Galafid’s Writings of Rendelshod

These pastiches were intended to give our group a feeling for the history of the First War of the Gods, also called the Wars of Rendelshod and the Sack of the Northern Kingdoms. Using this form let me provide information without too much detail. And since it’s hearsay from 8,000 years ago, the writings may be less than accurate.

One of my tenets of world building is to not flesh out details until they are needed, as ideas can morph with experience. Plus, anything the PCs have not directly experienced is hearsay and may be wrong. This allows for fixing and molding things as we go.

It also let me exercise creative writing, which was fun.

Note: These pastiches are displayed in what is believed to be chronological order. All are attributed to Galafid; yet he supposedly died during the year that followed the Lords of Rendelshod’s defeat at the demon lord Jxtl’s hands.

Aftermath of the Great Storm

The Southern Seas are roiled and the corpse of many a creature, both of land and sea, lie dead on the beaches or lost forever in the depths. Our party came near such a fate but a friendly bit of land interposed itself between our ship and the deeps, and we are wrecked but alive on a fruitful shore. Where we be now I know not but those of us knowledgeable of such things believe our position to be the Island of Korpu, somewhere on a northern shore.

Reaching Rary, northern most of the island of the Southern Kingdoms, I no longer believe possible. Whether they exist any longer, or no, I cannot say. Travel we did, not four hundred miles due south of the point south of Jakith, and there, where two hundred miles travel should have brought us to Rary, we found no land. As noted before the seas were rough, but a ship of our size, while not equal to a dromond, was still able to laugh at such waves.

I take this time to now record and preserve my account, that such might outlast my pitiful self and be of value to some future generation. I am old and may not survive the coming rainy season, this spring of 6847, nineteen years after the beginning of the Great Wars of Destruction.

On our eighty-first day out from the point south of Jakith the storm sprang up and put to an end our search for a place of refuge. The winds and high seas pushed us north at an incredible rate. From the First Mate’s calculations of our present location we traveled eleven hundred miles in a day and a half.

Lost at sea are seventeen of our twenty-nine crew, including our Captain. Out of one hundred twelve passengers seventy-two remain, but seven are expected to die within the week from injuries sustained during our rapid travel. We no longer have a cleric of power to save them, even if our patron gods were accessible to us. Too, if permanent shelters cannot be erected and sufficient quantities of good gathered before Fall, many more shall perish.

We have food enough to sustain our reduced numbers for three weeks, double that if strict rationing is imposed. Fortunately, fresh water is plentiful for there are three springs in the area. The rainy season will be bad, but some will survive and will be able to raise crops to prevent a second happening of famine. I despair I will not be among them.

Of the Lords I cannot say. They sent myself and all other servants away some four months past. I speculate that the Great Storm sprang up at the time of a terrible battle between the Lords and the enemies of the Lands of Men. The result I may never know.

The Doom of the Lords of Rendelshod

Two centuries past the Lords of Rendelshod still held sway over many a desolate and formerly evil place. Many a king or prince felt envy, but no kingdom had the power to challenge the great Lords. Many a Lord died in the service of his Goddess, Epixenie, but always came another to replace his great predecessor.

A tragedy it was that their greatness extended itself to their minds, for the truly great have no need of arrogance. Even more unfortunate it was that Epixenie herself drank of the deadly pride that infected us all.

They battled devils, Greater and Princes, and a many it was they slew. But their short sightedness was their downfall, for they looked not at the dangers of the Abyss. So it was that Jxtl, Demon Prince of Deception, intervened on the behalf of the devils and struck the Goddess down through trickery. And So It Was Her End!

Now demons, devils, and many evil creatures aligned themselves with the evil kingdoms and the Sack of the Northern Kingdoms began.

For twenty years the Wars continued, and in that time the Keeps of the Lords of Rendelshod fell, one by one. In the year their last Keep stood unsacked the Lords made their decision. Sending away their lesser members and servants to help the remaining good forces, they left their Keep undefended and traveled to Jxtl to face their doom and avenge the death of their Goddess. Revenge they found not! Only unending doom!

Defeated they were and doomed to un-Life everlasting. Their Blades were taken ‘way and left with false hope they returned to their homelands and dispersed.

Jxtl spoke: “Your Blades I return to the land of men. When all are recovered you may try again your luck and then be doomed to an unending fate worse than that has already overtaken you. But before you leave on your separate ways I say this to you (as he held one Blade high): Until this very Blade is found none of the others will reach your hands!”

And so he dispersed them, but his doom was the trickery that all else about him is, for the Blade remained with him in the Abyss so that the Lords’ torment would never end.

The ruin of our world is complete. Gone forever is Caradin, the bright kingdom adorning Mount Thunder. Gone is Lepadillia, heart of the Elves, its great forests blasted to splinters and burned. Gone are the warrens of the Dwarves and Gnomes, the Kirik Mountains, shaken and crumbled by Hell. Sunk is the bright land of the Halflings, changed now to a deadly marsh.

But, too, is destroyed Saracind, the heart of evil, shattered by its own greed, its mountain fastness now known as the Plateau of Death. Where lay horrid Jkith is now the Mithril Mountains, their evil cities shattered and buried. The cities of Rharhiky died in the creation of the Great Sandy Waste, consumption by sand a most proper fate.

Only untouched are the Valley Elves, denizens of the Valley of the Mystical Mage. In the far frozen north, in a land of steam, this magical place remains as it was. To reach it one must travel past the Shattered Hills, once the Kariks, and travel to the gate …

Fate of the Lords of Rendelshod

This I write in the four hundred seventy-first year after the end of the Wars of Rendelshod. I am at the last castle of Rendelshod that still stands. The other seventeen are scattered in pieces or crumbled by ill-used forces of nature. Druids still curse those who would do such.

My investigation of the burial crypt far below the castle first discovered strong enchantments upon it. I was able to discover that more than one spell has been cast. Good has protected the burial chamber for the former Lords with creatures of the Positive Plane. Evil has protected the eighteen biers of stone.

The Lords never added those biers, so I know not why, for sure, the reason for their placement. I suspect, but may never prove, that when each Lord recovers his Cleaver he will be forced to rest upon one. Also, when each Cleaver has been found all the Lords are assembled a shift will take place — to the realm of Jxtl.

Of course, this may never take place, as the Prince of Deception kept the Cleaver that is fated to be the first found. But I know a brave fool stole that fated Blade and escaped Jxtl’s realm. He later lost that Blade but told me the story afore demons caught and punished him.

Think, I do, that Jxtl prepared for the possibility that the Lords might recover their Cleavers. Even with that Blade upon our Plane the eventuality of retribution is small.

Searched I have for the other seventeen blades, but none could I find. I hoped that such help might gain the reprieve that the Lords desire and deserve, whether it would or not I shall probably never know. In the past four hundred and seventy-one years I have seen four of the eighteen Lords, and if they are rare, their Cleavers are rarer.

Teroba Tur, Half-Elven Fighter & Thief

Recorded by Galafid

This is a brief account as told by Teroba Tur, a half-elven fighter and thief who raided the demon prince Jxtl’s treasure room. Tur did not survive much past telling this story to Galafid.

Having cast a Change Self spell I simply walked through the palace of Jxtl, looking like a Type VII demon. I used a quick mind and found his treasure room, which was completely unguarded as no thing would DARE to enter it for fear of his wrath. HA!

I had an idea of what I wanted, mostly jewelry and gems, things easy to carry. I knew magic deteriorated in that hellish place, so I planned on little, having gone for fame and wealth anyway.

I changed my mind once inside. I saw the broadsword hanging on the wall, all silvery and gleaming. I HAD to have it!

That idea changed when I pulled it of the wall. The shock nearly fried me clappers! I still wanted it so I wrapped it in cloth to shield me, grabbed a few items that appeared the most valuable, and lit out of there.

I was almost back to the gate when the alarm sounded. I made it through by the skin ‘o me teeth. Once back I faded through the city and listened to a thousand people get croaked as a horde of demons poured through the gate. As soon as the coast was clear I got clean out of the city and came here …

Teroba Tur’s Fate

This short note was found with other writings attributed to Galafid. However, this one is clearly not one of his — the unidentified author’s writing does not match Galafid’s style of writing, although the piece is believed to have been written between 470 and 480 After the Sack of the Northern Kingdoms (ASNK).

The thief Teroba Tur rambled an unbelievable tale in a drunken rant. He had much clinkers and was free with drinks, so like the other gats, I slurped free ale.

But I’s smarter than the other gats — wanting some of that clinkers, I drank little while the others passed out, one by one. It was just Tur and me at the end. He told be a tale that sounded like the boasts of a soused idiot. Anyone with that much clinkers in his pockets had to be stupid to get drunk, especially after flashing it around.

He bragged he breached the demon lord’s castle — I fears to even write the name, as names have power. Once inside, he stole a great sword and a bunch of easy to carry loot, like the gems he flashed around. Some demon worshiper had opened a gate in one of the Pahkian cities, and Tur snuck through to get to the castle.

He was so full of it, the whites of his eyes were brown. Ain’t no one gonna do that, go to the Abyss! I didn’t call him a liar and he was drunk enough he didn’t know what I were thinking.

He crowed that the alarm was sounded just before he got back to the gate, it sounded like bedlam. A horde of demons boiled through the gate. Not slowing down, he stole a horse and rode out of the city like his ass was on fire.

Maybe he wasn’t so full of it. A gat like him ain’t gonna admit to running. But still?

As much as he wanted to keep the sword, it was enchanted and didn’t like him. If he touched it without a pad, he got shocked hard. He showed me the scars on his left hand and arm where it looked like he was burned badly. Whatever happened, the wound was fresh, less than two weeks old. Something happened and it didn’t look like fire. Not that I’m an expert or nothing.

Anyway, he sold the sword and kept riding south, intending to take passage to the Southern Islands. Said he was knew the demons was tracking him.

Huh! The dumbass spent clinkers like it was water, leaving a trail a blind badger could follow.

That said, he plunked face down on the table. I grabbed a handful of smaller stones and silver clinkers and took my leave. Enough to stead me for a year or two if I was smart, but not enough that he’d track me down. Figured he’d not wake up for hours and probably wouldn’t know he was short, any how. Not that I was counting on that.

Months later I heared someone caught up with him early that following morning. The other fellows we drank with were torn apart like sabre cats got ’em, and Tur was shredded from the bottom up. Someone wanted to know something, I thinks. Sure, the guy that told the tale pulled it a bit, but I heared from another guy another story so I believe Tur died hard.

As much as I thought he was full of crap, I heard that the Pahkian city Dar-El-Kas was sacked about the time Tur said. Word is demons slaughtered all’uns, but ya can’t believe that hooey.

Also heard some ugly gat was asking about me, a guy that made people scared just to be near him. I thinks I’ll be booking passage to the Southern Islands quick like.

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