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Cogwheel
2007-09-12, 04:45 AM
This is to be a compilation of all the locations and such in my campaign setting, and is very much a work in progress. ...Who am I kidding? It probably will be for the rest of my life, but any feedback is appreciated, all the same:smallsmile: .

Porthaven


history

The city of Porthaven is generally thought to be a new one, and this is technically correct. Yet the spot has long been occupied by Thilton, a small farming village. The location would have been any sailor’s dreams; the bay that Thilton was situated by is one rich with fish, pearls and more. In addition, it was placed more or less right in between several other large ports, making it an ideal location for trade. however, the bay and the surrounding area were notorious for regular and vicious storms and hurricanes, making the entire region nigh impassable for ships, and preventing any notion of creating a port in that location.

Khyber Mercane was an ambitious man - an opportunist first, a merchant second, and a sorcerer of no small power. He saw the opportunity that lay in the bay of Thilton (now renamed Porthaven bay), and, letting none know of his intentions, traveled to the coastal village. There he began a week-long ritual, enlisting the aid of air and water elementals from the storms and sea themselves in a spell that bound the very sky. Today, no storms touch the bay, nor do whirlpools and fast currents interfere with the travel of boats. Indeed, in the case of important vessels, elementals, bound to serve Mercane, give the ships greater speed and ensure safe travels even beyond the waters of Porthaven. Shortly after this ritual was completed, the city of Porthaven was created, soon absorbing the little village of Thilton. Today, it is a bustling centre of trade, and one of the wealthiest cities on the face of this world.

Government

Though Khyber Mercane holds final say over any matter in the city, in principle, the city is managed by his council, consisting of one gnome, one orc, one goblin, one kobold, one elf, one dwarf, one halfling, one half-elf, one half-orc, one gnoll and one lizardman (though no Lizardfolk live in the city). In addition, the council contains the head of every guild in the city, who generally manage the city by themselves, keeping things in working order, to an extent that Mercane only need interfere very rarely, usually when guild arguments get out of hand.

Each race, except for humans, has naturally arranged themselves into their own neighborhood(s), and each has its appointed leader who, while they hold no authority outside that area, tends to be left in charge of that particular neighborhood. Ultimately, however, Mercane’s judgment overrules that of the guild leaders, the council, and any others in the city.

Description

Porthaven, a bustling hub of trade, a City Of Wonders, The Likes Of Which You Will Not See Elsewhere, one of the greatest and richest cities in the world, and a city where everyone is seeking someone else’s fortune, usually with a dagger. Porthaven is a city filled with a certain energetic bustle that never seems to stop. The crowds thin at night, but this simply means that there are more thieves on the road, hiding in the shadows, knife in hand, waiting. The markets of Porthaven are a sight to be seen, merchants and stalls filling almost every available space even before the flood of shoppers arrive. If it can’t be bought in Porthaven, than there is sure to be someone who knows someone who knows someone who can get it within the week.

Porthaven, in any case, is not a safe city. Where there is money, there is crime. Police patrol the streets, capturing those that grow careless, but crime still abounds in every corner of the city, from murder to theft to smuggling (the last one, in particular, is common). Most criminals have formed organizations, however - Ones that the police force is under strict orders not to interfere with - and so it is unlikely that the city will become a safer place any time soon.

Layout

Porthaven is a well-planned city, and follows a grid-like shape, the whole roughly divided into quarters. The entrance is in the north, a well-guarded drawbridge being the only entrance past the fortified stone walls. The south edge is taken up entirely by a massive, continously busy harbour. Ships line the docks, crates of goods are loaded, unloaded and shipped around the city, and boats haul in the catch of the day before dawn, as made evident by the shouts of the fishmongers throughout the morning.

The northwest quarter forms the commercial district, lined with shops and stalls, home to the massive Porthaven bazaar. This section is mostly closed by evening, though a few shops employ constructs (generally homunculi) to keep business flowing at all hours of the day. Those who can afford it guard their shops with anything from mundane traps to magical traps, alarm spells, or even constructs, as budget allows. The district also contains a temple to Kol Korran, god of wealth, trade and commerce.

The northeast quarter is the residential district, split into squares and strips of different-sized neighborhoods. Generally, the lower class neighborhoods are further east and closer to the wall, while upper class ones are to the east half of the district, closed to the centre and the marketplace. Some live outside the city walls (mostly farmers), and a few are unfortunate enough to live on the streets. The truly wealthy live closer to the centre, or in some cases, by the sea. There are no gnomish communities in the residential district - though a few gnomes still live here - the majority being centered around the gnomish embassy.

The southeast quarter houses all government buildings, along with the houses of some of the council members, and all embassies. The most notable buildings here would be the spectacular marble hall of justice, the city’s courthouse and, underground, its prison. The other is the council hall. The front half of the complex is where all meetings are held, be it between guild leaders, council members, or any meeting involving Khyber Mercane himself. The back half serves as lodgings and an office to the lord of Porthaven, Mercane himself. This district also houses the gnomish embassy, the tinker’s guild, and most of the gnomish refugees.

The southwest is an amalgam of all sorts of organizations, where guild halls stand side by side with temples and shrines, and many of the city’s crime lords (more often known as Respectable Citizens) lodge in grand mansions, and often establish their own, mostly undisguised halls for whatever organization they may head. Among the greatest of the buildings here are the temple of Pelor, the hall of Kol Korran, and the necromancers' guild.

The centre is a park, dominated by a brass depiction of Khyber Mercane surrounded by elementals, banishing the storms from the Porthaven bay.

Guilds (under construction)

Tinkers' guild; see gnomes.

Necromancers' guild; In Porthaven, as is the case in most cosmopolitan cities, necromancy has become a rather respected profession, if somewhat unsavory, the sort where your name becomes prefaced with “Doctor” overnight. While the animation of most bodies against their will is illegal, bodies of debtors, prisoners and some others are routinely animated as property of the state, an act which the guild is payed a moderate sum for. While most become skeletons and zombies, a few are wights or wraiths, who form a special unit in the city police. The ritual of crucimigration is a popular one among the rich, allowing the subject to, for a hefty fee, live for far longer through undeath, if not forever. Finally, if written consent of the deceased is provided, bodies may be sold to the guild for a large sum. Though some religious institutions - particularly those tied to Pelor and The Reaper - are rather wary of the guild, they have as yet been unable to bring the guild down. The current leader of the guild is Doctor Sethus Krol, an experienced necromancer and businessman, as well as being one of the living dead himself.

Other organizations

Under construction, don't expect it for a long time. hey, I still have a life, y'know.


Probably no good (it is something I wrote, after all), but I figured I'd give it a try, what do you guys think? As you can probably see, I made necromancy so that it may not be nice, but it's not evil, and mindless undead don't "trap souls" or anything like that. Also, undead are not inherently evil, so the wights are LN, and the wraiths are LN or CN (can't remember if they're CE or LE). If anyone wants info on the Reaper, I can post that.

Oh, and this campaign setting has an Eberron level of power, so Khyber Mercane is actually a level 6 sorceror, but he took the time out to make/buy a lot of magic items in advance as preparation. Also, if he dies without time to sort things out... remember those elementals? Yeah, if he dies suddenly, all deals with them are off, and they won't be happy. At all.

Cogwheel
2007-09-12, 05:04 AM
Gnomes

Though there is a gnomish government and code of law, the gnomes, by and large, govern themselves. That is to say that while the government still takes care of the country, the population needs no interference from it, and generally stay on the right side of the law, if only because they are too absorbed in their work to do otherwise. Gnomes tend to be easily distracted and far from attentive, but almost always harbor an obsession for their work, be it tinkering, smithing, magic, politics, or anything else. Though gnomes are not terribly interested in subjects that do not concern them, they will always talk for hours on end if the conversation concerns their current obsession, to the extent that some may not even notice if all others in the conversation are long gone.

Of all the trades, that of tinkering is the one that gnomes aspire to most, and though they may settle for a different trade eventually, almost every gnome has dabbled in this “art” at some point. In the days when the City of Gears still stood, the amount of tinkers and artisans had reached such a large proportion, that food and other goods had to be almost exclusively imported.

As a city-state, the gnomes held little interest in trade, or even communication with other nations. They were, as always, simply too absorbed in their work, and did what trade was necessary, but saw no need to go further. Gnomes among themselves, however, are quite sociable, eager to show their latest creations or debate some subject for hours on end, usually scarcely noticing what the other says.

Gnomes possess a sense of (usually) friendly rivalry where their crafts are concerned. The two races share similar skills, and both make incredible artisans, so a little competition is almost inevitable. Some times, however, this rivalry can take a darker turn, as both sides attempt to steal or destroy the creations of the other.

When the gnomes were forced to evacuate from their city almost two years ago, Khyber Mercane, ruler of Porthaven, offered to take them in almost immediately, an offer which the gnomes gratefully accepted. The gnomes now occupy a large part of the city, generally concentrated in the southwest.

Important gnomish buildings

The gnomish embassy

Though this building saw little use until recently, it has now become the seat of the gnomish government, such as it is. Though Khyber Mercane ultimately still has power over the gnomish refugees, for the most part, they are managed by the king of the gnomes, lord Skoraj Firdim, and a few of his advisors. Any and almost all interaction with the gnomish government, or whatever is left of it, will take place here.

The tinker’s guild

A place of marvels, machines, lunatics, and the occasional explosion, the tinker’s guild can usually be found opposite the gnomish embassy. Some times, it can be found above the embassy, below it, or falling in pieces around it. The guild supplies equipment and funding for all research done by guild members, and in the event that they create something of value, demand half the proceedings from its sale. The members consist of the occasional human, some dwarves, and even the odd kobold, though they may not be very well accepted. Gnomes, however, are still far and away the majority here.

Cogwheel
2007-09-12, 05:05 AM
The Assassin’s guild is one of the oldest guilds in Porthaven. They are not mere murderous thugs, far from it, and anyone who might imply this will find themselves prone to deadly accidents. No, they are a group consisting of educated members of all races who will, for a considerable sum, remove…inconvenient people from the world. The guild makes a point of not taking lives except in self-defense, or if they are being paid for it. After all, they are Assassins (the capital A is important, it shows Class), not murderers. Additionally, any member of the guild who seems to be overly “keen” is promptly relieved of their position in the guild, as well as their lives in a few extreme cases.

At the beginning of each year, the guild pays a large amount of gold to Khyber Mercane and the head of the Porthaven police force. In return, all assassinations miraculously pass unnoticed. Naturally, some cases are pursued vigorously, but tragically, no one ever finds the killer in question. Never the less, the Assassins take a craftsman’s pride in a job well done, and will attempt to leave as little proof as possible. In the rare event that a member of the guild is careless enough to be caught, the guild will deny any connection to them, and in the event that they are released, they tend to have a low rate of survival (after all, the guild has a Reputation to think about).

Assassins are, by and large, irreligious, but some worship (or atleast occasionally send a prayer to) The Reaper, while others are devout worshippers of Kol Korran. Their attitude on undead is generally a negative one. After all, a corpse that gets up later on and accuses its Assassin is an inconvenient one at best. Nevertheless, some guild members are on quite good terms with those belonging to the necromancer’s guild, as they both deal with death for profit, albeit in different ways.

To gain membership in the Assassin’s guild, the prospective entrant must pass a series of tests, testing their reflexes, weapon skills, stealth capabilities, and more, as well as seeing if they possess the necessary amount of Class.

Their guild hall is a somber affair, a large, wood-and-stone building on the outskirts of the city. It contains training halls, an armory, dormitories for guild members, and more.

Cogwheel
2007-09-12, 05:07 AM
The hive

The hive serves as Khyber Mercane’s eyes, ears, and -- when needed – daggers in the night.

Bound to serve him for the entirety of his life by a contract that the sorcerer made with their queen, the hive is an entire colony of formians living below Porthaven in a great cavern, ready to serve him unquestioningly at a moment’s notice. Each serves as judge, jury, and, all too often, the executioner.

Each agent is equipped with a ring of invisibility, a hat of disguise and wings of flying, allowing them to seek out and destroy Mercane’s enemies wherever they may hide or run with utmost secrecy.

To date, none know of the hive’s existence save Mercane himself. This is not to say that others have not discovered it throughout the years, but they are swiftly disposed of through a series of tragic accidents.

Because of the hive, almost no activity in the city goes unnoticed, and all is brought back to the sorcerer’s waiting ears. Similarly, any who have roused Khyber Mercane’s ire, or are seen by him as a threat, are never seen again.
. Though none know the reason, a few have discovered this disturbing tendency, and are wise enough not to speak of it.

Though most of the formians are merely thrall to their queen, a few myrmarchs -- with their queen’s permission (such is the nature of formian society) – worship st. Cuthbert fervently, and believe that the acts they commit are in the name of justice, rather than simply the sorcerer’s whims. No members of the hive ever show mercy, for such a feeling is as alien to them as any other.

In the event of Mercane’s death, the hive is immediately freed from its contract, and is free to return to its home plane, or remain on the material. In any case, this decision will be made by the queen, and the hive will act on it as a whole (it is, essentially, one creature, though the myrmarchs possess some individuality).

Cogwheel
2007-09-12, 05:09 AM
The Theldurin Wastes

Named after one of the dwarven clans that roam across it, the Theldurin Wastes are a vast expanse of frigid tundra that cover a large part of the far south. There are four nomadic clans of dwarves that call the wastes home, each consisting of several tribes, and each is headed by a Khan, usually a ranger. Each Khan is, in turn, advised by a shaman, and the numerous warriors of each clan consist of rangers and barbarians, as well as the tribe’s shaman, if there is a dire need for them to take up arms. These clans are isolated and rarely meet the others, let alone the outside world. Yet each year, on the day where the day is shortest and darkness reigns across the wastes, the clans gather together. Festivities continue for three days, while all the while, the shamans dance the long dance to return the sun to the Theldurin Wastes. During this time, the shamans do not eat, drink or sleep, chanting and dancing for 72 hours from dawn till dusk, dusk till dawn.

Ordinarily, the dwarven clans ride across the wastes on their winter wolves in search of caribou, moose and other game, taking what they need, while taking care not to kill too many, lest they disturb the balance of the wastes. In times of war, dwarven warriors ride out on their wolves or march on foot, while others may even ride frost worms. The frost worms, however, are a rare occurrence due to the difficulty of taming one, and each clan has no more than 3 or 4 (most tribes have none at all, this number is for clans as a whole).

The tribes that inhabit the wastes revere the white dragons that share the waste with them (usually neutral) as a symbol of strength and majesty, and some tribes may contain dragon shamans or dragonfire adepts.

Though the wastes have no actual towns, there area is dotted with monasteries containing (usually dwarven) monks. These monks aspire to the perfection that they see in white dragons, and are usually also dragonfire adepts or dragon shamans. The most powerful may even become dragon disciples (white), and may qualify for the prestige class via the Soul Of The North feat (complete arcane).


Regional feats

Rimebreath (general)

Prerequisites; must have atleast one level in the dragonfire adept class, region of origin: Theldurin Wastes.
Benefit; your dragonfire now deals cold damage instead of fire.

Cogwheel
2007-09-12, 05:11 AM
Il’Shavath

Il’Shavath – Land under wave in the Sahuagin tongue- is a thriving underwater Sahuagin city, and one which gets by on trade and a rather odd business. As the Sahuagin and their sharks hold complete control over local waters, they charge a moderate yearly fee for any ships that wish to travel through the area, one which most sailors are all too willing to pay, due to the convenience of the location. In addition, the fish-men export pearl jewelry and fish from the sea surrounding their city, as well as trading goods with passing ships within Il’Shavath itself. Among them, jewelry and ornamental weapons are common, mostly made of well-polished brass.

As most races cannot breathe underwater and the Sahuagins have difficulty breathing above water, trade was initially largely impossible. By working together with the gnomes, however, the fish-men have succeeded in creating a diving suit of sorts, filled with sea water rather than air, allowing them to breathe above water for twice as long as normal. For more wealthy Sahuagins, reverse-engineered rings of water breathing have also been created, allowing permanent breathing above water as well as below.

Finally, some buildings are partially above ground, allowing for trade to occur on the upper floors, while the Sahuagins occasionally take breaks to dive down into the water below as necessary.

Il’Shavath benefits from a rather unusual location; it is built along the slopes and foot of a dead volcano, allowing for buildings that reach above water near the summit. Additionally, it also allows for the Sahuagins to pump geothermal energy from the depths of the mountain, distributing it throughout the city in adamantine pumps both for heating and to work steam-powered machinery. Since the city lacks beasts of burden –such as horses- the rational solution would be to use sharks, as they are strong, capable of speaking with the fish-men, and never sleep, but followers of Sekolah find the idea appalling, and so, by and large, they remain unused within the city. Instead, steam-powered machines move around the city day and night, stronger and more enduring than any animal, and are often advocated as an alternative to beasts of burden by the followers of Sekolah.

Though metal would normally be hard to come by underwater, the fish-men have found an alternative in the metallic clams that litter the area. These clams have evolved to contain various minerals in their shells depending on the particular variety as a defense mechanism. The Sahuagins hunt these clams, eat the meat and smelt the shells (in one of the few buildings that are entirely above water), extracting copper, tin, iron and other metals. Some mutant strains contain mithril and adamantine in their shells, while in areas affected by strong necromantic spells and such, it is not unknown to find clams whose shells contain Thinaun, or soulsteel. If caught in the correct season, some clam shells will even contain gems, gold, silver and other precious stones and metals for display purposes, at the expense of shell strength.


That's all for now... desert area and info on The Reaper coming when I have some spare time, as well as an elf kingdom, drow (no, not drizzt, abandon everything you know about drow save spider-worship, and throw ettercaps in), a hobgoblin empire, and a human mountain nation.

So...what do you think?

The Neoclassic
2007-09-12, 06:34 AM
Hey, nice to see you here too!

I think the thing which would help the most at this point is a map so readers can see where the areas are in relation to one another.

As I've said before, I love the setting you're building; all the little special details, from the Necromancers' Guild to the hive to artic dwarven dragon monks to metallic clams, make it stand out. I do have a little pet peeve though- why do you write your guild names as "Necromancer's Guild" or "Assassin's Guild"? The positioning of the apostrophe suggests the guild is owned by a single necromancer or assassin, or even consists of just a single person. Placing the apostrophe after makes it the collective guild of all necromancers; even if in reality the power is all held by a single person in the guild and not all local members of that profession are part of the guild, usually they'd want to make it at least have the outer semblance of a collective effort by all whom the guild claims as its members.

In the Theldurin Wastes, are there prohibitions which require young dwarves to marry outside of their clan or at least tribe, either in order to create alliances or because marrying within the clan (which is like extended family) is considered to be incest? If so, then the Winter Solstice festivals might also be a time of fertility rites, arranging marriages, or one-night dalliances. Competitions of strength and riding (winter wolves, but perhaps also the extremely popular spectator sport of frost worms) would also add to the festive atmosphere.

Cogwheel
2007-09-12, 06:45 AM
Hey, nice to see you here too!

I think the thing which would help the most at this point is a map so readers can see where the areas are in relation to one another.


...cartography? me? (flees in horror)





As I've said before, I love the setting you're building; all the little special details, from the Necromancers' Guild to the hive to artic dwarven dragon monks to metallic clams, make it stand out. I do have a little pet peeve though- why do you write your guild names as "Necromancer's Guild" or "Assassin's Guild"? The positioning of the apostrophe suggests the guild is owned by a single necromancer or assassin, or even consists of just a single person. Placing the apostrophe after makes it the collective guild of all necromancers; even if in reality the power is all held by a single person in the guild and not all local members of that profession are part of the guild, usually they'd want to make it at least have the outer semblance of a collective effort by all whom the guild claims as its members.


The answer is because I'm a moron with no knowledge of grammar, I'll fix that later.


In the Theldurin Wastes, are there prohibitions which require young dwarves to marry outside of their clan or at least tribe, either in order to create alliances or because marrying within the clan (which is like extended family) is considered to be incest? If so, then the Winter Solstice festivals might also be a time of fertility rites, arranging marriages, or one-night dalliances. Competitions of strength and riding (winter wolves, but perhaps also the extremely popular spectator sport of frost worms) would also add to the festive atmosphere.

haven't really thought about it, but yeah, I suppose marrying outside the tribe, if not clan, would be encouraged, but not forced. Again, thanks for all the help queen. Incidentally, what happened to that game we were planning?

Oh, and if you're wondering why I came here, it's because of the new WotC forum terms of use - I'll be deleting my stuff from there and linking over here fairly soon.

The Neoclassic
2007-09-12, 06:52 AM
Whoa, what? I don't like the sound of this; I'd better read those.

I've been waiting to hear back from you for the game; I didn't want to be pushy.

Ooh, how about some bonfires in the Wastes? I'm not sure if those would work in an artic place, but big fires go well with big festivals.

Cogwheel
2007-09-12, 06:56 AM
Whoa, what? I don't like the sound of this; I'd better read those.

I've been waiting to hear back from you for the game; I didn't want to be pushy.

Ooh, how about some bonfires in the Wastes? I'm not sure if those would work in an artic place, but big fires go well with big festivals.

Bonfires? Yeah, sure, great idea. As for the terms...


By posting or submitting any text, images, designs, video, sound, code, data, lists, or other materials or information (such User-submitted content, collectively, "User Content") to or through a Site, including without limitation on any User profile page, you hereby irrevocably grant to Wizards, its affiliates and sublicensees, a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, non-exclusive, and fully sub-licensable license, to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such User Content (in whole or in part) in any media and to incorporate the User Content into other works in any format or medium now known or later developed. The foregoing grants shall include the right to exploit any proprietary rights in such User Content, including but not limited to rights under copyright, trademark, service mark or patent laws under any relevant jurisdiction.

Essentially, they've worded it so that they can literally copy and paste anything of the boards and use it as their own. They've actually done pretty much that with one prestige class (never heard which, now in complete scoundrel), and presumably some other stuff too.

Disgusting, innit?

Umarth
2007-09-12, 08:09 AM
The Assassin’s guild is one of the oldest guilds in Porthaven. They are not mere murderous thugs, far from it, and anyone who might imply this will find themselves prone to deadly accidents.

This just struck me as funny.

Assasin: We're not murderous thugs you know.
Random Guy: Yes you are.
A: How dare you. Take that (commences murding random guy thuggishly).
RG: Now we see the violence inherent in the system.

Have you considered making these into affiliations. (see PHB2)

Cogwheel
2007-09-12, 10:08 AM
No, I haven't. I can't see the PhB2, since I don't own it, sorry >.>

Umarth
2007-09-12, 11:42 AM
Short version is it allows you a simple(ish) way to have your characters be part of a larger group and let them resolve actions taken by that group quickly.

If you want your PCs to be part of orginizations I highly recommend it.

Cogwheel
2007-09-12, 11:27 PM
Ah well, I can't afford another book, but I can make a spur-of-the-momentand rather less simple way of belonging in an organization, so that's alright:smallsmile:. 'Sides, if anyone wants their character to join one of these organizations, I'm not about to stop them if it fits the character.

...Well, aside from the hive, anyway:smalltongue: .

namo
2007-09-15, 09:35 PM
That's all for now... desert area and info on The Reaper coming when I have some spare time, as well as an elf kingdom, drow (no, not drizzt, abandon everything you know about drow save spider-worship, and throw ettercaps in), a hobgoblin empire, and a human mountain nation.

So...what do you think?

Nice. I look forward to reading the next installments.

Cogwheel
2007-09-15, 09:46 PM
Thanks, glad you enjoy the half-baked mess you're being forced to play in:smalltongue: .

namo
2007-09-15, 09:55 PM
You're good : I didn't even realized you were forcing me to play. :smallbiggrin:

Even if you won't touch map-making, perhaps you could indicate the distance between Porthaven and Il’Shavath (as in "X days of walk"). What are the relations between those two big cities like ?

Cogwheel
2007-09-15, 10:07 PM
[jedi mind trick] No, ofcourse I'm not. [/jedi mind trick]

Also, you don't walk between Il'Shavath and Porthaven unless you're suicidal or can breathe underwater. It's roughly 130 easy kilometres though, due to the sea being so nice and tame. I have no idea how long it would take by boat though, as I'm blank on speeds.

Cogwheel
2007-09-22, 09:27 AM
Tel-Shorann

Tel-Shorann - Sea's Blessing in the Goblin tongue - is the collective name for a large string of goblin settlements on the edge of the Greymist Mire, situated quite literally on the sea. Each settlement is a collection of families, ruled over by another family. Each family is matriachial, as is the limited form of government. Their settlements are filled with the smells of seaweed, fish and salt at all times of the day and year.

All settlements consist of floating wooden platforms, crafted from the Soarwood (very light wood, see Eberron for details, the stuff almost floats) that grows in abundance in the Mire. houses and other buildings are made from the same material and nailed onto the platform. Each settlement is only about half an hour away in each direction from another, and for this reason, interaction between different settlements are common. All settlements have several rowboats, not unlike gondolas, tethered to their platform, as well as a rather more ornate wedding barge (all goblins are "encouraged" to marry one from another settlement).

Aside from other goblin settlements, each grouping of families are fiercely self-sufficient, in that they do not trust trade for fear that others may eventually turn on them, and so they turn to farming, hunting and gathering. Most platforms also sport a stable of sorts for a dolphin or two, largely as a beast of burden. A druid (or possibly a shaman) or two will invariably move between different settlements in a set area, helping certain ones in need as necessary (they are usually level 3 or so).

All settlements in Tel-Shorann are heavily lawful in alignment, usually Lawful Neutral, and respect for tradition, one's elders and the local powers, as well as the wandering druids or shamans and the traditional values they embody, is greatly encouraged. Indeed, disrespect for any of these is frowned upon, at the very least.

The Neoclassic
2007-09-22, 10:12 AM
I like Tel'Shorran. Personally, I'd go with more neutral than lawful, in part due to their strong independent streak and partially because I just envisioned goblin as more chaotic. I'll comment more when I have time later.

Cogwheel
2007-09-22, 06:07 PM
Naw, they are very definitely lawful. They don't do the self-sufficiency out of individualism, but mostly due to a form of paranoia. Trust me, I live in Japan, I know what I'm talking about. They grow crazy amounts of rice that no one eats because of some ideal that if the entire world turns on them and they're completely cut off/isolated, they will have their rice. Yeah, it's daft, and also what I was inspired by. It also happens to be tragically true.

Cogwheel
2008-02-22, 05:20 AM
It's been almost exactly 5 months, and I have returned! New mountain country coming up, along with a really nasty swamp (those of you who play Magic, think Mephidross).

Lord_Gareth
2008-02-22, 07:26 AM
*Idly wonders if Nocturne is still part of this*

Bisected8
2008-02-22, 09:30 AM
This just struck me as funny.

Assasin: We're not murderous thugs you know.
Random Guy: Yes you are.
A: How dare you. Take that (commences murding random guy thuggishly).
RG: Now we see the violence inherent in the system.

Have you considered making these into affiliations. (see PHB2)

I think he was thinking along the lines of the assassins' guild in the Discworld novels....so that's really the point.

Cogwheel
2008-02-22, 12:04 PM
Rashkan

The Rashkan Empire is a moderately sized monarchy, situated in the Rashkan mountain range to the north of Porthaven and east of the Greymist Mire. The population is largely human, with a small amount of Goliaths, Dwarves and Hobgoblins.

Though the small communities that form the Rashkan Empire do not produce much food due to their rocky, inhospitable locations, they can generally do quite well, trading metals for food from the plains below. Aside from this, however, they generally distrust foreigners, keeping minimal contact with neighbouring countries and tribes, save in time of war, which is rather often.

The Rashkan are militaristic and always trained for war from an early age. This stems from a distrust of foreigners and a belief that a betrayal and full-scale attack could happen any day. To this end, the Rashkan practice pre-emptive counterattacks frequently.

The Rashkan Empire has been ruled by a single dynasty for the past 420 years. They rule by the mandate of some hidden celestial host, which allegedly gives them the right to rule. If they become corrupt, the right is removed - however, this will not become apparent until there is a rebellion or coup. If it is successful, than the dynasty's right was revoked. However, due to the military strength of the Rashkan, the magical training within the imperial family, and the royal guard, this system has, in actuality, become an elaborate version of might-makes-right.

Cogwheel
2008-02-22, 07:53 PM
@LG - yes it is, as soon as you can be bothered to type it up :smalltongue:

@Bisected - yep, that's the idea.

Lord_Gareth
2008-02-23, 04:29 PM
Oooooh, 'righty ^_^ I'll get it written up sometime soon

Lord_Gareth
2008-02-23, 08:37 PM
Nocturne

Nocturne is a small town, barely more than a village, nestled in the Lychpeak Mountains far to the south of Porthaven, bordering Theldurin. Partially underground, the village is carved into a mountainside with limited roads and passes leading to it. Altered weather patterns keep it warm, pleasant, and farmable in the region, though the entire mountain range seems to be devoid of any game to hunt. The villagers are friendly, jovial, and open to strangers easily.

This is despite the fact that most of them are dead.

The undead in Nocturne outnumber the living almost ten to one. Wraiths, ghosts, shadows and other incorporeal phantasms fill the air above the village and walk through the streets. Strangely, they don't prey on the living, but hover near them and converse intelligently.

Nocturne was once the domain of a lich who had designs for world domination. Some three thousand years ago, the lich was destroyed by his own "herd" - brave villagers from the Nocturne of long ago. They looted his library and discovered that he had placed a spell of necromantic reanimation over the region. Unable to countermand his magic, they prayed to the gods. Two answered - Pelor the Sunlord and The Reaper. The Reaper acted through his priest and gave the undead minds and sated their hungers. Pelor removed the taint of evil from them.

Nocturne still worships those two gods, incorperating respect for the undead into their faith. The village is ruled by the High Priests - the Priestess of Pelor and the Priest of the Reaper, who are always married. Below them is the Dirgesinger, who gives the final respects to the dead and deals, ironically, with spiritual matters. From there, the Watch are composed exclusively of undead - impartial and able to go anywhere for clues.

Nocturne is a fairly isolated community, but it isn't on purpose - they don't understand what the outside world is like and that most people aren't aware of them. Occasionally, Nocturne marshals to war when crusaders from their own churches (not realizing that Nocturne has the blessing of the Reaper and Pelor) try to wipe them out. Attempts have so far done nothing but destroy a few undead.

Nocturne is currently ruled by Nathan Graves and Maria Sunbow. The Dirgesinger is the ghost of Suzzanah Graves, who bears a Vault of Souls around her neck. Her apprentice, a young half-vampire named Marak, performs her duties when she is away.

Cogwheel
2008-02-23, 08:41 PM
First off, yes, LG has my approval about Nocturne, we've been working on it for a while.

Second, Greymist Mire will be posted some time today.

Cogwheel
2008-02-23, 09:38 PM
The Greymist Mire

Whenever great magic is wrought, there is a chance that it will mark the land it is used upon forever. Such is the case with the Greymist Mire.

Many years ago, there was a long war in the region that is now the Mire. The details are lost to time, but the war had been dragging on for years, and both sides were low on troops. To compensate, one hired a band of transmuters to give their troops a skin of metal and the breath of a black dragon, while another hired a cabal of necromancers to raise the fallen under their own command.

They knew nothing of the effect this had on the land until one day, when the Mire collected its due at last.

It was a day of battle like any other, magically "enhanced" soldiers clashing with armies of undead. Suddenly, a scream began to emanate from the earth itself, as many glimmering colours spread across it. Pieces of the now-metallic Mire wrenched themselves from the ground and, as the skies began to rain acid, attacked both armies indiscriminately.

That day was the last of the war, few have visited the Mire since.

Now, it is a far more sinister place than before, yet oddly beautiful - the air is filled with a grey-green fog which is actually a mixture of acids, while the ground is composed not of earth, but metals of many varieties and shades, corroding or reacting with the air at all times, forming a tapestry of colours. Water cannot be found within the Mire for the most part, as pools of acid have long since replaced it.

The acid fog also has a curious second quality: it transports metal into living things. Many who wander into the Mire, if they survive the night, risk waking up with a partially metallic limb. Any who fall within the Mire rise within hours to become a zombie, a wight or worse, and so the entire area is riddled with undead, many of which are victims of the day the war ended. Most of these undead also contain large amounts of metal.

Treat metal undead as having +3 natural armour, and improve the damage of their natural attacks by one size category. Anything native to the Mire is immune to acid, while non-natives take 1d6 acid damage every 5 minutes and suffer all the effects of breathing acid fumes. Yes, it's excessively nasty, it's supposed to be that way, don't say I didn't warn you.

Cogwheel
2008-02-24, 01:46 AM
People of the Greymist Mire

Thanks to DM BloodBought on Plothook for a lot of this section ^_^

No matter how hostile an enviroment may be, sooner or later, people will come to find some advantage in it. The Mire is no exception.

Miners - shortly after the Mire became what it is today, a middle-aged(by draconic standards) green half-dragon discovered the possibilities available in this place to any who were immune to the effects of the fog. He ventured into the Mire often, though not long enough for any of the metal to enter his body, and returned each time with an assortment of rare minerals.

In a short time, he made a small fortune in this way, and started to hunt for slaves that could mine for him. He eventually retired, and now mining towns have sprung up around the edges of the Mire, just out of the mist. Spellcasters are hired to protect the miners from acid for a short while, and the miners themselves are given a gas mask and a pick each. Some fall to undead, but in general, the industry is a surprisingly safe one. However, many black dragons inhabit the Mire, and while they allow miners to take any metal they see, they also demand a sizable portion of the profits in return. To this day, any creature with a resistance to acid can make a great fortune in the Mire, and in some of the larger mines, magically reinforced acid-proof structures are built to prevent the fog from entiring into the mines.

Castle Greymist - No more than 100 years ago, a vampire lord needed a hideout to escape from crusaders on his trail. Knowing that as undead he was immune to the ill effects of the Mire, he made his way there, and created a castle within a magical bubble of sorts in one of the Mire's deepest acid lakes. Though he was almost alone there at first, news got around, and now the area is a thriving hub of activity for intelligent undead in the Mire - the one place where they can reliably find others of their kind. The crusaders that were once on the vampire's trail have not been heard from since.

The war - across the Mire, battles still rage constantly, with both sides composed for the most part of mindless undead, but some intelligent undead can be found too. All ex-soldiers, none of the seem to have realized that the war is over, and they continue to fight, kill eachother and rise again to continue the battle each day.