Basically, this is what I’ve got for the world so far: Sword & sorcery, ancient empires, a little more psycho-fantasy dreamscape than realistic. People use swords and ride horses, magic is around and people have heard of it but no one trusts sorcerers. Priests are a little more common (the town has one or two) but there’s a cacophony of minor gods and weird cults more than any kind of organized religion.
The town, Khujak: It’s a river town, built near where the Muar river meets the Diamond Sea, and mostly built on stilts because sometimes the river floods and then everything is terrible. It’s a trading town, where merchants pass through on their way from the civilized lands of the east to the pirate lords and barbarian kings of the west, and back again. It’s run by a man named Baron Svandir, who theoretically pays homage and tithes to the Thousand Faceless Kings, in the east, but an emissary of the Faceless Empire has not been seen in this land for more than a generation.
The area has been a crossroads of trading, empire, and barbarians for more than a thousand years, and there’s ruins of various ancient empires (the learned among you might have heard of the Hora Quan, an race of undersea vampire sorcerers, the Nephilim, men who were half angel and half demon, and several kingdoms of elves) all over, as well as, perhaps, stranger things.
Directly to the west of the town is the Black Marsh; to the the east, the Bay of Eels, with an ancient lighthouse on the other side. The Diamond Sea proper, and its many islands, is to the south; to the north are fields and forests, and snow-peaked, brooding mountains rise out of the horizon.
There’s a small library in town, funded by the Baron himself in imitation of the old ways, that copies books brought through by travellers, though its texts are often mistranslated and incomplete. The scribes there can answer general historical and factual questions, but often will have to direct you to experts elsewhere for more detailed information.
The town has a several taverns, bars, and inns, the main ones being Istvan’s Meeting House, The Stump and Claw, and The Goat’s Tavern.
What you know about what the locals call the Old Tower:
- It was built by an empire of Men, said to be necromancers, who carried golden blades, and who conquered this area and drove the vampire sorcerers back into the sea.
- It’s lain in ruin for several generations, but recently seems to have come under occupation by a group of goblins; goblins have been harassing travellers on the main road in that area.
- The guide you acquired last session (Oldrich, and a friend of Art’s, mentioned below) says that goblins this far south is very unusual, especially at this time of year (late summer) but not entirely unheard of, and that they can likely be bribed or threatened into leaving.
- The witch, Nergui, who lives deep in the Black Swamp (will mark on the map) knows a great deal about the Necromancers who built the place, and is said to be interested in objects of their power. However, the price for her help can be high, and she cannot be paid in gold.
Other News & Info You’ve Heard
- Ancient elven priest-kings buried a fantastic treasure in the black marsh.
- Pirates, always a nuisance, have been attacking ships in greater and greater frequencies lately.
- The old lighthouse across the bay has recently started shining again.
- Dreamblossom reputedly grows where things have died recently in the Black Marsh. The opium dens in town will pay a great deal for fresh pollen, but collecting it is treacherous.
- There were reports of a huge green dragon in the forest a few months ago, but since then no one has heard any sign of it.
- An old bridge on the Muar river, built by the Imperials, collapsed two springs ago. The Baron would like to send out a party of workers to repair it, but so far his attempts have been foiled by weather, bandits, and the river’s more exotic dangers.
- A fortress manned entirely by skeletons lurks somewhere within the Black Marsh.
- No one’s come through the northern mountains at all this year. One trapper, a man named Art, went north to see if he could find out what was going on, and hasn’t been seen in two weeks.
- Any man or beast you meet in the northern mountains could secretly be a goblin in disguise.