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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    So, I'm considering playing in the aforementioned Blackwood game, but I'd like to do my homework.

    I was thinking an Initiate Zealot, the paladin-analog with minor casting and turning. That seems to blend well with the Unified priesthood, I believe. So, what would be the biggest help would be an outline of the philosophy, beliefs and general outlook of a priest-turned-warrior of Mareal Turi, with as many specifics, quirks, rites, whatever, as possible, as well as what their reaction to having an Evil Witch Queen (tm) in the Elder Kingdom would be.

    A couple specific questions:

    • Do the Unified have any sort of confession-type rite? Related to my character concept.
    • What sort of Domains would Mareal Turi be associated with? Light? Glory? Sound? War?
    Good questions! The only thinking I've done on the Unified is present in the "Excerpts from the Song of Unity," found here. I'm sure you've already read it, but there are a few things we can learn from picking it apart.
    • Prayer and/or ritualized recitation is an important aspect of the Unified faith. You are welcome to make up your own pious snippets whenever you'd like.
    • Priests of Mareal Turi adopt either a form of light (usually a lantern or torch), or sound (almost always a bell, though the priest may also sing). These two have developed into their own orders (The Order of His Light and The Order of His Voice, respectively), but the Unified is still scarce enough in the Blackwood that I haven't bothered to enunciate them. Also, I think the priests that sing are a little more vain, and are probably especially rare in a frontier region like the Blackwood.
    • Priests are most often missionaries or (what could be most easily described as) exorcists, but all of them are focused on the conversion of souls and "pagan gods." Some arrive bearing the Good Word with a gentle voice, providing wisdom and courage to a downtrodden people. Others arrive with an iron fist, tearing down "false idols" and asserting the dominance of Mareal Turi. This has more to do with the individual than it has to do with their membership in the Order of His Light or the Order of His Voice.
    • There is a kind of confession amongst the Unified, but I haven't decided what it's like. It could be two people in a box separated by a screen, or it could be something more public (a la There Will Be Blood). Settling on one may have everything to do with the priest's disposition, as noted above.
    • I'm--sadly--unfamiliar with the non-core domains, but Mareal would definitely be associated with Sun, Glory, Good, and Community. I'd need to take a look at Sound to see how suitable it is; what book is it in?


    Just to emphasize it a little more, there's no "standard" personality for a Priest of the Unified. You've got your Mother Theresa and your Claude Frollo. It's all about what you'd like to represent. As for myself, the priest I plan on submitting is going to be a simpleton with powerful conviction and a heart of gold, but there's plenty of room for a charismatic evangelist or a corrupt member of the church nobility.

    Does that help? Is there anything else you'd like to know?
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  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    That's a huge help, thanks. Part of his backstory involves him taking up a sanctified (Insert weapon) and shield from under the altar in the ruins of his church, kept there for times of need. What weapon would the Unified favor? A warhammer, to ring a holy bell? A spear, like the shafts of His Light? A sword, to keep in tune with the existing paradigm of sword-and-board paladins?

    Also, need I choose a brotherhood, or could I be just a traveling preacher without any affiliation?

    I looked in the Spell Compendium, and it would appear that there isn't a Sound Domain, oddly enough. I'm currently thinking about Nobility (Inspire folks and cast minor buffs) and Retribution (deal bonus damage to people who hit you, other spells). The Nobility just works mechanics-wise, and I plan to make it more about being a noble person than the social rank. Retribution is my character's ultimate goal, against the Dark Queen, so that works.

    Also, what's some little benediction things I could say or use, battle cries, blessings? I could make some up, but if there's something really fitting for a good-natured but righteously pissed-off priest I'd be happy to hear it.

    So, Weapon? Brotherhood? Blessings?
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  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I think you're at liberty to pick whatever you'd like as far as weapons are concerned. Here's something:

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    From left to right: Falchions (Sentinel, Hunter, Bandit), Antler Knife, Longswords (Mercenary, Nobility, Adventurer), Spears (Guard, Spearwood Brotherhood), Greatsword, Staves (Traveler's, Ornate)

    I doodled this a month or so ago when I couldn't find weapons on DeviantArt that I really loved. It's by no means a definitive list, but it's designed to establish a feel for style. For instance, there are more than just three styles of falchions in the setting; their might be hundreds, simply because every sword (or weapon in general, for that matter) is unique according to the crafter's whims.

    I also made a post that explains a little about the different weapons and their use here.

    I don't think you'd need to join a brotherhood if you don't want to. Especially in the Blackwood, the Unified faith isn't really widespread enough for the orders to have a strong presence. They're definitely represented in Freeport--and possibly in Span and Three Rivers--but definitely not in any of the smaller villages.

    Like I said, you're free to come up with blessings and invocations on your own, but here are a few examples:
    "May you walk forever in His Light."
    "May you never fail to hear His Voice."
    "Monster of Darkness! Go back to the Shadow!"
    "Creature of Discord! Hear His Voice and repent!"

    Especially because of the way it's organized into Celebrations, Invocations, Adorations, and Meditations, I think this is a really great website for getting inspiration for religious utterances.
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Thanks, that's a great help!

    Longswords seem like the most appropriate choice, and I love the links and information. Thanks again!

    Oh, and is the holy book of the Unified just the Song of Unity? Or do they have something else?
    Last edited by Wyntonian; 2012-06-05 at 06:59 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    Oh, and is the holy book of the Unified just the Song of Unity? Or do they have something else?
    They may have meditations written by priests or monks or something, but the Song of Unity is the revealed word of Mareal Turi. All books are written by man; the Song of Unity was written by Mareal Turi himself.
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  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Last question: (I promise!)

    Do their priests go by any name? Father, Reverend, His Holiness? If you haven't decided yet, can I just keep my character as Father Ignatius?
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  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    They may have meditations written by priests or monks or something, but the Song of Unity is the revealed word of Mareal Turi. All books are written by man; the Song of Unity was written by Mareal Turi himself.
    "written by Mareal Turi himself"? Is this literal or figurative?
    Last edited by Landis963; 2012-06-06 at 12:21 AM.
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  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Like all things in this setting, it's up to the GMs and their tables to decide.
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  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Just saying that I am still looking at this, it's just that I don't have much to say. Great job with this whole thing, mate.
    Well, one time at Bard camp...
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  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pokonic View Post
    Just saying that I am still looking at this, it's just that I don't have much to say. Great job with this whole thing, mate.
    Thanks! I'm pretty much done with developing content for the Blackwood. At any rate, I've stopped developing the setting itself, and I'm now starting to flesh out the world with creatures and characters. I have a bestiary/NPC list that features about 20 individuals statted for Warrior, Rogue, and Mage, and I'm keeping a fairy-tale-esque "journal" of the campaign I'm running. If things pan out well, I'll probably end up codifying it as a smallish adventure path, and including it in the setting. I'll probably also end up creating a .pdf version of the setting (with bestiary and AP included) when all is said and done.

    In the mean time, I'm slowly working on creating a map of the known (read: cared about) world, and from there I think it will be a lot easier to flesh out the other regions of the world.
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  11. - Top - End - #251
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Did you make that beautiful map yourself? Its.. really awesome.

  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Callous View Post
    Did you make that beautiful map yourself? Its.. really awesome.
    I did! Thanks! If you're interested, there's a link to my deviantArt account in my signature. All the maps I've made in the past 6 months or so are up there, and I'm in the process of finishing a few more!
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  13. - Top - End - #253
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Hmmm, you're inspiring me to consider making my own map.

    I actually have a setting of my own i'm messing around with thats very similar to yours in many aspects. Only rather than a based on fairytables its based on the even older european fables and myths for a somewhat darker theme.

    Hmm, somewhere in the middle between ravenloft and fairytale land : P

  14. - Top - End - #254
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I'm thinking about adding elements to the Blackwood to help enforce the wuxia feel of the setting. In particular, I've been thinking (since I started working on the project, actually) about including jade, silk, and tigers.

    Jade is easy enough, because it occurs worldwide, including Europe. Silk is a little harder to justify, but that has more to do with perception than occurrence. Silk was produced in Italy from the 12th century...why not make the Duchies of the Sea Lords a super producer of silk, and the Blackwood trades something valuable (maybe iron?) with them.

    Tigers are the hardest part. The biggest cats that lived in Europe during the Middle Ages were no larger than bobcats, but I plan on introducing sabre-toothed tigers in the Petty Kingdoms anyway.

    Thoughts?
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  15. - Top - End - #255
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I don't have a problem with any of those. Actually, I don't understand what your problem with including tigers is. The only real objection would be the different habitat needs, and you can just provide for that by saying the cats are adapted to the cold and some areas of the Blackwood are warmer than others.
    Then again, it's kinda obvious I like tigers. Especially the white ones.
    Last edited by Eldest; 2012-06-11 at 05:51 PM.

  16. - Top - End - #256
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    I don't have a problem with any of those. Actually, I don't understand what your problem with including tigers is. The only real objection would be the different habitat needs, and you can just provide for that by saying the cats are adapted to the cold and some areas of the Blackwood are warmer than others.
    Then again, it's kinda obvious I like tigers. Especially the white ones.
    You make a good point. Plus, I've seen plenty of images of tigers in the snow to accept that they can live in more than just a tropical climate.

    For the sake of fantasy, I think I'll call them Firecats in this setting. Pray that you don't run into one.

    In barely-related news, this morning has been excellent for the Petty Kingdoms. Here I was, lamenting about the difficulty of finding good images of viking-era clothing (not to mention figuring out a way to splice Viking and Japanese fashion), when the answer was right in front of me.

    Some stylin' Vikings:
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    Not only are they wearing much fancier clothing than I had pictured for 9th-11th century norse items, but... are those... hakama pants I see? Apparently, they were all the rage back then.

    For all your lady viking needs:
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    The dress doesn't really scream "Norse-Japanese Mash-Up" to me, but the jewelry is a promising sign.

    Viking Pimp:
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    Well I'll be a monkey's uncle. That dude's more colorful than a peacock! But wait... it gets better...

    Viking nobility:
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    Look at that picture again. Go ahead. I'll wait. Tell me his silhouette doesn't look like a dude in samurai armor.

    Thank you, deviantArt. You always give me the best presents.

    .::EDIT::.
    Aaaand an excellent example of a Vindlander Ripple Blade.
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-06-12 at 10:30 AM.
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  17. - Top - End - #257
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    You make a good point. Plus, I've seen plenty of images of tigers in the snow to accept that they can live in more than just a tropical climate.

    For the sake of fantasy, I think I'll call them Firecats in this setting. Pray that you don't run into one.

    In barely-related news, this morning has been excellent for the Petty Kingdoms. Here I was, lamenting about the difficulty of finding good images of viking-era clothing (not to mention figuring out a way to splice Viking and Japanese fashion), when the answer was right in front of me.


    Viking Pimp:
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    Well I'll be a monkey's uncle. That dude's more colorful than a peacock! But wait... it gets better...

    Viking nobility:
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    Look at that picture again. Go ahead. I'll wait. Tell me his silhouette doesn't look like a dude in samurai armor.

    Thank you, deviantArt. You always give me the best presents.

    .::EDIT::.
    Aaaand an excellent example of a Vindlander Ripple Blade.
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  18. - Top - End - #258
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Just had a great idea. The Kossians are effectively a mashup of Rome and Tibet, and live in an isolated valley in the Heights. This we already know.

    But running through the middle of their land is a deep valley, and within that valley dwells a gigantic beast that walks as though it were half-human. It stands as tall as three men, and even the mightiest mountain creatures fear it.

    The Kossians have need to travel through the valley, and this necessity has had the largest effect on their specialties in warfare. They favor heavy armor, tower shields, and stout spears, and they work together to fend off the creature. It is slow and dangerous going, but it has made them masters of defense and teamwork.
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  19. - Top - End - #259
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    Just had a great idea. The Kossians are effectively a mashup of Rome and Tibet, and live in an isolated valley in the Heights. This we already know.

    But running through the middle of their land is a deep valley, and within that valley dwells a gigantic beast that walks as though it were half-human. It stands as tall as three men, and even the mightiest mountain creatures fear it.

    The Kossians have need to travel through the valley, and this necessity has had the largest effect on their specialties in warfare. They favor heavy armor, tower shields, and stout spears, and they work together to fend off the creature. It is slow and dangerous going, but it has made them masters of defense and teamwork.
    On that note, there are plenty of places to put giant doom apes. Furry giants bathing in massive hot springs in the Petty Kingdoms, occasinaly stumbled apon by foolish travelers? Rare shaggy beasts in the Blackwood creating giant "nests" high in the trees, occasinaly seen as fey but are actualy perfectly sentinent "giants" without the least bit of troll ancestery?
    Well, one time at Bard camp...
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    Pokonic look what you have done! You fool, you`ve doomed us all!
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    Oh Pokonic, never change. And never become my D.M.

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  20. - Top - End - #260
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pokonic View Post
    On that note, there are plenty of places to put giant doom apes. Furry giants bathing in massive hot springs in the Petty Kingdoms, occasinaly stumbled apon by foolish travelers? Rare shaggy beasts in the Blackwood creating giant "nests" high in the trees, occasinaly seen as fey but are actualy perfectly sentinent "giants" without the least bit of troll ancestery?
    Good ideas. I've been thinking about the "big, ferocious beast" trope present in most of these regions. The Blackwood has its trolls, the Petty Kingdoms have their Ice Giants, and now Koss has its big, hairy, killer ape-thing. I was thinking about where it might have come from, and I could see there being something like vicious, hot springs-loving apes in the Petty Kingdoms, too. Maybe the thing that lives in Koss is the same species, it just happened to be immortal or something, and grew to a gigantic size. Could be good for an adventure or two!
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  21. - Top - End - #261
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    Good ideas. I've been thinking about the "big, ferocious beast" trope present in most of these regions. The Blackwood has its trolls, the Petty Kingdoms have their Ice Giants, and now Koss has its big, hairy, killer ape-thing. I was thinking about where it might have come from, and I could see there being something like vicious, hot springs-loving apes in the Petty Kingdoms, too. Maybe the thing that lives in Koss is the same species, it just happened to be immortal or something, and grew to a gigantic size. Could be good for an adventure or two!
    Better yet, nearly every culture has some sort of big hairy beast-man (africa even has it's own flavor of roaming killer apes), so it's just another fey reflection thingi. AKA just like every culture has a trickster spirit, every culture has some sort of bigfootish thing*.

    *Apperance, powers, size, and CR varies. Please call your local deific hotline for details according to your region.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tychris1 View Post
    Pokonic look what you have done! You fool, you`ve doomed us all!
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    Oh Pokonic, never change. And never become my D.M.

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  22. - Top - End - #262
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    Good ideas. I've been thinking about the "big, ferocious beast" trope present in most of these regions. The Blackwood has its trolls, the Petty Kingdoms have their Ice Giants, and now Koss has its big, hairy, killer ape-thing. I was thinking about where it might have come from, and I could see there being something like vicious, hot springs-loving apes in the Petty Kingdoms, too. Maybe the thing that lives in Koss is the same species, it just happened to be immortal or something, and grew to a gigantic size. Could be good for an adventure or two!
    I think it's another thing best left up to individuals running the setting, with rumors/theories for each to choose from.

  23. - Top - End - #263
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dsurion View Post
    I think it's another thing best left up to individuals running the setting, with rumors/theories for each to choose from.
    My thoughts exactly. I think I'm going to start entertaining possibilities on here, but let me make a blanket statement that nothing I say about the history and trivia in the setting should be taken as gospel.
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  24. - Top - End - #264
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Well, looky here!
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    A viking samurai!

    He needs a little work (I'd like it if the armor looked a little sleeker), but boy howdy.
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  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Eldest's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Ok, gotta ask: where are you getting all these images?

  26. - Top - End - #266
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    Zap Dynamic's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    The most recent I found while running a google search for "lamellar armor." It wasn't one of the search results, but it was on the same page as a search result that I followed. Most of the stuff I find, however, I find on deviantArt. Especially since they started organizing things into groups, it's a flantastic tool to find images for just about anything you could imagine.

    If I'm looking for character images, this site is always my first stop.

    Michael Beach People - Male
    Michael Beach People - Female

    You may have to be connected to him on Google+ to view his images... not sure. He's got a LOT of great stuff on there, but he's also got a lot of stuff that I have zero interest in using.
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  27. - Top - End - #267
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    In the game that The Anarresti is running, someone mentioned what each person pictures when they think about the aesthetic of the setting.

    This is basically what I picture. (It was spoilered, but it was WAY too big for that sort of thing.)


    I picture the setting being roughly analogous to Europe in the (very) early 1300s. This depicts an event from 1361, so it's not perfect. But it is pretty dang close.
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-06-26 at 08:55 AM.
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  28. - Top - End - #268
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    So I've been thinking a lot about the Petty Kingdoms recently, but that was originally going to be the third of the four remaining setting that I was going to work on. I just got a new shipment of Kossian gumption this morning, so I'm going to work on that. If Koss is going to be anything like I think it is, I might be able to wrap it up today!
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  29. - Top - End - #269
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    So I read, brainstormed, and sketched all day, and here's what I've got to show for it:

    Spoiler
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    Text:
    "Known to some as the Dual Kingdom, Koss is the smallest of the realms of Genara. A span of nine miles is all that lies between the nation's twin capitals, though the region is known across the face of the world for its many fine armorers. The lands lie high in the western reaches of the Heights, severed in half by the terrible Valley of the Snow Beasts."

    Long story short:
    • Their flag is actually a string of ten small flags, usually strung out diagonally from the top of a pole to the ground. A pattern of five colors repeats on this chain of flags, representing the Tenfold Pantheon of Winter and Summer, their deities.
    • The shining mountain in the middle is the tallest mountain in the region. It glimmers at night like a distant star, and Kossians say that the Night Sister--a relative of the spirits known as White Women--dances atop its peak. No one has ever been able to climb to the top.
    • The kingdom is made up of the wide fields of Summer, and the rocky highlands of Winter. They are separated by a long, low, wooded valley. This is the Valley of the Snow Beasts, and it is inhabited by at least one huge, white, apelike creature.
    • The mouth of the Valley of the Snow Beasts is blocked by a stalwart fortress. This keeps outsiders away from Koss, and it keeps the Snow Beasts from wreaking havoc on the wide world.
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  30. - Top - End - #270
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Hear Ye!

    The campaign I'm running in the Blackwood has had some unfortunate drop-outs in the past few weeks. I am now looking for a replacement character!

    [WR&M]Zap Dynamic's Tales of the Blackwood [Recruiting a Replacement]

    I don't know who all is still subscribed to this, but I figured I ought to post here anyway.
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-06-27 at 10:50 AM.
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