Dalleer

Dalleer

Dalleer is one of the biggest cities in the east. It resides mostly on the eastern side of the Black River, but some citizens live and work on the western bank across the Bat Bridge. Slight amounts of the black coal in the river are still visible by the time the water reaches Dalleer and the mirror quality of the water is retained as well. The walls of Dalleer are fourteen feet high and made of granite stone with trace amounts of iron in them. The blocks made for the wall were sent downriver from Restnor’s Point.

Dalleer has a population of about 160,000 people. Most are Humans; but as always, some other races are present. There is almost no unemployment in the city. The government offers numerous repair and civil improvement jobs to those out of work. There is ample space to expand agriculture work around Dalleer as well.

The staple diet in Dalleer is bread made from the wheat grown along the rich Black River. Enough wheat comes from the farms to export some to the Aractrashans in the south. The meat in a Dalleran’s diet is steak from the cows in the city’s fields and mutton from the sheep of Shalerton.

The people of Dalleer are known for their individuality as well as military strength. The city has a well kept and well paid military and police force. They have eliminated most crime, but have been unable to stop the thieves of the world from burglary. Anybody capable of divination is likely to get a hiring call from the Dalleer Police (DP). The General is Sir Trustgard, the Cavalry Colonel is Sir Mark, the Street Warden is Sir Tucker, the Wall Commander is Lady Discoma, and the Jail Warden and Public Prosecutor is Sir Marius.

Dalleer’s system of government is an appointed dicatorship, where the previous ruler appoints the next. The leader bears the title of Björn and is considered a divine entity. This was started by the first leader, named Björn, who built the walls of the city. He enjoyed immense popularity, but was senile in his late years. As such many strange customs are now still practiced because, “Björn couldn’t have been wrong, could he?” Due to the appointed nature of the office, the insanity is often carried over into the next leader. While the Björn is nominally in control a council of elected politicians is the true power in Dalleer.

The judicial system is sufficiently fair. The only problem is it’s stance on heresy and treason are relatively harsh. The punishments are torture for an amount of days proportional to the amount of damage caused by the individual. Thankfully such crimes are not commonly committed or reviewed. The current Judge is Sir Balander.

The main buildings in Dalleer include the largest pantheon temple in Cimmeria, Dacklack’s Armory, The Inter-Racial Coalition Headquarters, The Brown Library, and Tremble’s Race Course.

The pantheon temple in the town is forty feet high with statues close to that height in the main chamber. The temple has a magical effect that makes it appear as if someone is alone in the temple save for the people they entered with and the priests. The illusion is self-preserving and will anticipate any mistakes.

Dacklack’s Armory is similar in looks on the outside to an 1840 factory. The smoke billowing out of the roof comes from the twenty forges inside. The brick construction is necessary to protect the building against fire. Dacklack’s grandson, Jormunger, runs the Armory. His first responsibility is to provide the DP with whatever they need to keep the city safe. He gives DP members discounts. Jormunger was a master smith before taking over administartion of the factory from his father. He still enjoys filling special orders for unique weapons and armor himself.

The Inter-Racial Coalition Headquarters is a large bar, inn, restaurant, park, and guild training area for all races to meet and develop respect and tolerance for each other. The head of the organization is Kig Yupington. He created it to help the different races come together peacefully and as a good experience for people in their youth. His own race is unidentifiable. Pointy ears of an Elf, stocky body of a Dwarf, hairy feet of a Halfling, tusks of an Orc, and blue eyes of a Human. He is a mystery that even magic has been unable to solve and something the gods refuse to reveal.

The Brown Library is the largest collection of books in the world. It has a restricted section for spells and a no rental policy unless you get a library card. Getting one is as easy as telling your name and giving one strand of hair to the desk clerk. The restricted section is much harder to get access to. It is locked with a powerful magic spell and requires an extensive character test before being admitted. You may only rent one book at a time and may keep it for up to a month before returning it. Spellbooks and scrolls must have a deposit put up before they can be rented.

Tremble’s Race Course is a place of gambling. The track usually has a horse race every day. The infield has an iron fence around it and many obstacles for the gladiatorial fights that take place within it. The betting parlor is connected to a magically warded casion. Any cards, dice, or luck altering items that are brought into the casino glow red. Any abilities used to influence the throw make the caster glow red. Cheaters are thrown out of the casino and forbade to return to Tremble’s Race Course ever again.

Various beasts and slaves are kept below the arena ready for combat and races. The current champion of the arena is a fire giant named Hoyt. He uses his feet most of the time, but will use a glaive if his opponent is near to his size. He often faces more than one opponent to liven up the matches. The racing champion changes day by day but the notables are Dangal on Hoofbeat, Tiana on Harver, and Unglit the halfling on Joyride. The announcer for the track and arena is Tremble’s daughter, Halfax. She learned from her father, one of the best announcers in Cimmera and she has an amazing voice that matches his in color and timbre. If Björn is not present to render a verdict on a gladiator match then Halfax is honored with that right.

In recent history Dalleer joined the Second Alliance War against the Xorians. Dalleer sealed their entrance into the Alliance by the marriage of the current Björn to Cassandra, the daughter of the now dictator of Bradel Fields, Astyanax.

-GoCorral

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Bradel Fields

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

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.

Made with the amazing program, City Designer. Seriously! Check it out!
Made with the amazing program, City Designer. Seriously! Check it out!

-GoCorral

Editing for Youtube

Making a new video called Blood Knight Adventures.
Making a new video called Blood Knight Adventures.

I started up my own Youtube channel to have another place for my Twitch videos to be watched.

I’ve uploaded my highlights from Twitch to Youtube and I’ve been posting some edited highlights as well.

Twitch is rather limited in how you can edit a highlight. The highlighted video has to be a specific section of the video and that’s it. No other modifications allowed.

So if you wanted to create a highlight that combined a section from the first minute and the last minute of your broadcast, but nothing in between… Twitch’s in browser editing application doesn’t let you do that.

Fortunately, as I’m streaming I also set my streaming software to store the broadcasts to my hard drive. From there I can edit the videos and produce a better finished product.

The two videos I’ve made so far are called “Holy Alchemy” and “Why Mind Control is Amazing in Arena too.”

They’re pretty basic. I highlighted a specific card in each video from my early Arena runs on my Twitch stream. I edited all the shots of those cards together and slapped some music on it.

Playing with my new editing software was fun. I started using Movie Maker which is a freeware editing program put out by Microsoft.

I took a video production course in high school that helped me learn the basics of video editing. The program I learned on was called Final Cut Pro.

I’d like to use Final Cut again. It has a lot of things that Movie Maker doesn’t. But it also costs $300. 😦

The first hurdle I had to jump over with Movie Maker was the file type for the recorded videos from my stream.

Almost every internet video site, Twitch included, broadcasts their videos using the Flash file type (.flv). My broadcasting software saves the recorded videos to my hard drive as Flash videos as well.

Movie Maker can’t understand Flash videos. Kind of dumb considering that Flash is the most popular video type now, but whatever.

I had to download a converter to change the recordings into something that Movie Maker could understand.

After that it was simple enough, throw the video in, pick which sections I want, delete the other sections, etc.

I remember Final Cut being easier to work with and having more options than Movie Maker.

Movie Maker hides transitions under the Animations tab. Adding titles is also hidden under the home tab.

I’m still unsure if Movie Maker allows custom title movements, cropping a frame, moving a frame, or even multiple audio tracks.

It might that I just can’t find these things yet within Movie Maker’s interface or maybe there’s nothing there for me to find.

I’ll stick with Movie Maker f it does have those options and I find them. Final Cut’s software is better because I know how to use it. Once I’ve mastered Movie Maker there won’t be any reason to switch.

Go check out the videos if you like Hearthstone! I added in some public domain music from Youtube’s audio library. Enjoy!

-Mister Ed

Online Videos and Copyright

Public domain music is a mystery to me.
Public domain music is a mystery to me.

I’ve been thinking about including music on my streams and Youtube channel.

There’s just this problem of what music I’m able to include.

I want to play my typical playlists that I listen to on my own.

But all that stuff is copyrighted!

I can’t play The Beatles, Elvis, or Johnny Cash. I can’t play the modern stuff I like like Katy Perry, Ke$ha, or Barenaked Ladies. Not without getting slapped by a copyright notice.

Youtube has software that searches a video when its uploaded for copyrighted music.

If Youtube finds copyrighted music, it plays an ad before the video. The revenue from the ad goes toward the owner of the music.

Additionally a link to iTunes appears below the video so that someone can buy the music played in the song.

I could live with that eventually, but when I setup my Youtube channel I was looking forward to the possibility of making money off of it. If I use copyrighted music, then the ad revenue goes to the owner of the music instead of to me.

One of my ideas was to play music while streaming and then using editing software to eliminate the music from the audio track.

I have a theory for how I could do that, but I’m not confident that it will work successfully.

If I can’t get that to work then I either can’t play music during my streams, or I can’t profit directly from uploading clips of my Twitch streams to Youtube.

A separate problem that I hadn’t considered is whether its legal to play copyrighted music while streaming.

I’d need to relook at Twitch’s license agreement that I barely skimmed when I first agreed to it.

If it turns out that I’m not allowed to play stuff there then only one option remains for playing music on my Twitch and Youtube channels.

Public domain music.

I have close to zero experience with public domain music and no idea how I’ll find stuff that I will like or that will be appropriate.

I’m willing to give it a shot though!

-Mister Ed

Which Lab for Grad School?

This is the microscope I use to inject DNA into nematode worms.
This is the microscope I use to inject DNA into nematode worms.

I’ve been doing some thinking lately about which lab I should work in for grad school.

As it turns out I get to choose among a few different options.

The folks at Sacramento State are okay with me doing my research at either of my labs in Davis.

I’ve been with the rice lab for almost three years now and feel I’ve gotten what I wanted to out of it.

I’ve already written some goodbye/thank you letters, but have yet to hand them out. I’m just ready to leave the rice lab.

Yesterday I looked up some information on what exactly I’d be doing if I joined the new professor’s lab at Sac State.

The professors old students finished their theses which are then stored in the school library.

Recently the library has started putting digital copies of the theses online. I read a few of the more recent ones that were uploaded.

While the research is interesting, there was nothing that I wanted to do more than the intron research I do currently.

Part of it was the occupational hazard of working with food pathogens. Most food pathogens are collected from raw food samples or from poop.

The idea of having to collect poop samples and work with them… Let’s say its not on my bucket list and leave it at that.

Continuing my intron research would be awesome though. The project has room for expansion and it fits better with what I want to do on a grander scale.

I want to create tools for people to use in other laboratories. Enhancing introns could be used in any laboratory to fine-tune the expression of a gene to the exact level required for an experiment.

I want to create tools like that when I get an official job as a researcher, so it would be best if I did my Master’s Thesis on the same topic.

So it looks like I will be attending Sac State next year but performing my research at UC Davis on introns!

-Mister Ed

Current Library Book

The collection of fantasy short stories I got from the library.
The collection of fantasy short stories I got from the library.

Since my wife and I moved in together in Davis we’ve been going to the library a lot more.

I used to go to the library all the time when I was a kid.

I stopped going when my family moved.

Getting a library card in the new city was silently frustrating for me.

I think I got a new library card in my new hometown three different times.

Each time I’d get it, rent one thing, return it, then forget about the library for several years.

When I went back my card had expired, so I’d need to get a new one. And the process repeated itself.

My wife goes a lot more because she wants  specific children’s book for one of her lessons or a movie to watch or something like that.

I’ve been going with her and renting out one thing at a time to read or listen to (I like audiobooks).

I have Legends II rented out right now.

It’s a collection of short stories by notable fantasy authors put together by Robert Silverberg.

I liked most of the stories in this book and the previous one, Legends.

The only exception is strangely Robert Silverberg himself. I don’t like his writing style.

I originally got the book because it contains a short story by George R.R. Martin, author of the Game of Thrones series.

Martin has a short story series set in the same fictional world as Game of Thrones, but taking place one hundred years before the events of his novels.

The short story series is called The Adventures of Dunk and Egg.

Dunk is a seven foot tall knight and Egg is his squire with a shaved head.

I read the Dunk and Egg story first in Legends and in Legends II.

The other stories are also really great. Legends II has some ghost stories I’ve really enjoyed along with an Alvin Maker story.

Alvin Maker is the main character in a series of the same name written by Orson Scott Card, the same man who wrote the Ender’s Game series.

Alvin Maker is a traveling wizard in the pre-Civil War period of the USA.

The dialogue, setting, and topics in the Alvin Maker books are a lot like Mark Twain’s books. I’ve probably enjoyed the Alvin Maker stories the most out of all the short stories in the two Legends books.

That’s all for now!

-Mister Ed