View Full Version : Smog: A Community World Building Project (The Compendium)

2009-03-21, 03:58 PM

A Community World Building Project: The Compendium

"When it came, we all thought it was just some harmless fog rolling in. If only I could have warned my people otherwise, perhaps some of this could of been avoided..."

-Journal Entry from Direth Ihobneuh, King of Pre-Smog Belwyn

I have created this thread to serve as a source of information to both keep track of ideas and rules (reading through the whole thread again to find a reference can be pretty annoying!), and to aid those that wish to use this setting or elements from it once the whole thing has been completed.

The original thread can be found here. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102891)

First off, this campaign setting is centered around a strange substance that, when breathed in, paralyzes or mutates most living creatures. What is the Smog's purpose? Who created it? How do we destroy it? To these questions, none have answers. All the people of the Smog-World know is that they are faced with a powerful horror, but they must live on. The dily life of an adventurer in this campaign setting may consist of rescuing those taken by the Smog, defeating the creatures mutated by it, and surviving in the cruel world that has been created as a result. So then, we move on to the next post...

2009-03-21, 04:00 PM
The Nature of the Smog
"More horrible than any army, any demon, any God raining down his fury, is this Miasma. The Smog is vile, the Smog is fear, the Smog is the end of us all..."

-Pre Smog Doomsayer

The Smog is a white-grey gas that sinks. It roils ominously below the settlements made on mountains and large hills (Known as "The Highlands"). Being exposed to the Smog has been known to cause paralysis, sterility, and mutation (which has been known to be accompanied by insanity.) Below is a bundle of information on the Smog courteously posted by Another_Poet


If you are exposed to smog, you have 10d6 minutes to find fresh air. If you do not find it, you are frozen (no save). A frozen creature acts exactly like an unconscious creature except that they do not require food, water or air and their hit points are stable. A frozen creature who is carried out of the smog and exposed to fresh air will resuscitate in 1d4 minutes. Frozen creatures are "paused" and do not age.

Any ongoing natural effects (such as poison, disease, etc) are "paused" along with the frozen creature and do not resume doing damage unless the creature is brought to fresh air and resuscitated. Once the creature is resuscitated they become active again as well.

Onoing magical effects are not frozen and expire at the end of their normal duration regardless of whether a creature is frozen or resuscitated.

While frozen, a creature has a high concentration of smog dissolved in its blood. Creatures that eat a frozen being or drink its blood (including undead creatures like vampires) must make a fortitude save against death (DC 20 + eaten creature's Con score). Even on a successful save the creature falls to exactly 0 hit points and is stable but disabled (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/conditionSummary.htm#disabled) and cannot regain hit points by any means for 48 hours. For the first 24 hours the creature also acts as if it is under the effects of a Symbol of Pain spell (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/symbolofpain.htm).

If a creature is frozen for more than one hour there is a 50% chance that the creature is permanently sterile (i.e. cannot reproduce). This sterility chance applies to all creature types except dwarves (who are immune) and elves (who have an 80% chance instead). The creature must roll for sterility even if they succeeded on a previous roll to avoid sterility. This roll should be made secretly by the DM so the character does not know the result.

This smog-induced sterility cannot be cured by any means short of a Wish or Miracle spell. Experimental magic is being developed by Dr. Steelhawk to treat the sterility, but has so far met with failure (and many dead patients).

Characters who are already sterile do not make this roll.

At the player's option, a human character with the "Highlander" subrace can, upon being successfully resuscitated from being frozen, change to the "Ret" subrace. The character must immediately drop skill ranks to meet the reduced number of skill points, and then gains the Ret abilities instead.

Any creature who is frozen for more than 1 hour per HD must make a fortitude saving throw (DC 1). On a success the creature remains frozen and unmutated; no further rolls are needed. On a failure the creature rises up as a mutant.

To determine the nature of the mutation, roll randomly on the chart below.
[chart not made yet]
[ chart will include minor detrimental mutations, but will also include "Transform into Aberration." All mutants gain the Smogling template.]

A creature who has mutated cannot get rid of the mutation by any means short of a Wish or Miracle spell. If polymorphed or shapechanged in any way the creature retains its mutation, or a close approximation thereof in its new form. Creatures who have mutated must still roll for sterility chance based on their original race.

Note: the procedure aboved is only used for PCs and NPCs who are "in the spotlight" of a game. In general, a creature who mutates is 99% likely to have a fatal mutation (such as ruined lungs, a sealed stomach, cancer, or the like). Mutation is very rare and only a few creatures survive the process.

Why is the Fort Save only DC 1?

Because with a DC of 1, virtually no creature can fail their saving throw unless they roll a natural 1. That means that only 5% of people frozen in smog mutate. 5% of almost all the people in the world (plus 5% of all animals, magical beasts, etc) is still a huge number of mutants, but it's a low enough percentage to still be rare.

The reason it is not a straight 5% chance roll on a d100 is because players cannot voluntarily fail a D100 roll, but they can voluntarily fail a saving throw. Some players will want their character to mutate so they can take levels as a mutant. Voluntarily failing this DC 1 Fort save allows them to do so. It's all about player choice.
Do not worry! All is not lost! There are specially designed helmets/masks and suits that allow one to stay in the Smog with no adverse effects! (The cost, function, and other aspects of these are still being debated/decided.) Not to mention the famous, the wonderful, the world renowned, Hirelythe's Mercy! This is a plant that purifies the Smog around it. More information on this below, which was posted by BRC.

Hirelythe's Mercy

When the fog first descended, only those who were lucky enough to have access to rare magical items (Such as Necklaces of Adaptation) were able to venture into it. However, that changed. About three years after the fog descended, a group (with amulets) of Scavengers was fleeing a band of ghouls when they stumbled upon what seemed to be a miracle. A Grove with almost no smog, instead it was covered with a plant that bloomed with small purple flowers. They found evidence of habitation, packets of seeds, and a journal. The Journal described the way to grow, care for, and use the plant, whose flowers purified the fog into clean, breathable air. The Journal was signed "Hirelythe", but despite their searching, nobody was ever found near or in the grove, tracks led to the edge but stopped there.
The Plant, named Hirelythe's Mercy, is hardy and grows quickly. It doesn't need much sunlight, but does require alot of care. It can grow in water, but requires another mixture (Called the Elixer) that is easy to make, but must be applied in very careful amounts, so all Mercy must be carefully cultivated, it will not simply run wild.

The Mercy is not, in of itself, immune to the smog, though it's flowers purify it. A sufficiently large concentration of Mercy can become self-sustaining, purifying enough air for it's own use. Plucked flowers and leaves suspend in water can purify air for a time. A standard back-tank full of such a mixture lasts for about 2-hours. Larger tanks last longer, as do tanks that have been enchanted with magics that preserve the Mercy.

Lowwalker settlements are usually centered around a "Safe Zone" that is mainly sealed off except for a vent. At the mouth of this vent is a garden of Hirelythe's Mercy, more than enough to be self-sustaining, and positioned such that air must pass over and through the plant, keeping the smog out.

And still there are those who would take advantage of the Smog victims. Horrible individuals with no shame that do anything for a profit...

Smog TailAs reports of violence came in from Refugee Road, Esther colony held a council meeting and determined to try to establish peace beyond their outskirts. They appointed a paladin, nicknamed Sarissa (female human (Ret) Pal8) to head a small force of militia to keep peace along the road and try to establish safe places for salvagers. This was before Rink Tower and even before Hirelythe's mercy, so the job was a tough one.

Although her early trips into the smog mostly focused on beating back the Ghouligans, determining what sorts of creatures stalked the fog, and rescuing luckless salvagers, something else disturbed Sarissa on a deep level.

She began to take special interest in the smog victims along the road. They had already been in a bad state when she first walked the road, but she noticed they were getting worse. Many showed signs of having been recently trampled to death, even run over by wagons and she could tell the salvagers treated them as little more than roadbumps. In fact, the most famous story of Sarissa's life is probably the tale of her encounter with two young lowwalkers on board a heavy wagon. She saw the wagon swerve and hit a smog victim, apparently on purpose, and she rode down the wagon and flagged them aside. When she asked the boys why they had hit the victim, one shrugged and the other said "he was worth 5 points." Sarissa ordered her men to bind the two and lay them on the ground. She told them that if they were able to suvive being run over, they would be allowed to go free. She then ran their wagon over them, and a number of her soldiers ran over them on foot as well. One died from injuries on the spot, and the other made a run for the highlands in his damaged suit. He did not make it.

A now badly-flailed corpse, rumoured to be that of the boy who ran away, hangs from a crossroads stone on the Refugee road. It is tradition for every person who walks by to kick, punch or slash the corpse for good luck. There's no way of knowing if the corpse really is the boy in question, but all accounts agree that Sarissa did not lose her paladin powers for the incident.

What was most disturbing to Sarissa however was that she believed some smog victims were going missing. She made an exhaustive tally of all victims and their approximate locations on a 2-mile stretch of road. She returned a month later and checked each one, and found that indeed 13 of them had disappeared. 12 of the thirteen were female. Her quest began.

Numerous such tallies revealed that everywhere along Refugee Road, more male bodies than female were lying about. And more bodies, mostly female disappeared each month. Sarissa came up with the disturbing theory that attractive smog victims were being carried off for some perverted use. Since she was a Ret herself, this was devastating to her on a personal level.

However, none of her inquiries in Esther or in Thief City revealed anything definitive. She spent 3 years trying to track the missing bodies, a difficult task in a smogland crawling with looters and mutants. Eventually she found a number of hideouts deep in the tickets to the west of Refugee Road. Although she carried out raids against the smog bandits there, the only proof she ever found of kidnapping was a single 14 year old girl chained up in one of the compounds. This girl reported being treated well, but had foggy memories of her stay at the compound.

Eventually Sarissa was killed while assailing a major bandit cave that she was sure was a brothel of some kind. When she was killed her allies were forced to pull back and abandon the raid, and eventually their milita disbanded. One of her old allies however, Micah Rummerstone (Male Halfling Rogue 6) continued the investigation his paladin friend had started.

The two didn't always get along when Sarissa was alive, but after her death Micah took an almost obsessive interest in finishing her quest. Lacking official support for hunting smog bandits, he focused on what he did best - scouring the lowlife hangouts and black markets of Esther. And he hit on pay dirt.

It turns out that the kidnapped woman (as well as some men and even children) were being marketed as "smog tail". Savvy pimps covered their real product with whole inventories of actual lizard tails, supposedly cut off of smog mutants, which they sold as good luck charms and ingredients in flim-flam medicines. If anyone official-looking came asking, that's what smog tail was.

But to their paying customers, smog tail was time spent with smog victims. The tail comes in two varieties: Rets who have been dragged out of the smog, woken up, and forced to serve in underground brothels (often falsely promised their freedom if they work long enough and with a smile) ; and intercourse with still-unconscious smog victims. There are numerous variations offered to thrill-seeking perverts, from being sent into a smog-filled room to do the deed quickly enough to not pass out, to being given a freshly-awoken Ret who is still going through the seizures of waking up. Most commonly however, smog victims are put in special rebreather helmets that keep them pumped full of smog while their "clients" are at no risk.

The existence of this disgusting trade enraged Micah, but most people did not believe him. The rumours of secret brothels selling "smog tail" have spread all over the world, but most believe it to be a mere legend. After all, no proof has ever been found. Those who buy into the idea are considered conspiracy theorists. The legend of Smog Tail has become kind of a racist joke amongst the Survivors movement (remember that's pro-highlander, anti-ret, anti-Breath of Life). They often joke that if every Ret would pay their debt to society with a few years working as Smog Tail, they might be worth having around.

Micah eventually vanished from Esther. Some say he must've been taken captive himself, to protect the Smog Tail industry. However, a few travelers report that they have seen him in other colonies, trying to gather together enough volunteers to storm the secret brothels.

If you get his old friends drunk enough, they may name names as to which public officials are clients. Those officials may well be the ones keeping the industry hush-hush...

Zeta Kai
2009-03-21, 04:38 PM
The title says Smoog. Please change.

2009-03-21, 05:25 PM
Changes to Government, Technology, and the Social Structure

It has been little more than seventy years since the Smog came, and it has brought on many changes. New forms of government have

arisen, technology has adapted to the Smog, and the social structure has had some interesting, smog-specific quirks added to it.

First, let's take a look at "smog-tech", shall we?

As the Smog came, people were terrified, and they still are. What's the best way to cope with such terror? Invention! Adapt to the new environment by constructing the tools you need to survive and thrive! First on the list was transportation, Gnomes from the early days of Smog constructed great "Air-Ships". With these sailing behemoths, the Highlands were able to stay connected to each other and trade materials and ideas, among other things. And all without having to breath the tiniest amount of Smog. I believe I have some lore here from the original thread, posted by the great Another_Poet.


The Fall of Til
In the pre-smog world, there was a small coastal nation to the northeast of Strout. The nation was known as Til, and was home to a mixed population of humans and gnomes. Backed by nearly impassable mountains and sheltered by numerous barrier reefs, it was hard to access even for friendly traders and withstood invasion more because of its location than because of its military prowess. The people of Til were known for their scholar monks, their fine art and their several arcane colleges.

The Tilians conducted their most sensitive research in a secret compound high in their mountains. The compound consisted of a number of bunkers and research facilities within a natural cave, and was dubbed Adalantica. No one but the highest government officials knew of its existence.

When the smog came, the Tilians had nowhere to go. They couldn't hope to scale their wall of mountains quickly enough to escape, though some tried. Others took to boats hoping to find a clear place. They departed in all directions, and most of the ships were never seen again (lowwalkers have found some of them wrecked on the shore). A few important people managed to escape with magic, but for all intents and purposes Til has been erased from the map.

The Height Flight Few
Not so with Adalantica, however. A year after the disaster, a swarm of desperate refugees on treeless colonies decided to strike out for the Tilian mountains looming above the smog to the east. Equipped with primitive early smogsuits, they marched for two weeks to reach the foothills and then climbed for 4 more weeks to get above the smog.

About 30 people survived the expedition, and found themselves rapelling into a gorge to get shelter from the wind. When they spotted a bronze door on a ledge they wasted no time. Without so much as a hallo! they battered down the door and rushed into the corridor. When they found gnomes experimenting with smoking machines and strange chemicals they thought they had found the perpetrators of the smog. They slaughtered nearly all of the researchers and took the last 3 captive.

The gnomes tried to cover the nature of their work but they couldn't hide the huge metal hulk that was obviously a ship of some sort. Consisting of a metal trawler-type design with four huge upright pillars running through it, it was Til's prototype skyship.

The humans forced the gnomes to work around the clock to finish it. They ate through the researcher's food supply and, some say, feasted on the bodies of the dead gnomes to prolong their rations.

When the ship was done and a test flight had been completed, the humans threw the three gnome prisoners overboard. They reasoned that no one else would ever find the remote research outpost, and they made a pact never to tell anyone how they got the ship. They wanted to be hailed as heroes, not butcherers.

From there the skyship has a rocky history. It appeared over several colonies, even stopping at some, before being pinned down with magic at a trade centre loosely controlled by Damania. There it was seized by the army and scholars were sent to look it over. The crew of the ship were taken prisoner but most escaped into a lowwalker community, including several who had taken notes on how the ship worked and was piloted. Over the next 4 years, several colonies obtained skyship technology.

This ship has come to be called the Height Flight I and its original pilots the Height Flight Few.

The Research Continues...
While the prototype was dismantled and studied, one researcher found a leather-clad journal wedged into an engine compartment. One of the original gnome builders had put it there, glamoured to be invisible, while working as a prisoner at Adalantica. Her journal details how the gnome researchers were attacked, and makes allusions to the existence of the research facility itself.

Damania was only able to track down 5 of the original crew and interrogate them about the journal. 2 of them wouldn't talk and were put to death, one died in torture, but two spilled everything. They gave the best directions they could on how to reach Adalantica.

Thus the research compound was re-discovered. It was become a sort of colony in its own right. Many of the machines there were smashed, but researchers continue to reverse-engineer them. The libraries, probably the only ones from the pre-smog days, still haven't been fully examined; they are just too extensive. A college has been built across the gorge from Adalantica, which is open internationally and run by representatives from four nations. Dr. Steelhawk maintains his own laboratiories there and oversees the continuing analysis of the ruined labs.

There is a remaining problem however. Of the two prisoners who gave directions, one gave very clear directions to Adalantica which he insisted was the only lab. The other had a harder time giving directions, but reported at least three separate compounds, each with their own entrances in the mountains. Many people believe this informant was delusional because of the interrogation techniques used. Ater all, no other research stations have been found despite thorough searches. But the hidden diary found on the protoype also speaks of the facilities in the plural at times....

And here is some info of the Sci-Fi mechanics that governs these machines (posted, also, by Another_Poet)

Skyship Mechanics

I'm going to suggest that skyships are a mishmash of arcane and natural technology, using Plasma Fields to stay aloft.

The idea of plasma flight is a real-world theory. Small plasma-lifted aerial craft are currently being developed, though making them work is decades in the future.

The idea is that, with an adequate power source on board, a ship's hull could be completely covered with a cushion of plasma, created by sending heat or electricity through the hull. (Plasma is basically just a bunch of positively charged particles that loose their electrons.) When the energy is increased to one area of the plasma field it pushes against the normal air around it. So if you energize the bottom of the hull, it creates lift. Energise the back end and you go forward. Et cetera.

One of the problems in the real world is that the energy sources needed to do this are too heavy to be lifted by the plasma field they can create. In a world with magic, lighter motors are easily possible.

So I suggest that skyships are lifted by Til columns, named after the dead country that invented them. A til column is a long cylinder, usually at least six feet in diameter, that is stuck onto the side of a ship. Inside the cylinder is a dynamo, basically a magnet on an axel. The dynamo is enchanted to be spun rapidly by numerous 0th level spells - mage hand, most likely. Enough mage hands working in concert can get it going very fast, though they need some buildup time.

The dynamo produces electricity with is conducted to electrodes on the bottom of the column. The bottom is semi-spherical in shape, and becomes covered with a field of plasma. The bottom or sides can be charged to provide lift, thrust, steering and breaks. Although the energy source is magical (the mage hands), the rest is all mechanical. It's a mundane magnet on a mundane axle with mundane connectors to the mundane metal shell. Mundane controls can be adjusted on board the ship to adjust with electrodes are connected, thus changing pitch, speed, bearing etc.

The advantage of this is that permanent at-will 0th level spells cost less to enchant than any high-voltage electrical spell. So for relatively little XP cost and material cost you can get the same amount of electricity or more. The only downside is the long start-up time for a Til column that was turned off. In general a Til column would be kept running at all times, even while the ship is docked, especially on military vessels.

A ship would need at least two Til columns: one in front or one in back. Small cheap ships could be built like this for general salvaging work, but they'd be very vulnerable to tipping over in strong storms or aerial combat. Remember, the bottom of a Til column only pushes in 180 degrees; if the ship capsizes there is no way to right it. It will crash.

Larger civlian vessels would have three columns, one in front and two in back for stability. Military ships would almost always have 4 or more, and be able to stay in the air if one of their columns is destroyed.

If anything touches the bottom of an active Til column it would suffer extreme heat and electrical damage. It would also destabilize the column and cause the ship to momentarily buck, faulter or even flip over. Thus, ships in close ship-to-ship combat have to be careful not to bump the bottoms of each other's columns. There is a fine art to setting your ship down on top of an enemy ship to blast it with "hot" Tils without flipping over.

Shortly after the invention/discovery of skyships, there emerged those that wished to travel into the Smog. Whether they were created out of curiosity of the world below, homesickness, greed for the treasures hidden there, or malice towards the living horrors known as Smoglings, we may never know. But they were created, nonetheless, and have served their purpose quite well.

http://i41.tinypic.com/zl3dlc.jpg"Modern Smogsuit" by mr. fizzypop
The First Smogsuits
There were smogsuits before the invention of those used in the current time of the setting, but these were extremely primitive and hardly served their purpose at all. They consisted of Full-Plate sealed up with spare leather to protect from exposure, and a collection of tied rags to serve as a mask. All these simple tools succeeded in doing was postponing paralysis while sterilization still occurred. Somewhat ironically, the creation of these dangerous smogsuits allowed for discovery of the airship, which was a major cause in the invention of a more useful smogsuit.

The Modern Smogsuit
After the invention of Airships, the world was content to live above-ground for only a shot amount of time. There were those that wished to go under the Smog. To see their families, to visit their homes, and to recover their possessions. Inventors quickly set about their workshops, vigorously pursuing this task. It seemed impossible, until one strange elf had the idea of incorporating Hirelythe's Mercy. This was an instant breakthrough. The modern smogsuit was born, and adventurers (who, up to this point, were out of work) clamored for the opportunity of delving into the depths of the smog. The elf in question is now the Head of Research and Development in Reclamation Incorporated.

How They Work
This, and the rest of Smogsuit lore and stat is still largely being debated.

And finally, the last of smog-tech (or as much that has been proposed so far.) The dangerous potion known simply as, "Last Resort".

Last Resort
After the first few Lowwalkers began living under the Smog, they found that their visits had to be annoyingly short. As it turned out, Smogsuits lasted only for short periods of time, and if you found that yours had suddenly ran out of mercy, it was a sprint for your life back to the closest enclave (which may even be hostile if you were too far out.). Luckily, a certain (allegedly gnome) Lowwalker (who somehow managed to remain anonymous) devised a potion from crushed Mercy Seeds. After studying it for some time, he dubbed it "Last Resort" and sent it to his fellow Lowwalkers, and the potion eventually made it's way into any store that sold equipment for expeditions, especially in "hotspots".

Last Resort magically (and temporarily) alters a creature's biology to become immune to the Smog. The creature has no need for a smogsuit, it can breath naturally and is in no danger of sterility or paralysis. Outside appearance is unaffected, and the feeling is often described in a positive way, most commonly, "the tingles".
There are drawbacks, though. Such an undertaking puts tremendous strain on the consumer's anatomy.
DrawbacksThe drawbacks of the Last Resort function much the same way as a poison.

Ingested DC 25 (half damage)
Initial Damage: 0
Secondary Damage (One Hour after Ingestion): 1d6 Str, Con, and Dex Damage*. Nauseated for 1d4 minutes, sickened until ability damage is restored (takes effect after Nauseated wears off.)

*Damage fades after 24 hours.

Government/Race Relations

Law and Order were hardly kept at all in the beginning of the Era of Smog. Communities collapsed and anarchy ruled. There were those that held strongly to their belief in government, and so were the first colonies created. Two of these were the Human Nations of Damania and Strout. This history, a prime example of the earliest colonies, is below and was originally posted by Another_Poet.


Two of the human nations that have survived from the old world are Damania and Strout. Pre-smog they were neighbouring nations, with Strout occupying a fertile river valley surrounded by mountains and Damania occupying the coastal plains to the south.

The two countries had long been rivals, and were at war when the smog first appeared. It hit Damania first, since the plains have a much lower elevation than the mountains. The king received word of the smog and marshaled his forces on the great highway that led into the border mountains. With his finest knights spearheading a train of refugees 30 miles long, he headed for enemy territory.

The Battle of Euboro
When the Damanians reached Euboro, the Strout border-fortress, their story of poisonous fog was thought to be a military ploy. The Strouts closed the gates and prepared for a siege.

Euboro had never fallen to an enemy force in its 400 years of service. Coinsisting of triple terraces of battlements high above either side of a narrow mountain pass, it offers both a bottleneck and a height advantage to the defenders. An artificial tunnel with 40 gates is the only point of access to Strout territory. The Damanians, however, had no choice but to attack.

The battle lasted five days, with the smog crawling up the Damanian's flank as they fought. Their king put together a special brigade of mountaineers whom he sent to scale a 3,000 foot sheer bluff by cover of darkness. One tenth of the climbers died during the ascension, but just before morning the survivors managed to line up over a thousand spears and pennants along the mountain ridge above Euboro. The Strouts, thinking there was an actual military force above them, sent most of their troops up the mountain trails to intercept.

Only then did the Damanians break through, though at great cost. Many of the finest knights, and the king himself, were killed that day. But the refugees pushed through, and claimed the mountains above Euboro for their territory just as the smog surrounded it. Damania has four major "islands" and, to this day, the southernmost is known as Euboro.

King Mortegaard
Damania's ruler is King Mortegaard. He was only 14 at the time of ther Battle of Euboro, but he fought bravely beside his father for all give days and nights. When his father was beheaded during the final push, he is said to have trampled over the body so as not to break his charge. His coronation was performed on the field with a bloody sword and his father's dented, still-sweaty crown. He wears that crown even today, and has never had it fixed.

Mortegaard has been a pillar for the Damanian people, and has managed to hold them together through the crisis of the past 70 years. However, he is now 82 years old and in ailing health. It is expected that his death will throw the country into chaos.

The Senate of Strout
After the defeat at Euboro the Strout people learned that the smog was very real. They had no hope of retaking their mountain fortress so they retreated to the opposite side of their valley, the north, and the various highlands there. Even today, the Strout colonies lie to the north of the Damanian colonies, across a wide empty sea of smog which was once Strout's fertile homeland.

With their ruler and most of their better leaders dead, the barons of Strout formed a ruling council to handle government "until after the crisis." They call this council the Senate of Strout, but it is not so democratic as its name implies. The Senate is basically a club for lords who would be killing each other for the kingship, if they didn't need each other so badly. They have never been able to settle the matter of the succession and certify a new queen or king, so they manage a tentative balance of power and pass laws by voting amongst themselves. Membership is only open to nobility and even nobleman must present extensive credentials and be vouched by seven Senators before being accepted.

The War Continues
The Senate is known for its infighting and inefficient rule, and Damania is undoubtedly the better run of the two countries, but Strout has nearly twice as much usable highland and a larger population. Hostilities between the two countries have never ceased, although they were dampened by the smog crisis.

Although officially under an armistice right now, Strout and Damania remain prepared for battle at any moment. Their skyships patrol an imaginary border above the smog between them, and any traffic coming or going between the two nations without the proper credentials is in danger of being blown "into the stink."

King Mortegaard was an early proponent of Operation Breath of Life and continues to support it with generous funding to this day. Many people believe that the Senate of Strout fanned the flames of anti-Ret sentiment simply to counter Mortegaard's pet project. In any case, the Survivor movement is certainly quite popular in over-crowded Strout.

Governments in the current setting are quite varied. Some colonies stick to the tradition of Monarcy, while others formed Democracies and Dictatorships. The only place you will find anarchy now, is in the cities under the smog, where smog-bandits do as they please, as long as it benefits them (which, more often than not, includes slitting your throat.)

Now on to race relations...

Each race has been impacted harshly by the Smog. Sterility spells disaster for all except the immune Dwarves. Elves and Dwarves have taken to pure seclusion, while Humans (who have now become paranoid and even, in some cases, fascist) are slightly more open to trade and relation with races. Half-Orcs, Half-Elves,Halflings, and Gnomes live among the humans as they no longer have any homeland (rare "pure" communities have been reported, but they rarely take on outsiders of even the same race.)


Those that remained untouched by the Smog and did not venture down into it called themselves "Highlanders", the majority of these people dislike the Smog and anything that reminds them of it. They have been know to violently discriminate against the Rets, Smoglings, and Lowlanders. The Highlanders live, obviously, on the Highland, which is the collective noun referring to the islands of land left by mountains and tall hills. They take great pride in being Highlander, but are more open in relation with other races than the Elves or Dwarves.

Not all human, but a good majority, the Lowlanders are those who choose to live outside of society and eke out an existance in the Smog. They are mysterious, as they are very distant from others who are not of their kind. They only make contact when necessary, and even then tell little of themselves. To each other, on the other hand, they are extremely close. There is rarely an encampment of Lowlanders that do not know each other's life stories and secrets. They are dedicated to each other, and therein lies their survival.

Not everyone escaped the Smog. In fact, the vast majority of humanity was caught, and are now frozen in the streets of old cities or inside their homes. Once smogsuits were spread across the continent, someone discovered that once one of these victims were brought back to the Highlands, they awoke. They were unaffected by time, they felt as though they had been in a deep sleep and remembered nothing of the time they spent in the abandoned streets. These rescued souls were called "Rets". Like Lowlanders, not all Rets are human. But they are a majority (Elven druid-sages knew of the smog before its coming, Gnomes quickly discovered its nature and informed their Halfling allies, while Dwarves quickly returned to their mountains and shut themselves away from the world.)There is much opposition to even the existence of Rets. Operation Breath of Life makes it their mission to bring these poor souls back to the surface and help them adapt to the new world, but Highlanders won't have them. The Rets have a higher estimated sterility rate than Highlanders, about 50%, and the same high miscarriage/stillborn rate. Since only half of the people who are saved can actually contribute to carrying on the species, but 100% of them take up food and other precious resources, many people despise the Rets as no-good freeloaders. Some people feel so much hatred toward the Rets that they form mobs and throw sterile Rets off of cliffs back into the smog. Non-sterile rets, officers of the law, Breath of Life workers and various social outcasts are indiscriminately thrown off "into the stink" right alongside the sterile ones.

When the smog came, many elves sensed it before it arrived. Their druids and arcanists heard of its approach long before it engulfed the land. However, many elves chose to remain in their forest communities and accept their fate. They would rather die with their ancestral trees than be parted from the land. These now-frozen elves were the lucky ones.

The elves who made it to the mountains were few in number. Their skills in cultivating plants provided them with enough food to get by, but they quickly found that food was the least of their worries.

Stranded on the treeless mountaintops, the elves felt their connection to the green world sever. Looking down over the poison-choked land tested their belief in the goodness of nature. Then the dreams began.

Dreaming is a strange thing for elves. It isn't supposed to happen, not as such. And nightmares should never happen during trance. But that is what trance is now: hours of repetitive, heart-stopping nightmares from which an elf cannot awake.

The elves believe that the nightmares, like their high sterility rate, are caused by trace amounts of smog in the air. The elven system is particularly sensitive to this pollution and reacts violently.

Of course, the nightmares are only one of the problems plaguing the elves. Far more urgently, they face extinction as elf child after elf child is miscarried or stillborn.

This crumbled way of life provokes different responses from different elves. Suicides are not uncommon. Some elves walk off into the smog, saying that they can hear their frozen brethren calling from amidst the old trees. Among those who remain there is a growing hatred of half-elves, who represent the wasting of precious elf genes on other races.

The elves have focused their remaining numbers on the arcane arts, and have made it clear they wish to be left alone. Most non-elf nations are afraid to even send traders, after the unimaginable magic that was unleashed on past intruders. The skies above the elven mountains are devoid of skyships.

When the Smog finally settled the common races completely abandoned druidism, except the Elves. Druids are now mere shadows of the pre-smog days, they no longer worship the beauty of nature but its capacity for death and destruction. They are akin to necromancers, morbidly worshipping the Smog as they and their sacred groves mutate. Most wild plants are now poisonous, carnivorous, and mutated beyond recognition. It is not uncommon for these druids to keep these plants as "pets" and use them against intruders, and there have been records of raids on Elven colonies by such druids using mobile plants. No sane person reveres nature any longer.

Druids are no longer a PC class.

Elves would be the same as the PHB entry, with the following exception:
-80% chance of sterility
-Must trance 2 hours longer than normal in order to be fully rested.
-Have a chance of sensing the approach of aberrations and creatures with the Smogling template. Any time such a creature is lurking nearby, an elf may make a Wis check (DC 10 + creature's HD). On a success the elf has a premonition that some sort of aberrant creature is nearby, and the general direction of the creature, but no other information. If there are multiple creatures in a group, make a single check using the highest HD creature as the basis for the DC. On a success the elf can tell how many creatures are nearby.

Before the Smog, most orcs lived in scattered communities in the lowlands. They were, for the most part, unable to escape into any highlands and, with nobody to collect them, remain frozen to this day. However, some orcish clans were already living in or near the highlands, and were able to flee there when the smog arrived. Many of them we wiped out by the smog refugees, however, some were able to remain hidden as scattered groups. Though, of course, there are exceptions, the remaining orcs can usually be found in one of two sitations. Either scraping out a living as bandits, mainly in all-orc groups in the highlands, and mixed groups in the lowlands. In the highlands, they inhabit the mostly uncivilized areas that don’t have cities and are too rocky or steep for step-farms. Otherhave found protection working for some powerful groups. Many orcs work as Reckers, and some join up with other organizations. In the last few years, a growing orcish and half-orcish community has appeared in Cloudscrape. Because Greenie Moscone (The half-orc leader of the Cloudscrape Longshoreman’s Union) has great influence in the city, these orcs find welcome amongst the longshoremen, where their strength is appreciated, both for moving cargo, and for skirmishing with Reckers.

HalflingsIn the feudal kingdoms west of Damania, the halflings served as a free-roving "tinker" class who passed from one region to another. Somewhere between gypsies and traders. When the smog came the people in that region blamed the halflings, mostly because they are outsiders and known as fortunetellers and witches. Humans'll blame outsiders for anything that goes wrong. The halflings in that region would've been wiped out in Esther if it hadn't been for the tenuous democracy that was instituted. Now they are a healthy minority in Esther, but many of them (given their roguish nature) still live their lives as lowwalkers. Most of the explorers who charted Thief City were halflings, and the crusade against smog tail is being led by a halfling rogue.

2009-03-21, 05:27 PM

This post was thrown together very quickly, I needed some place to hold all the information contained in spoilers in the original thread. Don't worry, this post will be made into something more specific and organized later, for now it's just resource for the rest of the thread.

Two Factions and two human subraces posted by Another_Poet:


The Undelvers

Vampires and their spawn roam freely through the smog as mentioned above. After all, they are immune to it and it blocks out the sun. The people frozen in the smog are poisoned; and the people living in the highlands are so concentrated and so heavily fortified that it's dangerous to come out at night and look for fresh blood.

So what's a vampire to do? Find a mutually beneficial arrangement, that's what.

Because up on the surface there are a few human mages who see an opportunity for great power. Millions of frozen bodies, that no one cares about, just waiting to be turned into minions. But these mages, let's call them the Callers of the Claret King, cannot just go down there and pick tem up - that's dangerous work, and any guides they might hire would leave them to die in the smog if they knew what they were after.

The vampires, therefore, do the collecting. They heap piles of frozen living people onto carts or whatever they can find, and haul them up the mountains. At the edge of the smog, an unspeakable barter takes place.

Twice a month they meet with the Callers. Under the New Moon they come out at night, up onto the mountains, bringing their human cargo with them. The smog-frozen awake, rejoicing to be alive again - only to be fed upon en masse by the vampires. The Callers post security and make sure no other people know about the vampires. The vampires can do as they please with their vicitims, but usually they kill them instead of turning them unto spawn. After all, blood is scarce enough without additional competition.

Under the new moon, however, the vampires heap their cargo just below the smog line. The Callers must come in their smog suits and collect their prey. They mercilessly slaughter these frozen people, then bring them back out into the highlands and reanimate them as necromantic servants and soldiers. This alternation between meeting in the Callers' home ground and the Vampires' home ground ensures that neither side has the upper hand.

Together, the vampires and callers call their coalition the Undelvers. They bring people back from the deep to fill their nefarious agenda. Neither side likes the others--the vampires especially resent working for these inferior creatures--but the alliance holds as long as it can be kept secret and safe.

Operation Breath of Life
Then there are the humans who bring back frozen people for good reasons, i.e. to cure them and let them live once again. But the question I had to ask myself is: Why? What possible reason would people have to risk the lives of people they know, for the gambling chance of saving people they don't know?

Some might do it out of simple compassion. But the movement did not become popular, nor did it receive official sanctions, until the full effects of the smog became evident.

Even for people who escaped to the highlands and never went back, the trace amounts of smog in the mountain air have caused a serious problem: sterility. Fully 30% of humans are unable to reproduce, and this number is rising. Of those who can reproduce, 25% give birth to stillborn or premature infants who do not live long.

Thus, the populations of the highlands are quickly shrinking. It should be noted that the dwarves have no such sterility problems, but the other races all do. The elves are the most effected, suffering nearly an 80% miscarriage rate without the pure forest air they are accustomed to.

The humans frozen beneath the smog, therefore, represent humanity's last hope at survival. If enough of them can be brought back to life in the highlands they can contribute to the breeding population and carry on the species. Massive efforts are coordinated between various mountain colonies and city states, sending skyships and expeditions on foot to retrieve people frozen in the smog. Collectively these efforts are known as Operation: Breath of Life.

There is strong and vocal opposition to this operation, however. Humans brought back from the smog, or Rets, have an even higher sterility rate than fresh-air humans, or Highlanders. Rets are estimated to have a 50% sterility rate and the same high miscarriage/stillborn rate as other humans. Since only half of the people who are saved can actually contribute to carrying on the species, but 100% of them take up food and other precious resources, many people despise the Rets as no-good freeloaders. Some people feel so much hatred toward the Rets that they form mobs and throw sterile Rets off of cliffs back into the smog. Non-sterile rets, officers of the law, Breath of Life workers and various social outcasts are indiscriminately thrown off "into the stink" right alongside the sterile ones.

A shakey compromise has been reached between Breath of Life supporters and the so-called Survivors who oppose them. The compromise centres around the practice of triage when rescuing people from the smog. The now famous magic researcher, Dr. Arc Steelhawk, developed a simple cantraip variously known as Arc's Scope of Certainty, Detect Fertility, "the How's-your-Father" or simply "the Triage Spell." With this 0th level spell a Breath of Life worker can touch a person (forzen or healthy) and immediately know if they are able to reproduce. This spell is far cheaper and easier to learn than the experimental series of spells that would reverse the sterilisation process, and so fertile frozen people are plucked from the smog and brought home while their infertile friends and neighbours are left to remain in the poison, frozen forever. Daughters are taken without their parents, husbands without their wives, lovers without their partners, only to be resuscitated and told of their new duty to the human race.

Needless to say, many Rets mourn for their abandoned partners or families. The Breath of Life groups are specifically instructed not to share their detailed records of delve spots with the public, for fear that fertile Rets would go back to the smog in search of their families. That would be too great a loss for society, and they must never be told how to reach the places they were gathered from. Some are simply told their families were already dead when found.

Not all Breath of Lifers approve of this way of doing business, and some will secretly contact coalitions of Rets to share top-secret information and help them locate their frozen families. But neither individual informants nor the impoverished Rets have the means to gear up and go on smog walks, so they frequently turn to hired adventurers to track down their family and bring them to the surface...

Of course, the two separate groups of "rescuers," each with their own agenda, do not fail to cross paths. The Callers of the Claret King have found that Breath of Life workers, far better supplied and more numerous than vampires, often beat them to troves of "meat." They have discovered it is most efficacious to plant necromancers among the Breath of Life workers, who can then slit the throats of fresh Rets and reanimate them and try to get away with them. When these double-agents are successful, it means more soldiers for the Claret King's Army. When they fail, it means massive public debacles that give the Breath of Lifers a reputation as necromongers. In either case, the Callers benefit.

While the public may be duped into thinking Operation Breath of Life creates zombies, well placed public officials can see that there is something deeper at work here. They may call in specialists to investigate these necromantic incidents, small teams of hired swords and mages who can keep a low profile...

If accepted into the setting's canon, this setup would give rise to two different human starting packages, each with unique benefits.

Highlanders get the usual human bonus feat and extra skill points. In addition they get +2 to all diplomacy checks versus other humans. Highlanders have a 30% sterility rate.

Rets get the bonus feat, but have been frozen so long their skills are rusty. They do not get bonus skill points. Instead, they get lowlight vision. In addition, if they are exposed to the Smog they have a chance at staying un-frozen for a short time, because they have built up a slight immunity toward it. The mechanic for this immunity follows the mechanic for starvation, drowing, thirst, etc:
-When first exposed a Ret makes a DC 10 Constitution check (not fort save). On a success they stay conscious and can move normally.
-Each hour they remain exposed to smog they must make an additional Constitution check. the DC increases by 1 every hour. On a failure, they immediately freeze from exposure to the smog and can not be revived until someone (or something) carries them out into fresh air.

Rets take a -2 penalty to diplomacy checks vs. all highlanders.

If anyone is wondering, the term Ret is variously explained to be short for "the Retaken" "the Returned Ones" or "Returners."

Lore from Another_Poet on two cities and the first scavenge.

Esther Colony and Thief City
A New Nation, a New Way
To the west of the now-abandoned Damanian lands, a number of duchies and fiefdoms held sway over a wide expanse of plains. To the north and west the
mountains divided them from elven lands. None of them individually had as much power as Damania and they warred among themselves too much to ever present a unified front. Mostly human and halfling, these nations had a reputation as iron-fisted despotisms, ruled by warlords or hereditary lords. They were big on serfdom and small on industry, living a mostly agrarian lifestyle. The halflings were the only group likely to move from place to place, often acting as tinkers and traders between baronies.

When the smog came, the relatively flat land made it easy for people to migrate ahead of it. A swell of refugees pushed north toward the mountains. They found waystations and guard houses abandoned as they crossed through the intervening lands. Eventually they ascended the Pepoto Highlands to the cathedral city of Morromore. Nearly 600,000 refugees crammed onto the highland moore, hoping to be safe from the acending smog.

Sadly, those who had been so quick to flee their homeland dallied in this seeming place of refuge. Their complacence was fueled by the numerous merchants (many of them halflings) who virtually took over Morromore, setting up bars, brothels, spiritual services, snake oil peddlers and armourers literally overnight. By the time most of the residents realised the smog was covering their highland, the roads were misty and the city was lost.

Those who did have the wisdom (or fear) to push on went even higher in the mountains, where they reached the large dormant volcano known as Esther. The volcano forms a 9-mile wide, 12-mile long oval shaped valley filled with fertile soil, sulfur-scented but drinkable water, hot geysers and a temperate rainforest.

On this mountain solace converged the humans and halflings of the south and the elves of the western forests, not to mention some of the dwarves from the other mountains. Their first years were terrible, partly because of the horrendous natural predators in the rainforest (read: dinosaurs) and partly because of the infighting. Many of the humans blamed the halflings for what happened at Morromore, whether the halflings were traders or not. The dwarves derided the sickly elves as weak and useless.

Things became desperate. Sheltered from the smog, these people thought they might be the last living creatures in the world. Yet they were tearing each other apart. If not for the actions of Augustina Sinlittle they might not have survived.

Augustina, a half-halfling, half-gnome with a loud voice and a winning smile, started out as a circus performer (pre-smog) and dinosaur hunter (post-smog). She built a name by defending the races from predation and even taming some dinos whom she gave to a bard friend as a traveling menagerie. Between her reputation of bravery and her uplifting performances cracking raptors with whips in the spotlight, the people came to love her. And she used her popularity as a soapbox for her ideals.

It's strange that her idea came to be accepted. Derived from her gnomish upbringing, the idea that every household had a say in government was radical to the ungoverned halflings, the clannish dwarves, the monarchist humans and the tradition-bound elves. But she was able to bring together representatives from 70 of the volcano's families (spanning all the races) for an emergency meeting to decide how to go about cultivating enough food for everyone. There she partnered with a cleric of ______ to draft the first charter of Esther Mountain Free Hope Territory, or Esther Colony in common parlance. Despite fits of faction violence in the beginning, this union eventually took off.

As the first true republic, Esther managed to balance (not solve) its internal differences and survive to the present day. Its model of government, with a General Council of all families once per year and two sessions of a Special Council (elected by the General Council) to do lawmaking and appoint officials, has spread to many other colonies. It is generally opposed by the old aristocratic families, so works best in areas where they are outnumbered and under-armed. Some nobles refuse to acknowledge the Councils at all, while others grudgingly participate in the hopes of getting at least some advantage from the situation.

The First Salvage
As one of the most diverse and well-supplied colonies, Esther was among the first to begin under-smog exploration. Halfling-designed suits were the gear of choice among early explorers, who consisted largely of elven arcanists and human soldiers of fortune.

Two important areas were charted that are still considered iconic among salvagers and lowwalkers today: Refugee Road and Thief City.

Refugee Road is the nickname for the route from Morromore into the mountains around Esther. This route was the last push for the 600,000 or so refugees who stayed too long in Morromore. Thousands and thousands of them still lie along the highway, some huddled with families and others collapsed mid-jog. It is a ghastly sight.

Thief City is the new name for Morromore itself gained from the large number of looters in early exploration days. Standing at an elevation of 1060 metres above sea level, it almost escaped the smog and was one of the last places in Pepoto to be blanketed. It has always been known for its tall buildings: it sports five cathedrals to five separate deities, lookout towers at all three corners of the city, a castle with twin keeps on the central hill, and numerous 4- or 5-story houses. It was something to behold in its glory day.

Now it is something quite different. The first wave of explorers stripped the city of its valuables and carried them back to Esther. They also discovered the first ghouligans. As one of the highest concentrations of smog victims, Morromore and Refugee Road also have the highest number of mutants, and the cannibals who most commonly result from mutation are fierce in the area. Numerous efforts have been made to kill off the ghouligans but there always seem to be more. Entering Pepoto Smogland at all is an invitation for dozens, sometimes hundreds to come howling for dinner.

Because of this threat, the second wave of explorers - who wanted to go even deeper into smog country - built numerous defensive structures in Thief City to serve as base camps. Some are simple affairs, but towers became most popular. Smog explorers would typically use the stone walls of an existing building as a basis and then erect a tower built from the beams of surrounding houses. A common tactic was to have several gates at different levels on the tower, so that ghouligan break-ins could be contained on multiple levels. Explorers developed grappling crossbows which were kept at the top of the towers to make emergency ziplines in the event of a total breach. They were quite resourceful, though some met their grisly fate regardless.

Those looting days are long over now, as the third and most recent wave of explorers - those who finally had skyship backing - found a different sort of tower to their liking. By using dwarven-made metal trusses they are able to build towers tall enough to reach the top of the smog. These towers support small platforms where skyships can dock, unload supplies, and switch personnel in or out of the smog. For many years there was only one such platform, paid for by Esther Colony and shared by all explorers. Then the Rink bought the platform and started charging fees, earning no friendship by doing so. Several incidents ensued of explorers being turned away from Rink Tower only to be killed by monsters before they could hike to safety, and the non-Rink salvagers decided to build towers of their own.

Of course, Rink tried to stop this; it even went so far as to threaten its competitors. Then one day a single pair of bolt-cutters were found hanging on the 18th floor of Rink Tower. The message was clear: you stop us, we sabotage you. The salvagers' towers went up without further violence, but many people believe this incident is what caused Reclamation Inc to form the Reckers and become such a high-security outfit.

So now Thief City stands as a multi-layerd city. Every fourth or fifth building has been completely torn down to provide wood. The bases of wooden and metal towers rise up into smog-obscured heights. Desolate cathedrals no longer serve as worship places, but as massive holding pens for the smog victims who were cleared from some of the streets.

There are few lowwalkers here as a rule; the ghouligans are too much of a threat. No one uses the place except as a depot for excursions into the less plundered lowlands. It isn't really all that far south of Esther, but avoiding the rough mountain terrain above Refugee Road and the cannibal hordes is well worth the price of docking at one of the towers there. Newb explorers are sometimes taken to Thief City in batches for training runs.

There are rumoured to be some lowwalkers in the area, but not the upstanding citizen types. These are the ones who have managed to permanently frighten the ghouligans, or make a deal with them. Supposedly they are the lowest of the low, selling out explorers to the cannibals or trolling the highway for smog victims who would do well in brothels. Thief City may no longer be full of thieves as such, but it has certainly earned its name.

More Lore on a certain tragedy posted by Owrtho.

Salvin and Grey Tower

The Rise and Fall of Septel City
One of the many tragedies that came with the smog was that of the Septel Range. An area of a few hundred square miles with many cities and towns. The area was so called for a group of seven spires that formed a regular heptagon about 25 miles in diameter with a mountain in the center. Aside from those and a few other spires scattered throughout the whole land was fairly level. When the smog came however the people found it encroaching from all side and fled toward the central mountain where the highest elevation was to be found. The mountain had steep cliff sides. Fortunately for the many worn out from the escape from the smog however, there was a network of caves granting easy access to the top where there was a wide open plateau.

When the refugees reached the plateau, they soon realized the need to work together as many had been lost on the way. They quickly set to work building Septel City, and in under two weeks (with the help of arcane arts), the city was flourishing. However, the steep cliffs and the sense of security they granted would be the cities downfall. For while it took over half a year, the smog rose steadily. For the plateau on which the built the city was at an elevation of only 900 meters, and though when they saw the smog only a few feet below the cliff side they began erecting a wall, it was already too late. In less than a moth since they had noted the imminent threat the smog over took the construction of the city wall, as rapid as it was, and began flowing over the top. In under a week after that the city was all but still, most having succumbed to being frozen in the smog. The wall a mere 15 meters from being tall enough to have blocked out the smog at its final height.

Salvin and the Beginnings of Grey Tower
This would have been the end of the story for Septel City if it were not for an elven druid named Salvin. Salvin was one of the first elves to succumb to the belief that the smog was a good thing that should be studied and benefited from. It took only a week after he first saw it for him to fall to such a belief. However, his ideas were ridiculed and he was forced to pursue his studies in secret.

Salvin seemed to have an affinity with the smog, and he quickly adapted his druidic magic to work with it. Yet left alone to his studies he soon found himself needing things to test it on. He started with animals, combining his ability to polymorph others with the usage of the smog and soon was able to keep them living when exposed. He quickly adapted this for himself and began to come and go from the smog as he pleased. However he found his real breakthrough when he started experimenting on the yet unborn. He learned in the course of a month how to get 80% success when exposing the unborn to the smog, making them develop resistant to its effects. Only a week after that he was even able to remove a defect in which the mutated children were unable to live without the smog.

Now sure of his belief that the smog was a good thing, he tried taking his findings to the other druids and magic users of Septel City. Yet again they ridiculed him ignoring his findings and saying they were fine as they were in the city, that there was no need and if he wanted to work with the smog he should find a way to dispel it. This was the final insult to Salvin. If they hated his precious smog now, perhaps they would change their mind when all their children relied upon it to live. Then they would come to see he was right.

It was then he began sneaking around at night, using his abilities and small vials of smog to turn the unborn of the city into smog dependent mutants. He then realized however that they would need someone who would know what was going on when they were born to save them before they suffocated though, and he couldn't keep an eye on all the pregnant women at once. Thus he gathered what orphans and street urchins he could that were willing to help him for just food and formed a group of 23 mutant children who could live both in and out of the smog and would blend in with normal people. They were his eyes and ears throughout the city.

Yet even Salvin failed to realize how high the smog would rise, and thus when the city was busy building its wall, it was all he could do to make sure none of the yet unborn children would die if their parents were frozen in the smog (an easier feat than saving all of the parents too). Thus after the smog overreached the wall, the city came to be populated by around a hundred smogling children. A far cry from its previous population of almost 1000, but a start.

Over the first 40 years, Salvin raised the smoglings. They grew without knowing a life outside the city and the name Septel City was soon forgotten. The population grew to almost 500, a massive number for a mutant population, but it was aided by Salvin and his strange affinity for the Smog. It was a few weeks into the 41st year since the smog had overtaken the city that Salvin finally went mad. He abandoned the city taking only a few trusted smoglings with him and went to conquer other neighboring lands (an event the city came to call the fall of Salvin). He soon began making smogflesh golems from those caught in the initial escape from the smog to Septel City and began laying siege on those areas outside it.

With his leaving those that remained in the city saw the world outside it for the first time. Always it had been hidden by the huge wall, and few ventured deep into the caves below. In the early time without Salvin to see to the production of food most of the people frozen by the smog inside the city were eaten as the only readily accessible food supply. They did however soon begin exploring outside the city and hunting the mutated animals while looking for safe plants as well. It was then they came to call the city as Grey Tower, for even in the smog it could be seen for up to 30 miles away as a grey spire reaching toward the sky.

The Siege of Salvin and Modern Grey Tower
23 years after he left, Salvin had managed to make many enemies. The communities he lay siege to could do little in defense, but before long Rink began to take notice of him. Many of the communities he attacked had begun supplying them well, but what really caused them to see him as a problem was the Seven Forts. So called were the towers he had built atop each of the seven spires around Grey Tower.

Each of the Seven Forts was armed ballistas using a magnetic ammo specially made to be attracted to the Til columns in the sky ships. With these any shot that got close to a skyship would be almost guarantied to hit one of the Til columns. His policy of firing on any ship that came in range tended to rather upset Rink who found it would be a good deal more efficient to cut right past them instead of being forced to circle all the way around. It also earned the area the title of a dead zone.

The area below the smog was just as dangerous. Salvin had thousands of ghouligans, smogflesh golems, and monstrous mutants holding the land outside of the Seven Forts. He had also for the past 22 years been laying siege to the Grey Tower itself. However, all troops he sent there were of humanoid form, equipped in smog suits that he took from those lowwalkers and highlanders he killed.

It was during this time that Grey Tower restarted construction on the Wall. However, instead of leaving it open to the top, they noted the strange ships occasionally seen in the distance and through scrying fond them often filled with those strange suits of armor that the fallen Salvin often equipped his troops with. Thus they began bringing the wall to a point, building a partial roof over the Grey Tower and making but a single tall spire stick out above the smog that they might place lookouts.

After the fall of Salvin, things had become harder in Grey Tower as well. The once steady population growth had ceased and the population was barely kept stable. A number came to be addicted to eating the meat of non mutated creatures, not realizing they had become ghouligans due to the only non mutated being the many smogflesh golems in Salvin's armies.

It was but 17 years after the that Grey Tower invented the Smog Skimmers. These were vehicles similar to a dirigible. They have a hard top (called the Caciual) similar to a flattened Capsized boat filled with a hot air or other light gasses (this portion was often painted grey to match the smog). Underneath is suspended a boat like cabin from which one can steer the vessel, which was propelled through various means. Armaments are mounted on the sides that they can aim at both the ground and rotated to aim into the air above. The Caciual floats atop the smog barely exposed while allowing the cabin to remain fully submerged. They are quite fast, cheep, and safe though skyships remain preferred by most due to the issue of being in the smog while in the cabin. The smog skimmers were made to be able to sneak past the Seven forts undetected while still being able to assault ground troops effectively and even take out the skyships.

After the Grey Tower captured the first of the Seven Towers they too began producing the anti-skyship ammo and it became standard to carry some on all smog skimmers. Thus despite their slowly winning the battle against the fallen Salvin, no notice was made by the outside world for they continued believing the skyships his.

It was not until the 23th year after the fall of Salvin that Rink managed to hire some adventurers who made it into his fort and confronted him. There they managed to defeat him in combat though he vanished in the end and his body was never found. Unfortunately for them, they fell for his trick when during the battle he mentioned he had trapped a city in the center of his domain for years. Thus they went to tell the city of its new freedom from the wicked Salvin's tyranny, and were quickly shot down by Grey Tower as more of his many troops that wore matching armor (which was their smog gear).

It was not until a few months later when contact was successfully made between Grey Tower and the outside world. They had, with Salvin's disappearance, easily taken the remaining towers of the Seven Forts, and had made easy work of his remaining troops. However even after learning of Salvin's trick with the smog gear, they are still wary of all who wear it. And those outside are wary of them as mutants. Despite this they have peaceful, if strained, relations with their bordering countries and have entered into an agreement with Rink that they won't fire upon any skyships so long as it doesn't pass between any two of the Seven forts. In exchange Rink can exchange supplies and raw material at the First Fort (the name they have come to call the first fort captured from the fallen Salvin) for finished goods and the lost smog suits that were sent against them by Salvin.

It is from the First Fort that the goods and any of the few passengers are transported by smog skimmer back to the city. Many that go are smoglings and the occasional adventurer looking for something. Most feel uncomfortable in the smog with that many smoglings about, particularly when more than a few can be seen openly eying them in hunger and almost all with some hostility due to their smog gear. The laws of Grey Tower are few. Most come as second nature to the populace after 15 years of siege and war. There is no set governing group, but order is maintained by those with the strength to do so. The populace however has few problems due to a certain camaraderie they feel with each other, though outsiders are often advised to make a big friend quickly and stay with them until they become accepted by most of the rest of the city.

They are one of the few small cities that Rink treads lightly around as well. They fear the possible retribution of hundreds of smog skimmers traveling out to hunt down their skyships. Thus more than a few who hope to hide from rink or at least lay low for awhile are attracted to the area. It should also be noted that the anti-skyship ammo's production is a closely guarded secret, and while Rink would like it for themselves, they cooperate in preventing it from being found for they wish to keep it from other more than they want it themselves.

Note: the smogflesh golems mentioned are made by taking a person (or creature) frozen by the smog, and applying enchantments to make them a golem, though it doesn't kill them or free them from the smog (unless their given orders to leave the smog long enough to recover at which point they can overcome the enchantment with some effort).


Happenings in a city posted by BRC.

Cloudscarp (Need a better name, I'm horrible at thinking up names)

Cloudscarp was one of the luckier cities. It was already very close to 1000m above sea level before the smog arrived, the entire city is built around a hill, so only the lowlying districts got swallowed by the Smog. After the Smog arrived, these districts were quickly looted of anything valuable, and the city was simply built on top, with the old buildings acting as pillars supporting a newly-built city above. The result of this is a considerable “Undertown”, which is home to many mutants and the occasional group of lowalkers. There are some hostile mutants down there , but not many. The non-hostile mutants stop them before they incite the residents of the Overtown into attacking en-masse. This system has worked pretty well so far.
While the city is technically under the rule of a Duke, the nobles, having noticed the fate of other such systems, are very afraid of being overthrown, and recognize how fragile their power is. Therefore, much of the city is essentially self-governing, operating on a sort of rough democracy. If a major issue needs to be decided, community leaders will call a town-hall style meeting followed by a simple ballot vote. These votes are unofficial, but since they tend to be done in fairly small numbers (By neighborhood usually), corruption is rare. When there are at most 200 people voting, any major tampering is difficult to conceal.
The city’s location (about equidistant from several former cities that are now completely smog-covered), makes it a vital port for skyships, and before long many warehouses and skydocks were built on the roofs of the undertown, as a large number of independent businessmen decided to get a piece of the pie. People without money flocked to the docks as well, getting jobs as Longshoremen, loading and unloading the skyships.
Greenie and the Elmen
As might be expected, Reclamation Inc soon moved in. However, they never bothered to actually buy many skydocks, instead they simply relied on the high competition, and fear, to ensure the other dock operators would keep their fees low. However, low dock fee’s meant low salaries for the Longshoremen. This system was working just fine for the Rinks, until the arrival of “Greenie” Moscone.
“Greenie” Moscone was a half-orc longshoreman. Because of his race, most people assumed him to be stupid, an impression Greenie cultivated. Most Longshoreman were barely scraping by, and Greenie decided he wasn’t going to take it. Fairly clever, and possessing considerable force of personality, Greenie organized the Longshoremen in secret, the Rinks and other airdock owners never saw it coming. One morning, the Longshoremen simply refused to work. Instead of carrying cargo, they carried signs, and each dock owner received a letter outlining their demands, signed by the elected leaders of the Longshoreman’s Union (or the “Elmen” as they came to be known), including chairman Greenie Moscone. It looked like most of the dockowners were going to concede to the union, and therefore raise their docking fees, of course, the Rinks did not approve.
Elmen versus Reckers
Negotiations with the individual dockowners was a lengthy process, but it seemed to be going well. However, Rink took the time to make preparations, they brought a large number of Reckers to Cloudscarp, including the infamous Barry the Eyeblacker, an infamous Recker rumored to have been a smog bandit from the city of thieves. Barry and his Reckers attacked the striking longshoremen in an attempt to break the strike. Their plan was to take the longshoremen by surprise and shatter their spirit. But Greenie had expected the Rinks to pull something like this, and the Elmen were ready. The ensuing battle was brutal, and actually left several people dead. In the end, the Reckers, outnumbered by the Elmen, were forced to pull back. Reclamation Inc realized they could not rely on independent dockowners for low fees, and simply purchased the southern half of the skydocks, while a group of independent dockowners ceded to the union’s demands for the northern part. The Rinks staffed their docks by shipping people in, signing them to long-term contracts that prevented unionization. Many of these workers are people with minor mutations (so the Elmen probably wouldn’t accept them anyway). An equilibrium was thus established, though skirmishes between Elmen and Reckers are still common, especially along the street that seperates the northern and southern halves of the docks. Officially Dockland street, it has been renamed “Dentist’s Alley” (Because you can almost always find some teeth on the ground there).
The rest of the city is in a sort of paradox , the Elmen (many of whom aren’t really longshoreman anymore, just thugs there to fight the Reckers) tend to be rabidly anti-Rink, and essentially act as anti-reckers, threatening shopkeepers who buy from the Rinks, and protecting those who buy from independent shopowners from the Reckers. Meanwhile, the Reckers try to protect Rink-loyal merchants from bands of Elmen. The city government is too timid to interfere in these conflicts, so they pretty much go on unhindered, but the Elmen and the Reckers both follow a strict series of rules that prevent collateral damage.

2009-03-21, 05:28 PM


http://uithtw.blu.livefilestore.com/y1pVmiBU5EYrCapO1MCnhOfNYSrvkXg_8CfDxQXDC8o1ZdDoAv lnGUHX8roEZ-cIF-3wATtUmTY6f8-V3oPUXirrw/SMOG%20closeup.jpg

2009-03-21, 09:00 PM
Things We Need

1. A detailed map of the pre-smog world.
2. More people to post in this thread. :P

Here is the current list of places for mapping.
Northern Highlands
City of Thieves (Under Smog)
Grey Tower (Under Smog)
Southern Highlands
New Ossia
Ossian Ruins (Under Smog)
The Boil (In Ocean)

I'm afraid you will have to skim through the thread for mentionings of the locations. Unfortunate. :smallfrown:


The post for this got too big, so I need to put some of the material here.

Some essential info on the Grey Tower by Owrtho.

Reclamation Inc. had long found the area known as the Seven Forts to be a thorn in their side. It caused all their Skyships that traveled through the area to take a rather large detour or be shot down. As such Rink began hiring parties to kill the one in command of the Seven Forts (reward to be paid in full upon return).

Thus when they heard the one in control of the towers to be vanquished they were quite pleased (even more so at the demise of the party who did so before they could return for the promised reward). Yet they found the Seven Forts continued to shoot down all Skyships in range, and heard they had been taken by a isolated city at their center. Rink refused to let this continue and so after hearing that people were permitted to enter the strange city from the ground, decided to send a group of five delegates in charge of gathering information on the city under the pretense of forming a treaty.

Things didn't work out as expected however. As the Rink delegates approached the city, they were immediately struck by its ominous appearance, that of a single large grey tower, imposing itself on the more pale grey background of the smog. It seemed so imposing that it took them a minute to realize that the entire city was under the smog except for a small point reaching out the top. This had not been expected at all.

When they reached the bare of the mountain on which it sat, they quickly realized any plan to overtake the city by means of an army were futile. The reasons were two. First, none of the guards at the base of the mountain used any smog gear. Rather they all seemed to have the rare mutation some who have been afflicted by the smog gain to breathe it without difficulty. Second, as they entered into the cave network necessary to reach the city, they were struck by the fact it seemed to have been developed in a military manner to repel siege, with hundreds, maybe even thousands, of sturdy gates in its 500 meter height (note the Septel Range had been at an elevation of about 400 meters above sea level. The mountain is about 500 meters tall, causing the plateau on top to be at an elevation of about 900 meters. Grey Tower then extends the remaining 100 meters to the surface of the smog).

When they finally reached the city they were rather shocked. The city extended 23 stories to the surface of the smog (the average height being about 4 meters including the ceilings thickness). The first 4 stories seemed rather luxuriously built, being the remains of Septel City (as the top of the mountain is only about half a mile in diameter, and the population had been about 4000 they had built the city in layers). The remaining 19 stories of the city were built in a much more utilitarian manner however (Even though it was not needed at the time due to the much reduced population, the denizens of Grey Tower had built the city up to the surface of the smog. The main reason being so that if the caves in the mountain were ever lost, they could retreat higher up. As such each layer after the 5th can be sealed from the lower layers). The Rink delegates had a rather hard time taking in this massive fortress. Any upper layer (referring to those above the 5th), could see about two layers up or down. There were even wide streets on each layer that could accommodate carts. They were however struck by the relative lack of population in Grey Tower.

They soon began asking where they could find the leader of Grey Tower and were shocked to hear there was none. Rather, the city was run in such a manner that whoever had the most power in an area could do as they wished with repercussions only occurring if someone else chose to take action against them. With this the delegates hope of sneaking in assassins to cause political turmoil was crushed. In a city were murder was only illegal if the one killed had someone able to get revenge for them, any outsider who Rink might hire would stand little chance. Particularly given the lack of any clear targets. Thus it was decided they would have to actually make a treaty that would be honored.

With some work the delegates managed to find a handful of Grey Tower citizens who together had control of the majority of the city. With them they began working on a treaty that would please both parties. The delegates' moral however had taken a rather steep fall however. Particularly with the accidental discovery of the smog skimmers docked at the top level (which caused them to realize that the threat of the Seven Forts could be extended if Grey Tower so chose), and the disappearance of one of their member (the only clue the remaining four could find were some blood stains and the gnawed on bones of an arm in a nearby ally to which the blood stains led before disappearing).

As such the treaty formed was rather in favor of Grey Tower. The terms came out as follows: Grey Tower will not fire upon any skyships that do not enter into the area bound by the Seven Forts without provocation.
Grey Tower will allow skyships to dock at the First Fort to trade goods or allow passengers to board or depart.
Any Grey Tower scavenging party (a party in which the majority of members are from Grey Tower) will be treated as if from Reclamation Inc.
Reclamation Inc. will accept Grey Tower coin.
Reclamation Inc. will install docks for smog skimmers on all their skyship docks that are in the smog with a daily use fee not exceeding one Grey Tower coin or the equivalent.

Upon finishing negotiations, the delegates decided it was best to make a quick return to Rink Headquarters. When they returned and gave their report they were first criticized for the poor outcome of the treaty, but after some debate it was decided that the outcome was about as good as could be hoped for. As such Rink choose to honor the treaty though does their best to avoid it when they can, causing frequent, though minor disputes between Rink and Grey Tower to be common.

Miscellanies Info
Due to the number of buildings in Grey Tower (and the manner of governing), all one needs to due to get a home is move into either an empty one, or force the occupants from an occupied one and move into it. However the latter option is much more likely to have negative repercussions and as such is rarely taken.

In the time since the treaty with Rink, a number of people who have come to Grey Tower, and some small sectors of mostly non mutated people have developed. However, even in such sectors about 2 in 7 are smoglings as the citizens of Grey Tower have a strong distrust for clear breathers (their term for those who can breathe the smog), and want to keep an eye on them so that they can't try to plot in secret against them (though so far no group has been dumb enough to try it).

Some smog free accommodations have been made in Grey Tower, however all are designed so that they can be flooded with smog if the one chooses. As such it is recommended that those who can't handle the smog dot rely on such areas until the gain acceptance the sector they are staying in or have someone standing guard that they might prevent it or at least warn the rest to get into their smog gear.

Grey Tower coin is the only accepted currency of Grey Tower. However, even in the city it is rather rare. This is due to most trading being done bay barter or force. Most citizens have at least a few coins of it though. Most places outside of Grey Tower accept it though. This in part due to Rink, who honored the treaty that smog skimmer docking only costs 1 Grey Tower coin a day, but then made it so the exchange rate between it and their credit was rather high. It is also due mainly to other communities refusal to accept other groups currency, and the way that one holding a Grey Tower coin tends to find they can almost feel the taint of the smog upon it (this feature make the coin rather hard to counterfeit).

Rink usually avoids sending wreckers for any Grey Tower scavenging party of those that do business with them (at least they don't in regards to doing business with them). They don't however find this a huge issue as most Grey Tower scavenging parties take their finds back to Grey Tower where any trading with the outside is done through the First Fort which Rink has all but monopolized for business.

It is usually suggested that one look into the current situation between Rink and Grey Tower before riding a skyship through that area lest a dispute cause the ship to be shot down.

Most non-smoglings who live in Grey Tower do so to avoid Rink (normally having need to lay low for a prolonged period).

A city/adventure hook from BRC, along with a related faction.

New Ossia

Long before the age of smog, a wizard named Ossius founded a university, a place dedicated to the gathering and expansion of knowledge. For generations, what became known as the University of Ossia continued that tradition. It was the center of study, both magical and non. The greatest intellectuals in every field gathered at Ossia to study, debate, write, and experiment. The great Ossian library was considered by some to be the greatest structure built by mortal hands. It was a massive, labyrinthine structure. It was constantly being expanded as new tomes were gathered and written. The architect for each new addition was chosen by contest, which the greatest architects in the land would enter. Thus, it was a masterwork of a building. The university continued to flourish. That is, until the age of Smog.
For years, people had been suspicious of the Ossians, feeling their experiments would go too far. When the smog arose from the sea, many people blamed it on the Ossians. The Scholars themselves remained unaware of this. Some experimented with ways to hold back the smog, while others prepared to move the university itself. However, none of them foresaw what happened. As the smog appeared in the countryside, people fleeing it got angry. A massive mob descended on the university. Though some of the Ossians were powerful wizards, they were not prepared for conflict. The mob broke down the doors to the library and stormed in, throwing torches at the shelves. About an hour after the first fires were started, the smog rolled over the university, freezing scholars and the rioters, many of whom are still frozen in their acts of destruction. Some scholars who saw the mob coming had grabbed what they could and fled into the mountains. It was here that they raised New Ossia. Soon, others who had fled the smog gathered around the university, and it grew into a city.
New Ossia and the Great Reconstruction
Today, New Ossia is once again a center of learning and knowledge. Those scholars who escaped used magic to carve a great city out of the mountain. Compared to most cities in the Age of Smog, New Ossia is fairly affluent. It’s not as populated as most cities of it’s size, so the people have more space to live, the city is clean, the citizens tend to be educated. Wizards, Archivists, Artists, Poets, Writers, Historians, Scientists, Adventurers, Merchants, all these and more flock to the Scholar’s city to make a living for themselves. It’s a city of opportunity, provided you have enough money and education to be of use to somebody. Unlike Cloudscrape there is little manual labor that needs doing, so the poor and uneducated rarely find work in New Ossia.
One of the big projects is the Great Reconstruction. The University Administration (Which doubles as the city government), pays good money for people to recover things from the ruins of the Ossian University. Many tomes were lost to the flames, and today people try to re-discover that knowledge, but the fires couldn’t get everywhere, and amidst the ruins of the university, tomes, notebooks, laboratories, ect remain to be discovered. Not to mention the many magic items that the University had. Going into the ruins can mean great money for Salvagers who can return with a backpack full of books. Reclamation Inc soon got wind of this, and have set themselves up as the primary supplier for people seeking to take part in the Great Restoration.
However, the ruins are dangerous. The Area is saturated with magic. Living Spells (MMIII I believe) have been known to roam the ruins, unfired spells or traps may lurk behind every rock. Construct guardians, released from their vaults by the rioters, may wander the area. And, of course, Mutants and Smog Bandits have been known to make camp in the Ossian ruins, waiting for salvagers to bypass all the traps before pouncing on them for the kill, hoping they uncovered some valuable magic item. Not to mention other Salvaging groups. The stakes are high in Ossia, and some groups find it easier to kill than to find their own salvage. Plus, rogue wizards and necromancers appear in Ossia, seeking the lost knowledge to enhance their dark magics.

The Circle of Ossia

We were unprepared, and ages of learning were lost to the flames. We shall not make that mistake again.
The Circle of Ossia is a semi-secret society dedicated to protecting the university and the library. Within New Ossia they are an official secret police force, but their influence and agents shave spread throughout the highlands. They are dedicated to preventing another event like the Great Fire. They operate in secret, hunting down those who oppose science, those who fear knowledge, and those whose line of thinking is similar to those who participated in the mob. They find them, and hunt them down. Officially, they don’t operate outside New Ossia or it’s satellite campuses and are more concerned with general law enforcement. However a lot of incidents, especially concerning outspoken politicians or members of the clergy that have a history of opposing scientific research, have been blamed on the circle. The original mob was led by some very charismatic conservative clerics, so those are the primary targets of the Circle.
PC’s may become involved with the Circle of Ossia in one of many ways. They may be knowingly or unknowingly hired by the Circle to get information or carry out an assassination. If they associate with the wrong people, they may find themselves as the circle’s targets.

Info on Dwarves from Mike the Mystic.

Wrathhammer and the First Smog

Of all the dwarven cities least prepared for the smog, Wrathhammer was the worst. The city, which was located at the base of a migthy peak to the south, had not closed its great mithril doors in three hundred and seventy two years. Nor were they well maintenanced. When the smog began to roll in, the dwarves were already recieving human refugees. The deadly mist began creeping closer to the majestic city, and at the urge of the people, the city guards began to close the gates. But try as they might, the mighty doors wouldn't budge. In spite of this, the dwarves stubbornly pushed, even as the smog encircled them. The vents that let in fresh air and let out smoke from the furnaces and blacksmiths were choked with the poison, and one by one, the great districts of a once-famous city fell silent. Today it is a testament of the suddeness of the Smog, as well as the stubborness of the dwarves. Even today, seventy of the original 188 dwarves who attempted to push the gates closed remain. The rest were either mutated, or scavenged. Inside is a whole host of beasties and satue-like citizens and refugees, in their final poses before the smog overcame them...

The Dwarven Dictatorship: Rise of the Mountain Lord

As the lower cities were lost to the Smog, the Upper Cities of the peaks began to close off all tunnels leading down to their ill-prepared bretheren. The Dwarves were quick to enact marshal law and quickly consolidated power in the hands of an assembly of all the surviving Upper Cities.

Led by a Dictator, named Mjolr Stormsoul, the assembly swiftly enacted the first decree: All Upper Cities were to be united under the banner of Dwarvenkind. While the fiericely independant dwarves would spit on such a decree under normal circumstances, the horrors of the Smog sent such inhibitions packing. Under the leadership of Stormsoul, the new Dwarven Government kept strict control on dissedents and anarchists, crushing any resistance and keeping relative peace.

In order for that to happen, the Church of Valdir Ironhammer, the Hero-God of the dwarves, indoctrinated the populace with the belief that the Dwarves were blessed as being the most populace race to survive the smog, and that in the coming century they would rise to power. While the first half was true, as the dwarves had many more upper cities and settlements, and thus more survivers, they were hardly the most powerful.

Most of their army was taken, kept in the lowlands to keep off goblins and gnolls, among other things. However they did have one stroke of good luck: Many Gnomish inventors and alchemists were in the Upper Cities, allowing for many great technological advancements, such as the ingenius pressure gate system, allowing for both safety, as well as the ability to retrieve many much-needed supplies, as well as weapons and armor. Another greatly useful invention was the Air-Mask, a mask that was attatched to a pneumatic pump that allowed for air to be filtered and breathed in, ableit at a slow pace. But in those dark times, anything was a good thing.

For the first few decades, the dwarves didn't allow any other race or nation into their cities, for fear of contamination or mutation. However in the last few years, they have practiced healthy trade with the other new-found nations of the world post-smog. And while they hold tenuous treaties with Reclamaiton, Inc., They themselves go on salvaging missions to retrieve weapons and other useful things.

This has allowed for the invention of a weapon that could revolutionize warfare: a crude, enchanted, hand-held tube that, when a rune is pressed, fires a scattering of small slinger's stones that can, if it actually works, inflict multiple wounds on enemies. It is called a Blunsbluss, after gnomish tinkerer Garfield Blunsbluss, who successfully built, tested, and sadly gave his life using the weapon.

With this knowlege, and their unitedness and proud heritage, the dwarves could fulfill their fear-driven promises of becoming the most powerful new nation to live in the post-smog world...

2009-03-22, 10:43 AM
Things We Need

1.A detailed map of the world, both pre-smog and post-smog.

Here's Another poets original and Tsuuga's remake if that works:




http://uithtw.blu.livefilestore.com/y1pVmiBU5EYrCapO1MCnhOfNYSrvkXg_8CfDxQXDC8o1ZdDoAv lnGUHX8roEZ-cIF-3wATtUmTY6f8-V3oPUXirrw/SMOG%20closeup.jpg

You should add this to your "Things to do" list:

2. more people to post on this thread.

2009-03-22, 12:16 PM
Here's Another poets original and Tsuuga's remake if that works:




http://uithtw.blu.livefilestore.com/y1pVmiBU5EYrCapO1MCnhOfNYSrvkXg_8CfDxQXDC8o1ZdDoAv lnGUHX8roEZ-cIF-3wATtUmTY6f8-V3oPUXirrw/SMOG%20closeup.jpg

You should add this to your "Things to do" list:

2. more people to post on this thread.

Tsuuga's Remake actually has all the locations we currently need, but Another_Poet's was made earlier so we need a re-do of the Pre-Smog map. Thanks for the contribution though. :D

2009-03-22, 08:13 PM
Coolio, though I probably won't contribute mucht.