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Old 10-02-2018, 12:02 PM   #71
Daigoro
 
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Default Re: [GAME] Collaborative World Building Dwarven city as a start

Answer 54- Geography Follow-up Pt 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollonian View Post
At least two human city-states are quite hostile to dwarves on ideological or religious grounds, and the acolytes of the dwarven cult of the Hidden Kingdom wage a secret, genocidal war against "tall ones" west of the White River. ... (Note that Knurlkyth, being east of the White River, is not a battleground for their anti-human crusade. Yet.)
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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
And Cloud River appears to be a major local river draining the Great Plateau westward to the sea, while the White River must run north-south, further to the east, and divide the eastern part of the continent where the former Empires of Man were.
Oops, appears I've made my own geographical blunder. The White River is to Knurlkyth's west, and is unrelated to the former Empires of Man in the east.

I guess it could be like this- start at Knurlkyth and go north with the coast on your left, cross the Three Valleys and Cloud River that pass through the broken Ornthronds, pass Grindal Peak, then the coast bends around to the west, enclosing a great bay or bight. After some travel you'll reach the White River, flowing down from the northern mountains and emptying into the south-facing coast. Further west of the river is where the Hidden Kingdom cult is active against Tall One settlements.

-----

Question 56 - Northwest Geography
a) What large city lies on the mouth of the White River? How far away is that?
b) What's the name of this bay that's part of the Sunset Sea?
c) What about the northern mountains? Are they part of the Ornthronds or separate?
d) What dwarven cities are in that region?

Question 57 - Eastern Geography
a) How far away are the "fertile rivers of the eastern expanse" where the God-Kings ruled, two empires rose and fell, and to which Knurlish dwarves travelled and mined?
b) What lies between here and there?
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Old 10-02-2018, 12:46 PM   #72
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Default Re: [GAME] Collaborative World Building Dwarven city as a start

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Question 19 - Major History
What else can be said about these or other historic events, why are they important or memorable?
- The fall of the high elves
The Fall of the High Elves
An excerpt from Randell’s Dialogues with the God-King Telvis, as translated by Archivist Jandal, for the Archives of Knurlkyth
“God-King Telvis,”

“Don’t call me that. It’s not who I am anymore”

“Alright. What can you tell me about the Fall of the High Elves?”

“Seven thousand years ago, when the world was still new, at the dawn of the first age, there was a tribe of High Elves living on a great plateau somewhere in what you call the Sky Forests. There weren’t any forests there in those days, it was a range of desolate mountains then. The tribe was being terrorized by a dragon, who had taken up residence in a cave overlooking the plateau. With their herds depleted, the dragon took to eating Elves instead of cattle. The Chieftess-Shaman called for a one to save the tribe from the dragon. I was the one who answered the call.”

“What did you do?”

“I told the Chieftess that I would exact my due after I defeated the dragon, and she accepted. After three weeks, I managed to stock the monster back to its cave, and I hid inside when it went out to hunt. Hiding amongst the bones, when it returned with a hapless child, I leapt out and attacked. The monster was old, and angry, I couldn’t pierce its hide, and my sword became stuck. With my bare hands, I tore out its eyes, then dealt the final blow with a silver dagger I found in its hoard. The next day, I returned to the tribe, with the child in tow, and I was fêted as a hero.”

“But how did the High Elves fall?”

“After the great feast, I requested the Chieftess’s daughter. She refused. I reminded her of the agreement. She refused. I told her of the great consequences that would befall her and her tribe. Again, she refused. With that, the plateau tore asunder, and the High Elves all fell to their doom. The pact was broken, and the tribe all died.”

“Wait. The High Elves are still alive, and the fall of the High Elves happened after Knurlkyth was founded.”

“Oh! You meant those High Elves. Forgive me. I don’t call them High Elves. They live in the lowest part of the land, for goodness sakes! I call them Plains Elves.”

“You’re drifting.”

“Sorry. Right. At the beginning of the Second Age, the High Elves were among the richest, most cultured, and most magically advanced of all the Elves. This made them arrogant and decadent. Of course, that was only the contributing factor to their fall; after all, if arrogance was their undoing, that would have happened shortly after they started calling themselves High Elves. No, the fall began after they began to buy Human slaves.”

“This was under the rule of the God-Kings, yes?”

“No, it was during the eight kingdoms period.”

“But slavery was banned under the First Empire?!”

“It was, but after the empire collapsed, things backslid. King Trei, the Lawmaker, had his priests bend over backwards to justify why selling Human slaves to Elves was in fact, not an abomination. The Elven slave trade made him and his heirs tremendously wealthy, so much so, that the forgotten Empress Ranei was able to rule three kingdoms, at least until her idiot heir took over and ruined that.”

“Anyway, the High Elves. They bought up more and more human slaves, compensating for their manpower weakness. Soon, complex caste systems began to form, with Elves at the top, ruling everything, dedicating their lives to leisure and intellectual pursuits, and multiple castes of humans at the bottom, with the lowest caste being those who were nothing but disposable sources of magical energy.”

“And then the gods took umbrage at this, and that’s why they fell, right?”

“Do you think I would have ruled over an entire city built on slavery for a hundreds of years if the gods hated slavery? No, the High Elves fell apart from internal pressures. You see, with all those human slaves walking around, it was only natural that they would interbreed. This presented a problem. On one hand, they were Elves and entitled to rule. On the other, they were children of slaves, and themselves, slaves. The slavery faction won out, but that wasn’t the end of that.”

“Did they rebel?”

“Of course they rebelled! All slaves rebel sooner or later. Just comes with the territory. Thing is, you get mix human and elf long enough, you stop being able to tell the two apart. They certainly look and act like elves, but they don’t have anywhere near the longevity. I think it was about seven hundred years ago, the situation hit a critical threshold as the old started outliving the young and their society just up and collapsed out of the sheer tragedy. Bitterest irony is that humans are just debased elves to begin with.”

Question 58
What happened to the High Elves after the fall?
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Old 10-03-2018, 02:53 AM   #73
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Default Re: [GAME] Collaborative World Building Dwarven city as a start

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Question 56 - Northwest Geography
a) What large city lies on the mouth of the White River? How far away is that?
b) What's the name of this bay that's part of the Sunset Sea?
c) What about the northern mountains? Are they part of the Ornthronds or separate?
d) What dwarven cities are in that region?
Actually, it strikes me that this would be a good region to site the "northern halfling city-states" that Knurlkyth trades with, and which have fine glass-making skills.
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Old 10-04-2018, 01:01 AM   #74
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Default Re: [GAME] Collaborative World Building Dwarven city as a start

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Originally Posted by Apollonian View Post
...the acolytes of the dwarven cult of the Hidden Kingdom wage a secret, genocidal war against "tall ones" west of the White River...

Question 53
Why is the Hidden Kingdom cult, which is generally considered to be a bunch of bigoted weirdos by decent dwarf-folk, making disturbing inroads into the lower classes of Knurlkyth - and flashing a lot of wealth around? (Note that Knurlkyth, being east of the White River, is not a battleground for their anti-human crusade. Yet.)
Answer 53- The Hidden Kingdom's Recruitment
The Hidden Kingdom, also being a prosperity cult, can easily make recruits among the aspirational working class as well as from merchant groups, bankers and gold-sellers. Their priests preach the creed that "Geldgreed is good" and, in their secret undergound meetings, ostentatiously display their belief in the doctrine with gold-threaded stoles, gold-threads woven into their beards, gold-braided beard snoods and heavily beringed fingers.

The Hidden Kingdom is originally centred on the surface cities of the White River, so the bulk of its followers are urbanites and surface-dwellers. They are spending cash recruiting new followers in mountain-towns like Knurlkyth because they have a need for skilled miners, especially ones who can keep their mouths closed.

-----
Question 59 - Hidden Kingdom's Mission
Why is it that the Hidden Kingdom needs miners? What secret project(s) are they working on, and with what goal? Is it a pecuniary or more spiritual goal? (Or are those the same thing in their creed?)
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Old 10-05-2018, 03:45 AM   #75
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Default Re: [GAME] Collaborative World Building Dwarven city as a start

Calling dibs on Question 19 (the half blood dominion) and question 22 (dwarven interbreeding)
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:24 PM   #76
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Default Re: [GAME] Collaborative World Building Dwarven city as a start

Answer 19b and 22
One thing most non-dwarves don't know, is that dwarves in fact can interbreed with other races. However, there are few half-dwarves around (if any). Biologically, the fetus of a dwarf/non-dwarf couple is very unlikely to survive the early stages of pregnancy, as the mother's immune system often sees it as an unwanted parasite. This is the case of all interbreeding between races, not only of dwarves, but half-dwarf fetuses are for some reason more likely to be rejected than say elf/human fetuses.

A mixed-race child usually inherits most of their traits from one parent, and are more likely to be infertile than children of parents of the same race.

It is known that most races can interbreed, and especially with humans, but dwarves are very touchy about the subject, which gives the impression that they find the very idea of interbreeding repulsive. Occasionally, a dwarf falls in love with someone of another race, but the dwarf will take every precaution to make sure that no offspring comes of the partnership.

It hasn't always been so. Nearly two millenia ago, in the city of Ascûdnein (one of the three dwarf cities that now constitute the Kingdom of Craft), a half dwarf, half human boy-child was born. Rakashon grew up to become a shrewd politician who eventually was elected to the Triumvirate, as one of the three who jointly ruled the city.

Many details about him have faded away with time, but the most important facts are still taught to dwarf children:
  • The 20-year period between his election to the Triumvirate and his death is called the half-blood dominion.
  • His first decision after gaining his position was to dominate the other two members of the Triumvirate, to such a degree that he became the only true ruler of Ascûdnein. He is thought to have used both blackmail and the threat of harm to the others' families, if not dark magic, to succeed in this task.
  • His parents made a pact with a powerful demon to make sure he would live through his mother's pregnancy.
  • Under the influence of the demon, Rakashon delighted in inflicting pain upon his subjects. Among other things, he summoned random people to his palace, and they were never seen again, but screams could sometimes be heard at night.
  • Over time, Rakashon corrupted many of his subjects, and he promised them that Ascûdnein, through military conquest and dark deals, would become the capital city of his world-spanning domain.
  • He sent spies to subvert the neighboring cities' governments, with the intent of preventing a strong opposition to his soldiers.
  • On the day he had planned to send his forces forth from Ascûdnein, the troops gathered outside the city, ready to march on his order, but he didn't show up. His generals eventually sent a messenger to the palace. The messenger returned two hours later, pale-faced, and told them that Rakashon had been found dead in his bed, torn limb from limb. To this day, the consensus is that the demon had grown tired of him, and wanted another host. There is certainly no trace of any assassination plans in the records that still remain in dwarven vaults around the continent.
  • It is believed that the pact was spelled out in a way that would allow the demon to possess other half-dwarves after Rakashon's death. This is why dwarves now are loath to interbreed with other races - they don't want to cause another half-blood dominion.

Over the years, dwarves have taken steps to erase the story of Rakashon from the history books of other races. The few who have heard of the half-blood dominion have been told that once upon a time, two powerful dwarven clans joined forces to commit atrocities "too shameful and terrible to be spoken of, so please don't ask". The dwarven children are taught that they shouldn't speak of the half-blood dominion to non-dwarves, lest the story spreads to evil ears who would take dwarves into captivity to breed with them and summon the demon of old.

Nowadays, if a half-dwarf was to be discovered, they would be kept under close watch to make sure they aren't possessed.
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:21 PM   #77
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Default Re: [GAME] Collaborative World Building Dwarven city as a start

Uncultured enemies
The shadow warlords

The history surrounding the half blood dominion is murky at best. Some believe that the demon that made a pact with Rakashon's parents still exists within this realm, others believe that Rakashon left a demonic taint in the mountains. Either way the deeply shadowed valleys to the east of Knurlkyth are plagued by petty rulers who seek power through both dark ritual and martial strength.
The demonic sources used by these warlords have a cost and the rulers while personally powerful invariably have great difficulty in trusting subordinates who they see (usually quite rightly) as a future threat to their own power.
The power these rulers risk damnation for is shaped by their own ingenuity and takes many forms, Blood bathed warriors, Hellclad knights and bestial hunters of men to name just a few.
A century or so after the fall of the half blood dominion a rare warlord raised a mixed force and assaulted Knurlkith. Hooded men and name bound assassins infiltrated the perimeter of the cities defences and allowed the warlord to take his army deep into the terraced farmland. The army was only stopped when a surgical strike led by the freshly appointed First Warwright of the lodge of the untrained, slew the warlord. The invading army then swiftly disintegrated into feuding factions.

The region where the shadow warlords come from is harsh terrain, armies have laid waste to the area several times but fresh warlords always rise sooner or later. The area is mainly populated by dwarves and humans but other races are not uncommon.
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Old 10-09-2018, 04:09 AM   #78
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Default Re: [GAME] Collaborative World Building Dwarven city as a start

Uncultured enemies
The Wild Hunt

At regular intervals, once every 30 years or so, a series of mysterious events occur. They always happen in rural areas, some distance from major settlements, but where they happen vary greatly; sometimes an area in Knurlkyth's neighborhood is struck, other times it happens in far-away lands, and the dwarves only hear about it months later.

The Wild Hunt usually starts small. Perhaps a farmer doesn't return home from the market, his cart found overturned in a ditch. Maybe the village's communal ox is discovered dead one morning, with no marks of violence on him, but somehow drained of blood. Often, the first incidents are declared accidents, suicides or "freaks of nature", and are only attributed to the Wild Hunt later.

As events escalate, investigators are brought in and start poking around. They invariably find animal tracks, like that of a pack of large dogs or wolves, territorial claw marks on trees, and large amounts of dead animals, sometimes butchered savagely, sometimes with no marks on them. Another commonly occurring clue is the witness stories: People who have seen dark shadows running across the fields at night. People who claim to have been chased through the woods by unseen hunters (hence the name) who disappear as suddenly as they appeared. Many chase survivors tell of voices urging the beasts on, but no human-like footprints have ever been found, neither bare-foot nor booted. Attempts to follow the tracks always fail; either the trackers simply lose the trail, or they fail to return.

At times, mages have been assigned to help the investigators. They quickly discover that any attempts to glean information about the Wild Hunt through magical means are blocked. One reported that it felt like running head first into a stone wall, except that it was the wall that came crashing into him. Other spells, such as healing, seem to work normally.

After three or four weeks, the Wild Hunt disappears. The tracks and markings vanish, and except for all the dead and missing people and animals, it was as if the Wild Hunt was never there. Even magical scrying finds nothing, not even the block that previously hindered the spell-casting.

The number of animals killed vary wildly, but the number of dead and missing people are always just above one hundred. Some scholars believe that the number always is 107, and that if the reported number isn't spot on, then there either are some incidents with other causes that are falsely attributed to the Wild Hunt, or some cases that are believed to have "natural" causes that in fact should have been laid at the Wild Hunt's feet (or paws). Other scholars think that the Wild Hunt has a fixed "target" number of kills (111 is a popular belief), and that it doesn't always reach its' target, because some people miraculously get away.

It has also been noted that the intervals of appearance may coincide with generation shifts in the unknown race that's behind the Wild Hunt.
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