Friday, August 30, 2013

Leech-Men - banes of Sanguinara

Leech-men are one of the favored creations of the Blood Witch. These creatures are banes, meaning that they were born from witchcraft and are no part of the natural world. The leech-men are perhaps one of Sanguinara’s most well-known minions, although they tend to stay far away from populous cities and are most often encountered in more remote surroundings.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Black Barrier - The Darkwall Peaks

I tell you, the mountains are alive.
You know they say that nothing lives there? It's a lie. There are things that live in the mountains; terrible things... nightmare things. Twenty years ago, my troopers and I chased a band of mercenaries led by a handful of filthy Vargr into the mountains north of Steppengrad. Not five miles into those mountains we were hopelessly lost. Us! Seasoned cavalrymen mounted on the smartest, most knowing steeds in all of Morden, lost like children in the Darkwall with night approaching. Why did we not turn around you ask? We did! The path we had taken was gone.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Chimeric Banes - The Swamp Kraken

Just as the Chimera has produced countless different varieties of Mongrels, she has also produced a broad range of different banes to serve her. During the Bane War, the vanguard of her army was largely her Accursed, though many of her lesser creations—particularly stench goblins—were present in very large numbers. Other more specialized creations complemented her military forces, as monstrous terrors that could overcome even the most disciplined and well-armed opponents. The Morrigan insisted on sending cauldron-born to join the Chimera, but these were either redirected to aid the other Witches or used on the periphery of major battles. It was always the Chimera's horrific creations that played the central role in the battles she led.

Friday, August 23, 2013

In the Vanguard - The Cauldron-born

Creatures who have a semblance of life beyond the grave were only legends before the coming of the Morrigan to Cairn Kainen. The Witch brought an artifact with her that had power over death itself; a dreaded item known as the Dark Cauldron. Once a dead body was placed into the cauldron, it rose again as an undead being; a cruel parody of the life it once held. These beings were known as the cauldron-born. They left behind all semblance of their former lives and existed only as slaves to the Morrigan’s will. Powered by the cauldron and guided by the Morrigan’s necromantic witchcraft, uncountable numbers of cauldron-born were created during the conquest of Morden. Since the fall of the Alliance, the Morrigan’s task has been less urgent, and she has vastly slowed the pace of cauldron-born production.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Place to Call their Own - The Adherents of Aliyah

Brother Malakai moved about the claustrophobic shelves of the ancient library at Westyn Priory. The Golem's heavy step rang from the worn, polished stone tiles and echoed high in the vaulted ceiling. His work in the library was a great comfort to him. The solitude, the smell of old leather and parchment, the faint echo of plainchant from the far-off chapel – all helped to soothe his troubled mind and, at least temporarily, insulate him from the horror of his existence. As he plodded through a dimly lit intersection between shelves, a figure stepped from the shadow and laid a light hand on the Golem's forearm. With all the frightening, deceptive speed of an avalanche, Brother Malakai pushed his attacker away with one broad hand while the other went reflexively for the heavy, broad-bladed cutlass that no longer hung from his belt. He relaxed at once as he saw the short, swarthy form step more fully into the light and smile.

Monday, August 19, 2013

All Must Change - The Chimera

The Chimera makes her home in a massive, spired fortress known as Turris Atra. Unlike other fortresses, however, the Chimera’s home does not long remain in any one place. With each dawn, the inhabitants of Morden discover Turris Atra and its surroundings in a new locale. Though it only stays until the following midnight, the Witch’s fortress invariably spreads sorrow and grievous loss before it departs. The Chimera is the tower's mistress. Whenever she visits a new site, she promptly abandons her completed experiments and begins gathering up the living components to begin anew. Any nearby life could potentially be drawn into her next project—to their eternal dismay.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Technology in Morden

Morden is a land that is caught between contradictions of technology. On the one hand, some things have not changed in centuries—carts still wend their way across roads that are, in many places, little more than dirt tracks. Farmers till the land with horse and plow as they have for generations, and the sword is still the most common weapon wielded by a fighting man.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Mold From Which All Others Were Struck - The Crone

The Crone is the first Witch, Mistress of the Grand Coven, and oldest among her sisters. Legends say that at the dawn of time, she was the first mortal woman to take on the mantle of the Immortal Witch. If this is true, she is the mold from which all other Witches are struck. It was the Crone who brought such disparate and stong-willed individuals as the Djinn and the Morrigan and the witch now known as Baba Yaga together to form the Grand Coven. It was she who laid the plans for the invasion of Morden. Through the sheer force of her will, she directed the advance of the squabbling, largely incompatible Witch Armies.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Enochian Faith

When the first settlers crossed the lightning bridge to Morden, they brought the Enochian Religion with them. Not all were devout followers—particularly those who settled in what eventually became Hyphrates—but the religion was well established and had already existed for thousands of years. The central focus of their belief involves a single, all-powerful creator who made the world of Saturnyn and continues to oversee it. The religion is monotheistic, and holds that their Creator shall return to provide the world its ultimate salvation in their moment of greatest need.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Armies of Light

The true threat of the Witches’ invasion was not felt throughout Morden until the Outlands were fully overrun; this signaled the beginning of the Bane War. With the border realms completely under the Witches’ domination, the rulers of Morden's nations knew that something had to be done lest they face the same fate. King Stefan Hightower II of Valkenholm sent couriers to all the other realms of Morden, soliciting support for building a military alliance to face the Witches’ army. Under King Stefan’s leadership, Valkenholm became the staging ground for a counterattack against the Grand Coven.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

On the Roiling Main - The Discordian Sea

I've lived with the sea my whole life, just like my father and his father and his father before him. I've done everything a man can do in this world on the sea. I hunted sabreback whales in the cold waters north of Steppengrad. I sailed under the flag of Manreia against the black thieves of Port Sorrow. I won and lost a dozen fortunes before I was thirty years old, and I have no regrets. Life is simpler out here, better, healthier. Even before the Witches came, a life at sea was preferable to that of a life trapped on the land. On the sea there's the swell and the tide, the wind and the waves, and good, honest seamen. There are no lawyers or bailiffs or bums come to take you to a sponging house over the sum of a few pennies. No land sharks to trick you out of your money, nor wives or in-laws either. It's a good life. Hard at times, sure, and dangerous, but it's worth it to be free.

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Plague upon Hyphrates - Scarabs

In the days of its colonization Hyphrates was a land of lush farmlands. That was before the dark influences of the Djinn and the backstabbing attempts that the Hyphratians eventually learned to pursue. There were many different elements that transformed the beautiful countryside into a sterile desert. One of the most significant causes were the scarabs that came to infest the nation.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Alchemy - Supernatural Science

Alchemy is a tradition that combines philosophy and a study of both natural and supernatural materials. Most often, alchemists are learned men and women who use their knowledge to create unusual effects by combining exotic materials. The trade produces rare and exceptional elixirs, potions, and salves, but some scholars have refined their craft for use in the engineering fields like masonry and metallurgy. According to Enochian historians, the practice of alchemy in Morden was originally systematized over three hundred years ago. The earliest records of alchemists practicing their trade began among the palaces of the Pharoahs in Hyphrates and slowly spread throughout the other realms.