Lacundus Drakulum (5e Campaign Setting)
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This campaign setting is being designed by the participants of Wiki Gaming:Lacundus Drakulum, and as a product of that game's play. Unless you are personally involved in that game, please do not make edits to this page without suggesting them on the discussion page first. This page had been protected to autoconfirmed status to reinforce project integrity. If you have any questions, please bring them up on the discussion page, or contact me on my talk page. --Kydo (talk) 13:44, 6 February 2017 (MST)
The name of the setting is a portmanteau of latin "Lacum Mundus Drakon Regulam". The translation would be "Dungeon World Dragon Rule", but because each word is written in isolated form, the translation would more accurately be delivered with each word written on a separate sheet of paper, in no particular order. If you were to speak this way to a Latin speaking person, they would be partly confused and largely offended.
This is the setting in which User:Kydo/Lacundus Drakulum takes place. Only users who are participating in that game should be editing or expanding upon this setting.
It is a kitchen-sink setting intentionally designed to incorporate elements of all of the major past official campaign settings. It is a kitchen sink full of kitchen sinks. On the DM's side of the screen, this project is essentially like a big puzzle, where I am trying to assemble the various parts of disparate settings together into a single, cohesive, functional whole. On the players side, the campaign is intended to be flexible and sturdy enough to handle just about any kind of homebrew from this wiki. In essence, it is D&D Wiki as a world. Here is an overview of how the various settings have been composed to create something coherent:
- Mystara / The Known World
- It's OSR, and under the hood, this is an OSR game with a lot of talking on top.
- Temple of the Frog and Tomb of Madness.
- Arneson ran a dark, gritty game. This setting can get that way too.
- Thunder Rift
- The starting area for first level players, and the stage for first tier play.
- Forgotten Realms
- The kitchen sink I threw all the other kitchen sinks into.
- This is a postapocalyptic world, and much of how I am planning dungeons is based on adventures from this setting. Also, there's a whole region of fire and sand that is highly reminiscent of Athas.
- Yes, the ancients were colonizing other worlds. No, they did not have an apocalyptic war.
- Ancient tech and modern attempts to emulate it.
- There are many secrets of the world's cosmology inspired by Planescape. Eventually, someone will have to make the gods answer for what they've done.
- Just wait till you get to ride a dragon.
- Council of Wyrms
- I remodelled the council to give them a reason for existing, while allowing normal civilization to continue. I would love to see a player try to play a dragon, but it seems nobody has made a 5e race for it yet.
- As mentioned earlier, a major aspect of this campaign is a slow transition from solo warrior, to lord and master of armies. Birthright is a campaign setting based on that concept, and many little ideas from it are spliced into this game.
- Ralph Bakshi's Wizards
- This inspiration source is instrumental in allowing this setting to exist at all. By placing an advanced civilization in the past of a medieval dark-age, I can justify pretty much any kind of ridiculous schizo-tech imaginable.
- Final Fantasy VI
- The first science fantasy I was ever exposed to. I love the idea of magitek, and incorporated the word into this setting, though the k is now a ch. I loved the idea of evil scientists using magical creatures like batteries to power sci-fa machinery.
- Final Fantasy X
- An actual post-apocalyptic science-fantasy game! What really stood out to me, especially given my other influences regarding magitech, was the sphere puzzles in the summon temples. The magic-infused crystal spheres could easily be composed of magicyte. Their use in the puzzles is akin to the completion of a circuit by a battery, and the glowing circuit lines carrying the energy through the magic-driven machinery justified the glowing lines we so often see on enchanted machines in modern fiction. They aren't just pretty lines: they're the circuitry of the machine! This game also includes a touch of kaiju horror, which I intend to fully exploit via my application of the Tarrasque.
- Final Fantasy XII
- This game gave me a clear model for how magitech could be built, in detail. I steal from it shamelessly. In particular, magicyte is stolen directly from this, with virtually no changes whatsoever.
- Disney's Atlantis
- This movie completed my mental image about how to make practical use of magical objects and machinery. The atlantean crystals can easily be swapped out for magicyte. Their application as ignition keys and batteries mirrors the use of crystal spheres in FFX. Their magic machines are not designed such as a postmodern invention, but rather are created in the likeness of other things familiar to a pre-industrial and animistic mentality.
- The Fifth Element
- Mostly just paints a picture in my mind of what highly advanced magitech societies might have looked like.
- Ditto with Fifth Element. Also part of the inspiration for the entire Pale region.
- Star Ocean
- Ditto with Fifth Element. This one also gave me some ideas on how to make spelljammers that actually look cool. (You know, aside from the Illithid nautiloids and that one Githyanki skull-boat. They were always badass!)
Prior to the current dark age, civilization had reached unbelievable technological heights, the likes of which even we in our modern age cannot match- not even in our science fiction. People lived in shimmering cities of ivorine spires and silver highways. Travel by flight was commonplace, with long-distance travel conducted instantaneously via a network of magic circle junctions. Slavery was displaced by the servitude of automatons- clockwork golems. Decentralized governments allowed great personal freedom, and a capitalistic global economy allowed for globalized industry. Advancements in medical knowledge, alchemy, and healing magics resulted in the vast majority of illness and injury being treatable at least, if not outright irrelevant. Being a gladiator was now a rather safe, if painful, occupation. Public education systems formed massive global information networks, granting anyone with the desire the ability to learn anything. Space travel and interplanetary colonization efforts had just begun. Practical application of magic gave nations the capacity to feed an infinite number of people.
And then it all came crashing down. There was a great war, now called the Last War. Though many smaller wars have been fought since, none stand out in history the way this one does. The Last War was, quite literally, a world-ending apocalypse. That the destruction of one world was also the birth of a new one is merely a lucky coincidence.
What detailed knowledge exists of the ancient world pertains almost exclusively to its last hundred years leading up to the Last War. The details are heavily obscured. Here is what is known, based on INT modifiers in knowledge skills. Your character can be assumed to have some form of understanding of each of the points up to their skill modifier. How extensive and accurate that knowledge is, is entirely up to you.
- INT History -4: The war ended with one nation using a new spell which destroyed magic across the entire planet.
- INT History -3: The war could have been stopped if the dragons had intervened as a power.
- INT History -2: Even though they could feed everyone on the planet, they chose not to.
- INT History -1: The ancients were decadent and corrupt, and society was aimless.
- INT History 0: It was a war of ideology, not necessaity. The ancients ended the world because they hated each other.
- INT History +1: It started as a civil war, but rapidly spiraled out of control.
- INT History +2: Most of the war was fought by spies, assassins, and saboteurs before outright hostilities began.
- INT History +3: Machineguns were a firearms innovation which occurred specifically during the Last War.
- INT History +4: The only reason peace had lasted so long was because war would result in a draw- no nations had a clear advantage. A momentary instability is all it took to knock their whole house of cards down.
- INT History +5: The Red Empire was the nation the almagest spellbomb was centered on, and the crater it left over the former dragon province, is today's Rift.
- INT History +6: The Crane province of the Red Empire was the initial source of the civil war.
- INT History +7: Nations intentionally disabled their own magic circle networks in an attempt to prevent terrorism.
- INT History +8: Most ancient people did not actually fight in the war, as there were very few actual soldiers; most combat was carried out between automatons.
- INT History +9: Ancient nations functioned like corporations, with citizenship being similar to paying rent. Those who could not pay were simply exiled.
- INT History +10: The ancients divided, owned, and fought over pieces of the sky as though it were land.
- INT History +11: The almagest spellbomb was designed by a secret, independent college of wizards, but they are not the ones who cast it.
- INT Arcana -4: The reason there are so many people on all three material planes, (here, the feywild, and the shadowfell) is because the ancients colonized those planes.
- INT Arcana -3: The ancients did not have libraries, instead using artifacts to access a magical information network. This makes almost all of their knowledge inaccessible to us, because most of it is destroyed or inactivated, and we have no idea how it works.
- INT Arcana -2: Ancient alchemists were able to successfully synthesize gold from lead.
- INT Arcana -1: The party ultimately considered at fault for the war, was innate magic users, such as sorcerers.
- INT Arcana 0: Guns were originally invented by the ancients as a way of arming non-magical soldiers against battlemages.
- INT Arcana +1: The spellbomb did many things it was not intended to do. In particular, it was not supposed to move the moon.
- INT Arcana +2: Magicyte crystals used in ancient technology retained their charge, even during their hundred years under the antimagic field.
- INT Arcana +3: The spellbomb killed most supernatural entities on the planet in the material plane, including the souls of those killed prior to and during the war.
- INT Arcana +4: Many magical creatures behave differently today than they did before the war, as their ancestors had to live without magic for many generations.
- INT Arcana +5: The war was precipitated by a shortage of naturally occurring magicyte- a crystalline mineral which passively stores magical energy. Today, we mine our magicyte from ancient ruins and artifacts. There are no known remaining sources of natural magicyte.
- INT Arcana +6: Psions were very common prior to the Last War, but today there are almost no people gifted with this power. Within 50 years of the spellbomb's detonation, almost all of them had been killed by a genocidal campaign launched by the early Pale-region cultures.
- INT Arcana +7: Attempts to travel back in time to before the war result in the caster arriving at the moment the antimagic field ended.
- INT Arcana +8: Automatons were a form of magitech, a sort of advanced golem that is truly autonomous and free-willed.
- INT Arcana +9: The ancients were experimenting with creating life from scratch, a school of magic called "genesis magic".
- INT Arcana +10: There used to be a nation of necromancers who welcomed illithids as regular citizens.
- INT Arcana +11: Given that the Almagest Spellbomb did many non-weaponized things, it seems likely that it was not originally intended as a weapon at all.
- INT Religion -4: Because ancient people needed so little, very few needed miracles, and so very few ancients sought guidance from the gods.
- INT Religion -3: The gods refuse to speak of the world before the war, or the war itself, and further refuse to explain why.
- INT Religion -2: The ancients had no appreciation for the power of art, and squandered it on mundane recreation, rather than expressions of faith.
- INT Religion -1: The Almagest Spellbomb affected the Feywild and the Shadowfell as though it had been cast on those planes as well.
- INT Religion 0: The ancients did not believe in alignment theory, and characterized it as "the religion of religion".
- INT Religion +1: There was a growing cult of the ego among the ancients, who worshipped themselves with the belief that the existence of faith is what creates gods in the first place.
- INT Religion +2: The angels are rather dismissive of the Last War and ancient times, and if they speak of it, mostly speak of the tremendous amount of work that had to be done to maintain interplanar peace.
- INT Religion +3: Devils and demons both actively tried to prevent the Last War, but were unsuccessful due to their inability to put the Blood War on hold.
- INT Religion +4: The few ancient temples left standing are like time capsules of the ancient world, and often contain many functional artifacts.
- INT Religion +5: The gods protected their temples and faithful from the initial blast of the spellbomb. This action saved the prewar races from extinction.
- INT Religion +6:
- INT Religion +7: Outsiders hated the prewar world, and the dead ancients are reviled across the multiverse.
- INT Religion +8:
- INT Religion +9:
- INT Religion +10: There was a cult who believed that magic was an intelligent being unto itself.
- INT Religion +11: Dragons were worshipped as gods in the Dragon province of the Red Empire; they were the only religious state in the world at the time.
The Last War
The Last War had a duration of only 9 years, and was stopped by the spontaneous end of the world.
During this time, the entire world was enshrouded in an antimagic field. The purpose this field was intended for is unknown. Most supernatural entities- those nonphysical being composed of pure magic- were killed instantly by this effect. Interestingly, it also destroyed all souls trapped on the material plane at the time. For a hundred years, the world was mundane, but far from boring. There was widespread volcanism and other geological activity as the continents rapidly reshaped themselves. The moon's orbit became erratice and unsteady. Many ecosystems nearly collapsed. (Though most people alive at the time did not have enough information to know this) It was a time of widespread chaos and misery.
Most scholars of alignment theory believe this was a reballancing of the cosmic polarity. Magic and technology had advanced to the point that chaos could not manifest naturally. As a consequence, residual chaos built up as a sort of "chaos void". This void eventually found release the moment an opportunity was found. We have ever since been living in the echo of this burst, with the chaos gradually redistributing itself in a mirror of the rate at which the ancients bottled it up. Alignment theorists caution that large scale interference with the alignment polarity of the world is inherently dangerous, and navigating its effects is a task suitable only for a god.
The pale region, at this time a barren flatland, gives rise to widespread nomadic cultures. These cultures are based on prewar military ethos, and exact a genocidal war on all descendants of those capable of innate magic. Their armies wash over the world in a wave of primitive violence, but their culture is quickly diluted into nonexistence. They were never able to truly wipe out all descendents of innate Spellcasters, as it was virtually impossible to tell one way or another at the time. Most of their victims would have been mundane either way. Many folk with magical blood were completely unaware of their ancestry.
The Former Crane officially became a nation in 140. It was a unification of many tribes of the descendents of Crane province ancients. The movement was led by prewar elves who wanted to rebuild their former glory.
This century also saw the gradual release of the antimagic field. As magic returned to the world, there was an unprecedented explosion of life. Countless new lifeforms came into existence to fill the voids left in the remaining ecosystems. This effect was clearly driven by the ambiant magic of the world. The orbit of the moon also began to stabilize, and tides became more reliable.
Black drakaina Ixenusk hatched from her egg in 166.
In 189, a piece of the Pale region broke loose from the substrate and began to levitate at an altitude of 15 miles. This would be the first earthrise to occur, and was the beginning of a series of events known as the lifting.
The first Council of Wyrms, a gathering of concerned dragons, was held in 207 at the roof of the world, (The world's tallest mountain) despite protestations by both Bahamut and Tiamat. This occurred after Former Crane began employing dragon slayers armed with prewar artifacts. Fearing a genocidal conflict, and a repeat of the spellbomb, the dragons agreed to intervene in the civilizations of lesser races. They formed a new legal structure and governing system over the course of this century. Their main focus was to put a stop to unchecked technological advancement of the young folk. They outlawed the ownership and use of artifacts. For the first time in history, both chromatic and metallic dragons were able to come together and reach an agreement without bloodshed. They put in place a system of regulation for long-term established nations. When Former Crane refused their oversight, the dragons as a united force destroyed the nation's entire military force, and very nearly wiped the nation off the face of the world. This established the tone of the new dark age: oversight was not optional. The council made things very clear:
Those nations who have maintained stable land for at least a century must be officiated. Should they refuse, they will be destroyed as a threat to world stability.
Nations who are officiated are assigned a sitting councilor dragon, called an overseer. This overseer is responsible for oversight of their technological, magical, and cultural development, as well as their protection. The overseer is also their connection to the council itself- putting their interests forward at council summits.
Unofficiated states are considered to be resources at best, and enemies at worst. Most of the time, they are not even considered as being anything at all. However, because they are unregulated, such cultures are typically hotbeds of research on ancient history and technology.
To give officiated states a technological edge over lesser civilizations, such as nomadic and tribal cultures, the Council of Wyrms provide their charges with an international trade union, allowing officiated states to share in their growth as a whole.
Because managing the world's nations has thinned their numbers, the council can nolonger fly into battle as a single independent force as they did in their early days. To maintain authority, they created the Wyr Army, an international military force which answers to councilors only. Each officiated state must donate a portion of their newborn to this army. These orphans are adopted by the Wyrm Army, and raised by them to be citizens of the council first, and to the lesser lands second. In return for this infant tax, each officiated state receives an equal number of Wyrm Army soldiers stationed under the command of their overseer. How many children are to be displaced by Wyrm soldiers depends on how much each state contributes to the trade union.
A councilor's input to this system is how they bargain for new standing and authority within the council, and so is their primary source of wealth and power. As a consequence, an overseer's charge state acts as a sort of displacement for their traditional hoard of treasure. Their charge IS their hoard: the land, its people, and all that they create. This system short-circuits the alignment polarization in a dragon, by taking advantage of their instinct to grow and protect their hoard.
Most of this century was defined by the council establishing itself and the early battles fought by various overseers and their charges.
The lifting ends in 300 with the final earthrise. The pale region now consists of some 300 flying landmasses, with a maximum altitude of 21 miles. The craterous landscape left behind by the lifting is mostly a lush rocky lowland of many lakes and rivers.
Ixenusk joins the Council of Wyrms in 611. She is assigned to replace overseer Uoinota, in charge of Former Crane. This is an insult to her in a variety of ways. It is an extremely important position because of its historic significance, and putting a fledgling councilor in charge of it is an unreasonably high expectation. Former Crane has been struggling for hundreds of years because of the crippling blow the council dealt to it at the start of their reign, and to this day the people do not cooperate. It is an extremely boring position to hold, as the region is essentially managed by the council as a whole anyways, so the overseer of the land basically doesn't actually have a hoard. Over the next hundred years, Ixenusk will prove her mettle by reversing all of these situations, becoming both respected and hated, within and without the council.
In 671, a revolt in Melinir saw the establishment of a king. This bloodline would later manage to bring stability to the entire Rift.
At the end of this century, in 771, Ixenusk was reassigned to the Kingdom of the Rift due to a shuffling of duties with the addition of a new councilor. The Rift was to be officiated that same year, for having held its ground for exactly 100 years.
It is currently year 829 since the spellbomb was cast, and the world is still under the dominant rule by the Council of Wyrms.
Council of Wyrms
An organization of dragons dedicated to the coordinated management of global technological advancement. Or, more specifically, ensuring technology stays just as dumb as the people using it. Their primary focus is preventing the rediscover of ancient technology. To this end, they regulate all major cultural centers, (nation states which have been politically stable for at least a century) and destroy those who refuse regulation. They use the local authorities as a vector to persecute relic hunters and inventors alike. Their original meeting place was the summit of the Roof of the World; the world's largest mountain. Very shortly after that, their headquarters was moved to Tar Vat; a massive, dormant volcano whose open maw is filled with a boiling tar pit.
Crimes against council laws, as opposed to local laws, are called draconic crimes, because they are crimes committed against the dragons.
- Any dragon may apply to be a councilor.
- When a state is officiated, a new council seat is created, and the most qualified applicant is inducted into the council.
- Dragons may not produce halfbreed offspring, on punishment of the child's death, to prevent lesser races from overthrowing council authority.
- The ownership of ancient artifacts or relics is illegal. All such objects are to be donated to the authorities immediately.
- Donated relics will fetch a ransom of a value determined by the local overseer.
- All carried relics must be openly visible, and declared to authorities.
- Failing to declare or reveal a carried relic is a finable offence, with the fine being double the donation value of the relic.
- Usage of a relic is a criminal offence, punishable by public flogging.
- Destruction of a relic is a finable offence, with the fine being equal to the donation value of the original relic, or the value of its components if indeterminable.
- Inventors and magi are required to be registered with a known college of patents.
- All inventions must be submitted as a patent for approval prior to use.
- Any unpatented inventions will be treated as relics with no donation value.
- If a patent attempts to conduct an identical function as an archived relic, it will be banned as contraband, and any constructions of it will be treated as relics with no donation value.
- Construction of a contraband patent, or replica of a relic, is a criminal offence, punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.
- All inventions must be submitted as a patent for approval prior to use.
more to come...
Wyrm Trade Union
As incentive for nations to desire council oversight and thus endeavor to attain official status, all officiated states are included in an international trade union. They utilize a shared currency system, and enjoy a capitalistic free trade economy similar to the one existed prior to the Last War. Because of this trade union...
- Officiated states are more stable, as industry can find its own ways to adapt to shifting market pressures, with international trade providing countless alternative options.
- Officiated states quickly become interdependent, sharply reducing competitive tendencies between governing elites.
- Officiated states quickly absorb cultural elements from one another, and so tend to become somewhat tolerant and homogenized, again reducing conflicts.
- Officiated states have a technological advantage over small warring states, tribal clans, or nomadic people, making them more robust when facing conflict against such groups.
- Officiated states have an adult or elder dragon acting as a giant guard dog.
The Wyrm Army is the least popular aspect of this international government. It is composed of children from officiated states who are forcibly adopted by the council and raised to be their personal loyalist army. Dragonborn are hit by this policy especially hard, as their offspring are generally considered to be the most qualified for the job. As such, it is common for the Dragonborn of officiated countries to hide their children until they have grown to near adulthood.
The council-adopted children are called children of the wyrm. They are taken far away to massive foretress camps in the more established states, like Former Crane, The Pale, and Yngazi. At these camps, they are given a thorough education in all currently known ancient history, are taught to identify, use, and dismantle ancient artifacts, and are trained in a military order. They have become almost a distinct cultural group of their own, living their entire lives at the service of the Council, and forever being shipped to new regions every 15 years. Few of them ever own property, and fewer still choose to form long-lasting relationships outside of the army.
Wyrm soldiers can identify each other through a variety of methods:
- They all speak multiple dialects of draconic fluently as their first language, as this is the language they were taught and raised with.
- They all have a tiny triangular scar on the back of their left hand made by a specialized tool, intended to permanently identify them. (Though this can be removed if overlapped by more severe scarring, or if the hand is lost)
- Their knowledge of ancient technology is rivaled only by scrappers and elite criminals.
- They can recite current council law verbatim.
- They have a globalized perspective that is distinct and unusual compared to even the most travelled of nobles.
- There are, of course, a wide variety of social traditions which have evolved within the army. Unique slang, marching songs, societal gestures and fashion statements, etc.
- They all at least own a standard issue uniform of chainmail armor emblazoned with the council's icon, even if they do not always wear it.
Most of these things are not common knowledge to anyone who does not personally and directly work with or for the wyrm army.
A plague. They are a mysterious and extremely dangerous itinerant warrior culture. Imagine if the gypsies were combined with the Klingons... with the mindset of Hannibal Lecter. Though they have been around for some 500 years, they refuse to take or keep land, and so do not qualify as an established state by council standards. Much of their history is unknown beyond what is passed down through their own allegorical oral tradition. They are a cannibalistic people, believing that the consumption of a body is the same as absorbing their "power", though what is meant by that seems to be a sort of cultural abstraction, as "power" is used to refer to everything from posessions, to relationships, to memories, to skills, to physical talents, and even physical attractiveness. Unregulated and untraceable, they have absolutely no qualms with collecting and using ancient weapons against whoever they choose to be their enemy. However, because they lack property, they are historically incapable of making use of any structural technology or any of the larger machines found in old military ruins. The Fire's Hand has been a thorn in the side of every council member since they first appeared on the international scene, but has proven to be a robust enemy, resisting even some of the most elaborate espionage projects attempted since the Last War. They are the only cultural group on the planet which actively coordinates itself to be hostile and antagonistic toward the council.
The Rift is a massive crater left by the most destructive weapon in the history of the world. Sometimes people call it a "valley" but this is mostly a cultural phrase, referring to the region's isolation from the rest of the world. Calling the people of the Rift "valley dwellers" implies that they are ignorant of the world or just generally innocent and quaint. Depending on where and how you measure it, the Rift is between 15 and 30 miles across, and around 45 miles long from North to South.
Melinir city itself controls the Melinir hills out to Torlynn. They don't have a large enough guard force to patrol much beyond there, but the kingdom's army is strong enough to be dispatched to any corner of the rift or beyond. They're the first army that has been large enough based on Riftman population to keep the region. Previous attempts at civilization were foreign based, and failed because of the difficulties of maintaining supply lines through the mountains. Because this army is based out of the local area, the mountains act as a defensive advantage, forcing their enemies through only a few bottlenecks into the region, making it very easy for them to prevent future invasions by barbarians. The kingdom itself includes the entire rift, plus some distance out into the mountains. The city of Klein on Lake Ostrel to the North is also part of the kingdom, but they are so far away that they enjoy virtual autonomy. They're basically an unofficial second capital city for the Northern Riftmen, and they have their own independent guard force which patrols the Northern planes. The kingdom technically owns the Farolas Hills to the Northwest, but they have an agreement with Hearth Home to allow the dwarves to patrol that land in the interest of their own security. It's sort of a friendly buffer zone. Despite all of this, most of the Kingdom of the Rift is actually lawless wilderness. There are many tiny communities living all across the planes, and Ixenusk has made a point of finally mapping out the region in detail to track demographics. There is a huge map in her office marking all of the twisted back roads, old ruins, farms, road stops, grave yards, and etc. they have recorded thus far.
History of the Kingdom of the Rift in the last 60 years in brief:
- Kingdom repelled an orcish invasion and siege.
- Kingdom officiated and Ixenusk assigned as overseer.
- Army's artifacts confiscated.
- Construction of keep began as extension from East wall.
- Political meetings with diplomats from other council states.
- Renovation of the East pass to accommodate easy trade with the nearest countries without reducing defensive value of mountain range.
- Construction of new gate tower.
- First garrison of Wyrm Soldiers arrives.
- Death penalty reestablished. (Widespread minor revolts. Klein officials pay lip service to the death penalty, and have yet to actually use it.)
- First generation of Wyrm Soldier contribution. (Massive revolt. Whole market district of Melinir burned to the ground. Many people emigrated from the region.)
- First meeting between Ixenusk and new councilors in surrounding regions. (Remembered for the spectacle of eight adult dragons in true form arriving together as a flock.)
- Second garrison of Wyrm Soldiers takes over.
- Another invasion of orcish barbarians is turned by the combined local and council army before they can even enter the valley.
- Minor conflict with Torlynn, mostly an aftershock of the death penalty and Wyrm soldier issues.
- Census Bureau established with cartographers guild as a key partner.
- Third garrison of Wyrm Soldiers arrives, thus time establishing a force in Klein as well.
- Construction of Klein battlements begins.
- Agreement with Dwarves renewed against Ixenusk's recommendations.
- Kingship inherited by the 32 year old prince, as the King retires to the status of royal advisor. (This is a strategic move to sort of "gang up" on Ixenusk in the court, to reinforce local values against her personal bias.)
- Fourth (and current) garrison of Wyrm Soldiers arrives. New base established at Torlynn. Camps established at both mountain passes.
- Construction of the keep at Melinir completed. Access to temples, incorporated into the lower levels of the keep, made available to the community again.
- Girty's Father
- Girty's Mother
- Girty's Siblings
Ra-elope's Family's House
- Ra-elope's Mother
- Ra-elope's Father
The Wayfaring Stranger
- The Owner
This is the largest market center in the Rift, and it is the center of trade for the region. Caravans run East through the mountain pass to Former Crane and other lands beyond, and also extend North to Klein, taking a turn West to Hearth Home. Pretty much anything and everything can be bought in Melinir, and they even have a small company of gunsmiths working at a forge at the dockside. (The bellows is driven by a waterwheel, as the current in Lake Ganif is actually quite rapid, running Southeastward.
The Melinir market district is a huge octagonal clearing at the center of the city. It is the heart of the local economy, and is always alive, even through the dead of night. In this clearing, merchants may set up temporary or semi-permanent shops of all sorts and sizes. This turns the market district into an ever-changing maze of carts, stands, stalls, tents, and huts, all buzzing with a tangle of people darting from storefront to storefront. Dotted throughout, from dawn to dusk, a various minstrels and bards performing and entertaining any who will take the time to listen.
If you go shopping, here's what you need to know:
You can buy and sell anything in the PHB armor, weapons, adventuring gear, tool, animals, and vehicles lists, with the exception of airships. In addition, you can purchase the renaissance firearms and explosives found in the DMG. Items are purchased from the appropriate shopkeepers, as specified by their wares. Each shopkeeper has their own markup and haggle bonus. When purchasing items from a given shop, the value of the item is increased by their markup %. If you would like to pay less, you must beat them in a haggle challenge. You may use your persuasion, intimidation, or deception skill modifier in this contest, while the NPC running the shop will use their haggle bonus. If you succeed, the markup is halved. You may only haggle once per item type, and can not repeat haggle attempts after a failure; the haggle context represents you and the shopkeep coming to a final agreement or stalemate.
- Shop: Portable forge on a cart which folds out into a semi-structural tented area.
- Name: Gork
- Race: Orc
- Statblock: Berserker with orc NPC traits
- Personality: Comedic, goofy, silly, very un-orcish. Sort of a big softy at heart. Still has a "HULK SMASH" sort of temper though.
- Haggle: +5
- Markup: 10%
- Wares: He sells metal-worked goods, but not of the weaponized variety. Although he does work in hardened steel for certain tools, like mining picks and chains, he mostly deals in wrought iron. Cookware, lamps, chains, bear traps, fish hooks, nails, wheel spokes, hammers, barrel straps, etc. His work is well respected for being pragmatic and useful first, and pretty second.
- Shop: A large wooden hut-like structure with an exterior forge.
- Name: Leolyne
- Race: Elf
- Statblock: Noble with elf NPC traits
- Personality: Snobby but polite. Finds ways to insult you without specifically breaking any particular social rules. He was ejected from the Gauntlin Forest elves some 260 years ago for cutting down sacred trees to fuel his furnace. He has no respect for elven traditions.
- Haggle: +8
- Markup: 35%
- Wares: Armor, mostly of the metallic kind, but he is also a decent leatherworker.
- Shop: An open-air forge surrounded by a fabric curtain or fence.
- Name: Astora
- Race: Human
- Statblock: Thug
- Personality: A foreigner from a land of fire and sun, she has dark skin and a fiery personality. Quick to excite and to anger, very emotional.
- Haggle: +0
- Markup: 20%
- Wares: Melee weapons of metal. Does not deal in wooden or ranged weapons.
- Shop: Just piles of crates and barrels with signs sticking out of them. He stands on top of the heap, shouting out prices at people as they walk by.
- Name: Skritter
- Race: Goblin
- Statblock: Scout with goblin NPC traits
- Personality: Rambunxious, politically incorrect, rude, humorous, and sarcastic. Friendly for the most part.
- Haggle: -10
- Markup: 10%
- Wares: He sells food- though he has a reputation for trying to sell food that has gone bad by hiding the bruises.
- Shop: Large septagonal tent filled with wooden racks of fabric rolls and hanging clothes.
- Name: Nemono
- Race: Human
- Statblock: Commoner
- Personality: A quiet and polite man, his shop is warm, dusty, dim, crowded, and intimate. He is very kind.
- Haggle: +3
- Markup: 15%
- Wares: Clothing. He makes general "blank" clothing items, then tailors them to fit his clients, which takes about 5 days. Also sells walking sticks. (Staves)
- Shop: Wooden stand with a sign up top that says `"CLOSING FOREVER".
- Name: Heurg
- Race: Lizardman
- Statblock: Commoner with lizardfolk NPC traits
- Personality: Grouchy, antagonistic, selfish, and mean. He hates his job, and he hates everyone around him because of it.
- Haggle: +9
- Markup: 5%
- Wares: Fish, (Meat) fishing rods and tackle, nets, hemp rope. He is also selling his sailboat at half price if you ask him, because he hates his job.
- Shop: A wooden hut.
- Name: Higg My-Soup Fig Nugget the Seventh
- Race: Rock Gnome
- Statblock: Druid with gnome NPC traits
- Personality: Stern and overly ostentatious to the point of being comedic.
- Haggle: +6
- Markup: 15%
- Wares: Sells spell components, both the value-less and valuable variety. Valueless ingredients go for 1sp a piece/bag/handful/bottle/etc. Also sells books, spellbooks, casting foci, medicine kits, healing kits, and poisoner's kits.
- Shop: Not actually in the market, they run a forge on the docks. They usually have a small stand selling guns and ammo at the market though.
- Name: Oran, Eron, and Aren
- Race: Hobgoblins
- Statblock: Gladiator with hobgoblin NPC traits, each is armed with a pistol
- Personality: They are unusually witty and wise. They are hardcore capitalists, and see the market as a metaphor for warfare. They finish each others sentences as if they have one mind.
- Haggle: +10
- Markup: 40%
- Wares: They sell renaissance firearms. (If you can beat their haggle challenge 5 times in a row, they will offer 50ppp for any artifact weapon parts you can find, and 1pp for each functional artifact bullet you can find.)
- Shop: He has a cart full of portable fencing, which he uses to make corrals for his animals.
- Name: Richard
- Race: Human
- Statblock: Commoner
- Personality: A simpleton with a love for wilderness and women. He hates the city because he has to wear boots to protect his feet there.
- Haggle: +3
- Markup: 50%
- Wares: He sells live animals, but not for food. He sells work animals and breeding stock.
- Shop: A big black square tent with a flat top. It is dark, hot, and smells of urine and feces inside. Full of iron cages with slaves shackled inside.
- Name: Karan
- Race: Half-elf
- Statblock: Assassin with half-elf NPC traits, also armed with a whip
- Personality: A curvaceous and seductive woman, she is deep-down a vindictive and cruel person.
- Haggle: +6
- Markup: 35%
- Wares: Sells unskilled hirelings who have been beaten into absolute selfless servitude. They are worth one year's wage of an equivalent hireling, 448 days worth, or 89gp and 6sp, base price.
- Shop: A big steam-powered cart covered in colorful trinkets, treasures, gifts, odds, and ends, which he drives around the market. It has a loud whistle that he likes to blow frequently.
- Name: Shamus
- Race: Halfling
- Statblock: Scout with halfling NPC traits
- Personality: Dude's got a seriously bad case of the jitters. He's excitable, jumpy, nervous, distracted, and energetic.
- Haggle: +2
- Markup: 15%
- Wares: Trinkets. Also wiki trinkets. Each trinket is worth 1d20sp, and the prices on everything change each day.
- Shop: A stonework storefront that opens out into the market space.
- Name: Tolor
- Race: Minotaur
- Statblock: Veteran, minotaur NPC traits include Charge, Labyrinthine Recall, and Reckless, and the ability adjustments are +2STR, +1CON, +1WIS, -2INT
- Personality: Polite, professional, well spoken and well dressed for one of his kind.
- Haggle: +5
- Markup: 30%
- Wares: Sells land out to 5 miles away from Melinir city. 10pp per acre. Keep in mind that the kingdom will demand annual property tax.
- Shop: A tented-over open air space with all the furnishings of a respectable office, but no walls.
- Name: Anadere
- Race: Human
- Statblock: Acolyte
- Personality: Sincere, honest, forward, readily flirts and puts his foot in his mouth
- Haggle: 0
- Markup: 40%
- Wares: He hires out skilled and unskilled labor. The price agreed upon is written in a contract as the hireling's daily wage.
- Shop: A bunch of carts with equipment and work benches that he uses to set up custom workspaces on the fly. Has many assistants who do different types of work, always has many premade examples on display.
- Name: Tom
- Race: Human
- Statblock: Commoner
- Personality: Tough and down-to-earth, very pragmatic
- Haggle: +1
- Markup: 10%
- Wares: Makes wooden goods. Carts, staves, clubs, chests, furniture, fence posts, etc.
- Shop: A large stagecar drawn by six black horses, with rows of benches set out in front of it for people to participate in his auctions.
- Name: Steelheart Grand-Unicorn of the Slagrunner Clan
- Race: Rock Gnome
- Statblock: Noble with the gnome NPC traits
- Personality: A smarmy little fast-talkin' city slicker.
- Haggle: +10
- Markup: 30%
- Wares: He sells your stuff for you. His markup is actually his cut of the item's sale price; the remainder goes to you. Once agreed, roll 1d20*10 to find the percentage of the item's original value that it sold for.
- For example: I try to sell a shortsword at the auction house. It is worth 10gp. I try to haggle down his cut of the sale price, but I have no modifier to the check. I roll 4 vs. his 18. He will take 30% of the sale price. At the auction, the item sells for 1d20(20)*10=200% of its original value. 200% of 10gp is 20gp. 30% of 20 is 6gp going to auctioneer, while I get the remaining 14gp.
- Pawn Shop
- Shop: A big wooden two-story house-wagon. Very cluttered interior.
- Name: Haans
- Race: Half-Orc
- Statblock: Knight with half-orc NPC traits
- Personality: Snyde and crude. Very sly and manipulative.
- Haggle: +7
- Markup: 50%
- Wares: Literally everything that has a price and can be carried on one's person, in the PHB and DMG. He will also buy any item of that type, but his markup is deducted from the sale value of the item.
- For example: If I were to pawn off my short sword, at a value of 10gp, if I can not haggle him down, he will only give me 5gp for it; 50% less than it is worth. If I successfully haggle him down to 25%, he will give me 7gp and 5sp for the sword, only 25% less than its true value.
- General Store
- Shop: A wagon that folds out into a house-sized store.
- Name: Henrietta
- Race: Wood Elf
- Statblock: Spy with elf NPC traits
- Personality: Charming and sweet, she is joyful and cheery, laughing and joking with customers freely.
- Haggle: +4
- Markup: 35%
- Wares: Sells trade goods, adventuring gear, and tools.
- Shop: A stonework storefront that opens on to the market space.
- Name: Stanly
- Race: Human
- Statblock: Commoner
- Personality: He's an old grouch. His knees always hurt because of an old injury.
- Haggle: +1
- Markup: 20%
- Wares: He sells arrows, bolts, bows, and crossbows.
- Shop: A stand. He sells deeds to the boats, and gives the location of the vessel to be picked up at the docks.
- Name: Orylion
- Race: Lizardman
- Statblock: Tribal warrior with lizardfolk NPC traits
- Personality: Very plain, boring, and bland. Tends to drone on.
- Haggle: +2
- Markup: 45%
- Wares: He sells all types of water vessels, with the exception of warships.
- Shop: A stonework storefront that opens up on to the market space.
- Name: Jules
- Race: Halfling
- Statblock: Commoner with halfling NPC traits
- Personality: Not as smart as his staff, speaks with stilted language to try and seem competent.
- Haggle: -
- Markup: -
- Wares: He contracts out lawyer services in the Melinir courts of law. The price is equal to a lifestyle expense rate, and is paid on a monthly basis. The quality of legal services given will vary depending on the rate you choose. Once you have chosen a rate, your name is registered and assigned to a lawyer. If your name ever comes up in a court case, your lawyer will be present to defend you.
Ixenusk is a 663 year old (adult) female black dragon. She has been a sitting member on the Council of Wyrms for 218 years. In that time, she took the struggling nation of Former Crane, and turned it into a global power. She killed a fellow councilor, red dragon Gixorn, ate him, and built a palace for her people out of his bones. When a new councilor was appointed to replace Gixorn, there was a reshuffling of assignments, and Ixenusk was reassigned to the newly officiated Kingdom of the Rift, in 771, just 60 years ago. Being a black dragon, she has a tendency toward a lawful evil alignment, which has made her plenty of enemies. She isn't PURE evil, just very cruel to those she has no personal reason to care for. If one could prove the personal value of kindness to one's enemies, she would certainly at least feign such kindness. She is extremely lawful though, and plays the council like a natural. However, because of the laws against the birthing of half-dragons, she would struggle deeply if she had feelings for a non-dragon... To the point that of she could not shake those feelings, she would likely find some way to permanently throw off her draconic form, or permanently convert her lover into a dragon. Most likely the second option. However, being LE, she'd be very hard to impress, and as a dragon, she thinks in a somewhat alien sort of way, so getting into that situation would not be easy. She has only had feelings for a non-dragon once, and she had him executed for conspiracy to break council law. To this day, she considers that to have been a mistake. She currently spends her time in the Kingdom's royal court listening to royal decrees, making vague threats if the government attempts things which would break council law, and offering guidance from her centuries of experience. She also administers council law independently of the local authorities, and readily hands out death penalties to anyone who subverts council authority in the slightest. She has a small group of "favorite executioners" who she keeps on hand. In the royal court, they're called "the gardeners", but nobody says this outside of that circle, or to their faces. Of them, Ra-elope has been particularly successful in his presentation of several high profile executions.
Jonathan Doyle Norrell Strange's Appartment =
The Giant Bull
- Fight Rules
- The Barkeep
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