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Author Topic: Map Challenge #1: Decathros  (Read 14675 times)

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Offline Shadoweagle

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Map Challenge #1: Decathros
« on: January 05, 2013, 02:02:04 AM »
Quote
There is a legend which runs rampant through all the lands. This fable tells of ten great beings - some say they are gods; others that they are something greater and created even the gods themselves. Regardless, the tale states that these eldrich creatures wrote into existence the world itself! Omnipotent and omniscient, the great scribes etched out the fate of man and god alike. this is just a fairy tale of course, and nobody truly believes this. Nonetheless, the lands are named after these creatures:
Decathros; Land of the Ten Authors


Greetings, fellow Strolenites! I would like to post a challenge/exercise which any and everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate in. Using my... InCREDible artistic talent with mediums such as cheap blue pens and MSPaint, I have created a fairly vague fantasy-style map. Unfortunately, there is no fantasy world in which to give this map soul.

As such, it falls on you all to create the world. You may choose one area on the map to claim as your own, and fill in as much information about the area as you desire. Preferrably, you would fill in the information in sections defined by the areas of the main citadel.

Click the picture to enlarge it!

Small graphic upgrade courtesy of Strolen.




Larger Resolutions
Large Map with Borders and Labels
Large Map with only Borders
Large Map with no Borders or Labels

Quote
1 - Low elevation Coastal area.. Cold, especially far north and on the northern island. Has some woodland to the west. Some snow. neighbours area 2 to the east (by sea), area 6 to the southeast, area 5 to the south and area 3 to the southwest (by sea).

2 - Island area inside a large bay. Two large islands and four smaller. Cold climate; at the mercy of the sea. Neighbours area 1 to the west, and area 6 to the south.

3 - Low elevation coastal area, with mountainous terrain to the three northern stretches of land. some woodland to the south and two islands in its territory to the southwest. Cool to moderate climate. Neighbours area 4 to the south (by sea), area 1 to the northeast (by sea) and area 5 to the east.

4 - Low to mid elevation, warm coastal area. Some hilly areas especially towards the eastern mountain range. Two woodland/forested areas, one by the coast to the southwest and one to the northeast, merging with the forested part of area 5. Neighbours are area 3 to the north(by sea), area 5 to the northeast and possibly area 8 to the east via treacherous mountains.

5 - Mid-elevation temperate area, heavily forested through much of the region. Two mountain ranges meet with a small break in the south-eastern area, creating a passage inland. Neighbours area 1 to the north, area 3 to the west, area 4 to the southwest, area 6 to the northeast, area 10 to the east and area 8 to the southeast.

6 - Low elevation, temperate coastal area. A long, coastal stretch inside a bay. On a clear day, the islands of area 2 are visible off the shore. To the south run the edge of a mountain range. Some woodland to the east. Neighbours Area 7 to the east, area 10 to the south, area 5 to the west, area 1 to the northwest and area 2 to the north (by sea).

7 - A high elevation, swampy area. Some streams are fed to neighbouring areas by this swampland. Access to area 7 is largely restricted to winding paths meandering between areas 6 and 9. Neighbours area 6 to the west, area 10 to the south-west and area 9 to the south.

8 - A mid-elevation, hot and fairly humid area thanks to several rivers which flow from the mountains within area 4. Contains scattered farmland, some foresting to the northwest and bordering a desert to the north. Neighbours area 4 to the west via mountains, area 5 to the northwest and area 9 to the north.

9 - mid-elevation. Hot, Dry. A large desert caused by rain-shadow; much of the rain from the seas is released in area 10, leaving very little moisture to get through. Neighbours with area 8 to the south, area 10 to the northwest and area 7 to the northeast.

10 - Wild, rocky and mountainous area. The snow-capped Area 10 is the origination of several rivers which feed the lands below. Neighbours area 6 to the north, area 7 to the northeast, area 9 to the south and area 5 to the west.

11 - Frozen, northern wasteland, Low elevation. Several, small mountains lie in the midst of the icy land. Neighbours areas 7 and 6 to the south, and area 2 by sea to the west.

12 - High elevation area sloping down to low to the south. Hot, semi-arid climate dispite it's high elevation. A jutting mountain spikes up to the skies in the midst of area 12. Volcanic activity. Neighbours area 7 to the northwest, area 9 down mountains to the west, and area 13 to the southwest.

13 - Low to mid elevation area, warm, humid climate. Two large lakes lie within this area. A rainforest lies to the west. Neighbours area 12 to the northeast, area 9 and 8 to the north, and area 14 to the west.

14 - High elevation area. A large plateau atop the mountain range lies here; not quite high enough to cause much snow, nevertheless it has a cool climate with heavy rain. Overlooks area 13 to the east, and area 4 to the northwest.

New areas available on new map.  Start in top right with the purple borders in the cold northern wastes and move clockwise through those without names.

15 - Purple - Frozen, norther wasteland at low elevation continued. The mountains start as more as you move east and to the south the area quickly turns into hilly forests and low level mountains. Neighbors area 11 (red) and 7 (green) to the west and area 12 (yellow) to the south.

16 - Blue (bottom right with lake) - Low to mid elevations with mountains in the south, this area has a large sea and summer temperatures that rise with the humidity. Neighbors are area 12 in the north and 13 and 17 to the west.

17 - Green - Severe climate shifts between the summer and winter. The land has much rock and desert type area while interspersed with a lot of resilient green vegetation. Neighbors are 16 to the east, 13 to the north and 18 to the west.

18 - Pink - North is a lowly hilled plains area while the south starts to feel like desert similar to 17. Neighbors are 17 to the east, 13 to the north and has 19 across the small seas.

19 - Light Blue - Many craggy mountains are the prominent feature as you move SW out of the heavy rain area of the north. Neighbors are 18 to the east, 14 to the north and 20 to the west.

20 - Orangeish on bottom left- A long peninsula, it is heavy with mountains and crags. The islands have low to mid elevation and get plenty of rain. Neighbors are 14 to the north and 19 to the east.


To reserve an area on the map simply post a reply saying which numbered area you would like to work on and then post it. once you have done this, you can edit that post at your leisure and add information to it. This is so we don't have multiple people writing up the same area.
Edit your post as you see fit, and do it at your own pace; it's not a race! if you haven't finished putting down information in an area, just slap an (in work) thingy on the end of it.


You may only pick one area, and when writing about areas that aren't yours, try to keep it general and vague, so that the people who have reserved that other area aren't really restricted with what you have written.

When filling in your area, try to keep the information fairly summarised and within the space of a few paragraphs. If you have a great idea that needs to be expanded, make a submission on the main page and link to it!

Now, if you're having trouble understanding what i'm trying to ask of you here, give me a day or two and I will start it off by choosing my own section to fill in.

This can be as long or short a term exercise as you like; fill it in as time allows or as you get some thoughts. The purpose of this exercise is to get creative juices flowing, and to help everyone come up with some interesting tidbits of information. Ideally, it would be a catalyst for a few new submissions.

Quote
PROGRESS
Area 1 Claimed! Name: Kelevest Author:Valadaar
Area 2 Claimed! Name: The Spiked Sea Author: Axlerowes
Area 3 Claimed! Name: Vartanadel Author:Strolen
Area 4 Claimed! Name: Hypoten Author: caesar193
Area 5 Claimed! Name: Zhelezo Author: Dossta
Area 6 Claimed! Name: Voskinsar Author:Murometz
Area 7 Claimed! Name: Swynmoor Author:Dozus
Area 8 Claimed! Name: Skaldevale Author:Shadoweagle
Area 9 Claimed! Name: Domain of Thres'ka Author:MysticMoon
Area 10 Claimed! Name: Kazan Mountains Author: Scrasamax
Area 11 Claimed! Name: Twyrlandir Author: Echomirage
Area 12 Claimed!! Name: Zuch Thechi'ua Author: Wulfhere
Area 13 Claimed!! Name: Idaina-hugrland Author: young0ne2
Area 14 Claimed!! Name: Hesurach, the Longest Land Author: Forganthus
Area 15 Purple Claimed!! Name: Unnamed Author: Michael Jotne Slayer
Area 16 Blue Claimed!! Name: Unnamed Author: Mourngrymn
Area 16 Green Claimed!! Name: Unnamed Author: Mythirion
Area 18 Pink Claimed!  Name: something that hasn't been done a million times already. Author: Gossamer
Area 19 Pink Claimed!  Name: Azillera Author: Cheka Man, Modred11
Area 20 Orange Claimed!  Name: Unnamed Author: Maggot


EDIT[/u]
I hereby add a clause to Decathros!

The following clause deals with inactivity and lack of expansion on land.

Should a claim be made upon a zone, that zone is the exclusive right of he or she who initiated the claim.
The claim remains the exclusive right of the claimer for:
 (1) A period of ONE month from claim date for unexpanded land (Hereby defined as any zone which has no or very minor/summarized updates made upon it) OR
 (2) A period of THREE months from the last update of expanded land (Hereby defined as any zone with which has significant improvements made upon it).

To extend the ownership of land by One month (in the case of unexpanded land) or THREE months (In the case of expanded land), a claimer must simply make a post in this thread stating their intention.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 07:42:59 AM by Shadoweagle »
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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Creative Exercise: Fill in the map!
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2013, 02:23:19 AM »
To begin with, I choose...
AREA 8!

I hereby name Area 8: Skaldevale
Area Overview
Skaldevale is largely a farming community. However, there are many ruins within it that suggest that it once was not the case. Uninhabited ancient, gothic castles scatter around the countryside, many of them unexplored, and farmers often uncover rusted breastplates and broad-swords. There are rumours that the small forest to the west is haunted, and people often embellish tales of folk gone missing and beauteous banshees calling young men into the woods, never to be seen. the Skaldevanians (Or Skaldevs) have a tenuous trade agreement with the desert folk in area 9, although most Skaldevs tell derogatory tales of the desert dwellers - about them being savages and living in meager huts made of clay; all rumour and heresay. A much better relationship is forged between that of the Skaldevs and the people of area 5, as between those two mountain ranges is the safest trade route to all the coastal communities.
The capital of Skaldevale is known as Ulkenskarr. It is a town built in a hollow, and the river 'Nuit' which runs from the western mountains converges into a lake here, providing much sustenance for farming, and also plentiful fish.

The Skaldevs are a large, powerful breed of human. Black hair and lightly tanned skin is prominent in their genes, as are brown eyes, a muscular frame and more than their fair share of hair. Both males and females are generally quite tall.

On the surface, most of Skaldevale seems a pretty normal, even bland place and if you were only staying a few days that is what you would think as well. Indeed, the Skaldevs truly wish this were so. However, all is not what it seems in Skaldevale. A rare, natural phenomenon plagues Skaldevale, though the Skaldevs believe it to be an ancient curse of unknown origin. It seems a massive font of magical influence known as "Maddux" (A term coined by the Skaldevs which basically means 'bloody nuisance!') runs rampant beneath the soil of the land. The Maddux is a massive thing, covering most of Skaldevale. Most days of the year it does nothing. From time to time, however, the font of power from Maddux will swell, and things in Skaldevale become rather... interesting. (See Systems)

Skaldevs are known to be extremely stubborn. This is a trait bred in them throughout the years of defending their land from Maddux rather than giving up and moving out of the land. They are a race of 'doer's, and even when things get tough they just shrug it off and get things done.
Due to their stressful environment, they have developed an extremely cynical sense of humor. It's said that only a Skaldev can appreciate the humour in a worst-case scenario. In a touch of formality bred from their ancestors, if a Skaldev approves of, is friends with or respects a person, they will address him or her with the prefix Ser. If a Skaldev disapproves of a person, they will address him or her with the prefix Por. These aren't formal titles, merely an indication of one's standing with the Skaldev.

History
Although most Skaldevs know only fragments of their past, Skaldevale is a land rich with history. In excess of six hundred years ago, the Skaldevs as they are now known did not exist. In their place stood two great rival nations: The human Yulskav which took up the central to the far eastern reaches of Skaldevale's border and the outlandish Arvori, to the western reaches up to the mountains - a race of vicious, carnivorous creatures which though humanoid, carried more traits of tree than human; skin of rough bark, thorns for teeth and nails, and sap for blood. Their relationship started in a truce, but it did not last long, as the Arvori's ravenous, bestial nature caused them to betray the Yulskav over and over; the taste of man-flesh being too sweet to resist. Before long it came to all-out war between the two. Though smaller in number, the Arvori were relentless, and their hardened skin and flesh proved difficult to penetrate. The Yulskav adapted, however, and a new caste of soldier was borne. One which favoured the shield over the sword and bludgeoning metal balls which could crush through the bark-skin. They were called Ska-Valen; the Steel Guard; As such, the war became a stalemate, and senseless killing continued through many decades. Both races wanted the Maddux-infested land for its rich soil and space; and the Arvori had the added motivation of tasting the flesh of human.

Four hundred years ago, the Altercations reached a peak; It is unknown which side first decided to do it, but the powerful Yulskav and Arvori Spellcasters both began to play at the very weakened fabric of reality which caused Maddux. They were trying to weaken it further to gain themselves greater access to the sweet pool of magic beneath.
It was at this point that something intervened. Ophrus the Watcher - The Silent God - felt the tiny pinpricks of magical energy play with the fabric of reality itself, and he became enraged. The god decided it was time to intervene with this century-long skirmish. Ophrus The Watcher Manifested into a physical form, massive and rising from beneath the crumbling earth itself as an eldrich vision of infathomable horror; he rose only halfway from the ground in the centre of Skaldevale, his waist merging with the earth itself. Ophrus the Watcher turned east and gestured with a single wave of his sinuous hand, and all the Yulskav people dropped where they stood, skin and bone melting away into nothingness, leaving only their armoured plates and weapons behind. Nearly the entire population was destroyed in that single wave. The immense form of Ophrus was not finished, however, and the ancient God slowly turned, twisting his torso towards the west. The Arvori population felt a rare sense of terror at the sight of Ophrus and they began to flee. They ran hard and fast until they reached the mountain range. Some tried to climb up the mountains razor edges, but they were too late. Ophrus once more waved his hand and the Arvori population froze into place, their bodies hardening. Limbs and Branches sprouted forth from them, and with a universal wail of agony, all the Arvori were transformed into trees; the main body of them creating the haunted forest of Arvokk.
Ophrus the Watcher retreated back 'neath the ground, once more taking up a watch on the land. An eerie silence remained. Nothing but memories were left on the fields of Skaldevale; a stern warning not to treat the fabric of reality as your plaything.

Over the next century, the Skaldevs arrived. A mixture of blood from the few surviving Yulskav people and of folk from many other lands. The fragmented story of what happened in Skaldevale filtered away largely into legend, and the Skaldev population became a relatively peaceful community, focussing largely on farming the fertile land. The teachings of Ska-Valen had already breached the borders of Skaldevale, however, and the Skaldevs easily re-learned their practices. Most of the guards and soldiers in Skaldevale favour the shield and the hefty metal balls as weapon - and yes, many-a-quip is made over the guards having 'balls of steel'.

Dungeons
Cave System
(IN WORK!)

Items
TBA (IN WORK)

Lifeforms
Spikter Cactus
Far to the northern reaches of Skaldevale, where the land threatens to turn arid due to proximity of the desert, a specific type of cactus grows. Called the Spikter Cactus, the Skaldev's have taken to farming it for it's hide and liquids inside. Each of these Cacti take about six years to grow to maturity, and stand nearly two meters tall with wide, thorny trunks and dozens of thin, spindly branches. There are two benefits of the Spikter. The first being that the hide of the cactus - nearly two inches thick - is easily as tough as leather, and can be sewn into protective garments. These garments offer a lighter, cheaper version of leather armour. Some people opt to have the spines kept in their garments as well - an added spiked defense! People have also been known to sew hide of the Spikter onto the base of their boots; the sturdy spines giving an improved foothold in mountainous or icy areas.
The other benefit of the spikter cactus derives from the way it replenishes its hide. New layers of the Spikter cactus are formed on the exterior of the plant, while the interior hide rots away into all the water inside the plant. In this manner it fertilizes itself, however the rotting matter and the liquid inside ferments, creating an alcohol. The Skaldev's drain these cacti, squeezing the pulp and filtering the liquid inside to use as a base for many alcoholic drinks. The older the Spikter Cactus is, the stronger the alcoholic content in it, so some plants may be aged for years to create a more 'matured' drink - sold at a higher price, obviously.
If you are dying of thirst in a desert, just don't make the mistake of breaking open a Spikter Cactus to drink your survival. Not only will the liquid inside dehydrate you further, but you will become so intoxicated as to not care when the vultures start pecking at you!

The Ghost Goblins
Making their home in the cursed forest of Arvokk, the Ghost Goblins or Gulras, as they are more correctly called, are not actually goblins at all; although they hold many of the characteristics of the standard Goblin. They are short, usually only reaching up to four feet in height. They are often thin and spindly, and have elongated snouts with jagged, uneven teeth. They also have tiny, beady black eyes and long, pointed ears, usually adorned with piercings of all sorts. The most striking unique characteristic of the Ghost Goblin is of course, it's pure white skin, as though the gods forgot to color them in!
Unlike Goblins, the Gulras are a peaceful lot; largely solitary and nomadic in nature, only a small family of them live in each 'territory' in the forest. They consider themselves one with the cursed trees of Arvokk, and say that they often are told tales of years gone by from the trees. Tales of a great civilisation long dead.
If the curse of the Arvori were ever broken, the Ghost Goblins would instantly fall into servitude to them. But for now, the Gulras will merely serve as a guide for the forest, and they will offer any travellers peaceful lodgings in their huts, well protected from the evil things that stalk the night.
The Gulras actually originated from a large cave system which lies between Hypoten and Skaldevale's Cursed forest, and only in the last hundred years have some of them emerged to live in Arvokk. They are pure white much the way as many cave creatures are.

Locations
Ulkenskarr
A central hub of the farming community of Skaldevale, Ulkenskarr is a reasonable sized city built along the edge of the river Nuit. The leading body of four, known as The Ysarik, take care of the day-to-day business of the place. Ulkenskarr is not a diminuitive place; there are no towering walls and diminuitive towers lining the town. In fact, it simply feels as though it were a rural town which accidentally was blown out to massive proportions. Children run and play in the streets, stray dogs yip and bark and the folk are friendly and even though the population reaches to some thousands, everyone appears to know each other.(IN WORK!)

The Haunted Forest
(IN WORK!)

Abandoned Castle??? (IN WORK!)

NPC's
Ophrus The Watcher.
An Eldrich god of terrible power but little action. Ophrus the Watcher - known as the Silent God - is a being which is content to sit silently beneath the world for all eternity, watching over the lands. Ophrus the Watcher is charged with ensuring the stability of the world itself and will only act directly in Decathros if something threatens the existence of the world itself. Until such a thing occurs he will lay beneath the world. Not sleeping, but watching.

Plots
Undead Risen [Non-Maddux event] (IN WORK)

Society/Organizations
Arvori (Historical)

Ska-Valen; The Steel Guard.

Ysarik (sah-rick)
If there were a leading body in all of Skaldevale, the Ysarik would be it. Consisting of four people; two male and two female, the Ysarik are the ones who organise the running of Skaldevale as a whole. Rather than leaders, 'organisers' would be a more fitting term for them. It is they who run and oversee the trading of the place, and they make sure that all Skaldev farmers get a fair deal for their wares.
The original Ysarik, formed about two centuries ago by four wealthy Skaldevs, devised a trading plan which brought the nation together; they set up their base in Ulkenskarr, near the centre of Skaldevale, and made an offer to all farmers in Skaldevale that the Ysarik will purchase all of their goods at one, set price - the same fair price for all farmers, so long as the produce was of good quality. Once the goods were brought to Ulkenskarr, the Ysarik had people who inspected and cleaned it all. They then place a modest mark-up on the goods and sell them to towns all across Skaldevale.

This way, all the goods in Skaldevale are of the same quality, and have the same price. The mark-up for the produce is revealed to the population, and is designed only to cover travel and employment expenses - the Ysarik gain no profit from their Skaldevanian fellows and this is why they are so popular. The only way they do gain profit is by trading across borders. Skaldevale produce is known to be of high quality and it is highly desired. The mark-up for other nations is designed to make a healthy profit for the Ysarik, who put most of it into maintaining the city of Ulkenskarr. The benefit of this trade-scheme is that outer nations cannot barter with individual farmers, ripping people off and playing one person against another. They must instead deal with the Ysarik and their one, set price which is not negotiable.

The Ysarik was originally a family of four friendly nobles who designed this trade scheme, but due to the fact that their ideas were healthy for Skaldevale and aided the entire nations' prosperity, they soon were designated by the people as the honorary leaders of the nation. This formal title is now one given to the descendants of the original four. Koltav, an elderly gent with deep wrinkles around his eyes from his friendly smile. Illista, a woman of thirty two who some deem strict and angry, but very efficient. Olluster, a portly man with a too-red face and moustaches reaching down to his chest, and Palsi, Koltav's sister, who is a quiet lass and seems happy to do most of the book-work.

Systems

Maddux
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 09:08:09 PM by Shadoweagle »
Lazarus Lightward, Elite Diabolist of the Brotherhood - Level 3 Occultist
Deathpriest Noxx, Herald of Eternal Silence – Level 2 Necromancer
STR: 2 | END: 2 | CON: 4 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 12 | INT: 13


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Offline axlerowes

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Re: Creative Exercise: Fill in the map!
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2013, 07:06:48 AM »
May I have area 2?

Area 2: The Spiked Sea

Area Overview

The Spiked Sea received its name from southern merchants who first observed sea ice upon sailing into its waters.  To northerns it was known as the Warkra sea. Prior to 500 years ago there were 6 volcanic islands in of roughly the same size in the sea.  They were inhabited by stone age tribal people known as the Warkra that successfully exploited the resources of the sea and engaged in basic agriculture upon their islands.  Roughly 500 years ago the God Saulke was stricken by grief and hurled himself into the Spiked sea destroying two of the Warkra islands in the process and creating a legendary tidal wave upon all the shores of the Spiked Sea.  His body formed two large islands, that were perpetually covered in snow and ice.  Eighty three years ago a group of refugees from Vartandel struck a bargain with Saulke.  They would provide Saulke with a human bride who would live as his chaste wife in a cloister on the island and he would ensure that the two islands made from his body would be in a constant state of spring.  After a brief and one sided conflict with natives of Warkra islands, the Vartandel exiles set up prosperous alliance of estates upon the two islands.  The culture of Saulkement is extremely stratified. The Vartandel exiles brought to the islands their families and their slaves (known to the Vartandel simply as chattel).  The Islands' eternal spring supports three growing seasons and the chattel work the fields to the great benefit of their masters who exports argiculture goods (wine, grain, fruit) and lumber to areas all over the continent. More recently Vartandel have also taken to whaling and seal hunting, those these are seen as occupations fit only for the lesser members of the Vartandel houses.  It is feared that giving the chattel the tools necessary to carry out these hunting tasks would be dangerous.  Saulkement is devoid of mineral wealth and has no mining or quarrying of any kind. Stone and metal are precious commodities and the Vartandel exiles are beginning to eye the other islands of the Spiked Sea and they see the Warkra as obstacles. 

The only city on the island is Hulan, the location of the Cloister and the edge of the great Saul forest.  Here the first family of Saulkement has their estates and oversees the islands' timber industry. Yet most of the population live in rural estates in which the Noble enjoy a lavish life style.  The social season of the Island nobility is as constant as the spring and the continous interactions of the rich at dinner parties and clam bakes takes the place of formal government.        Though outwardly the islands and the exile community appears quite stable there is a great deal of internal intrigue and shifting alliance which define the power struggles within the island.  They do not have strong unified government,  but the oligargy so far has remained on the same page as most things. One unifying factor of the Saulkement nobility is their sense of entitlement and betrayal.  The hold a strong desire to return to Vartandel even though they military and economic means or motivation to do so. 



Dungeons

The Caves of Dahkturin:  System of tunnels accessible from the caves located on and around the volcanic peak on the island of Gyrd (the western most island of the Warkra islands: the small islands).  The tunnels extend beneath the sea floor and lead to stable portal connecting this plane to Gyrrent (a fire plane).  The Yarrent a fire elemental race from Gyrrent us the portal to enter this plane Decathros.  Here the Yarrent travellers mine metals underneath the sea floor (there is no endemic metal or on their plane) and then work those metals into weapons, armor and items for use on their plane.  The weapons and items when used on this plane possess supernatural qualities: they are invulnerable to heat and are imbued with energies for Gyrrent.   The Yarrent smiths and artisans are considered criminals within in their home culture in Gyrrent and their transplanar items are heratical contraband in their nations.  Thus the Yarrent that use the portal often hide worked items in the caves and keep their workshop on this plane.  The Yarrent that might be encountered in these caves have no respect for or thought of value for human (or this plane's ) life and will ruthlessly defend any threat to their industries.

Items


Lifeforms
Saulberries

Yarrent

Locations
Saulke's head:  The face of the crying God located deep within the Glacier.

Frymunt: The Northern most of the Warkra Islands (the smaller islands) and the most populace. 

Dragonarm:  63 years ago a dragon threatened the estate of Hulan (what would later be the city of Hulan).  As the fire breathing beast approached the settlement a single rocky spire extended 400 meters in the air south east of Hulan and crushed the dragon neck in a stone fist.  Saulke was not going to let his Favorim be threatened. Since that incidence no attacks been made on Hulan.  The dragon's corpse still hangs from the spire, every so often a scale will fall and less often a youth will climb the spire to fetch a claw or a fall to his death.     

Gyrd, the western most the member of the Warkra Islands home to the caves of Dahkturin and at the time this map was drawn residence of the Segnur. 


NPCs

Favorim the 11th: the ceremonial bride of the God Saulke that has lived in the Cloister for 13 years. She is approaching 30 but still holding his interest.

Saulke: the depressed god of the ocean, a passive aggressive heap of self pity, also his body makes up the two Saulkement islands.

The old Favorims: The former ceremonial brides from an area when the position was held for only a few years at a time. Though not all of them were from the islands many of these stayed on to marry and take position of prestige among the exiles. 

Rachel the 5th: The youngest ever and current high priestess of the Saulke. She was formerly Abagail Pavelgah, who's family owns the largest estate on Eastern Saulkement.

Rachel the 3rd: The former high priestest, now old, blind and physically crippled but her mind is still as sharp as a steel knife.

Segnur of the Warkra, a young highly charismatic warrior among the Warkra tribes.

Plots
Finding a new offering: Favorim the 11th is getting old and a cold breeze has started blowing across the island.  The exiled Lords, desire stability and our split upon how to achieve it.  One camp wishes to find a young replacement, another wishes to return to the recruitment process of volunteers, yet another sees an enternal answer in necormancy and another believes that a golem can be constructed that will resemble the Favorim in all desired respects.   The PCs are hired to champion one side by clandestine means.

Warkra raiders:  The economic and geographic set up of the islands lend themselves to being raided.  The islands  are full of isolated estates and a group Warkra lead by Segnur have obtained cash of Yarrent weapons.  They are no pillaging the country side and robbing the nobel. The PCs are brought in to stop Segnur.

Sewing disscontent between Favoppodees and Sulke

Society/Organizations


Vartanadel exiles
the mercanaries
the chattel

Followers of Koret:  500+ years a Noble man named Koret was born in Vartandel.  One day he claimed to realize that world of humanity was doomed.  Shortly after that he claimed to have figured out what was wrong with the world and determined to right all the world's problem.  He recognized that all human suffering was due to four chaotic influences that effected four different theaters of human existence. He call the these four chaotic influences the
The Four Great Insults
The first insult is an insult to nations and that is class warfare (or social mobility). Koret believed that movement of citizens through the ranks of society prevented society from advancing as whole.  If laborred  spends all his time trying to become yeoman than he is ignoring his duties as laborer.  If everyone just played their role nations would be efficient and stable.

The second insult is an insult to the mob (the general populace) and that insult is vapid communication. Essentially Koret thought people talked too much, particularly the lower classes.  He thought music and poetry were wastes of time because they communicated nothing quantifiable.

The third insult is an insult the individual and that insult is over confidence. As Koret saw it people only fail because they tried something that was too hard or too difficult for them.  Koret was a big proponent of scaling back you ambitions to match your abilities.  It is better to do something simple in which success in guaranteed, than attempt something complicated and risk failure.

The forth insult is an insult the body and the insult is poorly regulated breathing.  Koret believed that most physical, mental and emotional problems could attributed to inapprioate breathing practices. Holding your breath too long allows toxins to build up in your system.  Hyper ventilating depleted you essence and would make you feel weak or scared.  Snoring distracted the dreaming mind. Most of humanity breathed incorrectly.  Aside from his commands regarding proper behavior, most of Koret's writings describe breathing techniques for different situations.

Today true devotee's of Koret will hold "concerts of silence" in which crowds sit and breath properly together.  Nobleman who follow Koret are often derided as having no musical talent or not being able to tell a joke.

Koret's philosophies have remained popular, and influential, but they have never been widely accepted in Vartandel.  Koret's teachings has lead to phrase "focus on your breathing" being the typical advice common advice given to the sick, injured or distressed.  Koret's teaching are also popular in that they rationalize the oppression of the less affluent and endorse the status quo.  Yet his teachings are a little too austere and esoteric to be adopted en masse. 
The Ghosts of Saulkement have revivied Korets teaching somewhat.  They believe that Koret's teaching hold that no Noble should be stripped of their title and that one should also retain the station to which you were born. There are even sects the deify Koret on Saulkement.  These groups generally exist among the lower classes although the nobility actively encourage it.


Koret’s Commandments for the common man

-Eat with awareness of your fortune and gratitude for your quenched suffering

-Pause before taking a thing and determine if you have strength enough to lift it

-Be grateful for opportunities, wants and challenges for these are times to exercise strength

-When you feel compelled to speak in a meeting or conversation with equals, pause, take a breath

-When you encounter your betters listen, they are the ascending

-Notice what you have, not what you do not have

Koret’s Commandments for the Warrior

-Be wary of songs and poems, let them not drive your blade or slow your hand

-Take note off the common farmer, when he strikes at the worthless weed or wandering tree he strikes at the root, when her harvests fruit from a worthy plant he takes the fruit and leaves the shrub.  Be this way in battle. Destroy the weak and the worthless, but do not harm the plants that feed you.

-Breathe before entering a cathedrals, castles or place of import.  Breathe and confirm life.

-When you are compelled to fight, fight. When you are compelled to flee, flee. When you are compelled to kneel, kneel. If you are compelled to speak: breathe. Breathe until you must fight, flee or kneel.

-The sheath cannot wield the sword it carries, just as the weak cannot strike the strong, even when armed with the sharpest blade.

Koret’s Commandments for the High Born

-   The dragon hunts the buffalo because it is above the buffalo and the dragon has the right of strength to its flesh.  The dragon does not hunt the griffin for although it is above the griffin, there are still buffalo. A dragon, which hunts the griffin, grows scars and cultivates pain; the dragon that hunts the buffalo grows fat and cultivates joy.

-   Do not love that which is unworthy of you.

-   Being born to power makes one worthy of power

-   Power is the means to take, and everything can be taken except for power

-   One word in the mouth of the ascending is greater than a thousand spears in the hands of the common
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 09:15:34 PM by axlerowes »

Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Creative Exercise: Fill in the map!
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2013, 07:47:40 AM »
The Ruined Kingdom of Kazandelve
Area 10

Area Overview

The former Kingdom of Kazandelve was a prosperous if fractious dwaven realm. The clans were strong and the king relatively weak. The region has a long history of small wars and large battles, as often between the dwarves as between the dwarves and the other denizens of the Kazan Mountains. This changed when Rainshadow, a great dragon, came to Kazandelve and turned what was a balkanized dwarven nation into one savagely torn apart by civil war. Craving powerful leadership, many smaller clans amd cities chose to follow Rainshadow rather than King Bartrim Underbeard. Failing to win against the wyrm worshipping heathens or unite the clans, the living breathing Dwarf hero Azthar Hammerhands has started a guerilla war against the King and the Wyrm. Finally King Bartrim struggles desparetly to hold the remaining clans to him, fend off internal politics, a wyrmspawn heretical faith, and challenges from within and without. He has won battles against goblins and orcs that would have made him legend, if Kazandelve wasn't on the brink of bloody ruin.

Dungeons

The Ruins of Uzbanhold, Rainshadow's first destroyed city

Items

Some dwarfy gear, probably a magic ax or spear, plus some wyrmforged iron

Lifeforms

pondering

Locations

Kazandelve

City Image: Chiselhold

The King's Mountain

NPCs

Rainshadow

King Bartrim

Azthar Hammerhands

Vulkura the Betrayer, The Dragon Mount, Wyrmcaller, Fang Slave

Plots

Never Cut a Deal With a Dragon

Society

probably not


« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 08:18:43 AM by Scrasamax »


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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Creative Exercise: Fill in the map!
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2013, 08:04:02 AM »
Great to see some interest in this exercise!
Lazarus Lightward, Elite Diabolist of the Brotherhood - Level 3 Occultist
Deathpriest Noxx, Herald of Eternal Silence – Level 2 Necromancer
STR: 2 | END: 2 | CON: 4 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 12 | INT: 13


Strolenite Relic, resurfaced.

Offline Strolen

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Re: Creative Exercise: Fill in the map!
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2013, 08:50:14 AM »
AREA 3!

This will work perfect with my Cartography Guild quest too. (Since this isn't a quest, it isn't double dipping :) )

I hereby name Area 3: Vartanadel


Vartanadel

Area Overview
Vartanadel claims to be the eldest civilization in the known world. This belief is held close and gives their people, especially their elite, a pompous attitude towards the rest of the known world. The kingdom is ruled with a tight grip by King Korian Comeaga IV. His family has ruled since the mountains were formed without a break in the line. Very few would ever question the word of the king or his men. His word is law. The word of his men is law. To disobey could mean death.

The kingdom is rich. Old rich. Their trade and precious metals from the northern mountains is known throughout and has been around as long as the kingdom. This old money and constant trade keeps the land prosperous and allows the king to stay in power. Loyalty can be bought as needed.

They have a strong military, financed by the king and those he establishes as royalty, and a steady distrust of all foreigners. Their somewhat isolation on the peninsula allows them to be, not necessarily isolationists, but concentrate more inwardly on their preservation and continuing prosperity. All traders of certain goods are escorted by a special society of king’s men, all ships have king’s representation and others are in charge of patrolling the borders. Tourism is not encouraged and the king's men or their agents can be found most everywhere. Turning in a neighbor for treasonous thoughts for a gold piece is a common occurrence....which can also be misused.

The capital, Tanand, is a sprawling city that goes for miles in either direction. Each of the king’s favored builds their own portion of the city for their own use. Because the king’s taste is ficle, there are many areas that are destroyed and or abandoned and overtaken by commoners so the sprawl is a mish mash of beautiful estates, ruins and normal city buildings and business’.

Vartanadel Society
Vartanadel has a single king of a single royal bloodline. This bloodline is whatever the king says it is. So while any Vartanadel will fight you to the death if you say that the current king is not of the original blood, in every circumstance you would be correct. Nobody cares about science or true bloodlines, if the king says his heir is of his blood, that word is irrefutable and by that word only, history is rewritten.

This is a land that history can be rewritten, powerful families of a thousand years erased from knowledge and truth accepted in the world is shunned by the people on the whim of their king. Those with the ring of Vartanadel have the power to destroy, build or change life as they know it with a word. There are only two rings known, one is worn by the king and the other is given to the head of the top royal family in the land…the top royal family that could possibly change yearly during The Naming.

Every year, the king holds a grand ceremony called The Naming. It is the main holiday that is celebrated (or feared) for all of Vartanadel as it is the day that the future of the royal families is released. The king constantly tracks the royal families (or other families of rising wealth and pursuasion) and ranks them all in their loyalty to the crown. Their ranking during the naming determines their ranking and power for the rest of that year.

It is an intricate game of favors, authority and benefits depending on where each family falls in The Naming. Those nearer the top get more privilidge and responsibility and wealth. To be near the top gives them unimaginable and unquestionable authority of most things. The higher they go the more absolute it is. However, these are also the ones that are tasked to do the king’s bidding…and have the very real possibility of failure.

Prior to The Naming there is general knowledge of how has lost the king’s favor and those that have gained it. For the highest of the families that fall only a few spots to their rivals, it may only be a small change in station and a great embarassment. For others that fall fully from the graces, and in the rare case are taken out of The Naming completely, it spells their doom and they lose all, to include their lives in most cases. The higher houses rarely play a obvious hand in the ruining of a fallen house, but they often are the directors of the smaller houses and the pillaging and destruction of the family. As soon as The Naming happens, the families given the “nod” storm the fallen royals home and do their will to erase all history of the family. Once a family has fallen, their name is stricken and nobody is allowed to mention it again. It is as if it never existed. Depending on the familie’s palace it can either be remade to house another family or completely destroyed. Much depends on the orchestration of the destruction of the new high royal families.

The Northern Mines
Most simply call them “The Mines.” In other lands they are often referred to as “The Dragon Mines” by those that have seen the map as the shape of the peninsula and the shape of the mountain ranges the mines are created in looks much like the head of a dragon. They are spoken of in fear as, for most, they are simply a story to be used to scare those that speak ill of the king and his royal families.

The Mines are where people are put to be forgotten. Those left of the royal families that fall from grace, and the Shan that are too loyal to be absorbed by other families, are either killed or sent to The Mines. Those in the population that cause dissention, break the more serious laws or are deamed a danger by the Shan are also removed to The Mines. Others are put there as political moves by those with the power and support to do plan and execute the kidnapping and removal. Those that go to The Mines are never seen again.

The Mines themselves are segregated by location/peninsula, each one ran by a different royal family. There are many paid position for guards and a multitude of other skilled workers. They are respected trades in the north and very misunderstood in the south. Those that work the minds find themselves feared and misunderstood in the south. The skilled workers that make their fortunes in the mine and retire in the south often come up with a different reason for their wealth instead of trying to explain they worked The Mines.

SE mentioned a Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom vibe which fits about right. That and the Count of Monte Cristo type thing would about sum it up.

Locations

Tanand

It is said that Tanad was established in the place of the first man.  The gods had planted man’s seed where the king’s palace now sits and, from there, civilization was formed and so was the nation of Vartanadel.

Through wars and the ages, the capital of Vartanadel has gone through numerous rebuilds.

The main factor of the creation of Vartanadel is The Naming. Those that are brought up in the families through The Naming are able to build or take over property as it is available or gifted to them. Every year there are different palaces, properties and estates that are freed up from those falling from the list. And every year there are those that are brought up in The Naming. Through these manuevers and the availability of propert, the city of Tenand continues to grow and shrink as families change.

There are also numerous ruins dotted in the city and even entire city blocks that have fallen out of repair and remain unclaimed. Location is important and the closer people are to the palace, the more important a rank they hold in The Naming. Many have their own palace near the king’s adn then have a larger estate somewhere else in the city. The more powerful may even purchase rights to a main route between their central palace and their further estate. This further fragments the city into odd districts and forces confusing routes to get places.

The Crossroads
Already started this. 

NPCs
King Korian Comeaga IV and his Politics
The King comes from a single bloodline that can be traced as far back as you are willing to go. Nobody is ever aloud to see the king but the counselors, the only ones allowed to go into the royal portion of the city, ensure the other royalty that he is indeed alive.

Every year the king actually ranks the royalty and publically lists it. It is this rank that gives or takes away the power of the houses.

Avedis Pavel
Legendary Nishan. The story tells on how he was stabbed in the middle of the back by a crooked trader. He ended up killing all those involved and reestablished the hierarchy before he would let anybody assist him. All Nishan now wear a white mantle with a triangle of red on the back to represent the blood that was spilled from the knife wound while he was doing his duty. It is a reminder to all Nishan’s that duty and the king’s honor always come first. The mantle with the red triangle is called a Pavel in his honor.

Plots

It Wasn't Me!

The encouragement for citizens to turn on their neighbor for any lawbreaking or possible insurgence is rewarded with gold. This practice has led to more than a few neighbors trying to get rid of someone they dislike for whatever reason. Bound to be a couple plot options with that!

Society/Organization

The Shan

The Shan are the law and voice of the king and the protectorates of the land. The Shan are sponsored by the royal houses and recieve their rank and importance directly from their sponsor’s rank. Those royal houses that have curried favor with the king recieve a higher prestige and honor through that association and, hence, are ranked higher and have more authority.

The actual ranks of the Shan are broadly separated into three categories: Warder, Oathman and Fist.

Rank and presidence inside each houses rank flows directly from the sponsor. Each sponsor will, again, rank all those of the Oathman and Fist ranks yearly depending on how well they served their name. So if the king has ranked a house as his 5th and another his 34th, then between the houses it is obvious to all which one has the authority. Inside the houses, amongst the house ranks, each Oathman and Fist knows where they lie in the listings.

Yearly the king updates his list of favored houses, in order, with a great ceremony called The Naming and 30 days afterwards each house updates their house’s ranks as well.

The Warder is just a common soldier that can wear the king’s colors. He is usually trained well in his Shan trade, understands the laws and is trusted to maintain order. It is a novice rank that lasts as long as it must. Warders are the most common rank and provide the bulk of the protection services. An Oathman must sponsor the Warder if he is ever to attain the next rank. Once sponsored, the Oathman is responsible for that Warder’s continued training until he is promoted to Oathman by a Fist, completing the sponsorship.

An Oathman is more rare and is authorized to pass judgement in the king’s name. Most small towns save any trials and such for when an Oathman comes through. An Oathman will sit as judge and his verdict is final. All trials will be documented, with copies for the town to maintain, and signed by the Oathman and the town’s leader. They can travel with important traders or on their own with Warders. They recieve donations to the king as payment for sitting in judgement which can become a rather lucrative affair for an enterprising Oathman. While their sponsor, and then the king, get their share, the Oathman is usually the one deciding how much that is. A Fist must sponsor an Oathman to make the next rank as well.

A Fist is the top rank of the Shan. While the Oathman can pass judgement and decide the fate of others, theirs is based on written and complex laws. The Oathman must justify their actions and maintain records of their judgements. A Fist has no such requirement. His voice is law and his orders are binding. He can proclaim, with a word, the death sentence for a child or release the most heinously incarcerated prisoner on a whim and not be questioned. His voice, in that moment, is the voice of law. Actions of a Fist cannot be used as justifications for other actions nor in the argument for or against the written law. It is as if the actions of a Fist happen in an alternate reality that cannot be referenced. It happens, directions are followed, and then people move on. Those that question the will of the Fist don’t last long.

The Shan is the face that the peasants see of those that rule them. The actual royalty (as deemed by the king) spend their time in the capital trying to maintain the favor of the king who determines their standing. It is very rare for the actual royalty to leave the city. They must trust their Shans to act in their best interest and do what is necessary in the world to impress the king while they do their own political maneuverings. Trust of their Shans is paramount as each house is always trying to usurp another. In return, the Shans work hard to do great thins in the world that will lift their house’s rank and, in turn, their own. These checks and balances between the houses maintain a fragile balance of the always present ability to abuse the powers the Shan are given. Political maneuvering is always a danger at any level inside and outside the houses.

Shan will never be a part of a ship, trade or city ruled by their own patrons. The only trusted Shans are those of a different house.

The Nishan
King’s men assigned to accompany land traders. Large shipments, or those with controlled goods such as weapons and some currency, are required to have a Nishan along. The Nishan ensure that the traders deal fairly with others and act as a third party ensuring the king’s will is done and the appropriate taxes are collected in his name.  To protect the traders, the Nishan in charge will select the amount of Shan that will be needed for each job.

Often times, the importance of the Nishan in a caravan can turn away traders if there isn’t one with them. Most caravans at least have a Warder and while they don’t hold the authority of the higher ranks, it still lends some credibility to their trades.

The Hulanshan
King’s men assigned to the ports and seafaring routes. Any ship that holds a Hulanshan has a blue and gold penant flown to identify themselves. As far as ships go, there are very few that are actually without a Hulanshan.

It is well known that ships are used to smuggle citizens to one of the neighboring countries that are sympathetic to their escape. One of the Hulanshan’s missions is the boarding of all unidentified ships. Many times, ships flying the penant of the Hulanshan will stop and greet each other out of respect and to gather news. It is a Captain’s death if they are caught flying the penant without proper representation. Any ship that is hailed from on with the penant has no choice but to acknowledge and be boarded.

Other ships may hail a Hulanshan penant if they have need of a judge for a seafaring crime beyond that which a Captain is authorized to give. There are many complex laws of the sea and many a Captain has been removed for overstepping his authority.

A Fist with authorization or a Shan, on a whim, may seize any ship they need to accomplish their mission. The needs of the king outweigh the needs of the Captain at all times. Often these ships will be well rewarded if they oblige the need so it is in their best interest, on many levels, to comply with any Hulanshan’s request. The Royals that are associated with that ship also share in the glory of a ship that assists the needs of the king.

The Hulanshan are also the port authority and track ships, schedules, crew and passengers on all ships. Any major port will have a port Hulanshan to track everything. Many countries have agreements to allow them to work in foreign ports as well. There are other ports where no Hulanshan are not authorized to step on land. At these locations, there is always a Hulanshan on board the ships to record the trades.

The Guarshan
King’s men assigned to the cities and who patrol the borders.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 11:43:13 AM by Strolen »

Flying Squirrel – Strolenati Guild
Grothar Rockfury - Dwarvish Guild
Minor Minion - Cartographer's Guild
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Offline Dozus

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Re: Creative Exercise: Fill in the map!
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2013, 10:30:40 AM »
Area 7 is:
Swynmoor


Area Overview
Swynmoor is physically isolated from much of Decathros; only Voskinsar, Kazandelve, and [Area 9] are nearby, and there is little access between the swamps and their neighbors. Swynmoor occupies an unusually high marshland, fed by the mountain streams and several natural springs. Some of the excess water drains into Voskinsar or into the sea, but most stays in the marshy basin that makes up the bulk of Swynmoor. It is said there's no real dry land in the Moor, only a few holdouts of dirt that have yet to soak all the way through.

With its elevation, Swynmoor is a relatively cool marshland, generally fogged over with occasional storms sweeping around the Kazan Mountains. Much of the land is wooded swamp, bearing plans of strange variety of adaptation. There are also wide marshlands and glades, with a few drained lands that provide areas for the little agriculture done in the Moor.

Despite its isolation - or in some cases because of it - there are some thriving communities in the Moor. Swynnish men lay a claim to a variety of lineages, be they Skaldeves or Vosks, but they owe allegiance to no one outside of the Moor. They are largely a mongrel people, speaking their own pidgin language and worshiping syncretic gods. Many live in small independent villages, organized loosely by clan or community. There are a handful of small states, self-proclaimed duchies with petty lords vying for rule over small pieces of usable land.

Deeper in the forests are the Kanaarites - marsh elves, an ancient and highly secretive culture. Theirs is the only real power in the Moor, a tiny empire preserving a bygone age. Rarely do Swynnish men see elves, though they may stumble upon some ancient bit of architecture jutting from the swamp now and again. The Kanaarite king officially lays claim to the whole of the Moor, but only administers the deep jungle. The jealousy of the Swynnish dukes has extended to the marsh elves, and occasionally a duke's footmen will skirmish with elf scouts.

Dungeons
The Sinking Jungle of the Green Monolith
East of the Adurak Delta lies a long-abandoned Kanaarite temple. Ages of decay has caused most of the ruined fane to sink, leaving only a tall obelisk of serpentine stone to mark it above the swamp water. It is far from "civilized" Swynmoor in the north, too close to Kanaar for comfort, and rarely occasioned even by Boros dwellers. There are long-standing rumors that a cult worships at the Green Monolith, reveling in ritual slaughter and mutilation. Others say the temple is still accessible, that the interior - while sunken - is dry thanks to elven engineering, and within lie many treasures.

Items
Some ancient pieces of misplaced elvish artifact, often in the hands of bayou witches.

Lifeforms
Taalkatsin - gatorfolk in Swynnish tongue - stalk the glades either singularly or in small packs. They are the enemy of Swynnish and Kanaarite alike, an ancient and primitive race that will hunt anything it can catch. Though Swynnish consider them no smarter than their alligator cousins and will kill them on sight, but Kanaarites know they are intelligent and self-aware creatures with a cruel sense of self-preservation. Kanaarites are known to enslave them for ritual or military purpose. Although their sharp jaws and powerful tails are often weapons enough, they also are known to set simple traps in the bayous to catch prey.
▪ Endemic to Swynmoor
▪ Males bulky, muscular; females thinner, agile
▪ Mostly solitary with some females hunting in packs
▪ Couple during mating season, mostly in Blackmarshes
▪ Lay eggs in clutches of about five, tended to by female
▪ Intelligence
  ▫ Primitive, but sentient (Neanderthal)
  ▫ Speak a simple, growling language with primitive syntax
  ▫ Some hunt with simple traps &, rarely, scavenged weapons
▪ Consume nearly any living creature
▪ During breeding & late summer, especially hunt larger prey
▪ No natural predators, save Kanaarites, men, & the slimewyrm
▪ Feared & hunted throughout Swynmoor
  ▫ Swynnish men hunt for food, hide, & vengeance; treat as any other animal
  ▫ Kanaarites know their intelligence, attract them on borders to act as guardians
  ▫ Lescelina speaks their tongue, acts as protector

A wide variety of unique and often unpleasant creatures and plants thrive in the Moor, such as gallowgnats, tarfrog, venomthistle, and the dreaded slimewyrm.

The Slimewyrm
▪ Ancient dragon-serpent
▪ Once a sea-serpent, entered the Moor when Decathros was young & the Grimlak an inlet
▪ Worshipped by ancient Kanaarites, cursed when they learned magic
▪ Magic consumption
  ▫ After curse, sought eternal vengeance on Kanaarites, who kept it out with warding spells and runes
  ▫ Learned to consume magic itself, twisting its form further
  ▫ Broke through wards, consumed the magic of the [important Kanaarite relic] & vomited it out broken & impotent; started collapse of Kanaarite Empire
▪ Lair
  ▫ Ruins of a Kanaarite temple
  ▫ Contains horde of magic items awaiting consumption
  ▫ Attracts magical creatures & many adventurers
▪ Repelled from Kanaar, hunts near Duchies on occasion
▪ Physicality & abilities
  ▫ Long, serpentine body with short but powerful legs and dense muscle
  ▫ Hide of thick, black armored scale
  ▫ Massive head & sharp maw (snapping turtle)
  ▫ Poisonous & acidic breath weapon
  ▫ Bite can drain magic from items & creatures
  ▫ Swims & burrows in swamps with ease

Locations
The Sorkatta Mire - A particularly dense patch of swampy woodland that marks the border of Kanaarite territory. It is guarded by the Mire Redoubt, an organic fortress built by Kanaarite Magic.

Newdale, Osterhaven, & Carrham - The self-proclaimed Swynnish duchies, petty fiefs ruled by exiled nobility. Carrham and Osterhaven share a border, marked by the Grimlak River which flows out into the Spiked Sea. Newdale is further west, close to though not bordered by Carrham.

Market Town - Less a town and more a collection of rickety shacks and rafts, Market Town is the Swynnish trade center. Folk from the duchies as well as the bayous come to exchange goods, with a few Sulkement and [Area 9] merchants in the import/export business. For the sake of trade no duke tries to govern the place, though the duchies all claim parts of it fall in their territory.

The Peat Bogs - In the northeast corner of Swynmoor lies this expanse of raised bog. Osterhaveners harvest the peat to export to regions with little fuel. It is, however, dangerously close to the lair of the slimewyrm; many Osterhaveners have taken to minding the trees rather than the peat for their hearths.

The Boros Bayou - A quiet corner of the Moor occupied by Swynnish men, mostly fishermen and lumberjacks. The well-to-do of the duchies want little to do with these "simple folk," and they whisper that witches perform their heathen magic out here.

Adurak Delta - The Adurak river flows down from the Kazan range and empties into a wide delta south of Boros. Where the Swynnish Duchies call Boros witches, the Boros folk consider the few who dwell in the Delta true heathens. The waters are deeper than many parts of the Moor, and though fishing is abundant, it is also the hunting grounds of Gatorfolk.

The Kanaar - The deepest heart of the swamps, and most heavily forested. It is the home and namesake of the Kanaarite elves. Many creatures call it home, natural and supernatural. Swynnish men almost never venture into it, fearing elvish retribution. While some parts are densely populated with marsh elves, it is undeveloped compared to the Duchies as the Kanaarites subsist on native fruits and game that require no tilling or land drainage.

Gal'etas - The capital city of the Kanaarites, the only remaining city of their once-legendary empire. Few Swynnish have seen it, but they say it is a place of great and terrible beauty, with inverted pyramid temples carved from stones sent by the gods.

Dwarven Outpost - When Rainshadow roared into Kazandelve, a small group of dwarves fled the mountains for the foothills outside of the Kazan Range. They have a small outpost south of the Adurak's mouth, in the joint between the tall Kazans and the Atakazan Hills. They keep mostly to themselves, wary of elves and not interested in Swynnish men.

Desert Trading Post - A few traders in the deserts of [Area 9] have set up a small fort in the far south of the Moor. They plan to extend some sort of raised road up to the Duchies, but for now they bring goods up their Broken Road over the Atakazan into the post, trying to attract the attention of anyone who will trade.

NPC's
Ran'Daral - The god-king of the Kanaarites. Secretive by most standards, he has actually communicated with the Swynnish dukes from time to time, mostly to dole out polite threats. It is said he has the elves building again in the Kanaar, though what no one can say.

The Dukes - The claimants to the western portion of Swynmoor, who give orders from their keeps in Newdale, Osterhaven, and Carrham. Carrham's duke is an exile of Vartanadel extract, a roguish libertine who keeps his Vartan pride but none of their nobility. Another is a rich merchant who made his wealth on the Spiked Sea; he bought a herald to invent a title for himself and funded the construction of Newdale, the most recent of the duchies. Osterhaven is ruled by a Vosk family that laid claim generations ago by some strange fortune. They are in a constant state of near-war, each escalating threats and making wild accusations.

Lescelina, the Witch Queen  - In the heart of the Blackmarsh south of the Boros Bayou lies an abandoned Kanaarite structure that has been built up with a wooden palisade and repaired to habitability. This is the palace of Lescelina, the Witch Queen of the Blackmarsh. She and her cultists dwell in this isolated fortress, doing who-knows-what in a region few other would dare tread. With cascades of red dreadlocks and bright sapphire eyes, Lescelina's Kanaarite ancestry is obvious, though her exact parentage is unknown by most. Her cult practices reqsina - what the Swynnish call black medicine. Some Borosians seek out the Witch Queen if they need powerful hexes or the brute force of Kanaarite gods. It is said such men can expect a lofty price: total obedience to Lescelina when she demands it, an oath that binds their souls. Her court is made up primarily of zealous reqsina practitioners, a majority Swynnish but with the odd Kazan refugee convert and even the rare marsh elf exile. Of the abounding rumors of Lescelina, the most persistent is her relationship with the gatorfolk: she has chased out or (worse) captured those who hunt in the Blackmarsh, the only known being man or elf that protects the creatures. All agree she speaks their language, perhaps even entertains them in her court - and a few whisper that she has congress with the beasts, laying eggs herself to raise an army of Taalkatsin children. In point of fact, she is a were-gator and takes their form from time to time, though she does not entertain any intimate relationship with them.

Plots
The Kanaarite Resurrection

In the Court of the Witch Queen

Society/Organizations
The Men of Swynmoor

Ducals
▪ Live in the Duchies
▪ Mostly farmers, craftsmen, merchants
▪ Court advisors serve as nobility
▪ Most "civilized" of Swynmoor
▪ Buildings in style of homeland or ducal culture
▪ Speak dialect of native tongue & Swynnish pidgin

Borosians, a.k.a. Bayou-folk
▪ Mongrel ancestry, have dwelt in Swynmoor the longest
▪ Mostly self-sufficient
  ▫ Fishers, outdoorsmen, hunters
  ▫ Trade with Ducals: hides, fish, rare herbs for grain, tools, sundries
▪ Religious to superstitious
  ▫ Popular syncretic religion - reqsina, "black medicine"
  ▫ Offer minor sacrifices to Kanaarite gods
  ▫ Strong belief in hexes, charms, etc.
  ▫ Followers of other gods are descendents of heretics; their errors persist and multiply over the generations
▪ Diet
  ▫ Heavy in fish & game
  ▫ Variety of local vegetables & fruits grown in gardens, some rice cultivation
  ▫ Local brew: mudwater, brewed from roots & filtered through sphangum & tree moss
     ▫ Dark, earthy, avg. alcoholic content
     ▫ Also more concentrated blackmud, distilled liquor with sharp bitter notes

Blackmarshers
▪ Subjects of Lescelina, with Witch Queen
▪ Sorcerers & shamans
▪ Secretive, feared by many Borosians & only legend to Ducals
▪ Said to speak with gatorfolk
▪ Rumored to have powerful curses stolen from Kanaarite runes
▪ Sometimes sought out by desperate Borosians seeking necessary charms or curses
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 11:52:47 AM by Dozus »

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Offline Murometz

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Re: Creative Exercise: Fill in the map!
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2013, 10:37:08 AM »
UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!

Area 6: Voskinsar

Overview

Voskinsar, or the Weeping Coast as many call it, is a dreary and bleak stretch of pebbly shoreline along the bay. The people, the Vosks, are likewise a dour, dreary lot. Most spend their time fishing the shallow bay's waters in their skiffs and plying the Iron Grove, while deeper inland, trappers and woodsmen eke out meager livings amidst the sparse, flooded woods of bamboo and rain-pine. Despite a somewhat central location, Vosks remain an insular people, mostly uninterested in the kingdoms surrounding them. The Vosks have an irrational (?) fear of Vartanadel, as they believe that the land to the north and west has designs on adding the Voskinsar Coast to their burgeoning kingdom. Likewise the Vosks have nothing but mistrust for the dwarves of Kazandelve. They do however trade with the Sulkment merchants of the Spiked Sea on occasion, and have been known to slosh around the marshes of Swynmoor to the west.

Dungeons

Raintree Manor, long abandoned keep, now sits beneath the bay's waters.

Items


Lifeforms

Baymares Sea horses though not horses, the Baymares of Voskinsor are more akin to leopard seals, but considerably more vicious and dangerous to boatmen.


Locations

Soglash Main town

Soglash has been rebuilt several times, from the after-effects of  flooding and the occasional maelstroms, which are known to ravage these lands periodically. A town of water-logged and rotting timber, few outsiders visit this gloomy place.

The Iron Grove a nearly impenetrable stretch of unusual mangrove trees chokes the coastline of Voskinsar. It is this "Iron Grove" which prevents the Vosks from ever exploring the Spiked Sea, or truly being a "sea-faring people" but likewise it prevents most unwanted assaults and visits to their rain-soaked lands via the bay. The bark of these mangroves is iron-gray in color and extremely hardy, in fact being the only mangrove species in Decathros to be found this far north. Huge fist-sized snails make their homes clinging to the mangrove trees, and other stranger creatures swim beneath its maze of roots.


NPCs

Sage of the Iron Grove A druid long driven mad by his self-imposed isolation, the nameless man dwells in a beaver's den-like lair of rushes, salt-water cattails, and twisted mangrove roots, several miles offshore. Known as a sage by the coast-dwelling locals, he is actually loathe to part with any knowledge or wisdom with those that visit him, but can be bribed with gifts.

Society/Organizations

Plots
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 09:00:00 PM by Murometz »
Strolenati Guild – Adept-Seeker
Dwarven Guild – Ironball Steelbutter
Level 2
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Down with elves

Offline valadaar

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Re: Creative Exercise: Fill in the map!
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2013, 08:27:50 PM »
Area #1:  Kelevest - Land of the Masquenfolk


Overview:

The Realm of Kelevest holds Yurtevan, the main peninsula jutting into the northern sea, and the frozen island of Thurovine (Thur-o-veen) even further north.

Yurtevan includes several different terrains - permafrost and tundra to the north, boreal forests in the middle, and fertile plains in the south.  There are few mountains, the land having been scoured nearly flat by glaciers ages past.  All of the lands major cities lie within the warm band in the south, with a few chains of towns stringing north.

The people of Kelevest are a superstitious lot, with most folks wearing ornate wooden masks and clothing dictated as much by ritual as practicality. 


Locations:


Thuorvest

This nearly glacial island would be uninhabited were it not for its rich deposits of coal that lie just beneath the perpetual permafrost.  Life clings to a thin warm ribbon, with the exception of the hellish mine-towns that brave deeper into the lands. 

The Charred Valley

Perhaps the warmest spot in Thuorvest, this valley is home to a very long-running underground coal fire.   It is snow-free at its lower elevations and the thin river that runs through the valley is quite warm.  Clouds of smoke perpetually drift about, and the soil is quite contaminated with various substances including heavy metals.  Worse still are areas where the ground is quite thin, and an unwary soul could plunge through into the smoke-filled inferno below.  While there may have been little to be gained here, several parties of well equipped explorer have not returned from here. Rumors speak of things worse then the natural hazards of this region.

Items

Lifeforms

The Voxanini - the Devourers of the Wastes


NPC's

TBA

Plots

The people of this land wear the masks out of necessity, though they would never tell outsiders their secret.  The Grey Spirits walk these lands, and those without masks risk their attention.  Their attention ranges from simple bad luck and illness, to possession.  Those possessed invariably take the Long Walk north, and are never seen again. Rumors speak of a city hidden deep within the northern boreal forest that is inhabited by raving madmen - the survivors of long walks past. 

Society/Organizations

The kingdom is a very weakly organized - the king only holds the title by virtual of his military power and alliances with the two dozen chiefs that control the lands.  The primary ties between the various holds is ethnicity and religion. 






« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 10:31:47 AM by valadaar »
   
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Offline MysticMoon

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Re: Creative Exercise: Fill in the map!
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2013, 08:06:04 AM »
I hereby lay claim to area #9.

Beware all! Know ye not what sorts of horrors dwell within the desert wastes? You shall, and soon...
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Offline Dossta

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Re: Creative Exercise: Fill in the map!
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2013, 01:05:44 PM »
I've got 5!

Zhelezo -- Land of Iron

Overview:

"Mid-elevation temperate area, heavily forested through much of the region. Two mountain ranges meet with a small break in the south-eastern area, creating a passage inland."

Deep within the ancient forests of Zhelezo resides a primal force of unimaginable power.  Local legends describe a monster of fearsome temperment, that jealously guards its territory from the encroachment of mankind.  Perhaps do to its influence, the animals of the forest are also known for acting strangely, with sometimes human-level cunning.  They do not tolerate incursions into the forest, and will harry intruders 'til they collapse of exhaustion or dehydration.

In the middle of this forest is a fabled mountain said to contain unparalleled wealth, ripe for the pike-axe.  Vartanadel sent armies to conquer it long ago, but their forces were lost within the twisting trees.  The then-king of Hypoten tried next, with similar results.   The region lay dormant and unclaimed for centuries, until some migrants of Skaldevale came through the mountain pass.

The Building of the Bridges: The Skaldev immigrants were a hardy, stubborn and ingenious people.  Instead of going through the forest and facing perils unknown, they resolved instead to go over it.  Observing that the creatures of the forest were repelled by cold iron, they mined it in great quantities from the surrounding mountains (widening the pass, and constructing the town of Irondale in the process).  Then they began laying a vast bridge over the trees, from the pass bordering Skaldevale in a line towards Vartanadel.  Many men lost their lives as they planted the great beams, and the project took decades to complete.

Once the first bridge (aka The Moct) was constructed, the Ironmen found themselves in a key trading position.  They controlled the only pass through the mountains, and the Vartanadel merchants were eager to use the new bridge to access new markets.  Over time, the Ironmen grew prosperous off the modest bridge tolls, and eventually built a network of smaller, branching bridges off the main one.  These crisscross the sky above the forest, heading in all directions, and the Ironmen walk every one.  They even founded a small town near the center of the network to serve as a waystation for traders.

Locations:

Irondale
The Moct

Items

TBA

Lifeforms

TBA

NPC's

TBA

Plots

The one thing the Ironmen have not attained is the riches within the mountain.  Whenever they approach within a mile of the place, the malignancy of the forest intensifies.  Injuries triple, supplies are lost, and tools go mysteriously missing.  There have been a dozen attempts over the years to construct this bridge, to no avail.  A new expedition is being planned, but they will probably need trained, deadly guards to protect the nascent bridge and its crew.  Who knows what the mountain itself holds?

Society/Organizations

TBA
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 06:03:08 PM by Dossta »

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Offline caesar193

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Re: Creative Exercise: Fill in the map!
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2013, 02:01:09 PM »
I had a mention of four being the last one, and it being mine, but that has been changed to a lie (or an inaccuracy) by Shadoweagle adding more land to Decathros, so I'll just say this: Hypoten is caesar193's and its way awesomer than all of your places!

Name: Hypoten (pronounced HY-pot-EN)

Overview: Low to mid elevation, warm coastal area. Some hilly areas especially towards the eastern mountain range. Two woodland/forested areas, one by the coast to the southwest and one to the northeast, merging with the forested part of area 5. Neighbors are area 3 to the north(by sea), and area 5 to the northeast.

The main population center is the Alsabar peninsula. The rest of the land is mainly farms. A strange feature of the terrain is holes, with completely smooth walls and around a five-ten foot diameter, randomly scattered in the terrain near Sylvia. These are created by the groth-wurms- more on them in the Life Forms section. The holes are an annoyance to the farmers, as they cannot grow crops on that land. Occasionally, strange noises have been heard echoing from a wurm-hole, and brave souls adventure into them to investigate- but this is more of a topic for the Dungeons section.

The hills near the mountains are a rough area. Less suitable for agricultural purposes, Hypoten has instead found a use for them as a water source. Lacking rivers from the hill areas to the rest of the area, the snow-melt lakes that are formed there have been drained through the use of canals. Indeed, the need for water and the time and effort needed for the canals is one of the main economic reason that pushed Hypoten towards isolationism (more on that in Society). The snow melt lakes have been formed over countless years, and make a natural reservoir. Because of height concerns, Hypoten could not make an aqueduct, but canals have been made. Most of the canals in the hills converge onto the Green Canal, which carries water down the center of the Alsabar Peninsula to Hyrare. Two canals split off from the Green Canal before it reaches Hyrare, and these lead to northeast and south Hypoten (both emptying out in the ocean. The Green Canal, after traveling through Hyrare, splits in two, with one emptying out on the north side of the Alsabar Peninsula, and the other emptying out on the west side. Some environmentalists complain about the damage to the lakes' ecosystems ("The yellow-bellied red-tongue frog is about to go extinct!"), but there are so few of them that nobody listens to the "flower-pickers."

The mountains themselves are tall, grand, and austere. They have been scoured in the past for a way over them to Skaldevale, but none have been found. And so, in a characteristic way, Hypoten shrugged it off, made some comment about those d**n stubborn Skaldev fools, and worried more about its own problems. This was, of course, before they became truly isolationist and blocked out all contact with the rest of the world. Nowadays, the mountains are used almost exclusively for military training camps. A couple months of freezing much too close to death and the recruit is ready for anything. Especially if you dangle the prize of getting out of the mountains for the next phase of training as a reward for mastering the techniques taught in the mountains. And to keep the soldiers in line, troublesome (aka, people who make smart-ass comments to the sergeant) soldiers who "are the top of the line" are sent to guard the mountain training camps.

The Alsabar Peninsula is where the main population is at. The three cities of Hypoten are all right there, with many large towns and villages scattered over the rest of the peninsula. This is where the Hypoten culture and arts are. It is the single most important area of Hypoten, even if the capitol city was not there. It is the most developed and urban area of Hypoten.

Dungeons: TBA

Items:

Fire Lance: Same as the Chinese one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_lance), only with metal instead of the bamboo (no bamboo grows in Hypoten). Hypoten's Fire Lance's are still attached to spears. Stockpiles of them are kept in the major cities' armories, the DMZ, and other military institutions.

Life forms:

Groth-Wurms: The groth-wurm is a beast that looks something like a large worm with an acne problem. The groth-wurms usually bear a mottled hue of dark brown and light brown (almost like camouflage clothes on soldiers), but some are an all solid color- maybe 25% are all dark brown, 50% mottled, and 25% light brown. Scattered all over these beasts are pimple-like extrusions, a light pink in color, and always slightly oily. The groth-wurm diet is a mixture of rock, dirt, and organic matter. Bu organic matter I mean feces, plants, fungi, and whatever animal life that is too slow to get out of its way. Groth-wurms, because of their diet choice, move only when they eat. Strangely, because of their great size, they don't actually have to eat very much to satisfy themselves- the average groth-wurm eats maybe 20 feet of tunnel every day, and sleeps the rest of the time. Most groth-wurms pick a particular territory and stay in that area. A territory is, unlike human territories, has volume. The height of the territory is usually double the groth-wurm's height, and the area of the territory is about a quarter mile square. Since the groth-wurm's live about two centuries, the tunnels can grow very slowly. Mating of the groth-wurms occurs above ground, though the location of this is not known. Some speculate that the mating of the groth-wurms happens in Sylvia.

Locations:

The Alsabar Peninsula- you know, the only peninsula in Hypoten? The one nearing Vartanadel?

Hyrare- Hyrare (pronounced HY-rar-E) is the capitol and major city of Hypoten, and is located in the middle of the Alsabar Peninsula.

Slithenos Province- Slithenos Province is the mainland area of Hypoten. It contains everything that isn't Alsabar Peninsula.

The DMZ- a belt of forts running across the northeastern portion of the map- slightly northeast of the blue x. The DMZ stands for a couple of letters of Oled, the Hypoten's old language.

Triland: that cluster of islands north of the Alsabar Peninsula. There are three islands there, and thus the name. Triland is a like a cousin of Hypoten- Triland does its own thing while just sending imports/exports to the mainland. Technically, a part of Hypoten, but nobody really cares about it (like America caring for Maine during the War of 1812). It is Hypoten'smain source of seafood- Triland has excellent harbors and has shellfish, oysters, and regular fish.

Sylvia: the southern forest is feared, loathed, cursed, and shunned. No one lives there. Even necromancers and others scum of the earth avoid it. Hypoten used to send criminals in there on their own, but it was considered too barbaric and horrible and stopped (though public whippings, magical torture, implement, crucifixion, slow strangulation, eaten by maggots, etc., were still a part of the punishment system at that time). Summed up in three words? Don't go in.

NPCs:

The Royal Family:

Queen Iliza- Hypoten law has always stated that the eldest child of the royal family is the current monarch, which allows Queen Iliza to be the current ruler of her country. Iliza is an almost fanatical Angelist, and has attempted to purge Hypoten of the Demonists.

King Charil- The king of Hypoten, since he is just someone the current monarch, Queen Iliza, married, only has power through Queen Iliza. Charil has not exercised it too much, and is just living a life of extravagance. Behind his queen's back, King Charil has had a couple affairs, but so far no one has caught him. Charil does attempt to stop his wife from purging the Demonists, but he doesn't try hard to do so- he doesn't really care all that much.

Prince Elenoth- Elenoth is still a young prince, in his teen years, but he is loved by all. Kind and courteous, and very politically savvy, Elenoth is all ready a force to be reckoned with. During his childhood years, he grew up with fairy tales of brave knights seeking adventure in unknown places. Perhaps because of this, he would like to end Hypoten's isolationist years and rejoin the fold of the world.

The Circle of Seven:

Relen: Relen is the Head Treasurer. He is a very math-concious person, and doesn't believe that anything that isn't math-related isn't really worth his time. He also prefers to keep minus signs out of his ledger that keeps track of Hypoten's funds, and is more prone to vote on the least-costly option on each matter.

Weyhan: A noble from Alsabar, Weyhan is a young warrior. He, like Prince Elenoth, wants to end Hypoten's isolationist years, but wants to do it to declare war on the neighboring countries. He is young, rash, and the type to shoot (or swing?) first and ask questions later.

Cal: Another noble from Alsabar, he is not the brightest of people. In fact, he is down-right stupid. He is, to all intents and purposes, a figurehead. Cal's father was the one who got Cal a seat on the Circle, and Cal's father is the one who determines what Cal does on the circle. Cal's father is pro-isolationist and pro-getting bribed.

Sethel: The third Alsabarian noble on the Circle, Sethel is good at crafting words and making arguments. He is a good person to have on our side for this particular issue, because he can usually sway another person to your side.

Alain: a noble from the southern section of Slithenos, Alain is adamant about staying isolated from the rest of the world. Since his lands happen to be adjacent to Sylvia, he know first hand the horrors of the outside world (not that he or anyone he knows of as ever gone into Sylvia, or experienced anything about Sylvia). Alain is also highly paranoid, and goes every with a squad of bodyguards- the more expensive, the better.

Dreus: It has been rumored the Dreus, a noble from northern Slithenos, has managed to get past Hypoten's borders and enter illegally. Since then, he has taken over a noble's domain, and has managed to get on the Circle. Whatever did happen, his physical characteristics are definitely not Hypoten. Dreus, though, denies illegally immigrating into Hypoten (perhaps because doing so results in execution?), and is also very pro-isolationist and wants to increase the strength of the DMZ.

Rauth: Rauth is the poor man's representative on the Circle, and (like most in his position) was the head of the Farmer's Council before he got elected. Rauth only cares about increasing the rights of the common folk, but doesn't gain much support for that- the rest of the Circle members are nobles.

Plots:

A Prince in Peril- Elenoth has made a mistake. He has made his anti-isolationist view too widely known, and now groups- highly patriotic groups, who are in some cases the worst kind- who think that Hypoten's isolationism is a good thing want to kill him. Elenoth, whose bodyguards failed to protect him (or maybe he suspects they are part of the plot?), wants a third, neutral, and powerful party to protect him. Naturally, enter the PCs.

Voting is for the Weak- The term for the Circle of Seven is up, and a new lower-class representative is here. Understanding that he is surrounded by nobles who don't care too much on his particular issue- dealing with an increase of numbers with the groth-wurms, who are destroying the fields. Knowing that dealing with this increased infestation (can you call a ten foot wide monster that can chew through metal an infestation?) would be too big and widespread to be dealt with by just the PCs (strangely, unless you want a longer plot-line, the groth-wurms have just had a particularly good mating season), or with the meager funds he has available, he has decided to recruit the PCs to play the political game instead. If the PCs, by any means necessary, get the Circle to decide to deal with this problem, then they will get their reward.

Society/organizations:

Foreign Policy: The overall society of Hypoten is an isolationist one, like feudal Japan. Blocked in as it is by the sea to the north and the mountains southeast, it became easy for Hypoten to to simply guard the northeastern choke-point and mind their own affairs. It became easy, as the powers of the rest of the world played their political games, too slip to the side and be forgotten. After all, Hypoten had no special resources, no superior trade routes, nothing worth conquering the area for. And with the difficulty in getting to Hypoten, past its main army base, really, it wasn't worth the effort.

And so Hypoten started paying attention to its own problems, forgetting the rest of the land as it would a dream. It closed off its borders, it told the world that incoming merchants would be killed, and minded its own business. Hypoten set up a number of forts along its border with Five, gave Vartanadel the evil eye as a warning, and dived into the numerous internal problems that are bound to come up in any civilized society.

Political System: Hypoten has a Constitutional Monarchy. There are two main parts of the highest authority- the Circle of Seven, and the monarch. The Circle is composed of seven members. These members all represent a different group of people. One member represents the lower-class, and usually comes from the head of the Farmer's Council, which is a group that raises issues from the lower class to the Circle, and always has members from the middle class to lower classes. The Farmer's Council almost always only has Alsabarian members. Two more members comes from Slithenos, and are each nobility. One of the members is from northern Slithenos, and the other from southern Slithenos. Three more members come from the Alsabarian nobility. The remaining member is the Treasurer. Each member of the council, except for the Treasurer, has a ten year term. After that, they are forbidden from running again. The Treasurer stays on the Circle until the internal treasury department politics replaces him and gets another head treasurer.

The Circle meets once a week to discuss and vote on the week's issues. The Circle meets with the monarch, who stays as monarch for life. Each member of the council has one vote, and the monarch has two. Each meeting, the issues are debated and voted on. After each issue has gained a verdict, next week's issues are revealed, and the members leave. Before the next meeting, however, the members will be busy vying for support with each other on whatever issues they feel are important. Bribes in the form of trades are common. A member may, to win support on a certain issue, agree to say yes on another issue, make a trading arrangement that's more beneficial for the other person, or simply use logic ("If we don't make these canals, then farming will be less profitable and we will have less money."). Because of the fact that the monarch has two votes, he is vied over the most.

The issues themselves come from three sources- the Circle, the Farmer's Council, and petitions. The Circle can, at the end of each meeting, name an issue that they would like debated on and voted on. Each member- including the monarch- can only raise one issue each meeting. The Farmer's Council, as said before, is a group of the middle to lower class that raises the poor's issues. They can raise up to ten issues. And the last source of issues are petitions. An individual citizen can, if at least 75 people sign the issue, submit it to the Circle for debate and voting.

The monarch also has other powers besides voting on the Circle of Seven. The monarch is also at the head of the military, judicial system, and foreign policy, and can make some decisions by him/herself in those areas. For example, if the king/queen wanted to declare war on some country, then he/she could. To limit those powers, the Circle could cut funding to any of the the military and foreign policy decisions that the king/queen does. Because of this, the monarch will usually raise the issue at a meeting before actually doing the deed, to see if they would have enough support to do it. Or they could just bribe enough other members into supporting their actions.

Social Structure: The social structure of Hypoten is varied and slightly convoluted. But the basic structure has nine main levels. At the bottom of the heap, at the ninth level, is the Slithenos farmers and miners. They are an uneducated lot, and have no real contact with the rest of society. The next level is the Slithenos artisans. These include everybody who makes things with the raw produce the comes from the farmers and miners- blacksmiths, tanners, etc. The third level is the Alsabar farmers. For them, so close to the population center, life is at a better standard. The fourth is the Alsabar artisans. The fifth is the middle class- doctors, teachers, mages, etc. They have the same status everywhere because they almost always come from Alsabar, where all the schools of note are. The fourth level are the Slithenos nobility. Since they are only lords over the country folk, they have less power and status then the third level, the Alsabar nobility. The second level is the royal family- which includes the king, queen, prince(s), and princess(es). And at the top of the social structure is the Circle of Seven.

State Religion: The state religion is in fact two religions, both inherently inter-twined that they are taken as one. The two religions are Angelism and Demonism. Both hold that the Creator made the world, and everything in it. The Creator also made Heaven, Hell, and the afterlife, and populated the world with Angels, Demons, and the mortal races (humans, dwarves, elves, etc.). He then left the world and either slept, died, or went off to make more worlds. The mortal races, as the neutral factions, settled Decarthos. The angels and the demons, however, where friends and allies. They settles Heaven and Hell in equal numbers. Both of those planes were filled with laughter and joy. Though inter-racial marriages were slightly abhorred and considered wrong by them (they are of completely different species), there were some, and the Angel and Demon who had married were not shunned or outcasted- they were accepted, and no one cared too much about it. But such happy days could not last, and the First War began. This is where the Angelists and the Demonists argue. The Angelists claim it was the Demons started the war, and the Demonists claim it was the Demons who did it. Whoever started it, the cause of the war is not in dispute.

Each side believes strongly in one side of a philosophical argument- Fate or Free Will. The Angels believed, almost as a whole, in Fate, and the Demons, likewise, believe in Free Will. This is the reason for how the war started. The Angels fought for fate, the Demons for Free Will. The exact series of event that started the war has been long forgotten. When the First War did start, the two sides fought with an unsurpassed tenacity. It had the feel of a civil war, and that was what it almost was- a civil war, because each side had been living with each other for generations. From their, the goodwill turned into hatred. Any angel or demon who said that the other side couldn't be all bad would be shunned and rejected. The First War would eventually end with the Decarthos Treaty, which was negotiated by the mortal races, who had been caught in the middle of this war. It gave the angels heaven, and the demons hell. From their, war between the two factions would erupt sporadically, and die down when each side's armies were crushed. Neither side had any advantage, and countless Angels and Demons died for no other reason besides prejudice.

In short, the Angelists are on the side of the angels and worship them. They believe in fate. The Demonists are on the side of the Demons and worship them. They believe in free will. It is important to note that neither side is good or evil- angels commit atrocities in the same number as demons.

Note to fellow Decartos Authors: this religion can be your area's main religion or not. It can also be true or not. It is your prerogative whether or not Angelism and Demonism is the religion of your area.

Travel: Hypoten has a highly developed road system. These roads are always kept in excellent care, and travel throughout the region is encouraged. It is simply travel outside the region that is prohibited. Along the roads at regular, 15 mile increments, are inns. These inns get worse and worse the farther from society, civilization, and law enforcement they are. If an inn is right next to a city, then they are good, solid, respectable inns. If they are near a small town, the innkeeper will cut some corners and the food will be worse, rats will be more frequent, and bedbugs might be a more real possibility. If they are near a village, rats and bedbugs are an almost certainty. The mattresses might go from being mattresses to piles of straw in a cloth. And if there is no civilization nearby, my suggestion is sleep outside.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 09:38:56 PM by caesar193 »

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Offline caesar193

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Re: Creative Exercise: Fill in the map!
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2013, 02:34:52 PM »
Hey shadoweagle. As Supreme Lord Creator of the Fourth Land, could I move the Capitol? Since it is in blue pens and MS paint, I would appreciate it if you moved it to somewhere on the peninsula. Would that be possible, or will I have to work Four with a Capitol sp close to the DMZ (questions on the DMZ will have to wait until I finish Four)

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Our maps are always 100% right,. Its the terrain that's wrong.

Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Creative Exercise: Fill in the map!
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2013, 04:57:44 PM »
Feel free to ignore the blue x, Caesar; i was going to add details such as capitol locations and roads but then decided i wouldn't, and then i couldn't have been bothered erasing the circles.

Additionally, congratulations everyone; every land is claimed! For everyone who missed out and wanted to join in on this exercise, feel free to send me a pm and i will extend the map. Also, if you are willing to wait, it is likely i will create another map in a few weeks, considering the popularity of the current one.
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Re: Creative Exercise: Fill in the map!
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2013, 06:56:31 AM »
By the way, plus 50XP to SE for coming up with this and +25 for getting me involved with it. Most know that can be hard to do! (Not because I am any good at it, I am generally too lazy.)

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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Creative Exercise: Fill in the map!
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2013, 07:34:50 PM »
Pish and Pshaw. It's good that you joined in! What's the point of building and maintaining this website if you can't join in on the fun sometimes!?

Also, in a month or two I think i'll draw up a new one to release, as well. It seems to be a pretty popular thing, so it will give people a chance to start again, plus i'll add more lands so more people can join in.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 07:36:24 PM by Shadoweagle »
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Offline axlerowes

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Re: Map Challenge #1: Decathros
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2013, 05:25:40 PM »
Woah there buddy, we haven't finished this one.

Can the next one have roads or trade routes drawn into it!!!!!

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Re: Map Challenge #1: Decathros
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2013, 05:54:21 PM »
I reckon so. I may even have alliances; the areas color  coded red or green or grey depending on the alliance. A land at war... But yeah, not for some time yet.
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Re: Map Challenge #1: Decathros
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2013, 11:44:29 AM »
Decent update on mine. Still playing with it but there she blows.

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Re: Map Challenge #1: Decathros
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2013, 04:39:01 PM »
Nice one, Strolen; I have a devious plan in the works for your area :D

Also, I see Valadaar's given us a taste of his area; Kelevest. Can't wait to hear more on it; the masks and the Grey Spirits make the whole place sound very ethereal, and would be very outlandish for any travellers!

Also, Caesar's had a touch-up on his in the last week or two, as well! Sylvia, that forest, sounds mysterious! Also, I can see the Prince being a useful tool for any adventurers who find themselves unfortunately stuck within Hypoten. Also, an interesting take on Angels and Demons. Looking good!
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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Map Challenge #1: Decathros
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2013, 05:25:46 PM »
The mists have parted! The lands, explored! New opportunity awaits in the land of Decathros for those willing to brave these unfounded plains!
The map on the original post is now updated with FOUR new areas ripe for exploration!

Quote
11 - Frozen, northern wasteland, Low elevation. Several, small mountains lie in the midst of the icy land. Neighbours areas 7 and 6 to the south, and area 2 by sea to the west.

12 - High elevation area sloping down to low to the south. Hot, semi-arid climate dispite it's high elevation. A jutting mountain spikes up to the skies in the midst of area 12. Volcanic activity. Neighbours area 7 to the northwest, area 9 down mountains to the west, and area 13 to the southwest.

13 - Low to mid elevation area, warm, humid climate. Two large lakes lie within this area. A rainforest lies to the west. Neighbours area 12 to the northeast, area 9 and 8 to the north, and area 14 to the west.

14 - High elevation area. A large plateau atop the mountain range lies here; not quite high enough to cause much snow, nevertheless it has a cool climate with heavy rain. Overlooks area 13 to the east, and area 4 to the northwest.

Those who have already created an area and wish to work on a second must wait at least one week from the date of this post, to give new people an opportunity to claim a place in Decathros!
« Last Edit: February 04, 2013, 05:28:14 PM by Shadoweagle »
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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Map Challenge #1: Decathros
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2013, 04:40:11 AM »
EchoMirage does claim the snow-bound realm of 11!
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Re: Map Challenge #1: Decathros
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2013, 08:42:10 AM »
I'm developing a regional map for Swynmoor, and the cartographer in me has thrown up a question: Roughly what kind of scale are we dealing with on this map? I don't want to accidentally make a microcity or a superduchy.

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Re: Map Challenge #1: Decathros
« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2013, 02:32:05 PM »
I hereby name Area 11: Twyrlandir

Area Overview
Rare is the year when an actual summer visits the icebound reaches of Twyrlandir. A glacial shield guards the land below from the rays of the sun; wind, sea and light carve the frost into fantastic shapes. Unlike so many icy wastes, the land is surrounded by an almost palpable feeling of tension. In places, tremors can be felt, in others steam escapes through funnels in the glacier. Colossal ice blocks are strewn across the countryside; sometimes, dark shapes can be seen within.

The Forssetvann is the land's western rim, rocky beaches bordered by feral sea. Glaciers have left narrow valleys with rapidly declining shores in their wake. From holes in the ice, warm streams emerge, having carved their way through the ice, carrying the scent of sulfur and fire.
Fog rises from areas both near the shore and out in the ocean, and bubbling warm water rises to the surface.
In Tiviann and Vairavann, hot springs bubbling up through watery caverns on shore have allowed permanent settlements to arise.

The Dragsulet is the peninsula in the furthermost northwest, inhabited by ferocious ice drakes and their multitudes of strange spawn. The peninsula is tipped by a sole steep mountain, the Tennetsarion, called also Wind's Anchor.

The Rondrim. a spine of mountains runs across the land, the tallest at the chain's end in the west. They are mighty Bilandir and terraced Kortirion, rime-bound Koronath and weeping Valemir, ore-bearing Blangerd and Ersette of many spires. Far in the east lies lost Telserath, abandoned by its brethren as well as by those who inhabit them.
For, the mountain chain is the heart of civilization in Twyrlandir; it's where the elves have made their homes.

North thereof lies Tomheth, the Heart of Winter, a realm of utter cold. Nothing lives there - though many things wander the fragmented waste, born as if by whim out of its malevolent ice, and devoured again when the winter tires of its monstrous child. The living rime is Eldhel's Veil, and those who would tread its unearthly sheen - beware.

Salomos lies in the westernmost part of Twyrlandir, a lowland tundra and hilly taiga, home to herds of wild beasts, a plethora of unique predators, and a strange folk as much elf as beast and spirit.

The land is bordered to the south by Sorvegil, a range of increasingly taller mountains that ascend towards Swynmoor, decorated by waterfalls oft encased in frost, icy caves and valleys, steep forests of black pine, and taiga of a ferocious beauty. The northern faces of the Sorvegil are foreboding and wind-beaten, whereas the southern faces offer welcome respite to hardy beasts and the only indigenous folk, the Haldirim, mortal men or fae, both yet never at the same time.

History
Twyrlandir, or at least the history of its civilization is young by elven standards - a few elves even remember its beginnings, though to man, it predates many a myth.

In the age of legend, the reaches of Twyrlandir were a frozen grave, fit only to lock away the mishaps of creation in icy tombs, mistakes the gods were loathe to admit. You must know this to imagine how dreadful a punishment it was to Alsyrisani to see her daughters locked away beneath that prison of ice. She had been a rogue goddess of creation, of life unbound, the keeper of the second sun; alas, she had lain with one of the Elder Gods, and thus she was unworthy, unclean - and her progeny anathema.
Such had been her passion and fertility that she gave birth to a hundred and sixty nine, but all were caught and condemned to a frozen grave in the northern ice; their mother and her light were locked away in the home of the gods, from where she shines only as brightly as a star.

The Val-a-Twyr were slowly losing foothold in their homeland to the southeast, assaulted by their elven brethren over a prophecy. There was no room for negotiation nor reason, and no hope of surrender.
Of all the lands they had traveled, none were vacant to settle, war looming everywhere, and pursuit certain. That was when Terelisad, called the Wayward, Li'rei Ancalima by soul-name, led his people into the northern ice. He was called a fool, a madman, the d**nation of his people, but fire burned in his eyes, and his knowledge seemed certain.
In his travels, he had found the one safe place - the northern wasteland was steeped in oblivion, and hidden from the world. They would be thought dead, vanished in a snowstorm and eaten by beasts. None would pursue. Tereleisad had traveled the ice, and had seen a sleeping goddess surround herself with a memory of the sun in a chamber of fire - there, warmth and light would be theirs.

Around her they built the first city below the ice, but it was hardly the last. More than forty of her sisters were discovered, and each sleeping god-child had a city built around her. Driven by the scarce nature and chill, the elves adopted a more technological bent, learning to distribute the warmth of the daughters of Alsyrisani, their light, by conductors, pipes and crystal. They learned to gather the divine essence precipitating around them and use it in thaumatechnological machines; the greatest discovery was certainly though the use of steam. With such endless sources of warmth and water, the Val-a-Twyr built forges and machines, and drove mines below the frozen ground.

Discovery upon discovery, the society entered an age of reason, where science and magic and religion are facets of learning, all to be harnessed for the benefit of elvenkind.

With the discovery of Daughters buried at Tiviann and Vairavann and the founding of cities there, the Val-a-Twyr set sail once more after hundreds of years, beginning to expand their patronage. Meanwhile, their neighbors are delighted that the elves are willing to sell high-grade metal for a ship full of wool or even soil.   

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Eldhel's Veil
A layer of magical frost covers large expanses of Tomheth. On a clear day, it covers the snow with an eerie sheen of unnatural white. Unless one does disturb the snow heavily, that is all. The Veil changes when snow falls, or a storm breaks. It is as if it feeds on the falling snow, adding it to its mass; the wind whips it awake and on the search of prey.
Eldhel's Veil is a servant of the gods, the eternal jailor of the misshapen things locked away in the frost.
It's consciousness is alien, and inherently inimical to all life. Slow to learn and so strange in its outlook, it most often is content with creating duplicates of the monstrosities it guards from enchanted ice, to murder those who would walk the wastes. In storms, it awakens, and feeds on those who walk astray.
Lately, it has begun to realize there's much more going on in its domain, and that the intruders seem to die less.
Currently, it is still confused, and can't quite put a finger on the issue. The Elves would certainly like if it stayed that way.

Eldhel's Veil wanders across Tomheth with the tides of magic; its movement follows a pattern, but not one that would be obvious to Twyrlandir's inhabitants, as few studied its behaviour.

Spirit-Anglers
In the Beastlands of Salomos, many strange creatures roam. Once, before the encounter with man and elf, the spirit-anglers were simple ambush predators that used innate talents of illusion to lure their prey closer, or to mask their position.
But sapient creatures proved to be a difficult prey, as they easily could see through the simple figments. The beasts responded by infusing their illusionary constructs with more magical essence, adapting them to fool thinking creatures, mimicking behaviour, learning to provide meaningful responses... until, one day, their creations of some Anglers became sapient.
Fed by a steady magical stream from the parent beast, the spirits know well that it must be fed; alas, when the beasts digests, its Lamplight is idle, and studies its surroundings, occupies its mind, and tries to find meaning.

Each Lamplight is different. Composed of but illusion, they change shapes freely, though most will have a preferred (most convincing) animal and humanoid form. Some are feral, caring only to feed their beast; some occupy themselves with malicious tricks much like mischievous fae; a few are able to engage in meaningful long-term interaction with sapient creatures.
Still, beware, for the Lamplight knows very well when its beast hungers, and may turn from a delightful conversationalist into a lethally deceptive threat. The influx of magic from its Beast is the only sustenance the Lamplight knows, and is forever shackled to the monster by this need.

Icewood
Each life-form of Twyrlandir must deal with the cold somehow. The Icewood is one of the trees that grow furthest north, as it has developed an unique survival mechanism. The trees will capture cold in crystalline form in their roots, enduring thus the worst excesses of winter, and in spring, they will absorb the cold around them to thaw the ground and snow. Besides increasing the hospitality of their surroundings, the frost crystals are a valuable commodity, as they are composed of concentrated utter cold, and thus of use for frost enchantments, or for cooling in southern lands. Beware the Icewood treants, though: they can access centuries of stored cold at will, and use it to smite their enemies.
 
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The Haldiri of Sorvegil
The indigenous people are a hardy folk - the men grow to seven feet, massively muscled, with prodigious beards and manes; the women also grow comely, stout and tall. Theirs is a clannish Iron Age society, spread out in villages throughout the mountains.
In their past, a great chieftain united them, once in their history. Hor-Halad had rallied the clans against a folk of ravenous fae who plagued the mountains, and led them with wild determination - until all fae but their queen were dead. An iron blade at her throat, the faerie queen prayed for mercy, and Hor-Halad spoke: "If you shall bless our women with beauty as yours , you alone may leave!"
And so it happened - alas, many of the women turned fey by that spell, and until today, many children will display the fey heritage in full, especially the women - making the Sorvegil mountains more haunted than ever before.
Clans will keep records of blood ties to the various fae born of them, as many would not be recognized as human; the dealings with the fey-kin are difficult - but then, the clansmen have practice in abundance. As most often, women receive they fey gift, a common practice amongst men is to court their fae kin. This makes good material for tales of adventure and romance, strange children and the occasional tragedy.
To outsiders, the capricious fae of the Sorvegil are another threat, in addition to the hostile clansmen and feral nature.

The Val-a-Twyr
The elves of Twyrlandir are a people of learning first and foremost. It was their inventiveness that allowed them to spread the warmth of the Daughters beyond their resting place, it was their inventiveness that allowed them to carry their light to illuminate the subterranean gardens. Each of the cities has houses of learning, where experts in all fields come to teach; still, most education is handled by a series of apprenticeships. The Val-a-Twyr hold individual genius in high regard, and the best way to learn is to work with a master.
Interestingly, the intense confrontation with their enemies, the harsh land, the immense amount of labor and the monsters of the waste have awoken something in the Val-a-Twyr: a drive and energy rarely seen in elves. Much different from the distanced melancholic high elf lost in ennui of the ages, the elves of Twyrlandir are driven, energetic, exceedingly active and awake. There is so much that matters, so much threat, so much to gain and lose... today!
Their way of life has also -somehow- led to far higher fertility rates amongst the elves. Perhaps because it suddenly matters whether you make love today or tomorrow? Perhaps elven ladies require to be swept off their feet and impressed before they will bear life, and so much impressive and new is going on? It may be the proximity to daughters of a fertility goddess, too.

Each Freehold is a city-state, connected with the others by tunnels if close, though overland voyages are necessary between some. It is supplied with warmth, light and magic by a Daughter; the distance these can be transported is a limiting factor on each city's size. much scouting is going on to find the resting places of other daughters, for that is the only way the civilization can grow.
As individual growing of sustenance or building of housing are impractical, these are created communally. Everything else has to be earned - whether respect, your own housing, or social position. The society has exactly zero tolerance towards slackers; there is always something that needs doing. A lazy elf will be respected less than a child, and assigned work. If he fails to improve, he is asked to redeem himself or leave.
Given the moderate size of the communities, a republic becomes a possibility, as everyone is personally known to the others, and escape from responsibility for failings unlikely. When you're an elf, you're in for the long run. Generally, service in the government is considered a responsibility more than a right, and most skilled elves serve a term; only those with a track record of competence and service to the community are chosen.

As gold is far more abundant than things actually worth having, it is used for decoration and external trade; two kinds of currency are used internally by the Val-a-Twyr. Magic crystals that hold the raw essence of divinity precipitating around the Daughters are sought after, both due to their usefulness for wizards and clerics alike, but also as fuel for the most sophisticated mechanisms. Each crystal will carry the reflection of the Daughter around which it was collected. The same face the Val-a-Twyr stamp on gold used for external trade.
Another form of currency is time - the Val-a-Twyr will trade away their free time to their fellows - in the form of etched metal disks. Very often, this is used in gentleman cooperation in various endeavors, but wise elves will secure the time of promising individuals ahead of time, when their services are not yet highly valued, as the work of a talented artisan or powerful wizard necessarily gains in value as they gain skill and renown.

Given the scarcity of life, it is understandable that Val-a-Twyr value it highly. Despite being a society with extensive industry, they value mostly things that cannot be bought.
Due to their society's unquestioningly positive attitude towards children (all children are a priori wanted), they are sexually quite open, though much eugenic consideration goes into choosing the right mate.

Technologically, the Val-a-Twyr are advanced, with highly evolved metallurgy and masonry, advanced knowledge of mechanics and some appliance of steam power. Thaumatech is under vibrant development and the focus of much research, though its application is limited by available magic crystals. In times of need, it can power land transport craft, a few select experimental ships, self-powered armor or magical weapons.
Numerous smaller appliances can be directly powered by a wizard using his own reserves.
Interestingly, they have evolved agriculture as well - for plants grown in every available spot of the illuminated caverns, or in vats. Their culinary arts are stunted, though, when compared to their more classically situated elven brethren.

The Aspects
Occasionally, strange children are born to the Val-a-Twyr, bearing semblance to the sleeping Daughters. As manifold as are the Daughters, so are the Aspects, though each will resemble the Daughter in whose proximity he was born in some way.
The changes range from subtle, such as an inner light that becomes apparent when other sources of illumination are extinguished, or fiery hair, to obvious ones such as wings, extra limbs, strange organs or a solar aura similar to that of their patron in nature if not intensity. After all, the Daughters are beautiful yet alien.
The Aspects often display a penchant for magic, yet also a strange spirit, frail sanity and great passion.
Their role in the society of Twyrlandir is complex - while they have great potential, the Aspects generally fail to live up to positions of responsibility. As such, they carry a combined privilege and stigma.

The Lost
During the exodus, some elves were lost in the snowy vastness, and did not find their way to a Daughter to warm them. Alas, the gods did not dispose only of the Daughters of Alsyrisani in the forsaken waste. Other creatures lay there entombed, and the Lost woke one, in the depths below Telserath. It was Kaleresse the Divine Strife, once made by two gods who could not agree on what form to give their joint creation, and cast him aside as they realized he was ruined by their strife beyond repair.
Kaleresse was woken by the intruders and freed from his prison, and took care of every single elf; within his malleable bosom and his fevered dreaming, they were made into aberrant creatures, each unique and every stranger than the previous, elven yet elven no more.
There, in the darkness below Telserath, they breed even stranger shapes, and welcome any elf who would stray into their fold.

Ifirnien - those who left
Few Val-a-Twyr choose to live outside the citadels - some find the confined space unbearable, others the society. Often, they subsist near the sea on fish and seal, others break open the ice caskets of strange things and feed on their misshapen flesh, while some live entirely on magic. What these strange recluses do in the wastes is anyone's guess.

The Villkvinnoe of Salomos
Mad with hunger, lost elves made their way out of the winter southwest to the beastlands of Salomos. There, they met with the lords of the beasts, spirits that were the epitomes of the feral things inhabiting the taiga. They struck a deal then - they would teach the Beastlords of men and elves, and they would be taught of beasts and life.
Each group followed a Beastlord, and they learned, until they were one with the animals of the wild.
Today, the Villkvinnoe are shapeshifters, as much feral as elf, wild as the taiga they inhabit.
They remember that they were Val-a-Twyr once, yet have grown distant from their icebound civilized brothers. At times, they will trade cattle for iron, or a wild elf maiden will request a night with the sailors of a Val-a-Twyr ship to bring new blood to her people.

The Frostfangs
Atop Tennetsarion, Whyrthfragor dwells, an ice dragon well versed in skin-changing. His delight is to range far and wide, to abduct women across the land, and make them bear his spawn. The peninsula of Dragsulet is abundant with his monstrous descendants. None of his slaves can leave the icy castle, for he denies them cloth, and only his sorcery keeps them from freezing.
Whyrthfragor is the unquestioned monarch of that land, while his brood are his soldiers and servants; they subsist on fishery and plunder, and produce nothing of worth.

Systems
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 04:48:25 PM by EchoMirage »
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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Map Challenge #1: Decathros
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2013, 04:45:08 PM »
Dozus, a map sounds great! And Echo, can't wait to read more of the frozen lands :D

as for the size, I had a post in the collab thread about it.

Quote
Also, re: the scale question in the quickchat.
The scale of the map is largely arbitrary - the map is a general visual tool used to inspire, and each section is as large as you need it to be to fit in all that you need.
but as a general guide, let us say that perhaps the scale in the full-size version of the map is 50km/1cm or so. Sound reasonable?
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