Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Tarragon Oubliette Setting: 20 Questions

"Hey!" I hear you all not yelling. "Where's this last two weeks blog post?"
Well truth is, dear reader, I wrote two posts about the setting of K'thyna I'm working on before realising that both would spoil the setting for any players. I also realised that I really need to playtest Tarragon Oubliette. So then I started working on a setting to playtest in.

The DREAM of Erehwen.

Erehwen is named for its founder and first ruler, the dragon Erehwen who lived within the herb-covered crag of Tarragon Rock. The realm is a monarchy, but the monarch is 'elected' through divine providence. In short the three main religious groups are told by their deities, the Powers, who the best choice would be. Given the nature of these Powers it's never someone untalented at the job and, unless things are going to be particularly boring, usually have strange ideas. This has resulted on a highly enlightened society. For instance, due to having had an orc rule during one particular war-like decade orcs can be subjects of the realm, with all the rights thereof.

Here's Jeff Reint's Quick 20 Questions for the setting of Erehwen:

1. What is the deal with my cleric's religion?

Well you're a cleric, which means you're part of the Clergy. The clergy worship the New Way, also known as the New Power. Formerly known as Kirza Sacredgrove. Kirza was an Erehwenite born miraculously to a barren woman through the blessings of the Old Power. Born intersex both the Druids and the Dryads (witches) sought them out to teach them the secrets of the Old Ways. Kirzen was an attentive student, more so than many of their peers, but seemed... bored. They spoke of needing to find a new way and of having to go on a long journey. Not more a few days past their 13th birthday they woke early, packed a bag as if to travel, took a few steps from their front door and dropped dead. There was much grieving, but not long after Kirza's funeral there were sightings of them wandering the realm. Talking to people. Asking questions. On the morning of what would have been their 14th birthday a friend of theirs, Conn Goldeyes woke to find Kirza sitting at the foot of his bed.
 "I've found a new way," Kirza was reported to have said, "I want to show it to you." By dawn Conn was first of the Clergy.
The New Way/Power (nobody says "Kirza" anymore; that would be rude/blasphemy/deadnaming) focuses on laws, innovation, trade and all the other aspects of civilisation.

The Old Way focuses on nature and wilderness. Including hunting, animal husbandry, agriculture and, of course, the harvest. It is practiced by the aforementioned druids and dryads.

2. Where can we go to buy standard equipment?

There is a market in the capital, the city of Tarragon, where you can get pretty much everything legal. The illegal stuff will be tougher, you might have to head for the border for that. There are smaller markets across the realm with typically a  smaller range of available equipment.

3. Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?

The Storm Forge, just on the corner of Tarragon Market Square and Castle Rise, is the best smithy in the realm.

4. Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?

Archmagister Lohion Clearthorne is Chancellor of the Lyceum of Erehwen and, by popular reckoning, is the mightiest wizard in all the realm.

5. Who is the greatest warrior in the land?

Ser Dakio "Warmight" Axefang is regarded by many as the greatest of the realm's Guardians. Some attribute his ferocity in battle to his Orc mother, but many who remember is father say that papa Axefang was a mean piece of work himself.

6. Who is the richest person in the land?

The realm of Erehwen itself. Castle Tarragon still sits atop the hoard of the dragon Erehwen and the dungeons beneath.

7. Where can we go to get some magical healing?

Given that all the clergy within Erehwen can work miracles and a decree by the current monarch means that they have an obligation to heal the realm's subjects, magical healing is easily found. There are also special clergical doctors who focus entirely on healing. The druids and dryads also have access to healing magic. The clergy, druids and dryads aren't allowed to charge for their healing services, nor refuse the needy, but can request donations. Since some 'healing' spells require expensive ingredients and material components these are usually included in any requested donations.

8. Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?

The aforementioned clergy, doctors, druids and dryads.

9. Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?

Yes. Getting an education in magic sets one up for all sorts of prospects. The only form of magic that doesn't make the practitioner an immediate gentleperson is Wild Magic. That's only because it's proto-magic which is looked down by more 'sophisticated' practitioners.

10. Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?

The Grand Lyceum of Erehwen, at Tarragon, is the foremost school of learning in the realm, if not the world.
The Lyceum system results in a well educated and highly literate population.

11. Where can I hire mercenaries?

If you are a landowner you're allowed to raise a volunteer militia from among any tenants you might have. It's not uncommon for landowners to pay warriors to become tenants and join their militia. 

But that's not what you asked. You asked about mercenaries. There are... associations... of warriors. Not militias as such but combat solidarities. It might be possible to employ them. But most likely you'll end up bringing mercenaries from outside the realm, and that probably won't go down too well.

12. Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?

Not within the realm, as such. Most of that sort of thing is found beyond its borders. 

13. Which way to the nearest tavern?

In any town you're probably no more than a stone's throw from some sort of drinking establishment.

14. What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?

The foreign conspirators may have been releasing monsters into the countryside to destabilise things further.

15. Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?

Some of Erehwen's neighbours are attempting to take advantage of the upheaval from the new monarch. Some of it is ideological, much of it is opportunistic, but a great deal of it is out of fear of change. 

16. How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?

There are contests of skill. This can include gladiatorial style contests. Lightweight practice weapons are used to reduce the chance of injury and all such contests are to first blood or yield.

17. Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?

There might be a dragon cult. There are certainly groups of conspirators funded or led by foreign agents to destabilise Erehwen.

18. What is there to eat around here?

The national dish is Tarragon Chicken. The local chickens have been bred until they are turkey sized.

19. Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for?

First and foremost there are some missing dragon eggs.

20. Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure? 

In the depths of the Tarragon Oubliette.

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