Lich Kings Redux

Alright, it’s time to take a deeper look at my take on the Lich Kings of Avalon campaign seed.  If you missed it the first time around, please have a look at my earlier post on the subject,  as it goes in a lot of detail about the campaign seed.

First things first, a little bit of history…

It’s been more than a century since the King of Avalon accepted immortality and became the Risen King.  In the intervening years, the boarders of Avalon expanded dramatically, absorbing half a dozen other small kingdoms.  The newly established Risen Empire was prosperous, secure, and stable.  Now the uncontested ruler of all human lands, the Risen King turned his gaze towards the neighboring non-human Empires: the elves of the Sylvan Court, the dwarves of the Mithril Hall, and united orc tribes marching under the Tattered Banner.

The ensuing campaigns saw elven lands annexed to the southern sea, dwarven dominion driven back to their ancestral halls beneath the Razorback Mountains in the far north, and the armies of the Tattered Banner crushed and scattered.  In the south, a puppet Sylvan Court rules and human settlements spread.  The Elven Queen now rules in exile beyond the sea.  After more than a decade of war, the Dwarf King signed a treaty with the Risen King, ceding all conquered lands to the Risen Empire and guaranteeing exclusive trade rights to its citizens.  Beyond the mountains to the east, the Orc Lord rebuilds his armies and dreams of vengeance.  Some say that as his desperation grows, he turns to darker powers for aid….

During this age of strife and conquest, the interior of the Risen Empire has been at an apparent peace.  Simplified secession has ensured a lack of civil war and constant conquest on the boarders has provided a regular influx of capital from the spoils of war.  As more of the nobility have embraced undeath, the Necromancers Guild has grown wealthy and powerful.  Fear of the unknown has ensured the Circle of Diviners are never without customers.  The Transmuter Bankers are ever-ready with their promises of fixed-rate loans (“Why worry about compound interest when you’ll live forever?”) to finance all of the above.  And, as always, the Prince of Shadows turns a profit.

But all is not well in the Risen Empire.  Just below the surface, tensions build.  Worship of the gods of Good, Sun, and Nature has long-since been declared anathema by servants of the Risen King, supplanted by the gods of Law, Kingdom, and War espoused by the Priestess and embodied by the Great Gold Wyrm.  The High Druid and his people have been scattered to the four winds.  The Crusader conducts endless witch hunts throughout the Empire.  The Archduke spreads the curse of vampirism among the nobility, encouraging his servants to feed upon their subjects openly, in defiance of royal edict.  And cults continue to spring up around unwholesome worship of malevolent forces such as those controlled by the Diabolist and the Three.

You might have noticed some capitalized names in there.  Those are some of the icons that will be playing a role in this game.  Unlike in standard 13th Age, you’ll notice that the icons below are listed as being Lawful, Chaotic, or Neutral rather than as Heroic, Villainous, or Ambiguous.  Given the shades-of-grey nature of the campaign seed, it seemed more appropriate to align our icons across the ethical axis, rather than the moral one.  Here’s the complete list:

  • Risen King (Lawful) – Lord of the Risen Empire and ruler of human realms
  • Necromancer (Neutral) – Master of magic and head of the most powerful guild in the Risen Empire
  • Archduke (Chaotic) – One of the most powerful nobles in the Risen Empire, lord of vampires, schemer
  • Crusader (Neutral) – Champion of the gods of Evil, scourge of demons and servants of the gods of Good alike
  • Diabolist (Chaotic) – Mistress of demons and champion of Chaos, most powerful summoner in setting
  • Dwarf King (Lawful) – Lord of the Forge and master of the Mithril Hall, seeks to reclaim the ancient dwarven Underhome lost to war against the Drow
  • Elf Queen (Chaotic) – Queen of the Elves in Exile, seeks to reclaim her lands from the Risen Empire
  • Great Gold Wyrm (Lawful) – Lord of metallic dragons, protector of the prime material plane
  • High Druid (Neutral) – Champion of the wild, lord of beasts
  • Orc Lord (Chaotic) – Lord of the Orcish Horde, scourge of the Risen Empire
  • Priestess (Lawful) – High priestess of the gods of Law, Kingdom, and War, one of the most influential voices in the Risen Empire
  • Prince of Shadows (Chaotic) – Part thief, part trickster, part assassin, lord of the criminal underworld in the Risen Empire
  • The Three (Chaotic) – The eldest chromatic dragons, the first of their kind: the Red is a living engine of destruction, the Blue is a sorceress (perhaps even the original mother of all sorcery), the Black is queen of shadows and assassins

M. Hamhock out.

Lich Kings Redux

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