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Do You Know Curtis Baum?

Do you know Curtis Baum? Come inside for an introduction.

Today we take a look at Curtis Baum. He is easily the most prolific writer among the D3 Adventurers and it has earned him the title of Senior Line Developer. He has the helm on four product lines (Adventure!, Extras!, Romp!,  and Tangent!) with a fifth (Rcane’s Guides that are Pathfinder compatible and 5th Edition) on the way.

Curtis has been playing various role-playing games since he was a child. Initially starting with Dungeons and Dragons (boxed set), he quickly diversified to several different game systems.

His first published work was an internet fan collection which dated back to at least 1996, The Gallery of Magical Blades, where he contributed a holy sword. Since then, he has been a contributing author, author, and editor on over a dozen projects, most within the last 5 years. His list of credits is rather extensive, even before he started with D3 Adventures.

Today, he works from home and teaches his two daughters the fine art of gaming. He games an average of twice per week, including online. He currently plays Pathfinder, Shadowrun, and Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition. He organizes table-top gaming at Salt Lake Gaming Con, Salt Lake Fan X, and Salt Lake Comic Con in Utah, and attends several others.  He is always looking for a good game. His older daughter (Jean, and our next featured D3 Adventurer) is learning to drive, and going to community college full time. She is a GM in Pathfinder Society. His younger daughter just started learning to code HTML and CSS as a summer project. But she is really a ranger at heart with a great love for rabbits and cats.

Be sure to join us next Monday when we learn more about fledgling author; Jean Baum.

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Author Musings: The Godsfall

The newest (fifth) in a series from Curtis Baum.

Eventually, Pyren and Menea discovered the corruption that Wenin had caused. Wenin was responsible for the fall of both Evetia and Meliasuun. His influence caused the formation of the goblinoids, dark elves, and other dark races. His desire, however, was not yet sated. He wanted the ability to create new life of his own, and he needed Menea to do that.

When Pyren came to confront Wenin, the dark god was ready. Wenin eased the fears of his brother, and waited until Pyren let down his guard. Wenin attacked his brother from behind, slaying him with his mighty scythe. Pyren, one of the oldest of the gods, was the first immortal murdered, and at the hands of his own brother.

Wenin then sought out Menea. He tried to convince her to help him create a new world, a dark world full of pain, torture, and torment. Menea, however, sensed what Wenin had done to Pyren. She confronted him about the death of his brother. Wenin did not deny his actions, but tried to use his own jealousy as an excuse for fratricide. He had wanted everything that Pyren and Menea had and he tried to blame them for his actions.

Menea was furious. She forced Wenin from her Well of Creation and banished him from all known realms, including his own Pit of Suffering. Then Menea sealed the Well of Creation from within. She has not answered the prayers of her followers nor has she manifested in the world of Antaran since.

Wenin found himself alone and unable to affect the world around him. Although he still had power, he was unable to enter either his own realm or the rest of creation. He can hear the prayers of his faithful, but cannot grant spells or manifest in Antaran either. Legends state that he roams the realms beyond those known, waiting for souls to torture and constantly seeking a way to return to his Pit.

The world was not untouched by the Godsfall. Dragons, for example, had an entire clutch of eggs hatch as humanoids rather than their own kind. These beings would become known as the dracnee, or children of the dragons. They would form centers of trade and industry that were apart from the human and goblinoid empires that controlled the continent of Menron.

In the end, the first gods were lost to the world. Pyren, the God of the Sun, was slain. Wenin, the God of Darkness, was exiled and unable to return. Menea, the Goddess of Creation, locked herself in her own realm and has not been seen or heard from since. The world was now in the hands of the Pantheon, without supervision of the Elder Gods.

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Author Musings: The First Feuds

Empires of Glory 4 – The First Feuds

The fourth in a series from Curtis Baum.

 

Empires of Glory 4 – The First Feuds

Pyren and Menea soon found that they needed other gods to help them maintain their world. These gods were ascended from their mortal creations, and they had the flaws and personalities of their former lives. The new pantheon did not always agree and often their arguments were devastating. Some were even corrupted by Wenin and fell from their enlightened state.

The Sun Scorched Sea

The creation of the Sun Scorched Sea is the most dramatic change to the terrain of the world since Pyren and Menea first gathered the elements. In a single moment, the vast forests that ran through the center of the continent were destroyedAccording to legend, the cause of the event was a dispute between the young god Forej and the goddess Ridera.

Forej, the god of nature, the forest, and elves considered the massive forest through the middle of the continent of Menron to be his domain. Under his protection, the elves lived as a single unified race in their great forest cities. The area prospered and Forej grew proud of the creatures he was charged with protecting. However, he was also a great trickster and would tease the other gods incessantly. With the goddess Ridera and her short temper, he constantly provoked her.

Ridera was the recently ascended goddess of fire. Originally, she was a human who knew both the incredible benefits and terrifying devastation that flames could bring. She had spent most of her short life teaching others to respect the element rather than to fear it. However, she was known even in mortality for her short temper and burning rage.

Forej taunted Ridera about her lack of dedicated cities and devout followers. She had a church and worshippers, but he considered them inferior to his own noble elves and their vast cities. He even called her a fake and powerless god. After constant goading, Ridera rose up in fury and vowed to show Forej exactly what she was capable of. With a swipe of her hand, the proud elven forests were destroyed. The land was instantly raised hundreds of feet above the neighboring terrain. All vegetation, including the elven trees, died. The once proud forest was replaced by a harsh desert.

Most of the elves fled their homeland, separating into the different subspecies seen today. Those who stayed behind became the Sand Elves. Those who fled into the World Crown Mountains evolved into the Cloud Elves, the keepers of lore. The group who stayed in the forests to the east of the Sun Scorched Sea were the Forest Elves while their cousins that built cities along the borders of the human lands became the Vale Elves. Finally, some fled the land altogether, traveling down the river and to the sea, living as the Sea Elves.

The Dragon Civil War

The first advanced life created by Pyren and Menea were the dragons. The original two were the mated pair of Zyterus and Evetia and from them all dragons are descended. Their progeny spread throughout the world and found homes in a wide variety of terrains. These creatures were noble and honorable individuals who aided each other and the other races when needed, at least until Wenin got involved.

Wenin took the natural love of gold found in all dragons and amplified it in Evetia. He corrupted the matriarch of dragonkind, turning her into the goddess of greed. She quietly rallied as many of her children as she could to her cause, plotting in the dark.

When she was ready, she and her followers attacked Zyterus and the other dragons. Dragons across the entire world turned on their siblings, slaying their own kin and destroying entire clutches of eggs. Countless humanoid settlements were caught in the crossfire, leaving devastation across the globe.

Although a few dragons avoided choosing sides in the war, the vast majority were forced to side with one parent or the other. Although Evetia and her allies secured several early victories, they were unable to defeat Zyterus and his key advisers. Their retaliation was swift and brutal. It was not long before Evetia was forced to accept her defeat.

Zyterus refused to kill his own mate. Instead he forged a truce and established areas for his allies as well as her followers. Those who were able to avoid the war were also granted territory under the treaty. Although there have been rogue dragons that refuse to acknowledge the agreement, the violence between dragons has been greatly resolved. Evetia, however, is slowly biding her time while planning another attempt to conquer her mate and take his wealth and power for herself.

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Author Musings: Empires of Glory – The First Races

Empires of Glory 3 – The First Races

The third in a series from Curtis Baum.

Working together, Pyren and Menea began to create the world. They took the essences of elements and merged them into a great ball that could sustain life. Pyren formed the sun from a piece of his Disc of Light and it shone brightly upon the world. Menea opened a portal to her Well of Life and plants and creatures both flowed freely into the new planet. Plants covered the land and filled the seas. Animals crawled across the land, forming nests and beginning to multiply. The oceans were filled with all manner of fish and life thrived.

Wenin watched as his siblings formed the world and brought forth fabulous creatures. He observed that the brilliance created by the sun was causing many of the plants to wither and some of the animals to suffer. He approached his brother and sister with a recommend and compromise. He knew they would not let him bring his own creations to life, but he showed them that too much light and warmth was causing their own creations to suffer and die. He suggested that he could bring an essence of his own domain to counter partially the effects of the sun, allowing respite from the heat and allowing more life to thrive. After seeing his evidence, his siblings agreed. Wenin created the night, a period of time that he controlled without his brother’s influence.

Pyren and Menea then began to change the life that inhabited their world. First, they took the elemental cores that forged their planet and implanted them into reptiles, creating the great dragons and their kin. Then, they took apes and refined them into massive beings of intellect and power, the giants. They then refined the process into the smaller and shorter lived humanoids (elves, humans, dwarves, halflings, and gnomes.)

Pyren and Menea soon found that they had more creations than they could reasonably manage. They sought the greatest samples of their various creations and imbued them with wonderful powers. The pantheon began to form from all races and the authority over creation was divided amongst them. The elder gods had created helpers and gave them divinity.

What they failed to see was how Wenin was able to slowly corrupt all of their creations. He turned the hearts of some of the giants and dragons into cold greedy creatures. He tortured some of the elves, turning them into dark elves and orcs. Nothing his siblings had created was immune to the lure of darkness that Wenin provided. His influence even took a toll on the pantheon of gods themselves.

A clash between the powers of light and dark was brewing and the results would be devastating to the world.