The Chronicles of Uth

A Savage Justice
Season One, Pilot Episode (Air date: 2/18/2010)

It began with a summons.

The goblin sorcerer Gnash and orc warlord Rog made their way to the throne room of their king, the minotaur warlord Torm. There, they met with the minotaur Codrus, a ranking member of the Ruul militia, and learned of a band of gnoll raiders, lurking deep within the labyrinthine cave systems of the undermountain city of Saruun Khel. Investigations had come to identify the gnolls as responsible for a pervasive string of disappearances among slaves within nearby mines, and sites of various construction projects in the most distant depths of the growing city. Fearing the disappearances would cause unrest among the slaves, leading to a major setback on the road to Torm’s grand plans in the form of a bloody revolt, the king charged the three with venturing to the lair of the gnolls and working together to deliver brutal justice upon them.

What they discovered, upon their arrival at the gnoll lair, was no simple cave. In fact, it seemed as if the very cavern itself had been constructed into a series of rooms using an architectural style alien to that of Ruul. Serpentine etchings were noted on the pillars, and ornate tile flooring, after the gnoll guards within the entryway were cut down.

Journeying deeper into the lair, the goblin Gnash found himself struck with an unexpected vision as he made contact with a strange, thronelike structure lurking beneath a menacing archway within the room: a landcape of undeniable beauty, grazed upon by healthy, hearty game, suddenly withered, faded, and died, as if some fell catastrophe or plague had brought all life abruptly to an end. Even the sky seemed to burn with strange colors and light. Gnash chose not to mention this vision to his companions, and they continued their journey.

It did not take much longer for them to swiftly cut down the remainder of the gnolls, bringing an end to the threat they posed. After a short rest, they finished up their investigations of the strange architecture and etching, and made their way back to the king.

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The Coppernight Mines
Season One, Episode Two (Air date: 6/10/2010)

Even as Codrus, Gnash, and Rog did their king’s bidding within the depths of Saruun Khel, two newcomers made their way into the undermountain city’s gates for the first time: Jinsoku, outcast of a kenku flock, and the bugbear ranger Culgecka. Having recently met, the two connected quickly as traveling companions in the dangerous wilderness. Quite unexpectedly, several armed members of Torm’s militia approached Jinsoku and Culgecka shortly after their arrival. They explained that all newcomers to the city must enter into a period of servitude to earn the right to be there, and then drafted them into the Ruul militia. Little did they know, at that very moment Torm was receiving advisement which would tie their fates inextricably to Codrus, Gnash, and Rog.

When the three agents returned from the gnoll lair, Jinsoku and Culgeka were also summoned to Torm’s chambers. There, the five met one another for the first time. Codrus relayed to Torm their discoveries in the lair. After the debriefing, Torm pledged to have the strange lair investigated further. However, more pressing matters required attention. Torm informed the party that a “very important shipment” had yet to arrive from the nearby Coppernight Mine. Further, neither the kobold slaves nor their overlords had sent any form of word. The king tasked the party with investigating the strange silence.

The journey to Coppernight Mine took several days. During restful evenings, beneath the star filled skies of Uth, the party obseved a strange new object in the heavens: a magnificent shooting star, making its way through the firmament, growing vaster and brighter with each passing night.

The party reached the mines to discover the bodies of the mine’s slain overlords, and rebellious kobold slaves run amok. Knowing the party must have been sent to set things right, the kobolds attacked and the party had no choice but to cut them down mercilessly.

Descending into the mine, the party encountered another group of kobolds. These were not so quick to enter combat, however. One of them stepped forward, identifying himself as, " Sarna, voice of the great wyrm," and cautioned the party that they should flee, “for Coppernight no longer wrestles within the iron fists of Torm, but rests in the caring hands of the great wyrm.” The party considered their options. Knowing that to slay all the kobolds would leave the mine crippled until replacements could be sent, they opted to try convincing Sarna and his followers of the error of their ways, while also fishing for further information about the mysterious great wyrm.

Though it took considerable effort, the party was able to convince Sarna and his followers to lay down their arms and flee the mine until the threat of the great wyrm could be dealt with. As parting guidance, Sarna cautioned the party that diplomacy would be far less likely to work on the most fanatical loyalists of the wyrm who awaited the party deeper within.

Making their way into the final chambers of the mine, the party discovered a creature the likes of which they had never seen before: a strange, serpentlike being with white scales, surrounded by the remaining slaves of the mine. The party found themselves somewhat terrified by the extent to which this creature seemed to have succeeded in enthralling all those gathered around it. Barking orders in a language the party could not understand, the wyrm revealed its intelligence and led an attack against the party. In the end, the creature and its servants fell under the blades of the victorious party.

Quick thinking on the part of Culgeka led to the severing of the wyrm’s head, so that it might be brought back to Saruun Khel for study by other, wiser men; yet before a further investigation of the mine could begin a strange reverberation shook the support structure. Gathering their gear and their wits, the party made a hasty exit.

They emerged from the mine to see the shooting star, which they had observed in wonder throughout the course of their overland journey, as it broke cloudcover at unnatural speed along the horizon. It struck the surface of Uth with such great violence that, despite its considerable distance from their location, it shook the ground beneath their feet much as its overhead passing had no doubt caused the reverberations within the mine moments before.

Awestruck, Codrus, Culgecka, Gnash, Jinsoku, and Rog looked on as a conflagration of fire and unimaginable destruction consumed ground and sky far off in the distance.

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The Siege of Ogrefist Hold (Part One)
Season One, Episode Three (Air date: 6/17/2010)

Upon the party’s return to Torm’s throne room, Codrus presented the head of the wyrm. Despite Torm’s lordly wisdom, he failed to identify what exactly the strange creature might be. Stepping out of the dark corners of the throne hall, a mysterious woman who emanated great power revealed herself as Chauntea, Torm’s advisor. Overcome with awe at her presence, each of the gathered five found themselves staring at the most beautiful, regal example of their species’ opposite sex when looking upon her. Chauntea explained that the creature was called a dragon. “Quite a young one, in fact,” she added, “fortunately for all of you.” Quick to point out the rarity of such creatures, she elaborated upon the enthralling power young dragons seemed to exhibit: the ability to control the minds and actions of weak willed mortals. Codrus carefully prodded her for further information, and Chauntea divulged, “It is my belief, and that of my allies, that the power to steer the wills, and control the minds, of other beings—which seems inherent within this species—might very well grow in scope and power as they age.”

Torm closed talks about the dragon by bestowing upon the party a revelation: it was no accident the five of them had been brought together. They had in fact been selected, under Chauntea’s valued guidance, and then tested. King Torm’s plans called for the creation of a new kind of champion. “Only those loyal to Ruul, who are also individuals of rarest, most exceptional ability may hope to survive the tasks that await you in the dark days to come, let alone succeed.” Set against improbable odds in the gnoll lair, Codrus, Gnash, and Rog proved their worth. Working together with the three to quell the Coppernight Mine rebellion, Culgeka and Jinsoku earned Torm’s faiths. He offered each of them a position filling a newly created post within the militia—the Advents of Ruul, free agents of the kingdom who would be above all law except the direct word of the king himself, and who would bear the responsibility of representing Ruul to the outside world as its most fearless and skilled champions.

The choice was easy for Codris and Rog: as loyal members of Ruul’s militia, the call of duty led to a quick acquiescence. Curiosity about the origins of Chauntea’s strange power led Gnash to take the step. The ability to call Saruun Khel their home was enough for the two newcomers.

The newly selected Advents were given magical Sending Stones by Chauntea, so they could stay in touch with eachother and their king at all times, regardless of distance, and then promptly received their first task: far to the westernmost borders of Ruul, high within the Cairngorm Mountains, stood a keep known as Ogrefist Hold. Established as an observation post to keep a watchful eye on the comings and goings of barbaric, nomadic peoples beyond the bounds of Torm’s kingdom, the Hold had recently fallen prey to a militant tribe of orcs who stormed and captured the fortified structure. Due in large part to panic and fear caused by observation of the “strange star which fell from heaven” Ruul’s militia could not respond as swiftly to the threat as Torm’s chosen Advents. Thus, they found themselves swiftly dispatched to infiltrate the Hold and identify the figure ultimately responsible for the agression, assassinating him or her if possible to break the ranks of the orcs and hasten Ogrefist Hold’s return to its rightful caretakers: the people of Ruul.

Upon arriving at the perimeter of Ogrefist Hold, the Advents discovered that the orcs had entered into an alliance of convenience with a band of goblin brigands that populated the section of the Cairngorm Mountains in which Ogrefist Hold was situated. The poorly trained brigands were easily overtaken, and the Advents breached the tower which guarded the crossway into the Hold proper. After surprising the brigands guarding the tower, and dispatching their ruthless hobgoblin commander, the Advents commenced their infiltration and seige of Ogrefist Hold…

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The Siege of Ogrefist Hold (Part Two)
Season One, Episode Four (Air date: 6/24/2010)

Upon crossing into the Hold proper, the Advents found three orc warriors alert along with some particularly frightened fire beetles. These enemies proved little challenge, and soon the party was making their way through the Hold, in search of the leader of the orc raiders. Stumbling upon a full banquet hall of orcs, and an off color joke about minotaurs in progress, the party quickly dispatched the large force caught unaware before making their way into the barracks. There, the orc leader and his bodyguards waited. Before mortal combat could begin, the leader identified himself as Gruumsh, Orcish Liberator, and began to make an offer to the party.

Before he could even elaborate enough for any gathered to know what Gruumsh wished to propose, Codrus, whose loyalty to the empire of Ruul knew no room for bargaining against his own king, stamped the ground with his hoof and prepared a charge, ending the parley. Gruumsh, his most loyal guards, and his pet dire wolf fought ferociously against the party, several of whom came close to the final throes of death by Gruumsh’s blade; however, the ferocity of Gruumsh and his allies was no match for the equal portion of bravery and skill which the Advents of Ruul brought to the challenge.

Codrus himself dealt the killing blow, and with it a crippling wound to the raiders… and whatever plan it was they may have hoped to set into motion.

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Crossroads
Season One, Episode Five (Air date: 6/30/2010)

Having successfully reclaimed Ogrefist Hold, the Advents of Ruul contacted their king, who gifted it to them as a base of operations while they performed duties for him in the Cairngorm mountains. A company of Ruul militia later arrived to help fill out the Hold’s ranks, and begin the process of restoring order to the region and the empire’s holdings there. As Torm’s dream of bringing his empire away from a barter and slave labor system, with the creation of a representative currency, entered its infancy, the Advents were tasked with heading further north to begin an investigation of the strange star which had fallen from the heavens, with a particular emphasis on discovering in just what ways it may impact Torm’s plans, if any. Gorn, the commander of the Ogrefist Hold militia, requested that Rog remain behind, as ripples of unrest were making their way through many of the Hold’s orcish occupants, who shared tribal ties to those which the Advents had cut down in order to reclaim the Hold. Gorn suggested that Rog, being a hero in the eyes of many orcs of Ruul, would bolster morale through his presence in command until tensions could calm.

With their duties at Ogrefist Hold completed, the remainder of the party began their journey northward to the frontier settlement Crossroads, on the very fringes of Ruul’s borders. Along the way, a chance encounter with goblin raiders brought to their ranks a new ally: Di-Kala, of a strange people called the Yuan-Ti. At the Crossroads, the Advents and Di-Kala stumbled upon a flock of Kenku led by Kenzukuo… the very Kenku who, some time ago, left Jinsoku for dead. With Torm’s blessing, Jinsoku sought justice, fighting with a sudden clarity and focus the likes of which even his allies had yet to see in him. In the name of Sandahoku, his unseen spirit patron, he swiftly cut Kenzukuo down in a brutal combat that ended quicker than it began, and which would be remembered in song and legend. Earning the fear and respect of the remainder of Kenzukuo’s flock, who swore fealty to Jinsoku, he then made them swear fealty to Torm, “the true leader of the flock.”

The Advents then freed a goblin prisoner of the Crossroads gibbet tree, called Smug of the Gnawstubble clan, who told tale of how his former tribe seemed to have fallen under the dark influence of some fell power… the same power which might have been responsible for returning the dead to life… a power perhaps tied to a fallen star…

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Fate of the Gnawstubble
Season One, Episode Six (Air date: 7/1/2010)

Led by the goblin called Smug, the Advents and Di-Kala journeyed deep into the wilderness beyond the Cairngorms, to a desolate place whose landscape had been forever altered by the fell energies of the fallen star. There, they carefully descended into the crater to a series of caves which Smug revealed his fellow tribesmen had made their home shortly after the impact. Inside, they discovered that Smug’s goblin brethren had been driven to some form of madness, cutting and clawing on themselves as if in an effort to augment their own flesh. The very walls of the caves glowed with veins of an alien, arcane energy which was discovered to be capable of not only animating the flayed flesh of the dead which now adorned the cave’s walls, but also bringing life to things which never contained it, such as a hulking mound of refuse and trash that was filled with a singular, bloodthirsty rage. Recovering a fragment of a magical artifact from a goblin hexer, Gnash was able to attune himself to the alien energies. With this newfound connection, he felt its ebb and flow through the natural structure; then, working with Culgeka’s superb sense of direction, he began to lead the party deeper into the glowing stone caverns, making their way to the energy’s source…

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Snakes on a Plain
Season One, Episode Seven (Air date: 7/8/2010)

The Advents of Ruul made their way deeper into the Gnawstubble hideout, at last confronting their leader in an acquifer with a strange, radiant pool of alien liquid. From it emerged a mass of goblins that had somehow been magically contorted into a giant flesh golem. After slaying it, and the goblin leader, the party investigated the pool and discovered it to be some form of bleeding wound in reality, opened by the impact of the fallen star. As they worked together to find some way to slow the bleeding, Gnash’s attunement to the cavern’s strange energies triggered a vision of an indescribable, alien creature.

The sorcerer chose to keep the knowledge of this vision to himself.

After the deed had been done, the wound in space and time temporarily plugged, the Advents received word from Gorn via Rog’s sending stone that the orc Warlord and a battalion of orcs had disappeared on patrol. The party was also stunned to discover that they could not make contact with King Torm via his sending stone, which he had sworn he would have on him at all times. The party quickly wrapped up their efforts in the caves and made their way back to Crossroads.

Camping for the night, they awoke to find Di-Kala gone with a parting gift of freshly hunted food; then, they continued their journey, whereupon they were ambushed by a raiding party of Yuan-Ti, expertly cut down, and captured…

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On the Threshold of Fate
Season One, Episode Eight (Air date: 7/15/2010)

The party awoke in a dungeon of unidentifiable architecture, and were surprised to find their fellow Advent, Rog, imprisoned with them. Unwilling to resign themselves to their fates, the party worked to find some means of escape… to no avail.

Soon, they were surprised by the arrival of Di-Kala, who chose to repay her debt to them for saving her life by betraying her own people to aid their escape. After releasing them from their cells and redistributing their gear, she parted ways with the party so as not to face incrimination for her assistance, and the Advents began the process of escaping the fortress of the Yuan-Ti. Culgeka took the lead, applying his dungeoneering knowledge to the task of navigating the structure’s unmapped halls.

A wrong turn found them not heading for the exit, but into a large audience chamber. There, they hid in the shadows and observed an exchange between a mysterious woman, cloaked in shadow, as well as a group of Yuan-Ti in regal garb, and a gargantuan, red-scaled dragon the others referred to as Dal’Sarnquin—a name, and a presence, that struck an unspoken chord in Culgeka.

Knowning themselves to be outmatched, they continued their journey to the exit, breaking a complex magical seal to exit the fortress, whereupon they swiftly discovered from observance of the stars that they were easily months from home. Settling on a cardinal direction of escape, they began their trek home, stumbling along the way upon a small agricultural field and tent city. There, a group of Yuan-Ti slavemasters were in the process of punishing a group of primitive, bipedal humanoid creatures. Choosing to save the “hairless apes”, the party found them to be helpful allies: one recognized the party as having been brought through a nearby magical portal, erected by the Yuan-Ti.

The slaves led the party to the site of the portal, and Gnash began the process of deciphering how to set the arcane coordinates for a return trip home. Before they could utilize the portal, a third mysterious woman appeared. She identified herself as Avandra, and Chauntea and the woman cloaked in shadow as her sisters, explaining in the simplest terms early mortal beings could understand the basic concept of what the three of them were: goddesses.

She explaining that the fallen star the Advents had been sent by their king to investigate was not in fact a star, but their father: Tharizdun, Lord of Chaos. Imploring the party that a fate far greater than that of Ruul’s against the invading Yuan-Ti would very soon befall the whole of Uth without their aid, she enlisted their assistance in her and her sisters’ plot to chain Tharizdun in a grand Abyss, created by them to imprison him, as a last hope to save all of Uth from an untold destruction.

When the party accepted her task, Avandra diverted the coordinates of the portal and infused it with her own divine energy to peel back reality itself, and pull the party over the veil and into the very void of residuum from which all reality had first been created, where waited her father and the prison constructed for him, to be activated by the hands of Uth’s first heroes, its first adventurers: the Advents of Ruul.

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The Chaining of Tharizdun
Season One, Episode Nine (Air date: 7/22/2010)

Avandra and the Advents of Ruul emerged into the voidlike flux of residuum, at the heart of all creation and outside time itself, where they were joined by other allies: the goddesses Chauntea and Shar, as well as King Torm. There, Torm took Codrus aside and told him that he could no longer remain king of Ruul, as he had chosen to assist the Elder Goddesses in their ritual and would not be able to return to Uth as the mortal he currently was once it had been completed. King Torm then named Codrus as his chosen successor to the throne.

After Codrus’ acceptance, the Advents, the Elder Goddesses, and their king gathered together to lay out their plan. The goddesses explained that an extra-dimensional prison had been constructed to contain Tharizdun, and four islands bearing specially constructed shrines which would be used to empore the prison presently orbited it within the sea of residdum. Torm and the three goddesses would take up position on each shrine and offer up portions of their own energies—divine in the case of the goddesses, and Torm’s own life force filling out the fourth portion. The interweaving of these energies would bind Tharizdun into his prison. The sorcerer Gnash would be responsible for conducting the ritual. Meanwhile, the rest of the party would have to remain vigilant against the residuum itself. It would see the ritual as invasive and retaliate, like a natural force, spontaneously creating from its own essence aberrant creatures to attack and disrupt the ritual.

As the ritual progressed, all remained unaware that the alien creature which Gnash had seen in his visions at the Gnawstubble hideout was none other than Tharizdun. Enticed by the power Gnash believed he could wield if the god’s energy could be harnessed, Gnash worked his own arcane ritual into the one which had been planned by the goddesses, attempting to open a channel into the god’s prison which he hoped he could use to command Tharizdun’s power. The success of his ritual had unanticipated results for the power-seduced sorcerer: Tharizdun reached out through the conduit, taking possession of Gnash to actively fight against the ritual with physical form beyond his divine cage. Under the deity’s control Gnash first lashed out at Jinsoku, slaying him outright.

The killing blow proved also to be a moment of rebirth; once a figment of his imagination, Jinsoku’s patron Sandahoku came into physical being as he reached out for his aid one final time, with such faith and belief in his patron that the energies of creation within the residuum made his existence a reality. Sandahoku entered into mortal combat with the possessed Gnash and cut him down in an epic battle, while the surviving Advents continued to protect the shrines from an onslaught of indescribable aberrations.

With the immediate threat dispatched, Sandahoku completed the ritual which had originally been intended. The great Abyss which had been woven into being to contain Tharizdun’s cage—a prison within a prison, hidden away within the deepest layers of creation—swallowed the god, Uth’s creator, and closed behind him, sealing him away.

Sandahoku promised the Advents that he would continue to watch over them, and return to them at a time of great desperation and need, before he parting ways. As Shar and Avandra made their exit, Chauntea informed the new king that he would be returning to a nation under siege by the Yuan-Ti, and offered to open a portal for him and his allies to return to the thick of battle. Torm, newly ascended into godhood as a biproduct of the ritual, offered his blessing and hope that his work as a mortal would not completely crumble—that instead Codrus and his companions would be able to save his dreams from total destruction.

And then, the party stepped through Chauntea’s portal to return home.

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The Battle of Saruun Khel
Season Two, Episode One (Air date: 12/2/2010)

The streets of Saruun Khel ran mad with chaos as the Ruul militia fought hard to beat back the Yuan-Ti invaders and their human slaves. Deep within the labyrinthine cave systems of Thunderspire Mountain, Yuan-Ti poured forth like a flood through an arcane teleportation matrix, butchering kobold slaves and their minotaur slavemasters without discrimination. One such kobold, called Kazakorn, drifted into sleep as he bled out on the cavern floor. As the battle raged around his unconscious form, Torm appeared in a dream. He explained to Kazakorn that he was no longer king, but had become something more, and that the kobolds would play an important role in the fate of the kingdom. He called upon Kazakorn to stand as his champion, to help Uth’s heir, Codrus, properly guide their fate. Upon his acceptance of the charge, power flooded into him, a gift from the new deity, creating Uth’s first paladin.

He woke to find himself surrounded by the bodies of the dead. Alone nearby and preparing to battle the Yuan-Ti who bore down on him stood Buteo, a minotaur shaman. Lurking in the shadows nearby, an unseen survivor of the surprise attack—Lorzod, a bugbear ranger—tried to settle on his own course of action. At this precise moment, Chauntea’s portal opened and Codrus, Culgeka, and Rog came leaping through, back into space and time, into the fray. Buteo and Lorzod threw themselves into the fight, and Kazakorn rose to his feet, fully healed by Torm, to join the battle as well. Working together, they cut down all of the invasion force occupying the small cavern with ease.

With the immediate threat dispatched, Buteo turned his attention to the energy stream of the teleportation matrix which flowed through the cavern. By tapping into it, Buteo was able to not only shut it off—keeping more invaders from pouring into the mountain and its city—but also reverse it. All surviving Yuan-Ti and human slaves were instantaneously sucked out of the city and transported back the way they had come over arcane currents.

Though this momentary victory bought Ruul time, Codrus knew it would not be long before the city faced a more conventional assault. Together with his allies, both old and new, he made his way to his throne and began planning the coming war.

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