“Trúa” Argo Flameheart, The Bloodsun*

Argo and Amaryllis_inked_small
Argo and Amaryllis (Artwork created by steeldragons)

Player Brian M. | Campaign Shackled City Adventure Path

Axiomatic Human Male | Cleric 7, Radiant Servant of Jalivier** 10, Prestige Paladin 1 | Age 36, Height 5’11”, Weight 181 pounds, Eyes gold, Hair black.

Appearance A perfect physique with deep brown skin & radiant golden tattoos; pleasant; confident, bright eyed; a wide grin of perfect pearly teeth.

Signature Gear

  • Throne of the Sun (phylactery)
  • Angelic Eyes (lenses over the eyes)
  • Guardinal’s Periapt
  • Shawl of Clouds (cloak)
  • Peacemaker (intelligent longsword)
  • Argo’s Fist (adamantine heavy mace)
  • Guantlet of Rust
  • Toryn’s Instant Fortress (adamantine heavy plate)
  • Glamerweave Vestments of the Archon
  • Argo’s Bulwark (heavy mithral shield)
  • Other Magic: armlets, belt, boots, gloves, haversack, two rings, and two ioun stones circling his head

(Cohort is a halfling rogue/dragon shaman named Amaryllis. Mount is a heavy warhorse named Joshua.)

Argo was born into a small farm near the mountains of Sunwater. His father was a goatherd and a cartwright. His mother was a seamstress and a leather tanner. Argo had two younger brothers: Pell, Sarn; and an older sister named Gloria.

One day a strange robed woman came through the village and she offered gold to spend the evening in shelter and have some food. Argo’s trusting family that was devastated by this woman who turned out to be a Decay Priestess of the Sword Gods. While they slept she slew the father and the younger brothers, raising them from the dead as ghasts to fill out her army.

Argo
Argo Flameheart

Argo and Gloria escaped and fled to the town sheriff who raised a levee to assault the befouled farmstead. Argo witnessed the townsfolk destroy his father and brothers but the priestess and his mother were never found. Traumatized by this event, Argo fell catatonic for some months and dreamed of Celestia; while Gloria sold the farm, married the town blacksmith: a dwarf named Furtock Hammerthumb.

Argo recovered under the care of Opusar, an elderly priest/mage of Jalivier who taught Argo his faith and strong moral code. Argo took Holy Orders in Caloric at the age of 22, bid farewell to Opusar, and took to the road to seek his fortune, discover his faith and seek answers about his mother’s fate. As for the Priestess of Mussin, she, her followers, all undead everywhere and all proponents of evil, disease and necromancy will suffer the righteous wrath of Argo Flameheart rekindled.

* Is considered a religious icon of an entire pantheon of gods. Trúa means “have faith in” in Old Norse. | ** North God of the Sun and Mountains.

Companions of Harqual

Wonderment. Angst. To close. Pluck.

Hip. Shift. Back. Shoulder. Slap.

Harp. Bard. Jeddar. The Silver Sun. Blade.

Inn. Fire. Merriment. Friends. Night.

Cold Wind. Outside. Danger and Adventure.

Stories Told. Songs Sung. Remembering… the Fallen.

Jeddar Sings. Mesik Laughs. Bactra Smiles.

In the corner… Dabuk Broods.

Thessa and Dvalin watch over their son.

The song sings of family and friends. It sings of lost comrades and old glories. It lives amongst The Companions.

Tomorrow they face war and strife in the hope of winning peace.

New Hex Map: Cold Barrens Region

Here is brand new hex map of the cold desert known as the Cold Barrens. I’ve been working on this one for several weeks. This is the start of revising my hex maps for the Lands of Harqual. While I was somewhat happy with how the overview map for the Eastern Shores came out, I soon came to regret overdoing the ‘unique’ icon colors on the map. Plus the border colors got in the way of the map’s design. Thus, the new maps won’t have as many icons with unique colors and I’m not going to even try to add political lines or details on the maps.

Each hex on this map equals 24 miles. That will now be the standard for maps at this level of detail. I will likely do maps of key areas at 8 miles per hex, but that won’t be for a while.

Click here to see the full-size version of the map.

cold-barrens-larger
Cold Barrens Region

The Lost Son of Silverleaf

A cool mist clings to the ground around the shores of Lake Silverleaf. The elven paths and roads of the forest kingdom are leading Jeddar home to a world he’d forgotten. He marvels at how little it has changed in all these years. Janardûn, lying across Aegir’s Sea, had become the home of his heart. He wished he was still standing on the rocky cliffs that tumbled down from the expansive heights along the island-continent’s eastern lands. To be there, instead of here in the heartlands of his ancestral home.

Myskya walks with him towards his familiar, yet now alien, life. There is some solace in that. He will always be the adopted son of the High One of the Silver Leaves, Menkhar Silversun. Each step feels like a betrayal of the love he now shares with Myskya and her kin, the Shoyir. The beauty of the woodlands now pales in his eyes compared to the wondrous serenity of the frosted deserts where Myskya and her kin renew their vows to the desert and to each other.

Jeddar glances towards here with concern. He knows full well that the closeness of so many trees might overwhelm and terrify her. Instead, he sees a look of wonder and tears of new  joy at what she sees all around her.

“It’s more beautiful than even your words and songs of it,” she gasps.

Jeddar smiles and takes her hand. He leads her through the paths with a renewed hope. The animals of the elvish woods come to greet her. They are curious, as they seem to sense her ancient bloodline — one of the oldest on Kulan. She takes to them like a primordial elven Goddess of Nature discovering new worshipers.

“There are so many of them,” say says. She laughs as a rabbit nuzzles her toes. “Sing to them, my love.”

Jeddar nods. Soon his voice rises above the trees to catch the wind, which carries his words deep into the forests of his homeland. The gathering of beasts and birds are soon transfixed by the deep sounds rising from his throat. He sings the “Ballad of Krofta.” Am homage to his lovely lady. Nature stops to listen to the bard’s song and all the small animals gather around the desert princess, as she sits on a nearby stone. Badgers, chipmunks, raccoon, rabbits, and more sit next to her with no fear. A family of deer come to listen and graze on the grass. In the distance a wolf sings back to the bard, yet all remains calm. A large black bear sits on the edge of the road entranced by Jeddar’s voice.

Jeddar ends the ballad with a rising tone. The deer balk, but the rabbits stay. He kneels down before his amour and takes her hands. “Come, my darling dear,” he says. “My father will want to meet you. He will adore you, I am sure.”

“Husband,” Myskya coos. They kiss, as he pulls her up to her feet. They hold each other amongst the gaze of half the wild forest. Then, the two continue down the path towards the capital city of the silver elves of the Great Forest.

Campaign Map: Bluffside Region

It’s finally finished! After several versions of this map that I’ve eventually rejected, I’ve finally finalized the map of the lands surrounding Bluffside: City on the Edge, as it exists on Kulan. As with the Bard’s Gate map, I’m not going to post tons of details about the lands on the map. I don’t want to spoil anything for my play-by-post players on The Piazza.

Beyond a few town and terrain names that come from the Bluffside sourcebook, most of what exists on this map is homebrewed. The Coldwind Forest detailed in the Bluffside book has been broken down into several interconnected subregions. While Bluffsiders often refer to the entire expanse of forest as the Coldwind Forest, the peoples living in the forests do not.

The same is true for the Red Mountains, which the various lands north of the range call Montagne Rosse. In truth, the mountains west of Kingdom of High Morria are actually called Kniyan Mounts. Only the eastern mountain range is known as the Red Mountains.Bluffside Campaign Map

New Map: The Thunder Rift Region

I’ve finally redone this region for the Lands of Harqual. I had a previous hex map for it, but it wasn’t based on the continental map I’ve now done for Harqual, so I had to revise it. I’ve recently increase the size of the Lands of Harqual in comparison with the world’s other continents, such as the Fallenlands and Kanpur. This change has significantly increased the size of my homebrewed version of the Thunder Rift.

Correction! Each hex on this map is equal to 15 miles. (I had mistakenly thought that each hex was equal to 30 miles per hex but I forgot to take into acoount that I’d used a regional map for the Thunder Lands as my overlay map in Hexographer.)

People familiar with the Thunder Rift will likely be able to note certain locales that match the official version; however, I’ve renamed all of the towns and villages of the rift so that don’t fixate too much on the official version. I once had the main Thunder Rift book, but I sold it because when I bought it used, it didn’t have the map with it. (This was before discovering that many fans had recreated the maps online for their own purposes. Hindsight and all that.)

Also on this map are lands that exist near the rift. To the north and northwest are the orcish lands known as Kingdom of the Thunder Orcs, which is ruled from Vish’Na’Ka. To the west and southwest are the mountain vales allied to either Thunder Pass or the Barony of Liran. To the south is Lake Henagan and the various communities that pay homage to either Liran or the Sovereignty of Yuln. To the southeast are the wild Sallow Plains and its unruly clans. To the east are the Brand Hills, which separates Yuln’s influence from the Strandlands, which lies to the northeast.

Thunder Rift Revised
Lands of Harqual: Thunder Rift

New Map: The Northwest

The Northwest is to the continent of Kanpur what the Eastern Shores is to the Lands of Harqual. It was the first area of the continent that quickly came together in my mind. The region is a mashup of many different ideas and sourcebooks. It all began around MEG’s Bluffside: City on the Edge, which is one of my favorite sourcebooks that came out during the time of the d20 System/OGL rush. With it came the second sourcebook for the setting, Dry Land: Empire of the Dragon Sands. I didn’t love it as much but I really liked the idea of the dragori so it entered the World of Kulan as well. (The setting has two adventure books as well, which have been placed on Kanpur too.)

Beyond the Bluffside books, I’ve placed parts of Living Imaginations TWIN CROWNS d20 System setting in Northwest Kanpur. Originally, I had only the Streets of Silver sourcebook as part of Kanpur, but I after I bought the main campaign setting book, all of Novarum entered the world. With the creation of this hex map, I’ve also placed Falia on Kanpur while moving the land I call Montresor (inspired by Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”) to a slightly different area in the region. I’m not sure what else from the TWIN CROWNS setting I’m going to embed into the World of Kulan, but I’m sure there will be plent of room for more of the setting now that I’ve increased the world’s size, overall.

Also in The Northwest are lands inspired by Arthurian legend (the island of Gwyrdhyn), the Basque country (called Almadon), Castilian Spain (called Talangrán), the Roman Empire in decline (called Ticinum), West Francia (called Coeurdî), a former Ticinum province based on Pannonia (called Várad), a former colony the Greek land known as Aegis (called Tarminan), and several standard fantasy-styled kingdoms.

There are also key city-states, like Bluffside, that exist outside of the other kingdoms. Too many to mention them all. The most important of these city-states are as follows: Barcino (based on Ancient Barcelona), Calabax & Muzevan (nonhuman city-states), Ibrail (in the Burning Desert), Perten (from the Bluffside setting), and Tânger (Ancient Tangier).

The lands north of the Endwald and Stoneheim Mountains is actually part of the region known as The Far North. Waldheim is part of The Northwest more politically than The Far North, however. It has some ties to Falia is often at odds with Talangrán and Montresor. The map needed to be as large as it is to fit all of Gwyrdhyn onto it. Doing so has allowed me to added some details to the north and to the southern lands southwest of the Dragon Sands (the overall name for the lands surrounding the Burning Desert), as well as the Baidhin Islands.

Here’s a list of new kingdom and/or regional names on this map: Aarithas (elven celts), Aexigoth, Exicalan Coast, Ealdur (Authurian), Gadirath, Ingrizar (nonhuman celts), Iögílara, the Kingdom of the Morgaths, Lliacladria (elven Authurian), Saivias, and the Sarafandian Thalassocracy. The name Kotimma is also new. It replaces an older name that I was never comfortable with. The new name was suggested by one of my PbP players (who is from Finland) on The Piazza.

Northwest Kanpur
Northwest Kanpur

New Map: The Center Lands

Here is my latest Kulan creation with Inkwell Ideas’ Hexographer. This hex map shows the region known as The Center Lands, which is located south of The Horse Lands (see my previous post). The region is very Greek in origin with several Greek-like alliances of city-states, as well as an early Roman-like country with ties to the “Italian” state in the region known as The Northwest.

Beyond the core Greek area are the Free Cities (most notably Sharn) to the southwest, the Haunted Lands and Yikarian Mountains to the south, and the Jungle of Monsters to the southeast. While the Free Cities (also known as the Dragonmarked Cities) are considered part of The Center Lands, both the Haunted Lands and the Jungle of Monsters are not. The northern edges of the Yikarian Mountains can be said to be part of the region but only as far south as Dracoiad in the west and Takanrud Castle in the east.

The land known as Assylonia is part of The Center Lands while both Gath and Phillistia are not. The bestway to look at it is that anything south of the city-state of Raphia on the coast south of Sharn is not considered part of The Center Lands. In the northeast, the cutoff point is Thayis and its vassel city-state Dmirus. Thayis is based on Thay from the FORGOTTEN REALMS campaign setting. Southwest of Thayis is the monstrous Greek land of Scyllas. Beyond Scyllas’ eastern border lies the depths of the Jungle of Monsters. Scyllas does have a few outpost in the jungle none beyond the pyramid known as Epharnae.

The two primary Greek “nations” are Aegis and Valenas. Aegis is Hellenistic while Valenas will be based more on the Seleucid Empire.The Center Lands

New Map: The Horse Lands

For those following on the World of Kulan Facebook Group, you’ve likely seen the work-in-progress hex map for this region. The map is now finalized. Instead of posting tons of information about the map here, I’ll just point you, dear reader, to the proper post on The Piazza for more details — The Horse Lands. The information was written off the original, less detailed, map of the region created with Campaign Cartographer 2. This is the first hex map of a full region of Kanpur. I had previously created hex maps for areas of the Western Lands for my play-by-post Bluffside campaign; however, this map is the first of what I hope will be many more Kanpur hex maps. The continent has always been too big to get a handle on in CC2. I’m finding it is working better to recreate the world in Hexographer (with text added in Paint.NET).

The Horse Lands