The gods are an important part of the world of Vostror that the Ashen Coast resides within. Conveniently, I already had a place where the evil wizards and clerics of the last empire resided. The Tenebrae Cabal is an unholy alliance that should supply me with all the evil I could ever want.
THE TENEBRAE CABAL
A union of evil arcanists and dark clerics, cast out long ago by their masters but determined to rule once again.
'Our right to rule is absolute, a divine thing, a holy thing. This land is ours; the Empire has forgotten us, but we have not forgotten it.'
Beyond the Plague Bulwark, with enclaves spread throughout the peninsular. Fort Ibrak and the desecrated temple of Dol Himak are centres of power, however.
Though they do not exactly work in perfect concert, the clerics and wizards of the Tenebrae Cabal are united behind a single purpose - to destroy the Plague Bulwark and unleash their horrors upon the Ashen Coast. Wizards and Priests do escape past the Bulwark on occasion and work to bring it down from the outside or pursue their own vile schemes. Others still are driven to attempt to cross the Bulwark, either hoping to find like minded individuals or driven there by lawful or good pursuers.
The power within the cabal fluctuates between arcane schools (particularly necromancy) and worship of the various dark gods (of which Kostro, Vundrica and Toovik have the most influence behind the Bulwark). The current 'head' of the cabal is a Priestess of Kostro named Nahal Afsheri, and cultists from the ruined and desecrated towns behind the bulwark flock to her cause to wage war upon the Coast and destroy the wall by force. The vile sorcerer Zavar Amaanat is the strongest source of arcane power beyond the Bulwark, and he schemes endlessly.
Adventurer's and the Icon
Worship of the dark gods is a quick route to power which can be irresistible to some adventurers. Most are sensible enough to work against the cabal, however, not with it.
None. Isolation and the destructive nature of their goals puts even the vilest icons off working with the Cabal.
The Platinum Shield stands foremost between the Cabal and the Coast and must be destroyed at all cost. The High Priestess is a source of hope for the worshippers of the good gods; her death would be a great victory.
The evil experiments performed by many of the wizards in the Empire of Turin were frequently misguided; the dark rituals performed by the servants of the evil gods equally so. The result was that the Ibrak peninsular became the domain of plague, rogue undead and worse and threatened to spill into the lands beyond. The governor at the time ordered the construction of a great bulwark to contain the horrors to the peninsular. Many of the evil wizards and clerics elected to stay behind.
A curious balance formed between the wizards and the clerics of the various dark gods and collectively they became known as the Tenebrae Cabal.
The True Danger
Everything will be alright as long as the wall stands and the full force of the Tenebrae Cabal is contained.
There needed to be an arcane archetypal icon on the Ashen Coast, and the Wizards of Thrinn were already on the map - although that they lived within a tower was all that I knew about them. Combined with a recurring theme from my previous games - powerful and dangerous pink crystals - they've become somewhat more fleshed out now and something I hope my players will want to connect with.
THE WIZARDS OF THRINN
An enigmatic order of wizards that travel throughout the Ashen Coast, recovering powerful magicks.
'There is nothing to see here. And if there were, it would be in your best interest to avoid looking, nonetheless.'
The Wizards of Thrinn have always been a secretive presence on the Coston Peninsular, their tower standing looking out onto the Great Ocean. Only the select few that count amongst their number are ordinarily permitted inside.
Wearing their distinctive purple robes, the Wizards of Thrinn are considered throughout the Ashen Coast ill omens; their appearance usually heralds 'interesting' occurrences with strange, long forgotten machines being dug up shortly before they arrive, or an evil awakening, posing a great threat before it is captured by the Wizards who disappear as quickly as they arrived, taking everything involved in the accidental summoning. Quite often these incidents will involve strange and dangerous bright pink crystals, although so far the wizards have yet to find any intact.
Other times they will turn up and... nothing unusual will happen at all. At least, not that anyone saw. Perhaps something, or someone, might be missing when they've left. It's probably for the best. It's certainly best not to ask.
Adventurer's and the Icon
It is not unheard of for a Wizard of Thrinn to join an adventuring party, although they seldom remain for long. More likely a party will recruited by a Wizard to help them in their mysterious work, learning only enough to earn their pay.
The Wizards usually work alone, although any Icon may find themselves with a temporary ally in the form of a Wizard of Thrinn. Usually, they are not happy with the price of having such an ally.
The Lady of the Woods seems intent on preventing the Wizards carrying out their work, particularly in the wilds.
The enigmatic Wizards of Thrinn have been sighted on the Ashen Coast for centuries, appearing, usually alone, to conduct mysterious arcane investigations. Their history is as mysterious as they are.
The True Danger
Everything will be alright as long as the Wizards of Thrinn can't recover any intact pink crystals.
So, that's all 13 icons for the Ashen Coast! Let me know what you thought of them!