By Adam “Night Druid” Miller
Originally posted on the Beyond the Moons website, December 23, 2002:
Just beyond the edge of Known Space lurks Ssuwspace. It was once barely inhabited, with but a few primitive tribes. Following their near-destruction at the hands of the Elven Fleet, broken armadas of goblins, kobolds, and hobgoblins fled here. Unlike the orcs, who had a great leader to forge them into a new fighting force, the goblin-kin turned to bickering and feuding, degrading into savages more common on uncivilized worlds.
Ssuwspace has a central sun surrounded by a shell of thick clouds that block much of the sun’s light. Beyond the shell is about a dozen or so asteroid clusters, minor worlds, and the like in dizzying orbits around the sun. The sphere has but a single asteroid belt, the Shield of Havour, but it too is more like a sextuplet of asteroid clusters that share a common orbit rather than a true’ asteroid belt. Nightfell is the farthest world, a cold and dark place where little survives. The spherewall is beyond that, out 600 million miles from the sun, double Nightfell’s orbit.
Planets of Ssuwspace
Name: The Suun
Type: Spherical fire body
Escape Time: 1 hour
Satellites: 3 Planets
Distance from Primary: 0
Day Length: 80 hours
Year Length: 0
Population Analysis: Efreeti
A normal, if small, yellow-red sun of fire and radiance. The sun is of typical brightness, but the Cloak of Shrouding (see below) dims its light somewhat, such that 1/3rd of the time, it is dim enough such that light-hating creatures are unaffected by the light.
The Suun said to be home of the deity of the same name. Somewhere in the fire and flares is a golden palace staffed by efreeti who are Suun’s personal friends. The heat and fire of the place makes finding and approaching the palace almost impossible. Inside its burning walls, Suun throws all kinds of wild parties. Suun is very annoyed when he is called away from his party, and likely he’ll send a drunken efreeti instead.
Cloak of Shrouding
Name: Cloak of Shrouding
Type: Shell air body
Size: I (F, see below)
Escape Time: Varies
Distance from Primary: 10 million miles
Day Length: N/A
Year Length: N/A
Population Analysis: Servants of Suun
This shell of clouds completely surrounds the Suun at a distance of 10 million miles. The shell itself varies in thickness, as the clouds are highly irregular in shape and size. Between the clouds is empty wildspace, with no air between them. The clouds have a red-gold appearance and are extremely fluffy. They obscure the Suun much of the time, blocking its light but not its heat. At any given time, the Cloak obscures roughly 1/3rd of the Suun, though the clouds are quite scattered and the light obscurement patchy.
The clouds are quite warm, easily 180 degrees, but are otherwise habitable. Visibility is remarkably good, up to ten miles. The clouds are not made of water, or anything that can be captured in any form other than as clouds. Other than the palaces of the Servants of Suun, there are no other solid land masses in the Cloak.
The clouds are largely empty and devoid of life. All is not as it seems. Several servants of the deity Suun keep their palatial homes drifting in the clouds. Each is an extremely powerful being, largely due to Suun imparting within them part of his power. These beings are Suun’s strong right hand in enforcing his will throughout the sphere, though they are rarely used for such deeds. In times of dire need, priests of Suun may summon one of these beings to perform one deed. Each has a palace floating somewhere in the Cloak, staffed by spirits. The known servants are:
Cinder (Cindy): An efreet and the daughter of Suun. Cinder likes to be called Cindy and enjoys nothing more than sun bathing. She dislikes dealing with mortals, especially with the goblins and kobolds so common in the sphere. She is fascinated by humans and demihumans, and will be favorably inclined to handsome human males. She appears as a strikingly beautiful female efreet with a golden tan and long, black hair.
Throttle the Couatl: A speed-obsessed couatl, Throttle loves nothing more than flying as fast as he can through the clouds. He is constantly searching for new thrills that involve speed and can be bribed with devices that can make him go faster or a new sport that keeps him living on the edge. He appears as a brightly colored, feathered, winged snake, but he has darkly colored eye coverings that he refers to as his ‘shades’.
The Forbidden Islands
Name: The Forbidden Islands, Razortooth’s Doom
Type: Cluster earth body
Escape Time: 20 minutes
Distance from Primary: 40 million miles
Day Length: Varies
Year Length: 120 days
Population Analysis: Tasoli
A cluster of perhaps two hundred small earthen islands, the Forbidden Islands are covered by lush jungles and rainforests. The islands form an arc about 20,000 miles long and 1,000 miles wide, sharing a common atmosphere. Each individual island is anywhere from 15 to 90 miles in diameter, and all are relatively flat. Water runoff from rivers form thick, obscuring clouds that hides most of the islands from easy view.
The islands are the domain of the tasoli. Tribes of the creatures dwell on every island. The tribes are highly territorial and will kill anyone that intrudes on their lands. They use poisoned darts, spears, and javelins and hunt from the trees. Often, the first sign that trespassers have entered tasoli territory is to be pin-cushioned by dozens of deadly darts.
In the initial invasion of Ssuwspace, the scro sent a company of troops, backed up by three hundred goblins, to explore the islands and test the resolve of the tasoli. Fewer than twenty returned aboard a badly damaged porcupine ship. Following the defeat, the scro declared the islands prohibited and rarely travel to them. They have had plans for crushing the tasoli for at least seventy years, but never could gather the resources to make a serious attempt at it.
The natural resources of the islands are largely unknown. Obviously the lush jungles are an enormous source of lumber, and there are persistent rumors of secret caches of diamonds and emeralds. Of particular note are legends of an emerald skull lost somewhere in the jungles that grant incredible magical powers. Of course, there are also legends of ancient tasoli cities filled with gold and silver, choked by jungle grown and overrun by nightmarish creatures. Brave and somewhat foolish scro try their luck in the jungles in desperate quests for fame and wealth.
The Broken Islands
Name: The Shattered World, Baneblood’s Triumph
Type: Cluster earth world
Escape Time: 20 minutes
Distance from Primary: 80 million miles
Day Length: 21 hours
Year Length: 290 days
Population Analysis: Goblins, kobolds
This cluster of large islands has an overall spherical shape, much like that of a regular spherical earth world. However, where there should be oceans, there is empty space. The islands hang suspended in the air. There are six large islands and about a hundred smaller islands. None of the islands are large enough to be considered a continent.
The Broken Islands is the center of the goblin and kobold populations. Most of the islands have been conquered by the scro, though the larger islands have large regions of wilderness and unconquered territory. The islands are thickly forested, with a few low mountains rising into the sky. The islands have modest wealth in ores of all sorts, especially iron, copper, and tin. The forests are thickly tangled such that lumber efforts are difficult due to trees being locked together through their branches. Those same forests are also extremely resistant to fire, as the wood does not burn easily, even when dried.
The goblin elf kingdom of Briar was located upon one of the islands, in a particularly fertile hill valley. Briar was to the goblins a center of culture and learning, where their best and brightest traveled. The goblin elves used the might of their magic to keep the more aggressive tribes at bay, while at the same time using their wealth and influence to gain powerful allies with local tribes. Their political manipulations, and the overall weakness of their neighbors, kept Briar safe and secure for over two centuries. That security faltered when the scro invaded.
As the sphere’s sole kingdom of any size, Briar was visited often by the scro prior to their conquest. At first the goblin elves welcomed them as guests and potential allies. However, once the scro discovered their origins, their relations went cold. The scro then attacked, destroying their royal castle and driving the people into the hills. The goblin elves never forgot, or forgave, that betrayal, and have worked to undermine the scro at every opportunity.
The Broken Islands are a war zone. The goblin elves lead fellow goblins and kobolds in a guerilla war against the scro. They have little chance of winning the war, but they fight on, as to surrender is to die horribly at the scro temple. They have refined their tactics over the decades and are now experts at using the terrain to their advantage against the scro allies. The scro rarely visit this world any more, instead sending their lackeys to operate strip-mining and clear-cutting operations.
Type: Flat earth body
Escape Time: 20 minutes
Distance from Primary: 120 million miles
Day Length: 28 hours
Year Length: 440 days
Population Analysis: scro, hobgoblins, goblins, kobolds
This unusual world is flat hexagon exactly 30 miles across. It is entirely hilly land dotted with small groves of trees and small lakes. The edge is marked by steep cliffs. Both sides are identical in general appearance and landscape. The world is about two miles thick. Most of the land is given over the pastures for herd animals.
Hex was always a minor goblin world. Though rich in resources, game was scarce, so the planet could support only a small population. When the scro arrived, they found a world they could conquer with ease. The seven tribes were especially small and offered no resistance. The world fell in a matter of three days, and was the easiest to secure. They enslaved the locals and built a base there from which to launch further conquests.
After the scro conquest had concluded, Admiral Baneblood decided to build his capital at Hex. Afterall, it was the easiest location to defend and had a fairly central location in the sphere, mere days from almost any planet. Under the harsh lashes of scro whips, slaves spent the next ten years building the city of Sakuska. An equally big necropolis was build outside the city’s walls, a testament to how many perished in its construction. Sakuska is a small, walled city of about 6,000. About one-quarter of the population is scro or hobgoblin. The scro quarter, which they share with the hobgoblins, is built on a fortified plateau about 100’ above the rest of the city. The surrounding city is a mix of slums, caves, and shaded flats. The city is at the top of a second set of cliffs that drop about 400’ and are riddled with large caves. The scro have build extensive port facilities in those hangers for their ships. A dozen ships can dock in those caves at once, though almost any more could land in the fields surrounding the city.
Shield of Havour
Name: Shield of Havour
Type: Asteroid belt
Escape Time: 10 minutes
Distance from Primary: 260 million miles
Day Length: Varies
Year Length: Varies
Population Analysis: xeblor, goblins, kobolds
This asteroid belt is fairly typical, save that the asteroids are clustered together into six clusters rather than as a true belt. Each cluster has about a thousand large asteroids sharing common atmosphere. A typical asteroid is four miles across and fairly flat. Most are covered by forests of pines and weathered hills.
The clusters are the domain of the xeblor race. They dug down into the earth to create huge caverns in search of ore and gemstones. Caverns riddle many asteroids, offering refuge to goblins and kobolds that hide in abandoned mines. The xeblor save the deepest caverns for themselves, keeping their neighbors closer to the surface. The goblins and kobolds were spelljamming active before the scro arrived, but their ships were crushed in the conquest. Those tribes that survive either migrated to scro controlled territories, or reverted to very primitive status. A few remain to mine the asteroids for the gold, diamonds, and emeralds they offer.
The xeblor stubbornly hold onto their holdings, fighting any attempt at scro encroachment. The scro usually use tribes of goblins to battle the xeblor via proxy, largely due to their own limited numbers and resources. The scro don’t consider the xeblor worth the effort to eradicate, and content themselves with harassing them with ambushes and raids. Because of scro aggressions, the various xeblor tribes have been cut off from one another and left them with little in the way of communication.
Name: Nightfell, Blackrazor’s Crypt
Type: Spherical earth body
Escape Time: 20 minutes
Distance from Primary: 300 million miles
Day Length: 7 hours
Year Length: 1300 days
Population Analysis: Undead
Nightfell is a largely dead world of ice and wind. It is only thinly inhabited, mostly by survivors of ancient shipwrecks. A small world, it has few areas that are remotely habitable, usually dense but small forests with some game.
The world was unimportant before the coming of the scro, and remained so after their conquest. However, the cruel warpriest Blackrazor made the world (in)famous when he established vast penal colonies there. Thousands of prisoners were brought here to perish in the howling winds and horrifying famine. Many that suffered under these cruel fates rose again as undead, either as ghouls or wraiths. After the conquest was completed, the scro abandoned the penal colonies that remained to perish under at the claws of ravenous undead.
Blackrazor uses this world as a source of power. The undead are his unwilling slaves, forced to do his bidding. The scro have no interest in the world, and are largely unaware of the vast horde of undead on this remote outpost. When the time is right, Blackrazor intends to use this horde to slay all that he considers a threat to him, and rule the sphere directly.
The Scro Presence
Ssuwspace is ruled in whole by the scro, who conquered it about ninety years ago in an extremely bloody war. Since then, they have stripped the sphere of everything of value and enslaved every native they could catch. Goblin and kobold tribes that willingly submit themselves to scro rule are given more freedom and power over tribes that do not. The scro use these tribes as enforcers, battle fodder, and administrators of scro will throughout the sphere. The best warriors of these tribes are loaded onto troopships and sent off to fight in the War of Revenge, never to be seen again.
The scro hold over the sphere is actually quite tenuous. They only have two battalions of scro and a battalion of hobgoblins in their fortress city of Sakuska as well as a flotilla of two mantis ships and three scorpionships. To bolster their thin ranks, the scro employ five tribes of goblins and four tribes of kobolds, each with numbers in the thousands. For a time, the scro had a company of ogre leg-breakers at Sakuska, but that company was needed in another sphere and departed months ago.
Despite the boastings of Governor-General Thirsk Bladebane, the scro do not hold the entire sphere. Vast regions are still considered wilderness, where bandit tribes still hold their own against scro press-gangs. The goblin-elves bend no knee to the scro, while the tasloi will devour any scro minion that dares their territory.
The current scro forces are the 35th and the 71st scro battalions, and the 10th hobgoblin battalion. The 35th has been in the sphere for seventy years, and are considered ‘soft’ by scro standards. They are led by General Haa-Kor, a brute of a scro. He constantly drills his men, though without a ‘true’ enemy to fight, their resolve is untested.
The 71st was recently reassigned to the sphere to replace the 45th, which was needed in another sphere. The 71st is made up of green troops, with almost no combat experience. The scro hope to blood them in this sphere before sending them off to fight elsewhere. Their commander is General Raurazz, a one-armed grizzled veteran of four major battles. His arm has been replaced by a cutlass that he wields quite effectively.
The hobgoblin battalion, the 10th, was assigned to the sphere to help out the overextended 35th and 45th, supposedly on a temporary basis. Forty years later they are still waiting for reassignment. Most of the original members of the 10th have retired and been replaced by younger hobgoblins. Their commander is Phazaul, a fairly young general that got his position because his father was the 10th’s former general. Phazaul is an idealist, dreaming of glorious battle where he can prove himself to his father. Unfortunately, being relegated to garrison duty is slowly making the hobgoblin bitter.
The scro fleet is a scant five ships, two mantis ships and three scorpionships. This tiny task force is far from adequate to patrol the space around Sakuska, much less the whole sphere. Their numbers are bolstered by a score of porcupine ships and angelships that act as patrol craft for the scro. Each of these ships has at least three scro officers aboard to ‘advise’ the goblins or kobolds. All of the ships in the sphere are in relatively poor repair, most with damage that makes them unworthy of flight in the phlogiston.
The two mantis ships are the Elf Flayer and the Widower, both older ships with more wood than standard mantis ships. Admiral Vetruon commands the fleet from the Elf Flayer and has the dubious responsibility of keeping the sphere secure. He is extremely bored of his assignment, in which putting down a goblin riot at the logging town of Wukel has been the most thrilling combat he’s seen in five years. The scorpionships under his command are the Hull Render, Farsphere Marauder, and the Assassin. All are relics from the Unhuman Wars that the scro were never able to get the resources to restore to full battle status. The scro rotate their ships out of the sphere on a fairly regular basis, at least once a decade, so their crews have a higher morale than their marine counterparts. Still, most find the sphere a dead-end assignment with no chance of advancement or glorious battle.
Conquest of a Sphere
The tale of the scro’s conquest of Ssuwspace is told in the blood of thousands upon thousands of goblins, kobolds, and other natives of the sphere. To the scro, it was a glorious conquest that proved the superiority of the scro race. To the natives, it was a humiliating defeat that marked the utter destruction of their way of life.
The sphere was discovered by the Blackhound Fleet, a tiny flotilla of four mantis ships. Admiral Baneblood spent a year exploring the sphere in search of potential allies for the upcoming War of Revenge. He found instead countless tribes of barely civilized goblins, kobolds, and half-breeds, none of which were suitable for anything other than slave labor. So he made the fateful decision to conquer the sphere in the name of the scro.
With his fleet of four ships and three hundred scro, Admiral Baneblood began his conquest. He approached the largest tribes with a simple ultimatum: serve the scro, or die. Many refused, and he slaughtered them all. Thousands were killed and their mutilated bodies were displayed as warnings to other tribes. Reluctantly, chiefs bend their knees to Baneblood after more than a hundred entire tribes vanished. In three years time, the dead were beyond count.
The goblins faired no better in space, either. Every porcupine that the scro encountered was left smashed or was captured. Captured ships, manned by goblin allies, bolstered the goblin ranks. Before the scro arrived, the sphere had about one hundred ships, mostly porcupine ships, angelships, and even a few eels and lampreys. By the time the scro were done, a quarter of those ships had been destroyed, and only a dozen ships were not in their hands.
Once the sphere had been conquered, the scro set about reshaping it to better suit their needs. Admiral Baneblood rewarded the nine chiefs that saw the wisdom of his offer and offered their loyalty willingly. These tribes were given great power. All other tribes were forced to submit themselves to one of these nine and were eventually assimilated into them. The strongest, smartest, and most able natives were loaded onto ships and sent back to Dukagshspace, either as warriors or slaves. Those were the lucky ones.
Life back in Ssuwspace went from bad to worse. The scro imposed a harsh rule aimed at ‘culling the herds’ of the weak or stupid. Clear-cutting and strip-mining became common as the scro hunted for everything of value. Food was rationed to keep the population on the brink of starvation. Plagues and famine ravished the survivors, killing thousands upon thousands more. Back-breaking labor claimed even more lives as the scro built their fortress city of Sakuska upon the bones of the dead. It is said that a kobold perished for every stone in the Sakuska wall, and the streets could be paved with goblin skulls.
The Races of Ssuwspace
There are numerous races of goblin-kin that make this sphere their home. Most arrived about four centuries ago following their defeat at the hands of the elves, while others are even more ancient. Before the arrival of the scro, tribes of all races were small, typically less than 200 adults. The scro have done much to unify those tribes that ally with them into nine ‘Over-tribes’, each with 2,000 adults or more. The largest of these tribes, the Shattered Fist, number well over 10,000 adults.
Goblins: By far the most numerous race in the sphere, the goblins enjoyed much power until the scro arrived. They are now a shadow of their former glory, mere puppets and laborers for the scro war machine. The strongest and brightest goblins are shipped out of the sphere. Those left behind are mere brutes and thugs.
Goblin-elves: Though the elves don’t want to talk about it, during the Unhuman Wars a handful of their warriors, far from home and uncertain if they would see another day, engaged in ‘extracurricular activities’ with goblin women. The resulting children were smuggled by the goblins out of Known Space to escape the wrath of elven wives (following the Unhuman Wars, elven divorce rates soared). The goblin-elves actually managed to achieve some power in the sphere, establishing the sphere’s first (and only) kingdom. When the scro arrived, they considered the goblin-elves an abomination and crushed their kingdom. The goblin-elves have proved more elusive than the scro initially believed, and continue to fight against them in a guerrilla war.
Hobgoblins: After the scro conquered the sphere, they brought a company of hobgoblins in to help enforce the peace. The hobgoblins eventually sent for their families when it became obvious their posting would be permanent. Sakuska now has a thriving hobgoblin quarter.
Kobolds: For some bizarre reason, the kobolds have developed into two separate and almost distinct races. The first are the Tw’Edon, which appear as rust-red humanoids with rat-like tails and smell of wet dogs. The second are the Tre’Edon, which are more like miniature lizardmen and manifest magic more commonly than their Tw’Edon cousins. Wars between the two breeds continue to this day, though the scro care less. They use both as cheap labor throughout the sphere.
Norkers: Hobgoblins did not adapt to the sphere well following the Unhuman Wars, and rapidly degraded into norkers. Norker tribes are considered a nuisance in the sphere, especially by the scro. To date, the scro have failed in their efforts to render this race extinct in the sphere.
Ogres: A handful of straggler ogres remain in the sphere, perhaps no more than two score. Some work for other tribes as heavy artillery while others hang around Sakuska looking for work. Ogres remain an extremely rare sight, such that a single ogre can cause goblin and kobold bands to flee. They enjoy an air of myth in the sphere, which is why some chose to stay.
Robolds: The unfortunate result of so many goblins and kobolds living together spawned this new race of half-breeds. The robolds act as go-betweens between the two races or set off on their own to found their own tribes. Robolds are largely ignored by the scro or treated as kobolds.
Tasoli: Native to the jungles of the Forbidden Islands, the tasoli remain free of scro oppression. They are head-hunters and cannibals, eager to toss anything they catch into the stewpot. The scro avoid their territory, though a few captains like to live on the edge by hunting big game in known tasoli lands. To take a trip into tasoli lands and live to tell about it brings big bragging rights back in Sakuska, and is a sure way to get dates with the women.
Troblins: An unusual race of half-breeds, the troblins came from unions between several troll males and goblin females (the trolls were happy to have mates that wouldn’t take their heads off at the drop of a hat). Eventually the trolls died off, but the troblins remained. Troblins are 5’ tall, green-skinned, have very long noses, and hair that stands up on end. The scro are fascinated by this race, for they retain the regeneration of their troll sires but are smarter and easier to control. The scro are diligently rounding up every troblin they can get their mitts on.
Urds: This race of winged kobolds arrived when the kobolds came to the sphere, and remained as rare masters of the skies. The urds were unwilling to relinquish their mastery of the sky to the scro, who hunted them to near-extinction for sport. The few urds that survive rally small bands of kobolds to raid scro camps and ambush their patrols.
Xeblors: This race of half-goblin, half-dwarves arrived in Ssuwspace centuries before the Unhuman Wars. They are the end result of mixing a victorious army of dwarves, plenty of hard liquor, and several hundred newly available goblin women. The resulting xeblor baby boom came as a shock to the dwarves (none of whom have memories of that night), and were quickly smuggled to a distant sphere before their dwarven wives found out about it. The xeblor are amazingly noble and have the grudging respect of the scro. The xeblor have yet to be conquered by the scro though the two races have fought many battles. For their part, the xeblor have little respect for the scro due to their use of lackeys to do their dirty work.
Religion in Ssuwspace
A small number of lesser, demi, and quasi gods are worshipped in the sphere. Ancestor-worship and the worshipping of spirits remain very popular, despite scro influences. The scro have little respect for the goblin ancestors or spirits, considering them mere superstitions. They openly mock native deities as puny and weak.
Blackrazor: Not a true deity, Blackrazor was Baneblood’s most trusted warpriest and right-hand scro. Blackrazor was more responsible than Baneblood for the massacres, plagues, and famines that plagued the sphere for years, all in a pursuit of his own power. He stole a little power from each sentient being slain by the scro to further increase his own, eventually achieving the status of quasi-god. His power is thus far been contained to his followers, a handful of scro necromancers. Because he provides their armies with undead and flesh golems, the scro have not yet decided to destroy him. Blackrazor is a quasi-god of necromancy.
AD&D: Blackrazor’s priests are necromancers.
D20: Domains – Death, Evil, War.
Dukagsh: The vengeful scro god is the official state religion of the sphere, but the scro aren’t actually trying to convert the natives. Instead, they keep their religion to themselves as a further sign of their superiority over the lesser races. Thusly, there are precious few warpriests in the sphere, no more than three score in all. Dukagsh’s power is weak in the sphere as a result, and he can only manifest as a demigod. If his temple at Sakuska is destroyed, Dukagsh will lose all power in the sphere and his warpriests will be unable regain their divine spells.
Fangore: A minor kobold deity of beasts and hunting, Fangore has seen her popularity virtually vanish elsewhere in Known Space. Ssuwspace is one of her last hangouts, where she can hunt in peace. She appears as a bear of a kobold, armed with thunderbolts to hurl at her prey. Her priests are shamans that are master hunters and beast tamers. They keep the tribes well fed, teaching them the finer points of hunting. Fangore is a demigoddess of beasts, hunting, and archery.
AD&D: Spheres – All, Animal, Divination (minor), Protection, Travelers
D20: Domains – Animal, Plant, Travel
Havour the Mighty: It is unknown exactly where the xeblor god of valor came from, but Havour is their sole deity. This god appears as a giant, golden xeblor of great strength and honor. All xeblor say a prayer to this god before entering battle. He has only a handful of priests are responsible for keeping the warriors healthy and spreading the virtues of honor and valor. Havour is a demigod of strength, war, and valor.
AD&D: Havour’s priests are crusaders.
D20: Domains – Protection, Strength, War.
Kelb: Kelb is the Runelord of the sphere and master of magic. He is a very minor goblin deity, probably a son of Maglubiyet whose worship has virtually vanished in the Known Spheres. Kelb appears as a tall goblin with robes covered with runes, stars, and moons. His worshippers are witch doctors and any practitioners of arcane magic. Before the scro arrived, the secret of writing was held by Kelb worshippers alone. Trail runes, often used by many commoners, are his domain as well. Travelers will speak a prayer to him before making such runes. Kelb is a demigod of runes, writing, and arcane magic.
AD&D: Priests are witch doctors (mages).
D20: Domains – Knowledge, Magic, Protection.
Kurtulmak: The primary kobold deity of war and mining is still very popular, despite the scro invasion. The kobolds have turned to Kurtulmak to protect them from scro aggression. Some of his priests have advocated for burrowing deep into the earth and hoping the scro consider digging them out more trouble than its worth. Others adopt a much bolder stance, wanting to dig the earth right out from the scro feet, causing their city to collapse in upon itself and be destroyed. Others seek to appease the scro with ore they rip from the earth. Kurtulmak’s priests have no changes in Ssuwspace.
Maglubiyet: The chief goblin deity still retains popularity in the sphere. His priests are still numerous and well-respected, even by the scro. In fact, the scro have been on a crusade to win over Maglubiyet’s priests so that they will support the scro’s War of Revenge by keeping the local populous under their thumb. The priests have been all-too eager to help, in hopes of crushing all other religions, once and for all. There are no changes to Maglubiyet’s priests.
Suun: The much feared sun-god of the sphere. Suun is usually depicted as a large, blue-green goblin with brilliant hair and a spear that causes blindness to those it strikes. The light-hating natives make many offerings to Suun to appease him so that he will wear his Cloak of Shrouding, thus sparing them his hateful light. His priests are feared and respected in the sphere. Suun is a lesser god of the Sun, fire, and light.
AD&D: Spheres – All, Combat, Divination, Elemental Fire, Sun
D20: Domains – Destruction, Fire, Sun.
The Slumbering God: Said to have created Ssuwspace, the name of the Slumbering God is unknown. Though it is not sure how the tales began, every tribe has a story about how a god created the sphere, then entered a deep slumber after the task was complete. He will sleep until he is needed. At that time, he will take up his great sword and hammer, and smite the wicked and reward the just. Most natives consider it a children’s tale, but there may very well be a grain of truth to the legends. If the tales told are true, the Slumbering God is likely a greater god of creation and war. The Slumbering God has no priests.
Arcane Magic in Ssuwspace
The magic commanded by wizards and witch doctors is surprisingly weak in Ssuwspace, limited by the number of known spells. Most 1st through 3rd level spells are available, if guarded secrets by the servants of Kelb. Spells of 4th level and above are rare and hard to find; most are in the hands of the scro. It is not believed that any living spellcaster in the sphere can cast any spell above 6th level, and if such spells are available in the sphere, they but a single copy on a molding scroll or aging spellbook. Both the scro and the priests of Kelb work hard to keep tight control over magic in the sphere to further enhance their own power.
Adventures in Ssuwspace
Ssuwspace is ideal for low-to-mid-level adventures involving actions of the PCs versus the scro. Though there are few safe havens, the PCs could potentially make allies with the goblin elves or the xeblor (or potentially both). Running battles with scro agents would be a common theme, or perhaps the PCs could take the fight to the scro themselves, capturing or destroying their ships. Events could culminate to a final battle at Sakuska, with the goal of destroying the temple of Dukagsh and thus depriving the scro of their priestly magic. Driving the scro from the sphere is a difficult but not impossible task, especially given their limited numbers.
Of special note for demi-human characters: the scro have a standing bounty of 500 gp for every elf, half-elf, or dwarf captured in the sphere and turned in. Many of the natives don’t trust elves or dwarves in theory, but almost all have never seen such a creature in their lives. Elves and dwarves are folk-tales, with descriptions that have been blurred over the years to be unrecognizable. In truth, many natives would be awed by any demi-human, especially if they are able to bring them gifts or victories against the scro. Though the constant threat of bounty hunters may keep demi-humans on their toes, they have less to fear from Ssuwspace natives than they would from goblin tribes back in the Known Spheres. After all, the elves are a distant threat, unseen in many generations, while the scro have committed atrocities that make even the most slanderous myth about elves pale in comparison.
All dates are given by the elven calendar.
Ssuwspace is reputed to be created in this year.
The One God of Ssuwspace enters his slumber.
4647 to 4747
Unhuman War rocks the Known Spheres.
Goblins and kobolds arrive in Ssuwspace in great numbers.
The last Great Goblin chieftain dies, and with him any hope of a unified goblin nation.
The Goblin elf kingdom of Briar is created.
The Blackhound scro flotilla discovers the sphere.
The last major resistance to scro rule is defeated, the sphere falls under scro control.
Work to build the city of Sakuska is completed after the deaths of countless laborers.
The scro begin their War of Revenge against the Elven Fleet.