Monday, January 15, 2018

Locations: Province of Castroflumine, Empire of Ralifon

Province of Castroflumine

Empire of Ralifon


Overview


     Castroflumine is a relatively new province of the empire. It was commissioned by Regent Eleazar thirty years ago in P.U. 1069. He had the Societatem Magis working to create not only the gates but also build the Októgono Froúrio. This central part of the province is accessible only via the Gates. Part of building the Októgono Froúrio involved raising the walls from the ground itself and the entire complex was created using powerful magics. The keep to the south is known as the Mágoi Kratoún and is one of the strongholds for the Societatem Magis.
     This nearly mountainous area is slowly being populated by enterprising former Legionnaires and their families, as well as those recently granted citizenship. Castroflumine as a newer province has lots of places for the expansion of the City of Qidron.


Gates


     The fourteen Gates of Castroflumine lead to the interior and exterior of the Októgono Froúrio as well as Astakus, Bazle, Benuo, Caesai Oculis, Danue, Erilaus, Lunbeim, Mons Domus, Qidron-Forum Meridianam, Qidron-Forum Orientem, Qidron-Forum Sepentrio, and Qidron-Templum.

Temples and Shrines


     There are currently two temples under construction in Castroflumine. Northwest of the Októgono Froúrio is a temple to Ralifon. South of the Temple to Ralifon is a temple to Erron of Solitude. Across the Magi Bridge from the Októgono Froúrio on the eastern side of the Via Caesai is a temple to Barbēlō in her aspect as the goddess of love. Within the Mágoi Kratoún is a temple to Wazirëkyn and a shrine to Amn.


Notable Cheesemongers


     The Tesremos family has set up a complex for producing their cheeses on the southwestern shore of the River Aíglaímatos. The small Aíglaímatos family, has been in the province since very nearly its founding and have a cheesemaking operation on the eastern side of the Aíma Bridge on the Via Aíma. The Aíglaímatos family makes a special magical cheese that they call Dákrya or Erron's Tears. Beyond the small batches of this highly prized cheese they are known to produce other magical cheeses. They do not make any regular cheeses and their skill at magic is their best defense against the much larger and more powerful Tesremos family.

Notable Locations


     Within the Októgono Froúrio is all of the administration buildings and a small force of Legionnaires to keep order. The Októgono Froúrio is a very busy and bustling area at all times of the day and night. The outer courtyard is where the locals will deal with any of the local officials and pay any tariffs and taxes for the use of the gates.
     The Mágoi Kratoún is not easily accessible as it is on a high sheer mesa with a single steep road leading to its gates. The towers of Ur and Thumm guard this road from anyone not invited to visit the Mágoi Kratoún.
     Beyond these two imposing sites is the very popular ale house called the Diavolikómáti. It is owned and run by an unusual husband and wife and their family. The husband a hobbit named Adalgrim Hook-Toe, is along with his gnome wife Safi Wildtresses, a former adventurer. Now retired, they have started an orphanage/workhouse and founded the ale house as a way to keep themselves busy and active. They have adopted fifteen children and all work the family business. What makes Diavolikómáti so popular is their amazing brews and their fantastic foods. Everything is priced cheaply and the quality is always excellent.
     Near the Diavolikómáti is a popular inn called the Fylakí. This large building is set back from the main road and is an imposing stone building that looks like it should be a prison. The truth of the matter is that the Fylakí used to be a prison until it was purchased from the Senate by Zuquuk the Unwise. Zuquuk is a well informed and connected mongrelman and priest of VMQR. He has renovated the interior of the Fylakí to better suit its use as an inn. The prices are very cheap and the place is immaculately clean. The courtyard still has the gallows as a reminder to those who would try to leave without full payment.


Outside the Walls


     To date there are no outer walls to Castroflumine and no plans to make one, as the high rough terrain is in itself a deterrent to attacks. The roads leading out into the outer parts of the province are rough and not yet all completed. All of the roads heading north move out towards lower more fertile terrain. Those heading south move further into the mountains and evergreen forests. The western roads lead down into lower swampy areas and then to the Qadar Sea.
     The eastern roads lead out of the empire and into the Sākujaminā. This continental mass is ruled by mysterious peoples that trade with the Chi'in Empire as well as with the Empire of Ralifon.


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Locations: Province of Qadar, Empire of Ralifon

Province of Qadar

Empire of Ralifon


Overview


     Qadar was once a very prosperous and important location in the old Republic of Ralifon. The majority of the city was destroyed by the event known as the Flumen Magnum of P.U. 1000. The Flumen Magnum happened early in the morning just before dawn on the twenty-first of June. There was an unusual thunderous noise that caused many windows to break. The ground shook with such great force that many of the buildings collapsed. Shortly after that an enormous reddish cloud of ash blocked out the sky and rising sun. As panic set in and people began to rush the Gates the sea water receded with an unheard of rapidity. The Gates were backed up from all of the people rushing through them with whatever they could carry. The earth began to quake again, only this time the entire western part of Qadar dropped nearly thirty feet as the sea water rushed back to swallow the now low lying land. Of the nearly twenty thousand persons living in Qadar only roughly one thousand were able to escape before it was swallowed by the sea.
     The remaining few hundred people who survived at Qadar were suddenly cut off from the rest of the Republic. It took nearly a month before the Legions could arrive in sufficient numbers to help rebuild part of the province and make repairs to the remaining structures.

Gates


     The Gates of Qadar have been sealed since the Flumen Magnum of P.U. 1000. Originally they went to Sexeptum and Qidron-Forum Orientem. When the tide is low the top of the Gates can just be seen from the shore and a couple of buoys have been positioned near the Gates to help vessels avoid hitting them.
     The Gates closure was not something that the Societatem Magis had anticipated ever having to happen, so they were flummoxed as to how to proceed. Ultimately Ukrit, the Magi Magni, decided the best solution was to just block the Gates with a wall of iron thus the gates were sealed.
     The later Magi Magni, Broos the Undying, found a way to alter the Gates so that they now go to different places. His experiments were done in secrecy under the Magnum Bay. The Gates of Magnum Bay lead to a private mansion in Pylos' City at the Aerie and to a cavern deep within the Upside Down Island of the Candy Witch. The mansion is one of many strongholds owned by the salient lich Zadok the Enchanter. He had used Broos to get him access to the Societatem Magis and still has Broos stored away in imprisonment as an undead minion.

Temples and Shrines


     There is only a single proper temple in Qadar, since the disaster nearly a century ago, dedicated to Oukranos. The temple holds services every day and adherents of Oukranos make sacrifices daily in order to appease his wrath and allow the province to flourish once again.
     Outside the walls that remain there are shrines dedicated to Ralifon, Berrish, and Beowa. There is also a small temple to Barbēlō that the sailors coming to port like to frequent after paying their respects to Oukranos.

Notable Cheesemongers


     There are no families of cheesemongers left in the province proper. The Tesremos family used the Flumen Magnum disaster to their advantage. By taking over the outer farms of the former Qadar goblin families and stealing their recipies they were able to increase their profits and power among the Consilio ex Familia.

Notable Locations


     Within what is left of the walls is a new dock and temple. There are some administration buildings for collecting duties and taxes from vessels using the docks. Outside of these remnants a small town has sprung up, mainly to support the needs of ships using the docks and get trade from the sea moving through the province.

Outside the Walls


     To the north is Transienasiams on the Via Spice and further north across the plains of Pinnaqii is Saloppidum. Transienasiams is a two weeks march from Qadar along the Via Qadar. The Via Qadar is a wide well built road that runs directly south from the Via Spice through the extremely dangerous Shezzak'l'zz Waste. It is a full seven days march along the Via Qadar through this area to get to Fort Borbala.
     Fort Borbala has become a small township of 600 persons. Fort Bobrala was originally placed at the edge of the Shezzak'l'zz Waste as a buffer to prevent the Eye Tyrants of the region from causing problems further south into the province. With the closing of the Gates the sea trade has been moving through the province along the Via Qadar and into Transienasiams. The Tesremos family has made a very profitable business out of providing protection to caravans moving through the Shezzak'l'zz Waste. They are able to provide this protection because they have struck a deal with the Hive Mother of the Great Waste, to provide her with needed goods for the safe passage of the family's caravans.
     Three days further south from Fort Borbala is the Praedium Essenxa, a former holding of the now conquered family Essenxa. The Tesremos family controls this sprawling estate and most of the surrounding village. The village has a large stable and two different inns for travelers to stay at. The village has no Legionnaires quartered here as the Tesremos family has a private force of minotaur slaves to keep the peace.
     East the road leads to the province of Koravie through the foothills of the Koravie Mountains. At the edge of the province along the Via Qadar, a ten days march is the Welqan Shire. The Welqan hobbits are known as fine makers of leather goods. They trade regularly with the Dwarves of Koravie and the rest of the Qadar province along the Via Qadar.
     Three days west of Welqan one of the rare known gnomish communities, Hocestaverediuoppidumnomineformaresedsitibiabcorreptadixiteiquomodoergotuappellantdomumsuam, or as most everyone else calls is Domumsuam. This community of gnomes is an unusual bunch for gnomes. Most gnomes are a secretive bunch of peoples that are primarily worshippers of Amn. This community is an open community of Erronites. They do have a shrine to Amn but their main temple is dedicated to Erron of Solitude. These are adventuresome gnomes and very friendly, their gladiatorial arena is a bit small for normal sized creatures but they will gladly teach others their weapon techniques, for a price.
     Four days march west is Sheep's Head, a community of shepherds that graze their herds all across the Plains of Pinnaqii. Most of the herds return to the town for the annual shearing festival. The remaining peoples mainly cultivate feed for the winter months, when the herds cannot safely graze the plains to the north, or work at turning the wool into trade worthy products.
     The old western road is still on the other side of Magnum Bay. From the shore of Magnum Bay the Via Wim goes all the way to the Arma Xronos. Beyond the Arma Xronos is the Mare Draconis, an endless ocean full of monsters that eat ships whole. Along the Via Wim there are many small fishing villages. Most of this area is considered as lawless frontier and there are very few patrols by the Legions, generally only when taxes are being collected. The northern areas of the Via Wim are home to orc tribes, giant steadings, dragons and other assorted monsters. The empire has a standing bounty for any adventuring types that want to clear out these monsters and make it safe for expanding the borders of civilization. Along the eastern side of this area is the Amethyst Mountains, the north is bordered by the Schwarzwald forest, and to the east is the Mare Draconis.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Locations: Empire of Ralifon, Province of Sexeptum

Province of Sexeptum

Empire of Ralifon

Overview


     Sexeptum was one of the first provinces of the old Republic of Ralifon. The original city Arexium was founded by the Regent Marcus Flaqinus in P.U. 220 before the invention of the Gates. In P.U. 416 Arexium was burned to the ground and completely razed by the Xanda Tribe. Regent Nerva rebuilt the site of Arexium with the six Gates and named it Nervia. When Nervia expanded beyond the original walls Regent Tullius built new walls to protect the expanded populace, in an effort to raise his popularity. The walls were completed in P.U. 600 and Nervia was renamed Sexeptum.
     Sexeptum is not just an important city because of the five working gates. It happens to be at a crossroads of many important land routes through the empire.

Gates


     The six Gates of the province connect to Astakus, Danue, Qidron-Forum Sepentrio, Mons Domus, and Saloppidum. The gate to Qadar has been sealed since the gate was lost during the Flumen Magnum of P.U. 1000.

Temples and Shrines


     There are several temples in Outer Sexeptum. The northern part of Outer Sexeptum is where the temples of Erron of Solitude, Ralifon, and Amn are located. The eastern part of Outer Sexeptum is where the temple of Berrish is located. In the southern part of Outer Sexeptum is where the temples of Barbēlō, Oukranos, Wazirëkyn, and Ur & Thumm are located.
     There a small shrines throughout Outer Sexeptum to the various other gods. Some of the shrines are only known to true followers, such as the ones to Jorōgumo, Faliron, and Hisui no Majo.

Notable Cheesemongers


     There are four goblin families that produce cheese in the province. Within the walls of Inner Sexeptum is the Evreh family. They are the makers of Camembert, Époisses, Limburger, Valençay, and others. The Evreh are the fifth most powerful family in the Consilio ex Familia Quinque and they primarily cater to goblin tastes in cheese. The Evreh family has had a seat on the Council longer than any other family and they were at one time the most powerful family. The matriarch, Amara Evreh, is a dour and curmudgeonly gobliness who rules the family with an iron fist. She is a traditionalist and refuses to sell cheese to non-goblins, the younger members of the family are careful to sell outside the species without Amara finding out.
     The other three families have setup shop in Outer Sexeptum. They are the Domush makers of Acceglio in the north, the Tyrol makers of Alpkäse in the south, and the Zammit makers of Ġbejna in the east. Each of these three have contacts in the Evreh family and are resellers of their cheeses to non-goblins.

Notable Locations


     Within the walls of Inner Sexeptum is where the upper class makes their homes and businesses. The oldest and main road, the Via Flaqinus runs east-west through the province and is flanked by homes on either side. The Via Aemilius runs north-south and has most of the businesses flanking it. The favorite shops along the Via Aemilius are Vespasians Boutique, a high end clothier; Tadino's Fine Meats, a high end purveyor of salame and fresh meats; and Corso's High Spirit's, a popular drinking establishment with nightly wrestling and pugilistic matches. The center of Sexeptum is where the Dais of the Gates sits and is where all taxes and duties are figured and paid within the province. Those who live in Outer Sexeptum call it the Dais of the Usurer as they disproportionately pay more and higher taxes than those who live within the inner walls.
     Within the walls of Outer Sexeptum are more lively places. Urag's Pub is a raucous and dangerous establishment that caters to the more violent and bloodthirsty clientele, it has a reputation as a place where a slow night is only two murders. Near the southern gate is Maximus Meals, a legendary place to eat in the empire. Their portions are generous and the food is fabulous. It is said that the Regent David orders meals from here on a regular basis, as did his predecessor Eleazar.
     Just outside the southeastern gate is the area known as the Mongrels Pit. This area is home to a large population of Mongrelmen. The head of the Beggar's Union is said to live and rule here. The Beggar's Union is a very good place to go to gather information about the seedier side of life in Qidron as the beggars are everywhere and have their eyes and ears open constantly, their mouths are another matter altogether and useful information does not come cheap.

Outside the Walls


     The seven roads of Sexeptum lead to various important locations in the province as well as to neighboring provinces. Starting at the north on the western fork of the Via Aemilius five days march from Sexeptum is the foot of the Aegis Mons and the Fortress Aegis that denotes the border of the Province. The Fortress Aegis houses 300 Legionnaires that take twelve month posts here and drill constantly in mountainous maneuvers and survival tactics. Many of the best officers are forged here and a decent number of Praetorian guards as well.
     A single days march south along the road is the Shire of Nurqia. This shire of around 2,500 hobbits farm several grains and vegetables that are used to nourish the Legions as well as the hobbits. They also export a fine soft wool with a slightly golden sheen that is sought after by the rich elite.
     Two days march further south is the river town of Xaldarine on the banks of the Fluvius Cymatilis. This small town of roughly 200 persons is dominated by water wheels that constantly turn the grindstones that process the grain from the surrounding areas. Xaldarine also uses the water wheels to run cold forges that manufacture iron bars for use in other parts of the empire. The iron comes from a mine upstream in the Aegis Mons peopled almost entirely of dwarves called Arca Durusium. The dwarves of Durusium are a xenophobic lot and only tolerate the presence of the Legions because they have no choice in the matter.
     Starting north from the eastern fork a four days march from Sexeptum is the coastal shire of Fabrico Gnavis. This shire of hobbits is famous for their acumen as shipwrights. They manufacture the best ships in the Qadar Sea, vessels capable of going for several days out of sight of the shore and weathering the unpredictable storms of the Qadar. The Gnavis Hobbits, as they call themselves, have constructed a grand temple to Oukranos fashioned to appear as a half-sunken shipwreck. The lower half of the temple is completely underwater and rumor has it that there are magnificent treasures hidden within it.
     Two days march south from Fabrico Gnavis through the Praeteritus Woods is the fort called the Outpost of the Damned. This fort is a remote training ground for the Mortiferium, arcane spell casters who train to become a part of the Legions as special commissioned forces.
     From the Via Flaqinus heading east from Sexeptum goes for fortnight into the province of Erilaus. Halfway between them is the River Erilaus and is the border mark. There is a large stone and rebus bridge crossing the nearly half mile span of the river. There are twin villages on either side of the bridge that are composed of farmers and fishers. Both of the villages go by the name of Rivertown, the western side is called Sexeptum Rivertown by the villagers on the eastern shore. These towns have a friendly rivalry going between them and are quick to come to the aid of their twin in case of emergencies or raids.
     From Rivertown all the way to Sexeptum are farms that grow grains and are fed by irrigation ditches along the Via Flaqinus from the River Erilaus. There are no proper towns or villages just farms and the occasional inn run by an enterprising farmer rich enough to own many slaves to work his fields.
     From the Via Pauper heading along the north branch from southeastern Outer Sexeptum through the Mongrels Pit a two days march from the city is Tenebrae Lautumiae. This marble quarry has been active for over a thousand years. Tenebrae Lautumiae is a prison as well as a quarry, those who are sentenced here are serving a life sentence and life is very short here. Most prisoners die within the first two years of their bondage here and it is usually a terrible debilitating disease that claims them.
     From the Via Pauper going east for a three days march is the mining town of Ralifon's Hoard. This town is owned by a single family, the Aurifex, and is peopled almost entirely by slaves. At the base of the mountainous town a fully staffed Legion garrison that protects the mine shipments and surrounding area. Ralifon's Hoard is a very important site because the stone needed for making the Gates is found here as well as a rich veins of gold, copper, and silver. The labyrinthine tunnels of the mines are extremely difficult to navigate for anyone not familiar with them, gnomes and dwarves have been known to get lost when first working the mines. The overseer slaves are all strong dwarven warriors who help not only maintain order among the slaves but also protect them from some of the monsters, umber hulks being the more dangerous ones, that somehow manage to find their way into the tunnels.
     From the Via Pauper going along the southeastern branch the road skirts the mountains and crosses the River Qet and goes directly to Qidron Proper. There are many small hamlets along the Via Pauper, most of them are grain farms that trade with Sexeptum. On the southern side of the River Qet the lands are all imperial farms owned by the Regent in the name of Ralifon.
    From the southern gate of Sexeptum the Via Aemilius forks to the southeast and the southwest. Along the southeast branch a single days march from the city is a small foot path that is very well worn and goes deep into the foothills to a stone circle. This is an ancient holy site dedicated to the god Beowa. Further along the Via Aemilius another two days march from the foot path is the town of Qet. This town is on the banks of the River Qet and has many waterwheels to grind grains from the surrounding farms into flour. The bags of flour are then loaded onto river barges that are sent downstream into Qidron Proper.
     From the southwestern fork of the Via Aemilius the road curves slowly from the southwest to the west. Two days march from Sexeptum is the shire of Siligo. The hobbits of Siligo grow a very hardy strain of wheat with very large seeds that yield more flour than any other wheat. They also grow a pipe weed that is fashionable among the wizard's of the empire and gives the hobbits a very good income. Further to the west another four days march is the Oculus Corruptus, a marshy land that is fed from the northwest by the river Corruptus. The road ends at the Garrison of the Argenti, an outpost of the Legion that protects the surrounding land from foul creatures that find their way out of the Oculus Corruptus. The marsh is said to be the resting place of the foul god Faliron from when he was defeated by the god Ralifon.
     From the Via Pauper heading southwest the road turns to the west. Four days march down the road there is an abbey dedicated to the goddess Erron of Solitude. The abbey has a great many pilgrims that come to it to train with the Priests of Erron in the ways of combat. The abbey has a small gladiatorial pit and wagers are made on the outcomes of the battles. None of these battles are to the death, though there are occasions that it does happen. Beyond the abbey along the game trails, a two days hike, is an ancient copse of olive trees that have been left wild. Here there resides a spirit that if appeased will grant the petitioner a single seed with which they can grow an olive tree from that will always bear olives no matter how dry the weather.
     Five days march along the western Via Flaqinus from Sexeptum the road leads to the Stibium Fortress. This fortress and the surrounding town of Stibium is a hilly area rife with mines that produce antimony, coal, copper, iron, lead, and tin. The stream that runs through the town of Stibium is pristine when it enters from the north but is extremely polluted when exiting in the southwest. This is from all of the refining of these ores and the production of useful ingots or finished items. There are a great many dwarves and gnomes living here working in the mines, foundries, and forges. The humans tend to be more than happy to leave that work to them and focus their attention on selling the fruits of their labors in the Forums of Qidron.
     Two days march from Stibium is the shire of Calpar. Calpar has a population of 900 hobbits and they are producers of wine grapes. The Wines of Stibium are highly valued by wine connoisseurs and their neighbors a days march to the east are happy to trade cheeses with the Calpar hobbits.
     The neighbors of Calpar, as mentioned reside a days march east. These goblins are members of the Bloodhand tribe and are wild goblins who do not pay tribute to the Consilio ex Familia. They live in the caves of the hills and it is uncertain how numerous their tribe actually is. They trade regularly with the hobbits and to the orc tribes in the mountains north of the hills. They will occasionally trade with individuals from Sexeptum but not with the goblins, they consider them to be heretics twisting the word of Berrish. These goblins are not foolish enough to attack the heavily armed and armored Legions and the Legions let them be as they know it would be suicide to attack the goblins in their own territory.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Locations: Empire of Ralifon, Province of Saloppidum

Province of Saloppidum

Empire of Ralifon

Overview


     The local salt mines of this province are the major source of power and wealth in this part of the Empire of Ralifon. The Hallein goblin family has built a large castle and uses much of their wealth to protect the province outside the gates from raids by barbarians from the Pinnaqii Plains to the east and orcs from the Schwarzwald forest to the north. The Mountains of Weydaan lie to the west and south beyond the Pinnaqii is the Qadar Seas. The family owns large tracts of arable land and has a great many slaves working the farms.
     The province has no local source of water and utilizes the Qidron waterworks system to provide water to the populace. The moat of the castle is fed by this system and underground pipes run all throughout the province to the homes, fountains, and gardens.
     The two main gates of the province, Urgate to the north and Thummgate to the south are well guarded by minotaur slaves and their goblin overseers. Thummgate is where most of the salt from the mines is processed, there is a very large open area for the piles of salt and the mobile pole barns to protect them from the elements. Mule drawn carts file into Thummgate at all times of the day and night going from the mines to the Gates and back. This area is also home to three of the four tax assessors in the province. Urgate is where all other goods passing through Saloppidum are assessed for taxes and the last assessor calls home.

Gates


    The four Gates of the province connect to Aestus Mulie, Qidron-Forum Orientem, Qidron-Templum, and Sexeptum.

Temples and Shrines


     There are several temples in Saloppidium. Foremost among them is the temple of Berrish the Cheesebringer. This sits just south, outside the moat and gate into Hallein castle. It is a large affair with a gigantic fountain in the southern courtyard where worshipers toss coins in it and pray for good fortune. Across the Via Sal from there are the temples of Ralifon, Amn, Erron of Solitude, Wazirëkyn, and Ur & Thumm. Beyond this concentrated area of worship there is a temple to Barbēlō within the Hallein complex, which has caused some controversy among the goblins because Berrish is supposed to hold the most prominent place in a goblin household.

Notable Cheesemongers

     There is only a single family in the province of Saloppidium that manufactures cheeses. The Hallein family not only is the sole producer of Lüneberg cheese (it is salted on the surface, and rubbed and washed occasionally while curing. When ripe, the cheese is said to be about midway in characteristics between Emmental and Limburger) it also produces two other types. Emmental cheese (it is produced in a round shape with a natural rind, and aged in humid caves) and Graukäse cheese (it owes its name to the grey mold that usually grows on its rind and it has a powerful penetrating smell). These cheeses, the farms, and the nearby salt mines they own have made the Hallein family the third richest and powerful of the goblin families. The Tesremos family, makers of Cheddar and the Selpan family, makers of Mozzarella are the other two more powerful goblin families.

Notable Locations

     Just inside the inner wall is Nenwef's Laborium, a stable where horses and slaves are bought and sold. This establishment is run by a light-skinned Saxaran by the name of Nenwef. He is a tall cruel man with a keen eye for horse and man flesh. The majority of his slaves are male and good for farm or mine labor. Nenwef will occasionally have a female for sale, but the prices for them are high enough to keep the average buyer out of the auctions.
     Soprensuta's Cured Meats makes a salame from donkey meat, Cibumasinus, that is considered a local delicacy. They also produce a wide variety of other cured meats that will keep for long periods.
     Pergamum's Diphtheraium produces parchments and high quality vellum from donkey skins. For a premium they will also bind sheets into a high quality water and fire resistant book. They work with Leon's Locks from Sexeptum to make an even more expensive tome that locks.
      Blandus Cultri is a maker of fine knives and gladium (a type of short sword popular with arena fighters). Blandus has a dwarven slave that also manufactures fine armors and polearms. Blandus has a contract with the Legions to make weapons and is also granted a license to sell them to non-legionnaire persons. To that end he has acquired several slaves and apprentices with smithing and forging skills to help him meet demand. He has several buildings along the moat just south of the Temple of Berrish where his staff work day and night to make good on his contract.

Outside the Walls


     The road heading north goes all the way to the southern border of the Schwarzwald forest. There the road ends at the Fortress of the Black Woods. A small town, Blackwood, had sprung up around the Fortress composed of lumbermen and game hunters, there are a few small farms around the south side of the town. The Fortress is built on the site of a natural artesian spring that provides ample water to the town and farms. Blackwood is a full week's march from Saloppidum.
     Two days march south of Blackwood is the shire of Hillsborough. This Hobbit domain is full of friendly farmers and traders. The honors have maintained good relations with the Pinnaqii tribes that graze the plains to the east. There is a well worn dirt road that goes all the way to the Amethyst Mountains, a full two months march east from Hillsborough.
     Further south from there is the town of Scorch. This ghost town is two days march from both Hillsborough and Saloppidum. There is a shin high rock wall surrounding Scorch and the only recognizable structure is a burned and dilapidated temple. There are no readily identifiable markings to denote what god the temple was dedicated to and locals will not pass into the interior of the rock wall.
     To the south of Saloppidum the road leads to the Salt Mines of Hallein just a half days march away. The salt mines are busy at all times of the day or night. The entrance is heavily guarded, slaves and mules are constantly working to dig and process the rock. In addition to the street, the mines also provide a good place to cure the cheeses that the family produces.
     Further south a two days march is the village of Asinus. This village is on the shore of a small lake, Aquaviridi, and is where most of the donkeys are foaled and raised. There are also many goats and water oxen here as well.
     Finally, another five days march south is the trading post of, Transienasiams. This trading post is on the aptly named Via Spice. The Legion has little reason to come this far and so Transienasiams is a rather lawless place of commerce. Officially the trading post does not exist and is not on any sanctioned maps of the empire.

Notes


     Further south across the plains is the coast of the Qadar Sea and the Province of Qadar. Qadar has lost the gate that was placed there and now all trade is being rerouted through the neighboring provinces. Also the Amethyst Mountains are the western border of the Empire of Ralifon.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Locations: Empire of Ralifon, Province of Aestus Mulie

Province of Aestus Mulie

Empire of Ralifon


Overview


     The Province of Aestus Mulie is an important coastal part of the city of Qidron of the Empire of Ralifon. Its ten Gates allow for rapid movement of cargo from the walled bay to the markets of the attached provinces. The River Saqio splits Aestus Mulie, it is crossed by the aptly named Dancing Bridge, a bridge that moves with the changing levels of the tide and river.
     The eastern side of the river has six of the Gates and the only two roads that lead from the province out into the local countryside of the southern Rhun. The locals refer to this part of the province as "dockers" as it mostly full of warehouses and flop houses for sailors. Dockers has a specially walled area for inspecting, inventorying and taxing goods coming and going to the many ships that make port here. This walled area is often referred to as the Magpie's Feast by the traders who have to move their cargoes through here.
     Along South Gate Way, which leads from the Four Gates Court to the Magpie's Feast are several drinking establishments and hostelries. There is also a barbeliotae (Barbēlō is the goddess of love, her shrines are called barbeliotae or brothels) that is popular with the sailors.
     At the end of North East Gate Way in dockers is the Temple of Sea-King Oukranos the Stormbringer. Many of the sea captains and sailors will come here to leave offerings to Oukranos. This is to grant them safe travels and good winds as they sail through his domain.
     The western side of the river has most of the residents homes. The Temple of Ralifon is on this side of the river. There are services to Ralifon performed here every day. The sacrament of Ur in the morning and the sacrament of Thumm just before moonrise.

Gates


     The ten Gates of the province connect to Astakus, Bazle, Benuo, Caesai Oculis, Danue, Erilaus, Koravie, Lunbeim, Qidron-Forum Meridianam, and Saloppidum.

Temples and Shrines


     There are only two proper temples in the province. The eastern shore of the  River Saqio has the Temple to Oukranos and the western shore has the Temple of Ralifon. As mentioned in the overview there is a shrine to Barbēlō in her aspect as the goddess of love as well as a shrine in the Magpie's Feast celebrating her aspect as the goddess of wealth. This shrine is the place where moneylenders and tax collectors conduct business. There are three shrines in the province to Berrish the Cheesebringer, Lord of Goblins. One in each of the major families compounds. Within the Aeolixan cheese caverns and the other in the Prósphaqs cheesehouse on the Saqio river. The third shrine is in the back of the public bathhouse in west Aestus Mulie.
     Below the temple of Ralifon is a secret shrine to The Dusk Lord, Faliron the Decaying God. This shrine is accessible only from a special chamber from within the temple above. Only the followers of Faliron know where it is and how to use the chamber safely.
     There is a shrine to Mellaart in the swampy waters south of the western half of the province behind the seawall to the docks. This shrine is tended by a poisonous frog-like creature and his two crocodile companions, needless to say there few people brave or foolish enough to go here without good reason.
     Lastly the Legionnaires have a shrine is the Magpie's Nest to Erron of Solitude within their barracks. There are also innumerable other personal shrines to virtually every deity or spirit imaginable in the homes of the populace.

Notable Cheesemongers


     There are two competing goblin families that produce cheese in the province, the Aeolixan and Prósphaqs. They each specialize in different styles of cheese.
     The Aeolixan family cheese is Manouri. A white soft cheese that has a clean, subtle nutty flavor with a bit of sheepiness and the barest hint of tang. This cheese is popular within the province, but has not made much headway into the other provinces of the city of Qidron. Even though they are not as wealthy or well known outside of Aestus Mulie, within it they are the preferred cheesemongers of the locals.
     The Prósphaqs family cheese is Feta. A white brine cheese that has a tangy, slightly salty, and mildly sour flavor, with a spicy finish that recalls pepper and ginger, as well as a hint of sweetness. Due to the popularity of this cheese in the other provinces, the Prósphaqs are become richer and more influential in the province. Their rapid expansion into the other provinces has brought them into conflict with other families outside of the province, the most dangerous being the ruling family of Tesremos the makers of Cheddar. The Prósphaqs family is generally considered to be the sixth most powerful goblin family putting them just shy of making it to the Consilio ex Familia Quinque.


Notable Locations


     The Imperial Dock is a massive sea wall that allows the berthing of close to a hundred ships. It has two immense cranes capable of lifting well over two hundred tons and a dozen smaller mobile cranes to allow for loading and unloading of large and heavy freight. The docks are busiest during the changing of the tides, thus Harbor Master Eutocius, as an adept of Oukranos, is very skilled in reading the tides and currents of the Saqio River and Mysliveček Bay.
     Sporus' Qualis Monstra is a major supplier of animals, beasts, and dangerous monsters to the Arena of the Aerie and many of the other arenas around the empire. If someone is looking for an unusual mount they can be had from Sporus, though at a somewhat outrageous price. Sporus has the entire western shore of the river just north of the Magpie's Feast carefully warded to keep the creatures penned into the area until they are taken to the arenas. The aquatic creatures are penned into the mouth of the river just inside the seawall.

Outside the Walls


     The roads heading north and south lead to the smaller villages within the greater province of Aestus Mulie. To the north, at the border of the province, is the Saqio Fortress. This fortress is a five days march up the Via Saqio to the base of the Ruviqan Mountains. Along the Via Saqio are the villages, listed from north to south, of Zmyrn (a small community or 100 and mostly of dwarves), Liège (a community of about 300 persons that mostly grow olives and grapes in this hilly and fertile area), and Sa'rigall (a community of 20 families that mostly herd goats, sheep or water buffalo). From Sa'rigall the Via Saqio is crossed by a large stone and rebus bridge the Via Corticem goes to the east from here as well as west.
     Along the Via Corticem to the west is the town of Xoria. Xoria has a population of around 1,000 and is a major producer of lumber and cork. Beyond the town is a well worn trail that leads to the Aurum Mines. The Aurum Mines produce an average of 100 pounds of gold per year for the empire, but an astonishing 10 tons of copper.
     Going to the east along the Via Corticem leads to the Herba Fortress of Collistown. Around the Herba Fortress an large community of Hobbits have started cultivating the grassy lands. Collistown is a four days march from Sa'rigall and there is a small bridge that crosses the Fulnema Stream halfway there. The Fulnema Bridge has a small hut on the western side of it where a witch is rumored to be living.
     To the south along the Via Saqio is the Tower of Luza, at the southern tip of the province. This tower shines a bright light out into the Qadar Sea at night to warn ships of the rocky shoals nearby. The tower is a six day march south and there is a fishing village along the coast to the east another two days march. The village of Piscis is home to around 100 persons. From the tower going north to Aestus Mulie along the Via Saqio is a single town of about 1,600 persons that live in cliffside homes and make a living mostly as sea merchants. This town, known as, Praeceps is three days from either the Tower of Luza or Aestus Mulie.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Locations: Empire of Ralifon, An Overview

The Empire of Ralifon

An Overview

Introduction

     David looked through the window out over the city. It was a clear night and the lights of the city seemed to compliment the silver light of the moon high overhead. This was David's favorite place to go and see the City of Qidron.
     Qidron is, in part, situated at Mount Dene'vir and is the capital of the great empire. David stood quietly and looked out the window wishing he could live down in the city as a citizen. Citizens had the right to own land, and David wanted to own a small farm like the ones he visited on his many errands for Eleazar.
     As if the thought of his master was a summons for David, he slowly stepped away from his beloved window. David silently stepped into Eleazar's bed chambers. Moving up to his master's bed David looked down into his sleeping visage. Eleazar's short hair was as white as freshly fallen snow. The bedding was pulled down to his waist. His strong frame barely visible after the long days spent in wasting illness.
     David remembered vividly the violent fits and the high fevers that drove Eleazar into demented rambling. He would sit by his bed and keep vigil over Eleazar praying for the pyrexia to break. Many doctors, shamans, and priests had come to help the ailing regent, but none could break the disease's draconian grasp.
     One day when Eleazar's fever dropped, he demanded that his will be taken. David tried desperately to persuade him otherwise but Eleazar held firm saying, "I am going to die soon, David."
     At that, tears welled up in David's eyes. David chided himself, how could he only think of how much he wanted to be a Citizen. How could he be so selfish, thinking of himself whilst as great a man as Eleazar lie in bed dying.
     "But master you cannot die," David pleaded. "What will become of the Empire without your guidance?"
     "David," Eleazar stated softly as if speaking to a pupil. "the Empire will exist just fine without me. As long as it is peopled by good men such as you. But I will die David. I want to have my will taken while I still am able."
     David left to get the scrivener. Eleazar made David wait outside while the scrivener and a Priest of Erron took his will.
     Seeing Eleazar now, in this emaciated state, was heart wrenching for David. He pulled the sheets over his pale frame. Just as David finished, Eleazar grasped David's wrist. His grip was painfully strong and David let out a small whimper. But the biggest shock to David was Eleazar's eyes.
     They were glowing with a fierce golden light. Like staring into the sun. David wanted to look away but those eyes had him trapped. Helpless in the light of those eyes Eleazar released his grip from David. David stood stock still as Eleazar rose up from his bed. Gone now was all evidence of Eleazar's former battle with disease. He stood to his full height the light from his eyes focused entirely on David. David thought he should run or try to escape but in the light of those wondrous eyes he could not.
     Eleazar spoke to David in a clear resonant voice, "David, my son. You are the one I am charging with the welfare of the Empire. I now must leave this world. Do not fear for me my son, I will be with you always." David was thunderstruck. How could he, a lowly slave, be the Regent of the Empire? He didn't know anything about ruling other people.
     "I know your fear. I once felt it myself. But remember that Emperor Ralifon trusts in all of us to rule ourselves wisely." With those last words the light spread over Eleazar and a thin line of golden light burst into David's chest.
     The pain was unbelievable. Nothing could compare to it's horrid touch. David chided himself, he knew it was part of some greater good and gritted his teeth. The light coursed through his veins, each heartbeat was agony. David let out a piercing cry. Blood ran from his nose and ears. It's warm touch felt good against the icy coldness of that light. Stinging tears ran down David's cheek. His heart felt the cold touch of death. With one last pulse of light the pain ended.
     All was darkness. David felt alone and helpless, he wanted this torture to end. He felt as if he had deserved this emptiness, this darkness. Slowly the darkness even took David's awareness.
     David woke suddenly. There was a group of men and women gathered around David. Not knowing who they were he was frightened by their sudden appearance. Just then a voice commanded that they be silent. Their hushed whispers faded into the background as they themselves did, sliding back from him.
     A tall man stood before David, his hair was a faded mahogany with sprinkles of grey, cut short. His black robes were simple, the amulet around his neck rested proudly on his chest. It was a six sided star surrounding a sword, a symbol of the clergy of Erron. His eyes were a bright blue, like the sky on a clear day. A warm smile spread across his face.
     "Welcome back to us Regent David. You had us all very worried for a while."
     David was flabbergasted, "Regent?" He ventured.
     "Yes. Regent."
     "But how? I am only a--"
     "Were only a slave. Now you are Regent of the Empire of Ralifon the Goodhearted"
     "But what about Eleazar? He is the Regent, not me."
     "Was. He passed on that duty to you, as it was passed unto him, by Shaveh."
     "Eleazar is dead?! When?"
     "One month ago this night." At this news David found himself weeping uncontrollably.
     "How will I be able to do this?" He sobbed to himself.
     "David," The priest spoke, "don't do this to yourself. He has gifted to you the Golden Mantle. It is your duty to lead the Empire."
     David's mind was reeling. "The Golden Mantle" he thought.
     "The Golden Mantle." The priest said with finality as if passing judgment. David looked up. Into his blue eyes, he could see that the priest was serious. David sighed, and stood tall. Surveying his surroundings he saw that he was in Eleazar's, no, his bed chambers now. He saw the balcony doors were open. It was night and the moon's pale light shone in. Across from the bed he was standing next to was an enormous hearth.
     He thought back to when he had to tend the fire in that hearth. The hearth was bigger than his chambers were. He looked at all of the furnishings that he knew so well. He looked at the servants that were in the room. He knew many of them now that he had his wits about him.
     The priest looked expectantly at David. David spoke with authority, "All of you, out!"
     The servants moved with rapidity through the double doors of David's bedchamber. The priest then began to turn to leave when David commanded, "You, stay. I wish to speak with you." The priest cracked a devilish smile. "What is your name priest?"
     "Arioch, at your command, sir." Then he bowed low to David.
     "Arioch, hmmm." David mused to himself. Arioch looked pensively at David. To Arioch, David had taken to his authority much to quickly. He knew there was something amiss. "Why else would David have gotten Eleazar's illness," he thought. He was abruptly interrupted from his thoughts when David spoke.
     "Has there been a vigil for Eleazar?"
     "Yes Regent. It ended this night."
     "Good."
     "Regent, if I may be so bold--"
     "You may not. Not yet."
     "Yes Regent." Arioch was beginning to get worried. "What else could have passed to David through the link?" He was not sure he wanted to know.
     David broke Arioch's reverie. "I want to know. What is the date today?"
     "It is the first day of March, Regent."
     "March." David trailed off.
     "Yes, March." Arioch reiterated.
     "Arioch. What position do you hold among the Erronintes?"
     "I am a Magistrate, Regent."
     "Magistrate? How long did it take you to work to that station?"
     "16 years, 3 months, 8 days."
     "Could you be more specific?" David jested. Arioch could feel the tension slip away at the small joke. "Arioch you served Eleazar did you not?"
     "Yes Regent. I served him as an advisor."
     "Then you will be my Minister of State."
     "Regent I am flattered that you would consider me for such a position. But I am not a Minister--"
     "You are now." David stated flatly.
     "But Regent," Arioch pleaded "there are others more suited than I."
     David smiled at Arioch, "Did you stay at my bedside?"
     "Yes. But that is not--" David put up his hand to silence him.
     "You cared for me when others thought me lost, did you not?"
     "Yes." Arioch said defeatedly.
     David's smile returned, "Then I know you are trustworthy. The Regent has many enemies within the Senate."
     "No, Regent!" Arioch blurted.
     David glared at Arioch as if he were an unruly child, "Yes! I know this and more. I don't know how I know it. Yet I am sure of it." Arioch could only wonder what else was passed to David by Eleazar.
     "Regent. If I may--"
     "Call me David, Arioch. We are friends and brothers in this place." He opened his arms in a wide gesture. "Behind closed doors."
     Arioch nodded thoughtfully, "David. Why don't you rest? There is still a few hours until day breaks."
     "No. We have work to do before Ur brings forth the Chariot of His Light."
     "Yes David, that we do," thought Arioch.


The Empire of Ralifon (Rhunic Empire)

     Ralifon is the legendary draconic founder and ruler of the Rhunic Empire. The empire reaches from Mount Dene'vir out into the east to the Gangi Desert, and into the west to the Starshome Sea. Into the Icy Reaches of the north and across the Qadar Sea to the Saxara Continent in the south. Ralifon the Golden fought his twin brother Faliron the Red on the slopes of Mount Dene’vir for three weeks. When he finally slew his brother he then wrestled the Giant Atilus at the gates of the Cloud Temple of the 3 Avatars. When he bested Atilus the 3 Avatars granted him domain over Rhun and its inhabitants. He claimed Mount Dene’vir as his throne and built the empire.

Mount Dene'vir

     Mount Dene'vir is the capitol of the Rhunic Empire. It is comprised of 5 Districts. The most prominent is the Giant's Aerie. It was designed by the brilliant architect and artist Eumaeus. From his design the Giants started carving from the top, down to the base. With the use of solid clouds and slave labor the giants were able to finish the Aerie in record time. The Aerie is the world's largest contiguous carving.
     All of the materials that were taken from the Aerie were used in the construction of the City and Citadels of Rhun. Qidron or as it is commonly referred to The City is the largest of the 5 Districts. The city is where most of the humans live and dwell. The hobbits dwell in the foothills surrounding the mountain and till the fields and work the vines. They are the ones who provide most of the food to Mt. Dene'vir. The city is designed with the same precision and artistic sense as the rest of the 5 Districts. Though it is unrivaled in it's beauty, many of the citizens complain about the strange street layout. With alleys that lead to nowhere and fountains in the middle of busy traffic areas.
     The 3rd District is within the mountain. It is where the Dwarves and Gnomes primarily live and dwell. The most prominent feature of the 3rd District is the Foundry. The Foundry was designed by Eumaeus' protege, Telemachus. The Foundry is actually below the base of the mountain. The Gnomes & Dwarves use the lava vents to heat the 3rd District and the Foundry. The lava is also used as a building material for it has an unusually high metal content. The Gnomes have also devised a way to use the lava that has been stripped of its metals to make an ash that when mixed with powdered limestone creates a hard rock that can be shaped into any number of forms. The Gnomish name is so long and unwieldy that humans simply call it rebus.
     The 4th District is several miles underground. It is a city of Duegar, Drow, & Svirvneblin. It is comprised of many small caves that have been excavated to enlarge & decorate them. The entire complex was also designed by Eumaeus. The Stairway was designed for use by Ralifon in his natural form. When he is of great wyrm age he will be able to fit into it and turn around without difficulty. Telemachus' design of the Stairway is ingenious and daring. To the humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes, & hobbits of the 5 Districts the 4th District is believed to be the foothills of Mt. Dene'vir. It would shock them all to find out what the 4th District truly is. Though officially the 4th District's location has never actually been stated. Some rumors exist as to it's location. They range from the truth to it being one of the cloud cities, to it being on another plane of existence.
     The 5th District is at the heart of the mountain. It is the Draconic Palace, designed to house Ralifon and his servants. Give him access to the other 4 Districts and protect him from any invaders. Eumaeus and Telemachus worked for 4 entire years trying to design a suitable and defensible lair for Ralifon and his immense hoard. The most notable feature is the Library. It houses Ralifon's personal library, as well as that of many other captured libraries. It is in a word immense, the Library is the largest in the known world & it has yet to be filled. Ralifon has an elite vanguard whom search the world over for more works to be put into it. After the 5th District was completed Ralifon had all of the workers put into service as his personal slaves & guards.
     There is a secret 6th District that was designed and built without Ralifon's knowledge. Eumaeus and Telemachus realized that when they finished their work on Mount Dene'vir that their knowledge of it's strengths & weaknesses would make them too dangerous to keep alive. So to protect themselves from Ralifon they hid another District among his own 5 to keep tabs on him. The 6th District is so well hidden that even Ralifon's keen senses will not be able to detect it. It is only known to those who dwell within it and they are the most trustworthy people that Eumaeus and Telemachus could find.

The Gladiatorial Protector


     Kenneth Ash is the current Gladiatorial Protector of the Empire. His duty is to protect the Empire from the people who inhabit it. He is the best Gladiator in the Empire and arranges all of the major Gladiator challenges in the Empire. Ralifon realizes that if the people have something to entertain them that they will forget about how miserable their lives really are. The Arena of the Aerie is large enough to hold the Cloud giants and 100,000 man-sized creatures. It is where the major events are held. The matches are rarely fought to the death. When they are the crowds are always happiest. There is gambling allowed by Ralifon, who gets a cut of the profits. A shrewd & well informed Gambler can do quite well at the Arena. The Arena is where all of the convicted criminals will end up. Those whose crimes are great, such as murder or treason, are put to death by combat. It is usually the convict with parma & drusus against some form of wild animals or monsters. The outcome of these events are usually the death of the convict, but those that survive become favorites of the crowd at later festivities.

The Olympics


     The Olympics are held at the Arena of the Aerie every 4 years. Anyone who wishes to participate can do so. There are many events and anyone who wins will get a special medallion that, it is said, is made by Ralifon himself. The medallion is a symbol of will, determination, & skill. It is Ralifon's holy symbol, and he makes them with the lava flow and magic. It is said that those who possess them are able to call Ralifon for help when they are in most dire need. The true nature of the medallions has yet to be ascertained. Some of the events are wrestling, discus, charioteering, javelin, shot-put & running. Another popular event, especially for goblins, is jousting from wolf back. Any event is fraught with danger as there are many who would use magic or some other artifice to cheat and win. Winners of the Olympics are treated with awe and respect. Cheaters are often stoned or beaten to death by an angry mob.

The Cloud Cities


     Each of the 10 Cloud Giants has a Cloud City that they rule over. Each one is different in design and function, unique to it's ruler. The 10 Cloud Cities are usually moored at the Aerie, but they will come and go of the Giant's accord. Atreus' City is a metropolitan city of trade, and commerce. Cadmus' City is a large College for the Sciences & Arts. Ino's City is a collection of beautiful palaces & gardens. Leucothoe's City is an Animal Sanctuary with a few paths and homes for the animals caretakers. Medon's City is a fortress and training ground for the majority of the army, and navy. Noemon's City is a collection of pavilions and booths that have different types of circus acts. Ortygia's City is a collection of museums and statuary marvels. Phaeacia's City is a collection of water features and serene vistas. Phronius' City is a marvel of steam and mechanical power. Pylos' City is a collection of private mansions and castles.

The Cheesemakers


     The only race with complete knowledge of how to make cheese, is goblins. The kobolds have managed to steal enough of the secret of cheese to make their own kinds that are not very good or popular. Berrish the god of the goblinoids gave them the secret because of the Goblin Wars. Humans, elves, and dwarves banded together with the prodding of the gnomes to eradicate the goblins. The wars brought the goblins to near extinction. The last three tribes (Bloodhand, One Eye & Yellowtooth) banded together and prayed mightily for Berrish to save them. That is when he revealed to them the secret of cheese, he gave them a special wheel of cheese (it is hotly debated among goblins as to which kind it was, most outsiders believe it was cheddar) that had a special enchantment on it that would make those not of goblin blood to be enthralled by it. Under auspice of surrender the leaders of the humans, elves, dwarves and gnomes came and dined upon the peace offering of cheese. Once enthralled they agreed very easily to the goblin terms of surrender. The Bloodhand tribe, being the largest, chose to continue their lifestyle as it was. One Eye and Yellowtooth became master cheese makers within the cities of man, as elves, gnomes and dwarves would not have them, and have hence become much more civilized than the descendants of Bloodhand. Because of their special status of being the only ones with the knowledge of cheese they have carved out a niche in society for themselves, and have become somewhat influential and richer.

The Followers of VMQR


     The Followers of VMQR (Pronounced vim-shur) are a small but growing sect of Mongrelmen who denounce any other gods. To them VMQR is The True and Only God. This is, of course, heresy within the Rhunic Empire because Ralifon is to be considered the Greatest of Gods and should this small sect begin to grow too big or become too powerful it will be suppressed by any means necessary. The Mongrelmen are generally slaves or beggars, very few have ever been granted Citizenship within the Empire. What make this religion so dangerous, other than its vehement monotheism, is its ability to rally the Mongrelmen together and bring them into a cohesive group. With their uncanny knack for getting the most guarded secrets from other races it would make them so dangerous as to warrant their extermination. Luckily the Leaders of VMQR are intelligent enough to know this and so they proceed carefully and stealthily. As such it is very difficult to know whether a particular Mongrelman is a follower of VMQR or not.

The Gates


     The Gates are magical portals that allow instantaneous transportation from one part of the Empire to another part. Each gate or gates within a city are connected to another such gate in another city. As such is the case it makes it virtually impossible for any individual city of the Empire with a gate to be successfully sieged. As soon as an army is able to surround and begin a siege all of the civilians have been evacuated and an army of possibly hundreds of thousands has been assembled and ready to trounce any opposition. Should a siege last for any length of time the city would be able to bring in fresh troops and supply an infinite amount of food and water for those troops. Essentially it is a wasted effort.
     With the ability to transport goods and services across a vast distance in a matter of hours most of the citizens or the Empire consider themselves to be part of very large city. So each “city” is denoted by the name of “such and such” province. Every city with a gate is fortified by a thick and strong wall and is serviced by wide well built roads so that the outlying areas can be accessed easily. Just about anywhere in the Empire can be gotten to in a matter of days by using these Gates and roads. Sea and land travel are still very important for the Empire to be able to trade with other great nations, or make war on them.
     With the recent loss of the Magi Magni Sophiel of the Societatem Magis the empire is no longer able to make more of these magical gates. Sophiel did not impart the knowledge of making these wondrous devices to any of the other members of the Magi Council of the Societatem Magis. Sophiel's suspicious death has raised concern among the Senate and the Regent as the Magi Council is fractured among three groups vying for the empty position of Magi Magni.

Ralifon


     Ralifon of course is the legendary ruler of the Rhunic Empire. The Senate actually runs the empire and votes one of their own as the Senator Tyrannus. He acts as head of the civil government for a term of four years, which coincides with the Olympics. If the Senate chooses to reelect him he could, in theory, rule for his entire life just having to be reelected every four years.
     The Regent of Ralifon rules by the divine right of the Golden Mantle. This is passed from one person to another by some unknown means. The Regent is a mainly religious position and they rule for life. The Regent has some power in the civil domain but mainly controls the church and military.
     The True Rhunic Emperor is Ralifon His Most August Ruler of Dene'vir as far as the general populace is concerned. The Senate acts as his voice on Xaqi and must follow the precepts set by Ralifon. The former Senator Tyrannus have been of many different races. Elves, dwarves, gnomes, giants and one hobbit have sat on the Stone of Tyranny. But the vast majority have been human. As of yet there has not yet been any goblin, kobold or mongrelman to have been in this position as they very rarely have any representation in the Senate. Goblins have been known to sit in the Senate as has one kobold. But no mongrelman has yet to be in such a high position.

Note

     More information and an introductory module is available here.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Adventure: Plight of the Ondonti

Plight of the Ondonti

 Suggested party size is 4 to 6, with levels ranging from 7 to 10.
5,000 XP completion reward.

 Basic Plot

     The Ondonti of the Violaceous Mesa have put out a call for a party of stout adventurers to help them in stopping a group of bandits that are terrorizing their lands. These peaceful and non-violent orcs are ill equipped to deal with these marauders and are willing to pay a handsome sum of 250 gold per party member, plus expenses for the removal or death of these vermin.
     The party can meet with the leader of the Ondonti, Flezin Smyth, at his forge. He is a mountain of an Ondonti with strong calloused hands, appearing to be in his early 50s. He will be the main contact for the party and allows them to stable their mounts in his barn and houses the group in his own home. His house is a large but simple steading. If asked he will tell the group that his wife has passed on and that all of his children are grown and have moved into steadings of their own.
     He is very motivated to get the party into finding the marauders plaguing the area, as one of the first steadings hit was home to his youngest daughter Slyph and her husband Gorgin Sheepherder. She was pregnant with her first child when their farm was hit and they were murdered. The bandits seem to have been particularly evil as they carved up the bodies of the Ondonti leaving them barely recognizable. Many of the sheep were also carved up and killed.

Part 1, Gorgin's Steading

     Gorgin Sheepherder's steading consists of a small two room cottage with a root cellar and a large barn with a, now broken, corral for the sheep. Before the attack, it is obvious to any person with animal handling or tracking, that Gorgin had a decent herd of 25 sheep. The single ram he housed is still lying half carved up in the back of the barn. Bits of flesh and bone from some of the sheep are still scattered among the corral. A ranger PC or skilled tracker can find the tracks of an unusual creature all over the corral and they lead out of it to the southwest.
Track left by the creature.
     The PC will not have any knowledge as to what make the tracks but will know they are bipedal as tall as and weigh as much as the average man. If the party follows the track it will lead them to the edge of the Violaceous Mesa. The rocky cliff side will require a mountaineering check to navigate safely and few mounts can make the climb down.

Part 2, Cave of the Dromaeos

     About 200 feet down the mesa is a large cave opening with fresh spoor from what a ranger or tracker PC would assume is a large bird. From within the dark wide cavern is the smell of sulphur, the sound of dripping water and the occasional fluttering of wings. A few paces into the cavern reveals that there are hundreds of bats roosting in this cave. As long as they party is quiet the bats will not rouse if they enter during the daytime, during the night the cave is full of the chirping like sounds of the active bats and any light brought into the cave will cause the party to be "attacked" by the harmless creatures. If they enter during dusk or dawn there will be no bats within, though their guano still is.
     Past the bat roost is a series of large stalagmites and stalactites. The area through this section is damp and full of slippery mud. Torches will sputter here from the constant dripping of water. The strange tracks can be found in the mud in this area. After a dozen paces the party will encounter a pack of six deinonychus dromaeosaurs (Int Average, AC 4, MV 21, HD 4+1, 33 hp, THAC0 17, #AT 3, Dmg 1d3/1d3/2d4, XP Value 270). These bird-like dinosaurs are smart hunters that are very quick and agile. The slippery mud does not impair their movement and they will use the terrain to their greatest advantage.
     Beyond the ambush of the party is a seventh deinonychus that merely watches as the battle rages on. If the party is successful at killing half or more of the dinosaurs this one will leap into the fray. This deinonychus is actually a Maurezhi that has assumed the form of a deinonychus. It will use its magical abilities to the fullest and has consumed enough corpses to be at full strength (HD 5+8, 48 hp, AC -3, Dmg 1d6+8, XP Value 6,000). This particular Maurezhi is very fond of the dinosaur body it has acquired and will only change shape to an Ondonti if it is forced to flee (using its invisibility spell-like power).

     If by some miracle the party is able to defeat these creatures a thorough search of the cave will allow them to find the Maurezhi's cache of treasure. It consists of a large chest with 1,000 copper pieces, 1,000 silver pieces, 1,500 gold pieces and eight sapphires (worth 1,000 gold piece each).

Part 3, Conclusion

     When the party returns triumphant from battle the Ondonti will celebrate their great victory with a feast and they will receive the agreed upon payment from Flezin Smyth. They will be welcome to stay at his home for as long as needed to recuperate from any injuries and then politely asked to move on to the next town.
     Should the Maurezhi not be destroyed and the party is able to make it back to the Ondonti and convince them that the danger has passed then the Maurezhi will quietly kill and consume one of the party members and take their place among them so as to better be able to spread its evil and chaos around.