View Full Version : The Necro-Dwarves

2010-03-05, 03:29 PM
Yes, this will be a d20 type game. You may remember me as the guy who designed the Dune TBS game. Or not, considering it didn't get that much attention. Whatever. The point is, this is just temporary world fluff, with the stuff, if liked, being more developed into another TBS or maybe d20 RPG later.


"After the fall of the Dragon and Elven Empires, the Dwarven Clans arose to prominence. During the time of the Dragons, they were too a slave race, taught only the rudimentary magic of the Earth. During the Elven reign, they retreated further underground, learning new magics from the rocks themselves, and trading with the Elves. When the Elvish reign ended, there was a power vaccuum, and so, the Dwarven clans rose to power.

However, the power vacuum quickly corrupted the United Clans. While based on a council of the clan leaders, the political infighting threatened to tear the Clans apart. The clans wielded the powers of rock and mountain against each other, and the cataclysmic shudders of the land altered the geography forever. Gone were the Plains of Akoronnar, and the Citadel. Mountains and caves collapsed. It looked bleak for the Age of Dwarves.

(Like I said, not very original. I had ideas for the Dragons to be the guardians of this world, made by the gods to be localized nexii of magic, who later rebelled against the gods, and were basically humanoid in shape, who could shift into their combat forms (dragons). The elves, like I said, are to be developed on later)

Before the war began, the Outer Ones attempted to subvert the dwarves, but their natural stubbornness prevailed. At the apex of the war, there was only one who still sought to extend his influence. He found a member of Clan <placeholder>, who was amenable to the whispers of the darkness. Swelling with newfound lore and power, the First One slew the clan leader, and took his place on the Council.

As told by himself, he never sought political power. His advisors however demanded it of him. When he attempted to share knowledge that he obtained from the Outer One, he was ridiculed and ignored. Thus, he swore vengeance, the knowledge itself serving to inflame his passions. The knowledge- commanding death itself.

(Outer Ones: anti-gods, whom the Dragons were supposed to fight. Clan <placeholder> will eventually have a name.)

Leaving the Council after what is now known as the Speech of Ruin, he returned to his ancestral home. Now, it must be said about the dwarves that they practice a form of ancestor worship, where not only are the fallen revered, but their weapons and apparel are used and enchanted by both the magic of their stonelore, and their belief that the ancestral spirits are pleased by the continued usage of their items.

Therefore, it was a seemingly logical step by the Ruinous One to animate the bones of said ancestors to create an army of fallen dwarves. New weapons were forged, and with their numbers swollen by tireless workers, warriors, and advisors, Clan <placeholder> was able to convert almost entirely to military footing. In two short years, one of the weakest clans was poised to wipe out their chief rivals, Clan <other placeholder>.

(In addition, I got some ideas from The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, where destruction could be given cool names like despite, desecration, or ruin. I went with the latter. Also, since I wasn't really checking myself, there will come a point where I will call the Ruinous One something else.)

All this time, the Outer One still whispered secrets from the darkness. The Ruinous One grew in power, lore, and cunning. But, when the signs of the Wounding began to appear, he realized the extent of his ruination. Desperately, he sent envoys to the remnants of the Dragons and Elves. The former did not respond, as their Exile had not yet ended. The former however, were quickly to respond to the depredations of their old foes.
Aneiresorikor was the response of the dragons. He first consulted with the Ruinous One, and witnessed the extent of the Wounding. When he saw that the process was too far gone to reverse, he sought to slay him. To no avail, as the Ruinous One was able to work a theurgy strong enough to slay the dragon with a single spell, when he alloyed the knowledge of the stones and the dark power given to him by the Outer One.

(Aneirosorikor is a name I got from my dragon language. It translates to Energy (Aneiros) Focus (Ori) Earth (Kor) Earth. So then, in Human it would be Earthpulse. The Wounding is a side effect of being possessed/consorting with the Outer Ones. Think of it as a type of magical leprosy)

This proved to be a blessing. The Ruinous One had discovered a new form of sorcery, that was far more powerful than any, rivaling that of the dragons. He called this power the Bones of the Earth, as opposed to the common term of the Outer Ones: necromancy. Thus, cloaked in the mantle of his newfound power, he singlehandedly destroyed Clan <other placeholder> and awakened them as well. His clan grew in power, as the undead army destroyed Clan after clan. They obeyed no other than him.

The elders of Clan <placeholder> attempted to stop this, but were silenced, and deprived of their minds by the powers of the Ruinous one. The Dwarven Empire became a police state, as more Clans were incorporated into Clan <placeholder>, and those that did not were wiped out. Soon, no clans existed but Clan <placeholder>, and the rest of the dwarves had joined them, or joined the ranks of the mindless undead.

(Yes. I didn't want to be TOO unoriginal, so I decided that the name of this dwarven necromancy would be Bones of the Earth, to a) combine the dwarven affinity towards stones and metal, and b) to be more original.)

At this point, the Ruination and Unification were complete. Absolute was the power of the Dwarves, and already the dark thoughts of the Ruinous One looked to the Elves, Humans, and Dragons as targets for conquest. But the Ruinous One knew that he would be unable to defeat the eldritch might of the Elves and the sheer power of the Dragons would daunt him alone. Thus he had two goals ahead of him: to subjugate the humans just as the dwarves were one subjugated, and to pass the knowledge of the Bones of the Earth to others.

The former proved to be easier than the latter. While undead forces ravaged the still primitive human settlements, the Dragons came to the aid to those who were beleaguered by those that worked with the Outer Ones (or so the Dragons thought). As for the knowledge, the Ruinous One had to devise a way in which the knowledge could be preserved and understood. Thus, he labored for almost half a year, while his Wounding got worse and worse.

(No explanations necessary. Well, maybe that at this point, humans are basically Dark Ages, with no real magic powers)

Eventually, the moment where he would inscribe the knowledge of the Bones of the Earth came to pass. He opened a cavern so deep to touch the molten core of the land. Then, concentrating all of his might, he began to raise the magma itself to carve ever-glowing runes into the Earth, reinforcing each with magic that would cause it to remain forever. The Outer One triumphed and crossed the World Wards to possess the Ruinous One.

This was not to pass. The might of the Ruinous One, and the Bones was stronger than that of the Outer Knowledge and necromancy. Realizing in horror what had become of him, the Ruinous one threw himself into the rising lava to forever burn his body which was now being contested by two minds- to destroy both, forever. Most of Clan <placeholder> was there to witness this fall. The knowledge that had united and ruined the clans seemed lost to them forever.

(This is the part that I should've really spent a lot of time on. If this ever takes off as an actual writing project, I'll need to detail this much much more)

Then, a rumble came, and the magma began to rapidly rise, as though an eruption was about to occur. But, when it came to completely cover the ever-burning runes, it stopped, and began to harden right in front of their very eyes. And a spirit arose from the rock. It was undead, but it was not the mindless thing that was raised before. It was a sentient, bodiless being that was the Ruinous one. Summing more power, he proceeded to write a different set of runes on the walls of the Cavern of Knowledge. They looked different, and they were incomplete. Large portions of the lore were missing. Instead, the Ruinous One locked them away in his own mind, and chose not to share them with his brethren.

The Cavern of Knowledge was complete. Dwarven students and wizards flocked from all over the mountains to learn this new knowledge. The Ruinous One was transformed as well. His passion was gone, replaced by a dedication to sharing this new knowledge, that would be untainted by the Outer Ones. And thus, the Empire of <placeholder> arose.

(When I said, undead advisors earlier, ignore that. Undead created before the Ruinous One arose were mindless)

The first contacts of this transformed regime were met with indifference by the Elves, whereas the Dragons and Humans, were first hostile, and there were several skirmishes. Some warriors and wizards were fallen, and interred. But the Ruinous One forbade them to be reanimated. They were to lie there for a decade, until their spirits would be properly honored, and they could come back in the same way he had. The Dragons were the first to realize that Outer Knowledge was no longer present in the Bones of the Earth. Eventually, a new alliance was created.

After the first decade of the peace passed, the Day of the First Return came. Many dwarves were waiting with some doubt. And yet as the stone sarcophagi opened with many ponderous creaks, scrapes and groans, and the spirits of the fallen arose from the bones of the inanimate matter, there was much rejoicing and merriment.

(Need to think of a proper name for Dwarven Wizards. Also, should I make dwarves as they're portrayed everywhere?)

And that was the way of life of the Empire of <placeholder>. Those that have fallen in various skirmishes against the Outerspawn would be given a decade to rest in oblivion, and then brought back to life. The Empire built grandiose structures with both stonelore and the Bones. They became very industrious, as the ancestral weapons now belonged to the raised ancestors. Soon, a way to honor the raised ancestors was devised, with their bones being melded into new weapons and armor for their descendants. Trade was plentiful, and with the Bones of the Earth, the Empire of <placeholder> was able to both enrich itself, and trade with their neighbors.

(Basically, that's how I envisioned it. The dorfs from DF can craft stuff out of bones, so I thought, well, lets have them uses corpses. Of their ancestors, and give them both earth magic and necromancy.)"

So, there it is. If I make this into a TBS, each side will have types of units, and types of battlefield magic and caster magic. Overall, this was a world-building design, but other than that, I intend to fill it out with other stuff (like the dragons, elves and humans) and the actual rules, depending on what YOU suggest (whether this would work better as an RPG or as a TBS)