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January 4, 2006, 4:43 pm

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The Drums of Pict-land


The Frontier Province of Omdara stabs like a blade into the wild side of Pict-land. At the tip of this blade is Gadora, the farthest fort.
And over the rushing, raging Wolf River, in the dark and sightless forests, the drums of the Picts are beating…

The Frontier

For centuries, brooding on the west coast of the Great Land, there have been Picts. Beyond the earliest memory of civilized people, the savage Painted Ones have dwelt in the trackless wilderness known as Pict-land, the enemies of all others, beastlike and untameable. The Picts have resisted a thousand years worth of dynasties, autocracies, kingdoms, and armies who smashed themselves across the Blood River into Pict-land.

Shaped like a rough spear-head, the Frontier Province of Omdara, stabbing over the Blood River, all the way into Pict-land as far as the Wolf River, the embattled western frontier of the kingdom of Hedera. Omdara is constantly under attack, being raided by Picts on all it’s forested borders. The forts which once were the front of Omdara have slowly become a line of fortified towns along the middle of the Province; in the center of the wedge at the Blood River there is the de facto capitol of the frontier, Baldava. Most of Omdara is lightly settled by farmers who till the earth, clearing the forests out. There is also a small population of woodsmen, frontiersmen and rangers who have become hardened and adapted to the forest, and are the main line of defense against the vicious Picts. The far off king is unwilling to commit more troops and money to the Province, so most of the forts of Omdara are lightly staffed, at least where professional soldiers are concerned. This is a constant frustration to Aidavas, the Lord Marshall of Omdara, a strong but caring man who wishes to see the settlers thrive and eventually push back the barbaric front.

Of late, there has arisen a new power over the border. The settlers have heard anew the drone of the drums of Pict-land; many have seen the new depredations of the howling Pict warriors. At the salt lick near South Fort, a party of 20 Picts (verified to be of the Skull Tribe; their arrow-shafts were painted white) rained death upon a merchant’s party who had been heading towards Gadora (the farthest fort) with supplies.

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Comments ( 2 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

February 20, 2006, 18:24
very Robert E. Howardesque, but I love it since he's one of my favorites.
May 19, 2006, 3:05
As said above, nicely Robert E Howard. Nice set up.


  • Associated ideas.
  • Picts

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Which way is he going?

       By: Murometz

Molk Peruda is encountered by the PCs on the second day of their journey west from the salt-choked port of Quyn, as they prepare to explore the jungle.

He appears a gaunt, wolfish man, with matted, dark hair that sprouts from his head in dreadlocks, contrasting with his well-oiled, blue-black, conical beard. His eyes are hidden ebon shards beneath thick arching brows, his nose, crooked, long, and reminiscent of a snout. His mouth is a thin, dark line, his teeth unseen even when he parts his lips to speak.

His skin is the color of tallow, surprising perhaps for a renowned jungle guide, yet his natural helm of dreads and the jungle's canopy keeps the sun from bronzing his originally pale flesh. On his back are tattooed three women from the waist up, side-by-side, each resembling the other but of different ages. This is a tattoo of Molk's mother, sister, and daughter. His wife (don't bring her up to him!) was killed by marauding Qullan years ago, and appears as her own tattoo on his broad but sunken chest.

His feet shockingly are turned around 180 degrees at the ankle, facing towards his back! A curse from a pernicious shaman. Molk walks feet backwards (he's used to it) and walks backwards, forwards. This can be very disconcerting and outright creepy to the PCs as he guides them through the rainforest.

Slung from his back is an archer's quarrel of treated wood carved to resemble a stalking leopard, in his hand a re-curved composite bow of horn and sinew, with a pair of vivid, red eyes, each one painted on the opposite side of the hand-grip. In a leather sheath at his belt, hangs a falchion, its pommel adorned with a curved bird's head and beak.

Encounter  ( Forest/ Jungle ) | January 15, 2014 | View | UpVote 7xp

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