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October 16, 2012, 9:41 pm

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Auchoss, the Dynasties, and the Gravel Pits


Wizards were rare in those days before
The Resurgence. Kingdoms were won and lost with martial strength, with
will and with guile, though happenstance and fortune’s flighty wink
played their parts as they always do.


Wizards were rare in those days before The Resurgence. Kingdoms were won and lost with martial strength, with will and with guile, though happenstance and fortune’s flighty wink played their parts as they always do.


When the Hliith Dynasty first rose to power, the rivers ran red with blood. The Hliith began eliminating their competitors for the Stone-Giant’ Lap, the ancestral throne of Lu-Kroc, systematically. The princes, barons, and magistrates of the erstwhile Qong Dynasty, the refugees and now targets of assassination attempts, escaped west, into the mountains and the untamed shrub-lands beyond.  The merciless Hliith sent hunting countless sorties into these hinterlands in order to flush the remaining rebels. At the time of this writing, the last few pockets of the Qong rebels and their allies survive in hidden wilderness-camps, somewhere in the vastness of the Endless Waste, amidst the rubble of the lifeless Gravel-Pits.

...takes him to a hidden room in an abandoned inn and performs a healing ritual that requires them to join palms for seven days and seven nights without talking to anyone else.


Iabon- Opulent capital of the Empire
Yush-Peng- The southernmost outpost of the dynastic land-holdings, ancestral city of the eunuch-princes
Irhr-Qadan- city of ten thousand minarets
Zin-Kval - Northernmost city of the realm, built by the milk-skins.
Yibban- Northwest of Iabon, sister-city, rival, and the old capital of the Unnamed Lands
Banessik - City of the stone-god
Eztlich- City of scholars and the True-Believers
Vhet-City of horses and thieves
Pagratosk- Western city famous for its timbered temples and freezing winters
Baetoom- A great sea-side sprawl, known for its lawlessness and extravagance

Societies and Clans: House of the Sleeping Toad, Iron Revival Clan, Golden-Scales Guild,
Tribes: Iron-Breaker, Black-Water, Hundred-Fold Knot, Burning-Wind, Ghost-Eater
Dynasties: Yi-Thun, Unxaar, Phanguil, Qong, Hliith,
Locations of Note: Oblong-Gate, Stone-Giant’s Lap, Gravel-Pits

Rassagh Qong, the Last Prince, Master of the Bloody-Birds.
Zunghral, Tahanqhan of the Burning-Wind Orda

The Gravel-Pits
A vast, broken land of red-ochre rubble, hills of pulverized pebbles towering over jagged rills and ravines of charred sand and ash, the Gravel-Pits as they are called, appear as some surreal moonscape, an inhospitable and implacable terrain.  It is written in legends, that these lands were once great mining quarries, stripped bare and destroyed by a race of antediluvian giants, and these legends are indeed partially true. What few know these days is that once, long ago, celestial objects crash-landed here, meteorites and unknown fragments, composed of iron and stone, and metals and minerals unseen before by men in great numbers, ravaging the terrain, and causing great devastation. There is little life here at first glance and at second, yet it exists, hidden from view by the sand-swirling haze and gravel-strewn terrain.

Here in the Gravel-Pits, hides out the Last Prince Rassagh, the Qong heir, who missed his chance to sit the Stone-Giant’s Lap, when the bloody Hliith overran the Empire, slaying his kin almost entirely, forcing him to flee into the deserts with a small retinue and provisions, a humiliated refugee from his own ancestral lands.
While traversing the harsh traversing, agents of the Hliith on his track, Rassagh Qong came upon an encampment of raiders, led by one Zunghral, a self-styled Tahanqhan of the Burning-Wind Orda. The two bonded quickly, over their mutual hatred of the Hliith, and so it transpired that Rassagh Qong and his entourage, joined forces tentatively with Zunghral and his wild-men.

The two built an expanded base of operations, a wind-tortured pavilion-city, hidden among the ravines and hills of the Gravel Pits, where they proceeded to strategize and plan their hit-and-run raids upon the Hliith, revenge, gold and bloodshed being Zunghral’s main agenda, while Rassagh Qong’s ambitions involved no less bold a plan than the entire collapse of the burgeoning Hliith Dynasty, and a return of the Qong to power.

To this end, Rassagh has sent his few remaining spies into the four corners of the Empire, gathering allies and spreading whispers among the hidden Qong loyalists. Meanwhile Rassagh’s personal retinue, sixty able warriors, trained from birth to guard the life of Rassagh with their own, and his entourage, several hundred men, women, and children, who followed the Last Prince into the deserts, train with their exotic weapons, instructing their new desert allies on the use of the Qongs’ feared innovations, the bloody-birds, dragon-spears, and crescent-axes, while in turn, learning ambush techniques, guerilla tactics, and hard-riding skills from Zunghral’s Burning-Wind Orda.


Auchoss- the great, vast land of the Dynastic Imperium
Iabon- decadent and opulent capital of the Imperium
Ibogach- city of idols
Yesh-Pong- city of eunuchs
Zin-Kval - northernmost city of the realm, built by the milk-skins.
Yibban- northwest of Iabon, sister-city, rival, and the old capital of the Unnamed Lands
Banessik - city of the stone-gods
Eztlich- city of scholars
Vhet-city of thieves
Baetoom- a great sea-side sprawl, known for its mercantile extravagance
Deshtoom- Baetoom’s twin, known for its cults and its secrets
Tarsood- livestock capital
Tsolion- city of ten thousand flowers

God’s Teeth, the Qumindrang Mountains- the great range of stone separating the Imperial Province, from the rest of Auchoss
Xaman- shaman or sorcerer
“Black -Mountain”- behemoth bandit-lord feared for his prodigious strength
“The Basilisk”, Dao-Keung- assassin of the Qong’s Hidden Emperor
“The Lion”, Loh-Pei- fearless, young swordsman who was slain by Qiang-Ren during an honorable duel to the death.
Tozibaru, “Toz”- pot-bellied, massive but good-natured bushi who possesses a magic fleece which can turn into a mountain lion to defend Tozibaru. If killed, the spirit of the lion returns to the fleece and can be used once more, the following moon.
Utshushtei- a shukenja who underestimated an attacking mob of plague-zombies, and was himself turned into one of the walking dead.
Jung-Bao the Sea-Cow- massive wrestler and underworld crime-lord


Tiny, razor-sharp, steel caltrops, carved into shapes of hummingbirds and attached to impossibly long and fine steel chains, coiled, then cast from bamboo, steel-capped rods, at tremendous speeds, Bloody Birds are feared in the south, and rightfully so, for they are the favorite weapons of the Steel-Flag Clans, bandit-kings of the Gravel Pits.

Death-drinkers are woefully misnamed, and should rightfully be called Life-drinkers. They are the same size as hummingbirds and bear a striking similarity to the tiny, harmless avian. Where they differ is color, Death-drinkers being a sickly mauve, and in beak, or proboscis, those of Death-drinkers being longer, and more syringe-like in appearance.
A Death-drinker spell calls forth dozens of the tiny birds, and they flock immediately upon materializing, each bird being simply a magical manifestation, and of one mind with the other birds, functioning much as one creature, rather than many.
Death-drinkers swarm the victim, withering and aging their target as they hover with their vile, inherent magic, circling and flitting about, attempting to puncture the flesh. Once nine successful beak-stabs have found their target, the insidious power of the birds takes effect. The victim will age to within months of a natural death in a single moment, and though left alive, will often be so old as to be nearly helpless, once drained of youth by the Death-drinkers. The dire hummingbirds will then fly towards their master, the wizard who cast the spell.  At this point, the mage who summoned forth the flock needs to have ready and prepared nine empty vials. The birds will hover over these vessels and soon begin to empty the victim’s essence through their syringe-like beaks into the provided vials. The essence will appear as a thick, golden-amber liquid. If all nine vials are consumed by the spell caster, he or she will gain the vigor and vitality of the victim.


Dao-Keung, the “Basilisk”, chief-assassin of the Hidden Qong Emperor

Dao-Keung got his start at the Pau-Sung Temple, and showed great promise as a martial monk of the order. An act of betrayal and pride, led to the promising fighter’s banishment from the Pau-Sung school however, and his tale would have ended there, if he was not taken in by Lord-Magistrate Xian-Yong Foh, a local constable known for his cruel methods and unjust governance. The Lord-Magistrate saw in Dao-Keung potential to become a great killer, and recruited him into his ranks. As predicted, the youth showed great promise, exhibiting an unmatched fury and disregard in battle, and soon rose to become head body-guard of the Lord-Magistrate’s personal guard.
Dao-Keung sealed his destiny when he saved the life of his master, when their small party was attacked by dozens of bandits. All of the Lord-Magistrate’s men were killed that day except for Dao-Keung, who fought back and slew countless men to defend Xian-Yong Foh’s life.
Such loyalty, valor and puissant skill could not be ignored even by the uncaring Foh, and thus the official boasted to any other Lord who would listen of his body-guard’s prowess. It so happened that talk reached the ears of the Emperor’s Chief-Assassin who was at that time traveling incognito across the lands on his way back to the capital. The Chief-Assassin made his identity known to the stunned Xian-Yong Foh, and demanded that Dao-Keung was handed over to him in the name of the Emperor. Naturally, the Lord-Magistrate acquiesced and so Dao-Keung became an apprentice to the Empire’s greatest killer.
The next six years of his life, Dao-Keung spent in isolation, learning fighting techniques from the odious Basilisk Clan, to whom the Chief-Assassin had Dao-Keung sent for instruction in the deathly arts.

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