The Cradle's Edge
- Talmarkin Applesmith, hobbit arcane trickster acolyte of Brandobaris; played by Greg
- Alfondir, eladrin blade singer inheritor; played by Joe
- First Lambent Lieutenant Enkohl, kobold fighter courtier; played by Josh
- Dolgrim Margrave, dwarven cleric acolyte of Valkauna; played by A.J.
- Tangle Faerie Dragon Bard
- Cradle Languages
- Morndinsamman, the dwarven gods
- The Seldarine, the elven gods
- Alfondir's Alchemies, the offerings of Alfondir the Alchemist
- Cradel's Edge Group Loot, Group loot
- House Rules
The Cradle and the Gods
Our world was dead, a frozen wasteland, an endless graveyard to an ancient peoples that had forsaken and slain their own gods and brought ruin and death to themselves and their world. But without gods, they could not truly die, their souls and minds were trapped within their bodies, frozen within the ice that covered this world.
Thus it was for countless ages until our gods and the gods of the other peoples of our world turned their gaze upon this world and created the Cradle, bringing warmth, light and life. They filled the Cradle with plants and animals and when it was ready, they created us, their children, to inhabit the revitalized lands, to nurture, grow and protect the Cradle, their wonderful gift to us all.
The gods chose champions from among the people, granting them great power and charging them with the task choosing leaders for their people, of teaching their ideology and spreading their faith and to guard and protect the Cradle. As the Cradle spreads its warmth, slowly spreading across the world, it thaws and reveals many ancient structures and mysteries of the old world, but also releasing the unliving inhabitants that have spent millennia consumed by hatred, envy and madness. These creatures are called Remnants, and it is the sworn duty of the gods’ faithful to destroy these undead and to cleanse or destroy dangerous relics of the old world, safeguarding the Cradle’s future and prosperity.
The Cradle is littered with thawed and revealed ruins, though many are sealed by alien enchantments, from the old world that had existed before the gods had come to return life to the world and much can be learned from them. So far as scholars can tell, the old world had been populated by five races. Almost every ruin and documentation seems to indicate that all of these races lived among each other as not a single ruin or reference has ever been found of settlements of a single race.
The stout roken were similar in size and frame to a dwarf with canine heads and long tails like that of a crocodile. They had been skilled artificers and builders.
The spindly aula were golden skinned elves nearly eight feet in height that were described and depicted as being of glowing light. They are accredited with the invention of language and all of their texts are indeed in an ancient form of Tianne, the basis for the language of arcane magic and according the theoretical scholars, the first language in creation. This would make these creatures possible ancestors of the elven race.
The tao-utha looked very similar to modern day hobbits, though with large solid black eyes, clawed hands and feet, and mouths full of sharp, carnivorous teeth. They are always depicted in intricately dramatic and often impractical garb. Scholars surmise that these creatures had been the rulers and leaders of the ancient world and that the other races deferred to their familial dynasties, which were often in conflict with one another.
The isur were massive, stooped creatures with powerful long armed bodies. Scholars state that the creatures are best described as being a mixture of troll and ogre with leonine manes on their heads that grow down their backs and along their long dog-like tails. These creatures are always depicted as warriors, knights and guardians.
Lastly there are the elija, resembling short humans, though research has revealed that they were elemental touched, like the modern day genasi. This discovery is possibly what had spurred the Abensari empire in the distant east to embrace and even begin breeding genasi as a slave race.
The animated dead of the old world that has endangered and preyed upon the people of the Cradle since the gods had come are of these five races. In addition to the danger the Remnants pose, often an even greater threat are some of the relics they left behind. The most infamous of them are sentient forges and war machines housing the bound minds of denizens of the Primordial planes, genies or elementals, and sometimes even spirits of the ancient dead. The entities trapped within these relics are often mad and tend towards violence before all things. Remnant war machines that have escaped into the world from uncovered ruins have been known to annihilate entire countrysides before they could be stopped. Forges spawn forth golems or are served by a type of construct that acts as a body for minor genies called the Tasked, that have varying purposes that they pursue with unrelenting single mindedness. One that had been discovered was to maintain a region of farmland and the creatures the Forge spawned forth cleared and resowed the land for harvest, managing to dismantle a town and exterminate the villagers that lived there as if just another sort of vermin in their fields.
The Cradle's Sky
Across the sky, day or night, there is a silvery, blue-white arc, than spans the sky from one horizon to the other. This is the God’s Bridge, said to traverse from Aberlae realms of the gods in the North beyond the mortal realm to the infinite Abyss in the equally unreachable South.
Behind the God’s Bridge is the great moon of Sora, a massive, rotating, blue and white banded sphere that dominates part of the sky during the day, and depending on its phase, also at night. Arvadir, the sun, rises in the east, then spends most of the morning partially eclipsed by Sora, before emerging fully for the remainder of the day until it sets in the west.
The night sky is black and full of stars. The God’s Bridge glows with its pale, blue-silver light across the sky and the moon phase of Sora can be seen clearly in the sky.
The town of Snood lies high up in a mountain valley of Mount Bosh, overlooking where the lakeside town of Isarae once was before it had been buried in a mountain landslide nearly a century ago. Before that, Snood was a large apple orchard, farmstead and brewery owned and run by the Applesmith family. After the destruction of Isarae, the Applesmiths took in many refugees that had nowhere to go; many chose to settle, while others continued south to the city of Mehthris. Eventually the village of Snood (named after its first elected mayor, Snood Applesmith) was born.
Snood is primarily populated by hobbits and humans, with half again more hobbits than humans. The largest and wealthiest of families is the Applesmith’s, who founded what would become Snood as a simple farmstead nearly three centuries ago.
Around 50 years ago, the dwarven Margrave family had settled in Snood and set up shop as tanners, leatherworkers and cobblers – some folk still remember their arrival; ragged, dirty and looking fearful of pursuit. They claimed to have come from the dwarven city of Thoram Ul, seeking to escape its oppressive politics and caste system. They say Falla never seemed to recover from whatever it was that haunted her, always looking fearfully toward the south road.
Yagharek the baker is a wingless aarakocra and said to be a diviner. He had been instrumental in revealing the truth behind the “great spirits of the wind” demanding tribute each season that he and a traveling bard called The Minstrel had exposed to the community for what they were. His people tore his wings from him and exiled him. The people of Snood welcomed the creature that had sacrificed so much for their well being. Recently a trio of small draconfolk, calling themselves kobolds, have come from the Western mountain representing their people in an interest of establishing a relationship and exchange between their people and the people of Snood.
Snood’s primary exports is the famed Applesmith apple cider and other apple products, yak milk, yak and sheep wool, and Feren’s renown riding, guard and hunting dogs. On the eastern outskirts of the town there is a large log cabin, fabled to have been built entirely of treant-wood. The wizard Morgeniese lives here with his apprentice, Worwik Honeyhopps. The wizard occasionally provides assistance to the town when necessary, but otherwise prefers to keep to himself (or lends them his apprentice if it’s something he is able to handle).
Snood is located where the river from the Western mountain peak and the river from the Eastern peak meet and form a small lake. The northern end of the lake flows over and down the side of the mountain, a great waterfall flowing upon the ruins of Isarae and merging with the lake below. The southern end of the lake flows down the mountain valley, forming the river that flows down into the Old Forest, which is dominion of the faerie and sylvan creatures that call it home.
The Siwkway aarakocra (those who once took advantage of the people of Snood and had exiled Yagharek) live in the eastern mountain peak and now have little to do with Snood, though a few appear to interact with the traders from the south when their caravan arrives each year.
Tales of dwarves dwelling within the mountain behind secret gates only visible to dwarves have always delighted the locals. Elder Chloris says she remembers that when she was younger, there was indeed a concealed gateway in the eastern mountain that had been buried in the earthquake that had destroyed Isarae. Many a youth has pestered the Margraves with constant questions and accusations that they just want to keep all the dwarven gold to themselves when Belak or his sons tell them there is no secret dwarven city and that if there was, they don’t know anything about it.
Snood is a part of the queendom of Avarm, which is ruled by Queen Emeria Astaville the Fourth. Her great-grandmother, the first Emeria had once led an army of men, monsters and sorceresses that had conquered the nations of Lantheyr, Hodran, Karthenir and Orsen, uniting them to form Avarm. While conquering these four nations, she also spent considerable time uprooting and purging every instance of goblin vermin in the realm until they were all dead, well hidden or having fled back into the depths from whence they had come. She had an unexplained hatred of elves, and had defeated both Emeria and La’Eirharumil in the east, but rather than conquest, it was a slaughter – her armies and sorceresses’ burning the elves alive, their cities, the whole of the forest of Toalua and the western half of the Aehsilli.
Emeria turned her gaze to the elves of Nalu’ae, which was located at the center of the old forest south of Snood. The conqueror-destroyer began to move west, making an ally of the lizardfolk tribes to the south, who were ancient enemies of the elves, adding their might to her own.
Then Nalu’ae vanished. Elder Chloris describes what her mother had told her, that the sky over Mount Both shimmered with unnatural ribbons of light one night and when the sun rose the following morning, the city was no more, leaving a deep depressing where it had once been (which has since filled from the river that flows out of Snood).
The elves didn’t frequent Snood back then, but they were not unheard of. But no elf has been seen in Snood, if at all in Avarm at all, in over 200 years.
Emeria proclaimed her nine year old daughter, Emeria the Second, the queen of all Avarm and then took most of her armies east to conquer the snake-worshipping people of Vori’kir. Two decades of war in the east end with Emeria and her armies destroyed. In order to prevent retaliation, Emeria II weds her daughter, Emeria III, also age nine, to Prince Mere of Vori’kir, who's father was famous for having slain what is believed to have been the last of the true dragons, as none have ever been heard of since.
Their daughter, who had been raised in Vori’kir, Emeria IV is the current queen of Avarm, having claimed the throne sixty years ago following her grandmothers mysterious death (it is rumored that she was found frozen sold in her garden…in the middle of Spring).
Once every Spring, when the snow and ice melt away, revealing the southern mountain pass, a caravan from the city of Mehthris south of Mount Bosh travels to Snood, bringing traders, merchants, craftsmen, news, entertainment and of course, the Queens tax collector. A second, but usually smaller caravan revisits in the early Fall, before the threat of the pass becoming impassable. They travel along the only road that hugs the eastern side of the mountain valley with the old forest looming menacingly on their flank.
To the west, beyond Mount Bosh is deadly, Remnant infested swamps and beyond that is the frozen, barren wasteland beyond the current expansion of the Cradle. To the north, beyond the lake below and ruins of Isarae is dense, inhospitable wilderness that also borders the edge of the Cradle.