Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Satan's Spine: The Trund

The Trund are a nomadic humanoid people, who make their living as traveling tinkers and traders, forever moving across the Anvil of the Sun. They are organized into bands. Comprised of 30-50 individuals, each band lives and travels in a large power driven wagon known as a trundle. It is not known for certain how many bands there are.
The Trund are, as a rule, extremely proficient at making repairs to ancient technology and they can easily mend and fabricate far more mundane items. Although they all carry revolvers and are rumored to have access to weapons even more potent, the Trund will not make or repair weapons for outsiders.

It is said the Trund wander the desert in a perpetual round, always searching for some treasure they claim to have lost long ago but cannot name or describe. Although, they travel in small groups and are never aggressive, all agree that it is unwise to attack the Trund. It is difficult to tell the exact nature of the trund as all of them wear outlandishly psychedelic protection suits with full headgear at all times.

Outside of trade and work for hire, the Trund have minimal interaction with other folk of the Anvil. They rarely enter the relative comfort of Godskull or other settlements, preferring it seems, to remain in the desert with their vehicles to the near exclusion of all else.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Satan's Spine: Acid Lake in brief

Acid Lake:
A mix of sulfuric acid and hydrogen chloride comprises the body of the lake. Taken together, the lake and the mesa land to its west, known as the Taint, represent some of the Spine’s most hostile and unforgiving country. An alternating combination of jagged cliffs and beaches of jagged glass surround the lake. Fumaroles, stinking of sulfur, roll over the burbling surface, poisoning the air and limiting visibility.

The lake is nothing less than a wound in the world. The acid is produced  as waste by a group of earth elementals that have latched on the land surface that now forms the lake’s bottom and are feeding on the planet’s dwindling tectonic energy. This has been going on for over ten thousand years. In appearance, the acid elementals resemble giant leaches made of pitted and stained stone.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Satan's Spine: a horrible place, poorly mapped

Well, I'm a bit daunted by the sheer number of unfinished projects that I've got going on this blog. So in effort to dig myself a hole all the way to the Pellucidar, here's the start of another new project*.  What we have here is a first look at Satan's Spine, the campaign area for my upcoming Metal Earth game. I'll be happy to answer any question regarding the map or really anything else relating to the blog in the comments.
Larger version here

*it's probably best to view this blog as kind of like pizza place run by a spastic and poorly trained hobo. Sometimes the pizza is cooked, other times all you get is some sauce, a few toppings of dubious provenience and a mumbled, Thunderbird-soaked "fuck you" for your trouble.

Alex Schroeder Does the Impossible!

He made one of my posts useful. Here is a link to the stats he's written up for all the critters in The Forgotten Depths. His interpretations are very imaginative. I'm especially fond of  his version of Vampire Grass.
Thanks Alex.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Province of Forgetten Empire: Gazetter... and fitness question.

I was supposed to post something substantial yesterday, but I forgot and... whatever.  Anyway, I'm thinking about writing a bit about fitness here, anyone interested in that at all? The gym dude told me I need to eat 4000 calories a day this morning (urgh!) so it's on my mind. 

Here's the gazetter thing, extra typos added free of charge.

The Map is here


 Province of the Forgotten Empire

The region known lies just north of the Sunburst Sea. Once, long ago, Sansool existed as province of the Forgotten Empire, but in the present, the region is contested territory with many groups fighting for control and survival.  Locals look back on the ill-remembered imperial past as a sort of golden age, but it has little bearing on the day-to-day lives of most.  This is not the case, however, for every one; adventurers spend their lives delving into the imperial ruins seeking glory, riches, or perhaps the power granted by forgotten relics of the imperial age.

The Black Spire is a massive and fortified tower, built of black basalt.  One of only a few intact imperial era fortifications in the region, the original purpose of the Black spire is unknown; although it is thought that it may have been a temple to chaotic god. Currently it is controlled by Rictus, the self styled Witch King. A huge encampment of gnoll warriors surrounds its base.

Blyx is situated at the eastern edge of Olde Dragon Swamp. Populated by men and dwarves for the most part Blyx conducts trade with everyone from the lizard men of the swamp to the white apes of the Crags. A council of Wizards known as the Silent Society runs Blyx. The city’s trade is prosperous and the Silent Society uses the wealth generated thus to influence affairs far and wide. Blyxian spies are sad to infest every city, church and court throughout the land.

The Crags, a broken, rocky badland, represent the sad remains of an ancient mountains chain, worn away by time, and shattered by earthly upheaval. Although oases hide among the rocks in some few places, the major part of the Crags is barren and merciless. Outlaws and Savage bands of white apes fight over what little there is.

Glistendome. Built long ago by the imperials, Castle Glistendome resides on the Green Isle in The Witch’s Water and is a mighty fortress city.  The city has been held by the elves for well over a thousand years. When they took ownership of the city form the imperials, the elves assumed stewardship of the Golden Peacock, the wood wall and the Wyrd tree. Like many imperial constructions the castle and the city below are riddled with secret passages and hidden chambers. The Old Road, an ancient imperial thoroughfare, runs west from Castle Glistendome to the shattered gates of ruined Moon Keep.

The Gloomy Mountains: Ancient basaltic mountain range. The average peak is about 12,000’ feet high at the summit. The extent of the range is unknown and no records exist of anyone visiting the western slope. In the southern expanse of the range some of the deeper valleys contain microclimatic pockets of jungle. Major settlements in the mountains include Urux and the Black Spire.

The Witch Wood: Ancient home of the elves, the wood continues to the north and east of what is shown on the map. All manner of beasts inhabit the forest. Although there are many elves living at Castle Glistendome, many more live throughout the forest. The elves trade the products of their magical orchards, and handmade treasures of many sorts, with the men of Urux and Blyx and the Dwarves of Kurg.

Jungle of Nar:  situated at sea level the Jungle of Nar has a much warmer wetter climate than most of the province. Gargantuan, ancient creatures found nowhere else in the province reside in this storybook rain forest. Mysterious ruins of unknown but obviously ancient origin, perhaps predating even the Forgotten Empire, are strewn through out the depths of the forest. The city of Kurg, a dwarfish whaling town resides at the edge of the primeval forest, along the southern coast of the province.

Kurg:  1000 years ago, at the close of the Second Summer, the dwarves who fled the horror unleashed at Urux (then called Bal-Rindurr) settled far to the south of the catastrophe and took up the hunting of whales and other giant beasts of the sea. Since this initial settlement, the folk of Kurg have prospered, but the settlement has changed but a little. Following long tradition the city minds its own affairs, taking its living from the jungle and the sea.

The Lurch: As a name, “The Lurch” refers both to the large dormant volcano just south of the Screeching Stones and the stunted malformed woodland that surrounds its swollen eminance.  The Serpent People made a city here once, deep in pre-imperial times. Over the epochs, successive volcanic events buried and sealed away several iterations of the great city. Each time the volcano erupted the serpent people would return and create another layer. These cities exist now, one piled atop the other, all entombed beneath the flank of the great mountain.

The strange and twisted woodland, which surrounds the volcano, is famous for its carrion stench and populations of giant insects.

The Moon Hills: Fog shrouded, lycanthrope infested and wizard haunted highland region. There are many minor imperial ruins in this region. Warring clans of Halflings reside in cold, ramshackle castles seprated from one another by leagues, brought together by hatred and blood feud.

Moon Keep: Ruined imperial site. An intact funerary complex is situated beneath the remains of main structure.

Stargleam’s Wall: Perhaps the signature relic of the Second Summer. The elvish king Stargleam had this wall built in order to hold back the forces of the first Witch-King, Skorn, but something went very wrong. Stargleam’s chief advisor and Wizard, Althon betrayed him by secretly defiling the Wall with forbidden rituals. As a result a presence entered the spaces between the walls within the great wall. Things fell apart. At first, the wall crumbled and resisted repair. Later, over the course of a single night remembered now as the Grief the soldiers manning the great wall went insane and slew one another- down to the last.  Mores elves died in that one night then during the entirety of the Summer War up until that point. The elves were effectively undone, the few who remained fled to Camirill. With the elves defeated, the Summer War entered its final phase. Althon raised the thousands of dead soliders along the wall as mindless revenants of savage aspect. He set them upon the forces of Skorn. In the end the land was torn asunder and all who vied for conquest were humbled by it. The Second Summer had come to a close and the Long Fall had begun.
Old Dragon Swamp:  roughly 100 years after the Grief, a dragon came down upon the elvish countries. His wrath devastated the land and transformed it. where once there had been a lake now there was a stinking smoking fen. Although, he is rarely seen these days, it is commonly believed that Igor still resides in the swamp. Igor is the most powerful single entity in the province. Many worship him as a god. His agents move in every walk of life, throughout the province.

Urux: At the end of the second summer, the dwarves and Ur-men, who worked and lived at Bal- Rindurr had advanced the arts of mining and metallurgy to new heights. Prosperity was at an all time high, but greed and avaricious pride ruled the minds of the folk and they wanted more and more. Eventually, due to the desire to progress in some quarters and the desire to profit in others, the dwarfish overlords yielded to popular demand and made use of chaos magic to further the city’s mining efforts. The exact details are known to few today, but there was a terrible catastrophe; a hole was rent in the earth’s crust at the root of the mountain, and Bal-Rindurr itself was sundered and its subterranean towers toppled. In the months that followed, the dwarfish survivors fled the city.

The Witch Wood: ancient haunted forest, long believed to be cursed. The elvish court and people were driven to the witch wood after Igor destroyed Camarill. In exchange for a place within the wood, the forest god Mogu, made the elves bind themselves to the forest through a magical ritual. The ritual made the elves the stewards of the forest. Mogu has remained silent since the time of the great ritual, but it is rumored that he will return if he grows dissatisfied with his chosen stewards.

The Witch Water is a haunted lake which contains Glistendome and the island upon which it was built. At night, shimmering spectral shapes slide to and fro beneath the waves and when the moon is full the ghostly ruins of cities long forgotten can be seen aglow upon the lake floor.