Tales of the Last Lands





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    Tales of the Last Lands

    Tales of the Last Lands: Invasion from the North


    Out of the cold North they came, a fleet of savage warriors from the harshest lands of the Known World, the dreaded White Waste. At their head was a brutal tyrant, Taisto the Butcher, a barbarian born on the field of battle to the sound of cannons and clashing swords. He knew no word for “peace”; his trollish tongue had no such term, only words for victory and defeat. A vast horde of men, many tainted like him with the blood of trolls, they rode the grey waves across the uncaring sea that now covered a sunken continent. The ghosts of a thousand lost souls, the drowned of kingdoms that fell into the sea, groaned and rose up out of the water, striving to drag the ships down into the briny deeps.

    Many ships had been lost before, manned by intrepid seamen daring to cross the Sea of the Fallen only to meet their doom in the murky deep. But this fleet was as none before it, protected by the force of dark runes stained with the blood of human sacrifices, and the wailing dead could gain no purchase on the ships nor stand before their sharp prows and fell back from the black fleet in impotent rage. Only one seaman, leaning too far over the rail, was yanked from the deck of a ship and dragged under the roiling grey waters by the undead, his screams for help drowned out by the wailing of the dead and ignored by the heartless living as the fleet sailed on without him.

    The fleet of a hundred ships with black sails and blood-stained keels to the rich sailed onward to the fat countries in the Uttermost West, the Last Lands. There dwelt the remnants of the Fallen Lands in cities built by those who fled the crumbling continent that the sea now washed over. Valora, the northernmost of the cities would be the first to target of the fell fleet. A city of scholars and artists, its soft, weak populace would be herded like sheep and sold as slaves.

    They landed on the banks of a river delta under the cover of darkness and spread out to set up a base. Their great cannons were mounted onto rafts as fast as tress could be felled and logs lashed together. The warriors, a pestilence of muscle and steel painted in blue woad, dragged the cannons up the river. A few scouts ran ahead to check for sentries, but the peaceable city of Valora had not had need for any before.

    When the horde reached the city it was the first blast of cannon fire, launching a great stone through the city gates that alerted the night watch sent the city dwellers running for their lives. Sulphurous blasts from the cannons set the city walls ablaze and berserkers blooded the streets, slaughtering those too slow to escape. The warriors burned and looted and raped their way through the city.

    Those who could do so hid, while those who could not were quickly captured and bound, doomed to be sold as slaves in the arctic homeland of the barbarians. Thousands were left homeless as fire spread through the city and nothing was left of the city’s coffers or the holy relics of the temples. The city’s public sculptures and murals were ruined, fountains were polluted with human waste, and the streets ran with blood.

    As suddenly as they came, the barbarians left, taking their loot and slaves back to their encampment at the first sound of cock’s crow as the sun rose. Taisto sat on a makeshift throne of his victim’s bones and set about divvying up the booty among his followers and planning the next raid they would make, confident that none of the city-dwellers could oppose them. He could not know that one determined survivor watched his every move…

    __________________________________________________ _______________

    Okay, this is a little rough. I need a good Norse or Finnish name for the barbarian king and some suggestions on how to protect the ships in his fleet from undead and other mishaps. These "barbarians" are not the standard Conanesque types, they have gunpowder for crude cannons and guns. Ships would be early Renaissance, not viking style. But they have a few berserkers in every ship. Thoughts?
    Last edited by Samloyal23; Saturday, 28th July, 2012 at 01:48 AM.
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    Story Hour forum?

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    This is background material for the campaign I am developing...
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    Norse ships are called Drakkar, or Dragonships. Did you know that when the Vikings raided Lindasfarne that the Christians wrote that they saw dragons before the 'scourge of god' arrived?

    The Norse of fantasy would protect their ships with real dragons. The shallow draft of the real Drakkar also meant that it could sail up rivers, land on beaches and of course it could sail pretty much anywhere. Nowhere was safe from the Vikings of history. They travelled as far as America on one side and Miklagaard on the other. Their ships could also be rowed forwards AND backwards without having to turn around. Every Viking had the knowledge to build his own ship. Can you imagine such a thing today? Can you build your own tools, everything you need, in case they broke? Your car? Your computer? These were all Viking strengths.

    They also didn't run away very often. The Vikings were watched over by Thor, the strongest of the gods, and Odin, the wisest. To get into Odin's Hall, a Viking must die in battle /unyielding/ before the enemy. Only then may he be picked by the Valkeries to enter it. So protecting the ships are not just hardy warriors from lands of ice and snow but they will seek death against the most powerful foes they can because of their beliefs. Odin's followers also had the beserkers, the closest of which in D&D would be 18th level+ Barbarians. The Bersekers of history in our world were said to be able to /dull blades merely by looking at them/ and also that no weapon could harm them. They were greatly feared, even back home.

    If you want men of iron, don't look to the crusaders. If you read about the battles you'll learn the truth there. No, look to the Vikings; the greatest explorers, traders and free warriors we have records of.

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    "Barbarism" is a relative term. The cities in my campaign are more advanced than the desperate invaders from the North, so they view them as savages, and they do retain some vestiges of customs from earlier times, such as their use of berserkers as shock troops. The inhabitants of the White Waste just see themselves as poorer and living in a harsher world than the decadent urbanites of the islands to the West.
    Cell Factor Samuel M. Wright, Society of Sensation.

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    ° Ignore Shaghayegh
    Are there any good spells that would keep a ship safe from ghosts and other undead? What types of undead are in the Sea of the Fallen?

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