Locales

Geography

I'm intending to start out with a small playable area, maybe a few hundred square miles or so. Major features include a mountain range, part of which is very difficult to traverse, then the foothills of those mountains giving out onto a broad plain. I would rather develop nearby areas intensely than create a broad canvas, hardly any of which gets filled in.

In principle, there can be travel and trade with other peoples on the plains or past them, which offers an 'easy' avenue for expansion if it proves appropriate. The mountains being all but impassable provide unexplored places and secrets they might hide.

Polities

Hardly any of the playable polities actually have names yet… so I'll just note them by the dominant culture. These will be relatively near to one another — a matter of days to weeks for travel between, rather than weeks to seasons — so that the populaces can readily engage with one another and events affecting the whole area can be readily plotted.

I'd like to provide each polity with its own distinct price list, as well as descriptions of the resources available, environment, everyday lifestyle, culture, etc. Since there are definitely things which will be abundant in some areas, but not in others, and prices should reflect that. Which is another reason to not invest in too many right off.

(Taknarian): A settlement in foothills or low mountains, probably on a river for resource reasons. Relatively typical agricultural setting, but with a matrilineal and effectively matriarchal society. Essentially, males are expected to make names for themselves and earn prestige as warriors/adventurers, while females are scholars and householders and business owners; thus females run the society.

(Human): Working name is 'Three Stars', or maybe 'Three Falls' instead. This is a pastoral nomad band, about 30-40 extended families for a total of 300-500 people, which occupies the region of plains nearest to the foothills. There are other bands farther out on the plains which will provide seasonal trading opportunities and avenues for new/retired PCs to have come from or gone elsewhere. Strong shamanistic traditions. I am still debating whether this group moves between two locations, or more. Expect a lot of cultural influence from Mongolia and other modern pastoral nomad societies.

(Suarian): A subterranean polity carved out of the heart of a mountain. Built foremost to suit the climbers/gliders who constructed it, but not unwelcoming to earthbound visitors or even residents; for one, the makers needed some way to move the stone they excavated… as well as other heavy loads. Despite being underground, it is not often claustrophobic, as the Suari love expansive spaces and ornamentation of them.

I anticipate having a relative lot of travel/trade between the plains and foothill polities, especially in summer (as the nomads move to higher elevation). The mountain Suarian settlement is going to be more difficult to reach, but still far from isolated.

Other

There's another location I have in mind which is a plot device, rather than a place to reside…

Tamilur Tower: A mysterious structure tucked away in the mountains, difficult to reach and more difficult to explore. The outside is five (or maybe six) stories tall, but inside it is much, much larger — so large, no one is known to have ever reached the top. It's also a sentient building, although that is not ICly known either. This is essentially intended as Quest fodder for PCs, a place where they can go for high-risk, high-reward threads and potentially some other esoteric discoveries. I expect to provide public details for the bottom three or four floors and allow PCs to self-mod those areas, so long as they take away nothing exceptional, while others will be reserved to staff for Quest use. (possible model - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_Hill_Pagoda)

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