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html http://dandy-in-the-underworld.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/answering-jeffs-20-campaig n-questions.html http://inplacesdeep.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/jeffs-twenty-campaign-questions-for.h tml http://dandy-in-the-underworld.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/players-campaign-questions -galbaruc_17.html http://inplacesdeep.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/questions-about-dark-country-part-1.h tml http://inplacesdeep.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/these-are-from-anthony-who-currently. html -----far future - fantasy with sf elements? ----Dwarves Dwarves play on the fear of avarice. Dwarves are capable of fantastical acts of creation; their rune-inscribed weapons are the most powerful to be found in the World Between and they can harness the intersection of magic and technol ogy to craft wonders that no other race is capable of. However, a dwarf feels an unreasonable need to be paid magnificently for his or her labor. Dwarves are un predictable in what they will accept as tender; each is driven by a specific gre ed: some lust after gold, some favor gems, yet others crave stranger things like the hair of blonde maidens. A dwarf who feels he has been cheated will go to gr eat lengths to exact revenge and gain their reward; cheating a dwarf is the mark of a suicidal mind. Eladrin Eladrin play on the fear of alien-ness. Though the eladrin are the de fa cto leaders of the Seelie Court, their motives and desires are utterly inexplica ble from a human perspective. Eladrin exist at a remove from the World Between, and are content to pursue their own ends within their mystical traveling towers. However, when humans come into contact with the eladrin they are left with an i mpression of emptiness, coldness, and dispassion towards the vagaries of the hum an condition. While eladrin may sometimes aid mankind, their reasons for doing s o are their own and seldom possess a correlation to an understandable human expl anation. Dragonborn Dragonborn play on the fear of masculinity. Dragonborn act as unbridl ed representations of masculine force without emotional counterbalance. They emb ody competition, pure physicality, and proving oneself through strife, and posse ss limited faculties for empathy, group endeavors, or concern for moral and ethi cal considerations. A dragonborn simply takes action, driven by his own sense of infallibility, and damns the consequences as belonging to the world of weak-wil led and weak-bodied untermensch. Dragonborn frequently subscribe to Dragon Cults that support their feelings of innate superiority. Drow Drow play on the fear of decadence. The drow have their own corrupt empire beneath the surface of the World Between in the Neverwhere, from which they rule the Unseelie Court of the fey. Whereas the ideals of a grand empire should run towards progress, egalitarianism, and the personal growth of its constituents, t he empire of the drow is regressively barbarous, brutally hierarchical, and morb idly fixated on exploring the boundary between pain and pleasure. Their empire i s a deeply magical one; they have mastered arcane spell-casting, alchemy, and th e art of brewing enchanted poisons. However, drow magic is never used to the bet terment of their society rather, it is deployed to bring about the ruin of others. Drow also bolster their power by seeking divine favor; Narlathia is their patro n goddess, but many drow also revere Matakhan, The Lamenting Mother, and the Dem on Queen Slithian Vor. One final note on the drow of the World Between: they are not color-coded for your convenience; they range from the palest skinned to the darkest skinned, and are thus impossible to separate from regular elves or elad rin at first glance.
Tieflings are the r esults of consorting with demons and devils. they give worship to a myriad of gods and goddesses asso ciated with the wilds. The day after their rampages wi ll be one colored by crushing remorse. manticores. as such. They are openly accepted i n Caligari. they represent both the al lure and danger of mixing one's bloodline with that of infernal beings. the Forest Who Walks. but in other lands they may be h unted down as unclean abominations. they usually migrate to th e wild-lands of the World where they congregate with others of their kinds into barbaric hordes who assault the settlements of the World Between solely for the pleasure they find in destruction. Indeed. bodyguards . but they are doomed to forever repeat the ir tragic cycle. and fierce violence. such as the Crooked Moon. Orcs care for little more than slaughter. The terrible price required by their immortality has transformed the kobold s from a race of merry fey pranksters into a species who use foul traps and tric kery to catch potential human meals. elves exist in what s eems to be a constant state of madness. all are dangerous when under the influence of alcohol or other more exotic substances. etc. pixies. turn against frien d and ally. All tieflings are looked upon as potential s ervants of the Demon Lord and Demon Queens. They are created solely for the purpose of b loodshed and are used by their creators as brute henchmen. While in their cups they rage and destroy. Orcs Orcs play on the fear of savagery. crushing sorrows. Tiefling s are secretive. The sad truth is that all giants wh ether the rarefied philosopher kings of the cloud giants or their malformed cous ins the fomorians are slaves to their addictions. As creatures who represent the chao s of the natural world. Such orcs have been known to come under the i nfluence of the Demon Lord Hakhan. t he only thing that gives them joy is to snuff out the candle of life through dir ect. they use sorcerous rites to invent bizarre hybrid creatures (owlbears. they may be the only beings who remember what transpired to cr eate the Scar due to their nigh-immortality. Though elves are friendlier to mankind th an much of the fey.Kobolds Kobolds play on the fear of misrule. they are sorcerous creations birthed in the laboratories of wizards and from the cauldrons of witches. Elves are beings of constantly shifting moods who follow their whims and caprices with no regard to the harm that this causes to mortal men. One day an elf may offer to help a c obbler create wondrous shoes so that he might better feed his family. the lure. they are capable of moments of manic rev elry. If an orc survives their creator. Unpredictable and motivated entirely by their passions. Other types of fey (such as sprites. violent means. and hook horrors are said to be their handiwork ). Elves Elves play on the fear of chaos. Giants Giants play on the fear of inebriation. shadowy. Kobolds are animal-headed fey (most are dog-headed) who were horrible warped by the cataclysm that caused the Ruino us Scar. Tieflings Tieflings play on the fear of racial degeneration. Goblins are the great magi cal experimenters of the fey. and the L amenting Mother. it is rumored that many of the tiefl ings of Caligari are members of the cult of Slithian Vor. snares. and the Ghael Islands. and as the basis of evil warbands. brownies. and manipulative by nature. assassins. and are capable of the basest deeds. Orcs are not a natural species in the Wo rld Between. While some are more functional t han others. the next d ay that same elf may shoot down the cobbler's children with arrows for mere spor t. and mechanical tr aps of the kobolds are infamous and have inspired many a cautionary fairy tale t hroughout the World Between. they are creatures of terrifying impulses.) ac t in much the same way as elves. Goblins Goblins play on the fear of science run amok. Harrowfaust. Kobolds are generally immune to agi ng and death by decrepitude so long as they consume human flesh at least once a mo nth. in fact. magical automatons (the secrets of golem-craft and the warforged are rumored .
and diseased flesh. it is said that an ogre who has given over to their hunger will devour any living creature that comes wi thin their grasp. halfings tend to revere Killan e of the Road as their patron god. and hobgoblins) are likely the results of demonstone experiments that the goblins have inflicted on their own kind. Gnoll shamans most often serve Hakha n and Sluurge. Men feel the presence of trolls long before they spot them. For example. As creatures of filth and squalor. the bayou halflings of the Ghael Isles are backward. Gnolls Gnolls play on the fear of animality. Whether dumpy and diminutive or l ithe and agile. and slyly cruel. they revel in the bestial violence tha t makes their lives nasty. Trolls Trolls play on the fear of the abject. they live in family-based tribes that often appear to be a cruel satire on the social arrangements of the lowliest lower-class humans. rat her. Gnomes typically appear as per fectly-proportioned humans. they have been known to raid human lands for subjects on which to test their demonstone-fueled mutation al processes. Ogres are justly fea red because of their never-satiated hunger. While man prides himself on his abi lity to tame and domesticate the animals of the World Between. while the halflings who have made their homes in Ca ligari City are urbanely corrupt. there is just something wrong about trolls. con-men. Above all else. when they need it. spoiled meat. brutish. shysters. The gnoll social unit the pack stands in opposition to the more complicated bonds of reciprocity that have allowed ma nkind to flourish across the World Between. ignorant. trolls are the servants of the Demon Lord Slu urge. whom they see as the original creator of their race and as the dark spark that initiated the known universe. illiterate. Smiling scamps that they are. Much like their god. Their desire to consume can drive th em to commit unparalleled acts of gruesome consumption. . Ogres appear as brutish humans infl ated to a ungainly size that seems like a mockery of mankind's form. Halflings Halflings play on the fear of place. Gnomes Gnomes play on the fear of the unheimlich. Though they primarily worship the ir own ability to create. and charlatans. bugbears. The existence of closely-related kindred species (such as nilbogs. a person's mind is attacked by brief flashes of unclean things such as viscera. Gnomes are known throughout the World Between as the F ell Bargainers. there is something supernaturally charming about them that often disarms the folk they regularly cheat. Gnolls exemplify the state of nature. Ogres Ogres play on the fear of cannibalism. and swamp vegetation. Ogres tend to worship the primal spirits associated with fire. and cursed magic items. Impossibly gangly and horrifically countenanced. save for the fact that their mouths are filled with rows of shark-like teeth. Gnomes are notorious masters of illusion (and are sometimes to be found performing on the cabaret stages of Caligari) and have an unnatural abi lity to converse with and control animals. Gnomes often appear to adventurers bearing exactl y what they need. and prone to engage in urban criminality. gnolls stand as a reminder that not all of the World's creatures can be taught to accept man's yo ke. halflings are tricksters .to have originated with them). goblins l ove to use their experimental magic on living creatures. They rarely possess more than the rudiments of what might be called culture or society. and yet. When confronted by a troll. goblins have a healthy respect for the goddess Narlath ia. a man or woman knows that a troll approac hes when they feel the hair on their arms prickle and their skin involuntary shi ver. The smell of a troll is an unmistakable blend of rubbish. convincing dissemblers. and short. for while they can offer powerful enchanted items their deals al ways come at a horrific price. but a gnomish bargain almost always brings a terrible doom. human waste. halflings curiously take on the worst qualities of where they li ve. One strange ability that no-one has e ver been able to satisfactorily explain is the gnomes' power to enter and exit a building through its closets instead of the more traditional portals of egress.
Earth. etc. with an emphasis on There'd be lots of equipme mining helmets with lantern fungus. It's amazing what a little bribery can accomplish. etc. otherworldly ones. but are prohibitively expensive and not ideal for dungeon environ ments. I'm taking a page out of RQ's Big Rubble: No self-resp ecting City-State is going to stand for hordes of violent transients descending into its ruins. rediscovered. catacombs. and I wonder why it isn't a more common approach. civilized areas are intimately lip-locked to the weird. Primitive grenades are also available. 2. etc." Failure to produce a valid license upon request can result in fines. There is always a cha nce of the forgery being recognized. There are still plenty of sites outside the city limits. Hammer . In areas where there' s been continuous occupation for millenia. Fashion-wise. or a shallow bowl for luminescent diving suits for exploring undersea ruins. with heavier armor. farme rs ploughing into the tops of ancient burial mounds.for like fire an ogre must live with the burning desire to consume until nothin g is left. FREELANCE ADVENTURER LICENSES are mandatory for non-citizens (all PCs. Adventurers tend to be armed and armore d in archaic fashion. and there's a temple under your feet. paying nothing other than a one-time forger's fee.. branding. I loved this idea when I encount ered it in EPT. Licensed adventurers pay a 10% exit fee on any loot obtained within the Galbaruc Senate's jurisdiction. I want to go for the same sort of feel with Galbaruc. at least at the beginning. for repeat offenders. it's all over the map. fall into this category) wishing to explore and plunder known "dungeon areas. ------Speaking of adventurers. and one thing that kept coming up over and over again was how so many now-famous sites and artifacts we re discovered completely by accident. you set to work on a new foundat ion. a' la the Dying dash and flamboyance (especially among adventurers). like Rome. swords more robust than are currently fashionable in most civilized places and a greater reliance of crossbows. and ruins beneath the still-populated urban areas.primitive s mounted on them. Sites unknown to the Senate and kept secret by PCs cannot be taxed. Workmen digging wells and channels. even more primitive GUNS? : Wheel-lock pistols and muskets are the most advanced weapons being fiel ded currently.. Players should keep the following in mind: 1. Fake licenses can be obtained. looted. however. DUNGEONS: I took a course in Italian Archaeology once. but you've got dungeons. The settled. Greater destructive power = grea ter potential risk of horrific fuckups. you've got layers and laye rs of forgotten sites being accidentally discovered. etc. imprisonment. vampires. To that en d. and b oth sides are engaged in frenzied tonsil hockey as adventurers venture below and the monsters from beneath find their way up to the light. nt jury-rigged for adventuring purposes -. death. stone bows. forgotte n. crypts. 3. A building is destroyed. vaults and caves without wanting a cut themselves. meaning that the PCs forgo taxes after expedi tions. confiscation of goods. and satanists. --in places deep The Dark Country Precis: A wet and mountainous haunt of pagans. re-buried. and.
pagan re bel groups and secret societies. Sergei Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible ---------------13 flavours of fear Caligari . Sound. sorry Scandina vians. Relmeenos . fogbound forests. horrible na ture "deities" that demand sacrifice. werebears.Egypt. and stoic warriors. and reliance on magic as the ideals of a moribund culture.Eastern Europe. The White Lady and her bestial servitors. human sacrifice. all of Northern Africa actually.Italy. the Mountain King and the last kingdom of the dwarfs. Mord-Stavian . "The Song of the Volga Boatmen" R ussian Red Army Choir.Basically where North America would be.Russia and all those Scandinavian countries. mindless vampires. worship of Garm-Gorak (the Bloody Maw. Midian Spain.The Middle East. etc. God of Wolves and War) and lesser go . haunted battlefields. lots of frogs .China.France. werewolf villages hidden the woods.Great Britain. Roger Corman's Mas que of the Red Death Novgova/Muscgorod Precis: Feuding principalities play dangerous power games in a ham-fisted versio n of fantasy Russia with strong horror overtones. Image: A mouthful of mud. villages besieged by unseen forces. cyclopean ruins older than humankind. It's a big scar. ruins tainted by foul sacrifices. Image: Vodka on the way back up. This is the most distant land from all the others in the World Between. Conspectus: undead Templars. Conspectus: Terrible Old Gods who live in the rivers and pray on travelers.Ireland. The Islands of Unparalleled Liberty . Black masses. bickering city states and bishoprics. (Yeah. fearful peasants. baba yagas (plural). despair. fu cking tigers. The Scavenger Lands . Ulverland . Cossac k-style adventurers roaming the wilderness looking for plunder and easy prey. onion domed fortress cities that dwarf their kind in the West. massive. The Island of Jade Mysteries . secretive necromancers probing the nature of humanity. brooding taiga forests. wi ld eyed mercenaries who believe they kill for God. India. t he Great Swamp. satanists masquerading as clerics. the Devil. Sound. morbidity. the haunted and endless ruins of Nightwick Abbey Taste. Conspectus: Ruled by Barthon I (The Glorious King) and his Council of High Wizar dry.Horror meets The Baltic Crusades with a dash of Diablo I for taste. I lumped you lot all in there.) The Ghael Islands .The Caribbean. Ulverland Precis: A dreary land of rain. Pagan Altar Volume 1. Frogling caravans with perversely magical wares. The Ruinous Scar . The Shae Isle . Harrowfaust . fiendish cleric-spies who use torture to root out sedition and heresy. sorcerers who sustain their vile lives with the blood of innocents. The Iron Principalities .Sicily.Greece. Taste. tradition . Well.Germany Frostreave . Scarabae . glowing horrors created by a magician's mad experiments. Scheming Grand Princes who back their ambitions with torture an d violence.
shambling mounds. and swamp witch es. treants.Weimar-esque decadent empire riddled with crime. L ibraries. voodoo. blue-tatt ooed warriors. blood contracts. anim ate scarecrows. Maham. The Plains of Unquenchable Sorrow. blue dragons. Martin's The Wall meets Norse myth meets Russian fairy tales. and druidic initiates. djinn. John William Waterhouse's Circe Invidiosa. hidden libraries gu arded by berbalang and gargoyles. highly prized recruits for mercenary bands. gnolls. hobgoblin warbands . and Plunder) travel the surface with a vanguard of driders. and The Unconquered Badger) through blood rites and occu lt totems. c urses and hexes wandering hex-breakers. R. families of cursed ghouls Taste. cockatrices kept as pets by the aristocracy. warrior clan warfare . dragon cults a nd vision quests. wandering towers and deathknights. Island of Jade Mysteries . Pirates of the Caribbean meets The Call of Cthulhu meets Cl ive Barker's Abarat novels. and Silence. perytons. secret cults devoted to Sluurge (Demon Lord of Pestilence. with Borgias-esque famil ies and mercenary kings. the Seelie and Unseelie Courts of the fey. Sol Invictus's Laws and Crowns. banshees howling across the moors. drow cities underneath the plain s occasional evangelists of the cult of Narlathia (Fey Goddess of Enchantment. Warhammer's Empire meets Michael Moorcock's Melnibone Frostreave . drugs. fomorians. green dragons. and Hulmora. blood oaths and raven messengers. Conspectus: Ruled by tribal leaders. and The Crooked Mo on) by witch cults. skull oracles and divination via entrails. God of Imprisonment. and Gallows H umor) Taste. an d wilden as protectors of the forests. Sound. owlbears. Stephen Kasner's Th The Shae Isle Precis: Fey-touched realm of storytellers and pagan cults that follows the logic of warped fairy tales. God of Knowledge.An island chain that is home to cannibals. Gothic novels meets film noir meets Hammer Horror. stoicism as a way of life. Pai n. The Lamenting Mother. Image: Irish whiskey and soda bread.Grim frozen northern land with pseudo-vikings and snow witches. and cabaret h alls. kenku. bards and magical storytelling. bog mummies. warlocks. and hook horrors. The Luminous Hawk. dandy highwaymen. Sound. Caligari . ------------The Scavenger Lands Precis: Nomadic barbarian tribes struggling to survive in post-apocalyptic badla nds. Islands of Unparalleled Liberty . Famine. and an immortal queen. e First Greeter. Charlak. worship of Beast Gods (such as The Golden L ion.Isolated realm of holy shrines. exiled Black Warlocks and their orc servants. Conspectus: Ruled by clan chieftains and druid hierophants. barbarian tribes. ceaseless bureaucracy. Iron Principalities . Goddess of the Elements).Vampire families battling pennangalan families amidst a Gothic b ackdrop of superstitious peasants and occult mysticism. cavernous fortresses of the e ye tyrants and their beholder-kin. the fabled Spring of Unexplainable Youth. elf bargains. .Lawless pirate islands where rum is cheap and life is even cheaper. Harrowfaust .ds of the Storm Sovereigns pantheon (such as The Gaunt Gent. Image: Guinness. Lafcadio Hearn's Kwaidan meets e very Akira Kurosawa samurai epic. The Pogues's The Sickbed of Cu chulainn. the Orxham school of magic and other occu lt universities. black drago ns. and ogres. hollow hills. the One-Eyed God of Beast Taming. and the Wild Hunt. worship of pagan nat ure gods (such as The Forest Who Walks. Warhammer's Border Princes meets The Castle of Otranto meets Black Adder.Petty kingdoms constantly at war. Serpent and the Rainbow meets The Isle of Dread meets Aztec mythology. Ghael Isles . Geo rge R.
Frank Frazetta's The Silver Warrior. werewolves. and umber hulks. Conspectus: Ruled by Katrina Rimeheart (The Masked Queen of Iron and Ice). chaos muta nts and mutagenic magical radiation. trolls. githyanki raiders from beyond space and time. dryads and lamia struggling against each other for control of the Talonback Woods. Image: Meat all bloody and red washed down with ale. The Black Heart Procession's Wasteland. opium dens. Image: A highly-spiced stew. portals to other worl ds. scaveng ing carrion crawlers. Sound. roadside chapels and wandering clerics. Sound.Taste. cabarets. dread stars worshiped as gods (Caiphon. Conspectus: Former holy land decimated by a forgotten magical apocalypse. dwarf artificers. architectural magic. Simon Marsden's photographs of Whitby Abbey. Aubrey Beardsley's Excalibur in the Lake. and cabaret hall s. Sound. vast cathedrals with even vaster dungeons underneath. Neurosis's En emy of the Sun. red dragons. otyugh. Conspectus: Ruled by Empress Christiana the Scarlet. caverns. elven towers that disappear into a misty haze unless approached with the correct talismans. a nd blood owls. ram pant crime and gangs of thieves. Frostreave Precis: Grim frozen northern land with pseudo-vikings and snow witches. Siouxsie & the Banshees's st. hedonism and excess. The Ghael Isles Precis: An island chain that is home to cannibals. Sound. the Tomb of Seven Swords. white dragons. berzerk warriors who r ide polar bears into battle. sewers infested with skaven. R. and parlors where illusio nists entertain using shadow magic. and ghosts. Martin's The Wall meets Norse myth meets Russian fairy tales. worship of sorceresses as avatars of The Lady of the White Way. Image: Pure water. grim fatalism . ectoplasmic horr ors. giant acid roaches. devil cults and false prophets. reverence for the Raven Queen (a goddess of death) and her shadar-kai Valkyrie servants. romanticism. Cities in Du Scarabae Precis: A cultured kingdom of knightly virtue haunted by the spirits of a past a ge. dungeo ns. wizards who manufacture clay golem servants for the very wealthy. and rakshasa in skeletal forests. Sound. the hallucinogenic mushroom fo rests of Khem populated by mad goblins Taste. . accursed artifacts and the remnants of past c ivilizations. Caligari Precis: Weimar-esque decadent empire riddled with crime. Baba Yaga and her traveling hut. spiritualists. frost giants. The Tiger Lillies's Bad Blood + Blasphemy. philosopher manticores. mead halls. Warhammer's Empire meets Michael Moorcock's Melnibone. Gust ave Moreau's Salome Dancing Before Herod. a nd basilisk-riding kobolds. Cthulhoid cult networks operated by tieflings and cambions Taste. lost grimoire s and scrolls of forbidden knowledge. haunted battlefields patrolled by wights an d wraiths. Beirut's Nantes. Image: Cold lager.). and endless mazes of tunnel compounds beneath the earth. bulettes. mind flayer s and dopplegangers waging a secret war against each other. drinking contests . and debts of honor. temples to elder elemental gods. Conspectus: Ruled by Leeza VI (The Sun Queen). seances. Se rpent and the Rainbow meets The Isle of Dread meets Aztec mythology. Taste. Image: Dust and sour water. etc. and shrines to Junox (the Ever-Flowing God) and Skaylex (Goddess of Fungi) Taste. pleasure cults that worship Slaanesh. Eswin Lord Weeks's The Maharaja of Gwalior Before his Palace. The Ruinous Scar Precis: A destroyed kingdom home to vast wastelands and labyrinthine ruins. and skalds recounting tales of valor. questing knights in search of the grail. courtly intrigue. Hadar. voodoo. Gibbeth. and swamp witches. George R . drugs. forests teeming with beastmen.
Henry. gibbering mouthers regarde d as divine oracles. Image: Rotgut tequila and beef jerky. vampire cults. Warhammer's Border Princes meets The Castle of Otranto meets Black Ad der. secret entrances t o Lovecraftian Dreamlands. traveling carnivals and fortune tellers. Bauhaus's In the Flat Field. inquisitors. cursed gold coins. pennangalan cults vs. Sound. Image: Gumbo. fanatical inquisitors. each ruled by a backstabbing famil y of schemers and poisoners. Midian Precis: A degenerate family feuding amongst itself for control of a fractured ki ngdom amidst a backdrop of traveling carnivals. famed mask makers and grand balls. brisk mercantile activity because there are few (if any) trade restrictions. settling matters of honor with rapier and dagger duels. The Iron Principalities Precis: Petty kingdoms constantly at war. Jerome Jean Leon's Duel After a Masquerade Ball. Gothic novels meets film noir me ets Hammer Horror. the Bringer of War from Gustav Holst's The Pl anets. armies of animate skeletons and zombies (Army of Darkn ess-style). Conspectus: Ruled in the east by Prince Medrose II and ruled in the west by Prin cess Avengelina two siblings who contest the other's right to sit upon their fathe r's throne. and aboleths. Harrowfaust Precis: Vampire families battling pennangalan families amidst a Gothic backdrop of superstitious peasants and occult mysticism. a rtistic renaissance and enchanted paintings. dustbowl-roaming bandits and bugbear thugs. Image: The coppery tang of blood. neogi slavers. gypsy carava ns and riverboat travelers. Vodou veves. mercenary bands that serve Khorne (t he demon god of bloodshed) or Arioch (chaotic god of stratagems). Sound. and flagellants. witch-hunters. Image: Red wine. Sound. Lost World islands of prehi storic beasts. Sound. the other half is ruled by Gabrielle Lorbrek (a pennangalan priestes s). secret societies of vampire hunters. and dueli sts looking to prove their skill. The Flayed Maiden. Mars. fanatical worship of a godd ess known as The Lady of the White Way (a warrior-mother goddess whose faith was spread by the sword in ancient ages). peasants who fear curses above all else. Conspectus: Ruled by a lich-king called The Necropolitan (high priest of a panth eon of a hundred death gods including The Dismembered One. tribes of primitive savages living in bayous. the drowned city of Karmodia Taste. devil cults and bullywugs. tarot card magic. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' s "Papa Won't Leave You. fearful peasants. The Crystalline Brotherhood of Admixers (an exiled order of alche mists) Taste. sacred murderers of the cult of Khaine (which may be connected to the worship of Khorne). fencing sc hools. the poisonous gardens of Mother Mina. Conspectus: Comprised of many small fiefdoms. with Borgias-esque families and mercen ary kings. the film Nosferatu. warforged (sentient automatons made of metal and wood) u . Paumgartner altarpiece Mord-Stavian Precis: Death-obsessed desert kingdom ruled by warforged despots serving an unde ad sorcerer-king. ignorant.Conspectus: Ruled by plantation masters whose operations are fueled by either th e labor of enslaved natives or zombies. the demon Orcus worshiped as a god. ancient keeps and fortresses. The Dead Weather's Sea of Cowards. hags . an d The Carrion Marquis). templars. lizard men. The Guild of t he Red Hand (assassin's guild). undead vultures as spies Taste. Conspectus: Half of the kingdom is ruled by Sebastian von Karlok (an ancient vam pire lord). Tiamat worshiped as the goddess of prosperity. Southern Gothic atmosphere Taste. Gothic atmosphere. isolated mad scientists crafting magitech that is fu eled by lost souls. gigantic bazaars. worship of spirits as gods and possession as a religious rite.
's Atlantis. pcs can make it up. -----------tons of gods (conan. When you add in greater demons and archd evils. pseudo-fascist warrior-men).) You have gods. the C olossal Sepulcher of Faraad-Ka. and displacer beasts. Fairly even playing field. Yet settings seldom reflect this. Image: Spanakopita. and nymphs. elfity and dwarfity etc. which ofte n have philosophical. demanding. yeah? Gods are generally good. frequent skirmishes between the Sisterhood of the Rending Spear (a cohort of wild. tales of grotesque and dungeonesque. and societies. the Guild of the Frayed Noose (kukri-wielding spies and assassins). If your setting includes Cthulhoid horrors or hungry Far Realm overlords. by extension. good luck with that. debauched warrior-women) and the Purple Helm'd Brethren (legions of militarist. yearly competition of athletic prowess. Estradasphere's King Krab Battle. dracoliches. Sound. Frank Frazetta FACT: Relmeenos is the newest location I've added to the World Between. . medusa. orders. and political interests. stirge swarms Taste. and utterly unfath omable. necromancy. suspicion. Which is to ask. what if all divine powers were demons? Humanity. after re ading Jeremy Duncan's Weird Classical Age contributions to my Flavors of Fear su pplement. Abney Park's Neobedouin. necrophidius. kruthiks. werebears. Magic-users operating out side these groups are viewed with a mixture of envy. and mur derous rage. heavily base d on pre-unification Venice. philosophical debate. gladiatori al games where crabmen face off against hydras and cyclops. Like Haiti . This is a nice mix of otherw orldly beings who want to help or harm humanity. It was originally a mercantile and naval hub of a now-extinct empire.pper caste who use Anubian (jackalwere) enforcers to keep the human populace und er control. and fire giants in the wilds. which is known to be guarded by necrotic sphinxe s Taste. or evil. Conspectus: Independent city-states ruled by Poet Kings and Queens (who are ofte n insane and incomprehensible). succubi. But then you realize that there are these other classes of otherworldly intellig ences that want to eat the souls of man/drag them into internal servitude/tortur e them for an eternity just for kicks. you've slanted the playing field against humanity's favor. and poetic ingenuity called The Annual Wrestling with the Self and the Divine. Sound. dervish tribes seeking enlightenment in the d esert. disdain. satyr cults and or giastic rites to the Gods of the Grapes. Galbaruc is a Republic. harpies. social. I've decided to make this uneven cosmic playi ng field part of my World Between setting. the si tuation is even more dire. I knew I needed a place where I could make use of all this good ideas. Relmeenos Precis: Warrior cults contest with each other in a land where proving individual merit is a spiritual path unto itself. mathematical magic stolen from the mazes of minotaurs. giant scarab beetles used as mounts. thri-kreen. Hubert Robert's Klassiche Rui nen. I was thinking about how the cosmology of the typical D&D world is really stacke d against humanity (and. Even the gods who grant mortals a sh are of their divine power are generally grotesque. and mummies.While there is a traditional aristocracy. tomb gu ardians and professional mourners. neutral. --------Magiic is largely practiced by secret schools. Image: Honey.
catacombs. In times of war. they busy themselves with i nternecine wars and deadly intrigues. Little is known about the society of the Old Empire. set against a backdrop of slow. and the cast-off outposts of past inhuman visitors. During times of peace. Many Old Empire structures have been repurpo sed by later settlers. The primary visual inspiration is obviously Böcklin's piece above. and strange. The Monument Builders. As a result of its origins. and armaments to Galbaruc's navy. Medieval monsters and bestiaries. Many different civilizations have in the past settled on the Isle. Spirits and wizard kings have set themselves up as petty gods dem anding worship and tribute. Sages differ on whether the remnants of the Visitors came bef ore or after the Old Empire. and of course the mainland to the east. The Isle is scattered with abandoned colonies. and few artifacts other than th e architecture itself has survived. They built wo nders of engineering including bridges.descendants of slaves. bizarre. These ruins are obviously not of human origin and sometimes contai n strange devices. decadent city -. The Old Empire. restless dead. Their works are crude but of immense scale. visible only to those with the second sight. the kingdoms did not extend to the Isle. This was a civilization of tremendous advancement. sl avery per se is absolutely forbidden in Galbaruc and its territories. The beginning of written history as far as most scholars a re concerned. The wilderness is haunted by the hidden realms of Faerie. I don't want to clutter this post up too much. aqueducts. . magnifi cent decay. The fact that their descendants still retain a considerable amount of power and influence in the modern Republic is galling to some. For the most part. it is unknown whether it even was an empire. but too much harping on this point is generally seen to be in bad taste. and ecstatic ritual. the uprising swiftly joined by those aristo crats who saw where the tide was turning and switched sides while they still cou ld. ruled by semi-autonomous "Island Princes"-.a flurry of frenzied activit y. perhaps the homes of heretics or outcasts. sober tradition. The fragi le but tenacious settlements of recent colonists cling to the coasts and ply the shallow seas. but I'll post m ore images in the future. isolated commun ities. The Visitors. troops. the Idle of the Dead is a palimps est of ruins. Here is information about some of the past inhabitants. It is so old that nothing is known of its history or rulers. it was born out of a slave revolt. In fact. soaring towers. No one knows anything else about them. though the re is an elaborately detailed system of indentured servitude. though there are ruins of small outposts. . pirates. ghost towns. The Hundred Kingdoms.. O ther islands. bosch etc --------------------Idle of the Dead Conspectus: Resting on warm but brooding seas. It is assumed to have been an empir e due to the vast extent and uniformity of obviously related ruins. and cities be neath the ground. .Galbaruc is a colorful. they supply ships. and renegade nobles who were instrume ntal in fighting for the Republic's independence when it split from the Empire t hat had ruled it for centuries.There are islands some miles from the coast. are the primary sources of .The city-state is littered with ruins.
Like a fantasy Oakland there is no there there.Hundred Kingdoms ruins. Not much is known about these earlier colonies because after seve ral generations contact was lost. The rising tide of such cosmic strangeness produces a startling density of these so-called sites of adventure. yet civiliz ation exists here too even if sparsely and tentatively. the Second E xpedition followed in the disastrous footsteps of the First. Whole areas exist in the hills were the Veil Between the Worlds has ripped asund er filling the areas with the flotsam and jetsom of many worlds and times. The legend is that they rebelled against the h omeland and so were cursed by the gods. poets. magic doesn't function. Magic functions here. It has been two generations since the last successful voyages. political machinations. While desperate. indeed literall y many who return back to the core from here die quietly and strangely of maladi es in the night. but over time fewer and fewer ships returned until there was no contact. The Great Empire arose on the mainland to the east when the Hu ndred Kingdoms were unified. Initially. Here be monsters and golden. This was the first of two waves of colonization. The First Expedition. There is no whiff of the Weird ere. This is the Weird. Though a rough frontier. The religion of the Kingdoms held that past the western seas lay the land of the dead. It's not uncommon to walk a few hours from one on ly to uncover another and then another a short jaunt away. al l they found were ruins and ghost towns. and the sociopaths and picaros calling the mselves adventurers flock here as a result. t he Great Empire was in a more inward-looking mood. armies and settlers were sent in all the directions of the compass to explore and subdue. Geography is exaggerated and uncoupled from the e xpectations of other lands. and the rest of the human drama play out here. The entirety of human se ttlement in the Hill Cantons (the political/regional entity not the campaign) is found here and it is rippled like a marble cake with pockets of the Weird. Founded approximately two hundred years ago. The Borderlands is the contested zone between. the Second was led by adventurers and frontierspeople. Doctrines of the mind are extravagant and quick to heated dispute in their over-elaboration. During the zenith of the Great Empire. plagu es. Heretics. runaway servants. but it involves neither the big-ticket risks no r the rewards of exploring the otherworldly regions. Life here for humanity is tainted by the contact with the Weird. ---------------------The Corelands are human civilization. Some believe this is the origin of the name Isle of the Dead. and was a direct political extension of the metropole. fashion is extravagant and quick to ch ange. Monsters and adventure has no real place here. The Second Expedition. The Great Empire. That was 500 years ago. As s uch adventure can be found here. life here also carries with it the freedom from the dull routin e. Trade and commerce with the homeland was s trong. Though wars. h . from the perspective of Canto ners these lands are something of a movie facade. At this time. Unlike the First Ex pedition. and spread around the edges of the Isle. the colonies flourished. onion-domed barges and great cyclopea n halls filling mountain-tops. and many assume t he Great Empire has either suffered some disaster or disintegrated once more int o feuding kingdoms. When the settlers arrived.
The Overking's authority is now mostly nominal in outlying re gions. the Celestial Lady. forested wild mountains to th e east and more wild interior to the west past the barrier of the rocky mountain s. loose federation of human-peopled domains ruled by an Overking elected by the Lords Te mporal and Spiritual. a wild and woolly sparsely-se ttled borderlands region of independent-minded freeholders and petty aristocratic micro-states. The campaign is set in a frontier region of the Overkingdom of the Nemmetz and P ahrusky Lands. but more on that in later posts. It is a time and place that can hold great fortune for those da ring and lucky enough to leave the safe environs of home for lives of adventure. Communication between the law fuls will be by short range sea vessels. As the curtain lifts. but smaller scale) pr otecting the western interior from the settled lowlands. dwarves. In addition. I think the mountains wi ll contain chaotic border forts (like the gates of Mordor. a sprawling. other lawf ul settlements will be scattered around the edges of the island. But powerful new heretical movements such as the Morning Star and Evening Star societies seek to restore a spurned female deity. Further ominous rumors abound about the reawakening of slumbering elder gods and unspeakable evil. and things that go bump in the night have returned to forgotten homes. the Overkingdom teeters on the brink of collapse. and other sundry calamities have fractured the already fragile and decentralized realm. The cantons mark the end of human civilization in the northern lands. Two long grueling overseas wars against distant sultanates. bumbling incompetent national leaders. I'm envisioning those connective lowlands as th e center of civilization on this island with deep. both near and beyond lie many aspects of the weird and magical. the collapse of the large merchant banking houses. Our downandout heroes have just ridden into the Hill Cantons. ostensibly dominates the realm spiritually.I really like this particular map because it has two major sections with a nice small choke point in the middle. Flipping the assumptions of Keep on the Borderlands. much like the w ay settlements hugged the shore of Ancient Greece. . to her proper place in the pantheon. the Supernal Orthodox Temple of the Puissant Sun Lord. Magical happenings have become more common and some say long-banished elves. The weakening of the Overking's power has also allowed old pagan religions kept alive by country folks to be worshiped publicly again in the Hill Cantons. A nominally-monotheistic church.
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