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In Depth World

A place where Setch Dreskar and Angry Joe can work on their board games and pen and paper systems.

In Depth World

Postby Setch_Dreskar on Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:43 pm

While I work on building up the system that will be used, I will be writing about the world in a more in depth fashion, focusing on one part of the world and using it as the cornerstone to inform the rest of the world around it. For this I am going to be describing a setting that will probably be used as the campaign opener for many Game Masters, the city-state of Freidriksburg. I want to note this will be an incredibly long read, though I will try to make breaks for it.

Rise of Raven's Landing, Birth of Freidriksburg

The creation of 'The Landing' as it is commonly referred, was a decision made by members of the Merchant's Guild of Laurence who wanted a way to get Elven goods cheaper so they could undercut the prices of rival Guilds back home. The location for this trade mission was a decision of convenience, what seemed almost a divine bit of inspiration, as the the guild members found an ancient extinct volcano near the coastline that had carved out a bowl and then a long natural harbor with outlying islands to act as wave breakers.

For the MGL this was perfect, not only could they establish stable docks quickly and easily due to the calm waters within the natural harbor, but the volcanic soil was rich in minerals and nutrients so a stable community could be built up around the port with farming taking root in the fertile soil. The one thing the MGL didn't count on was just how successful their trade mission would be, being situated only a few weeks travel from both the major Elven islands of Kador and the islands controlled by the Gearstone Dwarves, and Kin surrounding Tia and only a month's journey away from trading ports along the coasts of Dicora.

When the MGL had finished construction of its first dock, rumor had spread up to Kador that a new and much closer merchant city was just a few weeks travel down the northern coastline of Graxis. This would have proven problematic as the northern waters and winds are considered wild, but this was partly because study of the waterways of the north was incomplete meaning merchants would usually take the long route around the southern coasts to transport goods, and partly because of superstition. With the promise of a port so close though, Elven merchants began risking the 'dangerous' waters to unload more cargo, quicker then they ever had before.

This had the added benefit of mapping out the water currents and winds more thoroughly then before, which revealed that while the area has a higher abundance of rogue wave patterns the route was surprisingly stable. This of course lead to even more Elven merchants making the trip to The Landing to sell their goods quicker and at a cheaper price then before, which would have been the MGL's greatest secret had anyone remembered not to brag or boast about it to other merchant houses and independent traders across all the southern continents.

It didn't take long for other rival merchant houses, trade companies, and independent traders to flood The Landing quickly building their own docks and sending out trade missions to setup routes for the Gearstone Dwarves, Orc Enclaves, and Kin to sell their goods as well. With this mass influx of not only people, but wealth and power the original idea of The Landing was fundamentally changed. Perhaps most crucially the Dwarven invention of blasting powder was finally traded to the outside world allowing the Elven artisans of Kador to create the first firearms from it.

Now the landing is a city in its own right, dominated by massive warehouses, towering guild halls, and trade companies who work the intricate docking system. Armed guards, mercenaries, and body guards seem to swarm everywhere here, ensuring that while The Landing is the most chaotic place in Freidriksburg it's also the safest.

The Citadel of Iron

The initial plans of the Merchant's Guild of Laurence was to establish a trade city along the rim of the caldera, allowing farmlands to take up the entirety of the bowl. This city would be built on a slope to allow refuse and garbage to literally flow downhill and saving construction costs on things like sewage and plumbing systems. This drastically changed as The Landing itself flourished and the merchants of the guild suddenly found themselves much more wealthy, more quickly then they had ever imagined.

With this new-found wealth and excess, the MGL wanted to live in luxury that only that wealth could bring. The initial construction site for the city was almost completely abandoned with new plans laid out to terraform and shape the bowl of the caldera to allow for proper sewage facilities, well built streets and ample housing to sustain their new desires.

With the new construction plans underway, the Gearstone Dwarves and Kin noted that the port and city would need protection, whether from banditry or rival cities who wanted to get in on the action. The initial building city, a large city construction in its own right, was converted into the workings of a massive fortress to be built of stone and capped with iron. This fortress would later become known as the Citadel as it was being constructed, and the Citadel of Iron once it was finished.

The completed fortress was enormous, comprising 12 tiers of defenses with an outlying gatehouse guarding the only pass from The Landing into the construction site of Freidriksburg proper. People wishing to pass the gatehouse needed to prove they were members of the newly christened Freidriksburg before passing through the four wood and iron gates to get to the other side. In an interesting design decision the gatehouse itself was actually separate from the Citadel, meaning should the Gatehouse fall the would be attacker would still have the completely un-compromised Citadel to contend with.

Also because of its sheer size the Citadel could house the entire city guard, several dungeons, and still allow for a standing army of around 10,000 strong to live comfortably within its walls. The only problem with the citadel was the length of time it took to finish the project, lasting several years and more then doubling the pricetag when compared to Freidriksburg itself. The key thing to note though is that the people constructing it had become so wealthy, they could easily foot the bill for this construction that would have been called excessive if the Citadel were built to protect several cities rather then just one.

Freidriksburg - City of Excess

This same feeling of excess and pride went into the city construction. Dwarven engineers carved out labyrinthian sewage tunnels, with pump stations powered by the thermal vents that networked through the dirt and stone of the caldera, while Elven engineers laid out the city streets and established districts for housing, craftsmen and trade. Human craftsmen built houses of stone, wood and brick while Kin artisans made statues and lighting posts to help keep streets illuminated at night, and in a sense Freidriksburg was becoming a truly universal effort, even having Orc engineers build up farms along the outside of the caldera's sheer cliff-like walls to provide the food the city would need.

Wealthy merchants and the cities rising nobility built their manors and housing along the inner rim of the caldera, while the upper class built up housing in beautiful neighborhoods but the sad truth was this fervor couldn't last. As the docks got larger and larger, and the craftsmen, and laborers building the city needed places to sleep, poorer districts began to spring up in the city. To help maintain order the city planners of the MGL began to wall off separate districts, in theory this would allow for better city watch patrols and make things safer but it also had the negative effect of making the poor districts cut off from the others. A city built on the ideals of wealth and power was rapidly changing again, after all the wealthy merchants weren't going to work themselves to the bone, they would rather pay for servants and workers to do it for them and those people needed places to live, eat, and relax.

When city construction was considered finally finished, looking down from the rim of the caldera one would swear the city was built as a maze first and for people to live in second. Rich districts were walled in with elaborate stonework and were patrolled by heavily armed guardsmen in shining armor, while the poor districts had smooth stone fencing them in and were lucky if they received guard patrols at all.

Gangs began to spring up in the city, and even worse rumors of wizards practicing foul magics, hidden in the walls of the poor districts began to circulate and were spread to the rest of the world by the dock-hands and sailors working The Landing. These rumors would eventually reach the Emberflame Empire who quickly responded by dispatching several Inquisitors and craftsmen of their own to build Chapter-houses to keep them.

Not wanting to lose the valuable trade they had received from the Emberflame Empire, Wyrmguard Dwarves, Kin and the Dragons themselves, the city's officials agreed to give the Emberflame Inquisitors free reign to hunt out practitioners of forbidden magics. After all it kept the trade agreements safe, and having the Inquisitors hunt down rogue elements would keep people safer as well right?

A City of Walls and Secrets

Several years after its agreement with the Emberflame, Freidriksburg had elected its newest leading official. The Right Honorable Lord Siegfried Kopfmann was the latest to take up the position, and was prepared to lead the city into a new golden age of prosperity. Crime was rapidly dwindling as Inquisitors and Guardsmen bolstered by the former's constant vigil began to scour the poorer districts, and trade of the new matchlock firearms was seeing the city go through a massive growth.

Unfortunately because of the new boon in the economy charges of corruption began to take hold. Workers began demanding Siegfried take a stand against those wealthy merchants who were underpaying their workers and even forcing them into indentured servitude, while many of the guards began to take bribes to allow these merchants to transport more goods or illicit goods tax free. As one can imagine having tens of thousands of people openly proclaiming that the spreading corruption throughout the nobility, guard, and merchant class being all your fault might not be good for ones self respect.

In response Siegfried urged the working class to have patience, stating he would begin sorting out the mess the city was devolving into. To do this Siegfried began setting up a secret police force, charged with the removal of corrupt officials and maintaining order among the lower classes. This had the obvious effect of turning the lower classes against the secret police and thus against Siegfried while the upper classes began to plot against him, so they could keep getting incredibly wealthy.

In a move no one in their right mind would have conceived, members of the upper class kidnapped Siegfried's daughter and had her killed in one of the poor districts to get Siegfried to side with them against the peasantry. The constant strain of feeling like everyone was against him and the loss of his daughter sent Siegfried over the deep end, and he quickly ordered the poor districts barricaded and burned down with everyone inside them.

The secret police, being notoriously loyal to Siegfried followed through with his orders and began setting houses in the poor districts ablaze. The event would have continued if not for Inquisitor Tobias Lux who stormed Siegfried's manor with his entourage and quickly executed him for his crimes. This however was not a sanctioned action, and while the Emberflame were annoyed with Tobias' actions the people who survived the burning of Freidriksburg wanted to declare the man a hero.

With Tobias essentially saving the city in the eyes of the lower class and even the upper class who were pretty sure they were next on the to-be-torched list, anyone the Emberflame Empire now endorsed would have easily taken up leadership of the city. Perhaps sensing this, the High Queen of the Emberflame actually declared that they would not sponsor any new candidates in the hopes that the mess Freidriksburg had become would remain its own problem and not become theirs. Unsurprisingly even without their support Lord Cornwell Stadt, a very vocal Emberflame supporter, won the new election to the high office. He would certainly have his work cut out for him as Siegfried's actions had actually increased the problems the corruption was causing within the city.

War of the Soul

While the Emberflame's move to remain neutral on the election front increased the legitimacy of Stadt's election,suspicion that The Right Honorable Lord was little more then a puppet began to grow. Varying groups began to point out the actions the Emberflame Inquisitors had been taking in the city, and though the Inquisition had actually been scaling back, the details of how they conducted their affairs was driving a wedge between the city. A growing number of citizens began to call for the expulsion of the Inquisitors from the city, to put a stop to their barbaric methods of hunting.

Lord Stadt took the concerns of the people to the Emberflame, hoping to maintain the trade treaties and getting the Inquisition to relax its policy, as well as bringing the City Guard into their investigations. Negotiations were going well on this front, but due to the drawn out nature of the talks, growing unrest at home lead to rioting and then an open revolt.

Spurred on by propagandists, and corrupt officials, mobs of peasants and middle class citizens stormed the unaware Citadel and barricaded the armories inside. With the City Guard cut off from its weapon supplies, and mobs rioting in the streets, the loyal forces dedicated to Lord Stadt retreated from the caldera out into the farmsteads surrounding it. When news of the revolt reached the negotiations, Lord Stadt was sent back on a boat with a message for the revolutionaries. Surrender now and receive mercy before its too late.

The Emberflame, unwilling to allow the city free reign, due to the rapid rise in forbidden magics the moment the Inquisitors were ousted from the city, sent the Kin warlord, Archonis to make the city kneel. Meanwhile loyalist forces, bolstered by a few garrisons of Elves from Kador, and men of the Emberflame began a campaign of fighting for each district within the caldera. Their opposition was stiff, peasant militias fighting in their home turf, bolstered by mercenaries and corrupt guardsmen who knew the streets and alleys better then anyone. Fighting was long and bloody, with at least one district, the south-western warehouse district, completely devastated by looters, skirmishes between opposing forces, and a few instances of magic users unleashing their fury.

Warlord Archonis' arrival to the frontlines was met with doubts that he could help break the rebels spirit until the Loyalists first looked upon his force. Warlord Archonis brought several warships from the Wyrmguard Dwarves who quickly blockaded The Landing, while a vast army of Kin marched through the city streets, and Archonis himself took 12 elder dragons directly to the Citadel of Iron to demand the heads of everyone who lead the revolt. Most surprising to the casual observer, was that the Citadel almost immediately surrendered as the defending force of mercenaries and militia dared not tempt the wrath of the elder dragons who now sat upon each tier of the citadel.

The last of the fighting came in the northern poor districts, and was ended in a show of absolute force. For killing members of the Inqusition, whose sole purpose was to combat the foul magics of the Northern Lands, and refusing to surrender, everyone within the district was boiled alive from the inside out as their blood bubbled and exploded from their bodies. What ritual, or saying the 12 elder dragons used to smite the district remains a mystery but the sheer brutality and efficiency of the act crushed the last sparks of the revolt.

As if things could not get worse for Freidriksburg, The Right Honorable Lord Stadt was forced to allow a massive garrison of Emberflame and Kin troops to cleanse the city of the rampant foul magics that erupted from the city in its turmoil. The city that rebelled to rid itself of the Inquisitors that patrolled its streets, was now beholden to their martial law. While the wealth of the city continued to prospere, easily surviving the failed coup, Freidriksburg had lost its freedom.

Freidriksburg Stands!

Today, things are not quiet as bleak, though there are still foul sorcerers who ply their trade in the maze like city, evading the Inquisitors that hunt them, the massive garrison left over from the uprising has dwindled. As the city recovers it has begun to find its freedoms' restored, but with that comes the rise of corruption once more and the ploys and plots of its people. It seems to be the curse of Freidriksburg, to be forever in turmoil with itself, and the mass execution of the Northern district, now known simply as the Blood-Ward has left a scar on the city's people that will not be forgotten soon.

Freidriksburg itself continues to prosper, and as trade increases and the wealth of the region continues to rise it is little wonder why its people risk so much for just a little more coin. All the while Lord Stadt has become a broken man, his spirit crushed as he watched his city suffer, be humbled by those who could easily have erased them from existence, and his every attempt to save it become a failure. It is little wonder The Right Honorable Lord's health is beginning to wither, and the noble houses begin to eye his throne and plan.

Yes it seems it is the curse of Freidriksburg, to forever be corrupt, rotting and suffering beneath the veneer of beauty and wealth that is the city's greatest treasure. The one thing to remember is that through all of this, Freidriksburg stands.
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Re: In Depth World

Postby Setch_Dreskar on Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:36 am

-Under Rewrite-

Reawakened

There are few races as mysterious as the Elves, partly due to their longevity and partly because their origins have been lost to time immemorial. Tales of Orcs and Dwarves, long before the rise of Man, talk of Elves, their mastery of the seas and their incredible craftsmanship, yet none speak of where those ancient Elves went.

The current Elves living on Sekkara are a mystery to the other races, having found themselves simply awakening in an abandoned Elven city, as if rising from a long dream. They had language, knowledge of the arts and a social structure already established amongst themselves, but they could not remember the days that came before. With great care the Elves followed their appointed leader Elowyn far to the northern coasts of Graxis using maps and stories along the way that speak of the Elven capital city Lumin which resides on the massive island of Kador. The expedition was long and slow, with careful steps and cautious movements as they fumbled about this unknown land.

When the Elves came to the city Locke, whose coast made up the mainland Strait of Kador, sometimes referred to as Elven Narrows, each House knew a choice would need to be made. While several of the emergent Houses chose to remain in Locke and repopulate the mainland, the majority of the Elven Houses, including Elowyn and his House agree to risk the waters and re-establish a presence on Kador.

Reclamation

The journey across the Elven Narrows was slow, with the Elves beginning to re-acquaint themselves with their former mastery of the sea. Landing the ships along the shores of Kador was a momentous occasion, and with the first Elves ashore they could reclaim and map their ancestors' homelands once more.

Firstly the ships used to bring them ashore were carefully navigated to the north in order to make berth in the port city of Dorn, taking up residence among the hundreds of other ships in the city's intricate docking system. At the same time the remaining Elves traveled inland to take up residence in Lumin, following the glow of the ever-burning flame at the top of Lumin's citadel to find the capital city. With the first two cities of Kador being re-established, efforts to recolonize the remaining cities across the island got underway, with the noble houses claiming a city each to their own.

It took many years of hardship and growth before Kador could properly establish itself as a prosperous island nation once more, with trade flowing back and forth between Locke and Dorn to help in the reclamation efforts of the mainland. It was only a matter of time before their efforts would meet resistance, as many decades had passed since the elves had made claim to their lands, and new creatures both sentient and savage had made a home there.

The first trouble came from the city of Tho, which was perched beside a forest which was slowly reclaiming the outskirts of the city itself. The initial pathfinders who came to the city encountered several packs of 'growlers' large, furred, feral dogs who are known for their vicious and hyper-aggressive territorial nature. They earned their name from the low, rumbling growl they would emit as they charge into the fray, and are known for their resilience to normal weaponry. The pathfinders encountering the growlers were nearly wiped out, save for a few that managed to escape through the forest and report back to their commanders.
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Re: In Depth World

Postby Setch_Dreskar on Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:43 am

Birth of a Queen

The Dragons Come

The Ember's Flame

Establishing the Empire

War of Flesh and Snow

The Inquisition Rises

Of Magic, Might, and Men
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Re: In Depth World

Postby Setch_Dreskar on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:28 am

The Halls of Stone

The Great Age

Here There be Dragons

Guardians of the Wyrm

Call to War

Plague-lands

The Wyrmguard Vigilant
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Re: In Depth World

Postby Setch_Dreskar on Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:53 pm

Soul War

Birth of the Order

The Freidriksburg Incident

Hunters in the Night

The Cleansing of Moorefield

The Black Guard
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