Over Reach is a campaign world in a specific Era of that would which history will come to know as “The Over Reach Wars”. An era unfortunately marked by battles as the most pivotal points of that era.
OVER REACH – The Dragon Wars
Over Reach – The Dragon Wars is the campaign name focusing as the central backdrop the Dragon Wars. The Dragons Wars campaign has as its backdrop, not surprisingly the potential of dragon war. The Western Kingdoms correctly perceived a threat from the Kingdom of Khemet. The first appearance of the Khemet utterly wiped from the map in under three years two kingdoms. The methods used was abhorrent but effective, so much so that most of the Western Kingdoms, with the exception of Zerzegoth and Rethem, suspended any thoughts of hostilities to fortify the march regions in the East. Zerzegoth and Rethem were embroiled in a bitter war which Zerzegoth appeared to be on the winning edge of. None-the-less Zerzegoth brought many troops off the Rethem line to begin preparations for a two front war.
- The war in the Eastern Marches has gone on for 5 years now with minimal gains being made. The Eastern front is divided up into three commands: North Command, Central Command, and South Command. These three theaters of war conduct business very differently from each other though each is reliant upon supplies being sent to it from the Western Realms.
The Khemet Crusade was launched at the same time as the March War to protect the Western Kingdoms. The Crusade however established a beachhead state in the Khemet lands with the express purpose of disrupting Khemet operations domestically and making permanent gains while the Eastern Marches war reduced enemy activity at home.
The enemy are two fold: the Khement and their goblin allies of the North.
- The Khemet are a very tanned race of people who worship an oligarchy that calls itself the Unliving Kings. There are nine such individuals in the oligarchy who Western Kingdom scholars seem to agree are some form of undead spell casters. Long ago the Unliving Kings successfully banished all religions from their lands and replaced that with a state mandated worship of the Unliving Kings. Massive edifices continue to be erected to their power and greatness by their subjects. The Unliving Kings are not surprisingly also masters of undeath and defeated/killed soldiers of both sides in an engagement are sometimes brought to unlife to fight again. The Unliving Kings fortunately do not travel outside of their pyramid sanctuaries very often at all, not even to assist their troops. However they can move these magical edifices once they or their subjects have met some kind of precondition which “softens” the earth for the pyramids magical arrival. Once an Unliving King’s Pyramid makes its appearance undead troops are sure to follow along with the living ones as well.
- The Goblinoids of the North have always been a problem to the Western Realm, but in recent years more so. The Goblinoids (mostly orcs) are more organized and operate in larger warband than ever before. And frighteningly enough appear to still be consolidating. This is largely the result of a powerful orc which began a series of consolidation by conquest at least twenty years ago (there are theories that he was groomed for this indirectly by the Unliving Kings). First he united the Frost Fang clans of the orcs (white dragon riders) and with their assistance set about dominating all other goblinoid clans. It is thought that if given the time he could consolidate his power enough to challenge the Western Realm by himself without need of the Khemet and while there is no cooperation evident between the orcs and the Khement there is also no fighting between them. Unfortunately for the North Command, the orc white dragon riders and forces by-and-large operate exclusively against them leaving the Khement to deal with Central command and South Command.
- Some information on the dragon rider forces should also be noted. Each side has its draconic riders but only the Western Kingdoms can field nearly any type of dragon and its rider. The orcs, as mentioned above have white dragon riders and can choke out the sun with their numbers and while no dragon rider should be dismissed as each is a worthy combatant by himself, orc white dragon riders cannot usually hope to match dragon rider for dragon rider the Western Realms substantially fewer dragon rider forces. The Khement has dragon riders as well, though all exclusively blue dragons which do well in heat of the Khement endless deserts. The Western Kingdoms being an alliance of kingdoms only a few of which actually have the financial wherewithal to keep dragon rider forces are a combination of metallic and chromatic dragons (though no white dragons amongst Western Realm forces). North Command is mostly chromatic with a very scant few metallic while Central command has mostly metallic dragons and South Command has only metallic dragons. Thus far individual skirmishes have occurred between Khemet dragons and their riders and Western Realm dragons and their riders while in the North lance level and occasionally company level dragon rider fights occur. Two years ago a full engagement occurred between North Command and Frost Fang with saw both dragon riders and ground forces fighting. Both sides are still recovering from the losses though Frost Fang numerically lost more but killed a Western Realms ancient chromatic dragon and its rider in the process. Who won is a matter of academics.
As is usual players have a free hand to create almost any type of concept that fits within the campaign and is reasonable.
Players will have the option to participate in the very high level politics of the Realm by entering the Dragon Wars military effort. No player or even the group is required to do so as this is provided as a central backdrop to what concerns the Realm the most but it is a concept consideration for those who might be interested. To be presented with easy access to the political ebbs and tides of the Realm certain concepts and characters will have an easier time than others.
- Dragon Riders (especially those with Dragons) will find, by virtue of their military assets if nothing else, to be embroiled in the politics of the War effort. Decisions will not be easy as in war things are rarely what they seem and a dragon rider’s fealty is far beyond his/her weight in gold.
- Clerics of any God (but especially clerics with military or undead fighting abilities) will find that many leaders and would-be leaders will court their approval if not outright service in order to gain prestige capital with their peers. To have the gods on one’s side is always beneficial.
- Holy Warriors (cleric/fighters and paladins) will be sought for not only their martial prowess but again favor with their gods. Political and military leaders count amongst their following the endorsement of gods as evidenced by the warrior arm of those religions. In addition their known charisma can often keep troops in good fighting spirit even under the most dismal conditions.
- Magic users (sorcerers and wizards) are just plain useful and destructive. After the ability to fling lightning bolts and fireballs is acquired a magic user acquires considerable tactical value and at higher levels strategic value.
- Aristocrats of any variety of course can have impacts on any military effort regardless of their nature. Even at low levels aristocrats are rarely overlooked if for no other reason than they might be useful in who they know.
Players are advised to visit the wiki Western Realms page as there are cases that characters may be restricted or more likely enhanced if they take certain options packages referred to as ‘Backgrounds’ within each Kingdom description. These packages are offered as incentives to have characters at least start out fitting a certain concept (thereafter however they are free to depart). A player may only ever take one Background which serves as a launching point from which the player may embellish in his/her character’s history. Players are never required to take any offered backgrounds.