Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Nobles and their houses

I've been saying I'll do this for a while, but I never got around to it. No time like the present.

So far, the only Noble households I've bothered with are Hawksmoore, Foxworthy, Mandeville, Wenlock and Dabbler. A great many of the nobles are resentful that upstarts with money are now able to buy themselves power and a title, but such is the way of the world.

The Hawksmoores have been the hereditary heads of the city of Queenstown, culminating in the current Margrave, Thomas Hawksmoore. They are also responsible for the manufacturing of any weapons and armour that the Queenstown Militia may need, and own a number of foundries and blacksmiths.

The Foxworthys made their money decades ago, and are heavily invested in the shipping and banking industries. Roughly a quarter of all ships coming into Queenstown are something to do with the Foxworthy family, and they own and lease a great many of the warehouses that merchants use.
Alistair Foxworthy is the current head of the Queenstown Bank, and a great many people are in his pocket because of this. His wife, Melody, is a portly woman with exotic and expensive tastes in food and clothing.

The old warhorse that is Lord Mandeville is an aging old coot, but his much younger wife is the real powerhouse of the family. She manages to keep the family well to do despite little or no industrial connection. Rumoured to be involved in the vice trade in some way, the Mandevilles themselves have no idea the levels that their matriarch has fallen to in order to keep their political clout. A great many of the Queenstown Senators are in the Mandeville pocket.
(A certain barmaid in Kingsmead may or may not be the missing daughter of Lord and Lady Mandeville, as their youngest ran away from home several months ago...)

The Wenlocks officially own the Northwood, the woods outside the North Gate of Queenstown where the nobles do all of their hunting. They own several lodges within the wood that can also be rented.
Always well educated, members of the family do have a habit of long stretches without being seen. It is thought that they travel about the world, and this is true. However, there may or may not be a connection with the Circle, a group of thieves and assassins that prowls the town at night, particularly the rooftops. There's even a rumour coming out of the port that a similar group operates in the distant City of Festivals, and in the capital of the Northern Imperial Republic.

The Dabblers are a family of new money, having traded their way up to the Noble Estates in the past few decades. Their money comes from various businesses including tanning, shipping, the silk and spice trades, even tinkering and magical services.
Most other nobles resent them and their ability to do well with money. They owe a lot of their success to good dealings with Stonekin both in and out of Queenstown. Their presence in the Senate is still lacking in numbers, despite such a large amount of financial control of the city.

How's that folks? Sound fun so far?

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Races of the Old Crown

Well, I've more or less finished the races. Here's some blurb on them. I hope they whet your appetite some.

Menfolk are a youthfully active and opportunistic race, and a great many empires and kingdoms that cover the face of the world are led by Menfolk.
They make their homes in all terrains, among all other races.

Menfolk vary plenty in size and complexion, though normally fall between 5 and 6 and a half feet tall, ranging in skin tone from a deep rich brown to an almost alabaster pink. Their hair ranges from black to white, through various shades of brown, though their eyes show the greatest diversity.
This diversity is perhaps one of their greatest strengths, and (though far from unknown) they tend to be the least xenophobic of all the races of the world.

Sometimes seen as brash and impulsive by the more stoic and pensive races, they are nonetheless useful to the world, each other, and the other races in countless upon countless ways.

Renowned as warriors, and raised from a young age to follow a millenia-old culture of warrior nobility, the Draken resemble nothing is not upright lizards. Their ancient Draken Empire was one of the first to form following the fall of the Oon, but is now also long since gone itself.

Adult Draken stand between 6 and 7 feet tall. Their leathery skin is covered in fine scales ranging in hue from green to gold to red to blue, often mottled with patterns of other colours. The scalles are noticeably larger in a ridge from the nose to the back of the head, and on down the back.
Draken have a short tail, and their three-toed feet end in claws. Occassionally, elder Draken grow a bony protrusions from their cheeks, and behind their flat ears.

Known as a proud and noble people, they often cut an imposing figure through crowds. Questioning a Draken's honour will usually result in a brief but brutal physical attack, and sometime death.

Notable NPC Draken:
Candle, Sheriff of Kingsmead

The Giantkin are a race of hardy, muscled and above all tall beings with a connection to the primal forces of nature.

Usually dwelling in mountains and scrubland, the scattered tribes of the Giantkin vie with each other for territory, when they aren't engaged in similar struggles with neighbouring tribes of other races.
They thrive on their competitive nature in almost all things; a Giantkin marketplace is rife with angry bickering and bartering.

Standing between eight and ten feet tall, their skin is the colour of their mountain homeland - mottled brown and grey. Their skin is thick, and leathery, and their frames are always tight with muscles beneath it.
During puberty, the lower canines of males tend to grow to become small tusks, whilst the upper canines in both sexes become much more pronounced.
They typically wear their hair in long braids, and wear the warpaint of their clan upon their faces (warrior or not).
Giantkin have life spans comparable to those of Humans.

Anything that can be conceived as a challenge invites Giantkin to keep score, tracking their progress against both their comrades and themselves. A sellsword might remark on how many times he has drawn first blood in battle, and he’s certainly mentally tracking his own performance in open warfare against those stories of his tribal ancestors.
This competitiveness can take the form of good-natured rivalry or of angry, spittle-driven argument. As a race they have no patience for cheaters, gloaters, or sore losers, but can be very hard on themselves when they fail to measure up to their own past accomplishments.
Daring that borders on foolhardiness is also a common trait.

They have no fear of heights, climbing sheer mountain cliffs and leaping great chasms with ease. Their nomadic lifestyle of hunting and gathering instills in them an inquisitive interest in whatever lies over the next ridge or at the head of a canyon. To a wandering hunter’s mind, that curiosity can lead to better hunting grounds or a good water source that would otherwise go undiscovered.

Whilst they have no real track with the worship of gods, they revere the spirits of nature and their ancestors, honouring them in songs and sagas that date back hundreds, if not thousands of years.
Their wise men, called spirit-speakers, seek to bring them closer to the natural world in every way that they can.
Their chiefs lead from the fore in battle, although most of their warriors seek to lead in this manner.

The Wode are a furred, horned race, somewhat shorter than Menfolk. They are often seen as primitive, and their tribes squabble for resources both among themselves and their neighbours.

Wode are as prolific as Menfolk, but as a people they’re less creative and more prone to warlike behavior.
Wode live in the wild places of the world, although they are also prone to staying close enough to settlements; they like to prey on trade caravans and unwary travelers.
The chieftain of a Wode tribe is usually the strongest member, though some chieftains rely on guile or mystical might more than martial strength.

A Wode's skin is often sallow, with eyes ranging the same gamut as Menfolk. Big, pointed ears stick out from the sides of the head, and prominent sharp teeth sometimes jut from the mouth. Wode have coarse, wiry hair across their entire body, ranging from dark to light brown.
Their horns can be similar to deer, goats or rams.

In recent centuries, the Golem have appeared in and around the Old Crown. Whilst not frequently seen, they are at least known.
Constructed from articulated plates of metal, wood, or clay, the Golem seem to be ancient servants of the Oon, who after millenia have awakened to the potential of sentience. Most modern scholars believe an Ascended must have had a hand in this sudden change, though they do not know which, or whether the god continues to exist.

They stand at about 5 feet when made of wood, 6 when made of clay and 7 when made of metal. They have eyes that are glowing points of light, of varying hues. They repair naturally over time, in the same way that other races heal, though like other races the process is not perfect. A buckled metal leg may heal crooked, and a severed limb seldom grows back as more than a stump.

Originally arriving from the City of Festivals, the Golem have integrated into the Old Crown easily. They vary in personality, but are usually seen as friendly enough, if a little lacking in personality.

Notable Golem NPCs:
Captain Truth, Queenstown Guardsman
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