Showing posts with label Peninsula of Plenty Campaign Maps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peninsula of Plenty Campaign Maps. Show all posts

Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Campaign So Far

Last session, mistakes were made. The raider party was not much of a combat, it was a just an opportunity to chew up NPCs and scenery.

Here is the set up for tomorrow. First, Guilbert and Ortaire surrendered themselves at the Villa. Guilbert was outmatched and Ortaire was exhausted. There is no more fight in either of them. The players got some information out of them, but decided they were safe to leave behind for the Empire's justice.


The elven war band is still out there. They were hampered by their uniforms, so they stole some clothes from the Villa, plus a horse.

Horses have become a record keeping nightmare for me. The players seem to absconded with too many horses, so at their next stop, I will present them with a livestock auction so they get the animals they need and dispense with the ones they don't. They swiped horses from the raiders and the elves, then lost some to the Guilbert. Now I am convinced they have two too many. We'll fix that with some auction fun. The characters are flush with cash.

The raiders are just as scattered as the characters and the elves. So, let's get everyone together.

Step one, the elves flinched some stuff from the Villa and have entered Nace ahead of the characters. They are doing about as well at disguise as Spock, Capatin Kirk and Bones but no one has noticed them yet. The elven sloop is in the south, marked in green on the map. It is too far away to help, even if they had more troops, which they don't. I'll give them all something to do in a moment.

There are five raiders in or around Nace. One is going home to never again venture off the farm. His farm is the small structure on the right hand side of the map. It's isn't important, I'm OCD. We'll likely never hear from him again. The four raiders in town have been drinking themselves stupid. Their ship is marked in red, so it's of no help to them. Let's have them join the elves.

Guilbert and Ortaire were back at the Villa the last time the player saw them. Justice was swift. Guilbert is on his way north to the Capital for torture and execution if he doesn't come up with a plan. He has a plan. He is pretending to be a much high rank than he is and will happily make up anything he can to save his neck. This got Ortaire's neck out a noose. Ortaire has been taken to Nace for a mini-triumph. He is being paraded around on a donkey and will be auctioned off a slave as soon as the humiliation gets old.

(Remember, the Emperor is NOT into slavery and he is the only person who can declare a Triumph, so heads are going to roll over this. Luckily, his agents, the player characters are on hand. Maybe they'll do his will or maybe he can spin whatever happens to his will. The Emperor really needs a name because he is turning out to an ex post facto, arch-machiavellian, super Amadeus.)

Queue up the 3 elves and 4 raiders. The elves hate slavery and the raiders are horrified by the capture of their friend. Both groups are going to attempt a rescue. The characters will become embroiled in the mini-triumph over Ortaire and will definitely meet the raiders and the elves.

Maybe, everyone will wear disguises. Wouldn't that be fun?

Aligning the Stars and Setting the Stage

Last session, the players romped all over the raiders then chewed scenery. I totally lost track of both real time and game time and probably let them do too much. This caused the party to be fragmented, with half at the gates of Nace and the other half still traveling with the wagons.


To get around any sort of headaches, I'll start the session at Five Tree Hill. It's a location just outside the Eastern gates. The "hill" is actually the slope to the city, so it is lower than the gates, but still dry.  As you can see, I have revamped much of my map to look more Roman.

Just inside the gates, there is an inn, a stable, water on the outskirts of the city. Food is also available at the Inn. Five Tree Hill is a convenient meeting spot for travelers. It's a large open area marked out by some arrowroot trees. The guards keep this trees pruned, so they don't interfere with the defenses of the town. No camping is allowed, but a lot of people grab a meal here while waiting for news, deliveries or friends. It's a good place to find a walking stick and swap gossip.

Friday, October 25, 2019

City of Nace Update

I have been doing some updates to my City of Nace map. The software I am using is called Worldographer by Inkwell ideas.

When I first started with the software, I just started throwing stuff on a map all willy-nilly. If it looked vaguely correct, I went with it. Since this is a Roman themed campaign, I realized that I need Roman themed buildings. Worldographer comes with a solid icon set, which features hundreds of icons. This is overwhelming at first.

In the first iteration of the map you can see medieval structures blended with Romanesque structures. I thought it was cool, but then I learned to hate it .


I have been slowly updating and over writing medieval structures with Roman-like ones. In the image below, can see the difference. These two blocks are a mixture of villas and apartments. To get a sense of scale as to how large this city is, the villas have a footprint of 160 feet across by 80 feet. Each black grid box is 80x80 and each city block is about 800 by 800 feet to the middle of the road. I plan on having about 62 of these insulas or city blocks on the map, perhaps more. 


There are a couple of different villas, some with large stone block structures and others that are more plain. I did some sketches of villas based on some of the ideas I had for this city. Currently, I am working on inking some of the apartment like structures.

With the sense of scale, you should have a sense of density. The smaller, rectangular structures are apartments, which could hold 20-24 families. The Romans sort of had a nuclear family, but they also had a high mortality rate. Sometimes, families would include adopted family members, adult children (adopted or not), servants, in-laws, parents and slaves. A family of 4 plus, one parent, one in-law, a servant and a slave would be 8 people packed into a tiny space. Add in some cousins and such and the density swells. Each one of these structures would hold about 175-200 people in a 40 by 80 foot space.

Since this city is new and Romanesque, the town will have massive green spaces and broad roads because of the expected density. To be Roman was to be civilized and that meant your city was your home. Your apartment was merely were you slept.

Nace has two independent, but side-by-side agricultural industries going on. The first is the official state run gardens of magical herbs. The other is the hoppers and brewers black market. Due to happenstances of history, the city first had a minor environmental disaster that made some parts of the city undesirable for dwellings rapidly followed by two acts of war which made rehabing these areas impractical. The brewers moved in and started planting trees, flowers and herbs in the empty spaces of the city. Such activities in the city are illegal, but the Hopper's Guild is too strong to be confronted, mainly for the reason of beer. The other issue is that almost no one wants to live in these areas, so bringing the practice to heel is not practicable.

The villas with the stone block structures are silos for black market goods, mill houses or fake silos. Some people pretend to have access to black market sources to inflate their social standing and build these fake structures into their homes. Mill houses are animal and human powered grinding stations within the city walls. Both tend to hide the houses of  illicit business. Some of these mill houses are simply stone sitting areas where children and women sit with family and neighbors to gossip while using small hand mills. It could take hours to produce enough flour feed a family for a day, so these are social hot spots in the town.


The second type of villa house has a central courtyard, sometimes with a fountain or pool, memorial stones or other outside artwork. I have rendered all exterior features as "stone thingies". They could be standing stones, benches, flagstones, etc.

These villas are slightly more modern than a Roman villa, while maintaining many of the features. The roof covers only the sections around the walls with an open courtyard. The exterior walls are brick covered with stucco or perhaps marble depending on the owner's wealth. Some of the walls are not entirely closed. The most modern area is a smallish gable like structure on the south wall. Its is two stories tall and has two 15' by 10' wings which are independent of the main two story structure. The main space is about 20' by 30'. The front doors are vaguely like the large wooden doors on a stave church. This central structure serves many purposes, from storage to upscale apartments.

The two L shaped, roofed but unenclosed areas are work areas. In winter, the ends of the L's would be closed off by light wooden walls with doors. This area doesn't often receive snow. The southern two corners are bedrooms, while the center wings are offices and living spaces. In the open areas under the roof would be many tables and such to support the production work in the L shaped areas, whatever that might be.

Moving away from the housing areas, there are two large areas for infrastructure. First is the termination point for the aqueduct, which comes over the walls of Nace. From here water, is directed around the city underground. There are three large pool in this area: the main reservoir (center south), the public fountains (center north) and the fountain of Neptune (northeast). The main reservoir is 8 feet above ground and rough stairs lead up to the water's edge. The public fountains are large attached to a 3 foot retaining wall. Neptune's fountain is a massive pool with a backing wall 10 feet high. All three are connected by tunnels under the insula.


Midtown is the Colosseum, just east of the northern gate. It is a massive 4 insula or city blocks. Around the southern edge of this image are the tavern houses. These are illegal business and are frequently burned to the ground by arsonists. These pyromaniacs have yet to be arrested. Sometimes people go to bed looking at the large green spaces around the structure, only to awaken to new, illegal bars and taverns in the morning.

The grounds of the Colosseum are public spaces and no buildings can be built there, except the 4 gladiator quarters. The city guard plans on not investigating their 3 planned arsons that will demolish the row of taverns on the southeastern side of the Colosseum. The citizens don't mind because of the cheap beer and the fact that the guard calls the fire brigade before it commits these unsolvable crimes. It's a game of flaming cat and mouse. 

Much of this history is based on David Macaulay's excellent book, City.

 I do receive remuneration for Amazon Ads, and if you purchase the Kindle version, I receive more. However, I strongly suggest you pick up the cheaper, paper copy because it is just better experience.

As an added bonus, David Macaulay partnered with PBS to create the film Roman City, which uses animation and live action show how his fictional city of Verbonia came to be. I have yet to find DVDs, but it is available on Youtube.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Magarven's Last Polyandrion

Magarven is a famous treasure hunter in from the Capital Region of the Empire. He was known to find and preserve Antiquities from ages past. A little over a decade ago, a torrential flood followed by landslides revealed a crypt or a tomb just miles from the Capital. Magarven was the first to enter the tomb and as was his habit, mapped it. The scale of his map is 2 yards or six feet per square.


Inside, he found many strange items, the large bed (B) in the main hallway attracted his attention. He felt that it contained secrets. Bypassing it, he entered and diagrammed the two oval lobes and all of the items contained within. He forbid anyone from moving anything. As he progressed down the main hall to the south, he stopped at the four strange works in the center of the hall (M). 

Something about them raised his alarm and he went no further. He ordered his men to begin excavation along the sides of of the entry way. He ordered that the tunnels be no larger than the blocks that the tomb was made of. They began the western side and progressed to the western oval vault when he oddly ordered them to stop.

Magarven entered the new tunnel, inspecting the block walls from the outside. The workers heard him casting spells as he went. When he was done, he roped off the entrance behind him and repeated the casting inside the main hallway. Bored and unneeded, his crew left for the day.

In the morning, Magarven was found lying on the bed, with his map. He had marked off odd diagonal lines through the blocks of his diagram.

"It's broken. All is broken," he muttered. "Enter no more, if you value your life."

His command was followed for a few months, until it was obvious that he would not return to complete his work. A local thief and mage were brought in to explore the tomb. Armed with his map, the mage determined that the diagonal lines were paths of magical force. When the thief took a turn at the map, he decided he, too would not venture past the strange works (M) in the middle of the hallway. His rationale was that if the great Magarven would not cross that point, he wouldn't either. Nothing indicates what is wrong with the space.

Unlike other weird tales, Magarven is not accursed, mad or dead. He merely refuses to speak of his Last Polyandrion. He has taken to writing of his adventures that lead him to the Polyandrion, telling his followers and fanatics that the last chapter will explain the mystery.

As yet, items B through N-sub-2 have not been described and the last handful items at the end of the hall are a complete mystery.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The House at the Folly

This misnamed ruins is located in the general vicinity of the Kobold Folly. It could be as old as the Folly itself. The design of this building is typical for the Empire, except in the Capital region, not out on the Great Savanna.


Some of the rooms have a clear purpose such as the kitchen, while others are ambiguous due to the age and state of abandonment. Room 4 could be a Master Suite or perhaps an office space. There is no evidence of softgoods in this room. Room 7 is in a similar state of ruin, however small pieces of paint, stone fragments and other object de art litter the floor. The floor of room 8 is covered in fabric and padding debris, it could have been a bed or other furniture. Room 9 is completely bare while the obvious remains of a bed are in room 11.

The windows are not panes of glass, but stained glass much like the Kobold Folly's stained glass. The windows are two layers, one the interior and a duplicate on the exterior. The subject matter of the stained glass is astronomical, not astrological in nature. The double layered nature of the glass might be the reason why this house's windows are intact while most of the windows in the Folly blew out.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Cell of Rona the Wisewoman

Rona the Wisewoman is one of the NPC in my Peninsula of Plenty campaign. She is a very old woman and is an unlikely adventurer. After her husband passed, she felt a calling and traveled far to the north, into the mountains in search of god. She came to the Kerke of Yondalla the Provider. The Kerke was a typical halfling church, a stave structure. She begged entry and hermitage. The halflings agreed and provided her with a cell suitable for her needs.


The main church is build of the traditional wood staves the halflings are so fond of. The exterior is loosely clad, while the interior walls are more precisely constructed. When Rona requested her cell, the halfling priest had the northern interior door replaced with a double door, so that Rona could see the main altar from her cell.

The expansion of the church was build with non-traditional stone, and allowed the church to add a servant's quarters to the structure. Rona was sealed in her cell, her only access to the outside world was a small window facing into the church and bars facing west into the parlor area where she could recieve guests.

When word of the Emperor's need of adventurers arrived at the Kerke of Yondalla, Rona smashed a hole in the north wall of her cell to respond. The halfings have repaired the hole and removed the bars between the parlor and the cell.

Since the day of her leaving, the candles on her private altar have been burning bright yellow, without being consumed. Many miracles of healing have occurred in and around the cell. The halfling priest has taken this as a sign that that Rona is a Saint. In response to this revelation, the tribe has begun solidifying the church's exterior walls to ensure the structure remains whole for future generations.

The Infirmary of Corellon

Corellon has no temples or churches. However, his followers have created spaces of refuge and contemplation of their maker. The Infirmary of Corellon is one such place. It is located on the eastern edge of the Great Savanna, in a elf made mound. 



The main structure has an eastern door and 10 roughly appointed areas for meditation. Each space ends in a small window that faces into the earth of the mound. The debris in these opening shift with the seasons but are never allowed to breech the side of the mound. Elves staying with in these spaces will find that meditation triples their healing and sometimes, if the need is great, visions will appear in the windows.


At the end of the central shaft is the Great Light, a magical creation that lights and warms the whole structure.

To the south-east of the mound is the caretaker's home. It is also roughly appointed with tables and chairs. The north section of the building houses a kitchen and the south section is a private space for the care takers. These two sections are separated with a green grown lattice of ivy. Stepping into the ivy magically transports the elf to the private area in the southern section and back. Only elves can make this passage function. If another creature attempt to cross this ivy threshold, they will be proportionally repulsed. If a weapon or spell is used on the ivy, the attacker will be teleported 1-3 miles in a random direction. Occasionally, they will arrive with their possessions, but most of the time they will be completely naked.

Between the two halves of the building is a roofed, pleasant area with tables and stools. Two sliding doors can be closed against the weather.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Campaign Session 3 - The Party So Far

My embronic idea for the Peninsula of Plenty Map
Alright, I have reached out to all of my players and we decided to skip next week's session, too. Everyone has some sort of ick or children are down due to illness. For the time being, I am taking suggestions from the party by text and email. The whole party is convinced they need to hang out at the villa to get them back up and running again. 

Just to recap, the party arrived at a manor or villa just after a raid. They killed a small patrol of raiders in short order and have two raiders as prisoners. Gurwinder and Rona dislike captives, but have not killed these two fools because of the location. They figure enough law and order exist right now that they can leave them be. 


Our current map of the Peninsula of Plenty.
There have been many changes since first conceived.
I have been instructed that the party is attending to the needs of the villagers until help arrives. We are assuming one day passes for every week of game play at the moment. 

The whole party is good or lawful. Matilda is more neutral good and is a bit punchy. Gurwinder and Rona are grimly practical, despite being good. They hate raiders, with good reason. The entire party is rather cosmopolitan when it comes to race, displaying none of the typical attributes of average citizens of the Empire. In this campaign, the Empire is on the verge of war with the Elves and Dwarves. Halfling Tribes started appearing recently from over the northern mountains, flooding the area of like a barbarian horde. The Empire is actually terrified of the Little People. 

While I am honoring the timeline set out by the players via email and text, I have some rather rude surprises for them. 

Here is a list of the Player Characters: 

Matilda the Knife - Swashbuckler, Human, 1st level
Megen the Ruffian - Swashbuckler, Human, 2nd level
Jaime the Fearsome - Fighter, Human, 2nd Level
Gurwinder A’flumine - Fighter, Human, 2nd Level

In case you are wondering, the swashbuckler character class is one of my own creations. You can grab it at DriveThruRPG. They are Errol Flynn types and are aggressive combatants but bad at killing. 

The party also has a whole band of support characters in tow, whom are the subject of this post. Or is that who is the subject of this post? I don't know.

Rona the wisewoman - Cleric, Human, 1st Level, NPC
Melvin the Wise - Magic User, Halfling, 1st level, NPCFelix  - Human, 1 level commoner NPC
Felice - Human, 1 level commoner NPC
Jim the Scout - Human, 1 level commoner NPC

I have another book about Uncommon Commoners, which is also available at DriveThruRPG. 

You can download the complete party rooster in PDF form here. This list of characters has not been updated with current equipment. It is only a taste of what is happening. 

I am trying to make the NPCs conform to something realistic. Rona and Melvin have classes, so they will engage in combat despite not being very good. Felix and Felice will NOT engage in combat, except to protect each other. They are horrible at combat. Felix and Felice have wandering into this traveling circus by accident and are hoping to make enough cash to retire and start a family. Jim the Scout is foolhardy and brave. The party has him on horseback, hoping the horse will protect him from his desire to get into a fight. He has 2 hp but is well on his way to becoming a fighter or perhaps a ranger.  

The party has buried two other NPCs and has a strong desire not to do that again, so they are conforming to my idea of keeping the NPCs away from danger. Melvin is an avowed coward, but he has good ideas. He is also a halfling, which is a hated race in the Empire, so the party is keep him close for his own good. Rona is very old and dislikes travel by horseback. She views the PCs and their wagons as a godsend. Felix, Gurwinder and Jim all take turns cooking, since the death of the cook. Jim is best at it, while Gurwinder is a survival nut and wants the party well provisioned and fed at all times. 

It's a cool party dynamic. 

While the players are hanging out at the villa, I know they are thinking about taking on more NPC followers. The villa can't support that due to loses and I have planted the suggestion that they not make any attempts here. What would probably happen is, the whole pack of villagers will follow them to Nace then bail on the party in favor of safety. Nace is loaded with adventurer types and is a far better place to find skilled help.  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The South-Western Woes and Rues

The city of Nace is a fair city, one that sees travelers come from all over the Peninsula to trade for magical goods. It is the second city of the Empire, only surpassed by the Capital itself. However, it is not without it's own troubles.

A Worldographer map of the South West Corner of Nace. 
Unlike the Capital, this city was of entirely human design. The Empire has been building cities for centuries, but usually with the assistance of gnomes. Since the city was built to meet the needs of those fleeing the Port after a particularly hard hurricane season, there was no time to send for the gnomish guilds. From the base camp, the two main roads were extended 360 yards north and south, east and west. Each road was 30 feet wide slashing the town into 64 (technically, less than that.) even squares. As the walls were built, the aqueduct was brought into the east side of the city.

Perfect!

Wrong.

Under the South-Western walls was thick layer of clay which the engineers covered with stone to support the roads, walls and towers. Some careless planning caused the fountains and cisterns to be irregularly placed on the north side of the city. Compacting the clay soils walls caused the natural flow of water to be disrupted which was exacerbated by the incorrect placement of water features. The backwash flooded the south-western side of the city. The walls held, the towers held, but a sea of mud and sewage bubbled up from the roadways, fountains and cisterns.

The town came up with an a hoc solution. Install large gravel filled berms along the western wall to absorb the overflow. In order to do this, the South and West Walls, towers and all needed to be moved back 30 or so feet. It was expensive and it cost the town it's planned regular shape, but it solved the problem.

Now the natural course of the water has not been restored, but floods an area several hundred feet west of the city. That area runs riot with all kinds of flowering plants and shrubs which sweetens the air. Additionally, this area makes travel by wagon and horse difficult, so it also holds off raiders. The trails along the west wall have formed from years of inspection and people venturing out to gather wild berries and flowers.

Since each 30 by 30 area of land is based on the overall planned area of each insula, these areas are overpriced. Additionally, the worry of possible flooding limits those desiring land from building along these walls. As a consequence of this mess, people refer to these walls as "The South-West Woes". Woe Street runs north-south and Rue Street runs East-West along those walls. 

A Worldographer map of the Western gates. In the north eastern corner of each insula should be well or fountain.
Note how irregularly placed they are. 

Towards the center of town, just on the edge of the Forum is an area called Hopper Town. The local brew-masters banded together and purchased much of the land and have planted gardens and orchards to support their trade. Most houses have a small herb garden but the use of large tracts of lands for growing, outside of the city's official gardens, is prohibited. The reason that the brew-masters have gotten away with this is beer. It's a huge tax base and general balm against insurrection.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Session 3 preview - North Market

The mapping of my town continues. This is the North Market area, which is "north" of the forum. This area is a mixed use zone, where row houses have popped up in a rather regular way in the North East section of this insula. However, down in the South West quadrant, the row houses are rather rough. 


The southern row houses look ruder because they are older, not because the people that live there are poor. It was a slap-dash build for people looking to get into the city fast. As you can see, there are a couple of rich villas right in with the row houses, separated by some green space. This is just a little off of the center of the city, so its still high society.

I am really loving this software and this style of map. It allows me to cover huge areas quickly, so that I can spend a few minutes mapping each day.

Each area has it's own little story in my mind and I can come back and add details later. I am probably not making the best use of Worldographer using the battlemat like this, but this town is hardly organic. It is relatively sterile and uniform as opposed to a town that sprung up from a chance placement of one house, or town square.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Assassin's Doom - Worldbuilding for a Campaign

I've been using detailed maps for this campaign and for the last 10 days or so have been trying to create a map for the city of Nace.

Nace is laid out as a typical Roman city, a north-south road, an east-west road, a forum in the center and walls and towers all the way around. All neighborhoods are inside insulas or regular shaped areas on a grid like map.

So what do you get when you fuse a Roman city with a classic D&D campaign?

Strange things.

First, what do I need for the campaign?

A town or city with a hefty population. 15-20,000 people are in Nace.

Who is in charge? An aedile is in charge of the city proper. At this time, this character is unnamed.

Do they have temples and churches? Yes, in the forum. If there isn't place for a given sect, it is in the planning. These people have no problem with negative/evil sects so long as laws aren't broken.

Do they have guilds? Yes, for all character classes except fighters and assassins. These people would be in the military. The Assassin Guild is defunct, all members were killed. There is also a combination religious and magical guild, necessary for the production of the Empire's magical crops. Production of useful material require both magic and religion. The thieves guild is rather small time, very low level members who usually move on to bigger and better things rather than advance as thieves. The city has a problem with brigand raiding, which puts thieving in perspective.

Is there a town guard? Yes. Made up of legionaries. There used to be a secret police unit, but it was wiped out with the Assassin's Guild.

So, what is the Assassin's Doom? It will be the first City Adventure my players will engage in. In the next couple of posts, I will detail what happened to the Assassin's guild and secret police, and explain why they haven't been replaced.

Bird's Eye View of Worldographer Map - City of Nace

I am having a wonderful time with Worldographer, by Inkwell Ideas. I have been kicking out maps for my current campaign using the software. The image below is my campaign map (in progress) for just one city. 


The City of Nace is made up of 64 insula, or blocks. I made a mistake by creating this as a battlemat. My reason was to have square blocks, rather than hexes. By completing a map in this fashion, what I will actually have is 64 individual maps. (Actually, 63 because the forum takes up two insula.) Each insula is 180 yards across, north to south and east to west. By the time I am done, my players will have over a square mile of gaming locations and I will have at least a vague idea of what is happening... everywhere.

I have barely scratched the surface of what Worldographer can do, but I figure this practice will help me master it someday.




Saturday, September 7, 2019

3rd Session Preview Part 2 - Tyranny's End.

This week's update can be blamed on a mistimed cold and an unfortunate swimming adventure. School started back up this week on Tuesday which meant I needed to catch a summer cold on Monday, so I would be completely ready for school. By this morning, I was having trouble breathing regularly, so off to the doctors. I am taking a course of steroids plus some other stuff to fend off the pneumonia and help with laryngitis. In retrospect, swimming with my class on Thursday was not a good idea.

My next gaming session has been delayed until I can speak again. 

So, let me tell you more about the city of Nace. In the previous post, I detailed the Forum and the two insula due south of the center of the city. Today's post is about the first section of the city built, the only two insula surrounded by walls. 

The Empire has herbal products which are not only unique to it, but are the basis of their competitive exports. Verbena is a magic herb that will stanch all wounds, restoring 1d4 hit points. Emperor's Valerian is a deep purple flower that will cure blindness and head injuries, including lost eyes. Flaming Yarrow is the third herb produced solely by the Empire. It restores damaged and decayed teeth, reduces fever and if prepared correctly, can induce sleep. 

These magical plants require a magical ecology to grow. When the town moved from the port to this location, the first insula to be constructed were the magical gardens. Each garden area is protected by a low, 4 foot wall and four arches as entry points. Since these are the only insula in the town with walls of any kind, they are called Palisade North and Palisade South. Collectively, they are called Tyranny's End.  

The North Palisades
The North Palisades contains 3 manor houses or villas for the families who cultivate herb crops in the two gardens, in addition to a small grove of trees to support the growth of mistletoe. The gardens have tiny non-functional houses or follies, to represent a small farm. They are maintained as if they were real as this is a part of the magic of this place.
The South Palisades 
The South Palisades is much the same, except there are 3 houses and one shrine. The Shrine is a memorial to the Defender of the Port Gardens, the druid responsible for maintaining the weather inside the original gardens. Her entire line perished protecting the gardens when they were located in The Fortezza Port di Nace. Without their sacrifice, the largest gardens for these sacred planets would have been destroyed. The new Druid lives in a stone structure at the southeast corner of the South Palisades. 

This druid and her kin employ magics beyond what spellcasters can imagine. To support the gardens, everything except the weather must free within the boundaries of the Palisades. This is the origin of the name "Tyranny's End". 

The walls are not a defense for the gardens, but a warning. The weather is always controlled to the needs of the plants. This would be danger enough inside the confines of the town, but the druid's authority over the weather requires a sacrifice of all other worldly control within the walls. Any agreement wrought by man can be ended here. Emperors have come to the garden to abdicate. Any slave that enters the walls are immediately freed. If horses or other beasts enter, they are no longer the property of anyone. Arranged marriages can be nullified here, but never marriages of the heart or conscience. 

There are interesting cases where animals enter and then return to owners of their own free will. Some of the most epic tales of the Empire revolve around couples attempting to end an arranged marriage here only to find one, the other, or both really loves their partner. If these couples stay together, blessed by the gardens with fame and fortune. 

There is a legal issue for slave owners entering the walls. The magic will instantly set all of their slaves free. Sometimes the owner and slave will receive the same blessing as the couples mentioned above. Technically, it is illegal for a slave owner to set all of his slaves free all at once, but if he or she receives no apparent benefit to it, a blind eye is turned. However, many Usurpers has attempted to reroll fate by setting vast numbers of slaves free. If that becomes apparent, the punishment is always death. 

For slaves entering the gardens, the circumstances are different. If they were ordered to do it by their master, that slave becomes a free client of the former master, a nearly familial relationship where favors are traded back and forth. If the slave enters the garden to escape a cruel master, the authorities will view all that that former slave's statements as absolute fact and WILL legally pursue the master, usually to the most extreme limits of the law. This fact causes the slaveholders of Nace to act on their best behavior. 

There are very few cases where a slave would accidentally enters the gardens. In those rare instances, if the former slave asks forgiveness and it is accepted, they become an adopted family member to the master and both receive a title and small stipend from the Emperor. If the master does not accept the apology then the former slave may, at his or her choice, enter the household of the Emperor as a paid servant or enter the military. This is where the Empire gains many of their trusted messengers. The alternative choice of military service grants a low officer rank. If the slave refuses to ask for forgiveness, he or she is still free but exiled from Nace. The masters of the gardens may provision this person as they see fit, but they cannot accept anything from anyone else in the city. 

The six houses that care for these lands are made up of both hereditary post holders and those who have enter the gardens in an effort to end some sort of loss. Many a widow, orphan and widower have entered the gardens seeking to end the heartache of loss and find salvation in service to these houses. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

3rd Session Preview - A History of a Town

Welcome back for a preview of my campaign's third session. We are using pre-generated characters for this campaign and the assumption is that they have been up and down the coast, so none of this is secret DM information. 

The Fortezza Port di Nace started off as a town, but one hurricane too many sent the townspeople fleeing northward to a more protected location. Their intention was to rebuild the whole town of Nace. That did and did not happen. The town of Nace is set somewhat back from the sea, and as a consequence is not a port town. 

The Fortezza Port di Nace was supported by the Empire, even through massive population shifts and has grown even bigger than the town that once supported it. The Fortress has become a more industrialized site while Nace proper has become a fiera or Fair town boasting traders from all over the empire. This homely setting is more conducive to civilian life than the militarized fortress port. 


I have begun sketching out the main area of the town, starting with the Forum.


Directly to the south of the Forum is the Thermae, or public baths. The Thermae's insula also has one very expensive villa house. Being the oldest part of the city, the remaining apartments, houses and shops are are merely the first in the area, not the best.

Scattered through out Insula 2 are various stationaries. A stationary is a shop with a fixed location, specializing in books, scrolls and parchments. The close proximity to the forum allows these shopowners access to priests, mages and other who can work magic, which is necessary for creating spellbooks. Many artists and illuminators reside in this insula. There is no other place like this in the city.


Much of this post draws upon the excellent book City by David Macaulay and is fused with Kevin Stroud's History of English Podcast, episode 106. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

Peninsula of Plenty City Map Forum at Nace

The city of Nace is a mid-sized city, with a Roman flavor. In the center of the town is the forum. The forum has an old church, a large temple, a worship grove and a curia. Along the north and south sides (and a bit on the east side) are apartments, shops and one good sized villa. The lighter colored buildings on the south side are apartments, the longest structure is a row house. Also on the south side are 3 arches, which provide entry to the area.

While there is a space to the left of the arches, it is poor form to walk through this space. Many people sit here for their mid-day meal. The two large wells are for public use, as is the large plaza area. While the other places are not closed off, generally they are only used for state business and/or worship.

Each square is approximately 20 feet on a side.


Peninsula of Plenty Regional Map Tabletop Environs

 This is another Worldographer map for my campaign. The central city is named Tabletop and the characters are traveling into the area from the north. Each hex is 6 miles.


Peninsula of Plenty Regional Map, Capital Environs

This Worldographer map is from my current campaign on the Peninsula of Plenty. Each hex is 6 miles and the characters are following the road along to the coastline. 
The Savannah trees were a custom icon created by me using GIMP and the original tree Icon from the 1e set of graphics to make sure the style and colors matched. It was basically a multistep copy and paste, with a few extra lines added.  




Peninsula of Plenty Campaign Map

In an effort to revamp my maps tab, I am reposting as many maps as I can. These maps were created in Worldographer and have 6 mile hexes. The region below is rough the size of Italy.