Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sample Background Part 2

This is an more elaborate background created because the player had a good idea about adding some detail to my setting, the Majestic Wilderlands. The two of us went back and forth and came up with this. With maps this came out to three pages.

Normally I try not to do this long however my Majestic Wilderlands has gone on so long that a fair percentage of the setting is the result of player action. When a new campaign comes along some of my players want to explore some interesting situations that were created because of what they did.

In the following example both Draco-lindus and Lord William Enderil were PCs. The campaign they were involved with lasted from around 1990 to about 1997 with a couple of major halts sprinkled through. The player who created William Enderil had a note about the Kempa his spy organization. Come 2007 and a new campaign he decides it would be interesting to play a Kempa Spy.

I thought it was a good idea. It meshed with some of the events I was planning on introducing. I also knew that it would flesh out a sketchy part of my setting and hopefully provide some interesting NPCs for later campaigns. So we created a longer than normal background.

The Kempa (The Faithful)
Spy Group setup by Lord William Enderil of Porttown. Currently focused on rooting out spies in the Duchy of New Caelam, hunting Mykalite loyalists in Antil, aiding Nomar rebels against Divolic, operating a spy network in the Duchy of the South, Lord Divolic’s domain, and providing security in City-State for Clan Draco and Clan Enderil clanhouses.

The Brotherhood of the Taig
A rival guild of mages to the Guild of Arcane Lore. Has two chapters the first located in the Taig within Dearthwood near City-State. The Second in the Tower of Magery located in Porttown on the Trident Gulf. Prominent members of the Tower of Magery are Master Barton, Master Veranon of Viridstan and Master Hedral.

The Duchy of New Caelam
Comprised of the southern half of the old Viridian province of Gormmorah and the western half of the Kingdom of Antil. It also has extensive overseas territories in the Desert Lands north of Lenap. Main settlements are Porttown, Actuan, and Antil. The Ducal seat is at the Castle of New Caelam 50 miles northeast of Porttown.

Hall of Clan Draco
This building houses visiting nobles and retainers of Clan Draco and its allies. This is a three story building on Ox-cart Road that has a basement and two sub basements one of which has a secret connection to the sewers of City-State.

The first floor is dominated by a lavish central hall that is used by Duke Draco-lindus and/or Lord William Enderil to entertain and hold meetings while they are visiting City-State. Off of the hall are the suites used by the two lords while staying in City-State along with living quarters for their top retainers. The two floor is dominated by offices and meeting rooms used by Lord Enderil’s retainers in their many mercantile dealings. The third floor houses the quarters of the live-in staff.

Seneschal Lamisso is in overall charge of the Hall’s Staff and supervises it maintenance. Once a notorious carouser he has since mellowed and now uses his knowledge of women and food in the service of Duke Draco-Lindus.

The basement contains storerooms for both mundane and exotic goods. It also acts as a warehouse for temporary storage of the goods that Clan Enderil trades in. There is a hidden inclined ramp leading up to Ox-Cart Road wide enough for a wagon to pass. The entrance of the ramp is normally covered by two doors faced with cobblestones.

The first sub basement house the quarters training rooms, and the meeting room of the local Kempa. Access to the first sub basement is via a hidden stairwell from the basement. There is room for about six kempa to stay here. The quarters of Neno the Black, the local Kempa chief is located here. He is only 20 years old and one of the original kempa adopted by Enderil. The kempa have various staff position to cover the reason they are here. The most common cover is that they are drovers that are used for high security deliveries. Neno’s cover position is that he is an accountant to Draco-lindus and William Enderil in charge of tracking any high value mundane or magic item.

The second sub basement is much smaller and is used mostly as storage for the kempa and as a connection to City-State’s sewer system. The door to the sewer is well hidden behind stonework. The corridor leading from the door is well guarded with mundane and magical traps.

The House and basements have been enchanted with the a variety of magical defenses to prevent teleports,scrys, and other long range magical attack.

Any member of the kempa traveling to City-State is given a series of pass phrases in order to report to Neno. Contact is made usually by delivering a package to Neno and making the correct series of pass-phrases. The packages is contain a carved wooden box with a red garnet inside.

Hall of Rhyl
Two building southward on Ox-Cart Road is the Hall of the Rhyl. This clan house is used by Duke Divolic and his Retainers while they are in City-State.

House of the Dragon (formally the Red Pearl Inn)
This inn is built in and around a giant skull of a Dragon Turtle. The first floor along with the taproom occupies the skull itself with the second floor built on top. The owner of the House of the Dragon is Lord William Enderil, a prosperous merchant lord and ally of Duke Draco-lindus. Lord Enderil bought the Red-Pearl Inn from its former owner Sylperi the Spellbinder a notorious prankster who still hangs out in the taproom. The skull of the Dragon Turtle came in through a portal opened by William Enderil while adventuring with Draco-Lindus in the swamps outside of Set’s Fortress on the Plane of Acheron. The Skull crushed Red Pearl Inn and the inn was rebuilt and renamed by William Enderil.

Cassandra the Innkeeper now manages the House of the Dragon for William Enderil with the help of her husband Tarkal the Barkeep, 6 cooks, 8 serving maids, and 10 chamber maids. Lavina, the daughter of the former belly-dancer Mariena, is a talented singer and dancer who leads a floor show that attracts crowds from throughout the wharf district. Calin Strong-Arm is Cassandra’s body guard and serves as the inn’s bouncer.

Like other taverns in the district the House of the Dragon attracts sailors and pirates, but it now has a clientele made up of former mercenaries that served with Duke Draco-Lindus. Minor merchants that deal with William Enderil make up a part of the overnight crowd.

Lord Enderil’s secret spy network, the Kempa, has recruited several of the maids to act as informants. Their handler is the cook, Casila, who regularly reports useful information back to the chief Kempa of city-state Neno the Black who is located on Ox-Cart Road in the Clan Hall of Draco. One of the serving maids is Anetta she has been prompted by Casila to work as a handler for other Kempa Agents. Currently she only has Sueve working for her. Sueve is a member of the seaman’s guild. He works on the barges on the Modron-City-State run. Mostly he been used as a courier between the Kempa of City-State and the Kempa of Modron. He mostly makes his deliveries to Tay Belon a Bonding Agent in Modron’s warehouse district.

The Inn doesn’t have a basement but it did have a small sewer main that dumped directly into the Estuary underneath the main wharf. During the rebuilding of the Inn this main was expanded and the sewage rerouted into a secondary pipe. There is now a small landing underneath the wharf that used by the Kempa to transfer people and goods from the Estuary into the City-State through the Inn.

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