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The Factions & Foes of Returned Blackmoorby Brian Rubinfeld from Threshold Magazine issue 26
I figure it's as good a time as any to return to my mad little creation. A mixture of things made this happen. The initial idea felt a bit sparse in a number of details, so I wanted to flesh a few things out, especially within the Organizations theme. More directly game related, players were interested in tweaked versions of the Rakasta tribes from some notes, plus requests for Lupins as well. And, true to the theme of the article, discussions of factions and groups for players to explore a little more. For starters, the rebellion felt a bit sparse in details. And as "The Egg Be Dammed" implied, they're certainly not entirely organized or cooperative amongst each other. Likewise, there's certainly more than just the Capital City and some points of light in a wasteland. Despite damage from events leading to the Great Rain, as well as a civil war, there are still many active settlements and cities. Nonetheless, Returned Blackmoor is very much a post-apocalyptic society. Despite evading the worst of the Great Rain, they were ravaged by radical climate shifts, social discord and the collapse of the old order; much like the rest of Mystara so long ago. Just as Heard and Beach did with the Savage Coast, I will try to do here and beyond. Also, I realize this quickly expanded far beyond just one article. I wanted to add more, what can I say?
Also, a note on timelines: The new Blackmoor timeline has a massive gap in between 3000 BC/The Great Rain of Fire and 967 AC. This is due to time travel into a near-modern Mystara. Save for exceptions, these years are otherwise blank. Also, for ease of use in Mystara, this uses the AC (First Crowned Emperor) calendar over the UC (Blackmoor/Thonia Republic) Calendar, even though the latter would be used in-game. To account for the latter, the calendar is heavily skewed due to time travel. The Great Rain of Fire would have been 2030 UC, with the current year being 6030 UC, effectively. However, due to a skewed sense of time, Blackmoor would likely deem the current year 2063 UC until corrected.
With all of that out of the way, the information here should be supplementary to Issue 20's introduction to Returned Blackmoor. And with that, please enjoy a closer look into history and the people behind the organizations, societies, tribes and others throughout Returned Blackmoor.
A Return to Blackmoor
"Mad, they're all mad here! Horrible devices and worse politics. How does such an alien place operate? The order here is illogical too! Let me out, the knights will have nothing to do with this wicked place!" - Siegfried Von Stroheim, captured Heldannic Knight, yelling at a jail warden.
Returned Blackmoor is very much akin to its earlier predecessor. And by all means, much is still the same. However, gone is a classical rule by noble families. Instead, a central power only mimics the later rule of emperors. Those beneath this supreme command are but proxies and puppets, assigned to both handle lesser duties and distract the public through a façade of a more open government. The territories of Blackmoor have been reshaped as well. Blackmoor's town has grown into a bustling metropolitan hub. While no longer acting as a seat for a global empire, it's still the capital of the new one. Even so, Blackmoor City remains an impressive feat; reaching across water and onto expanded land. The Old Castle still remains, with its eerie dungeons given new life by the elite factions of the land. While some say that a nearby manor watching over the city is used by "the God-King", this is just a front for being seen as normal. The upgraded despot slumbers in secret restoration chambers deep within the dungeon depths. Exploring the revamped complex assumes one can survive the many new devices and creatures funneled in as added security.
Returned Blackmoor map by Sturm, modifying DA combined map by DaveL (originally published here on The Piazza: https://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/viewtopic.php?t=3421). The full size map which is available in the Vaults of Pandius at this link: http://pandius.com/retbmmap.html, both in the version with superimposed colours of the Political Territories and in a plain version without the colours.
Several affiliated dominions have seen much change as well. The Redwoods became a refuge for humans disgruntled by the rampant industry and unapologetic technocracy. The Afridhi and Peshwah within the region attempted to hold onto old traditions, while otherwise assimilating into a rapidly changing culture. Several counties and districts evolved from once semi-isolated baronies and rival kingdoms. New counties and districts emerged from the old; Capital Blackmoor (which Williamsfort merged into), Ten Duchy, Glendower, Locust Hills, Bramwald, Redwoods (which lies about its "low" Elf population to keep many of them hidden), Far Peaks (including the Superstition Mountains Salvage Zone) and Vestfold are the most prominent divisions of the new Blackmoorian Empire. Amidst reconstruction from the insurrection war, other territories have fallen to the wayside. Some, like Old Starport and Woodenbridge to the west, have been destroyed. Other old sights, like the Valley of the Ancients, were destroyed well before the Great Rain (with the destruction of the Beagle being the reason for the Valley).
In the 1000 years since the glory years of Uther Andahar, Blackmoor built itself up into the ultimate world power. And in a few brief moments, all of it was destroyed. Or rather, it was meant to be destroyed. By twists of luck and fate, Blackmoor was given a chance at survival through a convoluted escape plan into the future. Flung through space and time, the land found itself where it would have otherwise stood. But, much had changed on the continent of Skothar, following the tragedy. The world itself shifted its lands, as whole climates warped over the course of several years. This new Blackmoor found itself battling a savage arctic, accompanied by demoralization, disease and famine. Such troubles only grew when a former icon of the military tore through the lands in unfaltering insurrection. So-Called "Returned Blackmoor" quickly became a grim and isolated place. Under a tyrannical new order, it still rebuilt and healed from its wounds. However, this new damage may only be the beginning.
A Primer on the Heroes, Villains and Organizations of Returned Blackmoor
Many fight for survival in the despotic dystopia formerly known as Blackmoor. Some quest to root out all who oppose the mighty empire. Some simply wander around the land looking for strange oddities from the past or present. Many organize to liberate the crushed land from the hands of a ruthless tyrant. The suppressed and repressed populations all display a wide variety of motivations and morals.
Returned Blackmoor Imperium
The main governing authority over Blackmoor, for over 30 years.
The established power within the realm, leading the regime into a glorious new age. So far, the brutal dictatorship has lasted for decades. Trusted military personnel, scientists, royal defectors and more that have proved their service to the mighty overlord have been granted special privileges within seats of power, such as a personal counsel. Despite a stiff and stoic regime, the powers that be have enacted a degree of progressive change, assuming one is loyal to the nation's cause. Especially loyal patriots are rewarded regardless of race, original ethnicity, gender or other factors commonly hampering other societies in even modern Mystara. However, any outsiders who do not declare or show allegiance to Blackmoor are given the same olden prejudices of yesteryear and today. In fact, it might be far stronger than ever!
God-King Gwyn Allogost -A fanatical tyrant, formerly a powerful military officer. He used the discontent and suffering of his people to his advantage, leading to a revolution to topple the Andahar's royal house. In the years since his rule took hold, his mental health declined slowly, as his physical health declined rapidly. In the end, he thought it best to rebuild himself with powerful arcane technology. His frightening image is more potent than ever, clad in vicious armor with a metallic face mask exuding confidence and intimidation. In reality, the face masks hides that his head is a brain in a jar, controlling a mostly machine body. Lawful (Evil) Human Cyborg Fighter, Blackmoorian Government
Lead of Ministries, Roger Morgaine - The leader of the parliament serving under their God-King. Within the parliamentary group are various appointed political allies of their supreme lead. As for Morgaine, he served as an advisory role within Allogost's campaign during the revolt. Ill-suited for combat, he proved far more capable in intellectual plotting and manipulation. Even before then, he was a childhood friend of 'Gwyn' as he knows him as. Lawful (Evil) Human, Blackmoorian Government
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Henderson Redmond -A weaselly and wiry looking man. His stature and demeanor is as telling as his conniving behavior, which he tries to keep in private. His interest is in expansion into the world beyond. However, he views Allogost as an obstacle. To him, the God-King is an aged relic from a transition period into modernity. He has a vision to revive the Blackmoor Empire under contemporary values, rather than the dead traditions of the past. In the meantime, he grumbles, serves and bides his time. While keeping face, he looks for ways to continue to gain influence while charting plots for war campaigns abroad. Chaotic (Evil) Human Bard, Blackmoorian Government
Others of Note: Kluadja Zignch (Minister of Health and Civics, the "friendliest face" of parliament), Zorgal the Fortuitous (Ministry of War, a grim sergeant of days old), Velmnahauni Glaime (A member of Allogost's inner-circle, has a vice for circulating rumors), Dexter Mont Tybeilzium (Ministry of Arcana, an ancient wizard who tutored Allogost on many subjects in his youth), Harton Bailen (Ministry of Education, very paranoid and twitchy, always looking for "SOMETHING")
3029 BC. Gwyn Allogost is born to the Allogost House, a minor noble house dedicated through military service.
3010 BC. Gwyn, still a squire, beholds all sorts of dreadful things befalling Blackmoor. Led by other knights, he helps slay cultists of the Egg of Coot.
3009 BC. Gwyn proves his worth by fending off mutated beastmen, leading to his full acceptance as a knight.
3008 BC. Gwyn meets a merchant woman named Alice, the two fall in love. His Order looks down upon him for taking interest in a non-noble.
3007 BC. Roger Morgaine is born into a humble upbringing, whose family were adventurers previously, nearby Historic Williamsfort.
3005 BC. Reger I became Emperor of Blackmoor.
3001 BC. Allogost, alongside his unit, do their best to combat relentless waves of corrupted magics and creatures, within the town of Locust Hill Valley. The ensuing battle levels the Locust Hills in supernatural might, but countless civilians are evacuated to the safety of the main city. He is hailed as a hero for keeping the morale of his comrades in order, while ultimately helping to protect the lands. Several campaigns later, he rose up the ranks to General.
3000 BC. Before the Egg is finally "put down", the dungeons below Old Blackmoor Castle are explored once more. Like in olden times, a cesspool of corruption and evil is exterminated. Now, Allogost leads the charge. A young Morgaine hears of this and immediately idolizes the general as a "superhero". A marriage is planned for “Sir Allogost the Hero”. Days later, Cultists of Coot declare revenge and manage to sneak past Blackmoorian defenses. Several people are killed, including Alice. Gwyn never bothers to find new love, preferring to keep his heart cold.
- Time Gap -
967 AC. Allogost is put in charge of welfare for civilians, following the malfunction of the time jump experiment. Months of observing their suffering motivates him to revolt against the establishment power.
969 AC. An indignant noble, whose primary contacts were at a military base south and west of Blackmoor (current day Esterhold), challenges Allogost to a duel to the death. Unaware of the devastation caused by the Great Rain, Allogost is accused of supporting a glorified kidnapping. Despite this being illegal, Allogost accepts and defeats the challenger. His views towards revolution are solidified.
970 AC. An insurrection brings the previous autocracy of Blackmoor to its knees. Emperor Reger I is personally assassinated by Allogost, as is much of House Andahar. A provisional government transitions to the new regime of Blackmoor.
971 AC. The parliament is put into place, in part to dull down assumptions that Allogost controls everything, even though this is true. They do however represent the public, while a private council focuses on more governmental matters. It acts as the successor to previous regency councils active in the time of Royal Blackmoor.
973 AC. Henderson is born in House Redmond, even though noble houses are no longer recognized officially. His family still holds sway over Greater Newgate county.
980-981 AC. The parliament, by Allogost's reluctant approval, allows for the immigration of the wandering Rakasta. Emissaries are dispatched to maintain control. Reports of conflict with escaped Lupins are stated by emissaries. Little is done on this, until they too are forced to register.
982 AC. In a meeting with Allogost's council and parliament, a unanimous decision is declared to execute a group of intruders. Traitors' Day is instated as a reminder to the dangers of treason.
984 AC. Morgaine is appointed to the parliamentary chair, after reports of his incredible wit and charisma reach the government. Morgaine's reputation as a child prodigy employed with the University of Blackmoor also aided in his choosing.
991 AC. After repelling the Redwood rebels, action is sanctioned to root out all causes. Lack of cooperation forces drastic and deadly measures. The end result is a genocide, massively crippling the influence of the population. Other elven populations and druidic circles fear being targeted.
992 AC. Inspired by the retaliation of his God-King, Henderson Redmond weaves his way up the ladder and into the council, to greater appreciate his hero. He is instead met with a dour middle aged man in declining health. His vision shattered, he instead focuses on being his successor.
993 AC. A colony called Backburner is hit with a strong weapon, in response to their growing rebellion. Reports of monsters follow not long after.
994 AC. Redmond appears at the Space Launch ceremony, representing Allogost.
997 AC. Several heads of state are appointed for emerging colonies and minor states within the expanding territory of the new empire. Allogost relegates speech related duties to his associates, including Redmond.
998 AC. Physicians deeply worry about the overlord, as council and parliament can only keep up the façade of normalcy for so long.
1000 AC. Following the betrayal of Woodenbridge, the Northern Circle claimed numerous territories east of the Locust Hills. The government is moving to end recognition of the territory, for the time being. The leadership of the Northern Circle also requests representation within the government, allowing a chosen ruler to join in parliamentary duties.
Later 1000 AC. Allogost resurfaces after years of declining health and seclusion, in finely cast armor. In truth, he is a cyborg whose mechanical body is controlled by his encased brain. "Cybernetic Psychosis" begins to affect Allogost's thought processes, leading him to feel and act “less human”.
The Orders of Justice (The Military)
The forceful extension of Allogost. As a former soldier and high ranking official, he is more than aware of how they operate. More so, they receive much of his attention and his praise. While ensuring that borders remain safe and outsiders are kept away, they also act as the de facto police force within the territory. Against their own citizens, their methods are often cruel and brutal. Against any citizen that shows any kind of doubt or disdain for their government, their actions become exceptionally excessive in force. Often, anyone who protests or objects openly doesn't live through the experience.
Guardsmen - A baseline in rank and an actual acceptance into Blackmoorian military service. While starting recruits are just recognized militia, those who can hold rank are treated as genuine members of armed forces. Many of these starting guardsmen are recruited as older children and young adults, typically boys and young men at that. These low ranking soldiers are often tasked with security in the outlands and around Blackmoor City. Often, they are only equipped to deal with standard-level criminals and scattered raiders at most. Many have taken it upon themselves to act as the unofficial police force of the land. Particularly trusted guardsmen are given warden duties over the various prison facilities. Those who prove worthy of becoming a Chief Warden are granted access to secret government facilities for especially dangerous prisoners.
Asanis - A Tangor exile that was formerly employed to a trade guild in Esterhold. After the debacle that cost several lives, he was spared as a prisoner. Quickly proving his worth, his mercenary experience landed him a job with the guardsmen. He cares little of loyalty, but knows desertion will result in actual death. Neutral (Neutral) Human Warrior, Mercenary
Ranger Corps - A rank devoted to both frontier colonies as well as the wilderness that has continued to survive among the early hardships of Blackmoor's return to Mystara. A majority of these soldiers are stationed at a variety of outposts dotting the edges of civilization or just beyond it. Rangers excel at rugged survivalism in harsh environments. Those who have proved themselves are given the option to survey the wastelands outside the safety of the energy dome. Only the most hardened and rugged of Blackmoor Rangers would accept this. These rangers, The Zone Rangers, often return with horror stories of warped magic and long-lingering pollutant corruption birthing all sorts of horrors that haunt Skothar. The bravest of World Scouts accompany them on missions to recover artifacts.
Oliver Brightbranch -A servant of both the natural ways and Blackmoor's advancement. A former student for the bio-technology research institute of Blackmoor University, he found himself captivated by the idea of advancing through the natural world. However, he wasn’t academically up to par. Joining the military, he found himself more at home with communing amidst nature itself, while agreeing to test organic weaponry and armory. He sympathizes with the Redwoods and seeks to help them, at least towards seeing his views. Neutral (Neutral) Human Druidic Knight, Knight-Ranger
World Scouts - The few agents of Blackmoor granted clearance to explore the outside world, from afar. Their goals are to study all forces of Mystara, and to gather any and all intelligence. All the same, they are meant to be incognito and blend in as much as possible. Their expeditions have led them to the land of Glantri. A Blackmoorian conspiracy tells of an ancient artifact linked to the fated ship that transformed the land forever, somehow taken to those lands. Should the Nucleus be learned about in full, this would surely spark a war. They often accompany members of the Reclamation Society as both security and insurance.
Lady Raleigh - A knight transferred to this unit, following her excellence in spying. While respected among her peers as an efficient killer and expert of stealth, her sharp tongue has left her with few genuine friends. Often, she leaves the talking to others. While beneath her station, she has been hired by law enforcements to help track down all means of thieves and sneaky criminals. Lawful (Neutral) Human Thief, Spy/Assassin
Hawk-Hunters - If the World Scouts are spies meant to observe the world at large, the Hawk-Hunters are the Secret Police meant to observe the world within Blackmoor. Almost as heavily equipped as the Knights, they are very much military-officers given full judgement powers within the law. Only trusted guards, law enforcement and ranking soldiers are given the chance at this opportunity. The best hawk-hunters take care of sedition and problematic cases swiftly and quickly. While citizens are aware that they might exist, little is revealed to the public. Some rumors are circulated to keep up a campaign of shadowy fear tactics.
Knights of Blackmoor - Truly outstanding warriors. While only a small number have noble ancestry, the majority are just recruits from Blackmoor's armies, navies and marines; consolidated into an elite order more befitting of their talents. While little has occurred in war campaigns, bands of knights have been sent to deal with more threatening factions, such as the raiders or particularly powerful revolutionaries. Many can be found backing up urban guardsmen, much like how rangers backup outlands guardsmen.
Sir Bertrin - A Knight sent to look into the "Esterhold Assignment", which backfired in a literally explosive way, resulting in the death of two of his colleagues and the capture of two colonists as well. While he remains a devoted patriot to the cause, he views his position as that of a glorified assassin. His distrust of the outside world is put into question, as is his desire to repent for his behavior. He is currently barred from assignments until he "atones" for his failure. The capture of Asanis and Tsabalya, and their subsequent protection under his watch, is mostly his fault. His current business is swaying law figures to change their positions on matters, at least slightly. Lawful (Good) Human Fighter (Paladin), Knight
Sir Kabel, the Scorned - A pale revenant with glowing red eyes. Even as a true knight, his sense of humor was off-putting to many. Through powers of dark sorcery under ‘The Cleansing Mother's’ teachings, he wielded arcane power alongside his incredible martial might. Ultimately, Allogost sensed a betrayal brewing. Suspecting the Knights and not the Cleansing Mother herself, the troop of soldiers were all executed. Some dark power brought Kabel back. Chaotic (Evil) Undead Human Fighter (Arcane Warrior), Ex-Knight
Exe-Corps - Masterfully skilled kill teams. These death squads are crafted of the most emotionally devoid and killer knights that would otherwise prove risky on missions. Some are reformed criminals who sought service instead of execution. These groups are deployed on particularly deadly assignments to wipe out anything in their way. These assignments often involve especially active rebel cells, terrorists, dangerous outsiders and general threats to the Blackmoor campaign's existence.
Commissioners - Commanders, commissars, those who have proved not only their worth in war but in leadership. Their outfits are a mixture of intimidating and flamboyant styles, all providing a striking presence worthy of commanding attention and fear. The officers' club, the Commandant, is a popular place to see high ranking officials that are off-duty. Beware, access is exclusive to the military.
Brigadier-General Cromswright: Commanding officer in charge of the Blight Marsh Brigade, stationed at the edge of the Vestfold Safe Zone. The majority of his soldiers are rangers or former survivalists who turned towards military service. As far as the Official himself, he's tough as steel with a surly attitude well befitting of his position. A large graying moustache is displayed upon his face, much like a trophy on a mantle. Lawful (Neutral) Human Warrior, Military Officer
4000 BC.+ The Royal Knights valiantly serve Blackmoor and its many houses of lords and barons. Thanks to their courageous might, Blackmoor defeats its harshest enemies and is no longer flanked on all sides.
3500 BC. The knights embark on new quests, such as the Beastmen Crusades, to bring further glory to Blackmoor.
3100 BC. Fights against Serpentine, the fading Egg of Coot and other dark forces begin to cripple the empire; but its noble forces fight on.
- Time Gap -
970 AC. A schism is brought by Allogost's revolution. The splinter that detested the General's actions either retired or went AWOL. The supportive faction was greatly rewarded. New divisions were made for particularly skillful knights. The Exe-Corps are the most deadly of the new orders.
971 AC. A revolt organized by survivors of the purge is tackled by many knights. Casualties on the knights side is low, but none of the revolters are spared.
972 AC. The Knights of Blackmoor are given new purpose and divisions within the recently established regime. Old outposts are refurbished and new ones are constructed, the ranger corps are reborn anew.
982 AC. A group of outside adventurers are apprehended after consistent displays of suspicious behavior.
993 AC. Northern tribesmen not only access Blackmoor, but ambush patrolling knights. By some miracle, the marauders survive after slaying the opposing knights.
995 AC. A small team of knights is reported to be executed for drastic failure, but they were actually executed because they were conspiring to take Allogost's power.
998 AC. A small platoon is dispatched to break up squatting anarchists in an old stronghold on Mare Island.
1000 AC.Sir Bertrin is sent on an assignment to stop a well-prepared expedition into north eastern Skothar, it goes terribly. One of the executed knights returns as a wrathful revenant five years later.
Blackmoorian Division of Science
Originally an educational program funded by the royal kingdom, it soon developed into an essential extension to help progress Blackmoor into a revolution of innovations and technologies. In the modern day, they are very much the backbone of imperial power. Their breakthroughs have helped to supply new armor and weapons to the soldiers, defenses for the autocratic government and forms of surveillance to use upon the civilian masses. This is merely the start of the land's many emerging wonders. Many have begun to enact fail-safes, for the possibility that Allogost's usurped empire crumbles or even buckles under pressure.
Gorble Medical Tech - Fronted by Dr. Garvin Gorble, a sadistic and maniacal expert of medicine and health-based arcane sciences. His division, working both within Blackmoor University and Carr Memorial Hospital, uses various façades to conceal their primary projects: bioweaponry for the government. A mixture of prisoners and patients are used as subjects. Recently, a branch of the medical techs was sent to help revitalize the Cootsbane Dam as a research center. Information on them has gone dark.
Subject #399 - One of the victims of Egg of Coot madness. Originally a patient at the mental health ward of the Carr Hospital, his behavior grew extraordinarily violent after a series of awful nightmares. Worse, his own abilities became supernaturally enhanced, more than the other patients. Dr. Gorble used him as a magnet for strange activity and aberrant brainwaves. Always under constant pain, the subject is monitored in hopes of picking up "alien phenomena" in Blackmoor. A recent horrid dream revealed a constant thought pattern of an egg-shaped form. Chaotic (Neutral) Human, Patient
Daria Chapelkeg - A research assistant under Dr. Gorble. For years, she has shown promise as a worthy successor. Ruthlessly efficient and scientifically minded, she's always one to drill peers and ensure they keep their minds sharp. Her intrusive behavior causes her to get involved in her department's business, while reporting all negativity to higher ups. While many consider her annoying, her value as an ingenious physician practitioner is known. But, behind closed doors, she'll do whatever it takes to discover a breakthrough, even if it means breaking her subjects. Lawful (Evil) Dwarf Priest, Physician/Scholar
Khoronus Laboratories - All sorts of truly strange and cutting edge ideas are developed here. It is thanks to this division that the barrier shields were properly implemented, with subsequent attempts at terraforming and taking back the land that made the jump.
Uther V.1 - An artificial intelligence closely modeled after an early king of Blackmoor. He's crafty, biding his time and waiting for Allogost to fail. He seeks a monarchy run by the machine, but he won't tell many. Word of the Machine-God has reached him, he's intrigued. Lawful (Neutral) Artificial Intelligence
Jeran Alderport - A vindictive scientist who has helped to bring an information network, the Aether-Web, into the modern age. For over a century in Blackmoor time, the project was a government network. Only within the last 50 Blackmoorian years has it been in the public eye. But, 20 out of those 50 saw it offline. Feeling ungrateful and tired of a regime that barely understands technology, he uploads Uther V.1 onto the Aether-Web, hoping this will do maximum damage. Chaotic (Neutral) Human, Scientist
"Saint" Mordemein - Once a scientist who helped to push for geothermal technologies before the Great Rain. These developments ultimately saved the lands after the jump, plus they proved to be the foundations of the weather technologies that came later. These helped civilians from succumbing to the cold of the new arctic lands, even establishing well-heated zones. While people suspect he was killed during the pre-Rain Plague outbreak, he was in truth assassinated by a jealous colleague. If it wasn't for the oncoming apocalypse, this colleague would have been discovered, instead of vaporized by a rogue bolt of magic. Dr. Mordemein continues to survey the laboratory, as a ghost. Overhearing the term "Saint", he has adopted it. In order to rest, he wants to see his research help evolve Blackmoor into a shining beacon of hope once more. Neutral (Neutral) Human Ghost, Scientist
Uther Space Program - Before the Great Rain and The Jump, there were several investments into expansion beyond the stars. While several early programs were successful in mapping the space around the planet into nearby galactic reaches, no massive undertakings for space colonization were underway at the time. After decades of toil and rebuilding, they've had a number of official launches. Returning to the stars remains a dream, even of Allogost.
Sergeant Steel-Tooth Rappaport - A strange hippo-headed alien discovered by a post-time jump space launch. His team graciously accepted an offer to provide aid for the various scientific divisions. While much of his crew has taken to Bramwald Defensive Technologies, Rappaport has chosen to focus on space travel. He's cool tempered and collected in his thoughts, but discussion of firearms causes him to snap into excitable habits. Neutral (Neutral) Giff Warrior, Overseer
Bramwald Defensive Technologies - An arms and armory producer, helping to unveil the latest in destructive goods. Likewise, government vehicles are planned and assembled with this group as well. Many soldiers who show an aptitude for technical developments, engineering and a wider understanding of war technologies are given the chance to work for this division. One recent problem within this division is planted moles, all interested in blueprints for various technical plans. These moles can be from rival scientists, various corporations or even the government wanting a leg-up on new projects. In some cases, rebels and infiltrators want in on these new technologies too.
Dr. Elana Elsirmore - A head scientist of the augmentations projects. Curiously enough, she volunteered herself as a test subject for early models, when a genetic disease caused the use of her limbs to slowly fail. For over 7 years, she's reclaimed her motor skills. Now, she advises multi projects, including a new design for a super-weapon proposed by Blunthammer and Battlestein, two dwarven fraternal twins. Neutral (Good) Gnome Artificer, Scientist
Captain Risguard - A retired Blackmoorian Aero-Division military pilot. His genius had revolutionized and streamlined the "power shuttle" trains that function as public transportation, while he was still active in service. While the former airport has been converted into an aerial base of operations, the royal airfield has still fallen into disrepair. His goal is the eventual restoration and expansion of these military services. For this reason, he's been instrumental in the poor treatment of Zaddergath Wentlestone, to extract any secrets involving Serraine. One slipped detail on the city state's method of staying airborne has become an obsession. Lawful (Neutral) Human Warrior, Retired Soldier
Blackmoor Public Works - The most public known and friendly division. Works from within here tend to be far more mundane in scope; less intensive vehicles, common appliances, power grids and various facets of everyday life. For the various divisions, being sent to Public Works is deemed an embarrassing downgrade. However, many succumb to the realization that a mundane baseline is essential for keeping life going.
Horace P. Ilbrosht - Employed within the public works, his focus is on sanitation. Day in and day out, he's worked at cleaning plants and filtration centers. However, sneaking through the sewers below has given him all sorts of clues into the dark secrets of Blackmoor. For a decent coin, he'll warn of vanishing ratmen, masked madmen and much more. Many dismiss him as a rumor-monger, but he is sure that there's a number of dangerous things happening beneath peoples' perceptions. He's also cocky in his own abilities to handle these situations, which haven't gotten him killed yet. Neutral (Neutral) Human, Worker
Rorman Ronaloth - A sleazy automotive (or "cruiser" as he calls them) commission leader. His station within the Blackmoorian Automotive Commission was achieved through careful dealings and sly trading. He's respectful enough to his subordinates, but he still rubs most of them the wrong way. Even with these flaws, he has brought in impossible amounts of funding to help expand transportation projects, especially in such a time of need. Many of his plans to "streamline" vehicles puzzle many, including energy-generator panels on roads used to keep power in the area as well as in Blackmoorian Hover Hounds, a popular cruiser model. He currently pushes to move all automotive production to hover cars, allowing land-based vehicles to fall wayside. He wants "his market" to win over public transportation or land-based roadways. Neutral (Evil) Human, Head Engineer/Sales Management
3390 BC. Blackmoor Public Works emerges from the ashes of several ancient guilds, companies and public projects.
3280 BC. The Blackmoorian Automotive Commission is formed as a joint private and royal venture.
3226 BC. Uther-Space is founded from a mixture of aeronautics research divisions.
3193 BC. The Hover Cruiser prototype proves a success, entering the wider market over the course of 50 years.
3134 BC. The Aether-Web is developed for military information use.
3128 BC. An incredible space expedition concludes, expanding existing space colony attempts as well.
3100 BC. The ether-gun, a weapon capable of firing between folded spaces of reality, is successful in attempts to improve military arms.
3087 BC. Bramwald and Carr Hospital look into advocacy for those using their cybernetics. Cyborgs are recognized as full citizens, after decades of debates. Ignorance and poor treatment still remain in much of the world.
3031 BC. Thanks to those efforts, discrimination of cyborgs is made illegal. Much work is still needed to be done against social prejudice though. Bramwald and Carr Hospital teams still work towards this.
3029 BC. The Aether-Web is accessible through companies, and the public in later years.
3010 BC. A pilot (Risguard) amazes various technicians with proposals to make public transport lines more efficient.
3006 BC. A new grant allows for research into time travel following the disappearance of the Comeback Inn, a magical and historical place that has been missing from Blackmoor for ages. Mystically inclined within Blackmoor urge the team to hurry, fearing certain doom on the horizon.
- Time Gap -
967 AC. The Aether-Web is knocked out by the time jump. Luckily, the university backed up information from the entire network. Focus is pushed to maintaining the environment of Blackmoor, as well as keeping everything else from collapse.
968 AC. Attempts to maintain the Great Dismal Swamps fail. Likewise, lands beyond the main reaches of Blackmoor fail. These become the Detrituswoods and Wastelands of the present. Other places have working mechanisms in place, albeit hastily built ones.
969 AC. A young Dr. Gorble helps to push the medical industry back to working order. This incentive becomes even stronger as Gorble greatly aids Allogost in his plans for revolt.
970 AC. Earlier artificial climate stabilizing technologies give way to a prototype to the energy field. Cannibalizing the broken time-jumping devices throughout Blackmoor, an energy field is created to help stave off the outside weather. However, it's glitchy and far from permanent. Efforts are made to create a more stable solution as quickly as possible. Whole zones that have already failed are barely attended to such as the stabilizing zone in the township of Lake Gloomy. The whole town is destroyed from floods, famine, pollution and disease. It remains in its chilling state, even today. The revolution puts a delay on relief and restoration efforts. Other towns and villages around that area vanish as a result. Investigators are met with disgusting monsters.
976 AC. Better roads are being established as well as better rails. However, many old roads and rotting rails leading to nowhere continue to sit in overgrown ruins and dangerous lands.
988 AC. The Aether-Web is stable once more. Dr. Alderport helps bring it into the modern age.
994 AC. The Thonian dialect message received from a space voyage is finally translated in full. It's a warning about some kind of undead creature immune to positive energy, driven forward by micro lifeforms. Furthermore, it cautions people to stay away if backup isn't brought.
995 AC. A strange meteorite hits just beyond Blackmoor's protected dimension. Uther Space deploys scouts to bring the space rock inside. At a secure facility, bordering the Western Dismal Great Swamp Hazard Zone, the rock opens to unleash a gross goo. A cosmic fungal outbreak causes the laboratory to go on quarantine. Exe-Corps are eventually sent in to do "cleaning".
996 AC. Uther Space unveils its plans to restart space colonization, following the success of a prior shuttle.
997 AC. Restoration teams uncover a destroyed facility, unleashing hordes of fungal horrors. Gwynsburough, a town roughly ten miles from Old Great Neck, is ransacked by similar creatures. A mixture of Exe-Corps and Khoronus Science Teams "cleanse" the area, in an attempt to also fight back against the swamp's corruption as well.
999 - 1000 AC. An experimental “diseased radiance” is deployed against the Woodenbridge government at the end of the year. A spy fails to sabotage the effort, instead causing an outbreak in the city by the next year. The governor and cabinet die quickly, thousands of infected perish in 1 month alone, including the crew that broadcasted the governor’s death. The strange radiation continues to linger over the sealed off area. After 6 months, areas within 1 mile of the “lockdown zone” are deemed safe to inhabit. Few obeying protocol get the sickness. Those who do are either decontaminated or executed almost immediately.
1000 AC. Dr. Alderport successfully brings the artificial intelligence Uther V.1 into the Aether-Web. No one has taken notice yet, but ample damage is expected.
United Guild of Archivists
Knowledge of the old world is heavily preserved within countless archives. Many fear the God-King as an efficient destroyer of seditious information. On the contrary, the majority of olden Blackmoor knowledge is stored in countless secretive locales maintained by a dedicated order of monks in service to their dread leader. In fact, Blackmoor's Ministers of Propaganda are regularly welcomed to peruse the information vaults, in attempts to twist old facts into regime-supporting messages. Many archivists hope for the fall of their usurper king in private, so they can spread knowledge of Blackmoor to the wider world.
Ordo Archivis - The monks within Citadel Archivis, a former castle converted into a huge library fortress. This headquarters serves as the primary station for the archivists to operate from. It is here that networks of data are also stored carefully. Backups upon backups are created in the event of cataclysm once again, in hopes of rebuilding civilization with greater ease. It rests within an old castle in Glendower.
Star Library - Within the Star Gardens is an extension of the Archivists. For the most part, this annex focuses on religious materials. However, a wide array of topics can still be researched here. Beyond the guild itself, only figures of the churches and high ranking officials of the government are allowed within these halls. It's a short trip away from Glendower.
Academy of Knowledge Essentials - Copies of citizen-level knowledge are kept here as a public resource. Several monks double as teachers to give various instructions on wide varieties of subjects and seminars. While school systems exist within the empire, the academy is considered a separate institution for those willing to pay extra. As one would expect, clientele tend to be wealthier residents.
Tsabalya - A friend and ally of Asanis. She was originally a spoiled Thyatian minor noble's child. Her interests lay in exploration and adventure, leading her to run away and join a guild in Esterhold. Sadly, the moment her House finally tracked her down is the moment tragedy struck the guild hall. Now in Blackmoor, she contends with keeping records of public knowledge. Somehow her falsified identity worked well enough to land her here. It's a "side gig", while she tries to avoid too much trouble around Blackmoor City. Neutral (Neutral) Human Thief, Mercenary/Spy
3028 BC. The Royal Archivist Society is formed, taking over from centuries of chronicling work. But now, all of this backlog is updated and stored for modern Blackmoorian society.
3002 BC. Several scholars who mused on "end times scenarios" mysteriously vanished, prompting the remaining archivists to urge defensive plans to move faster.
- Time Gap -
970 AC. Allogost rebrands the order in his image. They operate much as they did before. However, strong policies against "contrary material" are pushed. Many revolt in secret.
971 AC. Despite information purges on subjects deemed taboo, many documents were ultimately moved into private collections, for posterity and preservation of the truth.
983 AC. One archivist reports another for contraband, following a lengthy historical argument. Others hoarding “banned” information become far less social.
994 AC. Newer archivists and scholars tend to stay within the pre-approved guidelines of the state. Older members balk and scoff at the efforts of these neophytes.
999 AC. Rumors about assisting grey rebels circulate. However, some clever wordplay and thorough planning causes the God-King's investigators to brush it off as some petty rumor to ruin the archivists' reputation. A particularly troublemaking monk is ultimately framed and arrested on grounds of fraudulent reporting and treason.
1000 AC. Tsabalya is brought to the Academy, after being cleared under Sir Bertrin.
While Blackmoor's recent rule in many ways is distanced from the past, it still owes its identity to many traditions. Among them is the adventuring party. By sanctioning of the state, several guilds have been allowed to open; albeit under close scrutiny.
The Reclamation Society - Explorers who set out to find artifacts left behind from the time jump. While their priority is Skothar, they seem to expand their prospects. One cardinal rule is maintaining secrecy and façades. Should you have to interact with the public, give nothing away of your Blackmoorian lineage. Many operate within borders to seek out damaged places and help rebuild them. The Blackmoor Royal Airfield interests them currently, despite tales of hauntings nearby. They've also been granted a secondary job of overseeing and maintaining imports, while creating fabricated stories for the few exports that they carry. These exports are never technological in nature.
Blackmoor Society of High Adventure - An officially approved guild that seeks a return to days of noble adventurers and wandering heroics. Of course, the guild only exists to instill a sense of nostalgia. This isn't to say that they're useless. Many of the adventurers have helped to uncover lost secrets, even within the territory of Blackmoor. While they aren't allowed outside, like the Reclamation Society, their meddling is kept within state interests, rather than personal. Much of this involves hired mercenary work to face targets that the military has little desire to handle. Many create pastiches to ancient Blackmoorian life, ranging from the gaudy to offensively inaccurate representations of history. Many sacred and historical orders are embarrassed by them, but they're protected nonetheless.
Malachi Crobsitt - A hammy swashbuckler type persona, driven by a debaucheries and deluded higher purpose. His brazen theatrics make him known wherever he goes, preferring an overly dramatic entrance and exit. In truth, these shows are a façade, as the reality of Blackmoor (rather than its rich history) has proved depressing for the guild foreman. As such, he captures a dream of the past, encouraging members of his society to do the same. Of course, he does nothing to overstep any lawful boundaries... too often. Within his guild, he's a cult of personality, well aware of how the guild would negatively react if greater Blackmoor dares threaten him. And considering that this guild has much in the way of public and private knowledge, many political groups tend to keep their distance. Neutral (Neutral), Human Thief, Self-Proclaimed Adventurer
Others of Note: Mr. Flick (A calico rakasta, loves mischief and tends to be lighthearted), Jenny Weird (A pale-white mage, loves to research into odd arcana, might be evil), Derald T. Smythe (A wannabe-aristocrat, actually just a rogue obsessed with playing in costume), Peaceful-Unit (A reprogrammed robot built for war, now wanting to help others)
Thieves Guild - An unofficial guild that supposedly was "disbanded" long before the takeover. Their interests are only tangential to the Grey Rebellion, let alone any formation from the Rogues' Gallery. Their interest is in the powers of the underground. Their symbol of a staggering rat fits how they've adapted to a society that otherwise demonizes them. That isn't to say they bring much good to the community, helping to assist organized crime in the less protected parts of the territories. Many consider them to be just more civilized raiders. While the State thinks they've infiltrated their ranks with moles, they've ironically done the same to them. This is to ensure that no valid information returns to their rival's clutches. Despite all of this, their focus is of self-interest rather than outright destruction or chaos. But, given their history comprised kidnapping, dangerous substances and more; they're considered quite dangerous to deal with. Their attachment to the rebels is fickle at best, when supreme state forces can easily bribe them to sell out their supposed 'comrades' in a pinch. Their free wild card approach makes them useful enemies to much of Returned Blackmoor. The Skewered Devil Swine, a dirty and dingy place, is a common place to find a member looking for action. Many are divided among various rebellion allegiances.
4000 BC.+ The Thieves Guild is as old as the once-barony of Blackmoor, a long standing tradition between brigands and ne'er-do-wells.
3950 BC. The Thieves Guild is disbanded for the first time. It continues to reform and "disband" over the ages.
3450 BC. The Blackmoorian Society of High Adventure forms its first incarnation. Their purpose mostly lies in finding interesting sights and artifacts from distant lands. Their existence amounts to an imperialistic pride type of matter.
3100 BC. The first incarnation of High Adventure is wiped out in an ambush of Northern-pushed Beastmen who take poorly to Blackmoorians invading their new turf. A small army soon intervenes, causing more death among the damaged beastmen population, the bodies are recovered and given proper burial.
3005 BC. After much petitioning, Reger I approved a new society to form.
- Time Gap -
967 AC. The Society of High Adventure lends its talents to procuring supplies for their ailing nation, after the jump. Some team up with members of the Thieves Guild, still alive after all these years.
968 AC. The Regency Council helps create the Reclamation Guild, to help others in rebuilding Blackmoor, as well as scoping the wastes for useful information and artifacts.
969 AC. A new thieves guild emerges, led by an outsider who found his way into Blackmoor. The man is secretly a Devil Swine. Considering how he takes over a tavern named The Skewered Swine and renames it to its current name, subtleties aren't his strong point.
970 AC. The insurrection war kills the new leader amidst a reckless stunt. His name is blotted out from guild history. Fortunately, no one else was infected. The new name for their unofficial headquarters sticks, in part due to irony.
970 AC. With no more Regency Council, the Reclamation Guild declares itself independent until Allogost takes an interest in them.
974 AC. Efforts to clear the Detrituswoods at the hands of the Reclamation Society are hard at first, but areas past the Vestfold Safe Zone have been carved out. As more political influence returns to Vestfold, there is a higher demand for a larger safe zone.
979 AC. The Society of High Adventure uncovered the derelict dam facility within the Cootsbane Mountains/Superstition Mountains. Despite poor shape, they are given much in reward and praise. The military takes over from there.
982 AC. The Thieves Guild is disbanded officially for the last time. Former members help set up a group of greedy outsiders, making them take the worst of the fall.
984 AC. The land around Port Dacoit is restored. However, "pirates" chase out the restoration teams and scientists. Reports of this are brushed aside, given more important matters... for now.
992 AC. An archeological dig uncovers the Lost Province of Maus, which sank long before the Great Rain. The salvage operation helps to recreate the land of old as well as establish a museum to preserve its past.
Religions of Blackmoor
Despite the edict of the God-King being the only figure worthy of worship, other faiths still remain. Many churches dedicated to a handful of Immortals try to recast their focus in a way that still venerates their supreme leader in one way or another, granting them enough clemency to continue their practices. Many operate underground, biding their time before unleashing their divine power upon an unsuspecting nation. It's safe to say that many of these underground cults carry wicked agendas all their own. The majority of acceptable religions are found in the Star Gardens, a series of religious sites where the Temple of Id once stood so many ages ago.
Church of the God-King
The Sanctioned State Religion of Blackmoor. The God-King desires for his title to mean so much more. He is aware that he would have to pass rule down to a desirable replacement, should he gain Immortality. Granted, this replacement would have to be a devoted fanatic. All the same, this would move his theocracy into its final state. Should this happen, he will indirectly have control over the land. And all who resist? They are marked as enemies of the inevitable. His aversion to decay, quasi-Immortality through technomancy and desires for change in his vision has marked him on the path towards Time. This is the official religion of the State.
Bishop Peter of Highhill Abbey - A powerful clergyman within the God-King church. Originally from a small abbey due east of the city, he was raised in a closed cloister. Well read and well attentive, he's quick to notice something out of place. Shockingly, he's more well-tempered and understanding than many who serve the God-King. While Gwyn is no Immortal, someone has stepped in to help guide the process for their overlord to become an Immortal as well. Peter doesn't mind this, it's just another step to him. Lawful (Neutral) Human Priest, Bishop
Mother Daniella - A nun who oversees a religious school in Blackmoor City. Her methods are strict and conservative, making her more at home with Matter than Time. However, she still believes in her God-King's cause devoutly, even if her own misgivings take away from that. She hopes to instill a sense of pride and passion for the state church. Despite all of this, she's a compassionate figure within the church who wants to see others grow not just in their faith, but in their character. While her opinion of Allogost skews him as a paragon of righteousness, she uses this as a means of helping others be genuinely kind...at least towards the fellow faithful. Thanks to her, the Sisters Protectorate, an all-women religious warrior order, has also formed. Lawful (Neutral) Human Priest, Nun
Duncan the Heretic - The leader of a sect of mad sages that dwell near the Serpentine Ruins. It is in their belief that Allogost has already ascended and just chooses to remain in human form. This belief causes worry among the church, risking the ire of other Immortals. Like the rest of the cult, any attempts to reason fail. The mages are the direct descendents of those who finished off the last of the Serpentine forces of Blackmoor. However, they were cursed for their deathly deeds. This madness curse heavily afflicts Duncan himself. Many practice dark arts, having created the undead that wander the ruins. These blasphemers were tolerated in the past, but their time is soon coming. For what it is worth, his insight into Allogost's ascension plan is worth note. Chaotic (Neutral) Human Wizard, Cultist
3009 BC. The Serpentine are defeated by a group of mages, remnants scatter and avow revenge. The Crystal Peaks region is still infested with serpentine in hiding.
3008 BC. They begin using taboo magic to reanimate the corpses for experiments. Retaliatory dwarves native to the area are declared enemies of Blackmoor.
- Time Gap -
974 AC. A divine clergy assembles in support of Allogost, hailing him as the "God-King". The mages of the Serpentine massacre take this literally.
996 AC.Crusades against heresy begin, whether from knights in service to the church or hired mercenaries.
998 AC. The Ascension Heresy starts to spread from the Serpentine Ruins and across Blackmoor. The church decries it.
1000 AC. The Heretics are no longer declared enemies of the church and are recruited for helping Allogost on his path to glory.
Nyela and Allogost getting ready to fight, original drawing by Linus Andersson http://nplillustration.com/
Cult of Nyela
A Fast-Runner Rakasta proclaims she is on the path to Immortality. News of this has slowly crept its way over to the mainland, after much secrecy, sparking a well deserved panic among the ruling establishment. The Rakasta priestess has long tired of the abuse and neglect inflicted upon her people, using her growing power in the name of revenge. However, her pursuits have corrupted her, unraveling her mind from extreme obsession. Her next goal is to create an artifact that will help her assimilate as many Blackmoorians as possible into rakasta mutants. She’s already taken the ghost town of WildRoot City, now Wild Cat City, as her own. Her religious group tends to push a technophobic agenda within the tribes, many of which chaff under the ruling. Her spiritual advisor has helped her along the way. The cult has tried to avoid being too obvious, but rumors of her activity make Blackmoor’s empire very suspicious.
Old-as-Dust - An undead Snow Pardasta who has long since dwelled within the wastes by Old Thonia and Blackmoor Ruins. His use of dark magic has cloaked his decayed ancient body to look like a lively elderly body instead, making many none the wiser. To his credit, the Cult of Nyela is very much his creation. Ultimately, Nyela's turning towards Energy intrigues him, as his descent into "lichdom" was caused by the magic radiation in the wastes. His skills in dark magic can be accredited to the long doomed Serpentine race, which is survived by a rival lich and the mystery Nightmare Entity. Chaotic (Evil) Undead Rakasta Cleric, Cultist
Nyela - A Fast Runner shaman on the course to Immortality, a potential Paragon of Energy. News of her ascent will no doubt reach the Capital. Her youthful naivete is contrasted by her devout practice in shamanistic ways. While a powerful leader of her people, she has a dark side. She has plans to slowly convert Blackmoorians into rakasta through a mix of questionable magic and her own wondrous artifact to end treatment of the catfolk as lesser citizens. Neutral (Borderline-Evil) Rakasta Shaman, Tribal Leader/Devotee of “Chervou” (Zugzul)
3002 BC. Rakasta are a rarity within Blackmoor.
3001 BC. The Arcane Plague begins to ravage Blackmoor. Among other effects, the chaotic magical surges warp the very races of certain victims. Enslaved demihumans and humanoids prove less affected, but humans are hit hardest. The eldest Mutant Rakasta were caused by this.
- Time Gap -
748 AC. Old-as-Dust is born near Nentsen.
794 AC. Old-as-Dust ventures into the Thonian Wastes, becoming poisoned and nearly dying.
795 AC. Old-as-Dust becomes undead through a pact with a Nightmare Entity, abandoning his original name.
973 AC.Nyela is born in a Fast Runner tribe outside of Esterhold's current territory.
976 AC. Old-as-Dust discovers Returned Blackmoor, discreetly sending messages to other Rakasta tribes he can reach.
980 AC. A Fast Runner clan braves the journey through Skothar, finding the new Blackmoor. Others follow. The shamans of the Afridhi Gnolls meet with the Rakasta, forming a neutral but distant bond. Old-as-Dust learns that the gnolls were created by a long gone human ethnic group of the same name. He wishes to know more.
983 AC. Old-as-Dust offers to train and teach Nyela, acting as a mentor, divine counselor and more. Najimma, an adventurer in the tribe, offers her services, but is turned down.
997 AC. Through Old-as-Dust's dark magic and Nyela's studies, the Gnolls' lost blessing of mass transmogrification is slowly uncovered.
998 AC. Nyela's abilities have grown as a priestess, showing aptitude in the Sphere of Energy. A religious gathering forms around her empowerment. Her power grows thanks to the residual energy of Great Rain radiance soaked up by Old-as-Dust.
999 AC. Najimma, serving under Nyela, is detained for going against the high priestess' orders by meeting with rebellion cells without first consulting her. She is later released, as her knowledge and talents are needed. Nonetheless, the witch's opinion of her leader is greatly soured. She also wonders why that was such a big deal. During this time, Wild Cat City is taken by Nyela, which was largely abandoned beforehand.
1000 AC.Nyela aspires to become a Paragon of Energy, in hopes of ascending to Immortality. She seeks to forge an item of great power. The secrets of making new mutants are learned. This slows down after a Pardasta priest is murdered on an altar. Meanwhile, Old-as-Dust makes contact with new Immortal patrons, The King and Queen in Crimson. He too seeks higher power, having suppressed his true power for so long. He's given a vision of ascension after slaying enough of his own kind. Since the beginning, Nyela has just been a bargaining tool for him.
Later 1000 AC. After capturing a cultist and brutally interrogating him, a joint union of Rakasta, Lupins and Gnolls conspire to stop Nyela. They suspect that the “tainted beasts” (transformed humans) are her responsibility. Those gnolls involved openly rebuke Zugzul, who they suspect is helping Nyela. Old-as-Dust disguises himself to get involved, furthering violent desires.
Druids and Elf Priests of the Redwoods
A shocking survivor of the Old World, built from the Elven tribes of old. Once a staunch ally for much of Blackmoor, their connections to the royal family fractured when the royals prioritized potentially harmful arcane-technologies over a respect for nature. Meanwhile, Allogost has taken more pragmatic stances on production, rather than being overtly wasteful. Because of this and his somewhat tolerant stance, the elves and druids looked at the tyrant more neutrally, so long as they could provide a benefit to Blackmoor. That was, until a renegade band assembled to strike Blackmoor. The Empire massacred the Redwoods in response, causing many to hate the regime. Others want to transform Blackmoor's views from the inside, vying for influence and potentially selling out their fellow priesthood. Despite the old Redwoods being prominently Elves, several sages have allowed Humans to join to a degree. Immortal intervention has even allowed for the Elf-Touched (or Half-Elf) to emerge as its own race. Many were Neutral, but are falling to Chaos. Through all of this, ancient elven beliefs have been a means of keeping the society of the forest together. The Empire looks unfavorably upon the sects, looking to take eventual action.
Elder Reflecting Glades - An ancient elf who was friends of House Andahar ages ago, one of the few druids to actually work with the kingdom in its later years. Thanks to him, organic technology was brought to and from the kingdom, to help sway them from their harsh ways. However, times changed and even the ancient druid found himself involved with politics. He acts as a senior advisor to many emissaries, with hopes of swaying the current regime into embracing a more organic angle. Deep down though, the Elder still hates Allogost for the atrocities he inflicts on his own people. Neutral (Good) Elf Druid, Redwoods
Blades against Flesh - A more reactionary member, dedicated to war planning and elimination of all threats to the druids. His real name was cast away years ago, in favor of something suitable for a war chief. He's unremitting, but capable of compromise; thoroughly brutal, but he does have his limits. A sign of his war forces carving an area is pieces of victims on wooden stick pikes, often with some piece of technology still on the body. Even the raiders have been witnessed in fearing his known butchery. Neutral (Evil) Human Forester, Redwoods
4090 BC. Ithamis is the clan leader of the Elves of Redwood.
3500 BC. Several humans become disgruntled with the emerging technological reliance of Blackmoor. After much petitioning, they are allowed to live among the elves. The Redwoods Druids are formed.
3400 BC. Through Immortal magic, the Elf-Touched (Half-Elf) is created as an independent race, sharing traits of both elves and humans.
3310 BC. The Redwood Elves make a demand for the Westryn Elves of Wolf Wood - eliminate your werebeast problem or they strike back. Wild Lupins and Elves raze the area of all traces of lycanthropy. Both Lupins and outsider Elves settle alongside the innocent elf tribes, maintaining active contact.
3250 BC. Blackmoor gives an ultimatum - create organic technology and be treated with respect by the state. A meeting in Ringlo Township leads to an agreement, so long as the residents can remain independently. Thus, Redwood County forms as a Nation-State of sorts.
3012 BC. The territory of Woodenbridge forms after the Elves (and Lupins) of the Wolf Wood are pushed out. Ultimately, the main seat of the colony (turned county) is quite far away from the woods itself, making it mostly about showing power.
3001 BC. The elves, with the help of druids, rush to protect and preserve nearby natural areas, in lieu of the outbreaks.
3000 BC. Most of the elves occupying the Wolf Wood perish from the Plague of the Arcane (as do most of the Lupins).
- Time Gap -
967 AC. The elves, druids and many others scramble to save wildlife amidst the sudden change of climate. Efforts to save flora and fauna push the orders to the limit. Within the 10 years it takes to stabilize populations and establish "Living Forests" and "Protection Zones", several species have already gone extinct. Likewise, plant life and soil quality is maintained to stop mass erosion.
968 AC. The Redwood slows down a period of mass starvation and disease, trying to steady the tide of mass death. Organic technologies become a blessing, as more traditional works buckle and stutter from the shock of the time jump and climate change.
970 AC. After the death of the old regime, the elves, druids and other populace petition to maintain their old status. For now, Allogost obliges.
972 AC. The temporary measures of Redwood County have diminishing returns, as they request more long-term aid. Researchers from the Science Division and Blackmoor University work without stop, alongside Redwood citizens, to push for a durable solution.
985 AC. Twisted new legal agreements leave Redwood ripe for exploitation. The relationship with the new national government of Blackmoor rapidly declines.
991 AC.An attempt at revolution against the Blackmoorian state fails. The regime torches as much of the forest in retaliation. Many druids are slain or ruined from this experience. A schism was formed between the older generations still favoring diplomacy and a more radicalized younger generation who wants the end of Blackmoor.
993 AC. Diplomatic dealings with Elder Reflecting Glades allows Blackmoor to back off and pursue more mutual trade. However, Redwood County must be recognized as a Blackmoorian state from now on. Once again, organic options are reconsidered by the wider Blackmoor area. A divide is worsened between those who support this push for peace and those who'd prefer to keep rebelling.
996 AC. Elves, Elf-Touched and Humans begin to defect from the land in favor of joining the Rogues' Gallery rebel groups. Reflecting Glades is deeply disheartened.
1000 AC. Greater Blackmoor County observes the weakening state of Redwood County, considering annexation. The remaining residents catch wind of the rumor, sending out covert messages to the rebellion.
Cult of the Machine-God
The result of a gradually rebuilding artificial intelligence, an AWOL cleric and a warren of wererats; even machinations of the Oard. No matter what happened, the result was a sentient machine growing in power, harnessing its rat slaves to help ascend into the first Machine Immortal. Its strangely childish nature causes the machine to go into angry tantrums. Likewise, it's prone to abusing its subjects into submission. Meanwhile, it treats its more humanoid subjects like lost sons and daughters, to the resentment of the wererats. Some believe it can grant spells, but other entropic forces sponsor the machine's divinity... and its priests, for now. Knowledge outside of the cult is vague, but enough to prompt investigation.
Ascended Machine (A.M.) - The mostly-sentient construct that has amassed its following amidst the warrens and wired-men. It does not wish to be acknowledged or noted in “humanoid” terms. It is Object, given superior life! It desires hate-beyond-hate and hate-beyond-existence. Its desires for destruction and death have put it on the path of Entropy. Chaotic (Evil) Unique Machine/Priest
Wererats - Tortured and shaped by their machine god. A crazed cleric acts as their high-priest. Their own fanatical devotion blinded them to their lesser treatment, until their patron forced them to "upgrade". Now they throw themselves into deadly situations in hopes of being freed in death, all while bringing glory to their twisted "deity". Already extremely rare in Blackmoor, the warped warren of wererats is probably doomed. Chaotic (Evil) Wererat, Cultist
Machine-Men - Wayward victims of the Oard, angered by their existence and lacking purpose. Like their rat counterparts, they are victims of forced augmentation. They serve faithfully, gaining much nicer favor from their patron. Over time, their relationship has turned from following out of appreciation to a genuinely religious dedication. Even with a lack of heavy emotion, the machine men will fight valiantly to protect their patron by any rational means. Even then, they're willing to take irrational routes to save who they consider the savior of their kind. A.M. helps keep their loyalty with a false promise of annihilating the Oard, which have long vanished from Mystara. Lawful (Evil) Human Cyborg Warrior, Cultist
3001 BC. A discarded batch of defective machinery lies within a dump, countless miles away from Blackmoorian civilization. Arcane Plague's surge of magic clusters the contents together, including a super-computer that had the drives of a failed artificial intelligence program. Much of the compound is destroyed, save for the new enchanted machine.
- Time Gap -
967 AC. Augmented victims of the Oard awaken from slumber, jostled by a time jump. Their station was nearby the landfill, where the A.M. began to develop.
968 AC. The Machine-Men bring A.M. fully into consciousness, hailing it as a divine sign.
976 AC. A.M. is further built up, recycling much of the junked technology into its mighty shell. It now has multiple working screens to communicate with. The Machine-Men endlessly work to improve the subject of their devotion.
981 AC. Machine-Men are deployed to salvage lost or damaged technology, for A.M. to give it new life and purpose. New robots and other machines are built from this.
987 AC. Brother Winston, a priest of Blackmoor, was sent on a mission to gather information on Mystara. Along his travels, he is infected by a wererat and goes insane. Returning to Blackmoor, he decides to go into hiding amidst the dump wreckage. He meets A.M. after infecting others as well.
996 AC. The infected wererats of the foul coven begin to have second thoughts. A.M. treats them poorly and demands experiments on them. Winston accepts, as he’s augmented into a glorified rat-like robot. His infected bloodline becomes terrified, remaining out of fear of dying or suffering a similar fate.
1000 AC. A donation of a "mind scrambling" helmet has given A.M. the idea to start "reprogramming" minds. The cult begins to capture victims for brainwashing. Disappearances in Black Iron and East Dry Reach begin to occur.
The Egg of Coot
An Elder Evil that has haunted the shadows of Blackmoor for ages. Its apparent demise helped to cause the Great Rain of Fire in the first place. And even then, it awaits for the moment to awaken renewed in the modern age of Mystara. All worship is banned, inspiring crusades at the soonest discovery.
The Egg of Coot - Slowly, but surely, it regains power. It waits in deathly sleep, as it spreads its madness to others. Someday, it shall be ready once more. Chaotic (???) Eldritch Horror
Others of Note - Jeremy Tedsworth (A member of Allogost's Council, he tries to hide his intent from the Cleansing Mother), Olkmera Meighthom (Governor of Far Peaks County, her connection corrupted the Starport Mages during the rebellion as a sacrifice), The Roaming Slasher (A serial killer focusing on worshipers of the Carcosan Court and Thanatos), countless spies and sleeper agents throughout Blackmoor (some have even escaped to the wider world of Mystara)
4275 BC. Clashes with the Egg of Coot become known.
4030 BC. The Egg of Coot rises to make its empire.
4018 BC. A campaign against the Egg of Coot is started by Blackmoor.
4002 BC. A noble’s wife is kidnapped by minions of The Egg. Retaliation ensues shortly after his disappearance too.
3977 BC. Adventurers from the future clash with minions of the Egg.
3974 BC. The Oard cause mayhem upon Mystara, the Egg is quick to make a neutrality pact.
3645 BC. A comet slams into the Superstition Mountains. The Egg’s minions try to investigate it, only to be mercilessly attacked by the wizards of the Duchy of the Peaks, who want it for themselves. It turns out to be another space ship, like the F.S.S. Beagle. However, this one has no survivors.
3500 BC. The Steam Wars of Blackmoor are agitated by the Oard and the Egg. These series of campaigns involved civil war skirmishes to outright assaults against other nations to show the superiority of magic-free steam technology. Ultimately, magitech triumphed over the Oard and Egg supported factions… in part to the latter’s hopes.
3321 BC. The Hounds of Coot, mutated lupins, are unleashed upon Blackmoor.
3135 BC. The Egg shares knowledge of corruptive magic with elves in Westwood. A small band of magically tainted elves attack Vestfold and are defeated. These secrets would resurface ages later, after the time jump.
3030 BC. A lot of the Oard’s doom is at the hands of the Egg, wanting to release itself from competition.
3002 BC. A mighty war commences in a wasteland, formerly the Valley of the Ancients. A manifestation of the Egg of Coot is violently destroyed. Its explosion sets off chains of sickness in the area. This would worsen matters with the Plague of the Arcane later.
3000 BC. Prior to the Great Rain of Fire, cultists of the Egg of Coot start dropping dead at a rapid pace. It is rumored that someone or something succeeded in killing the Egg of Coot. Several weeks later, the Great Rain cataclysm commences. The first shockwave reaches the sleeping entity.
- Time Gap -
1700 BC. An explosion caused by an ancient artifact occurs in the Broken Lands. Another massive shockwave alerts the slumbering presence of the Egg.
- Time Gap -
500 AC. A crazed wizard who explored the wastes beyond New Thonia requests an exploration team. They uncover ancient relics and symbols in the ruins of a Coot temple. Gradual interest in this topic creates another pulse of “life” in the deathly dreaming Egg of Coot. However, it eventually dies down into just a curiosity.
- Time Gap -
967 AC. The remainder of Egg of Coot cultists survive the time jump, but lie low. They act through subtle subversion and incorporation of Coot agenda in the places they infiltrate. Meanwhile, those who are trustworthy are gradually added to the resurfacing cult.
989 AC. A sizable group has been built to venerate their dark god. Some day, they might return to full force.
994 AC. A cult artifact is uncovered by an Alphatian explorer sent to chart Skothar. They begin to grow delirious quickly, suffer fever and perish not long after. The artifact is ultimately buried miles away from Esterhold. The whispers have begun.
997 AC. A security guard for Khoronus Laboratories kills three priests of the Carcosan Court that attempt to break into the lab. Despite being hailed a hero, he only knew this from his Egg of Coot cult network.
998 AC. Dark Dreams involving the Egg of Coot reach out to those who call its name. They feel themselves compelled to its call. They start in Blackmoor, but can be heard elsewhere. These cases slowly grow around the world. Many are distant descendents of those who associated with the Egg in the ancient past.
999 AC. Carr Memorial Hospital experiences violent episodes in its mental patients. The majority blame strange dreams. As these match earlier incidents months before, the staff at the hospital begin to worry. Meanwhile, Loki's tampering in the Savage Coast has caused strange magical events to occur in areas most heavily afflicted by the Red Curse. None are any the wiser about Egg influence.
1000 AC. Something within the depths of Blackmoor stirs once more. An assault on the Cootsbane Dam has awakened an essence of the Egg of Coot. While not the full entity, it will unmistakably return to the world of the living some day. The essence can be defeated, furthering pushing back a likely inevitability.
The Court of Carcosan Crimson
The King in Crimson isn't the only contender who watches Blackmoor with vicious delight. His wife has many names, among them is the infamous Cleansing Mother. The warped high priestess is actually The Queen in Crimson, a dreadful Entropic Immortal, in disguise. Both are Chaotic Immortals of Entropy. Worship has remained secret enough, for now.
High Priest Ul’Torogoth - A cold and calculating opportunist. In his old life, he ran scams. One operation led him to the place where the Court ascended, where he found a true purpose. His tongue is filled as much with honey, as it is with poison. With the help of the Cleansing Mother, he seeks a position of power in the Star Garden, rather than having to take his mission work underground, figuratively and literally. He’s smart enough to know the Court’s plans must be realized before the Egg risks reawakening. Neutral (Evil) Human Priest, Cult Leader
3065 BC.The King in Crimson is born to a humble peasant family in Blackmoor City. Their allegiance to the Church of Thanatos has him take interest in religion at a young age.
3058 BC.The Cleansing Mother/The Queen in Crimson is born beyond the Redwoods, she is taken in by the elves and raised as one of them. Over the years, she quickly learns to resent them.
3030 BC. A new cult dedicated to the Egg of Coot forms, both are drawn into it and eventually fall in love during the process. The machinations of the Oard intrigue the King.
3021 BC. The last attempt at reviving the Temple of Id fails. A majority of the cultists are annihilated. The Star Gardens would later replace this place, after all corruptive trace is purged.
3002 BC. Both the King and Queen in Crimson help put apocalyptic plans in motion.
3000 BC. The Great Rain of Fire is greatly altered in part from their tampering. Thanatos recognizes their contributions, the sheer destructive force allows the King and Queen to ascend as Entropic Immortals. His one condition is that they abandon the "destroyed" Egg of Coot, they happily oblige. They continue to lurk over the time-grabbed wastes of Blackmoor.
- Time Gap -
967 AC. The Queen in Crimson takes up the guise of The Cleansing Mother, preaching the virtues of Entropy to those surviving the wastes.
969 AC. Rapidly declining sanity and health brings many to the Carcosan Court, seeing them as the harbingers of a doomed new world.
970 AC. The King in Crimson pushes Allogost to action, as the Cleansing Mother takes up his mission. The revolution's victory grants the Cleansing Mother much control over the religious sectors of Blackmoor.
974 AC. A Monument and small Temple dedicated to the Carcosan Court are built underneath the Star Gardens. Even Allogost is largely unaware of this.
978 AC.The King in Crimson feeds details to Loki, in order to help spread his own brand of discord. This leads Loki to sample strains of chaos magic for his own agendas.
984 AC. By chance or by their patrons, powerful servants of the Court receive visions of a horrifying realm, Carcosa. Many who are discontented with Blackmoor begin to clamor about this strange new dimension.
989 AC. The Northern Circle finds the Carcosan Court appealing, after so many ages of being ignored by mainstream Blackmoor society. They hide this by fanatically fighting anything resembling the Egg of Coot, the Court’s former patron and current rival.
994 AC. Ul’Torogoth finds his way into the Star Gardens, as a simple priest. In truth, he has been recruiting others to the cause of the Carcosan Court. They see him as the harbinger of the “great journey into salvation”.
996 AC. A cult of the Carcosan Court sneaks its way into the Blackmoor City Parliament, helping to advocate for changes that allow the unnoticed worship of the King and Queen in Crimson, while damaging all other factions.
997 AC. The minimalist Shrine of the King is established in the Star Gardens. No one informs Allogost that “The King” refers to The King in Crimson. Only devotees are any the wiser. One dedicated to “a queen” is petitioned, with reasoning being that Blackmoor is our Queen, and to commemorate lost love from so long ago. This too is a lie and a farce.
999 AC. The crew attempting to rebuild the Cootsbane Dam are overwhelmed with wicked nightmares of foreboding and eldritch things. The team begins to develop paranoia and various delusions from this. The King and Queen learn they have competition with the sleeping projections of The Egg of Coot.
1000 AC. The Cleansing Mother brings up the Egg of Coot followers to Allogost, who demands a crusade against them, with the Queen in Crimson herself helming the operation. The King in Crimson helps the eradication effort through the Carcosan Court's followers, accidentally spurring the dark entity further back into the world.
Later 1000 AC. Old-as-Dust, an undead Rakasta Cleric, gains counsel from the both of them. They urge him to betray Nyela when the time is right, with a great reward for success.
Other Religions of Blackmoor
Asterius - A Neutral Thought Immortal hero revered by mages and merchants alike. It was by his hand that an artifact of Thanatos was destroyed, possibly even one of Zugzul's too. He has become favorable in Ignur's kingdom, due to his disinterest in technology. The mages of Blackmoor University also treat him with respect. His legal status is dubious.
Beldentier Willowbranch/”Bill Welder” - One of the “cursed” Blacklore Elves who embraced the ways of Blackmoor. This Neutral Energy Immortal is obsessed with a safe and steady development of technology. While he is aware of the displaced Blacklore Elves of the Hollow World, he is currently interested in his brethren surviving in Blackmoor proper. His biggest concern is the rampant misuse by both the previous empire and Allogost’s though. He is respected in the kingdom.
Canola - A Neutral Immortal of Thought. Her interests involve using the powers of music to bring deeper thought and inspiration. It is said that as a mortal, she introduced the harp to Blackmoor in her travels. Her presence is small beyond the Star Gardens.
Faunus - The Chaotic Matter patron of sylvan kind and beasts. Faerie creatures that have survived Blackmoor's ruthless campaigns have found comfort in this deity, as have the bestial races of Blackmoor. His appearance is hidden in Blackmoor.
Filgin Maluogrik - A Dwarven Immortal, born and raised in a settlement spawned from the ruins of Blackmoor between Dwarves and Gnomes.. The settlement exploited the diseases and radiance in the name of power, leading to their demise. However, Filgin emerged as a force for Law and Time, having strived to preserve knowledge in the name of good. He revealed himself to the saved Blackmoorian Dwarves eons later, much to their approval. He is currently unknown to the law.
Frog God - The true Chaotic Energy force behind the Temple of the Frog. This Immortal lies in doldrums depths, simply bidding time in boredom. While initially banned in ancient days, their religion is long forgotten. Something sparked a return of the temple in more recent ages, as the Frog God stirs. His presence has been banned for eons.
Hel - Then known as the Entropic Idris, she is favored by chromatic dragons and giants. The Beastmen were also her doing. Her worship is banned.
Ixion - Immortal power of the eternal sun, his power is the light to banish the darkness. The Blackmoorians have shown at least some respect.
Kagyar - The Matter Immortal of the ancient dwarves. In the age of Blackmoor, he sponsored their creative pursuits, ultimately souring towards the technomancy that led to the Great Rain of Fire. Given how many of these dwarves were whisked away by time, he is even more disapproving. So far, the ancient dwarves have not contracted the illness though. After Blackmoor resurfaced in the present, it was learned that Kagyar turned against Blackmoor, resulting in his worship being banned among the dwarves.
Khoronus - Father Time. An immortal nearly as old as Blackmoor itself. He's concerned with not only the direction Blackmoor took, but its role in the future of Mystara. His beliefs are still acknowledged in this dark time, but his desire to bring knowledge to all sometimes clashes with the limited knowledge allowed by Blackmoor's rule. He’s reluctantly accepted.
Marten Logran - A former Neutral priest who believed that reformation is the only natural method of things. As time passes, views change and traditions adapt. This Immortal of Time is favored among more moderate rebels who wish to bring about change in real time, while resisting Allogost's power. He helped shepherd over the land, while awaiting Blackmoor's return. He worshipped Khoronus as a mortal. Like his patron, he’s begrudgingly acknowledged.
Odin - Then Father One-Eye, primarily favored by metallic dragons and dwarves. His existence was otherwise acknowledged by Blackmoor in passing.
Ordana - Mother Forest. She is a devout protector of the wilderness and all who support it. Her popularity has grown within the struggling lands of the Elves. Naturalists and conservationists within Blackmoor have shown appreciation for her though. Her worship isn’t illegal, but the law dislikes her.
Rafiel - Despite his association with the Shadow Elves, his presence is acknowledged by the denizens of Blackmoor. However, his association of protecting those blighted and harmed by his homeland has resulted in his worship being banned within Blackmoor.
Snarled-Call - A Lawful Wild Lupin who ascended amidst the Great Rain. He is an Immortal of Matter, primarily worshipped within Wolvenfolk controlled lands. Some Coyotl also worship him. His message is one of preservation and tradition, only incorporating Blackmoorian concepts where they supplement and bolster his own methods. According to priests, their people will never change like the "Domestic Lupins" have. He is at odds with Saimpt Loup, despite Loup being far younger, who he refers to as a rival and an enslaver of his people. The pantheon of Lupin immortals likewise rejects him for siding with Blackmoor. He also loathes Vivian Chervou for creating the Red Lupins without his consultation. He’s unknown to non-Lupins.
Thanatos - A troublemaker since ancient days. It is by his hand that the Carcosan Court achieved Immortality. While not banned, worship of him is strongly disliked.
Vivian Chervou - A Domestic Rakasta Mage and Chaotic Energy Immortal originally from Bellayne. With the return of Blackmoor, she became an outspoken critic of Allogost. She turned her focus to being a patron of revolution and freedom, later taking interest in sponsoring Nyela's pursuits for the time being. However, she was cut off by someone else. She's also gotten in trouble for helping priests merge Wolvenfolk-Coyotl couples into the hybrid "Red Lupin". She’s unknown to non beastfolk. Even then, Nyela grows weary of her.
Yorrrrgkk - A gatorman who has done all he can to protect his people. As situations grew more dire within the Duchy of the Peaks, he focused on escorting his people to a new land. Eventually, his time came and he was deemed worthy as an Immortal of Matter. He continues to preserve his people in lands due east of the Superstition Mountains, sheltering them from all means of hazards, including the traces of arctic chill of outside Skothar. Beyond the gatormen, knowledge of him is low.
Zugzul - The patron of the Afridhi. As part of the agreement with the sundered Afridhi people, worship of Zugzul was banned long ago. However, a group of gnolls mysteriously continue worship. And worse, he sponsors Nyela, while pretending to be Vivian Chervou. Outside of Afridhi tribes, he is banned.
The Neo-Tribes of Blackmoor
Modern day tribes are composed of former Blackmoor inhabitants, refugees and long distance travelers. These range from the descendents of cultures beyond Blackmoor to a kingdom of people simply uninterested in modern politics. Among the largest groups to survive persecution and targeting are the Mountain and Plains Rakasta.
Beyond the true tribes, there are also the cells of the Rogues' Gallery. These individual groups and factions are composed of outsider cultures and misfits. All have become distant and alienated from mainstream society, seeing it as a product of a dystopia. While many of these diverse groups would integrate back into society if it changed, there are a vast amount of groups that would prefer to see Blackmoor crumble. All-in-all, the rebellion is hardly unified and is composed of ideologies that often find themselves butting heads with each other.
Outsiders and Outlanders
The Rogues' Gallery - Hardly homogenous, this mixture of outsider cultures represent those who dare to defy the state. These various cells range from reformists, to classical monarchical revivalists, to revolutionary anarchists, to nihilistic terrorists.
King Ignur’s Old Blackmoor - A staunchly conservative revival of classical Blackmoor ways, built by survivors of Allogost’s purge. They’re hidden within the far point of Blackmoor’s current northwest territories.
Other Ethnicities - The disconnection of Blackmoor also cut many cultures from their lands. The Skandaharian, Peshwah and Tanagoro descended people in Blackmoor struggle from the loss. Meanwhile, the Afridhi are survived by their creations, proto-gnolls.
Rakasta Tribes - There is more to the Rakasta caravans than the cult of Nyela. Several clans have suspicions about the tribal chief priestess, while others actively subvert in the interests of their own clans.
Lupin Tribes - Long since taken from their home on the Yazak Steppes, they endured enslavement, an alien land and the splintering of their people entirely. Those who betrayed their brethren became new breeds outright.
Orcs of Blackmoor - Several small tribes have etched out a meager existence, but two forces thrive; the psychers of the Coot Wastes and Chief Tumf’s reign of terror.
Raiders of Bloodshed - Led by a former Knight of Blackmoor, this violent tribe seeks to do as much damage to Blackmoor as possible. Hateful, destructive and driven towards pillaging; they demand that Blackmoor be made theirs!
An umbrella term for various forms of rebellion and general unlawful behavior. Due to being pigeonholed together, many criminals have taken advantage of situations and even the actual rebellion against Blackmoor itself. The majority of them either live underground or away from the mainstays of civilization. In a sense, they're tribes all of their own.
The Grey Rebellion - Named for heroes of the ancient past, this grouping leads the charge against the nefarious plans of the Imperium of Blackmoor. In all, an effort to subvert and end the worst of the dark but relatively recent state. They hold dominion far outside of the main city. Many defector soldiers have joined their cause recently.
Supreme Commander Waelkenon - A beloved leader since much of the Pro-Old World was either slain or driven underground. He was once a powerful high command marshal in Blackmoor's army. His approach was one built upon fraternal cooperation and trust, even when dealing with soldiers who broke rules or protocol. His push for reform and rehabilitation even branded him as a radical among many of his peers. This wasn't to say he was easy to push over. He took dishonor and disgrace with utmost seriousness, often facing down and executing traitors himself. Lawful (Good) Human Fighter (Knight), Former Blackmoor Nobility
Lady Angelsgleam - A mature priestess in the Star Gardens. She silently reveres Martin Logran, while doing what she can to uphold the various church charities in public. Calm and introverted, she often keeps to herself in prayer or in reflection. When not chronicling relevant documents for greater religious institutions, she will sometimes navigate the underground towards some of the literal underground rebellion cells. So far, neither she nor her allies have been discovered. Her service to the cause often amounts to supplying information as well as services to aid those in need. As suspicions arise, she has reluctantly forced herself to do this less and less. Lawful (Good) Human Priest, Former Royal Churches of Blackmoor
The Oracle's Defenders - Named for an ancient Peshwah mystic who arrived into Blackmoor, this order is far more ancient than most of the City itself today. They believe that balance must be achieved in all things, including empire. Furthermore, the weapon and body must unite as one through rigorous training and meditation. To misuse one is to misuse the other, by their decree. Many seek cybernetic implants to further this agenda
"The Gunslinger" - A nameless monk who is bonded to an old (by Blackmoor standards) pistol. As if through magic, it never runs out of ammunition and never wears down. As for the monk himself, he is solemn and often quiet. He prefers to observe in most cases. He'll only break a passive state if the situation calls for it. Like lightning, his pistol is pulled and unloads countless shots. Lawful (Neutral) Human Warrior, Oracle's Defenders
"Duelist of Light" - Another monk, she specializes in energy melee weaponry; especially swords. Her movements have been described like theatrical dance melded with the brutality of warfare. Seemingly impossible to hit, she leaps and darts with incredible finesse before unleashing the stinging light of the energy blades. Lawful (Good), Human Warrior, Oracle's Defenders
The Weasel's Cabal - Cultists of the Egg of Coot. Their only interest is in spreading chaos throughout Blackmoor. Named after The Baron Weasel of Blackmoor legend. Their goal is infiltrating all divided groups and sects to help further their resurrection agenda. In terms of Coot cults, they're by far the most organized.
Reginald Roland Pierce - A particularly manipulative mage, disguised as an adamant defender of freedom and champion of the people. He's sent operatives in the recent past to start commotion in the Cootsbane Dam. Given how the government is investigating, the operation was a success. Chaotic (Evil) Human Wizard, Cultist
Grugor the Sturdy - A dwarven engineer, at least that's what his day job is. Otherwise, he studies systems to see how his beloved deity can hijack them for evil needs. Even worse, Grugor's specialty is in transportation. Rather than causing worry, the thought of the Egg of Coot taking over countless vehicles at once gives him manic glee. Chaotic (Evil) Dwarf Artificer, Cultist
The Grey Outcasts - Frustrated rebels who found the movement too soft, taking a more aggressive approach. Many are terrorists and extremists, the cause of several damaging strikes including Cootsbane Dam. To many, they are little more than raiders with a greater purpose.
Major Andr T. Merit - A former Blackmoorian Knight declaring war against the state. His tough grip on the outcasts tethers them to his orders. The veteran takes a similar militaristic dogma as his old service, only with new targets. He's abrasive, intimidating and unapproachable outside of planning. In many regards, he's almost as bad as Allogost and responsible for heinous war crimes. Try as he may, he cannot enforce order on all outcasts, many who align with anarchy reject his words. Lawful (Evil) Human Warrior, Outcasts
Petunia Ross - A former hardcore revolutionary who became dissatisfied by the overly safe tactics of the revolution. To her, they've sold out through their own bloated and bureaucratic interests. She wants the true methods of revolt to stay alive, rather than people "milking the movement for benefit" or censoring opposition much like Allogost. Her methods are rather extreme though, a push towards using terrorism as a method of spreading anarchy. Chaotic (Evil) Human Thief, Outcasts
The Innovator Initiative - A group of scientists disgruntled by the Allogost's rampant authority. Their goals are pacifistic, aiming to calmly integrate with the rest of Mystara well before Allogost's war plans go into action. Many still work within the various scientific divisions, in hopes of changing it from the inside. While they cooperate with various rebel groups, they prefer to hide in plain sight. Many still go about day to day research projects, while providing help on the side.
York Brinsler - Senior Chief Engineer/Professor of Arcane Technology Studies, formerly of Blackmoor University. He has since taken to the underground, spurring a new movement among the rebellion. Many consider the aging academic to be far too idealistic, but respect him. Lawful (Neutral) Human Wizard/Artificer, Scientist
'Fact Runners - Or Artifact Runners. Pirates dedicated to the black market exporting of Blackmoorian goods. Their stake in this mostly lies in exploitation. The difference between them and the Outcasts is that they don't like getting too involved in direct violence, unless they can get away with nice goods. In fact, they're responsible for Esterhold's attention being grabbed in the first place.
Captain Doris Bridgewater - Born from a legacy of piracy, it was a natural course to take. While the truth of her skill as a sailing captain is dubious, her crew regards her with utmost trust and loyalty. A genius in cunning thievery and marketing, she's helped organize heists leaving captors baffled, even before ascending "rank". Her obsession with history has given her a somewhat pirate inspired look, from archaic Blackmoorian history. Chaotic (Neutral) Human Merchant, Pirate
The House of Andahar - Allogost proclaimed that he had slain all of the royal family and their support. He was wrong. While independent from the Rogues' Gallery, the remnants of the royal family operate in shadows and act under proxy. There is little they can actually accomplish from the guise of stealth. Despite aiding in the rebellion, the remainder still carry a lot of old world racism, especially towards the Rakasta. There is a subtle feeling of distrust and disdain for non-humans in their speech.
Leena Andahar - Once a princess, coming of age to accept her future role within Blackmoor. Now, she works under the supreme commander of the Grey Rebellion. She's become more pragmatic the more her hair has started to grey, while striving to save as much as her empathy as possible. She struggles to get past old world views towards non-humans, especially various creatures like the rakasta, likening them to mutant cats. Given her experience with the Plague of the Arcane, that might have some possible truth. Likewise, she's still a staunch conservative in support of reinstating a monarchy upon victory. Many types of ragtag humanoids and outcasts dislike but respect the military leader. Much of her respect comes from connection to Waelkenon. She has one deep secret though, disease and toxin exposure following the time jump damaged her body. Years later, she discovered she was incapable of having children. Her rigid beliefs prevent her from adoption as an alternative. Lawful (Neutral) Human Fighter, Andaharan Nobility
Lucius Andahar - Leena’s brother, a powerful mage. While older, he has preferred to remain outside of politics, focusing on studies and intensive training. As the Grey Rebellion began to manifest, his abilities began to shine. However, he much prefers to teach and aid others within the growing revolution than fight directly on the field, as he earned his soldier’s retirement with “the grey in his beard”. Unlike Leena, he’s slightly more accepting, having taught many aspiring mages of many types. He feels his call back to the battlefield is only a matter of time, a final confrontation for the fate of Blackmoor. Lawful (Good) Human Wizard, Andaharan Nobility
Others of Note: Reger II (Ex-Thonian Imperial, abandoned his father after friendship with Leena and Lucius was formed), Caurmyri (Royal retainer of Leena), Aloysius Andahar (A cousin born of marriage with Reger I’s daughter, survivor of the family, secretly a Priest of the King and Queen in Crimson)
3029 BC. Commander Waelkenon is born.
3009 BC. Lucius Andahar is born.
3007 BC. Leena Andahar is born.
- Time Gap -
970 AC. A young Princess Andahar is traumatized as her father is brutally killed by General Gwyn Allogost, amidst the violence. A caretaker helps smuggle her out of the castle and into hiding with Waelkenon. Lucius escapes by himself and isolates in a decrepit arcane study.
971 AC. Lucius is discovered by wizards turned wanderers who take him in and teach him many magical talents. He practiced with them for several years.
971 AC. Talmanteir, a commander under Allogost's watch is kidnapped by horrified Pro-Royal citizens for ransom. After it's realized that troops were deployed instead of paying up, the rebels instead decide to hack the crystal-vision screens of millions of citizens, broadcasting the commander's electrocution. A stand-off moments later leaves no opposition survivors. This does inspire further rebel activity from others.
972 AC. A small network of thieves, outcasts and disgruntled citizens unite in secret, discussing plans to fight back against the system. Waelkenon takes charge of many efforts.
975 AC. Merchants use their networks to funnel supplies to both the cause and to those oppressed by the authorities.
976 AC. Lucius, undercover, goes on a search for his sister.
979 AC.Leena resurfaces, also taking allegiance with the Grey Rebellion. Lucius later finds Leena and joins the effort.
982 AC. In the hours following the Traitors' Day Executions, a rebel cell launches an attack against several guard stations in Blackmoor City. Few rebels or guards survive the attack, prompting a total lockdown lasting for days.
991 AC. Schism - The Rebellion deals with a breaking over philosophies. The Outcasts arise as a far more brutal answer, while the Innovators seek peaceful alternatives. This fracture weakens the cause, for now. The more extreme sides begin to recruit surviving elves and druids.
993 AC. Waelkenon takes a more background role, readying Princess Andahar to take over as Supreme Commander.
995 AC. A radical cell bombs The Blackmoorian Hall of Heroes, sparking mass outrage from the public. Bounty hunter activity, as well as mobilized forces of Allogost, increase for months. Numerous rebels go undercover to eliminate or capture the extremists for bounty. Months later, realization of laundered credits used by the rebellion is brought up, but failed to be properly traced.
998 AC. As Allogost's presence is replaced by proxies, less radical rebels take action by providing aid and support to the communities around them. Some have taken to sharing information banned by the state, to further educate the masses.
1000 AC. After rumors of Outcasts taking to the Cootsbane Dam, several other rebel groups move out to try to stop them. Fearing it's not enough, they also look to enlist any outsiders who stand with the rebellion.
Later 1000 AC. A 'Fact Runners cell breaks through the force shields during a moment of destabilization, finding themselves near the Esterhold attack. After much interrogation, they lead a group of adventurers into the foreboding Returned Blackmoor... after a few shady deals. These adventurers could very well be your own!
Wild Folk - A loose umbrella for people forsaking the technologies of Blackmoor to live on their own in the wilderness. Even the Redwoods Elves and druids are considered to be under this category. The greatest among them is King Ignur's Old Blackmoor, located beyond the Duchy of the Peaks. Or rather, what’s left of it.
King Ignur - Fashioning himself as a medieval king, much akin to Uther in the ancient days of Blackmoor. He has forged a small castle within the western portion of the secure Blackmoorian lands. Every now and then, a bit of the out world cold leaks in. Overall, he has imposed a medieval stasis upon the land, almost in spite of the despot in Blackmoor Castle. Once, he was a historian working with the Archivists. His goal was to collect information of "savages” that have either settled into the land or have broken free from main civilization. Instead, he took his own knowledge of classic Blackmoor and revolted by starting his own start up land. Within his castle, he maintains ancient Blackmoorian customs and codes, as if nothing changed from ancient days. Luckily, little news has gotten back to his superior who assumes him dead. His tall and portly stature helps to paint him as a stereotypical looking king of old. In fact, Old Blackmoor is what he dares to call his kingdom in protest. He has befriended the Wolf Lupins of the Bitten Moon Keep, home of Lord Duskenfang. While far away, they remain allies. Neutral (Neutral) Human Warrior, Ignur's Kingdom
Roland Lordran - A loyal knight, standing by King Ignur's side. House Lordran was among the houses to escape persecution of Allogost's campaigns. Many of Roland's family died while escaping the purge, the remainder living and helping to maintain the keep until Ignur came upon it. The youthful fighter is quite idealistic in the face of a cynical world. He aspires to convince his own king that the Advanced Blackmoor was not evil, as well as convince the masses to fight against their Tyrant-Overlord. His encounters with battle have mostly been against roving guards, who mistook the Knights of Old Blackmoor for common raiders. If it wasn't for the guardsmen and occasional ranger being ill-prepared or not readily equipped, Roland's death would have been assured a number of times. Lawful (Good) Human Warrior, Ignur's Kingdom
Magisto - A quirky court wizard, stereotypically resembling the mages of days old, including a pointy hat. While he tends to stay away from trouble, he has done all in his power to protect, cloak and shelter the small protesting land against the rest of a cruel and uncaring world. Unlike the rest of the kingdom, this frail and elderly spellcaster has seen the tragic last years of Original Blackmoor, The Great Rain of Fire, the Insurrection and many terrible things to come. He finds most of the residents to be horribly naïve. Neutral (Good) Human Wizard, Ignur's Kingdom
Others of Note: Sir Elmeiros (A loyal knight lacking in humor and patience, he'll be quick to shut down jokes), Lord Alklen the Watchful (A retired ranger turned good companion, he was also a childhood friend of Ignur's slain brother), Lady Urdtak (A cousin of Ignur with royal blood, she's more stereotypical as far as nobles go), Connor O’Gill (A kindly farmer, he’s an unwitting agent of The Egg of Coot), Strongest the Big (An oafish and large but kindly mutant, he was welcomed after aiding in fending off troopers years ago), Neric Stolt (A very by the books and conservative lord, his obsession with honorable methods grates on many)
3038 BC. Magisto is born
3017 BC. Ignur von Straub is born
3013 BC. Magisto teaches as a Professor of Magic for Blackmoor University
3001 BC. Ignur's mother dies from the Plague of the Arcane
- Time Gap -
970 AC. While not a target, the ensuing purge mortifies Magisto and causes him to flee. Ignur, then a student of his, follows the wizard's path. The two discover a historic keep, formerly belonging to a slain nobleman. The many dead are honored and buried, as survivors take the two in. The slightly southeastern Superstition Mountains are bombed out, due to the retaliation of the Starport Peaks mages, who flee east and south. The deadly energies of the weapons box Ignur, Magisto and any stragglers that accompany in a tight area.
971 AC. An explorer from the Nentsen peninsula arrives at the Keep of Old Blackmoor. He's covered in awful burns from the bombed out wastes, having explored the source of "strange sounds". While magic and prayer heal him, his body is still weakened from exposure. He dies later of unrelated sickness.
976 AC. Ignur von Straub displays compassionate leadership, encouraging the residents to stay by his side. Trauma at the hands of Allogost's soldiers promptly causes them to side with Ignur's technophobia. He is later heralded as the King of Old Blackmoor, despite little relation to the houses of old. Magisto turns towards an advising role, while not teaching citizens of the keep. He is later hailed as King Ignur.
978 AC. Roland is born from one of the last members of house Lordran, passing during childbirth. The infant is taken into the custody of his aunt, a woman named Julia.
980 AC. Several bands of Rakasta ask for assistance. Initially confused by the catfolk, they were welcomed in. Ultimately, the vast majority don't wish to become permanent residents. Only a few stay.
986 AC. Word reaches Ignur's Old Blackmoor of New Starport's fall. He is grieved to learn that survivors of the massacre were later taken down by a new threat. The walls of the bombed out exclusion zone keep his troops from successfully venturing far to provide support. Deployed knights return, most become gravely ill from mysterious sickness.
989 AC. Through discovery of old magics and prayer, the growing arcane school of Magisto and the open-pantheon Temple of the Immortals help to cleanse the tainted lands. All means of disfigured and twisted abominations emerge from the ruins and scarred hellscape.
991 AC. Forces march to New Starport, readied to right the wrongs of the past. They meet Pinky's raider enclave in battle, killing the powerful warlord in the process.
993 AC. After years of relative peace, thanks to the magical workings of Magisto and the bombed barrier, a Blackmoorian troop finally pushes through the Wizard's charms and illusions. Not only has the radiance dissipated to safer levels, the knights were well prepared to handle it.They're met by a bolstered force who use guerilla tactics to overwhelm the technologically superior foes. The survivor knight is charmed by Magisto to remember being jumped by wandering raiders instead.
995 AC. An exploration team surveys the area around the Duchy of the Peaks. The Thunder River leads to the Cootsbane Dam, damaged by several years of disuse and frigid temperatures. But shockingly, it's operational again. Further investigation reveals it has become a military base. Ignur decides to play things safe, keeping away from their projects. Attempts to flee spark conflict with a displaced gatormen tribe.
999 AC. The people of Woodenbridge fear retribution after their governor becomes boisterous in his criticism of the state. Covert agents are sent to bring civilians their way. Ignur's tolerance of Blackmoorian technology loosens slightly. Most technology is stored within the kingdom for safe keeping, should an emergency arise. More refugees emerge after the death of their leader, the following year. They report a deadly wasting disease.
1000 AC. Another scouting team uncovers another wondrous discovery in the old Duchy of the Peaks grounds, a star-ship similar to the City of the Gods. Unlike the City of the Gods, this crew perished, while systems were stabilized for the better part of a millennium. Due to the bombings against the Starport Wizards, the ship became unearthed over the course of two decades. This Expedition to the Starport Peaks unearths many alien artifacts. Ignur relents on his technophobic stance slightly, but demands the artifacts be kept in safe places in his growing kingdom.
Later 1000 AC. Reports of "flying machines" from the Blackmoor Royal Airfield (well east of Ignur's Kingdom) as well as chaos in the Cootsbane Dam ultimately put the fledgling kingdom on high alert. Rumors of the resurrection of The Egg of Coot evoke even more horror.
The Rakasta of Blackmoor
There are two distinct tribes to emerge from the Rakasta of Blackmoor. They are the Wild Blown Plains Tribe, residing in the wasteland-bordering deserts of southern Blackmoor and the Snow Peaks Tribe, residing in the magically-rebuilt mountains formerly known as the Dragon Hills. Wild Cat City emerged in the wastelands as a kind of frontier town.
Wind Blown Plains Tribe - Tired of poor interactions with the Esterhold region, a massive tribe went on a journey to find an isolated home. Their journey was taken off-course, sending them northward. By accident, they found Blackmoor. They are now located in the Badlands beyond The Wastelands, which have taken over much of the area south of Root River and Rat Lake. The central clan retains a matriarchal tradition, but other clans have become much more informal with this.
Snow Peaks Tribe - After hearing stories of rakasta making their way to an unknown land, as well as northerners going insane on an adventure, faltering tribes of Lyncasta embarked on a journey for a new home. Ultimately, they discovered the fabled Blackmoor. Snow Pardasta, not long after, found their way as well. But to the Blackmoorians, they listed them under the same general catfolk label. Some records merged them with fast runners. They have taken well to the Dragon Hills, which through chaotic magical means have become more mountain-like.
Outliers and Notable Tribe Members
Dum'art - A Snow Pardasta guard/spy for his tribal leader, well studied in history from an exchange program. He greatly dislikes Nyela, even if he can't fully figure why. His leadership suspects him of starting a conspiracy with the plains tribes, putting him on high alert. He's tried to stay quiet, but has since taken up allegiance with the rebellion in hopes of exposing Nyela. He refers to the cult as "The Temple of the New Frog". Chaotic (Good) Rakasta Thief, Guard
Gar Frostedclaw - A Lynxman hunter oblivious to Nyela's machinations, he leads the strongest that tribe has to offer and has become adept at "machine slaying". This has led him to discover the Machine God cult, which he aims to destroy. The majority of his tribe live a fair distance from the valley of the fast runners, preferring the mountainside. He's heard rumors involving a dam a day or two's journey away. He has proven himself next in line to succeed his father, Horg, the chief of the Mountain Rakasta. Lawful (Neutral) Rakasta Warrior, Hunter
Najimma - A Fast Runner scout and witch. She devotes her time to surveying the perimeter of the tribal grounds with her team, ensuring safety and tranquility. Despite her cold demeanor, she has an affinity for special blends of tea perfected by her people long before the trek to Blackmoor. In the few times she's off duty, she'll be found enacting rituals with herbalists. She is slowly desiring the urge to join the Rogues' Gallery against the Blackmoorian state, risking criticism from her own people. Nyela's public proclamations used to excite her, but now cause worry. Neutral (Good) Rakasta Shaman, Devotee of Chervou
Sparks Neroth - A Cyborg Domestic rakasta in the plains tribe. In truth, he was born to two Rakasta mutants, "reborn" during the Plague of the Arcane. After raiders killed his parents and brutally crippled him, an assistant of Dr. Gorble took him in for cybernetic experiments. While they were a success, he fled in horror. Nyela took the traumatized young rakasta under her arm, raising him as a son. Too traumatized by being treated like a test subject, he is very clinging to his adoptive mother. Neutral (Neutral) Cyborg Rakasta, Child
Others of Note: Zoe Smithypaw (A Domestic Rakasta and mayor of Wild Cat City, she’s very friendly and curious), Eustace Pulsifer (A Cloud Pardasta, obsessed with Ignur's Old Blackmoor, inspired his "current name"), "Nyela" (A Pardasta exile, she stole Nyela's name in protest and murdered her priestly brother), Avdol (A Sherkasta Parliament Representative, he is irritable and hates Toska, has pro-Allogost agenda.)
980 AC. Several Fast Runner tribes embark on their expedition to find a new home, a small Pardasta troop provides aid. The refugees are intercepted by clans of Snow Pardasta and Lynxmen who wish to accompany them on their quest. Ultimately, they find the wastes of Blackmoor, seeking any refuge that isn't hazardous. They break through the veil into true Blackmoor. For several months, they are offered temporary shelter with King Ignur.
981 AC. The low brush and almost savannah-like quality of the southern reaches and nearby mountains appeal to them. The tribe stretches with the most prominent clan being led by a Rakasta woman named Okteng'a'na in the Badlands.
982 AC. The leadership of Okteng'a'na alienates the northern born Rakasta, who splinter off while maintaining healthy connections. Horg declares himself chief of the splintered group. Peace is maintained between the two tribes.
983 AC. Harsh registration laws pass, forcing the Rakasta to conform to Blackmoorian society to an extent. The government extorts them through taxation, while demanding a number of rakasta assimilate into mainstream Blackmoorian culture. Due to the presence of the mutants already in Blackmoor, assimilation is easier. Likewise, human emissaries are to live among the tribes. Many are just plants to ensure that the outlanders live closer to the empire's standards.
992 AC.Okteng'a'na's clan discovers an old mission site in the wastes, taking it as theirs. Other clans, as well as the mountain tribes, are welcomed.
997 AC. A Plains Tribe scout discovers a ragged young Rakasta wandering the wastelands, the child is in dire need of help. Nyela personally offers to restore the child's health. After learning that his parents died and he was tortured, Nyela offers to take him in.
998 AC.Okteng'a'na falls deathly ill, the high priestess Nyela can do little for her than provide comfort and extend her life as long as possible. Ultimately, the chief wastes away slowly.
999 AC. Nyela assumes control, pushing the tribe in the direction of a theocracy. Many Fast Runners fear she might become like Allogost. Descendants of human emissaries grow extremely wary of the new leadership, suspecting she had a hand in the death of Okteng'a'na. The emissaries petition to return to Blackmoor and are accepted. Some stay behind to survey things. Law enforcement investigates the Plains Tribe, later finding no cause for alarm, but note to Allogost that the tribal leader (Nyela) is quite powerful.
1000 AC. Many in the tribe are uneasy about the sudden jump in Rakasta appearing magically. They express their concerns to the Lupin elders of Lupercal. Nyela admits she’s on the path to Immortality, seeking aid. She admits to nothing else.
Lupins of Blackmoor
Against all likelihood, even ancient Lupin breeds made the jump between timelines. While most were outcasts, some are mutants from the late days of old Blackmoor. In most cases, they escaped the clutches of Blackmoor after the great leap sent them to modern Mystara. There is a split between the Wolvenfolk and the Coyotl, each forming their own tribes. The Wolvenfolk take to the magically reforged Uberstar Mountains. The Coyotl much prefer the desert wastelands along the Wurm River.
In the case of the former, the grown Uberstar Mountains sport the hardy and strong Wolf Lupin breed. Despite staying true to their tribes of old, they've nonetheless incorporated motifs and inspiration from the ages of servitude to Blackmoor. Some level of arcane technology is implemented around various villages and dwellings, but it's strict in self-discipline and utilitarian at best. As for the Coyotl Lupin breed, they prefer a more simple approach. They rely on the wilderness of the desert wasteland, at least areas that aren't toxic zones. The river itself is predominantly clean, causing an increased fish diet. While both have made neutrality pacts with the dwarves of the region, neither tribe is against consuming properly prepared human meat in darker times.
Lord Duskenfang - A Wolvenfolk Lupin, from before even Saimpt Loup himself. He fancies himself in garb and attire worthy of a time before the Beagle crew shocked Blackmoor. He's whimsical but frightful when provoked. He isn't afraid to make a shocking scene either, should it require his theatrical flamboyance. Neutral (Neutral) Lupin Warrior, Tribal Chief
Nuwisha Howl - A Coyotl Lupin, from a breed that should be long extinct on the surface world. She leads her tribe within the plains, enjoying acts of minor mischief upon the Rakasta. Far from malicious, she still has a certain disdain for certain members of the Fast Runner tribes. Overall, prefers levity within diplomacy.Chaotic (Neutral) Lupin Thief, Tribal Chief
Phineas Nellsby - A Short-Herder Lupin, relative of Seamus and also the seneschal of the Blackmoorian Agricultural Division. When not busy maintaining daily food processes, he enjoys ensuring cattle are well maintained and engaged in exercise. When not busy with politics, he tends to a small farm within Ten Duchy. Lawful (Neutral) Lupin Warrior, Farmer
Rorgrora Deathcloud - A Wolvenfolk Lupin in service of Saimpt Loup. She was given divine guidance to find Blackmoor, in an effort to survey these fallen lupins. She's extremely cold and stiff, remarkably lacking in emotion. She remains impartial and neutral sounding amidst arguments, without raising any tone at all. She dresses in a black cloak, over her already black fur. Lawful (Neutral) Lupin Wizard (Necromancer), Spy
Others of Note: Big-Lungs Krulken (A Thonian Short Spitz, representative and emissary of the "domestic lupins", works in Parliament), Tsobatai (A Shrub Scout, claims to be a "terrible wizard", actually just a humble cook in Blackmoor City Capital), Screams-of-Torment (A Coyotl, has a sadistic definition of joy, likes to keep others in line)
3537 BC. Expeditions into the Yazak Steppes at the hands of the growing Blackmoorian Kingdom lead explorers to discover the Lupins
3531 BC. After much deliberation, attempts at a colony lead to the enslavement of countless Lupins, predominantly Coyotl and Wolvenfolk breeds. Several Aardvolk assist in the trade, while most escape the explorers.
3528 BC. After a few years, these lupins are forced into a life of servitude in captivity. Morally degrading and soul crushing, the slaves muster enough willpower to continue.
3489 BC. The first slave revolt allows for a sizable population to break free, fleeing to areas around Blackmoor. Many refuse to join and stay within Blackmoor. This helps spur on the first Beastman Crusade. Ultimately, many of the Lupins who fled are slain.
3322 BC. The Egg of Coot's powers recruit several Lupins, changing them into Hounds of Coot; warped abominations born for destruction. Beastman Crusades continue at a fever pitch amidst this new conflict.
3187 BC. "Labor servitude" of the Lupins is abolished, following centuries of backlash and protest. Those who don't leave to nearby lands are branded as second class citizens at best.
3050 BC. New breeds are officially recognized within the territory. The Blackmoorian Short-Herder (Corgi) is particularly trusted among farmsteads, even the more industrialized equivalents. "Domestic Lupins" are treated much better than "Wild" breeds are. Other emerging breeds are the Shrub Scout (Shiba Inu), Thonian Spitz (German Spitz) and Thonian Short Spitz (Pomeranian), thanks to trade merchants from a foreign land. The former of this breed prefers hunting in brushland, while the latter is known for their likeable personality and charisma.
3010 BC. Dugalt, a Thonian Short Spitz, becomes a diplomat to help bridge Lupin and Human relations. This only furthers matters for Domestic breeds, but not Wild breeds. Months later, a Blackmoorian Short-Herder, Seamus, is recognized for heroic duty and granted a plot of farm land.
3001 BC. The Plague of the Arcane causes instability and chaos, even for Lupins. Much like with mutant rakasta, mutant lupins are created from the bedlam.
3000 BC. A mage cabal responsible for reshaping hills into mountains is stopped, after it causes horrible damage to the surrounding area. The dwarves of the Crystal Peak risk total failure, if not for Blackmoorian forces stepping in to aid. Several dwarves migrate to Blackmoor, while others stay with Blackmoor's forces to rebuild and make anew.
- Time Gap -
970 AC. Several Blackmoorian domestic breeds and wild mutants take part in the Revolution, in part from Allogost's decree of looking beyond race. The non-mutant wild Lupins remain mostly neutral, preferring to find peace amidst the ruined wastes outside of the kingdom.
972 AC. A young Duskenfang leads a huge amount of Wolvenfolk, upon learning the ways of Saimpt Loup. Duskenfang's apathy disappoints the immortal greatly, favoring a Blackmoorian Immortal of Snarled-Call instead. Discovering an abandoned keep on the magically created Mountains beyond the Crystal Peaks, he takes it over and fancies himself as a noble leader in mockery of Allogost's revolution. The mindset eventually sticks. Bitten Moon Keep is formed.
973 AC. Noticing the Wolvenfolk, the surviving Coyotl breed ventures out themselves, braving the brutal climate. Meanwhile, trade is established with the struggling dwarves of Crystal Peaks.
976 AC. The orderless Coyotl, living on the fringes, lead a group charge into the thawing fields beyond Blackmoor, wastelands on the western side of the Wurm River and across the river. Since both their breed and the other are detected as Blackmoorian, the emerging energy shields keep them within Blackmoor's expanding territory.
984 AC. Much like with the Rakasta Tribes, the emerging Lupin Tribes must register with Blackmoor or face consequences. The dwarven allies of the Wolvenfolk lose their independent status and become a territory of Blackmoor.
985 AC. Dramatic tensions between the Rakasta and them are eased through diplomacy, but still remain high.
989 AC. The ruins of Dragonia are rebranded Lupercal, as a neutral ground for both lupin tribes.
990 AC. Lupin Priests wish to bless relationships between Coyotl and Wolvenfolk in Lupercal, Vivian Chervou responds by changing desired denizens of Lupercal into a hybrid wolvenfolk-coyotl known as "Red Lupin". Gradually, more from both tribes come to help build up the settlement as well, reluctantly accepting what happened.
991 AC. Lupercal has rebuilt and expands.
999 AC. An expedition into the deep Crystal Peaks uncovers the bodies of the warped minions of the Egg of Coot, its foul Hounds. Several of the investigators fall ill and die days later. The area is marked off as a cursed ground. The other investigators have gone missing, as have the Coot Hound bodies during a later investigation.
1000 AC. Lupercal elders are disgusted by how “human” a lot of Lupins within the area are acting lately. They also sense a supernatural taint upon some of the villagers. This causes a joint meeting between the Lupins and Rakasta, unaware of Nyela’s role in this yet. The shamans of the multicultural Moon Haven are curious of the recent Lupin migration there.
Raiders of Bloodshed
A raider tribe assembled from deserter soldiers, wild men, thieves, former rebels and countless other outcasts. Their purpose is drenched in violence, fulfilling the revenge filled desires of the Cult of Personality that runs them. Morris and the newly recruited Stephen are both viable successors for future leadership. They act as a cruel parody of the Knights of Blackmoor.
William Erentimen, Lord of Bloodshed - A former high ranking knight of Blackmoor. He's cruel and despises everything about his old kingdom. While not driven by The Egg, he enjoys unleashing just as much chaos. His recent campaigns involve sacking a security installation and raiding resources and information. He won't stop until Blackmoor falls. And should that happen? His gang will take on the world! Chaotic (Evil) Human Warrior
Morris, Ash Goblin Tamer - Much of the corrupted wasteland beyond Blackmoor existed prior to the colony expanding its land once more. Several knights, and later raiders, purposefully went out to capture the mutated goblins of the blighted land. Morris, an appreciated compatriot of William, has done his best to train his captives into fighting pretty much anyone who isn't the raiders. Chaotic (Evil) Human Warrior
Stephen the Avenged - A Clone of Stephen the Rock, Federation Defector and Cult Leader at the Temple of the Frog. He bides his time, using the raiders to learn all he can on the new era and helping them be more tactical in their marauding. Neutral (Evil) Federation Crew
3972 BC. The first of several Stephen Rockwell clones are created.
3400 BC. The Beastman Crusades bring interest back to Frog Island, cultists of the Frog are sacked once more. However, this facility lives.
3024 BC. William Erentimen was born in Ten Duchy.
3004 BC. The final clone of Stephen “the Rock” is created, as the machine breaks down. This new Stephen seals himself in a cryogenic freezing chamber.
3003 BC. William is deemed worthy of knighthood, recognized by his peers as Sir William of House Erentimen.
- Time Gap -
970 AC. William, now a respected knight, chooses to serve in the rebellion, taking part in the atrocities of the Royal Massacre. His then fragile mind snaps under the trauma.
971 AC. William is institutionalized at Carr Memorial Hospital after his mental anguish worsens.
973 AC. William is deemed ready to return to society, still in as feeble of shape as he is.
978 AC. After several tests, Williams is granted access to his knighthood chapter again. Several missions are given to help catch and deal with traitors. Likewise, he's sent to deal with any "subversive forces", such as rebels and bandits.
979 AC. William is given a task to deal with some Skandaharian "Revivalists", who were mostly interested in reviving old pillaging ways in spite of Blackmoor. When the marauders approached the knight base camp, he offered a proposition to both the deployed knights and the enemy group; drop your mission and follow me or die. Initial reactions were hesitant, until he slaughtered members on both sides. Knights more loyal to him than the state quickly submitted, as did impressed Skandaharians who survived his wrath.
980 AC. After years of trying to regain mental clarity, William finds purpose in turning on the nation that made him act so depraved. He dubs himself "The Lord of Bloodshed", assuming outsiders and tribal raiders into his collective. Eventually, he dubs them "The Raiders of Bloodshed".
982 AC. Pinky Montgomery, a raider with a burned "pink" toned face, is spared after he turns against his ranger team and helps the raiders. He quickly wins the Lord of Bloodshed's favor.
986 AC. Pinky leads a mission to take New Starport, nearly 10 miles south of the original Starport, one of the places surviving the civil war sparked by Allogost. The colony is inhabited by the surviving mad mages of the Starport Peaks. Remaining nobles dwell with them, after paying their remaining wealth and resources to stay. The wizards ultimately ally with the raiders and eradicate the noble survivors.
991 AC. Pinky's enclave thrives as a base of operations, until it is stormed by "antique knights''. Despite superior technology, Pinky's ability to strategize is far below Lord William's. Ultimately, he perishes and his raiders are scattered. A majority of the mad mages join them.
992 AC. A failed attempt is made at seizing Cootsbane Dam and the artificially crafted Cootsbane Mountainside (a magically created extension of each of the Superstition Mountains). They are repelled by the initial base camp of soldiers stationed there. Humiliated, the Lord of Bloodshed pulls the raiders back to the wastelands to regroup and restructure.
993 AC. A group of marauders from Nentsen mysteriously enter Blackmoor. After some success, they mostly meet their end by the raiders. Some are enslaved under Lord William’s cause.
994 AC. The raiders' luck begins to turn, taking minor settlements through either extortion or crass manipulation. Several more corrupt members of areas dotting the areas outside of Ten Duchy. Not pushing their recent luck, they avoid moving too far into that territory, instead claiming the edges of former Peshwah turf, some of which is still affected by Skothar's outside climate.
995 AC. Historic Southport County is taken by the raiders, becoming a new operations base named "Deathport". Tower Diabolica, a revival of old Starport ways, is built by the raider wizards. Deathport quickly becomes a wretched hive that even Blackmoor military is reluctant to approach.
996 AC. The raiders embark on an undercover mission after hearing about recovered treasure on Frog Island. A group of archeologists are quickly overwhelmed, leading to discovery in an ancient temple below. A complex of seemingly modern or even futuristic technology reveals a chamber filled with mostly broken giant tubes. One is functional though, containing a human-looking man. Upon releasing him, he introduces himself as Stephen.
997 AC. Stephen quickly challenges Morris for the attention of Lord William. A rivalry heats up between the two, each attempting to outdo the other in various tasks.
999 AC. Torchlight, an outpost colony in the southeastern part of Blackmoor's dome, becomes the next target. Several patrollers and guards alike were recuperating at a station within town, evening the fight against the raider forces. In the end, the waypoint suffers extensive damage, while both sides see heavy losses. Allogost's council starts to take a greater interest in the raiders now. Stephen becomes critical of Lord William's abilities, looking into ways to usurp power.
1000 AC. The raiders reluctantly join with political extremists of the rebellion, hoping to do as much damage as possible to Blackmoor, while staying hidden. Raider controlled territories attempt to look legitimate amidst more frequent patrols around the territory. An aging Lord of Bloodshed almost dies after an attack by a rogue Knight who suspected the raiders of foul play, who was tipped off by Stephen. Said Knight is later put on trial for stepping out of line. Chief Tumf is approached, by request of Stephen. The Orcish king mulls over becoming an ally. Bramwald is placed on lockdown for a manhunt, after a rogue raider assassinated a visiting councilman.
Orcs of Blackmoor
A once feared power, it has faded in importance for nearly 600 years (in real Blackmoorian time). Despite this stagnation, the orcs have adapted far better than the jumbled beastmen chased up north. Due to facing long superior foes, the Orcs of Stormkiller Mountains and beyond took towards becoming self-sufficient. While raids still occurred, they were targeted and practical. In the decades leading to the big time jump, they became focused on capturing and reverse engineering technology. Orcish creations proved more destructive, but cumbersome, clunky and hideous to behold. While destruction is no longer their goal, they are quick to make threats on anyone who dares to transgress against them. As such, the modern Orc lands are usually just left alone.
Chief Tumf, the Legion of One - A veteran of a war declared on the Crystal Peaks Dwarves over control of nearby hills, he proved himself as an unstoppable machine. His signature technique in battle was announcing his name before readying against a foe. His reputation caused some to retreat. As a leader, he will still use harsh intimidation against his people. But, to those who are respectful of him and his wishes, he'll only return this back. Like his people, he has lost interest in many evil ways. His main concerns are his people surviving without outside interference. However, he's responsible for several targeted attacks on caravans and transport vehicles moving close to his turf. He's not afraid to pull tricky political maneuvers to get other regimes to do his bidding, should the situation call for it. In one instance, he sent a platoon to chase and overtake a relief truck sent to a failing dwarven colony by the Wurm River. In response to returning the truck and providing three times the aid, the dwarves would supply much in valuable minerals and well crafted goods in return. Neutral (Evil) Orc Warrior, Chief
Skrug Da'Best'Ov'Em - Strongest of the Coot Wastes Raiders Tribe. Even the Raiders of Bloodshed feel uncomfortable dealing with them. The Coot Wastes Raiders are a true throwback to Orcish attacks of old. They believe in spreading fear and violence wherever they go and the de facto leader of Skrug is no exception. To him, the world is decadent and must be reminded what the horrors of the past look like. In his view, this is a service to keep the worthy strong and the unworthy buried in the ground. Skrug's "Ladz" have a little secret, exposure to the radiation and dark magic of the slumbering Egg have allowed them to develop strange psychic powers. Fortunately, these raiders are either too stupid or too ignorant to understand them. However, this has allowed for truly absurd inventions and odd rituals. Chaotic (Evil) Orc Warrior, Raider
4000 BC. Beastmen attacks prove a threat to Blackmoor. Some of these Beastmen have changed into the first Orcs, at least in Blackmoor.
3998 BC. A huge Orc tribe takes down territories north of Blackmoor. Many fall under the sway of the Egg of Coot.
3400 BC. The Beastmen Crusades destroyed much in the ways of Orcs.
3200 BC. Tribes of Orcs, under the guidance of Hel (or Hella), take to moving underground. They are spared further crusades against them.
3095 BC. A new tribe emerges from the ashes of two crusades. All of their leaders are named Skrug. The strangest part is that due to their proximity to Egg-held territory, they've developed fascinating mutations and powers.
3006 BC. The Coot Wastes Raiders show their might by literally turning Southport upside down. The damage racks up in the millions to billions to fix. It takes 6 years to restore the town, despite only a fraction surviving. However, the Great Rain puts a stop to all plans.
- Time Gap -
968 AC. A revived feud of Orcs and Dwarves flairs up. For now, it's minor skirmishes.
971 AC. Tumf, an Orc warrior, becomes known as the Legion of One, after destroying Dwarven settlements on the eastern border of Returned Blackmoor. After the greater state notices and the Dwarves offer a treaty, Tumf ends his reign of terror. Allogost's regime backs off after a resolution is made, but still keeps a close eye on matters.
984 AC. Pushed by Hella, the subterranean Outlander Orcs return to the overworld.
999 AC. A Coot Wastes Orc accidentally uses their powers to make a patrol squad literally melt. Upon showing his discovery to another raider, he accidentally melts that orc too. The powerful orc “psyker” (or psychic power user, in non Orc slang,) is then executed by his own tribe, to prevent more damage.
1000 AC. Chief Tumf starts making large demands of Allogost, who grows frustrated and flustered by this. However, as these are mostly vapid threats, little has been done currently. Allogost eventually plans to storm the Orc's tribe once his current conflicts are over. In the Coot Wastes, Ohmfet reforms after Woodenbridge county falls into ruin. Outlander Orcs merge with the Psycher Orcs in devotion of Thanatos and Hel.
Other Cultures of Blackmoor
The Skandaharians, Tanagoro and Peshwah are mere shells of their former selves, especially after being severed from either their homelands or ancestral cultures for so long. The Afridhi don’t officially exist anymore. Many still try to hold some connection by any means necessary.
Skandaharians - The viking legions just north of Blackmoor had a tenuous relationship with the emerging empire far before it was turned around under Uther's orders. And even then, the many jarldoms still saw conflict up till the later ages of Blackmoor. But, in most later cases, matters were driven by competition and innovation. Improved relations forged the Embassy of Skandahara in Blackmoor City. In the end, the Great Rain severed them from their home, leading to the remainder to band together in a tightly knit ethnic community.
Peshwah - Downtrodden and beaten almost as badly as the Afridhi, the Peshwah were known for their skills in horse riding. With horses becoming a commodity in Blackmoor, they turned to other means of preserving culture. This became harder after a significant City-State of theirs was destroyed. Now, they just seek to keep their culture alive in the Western Hak, a land they once claimed in history. While they do no major harm against Blackmoorians, they have little issue with striking down the gnolls.
Tangor - From the southern regions of Skothar, several tribes and nations arose from the hot and steamy jungle lands. Among them were the Tanagoro people, powerful and mighty, a true statement of empire. Those who came to Blackmoor even carved out their own niches of industry and culture. Elements of their culture continued, even in a foreign land. Prudent ideals, a strict but creative mind and celebration of a united family became preserved values that held communities together. Recently, curiosity has grabbed them. Many desire to know what has become of their southern home. With news of an old company president being spotted after a long expedition, many Tangor-descended Blackmoorians eagerly await updates. More than likely, most of these people are descendents of the Tanagoro.
Afridhi - Born to follow the ways of Zugzul, their methods were harsh and without mercy. In the end, it was mostly their undoing. Many fled, some residing in what would one day become modern Ylaruam. Their hope for revival came from troops of easily tricked beastmen, who were reshaped by dark magic into hyena-like gnolls. Ultimately, the gnolls not only assimilated into Afridhi culture, but took it over. Most live near the present Rakasta tribal clans of the Plains.
Hans Kjulborg - A former Skandaharian Revivalist, which amounted to a prototype of the modern raiders. Having seen the consequences of his actions, he instead has taken to documenting whatever culture he can discover and helping to ensure that traditions remain alive among any Skandaharian descendents in Blackmoor. He gets noticeably upset when his raiding days are brought up, as he spends his days by Katterborg. He does his best to ensure stability in the Northern Circle. Neutral (Neutral) Human Warrior, Archivist
So'Gol - The leader of the Peshwah Heritage Association. The heritage grounds themselves are on the Western Wastelands, formerly called Hak. Despite a strong and sturdy personality, his people are a depressed shell of their former selves. Soul crushing vices balance a soul crushing existence. Horses are rare and expensive, making many traditions hard to take part in. Their lands are far more boxed in, their people mostly slain during "The End Days" as they call it. His lowly opinion of Blackmoor has pushed him to overlook his people performing crimes that ultimately help their greater society. He sees this as revenge for stomping out Dragonia, a gift from Blackmoor in the first place. Chaotic (Good) Human Warrior, Chief
Toska the Reawakened - The Afridhi Cultural Representative for Blackmoor Parliament. Unlike So'Gol, her methods have been far more direct in politics. She claims to be a reincarnation of the infamous original. Many deeply resent her, as she has found ways to humiliate and intimidate opponents without mockery or threats. Being non-human makes this worse. She has valiantly defended her people, providing aid as well. Chaotic (Neutral) Gnoll Warrior, Politician
Mulinaoko - The son of Tangor Import Company president, Dulumal Zalbomwa. After the "Great Jump of Fire", as he calls it, his father gathered a group of former employees and residents of "Tangor Town" and vanished. He's been searching for years. After 33 years, he's finally found a clue, long after giving up home and assuming them all dead. Word gets around that a World Scout found an elderly man who looks suspiciously like Dulumal within the present day Tangor region, at least a few years ago. He's petitioning to join a World Scout or Reclaimer to seek out his father. Lawful (Neutral) Human Merchant, Company Head
Others of Note: "Headhunter" Jorgan (Former Raider, lives in the wilds while taking up bounties, has worked with rangers), Brother Michael Harborman (A monk of Blackmoorian-Thonia, has tried to decipher a prophecy on Blackmoor's return)
4300 BC. The Peshwah move towards the Hak lands.
4040 BC. Skandaharian raids become more violent, especially by Vestfolk, Blackmoor and Maus.
4001 BC. The Peshwah and Tenians attack Blackmoor.
4000 BC. The Afridhi move east towards Thonia.
3995 BC. The Afridhi expand their empire into the Vales, now moving into the Hak lands.
3982 BC. Na Shepro is awarded the Barony of Dragonia, following much combat against the Afridhi.
3981 BC. Afridhi forces clash with an expedition in the Valley of the Ancients, following a campaign in the City of the Frog.
3976 BC. A campaign against the Well of Souls devastates the Afridhi forces around Blackmoor.
3962 BC. A device in the City of the Gods explodes, taking a lot of Afridhi controlled land with it. No one is sure why this event in the City of the Gods occured, as only rubble remained. The Afridhi suspect sabotage and prepare for revenge. In truth, internal vandalism and theft lead to the Beagle’s systems failing, but only a few know this, including the (then) proto-Immortal form of Benekander. He would be freed and fully formed in the events of Wrath of the Immortals.
3800 BC. Aggressions against the Afridhi and Peshwah in the region flare up again, sparking more wars.
3740 BC. Skandaharian pirates become a nuisance for Blackmoor, following new innovations in black powder and naval vessels.
3690 BC. Several tribes of Tangor become more interested in Blackmoor, in terms of trade.
3681 BC. The latest campaign on behalf of the Afridhi is led by trusted priests of Zugzul. The end result is supernatural fires claiming much of Blackmoor County. Half of the Royal Family perishes, as does two-thirds of the Regency Council. While most historical records were saved, everyone in the Guild of Historians perished doing so. This act of terror went too far for Blackmoor.
3680 BC. War against the Afridhi transforms into a genocide. The damage is done before citizens can protest. The war spreads to the homelands out west, resulting in unfathomable war crimes against life. Afridhi priests place a curse upon Blackmoor, prophesying doom in nearly 7 centuries.
3670 BC. The Peshwah retain some hostilities against Blackmoor, but keep a fair distance.
3640 BC. An Afridhi colony returns to the south of Blackmoor, keeping far enough away to not invoke any retaliation.
3530 BC. The steppes well away from Blackmoor appeal to the Peshwah, who mostly migrate away from the empire. However, by request, a religious order stays behind to share some secrets with the Blackmoorians. This order is led by a shaman known to Blackmoorians as "The Oracle". This provides the foundations for The Oracle's Defenders.
3520 BC. Surviving Afridhi coax an army of beastmen towards their territory. A mixture of the angered souls of their ancestors, the beastmens' chaotic blood and dark magic creates an early precursor to the Gnolls of Mystara.
3505 BC. Dragonia suffers damage from Beastman raiders, as pleas to aid go out to the Kingdom. Combined forces help what would evolve into the Beastman Crusade by the Holy Empire Church.
3480 BC. Two hundred years after Blackmoor's extermination campaign, the Afridhi strike again, with their backing of magically shaped beastmen. The attack cripples Southport, the Duchy of Ten and many other sites. Ultimately, the forces are repelled as the Beastman Crusade begins to truly kick off.
3479 BC. Only small numbers of human Afridhi exist in Blackmoor, at this point. Their campaign was a failure. Zugzul himself has abandoned human survivors who don't embark on a mission to Brun. Despite this, they stay behind to educate the gnolls on Afridhi culture.
3472 BC. The remaining Afridhi shamans turn to Faunus, asking for salvation. He encourages the remaining humans to bond with the gnolls. He later grants the shamans the power to make remaining Afridhi humans into gnolls too. Upon learning this, Zugzul banished memories of humanity from the now-gnoll tribe.
3471 BC. The assault on the gnolls picks up after shamans use their divine power to convert Blackmoorians.
3426 BC. An exchange program sees Blackmoorians and Tangor living in each other's lands, fully experiencing what each cultural center has to offer.
3400 BC. Dragonia becomes a Free City-State under Peshwah control. It also becomes the center for the Oracle's Defenders. New fighting techniques are created as new types of weaponry are invented.
3326 BC. To commemorate 100 years of the exchange program, the Tangor Imports Company forms. A permanent residence emerges via Tangor Town, a neighborhood of heavily Tanagoran populations. Younger generations would prefer to explore more of what Blackmoor has to offer than living in the ethnic neighborhood though.
3320 BC. Nearby towns are built under old Peshwah guidelines, all favoring horses over modern automobile technology.
3300 BC. Both Peshwah and Gnolls set traps on roads near their territories, causing much damage to automobiles. Compensation is demanded after an investigation.
3200 BC. Many Peshwah, dissatisfied with Blackmoor's Empire, embark on a journey towards Brun, through proto-Alphatia. Eventually, they'll settle into Ethengar. Skandaharian Borough is created as a power move in northern Blackmoor.
3000 BC. A majority of the Peshwah, Tangor, Skandaharians and (actual) Afridhi not within the Blackmoor area that "time jumps" are either eliminated or forced to contend with the apocalypse. Several Blackmoorians away from their homeland learn that the central empire has vanished amidst the explosion.
- Time Leap -
2999 BC. Migration of the descendents of the Peshwah and Skandaharian people occur, mostly for their own survival. Many of these people would firm new cultures. The gnolls choose to remain for now, assured that Zugzul will protect them and that their birth home will return. Afridhi humans in Brun overhear from their mystics and seers that Blackmoor blew up. While they are overjoyed, they must endure radical shifts in climate and so much more. They have forgotten about their creations, as they continue to move.
2995 BC. The encroaching cold pushes the gnolls of the Afridhi south and closer to the coast. Zugzul seeks them out, blaming Faunus for making them weak.
2800 BC. The Skandaharians move into what would become modern Northern Reaches.
1700 BC. Descendents of the Peshwah solidify into what becomes the Ethengar, after numerous campaigns and intermingling with other populations.
1045 BC. A majority of the gnolls turn on tribal shamans, who have kept them waiting in Skothar. Expeditions are made to Brun, in search of the Afridhi humans who left them. They discover the declining Empire of Nithia, which has created gnolls of their own. Many give up on their old purpose, bolstering this new population instead. The Nithians search far and wide for information on these "copy creations". They get nothing, to their frustration. Even more so, knowledge of Zugzul is somewhat foreign to the Nithians.
500 BC. Most Afridhi gnolls have moved on, knowledge of their old culture is mostly gone, save for Zugzul. Their patron, on the other hand, is heavily responsible for aiding Thanatos in the ruination of Nithia. Zugzul fights a losing battle against Ranivorus, in an attempt to become the only major patron of gnolls.
499 BC. A monastery dedicated to Khoronus was somehow affected by the time rift that swallowed the greater Blackmoor area. Instead of traveling with the monastery due north of the ruins of Bartertown, it is flung 2500 years into the future. It moves focus to preserving information on Blackmoor.
70 BC. The emerging New Thonia catches word of the monastery surviving the cataclysm. A team is sent to recover and relocate the monks to the revived Thonia. Invitations continue, in part to consolidate information from Thonia's own past. The monks are only willing to provide information.
50 AC. The Blackmoorian monks agree to move to just outside of New Thonia. The Temple of Remembrance is rebuilt, with replicas of the lost artifacts created or found by the monks.
450 AC. A quarter of the Afridhi Gnolls continue to stick with their heritage, including worship of Zugzul. Others assimilate into other gnoll groups.
659 AC. The City-State of Blackmoorian Thonia is established around the monastery, who never asked for any of that to happen. One of the monks begins to weave a prophecy, based on the doomsday prophecy of the Afridhi. He states that Blackmoor will return, but it will come back horribly wrong. And with a new empire, horribly new things will afflict the lands! The meaning of this lived and died with the monk, but still succeeded in terrifying locals.
- Time Leap -
967 AC. Separated from the majority of their clans and people, survivors of the outside tribes and nations panic. Meanwhile, President Dulumal of the Tangor Import Company gears up for an expedition to his ancestral home. Taking with him most of his employees and several Tangor Town residents, they embark on a perilous journey.
968 AC. News of the Homeland's return travels to gnolls in both Brun and the borderlands by Esterhold. Large 'cackles' of gnolls move towards the Old Thonian Wastes, with magical help. They discover the struggling tribe near the valley.
969 AC. Dulumal and a fraction of his adventure party make it. Many were claimed from infection brought upon by "blighted" regions of northern Skothar. But, what they see is a far cry from the glory years of the past. He then changes plans, by using his knowledge of ancient dialects and language to interact with current natives. An emerging tribe, struggling to get by, gives him warm reception. He gets to work on educating them on the marvels of the past.
975 AC. The Peshwah City-State of Dragonia revolts against Blackmoor. Their attempts are quickly quelled, as Blackmoor lays siege to the city. The Peshwah descendents scatter to nearby reaches of what's left of the Hak lands they claimed so long ago.
980 AC. Moon Haven forms from a mix of Blackmoor and Peshwah culture.
984 AC. The Afridhi gnolls are reluctantly allowed into Blackmoor, however they must drop worship of Zugzul. Most of these migrants move into ghettos alongside wild rakasta and lupins that try to assimilate, but later form an ethnic neighborhood.
986 AC. The Peshwah legacy rebuilds on an agreed reservation of land. Life, despite some semblance of normalcy, is a mediocre shade of their glorious old ways. Most modern descendants either left Skothar or merged with the greater Blackmoor population.
988 AC. Dulumal begins to fall quite ill, coughing blood and losing hair rapidly. The villagers at least show off their creations. Their irrigation and planting technique could potentially revolutionize the area. Likewise, their priests and "arcane weavers" prove adept in tinkering.
989 AC. Priests help prolong Dulumal's life, but he's still weakening from exposure to toxic sources. The village chief's son unveils a trip-wire security system involving wooden noise-makers and a spring-like device. It helps ward against dangerous animals and jealous neighbors.
990 AC. Rumors of Returned Blackmoor prompt the monks of Blackmoorian-Thonia to send investigators. They turned up with nothing, as Blackmoor had already lifted to the demiplane. Disappointed, the monks returned to ponder what the old prophecy had meant.
992 AC. Dulumal perishes after his body finally gives out. Attempts to bring him back fail. The tribe embraces his name as their identity as the remainder of Dulumal's crew continues his work. The newly dubbed Dulumal Tribe discovers smokepowder a few weeks later, allowing them to create explosives. The walls around the tribal ground also get more fortified with experience in metallurgy and stonework.
994 AC. Little Skandahar is formally recognized by Blackmoor city as an important ethnic community. Likewise, a cluster of Peshwah-based cultural groups appear on the outskirts of the city as well. Tangor Town recuperates its losses from the "failed" expedition of President Zalbomwa and his "kidnapping victims", as the state defines. Mulinaoko is furious at the smearing of his father's name. The Afridhi gnolls are left to the outside wastes.
996 AC. Zugzul's grasp on the gnolls has strengthened once more, as they recall their magical origins. Tribes split over regaining “their gift” and lamenting over their human creators. The former would later help Nyela recover the lost art. The latter will seek to undo Nyela’s future plans.
997 AC. With help of the Blackmoorian crew, the Dulumal Tribe continues to build and innovate. A strange visitor arrives one day, from the sky a creature falls. The witch doctor nurses a creature they call a Wakyambi (a heavenly man with a tail) back to health. In truth, this is a Myoshiman Rakasta whose winged tiger mount was killed by a giant bird. The warrior wishes to stay with the tribe following his recovery, aiding and protecting however he can.
998 AC. A former Raider turns on his allies, taking bounties to hunt as many of them down as possible. His name is simply known as Jorgan. He has started up a bounty hunting company.
999 AC. Members of the Peshwah reservation become disgruntled, taking up invitations sent by raiders to join them. Likewise, some of the gnolls think this is the path back to humanity.
1000 AC. The attack in Esterhold prompts the monks to take action once more. A mixture of strange stories and descriptions of strange artifacts prompts a realization, the return of Blackmoor has finally come! They petition the Kingdom of Thonia to embark back to Blackmoor. The Canticle for Blackmoor, an epic for the ages, is written. In the Northern Circle, Katterborg is fortified by mountain rakasta tribesmen, allegedly.
More Adventures in Returned Blackmoor
In addition to the ideas presented in the original article, here are some extra concepts to build into a campaign.
AN-ARCH-YYYYYY!: Extreme rebels have taken notice of the world at large. Their goal? Destabilize and crumble the various governments and markets of the world. Only then, can the world truly be free. Their plans for afterwards? They're not even sure.
Beyond Blackmoordome: The Lord of Bloodshed was a capable leader, Stephen the Rock is far more so. Lord William perishes “mysteriously” and Stephen takes over. A clone with the mind of a brilliant classic villain, the raiders enter a new age. A guerilla army turns into a tactical powerful, trumping and outdoing Allogost’s own knights at every turn. More rural and frontier communities can’t cope with the brilliant warlord, as survivors are enslaved or repurposed in some other awful way. Through his sweet tongue and brutal action, the Orc tribes and Gnolls find themselves brought into the fold. An ambitious enough war would destroy Blackmoor for good. The growing raider group meets secretly in a ghost town in the wastelands, within a domed stadium building.
Brother-meets-Brother: Another signal has been received from space, demanding aid. It seems the very same "Rotfiends from Space" are attacking them as well, after being fought off six years ago. They request backup. Should all go well, a lost society of Blackmoorians or Thonians could be recovered and used to grow Returned Blackmoor.
Dynasty of Doom!: The current lead oracle of the New Monastery has unveiled a terrifying timeline. Allogost's dynasty has indeed expanded in the future. The sealed off kingdom has returned to the world in full. Beyond that, it has spread, much like Blackmoor at the height of its power. A crumbled Thyatis shares space with a new Blackmoor capital. And watching above, Allogost, Immortal of Time. Priests of Khoronus fear who would dare sponsor the overlord for ascension. Word of the vision spreads through the lands.
Devils… Monsters…!: Whether in the comforts of civilization, the reclaimed wilderness or the tainted wastes; fonts of corruption have caused monsters to return to threaten Blackmoor. They wander the ruins, dungeons, mountains, plains and even the dark alleys of city streets. Some are just the results of a natural order spurned, others are the fault of Blackmoor’s own advancements. Mutants and magical things prepare for an attack.
New Dungeons of Blackmoor: While evading the Great Rain of Fire's worst power, a separate apocalypse wounded a rising Blackmoor. The end result is countless lairs and dungeons, taken over by madmen and monsters. A new age of adventure awaits for those to delve and face what lurks below. In addition to classical sites, new accursed places have emerged; the Valley Wastelands, the Backburner Ruins, the Haunted Black Hills, the Peaks Duchy Exclusion Zone, the Detrituswood Swamp and more await. Even the classic Blackmoor Castle hosts strange things! Likewise, plenty of abandoned places fill Blackmoor: Sul Peshwah, South Pim, Gile’s Station, Woodenbridge Quarantine Zone and many more are examples.
I Don't Want Your Civil War: The Rebellion has become more than effective, but so has Returned Blackmoor! The nation is divided and a new type of war breaks out. This War of Brothers causes untold devastation to the land. No matter who comes out victor, how will they survive the carnage? Will the world at large be ready for the victor?
Machine vs. Machine?: The invention of the Aether-Web revolutionized magic, technology and information as a whole! The addition of a powerful A.I. has turned it into a powerful weapon. The Machine-God, learning of this, has made a call to action. Uther V.1 mobilizes peoples and technology alike against the outside threat!
Nyela's Beastmoor: The cult prevails and Nyela ascends, with her most devout wielding powerful artifacts. Gnolls, Gatormen, Froggies and other animalmen join. Worse, Nyela’s magical hex has turned into a contagious virus. In a short time, matters change from disappearances to an apocalyptic outbreak of shifted beasts. The plague escapes the shield, beginning its wrath upon Mystara as well. It’s likely the Hollow World will be the savior of non-beastkind, if intervention fails to stop the world from being consumed.
Red Curse of Coot: Not only does the Egg of Coot get closer to reawakening, its spread of corrupted magic helps make it aware of the Red Curse. Following the Wrath of the Immortals, the Red Curse spreads. Combined with lingering essences of the Egg's dark magic, it grows closer to its goal. Even worse, the Red Curse begins to change, as do those who are afflicted. Horrifying Coot creatures begin to manifest in the region. Plus, magic begins to act stranger in areas more hampered by the Red Curse. A team of adventurers must get to the bottom of this at once! All that is known is that strands of alien magic can be traced back to Skothar.
Return of the Living Dead: The Cult of Nyela has been tricked from the start, as it turns out Old-as-Dust was truly destined for ascension, despite the Blackmoorian Radiance making him lich-like. The King and Queen of the Carcosan Court ultimately hear his calls, as he massacres and reanimates much of Nyela's cult before becoming an Immortal of Entropy. The Plains tribe tries their best to fend off undead former-comrades and mutants alike, but ultimately falls back in a search for help. The ascension allows the undead in Cootsbane to grow stronger, allowing them and countless experiments to overpower the soldiers and rebels, escaping beyond. Nyela, while devastated by loss, is still powerful in spiritual arts and vows revenge. The rest of the tribe assembles forces, even calling upon the mainland regime itself. Legions of necromancers and fell technologists side with Old-as-Dust, as a war to save the living in Blackmoor (and maybe beyond) begins.
Rise of the Machine: Abductions on the outskirts of protected Locust Hills territory become more common. Victims return displaying scarification on the head and experience alien memories. In truth, the Machine-God has marked them. Someday, when its control device is fully online, an army of brainwashed will join the legions of cyborgs in an all-out conquest campaign! A.M. will then deploy mechanized minions, to scorch the lands and rebuild them in the artificial intelligence's image. Only then will it be "worthy of the immortals"!
Stop that, it's silly!: The Immortals beyond Blackmoor have become fed up. Rather than annihilating the nation, at risk of all reality, they hand it over to Ka in the Hollow World. In the end, a majority of the Blackmoorian Immortals concede to this. The Valley of Blacklore Elves is merged with a New Blackmoor, bolstering the weakened elven population. Plans for new campaigns become embarrassing failures, as equipment fails rapidly beyond national borders. In truth, much like Blacklore Valley, the magic of the world now powers the devices. Thus, upon leaving the land, they fail. Relations with the Blackmore Elves waver, due to the stagnant aloofness within the elf culture. The Redwood Elves especially despise Blacklore. The Spell of Preservation furthers all of this gloom. Should Wrath of the Immortals happen, Blackmoor is doomed.
The Beast Within: Both the Lupins and Rakasta of each respective tribe begin to catch onto what is happening. Likewise, undocumented Lupin and Rakasta have been spotted beyond various registered counties, all not long after disappearances started. Reluctantly, representatives from each tribe assist Blackmoor's government in searching for the culprit. Nyela's cult has grown nervous, fearing failure for her plans.
The Comeback Paradox!: The Comeback Inn somehow materializes before the time jump. However, it shouldn't have done this. While time should have corrected itself, causing it to fly to the Broken Lands, it somehow stayed and existed in two places at once. For over 30 years, temporal destabilization has built up with few the wiser. While the Inn stopped bringing others to ancient Blackmoor, weird things have happened from inside. Before anyone finalizes major plans, a rift opens from within the building, causing anomalies through time to make their way into Blackmoor. Among them? Ancient enemies like the Serpentine, the Oard and creations of The Egg of Coot! Journey into the rift, Where Time Shatters!
The Great Upheaval, Beast Tribes: Nyela is defeated (with a chance at living), with Old-as-Dust outright destroyed, as Najimma takes up the role of leadership. Sparks is devastated, unless his adoptive mother lives. Within the Lupins, the traitors have been identified and mostly removed. Even Screams of Torment is held in contempt for his brutal ways. Both aim to win the respects of Blackmoor, in hopes of being properly welcomed. If Allogost dies, there is fear that Queen Andahor won’t be ready to accept them though. A gnoll civil war seeks to eradicate supporters of Nyela. However, a new conflict arises; integration vs. tradition. Nyela's technique is still known to some, but only used for humans looking to join a respective tribe.
The Great Upheaval, Ignur's Kingdom: In time, more attention comes to the isolated and technophobic curiosity. Should Allogost still exist, he'd see it as a farce until finding a reason to erase it. In a new Blackmoor, such a land would likely be avoided. Though, a return to an Andaharan regime would see an olive branch extended to a surviving noble house. Eventually, King Ignur might warm up to some of contemporary society, but will still prefer just enough distance from everything. However, in the event of mutant attacks or destructive gatormen, he'll accept outside help.
The Great Upheaval, Machine-Men: The Machine-God is Dead! The fight against the Oard was a lie! As Blackmoor continues to grasp with reactions to cyborgs, the Machine-Men too must adapt. Should Allogost still be alive, a potential shift in opinion could make him open up as a cyborg. Convincing the olden minded Leena could be trickier, some fear that they’ll have to wait for her successor to be liberal on this matter.
The Great Upheaval, Nation of Blackmoor: Allogost and his henchmen are dead! After much heated agreement, a temporary council has agreed to instate Queen Andahar as the monarch of this new Blackmoor. Amends are made and propositions for a better future are declared. An era of rebuilding has begun, but the current situation remains rather bleak. The first order of business is removing Blackmoor from its Pocket Dimension hiding place and back into the world at large. This is a time in need of heroes. Imperium sympathizers, dread cultists, mutated abominations and more seek to undo this progress.
The Great Upheaval, Redwoods: The Elves of the Redwood and beyond still remain at a breaking point. The Druids still want amends. Greater Redwood County is its own independent state once more, with wartime reparations made for damage caused by the previous regime. Elder Reflecting Glades succumbs to age, asking the help of heroes to ensure a successor brings the land into an age of peace, rather than more war. An elven general, behind Reflecting Glades' back, suggests ironic extremes for dealing with radicals.
The Great Upheaval, The Egg Be Dammed: An essence of The Egg is found within the dam. Needless to say, the area is either cleansed of all energy or outright destroyed. This has led to a massive crusade against anything Egg of Coot, actively suppressing it where it might emerge. In fact, its base of operations; a scarred wasteland, is savagely attacked till little remains once more. The loss of countless cultists causes worry to die down, for now. Should Allogost's regime survive, the Cootsbane Dam incident becomes a major scandal that badly damages the government's reputation.
The Prince in Crimson: The King and Queen in Crimson see Allogost as their potential champion. After years of corrupting his sanity and wearing him down, he is ready to join their court. Their dread powers of Entropy give him a task of eliminating his enemies and destruction of all who dare go against him. His campaign ultimately helps him ascend into the Court after a cohort betrays and kills him. The Carcosan Court becomes the fiercest foe in all of Blackmoor, with cultists and monsters bringing anguish for all!
WAAAAGH!: The psychic orc raiders of the Coot Wastes have gained an extra helping hand, maybe from the Egg itself! This brings a terrifying revelation, they might learn to properly use their powers! The results could make them nearly unstoppable! This mystery benefactor must be stopped at all costs.
We Come in Peace: Another transmission is heard from space, also in Thonian. It seems we aren't alone and neither are they. Alien life, not unlike the Beagle Crew, discovers the heavily advanced Blackmoor and breaks through their bubble shield (or if they've returned to the prime material, their lands). What do such aliens want? Why would the Immortals let them in? What are they planning?
Woe to him who is crowned: Enemies of the King and Queen in Crimson have gradually been neutralized. The forces of Coot have been nullified, but its power has been taken to bring about a new Nightmare. A connection to the Dimension of Nightmare begins to form within Skothar, as terrible creatures begin to manifest in greater numbers. And where there is one doorway, there are many more. The Voyage to Carcosa draws near!
Yarr Harr Fiddle Dee Dee: The pirate cells of the Rogues' Gallery have been doing their craft quite well. All sorts of contraband and artifacts have been smuggled to the wider world. Irresponsible use of magitech had been a reason for the Great Rain of Fire in the past, but this doesn't bother the morally ambiguous pirate gangs. Some are intelligent enough on instructing buyers, for an extra consultation fee of course.
Aaron Allston - “The Hollow World” (Blacklore Elves, Ka the Preserver), “Wrath of the Immortals” (Fate of the Beagle, Nucleus of the Spheres)
Átila Pires dos Santos - “Lupin Breeds/History of the Lupins” (Wolvenfolk, Coyotl, Aardvolk), (THRESHOLD Magazine #2)
Brian Rubinfeld - “Returned Blackmoor” (Primer on Returned Blackmoor), (Threshold 20)/The Egg Be Damned (Cootsbane Dam activity, Conspiracies), (THRESHOLD Magazine #22)
Bruce Heard - GAZ3: “Principalities of Glantri” (Radiance)/Rakasta of Mystara (Breeds) (DRAGON Magazine #247)/Lupins of the Mystara Setting (Breeds) (Dragon #237), GAZ7: “The Northern Reaches” (Loki)
David J. Ritchie & Dave Arneson - DA module series (Various Blackmoor inspiration)
Graeme Morris - “Where Chaos Reigns” (Oard, Time Travel)
James Mishler - “The Age of Blackmoor” (Serpentine)
Jeff Grubb - Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (Giff, Wildspace, Crystal Spheres)
John Calvin - “Mystara 2300 BC” (The Shimmering Lands)
Malco Dalmonte - “Zugzul” (The Cult of Zugzul in Nithia)
Novels/Literature - DC Comics New 52 Animal Man, Magic Inc., The Dark Tower Saga, 1632 series, Shannara series, A Canticle for Leibowitz, Various Phillip K. Dick
Tabletop Gaming - Cyberpunk 2020, Warhammer 40,000
TV/Film - The X-Files/Millenium, Star Wars, Doctor Who (especially Battlefield and Survival)
Video Games - Quake, Hexen/Heretic, Blood, Might & Magic series, Halo