lightning strom

The Storm Plains

Setting

Mordeadus - homebrew

Country

There are no countries in this region

Race

Human, dwarves, undead

Terrain

This region is vast with the countries of Mordak, Ravien, Darjrick, Moors, Vertilli, Glongia, Kalithan, Rallvien and Kris surrounding the area like the letter C.
The region is larger than all those countries combined; it is made up of black rocky hills and old pine forests.

Settlements

There are no settlements in the region other than the a few dwarven fortresses. The dwarves were once part of a larger kingdom but have since fallen into a few small strongholds knit together by trade and alliances. Each stronghold will appear to be a series of short towers built on top of tall hills but thez are connected underneath by a series of polished stone tunnels.

Entrance into the strongholds will require going into one of the tower, each of which is garrisoned at all times by at least a squad of dwarven warriors.

Architecture Style

The dwarves build with black rock and highlight their structures with bronze.

Through every wall and building, there is a network of bronze tubes with currents of lightning run through them at all times. These are not for the reasons most assume. Due to the highly electrical nature of the Storm Plains, the dwarves use the bronze tubing as a grounding device to absorb the constant lightning strikes, preventing themselves or their structures from being hit.

Clothing Style

The dwarves wear mostly black furs with bronze armor and jewelry. Each will carry a grounding rod that is either attached to a harness on their built or stays in a holster to be used when traveling. The rod is not used to attract lightning as the dwarves know it is lethal at that range to be struck, but instead de-energize the air around them. The rod, when used will spark and zap at the top and to the drwaves this means at the least the area around them is being drained of static electricity.

Religion

The dwarves worship Mother Earth and Sister Bronze.

Mother Earth is represented as a pregnant woman carved from stone carrying the entire dwarven race. She is about birth life and stone.

Sister Bronze is an angular featured dwarf with a hammer and shield. She is about battle strength and protection, which the dwarves usually pray to for protection from the lightning.

There are other religions spread out among the Storm Plains known as the voices, worshiped by crazy cults and madmen. These cults usually require sacrifices and blood to appease their deity, and the followers are on the lookout for travelers or even sneak into dwarven fortresses to prey with their knives.

Below are some examples of the Gods. they are usually strange beings covered in claws tentacles and teeth without humanoid form - one can think of a Cthulhu monster in some cases.

Xixxilth: The God of blood and madness, appears as a pool of blood and eyes with dozens of fangs and maws.

Tallillxx: The God of blindness and hallucinations, appears as a dozen limbs and torsos of sticky flesh with an oozing open chest cavity and a dozen tentacles.

Xillxoluth: The God of decay and self mutilation, appears as a fleshy orb of claws.
Note: There can be many more, they could be independent demons trying to gain power or one demon with many forms. You could even have these be beings of the far realm.

Government

The dwarves rule by houses, each house is made up of guild, each guild made up of unions.

Every crafts person in the drwaven strongholds forms a union with their family.
Example: A baker will have a shop and forms a union with its employees and family.

Every crafts person of the same craft throughout all the strongholds forms a guild. Each guild pledges themselves to a house which is usually a rich merchant or noble. The houses will gather every few years and vote for lords of a stronghold and a king of the strongholds.

If a leader is not serving the will of the houses, then the houses will gather and have them replaced.

The dwarven leadership will tend to gain the support of the house nobles more so than the people as it is the houses that decide who is in power. It is not uncommon for a corrupt lord  or king to stay in power for decades or even a lifetime if the majority of house nobles can benefit from their leadership.
Note: The miners guild is the most prominent and sought after guild for a house noble as it usually ensures that house has the most power.

Economy

The dwarves are mostly miners and trade polished stone, gems and ore for food and supplies.

Issues

The storms

Throughout the vast region of the Storm Plains, there is a constantly swirling lightning storm. The storm never stops and hasn’t stopped for 100s of years. No one knows the cause, but some believe it might have something to do with old dwarven technology long since forgotten.

The sky is dark and the sun never shines in the region. The region is constantly buffeted with howling winds and lightning strikes, making any travel difficult. There is little rain but it has been known to hail or even snow with blizzard like conditions for periods of times, lasting a few minutes to months, often trapping travelers or making travel almost impossible.

A lesser effect of the region is the highly charged electrical energy often causing armor and weapons to spark, hair to stand on end and persons receiving painful, although harmless, shocks with everything they touch. It is the equivalent of someone who is always rubbing their socks over a carpet.
Note: Every 6 hours a player spends in the Storm Plains, they must roll a save or be struck by lightning.

The cult

Hiding throughout the Storm Plains are the cults mentioned in religion. They are mad possessed persons who fled to this region hiding in the rocks and ruins worshiping their corrupt deity.

The cultists will tattoo the name and likeness of their God upon their skin and draw it everywhere, giving any travelers a chance to turn back.

Almost everyone who goes crazy or whose minds breaks is pulled to this region, the Storm Plains having some draw on the mad.
Note 1: Any player who suffers insanity will have visions of the Storm Plains and call of the ancient Gods buried within. While a player is insane, they will try to make their way to the plains to join a cult or find an area with a voice and start their own.
Note 2: As mentioned in religion, the cause for this can be several: demons trapped in dungeons below the earth, portals to hellish planes or even the far plain overlapping this one.

Elementals

Due to the highly charged nature of this regions, lightning and composite elementals are often spawned from the energy here.

Not at first aggressive, the region’s voices warp the elementals into a more corrupting form. The elementals will grow claws, tentacles, extra limbs, eyes and etc. They will often join a cult or travel in lone packs hunting travelers or attacking strongholds.
Because of the storm and the voices of the region, stopping the elementals is impossible, the only thing someone can do is keep their numbers low. If left unchecked, sometimes huge swarms of corrupted elementals travel like a swarm pouring into surrounding countries or even overwhelming entire dwarven strongholds, making an already small nation even smaller.

The abandoned strongholds

The region is dotted with dozens if not 100s of old dwarven strongholds long since abandoned. Elementals, cultists and undead now fill their halls with many of the riches since plucked by past adventures. The reason for the strongholds being abandoned is uncertain. With legends and stories and myths coming in the 100s.

Some have died due to powerful electric storms, others starvation from being buried under a 100 feet of snow, others overrun by elementals while still more lost entire populations due to madness and the voices.

Some would say it a series of bad luck or the signs of a changing time, the dwarves are no longer masters of the Storm Plains, but in the old stories there were no Storm Plains, only the vast dwarven empire known as Ulenguard.

The ones who know about Ulenguard believe the dwarves are cursed or did something to create the storms and voices, bringing about their own destruction.
Note: There is a legend players can uncover in old ruins or through old text. It is known as the Voice of Ulenguard. 

A 1000 years ago the dwarves were the largest nation of Mordeadus and well on their way to becoming an empire. Powerful and proud, their bronze and black stone strongholds glimmered in the sun and their numbers were counted in the millions.
It was said the dwarves dug into the earth seeking riches and the earth was ripe with gems and gold ore.

As the treasure of the dwarven halls filled to overflowing, one should have been satisfied with the wealth, but the dwarves were not and continued to dig. Some say a voice called to them of even greater wealth. The mine masters ordered their workers to dig night and day, promising the nobles, lords and king a wealth beyond all imagining.

The earth groaned and cracked with each hit of the pick and the deep mines began to collapse. Entire mining parties went missing and still more went mad.

This should have been a warming to stop, but the mining masters continued their efforts sending 10s of 1000s to their death as more and more went mad. It was said eventually the masters hit a strange black stone that hummed and spoke the most beautiful words and gave the most amazing visions that the masters of the mine had found the ore of God.

After that, much of the information is lost but it is those who know the tale that believe the storms took hold and most the dwarves went mad killing each other and in day, half the kingdom fell as dwarves cannibalized each other in the streets.

The God ore, the ancient voice as only a few know it as, believed somewhere in one of the abandoned dwarven mines is still active and exposed the reason for everything. “Find it and cover it back up, hide what was supposed to be hidden and the curse is over”, some say but then again those are only tales.