[Whiteleaf Reference] Locales (wip)

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willpell
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THE GARDEN VA'RYOTI

Post by willpell » Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:15 pm

Posh and highly exclusive nature-lovers' resort in the northeastern deserts of the wealthy province of Narrowvale. Intentionally cultivated in wasteland surroundings for the sake of constructs, the Garden is the brainchild of elven princess-turned-druid Windsong Silvergreen, whose experience with the wealthy aristocracy of humanity has led her to believe that the surest way to improve the lot of Nature in the modern world is to create a place like this, where the wild is presented as a source of verdant luxury and blessed sanctuary from the outside world. (Similar logic underlay her long succession of diplomatic marriages to human viscounts and dukes, all of which had as their explicit primary relation the improvement of elf-human relations, and none of which succeeded, a pattern she refuses to recognize and sees as having no bearing on the current experiment.) The Garden has existed for nearly three hundred years, and Windsong herself is approaching the limit of elven lifespan; rooted in the elvish variety of conservativism, she has never really gotten used to the Imperial way of doing business, having grown up in an age when the combined elf kingdoms (drow excluded, of course) were four times bigger than the Empire, instead of four times smaller as they are now. While undeniably attractive, just as she is, the Garden is similarly beginning to crack under the strain of its age, and puts far too much effort into preserving a flawless appearance.

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NAIPLOU-XULTRA

Post by willpell » Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:36 pm

Jungle-reclaimed temple complex in the depths of East Cycadria near the Pan Angh border, a massive pyramid made of sandstone so golden-hued that legend attributes the site with being made entirely out of precious metals (if not gold per se, then at least orichalcum or highly refined brass). Possibly guarded by metallic dragons.

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LABYRINTH OF TSOLDUR

Post by willpell » Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:41 pm

Whiteleaf's loose equivalent of Castle Greyhawk or the Ruins of Undermountain, this complex differs from those locations in being primarily aboveground, built horizontally rather than vertically, filling a broad river valley in a Hinterlands region which remains largely untouched despite lying close to even the borders of the original Empire. Civilization has largely spread around this area without encroaching into it; the presence of exceedingly dangerous magical beasts, who lair in the Labyrinth but find ways of marauding out into the surrounding countryside, provides a strong incentive to avoid poking the bear. Interestingly, the megalomaniacal archmage Tsoldur, who created the Labyrinth to hold his blasphemous experiments, is believed to have since ascended to the Celestine Host and become the "guardian angel" of his own former headquarters, charged with keeping the more dangerous of his experiments in check and overseeing the activities of anyone who intrudes into the maze; certainly, if this is true, he makes no guarantees that adventurers delving into the area will return alive, but perhaps matters would be far worse without his influence. Also unlike Greyhawk and Undermountain, the Labyrinth has attracted relatively little attention, perhaps because the tales of it place more emphasis on danger and less on treasure; to date, no economy has sprung up around the efforts of sporadic dungeon-delvers to penetrate the maze's secrets.

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LHAZAUR

Post by willpell » Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:50 pm

Modest but radical gynocratic regime adjacent to Tamsin, whose denizens are more militant about their fear of magic, relying on their "intuition" instead of on divine inspiration to channel the combative arts they practice. Disdaining the sword as a masculine symbol, mostly due to the Tamsini cultural fetish for blades, the Lhazauri rely primarily on hammers and polearms in combat, assiduously avoiding both spears and battleaxes entirely, while considering the staff or club as a last resort.

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THE PURPLE DREAMS THEATER OF THE DEEP

Post by willpell » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:42 pm

A place where the Cult of Living Color regularly performs.

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VEA D'BRODERIQUE

Post by willpell » Thu May 12, 2016 2:01 pm

A wide cobblestoned thoroughfare which cuts across a "sensuously curved" landscape in the back country of a province near Heather Planes, infamously dotted with "performing houses", temples, monasteries and "health resorts" which are all ultimately little more than brothels. While the prostitution was never explicitly legal in this region, both the current provincial government and the preceding feudal kingdom were openly tolerant of this underground flesh trade, and activists throughout the rest of the Empire still consider this architectural masterpiece of the ancient world to be an embarrassing symbol of exploitation (though sources vary on whether the sexual exploitation of women is a greater or lesser part of the equation than the financial exploitation of men).

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CROSSMOON

Post by willpell » Fri May 13, 2016 7:48 pm

The quintessential desert province.

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NEAPOLIS

Post by willpell » Mon May 16, 2016 3:07 pm

Coastal city in the Imperial "old country", famous for the use of elephants as draft animals, many of which are painted in the province's three colored stripes. The primary exporter of white chocolate to the rest of the world; cash from this wildly profitable industry has made the port one of the Empires' richest municipalities, with a burgeoning textile industry producing huge reams of cloth dyed into two colors and then having them manufactured into gender-specific clothing. The city's men occasionally complain that their purple trousers and shirts don't match one of the red, white, and green bars of the flag, while women's traditional skirts and braziers are informed by their historical role as nature-priestesses in the area's pagan faith (since merged into the continent-wide Druidic orders and desegregated).

Is the headquarters of the wildly unconventional Obedients-cleric Antha Rhyccardhi, and was infamously terrorized by the legendary leviathan By-Cha, from whose name the word "beach" is said to originate.

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PANTHALASSA

Post by willpell » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:58 pm

The globe-circling "deep" ocean which surrounds the single large continent of Terrestra and its handful of adjoining islands; distinguished from the Inland Sound and the Peaceful Sea, Panthalassa is seldom trafficked by even the bravest of sea voyagers, and the aquatic races shun large stretches of it as an isolated wasteland (occasionally romanticizing it as the "last frontier", but more often shunning it as containing nothing of sufficient value to justify facing its dangers). Those beings which do survive here are mostly highly antisocial types such as krakens and shark-men, and the shortage of adequate food and other comforts make them even more vicious than their nature would suggest. Influence from the Lower Planes is fairly common in this region, and those who have contact with the Celestial Host are likely to suspect them of having abandoned these sparsely-populated areas, although it is possible that they instead actively wish to keep them uninhabited, and are simply lax in disciplining those who break that rule.

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QUAKEWOOD

Post by willpell » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:14 am

This province is named after a wooded region within it, where the roots of the great trees reach so deep that they intertwine with seismic faults; though it is an exaggeration to say that these roots actually hold the continent together, they do play a significant role in keeping the area geologically stable. Furthermore, the trees are semi-aware, and have exceedingly high psychic sensitivity, so that they react to violence and destruction by emitting psionic shockwaves into the earth, producing powerful tremors. For this reason, the area is a refuge for pacifists, and plays host to all manner of interesting characters who wish to take advantage of the local culture of nonviolence.

(This hastily-written snippet requires expansion, I'm mostly just trying to get the ball rolling on the Whiteleaf project again.)

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RATLEIGH'S TAVERN

Post by willpell » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:11 am

The more reputable of two public houses visible from the main street of Camlon, distinguished by a better overall state of repair from its rival establishment, "A Real Kick in the Pants". (These are by no means the only such businesses in the thriving old town of thousands; at least a dozen assorted alehouses, hostels, performance venues, and general-purpose dives are scattered about, but do not advertise in order to keep boorish tourists out of their clientele.) Ratleigh's bears the sign of a coiled snake, an animal viewed positively by the elves who provide much of the upscale patronage the business owners wish to cultivate. Is perhaps the only bar in the whole Empire to have a bouncer, an apelike but surprisingly intelligent fellow with a blond ponytail by the name of Dixon King, who unbeknownst to the ruffians he turns away spends much of his shift daydreaming, wishing he could fly and imagining grand adventures where he battles a tribe of pirate lizardmen in order to reclaim his golden hoard.

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CAVERN OF THE CLENCHED GAUNTLET

Post by willpell » Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:15 am

This Drow cave-city is home to a bold experiment in Evil, which the gods and exemplars of Good are watching with intense curiosity (and horror, nausea, and grief, a particularly intense blend of the emotions they feel whenever they are forced to tolerate Evil's existence for various reasons). A charismatic leader has arisen from within the primarily-male military forces which secure the borders of every dark elf enclave; usually the generals and marshals of these legions are kept thoroughly suborned by female clerics and House Matrons, and the few who shake their programming are quickly singled out and disposed of, but in this case, a coup recently succeeded which has isolated the former Cavern of the Writhing Veil from its neighbors, while also destroying much of the female power structure within the burstingly-overpopulated metropolis. Already far from the authority centers of the primary church and the most influential trans-cavern houses, this settlement has had its population decimated (literally, casualties of almost exactly 10.000% have been carefully documented, as one of the most important tasks females are allowed to assist with anymore), and with nothing to stabilize the existing power structure, the erstwhile minor captain of an erstwhile minor regiment has suddenly declared himself "Emperor of the Drow" (it is unclear whether he got the loanword from humans and simply translated it, or if the term is a revival of obsolete Elvish terminology far predating the descent of the duaral's ancestors into the Underdark). Obviously, there are numerous opponents to his claim, but his skill in thwarting assassins, poisoners, hypnotists, muckrakers, and all manner of other foes has begun to assert itself. Diviners in other caverns have yet to learn of the extent to which this plot has succeeded, possibly due to clandestine assistance from agents of Good (though such interference in a notoriously paranoid and unstable regime is dangerous; most sensible affiliations simply try to minimize the collateral damage that will surround such a disastrous social transformation), but it's only a matter of time...however, even the threat of a nascent patriarchy may not be enough to unify the eternally-treacherous Drow long enough to marshal a sufficiently fierce counter-insurgency.

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MOUNTAINS OF SHY'EN

Post by willpell » Fri May 04, 2018 4:24 pm

Home of the Twelve Tribes, a band of desperate survivors who hate and fear arcane magic. Borders the Desert of the Real, and constantly patrolled by construct servants of the Rixtam wizard hierarchy.

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