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June 5, 2009, 7:41 pm

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Sagron

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Unique among the sea monsters that infest the oceans of Acqua, this abomination is cursed with a hunger for power that can never be satisfied.

Appearance

Even by the monstrous standards of krakens, Sagron makes for an unsettling sight. He is vast, the humongous rubbery expanse of his body easily dwarfing a hump-backed whale in comparison. His hide is the putrid grey of a corpse in the final stages of decay and his appearance is made even more ghastly to behold by the ugly scars that seem to cover the entirety of his hulking mass. In numerous places, gaping cavities left by the violent ripping of large chunks of his flesh from his body are clearly visible, covered only by hideous lumps of scar tissues. Still more distressing to behold are the disfigured stumps where some of his tentacles used to be. Thus, it is glaringly evident to anyone that sees him even for the very first time, that Sagron is a kraken that has fought many savage battles during his life-time, some that have left terrible physical reminders of the awful toll that they exacted. But most fearful to look upon by far are the giant orbs that gaze out with barely surpassed hatred and loathing at his surroundings. Malice and hatred suffuse these bulging, cart-wheeled sized eyes that have taken on a hellish scarlet glow.

History/Background

Sagron is a creature utterly consumed by his hatred and his thirst for power. Throughout his existence, he has been forced to confront bitter hardship and ferocious merciless struggles. All of these have inflicted a heavy personal cost, transforming what was once merely another kraken content to devour the occasional fishing vessel into one of the most deadly menaces that the powers of Acqua face.

Spawned by a pair of krakens that had taken to terrorizing minor fishing villages, Sagron like most other krakens came into existence without a name. Like the rest of his kindred, he was content to exist as a simple behemoth of the depths that concerned itself only with sating its appetite and avoiding other krakens large enough to attack and devour it. Names were for humans with their powerful but absurd urge to identify categorize everything that engaged their interest, even themselves. Krakens were a far different breed of creature, satisfied with merely recognizing that which was good to eat and ignoring or avoiding that which could not be eaten. This simple existence led by the kraken population of Acqua’s ocean would change be changed irrevocably however, following a momentous event that occurred in the fortieth year of this kraken’s existence.

An especially large kraken had made an alliance with a group of villagers. In exchange for protecting them from the raids of pirates, he would accept an annual tribute of amethyst. Big Red as his grateful human dependants had taken to calling him, had discovered the potency of the amethyst gem stones when their power was harnessed by a sentient being such as a kraken. By tapping into the latent essence that resided within the amethyst stones, Big Red had been able to accomplish tremendous feats of strength and power that had previously been beyond the capabilities of even the most powerful krakens in existence. His single handed destruction of an entire De Madden Company punitive force that had been despatched to punish his human vassals for allying themselves with the big kraken, sent tremors through Acqua’s kraken population.

If tapping into the strange and arcane power that lay within the amethyst stones had made Big Red such a fearsome force that even the hated humans of the Company had come to fear, what would they be able to accomplish if they too enjoyed similar access to such stones? And thus, in that instant, the krakens forsook the simple existence that they had led for millennia and begun to seize and dominate islands rich in the precious amethyst gems. The wars that followed were terrible and savage. So many of the largest krakens perished violently in vying with each for control of the rapidly diminishing amethyst deposits.

This dark chapter in the history of Acqua’s krakens would alter the course of the young kraken’s life forever.

Given the gargantuan sizes of both his parents, he himself had been able to attain a fairly large size, even as far as krakens went. But unlike other larger krakens that had set about asserting their dominance by simply eating their smaller and weaker neighbors, he was wise enough to learn that there was a better way of attaining his aspirations. During his attacks on the fishing vessels and the occasional Shura hunting parties that had been unfortunate enough to encounter him, he had observed something rather interesting. Unlike his own people, both the surface dwellers and the aquatic shark worshippers preferred to move about in large social groups dominated by a single individual who appeared to be in a position of control over his comrades.

What had been remarkable was that all of them, especially the Shura, had been able to put up a much better fight then a single one of those puny things would ever have been capable of individually. He knew this from painful experience after once having had multiple Shura tridents discharged simultaneously into one of his massive orbs. From this somewhat vexing encounter, he learnt that there were advantages to attacking a foe with the help of competent subordinates. Consequently, he resolved to create his own army that would enable him to defeat all his rivals for control of the amethyst rich isles, even the mighty Big Red himself.

Thus it was that instead of eating his smaller and weaker neighbors, he spared their lives in exchange for their pledge of loyalty. However, the ambitious young kraken was enough to realised that mere fear alone would not be sufficient to obtain their loyalty and consequently promised them a small portion of whatever amethyst stones that he seized with their aid.

Within a period of slightly less than four months, he and his army of lesser krakens had succeeded in seizing a few islands abundant in amethyst from some of the more powerful krakens. Even with their amethyst derived magic, they were unable to stand up the assault of the ambitious young kraken and his small army of minions who would converge on their foe, shredding him slowly to bits with their beaked moths and devouring him the in the process. Once the reigning overlord has been disposed of in this manner, he and his roving band would demand a token of submission from the resident islanders in the form of access to all available amethyst supplies.

The tribute would then be divided among him and his minions, with Sagron naturally receiving the largest share. But ever the ruthless and crafty conqueror to the very end, he decided that his human vassals were useful for more than just harvesting amethyst. Instead, the most able bodied of their young men were drafted to become slave soldiers in his expanding army. Beautiful women for their part were sold to slave traders from Banhosea so as to earn the revenue needed to purchase boats and weapons for his army.

At that point, he seemed invincible. With his abilities boosted to terrifying levels by the amethyst he had robbed from erstwhile kraken overlords and with his growing army of both krakens and enslaved human soldiers, it appeared inevitable to many that he would become one of the paramount powers in Acqua. Some of the kraken overlords even begun to refer to him by the name ‘‘Sagron’’ that the Shura had given him, which meant ‘‘endlessly hungry one''. It was a title that he adopted with glee, for it reflected his true nature well enough. His appetite for amethyst and power was indeed insatiable, something that everyone would learn until he had become the mightiest among the kraken overlords.

And then tragically for the ambitions of the newly christened Sagron, he allowed himself to grow dangerously over confident. Dismissing the advice of his kraken followers who warned him that what he had planned was nothing short of suicide, Sagron resolved to launch an assault on Big Red himself. For decades he had dreamt of slaying Big Red and claiming his position as the mightiest power among the Kraken Sates for himself. As he saw it, the old kraken had relapsed into complacency, believing himself to be invincible in his power. Sagron was determined to shatter that illusion in the most savage way imaginable.

On the appointed day, as the subjects of Big Red gathered around the harbour to toss an unfortunate maiden to the hungry kraken that lived in the bay, Sagron made his move. Before Big Red could even reach out with a tentacle to grab the unfortunate woman thrashing wildly on the surface, Sagron’s forces launched a furious assault. Thirty krakens led by Sagron himself viciously proceeded to attack big Red, shredding his flesh with their deadly, cuticle lined tentacles even as they clutched amethyst talismans, and sent barrage after barrage of deadly enchantments slamming into their adversary. Meanwhile as this titanic under-sea battle erupted, a fleet appeared on the horizon, manned by Sagron’s slave soldiers. With a signal given by one of Sagron’s kraken minions, they proceeded to launch a blistering hail of ballista against the already lacerated and bleeding mass of Big Red.

For a while it seemed as if Sagron and his assembled confederates would triumph. The relentless assault of kraken tentacles, spells and ballistae had seemed to have taken their toll on Big Red. The massive kraken was beginning to fold under the combined assault. But just as victory seemed imminent, Big Red reached deep within himself and launched a powerful spell with the remaining shreds of strength left to him. What happened in the ensuing next few moments still continues to haunt Sagron’s mind from time to time. With the force of an underwater volcanic eruption, Big Red’s spells sent boiling waves hurtling through the waters. All of Sagron’s kraken minions shrieked in agony as their flesh begun to boil and melt.

Then, with a bloodcurdling wail of rage, Big Red thrust his massive bulk up to the surface and begun to smash Sagron’s fleet into splinters. The screams of thousands of dying men joined the shrieks of the krakens as the searing heat of the waters inflicted a painful death on men and krakens alike. Sagron himself would have perished with his army that night, if he hadn’t had the presence of mind to immediately launch a cloaking spell with the remaining deposits of amethyst he still clutched in his tentacles. Ensconced safely within his magical shield, he quickly fled as fast as possible, his mind still filled with the mocking laughter of Big Red.

In the months that followed, Sagron found himself a hunted outlaw. Big Red had placed a massive bounty on his head prompting hoards of lesser krakens and even large armies of Shura to seek out the foolish upstart that had dared to challenge the power of Big Red. Sagron instinctively knew that he had little choice but to flee the waters where Big Red reigned supreme. His entire army had been lost in the failed offensive and the spell that he had cast to save himself had taken a terrible toll on his strength and energy. The spell had been so energy consuming that the power provided by Sagron’s amethyst talismans had not been
enough for it. Thus, in order to sustain itself, the enchantment had been compelled to reach within Sagron and sap away some of his own vital life energy. The results of this unintended act had been truly horrific.

Sagron’s previously red hide had even taken on the colour of a vile grey that was the shade of a rotting corpse, due to his recent magical exertions. Moreover, a foul stench that was strongly reminiscent of rotting meat seemed to emanate from him perpetually, constantly drawing shoals of hungry sharks that followed him wherever he went, patiently waiting for this seemingly dying beast to finally perish and feed their belies with its flesh.

So it was, that hideously disfigured and gravely weakened, Sagron chose to flee to the mysterious southern seas that he had heard so much about from passing Shura bands. They had told him of a vast expanse of sun drenched, azure waters teeming with marine wildlife and completely devoid of krakens. For the next couple of years, he continued to swim to this place of refuge, sustaining himself on large shoals of tuna and mackerel.

At last he succeeded in reaching his destination. There in the balmy waters of the southern seas, miles away from the haunt of krakens, he recovered his strength, nursed back to health on a diet of fish and crustaceans. Distressingly for him however, his death like pallor remained, as did the stench of decaying flesh that continued to pervade the immediate vicinity around him.

Both his newly acquired greyish hide and the odour of decay that stubbornly dogged him, were bitter physical reminders of his painful defeat and humiliation at the metaphorical hands of Big Red who even when his failure was complete, continued to haunt his mind with his cold, sneering contempt. As these painful thoughts continued to fester in Sagron, his anger at his recent defeat slowly developed into an all consuming hatred for Big Red, the author of his downfall. Constantly tormented by memories of his disastrous defeat, Sagron swore that he would someday return to inflict a terrible vengeance on Big Red.

Sadly, achieving such an ambition seemed well beyond his means. Devoid of his army and any amethyst stones that he could utilise, there was simply no way that Sagron could return to face Big Red without being completely annihilated in the process. Sagron was convinced that he would probably live out his remaining days in this backwater, a forgotten exile. Fate however, had an entirely different plan in store for him.

Sagron had taken to hunting in muddy tidal lagoons, areas that were abundant in species of large fish, small sharks and big crustaceans, all of which made good eating and easy prey. Hence it was that on a typical night, the kraken had entered the muddy waters of a tidal estuary close to the coast , eager on ensnaring a few juicy bull sharks with his tentacles. On this particular night however, the tables would be reversed. As his glaring orbs greedily searched the murky waters for the sight of an unwary bull shark, something slammed into him with a terrible violence, sending shockwaves coursing through the surface of the lagoon.

Before he could even shake off his disorientation and get a good look at what had attacked him, Sagron begin to discover that some of his tentacles were being ripped asunder from his body with brutal, unrestrained savagery. With crippling agony racing through his profusely bleeding form, the shell shocked kraken soon discovered to his immense shock, that he was being attacked by a gargantuan lobster almost as big as he was. Sagron had unknowingly intruded into the domain of a male Jurokang. Revered by the native islanders of the southern seas as gods, these giant lobsters were extremely aggressive towards intruders that trespassed into their domain.

Sagron’s assailant, naturally enraged by his intrusion into its territory, had resolved to slay and eat what it regarded as an oversized squid. Desperate to avoid such a fate, Sagron battled for his life and the waters ran red with the blood of the two aquatic titans. Finally, Sagron succeeded in reaching for the stalk eyes of the massive crustacean with a few of his tentacles and swiftly ripped them off in a huge spurt of blood. Rendered suddenly blind by this sly attack, the Jurokang soon found itself locked in the vengeful grip of the kraken that proceeded to crush its mass into a bloody mess.

Thrilled by the victory that he had snatched from the jaws of death, Sagron allowed his kraken instincts to take over and begun to immediately feast on the bloodied corpse of the Jurokang. As he begun to sink his maw into its corpse, a most bizarre event occurred. With every mouthful of the Jurokang that he devoured, a strange, mysterious energy ran through his body, suffusing every part of him with a warm radiance so powerful that it even momentarily stilled the crippling agony wracking the bleeding, mangled stumps here his tentacles had once been.

As this arcane source of power continued to rush in a powerful current through his frame, Sagron choosing to act on an unconscious impulse that he barely registered on a conscious level, let alone understand, begun to cast a particular spell with which he was well versed. The fact that it would be impossible to cast an enchantment without the aid of an amethyst talisman, was lost on Sagron, as in thrall to the mysterious power filling up the very core of his being, he let the spell loose. Almost instantaneously he became aware of the towering tidal waves that erupted on the surface of the lagoon, crashing against the coast with the fury of the rage that simmered deep within him.

The looming revelation was not slow in coming upon the ecstatic kraken. In order to regain his former power and perhaps even surpass it, he had to slay and devour more of the fearsome shelled leviathans that inhabited these mysterious seas. Within their flesh lay the potent energy that had fuelled the impressive display of strength that he had just unleashed.

Over the course of the following years, Sagron staked and slew dozens of the Jurokang. And with each great lobster that succumbed to the merciless grip of his tentacles and the ruthless greed of his black heart, Sagron’s mastery of the waves grew increasingly stronger. But these victories did not come cheaply.

With every successful hunt, the cruel pinchers of his prey would gouge ugly wounds in his flesh and rip off even more of his remaining tentacles, gradually rendering him an even more hideous sight that he had already been when he had first fled the wrath of Big Red. But he cared not for that. It would take him a long time before he would be able to regain his full strength, but the time would come when he would be able to make the rest of his kindred tremble before his wrath and power.

It wasn’t long before the resident island tribes became aware of this fearsome monstrosity that lurked in their oceans, slaying and devouring the great Jurokang that they had revered for so long. Fearful of this raging demon of the seas that could slay even creatures that were minor gods in their own right, the shamans of the local villages begun to reach out to the vast, blood thirsty presence terrorizing their seas, pleading with it to spare them in exchange for their agreeing to worship it as a god and offer it sacrifices if it so desired them. This offer was gladly accepted and soon most of the villages on the surrounding islands were quick to throw undesirable elements into the ocean for their new god to feast on. More importantly, they also pledged the support of their warriors when Sagron demanded that all their fighting men unite to form a hoard utterly to devoted to him.

To reward their loyalty, Sagron attacked trading ships despatched by the De Madden Company and Pan-Kor empire, sharing the plunder acquired from the wrecks with the chiefs and shamans of his fledgling army. Very soon, he had even become strong enough to despatch his warriors to seize vital straits through which trading vessels from the Pan-Kor empire passed through. Passing traders soon realised that they had to pay a heavy tribute to the worshippers of the ‘‘Ravenous One’’ as the islanders termed their new deity.

Although initially enraged by the problems that these apparently deluded cultists posed to the vitality of their commercial ventures, the proud Pan-Kor lords soon learned to leave Sagron well alone after the punitive fleets of their warriors that were foolish enough to bother his devotees were simply eaten by the enraged leviathan.

But as mighty as his power was, Sagron would soon realise that there was another even darker power haunting the southern seas that surpassed his own. Drunk on the power that he had stolen from the various Jurokang that he had had slain and eaten, Sagron soon became convinced that he was truly a god. So it did not please him at all when word from his faithful shaman subordinates reached him that a strange group of strangers calling themselves the followers of Ma-O had set up a small fort on a small uninhabited island.

When confronted by a large force of Sagron’s warriors and ordered to render their submission to the mighty kraken and adopt him as their sole and true god, they had refused in no uncertain terms. Ma-O was the only one worthy of ruling over the entire world of Acqua they had sternly informed the outraged followers of Sagron. Even a creature as formidable as Sagron, was still far inferior to Ma-O the great destroyer. If they so chose, they could humble the mighty kraken and render him a helpless captive.

Furious beyond all measure, Sagron despatched a mighty army to humble the fools that had dared insult him and bring them back for him to feast upon. Frustratingly for him however, out of that entire army only a terrified handful returned, carrying dreadful tales of the terrible sorcery that the worshippers of Ma-O had unleashed against the ranks of their warriors, decimating them.

Completely consumed by his fury now, the enraged kraken decided to personally do battle with the foul cultists who had dared to challenge his status as the sole god of these isles. Besieging the fort where the foul sorcerers had chosen to make their stand, his massive tentacles emerged from the waves to invoke a deadly spell that would unleash all the destructive power of the sea on the fools that had dared to challenge him.

At this pivotal moment as Sagron was about to assert his hitherto unchallenged dominance over the southern seas, something that he could never have foreseen, occurred. Scarcely had he begun the enchantment when his crazed, power hungry mind was invaded by a presence that exuded so much of malevolence and absolute evil that his own ceaseless wrath seemed a paltry thing in comparison. For a few fleeting moments, the kraken gazed upon the visage of the dark god Ma-O, Jove’s accursed offspring that has never given up his cherished hope of someday enslaving the world of Acqua and reducing its inhabitants to a life of eternal slavery under his heel.

Terror filled Sagron as he found himself reduced to a quivering wreck, all thought of devouring the sorcerers forgotten as his terrified mind was drenched in the awesome, hideous power of that fallen deity. And it was then for the very first time in his existence that Sagron realised what a true god was. All courage fled him and he uttered a mute plea for Ma-O to forgive him his arrogance and spare his pitiful life, well aware that if the god so chose, he could end the kraken’s existence in an instant.

But Ma-O was not angry. The god’s intention was not to destroy Sagron. Instead, Ma-O’s sinister power filled Sagron’s mind, making him an offer that was irresistible. If he, the mighty kraken overlord that craved power with a lust that could never be sated, were to accept Ma-O as his supreme master, he would get everything that he could possibly desire.

Indeed, when Ma-O’s moment of ascension arrived and the god was finally able to seize the world of Acqua for himself, Sagron would rule by his side, free to claim anything that pleased him. Even as this seductive promise floated through Sagron’s overwhelmed consciousness, his old hatred flared into life and the long repressed but never forgotten memory of Big Red’s mocking laughter resounded in his mind once again. And in that fleeting moment, unable to deny his own thirst for vengeance and power, Sagron swore to be Ma-O’s faithful minion as so many others had once been his until Big Red had ruined him. No sooner had he made that pact, then did his giant orbs become a blazing red, tainted by Ma-O’s demonic insanity.

Hence did Sagron become one of the most formidable allies that the cult of Ma-O possesses. With his strength now significantly increased by his unholy pact with the demonic god, Sagron continues to establish shrines dedicated to both his own worship and that of Ma-O. The cultists of the latter are permitted free reign within the dominions ruled by Sagron and the more powerful among them have even begun to share their twisted arcane arts with the corrupted shamans that serve in Sagron’s armies.

Sagron welcomes their assistance, knowing that he needs all the help that he can get if he is to return to his native waters and and subject the Kraken Sates to his oppressive yoke. But above all, he desires to confront his much reviled nemesis Big Red and devour him, only sparing the heart of the hated overlord as a personal sacrifice to his vile benefactor, Ma-O.

Role Playing Notes

Sagron is so devoted to his pursuit of vengeance and power, that he will conclude an alliance with anyone that can deliver Big Red’s bloated carcass for him to gorge himself on. That makes him a natural ally for anyone else that has an axe to grind with Big Red as well. However, he will not act rashly and put into action plans that have been poorly organised, as he is too afraid of loosing the tremendous gains that he has made over the past few decades. As of now, he is still too wary to move against Big Red who commands the unified support of the Kraken States. His biggest hope is to form an alliance with the De Madden Company against Big Red, but this may be a rather difficult task, given his previous attacks on some of their trading ships.  

Plot Hooks

The enemy of my enemy is my friend: The PCs are contracted by a foe of Big Red and the Kraken States to lure Sagron back into Acquan waters with the promise of military aid. If any spies of the krakens were to discover their mission during their voyage to the southern seas, it is likely that they will be attacked.

Big Red needs a favour: Word has reached the big kraken about the growing strength of his enemy in the tropical south and he has decided to despatch a great force commanded by the PC’s to put an end to Sagron and bring his head back for Big Red to mock.

Repentance: The PCs must convince Sagron that Ma-O is a selfish god that will not honour his bargain with the kraken should he ever come to power. Along the way, the adherents of Ma-O will do their best to foil their mission.



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Codex

Big Red By: Cheka Man ( NPCs ) Campaign - Political

Everybody who visited his island knew not to get on the wrong side of Big Red. From a distance you might mistake him for a reddish sandbank for a few seconds, until you saw him raise one or more of his tentacles and glare at you with one of his cartwheel sized eyes…

[ Show / Hide Submission ]   [ Visit Submission ]


Jurokang By: Maggot ( Lifeforms ) Fauna - Water

Feared throughout the southern seas, the Jurokang are a deadly menace to any that intrude into their domain.

[ Show / Hide Submission ]   [ Visit Submission ]


Ma-O the Water Deamon By: Cheka Man ( NPCs ) Major - Religious

Once Ma-O was a god in his own right, now he is the most reviled of all Infernal Beings, held responsible for so much of the death and destruction that happens on Acqua…

[ Show / Hide Submission ]   [ Visit Submission ]



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Comments ( 5 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Maggot
October 21, 2008, 8:40
0xp
And it's finally complete! The kraken with a taste for lobster.
Voted Cheka Man
October 21, 2008, 10:12
0xp
I can see over the long term Ma-O's cult growing ever larger in that area, almost to the status of a religion in it's own right. 5/5
Voted Scrasamax
October 21, 2008, 10:23
0xp
I see a few spelling errors, Sgaron, calm in place of claim, and that sort. Might need to spell check it again. I have a question, why did Sagron turn deathly in pallor and gain a rotten stench? Is he an undead kraken, or what?
Maggot
October 21, 2008, 21:14
0xp
Not exactly. It was a random, unintended effect of casting a spell that was somewhat beyond the capability of the amethyst stones that he had. In order to get all the energy it needed, the spell leached away some of his own life energy. Hence the grey hide and rotting odour. The story has been updated to reflect this fact.
Voted Strolen
January 10, 2014, 5:55
0xp
Wow.

Could have almost been three submissions. Outstanding establishment of religions and forces at work in the world!

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Faerie foods with unusual effects. Like faerie sausages that turn the eaters into wiener dogs, faerie wines that make the drinker whiny, etc. There's a table in Palladium Fantasy RPG which has a table of ideas.

Ideas  ( Items ) | February 25, 2003 | View | UpVote 0xp


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