The Lizard (tenor cornett) is a real world musical item, but they are so “out of most people’s experience” that nobody realizes it.
The unearthly sound echoed across the faire over the din of the crowd. An apprentice trying to make some extra coin had found a way to utilize his training tool. While this would scandalize his master and his peers, the common folk were mesmerized by the unique sound this instrument performed.
To give a world a feeling of otherworldliness, it is best to replace some standard, everyday objects by imaginitive replacements. I thought I’d turn to musical instruments as music often defines (or embodies) a culture.
This is just a first idea, feel free to post some more, because I will…
Settled two hundred years before, the people were fleeing war and tyranny. Establishing a comfortable existence in the fertile, but empty valleys, they soon learned who the lands belong to. A mighty dragon called only Death, came and burned the city to the ground, and later again, and again, sending with fire also his (hers?) evil laughter and shouts of pleasure at the destruction. The survivors did not wish to leave, and decided for a new strategy.
The entire city has a soft glow: the reflected back light from the massive light egg stone up the estuary.
The city of Chedru is one of the strangest Elventi cities in existence. It echos the traditional giant HomeTrees and catwalks between them of "normal" Elventi city. Yet there is no forest here. The Elventi were deposited here, far from the green trees and mountains of their traditional homelands. They have made their Way here.
Nestled between a plateu and a river that soon leads to the sea, is the Elventi city of Anshenestardaywadaden or more literally Place Between Sunset and Falls. This city has no purpose other than being beautiful. Anshenestardaywadaden is a riot of color, between Elventi magics and the near tropical climate, there are hundreds of beautiful flowers here. It is best known as a place of waiting for another perfect sunset.
The City of Thierry is colored by two key beliefs of the city people. The first belief is that the color red is the color of strength, prowess, and courage. The second belief is that the Darbeast is a creature of great spiritual power.
Keepr is a unique city, built upon a tall standing rock spire. This keeps it up above the floods, the worms, and the other “issues” that occur at ground level.
The city of Assalus is surrounded by a sea of deep green life. It surrounded by jungle. It requires magic and/ or constant attention to keep the roads clear to and from the city.
This Kerrenese town is of classic design. It’s strong walls surrond the Cluster on three side, a large rocky cliff side closes the square. The Warren is above the city, with a tourney ground on the plateu above it.
The city of pipes and light is in the Byzant Empire
Anorrus, capitol of Marcosia, lies along both sides of the mighty and wide Rhenus River.
A Dwarven Holding contains a single clan lodge, holding 50 to 300 people of the same clan. Norhold qualifies as a Dwarven city, as it contains five clan lodges, and clan holdings (smaller places to stay) for the the nine other clans in the region.
Avon is the southmost city state in Thirdland, built in a natural protected harbor. The climate there is colder and wetter than most parts of Thirdland, so the buildings are sturdier and more utilitarian than in Amar or Antioch even.
Often called a jewel in the Imperial crown, Amar is one of the most beautiful cities in the Imperium.
Antioch is the most important city on ThirdLand. It is not the “capital”, that is Amar. It is not the “heart”, that is Avon. Antioch is it’s “Center”. It is where things “happen”. Antioch and its’ City State seems to be the “center of the modern universe”.
Every city (or town or village) expresses its personality (or the cultural personality of its people) and its identity through its buildings, roads, and other pieces of engineering. They are permanent expressions of the local culture.
“Where do they get those marvelous toys” you ask. The other hero smiles, “I guess you have not been hooked up.” He hands you a card.
Maker of Devices for the Discriminating Operative
Hanging on the arm of a wealthy upper crust man, she was the perfect arm charm. But you swear, you have seen her before.
As the PCs cross a brigde/tree over a deep river they see the glimmer of gold and jewels lying at the bottom. At further inspection they notice that it is the skeleton of a man still holding on to a sack of treasure. Will the PCs try to dive to get it? What killed the man? Did he simly not let go of the bag he could not swim to the surface with? What cleansed his bones so? Are there flesh-eating beings that dwell in the deep? Can the players resist the chanse of being wealthy for once?