Web Enhancements03/06/2006

The Kopru Ruins

A race of cruel undersea creatures called the kopru once conquered a vast expanse of territory and established a huge, underwater empire. Since the demise of their civilization thousands of years ago, their race has steadily declined, until it became a mere shadow of its former self. While most of the kopru have succumbed to their monstrous natures and degenerated into barbarism, a few kopru matrons remember the tales of their race's former glory and seek to restore the golden age of the kopru empire. Most avoid their ancestral ruins because of the powerful magical safeguards placed there by the conquering elves to bar access to those sites, but recent raids in the area of a ruined kopru city suggest that one matron may have found a way around them and begun rebuilding the once-great Kopru Empire. Darrin Drader offers an adventure for 12th-level characters that showcases the new material on undersea adventuring and several new monsters from Stormwrack. So download this web enhancement now and let your PCs address the lurking threat beneath the waves!

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Thousands of years ago, a cruel, aquatic race called the kopru embarked on a mission of conquest and established a mighty undersea empire. The legendary might of these creatures was rivaled only by their cruelty to both enemies and subjects. The vicious kopru conquered and enslaved all the other sentient aquatic races with which they came into contact, including aquatic elves and sahuagin.

The aquatic elves who had not yet been enslaved by the kopru built their settlements far away from the empire's borders, but still they lived in fear of its expanding army. Constantly fortifying their defenses, the elves watched and waited for the day when their enemies might attempt to annex their territory and enslave them.

The sahuagin had not yet reached the pinnacle of their power as a race, but their numbers were increasing, and those not already absorbed into the empire harried its borders on a regular basis, seeking to free their enslaved kin. An individual kopru could easily defeat a single sahuagin, but the sahuagin often overpowered kopru defenders by sheer numbers. However, even the clerics of the shark god Sekolah could not provide the sahuagin with the leadership they needed to overthrow their kopru oppressors.

At last, as the elves had feared, the kopru began expanding once again, pushing the borders of their holdings outward. The aquatic elves saw this expansion as a real and imminent threat to their continued survival, so they sought allies for a final stand. The elf leaders met in secret with the leaders of the various sahuagin factions and eventually formed what would be an effective but short-lived alliance.

Bolstered by elven magic and complex strategic planning, the sahuagin army moved against the kopru expansion forces. In a single week, the unlikely allies attacked and sundered one kopru outpost after another. The cost in sahuagin life was enormous, but still they persevered.

After the kopru incursion into elven and sahuagin territory had been repelled, the sahuagin wanted to continue the fight, and the elves were more than willing to lead them into battle. The campaigns went on for years, gradually forcing the kopru farther and farther back within their borders. In time, their empire was simply overrun. Their cities were reduced to rubble, their slaves were freed and added to the invading army, and their citizens were slaughtered wholesale by the bloodthirsty sahuagin. The few surviving kopru fled their ruined cities and went into hiding.

Once they had soundly defeated the kopru, the aquatic elves and sahuagin fell to bickering over whose contribution to the war had been more valuable. Their alliance fell apart, and in less than a year, the two races were once again sworn enemies. Though a number of sahuagin fought to retain unity within their own race so that it might take the kopru's place as the dominant force of the deep, old rivalries quickly resurfaced and splintered the tribes, diluting their power.

For thousands of years, the kopru have remained in hiding, maintaining small communities and avoiding the races their ancestors had once enslaved. Most of their settlements are built in undersea caves, often near their ancestral homelands. But the powerful magical wards set up by the elves, still in place after all these years, have thus far kept them from entering the ruins of their ancient civilization.

Now, however, it appears that one of the matrons has found a way past the wards and taken up residence within one of the ruined cities. Who can penetrate the occupied city and put an end to the empire-building aspirations of the matron and her followers?

About the Authors

Darrin Drader was born in Pullman, Washington in 1973 and stayed there long enough to attend WSU. He then moved to western Washington and eventually landed a job at Wizards of the Coast, Inc. After an eight-year stay in the Seattle area, he decided to move back to eastern Washington so that he could be closer to his family. He has been an RPG freelancer since 2000 and has done design work for Dragon magazine, Star Wars Gamer magazine, Bastion Press, Mongoose Publishing, and Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

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