Gazettes in the works?

gloccus
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:27 am

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Post by gloccus » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:51 am

Lorian wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:58 pm
A WIP adventure for my Gazteer:
It seems a fun and simple adventure that would be easy to play several times with slight variations before the players realized they were going on the same quest. It reminds me of In Search of the Mungies' Gold from Warlock 5.

What does "+1 Axe" mean? In standard FF it would probably mean +1AS, but in AFF +1 damage roll might be more usual. By the way, several of the creatures in your list of "undead" aren't undead. The Night Stalker and Earth Demon are living monsters, for instance, and the Nightgaunts are demons. This doesn't make any difference to gameplay, of course, it's purely a matter of terminology.

A Thousand Clans
The splitting of the lands partitioned the colossal prairies owned by the horse nomads of Irritaria between the three continents, sinking a great portion of them beneath the waves in the process. The cataclysm brought an end to the age of the unstoppable mounted tribes, for now it was every man for himself. Gradually, the nomads gathered into family groups, then warrior bands and finally clans, bound by loyalty and intermarriage and each led by a hereditary Khan. For the most part, these people knew little of writing or science; all the skills they needed to ride, hunt, find water and fight were passed down in the oral tradition and the harsh lives they led left little time for anything else. The exceptions were their shamans who acted both as conduits to the gods and repositories of the occult knowledge revered by the superstitious clansmen. Many of the shamans were descended from the stargazing civilization which used to inhabit the lands that had become Deathmoor and their mastery of astrology and other methods of divination helped to guide their clans through the dangers that beset them every day.
At this time, the centre of Khul consisted of rolling grassland enclosing stretches of rugged moors crossed by gently-flowing streams. Game was plentiful and as the clans grew in size, the Orcs, Kobolds, Ogres and suchlike became less likely to seek a confrontation. There were no large permanent settlements and the clans were by nature migratory, so although various Khans rode on thunderous journeys of conquest, they were unable to hold territory and the next clan simply took possession when they left. One such conquering Khan was Vasylai, who assembled an alliance of dozens of clans and swept across the savannah, scattering all before him. Vasylai had seen the young villages of Tak and Ashkyos at the far southern and northern extremities of his tour and resolved to create his own. He chose a location near the middle of the territory he considered his own and announced in 1463OT that it was to be the new seat of his power. The site was not actually that good in terms of natural resources or fertile ground for farming, as the great Khan had no experience of settled living, but it was easily defensible and possessed natural springs to use as a source of potable water.
The new outpost was called simply Ka (a Kabeshian word referring to a place of importance, loosely translated as city, capital or land), and took some time to establish itself. Vasylai's alliance soon fell apart, as such coalitions are wont to do, but he persisted in his attempt at static life and eventually managed to carve out a small empire. Trade was initiated with Ashkyos and the new village of Rahasta sprang up where the route changed from overland to river travel. To the east and south, other clans sought to emulate Vasylai and founded the villages of Remara and Varese, although the great Khan's capital was always pre-eminent amongst them. Vasylai's grandson Oleyir adopted the title Pasha from the northern dialect spoken in Ashkyos, although his people continued to use the written language handed down by the clan shamans. The village grew into a town and eventually even a small city, becoming a place where the other clans could come in safety to trade with each other and the strange foreign merchants who visited periodically.
By the 1600s, a web of obligation and friendship existed between the many clans, which allowed Pasha Kafolyr to inspire a sense of national identity in those who came to his capital to trade. In 1634OT, the cunning ruler learned that King Peleus of Dar had not been blessed with any sons, but did have a daughter of marriageable age. Kafolyr therefore sent an embassy, offering his own son Gyolaic as a suitor. Realizing that this was merely an attempt to conquer his kingdom without bloodshed, Peleus refused and Kafolyr turned the imagined slight into a source of indignant outrage which he used as a pretext for war. So successful was his scheme that the Pasha did not need to recruit Khans to join his cause; they clamoured to be part of his grand army.
And so the mounted horde charged over the hills and across the plains towards Dar. Most settlements (including the independent city-state of Gundobad) surrendered in the face of such overwhelming force and the defences along the River Scamder were defeated in just a day, 15th Man's Harvesting. The mountains provided more of an obstacle, but by the end of the month, Kafolyr's forces were arrayed around Peleus's capital. The King of Dar was confident that he could endure a siege, as Dar was a port and his enemy had no ships to enforce a blockade, but the Khans knew nothing of siege warfare and proceeded immediately to a frontal assault. Warlocks and wizards standing atop the city walls caused massive casualties, but still the attackers kept coming. The battle for Dar lasted three days and on 2nd Forests Golden, the unstoppable host of horsemen breached the gate and overran the city.
King Peleus and many of his retainers escaped by sea to take refuge in the northernmost castle of his realm. For a week, the nomads sacked the city, carrying off thousands of saddlebags of treasure, killing hundreds of citizens and enslaving hundreds more. The looting was eventually stopped by the Pasha, himself. He had looked at the fine architecture and elegant adornments of the town he now occupied and compared it with the rude dwellings and unimpressive public buildings of his own capital, quickly deciding that he preferred the former!
Kafolyr renamed the city Kalamdar (Northern Capital of Dar) and decreed that his former home would be henceforth be known as Kabesh (Southern Capital). Some of the clans that had accompanied him chose to stay, but most returned to the steppes, to recover from the losses they had suffered through their leader's lust for power. The Pasha lived in Kalamdar from Forests Golden to Land's Awakening each year, avoiding the oppressive heat of the summer by spending the warmer months in Kabesh. Each time he returned, he brought skilled artisans and craftsmen with him, giving them the task of transforming the southern capital into a city worthy of his empire.
The deposed royal family wasted no time in suing for peace, and since they were ensconced in a fortress in the middle of the northern desert, only readily accessible by sea, Pasha Kafolyr the Conqueror graciously agreed that they could become client kings, giving up all claim to their former territory. So ended the Old Kingdom. For those outside Kalamdar, life went on much as before. Taxes were now paid to the Pasha's men rather than the King's and the gods revered by the horse nomads, such as Hunnyunhan and Fourga, became more popular, at the expense of those previously worshipped, but by and large, the empire did not interfere in the lives of its new citizens.
This changed over the next three hundred years, as a succession of Pashas realized that they could tax the settled lands far more easily (and heavily) than the nomadic clans whose independent spirit made any attempt to exert authority over them fraught with danger. This came to a head with the exceptionally rapacious Pasha Vulfolaic the Vicious, who found so many new ways to raise funds that the imperial tax collectors took to travelling with heavily armed bands of warriors to protect against disgruntled citizens. Taxes on pedestrians, on mounted travellers, on vehicles, a ninety-five percent duty on foreign coinage (including that issued by Vulfolaic's predecessors), fees for getting married, penalties for being unmarried, payments to avoid military service, the list was never ending. For some generations, the Pashas had been living exclusively in Kabesh, by now an inspiring city of monumental buildings and imposing architecture, leaving Kalamdar to decay into a provincial and parochial second city.
One thing that did not change was the Trial of Kingship practised in Gundobad. On 18th Land's Awakening 1897OT, King Gunderbock XVI became the father to twins, Lothar and Clovis. For the first time, two heirs would compete simultaneously for the throne. Lothar showed aptitude for magic from a young age and trained with the city's most learned wizards to achieve fame as a powerful warlock, whilst Clovis became one of the greatest warriors of his day. In 1917OT, one of the brothers recovered a Sacred Gem from the volcanic Isle of Orcmoot to claim the kingship, going on to name his son and eventual successor after his twin. Unfortunately, due to the confusion of the Great War against Evil, the records are unclear as to whether Lothar came first, followed by Clovis, or vice versa. What all records agree is that the two rulers were amongst the greatest the city has ever had, guiding it through the difficult period of Vulfolaic's reign of avarice.

Illustration Suggestion: A tricky one, this. Perhaps John Blanche's Imperial Tax Collector from §25 of Clash of the Princes: The Warrior's Way would suit.

Lorian
Knight
Posts: 478
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:17 am

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Post by Lorian » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:24 am

Thanks! It is based of in search of mungies gold! And I know not all of them are unread but they seemed a good fit! I did mean a +1 damage roll axe - I'll have to clear that up! Got any ideas for more villagers?
Life is merely a speck of dust on the beach of time...


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gloccus
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:27 am

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Post by gloccus » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:31 am

Lorian wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:24 am
Got any ideas for more villagers?
I'll have to think about that.

Klarash and the Treaty of Seven
In the north-west of Khul, game was less plentiful than on the steppes and within a few hundred years of the destruction of Atlantis, a handful of villages began to form, first near the coast for sea fishing and then further inland as some people turned from hunting to agriculture, whilst other tribes migrated in search of better hunting grounds. These hamlets were easy prey for the dangerous creatures which dwelt in the Mountains of the Giants and Scorpion Swamp, but were spared total destruction thanks to the Dwarfish city of Silver Peak near the source of the Foulbrood River, which had survived the splitting of the lands and provided a bulwark against the forces of Chaos. This was the southernmost remnant of the great Dwarf kingdom of Eagles' Ridge, which had been besieged by the Atlantean mercenary armies in that nation's attempt to conquer Irritaria.
Over time, some of the coastal villages expanded into towns and began to trade with one another, eventually banding together into loose coalitions for mutual protection. On the northern coast, Anghelm, Djiretta and Ashkyos slowly gained influence in the surrounding areas to become the de facto capitals of a trio of independent provinces, whilst in the west, the same happened to Buruna, Kalima and Kelther. Further inland, life was more difficult. The humans south of the Kasbled River submitted to the brutish Orc tribes living in the mountains, offering them tribute and slaves, whilst those further north sought an alliance with the Dwarfs. The rising power of the nomad clans was forcing Ogres, Giants and lesser races of evil into the mountains, putting more pressure on the Dwarf kingdom, which responded by arming the nearby Men with Dwarf weapons and armour. The constant threat of attack hardened these tribes into fearless warriors and, together with their Dwarf allies, they held off the incursions of Chaos.
Insulated by these kindreds from the full force of inhuman aggression, the coastal territories developed a surprisingly peaceful nature and showed little interest in the border skirmishes which usually characterize human interaction. This was good for trade, but as populations increased, they put pressure on the itinerant peoples who still relied upon hunting for their survival. Tales had reached the groups around Scorpion Swamp of the untamed lands to the south, which they thought might offer them the territory they needed, along with an opportunity for the glory they desired. Around 1450 to 1455OT, several of the tribes came together under the leadership of Loth, a mighty warrior whose skill in battle was matched only by his pride and vanity, and migrated into the rugged moorland east of Kalima.
Loth was a talented and respected commander and his followers soon cleared a substantial region of the primitives and barbarians who had been eking out an existence there. Perhaps swayed by the esteem of his comrades, Loth began to set up images of himself to worship, alongside the gods of his people. The priests of Oiden saw the danger in his arrogance and sought a means to curb it without lessening the heroism which so inspired his people in battle. They created a small circular amulet that emitted an intense beam of cold white light, acting as a beacon to the wearer's allies, whilst blinding and confusing his enemies. The Talisman of Loth had one great restriction, however. If it was ever worn in front of a mirror, then the owner would be killed instantly, his skin seared from his flesh and the name LOTH branded into his face! In this way, Loth was forced to abandon his unhealthy vainness, but in return received even greater adulation as a general and a champion.
On 4th Corn Ripening 1481, a hunting party led by Loth's own granddaughter, Adiurash, chased a mighty stag far into the province ruled from Kalima by that town's chieftain, Forminax Shakista. Rumours of an incursion by the eastern tribes soon reached Kalima's militia and a patrol was despatched to investigate. Upon encountering the veteran stalkers, the lightly-trained militia thought better of trying to apprehend the fearsome tribesmen and instead invited them to visit the capital as honoured guests. It is said that as soon as Forminax laid eyes on the platinum-haired Adiurash he was infatuated, not by her beauty (which became greater every time the story was told), but by her prodigious strength and sculpted physique. To entertain their guests, the people of Kalima danced and sang and plied the uncouth easterners with every type of delicacy and tasty morsel their farms and trading partners could provide. In return, Adiurash and her companions put on a traditional demonstration favoured by her people: a display of martial prowess. Adiurash herself wrestled a fully grown bull with her bare hands, earning her the acclaim of all her hosts, including the smitten Forminax.
Forminax entered into negotiations with the elderly Loth and in due course a betrothal was agreed. Casting aside his two existing wives (for Loth's people were monogamous), the chieftain of Kalima married Adiurash on 12th Birds Chatter 1482OT and their first child, whom they named Klarash, was born on 7th Land's Awakening the next year. Klarash inherited his mother's looks, temperament and ambition, along with his father's intelligence and charisma. Growing up, he gained the name Silverhair, for obvious reasons, but nobody would judge him by his appearance alone, for his skill with sword, bow and lance was matched only by his acumen as a negotiator and strategist. By the time he came of age, his father was already relying upon him to manage many aspects of the province's security and relations with its neighbours Buruna and Kelther. Klarash secured his home town's position with a marriage to the daughter of the Lord of Buruna, but was not satisfied with a future as the next in the dynasty of Kalima's chieftains and so entered into secret discussions with his great-grandfather Loth and his father-in-law, Lord Ashfell of Buruna.
On 5th New Year 1510OT, a number of small towns near Kalima formally united with Loth's peripatetic tribe to form the nation of Klarash, named after its first King. Forminax was relegated to the status of a vassal to his own son, but accepted the situation with good grace and was his liege's most loyal servant for the rest of his life. Appreciating the martial power of its new southern neighbour, Buruna immediately sought to join the federation and was admitted on 28th Skies in Darkness. Silverhair had established the first kingdom west of the Mountains of the Giants and one of his first decisions was to ask his mother's family to set about recruiting and training troops to accompany envoys to those nearby settlements which were not already part of his domain. Most of the villages and towns they visited were impressed by the display of military strength and soon agreed to join Klarash. The envoys travelled north as far as the Kasbled River and after a brief sojourn in the growing seaport of Buruna, continued east along the Kasbled to the edge of Scorpion Swamp. The delegation thought better of entering its deadly and eternally changing confines, instead turning back towards the interior. Meanwhile, Klarash sent other representatives east and south. The southern group eventually reached Kelther, then the largest community in the region, but became bogged down in negotiations for many seasons.
Trade between the citizens of Klarash grew as the King's armies brought security to the roads and trails. On 2nd Man's Harvesting 1533OT, explorers found their way through the Anvil Pass to encounter the nomadic clans on the other side and enterprising merchants soon followed in their wake. The possibilities for new commercial relationships that this opened up finally persuaded the Prince of Kelther to join the nation and the agreement was sealed on 6th Skies in Darkness, 1534OT. The residents of Kelther warned the King that the lands beyond the River Oxal were dangerous and untamed, but eventually he could not resist attempting to enlarge his realm and assembled an expeditionary force. On 10th Heaven's Weeping 1542OT, a day that will live forever in infamy, the troops attempted to ford the river a little way east of the tributary now called the Dart. Set upon by Goblins waiting in ambush on the south bank, the entire force was swept away by the spring floods as the warriors tried in vain to defend themselves.
The shock of the defeat was so great that Silverhair never recovered and on 8th Sun's Hiding, the King passed away to be succeeded by his son, Klarash II. The new ruler decreed that the river, now renamed the Swordflow, would form the country's southern border. Further expansion was directed east towards the mountains, but met with significant resistance from the Orc tribes who dominated the downtrodden locals. The descendants of Loth's people freed the subjugated humans from oppression, but their confidence and assuredness led to simmering resentment from the liberated, some of whom viewed the King in the west with his tax collectors and royal knights as little different from the Orcs who had been vanquished.
By the time of Klarash II's death, on 11th Snow's Cloak 1565OT, the kingdom stretched from the southern edge of Scorpion Swamp to the River Swordflow and had trading partners as far away as Arion and the Inland Sea. Klarash III turned out to be a dynamic sovereign who immediately took steps to differentiate himself from his cautious father. First, he ordered a new capital, which he called Shakista after the name of his dynasty, to be built on the Kasbled River (now known as the Catsblood), near the geographical centre of the country. Previously, the crown had maintained royal apartments in both Kalima and Buruna, but Klarash III had plans to expand his kingdom and knew that a separate capital would be needed to avoid claims of favouritism towards the cities that had been the first to join the growing nation. With the construction well under way, the King turned his attention to his borders. To the north, the small cities of Anghelm and Djiretta proved receptive to overtures from their flourishing neighbour, although Ashkyos was not approached in order to avoid conflict with the unpredictable and dangerous nomad clans, who might regard a foreign power encroaching so close to their ancestral lands as a provocation. To mark the sixtieth anniversary of the nation's creation, Klarash moved its capital to the partly-built Shakista and signed a treaty of alliance with both Anghelm and Djiretta on 5th New Year, 1570OT, effectively extending its borders all the way to the coast of Sharks and Shantak River. The northern provinces were formalized as Baronies of Klarash in 1604 and 1607 respectively, by which time their people had already integrated so completely that most citizens did not even notice the difference.
Beyond the River Swordflow, Klarash met opposition not only from the Goblin tribes around Lake Mlubz, but also from human barbarians and priests from Shakuru worshipping the Lords of Decay. In 1587OT, scouts crossed the Lesser Ilkhans and encountered the Wazarri for the first time. Although there was some initial opposition, negotiations soon resulted in Klarash gaining its first territory south of the Swordflow and before long, all the land west of the Dagger River had been absorbed into the kingdom, driving the Orcs, Khomatads, Mamliks and Dragonmen into harsh and inhospitable regions such as the Mavra Khomata and Minak Sikla. As they approached Lake Mlubz, the armies of Klarash faced greater difficulties, but gradually fought their way south until they were the undisputed masters of the land all the way to the southern coast. Many of the colonists were drawn from the people north of the river, unhappy about the growing influence of Loth's descendants in their homelands and seeking a new life on the frontier. In 1611OT, the city of Zagoula was founded in the middle of the kingdom's newest province to enforce Klarashi rule. Although it's primary purpose was as a military outpost, Zagoula was not a grim stronghold of crude battlements and unwelcoming towers. Shakista had been more-or-less completed by that time and so the best architects and craftsmen in the country were free to design and build an inspiring metropolis of glittering crystal domes and soaring marble columns, that soon became a magnet to scholars, artists and magicians of all kinds.
By the time Klarash III passed the mantle of kingship on to his eldest son and heir, the nation stretched the height of the continent from coast to coast and was a haven of peace and good government, with any unrest quickly put down by the brave and highly trained royal armies. In 1629OT, Klarash IV announced plans to build a paved highway all the way from Djiretta to Kelther, by way of the capital, to unify the kingdom, but due to disagreements as to the best route (he originally wanted it to pass through Scorpion Swamp), work was not finally begun on the King's Highway until 12th Nature's Curling 1702OT, in the reign of his great-grandson. When completed, the road did speed trade and communication, but its most significant benefit was to ease the movement of the troops who kept the King's peace. The majority of merchandise continued to be transported by sea or river and Klarash continued to become ever richer.
In 1726 and 1759OT respectively, the southern garrisons of Yaziel and Hyennish were founded on the frozen tundra, to strengthen control over the southern tribes who were beginning to show signs of discontent and contumacy. The bastions were sited on the coast so that they could be resupplied by sea in the event of a siege, which led to them unexpectedly becoming stopping off points for merchantmen sailing from Kish to Kelther and bases of operation for whalers hunting the magnificent and valuable beasts in the chill waters of the Southern Ocean. Many other settlements also rose to prominence as a result of the country's success and by the 1800s, there was a network of towns and villages to rival any in Allansia or the Old World. The position of Klarash as the continent's most civilized nation made it the natural place for the rulers of Khul's minor principalities and city-states to turn, when they became concerned about the cupidity of Pasha Volfolaic. Fearing that his greed would consume his neighbours, they sought protection from the only force capable of challenging the empire of Kabesh. Eventually, their endeavours came to fruition and the Treaty of Seven was signed on 23rd Land's Sleeping 1877OT in Djiretta, between the ambassadors of Klarash, Ashkyos, Faleha, Arion, Corda, Arkand and Kish. The treaty was intended to guarantee the independence of the signatories by promising that if Vulfolaic were to attack any one of them, the others would come to its aid. Whether this had any actual effect upon the rulers of Kabesh is debatable, but it created closer links between the members and further reinforced Klarash's reputation as the leading nation of the continent.
Tancred the Magnificent and Orghuz the Wise
Born on 6th Snow's Cloak 1959OT in Zagoula, to a guard captain, who hailed from Shakista and was married to a sorcerer descended from local stock, the twin brothers Tancred and Orghuz would grow up to become famed as the greatest heroes of their age. Affected by the innate curiosity common to all those raised in the city of learning, the brothers could not wait to set out on a life of adventure and excitement. For twenty years, they fought dangerous monsters, hunted corrupt necromancers and tracked down rumours of lost treasure. Throughout their careers, the one thing that always remained constant was their reliance on each other, until the affair of the Goblins of Lake Mlubz.
Hamlets between Zagoula and the great lake were being harried by attacks from said Goblins. The King's soldiers would arrive, only for the Goblins to melt away as if they had never been there, but as soon as the troops left, the raiders would return. One of the local Margraves appealed for a hero to protect the villages and the twins answered the call. Their investigation soon revealed that the Goblins must have the aid of powerful magic, very different from the crude witchcraft practised by their shamans. Tracking the raiders back to their tribal lands, the brothers mounted a daring assault to capture a prisoner for interrogation, leading to the discovery that the Wizard of Lake Mlubz was the origin of the Goblins' unexpected mastery of conjuration. Tancred and Orghuz made their way to the lake, passing all of the Wizard's tests to confront him in person. He explained that the villagers had encroached on the Goblins' ancestral holdings and he was simply trying to redress the balance.
In the following discussion, Tancred foolishly angered the Wizard with his intransigence and was frozen in a giant block of ice for his trouble! Orghuz was distraught, but did not allow his anguish to distract him from his mission. Through logic and patience, he convinced his host that continuing to support the Goblins with magic would only lead to more of their deaths, as the whole apparatus of war was brought to bear against them. Instead, he promised to broker an agreement with the villages not to expand further into the woods and mountains as long as the Goblins ceased their attacks. Eventually, all the interested parties agreed to his proposals and the Wizard released Tancred from his frigid prison, even granting him a marvellous flying horse in recompense for his inconvenience.
Although the diplomatic Orghuz had been the one to resolve the issue, it was his brother's bronze horse that drew the attention of the people. This fantastical mount allowed the twins to soar to wherever their aid was needed, from defeating the giant undead arachnids plaguing the village of Willowbend in Scorpion Swamp to rescuing the enchantress Deira from the despicable Harpies of the Rockwall Islands. Orghuz displayed no sign of jealousy as Tancred received the lion's share of approbation following each of their victories, devoted admirers abasing themselves every time he flew overhead on his enchanted steed.
Illustration Suggestion: There aren't many books set in this region and Neuburg didn't exist at the time, so maybe one of the pictures from FF37: Portal of Evil would fit the best.

Ruffnut
Hero
Posts: 711
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:17 am

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Post by Ruffnut » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:21 pm

Cool!
He just sits there tapping away all day on a tiny screen. But he tells everyone that he is slaying Orcs.

gloccus
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:27 am

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Post by gloccus » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:19 am

Lorian wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:24 am
Got any ideas for more villagers?
I've had a think and if you have a copy of the Titan Herbal then perhaps a herb collector could be a good villager. Side quest: collect such and such a leaf from the wood a day's journey to the east and I'll make you up a potion of some sort. If one of the Heroes has the appropriate skills, trading for a much-needed ingredient might be an option.

The City-States of the Inland Sea
The great tsunamis that devastated the coast in the wake of the gods' wrath against Faramos XXIII of Atlantis flooded the depression created by the collapse of the Brain Slayers' subterranean excavations to form the Inland Sea. The people of Khul were justifiably fearful of the ocean and reluctant to settle close to the shore, despite the fertile soil near the many rivers that emptied into the sea. It was on the peninsular now known as the Kish Isthmus that the first humans were tempted to abandon living off the land in favour of cultivating the native cereals growing there. Soon, their more sedate lifestyle attracted the envy of those who did not have the patience or aptitude for agriculture. The farmers banded together for defence and set aside a portion of their grain so that a fraction of their number could forego working the land in favour of training with weapons. One advantage these warriors had over the wild men trying to raid their homes was that the peninsular was ideal terrain for grazing horses and the wild equines attracted to the area were easily domesticated for use as beasts of burden or in battle.
Over the next few decades, a string of wooden watchtowers was constructed from the northern end of the isthmus to the River of Decay, to give advanced warning of approaching barbarians. This was followed by a second line roughly one bowshot beyond the first, so that the towers could support each other in the event of attack, then a palisade connecting alternating pairs of towers and finally stockades linking the front and rear towers together. Each phase of construction was protected by horsemen and guards, but since the individual stretches of barrier were no more than a few hundred metres long, the barbarians did not realize the builders' intention until it was almost too late. In this way, the people of the isthmus effectively built a wall around their whole country before the wild men could mount any significant challenge. Although attacks regularly breached the wall, often burning whole sections of it, the palisade usually delayed the attackers long enough for aid to arrive and the damage was quick and easy to repair.
To the north of the Inland Sea, the horse nomads of the steppes mingled with the descendants of Atlantean invaders and competed with the Desert Orcs living to the east for food and resources. The Atlantean armies had contained mercenaries from throughout their empire, which is why today we find people of all different cultures spread throughout the world. Eventually, a few brave individuals ventured to the seashore in the hopes of supplementing their supplies by fishing. Small hamlets sprang up along the coast and on the fertile floodplains of the Tak and Parine Rivers, but monstrous creatures of the sea and air menaced the settlers and prevented expansion until the great warrior Axillon called upon the gods to help him rid the land of the horrors plaguing it. Axillon's ancestors were Atlantean commanders of the mercenary army that defeated the Mage-Kings of Qor and the thrill of battle ran in his veins. On 8th Days Lengthen 1419OT, the hero fought a monumental battle at Dragon Tooth Mount, the western source of the River Tak, in which he defeated a mighty Black Dragon in single combat. Inspired by this proof of divine favour, the people of the river valley flocked to Axillon's banner and set about taming the wilds for the good of Mankind. From his followers living near the coast, Axillon created the Asswr sel Dablo, an order of warrior-priests who made the waters safe for the fishermen living nearby, and in 1424OT, he founded the monastery on Enraki Isle in thanks to the gods who had assured his victories. Today, the grassland around the Tak and Parine Rivers is known as Saint Axillon's Plain and many of the tiny villages dotting the area claim to be the hero's birthplace, so great is his fame. The religious Lagashians, descendants of Ut-Napishtim's people, founded the town that bears their name on the banks of the Parine River, whilst a number of small nomad clans settled at the mouth of the Tak.
The farmers of the isthmus had by now begun to replace the flammable wooden wall with one of packed earth and built a harbour (called Kish in their tongue) around the natural cove at the northern limit of the peninsular. First used to hold a fishing fleet, intrepid sailors soon sailed from the port to explore the rest of the Inland Sea. The Kishian fleet quickly learned to avoid the Isle of Trysta, due to the perilous shoals to the north and the mysterious disappearances of vessels that approached too closely to the south and west. However, on 23rd Skies in Darkness 1431OT, a foolish captain was at sea near the island during the harsh winter months and heavy seas drove him off course between the reefs and the shore, where he spied a small, shallow inlet. Beaching his tiny craft, he set off inland, encountering an idyllic scene of rustic plenty on his way to the spectacular fortress at the heart of the island. Two weeks later, he returned to Kish with tales of having met the King of the Four Winds, who held him prisoner on the Garden Isle until he managed to entertain the court with a daring tale of adventure and excitement. The down-to-earth locals scarcely believed his tale, but it seems that he was telling the truth and that the god Pangara had blessed his scion with a private paradise after the splitting of the lands destroyed most of human civilization. On 4th Days Lengthen 1433OT, the first contact was made between the Kishians and the fishing fleet of Lagash. Trade inevitably followed and soon became so important that the harbour grew into a small city in its own right and in time came to dominate the whole nation.
On the eastern rim, humans and Dwarfs were oppressed by the Goblins, Orcs, Lizard Men and Hill Giants who also lived there, until Khan Vasylai reached the Inland Sea in 1443OT on his tour of the plains. The Khan saw the village on the River Tak (which took its name from the waterway) and so began his dreams of a permanent capital. Clan Marad, however, was more interested in the ships and tales of wild lands to the south. Abandoning Vasylai's horde, the Marad people arranged to sail in what passed for merchant vessels at that time, from Tak to an uncivilized stretch of coast where they could make their mark. Of course, they were taken to the East River and immediately commenced driving out the native inhumans to found their own realm. The local Men and Dwarfs joined the belligerent newcomers to carve out a home for themselves, but knowing little of agriculture, they were unable to sustain a life there. Rather than abandon their hard-won territory, the clansmen came up with a daring plan to raid the lands around Lagash and carry off some families of peasants to teach them how to make the most of the fertile region around the river.
The plan succeeded and the first farmsteads were soon speckling the floodplain, but the warriors of Marad found that they were ill-suited to a pastoral existence. Inspired by the ease with which their previous raid had achieved its goal, they decided to take more slaves, both to work the land and perform whatever menial tasks the brave champions thought were beneath them. So began the second great industry of the Inland Sea: piracy! Although Marad started the custom of capturing slaves from the other states, as soon as privateers from those nations turned the tables, Marad decided that piracy was dishonourable and had to be stamped out. Clearly, they have been less effective at this than they were at creating the passion for plunder in the first place.
Tak had come to be ruled by the Khans of the five clans that originally settled there, but in 1597OT, a disagreement between the leaders of Clan Calah and Clan Yalmir over the right to tax goods coming into the town overland escalated to the point that Clan Calah attempted an abortive coup that took place on 9th Sun's Hiding. Forced to flee, the remains of the clan sailed west in whatever vessels they could appropriate, to take refuge near the Scythera River. Initially in conflict with the native Desert Lizard Men tribes, the erstwhile rebels quickly saw the advantages of an alliance and persuaded their reptilian neighbours to open a trade route with the southern peoples of western Khul. Supported by a combination of this new trade and a liberal attitude towards piracy, the town of Calah grew rapidly, although it was never a match for the more venerable city-states.
Now that Calah had proved it was possible for Men to survive on the fringes of the Scythera Desert, more fugitives and dispossessed made their way to the region. Many settled in the town, but most valued their freedom more than the security provided by submission to the Khans of Calah and so made their homes on the narrow strip of fertile land between the Scythera and Assur Rivers. Gradually, a second town formed near the mouth of the southern river, loosely governed by the heads of its leading families. Assur was known for welcoming anyone who was willing to abide by the rules of the community, regardless of who or what they were or what they had done in their previous life. Whilst at that time Calah would never tolerate Desert Lizard Men or Goblins living within its walls, the only limitation its southern neighbour placed upon its citizens was that they should be loyal and respectful to one another. Despite this (or maybe because of it), Assur was a much more law-abiding place than Calah and the latter suffered from its leaders' neglect and indolence over the centuries.
Calah and Assur were not the only city-states to spring up in the 1600s. Escaped slaves from Marad fleeing south into the Shurrupak Jungle fell afoul of Giant Pitcher Plants, Slime Suckers and worse, but eventually some survived long enough to find a sheltered bay which offered sufficient natural resources to persuade them to stay. The former slaves benefited from a war between Kish and Marad which was happening at the time, or else the warlike state from which they had escaped would have laid them waste without hesitation or compunction. The resilient hardwood from the jungle was in much demand for ship building and workers and traders from Kish, Lagash and Tak arrived in the slave-village, establishing it as the seventh city-state of the Inland Sea. These new arrivals had wealth and relations with the other states, whilst the original inhabitants had neither, so it is perhaps more disappointing than surprising that within a decade, the settlement's founders had been displaced as rulers by the incomers. Nevertheless, the trailblazers who moved to the energetic new town maintained its sense of independence and disrespect for authority, which led to it becoming a haven for all the pirates and marauders south of Mount Martu-Amurru.
The great Wall of Kish had protected that nation so well over the years that its sentinels and pickets became rather complacent, although conflicts with the other city-states kept the army and navy well drilled and alert. Then, on 11th Land's Awakening 1749OT, the renowned barbarian warlord Vangaria led a horde of wild men across a pontoon bridge over the River of Decay, even then an oozing morass of diseased and putrid sludge. The savages swarmed across the plain, slaughtering and plundering everything in their wake until they arrived at the very walls of the city itself. There followed months of stalemate as the Kishians could not dislodge the besiegers, who in turn could not breach the city's defences. Able to be supplied by sea, Kish was in no danger of starvation and it seemed that the crisis might continue indefinitely. Then, in Nature's Curling, a delegation from Assur arrived in an attempt to broker an agreement between the two sides. With no obvious vested interest, the negotiators were accepted by both opposing parties and their tireless efforts eventually wore down the reluctant leaders until an agreement was finally reached. Kish would grant some land within its borders to the barbarians and would pay their warlord a phenomenal amount of gold to leave in peace. The ransom nearly bankrupted the city-state. It is said that the women of Kish even had to surrender their earrings to make the colossal sum, but finally it was collected and the wild men left their encampment.
Vangaria thought he had won a great victory, but his people could not eat gold and those he left behind quickly became integrated with the local community, shifting their allegiance to their new homeland. When Vangaria returned two years later, he was met by a combined force of mercenaries and his former compatriots, who massacred his army and recovered a large part of the gold, which was used to pay the troops who had secured victory. Over the next hundred and seventy nine years, the Wall of Kish was extended beyond the River of Decay all the way to the southern coast and constructed of unyielding stone rather than the packed earth of the earlier stretch. Over a hundred thousand slaves may have perished in this massive undertaking, which created a wall both higher and longer (due to its zigzag course) than the Great Wall of Analand. Assur benefited from its part in the situation as the young city became a guaranteed place of neutrality, backed by the most powerful nation on the Inland Sea.

Illustration Suggestion: Something from FF16: Seas of Blood, obviously, but I can't decide exactly what until I've thought about which illustration I should use for the geography section.

Lorian
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Re: Gazettes in the works?

Post by Lorian » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:21 am

Great idea!
Life is merely a speck of dust on the beach of time...


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shintokamikaze
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Re: Gazettes in the works?

Post by shintokamikaze » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:22 am

Lorian wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:24 am
Thanks! It is based of in search of mungies gold! And I know not all of them are unread but they seemed a good fit! I did mean a +1 damage roll axe - I'll have to clear that up! Got any ideas for more villagers?
It would be great if you did some cults like the Wolven one in howl of the werewolf, you could also do a vampire one like in the movie interview with a vampire.

shintokamikaze
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Re: Gazettes in the works?

Post by shintokamikaze » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:38 am

gloccus wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 2:00 am
So far we have:

The Old World: Arion Games (various authors; some text and illustrations produced)
Salamonis: Arion Games (author unknown; current status unknown, but at least one draft map exists)
Arion: Arion Games (author bottg?; possibly set in 1500AC to fit in with the campaign)
Mauristatia: Lorian (occupation table posted to forum, regional Sorcery complete, bestiary in progress)
Arrowhead Islands: Ruffnut (bestiary complete, regional magic and geography section in progress)
Khul: gloccus (chapter 2 first draft posted to the forum, chapter 3 in progress)
Ciarensia: Andrew Wright (text in final or near-final form posted to the forum, last updated March 2018)
Allansia south of Shazâar: Nuvole! (advanced planning stage)
Allansia central + East: HedgeWizard (just started)

Invitation to Ruffnut: I don't know how advanced your Arrowhead Island gazetteer is, but it's a daunting task to try to produce a Titan-size tome from scratch. If you would like to write five thousand or so words for the Oceans and Islands chapter of the Khul Gazetteer I'm making, it might be an easy starting point to build on for your own work in the future.

Invitation to anyone: I feel that the Shining Islands, Mishna, Marpesia and Kalim, the Isles of the Dawn, the Shark Islands and the Coral Islands should be included in the Khul Gazetteer (and possibly the Crucible Islands, the Springhope Islands, the Isles of Refuge, the Blood Islands, Skull Island and Fish Island, although those are probably too far north), but I won't be tackling them until the rest is complete, so if anyone else wants a go, I would be very grateful.

I would of course give full co-author credit and I'm sure that a bite-size project like that would be good preparation for something more substantial later. What I'm looking for is a brief history of the island(s) concerned (just a paragraph or two about each major event since the splitting of the lands) and then a description of the geography and people in the 290s After Chaos: major settlements, religion, politics, commerce and agriculture. Somewhere like the Shining Islands might only need a thousand words, whereas the Isles of the Dawn could run to eight thousand, say. There is a copy of an old discussion of some of the islands in the files section of Titan_Rebuilding, but there's no requirement to follow what was decided there. I'll post the relevant bits here (with attribution), if anyone expresses an interest.

Now, on with the history:

The Time of Heroes
Now that all the peoples of Titan knew they could communicate with the gods through prayer and that the divine beings could reply by means of dreams, visions and portents, they turned increasingly to their priests and shamans to guide them through the turmoil that followed the First Battle. The Elves communed with Erillia deep within the One Forest to explore the scope of elven magic, Kerillîm blessed the excavations of the Dwarfs beneath the mountains of Irritaria, Hamaskis taught his worshippers the secrets of writing and anyone who felt they suffered unfairly called upon Libra for succour. In time, mortals arose who made a name for themselves by their actions and the Time of Heroes had arrived. The White Lord, Hangahar Goldseeker, Harar, Klarn Ugbar and numerous other names are familiar to scholars even now, centuries after they left the mortal plane.
The First Battle had displaced many communities, and whilst some returned to their ancestral homes once the conflict was over, others (particularly amongst humans and the chaotic races) found those homes destroyed or overrun by the enemy. The inevitable struggle for resources made it difficult, if not impossible, to establish permanent settlements and various groups were forced to adopt a nomadic lifestyle. Humans stranded in the sweeping central plains, where the forces of chaos had cleared the One Forest, noticed the advantages in mobility and force of arms that Centaurs and Felinaurs possessed in that terrain and gave prayers to Hunnynhaa to bless their attempts to tame and domesticate horses. Soon, horse nomads were riding the length of the steppes and south as far as the edge of the Scythera Desert, banding together into ever larger groups to dominate the other clans and races.
Meanwhile, in other regions it was possible for communities to settle down in villages, which gradually turned into towns and even cities and whole nations. The fishing villages situated around the coast of the western peninsular formed the kingdom of Granat as early as 384OT, for mutual protection from the Orcs and Trolls in the nearby highlands. In the east, a patchwork of small principalities arose, flourished and were subsequently conquered by neighbours or inhumans in the area that would later become Analand in the Old World and Pikestaff Plain in Khul. The provinces south-east of the Shios'ii Mountains, benefiting from their ancestral links with Atlantis and relative lack of inhuman enemies, were particularly civilized, although this didn't stop them warring with each other whenever they thought it would bring them some economic or political advantage. Elsewhere, non-humans were able to form equally stable and functional domains, such as the Goblins of the western valleys or the Troglodytes living within the Cloudhigh Mountains.
On the fertile grassland between the River Oxal and Scorpion Swamp (called Mudworm Swamp at the time), a Celastrix appeared to the human hero Gravalan, leading him to establish a settlement called Karazan (often mistranslated as Land of the Golden Hawk), which expanded into a country some time in the fourth century. Gravalan may be best known today from the Allansian drinking song Gravalan and the Purple Spotted Mushroom (She pointed and laughed at Gravalan,/Sword slapping on his thigh as away he ran), but at the time he was a respected and beloved figure. The altogether more sombre Sacrifice of Gravalan tells of how he met a wounded Wood Elf whilst hunting alone in Longshadow Forest. The Elf told Gravalan that a party of Life Stealers from the mountains had attacked his village and warned that after they finished slaughtering the inhabitants, they would turn their attentions to the people of the plains. Gravalan set off to take the news home and prepare a defence, but in his haste, he did not see a snare concealed in the leaf-litter scattered over the base of the forest and became hopelessly entangled by it. Knowing that time was of the essence, the hero cut off his own foot to escape the trap, cauterizing the wound with the blade of his sword, so that he could hobble back to civilization and give warning of the impending attack. As a result, the Life Stealers were repulsed and Gravalan entered the annals of legend.
North of the One Forest, life was harder and less certain. Outside the heavily-defended holds and excavations of the Dwarfs and the towers of the mysterious Netherworld Sorcerers, tribes of warlike humans vied with Toa-Suo, Frost Giants and Mountain Orcs for survival. These Men might seem primitive, having little or no use for writing or education, but their burial mounds and barrows which have survived the ensuing centuries show that they had a sophisticated society with trade routes that stretched all the way to the southern tip of Irritaria, the place of origin for some of the grave goods buried with their most revered kings and shamans. The Dark Twins who led the Orc Wars against the Elves in 600OT were drawn from this hardy stock, shamans who summoned demons in a bid for greater power and forbidden knowledge. The Elves believed they destroyed the twins in a wizard's duel, but a demonic pact saw them escape death and go on to plague the forces of good under a hundred other names for more than one and a half millennia.
Ut-Napishtim, Keeper of the Waters of Retribution
West of the Shios'ii Mountains, humans and their Dwarf comrades suffered the same depredations of chaotic armies as elsewhere in the central plains. However, unlike their fellows further north, they chose not to abandon their homes, for the rivers nearby provided much fertile farmland and the mountains were filled with sought-after ores and minerals. The Dwarf smiths forged magical weapons and armour to help repel invaders, but in 314OT, a great force of Orcs and Tuskers was seen approaching, displaced by an even more powerful tribe further north. The locals felt that all was lost, until a young but cunning priest of Aqualis (or Nau'ptha as he was known in that region) came up with a plan to temporarily dam one of the rivers which the horde would have to cross and then release the waters to wash away a great portion of the enemy. It took thirteen days working day and night, but the dam was completed just in time and the plan was successful, the cascading river obliterating everyone caught in the flow and splitting the attacking forces in two. The weary defenders fell upon the section which had already crossed the river and forced them back into the muddy water. The remainder saw the way the battle was going and decided to head elsewhere in search of easier pickings.
The priest, Ut-Napishtim, was rewarded with the title Keeper of the Waters of Retribution and when he died, he was interred within a monumental tomb in the hills near the headwaters of the river he had dammed, surrounded by riches and magical artefacts. This tomb consisted of a large crypt containing Ut-Napishtim's sarcophagus, reached via a long antechamber with several alcoves on either side, protected by many booby-traps, including falling blocks, jets of poison, magical explosives and drowning chambers. For the next two centuries, it was considered a great honour for priests of Nau'ptha to be laid to rest in one of the vacant alcoves in the tomb, wearing enchanted rings which would enable them to animate to defend the tomb should it ever be targeted by robbers. The humans and Dwarfs continued to defend the narrow strip of land they called home until they were finally driven out by marauding bands of Giants and Desert Orcs in or around 632OT.
Illustration Suggestion: Steve Luxton's map of Atlantis and Irritaria on page 113 of Titan—the Fighting Fantasy World is definitely worth a look.
Im not doing much at the moment and my family are away for the summer, pm me if you want me to give you a hand, the islands sound interesting is there any cannon on them at all?

gloccus
Posts: 26
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Re: Gazettes in the works?

Post by gloccus » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:16 am

shintokamikaze wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:38 am
Im not doing much at the moment and my family are away for the summer, pm me if you want me to give you a hand, the islands sound interesting is there any cannon on them at all?
That would be excellent. I don't actually know how to pm on this forum (I'm guessing it might be the speech bubble icon under your name next to your post), but I would really appreciate any help. There's a fair amount of material on the Isles of the Dawn (FF42: Black Vein Prophecy, FF47: The Crimson Tide, FF55: Deathmoor, Titan—the Fighting Fantasy World and a reference to Tsui in FF57: Magehunter) and the Arrowhead Isles (FF43: The Keep of the Lich Lord, Titan—the Fighting Fantasy World, Beyond the Pit and The Fighting Fantasy 10th Anniversary Yearbook) and there are brief mentions of the Blood Islands, Skull Island and Fish Island (FF43: The Keep of the Lich Lord, FF19: Demons of the Deep, The Fighting Fantasy 10th Anniversary Yearbook and possibly Beyond the Pit), but as far as I know, nothing official has been written about the other southern islands, so you have free rein.

Marpesia, Kalim, Mishna, the Shining Islands, Crucible Islands, Springhope Islands, Isles of Refuge, Coral Islands and Shark Islands are virgin territory (although I believe Marpesia appears in the amateur FF Prison of Pestilence by Robert Douglas and there may be other unofficial descriptions out there). Let me know if you want more information or to discuss ideas.

A very long time ago, there was a discussion of various islands on the old Rebuilding Titan mailing list. With the benefit of hindsight, some of the suggestions and assumptions seem unlikely or incorrect (such as the location of Gundobad, which Beyond the Pit set very definitely in Khul) and everything is completely unofficial, but here are some highlights, just to get the ideas flowing:
Shark Islands and Coral Islands
SIR JARVIS: There might be some isolated goblins here, as well as pirate refuges. Coral Island is a massive shelf of coral poking above the sea surface. The source of Shark Island's name is obvious. I wonder whether the Shark Islands aren't mostly deserted-since the Chinese, the cultural equivalent of the Isles of the Dawn, weren't the greatest sailors.
BEUDEN THE CELESTIAL PRIEST: Perhaps the Coral Islands are surrounded by Coral rather than be made of it entirely. I have imagined them being a rich source of Pearls etc.
SIR JARVIS: Hey, good call. Perhaps the goblins who dwell in those regions trade coral artworks and pearls to passing sailors? Perhaps they're an offshoot of Marsh Goblins, that can survive both in the air and water indefinitely, but are much less nasty? I have a vision of them worshipping a giant scarlet pearl as a deity, for some reason. As for the Shark Islands, the goblins have probably trained the sharks to act as defense against both mermen and sea troll raiders, so no one bothers them except the pirates who pay for a place to stay. I think that with the Blood Islands, Rockwall Islands, Bird Islands, and perhaps the Shark Islands, we have the major pirate strongholds, and it would be nice to have the Springhopes and Shining Islands some safe havens. And yes, letting the sailors have some R&R at the Isles of Refuge would be cool, although the Springhopes and Shining Isles are also available for those purposes.

Crucible Islands
SIR JARVIS: Home to a large series of volcanoes, that launch explosive and dangerous magma upon the ocean for kilometres around. All sane sailors avoid this place, no one dwells there
THE GREY MAGE: They seem quite large on the map (Titan, small edition p12-13), so do you think that they would support any communities of sorts?
SIR JARVIS: The Crucible Islands might have civilizations similar to that of ancient Hawaiians discovered by James Cook in the 1700s, but I always imagined them as much more barren and volatile, being the result of several undersea volcanoes pushed together to form an island chain. Who knows-maybe the Crucible Islands are the home of Lorodil, the volcano god! Hydana could also dwell there too, since _no one_ would bother him there.
BEUDEN THE CELESTIAL PRIEST: I like the volcanic theory a lot. I also agree that they are too large to not be populated at all. Islands being volcanic and volatile do not stop people inhabiting them. In fact volcanoes are a rich source of nutrient and normally prove to provide fertile island realms. But I think that we could really go to town on their perilous nature.
SIR JARVIS: Hey, they could be a breeding ground for razorjaws, fire elementals, tarators, and other such nasty things that enjoy the balmy climate and the constantly blowing volcanoes. That's why no humans have ever settled the place-the monsters don't take kindly to neighbours.

The Shining Islands/Springhope Islands
SIR JARVIS: Beautiful tropical paradises sometimes used by sailors, these places are mostly deserted except for animals and sailors who stop for rest and relaxation.
THE GREY MAGE: Maybe some survivors from the Splitting also?
BEUDEN THE CELESTIAL PRIEST: It would be nice to have such places in an otherwise harsh world. I had an idea that the Shining Islands could be so called due to a large proportion of rock formations on the Islands being up of Obsidian (hard volcanic glass)
SIR JARVIS: Again, I should have thought of that. We're covering volcanism in Earth-Air Science classes, and covering it in obsidian would be brilliant. Imagine how that glows off the tropical sun, or how it looks from underwater!

Isles of Refuge
SIR JARVIS: Where some of the last surviving Atlanteans dwell after the splitting of the continents. They have lost all pretense to civilzation, being primitive brutes who were once the grandest culture of Titan. I would prefer, perhaps, to put the Hawaiian/Tongan cultures at the Isle of Scars/Isles of Refuge, since the Atlanteans could have regressed to that point.
BEUDEN THE CELESTIAL PRIEST: I like the idea of this being a refuge of the lost realm. I had originally thought that the Isles of Refuge were so named because they provided a welcome refuge for those sailors crossing the notorious Ocean of Tempests. Perhaps a mixture of meanings is possible. If the Atlanteans (or at least the remnants of them) did make it to these Isles I can imagine they would regress from the former level of civilisation on Atlantis. However, not to the extent of primative.
Note: these quotations were taken from an email thread and the authors probably did not proof-read them for sense before they posted. I'm sure that Sir Jarvis did not intend to suggest that Hawaiian/Tongan cultures are or were primitive brutes and the unfortunate wording is probably a consequence of hitting Send too quickly.

And now for the next instalment of the history of Khul.

Of Daimyos and Samurai
The lands south-east of the Shios'ii Mountains were allied with Atlantis in that nation's misguided attempt to conquer the entire world and so received the greater part of the gods' ire and fury. The isthmus and peninsular were torn asunder and scattered across the Black Ocean, submerging many ancient cities and their surrounds beneath the waves. On the mainland, the Shikome and Bakemono which had been pressed into slave-regiments under Atlantean rule rebelled and harried their human neighbours relentlessly. Without the numbers to establish armies, the people were forced to rely upon a few, highly proficient warriors for defence. Over the centuries, these warriors' skills were passed down and honed from generation to generation, their dedication and training producing the élite caste of knights called samurai.
Over time, these samurai banded together into troupes and chose leaders, or Daimyos, to whom they swore fealty. Each Daimyo controlled a region and his samurai protected the peasants from monsters and from barbarians who refused to join civilized society. As these small principalities came into competition with each other for territory and resources, it was the samurai who fought for dominance. Daimyos periodically rose to a position of prominence, vied for power and were eventually defeated, sinking into obscurity, until the eighteenth century, when the Daimyo of Konichi received the great sword Singing Death. Where Daimyo Hasekawa obtained this fabulous treasure is the subject of many legends. Some say it was a gift from Telak (Hachiman), himself; others, that Hasakawa discovered it in the Scarlet Pagoda, deep in the Mizokumo Fens. Perhaps the strangest suggestion is that Singing Death once belonged to the Demon Prince Myurr while he was adopting the persona of Faramos XXIII and it was purified by an enchantress fleeing Qor after that city's destruction by the marauding Atlantean legions.
Hasekawa systematically conquered or subjugated each of the other Daimyos, adding their samurai to his array and uniting them into the nation which they named after their god of war. Konichi became the capital and its Daimyo took the new title of Shogun, or Supreme Military Commander, organizing his troops into a number of legions, the most prestigious of which was his personal honour guard, the Legion of the Seventh Seal. All Daimyos had (and have) at least one seal, a symbol of their authority, but as the greatest of all the lords, the Shogun possessed several, some taken from conquered foes and others constructed especially for him. The most important of these was the seventh to be made, for the event of his coronation, to signify his control over the whole state.
However, the other Daimyos were unhappy with the diminution of their authority and when, on 27th Heaven's Weeping 1789OT, the Shogun was crossing the Longhills on a progress through his realm, he was assailed by a combined force drawn from several provinces. Refusing to surrender to an enemy ten times their number, the Shogun's honour guard fought to the death to give their master time to cut his way free from the ambush using his magical glaive and return to Konichi to assemble the remaining legions. It is widely believed by the samurai of Hachiman that the Legion of the Seventh Seal consisted of warriors without compare amongst the lesser heroes of later times and their sacrifice allowed the Shogun to regroup and reassert his rule over his rebellious subjects. The defeated traitors committed seppuku, ritual suicide, and since then, Hackiman has been a broadly stable and unified country, with only a handful of major disturbances to the natural order throughout its entire history.

Illustration Suggestion: Alan Langford's incidental artwork depicting a samurai on horseback used throughout FF20: Sword of the Samurai (for example on the title page) would be fitting.

Lorian
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Re: Gazettes in the works?

Post by Lorian » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:46 am

That feeling when you spend ages writing a list of herbs then you find a identical one in the back of the book.
Life is merely a speck of dust on the beach of time...


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gloccus
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Re: Gazettes in the works?

Post by gloccus » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:49 am

The Great War against Evil
The reign of Pasha Vulfolaic the Vicious was as long as it was despotic. The acquisitive ruler outlived his own children and his eldest grandson, Khan Gyorgir, grew to adulthood under his guardianship. The young Khan was nothing like his grandfather. He was a hearty companion, an inspiring leader who liked nothing better than riding across the plains in the company of his clansmen, fighting, hunting and carousing with all and sundry. A personable fellow, Gyorgir could get on well with anyone he met, be they peasant or prince, having no sympathy for the Pasha's aloof and overbearing ways. When Vulfolaic finally passed away on 8th Land's Sleeping 1953OT, there was much rejoicing throughout the empire, as his subjects celebrated the transfer of power from a hated and feared tyrant to a loved and redoubtable champion. Gyorgir signalled his intention to do things differently from his predecessor by retaining the title of Khan, rather than using the term Pasha, which had become synonymous with greed and oppression. Claiming to be the direct descendant of the Halfhand chiefs (which was only true insofar as every human north of the Shios'ii Mountains was by this time descended from one or both of the Halfhands), Gyorgir united the clans into a vast horde, in a characteristic display of his customary exuberance. The Khan of a thousand Khans, as he came to be known, saw all the clansmen as his people, not merely those who had owed allegiance to his ancestors, riding a tidal wave of popularity to become the first leader of a truly cohesive nation.
Gyorgir reigned with a light touch; he had little interest in how his vassals governed their lands as long as they paid fealty to him and did not cause trouble with their neighbours. Within a decade, his empire had expanded to take in all the territory from the Mountains of the Giants to Pikestaff Plain, from the Isle of Orcmoot to the Scythera Desert. Abandoning the Treaty of Seven, Ashkyos and Corda willingly joined the energetic nation and in the south, the Tetrarchs who ruled Tak swore allegiance on behalf of all the city-states of the Inland Sea! Arion had grown in size and influence to be almost a match for Kabesh and the Khan had little stomach for attempting to conquer such a strong and ancient city by force, not because he feared battle or doubted his troops' ability to win, but out of a genuine desire to avoid the needless deaths of those unquestioningly loyal to him. Similarly, his envoys took one look at the impregnable walls of Kish that had repelled the attacks of barbarians for centuries and decided that Tak would be an acceptable southern extremity of the empire.
The Khan of Khans maintained good relations with his neighbours, although his toleration of Orcs and other inhumans within his borders led to some friction with the settlements they raided and pillaged. Trade flourished and travellers from as far afield as Goldoran and Gallantaria were welcomed to explore the extensive territories governed from Kabesh. However, it was from Zagoula that the most scholars and sages came, eager to acquire knowledge of subjects as disparate as the origins of the ancient Kabeshian language and the flora of the Old Forest near Corda. Unfortunately, they also learned of forbidden conjurations and the worship of the Lords of Decay. In the way of students throughout history, the young men and women of Zagoula could not resist testing the boundaries set by their teachers, joining foreign sects and experimenting with hazardous sorcery.
In Kabesh, Gyorgir was seen as a good and fair ruler by contemporaries, but his lax attitude towards immoral activity led to a proliferation of necromancers, demon worshippers and chaotic races that would prove disastrous for the continent in the war that followed. Whether the influence of Arachnos encouraged this disregard for common decency, or was a consequence of it, we may never know, but by 1998OT, Kabesh was a hotbed of chaos magic and a sanctuary for subversives of all kinds.
The Spawning of Chaos
The discovery of the Dead City by inquisitive adventurers from the city of learning is well documented, finally releasing the evil which had lain quiescent and hidden for millennia. There can be little doubt that it was the supernatural powers of the Dead City's dormant occupant itself that both protected the abandoned metropolis from unwelcome investigation and drew to it the unfortunates who released the spawn of chaos lurking within. The adventurers' visit to the Dead City seems to have occurred some time in Days Lengthen 1997OT. Certainly, it was 11th Skies in Darkness the next year when a merchant travelling from Zagoula to Yaziel ran across the last remaining survivor and heard his horrific tale. Scryers ensured that the story was disseminated throughout the continent and even beyond, but there was no way that the fateful consequences of the event could have been predicted or guarded against.
On 9th Land's Awakening, an unnatural storm swept across the south of the continent, carrying sand from the Scythera Desert over the southern foothills of the mountains to Zagoula, darkening the skies for three weeks and bringing plagues of disease-carrying insects and poisonous reptiles with it. The storm not only blocked sight, but also all forms of magical communication, so messengers were sent out to give the rest of Klarash time to prepare for whatever was to come. When the messengers reached Zamarra, the leader of the Mage Order immediately relayed the news to Shakista, from where the defence of the nation could be planned, but panic and bureaucratic disorganization led to an unconscionable delay in warning the other nations, costing them valuable time which could have been used to gather forces and evacuate endangered areas. When rumours first reached Kabesh of Orcs and Trolls in the Mountains of the Giants preparing for war, Khan Gyorgir expected to be able to deal with the incursion using only local troops and did not summon the Great Horde until 30th Land's Awakening, when further reports arrived from the south of vile mutants and ravenous monsters pouring onto the plains.
Just one day later, the forces of chaos entered Zagoula, slaughtering the inhabitants and tearing apart the buildings with hands, claws and glutinous pseudopodia. The jewel of Klarash was destroyed in a single day, before the chaos host divided. Roughly two thirds pressed on towards Zamarra, where it was reinforced by supporters living in the Mavra Khomata, Owlshriek Forest, Minak Sikla and the Dragonlands. Expecting an easy victory, they intended to proceed west along the coast, devastating the cities of Kelther, Kalima and Buruna on their way, but the invasion stalled before the concentric walls of Zamarra. As the enemy battered the defences, the full force of the Stone Dragon Sentinels was unleashed for the first time. Brave Zamarran troops manned the walls, holding back the ravening horde for three days and nights while the Sentinels performed their duty, utterly annihilating the attackers. As soon as was practicable, the Mage Order gathered all the forces at its disposal and set off north-east towards the River Swordflow, picking off stragglers from the force which had attacked them along the way.
The remainder of the company which had sacked Zagoula turned south, joining up with groups of southern swordsmen, long discontent with rule from Shakista. Yaziel and Hyennish were the next to face certain destruction, the garrisons resolving to hold out for as long as possible whilst the civilians were evacuated by sea. However, no sooner had the first fleet left the safety of the port than it was assailed by sea monsters and black-sailed war galleys appearing out of dense storm clouds off the coast. The townsfolk watched helplessly as their families and companions were consigned to the roiling waves, their ships shattered by enemy rams and the jagged talons of purple-scaled leviathans. After the massacre, the fight went out of those who remained. Both towns were swiftly overrun and the handful of survivors scattered to the four winds, whilst the loathsome multitude ravaged the countryside, their very presence searing the land with the taint of chaos.

Illustration Suggestion: David Gallagher's depiction of a fire-breathing Zamarran Stone Dragon Sentinel (opposite §91 of FF39: Fangs of Fury) seems appropriate.

Lorian
Knight
Posts: 478
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:17 am

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Post by Lorian » Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:53 pm

UPDATE: Finished Villagers


It is done on a 10 x 10 grid although you can change the size and layout.


The heroes can move one square per action and each action changes the daylight cycle:
Morning
Dusk
Evening
In Morning all Undead have -1 attack strength but at night they have +1.

You can roll for one legendary undead to place on the map.
Skull Beast
Skeleton King
Baobhan Sith
Vampire
Earth Demon
Death Skull
Legendary Undead can move one tile per action. (The skeleton king can move two).


You can roll for two Rare Undead to put on the map.
Decayer
Thassaloss
Phantom
Death Knight
Shade
Nightgaunts

You can roll for six Common Undead to put onto the map.
---------
Night Stalker
Demon Steed
Wight
Ghoul
Skeleton
Zombie
Skeleton
Ghoul
Ghost
Wraith
Poltergeist

If the heroes travel at night there is a 3/6 chance they will meet a random encounter (unless they move on to an occupied square).

They can camp out the night but will have a ⅙ chance of meeting a random encounter. They must each eat one provision a day or starve.

You have two gnarled oaks to place. A sorcerer can cast the PIT/OAK spell to trap a tile.

You also can place the necromancer on the map. The heroes cannot see the map and can only tell you what direction they move in. If they set up camp for the night mark it on the map.

You can also place one Villager on the map:

1)LUMBERJACK
On this tile there is a lumberjack in his house. It will be shut at night and the heroes cannot enter. He will be wary of the heroes but will quickly warm up to them. He will give them three provisions and will let him stay with him for one night. He will turn hostile if attacked.

On the Return Journey he will Volunteer to join the heroes on their Return Journey but if they refuse he will give them his Axe. He will also give them 5 provisions.

WOODSMAN
Skill: 6
+1 Damage Roll Axe
Stamina: 16
Leather Hauberk
Talents: Survivor, Strongarm
Special Skills:
Axes 2
Armour 1

2)WISEMAN
The Wiseman lives in a solitary shack in the woods. He will be able to tell the heroes the rough compass direction of the Legendary Undead if it is still alive. If asked about the location of the Necromancer he will say he could try to Scry for his location but it might kill him. If they insist he will give the rough Compass Location of the Necromancer but when they next return he will be found dead, sprawled on the floor.

On the Return Journey he will give them six healing herbs and 4 provisions. He will also bless them giving them +1 damage to Minor Undead until the end of the adventure.

3)HERBALIST
The herbalist like lives in a cabin in the woods. He will ask the heroes to find six herbs for him. To do this roll on the Old World - Forest Herbs table six times. Then randomly place them on the map. Depending on how many are returned you get a certain reward.

1)1D6 Gold
2)Minor Healing Potion (2 stamina)
3)1D6+1D3 Gold
4)Healing Potion (6 stamina)
5)2D6 Gold
6) Max Heal Potion

Also once you get your reward roll a D6. If it is equal or under to the amount of herbs you delivered he will give you a Sickle.

4)HERMIT
The hermit lives in a hovel in a forest clearing. He has witnessed such horrible deeds in the forest his mind has shattered. For some unknown reason there are no unread (Except the Legendary Undead) directly next to his hovel. He actually used to be a priest and will cure the heroes of any one curse they have if they give him the necromancers head. He will never speak to them.

5)HUNTER’S CAMP
The hunter has make camp for the night in this area. He is hunting a large beast that stalks the woods. He has laid out bait for it and is waiting. He will let the heroes sleep in his camp - which is safe from attacks. Once they meet him each time they have an random encounter roll a dice and on a 6 they have found his quarry.

LARGE BEAST
Skill: 7 Attacks: 3
Large Claws
Stamina: 18
Medium Monster

If they kill it he will pay them 30gp to tell him the location of its corpse.

6)A LOST CHILD
They will find the child crying by himself. He has become lost in the woods. If the heroes let him join them then he will stay with them until they take him home where they will be rewarded with 35gp.

CHILD
Skill: 3
Unarmed
Stamina: 6
Rags (Light Monster)
Animal Friend.
Life is merely a speck of dust on the beach of time...


Image

gloccus
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:27 am

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Post by gloccus » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:24 pm

That looks like a nice, fun quest, Lorian.

The Siege of Kabesh
Meanwhile, the greater part of the armies of evil was converging upon Kabesh from all sides. The Dead City's lone occupant had led the attack on Zagoula, but then left, travelling back across the Scythera Desert to join up with the vile armies despoiling the centre of the continent. Those troops who were suited to combat in the mountains veered west towards the Anvil Pass, where they met resistance from the Klarashi Army sent from in Shakista, whilst the remainder of the evil throng headed on towards Khan Gyorgir's capital. There, they met up with a smaller force which had ravaged the northern plains now known as the Deadlands.
The Khan of Khans had finally issued a summons to his allies to help defend Kabesh, but the order arrived too late for some, who had already fallen victim to the advancing enemy. Those clans which were still at large belatedly set off to cover the hundreds of miles to their capital, but many of the Khan's other vassals lacked the loyalty of the nomads and failed to heed his call to arms. On 22nd Heaven's Weeping, the dawn horizon turned black with phalanx upon phalanx of evil warriors as the pounding of thousands of war drums shook the very walls of the city. The brave (or foolhardy) horsemen charged the enemy time and again, hundreds of clans swallowed up by a sea of mutants and creatures of chaos. Seeing that the battle was a foregone conclusion, the demonic generals despatched a vast multitude towards Arion, where they would receive aid from allies waiting in Deathmoor and the northern mountains.
The siege of Kabesh lasted for three days, at the end of which there was nothing left of the once grand city except a handful of ash-clogged ruins and mountains of rotting corpses. Evil priests and necromancers such as Ssassuzlit and Henyati the Green, who had been allowed to flourish unchecked for years, used their powers to weaken the city from within whilst chaos magic blasted the walls from without. When it was over, the chaotic troops turned towards the Anvil Pass, where the Klarashi army was preparing for an orderly retreat towards Shakista to rendezvous with the levies being raised from the Baronies.
The Alliance of Arion
In the north, Lothar III of Gundobad had a premonition revealing the futility of despatching aid to the clansmen. Whether it was sent by his Faerie ancestors or by the gods themselves, it was enough to persuade him that the only hope for the triumph of Good was to entrust his levies to Brendan Bloodaxe, Ruler of Arion, rather than his liege, Khan Gyorgir. Couriers rode with all haste to Kalamdar, Peleus, Sariandor, Amarkisk and the smaller towns between the Sea of Silver and Lake Nekros, urging them to do the same.
In truth, many of the settlements which had been conquered by the nomad clans so long ago and suffered through the depredations of Pasha Vulfolaic the Vicious were reluctant to spend the lives of their citizens in the cause of protecting their oppressors, but denuding their own defences to bolster those of a city-state on the other side of the north-eastern peninsular was almost as difficult to justify. It took all Lothar's diplomacy (and, some say, his beguiling wizardry) to convince the other leaders to send an army east, but at the same time, the Ruler of Arion had not been idle.
Arion's court wizard had received a warning from the Mage Order as soon as the fate of Zagoula had become known and Brendan Blooxaxe acted decisively, calling up his own followers and urging the Elves of Affen Forest and the lords of Fallow Dale and Corda to follow suit. The third Duke of Fallow Dale responded with a significant array of knights and men-at-arms, despite the danger to his own demesne of trusting its defence to untrained militia and non-human races, but in Corda, there was a schism at the heart of government, where equal support existed for following Khan Gyorgir's call for aid, adding to Bloodaxe's alliance and simply remaining within their own walls. Finally, the latter position prevailed, although Captain Faisana led a substantial battalion of volunteers to join the growing army concealed in ambush at the edge of the Old Forest, which now comprised more than a dozen races. In the event, the caution of the ruling council made little difference, as Corda was nearly obliterated by a swarm of nightmarish monstrosities and unquiet spirits flooding out of the Old Forest to wreak havoc, led by the Demon Lord Gagrash. The victorious horde continued on to ravage Remara and Arkand, where Gagrash constructed the sorcerous Tower of Doom, leaving the survivors from Corda to creep back to their ruined home. Even today, many inhabitants of that city-state have a belligerent and unfriendly nature due to the unfair feeling that they were abandoned by their allies to fend for themselves in their time of need.
Shortly before daybreak on 4th Birds Chatter, Brendan Bloodaxe's troops fell upon the rambling chaos armies from the south, just as the forces from Gundobad and Kalamdar arrived from the north, in a pincer movement that took the overconfident enemy completely by surprise. The ambush soon broke the disorganized rabble into isolated bands, which fought a running battle for a hundred miles along the length of the grasslands now known as the Battlegrounds of Chaos. As Glantanka's golden light turned to the crimson of dusk, the last of Bloodaxe's foes fell to the victorious allies, but their task was not over. Working through the night, the survivors gathered the dead into giant pyres and burned the corpses to prevent them poisoning the land itself, as had happened across the plains corrupted by the advancing chaos army.

Illustration Suggestion: Martin McKenna's depiction of a demon attack on a farmhouse opposite §212 in FF40: Dead of Night is evocative enough, I think.

Lorian
Knight
Posts: 478
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:17 am

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Post by Lorian » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:31 am

Wow! So much content!

Wolf Hunt

It is done on a 10 x 10 grid although you can change the size and layout.


The heroes can move one square per action and each action changes the daylight cycle:
Morning
Dusk
Evening
In Morning all Undead have -1 attack strength but at night they have +1.

You can place one Beta Werewolf on the map. The Alpha Werewolf can move one tile per action.


You can place two Werewolves on the map.

You can place 9 wolves on the map. Up to four may share a square.

If the heroes travel at night there is a 3/6 chance they will meet a random encounter (unless they move on to an occupied square).

They can camp out the night but will have a ⅙ chance of meeting a random encounter. They must each eat one provision a day or starve.

You have two gnarled oaks to place. A sorcerer can cast the PIT/OAK spell to trap a tile.

You also can place the Alpha Werewolf on the map. The heroes cannot see the map and can only tell you what direction they move in. If they set up camp for the night mark it on the map.

You can also place one Villager on the map:

1)LUMBERJACK
On this tile there is a lumberjack in his house. It will be shut at night and the heroes cannot enter. He will be wary of the heroes but will quickly warm up to them. He will give them three provisions and will let him stay with him for one night. He will turn hostile if attacked.

On the Return Journey he will Volunteer to join the heroes on their Return Journey but if they refuse he will give them his Axe. He will also give them 5 provisions.

WOODSMAN
Skill: 6
+1 Damage Roll Axe
Stamina: 16
Leather Hauberk
Talents: Survivor, Strongarm
Special Skills:
Axes 2
Armour 1

2)WISEMAN
The Wiseman lives in a solitary shack in the woods. He will be able to tell the heroes the rough compass direction of the Werewolves and Beta Werewolf if they still alive. If asked about the location of the Alpha he will say he could try to Scry for his location but it might kill him. If they insist he will give the rough Compass Location of the Alpha but when they next return he will be found dead, sprawled on the floor, having been horribly mauled.

On the Return Journey he will give them six healing herbs and 4 provisions. He will also bless them giving them +1 damage to Minor Undead until the end of the adventure.

3)HERBALIST
The herbalist like lives in a cabin in the woods. He will ask the heroes to find six herbs for him. To do this roll on the Old World - Forest Herbs table six times. Then randomly place them on the map. Depending on how many are returned you get a certain reward.

1)1D6 Gold
2)Minor Healing Potion (2 stamina)
3)1D6+1D3 Gold
4)Healing Potion (6 stamina)
5)2D6 Gold
6) Max Heal Potion

Also once you get your reward roll a D6. If it is equal or under to the amount of herbs you delivered he will give you a Sickle.

4)HERMIT
The hermit lives in a hovel in a forest clearing. He has witnessed such horrible deeds in the forest his mind has shattered. For some unknown reason there are no werewolves (Except the Beta Werewolf) directly next to his hovel. He actually used to be a priest and will cure the heroes of any one curse they have if they give him the Alphas head. He will never speak to them.

5)HUNTER’S CAMP
The hunter has make camp for the night in this area. He is hunting a large beast that stalks the woods. He has laid out bait for it and is waiting. He will let the heroes sleep in his camp - which is safe from attacks. Once they meet him each time they have an random encounter roll a dice and on a 6 they have found his quarry.

LARGE BEAST
Skill: 7 Attacks: 3
Large Claws
Stamina: 18
Medium Monster

If they kill it he will pay them 30gp to tell him the location of its corpse.

6)A LOST CHILD
They will find the child crying by himself. He has become lost in the woods. If the heroes let him join them then he will stay with them until they take him home where they will be rewarded with 35gp.

CHILD
Skill: 3
Unarmed
Stamina: 6
Rags (Light Monster)
Animal Friend.
Life is merely a speck of dust on the beach of time...


Image

HedgeWizard
Adventurer
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:20 pm

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Post by HedgeWizard » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:17 am

Wow! I’ve been swamped with work the last few month or so hence my absence but I can see some amazing work has been done here!

Here is my small addition to this growing group project, the first draft of my first letter from Wolftown. I’ve taken a different approach describing the people first as if i was a visiter. For some reason it helps me to be able to picture them in my mind and then build the world around them.

I’d welcome any thoughts!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/z10rpnong1u80 ... df?dl=0&m=

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