The Godsmen Apocalypse
The dragonwrought master bard KB
The renowned and yet enigmatic bard known only by his penname as, “K. B.” has been a mystery to those dedicated few who follow his constant publications. Large numbers of kobolds read his direct Draconic translations of his treatises and papers. His human readership mostly consists of wizards and sorcerers who find his extremely detailed and yet, strangely specific subjects to be sometimes incredibly useful. Most of the time he is read among human readers for their amusement at his perceived lack of awareness due to the sometimes extreme and (always) situational usefulness of his works. Yet still, a small and dedicated group of dragons count themselves as fans of the bard, praising and lauding his nuanced views of interchromatic, sociopolitical, and religious debate.
This is the story of how he became the modern enigma of dragonkind…
K. B. was born on a lowly backwater prime world known colloquially as “the Dragon Between,” or, translated directly most often as “Eberron.” There, he was born in a small village of secretive and reclusive kobolds. Shortly after his birth, his entire tribe was mysteriously slaughtered by some kind of gigantic monstrosity, leaving little to even mark their village aside from piles of rubble and smoldering of dead flames.
Only the small newborn kobold whelp was left alive. He was chanced upon by a caravan of traveling halflings– merchant cousins of the Talenta plains nomads–on their way to and from far and distant routes. They saw the smoldering wreck from a distance and decided to investigate. When they arrived, one of their number, a halfling named Mr. Tibbs, a gentleman scholar of divine work (Chaotic Good, Archivist) found the baby kobold. Rather than leave him there alone to die, the halfling merchant took the child with him and delivered it safely to his nomadic companions. There, he left the kobold under the care of his sister and her husband before he once again left to trade.
When he came of age, he was given the name, “Keirantibalt Barascus”–an overeager mistranslation of some of the Draconic found the table with the baby. Every season, his ‘uncle’ Tibbs would visit, checking up on him and bringing him books of history and exotic text. From youth he was instilled with a love of reading and the excitement of the arcane.
Growing up, K. B. suffered an insatiable wanderlust. He would visit neighboring towns at night and explore them. Soon he dared to venture into public during the day, swaying people with his words over his more surprising appearance. Before long, he became known as something of a local oddity. He would, more than anything else, go to the local store and buy maps. He wouldn’t buy them to use; but to marvel at. His world was maps stretched out on the ground around him in a circle. He used to dream that they were all interconnected by strange borders different from those men would draw. He dreamt of a world wheels and endless spires.
When he came of age by halfling custom, he was given a piece of parchment by his Uncle Tibbs. On it, was a rubbing that he had taken from the altar the day he found K. B.—the previously mistranslated Draconic. Now, capable of fully comprehending the language, K. B. could read clearly what his name was. After the party he snuck out of his tribe’s camp and ran away. He went straight to find the ruins of his old kobold tribe. With the help of his maps, and his uncle’s description of the location, he was able to find it amid the shifting desert.
There, little remained to mark the location that wasn’t worn away by shifting sand. The only obvious landmark remaining was the stone altar upon which he had been born. There, etched with acid along its edge, was inscribed the phrase, “KEIRENALTIBUS BARANCLEMINOUS — MALSVIR DARASTRIX TURALISJ AUSSIR–VUTHA–ACHUAK–ULHAR–CHARIR MALSVIR URATHEAR ETHEIEJIR.”
Translated, it reads:
(Evil dragon big white-black-green-blue-red evil deity’s blood)
Human scholars often casually translate Urathear Etheiejir into Common as “the Anointed One,” as there is often a belief that the word for blood is a reverence to ancient draconic rights which involved blood anointment.
K. B. was horrified by the implications of the ritual the kobolds that birthed him had participated in. Worse, there was little information to tell him if they succeeded or not. He realized it could have been that their presumptions angered something very old and very powerful, or the deaths of everyone in his entire village had been part of some… preparation.
Curiosity replaced with fear, he fled from that place and never returned. He remained another year with his family on the plains and then left, going with his uncle to see the world on his next trip. He bought a Hat of Disguise and used it, transforming himself into the Younger Mr. Tibbs, a halfling entrepreneur traveling with his grandfather in his first merchant caravan.
The Eldest Mr. Tibbs was a high society gentleman, a stark contrast to the uncivil halflings that raised him. He had been born a part of that tribe like his sister and her husband, but unlike them he was tasked with the responsibility of managing their caravan routes all the way to the civilized world. Over time, society changed him, and he even changed his name from Tibbal to Mr. Tibbs to adjust.
Eldest Tibbs taught and raised K. B. through his headstrong young adulthood. When they reached Sharn for the first time, Mr. Tibbs introduced his young “grandson” to an acquaintance of his, Kalen Pastwalker, an ancient elven bard and renowned archivist for an ancient order known as the Keepers of the Past. Like his adopted uncle, Kalen was a collector of information and history. Unlike him, however, Kalen collected knowledge for religious significance. They were friends due to a long-time history of sharing ancient texts and rare manuscripts, but they had different aims ultimately.
Mr. Tibbs invested all of his time, energy, and resources developing and bettering the trade of his village. His knowledge and divine study were further means to that same end, and they gave him the abilities he needed to make his way. Kalen, however, was a true believer. He taught K. B. that knowledge existed to be maintained and kept. His own religious doctrine taught him that the elves could become near-perfect if they followed and attempted to recreate the deeds and legends of their ancient patrons. Kalen believed that through this study, he could achieve enlightenment and that, through repeating the deeds and acts of his predecessor, he could channel that ancient progenitor.
While much of his personal faith and ancient lineage was lost on K. B., the central idea that knowledge was a form of power stuck. Decades later, while living for a period in Sigil, K. B. would meet and have drinks with a member of the Godsmen, a planar authority on self-improvement. During their conversation over tea and biscuits, the Godsmen revealed to K. B. that he was, actually, was one of the oldest beings in the multiverse. Over his millennia of existence, this Godsman had not aged or weakened, but instead he became stronger and more competent. He admitted he shared drinks and stories with such young mortals largely due to boredom from the nearly endless years.
During their conversation, K. B. told the Godsman about his life, and his journey that led him to Sigil. As chance might have it, the immortal he was dining with was an elf by the name of Kalen’desorai, which to his ancient version of the elven language translated as: Kalen the Lore Keeper.
To K. B.’s surprise, Kalen was actually the ancient patron of the Kalen he had met. Whereas the Keeper of the Past believed his patron to be long-since dead, he was instead now an active planeswalker and official Godsman. They talked for hours, well into the dim Sigil night. When they parted company, they did so with firm handshakes and warm smiles. Before they parted, Kalen’desorai turned back and said, “Friend, consider slaking that thirst for knowledge in a more structured way. I must go, for my path leads yet deeper into this life. If you should find yourself wishing to learn more about my faction, go to the Great Foundry, tell the guard at the gate that Kalen sent you.”
With a nod and a hearty goodbye wave, K. B. resumed his journey. For a time, he mused on the last words of that ancient Godsman. Then, with a nod of affirmation, he left and headed straightaway for the Foundry.
Now, decades later K. B. has landed on a world cursed with a seemingly unstoppable taint and furious demons and undead monstrosities. The lands are overrun, and he finds himself, a strange, traveling legerdemain, positioned to help defend, perhaps reality itself from the coming end.
All while still dreading the possible ramifications of his past, and what his mysterious birth might mean for his future.