Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Map and Short Gazetteer Part I


As far as the map goes, there have been some additions and changes. Anyway, it sucks less than the old map.
Notice my lack of commentary on the infrequency of new posts.
Short Gazetteer Part I

Cities:


Ssaur: Located almost in the shadow of the Würm glacier, Ssaur is an ancient city famous for its handicrafts, cheese and beer. An oppressed multi-racial majority is ruled over by the Shae who are in turn ruthlessly dominated by their own sorcerous elite. The city is rumored to house the headquarters of a secret cabal of sorcerers and scientists who work to retard the progress of the Würm.


Shards: Built on the ruins of a much older city or, as seems more likely, cities, Shards is a strange patchwork town strewn across a myriad of tightly packed coastal islands of varying size; some of the gaps between islands can be jumped, some islands have bridges, and others have access restricted to watercraft.

Shards is a wealthy city; this wealth is based upon the Arcanum mines in the mountains to the west. However, a secondary economy, based upon the slave trade and all manner of vice- legal and otherwise, thrives in the city as well. The city is nominally controlled by the local aristocracy, most of whom have stakes in the mines, but, in reality, the wealth has drawn vice and chaos. Shards is a contested battleground, fought over by racial groups, tribes, guilds and criminal gangs.


Head: Located on the northern coast of the island Xäl, Head is a parasite city built inside the cranium of a defunct giant humanoid robot. The post cranial body of the robot is buried (in a standing position) beneath the ground. The main industry of the city is mining the remains of the robot. Currently, operations have only extended into the upper part of the neck. Many secondary industries exist, mostly involved in metalwork. Head is the steel mill and the gun factory for this region of the Metal Earth. The city is ruled by a consul of elected officials, who are controlled by a group of rat- men from Skeeme.


Gear: Gear is the city of the Slavers. It has a couple of dockside taverns and shops, but the majority of the city is designed to process and move slaves, most of whom are taken from raids made along the coast south of the Hungry Shore. Slavers never show their faces to outsiders, and seem to be perpetually cold; they wear heavy winter attire regardless of season or conditions. The slavers of gear are closely aligned with the Ratmen of Skeeme and the Changers.


The Nameless City:

The Nameless city is a blasted ruin along the southern Hungry Shore. Once, how long ago is unknown, the Nameless city came into conflict an unknown enemy. A terrible war ensued. The Nameless City lost. Their adversary raised and salted their land, killed or sold all of their people off into slavery, and, through a combination of conventional and sorcerous means, destroyed all evidence of the city’s past, even its name. All that remains are the ruins along the coast, covered with script no one can remember how to read, and a fleeting half formed memory shared by some, that once, something was there.


Zil: Zil is the stronghold of the Mür and the seat of their Madling ruler Autocrix Mandolo Boneaxe. The entire city, home to the Mür breeding vats, is carved from a single piece of black basalt. No non-Mür have ever seen the inside of Zil and lived. The city is impregnable; many have tried over the course of last several thousand years to destroy it; all have failed. The fall of the Minotaur Empire of the last epoch is thought by many scholars to be partially due to an overzealous commitment of resources in this regard.


Krall: A city of Therasens (sentient dinosaurs) originating at the period at the end of the Jurassic and transported to the Metal Earth by a Time Storm. The remainder of the island is a forested wilderness inhabited by cretaceous fauna and Neanderthal man. Krall is well fortified and well protected. Mür raiders have paid a terrible price in blood for molesting the Therasens in the past, and currently avoid the island as a whole. Some say that other strange creatures lost in time roam the island, however, those foolish enough to explorer Krall rarely return, so the truth of this claim remains unknown.


Geographic Features of Xur, the northern continent.


The Crumbled Mountains: An ancient range of weathered limestone peaks, the Crumbled Mountains are honeycombed with hundreds of micro-climatic valleys, which contain lost worlds from every conceivable time period in the history of the Earth (see The Forgotten Depths). The mountains are covered by the Würm at their northern expanse, but extend far to the southeast along the coast; no resident of the Ruinlands knows what lies beyond them.


The Würm: Already, it covers most of Xur, the northern continent; and the great Würm Glacier moves a little further south each year. Legends tell of cities and cultures devoured over the eons by the unstoppable and crushing glacial flow; other tales contain fanciful accounts of glittering caches of treasure and technology, or lost oases of warmth, hidden within the endless expanse of cold.


Lake Brood: Ssaur is located on an island in the center of Lake brood, a body of glacial melt water adjacent to the crumbled Mountains.


The River Sphere: The Sphere is the main conduit for goods moving from Ssaur to Shards, but it is a treacherous, swift moving river. The Sphere’s cloudy, plesiosaur infested waters hide rocks and sand bars; ravenous beasts stalk it’s wooded banks. Also the water is a bit cold.


The Haunted Wood: Huge and monster-infested, the Haunted Wood is a coniferous forest dominated by giant (redwood sized) pines. The woodland covers what was once a great megalopolis, known today only as Ak-hurr; entire regions of which are rumored to remain intact, or nearly so, beneath the forest floor. The Haunted wood is stormy and cold and winter and sweltering and bug infested during the summer.


The Wound: According to legend, the Wound was created at some time during the final stages of the War of Unreason; however it is far more likely that it was created by natural tectonic forces as southern and northern Xur began to move away from each other on separate plates. Whatever the cause of its creation, the Wound is thousands of feet deep. Whole ecosystems exist on its walls and countless terraces; what lies on its floor, so far from the light of the sun, is unknown; however, whatever it is, you can bet walking dead people and carnivorous fungus are probably involved.


The Ugörr River: Flowing down from a glacial headwater in the north, the Ugörr waters Dagon’s Foot and the northern expanse of the Haunted Wood. Its smaller branch, the Lesser Ugörr turns into the Wound, dropping away to create the most spectacular waterfall in the known world.


Dagon’s Foot: The peninsula named Dagon’s foot is a cursed place, barren and swarming with the undead.


The Spires: The jagged, barren mountain chain to the north is known as the Spires, and is rumored to be home to the secret city of the snow apes.