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Erkusaa, The Mist-Shrouded Isle
“It is the purity of Chaos that the erkunae seek; not the so-called ‘freedom’ of the barbarian hymn-singers, but the Chaos of the unformed- the Chaos of all things, at all times, forever unmade…” -Ykalakae the 19th, The Opal Throne [AC 220]

Capital: G’sho’laa’n’rr
Settlements: G’sho’laa’n’rr (1,200,000)
Ruler: His Opalescence Ythyrku the 64th The Opal Throne
Government: Aristocratic Monarchy
Races: Dhosari, Erkunae, Human
Faiths: Demon Lords (any), Elemental Lords (any), Nise, Protean Lords (any), Ul’Ul, Vortain
Resources: Magic items, mercenaries, slaves
Languages: Abyssal, Common, Infernal, Protean
Border Conditions: None

History
Fragments of dhosari history recall when Erkusaa was a rugged mountain range, riddled with caves and ancestral home to their six-limbed, two-bodied race. Then, as they say, “the waters came”, and what was once a highland became an island, and with the waters came the erkunae. The erkunae, perhaps once human but now miscegenated with outsiders and strange blood, sensed the arcane potential in Erkusaa’s location, and enslaved both the dhosari and the dragons that slept in the myriad catacombs beneath the misty proto-island.

The erkunae, under their first king The White Fox, were ambitious and powerful in those long-ago days of Porphyra, when it seemed that the face of the planet could be shaped by those with the will and the might. From Erkusaa they waged wars of conquest and subjugation, aided by the pacts they made with the Elemental Lords, and the Powers of Chaos and Death they who were most powerful on Porphyra before The Calling.

They built a wondrous city of towers, piercing the mist, and called it G’sho’laa’n’rr, which means The City of Dreams. From here they subjugated nearby islands and nations, took their people as slaves, and looted their treasures and hoards of knowledge. None dared stand before the shimmering opal-banner of the erkunae, or face their two-bodied shock troops, the awesome dhosari. Then came The Calling. And with it, other peoples from other worlds, and the bond between man (and man-like) and the Gods, many of whom preached revolution, freedom, rule of benevolent Law, and peace.

The Empire of the Opal Throne dwindled on both the foreign front, where religious fervor countered their perverse rule, and at home, where power-hungry aristocrats vied for the attention of the new “Gods”. Forced from the mainland at the end of the NewGod wars, the erkunae live on memories and magic, their dragons mostly sleeping now, waiting to discover their place on a changed Porphyra.

Current Events
His Opalescence, Ythyrku the 64th is a young king, and seems to be more ambitious than the majority of his predecessors. His is the blood of the White Fox, an albino, tradition-bound to be obeyed without question and he is not hesitant to demand that obedience. The dragon patrols fly once more, and the ancient magic-powered ships have been repaired and brought out of drydock.

The Dreamer’s Cult, as well as worshipers of Vortain have been suppressed (and some whisper it has relocated to the nearby Dhosari islands) and the Shadow Children have been forcibly recruited into the Opal Legions. His ambition has outstripped the military’s abilities and intent, however, and often these missions turn into reiving, looting, and sheer piracy. Ythyrku will not be mocked, and the City of Dreams dreams indeed, of empire once more.

The stirring of the Erkusaan nation has led to an increase of erkunae expatriates on the mainland, and even on the high seas. There are many of that nation that prefer that empire be merely a memory for the erkunae, either for selfish or altruistic reasons. Self-appointed ambassadors urge kings and lords to show force in the Erkusaan sphere, to curb the rise of militarism. Proselytes of strange erkunae faiths show more and more in coastal cities, their fervent white faces urging every action from capitulation to violent uprising, A dhosari visionary known only as the Masiha has been agitating the native dhosari population, and so far resisting all attempts to be discovered by The Opal Throne’s agents. Even non-dhosari slaves have been heeding his pronouncements, and the aristocracy has been steadily increasing their age-old, insular demands for comfort at home rather than adventure abroad.

Settlements
The major settlement of Erkusaa is:

  • G’sho’laa’n’rr, The City of Dreams, takes up 85% of the surface area of the island of Erkusaa, easily the largest city by area on Porphyra. It is not, however, the most populated, and large areas of the city are abandoned to the elements, inhabited by escaped slaves or strange monsters. Even so, G’sho’laa’n’rr is a truly awe-inspiring city, given over to multicolored towers, few less than 200 feet tall. These towers are connected by halls, usually stuffed with ancient plunder from imperial days. There seems to be little rhyme or reason to what is where, and navigation to find a service, a person, or even an exit can drive a foreigner to madness. The basic hierarchy of the populace is determined by height; The Opal Throne is in the highest chamber in the highest tower, and hierarchy descends from there, aristocrats quarreling openly over living status. Skilled workers and artisans live in apartments in the halls, and common folk in sub-halls or slums on the periphery of the undeveloped lands. The natural mistiness of the island precludes much outdoor activity, though military units, herb gatherers, and misanthropes can all be found wandering Erkusaa’s rocky shores. The Dragoncaves beneath Erkusaa are places of wonder and danger, as the erkunae venture here but seldom, and the sleeping dragons become more and more wakeful, and less and less obedient.

Intrigues

  • 8th Most High, Jecerik the 22nd, is recruiting foreign mercenaries to ‘sanitize’ some of the lower halls and subhalls that he won in a duel from a lower-lord. His house retinue find it beneath their station to root out vermin and escaped slaves, though other houses’ bravos would love to face a wild dhosari in combat.
  • A local village, afraid of erkunae pirates, has pooled their resources to put the adventurers on a ‘boat’ (of dubious buoyancy) to dissuade the predicted attack. Swashbucking (and swimming) awaits!
  • A shipwreck (possibly as a result of the previous Intrigue) has left the adventurers marooned on the misty isle of Erkusaa, in an isolated, undeveloped region. They can make for the City of Dreams and expect charity from the Holders of the Pact, try to find a pack of escaped slaves, or try their luck in the Dragoncaves…
  • Hired as bodyguards to a local nation’s newly-appointed ambassador to Erkusaa, the party is in hot water after an assassination attempt on an erkunae higher-lord- can they solve the mystery and move the blame from the foreigners? Explore the dusty sub-halls to find the Shadow Children, dispossessed and disowned rogues that rule the disused passages of the Dreaming City.
  • The court intrigue and shadowplay of The Opal Court is legendary over Porphyra; word of the characters’ abilities (or an erkunae party member) comes to an ambitious lord who has many tasks, some savory, some not so much for talented professionals. Something about a personal demon of a rival?
  • Slavery is the vilest practice imaginable! That the erkunae should have enslaved the dhosari, an entire race (except for small escaped pockets, possibly including a party member) is an outrage that must be remedied. Smugglers can get you to Erkusaa, can you get at least some of the downtrodden slaves of the Dreaming Demons away from the Misty Isle of Erkusaa?

See Also