In the deep desert, nomads roam, moving from hidden oasis to secret wells, tending their flocks, always on the move. They carry all that they own with them, caravans of wealth, though easily able to protect their fortunes. At its outskirts, men and lizardmen build their cities; few cities survived the attacks of the beastmen, and fewer cities still manage to flourish in the harsh environment. However, a few great cities managed to fend off monsters and brigands long enough to survive; of these, Korcu Baskenti is the largest, and most powerful. Desert spices and exotic trade flow through the city, as well as darker trade: slaves, stolen treasure, and dark magical items.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Monday, July 18, 2016
The first thing on the list is creating the framework for the world. Is it a modern film-noire place, filled with dark cities and gritty drama? Or is it a high fantasy world, with fairies and dragons and magical resurrection? Maybe it's a hard science post-apocalyptic world, where mutations are deadly and food and water are at a premium.
The framework sets the basis of the world, and thus the adventures played in it. Not that any genre rules out any style of game - but be aware of how much work it will be. A horror game in a dark, gritty setting is a lot easier to pull off than one set in a happy-go-lucky post-scarcity science fiction world of high society. It's possible to make those kinds of games work, and I've seen it happen... but it's a lot harder to do, and it takes considerable effort from the players, as well as from the GM. If you have lazy (or new) players, you might want to tailor your world to them, at least a little bit.
Friday, July 15, 2016
I have been posting a story (or other update) once per day since I started this blog. That's pretty prolific for me; it's rare that I have more to say than a blog or two over the course of a month. However, this has been an exception. It's a whole world (well, a continent - I'm staying pretty hush about the rest of the planet, mainly because I haven't given it much thought); that means it has stories, legends, and of course maps and other wonderful bits and pieces. It's a lot of fun for me to write all those snippets of flavor, and I hope it's been fun to read.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
This is, of course, the Age of the Fae; but why? The Age of Elves was ruled by elf-kind, and the Age of Men was ruled by humans; the Age of the Beastmen was full of the nasty brutes. But the Fae do not seem to be quite as well-heard of; their place in stories is mysteriously absent.
The Fae, or Faerie-folk, are not an outgoing people. They are sly, and wild, and ethereal. Unlike the solid elves or brash humans or brutish beastmen, the Fae would rather sit back and manipulate, pulling strings in the shadows. They are wild, and yet there is a method to their madness; all Fae are bound by an extraordinary set of rules. The rules bind and free; they are loved, and hated, and all faerie-kind know them intrinsically. Fae hate iron, and cannot bear to wear it; likewise, if asked a question three times, they must answer truthfully the third time. Their promises have permanent bonds; a promise must be carried out, though admittedly only the word, not the intent.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
In the city of Slowhaven is a street paved with white stone. The only access is a single road that meets the street in its exact center. A wide sign marks the street as the Street of the Gods; the 'G' has obviously been repainted many times, having alternated between uppercase and lowercase, depending on whether the painter was monotheistic or not. Not that it matters; if anyone is close enough to read the sign, their attention will obviously be elsewhere.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Long, long ago, before the First Age, when the great wyrm called Mor-Thir his home, there was a great battle, and Alehim smote the wyrm; in the end, the great wyrm was defeated. But during the battle, it shed seven scales, which were blown far and wide. As the scales were found, they were forged by the dwarves into items of power, and of war.
The first scale was found by a group of mechanics and tinkers; they wrought the great scale into an artifact of power, directing its power into a colossus to protect their cities. The scale became its great eye, through which the golem watched over the dwarves. During the dark days of the Age of the Beastmen, the giant golem was the only thing to stand between the dwarves and their doom; at the conclusion of the many wars with the beastmen, only the golem was left standing. It's eye resembles a great emerald, the size of a man; there are many rumors of the powers of the great eye, but there are few alive today who have seen the golem in battle.
Monday, July 11, 2016
Men like to boast that Mareten needs no army. That's not entirely true; in times of trouble, Mareten has called upon its people to take up arms. Every man willing to fight for his king is given an equal share of any treasure collected. It could be argued that an army of volunteers is no army at all when not at war, which is probably true. However, there is one other group of soldiers that stand ready to fight and die for their king and country, paid members of the oldest army in all of Mor-Thir: the Guards of the Mareten Wall.
Friday, July 8, 2016
From his seat at the edge of the bazaar, an old man beckons you over, waving his long pipe. Expecting another beggar grasping for coins, you step towards him. The warm brick walls and the rug-seller's wares deaden the noise; in this tiny corner, the market is almost quiet.
"The stories're wrong, y'know," he chortles, smoke puffing from his mouth with each word. "The first age weren't th' age of th' elves, bless 'em. Oh, sure, they were th' first ones to write it all down, but who knows what happened before then, eh?" He wheezes an approximation of a laugh. "I'll tell ye - me!"
Thursday, July 7, 2016
Continuing in the trend of describing classes, here are a few of the classes I've created, and a bit of their stories.
Every city has a Thieves' Guild, and most larger cities have an Assassins' Guild, as well. Though from the same family as Thieves and Assassins, the Spies do not have a guild - or at least, that's what they would like you to think. Spies are an elusive bunch, using subterfuge and trickery rather than theft or murder to meet their secretive goals. Not that they are above a bit of theft and murder, of course.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
I've created a few new races, classes, and magic types for this campaign, including the wolfwere (an animal able to turn into a man, rather than the other way around), the Skinscribe (a mage who uses his tattooed skin as his spellbook), the Dwarven Sapper (who builds and destroys), and the White Mage (which uses the cleric spells, but the mage spell progression, including the ability to research new spells); however, there is one particular class of magic that has had tremendous impact on the world of Mor-Thir, especially within Mareten: Librarians.
Long ago, in times not forgotten, lived a man named Quentin Querulous. While scrolls and books of ancient knowledge were present even then, they were stored is jumbled heaps and stacked on creaking shelves. Mages kept their own books, and few outsiders were allowed to read them - if they even could. It was unheard of to own a large collections of books, simply because of the space required - many books could not sit in the same room, let alone the same shelf, as other books, simply because of the amount of magic contained within. The more books one owned, the more likely stray magic would begin arcing between them, killing anyone nearby and usually reducing the area to a glowing crater.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Long ago, Gnomes discovered what they call Joke Magic (PDF): spells that use so little magic that they can be fueled by ambient magic, leftover wisps of spells just floating about. Gnomish philosophers believe that these joke spells actually are powered by humor itself, and that the funnier the situation, the more powerful the effect will be. Powerful wizards and mages pale at the thought, of course; magic is serious business, and must be performed with complex rituals and absolutely no laughter at all.
Neither Gnomes nor Wizards are entirely correct. As discussed previously, magic as cast by a cleric is doled out by their deity, while magic cast by a mage is stored within, and recharged by reading their spellbooks. These spells are a bit different; they take so little magical potential that they can be powered by the ambient magic of the world, leftover wisps of past spells, funny or not; in the case of these spells, the magic within the pages of the spellbooks is easily enough.
Monday, July 4, 2016
Orrin of Grove began his life as a simple peasant. Poor but hard-working, he and his wife Lia labored in the fields. Every evening, they would wander the nearby woods in prayer. One night, the couple chanced upon a young apple tree; every night after, the two visited the tree, tending it as they prayed and talked. Over time, it grew; every harvest, its branches were laden with fruit, providing Orrin and his wife with more than enough food. Eventually, Orrin approached the owner of the woods, and asked if he could purchase the small plot where the tree grew. The owner had no plans for the area; it was overgrown and too hilly for crops. However, he never expected a poor farmer to be able to purchase land. Laughing, he agreed to a fair price, and sealed it with his signet, fully expecting to never hear from young Orrin again.
Friday, July 1, 2016
This is a small snippet of history about this world - but pay attention. There is more than just lore or history in here; while I call it out explicitly here, I may not be so transparent in the future. This not only explains how magic works, but also tells a little about a fellow with some magical artifacts...