Vampire Queens of Taymora
Mystara 2300 BC Campaign Setting
by John Calvin
In the days after the Great Rain of FIre, there was a young girl who lived in the shadows of the Black Mountains. Fervently did she pray to her patron Immortal Sol to take away the Wasting2 that afflicted her people, but day after day, and year after year, her prayers were not answered. Still, even as her people teetered on the brink of destruction, this young girl did not lose hope. She sought out on her own to find a cure for the curse that had been thrust upon everything that she loved.
Finally her prayers were answered… though not by Sol. Tanit, Mother Night, sent the girl a vision showing her how to save her people. Using strength and guile she stole the secret of everlasting life from the dragon Ghaerathelix. With this gift, did the girl destroy her people’s enemies and free them from the Wasting. Blood is life. Thus was the girl reborn as Tayma, the Original Nosferatu, hero to her people.
But the ire of Ghaerathelix could not be quenched, and the dragon vowed to destroy Tayma and her people for the insult she had perpetrated upon him. The dragon completed the ceremony given to him by his master Thanatos, following in Tayma’s footsteps to become the first night dragon, Ghaeranatos. Then he set about amassing a host to punish the upstart who dared to steal from him.
Though Tayma fought valiantly for her kin, it was soon apparent that she could not win. Ghaeranatos and his allies, enemies of Tayma’s people, both new and old, were pressing upon the last stronghold of Tayma’s people, Uhaara3, and soon it would be overrun.
Again Tayma prayed, and again her prayers were answered by Mother Night. As Tayma was the Daughter of Tanit, Mother Night showed Tayma the secret of creating daughters of her own. Each of her daughters served a special role in the protection of her people, bringing their innate skills and powers to fruition in order to win freedom and a home for the Taymorans, the people of Tayma.
BC 4000: Blackmoor begins its rise to greatness after having discovered and plundered the City of the Gods.
BC 3000: Blackmoor comes to an abrupt end in the Great Rain of Fire, and the civilized world is devastated.
BC 2990: Civilizations across the planet face the aftereffects of the Great Rain of Fire, as a dreaded Wasting disease slowly kills many of the survivors.
BC 2940: Thonian colonists on Brun have been suffering greatly from the Wasting disease, and their culture looks as if it could be destroyed entirely.
BC 2938: Tayma, a high priestess of the Thonian colonists, sets out on a quest to save her people. Prompted by dreams sent from a mysterious immortal, she seeks the lair of the dragon Ghaerathelix.
BC 2933: Tayma discovers the location of Ghaerathelix’s lair and spies the ancient gold dragon as he transforms himself in a magical ceremony. This is the secret her immortal patron wished her to find, that will be her people’s salvation.
Now transformed into a powerful undead being known as a night dragon, Ghaerathelix changes his name to honor his own immortal patron, calling himself Ghaeranatos.
BC 2928: Tayma performs Ghaerathelix’s Ceremony of Blood, transforming herself into the Original Nosferatu and making her immune to the Wasting.
BC 2913: Tayma perfects the Ceremony of Blood so that it protects her people from the effects of the Wasting. By sacrificing a portion of their own life’s blood, all participants of the Ceremony are cleansed of the disease, however to be effective the Ceremony must be performed on an annual basis.
BC 2876: Tayma begins to consolidate her power among the Thonian colonists.
BC 2839: Though healthy once again, the Thonian colonists, now calling themselves Taymorans in honor of their savior, are still not numerous. They face renewed attacks from giants on all sides.
BC 2795: Determined to grow her empire, Tayma begins making overtures to the neighboring Maharian peoples.
BC 2746: Tayma begins recruiting the best and brightest from Tanit’s priestesses, preparing to performing the original Ceremony of Blood once again, and create more noferatu.
BC 2730: Tayma once again performs the original Ceremony of Blood, creating the twelve Daughters of Night.
BC 2729: Ghaeranatos is furious when he learns of Tayma’s theft and rushes to destroy the upstarts. He is repelled and slinks away to plot his revenge.
BC 2629: Ghaeranatos raises a force of dragons and giants to sack Uhaara. They Taymorans flee the onslaught in three separate exoduses.
BC 2608: At the Battle of Nimidi’s Maw, Padihru distracts the attacking army but is destroyed by Ghaeranatos. Sijaru sneaks behind enemy lines killing the night dragon Rhaetos.
BC 2582: Tayma gathers her forces south of the Aterok Mountains. Kikanari is destroyed by Ghaeranatos but the night dragon is ultimately defeated.
BC 2570: The city of Tamoraz is established along the southern coast of Brun, and Tayma again asserts her control across the land conquering nearby peoples.
BC 2510: Tayma mysteriously disappears, and the Daughters of Night quickly divide her kingdom. Tamoraz, Tycur, Salkish, Yidaru, and Karisata all rise up as regional powers under the control of one of the Daughters of Night.
BC 2408: Massive volcanic eruptions in Vulcania destroy the elvish civilizations on that continent and send gouts of black ash swirling into the atmosphere.
BC 2400: The followers of Thanatos begin to insinuate themselves into Taymoran society. These vampires are the disenfranchised "children" (many of them males) of the Taymoran Queens who are tired of taking orders from the Tanit Theocracy.
BC 2395: The Dark Years end as the last clouds of ash settle from the sky.
BC 2340: Soleclea deposes its queen, becoming the first Taymoran city to free itself from the bonds of their vampiric rulers.
BC 2318: Mogreth attacks the city of Kubaros. Arunaru and Lovanara gather troops to repel the lizards and drive them back to Mogreth. Arunaru betrays and destroys Kitash sacking her city.
BC 2317: Coalition of Ariasha, Sijaru, and Lovanara band together to remove Arunaru. They are betrayed by Lovanara. Ariasha flees, and Sijaru is sacked and falls to those loyal to Thanatos.
BC 2316: Yidaru sacked and claimed by Thanatos followers. Lovanara is driven away.
BC 2300: Present day (for this article).
BC 2200: Golden Age of Taymora4
BC 2000: Decline of Taymora
BC 1750: Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions shake southern Brun, sinking much of Taymora beneath the waves5.
BC 1720: Land masses split further away, forming ten islands south of the Five Shires.
BC 1700: A Blackmoorian device is set of by elves in the Broken Lands.
Created by Tayma at the dawn of Taymoran civilization, the Daughters of Night are all powerful nosferatu that have received special blessings from Tanit and have been tasked with using their gifts to protect Tanit’s flock. Seven of the twelve Daughters of Night have survived in modern day Taymora, becoming powerful individuals in their own rights, most of them taking up the mantle of Queen and ruling over one of the many city states in the area.
Table 1: Daughters of Night
First Child of Tayma
Queen of Tamoraz
Second Child of Tayma
Queen of Tycur
Third Child of Tayma
Greater Undead Control
Fourth Child of Tayma
Queen of Karituja
Fifth Child of Tayma
Sixth Child of Tayma
Queen of Salkish
Seventh Child of Tayma
Queen of Karisata
Eighth Child of Tayma
Ninth Child of Tayma
Tenth Child of Tayma
Eleventh Child of Tayma
Twelfth Child of Tayma
Queen of Tarashish
Daughter of Night, First Child of Tayma, Heiress of Darkness, Handmaiden of Tanit, Stygian Queen of Tamoraz, Empress of All Taymora
Once a priestess of Sol, Jadikira7 was the first among the old guard to embrace the Ceremony of Blood that Tayma brought to free her people from the Wasting. Because of this she became Tayma’s most trusted lieutenant, and swiftly set about the task of finding like minded individuals willing to serve under Tanit’s new order.
As her reward, Jadikira was given special recognition and took her place as First among Tayma’s children. Her prophecies of Ghaeranatos’ treacherous assault in BC 2630 were instrumental in saving the Taymoran people from almost certain doom, and in preparing them for their long flight to their new home in southeastern Brun.
Jadikira led a full third of her people on the exodus of Uhaara, fleeing south and skirting the southern coastlands of Brun. It was during this flight that she had another profound vision, leading her followers to the base of the Aterok Mountains8. There they laid in wait, ambushing Ghaeranatos and his army in the Taymoran’s hour of greatest need.
Though accorded the highest honors in Tayma’s new order, Jadikira chafed at the restrictions and censure placed upon her position. A master manipulator, using fear, greed, ambition, and jealousy, Jadikira was able to maneuver her sisters into doing her will, regardless of whether they realize it or not. When Tayma disappeared in 2510 BC, she was in the perfect position to take up her mantle.
Laying claim to the capital city of Tamoraz, Jadikira proclaimed herself Empress of Taymora, thoungh none of her sisters recognized her authority. Under her rule the city has become a prospering port with economic ties stretching the length of Taymoran lands and beyond.
In the centuries since Tayma’s disappearance Jadikira has seen visions of what she believes to be the eventual destruction of Taymora; a calamity of earthquakes, fire, and floods that will eventually sink Taymora beneath the waves of the Sea of Dread. Unsure of when the calamity will take place Jadikira has set actions in motion designed to avoid that fate, yet still her visions always show her the same thing. She is beginning to growing frantic, perhaps even to the point of insanity. Though she would prefer to preserve her empire, at her heart Jadikira is greedy and narcissistic, and would ultimately sacrifice all of Taymora in return for her own insured survival.
Nosferatu and vampires from Jadikira’s line are masters in the art of divination, allowing them to pull knowledge from mystical sources and making them strategists beyond compare.
Innate Magic: Divination
Vassals: Once during any encounter a vampire of this line may attempt to redo an action which led to an unfavorable result. Her precognitive abilities allow her to glimpse a short vision of the direct future of this encounter and alter her actions to change the outcome. In game terms the DM may re-roll one action seen in this vision, however the results of the second roll -in reality- must be accepted (whether better or worse than the original).
Elders: Once a month an elder of this line may perform a divining ritual showing them an event that is destined to occur. A general timetable for the event may be inferred, though exact actions and causes of the event are shrouded in mystery.
Progenitor: The progenitor of this line may perform a ritual once a year, granting her a clear vision of the future to come. Some events seen in the vision, though not all, may be altered.
Daughter of Night, Second Child of Tayma, Beloved of Tanit, Tenebrous Queen of Tycur
After swearing fealty to Tanit and becoming a Daughter of Night, Nashane9 set about the task of consolidating her mistress's power. Fond of bullying and browbeating in her former life, she discovered newfound talents for coercing her adversaries to comply with her wishes. It wasn’t long before village elders, religious leaders, and even chieftains of nearby giantish tribes were all enthralled to her will.
When Ghaeranatos began marshalling his armies, Nashane and her children were in the forefront of the conflict. At first they dominated entire cohorts of the enemy, sending them against their fellows, but when the night dragon’s forces became overwhelming, Nashane switched her tactics, rushing home to prepare her people for exodus.
As Uhaara fell, Nashane set out with the first exodus, turning Ghaeranatos’ front line forces into her own personal playthings. Soon the dragon and his generals became aware of her tactics and set a trap for her at the battle of Shattered Woods. Nashane barely survived a confrontation facing the Dark Dryad and her forest spawn, though she did manage to steal the dryad’s heart before escaping.
When her “mother” disappeared, Nashane was quick to seize control of Tycur, one of the oldest and most well established Taymoran cities of the time. There she built the Tower of Night, a dark and ominous spire which spews forth a never ending umbrella of black clouds which blot out the sun. It is rumored that the Dark Dryad’s heart powers her foul engine, though none have entered the Tower of Night and returned to tell tale of it.
Nashane has also been working in secret with her sister Ariasha of Salkish, despite the fact that she despises Ariasha as a coward. The two seek a way to combine their powers and create the ultimate servitor race using a bestial curse that can be quickly spread among the Taymoran population. Once they succeed, the curse of Mythic Lycanthropy10 will be unleashed upon the world, and the two will have a pliant army large enough to win Taymora. Of course Nashane does not plan to share such power with her sister.
Of more immediate concern is the city of Soleclea, which recently wrested their independence from her sister Durjas. Though she curses Durjas for a fool, Nashane secretly believes that Jadikira had a hand in her downfall. Should Nashane be able to reclaim the city and reveal such treachery about Jadikira, she would be one step closer to fulfilling her plans. Once she has dealt with the infidel rebels and her pretender sisters, she plans to crown herself Empress of Taymora, however the Cult of Sol is proving even more resistant to her powers than they did to Durjas’.
Nosferatu and vampires from Nashane’s line have the ability to subvert the will of their enemies and make them work against themselves.
Innate Magic: Domination
Vassals: Once during any encounter a vampire of this line may suggest any action to an opponent, which they will attempt to carry out to the best of their abilities. Such actions can not be inherently life threatening.
Elders: Once a month, an elder of this line may task an individual with a quest. That individual will attempt to complete that quest to the best of their abilities, regardless of the danger to themselves.
Progenitor: The progenitor of this line may perform a ritual once per year that allows her place a portion of her life force in another body. Any body so inhabited can be completely controlled by the progenitor. Only a single such individual can be controlled at any one time.
Daughter of Night, Third Child of Tayma
Keeper of the ancient Mysteries of Tanit, Kikanari oversaw all nightly operations of the great temple in Uhaara. Her undead minions, free of the type of ambitions and passions that would lead to corruption of the spirit, were tasked with all of the sacred duties of their order. As their overseer, Kikanari herself had power that rivaled her elder “sisters” and even Tayma herself.
When Ghaeranatos’ forces fell upon Uhaara, Kikanari found new applications for her abilities. The undead that once served the Uhaaran populace found a new purpose as front line troops in the vicious battles that followed. Though such minions fell quickly, there were always fresh corpses after each conflict to replace their numbers. Kikanari soon became recognized as Tayma’s leading general in the fight against the night dragon and its forces, and the Uhaarans loved her for it.
Her newfound fame would be short lived however, when the first and second Uhaaran exoduses were caught in a trap at the base of the Aterok Mountains. For five days and nights Kikanari and her forces kept Ghaeranatos and his legions at bay, but eventually Kikanari’s army dwindled as new corpses became more and more scarce. With only herself and a handful of her own progeny standing between Tayma and the dragon’s forces Kikanari threw herself into a frenzy, cutting down all before her. Just as the tides were turning once more, the dragon Ghaeranatos himself flew to the front, sweeping Tayma’s last defenses aside. Yet even as the dragon’s claws bit into Tayma’s side, Kikanari did not relent. In a desperate act of defiance, she threw herself at the dragon though she could not overcome his power. Kikanari’s final act of loyalty enabled Tayma to escape, though her freedom was bought with Kikanari’s destruction.
Kikanari’s sacrifice was not in vain however, as her tactics and final battle with the night dragon bought the Tayma and the Taymorans vital time… time that Jadikira and her last exodus used to outflank and rout Ghaeranatos’ forces. Some say that Jadikira arrived just in time to save her people, though others speculate that Tayma’s First Daughter waited just long enough to see her sister Kikanari vanquished before entering the fray.
Nosferatu and vampires of Kikanari’s line have the ability to to generate and control armies of the undead.
Innate Magic: Increased Undead Control
Vassals: Vassals of this line may control up to twice the normal number of hit dice of lesser undead (zombies and skeletons).
Elders: Once a month, elders of this line can perform a ritual to create and control an undead minion (ghoul, ghast, wight, or specter). One to three of these minions can be controlled simultaneously depending on the strength of the vampire.
Progenitor: The progenitor/inheritor of this line may perform a ritual once per year to create and control a greater undead minion (ghost, mummy, or lich). Only one such minion may be under her control at any given time.
Though Kikanari herself was destroyed by the night dragon, several of her own daughters have survived and prospered in Taymora. Many vampire queens seek their special skills to help bolster their own armies with undead legions, while others hunt them down in the hopes of combining their own powers with those of this vampiric line. Some few of Kikanari’s daughters have found power in their own rights.
Daughter of Night, Fourth Child of Tayma, Cherished of Tanit, Atramentous Queen of Karituja
Samane and her ilk served the ancient Uhaarans first as temple guardians, and then as constabulary and city guards. When the war came, they took to the front, defending the Uhaarans from Ghaeranatos’ depredations and harassing his legions at every opportunity.
When Tayma led the first exodus from their ancestral lands, Samane was by her side, cutting a swath through enemy forces big enough for the Uhaaran’s to flee through. On two separate occasions Samane fought Ghaeranatos in personal combat during their flight across the wilderness. Though she escaped destruction both times, her last encounter with the night dragon was beyond even her ability to fully heal, and left her scarred in both mind and body.
At the Aterok Mountains, Samane stood in protection over Tayma, determined that the dragon and his forces should never touch her mother. The two rushed to Kikanari’s side when she battled with Ghaeranatos, but arrived too late to prevent her destruction. With the arrival of Jadikira’s forces, and with Tayma’s aid, Samane gravely wounded the night dragon, sending him fleeing over the mountains.
When Tayma came into her new land, she set Samane the task of bringing unruly natives to heel. This Samane relished, perhaps too greatly, seeing enemies and agents of Ghaeranatos in every corner. Though she and her progeny were able to subjugate local populations quickly, their viciousness and brutality won them no love.
Tayma’s disappearance ended her campaigns, and when Samane rushed back to Tamoraz to find her mother, she was instead met by the forces of her sister Jadikira, as they consolidated their power over the city. Rather than challenge Samane, Jadikira begged her to continue their mother’s work along the western borders of Taymora. This plea took hold in Samane and she returned west to claim the city of Karituja as her base of operations.
Dismayed at the lack of support her sisters send her, Samane is barely holding her own against the enemies of Taymora. Incursions from Intua, Grondheim, and Adhuza constantly sap her resources, while her sisters further inland seem to reap the benefits of her labors. The betrayal of Lovanara in BC 2317 sent Samane into an almost paranoid rage. Already dissatisfied with her lot, she has begun plotting to attack Tamoraz and usurp the power of Jadikira so that all of Taymora might be bound under a strong and unified leader.
Nosferatu and vampires of Samane’s line have increased martial powers, as well as the ability of regeneration, which makes them excellent warriors and soldiers.
Innate Magic: Regeneration
Vassals: Once per encounter a vampire of this line may roll to save against any effect that would automatically destroy her.
Elders: Once per month an elder of this line may completely shrug off any effect that would automatically destroy her.
Progenitor: The progenitor of this vampiric line can perform a ritual once per year to bind her soul to that of an inanimate object. As long as that object exists, she cannot be destroyed.
Daughter of Night, Fifth Child of Tayma, Despised of Tanit, Former Queen of Soleclea
Even in life Durjas had an uncanny ability to sense the truth in the actions of others. After receiving the Blessing of Tanit, her powers grew tenfold, to the point at which she could see into the hearts and minds of those before her. As the power of Uhaara grew, Durjas and her progeny served dual roles as both judges to the populace and as secret police routing out the enemies of Tayma.
When the night dragon attacked, Durjas turned her attentions away from the thoughts of her own people and actively sought out traitors and enemies to interrogate. Often she and her children journeyed into enemy territory seeking information of troop movements, and about Ghaeranatos’ plans - information that was vital in keeping the Uhaarans one step ahead of their adversaries.
Durjas followed Jadikira in the last Uhaaran exodus, serving her sister well as a military lieutenant and spymaster. In large part it was the combined efforts of Durjas and Lovanara that kept the third exodus hidden from the forces of Ghaeranatos, and allowed them to strike a fatal blow to the dragon’s forces at the battle of Aterok.
With Tayma’s mysterious disappearance, Durjas claimed the city of Soleclea, Jewel of the North, as her own, despite two of her elder sisters who also coveted the prize. Ultimately it was the backing of Jadikira that solidified her claim, although she and Durjas had been at each other’s throats since the defeat of Ghaeranatos. In certain circles, far away from Tamoraz, floated whispered rumors that Durjas held some dark secret of Tayma’s first daughter in ransom, and used that threat to coerce Jadikira into doing her will.
For decades did Durjas and her progeny terrorize the inhabitants of Soleclea, making that once great city into a playground of intrigue and horror. None could hide from the vampire queen of Soleclea, for she could hear the thoughts of others as if they were spoken aloud in an empty temple. Ironic it was then, when in BC 2340 the upstart Cult of Sol managed to wrest control of the city from under her nose, destroying Durjas and driving her progeny and the rest of Tanit’s faithful from the city in a single night.
The few of Durjas’ progeny who escaped Soleclea sought sanctuary far to the south, in the city of Tamoraz, but these were dispatched by an enraged Queen Jadikira once she heard of her sister’s blunder. Now Durjas’ name is anathema to her sisters, and she is known only as the Despised of Tanit, reviled for losing supremacy over one of the richest cities in the nation.
Nosferatu and vampires of Durjas’ line, if any still exist, have psychic and psionic powers allowing them to read the thoughts of their enemies.
Innate Magic: Psychic/Psionic
Vassals: Once per encounter a vampire of this line may discern the general attitude and disposition of an individual she is interacting with. Once per day they may discern if an individual they are interacting with is telling the truth.
Elders: Once per encounter an elder of this vampiric line may read the thoughts of a single individual they are interacting with.
Progenitor: The progenitor/inheritor of this line may perform a ritual once per month in order to delve into the memories of a targeted and present individual. Such memories are traversed as if in a dream, though the further back a memory, the longer it takes to find it.
All inheritors of Durjas are believed to have been destroyed, either by the Cult of Sol, or by Jadikira herself. Though official tales describe the Queen of Tamoraz slaughtering Durjas’ progeny in a fit of rage, others whisper that their fate was sealed in order to keep Jadikira’s darkest secrets safe.
Daughter of Night, Sixth Child of Tayma, Treasured of Tanit, Jewel of the Eastern Realm, Sable Queen of Salkish
A wild child who grew up on the outskirts of Uhaaran society, Ariasha always felt more at home wandering the forests of her homeland than the streets of Uhaara. Tanit however favored her, and with that favor Ariasha’s bond with the natural world only strengthened. As her sisters consolidated their power amongst the Uhaaran people, Ariasha spent her time speaking with wolves, and frolicking with other creatures of the night.
Despite the disdain of her sisters, Ariasha’s wild behavior was the very thing that saved her people, for her creatures told her of Ghaeranatos’ gathering forces long before the dragon brought them to bear on the Uhaarans.
Ariasha fled with Tayma in the first exodus of Uhaara. The animals she commanded, rats, bats, and wolves, served the exodus well as scouts and spies along their dangerous journey. Despite their vigilance Ghaeranatos’ legions constantly harried the Uhaarans as they fled south, picking off strays and the sick and weak whenever the chance arose. When Ghaeranatos’ final assault came at the base of the Aterok Mountains, Ariasha and her familiars fled into the night never expecting any of her sisters to survive.
Branded a coward after the defeat of Ghaeranatos, Ariasha spent years fleeing the punitive campaigns of her sisters. Finally she found shelter in the small frontier town of Salkish, nestled along the spine of the Barze Mountains and blanketed on all sides by the Forest of Madadh. Slowly, and in secret, she built up her power base in the area, until the day that her mother disappeared and she finally declared herself Queen of Salkish.
Yet, despite the bad blood between them, when her sisters, Lovanara and Sijaru, called upon her help in dealing with Arunaru, Ariasha joined their cause. When Lovanara revealed her deception and turned upon Ariasha and Sijaru, Ariasha did the only thing she could… she ran once again, leaving Sijaru to her fate.
Now Ariasha is one of the few devotees of Tanit left standing in eastern Taymora in BC 2300. She is surrounded by enemies on all sides. Vampire kings of Sarrattalu have usurped control of Barinaesh and Yidaru, and her sister Arunaru in Karisata has turned apostate. Rebels and freedom fighters infest the countryside, and Ariasha is feeling pressured on all fronts. Her last desperate hope is an alliance with her sister Nashane and the gamble that their secret lycanthropy project will pan out.
Nosferatu and vampires of Ariasha’s line are masters of enchantment and domination, especially over the wild creatures of the world (rats, bats, and wolves).
Innate Magic: Animal Control
Vassals: Vampires of this line may control animals of the night (rats, bats, and wolves) as if they were controlling lesser undead minions. At any one time a vampire may control a number of animals whose hit dice total is no more than twice her own. This is in addition to the number of undead she can control11.
Elders: Elder vampires of this line may control dire forms of rats, bats, and wolves. In addition, once per month, they may attract a dire minion that will do their will. Dire minions may or may not control an entire pack of their normal animal type.
Progenitor: The progenitor of this line may transform herself into a normal or dire rat, bat, or wolf at will. While transformed she maintains all memories, and special powers of her original form, however she may not have access to spell casting abilities.
Daughter of Night, Seventh Child of Tayma, Apostate of Tanit, Queen of Karisata
The real Arunaru was murdered in secret by Ghaeranatos, three days before he launched his initial assault on Uhaara. Since that time the night dragon Synn12, Ghaeranatos’ own daughter and foremost among his servants, began masquerading in her stead13. Patient and conniving, Synn insinuated herself into Kikanari’s counsel, delaying the second exodus through treachery even as her father pursued Tayma and the first exodus.
Neither did she betray her true intentions throughout the entire war with Ghaeranatos. When it was clear that Tayma and her children would be victorious, Synn’s mission became one of long term subterfuge - she would infiltrate the highest circles of Tayma’s nobility and destroy it from within.
When Tayma consolidated her power in Tamoraz, after the defeat of Ghaeranatos, Arunaru became one of her closest confidants, and one of her most vocal supporters… at least in public. In private she continued to scheme against the woman who stole from and humiliated her father. Synn however, could not contain her true feelings indefinitely. Soon her hatred of Tayma became apparent to many, including Tayma herself, but before Synn’s true nature could be revealed Tayma mysteriously disappeared.
With Tayma’s fledgling empire in disarray, Synn fled east, claiming the city of Karisata and establishing a power base there. Karisata became the new gateway into Taymora for Ghaeranatos and his minions, and soon the eastern city states were in turmoil.
A coalition of the eastern vampire queens sought to oust Arunaru and quell the unrest spewing forth from its borders, but by then it was too late. Just as the coalition’s armies were poised to attack Karisata, they were betrayed by one of their own - Queen Lovanara. One after another the Vampire Queens of the east fell to the night dragons and their allies.
Nosferatu and vampires of Arunaru’s line have the ability to change their shape and appearance, which allows them to be excellent spies and saboteurs.
Innate Magic: Shapeshifting
Vassals: Once per day vampires of this line may alter their form in order to look like a generic individual of any race with a similar size and shape.
Elders: Once per month an elder vampire of this line may alter their form to take on the likeness of another specific individual. Only an outward appearance may be mimicked in this way. The thoughts and personality of the individual being impersonated are not acquired by this power.
Progenitor: The progenitor/inheritor of this line may perform a ritual once per year to take on the appearance and mannerisms of a specific individual. The ritual creates a psychic link between the progenitor and the target of the ritual, granting the vampire access to all of their knowledge and memories.
Few of Arunaru’s true progeny yet remain, and those that do have long since determined to steer far clear of their erstwhile “mother”. A small cadre of these vampires have sought shelter in Salkish, and another in Tarashish. Others have determined it is best to keep a low profile, and have made solitary lives for themselves across Taymora and in neighboring lands.
Fadhadi, Child of Arunaru, Guardian of Hiisi’s Gates, Queen of Heltish, is one of Arunaru’s few progeny to actually be in a position of rulership. Secure in her city, and growing in her own powers, Fadhadi is beginning to suspect that her mother Arunaru may no longer exists. Should she come into her full potential, inheriting all the powers of a progenitor of her line, her suspicions would be proven true. Synn may go to any lengths to prevent this from happening.
Daughter of Night, Eighth Child of Tayma, Forsaken of Tanit, Exiled Queen of Yidaru
Sought after by many suitors in Uhaara, it was said that the beautiful Lovanara14 would grant her chosen paramour their every desire. Even before she was blessed by Tanit, Lovanara was able to trick, fool, and deceive nearly anyone she met. The wealth and power she managed to acquire afforded her a luxurious and lavish lifestyle, but despite her shortcomings Tanit saw great potential in her.
Upon her induction into the Cult of Tanit, Lovanara ascended the ranks of the priestesshood quickly. She and her acolytes were tasked with collecting the first Blood Tax, along with the added burden of reassuring and appeasing the general populace. When Uhaara fell to Ghaeranatos, Lovanara’s skills were put to the test in hiding and protecting the fleeing Uhaaran survivors.
Jadikira knew that Lovanara’s powers of illusion would aid her in escaping their doomed homeland, and so she convinced Lovanara to shield the third exodus from the legions of Ghaeranatos in their journey. During the final assault upon the night dragon near the Aterok Mountains, Lovanara and her acolytes were able to disguise Jadikira’s army amongst the landscape, allowing them to finally ambush and rout the dragon and his forces.
Incensed at the way her “eldest” sister treated her during the exodus, Lovanara journeyed to the east in order to establish Tayma’s laws in the far borders of her land. When her mother mysteriously vanished, she claimed the city of Yidaru for herself and immediately began plotting revenge against Jadikira and her older sisters in the west.
When Arunaru approached her with plans of sedition, she jumped at the opportunity to strike out, and betrayed the eastern coalition when they marched upon Karisata. Unfortunately for her, Arunaru/Synn had no intention of keeping their agreement and sacked the city of Yidaru before Lovanara and her forces could return to defend it.
Having been abandoned by Tanit for her crimes and with Synn’s puppet in control of her city, Lovanara has been forced to wander the eastern lands. Broken and homeless, she lashes out at whomever is unlucky enough to cross her path.
It is believed that most of Lovanara’s line were destroyed during the sacking of Yidaru, and in fact many of her original progeny perished in that conflict. Some remain however, masters of deception and disguise. Other enclaves spring up from time to time, as Lovanara desperately tries to rebuild a family for herself.
Innate Magic: Illusion
Vassals: Once per encounter a vampire of this line may alter either their personal appearance or the appearance and perception of the terrain around them in order to gain a tactical advantage.
Elders: Once per encounter an elder vampire of this line may alter the perception of a targeted individual, removing or augmenting one of their senses, in order to gain a tactical advantage.
Progenitor: Once per month the progenitor of this line may perform a ritual to alter the perception of reality of a targeted individual. That individual will see, hear, and feel exactly what the progenitor wishes them to for the duration of the ritual.
Daughter of Night, Ninth Child of Tayma, Former Queen of Barinaesh
Sijaru began her life on the streets of Uhaara, fighting for every scrap of food and sliver of shelter in order to survive. Before Tayma brought the Ceremony of Blood to her people, Sijaru’s once beautiful form started to succumb to the Wasting, but still she would not relinquish her life. Tanit saw her determination and rewarded her as one of Tayma’s daughters.
In undeath, Sijaru regained her vitality, however the Wasting had taken its toll and Sijaru kept her face and form constantly shrouded in shadows. She and her temple acolytes were charged with rooting out elements of the old guard, priests and followers of Sol who continued to oppose Tanit’s new cult.
With Kikanari slain, Sijaru took her place as one of Tayma’s premier generals. Stealthy and secretive, she journeyed across the new land of Taymora along shadowy roads, silencing dissidents and putting down rebellious elements in the native populations. When Tayma disappeared, so too did Sijaru. Fearing jealous reprisals from her sisters Jadikira and Nashane, Sijaru sought refuge in the distant city of Barinaesh between Idu’s Anvil and the Barze Mountains.
The true threat would not come from either of her sisters to the west however, and once Sijaru realized that Arunaru was plotting sedition she joined forces with Ariasha and Lovanara to crush the fledgling rebellion. Unfortunately for Sijaru, her sister Lovanara betrayed the alliance, and Ariasha fled like the coward she was.
Barely escaping her own destruction, Sijaru fled to the city of Aibiru, controlled by one of her own progeny, however the queen there did not meet her with open arms. Rather than give her mother succor, Queen Dorsha of Aibiru murdered Sijaru, seizing her power for her own..
The vampiric powers of this line are both respected and coveted by many of the current Queens of Taymora. Their unique powers make them well suited to the tasks of espionage and intrigue, and those that have not carved out a power base for themselves serve the already entrenched nobility.
Innate Magic: Shadow
Vassals: Once per encounter a vampire of this line may bend shadows around them, making them harder to target and giving them a tactical advantage.
Elders: Once per day an elder vampire of this line can traverse from one shadow to another. Such travel is extraplanar, moving them through the Outer Plane of Shadow. The distance that can be traveled is dependant upon the vampire’s relative skills and abilities.
Progenitor: The progenitor/inheritor of this line can command shadows16 as if they were undead under her control. At any one time the progenitor may control a number of shadows whose hit dice total is no more than twice her own. This is in addition to the number of undead she can control.
Inheritors of Sijaru still walk freely in Taymora, many of them centered around the city of Aibiru and in lands further west.
Queen Dorsha of Aibiru
Daughter of Night, Tenth Child of Tayma
Once a slave to the High Priest of Sol in Uhaara, Padihru acquired her freedom when her master took ill with the Wasting. She lost little time exacting her revenge upon her hated master, and spent every waking hour hounding the priesthood of Sol and its followers. The blessing of Tanit lent authority to her quest, but did little to quell her rage.
As Uhaara fell to its enemies, Padihru and her progeny lashed out against the world. Torrential floods crashed through the forest canopy felling trees and churning the ground to mud. Hail assaulted the unsheltered, pummeling both beasts and humans alike. Lightning tore from the sky to leave charred blackness in its wake. The minions of Ghaeranatos were indeed thrust into disarray, however the Uhaarans suffered much the same fate.
Padihru’s rage struct more indiscriminately than she had intended, and while Tayma and her followers were able to escape the main brunt of Ghaeranatos’ forces, a full two thirds of the Uhaaran populace were left floundering in their wake. As penance, Padihru stayed behind with several of her sisters and gathered what faithful they could to their banners.
Joining with Kikinari in the the second exodus, Padihru and her progeny brought up the rear of the column, using their control over the weather to muddy roads and trails and cause mayhem among the ranks of her pursuing foes. When it became clear that Ghaeranatos would overtake them despite her best efforts, Padihru set forth to confront the night dragon directly.
What would have amounted to a small skirmish at the Battle of Nimidi’s Maw17 intensified when Daughter of Night clashed with the Child of Sarrattalu18. Though Padihru was no match for her adversary, the battle and subsequent destruction caused by it, bought enough time for the second exodus to break away from Ghaeranatos’ legions and eventually converge with the forces of Tayma.
The vampires of Padihru’s line have the ability to control the elements, bringing storms and blights to their immediate areas. Skilled vampires of this line are often coveted as lieutenants and generals and easily find a place in service to more powerful Taymoran nobles.
Innate Magic: Elemental Storms
Vassals: Once per encounter a vampire of this line has the ability to discharge an elemental force against their enemies. Common manifestations of this power include dust devils, geysers of scalding water, or lightning bolts.
Elders: An elder vampire of this line may alter the weather patterns around themselves once per day. Conditions from monsoon to parching drought can be created in this way.
Progenitor: The progenitor/inheritor of this line may perform a ritual once per year to permanently alter the weather patterns in a targeted location. Only one such location may be altered and maintained at any given time.
Few of Padihru’s progeny survived the confrontation with Ghaeranatos during their flight from Uhaara, however some remain. A few have even risen to positions high enough to be noteworthy.
Daughter of Night, Eleventh Child of Tayma, Former Queen of Kubaros
Kitash19 was little more than a child when Tayma returned from the wilds bring the Ceremony of Blood that would save her people from the Wasting, but somehow she found a place by her side. Always elegant and alluring, Kitash was instrumental in convincing the populace of Uhaara to accept Tayma’s gift, and helped to usher in the Age of Tanit.
As Ghaeranatos’ assault came crashing down on the Uhaarans, Kitash found she could do little to stop them. Instead she stayed by Tayma’s side to soothe and comfort the faithful, always encouraging to trust in the Handmaiden of Tanit. Never did she leave Tayma’s side, and for good reason. On three separate occasions was she able to quell unrest amongst the exodus, keeping the faithful focused on their task and averting almost certain doom.
Once the night dragon was defeated, Tayma set about the task of recreating her empire and Kitash was once again by her side during each step of the way. After the construction of Tamoraz was completed, Kitash was given the duty of subduing neighboring natives and bringing them under the fold of Tanit.
At Tayma’s behest Kitash soon found herself in the furthest flung reaches of Taymoran influence, proselytizing to the heathen tribes in the eastern frontierlands between Taymora and Mogreth. Shortly thereafter Tayma disappeared, leaving Kitash heartbroken but not without purpose. To honor her mother, Kitash gathered several native tribes together and constructed the city of Kubaros just beyond the Tiri Mountains.
When Mogreth mounted a major assault against Taymora in BC 2318, Kitash and her city of Kuberos faced the brunt of their attack. Her sisters Arunaru and Lovanara rallied to her side, repelling the invaders and routing them from eastern Taymora20. As Lovanara and Kitash’s combined forces harried the lizardman army back to Mogreth, Arunaru (actually Synn in disguise) turned her forces on the undefended city of Kubaros, destroying it utterly. Kitash suffered a similar fate once she returned to her ruined stronghold.
Nosferatu and vampires of Kitash’s line are especially skilled in the areas of enchantment and diplomacy. Their abilities allow them to turn even the most staunches of enemies into willing allies.
Innate Magic: Enchantment
Vassals: Once during any encounter a vampire of this line may befriend a single individual. That individual will do anything within their power, and within reason, to keep their new friend safe and happy.
Elders: Once per month an elder vampire of this line may enthrall a single individual. Enthralled individuals still act under their own will, however they will act in the best interests of their vampire enchantress whenever possible though the actions they take will never cause direct harm to themselves or their loved ones.
Progenitor: The progenitor/inheritor of this line may perform a ritual once per year that will completely enthrall a single targeted individual. The enthralled individual still acs under their own will, however they will take any action suggested by the enchantress, regardless of the direct personal danger to themselves or others. Only one individual can be enthralled as such at any given time.
Kitash had few progeny of her own when she left for the east, and many of them were destroyed along with her during the sack of Kubaros. Her last remaining daughter, Durane, lurks in the region of Aresh, plotting to rebuild her mother’s realm and rule over Kubaros as its new Queen.
Daughter of Night, Twelfth Child of Tayma, Revered of Tanit, Warden of the Northern Plains, Umbral Queen of Tarashish
None know from whence Yidadnh21 came, only that she appeared mysteriously by Tayma’s side just before the Blessings of Tanit were bestowed upon the faithful. Just as cryptic were her comings and goings, with Yidadnh always appearing where needed and always missing when there was a price to pay.
Out of all her sisters, Ghaeranatos’ attack caught Yidadnh the least off guard. With Uhaara burning down all around her, Yidadnh simply smiled and waved her hands in mild annoyance. Many of the Daughters thought her mad when she strolled idly into the midst of the oncoming onslaught. Though reluctant to leave her to her fate, the other Daughters of Night clung to their own responsibilities, ushering as many of the faithful from harm as possible.
As Yidadnh’s form faded amidst swirling embers and ash, the only sounds that could be heard were those of screams interspersed with faint laughter. None ever expected to see Yidadnh again.
Relief at seeing their sister mysteriously appear, the day after Ghaeranatos and his forces were routed at the Aterok Mountains, was the furthest thing in the minds of the Daughters of Night. Though they chafed at the fact that Yidadnh was nowhere to be seen during the conflict, many secretly shuddered at the thought of what role she played behind the scenes. Yidadnh never spoke to them of that time, though she would constantly be seen whispering words in Tayma’s ears when no one else could hear.
With Tayma’s disappearance, Yidadnh was drawn to the north. None of her sisters opposed her when she claimed the frontier city of Tarashish for her own. The land is infested with rogue lizardmen, and bands of fey and giants, though none of those facts seem to perturb Yidadnh.
Nosferatu and vampires of Yidadnh’s line have always been cloaked in mystery. While the following suggested powers can be applied to her line, DMs are encouraged to develop vampiric powers that are tailor made to suite their specific campaign.
Innate Magic: Fey Magic
Vassals: Once per encounter vampires of this line may touch a targeted individual, causing them to fall into a deep slumber. While sleeping that individual experiences intense dreams of the vampire’s design.
Elders: Once per month elder vampires of this line may enter into the dreams of an individual that has suffered previously from their bite. The dreams are vivid and interactive, and the more experienced the vampire, the more control she can exert upon the dream landscape.
Progenitor: Once per year the progenitor of this line can enter into the Dream World, traversing through the dreams of all who are sleeping. In addition, if the proper rituals are performed, the progenitor can make a specific dream reality. Actions and effects experienced in the dream (including death) will transfer over to the waking world once the dream has ended.
1Adhuza-M’Thaz was originally developed by Sharon Dornhoff as the primary deity worshiped in the land of Adhuza (a nation controlled by kopru) inside of the Hollow Moon. In actuality this is a fictitious entity created from whole cloth by the kopru in order to help them maintain control over their subjects. In BC 2300 the Outer World nation of Adhuza (not yet moved into the Hollow Moon) also follows this practice.
2The Wasting is a term used to denote the sickness and disease caused in the aftermath of the Great Rain of Fire. For more information see the Mystara 2300 BC Campaign Setting at The Vaults of Pandius .
3Uhaara is an invention of the author, the last Maharian stronghold in the shadows of the Black Mountains. This was Tayma’s birthplace, and the original homeland of the Taymorans (before they became the Taymorans)
4See Giampaolo Agosta’s Taymora, Land of the Dead article within this same Issue for more details about Taymora in its Golden Age. Although these two visions of Taymora may differ slightly, DMs wishing to use both should be able to do so with only a modicum of effort.
5See Francesco Defferrari’s Past Ages of the Known World article within this same Issue for more details about the cataclysms from BC 1750 to BC 1700, and how they shaped the coastline of southern Brun.
6The BC 2300 map of the Known World is the author’s own creation, and may differ significantly from previous maps depicting this era and location. It is based off of maps and other information from many sources including Gaz 9, Gaz 10, PC 3, X7. For mor information regarding this map please refer to the map threads at The Piazza http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/viewforum.php?f=22
7Jadikira was created by Geoff Gander for use in his personal campaign. For more information see the Taymora - Empire of the Dead thread at The Piazza. Jadikira ultimately managed to survive the destruction of Taymora by placing her spirit in several magical objects and dispersing them throughout the Known World.
8The Aterok Mountains was the name given to the ancient mountain range that would one day become the Cruth Mountains.
11Use the standard rules for controlling undead based on the D&D rules version being played with. In Basic D&D this would be a number of undead whose Hit Dice and * total is no more than twice her own.
12Synn was first introduced as a night dragon in Bruce Heard’s Dragon Magazine series The Voyages of the Princess Ark. Later she adopted the identity of Lady Dolores Hillsbury of Glantri. This article supposes that Synn was in fact the “daughter” of the original night dragon Ghaeranatos, created by him at Thanatos’ request in order to help destroy the Taymorans.
13Dragons who take humanoid form, generally appear as the same individual whenever they do so. When Synn first took humanoid form to masquerade as Arunaru she captured the vampire’s likeness exactly, and since then she appears as Arunaru whenever taking the form of a human. Because of this, individuals who recognize or remember Arunaru from this age, may also recognize Synn in the modern era as Dolores Hillsbury.
14Lovanara has gone by many names throughout the centuries including Lovanara, Luvarshalla, and Lovaara. More information can be found about her at the Vaults of Pandius in Kaarjala (Kingdom of), and Kaarjala, Land of the Saamari by James Mishler, and The Vampiric Bloodlines of Mystara by Giampaolo Agosta. While those sources list Luvarshalla’s vampiric transformation circa BC 300, this article supposes an even more ancient origin for the figure, making her one of the original Vampire Queens of Taymora. Given her propensity for deceit and subterfuge Lovanara’s true history may remain forever a mystery.
15The Battle of Nimidi’s Maw took place approximately at the location of the Nawmmiddi Sand Flats in modern day Sind.
16It is important to note that in Mystara, shadows are not undead, but instead beings made up of shadow-stuff, however in other versions of D&D (AD&D, 3rd Edition) they are considered to be undead. This article assumes that shadows are not undead.
17See the footnote on Nimidi’s Maw above.
18Another name for the night dragon Ghaeranatos.
20Before Kubaros fell, eastern Taymora stretched east from the Tiri Mounts and covered the western portion of what is now the Frontierlands.
21Yidadnh was inspired in part by some of RobJN’s work in Thorn’s Mystara (as yet unpublished), and Francesco Defferrari’s work on Koskatep Level 9 (in Threshold Issue #11) regarding the Troll Queen and her court.