Posts Tagged With: Elementals

The En Khoda Theos Kirk – Part One

Part Two

Also known as the Cult of the Elements or the Dancing Kirk (church), or the Kirk of the Four Great Elemental Dragons, the En Khoda Theos Kirk is the formal name for the religion or mystical philosophy that is focused individually upon the elements as they manifest through the Great Dragons of Earth, Fire, Water, and Air. It is the closest to formal worship or veneration or organized contemplation and study of the Great Gods (or at least a portion of them) that exists and is thought to be among the oldest of the organized religions, primarily practiced by the Dragonborn and the Warforged of the Iron Court but with a strong minority following of humans from Ith and Atlan. Human worship is loosely organized into a great congregation that is known as the Quatrefoil, while the Warforged have a highly organized and ruthlessly efficient organization known as the Svastika, that serves them as a state religion even if the analogy is a weak one.

There are five basic roles recognized within the religion of the En Khoda Theos Kirk; there are the Drakein (trans. “those who see clearly”), the common body of sworn and allied faithful who pursue the mysteries of the Great Dragons; the Maikoiran, the prophets; the Kenza, the warriors and champions, the Dorje, the priesthood; and the Vajra, the mystics – all of whom are devoted to the Great Dragons. Unlike other religions there is no formal pursuit of a status beyond that of the Drakein, there is only the Call of the Great Dragons, and the trials and process of moving deeper within the faith can be terrifying. Similarly, there is no real organizing authority within the religion and for the various authorities both secular and religious this is also of the most frustrating parts of dealing with the En Khoda Theos Kirk. Strange as those outside of the religion find it, Dorje-led Kirks, Kenzan Fighting Orders, solitary Vajran mystics, and Maikoiran secret societies all coexist and somehow manage to operate without much conflict – and this is the essence of the Quatrefoil, known also as the Dancing Kirk and the Union Stoicheion. For the Svastika, this is the state religion of the Iron Court, but again, more a philosophy than what most humans and other races think of as “religion”.

The Drakein are the gathering of the faithful in the greater congregation of the Kirk. While all of the Great Dragons are venerated, most faithful have one (or perhaps two) of the Great Dragons that are the most meaningful for them and that are granted the majority of their attention. The Drakein are taken from all walks of life – across social class and profession (Normal Worshippers).

The Maikoiran are the distinctly not a portion of the Dorje, the Kenza, or the Vajra – though many within those other groupings also followed this path for a time, or continue to follow it as a part of their service. They are dancing oracles, seers, and often tantrics who are viewed as touched by the Great Dragons, and are highly respected by the Drakein and others. The Maikoiran are organized into a bewildering series of secret societies and fellowships that provide support for themselves and Dancing Kirk as a whole (Bards, Clerics, Sorcerers, Warlocks).

The Kenza are the champions of the Dancing Kirk – lay brethren who are charged with the protection of the faithful and the guardianship of the various kirks and shrines. The Kenza are fierce and dedicated warriors who are associated with various fighting orders to whom they owe allegiance to. Common fighting orders include: The Thousand-Forged Dragons, The Storm Dancers, The Five-Fold Avalanche, and The Claws of the Dragons (Clerics, Fighters, Monks, Paladins, Rogues, Wizards).

Dorje serve the Great Dragons as a whole as part of the Quatrefoil, the Dancing Kirk. They serve as advisors and healers for their communities but only have formal authority within whatever kirk (temple) or vihara (monestary) they belong to. The two assemblages, kirk and vihara, are seen as distinctly different rules of conduct and behavior, but also as essentially co-equal and serving different purposes – kirks for the Quartrefoil and vihara for the individual Great Dragons. (Clerics).

Vajra are rare individuals who have been chosen and blessed one of the Great Elemental Dragons – they are generally seen as champions of that individual Great Dragon. They are often solitary in nature and wander looking for enlightenment and challenge, though a fair number tend to isolated shrines deep in the wilderness – a rare few even take up residence in an actual kirk and end up taking formal vows as a Dorje (Class Independant).

The Great Elemental Dragons

The Great Dragon of Earth and Metal: Also known as the Body Stoicheion, and often represents both stability and fertility.

  • Symbol / Color / Animal: Square or Rectangle / Brown / Stone Drake
  • Place of Worship: Underground or Stone-built Kirk or Vihara
  • Divine / Worshipper Alignment: True Neutral / Neutral (Any), Lawful (Any)
  • Common Manifestations: Finding a gem, a stone or gem shattering, earthquakes
  • Common Professions: Warriors, Smiths, Craftsmen, Midwives.

The Great Dragon of Air and Sky: Is known as the Breath Stoicheion, and represents the ideals of curiosity and intellect.

  • Symbol / Color / Animal: Downward Triangle / White / Storm Drake
  • Place of Worship: Open Air Kirk or Vihara
  • Divine/Worshipper Alignment: True Neutral / Neutral (Any), Chaotic (Any)
  • Common Manifestations: Whistling winds, still air, tornados
  • Common Professions: Sages, Sailors, Travelers, Wanderers.

The Great Dragon of Fire and Flames: Known as the Spirit Stoicheion, the Great Dragon of Fire represents both passion and consumption.

  • Symbol / Color / Animal: Upward Triangle / Red / Fire Drake
  • Place of Worship: Kirk or Vihara with Furnaces or Firepits
  • Divine / Worshipper Alignment: True Neutral / Neutral (Any), Chaotic (Any)
  • Common Manifestations: Fires flaring, fires dampening, explosions
  • Common Professions: Performers, Tantrics, Artists.

The Great Dragon of Water and Seas: Consider by the some the most fearsome, the Great Dragon of the Sea is also known as the Blood Stoicheion, and stands for both mystery and adaptability.

  • Symbol / Color / Animal : Circle / Blue / Sea Drake
  • Place of Worship: Kirk or Vihara with Springs, Pools, Fountains, etc.
  • Divine / Worshipper Alignment: True Neutral / Neutral (Any), Chaotic (Any)
  • Common Manifestations: Water going still, water running abnormally, whirlpools
  • Common Professions: Mages, Diplomats, Psychics.
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A Short Synopsis & Minor Treatise On the History & Nature of Creation (Part 1 – The Primordial Era)

So here is the history of the multiverse as the most wise and learned of the elder races would tell it, various races certainly have different versions, and as one could imagine, the further back in time (like this section) the more likely that the exact details may vary. This myth, though true, is also metaphor, because reality was even more fluid in those times than it is now.

The Time Before Time

The Multiverse is an endless Maelstrom of Essence, defined by Light and Darkness. Some say that the Darkness is winning against the Light, others say that the Light continues to grow in an eternal Darkness – but in Light there is Creation and in Darkness there is Destruction. In the Time before Time there were those known now as the Great Old Ones by the fearful and the wise. They moved through the Maelstrom, and as Their forms were illuminated by the Light of Creation and out of Their dreaming death, for life was not yet known, They birthed the Thirteen Great Gods out of Their imagination.

Creation

These Thirteen Great Gods brought, not by design, but merely by Their existence, Order out of Chaos. The imprint of Their Presence, bathed in both Light and Darkness created not just the Elemental Realms out of the Essence of the Maelstrom, but the Aeythrs with connect them, defined by the relationships of the Thirteen to Themselves and each other. As the weave and the weft of the Aethyrs were woven, the Endless Ocean, defined by the meeting of Air and Water, warmly illuminated by the Light of Creation, and in the Great Deeps the Underdark was carved out of Earth by Fire, hidden in Darkness and Destruction. In this new Order, life came into being, and grew quickly, tempered always by the quickening of the chaos that was the Maelstrom.

The Great Old Ones

And through all of this, the Great Old Ones took forms terrible and fantastic, defined by Their own unquiet dreams and racked by a slow and painful birth into a Multiverse increasingly defined by physical form and concrete thought. And as They woke, They found an existence that pained Them, forced to wakefulness and form, drained by an effort to exist that They never desired, defined by that which They had unwittingly created. It was a narrative that would engrained upon the multiverse, parents supplanted by their children, jealous and resentful of their progenies achievements.

Birth of the Gods

In the endless ripples of Essence that are reactions to actions, the waking of the Great Old Ones attracted the notice of Thirteen Great Gods, and that attention manifested itself, in the face of resentment growing to hatred, of children, now known as the Primordial Gods, that were themselves reflections of the Thirteen. The Primeval Dragons, the Lords of Light, the Children of the Stars, the Stonekin, the Empyreans, the Beast-Lords, and many other and varied Powers that then themselves imagined and created a home of perfection and beauty, the Paradise, ‘Aden, rising out of Thalath, rooted in the Underdark, nestled in the heart of all things, a deity-dream given form.

The Rape of ‘Aden

‘Aden was glorious, a shining example of the dreams of the Gods and That Which Defined Them (which is how they referred to the Thirteen). The elegance of ‘Aden’s Form was a burning song in the heart and soul of Beings that had neither, creating pain that had never existed before in creation – that words like “longing” and “hopelessness” cannot capture. Drawn like moths to a flame, the Great Old Ones moved towards ‘Aden, the Great Old Ones leaving corruption in Their wake, infecting creation itself with Their Essence, distorting all They came into contact with. It was at ‘Aden that the Multiverse, shuddered, twisted, and shattered in an effort to preserve itself – for Paradise cannot be corrupt and yet corruption now dwelt in its heart. And to preserve it, two of the greatest of the Celestial Host made a sacrifice so that all else would survive, thought it would unleash a great sorrow in the wake of what They imagined and gave Form, for that was Death and the End of All Things.

The Goetic War

With Death at Their side, the Primordial Gods were able to beat back Great Old Ones, preserving ‘Aden, but creating three greats Realms defined by Destruction, Mortality, and finally Death itself as the Great Old Ones were herded towards the Veils of Creation, driven to the heart of the Darkness and beyond, far past Existence and Form, until that which was Eternal was Unmade. The memory of Their presence was imprinted in the world, however, and it lingered, and the Multiverse was scarred in the aftermath of the War for Creation. Some of the Primordial Gods had died, others had been corrupted and lost to the Dearth, many had been wounded, and in all Their attention turned inward for a time nursing Themselves in the steadfasts and redoubts They had built during the War. From the shed blood of the Primordial Gods and the patterns continually cast in the echo of the Great Gods came new life, first raised as Hosts and Legions in the War for Creation, and then as guardians and caretakers. Celestials and Fae, Dragons and Elementals, Stonekin and Waterborn, all began to find their place and role in Creation.

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And then just a note about Giants (1e)

Strictly speaking, there are only two types of true giants in the Mortal Realms , the hideous and loathsome Formorians and the beautiful and noble Titans. The Formorians hide themselves in wild and isolated spaces, save when they are motivated to either take service with some evil power out of mercenary greed or merely decide to strike out for civilized lands in a murdurous quest for food and treasure. Formorians are all Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil in alignment. They use primitive weapons and wear primitive clothing of hides and leathers.

Formorians – Formorians stand 16½’ tall, and have a Strength of 24 (+6/+12). They have 16 HD and an AC of 1, and are Immune to Normal Missiles. They are most commonly armed with a Club (3-18 Damage), a Warclub (6-36 Damage), and usually have some sort of crude knife (3-9 Damage). They can also throw boulders up to 24″ for 2-24 Damage, and will commonly keep a supply of such boulders nearby.

The magical Titans are equally as isolated, but they live on isolated isles and mountaintops far from human lands. The greatest and noblest among them dwell in free-floating cloud castles that travel where the owners will them to. A proud people, the Titans value beauty in all forms and are friendly with the Fae and those humans that can impress them – a “tall order” indeed! Titans are almost all Chaotic Good in alignment, but there are some that are Neutral Good as well. Titans bear well-crafted weapons and armour, and wear simple though exquisite clothing and jewelry.

Titans – Titans stand 20′ tall, and have a Strength of 25 (+7/+14). They have 17-22 HD, and and AC of 2/3/7 (armour is a Skin, Dexterity, Studded Leather and Shield), are able to turn Invisible at will, radiate a double-strength Protection from Evil, and can enter or leave the Maelstrom twice per day. They all have the abilities of Clerics, Mages, and Psionicists of a level equal to half their Hit Dice (some rare individuals are equal to their HD). They commonly bear a Shortsword (5-20 Damage) or Broadsword (5-30 Damage), a Fighting Knife 5-20 Damage), a Heavy Spear (3-30 Damage, ROF 1, Range: 6″/7″/8″), and a selection of Javelins (5-20 Damage, ROF2, Range: Range: 7″/8″/9″). They are also known to bear Shortbows as well (5-20 Damage, ROF2, Range: 11″/16″/21″). The weapons and armour of Titans is often Masterwork quality or magical (+1 or +2) in nature and can get additional bonuses (special Javelins of Lightning are a favorite, as are other elementally-imbued weapons). They are all considered to have a Dexterity of 18 – and get a bonus of +3 to Missile Weapons attacks and Initiative rolls.

There are also four varieties of “Elemental Giant” – powerful elemental spirits that inhabit isolated regions of the Mortal Realms. These spirits are all very rare, and while they have outposts and strongholds it is probably more common to encounter them in service to some powerful wizard or aiding the dorje of the En Khoda Theos Kirk. The Elemental Giants all require a +1 or better weapon to be hit, have 21HD, and they are all True Neutral in alignment like many elemental spirits. The Giants can actually reduce themselves in size by compressing and intensifying their elemental natures to as small as 6′ in size, though this is somewhat tiresome and generally considered “uncomfortable” by these elemental spirits.

Stone Giants – Standing 11′ tall, these squat and broad humanoids of animate earth andf stone only take 1/2 damage from any melee weapon and are immune to missile weapons. All weapons striking them must save vs. Crushing Blow or be broken (note: non-magical weapons automatically fail) They strike twice in combat for 3-30 points of damage each time or they may throw a boulder once per round for 4-40 points of damage at up to 40″ away. The most powerful of these giants can stomp a create an Earthquake effect in the immediate area.

Frost Giants – The blue-skinned humanoids made of animate ice stand 13′ tall. They are immune to Frost and Cold and take double damage from fire or heat-based attacks. They bear huge weapons formed of ice that strike once per round for 3-24 points of damage (with Cleaving), they also radiate such freezing cold during combat that creatures within a 10′ radius take 3-24 points of damage (save vs. Breath Weapon for half). Frost Giants may also breath out a Cone of Cold every rounds for 6d4 damage (save vs. Breath Weapon for half) or hurl a Ball of Frost that does 4d6 damage (save vs. Breath Weapon for half). The most powerful of these giants are known to radiate such freezing cold that they have the same effect as a cold Fire Shield.

Fire Giants – Comprised of 16′ tall bodies of animate flame, these giants are immune to Fire and Heat effects and take double damage from water-based attacks. They can create weapons of flame at will that do 3-24 points of damage (with Cleaving), and they radiate such heat during combat that creatures within a 10′ radius take 2-24 points of damage (save vs. Breath Weapon for half). Fire Giants may also breath out a Cone of Fire every rounds for 6d4 damage (save vs. Breath Weapon for half) or hurl a Fireball that does 4d6 damage (save vs. Breath Weapon for half). The most powerful of these giants are known to radiate such heat that they have the same effect as a Fire Shield.

Storm Giants – These Elemental Giants stand 19′ Tall, with bodies comprised of animate wind and lightning that are immune to Electricity. They may strike twice per round for 3-36 points of damage, and creatures striking them will suffer 3-36 points of electrical damage with each successful strike (unsuccessful strikes take half damage). Storm Giants may also throw radiate a Chain Lightning that does 6d6

It should go without saying that demon-corrupted Elemental Giants are among the most feared of all the servants of the Dearth.

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