The Bone Ridge Covenant Background: Weißkamm (white ridge) was one of the most prized fortresses of the Kaiser Hanz Von Lubt-Sigmaringen’s Großoccitanian Empire. Rich in not only metals and strong stone, the towering white stone ridges were home to a treasure much dearer than any other, true elemental earth. Weißkamm was home to a grand prince of the elemental royalty, Pedoseion, second only to the Earthen king, Kamin, himself- and the later made his home on distant elemental planes and never ventured to Gensin. When the mage-wars came, Von Lubt-Slgmaringen ordered his Baron, Clemens von Eicknach to hold firm, to stand against the magelings and their summoned creatures but, ultimately the order was all he gave. Too busy holding the great fortress of Reikland and its criticial breadbasket valleys, Kaiser Hanz Von Lubt-Sigmaringen was unable to send troops or material aide and Weißkamm was left to its own devices and soon was forced to withdraw to its mountain halls, closing the great stone gates that no one not of dwarven blood could tell from the mountain face, and wait out the death and blood. There would be no such respite. Within four months of closing the great doors, a new sort of threat made itself known. Sneaking in through small cracks and shafts the dwarves kept to maintain their air-supply and to mirror in sunlight for their crops, the creatures were unknown to Eicknach and his vassals. Appearing as demonicly twisted bat-like creatures, they would spread their wings wide and a green and yellow fire would burst from the underside of their wings. Though they did not know what it was at the time, the dwarves of Weißkamm soon grew to know these flames all too well. Banefire they would call it. And it was to the souls of hell what flame was to a dry summer forest. If one looked into the fires of the fluttering demon-bats, and if one cocked and ear to listen beyond the fluttering wings and the crackling flames, one could make out the reaching fingers and arms of the damned, hear their gasping cries of pain and insatiable hunger. The flames would jump from these demons and consume flesh and soul of the dwarves in their home. But that was not the worst. For these early scouts soon revealed the location of the Weißkamm gates to their mageling masters (whom they called Nahuaulli) and very soon there was no more hiding. The blood-mages of Mictl, who sacrificed virgins and innocents to summon devils and demons had come and they would not be denied. Waves of demonic fiends were sent against the defenders. The Onaqui were demonic creatures, part jaguar, part bat who shifted from shadow to shadow and hunted the halls and homes of Weißkamm with a hunger that could never be assuaged. The jade toads sent miasma and boils in great rolling crowds. And always the banefire, burning stone, and metal, flesh, and soul alike, insatiable and all–consuming like no mortal fire can be. Von Eicknach stood firm but very soon the grand hall had fallen to the Mictl and the baron was forced to fight a guerilla resistance from the twisting halls and mining shafts of his home as his people’s children and women were sacrificed at a Mictl alter erected under the grand intricately carved stalagmiteof the central hall. All looked impossible when the priests offered one last chance at home. They would awaken the grand Prince of the Earth who resided deep beneath the mountain and enlist his service against the invaders. A grand ritual was conducted in the deepest mines, the site richest in precious elemental earth and very soon Pedoseion himself stood before the dwarves, who themselves were perhaps somewhat startled at the success of their endeavor. But Pedoseion was greatly changed. The corruption of the mountain, the burning and maiming of its soul, blood magic defilement had similarly corrupted Pedoseion. Gone was the walking mountain of stone and rock. Instead a creature of bone and fire, blood and shadow stood before them, consumed by hatred and despair, violence and like the banefire that had burned the mountain’s soul, an unquenchable saddism. He struck at the priests who had summoned him and slew six, leaving only two, the high priest Emmerich and his apprentice and study, Lamprecht. But Emmerich was quick and spoke words of warding, runic chants that bound the fallen prince of earth and stone in magical bounds. Von Eicknach was nearly a broken man. Their last chance at survival lay corrupted and twisted. As the Onaqui, and bane-fire bats, and the jade toads, and the sulking shadowy Nahuaulli continued their ceaseless advance, Lamprecht offered a new solution. Pedoseion had spoken to him and offered to save the dwarves, and to destroy the Mictl, if only they would serve him, bringing destruction, despair and terror to mortals. Pedoseion offered a compact. But the price was too high for Von Eicknach and he refused, choosing instead to maintain the honor of the Großoccitanian and his illustrious house than to save his people. But Lamprecht could not accept death, neither for his clan, nor for himself. Pedoseion had been cunning and devious, weaving a tale of seduction and hope for Laprecht that he could not ignore. And so, one dawn, as Von Eicknach’s Black Fletching guards fell to banefire that jumped from wall to tunnel to flesh with a horrible need, Laprecht smudged one tiny line in the high-priests wards. Immediately the corrupted elemental prince struck at the apprentice acolyte and paralyzing him with poison, let him lay where he fell, his face against the wards, his arms at his sides. The wards blazed with new fire, green and yellow, as those of the Mictl, but these were Pedoseion’s flames and the bat-creatures that flew from his hands and the terrible stalking jaguar-fiends that crawled from the pit at his feet, these were the prince’s. And so deep in the caves of Weißkamm, demon fought demon and ultimately the Mictl were forced from the caverns. When it was done, the dwarves looked at one another with terror and a despair and a certain dark knowledge for the offer made by the corrupted prince of the earths and the answer given by the baron were well known. And the high priest Emmerich could not be found. And Lamprecht was horribly burned across jaw and cheek but not consumed by the banefire like no dwarf before him was. Sole-survivor of soul-devouring flames, his beard horribly charred, his face horribly scarred, many knew he was somehow responisble, and perhaps they feared and loathed him even as they celebrated their survival and victory. Pedoseion had gone but his demons remained. Lamprecht explained the dwarves of Weißkamm had made a compact. They could remain in their mountain home, have safety and security, and serve the dark elemental prince, or they could leave. Some did and the Baron Clemens von Eicknach led these, honor to his name, but many stayed, battle-weary and broken, or perhaps unwilling to follow their Baron to what must surely be his doom. Von Eicknarch refused to step down as baron, and insisted he would return one day to purify the mountain and its living spirit, but for now, he chose exile. He could have slayed Lamprecht, for Von Eicknarch was a great warrior and Lamprecht but a thin acolyte with a quick tongue, but such was not his will; perhaps in a way, he respected the decision made by the man to save, in some small fashion, what remained of his people. As for Lamprecht, he was a new man, and some said a devil spoke in his ear, for his tongue was silver and when he had finished addressing his people in the grand hall so recently won back from the Mictl, standing atop their broken alter rising over the piles of dwarven heads and skulls, the people cheered, despite their damnation. Without a baron, Lamprecht became regent, and the people called him the Traitor-Regent, though they loved him somehow, in some blind way. He was reborn in blood and abandoned his old name, taking for himself the name of Tlachinolli, a name from the tongue of the Mictl meaning ‘fire holder’. And some amongst the people followed his lead, and though the Mictl were gone, their terribly bloody rites, their demons, their fire, and even their names had remained. Pedoseion was not done however and though Tlachinolli, the traitor regent, and his people did not know it, the war continued to wage across the valleys and mountains of the surface for the Prince of earth, or Prince Illearth, as the dwarves soon nicknamed him, could not be satiated with any amount of mortal blood and always would need to spill the blood of man in great countless waves. Inside the mountain, the once beautiful carvings, statues, and frescoes of dwarven warriors and cherubs that filled the grand halls and tunnels came to life, growing horrible claws and wings and burning with green-yellow fire and taking the bodies of the dead Mictl and their demons, drew them into the great central stalagmite of the grand hall. And only when the bodies of the enemy had been taken by the mountain and the frescoes returned to stillness, though now of corrupted angels and demonic dwarves, was there peace. As the demons faded away and the dwarves of the Eztli, for this now was the name of the dwarven hold once known as Weißkamm, rebuilt, they began to grow curious of the lands beyond their great secret doors. Tlachinolli ordered them opened and when he did, a great shaking and magical lightning swam and flew throughout the aether and the stone. And the dwarves of Eztli looked out upon a new land unknown to them and looking back at their great white ridges, the soaring heights and dizzying chasms of their mountain home, they beheld where the bodies of the Mictl had gone, for great spires of stone rose from the ridges like stakes and from these spires hung the dismembered bodies, limbs, and heads of the Mictl and their demonic servants, half encased that their skeletons never be recovered from Prince Illearth’s stony embrace. Faction Name: The Bone Ridge Covenant (or Eztli) Leader Name: Tlachinolli, the traitor regent Leader Trait: Merchant Leader Background: Tlachinolli is first of the dwarves of ‘White Ridge’ corrupted by the fallen prince of elemental earth, Pedoseion. His corruption in turn went on to affect the remaining dwarves of what his now known as Eztli. His is much more Prince Illearth’s creature than he wishes to admit, even to himself, despite Pedoseion’s return to the mountain, for his spy and embassary, an imp of the lower planes, remains with Tlachinolli, never far from his side. Invisible unless wanting to be seen, the imp speaks to Tlachinolli telepathically and empowers his tongue with a charisma and glibness that could only be demonic. It is this glibness that makes Tlochinolli able to sell anything to anyone, even their own damnation. Starting Location: (Zone 117) "The Bone Ridge” I don’t care about the rest of the zone (well, i do, but i don't want to intrude) but a slice of the south should be towering white mountains with unnatural stakes of stone rising from them. The stakes bear entrapped human skeletons and strange demonics remains in them, half entombed, to last for eternity as a sign of Prince Illearth’s bloody vengeance. Origins: Dwarves Traits: Industrious (they are dwarves after all) Capital Type: Dwarven hold To EQandCIVfanatic: I would love to start with some mages, demonic warlocks who have embraced the new order, if the stats allow for it (or even some demonic servants if 'special troops' are called for). The imp is meant for RP purposes only, but if its not okay, then feel free to change it. Otherwise i hope the application is okay.