Blogger is really sucking so we're taking our funk and dungeon roosters to the Wordpress. Will give you a URL momentarily.
DISASSOCIATED PRESS -- In a perhaps not-so-surprising move by the revered undead gamesmiths, Vampire Wizards of the North has announced that a new edition of its famous game, LIKE CHESS BUT EVER SO SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT & DRAGONZ (TM), will appear in this high holy Year of the Seven-Breasted She-Sphinx. "It is the Future of Gaming," explains VWotN CEO Grampam Unster. "This time, yes, this 63rd time, we attained a degree of perfection with the magick and kombat systems so explosively perfect that it burst through the upper ceiling of old perfection to become the New Perfection in a space located outside this and several other realities. Also -- it may shock you to learn that we are accepting pre-orders for this and subsequent splatbooks at this time."
- Human -- The humans of this region are recent immigrants from the Western Dominions -- with the exception of the nomadic woses. They are a recent (300 years old) addition to Arkhemian society. Humans dwell in the coastal cities [Ulphire, Kloog and the Iron Fortress] as well as the island-castle Labyrinthine. Some are slaves in the Vampire Kingdom. The woses roam their ancient holdings in the Nomadic Territory and sometimes venture north onto the Handsome Plains. Foreign humans from other dominions frequently dock at Arkhemian ports.
- Half-Orc -- The product of taboo interbreeding with transient orc tribes, most local half-orcs hail from the hill-dwellings east of Ulphire and the Pungent River. They have a reputation as inbred yokels, though some manage to earn respect as street toughs in Iron Fortress and Kloog.
- Dwarf -- The vast majority (95%) of local dwarves are bonded servants of the Iron Fortress. Free dwarves are often drunks and addicts. A few choose to live as hermits in the forested hills south of the Vampire Mountains.
- Elf -- Elves in this part of Arkhemia are typically exiles of the Underlands, driven to the surface as punishment for their crimes. They are a moody, murderous lot who tend to be found in the Elder region. Most dislike humans and have limited tolerance for other races.
- Sasquatch -- Hairy humanoids from beyond the Lonesome Mountains. They are considered barbarians by most human cultures. Often found under the employ of caravans as guides and protection. They live by a strict moral code that forbids the use of human-made magics.
- Half-Quatch -- The product of taboo interbreeding between human and sasquatch. Smaller but smarter than their hairy parents.
- Fighter -- A staple of Eastern Arkhemia's "Wild West" environment. A lucrative profession.
- Thief -- An all-too-common byproduct of Arkhemia's hazardous social conditions. Urban thieves operate as a loose brotherhood of pick pockets and burglars. Rural thieves are brigands or highwaymen.
- Magic-User -- At levels 1-3 they are under the tutelage of a local Master such as Tantalore of Kloog or Mormeloon the Transmuter. At level 4 the magic-user is an Adept and must locate new spells to add to his/her repetoire. There are no more than several dozen magic-users scattered throughout Eastern Arkhemia, and most of these are Apprentices (level 1-3). Rivalries exist between the schools of various Masters, such as the students of the Enchantresses of Mount Phantioch. [Most elves are default magic-users with access to m-u and druidic spells. Most learn to cast spells under the tutelage of a Chimera (rarely another type of trans-aetheric being).]
The Lake of the Floating Mosses is named for the peculiar gas-filled polyps of moss and vegetable matter that conglomerate above the lake's center. They hover perhaps ten yards above the water in masses varying in size from small clods to boulder-sized miniature islands where a number of small trees may stand.
The lake is claimed by the Cult of the Nine-Legged God who have lived in the island-castle called Labyrinthine since time out of mind. The red priests worship the Dark Mother whose name is sacred. Legends say that she lives deep beneath the fungus-crusted catacombs of Labyrinthine in a vast chasm. She is described as a spider with nine legs, each the size of an ancient oak. Her webs are like thick vines dripping with sticky sap. They catch creatures that crawl up from the abyss below*. All this and more is told in the Book of Unfolding Time which contains all the sacred writings of the red priests.
Each cultist of the Dark Mother must bear her mark -- an eye-like shape composed of nine runes. The Mark (as it is commonly known) must be tattooed on the body of the cultist by his or her ninth year. Usually under the left arm and always with the pale ink of the orange lotus. Only persons bearing this mark are allowed passage at the Southern Dock to the island-castle. Clever tattooists will occasionally fake these marks with temporary inks. Discovery of this sort of subterfuge is an automatic death sentence.
It is unclear just how many dwell within the winding halls and echoing quadrangles that constitute the Castle Labyrinthine. There are countless apartments, kitchens, water closets, bath pools, galleries, shrines, fountains, stairwells, libraries, crypts, vaults, cellars, dungeons and partially collapsed areas -- far too many to navigate without an experienced guide or a bit of magic.
The Five Hierophants -- sometimes called the Pentangle -- manage Labyrinthine's assets and have thousands of clerics in their service.
*: the Lesser Underworld of Ghastur
*: the Lesser Underworld of Ghastur
So a while ago John Williams of Rule of the Dice posted a label-less campaign map. I've been working with it to prep for the new campaign (which will involve old Jandeline). What you see below is an area called Eastern Arkhemia, part of the weird plane of Quantique.
Scale: It takes three days to walk the coastline from Ulphire to the Bay of Kloog. Figuring at 3 mph for thirty hours total walking, that's about 90 miles.
Towns and Settlements
Towns and Settlements
- Iron Fortress: A wealthy, heavily fortified town managed by evil humans who enslave dwarves to mine the rich iron deposits found to the north-west.
- Kloog: A town nominally under the control of the Red Priests of Labyrinthine. Known for its gambling halls, shipyards and vineyards.
- Labyrinthine: An island-castle on the Lake of Floating Mosses. Only members of the Cult of the Dark Mother who bear the Mark are permitted entry.
- Mount Orlock: A hollow-mountain fastness created by the dwarves long ago, now under the aegis of the so-called Vampire Kingdom.
- Ulphire: A poor town in a constant state of disrepair due to regular raids from the inbred half-orc hill-people to the east.
- Elder: Wilderness inhabited by ogres, ghosts and exiled elves. Not a favored trade route.
- Handsome Plains: Expansive grasslands rich with game. Horned giants and nomads are known to hunt there.
- Lonesome Mountains: Sacred "cradle" of the horned giants. Not much is known about these forested mountains.
- Nomadic Territory: Barbarous land frequented by the gypsy-like woses or nomads.
- Phantom Lake: A perpetually foggy body of water frequented by foreign merchants. Reputedly haunted.
- Purple Jungles: Wilderness of violet fungi and flowering trees rife with displacer beasts and other weird monsters.
- Vampire Mountains: The obsidian borders of the wealthy Vampire Kingdom. Patrolled by night-gaunts and lamia.