[Whiteleaf Reference] Locales (wip)

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[Whiteleaf Reference] Locales (wip)

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:36 pm

The list of important places in the Whiteleaf campaign setting is one of the few that I've kept working on, even during a long interregnum without active games or even home Internet access. Porting it over now; it will be a long time before it's fully interlinked and ready to use properly, but there's no time like the present to start.

MUNICIPALITIES

New Iorich (largest imperial city, population of roughly 63,000)
Imperial Capital (empire metropolis of 50,000)
Saltmarsh (see Dungeon Master's Guide 2)
Tar Bannoch (empire city)
Gableford (empire city)
Camlon (empire/elf city of 10,000)
Farwind (empire city)
Rixtam (empire city)
Hungerford (empire city)
Overton (empire city)
Woodhaven (empire town)
Old Westmarch (empire town)
Greysea (empire town)
Reproach (empire town)
Wicker Brake (empire village)
Inchwood (human village with one medusa in it)
Windsong (empire village)
Blythwood (empire village)
Spotsburg (empire village)
Windboro (empire hamlet)
Kerodain (empire town of 10,000)
Eldermaul (empire town of 9400)
Bahree (empire town of 6800)
Behris (empire town of 5200)
Malaprop (empire/dwarf town of 5000)
Windhaven (empire town of 2000)
Feenichs (empire city)
Dekatas (empire town)
Norspire (empire city)
Blackmoer (empire village)
Redstaff (empire city)
Atticall (empire village)
Bho'ath (empire village of 1000)
Near Stradsbury (empire village of 750)
Winterford (empire hamlet of 90)
Bridgewater (empire thorp of 50)
Sharfsbrie (HPA town)
Bergberg (Librian city)
Cokestone (empire or independent town)
New Manizan (human city, possibly Empire)
Glazweig (human town)
Pweblough (human large town)
Logfort (human city)
Kaddastrei (see Cityscape)
Argyros (human/water genasi city)
Enterprize (human city)
Harlotsberg (women city)
Arslan
Ildrifaran (see Races of the Wild)
Lex Andrea (illumian city)
The City of Tomorrow (xeph metropolis)
Hillsboro (halfling town)
Du'Syldre (elf village)
The An-schar'le Helionad Complex (sun/gray elf megalopolis)
- Splendid Vantage (district-city)
- Dormant Sorrow (district-city)
- Flawless Eternity (district-city)
- Cosmic Expanse (district-city)
- See also "Quatrinate Hegemony" and "Warrens of the Drow" below.

IMPERIAL PROVINCES

01. Lothain
02. North Lothain
03. Stauberverge
04. West Holzmeer
05. East Holzmeer
06. Simurgh
07. Yorsimurgh
08. East Waltham
09. West Waltham
10. Libruvuhr
11. Stooge 1
12. Stooge 2
13. Stooge 3
14. Saihirah
15. Oztrallis
16. Farwind
17. Susquas
18. Stradsbourg
19. New Mirajen
20. Isherrya
21. Saxonne
22. Pursayah
23. Newton
24. Ganth
25. Narrowvale
26. Yellowgrass
27. Urnest
28. New Troskif
29. Trukern
30. Forshuna
31. Repute
32. Exzeret
33. Phrecia
34. Trethneion
35. Rotenheim
36. Oakleafholm
37. Arslan
38.
39.
40.
41.
42.
43.
44.
45.
46.
47.
48.
49.
50.
51.
52.
53.
54.
55.
56.
57.
58.
59.
60.
61.
62.
63.

NON-POLITICAL EMPIRE REGIONS

Gnarlwood
Somewhere
Stradslandt
The Westmarch
Transylvaine
Dogwood
Elder Ash Woodlands
Windsweep Plains
Kamahri Mountains
Snowtongue River
Harizonoh Bay
The Drownpool Marshes
The Widower's Road
The Silver Mountain
Ulhar-Darast'rhyna
Iskerau Mountains

NATIONS

The Tradespeak Empire (humans)
Cycadria (humans/draconics/blackscales)
- West Cycadria
- North Cycadria
The Quatrinate Hegemony (hybrids)
- Cathedropolis (hegemon)
- Villeintoune (town)
The Six Dead Kingdoms (humans/undead)
- Dead Mortuyri (humans/necropolitans)
- Dead Mirchlaza (humans/vampires)
- Dead Ostrovis (humans/vrolak)
The Heather Plains Alliance (humans)
- Leyshire
Radvidva (humans)
Panh Ang (humans?)
Zheurak (humans)
Thuljheim (humans)
Kaddas (humans and a few orcs)
Berrowdelve (humans)
Trenzacon
Czernovaia (humans/giants)
Duchy Ran-Giordain (humans)
Togamin (???)
The three Bulkarian Nations (humans)
Serida (humans)
Sarth (humans/myrmecines)
The Exotic Isles (humans etc.)
- Tiger Island
- Isle of Love's Eyes
Thanasia (humans?)
Tamsin (humans?)
Gondur (humans?)
Dybblis (humans?)
Ylati (humans)
Eyes of Lotan-Apsu (humans/dragons)
Tor (humans/maenads/mantodeas)
The Elvenwood (high/wood/wild elves)
Arasowi Tribe (wild elves/half-fey)
Simbernahl Mountains (sun/gray elves)
The Zeropoint (snow elves)
Gnomelands (take a guess)
Dwarven Kingdoms (dwarves)
Ur'Storvaul (deep dwarves)
The Hatchet Kingdom (hobgoblins)
Loxodon Kingdoms
Warrens of the Drow
- Cavern of Eternal Shadow (drow city)
- Cavern of Limitless Woe (drow city)
- Cavern of Invisible Knives
Thaun (various underfolk)

WILDERLAND REGIONS

The Hinterlands
- The Uncanny Valley
Cycadrian Deserts
The Inland Sound
Trakhor-Zaun, the Dark Woods
Centaur Forests
Scowlewood
Swamps of Khorak-Vand
Northumber
Eastumbria
Southwind Plains
Toadman Swamps
Cloaca River
Neferturai
Bulgan Mountains
Stauberholm
Skybreach Mountains
The Black Sand Wastes
Desert of the Real
Vaugrymayre (?)
Range of Forbiddance
Tremontaigne

ADVENTURE SITES

The Outlands and the Academy therein
The Inn Consequential
Temple of the Supreme Eidolon
The Maze
The Liquid Rocks of Tesh-Maatar
The Glowing Cliffs
Grindstone Lake
The Rhinestone River
Lake Stoma
Qward
Castle Fyertorr
The Opti Musprimi School
Womb Lake
The Holy Woods
Abbey of Khostel

Unknown: Daunloe, Corvallis, Bellgrade

EXTRAPLANETARY REGIONS

The Adhelionate

EXTRAPLANAR SITES

Sigil, the City of Doors
The Former Arborea
Somewhere Over The Rain--FOR THOR KORD!!! splurtch
The Prison-Plane of Temptation and Treachery
- Les Dorades
The Gray Wastes of Eternal Futility
- Em Piy
Hell, Hell, Hell, Hell, Hell, Hell, Hell, Hell, and Hell
Concordia
The Seven Heavens
- Mount Celestia
The Ethereal Plane
-Sciczillia
Last edited by willpell on Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:32 pm, edited 11 times in total.
"Just because everyone shouldn't be like me, doesn't mean no-one should. Sometimes it takes a loud, angry asshole, who's full of himself, to say things that kinder, gentler people wouldn't say."
--The Amazing Atheist

Salvaged links:
http://www.asmor.com/scripts/4eMagicIte ... easure.php

D&D character:
viewtopic.php?f=75&t=17559&p=195819#p195819

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THE TRADESPEAK EMPIRE

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:39 pm

Far and away the largest, richest, most powerful human nation in history (and you can drop the "human" part if you discount the rumors that dragons or giants ever answered to a unified government, which seems like a safe bet); always overseen-more-than-ruled by one of the most powerful mages alive, under the direct influence of all four celestial races, and unified by the Angelic Saxon language, formal counterpart to the Common Tongue, which was ostensibly handed down by the Solars themselves to the first Emperor.

Divided into 63 Provinces, whose roster fluctuates up to 64 on occasion due to a new border region incorporating or an existing province being schismed, only to drop again when two previously-distinct regions amalgamate or some overly-strident province successfully petitions for independence. The capitol region is not considered a province, though it has some of the same sociopolitical characteristics.

Has a culture which values diversity and cooperation, encouraging individual liberty and respect for the environment in conjunction with progress and prosperity, a seemingly-impossible balancing act which has been kept stable for roughly 1500 years. Administrated on a day-to-day basis by an immense bureaucracy riddled with alphabet-soup special agencies and thousands of interest groups (among these are the standardizers of language, economics, weights and measures, and similar unifying realities of life throughout human lands), but prevented from succumbing to gridlock by the mercurial edicts of the absurdly charismatic and seemingly nigh-omniscient Emperor. A prime target for the Web of Lies, highly vulnerable to infiltration, but with a long-proven resilience against more than the most minimal degree of corruption.

Since its inception, the Empire has been ceaseless in its pursuit of progress and innovation; it is the ultimate apex of humanity's capacity to evolve, to change, to seize the moment and build what's never existed before. Elves and dwarves and giants and dragons all accepted that the world was vast and unknowable; humans map it, take censuses, study the laws of nature and magic and document their findings, and disseminate all this knowledge far and wide. The only reason it's taken so long for the Imperium to rise to prominence is that it's heavily Lawful outside the Emperor's immediate influence, so reforms are instituted with methodical patience, keeping things sustainable.
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DWARVEN KINGDOMS

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:44 pm

Claim a section of land, though most of their habitation is far beneath it. Mostly north of the Empire; has only a narrow border with the elves to the east, and protected from Northumber and the polar regions by inhospitable barrier peaks.

There are a total of sixteen major dwarf clans, not counting various ofshoots and vestiges (including the Deep and Mountain dwarves, who do not adhere to this clan structure).

* Clan Muir - Have the most positive attitude; are happy, friendly, and most consistently Good, and thus the Empire's staunchest ally.

* Clan Purzel - Have a compulsion to do everything slowly, with an intensely bureaucratic government and a populace that prides themselves on apathy, considering rash and reckless action the worst of all possible sins. Profoundly averse to Chaos and noise. Their Clanhold is made primarily out of marble, and demonstrates their general tendency to emphasize beauty over functionality to an extent which is atypical of other dwarves.

* Clan Prydjgn - The most intellectual of dwarves, and most commonly involved in arcane studies. (Tragically located far from Cobalt Stoneholm's home clan.)

* Clan Axelrod - Surly and territorial, averse to fun. As part of their extreme seriousness, they are skilled in medicine, but generally loath to employ these skills for the benefit of others.

* Clan Lokin - Fiercely reclusive, with poetic souls and a deep-rooted fear of judgment. Claim (when pestered sufficiently) that they were the first dwarves to live underground, seeking to escape attention; most other dwarves deny having ever lived on the surface.

* Clan Vishtl - Live in contaminated caverns which greatly impair their health but make them rich; generally a bit more unscrupulous. Do not share the racial fetish for beard-grooming; the few that don't shave regularly end up with a ragged mop of scraggly hair wandering all over their face, but tend to find that it affects their business adversely.

* Clan Dykstra - Cheerful and rather stupid, given to drink and merrymaking above duty. Do not share the racial fetish for beards, and speak a simplified dialect due to their extensive use of nonverbal communication, which is thought more emotionally intimate.

* Clan Bartholomew (?) - Live under a heavily forested region, where they build symbiotically into the tree roots and produce a lot of druids. Heavily Neutral due to their need to battle infestations of termites and fungi and the like.

* Clan Thorin - Storytellers, crafters and puzzle-designers par excellence, with a particular love of shiny things.

* Clan Ferodain - Compulsively secretive despite being outgoing.

* Clan Zed - Militantly feministic but nonetheless uniformly Good-aligned. Live nowhere near the Drow.

* Clan Tillindghast (?) - Grimily industrial; have no idea that they are the ancestor of the villainous Delvers, who followed their philosophy off a cliff. Located close to a section of the Warrens of the Drow, and have existed in a near-constant state of war for millenia, hence their commitment to the creation of mechanisms to defend themselves.

* Clan Iriqotsq - Nomadic, lacking a clanhold. Boisterous and exuberant; have never allowed their harder lifestyle to bring them down.

* Clan Dzienkewicz - Deeply conservative even compared to most dwarves; still enforce, rather than just upholding in theory, the ownership of females as property. Famous for the spiced ales they brew, which are a staple of the Empire's standing military and thus effectively prevent the more idealistic nation from shunning them for their offensive practices. Their culture, like that of Purzel, strongly emphasizes the value of peace and quiet, along with honor and tradition; their laws are thus drastically oppressive, making it possible to be arrested just for speaking to a person with insufficient solicitude, or being excessively loud in a public space even if those one speaks directly to approve.

* Clan Cziernovhog - Obsessive death rituals. Have two clanholds, the quasi-druidic and yet strangely clerical Clan of the Rock Church, whose ultra-conservative beliefs in patience, reputation, and self-sacrifice have them spending their entire lives in menial toil, while avoiding any manner of merrymaking that might reflect poorly on them or impair their judgment and diligence...and the Black Goat Clan, who are widely believed to have fallen to evil due to their use of sorcery and licentious behavior - at least by the Rock Churchers. The only thing both groups have in common is their funereal rites, which are performed in white robes by the Rock Church and black ones by the Goats, but otherwise are eerily similar, almost as if the need for precisely repeated liturgies had been drilled into the founders' heads, and persisted throughout the feud which split them.

* Clan Lysoigor - Highly diverse, with the only unifying characteristic being what they and other dwarves term a "quickness in the blood". One offshoot is given to producing twitchy, impulsive and foul-mouthed maniacs who specialize in ridiculously over-the-top inventions, often with a perverted streak that makes them seem as though they aren't exactly sure what sex actually is, but were determined to overcompensate for this lack. Another branch ("vein", in Dwarven parlance) inhabits a hollowed-out peak (called Bald Mountain) which puts their dwellings almost entirely above the surrounding surface level, and even extend towers from the peak to aid in their harnessing of lightning for their inventions; this branch and several others (not the first group) are famous for their bards.

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THE ELVENWOOD

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:46 pm

Immense mostly-forested region kept pristine by the ancient high, wood and wild elf nations, whose loose detente has not been breached by tribal warfare in fifteen thousand years. Hundreds of hundreds of barely-visible villages dot an area the size of the four largest Empire provinces put together, all tied together by mutual defense pacts with wording vague enough not to get under the skin of even the most anarchistic of their citizens.

Home of the sarcastically-named Arcadia Order, easily the most disorganized cadre of knights in the known world, who spend more of their time singing than they do preparing for battle. Being elves, they of course are perfectly competent in their own defense, but they absolutely refuse to take any cause save their own amusement seriously, being confident that their ticket to the Highest Realm is paid simply by virtue of their inherent awesomeness.

(It would be physically impossible for this name to be more cliche, and a part of me very badly wants to change it. But on the other hand, there are good in-setting reasons for it to have exactly this basic a name, just as most ethnic groups in real-life name themselves using a word which simply means "people" in their own language.)
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AN-SCHAR'LE HELIONAD COMPLEX

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:46 pm

The primary surviving metropolis of the once-magnificent Sun Elf empire, a collection of seventeen district-cities atop Mount Tzyraeme in the Simbernahl chain.

Splendid Vantage
Dormant Sorrow
Flawless Eternity
4
10
17
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CYCADRIA

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:52 pm

Terrestra's second-largest nation by population and third-largest by land area, after the Empire in both cases and latterly the HPA; lies to the west of the Empire, or at least of Malaprop. Formed from three historical empires, two of which grew toward each other over time and were abruptly assimilated by a third which lay between them; despite being in charge, the East Cycadria region remains physically smallest and has minimal cultural influence on its two satellite states. The South is fantastically wealthy, being among other things the source of rare mahogany, while the North has incredibly ancient and pervasive traditions which make it one of the most beloved and famous destinations for tourism, inspiration, and even marriage. Despite its intense population pressure, Cycadria retains vast stretches of largely uninhabited desert (especially in the East) and jungle (primarily in the South).

Relentless expansion and lack of foresight has largely destroyed the richness of which Cycadria was once proud; its central area used to be called the Fecund Curvature, and local mythology describes it as the Garden from which humanity first emerged, having followed the lure of a "serpent" beyond its borders and been harshly judged for their ficklesness, devolving into the "lesser" races (which even includes elves and dwarves, as neither has enough of a presence here to prevent themselves from being demonized as scapegoats and counter-examples to human ethnocentrism), at the command of the immanent, impossible-to-anthropomorphize Light which the ruling "clerics" claim is greater than any so-called gods. Obedience to this frustratingly unknowable figure and its arcane codes is deeply ingrained in the culture, having originated in the worship of powerful and exclusive Monitarch churches in the South and North, but long outlasted their integration and collapse, scrubbing all mention of the original deity. Because the "clerics" are in fact arcane spellcasters, known outside Cycadria itself as the White Wizards, they disallow as "apostasy" all divine magic within their borders, a fact which naturally leads to pre-eminence of disease and poor medical care, which they claim are tests of the faithful's devotion. Those who fail to survive are said to reside in Paradise as a reward for their unflinching faith; the fact that they never Plane Shift back is assumed simply to be proof that material life has nothing further to offer them. And access to arcana is almost as strictly controlled, so few independent wizards are capable of getting anywhere near the capacity to investigate the matter themselves.

Externalizing the blame for their environmental ruin, which even now continues to parch and destroy the heartland while isolating it from its two satellites, the Cycadrians roundly condemn rival nations, most especially the Tradespeak Empire. The local culture is deeply conservative, and it condemns the progressiveness of the newer regime, with only the tenuousness of their physical proximity preventing war at times. Much of what is now Eastern Cycadria was once ruled by ancient Neferturai, which is long gone to dust; a similarly ancient civilization once ruled flourished in the South and has been largely reclaimed by its jungles. The North alone preserves its ancestral culture, which was far less impressive at the time.

"Two thousand years ago, Cycadria was exactly what the Empire now is: the vibrant heart of humanity's world, the crown jewel of modern civilization, and *the* happening place to be for anyone who was anyone. Those days are long past, for a lot of reasons, and our subsequent ascendance is the least significant of those, but the easiest for them to fixate upon. Nowadays the chief occupations of a Cycadrian patriot are to reminisce bitterly about the good old days, and cast about in search of someone besides oneself on which to blame the downfall of the old regime, which one cherishes so much more fondly in memory than when it actually existed."
--the currently regnant Emperor


"Pekkatol" doesn't sound like a Cycadrian name.

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THE QUATRINATE HEGEMONY

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:53 pm

Small but overpopulated nation of human hybrids located south-southwest of the Tradespeak Empire. Extremely stilted cultural norms, ironclad leadership devoted to bizarre principles of mystical eugenics, and a fiercely protective attitude backed up by a populace consisting almost entirely of super-humans...the Hegemony has everything necessary to give the Emperor a headache, being a problem he can't hope to satisfactorily solve through any method he's willing to condone.

The highly conservative culture of the Hegemony places considerable emphasis on individuality, yet very little on freedom; it is considered sufficient to simply be yourself, taking pride in your identity and lineage, without wishing to be autonomous. There is a strong emphasis on craftsmanship, and individuals are encouraged to put their unique stamp on everything they create; as an inevitable result of this egocentric workmanship, Quatrinatum goods command exorbitant prices, and never higher than within the Tradespeak Empire, whose efforts to discourage import of Hegemony goods with usurious taxes has backfired drastically, making them highly coveted commodities among the exact sort of super-rich status-seekers which the Empire both loathes and depends upon. Hegemons of every House pursue various forms of artistic endeavour, and cooperative works are rare but highly prized, each one carrying a remarkable legend - and some rather scandalous rumors regarding the collaborative process.

Further information, much of it out of date, but most of the stuff not related to game mechanics or precise lists of names, especially in the OP, remains valid. The complete list of Houses and Strains, and the mechanical details of how these affect the membership, are still being decided upon, but the overall structure of Creches and Patriarchs and the Tetracathedron and such remains valid.
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THE SIX DEAD KINGDOMS

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:55 pm

Cluster of ancient nations to the Empire's east, particularly proximate to Libruvuhr, which used to war on them constantly, and stretching to the three-way boundary between the Imperial province of Stauberverge and the Cycadrian Deserts. Despite the name, only two are actually ruled by absolute monarchs; the others all uphold various flavors of oligarchies, where power devolves to a council of peers rather than a single overlord. Have profoundly conservative cultures, by virtue of their still-active ancestors from potentially thousands of years before; see even the impressively stable Empire as a passing fad, and maintain distinctly cool relations with it.

- Mortuyri (liches and necropolitans)
* Stygia (ghosts, specifically undead ones)
* Ostrovanis (the Vrolakrym, Whiteleaf's version of vampires)
* Khemaat (mummies)
* Mirchlaza (ghouls, and possibly true vampires)
* Verglazvart (barrow-wights or Draugr)

A few cryptic references in ancient ruins and documents have alluded to the possibility that there might once have been seven kingdoms in this area. Some scholars speculate that the Six were once ruled by the living, and that Libruvuhr's long-standing rivalry with the current undead regimes stems of a long-vanished alliance with their ancestor-states, which both sides might have found embarassing enough to erase from history. Others believe that the Kingdoms were always undead-dominated, but point out that several classification systems have posited six primary types of intelligent undead (ghouls, wights, mummies, vampires, liches - of which the Necropolitans are considered a subset - and the various types of ghosts), which correspond fairly tightly to the Kingdoms of today, and speculate that some other variety which is today a rare anomaly, such as the Mohrg or Death Knight, might once have ruled an entire Dead Kingdom in territory which has since been paved over by a different regime.

The latter theory is hard to reconcile with the undeads' tendency to hold grudges for aeons, but its proponents have various explanations for why its allies might have preferred for this Seventh Kingdom to be forgotten. One of the most interesting such theories comes from Professor Barcyn Awlgethorpe of Grayglobe University in Oztrallis, a numerologist and master diviner who specializes in theoretical cosmorphics; he points out the pattern of mystical significances of Six in the planar cosmology of Whiteleaf (exceeded only by Four, and directly analogous to it in a geometric sense), and postulates that the master arcanists of Mortyuri and Stygia would have been able to prove that having Seven Kingdoms was measurably inauspicious. He suggests that perhaps the Kingdoms were founded by some cabal of seven individual necromancers, but that one of their number was betrayed by his compatriots, strictly for the sake of strengthening the magic of the survivors. Obviously, such treachery would reflect poorly on the survivors, and they would not have wanted it known. Perhaps, even today, agents of the Kingdoms are still working covertly to prevent the truth from being uncovered....
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HA-DJET KEL'SHAK-TAK-MO

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:57 pm

Theme: "Sentinel" from Front Mission Gun Hazard

"More saber-rattling yesterday from the Hatchet Kingdom; after a border skirmish between the hobs and a platoon of rangers who caught them apparently staging a raid, the invective of their Sendings and statements from their Imperial embassy has reached a fever pitch. Hatchet's chief defense minister, Undergeneral Hrok-Thoz-Shak-Var-Tsag, promised 'swift and bloody retribution to the power of 10 for every loyal servant of the Glorious Hobgoblin Nation slain in this cowardly and unprovoked Imperial assault,' and is said to be importing large numbers of axebeak birds and a small number of trained landsharks for use in cavalry units. The use of landsharks in particular is thought to be a deliberately provocative act, given their near-extermination within Imperial borders."
--Mora Welknair, bardic oratrix and retired Intelligence agent
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RADVIDVA

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:59 pm

The "Rhododendron Kingdom"; the nation takes its name from the same root as the Common word for its state flower. One of the more cantankerous Imperial neighbors, a former "empire" in the more conventional definition of the term which is still heavily discouraged from referring to itself as such, preferring the local word "tarkhanate" so as not to aggravate its rival. One of the remnants of the former Istvan Tyrannate, whose last hereditary Tamurczan died and caused the entire kingdom to splinter, unlike Cycadria whose looser monarchy persists even in its decline. Has great tracts of land, but most of it inhospitable and difficult to harvest, so its people are as ambitious as they feel they can survive being, with a swaggering pridefulness and machismo which offends Imperial sensibilities. The area has the highest rate of twin births in human lands, and thus is the natural Geminar capital.

Radvidva hosts an above-average number of speakers of its old traditional language, known as Bratvisla, although the majority have taken up the Common Tongue; even these, however, often passive-aggressively sneak in colloquialisms derived from the "Mother Tongue". For example, a common way of bidding someone farewell is to rapidly say "Thus be done with ye" (as if it were two syllables, with the "TH" sound slurred into more nearly a "D"), a literal translation of an old Rhodian phrase which used the archaic form of the Bratvi word for "you". This salutation was popularized in tales of a notorious mobster, still regarded as a folk hero by more people than those who condemn her bloody crusades against the corrupt government, who reputedly said this exact phrase (in its original form) either immediately before or immediately after dispatching her adversaries.

A good example of Rhodian scheming, and the consequences thereof which the Empire frowns on, can be found in the electric-blue Planar Carp which are spreading like a plague through Imperial rivers. In an attempt at producing a new food source, once-innocuous silver carp were bred in the millions and infused with energy from the Elemental Plane of Water, turbo-charging their growth in both size and numbers; they now routinely reach forty pounds, and their habit of leaping when disturbed by the magical emissions of spell-powered watercraft has resulted in several costly and injurious accidents. What annoys Imperial inspectors and Rhodian druids alike, though, is that the responsible Transmuter was only barely contrite during his show trial, stating not that he regretted meddling with the forces of nature, but only having lost control of the experiment before it could be monetized. The Emperor repeatedly stressed in diplomatic missives that he did not want the wizard executed, but the Rhodian regime was unsatisfied with the common punishments of forced labor or "internal exile" in this case, and proudly advertised his death (though no body was ever produced, and it is still rumored he may have fled to the Dead Kingdoms posthumously).
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WARRENS OF THE DROW

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:59 pm

A loose network of cavern-cities, war-tunnels, and various other enclaves in the Underdark, differing from their ilk elsewhere only in being primarily Drow-inhabited. Lying largely beneath elven lands, though they have many surface-accesses that lead into the territories of humans and dwarves, these warrens share no overaching government, as it is difficult for any monolithic authority to extend across the tenuous connections between one cave and the next - even the dominance of the Church is sharply limited, especially since it no longer shares a deity's blessing.

Eternal Shadow
Limitless Woe
Invisible Knives
The Clenched Gauntlet
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KADDAS

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:00 pm

One of the few truly feudal kingdoms which still survive. Ruled by Sobin IV, hereditarchy monarch who partitions the land out among his vassals, one of which is Prince Ihlmarsen of Berrowdelve. Kaddas is on tentatively friendly terms with the Empire, which makes a point of being hands-off even though it recognizes the inevitability of the kingdom's gradual demise, and is constantly tempted to annex it for the good of the citizenry. Doing so would prompt a negative reaction from other remaining monarchies which would lead to an expensive and pointless war; the Empire would be guaranteed to win that war, but doesn't want the bloodshed, so it confines itself to meddling benevolently in Kaddas's affairs while respecting its traditions, however hidebound.

The capital of Kaddastrei is copyright Wizards of the Coast, and is detailed in the Cityscape supplement.
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RAN-GIORDAIN

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:01 pm

"The latest word from Duchy Ran-Giordain: notorious crime boss Ezra the Devil was found executed in the headquarters of his chief rival, the half-orc Zobbox, with the calling card of the elven assassin 'Expire' left on his body. Zobbox was arrested by the same Imperial Investigation Squad sting that discovered Ezra's corpse; he claims not to have been involved in the death, and no other trace of Expire could be found. Section Chief Nilvek of the Duke's personal security staff is reported to be furious at the Empire's intrusion into his jurisdiction, but word on the street is that the citizens are glad to be rid of both Ezra and Zobbox, and hope that the city will be a little safer at night with the decapitation of both its outlaw organizations."

Home of the Green Thumb Guild.

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THULJHEIM

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:03 pm

"And of course there's that whole 'making more money in one month than an honest laborer sees in five years'...definitely one of the perks of the adventuring lifestyle. Frankly, I'm amazed anyone even tries to earn a living the 'old-fashioned' way anymore...looting the lairs of monsters is just so much more profitable than any other field you could go into. That's the whole reason I left my homeland in the first place; too many of us doughty adventurers in one place, we'd pretty much stripped the countryside of anything but pine trees and fish, there was nothing left to do other than stand watch."
--Borg, the Black Viking, describing his birthplace.


A land of pine-forested mountains which go right down to the edge of a cold ocean, forming spectacular cliff-edged bays called "fyords". Known as the Thuljarv, the people are a warrior culture and used to spend a fair bit of time raiding their neighbors, to make up for their land's poor suitability for agriculture, but eventually they worked out a series of tribute arrangements with their former victims, and these gradually metamorphosed into mutually beneficial trade agreements. Thuljheim retains a strong fondness for martialry, with most of its males becoming most of its warriors; the women mostly prefer craft-work, and apply the same strict standards to themselves that the men do to their fighting prowess (reversal of these gender rules occurs perhaps a fourth of the time). However they firmly believe that too much dependence on the trappings of civilization robs people of a certain vital essence which they can only preserve by living close to the land, prizing individuality and earning one's opportunities so as to better appreciate them.

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GNOMELANDS

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:04 pm

Region that is home to the gnome race; lies between the elven and dwarven ancestral lands.

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THE HEATHER PLAINS ALLIANCE

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:06 pm

Second-largest human nation by land area, though its wealth is substantially less than those of Cycadria, and its population trails even the Quatrinate Hegemony. Generally regarded as a rather sleepy and boring place with terrible weather, where you might go if you wanted to retire (and didn't mind the cold), or just get away from the hectic pace of life in more happening regions. Terrain is largely marshes and meadows, with lots of biting flies in the warmer months. Divided into several smaller districts, of which the largest, richest, and most interesting one also borders the Empire.

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THE EXOTIC ISLES

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:06 pm

Major trade destination filling much of the Inland Sound; primary concern of the Imperial navy and their opponents. Thousands upon thousands of these islands exist, but they tend to share a number of characteristics, from which only a handful prove themselves highly distinct. The warm climate gives the locals particularly deep-brown skin and toned, svelte physiques (with just enough body fat to aid in flotation), making them the ideal of beauty by Imperial standards; combined with their tropically minimalist fashion sense and their culture of close-knit communities, they have a largely deserved reputation for sexual promiscuity (although many painful misunderstandings have occurred when it was assumed that the folk of one island measured up to the wild lifestyles of those on another, which the same explorers had visited previously and taken for the norm). Lush wild flora predominates in the balmy weather, with rare storms that travel in semi-predictable patterns helping to keep the overgrowth from becoming too entrenched; nearly every island, whether cultivated or untouched, has a broad habitable zone and at most a small interior of dense jungle, volcanic cliffs, or other hostile terrain. Large animals are rare both above and below the waves, although a fairly significant number of the regional fauna protect themselves against predators by becoming highly poisonous. In many cases, the toxin doubles as a hallucinogen; other such substances are found in the plant life (particularly some of the showier blooms, which occasionally rival a man in size, and feature prominently in a number of ribald islander tales), and the culture often enshrines these substances with spiritual significance, frequently finding that outsider religions offer them little to compare with these tangible devotions.
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BULGAN KINGDOMS

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:07 pm

Three loosely affiliated independent nations bordering the Empire.

Litverania
Ryritania
Ueroria
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LITVERANIA

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:08 pm

Largest of the three Bulkarian Kingdoms; mostly landlocked, and sandwiched between the barbaric wildlands of Northumber and the fiercely religious, expansionist nation of Libruvuhr, which only recently became an Imperial province. Due to long centuries of simultaneous attack from both its frontiers, granting it de facto status as the "gateway" to its two smaller sister nations, Litverania has always been fiercely independent and maintained a strong martial tradition. It despises the totalitarian religion of Libruvuhr, and considers the actual gods of Whiteleaf to be impotent imposters; the long-standing pagan heritage of Litverania is founded in the worship of nature-spirits, whose impossibility to detect or control with magic is considered proof of their superiority, rather than their nonexistence. As a result, the nation has a strong prejudice against clerics, with the ruling elite mostly being druids (none of them associated with the wider druidic fellowship of most of the continent, although a mutual nonagression pact exists as an unwritten agreement between both groups of nature-mages). The Healer class is found here, being largely unheard-of elsewhere, as the lack of actual clerics leaves the nation starved for curative measures stronger than herbal medicine.

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UERORIA

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:09 pm

Smallest of the three Bulkarian Kingdoms; claims to have once been the largest and most influential member-nation of the "Uropian Egality", but no official sources document the existence of any such coalition, and the Uerorians are widely regarded as self-important twits. The nation as a whole is tiny and has little economic importance, leading to its being sarcastically referred to as "Waerarya", and generally considered synonymous with "the middle of nowhere". Its isolated position, nestled deep in the Bulgan Mountains and thus highly defensible against land attack, with only a small and inhospitable coastline that the Thuljarv never bothered to raid, has enabled it to preserve its highly "stiltified" (another derogatory term coined to describe a mix of "stilted" and "stultified") culture largely unaltered for a thousand years or more; some say that this lends credence to its claims of preserving an ancient tradition which other countries have long forgotten, but for the most part it is assumed that most historical facts have been forgotten by the tiny nation's even tinier elite class, and that self-aggrandizing fictions are believed in their place.

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RYRITANIA

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:10 pm

Middlemost of the three Bulkarian Kingdoms; has by far the largest coastline, with its capital of Rygillea being a major Bultic seaport of great historical importance, though this has also long made it a tempting target for plunderers from Northumbria, Thuljharv, and even the aggressive mercantile city-states of Logfort, Lanemark, and the D.U.P. (Detsch Untizeit Parleement). Due to its constant attack and relative indefensibility, it has historically been the home of master negotiators and peacebrokers, with it often being said that "compromise is the national artform". Is the namesake of Ryritan Stonekenner, though he doesn't know it exists (likely the name passed into his family canon when one of their diplomats earned the favor of his clan or one of its allies).

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THANASIA

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:11 pm

Kingdom adjacent to the Empire and famously draconian toward its youth, who wish to emigrate in droves to the greater freedom the Empire offers. No one is sure which is the chicken and which the egg in this process, but by now it has become infamous; local law makes children and teenagers virtually the property of their parents, and loving family homes are as rare as juvenile-court judges with any sympathy for the plaintiff.

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NORTHUMBER

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:13 pm

The far north; a splintered land ruled by Jarls, each a king in there own right, ruling over the small estates by birthright alone. A chosen man was a warrior who, in service to their Thane, had distinguished themselves in battle.

Reavers were not uncommon in the north; it was contained to stealing of property, livestock and produce mostly, and if someone did get killed it was considered somewhat of a scandal, as most reavers tending to be soldiers or farmers from neighboring Jarldoms. Even the Orcs would try to avoid bloodshed, but what was so strange about these latest Reavers was that they attacked from the ocean in their longboats, and left such devastation - men and women lay dead in the street, houses burnt to the ground.

In the north you have the name you are given by those who raised you, and the name you take by your deeds.

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EASTUMBRIA

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:14 pm

Expansive heath which is paradoxically located west of Northumber (both regions originally shared the same nomenclatural root, bestowed by settlers who presumably did not own a %@$#ing compass; linguistic evolution has caused the localization suffixes to diverge). "Modron" in the local tongue means roughly "Great Chieftain".

(In the bluntest out-of-setting terms, Eastumbria is sorta-Ireland, just as Northumber is sorta-Scotland. The main difference, as with the similarly transparent Three Cycadrias, is that there wasn't an England for these two quasi-Celtic cultures to define themselves through oppression by and opposition to.)
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PANH ANG

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:17 pm

Extensive region to the south of Cycadria, home to a dozen traditionalist "culture-nations" who possess only vague knowledge of the Empire's marvelous works, though they are keen to meet the few traders, diplomats and missionaries that make the long trek by land or sea to reach them. The local nations, all of whom see each other as part of a vast but loosely allied macro-society, include elegantly traditional Quaeluun, ancient and staid Tlikartra, war-ravaged Rombu, still-primitive Khansovangh, the paradisical islands of Bhaetorni, and the affluent and dynamic city-state of Tung Mai Khat.

Tlikartra is all that remains of the once-proud Verdant Empire of Tnlour; having built impressive stone roads to connect their temple-cities (the most impressive of which still stands as the ruined capital of Kaps'tn Hou), they were torn apart by internicine struggles between green-draconian royals, fanatical Ultra-Humanites opposed to these, and Valuska troublemakers playing both sides against each other. The Tnlour people settled down to live in the relatively sleepy kingdom of Dsokharia, whose name was recently changed from its archaic form, in the same cultural shift which caused several other Panh Ang nations to change their name (some rejecting exonyms that they had come to regard as distasteful, while others intentionally modernized their identities in order to seem more cosmopolitan; Tlikartra was among the latter).

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