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 The Dodkong - Stone Giant Lich
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newbiedm
Acolyte

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 26 Dec 2018 :  23:01:13  Show Profile  Visit newbiedm's Homepage Send newbiedm a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Okay, I've3 recently discovered this guy, and I am obsessed...


http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Dodkong

I want to use him as my BBEG in a campaign... right now I am struggling to give my group something to do after Tomb of Annihilation, and I was thinking of running Against the Giants, and this guy may just fit perfectly....

So Realms loremasters, help me out! Help me craft a story where Dodkong is the ultimate bad guy. What does he want? What's his end goal? How do the PC's fit in?

Here's a few truths about him and his surroundings that I've learned from older published sources I've researched.

-He rules He rules Cairnheim under the Giant's Run Mountains.

-An emerald dragon, Behrshimmer, makes her home in the Giant's Run Mountains. A tunnel from her lair in volcanic Mount Dodild leads to Cairnheim. Behrshimmer was an ally of Dove Falconhand (a Seven Sister, now dead in 5e).

Here's a twitter thread with all the info I have dug up on him. https://twitter.com/newbiedm/status/1077319951009107968

Help me craft a great plot that'll take me to level 20th!

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7849 Posts

Posted - 27 Dec 2018 :  14:45:41  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dove's death may be overstated. Not that that's a major deal, just stating there's some contradictions to other statements in Ed's last sundering book I believe (memory murky). But on to discussing your options here.

From the 3.5 Underdark regarding Cairnheim
Important Characters: Ruvok Aerthmett (female stone giant expert 6), royal artisan; Koenig Serpentspine (male undead stone giant ranger 9), Chief of the Dodforers.
Warriors: Any adult stone giant is a competent fighter, and many of Cairnheim’s giants also have levels in barbarian, fighter, or warrior. Cairnheim is home to about 260 adult stone giants, plus 20 dodforers (or “Death Chiefs”), a special kind of undead stone giant.

So, when did the Dodkong arise? -160 DR Year of the Stone Giant. What ELSE happened that year? -160 DR Eltab is bound in Narfell using the Adamantine Binding, creating demoncysts throughout the unapproachable east and possibly even the old empires. Who gave the Narfelli the secrets to binding Eltab? Its whispered that it was Orcus, a demon lord of undeath.

So, why not tie these two events together? Who taught the Dodkong the secrets to becoming a lich? Why not Orcus? What kind of lich is the Dodkong? What about Warlock? Another option could be using some of my DMs Guild rules for multiclassing in the Complete Red Book of Spell Strategy and making him a warlock/sorcerer or warlock/priest of orcus or sorcerer/priest of orcus.

What if there's some kind of metal or stone "seal" tied to Cairnheim where he has set himself up (for instance, where the conjurer's tower is in Impiltur is where the "Adamantine Seal" is). What if Cairnheim was previously held by Ilythiiri, and it was another place tied to demons similar to Athamault (aka the Pit of Iron from Lost Empires of Faerun) and Narathmault (modern day Dun-Tharos)? What if some of those descendants of the Ilythiiri (i.e. dark elves) were pushed out by the Dodkong's forces, and they were followers of Kiaransalee, and they weren't exactly happy to have Orcus' forces move in? What if they're still unhappy centuries later (equating to maybe a few generations of dark elves.... and possibly a follower of Kiaransalee who is still "unliving" from the time when they lost Cairnheim). Also, moving on this concept, maybe the dark elves got Cairnheim from giants prior to losing it TO giants. Maybe those drow mentioned that follow Kiaransalee are secretly in Athamault, which is "relatively" nearby "near the lake of steam" which is directly south of the Giant's Run Mountains.


Going on the seal concept, the idea of runic/symbol magic being found throughout Cairnheim (runic traps, glyphs, wards, and summoning circles... as well as if one wanted to link it to something similar to 3.5 pact magic, perhaps binding symbols for vestiges, etc...) could be useful. Maybe there are also demons to be found here (which kinds might be an interesting debate).

Also, what are Dodforers? They're listed as a special kind of undead stone giant. What if they become something similar to the concept of death knights or mummies. Maybe they're a "lich like" being whose spirit is tied to a phylactery in the form of a weapon (i.e. similar to death knights in 4th edition). Maybe they have the equivalent of "spellstitching" in the form of runes? Maybe they have some ability to control lesser undead, and thus they control undead stone giant zombies and skeletons. Maybe they can call upon demons, summon undead of some sort, or even summon evil elementals of earth for aid?


That's the ideas that pop in my head.


What's with the Crown of Obadai that the Dodkong has? We get the idea that it must have belonged to the progenitor of the Stone Giant race. What happened to him? Why is the crown linked to creating undead? Did the Dodkong actually tie HIMSELF to this crown similar to a lich? Would destroying the Dodkong involve destroying this crown?




Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
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Posted - 27 Dec 2018 :  20:14:50  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, also what happened to the Dodkong's wife who hoped to become "Hildkong" according to the GHotR entry? Her life faded away as the Dodkong was transformed, but did she actually disappear? For instance, I half wonder, did she perhaps actually become some kind of ghost or banshee? Was this some kind of screw you moment setup by Kiaransalee or her followers and her spirit actually opposes the Dodkong? Was it even a bit more sinister, such that maybe his queen became something equivalent to a 3.5 era vestige? It could be interesting if the Dodkong were something like a 3.5 era binder and he "binds" his dead queen to himself so that he can simply share his life with her.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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newbiedm
Acolyte

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 27 Dec 2018 :  20:35:05  Show Profile  Visit newbiedm's Homepage Send newbiedm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your ideas, I need to mull on this for a bit, but I was able to get Ed Greenwood to give me some insights into Dodkong on twitter....

------------------

"1) I've always intended the Dodkong to be a guy who wants (very slowly and patiently, working "under the radar" for as long as possible to avoid interference from the likes of Larloch and the Srinshee and the Seven) to shatter the dominance of humans, and then elves and orcs...

2) ...after that so as to prevent their rising to fill the power vacuum, so he can "restore" giants to mastery over Faerûn. And at the same time, he would "reorder" the status quo among giants by humbling cloud giants and storm giants, to let the stone and fire giants have...

3) ...their chances to reign. And he would do this in part by manipulating dragons and dracoliches into personal fights with cloud and storm giants, to weaken and eliminate as many dragons as possible ere giants rose to ascendancy.
Not small goals, and not easily or swiftly...

4) ...achieved. But he's all about playing the Long Game. Like Larloch, remaking Toril the way he wants it to be. Fomenting wars amongst humans, widespread slaughter among the drow and all goblinkin, and tolerating only hin, gnomes, and dwarves as acceptable giant servitor races.

However, I defer to Tom Costa in this, a superb sage of Realmslore who's contributed much over the years yet remained largely unsung. If he has something different in mind, run with it...
(And BTW, what I've outlined here doesn't clash with Storm King's Thunder. Run both at once)

The Dodkong has no interest in fighting adventurers; the "running under the radar" style means he's almost always going to work through intermediaries (like manipulated bands of NPC adventurers, orc tribes, drow, cloud and storm giants). YEARS of mayhem at the gaming table."

-----------




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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7849 Posts

Posted - 27 Dec 2018 :  22:44:16  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
All of that works with what I showed above. That's what his goals are, not what he is. In the above, the only folks who might be "noticing" him are the drow followers of Kiaransalee. The thing in my viewpoint is to develop what he is based on history. For instance, do you want him to be a standard wizard lich or would having him be a warlock or sorcerer or cleric be the path you'd like to go? If he works through intermediaries, are they non-giant ones (such as summoned demons) in order to not attract attention to him, etc... with controls in place such that the intermediaries may not even know who he is (i.e. he summons them in another form, in another place, and using another name, etc...)

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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LordofBones
Senior Scribe

861 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2018 :  00:20:20  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
According to the wiki, he venerated Velsharoon.
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
3212 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2018 :  00:42:28  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Oh, also what happened to the Dodkong's wife who hoped to become "Hildkong" according to the GHotR entry? Her life faded away as the Dodkong was transformed, but did she actually disappear? For instance, I half wonder, did she perhaps actually become some kind of ghost or banshee? Was this some kind of screw you moment setup by Kiaransalee or her followers and her spirit actually opposes the Dodkong? Was it even a bit more sinister, such that maybe his queen became something equivalent to a 3.5 era vestige? It could be interesting if the Dodkong were something like a 3.5 era binder and he "binds" his dead queen to himself so that he can simply share his life with her.



-Maybe a tragedy of sorts, where her death was somehow necessary to complete his transformation into Lichdom.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7849 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2018 :  01:15:35  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

According to the wiki, he venerated Velsharoon.



Ah, times change... its 1500 years later.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
611 Posts

Posted - 31 Dec 2018 :  16:53:52  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So when I wrote the entry for GHotR, I was thinking of a simple Shakespearean type tragedy with the Dodking's wife, but there is no reason not to make it more interesting or complicated. Life is usually both, so perhaps undeath is as well.
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newbiedm
Acolyte

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 31 Dec 2018 :  19:52:27  Show Profile  Visit newbiedm's Homepage Send newbiedm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mr. Tom Costa! Thanks for jumping in the thread!
So if you were running a campaign where your creation, the Dodkong is the big bad guy, what would you consider his goals to be?
I love this character by the way. I see him as a cursed tragic creature suffering because he's cursed with eternal life. Maybe his phylactery is somewhere he can't reach, and he needs to find it so he could die? What does this guy want in his undeath without his beloved?

Visit my D&D website at www.newbiedm.com
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5431 Posts

Posted - 01 Jan 2019 :  00:20:52  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Actually, the Dodkong was Eric Boyd's creation from "Drizzt Do"Urden's Guide to the Underdark".

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
611 Posts

Posted - 01 Jan 2019 :  23:53:37  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
George is right. Eric created him. I just wrote his origin story, which Eric approved of btw.

As for his goals, he's smart and eternal, so I would plot out long term goal for him. That said, like many stone giants, I see him as insular and solitary and like most undead, insane. In some ways he's kind of Count Strahd like now that I think about it. I guess I would give him grander plans than most mortals would consider more like other major liches, whether Thay's Tam or Larloch or others. I would also see him as potentially approachable given the right circumstances.

He surrounds himself with other undead giants (all of which appeared in the 2e Giants from the Grave by Gregory Detwiler in Dragon 254 from December 1998), notably Barrowes (undead hill giants) and especially Cairns (undead stone giants, of which the Dodking is probably one, albeit one that is also a lich), but he also runs a kingdom that includes living giants (kind of like Thay in 4e, but with giants mostly underground).

In 2e, cairns had telepathy that allowed them to detect people nearby (so something effectively like the detect thoughts spell in 5e) and making them hard to surprise, were immune to nonmagic weapons, as well as being charmed, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned and cold damage, as well as "earth-based attacks" (not quite sure how to translate that into 5e and might not bother especially as they were somewhat vulnerable to certain other "earth" oriented spells). I'd then tack on lich-powers and spells. For their part, barrows were more akin to wights.
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
611 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2019 :  00:00:49  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And that said, I think all the things mentioned above could easily work and there's lots of good ideas there. As for a 20 level adventure around him, I would not necessarily see him wanting to become a god. I think he's satisfied in his own insane way with his current state, but maybe something has upset his peace and quite and caused him to become more reactive, sending first his mortal agents (for lower levels, humanoid tribes beholden to the giants, then hill giants, and so forth) out to carry out his will. One of the things I love about the region is its so undeveloped. It's almost a lore wasteland other than knowing there be lots of giants.

Edited by - TomCosta on 02 Jan 2019 15:30:08
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Posted - 02 Jan 2019 :  00:13:10  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, Tom... that’s awesome. It’s bringing my love of undead giants right back into the fore.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7849 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2019 :  00:26:25  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
SAGE!!!!!!!!!!!! Hey man, long time no see. Good to see you.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Posted - 02 Jan 2019 :  02:28:46  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hey, sleyvas... thanks. Hehe. I quietly snuck in through the back door. And yes, Candlekeep has a back door. It’s where we keep Wooly when he misbehaves.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 02 Jan 2019 :  03:46:45  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

Hey, sleyvas... thanks. Hehe. I quietly snuck in through the back door. And yes, Candlekeep has a back door. It’s where we keep Wooly when he misbehaves.



It's closer to the Calishite Dancing Girls. Why do you think I misbehave?

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newbiedm
Acolyte

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2019 :  05:30:52  Show Profile  Visit newbiedm's Homepage Send newbiedm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tom, this is great. 5e actually has very little high level content, so the group I just ran through Tomb of Annihilation wants to keep playing these characters, but there are no high level published adventures for 11-12 level, except Against the Giants in the Tales of the Yawning Portal book. Soooo...... this works perfectly.

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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
611 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2019 :  15:27:49  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You could totally tweak against the giants into a dodking thing. I think Dungeon Magazine ran a stone giant addition in one issue a ways back that could also be adapted. You might also consider dropping the frost giants for stone giants or both the frost and fire for stone giants. Maybe the frost are the living stone giants and the fire become the undead stone giants.
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
611 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2019 :  15:35:49  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
At one point I had proposed doing a 3E supplement on the Dragon Coast to include the giants or perhaps include them as an e-supplement. Here was the outline of the region....

Chapter 8: Nedeheim, Land of Giants (12 pages)
ľ Geographic Overview
ľ Major Geographic Features
„«
Troll Mountains
„X Brigand¡¦s Gorge
„X Mount Sclagarrd
„X Smokespire
„X Mount Batyr
„X Swordsmere
„X Wailing Dwarf
„X Assar¡¦s Peak
„X Gulf of Storms
„X Mount Thalagar
„X Korolnor [Underdark]
„«Qadim Hills
„X Stone of Clans Parting
„X Magar¡¦s Hill
„X Fireflow [river]
„X Trollstooth Run [river]
„X Khalieshyr [river]
„X Valashar River
„«Giant¡¦s Plain
„X Giant¡¦s Chalice [Underdark]
„«Giant¡¦s Run Mountains
„X Behrshimmer¡¦s Lair
„X Mount Dodild
„X Lake of Snows
„X Breakback Pass

ľ People
„«Races and Cultures
„X Gold Dwarves
„X Giants
„X Ogres and Half-breeds
„X Trolls
Life and Society
„X Economy
„X Law and Order
„X Defense and Warcraft
„X Religion [dwarf pantheon, Diinkarazan, giant pantheon, Vaprak]
„«Adventurers
ľPolitics and Power
„« History
„« Governments
„« Enemies

ľCities and Sites
„« Everlasting Kingdom of Stommheim [Underdark]
„« Quarrelshigh [rock gnomes]
„« Fort Ilbratha
„« Gold Dwarf Outposts [FRCS]
„« Cairnheim [Underdark]
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4394 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2019 :  15:50:06  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting names for some of those locations, are any of those new (not in existing lore) and did you have any ideas for flashing them out

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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
611 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2019 :  16:58:13  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If I recall correctly, those were all the existing locations from previously existing lore and maps (including FR Interactive Atlas). If I had gotten a green light, I think I would have developed a few others, but the intent was to do something like Unapproachable East or Shining South in format. I pulled together what I thought was a pretty exhaustive list of existing lore (but I'm sure there were nuggets left to be found as I was just pulling together an outline).

The primary sources for the Dragon Coast project, and I don't mean to highjack this thread, included:
#61558; 1E, 2E, and 3E Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting
#61558; Champions of Valor
#61558; Cloak and Dagger
#61558; Cloak and Dagger web enhancements
#61558; Cult of the Dragon
#61558; Demihuman Deities
#61558; Drizzt Do’Urden’s Guide to the Underdark
#61558; Faiths and Avatars
#61558; Forgotten Realms Adventures
#61558; Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas CD-ROM
#61558; Gold & Glory
#61558; Lands of Intrigue
#61558; Lords of Darkness (3E)
#61558; Magic of Faerûn
#61558; Pirates of the Sea of Fallen Stars
#61558; Powers and Pantheons
#61558; Races of Faerûn
#61558; Stormwrack
#61558; Underdark
#61558; Vilhon Reach
#61558; Warriors and Priests of the Realms
#61558; Wizards and Rogues of the Realms
#61558; Wizards of the Coast website (search on Cairnheim, “Dragon Coast,” Elversult, Gulthmere, “Pirate Isles,” Priapurl, Proskur, Starmantle, Teziir, Westgate, etc., also Class Chronicles on dread necromancers and psionics)
#61558; Wyrmskull Throne

And secondary sources were:
#61558; Azure Bonds novel
#61558; Champions of Ruin
#61558; Dragon Magazine #74, 83, 95, 102, 125, 179, 181, 187, 210, 214, 216, 227, 228-234, 248, 250, 254, 267, 299 (search other issues, particularly 251+)
#61558; Dungeon Magazine #19, 48, 63, 66, 79, 80 (search other issues, particularly 63+)
#61558; Elminster’s Ecologies: Coastal Aquatic Lands, The Cormyrean Marshes, The Thunder Peaks and the Storm Horns, and others to a lesser extent
#61558; Erevis Cale novels (especially Twilight Falling for Gulthmere and Midnight’s Mask for Wayrock)
#61558; Finders Stone novels (Azure Bonds and Masquerades)
#61558; Forgotten Realms Atlas
#61558; Grand History of the Realms
#61558; Lost Empires of Faerûn
#61558; Master of Chains novel
#61558; Monsters of Faerûn
#61558; Monstrous Manual
#61558; Queen of the Depths novel
#61558; Temple Hill novel
#61558; Threat from the Sea novels (Rising Tide, Under Fallen Stars, Sea Devil’s Eye, Realms of the Deep)
#61558; Veiled Dragon novel
#61558; Volo’s Guide to Cormyr
#61558; XXXX Other stories involving the Dragon Coast (Realms anthologies, such as “Whispering Crown” in Best of the Realms, Book II)



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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
3043 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2019 :  20:10:47  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
DM's Guild would be a great place to host that Tom.

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
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Edited by - Brimstone on 02 Jan 2019 20:11:07
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
611 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2019 :  21:27:42  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It would be tough. I've forgotten half the novels (most of which remain in the attic of my parents' house-- For example, Temple Hill. I vaguely remember there being an orog or half ogre, but couldn't tell you anything more about that book--no offense to the author), there's all the late 3e and 4e research to be done, and with two young kids and puppy, I barely have time to play my Wednesday night game it feels like.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5431 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2019 :  22:59:46  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I still have a copy of that outline Tom. Was looking at it just the other day for someone else who is planning to write something on the area. Shame that never came to fruition.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7849 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2019 :  13:00:25  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

It would be tough. I've forgotten half the novels (most of which remain in the attic of my parents' house-- For example, Temple Hill. I vaguely remember there being an orog or half ogre, but couldn't tell you anything more about that book--no offense to the author), there's all the late 3e and 4e research to be done, and with two young kids and puppy, I barely have time to play my Wednesday night game it feels like.



I hear ya. Glad to hear its not just me. You can tell the people that do this for the love of it.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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