[Whiteleaf Reference] Locales (wip)

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PWEBLOUGH

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

Cliffside city in the hilly canyon country on the outskirts of Kaddas, not far from the desolate northern reaches of Cycadria. Has a strong tradition of martial defense due to the presence of nearby orc tribes, but this has been true for long enough that the orcs don't bother attacking much; half-orcs are not found here, but actual orcs are more welcome to integrate into society than is common, even though only a few have managed it. The name references the original town founders' defeat of a nest of monstrous spiders which inhabited the caverns before they moved in and began building; to this day, the folk have a totemic opposition to vermin, frequently reflected in the statuary they create as they mine deeper into the rock walls of their home.
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QWARD

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:23 pm

Though named in honor of the belief it had been "quarried", this immense pit in the rocky highlands of a dwarven/Imperial border province is actually a natural feature. Plunging several miles deep, its sides are extensively settled with concentric rings of divergent societies, united by a commerce heavily dominated by magi capable of transport between the regions. Only in the deepest and narrowest portions of the pit have attempts been made to build bridges and platforms across the span; many of the residents superstitiously refuse to use these despite their ostensibly proven safety, out of a superstitious belief that some great body will someday either fall into the pit or arise from it.
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THE ADHELIONATE

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:23 pm

A cosmic alliance (or "adherence" as its founding species, the Gelatonian "binders", insist upon calling it), comprising some 300 star systems in the Nailfarge Galaxy. One of the handful of extraplanetary agents to have had contact with Terrestra; unfortunately the second-predecessor of the current Emperor made quite an impression upon them, and is still worshipped as a god by six of the member races. His subsequent embarassment led to the ratification of a new set of "contact protocols" in the Imperial charter, which have yet to be invoked since, as the few interstellar visits which have occurred since bore little resemblance to the Adhelion incident.

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ILDRIFARAN

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:24 pm

Human city near the elf-inhabited Veldir region of Transylvaine. Home to powerful merchants with an interest in logging. Ruled by one Lord Gerron.

(This content copyright Wizards of the Coast and so forth and so on.)

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DEKATAS

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:27 pm

Founded by the orphaned children of an attack by the mad homunculus-wizard Exodess, this hillside town was built by the devoted but inept labor of the tragically emancipated kids, and thus has an organic sprawl which is deeply contrary to the Imperial notion of city planning. It put up no direct resistance to being incorporated into the province of Ganth, but since then has become known as a "problem child" throughout the region, as it repeatedly fails to enact Imperial dictates, taking thoroughly unfair advantage of the Empire's refusal to 'crack down' on its chronically immature and neurotic, but otherwise blameless citzens. Thusly, they serve as an example of poor behavior which is unnecessarily encouraging to the local criminal element, all of whom agree to leave the "man-child city" alone (so as not to traumatize the locals into having to abandon their naivete), while shamelessly preying on its neighbors and potential benefactors.

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CONCORDIA

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:27 pm

Plane of Law with a lean toward Good; proximate to Mount Celestia and the Cosmic Clockworks. Realm of harmony and peace, achieved through mostly benevolent but conformis methods; prizes life more than liberty and isn't above occasional mild brainwashing in order to keep order.

Concordia is home to a privileged underclass of superhuman slaves who take joy in service and are nearly impossible to abuse. They form the critical "grease" of a flawed "utopia", nicer than most parts of the material world, but with questionable undercurrents. Their alignment cannot be changed from Lawful Good, and they are unaffected by spells such as Rage.

Traits
* Slightly Lawful: Chaotic creatures suffer -2 on Charisma checks.

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OVERTON

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:28 pm

"...that's Gretchen, of course, my elder sister, now my younger sister Ivanka has only six children, but of course with three of them being musical prodigies there's hardly a moment of silence around Rainham Hall - that's the Overton branch of the Rainhams, mind, the ones who've made good in the cinnamon trade, not to be confused with the deplorable Stewart Rainham and his brood in the Capital, I'm proud to say we've not had any mingling with those degenerates..."
--Hildegarde

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HILLSBORO

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:28 pm

"My grandam's third cousin on the Hillsboro side says that she heard from her tailor that one of the Knights of the Brass Dragon came through town one day with a light like that, sweepin' around him in midair, and where the shadow touched an old dog that had been slinking around the town square for years, it turned his fur black as pitch and made his eyes gleam darkness, and he attacked the knight right then and there! It's a hex of the Shadow Realm I tell you! Never to tempt fate, that's a smart halfling's motto it is."
--Mildred

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VILLEINTOUNE

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:28 pm

A Quatrinatum township originally bearing the innocuous name of Arborwood, which would be relatively minor, if not for its status as an object lesson in how the nation's efforts at neutrality sometimes (often, some would say) tend to doom themselves. Originally there was only a slight uptick in the local population of House Lucrezia, secretly the result of a nest-happy Erinyes laying literal eggs by the hundreds throughout the town and hatching a veritable plague of clone-sons, who seduced women of every other house while quietly eliminating their fathers, brothers, husbands and sons, often successfully impersonating them with illusions or shapeshifting magic. Less than a year after the disaster was first observed, it had turned into a pandemic; mere weeks after the formal approval of a second Lucretian house's opening in the previously balanced town, to accommodate what seemed to be a highly successful emergent Strain, all the non-Lucrezia houses were burned to the ground, and the empty husks rebuilt as blackened temple-homes for all the Strains left among the non-cloned Lucrezians, while the clones diplayed a distinctly un-fiendlike willingness to assume the role of second class citizens in a community now wholly given over to the Law of Evil. Now ironically rechristened in honor of its new populace, the town is guarded round the clock by eunuched male sentinels and clockwork golems, as Lucrezia hierarchs from every community in the Hegemony debate how to take advantage of a resource no other House enjoys - an entire city consisting solely of their kind. A sort of paradise for Tieflings whose fame is rapidly spreading, despite the best efforts of both Imperial Intelligence and the Shadar-Kai Chorus of Silence to keep the debacle quiet, "Villain-Towne" is now perhaps the single most scenery-chewing black-hat paradise this side of the Underdark or the Lower Planes, where the usual self-aware sensibility of Whiteleaf is abandoned in favor of a non-stop carnival in celebration of sin and treachery. The Cathedra's considered opinion is that the place is an intolerable powder-keg, whose eventual self-destruction could scar the Hegemonic mission beyond repair, and so they're still wrestling with the question of whether to continue trying to stabilize and isolate it, a seemingly doomed struggle, or if they should strike first and wipe the abomination-village off the map, before matters get any worse.
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THE CLOACA RIVER

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:30 pm

Only a "river" in the strictest terms, the aptly-named Cloaca is a broad, turgid, and incredibly foul body of water in the arid highlands, fed into by the pitiful streams of an entire surrounding landscape and with its only outlet being a single lip in the otherwise continuous ridge which walls it in. By what is either a staggeringly improbable accident or the carefully calculated work of some epically-talented geomancer, the lake-like hydroform is exactly the correct size, and receives just such a level of inflow, that it loses most of its incoming water due to surface evaporation, leaving it almost entirely stagnant and its depths perpetually brackish. The sediment which is swept into it tumbles perpetually along the slanted bottom, and eventually trickles out the narrow outflow, alternately choking it almost completely and then being worn away by it, so that the lip retains a conistent size from year to year. What water does escape in turn forms the only irrigation of the adjoining Parchess Vale, and is so poor in quality that almost no animals have tried to stay and avail themselves of this supply, choosing instead to migrate away and leave the area a nearly lifeless waste. The environs of the Cloaca are vastly more fertile, but far from pleasant; to even call its banks a "swamp" would be to vastly exagerrate their hospitality to vertebrate life, and only the most disgusting varieties of fish manage to survive in the polluted depths of the estuary. A few bardic tales have suggested that some monstrous denizen haunts the improbable location, but no evidence has been found by the few explorers with the stomach to investigate.

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SHARFSBRIE

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:30 pm

Relatively large city in the Heather Plains Alliance, whose peace is routinely disturbed by the squabbling of two resident gangs of malcontents, calling themselves the Ruffians and the Scallywags. A third outfit called the Hooligans recently rose to prominence and is on the verge of posing an actual threat to somebody besides faint-hearted old ladies and bumbling Keystone Kops.

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BLACKMOER

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:30 pm

Rustic town on the side of the aptly-named Silver Mountain, home of a widely famous hobbit warrior-bard and his allies. The locals take a dim view of the Empire, as an old legend claims that their legendary King will one day return to rule over them; a temple stands upon the site of his former palace, which he is said to have wrested from the control of a villainous flying dark wizard in the distant past. Turbulent weather in the region results in frequent sunshowers and rainbows, and the villagers delight in wearing riotous colors at all times, perhaps to compensate for the sparkling but monotonous grayness of the surrounding countryside.

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BERGBERG

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:31 pm

An ancient and venerable Librian mountain town, famously devoid of horizontal streets. The fact that its name sounds ridiculous, even in the language where it means "mountain town", hampers tourism, but the locals are long past being bothered by such trifles. Is particularly heavy in angel activity, and these celestials insist that the name is correct, when anyone bothers to bring the subject up.

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SILVER MOUNTAIN

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:31 pm

Elevated region, called a "mountain" by way of mild exagerration, but the "silver" part is quite accurate, as the precious metal saturates the soil and rock for a league all around. Was once heavily mined to mint the imperial Coronet (silver piece), but was declared as a natural wonder some 500 years ago and has since healed virtually all damage it sustained. Most inhabitants blame the surveyors of that age for the fact that the ground tends to assume a regular pattern of square fields, alternating light and dark in a gameboard pattern, but the oldsters' tales claim that the area looked like this since time immemorial. The local folklore is rich with tales of strange encounters in the mountain's environs, often tinged with a hint of anachronism; one poetic tradition claims that the Mountain is "where the past and future do battle", though there is little enough cultural support for this idea.

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SPATHIC ABODE

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:33 pm

Rumor holds that the Astral Plane (which, incidentally, is most definitely NOT a Sea of any sort, and is never called one) is home to the fossilized remnants of ancient dead gods (also known as Blackbodies), the floating four-armed stone corpses being more or less recognizable as having held humanoid shape. Paradoxically, when these are intact, the great excess of space they offer as foundations in the endless Astral expanse is generally left largely vacant; with a few exceptions, such as the gith city of Tunarath, a full Blackbody is usually home only to a small monastery, trading post, or other such enclave for those who value their privacy (at least outside of regular business hours), and prize having an open sightline in every direction other than their relative version of down. But when only *part* of a Blackbody is found floating in the silver void, often having been "weathered" (mostly by collisions with other such, since the actual "weather" of the Astral Plane is usually a psychic phenomenon with no effect on dead matter), but sometimes retaining the recognizeable aspect of a nearly humanoid form, it often becomes a wildly popular destination which is soon densely populated, every cubic yard of available space being either quarried out and settled into, or having to be designated by the local authorities (often just the first person to happen by, with enough firepower to keep the second from disobeying this edict) as a preservation site. Such is very much the case with the severed pair of rocky bosoms from some well-endowed goddess, the rest of which has never been found, which now serves Astral travelers as the waystation of Spathic Abode.

The two large more-than-hemispheres, one noticeably smaller than the other, which make up the loosely peanut-shaped rock formerly known as Hypogaea, remain undamaged by any collision, their smooth curvature being totally flawless apart from two prominent black-glass nipples that rise out of the dark surface. While it's possible the whole thing is an artificial statue, several cults with different ideas about the goddess's identity believe otherwise, and venerate these towering cones as wellsprings of spiritual nourishment analogous to their apparent shape. The deep cleft separating the two former divine mammaries (which are in fact held together only by a narrow flap of petrified skin and underlying musculature, but the structure of the erstwhile godly body remains intact, and even a few corded fibers of deific tendon and ligament are enough to fossilize into stiff bridges capable of enduring incredible strain) is known as the Zuriop Chasm; though originally open to Astral space, the "front" and "bottom" sections of the Chasm have largely been closed off by the webs of great spider-like beings known as Orb-Weavers (unlike actual spiders, these entities are largely peaceful; nobody knows what they eat, but it doesn't seem to include sentient beings, so they're left to do their web-spinning undisturbed), and so only the plunging upper slope remains clear, being preserved in its original state as a "natural wonder" and regarded as a park by inhabitants (or rather as two parks separated by a cleft which nobody is allowed to bridge over nor cross in vehicles). The outer surface of the stone decolletage is similarly held in trust by the Abode's governing council, although its remoteness from the areas of easy access leaves it largely untouched.

The inhabitants of Spathic Abode include direct descendants of the Astral Carrack crew which originally settled the object which had been cryptically labeled as Hypogaea on elf-made navigational charts of the area far from human-trafficked Astral spacelanes. (The carrack's captain is rumored to have blurted out, upon sighting the rock in the distance and then examined it by spyglass, "Damn, if I'd known this sky was full of tits, we'd have sailed this way years ago!" Presumably the elves, for all of their occasional carnality, were less impressed by the mere idea of a petrified erogenous zone, and thus considered Hypogaea as unworthy of special remark.) Since then, these folk have been more than a little shameless in spreading the word about their unique destination, and their efforts at creating a tourist trap have at least managed to get this volume of Astral Space included in the "known" area according to modern civilization. Having initially entered through the broken surface of the "wounded" side, whether crawling through deific capillaries or simply blasting holes in the softer rock that was once godly adiopose tissue, the skyfarers eventually set up their colony within a series of chambers which began as lactic glands and were connected by milk ducts (all of this assumes that the "dead god turned to stone" narrative is accurate, and that this particular goddess at least was basically humanlike in anatomy; other theories suggest that the object itself was originally sculpted by some psychotically detail-obsessed artisan, or that the tunnels and caverns were more natural in appearance before the first settlers carved them into more organic shapes, to suit their promotional story of the rock's origin). Today, the crew's descendants are the equivalent of an aristocratic family in the local society, but not even the single most influential one; visitors came for every imaginable reason, from mercantile tourism to religious pilgrimage to opportunistic perversion, but they have stayed because the architects of Abode society have been particularly skilled at encouraging social growth, resulting in one of the most vibrant waystations in the Infinite.
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WOMB LAKE

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:33 pm

A salty lake which is rumored to have the miraculous property of growing clones.

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THE INLAND SOUND

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:34 pm

Massive oceanic inlet between the two northern "lobes" of the roughly heart-shaped megacontinent which contains 98% of Whiteleaf's total land mass; much of the remaining 2% can be found on medium-sized islands (and a few very large ones, though none as large as Apzhuh-Tyamot or Tian'Zhong) scattered throughout this narrow and treacherous tongue of saltwater, which penetrates the northern coastline and provides the Imperial capital with its only easy sea access. Parts of the Sound are as cold as one would expect from their latitude, while others are peculiarly tropical....perhaps due to the action of local volcanoes, perhaps from the meddling of druids or supernatural powers, and perhaps for still stranger reasons.
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REDSTAFF

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:34 pm

Most famous port city in the province of Saxonne; a wealthy and multicultural city with a vibrant and iconically its-own culture, famous for the attitude "let the fun times run", leading to its nickname of "The Great Facility". The inhabitants of the provincial capitol of New Marsayla, much less far inland, are historically testy about how Redstaff's dominant attitude is frequently assumed to be typical of them as well.
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DESERT OF THE REAL

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:34 pm

A cold, arid waste that lies beyond Rixtam; constant thunderstorms bar virtually all sight of the sun, and the rain is laced with acids which etch the local plateaus into strange columnar shapes.

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ARGYROS

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:37 pm

Extremely large and wealthy city famous for its pristine canals, which are patrolled by water elementals bound to service by the city's clerical elite. The elementals respond to minor pollution or litter by expelling the offending matter from the canals, and to major occurrences by erupting from the canals to beat the offender into submission. Stationary magic "traps" can be used by the elementals to summon members of the City Guard, as reinforcements for battles they're losing and/or to haul the criminal away once he's been subdued. The use of water for drinking and bathing by humans annoys the elementals somewhat, but the clerics' intercession helps to ensure that they tolerate it; nevertheless, as purely elemental beings, they remain deeply hostile toward any non-aqueous matter and often resent the humans that they are forced to serve. Such resentment is not universal, however; several particular elementals have developed close bonds with their summoner and/or with their frequent partners in the Guard. Combining these relationships with the existence of occasional renegades and "deviants" among the elementals, there are not-infrequent occurrences of "fraternal relations" between humans and these "domesticated" forces of nature, and so the city's population of Water Genasi is higher than in probably any other single Locale on the globe.

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CAVERN OF INVISIBLE KNIVES

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:37 pm

Relatively small but extremely well-fortified Drow cave-city, most famously home to the original cloister of mystical thuggery where the Shadow Hand stricture of combat was mastered. Its founder is probably one of the ten best-respected males in dark elf history, one who actually attracted suitors from among the various priestesses and house-matrons of the community and its neighboring environs, but none of these ambitious femme-fatales were ever able to satisfy the conditions he imposed upon any querent at his threshold, and their attempts at avenging themselves through egregious violence were thwarted by his expertise, only increasing his perceived desirability. At last, facing the risk of having his legacy forbidden by the Black Church out of spite, he dispersed his order throughout the Underdark, but the original school remains, presided over by a low-level functionary intentionally installed as a catspaw, who is only just now beginning to suspect that she isn't going to be relieved of her post at all. While he never went to the surface as so many other disenchanted Drow have tried to do (usually with bad results, but an ever-growing population of expatriates is beginning to attain political relevance in the overworld, to the point that they are even rumored to have developed their own minor deity), the Shadow Hand founder is still lurking around, one of the most notorious renegades to be grudgingly tolerated by the standing regimes despite acting as a wild card in their plans. Deeply disenfranchised with the self-devouring society around him, this legendary figure has turned his back on Evil, but not on his still-Evil kindred, and so spends much of his time brooding in solitude or stalking monsters as a distraction.
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TIGER ISLAND

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:38 pm

One of the southernmost of the Exotic Isles, proximate to the region known as the Midnight Sea. Tropical home of the great cats, who breed with spectacular success in its jungles, despite the determined efforts of hunters protecting the few local settlements to thin their numbers. No-one is entirely sure what keeps them from exhausting their food supply, which seems hopelessly inadequate. A persistent cult of human fanatics claims to have the answer but refuses to divulge it.
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THE INN CONSEQUENTIAL

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:41 pm

Not all taverns are created equal; few, for instance, can claim to be as large and ostentatious as the one whose owners, having found themselves on the crest of transformative events which left them with far greater wealth and responsibility than they ever believed possible, renamed their originally nondescript establishment with a sly wink and a nod to its sudden explosive success: the Inn Consequential. (Proud member of NINI, the Network of Ironically Named Inns.)

With spaces for over a hundred travelers, the Inn rises four stories, being constructed primarily of light-hued orange/tan bricks, with a famously comfortable interior courtyard surrounded on three sides by the balconies adjoining its thirty priciest rooms. The kitchen is top-notch, and the waitstaff are legendarily patient with the broad variety of exotic creatures which pass through, traveling along one of the several major thoroughfares which intersect here. Strange sights barely faze the smartly uniformed servants; mostly female, but costumed in a manner displaying only the barest hint of the chauvinism which continues to loosen purses in all but the highest-class establishments catering to the famously red-blooded "adventurer market", these workers are ordinary local folk who've been fortunate enough to land an extraordinarily lucrative and stimulating job, and they aren't about to screw it up by displaying the age-old prejudices which Imperial propaganda is still far from sufficient to eradicate.

Diners may gather around one of the good-sized, round metal tables which dot the enclosed patio, each enjoying several "local specialties" ordered off the relatively diverse menu. Even the far-above-average stabling facilities of the Inn have their limits, but a copse of greenery nearby can serve. Small, sheltered alcoves are positioned in all of the Inn's many corners, affording a modicum of privacy to those who don't enjoy much in the way of company. The courtyard is quite spacious and open-aired; plants grow in pots or along portions of the wall here and there, and while it's obvious that they've been cut back regularly rather than permitted to grow wild, they at least are lush enough to enrich the air and gentle the soul's cravings. The tavern's front room is however entirely artificial; there, those with no particular love of nature take their liquor amid the smoke of small wax candles guttering in ornate wall scones.

When presented with a traveling noble, the employees show nothing but appropriate (albeit perfunctory) deference. The staff are not terribly familiar with the Zh'klet, but there are enough halflings and gnomes through the region to ensure that the inn was prepared to provide a "booster seat".

Children take their meals far away from the free-flowing alcohol of the main pub area, with chaperones looming overhead to keep an eye on the youths while their parents tipple and carouse. It is unclear whether this is the kind of inn where you can slip a few extra coins into a "wench's" hand and find her in your bed when you retire for the night. A modest stage stands in the not-quite-center of the courtyard.

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ULHAR-DARAST'RYNA

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:42 pm

"Blue Dragon Lake".

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DU'SYLDRE

Post by willpell » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:42 pm

A fairly typical high-elf enclave just outside the Elvenwood, which sprawls haphazardly across a broad stretch of land, each residence created in isolation and barely visible from its neighbors, so that the highly eclectic design styles involved do not clash significantly.

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