Skip to main content

Anttelius - The Empire of Zartar

Artwork by Luis Filipe de Almeida
Yes, yes... Another post with the history of Anttelius and another table of signs of that past.

The Empire of Zartar


The Zartarians expanded their domains fairly quickly and in a brutal and sinister way. The people they viewed as useful were offered to become allies and servants of the sorceress masters, and those who they deemed unworthy were simply enslaved. This last group was the most numerous one however.

Every year the Empire of Zartar expanded and reached new uncharted territory, taking whatever riches they could find and enslaving whatever people they stumbled upon. Few could withstand the hellish legions of Zartar, powered by the chaotic sorcery from the Abyss. Each people subjugated fueled more sacrifices to the Zartarian’s sinister gods, making them stronger and stronger.

This age saw the development and advancement of many fields, including dramatic arts, sculpture, architecture, alchemy, literature, astrology and many other fields. It is rumored, however, that many of these advancements were not achieved by Zartarians, but by the people they dominated and forced to work for them.

Sorcery was, however, the main focus of research by the First Sorcerer-King, and after thousands of years, he built a powerful vessel to brave the cosmos outside Anttelius. This powerful Zartarian left Anttelius bent on becoming a god amongst the stars and left his daughter to lead the Empire on further conquests, but that would not last.

d12
The Height of the Empire of Zartar
1
The First Sorcerer built eight great crystal ziggurats before journeying to the stars. No one really know what he put inside each of them or what were their purpose. Chroniclers assume he divided his powerful artifacts amongst the eight locations in an attempt to prevent anyone from acquiring them all. The location of these ziggurats is unknown but sought after many treasure hunters and power hungry sorcerers.
2
A sorcerer poet of Zartar was known as the Death Pen. His poems were charged with chaotic energies and those that read it could die instantly. Until today, evil spirited sorcerers seek these poems to use in their machinations against one another.
3
It is believed that the Zartarian were influenced or even controlled by alien entities, as some of their most prominent ruins present weird angles of almost impossible geometry, making those that enter it dizzy. Some claim to see into distant lands and weird place in there, and there are rumors that a few of those that visit those places became completely mad.
4
The First Sorcerer-King ruled their subjects with the help of a powerful gauntlet made of star metal. This artifact was capable of turning anyone into a puppet in his hands and could weave powerful sorcery. The wielder had to sacrifice his own hand to use such a powerful object and subject himself to the will of it, or tame it.
5
The First Sorcerer-King ruled the Empire of Zartar for thousand of years. He kept his vitality draining the life of thousands of men, women and children through sinister rituals. Their corpses were all entombed in endless catacombs below the throne. Their souls, cursed and tormented, serve as guards to the formidable treasure hoard of the legendary Sorcerer-King.
6
The position of the many palaces of the First Sorcerer-King forms the shape of a constellation that will appear in the sky when the time of his return finally arrives. The stars are almost aligned.
7
The First Sorcerer-King had thirteen love companions, one for each month of the Zartarian calendar. However, he had one additional lover, a man who him truly loved and in which tomb he hid his their most treasured possessions. The location of this tomb has never been found until today.
8
Rumors say that there were not one but many First-Sorcerers. Powerful weavers of chaos magic took the mantle of their predecessors as X’Zagoth dictated, each warlock taking the life of their former lord. Now X’Zagoth has chosen another emperor.
9
The Empire of Zartar grew so much, it reached another universe altogether. Now, with the gates to this universe lost, the Zartarians from this other dimension continue their conquests. Someday they will return seeking their emperor.
10
A group of dissidents from the Empire lead by the Arch-Sorcerer Ambah’Rar sought shelter and a new place to live outside of the influences of the First Sorcerer. There they live until this day, and have reached unimaginable advancements we can only dream of.
11
During the height of the Empire, great orgies were organized by the cult of X’Zagoth, and amidst the participants, dozens of demons and alien entities took part in the activities. Thus, the blood of the Zartarian was forever tainted by chaos, but made them powerful users of sorcery. Some of the living Zartarians, because of that, may be influenced by the lords of the Abyss.
12
In their journeys across Anttelius, Zartarians left many offerings to their alien patrons in the form of statues, monuments and strange structures. Each of them can be used to learn ancient arcane secrets if one can decipher their meaning.

If you like what you've just read, check out my books over RPGNow and Lulu.

Popular posts from this blog

Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells - Complete RPG in Draft Text

Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells IndieGoGo campaign ended about a month ago. It was my first crowdfunding campaign by my own (we made one for the Brazilian version of Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells to pay for a print run and some other stuff), and so far I am really happy with it (even though the currency exchange is quite bad for me, as I receive less for the dollar than I pay for it).

Anyway, one of the last goals of the project was to release a artless version of the game for free too, to make the game more accessible and easy to use. So why not share the current draft of the rules here too with character sheets to go with it. This way you all can play the game while we wait for it to be ready!

So grab the complete Draft Text of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells RPG here! It takes some time to load all the content, but it's worth it, I promise you!

Grab the Character Sheets here, and here!

If you don’t know what exactly Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells is, check out the proj…

Alternate Vancian Magic System for OSR Games

Okay, let me get his out straight away. I am not an Jack Vance scholar, literature major, or real wizard. I just love OSR games, love what I’ve read of The Dying Earth Series and other Appendix N books and really like to tinker with game systems (as well as create stuff). So I’ve come up with an alternate Vancian Magic System that makes spellcasting more flexible, leveless (even though you can still use the standard spell list in your game of choice) and insert some risk in the sorcery art (which I think is essential, as we are dealing with unnatural forces).

In the stories I’ve read, magicians, when they were imparting the spell energies in their minds to cast them later, would make increasingly greater effort to put as many spells as they could in their memory. There was not definite limit. Some could impart more, some less, and this could vary. They could risk filling their minds with spells, but if they pushed too hard, they could lose and release all that energy uncontrollably. …

How to never describe a dungeon!

I've heard it a thousand times. You probably heard it too. Some people, I don't know why, say that dungeons, especially large ones, are boring. The endless repetitions of rooms and corridors and having to choose to go left, right, north or south depresses them. I don't know why. Actually, I do know why.

Because they don't really know how to run a dungeon in play. It seems easy, effortless. Just say what's in the room the PCs are in and where the passages going out of it go. But it's not. They get bored with the "you get to a intersection and there is a door to the north and two passages, one going east and one going west" because that's a terrible way of describing a dungeon environment and gives nothing really useful to the players to choose from.

You never describe a dungeon like that. There's a lot more going on that we can initially see. A good referee will take all the context of what the dungeon was, what it is now, who lived there, who…