In the Lull, the Shadows Gather.
Ye know I’ve crossed these lands many a time in my career. I’ve seen the old lands, where Galifar and Karrn popped outta their mommas holes, sword in hand. Over yonder in Karrlakton. Nice place that. Thick gray walls, near impossible to breach. Even been across the Scion Sound and peered like a country bumpkin at the mighty isle of Thronehold. Seen the endless towers of Sharn, and that there silvery flame bursting like the soul of Siberys out o’ Flamekeep, too. Played bones with a bunch o’ ogres out in the wildlands. Though last I heard they’d got ‘em a country all n’ proper now. Was even there on the border of Cyre – working ‘course – when all ’em souls snuffed out and their mourning filled up the sky. Wha’ I’m tryin’ tah say is this ol’ boy, he’s been around. But, ye know youngin’, ‘n all me time lugging sword and shield, for whatever side in the War, I saw purpose and meaning. Sure it was bloody, it were war – demands blood and gore. But it were straight, knowing, yeh hear. Now tha’ peace ‘as been on us near two cycles, an’ all I see is smiles. Smiles on the surface only, yeh see, ‘n darker intentions right under that. Things be too good too damned quick, fer my tastes. Kinda like knockin’ back a jar o’ Mror mountain mead without gettin’ the brain kill the next day. Mighty simple ‘n snappy end tah there War, don’yeh think? Couple centuries there ‘bout, hackin’ and slashin’ then poof, next I see’r all kisses and ‘oldin’ hands. That’s right, I see yur mind spinnin’ now. You got it. Now you’re grabbin’ what I’m speakin’. So wipe tha’ stupid ‘n dreamy eyed look off yer mug. Pull out yer blade ’n keep it ready. The War might be cold, but sure as trolls tits are green, it ain’t over.
- Two-Nicks, veteran mercenary of the Last War
o o o o o
The Last War, a war that broke a continent-spanning nation, has finally come to an end. The once kingdom of Galifar has since been divided, divvied up between heirs and upstarts. Nations recover, rebuilding lives from the aftermath of more than a century of warfare. Leaders attend peace talks, playing politics in the attempt to rewind frayed relations. If not for the travesty of the Mournland that ended Cyre in a single blast of arcane energy, those talks of peace could as easily have been of war. The dragonmarked houses stand aside, growing more powerful with time, be it through war or peace does not seem to matter. They wait, whether to serve or lead, is anyone’s guess.
Two years out, peace is no more than a light dusting of cold snow on the stalled engine of war. Most say the peace will not last. Some say the war continues, directed from whisper-filled corners of kingdoms’ courts and played out among shadows and pawns, across the breadth of Eberron. Secrets rule in this abrupt peace. Then, there are the doomsayers who point to the Mournland and warn of a war coming to end all wars.
In Karrnath, the old-country, birthplace of Galifar I and Karrn the Conqueror, a run in between strangers on the Festival of the Sun sets off a chain of events. Whether the path concludes in dire ends or a fruitful future might only be divined from a source beyond the normal reckonings of men. Yet perhaps the Prophecies of the celestial dragons speak of them.
An elf boy born in the pits of Khyber and raised in the Carnival of Shadow, trained as a blade-acrobat but bearing mind-altering talents, turns to a stranger to find “a bit ’o fun” rather than walk the prepared path House Phiarlan has set before him.
A respected researcher of House Cannith, working since the Last War for a secret weapons program concealed away in an underground Vault has made a breakthrough on a new form of weapon. Secrecy is in his blood, pushing him to tell no one of his success. When he discovers an artifact-shard from a lost Age bearing a glyph similar to the one his new artifice is based upon, he leaves in search of knowledge.
Paths twist together and the consequences are yet to be told…
Wiki Quick Links
Chapter One: Out of Karrnath
Story Development (DM)
Words from Oscolo the Monkey
Words from Bigubu Beaze d’Cannith
If you’ve stumbled upon my Nexus campaign, then you know we’re a group of expats living in China with a hankering for role playing games. When I first started playing in Qingdao, lets see, coming on four years ago now, there was not much out there. Since that time things have changed and for the better.
Players have come and gone (usually to another city in China, following their wanderlust), but the game, overall, has survived. We’ve strayed from one campaign to another and happily, I’ve had the chance to be a player for awhile. My Nexus campaign isn’t dead it’s just on layover, since only one player remains. Fear not, it shall rise from the Ashes once again.
Instead of a complete homebrew setting, I decided on something a little easier this time ‘round. With a new group in the forge, we were caught between Eberron and Dark Sun. Eberron ended on the table for a wanted flavor of fantasy that has overtones of pulp and noir. Not to mention my wife, a local and great player, loves this setting and wants in, once her schedule agrees. As so far, the group has samples from two continents (DM: Canada; Players: USA and Australia) but Asia (China) will also be in there soon. I enjoy the internationality of our games. (update: Looks like we’ll get a Russian player soon, too.)
I’d also like to mention that gaming and RPGs have increased in frequency here in mainland China. Not so long ago, it was difficult to find a boardgame in this city. Now, game cafes (or game clubs, perhaps) have opened up where people can go to try out games (rental). In one such of these clubs, I came upon several gaming groups playing D&D (in Chinese of course). Since then, I’ve volunteered to run a few games here and there. I’m glad to see the hobby finally spreading its wings in this old country.