[Vox Arcana] #31 Tone, Atmosphere, and Music
http://podplayer.net/?id=58544794 via @PodcastAddict
[Vox Arcana] #31 Tone, Atmosphere, and Music
[Vox Arcana] #31 Tone, Atmosphere, and Music
http://podplayer.net/?id=58544794 via @PodcastAddict
I’ve been making nesting dice trays as one of my latest projects.
We will meet downstairs in the Library and meditation rooms. Possibly meeting in the I street hallway if the Library is scheduled. We’re pretty easy to find. Dates are subject to change, please bookmark this post.
Please bring lunch and your character sheets. If you do not update your character sheets at home, leave them with Jed in the red folder.
After Cador, Thardis Hornhelm and Vassas apprehend G’ning-ar, they agreed with Craynor and Blueston that they split the proceeds of the ancient armor they found and dissolve their exploration company. Each of them, about 4000gp richer, upgrade weapons by visiting a half-orc armorer, Ornach Witlin, and a few days later meet up again at a new pub, the Pewter Mug.
Many announcements happen at the ‘Mug. there is an announcement of a wildfire east of Dandilion Spit, and a call to aid the forests and wildlife nearby. Another person offers a bounty to travel to Snail bay. Another offers a tour of the magical library at Pinola cliffs.
The keen ears of a shy tabaxi, Flys like a Raven, pick up the passing interest of Thadis and Cador about Dandilion spit. ‘Raven, who is from Seleptova, a secluded tabaxi city inland of the spit about a days travel, is concerned that the govenor and his family are in trouble. Govenor Naps in Shadows, (‘Shadows), has a mage who was increasingly distrusted for his study of the planes and magical summoning. ‘Raven approaches Thardis and proposes they journey together.
A ranger, Cexiuh-Juga (ses-you joog-a) offers to lead them with his wagon train to Dandilion spit, since tabaxi and Cador distrust water in general. Their journey will take almost a week. Hopefully they will arrive in time to help.
Adding more details over next few days.
South of Sing’jar we have Belgar island, populated by sea elves, whom are generally defensive and isolationist. They distrust people from Faroth, notably because of Faroth’s history of sending gnomes south to plunder magic and gems from Belgar. Belgar elves trade willingly with the western shore of the Burati valley. Burati are mostly humans and elves, and export lots of grains to the area, except north to Sing’jar, because of the difficulty of crossing he Burati mountains to the north. The Burati river to the south forms a border with the Kyln.
Kyln are a small nation of hobgoblins. They are notable for having co-invaded Sing’jar during the Devil Insurgency. Kyln hobgobs are a vigilant society, at peace with Burati and Belgar, but ever watchful of Yil and Witkif.
The Yil heights are occupied by the Yuan-ti and their attending thrall. The area is complicated with lots of secretive house societies that maintain their own trade routes for contraband north into the Kyln, R’rusk, the high elven city east of the Kyln population, is the most popular silk road trade route. Any high level character could get hired as an escort on that illegal trade route.
Witkif is the capital city of the Whitechalk Cliffs region, the large spit that sticks far enough west to change the very seas north and south of it. Inhabited by orcs, ogres, and some giants, they are often rejecting their half-breeds or conscripting them for raids against Kyln and Yil.
Dandilion spit is a dangerous place to dock because storms can dash your boat ashore so easily. The town itself it made of splintering ship planks, and finding any square carpentry is rare. There are three pubs here, and it is the fafstest way to switch ships or trade goods in bulk if the weather is kind.
Snail Bay is a twisting sandbar draped araound sharp limestone outcrops in the delta of the Yarrow river. Not as much trade here and a much slower life-style. Sea traffic is barred many hours a day by tides that expose the Yarrow sandbar and the Seal’s Head sandbars. The Yarrow river does not flow fast enough to erode these areas when the tide is out. This makes Snail bay an effive place for smugglers to dock.
Pinola cliffs is a strange collective that is one of the most curious places to buy magic or make armor. Each of the four large outcrops of rock is joined by rope bridges to large houses built into the side of the limestone cliffs. There are families of dwarves, elves, sea elves, and half-orcs that each have a family business on an island or in the cliffs.
“When the meteor struck inland, no region remained unbent”
–Jena Ogra, before Whitecliff
Ogre legends persist not just because of oral tradition, no. Oral tradition dies out when all the men die in battle…or all the women are taken by invaders. Ogre legends persist because we hide. Humans, dwarves, giants…they think they are superior by their eyes. We hide in places that dwarves deign no dig, humans dare not build, and giants are too proud to look.
What is now eastern Galentaspar, the cratered land of Rodorax, is the only place dwarves have actually collected adamantium from in two thousand years. Not only was the ground rent by an asteriod, the asteroid was ridden by two battling titans whos burning ends warped the continent with tricks and curses that changed a simple place into an interplanar battlefield for the rest of time. The region was turned from grassy plains to a desert of planar kaleidescopes for a century while ash of impact settled.
The great civilization of humans on the planet suffocated. There were fey in vast bamboo forests…all consumed in flames. Geology was never studied, and gnomes that dwelt in the roots of the great planes…surviing the great fires, organized armies to negotiate the sudden influx of short humanoid called dwarves that popped out of planar gates in the sky and dug up from the ground, gasping for air.
Tzoltiv, leader of Gnomes since the Dawn, formed a band of scouts: Tsildir, Psyden, Ysidril, and Wfoldin, to travel the world, learn, speak and spread hope…if the peoples of the world needed help or hope, head to the plains and join Tzoltiv’s clan. He would help.
Decades passed and Tzoltiv never heard from his band, until a single gnome from afar walked into the town of Tzova’a, proclaiming himself as Vvillin, grandson of Wfoldin Thus he spoke, “Tall folk, elves, live now in the mountains. Large folks, ogres, live far to the south along a cragged spit, and snakes live below them, fighting everyone they meet, the yuan-ti. To the east, larger peoples bigger than ogres tower over the forest, claming most of the north–they are giants. There are mountains where there were hills–there are islands where there were reefs.” Vvillin did not stay long, his sense of community was lost, and the people of Tzova did nott trust him. But a faction of Tzova’ans followed Vvillin west, intrigued to meet these people called dwarves.
Tzoltiv’s grandson, Mittir, was visited hundreds of years later by a grandson of Vvillin named Tsotur, a gnome bard who lived among the ogres. The ogres, sons and daughters of Tautus of Nuumg, live on the slopes of Whitechalk Cliffs, or Witkif, in ogre slang. They are ruled by matriachs of Eeroi, a line of ogre magi transplanted from their first home to Sing’jar by the starfall. Ogre magi of Eeroi are secretive, and enslave dwarves to build large tunnels into the Whitechalk cliffs for them.
The sons of Eeroi are left to fend for themselves, and are mostly rough barbarians, hunting to survive. Only one of a generation is born smart enough to be a leader–a Nuum’gar. Aaron Umgar is the smartest yet, and is a sorcerer charismatic enough to have enrolled the mothers of junior orge magi to form a school and library on Witkif: Kifskuul.
Farming, ranching, and some mining are all present on the Whitechalk cliffs. Brave outcast dwarves are among the ogres, helping manage the chalk and chalcendony mines. Minotars are uncommon but welcome. Hill giants have never been welcome and have not been seen south of Sing’jar for 1200 years. Elves are very rarely found, only ones brave enough for a specific task.
This is peculiar because a population of High Elves lives to the east of the hobgoblins of R’rusk, forming the eastern border of Witkif. R’ruskins trade with the yuan-ti to the south confidently because the hobgoblins built a defensive zone one hundred miles long and three miles deep to defend their soverignty. Dzennin’gen Harfolk is an ancient Hobgoblin paladin that leads the community.
There are thousands of elves in a magically protected community to northeast of R’rusk: Innlend. Mostly wizards and rangers, the borders of Innlend are invisible and manifest as unlucky encounters with wilderness hardships: rockfalls, quicksand, swam creatures, confusion and lost adventurers dead of inexplicable dehydration. This appears to be an invite-only kingdom, and the leadership is hidden. Not even general Feltor of the Sing’jar mountains knows anything of Innlend, being a son of an emmigree.
Zsolissar and the Yuan-ti
The islands to the west and south of the Whitechalk Cliffs (Witkif) are all military holdings of the Yuan-ti. This was a rough region briefly ruled by many rough reptilian tribes, and humans have been considered lunch for centuries. Just getting into the bay requires skillful negotitation of schools of gigantic squids and other sea denizens. The minotar who used to rule the southen shores were roughly beaten back to one island as slaves, the remained having fleed north four hundred years previously.
The Yuan-ti are strict about their secrecy, brief sun exposure, and never relinquishing lands. They expect counter-strikes and rebellions. To meet these threats, they take slaves and other intelligent prisoners as cattle and display them in public suffering labor or as food stock for fesival menus. High preistess Zsolissar presides the festivals and her maiden’s sharp blades turn slaves into cold cuts on the seasonal holiday festivals.
For five hundred years, no pink skinned humanoid has withstood a yuan-ti south of the Whitechalk Cliffs. Whatever deity or power protects Zsolissar or her preistesses, not even the agressive male yuan-ti have broken or subverted it in many generations.
Made these out of a reclaimed piece of 4×10. Threw out quite a bit of eaten wood and threw out the ones that started to issue termites.
Next time, I will use forstner bits or drill ahead of time and trim them down on the table saw to correct the chip out.
Gromet Silvering and Cupola Coglatch are a pair of gnomes living under Faroth mountain in the Rudston Classic tunnels, the first dwarven works on Faroth. This is the tunnel system that Jamnut Fender Works started in. Gromet and Cupola don’t care much about being forge gnomes but live on the sidelines of the forge dwarves of Fenderworks.
Today, a rowdy crowd of human sailors squeezed their way into the Drunken Whaler pub, and started talking rude about the dwarves. Gromet was quick to play both sides and soon the dwarves had flattened the sailors and both the mine police and shore patrol were headed in.
In the last few seconds of the fight, Gromet convinced Knifeswill, the Dwarven barkeeper to pay him to stop the fight. Messaging with Cupola, Cupola impersonated sheriff Ironblock, abd the dwarves were distracted from killing the humans. The next moment, Ironblock himself steps onstage and pounds the handle on his hammer on stage to marshal the attention of the dwarves.
Later, Gromet and Cupola get kicked iff the docks suspiciously watching the Serpent Blue docked with the wounded humans being carried on board. Visibly irritated, a Yuan-ti in a golden robe berates the crew.
Clearly, this Yuan-ti needs his purse lightened, but no good plan arrives until Sarah Tite’nale, a banished faery who doesn’t sparkle, decides to join the fun.
Made from reclaimed 1×6 lumber found in firewood pile.
The islands south of Faroth start with Belgar island. Belgar is populated with sea elves, and they trade mostly with the eastern shore, the Burati valley. Burati is populated with elves and humans, bounded on the north by Burati mountains and to the south by the Burati river. The mountains are enough of an obstacle that overland trading is uncommon at best.
On the south side of the Burati river, is the kingdom of Kyln. Kyln is ruled by hobgoblins who have an amicable peace with the elves to the north and an active defense to the west against the Ogres of the Whitechalk cliffs. This far south, the southern end of the Sing’jar mountains curves west and ends as the Yil range, holding the Yil valley. Kenku and hobgoblins freely mix, under the rule of the Kyln kingdom.
The Whitechalk cliffs are a giant slope from north to south, with giant chalk cliffs on the south side facing Danclar bay. Not only do communities of ogres protect the peninsula, other accursed beasts and undead inhabit the chapparal of the region. Deep canyons hide communities of lycanthropes and rumors of dinosaurs have been heard, too.
At the western tip of the cliffs, the Danclar islands are a dangerous place for sailors to stop: Yuan-ti have occupied these islands once peacefully occupied by lizardfold sahaugin. Trade is sanctioned in official marketplaces and tourists are arrested and deported if they are caught away from the marketplaces. There are no inns on the Danclar islands. Any ship sailing south is obligated to pay for permits for access to the south. The Yuan-ti navy patrols the islands.
If a crafty trader sails south east of the Danclars, heading into Danclar bay is frought with challenges that often take rituals and sacrifices to avoid. Elasomosaur, chaotic aquitic elves and merfolk populate the bay. Sirens camp on the rocky shores beneath the chalk cliffs. Navigating to the Yil valley, you would meet the last free lizardfolk and kua-toa, that are ostensably policed by the yuan-ti Yaan’bu empire. Since the lizardfolk are unable to escape, they are the only effective kelp farming and fisherman for the Danyil bluffs region, and given some latitude of freedom.
Yuan-ti bougeoise live above the Yil valley in the rocky bluffs in the Danyil bluffs. These snake peope own the trading companies that operate out of Dardan City, in the bay to the southeast of the bluffs. Dardan city is the heart of commerce, with a healthy population protected from the dinosaurs and other sea monsters to the northwest.
Off the west shore of Danyil bluffs is Egza island, the largest prison island of the yuan-ti. Egza island used to be the prison island of the previous despots: the Naga nation of Bundash. Egza island is now a prison for the remainder of the Bundash naga. The waters around Egza are policed by sahaugin and other aquatic races allied with the yuan-ti.
The other island on the south side of Dardan bay is Fylwen island, another yuan-ti prison. Fylwen is the ancestral home of the region’s minotaur. Six hundred years ago, Sing’jar straight saw a fleet of minotaur refugees travelling north. This was the wave of refugees displaced by the Yaan’bu empire. High elves and sea elves were also displaced by this yuan-ti expansion hundreds of years ago.