I realized I never posted this commission I had made of Sibiliss back from the D&D campaign, which needed to be remedied immediately because I absolutely love it. I loved the concept of the character, a Medusa Sorceress turned Queen of the Pirates, and I feel she went over exceptionally well with the players as well. They did wind up working for her after all, despite my original intention for her to be a villain.
Pronounced Boll-weigh-ho, but often bastardized by other cultures as Boll-eh-gah or Boo-leh-go
The Boluego is a mass-produced shoulder fired weapon powered by 12 inch wands of reconstituted Litia. It looks like a cross between a quarterstaff and a rocket launcher where one end has been replaced by a fist sized crystal. It generally has a hand grip, a receiver, and a bolt for loading the wand into the Boluego. A single wand can power 10 shots, and the wand’s type determines the spell used. While the Boluego can be scaled up in power, the physical size of the weapon scales up as well, as does the amount of power necessary to operate it. A Boluego capable of firing a level 3 spell is the size of a cannon, and any Boluego larger than the original size requires a crew to operate it effectively.
Historical Notes: The Boluego made its first appearance at the Battle of Torre Arranes, and turned what should have been an unmitigated disaster into pyrrhic victory. The Battle of Torre Arranes became the bloodiest battle in written history -but it was a record that it wouldn’t hold for long.
The Dragonspire. Created in a time lost to even the most ancient of dragons, it is a labyrinth, a fortress, a temple, a vault, and a battleground. Its dark halls filled with a history of blood, violence, and treachery. Where the bravest, smartest, and most cunning of all the draconic clans vie to reclaim the Ring of Dragons, and claim control of the Empire for their clan. For when the Empress dies, the ring magically disappears into the depths of the Dragonspire, and the magic barriers preventing entrance into the mountain vanish.
You are one of the small armies of dragonkind sent into its depths. Proven warriors, sorcerers, scouts, and leaders, you are in it to win it or die trying. Success for you is to reclaim the Ring of Dragons and present it to your clan’s Dragon Queen, becoming a true legend of the Empire, your name and likeness etched into the Pillar of Heroes.
It’s not the end of the campaign, but it is the end of the original story arc I had intended. It, like most homebrew campaigns, went unexpected places and went a whole lot longer than originally anticipated. I’m taking a short break from D&D to try out Savage Worlds, in what I hope to be a ‘Mass Effect meets Ghost in the Shell’ kind of setting. I’m calling it the unimaginative “Solethania Galactic”. Because branding and laziness. We’ll be streaming this too.
Anyway, below is the end of the first story arc of A Tale of Solethania.
And here is the whole messy playlist (apologies for various audio issues and whatnot early on).
New batch of videos are now up on my youtube channel. You don’t have to wait for my slow self to upload them there, you can keep up in real time every Sunday at 7:30pm CST at twitch.tv/rinsland!
With the invention and subsequent widespread use of more efficient golems replacing physical workers in agriculture, there has been a massive shift out of subsistence labor, as the agricultural output outstripped population growth and demand, creating large surpluses of food and manpower in an exceptionally short amount of time.
Kingdoms, guilds, and religious orders quickly and competitively vied for this new pool of manpower, and a strong and mobile middle class formed.
Kingdoms were able to create and maintain standing armies and expand their influence. Guilds were able to begin a process not unlike industrialization (standardization of crafting, organized exploration and adventuring, etc.), and the religious orders were able to expand and begin educating the general populous in scientific/magic theory, knowledge, and philosophical thought.
Despite the massive changes and societal upheaval this brought, many things remained the same. Feudalistic society grew more entrenched, as only the nobility and religious orders owned land -the very land the golems (that only the wealthy can truly afford) now work that provide the food for the populous. And the new and powerful standing armies worked well to prevent and quell revolts or rebellions against the established order.
New batch of videos since the last group was added. Maybe I’ll just continue doing it like this. But hey, you can keep up in real time every Sunday at 7:30pm CST at twitch.tv/rinsland!
Current Ruler: King Cuan the Sage (Age 18) of House Kaeivar, son of the late King Conghalach.
- House Kaeivar, led by King Cuan the Sage (Age 18), son of King Conghalach, and has no children.
- House Celos, led by Countess Féthnat (Age 39) daughter of Count Ruairí. Her two children are Flann and Aodhamair (Ages 8 and 1).
- House Betan, led by Countess Sadhbh (Age 25), daughter of Count Dubhán. Her only child is Niall (Age 6).
- House Alphus, led by Duke Feichín (Age 12), son of Duke Uaithne.
- House Gammris, led by Count Eachaidh (Age 20), son of Count Deaglán, He has no children.
- House Nautus, is led by Count Affraic (Age 34), Son of Countess Brónach. His two children are Cúmhaighe and Éibhear (Ages 12 and 10)
List of major Cities and Towns:
- Aspenreach (pop: 6800). Seat of House Kaeivar
- Abercaster (pop: 4104). Seat of House Celos
- Burnmouth (pop: 1828). Seat of House Nautus
- Kyleceter (pop: 4478). Seat of House Gammris
- Blackdhu (pop: 1980). Seat of House Betan
- Ecclesfoss (pop: 2583). Seat of House Alphus
- Monument of Caitlín (820 years standing). Located in Abercaster.
- Colossus of Aislin (776 years standing). Located in Burnmouth.
- Palace of Toirleach (766 years standing). Located in Aspenreach.
- Fortress of Conchubhar (224 years standing). Located in Blackdhu.
- Fortress of Aoibheann (39 years standing). Located in Kyleceter.
- Statue of Meidhbhín (stood for 56 years). Located near Abercaster.
- Library of Umos(stood 460 years, destroyed by arson). Located in Kyleceter.
- Monument of Eachann (stood 389 years, destroyed by earthquake). Located near Blackdhu.
- Tower of Eibhlín (stood 44 years, destroyed by warfare). Located near Aspenreach.
- Lighthouse of Cliodhna (stood 820 years, destroyed in an uprising). Located on an island near Aspenreach.
- Arch of Muireann (stood 511 years, abandoned). Located near Ecclesfoss.
- Castle of Seachnasach (stood 259 years, destroyed by sabotage). Located near Burnmouth.
- Fortress of Caitlín (lasted 448 years, destroyed in war). Located between Aspenreach and Ecclesfoss.
- Monument of Raghnailt (stood 217 years, destroyed in an uprising). Located near Aspenreach.
- Citadel of Feichín (lasted 331 years, destroyed by lightning). Located near Ecclesfoss.
- Arch of Damháin (stood 462 years, abandoned and crumbling). Located near Kyleceter.
- Palace of Nóirín (lasted 81 years, until destroyed by witchcraft). Located near Blackdhu.
Exports: Iron, Copper, Timber
Imports: Cotton, Hemp, Precious Crystal
Local Adventuring Group(s): The Aspensong, Cainneach’s Crew
Over eight hundred years old, Aspenreach is a human town ruled by King Cuan the Sage of House Kaeivar. The buildings and walls are formed of a white stone, carved of an ancient and ornate stonework. In the center of town is a high quality fountain, with five tigers carved standing alongside its outer rim. The mighty and ancient palace of Toirleach rises slightly above the town to the west.
Roughly six hundred years old, Ecclesfoss is a human town ruled by House Alphus, and run by the Fighter Aibhinn, a local noblewoman. Its buildings and walls are made up of a stark and bare wood. Nestled into the east of town is a dynamic silver statue of an Earl, depicted teaching to the town elders.
Roughly three hundred years old, Burnmouth is a human town ruled by the sorcerer Count Affraic, Patriarch of House Nautus. It is nestled deep in the forest at the foot of the mountains. Its buildings and walls are built from a soft local wood, giving it a wild, but comfortable feel. Somewhat hidden away in the north of town is an onyx fountain made with superior skill of a bear sitting at the center of the fountain, watching the town with an expression of deep sadness. The Colossus of Aislin juts out from the mountains to the east.
Roughly five hundred years old, Abercaster is a human town ruled by House Celos, and run by the Ranger Orla, also a noblewoman of the House. Abercaster’s buildings and walls are formed of a pricey brown clay, and in the center of town is a poetic brass fountain with two brass lions standing in its center. The Monument of Caitlín is located on the outskirts of town.
Roughly six hundred years old, Kyleceter is a human town ruled by the wizard Eachaidh, Leader of house Gammris. Its buildings and walls are raised up from a simple and local white clay. Placed in the center of town is a high quality beech statue of an ancient king, depicted watching a fox. The Fortress of Aoibheann is the newest major addition to Kyleceter, and has been carefully integrated into the town’s defensive systems.
Nearly eight hundred years old, this venerable old human town is ruled by the Rogue Sadhbh, Countess and leader of House Batan. The buildings and walls are a strong, but light wood. Just outside town to the east, an ancient and dynamic limestone fountain of six lions stands near a small river. Fortress of Conchubhar is located nearby, its squat imposing form standing at odds with the town and forest surroundings.
In Solethania, Dragons, Lizardmen, Dragonkind, and Kobolds are all ‘Dragonkind’ and are modeled after bee hives/ant colonies. These Dragonkind colonies are called Clans. The only true Dragon is the Queen, always female. They’re capable of laying thousands of small unfertilized eggs in a very short amount of time (and will do so once every six months or so), eggs that will always hatch into kobolds, dragonborn, lizardfolk, and wyverns. She will lay one fertilized egg early in her life that will remain dormant and hatch as a new Dragon Queen immediately upon her death.
Kobolds are the lowest rung of the Dragonkind ladder. Their lives are short even if they make it to old age, and they rarely do. They’re the grunts, servants, bodyguards, and anything dangerous will likely have them in the middle of it. A Kobold will always gladly do whatever its master (any Dragonkind of its color not another Kobold) desires gleefully even if it means immediate death.
Dragonborn are Kobold wranglers. They translate the plans and goals of the Queen into actions. They see to the care and growth of to the small cadre of Kobolds placed under their control. In war, they are the front line officers. Dragonborn tend to be strong sorcerers, wielding the power of the Queen’s bloodline.
Lizardfolk are the administrators. Their emotions seem distant and alien even within the Clan. They create the overarching plan of the hive based on the will of the Queen. They see to and coordinate the logistics and resource management of the entire clan, ensuring the whole thing runs smoothly and efficiently. Their sheer emotionless pragmatism is what keeps the Clan running like a well oiled machine.
Wyverns are the elite bodyguard of the Queen. There’s rarely more than a dozen in the largest of Clans, the average is closer to three or four. Their entire existence is built around protecting the Queen, and they are the last line of defense before the Queen herself. Many adventurers have mistaken Wyverns for Dragons, and most those who claimed to have ‘Killed a Dragon’ have only killed a Wyvern.
While all members of the Clan are capable of complete autonomy on their own outside the Clan, they are literally incapable of knowingly going against the will of the Queen, and by extension, the Clan. I will likely go into Dragonkind clan society and cultures in another post.
Sir Avell Norclair,
Off. The Ivory Guard,
Mikayis, 2nd Frathes
Somewhere in Eastern Mountains,
It has been some time since last I wrote, as we have joined the Draconic Armies proper. You may recall, if my previous letter arrived safely, I mentioned the color of these creatures to be quite uniformly gold, the littlest of them to be called Kobolds, and the largest Dragonborn. Their faces are deeply angular and reptilian, not unlike old Wizard Nevell’s pets from our childhood. However, now that we have somewhat integrated into their grand army, I was shocked to learn they are not all of a singular color. Indeed, their coloration is that of what they call a clan or family. Each clan not only has a unique coloration (the one we were introduced to being the unimaginatively named Gold Clan) but temperament as well. In the two months of travel through these war torn lands to reach our assignment, I have determined the metallic colors to be the more friendly and amiable of the lot, while the more painterly colors are more alien, violent, and aloof.
Thus, dear sister, it was with great dismay to learn we had been assigned watch upon the snow covered mountains of Eastern Draconia Major with the White Dragonkind, or Clan White as they call themselves. We are assigned to guard these tall mountain passes with them, as the mountain climate here is not unlike our own, and we have great experience fighting in the kind of conditions that may arise. Of all the Clans I have met so far, none are like Clan White. They are, from what our helpful Gold Clan Kobold guide said, “The smallest in number of all the clans” because “The Queen is still young.” What the age of the Queen has to do with the size of the clan is quite beyond me, and I never had the opportunity to ask.
The members of Clan White are, like the gold coloration in Gold Clan, aptly named. We were met by a Dragonborn Sorcerer named Ethinon, and his cohort of Kobolds. Ethinon is a full head taller than I and almost twice my width, giving him a deeply powerful appearance like he could lift a golem by himself. But despite his immense size and number of Kobolds with him, we didn’t even notice they were there until we were nigh on top of them, so well and effortlessly were they blended into the snow. Their scales are a shimmery white, like freshly fallen snow, their tongues black, and eyes as deeply blue as the delphiniums in your garden. These creatures walk like ghosts, and we nearly lost sight of them traveling to our new fortification line. Their mannerisms are that of apex hunters, constantly stalking unseen prey.
But worst of all, dear sister, is what we learned very soon after setting up our encampment. The Kobolds of Clan White are cannibalistic. They eat their fallen in ritual meals, and turn the skins of their dead into leather pieces of armor. One of my men learned this horrific fact when he politely inquired to a Kobold about the similarity of its armor to its own scales. The Kobold apparently spent no small length of time regaling the poor man about the bravery and exploits of all the deceased Kobolds that made up this grotesque suit as if it were some form of great honor to wear their skin to guard his own.
Were it not for the greater Enemy we are so gallantly and dutifully fighting in the name of Eghrodro, I may have just turned our group around right then and there and come home, and gladly let the Dragonkind and the Demons and the Tieflings kill each other off.
However, it is not all terrible here, on the sunny days the view is stunning. I believe I can almost see the Midder Sea from our vantage point, and the mountains themselves are very much like the ones you and I explored in our youth. And you needn’t worry, and tell mother not to worry overmuch, for while there is some occasional fighting, it is much quieter here than it is nearer Ixubexo. I eagerly await any news of home and civilization you may care to send my way.
Sir Avell Norclair
Off. The Ivory Guard