Quest: A place inspired by said image - on: July 29, 2004, 08:28:28 PM


The Image:

I was saving this link in my private little spot to be used as inspiration at some later date. Then I thought, why should I alone use it. Inspired by discussions with Strolen, I thought I would make a quest. My goal is to generate TEN or more places based upon that image.

Upon getting ten entries, I will set up a poll so we can vote. The winner gets nothing but bragging rights, but I don't think that is going to be a problem.

These entries do not have to be epic or large, just enough that people can actually use them in a game without having to do too much original work to flesh them out. (In short, see the neighborhood or organization thread). Pieces of short fiction (complete chapters at least) are also possible.

When you make an entry, simply put the next number in line in your subject line with your name for this place. So the next entry will be :

#1 Name of the place The numbers will help us determine what is an entry and what is a comment.

So ready, set, GO!

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? Community Contributions (14)-15

#1 The Floating Temple of the Bodhisattva

Reply #1 on: July 31, 2004, 05:20:09 AM

As travelers boat down the River Dengon, emerging from under the eaves of the Saveyam Jungle, they are greeted by an amazing sight- the Floating Temple of the Bodhisattva, sitting still and beautiful on the waters like a lotus blossom. The Floating Temple is one of the most beautiful of it's kind, and many of the juti, the traveling beggar-monks of the Bodhisattva, come to the Floating Temple as the final site on long pilgrimages.

The Floating Temple is built in the shape of a six-rayed star, each ray being a long, floating pathway dedicated to one of the Six Perfections of the Bodhisattva- Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom. These pathways are roofed but open to the air, and the warm wood of their walks is polished in deep golden lacquer. At the end of each path is a shrine to the form of the Bodhisattva that exemplifies the path's particular Perfection.

The pathways all emerge from the Central Pavilion, a great circular temple with a huge wooden statue of the Bodhisattva, covered in gold leaf, with bracelets of jade, in the center. The main entrance of the Floating Temple is a series of steps leading down from this statue and out the gates to a dock. The quarters of the monks and cells for resting juti lie on the back of the Circle Temple.

The entirety of the Circle Temple, and most of the Walks of Perfection, was constructed entirely of wood by Sampang Thogamon, the famous Juti of the River, who, after spending nine years floating in the River Dengon, built the Floating Temple all by hand of wood he cut himself. He did not finish it before he died, but most of the work was done, and afterward, the people of the village of Dengon-Tse finished construction of the Temple. The pillars are locked together with wooden pins and tight wooden claws, cunningly engineered to hang to each other and prevent the pillars to collapse either way.

(OOC: The Walks of Perfection are what represent the Temple 3 picture.)

#2 Lord Ilyich's Manse

Reply #2 on: July 31, 2004, 10:57:58 AM

Lord Ilyich raised for himself a great keep, situated on one of the tower islands located in the river Narmouth. Some of the tower islands were little more than spires, while others could be as large as several acres square. Ilyich chose a middling size island, both for ease of defence, and for reduced cost of walling in the island.

The keep was completed in under seven years, complete with massive walls grounded out into the bedrock of the island iself. The walls added another twenty feet of height to the island, the better to repell river bandits, and the bold shipbound barbarians who would at times sail up the great rivers to burn and pillage and steal. There were a number of towers, a great hall, as well as a spacious don jon, and space for nearly 500 men and women to live in comfort.

The interior of the tower island was honeycombed with passages, and chambers. Stables, middens, and the forges and smithies were buried in the island where they would be out of sight, and not pollute the many gardens, and small parks scattered about within the upper walls. Some of the passages were used daily, others were restricted, or secret.

Lord Ilyich preferred the gentlemanly comfort of the carriage to the loping gait of a horse, and had an expansive collection of carriages. These too, were kept in the space under the island. It soon became a problem that it was too difficult to ferry the carriages to and from the island. After some deliberation, the lord with the aid of the dwarven mastermason Ar-Trovvel, came upon a novel solution.

A causeway was built between the island, and the shore. The bridge would lead into a rampway where the carriage could be maneuvered easily into the carriage stalls, and the horses could also be moved with a minimum of fuss from the carriage area to the stables. Ilyich was pleased when a further use was found for the causeway. Supplies came easier than by ship, and it was a better way to turn the horses out of the stalls to a pasture, and certainly safer than having to embark on a ship twice a day to do so.

The matter of defence was also paramount in the minds of the two designers. Ar-Trovvel designed several sets of granite slab doors, reinforced from behind with oak and iron banding. An elaborate system of counterweights balanced the door and made it's operation swift and easy. One door seperated the causeway from the carriage barn, another seperated the carriage barn from the interior of the keep. The walls in the areas vulnerable to the causeway were heavily reinforced, and arrowholes were added both in the ceiling from the floor above, but in several walls as well.

As a finishing touch, Ilyich had the bridge roofed in the popular earthen tile glazed against the weather. The causeway became both functional, and artistic. Fellow lords would come to see the wealth of Ilyich's carriages, and the cunning nature of his keep, and would be pleased with the vibrant colors and many tiles, the first of which seen were those of the causeway. Dwarves would come to see the great works of Ar-Trovvel, and Lord Ilyich, and marvel at the wonders created when man and dwarf cooperate,

#3 The Fourfold Bridge

Reply #3 on: August 03, 2004, 02:57:31 PM

In the years prior to the Wars of Cleansing, the mystics of the Four Peoples forsaw troublesome times to come; their tribes would fight several long and bitter wars, killing hundreds of thousands, razing entire cities, and leaving deep feelings of hatred and mistrust that would make peace impossible. Hoping to avert the wars, the mystics gathered at Lake Tabriz and using their magical powers, raised an island in the middle of the lake and on that island, built the Temple of Peace -- a testament to the unity of the Four Peoples and a place where their leaders and diplomats could come to end their conflicts.

Unfortunately, the mystics could not finish their temple in time. The Wars of Cleansing began and the mystics vanished. No one knows what happened to them. Some say that they faded away when faced with the great sadness of their failure. Others think they died struggling to complete their temple. A few think they are still on Tabriz Island, waiting for someone to wake them.

Today, the temple lies ruined on Tabriz island. Four elaborately constructed bridges link the island to the mainland, one for each of the Four Peoples. The Temple of Peace has never been used as a meeting place for the Four Peoples as they all consider it to be a place of misfortune. However, in recent months, a small religious order has settled on the island. The Order of the Unfinished Peace consists of monks and scholars from each of the tribes. These monks worship the mystics that gave their lives on this island and they seek and end to all conflicts.

One of the most notable members of this upstart religion is none other than Arathane Illtide, heir to the Elvin Throne. When Arathane's father, Rellen Illtide, learned of his defection, he was furious, and traveled to Tabriz to personally retrieve his son. While he crossed the Elven Bridge to reach the island, Rellen was confronted by a group of monks. He drew his sword to kill the monks and the power of the bridge struck him down. Up until that moment, no one knew of the enchantments placed on the bridge by the mystics: once you set foot on the bridge, you are bound by the laws of peace.

Once word of Rellen Illtide's demise spreads, what will happen? The Four Peoples currently shun one another, not trusting the others enough to meet. If the Fourfold Bridge can guarantee a peaceful meeting, will it bring the tribes together? What if a fugitive from justice came to the island seeking asylum? Must you cross the bridges to come under the sway of the laws of peace? What if an assassin were to swim across the lake to attack his island-bound quarry?

Hopefully, the Fourfold Bridge gives you a few ideas to use in your own game.

#5 Judgments Crossing - The River Jade

Reply #5 on: September 01, 2004, 09:47:50 AM

A few miles inland from the Coast of Arsoon, runs the River Jade. Across this river in a deep valley lies Judgments Crossing. A place of great beauty and mystical histories! In these waters lay the Spirits of the Many Kings sent down from this place in a hero's burial on their way to the sea. It is here that warriors come to be tested for the clarity of head and heart, it is here that they come to drink believing in the strength of their ancestors and it is here that the very green in the water itself rewards those who are true and consumes the unworthy.

Argas - Initiate of the Blade

'Some fear trial by fire but as an initiate about to pledge an oath to my King at the waters edge, I would feel more comfortable walking barefoot in the pits of hell or naked on the coldest northern mountain tops as a pledge then face the waters judgment. I have heard only rumors of the pain and echos of the screams surrounding those that have not returned. However, if I should survive this test my veins will run as green as those that succeeded before me and on the fields of battle, our enemies will envy our prowess.'

#6 - The Bridge

Reply #6 on: December 02, 2004, 10:01:29 PM

(All right already. Too much pressure ;) )

The bridge still sits as a symbol of times past. Neither the country of Trelen nor the country of Loist, of which the bridge connects, would ever touch the bridge. Not because of law or threat, but only for an unspoken feeling that, if anything was to ever happen to the bridge, hope of peace between their countries would be forever lost. The bridge has never been given a name; its location and importance were once insignificant. It is now only called The Bridge and everybody knows of what is spoken when mentioned. Not a soul has stepped on The Bridge since the war and very few living have even seen it due to its complicated and remote location. The river leading to it is shallow and in between the shoals are many rapids that are difficult to traverse. On either side of the bridge are miles of difficult terrain and mountainous territory not worth the difficulty of travel anymore. The towns that once made the bridge necessary have long since been abandoned and few ever adventure this way anymore. Cut throats and brigands rarely even take the trouble to pass that way as there are many easier ways to cross between the warring nations. Even when they do venture that far, not even they dare put foot on the bridge and instead cross at a shallows down river. For all the neglect, The Bridge is far from forgotten.

At one time bridges such as this had dotted the Normas River. Beautiful expansive bridges were decorated with lovingly carved wooden rails showing off the craftsmanship of the builders and the deep wallets of the sponsors. Some so large and arching to allow full masted ships to flow beneath and some, like this one, were built right through the river with underground openings allowing the now tamed water to travel freely. Trade and travel through the two countries over the Normas River was as common as going to market. The world was once at peace and the people prospered.

There are not many that know the root cause War of the Seven Swords but, then again, to few it really matters. Most know that it had to do with the seven Princely offspring of the two countries and conflict between them and that knowledge was enough. History has little meaning to those that must struggle to survive. The only thing of consequence is that Trelen and Loist have been in the grapples of conflict for more then three generations. There are now very few that are still around who personally remember those times of peace. The War of the Seven Swords saw the destruction of all connections between the two countries, of which first and foremost were the bridges. Those that do remember the peace and the freedom they had lament over what they have lost but still hold hope for their children. The hope of peace for them, and most others, lies in the continued existence of The Bridge.

The Bridge will remain now as it has for decades, remembered but neglected. Through time, there will be more visitors that make the pilgrimage to set their eyes on The Bridge. They will continue to propagate the legend and confirmation of its existence. The seed of hope will continue to be nurtured. It is still a vivid hope amongst many that one day the rulers of the two lands will meet on that bridge in friendship. Until that day comes, The Bridge will remain a legend in most people's thoughts.

#7 The Bay of Stone Causeway.

Reply #7 on: January 29, 2005, 12:18:34 AM

The direct road between 2 coastal citys passes over the shallow and inhospitable Bay of Stone on a causeway. Avoiding the causeway requires a large detour.

The causeway was built and is maintained by the shaven headed monks of the nearby Monastry of Oneness with God. A large copper bowl is left by the side of the road at one end of the causeway for donations. It is considered ungodly, bad luck and 'not right' to cross the causeway without making a donation. The bowl is emptied regularly.

These causeway is roofed but open to the air at the sides. Their is a wooden archway in the centre of the causeway to allow boats to pass underneath, although few boats sail the Bay of Stone.

The area surrounding the shallow Bay of Stone is inhospitable, wild, craggy and forested.

The monks are not the only inhabitants of the bay area, it is rumoured to be inhabited by the fae, the little people. Sometimes, at dusk, mysterious blue lights can be seen from the landwards side of the causeway, moving and hovering above the surface of the bay like dragonflys.

#8 The Bridge of Passage

Reply #10 on: May 22, 2005, 02:56:22 PM

Fashioned centuries ago by a sect of the war god Kilthurxis to test its new acolytes, this bridge has seen quite a bit of action over the years. This sect regards skill at duelling above all else, so new priests must cross this bridge before they can adopt their duties. Priests who are about to be tested are told only that a trial awaits them, that they must cross the bridge to pass the trial, and that they will be unable to return the way that they came. They are then offered a chance to resign the priesthood and become merely a member of the flock.

The Bridge of Passage is specially made so that it can only be exited on the side that was not used to enter. Also, the bridge is well-maintained, so old battle scars are quickly repaired.

The way that the Bridge is used is as follows.

Two acolytes enter the bridge from opposite sides, each given the weapon of their choice, traditionally a quarterstaff. The two meet in the center of the bridge, where they duel. As is taught by their teachers, they fight to the death, and the winner takes his opponent's weapon as a trophy. If, for some reason, both acolytes exit the bridge, both lose their chance to become priests. If the masters are in a bad mood, they may be executed.

#9 - Jhala's Retreat

Reply #11 on: August 27, 2005, 01:13:48 PM

All but hidden from sight in the mouth of the winding Taskan River, Jhala's Retreat is a secluded spot perfect for philosophers, lovers and artists to find solitude. The haunting cries of the herons that stand stonelike in the still shallow waters of the river's mouth have inspired many a musical flute composition from inspired composers, and a great deal of the famous painter Jilang Mae's spectral watery dreamscapes are inspired in part by its misted view of the river's winding reaches.

Jhala's Retreat derives its name from an ancient myth regarding the peaceful Jhala Teng, Goddess of the Winds. It is said that, under a spell cast upon her by the ambitious enchanter Hulan Sei, she fell deeply in love with the spirit of the Taskan River, a lowly water sprite, who was so flattered by the attentions she bestowed on him that he caused the villagers living nearby to build a great pagoda for her at the mouth of his river, that they might always be close.

Sadly, the Other Gods grew aware of this gross breach of etiquette, that a Goddess should love a mere sprite. As the conniving Hulan Sei had hoped, they sent an emissary to her retreat, entreating the Goddess to forsake her love and show Jutan's children that one must always be true to one's status. Fueled by her obsessive love for the Taskan River's spirit, Jhala Teng committed the unthinkable and slew the emissary where he stood for his insolence. Thus was Jhala's reputation as the most peaceful of the Others crushed, and she was punished accordingly. According to the binding magic of the Great Laws, that state that no mortal may influence a God's status, Hulan Sei was torn apart by the very energies he hoped to gain power over.

To this day, Jhala's feet are forbidden to touch land or sea, and thus she dwells forever out of sight behind the clouds above the Eternal Peaks of Talong-se. Sometimes she is driven to rage by this ban, and thus the winds are whipped to a fury and become the sailor and the farmer's greatest nemesis. At other times, Jhala is so crushed by her breach of the Great Laws that she weeps, sometimes for months on end, and the land is inundated with her fresh tears. The people of Jutan name this depression the Mon-Soon, or Futile Weeping.

#10 - Gate of The Diviner

Reply #12 on: August 28, 2005, 05:18:09 AM

Hidden in the center of the Krylag forest, and bridging the Grey-Death Marsh, this piece of amazing architecture is much more than it appears. In the center of the Grey-Death Marsh is a small patch of dry land inhabited by a creature known only as The Diviner. It is said that The Diviner is an ageless creature who spends its days living in the past, present and future all at once, which gives it an uncompeted ability to see into other times and events. The legend says that if one is able to find the Unaging Bridge and cross it, they can ask The Diviner any question they wish and recieve a true, if cryptic answer.

The legend goes on to explain just what this bridge does. It is also known as the Gate of The Diviner and for good reason. In attempting to cross the Gate, one is subjected to three tests, to see if they are worthy of communing with The Diviner.

The First Test: The crosser is tested about their past. They are forced to relive an event from their past. The event is one that was life-altering and they must go through it again, but this time with whatever second-guesses and doubts they may have gotten after living through it to begin with. The test is to see how they act, knowing how this event turned out the first time.

The Second Test: The crosser is tested about their present life. They are forced to see an event happening at the time about a person they love and care about. They are forced to see how that person chooses to act, even though it may be a painful and unpleasant.

The Third Test: The crosser is tested about their potential future. They are shown a glimpse of their life as it will be. They are forced to decide if it is a life they want or if they want to change their life so it doesn't end up like what they are shown.

Most people attempting to cross the Gate are so terrified by what they see in the tests that they turn and run screaming back into the forest. For those select few however who manage to make it through all three tests, The Diviner awaits and will tell answer their questions for them.

#11 The Gorge of Eternal Peril

Reply #13 on: August 29, 2005, 10:22:56 AM

Well, it's not quite so perilous now, having recently filled with water. It *WAS* pretty perilous, though. There was this guy who used to stand at the beginning of the bridge and ask several questions to determine the worth of the people crossing the bridge. If one wasn't prepared to answer his questions, the other side they would not see. Now, that old man is quite annoyed that his previous career has been somewhat stilted to say the least, so he spends his time asking questions until the people answer one incorrectly, and then he dunks them in the water. Most people manage to swim to safety though, so it's not quite as dramatic. The one thing that can save you from an embarrassing dunkage in the water, answers about geo-biology for some reason, apparantly you need to know those sorts of things if you want to be a king.

#12 The Unnamed Bridge

Reply #14 on: August 29, 2005, 12:01:06 PM

Gah! Attack of the Monty Python! (though admittedly a good movie)

This bridge is one that has long been shrouded in mystery, never able to be found more than once by any person. The waters below are strangely calm, yet the instant one deviates from the bridge's center path, the waters begin to churn and swirl, like a large yet invisible storm is passing by. There are low railings off on the sides to prevent falling in, but one can easily by-pass these measures of defense.

In fact, the waters are those of the dead river Styx, passing 'neath this bridge. The waters are filled with the souls of the dead, being pulled along from the spirit world into the material one to live once more. When they sense the nearness of someone living, they stir in the waters and try to use the person as a passage of escape from the river, though whether they can or not is unknown.

The bridge itself is one that holds and connects the two planes together, allowing the dead to pass to and from the real world and the spirit world. Thus both worlds are kept in balance. Only a rare few have ever found this bridge, but they have always left with a renewed sense of purpose in their life, more of a drive and effort toward their goals. This is attributed to being brought closer to their final destination of death and eventual rebirth, however temporarily.

#13 The Bar of the Maric Gorge

Reply #15 on: August 29, 2005, 12:28:55 PM

The pretty hills of Hsakia are always lush from rainfall, rainfall which collects in rivulets and runs untrammelled through the upland woods and pastures. These tributaries meet and form stronger streams: intertwining, linking they pass on their merry way, ever growing.

These many rivers collect in the Dul basin, forming the enormous Lake Dul, heart of the realm of Hsakia. Hsakia is land-locked, but fiercely naval. Their ships patrol the huge and sprawling lake, which provides fish, water and transport between the seven cities around its shores.

But the currents in the south of Lake Dul are vicious and unseen. Deep beneath the surface the topography of the lake-bed dictates the treacherous course of the water as it approaches the Maric Gorge. How many ships have been taken by the currents? The cries of their crews lost amidst the echoing cliffs of Maric? Too many.

It was the loss of his son, Philip, that prompted Ferenc II to erect the Maric Bar. As Prince of Hsakia, Philip was a proud sailor and spent many days aboard his Royal Yacht. Alas, with youth comes a lack of experience, and despite the warnings of his peers and elders the young Prince strayed too far to the south, never to be seen again.

Ferenc was so utterly distraught that he commanded a barrier to be built across the most dangerous portion of the lake, spanning some ten kilometres. It is a miracle, perhaps, that no lives were lost during the construction. Or perhaps it is because Ferenc employed his most experienced navigators to ship the stone and wood into place.

The Maric Bar is an emblematic achievement for Hsakians. It represents the power of their nation over the water and over Nature. And what Hsakian would not feel a deep sense of national pride when, on a beautiful day, one sees the delicate power of the Bar stretching off into the haze: a line of black between the cerulean above and below.


P.S. 'c' here is to be pronounced 'ts', as it is in the Czech language.

P.P.S. Sorry, Moonhunter, this entry was long overdue!

#14 Bridge of Screams

Reply #16 on: August 30, 2005, 04:55:16 AM

When Kossier Island began to grow rich and powerful in it's own right,as a result of the protection of the mighty Kraken Big Red, Big Red ordered a great basin of water to be built, and for a bridge to be constructed for offerings and payments to be given to him.Once a day the leading nobles and priests cross this bridge, and drop large rocks of amythest, the most valuble mineral in Acqua, into the water, where they drift down to settle beside the great Kraken. The pool where he lies (he can swim under ther bridge if he so desires, to gain access to the open sea), is known as the Pool of Jewels.

The bridge itself is known as the Bridge of Screams. In addition to any criminals who have been given the death penalty, once a month two beautiful slave-girls are dragged, screaming for their lives to be spared,onto the bridge. Big Red sends up his tentacles and drags the human meals into the deep, where he eats them with great relish.Their clean white bones lie amongst the amythest rocks as a warning to those who might try to swim down and steal the amythest.

We ended the quest on a flurry of submissions. Then we voted in a thread in the forum. Voting was lackluster. When time expired (31 days later) we had a serious tie going. So, the only winner, is you, the people who read and enjoy this post.