The Sph'ph World of Individuality, lying in the Nandra Kobesh region beyond the Diamond Swarm Nebula, was once the human colony of Shigra, an ancient society of Old Terrans who had gradually lost interest in space travel and turned inward, becoming (as many colonies) isolated out in the sea of stars.
After centuries of stagnation, the Shigra were suddenly attacked by the feared warrior fungus, the P'gosh, during the First P'gosh Migration. The Shigra, now dwelling in feudalistic religious chiefdoms, had forgotten the Old Terran technologies and could not fight back against the People Of The Gasping Tongue. They were decimated, and those that survived fled to the mountain peaks to dwell in small bands away from the broad, flat, lake-dotted plains which cover much of the planet's surface.
Having secured the planet, the P'gosh held a great ceremony declaring that the planet would, from now on, be a monument to the individuality of those who refused to follow the ritual laws of the society of the Black Fungus, a pedestal on which to exhibit those who sought to look the horror of a meaningless universe in the face without the aid of any other. In other words, the planet was to be a prison.
Sph'ph ("one who stands alone" in the Gasping Tongue), known as the World of Individuality, remains very much a natural planet, dotted here and there with the ruins of the ancient Shigra civilization, which are declining into the landscape with each passing day. The P'gosh criminals who wander its surface, cut off from the Black Fungus polity, are typically pathologically individualistic and are mentally incapable of forming any kind of meaningful society. The ebony creatures wander the landscape in pairs or bands of three (the natural orientation of a P'gosh hunting group), typically killing other P'gosh for food or attempting to subdue the local fauna (though their biology makes these creatures rather un-nutritious for them). The P'gosh drop prisoners off in the ruins of the former Shigra capitol.
Meanwhile, the Shigra have reverted to a primitive existence in the mountains. These tribes are paralyzed by fear of the P'gosh, some of whom they revere as gods.
Treasures of discarded Old Terran technology and derelict P'gosh mechanisms are to be found for the careful space traveler, though the dangers are many- hot climate, semiferal P'gosh, the poisonous fauna. Go to Comment
Kind of interesting... The items are well-characterized, and I like that there is a specific story behind every item, they aren't just anonymous "equipment" picked up in some random mart in such-and-such kingdom. Go to Comment
The finest wine sold by the famous vinyards of the Arcturan house of Provino. It is made from only the finest, sweetest black grapes, harvested just after sunrise on the traditional first day of winter, the 16th Day of the Month of Renediae (Redfall/Fallmonth). These grapes are then aged in cases of oak, then cyprus, then olive, then several citrus woods, each case for up to four years. Afterward, the wine is removed and a secret blend of spices is added. The Reserve is then allowed to age for three years in a barrel made from the Holy Wood of the Silvertrees of Lunala. There is only one Silverwood barrel, and it is over six-hundred years old. It is irreplaceable. Provino Old Reserve is sold only in secret back-room deals with the highest men of House Provino, and only at prices so horrendous, so staggering, that it is said that the deep pockets of Aelorio the Imperial Sorceror himself couldn't purchase but a small barrel. Go to Comment
Mrashpak tea - Mrashpak Tea is a strong, bittersweet, tea-like beverage brewed with the leaves of the mrashpak plant (which, on their own, are mildly poisonous and unpleasant to taste). The tea is renowned throughout the land as the "Heavenly Beverage of Wakefulness" (it has about 1.5 times the caffeine in coffee), and many city watch stations brew mrashpak tea and distribute it to sentries through runner services. (Some city watches also gain extra capital through selling bowls of tea to tired civilians.) Go to Comment
Maybe they used to be elsewhere, and this is the only place that they remain, fitting in with the whole "Lost World" feel of it... A place where the lost races of the Old World live on in secrecy Go to Comment
The Inner-Range Bear
Bears were common in the forests and hills of Bukdek in the time before the ancient Yorae Dynasty. But during that ancient empire, many of the large predators of the Bukdek region were hunted nearly to extinction, including bears, who have become almost totally unknown to the majority of Bukdeks. This has remained largely true through the time of the Commanderies and the Bukdek conquest(though between the Dynasty and the Bukdek Empire some sections of the land have become depopulated and filled again with wilderness).
A large exception to this is the wild and still-untamed region of the Inner Range, stretching from Peninsular Bukdek in the south (on the edge of the Southern Republics) into the midst of the continent. In this lawless wilderness can be found the great animal known as the Inner-Range Bear, or chakwurng dul-barg as it is called in Temak.
Inner-Range Bears are enormous, generally standing about 6 feet at the shoulder. It is rare for them to stand on their hind legs (it is theorized that their immense weight would make this painful) but they are known to rear into a slouching pose when threatened. They are covered in very shaggy brown-black hair, with a very stiff horripilation on the spinal-shoulder region.
The male Inner-Range Bear has a pair of very large sabre-tusks which jut from its lower jaw. The larger these tusks, the older the bear.
Sort of a mix of dire bear and sabretooth; I like to put an interesting spin on terrestrial animals for my settingsGo to Comment
Throck forest is divided into three parts: a region of twisted black magic, which is dark and hemmed in with the legions of sable pine. This is Spindel, and is occupied by the hideous Ettercaps and their spider-pets. The second area is the chaotic elfin-wood, where the druids work their wyrd magic amongst the oaks. The last part is Udnalor, the home of the gnomes. Finding themselves surrounded by these chaotic forces they dwell as quietly as possible beneath the surface. Their culture is a fascinating one to visit, and in the next few miscellaneous ideas, I shall examine the ways and customs of THE GNOMES OF UDNALOR, with a view to role-playing them.