As much as I claim to hate role-playing in a fantasy setting, my self-made world of Tai'eres clings to me like a ghost I cannot exorcise. Granted, Tai'eres owes *FAR* more to R.E. Howard than it does to J.R.R. Tolkien, but it is still fantasy, a genre I have played to death.
I honestly cannot explain why I keep coming back to this world. It's never been more than half-baked in any of its incarnations, and its main purpose has always been more of a vehicle for my latest set of game mechanics. This all said, chunks of Tai'eres live in my brain, nestled in nooks and crannies with bits of it springing forth whenever it damn well wants to. Tonight, mostly out of force, a one-page starting gazetteer sprung forth for my players. I figured I'd post it here for posterity...
Bahn'Mer (Ruins) – The former city of Bahn’Mer makes its home along the coast of the Meraba Sea, east of the Wretched Fens. Bahn’Mer, at its height, was a larger city than Mer’Kahl, boasting as many as 18,000 citizens. The city was home to the Meragan Navy, and was of particular importance to the As’kali during their time here.
Bal'Khal (Ruins) – Situated on the northern banks of Liquid Death, Bal’Kahl is the ruined capitol of the province of Balos. Once, this city was home to over twelve thousand people. Now, like any of the cities affected by the Rain of Shards, danger surrounds and encompasses the area.
Cra'naa (Village) – Population: 150
Gor'ath (Village) – Population: 95
Liquid Death – Formerly known as Kal’vashn Lake, Liquid Death is a body of water that is home to many fowl, As’kali-tainted creatures due to its proximity to the shardfall that destroyed the Balosian capital of Bal’kahl. It is fed fresh water from the Taint Spur.
Lor'Drax (Town/Fort) – A military encampment along the coast of the Meraba Sea, approximately 40 miles northwest of the Wretched Fens. Lor’Drax is ruled by Drax Relk’aat, a beast of a man with aggressive designs of uniting the area under his iron-shod fist. The number of warriors under his command is said to number almost six hundred, with more being conscripted daily.
Lor’Drax, the town, has a population of just over two thousand people, and it has a vital and thriving market. The greatest drawback to living in Lor’Drax is in dealing with Drax himself. The laws, such as they are, and the enforcement thereof, varies greatly with the mood of the soldiers one deals with and the amount of silver in one’s pocket.
Mer'Kahl (Ruins) – On the eastern bank of the Spikefin Flow, near where the Taint Spur breaks, lays the ruins of Mer’Kahl, Meraga’s former capital. The shardfall here devastated the city, and changed those who still lived into denizens most dangerous. Rumor has it that the Royal Treasury of Meraga still lies untouched beneath the ruins of the emperor’s palace. Rumor also has it that it is still being guarded by the royal family.
Pi'Kraati Forest – An area of woods about eight miles north of Sword’s Chance, the Pi’Kraati is the region’s main source of lumber. The flora and fauna within the Pi’Kraati is relatively untouched by shard-taint, though areas near the stretch of the Spikefin Flow that travels through are beginning to show signs of being inhabited by creatures that are less than natural.
Relk (Village) – Population: 120
Shatterers, the (Faction/Sect) – The Shatterers are a group of individuals who share an unflattering view of magic and shardcasting. How their agents operate in an area depends on the views of whoever is in charge there. Their best agents are highly-skilled and dangerous foes, each of whom have several shardcaster kills to their name and credit.
Spikefin Flow – The Spikefin Flow is a river, and an original natural border between the former provinces of Balos and Meraga. The Flow starts at Pol’kra Lake, and travels south to the Meraba Sea.
Sword's Chance (Town/Fort) – More fort than settlement, Sword’s Chance is really just the largest gathering of people in the fairly immediate vicinity. With the garrison of warriors, the population of Sword’s Chance is just shy of 1200 people, most of whom are artisans and merchants, with a smattering of farmers thrown in.
The town is governed by Melek De’Tariz, a soldier/warlord with roughly 175 warriors under his command. Melek is a fair and just man, who does his best to see that those who count on he and his band for safety are taken care of. Melek is a pragmatic man who cares little for military rankings or titles; instead placing people in charge of various tasks as he feels befits their skills. However, it is very well understood when Melek himself is not around, a woman by the name of Jer’ai Vanas is the one calling the shots. Jer’ai is a capable warrior, though quicker with her temper than Melek is entirely comfortable with. Both Melek and Jer’ai are disdainful of shardcasting, and those that practice it. Melek tends to be more diplomatic about the subject, while Jer’ai is openly hostile in regard to her reactions and dealings with it.
Taint Spur, the – The only major tributary of the Spikefin Flow, the Taint Spur was originally known as the Miha’an River. It feeds into the lake now known as Liquid Death. The rapid flow of the Spur keeps most things from Liquid Death from travelling upriver, but a few dangerous species have made their way upstream to the Spikefin Flow and have now begun to populate the banks of that river as well.
Vou'Shou (Village) – Population: 140
Wretched Fens, the – A patch of marsh that lies on the southern edge of the region, the Wretched Fens are fed by the Spikefin Flow, which splits and floods the Fens near the coast of the Meraba Sea. The word is that, despite the name, the Wretched Fens are as safe as any swamp could be.
Xinq'ua (Village) – Population: 110