The Fiori Hills

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The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:39 am

I decided to create a new thread as I feel our discussion has evolved past the simple use of factions. I would eventually like to work on factions our own Circle of Eight, Harpers, Zhents etc. But for now I feel its more important set the land down. Now to address the government!
A gnomish democracy! Excellent! I like it a lot. It will differentiate more than everything else this area with respect to the neighbouting aristocratic-absolutistic countries.

The political parties you envisioned are really good, I also liked a lot your reference to the lizardmen and the cryptic elves. Thanks! ;)

I would add just a few issues that could be included in any agenda of the political parties you listed (or to the agenda of other gnomish parties not represented in the Fiory hills communities):

- Relationships with Refuge Point and other communities across the sea: maybe mantaining a fleet to trade with them diverts resources that could be used to gain advantages against the lizardfolks. Moreover, cultural contamination from Refuge Point could raise concerns among the most conservative gnomes.

- Universal suffrage: are all Fiori's gnomes equal with respect to civil and political rights?

- Non-democratic nearby gnomish communities: maybe gnomish settlements in the Fiori's neighbourhood are not so much enlightened, and they are ruled by the average noblemen/kings/oligarchy/council of the elders. The most progressist gnomomes among the Fioris could flame the debate on whether it is a good policy to let their cousin live in such political darkness.

Just some suggestion throwed in, hope they helps. ;) -LoZompatore
First off I'm glad this sounded as good on paper as it did in my head. If any race would be 'mad' enough to do a government radically different from what the tall folk (dwarf or higher) would do i.e. absolutionist governments. It'd probably be gnomes. To expand on certain ideas-

-To keep city states a little more loosely aligned what we have here is a number of large city states and a number of small villages which are loosely allied. The political parties being the off spring of different houses each exist in different cities with different local leaders (They just answer to the named 'Bosses' of the political machine.) So in one city the Weasel Party might maintain the majority votes, thus the members of that party select their representatives on each city states respective council of government and they may or may not maintain a Chancellor and these councils/political machines tend to run that city state.

Right now I have main city states; Port Kyna (the closest in the water if you look at the 16 entry. It looks like its a little bit submerged or has a harbor/cove.)

New Gronzi: Reflects the original city of Gronzi from their old world. This one is quite landlocked and is the main wheat basket.

Now the other villages I don't believe have born nobility. Technically these villages fall under the protection and the control of the three city states. So rather then kings or nobles we'd see self-made land barons who form council of elders who run the day-to-day operations of these villages and occasionally have their men go into the cities to cast votes and support which ever Political party is going to give them the best deal. Hopefully this clears any confusion or germinates new ideas.

Now Universal Suffrage? It goes one step further and grants voting rights, civil liberties to anyone who is a citizen of any of these city states. Gnomes are granted the rights by birth while non-gnomes would probably have to apply for citizenship. This doesn't mean the law doesn't have slight bent to the gnomes but there is nothing officially barring humans, dwarves etc. who are citizens to vote. They just can't join the party of those gnomes and in some towns parties can be selective about their members or conservative gnomes might rail against influxes of non-gnomes and non-earth gnomes.

Finally I like your idea about the gnomes maintaining their own ships and perhaps sapping off their ability to not be too advantageous against the lizardfolk. In fact the sort of political chaos we see in these cities would keep the city states from uniting to invade and destroy the lizardfolk, but they would unite and defend if an entire horde was streaming in to conquer the area.

Sorry for the block of text but I was bored at work and had a lot of ideas hit me.

And Kamos Landing a city built on the higher hill elevation and makes a good site for their own air tower, also overlooks the caravan roads that lead north.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by LoZompatore » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:37 am

Here is a rough map of the Fiori Hills, I hope you like it. The map cover about three 24 miles hexes around location 16 on Refuge Point 24 miles/hex map, so it is a pretty large area anyway.
A larger, zipped version of the map can be downloaded from the link below the picture:

Image
Zipped high definition version of this picture

Three settlements stated by Boddynock are included (I hope their location is good for you! Anyway, the settlements can be moved as you like). I added many more villages, populated by gnomes and lizardfolks. I left their names empty: any suggestion will be accepted ;) . Their position can be modified, too, if you like different locations for them.
As regards population size, I suggest that each settlement on the map should have at least 500 people; the black dots should indicate an urban centre with at least 2000 people, while the large seaside community of Port Kyna should have at least 5000 inhabitants. Notice that even these population sizes can be changed if you decide to increase or decrease the population of a gnomish or lizardfolk settlement.

Forested area are not included in the map, but swamps are, as they help in define the land under lizardfolks' control.

This is just a tentative map. Just post your comments below and they will be included in the next revision of the picture ;)

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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:17 am

First off, the map, I love it! Its got a lot of flat areas needed for farming with several hills. As for the lizard or the other gnome villages I sort of have no idea what to name them and invite anyone who wants to invent a name or two to certainly submit. I'll even add a few but right now with my write ups I plan to concentrate on the big 3 (Kyna, Gronzi, and Kamos)
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:38 pm

Port Kyna
Population: 6,000
Government: Elected Parliament with a Chancellor who serves as head of the city.
Exports: Food stuffs, red powder, weapons, tinkering projects, Fish, and Fruit
Imports: Ores, weapons, armor

Background Information:
It is the Topaz of the Aberrate Sea.
To earth gnomes it is their free city and a sign of gnomish independence.
To lizardfolk it is a reminder of foreign invasion.

Port Kyna like so many other city states that dot the Aberrate coastline was founded by pure accident. A collection of gnomish ships and dirigibles, floundering in the maelstrom during the first crossing happened upon welcoming coastline having be split from the rest of their fleet. The shores were welcoming and a relief both from months at sea and the wars that tore their homeland apart. Gnome matriarch Kyna Coppernik set up the small fishing community upon arrival in hopes the rest of their fleet would be able to catch up with them. Surprisingly not only did parts of their fleet meet up but also other ships. Some bearing demi-human races like halflings or dwarves, a few had humans, sickly from months are sea. Tales of where they came from put these new refugees from far and wide places. The community took hold and began to prosper.

Port Kyna remains a large sea port. An allied city state both with other communities in the Fiori Hills but also maintains alliances with Refuge Point. Its main revenue comes from food stocks that are grown along the flat country sides that are bordered by hills with fishing being a second important item. The Coppernik family, having honored their matriarch by naming the port after her still maintains high influence by being both the party founders of the Otter Party and owning the most successful fishing fleet, one could attribute the success to the Coppernik invention, the paddle boat fishing trawl.

Notable Buildings:

Talbec's Hall: Named after Chief Talbec Sunspear, a vaunted foe and chieftain of the hostile Sunspear Lizardfolk tribe the hall is named after the gnomes first skilled enemy (who thankfully passed in a fail bid to invade Port Kyna.) Talbec's marble statue fiercely gazes the main hallway. This serves as the official Port Kyna headquarters for all the parties (who have agreed to share the different corners of the building and vow to use no magical means to sabotage rivals.) The main chambers is used for Port Kyna's 100 seat parliament with elections taking place in Port Kyna and surrounding villages that fall under the cities sphere of influence and protection. Party Otter is often a favorite to win but other parties tend to capture several seats as well. The parliament meets for one week every two months but can be called in for emergencies.

The Sea Lion's Pride: A tavern in the city, most welcoming to any folk and has different rooms for different sizes. The proprietor is Falkir Goodneighbor.

The Lizardfolk Embassy: While lizardkind villages maintain cool relations with the gnomes, Port Kyna has allowed a group of the scaly folk to set up an embassy near the more marsh coastline of the city. Few folk rarely visit the lizardfolk and in turn the lizardfolk are not particularly welcoming. However during Parliament sessions they will send an ambassador to sit on the meetings and voice his opinion on behalf several lizardfolk communities.

The Barracks: Home to the cities military unit, the 3rd Infantry and 2nd Calvary units the city generally uses these soldiers to patrol the surrounding area with the cooperation of local militia. They are also in charge in defending the city from attack.

Starfish Island: A small circular island just off the main city Starfish Island is the nobles district. Stone homes dominate the circular center as towers sit upon the five points of the island (hence the name.) Citizens who cannot show any proper identification are quickly sent away by the local town guard.
Last edited by Boddynock on Tue May 11, 2010 1:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:43 am

New Gronzi
Population: 5,360
Government: An elected Lord Mayor and 10 city council members.
Exports: Grain, fruit, soldiers, ponies
Imports: Weapons and magical items

Background Info:

It is the bedrock of the Fiori Hills
The home of the Bricklund family
The city that keeps the lizardfolk from a full scale invasion

It is said that after he saw construction of little Port Kyna that Artos Bricklund, the widowed father of two, felt a call to go deeper into the countryside. The Wolverine House leader who was use to colder temperatures and full hardy gambles for glory had decided to take his personal guard along with settlers who use to tend his former estate along with their kin into the heart of the hillsides to make their own city. The way was treacherous as lizardfolk began to make war and attack whenever they could. By courage and the the wit of Bricklund, the old soldier that he was, the gnomes were able to settle into the relative peace of the sun plains. The gnomes began to till the soil and eventually created a city that rivaled their old fiefdom, New Gronzi.

While Port Kyna enjoys domination and election from the villages that surround it New Gronzi is a bit more loose in government. Artos had granted friends and comrades the rank of barons of local villages. Despite New Gronzi having an elected government several local villages do not enjoy that privileged instead find themselves ruled by a baron who swears fealty to the local council. What the common gnome can expect however is certain unalienable rights, specifically the rights to a fair trial and the right to protest grievances with their baron as given by the Charter of Gnomes during the genesis of New Gronzi. In theory this gives the gnomes of other villages a voice.

New Gronzi commands the gnomish road and provides most of its security. As such the land traffic from Fallstone and Refuge Pointe yields riches to the city that helps fund its military activities and keeps the city prosperous.

Notable Buildings:
Wolverine Hall: Even when the Wolverine Party isn't in politics the former house turned political faction does maintain a heavy stake in the military. A Bricklund tends to hold at least the magistrate seat or is asked to serve on the magistrate council to coordinate defensive forces along with local militia. 1st Gnomish Regiment claims this as their home city with good reason. Their commander; General Barni Bricklund was a mere lad when his father claimed the city and the gnome has found decoration leading mounted raids against lizardfolk and brigands who would make trouble on the highway.

Badger Hall: The rivalry between Wolverine and Badger has always been a rather friendly competition. The pair tend to compliment each other as the Bulbar family tends to take seat as the treasurer department as well as organizing foodstuffs to feed the army and export. The two tend to work together only competing (with honor) to try and get their party elected to Lord Mayor.

The Lynched Satyr: A local tavern who, as legend has it, is the burial of a lecherous satyr who dared to consummate a relationship with the daughter of a powerful wizard. It is unknown whether the puffs of hot air down the back of lasses necks are caused by the ghost of the bound satyr or just young gnomish males using their magical command for mischief.

(Edit):: Decided to change the name 'Nirab' to 'Barni' thought it sounded more gnomish that way.
Last edited by Boddynock on Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:22 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Vile » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:13 am

I love the direction this is taking. It reminds me a little of the sketch of gnomish settlements in the Cook Expert Set. Building in internal rivalries is a great way to give the gnomes a believable "brake" in their otherwise surely inevtitable elimination of the lizardmen tribes.

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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:36 pm

Thanks, its been a fun project to work on and one of my goals for my own part in this project (though I do welcome any collaborative efforts, we are looking at 15 settlements that need names a bit of information out of them, my stuff could be used as just sort of a guideline.) But I do disagree that the gnomes are trying to eliminate lizardman, or at least in the since that they'll gun them all down and burn their homes. That after all is a job for the adventurers 8-).

More likely I would speculate the gnomes strategy for perhaps eliminating lizardfolk dissidence is through cultural assimilation. Over time with trade and slow expansion the gnomes hope that the lizardfolk would give up their old ways of war and eating each other. Sure there will be hostile tribes and individual evil lizardman who perhaps have strange plots that need to be solved (again with adventurers defeating this lot) but all in all the gnomes are trying to look forward to a unified nation of gnome and lizardmen, or one can hope. The other thing I suspect but won't really but too much detail to leave to DMs is the idea of the gnome rivalries eventually spilling into civil war. Eventually one of the big three or some other kingdom might get it into their heads of a unified Fiori state, the same way I believe the Greek city states eventually broke down in fighting amongst themselves, but that's more an individual DM thing.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:38 pm

(Before I go further I'd like to take some time and thank Blacky for the idea of 'red powder'. It sounds so ominous and cool that I had to include it on my write up here on the gnomes but the credit for it goes to you sir, good work)

Kamos Landing
Population: 4,000
Government: Elected Mayor (elected via the party in power) and a group of advisers.
Exports: Red Powder, Firearms, various metals, and magical items
Imports: Foodstuffs


Background Information:

As time went on Port Kyna prospered. Yet two close calls and an in-flight crash over the skies of the port had many gnomes concerned. As more and more immigrants came; specifically in flying craft, the possibility of crash was greatly increased as there was no sky port to meet them and guide them in due to lower elevation of the city. One group of gnomes stepped up to the challenge.

Not so much the challenge but more to escape persecution, the Darley Clan being the progenitors of House Weasel had long chafed under more favored parties like Otter or Badger. Port Kyna's early political scene had gnomes throw bricks and harsh words at anyone who wore the Weasel Badge. Kamos Darley had decided to strike out and found a city higher in the sky. Not only to erect the sky tower for airships but the several arcane towers that dot the reddish hills.

Kamos Landing is a hot bed for a lot of things, most of them seedy. Air ship pirates who send kickbacks to government officials use the lower hills to launch and raid Refuge Point airships. Mages, several who swear fealty to the Weasel Party (one of two traditional trades of the Darley Family), make their towers in the hills for solitude. The main industry however is mining, specifically for the explosive gold that is red power. The smokey chemicals are needed to propel bullets from gnomish firearms and thus securing Kamos Landing from being taken over by force as Port Kyna and New Gronzi would like to do.

Like New Gronzi any gnomish settlement near Kamos Landing tends to be governed by a baron who is loyal to the city-state (generally meaning they are loyal to Party Weasel.) Universal Suffrage within the charter does guarantee the citizenry rights, whether or not they are followed that is another story.

Notable Buildings:

Weasel Hall: This dark building represents the connection the city has with the Darley family and the Weasel Party. While gnomes are technically guaranteed the right to represent the four recognized party, few dare display their colors rather then be targeted by the many thieves and bully's that work on behalf of the party. The party is autocratically controlled by Krunik Darley whose only soft spot in his black heart is his mother Triza who is Kamos widow and for the most part the real string puller of the party.

The Sky Tower: Kamos Landing has a very impressive sky tower. With several platforms on different tiers to accommodate many airships at once the tower not only offers repair shops but even a small in-tower tavern for sky sailors to eat or drink their fill (a percentage of all sales goes to the government, keeping the Landing prosperous)

The Bombard Stations: Along the walls of Kamos Landing are several gnomish bombard stations. The gnomes, having mastered red powder had in turned created more and more powerful guns and now walls bristle with heavy and medium bombards. One of the most dastardly past times is attempting to lob bombard shells into local lizardfolk settlements, high praise for a man who is able to cause any significant damage.

The Arcane Overwatch: The Overwatch as they are called are actually newly arrived from Refuge Point. Charged with policing against the misuse of magic the Overwatch are the best in investigators and first line defense against any magical opponent threatening the area. Overwatch agents are the few non-gnomes who can go about without being harassed too much as they are wizards. Several gnome mages fill the ranks in the city. Not only honing their magical skills to protect the city but also helping the guards solve crimes with their magical abilities.

The Magistrate's Office: Kamos Landing might be a den of pirates but within the city the pirates generally behave, less they get a knee cracked with a baton. The Magistrate's office is often overworked and understaffed with one magistrate (appointed and dismissed by the mayor) and constables ranging only in the hundreds to protect a city of thousands. Often crimes can also have connections with local thieves groups who might have enough influence to stall an investigation. Gnomes of the A.O. offer to help (with a nominal fee for services rendered) but are often rebuked due to the aforementioned influence or just the magistrate trying to save a few coins and keep his job.
Last edited by Boddynock on Tue May 11, 2010 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Fiori Hills, #7

Post by Jakob_Pawlowicz » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:26 am

"Perfect Halls" (I imaginge it should be placed at number 7 on the map)
Carved into a small mountain lies the small town now known only as Perfect Halls. The Gnomes that settled here very reclucionistic perfectionists. The town is perfect, every street, every house is carved into the living rock. The town does not seem to be affected by time. ie The woodwork does not seem crumble, the curtains hangs perfectly, the carpets are clean. All is nigh perfection, except that all of the inhabitants are missing. The houses, shops, workshops, buildings, taverns and streets are empty, not a single living soul is residing within the Halls. And so has it been for 75 years. Althoughmany have tried to move there and explore the Halls, to find and perhaps solve the mystery. But all just seems to want leave the place after the first night in the Halls. Not in fear, but with the serene focus of: there must be a better, more interesting, more profitable place than this.
There are a few sites within the Halls that are worth noticing:
The town Hall: This large(for gnome standarts) building housed the town council. It is carved from a beautyful red stone not normally seen in this area. With in the buildings mainhall stands another carved oddity: A perfecly white marble fountain, which has 4 statues on its rim, each portraying gnomes playing different musical instruments. In center of the fountain on a carved marble pedistal, lies a pink marble flower, from which water flows into the pool below. The room it self has an aura of cold tranquility.
The archive of the town hall, situated next to the main hall. Is the only room in the town nobody has been able to get into. Or those who have, has either not lived to tell or has forgotten what lay beyond the closed doors.
One of the workshops stands out, a small goldsmith shop. The work table in the back of the shop has texts carved into the wood. the texts seem to change from time to time, but they always have warnings against what had been brought up from the mines, as well as a hint that writer had been driven mad by what ever was in the mines. Examples of Texts could be: "The gold bleeds, it hungers, still it wants more". "It took my daughter, my sons, and my.....". "There is something moving in the shadow of the tunnel, slowly reaching for my soul, but it can't have it, nooo, too cold, too cold".

I hope this could be used... :twisted:
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Sat May 01, 2010 3:52 am

I like it, a very good ghost town and exploration for adventurers. I would like to see the town's official name. Perfect Halls might be the nickname but the hall should get a more official nickname the gnomish settlers called it. Also I'm taking LoZompatore's advice about spreading more personally fiefdoms and while others are invited to invent some kind of lord or liege keep in mind, at least the ones closest to Port Kyna is the theme of spreading representation. Port Kyna viewing itself as a sort of beacon of democratic ideals is constantly trying to spread them to other fiefdoms. The Charter of Gnomes gives some rights but basically other cities are the personal domains of appointed barons or just whatever tough landowner has the muscle to back up his claim to power. So let is continue!

Gorman's Junction (Number 4 on the map)
Population: Around 3,000 (give or take trade season)
Government: The personal fiefdom of Count Harvard
Exports: Foodstuffs, magical items, red powder, alcohol
Imports: Mercenaries, weapons, metals

Background Information (I got rid of gimmick):

It is the crossroads of the hills
Its the first landlocked area a non-gnome might begin his career
A good place for a king in exile to rule.

It is said the gnomish house wars started when Harvard II passed away. Such benign, sainted men tend to leave suitable heirs. Harvard Mithralfoot left no heirs of his own, however his brother Maltir did leave one son, before the boy could take the crown however the nobles of the four houses decided to alter such things to put their respect house leaders on the throne the way these things tend to work out. By cannonade, cutlass, and the occasional magical spell. The great and terrible civil wars caused survivors, even lower members of said houses to flee across the sea and get entangled into this new realm, but unlike usual tales the boy in question did grow up and survive, even took the name Harvard III, but unlike his uncle was in no position to inherit the throne, so instead he made his own fiefdom out of Gorman's Junction.

The Junction is still ran by the sorcerer-count and profits as the major stop for on foot travelers. Taxes on goods and merchant trade keeps the city bustling and like his uncle Harvard tends to be a somewhat fair count, respecting the charter of gnomes and allowing gnomes to bring forth grievances before him for his judgment, however, he makes it clear that his rule is law. Officials are not elected rather they are chosen by him to carry out his laws. The Junction maintains friendly relations with their neighbors, especially Port Kyna. They maintain some of the best relations one can have from Kamos' Landing (though they have to fend off the infiltration of the Sinister. A thieves guild who is the secretive arm of Party Weasel.)

Notable Buildings:

Castle Gorman: Named after Gorman the Wise who had tutored the Sorcerer-Count in his youth, the castle maintains an air the arcane to visitors. It is a large castle structure, not only fulfilling the duty of being Harvard's home but also where council is held and grievances can be brought before the count.

The Blades District: Mercenaries tend to be found in the district as gold tends to be gained. Whether it is the Arcane Overwatch sending mercenaries to look into the Lake Bartonia Region (and the whispered Perfect Halls) or raiding lizardfolk camps for plunder. The district has several feasthalls and inns to cater to the needs of any mercenary.

The Grounds: The Devil's Pets; the so-called 4th Mounted Regiment (they still maintain the colors of the 4th as well as the patches.) This group of ruffians and former deep country folk are not as sharply dressed as 1st Mounted Division. They also tend to be more daredevil, attempting to leap from horse onto the back of the enemy. The Devil's Pets is lead by a one eyed salt named Macavoy Grout, a former commander within house Wolverine.

The Triangle Market: A strange testament to gnomish thinking the architects of the Junction had considered the idea of crafting their merchant center in the shape of a triangle. It wasn't quite sure why this would be more effective then the square, it is attributed to the thinking of a tinker gnomes impulse that requires a mad gnomes more patient reasoning (the tinker gnomes won out.) To make do the general stuff is at the base while the more and more expensive and better gear is at the top.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by LoZompatore » Wed May 05, 2010 11:32 pm

Excellent contributions! This area is going to be a very interesting place for adventures! :)
Actually I have a few ideas about location 18: I would like to have it as a monastery/penal colony of sort, which collects most of the criminals of the whole region. I was wondering if this island could be used also as an exile for disgraced gnomish political figures. Such people would always try to gain enough public support to be able to return back to their constituencies and rule again on the masses...

Do you think it would fit with the political atmosphere of the Fiori's gnomes?

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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Thu May 06, 2010 12:01 am

18 - St. Faros

Population: ? (The monastery is accounted 800 monks and clerics to St. Faros but prisoner population is a bit more harder to figure out)
Government: The monastery and Mireburg is administered by Order of Faros. The outer camps are a free-for-all
Exports: Incense (the main income the monastery uses for upkeep)
Imports: None

Background:

It is the island prison of the hills
Those who are sent there rarely come back
It is where the monks and clerics of St. Faros go to train

Built to honor the gnome saint of law and war, St. Faros Goblinsbane. The island monastery/penal colony serves a dual purpose. Corruption is rooted out of the cities; the corrupt politician who takes bribes (the ones who get caught anyway.) The lawbreakers and the foreigners who commit grievous harm to the city and its people are sent to the island to survive. Execution and local jails do exist but the gnomes also view that these criminals could better themselves spiritually by testing themselves on the jungle island.

Conversely the clerics and monks who serve the war saint built their monastery as a starting point of their training. Monks practice on the common ground and go out into the jungle to try and teach the corrupt as they are known the ways of Faros in hopes of breaking their evil and come back with them to the monastery (The Order of the Flawed Topaz is open to any race so that even non-gnomes can better themselves and serve St. Faros.) The clerics spend their time in meditation about St. Faros. To practice the art of fighting and the philosophy of law by being the keepers of the island (paladins tend to do the grunt work of putting down any attempt by the prisoner colonists to overthrow the monastery while the clerics discuss the philosophy.)

Whether in the camps of the condemned or within the stone monastery a threat does lurk within the jungles that even outweighs the local dinosaur population. A dark evil that lies deep within the jungle who leaves nothing but bones and gore in its wake.

Noted Buildings:

The Monastery: The complex dominates the southern coastline. Walled off from the rest of the island the order of St. Faros use the monastery to train for fighting and law keeping. Initiates guard the walls against attacks by condemned prisoners.

The Dock: Built up against the monastery the dock is the debarkation point for all prisoners and cargo. This is the main port where non-clerics/monks/paladins are seen in the form of crews and merchants trading on the docks and guards making sure the prisoners are handed over to the war clerics with all accounted. Stranded sailors of shipwrecks or those who fall over and find themselves lucky will be brought to the dock by local aquatic gnomes to be cared for.

The Free City of Mireburg: A derisive name by the condemned prisoners the 'city' is a shanty town built inside the jungle where those who wish to find a decent meal and some security work the spice fields of St. Faros Monastery. They are under constant guard by paladins in training and have at least one senior cleric overseer. The work is hard and disease is rampant but the gnomes tend to be fair (but harsh in punishments) and do not skimp in feeding prisoners. Those who escape have no fear in being pursued, rather the gnome strategy is that the condemn will just starve and return to camp to receive food (and punishment.) The camp is walled off but with wooden walls instead of stone.

The Camps: Over the years several prisoner escapes have been successful and these prisoners have in fact made successful camps to which they try and strike Mireburg or the monastery. None of the attacks have yet been coordinated yet to do more then slay a few men (at high costs) and disrupt food productions. Life in these camps is horrendous and few weak willed men would survive much against savage camp leaders.

Quartis: A local colony of aquatic gnomes have set up a post near the island to provide support in rescuing stranded sailors and bringing them to the island. Both the order and the aquatic gnomes maintain a strong alliance.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Thu May 06, 2010 4:40 am

5 - Farli

Population: 1000
Government: An oligarchy of respected tinker gnomes
Exports: Tinkering gadgets, red powder (trace amounts) specialists (engineering)
Imports: Foodstuffs, metal, and magical items

Background:
It is the tinkerer's headquarters.
Thalassa's largest bombard
Home to greatest scientific study in tinker's history.

Tinker Gnomes are a strange breed of earth gnome. Obviously their love of metals puts them in line with the Gemfotter and the earth, but they also love a lot of heat, are fascinated by the air, and love to play in the water. As villages and cities began to be created by all walks of gnomish life; so to did the tinker gnomes found and build a city of their own.

Farli is a moderately sized city of inventors, craftsmen, and tinkers. There is some work in simple jobs like mining or fishing but even those gnomes tend to have some hobby in the art of crafting strange items. It is also the home of mundane knowledge (wizardry isn't hated or banned, rather its frowned upon as to them, magic should not replace old fashion tinker work.) Gnomes tend to be friendly to outsiders and always curious (to the point that it can be annoying)

While in most cities and villages the houses of the old nobility tend to have some influence on the city. Even if the area is dominated by one authoritarian leader rather then an elected government. This is one the rare cases where the houses find little ground with the tinkers. Obsessed with invention the city is ran by a select group "The Leadership Guild" that is elected by citizens of the town. This oligarchy tends to be amicable and more ready to disagree on tinkering then taxation. Not that the city doesn't see its corruption, but its more of rival tinkers who have sworn oaths of vengeance and use the means of sabotage to undo each other rather then bribery or murder.

Noted Buildings:

The Launch Cannon: Space to these gnomes is the final frontier. The gnomes are all too fascinated by planetary rings and the shepherd moons that they have came up with a plan to get their via a great bombard and a capsule shaped like a bombard shell. Their current plan is to fire the shell off to break the atmosphere a man inside will control the actual ship and steer to orbit the planet, how they will do this has yet to be determined but that hasn't deterred tinker gnomes who have hired out adventurers to escort their experts to places like Fallstone or their elven neighbors to the south (to confirm or deny rumors of their space genesis) to eventually culminating in the first gnome launch into space. It dominates the highest hill in the area.

Tinkerer's Plaza: The main plaza in which one can buy, sell, or just stand and gawk at such creations. They range from giant constructs who move crates to the first 'bottled fire' launcher system.

The Spellstone: The skeletal remains of one of the very spaceships that carried the dwarves to Thalassa, the Spellstone is the gathering hall where the oligarchy and the citizens debate government business (these generally lead into something about tinkering.) All of the tinkering devices used for their space program came from this ship, especially the magical engine that allowed it to be space worthy. The gnomes are very sure they've reversed engineered it for their shell capsule but only time will tell.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Mon May 10, 2010 5:25 pm

6 - Topaz Bay

Population: 1500
Government: Elected Lord Mayor
Exports: Fruits, Fish, Crafted Jewelery, Weapons, Ship Improvements
Imports: Metal, Red Powder, Magical Items

Background Information:
The Pirate Den
The Shanty-ville
Where Corrupt Otters go to live

Whether or not a gnome believes the myths of Dendi Gemfotter or not the love of the topaz is hardwired into the gnomes. They love the coloration and prize the rarer blue or grey topaz, but their heart always is wrapped around the yellow. Still even a name like Topaz Bay cannot hide the corruption that permeates from the small part.

Founded by unscrupulous members of the Coppernik family, Topaz Bay became the pirate community rather quickly. Kyna's third cousin Knurl Coppernik had already been somewhat of a pirate in the old world and using gnomish technology he quickly began to pick on commercial shipping. His settling Topaz Bay did not quench his thirst for gold and plunder, while he did retire from going to sea himself, he began to set up business to outfit various 'enterprising captains' ships without any questions asked. There isn't a day a Refuge Pointe merchantman curses Topaz Bay for giving the enemy bombards and scatter guns to rob his fortunes.

The city holds only one elected which is Lord Mayor and is held until his death in which a new one is chosen. Only Weasel dares to try and get their candidate elected; Badger is not strong enough to stand against the partisan attacks of Otter and Wolverine is too proud to go near the city. The closer markets and not having to deal with Gorman's Junction keeps the larger city-state of New Gronzi from seizing and placing the port city under its (and by extension Bricklund) protection- yet.

Noted Buildings:
The Bloody Pelican: Noted for its door bust of a pelican with a red bill the Bloody Pelican is a popular tavern for salt dogs and scalawags that ply the seas. The bar is surprisingly ran by a minotaur names Baurus who doubles as the places bouncer.

Oglethorpe's Repair Depot: Also sharing the dock, Quill Oglethorpe is a different breed of tinker gnome. He is a bitter man who lost his wife and child during the crossing and now sulks, keeping himself busy by repairing ships and while his prices tend to be higher the gnome knows his way around a ratchet. This alone keeps him plenty protected as pirate crews frequent his place for repairs and make it very clear to local thieves that harrasment is not tolerated. To Quill this matters little for while his repairs are very good and welcomed its only because his heart is not into tinkering anymore that keeps the repairs so sensible.

The Shipwright's Guildhall: Built from a converted ship the guildhall is quite an active place. The Shipwrights whose leaders are linked with the Otter Party deal in everything; longshoremen, shipwrights, crews for ships all go through the group. Inspectors of ships are constantly nagged with the need to keep untainted food from entering the city and causing a plague and lining their pockets with bribes from ship captains.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Tue May 11, 2010 1:52 pm

(Before I do #7 I like to make it clear that Perfect Halls is great idea as an adventure site, this entry reflects a village that shares the other side of the lake and can be used by adventurers as a striking off point to explore the ghost town)

7 - Fairmount

Population: 710
Government: Mayor for life who technically reports to a town council.
Exports: Fish, decorative wood/bone carvings, bits of decorative gold
Imports: Red powder and metals

Background Information:

There is something rather quiet about Fairmount gnomes. They are as short as other gnomes, they tend to have the same dress and appearance as other gnomes. Yet their dark eyes, their stooped posture, and their speaking in whispers leaves them to be viewed as outcasts. Fairmount was set up on Lake Barton after the first village of Bartonia (see Perfect Halls) had, well, failed to start. No one in the village speaks of Bartonia and they refuse to comment of the fate of their neighbors across the lake, any sightseers who ask are quickly met by the gnome muttering and walking away without a second glance.

Noted Buildings:

The Walls: Despite a small population care was taken to build up the walls around Fairmount. Wooden stockades of mismatched circular planks are spiked at the top. As night falls the town is quick to close up the gates and not to open them until the sun rises again.

The quarry: Around the village is a small quarry rumored to lead to Bartonia. Having already dried up in ore stocks the gnomes of Fairmount had decided to seal off certain sections with ward magic. Stone is still used from some of the more shallow sections of the quarry and used as import/export.

The Town Hall: Dominating the center of the town is the sizable town center. Gnomes of Fairmount gather together for town meetings or religious services (the hall also serves as a church for the Gemfotter.) The town center is where one can find mayor Zidan Feldagger working with the town council and directing the local militia.

Bartle's Tower: Between the two villages of Lake Barton lies a solitary tower stone tower with a lighthouse top. None go near and often hurry along, this is said to be the last known residence of gnomish wizard Bartle. The master transmuter is said by locals to have the ability to transform to any man or beast and to stalk the property looking for victims to take to his alchemy lab for experimentation. While no one knows any specific case of people going missing, their really is a tower that dominates the area and the woods around it tend to unnerve all but the hardiest adventurers.

Bartonia: The former village turned ghost town (see Perfect Halls entry)
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Tue May 11, 2010 2:49 pm

8 - Westmire
Population: 1200
Government: Free elections for town council with a gnomish mayor
Exports: Mercenaries, fish, alligator teeth
Imports: Weapons, bombard parts, red powder

Background Information:

It is the bulwark that protects Port Kyna
The first line of defense against the rampant lizardfolk
The largest non-gnome, gnomish settlement

Despite what New Gronzi says, that it is their military expertise that keeps the lizardfolk at bay. The citizens of Westmire can point to several years fighting, sharing, and fighting some more against the lizardfolk of Emerald Lake. Its people are both hearty and bold, augmented by both lizardfolk who no longer serve the tribe, Rani expatriates who love the lake, and humans who have settled this area more then any others in the Fiori city states. While the mayor is still controlled by the gnomish people this is the first village to experiment with relatively free elections. Any citizen, be they gnome or non-gnome, can run for city council which in turn can make laws or veto (with unanimous vote) any mayoral edict.

The city is protected by what is called the 26th Bombard regiment; The Red Brigade as they call themselves. Despite this being a gnome regiment it is actually open to non-gnomes with its 2nd in command being a minotaur.

Noted Buildings:
The Harbor: A series of docks built for lake fishing, the harbor is where main bombards are set up. The strategy is to use alchemy bombs, bombard shells filled with alchemist fire, to lob into the water and set it ablaze to burn out invading lizardfolk. Sahaugin are known to try and come upon land through the harbor and are fought off by the 26th.

Riker's Hall: Named after village hero, Riker Nordaline who defended the village against the Sunspear invasion. The hall is the town hall and meeting place of government. The wooden building sports decorative stain glass depicting the gnomish heroes in heroic poses along with a fountain of a crocodile that has running water spraying out of his snout and into the well

The Pen: Westmire being a rather deep lake houses a species considered by the citizens more deadly then any lizardfolk that is the creature called Plesiosaur, an aquatic dinosaur. While local rumor had often been discounted as the tales of drunk captain none now deny the existence as a baby had been caught in one the largest fishing nets. The Pen sits not to far from the Harbor's docks. A half submerged building that houses the infant and is under the care by elven druid Lensi Sharmist but by local gnomish apothecary's attempting to use non magic to feed and care for the sickly dinosaur. There is a healthy fear by authorities about the existence of the fledglings parents or pack who might come looking for the infant and take its vengeance on the village.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Chimpman » Fri May 14, 2010 7:13 pm

I can't believe that I haven't read through this thread until now. :!: I'm about half way through and I absolutely love it. This gnomish nation that you are building is brilliant. Give me a while to read through the rest and digest the material fully and I'll try to post some ideas of my own.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by LoZompatore » Fri May 14, 2010 7:37 pm

I fully agree with Chimpman (actually I think we were doing the same thing at the same time :mrgreen: ), your descriptions of this part of the setting are really first class. The more It is developed, the more I think that having such a gnomish country near to Refuge Point is a great idea :)
After a hard week at work I have a full rainy weekend for myself, so I hope to add new contributions to this thread as well!

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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Fri May 14, 2010 9:51 pm

(I decided to move the Leskobar Cartel to a Fiori Hills things, much love to Spelljammer but I feel that I'm a roll with this project and wanted to keep the cartel theme)

9 - Wheathome
Population: 1600
Government: Town council, conservative in that only gnomes can run for office and only citizens can vote
Exports: Wheat, livestock, produce
Imports: Weapons, metals

Background Information:

One of the true breadbaskets of the Fiori region
The home to a powerful cartel
One of the cities that dot the sun plains

With the settling of New Gronzi by Artos Bricklund he began to reward several of his old lieutenants with consignments of land to control. Wheathome, named obviously for its excess in wheat, was one of those gifts. Lini Leskobar, the witch vizier to Artos was gifted the realm for her, her family, and her close vassals to work and till provided they paid tribute to New Gronzi. While she was a faithful tenet the Witch of Wheathome had also come to terms with her legacy and a minor baroness was not one of the ideas she had in mind. With her immediate family behind her she began to set aside stocks of grain for private market and created the Leskobar Cartel. Organizing several of the most productive farms into one unified merchant cartel. The cartel set the prices of grain they'd sell to the cities, they would organize protection of the product, and divvy the shares amongst the farmers. Naturally she had enough backing from her immediate family (her arcane bloodline was drawn and her husband, a rather consenting gnome fighter, Barghev Goodspeed had acquiesced to his wife's wish and take the name Leskobar. His progeny accomplished themselves as fighters. The pair had made an effective team at clearing out farmers who would compete or not join the cartel.

The Leskobar Cartel is one of the most powerful merchant cartels in the Fiori realms. Political houses of all stripes seek to woo them, the Bricklunds secretly curse Leskobar for having broken away from New Gronzi and refusing to pay tribute to its patron city. (The need for wheat and fear the cartel would scorch the earth in any retaliation keeps the Bricklunds from invasion, it also helps that New Gronzi does enjoy discounts and some favor from the cartel.)

Noted Buildings:
City Hall: Gnomish politics are fiercely conservative. Only gnomes can become mayor and join city council and any citizen can vote for one of the four candidates. The Leskobar family tend to be of house Wolverine (again a reflection of Lini's loyalty to Artos Bricklund.) However distant cousins of the Leskobar can be found in the ranks of the other parties. City council meetings is a raucous affair of bickering and yelling, the only way things get done is if the Cartel pays to have it done.

The Moon Ray Tavern: Ran by self starter gnome Rendhara Moon, the Moon Ray is both a favorite amongst non-gnome adventurers (its built to accommodate more larger customers) it is also the secret meeting area of the Free Council. A group of rebels and farmers who chafe under the cartel's control and wish to throw off the chains.

Leskobar Estate: One of the few castles one might see in the Fiori Hills. The Leskobar Estate is a castle showpiece of the Lini's clan. Churtle Leskobar, the current 'Witch Countess' of the city state runs the cartel from her office (the tradition of a female gnomish leader has yet changed since Lini's day.) Her husband, yet another henpecked male named Gimble Leskobar serves as first as her alchemist who specializes in agriculture, and her spouse second. Her brother Gruber Leskobar lives on the estate and serves as the security adviser.

Camp Talatore: Military camp along the river of the same name, this is an outpost for the 1st Light Mounted Regiment (The Bricked Fist) which serves as roadway patrol along the gnomish trail into Refuge Point. The soldiers are loyal to Talatore Bricklund; loyal to his family back in New Gronzi but must keep his personal dislike of the Leskobar in check for the time being. The Camp provides shelter to any traveler along the road at night provided for 5 silver pieces a person and a gold per animal. For that the traveler gets to sleep in protected comfort of the camp's court yard and their animals can eat/drink from the camps supply.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Fri May 14, 2010 9:54 pm

I would like to say thank you guys for your support. I often say its been a fun project and it is, my only regret is I'm not yet DMing my gaming group but when it is my turn I plan to try a campaign in the Fiori area and hopefully to see the rest of Thalassa. I know you get this a lot Loz fro the maps but I'm going to say that this probably wouldn't be half as good without your lovely hex map to help guide it, and thanks Chipman for the offer. I saw the building recommendations in Refuge Pointe, I definitely could use some more buildings to help spruce up my cities.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Mon May 17, 2010 4:41 pm

Okay I went ahead and named all of the cities, I always welcome adventure sites or buildings to spruce them up but I'd like to keep the city names thus:

1. Port Kyna
2. New Gronzi
3. Kamos Landing
4. Gorman's Junction
5. Farli
6. Topaz Bay
7. Fairmount
8. Westmire
9. Wheathome
10. Brixton Downs
11. Turtle Bay
12. Brixton Heights
13. Queensport
14. Summer Haven
15. North Point
16. St. Algarita
17. Topaz Atoll
18. St. Faros

Now this is for gnomish settlements. The lizardfolk I'm eager to hear ideas. I personally plan to use at least 1 & 2 as part of the Sunspear Domain but as lizardfolk are, I believe, more factious and prone to fight amongst themselves I welcome anyone to bring out different tribes/settlements they work and fight from.

1. Tal'bar
2. Gachet
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Mon May 17, 2010 8:51 pm

10 - Brixton Downs
Population: 1,800
Government: Protectorate State under an oligarchy appointed Governor
Exports: Foodstuffs of various kind
Imports: Armaments, mercenaries, jewelry, metals

Background Info:
It is the protectorate city of the Brixton Family
It is grim visage war against uncouth gnolls
It is one of the twin fire gnome cities

Brixton Downs and Brixton Heights represent the largest Fiori concentration of so-called 'fire gnomes.' Noted for their dark skin and reddish hair fire gnomes tend to be grim in view of life and in deed. Not always evil, but war like and representing their connection to the efreeti that live in the planes of fire.

Such is the way of the Brixton family that migrated after much prejudice scorn they received by the earth gnomes of Port Kyna and the disenfranchisement amongst political parties that, through force and guile, did the Brixton's and the fire gnomes secure their own private fiefdom within the hills. While they have a dislike to their tinker minded earth gnomes and frivolous, fey like sky gnomes, the fire gnomes have allowed settlers to move into their city and have signed the charter of gnomes that, on paper, guarantee certain freedoms to citizens. No political party, not even weasel, finds any footing with the sour Brixton family. From their capital of Brixton Heights do they command their appointed regional governor in Brixton Down.

Architecture in the Downs like the Heights is a mix. Fire gnomes, dark skinned and somewhat use to the underground lifestyle build into the side of the hills to find some peace during the sun. They can go out into the day and do farm crops for storage and export to other cities. Their surface cousins build and maintain some homes above ground but the government buildings are large halls built deep into the hill's rock. The main enemy to the area are gnoll tribes that inhabit the hills just south of the Downs (The whole open area between them and Turtle Bay (11) is known as the Gnoll Valley. The fire gnomes ofter skirmish with gnoll raiders and have developed into an efficient defense force.

Notable Buildings:
The High Hall: The main hall where Governor Learnol Brixton holds court. As a distant cousin to the immediate Brixton Family Learnol is given the disfavor position of maintaining control of Brixton Downs. Office maintains a business as usual attitude and one can find gainful employment doing mercenary work on behalf of the Governor.

Leedy Keep: The above ground citizens can depend on Leedy Keep and elements of the so-called 52nd Infantry (The Bedrock) group to protect the city from gnoll attack. A Wolverine loyalist named Jerri Meadowbrook commands the force but is more focused on the military then being a political leader (While he has an army to battle gnoll raids he doesn't have the army to coup the Brixton family.) The Keep is named after St. Leedy the Hearth Lord and healer of ill wounds.

The Watch Tower: A stone tower serves as the main watch tower into the Gnoll Valley and serves as a line of defense against rampaging gnolls. Its great bonfire can be seen from the city to alert them to an attack.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Wed May 19, 2010 5:45 am

11 - Turtle Bay
Population: 1,000
Government: Town council, heavily insulated with the Morlow-Coppernik family
Exports: Fish, grain, jewelry
Imports: timber, armaments, ore

Background Info:
The quiet land
The sleepy village on the Aberrate Sea
Home of fey gnomes

Air gnomes are the most attuned with fey ancestry, the blood of the djinni is said to run through their veins, to them they who are most gifted by the power of magic and as they came more into contact with their earthen cousins the longing for a colony of their kind became strong. Kristof Morlow, an air gnome, and distant cousin to the Coppernik family happened upon the sleepy Turtle Bay while scouting aboard his dirigible. He claimed the land and set about to build his dream into reality. Somewhat.

Turtle Bay like every gnome cities are flushed with refugees and the city is not purely air gnome. Earth, fire, even water gnomes live and work in the bay area, the other non-gnome races tend to come and go as they please. The city enjoys a town council with open elections, though they tend to favor the Otter party, specifically candidates who trace their line through the Morlow family. Little happens in the area with the exception of the occasional gnoll raider or local brigands who pose little threat to the city. The main threat to their commerce is piracy from Topaz Bay or sky pirates from Kamos Landing.

Notable Buildings:
Jeweler's Guildhall: Along with the Morlow family is the Diamondtop family. Earth gnomes who favor the Badger party and who have accomplished themselves as the cities premier jewelers. Sapphires and Topaz tend to adorn their highly sought after rings, combine with bits of their magic to enhance the illumination, specifically the arcane marks DT. The Diamondtop's are headed by Zarchan Diamondtop who is respected up there with old Kristof.

Skyview Hall: With its open air pavilion that bathes the city council with the sun or moon (either is fine for gnomes who can see very well in the low-light of night.) The Skyview is the city hall where all business is discussed. The main pavilion is actually an amphitheater where debates between speakers can rage or cultural plays can be performed with gnomish tinker tricks or magic. The facility is open to public but is most comfortable to small folk.

The Nesting Grounds: Turtle Bay boasts the largest population of leather back turtles who swim ashore to lay their eggs and return to the blue waters of the Aberrate. It is strictly illegal to remove the eggs from the enclosure the gnomes have set up for the turtles but it is somewhat a city tradition to sit to the side and watch both the great laying when the turtles lay their eggs and the grand hatching, when the baby turtles hatch and swim back into the ocean. Miri Snowfoot is a gnomish druid who tends to the eggs and finds comfort in their company and her turtle companion Idney.

Morlow Hall: The towering complex of the Morlow family compound is a site to behold with several towers jutting from the main complex. Kristof Morlow an elder gnome dwells in the home, his younger son Kristof II acts on his father's behalf and directs the activities of the Otter party in Turtle Bay.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Wed May 19, 2010 3:58 pm

12 - Brixton Heights
Population: 1600
Government: Constitutional Monarchy
Exports: Armaments, jewelery, red powder
Imports: Timber, fruits, magical items

Background Info:
Fiori's only known monarchy
The seat of power for the House of Brixton

Brixton Heights is the site of Adolfo Brixton's power. Adolfo, a minor noble from the old world of gnomes, hand came upon the rocky coastline where he would build his city, chiseling deep into the rocky hills that banked the shores to a fortified city. There were few allusions; Adolfo was a king. Granted he had signed the charter of gnomes that granted rights to individuals and he created a constitution to empower a select parliament that ran the day-to-day operations, but a grim businesslike gnome like Adolfo did not leave little to chance. He packed his parliaments with his immediate family or loyal associates creating his personal oligarchy. To this day Adolfo Brixton rules from the heights and levies tolls to whoever uses his docks.

The Heights is pragmatic that it welcomes trade with Refuge Point and their gnomish neighbors, tolls tend to be a gold piece a day or 5 gold pieces to keep the ship a week (no refundable.) The people tend to be closed mouth and mind their business, this sight is peculiar to non-gnomes who are use to their more gregarious earthen cousins (but it is also viewed as a relief by non-gnomes who had been to the other cities.) The heights is all built into the hillside with the wharfs the only exposed part from under the coast (the mouth of the caves widened to accommodate larger ships. This gives added security to gnomes as there are no exposed wooden structures to be attacked and semi enclosed harbor shelters ships from storms.

Different gnome races have also made their home here but party politics is at a minimal. The parties do try to get in good with the monarch to serve as one of his advisers.
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Boddynock Stotch - 17th level Gnome Bard of Far Shore, Isle of Dread - Savage Tide Adventure Path

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Chimpman
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Chimpman » Wed May 19, 2010 4:00 pm

Crud... just when I thought I was caught up... now 3 more posts to read ;)

I'm not complaining mind you. :D
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