Friday, September 30, 2016

Odekor - Day 30

Thirty Days of Odekor

You would think that after writing about Odekor for thirty days, this final entry would come as a relief.
You’d be partially right.
I am looking forward to putting aside Odekor and focusing my attention on other things.  That said, I can’t say I haven’t enjoyed myself building this world. It was challenging, creating a world where the traditional fantasy races are not the dominant ones. If I had to change anything about them, it would be the troglodyte stench trait; I would have made it a voluntary ability, turned off and on by a bonus action. Other than that, I’m pretty happy with the way the races came out.
I hope I managed to project the feel of the campaign world. Broken and bruised, shell shocked and suffering, but still defiant.  The survivors slowly gathering, thumbing their noses at gods and prophecies, and getting on with the business of living.
I hope I managed to shake a few expectations and, maybe, made some people reconsider the so-called monstrous races.
Is Odekor done?
Oh yes.
At least, for a while.
But I might come back to it at some point.
It’s a Crooked World, but that’s what makes it so intriguing.
Anyway, I hope that those of you who were checking out the blog-a-thon this month got some entertainment out of it.
Odekor is done for the time being.
What’s next?
Wait and see. ^_^

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Odekor - Day 29

Orbero Candun, L1 Gnome Bard

Ability Scores
STR 09 (-1)
DEX 11
CON 09 (-1)
INT 14 (+2)
WIS 12 (+1)
CHA 16 (+3)
HP 07
AC 11

Traits
Size. Your size is Small.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
Languages. You speak Gnomish and Common.
Gnomish Madness. You have advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma saving throws against magic.

Proficiencies: +2
Armor: Light
Weapons: Simple weapons, hand crossbows, longswords, rapiers, shortswords
Tools: Drum, Fiddle, Pipe
Skills: Arcana +4, Performance +5, Persuasion +5

Equipment:
Leather armor; AC 11 + Dex
Rapier; +2 to hit; deals 1d8 piercing dmg; Finesse
Dagger; +2 to hit; deals 1d4 piercing dmg; Finesse, light, thrown (range 20/60)
A diplomat’s pack
A fiddle

Feats:
Spellcasting
Bardic Inspiration

Spellcasting:
# of Spells Known: 4
Spell DC: 13
Spell Atk Modifier: +5
At-Will: Dancing lights, Vicious Mockery
L1 (2): Charm Person, Cure Wounds, Detect Magic, Thunderwave

Background:
Orbero Candun is a typical Odekor gnome, which means that he is crazier than a bag of assholes. In Orbero’s case, however, his madness has taken a peculiar manifestation; he believes he is a noble prince from a far off land, trapped on Choan and is actively seeking a means to return to his homeland.
As long as Orbero’s madness is indulged, he can be quite the charming fellow, if somewhat condescending. But the minute someone starts to pick apart his story, Orbero flies into a murderous rage and attacks with anything to hand.
Orbero joined the Checkered Band when he woke up next to Oris in a jail cell in Alsnoc’s Hollow.  When a band of outcast troglodytes attacked the town, the kobold and the gnome fought side by side and back to back.  Afterwards, Oris invited ‘Prince’ Orbero to meet his friends.
To say that the Checkered Band was a little taken aback by Orbero would be an understatement. But after Oris revealed what the ‘Prince’ could do, Arrodeth immediately changed her mind.
The group has gotten quite used to Orbero since then, and he has proven himself quite useful. Although they don’t encourage his madness, neither do they seek to dispel it.  The noble gnome prince is far superior company to the wild-eyed madman unleashed when anyone calls his past into question.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Odekor - Day 28

Oris, L1 Kobold Cleric 

Ability Scores
STR 11
DEX 16 (+3)
CON 14 (+2)
INT 11
WIS 15 (+2)
CHA 11
HP 10
AC 16 (leather armor & shield)

Traits:
Size. Your size is Small.
Speed. You have a base walking speed of 25 feet.
Languages. You speak Draconic and Common.
Darkvision. Within 60 feet, you can see in dim light as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light. You cannot discern colors, only shades of gray.
Pack Tactics. You have advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of your allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally is not incapacitated.
Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, you have disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.

Proficiencies: +2
Armor: Light, Medium, Heavy, Shields
Weapons: Simple
Tools: None
Saves: Wisdom +4, Charisma +2
Skills: Insight +4, Religion +2

Equipment:
Leather Armor; AC 11 + Dex
Shield; AC +2
Mace; +2 to hit; deals 1d6 bludgeoning
Dagger; +5 to hit; deals 1d4 +3 piercing; Finesse, light, thrown (range 20/60)
Explorer’s Pack
Holy Symbol

Feats:
Spellcasting
Divine Domain: Life
 - Bonus Proficiency: Heavy Armor
 - Disciple of Life

Spellcasting:
# of Spells: 2
Spell DC: 12
Spell Atk Mod: +4
Domain Spells: Bless, Cure Wounds
At-Will: Mending, Spare the Dying, Thaumaturgy
L1 (2): Guiding Bolt, Healing Word

Background:
Oris was born in the imperial capital of Askir, the youngest son of loving parents.  His mother worked as a florist’s assistant while his father was a priest in the Cult of Tytan.   When the War came and then the godstorms, Askir was the only member of his family to survive. His parents and siblings were killed by the storms.  Oris survived, barely, and made his way to what he considered the safest place in the ravaged city, the Temple of Tytan.  The young kobold spent the first few nights, shivering on the floor of the Temple, sleeping at the feet of a statue of Tytan himself.  And he dreamed.
Oris dreamed of a beautiful garden.  His parents were there, smiling, waiting for him. With them was a tall, kind human man in flowing red robes.  The human rubbed Oris’s head and gave him a sweet.  Oris woke with a start, the taste of the sweet fresh on his tongue, and the certain realization that he had been chosen by Tytan to be one of his clerics.
Oris left the temple as the half-dragons were returning to Askir.  He crept out of the city and fled into the stonewood south of the city.  There, he found a group of wandering kobolds and joined them as priest and healer.  He stayed with them for several weeks until an encounter with a gibbering mouther again left Oris an only survivor.
He walked south and west, traveling by night, avoiding trouble when he could.  When he slept, he dreamed.  He dreamed of Tytan, holding him on his lap, cuddling him, whispering secrets into his ear.
It was the dreams that led Oris to the wounded aarakocra, Arrodeth Graywing.  He saved her life and was invited to join her Checkered Band.  Oris agreed and traveled with the party back to the shadowtown of Alsnoc’s Hollow, where Oris has become quite well known as healer and espouser of Tytan’s greatness.
What no one has realizes is that Oris has a divine mission.  He has been ordered by Tytan to save the Empire. He must develop his powers to the point where he can cast resurrection. At that point, he will be instructed by his god to resurrect certain human persons, who will restore humanity, expand the worship of Tytan and build a whole new Empire.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Odekor - Day 27

Yi, L1 Kenku Ranger

Ability Scores
STR 07
DEX 13
CON 12
INT 10
WIS 14
CHA 12
HP 11
AC 12 (Leather armor)

Traits:
Size. Your size is Medium.
Speed. You have a base walking speed of 30 feet.
Languages. You speak Auran and Common.
Ambusher. You have advantage on attack rolls against any creature you have surprised.

Proficiencies: +2
Armor: Light, Medium, Shields
Weapons: Simple, Martial
Tools: None
Saves: Strength, Dexterity +3
Skills: Insight +4, Perception +4, Survival +4

Equipment:
Leather armor; AC 11 + Dex Mod
Shortswords (2); +3 to hit; deals 1d6 + 1piercing; Finesse, light
Longbow; +3 to hit; deals 1d8 +1 piercing; Ammunition (range 150/600), heavy, two-handed
Quiver of 20 arrows
Explorer’s Pack

Feats:
Favored Enemy: Undead
Natural Explorer: Forest

Background:
Yi was born and raised in a kenku monastery.  The monastery’s day-to-day life was not impacted significantly by the War and the fall of the Empire.  Things continued as they had for centuries. Then, one night, someone left a gate open and undead swarmed into the monastery.  Many of the monks survived, but some died, including Yi’s master.  After order had been restored, Yi left the monastery and began to live in the stonewoods and the shadowtowns that had sprung up near the aarakocra citadels.  He lived off the land, occasionally hiring himself out as a guide.  And everywhere he went, he killed undead.  Zombies mostly, but he also encountered wraiths and specters.
One day, while escorting a pilgrim caravan toward Temm, they were attacked by a large swarm of zombies.  Yi fought bravely and well, but the swarm would have overwhelmed him if not for the timely arrival of an aarakocra fighter called Arrodeth.  They fought side by side and afterwards Arrodeth joined the remnants of the caravan as fighter and scout.
When the caravan reached Temm, Yi insisted on sharing his payment with the aarakocra. She told him to keep the money, then they found a bar and, over drinks, began to form a lasting friendship.  When Arrodeth began to put together her Checkered Band, Yi was the first person she recruited.
Yi hasn’t regretted joining the Checkered Band. Not even after a near fatal encounter with a wight.  He blames himself for that, as he is the group’s acknowledged authority on undead.  Yi has sworn to make amends, even though his comrades hold no grudge.  As such, he has become quite reckless lately when confronting other undead.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Odekor - Day 26

Arrodeth Graywing, L2 Aarakocra Fighter

Ability Scores:
STR 09 (-1)
DEX 10
CON 15 (+2)
INT 09 (-1)
WIS 09 (-1)
CHA 07 (-2)
HP 19
AC 11 (Leather armor)

Traits:
Size: Medium
Speed: (walking) 30 ft; (flying) 50 ft.
Languages: Auran, Common
Dive Attack. If you are flying and dive at least 30 feet straight toward your target and hit it with a melee weapon attack, your attack deals an extra 1d6 damage to the target.
Natural Weaponry. You possess talons that you are proficient with. They deal 1d6 + Dexterity Modifier of slashing damage.

Proficiencies: +2
Armor: All armor, shields
Weapons: Simple, Martial
Tools: None
Saves: Strength +1, Constitution +4
Skills: Insight +1, Survival +1

Equipment:
Leather armor; AC 11 + Dex Mod
Javelins (20); +4 to hit; deals 1d6 piercing; Thrown (range 30/120 ft)
Scimitar; +2 to hit; deals 1d6 slashing; Finesse, light
Daggers (2); +2 to hit; deals 1d4 piercing; Finesse, light, thrown (range 20/60 ft)
An explorer’s pack

Feats:
Fighting Style: Archery (+2 Attack Bonus with ranged weapons)
Second Wind (1/Rest)
Action Surge (1/Rest)

Background:
Arrodeth Graywing was just a chick when the War occurred and the Elemental Plane of Air collapsed into what would become known as the Elemental Plane of Fury. Like her kin, she found herself transported via planar rip to Odekor.
Arrodeth doesn’t remember much of the Elemental Plane of Air and, to be honest, she doesn’t understand why the elders moan endlessly about Odekor. In this, as in many aarakocra things, Arrodeth has always been just a little out of step with her fellows.  
Like most aarakocra, Arrodeth joined the military when she was old enough, but it was a bad fit. The mindless obedience to orders that her fellow soldiers exhibited, that their superiors expected, wrankled her.  She questioned her orders and her supervisors, enough to be labeled a ‘disruptive influence’ and encouraged to leave. Arrodeth served her initial term, then left the military to strike out on her own.
It’s been a couple of years now and Arrodeth has made a home and a name for herself in the southwestern Mountains of Desh.  She’s been in a few scraps and earned a few choice scars. And although she’s never quite fit in with her own kind, Arrodeth has found a niche for herself in the fighting company she founded.  Other aarakocra may look down on Arrodeth and her Checkered Band, viewing them as untrustworthy and disruptive, but the group’s members are fiercely loyal to one another and dangerous to cross.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Odekor - Day 25

Death, Dying and the Undead

Zombies shamble through the ruined streets of ravaged cities.  Wraiths drift through the stonewoods. Wights rise from their tombs, hungry to slay.  At present, there are probably more undead on Odekor than living people.
When the godstorms swept through creation, the delicate process of death was disrupted. Previously, when a living being perished, psychopomps in the service of Eligel would escort them to their final destination, either the Fields of Joy or the Plains of Agony.  Now, when someone dies, their soul is vulnerable. Psychopomps do not come to escort the departed away from the Material Plane.  Rather, the departed must set out on their own, to find their own afterlife.  Those who linger in the Material World too long can become undead.
The prevention of physical undead, like zombies and wights is fairly easy. You simply burn the body.
Spiritual undead, however, are more difficult to prevent.  Wraiths and spectres haunt the five continents, seeking to extinguish all life.  Its possible they would have done so already if their undead natures had not been altered by the godstorms.
Sunlight damages and can destroy a wraith or a spectre. Wights have never cared for the light of day, but now they flee it to preserve their existence.  (In game terms, most undead lose half their hit points if they start a turn in sunlight, and they do not get any sort of regeneration while they remain in the light.)
Only zombies do not take damage from exposure to sunlight. Indeed, Odekor zombies are difficult to destroy. The world is drenched in necrotic energies, so that if a damaged zombie does not lose all of its hit points, after eight hours it regain its original hit points.  Because of this, when facing zombies, adventurers know to ensure their destruction.
Of course, not everyone becomes undead.  Most of the deceased gravitate naturally toward their intended destination.  Some find unexpected help on the Dead Roads from those who have gone before them.
Wizards, oracles and seers exploring the afterworld, have spoken of a rumored city called Torin, made all of glowing white stone, standing on a bone shore next to a black sea. Here, they say, the Dead Gods reside in cold splendor, with their fallen armies.  Fresh souls are welcome in Torin, where they can reside for as long as they wish, before continuing on to the Fields of Joy or the Plains of Agony.  Whether this is true or not is anyone’s guess, but most are skeptical.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Odekor - Day 24

The Plain of Kadath

On the Last Day, as laid out in the Prophecies, the Armies of the Empire gathered upon the Plain of Kadath.  There, they stood in gleaming armor, beneath fluttering banners of etherial silk. There, the Armies of Heaven descended: angels, empyreans, saints and other odder, stranger creatures.
It was on the Plain of Kadath that the Prophecies were derailed. The Legions of Hell did not rise to meet the righteous. The Armies of Heaven and the Empire descended into the Hells to fight the War and the Universe broke.
The Plains of Kadath remain.  They stretch from the ruins of the Imperial Capital west, toward the Mountains of Desh.
No one travels the Plain of Kadath if possible. Planar portals open at random throughout the area, offering a brief glimpse into the chaos of the Outer Planes.  Occasionally, creatures from other planes emerge from these portals.
The aarakocra’s patrols skirt the edges of the Plain, wary to enter the region, but vigilante for any threats that might emerge from it and threaten their citadels.  The troglodytes are too far away to concern themselves with the Plain of Kadath.  The kenku are too smart to traverse the area and the kobolds too cowardly.  Only the gnomes will dare the Plain of Kadath, simply because they are mad.
Occasionally a benevolent creature will appear on the Plains, a survivor of the extraplanar chaos sweeping the multiverse.  If they survive the trek across the Plains and reach either Askir or the Mountains of Desh, they might find welcome and respite in the aarakocra protectorates or the half-dragon controlled imperial capital.  Both groups are hungry for news of other worlds.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Mystery Girl

Trine Hampstead knows everything. Just knows it. Ask her a question like "Where are my keys?" or "Is my husband cheating on me?" or "How can there be perfectly preserved mammoths in the ice of Siberia when the ice isn't that old?" and she just knows the answer.  She's the Mystery Girl.
The only thing she doesn't know is how she got her ability. But that's a mystery for later.  The mystery for now is about those mammoths.  Trine knows why they're there but surprises anyone who knows her by leaving her London-based sidewalk-detective setup to go to Siberia and see them for herself. And close behind is a vicious killer who is targeting her for reasons even Trine doesn't know . . . yet.

This was a very entertaining trade with likeable characters. Trine's gift does make her a bit of a duex ex machina, but it's handled very well and the character's innate likability doesn't hurt either.
It's a bit different, but give it a try. You might like it.

Odekor - Day 23

Grayhold.

In the heart of the Afaraq Wastes, far from any habitation, stands a solitary mountain. It is known simply as Grayhold.
Grayhold has a secret.
Buried beneath its cold stones is a complex.  It was designed by the finest dwarven minds on Odekor, built with slave laborers who were executed upon its completion.  Not long afterwards, the dwarven overseers and engineers succumbed to various accidents and calamities, until the Emperor was certain Grayhold’s secret would remain secret.
Grayhold is a prison. Not an ordinary prison. Cutpurses and rapists weren’t sent to Grayhold. Threats to the Empire were sent to Grayhold. Revolutionaries.  Anarchists. Heretics. For three hundred years people deemed to dangerous to simply kill were quietly spirited away by Imperial Intelligence, transported via magic to Grayhold.
Many of the prisoners expected torture and death when they arrived at Grayhold. What they got was much more peculiar.
Upon arriving at the prison, inmates were isolated. Then, one by one, they were escorted by the prison’s adamantine golems to meet with the Governor of Grayhold: Her Grace, Duchess Amaia Rentru.
Duchess Amaia Rentru is a medusa, the last survivor of an ancient branch of the imperial family. Cursed by a demon from the Abyss, the duchess is immortal, intelligent and fiercely loyal to the Empire.  Her curse and her loyalty made her the perfect choice to oversee the Empire’s most secret prison.
Indeed, Duchess Amaia’s medusa nature made her an integral part of the facility’s success. New inmates were escorted to her chambers, where her adamantine golems held their eyes open while forcing them to look at Amaia.  The inmates would transform into stone, after which they were safely stowed in one of the cubbyholes scattered through Grayhold.  Before the War, there were 571 people imprisoned as statues within the mountain.
Since the War and the fall of the Empire, Grayhold remains secure. Designed to be self-sufficient, it has its own sources of water and food.  Besides the Duchess, the only living beings in Grayhold are her servants and slaves, beautiful blind elves who obey her every whim.
It is conceivable that Grayhold could endure for centuries, but the Duchess Amaia is not content with mere existence.  A powerful wizard, she is probably more aware of what is transpiring across Odekor than anyone else on the planet.  She has a plan; she intends to restore the Empire and humanity.
Most of the prisoners in Grayhold are human. With the right divine magics they could be restored to life. And the qualities that led to them being imprisoned, would lend themselves well to restoring the Empire and humanity.
To accomplish her goals, the Duchess spends most of her time scrying.  She is looking for someone who can cast the greater restoration spell.  Once she has found this person, the Duchess will dispatch two of her adamantine golems to bring them to Grayhold.  If necessary, she’ll go after them herself.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Odekor - Day 22

Skarn the Eternal

Five hundred years before the War, the Emperor at the time was a man called Skarn. He was a formidable leader, intelligent and even-handed, but utterly ruthless when the need arose. He was also a talented and powerful wizard.
In his later years, Emperor Skarn chose to abdicate from rule, passing on the reigns of imperial power to his son, Selenn.  Skarn retreated from the Imperial Capital of Askir, retiring to a private island off the northern coast of Choan.  There, he lived in quiet study and contemplation, communicating with his son a few times a year in the form of long, poetical letters.
No one is certain when the letters stopped, but it took a while for the Emperor to notice. When he did, he dispatched an emissary to his father’s island, to assess the situation.
When the emissary returned, he had a terrible story to tell the Emperor.  The Emperor’s father had used his wizardry to become some kind of undead monstrosity.
Not long afterward, a letter arrived from Skarn to his son.  It was just as long and poetical as his earlier writings.  In it, he stated that he had found a way, with Eligel’s blessing, of transcending death. He stated this very matter-of-factly, then went on to complain about the state of his roses.
The Emperor was unsettled by his emissary’s report and his father’s letter.  He sought counsel with the Temple of Eligel.  The priests confirmed that Eligel did know ways to transcend death, but that it was anathema to use them.
There was nothing in the Prophecies regarding this, so the Emperor was left with no guiding hand to point the way.  He had to decide what to do on his own.
Initially, he waited.  The letters from Skarn continued to come. The Emperor was informed that his father’s household expenses had decreased considerably.  He did receive reports that his father was sustaining himself by sacrificing slaves, but no one cared about slaves.
By this time, Eligel’s priests had discovered Skarn’s transformed nature. They informed the Emperor that his father’s physical body must be destroyed, that the vessel containing his soul must be obliterated.  That his existence was an affront to Eligel himself.
The Emperor was not accustomed to being given orders, and balked.  He refused to raise a hand against his father, and ordered the offending priests sent to Skarn’s home for his father’s delectation and amusement.
Once this information became known among the priests and the imperial court, Emperor Selenn was quickly and quietly murdered by his own family.  His cousin assumed the throne and ‘pruned’ that branch of the family tree, executing Emperor Selenn’s wives, concubines, heirs, bastards, as well as his siblings and their children.  Once this was done, the new Emperor turned his attention to the matter of Skarn.
Although respectful of the priests, the new Emperor was not going to do their bidding.  Instead of sending an army of soldiers to destroy Skarn, he sent an army of priests to bind him to the island. Then patrols were established beyond the island, to ensure that no one ever landed there again without imperial approval.
The High Priest of the Temple of Eligel protested. The Emperor had his tongue cut out and his lips sewn shut.  The remaining priests got the message and did not publicly bring up the matter again.
Skarn, now referred to in lore as Skarn the Eternal, remained bound to his island. Occasionally, a ship of criminals was sent to the island, manned by golems. Eventually, Skarn began husbanding the living inhabitants of his island, breeding a steady supply of sacrifices for his phylactery.
Centuries passed and then came the War and the godstorms.  The Empire collapsed. Humanity was reduced to mindless, shambling zombies.  The divine wards binding Skarn to his island vanished.
Recently, a black ship set sail from the island, crewed by golems. Skarn the Eternal was returning to Choan, after five centuries, hunting for answers to the disaster and fresh sacrifices for his phylactery.  He is making his way toward the Imperial Capital.  What will happen when he arrives and comes face-to-face with the half-dragons currently occupying Askir is anyone’s guess.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Odekor - Day 21

Dragons.

Dragons do not currently exist on Odekor, but they did in the past.  Approximately eight thousand years ago, dragons dominated the planet.  Their empires stretched across all five continents and they used the other races as pawns in their wars and conflicts.
Some dragons were benevolent rulers. Others were cruel tyrants.  In the end, Odekor fell under the domination of eight dragons.
On Ashada, Bloody Narj ruled the southern portion of the continent with an iron fist.  Sedaa the Silver controlled the northern half.  Between these two, Dejema the Viper, a cunning green dragon had carved out and successfully held a territory of her own.
Birichir fell completely under the authority of Bhashaba the Wise.  An ancient copper dragon, Bhashaba is believed to have taught the dwarves their famous skill with forge and hammer.
Ancient Choan was hotly contested by three dragons: Ranog the White, Sapphire Idasha and Urus the Green. These three were utterly ruthless in their quest for power and untold numbers of humanoids died because of them.
Leam fell under the control of a red dragon known as Dhin, the Scarlet Death.  Although the youngest of the dominant dragons, Dhin was probably the most ambitious.
The dragons would probably have retained control of Odekor if they had not become arrogant. They came to believe themselves the equal to the gods, and some, like the Scarlet Death and Sapphire Idasha, ordered their humanoid slaves to worship them as if they were gods.
The gods responded to this hubris by diminishing the dragons, making them small and mortal. Seeing this, their humanoid slaves rose up in rebellion.
Most of the dragons were slain. Those who were not slunk away to live out their long lives in misery and fear.
Only Bhashaba was spared the gods’ ire.  He lived out the rest of his life among the dwarves of Birichir. When he died, his remains were secured within a secret vault, far beneath the earth.  Its location has been forgotten but Bhashaba’s Tomb has become legendary.  There is a story that when the dragon died, his entire body was transmuted to purest gold.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Odekor - Day 20

Player Classes - Part Two

Paladins. Clerics are rare, but paladins are nonexistent. None of the Common Races are inclined to go about thwarting evil for its own sake.  That said, it’s possible that a kenku druid or a kobold cleric might decide to take a level in paladin, but not very likely.  The only Odekor races that I can think of that might produce a paladin would be half-dragons or dwarves.

Rangers.  Given the fact that much of the planet has been reduced to a wild state, rangers would have an important role in the new world.  Aarakocra citadels would want to know the number and disposition of the creatures near their territories, as would the troglodytes.  Gnomes would want to know who or what is skulking about their villages, and wandering kobold tribes would want to know what dangers lie ahead.  Kenku would have a natural affinity for this class with their Wisdom and Dexterity scores.

Rogues. After fighters, rogues are the most popular class among the Common Races. Kobolds make excellent rogues, thanks to their natural Dexterity, as do aarakocra.  Some kenku cultivate stealth, especially monks of the Way of Shadows.  Gnomish charisma makes that race particularly adept at deception and persuasion.  Troglodytes already have a natural stealth-like ability to hide, so a troglodyte rogue specializing in assassination would be absolutely terrifying.

Sorcerers.  Since the War and the godstorms, Odekor is saturated in supernatural energies. Sorcerers are fairly common, particularly those whose powers originate from Wild Magic. Draconic bloodline sorcerers are extremely rare and would only be found among half-dragons.
Among the Common Races, sorcery is most common among the gnomes.

Warlocks.  The Seven Hells are a wasteland. To those who know, the Fey have greater concerns now than Odekor. Things From Beyond stir beyond the Outer Planes and actively seek those who can give them greater access to the Inner Planes.  All that said, warlocks are a rare breed on Odekor.  Some minor devils did flee to Odekor, but whether any of them have the power to spare to a warlock remains unknown.  The Archfey might be interested in having agents on Odekor, given their own problems, and, as noted above the Things From Beyond are definitely interested in the Material Planes.  Warlocks should be rare among the Common Races, and uncommon among the others.  It’s possible that new Patrons might appear: demons seeking to expand the chaos currently gripping the planes, powerful djinn living in exile, the Lord of Order seeking agents to curtail the spread of chaos.

Wizards. Before the War wizardry occupied a curious place on Odekor. Arcane magic was viewed with distrust by the Empire and the Cardinal Church. Its study and use was tightly controlled, restricted to only the most trusted individuals.  Most of it was practical, employed in the creation of imperial weapons, such as the dragonships, and the network of portals that once linked all five continents. Wizards were necessary, but never completely trusted.
Since the War, few people have had the time or resources necessary to study wizardry. Some, however, have managed to find fragments of spellbooks and wizards are popping up everywhere.
Gnomes, of course, are innately magical and their Intelligence makes them naturally adept at wizardry. The gnome wizard has practically become a stereotype among Odekor’s survivors. The fact that gnomes are, universally, insane, makes gnome wizards universally feared and respected.
Kobolds are fascinated by arcane magic but never had any opportunity to really study it. The kenku, on the other hand, had ample opportunity to study wizardry, but have a stronger affinity for the more spiritual magics associated with druids and monks.  Aarakocra hold wizards, as a class, in no special regard; they prefer straight-up fighters, but certainly won’t turn away someone who can hurl lighting bolts.  As for the troglodytes? They tend to eschew magic, viewing it as seductive and untrustworthy; among them, wizards are viewed as sometimes necessary, but never trustworthy.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Odekor - Day 19

Player Classes - Part One

Barbarians. Since the War ended and the godstorms ravaged Odekor, you would think barbarism would be the norm for most of the world. However, even though the Empire may be no more, its trappings and influence remain.  The majority of the Common Races seek to reestablish some form of civilization. An aarakocra barbarian is almost a contradiction in terms. Outcast troglodytes might descend into savagery and naturally gravitate toward this class, but not the majority. Only the kobolds might fit easily into this class, given the fact that so many of them now live in the wilds.

Bards. Even in the harrowing world, people will still want to take some time to enjoy life. Bards might be rare, but they would definitely exist.  Gnomes would be the most likely to gravitate toward this class, but it wouldn’t be hard to envision any member of the Common Races as a bard. Elderly aarokocra, no longer fit for fight or flight, might find a niche in their citadels, recounting deeds of valor from the past.  A kenku bard would naturally gravitate toward the College of Lore, learning a little of everything.  Troglodyte bards might spend their time composing and reciting poems to preserve their people’s history.  Kobold bards would excel at storytelling and, possibly, shadow puppetry.

Clerics. Religious faith is in short supply on Odekor.  Three of the Cardinal Gods are dead, Ledara and Ormothir don’t seem inclined to answer prayers, and the afterlife is in disarray. Nevertheless, some faith does persist. And where there is true faith, there is the possibility of the miraculous. That said, clerics are extremely rare on Odekor and the class is restricted to kobolds.

Druids.  Odekor was ravaged by the War, but nature is nothing if not adaptable.   There weren’t many druids before the War, but in its aftermath the class has exploded.   In many cultures, druids now occupy the position once held by clerics thanks to their ability to heal. They exist on the fringes of the world, preserving and protecting the fragile natural domain from those who would despoil it. Kenku are the most likely of the Common Races to be druids, thanks to their innate wisdom, followed by the aarakocra.

Fighters. Odekor’s history is one of martial conquest and domination. It should come as no surprise to anyone that this trend continues.  Fighters exist among all the Common Races, but are most prevalent among the aarakocra and the troglodytes. However, the fighters of each race usually embrace different traditions.  Aarakocra are most likely to become battle masters, while troglodytes and kobolds embrace the champion archetype and eldritch knights are most common among kenku and gnomes

Monks.  Even before the War, the kenku were practically synonymous with monks. That hasn’t changed since the War ended.  Kenku monks are common, especially along the Pilgrim’s Road.
The monastic life appeals to many troglodytes and their monasteries generally focus on the Way of the Open Hand. Some aarakocra monks exist, embracing the Way of the Four Elements, while kobold and goblin monks tend to embrace the Way of Shadows.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Odekor - Day 18

The Races of Odekor

The Common Races
Aarakocra. The most populous race on Odekor, some 250,000 aarokocra now call Odekor home.  Most live on Choan, in the Mountain of Desh, but there are aarakocra citadels on almost every continent.

Kenku.  Some 230,000 kenku survived the War and the godstorms; most live on Choan, although a large number also inhabit Ashada.

Troglodytes.  Approximately 200,000 troglodytes survived the creation of the Undersea; most live in the southwestern section of Choan which contains their city of Ykysno.

Kobolds.  There are about 190,000 kobolds on Odekor and the number is steadily growing.

Gnomes.  At present, there are an estimated 170,000 gnomes scattered across the face of Odekor; most reside in their homeland on the continent of Leam.

The Uncommon Races
Duergar.  Although they bare a superficial resemblance to dwarves, duergar are not dwarves; they evolved independently, in the Underdark, where they were involved in a byzantine conflict with the drow and the troglodytes. When the Underdark flooded, the surviving duergar immigrated to the surface. Today, there are some 62,000 duergar alive on Odekor.

Half-Dragons.  An engineered race created by Imperial wizards, half-dragons were humans endowed with draconic enhancements. The half-dragons formed the core of the Emperor’s body-guard and enjoyed special status within Imperial society. Some 60,000 of them survived the War, to claim the Imperial Capital of Askir for themselves.  Sterilized at their creation, the godstorms somehow undid this so that the half-dragons can breed true. Most see themselves as heirs to the Empire and plan to subjugate the other surviving races beneath their heel.

Hobgoblins. A goblinoid species that evolved on Choan, they were the first species the humans subjugated and integrated into their Empire. Hobgoblins thrived in the Empire and many were perfectly content with their lot.  After the War, about 58,000 of them survived, scattered at Imperial outposts across the planet.  Their famous discipline has given the hobgoblins a marked advantage over many other survivors, and most would be pleased to ally with the half-dragons and build a new Empire.

Bugbears.  Another goblinoid species subjugated by the Empire, the bugbears were never happy under the Imperial heel. There were frequent bugbear revolts and uprisings, leading the Empire to take draconian measures with them, relegating them to a slave caste scattered across the world. Today, some 54,000 bugbears remain. Disorganized and violent, they seem not to care that the world has been turned on its head.

Drow.  Like the duergar, the drow evolved independently in the Underdark. Their resemblance to elves is purely coincidental and largely superficial. The drown had a vast empire in the Underdark, and had established formal relations with the Empire. Since neither the Empire nor the drow were very interested in the other, they mostly ignored each other except when necessary. When the Underdark flooded, some drow managed to flee to the surface. Today, some 53,000 drow struggle to survive on Odekor’s surface.  Many have claimed small human settlements in the stonewoods for their own. Some have established villages on the subterranean shores of the Undersea, mourning their lost empire.

Jackalwere. There are about 47,000 jackalweres living on Odekor today. Incredibly, their numbers have actually grown since the War.  A race of monstrous humanoids, they survived for centuries thanks to their ability to shapeshift into humans.  They hid in the Empire, living quietly among the very people who would have killed them.  With the humans gone and the Empire fallen, the jackalwere’s live openly in their natural form, building communities of their own in the wilderness.

Lizardfolk. The lizardfolk were an imperial slave-caste for over eleven hundred years. Originating in Western Choan, they were never particularly numerous to begin with.  Since the War ended, there are only 45,000 of them left. The death of humanity and the fall of the Empire has done little to improve the lizardfolk’s lot; most now serve the troglodytes in the same capacities that they once served the Empire: as slaves.

The Rare Races
Dwarves.  Once one of the most influential and admired races on Odekor, when the Empire fell and humanity was wiped out, the dwarves were also cast down.  Today, there are only about 10,000 dwarves remaining on Odekor. Most of them can be found on Birichir, although members of the race can be found on all the continents.

Quaggoth.  Once the scourge of the Underdark, hunted to near extinction by the drow and duergar, the quaggoth survived by fleeing deeper into the dark places of the earth.  They would have stayed there, too, if the Underdark had not flooded, forcing the quaggoth to flee toward the surface.  At present, there are between eight and ten-thousand quaggoth left alive on Odekor.  They live in savage tribes, preying on anyone or anything foolish enough to cross their path.

Elves.  The elves of Ashada were victims of their own hubris. Declaring war on the Empire, they were defeated and brutally subjugated as an example to the Empire’s enemies and allies. Serving predominantly as a slave race, the elves were devastated when the War occurred. Most died. Some survivors remain in the zombie-haunted cities of the Empire, while others have fled to the wilderness. None of them are having an easy time of it.  At present, there are approximately 6,000 elves remaining on Odekor, most of those on Choan.

Yuan-Ti.  The yuan-ti were not native to Odekor, but arrived via planar portal two hundred years ago.  They sought to open diplomatic relations with the Emperor as part of some convoluted plot to seize control of Odekor.  The Emperor saw through their deceit, had the portal destroyed and most of the yuan-ti ‘delegates’ executed.  The only ones he spared were the yuan-ti purebloods, whom he turned over to imperial wizards for study and research, hoping to glean something useful from the situation.  Over two centuries later, the 4,000 descendants of these yuan-ti purebloods managed to survive the War and claim their freedom.  They have also claimed the island of Ikara as their own, and defend its shores with serpentine ruthlessness.

Gith.  Like the yuan-ti, the gith were not native to Odekor. Unlike the yuan-ti, however, their arrival on the Crooked World is much more recent.  During the planar catastrophe predicated by the War, over a thousand Gith found themselves trapped on Odekor with no way to escape.

Orcs. There weren’t many orcs left when the War began and even fewer when it ended. The Empire had been deliberately winnowing the orc population for decades, relegating them to unskilled slave-labor.  Today there are only about 800 orcs remaining, mostly on Birichir where they remain enslaved by the dwarves.

Kuo-Toa. The kua-toa were on the verge of extinction when the Empire discovered them about fourteen hundred years ago, and they remain on the verge even today.  Mad, bad and dangerous, the kuo-toa who survived the War have immigrated into the Undersea where their population is actually increasing.  At present, there are about 800 kuo-toa nesting in the Undersea.

Doppelgangers. Like the half-dragons, doppelgangers were another race engineered by the Empire.  In their case, however, the Empire used the illicit spawn of human/elf unions to create the doppelgangers, a creature capable of fitting in anywhere thanks to its shapeshifting ability. There weren’t many doppelgangers around before the War and all of them were agents of Imperial Intelligence.  Since the War, there are only about 500 doppelgangers remaining. Free agents for the first time in their existence, many doppelgangers live life on the edge. Others have sought out old allies, like the half-dragons and hobgoblins, and continue to live the only life they’ve ever known, as spies.

Goblins.  Once one of the most populous races on Odekor, goblins were everywhere in Imperial society. They were servants and soldiers, merchants and miners, sages and scientists.  They were often overlooked and underappreciated, but could exert considerable influence on matters from behind the scenes.  Sadly, the goblin race was hit hard by the War and the godstorms. Less than 300 goblins survived the War, scattered across the planet.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Odekor - Day 17

The Prophet’s Stair

When the Prophet ascended to the Fields of Joy, in the Grand Cathedral of Ormothir, she did so on a divine staircase.  It was made of silver and adorned with precious jewels.  After the Prophet’s ascension, this divine staircase vanished.
However, it would return on at least three different occasions.
A century after the Prophet’s ascension, the Prophet’s Stair would reappear in the Grand Cathedral.  This time it came for a priest of Ormothir named Uzka of Elydyl, during a tumultuous time known as the Doubting.  People began to question the gods and the Prophet, but Uzka remained steadfast in his faith.  This angered some of the doubters who decided to kill the priest within the Cathedral. As they drew near, however, Uzka prayed for help and the Prophet’s Stair appeared.  He stepped onto it and vanished in a blaze of light.  This miracle ended the Doubting, and Uzka went on to be declared an Ascendant Saint of the Cardinal Church.
The next time the Prophet’s Stair appeared it did not appear in the Grand Cathedral but in the square outside the temple.  Six hundred years had passed since Uzka’s ascendance, and the Cardinal Church had started to mark the occasion with an unofficial holiday, the Feast of the Ascendents. The story goes that, as clergy and laymen made merry in the square, a beggar-child collapsed among them and not a single person went to her aid.  The child cried out to the gods for succor, and the Prophet’s Stair appeared.  A wingless angel descended the stair, striking the celebrants dumb with awe and terror.  He went to the beggar-child, picked her up and returned to the divine stair which he ascended without looking back at a single soul.  The Prophet’s Stair vanished and the assembled merrymakers were so ashamed that many took vows of poverty and service, abandoning their indulgent lifestyles to minister to the poor and homeless.
The final time the Prophet’s Stair manifested was three hundred years ago.  A pious young noblewoman named Dhama was betrothed to the cruel son of an influential Imperial family. Dhama had appealed to the Emperor himself to annul the betrothal, but the Emperor refused. Distraught, Dhama went on pilgrimage to the Holy City of Kirr.  She prayed at each of the temples and churches of the Cardinal Gods in the city, then did the same at the Grand Cathedral. At each altar, she appealed to heaven for aid.  As she knelt in the Grand Cathedral, the Prophet’s Stair appeared before her and Lady Dhama was whisked away.  Not long afterward, the Emperor who had denied her request, abdicated to spend the rest of his life in spiritual contemplation at an
Eligelic monastery.
Legend and lore state that the Prophet’s Stair reappears during the anniversaries of these three ascensions, albeit briefly.  It is widely speculated that the kenku are attempting to purge Kirr of its undead so that they may use the Prophet’s Stair to ascend to the Fields of Joy and confront the gods.  Others think they seek to find it in an effort to control it, so they can abandon Odekor for some other world, untouched by the War.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Odekor - Day 16

The Prophet

Her real name was Atira but no one ever used it.  Very few people outside of religious scholars even knew it.  She was better known, simply as the Prophet.
Born in a flyspeck village called Temm, the woman who would become known as the Prophet had a fairly conventional life. She was part of a sprawling farm family. At the age of thirteen, she was betrothed to a neighbor boy.  At fourteen, they were formally married, but did not establish their own household until a few years later.
According to legend, the Prophet received her first vision on her wedding night.  She predicted the victories of Sagatus, who would establish the Empire of Choan.  Most people just thought she had had too much wine and dismissed her prophecy as the ramblings of a nervous new bride.
However, after that first prophecy came others.  They started as a trickle, but soon grew into a raging river.  Atira began to drown in a sea of prophecies.
Eventually, her husband divorced her and cast her out, claiming she was mad.  Atira began to wander the countryside, leaving a trail of revelations in her wake.  Some people began to notice. She began to attract followers and patrons.
Heleal of Nassus, who would become known as Saint Heleal, offered Atira a place in his own meager home.  She accepted and it was at this time that her prophecies began to be recorded.  The act of recording them seemed to lessen the impact of her gift on her and Atira spent days dictating prophecies to Heleal and the scribes he hired.
Eventually, she left Heleal and traveled to the Holy City of Kirr.  The route she took later became known as the Pilgrim’s Road.  At the gates of the Holy City, she was met by a delegation of priests, who took her into custody.
She was sequestered in a tower cell, her physical needs seen to, while she continued to record her prophecies.  Twenty years passed this way, until the morning Atira simply walked out of her cell. She made her way through the city to the Temple of Ormothir, where a bejeweled silver stairway appeared.  Witnesses reported that Atira climbed the stair, pausing after a few steps to look back and smile sadly. Then stairway and woman vanished in a shower of golden light.
The city’s priests declared it a miracle, stating that the Prophet had ascended to the Fields of Joy, her work on Odekor complete.
After her ascension, the Prophet’s writings were gathered and secured within the vaults of the Holy City. They remained there until the third Emperor took formal possession of them and had them relocated to the imperial capital at Askir.  There, they were entrusted to the gnome sage, Kish Ayeto, who was ordered to encrypt them so the Empire’s enemies could not use them. Presumably this is when the gnomes began their long joke.
Since the War, the Prophet’s name has become a curse among the survivors.  Many wonder if she lied about how the War would play out. Others think it possible she was duped by the gods.
The truth may be known only to the Prophet herself and Ormothir.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Odekor - Day 15

The Cardinal Gods

At the time of the War there were five principal gods worshiped by the races of Odekor. Each of them corresponded to a particular point on the compass and so they were commonly known as the Cardinal Gods.

Tesenre was the God of the North. He was usually depicted as a tall, weatherbeaten man wearing a gray cloak and carrying a staff.  Tesenre’s domains included Nature, Trickery and Destruction. He did not survive the War.

Ledara is the Goddess of the South. She was usually depicted as a tall, attractive woman with dark hair dressed in robes of red.  Ledara’s domains included Life, Peace and Secrets. She did survive the War.

Eligel was the God of the East.  He was usually portrayed as a barrel-chested man with a flowing yellow beard carrying a lantern.  Eligel’s domains included Cities, Death, Knowledge and Tempest.  The Emperors of Choan claimed to be descended from him. Eligel did not survive the War.

Ailiel was the Goddess of the West. She was usually described as a silver-haired woman dressed all in blue, armed with a burning sword. Her domains were Darkness, Light and War.  Ailiel did not survive the War.

Ormothir is the God of the Center.  He sits at the heart of all things and his domains encompass all of the other gods as well as Fate, Luck and Prophecy.  Ormothir is usually described as an old man, either blind or just blindfolded, sitting on a mat and holding the world in his hands.  Ormothir survived the War.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Odekor - Day 14

Player Races

Aarakocra
Ability Scores.You get a +2 to your Dexterity score and a +1 to Wisdom.
Size.  Your size is Medium.
Speed. You have a base walking speed of 30 feet and a flight speed of 50 feet.
Languages. You speak Auran and Common.
Alignment. Aarakocra tend to be lawful neutral or neutral good.
Talons. You possess talons and are proficient in their use as a melee weapon. On a hit, they inflict 1d6 + Dexterity Modifier of slashing damage.

Gnomes
Ability Scores. You get a +2 to your Intelligence score and a +1 to your Charisma score.
Size. Your size is Small.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
Languages. You speak Gnomish and Common.
Alignment. All Odekor Gnomes are chaotic. They are never lawful.
Gnomish Madness. You have advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma saving throws against magic.

Kenku
Ability Scores. You get a +2 to your Wisdom score and a +1 to Dexterity.
Size. Your size is Medium.
Speed. You have a base walking speed of 30 feet.
Languages. You speak Auran and Common.
Alignment. Kenku tend to be lawful or neutral, although any alignment is possible.
Ambusher. You have advantage on attack rolls against any creature you have surprised.
*Note that Odekor Kenku do NOT have the mimicry ability and that they CAN speak.*

Kobolds
Ability Scores. You get a +2 to Dexterity and a +1 to Constitution.
Size. Your size is Small.
Speed. You have a base walking speed of 25 feet.
Languages. You speak Draconic and Common.
Alignment. Kobolds can be any alignment but are most often neutral.
Darkvision. Within 60 feet, you can see in dim light as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light. You cannot discern colors, only shades of gray.
Pack Tactics. You have advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of your allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally is not incapacitated.
Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, you have disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.

Troglodytes
Ability Scores. You get a +2 to your Strength score and a +1 to your Constitution.
Size. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Languages. You speak Troglodyte and Common.
Alignment. Civilized troglodytes are usually lawful neutral. Outcast troglodytes tend to be chaotic evil, but other alignments are possible.
Chameleon Skin. You have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide.
Darkvision. Within 60 feet, you can see in dim light as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light. You cannot discern colors, only shades of gray.
Stench. Any creature other than another troglodyte that begins its turn within 5 feet of you must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the start of their next turn. On a successful saving throw, the creature becomes immune to the stench of troglodytes for 1 hour.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Odekor - Day 13

Dwarves.
Dwarves hail from the continent of Birichir, in the southern hemisphere of Odekor.  Birichir is a cool, rocky land. It has a mountainous interior and vast stretches of subarctic desert. Forests thrive only on the northern edge of the continent, where it rains constantly.  This is the land that the dwarves called home, and, like Birichir, the dwarves could be harsh, cold and surprisingly fecund.
Dwarven society was divided into various tribes which belonged, in turn, to various clans. Each dwarf clan claimed ownership of a certain area and defended it zealously.  It is widely said that the first dwarven structure was not a home, but a fortress.
For centuries, the dwarves lived in fractious bliss, delving deep into the earth for metal, to feed the clan war-machine.  War was a way of life among the race and every dwarf child longed to serve his tribe and clan as a fighter.
Among the dwarves, war was a way of life. There were strict rules and etiquette to follow before, during and after battle.  Those who violated these rules invited merciless reprisals from their enemies and the condemnation of their allies.
When the elves arrived on Birichir, the dwarves they encountered were simple fishermen from a minor tribe.  They seemed strong and sturdy and easily charmed.  The elves took them as slaves and so the enmity between elves and dwarves begun.
For centuries, the elves tried to establish a foothold on Birichir. They never succeeded. The best they could do was raid the coast for slaves.  Over the decades, hundreds of dwarves were taken as slaves by the elves and shipped back to Ashada.  The only thing the elves managed to do was unite the dispirate dwarf clans into one homogenous nation.
Then, one day, a new race arrived on the shores of Birichir.  They were humans from the continent of Choan.  Initially distrustful of the humans, the dwarves soon forged an alliance with them when the elves foolishly declared war upon Choan.
Elven arrogance would lead to the destruction of their homeland, the erradication of their culture and the enslavement of their race. It would also lead to an extremely profitable alliance between dwarves and humans.
After the Elfwars ended, the dwarves went from formal allies of the Empire to loyal subjects. The unification of the dwarves with the Empire was even formalized with several ritual weddings between humans and dwarves.
In the Empire, dwarves served primarily as soldiers and craftsmen, although dwarf administrators and sages were not uncommon.  Dwarf names became popular and the fascination with dwarven martial culture never completely died out among the Empire’s human nobility.  Dwarves embraced the humans prophetic religion wholeheartedly and a dwarf general led the Empire’s forces on the Day of Judgement, when the Forces of Heaven descended to Odekor for the Last War.
Sadly, the dwarves faced a similar fate to that of their human comrades.  Most of the dwarves were killed by the godstorms that ravaged Edokar.  Today, dwarves are rare and most can be found in the mountain-fortresses of Birichir.  They have neither the numbers nor the interest in rebuilding the Empire and keep themselves to themselves.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Odekor - Day 12

Kobolds
They survived when humans were wiped out, when the elves and dwarves were reduced to a few thousand, scattered across the face of Odekor.
Kobolds.
Small. Reptilian. Craven.
They appeared on the continent of Choan, and were considered pests by most of the other races. Even the goblins looked down their noses at the kobolds.
The kobolds were simple hunter/gatherers who were enslaved, or more often slaughtered, by other races.  In civilized society, they were used as dim-witted servants or stupider-than-usual slaves.  Their best quality was that they could be cowed with a threat.  Longer lasting loyalty was assured by a steady supply of meals.
Emperor Tytan had an inordinate fondness for kobolds.  During his reign the race flourished and when he died, the kobolds began worshiping his spirit as an ascended god.  The established religious authority didn’t much care for this, but they were forbidden to intervene.
When the War happened, and the godstorms ravaged Odekor, the kobolds managed to survive. Since the end of the War, the race has thrived.
Today, there are more kobolds than dwarves, elves or gnomes. They are the fourth most common race on the planet and, if they continue to reproduce as they are, they may soon become the third.
Most kobolds on Odekor have returned to the wild, managing to eek out an existence among the stonewoods of Choan.  Some work as servants for the kenku, or slaves among the troglodytes. Gnomes appreciate kobolds; they can do simple tasks reasonably well and when they inevitably mess up, kobold flesh tastes surprisingly like chicken.
Most kobolds, however, live in the wilds as hunters and gatherers. Their culture is simple, with the best provider leading the pack.  Weirdly, they still revere and pray to Emperor Tytan. What’s stranger still is that there are functional Clerics of Tytan among the race, making them unique among all the survivors of Odekor.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Odekor - Day 11

The Undersea.
When the gods died and reality fractured, thousands of planar microportals opened across Odekor. Most of these breaches sealed almost immediately.  Some, however, lingered.
One of the largest and the worst occurred in the Underdark.  The planar breach was large and opened onto the Elemental Plane of Water.  Before the breach sealed, billions of tonnes of water had poured through it, flooding the Underdark.
Untold numbers died in the subterranean flood.  Those who could, fled to high points in the shallowest portions of the Underdark.  Eventually, even the Underdark’s shallows flooded, and these holdouts were forced to abandon the subterranean world for the surface.
The planar breach responsible for the flood has sealed, but the subterranean world remains flooded. Now known as the Undersea, it is a mysterious and alien place, but hardly lifeless.
Abolethic mermaids haunt the lightless depths of the Undersea, nesting in the drowned cities of the drow and duergar.  Water elementals prowl the flooded caverns and tunnels. Swarms of quipper catch the unwary by surprise.  Kuo-Toa now make their homes in the deepest depths, far from any light, while powerful marids establish magical fortresses illuminated by shoals of luminous jellyfish.






Saturday, September 10, 2016

Odekor - Day 10

Troglodytes.
Deep in the lost Underdark, far below the shallow realms where the drow and duergar made their homes, was the realm of the troglodytes.
When most people think of troglodytes, they think of the brutish, reptilian humanoids infamous for their stench and their penchant for cannibalism.  The fact of the matter is that these troglodytes, the ones encountered most often by drow and duergar, were the reviled castoffs of the main troglodyte society.
Deep in the earth, below where even dwarves hesitate to delve and drow do not go, the troglodytes built a sophisticated culture.  They carved cities out of pale stone, most of them situated around vast thermal vents, that were the equals to anything produced by the dwarves or drow.
Their culture was martial and ascetic. The chaos and gluttony expressed by their exiled brethren were anathema to these troglodytes.  Raised in communal creches, troglodytes often had their entire existence mapped out for them before they were even hatched.
The War changed all of that.
When a planar breach flooded the Underdark, most of the troglodytes drowned.  However, some troglodyte colonies in the volcanic southwest of Choan did survive.  They adopted a siege mentality, securing their homes and ruthlessly dispatching any creature that entered their territory.
Eventually, once the godstorms subsided, the troglodytes softened their stance.  They sent out scouting parties to assess the status of the surface.  Other parties were dispatched to investigate the Underdark.  When these scouting parties returned, the surviving troglodytes learned just how precarious their situation had become.  The surface and the Underdark had been devastated, and it did not appear as if either would return to normal any time soon.
They are one of the more common races to survive on Odekor, and control the area southwest of the Mountains of Desh.  Since the War ended, they have come together in the caldera of an extinct volcano, Mount Zedik, and built a fortified city called Ykysno.
After the aarakocra, the troglodytes are the most martial of Odekor’s surviving peoples. The two races respect one another, but do not get along.  Troglodytes do not allow aarakocra to establish citadels in their territory, and aarakocra will not tolerate troglodyte incursions into their protectorates.
If war is to come again to Odekor, it will most likely spring from the territorial animosity between the aarakocra and the troglodytes.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Odekor - Day 9

Kenku.
The kenku were discovered in an isolated area of Ashada after the Empire defeated the elves.  Living in small villages among the swamps, it was assumed that the kenku were an engineered race, created by elf wizards centuries ago.  Why they were created remains unknown, as no kenku served in elf households or fought alongside elf masters during the war with the Empire.  When the elves were questioned about the kenku, the only thing they would say was that the kenku were their ‘shame.’  They divulged nothing else, even under torture.
As for the kenku themselves, they have almost no contact with outsiders before the Empire arrived.  They were described as a quiet, peaceful race by the general who discovered them, and suggested they might be of some benefit to the Empire.
In stark contrast to the treatment of the elves, the Empire handled the kenku gently.  Some left their homeland, traveling to Choan.  There were reports that a delegation of kenku met with the Emperor, who seemed quite charmed by them.
Over time, more kenku left Ashada.  They established small communities on all five continents, mostly in the human-controlled cities.  When the Pilgrim’s Road was complete, linking the Holy City of Kirr to the Prophet’s Nativity in Temm, it was the kenku who established guest houses along its length.
Some kenku gathered in remote locations and established contemplative monasteries. Others returned to Ashada to help repair the ravaged land.  Most lived quietly, content to serve the Empire and its citizens.
When the War began and the godstorms came, many kenku died. However, many survived. The kenku monasteries weathered the worst of the storms, as did their traditional homeland on Ashada.
After the aarakocra, kenku are the most populous race on Odekor.  Since the end of the War, they have slowly spread across the planet.  Their monasteries and guest houses are known to welcome weary travelers, although they allow no one to remain longer than three days.  It is reported that the kenku have reclaimed the Pilgrim’s Road, and secured the ruins of Temm.  There are whispers that the kenku are actively working to secure Kirr, hunting down and eliminating the undead that haunt that sacred place.
It is widely speculated that the kenku are seeking the Prophet’s Stair, that they plan to use the stair to ascend to the Fields of Joy and learn the fate of the gods.  Others speculate that they plan to cannibalize the Prophet’s Stair, to use its components to open a gateway to another plane, one untouched by the War.
The kenku themselves do not comment on their goals.  Monastic kenku takes oaths of silence, and only the abbot and hospitaler is permitted to speak with outsiders.  Secular kenku are naturally taciturn, and keep their counsel to themselves.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Odekor - Extra

Considering the slimness of today's official post, I thought I would share some of the visuals that have inspired this setting.







Odekor - Day 8

The Stonewoods.
They stand in silent testimony to the old world’s death, once lush forests transformed into lifeless stone. On the continent of Choan, the stonewoods cover almost 120,000 square miles, extending west from the coast to the Panitir Foothills and as far north as the Afaraq Wastes.
People tend to avoid the stonewoods. They are the home to many monstrous denizens ranging from predatory scavengers to oozes and worse.  Undead haunt many of the stonewoods, particularly those close to the ruins of human settlements.
Druids who have ventured into the stonewoods claim that the trees are still alive, just . . . different. If pressed for details, however, they get quite irrate.  Many people assume these druids are mad and wisely don’t press the issue.
During windy days it is wise to avoid the stonewoods.  Their limbs and leaves are brittle and when shaken by a stiff breeze can snap and fall, seriously injuring or killing anyone beneath them.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Odekor - Day 7

The Aarakocra
The Talons of the Wind, some call them.  Others refer to them as the Lords of the High Peaks. Their detractors usually refer to them as ‘those damned birds.’
Aarakocra were not native to Odekor, but resided within the Elemental Plane of Air.  There, they served the Wind Dukes. Their contact with the folk of Odekor was extremely limited, and usually involved some sort of complicated interplanar diplomacy where their chief function was to safeguard one of their masters.
When the War happened, when the Elemental Planes collapsed into one another, many of the aarakocra were swept into Odekor.  Their masters, the Wind Dukes, did not accompany them and it is widely assumed that they died in the confusion of the planar collapse.
On Odekor, the aarakocra were scattered across the continent of Choan.  They took refuge in the Mountains of Desh, as the world burned and shook around them.  By the time a semblance of peace had settled upon Odekor, the aarokocra had discovered their own world was gone. The Elemental Plane of Air had been subsumed into the Elemental Plane of Fury. They were stuck in the Material Plane, on Odekor.
Unlike most of the other races, the aarakocra did not just survive following the War, they thrived. They are the most populous humanoid race on Odekor.  They have spread across the planet, establishing fortified citadels in the high peaks of many mountain ranges and other lonely places.
Aarakocra citadels have become beacons of hope for many of the survivors who throng to them for protection.
This has placed the aarokocra in a peculiar position. For thousands of years, they served the Wind Dukes faithfully and ably.  Now, they find themselves holding positions similar to that of their fallen masters, and the aarakocra are not sure how to proceed.  Although their society is highly structured - divided into familial nests, communal roosts and militant flights - they do not have much experience integrating outsiders into their communities.  Despite this, refugees who seek out the aarakocra for protection are seldom turned away.
Many aarakocra citadels have small refugee villages around them.  A sort of informal understanding has evolved between the aarokocra and these ‘protectorates.’  The aarakocra provide protection, while the communities govern themselves and provide resources to the aarakocra. So far the arrangement has worked fairly well.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Odekor - Day 6

The Moonless Sky
The sun dips beneath the western horizon and night unfurls her banners.  As the light fades, you can spot Miris, the First Star, flickering in the eastern sky.  In a world of chaos, there is something comforting about Miris’s continued existence, something reassuring.
It’s hard to make out the stars these days.  Flickering auroras of red and purple light undulate across the sky, obscuring the paler stars.
And there is no moon.
You miss the moon, more than you thought you would.
It vanished during the War, obscured by clouds of ash and fire.  When the atmosphere had settled, the moon was gone.
Without the moon, the nights on Odekor are darker. The flickering auroras provide some illumination but not enough. The stars are obscured by those same auroras, except for the brightest and some of those seem to have changed position.
Some survivors have speculated that without the moon, Odekor’s axial tilt is changing. They claim that’s the reason for the shifting climate, the earthquakes and tsunamis.
The empyrean, Nelesene, claims that the moon was not destroyed but passed through a planar portal and now drifts through the Astral Plane.  She is confident it will return to Odekor’s orbit at some point in the future.  To date, no one has cared enough to dispute her prediction or question how she knows any of this.
The truth is actually much stranger.
Odekor’s moon has been devoured by a monstrous outsider called Yshaghal.  The outsider swallowed the moon whole and has lapsed into a deep sleep, akin to hibernation, while it digests it.  The auroras that paint Odekor’s sky red and purple at night are a physical manifestation of Yshaghal’s dreams.
When it finishes digesting the moon, Yshaghal will wake.  If it’s still feeling peckish, it might try to take a bite out of Odekor itself.  If it’s not hungry, it will probably excrete whatever’s left of the moon.  This could result in Odekor being pelted by massive meteors in a literal apocalyptic shitstorm. Or the lunar remains could coalesce into a ring system around the planet.
Either way, in about fifty years, Odekor’s moon will reappear.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Odekor - Day 5

Elves.
Slender. Tall.  Elegant. Beautiful.
These were the elves.
Hailing from the continent of Ashada, the elves had built an empire of their own before they encountered humans.  They were the first race to sail the oceans of Odekor, the first race to encounter another sentient species.  The elves met the dwarves of Birichir four hundred years before they encountered humans.  They proceeded to enslave them.
Four hundred years later, the elves met humans.  The meeting did not go well.  The elves went to war with the Empire of Choan, confident of their superiority in all things.
This confidence was badly misplaced.
Humans had the advantage of numbers. They allied with the dwarves, and employed tactics and deployed resources that the elves had never encountered.
The Serene Kingdoms of the elves had existed for six thousand years.  Fifty years after declaring war on the Empire, the Serene Kingdoms were reduced to ash and bone.
Martial victory was not enough for the Empire.  Under the direct orders of the Emperor, every elf over five years of age was put to death.  The surviving children were sent to Choan, where many died in the laboratories of imperial wizards seeking to understand and possibly duplicate elven longevity.  The wizards never managed to duplicate elven longevity, but they did discover a means to eliminate it.  Elves would now live no longer than humans and many would not even live that long.
Elven culture was eradicated. Their language was outlawed. Within a single generation, the elves had been reduced to a minor slave caste in the Empire.
This was done, not only as revenge for daring to defy the Emperor, but as a very clear warning to the other races.  Fuck with humanity and this will happen to your own people. Watch. Learn. Obey.
When the War occurred, the elves were still slaves to the Empire.  Beautiful and submissive, they served in pleasure houses and as personal servants to the nobility. Most died beside their masters when the godstorms ravaged the planet.
A few elves, however, did survive.  Most lurk in the ruins of cities, stealthily avoiding the undead. Some have fled the cities, to eek out a crude and miserable existence in the ravaged wilderness.  However, after a thousand years of servitude, freedom does not come easily to the elves.  Most gladly serve new masters, no matter how monstrous or depraved, desperate for some sense of normalcy and continuity with their previous existence, before the War.
Beautiful. Slavish. Broken.
These are the elves of Odekor.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Odekor - Day 4

The Gnomes.
The Gnomish sense of humor is well known.
Gnomes love a good joke.
The biggest joke they ever pulled was the End of the World.
Sadly, it wasn’t a very good joke.
Gnomes originated on Leam, the smallest of Odekor’s five continents, but quickly spread across the world.  When the humans began to build their Empire, the gnomes were the first race to ally with them.  They were trusted and beloved allies.
The humans entrusted the gnomes to look after the Prophecies.  The gnomes surreptitiously altered the Prophecies, smudging a line here or subtly enhancing a certain phrase.
Gnomes, you see, were never mentioned in any of the Prophecies. As far as the gods were concerned, the gnomes weren’t important.  So, over the course of a couple of millennia the gnomes got their revenge by fiddling with the Prophecies.
Whether or not they intended to destroy the world will remain a mystery.  The gnomes responsible for fiddling with the Prophecies are all dead, as are most of their kith and kin. The survivors have no idea that their brethren were responsible for sabotaging destiny.
Not that it would really matter that much to them.
Not now.
The surviving gnomes, you see, have gone quite mad.
Not charmingly mad.  Oh no. They aren’t wearing funny hats and talking in affected accents.
No, the madness of gnomes is more subtle and dark.
Gnomes live in picturesque villages, scattered around the world.  If you stumble upon one of these villages, you’ll most likely be invited to spend the night. The community will share their meager rations with you. There may be music and dancing.  A lovely time will be had by all.
Until one of the gnomes sticks a knife in your back.  Then the rest will fall upon you, with blades and bare hands.  They’ll tear you to pieces and consume your still warm flesh, cramming it into their mouths the way a greedy child might eat a cake.
Then, their chins and hands sticky with your blood, the gnomes will throw off their clothes and fuck.  They will use your bones as sex toys.
If you’re lucky, that’s all they’ll do to you.  However, if there are necromancers among the gnomes, they’ll use their magic to bind your spirit.  They will defile your soul in ways that beggar the imagination.  Ultimately, they’ll turn you into a guardian-spirit, bound to protect the village that killed you.
And try as you might, you’ll never be able to warn the next poor, hapless soul that wanders out of the wilderness into the gnomes’ embrace.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Odekor - Day 3


Humanity.
Once the race of men swarmed across the face of Odekor.  Guided by their gods, they built a vast empire that spanned all five continents.  The other races either acquiesced to human rule or were ruthlessly subjugated.
The Empire of Choan lasted over two thousand years.  They built vast cities and criss-crossed the continents with well-maintained roads.  In their cities, they built temples to their gods and monuments to their own great leaders.
According to prophecy, the Empire of Choan should have weathered the War.  Humanity should have survived the End of the World, and ascended to the Fields of Joy to live in endless happiness and pleasure among the Blessed.
That didn’t happen.
When the storm swept the world, humanity died.  From the oldest grandmother to the youngest babe, the race was wiped from the face of Odekor.  The Empire of Choan ended in fire and pain.
Today, all that remains are shattered roads, fallen temples and shattered monuments to human pride.
Humanity died, but they did not remain dead for long.  The necrotic energies saturating Odekor revived most of the race as zombies.
Human undead stagger along the broken roads. They lurk in the ruins of the cities. Among fallen monuments, undead humans wait in ambush, ready to devour the flesh of the unwary.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Odekor - Day 2

The War.
The gods should have won.  All the prophecies and portents stated that the gods should have won. The forces of evil should have been vanquished.
And that happened.
Sort of.
At the appointed time, at the appointed place, the Armies of Heaven stood and waited for the Legions of Hell.  The Final Battle was upon the world.
The Legions of Hell did not appear.
Insulted by this slight, the Armies of Heaven descended into the Hells.  There they discovered two things: (1) there were only seven hells now, two having been completely obliterated, and (2) devils no longer reigned in the hells.  They hadn’t for some time.
Centuries ago, the Damned had risen against the Fallen.  The Fallen, for all their power, were few and the Damned were practically numberless.  The War in Hell lasted six hundred years, but at the end the Fallen were cast down.  The Damned ruled the Seven Hells and they had no intention of following the script that prophecy had laid out for them.  They chose oblivion over an eternity of suffering, but they were determined to take their oppressors with them, both the devils and the gods.
As the Armies of Heaven stood in speechless shock upon the Plains of Agony, the Damned slew the Fallen.  A wave of necrotic energy swept out, destroying everything in its path. The devils died. So did the Damned.
The Armies of Heaven tried to flee.  They opened portals to other planes.
This would be disastrous.
As the gods perished, their bodies released radiant energies that reacted cataclysmically with the necrotic death-storm.  The resultant, otherworldly explosion, tore apart reality.
The barriers separating the various elemental realms collapsed, and the Planes of Air, Earth, Fire and Water poured into one another creating a single Plane of Elemental Fury.  In the heavenly realms, the Fields of Joy burned and many of the Blessed burned with them.  The gods who remained were powerless to stop the cataclysm.
On Odekor, burning angels fell from the sky.  Some lesser devils, having escaped the destruction of the Seven Hells sought refuge in the Underdark.  Sadly, that refuge was short-lived. A planar breach flooded the Underdark, forcing its denizens to flee to the hated surface.  They found no respite there, only more death.
An otherworldly storm had swept across the world.  Continents burned. Cities melted.  Whole populations were obliterated.  Over four thousand years of prophecy-shaped history had come to an end.
A future that should never have existed now unfolded before the scant survivors.
Betrayed by prophecy, failed by their gods, most of Odekor’s survivors now looked at the world as a chaotic, unpredictable place.
As such, they began to refer to Odekor as the Crooked World.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Odekor - Day 1

Sunlight spills through golden clouds, illuminating a vast plain of parched grass and dusty ruins. These are the remains of Hakara and Odoro, two great cities built by men.  Dead now, like their founders. Dead but not abandoned.
Among the ruins, zombies stagger. This is what humanity has been reduced to, limping corpses shuffeling along paths existing only in the memories of their decaying brains.  They grunt and moan, aping the actions of their living selves.
Hakara and Odoro are dead and they belong to the dead.
Following the sun's trail, walking west, you leave the plains and pick your way through petrified forests.  If you are wise, you'll keep a weapon at the ready.  Many things shelter in the stone woods, monsters forced out of the lost Underdark: hook horrors, oozes and worse. Game is scarce in the stone woods, and your flesh would taste just as fine as any hunk of venison.
Onward, into the west, the ground breaks into deep chasms and crooked canyons.  In the canyon's perpetual twilight you can just make out small figures.  Duergar possibly, or gnomes.
Best to avoid them both.
As I said, your flesh would sate as well as any stag's haunch, and even gnomes cannot be trusted. Not here.  Not now.
Skirting the canyon's edges, you creep along.  The sun is far ahead now, halfway to the distant Mountains of Desh.  You adjust your cloak's hood, to protect your eyes from the glare, and press onward. 
As you leave the canyons behind, the ground begins to rise.  The parched grass is long here. A single spark would turn these hills into an inferno.  You glance at the sky, blue and clear, not even a wisp of cloud to mar its empty perfection.
When was the last time it rained? You can't even remember. You wonder some times if it will ever rain again.
The sun is falling now, dipping below the western horizon.  The sky is darkening.  It turns the color of an ugly bruise.  There is no moon. Not any more.  It was lost during the War.
Descending the hill's western face, you find unexpected shelter.  The shrine is half sunk into the hill, as if the earth turned to water around it, and the building sank like a boat.  Lighting a torch, you drop it into the shrine's gaping doorway.  The flames illuminate cracked marble floors and walls, a topsy-turvy altar to one of the Lost Gods.
It looks safe enough.  You crawl into the building and retrieve your torch.  Outside the night sky is slashed with red. You eat a handful of your rations, swallow a mouthful of precious water. 
You wanted to be in the mountains for the night. There are aarakocra settlements in the Mountains of Desh, and rumors of an angel. They say the angel weeps in its sleep, crying enough silver tears to form a stream.
You would like to see that angel.
You would like to kill it.
The thought warms you, as you extinguish your torch and pull your cloak tight about you.
You drift off to sleep and dream of the red night sky and angels weeping rivers of blood.

Odekor in September

Well, I'm nuts.
I've decided that for the month of September I am going to do a post a day.  The theme will be a setting for a DnD-style fantasy compaign.  So, sit back, take your shoes off and get ready to explore Odekor, the Crooked World.