The Fiori Hills

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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Chimpman » Wed May 26, 2010 5:48 am

Heraldry for Kamos Landing:

Image

Some notes: The Kamos Landing colors are chosen to represent Red Powder and the Sky Tower, with the center bar representing the Sky Tower itself. Likewise the Darley shield incorporates a tower as well.
The Arcane Overwatch shield actually represents an example of non-gnomish heraldry (from Refuge Point). It probably has some connections to the ancient Taltinians (whose ships flew crimson sails).
These are just two possible sky pirate shields - background colors would most likely be black or red. Of course the pirates wouldn't fly such flags in port, but they would fly them when they were on the hunt.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Wed May 26, 2010 2:44 pm

Hey Boddynock,

(Updated the heraldry for New Gronzi - I'm much happier with this version.)

I'm looking over the Kamos Landing entry and have a few thoughts:

First of all, I did a search here on the Piazza for Red Powder, so now I have a little better idea of what you're talking about. I can see a couple of different groups operating from this settlement:

Red Powder Consortium (RPC): This group of mercantile minded gnomes has cornered the market on Red Powder. They are very rich and very protective of the red powder mining claims that they own in the area. Should other deposits open up elsewhere they will be very fast in sending their agents to claim them by any means necessary.

Sky Pirates: There are probably several groups of sky pirates in this area (most operating under the guise of normal merchants or adventurers). Each group would be led by some prominent captain, and would probably consist of between 1 and 3 ships (most groups in possession of a single ship only). I think it would be great if folks came up with several sky pirate captains that we could then play around with. . One thought - perhaps one of the sky pirates has a ship based on Steel Ogre technology?

The Sky Tower: This might be another place to put another something like Tepnuem's Mosaic. It could be the reason that the sky tower was built in this location in the first place. Is there a connection between this sky tower and the one that was built in Refuge Point? I think we have some opportunity here to expand the world's history (but not sure yet exactly which direction to go in).

Arcane Overwatch: I like the idea of a Refuge Point group expanding their influence outside of that city. Do you have any more information or thoughts as to how they got here (and why they are here)? Perhaps their presence has something to do with the Red Powder (which may see use in other magical experiments or spells). If that's the case then the AO may come into conflict with the RPC, but at the same time they would need to maintain enough of a relationship with that group to ensure continued supply of the magical substance.



First I'd like to say again, the flags look awesome and I count myself very fortunate to have you on staff for the Thalassa project, with you heraldry or LoZ's cartography I think my project of sticky note ideas would not be as good. Now on to questions!

RPC: That's a very great concept and introduces another group of adversaries. A bunch of war profiteers who will actually arm races like gnolls to fight the Brixton's or local brigands. Through a combination of third parties, controlling the largest red powder mines, and probably not doing anything to tick the local government off allows the RPC freedom to do business with any group, they also probably are connected to house Weasel and have a Darley or a cousin of the Darleys at the board of directors.

Sky Pirates: Steel Ogre Technology? Sure that's possible. I didn't go into to much detail over the exact number of pirates/captains/ships. I was going to leave that to individual DMs to put whatever scalawag he wanted but anyone is welcome to offer a ship and crew. Ships range from dirigible air ships to more sleeker spelljammer-esque ship.

The Sky Tower: I didn't have any connection in mind, other then to serve the purpose of meeting air ships away from the major city like Port Kyna to prevent any Hindenburg style disaster. But hey, perhaps the tower had always been there and is connected to Qal'Tallion is it? As one of their watchtowers that the gnomes took over and turned into theirs. There are probably ruins under the tower of the older kingdom just waiting to be found.

Arcane Overwatch: The Overwatch are a little more neutral then the Harpers and a bit more open then the Circle of Eight. Meaning it is there job to preserve the magical balance and prevent, say, the archlich who fell through the portal from using his magic to tear up the Edge. I figured the AO started out in Refuge Point as a group of mages who banded together either around or after the Steel Ogre occupation to protect the magical flow and ballooned into a world spanning organization just after the fall of the Ogre empire. They basically have conflict with anyone trying to threaten the balance of magic and as Kamos Landing attracts the most wizards, the Arcane Overwatch is there. Would they have conflict with the RPC? Possible, Red Powder is like smoke powder in that its magical they'd also want to stop the flow of magical items (like wands and rods) from getting too out of hand.

Finally I'd like to address what I feel happened during the Steel Ogre Empire. What happened? They conquered the land that's what. However gnomes being masters of illusion and not above hiding underground more or less did what the Brixton's did and go underground, take to the small islands, and finally make deals with things not of this world. As several cities mention there appears to be strange, evil things that lurk in the dark. Some of these are connected as gnome mages, fearing the Ogres summoned these creatures, gave them freedom and souls in exchange for their allegiance against the brutes. Now the empire is gone, the last ogre soldier was gobbled up by whatever horrific monstrosity the mages summoned and so these things lurk in the darkness of Fairmount, Perfect Halls, Queensport, St. Faros. Always watching, planning, and eating.

Also Slorn Banethorn who is the Gentleman Warlord of St. Algarita he was a Steel Ogre Sorcerer but through mishap shape changed himself into a minotaur. So he still has the mental faculties of his former life but cursed in the form of a minotaur.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Chimpman » Wed May 26, 2010 4:53 pm

Cool, thanks for answering my questions.
Boddynock wrote:Arcane Overwatch: The Overwatch are a little more neutral then the Harpers and a bit more open then the Circle of Eight. Meaning it is there job to preserve the magical balance and prevent, say, the archlich who fell through the portal from using his magic to tear up the Edge. I figured the AO started out in Refuge Point as a group of mages who banded together either around or after the Steel Ogre occupation to protect the magical flow and ballooned into a world spanning organization just after the fall of the Ogre empire. They basically have conflict with anyone trying to threaten the balance of magic and as Kamos Landing attracts the most wizards, the Arcane Overwatch is there. Would they have conflict with the RPC? Possible, Red Powder is like smoke powder in that its magical they'd also want to stop the flow of magical items (like wands and rods) from getting too out of hand.
I like this idea. I'd add more to their backstory (just to get the Taltinian reference in). Perhaps the group started out as a small sect of wizards and scholars dedicated to unearthing the history of Refuge Point (and all of the magical knowledge that would come along with that). Over time their knowledge grew and they realized the destructive forces that could be unleashed if it ever got into the wrong hands - perhaps they even had to deal with a few rogue members along the way. When the Steel Ogres attacked and overtook Refuge Point, the outlook of the group changed somewhat. They took an active stance against the aggressors in order to protect the populace of Refuge Point. When the Ogres were defeated, the group realized that in order to prevent such events in the future, they would have to be more proactive. They took on the name of Arcane Overwatch and spread their agents across the globe.

Now they are vigilant against any "improper use" of magic. This outlook may not ingratiate them any local mage guilds that they come in contact with. Perhaps in some locales (such as the Fiori Hills) they can operate openly - maybe even under the authority of the local government. Other locations may not be so friendly with them and they would have to operate in secret.
Boddynock wrote:Finally I'd like to address what I feel happened during the Steel Ogre Empire. What happened? They conquered the land that's what. However gnomes being masters of illusion and not above hiding underground more or less did what the Brixton's did and go underground, take to the small islands, and finally make deals with things not of this world. As several cities mention there appears to be strange, evil things that lurk in the dark. Some of these are connected as gnome mages, fearing the Ogres summoned these creatures, gave them freedom and souls in exchange for their allegiance against the brutes. Now the empire is gone, the last ogre soldier was gobbled up by whatever horrific monstrosity the mages summoned and so these things lurk in the darkness of Fairmount, Perfect Halls, Queensport, St. Faros. Always watching, planning, and eating.
I like this a lot - I was thinking along similar lines when I read the St. Faros entry and thought it would tie in really well with one of the ancient evils that the Taltinians brought with them (accidentally) when they cam to this world. I never thought of tying that in with the other locations you mention, but I think it works great.

Perhaps these evils have long been in the land - dormant until the gnomes once again stirred them from their slumber. Although they served a short term benefit (getting rid of the Ogres), now the gnomes must deal with the repercussions of their actions. :twisted:
Boddynock wrote:Also Slorn Banethorn who is the Gentleman Warlord of St. Algarita he was a Steel Ogre Sorcerer but through mishap shape changed himself into a minotaur. So he still has the mental faculties of his former life but cursed in the form of a minotaur.
:mrgreen: I really like this backstory. What if Banethorn's change wasn't an accident? What if he did it on purpose to escape the fate of all of the rest of his brethren? Looking at what you say above - if the gnomes made pacts with dark entities to rid the land of the Ogres, then by changing his form perhaps Banethorn found a loophole in the gnome's agreement. Now, in the shape of a minotaur, the dark entities ignore him (perhaps happily knowing that they are breaking the spirit of their agreement with the gnomes, while still following it to the letter of the law), and Banethorn is free to go about his business - seeking revenge on the gnomes who helped destroy his nation.

****

Ok - now for a question: How are the military orders named/numbered, and who has control over them? Some settlements specifically mention certain regiments, while other settlements have no mention of a military presence at all. I'm under the impression that each city controls it's own regiments but somehow there is a framework that allows the cities to work together in common defense of the area.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Wed May 26, 2010 5:08 pm

Chimpman wrote:Cool, thanks for answering my questions.
Ok - now for a question: How are the military orders named/numbered, and who has control over them? Some settlements specifically mention certain regiments, while other settlements have no mention of a military presence at all. I'm under the impression that each city controls it's own regiments but somehow there is a framework that allows the cities to work together in common defense of the area.
To chat a little on Slorn: I could see that he did it on purpose but maybe by accident I should have said he's more regretful. Shedding his proud ogre form for that of a minotaur and in the command of a horde of inferior orcs. He in fact is probably bitter and regretful to the ogres who have outcast him for cowardice (by choosing to change forms rather then die an ogre.)

Now the regiments. The names and numbers are a throwback to the old world of earth gnomes. Not all the regiments survived the chaos and those that did are clinging to the memories of old by taking the nickname/number of their units. These regiments are controlled by which ever senior officer survived to take command/whoever is the most experience or willing to take over what was left of the unit and build it up. They are stationed in different parts and work with local governments.

I've been thinking and one of the buildings in Port Kyna the sort of capital city of Fiori Hills maintains a sort of U.N. building where the "Charter of the Free Peoples of the Fiori Hills" is kept (that is the long name to what is otherwise known as the charter of gnomes)
Each city state has a representative in the city and at times of emergency (that generally effects the whole of the city states) all the regiments can be conscripted to form the grand army and mobilized into combat. This has only happened once post Steel Ogre Empire and that was the Sunspear Crusade; an attempt by Talbec Sunspear and his lizardfolk kingdom to exterminate the gnomes.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Chimpman » Thu May 27, 2010 5:47 am

Gorman's Junction:
Image

Notes: In this case I don't have a separate shield for the city of Gorman's Junction, since it seems like the sorcerer count is the undisputed ruler and there is less a feel of independence here. I think the count would use his shield to represent the city as well as himself.

We could probably also have several shields for mercenary companies here.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Chimpman » Thu May 27, 2010 5:50 am

Boddynock wrote:To chat a little on Slorn: I could see that he did it on purpose but maybe by accident I should have said he's more regretful. Shedding his proud ogre form for that of a minotaur and in the command of a horde of inferior orcs. He in fact is probably bitter and regretful to the ogres who have outcast him for cowardice (by choosing to change forms rather then die an ogre.)
Yeah, I can totally see this. It really gives this villain some depth of character, and makes him come alive for me.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:35 pm

So now lets take a bit of an in look depth on Port Kyna, it being the chief of port cities in the region.

The Districts:
Port Kyna divides itself amongst 6 large districts. Each representing the spectrum of economic classes. The districts are the following: Docks, North, South, Government Square, Market, Starfish Island. Each section tends to be walled off from the others; both for defense purposes, but also in a way to hopefully slow the flow of crime as criminals are (by theory) suppose to pass through the entrance check points and are more likely to be caught by the guards there. (Of course the unnamed district is the elaborate sewers that run under ground and breed the black market.) Let's take a more detailed look district by district.

Docks: Obviously the life blood of economy is that docks district. The great harbor of Port Kyna welcomes sailors with its stone hewed docks and pump system to allow fresh water. Ships coming in are immediately greeted by the customs office who make a quick search for contraband (diseased food, necromatic magical material, goods from Kelidran.) The docks are home to a number of low end taverns, food stands, inns, and warehouses. There is also housing but this is generally used by members and their families to local watch, the customs office, or members of the Longshoreman's Guild. The buildings tend to be ramshackle with older timber houses that are stacked together. One worries the day a powerful hurricane might hit the Port city and bring it to ruin, with reluctance of going against the magical order the cities powerful wizards have use their abilities before to divert such cyclones, hoping that building codes would be enforced overtime and that construction would improve the lot. The Sea Lion's Pride is located here and is rather higher then standard fair and popular with adventurers. Out of any district this one is the most cosmopolitan; nearly any race can be found in Docks District. Though they perhaps are slightly confounded with hall small the buildings can be, or maybe that's just eating the fish from a cheap food vendor.

North: City leaders dislike the idea of calling anything a 'poor quarter' and certainly poverty is spread all over (except at Starfish Island of course.) But if one was wanting a poor quarter it would be North District; the largest district in the entire city. The district tends to the home of beggers, low-end crafts people, tradesmen who head from their home to market district, and of course thieves. The bulk of the Sinister operates out of North District using the sewers below to work the rest like a spider spreading out her webs. Clerics of hearth and healing tend to run soup kitchens and orphanages for the downtrodden (and also trying to convert people to their deities.) While no where is forbidden for non-gnomes this area is certainly less open then Docks District. There are really no inns built for non-short people (obviously dwarves, halflings, short folk can still use these services with comfort.) The people are slightly distrusting out outsiders and non-gnomes. The rule of thumb if someone wants something crafted is to get in, make the order and leave. It is often advised for one to watch their purse as the Sinister more then anything are experts at picking pockets and purse cutting. Gnomes have a saying of the tall folk (elf or larger that is)
"Unless bedding a woman the tall-folk never seem to look down for anything until its too late."

Government Square The center of the city bordering North, South, and Market District (Docks is cut off by bordering north district.) Government Square leaves little to the imagination. The entire area is government buildings, Talbec's Hall is here. The Grand Magistrate is here along with the high court. Buildings tend to be stone work or nicer wood finish. The city jail also is here where all prisoners wait their day in high court. Non-gnomes are welcome but find the buildings a bit short for their use (excluding shorter races obviously.)

South Also considered the mage's quarter. South isn't as nice as Starfish Island, nor is it ramshackle like north district. The area is dedicated to the upper middle class. Merchants and high end wizards can be found here as well as a few pricier shops, a lot of magical items can be found here as opposed to the Market District bazaar.

Market A lot of shops are mentioned in the other district, so what is the purpose of Market? It stores most of the foodstuffs that come from overland travel. The bazaar is the other welcoming place to non-gnomes. Enclaves of humans, dwarves, and halflings have been able to make their homes in the surrounding area. Selling their wares under the colorful tents that market district provides. Food, weapons, magical items, a lot of stuff that appeals to more non-gnomes can be found in this district as well as accommodating inns.

Starfish Island The noble district of Starfish Island enjoyed a small walled off island to separate them from the rest of the commoners. Noble members of the four houses either have estates for when they come to the city or their distant relatives own a house. The Magistrate here commands the very elite of gnomish watch, backed up by their most potent mages. Non-gnomes are somewhat discouraged as anyone who doesn't have residence or wears the livery of one of the residents is usually questioned and sent away from the island's gates.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:06 am

So I have been looking over the city write ups and have been pondering over a kind of flaw. It would appear with so many city states the houses would stretch themselves quite thin. Even with magical powers and the like I do now find it hard to believe the four could have loyalist in every city. I now have the idea of an alternative of having four main city states where the houses hold dominate.

Port Kyna: House Otter stronghold. It is still somewhat of a democracy that the parliament is elected by citizens and only gnomes can run for parliament office. However House Otter is the one who maintains the cities Chancellor. The Chancellor does have a lot of power but can be checked by Parliament vote. The Charter of Free Gnomes of the Fiori Hills still guarantees citizens certain rights etc.

New Gronzi: The Wolverine city-state. House Wolverine runs it more like a traditional kingdom. There is a so-called 'Count' who controls it and has a city council that advises him. Neighboring Wheathome is somewhat of a protectorate of House Wolverine with a degree of autonomy.

Kamos Landing: House Weasel's home city and birthplace of the organized thieves guild (and secretive espionage network for the house) The Sinister

Now I'm wondering where to put House Badger at and I'd like any suggestions from what you've read. I was personally thinking St. Algarita because I imagined the house making their money through food stuffs.

As for the other city states I might rework them for the next update document so they tend to be more independent and perhaps are influenced by the big 5 (I count Brixton Heights as part of the 5 major city states.) Or just run by some other powerful figure who has the means to run it.

What do you guys think?
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Chimpman » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:44 pm

Ok, I'm just trying to solidify things in my own head. Here is the list of each of the Fiori settlements, along with their populations.

1. Port Kyna - 6,000
2. New Gronzi - 5,360
3. Kamos Landing - 4,000
4. Gorman's Junction - 3,000
5. Farli - 1000
6. Topaz Bay - 1500
7. Fairmount - 710
8. Westmire - 1200
9. Wheathome - 1600
10. Brixton Downs - 1,800
11. Turtle Bay - 1,000
12. Brixton Heights - 1600
13. Queensport - 1,000
14. Summer Haven - 1100
15. North Point - 1300
16. St. Algarita - 1,000
17. Topaz Atoll - 800
18. St. Faros - 800

So the big 5 I get (#1-4 above plus Brixton Heights and Downs combined), and I think what you are suggesting makes sense. For some of the smaller communities, I'm not sure they need to be completely independent city state. It's possible that several are allied with one of the big 5, in which case their government/social system could also be shared.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by LoZompatore » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:30 pm

Just a few lines to answer to Boddynock: The idea of having an "headquarter" city for each faction seems good to me, even if I would like to blend things a little, by saying that each of tese city also has a minority of representatives of the other factions. Such an approach could be extanded to all the other "neutral" cities, which could be not aligned just for the fact the factions here balance each other (this could be not a permanent situation, anyway).
With regard to House Badger I think that St Algarita could be a good placement: Chimpman's reasoning using the population list is convincing, too. ;)

In these days I'm trying to put all the material together, the Fiori Hills appendix is in itself a huge document! :shock: I'm really impressed by the great work you made. I would also like to draw a sketch of Port Kyna (similar to Refuge Point general map, so it will be a very detailed city map) including also Boddynock's info about the city (if you have any more suggestion about landmarks they are welcome). I hope to prepare the city map in the following days, though I'm afraid I'll have to slow down my work on the Edge setting during next week :|

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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Chimpman » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:39 pm

Boddynock wrote:Now I'm wondering where to put House Badger at and I'd like any suggestions from what you've read. I was personally thinking St. Algarita because I imagined the house making their money through food stuffs.
Sorry, I totally missed this part of the question before. I think St. Algarita should work fine. An alternative (if you want something slightly larger for Badger's home base) would be Wheathome.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:27 am

Thanks for the replies guys. Now that you mention it I might consider upping the population totals in the big five (especially Algarita and Brixton Heights.) In fact Brixton should be a sprawling metropolis hidden inside those hills. I didn't think of this at the time of writing but the fire gnomes are the oldest group to arrive in the hills. Sure they based originally where Port Kyna is and have been in decline but the Heights should be a very sizable city cut off because its in a hill and the fire gnomes are a sullen, withdrawn lot.

I don't think I'll get into population specifics, I'll leave that to LoZ determine but Port Kyna and Brixton Heights should be the top of the population bracket. Kamos Landing should be the smallest ofthe big 5 because House Weasel got its due back into the old world.

Now to switch about other cities, I agree. The other cities should feel a presence but I think I'd erase any idea of them being political parties but true noble houses. Houses that are diminished from their golden age, a little more clandestine and intrigued filled but noble houses none the less. I'm sure several city states have pledged their loyalty to one of the 4 (since most other city states are earth gnome dominated I don't think they'd really bow to some Brixton fire gnome.) The air gnome cities (the two of them anyway) are certainly the most neutral as air gnomes being from their magitech society are a bit more libertarian and less interested in the trappings of court nobility.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:03 pm

Okay I think I like what I've got so here is the houses main city of power

Port Kyna - Otter
Style: Elected parliament with an Otter chosen Chancellor. The Chancellor is allowed to propose laws, tax increases, spending etc. but must make Parliament approval. Elections are every two years. Gnomes can only run for office but non-gnome citizens may vote.

Current Chancellor: Sicily 'Sissy' Coppernik. (Married to Lazlo Coppernik who is, in turn, city Magistrate)

Allegiances/Influence: Port Kyna is a stalwart ally to Refuge Point. The twin cities have bled together during the Aberrant war on the high seas and Port Kyna risked much during the same period in Fiori Hill's 'Unification War' that corresponded to the Aberrate War (more below.) It is nominally allied to the 'official' government in Topaz Bay (the council of captains being a somewhat corrupt lot.) It also maintains embassies in Gorman's Junction and Farli. The Coppernik family is a fair sort with a shrewd mind for business, they tend to be lead by female gnomes while men are put in charge of the house's martial matters. Military units around the city are named and drawn from Otter loyalists over Wolverine backed units. Otter also commands the Fiori Hills navy making them very key to the ocean trade security in the region.

New Gronzi - Wolverine
Style: Dukedom with a select city council that runs day-to-day operation and advises the duke.

Current Leader: Duke Rathmer Bricklund

Allegiances/Influence: Maintains a protectorate over Wheathome (military unit is supplied food through the exclusive deals with the Leskobar Cartel.) The Devil's Pets (4th Mounted Regiment) is housed with hospitality at Gorman's Junction (leading to speculation that Harvard Mithralfoot is playing both houses.) While major houses maintain a pool of their own military units around their cities, House Wolverine has offered to send specialists and train local militias to send their own created units to keep peace in the small city-states. This makes other houses nervous as Wolverine commands the most trained and largest force of troops. By misfortune the house does not have access to any reliable sources of Red Powder (the RPC being influenced by House Weasel) It is feared that should Wolverine gain Red Powder they would relaunch the Unification War again.

House Badger - St. Algarita
Style: Oligarchy of House members make the major decisions but allow a democratically elected city council work on day-to-day and advise the house (all laws are subject for veto by house Badger)

Leader: Zarnab Bulbar

Allegiances/Influence: Controls the wheat trade and competes with the Leskobar Cartel. Also maintains its own port on Turtle Bay but for the sake of economics and security willingly sells wheat to its northern counterparts (also fears the refusal to sell would mean more contracts for the Leskobar.) Maintains its own order of knights that are kept busy fighting off the Horde and lizardfolk.

House Weasel - Kamos Landing
Style: Council of Sky Captains that are lead by house leader

Leader: Krunik Darley

Allegiances/Influence: Is the largest supplier of Red Powder though the RPC (Red Powder Consortium) the group doesn't have a Weasel as its Head Administrator but loyalists do sit on the board of directors. Controls the routes into the Sky Reach hills along with Fairmount and maintains influence in Queensport. Does not actively engage in military matters, rather prefers militia backed up by the 'The Sinister' which is their espionage and assassination branch and 'The Silence' their internal security bureau.

House Boar (Formerly House Brixton but adopted the earth gnome style of houses)
Style: Monarchy, pretty firm handed monarchy at that

Leader: Adolfo Brixton V

Allegiances/Influence: The major supporter and supplier with Kelidran and maintains a second city known as Brixton Downs. The fire gnomes tend to only deal very little with their earth based cousins. Met the most disastrous results during the Unification War. Controls the blacksmith trade and is most proficient with melee weapons.

House Canine (defunct former house of Harvard Mithralfoot)
Style: Monarchy, died out except for Harvard during the old world wars that consumed the gnomes homeland

Leader: Harvard Mithralfoot

Allegiances/Influence: Plays other houses off each other and commands the trade crossroads that that lie between Port Kyna and the west. Doesn't maintain much a physically threat but closed markets could be troublesome economically.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:51 pm

Now what is this 'Unification War' business? Simply put the Unification War is the rough translation of the gnomish view of the Aberrate Sea World. For while independent mercenary companies fought for either side the Aberrate war was more of a war on the high seas. This didn't stop the hill city-states from fighting each other. Partly because the Brixton's had allied with Kelidran and Port Kyna allied with Refuge Point. It was also fought because three of the large houses (Otter, Mole, and Wolverine) concluded that the hills would be much better off as a united empire. This begins with the Unification War as a series of offensives against the smaller city-states and ends with a hastily allegiance in the face of the Sunspear Crusade.

So in time line purpose the Aberrate War/Unification War happen at the same time with the Sunspear Crusade at the tail end of that.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by LoZompatore » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:37 am

I don't think I'll get into population specifics, I'll leave that to LoZ determine but Port Kyna and Brixton Heights should be the top of the population bracket. Kamos Landing should be the smallest ofthe big 5 because House Weasel got its due back into the old world.
Well, Kamos Landing could be a pretty large town due to other reasons: it has a renowned flying academy and maybe it is an important trading hub as well. Gnomes would gather here just because it is a good place to have business and increase their standard of living.
For the same reason, you could leave St. Alagrita and Brixton Heights populations as quite small with respect to the other centres of power: I guess a population above 2000 would be good for any settlement with a faction's headquarter (after all, they would be able to build a small army of their own and supply their allied communities, so a minimum population level is required). In my opinion you could double Brixton Heigths' population and increase St.Algarita's one to 2500, just to give you a couple of figures. ;)

I like a lot the details you provided for the various houses of power, especially the fact that some of them are Refuge Point allies while others are allied with Kelidra. This would be a major cause of attrition in itself, even without counting for any other disagreement in the houses' agendas.
With regard to The Unification War: neat! So it was basically a failed attempt to create a "gnomish empire": it could pave the road for future conflict in the area as well, as nostalgic members of the last conflict scattered in all gnomish communities would likely attempt to set the right conditions for a new unification impetus once more. ;)

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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:39 pm

Yeah by current year of the campaign there is a sort of tense standoffish view about unification. But during the Aberrate war three of the major houses got it into their minds that the hills would be better off under their control

Port Kyna: Home city of Otter, the so-called guardian of justice and peace for all gnomes, and naval allies to Refuge Point.

New Gronzi: Home of Wolverine, considered the top academy for the military. Viewed it as the true leaders to protect the gnomish culture from extinction at enemy hands (namely human nations and lizardfolk.)

and Brixton Heights: The Brixton family longed for conquest. The earth gnomes had the means to be conquerors but the fire gnomes view that they have the willingness to sack towns, doing things that the earth gnomes don't have the stomach for.

Basically its was the Fiori Hills ground war during a time when their respective navies were battling on the side of Refuge Point or Kelidra. Granted mercenary companies also fought with the humans but it appears the Aberrate war as far as Refuge Point and Kelidra were concerned was more naval then ground based.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:35 pm

I want to now talk some on Fiori Hills local lizard folk. Obviously the Sunspear Crusade reveals the Sunspear tribe and their former leader Talbec Sunspear, chieftain and military commander of the Sunspear campaign, but before I begin bringing out the villages I was wondering how many tribes should inhabit the Fiori area? Sunspear is one, but should there be more? So the question is

A) How many tribes should exist in the Fiori Hills area?

B) What are the tribal names and totem animals?

Now 1 and 2 of the map are Sunspear holdings which include Tal'Bar and Gar-Jeet (I had originally called it Gachet but I think that is more of a specific name and didn't sound as lizardfolkish) They inhabit the lake they call Couatl's Tear and also have adopted the flying reptile as a totem animal, a representation of the sun god (perhaps another manifestation of Nara?) and take Couatl as a sign of good fortune in war and peace.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:16 am

(Hey guys, its been awhile hasn't it? I took sort of a break and have returned to keep on working. Sorry if this post is kind of rough, I wrote this at work without being able to look at my notes.)

Lizardfolk Area #1 Tal-Bar
Population: 23,000
Government: Theocracy of the Serpent. (Either Natali the Sun Couatl or Te'naptrus the Moon Serpent)
Exports: To other lizardfolk tribes weapons, mercenaries, and magical items. To gnomes warfare
Imports: Stone and sacrifices

Background Information:
The Ruins of a Taltinian city
Capital of the defunct Sunspear Empire
Seat of government for the King-Priest

Tal-Bar's beginnings were not that of green scalykind who founded a city that, under the mud and muck gleams with jewels, but were the ruins of a once great Taltinian colony. No one is sure what happened to the colony, whether the original inhabitants had tampered with forces of the unknown or merely a collapse of the colony given to the chaos of the time but as the Couatl's Tear, the areas large body of freshwater grew so did the vines, mud, and muck until the colony was swallowed and vanished from recorded time and memory. Scalykind, lizardfolk driven east by civil war stumbled upon the ancient city. Nearing the shoreline of the couatl's tear the lizardfolk, Slathis Sunspear, was greeted with a vision. Of a massive couatl floating above the lake and parting the mists that choked the area. Past the curtain was the abandoned colony. Gemstone buildings now covered thick with moss, not that lizardfolk valued jewels.

From here the Sunspears relaunched their campaign. First to consolidate their hold on the swamplands and, with their seat intact, launch a second invasion of the dry lands and put the dark skin fire gnomes to the spear. This holy crusade was not done overnight. Slathis died not long after founding Gar-Jeet, the sister city across the lake. In his death he left a score of hatchlings, each tested by manhood to be the next king priest. Any lizardfolk who could take Slathis' spear and use it to summon an image of the couatl from the tear was pronounced king. From Slathis to the last of his line, Talbec Sunspear, had remained unbroken, proving that Slathis was indeed a holy lizardfolk.

Current history begins with the death of Talbec Sunspear in his first open invasion of Fiori hills. Before then the Sunspears were successful at driving out and capturing water based cities and were even found limited success in swimming into Port Kyna's waters and destroying ships by drilling holes under the boat that caused quick, and devastating flooding of the below decks. However the first actual invasion on top soil lead to a grand disaster by gnomish counterattack. Tal'bec was left dead and lost too was the spear of Slathis. Sages predict this is the first of signs that dire times are to come to Sunspear and of their great capital Tal'Bar.

Notable NPC's

Arvanix Sunspear - Not a true Sunspear by birth Arvanix Mosshide was present when the great Talbec fell on the battlefield before Port Kyna. A slightly sly tongue scalykind the warrior claimed the throne after telling tales that great Talbec gave his blessing. With no true divinity (having no spear to summon the couatl) but plenty of soldiers to back his claim, Arvanix took the throne and has increased worship of Natali through sacrifice. Arvanix is a lean lizardfolk, slightly pale green and brooding upon his wicker throne. The King-Priest now directs his sacrifices to any warmblood captured, but when times are desperate criminal lizardfolk (any lizardfolk who breaks Arvanix's religious decrees) can find themselves upon the sacrificial alter.

Bria Sunspear - Arvanix's wife, she is a Priestess of Moon serpent, Te'naptrus. Her death sisters lament for the dead and say prayers along the Couatls tear for the passing of brave soldiers.

Notable Buildings:

The Sacrificial Alter: This stepped structure is said to hum with ancient Qal'Tallion crystals. Victims have their hearts cut out from their body by a high Priest and dropped into a pit that makes the crystals hum louder. Spectators claim they hear voices from the pit below as each heart is fed and sense a foreboding presence from the death that erupts. Several clerics are on standby as the occasional angry ghost has to be banished out of existence.

The Palace: Its many columns covered in moss, vines, and slime. Its stone tarnished by wear. The palace is an open air structure where the sun and moon shine down on the main throne room. In adjacent, more secluded area rests King-Priest Sunspear and his wife.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:08 pm

#2 Gar-Jeet
Population: 10,000
Government: Theocracy of Serpent
Exports: Mercenaries, stone weapons
Imports: Magical items of a divine bent

Background Info:
Sister city of Tal-Bar
Second City of the Sunspear Empire
A mix of Taltinian and Lizardfolk

Sharing the Couatl's Tear with Tal-Bar is the city of Gar-Jeet. The second largest city that is still active in the Sunspear Empire the city bustles as the war machine of the Sunspear. Tal-Bar might be a religious center where one might find the largest concentration of Scalykind clerics to Natali the Couatl or Te'naptrus the Moon Serpent but Gar-Jeet is the place where war leaders are born. The second city was founded by Slathis Sunspear after the foundation (what little needed as much of the old Taltinian stonework was merely decorated with lizardfolk trappings.) Though Slathis was infirm and in want to join his ancestors by his final swim into the lake he did lay the groundwork of the village, converting the small bits of the Taltinian ruins (there were hints more ruins were sunk into the lake, but this is only confirmed by the few outsider adventurers who were willing to brave the swamps.) Before dying he left his youngest son, Garn Sunspear, in charge of Gar-Jeet.
The more present history of Gar-Jeet can be traced to the Sunspear crusade, Talbec Sunspear of Tal-Bar was King-Priest and Arvanix Mosshide of Gar-Jeet served as his warchief for the duration of the war with the warmblooded gnomes. After the grand battle on the dry plains ended with Talbec's death Arvanix broke decree by declaring himself not only warchief but king priest. Unable to confer this through the old rituals, having lost the original spear of Slathis, the lizardfolk used force to get his way. While he now maintains court in Tal-Bar Arvanix placed another of his brothers (in the sense they were spawned by the same mother.) War Priest Bastix Mosshide.

Notable NPC's

War Priest Bastix Mosshide: While his brother Arvanix adopted Sunspear to legitimize his claim to the throne (disinheriting true, but younger Sunspear by strength in arms.) Bastix is close in council with the new king priest. Trading the name Warchief for War Priest Bastix directs the rebuilding efforts of the lizardfolk armies and has made plans to capture all lizardfolk territory and consolidating Sunspear claims within the Great Green Swamp. Bastix is cold and methodical, inspiring fear and a hint of hatred from his fellow lizardfolk within the war priesthood. He is a Natali the sun couatl and displays open contempt for the moon serpent Te'naptrus.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Chimpman » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:27 pm

Boddynock wrote:(Hey guys, its been awhile hasn't it? I took sort of a break and have returned to keep on working. Sorry if this post is kind of rough, I wrote this at work without being able to look at my notes.)
Hey Boddynock, it's great to have you back again!

I really love the imagery you conjure with the city of Tal-Bar. We now have some more history for the lizardfolk in the area as well as quite a few adventure plots: possibly overthrowing the evil Arvanix and confronting whatever ancient evil lurks below the ancient city. Well done!
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:39 pm

(Thanks Chimpman, I also wanted to tie into the Taltinians to give them more connection. Being vague on exactly what was released, whether it is by the lizardfolk or the previous occupants that ended up sinking into the lake.)

3 - Lavagos
Population: 600
Government: Tribal under the command of a single, strong chief.
Exports: Odd jewels from the waters below, alligator parts
Imports: Stone and metal

Background:
The people of the crocodile
The kinder, gentler folk (of lizards anyway.)
The free loving lizardfolk.

Background:
Now let us focus away from the sinister Sunspear Empire that inhabits the bulk of the Great Green Swamp and instead focus on a more obscure group. It is said by few sages who care to study lizardfolk mythology that there was a group of lizardfolk who did not hear the call of twin serpents. The sun couatl known as Natali or the moon naga Te'naptrus, nor did they follow these two circling creatures into the great green swamp but instead choose their own path. Lead by Gossik Sobiki the tribe of the Grinning Crocodile having long since driven from any dry land colony by fire gnomes settled a small patch of swampland away from the black skin demons eyes. For when the invaders did come they found themselves confronted by titanic crocodiles, teeth red with gore and orange hair from the heads of these small fiends. Ingratitude Gossik knelt and paid homage and was shown a vision that he would be Chief of the Grinning Crocodile and their god Sobek, the colossus of all crocodiles. The village itself and the name Lavagos comes from the name of Sobek's pillar, a stone monument of a man shaped creature bearing the crocodile god's head. It is believed Lavagos is the name of his messenger and he who would come again to lead the Grinning Crocodile to victory.

In its current incarnation the Tribe of the Grinning Crocodile are a relatively peaceful, more neutral lizardfolk. They are not so concerned with war at this time, waiting for Lavagos to appear and lead them to their rightful destiny. To feed his people Gossik was given permission by vision to hunt the crocodile, as long as he people lived in balance and paid homage. No one, save the lizards, may hunt the crocodile in the waters of the tribe. Not even Banethorn's horde dare break this peace (the few orcs that have tried to start trouble had their heads shipped to the warlord.) The lizardfolk sell to any side who can trade steel or stone work (the item they desperately need as they have no access to mining and always want better weapons to defend and hunt.) Their exports tend to be jewels (of sapphire and emeralds found at the bottom of the lake) or just meat and bone from the crocodiles they hunt. Many a gnome trader has the Grinning Crocodile to thank when he is stranded and hungry.

Notable NPC's
Ilsic Crockiller - The young chief of the Grinning Crocodile, Ilsic earned his fame through deed as it was he who slew one of the great crocodiles, the beast long since having lost any good sense and had become slow in reaction. While tears were in the lizardfolk eyes he was forced to put the beast down as it had upset the balance by feasting too much. Ilsic understands the importance of trade but shows prejudice towards gnomes. He has received visitors from a colony of dwarves who call themselves Valkenburg who offer a good supply of steel and stone for meat.

Ludwig Valkenburg - Ludwig Valkenburg is one of the low dwarves from area 26. Unlike the high dwarves higher up the Ice Spire who would rather trade with the gnomes, the Valkenburg are a less discerning in merchants. He is an adventurer-fighter who currently works as a go-between the low dwarf merchants and the lizardfolk. Offering steel weapons and stone building material for foodstuffs to help low dwarven colonies. Gnomes themselves have a slight idea that the low dwarves might be seeking to expand their colonies and restart the war effort against the high dwarves, and are fearful they might see Valkenburg war banners. However as not to upset the balance with their dwarven partners this issue is at rest.

Mei Greenturtle: A gnome druid and member of a small grove that works in the area. The druids are a multi-race commune who have a number of lizardfolk in their flock. She is the speaker of the swamp and serves as an ambassador with Ilsic Crockiller.

Notable Buildings:
Lavagos - The Man Crocodile: Its a funny name to gnomes, sounding more of a terrible sight seeing attraction then a religious artifact but the great status of a man with a crocodile's head and the name Lavagos chiseled into it is a holy symbol. The few gnome scholars who have ended up in the company of the tribe personally feel it is of Taltinian design (and wonder why such an ancient empire would keep such an ugly monster of a totem in their city.) No studies have been taken as no gnome is fool enough to take a chunk out of ole Lavagos to find out.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:52 am

4 - Qar'Bakiri
Population: 1,000
Government: Theocracy of the Serpent
Exports: -
Imports: -

Background:

The third city that makes up the Sunspear Empire, Qar'Bakiri is wholly a lizardfolk center. Huts made of woods, vines, packed by specially treated mud that hardened into holding materials the lizardfolk are whipped into frenzy at the thought of dying for Natali the Sun Couatl. Founded by Mithis Dreadmire, warchief under Soliris Sunspear the city of Qar'Bakiri produced not really war leaders but mere warriors. Soldiers who could be whipped into frenzy, to fight and die as the King-Priest commands. Marriage in the monogamous sense is unheard of, females are given to the temple of Te'naptrus and are trained to mate and hatch more soldiers for the empire. In more recent time the city of Qar'Bakiri suffered the largest loss as many of the proud soldiers who died fighting the gnomes was from that village itself. Even the hardiest adventurers are warn, nothing in Qar'Bakiri is worth loosing ones life over.

Notables:
Bo'Yavin Dreadmire: Imperial Warlord who oversees the breeding program. Though not a cleric of either Te'naptrus or Natali he is put in high regard and has clerics of both deities to serve as his adjutants. He is large, boisterous, and has a taste for gnomish flesh.

Imalia Sorrowsun: High Priestess of Te'naptrus. Her body withered and unable to produce young she now oversees the women in the tribe produce more warriors for the King Priests will. She herself is bitter at the loss of her entire clutch to the last great war.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:39 am

5 - Hirdanix
Population: 600
Government: Oligarchy
Exports: Fish, swamp boar, rare gems
Imports: Iron, weapons, magical items

Background:
Rebels to damned Sunspear
Allies to gnolls
Outcasts by the Empire

Chief Delos Mankiller laughed in scorn at Sunspear, much to his peril. How could he not? This unproven Slathis sees one vision from deep within the swamp where the Will 'o' Wisps play with the minds of mortals and green mists fills the land. Even the people who hold the Sunspear banner never seem 'right' in the head, rather they are stirred into frenzy and war. Not Hirdanix or the Swamp Boar tribe. Founded on the shores of Lake Mankiller (the lizardfolk named it after many exploration of the bottom unearthed human remains, laden with gold.) The Swamp Boar tribe quickly fortified itself against the encroaching Sunspear. Arrow and javelin cut the ranks of the enemy lizardfolk to protect the hatching grounds. Delos, while scorning Slathis, perished himself in warfare (a year later Slathis himself was overcome by supposedly natural causes.) With the death of the Mankiller the tribe fell instead to a council of elders who run the operation of the tribe.
Recently the tribe has come to prominence as they have the most organized of military. Despite heavier populations of Lizardfolk within the so-called 'Sunspear Empire' most of its population are dependents. The young, the female, or the very old and cannot resist the slow encroachment of Swamp Boar. To pour intrigue the swamps not just teem with lizardfolk but now small enclaves of gnolls, allied to the lizardfolk these swamp fox gnolls have established small camps that stretch from the hills into the swamps. Making the major portion of the Great Green Swamp a more treacherous place indeed.

Notables:
Delos' Tomb: A burial chamber made of molded cypress reeds bears the body of Delos Mankiller. Buried with his short sword which he took of his first man kill, Boar Tusk, it is believed by the clerics of the tribe that it was his angry ghost with boar tusk that slew Slathis Sunspear.

Longhouse of the Elders: A large wood constructed building dominates the center where the council of elders meet and decide actions of the tribe. No non-lizardfolk is permitted to enter as its consecrated to Natali the Sun Couatl and warm bloods are viewed as unclean by the winged serpent.

Councilor Gro'Malog Proudspring: A cleric of Natali and member of the elder council. Proudspring has an intense hatred of Arvanix and his pack of rascals that make up the empire. He views that Hirdanix is the true beacon of Natali's light upon this realm. He dislikes the gnolls but see them as a necessity to boost numbers. He welcomes any scalykind who abandons the Empire and joins the tribe, though is wary of Sunspear spies.
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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by LoZompatore » Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:55 pm

Just a few lines to thank Boddynock about these new contributions! I still have to read them, but I'll post new comments about them as soon as possible. ;)

By the way, I have a lot of unfinished new material for the setting: other projects drove my attention away so I was forced to stop my contributions to The Edge. Maybe it's time to come back to work! ;)

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Re: The Fiori Hills

Post by Boddynock » Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:21 pm

6 - Fa'Slathis
Population: 400
Government: *See above for Tal-Bar
Imports: -
Exports: -

Background:
The Birthplace of King-Priest Slathis
The Grand Shrine to Natali
The Fringes of the Sunspear Empire

Originally named Thangorix the Vine Veil this is said to be the birthplace of Slathis, laid by a clutch of the high priestess' personal hatching grounds it is where he grew to be a man then set out for the dry plains of the sun (until he was driven back into the swamp by the tiny invaders.) The village is typical of lizardfolk design. Wooded huts meshing with the swamp. Much of the lifeblood for the lizards comes from Lake Thangarth (another lizardfolk hero.) The name change and upheaval is actually more recent, dating to the Sunspear crusade and the great march of lizardfolk to establish the King-Priests name amongst the independent minded lizards, though Thangorix was a Sunspear holding it was during the fanatical zeal of the crusade that the cities name was torn down, its elder males slain, and the name Fa'Slathis (or Father Slathis) was put in-conjunction. It currently serves as the border of the Sunspear Empire and as holy ground for the worship of Natali the Sun Couatl. The small population that is allowed to live there are completely devoted to the superior sun serpent.

Notables:
The Shrine of Natali: What appears as a wooden longhouse actually contains the skeletal remains of a Couatl (or some kind of winged serpent, long since dead.) The bones are believed to be a messenger of Natali on this plane of existence and that its whispers can advise any priest who is of holy faith. Members of the Fanged Circle, the most powerful of the village clerics, are allowed to be in the room and to speak to the bones. With the rise of Arvanix sacrifices are also performed here, the organs are supposedly (by word-of-mouth rumor) fed to the bones. It prefers the taste of gnome hearts, but even a lizardfolk has been known to vanish at times.

Viscot Sunspear: Cousin of Talbec's line who is bitter over being locked out of the throne by Arvanix's personal guard. Despite being usurped Arvanix has allowed Viscot to have nearly complete control of the village and has allowed the true Sunspear to indulge in terrible zeal, this has placated Viscot at this time, but the scheming Sunspear longs to take Arvanix's heart and feed it to the bones.

Lake Thangarth: The emerald shores of Lake Thangarth could be viewed as just a muck covered lake with large snakes. To the Sunspears this is holy water and none may sample on pain of death. The few woodsmen who dare the green swamp have said to beheld strange lights just beneath the surface of the murky waters, especially during full moons when the long houses of the lizardfolk give off a lot of smoke due to religious ceremony.
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