Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Bladed Earth: Twenty Questions (Part III)

11. Where can I hire mercenaries?
Many new mercenary companies were founded from the remnants of those that accompanied Zaar during his Grand Excursion. Notorious among them are the golden-armored Adherents of Mandoom, ostentatious seekers of gold and glory who have recently begun exploring the ruins of Stonehell on their own accord, rather than in the employ of a particular master. Other, more unassuming bands of warriors-for-hire and solitary "free lances" are easily found in northwestern Cosk, particularly in Fulcrum. Many end up raiding the farming communities of the region or serving in the Mountain Wars, ceaseless feuds waged between the hill-dwelling elfin clans.

12. Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed, or other any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?
Especially since the decline of Thamsh, the fall (or ascendancy) of Zaar, and the struggles in Ersis, Cosk has had a reputation as a lawless land. Among the native Coskar people, particularly the herders of the Plains of Healoth, it is considered respectable, even customary, for adult men to carry the kolsh, a combination of walking-stick and pick-axe. More heavily armed individuals are generally turned away from the gates of the port city of Glygon, but freely wander the streets of places like Fulcrum. Magic is not explicitly proscribed, but the use of manipulative or destructive spells is swiftly punished.

Today, there is no overarching legal authority in Cosk. The Iconess' forces of Law have begun to establish a sort of beachhead in the south, at the city of Cradoun, and enforce a stricter form of order there. Further east, the state of affairs is much more barbarous, as exemplified in the piratical Port Canciare and among the wretched peoples of the Wastes of Sphaurg. The Eremites, who call blighted Lesserton their home, have their own bureaucratic, codified system of laws with very specific penalties and punishments. In the northwest, however, laws are most often enforced by village headmen, according to need and old Coskar customs.

13. Which way to the nearest tavern?
Fulcrum has fine drinking establishments and foul watering holes aplenty. The Old Den, which is run by Beras Hurrow and falls somewhere between those two extremes, is a popular haunt for those that delve Stonehell.

14. What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?
Sligs, whose territory was previously believed to be limited to the western lands across the Sea of Unthicor, have recently appeared on the shores of Cosk. Orcs spill forth from the Cystlands, pillaging mindlessly. Stonehell is filled to the brim with malevolent creatures. Removing any of these threats would certainly be appreciated, but would likely be temporary at best and thus might not bring instant fame. There is, however, word of a black-winged dragon (and, if rumors are to be believed, "dragon-men") menacing the villages on the other side of the Spires of Sloine.

15. Are there any wars brewing that I could go fight?
Cosk has more than its share of conflict, but if it is war one seeks, they need only sail to the rapidly splintering realm of Ersis, where King Stervak struggles to keep the throne he wrested from the grip of Thamsh decades prior, amid endless challenges from rivals, peasant uprisings, and slig raids.


  1. i like a lot of the detail of your setting--and spicing it up with Angus M<Bride artwork never hurts.