Sunday, April 15, 2012

Strange Kin #2, follow up

Eyrexes (Ear- ex- Eez) is known as the Kobald God.

First I should explain my kobald as opposed to some of the more familiar ones these days. These aren't the reptilian sword-fodder with snouts and half-drooped ears (wait, reptiles have ears?)
of That Game. A kobald is generally any small humanoid that is endowed with some sort of amazing, even magical, characteristics. This comes from northern European folklore and can be traced back through earlier times, such as the days of Rome and even earlier into the Hellenic period where the word "kolabos/kolaboi" appears. Some have been said to be able to take a form of silver-tinted magical fire-making lizards, but that has only been one of thousand of special traits. Piltdowners fall into this metaphysical category. Besides being mini-ogres, actually because they are mini-ogres, these guys are born with twice the strength and endurance of a normal human being.

Eyrexes, more often just referred to as "the Kobald God," as a god on the God Plane, is not much more powerful than a 17th level Warrior-Wizard in game terms. But he is immortal and like any god immoveable when in the right place at the right time. He is mostly known for causing trouble and playing pranks on the ill-tempered and vastly more powerful gods. He often is forced into being the slave of the Great Cyclops, an ogre of a god if ever there was one. At the same time he likes to do well for the wee folk, from the fortunate leprechaun and ratling to the rather developmentally retarded piltdowner. Mind you, he'll have nothing to do with do with hobbs, which are inbred humans who really should stay at home and tend their farms-- hence the little deity's "Monster God" reputation in places like Peakvale.

With that said, we head into my campaign world of Elder. Deep into the heat of the jungles of Djung to the north of Fel Sharas, both are in Athebes. From there we move up the Mirky River and further up one of its tributaries where the jungle collided with the mountains, where the Dwarven fortress-mine of Hard Water was located. It was overran by a horde of ogre-king, mostly Og and even more piltdowners being flogged forward by various ogre bosses. You see, one of the unwritten traits, at least until now, in my game world is that giant-kin, including the Not-So-Giant ogres, have an instinctive pecking order. By that I mean, they are their own masters until someone of their kin comes along who is taller than they are. The taller can then most often compel the shorter into pretty much being his slave and lackey. So things weren't looking good for the Speaking Peoples of Athebes, something was lording over the ogres who were gathering hordes of ogre-kin together, and overrunning the civilized settlements of the land.

In the depths of the Hard Water mines, my adventurers, Pilotia, Rjenn, Confucius Rogue, a Wizard named Ra and their Ape guide, were on their fifteenth batch of piltdowners since entering the complex. Despite the routine of the random encounter, tedium was not my player's usual reaction, instead steeled determination because bands of the ugly guys were tough, determined and 99.99% of the time would fight to the death of the last man. When down to last three, I decided to do a morale check. Considering the score of their projected non-physical scores, I had decided a while before that a 7th level Luck roll on the creature's part would be necessary. This was a scenario designed for 4th level PCs. So if any piltdowner made it, I ruled that it would be a truly stupendous event.

Well something stupendous happened for the second out of three surviving runts.
From a base of 6 points, using two six-sided dice, I rolled a Saving Roll of 96. A bit surprised, I broke out my red d6 and a d100, my "Whimsy Dice," used like a fortune-teller rolls bones, I suppose, to help me "rank" any spontaneous plot twists that occur in my campaigns. I rolled a 6 on the red die and the d100 gave me a 97. Something miraculous happened indeed.

So the Kobald God was born in my head. And he was getting a little tired of both the delvers and the ogres getting so many of his piltdowners killed. The adrenaline coursing through the piltdowner who thought his name was "Get Over Here" turned into something like an electrical spark and he became Eyrexes, the Kobald God In Mortal Form. His massive boost of Charisma, Luck, Intelligence and Wizardry literally lit up the whole room and stopped the combat. The godling barked at his remaining two pack members and they fled off into the tunnels previously explored by the heroes. I ruled that the PCs were so stunned that they could not get off any parting shots.

Now that is all that my players saw of the Kobald God. They were busy trying to root out the Over-Ogre who was lording over the mine-filled fortress, who ended up being an ettin. And the boss fight that would ensue had a cast of hundreds, plenty of daring and copious amounts of blood-letting. Ra, the Wizard, died under-estimating the magical abilities of my She-Og coven surrounding the Over-Ogre and the size of the its boot.

In my notes, things are much different. Eyrexes has begun to dominate thousands of piltdowners into avoiding the role of sword-fodder for the ogres and the Og. He has sired six sons who are becoming warlords of the "rock fairies" and the piltdowners. And he just doesn't like the Hobb nation known as Pigmies from Akog who trade with the apes of the city of Appo in Djung, so "the Warlords" don't like them either. He himself, is not long for the mortal plane. He is in his 40s which almost three times as long lived as any piltdowner. It will not be too long before his sons will build his pyre with which he can return to the God Plane.


  1. Tom, I love the way your world of Elder is developing into a very different place from my Trollworld. You put a lot of thought into your different kindreds and it shows. Wish I could adventure with you more often.

  2. (Heck, I started with "I love the way" and see that Khenn beated me to it. Now I hafta think of another phrase. - think - hurt - think - hurt - )

    It's really fun (reading and imagining GMing these critters) to see creatures developing along very different lines from the "usual" rolegames. Which makes for even more weirdness, since Tunnels & Trolls BEGAN by developing along very different lines than the then-only commercial RPG.

    *jeep! & God Bless!
    --Grandpa Chet

  3. @Branderwydd thank you very much.

    @aTroll Elder is developing as it has been for 20 plus years. Thank you for the praise, it means a lot, but I can't do it any other way. You designed T&T for novelty, humor and efficiency. I read a wonderful shorthand for heroic fantasy-- and everything else mentioned. Perhaps a summer full of differing T&T worlds, as in active T&T campaigns, would be a good topic for the Outer Sanctum.

    @Grandpa Chet, glad the post was worthy of your interest. And whenever I watch a GM play with T&T, I see some of there best work ever.