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Re: City-State of Refuge Point

Posted: Fri May 01, 2009 7:34 pm
by Chimpman
Idabrius wrote:The Chained Library
Yay! :mrgreen: This is really neat! I don't think I could have asked for a more colorful and unique description.

Re: City-State of Refuge Point

Posted: Fri May 01, 2009 11:04 pm
by maddog
night_druid wrote:Already added to my master document. Not entirely sure I get the mayor's name (I believe its a Mystara joke), but still good ;)
Idabrius == Brudaius. He brought up the theme first so he was written in as the local baron. :)

Re: City-State of Refuge Point

Posted: Fri May 01, 2009 11:23 pm
by Idabrius
maddog wrote:
night_druid wrote:Already added to my master document. Not entirely sure I get the mayor's name (I believe its a Mystara joke), but still good ;)
Idabrius == Brudaius. He brought up the theme first so he was written in as the local baron. :)
Haha, Baron Brudaius - I like it.

Further, an adventure site, perchance:

The Howling Mines

Whatever retreating race dug these mines long ago, they are now a primary dwelling place of lawless peoples residing near Refuge Point and raiding its caravans. Rumor has it that a race of dwarf folk tunneled these deep halls, though if that was true they died out before the arrival of the Crimson Fleet. They are so named because many of the tunnels go very deep - into hollow places in the world, where musty strange winds come wailing, making the sound of ghostly moans as they escape from the many mouths of the mine. The Howling Mines were first discovered nearly eight decades ago when a caravan heading to Fallstone (see the Fallstone thread) stopped to rest in the shadow of the Redrock Mountains. They took shelter from a red lightening storm (which give the Redrock Mountains their name) in what appeared to be a man-made cave. This was the first entrance of the Howling Mine to be unsealed. Over the course of the following years, many refugees began to live in the rocks, forming a loose anarchic trading community.

The bandits did not take up residence in the Mines until recently - fifteen years ago, one of the inactive portals contained within the tunnels suddenly opened and, from a world smelling of brimstone, came an arrogant war chief and his band. Quickly taking over the upper levels of the mines, he forbade the dwellers from going any further down than they already had - he was wary of the depths, and with good reason, for every so often folks would vanish in the farther tunnels.

Today Duke Marnior, as he is called, is getting old. Those in the know wonder what will happen when he dies - either the raids will grow less as the unscrupulous folk drawn to the mines over the years begin to fight each other for control, or an even worse leader will emerge. Either way, the people of Refuge Point give the Howling Mines a wide berth, and whenever something is stolen or goes missing, it is a common phrase within the city walls to say it has "been taken to the mines."

Re: City-State of Refuge Point

Posted: Sat May 02, 2009 12:12 am
by night_druid
Awesome stuff. I'll be adding it all to the master doc when I get the chance. Refuge Point is a growing! I love it when I get to start something that takes a life of its own 8-)

Re: City-State of Refuge Point

Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 9:15 pm
by night_druid
Here's a concept I'm toying with: an invasion of a technologically powerful race that didn't pan out... :lol:

Valley of the Steel Ogres

500 years ago, the area was invaded by a technologically advanced race. They used genetic manipulation to make their bodies strong (8’ tall, Herculean bodies), and their minds brilliant. The invasion lasted a few months; 20 regiments (roughly 1,000 troops per regiment) too part, bringing with them almost as many camp-followers & settlers. Then the portal closed, leaving the ogres trapped. Without the massive infrastructure of their homeland, their technological devices (which were even more advanced than modern-day Earth’s) quickly fell silent (gas depots exhausted, lubricants expended, rust & decay ruin devices). Their conquered territories quickly collapsed, forcing them to relocate to a defensive valley in the Dragonback Mountains, roughly 200 leagues from Refuge Point. Their devices quickly fell victim to decay, and almost none remain. Those devices that do remain are powered by eldritch magic, not science, and are very different than the original devices in all but function.

Steel Ogres are still physically powerful (7’ to 9’, average is 8’ tall), and intelligent. Although they no longer have machine guns, GPS-guided weapons, or jet planes, they do have some technology. They have muskets and some canons, and their valley is defended by the Steel Mammoths, which are huge tank-like contraptions powered by magic. There are only 13 Steel Mammoths left; the rest were destroyed long ago and not rebuilt. A Steel Mammoth has a crew of 8 and can carry a squad of ogres (12) into battle. It has a primary canon (which can launch a projectile up to 500 yards), four side gun ports (for large muskets or pistols), and is heavily armored. (Think of a SJ mammoth, but smaller, with tracked wheels, and a turret for a head).

The ogres today are ruled by a warmaster (general) and are divided into 20 tribes. Their valley is not very prosperous; it sits near a wasteland. A tribe is usually 200-500 members. They use slave labor to sustain their remnant empire, but still have to raid or trade for necessities. Steel ogre armor is some of the best in the region, and is highly prized for comfort, mobility, and protection.

Re: City-State of Refuge Point

Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 2:16 pm
by yellowdingo
Skeleton Breakwater

Quite a few new arrivals to Refuge Point failed to make even the beach consequently a hundred wrecks sit clustered south of the harbor entrance (having been dragged clear by work crews over the years). They have been used as a framework into which rocks have been dumped to create an artificial breakwater curving away from the harbour mouth in a southerly curve. Some of the Vessels are partially intact and still provide a source of adventure for those willing to explore the currently mile long breakwater in search of forgotton wealth.

Re: City-State of Refuge Point

Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:41 pm
by Big Mac
night_druid wrote:The city occupies the plains surrounding a deep water harbor. At its flank is a series of lightly wooded hills. Game animals and bandits are found in abundance. A small keep is under construction to deal with the bandits. Opposite of the hills are fields and farms, rolling countryside that stretches for miles before ending at the foothills of the Dragonback Mountains. This breadbasket is dotted with villages and towns, tentatively under the dominion of Refuge Point. All manner of troubles plague these lands, from monsters and raiding humanoids to scheming wizards and murderous bandits. Many a young hero cuts his teeth in these lands before setting off on adventures in more distant lands.
night_druid wrote:Gimmick – point of arrival for many groups of refugees. Many one-way gates dump people into the city all the time.
night_druid wrote:Points of Interest –
The Underhalls: Refuge Point is built on top of a series of older cities; there are at least five levels of dungeons, including a sewer level. Some parts are isolated, others are connected into sprawling dungeon complexes. These are often homes to undead, monsters, and other creepy things that are best forgotten.
How about tying your bandits to The Underhalls and make them the descendants of people that destroyed the cities built in the same location as Refuge Point.

Suppose that the "point of arrival" (or rather the refugees that come through the one-way gates) are the only source (or the easiest source) for something that the bandits have been wanting to get for hundreds of years. I'm not exactly sure what they could be after, but imagine if someone went to Krynn with a cargo of iron and got lynched. Or imagine if modern day people got transported to a desert island, where the local people were willing to murder them to grab the batteries out of their mobile phones and digital watches.

If you set up something similar to that, you could have a small village get destroyed and buried and then have "Refuge Point II" get built on top of it. Then have that get destroyed and buried and so on.

Maybe the current Refuge Point is built on a hill...and that hill never used to exist before the first city got built. If the second and third cities were trying to create more of a defence, they might have built on top of the rubble of burned out buildings, instead of digging out the basements.

If your undead relate to five different genocides, it could even be possible that one of the cities built below Refuge Point was built by the people who destroyed the previous city.

Re: City-State of Refuge Point

Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:38 pm
by Big Mac
I am really really liking the Chained Library. It seems like a really unique idea. But there are a couple of things that are niggling me.
Idabrius wrote:Those with keen eyes could see that the complex was upon an island of rock floating above a void, for the builders must've struck upon an ancient hollow in the earth. Yet, it did not fall. Indeed, it seemed to need great chains to keep it in place above the gaping darkness. A span of rock with a drawbridge serves as the only means by foot into the complex which has become known as the Chained Library.
That is a really difficult place to build a building...and probably a pretty dangerous place to build one.

I'm figuring there must be a very important reason why they sought out the void. Otherwise why would you bother building it there. And why would you travel log distances to get to Refuge Point?

I don't know if I'm just not getting what you wrote right, but from the way I read this, the void did not actually exist before the building was built. So I'm guessing they built the library on the crust of a giant hole and then caused the surface to collapse after they had put the chains there.

I think the actual size of your Chained Library and the hole around it are going to be pretty important.

For example, if Night Druid put a tall round castle into "Refuge Point I", then had the people who built "Refuge Point II" cut a new door one floor up (after the outside of the castle was buried by demolition rubble) that might be a way to drop a castle one floor down in the second city. And if that process was repeated, the castle could end up being 5 levels down and actually full up with soil and dirt.

If you slowly sunk a castle 5 levels below Refuge Point, but kept the well inside the castle and the sewers that ran from the castle to the sea intact, that could give you a big circle full of packed down earth (with a strong wall around it) that naturally drains water out of that part of Refuge Point. And if the builders of level 4 or level 5 put down a lot of clay, while building houses on top (or while building a pottery) that could give you a "plug" that stays on the surface, when the soil below all washes away.

That still would not explain why your group would build a library on top of a hole, but perhaps that hole is the central courtyard in the castle and there are doors down there that lead into rooms that have some pretty important stuff in them.

Maybe the castle might have portals that lead out of Refuge Point. Maybe these guys read that in their books. Or maybe they are the descendents of people who fled from "Refuge Point I" (or decendents of people who were exiled from the city long before it was destroyed).

You haven't really done anything wrong there, but I just feel there are some awesome adventure hooks in there that have not been written.
Idabrius wrote:The builders of the great place have long since died off - rumors say that within months of building it they were gone. But they have trained others to do their work, and tend the books of portal-lore like loving priests. The Order (as it is now known) seeks knowledge from all worlds, of all things, but most of all of portal-magic. It is said to be a repository of fabulous wealth, wealth which has more than once influenced the outcome of major events in Refuge Point. Its keepers are likely powerful mages, though they hide behind its walls and do not venture out.
I'm a bit more confused by this. I'm not sure it scans properly. I see these three factoids:
  • The builders have died off, and are thought to have died off within months.
  • They (the builders) trained other people to do their work and act like priests.
  • There are keepers who are probably powerful mages.
I do not see how the builders could all die and be replaced within months. You said that poor people bring their children to be trained, but I do not see how the builders could have started that process on the day they arrived.

And I don't see how the "book priests" could learn everything they need to learn within a few months. Not via any sort of natural process. Not unless they just wear robes and follow some simple, mostly meaningless rituals and do not actually do anything important.

Also, I'm not sure where the powerful mages come in. If everyone died within a few months, how would those skills get passed on?

I'm figuring that you must be talking about two lots of people (say "masters" and "builders") with the masters being your powerful wizards and the builders being the people who did all the work bringing the books across the land. I still don't understand why your builders would die within months, but if the mages were not the same people as the builders, that would make them work.

Perhaps your mages were leaching the life out of the "builders". Or perhaps they were actually all zombies disguised as living people by a bunch of necromancers. Or perhaps they went down into the void and got exposed to something that made them die of disease. Or maybe they went down into the void and got eaten by monsters down there. Or maybe the mages opened a portal and sent the builders somewhere else, as soon as the "book priests" brought in to replace them were trained up.

Again, I think you have fantastic opportunities for plot hooks here. This could be the entrance to a mega-dungeon...or at least a way to look down into a mega-dungeon.

This is a really awesome place. :cool: