Art, Writing, and Learning: The Clerisy Quarter => Writing, Poems, AARs, and Stories - The Storyteller's Hall => Topic started by: Spritelady on March 15, 2022, 12:15:15 PM

Title: Spritelady's writing challenge 2022
Post by: Spritelady on March 15, 2022, 12:15:15 PM
This year, I set myself a challenge to write something creative every month. I thought that posting my pieces of writing here might well help keep me accountable to doing one every month and also provide some entertaining reading for anyone interested in my bits and pieces of creativity.

My January piece was my submission to the Exilian Creative Competition which I hope some of you read and enjoyed and I won't repeat it here but if you haven't seen it, you can find it here: https://exilian.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=6471.0 (https://exilian.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=6471.0). It was a piece of mythology based in the world of the DnD campaign that I'm currently running.

My February piece of writing was based in the same world as my January piece and was some lore I'm working on for one of the players as part of their character backstory. It gives some details on devils and the hells in our DnD world as well as some common knowledge/mythology surrounding imps in particular (not all of which is accurate, but my players don't know that yet!).

A lot of it is based on classic DnD lore (from Wizards of the Coast) and the homebrew illrigger class (created by Matt Colville), but I'm tweaking and editing as I go to fit it to my campaign world and in places coming up with new ideas, so I still count it as a piece of creative writing for the purposes of my challenge, especially when it came to creating the myths/stories/false information for my players. Let me know what you think the false/misleading information might be!

It's still a work in progress and I'll likely continue working on this information throughout the year, but I've put my current version below.

If anyone finds this interesting/has any ideas for me that spring from what I've written or questions or anything at all really, please let me know because I'd love to chat about the world I've created, its lore and my future writing plans!

Illrigger information
The armies of Baator’s ranks are filled with devils, led by the Illriggers. An illrigger is expected to journey through Baator to swear their allegiance to their archdevil commander before they are granted the full might of Illrigger powers. Asmodeus, Lord of Acheron, grants powerful abilities to those who swear him fealty. Once this oath has been taken, infernal knights are considered part of the nobility of Baator.

While in service, whether they have completed their oath of fealty or not, illriggers are expected to further the acquisition of mortal souls, to replenish and expand Baator’s armies. To do this, it is important to understand the hierarchy that defines Baator’s society and have working knowledge of the various devils, how they are created and where they are found.

Obedience is a key tenet of life to those who dwell in the levels of Baator. Those at lower levels in the hierarchy obey their superiors without question, knowing that obedience is rewarded. Chaos would ensue should the citizens of Baator choose not to obey their superiors and Asmodeus does not tolerate chaos. To this end, Asmodeus has appointed archdevils to run the nine layers of Baator, some of whom choose to grant particular illriggers abilities beyond those they receive as knights of Baator. Likewise, Asmodeus enforces contracts made by the citizens of Baator, whether it be with other devils or those from other planes. Any mortal creature that breaks such a contract forfeits their soul, which comes to dwell in Baator.

Souls constitute the main currency of Baator, exchanged for power and boons between devils and mortals. Souls are often confined to Baator at the end of a mortal’s lifespan, where they assume the form of a lemure.

Imps naturally appear as small humanoids with dark red skin, bat-like wings and stingers. They are primarily used to send messages, complete tasks and spy for their more senior masters in Baator.

In Amphictyonis, imps are often blamed for small items going missing, as they were thought to be mischievous thieves and they can become invisible at will. It is also thought that they are repelled by charms made of the fytus plant, a common herb across most of Amphictyonis. It is known that they do not come out in winter, being susceptible to the cold.

Common knowledge in Apophismet holds that imps are capable of shapeshifting into normal animals and are often found in the form of a rat or a raven. They trick and corrupt mortals, and attempt to make deals for their souls.

Storbreigard has several stories about imps, many of which tell that holy water and silver can harm imps. As infernal beings, they are immune to fire and poison and resistant to many magical effects.

Imps can be summoned as familiars by some spellcasters. When this occurs, the imp is completely subject to their master’s will and unable to act on their own impulses.
Title: Re: Spritelady's writing challenge 2022
Post by: Jubal on March 16, 2022, 05:38:23 PM
So an illrigger is... sort of like a devil-aligned warlock thingy? What defines them when on the mortal plane?
Title: Re: Spritelady's writing challenge 2022
Post by: Spritelady on March 16, 2022, 05:45:52 PM
According to the lore made by the creator of the class, illriggers are closer to devil aligned paladins, with a focus on spellcasting to afflict their enemies.

Essentially they're intended to function as knights and leaders of the armies of the hells. They receive abilities from whichever archdevil they're aligned with (the class option has three possible choices, Asmodeus, Dispater or Moloch) and when they're on the mortal plane they're expected to help gather souls for the hells and further the agenda of their aligned archdevil, as well as potentially leading forces of devils if needed.

The below excerpt is from a book that one of my players possesses, which is one of a set of nine chronicles about the hells. This excerpt is from later in the book, so by the time this section is read, the reader has already learnt quite a lot on illriggers generally. As a standalone piece of writing, I probably should have included some more context!
Title: Re: Spritelady's writing challenge 2022
Post by: Jubal on March 26, 2022, 09:30:17 PM
Right, that makes a good amount more sense - thank you! It's also true that I don't know the D&D planar cosmology that well, it was never the thing that most interested me about the implied setting as I always felt it was a) the sort of thing I'd be likely to overwrite the details of in a campaign and b) I tend to run games without that very functional-alternate-world approach to the divine, I guess I sort of prefer having religions where the theology is a bit more arguable rather than being something where a high enough level spellcaster can just pop over to Celestia or the Nine Hells and do a quick fact-check on one's demonology texts :) I do like a lot of the stuff around the cosmology, that said, and I think I'd enjoy it as a player, it's just not something I'm desperate to run as a GM/DM.
Title: Re: Spritelady's writing challenge 2022
Post by: Spritelady on April 17, 2022, 11:58:27 AM
I have finally got around to writing up some of the DnD game I am currently playing in. It's our DM's first time as DM and he's doing a great job! My character, Alandriel, is the queen of alliteration, being an aasimar artificer armourer (who mostly uses acid splash in combat...). So without further ado, the introduction to our campaign! I'll likely continue writing this as the game goes on, but I've written 1000 words now so it works very well as my March bit of writing. Any and all thoughts, comments, constructive feedback etc welcome!

March: Lost Mine of Phandelver
As the cart trundled along the road, Alandriel Denmilon Pheonie Midivar, heir apparent to the High Seat of Helimbrar, Bearer of the Flame of Gadroth, glanced over at her two companions. Though they had been travelling together for more than two days now, Ali still felt as though she knew very little about the others that Gundren hired for this job.
     The man, Ero Brut, was quiet and imposing. Ali didn’t think he’d said more than a few words since she met him in Neverwinter two days ago. His dark hair was cut short, giving him a military appearance, and from what little he’d said, Ali had gathered that he used to be a soldier. Ali was more than a little curious about the strange scar she could see peeking out of the collar of his leather armour but the man seemed too intimidating for her to just come out with it.
     Her other travelling companion was a woman named Avri. She resembled an elf, but her skin was ashen and her hair was a vibrant red that almost seemed unnatural to Ali. Her eyes were unsettling, completely black with no iris to speak of and she had a scar over one eye. Ali had seen her before, she was a performer that had sometimes danced at parties her family threw at the keep. Ali didn’t know much more about her than that, though in the brief conversations they had shared while travelling together from Neverwinter, Ali had got the distinct impression that Avri was laughing at her somehow.
     The journey had been strange for Ali. It was her first venture outside of Midivar Keep without her family, and without the family coach and the guards. But she had known this was coming. Ever since her abilities had manifested, she had understood that she would be required to go out into the world, to help those who needed it. So when one of her father’s business associates had mentioned needing guards for supplies on their way to Phandalin, it had been decided that this would make a good first pursuit for Ali.
     Her father’s associate, Gundren Rockseeker, was known to be a bit of an eccentric dwarf, frequently coming up with some scheme or other to make money. This time, he claimed to have discovered ‘something big’ near Phandalin. Phandalin was a small mining town, only a two day journey from Neverwinter. Ali wasn’t especially surprised that Gundren had been pulled into the rumours and intrigue of Phandalin. There were many families who thought that the legends of treasure in the ruins around Phandalin would provide riches and fortune. Every year, a few set off to pursue the myths.
     Gundren had chosen to travel ahead of his supplies, with a human escort whom Ali did not know, Silda Holwinter. Ali, Ero and Avri had been instructed to guard the supply wagon on the road from Neverwinter to Phandalin, and deliver the contents of the wagon to Barthen's Provisions upon arrival at the town.
     Ali pulled herself from her thoughts as Ero slowed the oxen pulling the wagon. Up ahead, something was lying across the road. Two vague shapes that Ali couldn’t quite make out at this distance. Ero pulled the oxen to a complete stop and the three of them climbed down.
     “I’ll go see what that is,” Ali said. As the most heavily protected of the three of them, in her coat of thick scale armour, she was probably best prepared to handle anything untoward ahead. It wasn’t unlikely that they would run into trouble – there were frequent reports of bandits in this area. And she was eager to prove her worth. As well as Avri’s strange manner, which gave off an air of superiority, she suspected that the somewhat grizzled, older Ero had a lot of experience on the road. Ali was keen to prove that she could hold up her end when it came to protecting the supplies and making sure the journey went smoothly.
     Ali padded cautiously up the road, her armour clinking softly as she moved. As she approached, she could see that the shapes that had halted their journey were horses. They were dead. They lay across the road, with gaping slashes cut across their bodies. Arrows with black feathers protruded from the two corpses in several places. As Ali moved closer, the smell hit her and she paused, nausea rising in her stomach. The horses had clearly been dead for at least a day and flies were crowded on their eyes and around the edges of their wounds. Ali could just make out a mark on each horse, identifying them as belonging to Gundren Rockseeker.
     “It’s Gundren’s horses. They were cut down on the road,” Ali called back to her companions, glancing back in their direction. As she did, she caught sight of something lying in the road beside the horses. It was an empty map case. Ali knelt down to pick it up, noting Gundren’s mark as she tucked it into her backpack. Behind her, Ero paced forwards, apparently intending to join her by the horses’ corpses.
     Before he could reach her, movement flickered in Ali’s peripheral vision and she jumped back with a shout as an arrow with black fletching suddenly thudded into the road beside her. Looking up, she could see two goblins standing under the trees, barely visible in the thick undergrowth that stretched away from the road. She let out a shout, “It’s an ambush,” summoning a drop of acid between curved fingers before flicking her wrist, hurling the burning liquid at one of the goblins. It dodged to the side, dropping its bow and charging forwards, drawing an ugly-looking scimitar as it ran.
     Ali flinched as a bolt of seething shadows blasted into the ground by the goblin, clearly startling it but not managing to strike it. Glancing behind her, Ali noticed that Avri had apparently decided to climb into a tree and was launching bolt after bolt at the oncoming goblins. Ero had engaged two more of the creatures in the woods, harrying them with his shield and rapier. A fourth goblin had emerged from the other side of the road, heading for Ali. She whirled around, darting to avoid the fierce swings of her two attackers. One landed a glancing blow along her ribs, and she gritted her teeth in concentration as her armour reverberated, retaliating against the blow with a blast of telekinetic energy. Ali grunted as the goblin collapsed at her feet, adrenaline fuelling her movement as she spun to face the remaining goblin. She lunged forward, burying her dagger in its ribs. The goblin slumped against her, dead weight pulling her arm down until she drew back, removing the dagger from its body with a sickening sound.