Bastion, an introduction



Aug 30, 2006 14:18:07
Hey everyone, I have been slowly developing a small region to the far north of the Tablelands, and wanted to put the intro to the book I will be putting together out there for people to look at. Grammatically it is rough, but I hope it grabs your attention.

After weeks of traveling north, Dyrden had finally returned to his home. Passing through the rainforest surrounding the Iron Crag Mountains was a welcome relief to the deserts of the Tablelands, and the terraces that were carved into the mountain side that housed his city welcomed him with a soft evening rain. In great psionically enhanced leaps Dyrden worked his way to the top of Bastion, passing farming terraces, the Hall of the Dead, and the Academy of the Mind until he reached the Twilight Hall. While he never tired and could not feel fear, he was dreading the discussion that he would have with the Ancient Ones. Dyrden walked softly up to the large Wraithstone doors and mentally announced himself.

Your servant has returned, Ancient Ones. I come with knowledge of the south, and seek the counsel of the Ancients, and the wisdom The Hope of Dawn. I humble myself before you, and ask for your aid.

Enter, was all that he heard, and the doors opened.

Inside the Hall, Dyrden saw the familiar pools and trees of life that were essential in his creation long ago. He looked around the Hall and saw the familiar obsidian orbs, guardians seated on pillows, small motes of colored light slowly moving within their dark surfaces. He could sense his fellow battle-brothers, in suspended animation in the pools below. There they wait for the day that they are called to protect the world, and help bring the dawn. Dyrden himself had slept there for centuries, and had only awoken during the last decade to investigate the disturbances to the south. While he hoped that the Grey Men would not need to be woken, he knew such hopes were futile. They were not created to sleep; and now, for the first time since the Rajaat and his mad Champions brought the world to knees, they were needed. Too much was at stake. Dyrden walked up to the lone being in the hall and knelt before it.

“I have returned, Master.”

The creature was once humanoid, but no longer living. It turned its head towards Dyrden and stopped tending the tree it was standing by. Its grey skin, stretched tight in undeath, was etched deep with both worry and determination. The pyreen before him had sacrificed much to try to fight The Coming Night that Rajaat’s insanity threatened. Dyrden hoped that it was not in vein. Having traveled the Tablelands, he knew that sacrifice was a thing of the past, and was no longer practiced in the south. The Hope of Dawn sensed Dyrden’s concern, All have sacrificed, and it was not in vein. I know what I gave up, all those years ago. Now, perhaps, The Dawn will come. Prepare yourself, Dyrden. The Sages have been waiting, and they are anxious for news. I will awaken the Ancients.

The Pyreen walked towards the nearest pool, moving his hands in preparation for a spell. The waters of the pools became lit with blue light from beneath, and large objects moved from within. Slowly rising from the surface came numerous large masses of Wraithstone, looking like bleached bone masks. Carved into the stones were stylized faces, blue energy glowing brightly. The stones rose to the top of the hall and formed a ring, slowly floating around in a circle. Dyrden walked underneath the ring, and was slowly lifted into the ring. Dyrden remembered the first time he was lifted, back when he was just a man. He remembered when he first came to this city, and joined the ranks of the Dedicated. He remembered watching the Cloud Strike Leopards hunt in the forests. Dyrden remembered why he left his home, why he came to Bastion in the first place, and he remembered why he was made in to a Soldier of Twilight. It seemed like a lifetime ago, but was more like hundreds if not thousands of lifetimes. He had slept for most of it, only having been woken when psionics seemed to fizzle out. He was sent out to find out why, and to see what had happened in the world they had turned their backs on. While he was unsure of what would happen, he knew things could not be the same. Isolation would only prevent the Dawn, or worse, ensure the Night to come. All of these thoughts past in a blink, as with one voice, the Ancients spoke into Dyrden’s mind, What have you seen, our faithful servant?

The Tablelands are in flux and chaos rules. Old rulers have been toppled, and powerless figureheads put in their place. Darkness stirs to the south of the Tablelands, the Kreen of the west assemble at the base of a giant cliff, a vast breach now opened to join east and west. The Dragon is rumored to be dead; a giant storm left to heal the open wound that it created in its birth so long ago. Rumors of the return of a god are heard in whispers in the back alleys of Raam. The Warbringer is nothing more than a forgotten legend and the Champions have disappeared, and many rulers have been killed or have vanished. The Dawn seems farther away than ever.

A cacophony of noise erupted in Dyrden’s head, as the Sages spoke over each other. Some spoken in anger about the centuries of passivity, others in fear of the conflicts to come; but all fell silent when the Pyreen below spoke.

“The Dawn will come. They need us, finally, after all these ages.”


Aug 30, 2006 18:14:54
Though as most people have guessed I do not like anything that isn't super-orthodox Dark Sun, from a narrative perspective I like the start of the story a lot. What's especially noteworthy is that you managed to handle a couple of common archetypes (Ancient Ones, a past to redeem to the present) without making them into heavy handed stereotypes, and inject a bit of mystery in them to boot.

I'm confused at the end, however. The Tablelands are in flux and chaotic, but why would Dyrden see this as a bad thing (Dawn seems farther away than ever)? Earlier you mention that he seems to think their actions in vain, and dreads speaking with the others, but what's the motivation behind this? Don't explain it fully, but maybe a teaser would help.

And when the sages speak in "anger and fear," to what are these emotions being directed at, the news or Dyrden's comments regarding the Dawn? You'd think that they would be ecstatic at hearing the news, but the latter reason would make sense.


Aug 30, 2006 23:57:03
Check out my sig for info on the Twilight Soliders. It has some of the info, but some of it has changed as well. Thanks for the feedback. I will add some to it, probably in a different color, or a new section. Still working on it, but thanks for the feed back.


Sep 05, 2006 9:57:36
I have added to the story, fixing some things and adding a new "chapter." Changes are in red. I am working on some rules based stuff to add in, but the fluff part will be the main thing, and then some rules to follow. What I have so far (though not finished) is a Cloud Strike Leopard, a Cloud Strike Warrior PrC, a new (life shaped) material called Wraithstone and it's uses including Wraithstone Guardians. I have some feats to develop, and some more creatures to make. I am hoping for a PrC or three more. If there are questions about specific things, please let me know. And as always: enjoy.


Sep 05, 2006 10:09:23
Hey - I would be willing to read over everything you have and give you some suggestions and what-not on this material you have in the works - jus tshoot me an e-mail and I will read it over.


Sep 05, 2006 14:14:03
Kal, I sent you the email.