Saturday, 26 February 2011

A map of the Kingdom of Teiglin

This is only a small corner of the former Empire of Toutus, but it is where a lot of adventurers start off.

There are 8 surviving baronies of Teiglin, each based around a town. These are:

To the east of Bauglir there are the borderlands, with numerous ruined settlements, the biggest and most dangerous of which is the former capital, Erkhart.
The southern half is dominated by the vast Shorgan Forest, and to the southwest are the Kaynor Islands.
The population of Teiglin is 166,000 including demihumans.

Friday, 25 February 2011

A Brief History of Kaelaross part 2 - The Summoning

As the war dragged on, there arose a shortage of young soldiers, most having died in battles or from other, more subtle dangers of war such as hunger and disease. So the Emperors turned to their wizards. The wizards at first actually fought the battles, but then decided that it would be more convenient if they were to simply summon hordes of monsters. Such monsters were effective against the general populations and armies, but not against the enemy wizards who could defend themselves with magic. Those wizards who sought assistance from the powers of Chaos to summon monsters from the Planes of Chaos became known as twisted summoners. They particularly worshipped Bhael, Lord of Monsters and Fear.

Then in BY 1560, the summoning stopped as if something was blocking the passage of the monsters into Kaelaross. With great concerted effort the wizards brought the blockage along the passage and into Kaelaross. The blockage was the chaotic god Bhael, and the wizards had just summoned his avatar.

All of the wizards who had participated in his summoning died instantly heart attacks and strokes as a massive wave of evil magic hit them and surged through their weakened bodies. For twenty days and twenty nights he stalked the land, teleporting from city to city and from continent to continent, slaying indiscriminately, creating many monsters and destroying features both man-made and natural. No mortal who saw his face survived the horrifying shock they received; all died of fright.

It took the personal appearance of two Gods of Law, Rhondus and Adonor, to apprehend and banish Bhael. The battle took three whole weeks, and like Bhael's initial rampage, the combatants teleported across the surface of Kaelaross, seeking some tactical advantage that mortals could not understand. The battle was so violent and powerful that land masses were raised, lowered, shifted around, split up and amalgamated. The whole physical geography of Kaelaross was deformed, in some parts out of recognition.

The four empires had collapsed into anarchy as monsters roamed, raided and multiplied. Humanity was now on a collision course with extinction as farmlands were now seas and cities had been thrown up into mountain ranges. Humanity had fallen from a war against itself into a fight for survival against the unhuman hordes of chaos formed by Bhael and their own wizards.

It was only through the work of the priests of Law that humanity managed to pull itself back from the brink of oblivion and the maw of Chaos. With guidance from the Gods of Law, humans, halflings, elves and dwarves began to rebuild their world. The four empires had collapsed and split into regions that were now on their own. 

The year is now BY 1610 and fifty years have passed since Bhael's banishment. Things have begun to stabilise. Out of the untamed wild lands where monsters roam, the brave and the strong are carving out their own dominions, while bands of terrible monsters still prey on the weak and foolish.

New kingoms are forming, possibly the start of a new generation of empires. However, the priests of Chelmor and Rhondus have been charged with keeping detailed and truthful accounts of the Wizard Wars and the Coming of Bhael. Wizards are a lot less popular and accepted than before the war, though some have proved their worth.

This is in many ways a new dark age. Life is often too short, and ignorance is widespread. Towns lie in ruin and much of the wealth is in the lairs of fell beasts.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

A brief history of Kaelaross part 1 - the Wars between the Empires

A Brief History of Kaelaross

Civilization has been on Kaelaross for many millennia, perhaps for 15,000 years when the warrior-kingdoms of Kzuth arose in what is now known as Bursia. However, it has certainly not been a smooth upward trend – wars between cultures, diseases, natural disasters, monstrous attacks and occasional incursions from the Planes of Chaos have all slowed or even reversed the march of progress. Many cultures and civilizations have fallen, a few even totally forgotten.

Around 1000 years ago the four great empires that were to dominate Kaelaross (until very recently) began their rises to power. For hundreds of years Kaelaross was dominated by these great empires called Bellenos, Toutus, Telthus and Bursia. Each became huge, covering the equivalent of a continent each, with populations of a hundred million each.

Toutus was renowned for its feudalism, knights and castles. Strength and chivalry were greatly admired, while clerics of Law supported the knights and nobles.

Bursia had its clerics, mages, grand temples and disciplined legions. Knowledge and order reigned supreme. The Emperor of Bursia was a mystical figurehead, but the real power lay in the large bureaucracy that dominated the day-to-day running of the empire.

Bellenos was built on an archipelago of thousands of islands, and its navy was the best in the world, as were its merchant-traders. Bellenos was renowned for its light and fast swashbucklers and its appreciation of fine art. Wealth and taste were driving forces in the empire.

Telthus was the darkest of the four, nestled in the jungles of the south. Its clerics openly consorted with the forces of Chaos, to the disapproval of other Empires, and it used slavery to bolster its workforces, both human and humanoid slaves.

Between the empires there was a cold war with very little trade and diplomacy, but much espionage and posturing. Tension and national pride ran very high, and everyone reckoned that war was inevitable, and it was just a matter of time. In retrospect it is suprising that peace lasted so long – the skirmishes and border clashes between the empires in the previous thousand years had not escalated due to financial problems and the sheer effort of sending armies and navies over such long distances.

And the time came when, in BY 1550 (Bursian Year, the most widely used of the calendars), after three bad harvests, Telthus decided to invade Bellenos to gain better farmland. Bursia attacked Toutus because, ostentatiously, Bursia had allied with Telthus and Toutus had allied with Bellenos.

The war degenerated into an all against all for world supremacy. It was terrible in its scale - legions were sacrificed like pawns in a game of chess; cities were sacked, fleets were sunk; brutal crimes were committed in the name of patriotism. Raids and invasions were launched with varying degrees of success, but no empire could gain a decisive advantage, and neither would any empire surrender or even sue for peace.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Welcome to my new blog

After a break from blogging about Dungeons and Dragons, I have decided to give it another go.
I intend to write about classic D&D and in particular a world I am creating for it, the world of Kaelaross.
There have been dozens of worlds and campaign settings for both Advanced Dungeons and Dragons and 3rd Edition Dungeons and Dragons, but comparatively few for Classic D&D - the most important setting being Mystara, and that has now been abandoned by publishers. Even its most important fansite, the Vaults of Pandius ( has gone quiet.

I believe this is a shame, because the resurgent interest in Classic D&D through the retroclone Labyrinth Lord would be helped by a common shared campaign setting. Thus I present to you my own setting - the World of Kaelaross.

A word of caution - I may not necessarily put out information in a particularly logical order. This is a creative work, which would probably benefit from a bit of editing.