Monday, October 13, 2014

Group D&D World Building - Session 1

So my D&D Groups, all four of them, are making the transition from 4E to 5E.  As a group we've been heading towards some world altering stuff.  However I, for a few reasons, desperately wanted to get on to the 5E shift.  In the process I decided it would be a good idea to rebuild my Campaign World and in the process give my players a much more direct hand in the creative process of the world building.  I don't want to erase what all came before, but I also want to draw the players in with an investment of their own creative blood, sweat, and tears.  Enter the game Microscope.  Microscope is a history building game, and a great one at that.  So I put together three sessions to World Build, create 5E characters, and to build the Pantheon of Deities for the world we are all constructing together to tell our tales.  This is Session 1 of 3.

Year 0 (Start) - Godbirth

Year 2 - Exodus 
- The plane is open once again to two way interplanar travel that had been closed previously.  The ancient blue wyrm Gorgel wanted what Oxaclic now had, Godhood.  So he traveled across the cosmos itself to the home world of 'The Others' and the two engaged in a titanic struggle.  In the end Oxaclic proved to be too powerful, took Gorgel's Godshards as his own, and petrified Gorgel as well as the resurrected Angel of Binding that had once held Gorgel in Pelor's prison.  Both stand as ominous reminders of the power of Oxaclic.
- At the same time the city of Braugheim is founded in what is now known as The Twilight Kingdoms by Demere Bloodsworn, a Cleric of Braug.  The Twilight Kingdoms are on the edge of the perilous Frozen Wastes.  Braugheim became a bastion for all demi-humans.
- The Pixie Priestess to Gorgel, Janx, bears him a Godling child; Thane Gorgel, The Trickster.
In order to deal with both the influx and escape of beings from the Known World to other Planes powerful Banishment spells were constructed in order to give those proficient in magic to expel Extra Planar creatures from the Known World.
- The Get of Yeenoghu finally re-emerge into the Known World like a plague.  In response Oxaclic closes the open portals to the Abyss, including the massive stationary hurricane known as the Maw.

Year 100 - The Hordes Of Kurnusk 'Break' Civilization 
- The Goddess Alora convinces the God of War, Fenric Mistfang, to marshal forces to stop the Orcish God of Slaughter, Kurnusk, from inspiring his 'Hordes' to decimate the Known World.  Alora uses the argument that if Kurnusk's 'Horde' is allowed to fullfill his will then they won't just leave the future barren of knowledge, but of war itself.
- Fenric agrees to ally himself with the Goddess of Knowledge, Alora, but in exchange she had to bear him a son.  Olaf Fenricson, the Godling of Espionage is born from this union.

Year 235 - The Industrial De-Evolution
- A land grab is made by the Dwarves of the North which in turn drives the Kobolds from the Mountains and into the arms of 'The Chosen', the followers of Tharump.
- Svetlana Winterbourne, a Paladin of Oxaclic, starts a crusade harrying across Toland's Swamp.  She is repudiated by the Church of Oxaclic, and Oxaclic himself.  She becomes an Anti-Paladin swearing herself to Tharump.  She founds Winterbourne Keep on the edge of the Twilight Kingdoms.
- The indigent Kobold tribes become the slaves of 'The Chosen'.
- Karlot the Undying outlaws the worship of Alora in his archipelago kingdom and with the Maw no longer to slow his forces he launches a full scale naval war against the continent of Raduenz.
- Alora convinces Kithri, the minor Goddess of the Sea & Adventurers, to inspire her followers from around the Known World, and from Raduenz especially, to join forces and drive Karlot's forces back to his isles.

Year 250 - The War Of The Chosen Vs. The Dwarves
- 'The Chosen' begin to openly persecute the worship of the Dwarven minor God of Libation & Consumption, Destinky.
- The Sorceror Vork has his corpse discovered in his Tower of High Magic.  Beside his body is the Tome Of Unseemly Truths.  A massive volume on his musings, spells, and the history he watched unfold.
- The Turning (Year 300) - Gred Tourgard, Dwarven General & devote follower of Georgee the Dwarven God of light, fate, & devotion discovers The Arcaneum.  This discovery begins to slowly change the tide of the war against 'The Chosen'.
- The Godling of Kobolds, Deakin, delivers the Kobolds from slavery and back into the Mountain, their Promised Land.  Plagues follow in their wake.
- Rari, Priest of Georgee, implores the Goddes Alora to grant the Dwarves the knowledge to finally win the war.  She gives to them the knowledge of Black Powder.
- The End Of The War (Year 350) - A year's worth of Dwarven victories culminates in Avatars of Georgee, Alora, & Destinky arriving at the Battle of the Bastion of Thorns and destroys the the army of Yong The Forsaken, religious leader of Tharump.  This effectively ends the conflict.

Year 300 - Alora's Enlightenment
- The massive repository for all knowledge forever more as Alora's Arcaneum is opened.
- The Goddess Alora establishes a Council Of Wyrms to promote knowledge across The Known World and to defend The Arcaneum.
- In secret The Council Of Wyrms begins formulating plans to "End All War".  The God of War, Fenric Mistfang becomes aware of this conspiracy, he is displeased to say the least.

Year 310 - The Rise Of The Masquerade/The Sexual Revolution
- Brothels spread in both construction and use across the Known World.
- King Adoril Tividar of the Tividar Dynasty becomes dominated by a member of the Masquerade.  He then starts a campaign putting all Dwarven children to death.  Tividar blames this new policy in his lands on a prophetic vision from the God Tharump.
- Worship in the Godlings Destinky, Aldus, & Babu Bali increases exponentially causing them to ascend to minor Godhood.
- The new minor Gods, Aldus & Destinky, create an elixir and a holy band both known as 'The Cure'.  This is known to eliminate STD's and even improves 'performance'.  It is soon discovered though that the improvements are not permanent, and ongoing treatments must be taken to prevent relapse.
- The Priest of Alora, Phineuas Longwood, starts a reformation movement in the Church of Alora by casting the Masquerade in the light of 'Plague Mongers'.  This leads to a religious schism within Alora's followers.

Year 400 - Rise Of The Elves
- Valia and The Red Lady, duel Goddesses of Chaos, Deception, & Domination, finally merge into one Goddess, this drives The Red Lady mad.

Year 490 - Discovery Of The Treasure Of The Ancients
- Half of the legendary Treasure of the Ancients turns out to cursed.  Its discovery unleashes a great deal of ancient Evil back into the world.
- The Cask Of Unending Ale becomes a holy relic of Destinky.  It is renamed The Ale Of Resounding.  Drinking enough from it can allow one to directly commute with Destinky.

Year 500 - God Fall
- Georgee, Alora, Oxaclic, and a group of minor Gods work together to cast Tharump down to the Known World itself.  He falls literally into the Underdark and he then takes it as his domain, allowing him to remain a major Deity.
- In the Fall of Tharump the very surface of The Known World, and especially the continent of Raduenz, is drastically altered.
- Shortly after his fall, Tharump's Basilica Of Pain follows his descent into the Underdark.

Year 550 - Owlbear Infestation Of The Underdark
- Davrakas Kadlin, a Tiefling Warlock, experiments with beasts of the world in the Underdark.  History will show that is excellent at creating new strains of magical beasts, but is NOT good at containing his creations.  In his experiments in the Year 550 he uses a bad bootleg copy of The Tome Of Unseemly Truths, this would prove to be a disastrous mistake.
- And especially enterprising group of Dwarven miners find a way to capture and convert these mutating Owlbears into a massive labor force in their mining.

Year 575 - The Dwarves Of Bright Vale Dig To Deep
- This rapid descent into the Underdark in the name of prophet allows Tharump to re-ascend.  the Bright Vale is destroyed and becomes the Night Veil.

Year 600 - Dragon Uprising
- Olaf Fenricson assassinates Toma Pholt, the Eladrin head librarian of The Arcaneum.  He blames this act on the Dragons that make up the Council Of Wyrms.
- The conspiring Dragons and their allies begin to scour the continent for gold, magical items, and forbidden knowledge creating massive hoards.  In their wake they leave desolation.
- The Arcaneum is moved to The Vale Of Knowledge in the newly created Elven Homelands in an effort to save it from the rogue Dragons.
- Olaf Fenricson is captured and is held in the bowels of The Arcaneum after being captured by his own mother, the Goddess Alora.
- The Dragons dangerously close to rediscovering the location of The Arcaneum.  The adventurer Felina communes with the Godling of Wind, Shabon.  He teaches her the Secrets Of The Wind.  This technique allows her to ground the Dragons from flight, so that they can be collared.
- The End Of The Dragon Uprising (Year 800) - Alora develops magical collars to transform the Dragon conspirators.  This collar traps them in human and demi-human form.  This action severs her relationship with Dragons and Dragon-kin, and ends the 1st Council Of Wyrms.

Year 1,000 (The End) - The New Age

The beautiful thing with Microscope is while these things are set in stone, every single moment before, after, and between is there to be mined, explored, and built upon by the next two sessions.  By the time the next session ends, this timeline will look vastly different as some periods are created, some are added to, and some are altered by new information.  As you can see this was a torrent of creative energy.  Honestly, I was completely and utterly blown away by the players and what they created.  I can't wait for the next session to see where all this goes!

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