Friday, February 17, 2017

Races: Goboda




Goboda - The Goboda lizard men are nomadic tortoise-like desert dwellers.    They have a heavy, rigid carapace which gives them a great bonus to armor, but reduced mobility.  They have proportionately small heads on a flexible neck, large thick limbs, and a heavy, dragging tail.  They stand between 5.5' and 7' tall, and are at least 2.5 times as weighty as an equivalent-sized man.  Males and females are superficially identical.

The majority of the Goboda live in the great arid expanse that is the Tomada Yoma, the largest desert in the Furthest Lands.  There they keep mostly to themselves, following the old ways and keeping their ancient histories.  Wise and endurant, many are priests, monks, teachers, and craftspeople.  Generally herbivorous, they subsist on succulents, root vegetables, flowers, gourds, melons, and lichen, but occasionally eat insects and small vertebrates.  Like the Fasinaa and the Mororca, the Goboda are not true "lizard" men, their metabolism is bird-like.

Do YOU want to argue philosophy with this guy?
The Goboda can be perceived by other races as foolishly personable, maybe somewhat slow-witted, and naive.  Others meet the nomadic holy people the Walkers of the Great Wheel (the Eternal Pilgrims) who feel their faith will protect them in any situation, with the most frequency, and incorrectly color their views.  The Walkers spend their lives completing circles of the continent, a seemingly impossible journey of many thousands of miles and through impassable obstacles.  There are plenty of Goboda thugs, slavers, mercenaries, death cultists, and warlords, and they can be as amoral and self-serving as any other race.

Though they are found in cities and as a part of their religious migration all across the continent, nowhere outside the Tomada Yoma are the Goboda encountered in any great numbers.  Even the general population is low, they breed slowly and their egg-born children have a very high mortality rate.  Goboda warriors favor both obvious crushing weapons like stone clubs and maces, and ones with a long reach like whips and polearms.  Goboda wizards communicate with elemental spirits of stones and sand and sun fire, create time-warping mandalas, and wield powers of sound and light.  The Orobolus (the Circle) is their primary divine force, though they worship Naudde, Immacula and Se'vensaera as well.



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In the case the of the Fasinaa and Mororca saurians, I had drawn their forms before and been successful, but nailing down the design on the Goboda had eluded me up until this point. Good work blog!
So 2/3 saurians down, 3/7 races in total down.  Back soon.
Fasinaa
Goboda
Mororca
Iele
Chrichoral
Umash
Shem

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Races: Iele












Iele (humans)


Essentially a catch-all term for the most human-like of the mammalian bipeds.  Pronounce the word as "eel" the fish.  There are dozens of distinct iele tribes with their own cultures and distinguishing features, as well as countless interbred families and individuals.  Most other races cannot tell the different tribes apart, thus the name.  Iele means "mongrel", it is slightly offensive, but a widely accepted term.  To human outlanders many of the iele would seem quite alien, while iele would assume a human to be a fellow iele.  The appearances of individual iele are widely variable.  Some have strange skin or hair coloration/patterns, some tails/horns/feathers, some minor natural magical abilities, some have subtler peculiarities.  They have the height and weight range of humans.

Iele of a specific tribe with specific traits who breed with others of that tribe produce children of like traits.  In other instances the children are generally born with random traits.

Iele Tables

To generate a random basic iele, roll once on the iele abilities table, and roll 1d4 times on the iele appearance table, re-roll duplicate or conflicting rolls.

Iele Abilities

01-03  know alignment 1/day
04-06  infravision, 60'
07-09  immune to normal poison
10-12  light 1/day
13-15  darkness 1/day
16-18  speak with animals 1/day
19-21  faerie fire 1/day
22-24  hunter's mark 1/day
25-27  longstrider 1/day
28-30  detect magic 1/day
31-33  +2 to saves vs. fire
34-36  +2 to saves vs. cold
37-39  +2 to saves vs. electricity
40-42  +2 to saves vs. acid
43-45  sense direction 1/day
46-48  beautiful, +1 charisma
49-51  stone augury 1/week
52-54  breath augury 1/week
55-57  water augury 1/week
58-60  flame augury 1/week
61-63  fast, +5' base movement
64-66  strong, +1 strength
67-69  near odorless, lower chance to attract scent-based predators, +2 to sneak vs. same, etc.
70-72  +2 to saves vs. spell
73-75  nimble, +1 dexterity
76-78  hardy, +1 constitution
79-81  curious, +1 wisdom
82-84  clever, +1 intelligence
85-90  ---
91-95  roll twice, reroll 85-00
96-00  roll three times, reroll 85-00

Iele Appearance

01-02  Small antlers
03-04  Sharp teeth
05-06  Red skin
07-08  Blue skin
09-10  Green skin
11-12  Flower patterned skin
13-14  Feathers for hair
15-16  Feathers mixed in hair
17-19  Light patches of fur
20-22  Fur
23-25  Very short
26-28  Very tall
29-30  Striped skin
31-32  Short tail
33-34  Long tail
35-36  Digitigrade
37-38  Extra finger
39-40  Long fingers
41-42  Extra thumb
43-45  Claws
46-47  Gold eyes
48-49  Red eyes
50-51  Silver eyes
52-53  Spice eyes
54-55  Black eyes
56-57  Blue hair
58-59  Green hair
60-61  Patterned hair
62-64  Lithe, thin body
65-67  Stout, thick body
68-69  Glittering skin
70-71  Cat eyes
72-73  Goat eyes
74-75  Flaking skin
76-77  Greasy skin
78-79  Bone spurs at joints
80-81  Completely hairless
82-83  Bioluminescent spots
84-86  Long ears
87-89  Very small ears
90-91  Split lip
92-93  Spinal ridge
94-95  Elongated face
96-00  Roll twice.


The iele, while not unified among themselves, are the most prevalent race.  They breed faster and more successfully than other races and quickly adapt, developing new traits when introduced to new environments.  They form the majority population in most of the cities on the continent and are found in all the others as the largest minority. 


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The iele serve several purposes for me.  They replace humans in a setting that I wanted to free of the standard humanoids and demihumans, which I love but exist in another part of the world.  Their lack of cultural unity makes them the most accepting race, they become the glue that holds the peoples in cooperation.  They give players who just want to play a character with unique characteristics of their choosing a way to do so that doesn't make them instantly the craziest looking person in any town.

On track with races unless I think of something else that must be urgently expressed.  C'mon Goboda!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Divine

The Divine


    In the Furthest Lands there are eight Goddesses, the Circle, and innumerable demigods.  The various peoples tend to revere small self-created pantheons of goddesses and demigods rather than worship single goddesses.  Different races have different shapes and names for goddesses, but nearly all consider them female (Myconids, and other sexless creatures do not).  Only the demigods are manifest, as their material form is much of their being.

The Goddesses


        Tyrant (the Eye and Hand, the Followed Command, Our Lady of the Megaliths)
She embodies hierarchy, dominance, and architecture.  She is the last of the Laws.

        Se’vensaera (Sussurus, A Question Whispered)
She embodies choice, sky, and spoken words.  She is the youngest Chaos. 

        Ris (the Faceless, RAS)
She embodies absence, entropy, cold, and math.  She is the first of the Laws.

        Immacula (Kiss Upon Seeds, the Sweet Droplet)
She embodies seeds, rain, and perfection.

        Tsugumi (Mouth of Poison)
 She embodies masks, writing, and poison. She is the second of the Laws.

        Conce (the Evermother, the Roiling Womb)
She embodies the sea, birth, indifference, and plenty.

        Skraosh (the Primal Beast, the Blood Lady)
She embodies evolution, predation, and ancestry.  She is the second Chaos.

        Naudde (the Hidden, the Dream Tenebrix)
She embodies the unknown, caves, and sleep.  She is the oldest Chaos.



Orobolus (the Circle)

The Circle is the ninth Divine, cyclical time, destiny, infinity.  The goddesses are bound together within the infinite and all-encompassing Circle.  The Goboda religion holds this concept as one of its pillars, but it is rarely worshiped as a deity by other races.


The Demigods

The myriad demigods are each male or sexless, incomplete divinities.  Some are as great animals, chimerical, colossal, possessing a unique magic or nature.  They are the products of single goddesses, in most cases Conce and Naudde.  Conce in particular continuously creates demigods, some who come to land, most who are released to the Thousand Oceans.  More creature than concept, all of the demigods can be "killed", with different results.  Some will be replaced, some will be missed, some will not

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Back to races next, if I don't get distracted again.  Those races are (if you are interested):  the aforementioned Fasinaa, their saurian relatives the Goboda and the Mororca, the "iele", the Chrichoral, the Umash, the Shem, and some more uncommon others.  Once I get these basic bits down I can get down to the way more fun specific and weird stuff, stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Races: Fasinaa


Fasinaa - The Fasinaa lizard men tend to be tall, thin, and finely scaled.  Their snouts are long, with a monitor lizard or therapod dinosaur type appearance, and full of sharp teeth.  Males have long, thin tails and can be brightly colored, females have shorter, thicker tails and have a camouflaged pattern useful in the last place they shed their skin. 
This is a trustworthy fellow.

Highly intelligent, agile, and inscrutable, the Fasinaa are known to be hunters, alchemists, sorcerers, assassins, and 'Liars of Tsugumi' (a kind of holy person).  The weakest and smallest of the three saurian species, but the most rounded and adaptable.  Fasinaa are not true "lizard" men, their metabolism is bird-like.  They are omnivorous, eating fruits, roots, birds, and various game.

Theirs is the oldest culture in the continent, they are said to have invented writing.  They live in the jungles of the Faakshidraa but many leave to seek their fortunes elsewhere.  All the cities have Fasinaa populations, and they are found in every profession (no class restrictions).  They speak their own language, which has a common root with the other two saurian languages.

In combat, Fasinaa favor spears, javelins, bows, jagged maces, and oversized machetes called Fasinaa Cleavers.  Their wizards speaks to the spirits who live in the ancient trees, deal with the demons who bubble up from the earth or drip down from the stars, and bind the magic animals of the jungle with trickery.  The Faakshidraa is filled with poisonous/venomous animals and plants and the Fasinaa use the essences of every one they can.  Tsugumi Mouth of Poison is their primary goddess.  Her masked devout the Liars describe the world as it is not to give it new shapes (and makes their lives better).

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Ten Furthest Lands

Across the Thousand Oceans from the continent of Fulcrise Haelere, the Furthest Lands unfold.  The highest peaked mountains, the most vast reaching plains, the deepest wettest jungles.  An avalanche of life and a stampede of land forms.  They are unknown to the outside as anything other than an abstraction.  They are the lands of primal monsters and multitudinous magics, the beginnings and endings of stories.  A fairy tale in overgrown megaliths and myriad megafauna.
The animal/monster life here is drawn from a variety of sources: currently living animals, particularly marsupials and birds, animals from the Mesozoic era, animals from the Cenozoic era, inspirations from the work of Wayne Douglas Barlowe, Clive Barker, underrepresented mythology, and the curly Suessian reaches of my mind.
50,000 years ago, the greatest ancients waged an incomprehensible war with their unknown enemy from the shining city they had settled atop the Juum plateau.  On the Day of the Black Finger, darkness poured from the noon sun, the shining city was destroyed, and Juum crumbled into a hole that never filled, the Hive Mouth.
Now, the races that lived in the shadow of the ancients have cobbled together their own areas of civilization in a land that resists taming.  Here food is rarely a problem, all environments teem with plant and animal life.  Few communities are truly agricultural and farms, like all settlements must be defended constantly.  This is the true problem in the Furthest Lands: the environment quickly takes back from civilization, roads and paths are consumed, monsters return, nature spirits incite and seek to inhabit the people, and there are many many creatures adept at predating humanoids.  The only routes to holding back or taming in some small way the wilderness is multi-species cooperation, magic, or creating a symbiosis with it.
Now, the unique living magic of this place, the peculiarities of its geography and the ruinous transformation that created the Hive Mouth have unbalanced the world.  This has resulted in the Furthest Lands becoming a sort of planar sink.  Magical travelers often unexpectedly end up here from the Cross Continent and from throughout the multiverse.  Likewise, magical travel off continent is now considerably more difficult.
The Furthest Lands have a tropical to sub-tropical climate and two major seasons.  The dry, hot season Sunhold lasts two thirds of the year, and the cooler, wet season Stormseat lasts the rest.  There is a single sun and single moon. 
This is a continent mostly without kingdoms, where the few true cities have necessarily high walls and strange rules.  Outside the bipeds’ scattered enclaves, the beasts and nature spirits own the lands, lands that have swallowed up most evidence of the past.  This is a continent where journeys require preparation and are never assured successes.  Very few people venture out alone, and the strongest know best when to run.



Woof woof.
Here's a general overview of the geographical areas.  Many occur as the briefest note, some of those I know about and won't get into until later, some I have the vaguest idea beyond their name.  A name is often enough, you know?


Ten Major Areas of the Furthest Lands


Twin Cities Area

The most civilized part of a savage continent. 

Anderside & Kraoshd, the Twin Cities - connected to each other across the Ceresine River via Bruuhoila's Bridge (an immense stone bridge that appears almost a natural landform, said to be built by one of the iele First Magic users, a holy site).  The bridge is usually the simplest and least expensive way to cross the Ceresine, which is wide and home to many hungry creatures.  Each city is surrounded by a 90-foot stone wall with one major and two lesser gates.
Known to change hands quickly, the cities have alternately been united under a single ruler, separate but trading, or openly at war.  Each has been nearly leveled in the past 200 years.  The constant rebuilding and periodic shifts in control create a riot of art, advertisement, and architecture.  Government and basic services are a complete mess at best.  The Twin Cities trade with a network of specialized farming and fishing villages nearby, hunting settlements further out in the Great Plain, the fishing nation of Rilm, Tauk Toma, and controlled dealings with Soec.  A huge amount of goods and services are found in the two vast central marketplaces: normal and exotic animals, fish, vegetables, textiles, weapons.  Stalls, stands and hawkers of all races line the streets, ready to haggle at great length, and disappear with their wares in seconds at the slightest sign of trouble in the market.   Some stalls are built to slide back into the store and close up with metal or chitin plated shutters.  Merchants and local shoppers are used to clearing out quickly to avoid rampaging escaped animals, street fights, magical mishaps, and the odd gang war or militant crackdown.
The Twin Cities are the launching point for countless caravans heading out across the Great Plain
(lower) Ceresine River - a wide, deep, wild river teeming with animal life.  The Twin Cities serve as the primary crossing point, but barge passage can often be purchased at other points downriver.
Mygwa - a farming village in the shadow of Anderside.  Mygwans raise livestock here close to the river, lappets and crenchies for clothing and armor.
Mil Waite - a farming village in the shadow of Anderside.
the Blue Forest - a dense jungle of strange plants, few of which are actually blue.  Beyond the slicers and  and various wretched arboreal mammals, there are metal ziggurats deep within that no plants will take root on.
Jaolis Tract - a broken forestland to the south of Kraoshd.
Kraok Marshland - a salt marsh, at the southwestern edge of the continent. 


Gragot Plain Area

A gigantic open wild area with few areas of civilization. 


West Gragot Plain (the Great Plain) - the drier area of the plains, with sparse vegetation.  Spans from the the Nemeb River to Kraoshd.
East Gragot Plain (the Vash) - the lush part of the plains, with more vegetation.  Spans from the Nemeb River to the Jungle Wall (the border of the Faakshidraa and Faakmataba Jungles to the plains).
Nemeb River - the muddy, slow-moving river near the center of the plain.
Sradahath - the waypoint village, the most common stopover point on cross plain journeys.  It is surrounded by huge sharp rock spires, moved into place in ages past by an unknown force.  Sradahath is disproportionately heavy in entertainment venues, like bars, brothels, and gaming houses.  Most extensive animal market on the continent.  If a plains creature isn't currently up for sale in Sradahath a deal can be made to procure one readily.
Gnarl - the village in the stump.  Here a giant tree grew from a gorge-like rock formation, ages past the tree was gutted, either by fire, insects, or disease, and its enormous hollowed remains became a defensible perimeter.  Gnarl is predominantly a hunting camp and trading post, lacking the space for farming.
Aegir Tarn - the low southernmost mountainous range separating the plains from the sea.  Primary underground nesting ground of the largest Mororca tribes.
Rg’Zhd - the ancestral Mororca Tri-horn lair deep in the mountains underground.  Home to the current Tri-horn's extended family.

Six-legged snake weasel, rhino rat... just some normal animals.

Faakshidraa Area

Faakshidraa Rainforest - the largest jungle of the continent.  Mostly held by the Fasinaa lizardfolk from their capital city Fasinadas.  This is a dense, dark rainforest made of immense intertwining trees, parasitic and saprophytic flora.  In its depths, the Faakshidraa contains many naturally occurring layers which house a variety of separate specific environments. 
Faakmataba Jungle - the so-called “Jungle of the Elders”, second-largest on the continent.  Lies across from the Faakshidraa and is bordered on the north and west by the Jodah range.  A taboo place generally avoided by the Fasinaa.
Fasinadas - the capital of the Fasinaa lizardfolk nation, a city carved into giant trees and the caves beneath them. 
Tsugumi's Mouth – the southeastern delta lands.  The richest and most contested farmlands on the continent lie here.
Eerilke Marsh - the winding marshland that forms the southeastern edge of the continent.
Maes Nassaa - "Best View”, a Fasinaa canopy village at the southeast end of the Faakshidraa. 
Shidraa Ruins - the warped remnants of the Fasinaa city Shidraa.  Now overwhelmed by a massive fungal growth, stretching miles underground. 
Vailska - the village at the edge of the Eerilke Marsh.
Tsku Tskuun River - longest of the three main rivers, it begins in the Jodah, curls all the way around the Faakshidraa Rainforest and ends in Tsugumi’s Mouth.


Pofft Coast Area
 

Booezor the City of Magic - meticulously carved from the top of the tallest peak of the Cnatka Taer, the Magic City’s architecture is the most elaborate and fanciful anywhere on the continent.  The city is structured in tiers, five above the main gate and three below.  Entry lies at the end of a huge, wide, winding stone staircase  The cabal of powerful wizards, scientists, and archaeologists who call themselves the Children govern this place and store their carefully hoarded knowledge here.  The Children have kept Booezor stable with clearly defined laws, and safe from most threats that magic and money can combat.  Population is predominantly iele, though more chrichoral are found here than any other city.  Booezor’s economy revolves mainly around the trade of spell and magic item components, which it lies in a unique position to monopolize.  The other major trade service is the sale of the Children’s restricted magics like Space Magic (including teleportation), the group’s catalog of true names, or certain powerful divinations.  The City of Magic trades with the Fasinaa realm of the Faakshidraa, villages along the Pofft coast, and the eastern end of the Ridgewaste, and the occasional caravan from the Twin Cities.
Werefti Sea - the wide western sea.
Zhayshabbed - a coastal town.
Northern Waste - the sprawling badlands below the Yarmir Tarn that stretch for endless miles.  Commonly called the Bloodless Plains, the Hollows, and Dust and Sighs.
Yarmir Tarn - the northernmost mountain range of the continent.  Jagged peaks that create countless aeries, treacherous caves, and yawning fissures.
Ridgewaste - the broken lands to the north of Booezor.  Hunting grounds of many strange creatures attracted to the Magic city.
Oln Altra - ...
Quus Mire - ...
Cnatka Taer - a short range of mountains, Booezor lies here.


Tomada Yoma Area

Tomada Yoma - an expansive desert.
Tauk Toma - the great temple city of the Wheel, home of the Goboda.

Glass Waste - a vitrified wasteland stalked by terrifying predators and twisted poisoned spirits.
Rilm the City of Fish - a city built into and on top of cliffs hanging out over the Acris Sea.  Umash, iele, and Fasinaa boats set out from this rocky port to haul in thousands of kinds of edible and otherwise useful sea creatures.  Seasonally afflicted by oppressive winds from the Glass Waste.
Lassemedra’s Lip - a deep oceanic trench that runs close to Rilm.  Fish, whales, and all manner of other sea creatures pour from it near constantly, in a tidal cycle.
Abelwidt - a village.
Five Oases -  the holiest site of the goddess Immacula, a Kiss Upon Seeds. 
Arcris Sea - the wild western sea, dotted with many small islands and the archipelagos where the Gawshien and other isolated tribes of iele live.


Shemna Island Area

Two large islands to the northeast of the main continent.  Home of the Shem empire that regularly strikes at the mainland.

Oubliess Sea - the quiet northern sea.
Kao Shem - city of the Shem, curious geometric stone structures protruding senselessly from an immense mass of blue-white crystals.  This is the Crystal Colony of the insectoid abominations called Shem, where they each return once a month to drink up reflected sunlight and keep their strange congress.
Lbon Island - the smaller of the islands, avoided or unused by the Shem and unseen by any from the mainland.


Cnacol Peninsula Area

Cnacociel Tarn - the sharp-peaked mountain range dividing the peninsula.
Werefti Sea
- the wide western sea.
Vortice Tower - a windowless, black stone tower suspended thousands of feet in the air.  This is the steed, the coffin, the forge, the manse and the master is N’Gael.
Ig the City of Outcasts -
there is a great beast that wanders Cnacol, burdened across its acres of back with a tremendous ball.  Balanced upon the ball is the point of an inverted pyramidal structure which is the city of Ig.
Mount Wendg - ...


Soec Area
 

(upper) Ceresine River - a wide, deep, wild river teeming with animal life.
Soec, City of Monsters - the underground city of Soec is a cleverly managed warren of depravity.  If an act or good is illegal in some other city, chances are it’s legal here.  Soec is home to over a dozen competing gangs who deal in drugs, slaves, dangerous magic, poisons, assassination, and depraved craftwork.
The “street” tunnels are often several building levels high, and lit by phosphorescent moss and fungi blooms.  Alleys and disused streets will have lower ceilings and have poor lighting (sometimes luminescent lichen is the only thing to eat). 
Ovocil is, and has always seemingly been the hidden ruler of Soec, his desires accomplished by his Hands, Jaelek and Jaff.  Jaelek the Right Hand, is regularly visible and communicates on the master’s behalf.  Jaff the Left Hand, is rarely seen but is said to be responsible for the assassinations of those who disobey or work against the master.  Ovocil demands toll fees through the city’s main gate, which is a stable gateway to the deeps, as well as a tax on near every purchase.  Tax evasion is punishable by petrification, the statue-remains of those who didn’t pay litter the central square.
Unlike other cities with a low population of iele, Soec is one of the most diverse.  Many creatures who could never be found in a lighted city are seen here, naga, medusae, myconids, and stranger things from below ground going about their business and carrying on as normal.
Mumattoba Tarn - the widest and tallest of the central mountain ranges that gird Centerscar.
Kufis - a town on the opposite side of the Ceresine river from Soec.  Close enough that the City of Monsters’ many gangs hold sway here as well.
Tomadan Scrubland - the disintegrating terrain at the borders of the vast Tomada Yoma.
Pallenseil Plain - the lowlands of the peaceful skies.  Compared to the Gragot or the Vash, the Pallenseil is an idyll.  Though the farming is easy here and the packs of animals and giant monsters fewer, entire towns can still disappear seemingly overnight.
Peak of Attalystor - the tallest peak of the Mumattoba Tarn, source of the Ceresine.


Centerscar Area

Vriskirr Lake - a great placid lake at the approximate center of the continent.
Hive Mouth - an infinitely deep hole?  A well of cosmic evil?  The resting place of a falling star?  A gateway to a greater darkness?  A wound?  A womb?  There are few who know of the great abyss that the Juum plateau has become, and none who understand it.  Year by year it grows.
Rariidesht Desert - the frozen desert.  A quiet, apparently lifeless desert of fine white sand during the day.  The yawning winds of Centerscar make the desert freeze each night,
Ria Vrika - the short doomed flow from Vriskirr, fed to the Hive Mouth.
Aoal Eska - isolated village.
Mranda - isolated village.
Nagga Vris - isolated village.
Jodah Taer - small mountain range separating the Faakmataba jungle from Centerscar.
Enoretma's Fen - ...


Aika Aitat

The high mountain home of the Chrichoral, inaccessible by all other races.

Jiri Riji -
...
Star on Zikken - the capital "Secret City" (more village) of the Chrichoral, meeting place of the Songstealers.


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 And that's that for now I suppose.  Questions?  Comments?  That's the helpful stuff.  Races next, unless I think of something better.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

An Actual Post Like a Real Person

"Wandering between two worlds, one dead,
The other powerless to be born." - Matthew Arnold


I needed a place to disgorge/organize my thoughts.  I needed a project, a thing that I could add to periodically and feel that some progress had been made.  I miss D&D, and since I don't have any opportunity to play right now I start planning for it in the future.  So I found the whole OSR DIY D&D magic blog land thing a few months ago and was massively excited, and knew I had a place where I could throw the Furthest Lands information that I've compiled.  It's also a great excuse to make a bunch of like-themed drawings.  Having a public thing might help me commit?  I hope?

What's relevant?  I'm a child of the early 80's, I'm sure some of you are too.  I've been drawing since I was two.  I don't consider myself a writer.  I was the little kid who lived for PBS nature documentaries, books, and dinosaurs.  We were in an antique store of all places when I was about 8, and my father found the AD&D Monster Manual II and brought it to me.  I had to beg him for the $8 or whatever it cost, which meant it would be the only thing I’d be allowed to have on that trip… but what toy could be better than an entire book of monsters?  I read it over and over with no knowledge of what D&D was, the stats were all a mystery I could only compare to each other.  It all implied so much.  Started buying and playing those 90's box sets, you know, the one with the curiously humanoid red dragon reaching upward on the cover?  I bought all the monster books I could get my hands on.  My friend got into Dark Sun, I got into Planescape.  From then on I was always playing someone's original campaign or DMing my own.

Lancet Stirge gets the shaft.
Role playing in another human being's personal fantasy world is unique.  It would have to be, right?  Sure it's not exactly a trip through someone's psyche, but there's a great deal that can be expressed both consciously and unconsciously in this way.  Some people's worlds are planned, some are organic, some serve as intentional statements, some are a question being asked or explorations of fear.  Experiments, infants, graffiti.  The Furthest Lands are the world *I* want to adventure in.  It began as a question of “What’s on the other side of the ‘planet’?” from the all too normal basic fantasy (elves, some dwarves, all the humanoids love-the-humanoids) continent I was trying to play in a PBEM campaign.  There’s plenty of neat stuff going on in the nations, frontiers, and twisted lands of Fulcrise Haelere, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the continent that the people there instinctively know exists opposite them, a place they call the Furthest Lands.  No one who lives there calls it that.  C'mon, that's ridiculous.
Mikayla Lemsteeg, iele neoarchaeomancer, on the Gragot Plain.
I wanted specifically for this to be a place of strange monsters, prehistoric and magical, where the cities and villages are few and heavily fortified, not from other nations, but from the (hyper/meta/super/para)natural world outside. Where travel is a great danger that can be mitigated by planning and knowledge, and creates its own adventure.  Where a good player is the one who knows when to run or how to avoid greatest threats.  A place where the good and evil axis of alignment matters far less than the  law and chaos, or society and wilds axis.  A place that welcomes PCs from outside its borders, since when player ignorance is equal to character ignorance it works out perfectly.  It also has a variable/customizable “human” race (which is what I find a great deal of players really want to play), though there are no humans here.  There’s a lot that a player can do here to aid society: mapping unexplored regions, expanding territory, hunting game/monsters, guarding/leading caravans, rediscovering ancient magic, building structures, organizing groups, creating trade routes, uh... treasure hunting anyone?  And all that is just if you're genero-adventurous and basically helpful, if you're a depraved misanthrope or completely self-serving there's plenty of leeway for you even in the cities.  Hell the first group I had wandered off to Soec to sell some hadrosaurs they had recaptured, slaughtered the operators of a Fasinaa sorcerer's drug den, remodeled it, made some deals, turned it into a bar front for their incredibly unsavory mercenary company, and sold even more drugs.
The Furthest Lands face a handful of existential threats that can be totally ignored by players because they're long term in nature.  No one I play with ever wants to "save the world", at least not right off, you have to make them care about it first, and that takes time.  But those scenarios exist, worsen, and affect the continent regardless of the players' interest.  I could see a different campaign set maybe fifty years in the future, where the situation has degraded and the focus must be saving the world or getting the hell out of it.

Here's the latest iteration of the map, which is the first digital one I've made.
Expect to see this again...  I can't stop messing with it.
It's nice to be able to edit it easily, but I'd like to make a real tasty paper one once everything's nailed firmly in place.
I've come up with a handful of fun random ideas while writing all this, so the blog has already proved its usefulness.  So I'll start on the ten geographical areas with my next post, maybe if I don't get distracted and do something random.  I still need to do a good indicative drawing for each of the races, so I can't start with those.