<Homebrew> The Port on the Aster Sea - Page 5


What's on your mind?

+ Log in or register to post
Page 5 of 10 FirstFirst 12345678910 LastLast
Results 41 to 50 of 96
  1. #41
    Registered User
    Novice (Lvl 1)



    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Occupied Duwamish Territory
    Posts
    2
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Ignore antion
    Gotta say (since apparently I'm posting now instead of just lurking), that this thread contains some of the coolest ideas I've seen for a setting in a long time. Consider a good bit of it yoinked for my next campaign.

 

  • #42
    Registered User
    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)



    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    6,946
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Ignore Mallus
    My communities:

    Quote Originally Posted by antion View Post
    Consider a good bit of it yoinked for my next campaign.
    Glad to hear it. That's why I'm posting our ideas here .
    "You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.

    The Port on the Aster Sea
    Our 4e setting. It's a heartbreaking work of staggering genius!

  • #43
    Registered User
    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)



    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    6,946
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Ignore Mallus
    My communities:

    More on Places:

    • Hell is the Infernal Islands, of which there are nine, surrounded by concentric reefs of obsidian and Devil's Coral. In the center is a fabled Port of Brass (also called Dis), home to a market in which the most powerful of rituals and items may be purchased at the cost of one's, well, someone's, mortal soul.

    • Collectively, the city-states of Syssiphoor and Syphillume, and the Principality of Asp make up the Snake States. They're located in far southern reaches of the Middling Lands. Syssiphoor and Syphillume sit in the flood plain of the River Twist. Both are overrun with serpent cults, slaves, and slavers; all addled by the drugs appropriate to their station. Each city maintains a navy which doubles as a slaving fleet.

      Coiling in a rain forest plateau above them is the Principality of Asp, a place of greater purpose than the indulgent cities below, ruled by a Queen of dubious mortality. Or morality.

    • West of the port, and for some distance to the north and south, lies the central part of the Middling Lands. Residents of the port call it the Clutch, after the way the locals there hold onto the memory of the World Before. This is more true than the port dwellers know.

      Villages in the Clutch tend to have word names; Song, Hearth, Forge, Ocelot. Not coincidentally, Song is known for its singers, Hearth for its food, Forge for its ironmongery, and Ocelot for its custom of citizens wearing animal masks and indulging in baroque, stealthy games. The World Before wasn't broken in just a physical sense, but an ontological one as well. The Clutch is covered with ruins of language, and the Meanings contained therein, which stick out of the psychic landscape there like statues half-buried in the sand. Statues that cast an influence over was built in their shade.

      These Meaning are more obvious on the Other Side -- Forge is almost unbearably hot, with a constant clangor that makes conversation with the Dead all but impossible. Hearth has the smell of a wondrous feast hanging in the air, while Ocelot has a bloody great cat wandering about and chewing up souls....

    • The River Livia runs through the Clutch. According to popular opinion, it alone nourishes the fertile land there, even though Ossuary Flow runs through as well. The Livia originates beyond the Great Girding Forest, in the Highlands of the Border with the Interior, at a place called Maiden Lake.

      The Lake does, in fact, boast a magical maiden. Some call her Livia, others, Plurabelle -- she of many good graces -- some insist that the entire river is her body.

      Legends say that heroes come to her for her blessing, and, more importantly, for her magic sword. The thing is, her relationship with these heroes is ambiguous at best. She's called both "Kingmaker" and "Kingslayer". She described as both supremely chaste and a devil in the sack. And while her blessings flow free and easy, the sword is never given. It is always rented or leased, for an undisclosed but presumed terrible cost.
    Last edited by Mallus; Wednesday, 9th July, 2008 at 05:48 AM.
    "You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.

    The Port on the Aster Sea
    Our 4e setting. It's a heartbreaking work of staggering genius!

  • #44
    Registered User
    Acolyte (Lvl 2)



    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    74
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Ignore Tal Rasha
    Very nice setting. Looking forward to a story hour set in it.

    A piece of advice. If you try to omit giving a name to the city, it's gonna take effort. You don't want to have a nameless city that does in fact have the name of "Nameless". You might want to have all campaigners in the setting refer to the city implicitly, trying to convey that everyone knows it is *the* city. Planescape Torment had a nameless protagonist and did it well, but still made a lot of fuss about it and presented its story from a first person perspective.

    Then again, thinking in-game, why would a city central to the world be nameless? Better to find a really cool name for it. How about "das Nachwesen" (the after-essence, the after nature) or "das Nachdasein" (after-existence, also after-being, also after-entity).
    G&G. T&S. V&S.

  • #45

    not A nameless city but The Nameless City?

    Thats more a H.P. Lovecraft thing. Giving it a "the Wicked" suffix would be a little Conanesque.

  • #46
    Registered User
    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)



    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    6,946
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Ignore Mallus
    My communities:

    Quote Originally Posted by Tal Rasha View Post
    Very nice setting. Looking forward to a story hour set in it.
    Thanks. As for a Story Hour, we already have one based on our 3.5 campaign that's more than a year behind current action and updated infrequently, so I don't know... then again, we probably will start another one and just double our output of neglect.

    Then again, thinking in-game, why would a city central to the world be nameless?
    We do have a name now, in a manner of speaking. Courtesy of my collaborator Rolzup (and a poster on RPG.net).

    "See, everyone *knows* the true name of the port, as well as they know their own name. But none of them can remember exactly where or when they first learned that name, let alone who from, and no two people know it by the same one. For convenience sake, then, it's usually referred to as "Here", or "There", or simply as 'The Port'."

    So it's not exactly Nameless...
    "You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.

    The Port on the Aster Sea
    Our 4e setting. It's a heartbreaking work of staggering genius!

  • #47
    Registered User
    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)



    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    6,946
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Ignore Mallus
    My communities:

    More stuff:


    • The Watchtower Eye, also called the Panopticon, occasionally sheds a sort of tear -- this, upon striking the ground below, splashes about and forms a number of much smaller duplicates of the Eye. These are much in demand as setting for exotic jewelry, and if it is a virtual certainty that the big eye is seeing what the small ones do...well, doubtless that actually appeals to some.

    • Members of the Order of the Watch are festooned with such things, and many take it as their duty to travel as much and as far as possible, to increase the Eye's chance of finding whatever it is that it's looking for.

    • According to official documents the Eye is located in the Watchtower District, but most residents refer to the neighborhood as The Gaze.

    • The 'national' sport is pit-fighting with various exotic animals from the Aster and the Interior; many citizens are fanatical followers of these matches. Some of the Magistrates disprove, however, and during their tenure over the Ethical Circus, as the gladiatorial district is known, the pits are temporarily converted to theaters and churches, except for the ones that continue to operate illegally.

    • The Agents of Fate, also called Fateful, or the Army of the Fateful, do the bidding of a wholly unknown master. They perform various acts, great and small, in order to prevent a great disaster and/or make something wonderful come about...none seem entirely sure. Their actions seem to be entirely random stuff -- Kill him, save her, drop this coin at that intersection, say this name aloud in this bar at precsiely that time -- with no apparent rhyme or reason.

      The problem comes from other Agents of an apparently different Fate, who are working at cross purposes. Save him, kill her, pick up that coin, have a loud coughing fit at 3:07 EXACTLY, and so on. This can lead to some very bizarre conflicts, which can easily be mistaken for a form of performance art.

    • The Port is home to the Aero-Nautical Corps, an organization of aviation enthusiatics that uses tamed Aster Starfish as lift sources. Resembling enormous versions of the mundane puffer fish (leading to their nickname 'Awesome Blowfish'), Aster Starfish are lighter than air because they're filled with the void and infinitely-remote stars. Few of the beasts have been successfully tamed, but the site of one of these fish swimming slowly and majestically through the sky, a ship dangling beneath it, is a common one in the Port.
    "You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.

    The Port on the Aster Sea
    Our 4e setting. It's a heartbreaking work of staggering genius!

  • #48
    Registered User
    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)



    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    6,946
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Ignore Mallus
    My communities:

    So... work on the setting continues apace. A setting document is taking shape, player handouts are being assembled. Our creative output has slowed, which is a good thing, for both the setting and my continued employment...

    Here are a few more random tidbits:

    • The artists in the Quadrille claim their district is so named because a life in the arts is "like a lively yet elegant dance”. In truth they call it that because ‘quadrille’ sounds fancy and the district is roughly square. Most others call it the Ready-Made, after the port’s first authentic artist movement, which was, in fact, larceny ("ready-made" being a term in the local thieves' cant). Artists of this ‘school’ would steal anything remotely interesting that wasn’t nailed down and exhibit them in ‘galleries’ that frequently doubled as pawn shops.

    • The Pleaders' Guild are lawyers, of various sorts. Most devote themselves to a particular magistrate, and therefore specialize in obscure bits of the byzantine laws of the Tiefling's ancient Imperium Goetia, or the art of manipulating a senile old man, or speaking with the dead, or (naturally) killing people in a trial by combat.

    • One of the port's Magistrates is a man called Billy Twist. It's not his real name. He's either a freed or escaped slave from one of the Snake States, an enormous man who's dark and slow as the river he's named for. Also rumored to be a eunuch, but not too loudly, in case he should overhear. He's got a body of stories built up around him that matches his bulk; he was once a slave-owner and sailed with the slaving fleet, that he's a spy for Syphillume or the Principality of Asp, that he was once the Queen of Asp's lover, back before the snip, that he's legs are fake and he's got the lower-half of a serpent, which is why he's always seen in public being carried about on a divan... Regardless of his past, he's seen as a man, more-or-less, of the people, and said to be the chief rival of the Governor, which isn't true, of course, because Billy is neither dead nor imaginary.
    Last edited by Mallus; Tuesday, 15th July, 2008 at 08:46 PM.
    "You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.

    The Port on the Aster Sea
    Our 4e setting. It's a heartbreaking work of staggering genius!

  • #49
    Registered User
    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)



    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    6,946
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Ignore Mallus
    My communities:

    Did I say things were slowing down? Apparently I didn't know what I was talking about. A common problem of mine, I'm afraid. Here are some prominent citizens of the port, courtesy of my collaborator Rolzup.

    • Mr. Kloot, a ghoul, is in the business of corpse disposal for those in need of such a service. Nattily dressed, very well spoken, covers the reek of carrion with fine cologne. He gives whistles of carved bone to those who contract with him; blowing these whistles will call any ghouls within range to partake of their new meal.

    • It's an entirely legitimate business, although the Dead are none too fond of Kloot and his enterprise. There's been some nasty scuffles, both here and on the Other Side. Ghouls, naturally, can move between this world and the next with practiced ease.

    • An interesting fact: ghouls paralyze victims with fear, by grabbing their heads and forcing them to look into the ghoul's eyes, which contain a glimpses of the Other Side.

    • Lord Henry Jacinth is a kindly old racist, the founder and leader of a political movement called the Red Wheel. It's his belief that the world cannot advance until those responsible for ending it -- the Dragonborn and the Tieflings -- are gone. And so, politely and gently, he leds a campaign to establish death camps for the world-killers.

    • Jacinth publicly decries the violence that has been done in the name of the Red Wheel, of which there has been quite a bit. Things should be done, he insists, in a *civilized* way. Even so, it's a miracle that he's still alive. His long friendship with the Governor no doubt plays a part in this.

    • Captain Clagoff was the captain of a trading ship, up until the day he got his legs bitten off by a shark. He was ashore when it happened; this was a very...determined shark. These days, he rides about on a Tenser's Disk cast by one of his servants, and has made a fortune importing beasts for the Ethical Circus. He's not in the least discriminating about where he gets his animals, or how.

    • Clagoff has written a number of truly horrible plays, under a pseudonym. These have proven inexplicably popular -- The Milk-maid's Tragedie, and What Came After has actually been performed even under those Magistrates who haven't declared the Circus illegal.

    • Count Orquiel is the ambassador from the Hells. He looks like an enormous man with the head of a crocodile, riding on a skinless lion. If he can, as is generally believed, take other shapes, he has never been known to do so. The Embassy's gates are always open, and Orquiel will cheerfully accept visitors at any time of day or night. He rarely leaves the Embassy grounds, only occasionally attending a function at the Governor's estate.

    • He's a surprisingly good dancer. Or rather, the flayed lion is.

    • The Old Man of Mole's Hill is the sovereign lord of a landfill in one of the more disreputable parts of the Port. An angel who wandered in from the Interior some years ago, and more than half-mad, he crouches atop a mound of earth, screeching out threatening prophecies to those who pass by. Generally gibberish, or trivial nonsense ("Three years from today, at the stroke of noon, you shall stub your toe and your wine-goblet shall be spilt! Your tunic shall be ruined, and you will remember my words and grow wroth!"), but every once in great while he lets something significant slip. Since he has an angel's perception of time, he occasionally reveals truths from people's past. Perhaps this is why Medallion won't get within 5 blocks of him. He looks like a filthy old man, but every time he opens his mouth a brilliant white radiance escapes. Tieflings find the touch of this light upon their skin to be quite extrordinarily painful.
    "You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.

    The Port on the Aster Sea
    Our 4e setting. It's a heartbreaking work of staggering genius!

  • #50
    Registered User
    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)



    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    6,946
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Ignore Mallus
    My communities:

    A few more personages of note...

    • Vellum Bellicose is the head librarian at the Dragon Library. He was an orphan named by a fortune teller. His curious name comes from the vellum bellicose, the material on which the Dukes of the Infernal Isles write their formal declaration of war. The name is synonymous with the writs themselves.

    • Vellum is a quiet man, given to study. As both his hobby and part of his duties at the Library he is making a list of all the names for the port. This will take many lifetimes, which he may, in fact, have seeing as this task has left him... curiously altered. Vellum is also the port's best marksmen.

    • Honorata "Ingenue" Santos is widely considered the most beautiful woman in port. She is also the first woman aeronaut, captain of the Starry Night. She's nicknamed the "Heartbreaking Angel of the Skies" or simply the "Heartbreak Angel".

    • Honorata was born in the town of Ingenue in the Clutch, near the shores of the Aster Sea. She was a dreamy, doe-eyed girl in a dreamy, doe-eyed town until something tragic happened, something she never speaks of. Now she breaks hearts and other, more durable things --she's become an adventuress, you see -- in the lands around the port and elsewhere.

    • She claims she's going to lead an aerial expedition into the Interior to find the source of the Ossuary Flow. She's also boasted that she'll rob the Great Train one day "because Gog 'n Magog can't reach way up into the clouds", a boast that's gotten her into a world of trouble with the Deacon of the Swagger, a crime lord who determined to both marry Ingenue and turn her to piracy

    • Onomatopoeia is as assassin. He is said to be a demon, completely invisible, and made entirely out of sounds; it's said he has a taste for blood and music. Despite being fantastically dangerous, he is frequently sought out, not only by potential clients, but by a strange mix of killers and musicians.

    • The killers believe there is no finer tutor in the arts of stealth and murder. Likewise, the musicians believe him to be the greatest vocal coach alive -- if he truly is alive. Singers want the secret of his songs, which can sound like anything else in the world other than singing.

    • These killers and musicians come from all across the Middling Lands, and even Across-the-Sea.

    • And then there's Gladmarrow. He's very tall, wears a top hat, and is usually covered in sharp bony spines. He has something to do with the Petitioner's, but exactly what is hard to say; member, boss, object of worship? He's unfailingly polite. Gladmarrow is said to eat human bones and is often seen in the company of another dangerous man who goes by the name of Gentle.
    Last edited by Mallus; Friday, 18th July, 2008 at 06:48 PM.
    "You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.

    The Port on the Aster Sea
    Our 4e setting. It's a heartbreaking work of staggering genius!

  • + Log in or register to post
    Page 5 of 10 FirstFirst 12345678910 LastLast

    Similar Threads

    1. [LL] The Port town of Orisa
      By Ebonyr in forum General RPG Discussion
      Replies: 14
      Last Post: Wednesday, 10th December, 2008, 04:31 AM
    2. Port/ router help.
      By KenM in forum Miscellaneous Geek Talk & Media Lounge
      Replies: 6
      Last Post: Sunday, 17th July, 2005, 07:40 PM
    3. Port Cities
      By Tarsus in forum General RPG Discussion
      Replies: 50
      Last Post: Tuesday, 26th October, 2004, 03:34 AM
    4. 5 Port A/V Selectors
      By Psychotic Dreamer in forum Miscellaneous Geek Talk & Media Lounge
      Replies: 10
      Last Post: Wednesday, 19th November, 2003, 04:02 PM
    5. SSH Port Forwarding Help
      By RyanL in forum Meta
      Replies: 3
      Last Post: Thursday, 19th September, 2002, 06:59 PM

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •