Highlord of Turapal
Lord Kaitos Blackmoor is the current ruler of the Kingdom of Turapal.
General Physical Condition
Blackmoor is in remarkable shape for a man his age. He spent many years as a blacksmith, creating weapons and armor that he would forge with his runetech. Wearing his armor enhances that strength.
- Kaitos Blackmoor was a minor noble family from Westcrown, Cheliax. Alleged descendant of azlanti bloodline, perhaps of Aroden himself.
- The Blackmoor family was involved with the shipping industry. After unfortunate circumstances involving storms and pirates, the family was down to one ship - The Golden Lion.
- The family had a few old Thassalonian heirlooms, two of which were masks and statues. Appraised at a small fortune by collectors, Kaitos' father Isaac would borrow off their value to keep the family afloat.
- Kaitos developed an interest in magic, despite having no innate ability to create it. As a child, he watched a Hellknight Signifer dispatch a rogue bone devil. Since then, he has become fascinated with magic. His parents believed he might join the Hellknights one day, so they supported his studies.
- As he undertook private tutoring, Kaitos began to develop a magical hypothesis. He believed it possible to channel magic through runes rather than incantations. His tutor tried to dissuade this and guide the boy down more traditional paths.
- One day, Kaitos presented a warhammer to his father. The warhammer bore a rune that Kaitos had scribed onto it. The elder swung the Warhammer and destroyed a heavy wooden table. He was so impressed that he had Kaitos scribe the rune into several other warhammers and armed the family's guard with them.
- Young Kaitos became a prodigy. He began to travel far and wide, visiting dwarves and elves, shoanti and orcs, hoping to discover more about rune magic.
- When he returned home several years later, he brought with him arcane texts that he had "found" and discovered one that mentioned runes of creation. Using these texts, he built the foundation of what he called Runetech.
- Thexan, brother of Arcaan, was sent to study with Blackmoor for many years. His father Baros hoped his son would develop breakthrough tech and elevate the family name high enough to mask the shame his wife, Elenor, brought on it.
Turapal and Theyrium
- Blackmoor heard stories about a rare metal named theyrium that he believed could enhance his runetech. He went to Turapal to find it.
- Found the valley crawling with undead creatures by night that the locals called mistwalkers.
- Made it to the town of Tysavach. The townsfolk were shocked to see him, as few visitors make it this far into Turapal.
- A vampire, Lord Mortus, ruled the valley. Blackmoor was warned that the vampire did not like outsiders in his territory.
- That evening, a family took Blackmoor in and before the sunset, he joined them in the cellar. With everyone huddled in the dark, Blackmoor could hear the undead wandering the town and slaughtering animals.
- Blackmoor continued his search, travelling during the day and hiding from the undead at night. Weeks later, with his nerves close to unravelling, the royal guards found him and took Kaitos to the castle to meet the vampire leader. Blackmoor was cordial, claiming to be a visiting dignitary. He explained his pleasure in meeting Lord Mortus, as it was good manners for a visitor to meet the landowner. He flattered Mortus on his fine leadership work while commenting on how the mistwalkers ran the place at night. Mortus claimed to have his people patrol the villages at night to minimize the death of townspeople. "I have to protect my flock," he said with a sly grin.
- Blackmoor confessed that he was looking for mining options and would offer up anything he discovered. Mortus agreed and sent one of his wizard thralls as a royal representative and protection against the mistwalkers.
- Blackmoor travelled into the mountains, and in the town of Gorlin, he hired guides to show him where potential mining locations could be found. Days later, an avalanche almost killed everyone. Blackmoor and the wizard survived by falling down a crevasse. Both were severely injured but alive.
- In the crevasse, Blackmoor discovered what turned out to be an old Thassalonian laboratory. Among other things, Blackmoor found a crown made of Theyrium that was mined nearby.
- Blackmoor felt drawn to the crown and put it on just before the wizard attacked him, as instructed by Lord Mortus. However, the crown gave him power, enabling him to fight off the wizard and kill him.
- When mined, theyrium appeared as a crystal but could be shaped like a metal. Blackmoor memorized the detailed forging notes before destroying them. Only Blackmoor knew how to forge theyrium without breaking it. Breaking the crystal would cause a very volatile reaction, almost always involving the death of the blacksmith and the destruction of everything and everyone within a hundred feet of them.
- As Blackmoor continued to explore the extensive underground complex, he discovered many strange and powerful items. During this investigation, Blackmoor learned that the complex was the experimental laboratory of Karzoug, a powerful wizard who lived ten thousand years ago. Karzoug was at war with other powerful wizards. With the discovery of theyrium, Karzoug could fashion weapons and constructs that he could use against other wizards.
- Karzoug included a warning in his notes about theyrium. He had theories as to the nature of the ore and its corrupting nature. By now, Blackmoor wore his theyrium crown all the time, and tendrils from the abyss reached into his mind. The corruption was subtle at first. Blackmoor observed that theyrium was powerful and could be made even more with his runetech. He could help the people of Turapal by driving off the undead, including their leader. After all, Kaitos Blackmoor was the one wearing the crown. He could rule Turapal and keep the people, his people, safe.
- But it would take more than a crown to stop Lord Mortus. Blackmoor began salvaging theyrium from various constructs and weapons and forging his suit of armor, powered by his rune magic.
- Over several weeks, Lord Blackmoor began the process of forging his armor. Several times he would hear what he thought could have been Mortus' men searching for his wizard assassin or Blackmoor's body. But none ever found the complex. Blackmoor was so consumed with his work that he never stopped considering that he did not feel the need to sleep, eat, or drink.
- Just as his work was reaching completion, Blackmoor was visited by a miniature stone giant wizard named Mokmurian. Mokmurian claimed to be there on Karzoug's behalf. Mokmurian would offer his services to Lord Blackmoor, but in return, he would aid Karzoug when the time came. The two agreed, and the alliance was forged.
- Wearing his new theyrium armor, Lord Blackmoor returned to the castle with Mokmurian by his side. Together they killed Lord Mortus, and Blackmoor took his place on the throne. Turapal was his. Despite being encased in a cursed metal, Blackmoor was still self-aware. He knew that the screams from the abyss were becoming more and more overwhelming. He used his runes to help him focus on the voices.
- After the power transfer, Lord Blackmoor sent for his parents to come and live at the castle. Sadly, while he was gone, his mother passed away. Blackmoor renamed the court after his mother, – Virin. His father spent two years in the castle, proud of his son while living a more comfortable life than he had in the past ten years before he passed away. Blackmoor had his father's ashes spread across the kingdom.
- Highlord Blackmoor wasted no time in putting his runetech to work. He created protective obelisks in every town that would radiate a barrier to repel the mistwalkers. The barriers were synched with Blackmoor's armour so he would know when they were assaulted.
- Despite his protective magic, the theyrium started playing on Blackmoor's paranoia.
- Each town had a councillor that would report to the Highlord directly. He would be the eyes and ears of Lord Blackmoor, and his word was the final one in any decision made in the town.
- Shepherds were Blackmoor's secret police who would shape change into unassuming creatures like rats to get information and quietly keep tabs on the townsfolk.
- As part of their training, Shepherds forged their magic items.
- Lord Blackmoor could see, hear, or speak at any time through a Shepherd. It was his way of learning about the world around him. He encouraged Shepherds to become adventurers, travel, and explore. They would return it to Lord Blackmoor if they discovered something of value or power.
- Shepherds also patrolled the wilderness and mountains, watching for intruders.
The Tale of Zokaski
- Zokaski was a dead town in Turapal, haunted by ghosts and undead. It served as a reminder of what happened when people spoke out against Lord Blackmoor.
- A visiting group of adventurers came to Zokaski one day. They felt something was off with the town and discovered three Shepherds spying on them. The Shepherds were killed and the adventurers went public.
- The villagers claimed to have been unaware of the Shepherds among them and were angered by this invasion of their privacy. They offered the adventurers three sacks of gold if they would help. The adventurers took the money, killed the councillor, then set their sights on Blackmoor.
- The hired guns grossly overestimated their skills. Lord Blackmoor tortured the adventurers, obtained the names of everyone who had a part in hiring them, then went to Zokaski personally to confront them.
- It was a slaughter. He set the conspirators aside so they could watch him tear their families apart with his bare hands. Men, women, and children were butchered. From there, his wrath spread throughout the town, murdering everyone for harbouring the conspirators. If they claimed they knew nothing of the conspiracy, they were killed for not being more vigilant. Then, with blood soaking into the dirt roads and cobblestone streets, gore dripping from the walls, he took the conspirators back to Castle Virin to torture until they were no further use.
- Those who remained alive in Zokaski stood outside and watched the sunset for the final time. The obelisk's protection runes stopped glowing, letting the mistwalkers enter the town and killing everyone who was left. Blackmoor let the undead claim the area.
- From that day on, the physical walls surrounding each town were torn down by the decree of the Highlord. They were not needed. The Highlord would protect them. And, should anyone decide to plot against him, with a thought, the town's protection could disappear. Everyone in every town would keep each other in check for the safety of everyone.
- Outsiders were treated much less hospitably from that day on as well.
The Kingdom of Laterre
- In 4715, the Kingdom of Laterre was mining on the other side of the range. They ended up digging through the mountain into a void that led to Turapal. Since no one had ever been to Turapal, the place of myth and legend, they began exploring. They were apprehended and brought to Castle Virin.
- King Tafari received word that the miners had been taken and arrested. The King sent word to Castle Virin to negotiate the miners' release. Blackmoor agreed. Prince Solin went to Castle Virin to retrieve the miners.
- Blackmoor was cordial with the Prince. The state of the people disheartened Prince Solin - fear, broken down homes, etc. but he was here for the miners. Blackmoor agreed to release the miners, believing their invasion of Turapal was an accident. In return, Prince Solin had to agree to seal up the mine. He agreed.
- Prince Solin told King Tafari that the stories were true. The people were terrified. They had to do something to help those people. Prince Solin wanted to keep the mine open and spread the word for the people to flee to Laterre. Or they had to go to war with their neighbour. The citizens were prisoners.
- King Tafari told the Prince they were not about to go to war. Perhaps they could help the people by learning more about their plight. He would meet with Lord Blackmoor, and they would discuss matters.
- King Tafari sent word to Lord Blackmoor to discuss matters of trade. Blackmoor passed, saying they were self-sufficient people that needed nothing from the outside world. King Tafari told him that there must be something Laterre could offer Lord Blackmoor's people. This was a rare opportunity to forge alliances after the isolation of several centuries.
- Blackmoor relented. But since the King wanted to speak of trade, he should come to Castle Virin. "You can use the mine since your son has yet to seal it as he agreed to."
- King Tafari attended Castle Virin with his magic liaison Aroa. Blackmoor had Mokmurian with him. The two casters eyed each other suspiciously.
- Trade talk did not last long before Blackmoor wanted to know why the mine had not been sealed yet. Tafari told him that engineers were looking for the best way to close the mine without losing everything. They still needed to mine the resources.
- Aroa started asking Blackmoor about his unusual armor. Blackmoor admitted that he knew the rumours about him being a monster. "This is still about trust," Blackmoor said. "And I don't know if I can trust you. I found your miners on my land. I could have killed them, but I didn't. Prince Solin came here, collected the miners, and left without molestation. I kept my word. Prince Solin did not. I humoured this trade discussion because I wanted to see what kind of man you are. Now I know. Understand me, good King. You have nothing I want. If you did, I would take it. I believe our discussion here has ended. My people will return you to the mine, and once you are through, we will close the door behind you. Your engineers and miners can dig a new hole in the mountain, but should your people set foot on my land again, and I will fill the mine with their bodies.
- Escorted back to the mine. Prince Solin was waiting. Tensions were high, which provoked the Prince to attack. Aroa retreated after blowing up the troops and caved in the mine. When the dust cleared, the Prince was not among them. He was still in Turapal.
- Not long after, King Tafari received word that Lord Blackmoor's men had detained Prince Solin. King Tafari requested the return of his son. Blackmoor said he would consider releasing the Prince only out of respect for King Tafari. However, a lesson must be taught. They would exchange prisoners in Laterre at the bridge in front of the castle. The King would pay fifty thousand pieces of gold to buy his son's safe return.
- That night, Lord Blackmoor and two of his knights delivered the Prince. The boy was teary-eyed but tried to look brave. He crossed the bridge. On the other side were the crates of gold. The King embraced his son. The Prince began to cry and looked up at his father. "I heard them," he said. "I heard the howls of the Damned." A delayed blast fireball exploded, killing the Prince and engulfing the King and Aroa.
- Chaos swallowed the castle, but everything became still when the metallic roar of the theyrium dragon construct named Deathwing flew out of the darkness and began levelling everything before it. Knights arrive and attack. A badly injured King Tafari sent the royals away, telling them he would send for them when it was safe.
- The captain of the guards fled with Princess Dilay and Princess Kumiko, telling them that they would be safe with the elves nearby. He was set upon by the Knights of the Black Sword and held them off while the princesses fled.
- Lord Blackmoor watched the blood and destruction, and behind his mask, he smiled as the people he saw as his enemy was crushed.
- Mokmurian approached Blackmoor regarding a military issue. The stone giant was preparing to mobilize troops and wanted to raid the countryside to soften it up before he began his invasion. He asked Lord Blackmoor to lead a raiding party to the town of Sandpoint. Mokmurian presented Blackmoor with a town map and told him that one of the townsfolk, Titus Scarnetti, had a small cache of theyrium ore in his home.
- Blackmoor had often reflected on the potential threat of a Runelord gaining his freedom. He was able to get his hands on one of Karzoug’s weapons and was able to level a kingdom. That could quickly happen to the rest of the world if Karzoug had more toys like the ones Blackmoor had discovered.
- He had allied himself with Mokmurian out of convenience. Mokmurian had amassed an army of giants and Blackmoor wasn’t confident the mistwalkers would keep them out. Mokmurian wanted to conquer kingdoms, and Lord Blackmoor wanted his left alone. He hoped the threat of Deathwing would be enough to keep him on an even keel with Mokmurian but would not hesitate to kill him should the opportunity arise. For now, he would play the loyal ally.
- Deathwing and the stone giants attacked the town, sending people scrambling. Blackmoor and two stone giants wiped out Scarnetti's security detail and started tearing his house apart, board by board.
- A band of adventurers, the Saviors of Sandpoint, clashed with Blackmoor at Scarnetti Manor. Among those heroes was Princess Kumiko, who wanted nothing more than to see him dead.
- Lord Blackmoor was formidable and managed to kill one of the heroes, but in the end, the numbers were too great, and Blackmoor was slain. Deathwing, also damaged from the combat, snatched up Blackmoor's corpse and flew away.
Kaitos Blackmoor became an authority on ancient rune magic, having gathered information from dwarves, elves, and, surprisingly, the shoanti people. He also apprenticed as a blacksmith and was able to forge armor and weapons. He constantly works at both, not needing to eat or sleep due to the armor he wears.
Accomplishments & Achievements
- Every town in Turapal had an obelisk which kept the mistwalkers at bay.
- Blackmoor created seeds which grow magically enhanced crops.
- Shepherds planted enhanced saplings in the forest, allowing for ample logging and woodworking.
- The citizens of Turapal lived much more comfortably than they had in the past, sleeping safely under the blanket of protection that the Highlord provided.
- Theyrium, believed to be a substance touched by the abyss, corrupts anyone who wields it. For Kaitos Blackmoor, it enhanced many of his personality failings - his paranoia and ego. Blackmoor believed his magical runes could keep the corruption of the abyss at bay while allowing him to harness its power. It did not keep the corruption away entirely, but he already had a great deal of it before donning the armor.
- Blackmoor wore his armor at all times. It was his strength, his power. He did not need to sleep, eat, or drink while he wore it. He could use it to communicate with his Councillors or Shepherds at any time. It made him feel more than human, which fed into his ego and paranoia.
- Father: Isaac (deceased). Offered guidance to Kaitos during the first few years of his rule over Turapal. Passed away in his sleep at Castle Virin. His son spread his ashes across the kingdom.
- Mother: Virin (deceased). Passed away in Westcrown while her son was away. Lord Blackmoor renamed the castle in her honour.