The Wastes are some of the most dangerous lands in all the world. The spongy soil makes conventional travel nearly impossible. If that was not enough, it holds dangerous pitfalls and some of the most dangerous beasts on the planet. Yet people will dare The Wastes for the riches to be found there and the resources people need.
From the City Image - Carnous, the other minor freefloating cities of The Wastes, and the BorderTowns, comes a strong, brave, and breed of human, those willing to learn the ways of The Wastes to gather the needed assets and avoid its dangers.
The Prospectors of The Wastes have been the fodder for many a Bard’s Tale or Dogbounds. The odd and lively characters that brave the exotic and dangerous wastes make for enchanting stories. While it can be exciting, most prospecting is long, dirty, and dangerous work. (In fact, the saying goes, "If you have made yourself a tale, you have done something wrong."
It all started with people living at the edges of the wastes. Adventurous Alchemists and Wizards, and various foolhardy adventurers would brave The Wastes looking for things they knew to be there (Alchemical materials, Grimrock, and actual gems). The Locals watched them go in and fail. They themselves slowly developed a bag of tricks to deal with The Wastes and reach those valuables. In addition, they could deal with the vermin that come in from the wastes and collect dyes and foodstuffs from The Wastes. It slowly became the convention that all guides who knew the wastes and those who would travel the wastes for goods are called prospectors.
Equipment and Important Features of a Prospector’s Life.
None. Though a prospector might have some spark of magic, and some use Goo from a Hellpit to empower things via a reliquary. Their equipment is generally not magical.
Borrowing from their Ocean side brethern, piers and paths were made out into the wastes. Wooden Planks set on glass balls survived the longest. Eventually they would corrode and fall away and the glass spheres would not carry much traffic, so they were temporary at best. They did manage to extend the reach into the wastes.
These were also the starting points for the Moving Cities of the Wastes.
These are small stationary islands of huts made of wood adn bamboo that are spread around The Wastes for naviational and rest purposes.
Some islands are actually on large standing boulders, after they have scared the Soarers off, or huge sand coral patches. Sand Coral here is much like Ocadian SandCoral, except the animals that inhabit it are all stinging creatures that make standing on it without thick boots dangerous.
Loamskooners (Landskiffs), they look like three bladed sleads with large sails.
The difference between the two is technical, but can be summed up by Skiffs are smaller and pointier, with slightly different blades than Skooners.
Varners are one of the most powerful beasts in The Wastes. They are able to travel in all the various terrains with impunity. Once saddled up with their belled harnesses and wrapped saddle, they are moderately docile. (The Jingling noice helps keep them happy for reasons unknown). Only those of a middle age are useful, the young are too small and the old are vastly too large to do anything except sleep with the jingling bells on.
Wind Blankets are akin to kites, but with nothing but a some boning to give them a little rigidity. In the windy warm season, wind blankets are used to power small sleds or even carry a prospector off the ground into the sky.
Caps: Similar in construction to the Waste Suits, caps are harder leather headgear to protect a prospector’s head. They are more of a coif than a cap, as they protect the side and back of the head as well as the top. They often have a face guard that pulls over covering the mouth and bottom of the nose.
Hatha Robe: This is an overtunic that goes over the protective leather suit a prospector wears. It is somewhat billowy, but it is "tied tight" when work is to be done. It servers three fuctions. One is identification, as each prospector on a team or company wears identifying colors. Second, it acts as a sunshade and cooling point for the prospector, especially when untied and the wind can be caught inside. Lastly, it takes the first cuts of the sand and splatters of caustic elements, helping to lengthen the lifespan of a Wastesuit.
Hats: These large bamboo straw hats help shade the prospector’s head and shoulders from the harsh sun of the wastes. These are worn by anyone who might be out in the sun too long, be they prospectors or sailors or just people around the town for a stroll.
Poks: Big Barrels that are worn on the feet. They function like snow shoes. The bottom of the barrel is solid, the top is open. The foot is normally suspended in by cords in the center of the barrel
WasteSuit: This is a full leather suits made from any variety of animals. The leather is treated to with modified varner slime to help make it resistant to the acids found on the wastes. Suits come in dozens of basic designs, comming in one, two, or three pieces, with or without armored patches, and fully flexible or stiff. Which suit a prospector has is determined by what they are comfortable with, where they come from, and how much money they have. The Lucky have a full suit with Varner Plates protecting them.
True Prospecting Gear
Poles: When a prospector says their pole, they mean a spear. The spears are normally mansized and can be used as staves. The bladed head of the spear is long and sharp with a dew hook (a thumb). The Dew hook is used for catching things, catching targets on the recover of a stab, and hacking. The spear itself is also used for prying material loose and for vaulting.
Spades: These broad headed shovels come in a variety of sizes and widths. They are cheaply made as even expensive ones tend not to survive the digging in the loam.
Shift Pan: These are round pans with a meshed bottom. Soil is dumped in the top. The pan is shaken gently. Eventually the loam and soil slide through the mesh, leaving behind stones and other things in the pan. These are also cheaply made, as they tend not to surivive too much contact with the Loam.
Full Item Description
The basic outdoor gear is the same here as it is in normal conditions. The gear tends to be leather lined (verner hide mostly) to protect the metal.
Spotting Scope: These small telescopes extend the vision of the prospector helping them navigate and search.
Rope and Grapple
HellPit good in a cylander. It continues to glow for months after scooped up.
Mask (air filters)
Distiller (boil and condense) and make most water "safe".
Purifier (i.e. carbon/ charcol leach) and make most water "safe".
You carry a heavy distiller and purifier. You might cache one somewhere on a rock island or such, if you know where a water source is.
A marker that will survive most of the rigors of the soil here. Used to mark danger for the next Prospector. Larger ones act as navigation buoys for Skiffs and Skooners.