1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

My Fantasy RPG World, Feedback and Ideas appreciated

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Scalenex, May 17, 2019.

  1. Scalenex
    OldBlood

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,950
    Likes Received:
    5,096
    Trophy Points:
    113
    That was kind of the joke. They are not really that different.

    I don't have a problem. They fit the dictionary definition of confederacy to a "t."

    That seems like a good place to stick the sea faring goblins. When I get around to redrawing my world map I think I'm going to redraw the continents more rugged. I can give East Colassia some penisulas and fjiords to extend the coastline and open up more maritime adventures.

    Intiially I was torn on the goblin slavery part. I like shades of grey but I figured as victims of slavery, the members of the Coalssian Confederacy wouldn't want to be hypcrites. Then I remembered that I'm planning to create at least six different tiny kingdoms to make up the Confederacy. They should not all agree on the ethics of slavery, and they should not all agree on what constitutes appropriate treatment of goblins.

    I still haven't figure out which human nations should have slavery, serfs, peasants, or yeomen and in what quantities. Before I tied it to the predominant religions and the predominant ethical outlook of the various nations. At two extremes Phidas friendly governments tend to have slavery or serfs while Zarthus friendly governments tend to have yeomen. Hallisan and Khemra governments tend to fall in between.

    But a lot of the issues of slavery (or serfdom which is very similar to slavery) has to do with economics.

    In the United States, there were lots of people who opposed slavery on moral grounds but the main reason that the north abolished slavery and the antebellum south did not was because of economics.

    Assuming a moral vaccuum: If a land's agriculture is based off of massive plantations, slavery is efficient. If the agriculture is based off of lots of small farms that are spread out slavery is not efficient. I imagine goblins would need a lot of supervision. To make goblin slavery viable you need to have work that requires lots of bodies in one palce. If the goblins are spread out, a lot of them will will sneak away (and they might come back and shiv the masters while they sleep).

    The D&D city builder as an optional city for goblin ghetto. Where goblins are tolerated for cheap labor but they are technically free and they are paid, barely. I don't see Scarterran goblins being okay with menial labor for pittance money. They would probably have to be a stick that blurs the line peasant and slave. "Hey work here and accept this as pay or we kill you." Poor people can still be mistreated even they are technically free. Game of Thrones brings that up quite a bit.

    I figure in a place like Uskala where the king is utterly ruthless and Lawful Evil and the Lawful Evil god has the dominant priesthood BUT the economy is not particularly well suited for slavery, that slave ownership would be a luxury for the rich rather than a backbone for the entire the economy. In places where slavery is legal but rare, they would be the consequences of capital crime. If a man is executed for high crimes like treason, his family would be sold into slavery for all time. Lawful Evil all the way.

    I'm not sure how a government with Lawful Good power centers would justify slavery if their economy woudl be well-suited to it. Apseldia, the only nation I have with a Chaotic Good leaning government has a lot of large plantations with paid workers. Just because a place has a cash crop economy doesn't mean they will have slavery. Apseldia does have institutionalized racism, they are a republic but only half-elves and gnomes can vote. Apseldia is also overcrowded so the laws of supply and demand mean that laborers will work for cheap.
     
  2. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,191
    Likes Received:
    3,686
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Simple. They would call it something else. Indentured Servitude, frex.

    I have failed to perceive the sarcasm. How very Sheldon of me.

    I still like Sea Elves better though.

    The folk over on Reaper’s Forums have found that it is very useful to have some means of expressing clearly labeled sarcasm. At some point they adopted a color, purple, as the color of snark (rather than rely on the vagaries of perceived context).

    :shifty: You should totes go back to the start of this thread and assign color to all snarks, jests, and sarcasms. :rolleyes:

    See how ^ that works?

    What is the difference between a League and a Confederacy I wonder?
     
    Scalenex likes this.
  3. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,191
    Likes Received:
    3,686
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Apparently, League and Confederacy (or Confederation) are pretty much synonymous. I kept finding one word in the definition of the other.
     
  4. Scalenex
    OldBlood

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,950
    Likes Received:
    5,096
    Trophy Points:
    113
    A confederacy is a type of league which is a type of group, much as a square is a type of rectangle which is a type of quadralateral.

    I was actually going to post this \/ but you beat me to it.

    In this case, 1 and 3 were what I was thinking. It's an alliance between nations for the common action of defending themselves from the dark elves and occasionally desert marauders. Also maybe Uskala. Uskala has never threatened them but Uskala has a history of annexing smaller powers and if they want to continue their only three options are Loren, Swynfaredia, and the city states of the Colassian Confederacy, and the Confederacy is the weakest of those three potential targets.

    The problem is both the dark elves and the grey elves have a lot of coastline and a lot of ships. They could both qualify as a "Sea Elves."

    I haven't ruled out creating an aquatic race of literal sea elves as well.

    I guess I should consider giving them a nickname besides dark elves. They aren't the ebon skinned matriarchal spider worship sex maniacs dark elves of D&D. They also aren't the blood drinking Spartan cult of sadists that Warhammer dark elves are.

    They call themselves Kahdisterian elves after their nation, but that's a poor nickname.


    I'm working on fleshing out the members of the Colassian Confederacy. Most of them are going to be City states with a single large city surrounded by rural country side, apart from the Mereshnari who are nomadic barbarians (I came up with the Mereshnari a long time ago for a different campaign, I'm just moving them to East Colassia) As a baseline I'm going to use this list to come up with a few things and figure out what combinations of things make sense.


    We have the most…
    -Grain
    -Fish
    -Shellfish
    -Goats
    -Cattle
    -Timber

    We have the finest…
    -Accessible port
    -Horses
    -Ships
    -Wool
    -Wine
    -Ale
    -Cheese

    Our people are the best…
    -Sailors
    -Swordsmen
    -Archers
    -Artists
    -Riders
    -Smiths
    -Carpenters
    -Healers
    -Scholars

    Mineral Resources
    Luxury Metal: Gold, silver, platinum, marble
    Utility: Iron, tin, copper, building stone
    Quarries: Clay, building stone, marble, slate
    Consumable: Salt, coal

    Cash Crops
    Sweets: Honey, sugarcane, cocoa
    Beverages: Wine, coffee, tea
    Spices: Commonly but not exclusively Pepper, saffron, ginger cinnamon and clove
    Luxury Textiles: cotton, silk, flax (linen), labor intensive dyes (frequently red or purple)

    Exotic Resources
    -benign monsters or magical beasts
    -Guardian spirits
    -A reliable gateway to the Fae Realm
    -Silverwood Trees
    -Regents
    -Font of elemental energy (also called alchemical font)
    -Arcane magic font
    -Gemstones

    Government
    Absolute hereditary Monarch
    Feudalistic hereditary Monarch
    Council of Elders
    Guilds
    Wealthy families
    Priesthood
    Senate or assembly
    Mageocracy
    Warlord determined by meritocracy.

    Hybrid systems are the norm. If the power center is in wealthy families or a priesthood they probably want a monarch or warlord to serve as a figurehead.

    For instance a monarch could have a council of elders or guild association that is a true check on his power, or the secondary ruling body could be a pack of spineless yes men who vote to ratify the king’s edicts 99% of the time.

    Goblins?
    -Goblins didn’t ask for their lot in life and we share a common foe. We should welcome them as long as they make an effort to follow our laws.
    -I bear goblins no ill will, but NIMBY (not in my back yard)
    -Goblins are inferior beings who redeem themselves by performing our menial labor.
    -Goblins are a pestilence that need to be destroyed.

    Weaknesses
    -Foodstuffs need to be imported
    -No convenient waterways for transportation
    -Limited fuel
    -Limited building supplies.
    -Limited metal

    -Institutionalized corruption of leaders
    -Rampant crime and banditry
    -Entrenched heretics
    -Hostile monsters nearby
    -Area is Haunted
    -Void Energy Nexus
    -Rogue elementals are common
    -The nation is unpopular with their allies in the Confederacy.
    -Close to a hostile foreign power


    Am I missing anything that can go to my building blocks for a tiny nation?



    I figure a few logical ways things can fit together. If a nation has a reliable magic font, wizards are sorcerers are probably going to claim it and they may impose a mageocracy with a puppet king or ruling council to handle the day-to-day efforts of running the land that the wizards think is beneath them.

    Then once I have five or six nation concepts I will draw them on a map or I will trick I mean persuade @Warden or @pendrake to draw map for me.


     
  5. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,191
    Likes Received:
    3,686
    Trophy Points:
    113
    On your resources I am not seeing basic sustenance and orchard crops, e.g:

    barley, corn, maize, oats, potatoes, rice, wheat
    -or-
    apples, grapes, lemons, melons, oranges, pears

    Those are ^ not an exhaustive list.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
    Scalenex likes this.
  6. Scalenex
    OldBlood

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,950
    Likes Received:
    5,096
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I just populated a fictional continent. I demand likes!

    The nations and tribes of East Colassia.

    I have a crude map on paper, if/when I finalize a better map I will surely post it. I'm trying to make the coast line less smooth and uniform. I'd like to put in some islands south of East Colassia. I'm not sure if I want to make the islands part of the existing nations or if I want to make them their own separate group or group.

    I definitely plan to change the continent into something less simplistic from this but here is the map again for reference. The little island on the top is the Isle of Death.

    The dark elves of Kahdisteria dominate the history of the continent. If the dark elves were not a common threat, the Confederacy would have never formed and the human nations would probably still be feuding to this day, or one nation would have managed to conquer and absorb the others.

    I certainly need to come up with better names but here are some concepts though I am pretty happy with the Mereshnari, a group I came up with many years ago for a separate setting.

    Most of the nations of the Confederacy are clustered on the southern coast. Between most of the Confederacy and the dark elves of Kahdisteria is a big mountain range (the East Colassian Mountain Range) and a big desert (the East Colassian Desert).

    West to east along the coast are the various nations of the Confederacy listed with a ~22 word summary of their most defining trait.

    Marginalland: They are the most geographically removed from Kahdisteria and were the last nation to join the Colassian Confederacy.

    Marginalland

    Marginalland is the most geographically removed from Kahdisteria, so they suffered the fewest dark elf incursions. Initially they declined to join the Colasian Confederacy because dark elf raids were so rare. Once the rest of Confederacy solidified itself and started regularly making the elves pay for their trespasses, the number of dark elf raids against Marginalland increased tenfold. At this point they literally begged the Confederacy to let them join. The Confederacy admitted them, but no one lets them forget that they were the last to join.

    Marginalland is the only land in the confederacy that has no access whatsoever to a navigable river, and they have the least fresh water of any of the nations of the Confederacy. This limits their agriculture and transportation. They have a lot of coastline, so fishing is good but the cooler waters means their waters not as fish laden as their eastern neighbors. The western sea, the area known as the Demon Strait barely has any fish in it at all. Thus their population is fairly small and during years of below average rainfall they have to import food or people will starve. They tend to rely heavily on root crops like potatoes and carrots. The lack of rivers for transportation had contributed to a culture that values horsemanship.

    Marginalland’s greatest resource is their vast forests which fuels Marginalland’s most important industry: ship building. They are the only place where the Confederacy can easily get tall masts. They also have a lot of productive salt mines which are worked primarily by goblin slaves. They also have modestly productive mines for iron, tin, and precious metals. While stories of their gem wealth is largely exaggerated, more than a few adventurous people take up gem prospecting in the wilderness. Most come back empty handed or never come back at all but a few people come back rich.

    Marginalland is ruled by a hereditary king with hereditary counts serving as vassals. So far the kings have generally been harsh but fair managers of the royal funds. During plentiful years the king charges heavy taxes and builds up a sizeable treasury. During drought years, the king opens up the royal coffers to import food for his subjects. This system worked out great except that one time when elf raiders looted the treasury.

    The reason why Marginalland has lots of salt and lots of gemstones is because during they are sitting on the lands were a lot of epic battles were fought during the Second Unmaking. Unfortunately this means that Marginal Land experiences a disproportionately high number of random Void Demon and undead attacks. That's also why they were reluctant to join the Confederacy. "We have our own problems, thank you very much!"

    Worship of all of the Nine is permitted. Hallisan and Korus are the two most commonly worshipped deities of the Nine with Zarthus and Mera competing for third place. Hallisan is sort of viewed as the nobles’ god and Korus is sort of viewed as the peasants’ god.

    Right across the Demon Strait is Western Colassia. That used to be a good thing because it meant that Marginalland could trade with Western Colassia quite easily. That was before Uskala conquered the smaller nations that used to be Marginalland's trading partners before they joined the Confederacy. If and when Uskala decides to expand into East Colassia, Marginalland happens to be the closest. If the Uskalans invade, reinforcements from the rest of the Confederacy may be slow in coming because the other member nations are somewhat bitter that Marginalland joined the big war against the elves late.

    Given that they have a small population but relatively rich mineral resources and a strong equestrian culture, the backbone of their army is naturally heavily armored knights.

    Musseland: Musseland controls a large inlet to the sea that is treacherous for large ships but is great for harvesting fish and shellfish.

    Musseland

    Musseland is formed by the largest inlet to the sea in East Colassia. Unfortunately the inlet is pretty rocky. It’s not impossible to move a large cargo ship through safely, but it’s not easy, so you mostly see lots of small boats, lots of fishing boats. The inlet is rich in seafood, especially shellfish. Thanks to the inlet, they certainly have the most coastline.

    The land around the inlet is fairly hilly. The main food crops are fruit trees and potatoes. Musseland also has a fair number of vineyards which makes wine their main export, because shell fish are hard to transport over large distances.

    Mineral resources are limited but the hills have a few small useful mines, especially for coal which is what most locals use for fuel in lieu of wood. Timberland is sparse and there isn’t much good stone or clay for buildings so homes and fortifications tend to be fairly small and modest.

    Goblin policy is NIMBY. The government system of Musseland is very decentralized, and this decentralization sometimes causes problems. Their government system is a microcosm of the Colassian Confederacy. Musseland was the first nation to propose the idea of the Confederacy, a fact they are very boastful about. Musseland has about a dozen local lords that make joint decisions through discussion and voting in a group they call the Council of Lords. The lords will vote on officers to act on behalf of Musseland as a whole such as the army's general, the fleet's admiral, and an ambassador to each of the other Confederate nations, among other positions.

    Worship of Greymoria and Maylar is highly discouraged but not illegal. Locals are generally polytheistic. According to them, Zarthus is said to smile on their decentralization, Hallisan smiles on the people’s courage and work ethic, Mera and Korus respect their wise custodianship of nature’s bounty, and Mera likes to come to Musseland’s parties. Did I mention Musseland has a reputation for arrogance with the other nations of the Confederacy?

    The army is not very uniform in their weapons or tactics. Most commonly the lords rely on infantry with shields and spears or crossbowmen.

    I’m thinking of involving merpeople or other intelligent aquatic races have some kind of relationship with them, but since I haven’t developed the undersea societies yet, that goes on the back burner.

    Mooringsland: Mooringsland controls the Confederacy richest and largest port.

    Mooringland

    Mooringland’s central city is where East Colassia’s widest, most navigable river meets the sea. Mooringland is East Colassia’s busiest port (suck it City of Light!) and is the main gateway between the Colassian Confederacy and the more distant lands of Everywhere Else. Mooringland is the most populous and richest nation in the Confederacy.

    The same river that supports the port is also good for irrigation, so Mooringland is a veritable bread basket. They have the largest population of any of the Colassian Confederacy, so they can’t really export any food. In fact, they import livestock and luxury food items from elsewhere. Fishermen make a decent living in Mooringland, but sea food is comparatively less plentiful here than in Meraland, Musseland, and Marshlandia.

    Timberland is limited, but fortunately they have large deposits of easily accessible clay so most buildings are made of ceramic bricks. Coal is imported to heat most homes and to fuel their local metalworkers.

    As a bustling port city, Mooringland is the most cosmopolitan place in the Confederacy with a very large non-human minority. Most nations have a non-human minority of around 10% the total population. About a third of Mooringland is non-human. They have the most gnomes in the Confederacy, the largest concentration of free half-elves outside of Apsedlia, a bustling goblin ghetto (goblin slavery is outlawed here), a kenku district nicknamed "the nest", and a small district that caters to grey elf sailors and wood elves on rumspringa. They also have a lot of ethnic neighborhoods made up of human cultures from other continents.

    Thanks to a tiny number of dwarf immigrants which have passed on their secrets, Mooringland claims has some of the best metalsmiths in the Confederacy (though Mineraland disputes this). Mooringland also has a fairly bustling theater district with celebrated playwrights, actors, and musicians. The Bard’s Guild is pretty powerful and including a number of arcane bards capable of fairly potent magic.

    Officially power is held by the king and his vassals. In reality, the king is reasonably powerful, but the lesser are toothless paper tigers. The real power is the guilds with whom the king butts heads with frequently.

    Religious practices vary widely due its very cosmopolitan population. None of the priesthoods wield much political influence, but not for a lack of trying in the case of the three Lawful deities priesthoods. The permissive atmosphere of Mooringland attracts a lot of priests and spell-casters that are normally not tolerated in civilized lands. Testers of Maylar and Greymoria’s Children quietly sell their services to the highest bidder, as well as the Bacchites, a fringe group of Nami’s Rovers that are known for their frequent acts of criminality.

    It’s hard to tell whether the asocial religious orders brought organized crime or if organized crime attracted these religious orders, but nevertheless Mooringland is riddled with crime and has a legendary red llght district where sailors from around the world stop by for gambling, prostitution, and recreational drugs. Remember the aforementioned dwarves that make Mooringland's metalworkers so good? Most of them are outcasts or criminals on the run from their own society.

    Smugglers and pirates leech profits away from legitimate shipping interests. Some fear that there are Kahdisterian elves pretending to be from Loren or the Elven Empire but these fears are largely exaggerated. Former slaves of the dark elves are very good at spotting dark elves pretending to be grey elves or wood elves, especially if they are half-elves. Grey elves and dark elves have very different naval jargon. Wood elves know next to nothing about ships. If you ask a dark elf spy a dozen rapid-fire questions about the ship he took into port, he will probably slip up with his fake accent.

    A stolen diplomatic letter showed that Uskala has a vague plan that when they choose to expand into East Colassia, rather than hit Marginalland which is closest, they plan to take over the port of Mooringland so they can cripple the entire Confederacy transportation network. Some people in Mooringland state that the letter is a forgery created by the people of Marginalland. Uskalan ambassadors of course claim the letter is a hoax. The idea that the King Drosst is planning to conquer any lands in East Colassia is preposterous…

    The backbone of the Mooringland military is their navy. Fighting onboard ships or in cramped alleyways has nurtured a proud sword fighting tradition. They also are fond of crossbows. However , when fighting land wars they tend to embarrass themselves.

    Marshlandia: These good and simple people eke out a meager living in a large bayou.

    Marshlandia

    The least populous and poorest member of the Confederacy is Marshlandia. They are one of the few members that doesn’t qualify as a "city state" since they don't have a single settlement worthy of the title "city." Located around a massive river delta, the Marshlanders live off a wide variety of seafood resources and edible fungi. They also set up gardens or orchards in the few pockets or relatively dry ground The people eat well, but because of the wetness it’s hard to store or ship excess food.

    Their main if not only export is magical regents which are relatively abundant due to the wide variety of plant and animal life. They have ample timber resources to build their boats and homes, as well as fuel their fires, but their wood is neither plentiful or high quality enough to warrant exporting it.

    Of all the humans in the Confederacy, the Marshlanders are most the pro-goblin. Goblins tribes keep villages in the swamps and the humans and the goblins make it a point not to hassle each other. There are enough other nasty things in the swamp that the humans and goblins don’t want to make their lives more complicated by attacking each other. Occasionally the two groups even engage in limited trade or warn each other of mutual threats.

    Most Marshlanders live in house boats, or they have huts in some of the dryer places. Castles and advanced fortifications are not possible here. That’s part of the reason the Marshlanders have no real aristocracy or peasant class. Each village is basically self-governing, usually but not always governed by their eldest member or a small council of elders.

    When the marshlanders have to act collectively for matters that affect the whole nation, each village will choose a representative for the Council of Elders (though many members of the council are fairly young people, if only because the actual elders don’t want to travel a hundred miles over a swamp to the meeting area and back). The Council of Elders elders discusses and votes on policy. They also appoint the Master of War, normally a young man of celebrated valor, who is in charge of coordinating defense of the realm for all villages.

    Korus, Zarthus, Mera, and Maylar are commonly worshipped in Marshlandia, but no deity is neglected entirely. There aren’t a lot of swamp priests. Most priests are extremely informal. One regional oddity is that the most influential priesthood in Marshlandia is the Order of the Compact. Worldwide, the Order of the Compact is almost negibly small. They are a very rare order of druids that put forth the notion that all of the Nine should be worshipped equally. They claim that their order predates all other modern priesthoods. While they aren’t more or less powerful than “regular” divine spell-casters Compact Druids can cast divine magic without fully committing to a single deity’s agenda making them less predictable in their actions. They are also less predictable in terms of capability because they do not specialize as narrowly as the more mainstream divine casters do.

    While not particularly disciplined, most Marshlanders can handle themselves in a fight. In wartime, they are experts at dirty fighting. Other confederacy members disparage that the fight like goblins. Rumor says they even fight with goblins.

    I’m tempted to give Marshlandia a friendly guardian dragon or an love-hate relationship with the Fair Folk, but I’m not 100% sure about this.

    Magic Land: Magic Land has a major font of arcane power that is harnessed by a coven of wizards who call all the shots.

    Magicland

    Magicland is famous for arcane fonts that let mages restore their quintessence (quintessence points is how I limit PCs and NPCs casting spells) quickly and provide abundant natural regents to harvest. They have a copper mine that serves a minor elemental font that is an alchemists dream. Magicland meets its fuel needs with ample timber. They are a coastal power in the way that Mississippi and Alabama are technically coastal states. They share a tiny bit of a navigable river with Mera Land but they have a lot of small streams fed by the nearby mountains which provide for their fresh water needs. They claim that the mountain spring water is why their beer tastes so good.

    Magicland is the most self-sufficient of all the Confederacy in terms of resources. Magicland enjoys the most diverse food options without needing to import anything. They have a little bit of seafood, a small number of fertile pastures, a small number of lands ideal for grain crops and a small number of lands ideal for root crops and a small number of lands ideal for orchards. Their mineral resources are not very impressive but it’s better than nothing, much like their fishing industry.

    Magicland has a hereditary king who appoints all the government heads (general, captain of the guards, master of coin, etc). The true power is with the Wizards of Coven. The Coven can veto any decree or appointment the king makes. The Coven usually doesn’t exercise their veto power very often because they find the day-to-day affairs of the realm beneath them. The Coven pays a pittance in taxes, and if the king has need of magical services, the Coven likes to make him grovel for it, time permitting.

    The Wizards of the Coven have a huge library. The non-magical sections of the library can be accessed by the general public for a very nominal fee. Magicland has bustling university and center of learning for more than just magic. Magicland produces many renown alchemists, healers, historians and other men and women of learning. The most celebrated scholars are invited to join the Council of Wisdom which has no formal power, but both the king and the Coven take their recommendations very seriously. If a peasant feels oppressed, his best, maybe only recourse is to lodge a complaint with the Council of Wisdom.

    Worship of all the Nine is allowed or even encouraged, but Magicland is so secular that very few priests and priestesses wield any political power. The poor people tend to favor Korus. Khemra has a temple in the university and a representative on the Council of Wisdom which is as close to political as any priest gets. The Coven tends to be areligious. They are nominally Khemra worshipers but that’s mainly so they have someone to barter with if they need divine magic. While arcane magic is valued in Magicland, the locals view Greymoria as a Christmas/Easter thing. Routine Greymoria worship is just too elfy.

    Official policy on goblins is NIMBY. Magicland banned slavery and serfdom. About one third of the agrarian class are yeoman farmers. About one third of the agrarian class are sharecroppers working for wealthy independent land owners and the remaining third are employees working on the farms owned by the Coven or the university.

    Their main exports are magic or lore, but both the Coven and the university employ very skilled herbalists. Thus the nation exports a modest amount of herbs and spices. Food resources are so diverse they have little need to import food (unless they want something luxurious). They do import a lot of metal worked goods, especially since the Coven often has very exacting requirements for the metalwork they order.

    In addition to the common threats and challenges faced by the Confederacy as a whole, Magicland is frequently plagued by rogue elementals which passively feed off the ambient mystical energies of the many mystic fonts and the magic cast by Coven itself.

    The backbone of their military is a small elite cadre of heavily armored men on foot. When a threat requires the Coven get involved, the mages will typically avoid the front lines, instead the Coven likes to cast every empowerment spell on their soldiers that they can muster pushing their abilities beyond human limits.

    Meraland: A fringe group of unusually militant Mera priests runs the nation like a theocratic police state.

    Meraland

    Mera’s faithful have a well-deserved reputation for being pacifists. As little regard dark elves hold for humans, humans who are outspoken Mera worshippers that are captured are in for a very rough time. Add in that before the Colassian Confederacy was formed, Mera temples were soft targets for hostile human neighbors. Thus Mera’s Faithful in East Colassia become the most militant Tenders the world has ever seen. Meraland is the birthplace of the borderline heretical group known as the Paladins, who take Mera’s mandate to protect the weak very seriously. Centuries ago, the Paladins deposed the king of Meraland and instituted theocratic rule in the name of the people’s protection.

    In the name of protection of the people the Paladins rule everything. The officers in the military are Paladins. The bureaucrats are Paladins and the judges are Paladins. They control nearly every aspect of their citizen’s lives.

    Official policy on goblins is NIMBY. Meralands bans slavery and serfdom, but they also banned private ownership of land. The peasant class are called “citizens.” In reality, "citizen" is a euphemism for "serf". Citizens hand over all their harvested crops to the Paladins are then receive a ration that the Paladin think is appropriate. The only real difference is that most young men are required to go through basic military training a few weeks a year and retain ready reserve status for the army.

    Worship of all the Nine except Greymoria and Maylar is permitted but very few priests from deities other than Mera opt to reside in Meraland. Most visiting priests show up to preside over their deities’ special festivals then leave. Zarthus is the only deity besides Mera that has a permanent temple in Meraland, and this is due mainly because of Meraland's art community.

    Meraland actually draws in Tenders from across the Confederacy and beyond. Because of this, Mera temples in the rest of East Colassia are surprisingly few compared to human dominated lands. Most of the Mera temples you in neighboring nations try to distance themselves from the Paladins, playing up their stereotype as gentle healers to an extreme degree.

    Meraland has rich farmland and strict rationing so Meralands regularly produces an agriculutral surplus. Their main exports are foodstuffs. They have limited but adequate timberland and mineral resources. Their main imports are metal ore and coal. Despite a lack of abundant building materials, Meraland has some of the best fortification and static defenses in the Confederacy. The Paladins spent a lot of their surplus money to import sturdy stones and hire competent engineers.

    The Paladins encourage spartan lifestyles so there are few luxuries. Other Confederacy members consider Meraland to have the continents absolute worst cooks because they are very stingy with spices. The main luxury Meraland has is art, muchof which glorifies Mera but the Paladins allow full freedom of artisitic expression. Next to foodstuffs, objet d'art are their chief export.

    Mera land coastal waters are warmed by prevailing currents. Great for fishing, but bad if you hate fog. Because of the prevalent fog, no one wanted to build a major port here. The coastline is smooth and relatively free of dangerous rocks and shoals. The relatively safe coast enshrouded in fog means that hostile ships carrying pirates or dark elf slavers traveling in small groups can approach undetected. This vulnerability to attack is a large part of the reason why the people of Meraland initially accepted living under a police state.

    While most Mera temples in foreign lands view the Paladins as an embarrassment to their order, Mera herself doesn’t seem to have a problem with the Paladins. Mera spirits frequently visit to extend a helping hand or helping flipper. The most wellknown and beloved Mera spirit is a hippocampus known as Seabiscuit. Seabiscuit will play with fishermen and do simple tricks for free fish or biscuits. Seabiscuit has the power to bestow water breathing powers temporarily to humanoids that he touches. A lot of fishermen that get surprised by pirates or slavers are rescued by Seabiscuit who will take the fishermen deep below the sea to safety.

    The backbone of their military is citizen regiments of pikemen that are called up when needed. Their few full time soldiers specialize in the long bow. The Paladins are not hypocrites or chicken hawks, they lead from the front in battle.

    Mineraland: The most mineral rich land in the Confederacy is also the only Confederate nation that actually shares a border with the dark elves.

    Mineraland

    Mineraland was built over the ruins of an ancient Dragon city that was sustained by a mighty river that has been dry since the First Unmaking. The greatest treasures have been picked clean by centuries of artifact hunters but a vast network of tunnels remains despite more than a few cave ins.

    This underground system of tunnels of caverns is fairly rich in metallic iron ore, precious metals, and coal. These mines are not as rich as the picking in the north Colassian mountains but Mineraland is not on the doorstep of Kahdisteria making Mineraland the best source of mineral resources in the Confederacy.

    Mineraland has plenty of fresh water and a warm climate but the soil is fairly sandy and rocky so they grow whatever those conditions permit. I want to say root crops, but I'm not an expert. Mineraland also controls a small life stone which provides a lot of edible underground plants and fungi. Fishing off the coast is good but not great. Timberland is adequate for fuel and building needs. Grazing land is adequate but not good. Same thing with their orchards and vineyards.

    Mineraland’s mining industry is sustained on the backs of goblin slaves. Mineraland is ruled by a king who claims all the mines as his personal fiefdom. The farmlands, pastures, and timberland are administered by the king’s vassals who are called thanes. As long as they pay their taxes, the king gives his vassals extraordinary autonomy to run their lands as they see fit. Slavery of humans is outlawed. Thanes get to choose whatever mix of serfs, peasants, and yeomen that they are comfortable with.

    Greymoria and Maylar worshipped is banned outright barring very cursory yearly acknowledgements. Hallisan worship is the predominant religion with Phidas worship in second place. The Guardians and Masks frequently have the ear of the kings and the thanes alike.

    Mineraland occasionally has monsters and elementals boil forth from the underground but their greatest threat is that Kahdisteria is right on their doorstep. The Colassian Mountains are more like hills than mountains here so travel by land between Mineraland and the Kahdisteria is relatively straightforward apart from a small number of natural choke points.

    Both Kahdisteria and the Confederacy have fortified the choke points on "their" side of the mountains heavily. Fortifications are very large and impressive having been originally created by stone scavenged from First and Second Age ruins, but all the easy building material has been claimed already. The fortifications are impressive looking but more than a little bit rundown looking.

    The backbone of their military is heavy armored infantry. Because they are on the frontlines, Mineraland houses a small contingent of soldiers from every allied nation year round.

    Inland there are three members of the Confederacy.

    Mereshnari: This friendly group of barbarian human nomads is nicknamed “the desert runners.”

    Mereshnari

    The Mereshnari are loosely based on the real world Bedouins. Mereshnari are nicknamed Desert Runners or just Runners. Most Mereshnari dislike the nickname, but there isn't much they can about it because "Desert Runner is just easier to say!" The ancient Meresh didn’t just run across the deserts. Millennia again, the Meresh used to claim all the lands south of the East Colassian Mountains as their roaming grounds, not just the desert.

    Over millennia the fledgling civilizations on the coast grew from collections of mud huts to advanced civilizations which eventually grew large enough to gradually push the ancient Meresh into the desert. Many civilized people claim to have Meresh blood in their veins and more than a few Meresh customs and terms permeated the Colassian Confederacy’s culture. "Meresh" refers to anyone with the ancient rider's blood in their vein, while "Mereshnari" refers to Meresh who keep to their ancestors nomadic ways.

    The Runners have assimilated much of the technology of their civilized neighbors though trade when such technology is an asset to their nomadic lifestyles. They don’t have miners among them, but most of tribes of reasonable size have a few metalworkers who can repair or repurpose metal weapons and tools that are damaged.

    Other members of the Confederacy say that “salt is the coin of the Mereshnari.” They will trade in coins but they much prefer barter. Salt and spices are used for routine minor transactions. Livestock and metalwork goods are used for major transactions. Mereshnari are not picky eaters and they are very good at fermenting, drying, or salting food for long term storage. Despite this, Mereshnari love to eat slow cooked food when the opportunity presents itself. A favorite dish is what's called Base Camp Stew, a big pot of whatever the men brought in yesterday, slow cooked to perfection.

    Mereshnari tribes typically number between one and three hundred members. Typically, the women, children, elderly, and the full time craftsmen will set up a tent city base camp near a localized water source while the men ride out to hunt and forage. In two to five weeks, the tribe will tap out the area’s easily exploitable food resources at which point the tribe packs up their tents and ride to another water source.

    During the rainy season it is common for two or three Mereshnari tribes to share a single base camp. There they exchange news, renew extended family ties and frequently marriage partners. Every four or five years during unusually long rainy seasons, seven or eight Mereshnari tribes will share a single base camp to exchange news, renew ties, and almost certainly exchange marriage partners. Due to divine oracles scattered among the tribes, the Mereshnari are usually aware of when these five year rain showers are due at least a few months in advance.

    The Mereshnari are patriarchal though the opinions of women, especially elder women are respected. Once they marry, women become full members of their husbands’ tribe and cease to be members of their fathers’ tribes. One of the reasons different tribes of Mereshnari tend to get along and almost never war on each other is that they are linked together through intermarriage.

    The Mereshnari are the best cartographers in East Colassia if not the entire world. They always know exactly how far the nearest oasis is. They also set up road signs and glyphs to mark sources of water or danger. The Mereshnari’s system of writing is pretty limited in vocabulary, but a version of their travel sign glyphs and pictograms has become the basis for all map symbols for most of the human world.

    Mereshnari acknowledge all the Nine, but are not particularly religious as a whole. Most priests are of Korus with a decent representation of clerics of Khemra, Nami, and Zarthus. Priests of the other deities are rare but not unheard of.

    While Desert Runners had a rocky history with the civilized humans in pre-Confederacy days, they do not hold a grudge about that. The dark elves, gnolls and other desert monsters are their current enemies. Relations with outsiders, especially the Confederacy are generally cordial. There are a few major exceptions. They are polite to most non-human races, but they very superstitious about half-breeds. Half-elves are held in open disdain. Goblins are viewed as filthy rustlers of livestock who needlessly vandalize their travel glyphs. Mereshnari don’t explicitly go looking for goblins, but if they see a goblin, they will usually try to kill it.

    Despite their disdain for goblins and military alliance against the dark elves, their most frequent enemies are bands of gnolls who they compete with for fresh water and hunting grounds. Also, gnolls will attack almost anyone on sight unless the gnolls are clearly the weaker party

    The backbone of the Mereshnari's military is light cavalry armed with lances and bows. They favor hit and run attacks.

    Midlandia: The most fertile grazing lands of the Confederacy.

    Midlandia

    Their lands make up the largest border area between the fertile southern coast and the arid northern desert. Midlandia has some cropland fed by rivers, but most of their people are herders. They provide much of the Confederacy’s meat and cheeses. They also have lots of sheep and the quality of their weaving is widely praised. Wool goods are their chief export. They also have a fair amount of honeybees and export honey and honey wine. Their mining industry is tiny. They have a little bit of iron and tin mining for ore that is close to the surface but they have to import most of their metal goods.

    Timberland is almost non-existant. Midlanders have to import a lot of fire wood and coal to heat their homes. Government officials and wealthy people tend to live in houses made of clay bricks or stone but the poor people usually live in sod houses or tents similar to what the Mereshnari use. In fact, most Midlanders consider themselves ethnically Meresh and they have a lot of similar customs and idioms. They share the Mereshnari’s hatred for goblins and their love of stew.

    Most Midlanders worship Korus primarily. The three Chaotic gods are also fairly popular, even Maylar. Maylar is the father of animal husbandry and his borderline heretical subgroup of unusually family-friendly Maylar priests, the Shepherds, have a strong presence here.

    The nation has a hereditary prince who is charge of commanding the army and defense. A council of elders determine most peace time policies. Individual elders informally lead on a local level.

    The army is mainly composed of lightly armored foot soldiers with spears and shields supported by medium and light cavalry.

    Mariverland: The most fertile cropland of the Confederacy.

    Mariverlands (I clearly struggled to keep the M thing going here)

    The two main rivers that feed into Mooringland and Marshlandia feed the inland nation of Mariverlands which creates the most fertile farmland in the Confederacy. They can get a fair bit of freshwater seafood from the rivers. The river lands produce enough surplus to export foodstuffs, but their main export is cash crops. They grow flax, coffee, and various spices.

    Mariverland experimented with goblin slavery to work in their coffee plantations, but a particularly bloody goblin slave revolt caused them to stop the practice. Also, large ethnically Meresh population led to the nation taking a “kill them when they show their ugly green heads” policy.

    Timberland is sparse. The favored building material is clay bricks, but even with two rivers, their clay quarries aren’t as productive as they would like. Mariverland has to import building material from elsewhere which is expensive, or they can make due with smaller buildings or sod houses. Mineral resources are also fairly limited, so Mariverland has to import most of their metal goods.

    The realm has a king but the true power is in the hands of wealthy land owners. Serfdom was abolished long ago since they have few permanent aristocrats. Most of the lower classes are free sharecroppers. A small number of them are yeomen. The predominant deities worshipped are Phidas and Korus both of which have moderate political influence. Maylar worship is banned outright because it’s association with gnolls.

    Mariverland has the unfortunate distinction of being the most frequent target for roving bands of marauding gnolls. At the suggestion of the wealthy families, the king now offers Mereshnari and freelance adventurers alike a substantial for gnoll ears.

    The bulk of the army is filled by pike men and axe and shield infantry. The elites in the army are its medium cavalry.

    These groups are present in East Colassia but were not conquered by Kahdisteria or inducted into the Colassian Confederacy.

    The Land of the Yeti: The yeti are nominally friendly to the Confederacy viewing the elves as a common enemy, but they are far too removed geographically removed to join the Confederacy as true members.

    The Land of the Yeti

    Kahdisteria claims all the land to the east of the East Colassian Mountain Range. At the north of their lands he mountains become a lot shorter, hills really. There are a lot of mountain passes that in theory would be easy to cross, if they weren't filled with snow ten months out of the year. It is very cold in the north.

    East of the mountains/hills is some very cold elves and their miserable slaves. To the west of the mountains is the Land of the Yeti. The Kahdisterians reacted to the presence of their yeti neighbors in a predictable fashion, they captured and enslaved any yetis they encountered. The yeti’s responded in a predictable fashion too. They responded by killing any elf they saw.

    Yeti do not cope with heat well, becoming easily fatigue even in temperate climates, so the pragmatic dark elves opted to keep their enslaved yeti up north. Captured yeti are the predominant workers in a lot of Kahdisteria’s northern mines. They don't have a lot of them though. By the time the war between the Colassian Confederacy and Kahdisteria had begun, yeti were a barely substantiated legend to the southern humans.

    The yeti lands are a long way away from the warm lands of the Confederacy but some adventurous expedition parties did venture north seek out these mysterious yeti. To a yeti, humans and elves look a lot alike, but eventually a party of humans was able to convince them that the yeti and humans shared a common enemy. It also helped that some escaped yeti slaves that rejoined their free brethren were able to explain the how humans were also slaves of the dark elves. Yeti call humans, "round ears."

    Officially, the yeti’s mysterious leader(s) (who no roud ear was every allowed to speka to directly) established that the Confederacy and the yeti share a common enemy and therefore they are allies, but the yeti refused to join the Confederacy. For starters, establishing a reliable line of communication is extremely difficult. Establishing a reliable trade route is nigh impossible.

    It’s unknown whether the yeti developed metal working themselves, or if they copied the elves, but the yeti ae known to have crude mining and metallurgical skills capable of manufacturing bronze heads for spears and axes. More commonly, yeti weapons and tools are made of stone, wood, or ivory. Yeti are hunters and gatherers. They cannot really export anything except maybe ivory.

    The yeti's only imports are gifts from Confederate adventuring parties. About every three or four years the Confederate Council will sponsor an adventuring part to trek up north and bestow the yeti with some gifts to check to see if the yeti are still alive and remind them that “humans are good, elves are bad.” If the armistice with the dark elves ever breaks down and the Confederacy is in a full state of war again, the Confederacy plans to give the yeti a much larger gift then politely ask them to open a northern front against the dark elves.

    The dark elves are vaguely aware that the Yeti are on speaking terms with the Confederacy. They have the manpower to undergo a full genocidal campaign against the yeti if they really wanted to. Some Kahdisterian nobles want this very much, but there are two major problems.

    The elves have about a thousand enslaved yeti. The elves are not sure how many free yeti there are, estimates range between two thousand and two hundred thousand. It is known that the yeti have some sort of native magical tradition, but it is not known how powerful or wide spread this magic is. That makes planning a campaign of total war difficult. Any full scale invasion of the Lands of the Yeti would surely be very risky for the Raykar that wants to try it.

    More importantly, elves don’t like to be cold. Only about 10% of Kahdisteria’s population lives in the northern third of the country. Unless an elf is sent north as a punishment assignment, elf soldiers can expect a 25% bonus to their normal pay when serving up north. Slaves sent up north need additional food and clothing to survive, unless the plan is to literally work them to death as a punishment assignment. Any large scale invasion of the Lands of the Yeti would be very expensive for the Raykar that wants to try it.

    Their religious practices of the Yeti are unknown. Supposedly their holiest site is some called Thröndwyn or something ;) @pendrake. Their system of government is unknown. The relations between the sexes are unknown because humanoids can barely tell the males and females apart at all.

    Besides summertime slave raids from Kahdisteria, the Yeti have to deal with frost worms, winter demons and all sorts of arctic monsters.


    Chay Human Tribes: The tiny remnants of the original human inhabitants of Kahdisteria now dwell in the East Colassian mountains in very small bands. Their numbers are bolstered from runaway slaves but there are only few thousand of these guys left at best, a few hundred at worst.

    The Chay are tough-as-nails living in a harsh environment with scarce food while dodging both monsters and patrols of elf soldiers. Officially, all the nations of the Confederacy have offered sanctuary to any Chay who wants it, but actually communicating this to the Chay is near impossible. They are very good at hiding and trust no one.


    Free Goblin Tribes: A few members of the Confederacy welcome goblins, most don’t. The free goblins dwell in the deserts and the mountains and are generally fearful and hostile towards everyone else. .


    Gnoll Tribes: The savage gnoll tribes roam the deserts and steppes and attack, rob, and frequently eat any human, goblin, or elf they come across. Gnolls prefer to eat sentinent races because they like to hear their dinner scream.

    The dark elves tried to enslave them but ultimately decided gnolls were more trouble than they are worth to break. Besides frequently trying to murder their slave masters, gnolls will not breed in captivity under any circumstances.


    Kobold Tribes: A few Kobolds roam the deserts but most live in the mountains. Centuries ago, some tried working with the elves, some tried working with the Confederacy. Now, if either side sees a kobold that doesn’t immediately submit to them, they will assume the kobold works for the enemy. Kobolds are now few and far between, and they understandably very much prone to hiding much like the Chay, the only other group they are on speaking terms with.


    Uskalan Light Houses: Uskala has created a couple tiny fortified light houses to safeguard their own ships traveling through the Demon Strait between East and West Colassia. The weird thing is very few ships sail across the Demon Strait unless they are delivering supplies to the Uskalan light house forts. This might be a prelude to an invasion or colonization effort, but so far all of these holdings are in areas so resource-poor no one contests them.

    King Drosst secretly believes that there is a McGuffin in East Colassia that can help him regain his draconic form. The Light house fortresses are a staging point for sending adventurers to go looking for it.

    Also he likes to have dragons killed. While he cherry picks their treasure hoards, he mainly sponors dragon hunters out of envy and spite. This remote northwest quarter of East Colassia has a lot of dragons in it.


    The Ice Biters: This tribe of orcs opted to cross the Demon Strait from West Colassia. These are (presumably) the first orcs to enter East Colassia. They dwell in the northwest corner of East Colassia where it is a little too warm for the yeti, a little too cold for the gnolls. They spend more time clashing with the Uskalans than they do fighting the true locals, most of whom aren’t even aware their continent houses any orcs at all, at least for now. Guided by a half-mad oracle, the Ice Biters believe that their descendants will one day dominate the entire continent.


    The Isle of Death: This is island is so far up north it’s hard to tell where the land ends and the solid permanent ice of the north people begins. You can walk to into the Void from here, and Void Demons certainly enjoy entering the mortal plane here. If anyone lives there they are either infernalists, or they are the most Chuck Norris-esque of the mortals on Scarterra.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
  7. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,191
    Likes Received:
    3,686
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Is it possible for a ship to transit the strait? (That is: Enter the North end the exit the South?) Is is possible (if dangerous) to walk across, from one Colassia to the other, at the North end using permanent sea-ice?
     
    Scalenex likes this.
  8. Scalenex
    OldBlood

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,950
    Likes Received:
    5,096
    Trophy Points:
    113
    That's a good question, I hadn't thought about it much because there is very little of value on the north end of the Demon Strait.

    Most of the year, it is possible to sail through the north and come out the south but you have to avoid ice bergs in the north.

    Permanent sea ice? No. You might be able to walk across ice in the winter time but there is a risk of breaking through a thin ice spot or slipping off. I suppose a little bit of magic could make crossing the ice slightly safer. I'm assuming the Ice Biter orc tribe built or stole some boats rather than walked. You can easily see the other continent across the Demon Strait. You don't need a good boat to cross the strait. It's less than a hundred miles.
     
  9. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
    Skink Priest

    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,281
    Likes Received:
    4,985
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Just interested to know, have you researched much into the cultural bases of all these nations? Have they all got cultural, aesthetic and military traits of any particular Earth cultures, or are they all generic medieval cultures like in D&D?
     
    Scalenex likes this.
  10. Scalenex
    OldBlood

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,950
    Likes Received:
    5,096
    Trophy Points:
    113
    The vast majority of stuff I post is stuff that I had notes on for a very long time. I just cleaned it and adapted it from 3.5 to my lower scale D&D10 system. The Colassian Confederacy existed in concept for a long time but I never fleshed out the member nations as individuals. All the stuff in the last post I came up with very recently other than the Mereshnari who I though of the Bedouins when I wrote them.

    Also the fringe religious groups aren't new. I had just had some groups I didn't know where to put their regional power bases. Some of these settings seemed like a natural fit for my fringe groups.



    This came out pretty recently. I am pleased that I thought of most of the things Shad brought up. I hadn't thought about the presence of magical healing causing people's mundane knowledge of regular healing to atrophy to nothing. That's a very interesting idea. It doesn't fit in my setting because magical healing is an extension of normal healing. The better a character is at normal healing, the more powerful his healing magic is.

    Same things with Plant magic and mundane herbalism. Most divine magic and a small number of arcane magic is based on ordidinary aptitudes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  11. Scalenex
    OldBlood

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,950
    Likes Received:
    5,096
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Upon further reflectoin, I guess almost everyone is a pretty generic culture. The only real difference between my setting and typical D&D setting besides a slightly de-powered meta is that my mythological pantheon is a lot more developed.

    West Colassia is going to superficially ressemble medieval Europe and Umera is going to superficially ressemble the fedual era of Japan (the two main nations of Nishi and Azuma are based on the Japanese words for east and west). Khemarok is going to superficially ressemble Ancient Egypt (though with higher technology). Penarchia and East Colassia are undecided.

    This leaves me without any representatives for the Americas and very little representaives for Africa but at the moment I'm leaning towards making the entire northern hemisphere faux-Europe and the entire southern hemisphere be faux-Asia. Since Penarchia is divided into feuding human powers and the Warring States period is pretty much the only Chinese historical period I researched (thanks to Civ IV) I could do something like that.

    The culture anyway. I'm pretty satisfied using elemental based cosmetic racial features.

    Close to the poles: Air influence
    Close to the equator: Fire influence
    Far from the coast: Earth influence
    Close to the coast: Water influence

    That way I can figure out the predominant cosmetic features of EVERY place in the Scarterra without having to say "They look insert real world race or ethnicity here."

    Since I don't want any nation to have naming conventions like "I'm Bill and this is my brother Sharshush" I like to pick naming conventions from real world names. So nearly every name I have for a Fumayan character is from me Googling "Polish baby names" and Swynfaredia is "Welsh and Gaelic baby names." Other than that I haven't thought much about their cultural traits. I guess clothing and architecture tends to be old English because that's what I can visualize easiest. How entnocentric of me. :(

    The East Colassian Confederacy is loosely based on the feuding Greek city states joining forces against the Persians but I have a lot of trouble pronouncing Greek names correctly. Other nations that make me think about competing city states include Italy and Germay. I guess I'm leaning towards German. I supose if I want to really press the differences of the nations of the Confederacy I can give each nation or tribe it's own widely naming conventions such as French, Indian, Greek, Norse, Korean, and Russian.

    Uskala I was originally going to make it based on Hungary because of the vampire connection but that's very similar to Polish to an untrained ear such as myself and my friends. Maybe make them French? That gets into a partially discredited trope of making Frenchmen bad guys but no choice is perfect.

    Mereshnari would have predominantly earth features tempered by fire and air. They probably have predominantly light brown hair with a slightly reddish tinge that is slightly curly. Their skin tone would be very light brown, probably best described as sandy making them really look like they belong in the desert. They would have generally medium builds but be a little bit on the muscular side. Black or grey eyes would be the norm. Their noses would be above average size.

    The inland nations of the confederacy would look a lot like the Mereshnari but they would probably have slightly darker hair and skin. They'd be a little shorter and stockier. Their nostrils would be smaller, but they would have very pronounced nose bridges.

    The coastal people would have most fire and water traits, maybe a tiny dash of Earth. The coastal nations would have a lot of diversity in hair. WIth various shades of red, brown, blue, and some rare exotic colors from mixing like purple. Hair ranges from straight and wavy to extremely curly. Slightly greyish skin would be the norm but there would be some that look more bronze and some that look more blueish. Medium builds with a little bit of "baby fat" would be the norm. Grey eyes would be the most common but there would be lots of outliers. Noses would be below average size.

    Dark elves would have a lot of water traits a dash of the other three. When you factor in that most fantasy elves tend to be vaguely watery to begin with and the other three forces sort of cancel each other out, they would sort of look like generic elves with a slight blue tint to their skin a slight green tint to their hair.

    Imperial elves would look like this with more fire traits which I guess would cancel out watery hair and skin colors. They'd probably look like tan real world caucasion with brown hair. That makes them a lot less exotic looking. Perhaps I should stop calling them "grey elves" which I stole from a D&D subrace of race but I justified saying the elves of the Elven empire favor grey buildings, grey clothes, and are stereotype to have stodgy personalities and be generally anti-fun. DId I accidentally create Vulcans? Marhlect!
     
  12. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,191
    Likes Received:
    3,686
    Trophy Points:
    113
    The Coastal Members of the Confederation

    Marginalland:
    They are the most geographically removed from Kahdisteria and were the last nation to join the Colassian Confederacy.

    Musseland: Musseland controls a large inlet to the sea that is treacherous for large ships but is great for harvesting fish and shellfish.

    Mooringsland: Mooringsland controls the Confederacy richest and largest port.

    Marshlandia: These good and simple people eke out a meager living in a large bayou.

    Magic Land: Magic Land has a major font of arcane power that is harnessed by a coven of wizards who call all the shots.

    Meraland: A fringe group of unusually militant Mera priests runs the nation like a theocratic police state.

    Mineraland: The most mineral rich land in the Confederacy is also the only Confederate nation that actually shares a border with the dark elves.

    Inland there are three members of the Confederacy.

    Mereshnari: This friendly group of barbarian human nomads is nicknamed “the desert runners.”

    Midlandia: The most fertile grazing lands of the Confederacy.

    Mariverland: The most fertile cropland of the Confederacy

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Each of these (Pendrake approved!) ~22 word summaries needs a few additional words of geography (if that whole tricky business of map drawing is going to happen.) One of them has a good Harbor another had an inlet of the Sea?
     
  13. Scalenex
    OldBlood

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,950
    Likes Received:
    5,096
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Here is the rough draft of my map of East Colassia. The grey part is the path of the main mountain range. These aren't the only mountains and hills on the continent but they are certainly the tallest and closest together. The yellow blob is the rough position of the East Colassian desert which I might want to make bigger when I get around to making a more grown up map, but keep in mind that between the desert and the fertile plains south there is going to be a large transition area of of fairly dry Savannah. The desert and savannah alike are going to encompass the stomping grounds of both gnolls and Mereshnari.

    I figure the local fauna would superficially resemble the African savannah with lions and hyenas and whatnot. Not sure if I want to have ALL the animals in the real world African Savannah. If I put in Elephants that takes up a lot of room for more exotic monsters but certainly lions and hyenas. There is going to be a lot of conflicting legends of gnolls magically spawning from hyenas.

    Along those lines, striped hyenas are male dominated and spotted hyenas are female dominated. I have pondered whether I want to extend that gnolls with striped and spotted variants or just make gnolls one homogenous group. Either way the gnolls are probably going to be among the most EVIL mortal race in Scarterras. In D&D 3.5 and later gnolls have demon blood in their veins. Official Gnoll Wiki. In Scarterras, "demon" means something completely different to what official D&D canon means by "demon" so I'm going to run with gnolls being a creation of Maylar that went horribly right creating beligerence and violence far beyond his wildest expectations to the point where he couldn't really control or influence them anymore. I may or may not have Greymoria or Nami involved in helping create gnolls but they will be 90% Maylar's children.

    I have yet to decide whether Maylar wants to take out the gnolls or if he just shrugs his godly shoulders and says "That didn't work out exactly as planned. Oh well, I wonder if I should make a new breed of troll...."

    This at least points out where my nations are in relation to each other. Pictured are the five major rivers and the biggest lake but that doesn't mean there aren't smaller bodies of water. I might throw in some underground rivers that connect to the overground rivers. That way the southern portion of the rivers would be a lot wider and more high volume than the northern parts. I am mildly concerned that I have too many rivers and that will ruin my nice big desert.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
  14. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,191
    Likes Received:
    3,686
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Consider the Nile.

    A massive ribbon of river passing through a desert.

    ETA: that said, it has to rain or precipitate in some other way up at the headwaters of a river that flows through a desert.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  15. Scalenex
    OldBlood

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,950
    Likes Received:
    5,096
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Scarterran Gnolls
    Origin: Gnolls were created at some point in the Second Age to test the strength of elves. Maylar was the primary architect of their creation and hyenas are one of Maylar’s sacred animials. Many scholars assume Greymoria was involved because gnolls speak Grauen. A few figure Nami might have been involved because she was so instrumental in creating orcs and orcs and gnolls are fairly similar but most Rovers dispute this pointing out that orcs are a lot more organized and adaptable than gnolls.

    A lot of their creation stories involve the first gnolls being elevated from hyenas.


    Second Age History: Gnolls attacked elves and every other mortal race that dared step into their deserts and steppes. While extremely dangerous to individuals, they did not influence greater political events much beyond slowing down elven expansion in areas with gnolls.


    Surviving the Second Unmaking: Gnolls did not cooperate with other races, even in the face of annihilation. It’s not even sure they slowed down their raids on other mortal races slightly. The main reason they survived is because the areas they inhabited were low priorities for the Demon Lords and gnolls can eat almost anything and reproduce very quickly.


    Recent History and Distribution: Gnolls bounced back from the Second Unmaking very quickly. When the elves were brought down to a tiny fraction of their power and humans were still a young race, gnolls took the opportunity to spread out around most of the world, a few would forcibly capture ships and enslave the crew to take them overseas.

    For a few centuries, gnolls roamed over a very wide era of Scarterras. They are not very organized at all. Ten steps forward, nine steps back. Most gnolls were wiped out or driven away as humans and other races were able to project their strength better. Since gnolls are a bane to all civilized people, they have to remote areas by default. Gnolls can live almost anywhere but they prefer warm fairly dry areas, preferably where hyenas live.

    Lifecycle and Society: Gnolls reproduce and grow very quickly. Gnoll female give birth to one, sometimes two pups normally and pregnancies last three months. Gnoll pups are weaned in two months and become fully grown adults in less than three years. Once adults, gnolls do not seem to age until they hit roughly thirty at which point they tend to age very quickly. The best a gnoll can hope for is to make it to thirty-five, but most gnolls are killed by their own at the slightest hint of infirmity. Monogamy is unknown, gnolls mate opportunistically. Children are raised by the whole tribe they are not given much coddling and more than a few young pups end up murdered for annoying an adult for something trivial.

    Gnolls typically form tribes of thirty to a two hundred members depending on the local resources of an area. Rule of a tribe goes to the strongest most cunning individual. A leader who shows weakness is going to be challenged, or just killed in their sleep. Gnolls are egalitarian with regard to the sexes. The biggest and the strongest gnoll is charge and male and females gnolls are about the same size with very little sexual dimorphism.

    Gnolls hate almost everyone who is not a gnoll and they don’t really like other gnolls much. They can eat almost anything organic, including very rotten carrion. They prefer meat. They prefer fresh meat and they like to eat their prey alive if possible, so they can hear their screams. Gnolls are a slightly loyal to their own race, but gnolls tribes will fight each other if they go too long without a good scrap with non-gnolls. The only other creatures that gnolls seem to like is hyenas who they often keep as pets.

    If gnolls are sated, they will take prisoners alive and force them to perform hard labor or enterainting displays for the gnolls’ amusement until the gnolls become annoyed or hungry and eventually eat them. Prisoners rescued from gnolls are never the same, they usually have post-traumatic stress disorder. A few tribes even completely break their prisoners. A few tribes have been spotted with extremely feral and depraved humans fighting among them. These tribes often have the best equipment and plan the most damaging raids on human lands.

    Gnolls can barely manage to make their own fires and manufacture sharp sticks. Nearly all of their weapons, armor, and tools are stolen or scavenged from more productive races. There are rumors that anti-social spirits or Fair Folk will provide gnolls with better weapons though they probably don’t give the gnolls weapons. They probably leave them where gnolls can find them.

    Gnolls speak a pidgeon of Common and Grauen. Characters with either language can usually manage crude communication with gnolls. Characters with both languages can communicate almost fluently. Characters who speak both Common and Grauen can buy full fluency in “Gnoll” for one experience point as if it’s a dialect.




    Religious Practices: Gnolls are usually aware that they are a creation of Maylar but they are not particularly loyal or pious. A small number of more educated tribes are aware of the rest of the Nine. A few gnolls will pray by yelling at the sky and demanding favors. Sometimes they even get it. A few gnolls are favored souls or warlocks, but not many.

    Witherlings: If a mostly intact gnolls corpse is buried a few weeks, it has a very high chance of rising as a type of undead known as a witherling. Witherlings are fast and strong flesh eaters fairly similar to ghouls only they don’t turn their victims into ghouls. They do shed disease causing spores wherever they go. Thus, witherlings are nicknamed plaguehounds.

    Witherlings will not attack living gnolls, unless the gnolls attack first, but witherlings do have a bad habit of depopulating an area of suitable prey, so gnolls usually find witherlings as a nuisance. Gnolls usually devour their own fallen members to prevent them from rising as witherling, unless they are forced to retreat from an area in which case they will hide their corpses to seed the land with witherlings out of spite, so the victors have to deal with the problem. Most experienced enemies of gnolls are aware of the risk of witherlings, and usually burn the corpses of the fallen.

    Typical Witherling Stats
    Willpower 3 Lethal Soak 3
    Strength 4, Dexterity 4, Stamina 3, Charisma 1, Manipulation 1, Appearance 0, Perception 2, Intelligence 2, Wits 2
    Abilities: Alertness 2, Athletics 2, Brawl 3, Dodge 3, Intimidation 2, Melee 2, Stealth 3, Survival 2

    Undead: Harmed by heal spells. Immune to poison

    Bite: Witherlings inflict strength +2 damage with their bite attack. They can attack without grappling first, difficulty 6.

    Disease Spores: Witherlings just ooze disease spores. Mortals near an area a Witherling passed in the last 48 hours have to roll Stamina difficulty 3 to avoid getting a disease. Difficulty 4 if the Witherling passed an area in the past few hours. Difficulty 5 if the mortal got within a few yards of a witherling. Difficulty 6 if the witherling touched a mortal or visa versa. Difficulty 7 if a mortal is wounded by a witherling’s weapon. Difficulty 8 if a mortal was bitten by a Witherling.

    Blind Fighting Feat, half penalties for blind fighting

    Fast Recovery: Witherlings recover two lost health levels every day if even somewhat fed. If very well fed, they heal three health levels per day. This healing can be sustained with animal flesh and carrion.

    Flesh Eater: If a ghoul goes a witherling without eating humanoid flesh, they can no longer regain temporary Willpower and lose a health level per week though they can only lose their first three health levels this way. If they were able to gorge themselves recently, they +1 bruised level and +1 all physical attributes.

    Keen Senses: -1 difficulty all rolls involving Alertness

    OK, OK, OK, OK -1 -3, Destroyed

    Gnoll Character Creation

    Playing a gnoll requires special permission from the Storyteller, even if you are agreed to play a game with evil characters. If allowed, playing a gnoll costs three freebie points.

    Very Strong: Gnolls have a minimum Strength of 2 rather than 1. They have a maximum Strength of 6 rather than 5. On top of this, orcs get -1 all non-magical Strength rolls, including inflicting damage. They get a -1 bonus on Willpower rolls when making feat of Strength checks
    Tough: Gnolls receive an extra Bruised level.
    Hyena Kinship: Animal Ken difficulties with hyenas are at -3 difficulty.
    Disease Resistant: Gnolls are completely immune to non-magical diseases caused by ingesting foul meat. They get a -3 difficulty break on Stamina rolls when resisting all diseases regardless of source, including magical diseases that allow Stamina rolls.
    Fast Healers: Natural healing for gnolls is three times as fast as it is for humans and most other humanoids. Gnolls almost never become infected from untreated wounds.
    Keen Senses: -1 difficulty all rolls involving Alertness

    Insane: All gnolls must take the derangement flaw for which they receive no flaw points. Whatever derangement chosen must enhance belligerence or violent tendencies in some fasnion. Common derangments include paranoia, explosive temper, sadism, or masochism.
    Ill-tempered: +1 difficulty penalty all non-magical Charisma and Manipulation rolls when dealing with creatures who are not gnolls or hyenas.
    Somewhat dim: Gnolls receive a +1 difficulty on all non-magical Intelligence rolls.

    Typical Adult Gnoll
    Willpower 4
    Strength 4, Dexterity 3, Stamina 3, Charisma 2, Manipulation 2, Appearance 2, Perception 2, Intelligence 2, Wits 2
    Alertness 2, Athletics 2, Brawl 3, Dodge 2, Intimidation 3, Stealth 2, Melee 3, Survival 3
    OK, OK, -1 -3, -5, Incap

    Typical Pack Leader
    Willpower 6
    Strength 4, Dexterity 4, Stamina 4, Charisma 2, Manipulation 2, Appearance 2, Perception 2, Intelligence 2, Wits 2
    Alertness 3, Athletics 3, Brawl 4, Dodge 3, Intimidation 4, Leadership 2, Stealth 3, Melee 4, Survival 3
    OK, OK, -1 -3, -5, Incap
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  16. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,191
    Likes Received:
    3,686
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Underground rivers are cool, there should be some.

    More geography considerations:

    More concerning than rivers flowing through deserts is how does there manage to be a desert in the first place?

    Consider: STerra is like Earth. The sun rises in the East. The (albeit cylinder shaped) planet spins anti-clockwards. Weather systems move West ==to=> East.

    Storm fronts moving in from the West should dump rain all over Colassia until they hit the mountains where at last they lose their moisture. The East side of the mountains would be in the rain shadow and largely desert.

    SCIENCE!

    ...needs to explain this.


    Real science. Weather fronts endlessly flow toward the East on Earth because of the Coriolis Effect. CE is caused by the spherical shape of Earth. On a cylinder world ...no Coriolis Effect ??
     
    Scalenex likes this.
  17. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,327
    Likes Received:
    15,014
    Trophy Points:
    113
    There is a Coriolis effect on cylinders.
     
  18. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,191
    Likes Received:
    3,686
    Trophy Points:
    113
    How does it work? Please expand on this.
     
  19. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,327
    Likes Received:
    15,014
    Trophy Points:
    113
    The Coriolis effect isn't caused by the Earth's shape, but by its rotation.
    So as long as your cylinder rotates, there will be a coriolis effect.

    I assume your cylinder rotates along the axis that goes through the flat surfaces?
    Then you will even have two types of coriolis forces: one on the flat surface, one on the curved surface.

    Very simply speaking: as you move, the Earth (same goes for the spinning cylinder) tries to rotate away below you, which makes your path curve toward the opposite side of the rotation.

    The effect does not happen if you move parallel to the direction the body rotates (east or west), in that case you move in a straight line. It is strongest when moving south or north.

    It is a tiny bit more simple on the cylinder than on the sphere, but it happens in the same way.

    On the top and bottom of the cylinder there is also a Coriolis force, it bends your path in the same way it would on a flat, round, spinning plate.
     
    Scalenex and pendrake like this.
  20. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,191
    Likes Received:
    3,686
    Trophy Points:
    113
    [...I meant to say...!] Real science. Weather fronts endlessly flow toward the East on Earth in its Northern Hemisphere because of the Coriolis Effect. CE is caused by the spherical shape of Earth. On a cylinder world ...no Coriolis Effect ??
    [ /not a quote ]

    Do weather fronts endlessly flow Westward in the Southern Hemisphere (on Earth)?

    Meanwhile:
    [​IMG]
    Words to note: “ Equator no deflection “
     
    Scalenex likes this.

Share This Page