Stubbdog Posted March 28, 2008 Share Posted March 28, 2008 This is the background information that we were given when we started to create the BSG as its own faction. Bloodstone Gnomes at a Glance Bloodstone Gnome Lands: The mere existence of the bloodstone gnomes is unknown to surface dwellers, and even the Isiri are unsure as to the origins of these foul creatures. However, a decade ago the Chronicler Jorvi Arund of Telluria managed to cobble together a basic understanding of bloodstone gnome culture and society. By studying the gnomes’ archaic petroglyphs, Arund surmised that the bloodstone gnomes are descendants of one of the Lost Clans of the deep gnomes. Long ago in the Old Age, King Skanda Stonepalm of the deep gnome kingdom of Regnergaard sent out six clans of deep gnomes to map out his expansive underground domain, so that he might build cities and outposts to trade with the surface world and other underground realms. Of the six clans that set forth, three of them successfully established outposts which eventually grew into powerful deep gnome cities that still exist to this day. One clan was known to have been destroyed by an enclave of Nashani elves and their cavern dragon allies. The other two clans were never heard from again and became known as the Lost Clans. One of the Lost Clans was known to have been assigned the area beneath present-day Taltos to explore and record their findings for their king. According to Arund’s chronicle, when the gnomes began their exploration, they discovered an immense cavern of indescribable beauty and wonder. The cavern was filled with vast veins and tracts of an unusual form of bloodstone which glowed with an eerie, lifelike luminescence. These same veins of bloodstone also streaked through the surrounding caves and tunnels for miles around. Except for several species of insects and fungi, all other life in the underdeeps seemed to avoid the region. But, irresistibly drawn to the bloodstone, the gnomes chose to settle the region and called it Kurandurak in honor of their clan leader, a deep gnome sorcerer named Kurand. The gnomes of Kurandurak immediately began to carve and work the stone into jewelry and other works of art. Not long after, the gnomes learned to harness the magical energy of the bloodstone and were able to use it to enhance their innate sorcerous abilities. Over the years, the gnomes carved out a great fortress in the heart of the Grand Cavern, and the discovery of a great vein of copper and tin allowed the gnomes to begin crafting weapons and armor enhanced by the power of the bloodstone. A transformation began to take place with the gnomes. The more that the gnomes used the bloodstone for their own purposes, the quicker the transformation occurred. Physically, their skin color began to fade, becoming less like the color of the earth and more pale, almost bloodless in appearance. Their kind eyes, which once sparkled like diamonds, became dull and feral. But the most dramatic change occurred in their hearts. Once a kind race, a shadow seemed to fall over the gnomes; greed replaced generosity, lust supplanted charity, and lies were traded for truth. It wasn’t long before the gnomes found their society divided. It was apparent to many that the bloodstone had begun to corrupt the gnomes of Kurandurak; the only way to heal their clan was to leave the caverns. However, many others, led by the bloodstone priests, claimed that the power of the bloodstone was a gift not to be shared with anyone – nor was it to be abandoned. Conflict was inevitable, and so it was that the bloodstone priests and their mighty golems went to war against their own clansmen in a violent clash beneath the earth. In the end, the priests and their followers triumphed. The Bloodstone Caverns of Kurandurak seemed to relish in the carnage, the stone literally absorbing every drop of blood spilt. It was then that the gnomes forever became thralls to the power of the bloodstone – from that point on, they were known as the bloodstone gnomes. A new order arose soon after. The bloodstone priests took over control of the city, led by the greatest priest and sorcerer, their clan leader Kurand. He decreed that the caverns demanded an annual tribute of blood, and so the gnomes began to raid the underdeeps of Adon in search of sacrifices. But Kurand, now tied irrevocably to the bloodstone, learned that his life could be extended with these same sacrifices – as long as he fed the earth its sacrament, he would become immortal. And so it has remained for over one thousand years; and as his people grow old and die, consumed by the corrosive and corruptive power of the bloodstone, Kurand remains alive reigning over the bloodstone caverns. Now, the corrosive influence of the bloodstone and their isolation deep beneath Adon has affected the gnomes of Kurandurak with several forms of dementia, cruelty, and paranoia. Even though many of the gnomes are quite intelligent, their minds are warped with insanity. Summary: The Bloodstone Gnomes (BSG) are an evil race of gnomes that live deep beneath the surface of Taltos in Adon. The BSG are very similar to the svirfneblin from the Monster Manual, but imagine a demented, paranoid, evil version instead. The BSG live in a region of the underdeeps known as the Bloodstone Caverns of Kurandurak, or simply the Bloodstone Caverns. Speaking in very broad terms, the bloodstone has been "tainted" or "corrupted" by something (maybe the essence of the fallen Reaper Vengeance has seeped deep into the earth where it reacted with the bloodstone?). Anyhow, almost all other living things can not remain in the presence of the bloodstone without degenerating and being quickly consumed by the magical effects of the bloodstone. It's bad stuff – like highly radioactive plutonium or uranium, I guess. However, the BSG are able to withstand the effects of the bloodstone and are able to mine it, work it, and bend its magical properties to their will. Those that have learned to master it become bloodstone priests. However, the more a priest learns to master the bloodstone, the harsher its effects on their bodies. Most priests end their lives as burnt out husks, consumed from within. BSG society is very industrious, almost like a colony of termites. The centuries of exposure to the bloodstone has eaten away their minds and their bodies. The only way for them to lessen the effects of the corruptive influence on their bodies is to sacrifice other living things. The life force or soul that is taken from these sacrifices tends to "heal" or regenerate the physical effects of the harm that the bloodstone causes. It's like chemotherapy. However, these sacrifices do not heal the minds or hearts of the BSG – the older the BSG, the more demented, paranoid, and evil they have become. Essentially, the BSG are thralls to the bloodstone. It is their life's blood and their livelihood, and also their doom. But they have survived for over a millennia, albeit in dwindling numbers. The leader of the BSG is the lich-like Priest King Kurand, the oldest of all the BSG. Imagine the emperor from Star Wars. He sits atop his Bloodstone Throne and has a powerful artifact, the Orb of Alarthalak. (Who or what is Alarthalak? Don't know yet – a demon, another BSG priest, or an elder evil being like C'thulhu – and it doesn't matter yet.) His miniature will be on a throne with his orb beside him; the throne is borne on a litter carried by homunculi (see below) or small bloodstone golems. Should fit on a 40mm base. BSG priests can summon Bloodstone Golems – giant, elemental-like monsters. Not sure if the art will portray them as elementals or as golems, i.e. cool monsters carved from bloodstone. These guys are the big monsters in the army. 40mm or 2". The BSG priests also create Homonculi; the art has it listed as demonic familiar, but it is a bloodstone homunculi. Mechanically, just familiars, I guess. Or possibly have them do more if the art has them similar enough as the full sized golems (all growd up). How tough? I dunno. I imagine they're like ants. As long as you don't mess with the nest, you're okay. Soon as you step on it, they swarm you. They are insane, like Kuo-Toa, but they're not stupid. 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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