Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Game of Chess

Chess is a martial game invented by the Badari, or so they claim. Despite their prowess at the game, the Shamar would meet their challenges, the eladrin taking up the game in their giant white towers in their southern homeland. The Shamar would send an envoy to the Badari with their turn and the Badari would return their envoy with a response. The average turn would take around a year and half, with large crowds of people massing in Badar to hear the latest moves. Inevitably, the kings of Shamar could outlast their human opponents, winning each game as the Badari king died of old age or a more violent end, not unusual in Badar.

This humiliation lasted for centuries, along with military humiliations visited upon the Badari by the Tashtak and their dragon knowledge of weapons and technology. Then one day, the Badari went quiet. For nearly a century, their borders were closed and spies reported back the building of great structures, pyramids and statues of great size. When the borders once again opened, the world knew a new Badari king, Pharaoh Asmod I. The games of chess with the Badari began again. This time, the pharaoh did not die. The game lasted two centuries and in the end, Pharaoh Asmod I won his game. A separate message was sent to the Badari along with his checkmate and shortly thereafter, the Shamar eladrin retired from the world to the fey realm.

With their first enemy vanquished with a game of wits, Pharaoh Asmod I took on the Tashtak. This would not be solved with a chess game. He brought an army against the Tashtak, an army comprised of devils and soldiers with horns and glowing red eyes. An entire race of new diabolical creatures grew during the closing of the ancient kingdom and they were brought to bear against Tash. Pharaoh Asmod I grew in power as his victories were recorded, the people of Badari worshiping him as their god. With the battles going well, the pharaoh retired, claiming that it was his peoples turn to lead themselves, according to their pact.

Pharaoh Asmod I ascended to godhood, taking on the title of deus after his name. He would forever be known as the god Asmodeus and worshiped for eternity by the Badari. There are those Badari who are less happy with their pact, especially since their victories against the Tashtak ended after Asmod's ascension. The Tashtak developed new technologies, such as cold iron to counter the devils they faced on the battlefield. The war eventually devastated both civilizations, yet even as shadows of their former selves, they represent the two most powerful forces in the region. Asmodeus is still represented on the battlefield by his cruel and ruthless clerics.

A little metagame: This little story is supposed to represent some 4th edition changes. Asmodeus is a major god in 4E. Also, the tieflings and dragonborn races are designed to be from broken kingdoms. It's just easier to follow that pattern. What I have a harder time doing is the racial mixing of the new 4E setting. I've set it up where there is suspicion among many of them, so the newer races will be outsiders for a while.

No comments: