Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Kazek Zel before the Fall (Part III b)

Last month I started developing the history of an island setting I'm working on. Got a bit distracted (disoriented?) along the way, mainly because I believed other things will be needed to give this some more depth. But it is time to get back to Kazek Zel and see what the humans did to the place. All this is meant for inspiration and I'll keep it somewhat vague for now, filling in the blanks with later posts.

Short Summary

Magic is strong on Kazek Zel -Island of the floating Trees. The Fey always lived here, channeling some of that magic, and huge Earth Elementals, covered in moss (some of them even big enough to have trees growing on them), roam the island. Another old entity on Kazek Zel is the Mushroom Wizard. He's, naturally, a weird fella. Nobody knows what he's up to.

A great Green Dragon, menace to the shore in the west, had his lair here once, but he got killed by the Mushroom Wizard (because mushrooms and lizards are at war...), leaving his treasure (and magic items) to his Kobold minions. They took what they could use and, with time, formed four large tribes that called Kazek Zel their home (one riding giant insects, one fey-blooded tribe, some pirates and those worshiping the Mushroom Wizard as their god).

The first humans settling on the island where the Uzked Barbarians. A fierce tribe with a sinister death cult. They call the area around the biggest lake on Kazek Zel their territory. An island of floating trees is their graveyard and holy site.

At some point more "civilized" humans took an interest in this hostile environment. Some heroes earned land here (a present from their emperor) and tried to tame the wilderness. All failed sooner or later, leaving the ruins of their castles behind. But the empire found another use for this indomitable land. Nobles were allowed to bury their dead here and, as a result, a lot of effort and gold was put into maintaining and protecting a small harbor, spreading well protected tombs all over Kazek Zel in the process.

[Further reading: Orientation, Part I, Part II, Part III a]

Escalation
I always wanted flying islands in my setting... (source)

The aftermath of The Big War gave the economy of Tristenheifn, as the harbor was called, a significant boost. Suddenly there was a huge demand for working crews venturing deep into the island, building tombs. It was also the time when the empire deemed it necessary to make a rather bold attempt to tame the magic on the island. Mighty imperial Wizards were gathered at the shores of Kazek Zel to perform a huge ritual and drain the land of it's magic. It took them months of research, but finally they succeeded. Sort of. All the huge Earth Elementals vanished from the island and the fey were weakened in the process. But something went wrong and they weren't able to focus the magic as they wanted too. Instead, 17 floating islands, from small to huge in size, appeared over Kazek Zel.

It was around that time when the Mushroom Wizard mysteriously disappeared, leaving only riddles behind.

War

It didn't take the citizens of Tristenheifn long to see the value in such real estate. Soon the rich and powerful started building palaces on those floating rocks above the now thriving city. Permanent portals delivered water (resulting in waterfalls) and Dwarven craftsmanship build most of the rest. It was an golden era.

(source)
For the fey, on the other hand, this meant war. An Elven army, the Eydonnian Lon (elven for "Blood Crows", a very fascist military group), took residence in the magic forests deep in the island and planned their bloody revenge. The first to suffer from this were the Uzked, guilty by association. They got nearly annihilated, but not without a fight. What survived of the tribe, had fled behind the safe stonewall of Tristenheifn, leaving most of their secret lore and their holy site behind. They live in the slums ever since, only dreaming of their former glory.

By the time the Eydonnian Lon attacked the city, the imperial soldiers and the mercenaries hired by rich folks were an even match for the Crows. The war went on for years until the elves one day, for at the time unknown reasons, just retreaded back into the forests. It was the beginning of the end...

The Apocalypse and all that

So there is a lot of ruins, some weird magic, floating islands, a sprawling city, angry Elves, strange Kobolds and a dragon's hoard somewhere on Kazek Zel. But still, my initial premise needs an apocalypse to isolate the island, Undead should be more of a problem and the city needs to be a lot bigger, with some strange customs to regulate the population. A time table could be useful an maps, of course, too. Some of the ideas I wrote about in the last few weeks will have a place here. For now it's far to warm to write more, so all this will be in future posts.

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