Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Nine-Tongued Worm

The greatest threat to spelljammers, and indeed to every living creature in the Pyrax System, is the collection of aberrant monstrosities collectively referred to as the Scourge of the Stars.  The largest groups within the Scourge are the Illithiad and the Host Abolethic, but at the apex of the Scourge sits one powerful being: Mak Thuum Ngatha, the Nine-Tongued Worm.  Little is known of this creature, but that it is revered as a deity by the mind flayers and the aboleths.  It believed to reside on the surface of the alien planet Atropus, but often roams the solar system inside a massive meteoric vessel, attended by aboleths, mind flayers, and many other aberrant creatures.

Note: This monster stat block borrows powers from Vecna, who does not exist in the Pyrax System.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Eternal Court

The Eternal Court preserves the tenets of the Order of the Eternal Column, an ancient order formed by the goliaths' alliance with the humans upon the founding of Diamond City.  The Order of the Eternal Column has been the ruling order in the city for most of its history, but with the ascendance of Duchess Hazel, they now scheme from their opposing position.

Viscount Cujo Buchierge
Level 18 Goliath Weaponsmaster
Eternal Column Viscount

Viscount Cujo, of the soldierly goliath House Buchierge, is one of the most authoritative and intimidating figures in Diamond City.  He has trained extensively in the goliath militia forces.  He steers the entire Noble Order of the Eternal Column behind Apelord Drumo, and could effectively make or break the Apelord’s bid for the duchy.  Viscount Cujo is a shrewd and experienced man, with large and wealthy noble houses backing him.  He leads an ancient order that has long held power in Diamond City, and he means to reclaim that power.  He is ambitious and reverent for the past.  He could vie for the duchy, but he knows he cannot best the Apelord in combat, should it come to that.  Thus he backs the Apelord and presides over the sprawling Order of the Eternal Column.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Carceri Part 1: The Death's Head Tree

Carceri is an archipelago of islands on Tartarus, the second planet from the sun.  Tartarus's proximity to Baator has made its civilizations into casualties in the endless war between the devils and the angels.  The two warring races of tieflings and dragonborn live on this planet, having established, annihilated, and reestablished their empires several times.
The tieflings were originally a small outpost of the kali empire.  When their powers vanished as a result of the ritual of the obyriths, they settled in the archipelago of Carceri.  They were known as Turathi, and eventually they created a vast kingdom they named Bael Turath, but with the covert influence of Baator it rapidly descended into civil strife and decadence.  A thousand years ago the turathi and the dragonborn first came into conflict. the turathi became commonly known as the tieflings when they made a deal with the devils to save their empire from destruction at the hands of the dragons. Both lands were ravaged by the war, but only Arkhosia, kingdom of the dragonborn, has been able to rise again.

Carceri was once home the expansive kingdom of Bael Turath.  It has six major islands, with a few smaller ones scattered around the north.

Othrys, in the west, is a watery, swampy island of warfare between native bullywugs and their former tiefling masters.  It is dotted with the rotting ruins of tiefling settlements such as Vor Rukoth.  The briny waterways of Othrys are home to many vile creatures such as the death's head tree.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Undying Seal

The Undying Seal is a fractured cabal representing an ideal of the past.  When the cabal was created several hundred years ago, the human, dwarven, and halfling barons were all grouped together in one cabal, as they represented the poor immigrant districts.  The noble houses of the cabal were all close allies.  Now, Thetan races are more integrated, and the cabal has lost its purpose.  The three human houses of the Undying Seal have been absorbed into the Ducal Agency; now only the dwarf and halfling houses remain.

With the Midnight Cabal in leadership of the city, the duties of managing the Gracious Order of Accord fall to the remaining houses of the Undying Seal.  In a way, the positions of Order Executor and Order Councilor mean little, as they cannot truly claim authority over the Noble Cabinet, and Margrave Chiltsa keeps the Cliffside Cabal under his thumb.

Executor Ferrix Bogo
Level 13 Halfling Bard
Gracious Order Executor

 Executor Ferrix of the occultist halfling House Bogo is fairly inexperienced for the leader of a major order.  It is largely a regency, since Duchess Hazel is the true leader of the Order, and all of the strongest order members have other titles.  The more powerful members of the Undying Seal are humans, and Duchess Hazel wanted Ferrix to rule the order, so she made those humans into Ducal Agents to clear the way.  Executor Ferrix has the confidence and backing of the Duchess.  Ferrix stuggles to keep the traditional ideals of the Gracious Order of Accord alive, while criminal elements operate within it.  He knows that without the Cliffside Cabal the order would be significantly weaker, and probably unable to prop up the Duchess.  He also does not dare oppose Margrave Chiltsa.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Structured Society

The Structured Society is a cabal for the leadership of the goliaths of Diamond City.  Its members lead wealthy and entrenched goliath noble houses through their complex social traditions and heirarchies.  Among the multitudes of goliath commoners in Diamond City, nobility of the Stuctured Society are treated like celebrities, and gentry of the order are respected leaders in their areas of authority.

Members of the Structured Society cabal are also members of the Noble Order of the Eternal Column, an ancient order that currently opposes the ruling Gracious Order of Accord.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Annoying Little People- Jermlaine

The plainsjan I described in my recent Baator post reminded me of some creatures that have been skulking about right here in Diamond City.  I considered including them in my vermin post, but I didn't want to be insulting, so I'm presenting them right here in their very own series of Annoying Little People posts.

First up, we'll have a look at the jermlaine, the grumpy-looking, baggy skinned creatures you may have seen hiding behind your neighborhood sewer grate, or peering at you from the window of a local abandoned building.  The jermlaine are ambushers from the Underdark of Theta.  No one knows how or why they were brought to Diamond City, although some speculate that they were undesirable slaves of the Neogi who, in order to be rid of them, dropped them off in our unsuspecting city.  Others tell of an elaborate trap involving fifty infiltrated crates of dried fungi and a crashed spelljammer in the outskirts of Alam.  Either way, the jermlaine are now everywhere in the city where there are rats, which is to say they are everywhere.

Friday, August 1, 2014


Ages ago, before it was known as the Nine Hells, the small planet Baator was home to a winged race of beings known as the avariel.  The leader of the avariel was a powerful immortal known as Asmodeus.  Asmodeus was a lawful but prideful immortal, and he became convinced that it was his destiny to slay the corrupted lord of the Tetrahedron, Primus.

Asmodeus led a contingent of the most powerful avariel into the Tetrahedron, and the group fought its way to the center of the ship. After a long, hard-fought battle, only Asmodeus and Primus remained in the chamber at the Tetrahedron's core.  As Asmodeus approached to do battle with Primus, the evil Primus begged for his life and, appealing to Asmodeus' vanity, acknowledged Asmodeus as the superior being. In exchange for his life, Primus offered to Asmodeus his greatest asset, a second yellow cube that Primus had been constructing, similar to the very extradimensional cube which had corrupted Primus.  Primus claimed that a being with the lawful heart and wisdom of Asmodeus would be able to use the cube for good, and provide the Pyrax system with a counterbalance to his own evil power.

Whether through magical enchantment or simple guile, Primus was able to convince Asmodeus to accept his offer.  Asmodeus took the small cube and returned to Baator.  He began mistaking law for goodness, and became obsessed with rules and punishment.  Some of the avariel joined Asmodeus as he assembled an army to conquer the solar system in the name of his rapidly degrading sense of justice.  Others saw through his corruption and rebelled.

The avariel fought a long and brutal civil war.  Asmodeus eventually lost all pretense of righteousness as his power grew, and he granted infernal powers to the avariel who sided with him, creating the devils.  As the rebellious avariel began to be slaughtered, the Celestial Emperor saw the good in them and granted them divine powers of their own,  creating the angels.  The angels and the devils fought for a hundred years, but the devils continuously gained the upper hand.  Eventually the angels retreated to Carceri and other planets, from which they continue to battle the devils.  For seven thousand years the planet Baator has rested firmly in the hands of the devils.