Picture (banner) – "The Destruction of Thala" by Foalio (conceptualised).

Picture (background) – "The Grand Canal" by Neata, circa 412KR.

Two tales by way of introduction.

One from Kordova's Present and one from her Past.

The Endless Gears of War.

Glasya, archduchess of Malbolge, looked out of her ornately carved window at the growing glow of red and made yet another little moue of displeasure. Her perfectly formed and impossibly ruby-red lips parted slightly and a faint hiss of irritation caused her delicate forked tongue to snake between sharp incisors in a serpentine kiss to the dying sun. Masonry from the elegant carvings on the sill crumbled in shards of basalt to topple into the void below or cascade from terrace to terrace heedless of the pitiful denizens and soldiers that inhabited the warrens along the cliff side.

"Where was he?" she thought petulantly for the nine thousandth time. "Where in the Nine…well, not the Nine, but where in all the far flung Planes was he?"

A noise at the other window, looking to what served as south-west, made Glasya turn abruptly, her membranous wings unfolding and quickly retracting as she spun on her hooves.

"Hah! I can still manage to always catch you off-guard," commented the figure that had appeared suddenly through the tower window.

Rough black hair swept back along horned brows to spiral down a massively built back in curls of unruly dark fire, red eyes ablaze and muzzle still wet from a kill, the huge devil dominated the chamber's west-facing side. 

"Exactly where have you been Bzel'?" began Glasya, tone becoming immediately frosty.

"Oh, here and there. Acheron as always. Wouldn't you like to see your present?"

Glasya's purple eyes were drawn to the steel mesh net that she had previously not noted during the larger devil's entrance. Hunched inside was the broken form of a Githyanki war-chief, limbs scarred and burnt, but with the fire of battle and an unbroken spirit in his eyes that stared out indignantly at his captors. 

"Ooooh," gasped Glasya a little breathlessly. "This one still has fight left in him. Not like those pathetic Humans you seem so fond of. He'll do nicely… and change while I take him below. You know I hate that form, it's so bulky and inelegant."

Bzeltomphet launched his huge form toward an elegant gilded divan, his muscles rippling and contracting mid-air as he spun catlike onto his back. Landing with a soft rush of air from purple cushions, his sleek muscled form draped itself along the divan to display the finely sculpted biceps and pectorals of his upper body. He kicked his legs coquettishly, calf muscles showing between golden sandal straps.

"Is this better my love," Bzeltomphet purred in a voice of honey and fire, his fingers absently playing with the small oiled goatee on his chin.

Glasya smiled, a terrible yet seductive tilt of her pouty mouth.

"Much. Now if you manage to stay like that until I return you may find that you recieve a present as well." 

Turning, she effortlessly dragged the netted captive through the aperture and toward the darkened stairwell beyond. Bzeltomphet could never be completely sure of Glasya, however he was certain she had managed to contrive an extra grind to her well shaped hips as she strode into the darkness. He had apparently pleased his Mistress.

"Silly bitch." he thought to himself. Careful to keep his mental barriers well in place.

So easily distracted by the here and now. No…strategy…that was it. His train of thought moving away from his fickle Mistress to the contemplation of Strategy. Ah, War. Now here was something he understood, far less inscrutable than the wiles of his lover and Lord.

Bzeltomphet lay back on the divan and fished about his person with long delicate fingers that ended in inky black nails, polished to a fine sheen. Drawing a small crystal sphere from some hidden pocket of his vest he thought of another of the "women" in his life. Time to check up on his daughter. 

His wandering mind began to sharpen, drawing an image into the forefront of his brain. He concentrated for a second, exhaling, as he whispered to the sphere, coaxing its magic into life.

"Nepthyrax," he gently cooed to the crystalline sphere.

"Nepthyrax," louder, as the sphere's inner light began to roil and form tiny clouds within its delicate structure.

An image slowly coalesced within the crystal, the outline and then details of a humanoid form. Through the mist appeared the face of his primary child, his strong right arm with which to smite those who would thwart his plans. A delicate, almost elfin, face appeared fully, its beautiful lines marred by a distinct look of irritation. Her long dark tresses flowed about her shoulders, as always soaked in blood or ichor from some hapless creature. The ruddy red glow of bonded runes tattooed directly into her skin completed the devilish caste of what would otherwise be an attractive young woman. Orange tinged eyes flashed their annoyance through her own crystal sphere.

"Yes, Father." Out of breath and more than a little terse. "It had better be brilliant. Absolutely essential. Seriously. I am up to my rune cursed shoulders in Elemental and the Lords of Utter Darkness know not what else."

"Drop whomever it is your killing my sweet and get moving. I need you to find your brother."

"The Stargazer? Why in all of the Nine Hells would I want to saddle myself for longer than an imps breath with that contemplator of his own navel. I have work to do Father."

"You'll do as your told," snarled Bzeltomphet, his patience beginning to erode. Why must his children be so damn fractious. Independence of mind toward a superior's commands was not usually a particularly devilish trait. "That contemplator-of-his-own-navel knows far more about the planes than you do about killing their residents my dear, so shut up for once, find your brother, and then if it's not too much trouble haul your destructive arse to that irritating little world and check on our Side Project." He added tartly.

Obviously mollified, Nepthyrax batted her lashes and contrived to look sweet. "Of course Father. The Side Project did you say. Well in that case…" A small grin crept into the corner of her mouth.

"I'm glad your so pleased. Now I have to deal with your Mother, so…"

Nepthyrax's image half turned within the sphere as smoke began to obscure the image, the magic of the sphere fading along with Bzeltomphet's concentration.

"Oh Father," said Nepthyrax, mischief in her voice.

"Yes," sighed Bzeltomphet.

"Nice sandals…"

The Endless Gears of War Continued

For a factual, rather than apocryphal account, of our Campaign Settings' History please jump to the article Encyclopaedia Kordia in the Wiki section. Most other entries throughout the Wiki and Characters are written from perspectives and as such should not be interpreted as always being the Truth.

The Doom of Kord.

Through a choking atmosphere of fire and ash the fields of Londana, once the fertile heart of the Thalasian kingdom, burned in a conflagration reaching to the grey and red tinged sky. Along rocky cliff trails and the remnants of paved carriage-ways, pitiful figures in small scattered groups made their way, clinging to one another as frantically as to the shifting ground. Another enormous tremor buckled the already tormented earth. The rains of ash and molten rock swirled about the hillside as if in response to the earth's violent upheaval.

Kord surveyed all of this through dust encrusted eyes. His piercing grey-green orbs intense and alive, unlike most of the downcast refugees heading out onto the plains towards the small waterway in the distance. Even from his vantage point he could make out the form of his father, Gohrdan the Smith, directing frightened former residents of Londana toward rough temporary field hospitals, remnants of the previous months fighting, spread along the watercourse.

Turning north his gaze took in the distant squat walls of his home city Londana, great rents jagged and ominous pits of darkness in the hellish light cast by the corrupted sky. Her once proud towers now dust, pools choked with ash and sludge, her people scattered. The masters had been cast out, but at what later cost, the prize they had won now lay smoking and ruined in the reddish half light created by the torment of the earth's upheaval. Twenty thousand people had once made their lives here and in the surrounding fertile plains. Twenty thousand lives with hopes, dreams and importantly, futures. Now a bare sliver of that number remained, ground down by months of siege and privation, only to have liberation come in the form of a worse conflagration.

Kord shook his tawny hair back from his brow and gave a disbelieving snort. So much for the arrogance of humankind, and the masters both. The powers unleashed by either side in this protracted war at the outset had been enough to kill many thousands of innocents. Now months and years into a brutal struggle for independence, Kord wondered if the final number of dead would be worth their efforts at all, and if any would be alive to pick over the damaged carcass.

The Doom of Kord Continued

For a factual, rather than apocryphal account, of our Campaign Settings' History please jump to the article Encyclopaedia Kordia in the Wiki section. Most other entries throughout the Wiki and Characters are written from perspectives and as such should not be interpreted as always being the Truth.

The Destiny of Kord

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