[Whiteleaf Reference] Locales (wip)

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GONDUR

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:09 pm

A potential nesting ground for dragons which might make their way to Northumber. (Bears no resemblance to Gondor of Middle-Earth.)

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VAUGRYMAYRE

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:10 pm

A potential nesting ground for dragons which might make their way to Northumber. May or may not be connected to House Vaugrymayre of the Quatrinatum, and/or to the northernmost of the Dead Kingdoms.

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DORMANT SORROW

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:10 pm

An-schar'le district-city famous (or infamous) for its poets and playwrights, who are widely spoken of as examples of something superlative...whether it's poignance, pretention, or both depends on who's doing the speaking.

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TEMPLE OF THE SUPREME EIDOLON

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:10 pm

Headquarters of the Supreme Hierarchs and resting place of the Eidolon itself, a vast sphere of gunmetal-gray crystal which gleams with a cold inner light. Fortress high in the mountains over a section of the Dwarven Kingdoms which leaves the surface untapped. Guarded by bound elementals, chiefly Air and Earth. Garrisonned by an array of 100+ monks, fighters, wizards and more, collectively termed Acolytes, along with 30 or so meldshapers or divine spellcasters termed Initiates. About 24 actual Hierarchs have the Initiates or Acolytes assigned to report to one in particular; four Lord Hierarchs (for the compass points) command these and report to a Grand Hierarch.

Effects: Supreme Hierarchs or aspirants to the Hierarchy can obtain spellcasting services for themselves or their companions at 10% of the normal cost; life-saving healing or restoration may be provided for free. Full hierarchs may be able to requisition loans of magic items worth up to levelx3000 gp, which must be returned within three months or immediately upon completion of the mission for which it is borrowed. If you expend the item's charges or allow it to be lost or destroyed, you will be expected to repay its value, generally within another 3 months.

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LES DORADES

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:12 pm

Once a Saxonnite myth of a gleaming silver paradise deep within the Hinterlands, these seven legendary cities were eventually proven to actually exist, but on another plane of existence - a lower plane, specifically, and even more specifically the one known as Tartarus or Karsceris, ostensibly the original prison of the deranged "blood god" Kaorsus, but now venerated as an afterlife "trap" for the most incorrigible and irrepressible souls, where they are kept out of the rest of the cosmos' hair by ensuring that they have the opportunity to doom themselves. Ostensibly, this particular snare was devised to capture the soul of the ruthless conquistadorre known only as "O, the Sybil". What exactly she found when she finally stumbled into Quiverra, the first of the seven great arcologies which seemed designed as combinations of temple, fortress, and apartment complex to some "primitive" elder civilization, only the Sybil knows, and she has not yet emerged to share the discovery. But adventurers prowling the wilds of Karsceris have stumbled upon the fearsomely beautiful hulks of Les Dorades...and the ones who have since returned to discuss the experience are those who opted to turn around and proceed swiftly in the other direction.
Last edited by willpell on Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MORTUYRI

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:12 pm

Closest to Libruvuhr of the Dead Kingdoms, and the most civilized by Empire standards; the citizenry consists roughly half of living humanoids who enjoy full national rights, although they inevitably have slightly lower social status than their immortal counterparts. The population consists heavily of wizards, who can always use a bodyguard. Architecture is immensely Gothic, retaining the aesthetic preferences of still-existing city founders; Gargoyles are common pests due to the local shortage of clerics who can Turn or Rebuke them.

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SIGIL

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:13 pm

Crossroads of the Upper Planes, the City of Doors is the ultimate planar metropolis, immense and cosmopolitan beyond measure. Thought to be co-located at an impossible juncture between the planes of Acheron, Carceri, Ysgard and Bytopia, Sigil is ruled over by an enigmatic being known only as Her Serenity, whose power to banish even gods from the known universe with a thought makes her widely feared and highly respected, though she vehemently forbids that she be worshipped. Sigil is the headquarters for over a dozen factions with influence throughout the Multiverse, from the ambitious bureaucrats of the Fraternity of Order to the mad prophets called Xaositects, from the Solipsists who aspire to become gods to the Atheist Armada which seeks to discredit all theology.

Despite being able to open portals to nearly every corner of the cosmos, Sigil remains strangely unaffected by the passage of time, although at least its aesthetics have managed to progress somewhat from the proto-industrial veneer of its founding. This evolution is a result of painfully gradual influence from the far-removed Empire which increasingly dominates Terrestra, the centerpoint of the Material Plane; while no larger than a speck of dust by comparison with the entire panoply of planets and planes, Terrestra is of keen interest to Sigil because of their common traits of centrality.

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KADDASTREI

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:13 pm

Capital city of Kaddas. See details in Cityscape.

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NORSPIRE

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:14 pm

Closest "civilized" city to Thuljheim, home of a powerful Heironeite temple with ties to The Chalice, which is desperate enough for able-bodied warriors of good that they'll even take a Kord-loving Barbarian into their midst, as long as he'll slaughter fiends in his righteous wrath.

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GLAZWEIG

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:15 pm

The largest city in Northumber, which is a lot like being the largest glacier on the Elemental Plane of Fire. Relatively famous for its glassblowing and pottery industries (whether the name originally meant "glass" or "glaze" is hotly debated), but the trade routes that take advantage of this go no further, and suffer frequent enough banditry from the local tribes to be less than profitable.

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FLAWLESS ETERNITY

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:15 pm

One of three district-cities that might be termed "in charge" by someone with an insufficiently sophisticated understanding of mountain elf politics; the gray elf population is less of a minority here than elsewhere, and a Lawful mindset predominates among these administrators, recordkeepers, and independent researchers into both magic and "natural philosophy".

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THAUN

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:16 pm

Home of the Darkspire College, a ridiculously huge cavern with a single medium-sized slaverfish in its central lake, and relatively stable colonies of several subterranean races, with the more aggressive empires largely trapped on the other sides of reliable terrain hazards. Too deep for Imperial influence to reach often except through the College's portals, Thaun is mostly a tranquil microcosm in the heart of the Underdark's havoc.

(The Darkspire College of Thaun is presented in Player's Handbook II, and I am responsible only for a handful of specific details regarding its presentation in Whiteleaf, notably the lonely aboleth below it.)
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THE NINE HELLS

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:16 pm

Plane from which Evil and Law emanate, a decadent and vicious society of brutal competition, in which ambitious petitioners are trapped in ritualized cruelty and gradually broken down into fuel for the engines of conquest. Known occasionally as Baator, Hell is divided into nine "stacked" layers, each one physically wider and socially more sophisticated than the one "below" it. A legion of inspired torments - some more subtle and deceptively pleasant-seeming than others - are invented and refined by the resident Devils, who alternately claim to be fallen Angels fighting a war against the still greater evil of the Demons, in which their end justifies any means....and mockingly refute these same claims, denying that they could possess any kinship with their hated rivals in Heaven and the Abyss. Regardless of which layer you are trapped upon, Hell is a nightmare-realm for anyone who prizes their independence or places a high premium on their sense of self; there are no happy endings here, only the slow reduction of methodically wicked souls into raw materials.

Level 1: Tantalus, The White Hell of Lust, domain of Baphomet
Nine Generals: Lilith, Lorelei, Silenus, Shumagorath, Hectopriapus, Grigori, Babalon, Apollyon, Leonard
Favored race: Human

Level 2: Dis, The Golden Hell of Greed, domain of Mammon
Eight Generals: Dispater, Marchosias, Andras, Stolas, Ronove, Buer, Orobas, Malphas
Favored race: Gnome

Level 3: Narcissia, The Pink Hell of Vanity, domain of Ashtaroth
Seven Generals: Hastur, Xasthur, Astarte, Ishtar, Ashtoreth, Hestator, Uztrtr
Favored race: Dwarf

Level 4: Betlahema, The Blue Hell of Sloth, domain of Beelzebub
Six Generals: Belphegor, Abbadon, Nybbas, Guayota, Caacrinolaas, Barbatos
Favored race: Halfling

Level 5: Perdition, The Violet Hell of Pride, domain of Lucifer Morningstar
Five Generals (the pentacle): Asmodai, Azazel, Samael, Adrammelech, Asmodeus
Favored race: Hobgoblin

Level 6: Malbolgia, The Black Hell of Gluttony, domain of Moloch
Four Generals: Belial, Balhammon, Molasar, Ukobach
Favored race: Goblin

Level 7: Maladomini, The Brown Hell of Hypocrisy, domain of Rubicant
Three Generals: Scarmilon, Cainazzo, Valvalis
Favored race: Elf

Level 8: Stygia, The Green Hell of Envy, domain of Shaitain the Many-Masqued Master of Misfortune
Two Generals: Mephistopheles, Vuel
Favored race: Orc

Level 9: Abbadon, The Red Hell of Wrath, domain of Baal
General: Tyrannon
Favored race: None

Traits
* Slightly Lawful and Evil: Chaotic Good creatures suffer -4 on Charisma checks. Other good or chaotic creatures suffer -2 on these checks.
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SPLENDID VANTAGE

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:17 pm

A relatively nondescript An'scharle district-city (its name is accurate, but there isn't really a meaningful midpoint between calling it "pretty" and composing a six-hour poetic epic to describe particular salient features). Ideal as an entry point for newcomers wishing to make the acquaintance of the Mountain Elves; the two previous urbs which one must pass through enroute are more thoroughly cross-cultured by the traders from Windhaven far below, and perhaps originally from points beyond.

To quote from a PC's adventures in this setting:
Having completed a light breakfast of watercress finger sandwiches, blueberry cinnamon scones, and rubyfruit-infused herbal energizing tea, you stroll out of your private quarters and down the broad, half-covered walkway which leads to the Regional Commons. The frosty temperatures of the Silvernahl peaks keep a respectful distance as they have been duly instructed to do, and you're pleased to note that the modestly-sized beech* trees lining the boulevards on either side are looking noticeably less anemic than they have been for most of the spring; apparently the vitalizing magic is finally starting to "take".

* (I said "beech"; the player misread it as "birch". I try to meet my players halfway, so let's say there were actually both.)

An assortment of your fellow Arasetharsai are out and about, as is the case at virtually any moment of the day; though named as much for their fondness for the sun's warmth as for their golden coloration, your species has too many interests and too little fondness for structure to confine themselves to their quarters for all the dark hours. You recognize N'a'veliah Ce'mektekarran, the daughter of a second cousin of the Regional Overseer's new thirdwife, drifting languidly along the crossing lane some distance away; she's wearing a fluffy cloud of gossamer which both conceals and accentuates her notoriously ample curves, producing a magnificent display of silkarthess (the mumbling human tongue renders this principle's name into the far less elegant-sounding phrase "artful mystery", thereby robbing it of over a dozen nuances of implied meaning). You also glimpse your old friend "Stevash" Irivansentaal (more properly Sta'vraske'tassok, but he's notoriously impatient even for a member of one of the Blue Branch families, who are rumored to have the blood of the tragically fallen Flame Elves in them, and thus tend toward unstable tempers to an extent that barely stops shy of scandalous). Both are proceeding in directions well away from where you had vaguely intended to go, with Stevash much closer at the moment but proceeding far more rapidly in the rough direction of Dormant Sorrow.

Whysper leads you a short distance off the path into a lee between two buildings, with a well-insulated refuse bin in the shadows at the end. (Though space is at a premium on the mountaintop, the ingenious builders always manage to find room for acts of largesse that a non-elf might think wasteful.) "You have expressed dissatisfaction in the past about the relative paucity of verdure in this and other mountain cities, compared to the account you have heard or read of how the lowland races live. Though there are well-manicured avenues of trees stocked with a variety of semi-tame wildlife, it is a far cry from the seamless interspersion of nature and civilization that is said to have characterized elfkind at the height of the old empire.

"There is a wineseller in the Estraveir market who imports such a beverage from the city of Windhaven; if you make haste, you should be able to reach him before he closes for the afternoon's festival." You abruptly realize that today is indeed a fest-day, albeit a minor enough one that you needn't be terribly embarrassed to have forgotten it; the celebration is devoted to the memory of Saint Quen'taia, who was decorated by The Archer himself for his bravery in the Seventh Drow Uprising, and who martyred himself to preoccupy the legendary Lolth-cleric Xheskarrai long enough for the sun to rise, blinding her so that an invisible agent could strike her in her moment of weakness. It was a brave deed, but not the most legendary in such a long-distant age, and even those much more devout in the First One's church than yourself are not likely to feel compelled to turn out for such a day, unless they have a particular affinity for the story (or just are in the mood to make merry, lacking more productive uses for their time). But it is an official holiday after all, with all the pomp and circumstance that requires, and it does mean civic leaders will be a bit more reachable than usual, putting in appearances and gauging the public's morale.

You find the wine-seller tucked between a retailer of perfumes and feminine cleansing products (the elven trend toward androgny is pronounced compared to most other humanoid races, but still not total, and even the least "butch" of males is unlikely to find much of interest in this store), and a thaumaturgics emporium specializing in absurdly expensive elementalism tools, whose armored fireblood-human guard is no doubt there specifically to discourage anyone who knows the value of a gold Crown from wandering in to inspect items he can't afford. (He probably earns extra pay specifically for his relative boorishness, explaining his presence in a city with extremely few non-elven residents.) The wine business must be good this decade, as the the door is equipped with a self-parting bead curtain; only one in thirty or so owners of such a threshold are likely to pay extra to have the ropes fully animated, letting them Entangle burglars who try to leave the store with unpaid goods...but the fact that any such curtain could have that feature, with no detectable difference in the emanations, makes them an effective deterrent to potential crimes.
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HARIZONOH BAY

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:18 pm

Watery inlet on the coast of a southern province, occasionally rumored to have been formed by the collapse of a continental shelf whose residents undermined it through tunneling, annihilating themselves out of greed and obliviousness. The name is suspected of deriving from a local dialectual pronunciation of "Horizon".

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RHINESTONE RIVER

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:18 pm

A famous location described in Touchstones of our World, an estuary whose waters are crystal-clear and whose bed is actual crystal, sparkling with eye-watering brilliance in the morning sun and greatly valued as a meditation site for monks, druids and psions who reflect on the transient glories of nature.

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GRINDSTONE LAKE

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:18 pm

A famous location described in Touchstones of our World, a freshwater inland sea formed in the caldera of an ancient volcano, whose surface is 70% covered with chunks of floating pumice of gradually decreasing size. Its banks echo with a cacophony of small collisions as the waves dash the porous stones together; occasionally a new chunk of pumice breaks free of the lake bottom and rises to the surface, perhaps bringing up a catch of unusual deepwater fish....or even sunken treasures from the long-destroyed city that once occupied the slopes of the then-dormant cone (as long as the treasures in question don't weigh too much).

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THE GLOWING CLIFFS OF SYTHERIA

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:19 pm

A famous location described in Touchstones of our World, a pink-marble mountainside sheared off in a long-ago earthquake, lit from behind by the ruddy evanescence of a deep volcanic chasm. The opaque veins that stand out darkly in the dully shining facade are sometimes rumored to move by local peasants, perhaps to lend greater credence to the frequent claim of eccentrics that there is meaning encoded in the stone's swirling patterns.

Home to an order of knights.

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THE LIQUID ROCKS OF TESH-MAATAR

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:19 pm

A famous location described in Touchstones of our World, an arid plain dotted with what may appear from a distance to be strangely shaped boulders, but on closer examination prove to be amorphous globs of strangely fluid minerals that move at visible speeds, seemingly at random. Imperial geologists have studied them for long enough to put down any rumors that these strange objects are actually lifeforms of a sort; observing them for a matter of decades, these scholars confirmed that their apparently spontaneous movements actually repeat in a precise pattern every 1,371 days, and thus they are in fact inanimate. The "rocks" are suspected of being some sort of peculiar computational device created through long-forgotten magics, and scholars not local to the area have repeatedly lobbied the Imperial Ministry of Geologic Heritage and Resources (IMGHR, pronounced "imager") for permission to take a sample of the material for more extensive study than is possible with microvisual lenses; such permission has thus far been steadfastly denied, for what the Emperor calls "obvious reasons".

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LAKE STOMA

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:20 pm

Fed into by the waters of the Tam, Song, and Phoenix rivers, this massive and eerily still lake seems to have no outlet. The ominous Castle Clendenning stands on the cliffs to the south, its highest tower bearing a single window which poets often compare to an ever-watching eye staring into the lake, as if it were a scrying window.

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NEW IORICH

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:21 pm

Originally the economic center of the Duchy of Brythona (though not the administrative capital; that honor belongs to the far smaller city of Elboranch), this bustling oceanic port became the largest city in the Empire when the Duchy was incorporated. Since then, it has led a double life of sorts; described regularly by its citizens as "too big to control", it has put up a stubborn resistance to Imperial efforts to purge it of criminal elements. The Church of Pelor works doggedly by day to keep the peace and drive positive change, with the assistance of an extremely powerful celestial who remains physically manifest from sunup to sundown. In this being's absence, the criminal element flourishes all night, stoking the citizen's fear of the dark and giving shelter to a variety of lunatics and psychopaths. Due to this schizophrenic character, New Iorich (pronounced "eeyoritch"), in addition to being abbreviated NIC and given nicknames such as "The Big Onion" or "The City Which Dares Not Sleep", is frequently referred to by a pair of names depending on whether it is day or night; as the "city of the future" and "gateway to the Empire", the important shipping center of the relatively secure day is known as "Maitrepalace"...but at night, it becomes sinister "Bellview", whose citizens often dare not speak ill of the "good folk" who hold all of its power.

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WHOOPS!

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:21 pm

A duplication was removed here.
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SCOWLEWOOD

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:21 pm

A small but highly interesting forest characterized by unusual rock formations.

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TAMSIN

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:22 pm

Independent nation, far from Malaprop but close to the Labyrinth of Tsoldur. Like other nations in this region, there is a strong anti-mage sentiment, due to the proximity of the wizard's laboratory and its deadly sorcerous experiments. Tamsin is a gerontocracy, ruled by a council of exclusively male elders selected from the aristocracy; their sons and grandsons are the famous "Sword Princes" for which the country is best known, brash expeditioners who go out into the world to seek their fortune, mastering the arts of the blade in order to gain prestige, so that they may return to their homeland with a reputation that will enable them to ascend to the ruling class when they come of sufficient age. The women of Tamsin have no stake in politics, and seem to prefer it that way, a fact that regularly annoys the feminist proselytes from neighboring Lhazaur.
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FEENICHS

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:22 pm

City at the head of the famous Blue Road, namesake of the famous firebird whose millenial nesting cycle was first observed in the clock tower of its most prominent church, which unfortunately burned to the ground as a result. The town's name was originally "Foe-Nix", meaning "silence our enemies", and it still bears the signs of that martial heritage; it became "Faun-ix" briefly several centuries ago, but soon reverted to the famous name.
Last edited by willpell on Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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