Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Cock and Bull

This average inn has three stories, two of rooms and one floor exclusively for the tavern.  Like most buildings in Bloodhelm the bottom floor is river rock with the upper floor being wood.  There is a small stables, which provides shelter and food for your traveling companion, but just that.  The food here is passable, so is the ale, and sometimes there is entertainment to be had.  The rooms are sparse; a bed, table, and chest.  They are not individually heated, so during the winter it does get a little cold, (though it's hard to tell since at night this coastal city is always cold no matter the season).  There is a single suite which the Innkeeper, Bazel Thunderstomp, charges three times the going rate for.

Brawls aren't unheard of in the Bull, but they aren't that common either.  There are a lot of locals that come for ale, or meals if they are single men in from the country to work, but there is a lot of merchant traffic as well.  Mercenaries some times come to try and hire on here and the lone adventure types come on occasion.

The Cock and Bull use to be a small home with a single rooster and bull living in the back yard, where the owner would rent out his loft for a little spending change.  (He kept losing his chickens and the bull he let his neighbors borrow for a fee.) After a while he was making good money, thus he tore down his house and built the inn.  He retired with a good nest egg and sold the business when he was a ripe age of 60.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Temples of Wesa

Wesa has few temples, being the Goddess of Beasts and Animals, but those that do stand are very unique.  Usually on the outskirts of town, these buildings are more like giant stables and gardens then pristine temples.  The whole area is usually fenced, though to keep people out instead of creatures in, with large lawns and small orchards or groves.  Birds are always flying in and out, most temples have lots of cats lounging upon the steps, benches, and window sills, and other, stranger creatures may be inside these temples.  The temple in Stormvale, for example, for the longest time had huge wolves, bears and other lesser creatures before the Wizards started to take over.  The rooms of the priests are usually overhead with the animals having pretty much free rein of the first floor.  The priests who serve at these temples do not eat meat, not because Wesa doesn't believe in eating meat, but they save what they can for the carnivores that may be in residence and many of the priests get very attached to the resident animals and thus do not want to eat any of them.  All the animals in the temple, surprisingly, get along and don't try to kill each other, (which can not be said if they go off temple grounds).  The priests at these temples heal animals, as well as people, and many farmers will bring their sick animals here to have them healed.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas to all of you and may your new year be warm and bright, or at least productive!  With the holidays upon us you may have noticed I've not been blogging.  As my friends said once, I blog without obligation.  Part of my excuse is the holidays, but the other is my whole family has been sick and thus blogging hasn't been that high on my list.  I hope to start up again on Wednesday.  So until then Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bathhouses of Bloodhelm

Though many English, and thus knightly, realms did not really have bathhouses like the Romans, my world has them all over.  Of a similar fashion as Roman bathhouses, the bathhouses of Bloodhelm has several large pools and several private pools.  Depending on where the bathhouse is in Bloodhelm, the prices vary as does how elaborate they are.  The upper end bathhouses have tiled floors, mosaics, fine art and baths that can be rented singly or as a group.  Wine is usually served and even fine foods if the clients wish.

The lower class baths are sometimes made of stone or tiled, but most of the time the tubs themselves are stone, but the areas around them are wood and maybe not as well heated, or changed as often, as the higher class ones.  These are usually only group baths, though with enough money they could probably be rented by a single person.

Prices vary from a few copper pennies to several gold ducats depending on the location and if  food is provided.  Bathhouses would be great places to learn rumors, perhaps assassinations, or even meeting potential employers.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Weather and You Campaign

As my lights flicker and the winds blow, rain lashing against my window, I realize not only does the weather affect me and my everyday life, but the lives of your characters as well. Whether roleplaying or writing, your characters will be impacted by the weather in your world.

When writing, weather becomes almost like another character.  You must describe it, work it into the scene, have it have an impact on the other characters.  Weather can change the feeling or the mood.  When you are describing the final battle between good and evil you don't want the sun shining down upon the battle, (maybe afterward, but not during).  Dark and dank for those sad and dangerous moments, sunny or pleasant for those good revelations of love and companionship.

When roleplaying, weather should play a part in travel or even battle.  Traveling in hard rain is going to slow a group down, cover ambushes or make fighting harder (for them and the bad guys).  If you use this as a penalty, make sure to describe the weather well before the encounter so the players can't complain about not knowing it was down pouring out.

Happy writing!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Choosing of Houses

From the characters' point of view in the  High King's Sword and the Time of the Chosen, the Houses of Tridon started out perfect.  That's usually what happens with time and history.  But in this case, all was not well when Houses were appointed by High King Peter.  Several of the Houses were appointed by near force, specifically Varanath and Vandez, while others were fought over for their prime locations, Bloodhelm and Cole mostly.  Peter finally put his foot down after a lot of bickering and in fighting, saying that the country was going to be torn apart before it started if he didn't do something.  He didn't want to step on his friends' toes, but at the same time he knew he was responsible for all of Tridon, not just individual friends.  There was some hard feeling for a while, but eventually all saw reason to his choices, or at least the history books say.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Soapmakers of Bloodhelm

Though not a very exciting place, and probably one your adventurers wouldn't dream about going to, the soapmaker is an important part, if not stinky part, of any city.  Everyone has to come here for soap, for everyone needs it.  The place is always busy during the day, whether the owners are selling or making soap.  But because so many people come to this large, warehouse type building, gossip also abounds.  Rumors, facts and even little known tidbits are thrown about here like water.  If someone in the party is looking for rumors, believe it or not, this would be a great place. It's not your typical "rumor at the tavern" place and would add something a little more memorable.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holidays, Roleplaying and Writing

As the next few weeks get crazy, I'm reminded how busy life can be and how little time I seem to have.  My family has a family morning during the weekend to ensure that at least for a few hours we see each other and play together, because our kids keep us hopping!  Usually we end up doing roleplyaing, but my son, who is old enough to GM his own group, didn't have his adventure ready this weekend, so we skipped ahead to my daughter and ended up playing "Sorry" instead.  But this brings me to my point.  With the holidays as crazy as they are, time to prepare anything is at a premium.  Here are a few suggestions to keep up with your writing and roleplaying campaigns.

1) My best thinking time is as I'm going to bed.  I let the days worries float away and concentrate on that spot in my story I just couldn't fix or write through or on the next adventure I need to run my family through.  It may only be ten to fifteen minutes of time, but it's enough to start heading in the right direction.  Because of this I leave a notebook by my bed at all times.

2) For those with younger members of the family who like to write, tell them to think on these things when the teacher says they have some quiet time.  A teacher is going to be happy if your child is writing quietly (after all their homework is done) rather then talking to their neighbor.

3) And there are always the long car rides to think on things (notebook nearby so once you stop driving you can write it down!) as our waiting on children's appointments and activities!

Happy Writing!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Braziers of Warmth

Braziers of Warmth are especially popular with the rich in northern Tridon.  Shaped in the form of a normal braziers, when a magical word is spoken, magical flames dance to life, warming an area of about 20 foot radius around the brazier.  The flames do not burn, but make the area about room temperature, no matter how cold the true temperature of the room or area.  You can not cook over the "flames" and can not be used to for any magical spell components. This also gives light similar to a fire at the same range. There is a smaller, more portable version, shaped like a small campfire that fits in a person's hand.  It warms a 5 foot radius, (so good for personal use) and has all the same attributes.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

First Contact

When the world of Martapa was first created, the races started apart, for the most part, since the Gods wanted to give them time to find themselves.  When elves and humans first came upon each other in the now region of  Western Tridon it was a tense, but ultimately peaceful interaction.  The humans came upon the elves in their forests when they went in search of more lumber.  The elves, of course, didn't mind the humans taking some of the wood, but wanted to ensure these strange creatures didn't take important trees.  So ambassadors were sent to the humans and unfortunately killed by ogres that were passing through.  The humans were blamed and the elves were ready to wipe them out until it was discovered ogres had caused the tragedy.  The humans, who had also been preyed upon often by the ogres, learned of the deaths and offered to help the elves have their revenge.  In the end they worked together to secure safety of the area by ridding of the ogres and a truce was arranged between the two races which lasted for some time.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Garrison in Bloodhelm

The garrison in Bloodhelm is well staffed, housing over 100 men at all times.  With bunks for 200 men at arms this place is always hopping.  There is a kitchen at one end, (with food available at all times, because the men are always coming and going on different shifts), and an armory at the other.  All men at arms have standard studded leather, short sword or long sword and a halberd.  Some men have their own equipment or better armor, but they have at least this equipment.  There are no rooms, just a communal bunk room with tables for playing cards and eating, trunks for storing personal items and bunk beds.  There are four fire places to keep the place warm and there is always at least two healers on staff to fix what ails the guardsmen.  Not all the guardsmen live here. Those who are married live in town or just out of town.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Stubby the Skieg

Skiegs, small creatures with big noes, ears and green skin are not known for their smarts, (though they are smarter then ogres).  Stubby would be a perfect example of this.  This small, green thief grew up in the gutters of Last Stand,  making a living by stealing food and trinkets.  He was so good at such things that the local thief's guild took him in to do those tasks most thieves wouldn't do.  He tailed people, picked pockets of wizards and traveled in not so wonderful places.  But Stubby was happy in his life.  He wasn't rich, but he got fed three times a day, had a dry place to lay his head and he was only slightly beat up instead of kicked and battered all the time.

Stubby can be found in Last Stand in the days before the High King's Sword happens to be there.  Things don't turn out so well for Stubby when the Sword arrives, but until then he is happy to pick pockets or run errands for even just a pentance.