Monday, December 4, 2017

Map and Story Block 13

Good evening everyone. Another 5 mile square block in our continuing series:

Block 13

Scale: 1 square = 1/2 mile

Airlu, The City in the Sky, is the capital of the Rhiewk people.  The Rhiewk are tall and have feathered wings attached to their arms which magically fold back into their bodies.  The Rhiewk people have facial features similar to many of the gentler birds of the world.  The Rhiewk fly everywhere in Airlu so one of their talented magic users developed special soles that could be attached to shoes and boots.  The soles allow any humanoid race to walk in the clouds without falling.  There are a limited amount of these soles so they are carefully handled.  If one of the soles goes missing the city is shut down and no one is allowed in until the sole is found.

Airlu is quite large and the city is broken down into various areas; crafting, living spaces, government, warehouses, and the foreign market.  Each area is fenced in and patrolled by a contingent of guards and led by a captain of the militia.   The Rhiewk are a very giving race and rarely exchange money with each other.  Bartering is a large part of Rhiewk life and they are very good at it.  

The crafting area of Airlu has many specialized buildings; but perhaps the most unique building is the magical crafting facility.  This large ornate facility houses workstations of all of the crafts of the Airlu.  What makes this building extraordinary is the amount of magic that permeates every tool and anvil. All items that are going to have magic applied to them are created here. The first floor houses the tools and the second floor houses the offices of the magicians that specialize in object creation. Most finished magic items are lighter than normal due to the skill of crafters in Airlu.

The residential areas of the Airlu resemble ornate natural bird nests.  Each nest is unique and made out of a variety of natural materials.  Some of the nests are built with roofs while in others the Airlu prefer to shrug off the weather and let their nests soak.  Within each group of residences is a larger building where anyone can come in from the weather. These buildings are shared for large family gatherings, special events, etc.

Several guildhalls and the central government building are housed in the largest area.  The militia and small army also have buildings here. This building area is conveniently between the warehouses and the foreign shopping area; just in case there are any problems.  

The warehouse area is self-explanatory and the foreign market features crafts made by virtually every race on the planet.  To purchase magical items from the Airlu it is necessary to be accompanied by two members of the guard.

Text (c) 2017 Heleen Durston and map (c) 2017 Andrew Durston

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The North Watch: The Old North Watch

Returning to my #Southlands sandbox, The North Watch, with a #micromap considering the Old North Watch, a tower referenced in Chapter Two

"Old North Watch:
About a day and half west of North Watch is a ruined tower known as Old North Watch. Built in the early years of the Lion Road, Old North Watch fell victim to a prodigious run of bad luck including raids, disease, avalanche and finally a landslide which carried away most of the surrounding village. Old North Watch was abandoned and soon after North Watch was established. The wilderness now works to reclaim the ruins. Birds nest in the single tower that remains, creatures have dug lairs in the cellars."

The remains of Old North Watch consist of the main tower, approximately 25 feet in diameter and 3 stories tall (about 40 feet to the highest point of remaining roof), and the back wall and a portion of the roof of the Great Hall. A flight of stairs connects the two. Trees stand guard over the sloping hillside which is dotted with stones, partial walls and debris poking through the heather and scrub. The main tower, under the roof, is dry enough that, unless occupied, it might serve as refuge from the elements.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Map and Story Block 12

Good evening everyone. Another 5 mile square block in our continuing series:

Block 12

Scale: 1 square = 1/2 mile

Many miles north of the Tryphar Caverns is an island of much importance to the world.  Venerth Isle is home to the Venerth Academy for Magical Learning and Inquisitiveness. The Isle is fairly large and has a long sturdy bridge which ties it to the mainland.  There are mountains to the east and west on the mainland surrounding the Academy and giving it a closed-in feeling.  The Academy takes up most of the island with the exception being farmland.  When the school was designed by The Council of Elders, the intent was to be as self sufficient as possible.

The Academy is basically a self contained city. It resembles a giant sprawling mansion with a huge hole in the center.  The mansion has all sorts of towers and crenelations that are enchanted with magic to help ward against anyone who might try to attack the buildings.  The interior is broken up into living wards, school areas and various laboratories where all sorts of magic can be created and studied. There is also an area devoted to international embassies and many countries have representatives that live here.

In the center of the Academy is a large circular platform made mostly of a magic ore, Lapderoite.  This ore enables some of the powerful magicians at the academy to gather and cast the spell which will teleport several people and their property up to the City in the Sky, Airlu. Airlu is home to the Rhiewk folk, an avian humanoid race that can fly.  The platform at the academy and the matching one in Airlu allow those that can’t fly a way to explore the sky city and all it has to offer.

Text (c) 2017 Heleen Durston and map (c) 2017 Andrew Durston

Friday, October 20, 2017

Map and Story Block 11

Good evening everyone. Another 5 mile square block in our continuing series:

Block 11


Scale: 1 square = 1/2 mile

Traveling further north and east from the battleground will lead you deeper into Medvedian territory.  Slightly longer than a day-and-a-half’s journey in that direction lies one of the Medvenian’s larger areas, the Tryphar Caverns and the Voniheln Woods.  The caverns lie to the east and are the home of the males of the Giant Whisper Kin.  The woods are home to the women, children and the infirm. The Kin built their homes in the upper boughs of the trees and with the help of magic they have created wooden paths linking the various homes to each other and to the nearby caves.

Men rarely venture from the caves and indeed most Medvedian tribes are led by women. But the men will fight, individuals will protect their mate when she is pregnant and all will gather to defend the Kin if threatened.  Otherwise, men prefer their solitude and studies. The Tryphar caverns are known for its library which is filled with books, scrolls and the art of the Giant Whisper Kin.

The women of Giant Whisper Kin are slightly more social and their homes are quite beautiful.  Each family, along with their extended relations, live in a tree house. The house is built on sturdy old trees, known as Egoves and through magic a room can be grown at any time.  You can tell how old is a particular family in the tribe by how large they have created their home. 

A special group of women in the Giant Whisper Kin, are skilled in nature magic that allows them to talk to the trees and work and shape them.  These homes are usually quite elaborate and feature detailed wooden statues. Even common furniture such as their chairs and tables are wondrously beautiful.

Text (c) 2017 Heleen Durston and map (c) 2017 Andrew Durston

Monday, October 2, 2017

Map and Story Block 10

Good Evening everyone,

Continuing our series developing a world a 5 mile square block at a time, we present:

Block 10


Scale: 1 square = 1/2 mile

Two days journey to the north east the traveler will come upon an area of many hills and valleys.  The land is scarred and scorched and odd pits and gouges in the land seem to be all out of place.  The area is home to many caves and cave systems and three races claim the right to own this land.  Currently the land is divided into roughly 3 areas, each corresponding to the direction that the claiming race hailed from. The Dwarves to the south have tried to mine the caves for its precious minerals and gems.  The Tygrys, coming from the south-west, are positive this land belongs to them. Lastly, the Medvedian (bear) people claim the rest as a religious area because some of these caves are said to bring blessing to the cubs that are born within them.  Battles happen several times a year; but no race has held it more than a few months.

The Dwarven part of the land includes a cave system which they have mined in between battles.  The caves contain the rare mineral Kutosolite which is used in many of the elite weapons and armor that they create. The top of the land features the remains of previous fortifications and includes wood, stone, and various metal debris; mostly these represent the remains of left-over siege engines and fortifications.

The south-western third of this block is part of the land that once belonged to the Tygrys.  The Tygrys were the original owners of the land and are willing to fight tooth-and-claw to keep it.  Many Tygrys can trace their ancestors back to this area of land and they refuse to let it go.

Lastly, the Bear tribes’ area is a series of caves that overlook most of the battlefield.  Each year, when the cubs, are due to be born, many pregnant females come to the caves to give birth. It is during this time that the Medvedian tribe’s men are at their most fierce and protective.  Several battles have been started during this time as some poor Dwarf or Tygrys has gotten in the way of an overprotective father Medvedian. 

Text (c) 2017 Heleen Durston and map (c) 2017 Andrew Durston

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Map and Story Block 9

Good Afternoon everyone,

Continuing our series developing a world a 5 mile square block at a time, we present:

Block 9


Scale: 1 square = 1/2 mile

Leaving Aki and heading a day's journey north-east, the traveler will come across a large butte.  Carefully and loving carved into the butte is  a shrine to the most famous Tygrys hero, Rahki. Rahki had a long and glorious life and saved the Tygrys many times from total destruction.  The shrine honors her bones which are buried beneath it.  There is a large encampment in front of the shrine.  Each year an honor guard of Tygrys is selected to guard the shrine. Many Tygrys hope to be picked for this wonderful duty; but only a few are chosen.

 The Shrine at the Butte


Scale: 1 square = 250 feet

It is a tradition of the Tygrys to visit the shrine at least once a year to receive a blessing from He Who Guards The Shrine.  This person is also chosen once a year from a secret ballot that each Tygrys fills out and nominates exceptional examples of Tygrys that have helped their race improve in some way.  Once a Tygrys becomes He Who Guards the Shrine they go through a ceremony and then don the robes and a ceremonial mask that has been made to look like Rahki. This mask doesn’t come off except when there are no other Tygrys around. It is considered an honor on your family if one of your relatives becomes He Who Guard The Shrine.

Next Block: The Borderlands.

Text (c) 2017 Heleen Durston and map (c) 2017 Andrew Durston

Monday, September 4, 2017

Map and Story Block 8

Good Evening everyone,

Continuing our series developing a world a 5 mile square block at a time, we present:

Block 8


Scale: 1 square = 1/2 mile

Following the road to the south of The Stormy Bed, takes the traveler in an east/northeasterly direction.  Taking this road for a standard day’s journey will have you arrive in Aki, a primarily Tygrys (The Dwarfs call them Tigermen) village.  Most of the journey is made through the plains with the occasional sighting of a Dindwell tree and a small lake that usually accompanies it.  The Dindwell trees are around 10 ft tall and have large leaves that provide shade from the sun.  The Dindwell trees tend to grow in clusters and the Tygrys advantage of this and build a lot of their smaller villages and towns under them.  The Dindwell trees also provide a food source for the Tygrys in the form of a large nut called the Duscle that grows year round.  The Tygrys use all parts of the Duscle, the shell becomes the basis for part of the spears that most Tygrys carry. The inner shell is used in several healing tonics and the inner meat is eaten at almost every meal.

Aki is the home to the Dindwell Spear tribe. A copse of Dindwell trees rests against the small lake of Juhq. Among these trees are huts made from some of the local tall grasses. There are no walls or boundaries to the village and everyone seems calm and peaceful.

Text (c) 2017 Heleen Durston and map (c) 2017 Andrew Durston