[Whiteleaf Reference] Locales (wip)

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OZTRALLIS

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:42 pm

Closest of the Imperial provinces to the Northern Polar Regions. Home of the Ashton Valley Horseway, a road once notorious as a drug trafficking route during the region's time as an independent duchy known as Jaunbourne (where the infamous cursed item known as the "Jaun Dice" was presumably created).

The provincial capital of Silvertara contains the Grayglobe University, where Scholar Emeritus professor Casimir Anselmo published his account of 155 documented cases of evidence, suggesting the extraplanar origin of the fae races (including elves).
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FARWIND PROVINCE

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:43 pm

Like many former kingdoms, the northwestern province named after its capital, Farwind City, was once an independent monarchy, reasonably well-intentioned but nonetheless totalitarian, until the economic benefits of joining the Imperium were finally proven to the nobility's satisfaction about 200 years ago. It remains far less progressive than the central provinces, with sewage still running in the streets of the city and most of its villagers still going to barely-sanitary outhouses; the northern clime is not too harsh but does tend to have a suppressive effect on the population, making them somewhat placid and inclined to stay out of each other's affairs. The conservative Solarian church is strong here, largely because the citizens haven't forgotten that the horrors of the nearby Trakhor-Zaun are not above staging nocturnal raids on villages that encroach too close.

The Farwind region lies close to Mount Tzyraeme, the artificial seven-peaked hornberg which is crowned with the An-Schar'le Helionad Complex, home of the "Mountain Elves". Numerous incident reports throughout this area are being investigated by such Imperial authorities as Marshal Serval Trieste, and may be the work of the notorious schemer Quondam O'Khannox, better known by his "nom de plume" (that's in quotes because he's not known to have actually written anything), "the meritorious Modron", whose four (or three or six, depending on how you count) confederates include Borogrim Glordvurt, the infamous "man called Slaad".
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SUSQUAS

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:43 pm

Southerly province famous for its own large size, as well as that of supposedly just about everything to be found there. Ranges from lush swamplands in the west to harsh desert in the east, but with few trees in either case, and a distinct shortage of the druids who might otherwise explain the vigor of its native life.

Was originally a fiercely independent feudal kingdom, proud of its warrior tradition and thoroughly in love with its own mythology, exemplified mostly in "chivalrous" (some would say "chauvinistic") folk heroes, usually members of an itinerant soldier class known as "Hannahs" (actually these were a variant type of Ranger, who lacked spellcasting abilities and usually avoided wilderness areas unless they were in the process of being "civilized"). Named after their founder, a member of the then-prominent noble House of Darryl, these horse-loving but armorless "knight-errants" solved most of their problems by stabbing someone, with the tales always remembering the opponent as a caricatured villain - who, in those cases where the same individual was famous elsewhere as well, doesn't bear any real resemblance to their portrayal in non-Susquan records. The tendency to describe these "primitives" as having chalky complexions, with a phobic aversion to earthy contamination, and to show them ornamented with the polished bones of their foes, in order to make them contrast starkly with the olive-skinned and grey-clad heroes who weren't afraid to get a little dirt on them, is remembered by the modern Common word "whitewashing".

Among the neighbor-provinces of Rotenheim. The "barbarians" whom the feudal Susquans despised were often members of the pale-skinned race which constantly harassed the "Red Clay People" who originally controlled most of this area, but were just as likely to be the Red Clay Folk themselves, whose chestnut complexions didn't make the comparably swarthy "Hannahs" like them any better. Caring only for gaining the resources necessary to preserve their state's independence, the outriders from the Susquan capital of Sto'vow'kerr didn't mind a bit if they had to find some pretext to attack their "backward" neighbors and take their land; reprisals were growing more fierce between the two states before the Empire stepped in, first sending Bard and Marshal diplomats to negotiate a cease-fire, and eventually managing to win over the populace enough that the King of Susqas (a fearsome-looking former Hannah named Reichert, called "the Griffin-Hearted", and still looked up to by modern ranchers and landowners who think the feudal system was pretty swell) was deposed when he refused to yield to popular acclaim. Empire money then helped propel a liberal candidate to victory in the resulting leader-election, stipulating that the winner refuse the traditional title of King or Queen and instead become a Governor; when the former Protectors of all the Empire's then-provinces (most of which were much smaller, some being little more than city-states whose "Lords" started out as Mayors, before this relatively rapid sequence of transitions) were renamed Governors as well, seemingly by coincidence, the aging Susquan matriarch announced that it "only made sense" for their once-isolationist nation to join the "commonwealth" which had become such a good neighbor to it.

The gradual takeover of Susquas is a textbook example of how the Empire bloodlessly "conquers" its neighbors, and was largely repeated a couple centuries later with Rotenheim. While the latter has never really minded the Empire's influence, having no less than three far easier villains to blame for their decline, Susquans are frequently conservatives and inclined toward holding grudges; a few hardliners are still fiercely anti-Imperial and have banded together to form militia groups, who often plan extremist actions in the name of "patriotism", but are easily manipulated by Imperial agents who pay lip service to their ideology. These groups are sometimes quietly broken up, seemingly through coincidence as the members either change their minds or develop new concerns in life; in other cases, they pointed toward some distraction which will keep them gainfully preoccupied. In either case, Imperial Intelligence is willing to be a bit more draconian than usual, because they are aware of the situation's volatility; the Web of Lies is also active in the region, although Susquan-native Celestials do a good enough job of keeping it suppressed for now, and nobody wants to see the entire situation devolve into chaos, given that the Susquans tend to pride themselves on staying heavily armed and reacting twitchily to provocation.

Home of a mysterious creature (or race of creatures) known as the Susquatch (they are named for the province, not vice versa; the Red Clay Folk refer to him, assuming him to be a singular spirit-god, as "He of the Great Soles", taking great delight in the Common pun which links feet to the eternal self). If these are in fact anything more than peasant rumors, then whatever number of Susquatches exist, they are large manlike beasts covered in fur who live in the hot, dense temperate forests of the province's western reaches, in areas that were taken from the Red Clay People but proved to be too much trouble to keep, and were a functional no-man's-land until the Empire takeover. Imperial cartographers formally included the nature preserve within the province's borders as a symbolic gesture of appeasement (this presumptious irritated the future Rotenheimers, but they got over it pretty quickly, being generally more laid-back in temperament than the Susquans; the survivors of the original Alliance still technically claim ownership of this "pot-ladle" region, but are not really doing anything about it).
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NEW MIRAJEN

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:44 pm

Province that's long been a crossroads to the entire eastern part of the Empire, being proximately located to Libruvuhr, Yorsimurgh, New Troskif and Oztrallis. Contains the worldwide headquarters of the Church of Velgyrine.

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ISHER

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:44 pm

Taken from Player's Guide 2; this locale is defined solely as the headquarters of the Brightmantle Weaponers. Though, come to think of it, we'll say it's located in the province of Isherrya....

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SAXONNE

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:45 pm

Lushly temperate seaside province which has particularly ancient roots; though not one of the initial adopters of the Empire's authority, it was part of the region in which the original linguistic predecessors of modern Common arose. The populace still has a "laissez-faire" attitude in their own words, preferring to while away their days in wine and song, and wanting nothing to do with the aggression of the nearby Northumbrians. Persistent rumors of a local subculture of sexual "degenerates" who venerate a goddess of sexual sadism, torture and dominance have never been proven.

Saxonne's cuisine is heavily based around beginning with a bland central ingredient, and then adding sauces which are often quite subtle and savory; the populace has a love of strong flavors, but also a fear of damaging the tastebuds through overload (in particular they almost never include anything spicier than a small amount of black pepper), so their appreciation for cream sauces, white gravies, and hints of vanilla and such far outweighs their desire for more adventurous fare. This refinement makes their food popular among the wealthy, elitist, and/or pretentious in other provinces. They have a very strong culinary tradition, and although they crave the prestige of founding a new local legend, they are not adventurous, motivated more by the anxiety of an embarassing public failure than by the lure of success. Contrary to all their fears of numbing the palate, they are also notorious wine-drinkers...serious alcoholism is rare, but almost none of the locals fail to imbibe regularly, and so a slight degree of impairment is considered normal in day-to-day affairs, resulting in a certain general clumsiness (and a consequent desire to idiot-proof the municipal environment, putting up safety rails and rounding corners and such), as well as a tendency toward quasi-intellectual philosophies that don't hold up in the cold light of day, heartfelt professions of fleeting emotion, and so forth. (These traits are reflected in the local theological climate, as well as in far-traveling stereotypes about Saxunnians, who are frequently the butt of jokes outside their presence.)
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NEWTON

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:45 pm

A small but busy Imperial province, ironically one of the oldest despite having been named in honor of its previously unsettled state, when "new towns" by the dozen sprung up almost overnight. Famous for its fig orchards, helmet makers, local folk hero Olivey John, and resident aristocrats, whose quickly- (and often unlawfully-)made fortunes have led to the coining of the term "gingrich", a contraction of "getting rich". The provincial capital of Tandy is widely noted for the exceptionally dark skin of its all-female upper class.

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NARROWVALE

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:45 pm

Province well deserving its initials in the common vernacular. While extensive mineral deposits in the border regions were initially responsible for the region's wealth, it did not become a true capital of sub rosa plutocracy until the founding of the de facto capital of Meadowland, whose groundbreakers are regarded as having invented the concept of tourism. Today nearly every part of the Empire bills itself as a sightseeing and holiday destination for anyone with the wealth to travel, but few such resorts are built so explicitly to overawe and captivate visitors. The official administrative capital of Lernanu is so thoroughly overshadowed by Meadowland that it has had to resort to formally outlawing most of the latter city's most lucrative industries (nearly all of which cater to some form of vice), while simultaneously offering almost identical legal services in nearby townships.

The rogue and cleric classes (and various approximations of these archetypes) have special meaning in Narrowvale, due to the conflict between its two chief cities. In Meadowland, the monitors of morality are made to feel quite unwelcome, while crooked but officially law-abiding accumulators of wealth and power achieve the greatest success in the city's underground economy. Lernanu reverses the situation, with every local temple called upon to sanction the state-run brothels and "clinics" (spotlessly clean drug dens which "medicate" various afflictions, with substances that are only barely-disguised as anything other than recreational); the hypocrisy involved might be staggering, but that doesn't stop the provincial government from ruthlessly prosecuting anyone engaged in actual skulduggery. The rest of the province is sparsely-populated and has little wealth, although various ranchers and homesteaders are beginning to band together in loose alliances, disgusted with the way the two municipalities are draining the resources of the entire state in an attempt to out-compete each other.

Naturally, the Inferno has a hand in local affairs; both major factions are infiltrated by diabolic servants of the appropriate Hells, with Pride and Hypocrisy paramount in the true capital while Greed and Lust flourish in the functional one. These devils strictly prohibit the intrusion of less law-abiding aspects of the Web of Lies into the area, not wanting the delicate balance of power disturbed; given how incredibly much money is being accumulated here, Narrowvale is often thought of as being one of the places best able to rebel against Imperial authority and defy even the Celestines, and this makes it far too much of a feather in Evil's cap to risk letting Chaos erupt therein.
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YELLOWGRASS

Post by willpell » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:46 pm

Province in the Southeast which was originally sparsely settled due to undesirable conditions; became heavily populated by refugees from the Cycadrian annexation of its eastern neighbor-state of Rombu, and later gradually acquired a large influx of East Cycadrian defectors fleeing the increasingly despotic regime of the White Wizards. Ethnic tensions run high between the pacifistic deserters and the bitter expatriates; the Imperial budget allots a great deal of peacekeeping and advocacy money to attempting to stabilize the region.

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URNEST

Post by willpell » Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:39 pm

This province's name comes from the primordial "ur-dragons" that once laid their eggs throughout its terrain; the area attracted the most pussant of dragonslayers and the great wyrms were wiped out, but the name stuck, as did the various businesses which sprung up to cater to the warriors (many of whom, or their descendants, are still hanging around in the region, wishing they had something to fight). Since then, the area is mostly famous for its appearance in the dwarf bard Ikeloid Wildren's famous play "The Importance of Being In Urnest", and lends its name to a number of Urnestos and Urnestines.

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TRUEKERN

Post by willpell » Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:40 pm

Province in the Northwest which is home to Drachengaard Castle on the Rogue Escarpment, bordering the High Elf Kingdoms (what remains of them) and the wilderness that the Ten Thousand Tribes of orcs still roam.

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FORSHUNA

Post by willpell » Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:41 pm

Most prosperous province in the Tradespeak Empire; one of only 11 provinces to be specifically added to the Empire by exploration and colonization, rather than annexed as existing states. An isolated coastal territory settled relatively recently and at considerable effort, whose spectacularly fertile soil and balmy climate led early explorers to describe it as a paradise. The legends of a race of black women who ruled it in a state of eternal peace are thought to be apocryphal, and their mention is discouraged by Imperial authorities; some cynics believe that these residents were unceremoniously wiped out by the usually-pacifistic Empire in order to secure the rich land and forestall an economic crash, but serious moral experts generally consider these claims outrageous and easily debunked.

Is one of the only 6 provinces in which prostitution in a non-religious context is explicitly legal (although only 20 actually enforce the laws against it).

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YLATI

Post by willpell » Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:42 pm

Former location of the ancient nation of Amor, which could have risen to become one of history’s great juggernauts, but the young Tradespeak Empire used its influence to quash this potential rival, in a way that modern Imperial theory does not consider ethical (still, it’s a far cry from how pre-Imperial kingdoms went about subjugating their dangerous neighbors). Agents within the greatest Amoran churches created a folklore describing how the city’s mythical founders, Amoros and Eros, had been suckled by a she-wolf after they were abandoned in youth; this story appealed to the Amorans’ pretensions of being “beasts among men”, but also created a metaphorical link with the state-run prostitutes, who were called “she-wolves” in common parlance. Careful propaganda enhanced this correlation and caused the brothel industry, with its religious and historical links, to outgrow the Amoran military-industrial complex. Thusly, the initially powerful and expansionistic kingdom, which was projected to grow into a hotbed of sadistic perversion and organized crime, turned into a rather tame and contented nation of intellectual aesthetes, whose modern descendant is famous for little more than its cooking.

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MALAPROP

Post by willpell » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:00 pm

Size: Large Town
Population: about 5000
GP limit: goods up to 3000 gp available for sale; max of 750,000 gp in cash or purchases.
Power center: ?
Residents: Aristocrats, Nobles, Clerics, Fighters, Rogues, Human Paragons, Dwarf Paragons, Sorcerers, Ranger 5, Ranger 3 x2, Ranger 1 x4, Druid 5, Druid 3 x2, Druid 1 x4, Bard 5, Bard 3 x2, Bard 1 x4, Paladin 5, Paladin 3 x2, Paladin 1 x4, Factotum 5, Factotum 3 x2, Factotum 1 x4, Dragon Shaman 5, Adept 3 x2, Psion 4, Warblade 4, Barbarian 1.

Elrimawen's current home is located in the city of Malaprop, a mountainside town surrounded by a veritable ocean of trees. The town is home to roughly 5000 people, mostly humans and dwarves with occasional elves and halflings, the odd gnome or half-orc, and just enough truly exotic individuals - counting the drow herself - that she only merits raised eyebrows rather than blank stares when she ventures out.

While most of the humans who inhabit Malaprop would consider Deepstone Avenue to be a wretched slum, the city's dwarven contingent shares a portion of the Drow's preferences with regard to dim lighting and claustrophobia, so they tend to half-build-half-quarry themselves magnificent mansions in the shadow of the overhanging cliff face which looms above part of the town. That part of the city gets almost twelve hours a day of darkness in the spring and fall, and looks and feels almost like home to Elri, even if smoky fires are shamelessly employed for lighting in the ventilated areas.

"Giants aren't usually thought of as being as vast in brainpower as they are otherwise, but I'm told that there's a hill giant living in a cave some 30 miles to the northeast who's said to know practically everything. No matter what question someone asks him, he seems to need only moments to think up the answer, and he's yet to be proven wrong. Though one question he refuses to answer is why the giants ever stopped ruling the world."
--Mora

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BRIDGEWATER

Post by willpell » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:01 pm

Size: Thorp
Population: 30
GP limit: goods up to 40 gp available for sale; max of 60 gp in cash or purchases.
Power center: Church
Residents: Cloistered Cleric 2, Rogue 2 (bartender), Ranger 1, Bard 1 (nonresident), Gleaner 3 (nonresident), Gleaner 1 x2

Due west from Woodhaven by road, too far to travel by foot.

The countryside here is nothing but scrub and rocks, with no place worth trying to strike camp. Filthy and mean-looking marsupials appear to dominate the local ecosystem, but they run fast and hide well in the brush Of the brambly bushes all around, the only ones that bear any fruit at all are the vines laden blue raspberries, and everyone knows those taste horrible. There isn't so much as a tree on the horizon to suggest that this wasteland ever ends. The omnibus, they said, would be stopping in the morning, along the pitted dirt track which crosses this blasted heath. (The road runs due west.)

The omnibus is like no carriage you've seen before; it's not less than 40 feet long, and most spectacularly it apparently takes only two horses to pull the entire thing, where you'd have expected it would take eight or more to move such weight. A couple dozen passengers are scattered among the closely nested seats, and room remains for that many more; the white cloth roof glows beneath the sun but does a good job of deflecting most of the heat, and the big arched windows let a nice breeze whistle through.

(No towns or villages to the southwest.)

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WOODHAVEN

Post by willpell » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:02 pm

"We left four hours ago, but on foot it would have been twice that far at least. You would have been lucky to survive the trip, let alone be in any condition to defend yourself from the scoundrels and dragoons of the town."
--Omnibus driver
(the road runs due west from Bridgewater)

Bridgewater and Woodhaven are fairly close to the Empire's northern border; the wild lands of Northumber beyond are home to primitive cultures including Reavers.

Not far from the Swamps of Khorak-Vand.

Woodhaven was originally a project of the 15th emperor, to create a city that was more in tune with nature; he had a theory, since proven by natural philosophers, that air is more invigorating in areas of plentiful greenery, and so he planned the town to be extensively integrated with the surrounding wilderness. However, his successor had more abstruse interests and saw no need to support this rather delicate project, so the city has gone somewhat feral since then. As a result of this failure to follow through, a strong resentment for the government continues to fester among the common people of this large but poor township, and criminal or radical factions are somewhat successful in flourishing her with the tacit approval of the common folk, in turn driving the city's guardsmen (known as Dragoons for the dragon motifs of their expensive "tactical" and "dress" armors) to unhealthy extremes, in an attempt to keep order and prevent the town government from collapsing entirely.

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WINDHAVEN

Post by willpell » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:02 pm

Size: Small Town
Population: about 2000
GP limit: goods up to 800 gp available for sale; max of 80,000 gp in cash or purchases.
Power center: TN Aristocrat
Residents: Aristocrat 9, Aristocrat 7 x2, Aristocrat 5 x4, Aristocrat 3 x8, Nobles, Clerics, Cloistered Clerics, Fighters, Street Fighters, Rogues, Human Paragons, Sorcerers, Ranger 3, Ranger 1 x2, Wizards, Druid 1, Paladin 3, Paladin 1 x2, Marshal, Monks, Bards, Warlock 1, Tiefling Paragon 1, Spellthief 1, Factotum 1, Knight 5, Knight 3 x2, Knight 1 x4, Archivist 1

Artists at the Windhaven Philosophers and Aesthetic Consultants Guild are indolent sophists in a mid-sized community. The city has legal officers known as Constables.

At the foot of the Simbernahl Mountains, and so just close enough to the "mountain elf nation" that the elves are viewed with interest as an exotic race.

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WINTERFORD

Post by willpell » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:02 pm

Size: Hamlet
Population: about 100 (prior to today)
GP limit: goods up to 100 gp available for sale; max of 500 gp in cash or purchases.
Power center: TN/NG/LN Town council
Guards and Militia: Fighter 3 (Sherrif Burton Wick, deceased), Human Paragon 2, Fighter 1 x2 (one deceased was the full-time guard, the other is militia), Rogue 5 (human), Aristocrat 3, Cleric 1.
Residents: Aristocrat 5 (alderman Tomnod Huxtable), Aristocrat 3, Cloistered Cleric 3 (Vicar Stebbins, deceased), Cloistered Cleric 1, Archivist 1, Mystic 1, Sorcerer 1, Gleaner 2, Adept 3 (human), Adept 1 x2 (bogles), Ranger 1, Rogue 3 (human), Rogue 1 x4 (a bogle, an adult human, and Little Aidan), Wilderness Rogue 3 (human), Wilderness Rogue 1 (bogle), Scout 1, (2 others decased, counting Mrs. Kellikanth) - this is about 30 of the 100 functional residents of the town (~90) and the bogle colony (~10); the rest are Citizens. Human young count, while bogle young do not, as they're less competent.

The nearby (to Windhaven, three days each way) river village of Winterford; the Snowtongue River is hardly more than a creek this close to its mountainous headwaters, but it's still too cold and rocky to be safely traversed except during the cold months, when its surface ices over completely and forms part of a significant trade route to the East. Other merchant lines take advantage of its proximity even here in the summer.

Served by the same omnibus which previously arrives in Bridgewater from Woodhaven .

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CAMLON

Post by willpell » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:03 pm

Size: Small City
Population: about 10,000
GP limit: goods up to 15,000 gp available for sale; max of 7,500,000 gp in cash or purchases.
Power center: ?
Residents: Aristocrats, Nobles, Clerics, Archivists, Fighter 9, Fighter 7 x2, Fighter 5 x4, Fighter 3 x8, Fighter 1 x16, Street Fighter 5, Street Fighter 3 x2, Street Fighter 1 x4, Rogue 7, Rogue 5 x2, Rogue 3 x4, Rogue 1 x8, Human Paragons, Elf Paragons, Sorcerers, Wizards, Rangers, Druids, Bards, Paladins, Factotums, Psions, Incarnates, Binders, Monks, Psychic Warriors, Lurks, Ardents, Divine Minds

Lies on the Widower's Road.

The Free City of Camlon is one of the few places in the Imperium which has a generalized preference for looking back rather than forward as the years march on; there is no question that the innovations which ripple through Imperial culture every year or two are impressive, and it is often stated with pride that the Empire has brought more reforms and more measurable improvements to the quality of life in just 1500 years than the dwarven and elven kingdoms have reported, despite the common knowledge that they are at least a hundred centuries old apiece. But the folk of Camlon seem less than impressed.

It might be the significant elf and half-elf population; certainly a lifespan of 150 to 250 years gives one a greater appreciation for nostalgia. But in general, the artistic temper of the Sleepless Ones and their bastards does not lend itself to a career in politics, so the majority of the city's officials are humans, and its policies are largely shaped by the needs of what the less polite elves refer to as "the Mayfly People". Perhaps it is the presence of the prestigious Golden Rood Arcane Academy whose minarets rise out of the city's downtown core, surrounded by merchant emporia and government functionary offices and privately owned art galleries (some open to all comers freely, others highly exclusive and so pricey that you hope the paintings come to life or something, since otherwise it must simply mean the artiste is unbearably overrated in the opinion of himself and/or others). Perhaps it is the Lahm-A'suh Monastery in the valley below, a four hour walk from the city's edge, founded 800 years ago and said to host a list of twelve riddles inscribed on its gate, waiting patiently for the day when the last five will be answered and the artifact it is said to guard is given over to one proven wise enough to own it. Whatever the reason, Camlon has a lot of history, a lot of money, and over ten thousand highly patriotic citizens who are determined not to let the Empire change them too much.

Camlon is a city without ghosts, in large part because of its culture of reverence for the past; the COPs have a lot of equipment to deal with problem creatures such as wasp swarms, but they have no ethereal defenses because they've never needed these. The problem will be short-lived once the department's wizard "Q" gets wind of the need, of course.

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TAR BANNOCH

Post by willpell » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:03 pm

Known to be a center for the antiquities trade, with many museums that double as clearinghouses, and a thriving black market. Home to the High Hill House, a mansion whose owner is shrouded in mystery, purchasing and dispatching many items of interest but never being seen.

Also home to many mystic artisans, including one named Kylara who happily sells anti-scrying idols at absurd prices to those wishing to avoid Imperial attention. Such idols must obey the Rule of Three but are nonetheless considered safe enough given the Empire's bureaucracy.

The Imperial Combat Casting Academy is here; as much fortress as school, this ancient bastion is largely responsible for the fact that Tar Bannoch grew out of what were originally scattered local villages, often plagued by raids from various savage humanoids. The wilderness from which these creatures emerged was then conquered by the Hatchet Kingdom and has since remained stable, with the Academy largely keeping the hoblins at bay, acting as a proud symbol of the Empire's seldom-employed but nonetheless formidable military might.

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OLD WESTMARCH

Post by willpell » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:04 pm

"Vandals recently damaged the Morgwurm Memorial in Old Westmarch; they painted obscene stick-figures all over the side of the beast which faces the mountain elf embassy, and broke off several of its teeth and the head of one of the skeletons it's depicted vomiting. The mayor expressed outrage that today's youth would so dishonor a symbol of the city's greatest historical triumph, but more than one man on the street has described the statue as an eyesore and thinks the vandalism is a good excuse for having it removed. It does after all take up enough space to put up three or four new buildings."
--Mora


Old Westmarch is located in The Westmarch. A prominent church of the Sexton in the area prods the locals to be both proud of their ancestors' victory and ashamed of themselves for not going out and getting more, while discouraging overly friendly relations with the "decadent" elves. The local meathead contingent is comfortable with Sextonian brutality and finds the Empire annoyingly sanctimonious and out of touch with their slovenly, self-entitled lifestyle; the sun elves grow increasingly frustrated with the measurably rapid decrease of sensibility among these once-valued trading partners.

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willpell
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NEAR STRADSBURY AND THE DROWNPOOL MARSHES

Post by willpell » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:05 pm

Size: Village
Population: about 750
GP limit: goods up to 200 gp available for sale; max of 7,500 gp in cash or purchases.
Power center: CN Noble
Residents: Nobles 5, Noble 3 x2, Clerics, Fighters, Rogue 1, Human Paragons, Sorcerers, Ranger 5, Ranger 3 x2, Ranger 1 x4, Druid 3, Druid 1 x2, Adept 5, Adept 3 x2, Adept 1 x4, Bards, Knight 3, Knight 1 x2, Psychic Warrior 1, Wilder 1, Ardent 3, Ardent 1 x2, Lurk x1

Not far from Stradsbourg.

"In the latest three-ring circus from that oblivious twit who crowned herself the Baroness of Near Stradsbury, who might not appreciate me pointing out what a vapid and shallow waste of old money she is but will never come down off her high horse long enough to find out I'm insulting her, the Mason's Guild of that unfortunate village have been put to work on constructing an elevated walkway across the Drownpool Marshes to the south of the town, despite the fact that there are clear and well-secured roads to both the east and west of the swamp. The town's pathetically understaffed Temple of The Princess (who must be the saddest clergy this side of an Ysgardian funeral, since they worship the Lady of the Forest and there are something like five trees within sight of the city limits) have been working double shifts, treating the workmen who have succumbed to mosquito sickness in the course of the work. I feel terrible for the people of NS, but I also hope that this will be the incident that finally gets them to stop putting up with the Baroness; frankly I can't figure out why they didn't run her out of town the first time she shorted their Imperial taxes paying for a gold statue of herself and got half the land reposessed before they straightened it out."

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willpell
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WINDSONG VILLAGE

Post by willpell » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:06 pm

"Met a couple of strange fellows in Windsong Village, a mile or so south of here, last week. I think one of them was a woman, although she clearly had no breasts at all; the other one looked almost as pretty as she did, so I dunno really. Said their names were Slayvin and Talenta, and they were totally charming and pleasant, but oddly evasive when I asked where they had come from.

"I asked 'em why the hell they forked over their money when the bandits were beaten, and Slayvin laughed and said he believed in paying a fair price for 'quality entertainment'. Then Tallenta started making bedroom eyes at him, as if they weren't standing right in the middle of a fairly well-trafficked road, and I decided I'd keep walking by myself."
--Mora

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willpell
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WICKER BRAKE

Post by willpell » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:06 pm

"The town of Wicker Brake was on fire when the last Sending from there arrived at City Hall last Warsday, and since then there's been no word. Fortunately the cane fields for which the town was named are long since cleared, and Imperial irrigation systems are designed to double as fire-fighting networks, so there's a good chance that the blaze can be brought under control; as far as I know there aren't any clerics in that particular hamlet, so the lack of more recent news may just mean that they don't have another scroll and are too busy with cleanup to send a messenger on foot. I've been to the Brake myself, a long time ago, and they struck me as fine folks, so they will be in my prayers every night until I know they are safe."
--Mora

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willpell
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CATHEDROPOLIS

Post by willpell » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:07 pm

Size: Large City
Population: about 20,000
GP limit: goods up to 40,000 gp available for sale; max of 40,000,000 gp in cash or purchases.
Power center: Those Guys
Residents: NO

Capital of the Quatrinate Hegemony, named for the four Cathedras which seat the leaders of the Quatrinatrum.

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