Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Kingdom of Zantium

Notes for further use for my Dungeons and Dragons campaign setting:
To the east, along the northern side of the Inland Sea, lies the Kingdom of Zantium.  It is made up predominantly of orcs, hobgoblins, men, and half-orcs, with a smattering of other races.  Its mountains are full of Duergar and goblins, and its trees are full of savage wood elves.  The peoples ride on horses and and travel in moving cities, the better to conduct raids on nearby lands.  

Zantium has been ruled for nearly 300 years by Belbog, who, though he appears to be human man, is actually a Black Dragon.  This fact is widely known.  In fact, he is called the Dragon King.  He wrestled control of Zantium from a human king all those years ago after assembling an army of mercenaries while posing in human form.  Upon his conquering of the land, he revealed his true nature, and set about building a court to fit his character.  He built a palace over the entrance of what was later revealed to be his lair, and so the area surrounding his palace is subject to his magical will.  

His court includes the 15 half-dragon children who have been born to him and not died in battle or old age, although three of them have not yet come of age.  Having seen his first consort die of old age, as well as some of his older children, his present consort is the wood elf princess Elana, and he has a half-orc consort as well.  There is also a coterie of vampires and their vampire spawn who serve him as courtiers, scribes, and advisors, as well as a number of spellcasters of various races, including at least one Oni.  One of Belbogs most common punishments for transgressions is to turn a person over to the vampires to use as they see fit, or to give one's children to the Oni. 

Belbog was ancient before he conquered  Zantium, and while he appears at times in his Garantuan Black Dragon form for battle purposes, it seems as if Belbog actually enjoys the pleasures of human culture, and delights in leading men and making war, and crushing his enemies as a man.  

Belbog appears as a pale skinned human male of seven feet in height, with a warrior's build.  He wears jet black hair down to his waist, though it is often braided, and tends to favor black silk robes that he accentuates with a rotating sampling of his massive collection of jewelry.  Despite his fondness for war on other nations, he has little interest in fomenting alliances with fiends and other evil beings.  Drow are looked down upon within Zantium for their worship of Lolth, as the only evil diety Belbog respects is Tiamat. The mountain inhabitants can always count on his aid should the drow begin to encroach upon their territory.   He may look the other way when it comes to his vampire servants worshiping infernal beings, but  conduct with actual demons and devils from the lower planes is strictly prohibited.