Author Topic: Books From Totenwald  (Read 5235 times)

Offline GoldBoxFan

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2012, 02:42:33 PM »
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THE ONE AND FUTURE KING
by Anonymous

It is rumored that the One King, ruler of all of the eastern continent for almost 10,000 years, lies buried deep in the earth awaiting a mystical event to awaken once again. He was placed into the long sleep by the bone whistlers of Agramach. And is guarded by his most faithful followers. They are in turn guarded by theirs. Not to mention numerous traps, falls and moving walls.

Numerous attempts have been made to find the fabled king, treasure hunters being who they are. A few have returned aged greatly and in constant fear. They were overwhelmed and lucky to escape. No treasure has yet been found.

This tomb supposedly has four magical portals which allow one-way travel to pertinent areas nearby.

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MYTHICAL PLACES
by various Monks, Paladins and Clerics

The fabled city of Sen Hosi is said to appear out of the mist during certain cosmic events, but is otherwise lost to time.

The bandit caves are said to lie somewhere in the Hamak desert full of treasure. A magic word may open them.

The last tomb is said to be the one king's resting place and treasure hoard deep underground.

The fabled Tower of Unch is said to move to a different location every night.

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ICE SHIPS
by Qualifer Fast

Almost year long does a cold wind blow over the great glacier. And in many places the ice is smooth. For a time the adventuresome put ships on skis to sail across the ice. These were first used to cross it looking for lost civilizations and great treasures. All that were found were the simple wraith villages and plenty of ways to die.

Once the ice was known to have no worth to it, hunters used the ships to catch big game. This was a dangerous safari that declined with its members. Now only one ship a year goes to Death Belongs for trade. It usually makes it back.

If you look down through clear ice you can sometimes see the wrecks of ice ships. Scaveneged, of course. On a luckier day you can find a recent wreck partly above the ice.
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THE ANGRY PYRAMID
by Herceluean Scrub

It is part of Hamak culture for a deceased ruler to have a full-sized statue nearby to animate after death. But the first Pharoah decided to go a might bigger. He chose to inhabit the entire pyramid after death. This wasn't as enjoyable as he thought. For one thing, the pyramid had no mouth or hands. He could eat or enjoy any pleasures. Then there was the wind and rain and sandstorms. And the thieves cutting holes into the stones.

To make matters worse, once inside the pyramid the pharoah couldn't get out again. He was stretched too thin and weakened.

It is easy to see why the pyramid is so angry.
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THE BANDIT CAVES
by Herceluean Scrub

Everyone knows that the bandits of the Hamak keep their treasure in caves. But nobody has ever found them. This might be because the entire kingdom is surrounded by mountainous rock, leaving hundreds of thousands of places to look for them. It might also be because the caves are said to be opened only by Jann magic. Or the correct lusty song. The bandits aren't talking.

There is a rumor that the caves are actually under the sandy desert and that magic words mace the caves rise from the sand. But no one ever asks what the point of stealing all this treasure is if you never sell it.

Empty caves have been found around the Hamak desert, some abandoned, some with bandits or other creatures inside.
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THE LAUGHING OASIS
by Herceluean Scrub

There are several large oases in northern Hamak that are permanent year round. One oasis is avoided even by those who are dying of thirst. This is the laughing oasis. The oasis is nicknamed for the hyenas which lounge about the watering hole as if they have no care in the world. But that is only a minor danger. The oasis is thought to be the court of the Jackal Lord. For jackals also abound at the oasis and don't fight the hyenas. There is also a question of what might be beneath the waters. Tentacles have been suggested.

A jackal-headed humanoid has been seen at the oasis by a few of the survivers. On at least one occasion it was said to have decapitated an interloper. It is also said to lead jackals against caravans that get too close.

Caravans purposely avoid the area. Yet sometimes they find themselves near it.
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THE HAUNTED RUINS
by Herceluean Scrub

There are many ruins in southern Hamak, all considered haunted. But one set of ruins is more than just considered haunted. It actually is haunted. This is not the southern capitol of Undak, which is a major vacation spot for adventurers. It is the artist colony at Duspit. Killed by a plague while sleeping, the creative geniuses of the dynasty went on working anyway, though without any new insights.

Anyone who visits the village will be bombarded by a crowd of of spirits wishing to know when their supplies will arrive, will you send phantom letters for them, do you have any letters for them, and when is someone going to come by and inspect their work. Never ask them about their poetry.
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THE SAND SAILORS
by Qualifer Fast

At certain times of the year the wind blows across Hamak fairly steady for as long as a month. During these blasts brigands take their ships out of hidden caves, or sandy coverings, for the more lucrative crime of piracy. The fast ships can hold more cargo than horses and camels, don't need to stop for rest or feeding, and don't drop dead from arrows. The downside being the wind could just dry up in the middle of an escape.

Some merchant have used captured ships to move supplies across the desert quicker. They even bring the horses and camels along. This can lead to the rare ship to ship land battle.

Ships found in the desert are avoided for fear of hauntings. Dead pirates are usually left to rot. Sometimes they just mummify.
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THE SWALLOWING SAND
by Herceluean Scrub

All sandy deserts have quicksand, sand that covers sinkholes until weight forces the sand to slide down. This is particularly a hazard after sandstorms. But there appear to be places where something unnatural is the cause of the disappearing person or animal. Instead of cries of fear there are cries of pain. Stabbing downward with pikes or spears sometimes find something hard and defelective, but never brings back blood.

There are varying beliefs as to what may be beneath the sand. Sailors say it is a form of shark. Priests say it is a demon or a god unhappy with lac of tribute. Others say it is just a large desert creature that needs to be exterminated.

Caravans often put food on a rope in front of a donkey and let it lead the way, as an offering of sorts.
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UNDAK THE FALLEN
by Herceluean Scrub

The capitol of the southern kingdom of Hamak was known as Undak the Unshakable. Which is probably why it collapsed after the earth plates moved vigorously beneath it. Undak had obelisks, monoliths, streets flanked by statues, and grand buildings of every type. It was a tourist spot on the east-west caravan route as well as the midpoint. And a step-pyramid inn that served mead.

The ruins of Undak are still used as a rest stop, especially for adventurers who take a week or two to rest. Much of it is under the sand, and the obelisks have fallen, but the top floor of the step-pyramid inn is usually vacant.

The ruins are infested by normal-sized scorpions, snakes and bees. Sometimes other creatures sniff around.
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Offline GoldBoxFan

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2012, 12:47:14 PM »
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THE BONE CAVES
by Xiang Xo-Chinn

Great cats have always lived on the horse plains. Some of them lived in the bone caves. These caves were bumps in the ground that may have been salt licks. Tuskers dug up the ground to get to the salt. Larger animals then expanded the diggings. Eventually you had small caves mostly underground. Cats would drag their prey into the caves to eat in peace. Piles of these bones show how long the caves have been used.

During the mining boom these caves were found by claim-jumpers mistaking them for mines. Some of the bones were taken and sold as novelties. A few sailors moved to the jackal ruins to perform scrimshaw on them. A few wizards find these bones amazing. Some of the animals they come from aren't known to exist anymore.

A bone cave found today is generally empty. Lions like to sun themselves, and they are the large cat of the plains. But sometimes other creatures can be found in a cave and defend their lair agressively.
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THE DRY RIVER
by Xiang Xo-Chinn

Cutting the horse plains in half is a dry river that comes from the Hamak mountains and disappears into the Spindle Mountains. The banks of this river are high in several stretches, but mostly there are many low crossing points which are used. In one or two places are the ruins of make-shift bridges. Digging into the earth will bring no water unless after a storm. Many creatures come to the river then, though it doesn't fill up.

Parties that went north found the river blocked by many rocks. Some sort of storm giant feud perhaps? To the south the riverbed traveled into the mountains for a while before dropping precipitously. Attempts were made to get to the bottom of this waterfall, but not enough rope could be found. It is assumed it eventually went out to sea. Or filled an undergound lake.

Expeditions are often planned in the hopes gems or crystals will be found in a vast underground cavern now free of water. Dwarves spend their off-season digging hand and foot holds into the wall.
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THE ENDLESS BILABONG
by Xiang Xo-Chinn

Watering holes are rare on the horse plains, and most dry up after the rainy season. But one is known to stay steady in flow year round. And animals drinking from it don't attack each other. This has created many legends. That the bilabong is blessed by a god. That it forces peace upon those who come near it. That the waters cure the sick and remove your sins. None of these have been proven true.

Scholars believe the predators don't attack at the bilabong because they don't want to pollute the water with dead flesh or blood. They also think the water comes from a natural spring.

The bilabong is on the caravan route from Hamak to Chann.
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THE FORGOTTEN MINES
by Xiang Xo-Chinn

For a short period of time dwarves and others began digging holes into the horse plains in the search for gold and gems. These mines are holes in the ground often found as your horse breaks its leg stumbling into one. Only a handful have signs as warnings, but even most of these are too faded to read, have fallen down, or were used for fires.

The mines themselves are of varying lengths. Some have pieces of picks, lamps, and useless ore. None have veins of gold or gems. They can fill up with water during rainstorms.

Animals sometimes use the mines as burrows. Bandits sometimes hide in them after a robbery.
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THE JACKAL RUINS
by Xiang Xo-Chinn

There are many individual ruins on the horse plains that were the huts of miners. Many of these were built partially underground. But there are a few ruins of villages, outposts or attempts at cities. Most of these are just crumbling walls that dot the landscape. One is known as the Jackal Ruins.

Built of solid stone, expertly placed to last, the jackal ruins almost all stand. Believed to be built by the Great Kingdom, added onto by the Chann, then improved by Hamak, the ruins are a mixture of architectural styles. They have been used as caravan stops, post stops, a miner trading post, and a slaver market. But mostly they are abandoned. Only jackals live there now.

Though no treasure is believed to be at the ruins, a map to a treasure is considered to be cunningly hidden there.
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THE PEOPLE OF DUST
by Xiang Xo-Chinn

Sometimes when camping on the horse plains a person covered in dust will suddenly appear next to you eating your food. These people tend to grunt when eating then disappear the next time you look away. Thought to be apparitions for many years, the Ubutu call them the Dust People. The two peoples trade and sometime hold ceremonies together.

The dust people are actually humans who cover themselves with natural elements to blend into the background. Many's the time someone has ridden past one only a few feet away. Grabbing a horse's tail without being noticed. or eating from a camp and leaving without being seen, are rites of passage. They actually live in villages that also can't be seen unless you trip over them.

After completing the rite of passage an adult dust person goes on a walk-around. They walk all the way around the horse plains until they arrive home again. During this period they may talk to other people, get jobs, or even learn to read.

The dust people are sometimes known to have gold dust or gems on them. They say they found it lying around. No one else has ever found gold or gems despite attempts at mining.

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THE THORN MAZE
by Xiang Xo-Chinn

The bushes of the horse plains are thorny indeed. So thorny that they are grown around villages to keep out predators. Even snakes get caught in the thorns. But the horse plains have a marvel no one can explain. A vast network of thorny hedges taller than a camel, too thick to cut through, and grown in what appears to be a maze. No one remembers it not being there.

Many have tried to search the maze to see what the point of it is. Some have tried to rip a path. Others to burn it. But the roots grow deep, and the bark resists fire. None-the-less, there is more than one entrance, and several of these don't appear to be natural.

Rumors persist there is a treasure in the middle. But the only treasure found has been from the bodies of those who died searching it. Cuts from the thorns can get infected. And more poisonous plants have combined with the hedges. Snakes and other creatures have wandered in and lived for generations.

The maze can usually be found by the constant stream of vultures flying above it.
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THE UNCATCHABLE HERD
by Xiang Xo-Chinn

The horse plains are known for their wild herds of horses. But one herd in particular has eluded even the fastest trappers. This herd is said to be lead by a stallion of rare speed, bold temperment and great strength. It also seems to snicker when it gets away. The color of this stallion changes from tale to tale, giving rise it is a demon. No flames or noxious fumes are said to come from its nostrils.

Others say it is the Horse Lord, god of horses. This holds a lot more weight when other tales are considered. The Jackal Lord, for instance. A theory that many animal deities came through the spindle gate by accident does gain some precedant with tales from the tribes that live nearby. Regardless of what it is, capturing this creature would be anyones lifetime achievement.

Strangely enough, escaped camels sometimes run with the herd.
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THE WATCH TOWER
by Xiang Xo-Chinn

On the western part of the horse plains is a watch tower built by Hamak to signal any attacks from the horse nomads. And once by the Ubutu. This tower is extremely tall with a powerful lens at the top. The base is as wide as a castle. The tower tapers off to a room barely large enough for a skinny man.

Despite the known purpose of the tower many believe it has hidden chambers filled with gold or gems. They say this is where the dust people find their treasure on their walk-arounds. Architects say that the tower will collapse if the walls are broken into. Others say the top is used to get onto giant flying beasts. To most it is just a threatening eyesore that bandits sometimes use.

The tower was built from stone brought from Hamak. It sways in the wind, a more frightening occurence the higher you get.
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UBUTU
by Xiang Xo-Chinn

Also living on the horse plains are the tribes of the Ubutu, several dark-skinned villages with sod huts. These hunters of lions are farmers first, but afraid of nothing. The Natok leave them alone. Oxen or wildebeest are common fixtures at ubutu villages, as well as goats and a few shade trees. Each village is surrounded by sharp sticks and thorny brush.

The only time the Ubutu made it into the history books was when they attacked Hamak after slavers raided their villages. They won. They ignore people who ignore them.

The ubutu carry spears and shield when hunting or fighting. Their shields look much like kites and are usually made of animal skin.

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Offline GoldBoxFan

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2012, 11:42:21 PM »
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INVISIBLE ISLAND
by Qualifer Fast

An invisible barrier surrounds this island somewhere in the Sea of Death. Ruled by Ichonk the Unwieldy the island was once ruled by Sultan Salil Cabacus. His black-haired daughter, Princess Abaca Cabacus married a merman and became a mermaid, leaving the kingdom with no heir upon her father's death. The vizier Inchonk the Steady took over.

This rocky island that rises up to a town surrounding a tower, is invisible to those who do not know the correct way to get through the barrier. The wreckage of ships nearby can denote its location before the wreckers collect it.

Ichonk closed off the island after the mines leaked.

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FINDING YOUR WAYS AMONG THE ROCKS
by Qualifer Fast
Seagulls, terns and other sea birds nest within the rocks surrounding the town of Nix on the invisible island. The island looks like a giant piled rocks in the ocean to make a cairn. On top are the town and the vizier's tower. Tunnels lead into the rock to a hidden cave where ships are kept, as well as the ore mines.

Not long ago the mines broke through the bottom of the rock into the sea and flooded. They had already played out, giving the island no source of revenue. Ichonk created a sea of death around the island to cause ships to wreck. The miners became salvagers of wreckage. A treaty with a sahuagin lord fed his sharks and his people and kept the islanders safe.

There are sometimes bones among the rocks, of those who made it from the wreckage to shore. The sea birds are very protective of their nests.

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JUNGLE ISLAND
by Qualifer Fast

Off the mountainous mainland of the grand continent in the Calm Sea is Kumula Ailana the Jungle Island. An island made up of beaches, palm and date trees, and one bubbling volcano. The locals use katamarans to travel around the island as all villages are on the coast. The island has no ruler except in times of war. Then the chiefs of all the villages wrestle. The winner becomes war chief.

Two towns have been built inland by foreign powers, with the permission of the locals. The town of Vulco sits near enough to Lua Pele to use the heat from the magma to power several industries. The town smelts iron and forms it into objects. The flaming-haired Doga Flania Infence rules the town.

The second town is Sylvaror and sits in the jungle. Sultana Fermia Makop runs a wood harvesting program for ships masts and other parts. Her business ran into problems a few years ago when it sold the Glomen Navy some rubber masts. The navy found other uses for them.

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THE TURTLE GOD
by Qualifer Fast

The villagers of Kumula Ailana worship Honu Akua the turtle god. Turtles come to the beach ever year to lay their eggs. The villagers take half the eggs to eat, and any tired or injured turtles, and let the rest go. Several times a year they go out and place flowered leis on the water to honor the god. They also hunt sharks on these days because Honu Akua is said to have damaged flippers from shark bites.

Giant turtles have been known to swim around or near the island. And they are all scarred, more likely from ships than sharks. Than are even rumors a dragon turtle sank a ship near the island. If any of these are Honu Akua it isn't talking.

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THE PARROT KINGDOM
by Qualifer Fast

Deep in the jungle of Kumula Ailana are the ruins of volcanic carved towns and monoliths. Faces, temples, observatories and food vendors can be identified. Parrots live at every ruin and nest nowhere else, giving rise to the theory they are villagers cursed and turned into manu form for not giving their god enough attention. Others think they got used to free hand-outs and are just waiting for people to return. The ruins seemed to be entirely abandoned with nothing worth taking from them.

The faces are said to be the old kings or war chiefs. Or maybe advisors in rock form. They are certainly in better shape than the ruins. If they can talk they aren't saying anything.

Villagers won't go into the deep jungle even on a dare. They say spirits haunt the kumula.

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VOLCANIC SACRIFICE
by Qualifer Fast

On those rare occasions when the Lua Pele on Kumula AIiana boils over, the people of the island offer Pele gifts to appease it. Fish, fruit, totems, and an effigy of a human are the first offers. If these don't appease it the villagers go to the mainland and bring back large rocks (it is a volcano after all). If Pele still boils with anger the villagers get on their katamarans and flee to the mountains to the north until his anger cools off.

Though Lua Pele can spit out clouds of toxic smoke and ash, it hasn't overflowed in anyone's memory. The carved ruins and scultures of the interior were made from the last time it overflowed. The ash is sometimes collected by fishermen to sell as fertilizer. Giant fruits and vegetables invariably result from the ash. Most of the animals on Kumula Alaina are immune to the toxic smoke. Jungle monkeys have been known to cover their faces with banana peels during ash season.

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LONE GLACIER
by Qualifer Fast

Often called Glaucule, the lone glacier is really an island covered in ice. Ice gnomes live on the fringes of the glacier, and in caves carved into the glacier close to the Frozen Sea. On top of the glacier is one lone town called Tomauk. The island, however, is ruled by Doge Nicoli Glacule. The island supplies ice and ice sculptures to its neighbors, magically keeping the ice from melting in transit, and for a price, after arriving.

Not much in the way of sea creatures live on the lone glacier. The ice is a cliff that even avid mountaineers would contemplate. Some sea birds bother Tomauk and the bone dump outside its walls.

The ice gnomes and ice dwarves don't get along. The gnomes usually use illusions to win their arguments, while the dwarves use their foreheads. The ice gnomes are hermitic people who often try to develop new ways to enhance ice magic. The dwarves dig down through the ice to the land below in search of anything a dwarf might consider valuable.

One day it is thought the glacier will just float away when it becomes unanchored from the land.

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TOWN OF ICE
by Qualifer Fast

Upon the ice plateau of the island of Glaucule is the dwarven town of Tomauk ruled by the very aged Doge Nicoli Glacule and his aged daughter Princess Salia Glacule. The dwarves of Glaucule are famed for their ice scultpures. Mainly because their mine through the ice has only found seashells and some teeth. It is believed that most of the island is actually in piles in ice caverns as the dwarves frantically dig it all up looking for gold or pearls.

Refuse is dumped outside the walls of the town. It is referred to as the bone dump as any leftovers soon lose the flesh that was on them. Ice gnomes can sometimes be seen searching the bone dump, but usually at night. Nearby is the long gangway down to the wharf below. Pulleys lift crates from ships that harbor below. On windy days the crates crack againt the ice wal.

The dwarves sometimes buy ice sculptures from the ice wraiths and resell them.

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MERCHANT ISLAND
by Qualifer Fast

Merchant island is made up of four kingdoms. Afus is an orchard-bearing plainland on the northwest part of the island. Run by Baron Leon Leom and Princess Lilicia Leom, it mainly sells fruits. Old fruit trees are turned into books giving the books from Afus the nicest smell in all of Totenwelt.

Zyblia is on the northeastern part of the island. The rocky outcroppings contain gem mines. Duchess Illimus Baule rules the city. Sea birds are a constant annoyance. As are shipwrecks.

Jeck is on the southwestern part of the island. The pasture land also grows grain and holds a silk-worm colony. It is ruled by the Duchess Modifence Millin. Grain and silk-cloth is traded to other countries. There are many cows here.

Sill is on the tar-pitted southeastern part of the island ruled by Lady Pieton Bleick. It is used to make pitch and oil. The town of Sill is on a small patch of land yards away from the pits. The land has no wildlife.

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THE MEETING OF MINDS
by Qualifer Fast

In the center of Merchant Island is a meeting place. It might even be called a keep. Here the four kingdoms come to meet and set prices for the year. Representatives of all the kingdoms and all the guilds speak up. The rulers stay at home except the yearly elected King or Queen.

Other than setting prices the representatives take up taxation, equal rights for peasants, fair shearing practices, and more time off with the kids. The King or Queen has the power to veto any such measures on behalf of all the kingdoms. They usually veto all of them.

On rare occasions when the rulers object to a veto the keep holds a Meeting of Rulers. If the vote is 3-1 or 2-1 the veto is overturned.

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THE ONE-YEAR KING
by Qualifer Fast

Every year one of the four leaders of Merchant Island is made King or Queen for a year. This is not a sought after job as it entails sitting at the meeting of minds and casting tie-breaking votes, visiting all four countries (and usually getting caught in the tar pits), and letting someone else run your kingdom while you are away. Usually this is a Prince or Princess.

A lot of the elected use this time to write poetry or hunt wildlife. And sometimes long sailing trips. It is written that all four leaders must serve a term as King before one of them can be elected to serve again. No one ever argues for longer durations.

In times of war the leader also travels with the army or fleet and gives nominal commands.

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MYSTERY ISLAND
by Qualifer Fast

Surrounded by the Black Sea, Mystery Island is a mystery. All that is know for sure is that it was part of the League of Merchants under the Duchess Ricca Roem. By now her brown-haired daughter Princess Willoe Roem should have teken over. But communications with the island have been disrupted. Probably due to the sluggish seas surrounding the island.

The capitol of the island was Ajacia and it was surrounded by sugar fields. This sugar was used to make rum that went mostly to pirates in return for booty. When ships came to attack the island for dealing with pirates, wizards dumped the rum into the sea combined with magical components. The result saved the island but cut off communication.

The rum has been spoiled by the salt water, which doesn't prevent seamen from leaning over to take a cup.

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FIELDS OF CAIN
by Qualifer Fast

Mystery island is known for its fields of sugar cane. These are harvested by the local villagers of Ajacia. The villagers believe the cane fields are haunted by a scarecrow like creature which claims the fields as its own. They call it Cain. Every year they make a scarecrow, prance around it chanting protective spells, throw sugar at the scarecrow, and then burn it.

This seems to work as the cane is then collected and refined into sugar. Old cane is used to make canes. Some have weapons placed inside.

The villagers of the cane also believe in witchcraft, curses and seeing into the future. They practice palm-reading, head-reading and chicken-reading.

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PIRATE ISLAND
by Qualifer Fast

Pirate Island is also known as Dock Island. This collection of floating wood is technically run by a court of captains. It is actually run by the captain whose ship you currently are on. There are no buildings or stalls on the island. Pirates come to the dock and sell their wares from their ship or right next to it.

Pirates who attempt to change ship can be abandoned on the dock to die. A few stalwarts have made a living by being shipless. One of these lives in a dingy.

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THE COURT OF CAPTAINS
by Qualifer Fast

There are times when one captain is not enough law. There are cases when more than one pirate captain lays claim to treasure, when crews mutiny, or when a captain kills another captain or a pirate turns evidence on other pirates. All of these events require a high court.

This court is made up of all the captains currently docked at Pirate Island. This includes any accused captains. After two captains killed each other, when they both voted each other the death penalty, a law was added that at least one captain who wasn't involved had to be on the court. The other captains had to wait for this captain for as long as it took.

Most penalties involve death in some form, including death by starvation. This is the preferred penalty for the loser. Needless to say, pirates don't have a court of appeal.

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TEMPLE ISLAND
by Qualifer Fast

In the middle of the Holy Sea is Temple Island, a land where violence never happens and arguments become cordial discussions. This may have something to do with the glowing meteorite chunk inside the main temple to all gods. Or the temples and shrines to every god or mythical being in Totenwelt.

The island has one deep harbor at Vinestapol. The dark-haired Emira Katerina Pravda rules the town. The island is known for its vineyards. Practically every temple sells its own brand. Except the few that drink it all. These wines are highly regarded for their mystical properties. Most of which are in the mind of the imbiber.

The rocky mountain island is also known for herds of goats and sheep. The sheep are used to make clothing for the abbots. The goats are there to annoy the clergy by eating important items. A few mountain goats remain wild. They can sometimes be seen hanging from an outcropping over the sea by passing ships. They seem to be as puzzled how they got there as we are.

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THE TRIAL OF PENANCE
by Qualifer Fast

Any adept that wishes to join the clergy on Temple Island must perform the trial of penance, no matter how long they have been a god practitioner. The Trial of Penance mostly requires that the petitioner visit every shrine and temple, eat and drink at every temple feast hall, and recite a twenty papyrus poem about their god at the god stones (no less than thirty lines a papyrus, please).

However, their own temple will put a geas on them to perform a special function to be accepted into the local clergy. Some tasks will be hard, and some tasks will be easy. A few temples make their tasks impossible because they do not want to share their wine. The task must be completed after the poem. Once it is they become official islanders.

Tourists sometimes come to watch these petitioners.

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DRINKING FOR GOD
by Armantine Paladinus

It can't be said enough about all the wine that is made on Temple Island. In fact, if it weren't for the Holy Sea and the meteorite of peace, only two temples would be on the island. The nemeses of two party gods. In the eastern section of the island are the Quaffers of Quaff, god of drinking quickly. In the western section are the Procrastinators of Procras, god of drinking slowly. Their followers would often fight over good planting ground, best stone for making goblets, or the last sip of a bottle. The latter fight would be amongst themselves.

These days they fight for portraits with tourists, who gets the most tourists, who sells the most trinkets to tourists, and who gets the last sip from the wine bottle. They also like to test other wines from other temples. Except each others. They are very thorough in their testing.

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THE TOUR OF TEMPLES
by Qualifer Fast

There is a big tourism attraction to Temple Island. Official tours go to many of the temples during feasting, sample most of the wines available, and go to the god stones to listen to petitioners recite poetry. Unofficial tours go to the town of Vinestapol. Some of the book dealings go on there.

The god rocks are a stone henge of sorts. In the center of the island the image of each god has been carved by their temple. Some are masterpieces. Others look like rocks. Whenever a new god is found the rocks have to be readjusted with great trouble. New gods often get just pebbles.

People come to the island for various reasons. Some are wine-tasters. Some are architects looking for ideas. Others are sick and want to be healed. A few are poets. And even fewer are goat-watchers.

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Offline GoldBoxFan

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Re: Books From Totenwelt
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2012, 09:39:10 PM »
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THE RUINS OF RIMB
by Entumbus Shaft

The most famous ruins in Vorak are those of Rimb. It was once the capitol of Vorak after a particularly blood-thirsty being took control of the country. Whatever it was, its name is never spoken, and it seems to be the only one of its kind. After a particularly bloody intervention, the creature was decapitated, drawn and quartered, burned to the stake, and had its ashes ground mailed to Mirauter. They say the delivery is still en route.

Needless to say, the creature's castle was burned to the ground. Unfortunately the flames spread to the town surrounding it and it burned it to the ground also. After leaving hundreds of slugs to infest the area, Rimb was abandoned.

The town itself is overgrown with little to show it ever existed. Much more of the castle was left, including parts of a second floor, a crumbling tower, and stairs that go to a collapsed tunnel. It is believed there are more tunnels and catacombs beneath the castle, and that some of them may have survived. AMazingly, no one has tried to find them.
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THOSE WHO WALK THE NIGHT
by Entumbus Shaft

It is considered bad luck to die in Vorak. This has a lot to do with the superstitious nature of the people, and the lack of religion in the region. It also has to do with the habit of strangers being buried in unmarked graves deep in the woods in case they come back from the dead. In Vorak, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Practically everyone dying in Vorak walks the night.

The walking dead have rules. They must return to their graves before dawn and can't leave until dusk. They get lost if they come to a crossroads. And they become confused if their headstone is facing away from their grave. The dead of Vorak are usually disembodied spirits you can walk through. This is such a cold circumstance that hypothermia or heart failure is often the result. Some few dead are corporeal in nature. These are the most feared of all.

Those who are most feared are often drawn and quartered with their parts buried in four different directions. Or have their head embedded on a pike with anchovies stuck in their then sewn-up mouth. Many of the corporeal dead are looking for missing body parts. Famous ones include The Horseman on a Headless Horse, The Legless Bandit, and The Sleeveless Ballerina.
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GREAT TOURIST SPOTS
by Entumbus Shaft

There isn't much of a tourist industry in Totenwelt. Most places worth seeing are too dangerous to go visit. The pyramids of Hamak have bandits. The Temple of the Allfather has been misplaced by the Glomen. The mysteries of the east lie beyond a vast arid plain. The ice sculptures of the great glacier stand in a land of immense cold. The only place safe enough to visit is Vorak.

The country of Vorak is a land of scenic villages with scenic villagers, great misty vistas, mysterious ruins, haunted woods, and atmospheric folklore. From the Cheese Museum, to the Untraditional Dress of Vorak Museum, the country has been positioned towards the tourist industry. Vendors sell traditional Vorak foods, shoemakers sell traditional Vorak stomping boots, grocers sell traditional Vorak torches, and stables sell traditional Vorak pitchforks.

There is also a tourist industry at Temple Island, but that is seasonal due to wind conditions at sea.
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PEASANTS AND HOW TO SURVIVE THEM
by Entumbus Shaft

It is difficult to speak to a peasant in Vorak and not encourage fear. The villagers are afraid of everything, including their shadow. They believe all strangers are evil beings trying to entice them into selling their soul. Mostly they just run away from strangers without talking. But sometimes a person will go missing, or someone will be attacked by a wild animal. At these moments the visiter should begin running.

Every home in Vorak has a pitchfork and a torch just in case, even those that have nothing to do with farming. It is a cultural thing. The best way to survive Vorak is to stay in a blackened coach, hire someone trained in the idiosyncracies of the country, and sharpen your teeth,

The only other way to ensure surviving Vorak is not to go there.
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VORAKIA
by Entumbus Shaft

If there can be said to be a capitol of Vorak it is Vorakia, an ancient village where more modern hostels, carriage barns and tourist offices have been built in a faux village style. The center of a thriving tourist industry, Vorak sells knick-knacks mostly made in other countries or dug up from places best not discussed. Many museums have also appeared in Vorakia. Some of them even show the truth.

The rest of the town is an unhealthy place of animal dung and superstition. It does have a covered town well near the center, locked with a key kept by the burgermeister. It isn't to keep children from falling into the well, it is due to some strange effect the well has on constructs. Any golem that enters the town fells a need to carry a villager to the well and drop them into it. Cushions have been placed on the lid to make the fall softer.
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Offline GoldBoxFan

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2012, 02:22:46 PM »
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THE FOGGY BOTTOM
by Diletant Keek

The lowlands surrounding Dispensory are known as the foggy bottom, and the people as bottomers. This land of swamp, fog, and disease, is dangerous to live in and survive. It also has only a small number of safe paths of travel through it. Almost all of these have been charted with the help of the fey.

Other than villages of mud-thatch huts, the denizens of the foggy bottom include water and tree fey, the mudd people, and some irritable gnomes. The gnomes are upset they can never keep their belongings dry.

Farming in the bottoms is often toadstools, a tuber called keek, and spoiled cabbage. Fish, frogs, salamanders and snakes make up the other staples. Swamp flowers can be real or traps.
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THE SUN THRONE
by Diletant Keek

The throne of the Sun King, it is invisible in daytime except when hit by the rays of light. Then it reflects all forms of light as if it were a rainbow. This light is so bright that nothing can approach the throne when empty, even the blind. When moonlight touches the throne it trades places with the moon throne in some dark hole.

The moon throne is invisible at nighttime except when hit by rays of moonlight. This is reflected as soft hues, easy on the eyes. the moon throne is denser and rockier in construction to the light and whispy sun throne. When sunlight hits the moon throne it exchanges itself with the sun throne.
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THE WIND CHIMES
by Diletant Keek

The people of Dispense use a special warning system, wind chimes made from swamp whistle, a type of reed. These chimes are extremely sensitive to even the slightest of air motion, even that caused by a moving creature. In the foggy bottoms the air hovers motionless. The chimes make an eery noise when activated.

Larger versions of the chimes are also used to sound warnings by blowing into them. Dispensory has a series of chime towers as an early warning system, and all guard posts on the city have reeds pointing inwards. The system hasn't failed yet, though magic seems likely to defeat it.
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THE LIVING FOG
by Diletant Keek

The Foggy Bottoms are a starting point for many a tall tale. The eery sounds, the lack of vision, and the frightened nature of your average farmer, all lead to imaginary situations and creatures. Many of the Bottomers believe that the fog is alive. Some even say that it moves. No one says they were attacked by it, though some say they felt drained after moving through it.

To be sure, such a being could exist, from another plane or a magical experiment. But no dead bodies disappear without a trace, no one has trouble moving through the fog, and no magic has ever been able to contact the creature. Still, rumors persist that it is alive.
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THE BOTTOMLESS MUD
by Diletant Keek

Every terrain has its own form of enveloping death, in the Foggy Bottom it is the bottomless mud. Those who fall into the mud disappear without a trace. What makes the mud interesting is the party of six adventurers, all tied together, that disappeared into a mudhole one after the other. Despite being connected by 200 feet of rope.

There are theories that a great mud river runs under the mud hole and that people who fall in are swept away by the slow but steady current. Others say that monsters live near the holes to gather victims. No such mud river has ever been found. Or such mud monsters. The mudd people have said nothing.
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THE MUDD PEOPLE
by Diletant Keek

In swamp lands one expects to find indigenous people. In the Foggy Bottom those people are made of mud. Not covered in mud like barbarian natives, but actually made of mud. And they live in mud holes that resemble bottomless mud holes. Very few have gone to visit these people in their homes.

The mudd people can not speak, and have trouble forming signs with what we call their hands. But they do have a language of burps and bubbling only the fey can understand. Their mud art can be profitable to purchase if one is properly trained in the use of a kiln. Otherwise it crumbles and breaks.

Other than small pieces of art, the mudd people have nothing to trade.
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PEOPLE OF THE AIR
by Diletant Keek

The hilltops of Dispense are said to hold a race of intelligent avians who live among the fog and can hunt without seeing. This information comes from the mudd people and the fey who remain. None have ever been seen by the citizens of Dispense.

These creatures are said to have small nesting communities on the hilltops, spread out for defense. Often the hills of Dispense are very hard to climb. Certain large creatures also like to dig caves into the hills to live. Expeditions to find the avians have found long empty nests.

Perhaps they have moved deep in the swamp where no sane person goes.
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THE GREAT PARK
by Diletant Keek

In front of, and surrounding, the Crystal Cathedral, is a great park. The park takes up almost the entire upper level of Dispensory, having grand walkways, ornate topiary mazes, amazing fountains, and one statue of an empty chair belonging to the image of the first sun king. There are also birds and flowers of all types, animals that pick up waste, and several fruit orchards.

Behind the Crystal Cathedral are the royal tombs. Made of carved stone brought from far away, every sun king and their family has a tomb of their own. Stone guardians keep them from being looted.

The great park has hundreds of statues. All lifelike. They are said to be capable of defending the city when needed.
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THE FOG WARDENS
by Diletant Keek

The people who guard the swamps from attack are known as the fog wardens. Sound in the Foggy Bottom doesn't travel far, the air is too thick and heavy with fog to allow it. Only the reed whistles can pierce the fog, and wardens all carry one.
'
Wardens are skirmishers at best, and scouts most of the time. Moving and hiding in the fog takes skill. Not getting killed by the fog takes more skill. Armies go into the Foggy Bottom and disappear without a trace. Wardens sometimes do too.

There are very few actual wardens working for the king. But then, there are very few safe passages through the Foggy Bottom to guard.
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Offline GoldBoxFan

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2012, 02:25:23 PM »
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GOMMSTAD
by Gerrity Hiccup

Gommstad is the town surrounding Gommstad Schloss. It was built entirely to serve the queen. It has flower shops, shoe shops, dress shops, mirror shops, perfume shops, tailor shops, and every other shop the queen demands. It also has food and inns for the traveler.

It should be understood that only the queen and her advisors live in Gommstad Schloss, everything else comes through three pairs of guarded gates, of which only one is open at any time.

The streets of Gommstad are covered with straw, except when the queen takes a carriage ride, then they are covered with petals.
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FAERIES IN GOMM
by Gertrude the Humble

Most faeries of Gomm lived in the Verbotten Wald. But many of them left for the uncontested lands. A few of the hardier ones stay in the deadly wood. But the majority can be found in the sacred glen. These flower, tree and water faeries can't bring themselves to leave.

The glen is a magically protected garden with fountain, surrounded by flowing grass and a copse of wood. The human caretaker is often drunk on wine made from pollen, but the faeries find this more amusing than annoying. The fountain is large and has several layers.

The queen claims it as royal territory. So it is protected.
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CAVES OF GOMM
by Gerrity Hiccup

The two best known caves in Gomm are the Cave of Remembrance and the Cave of Remorse. There may also be a Cave of Chewed Bones, but no one has seen it and lived in decades.

The Cave of Remembrance is often used by those with hangovers who wish to find out what they did wrong the night before. They are often accompanied by a judge and jury, who also want to find out what the accused did the night before. Its limestone waters are said to bring back forgotten memories. Sometimes in dreams.

The Cave of Remorse is considered a holy cave. If you go into the cave and tell of the things you truly regret having done, the weight of that remorse might be taken off you. It is believed by some that the cave has an invisible occupant that feeds on remorse. But that doesn't explain why some petitioners are refused.
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CROSSROADS OF THE DEAD
by Gerrity Hiccup

The Gomm are a very superstitious people, but not so much as the Vorak. It is known that those buried at a crossroads, should they leave the grave, will get confused and keep returning to the crossroads instead of wandering around it.

So the Gomm put all their criminals and unwanted relatives in a cemetery that is split by a crossroads, with all the stones facing away from the road. They stay away from it at night.

Travelers are said to have seen multitudes of walking ghosts wander around the crossroads but not very far. Exorcisms don't seem to work on them. And the cemetery is hallowed ground.
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PLAINS OF SOLITUDE
by Gerrity Hiccup

On the western border of the kingdom, on the way to the sea, is a vast section of land known as The Plains. They are also known as The Hazy Plains due to the sea mist which covers the land and refuses to disipate. This haze causes travelers to go around in circles, resulting in a great amount of praying.

As a result, holy men and women from around the continent come here for spirtitual enlightenment. They wander the plains looking for answers. Unfortunately animals find the haze too disconcerting to live on the plains, so plants aren't found anywhere but around the edges.

Bodies don't last long in the moisture.
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THE DEADLY WOOD
by Gerrity Hiccup

This wood seems to have a mind of its own, and it likes injuring creatures. Practically nothing lives in the wood except plants and insects, with a few birds that digest pollen. Those on the trail through the wood often hear trees falling, followed by screams of pain. Bushes that grow too close to the trail seem to lash out with barbed limbs.

It is also know that quicksand can be found in abundance. And this sand is really quick. From falling in to submergence takes seconds. Glowing balls can sometimes lead nighttime travelers off the trail and to their death. Not much is known about its interior.
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THE HANGING FIELD
by Gerrity Hiccup

Every country has its own form of capitol punishment. In Gomm it is death by hanging. Chosen mainly be the presence of an evil tree which provides its own nooses. This dark entity is short but thick, gnarled as if it has seen centuries, and surrounded by sparse grass for a hundred feet in all directions. Even plants fear to grown around it.

The tree drops its rope over a victim's neck, tightens it, and at a command lifts the victim off the ground to dangle. It never lets the victim go until it is bones. The tree seems to suck the life out of those its vines make contact with. It is quite a sight to witness.

The tree is now used only in the most dire of circumstances, since a hangman abused it and was strung up alongside the accused.
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THE HAPPY FOREST
by Gerrity Hiccup

This forest contains a certain shrub which releases spores when creatures come near it. This is a defense to protect its delicious leaves from animals. The spores cause an affect similar to a drunken stupor. And the shrubs like to grow near cut trails.

As a result, many a work party can be heard singing both to and from their job, as they get a double dose of shrubbery. And no one wakes up with a hangover.
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THE SLEEPY FOREST
by Gerrity Hiccup

Whereas most trees ingest bad air and exgest good air, the trees of the sleepy forest were fed with more magical nutrients. As a result, they ingest good air and exgest an invisible sleeping gas. This only occurs at dawn or dusk, or when someone tries to chop down a tree. In the latter ocassions the dose of gas can be fatal.

In rare instances creatures that fall asleep in the forest don't wake up for many years. The side effect of the gas is that it keeps a body nourished without food or water. Old-timers try to pass themselves off as the victims of the forest to get a free meal and be listened to.
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THE VERBOTTEN WALD
by Gerrity Hiccup

Known to foreigners as the Forbidden Forest, it really isn't forbidden to enter. It was owned by various races of a wild nature who liked to be left alone. Most have since moved on to less civilized areas.

The wald does, however, tend to attract wandering creatures of a mystical and theatrical nature. A stage has been set up to watch the destiny of such creatures enfold.
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TOWERS OF GOMM
by Gerrity Hiccup

At present only two towers preside in Gomm, the Schloss Tower and the ruined tower nick-named the Hairy Tower. At one time the Tower of Sleep, the Tower of Doom and the Invisible Tower were within the borders of Gomm, but the impending war with the Glomen has forced a withdrawal of forces and an increase in treaties.

Schloss Tower presides over Gommstad Schloss, and is also known as the Dungeon Tower. All noble prisoners are housed within its narrow confines. It is considered haunted by those prisoners completely forgotten. A skeleton or two have still not been removed.

The Hairy Tower was named for the fine-growing lichen which covers the tower on one side. And like hair, it pulls out at the roots. The tall tower is said to contain some tormented creatures which howls its anguish when the moon shines through the only window.
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Offline GoldBoxFan

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2012, 10:06:59 PM »
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MEETING THE CHANN
by Meldihof Argentum

The Chann are the largest of the three peoples who live below the Spindle Mountains. A very industrous and inventive people, their land is filled with machines and household marvels known nowhere else. It is ruled by a Khan in a paper fortress.

Short and dark-haired, they grow abundant crops of rice and bamboo. Have paved roads everywhere. And live among the strangest creatures on the continent. They are wealthy in land. And in festivals. Very few trees grow in the forests. The land has many hills.

Their neighbors are the Hatok Horsemen and the Ninn. The Hatoks are nomads who show up to trade their booty from raids. The Ninn are a warrior class with a rigid government structure.
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CHANN FESTIVALS
by Chang Kwai Chuk

Chann festivals are all based on animals. Mostly dragons, rats, lions, oxen, pigs, roosters and dogs. With the exception of the dragons, the animal in question is usually eaten in a big feast at the end of the festivities. In the case of dragons they are the one given the feast.

The most remembered Chann festival is the beginning of the new year when an animal is choosen to represent the year. That animal is usually the animal in most abundance in the country at the time. As such it is a good luck offering throughout the year. Sometimes you have the same animal two years in a row. It is hard to determine dates in Chann due to the peasant habit of using the name of the year to determine contracts instead of the royal year used by the Khan.

Lanterns, fireworks, smoke grenades, costumes and paper mock-ups of animals are used in parades for the festivals. These parades can last all day with puppeteers trading off throughout the day.
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CLIFF TOMBS
by Chang Kwai Chuk

When an earthquake caused several mountains to sheer off their ends, rich Chann decided to put their tombs on the sides of these mountains, where no trails lead. Artisans built trails up to ledges, carved out niches, then raised the casket by ropes to the niche. Once properly placed, they meticulously broke off any holds on their way back to the ground.

Erosion, more earthquakes and mudslides damaged the mountains further, causing some tombs to collapse, and making the mountains too dangerous to climb anymore. Some tombs sit securely above, while others hand out waiting to fall. They are far off the ground.
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EASTERN WARS
by Chang Kwai Chuk

It is amazing that the jovial Chann can be so war-like. But they have fought with all their neighbors except the Ninn. They have fought the Natok. They have fought the Jinn. They have fought the Timtul. They have even fought pirates on the Sea of Junk. Oftentimes their army never comes back, as the case of the Warriors of Ash. Part of the Sea of Junk has the junks of war fleets floating amongst it.

Wars in the east aren't really fought for territory or treasure. They are usually fought over insults real or imagined. The winner gets an apology. Sometimes they are fought because a thief fled to a country and the country refused to turn them over. This might be because they couldn't catch the thief either. Sometimes the God Chimpanzee is the thief. In this case nobody wins.

Villages and ther peasants are left alone in these wars. Only the soldiers lose in these wars.
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ORIENTAL GODS
by Chang Kwai Chuk

The Chann gods live in a Celestial Bureaucracy on other planes. These gods also rule on many other worlds. But some gods unique to Chann include Chimpanzee, Ox-Breath, Hippopotamus and Giraffe. Chimpanzee is a tempermental god that likes to throw fecal matter when upset. Ox-Breath can knock out even the most hardened monk by breathing on them. Hippopotamus likes to feed all day in water when not practicing to be a sumo wrestler. And Giraffe likes to hide away from the world in the sky.

Many a Chann child's tale includes these four gods alone or together. Chimpanzee is used to teach lessons about impatience. Ox-Breath teaches lessons about oral hygiene. Hippopotamus teaches lessons about eating your distasteful food. And Giraffe teaches lessons about living in the world around you and not in your imagination.
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RIVER WORSHIP
by Chang Kwai Chuk

Rivers in Chann seem to be infested with constantly battling river dragons. These dragons like to hang around villages where they get free food in return for luck, wisdom, or just not eating anyone. As Chann dragons are lazy by profession, getting these ideal posts is a constant source of tension. Sad is the poor dragon that get a few huts and a meal of fish-heads as tribute.

Though most river dragons are not violent in nature, they are haughty, and believe it is their due to be fed just because they are dragons. Not feeding a dragon can cause them to behave badly, from stomping on village crops, taking a dump on the elder's cottage, or damming up the river for a time. The latter causes dragons lower down the river to come and get things flowing again.

Strangely enough, river dragons don't mind talking to barbarians from other countries, without demanding tribute.
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SKY-LIGHTING
by Chang Kwai Chuk

Strange lights in a variety of colors light up the night skies of the Chann mountains. Nowhere else in Totenwelt does this occur. Though Chann scientists have theorized that this has something to do with refraction, the activity of the sun being dragged across the sky, and the height of the mountains, others believe it to be a evil wu jen, a yuki-on-na, or a glowing magical object dropped by Chimpanzee after he stole it from another of the gods.

Whatever the reason, the locals hold a festival of the lights to honor them, and use the colors in all their paintings, clothing and food.

Scientists heading into the mountains to determine the cause of the lights once and for all have not yet returned.
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THE EMPEROR'S MOUND
by Chang Kwai Chuk

The last emperor of the Chann was the Paper Emperor. There are many reasons why he was the last emperor, one of which was burning to death in his paper city when the Natok Khan set fire to it after a perceived insult. The people of Chann begged the Khan to take over the country, so he let his son take over in Natok.

The remains of the Paper Palace was swept into a Chann funeral urn and placed in a mound with all the Emperor's origami collection and papier-mache models of his kingdom. This emperor mound is the only one not looted by thieves as no one considered it to have treasure.
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THE FLEET OF JUNKS
by Chang Kwai Chuk

The Chann have a fleet of junks which have little use other than for funeral processions and coronations. Once in awhile they send them out to search for pirates, and lose half of them in the sea of junk. The sea is actually named after all the wrecked Chann ships floating among the refuse.

The junks are just converted fishing vessels with walls and ram added. They are quick and light and often loaded with archers. Not many archers as they are small. Boarding wasn't actually considered when they were made. Enemy ships are set on fire when defeated. Junks burn really well themselves.
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THE PAPER CITY
by Chang Kwai Chuk

Also known as the Khan's City or the Disappearing City, this city of paper walls has blown away on many occassions. The Khan put a stop to that by having the paper walls made of dozens of sheets of compressed rice paper. But the names have stuck. Flames are not allowed withing the city walls.

The Chann Khan lives all year round at this city. He used to travel to the Winter Palace in winter, but an avalanche that buried it has still not been pulled off the ruins. At least he could use fire in the Winter Palace.

The Paper City is built to resemble the Celestial Palace, though much of it has been built in miniature. Statues of the gods are carved of wood. Pools of hot water must be shared with baboons. Cooked food is brought in from a village nearby.
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THE PAPER FLEET
by Chang Kwai Chuk

The Paper Emperor had this this built as part of his paper fetish. It kept sinking whenever it got wet. Treating the paper with chemicals to make it water-tight only worked until a hole let water inside. Eventually the ships were brought on land and moved around by elephant as part of war games.

A freak lightning strike set the whole fleet on fire and it was not rebuilt.
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THE PAPER TOWER
by Chang Kwai Chuk

Much of Chann's unique architecture is due to the Paper Emperor. To hold foreign prisoners he had a tower of paper made. Though the paper was thick, the guards were necessarily on the outside of the tower. Many a prisoner escaped the tower by breaking through the walls or, leter, tunneling through the soft ground.

Though the walls were repaired after each attempt, the tunnels were left unfilled. Only one prisoner ever refused to escape. An odd foreigner.
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WAR BY INSULT
by Chang Kwai Chuk

The Chann way of engaging their competitors is war by insult. This is done through poetry, letters, compliments and calligraphy. Some of it will be correspondence with each other, and some will be through and to third parties. But it is all a highly sophisticated form used by noble families after years of training.

These nobles are trained at the art from the age of speech at the Domo of Unrefinery and Martial Arts, a.k.a. The School of Insult. This school is in Ninn.
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THE PAPER FORTRESS
by Chang Kwai Chuk

Much of Chann's unique architecture is due to the Paper Emperor. One piece of architecture that will no longer be found is the Paper Fortress. Made on the cliffs overlooking the Paper City, it was meant to protect the Emperor from attacking pirates. Unfortunately, it set itself on fire when shooting at an unknown ship which turned out just to be lost.

Nothing of the fortress remains except a chalk outline and some blackened cannon.
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Offline GoldBoxFan

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2012, 08:54:02 PM »
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CASBAH
by Wadi al-Bitram

The capitol of the jinn, it is the home of the jann emir. In fact, it started as a large home and nothing else. Merchants began showing up outside the walls on their own. Travellers found their way to the gates unbidden. Palm and date trees were planted around the two oasis that made up the stop. More jann moved into the area. It became the largest population in the ring of fire.

In time it added mosques, minarets, warehouses, more casbahs, whole residential areas and animal pens. The city actually has less jann than humanoids. It has become a large trading center for the continent. And a go-between between east and west.

Foreign dignitaries have moved embassies into Casbah for trade relations, hiring of caravan guards, and to search the bizarres for magic. Sometimes they find it.
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PEARL
by Wadi al-Bitram

This city is built around a large oasis and populated by many water creatures. It is ruled by a marid padishah. It is rumored that something important is in the deep water of the oasis, but the marid are decisive about preventing anyone from finding out. Due to the name of the city it is thought to be a gigantic clam that makes pearls the size of humans.

The city itself has baths and pools in every house. Commerce is done from inside these pools as the marid won't converse elsewhere. Many tubes move water about in Pearl, which children sometimes slide down for fun. There are many embassies in Pearl.
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DIAMOND
by Wadi al-Bitram

This city is built into the side of a mountain and populated by many earth creatures. It is ruled by a dao ataman. And built beside some magical caves. The city is made of rough stone with large doorways and arches. Most visiters find it dangerous to dwaddle as giant earth creatures may step on you at any moment. But the marketplace is a great place to go.

Diamond's main export are cheap stone considered valuable by other creatures. Payment for these is a bit of a problem as gold, silver and platinum aren't much appreciated here. Rare types of rock are more likely to affect barter. Though sometimes a job can be traded for an item.

There are many embassies in Diamond.
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ASH
by Wadi al-Bitram

This city is built into the side of an active volcano and populated by many fire creatures. It is ruled by an efreeti malik. Built into the side of a volcano, the walls are rough hardened lava which can cut fleshy types to pieces if not clothed protectively. It is believed that the volcano-men even visit here. The other creatures that visit may set fire to clothing even by accidental touch. Magic protection is needed by most to survive here.

There is little in the city which entices visiters, unless they need magical weapons forged. Certain magma art is quite beautiful, if not deadly. Finding something to trade here is hard. There are no embassies in Ash.
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WHISP
by Wadi al-Bitram

This city is built on the top of a sheared mountain and populated by many air creatures. It is ruled by a djinni shiek. The walls of the buildings are like clouds, disappearing into whisps of nothingness at a moments notice. The denizens of the city move through the walls as if they didn't exist. The city constantly changes shape.

Unless you like art-work that dissipates into the vacuum, there is little of use in Whisp. There are aerial servants and invsibile stalkers for hire. And djinn who might take the odd job. But nothing tradeable without a magical container to hold it.

No trouble has known to occurred in Whisp. There are no embassies in Wisp.
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THE BIZARRE BAZAAR
by Wadi al-Bitram

Found outside of the Casbah, this is the largest marketplace in Totenwelt. It sells practically everything from food to art to slaves. Both good and bad of each. Sometimes magic masks the true product being bought, though this is technically illegal in Casbah.

Some slaves are jinn who then escape to be sold again in another form. Some rubbing lamps have occupants of a more angry disposition (those tricked into taking the place of the djinni enslaved by the device). Some food is long-past edible. And some magic just had a glamer placed on it to appear desirable.

Regardless of its pitfalls, the bazaar is a much anticipated event for any who come to Casbah.
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THE PIT OF LAMPS
by Wadi al-Bitram

Found inside the city of Ash is a bottomless pit lined with thousands of lamps going as far down as can be seen. The consequences of an efreeti wish, the bones of the wisher are believed to be at the bottom. Some believe anything dropped down it will appear again above you and fall on your head. This might be some teleportation magic though.

Some brave souls have travelled many leagues down the pit with the use of a magical rope. They returned after claiming to feel something breathing hard below them. A vizier flew farther down on a magic carpet until attacked by some small creatures nesting on the sides of the pit. He claimed the lamps quit right above the creatures. But maybe they destroyed the lamps to get rid of the light.

Whatever the truth, the pit has never been fully explored.
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THE VOLCANO MEN
by Wadi al-Bitram

There are many volcanoes in the Ring of Fire. And many of these volcanoes are homes of the fire-men or volcano-men. These creatures of magma are immune to the heat of volcanoes and are never seen outside of them. They are served by salamanders and other fire creatures. They may have fire pets.

Little is known about these beings other than their existence. Glimpses of them occur from time to time as they travel by through the lava streams. What they eat, if anything, is unknown. What they collect or enjoy is also a mystery. Attempts to find something to trade with them have never been realized.
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RETTIK THE CONFUSED
by Wadi al-Bitram

Of all the volcanoes in the ring of fire, only one is known to all. That would be Rettik or the Confused Volcano. There is much belief that the volcano might actually be alive. Others believe it is a forge used by creatures which create magical devices for the gods. None of the jinn will go near it.

No other creatures have ever gone to the volcano and returned. Partly this is caused by the occasional poisonous ash or ice storms that randomly fall in the area. There are also nasty creatures surrounding the volcano that attack anyone that comes near it. Some of these creatures worship Rettik as a god, but aren't known to offer sacrifices.
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THE FORMING DUST
by Wadi al-Bitram

Though the ring of fire has some desert-like qualities, this is due mostly to the ash dropped by the active volcanoes. Upon times people have seen this ash form into clouds that moves across the terrain only to unform again. It was thought this was just a strange natural event caused by gusts of wind. A jann shepherd suggested otherwise.

To the Jann these dust clouds are elemental creatures made of dust, not ash. They feed upon the ash, removing the nutrients and poisonous properties. No one has ever found a way to communicate with the creatures. If creatures they are.
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INCLEMENT WEATHER
by Wadi al-Bitram

Above the city of Whisp is a permamnent cloud of changing weather that might be natural, natural and affected by magic, or unnatural. It is not considered to be a tempest-like creature. It is entirely possible it is a weather phenomenon the air elementals chose to build their city under.

The weather of the cloud can be rain, snow, sleet, or acid. Sometimes it has lightning, sometimes fireballs and sometimes sonic waves. It has been known to rain frogs, salamanders and tortoises. Proctective gear is highly recommended.
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MAGICAL CAVES
by Wadi al-Bitram

The city of Diamond was built next to a group of magical caves worshipped by the citizens of the city. These maze-like caverns have limestone colors seen nowhere else, strange lichens lighting the walls, mostly art-like shapes in the stone formations, and boiling geysers that bounce around almost like clockwork.

It is said by those who visit the caves many times that they change shape and direction, as if the caves are constantly moving. Many a lumbering visiter must be avoided in the caves, as these creatures tend to be unaware of those with flesh and can crush them by accident.

Any earth creature in the caverns is said to be calm of temperament. Even the xorn or umber hulk that tunnels into the caverns is non-threatening.
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THE BIG TENT
by Wadi al-Bitram

This marvel may appear or disappear throughout time, in an order not easy to decipher, even by those few who live inside. It is seen most of the time as a large circus-like tent of many colors and patches. Inside it may be many things, from a circus to a bazaar to living quarters. Even the occupants may be different from visit to visit. The only constant is where the tent appears each time.

The original owner of the tent seems to have disappeared, or is the tent itself. A variety of jinn claim ownership from time to time. Sometimes it is vacant of anybody. Those in desparate need of something often come to the tent in hopes of getting lucky. Sometimes they eneter day after day hoping for a good change.
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Offline GoldBoxFan

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2012, 09:15:06 PM »
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CASTLE IN THE CLOUDS
by Yamikosho Ukinato

Along the border of Ninn and Timtul are tall mountains with only one viable pass. Along this pass is a Ninn castle full of soldiers to defend the pass. This castle is usually invisible due to the dense cloud cover of the mountains. This eery view has given rise to many stories about the castle.

Since no one has seen any soldiers from the castle for years, it is believed by many that the castle is now haunted. Others think the soldiers are drunk all the time and don't want to go on patrol. Others believe the soldiers abandoned the castle and no one was informed about it. And others believe that the castle was forgotten and the soldiers left without food or replacements until they all died.

The emperor isn't saying anything about it.
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GODS OF ARMOR
by Yamikosho Ukinato

Though the peasants of Ninn have their own gods, the warriors of Ninn worship war gods. There is Camel Rider who charges enemies armed with a big club, The White Princess who dances among the slain on a battlefield, One-Legged Kicker who kicks soldiers in the stomach with his one leg, and The Blue Samurai who wears all blue armor and tattoos.

But the two greatest gods are General Keng and General Obu who fight each other eternally for centuries, neither getting the upper hand. During battles between Ninn forces these generals can be seen in the clouds, hundreds of feet tall, struggling with each other until the battle is over.

Needless to say, the Ninn like to get into a civil civil war every ten years or so.
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KAMI
by Yamikosho Ukinato

Every lone rock, lone tree, statue, bridge, home and gate in Chinn is thought to have its own kami. A kami is a divine being which lives inside the object until it is destroyed. These beings give good luck if cherished and bad luck if insulted. They like to listen in on conversations and offer up this information in return for tribute.

Kneeling before a kami object with food and drink is the traditional form of honoring them. Sometimes a question is then asked and sometimes it is answered. Usually the recipient asks the kami for good luck.

Noone cuts down a tree or breaks a rock without first asking if it belongs to a kami.
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PALACE OF SWORDS
by Yamikosho Ukinato

The emperor of Ninn lives in the Palace of Swords year round. This palace is made of stone with thick wooden doors. Statues of great shoguns line the path through the Garden of the Dead. These statues are said to be occupied by kami who will animate them on orders of the emperor.

The palace is actualy surrounded by gardens, each with a statue of the emperor. Stone gardens, flower gardens, fruit gardens, unplanted gardens and a War garden. These gardens are also thought to possess kami, though not in the statues.

The War garden is where real soldiers play the game of War in real life.
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RESPECTING THE DEAD
by Yamikosho Ukinato

In the land of Ninn your elders are kept in urns on your mantelpiece or in a crypt. When faced with a problem these ancestors are asked for advice by kneeling and burning incense or paper with their images on it. The ancestor will come back from the land of the dead and respond if the prayer to them appeals to them.

But beware, for a strong-willed ancestor may decide to take over your body to lead their family again.

Every year during the Festival of the Dead all ancestors are honored the country over.
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SEVEN SWORDS FOR SEVEN BROTHERS
by Yamikosho Ukinato

It is said that seven brothers conquered the kingdom of Ninn by use of their swords. Once the kingdom was theirs they decided to divide it into seven provinces, one for each of them. They then held a constest of sword skill to determine who got which province. The winner would become emperor and command all the brothers, even those who may be older.

The contest was overseen by the Dhali Dhali of Timtul. This entity, though honest in his own way, saw the world in such a way as to not be the ideal judge of swordmanship. Therefore no one was happy with the results. A state of enmity has lasted with Timtul ever since.

Many wars have been fought between the brothers and their ancestors ever since. The Ninn generally don't fight outside their borders for fear of being attacked if they do.
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SHRINES
by Yamikosho Ukinato

All about the countryside of Ninn are small shrines used to worship every god or kami in the country. These are used by peasants of small villages and travellers of the road to forestall disaster. Usually incense is burned, but sometimes leaves or dung are used. The shrines are usable by anyone.

Shrines are usually small covered alcoves with a kneeling mat and a small table with a bowl for burning objects. There is also a stone with calligraphy carved on it. It is protected from rain but not wind.
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THE JUNK FLEET
by Yamikosho Ukinato

The Ninn have a fleet of junks which they sometimes send against the Chann fleet of junks. This is confusing in bad weather as no junk carries a flag or pennant. The Ninn used to have a fleet of rowed war galleys, but they kept being swamped by the sea and sunk.

This fleet is much smaller than it used to be after being sent against the Timtul just before one of their famous tsunamis. Severl of the ships are still on mountaintops where they made goat herders a good home.

The fleet is generally used in the festival of lanterns and to search the great harbor for sea horrors.
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THE WAY OF THE SWORD
by Yamikosho Ukinato

The people of Ninn are divided into nobles, educated commoners and peasants. The nobles are all trained in the arts of war, poetry and business. The educated commoners are trained in the arts and business. The peasants are trained to do as they are told.

The nobles are war lords and command the armies and the provinces. These nobles are samurai. Soldiers from the educated noble families are bushi, and make up the backbone of the armies. The peasants fight as peasants only in the direst of emergencies with pitchforks and sickles.

The nobles of Ninn like to fight. Anything at all.
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THE RISEN TOMB
by Yamikosho Ukinato

The First Emperor of Ninn is housed in a great mound protected by many statues. This tomb is said to have many riches for the afterlife. Included among these riches are many manuscripts, makimono and nishiki-e. The walls are covered in calligraphy.

It is also said that the first emperor might not actually by dead like his antecedants. He might be wandering around his tomb unhappy to see visiters. Or worse, won't let them leave as he is starved for companionship.

The tomb has never been violated.
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TOMB OF ASHES
by Yamikosho Ukinato

Other than the first emperor, all other emperors are burned and placed in urns in the tomb of ashes. Here thay can be consulted by the current emperor for information about the past or to communicate with enemy dead. They may also be asked for advice.

There is also a yearly Ceremony of the Emperor which must be observed by the current emperor if he wishes to be welcomed into the tomb upon his death. There has been one empress, but she has here own solitary tomb.
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WEARING YOUR MONEY
by Yamikosho Ukinato

The people of Ninn have cut holes into their money so they can wear it in a necklace around their necks. This works fine for the smaller denominations used by villagers, but the larger coins are used as cart or wagon wheels and cause a problem after payment is given. As a result, bandits specialize in stealing carts, not always with money attached.

These coins can be round, square or oval. All have calligraphy on them. They are also used in the border areas of Timtul, Chann and Jinn. They are usually grubby and smell of manure.
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Offline GoldBoxFan

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2012, 09:56:11 PM »
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THE DHALI DHALI
by Dhali Dhali

The Dhali Dhali is the wisest person in the universe, possessed of great charisma, honest in all things and radiating great personal beauty. Among the Timtul he is the most revered of beings and guaranteed to reincarnate in a better form.

The Dhali Dhali lives at the top of the most beautiful mountaintop in Timtul, in the most glorious temple in Timtul, in the most serene part of Timtul. The bells of the temple have the most beautiful sound in the universe.

The great white beasts of the mountains pay homage to the Dhali Dhali.
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THE TALL COAST
by Dhali Dhali

The mountains of Timtul house many ugly and obscene temples and one magnificent one. Every year the will of the Dhali Dhali washes these temples from the mountains only to be rebuilt by their decadent priests.

Also in the mountains are the great white beasts who give their pelts to the Dhali Dhali to keep him warm.

The mountains are sparse but the Dhali Dhali gets first pick of all food.
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THE COLD MONKS
by Dhali Dhali

Living in the Great Temple of Timtul are the monks who serve the Dhali Dhali. These monks are very loyal and would give the shirts of their backs to the Dhali Dhali, if he allowed them to wear shirts. They also collect food for the Dhali Dhali, warm up water for his bath, and ring the bells so the Dhali Dhali can sleep well into the night.

The chores of the monks are unknown to the Dhali Dhali, but they are on jovial terms with the white beasts of the mountains and turn away all penitents to the Great Sage.
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TYPHOON DOGS
by Dhali Dhali

Among the ruined villages after the cleansing of the Dhali Dhali, are the great pets of the Dhali Dhali, the typhoon dogs. These animals cleanse the dirty villages of their dirty people who infest the great land of Timtul.

When the dogs are done doing their duties for the Dhali Dhali they are cooked and made into a grand feast for the Dhali Dhali. Leftovers are given to the cold monks.
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THE TOWER OF FLESH
by Dhali Dhali

Far from the Great Temple of the Dhali Dhali is a tower to dispose of the foul-smelling servants of the Dhali Dhali after they die. Here the cold monks gladly remove their dead brothers to be feasted upon by the great bird of the cosmos whose dreams fill the Dhali Dhali with joy.

The tower is also watched by those foul villagers who use its glorious light to keep from destroying themselves on the rocky coast as the Dhali Dhali wishes.
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FAMOUS AUTHORS
by Dekus Dewie

Anonymous wrote The One and Future King.

Armantine Paladinus wrote Drinking for God, The Band of the Blind, The Crystal Cathedral, The Domain of Glum, The Hand of Wodin, The Last Happy Thought, The Palindrome, The Pendulum and The Unjustly Accused.

Assorted Parents wrote Short Tales and Other Fables.

Carticus Geox drew Geography of our World, The Continent of Four and The World Below the Sea (all with foreword by Dekus Dewie).

Chang Kwai Chuk wrote Chann Festivals, Cliff Tombs, Eastern Wars, Oriental Gods, River Worship, Sky-Lighting, The Emperor's Mound, The Fleet of Junks, The Paper City, The Paper Fleet, The Paper Fortress, The Paper Tower and War by Insult.

Chapley Pansear wrote Worst Meals in Haven.

Deadener Scribe wrote Famous Bards, Troubadours and Fools, and Time in Timtul.

Dekus Dewie wrote Carticus Geox, Famous Authors, Gods of Totenwelt, Seas of Totenwelt, The Black Sea, The Calm Sea, The Frozen Sea, The Holy Sea, The Merchant League, The Pirate Sea, The Sea of Death and The Sea of Junk.

Dhali Dhali wrote The Cold Monks, The Dhali Dhali, The Tall Coast, The Tower of Flesh and Typhoon Dogs.

Diletant Keek wrote Dispense, Dispensory, People of the Air, The Bottomless Mud, The Fog Wardens, The Foggy Bottom, The Great Park, The Living Fog, The Mudd People, The Sun Throne and The Wind Chimes.

Edeldore Apothecary wrote Unforgivable Crimes in Haven and Werekind.

Entumbus Shaft wrote Great Tourist Spots, Peasants And How To Survive Them, The Ruins Of Rimb, Those Who Walk The Night, Visions Of Vorak and Vorakia.

Erdigard Thentwhistle wrote Death Belongs, The Elves of Highhome, The Eye of the Ice, The Ice Matron and The Sea Men.

Erikob the Flamboyant wrote Travels with the Hammer.

Flamon Daricun wrote Famous Dragon Disasters, Mirauter, Tales from Vorak, The Book of Cemeteries and The Hungry Library.

Gerrity Hiccup wrote Caves Of Gomm, Crossroads Of The Dead, Gomm, Gommstad, Plains Of Solitude, The Deadly Wood, The Hanging Field, The Happy Forest, The Sleepy Forest, The Verbotten Wald, Towers Of Gomm.

Gertrude the Humble wrote Collectors Of Lost Sheep, Faeries In Gomm, Hack the Slash, The Armless Pumpkin Collector, The Gnarly Man, The Kibble Hag, The Lonely Troll, The Moving Island, The Rearranging House, The Town Crier, The Unhappy Statue, The Water Pump and The World Below.

Hamfast Stoughtheart wrote Tales from the Small Side, The Gnarly Forest, The Haunted Mountain and The Very Crooked Trail.

Herceluean Scrub wrote Blazing Desert, Creatures of the Sand, Hamak the Radiant Oval, Martok the Fearless, Mr. Sandy, The Angry Pyramid, The Bandit Caves, The Bone Snake, The Haunted Ruins, The Laughing Oasis, The Lost Valley, The Swallowing Sand, The Talking Flyer, The Unprophet, Undak the Fallen and Valley of the Dying.

Meldihof Argentum wrote Emperor's Corral, Jinn, Meeting the Chann, Natok, Ninn and Timtul.

Qualifer Fast wrote Fields of Cain, Finding Your Way Among the Rocks, Ice Fish and Other Creatures, Ice Ships, Invisible Island, Jungle Island, Lone Glacier, Merchant Island, Mystery Island, Norks, Pirate Island, Temple Island, The Court of Captains, The Meeting of Minds, The One-Year King, The Parrot Kingdom, The Sand Sailors, The Tour of Temples, The Trial of Penance, The Turtle God, Town of Ice and Volcanic Sacrifice.

Salick Bonefingers wrote Dwarves of Crypthome, The Army Of Beasts, The Crypt, The Genie's Tent, The Portal In The Spindle, The Rock of Ages and The Spindle Mountains.

Thoedoric Arcanus wrote Gertrude the Humble, Gnomir, Mythilogical Beings, Rosch the Foolhardy, Sheep in Wolf's Clothing, The Bone Whistlers, The Creature of the Stair, The Dream Whisperer, The Gathering of Shades, The Glum, The Grand Cavern, The Great Kingdom, The Haunted Castle, The Horn Blower, The Inquisition, The Midnight Man, The One Tree, The Open Grave, The Pirates of Pennair, The Queen of the Dance, The Shadow Man, The Tepid Woman, The Uncontested Lands, The Underworld, The Unruly Dead, The Unruly Lands, The Walking Wizard, The Wandering Witch, The Water King, The Wayward Chef, Totenwelt and Wizard's Enclave.

Tom Foolery wrote Glacials, Kalantra, Nature's Last, Tentacles of the Sea, The Barren Land, The Blowholes, The Breaks, The Cracks, The Deep Drop, The Edge of the World, The Frost Garden, The Great Blow, The Ice Cathedral, The Ice Patch, The Mouth That Devours, The Rime of the World, The Spears and The Tip Of The Rime.

various Ice Wraiths wrote The Great Wraith Migration and The Moving Ice.

various Monks, Paladins and Clerics wrote Mythical Places.

Wadi al-Bitram wrote Ash, Casbah, Diamond, Inclement Weather, Magical Caves, Pearl, Rettik the Confused, The Big Tent, The Bizarre Bazaar, The Forming Dust, The Pit of Lamps, The Volcano Men and Whisp

Xiang Xo-Chinn wrote The Bone Caves, The Dry River, The Endless Bilabong, The Forgotten Mines, The Jackal Ruins, The People of the Dust, The Thorn Maze, The Uncatchable Herd, The Watch Tower and Ubutu.

Yamikosho Ukinato wrote Castle in the Clouds, Gods of Armor, Kami, Palace of Swords, Respecting the Dead, Seven Swords for Seven Brothers, Shrines, The Junk Fleet, The Way of the Sword, The Risen Tomb, Tomb of Ashes and Wearing Your Money.
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Offline GoldBoxFan

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2015, 12:14:16 PM »
The Vats of Vile
by Entumbus Shaft

One of the unusual features of Vorak is its many-hued magical springs. These potion-making fonts can change magical powers from day to day. Sometimes while inside your stomach. Many a mountain fortress has been built on top of them.

Alchemists, intransigent wizards, and creatures that feed on magical energy, can often be found wandering the mountains looking for new springs. They will defend them voraciously.

Beware of any liquids sold in local markets, you never know where they came from. And don't drink from any wells until you verify the color of the water. Experimentation is not for the wary.

The source of the springs is unknown, but is the start of many an errant tale.
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The Source of All Magic
by Edeldore Apothecary

In many countries, particularly Vorak, it is believed that the world itself is a living being and that magical fluids come from that being. These fluids may be blood, expectorate, pus, or any number of other disgusting manifestations.

The Cult of Remembered Artifacts  believe that all magic was removed from the world and buried underground, where it is leaking into the water table.

The Band of Gahand believe the evil lich Gahand was trapped below by an earthquake while trying to steal the heartstone, and that his attempts to escape are spreading magic from below.

Interestingly, the dead of Vorak have no opinion on the matter.
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The Heartstone
by Edeldore Apothecary

The elves trapped in Haven tell the tale of the world as earth-mother, looking after all creatures that live on her. She brings in the seasons, the weather, the rockfalls and the mudslides. She also has parts which can be thought of as organs.

Her blood is the magma, the water, the ice. Her lungs are the sky. Her eyes are the sun and the moon. But her heart is a beating stone the size of a small house. From this heart-stone comes all the magic in the world. It can only be reached through the caverns of eternity.
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The Cult of Remembered Artifacts
by Theodoric Arcanus

A cult of geeks with headquarters in Glomen, these monocle-wearing bookists are attempting to create a list of all the magical artifacts ever made and what became of them. To this degree they do a lot of hiring of well-muscled, short-thinking bodyguards for getting that information.

It is believed by many that the CoRA are funded by the Inquisition, which wants to possess these artifacts for world domination. Or at least keep the other guys from getting them. Their name for CoRA is RoACh.
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Gahand the Lich
by Theodoric Arcanus


Formerly known as Gahand the Troubador, the one-handed mandolin player from Mirauter. Like all minstrels, Gahand listened to every tale he could as he travelled the continent. The tale of a powerful vizier who didn't want to die intrigued him.

Through a long and delightful three-night tale, Gahand defeated the evil vizier, took over his powers, and became a lich himself. He became the only troubador lich in the lands. His listeners would follow him from tune-up to tune-up and became known as the Band of Gahand.

Soon after Gahand heard of great riches below the ground he disappeared forever.
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The Caverns of Eternity
by Carticus Geox
continued by Dekus Dewie


Much of this book was found be the deceased body of presumably Carticus Geox. There is a debate over which Carticus Geox it might be. Notes continued by Dekus Dewie.

The Caverns of Eternity are well-named and have many connecting entrances, some continents apart. They continue slowly into the earth past magma geysers, unemployed salamanders, crystal caverns, and unlit oceans full of gigantic blind fish.

The caverns do indeed go deep, but how deep become theoretical after finding a sign: NO TREZPISING alongside a bunch of severed heads. Presumably one being Carticus Geox.
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The Other Guys
by Theodoric Arcanus

A group of adventuring fanatics which can't agree on a name: The Guardians of Fornever, Frog and the Relatively-Moist Mold, Two For Tea and Tea for Everyone, Two Against the Shell.

The Other Guys oppose the Inquisition mainly because it is in power. Before that they opposed snail-racing. Before that, they opposed each other.

Though it is generally agreed that the group was formed by the street prognosticators Snivel and The Cow, the group has reached as many as twenty individuals, before an out-of-hand party got the glum called in. The members fluctuate.

 

anything