Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Bladed Earth: Twenty Questions (Part I)

A little over a year ago, Jeff Rients posted a list of questions that DMs should be able to answer about their settings, ideally before play starts. In the interest of actually getting my campaign ready to roll, I figured I'd start answering them, five at a time:

1. What is the deal with my cleric's religion?
Clerics are adherents of Law, of which the enigmatic figure known as the Iconess is the mouthpiece. The forces of Law, among whom clerics are only part, stand against the forces of Chaos, which they see as a malignant cancer upon the world. Strictly speaking, as the Iconess is not a god, clerics are not religious. The devotion many of the Lawful have for the Iconess has been interpreted by some as worship, but this is not the case. (Usually.)

There are ancient spirits, fell beasts, and other beings in the world that are known as gods, but they are more often propitiated, bargained with, or invoked in blessings and curses than worshiped. These gods keep secrets that men call magic, and those that seek out the gods' patronage and traffic in their knowledge are known as mages.

2. Where can we go to buy standard equipment?
Fulcrum, a rough-and-tumble shantytown, is located near the old dungeons of Stonehell, and counts catering to the vulgar needs of those mad enough to delve its accursed depths as its primary industry. Practical (and impractical) exploring equipment is readily available there, though often at inflated prices. The gaudily painted sandwich-boards worn by the vagrants wandering the streets of Fulcrum suggest buying from Chenty Greggene, promising that she tends to charge slightly less than her competitors, with what is assured to be no more than a modest compromise of quality.

3. Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?
Neffus Newyed, said to be the most skilled armorer in the entire isle of Cosk, would no doubt be willing to undertake such an effort, provided the compensation were adequate. His smithy, the Sign of the Rhinoceros, is located in the port city of Glygon, not far from Fulcrum.

4. Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?
Since the downfall of Zaar, the so-called "Sterling Potentate" of Thamsh that invaded Cosk, ordered the construction of Stonehell, and either died, disappeared, or underwent apotheosis at the Tower of Pride, dozens of would-be archmages have claimed to be the mightiest. None have achieved the terrible heights of power reached by the line of Zaar, however. On the isle of Cosk, the man called Father Adavon Hexember, described as a "wizard-priest", is said to be the greatest magician, but he has not been seen in years. 

5. Who is the greatest warrior in the land?
Unknown. Once, it may have been Cymbion Stervak, but he grows old, and his sword-arm has grown weak since he took the throne of Ersis. Some of the hobgoblin warmasters that accompanied Zaar in his Grand Excursion still live in the Wastes of Sphaurg, ever loyal to their old, vanished master, but surely time has taken its toll upon even them by now. In a world with as much bitter conflict as this one, there are scores of great warriors, but few survive long enough to make their names known.


  1. Good to see this coming together!

  2. So far it doesn't tell you a ton about what's interesting in the setting, but it's a start, and that's what I need to do: start.