Let’s see if we can get a tune out of this old trombone…

This idea has been rattling around for a bit. The theme or tone of an intended campaign might have been different, but there were central places and figures things kept coming back to. I’m going to focus on the locations I’ve got some idea of.

I hope to maintain a sort of developer’s blog, as well as the “official” version. Now, you may recall I’ve been beating you over the head with the “work in progress” routine. Pobody’s nerfect, you get me? The list below is very much in that spirit. You’ll notice that, seeing as how not all of those links, well, link.

(It’s entirely possible that any and/or all of those names are just placeholders, subject to change at any point. In theory, there will be some measure of explanation via the dev’s blog, even if it’s just “Cuz awesome!”)

In the spirit of actually building a world, I aim to detail the region; its geography, its people, their politics, etc. As it’s a work in progress, they will be in varying degrees of completion. As time goes on, I hope to include detailed NPCs, locations, and maybe even adventures. If I may be so bold, playtest and pillage to your heart’s content, whatever there may be. Just hit me up with any feedback you may have.

Now, for this environment, I’ll be using DnD 5th Edition. My primary resources will be the Player’s Guide and the Monster Manual , the “core” books. There will be no shortage of homebrew and house rules, I expect, but I really do try to keep things within the confines of the rules as written (RAW). That’s half the challenge, I think.

Where’s the Big Idea?

My idea started with a city-prison. Quite literally, you couldn’t hope to defeat the villain, you could only hope to contain him. This terrible dude, he had hijacked the kingdom into fueling his lich-like state. The BBG, he harnesses this unstable “chaos energy,” and no, I still have yet to develop a better name than chaos energy. If that pisses you off, you’re going to punch your screen when I get around to talking about the energy crystals.

The BBG was tearing up the land in pursuit of power. I didn’t really nail that down. Harvesting magical artifacts or something. The various nations banded together, their forces lead by a storm god, Thunderdude. That’s not the real name, I promise, I just haven’t had any ideas yet. Things get crazy. War and chaos and everything sucks.

A quick note: I like my gods of the Greek or Norse variety, generally speaking. Like the Empyreans. Big personalities, big emotions. The embodiment of their purpose, being certain in that, and acting on that. Hey, being supernatural and magic and stuff, that doesn’t hurt.

Then there’s the final battle. The Battle of Shatterfell, the day the storm god died. Oh no! In one corner, you have Thunderdude and his Empyrean Son. In the other corner, you have the BBG and Thunderdude’s Empyrean Daughter. (TL:DR she got tricked into it and she was pretty fucking pissed about it)

As you could imagine, there was no small bit of violence high upon the starburst-shaped mountain range, Heaven’s Maw. It was the Apocalypse Laser Light Show. KA BLAAM! Suddenly, the night sky is lit up, brighter than the morning sun, blinding light tears away the night. Some people are left with skin as pale as snow and white hair, a trait they would pass on down through the generations.

Storm winds and lightning lashed out. Whole sections of the mountains were blasted away. And then the heart-peak had burst up and swallowed the BBG whole.

When the light finally faded and the thunder died away and calm settled over the world, the only one left standing was the Empyrean Son. His left arm was gone, and he was diminished in size and strength. He told a dire tale.

After a great battle, the BBG and the Empyrean Daughter had defeated Thunderdude, had killed him, and would use that to really kick the BBG’s power up a notch or three. But the Empyrean Son had poisoned it by sacrificing much of his innate magic power and abilities. This power would serve as his prison. Within the confines of the prison, the BBG could do as he chose, a veritable god within its walls. But he could not escape, he would never be free.

What makes things truly dire is that the BBG has tapped into a well of raw energy. If he is killed, that energy will burst forth and consume the world. However, he needs to constantly reinforce the containment, or it’s end of times. As such, the kingdoms in the land have committed resources into researching how to stop the end of days. Essentially, a lich-thing has forced the kingdom into crowd sourcing his unnatural existence.

This was the first concept for Gilded Cage. There’s a lot that I like about it, like the poisoned power. But I’m changing thoughts on the actual structure of it. I don’t know if a city-prison in the heart of a mountain quite works for the direction things have gone in.

I’ll get into it later, but I’m pleased with the transition the BBG has made as I’ve thought this out. That’s worthy of its own post, though.