De Maddenville sprawls across a sixth of the island of Banhoesea, and was built when the De Madden Company was young, around a bay that provided a handy deepwater port for traders.
Barrowtown grew up in the area that was a Royal Necropolis.It was noticed that the wights would slay any criminals in their area, not just those that disturbed their barrows, and so traders and merchants came there and slowly the city improved.
During most of the year the nomads of the Bushlands wander in small groups, seeking pasture for their animals and food for themselves, over a vast area. But during the coldest three months of the year they come together for warmth and to trade with each other and pool supplies if things get really cold.
The City of Walkabout Creek is based within the only pass in the Mountians of Quartz. All around it is a sixty foot wall of solid but perfectly clear quartz.
Whilst it is part of Vandersil, because it brings in a lot of money in trade, Queen Yocasta is kind to her subjects and people can normally grumble without being executed for it.
It is massive and grey. It nearly blots out the sun as you approach. Soon it will be the last time you will see the horizon.
Mr Krasnov long ago saw a gap in the market that his bar could fill.It caters for Orcs, Goblins, Lizard People and other races that are seen, not as evil, but as inferior by many people, and has a strict *no humans allowed policy (except for Mr Krasnov himself of course.)
It is a place that glitters and glows, as the harsh sunlight reflects from the quartzes, amythests,jadite and hundreds of rocks and crystals, including the very rare diamonds that give it it’s name. Some who have entered it’s trackless wastes have become rich beyond their wildest dreams, but many have become food for the vultures and Sand Wyrms.Despite it’s vast wealth, it is not a place to linger in…
Once the shining hope of the region, the grand city is now, on the surface, rotting away in the floodwaters. But beneath the surface, not all is what it seems.
Ever since the two major religions of Acqua, that of Jove and Ulmania, were created, their clergy have hated each other with a passion that at times has led to violence. Mostly it just means that they do everyrhing differently out of spite.They have different liturgical uses, different hymms and prayers, different baptism,wedding and funeral services. The priests of Jove favour cremation for the dead in nearly all cases, so the priests and priestesses of Ulmania favour burial.
Where there is enough space this is not a problem, but in crowded Banhoesea it became a major issue.The bodies of Ulamanian worshippers were being buried secretly in the floors and foundations of houses or in soon to be dug up land or in crop fields.After a major outbreak of disease the De Madden Company Central Council, of which all but one worshipped Jove, threatened to outlaw the Ulmanian religion, persecute it’s beleavers and confiscate it’s assets.
The great majority of Sea Witches and a few Sea Wizards were Ulmanian beleavers and called a nationwide strike, trapping half the De Madden Company fleet in harbour.Without magic most could not leave harbour safely and even the ten masters would take a long time to get anywhere.
The Central Council got really angry and arrested the strike leaders, threatening to hang them. The strikers threatened to use their magic to cause huge waves within the harbours and wreck the ships within.A compromise was reached.The strike leaders were set free and Ulmania’s Church purchased a large,partly rocky, mile-long island, with a quarter of the Church’s wealth. This was to be their Isle of the Dead.
All burials outside it were banned with the threat of very severe punishment for those who disobeyed.
That was over seven hundered years ago…
A thousand years ago,the Red and the White mages almost exterminated each other in a magical war so great, that the very mountians were turned into quartz.Centuries passed and the magic died away enougth for humans to visit the area and remain in human form. And a city of quartz was built upon the site, which is the most magical city in the whole world…
Far to the west of the mountian town of Walkabout Creek lies the Bushlands, a place of rich game, and beyond, the Dragon’s Hills where all manner of rich treasures are said to lie unlooted…
After the death of Princess Dora Rurik of the powerful city-state of Pier Point, rumors began to leak out about the wonderful treasures buried with her body…
Once Vandersil was a rich city. Too rich for it’s own good. It was born when gold was struck in the Northern Polar Mountians. The gold ran out within a few years but veins of other minerals both common and rare were discovered. Coal, silver, star stones. The city grew rich through trade and the streets were paved with bronze, at least, in the richer areas of the city. And then it fell into captivity because it neglected it’s defences…
When running a new party, get around the question of plot density by having the first discovery to be a deck of fate, or whatever you call it. If you use a real deck, you should definitely stack it to have the desired outcome, which is to curse the party to attract weird things to happen and involve them. This should not be told to the players at the time, so that they won't just up and try to get themselves 'decursed'. Though quite why they would want to is beyond me.