Monday, 24 October 2011

Queenstown part 3

The Docks and Portside precinct covers the area of warehouses, piers and brewhouses that border the waters of the sea.
Landmarks include
The Promenade, a series of high fashion boutiques to the north of the precinct .
Finnegan's Wharf, a long and low stone pier that extends some way into the harbour.
The Seawitch's Moorings, a horde of barges moored out in the harbour and home to nomadic sailors.
The Kobold's Cleaver, a horrible backstreet pub filled with ne'er-do-wells and shadowy characters.
The Tanty, the city gaol, converted from an abandoned warehouse.

Wharfmaster Jerome Finnegan is well known to provide a safe berth for ships laden heavy with cargo. Growing up around the dock, he has risen through the Dockworkers' Guild and holds considerable sway in it, though has refused several times to take the guildmaster position. He claims that maintaining the daily affairs of his wharf is all he needs in life. He has recently taken to wearing a antique copper coin on a bootlace around his neck.

The landlord of the Kobold's Cleaver is a man named Fitz. He has sallow skin, long but thinning hair, and is rumoured to never sleep. His accent is meanders its way through many areas of the Old Crown as he speaks, which he does at such speed, that often his words have to be translated through several drunken patrons before being understandable. His pub is open at all hours, and patrons rarely see him away from his bar.
Above the door is said to be a preserved kobold's arm grasping what is now a rusted cleaver. The arm is, however, purple and hairy.
Many local brewhouses also make their own beer, which tends to be somewhere between a rich red and deep brown in colour, and have a slight salty tang among other flavours. That's apparently how the locals like it.

The Seawitch's Moorings are actually inhabited by several competing tribes of different sea nomads, who all provide a service to ocean-going vessels. The nomads make their livings by hiring out their services to calm storms, create wind and wave in becalmed waters, to steer unwitting captains clear of bad omens at sea, and to generally help with any illnesses among the crew at sea.
Many major ports have small seawitch populations, though it's said that the flotilla of barges in Queenstown is many times smaller than the one floating in the distant City of Festivals. Travelers bring back fantastic tales of the many different boats, barges, ships and sloops moored there.

Of note in recent years is the rise in trade of Jethimadh root from the Spice Islands. Quickly becoming popular with sailors for settling queasy stomachs as their landlegs return, it spread to those seeking relief from nausea, and is now seen as a sweet treat to many of the population of Queenstown (particularly children eating it candied).

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Queenstown part 2

Seeing as I promised days ago to get this done, I suppose I should get on with it really!

The Central precinct is walled off from the rest of the city, and is heavily guarded.
The area includes the Margrave's Palace, the Queenstown Senate, the Guildhall and Guildhall Market, the Queenstown Militia Barracks and training grounds, the Central Queenstown Bank, and a Mage's Librarium. The Librarium is supposed to be dwarfed in size by that of the Raethmoore Academy, far to the northwest, however it is otherwise the largest repository of arcane knowledge known in the entire Old Crown, requiring a simple test of magical ability to access.

The Margrave Thomas Hawksmoore has greying hair, but still has plenty of fight in him. He is known for sending armed militia to deal with any larger-scale problems in the local population. He is most often seen wearing ceremonial armour of burnished copper and steel.
He lives with a large cohort, and even a small court of hangers on, in the Palace, formerly part of the Royal Residences, but subsequently expanded in recent years.
Alistair Foxworthy is the head of the Queenstown Bankers Guild, as well as the Central Bank. He is ostentatious with his wealth, but known by many as an easy mark for 'valuable' antiques and 'priceless' treasures.
Baeden is the head of the Queenstown Guard, managaing, coordinating and maintaining the various overlapping militia forces within the city walls. He sits in the Senate, much like one of the many guildleaders, and makes sure the militia is treated well. He is also responsible for the maintenance of the lighthouse located in the Port and Dockside district, making sure it is manned and burning at all times.
Commander Foan is the Dragonkin guardsman in charge of the Militia Barracks, responsible for training all new recruits and liasing with the various guardhouses throughout the city.

There are obviously other characters at large - various guild heads, the Magister of the Librarium, other officers of the Guard, and marketstore holders. I haven't yet dealt too heavily with these figures. Perhaps in a future update. For now, that's the lot.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Queenstown part 1

Over the next few days, I'm going to update reasonably regularly. I'll be describing the various precincts and surroundings of Queenstown, former capital of the Old Crown.

For now, i'm going to do a quick rundown of the different areas.
Each precinct corresponds to a watchmen/militia jurisdiction, apart from Outwall, which has no official organised militia or watch house.

Queenstown is a reasonably prosperous port city, trading with the nearby Spice Islands, as well as the distant City of Festivals.
It has nobles and paupers, merchants and longshoremen.
It is governed by both a Senate and a coalition of powerful Guilds. The head of the city remains the Margrave, currently Thomas Hawksmoore. He is the head of the various militia forces, nominally the head of any private militias of any noble powerful enough to have one, and resides over the Senate (though he has no vote in it).

The great many people of Queenstown have a dunnish complexion, with darker hair the norm.

The precincts of Queenstown are:
Central or Palace Precinct
Temple Precinct
Noble Estates
Zocalo and Rialto (usually called 'The Markets')
Docks and Portside

As previously mentioned, Outwall has no organised militia. It is the home of the poorest in the area, and clusters outside the gates and around the high stone walls of the city. In some places, it extends some way away from the city's edge.

More on a couple of these districts, including people and places, either tomorrow or Wednesday.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Various pieces of information, and assorted ramblings

I decided today that it was due time for another development  post but I wasn't sure what to write about. For the past week or so, my mind has been buzzing with ideas not about the setting itself, but how I would like to play with it in the near future. I've decided that I will be developing over the next little while some adaptations to the FATE system, rather than D&D 4E which I've been using, partly to explore the possibility and partly because I think the system is neat and I want to play around with it.
I'm hoping it won't turn out too much like Legends of Anglerre, but having that as a reference material means I can do my best to break away from it where I think it's necessary. I'm currently hoping the magic system will be fun to look into and playtest.

Without further ado though, I'll present a few little details that have grown over the last little while.
If I've not mentioned before, the setting is now more generally known as the Old Crown, since it was previously a monarchy stretching several hundreds of miles. The old capital was Queenstown, the last handful of rulers having been queens rather than kings. Kingsmead was a village that grew to a town after it gained a royal charter to produce mead for the Royal Household. It retains this fame despite the last monarch disappearing a few hundred years ago.
The de facto ruler of what is now the Queenstown city-state is Margrave Hawksmoore (so I suppose the suitable term is 'Margravate'). It encompasses Queenstown, the great plains inland to Kingsmead and beyond, despite being rugged wilderness interspersed with some farmland up until the foothills and mountains of the Dragonspines to the west. Across the mountains are the lands of the Wick, who are fierce horsemen. Little else is known about them, other than their subjugation many many centuries ago by the old Dragonkin Empire far to the west.
The Dragonspine mountains curl north, so they also for the northern border. The most northerly town that could be considered part of the city-state is Raethmoore, though it fields its own militia at a border point with the neighbouring Northern Imperial Republic. This is also the home of the largest magic academy in the Old Crown region.
To the south of Kingsmead stretches the sparsely populated Slateleaf Forest, which eventually becomes slightly more populated Redwood. There is a road south from Queenstown to Redwood, bypassing Slateleaf, though Redwood itself long ago stopped paying tithes to Queenstown.
Further south again is the Darkling Swamp, said to be home to all manner of exotic magics and races. The Darkling Tribes skirmish frequently over land issues, though they all control a sizeable area. These areas are normally called 'farthings', and mint their own interchangeable currencies. More on that shortly.
Queenstown is a busy port, and often has traders sail north to the ports of the Northern Imperial Republic,   south into the ocean bound for the Spice Islands, or East towards the sunrise until reaching the City of Festivals.

That's all I had on general geography, other than the old warring Dragonkin Empire and the Devilkin Kingdom being far to the west, and any members of those races in the area being wanderers (with the s bringing having a gypsy flare to their culture).
I suppose I should mention the list of races currently in the setting:
Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, Gnomes (without the invisibility power), Dragonkin, Giantkin (Goliaths), Devilkin (Tieflings), Crowfolk (Kenku), Darklings (Shadar-Kai but wasn't too sure if they needed more tweaking), Goblins, Kobolds, Orcs, Ratlings (Nezumi from the old Oriental Adventures), Shifters, Warforged, Toadfolk (Bullywugs) and Vanara (also from Oriental Adventures, humanoid monkeys).
Languages got more complicated too. The different areas (Queenstown Margravate and Northern Imperial Republic) had different versions of Common, since the latter was based upon Elven. The common trade tongue was Dwarven, and in fact all dwarves in the area had come from across the sea. Gobber, the language of goblins, had infiltrated certain tongues, such as the Crowfolk Creole. The Wick spoke a language based upon Draconian, and the Devilkin all had their own form of Common which many travelers used as it picked up concepts from all over the place.

Coinage was also an issue. I had originally thought of making the coinage similar to the British system before decimalisation in the 1970s. That would mean 240 pennies to the Crown (as I'd decided the name to be). Also, it was a silver standard, much like Britain used to be.
In the end, for ease, I made 100 pennies to the Crown, but added in coins of varying amounts, such as the Half Crown, Florin (quarter Crown), Shilling (five pennies), pennies and even ha'pennies (for certain goods, such as gruel or water). Hammers, a Dwarven coin worth four Crowns, and farthings (occasionally seen outside the Darkling Tribes) only worth a quarter penny in Queenstown. A Half Crown was literally a half coin, and a florin could be either half of a half crown, or a coin with about as much silver as that.

As you can see, some of the details I've gone into get a bit deep, but I was trying to make a deeper, richer setting as best as I could. I'm going to try and take a step back and work away at a FATE system incorporating as much of the above as I can. Races will likely be an important factor, as will how to handle the various flavours of magic currently in use (Arcanery, Divinity, Elementality, and in some ways primal forces and Chi made an appearance).

If anyone would like to hear more on these pretty disparate topics, please contact me in the usual ways. Feedback on the above always encouraged. I expect the next post will deal with the geography of Queenstown, in order that I have a bit more time to get a handle on some of these new rules.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Gods, Goddesses and Ascension

Today I'm going to talk about the various deities present in the setting, some of their teachings, symbols, and things like that.

The first thing to note about the different gods and goddesses is that they are not referred to by name, only by a title. The use of a 'Godsname' allows an amount of power to transfer from the god to the user, and some control over the god in question. It is also believed that a god's powers can be transferred, or perhaps a better word is consumed, by another powerful being (see the description of the Fiend, below).
Different titles may exist across different geographical areas, though they are generally uniform in any one location (exceptions abound in the busy port of Queenstown).

Another important element of godhood is that they were all once mortals, alive and active in the world, before an event of apotheosis enabled them to Ascend. The gods themselves are sometimes referred to collectively as 'the Ascended' by scholars. Sometimes this apotheosis happens shortly after death (in the case of great heroes being venerated for glorious battles, or villains for similar).
Upon Ascension, many details are forgotten from the other minds of mortals, chiefly a physical description and real name of the Ascended. It is not removed from the world however, as some individuals seem to retain this memory (it is not known why). Physical records also remain unaltered (and are usually the first things sought and destroyed by the agents of the new god).

It is rare to find an individual who will not give a prayer to more than one god, even among the priesthood of a particular deity. They may venerate one god above others, but the purview of that one god is unlikely to overlap greatly with that many others.

Major gods include:

The Darkling Queen
Spinner of fate, patron of shadows, goddess of death and the dead. She notes the death of each mortal life, and mourners call upon her during funerary rites to protect against the curse of undeath.
She expects her followers to watch for cults of undeath and stamp them out, and to attack the proud and greedy who seek to cast off the chains of fate and escape death. The price of life is an ending in death.
Her symbol is a leafless grey tree on a field of black.

The Dragon King
Also called the Purple Drake, he is believed to have been the founder of the old Dragonkin Empire, many thousands of years ago. He is the god of the righteous and noble, upholder of honour, and protector of those who cannot protect themselves. His followers are charged similarly, particularly with opposing the evil of the Usurper, a rival god (more on him below).
His symbol is a crowned dragon-in-flight, either in purple or upon a field of purple.

The Great Muse
Sometimes thought of as the goddess of civilization, she is the patron of great invention, founder of cities, and author of tales untold. Her temples often hold pride of place in the worlds major cities, and icons sometimes adorn places of learning.
She encourages her followers to work in unison to achieve their goals, as community is stronger than the disjointed works of individuals. They are also tasked to seek innovation in all things, and to generally be creative.
Her symbol is a white feather or quill, on a field of sea blue and storm grey.

The Stormlord
Powerful warrior, and champion of the skies, the Stormlord revels in strength and glory upon the battlefield. Thunder is is laughter. Those who hope to appease him and his wild nature do so with loud toasts filled with bravado and tournaments of martial skill.
He encourages bravery, scorns cowardice, though entreats his followers to pick their battles wisely. A warrior life should end in a worthy manner.
His symbol is an amber sword, sometimes jagged, upon a blood red and storm grey field, usually a shield.

The Thousand Eyes
The god of knowledge and secrets, he is known as the blind man who can see the innermost thoughts of most beings (and his priesthood contains a great many blind men).
He guides his followers to hold some secrets closely, but to set free knowledge that needs to be.
His symbol is a group of three eyes, on a field of gold.

The Traveller
The Wanderer, goddess of adventure, freedom, trade, travel, and the frontier. Her temples are few, but she has many wayside shrines along roadways new and ancient. Merchants are drawn to her worship, and many raise a glass to her as a goddess of luck.
She urges her followers to campaign for liberty, to seek out the new, to explore, and to accept change as inevitable (but to work hard to make change for the better).
She is one of the few to be known by two different symbols, the first a silver coin, the other a silver boot. Both are often represented on a field of sea blue and grass green.

Several other minor gods exist, such as:
The Beggar Prince - a new Ascended, he currently holds some minor sway over those thought of as downtrodden in the area of Queenstown. His followers wear an old copper coin on a bootlace.
The Lady of the Harvest - a harvest deity, also the goddess of bees. Primarily worshiped in and around Kingsmead.
The Crones - three goddesses of knowledge, holding that secrets should not be kept. Their symbol, a three pointed crown, is often seen on buildings of learning, particularly Raethmoore Mage Academy.
The Keeper of Dreams - god of sleep and dreams, and also patron of watchmen. It is thought he gifts visions to the worthy, and nightmares to those who somehow deserve them.

The more malevolent forces include Ascended also. Prominent among them are:

The Fiend
Believed to have once been a mortal, he somehow learned a Godsname, then used his powers to learn more. He has consumed several of the Ascended over thousands of years. His followers seek power over other gods to greater earn his favour, and can be found in small numbers across the world.

The Usurper
Called the Rightful King by his followers, the Grey Dragon has his origin in an early uprising in the old Dragonkin Empire. Exiled along with his followers, they have schemed to overthrow the Dragon King in any way possible since.
Whilst he maintains a code of honour, he otherwise opposes the Dragon King, espousing an exploitation of the weak, and conquering through subversion.
His symbol is a dragon-in-flight, either in ash grey or upon a similar field.

So that's a little bit of the setting sorted. There are more details for some of the minor gods, and more evil gods yet to be details, including the Burned Man, the Scarred One, and the Outsider (who is the last of the First Ones!).

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Kingsmead character overview part 2

This update is a more in depth look at the Hunter family in Kingsmead.
I tried not to be too detailed. The point is to outline the heads of the family and a handful of important characters. The ones that aren't so important are at least getting a little plot drop.

Pa Hunter
Ulfrik Hunter, called Pa by everyone in the village, is a grey-haired bear of a man. He is the patriarch of the clan, and runs the Kingsmead Inn. He is known for giving honest prices for his services and wares, and is the man to come to for information on local goings-on.
He is good friends with Haskthrone Brewer and Candle, often playing cards and drinking with the former, and the latter when Candle chooses to drink.
Pa and Ma, along with his brother Derrik, used to go on all kinds of adventures, or so the stories go.

Ma Hunter
Copper-haired Therese Hunter, née Keeper, is the true owner of the inn, as the only child of the Keeper clan. She has been married to Pa for twenty odd years, and has three daughters and a son.
She spent a large part of her childhood away from the village, at the Raethmoore Mage Academy to the north. She is known to use her magical skills to improve her wares at the Kingsmead Bakery.

Angela Hunter
Roughly sixteen years of age, she has recently developed an infatuation with Ronan Brewer, following his return from schooling in Queenstown. She is most normally found in the Inn.
She can sometimes be found in Peony Thatcher's flower and vegetable garden, where Peony extolls the various virtues of the Lady of the Autumn.

Lorelei Hunter
Roughly fourteen, she has inherited some ability in Arcanery from her mother, though she is unschooled in its use. She is most often found helping her fathe rin the Inn, and is often the one cooking any meals.

Sonya Hunter
Roughly twelve years of age, she has the brightest red hair of the children. She helps her uncle Alder to run the Rabbitry, and is very good with the rabbits. Sometimes she can be seen talking to them in the meadow.

Tim Hunter
The youngest of the Hunter children in the village at about seven years old. He can usually be described as 'the snot-nosed boy running about the village'. He fetches people and things, and runs about with messages for various people. He doesn't talk much.
When not running about, he is usually found sat outside the Inn, or doting on barmaid Jessica with childish gifts.
He fell down the village well a few years ago, and now refuses to go near it (though he also refuses to drink anything but the wellwater).

Derrik Hunter
Pa's brother, Derrik is the village goatherd and a cheesemaker. He is barely a few years younger than Pa, but has never married. It is said that he once had a love, but lost her tragically.
Growing up, he was apprenticed to a local priest of the Darkling Queen, the goddess of death. He is often called upon for funerary services, but he always refuses.

Alder Hunter
Runs the village Rabbitry, is something of a hunter and butcher.

Berith Hunter
Alder's wife of many years, and Peony Thatcher's older sister. Runs the bakery with Ma.

Canaan Hunter
Canaan is Alder and Berith's eldest son. He is about ten or so, and wants to grow up to go on adventures, even if people say something terrible happened to his uncle Derrik.
Canaan has a friendship with Smerrig the Kobold, who is secretly teaching him swordplay.

Special Mention: Jessica Mandeville
Jessica is a runaway from the Noble Estates precinct of Queenstown, and is the youngest daughter of Lord Mandeville.
Whilst he was being schooled in Queenstown, Ronan Brewer and Jessica fell in love. She followed him home, though they have yet to break the truth of her relationship (or indeed her identity) to anyone in the village. She is the only employee of the Kingsmead Inn, at the insistence of Ma Hunter.
Currently, as far as Haskthrone is concerned, the girl that Ronan is far too good for (he had no idea it was a Lord's daughter) is far away in Queenstown.

Ok, that's it. If anyone wants to here more about characters, I'll try and flesh them out a bit more.
I remembered about halfway through that I should have mentioned in my first post - the overall colouration of most of the inhabitants of Kingsmead is a fair complexion with red or copper coloured hair, often with freckling.

My next post will either involve some details of Queenstown, the capital of what is now known as the Old Crown region, or I may drop information on some gods and goddesses. They've almost all entirely changed since my first blog post (you may notice discrepancies between posts).

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Kingsmead character overview part 1

So I took my time with this update.

First off, I'm going to run through important characters that live in Kingsmead. There are, apart from two exceptions, all human. This is because I'm kind of lazy, and saw it as a human dominated settlement. There are no doubt a few others dotted about, but the majority is human.
So, without further ado:

Mayor Haskthrone Brewer:
Haskthrone was educated like a nobleman in the city of Queenstown. He is the hereditary head of town, and patriarch of the Brewer family. Their name comes from their place as the mead brewmasters of the town. They also own the large apiary, and large parts of the local land.
Haskthrone himself stands at about six feet, has black hair, peppered grey, and is normally seen wearing a green cape over his everyday or ceremonial attire (the Brewers are the only family in town with recognised heraldry: three bees on a diagonal, over a green shield).
He is known to be good friends with the local innkeeper Pa and lawman Candle, and it is in their company that he often gets quite inebriated.
His son Ronan has recently returned from an academy in Queenstown in order to learn more of the family business.

Other notable families in Kingsmead:
The Hunters (more on them in the next update), Millers, Potters, Smiths and Thatchers.

Killian Winter:
Winter is the resident cleric of the Dragon King. He is an old man, wise, and gives his counsel to all who will listen. He came to Kingsmead from Queenstown many decades ago after growing up a city boy.
He is a tall man, with long white hair tied neatly. He keeps a short beard, also white. He is most often seen in his ceremonial clothing, spending the majority of his time at the temple. This includes a purple tabard adorned with the crowned dragon-at-wing, the symbol of the Dragon King.
When not in the temple, he sometimes wanders the village, or goes for walks in the local countryside. He has taken a shine to young Canaan Hunter, as well as new arrival, Smerrig.

Darriel Keep:
Keep is the resident cleric of the Great Muse. He is a very young man, and came to Kingsmead in the hopes of civilising it with the modern contrivances of his home in Queenstown. So far, he has been rebuffed at almost every turn, although the manner in which he goes about trying to convert the locals is less than exemplary.
He wears his hair cropped short, and is clean shaven. He is most often seen wearing the ceremonial clothing of the Great Muse - a grey and blue tunic with a white feather quill symbol.
He is rarely found outside the temple, though sometimes has a meal at the Kingsmead Inn.

Peony Thatcher:
Peony is the resident cleric of the locally worshiped goddess, the Lady of the Harvest. She is the goddess of bees and nature as well as harvest time. Peony grew up in Kingsmead, and apprenticed to her grandmother.
She has the characteristic copper hair of the locals, grown long. She is most often seen wearing a brown tabard emblazoned with a bee, the symbol for the Lady of the Harvest. The clothes underneath are always practical, with lots of pockets.
She is constantly out and about in Kingsmead, and tends a garden near the temple. She often gives open air service, whatever the weather, and leads the celebrations at the Harvest Festival.

Candle is the local sheriff. He is a Dragonkin with light and dark mottled copper-brown scales.
He was a foundling of the Traveller, left at a wayshrine when he had barely hatched, and was raised by a cleric of the Traveller named Silus. He has travelled to many of the local settlements, to Queenstown in the east, to Raethmoore in the north, and as far west as the lands of the Wick on the far side of the Western Dragonspine Mountains. He has lived in Kingsmead for almost a decade, deciding to settle there rather than follow Silus across the oceans.
He is close friends with Haskthrone Brwer and Pa Hunter, and whilst he doesn't always drink heavily with them, he is known to occasionally appear seeking Peony Thatcher for a cure for a rotten hangover.
He carries a meanly curved sword, believed to be the only object found with him by Silus.

From a southern tribe of Kobolds, Smerrig travelled far north and arrived in Kingsmead some months before the Harvest Festival.
It is unclear why a lone Kobold would leave his tribe, or why he would choose to spend so much time in and around Kingsmead. The villagers believe he is a scout sent by his tribe. They have yet to come up with a decent reason why this might be however. Due to the reaction of the villagers, Smerrig camps a little way outside of the town, near the edge of Slateleaf Forest.
He infrequently arrives in town with animal hides to trade for food, though he has yet to sample the local mead.
Peony Thatcher will often catch him trying to buy or consume the local goat cheese, and persuade whomever she can that this would be a bad idea as Kobolds, much like Dragonkin, have no bodily experience with milk.
Candle finds him hilarious, although it is unclear why. Smerrig only converses in Draconian, which only Candle and Killian Winter speak. Perhaps this is the source of his amusement.
Killian Winter has twice intervened when a villager has tried to con Smerrig out of coin.
He has also somehow become fast friends with the young boy Canaan Hunter, who often sneaks off to Smerrig's camp. So far, no one has caught the boy being instructed in the proper use of a sword.
Smerrig's scales are a mottled brown, with a speckling of gold and silver around his face. He is clearly a skilled hunter and trapper, and carries two shortswords at his sides.

Right, that's where I am so far. I've tried to throw a few hooks onto the characters too. I've not included any character's secrets (though these may appear in future updates - they're similar to one-line hooks, but much more difficult to find out). I hope to have the information up on the Hunter family within a week (I'm just trimming it a bit). They're the only family I'm detailing in anything other than name, excepting for Haskthrone Brewer and his heir Ronan.

As usual, please send me any and all feedback!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Kingsmead general overview

The village of Kingsmead stands on the south side of the ford of the Midlands River, with a small apple and pear orchard opposite on the northern bank.
The fields around the village are usually grazed by herds of goats and droves of domesticated rabbits. Any sewing of seeds leads to small subsistence patches for the villagers, with the net result being large areas of fallow grasslands, covered in flowers for the local bees.

On foot, it would take roughly a week to walk to the city of Queenstown, along the eastern road. Crossing the ford and travelling north through the Barrowight Hills, one would eventually reach the Old Moors, and chiefly Raethmoore, the old capital of the Moorish Elves. Travelling along the much more dilapidated Old Kings Highway to the west would eventually bring you into the Dragonspine Mountains (which curve up to the north behind Raethmoore at some considerable distance).
To the south of the village lies Slateleaf Forest, named for the grey-green leaves on the tips of the branches. A verdant hunting ground for the villagers, it is however known to harbour several scattered tribes of goblins.

The buildings of the village cluster around a small square, which sometimes includes the stalls of travelling merchants. The eastern side of the square is dominated by the largest building in the village, the temple. Of particular interest is the veneration of the local harvest deity, Hermione.
The north of the square is walled by the Kingsmead Inn, and adjoining bakery. The western side holds the smithy and the start of the Old Kings Highway (created by a large stone marker of unknown age), and the south side is a wide avenue that passes through an old archway, presumably from some old fallen building. It is sometimes known as the Kingsmead Gate by locals, despite being in the centre of town.
At the centre of the square is the village well. An interesting enchantment seems to exist upon it, whereby it will always be able to produce enough clean, fresh water for all the people in the village. It has never been known to run dry, even during the busy Harvest Festival, when the population usually quadruples.

Other important buildings in town are the Apiary and the Brewer family's house and stables, referred to by the locals as The New House.
A smaller brewery lies near the orchard on the north bank, owned by the Potter family.
The local windmill serves fields to the north and east.
A wayside shrine just outside the village is marked by a large black stone, obviously not from the locality judging by the stones of the riverbed. Upon it is carved the mark of the Traveler (or Avandra in D&D 4E), and chained to it are two battered metal cups. One is covered by a slotted metal plate, to receive donations, the other is enchantments to purify liquids place in it (once some kind of coin has been dropped in the other cup). These shrines are dotted about the roads at regular intervals (or slightly less regular down the Old Kings Highway, due to lack of travelers and therefore upkeep).

I'd be happy to receive any and all comments about the overview so far. I may add in a few further landmarks if I'm reminded of them. A map is forthcoming once I manage to draw a decent version of it. The next post will likely be about some of the characters inhabiting Kingsmead village.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


This blog is shortly to be the home of my campaign setting development. I've got a chunk of it done, and have been working on it a while. I'll be detailing some key areas and characters that have cropped up, as well as potential adventure seeds.

I'm looking for some feedback from anyone that reads it, whether it's 'sound good', 'sounds terrible', or something much more verbose.

I'll begin shortly by detailing the large village of Kingsmead, some of the surrounding area, and where each of the main travel routes lead.
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