Grab a beer, this isn’t going to be short …
A lot of people have expressed interest in DM’ing since I finished the Iron Kingdoms campaign. However, I’m most excited to play yours because you can actually pull off a campaign from the beginning to the end. I haven’t seen anyone other than myself pull that off since my cousin ran a campaign during high school. So anyway, let me know if I can do anything. It might take me a while, but seriously, anything.
The current title of my homeland is “Karachi”, and I have no idea if that’s what I/we named it a decade ago when you started this campaign or not, but hell, that’s what I’m going to use.
A quick backstory to Karachi and its relation to Lefty and Hooba.
I started out playing Hooba, who was the eldest son of Karachi’s Emperor. Hooba suffered from multiple personality disorder and this affliction had caused his exile from the country. Hooba has or had 7 younger sisters .
Hooba once tried to kill his father the Emperor, but was unsuccessful (and someone else may have beaten him to the punch, I can’t remember). Hooba eventually went on to gain leadership, and he had a small army of cavalry and samurai that he was using to fight on Rhukyeen. That was all before Lefty.
Then I brought in Lefty, who is Hooba’s younger half brother (the Emperor’s bastard). Lefty was trained by the court wizard, who was kind of like a Worm-Tongue to the Emperor. Lefty idolized his older half-brother Hooba, and when the crazy monk went missing, Lefty went on a quest to find him.
Lefty faced his brother in the last battle, after Hooba had been missing for so long. He had feared that Hooba was captured by Oneagas, but he had no idea that his brother had turned to the other side.
Lefty has gone out looking for his brother Hooba. The wizard’s first priority has become to find out what caused his brother to change sides. Is his mind being controlled? Has his mind splintered again?
Things Lefty and Snoop had already accomplished.
- Began training wizards to fight against Kiera, Oneagas, Anubis, or whoever is trying to destroy everything.
- Become pretty good friends with Elminster (I think) because they are two of the most powerful wizards in the multiverse.
- Stabilized his home country (Karachi) as a safe haven on Rhukyeen. Their army is organized and they have holed up in their mountain fortresses.
The mountain fortresses of Karachi each have a special backstory and purpose. The following narrative explains more about them.
a. The Monastery of Exultation – The Exhultaion has been used as a monastery for the last 500 years, because Liong-Hai enjoyed such a long peace before these Death Wars. However, it is a well stocked and welcoming place that sits at the mouth of a narrow mountain pass. Not only are there many rooftop gardens within the Exultation’s walls, but there is sufficient farmland and pasture that the monks use year round that are safely hidden in the mountains behind the Exultation’s walls.
The Monks of Exultation are never more than 200 in number. Hooba trained here as a young man, although he was never admitted into the order. These monks are trained in many disciplines including but not limited to: Martial, Agricultural, Spiritual, Diplomacy, and Transcendence (which is the ability to spiritually – not physically – travel between planes of existence to and from Rhukyeen).
Currently: Lefty spends most of his time at the Monastery. He has a study here. His mistress lives here (Lefty fears and hates his wife, the Empress. More on her later). Lefty enjoys visiting with the Monks. Several senior members of the Fraternal Order of Wizards has permanent residence here. And most importantly, Snoop enjoys spending time in the Monastery’s many rooftop gardens.
Gongah’s Revenge – 355 years ago, Karachi suffered from a devastating civil war between the Emperor Gongah and his most trusted commander, General Troi. The Emperor had refused to pay a wartime bonus that he had promised his army during the invasion of Zhang Tu’ (their former neighbor that they had conquered, and is now a province of Karachi).
After pleading with the Emperor to pay his men, General Troi led an armed rebellion against his ruler. After taking the surrounding towns, and overrunning the palace guard, Troi found that his Emperor had escaped to the countryside.
Troi rallied support from the nobility that had stayed loyal to him, raised an army of his own, then fled into the mountains as winter closed in. He had his army dig a fortress straight out of the cliff face of Karachi’s tallest mountain (a mountain which is called “The Lion’s Head”). There he trained his new army, sent out messengers in secret to his allies, and waited.
Back in the palace, Troi and his men were living the high life. The General believed that Gongah had been killed by brigands trying to flee on the country roads, and so he had declared himself Emperor. They believed that they had won and were raping and pillaging the local populace as though they had just conquered a new nation.
So it came as quite a surprise when they awoke one spring with a well armed, well trained, and well provisioned army surrounding the palace. Gongah had been out of power all of 9 months when he marched back into the capitol. He killed Troi and every member of the usurping party he could find. Then he burned the old palace to the ground and built a new one seven miles away at the nearest village (and at a more defensible position). Legend has it that after Gongah and his army left, the only thing left alive in the palace was an ass that the left tethered to the throne while they lit the entire place on fire.
Currently: “Gongah’s Revenge” is where the bulk of Karachi’s army is located. Lefty visits here from time to time to confer with his generals and to visit the men.
c. The Turtle’s Kneecaps – This is not one, but three separate fortresses hidden deep within the Yahamma Mountain Range. Even the people living here do not know where they are.
The Kneecaps are/were a well kept secret within Karachi’s Fraternal Order of Wizards. These three fortresses were left abandoned, then magically shrouded, and magically preserved from the rest of Rhukyeen in case of such an emergency that the Fraternal Order would see fit to hide the nation’s population in the case of an invasion. The Death Wars are the first time the Kneecaps have ever been used.
900 years ago, Karachi began as many provinces ruled by warlords who warred constantly against each other. Eventually, the most ruthless and cunning warlord won out, becoming the first Emperor Chiang). Then Chiang gathered all of his former competitors together under the ruse of a treaty, and slaughtered them down to a man. This first Emperor of Karachi is who built the Kneecaps during his original conquest.
The second Emperor, Zhu-Bao, son of Chiang, was a much more kindly soul. He declared a pardon and general amnesty for all those who had opposed his father (although few were left alive) and then he took dismantled a large portion of the army, abandoned the Kneecaps, and consolidated the remaining army at the capitol. Then he had his most powerful wizards preserve the Kneecaps and hide them from the rest of the plane.
Ironically, Zhu-Bao was overthrown in a coup two years later, largely because he lacked the ruthlessness to keep the nobility in line. Fortunately, the Fraternal Order of Wizards (which Zhu-Bao founded) kept the Kneecaps hidden.
Currently: Each of the Kneecaps houses one third of Karachi’s remaining general population. Any members of the Army that housed at Gongah’s Revenge will go to one of the Kneecaps for furlough.
The three Kneecaps have been named “Under”; “Over”; and “Therein”. These are tongue and cheek references to some of the wizard training that Lefty underwent as the last Emperor’s bastard.
Lefty’s wife, the empress Sun’Lee, stays at the Kneecap called “Over” (which was his least favorite lesson). Sun’Lee is a spiteful and angry woman who was arranged in marriage to him well back when he was only the Emperor’s bastard. Now that Lefty is the Emperor, she has become demanding and power-hungry, so Lefty avoids her because he hates confrontation more than anything.
The majority of the noble class also live in “Over”, and the fortress is nominally run by Sun’Lee and her mother (Lefty’s mother-in-law) who is a horrid, horrid woman.
The Fraternal Order of Wizards: have long kept their numbers at no more than 50. However, desperate times call for desperate measures and Lefty has put out the call to actively recruit and train anyone with magical talent. This has included those of the Sorcerer and Druidic traditions (Clerics have their own show).
The 99 Samurai: are exactly who they say they are. Never more, never less. You must be of noble birth to gain entry. There is a waiting list.
The Monks of Exultation: 200 monks who are experts in a variety of fields. Martial, Agricultural, Spiritual, Diplomacy, and Transcendence. Although they are based in the Fortress of Exultation, they are known to travel widely. Some of the oldest members have travelled the full length of Rhukyeen several times, which is to say nothing of the Order of Transcendence.
- There are only 7 members of the Order of Transcendence. They do not keep a cap on membership, rather, it is an exclusive group because only a few people can actually develop the ability to “transcend” their mind to spiritually travel between the planes.
The Noble Houses: Simply put, most of the nobles have put their allegiance firmly behind Sun’Lee first, and Lefty second. This is for two reasons. 1. Lefty is a bastard and rules Karachi only because the rest of his family is missing, dead, or insane. 2. Sun’Lee and her mother run “Over” with an iron fist. Anyone living within that fortress must at least acknowledge her supremacy of the locale.