Nomingburg is a town of 70,000 people that was settled by Halflings and remains mostly inhabited by them. No roof in the residential area is allowed to be above five feet tall. Biglings have to live on the outskirts of town, in the commercial area, or in hotels. The most famous hotel, Hotel Nomingburg, is a staggering seventy feet tall and belongs to Toto the Half-Orc. While Hotel Nomingburg is in the commercial area, numerous requests have still been made to demolish the huge building. Duke Jingo has adamantly refused all such requests.
Although Nomingburg appears like a nice, happy, Halfling town at first, it is in fact a nest for assassins. The best hired killers in the world live in Nomingburg. Ninjas, assassins, blackguards, blood mages, and even some Ix priests can be found in Nomingburg. The different guilds do not get along well with each other. More than a century ago the guilds spent most of their time assassinating each other in a desperate attempt to control the populace of Nomingburg. Power play followed power play and the situation threatened civilian life in Nomingburg as well as the structural integrity of the town itself. The blood mage’s guild had set off too many fireballs that caused a massive fire to rage through the city. The conflagration was only stopped by a combined civilian effort and the entirety of the blood mage’s guild and the blackguard’s guild using all their spell slots for create water. The chaos had to stop and one Halfling stepped forward to do it.
The Duke Jingo is a Halfling who measures at almost five feet tall. He was a philanthropist and an assassin independent of any guild before the guild wars. He was simultaneously contracted by all sides to stop the war by any means. He tricked the uncompromising dons of each guild to meet without weapons. Diplomacy ensued and Jingo was declared Duke, representative of the town, and liaison between the guilds under the conditions that he never leave the town or complete anymore assassinations.
The ninja guild has three divisions representing the three different classes that can join the guild, ninja, rogue, and monk. The ninja guild teaches reliance on one’s self instead of equipment, magic, allies, or divine entities. The main trainers are Devarel the rogue, Tichinewee the ninja, and Horho the monk. The don of the ninja guild is Hustreon.
The assassin’s guild accepts almost everything that applies for membership under two conditions. An applicant must kill someone the guild specifies, no questions asked and the applicant must be able to hit vital areas of an opponent when that opponent is distracted(sneak attack). The leader of the assassin’s guild is a Doppelganger known only as the letter R.
The blackguard guild is an organization of evil fighters who serve many different evil deities including Ares, Hades, the Plagues of man, and the Titans. The guild is extremely selective, only allowing the most qualified and depraved people into the guild. A priest of Ares, Coneharen, controls the blackguard guild and who is admitted into its ranks.
The blood mage’s guild is very small compared to the others, but just as powerful as it confines its members only to mages with far more firepower than a fighter or rogue. The blood mages are hired for large scale assassinations or something that needs to obviously be a murder. The requirements to get into the guild are more than most will bear. One must have gone to Tartaros and returned to the world of the living. This journey is not without its scars and many are entirely unwilling to do so. Very few willingly fulfill this prerequisite to become a blood mage. The don of the blood mage guild is Chinera, a Half-Elf who it is said has died an uncountable amount of times.
Nomingburg is one of the only places in the world outside of Athens where poison is legal. Almost every type is bought and sold in this city. It pisses off the nearby cities greatly as they have worked very hard to outlaw its trade only to have a city within a few days travel legalize it.
Nomingburg has an extensive sewer system to provide for its indoor plumbing. Many monsters live in the sewer system and Duke Jingo does not want to risk any of his staff in cleaning it out. Work for adventurers is readily available if they are willing to go running around in thousands of people’s filth.
Nomingburg is mainly a farming town for its financial support. The assassin’s guilds try to stay out of the civilians’ way, and will protect them as much as they can. They feel that all the work they do is really to protect those farmers. An oath is required to enter all the guilds that the person will only murder if it provides for the people. This can mean murdering evil people or giving a portion of the reward money back to the public to compensate for the death of a good person.
Crafterton is town with a population of about 60,000 people, most of whom are Halflings. The town’s economy is based around factories powered by the strong wind blowing to the west towards Cecilia. The factories were once powered by wood fires, but the island’s forest has been severely depleted. Cutting wood is now only allowed during winter and even then only by government permit. Some of the more entrepreneurial Halflings import wood from the lumber port of Makotako, but most are content to do without.
The ban on woodcutting leads to many of Crafterton’s dishes being uncooked, heavily spiced, and/or soaked in acidic juices. All the newer buildings and furniture in the city are made from stone imported from Bradel Fields. Any of the city’s surplus tax revenue instead of being saved is spent on a restoration project. The City’s Commercial Council (CCC) once worked in line with the thief’s guild of Balin’s Holt to discover many new secrets that can help Crafterton’s factories and forests. This cooperation stopped after the Xorian occupation.
Crafterton’s factories do not use an assembly line, but put a bunch of people in the same space using the same large power machine to make many products at the same time. The power comes from windmills on top of the factories and from imported fuel for the bigger factories that use fires. When no wind blows laborers are hired to turn a large crank that keeps the machine going.
The factories produce everything. One of the more famous ones, Lindertur’s factory, makes houses and then exports them. The exportation of the larger commodities requires help from golems made in Havdrast’s factory. The fault in this whole system is that Crafterton has almost no natural resources beyond fish and good soil that is only being used for personal gardens. Everything has to be imported or magically created.
Due to the large demand for transportation many magical schools have opened in Crafterton about those disciplines. Most wizards in the city are conjurers. Bags of Holding, Portable Holes, and Heward’s Handy Haversacks are all produced in Heward’s factory. The Wayfarer’s Union, providing teleportation services, is also located in Crafterton.
Something even more preternatural than the rest of the city is the Factory of Ideals. It produces potions that twist people’s thoughts to a different prospective. The Factory of Ideals produces potions that make people fall in love, do evil things, do good things, and even release bodily waste in public. The factory is allowed to keep working for unknown reasons by the government. Most people assume bribery.
The CCC is a guild comprised of all the factory owners in Crafterton. They decide the amount people are taxed and where that money goes. They are in effect an aristocracy without representation. They are all very rich and have no obligation to the poor of the city. Prior to the Xorian occupation the public accepted this arrangement. Whenever the public was upset they would strike and start building up farms to live off of. The strike negotiations started quickly and the problems are always quickly resolved. This feeling of goodwill has changed since the Xorian occupation.
Crafterton was occupied by the Xorians in 437 BCE. A military governor, Commander Borgawitas, oversees the CCC now, preventing any possible seditious activity. Many of the factory owners have become Dragovinians and enjoy the benefits of integration into a larger empire. The common folk of Crafterton have easier access to goods with the removal of import tariffs, but their civil liberties have been seriously limited. Many of the Halflings have been forced to work on the restoration project without pay.
The hurricane floods of 401 BCE destroyed many of the smaller buildings of Crafterton and without the wind break of large trees, almost all the efforts of the restoration project were undone in one night. The CCC was quick to rebuild the factories, but the rest of the city has been left to languish. Efforts to strike are no longer met with concessions and negotiations, but whips and executions. Dragovinian animals are everywhere, watching the captive populace to prevent insurrection.
A note before I get into the meat of this update. I adapted this city from a previously created city posted on the Thieves Guild. The Thieves Guild is a great old website with lots of ideas for roleplaying games. I’d definitely recommend checking out the Thieves Guild if you’re a DM/GM and in need of some inspiration. The original content for this city post is called the City of Stormfront by The Guildmaster and can be accessed using this link. The Guildmaster also made a map of Stormfront that I’ve adapted for Bradel Fields. The map has little numbers on it denoting the locations that are marked in the writeup with numbers like this (#).
Bradel Fields, a city with population of close to 30,000, was originally a monarchy. The kings were fair and just, and slowly gave the citizens democratic concessions as they were demanded before abdicating. The noble family split into six smaller families after the Bradel Council took over. The castle was converted into a guard barracks and the royals moved into the castle courtyard, now called Noble Way. The Bradel Council originally gave a pension to the nobles, but the pension fund dwindled over the years and the remaining nobles have sought other forms of income. Most have become entrepreneurs, army soldiers, navy sailors, or taken positions in the Council.
The new Bradel Council rules from the old courthouse (2). The three new sections at the sides and back have been added to hold the growing democratic bureaucracy. The Bradel Council is split into different parts which discuss and vote on different issues. The different sections are Police, Army, Agriculture, Commerce, Internal, and Supreme. The supreme section has the power to override any decision made by the other sections. When new councilors run for office they must choose the section they are running for. The term of a councilor is six years with thirty councilors elected every year. Each building in the city gets one vote to appoint councilors. All bills are passed by majority.
The arena (1) is a large pit used for battles to entertain or deliver justice. Spectators look down from the upper level, witnessing bloodshed of all kinds. Gladiators walk out along a special platform and down a ramp into the pit for battle. This platform is ten feet lower than the spectator stands, and ten feet higher than the bottom of the pit. At the northwest section of the pit through a large wrought iron gate animals and monsters are brought in whenever they are required to fight. There is a betting parlor near the entrance where the labor is all Elves. The arena is a business venture started by the secretive Elves of Valor’s Forest.
The temple (3) is surrounded by an eight foot wall with large iron gates which are always open. The interior of the wall is decorated with a large flower garden adorned with statues of the twelve Olympians. The temple itself sits at the far end of the garden, on the other side of the main gates. The temple is a tall majestic building with golden towers and glistening gates. A small bridge on the second floor extends from the rear of the temple over the nearby street, connecting to a small building across the way where the clergy reside.
The Hall of Knowledge (4) is a large wooden library with a stone foundation. Inside are hundreds of shelves of books, tomes, and papers containing information of all sorts. The library does not rent out books and ones containing spells are restricted to citizens who have had library cards for over a year.
The knight’s guild (5) is nestled close to the city docks and guard barracks. The noble warriors of the city reside in this large stone keep near the waterfront. The keep was built long ago to provide protection for the city, and looks to be a military masterpiece of protection. Yet, regardless of the building’s strong exterior, it is rather comfortable and welcoming inside. The guild is in charge of the city’s army. The current Guildmaster is Cheregon one of the noble lady-knights from House Tiisson. Entrance into the guild is restricted to citizens of the city.
There are about five hundred policemen based at the city police barracks (6) who keep trouble off the streets and out of the farms and slums if they can. They are trained at the city guard training area. Two galleons and six frigates take port at the city navy base (7). Members of the knight’s guild are the sailors on board when needed. The Harbor Master (10) collects the fees for any trade goods brought in by sea and for docking your ship, dependent on size. The ranger’s guild (20) is a two story wooden building that provides the home for the rangers of the city. The forest gate (27) leads directly to the forest and the city’s graveyard.
Between the courthouse and the arena is a statue (9). It shows a marble Zeus dropping a granite mountain on top of an obsidian Typhon. The eyes are gems, Zeus’s clothes gold, and the point of Typhon’s tail is Adamantite. The city is immensely proud of its statue constructed by Phidias the sculptor.
Bradel Fields is unique in having a jail for punishment instead of just holding people before trial. The city’s jail (11) is a large building standing three stories high. There is only one entrance, through the front gates. Guard towers are posted on the roof, looking down on the crowded streets of the city. Dim lights can be seen through the few barred windows of the building. Rumors have it that the jail goes several stories below ground, housing more than criminals, but demons and other monsters as well. Some say there is even a connection to the Underdark. Of course such things are only myths the Bradel Council says.
The super store, the Red Dragon Warehouse (12), is the hot spot for adventurers and people wanting something you that cannot be obtained anywhere else. The three story high building sits near the private docks of the noble merchants, and is surrounded by a twelve foot high wall. The prices are more expensive here, but the selection is almost endless. Seagulls constantly circle the flat roof of the building, where several smaller buildings sit. The owner is Trobador, a Halfling who inherited the business and has been expanding it even further.
The Red Dragon Casino is owned by Trobador as well. He has many interesting physical games inside as well as the normal card and dice games. A lot of the gladiators spend their winnings in the casino. The owner also does an event at the Arena once every four years. A Red Dragon is captured by his employees and gladiators go up against it one at a time for the whole day or until the Dragon is defeated. Trobador has to put some heavy wards down to protect the spectators, but the event is the biggest festival in town.
The Adventure Dome (14) is a mysterious building that gives a unique experience to anyone going inside. No one knows who built it, but the person selling tickets is a Dryad. No one knows her name, where her tree is, or what she does with the money she earns, but most assume the answers can be found in the dome somewhere.
The walls surrounding the mage’s tower (16) are smooth gray stone. They appear to be easy to climb; but in actually are extremely slippery. There appear to be no windows or entrances to the inside. Only members of the mage’s guild know how to access what’s within. They contact you to make you a member not the other way around.
The Bradel Fields tavern (17) is a large wooden building providing a place of rest for weary travelers and a space to mingle for citizens. Drinks are served at all hours in this fine establishment. Rooms are also available; one just has to ask the manager. The tavern employs over a hundred people to service its clients.
The bard’s playhouse (18) is a large modified theater no longer used for performances that houses the city’s bards. This building provides a place for bards to eat, sleep and practice. Work for actors and stage hands can be found in this cozy establishment, along with prestige and talent.
The Grand Theater & Music Hall (19) is near the richest part of the city (The noble section, located on Noble Way). Inside is an enormous theater which can seat thousands. Plays, ballets and musical performances of only the highest quality take place here once every ten days.
The psionicist’s guild (21) is located on the first and second floor of this three story building. It is the only well known place to get information on psionics or to train in its art. Many of the teachers in the guild believe that psionics is the way for humans to become equal to Angels and Devils. There is also a cartel of Mindflayer hunters in the guild. The guild owns the building, but must rent out the bottom floor to cover costs. The current renter, a bard living at the playhouse, uses it as a dance studio.
Warrior’s Rest (22) is a private establishment which caters to warriors of all types except the knights and rangers of the city. It is believed that these professions don’t need to take up space at the Rest because rangers and knights both have large guilds that look after them. The tavern also doubles as a tiny inn. Rooms are cheap and the company is often welcoming…as long as trouble isn’t started.
The Park of the Traveler (23) where exotic animals of all kinds roam this small forest, rumors say that they appeared one day as the result of some mad magician’s spell gone awry. A group of druids act as zookeepers here and train new druids to coexist with Human society. Because of the nature of some of these animals, this park can be a dangerous place, but still less dangerous then the Park of Delights.
Park of Delights (24) is a dark and foreboding place. This park is sometimes used for underworld meetings as a neutral ground. The local guards are often paid to keep clear, and most do so without payment. The park is said to be a home of evil. Disappearances occur often here and every so often a dead body turns up… Some say that an evil cult worships in this small forest, but nothing has been proven.
The city graveyard (25) is an enormous area outside of the city where the dead rest. Huge mausoleums and unmarked graves are scattered about. Grave robbery is kept in check by the local grave keepers for a price paid through the taxes of the city. As such necromancy is not a serious problem in the city.
Outside of the south gate (26) is an area where poverty stricken people reside. Too poor to afford adequate housing inside the safety of the city walls, these people tend to build crude structures from any available materials. The people here range from petty thieves to crippled indigents. A thief’s guild may exist here, but authorities have not found any evidence so far.
The Grain Gate (28) is where a majority of the city’s food is imported through. The farms surrounding the city tend to gather nearest to this gate; although there are still many other farms located near the other gates.
In recent history Bradel Fields joined the first and second Alliances against Xoria. During the first war the republic city was led by Hector, a young knight with connections to Princess Tarigananata. Hector died during the war. The second Alliance is led by Hector’s son, Astyanax. Astyanax went through a traumatic incident with a demon. After he recovered he executed Bradel Council members who were against continuing the war and assumed dictatorial control of the city. To enforce his new edicts, Astyanax drafted the goblin slaves of the city into a police force/army.
The little town of Balin’s Holt was originally a large city called Fangaroot. Fangaroot had high crop yields and was very prosperous due to the healthy silt of the Black Lake the city. A Green Dragon, Kenderax, desired all the wealth the people of Fangaroot had acquired. This Dragon organized all the Kobolds in the Kobold Lands to the north of Fangaroot. They attacked and in the process Fangaroot’s physical shell was destroyed. Kenderax was slain by the Dwarven paladin, Shalein, before the citizens of Fangaroot abandoned the city to the Kobolds and fled south to found Dalleer.
In 616 BC, 430 years after Fangaroot fell, a descendant of Shalein, named Balin, decided to reclaim the city for his family’s honor. He led a band of like minded people against the Kobolds and managed to defeat them with Balin’s magical abilities and a Halfling scouting brigade led by Terry, the accomplished rogue, who disarmed the Kobolds’ strategically placed traps.
Balin headed the council of the new city and named it after himself when the councilors rejected using Fangaroot as the name again. Balin ruled fairly for many years and he never had a serious opponent in the annual elections for head councilor. Balin developed a strong friendship with Terry; but, with Terry’s unfortunate death, Balin became a recluse. He no longer attends the council meetings and is the leader only in title. He is only seen for the hour of midnight in the Dragon’s Den pub on the south of town looking out over the lake. The pub is named Shaelin’s Glen after Balin’s ancestor. When he goes there many people ask him sage questions that only he knows the answer to. Balin is also he only person licensed to sell or buy magic items in the city, making midnight hour at the Dragon’s Den very popular for the right kind of person.
With Balin gone the council has begun to increase taxes for scientific pursuits. Arcane magic is not very well thought of in Balin’s Holt. The people there see it as only destructive. They instead hope to use nature’s normal laws instead of manipulating them to create fire or lightning. Magic is not outlawed in the city, but it is pretty close to it. Magicians are constantly watched by the Forsakers, a group of secret police who forsake magic of all kinds and in doing so gain some immunity to it. Detection spell are punished as trespassing in people’s minds. Any crime committed with magic is punished doubly than if done without magic.
In contrast, divine magic is generally accepted by the people in Balin’s Holt. It saved their ancestors from the dragon, Kenderax, and they have continued to trust completely in it. Detect spells are still not allowed by divine casters. It is believed that if evil is to be punished it must reveal itself in an obvious manner first. The temple in Balin’s Holt is large enough for two times the 6,000 people who live there and services are attended by almost everybody in the city on every holiday and full moon.
Balin’s Holt has a port on the Black Lake where trade is done with the other small towns to the north and with the large cities to the south. The lake is black because of the charcoal deposits created during the Titanomachy just upriver. This doesn’t taint the water, but instead acts as a filter for the water making it very clean. The people of Balin’s Holt are offended at the smell of most people in the rest of the world because they bath at least every three days. The charcoal also fertilizes the ground near the lake making Balin’s Holt’s crops larger and juicier than any other city’s. The specialties of the town are root vegetables and squash.
A thieves guild was formed in Balin’s Holt by Terry. It was sanctioned by the town as long as they did not steal from anybody poor, were seen while stealing, or if any tax money was taken. Since Terry’s death and Balin’s eventual departure from the council the thieves guild has become more of a scientists guild. They are no longer allowed to steal things in any way at all. The thieves now research new technologies that will benefit the public.
Many works of art are produced in Balin’s Holt. The city’s most famous piece is in the center plaza. It is a large painted marble miniature of the battle in which Kenderax was slain. The whole thing is fifty feet in diameter with each man in it being about a foot tall. Other masterpieces can be seen throughout the city and many people who wish to be artists for their trade come here to be indentured.
I finally convinced my wife to see one of “my movies” at the movie theaters!
My wife usually picks every movie we go out to see so it was exciting to finally see something that I wanted to see more than she did.
We saw The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, finally concluding Peter Jackson’s movies in Middle Earth and tying to the two trilogies together.
The movie contained a lot of the scenes I was waiting to see. Thorin’s last speech, Bard slaying Smaug with the black arrow, the arrival of the eagles once again. Awesome stuff!
The movie starts off with Smaug coming to burn Laketown. Everyone evacuates. Bard makes a last stand on the bell tower and shoots Smaug with the black arrow.
Smaug’s death is satisfying, but it feels like too big of a scene for the start of the movie. It would probably feel much better if the three movies were watched in sequence instead of just starting off with Part 3.
The next section of the movie concerns Thorin slipping into a greed-fueled madness called “dragon sickness” by the other characters.
The madness plays very similar to the corrupting power of the Ring in the Lord of the Rings movies. Thorin hears echoey voices, the camera rotates to oblique angles, and the soft whisper of Sauron can be heard just below the surface. It adds a supernatural element to Thorin’s madness and makes it more believable when he eventually shakes off the greed and returns to his former self.
The rest of the movie is almost exclusively what it says in the title, The Battle of the Five Armies. Tons of action scenes and no character development beyond some characters feeling sorry for the death of other characters.
But the action scenes! Woo! High notes include:
Bard riding a wagon down a flight of stairs into an ogre and stabbing the ogre with a spear.
Thorin and one of his dwarf buddies see a horde of goblins coming towards them and they say, “We can hold them off. There’s only about a hundred of them.”
Legolas fighting one of the orcs on a stone tower that has fallen over to construct a bridge between two cliffs. Every missed blow by the orc causes a chunk of the tower to collapse!
Thorin and Azog the White Orc’s final showdown on a frozen river.
The elf king riding on a elk mount that picks six orcs up by its antlers at once and tosses them all aside after the elf king decapitates them with one stroke.
The hilarity of the ogres in general. They’re used as battering rams by having them wear stone hats and then running into walls. They climb over shorter walls and the walls collapse under the ogres’ weight. I started to feel sorry for all the poor little ogres by the end.
Elrond, Saruman, and Galadriel take on the nine ring wraiths and win.
Dain, Thorin’s cousin, riding a pig and talking in an exaggerated accent while he headbutts orcs.
And so much more!
One of the more heartwarming parts is when Bilbo returns to the Shire. He hangs on to the Ring and within a few shots we see him slowly age until it’s his 111th birthday party and Gandalf is coming to see him once more.
Of course there are some things that the movie left out. Probably not necessary given how much time was devoted to action scenes, but it happened (or didn’t happen depending on your outlook).
The missing scene that I noted was how the eagles affected the battle. They showed up and that was about it. We still got to see Legolas and Thorin fighting the orc generals, but the actual soldiers were never seen again.
I also remember more of the 13 dwarves dying in the battle, but its been a long time since I’ve read the book. Perhaps my memory is just faulty.
Great action movie! Still felt true to the books as I remembered them. Almost a complete lack of character development and social drama though.
Thorin’s madness is supernatural and thus hard to sympathize with.
Bard slowly turns into a king, rejecting it at first, but accepting it later. Unfortunately this is a neglected side plot (accurately reflects its importance in the book though).
Bilbo’s desire for home is the only other social plot that had any realism in it. The other conflicts were predictable and bland.
But the epic fighting was why I went to the movie and it deliver on that count all the way!
The lull continues. But as we get closer to the present day the great figures start having names! Or at least we were more motivated to give the great figures names. There have been gods and direct servants of gods with names previously, but that hardly counts.
We also start seeing the Rana develop a different branch of foreign policy besides the typical pacifism of the Monks of Gossamer Waves. Violence is a reality that cannot always be successfully confronted with pacifistic magic and healing techniques. Sometimes the best way to reduce suffering is to cause pain to others. The Monks are unwilling to engage in righteous combat themselves and after witnessing the pervasiveness of human cruelty, they aren’t willing to arm the masses either. The Monks instead elect to arm a few champions of order and good with the finest weaponry the world has ever seen. If you read or watch Game of Thrones then you can think of Rana swords as being similar to Valarian swords.
539 NA: A new generation of Metal Dwarves was still racked with indecision. Navillus clearly must be defeated, but their grand invasion failed miserably. The world must be united in peace and harmony, but even the good Merfolk and the Bwarlor, sworn enemies of Navillus, turned against the Dwarves. The Books told them that the world must be made to follow the Dwarven way to be a good and just place, but this new entry into the cycle changed the predictions of the Books. The Dwarves knew not where to strike next with physical force or where to push with gentle words of encouragement. Lost, they descended into isolationism. They interacted only with the Gnomes and Halflings of Hearthland. The Dwarves still traded through the little people with the Merfolk, but few Metal Dwarves left the seclusion of their mountain homes. Fearful of the outside world, the Dwarves formed armies to defend themselves from the retribution they feared would come.
541 NA: The Elves, seeing that their forest was no longer safe, enacted a plan to evacuate. The Elves lived long and thus could plan for many generations ahead of time. They constructed a road through the forest to the east. The Freedom Road was defended by magical traps that similar to those that surrounded Crodolan. The Road stretched all the way from Crodolan to the Great Canal. Bridges spanned the various rivers and streams along the way. The Elves planned to construct a huge bridge over the Great Canal, so high that the mightiest ship could still pass underneath.
553 NA: The Rana, able servants of the world, began to expand their perspective as their Monks traveled the world. They learned the necessity of might even as they taught compassion and the peaceful way. The Rana lived to serve and so with somber hearts they began to make tools for the righteous to instigate change when faced with the towering forces of destruction. Practice and perfection came simply to the Rana, and soon Rana-forged swords became legendary. Rarely used and rarely gifted, the blades are an art form.
562 NA: The Empire Dwarves saw the corruption in their society, but only a rare pure soul could rise to a position of power within the Empire Dwarf society without being tempted and corrupted by bribes offered by Najar. The cycle ended with Lord Cormak, not a pure soul, but an exceedingly cruel one. Cormak gathered the Syluki Dwarf forces and marched to Najar. They brought along all their luxurious attendants, followers, silks, fine wines, and sweet desserts. After all, what is a conquest without a victory banquet afterwards? They planned to delve into the caverns of the volcano and smoke out Navillus.
Speaking of Roy, the main characters of Order of the Stick!
Roy is the black guy on the far right of the picture above. He is the leader of the Order of the Stick, an intelligent and principled fighter who fights Xykon due to an oath sworn by his father.
Next is Haley, a rogue with a complicated past. She joined the Order of the Stick to earn money to pay her father’s ransom. She’s stayed on due to the good work the group does and because she’s started dating the next person in line.
Elan is the blond guy playing the musical instrument. He is hyper aware of storytelling tropes. He also has an evil twin, a good mother, and an evil father. Elan is a bit dumb when it comes to anything that isn’t a storytelling device, but he has a pure heart.
Durkon is the short bearded guy. He’s a dwarven cleric. He looks out for everyone else in the party. He has a strong sense of honor and is always ready and willing to do the right thing.
The short bald guy behind Durkon is Belkar. He’s an evil halfling psychopath. His journey with the party is basically a form of community service for murders he’s committed in the past. You’d think this is weird, but its a fairly common gimmick used in D&D. The cat walking next to the party belongs to Belkar and is named Mr. Scruffy.
Flying above the party is Vaarsuvius, an elven wizard. Vaarsuvius is arrogant and uses magical power to cruelly avenge the slightest insult. Vaarsuvius’ gender is never revealed in the comic and is joked about on a few occasions.
Xykon is close to achieving his goal of using an ancient evil to rule the world, but the Order of the Stick is ready to stop him. Of more concern is Xykon’s assistant, Redcloak, who is planning on double crossing Xykon at any moment.
Starting off the posts on Gurutama will contain information my D&D group has already written.
After we’ve covered that background information I plan to post more indepth descriptions of places or cultural aspects. Religion, art, holidays, monuments, military, civil administration, all these things were touched on but not explicitly described in our Dawn of Worlds game. I’ll do what I can to get those ideas fleshed out here.
So first up, what are these continents we’re looking at on the map? There are four continents on Gurutama, Glacierstone, Hearthland, Rontu-Aru, and the Maw.
The Maw is split up into four sub continents, the Upper Maw, the Eastern Maw, the Lower Maw, and the central islands (islands aren’t really a continent, but inner oceans are still defined by tectonic plates).
Rontu-Aru, the southern continent, is inhabited mostly by bird people called Avians.
Avian culture is loosely based off of Aztec, Mayan, and Inca cultures. Avians build ziggurats like the Aztecs and Mayans did. They live high in the mountains like the Inca did. They sacrifice intelligent beings like the Aztecs and Mayans did. I avoided the term human sacrifice, because in there are more races than humans in our fantasy world.
The Avians came into contact with the Merfolk early in our world’s history. The Merfolk are fish people that live around the islands in the central sea of the Maw.
The Merfolk wished to make trade easier with the southern sea, The Neck. They prayed to their god, Drolfo, to open up a quick path to the Neck.
Drolfo summoned a giant octopus named Selcatnet which dug a trench through the mountain range on the northern edge of the Lower Maw. This trench became the Great Canal that separates the Lower Maw from the Eastern Maw.
The Merfolk came down to Rontu-Aru and set up trading outposts with the Avians.
The Avians were resistant to the outsiders. Eventually a prophet rose up and formed an army to attack the Merfolk.
War raged for many years and eventually the Merfolk won. The fish people enslaved the bird people. Now intelligent beings are exported along with goods from the jungles and marshes of Rontu-Aru.
The Merfolk are in an excellent position for trade at the physical center of Gurutama. They trade with all the civilized races of our world, humans, dwarves, elves, gnomes, halflings, and the Rana. Rana are frog people that live in the Eastern Maw.
There’s more to get into, but that feels like enough for one blog post. That’s all for now!