Geography and whatnot. This isnt meant to be awe-inspiring or anything, just some paint on an empty canvas. The idea being, to give you lots and lots of choices and options.
Part I (Part II will be a short lead-in paragraph, gluing you all together, and we're off!)
The Age of Heroes, Year of the Bloody Boil, Month of the Burning Sun.
The Western Reaches, hinterlands of a far-flung, dying Empire, the town of Ganse:
A mid-sized town of few prospects and even fewer hopes, once well known for the nearby Phosphorus Mines, Ganse is now in the midst of downward slide into obscurity. A population of laborers and craftsman, peppered with retired miners and occasional mercenaries, fewer than five thousand souls call Ganse home. The mines are no more, ever since the horrid “accident” a decade ago. A massive and catastrophic explosion and cave-in, one the townsfolk are loath to discuss to this very day, had claimed upwards of a thousand lives, and effectively ended Ganse reign as a place to get the mysterious multi-colored substance. The tunnels and equipment were destroyed, and no one has yet set foot inside the collapsed mountain.
There are two inns, two taverns, and one hostel in Ganse.
The Harpy’s Kettle is somewhat shanty but otherwise an inn, like any other.
The other inn has no name strangely, and not much business.
Koron’s is a popular tavern, featuring most of the retired miners, or what is left of them, and their kin.
Several standard shops litter the bleak streets, along with a few, now innocuous, mining supply stores. Horses are are few about town, and even fewer travelers find their way here. A border town if there ever was one.
Thirty miles west and south of Ganse is the sea. No towns or cities dot its desolate shores, as the cliff-coast there is treacherous for nearly two hundred miles. Between Ganse and the sea is a stretch of rather inhospitable, dry land. Crags and jutting stones dot the occasionally green, but mostly brown and gray landscape, travelers on horseback are few, and dangers are many, particularly of the bandit variety.
Though Ganse has a wall and a standing city-guard, they know long-distance assaults against countless brigands are futile. Ganse guards itself well, but cares naught what happens outside its walls.
To the north is more broken terrain, as if an army of giant children had torn up the landscape for many miles around. Eventually, the Great Escarpment can be reached, a thousand feet high and stretching a hundred and fifty miles across, separating the land like a scar. It is said the famed Waterfall of Madness can be found here, an ancient dwarven tomb, said to lie deep below. If the Great Escarpment is descended, the verdant rolling hills of Cazulun come into view, a land of wealthy city-states and civilized folk. But one must beware the dreaded creature known as the Nucklevee, if negotiating the Great Escarpment! It is said to dwell in some deep mountain lake, and claims all of the surrounding land as its territory. Travelers have heard countless tales of this daemon, but no true account exists as to what it may look like, or what in fact, its inherent nature is.
East of Ganse, are the Holubuska Hills and the flax and wheat fields of the Kinless, a far-flung, semi-nomadic, loosely related group of people, who pay homage to no liege, and long ignored by the distant Empire, thrive among the mists and laurel forests of the hills and prairies. They are known for their wine and song, and often traveling caravans, freak shows, and circuses can be found meandering among the hills like giant caterpillars. A land of folklore and legend, though lately bandits in disturbing numbers have been known to boldly rob and pillage, and worse...gnolls.
Past this land are the Roads to Eternity, a dramatically named border country, wherein can be found literal crossroads of ancient, paved roads and nearby towns and villages. For the first time, a hundred leagues east of Ganse, signs of the Empire’s taint abound here. Farther east can be found the Monoliths, a gray, impenetrable range of mountains, and on both sides of these formidable, giant, stone teeth, stretches out the lazy Empire proper, with its famous cities such as Andrakar and Oernis, and stranger ones, such as Nimz and Gaberlunz.
South of Ganse, the Empire holds even less sway than it does in and around Ganse. A land of rain and forest, fields of wildflowers and broken fog-enshrouded hills, it is said it rains here five out of every seven days. For several hundred miles this mystical land continues on until it too, comes upon the sea. Here sits Ssembra, an opulent, exotic city of alabaster onion domes, and porphyry minarets. This great city is still controlled by the Empire, though all the people revere the mysterious Larnassa, the Split-Lipped Queen, and the Empire’s local proxy ruler. In this port, ships from hundreds of different kingdoms and lands visit throughout the year, and the city is at once, both ancient and cosmopolitan.
If you havent guessed yet, the game begins in Ganse. Part II, and a few brief PMs, will explain how you got here, and where you came from (recently). And then its your turns!