Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Got married this week. Going on my honeymoon. Taking two weeks off. Next post will be on June 7th. Try not to burn down the Internet(s) while I'm gone.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wallosp, City of Arts

On the continent of Yofga there are four walled cities. These cities were constructed by the Lujggao, or at least by their giant slaves. These cities are massive urban sprawls with high walls and structures of black stone. Each of these four cities contains a furnace of creation and a purifier, and from these four cities flow the nearly limitless resources that allow humanoids to flourish on Yofga.

So we're going to  talk about the third of these four cities, Wallosp, City of Arts.

The history of Wallops might be considered somewhat boring. Stories say that when the original inhabitants found the city, they entered it and explored it fully. They immediately found the furnace of creation, purifier, and descendants of the Lujggao. Unlike the other cities, the furnace, purifier, and descendants were not hidden behind heavy doors. The doors were wide and the descendants of the Lujggao were prowling the city doing their tasks. The early inhabitants also found massive stores of raw materials that the furnace of creation had obviously been producing for years. Why the furnace of creation and purifier were already in operation, unlike the other three cities of Yofga, is unknown and has been speculated on to great degree by historians.

Unlike the other three cities of Yofga, Wallosp never experienced problems with poor nutrition and dehydration that led to plagues and illnesses. The population of Wallosp had little difficulty expanding into the surrounding area and using the excess of seeds produced by the furnace of creation to being early efforts at agriculture. Early settlers were even able to use the fresh water supplies stored in the city's reservoir to begin the process of digging trenches that served as early aqueducts, which are the backbone of the agricultural efforts of the towns surrounding the other cities.

Wallosp's history might be considered almost boring by readers expecting exciting events and stories of tragedy. The city has little experience with tragedy. It's history is a story of unlikely coincidence and things working out to the benefit of its citizens. Food has always been plentiful, populations have been high, health has always been good. Almost no citizen of the city has every truly wanted for anything in the way that citizens of the other cities or the people of the desert tribes have.

This tale of luck and abundance has given the people of Wallosp something that few in the other cities have ever been able to devote their lives to: art. Almost since it was first settled, Wallosp has been the center of art on Yofga. While other cities worried about scraping together enough lumber to make hafts for tools, the citizens of Wallosp were taking up the arts of woodcarving and scrimshaw. When other cities were trying to scrape together enough iron or copper and tin to forge tools, Wallosp was putting up statues of bronze and brass and studding them with inlays of precious stones and metals.

Dozens of schools have sprung up in Wallosp, schools of poetry and philosophy and all manner or things that may be classified as art. These schools and studios have sprung up in the heart of the city of Wallosp, sort of organically growing up around the Great Gallery of Wallosp. The Great Gallery is a large series of interconnected buildings that incorporate pre-existing structures and mortal additions as well. This large structure contains various wings where art is displayed and at the times the building itself act as art. The Great Gallery was founded by an early king of Wallosp named King Grannomel.

In addition to its dedication to what might be called the of arts of the mind, Wallosp has also supported physical arts in the form of games and sporting events. These eventually culminated in the creation of the Arena of Wallosp and the formation of the week long festival known as the Great Games. The Great Games are an incredibly popular event in Wallosp that fills the city to its brim with spectators from the other cities and town and even the tribes of the deep desert. Contestants participate in trials of the body and the mind in competition for cash purses of thousands of gold. This event is overseen by a group of secretive stud wielders known as Architects. Their identities remain unknown, but during the Great Games that can be identified by their voluminous red robes that shroud their features in shadow. These mysterious figures are sometimes called sadists for the difficult trials they inflict on individuals, but despite their cunning, few participants in the games have ever been truly slain during their trials.

The ruler of Wallosp is King Metlesken Hargrave (57 H M). He has ruled the city for approximately 20 years now and is considered to be a fairly benign if unimportant ruler. He became king approximately twenty years ago with little fanfare after the natural death of his father. King Hargrave is not very involved in the running of Wallosp and relies heavily on his mother and advisors to keep the city running day to day while he enjoys the fruits of his position and their labors.

The government of Wallosp is primarily a monarchy ruled by King Hargrave, and he wields essentially limitless power in the city, though he rarely does so. The city is more closely overseen by the Council of Curators, though anything they do or enact can be overridden by King Hargrave. There is a fair amount of corruption within the city's government, but it is relatively benign and does not prevent the system as a whole from functioning. The monarchy is traditionally a hereditary monarchy, while positions on the Council are typically purchased by artistic contributions to the Great Gallery of Wallosp. There are essentially an unlimited number of seats on the Council, but the current number of council members is roughly 120.

The laws of Wallosp are fairly benign in nature, with nothing too overly authoritarian being enacted. Crimes such as murder are treated more harshly than minor crimes such as theft, as is the case across most of Yofga. Law is enacted on the street level by contracted investigators who wield little power in the city when they are not actively investigating a case. Those investigators are hired and overseen by judges that are put int position by politicians on the Council.

The economy of Wallosp is almost certainly unassailable. The city has effectively unlimited resources and it is not stingy in sharing those resources with the towns that owe it fealty. Because it basically needs nothing from the other cities, the city has a strong position in terms of bargaining and trading. It may not have quite as much iron as Mennum, or as much copper and tin as Crannom, but it has more than sufficient amounts for its basic needs. The only thing that Wallosp truly lacks is tradesmen. They have artists and resources, but because of the somewhat unfocused and relaxed lifestyle of most citizens in the city, they lack tradesmen committed to a specific trade. They have goldsmiths and silversmiths and gemcutters and carpenters, but they focus on artistry. The city only really needs skilled tradesmen with practical skills that can forge and shape raw materials for practical uses. This gives the other cities bargaining power, but not nearly as much as having unlimited resources.

Armed Forces
The armed forces of Wallosp are many and varied. This is due to the fact that the entirety of what might be called Wallosp's armed forces are mercenary in nature. Wallosp does not keep a standing army of any kind. Instead, they use the city uses its reserves of coin to buy the unquestioning loyalty of a hodgepodge of career mercenaries and participants in the Great Games the city holds every five years. This method makes the forces of Wallosp very varied and versatile and makes it rather difficulty for the other cities to gauge the precise nature and strength of Wallosp's forces.

Current Affairs
Wallosp is currently celebrating its Great Games. The celebration has been going on for two days now. On the fourth day, the Arena opens up and daring individuals can begin competing for acclaim and prize money. The influx of people wishing to see the Games of course brings in a great deal of commerce and chaos to the city. This naturally leads to increased crime for those natives and visitors living outside that law, as well as better job opportunities for those seeking gainful employment. Many merchants and nobles seek to hire participants and victors from the Games as guardians for their goods and persons. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Artifacts of Yofga

Like most DnD worlds, Hasta is home to several artifacts of great magical power. There are even a few that can be found on Yofga. The information presented here is factual in the sense that it is what people on Yofga believe about these objects. Whether or not it is factual in the sense that it is true information remains to be seen. Teehee.

The Adamant Armor
The Adamant Armor is a strange looking suit of black plate and chain. The suit of armor appears to be made of lightweight black material that is slightly reflective. Most of the armor is made of incredibly small rings that form a suit of chain mail. Over this chain mail are rounded, segmented plates of slightly reflective black material. The plates and chain are much more durable than the strongest iron or bronze found on Yofga, and much lighter than any material known to man or goliath.

The most obvious ability of The Adamant Armor is its durability. Blows that would shatter iron and slice through bronze with ease rebound off of The Adamant Armor with a dull thunk. The armor is also highly resistant to the elements, making long periods of desert travel almost easy. The Adamant Armor is also capable of shifting its size to accommodate wearer's of any size. This makes it much easier for wearer's to utilize their natural agility than more conventional suits of heavy armor.

The Blades of Bone and Flame
The Blades of Bone and Flame are four strange weapons that appear to be made of frozen fire and blackened bone. The weapons are poorly designed, with the charred black hafts and hilts having knobs and curves in them like bones leading to poor or unstable grips. The blades themselves are no better. One is reminiscent of a halberd, another an axe, the third as sort of scimitar, and the fourth a short stabbing blade. The blades do not conform to typical blade formations. They curve like fire leaping up from a bonfire and generate a minor amount of light and do not appear to be sharpened in any meaningful way. Ultimately, the weapons are heavy and poorly designed and take great skill to wield effectively, and even then, their poor balance and clumsy construction would work against their wielder.

What is known about The Blades of Bone and Flame is that they are hot. So hot that icy blasts of magic inflict minimal discomfort on their wielders. That same heat is deadly to most living things, and is capable of burning through most non-living things. Even creatures and objects supposedly immune to heat and fire cannot stand the touch of the flames of these weapons. It is known that even the wielder is not immune to the inferno these weapons possess. There are many stories of foolish or unskilled wielders attempting to take up one of these blades, only to inadvertently press the blades against themselves and be left as nothing more than smoking ash.

The Blood of Everlasting Spring
The Blood of Everlasting Spring is a very unremarkable looking item. Legends say that it is a simple glass flask or vial with a gemstone cap holding it closed. Within the glass container is a thick green fluid known as The Blood of Everlasting Spring.

Little is known about precisely how The Blood is used, but most tales speak of its wielders ingesting it or dripping it onto open wounds. Using The Blood offers extended life to those that are able to use it, though the precise extent of this ability varies in legends. The Blood also offers immunity to most of the toxins found among the beasts of the deep desert as well as offering near immunity to most diseases found in Yofga. One peculiarity of The Blood is that when those that use it draw near to the mighty lizards of the deep desert, dragons, the dragons are driven into an insatiable rage and will hunt the possessor of The Blood for weeks. The Blood seems to call to the dragons as well, drawing them from miles away. It should also be noted that if several dragons are drawn to The Blood and are unable to vent their rage and bloodlust on the possessor, they will pass the time rutting with one another until they are able to reach the wielder. There is one tale of a possessor of The Blood remaining safe from the dragons in a man-sized cave complex and hiding out there for so long that the dragons were able to send their hatchlings into the caves to devour him.

The Chalice of Balance
The Chalice of balance is a large silver goblet. The engravings and ornamentation on it are not particularly well done and do not exhibit much skill. The cup itself is very poorly shaped with an extremely large cup portion that appears to be larger in diameter than a goliath skull. This overly large portion is balanced by a very wide base. The rim of the cup portion of the chalice is also uneven with a portion protruding up from the front of the chalice almost like buck teeth. To the left and right of this protruding ridge on the cup portion of the goblet are two large, poorly cut, sapphires. The overall appearance of the goblet is that it is a big, heavy object of incredibly poor construction.

Little is known about the capabilities of the Chalice of Balance, but it is believed to be a defensive item. Stories say that poisons poured into it lose their potency, water poured in it gains restorative properties, and liquor poured within it inspires passion and poetry. It is believed that it can absorb energy attack such as bolts of lightning and blasts of fire, to generate a shield of energy that the holder can wield like a shield while he holds the chalice.

The Knucklebones of Summer
The Knucklebones of Summer are a pair of black knucklebones. The bones appear to be scorched and a much larger than those typically found on livestock or humans, perhaps of a size comparable to what might be found on a large goliath. The bones appear scorched and rub ash onto anything they come into contact with. Each of the Knucklebones is rough in shape, but it can be seen that they are vaguely tetrahedral and someone has at one point in the past carved numbers into the sides.

The individual that did the carving is likely dead at this point, due to his own idiocy due to the fact that The Knucklebones are not ideal for games of chance. Whenever they impact a surface with some degree of force, they emit an angry cracking noise and erupt into a violent explosion of flame and swirling ash.

The Rotting Teeth of Autumn
The Rotting Teeth of Autumn are a collection of ten objects that appear to be ten badly made arrowheads. These arrowheads range from three to five inches in length and look more like black talons or fangs than metal or stone arrowheads. The tips and edges curve, there are cracks and splits in them, and they all appear to have been broken off at the spot where they would be attached to the arrow shaft. Regardless of their innate power, the Teeth are perhaps the most poorly designed arrowheads ever discovered. They wobble in flight like drunken birds of prey and their range is abysmal when compared to traditional arrowheads, more often than not the arrowheads aren't even the part of the arrow that ends up striking the target, and the bindings used to attach them to arrow shafts and arrow shafts themselves both have a tendency to rot into ruin after prolonged exposure to the arrowheads.

For all their flaws, The Rotting Teeth of Autumn are undeniably powerful. They have a tendency to destroy any armor that prevents them from finding flesh. Metal armors begin rusting almost immediately, while leather rots and cloth crumbles into stringy trash. Living creatures struck by the arrowheads tend to die immediately, or lose limbs from a fast moving rot that stems from the wounds inflicted by the Teeth.

The Shadowblade
The Shadowblade is a sword that can be wielded easily in one or two hands. The blade is double edged and the whole of the weapon appears to be made from a solid piece of material with no fancy ornamentation on the hilt or blade. The weapon as a whole is a faded unreflective black color and appears semi-insubstantial.

The Shadowblade is supposedly capable of enveloping its wielder in a shadowy aura that makes its wielder resistant to the unrelenting glare of the sun as well as aiding in attempts at stealth. The Shadowblade's insubstantial nature makes it ideal for penetrating armor and physical defenses, but it also makes it an act of will to maintain a grip on the weapon. It also makes it impossible for the weapon to deal conventional damage to targets. The Shadowblade is capable of killing and damaging opponents, but the exact mechanics of these injuries are unknown. Those struck by the blade feel no real discomfort and they show no obvious wounds. They simply die after repeated blows from the weapon.

The Shield of Spring
The Shield of Spring is a buckler. Unlike more mundane bucklers, the Shield of Spring is not merely hardened leather over a wooden frame. Its construction is similar to regular bucklers, but over the hardened leather are a pattern of interlocking scales and a rim made of what is thought to be silver. The scales are smaller than an adult dragon's, but are larger than those of a healer. These scales are green in color, but the color has faded and the scales themselves appear cracked and worn in places.

The main ability that The Shield of Spring is know for is offering more physical protection from blows than even the toughest of heavy shields. Despite their cracked and worn appearance, the scales on the face of the shield turn blows quite well. It is also believed that it offers some protection from acidic substances like that found among the many predators of the deep desert, as well as some protection from heat.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Millen, City of Slaves

On the continent of Yofga there are four walled cities. These cities were constructed by the Lujggao, or at least by their giant slaves. These cities are massive urban sprawls with high walls and structures of black stone. Each of these four cities contains a furnace of creation and a purifier, and from these four cities flow the nearly limitless resources that allow humanoids to flourish on Yofga.

So we're going to  talk about the third of these four cities, Millen, City of Slaves.

The history of Millen might be described as somewhat tragic in nature. For reasons unknown, the majority of the lower portions of the city and its main thoroughfares were filled with rubble. As with the other three cities, the structures and walls of Millen were entirely intact, but the main thoroughfares and below ground portions of the city were filled with rubble and debris. Mostly broken stone. When the city was originally discovered by early humans and goliath, this debris naturally prevented them from finding the furnace of creation and purifier deep within the city.

It took over three decades for the early settlers of Millen to clear all of the debris filling their city. In a history spanning several centuries, these decades do not seem like such a delay when compared to the other three cities. However, it exposed the early people of Millen to decades of plague and starvation that the other cities did not experience. This naturally led to a significantly reduced population and a much more predatory society than that found in the other three cities. Unfortunately, when the furnace of creation and purifier were finally discovered, it was not as much of a boon for the people of Millen as it was for the other three cities.

The furnace of creation within the depths of Millen produced a great deal of seeds and other plant material, but Millen lacked the population to fully utilize those resources to begin widespread agricultural efforts. Additionally, the furnace of creation within Millen produced significantly less of every other resource. Millen had supplies for food to be grown, but not enough people to tend to crops. It had materials, but not enough raw material to make enough of any tools to do anything with them and not enough people to use them if they could.

During the early years of Millen's history, life was brutal. It was cheap and it was a trial. Almost as brutal as the life of the tribes in the deep desert. The city spread slowly and even to this day controls less overall territory than the other three cities. For most of the early decades of the city's history, it was a society of might makes right, with the strongest and most brutal individuals rising to power. Where Mennum developed a strong warrior culture, Millen developed a strong culture of anarchy and bloodshed. There were times when the desire for resources grew so violent that blood soaked the streets and the population was reduced to less than a hundred family groups within the walls.

After what is estimated to be two and a half to three centuries of pointless violence and scavenging, an individual name Kashmar Indocen rose to power in Millen. He was an outsider from one of the local desert tribes, likely from the Sequon Shardens or the Toothy Ghosts. Kashmar came into the city with a wagon full of supplies and a group of hardened desert raiders. They fought their way through the malnourished brutes and citizens of Millen till they found the antechamber of the furnace of creation and the purifier of the city, and there they made camp. Surrounded by twenty well fed hardened warriors in a fairly defensible position, Kashmar informed the populace of the city that he was now king and he would manage the resources of the city.

King Kashmar instituted a policy of slavery. You could buy seeds and sapling from his furnace of creation for five years of your life. He and his warriors branded citizens and gave them seeds and told them to go out and farm them one way or another and bring him the results. This was a crude and ineffective system. There were no plans or guidelines, Kashmar was not a planner, he just bought people and told them to do things and killed those that didn't do it.  It was crude and ineffective and clumsy, but it stopped the majority of Millen's senseless bloodshed. It forced people out into the areas surrounding the city and got them doing something instead of scavenging off of each other. Kashmar  then turned his attention to the skilled tradesmen. There weren't many, so he looked elsewhere.

Supposedly, Kashmar ordered his thugs and other individuals in the city to kidnap skilled tradesmen from other cities and desert tribes. Records from other cities do not offer any concrete evidence that this actually happened, but historical accounts from so long ago are unreliable at best. Regardless of how it came about, suddenly Millen had tradesmen able to make things. Which were then sold by Kashmar for years of servitude.

Kashmar ruled for almost four years before he was murdered by individuals that historians assume were members of his crew of thugs. The city of Millen naturally descended into complete anarchy once again. His tradition of servitude in exchange for resources did not stop though. With each new ruler the system of slavery grew more organized and more productive. As brighter and brighter minds ascended to power, the efforts of the slaves became more clearly directed and the city didn't quite flourish, but it was finally able to expand in an organized manner.

After the development of the institution of slavery, Millen's progression began to match that of the other cities, albeit at a much slower pace. Because of the fragility of the city in terms of access to resources, the city experienced many periods of fluctuating prosperity. Because of the frequent changes in leadership, lawlessness and anarchy were experienced frequently in the city's history. There were competent rulers, and foolish rulers, and insurrections, and leaders among the slaves that sought to end slavery.

The level of anarchy experienced by Millen has made it extremely difficult for historians to pin down the various periods of  its history and who did what and how and when. The few important details that we do know are that at one point early on, cannibalism was very prevalent within the city walls. It is also known that during several periods of unrest and more than a few of order, the people of the city believed that the descendants of the Lujggao were the cause of all the city's ills. These idiotic attacks were of course of no inconvenience to the descendants of the Lujggao. It is also known that during a lengthy period of unrest, several desert tribes attempted to assault the city to prey on the disorganized citizens. This assault was rebuffed by the breakers living within the city. The fragmented accounts of this incident share only one detail: at one point the army of desert raiders was approaching the city walls, then the breakers climbed atop the walls, and the entire army of desert raiders ceased to be.

Millen's history and early years are surely as interesting as that of the other three cities. Unfortunately, the frequent chaos in the city forces historians to rely on personal accounts of questionable value and the few records kept by the various rulers of the city, few of which have been overly concerned with the truth of events that transpire.

The current ruler of the city is Overlord Torgal Gralstaf (47 G M) and he has ruled the city for seven years now. His rise to power was rapid and involved some of the most savage and skilled political wheeling and dealing the city has ever seen in its history. He started out as a slave merchant and used that role to establish a strong financial power base as well as to make ties among other merchants and politicians. He is widely regarded as a harsh and dispassionate ruler, but he maintains order and his justice is fair, if unhindered by mercy, and his reign has been the most peaceful in Millen's history.

The government of Millen has almost always been one where might makes right, a monarchy at best, and a dictatorship in reality. This tradition continues in modern times. The current Overlord, Torgal Gralstaf, rules the city due to his immense wealth and the unflinching savagery with which he responds to threats to his power base and the stability of the city.

There is only one law in Millen: the word of the Overlord. Torgal Gralstaf is more evenhanded in that he does not appear to issue new laws on a whim and he appoints judges and lawmen who tend to adjudicate offenses in a similarly stable manner. That said, there is obvious corruption in the law of Millen, but the Overlord has been known to be ruthless in cutting out obvious or outright stupid manipulations of the system. The laws of the city have been designed to augment the system of slavery, with most offenses carrying what might be considered exorbitant fines that may be waived by the guilty agreeing to submit willingly to a term of slavery.

The economy of Millen is incredibly fragile. The city is almost completely reliant upon the resources of other cities to sustain its population, even with slaves taking a smaller portion of food and water supplies than regular citizens. The only resource that is of true value in Millen is its slave population, and even then only in certain circumstances. The other three cities and most towns have a reluctance to participate in the trade of slavery, with the practice being more or less outlawed in the other three cities. However, when deadlines approach and normal workers are too costly to employ, many towns turn to Millen and engage in trading resources to the city in exchange for brute labor. This is especially useful during planting seasons, which Millen is of course aware of.

Armed Forces
There is no official army or militia within the walls of Millen. Instead, most leaders of the city surround themselves with thugs and warriors that are competent and capable of taking orders. When the Overlord of the city deems it necessary, these individuals act as officers and generals (assuming fighting over who is in charge doesn't end with them all dead) and elite troops. They then make withdrawals from the slave population of the city to use as mobs of infantry.

Current Affairs
Even though the laws of Millen, like the other three cities, have outlawed cannibalism for centuries, rumors persist among slave and citizen alike that some still engage in the taboo act that was once commonplace in the city's early days. Those that speak of these rumors imply that ancient cults and secret societies that have existed since the early days of the settling of Millen are the practitioners of this dark act. Recently, new rumors have been circulating among the slaves of the city. They say that it is not secret societies that consume the dead, but instead it is members of the official government of the city.