with connections to various Material Planes. The Temple of Ptah has its own floating pier and it’s faithful consider Sigil to be a mecca-like locale for their faith. Another travelers’ faith in the city is that of an alien god from another universe known as Celestian. This god of Stars, Space, and Wanderers is popular amongst the crews of spelljamming ships. Little is known about the god’s plane of origin other than he is known to be something called an “Oeridian.” Planar scholars often debate what being Oeridian means. Could it be a world or a race? Do Oeridians gods have worshipers on multiple worlds like the Olympian gods? No one is sure and devoted followers of Celestian only know about his Spelljamming faith in this universe.

Other major faiths in the City of Doors includes but aren’t limited to the following: the Abyss (demon lords), Amaterasu, Apollo, Bahamut, Boccob, the Celts, Corellon, Daragor, Garl, Gruumsh, Io, Mirella, Moradin, and the Spiral Cathedral.

Sigil, The City of Doors

SIGIL
Planar Metropolis
Other Names: City of Doors, The Cage
Political/Religious Affiliations: Lord of Agony (major, enigmatic); the dabus (major); the factions (major); the church of Amaterasu (major); the church of Apollo (major); the church of Baravar (minor); the church of Boccob (major); the church of Bragga (minor); the church of Celestian (minor); the church of Corellon (major); the church of Daragor (major, in hiding); the church of Garl (major); the church of Gruumsh (major); the church of Heim (minor); the church of Hermes (minor); the church of Io (major); the church of Maglubiyet (minor); the church of Mirella (major); the church of Moradin (major); the church of Muamman (minor); the church of Pelor (minor); the church of Wotan (minor); the church of Xan Yae (minor); the Great Temple of Doors (major); the Grove of Erik (minor); the shrine of Athena (minor); the shrine of Bahamut (major); the shrine of Diancastra (minor); the shrine of Koriel (minor); the shrine of Osiris (minor); the shrine of Zeus (minor); the Spiral Cathedral (major); the temple of Modrons (major); the temple of Ptah (major); the temple of the Abyss (major); the temple of the Celts (major); the temple of the Celestial Bureaucracy (minor); the temple of the Titans (minor); the Vedic Hall (minor); and the Zen Garden of Kanishi (minor).
Power Centers: Monstrous (outsider); nonstandard (factions); magical (arcane/divine).
Alignment: Neutral.
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Population: 250,000
Demographics: Integrated [37% human, 20% planetouched (aasimars, tieflings, etc.), 15% other outsiders (celestials, fiends, etc.), 10% demihumans (dwarves, elves, etc.), 10% goblinoids (bugbears, goblins, etc.), 5% cat races (kitts, rakasta, etc.), 3% other races]
City Type (pop. 5,001+ only): Unknown.
Fortified?: Not applicable.
Epic?: Yes.
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GP Limit: 600,000 gp
Assets: 7,500,000,000 gp
Main Import: Planewakers and their goods & beliefs.
Main Export: Same.
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Authority Figure: Lord of Agony [N male 20 HD outsider, fighter 20/sorcerer 20 (mysterious ruler of Sigil; not a god)] (1).
Important Characters: A’kin [NE male 12 HD arcanaloth (owner of the magic shop known as The Friendly Fiend)]; Cuatha Da’nanin [LG male half-elf, ranger 15 (Sensate)]; Duke Rowan Darkwood [CG male human, ranger 12/cleric 14 (Heim) (factol of the Fated)]; Erin Darkflame Montgomery [LG female human, cleric 9 (Diancecht) (factol of the Society of Sensation)]; Eyebrarian [N genderless 10 HD outsider, cleric 10 (Boccob)/wizard 10 (strange leader of the Library of Boccob)] (2); Kylie the Tout [N female tiefling, rogue 8 (Indep) (guildmistress of the Guild of Touts)]; Grundlethum Blackdagger [LN male human, wizard 15 (Indep) (owner of Grundlethum’s Automatic Scribe)]; Laril Zasskos [CN female githzerai, wizard 14 (Anarchist) (owner of the bathhouse known as The Fire Pits)]; and Shemeshka the Marauder [NE female 12 HD arcanaloth (king of the cross-trade, information broker)].
Other Characters: Marda Farambler [CG female halfling, commoner 1/expert 1 (owner of the cider shop known as The Greengage)]; Ralff [N male tiefling, rogue 8 (Signer) (a discreet tout)]; Tarras yn Beza el Xan Yae [LN male human, fighter 6/cleric 5 (Xan Yae) (Sensate)] (1), Traban [LG male dwarf, fighter 1 (owner of Traban’s Forge)], and Zegonz Vlaric [CE male githzerai, fighter 3/wizard 4 (Bleaker) (owner of the tavern known as The Styx Oarman)].
Organizations: The Factions [Athar, Believers of the Source, Bleak Cabal, Doomguard, Dustmen, Fated, Fraternity of Order, Free League, Harmonium, Mercykillers, Revolutionary League, Sign of One, Society of Sensation, Transcendent Order, Xaositects]; Guild of Touts. More to be added.
Golden Lords: Alathan Windspear (1), Duprak Jarneesh, Estavan, Jeremo the Natterer, Olabrane (1), Shemeshka the Marauder (see above), Timmon d’Arlen, Wei Minh Lee, and Zadara the Titan.
Adventurers Welcome?: Yes
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Notes: For more information on Sigil, see the Planescape Campaign Setting boxed set. There are many differences between my Sigil and the official one. For instance, my Sigil is ruled by the Lord of Agony, a less mysterious figure than the Lady of Pain. Plus, my Sigil is considered Epic. And there hasn’t been a Faction War in my version of Sigil.
1. Unique character for this version of Sigil.
2. New character inspired by the character of the same name in James “the Jester” Sutherland’s Cydra campaign.

Plane Shift: Mirrored Cosmology

The World of Kulan has it’s own cosmology.

that statement is the easy explanation regarding the cosmology I created that has become known (to me at least) as the Mirrored Cosmology. It simply used to be called Kulan’s cosmology to separate it from Time of Ages. However, the cosmology has become it’s own creation and bit of monster all on its own.

The cosmology is similar to the the classic Great Wheel cosmology, but it unique in that the outer planes can be said (metaphorically) to have two wheels connected by a spoke. There is an Upper Outlands and and Lower Outlands, but, in fact, they are the same place but how a character perceives the Outlands depends on alignment and soul.

I’ve taken the idea of planar belief to a whole new level.

Those with weak soul see the Multiverse based on the strengths and weaknesses of others in the planes of existence. A weak soul forced into the Outlands by a evil being will find themselves in a version of that is dark and twisted to the eye. The plane itself is still Neutral but it is the power of the evil being’s soul that make the weak-souled character perceive it as the Lower Outlands.

There are two Outlands that are mirrors of each other. What exists in one exists in the other. However, they are not separate planes. The weak-souled character is actually on one plane but cannot perceive both aspects of it. However, she/he has the potential to learn of the other side of the mirror and shift to it if the soul gains strength. A stronger soul can usually see both sides of the Outlands and the Spirelands that divide them.

In the Mirrored Cosmology, the Spirelands take the place of the standard Spire (an antimagic pillar) that stands at the center of the Outlands in the standard Planescape cosmology. The Spire of the Outlands is a plane unto itself in this cosmology. Unlike with the Planescape Spire, the Spirelands of the Mirrored Cosmology does not have impeded magic. There isn’t any suppression of mortal magic along its length and there are villages, towns, cities, kingdoms, and even Divine Realms all along it. There are also a few gate towns on the Spirelands that lead to the Upper or Lower Planes or to the Material Plane.

At the center of it all is Sigil, City of Doors.

Yet, the Sigil of the Mirrored Cosmology isn’t the same Sigil of the Planescape cosmology. Yes, the gods are not allowed to enter the city, but there is more leeway when it comes to powerful proxies of the gods. The city is ruled not by a Lady of Pain but by a Lord of Agony. He is enigmatic and his served by the dabus, but he isn’t silent to the Multiverse. It is known that he is a powerful Outsider who has skill with steel and spell. He is looked upon by the citizens with awe and fear. He actively protects the city from its enemies, and he has his own cults. While it is doubtful that he grant spells, it is known that the faithful amongst his cultists gain spells from somewhere or something. Perhaps it is the power of the planes itself or perhaps the City of Doors itself is a magical conduit to powers unknown.

There hasn’t been a Faction War in this version of Sigil. The Lord of Agony’s control over the city is overt enough to keep the factions in check. However, since Sigil is less isolated, there are more factions in the city than in the standard City of Doors. All of the standard factions exist in Mirrored Cosmology, but there are others that would only be sects in the Planescape cosmology. (I’ll go into more detail at a later date.) All of these factions fight for control of various aspects of the city, but very few of them have any direct control over the day-to-day lives of the citizens. The dabus are more powerful here, and the factions know better than to annoy them.

Sigil is a hive of activity for the planes of existence. It receives visitors not only through the power of its portals but also its complex floating piers. Airships and spelljammers come and go to these piers all the time and the atmosphere around torus-shaped Sigil. however, these ships usually cannot land directly in the City of Doors. Instead, skiffs ferry people to and from the floating piers. There are merchants in Sigil that have paid for exemptions to these rules. The Golden Lords have their own landing sites in City of Doors, which gives them a advantage over lesser traders. However, a Golden Lord that fails to pay the monthly dues to the city’s coffers will quickly lose his/her/its exemption.

Mirrored Cosmology: Outer Planes
Mirrored Cosmology: Outer Planes

Otherworlds: Kulan’s Evil Mirror – Part 1

Introduction to Dark World

While the World of Kulan is the primary world in its cosmology, its not the only important world worth noting. The world named Maran is an evil mirror to Kulan’s more hopeful landscape. Yes, Kulan isn’t perfect, but Dark World is fighting a losing battle against the forces of darkness. The world began as a one-shot adventure that allowed my friends to play evil characters. While I hadn’t intended for the world to become more, I felt I needed a world that was significantly darker than World of Kulan. Plus, it gave me a world to place a homebrewed version of Karameikos that Icould use as an alternate starting point for the Transformation land that would become the Kingdom of Ahamudia in the Lands of Harqual on Kulan.

Here’s a Dark World synopsis I wrote and posted on my old Walk the Road wiki:

On the world of Maran, whether it’s drow in the dark forests, orc raiders from beyond the Sea of Terror, the Vashar of the Wretched Plateau, or the vile Jerren halflings hunting humanoids for sport across wild plains and harsh deserts, evil is everywhere. Evil wizards & sorcerers fight for control of dark, magical cities, scattered across the entire planet, from the western lands known as the Fetid Territory to the eastern lands of the Dark Empire of Kiltann. Orders of vicious holy warriors fight against each other for the right to spread evil across the lands of the Low Shores and beyond.

Truly “good” characters are the exception rather than the rule on Maran. Those good folk that have managed to find solace are often backed up by angels and other celestials, who have gone native in order to better protect the remaining lands of good. The region around the Great Interior Sea is one of these bastions of righteousness with dozens of human, elven, gnome, and halfling communities — protected by heroes of the Celestial Paragons. South of the Low Shores is a strange region (dominated by the lands of the Hyberiae Peninsula) that is home to dozens of opposing forces, whether they are good or evil. Warlocks, angels, merchants, vile dwarves, demihumans, celestials, and devils rule numerous cities, where dark heroes struggle to keep their independence.

Neither evil not good dominates, although evil is very much ahead. Demons and devils are everywhere and fight with each other and against the world’s natives. They rule swaths of land, with tiefling servitors, and worse, at their disposal. Some of the most powerful cities are ruled by Archdevils, paragon aberrations, or powerful, unique undead. Demons are more numerous then devils, however, which has meant that many devils have had to form alliances with powerful sorcerers, vile warlords, and in some cases, even the lawfully-aligned celestials.

All this makes Dark World a dangerous, strange, twisted place to try to live in, especially if you’re a mere mortal trying to hang on to your soul.

DM’s Note: This was the old introduction that was posted on my old “Walk the Road” wiki. It’s still the best introduction to Maran.

Dark World [Maran]
Dark World [Maran]

Gazetteer of Harqual: The Duchy of Minar

Proper Names: Duchy of Minar, The Bard’s Monarchy
Ruler: Duke Jace Brookwater, The Singing Monarch [NG male Kieli human Brd8/Lyric Thaumaturge10]
Government: Elective Monarchy; dukedom is competed for in a tournament every five years – competitors must be a citizen to enter the tournament.
Capital: Minar City
Provinces: One duchy, five viscounts, ten minor baronets, and a dozen minor noble fiefs (lords, mayors, and knight-holds).
Resources: Fish, grain, metals (primarily iron, silver, and tin), poultry and eggs, and timber.
Population: 570,270 (Human 65%, Elf [forest] 8%, Elf [urbanite] 7%, Halfling [hairfoot] 6%, Dwarf [hill] 5%, Half-Elf 5%, Other Races 4%).
Currency: Watermark (pp), Lake (gp), Tarn (ep), River (sp), Rill (cp).
Languages: Anarchic, Common, Denila, Elven, Goblin, Halfling, (Kieli), Kitt, Tiani, Maviun.

The Duchy of Minar’s history goes back centuries. The city known as Minar was founded near the end of the Black Wars. Back then it was little more than a fishing village with an obscure Imperium name. The community has always been a mixture of cultures and races as it was considered a vital stopping point along the Eastern Shore waterways from Wind Plains in the north to the city of Sumdall on the shores of Guardian Bay far to the southwest. Minar broke away from its Sword Imperium overseers soon after the end of the First Ogre War. The Imperium held little sway at that point so the resulting coup wasn’t bloody. The Overseer that controlled Minar at the time agreed to and lost a challenge, which allowed the victor to free the village. The man who won victory for the village had been named Dellan Minari.

Minar is one of the founding members of the Eastern Council. It was Minari who led his community’s delegation on the journey to Lake Nest shortly after the end of the First Ogre War. There were those that were against it saying that the village was trading one dictator for another. Minari was challenged several times during the journey, but he prevailed and signed the Treaty of Lake Nest in 555 N.C., which has been a boon for Minar. When a nearby city-state attacked the growing town, the citizens of Tian came to Minar’s rescue. The two communities became staunch allies and were the backbone communities that built Minar into a duchy. The tradition of challenge has continued to the present day; although, it has evolved into a complex tournament. A duke’s place as ruler of Minar isn’t for life.

Minar, as a duchy, has survived two ogre wars. When the Second Ogre War began in 701 N.C., Minar controlled all the lands between Minar City on the shore of Lake Qualitian to the western hills of the Sunus Mountains with the southern edge of the Lake Forest as its northern border and the city of Tian as its southern border. The onslaught would have overwhelmed the small land if not for the alliance of the Eastern Council. Both Stonn and Thallin immediately came to Minar’s aid and vice versa. The Minarans also found unique allies in the elves of the Lake Forest. The elves had always kept to themselves, before, but when the ogres and their allies came down from the mountains and out of the deep swamps, the elves knew they would perish without aid. They found the Minarans to be the best choice. Since the end of the Second Ogre War, the elven communities have been official citizens of Minar.

Over the years, Minar has also fought border battles with such city-states as Flamerule and Raln. Minarans have never seen themselves as warriors and soldiers, but they have held their own against every force that has challenged them. The conflicts with Raln had always been over fishing rights. (Raln grew out of the Second Ogre War and was never considered an official member of the Eastern Council.) Facing the wrath of not only Minar, but also its allies to the north, Raln had little choice but to bend to Minar’s will. The Qualitian Belt, as a result, is considered a protectorate of the Duchy of Minar. Most recently, Minar fought a brutal war against the bugbear tribes of the Sunus Mountains, which began in 749 N.C. and ended in 751 N.C. The war has greatly changed Minar and its people.

Industries
Minar’s lifeblood is its fishing fleet and verdant farmlands. Lake Qualitian is known for its diversity of fish from trout and salmon to more exotic fare such as blackstone flying-fish. Minar’s trawlers have been dominant on the lake for centuries and its Fishery Guild controls more than two-thirds of the lake. Fishing vessels from the Midlands and the Barony of Calot must pay a tariff to fish on the lake and the fishers from the Qualitian Belt are required to be members of the guild. Only the waters surrounding the islands of Mathghamhna and the coastline of the Knotwood are beyond the control of Minar. One does not dictate to arcanists or to blood elves.

Minar has always been a pastoral land, which means it is a vital breadbasket for the Eastern Shores. Only the lands of the Qualitian Belt are more verdant and Minar controls those fields as well. Almost any sort of grain can be grow in the rich soil of the duchy; the main staples are wheat and barley, however. Unlike Minar’s fishing industry, there isn’t one single guild that controls Minar’s farmlands. Instead, the grain is controlled by the Crown; but the duchy’s farmsteads have the right to hold back enough grain to feed their communities. This local control is given up in a time of war, however.

Many of Minar’s farmers also deal in poultry and eggs but such production hardly counts as a true industry. It simply gives the farmers a second source of income during the lean years.

A close third in importance to Minar’s fishing and farming industries are its extensive mines in the Sunus Mountains. These mines constantly produce iron, silver, and tin. Duke Jace Brookwater considers the mines vital to the survival of the duchy’s future, which means the Crown keeps a firm control over the mines. The bugbears of the mountain range are a constant threat to the mines and miners, so armed patrols of knights are commonplace and many of the dwarven miners arm themselves. Mountain Keep was built to offer more protection to the duchy’s mines.

Minar also has a small, controlled timber industry. While logging is allowed in the Griffon Wood, it is forbidden in the Lake Forest. Logging is only allowed during the warmest parts of summer. The poaching of trees at any other time is considered a capital offense, and the elves of the Lake Forest have the legal right to hang such poachers. Often the criminals are hanged at the edge of the forest and left there to rot in order to frighten other would-be poachers. The usual punishment handed out outside the forest is banishment or imprisonment for no less than six months. Those that wish to burn wood in the winter must gather dead fall or buy logs in the larger communities and haul the wood back to their homes. The sale of wood is heavily regulated and highly profitable for the Woodcutters Guild.

Life and Society
Life in Minar is divided between those living in its growing urban sprawls and those living in its rural communities. In ages past, Minar had always been a land defined by its people and its salt-of-the-earth roots. Urban communities were required evils forced upon Minar by the Old Sword Imperium. For many of the duchy’s citizens, living in a city is still a foreign concept.

Minarans have always had a strong sense of community. For example, an orphaned child or a widow/widower becomes the responsibility of the community. A local family will usually adopt a lone child, while an adult who loses their spouse is treated as an honored aunt or uncle, especially if the spouse died tragically or while protecting the community.

However, while this time-honored tradition is commonplace in the rural communities, it is becoming rarer in the city of Tian, and it is no longer an accepted custom in the capital city. This loss of tradition has deepened the division as those in the cities move towards a more urbane way of life. Nobility and mercantilism has become the goal of urban-dwelling Minarans while the duchy’s pastoral populace clings to an egalitarian existence.

Lake Qualitian Region

Divinities: Cronn, Father of the North Gods – Part 1

Symbol of Cronn“The demons poured from the portal in the hundreds. There was no hope of surviving this new world with such a force against us. I prayed to the cosmos for a savior. And then, there the avatar was, the Lord of Our People, Great Cronn! He roared his battle cry as he strode across the battlefield laying waste to the fiendish servants of the Sword Emperor with his might axe! It was glorious! He saved us all! I became his faithful servant on that day!”
— King Loghan Halonnan

The North God known as Cronn (DvR: 19) is both a steadfast and enigmatic being to the people of the Lands of Harqual. His origin story has been told over and over all across the continent, and there are dozens of variations based on regional and racial biases. The basic oral tradition is that he walked out of the ice of Kulan’s northern pole fully formed. The truth could be as simple as that, but it is more likely that he was created by a higher power such as Mirella, The World Goddess. And most versions of his origin story include a meeting with her. She guides him to his destiny and then leaves him to find his own way. In other versions, she anoints him with her blood. It is only in the most crass interpretations that the two deities lay together. Scholars highly doubt that the two gods were ever lovers. Most see Mirella as a mother figure towards Cronn.

What can be stated for a fact is that Cronn is the Father of the North Gods. He is the Lord of the North and the original human barbarians of Harqual were formed from his blood and tears. He has several children with the goddess known as Inanna, and she is his wife and partner in the cosmos. He is loyal to her and is not a philanderer like some supreme gods in the Multiverse. The two deities are very much in love, and Inanna has left her old pantheon (and husband) behind. She is considered an Old God in the Multiverse, so her coupling with a young buck from a backward prime material plane was considered scandalous. Now, thousands of years later, the Great Couple of the North Gods are seen as a true success story in the annals of deity marriages.

Despite his status as a Greater Deity, Cronn has few titles. He is the Father of the North Gods, Lord of the North, and amongst the Ahamudians (and some of the less stubborn Javeldians) his title is Lord of Our People. He has several unique appellations in the various Barbarian tongues of the barbarian tribes of the Northlands, but those names are unknown to the general populace beyond the lands of the Northlands. The silver elves call him The Cold Axeman while forest elves call him Bearded Grandfather. Most other names associated with Cronn are blasphemes spit out by evil humanoids that hate him. Cronn’s holy symbol is a double-bladed axe surrounded by swirling snow with a gleam of light shining off the axe. However, his traditional symbol amongst Northerners is a simple battleaxe carved into bone or wood.

Cronn is Chaotic Good; however, during his period of long sleep before The Transformation, he had shifted towards Chaotic Neutral. This had a minor impact amongst his followers (to be detailed in Part 2). Cronn’s divine portfolio isn’t as substantial as some other gods of his stature. This is by choice, as he has passed on certain portfolios to his children and their children. Before anything else, he is the patron deity of the barbarians of the Northlands (often called Northerners). He created them and he sees them not only as his followers but also as his children. Thus, he is also a god of community and family. As their divine patron, he is the god of protection. Northerner warriors often worship him as a god of strength. Finally, he is a god of cold, which plays a key role in the lives of anyone living the northern lands of Harqual.

Cronn loves his people, the Lands of Harqual, and the World of Kulan. During the time of the Divinity War, he was forced to live in exile on the Outer Planes. However, he was never truly at home there and after the war ended, he returned to the Material Plane to rebuild his godly realm on Kulan. His realm is called the Heart of Ice, and it sits on a hidden island north of Harqual’s northern shore. While the island itself isn’t part of his realm, Cronn can cloak it from the eyes of mortals. Only his most devout followers dare to make the pilgrimage to the Heart of Ice, but those that do find a massive iron and ice citadel that stretches into the sky. Before his return at the Battle of Fallen Swords, he slumbered here on his throne of ice — encased in rime. Now, he rarely sits on the throne; he is too busy watching over his people and protecting them from the depredations of enemies.

Avatar
Cronn’s avatar often appears in the Northlands, but its appearance is either shrouded in snow or seen from a great distance. The god rarely appears directly to his worshipers. Instead, Cronn manifests as a howling wind, as a distant war cry, or as a whirlwind of swirling snow. When his avatar does show itself, its appearance leaves no doubt in the worshipers mind that they are in the presence of the Father of the North Gods. Cronn’s avatar always takes the form of Large-sized barbarian with long brown hair and a long beard – both that are fading to gray. The avatar wears fine furs and carries with it a greataxe that is called North Rage. For the purposes of D&D v.3.5, Cronn’s avatar is a 20th-level barbarian, 20th-level ranger, and 10th-level winter warden.

Janardûn: The Psionic Lands

When i created Kulan, I knew i wanted to create a land that was dominated by psionics. However, I didn’t want a continent as large as Harqual, although I wanted it to be near Kulan’s first continent. Janardûn was designed to be Harqual’s opposite. The Lands of Harqual is psionics poor, as Mind Magic is considered taboo by many Harqualian lands. The lands on the western coast of Harqual tend to be more accepting of psions and psychic warriors due to Janardûn’s influence.

The Psionic Lands have along lost link to Harqual, which I’ll save for another time.

Janardûn’s civilization revolves around The Republic. This republic has no longstanding name that has lasted through the centuries. It is merely called The Republic by the people who live on the continent. While the Republic is a human construct, it includes almost all civilized races who live on Janardûn — the Aaleear, cyclops, dragonborn, the Dorvesh, dwarves, elans & synads, githzerai, rakastas & kitts, the Shoyir, the Zenythri, etc.

There are many more races who live on the Kulan’s smallest continent, although many of these unique folk are found on one of the many islands that are packed tightly around Janardûn. For example, most of the fey races, such as fremlins, kercpas, pixies, and satyrs, live on the islands along the northwestern coasts of the continent. There are exceptions, however, especially when it comes to fremlins. As a result, Janardûn has one of the largest populations of civilized Feytouched on the world.

Races that forgo the protects of The Republic are often its rivals. These dark peoples follow the commands of the unique ogre mages of Janardûn. Unlike the ogre mages of the Eastern Lands of Kanpur, these ogre mages are always psionic. Evil to the core and unwilling to share Janardûn with the peoples of The Republic, the ogre mages and their allies — such as athachs, ettins, darkwings, ogre giants, quicklings, and wild dwarves — constantly work to undermine the Council of the House (ruling body) and Insightful Order of the Republic (psionic knights).

Note, however, that not all races that choose independence are thralls of the ogre mages. There are races that stick to their more traditional lifestyles or are too alien to be brought into the civilization of The Republic — such as the Makesh, the Qin, skarrens, tieflings, the Tuskarr, and the Ubi. And there are dark beings on Janardûn that not only oppose The Republic but also the ogre mages. Most of these rare souls are touched by the arcane in twisted ways.

Janardûn: The Psionic Lands

The Fallenlands

First thing you should know: I really like both Al-Qadim and Dark Sun.

The Fallenlands is an homage to both settings — well, sort of. There are savage halflings and thri-kreen, as well as genies. After that, it gets a lot more complicated. There are nagpas and hengeyokai and kenkus and the bakemono. No, it isn’t also an homage to Mystara or Kara-Tur. The nagpas of the Fallenlands aren’t cursed humans. They are a race of long-lived beings who fill the niche normally given to elves. The other races are related to their Eastern cousins, but the races have their own culture based on the unique nater of the Fallenlands.

Humans are rare on the continent. The native human populations are limited to a group known as the Cyradi. These underground dwelling humans are based on the humans from the BECMI module The Lost City. All other humans on the continent are interlopers from other lands. These foreigners are considered unwelcome by the jann who dominate the verdant lands of the continent. As a result, most non-Cyradi humans are slaves to the jann. Hengeyokai also face considerable racism from the jann since it is believe that their origins are human.

The halfings of the Fallenlands don’t have the same stigma attached to their people. Regardless, the Sahne care little for how they are perceived by those living in the cities of the jann. They live to wander and the continent’s expansive deserts is home to them. They will trade with the cities, but the number of Sahne people who have ever willingly entered a city can be counted on one of the Kins fingers and toes. Very few races consider the Sahne to be their enemies. Relations with kenkus and the bakemono are the least cordial.

Kenkus are renown traders on the continents, although nagpas call them thieves. (The two races don’t like each other.) Rivalry is a way of life for Fallenlanden kenkus. And sometimes a rivalry ends with daggers — that is just the reality of life. Kenkus do not do anything without being paid for the work. They, like most races of the Fallenlands, are not fond of the bakemono, although they do tolerate the wing goblins known as the Baklath. If money is involved, kenkus can deal with just about anyone.

The bakemono of the Fallenlands are very much like their kin in the Eastern Lands of Kanpur. However, their lives are more brutal and can be short. As a result, they try to blend into the background in order to avoid the wrath of those who believe they are better than the bakemono. Also, the desert is a harsh place to live and the bakemono resist the temptation to betray others whie traveling the wastes. They do this to protect their own lives not out of a sense of honor. When it the cities, however, all bets are off.

There are many more races that call the Fallenlands home and now that the magical barriers that once isolated the continent from the world have mysteriously vanished, the number of new peoples is increasing each year. The races of the western lands of Kanpur see the Fallenlands as fertile new ground for exploitation. Pirates from Merria now sink the ships of the jann. Traders from both Harqual and Triadora seek new profits on the shores of the Fallenlands. The continent is quickly regaingi its old nickname from ages past — the Center of the World.

The Fallenlands

Bactra Redwind

Bactra is fairly unique amongst his people.Bactra Redwind

The forest elves of the Knotwood were known to be insular and mistrustful of outsiders. Very few of their kind ever chose to leave the Great Forest of Harqual, yet Bactra wanted to see the world beyond the forested lands. He wasn’t the first of his family to do so, but he was the first to leave due to circumstance. His father fought in the ogre wars, but it wasn’t a choice. It was a matter of survival.

Bactra chose to leave for the human world of the Eastern Shores. The act made him famous (some would say infamous) amongst his people. His departure broke so many taboos that he rarely found himself welcome when he returned to visit his family. It didn’t help that his little sister Teal and (eventually) his cousin Joshian (Dabuk’s half-brother) also took up the adventuring lifestyle.

The young people of Bactra’s family were leaving the fold and the elders of the Knotwood blamed Bactra’s cousin Dabuk for leading Bactra and Teal astray. The last time when he and Dabuk returned, the elders confiscated an artifact they had found and forbid Bactra to leave again or his permanent exile. Bactra was furious! He chose exile with his cousin and even his sister left the Knotwood permanently.

Bactra traveled with Dabuk and the other Companions for years before they were all magically summoned back from The Fallenlands by the World Goddess, Mirella. Why she did this still remains unclear, but it was soon afterwards that Bactra learned that the Knotwood had fallen into darkness. Demons ruled his forest homeland and hundreds of his people — including all the elders — were transformed into blood elves.

While several members of his family managed to flee the magical curse to the Kingdom of the Silver Leaves, he still doesn’t know what happened to two of his younger siblings, his brother Minonus and his sister Jasiliana. Bactra fights the demons and his fallen kin in order to purify the Knotwood and find his lost siblings. He fears that they have become blood elves, but he refuses to give up the search until he knows for sure.

Bactra is a bit of a lothario. He has had several lovers in his life and has at least three children. It is quite possible that he has sired other children, but he rarely concerns himself with such possibilities. He is more concerned with his eldest child, Sailminuthus, a half-elf named for Bactra’s great grandfather. Sail’s human mother, Amia Darthington, lives with Bactra’s family in Silverleaf. While she and Bactra aren’t married, they do love each other and have a second child — a daughter named Samra. His other child’s mother is a hunter elf from the Verdalf Forest. He rarely sees his other son, Dabukian, even though he often fights alongside the child’s mother, Maghania, against demons and blood elves.

Abbrev. v.3.5 Stats: Bactra Redwind (Neutral male forest elf, Wizard 12 / Scout 5): hp 72 *, AC 24; Str 16 (+3), Dex 18 (+4), Con 14 (+2), Int 18 (+4), Wis 16 (+3), Cha 10 (+0). Familiar: an opossum named Spot. * Hit points need to be recalculated for level changes that I’m going to make.

Dabuk Tigerstorm

Dabuk is one of the iconic characters of the Lands of Harqual.

the half-elven ranger’s childhood was full of misery and trails. His mother was butchered by ogres while young Dabuk was forced to watch and listen from a hidden spot. Her death was brutal and it scarred Dabuk. It also made him determined. Ogres are a blight that must be wiped out.

After his mother’s death, Dabuk was relocated to the City of Fruen in the Kingdom of Thallin. His father, Garth, left him in the care of the boy’s grandfather, Carl, and the Tiger Guild — a organization of rouges and spies that often worked to protect the interests of the kingdom. Dabuk grew up in the guild and his mentor was Mesik Tindertwig.

Bactra, his cousin, came to Fruen soon after Dabuk started his training. The two became infamous in the city as they got their feet wet in the adventuring way of life. Jeddar and Dvalin soon met up with them one fateful night and the four of them became the best of friends.

Dabuk’s obsession with killing ogres often took him into the wilderness, which forced his friends to follow him. Knowing he’d never be able to keep close to Fruen, his grandfather let Dabuk and his friends explore the world. All he asked was that Dabuk come back with information on what he discovered. The group’s first real adventure was the module “Rudwilla’s Stew” from DRAGON Magazine #45. After that the characters traveled to the Far South and then to Onaway in the west and the Isle of Dread and then all the way to another continent called the Fallenlands. The game ended with the module “Prism Keep” from the same magazine.

Here’s his stats at the end of the AD&D 2E game.

Dabuk Tigerstorm (CG male half-elf, Ranger 7/Stalker): hp 53; AC 3; Mv 12; THAC0 14; Melee short sword +1 (3 per 2 rounds, THAC0 12, Dmg S/M 1d6+2/L 1d8+2), Melee rapier (3 per 2 rounds, THAC0 14, Dmg S-M 1d6+1/L 1d8+1); Melee knife (3 per 2 rounds, THAC0 14, Dmg S-M 1d3+1/L 1d2+1), Ranged composite short bow (2 per round, THAC0 14, Dmg S-M 1d6/L 1d6), Ranged knife (3 per 2 rounds, THAC0 14, Dmg S-M 1d3+1/L 1d2+1); Str 16, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 10; XP: 98,036.

Saves: Paralyzation: 10 | Poison: 8 | Death Magic: 10 | Petrification/Polymorph: 11 | Rod/Staff/Wand: 12 | Breath Weapon: 12 | Spell: 13.

Weapon Proficiencies: Blowgun, composite short bow, garrote, knife, quarterstaff, rapier short sword. | Non-Weapon Proficiencies: Armorer (10), Camouflage (0), Hunting (10), Leather Working (12), Persuasion (0), Land Riding (12), Tracking (15). | Languages: Common, Elf (sylvan dialect), Halfling (hairfoot dialect), Ogre, and Orc.

Class Abilities: Empathy with animals, Hide in Shadows (48%), Move Silently (55%), Special enemy [ogres] (+4 to attack rolls and a -4 penalty to reaction rolls when encountering this creature), Tracking Proficiency, Two-weapon Style.

Other Gear: Backpack, belt pouch, darksuit, desert camouflage, garrote, good cloth cloak, green dragon hide armor, light war horse (equipped), quarterstaff, quiver of unidentified magical arrows, riding boots, shoulder belt, two extra knives, two wineskins, waterproofed quiver, winter blanket, and other various clothing.

DM’s Note: In truth, I was stingy with XP during the 2E campaign. The PCs should had reached closer to 9th level by the end. My PbP players are lucky. I hand out XP like it’s candy. They have to fight, a lot, for it, however. My SCAP campaign was the same way.

The Lands of Harqual

Before anything else on Kulan there was the Lands of Harqual.

The world began on this continent (a large island, really), and the landmass has been an obsession of mine ever since. The world began as an AD&D 2E campaign setting and it was where my friends and I created the characters who would I would later call The Companions (in homage to Dragonlance). However, these characters weren’t heroic in mind and spirit (except maybe Mojo). They were more antiheroes with dark thoughts and ruthless intentions.

Dabuk Tigerstorm, a male chaotic good/neutral half-elven ranger with the stalker kit, was the de facto leader of the group. This had a lot to do with my friend’s desire to play him as a jaded character obsessed with killing ogres. Gerald is a great roleplayer, but he likes to drive a game the way his character wants to go. At the time, it worked since the world was brand new and I didn’t know what was out there. Dabuk raged across the continent cutting down ogres in bloody triumph. He dragged most of the others into danger.

If there was a second in command, it was Bactra Redwind — a male neutral elven wizard with the peasant hero kit. Bactra was played by my good friend Dan who shaped Bactra into a very unique character. Bactra often fell into human vices and had a weakness for the ladies. However, he wasn’t a peacock. When it came to magic, he was serious about the Balance and about his people. He was irate after his homeland shut itself away from the world.

The third PC was Jeddar Silversun who was played, for a time, by my friend David. David was a reluctant gamer, so when he left, Jeddar became a short-lived DMPC. I was angry at Dave for leaving the game, which I took out on poor Jeddar. It was a mistake I still regret. Jeddar was a male neutral good half-elven bard with the blade kit. His death was tragic and harsh.

Besides these three main PCs, two major NPCs started out in the game — Dvalin Thunderstone and Mesik Tindertwig. Dvalin was a male dwarven fighter. Mesik was a male halfling thief. I don’t believe they ever had kits in AD&D 2E. Other NPCs would join the cast of characters and both Dan and Gerald would run a second PC alongside the others. More on them at a later date.

These five characters helped define what the Lands of Harqual would become. I’ve written about there adventures, which can be read on E.N. World. my Tales of the Companions Story Hour is no where near complete and I’ve taken some liberties with the story line (due to lack of notes). Ignore the part that says last updated — old threads on E.N. World cannot have there titles modified properly.

After the campaign ended, Harqual grew substantially and new adventures were run as part of a D&D v.3.5 campaign that used the Shackled City Adventure Path. I’ve also run PbP campaigns set on the contient but only one of them still endues, and it even had a five year hiatus. My Aerie of the Crow God game is being run on E.N. World and new heroes hope to make a name for themselves in the Lands of Harqual. I do have another PbP game, but it isn’t set on Harqual.

The Lands of Harqual