For my birthday, I decided to run a two-day, D&D mega-event campaign that focused on a single point of history within my world of Akaar – the Titanswrath event. Now that the event has happened, and all of my players know what’s going on, I can share the details.
This is going to be a 3-part post in which I describe my prep for the event, then day 1 of the event, then day 2 of the event. I learned a lot here, and I’ll be sharing my experience with you all so that you can do with it what you will.
Prepping for this event began as I was fleshing out the history of Akaar – namely the continent of Errun. Back in this post, I mentioned how I was accomplishing this with the use of epochs that divided the history into chunks of time, kind of like volumes within a series of texts.
In that post, I also specifically mentioned and teased the “Titanswrath” event, which took place several centuries before the world’s “modern day.” I was intrigued by Akaar housing its very own tarrasque monster, and what would have happened if it had awoken, went on its reign of destruction, and then was defeated. There is a specific, homebrew campaign setting out there called “Salt in Wounds,” which deals with the aftermath of a defeated tarrasque and how it affected the world. I thought that was a neat idea, but I wanted to change a few things.
A Short History Lesson
The Clergy Wars, and the War of Day and Night
But let’s back up a bit. Nearly a thousand years before Titanswrath was the Clergy Wars. This is when the various religious factions were fighting each other over whose god was the right god. Many of the gods didn’t like this, and used their demi-deities – which had up until then served as the voices of the gods and intermediaries between the highest clergy and the pantheon – to start destroying all life on Akaar so that the gods could start over.
These trusted avatars turned on the people of Akaar and began using their immense power to kill without hesitation. This even happened on the continent of Caldon, which was not involved in the Clergy Wars of Errun. So, to the people of Caldon, this change seemed to come from nowhere.
A smaller portion of the gods did not like this act of betrayal, and sent their avatars to defend the people of Akaar and to fight the other demi-deities. Thus was the War of Day and Night. It was during this war that a powerful mortal was able to gain enough favor with the gods that she overthrew the current god of death, and took his place among the pantheon, displacing him into the endless ether.
When the gods were convinced that the people of Akaar were fighting back with a powerful will to live, they called off their demi-deities. They approached the world themselves and explained that the warring cannot continue, that there must be peace. The gods handed down their commandments for their orders to the leaders of the clergy, and receded back to their planes. That was the end of the war, for fear that the demi-deities would return.
These avatars, the demi-deities, had wills of their own. And some of them were angry about having their purpose stripped from them so. They harbored anger and bitterness toward their gods, and toward the people as well. But they disappeared for a time, waiting for something, perhaps.
The Beginnings of Titanswrath
Centuries after the war, an unknown force gathered four of the demi-deities and informed them that there was a terrible power asleep beneath the surface of Akaar, and if they could awaken it, they could use it to have their revenge on Akaar. They could have purpose again.
Convinced, the avatars sought out the creature and were successful in awakening it. The tarrasque – called the “world-breaker” on Akaar – rose up out of the ground, destroying the prosperous city of Gloom Hollow in the process. As heroes and soldiers scrambled to action, the demi-deities protected the world-breaker, and slew them all. From there, they marched the world-breaker southward, on a path to the capital city of Safuja.
The Sovereign of Errun, Balthias zon Tior, met with the generals of the various armies of Errun to discuss strategies. No one could be located that was still alive from the times of the Clergy Wars and the War of Day and Night, so no one really knew about the demi-deities aside from what was passed down in tales and song. And, as heroes and warriors attempt to stop the world-breaker on its march, they learn about how powerful it is, and how – possibly – unstoppable it is.
That’s when another demi-deity appeared, entering the Sovereign’s stronghold of Nakosa Keep. Drijalora – the avatar of Kasal, goddess of undeath and disease – came to the Sovereign and his generals, and said that the goddess was willing to make a deal to help them destroy the world-breaker and the other avatars. She explains that Kasal can supply them with an endless army of the undead – which would be completely under their control – but she does require a small sacrifice in return.
The generals – who have the experience to lead an army – must go to a fane somewhere in the world in order to make the deal. With this army, they may just be able to defeat the world-breaker. So, a call went out across the lands of Errun for experienced heroes to gather at Safuja in order to participate in the protection of the world.
That’s the backstory to the Titanswrath event in history. The name “Titanswrath” doesn’t just refer to the world-breaker, but to the demi-deities as well. It’s their wrath that is blazing across the land, and urging them onward to destruction.
So, I thought to myself, “wouldn’t it be fun to have a large group of players gather to actually play out Titanswrath, and take on the world-breaker and the demi-deities?” Thus began the plans to expand the pieces within this event to make it into a playable adventure. It would take two days to complete. Day 1 would focus on a group of adventurers escorting five of Errun’s generals to make the deal with Kasal, and Day 2 would be the actual conflict with the world-breaker and the demi-deities – hopefully with the assistance of that undead army.
“Hey, So My Birthday’s Coming Up”
I thought that the first weekend of November would be the perfect time to run this two-day adventure, as that was the weekend of my birthday. What a great excuse to throw a party, invite a bunch of people, and roll some dice!
Because of what they would be doing, and what they’d be up against, I knew I’d have to have a large number of players. So I over-invited, knowing that some people would decline, or have prior plans, or something like that. I ended up with about 20 people who were interested and confirmed they would attend. Perfect. Now, yeah, that’s a lot for a DM to work with, but I thought I could handle it if I went more “rule of cool” and less RAW (more on how that turned out in a later post).
So it was settled. The event was to happen. Now I need to plan out each day’s events – what would happen on Day 1? Where are they going? What will they confront? How does one make a deal with a god anyway? What about Day 2? How do you stat the avatars of gods? What’s the plan going to be for taking on the world-breaker?
All of those questions will be answered, and more, in the next couple of posts here. So keep your eyes out for those!
Until then – Well Met!