Tuesday, August 15, 2017

10 Things About Kyna: the Borderlands

Kyna: the Borderland

Precis: Adventurers find themselves in the buffer zone between two great empires. Intrigue, danger, and thrills are to be had exploring this nascent region of petty kingdoms, ruins, and small towns.

Conspectus: Kyna is two things. First, it is the great port city that welcomes most ships coming from the Cerulean Sea and just past the magister island of Nordwood. Second, it is the unofficial name given to the parcel of land carved by the Kingdom and the Empire to keep one or the other from ever easily invading each other again. Both sides also saw an opportunity to remove undesirables from this midst. Enemies of the state, groups that gave them trouble in the past, rebels and malcontents. All caught were removed and dumped into the Borderlands to further further discourage an attempt to invade. Now brought together, Elf and Orc, Man and Gnoll, Minotaur and Gnome, are forced to live and make something of the realm. That's where the trouble begins, that's when the heroes start to rise.

*Kyna is a Port City: Adventures can be had just inside the Port itself. The city is vast and divided by wards: Docks, Government, North, South, Market, and Starfish Island. An adventurer could fight crime in the dangerous parts of North district. They could be serving the well-to-do Mages in the South Side. Perhaps a self-made merchant-noble living in relative comfort of Starfish Island might have work for them that takes them to the outer islands. Pirates operate out of the Borderland, which is both an excellent way to generate income, but can also be a headache for legitimate shipping that runs trade between the Kingdom and the Empire and are looking to buy protection from the sharks in their midst.

*The Great Salt Marsh Holds Many Secrets: Further south from the Port is the mire known as 'Great Salt Marsh'. The black water and muck serves as a home for river trading Goblins, Ratfolk, and Grippli. Adventurers leaving the small town of Seaside can go looking for both ruined and active estates of Wizards, forts from the Great War, and temples to sinister powers that need to be raided. The Marsh is often the fallback point of the Red Knives, a group that wish to spread discontent and make the Borderlands 'fit' for Human to take their rightful place as rulers.

*Dig for gold or gems in Pit or Saturn Gulch: Between the Port and the swamps is dry country, the Red Hills. It's a realm of bandits, giant scorpions, and Gnolls who either have accepted the situation and work with the others or rebel and fight on. Great gem and gold deposits in Saturn Gulch and Pit have brought prospectors and adventurers. Perhaps some group wish to go into the mines of Pit and seek out Lady Hope, the Paladin guardian who is still lost in those mines.

*Watch out for bitter Elves: Most Elves who arrive to the Borderlands post the Great War are those who are perceived to be rebels, criminals, or traitors to the Elven crown. The Sun King's madness and paranoia knows no bound, so even innocent or loyal soldiers during the Great War find themselves displaced in a land that blames Elves for their troubles. The Exiles, a mercenary unit, patrols the Salt Marsh and is made up of primarily Elves with non-Elven auxiliary serving lesser rolls.

*The Borderlands is the homeland of the Minotaur: Explore the hills and barrows of Thulkar, the city of the Horn. Minotaur are native to the Borderlands and were not pleased to be stuck with other races. Still, most adapt either taking up jobs as members of the guard, frontier rangers, and the like. Adventurers can find work with the Minotaur, patrolling the land north of Port against Red Knives and undead held over from the Great War.

*What secrets does Algarita Keep hold?: Long abandoned since the Great War. The Red Citadel is perhaps empty. Rumors persist that witches or fiends inhabit the halls. That there is a connection that leads from the citadel's halls into the Underdark of the realm. Who knows until an adventuring group goes in there?

*Keep an eye on the Kingdom from Gorman's Junction: Gorman's Junction, so aptly named because of its strategic location at the fork of bordering river between Kyna and the Kingdom, serves as a natural embarkation point for folks moving south into the Borderlands either by force or by choice. The Junction swarms with Ratfolk, river barges, and banditry. It also serves as a good cover for 'merchants' heading north. Adventurers hired to spy or commit actions in the North might find the town useful.

*Harass Fort Vados of the Empire: There is some traffic coming from the Empire to the Borderlands. There are plenty of Elven rebel groups that wish to launch attacks and retake the Empire from the mad Sun King. Fort Vados stands as guardian between the South and the Borderland. If someone wishes to get into the South they'll have to sneak around or take the fort.

*Work with the Arcane Overwatch: Magic is very strong in Borderlands and one institution tries their best to keep powerful Mages from getting out of hand and committing some mistake that has terrible consequences. To that in, the Arcane Overwatch is a group that polices magic use and has their agents attempt to dissuade Mages from dealing in Necromancy or very destructive evocation spells (such as that Mage wanting to call down meteors). Adventurer's can find work, serving as extra muscle- but take heed, the Overwatch eyes all, including their allies.

*Establish your own domain: Large swathes of land is still considered 'open'. If someone wished to claim a parcel and can hold it, they might find themselves a self-made lord or lady. Perhaps they might spend a whole campaign turning the divided Borderlands into a single powerful state.

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