Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Bladed Earth: Twenty Questions (Part IV)

16. How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?
In Port Canciare, far to the east, there are several such arenas, and they are as brutal and horrific as one might expect.

Eremites, the supposedly accursed inhabitants of Lesserton and the surrounding environs, are well-known for their love of gambling and bizarre spectacle, including giant centipede racing and owlbear-baiting. There is no literal arena in Lesserton, but it seems likely that there would be bloodsport available to those who know where to look and how to ask.

17. Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?
There are undoubtedly hidden cults and factions with foul designs upon the free lands of Cosk, but they are hidden. However, it is fashionable among the mercenary companies and delving crews of the northwest to behave as if they were secret societies, complete with strange standards, secret hand gestures, and cryptic slogans. They generally choose gloomy or grandiose titles for themselves. Their supposedly elite status is compromised by the fact that the majority of their members will generally work for anyone that will pay well enough. Among their steadily growing ranks are the aforementioned Adherents of Mandoom, the Order of Eight Demons, the Brotherhood of the Broken Crescent, the Lords of Decay, the Chartermen, the Whisperwood Consortium, the Scourge, the Bloody Ones, the Rack, the Wings of the Red Falcon, the Great Volunteers, the Council of Dying Embers, and the Wrong Men.

18. What is there to eat around here?
Northwestern Cosk is -- for now at least -- still a bountiful land, with fertile soil and abundant game. The most popular dish among the types that frequent Fulcrum is luskbread, a chewy, starchy roll filled with salted meat, most often pork or blood sausage. Though few realize it, most "Coskar" staples are local variations on Eremite and Ersisan dishes. The traditional Coskar cuisine of the region, with its odorous goat stews and bitter wines, is not widely favored by those not raised eating it.

19. Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for?
Bledspar's Folly, a lost settlement located deep in the Spires of Sloine, is reputed to be filled with gems and riches the dwarfs abandoned in their haste to escape the plague or curse that struck its halls. Sailors have reported seeing a mist-shrouded, glittering castle in the deadly rocks off the southwestern shores. The Tower of Pride, from which Zaar either ascended or fell, supposedly contains great treasures, but the region surrounding it is still very much in the grip of the hobgoblins, widely known as the deadliest warriors in the isle. The ruins of the ancient city of Mor, at the base of which sits Lesserton, likewise contain untold wealth, and similar ruins are said to lie scattered throughout the Forest of Mothomb, awaiting discovery. The dungeons of Stonehell have only begun to yield their once-secret riches. The entire isle of Cosk is a treasure trove for those brave or mad enough to seek it out.

20. Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure?
As mentioned previously, there are reports of a dragon and its minions terrorizing the villages on the other side of the mountains to the east, but Stonehell assuredly holds threats (and potential rewards) as great.


  1. I'm really enjoying your setting its got a great sword and sorcery vibe to it. Also for some reason it's giving me falshbacks to Divine Right too, which is a complement. Keep going its enjoyable reading.

    1. Thanks!

      I've never played Divine Right, but I love that map, and have it set as my desktop background at home. Maybe it's having more influence than I thought.