Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Ship's Log: La Concorde de Guinea

La Concorde de Guinea
Ship's Log
Image by SilverbladeTE not used with permission.


Menelya XIV 22 Quellë 85

    Sometimes I forget how dismal this work can be. For the last fortnight we have traveled through the
Flow. By the Gods! How I hate this accursed rainbow light! I cannot sleep and this slow pace of travel
is making me wonder if the crew will mutiny soon. Our supplies have nearly run out. I assured Gary we
can make it to port and that all will be well. He seemed to buy it, but Lirand looked as suspicious as
ever.
    Damn that man to the Flow! How can a human male so arrogant as he be better liked than I! I feel it
in my bones, if we cannot make port soon HE will be the one to lead the crew to mutiny!

Elenya XIV 24 Quellë 85

    At last! A Crystal Shell has been sighted! We may just make port before our beer is gone. We still
have enough biscuits for another week, sooner the beer will run out. Without reaching the Shell,
Valinore cannot purify the stale water we have to drink. Gary says he sighted a portal through the
Shell. I pray that he did for all our sakes.

Isilya XIV 26 Quellë 85

    Gary was wrong and I had to make an example of him to keep the crew in line. Though I feel as if
he may be the lucky one. At least he is off of this damned ship! Gary was my closest ally among the
crew. With him gone I may have to resort to harsher methods to maintain control.
    Gary's loss leaves me destitute! He might not have been the smartest sailor, but he was loyal. That
human, Lirand, he is a problem that I will just have to deal with tomorrow. If he so much as looks at me
wrong he'll be thrown overboard as well!

Aldúya XIV 26 Quellë 85

    That human louse is gone! He dared to challenge an order and I had him thrown overboard! The
rest of the crew seems cowed and all should be well! Unlike Gary, he chose the wrong time to be spaced. We crossed into the shell early on the first shift.
His lifeless corpse should be floating in this sphere for all eternity, ha!

Xīngqísān 10 Liù yuè 1805

    Poor old Captain Quessir. She thought I would die in space, the fool. Now, her corpse is floating in
many pieces all throughout Drajspace. We should make planetfall by third shift and I think most of the
crew will just take their pay and move on. I think I'll rename the ship, as soon as I think of a decent
one…

Xīngqíliù 13 Liù yuè 1805

    Damn that bastard elf! Quessir had so many liens on the ship that it will take all of my share and
then some to pay it off! Now I have to find a way to make enough on the next run. Without any funds
it's going to be hard to find a valuable enough cargo to make anything, let alone buy provisions and
pay a crew. ‘Tis a pity I cannot carve that motherorc of a captain to pieces once again!

Xīngqíliù 20 Liù yuè 1805

    Praise to the gods! I finally have the funds from Gemgrinder & Associates to fully stock and man the
ship. My cargo of cloth and dye should net a good profit from the Shou of Duanzhouxin. If I can get a
few decent runs in I should be able to pay these liens off in less than a decade.

Xīngqí'èr 23 Liù yuè 1805

    Today I was approached by a man, who looked as if he dug his way out of a dungeon, while I was
recruiting a crew. He had me cornered when he made an offer I just couldn’t refuse. Seems that he
needs to get his cargo off planet as fast as possible and is willing to pay enough to get me out of debt
after a single run. Even his creepy pale face couldn't make me unhappy. Things are definitely looking
up. With his advance I was able to buy four of those plant sailor things. I can’t remember what the guy
called them. So now I just need to fill the last of the crew positions and I’ll be sleeping on gold coin like
a dragon.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Locations: The Iberibe System



The Iberibe System

Overview


The Iberibe system is named in stone texts found by scholars of the ancient Ndị’mmadụ culture. Its odd primary, J🜂❖, contains some asteroids, comets, and water bodies of Size A within it.

At about 40 million miles (inner orbital track 2) from the primary is a large ring of water, ice, and earth that is named Odo Odo is 1 to 5 miles in height and 10 to 20 miles across.

At about 80 million miles (inner orbital track 4) there are six, B🜃△, worlds positioned equidistant from each other. These worlds are all pyramidal in shape and have extensive ruins that have drawn many explorers and scholars to them. All that is known about the Iberibe system comes from these odd worlds.

At about 100 million miles (inner orbital track 5) is, A🜂⬤, Ebeọkụ. This world orbits in the opposite direction of all other worlds in the system and moves with much greater speed.

At about 120 million miles (inner orbital track 6) is a binary world. This is called Duanzhouxin, C🜃⬤ with a B🜄§, named by the Shou who inhabit the colony on the larger earth body.

At about 200 million miles (inner orbital track 10) there is a ring of asteroids. This field is sparsely populated, with size A🜃‡ or smaller bodies, so is fairly safe to fly through. There are clusters where the field is more populous.

At about 400 million miles (outer orbital track 1) is Eze’kpa’kpa’ndo, H🜁⬤ with a score or more moons orbiting it.

At about 800 million miles (outer orbital track 2) is the world of Ụlọ’nke’abụọ. This, E🜃⬤, world has a, D🜃⬤, void world orbiting it and a smaller, B🜄⬤, ice world orbiting that. It is used as a base for the Elven Imperial Navy. This is where their Armada is currently stationed.

At about 2,000 million miles (outer orbital track 5) is another asteroid field called Onye Nlekota by the ancient texts. Unlike the previous asteroid field this one does not follow the orbital plane. This one is an enormous sphere surrounding the rest of worlds. Sailing through here can be dangerous. Among the many hazards there are sargassos, random portals to other planes of existence, giant poisonous clouds, and wrecks with undead sailors.

Beyond this is mostly empty space with a few minor objects, like asteroids and comets until the Crystal Shell is reached at 4,000 million miles (outer orbital track 10).

Iberibe


The eponymous primary of the Iberibe system, is technically the second largest object in the system. Regardless, this is an unusual primary. First because it is a fire world that is interspersed with other elements, and second because it is not actually the brightest object, that is Ebeọkụ. A properly built and outfitted ship could theoretically dive within the gravity well of Iberibe and explore it. As foolish as this seems, at least one group of adventurous explorers, the Nzuzu Ubi, have tried this. Their success at doing so has not been recorded by sages or sung about by bards.

Odo Odo


Odo Odo is an unusual water world. Some sages call it a Torus world and others argue that it is just a ring around the primary. None of the earth type bodies within the ring are greater than 200 tons and are made mostly of sand and mud. The water itself is slightly acidic and extremely salty. Even so, there are a few lifeforms living within the ring, nothing much more interesting than jellyfish, algae, and some kelp-like plants. There is a small atmospheric area surrounding the waters that strongly smells of salt and vinegar. It can freshen a ship’s air envelope though few humanoids can stomach the smell for long. Odo Odo is about a 40 million miles from the Primary, or about a trip of about 9 hours.

The Ndị’mmadụ Ruinworlds


The six pyramidal worlds that make up this second celestial object are theorized to be the remnants of the ancient Ndị’mmadụ homeworld. Each of the world remnants, as sages like to call them, are 100 miles long on the square side of the pyramid. This side is always facing away from the primary of the system. There are stories indicating that the pyramids used to have gold capstones. Due to greed, these were stolen and taken out of the system long ago.

These worlds are vigorously explored by sages and adventurers looking to unlock the secrets or plunder the riches. As such, the Arcane have set up shop to service these people looking to profit from searching these worlds. The Arcane are utilizing an asteroid that they purchased from dwarves converted into an excellent port that can handle up to 30 vessels at a time. At about 80 million miles from the Primary it would take about 21 hours to travel to any single one of the six worlds from there.

Ebeọkụ


This small fire world is actually the brightest object in the system. It moves in the opposite direction of the other worlds and has the shortest orbital period at only 10 days. Due to its distance of about 100 million miles from the Primary this means that it moves at roughly 600 trillion miles per hour. A Spelljamming ship only moves at roughly 4.2 million miles per hour, so in comparison it moves about 700,000 times faster than any ship ever could! It takes about 24 hours to reach the orbit of Ebeọkụ and only a mathematical savant could ever hope to actually be able to get near enough to observe it closely.

Duanzhouxin


This binary system is controlled by the Shou. They have a heavily trafficked colony on the larger earth-type world. The smaller water world is somewhat amorphous and shines with a blue-green light from its center. The colony is heavily populated (150,000 people) with a strong agricultural base and a decent industrial economy. The prefect, Yaozuo, is a middle aged man with family ties to the Emperor of Shou Lung. He is a corrupt and inept prefect interested only in self-aggrandizement and self-indulgence. A recent Imperial Censor sent to Duanzhouxin by the name of Bao Zheng has started working diligently on stopping the corruption. This crackdown has caused some troubles for merchant ships as well as smugglers.

Outside of the main colony there are many large estates owned by upper class merchants who run large fleets of cheaply made Junks. The Shou plan on utilizing the world’s resources in order to bring further glory and wealth to the Emperor. They also regularly send sages to the Ndị’mmadụ Ruinworlds to explore and retrieve artifacts. It takes about 28 hours to reach Duanzhouxin from the Primary.

Asteroid belt Ala



The Ndị’mmadụ culture named this asteroid belt Ala. Sages theorize that the name is one of the civilization's gods. The name features prominently in the texts discovered thus far. Sadly, not much more had been gleaned as the language seems impervious to magical translations and therefore must be pieced together through deductive means.

There are a few larger asteroids that have been colonized by intrepid homesteaders. These independent freeholders usually have a small ship of their own or rent space on a larger ship in order to trade their wares with outsiders. Generally, they will not go out of their way to harm ships that wander too close, unless they have a fouled atmosphere which can wreak havoc on their delicately balanced artificial ecosystems. At roughly 200 million miles it takes about 2 days to get here from the Primary.


Eze’kpa’kpa’ndo


This large air world has over a score of moons surrounding it. These smaller worlds range in size from E to A and can be earth, water, or air worlds. Rumor has it that there are neogi in the area and the Elven Imperial Navy will pay handsomely for any information that would allow them to capture or destroy these foul slavers. Conversely, neogi are more than happy to buy slaves and information that would help them humiliate the elves. At roughly 400 million miles it takes about 4 days to reach from the Primary.

The Ụlọ’nke’abụọ Trinity


The odd trinary worlds of Ụlọ’nke’abụọ is the current base for the Elven Imperial Navy. The main body is where the elves have placed their supply depot. They have been working with an elven archmage to help them in developing newer and better craft for the Navy. So far he has developed a new means of propulsion that can give the elven Flitters spelljamming capability. The enemies of the elves would love nothing more than to get a hold of one of these Flitters to learn their secrets. The Arcane will pay a king's ransom to get a working Flitter in their hands, as these could directly compete with their virtual monopoly on spelljamming technology. At roughly 800 million miles it takes about 8 days to reach from the Primary.

Asteroid Field Onye Nlekota


This asteroid field is technically the largest celestial body in the system. Because it is a large spherical object composed of a great many smaller objects, there is some argument among sages to this claim. Regardless, it is a rather dangerous place to traverse because one must spend nearly two weeks at tactical speed to cross the nearly 170,000 miles of falderal to clear the gravity well. Since Onye Nlekota surrounds the entire rest of the system there is no way to go over, under, or around it. As such, many traders work hard to find the fastest and safest path through.

As previously mentioned in the overview there are sargassos to strand unwary ships, wrecks with undead, large poisonous clouds that seem to move with a will of their own, portals that appear out of nowhere and transport ships to other places or planes, and space monsters to boot! From the Primary or Crystal shell it takes 20 days to reach.

Na-agafe


The texts translated thus far call the space from Onye Nlekota to the Crystal shell Na-agafe. They seem to indicate that the ancient Ndị’mmadụ culture found this to be a frightening and dreadful place, the place where evil souls dwell after death.

The Crystal shell of the Iberibe system has thousands of billions of bright fist-sized gems shining from it. These are usually parceled close together to make a larger pattern of light which in turn creates the greater patterns of the constellations. A determined enough individual could theoretically pry out a gem. They are extremely cold to the touch and can freeze solid anything that spends more than a minute in contact with it, even pure fire will be frozen!

Portals through the shell are large and generally constant. Enough traffic has been flowing through them to warrant moving asteroids near the portals to service incoming and outgoing vessels. As of yet no one has been intrepid enough to do so.


Travel Times Within The System




Iberibe (Primary)Odo OdoNdị’mmadụEbeọkụDuanzhouxinAlaEze’kpa’kpa’ndoỤlọ’nke’abụọOnye NlekotaNa-agafe
Iberibe (Primary)
9 hours21 hours24 hours28 hours2 days4 days8 days20 days54 days
Odo Odo9 hours
12 hours15 hours21 hours2 days4 days8 days20 days54 days
Ndị’mmadụ21 hours12 hours
3 hours7 hours27 hours3 days7 days19 days53 days
Ebeọkụ24 hours15 hours3 hours
4 hours24 hours3 days7 days19 days53 days
Duanzhouxin28 hours21 hours7 hours4 hours
20 hours3 days7 days19 days53 days
Ala2 days2 days27 hours24 hours20 hours
2 days6 days18 days52 days
Eze’kpa’kpa’ndo4 days4 days3 days3 days3 days2 days
4 days12 days50 days
Ụlọ’nke’abụọ8 days8 days7 days7 days7 days6 days4 days
12 days46 days
Onye Nlekota20 days20 days19 days19 days19 days18 days12 days12 days
20 days
Na-agafe54 days54 days53 days53 days53 days52 days50 days46 days20 days

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Gameplay: Dragons versus Vampires, Part 1.

Dragons versus Vampires, part the first.

Sunday Family Game Day

     Tonight's family game night consisted of the dragons Sunstar, Lavender, and Vertigo waking up from their short nap of two months to a bright sunny summer day. Sunstar was the first to awaken and she left the burrow to find a meal and survey the area. She saw some light glinting off of something down in the southern part of the forest past the fields of the farms. Curious but cautious she went back to the burrow and woke her sister Lavender. They went out to investigate and saw a large group of orcs attacking a few horses. They swooped down and hit the orcs with their breath weapons then crashed into melee claw and tooth ready. While they tore into the now frightened orcs the horses held their own against the orcs attacking them. After the initial shock of having dragons drop on them, the orcs ran to get as far away from there as possible!
     After they were done slaughtering the closest orcs the sisters turned to the horses and we're surprised to see a unicorn family. The stallion and mare thanked them for helping to save their foal and gave them permission to hunt and visit their forest any time they would like. They invited the unicorns to visit their burrow as well and the unicorns sped of into the forest. After they were done taking anything of value from the slain orcs they went back home.
Late that afternoon Lavender went to the river to find some fish to eat and noticed that the fallen castle was recently disturbed by someone. Vertigo joined Sunstar and Lavender in investigating the castle. With their superior dragon senses they were easily able to find the hidden entrance that was dug into the ground under the ruins. Sunstar could tell that man sized creatures used tools to dig the tunnel recently. When they investigated the tunnel it went down a short incline. At the end there is a room where six men in suits of armor were lounging around playing cards. Behind them was an alcove with a sarcophagus and a screen. To the right of that was a crude tunnel and tools for excavation. A few piles of dirt were heaped nearby with two wheelbarrows.
     After a short time of them looking at the scene the heavy stone sarcophagus lid moved to the side and a beautiful woman sat up and yelled at the men to get back to work. They got up immediately and started digging the tunnel. The woman laid back down and moved the lid back into place.
     Lavender snuck past to the sarcophagus and found three dead bodies wearing the same armor lying there behind the screen. She changed her form to a human and put the armor on. The other two dragons followed suit and they grabbed tools and started working as well. The humans didn't seem to take any notice. Once the sun set the woman came back out of the sarcophagus and commanded the workers to stop and sit before her. She looked the men over and picked one to follow her behind the screen. After a minute she walked out from behind the screen looking for flush and told them to rest. As everyone was lying down she left the tunnel.
The dragons followed behind the woman to find that she was nowhere to be seen. Vertigo used her skills of hunting to follow the woman by her odd scent. It led them to the town. They landed, changed back to human form and removed the armor. In the tavern of the town they found the woman talking quietly to the bartender. They say down at an empty table behind her and observed.
     The barmaid walked out of the kitchen carrying drinks to another table and then came over to serve the sisters. They ordered some ale and food then waited to see what the odd last would do. After the lady was done whispering to the bartender she turned around and gazed at the sisters. Her eyes grew slightly suspicious and she walked over to the table that the barmaid just left drinks at. The woman looked at the two men and the female at the table and spoke quietly to them.
     The barmaid came over with the sister's order and then walked to another table over by the fireplace. After speaking with the three men at that table she went back to the kitchen. The odd lady walked past the sisters again looking at them momentarily and then went to the table by the fireplace. She spoke with those men and as the barmaid came back with drinks she spoke to the barmaid and then left. The sisters dropped some coins on the table to pay for their meal and followed the woman.
     She was across the street at the general goods store knocking loudly on the closed door. After a moment a light shine through the windows as the shop keeper came to the door. He opened it and the lady spoke to him momentarily then she turned to leave. Seeing the sisters standing there she started to walk past them when Lavender decided to attack.
     Lavender polymorphed back into her dragon form and as her claws reached for the woman she dissipated into mist. Following her lead the others transformed back to their dragon forms. The lady reformed next to Lavender and was able to successfully grab her with her very strong grip. Vertigo hit the woman with her acid breath weapon, she glared at Vertigo and turned back into mist. Lavender used her lozenge breath weapon and the resulting explosion dissipated her mist widely. While the sisters regrouped the woman started trying to reform herself. When she was mostly together Sunstar used her breath weapon of seating hot bright crystal shards to harm the woman. At this point turned into a giant bat as the wolves she summoned attacked. Vertigo used her slow gas breath weapon and Lavender flew after the woman and Sunstar tore into the lead wolf. Vertigo also chased after the bat form of the woman and Sunstar follower after scaring of the wolves.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Gameplay: The Conquesodores, part one.

The Conquesodores

GOB Mini-Con 2018: Recap, part one.


For the Mini-Con I had my daughter, John, Jen, Jim (he was present for the second half), and Bob present for the adventure. I ran it in two parts. The full team consisted of Mhambi a Wanderer kit Druid, Wilhemina Bugel an Illusionist specialist Wizard, Berrina Gembiter a Breachgnome kit fighter, Sir Robyn the Brave an Errant kit Paladin, and Bob ended up playing two PCs. First was Daniel Reid an Explorer kit Ranger and Khenbish a Scout kit Thief at the start of the second half.

The first part involved getting out of the town of Claus Canyon unseen, taking out the Red Eye ogre tribe, and the Mouldbreath goblin tribe worg-riders and archers surrounding the town and keeping anyone from leaving before Cheesus arrives to convert or kill everyone there in three days time. The Conquesodores sent an ogre to make the demand and he walked out of the town. When a shepherd stepped outside of the short palisade demarcating the edge of town he burst into a pillar of flame. When his wife came out to him she was hot with a great many arrows and then burst into flames. At this point the town went a little bit crazy.

The party spoke to the refugees from further out in the countryside about what happened to them and Wilhelmina convinced two men to follow her as bodyguards. Daniel went to the highest point in town to try and survey the archer nests. Mhambi went and calmed the animals at the stablers and found that they were uneasy about the worgs surrounding the town.

When everyone met at the temple of Erron of Solitude (Goddess of Adventurers, Justice,and Vengeance) they exchanged notes and decided to go talk with the undertaker and his son. The undertaker's son, Boy (a priest of Beowa the Resurrected), showed them a secret mine tunnel that the undertakers use to haul the bodies to the canyon for internment.

After exploring the old mine tunnels they avoided a trap set near an entrance at the bottom of the canyon and set an ambush nearby for any ogres that might come. They waited patiently and we're able to get two ogres. Berrina had followed the others quietly and was able to take out an ogre with a couple of martial arts punches. Her loud kiai yell attracted more attention from the rest of the ogres camping in the canyon. Mhambi used her special whistle to call for her black leopard, Ingwe. This also called the attention of the worgs that were back around the town.

By rearranging their ambush to allow Berrina to be the focus they were able to bottleneck the ogres. Berrina held the ogres at bay with her superb karate training while Daniel fired arrows into their forces and Wilhelmina distracted them with accurate depictions of more forces flanking the ogres.

While they were dealing with the ogres Mhambi pulled back to cover the rear as worgs attacked from behind. Using her bond with nature she called upon the land to hold the worgs fast. She used the Umbulali Onkulunkulu (a +2 hunga munga) to kill as many goblins and worgs as she could until the ogres were taken care of. Berrina washed through the grasping underbrush to fight the worgs and the goblins.

As the others were busy with them Daniel used his special Explorer powers to interrogate the last remaining ogre to get an accurate idea of the Conquesodores full forces. Unfortunately the offer was not very bright or well informed, he could count to a score but no more. The did get information of where the forces were located though.

Berrina and Daniel climbed opposite canyon walls to get to the two nests of goblin archers. Berrina had no trouble clearing out the goblins from the small cave they were hooked up in. Daniel had a slightly less easy time, but found some unusual arrows. The goblins had some flight arrows with ceramic heads packed with some kind of alchemical powder and a fuse coming out of the base. Using these and his own arrows he covered the rest of the party as they snuck around to fight the remaining goblins from behind.

By the time the rest of the party had cleared out the third of five nests, Daniel fired the special arrows at the last worg patrolling between the nests. The pillars of flame coming from the arrows distracted the fifth nest as the main group took out the fourth one. Now that Daniel knows what the arrows do he used them on the fifth nest of archers. Aiming for the center of the group he accidentally blows up all of the arrows that group was carrying. This conflagration starts a massive fire in the tall grass the rest of the group is in.

The rest of the party is running away from this massive wildfire as fast as they can when they realize it should have already engulfed them. Unbeknownst to the party the goblins were carrying a special item that housed a fire elemental. The wild fire only gave it more fuel to power it.

Setting that there was something to punch Berrina turned and ran back to fight the elemental. From his perch Daniel rained down arrows into the elemental with his bow, Heartwyrm giving the sheaf arrows the power to hurt it. Mhambi was throwing her weapon at it and Berrina focused her Qi to damage the monster. After she did some significant harm to the elemental it focused all of its fury and attacks at her. With its first strike against her, it nearly killed her and Wilhelmina had to force a Topaz of Vitality into Berrina's mouth to save her. Unfortunately Berrina's clothing did not survive the flames. With the party busy fighting the elemental, they didn't notice a lone worg-rider running away to where the main body of Cheesus’ forces were at.

Once the fire elemental was taken care of the party went back into town and the first half of the adventure was over.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Locations: Province of Astakus, Empire of Ralifon

Province of Astakus

Empire of Ralifon

Overview


     The Province of Astakus is a growing province. The old temple of Barbēlō, closed for many long years, has been revitalized and with it the province has started to flourish. The River Astakus runs right through the province to Lake Auroralis, the largest lake in Rhun. Fishing the lake provides Astakus with its largest source of wealth, the second largest source comes from the Palus Senatorium to the northwest in the form of coal being brought in via the lake. The Faerie's Grotto (at the bottom of the above picture) is a source of magical power that members of the local Societatem Magis will occasionally venture into for mysterious wizardly rituals.

Gates


     The ten Gates of Astakus provide the province access to Aestus Mulie, Bazle, Caesai Oculis, Castroflumine, Koravie, Luqbinum, Qidron-Forum Arcanum, Sexeptum, Vexetus, Xaelatores.

Temples and Shrines


     The most notable and largest temple is the Magnificum Templum Barbēlō. This huge temple complex is the second largest temple and is the largest money changer in the empire. It is a very somber place during the day when the priests are conducting banking transactions. At night the priestesses are out in force and the temple complex becomes the largest brothel and casino in the empire. So large is this complex that they have a gate on the temple grounds that is quite busy at any hour of the day!
     The other temples in Astakus are ones dedicated to Wazirëkyn, Oukranos, and Mellart. There are smaller shrines dedicated to Beowa, Berrish, and one secreted away to Hisui no Majo.

Notable Cheesemongers


     The most influential and powerful of the goblin families calls Astakus its home, the Tesremos family makers of Cheddar cheese. Within Astakus they maintain a small and quaint factory within the city. Their main compound is on the shore of Lake Auroralis to the north of Astakus in the town named for the family.
     Surprisingly there is another family of goblins operating within the city, the Bulsian family makes a cheese called Kenafa. This cheese is used primarily to make sweet desserts by the Bulsian family. So popular and good are these desserts that the Tesremos matriarch, Hephan the Corpulent, is the best customer of the Bulsians. Therefore they stay small and specialize in their cheese-based desserts to avoid direct conflict with the Tesremos.

Notable Locations


     Beyond the Faerie's Grotto and the Magnificum Templum Barbēlō is the Dulce Domum et Bulsian. This popular cheese house is where the Bulsian family makes their desserts. The cheesecake is definitely worth the expense, they run from 10 to up to 100 gold coins. They also make frozen cheeses, that rumor has it is a favorite treat of Ralifon.
     If one is not disposed to partaking of the Magnificum or the Dulce Domum there are quieter establishments. A popular place is Hu's House along the northern docks. It is said that Hu was once a guard to the Emperor Chi'in but was banished for some kind of vile deed. The stories vary on what Hu did but they generally agree that he is not someone that any sane person would want to pick a fight with. The local constables avoid this establishment so it is a good place to find persons of ill repute.
     There are two towers that the Societatem Magis have constructed. The western tower is open to the public as the local temple to Wazirëkyn. The eastern tower has no doors or windows evident on it. There is a very fine curio shop near the eastern tower called Mirandus's that caters to the local mages. Sellers will get a fair price for bringing Mirandus interesting items and if she does not want them will be happy to find a buyer for a standard finders fee of 20% of the final sale price of the item(s). She is a well known and liked individual that would never strike someone in anger, as she is charming and beautiful enough to disarm even the most fearsome villains. For those who are in need of special services she can broker an introduction to the local Witch of Hisui no Majo for a much smaller fee.
     The aforementioned Witch does not see anyone who does not first get an introduction from Mirandus. Unlike many of her sisters she operates within the walls of Qidron, she is a secretive and powerful witch who is careful to not be caught by the constables or the Legionnaires, as her services are illegal within Qidron. This is why most Witches operate in more remote areas.

Outside the Walls


     The province of Astakus is both large and small. Large because Lake Auroralis is entirely within the borders of the province. Small because it takes up two thirds of the province. Within Lake Auroralis there is ample fish to feed the entire province for generations. There are also crustaceans and special clams deep within its waters. Fishermen tell tales of beautiful maidens that swim near the center of the lake who will sing to unwary sailor and charm them into diving into the water. Once there they take them to their deaths deep under the dark waves.
     There are other tale that tell of beautiful night maidens who dance in the sky upon wondrous sheets of light and will sit upon the mast of fortunate sailors and leave a short bright glow at the top of the mast as a gift of good luck to those worthy of their attentions.
     Five days march north of Astakus on the Via Astakus, the road that follows the shore of Lake Auroralis, just at the foothills of the Adewliess Mountains and a day east of the Palus Senatorium, is the town of Horologium. This town of about 5,000 individuals, mostly gnomes and dwarves, produces high quality mechanical devices. They are most known for their giant water clock, the Horologium, that stands a full fifty feet in height. They produce technologies utilizing wind and water power for large scale applications.
     The smaller devices they produce can tell time, navigate by the stars with the twist of the facing, as well as many other small automata. These devices, known as Horologia, can be extremely intricate and function almost as if magical in nature (they are not). They are made from alloys (such as brass, bronze, and pewter) and other materials that have not been duplicated outside of the town.
     The leading Horologist is known as the Master Craftsman. The current Master Craftsman is a dwarf by the name of Rhidameces. The Master Craftsman takes on only two apprentices at a time and is expected to produce at least one amazing Horologia a decade to keep the post. Rhidameces recently created an Horologia called the Sicarius (same stats as a Thanatar). This fifteen foot long war machine needs to be wound by a team of four dwarves before being released to fight (it takes a full turn to wind up and fights for up to 6 turns before becoming inactive).
     Two days march south from Horologium is the Town of Tesremos. This sprawling agricultural area produces the majority of the cheddar cheese for the Tesremos family. The town is partially underground and is peopled by goblins and hobbits with a large human slave population working the fields and herding the cattle, goats, and sheep. The Tesremos family has exclusive rights to the entire town and fields for a full days march north, south and west by order of the Regent and approval of the Senate. As such the entirety of the town is considered private property. The roads through the township are built and maintained by the Legions and are considered public property much to the annoyance of the Tesremos family (they would love to charge tolls for using the roads). The other major annoyance to the Tesremos is that the lake immediately adjacent to their lands are also public property and they cannot refuse a vessel harbor on their shores nor can they charge for use of landfall that has not been developed (meaning they can charge docking fees for using docks built for harboring vessels).
     The caves of Tesremos are arched affairs with well built twelve foot tall ceilings, they are well ventilated, have drainage grates, and lit by sconces of brightly glowing fungi (equivalent to torchlight) set at regular intervals. These caves are designed to keep a well regulated temperature and relatively constant humidity. There are several storage areas for cheeses to cure and age. The Master Cheesemongers are present at all times of the day or night doing their rounds and inspecting the products. Many of the above buildings have been designed to have easy access to the underground as they process the various milks from the surface.
     The Tesremos Palace is set just south of the town and they have a private dock with a half dozen pleasure vessels for use by the Matron and her immediate family (a total of 15 children, small for a goblin family of repute). Hephan the Corpulent's grandmother had managed to convince the previous Magi Magni, Broos the Undying to build them a personal gate. This smaller gate gives the palace access to two of their other strongholds, one is near the Imperial Palace and the other is in a remote mountainous area. All of these gates lead to their counterparts forming a small secret trifecta. The very high cost of these gates nearly bankrupted the Tesremos but with Hephan's brilliant leadership and ruthless utilization of blackmail, assassination, and brutality she has brought her family greater riches than they ever had previously imagined.
     A single days march from Tesremos is a small fishing community, about 25 families, of humans and hobbits. This community is an extremely poor one that has fallen on hard times since the Tesremos expanded their fishing operations in the lake.
     Five days south of Astakus along the Via Astakus, in the foothills of the Adewliess Mountains about a three days march west from Horologium through the Palus Senatorium, is the Demergo Fortress. This fortress is set on an artificial promonotory of limestone left in the area by an ancient giant aerie that crashed into the Palus Senatorium thousands of years ago. The Demergo Fortress guards the entrance to an important underground network of coal bearing caves that provide the local economy with its primary source of wealth. The mines are entirely worked by criminals, sentenced to hard labor for periods of five years to life, and slaves. These mines are owned by the senate and profits are used in public works projects, as well as paying the legionnaires stipends.
     The fortress is placed in clear view of the lake and the mouth of the swamp. The legionnaires send scouting patrols out to the swamp to hunt and kill dangerous predators, such as large cats and trolls, that would otherwise endanger the mines and workers. The docks of the fortress are constantly busy with ships being loaded with coal or unloaded with supplies and workers. The mines are dangerous and Horologium has sent several engineers to help shore up the mines as well as place water removal devices, such as screws and reverse overshot waterwheels.
     Two days march south, towards Astakus, from Demergo Fortress is the shipyard town of Arboretum Latebros. This town of 1,000 persons, mostly humans and elves, harvests the large Arboretum trees in the nearby forest to build their ships. The Latebros Forest goes west towards an arm of the Adewliess Mountains. There are stories that deep in the forest there is a grove where beautiful maidens gather at night to dance and frolic. It is said that their beauty is so great that they will enthrall any man who sees them.
     The extensive dock system of Arboretum Latebros places a great portion of the town actually on the water and not on land. This town is able to build a large ship every month, due to there being thirteen ship builders and several shops specializing in other maritime accoutrements such as ropes, block and tackle, lanterns, bells, sails, et cetera.
     Two day march from Arboretum Latebros is Austershire, a farming village of about 100 families of hobbits. This quiet village utilizes a sophisticated irrigation system to water their crops and they have a few families that have large herds that graze the southern grasslands around the village and along the River Astakus. The herdsmen have several helpers that gather barrows full of manure they then bring back with them to the fields of Austershire to assist in extending the growing seasons. This practice has helped the hobbits increase their food production and thus their wealth.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Locations: Elentari the Asteroid Port

Elentari

Spelljammer Asteroid Port
 
Exterior view of Elentari

Overview

 

      Elentari is a good sized asteroid that is hemispherical in shape. It measures 6 miles in diameter and is roughly 1½ miles thick. The rough terrain is covered almost entirely covered by grass. The deeper craters are filled with liquid water. There are several small cottages and farms dotting the landscape. On the top side there are two large craters. The largest of the craters has a stone mesa in it which has a squat tower on it, named Barad'Rasa, bristling with catapults and ballistae which provides excellent cover fire over the entire top of Elentari.
     The bottom side has a single crater with a mesa on it and there is a very well constructed compound on it, named the Twilight Bastille. This is a prison where the Eleven Imperial Navy is housing some of its more dangerous criminals. The water within this crater is very acidic and swimming in the water from the Bastille to the shore will burn the skin off of the hardiest of the prisoners. Even chitinous exoskeletons are broken down by the acid. There are also dangerous predatory fish and plants that live within the water.
     Within the asteroid, which is entered from the side that is on the upper left hand part of the map above, is where the town proper is at.

Barad'Rasa

 

      The tower known as Barad'Rasa was created by a powerful wizard by drawing the mesa from the bottom of the crater lake and making the tower from this stone. The tower was outfitted with several outer towers that house the catapults and ballistae that protect Elentari. The central tower has a dome top that can be retracted and a giant cannon can fire at particularly large or dangerous vessels. This cannon, made by the Giff, requires a significant amount of smokepowder to use it and it fires a cannonball that weighs about 500 pounds. The tower has enough smokepowder and cannonballs to fire this dangerous weapon three times.
     There are tunnels beneath the tower that run through the mesa and allow travel directly to the town proper of Elentari. These tunnels are well patrolled by Sylvane guards and the tower has many Sylvane living within it. The leader of the Sylvane is named Silver Tongue (Fi/Th 15) a male Sylvane who is stern and somewhat gruff but always willing to defend the weak and care for the welfare of his charges.

The Twilight Bastille

 

      This prison was placed on the mesa by the same powerful wizard that created the mesa for Barad'Rasa. Once he created the prison he left behind some dangerous traps for those who would attempt to leave the prison. The greatest defense of the Bastille is that it has been rendered entirely magic dead. No magics work within the walls of the prison and this area extends out from the walls for several hundred yards in every direction. There is also some kind of psionic resonance field in the prison that prevents psionics from working within its walls. The walls also prevent planar travel out of the prison, they do not prevent travel in though.
     There are no guards within the Twilight Bastille. The prisoners are left to determine who is in charge. There are edible fungi growing within the prison that can provide nourishment to a wide variety of humanoid species, the exception being the mind flayers, and they have a single source of fresh water.

The Town of Elentari

 

     Within the asteroid there is a single large cavern that the town is built on. The gravity plane of the asteroid has been warped so that the floor is always "down" and this extends up from there for about 10 to 20 yards. Outside of this area there is no gravity. At the back of the cavern is a large tower with a sunstone on it that gives off sunlight for 12 hours a day and dims to moonlight for the other 12 hours. This tower is also a temple dedicated to the god Celestian.
     Near the large entryway to the town is the docks and the dockyards. There are many warehouses near the docks to house the various goods and to hold the shipbuilding materials. The Shipyard is run by Urulóki (Elf, Male, Fi/Wz 6) and his team of Hadozee and Sylvane workers who have become extremely skilled at ship repairs of all kinds. Urulóki has contacts with Arcane dealers and he can get most common spelljamming equipment for those willing to pay his finders fee (5% of the cost of the transaction).
     The town mayor is Findulas (Elf, Male, 0 lvl Politician) a slick bureaucrat that is more than willing to accept a bribe to get the wheels of the bureaucracy moving for "good friends" of his. The town itself is a plutocracy and without trade the town would wither away.

Taxes and Fees

 

     The town imposes a tax on all sales of 2% as well as several other fees on ships entering Elentari. The air fee is 2 silver per ton of the vessel, there is a 100 gold fine for entering with a fouled atmosphere. Water costs 4 silver per ton of the vessel as the water supply is not great. The city council will pay a handsome sum to a trader who can get hold of a large enough comet to refill the crater lakes. There is also a fee imposed for individuals who wish to carry weapons off of their vessels and into the town. This fee is 1 silver for a sword or bow and 1 copper for anything smaller. Firearms incur a 2 gold fee, which the Giff chafe at but will pay.
     Anyone caught committing crimes is punished by working the fields for a period of a years depending on the crime (use page 11 of the SJR5 Rock of Bral, TSR 9361 for a good guide, they do not jettison individuals but will drop them into the Twilight Bastille).


The Outside

 

     The Outside, as the locals call it, is where all of the food that the town trades in is grown. These farms are leased by the city council and mayor. Slaves work the fields and there is an overseer who keeps track of the workers and pushes them to make their quotas. The overseers report to the Councilor of Agriculture, Ngima Grindstaff (Human, Male, Spy 6) who keeps records of what is harvested and planted to ensure that crops are efficiently managed. Grindstaff has a Phylactery of Remembrance which allows his to perfectly remember and recall all of the information and experiences he has.
     There are four hundred Sylvane commandos, broken into units of 10 with a Sylvani leader, on the surface constantly patrolling and keeping an eye on the slaves and skies. These commandos are highly trained and skilled (Fi 9) as well as well equipped. Their leaders are not only warriors but can be spell casters (Wz 12 or Pr 12 50% chance of either) and will have three to five magic items (scroll, wand, or potion. 10% chance for a permanent magic item) and one magic weapon of (+1 or +2).

Interior view of Elentari

Places of Interest


     There are three taverns and two inns available for sailors in Elentari. The taverns are, in order of quality and price from lowest to highest, the Empty Skull (1 on the Interior map), The Will 'O Wisp Inn (2), and The Smoking Dragon Inn (3). The Dockyard (4) is where ship building and repairs take place. The building at the center of the map is the Temple of Celestian. The City Hall is where the administrative, bureaucratic, and taxes are handled. There is also a small jail in the building to hold prisoners for minor offenses (such and drunkenness and disorderly conduct).
     The remaining buildings are warehouses, homes, and businesses. The majority of the buildings are two story affairs with the notable exception of the Smoking Dragon Inn, which is a four story tall tree.
     Near the entrance to the cavern is a series of hidden ballistae that can fire on ships at the entrance with frightening speed and accuracy. There are four of them, each one is a repeating ballista (1 shot per round, holds 12 shots before reloading is required. Needs a team of three to use effectively) with a magical +1 enchantment to hitting anything greater than 1 ton. The bonus does not apply to objects that are smaller than this.
     The building that has a dot in it on the map is a covered well that is where all of the water for the town come in from the smaller of the two crater lakes above on the Outside.