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  1. #81
    Mallus,

    Just wanted to give you another thumbs up for your setting work here.

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  • #82
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    More details...

    People:

    • Jackson Moloch, an artist with the body of a man and the head of a bull, hails from the Infernal Isles. He is schooled in something he calls Abstract Diabolism, which finds the Devil in the *lack* of detail. He works strictly on commission, taking his payment in unconsidered trifles, and his paintings are in high demand among certain rarified circles.


    • Lady Katerina Feralgrace, also called St. Kat of All Graces, first came to the Port from one of the Shifter islands in the Near Aster in order to become a half-starved street urchin. She later parleyed the experience of nearly dying on the mean streets into becoming a member of Dodgy Artistes, an infamous troupe of larcenous performers based in the Shambles. As an Artiste, she studied under the famous warrior-woman-turned-choreographer Isadora Althing. Over the next decade of her life, Ekaterina rose though the social ranks, becoming a famous and respected dancer, a noble woman by marriage, then an accidental and acquitted murderess.

      For several years after her trial she disappeared from both polite and impolite societies, only to reappear to star in Isadora Althing's farewell recital; a performance of a recently uncovered 'classic' called 'The Hour of the Wolf'. Rumor claimed the piece was found in one of the Cataloged Mysteries. After a performance that was universally hailed as 'magical', Lady Feralgrace's fortunes changed once more.

      In short order she found herself being worshiped as the 'living saint' by the Wolf Parade. Somewhere between activist group and an ongoing street festival, the Parade's members are known throughout the Port for their custom of wearing elaborate animal masks and their philosophy of 'free mutability'. While many Parade members are natrually Shifters and lycanthropes, they choose to mask themselves as different animals; cat-women as wolves, wolf-mean wearing bear masks, etc. Most disturbing of all are those who hide their beastly demeanor behind bland, pink human masks. While her number of followers is small, and her exact influence over them is unclear, the Parade claims St. Kat's flock includes all the Shifters of the Interior border and all the lycanthropes of the Near Aster.

      She's also said to be the on-again, off-again lover of Captain Roux of the Shifting Rose.


    • Isadora Althing is a ferocious warrior orignally from the Unassailable North, whose mastery of her tribe's Snow Squall War-Dance led her on an unlikely jounrey from being a penniless mercenary to the Port's greatest choreographer. Her temper is legendary. Dance critics literally feared for their lives when tendering reviews of her performances. Said to delight in opposites, she is rumored to be the long-time lover of the scholarly, though no less deadly, head librarian at the Dragon Library, Vellum Bellicose.


    Places:

    • The Grave of Arms sits at the edge of the Clutch, a large, perfectly circular crater, a 1/4 mile across and 50 feet deep, filled with weapons and armor, most in pristine condition. According to legend it was the site of the last battle between Imperium Goetia and the MPM in the World Before, and it's true that many of the artifacts bear either the cruel baroque styling of Old Goetia design, or the non-functioning remnants of MPM machine-craft. What's most disturbing about the place is the absolute lack of remains; no bones, no blood, no remains of any kind. Few of the weapons or armor suits even bear the signs of physical damage. Many are worn, but in a peculiar way that suggests old cloth rather than metal, or the tops of very old windows grown thinner, in the manner of glass. It's as if the owners of these implements were simply made to "go away".

      It's hard to say how many people in the Middling Lands wear or wield items either directly taken, or at least reforged from, this haunted place.


    Things:

    • The Deep Aster Cup is an annual, not to mention illegal, boat race run out of the port. It has no official name, and officially, the Governor has decreed even admitting its existence is a capital offense, and yet it goes on, year after year, with the Governor's tacit approval.

      Everyone knows it's sponsored by a wealthy retired merchant captain named Le Mans Gullivule, who is, in fact, the Oceanographer General's cousin-by-marriage. The course is simple; it's a circuit of three islands (with mandatory landings on each) in the Near Aster --the name is, alas, misleading-- beginning and ending in the Port. The islands in question are Aevelon (just of the Blessed Isle, it's also known as the Isle of Half-Men, being home to many half-elves), the Isle of Beasts, and Enkiil Island (run by, and overrun with, vampires). The risks of getting seduced by half-fae charms, eaten by talking beasts, or drank up like coppery milkshake all pale by comparison to the most dangerous aspect of the race: contestants must use boats not proofed against the Aster. Or rather, they must be proofed in a manner of the contestants own devising, not by the Governor's Ritual.

      Gullivule's motive is transparent... he wishes to break the Governor's monopoly on safeguarding ships that ply the Aster. The Governor's reason for the lax enforcement of his own decree is own; though speculation runs that the Governor's supply of the reagent used in his secret Aster-proofing Ritual is running out, thus his interest in alternate means.

      To this day, the Deep Aster Cup has no winners, only survivors; being unchanged by the Aster is one of the requirements for victory.
    Last edited by Mallus; Wednesday, 8th October, 2008 at 09:03 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!

  • #83
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    My friend Rolzup has been busy populating the port and its environs with all manner of interesting... folk.

    • Maximilian Feldspar is a representative of the Thanatocracy of Enkiil, an island nation of vampires located in the Near Aster. He is a merchant, of sorts, who purchases rare and unusual types of blood, uses a ritual to bottle and preserve it, and then ships it back to Enkiil where it will command a very handsome price. He is actually quite scrupulous about determining the provenance of the blood he purchases; he has no desire to bring the ire of the authorities (such as they are) down upon his head and risk ruining what has become a very profitable endeavor. Only the blood of a god, something beyond price, would be enough to tempt Maximilian into recklessness.


    • Captain Allophane is the master of The Scent of Regret, a literally undead ship that plies the waters between the Port and the Thanatocracy. The ship is made up of hundreds, if not thousands, of animate undead that have been warped and bound into various forms. It's capable of propelling itself across the waves at surprising speed, despite the lack of sails. Allophane himself no longer makes any pretense at humanity, and is more beast than man -- instead of discreet fangs, he has a mouth filled with vicious teeth. He regards the living with undisguised contempt and naked hunger, but thus far Feldspar has managed to keep him in line.


    • Atherton Heliodor Esq., is a pleader by trade; a specialist in Imperium Goetica law, he usually attends the court of Sebastian Androgore. Suiting Androgore's other legal predilections, Helidor is also a highly skilled duelist, despite his rotund frame. He is a former citizen of the Thanatocracy, but fled the island under questionable circumstances several decades ago. He is openly hostile towards any Enkiili citizens he encounters, and has killed more than a few in duels. His frankly less-than-fit shape earned him the nickname "The Blood Plum".
    "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!

  • #84
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    A few craftsmen, again, courtesy of Rolzup...

    • Donovan Rubicante, Tiefling, is a blacksmith of some renown. He makes weapons in the Old Goetic style, which is to say: festooned with hooks, spikes, and unnecessarily gratuitous serrations. He employs several imps in his smithy, who usually wear the forms of young children, and at Count Orquiel's behest will sometimes bind one of these creatures into a newly forged blade. The resulting weapon is more than usually puissant, and serves as a useful spy for the Count besides.


    • Solomon Psalter is the owner and proprietor of a small bookshop in the Five Fathoms district. His shop is well hidden, both in the mundane and the magical sense, and can generally be found only by those to whom he has extended an invitation. Solomon specializes in grimoires of various sorts, along with Bestiaries, Arcana, maps of the Interior and of the Aster, and the sort of memoirs that were better off never having been written. Some of these things are accurate, or even useful. But only some.... He will usually use a summoned elemental to guide new customers to his shop, and then give them a ring that will allow them to pierce the Veils that he uses to shroud it.


    • Shalhevet Aeris is a fabricator, one of the few remaining Dragonborn who practice the craft of building automatons. She stubbornly refuses to take on an apprentice, declaring that she has yet to find anyone worthy, but recent months have seen a human named Gabriel Mulligrubs spending increasing amounts of time at her workshop. Rumors are flying that she has taken him as a lover, or an apprentice, or possibly both...either way, no few of her people are unhappy about what appears to be developing.


    • For nearly 30 years now, the Dragonborn Matthias Mappamundi has been Master Engineer of the Gog-Magog Line. He supervises its operations, makes certain that the mechanisms are properly maintained, and oversees the weekly executions that keep the Spindle properly lubricated. Like his predecessors, Matthias sacrificed his hand to the Line when he assumed the position of Master Engineer, placing his hand along the tracks and allowing the train to crush it. He wears the same artificial limb as those other Masters; a seven-fingered hand of brass and crystal. Matthias is always accompanied by a pair of ogres, known by the titles of Cog and Piston, who serve as bodyguards and repairmen. They are very skilled at both of these duties.
    "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!

  • #85
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    Today's offering is a bevy of oddities, again courtesy of Rolzup...


    • Ch'trik'krik and her people sailed into the Port only recently, and are managing to draw more than the usual amount of attention. Enormous spiders tend to make people nervous, after all,even if they are polite and well-spoken. Their ship, woven from spider-silk and pulled along by a balloon in lieu of a sail, is an oddly beautiful thing...but alas, far too stick for most folk to walk upon its decks. Ch'trik'krik is here to establish an embassy, and open up trade with her people, the Weavers. It's not been going well, and rumors that she and her crew have been abducting and dining upon small children have not helped matters in the least.


    • As a Shadar-Kai, Splendid Robert stands midway between the worlds of the living and dead, able to cross from one realm to the other with relative ease. Like many of his people, he's put this talent to work as a medium, carrying messages back and forth in exchange for a respectable fee. Unlike most Shadar Kai, however, Robert is both willing and able to carry the Dead back to the world of the living...for an even more respectable fee. The resulting specters lack substance, but are able to see, hear, and interact with the living world and its denizens. And as long as they continue to pay him regular bribes, Splendid Robert won't show up to drag them kicking and screaming back to the Other Side.


    • Ulysses Thrush, also a Shadar-Kai, has been hunting Splendid Robert for nearly a year now, and much to his profound irritation has yet to even catch a glimpse of his quarry. Thrush is in the employ of the Eternal Bureaucracy, and is generally dispatched to bring unauthorized visitors from the Other Side back to their proper place; Robert's actions have been disruptive enough that Thrush has been given the man's capture as his sole responsibility.

      Ulysses is armed with a unique and much-feared weapon he calls The Long Arm. It's a twisted spear almost the length of a lance, made from the arm of a Spring-Heel Jack that attempted to strike it's quarry as it dove into the Sphere of Annihilation worshiped by the Cult-of-That-Which-Is-Not. The 'god' ate it's black truncheon, hand, and part of the forearm, leaving a cruelly stretched limb pulled into a gloom-limned needle point.


    • "Fulgarite" is perhaps the only dragon who has chosen to remain in the Port after emerging from the Interior. An enormous, blue-scaled monster, Fulgarite has hollowed out and taken possession of an abandoned building in the Hush, where he stores his enormous hoard of glass bottles. He's obsessed with glass; it speaks to him, in chiming and clinking sounds, in the patters of reflected and filtered light. Fulgarite has not yet managed to interpret the language of glass, but he knows with a burning certainty that he's on the verge of success.

      Like all of his kind, Fulgarite can change his form with a simple effort of will. He favors a human shape, entirely nondescript in form and feature, and uses this to obtain most of his treasures. Fulgarite is also, as William Vidimus, one of the chief patrons of the Driftglass Society -- he saw their name as a sort of minor omen, but has come to genuinely support the cause.

      Pilgrims of the Dragon Within occasionally seek Flugarite out; he... discourages this, rather violently. Indeed, he rarely consents to see or speak with anyone other than the various servitors he has employed, making exceptions only for dealers in rare or unusual glass. Fulgarite possesses a deep loathing for the Panopticon and its spawn, however, and will not allow them or any members of the Order of the Watch to enter his presence under any circumstances.
    "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!

  • #86
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    wow - lots of really great ideas. not sure if it's too late but how about having the port be more "uplifting" like it's the beginning of a new age - Port Hopewell, Port Angeles, Port Dawn Again. not sure if it was mentioned before but why have only 1 port? wouldn't there be other ports/landings on the islands too?

  • #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by peach View Post
    wow - lots of really great ideas.
    Thanks.

    ... not sure if it's too late but how about having the port be more "uplifting" like it's the beginning of a new age - Port Hopewell, Port Angeles, Port Dawn Again.
    Now that we've started playing in it, the name's officially 'The Port'. You know, the campaign's tone is supposed to be a little uplifting, at the very least bittersweet, but that's something that's going to have to come out of the adventures and the course they take.

    ... but why have only 1 port? wouldn't there be other ports/landings on the islands too?
    Oh, other ports exist, on the islands and small ones on the coast of the Middling Lands. The Port is unique in that it's the only place ships from across the Aster Sea dock, and that it somehow contains pieces of many, if not all, of the port cities that existed in the World Before.

    Seeing as I haven't added anything to this thread in a while, I think I'll add a few more colorful characters, starting with...


    • Emmanuel Raze is an angel, specifically, a deva warlord who makes his home in the Port. In Heaven he once held the rank of Commander of the Third Host of the General Millennial Assembly. Now he's the sole proprietor of the Battle Angel School, reputed to be the finest fighting academy in the Middling Lands. One would suppose the school's entrance requirements demand virtue as well as martial ability, but this is not the case. Emmanuel is a very practical sort of angel. In fact, he seems especially interested in students of the Infernal persuasion.

      This practicality extends to the techniques he teaches, which have been described as a kind of "divine street fighting". Raze is particularly fond of a swift knee to the tabernacle...

      Rumor has it he's been this way since his lover Immaculata was kidnapped by a Duke of the Infernal Isles. To this day she is believed held in his fortress on the Port of Dis. Raze has led one failed attempted to return her already, a century ago, leading a squad who came to called the Hellstormers. Upon his return to the Port with the survivors he founded the school, threw his doors wide to student of all ethical stripes and incarnations, and, one assumes, continues to plan his beloved's rescue.
    "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!

  • #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mallus View Post
    Now that we've started playing in it, the name's officially 'The Port'. You know, the campaign's tone is supposed to be a little uplifting, at the very least bittersweet, but that's something that's going to have to come out of the adventures and the course they take.
    We're doing uplifting? Does anyone besides Yatagan know?
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  • #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by shilsen View Post
    We're doing uplifting? Does anyone besides Yatagan know?
    No, not really.

    Initially I conceived of the Port setting as a tale of capital "P" Progress in the post-apocalypse (which is why I liked John's train so much), lyrical post-war melancholy meets Horatio Alger-esque can-do rags-to-riches after Ragnarok.

    (it's by buzzwords like these I set my mind in motion)
    "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!

  • #90
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    I love the theme of transformation that is everywhere here.

    I probably would have switched the Angels and the Demons/Devils, having the former from the Sea and the latter from the Interior. Get some interesting Crowley-esque symbology working with that "inner devil" and "outer salvation" thing.
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