So 427 DR is the start of Chessenta breaking away from Unther. The Mage Purges in Shoon cause a large scale migration of magic users out of Shoon lands, a significant number of these magic users end up in the Wizards' Reach. They then cause the Southern Coast of Thay to rebel which weakens Unther and allows Chessenta to rebel. The Wizards' Reach even attempts to expand into Threskel which helps Chessenta's rebellion.
Added some details about the Banespear and Mount Thulbane to allude to a combat between Assuran and Bane on its slopes.
Also put a nod in for Kalzareinad and Maladraedior being his last worshipper. I made Kal-Zarein a god of secrets from Akanu who is rumoured to have colluded with TiaMa'at to learn magic and who fled south when Gil-Geamesq became King of Akanu.
Updated Unther quite a bit. Detailed the Uthangol Mountains and added in an old fortress from the time of the First Empire.
I've made the Iron Citadel (in the Uthangol Mountains) the headquarters for a sauroid race known as the Gaund. These Gaund were once sarrukh of Okoth but like many clans they used their body shaping magics on themselves too much and were branded no longer sarrukh by the leaders of okoth. This prompted the civil war (many clans practiced bodyshaping on themselves) that destroyed Okoth and led to the planewalking.
Now the Gaunds are a subterranean race of lizardmen with 3 red eyes and grey skin that are exceptionally intelligent. They once lived in the Lake of Steam region but were hunted to extinction there by beholders and have long since returned to the Smoking Mountains, Black Ash Plains and Uthangol Mountains.
Their purpose will be as a foil to the sarrukh of okoth who are trying to infiltrate Unther and Mulhorand through the various cults.
Okay. I need the help of experts on the Shaar as the history of Unther impacts the history of the Shaar quite a bit and as typical for FR its confusing and contradicting.
So there is a quote that prior to the Orcgate Wars the empire of Unther has control of the Shaar and Dambrath etc. That means sometime between -2000 DR and -1000 DR Unther controls large swathes of land in the eastern and possibly central Shaar.
However around 205 DR Eltabranar attacks Mulhorand and Unther. Eltabranar is located in the Eastern Shaar and therefore that means sometime between -1000 DR and 200 DR Unther lost control of its provinces.
Then around 400 DR Shoon and Unther come into conflict in the Central Shaar and both empires eventually lose control of the whole region. This means that between 200 DR and 400 DR Unther regains control over Central and Eastern Shaar and then loses it all in a war with Shoon.
To further muddy the waters the Dwarves of the Great Rift have not been in conflict with the surface for the last 200 years and they hold a grudge against Unther and will not trade with them. Does this mean Unther and the Great Rift had a war around 200 years ago (unlikely given Unther's current state and its decline since GIlgeam's accession) or does it mean Unther and the Great Rift went to war much longer ago and the Great Rift had another war with surface dwellers in the Shaar 200 years ago.
Also in Dambrath I know the Arkauins of Eltabranar headed south and merged with natives to form the natives of Dambrath before it was conquered by the drow and then ruled by the crinti. But the queen of Dambrath is preparing in case Unther comes to reclaim its territory. Does this mean Unther took Dambrath from the Arkauins (pursued them to Dambrath and subjugated them thus establishing the cities of Dambrath after 200 DR) or is there a recent conflict.
My initial thoughts are as follows.
Unther expands around -1300 DR to conquer the Eastern Shaar and the lands of Luiren and Dambrath. -1076 DR the Orcgate opens and Unther pulls all its troops out of southern lands to fight the wars. -1064 DR Ashanath opens a portal founding its twin capital of Shaundalar in the COuncil Hills. THis means Unther effectively loses control of the Eastern Shaar and all lands south which degenerate into nomadism once more. Unther doesn't care about the loss of colonies however as it is dealing with the destruction of most of its godkings.
-946 DR Shaundaular is destroyed.
-734 DR Gilgeam is crowned God-King of Unther and expansion begins once again. Slowly Unther begins to encroach upon the former territory of Shaundaular coming into conflict with the natives.
Sometime between -734 and 100 DR is when Unther established/acquired Peleveran possibly taking it from the gold dwarves that lived there originally.
205 DR Eltabranar attacks Unther and Mulhorand conquering the settlements in Central and Eastern Shaar and southern parts of Unther and Mulhorand.
210 DR Unther and Mulhorand defeat Eltabranar. The Arkauins flee south to Dambrath pursued slowly by Unther.
300 DR Unther occupies Dambrath and subjugates the Arkauins again establishing cities like Shantil and Hazuth.
420 DR Unther and Shoon go to war. Unther is unable to control far flung provinces in Dambrath and Luiren so they become effectively independent.
Finished an outline of the Church of Gil-Geamesq, I've tried to explain away how Zimrilim manages to keep hold of power when Gil-Geamesq in unpredictable and his underlings are all as ambitious and amoral as himself (he consumes large quantities of serthe which has imbued him with enhanced attributes and innate magical abilities, as well as extending his life.
Also tried to explain how the Citadel of Black Ash from Powers and Pantheons has a senior priest with the title of Autarch which sounds far too much like a title from western faerun. I've created a growing cult of Bane within the church that will be using the title Autarch which is corruption of old Netherese words which spread to Amn and then to the Vilhon and Chessenta/Threskel before Autarch Kabarrath Telthaugh (before he granted himself the title of Dread Imperceptor and split from the Orthodox Church to create the True Church of Bane).
Now that I've covered all the major organisations and settlements its time to go back and populate everything with people and items and history.
Added my own take on the altar of scales, malise, and kolchis into the cult of the queen of chaos and unthalass pages.
By 1373 DR it will be the Altar of Scales, but for now it is a ruined former temple to Amar-Du'uk, with an enchanted pool of dragons blood at its centre (used to create dragon bane weapons), a former alchemist who is trying to create his own draconic monsters, and a gaund pretending to be a lizardman who acts as caretaker while keeping an eye and ear out for anything sarrukh related.
Did you know there were a pair of Rakshasa necromancers (Al'Chazar Rakshasa, 3e MM3, pg.135) operating out of Unthalas in 3e? They were stirring unrest in Chessenta as well. I wonder what sort of things may have happened to them when it all went to Abeir.
"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone
Well i cant say much about abeir but id be tempted to make them more specific and less generic.
Rakshasa are cat like fiends so i could tie them to the were leopard in the northern wizards.
Al'Chazar is phonetically similar to Al'Hanar from Al'Hanar castle (im making Al'Hanar the founder of the knightly order who claim kinship with Myrkul and who were exiled from Murghom along with Myrkul for their evil use of magic). So perhaps Al'Chazar was another relative of Myrkul but he managed to curse himself into a catlike form with shapeshifting powers.
His descendants have infiltrated a number of powerful magic organisations including the amethyst sodality, the northern wizards, and the enclave. They are searching for information about how Myrkul ascended to godhood.
As for the two in Unthalass, of i recall correctly, rakshasa like enslaving and torturing people so im going to make the rakshasa be the heads of two of the three freeholder families that run the arena in Unthalass on the Isle of Blood.
The rakshasa get a steady supply of dead bodies to work with, they are rich and well placed in Unther's society with favour from Gil-Geamesq as long as they put on suitable spectacles of death for him. And no one will care if they experiment upon a few of the criminals delivered to them for use in the arena.
Making a new magic item based on the talons of the danse macabre in old empires.
Lash of the Death Dance: This two lash whip has both lengths end in a large curved bony talon. When brandished the talons dance around on the end of the lash completely stripping away the skin of any nearby victim in a matter of minutes.
The whip itself is an ordinary whip, but the talons where among a score gathered from the Ash dragon by Ass-Uraqn and enchanted to attack enemies when hurled in their direction.
Most of the talons have been lost over the years but two remain in Unther in the possession of An-Unaki, High Lord of Messemprar, who uses the Lash of the Death Dance to torture his enemies and prisoners in the levels beneath the summer palace of Messemprar.
Wondering if i might add extra powers such as if you bury the talon in ash of the Black Ash Plain then it will construct a small dragon like servitor. If all talons are buried together then the size of the servitor dragon increases by 1 category per additional talon.
Since I'm adding so many magic items now I thought I had best quantify the rules I am using to create such magic items.
Each magical power has its own number of uses. range. and activation method. Magic items are also now very very expensive to create but that is deliberate - commoners earn sp per year - skilled workers earn 10s of sp per year - merchants earn maybe 1 gp per year - nobles earn between 1 gp and 10 gp per year - high nobles earn up to 100 gp per year - royalty up to 1000 gp per year. That means even a king would struggle to commission a magic item withoug a lot of planning and monetary reserves.
Also added an explanation as to why the history of Unther in canon sources is slightly different to mine. The Geamesq-Samata (The Epic of Gil-Geamesq), also known as the false history of Unther. It is a continuous work produced by the government of Unther (the Church of the All Father) which alters historic events to put Gil-Geamesq in a better light.
It is this false history that makes Gil-Geamesq the son of E-Nlil, the victor of the Orcgate Wars, the rightful heir of E-Nlil, Gil-Geamesq and his victory tour of Unther after the Orcgate Wars, etc.
Thank you very much (assuming you meant deus ex machina in a positive way - thanks to wotc i often think of them as negative). Although im sure i read in the Old Empires sourcebook that gilgeam changed the history so i cant claim the credit for the idea.
If only i could use the same tactic elsewhere but instead i will have to rely on George Martins way of doing history. The bards make the stories that become history and sometimes they lie about the third hand account they heard from some drunk who claimed he was there. That is how real histories are made, unless the king pays to have a history written and then he pays for it to be written the way he wants it.
Going back to one of the skeleton pages to try and flesh it out.
Looking at the Enclave again.
I noticed isimud had a cap with runes on and a set of glasses. Anyone have any ideas on what these may be. Im not doing mass produced magic items so if he has a magic item worth mentioning then id like to give it history and a name.
Im making the headquarters/demiplane/portal nexus of imaskari origin but also giving clues to it being even older (multi armed ghosts inside, insect like pods for sleeping and each one containing a black star shaped gem that is fragile but magically attuned.
So I changed Isimud to E-Simud and made him the last son of E-Nlil (being the son of a divine being he gets an incredibly long life).
Created a new magic artefact known as the Cowl of Eyes which allows him to see through all kinds of illusions and scry far off places and generally be a divining expert. I'm debating making this artefact one of the Imaskarcana which I've alluded to by allowing it to replicate itself (like the Mask of TiaMa'at) and that E-Simud can communicate with it and that it seems to have bestowed massive amounts of magical knowledge upon him.
I've decided on the Imaskari portal network being a legacy of the spellweavers that had a presence in this land long ago (and may have constructed the stone colossus). The spellweavers all over Faerun disappeared during their Grand Conjunction event (except for Jergal). I've tried to link this disappearance to the lore in the ecology of the Spellweaver and George Krashos' Jergal article (the sstar gems which I've also made the same as chardalyn).
Spellweaver preence in the Old Empires accounts for the pyramid structure in both Ascore and the influence on the Old Empires so I need to place a few really ancient pyramid like "Nodes" around the Old Empires but keep them soooo hidden that no-one has found them yet (maybe in the lake in Murghom/Semphar - perhaps the Okothian ruins in Azulduth are built atop the Node - or perhaps the node is extraplanar in nature and can only be reached by a portal).