Kulan: Year of the Return (Updated: Nov 4/05)


World of Kulan DM
“Lands of Harqual” Story Hour
An Experiment in Fantasy Fiction
By Robert Blezard, a.k.a Knightfall1972

This is going to be another experiment in fiction for Lands of Harqual. None of this story hour was actual gaming. Instead it is meant as a way to flesh out the events of the last campaign year of my old 2nd Edition campaign, 749 N.C. (New Calendar).

The campaign ended halfway through the year, and has never continued on in any fashion but in my head. Now, my goal is to give a day by day, month by month account of the timeline. Many different characters will be featured, including major NPCs, and maybe a PC or two.

The months of the New Calendar are named for the deceased Divine Children of the North Gods. In order, from first to last the months’ names are Anon, Zealot, Sialic, Thorn, Truce, Hansa, Hela, Seraph, Nessus, Euphoria, Tulle, and Jaeger. The days of the week are named for the four elements and the moons of Kulan. The days of the week in order of first to last are Moonsday, Earthday, Fireday, Seaday, Windday, and Starday.

The four middle days are of course directly linked to each of the four Prime Elements - Air, Earth, Fire, and Water. Moonsday, of course, refers to Kulan’s two moons – Novan and Lithe. Starday is named for both the stars and Kulan’s sun.

So without further ado…

Year of the Return

Month of Anon
The First Day of the New Year (Fireday)

Deep in the Storm Jungle
Darkness reigns in the depths of the foliage of the Storm Jungle, named for the peninsula that juts out of the southwestern side of the continent known as Harqual, which the jungle covers most of. Here, creatures both mundane and magical live in co-existence, the law of the jungle the only rule.

As a matter of expressing that rule a monstrous hunting spider jumps out of the foliage and onto a troop of monkeys resting in a tall black-wood. The spider easily poisons half the troop dragging them back through the jungle to its lair high in the hills surrounding the Resounding Mountains.

Kulan’s twin moons, Novan and Lithe, hang over the mountain peaks, Novan a deep, crystal blue high in the night sky above the verdant land below, Lithe a pale, luminous white, smaller in night sky, hanging low above the northern pole, half hidden behind the mountain range. The light from the twin moons shines through the upper foliage of the jungle, barely illuminating the huge expanse of ruined stone in a hidden clearing far below.

Here ghosts of the past walk the night, prowling through the jungle. Whispering of a time lost to the millenium, a tale of a brawl between titans of divine status. The jungle’s vines and tree trunks, overgrown and festering, reek of the evil that once stood here. And would stand here once again.

Somewhere on a distant, unknown plane of existence, a dark power seethes in anticipation, as his imprisonment comes to an end. His followers kneel in supplication waiting for their God’s word that would signal their return to the Lands of Harqual. Thousands of catlike warriors and warpriests wait with bloody anticipation for the chance to re-conquer the Storm Jungle and then lay waste to the denizens beyond.

“Now!” The dark word rings throughout the isolated demiplane and then across the Multiverse to the only being still aware of the dark cat gods existence and threat. Mirella, The World Goddess, can do nothing but release Tu, The God of the Tabaxi and his children back into the Lands of Harqual. The 1,001 years are up. Now comes the Year of the Return.

Deep in the Storm Jungle, the City of Tattenger and its surrounding communities are magically transported back to the Storm Jungle, hidden from the complacent eyes to the north. The tabaxi god sends his followers out into the night to reclaim the jungle for him and to kill anything that stands in the way of complete dominance.

* * *​
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad


World of Kulan DM
Teller of the Past
The World Goddess watches helplessly as the tabaxi move with grim determination and a thirst for blood. She is loath to interfere but knows she must act to give the denizens of the Lands of Harqual a fighting chance. She whispers in the Lord of the North’s ear, far to the north in the Sunless Lands. The North God known as Cronn stirs from his half-frozen slumber for only a moment in time. He touches one mortal mind.

A young barbarian priest dreams of death and destruction reigning down upon the Lands of Harqual. He dreams of his divine lord, frozen on his throne, Cronn’s eyes breaking open through the ice of centuries. He here’s the words, ‘He returns’, in his mindscape.

‘What can I do?’ he asks, as the dream images of the tabaxi spread beyond a dense jungle to threaten the lands to the north and to the east.

‘You must warn them’ speaks the divine voice of Cronn. ‘You must speak the past to them’. The young man watches in horror as the tabaxi come to the edge of the Twilight Valley, his home. He watches as the tabaxi come in waves of hate and destruction, the voice speaking to him again ‘It is the future of your people you see, if you do not act’.

‘I am just a priest, Lord Cronn. I’m not a hero’.

‘Aye, yours is the task of warning and aiding those that will fight. You are not to go beyond the Wild Plains of the west. Disaster will befall the entire world if you do. Now go!

The young man awakes. His breathing is heavy and his lean body is covered in the sweat of the dreaming. He knows his purpose, but still he wonders if his lord chose the right person. His eyes clear enough to see his home around him. The logs of his wigwam cabin rise high into the air, wrapped in the skins of dire caribou. The construction is a messing of the old ways and the new. The material of a southerner’s trapping cabin and the design of a Northlands barbarian’s teepee. The wigwam cabin would seem odd to a southerner and overly grand to a barbarian from a more traditional tribe.

However, the tribes of the Valley of Twilight were not stuck in tradition. Sure the construction of most of the region’s structures were based on traditional design, yet they were built out of not just logs, but brick and stone as well. The dwarves of the Greystone Mountains had long been allies of the Tribes of Twilight and both cultures had learned much from each other over the centuries.

The young priest shook his head to dislodge mundane matters. A new world was dawning for everyone across the continent and he knew he was the only one who could warn them. He looked around and quickly took note of what he would need for the journey. He only hoped the elders of the twilight tribes would take the world of simple low-blooded priest. He put on his most traditional clothes, gathered his medicine bundle, and headed for his wigwam cabin’s main doorway.

“They might not believe me, but I have to try. If I can convince Spiritwolf then the others just might hear me out.” He knew there wasn’t much hope, however. Spiritwolf was known to be stubborn and willful. Yet, regardless of their decision, he would make the journey, even if he had to leave everything he knew behind.

* * *​
Last edited:


World of Kulan DM
In the Elders’ Longhouse
Spiritwolf listened as the young priest of Cronn sitting across from him in the Elders’ Longhouse spoke of his dream. Spiritwolf found the dream to be lacking in details, yet he could not disprove the young man’s claim. It had to be false, however, as none had received such a dream from Lord Cronn in over three centuries. Cronn slept half-frozen in self-exile far to the north in the Sunless Lands.

Of course, he could be wrong, as not every dream by a clergyman of Cronn had been recorded in the tribal library, but then again Spiritwolf wasn’t a believer in the written history of his people. He believed in the more oral traditions of the past, and he’d never visited the library, nor would he ever do so. Sure, he had advisors to check the records and inform him of what the library held, but he’d never go so far as to enter the Hall of Records himself.

It was an unpopular decision with the younger member of the twilight tribes. It didn’t matter to Spiritwolf, he wouldn’t be the man to completely abandon the old ways of the Northlands. He would leave that decision up to the next generation of elders.

This thought made him wonder, “Could this young low-blooded priest be the next leader of the twilight tribes?” The thought made Spiritwolf uneasy. He knew change would have to come eventually, but what this young man spoke of wouldn’t just alter the ways of his people. The chaos he was foreseeing would completely reshape the Lands of Harqual and the way his people interacted with outsiders.

For generations many southerners who believed in at least some of the traditions of the North Gods, would make pilgrimages into the Northlands to seek the original lost shrines of the Pantheon of the North or to create new ones. The followers of the trapped god known as Hansa were some of the more amiable ones and greatly respected the old ways. Yet, other southerners were not as respectful of the true ways of the North Gods. They brought new ideas and almost alien traditions, which some of his people insisted on honoring.

The elders had let them do so, but now many of them wished they had forbid the changes. Change was happening to rapidly.

Spiritwolf had lost himself in his own thoughts. He looked up and saw that the young priest was looking at him with concern and wonder. No, he would not give this young man his support. If the low-blooded priest was too be the next leader of the twilight tribes then he would have to prove his dream quest on his own.

“While I will not forbid you to follow your dream’s alleged path beyond the borders of our valley, I must forbid you from taking anyone with you. This is a path you must follow alone, as only you will be able to determine the truth of this dream.”

“I understand.” The young man’s voice was filled with disappointment, but his eyes showed an internal fire that would not be discouraged.

“You must also not burden your family line, such as it is, with this radical dream quest. You will only be allowed to take your most essential possessions with you on your journey. Your other belongings will be gathered up and distributed amongst your family members. Do you have any requests regarding who should have what?”

“My wigwam cabin should go to my brother and his family. They live just outside of Blackstag and have the greatest need for a well constructed home. He and his wife have three sons and they would make excellent additions to the Highhorn tribal community.” The young priest knew he was accepting exile, but it could not be helped. He could feel Cronn’s call to him in his heart.

“Very well,” Spiritwolf admired the young man’s family loyalties. “We will tell them you were killed in the recent giant attack near Elkstead. Several lay-priests were in the region helping battle a minor outbreak of an unknown disease when the attack occurred. It should work well for a cover story.”

“I accept the wisdom of your words.”

“Do you now? Somehow I don’t believe the sincerity of that comment. Realize that if there was a way to force you too stay, within the guideline of tradition, then I would do so. I believe this dream quest of yours to be mere folly on your part. You have not given this enough thought, young man, and I will never endorse your claims.”

The young priest looked around the table of elders looking for any support. He found none. The old guard of the old ways stood together against the realities of the future. He could not sway them anymore than he could move the mountains of the Greystone dwarves.

“I am alone. This I accept and understand. I do not ask for your support, only your understanding that this is something that I must do. I must be Taith-El, I must be the Teller of the Past. Otherwise there will be disaster amongst the southerners, which will eventually spill over into the north and consume our people. I know you do not believe me. You do not have to. I will believe it for all our people.”

“You have one day to gather the things you will need. After that I expect you to have left Highhorn. Speak to no one of this dream quest even after you’ve left the city. What you do once you’ve left the valley is your business.” Spiritwolf could not believe the arrogance of the young man. Too call himself Taith-El was a mockery of the old ways.

Taith-El took his leave of Spiritwolf and the elders of twilight tribes. He did not look back as he left the Elders’ Longhouse. If he had he would have seen a dozen men turn there back to him as he left.

* * *​

Remove ads


Remove ads

Upcoming Releases