Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Lore of the Land: Al'Kadarir

The dark yellow sands shift slowly and shimmer red in the setting sun.  The soft cornered remains of once grand temples dot the landscape near what is left of this oasis.  Figures in flowing crimson robes stand silent with their curved silver blades atop iron shafts watching from just out of sight - these are the guard of Lurac-Lunhan, Lord of the Oasis and King of the Al'Kadarir.

The specifics are difficult to pinpoint because, frankly, it is in the middle of the most gigantic crazy desert ever.  The Ptocnik is massive in scale and things like distance or time quickly become irrelevant.  With that in mind, Al'Kadarir is generally thought to be on the northern end of things - traveling west one can see great mountains and eventually to the north as well - the northwest seems clear indicating a likely (but unverified) passage in the Parched Steppe.

Sights & Sounds
  • The dark sand whispering in the endless wind
  • The echo of a far-off stone falling from one of the great columns of red stone
  • Shattered remains of long abandoned settlements
  • The base and outline of a series of small pyramid now worn down and rubble
  • The quickly fading tracks of travellers moving toward the great oasis
  • Flashes of red cloth and the sound of a strange bird whistle and chirp
  • Winged beasts circling the high peaks of the Basalt Obelisk
  • The sounds of a terrible and tremendous battle mixed with the echos of a hundred men shouting and cheering
  • The rumble of something passing deep under the sand
  • Bones of a giant bleached and cracked
  • An area of absolute desolation - the reminder that something powerful stalks this region
  • Laughter and the roar of an open market once Al'Kadarir is found
  • The slow jangle of a caravan of merchants making their way to or from the oasis along secret routes
  • The chanting of the enslaved wizards that cause the merchants to fade into the sands, carried along by the clacking bones of a thousand dead warriors
  • The smell of spice is always on the wind...

Other Notes
The Lord of the Oasis delegates most of the day-to-day tasks to his crimson minions, but takes a special interest in those that are from far-off lands.  He does not believe in the underworld or the portals and is often inclined to believe them spies of strange and enraged gods.

The crimson guard are constantly battling a huge group of bandits that have settled a few days away in a strange place.  It is rumored that two cursed heroes representing divine light and malign darkness battle for eternity in the crater of a fallen star.  This pat has attracted the bandits who throw prisoners into the fray to get slaughtered as collateral damage.  They also raid any caravans they can get close to.

Something big lives off to the southeast and has either just settled in or woken up.  No one is sure what it is, but the few who have seen it and survived are gibbering fools - drooling from slack jaws and unable to speak from tongues bitten off in terror.  The few that manage to get something coherent out shout about eyes within eyes upon wheels entombed in fire.  "He is Risen!" they shout.  Obviously some sort of religious fervor to explain a terrible beast.