Sunday, February 3, 2019

[LEGENDARIA] Southern Regions of Legendaria

Region 07: The Sea of Skies and the Kingdom of Aeryth
The southwestern corner of this region is the major geographical feature that defines it: The Sea of Skies, a vast airy valley where once stood a great sea of fresh water. During the war that precipitated the fall of the Last Galactic Empire the Sweet Sea (as it was then known) and the area around it were subject to a terrible attack – the Elemental Inversion, a terrible force of technomancy that caused the very elements themselves to mutate and transmogrify, usually without rhyme or reason.
Aeryth Archipelago of Floating Islands
The waters of the Sweet Sea were transformed into air. Most of the sea life that was not outright killed by the mutative energies were transformed into a kind of life that would thrive in air; thus, fish grew wings, as did merfolk and other sea life, and today the Sea of Skies is one of the oddest wonders of Legendaria. Note that, due to ancient genetic manipulation, though a fresh-water sea, there also lived therein species of sharks, dolphins, octopi, and other aquatic life forms that normally would be found in salt water. As the air that fills the Sea of Skies is the same as any other air, these new species have spread far and wide, though they are still rare outside the environs of the Sea of Skies (which includes the entirety of the region to the southwest, the Great Airy Deeps, and parts of each region adjacent).
Elsewhere in the region, stranger, and no less spectacular, changes were happening, most notably that the stone and rock of certain mountains were also transformed into air. Many mountain peaks, on the verge of the transmogrifying energies, were only partially-transformed, and are now made of “airy-stone,” forming archipelagos of floating islands high in the skies of the region. Most of these remain stabilized in space, rooted to their original locale through some strange mystic tie. Others, the “Wandering Isles,” follow the winds or other strange currents, though these too remain within the nine regions in which is found the Sea of Skies.
Smaller regions also experienced strange elemental inversions. The Forest of Fire, the Great Glacial Rift, the Rocky River, the Mountain Invisible, the Great Acid Lake; all these and more also were formed in the Great Elemental Inversion and remain to this day of great interest to magic-users and scientists alike.
Sky Ship
As with the sea life of the Sweet Sea, most creatures in the region perished; others were mutated, some adapted to their new environs, others in more terrible and blasphemous fashion. Thus, the region around the Sea of Skies is home to some of the strangest life forms on Legendaria. These include the Chimans (aka Chimeras), a mutant race where each individual is a composite of two or more creatures, and no child ever resembles their parent; the Meborum (or Psyborbears), a race of psychic cyborg bear-kin; and the Tavala (or Octopoids), a race of mutant barbarian octopi.
In addition to the many different strange and unusual mutant races of local sort, humans, demi-humans, and manimals have returned to the region in the centuries since the Great Elemental Inversion, settlers from Greymoor, the Glittering Towns, and the Patchwork Lands. They have built numerous petty kingdoms, the most significant of which is the Kingdom of Aeryth, founded upon the Aeryth Archipelago of floating islands. The kingdom also rules swaths of lands on the mainland, below. Great traders and explorers, the people of Aeryth get around with pegasi, griffons, flying ships (magical and technological), and other aerial creatures and contraptions.
Aeryth is ruled by Princess Aeryn (Lawful Human Magic-user (Enchantress)), the 18-year-old daughter of King Aeros and Queen Aurora, missing for the last five years. Princess Aeryn just recently gained her majority and the rule of the kingdom after five years of rule under the Regent, her uncle, Duke Maelstrom, who remains her closest advisor. There was talk of a marriage between Princess Aeryn and Prince Caine of Greymoor before her parents disappeared. He thinks she is snooty and boring, she thinks he is a child and a good-for-nothing ne’er do well.
Defender of the Tower of Stars
For the last two years the Kingdom of Aeryth and most of the lands of the region (and a bit to the north and south) have been protected by Astra Magna, the Star-Queen, the leader of the Defenders of the Tower of the Stars, an ancient citadel found on a floating island high above the Aeryth Archipelago. The Star-Queen is a mighty warrior who wields the Star-Blade, a powerful artifact, and rides upon a great winged lion, known as Leocorus, the Star-Cat. The Star-Queen and the Lord of Legends are stalwart allies, as are the Defenders of the Tower of the Stars and the Champions of Castle Blackhawk.
There are also clans and tribes of goblinoids and mutants that have moved into the region, usually nomads from the Silver Steppes that have settled down in the mountains, hills, and wastes of the region. These, together with the growing Great Horde of the Abhumans on the Silver Steppes, are a growing threat to the goodly folk of the various kingdoms of the region. There are also the Air-Pirates of the Sea of Skies, who operate out of the region to the southwest; in the past they have been a mere nuisance, but of late they are growing bolder and more powerful.
Region 08: Kingdom of Greymoor and Castle Blackhawk
The lands south of the Crystal Peaks are the most fertile of the nine regions described herein, with wide bands of rich farmland along merry streams; fertile meadows dotted with ranches and sheepcotes; and well-tended orchards, vineyards, and shrublands. The Crystal Peaks run along the northern border of the region, averaging 50 miles wide, from the Quartz Hills in the west and then far into the east. These mountains, as their name implies, are replete with gemstones, gold, silver, and other precious metals, and are the home to numerous dwarf and gnome settlements.
Gnome Grotto in the Crystal Peaks
Of course, the Crystal Peaks are most notable for being the site of Castle Blackhawk, the ancient and mysterious citadel which for the past two years has been protected by Magnus Maximus, the Lord of Legend, and the Champions of Castle Blackhawk. These valiant heroes and super-heroes defend not only the castle, but also the ways of Law, for which the castle stands. They use their skills, talents, expertise, experience, and prowess to protect all innocent and goodly beings from the ways of Chaos, especially the depredations of the Banemasters of Demonfang Citadel.
The Lord of Legends and the Champions of Castle Blackhawk are inextricably allied with the Kingdom of Greymoor, which stands in the heart of the region amidst the rolling fields that the super-science of Castle Blackhawk transformed from barren moor to fertile farmlands. Greymoor is ruled by the elderly King Adan of the House of Palatinus and his wife, Queen Evelyn of the House of Medeis. Their only son, Prince Caine, is kind and generous, but otherwise a dissolute ne’er do well, though the court wizard, High Councilor Gaxx, and the Ghost of Bishop Paxx, are doing everything they can to help him grow into the king he needs to be.
Royal Palace of Greymoor
Greymoor was, once upon a time, a far more powerful realm than it is today; it was the heart of the Third Empire of Legendaria since the Fall of the Last Galactic Empire, but has been in decline for two centuries, and now rules over only its small territory and holds loose hegemony over the settlements of the local region. With the loss of much of the power, prestige, and wealth of their realm, the Galaethans, the people of Greymoor, have fallen into decadence, with no few staring into the abyss of depravity, despite the best efforts of the royal court and the Champions of Castle Blackhawk. The forces of Chaos nest like a viper in Greymoor City, where cults of the Demons of the Outer Dark and other gods of Chaos hide in the shadowy alleys and deep ruins of ancient cities that stand beneath the cellars of the city.
The region otherwise is heavily populated compared to the other regions, with numerous hamlets, villages, and towns of a disparate selection of races among the fertile lands. Humans, demi-humans, and manimals of all sorts are found in the region; most hamlets and villages are of one or maybe two races, while the towns in the regions are generally cosmopolitan. No matter how civilized the region may be, though, as elsewhere the fertile lands are separated by wide swaths of wilderness, wild and deep, filled with goblinoids, mutants, monsters, and ruins.
Royal Guards of the Kingdom of Greymoor
The small but professional army of Greymoor and the Champions of Castle Blackhawk patrol the entire region. In the north they have to deal with incursions from the Banemasters of Demonfang Citadel; in the east they have to deal with raiders and slavers from the Cities of Smoke and along the sliver of coastland in the east they have to deal with all manner of pirates and monstrous raiders. The lands to the south are wild and mostly unknown, but fortunately are not home to any organized band dedicated to Chaos, though strange goblinoid and mutant have, of times, raided from the south. Most recently small bands of barbarians of human and near-human sort have been encountered coming from the south; they claim they were pushed out of their lands in the cold plains far to the south by a quickly-growing glacier and various cold, ice, and snow-related monsters and abhumans.
Region 09: The Sea of Storms and the Cities of Smoke
The Scintillating Peninsula is a wide wedge of land that strikes out into the Sea of Storms like a blade. On the northern border of the region, the Crystal Peaks, which continue unbroken from the west to the east, save for the Great Glowing Valley, out of which debouches the Great Glittering River (south of the Glowing Wastes also known as the Grimy Glow), which terminates in the vast delta of the Great Radiant Rust Swamps. Once a rich, fertile land, the Scintillating Peninsula today is a patchwork of mutant forests, festering marshes, rocky moors, and stinking swamps. As though the fetid waters of the Grimy Glow were not enough, the Modern-Futuristic Cities of Smoke that rule these lands, with their great factories, pay the local ecology no heed – they pour noxious liquid wastes into the water, blow toxic fumes into the air, and dump lethal solid wastes hither and yon.
City of Smoke
The Cities of Smoke broke away from the Third Empire of Legendaria and the Kingdom of Greymoor in the time of King Adan’s grandfather, and since then have taken a very unpleasant turn. The once fine cities of shining marble and silver towers have been transformed into piles of brick smokestacks and rusting steel-girt skyscrapers, each ruled by a rich and powerful oligarchy, with the common laborers living in abject poverty groaning under terrible oppression (though heavily propagandized to believe that their miseries are the fault of the other cities and their peoples). War crosses the land with great frequency, as each of the Cities of Smoke seeks to gain the upper hand on the others, eventually to unify them all under the rule of one oligarchy. However, whenever any one city gains advantage, the other cities gang up on that one to restore the balance…
The region is home primarily to humans, goblinoids, and mutants; the mass of commoners and the elite oligarchs are human (some of the oligarchs are cyborgs or secretly mutants), the core cadre of the armies are goblinoids (with commoner human militias for fodder), and the wilds outside the cities and their guarded farming fields are home to all manner of mutants. Demi-humans are found only among the slave class, members of which are taken from neighboring regions, or from lands across the Sea of Storms. The Scintillating Lands (known elsewhere as the Blighted Realm) are a place where joy and hope have been carefully ground out of the hearts of the common folk; it is a Dickensian Dystopia of industrial proportions. Even the small middle class of upper-level craftsmen and professionals who serve the oligarchs have little joy, save for their slightly better living conditions.
Toxic Wastelands of the Blighted Realm
But not all hope is lost for the peoples of the Cities of Smoke, as a band of heroes has formed under the auspices of the very world of Legendaria itself, which cried out for relief. Operating from a hidden fortress, the Grand Circle of Life, the Defenders of Legendaria, was called together from disparate groups of druids, elementalists, rangers, and others from distant regions. Together, when needed, these heroes can even summon the avatar of Legendaria herself, the Eternal Earth Mother – though her power is fleeting, and so they loathe to summon her too often. But they have lately struck a major blow against the Oligarchs, destroying a major fortress that served as a base for slaving operations.
In addition to the Cities of Smoke slaving operations, each also operates a fleet of pirates (under letters of marque of course, so one man’s pirate is another man’s privateer). These swarm the Sea of Storms attacking any ships not of their city’s flag and raiding the seacoast hamlets, villages, and towns held under other city’s hegemony. There are also islands in the Sea of Storms that are home to independent pirates – escaped slaves and commoners who seek to gain vengeance on the Oligarchs and their vicious crews of slavers and pirates.
Pirates/Privateers of the Cities of Smoke