View Full Version : Build-A-Legend: "The Hounds of Kel'Ranu"

Admiral Squish
2014-10-31, 08:04 AM
Welcome to Build-A-Legend! It's a simple game, but I do hope you'll enjoy it.
Your task is simply to create the legend behind the name given below. It can be a creature, a place, an event, an idea, or pretty much any other sort of noun you can think of. It can be in any setting you can think of, from high fantasy, to sci-fi, to alternate history, to official settings, or it can even be its own setting, if you're that ambitious. Each week, on Friday, I post a new thread, with a new name for people to build on, and add the last one into the archive. If you'd like, you can suggest names for the future. There's no rules, just have fun and try not to insult other people's creations. Do those count as rules?

The Name: The Hounds of Kel'ranu

ďThe Iron CathedralĒ (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?378644)
ďThe Glass SeaĒ (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?378644&p=18306562&viewfull=1#post18306562)

2014-10-31, 08:46 AM
Huh...ok, I'll play.

Deep in the heartland of the vast and glorious empire of Kel'Ranu sat the only known mines of rhellum, the substance that fueled the terrifying metal machinations that made Kel'Ranu the unopposed masters of the world. This commodity was so valuable that the emperor knew his line would rule unopposed forever, unless some other nobles got their greedy hands on it. The emperor allied with some of the nobility, granting them limited supplies of rhellum to operate their machines and garner them position among other nobles. The other nobles were a nosy lot though, and the location of the rhellum had to remain his secret forever. No workers could be trusted to keep his secret, and as such he captured slaves in secret. The slaves were forever cut off from the outside world, mining forever the enormous caverns for supplies of this precious substance. But the slaves had to be kept in line, and any guard would surely reveal his secret and topple his empire, and so, he commissioned the building of the hounds. The hounds were horrifying beasts of black metal, fueled on the very substance they forced the slaves to mine. The machines were powerful, but simple, and as such only given two simple instructions. The first was to keep the slaves gathering more of the substance, and the second was to keep the secret of the rhellum from getting out by any means necessary. The hounds were perfect, powerful, and efficient. For years the sleepless, ruthless, killing machines kept the rhellum flowing in secret, hunting down slaves and spies alike. The empire of Kel'Ranu spread across the globe, and soon all nations bowed before their might. On his eighteenth birthday the emperor began grooming his son to take the throne. After being certain the his son was ready to follow in the path he had set he confided in him the secret of the mines. The son was undyingly loyal and agreed to carry on his father's plans and keep Kel'Ranu forever the dominant force of the world. The hounds were not so understanding. The secret had gotten out, and the secret had to be kept by any means necessary. First they killed the emperor, the source of the leak. Next they pressed the son into slavery, soon killing him when he became a problem. When people started investigating their disappearances the hounds got more aggressive. The devastating machines attacked the city, rounding thousands into slavery and killing thousands more. The nobles brought their war machines to bear, but it was a battle of attrition, and the hounds always had more rhellum. Soon the nobles forgot the city, using what rhellum they had left to assault one another, dragging the world into the hundred years rhellum war. The world fractured, generations past, and soon the world forgot the ancient machines and rhellum, the whole affair fading into the realm of myth and superstition. There is one tale the adventurers speak softly of though. All the greatest riches of the world can be found in that one spot, in that one destroyed capital of an era long dead. But any that approach take their lives into their own hands, as they face the wrath, of The Hounds or Kel'Ranu.

Oh my god! That was actually a lot of fun! Thanks Admiral Squish!

2014-10-31, 08:59 AM
The Hounds of Kel'Ranu have haunted the countryside for three generations, their savage baying echoing across the rolling highlands and moors as they hunt by night. The oldest stories that speak of the Hounds tell of a miserly old man who once claimed the Grey Hills as his own, hiding away in an old fort with his treasures, his only companions being a pack of hounds little better than wolves. This miser, so the story goes, would brook no trespasser on the lands he claimed and would unleash the beasts upon anyone who came within sight of the lonely keep. Eventually time though caught up with the miser and he died alone in his keep amidst the dusty treasure that he had spent his entire lifetime collecting. He went unmourned, even by his hounds in their kennels.

It was hunger that eventually drove the hounds to break free of their kennels. Having already devoured the weakest of their packs, the animals escaped and fled into the countryside in search of prey. The elves of Kel'Ranu were the first to be hunted by the hounds, chased through their forest home by feral beasts. The few elves who survived to reach the dwarven mines of the Dawnforge Mountains spoke of black haired monsters who ran by night, jaws dripping with blood and froth as they chased after the survivors.

The Hounds still live to this day, having made the forest of Kel'Ranu their own home. No living beings live within three day's travel of the forest, fearing the black death that is the hounds.

Red Fel
2014-10-31, 10:10 AM
Alright. Last time, I said I'd attempt this one in the style of Douglas Adams. It's on.

The planet Kel'Ranu is located in the Betazoar Sector, in a rather unpleasant armpit of the galaxy. Its people range from mildly odious but otherwise inoffensive, to demonstrating the general personal hygiene of a rabid boar basted in mucus. As a result, Kel'Ranu is generally left to itself, and for the most part its primary industry (the manufacture of an alarming number of varieties of mulch) allows it to remain fairly independent and self-sustaining. In fact, Kel'Ranu would scarcely merit an entire chapter in this esteemed and award-winning book, but for its sole export.

That export, of course, would be the Hounds of Kel'Ranu. And as a matter of fact, it is generally agreed that it is an export which the rest of the cosmos would prefer to return for a full refund.

The Hounds of Kel'Ranu, despite their name, are not canids at all, but ordinary denizens of that planet. Ordinary, in the sense that they are generally unpleasant and foul-smelling, and of low-to-middling competence at any given task. They consider themselves to be great and intimidating bounty hunters. It is worth noting that the only two things intimidating about the Hounds are (1) their name, and (2) their aroma.

Admittedly, the Hounds have a surprising success rate. This is not due to any particular skill on their part, but rather the opposite; when the Hounds are hired to locate and secure a target (something generally done by remote communication over a substantial distance), their arrival on the destination planet is met with a mix of trepidation and nausea. The local citizenry, rather than play host to the boorish and malodorous Hounds, proceed to locate, truss up, and deliver the target, thus saving the Hounds the trouble of doing their job, and saving the citizens the trouble of holding their breath.

If you discover that you are the target of a Hound bounty, it is important to remember a few simple rules. Do not panic. The Hounds are more of a threat to themselves than they are to you. Consider investing in oxygen pills. This will allow you to go for some time without breathing, which you may need to do in order to survive on a Kel'Ranu ship. Ponder who could hate you so universally that they would risk dealing with Kel'Ranu to get to you. Resolve to return the favor.
The Spacefarer's Handbook to the Cosmos, 5th Ed., Z. Baffletrop, ed.

2014-10-31, 10:24 AM
I'll give it a go.

Listen you me, you go Ďround asking questions like that and youíre liable to get an answer, aní you may wish you hadnít. Any other tales you may have heardĎll be drippiní wit fantasy and confusion. I can set you straight, but first, you really wanna know about the KelíRanu? Suit yourself, Stranger, have a seat.

Listen well, Iíll only tell this once. Centuries ago, when the continent was still verdant the KelíRanu rose. A single tower over a small, insignificant town, on single, low knoll. After that, groups of adventurers were always entering and leaving the town, Haffen-Ranu. They would head into the uncharted wilds and return, sometimes months later, usually fewer in number, with some wondrous piece of antiquity, which they would show to all who asked, but knew not its name or purpose. They would return to Haffen-Ranu and leave the town again with some new destination.
It took several generations to even begin to guess how those in the town and the tower may know where these lost treasures were. The whole continent began to refer to them as the Hounds of KelíRanu. The adventurers who accomplished their tasks began to jokingly refer to themselves as the Rabbits or Foxes of KelíRanu. This cycle continued for two generations, then suddenly stopped. No new tasks came from the tower, the Hounds fell silent.

Some adventuring companies settled in Haffen-Ranu, but abandoned it soon after. The town was left deserted, the tower seemingly empty, largely forgotten or turned to legend and fantasy. Groups have turned up taking the name Fox of KelíRanu, no one believed them, or outright laughed. Those groups that took those names never lasted long, usually they wouldnít come back from whatever mundane mission they undertook. Some say itís proof that the Hounds are still there, and donít take their shared history lightly.

Thatís the quick version, Stranger. And Iíll share this little of extra, I saw a group of ragged adventurers pass through a couple towns over, calling themselves Rabbits of KelíRanu, just left Haffen-Ranu they said, headed to the far west. If they return and if they have something to show for it, I may believe it then.

2014-10-31, 11:13 AM
In the cold north reaches,
Where the night is long
In the cold north reaches,
Where men grow strong
They fear only the Hounds of Kelíranu

In the snow drifted moors,
Sits five glowing black stones
In the stone drifted moors
Sits charred black bones
The home of the Hounds of Kelíranu

Near the homes of men
Five black forms stalk
Near the homes of men
The burning dead walk
Servants of the Hounds of Kelíranu

In the black of night
Twenty flaming paws tread
In the black of night
Spreads the black godís dread
The breath of the Hounds of Kelíranu

In the cold north reaches
Of the five, beware
In the cold north reaches
Bring silver swords if you dare
To cross paths with the Hounds of Kelíranu

2014-10-31, 01:38 PM
They say that the river folk who live on the edge of the Great Woods bar their doors when they hear the baying of hounds.

The forest Folk don't bar their doors. The Hounds are not after them, and if they were, no door would stop them. The Forest Folk know to stay out of the way of the Hounds of Kel'Ranu.

Kel'Ranu was the greatest hunter the Forest Folk had ever known. While more than capable of catching game to feed the people, Kel'Ranu turned his attention to more dangerous prey. When the Demon Bear destroyed the village of Oakshade, Kel'Ranu hunted it to it's lair and killed it. He made a stew of it's flesh, a knife of it's claws, and a cloak of it's hide.
When the boar Steeltusk began his rampage, Kel'Ranu was the one who slew it.

Kel'Ranu slew Dragons and Giants, he fought bandits and witches. He drank from the sacred springs, recieved blessings from the ancient druids, was favored by the Queen of the Forest Nymphs, and was permitted to carve a bow from the ancient oak at the heart of the woods.

And wherever he went, he brought his Hounds. Flint, lean and quick with dark grey fur, faster than a flickering shadow, and Peak, massive, steady as a mountain, and seemingly unkillable. The Hounds feasted on Kel'Ranu's kills, and absorbed the magic within the warped flesh of the cursed beasts. Soon, Hound and Hunter alike were far beyond mortal.

The stories differ about what happened to Kel'Ranu. Some say he was cursed by the Faerie Queen, others say that he simply went mad, but the Great Hunter began to turn his bow upon the Forest Folk he had spent his life protecting. He would have destroyed them too, were it not for the Hounds.

The Hounds, perhaps sensing the change in their master, perhaps as mad as he, turned on the Great Hunter, driving him away from the forest folk and deep into the woods.

They say they're still out there, the Hunter and his Hounds. Every so often, Kel'Ranu approaches the town again and begins his hunt. But the Hounds are never far behind, they always find him and drive him back into the deep wounds.

The Forest Folk do not bar their doors when they hear the Hounds. If the Hounds seek to enter their house, it is only because the Hunter is already there.

2014-10-31, 02:48 PM
(Pardon the terribly amateur writing. Lit classes were my worst in school...)

From the bridge recordings of the Surya Siddhanta
Route 671Δ8 - Southeast Spiralward
"Listen, kid, don't let 'em get to ya. They forget they was once Rookiefieing up a ship. They's just keepin' up the ritual. What was they on about, anyway? Oh, you never seen the Hounds, is it? Buncha ghost stories is all. Yeah we gotta cut the Aasimov drive to go past 'em, but ain't no difference from goin' past Copernic Head, with all them storms in the nearby H-space.
So yeah, you get to see the Hounds tomorrow. They's a real beaut, up close. You'd think the SatNav pictures would do 'em justice, but they don't. It's like goin' through the gates o'some grand mansion back on Old Prime. Wreaks hell on the electrics for a few hours. This baby's one've only 5 Tyson-class ships rated to go past 'em, so we get stuck on the Kel'Ranu deliveries. You'll see 'em often enough, you stick 'round here. Still impressive every time, though. Ever go past Horsehead? Yeah that's a speck o'dust, next to any o' the Hounds. And there's 3 o'these puppies.
Quit the eye-rollin'; my ship, my puns. Yeah, I guess you listen to the stories they say not to look them hounds in the eye. Men say you see terrible things in those clouds. Hell, I seen worse things in the Farnsworth nebulae, and they's right by New Corrus! What do you mean, can't we go around 'em to get to Kel'Ranu? Have you seen the charts? Even with the A-drive on full, it'd add near a New-Prime Year to the trip. So you drop out of H-space, and let the Navs take over for a few days, and the crew goes quiet: 'specially the superstitious types. You see Johnson holed up in his cabin every. single. time.
It'd be comical, if it weren't for the rest o'the crew so damn dour about the whole thing. Go see if the chef's got any leftovers from dinner. I'm liable to be up next few hours with Harris fixing his models for the navs next few days, could use a snack.
What are you on about? Johnson said something about the Sagan Dream? Dammit he knows better. The Sagan Dream had a nutjob for a navigator, everyone knows that. The Hounds didn't "chase it down". Like I said, ghost stories. Go get me some chow, and get some for yourself while you're at it. If you keep quiet, I'll let you sit in on the nav programming. No, Harris won't mind. Head off.

...No, Harris. I think we don't tell him 'til he's been through at least once. Everyone's gotta see it for their own selves. Now let's see what the hell you've screwed up on these charts."

(Edit: Added some line breaks to hopefully add readability? It still feels like a Wall of Text...)

2014-11-01, 07:57 AM
The Hounds of Kel'Ranu
Xavin Darkbane d'Cannith, Researcher and Cannith representativ, Breland StarGate Program.
Language: Old Giant
Kel: No, Not, etc (Adverb)
Ranish: To Sleep (verb)

The Hounds of Kel'Ranu most likely began as a potential defensive weapon in the Giants fight against the Quori, but after our first encounter with them its no surprise they were quickly abandoned. SG5 found the Hounds, seven man sized dogs made of a glass like crystal radiating Enchantment and Abjuration, on a routine scouting mission, and SG3 was sent to examine them. Every day their reports back became more jumbled, and unprofessional until, on the fifth day, they didn't report back at all. After 24 hours of no contact we were sent to discover what had become of them. When we arrived they couldn't even stand to greet us. According to CMO Kantarra Swift they were suffering from a severe case of sleep deprivation and their bodies were shutting down. They reported hearing the baying of dogs whenever they tried to sleep, and never woke well rested. We thought taking them back to command would break the Hound's hold grip, but at least one followed us through, and soon the whole base was sleepless. The few Warforged on staff eventually located the Hounds manifestation on the Ethereal and forced it back through the Stargate and P4X-232 was deemed a no travel zone for the foreseeable future. It's a pity, I would have liked to figure out what went wrong.

End Report.

2014-11-02, 02:40 AM
Aye, we've been to Kel'Ranu. Nice place, if a bit dreary, what with the rain. Good folk though. Godly folk. Treat the world with respect, none of that magic nonsense the fat cats up north like to play about with. Only man that can work magic in that town is old Reverend Johnson, and I wouldn't call what he does magic. Just doing the holy work. Yep, Kel'Ranu is a good old town, it is, for passing through,

...oh. You wanna know if we saw the Hounds.

Fraid not. Not many folk that don't live in Kel'Ranu that can says they've seen the Hounds. Not that's alive, anyways. See, when I say the only man who works magic in Kel'Ranu is Reverend Johnson, I mean he's the only one who can, safely. The Johnson family's been preachers in that town since it was just a place for the old mail carriers to rest their ponies. But go back a few generations, and there was...competition. A witch, they say, one of the ones that followed the old ways. They were offering cheap magic, powerful magic. Bad magic. Now, it must have been this Reverend Johnson's great, great, great...great grandpappy. And that man, now there was a godly man. Not many folk who could say they spoke one on one with Pelor, but if there ever were such a man, it was that Reverend Johnson. And he was a good man too, not just a godly one, and the Mountain knows they ain't the same thing. Plenty of godly men that don't travel up those paths, even if Pelor finds them eventually. But, way back then, that Reverend Johnson was both. And he didn't mind the witch so much, long as they didn't hurt nobody. If folk wanted to put their souls at risk, well, Reverend Johnson would just have to try that much harder to bring them back to Pelor.

Course, then the witch did something they shouldn't have. They brought somebody back. Not in the proper way, like some folk can, where the whole thing comes on back from the Mountain, or wherever they ended up. No, they used Necromancy. Brought 'em back as a shambler of some kind. And everybody knows how Pelor feel on shamblers. And that got that old Reverend Johnson right up and mad. So he prays. Prays for seven days and seven nights. And on that seventh night, he got his answer. Seven answers. And you know what that old Reverend Johnson prayed for? That nobody who wasn't in the good grace of Pelor could work magic in Kel'Ranu again. And Pelor sent the Hounds.

Folk tell different things on what the Hounds are. Some say they're just dogs, all glowing with Pelor's light, and you cast magic inside the town's borders, they'll find you in the night, rip you to shreds. Others say they're actual Hound Archons, the ones that call themselves Heroes, and they turn you inside out from the fear. Me? Well, I think it ain't so fancy as all that. The Hounds are just...spirits, of a sort, that come out when somebody does something they ain't allowed. Take whatever shape they like, don't really matter. Must like hounds, or something. Any case, it's been that way ever since. Anyone that's not a Johnson, and a Reverend, casts a spell in Kel'Ranu, the Hounds show up in the night. And you can run, and you can hide, but the Hounds always find you in the end. Doesn't matter how far you go.

Speaking of which, night's almost here. We'd best be on our way. You stay inside now, you hear? No need for a good lad like you being out on a night like this. All sorts of folk pass through a big town like this. Be a good place for someone who was looking to get lost.

mig el pig
2014-11-02, 05:54 AM
How they could do it you ask? The people of Kel'Ranu, they who were once like us?

They were desperate and willing to do everything for a last shimmer of hope. Times were hard, they had a hunger you cannot comprehend, their crops failed to grow for a third time in row, their nets remained empty and everyone thought the Island was cursed. Some even began digging up the seeds just to have something to eat. Others swallowed little stones just to have something in their stomach. The people of the island were like a swarm of locusts. They descended on everything they could eat and left nothing in their wake. The dogs and cats were long gone, most of them didn't even survive the first year of famine. In the second year a rat was a luxury meal, but only for the strongest.

When the crops failed for a third time everyone knew that in a few couple of weeks they only food left on the island would be themselves. A meeting of the households was called but unlike the others this one would have dire consequences. Although we cannot be sure what was said by whom the final result is known. Did everyone agree, I hope not, did they have another choice, I don't know. The following night the Hounds of Kel'Ranu were born in a tide of blood and every last shred of humanity was lost. Every household would select two of their own, the ones that would survive. In some the father chose himself and his wife , in others the eldest son and daughter were chosen and sometimes no choice was made and only the strongest survived. The result was the same, the following morning only two persons left each house. Did every household do this? I think not but what happened to those who didn't is unknown. Did the others descended upon them like mad dogs and slaughtered the entire family? Did the others chose for them? I don't know and I do not wish to know.

All I do know is this, whatever you do, do not visit that island my son. It is cursed, now and forevermore, and whatever makes us human has long left it's shores.

2014-11-03, 07:50 AM
In the ancient days, long before mankind, before the Dragon Emperors of Khazr-Rin rose and reigned and fell, when the world was young and the gods naught but a distant promise, the Titans walked.

The elemental siblings, Fire, Air and Water sprung forth life in myriad forms. The Fae, so their children were named.

Alone in his mountains, Earth sulked. He had always been unpopular with his fickle brothers and sisters, his patience and desire for order in all things contrasted with their whimsy. Only his sister, Water paid him any mind at all. From his caves he saw the newly formed creatures flying through the sky, the Fae conjuring ever greater creations to please their creators, and he grew jealous.

With a resolve and patience of purest stone, he mastered the art of creation. He completed his progeny alone and slowly, chipping them from the rock an inch at a time over centuries. When he was done, he looked over his creation and smiled, the Titans set forth from their uteran caverns beneath the earth, and into the sunlight.

The greatest of these was Kel'Ranu, and it was he who first felt the pangs of jealousy, of loneliness, of grief, that had been passed on to him by his father. Like him, the Titans valued order above all things, and they couldn't stand the injustice that made their Faerie cousins so beautiful and so elegant, while they were no more than clumsy land-anchored oafs, ugly and misshapen.

After the war was over, only seven Titans remained, and they were imprisoned beneath the earth for their crimes. The Fae withdrew from the world, leaving it in the hands of the races they had breathed into being, to keep the Titans incarcerated forever.

Now, in these days of tribulation, when the College of the Silver Hand have lost their way, and the church of Aegis leeches from those it swore to succour, Kel'Ranu, Titan of Despair, stirs in his long slumber.

From out of the mouths of the mountains, seven beasts came forth. Their jaws dripping green viscera, their eyes alight and ever searching.
These are the hounds of Kel'Ranu, creatures born from the Titan's unconscious mind, driven by his terrible purpose; to find a way to break his prison, and unleash Despair upon the world once more.

None have seen the Hounds, and most believe them to no more than a tale to scare children into silence; but none dare to leave the city walls by night. When the full moon hangs low in the sky, walkers make the sign of Aegis to ward off evil, and when howling shatters the eerie silence of Hawk's Moor, only the most foolhardy would answer.

2014-11-03, 01:28 PM
We have thrown his name to the hounds. He was the ugliest sort of shaman and his name is taboo for all time. We only remember Kel the elk he called down from the aurora and Ranu their son and the pups of Kel and Ranu. Pups they are and not foals though they have the look of elk. We call them seals of the flying snow at the times when land words are taboo. They have that human face and shining fur. We call them elk of the hearth at the times when sea words are taboo. They sleep at our feet and guard our belongings. We call them pointed and haloed shadows at the times when words of living things are taboo. One pup for one person, one person for one pup, the one cannot outlive the other. We call them all kel'ranu and they can never have a name of their own. A thoughtless child will give her own pup a name in the quiet of her heart. See how evil follows from thoughtlessness! The kel'ranu can only serve one name and that name is taboo for all time. We kill the diseased pup and the child's blood also runs. But it is rare that we can kill them clean before their evil reaches out and kills those around them.

2014-11-03, 11:54 PM
We're the Hounds of Kal'Ranu,
and we'll choke you blue!
We slash and we plunder,
breaking homes asunder!
and cook you in a stew.
We're the Hounds of Kal'Ranu,
we paint with a crimson hue!
We'll pluck out your eyes,
and bake you in pies,
yes it's absolutely true!
We're the Hounds of Kal'Ranu,
but your dogs are monsters too.
non-o us have the right,
to bite and with spite!
Still we'll cook in a stew!

2014-11-04, 03:08 PM
This land is one that shall forever bear the wounds of war, the marks of conquest scattered across its landscape like lash-scars crossing the backs of Carnosite slaves. The ruined wasteland creeping up to the walls of SovŲrnem, the final vengeance of an invading sorcerer. The undead sentries still standing watch around decayed depots, their intellects too far gone to realize their army was routed in decades past, bound by their orders and their thoughtlessness to patrol until they themselves crumble. However, neither the twisted abominations of Kalim the Summoner's tainted tomb nor the silent skeletons of Ralof's Watch can match the ferocity, the hunger, the unceasing hunt of the Hounds of Kel'Ranu.

While the war-dogs of the gnolls never fail to strike fear into the hearts of their enemies, those captured by the warlock Kel'Ranu stand apart from their former brethren in a singular devotion and thirst for blood; however, while gnollish war-dogs are beasts of slaughter, released from cages by handlers quietly hoping they themselves won't be deemed targets by the half-tamed slavering creatures, the Hounds of Kel'Ranu seek out one man, and one man alone: their targets, whispered in the ears of demons to whom Kel'Ranu had sold his soul. It is rumored then that the dogs ceased being creatures entirely of this plane; the soul of Kel'Ranu himself, broken and brokered between the demons themselves, had been sowed in the minds of his beasts, linking their very essences to that blighted place. Since that moment, they have served as the assassins of Kel'Ranu, hunting down those who had exiled him one-by-one...however, those that had escaped death at the jaws of the demon-dogs discovered an even more frightful aspect of their fury: not only they, but their very bloodlines, had been marked.

Entire families now huddle together, fearful of the beasts said to defy the laws of nature itself, appearing from corners in a brimstone mist or simply bounding from the wilderness with seemingly no travel in between. Powerful magicians have tried to ward against their approach, but to no avail; it soon became evident that the 'normal' magic of man had nothing to do with the pit-fueled hate that seemed to drive the beasts. They didn't step between dimensions, they didn't travel the lanes of teleportation that were themselves stalked by impossible entities. Space, and even time itself, seemed to offer no barrier to these hunters, and the numbers of those marked dwindled just as much from the fear of their fellow man as from the restless persecution of the Hounds. Today, few of those originally marked are alive and sane, having either been torn asunder by the Hounds or driven to madness in their fevered quests to remain one step ahead of the pack. Sleeping at the center of strange warded geometries, shunning all but the most guarded of fortresses, and trying unsuccessfully to go somewhere the Hounds could not follow, the descendents of the Marked live a flighty, timid existence, cursing their forefathers and searching hopelessly for sanctuary. Powerful wizards have gone missing, perhaps slain even in their own personal demiplanes by the tireless monsters. High priests have been disemboweled while praying at the very altars of their gods. Valiant warriors have been devoured even on the battlefield, singled out and stalked by the beasts as he himself cuts down his enemies.

It is whispered by scholars and theologians that perhaps the end of these lineages will not sate these abyssal packs; the task set out by Kel'Ranu may be finished, but perhaps the demons themselves will claim ownership of the Hounds and use them for their own devices. Apocalyptic predictions of wild hunts for the demons' own pleasure, the gory culling of those faithful to the gods, and even the conquest of the Nine Hells by those dwelling in the Abyss have begun to circulate. The men, women, and children once shunned and banished for their cursed blood are now beginning to be guarded and sheltered, simply for fear of the unknown that comes after the dogs complete their final orders. An order of warrior-priests has sprung up composed fully of those bearing the cursed blood, training in isolated citadels for the moment they are found by the Hounds of Kel'Ranu. Officially known as the Guardians of the Marked Blood, they have picked up a much simpler name from the awed gossip of the nearby villages.

To this day, the Dogfighters train, waiting for the final hunt of the Hounds of Kel'Ranu. It is not known what will happen if they lose, and it is not known whether it is possible for them to win, but they have accepted their lot in life regardless: The prey of the most deadly hunters known to man, seeking to adapt and prepare simply to permit the existence of themselves and their children.

Admiral Squish
2014-11-04, 04:09 PM
I gotta say, I am so very glad I started this game. Every one of these ideas is just fantastic, and there are a lot of really creative interpretations so far! I can hardly wait to see what shows up by Friday!
I'd try my hand at writing up some fantasy dog breed, but I'm like 4000 words behind on NaNoWriMo and I probably shouldn't even be taking the time to post this. :smalleek: