Archive for the ‘World Building’ Category


Murengers and Masons in the Sea of Stars (A to Z)

15 April, 2021

Be safe behind city wallsIt is said that good walls make good neighbors and many places rely on that adage, while castle and city walls are of limited use against dragons they are still popular and common across the Sea of Stars.  Making the people who build them, masons, and see that the walls are maintained, murengers, important.

While some walls are earthworks and the elves (and a few others) have defenses crafted from living trees and plants, most permanent walls are stone.  To built stone walls, one needs masons, while the dwarves are often cited as preeminent among masons, there are many others that are experts in working particular types of stone for particular purposes.  As it did in so many things, the Sundering changed even some sorts of stone and exposing new sources to quarry, giving builders new options.

The field of defensive architecture is constantly evolving to respond to local conditions, as available weapons and siege tactics change.  This also leads to radically different types of walls and defenses from place to place, meeting local challenges and aesthetics.  Of course, some places have not seen war in so long that the walls have become primarily decorative . . . until they are needed again.

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Lovers and the Lovelorn in the Sea of Stars (A to Z)

14 April, 2021

Who is it from?While some would argue that in the Sea of Stars the driving aspect of most is power, plain and simple, but even if that is true it does not stop love from existing and, for some, being the most important thing in the world.  Naturally, the goddess and gods of love, romance and lust are all long gone so there is no higher power to appeal to in the pursuit of love, just like around here, they just have themselves and their family and friends to ask for help and advice (and what a sad state of affair that is).

Many dragons would deny that love is an emotion dragons feel or a concept they appreciate, others know that is not true (but are not foolish enough to argue with the dragon who deny it).  There is an underground market for dragon-focused love stories, especially among the Visse, but they are always keep hidden well away from the dragons and their scions.  The dragons and their kine like to think that they are the only master of their hearts and would, and do, scoff at the idea that they could just fall in love with someone and not have control over.  Love is totally unlike greed, greed is good, greed is the core of the draconic nature and entirely an acceptable emotion for a dragons . . . unlike love.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Kavall’s Inquisitive Kit (A to Z)

13 April, 2021

What you need is inside“Well, I am glad to be back in a city,” said Voddick.

“As am I and a relaxing job, body-guarding an inquisitive,” said Gollaon.

“They are very diligent in the study of the area,” said Voddick, a note of approval in his voice.

“It is hard to know what will prove to be guide to the villains responsible.”

“And if we find them, I suspect our lives will be considerably less quiet,” said Voddick, instinctively checking his weapons.

Kavall’s Inquisitive Kit

The first of these kits was made for the skilled inquisitive Osimant Kavall who advocated a rigorous and systematic approach to inquisitive investigations.  There use has since spread throughout the inquisitive community,well among the successful ones in any case.  It is a large bag, the style of which depends on who is was made for, the original was an oxblood red leather case with brass fittings.  Inside are sample bottles, tools for investigation, notebooks, pens and inks. Read the rest of this entry ?


Juniper Jadeivy, Inquisitive (A to Z)

12 April, 2021

They know what you are planningAll elves in the Sea of Stars suffer from the Lack, something they are missing.  As the world is not whole, the elves who are tied to it cannot be whole either.  Sometimes, this holds them back, sometime it inspires they to follow new paths.  You can read more about the elves here.

Juniper Jadeivy, Elven Inquisitive

Quote: You have just arrived from Trevilli?  By starship, yes?  It was easy to work out.

You need to know who stole the prince’s crown?  That sounds like a challenge that I would be willing to undertake.

Magic makes discovering somethings more difficult but that is no reason not to try.

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Investigators and Inquisitives in the Sea of Stars (A to Z)

10 April, 2021

Who is asking the questions?As it is in any world filled with people, there is crime in the Sea of Stars, from petty to the most serious.  Many places do not have organized group dedicated to solving crimes, keeping the peace and enforcing law, yes, actual investigation and crime solving as we have come to expect in the modern world, only very rarely.

Those who investigate crimes are usually known as Inquisitives or more rarely Investigators or Detectives (and occasionally other names as well), depending on the place they may be operatives of the powers that be, direct agents of the ruler, or even freelance professional, solving crimes for a fee (consulting inquisitives, you might say).  While these people are seek to solve crimes, they do so in various ways and with varying levels of support from the authorities.

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Hellions and the Hellborn in the Sea of Stars (A to Z)

9 April, 2021

First, the demon must be capturedWhile visitors from the lower realms are rare, they are far from unknown in the Sea of Stars, and once here, they try to stay as the process of summoning them is risky (and the return journey is unpleasant).  Some manage to inveigle their way into staying even if such come with various sorts of bindings, there is always a way to escape given time and they have all the time in the world.

The very presence of these diabolic beings causes a low level of corruption in the living creatures nearby which over generations can lead to the creation of creatures -and even plants- with fiendish natures and, with enough time, Hellions may be born.  Those likely to give birth to Hellions are generally live in cultures inured to such diabolic expressions, but as the spiritual corruption may lay dormant for generations before it expresses itself in flesh, sometimes Hellions are born to those who have no expectation of such a child, this often ends poorly for all involved.  Though there are some . . . specialists who seek out Hellion children to be raised where their unique talents can be put to use.

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New Monster – Goblin (Stellar) for D&D 5E (A to Z)

8 April, 2021

Goblins in the Sea of Stars, as one would expect, are different.

Goblin (Stellar)

BrokenMirrorMirror, mirror polished bright
Mirror, mirror warding light
Mirror, mirror night and day
Goblin, goblin keep away

-Traditional Visse Cleaning Rhyme

You turn to see something duck behind a rock, a moment later it is leering at you from around a tree.  Glittering yellow eyes slit like a cat’s under a wild green and orange hair peer out from a face like a squashed child.  It laughs evilly as you realize your shoes have sunk into the ankles in a pile of dung that was concealed by loose grass and straw.  You look back and the creature has vanished.
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Fate and Fortune Tellers in the Sea of Stars (A to Z)

7 April, 2021

Do you believe?When the Dragon Empress victoriously concluded the Gods War, it left much of the world in shock, to be further shaken by the Sundering.  The primary things that baffled the surviving diviners, fortune tellers and prophets, no one had predicted this.  No one, not one single prophecy, astrological chart, casting of the bones, they had all been silent.  If the world was to end, it should have been a titanic clash of the forces of the heavens above and the the denizens of the underworld. there were dozens, thousands of prophecies predicting various final conflicts, now permanently postponed.  But not a single one, not a snipped or a clue pointing to the Gods War and the creation of Dragonrule.

Needless to say, those prophets not wiped out in the generalize purge of the faithful found themselves . . . unwanted.  Those few that survived their disappointed followers fled to distant places where they were not known and of those, some happily vanished into obscurity but a few trying to work out why none of this was foreseen or foretold.  In the aftermath, many old writing were read and analyzed and reread and looked at from new angles and a few of them, maybe if you squinted just right could, obliquely be referring to the dragons, maybe.  But it did not restore much confidence in the old prophecies.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Ender’s Dagger (A to Z)

6 April, 2021

End the demon's threat“Turning to demons for aid, despicable,” said Voddick.

“Such magic is cheap and dirty but sadly effective,” said Gollaon as he reached down to make sure the dagger was still there.

“The little demons are dangerous enough are you sure that toy is up to dealing with their leader?”

“If luck is with us,” said Gollaon.  “But I can not be sure a single hit will do it, I will have to get in close.”

“I’ll be there beside you.  You do your job and I will keep you alive long enough so you can.”

Ender’s Dagger

This daggers are plain except for inscription against a specific other realm foe (angels, demons, devils or similar) often written in the language of their traditional enemies.  The daggers are well made but almost all are manufactured as fighting weapons with the very rare ceremonial version. Read the rest of this entry ?


Demonologists and Devil Cults in the Sea of Stars (A to Z)

5 April, 2021

Some gates are more obvious than othersWhen the Dragon Empress victoriously concluded the Gods War, one of her first tasks was to seal the Sea of Stars away from dangerous influences such as the distant heavens and the various hells.  Now, such a seal could not be total but it could make travel between the realms, especially travel into the Sea of Stars, much more difficult.  If people wanted to flee to the heaven or escape to the lower realms, the Empress did not care, it was things coming out of those realms to disrupt her rule that concerned her.

In addition to the wards that protected the realm as a whole, the Empress dispatched agents to locate such phenomenon as hellmouths, stairways to heaven, gates to hell and other such geographies that allowed otherworldly being to impinge on her world.  Slowly, over the course of a century or two, all of the major portals were located and sealed or destroyed.  A small number of minor portals, especially those that operated on a cyclic schedule, survived being either overlooked, lost or -in a very few cases- deliberately hidden.  One of the cyclic gates to the underworld would turn out to have been hidden under the Summer Palace of the tyrant Ba’ai’i and it was sealed at the end of the Nightmare War that destroyed his Dark Star Dominion.

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