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About Bload

Mar 22, 2015 4:54 am
Here's a map of Bload (big thanks to @AkeishaRoberts, who did everything but the lettering) showing the major geographical features and the thirteen city-states.

Dule rules the northernmost mountains, under constant threat from the giants of the Dire Peaks.

Sthombo commands a stormy harbor and has repelled more than one seaborne invasion from Jerma.

Banwod on the coast is a city of scholars, one of the few places in Bload friendly to those who use magic.

Hazard spans across both banks of the Ophid River, the first, largest, and most ancient city in the land.

Gurmar is a city known for its decadence, built upon the edge of Lake Greyface.

Utwar, a city made rich by its shipbuilding trade, hosts numerous cults of the gods and monsters of the vast ocean.

Gaad is constructed upon the great hill of Galgaath, reputed to be the burial mound of the first giant-king of Bload, who lived long before humankind ever set foot there.

Orsen, one of the few points of trade with the continental nations, is more tolerant of outsiders and demihumans than the other city-states.

Darcra, once powerful and militaristic, is now known mostly as a city of mystics and artisans. Its influence has been waning in recent years, its population dwindling.

Bohul, the fortress-city overlooking Lake Boh, has a culture steeped in traditions based around hunting the great azhdarchids who stalk the plains.

Felboc is a mysterious, half-sunken swamp city, rumored to be host to witches and the undead and other unsavory entities.

Sood and Malch, the two city-states of the southern coast, ruled by two branches of the same dynasty for hundreds of years, are nearly constantly at war with each other.

Bload is part of the same world I created for the first edition AD&D game I run on Twitter, but this campaign is set 4,700 years before that one. You can find more information about the world here on our campaign blog.
Mar 23, 2015 9:17 am
To address a couple questions that came up: there is no centralized government in Bload. Hazard is the most powerful and influential city, but it does not control the others. Each city-state has dominion over most of the land surrounding it, and towns are usually ruled by vassals of the nearest city-state.
Apr 7, 2015 10:29 am
What's the demonym for Jerma? Jerman? Jermese? Jermish?
Apr 7, 2015 3:59 pm
Jan 14, 2016 7:30 pm
In case anyone was wondering, here's what the symbol of the Six-Pronged Crown looks like:
Jan 14, 2016 7:38 pm
I'll admit to being geeky enough that I had made a few sketches of what I thought it might look like. Yours is better though.
Jan 14, 2016 7:43 pm
Hah, I want to see yours!
Jan 14, 2016 8:07 pm
I never kept them - just doodles, but I'll try to recreate them and post them later today.
Jan 14, 2016 8:30 pm
I had a spiky arched one and then a simple short-n-squat one.
Last edited January 14, 2016 8:31 pm, a total of 1 time
Jan 28, 2016 12:13 am

Timeline that we know:
Day -7: The Iron Sphere goes missing.
Day -6: Zora escapes from Sthombo with Mordred's help.
Day -5
Day -4
Day -3
Day -2
Day -1: Zora seen in Grine's Knot trying to hire a ranger. Townsfolk try to stop her, she flees pursued by Kligson.
Day 0: We see Kells executed and head to Edvers' village. Repulse ambush. Head to longhouse. Kill bad guys. Felor meets Oak's Wife who says Zora is near the Ophid.
Day 1: Party heads back to Sthombo, investigates inn.
Day 2: Party investigates crown-symbol tomb under Nethuns temple, evades arrest, leaves. Fights dogmen at barn, meets Zangua and Shamush
Day 3: Party treks south. Arrives at Old Welg's hut.
Day 4: Party arrives in Beerpool. Meet Adan. Meet Patlen in the middle of the night.
Day 5: Party travel to Headlee and then on to Grine's Knot. Meets Harmon Koal. Set off to Five Stones overnight.
Day 6: Kill Owlbear, arrive in Five Stones, find girl, take her to goat farm.

Quest items and/or misc stuff:
Scallop shell with picture of Zora Kells
Copper vial sealed with red wax (contents unknown)
Cloak embroidered with a fine, intricate vine pattern, similar to Kligson's
Tile with hippocampus on cracked lintel.
The hippocampus is a creature associated with Nethuns, the principal god of Sthombo.

Nethuns priest:
"Kells' daughter has the Sphere. She must. But I cannot fathom why it was stolen. In the dreams Nethuns sends me, not once have I seen the Sphere. It is inconsequential to him. Nor can I guess why the sign of the Six-Pronged Crown should coincide with its disappearance." He looks away. "I don't know what the symbol means, or who these men are who bear it. But I have seen it before. In the catacombs beneath this temple, in the deepest parts carved out when this was a house of many gods, there is a crypt whose sealing-stone is engraved with that symbol. It has perplexed us for generations."

He sits back down on the bench. "A year ago, two men from Hazard came to the temple and asked to see the crypt. They called it by the same name as you know it: 'we wish to see the tomb of the servant of the six-pronged crown,' they said. They seemed decent folk. They brought offerings to Nethuns. And so one of our priests led them down to the catacombs. He said afterwards they did nothing but stand before the crypt for the longest time, staring at it, saying nothing. And that was all they did. When they were finished he led them back up, and they left, and we never saw them again."
"Adan came to live with us when he was very small, after the wet fever took his parents. He was very intelligent. He knew letters and maths and all of that. The Vicar of Aitas in Bearshir took a notice of him and paid for him to enroll at the College of Scribes in Hazard. He did well there, for a time. But he fell in with people who studied and taught...unnatural things. Sorcery, like they teach in Banwod, but...darker.
"Before he left again, he put that mark on my father's door. He said it was the sign of his masters, and that it represented a crown with six prongs, and that it was the crown of the one who would rule all of Bload one day, and after Bload, the very whole of the Werld.
He was never here, you know. What you saw in my father's house was an apparition. Still dangerous, but...only an image. The stronghold of his masters is somewhere to the north, I believe. The last time he passed through here in the flesh, it was about a year ago. He was headed north in the company of someone in a black pointed hood who he called his teacher, and a boisterous mercenary man.
I was at Grine's Knot two nights ago, and I heard there a strange story. They said a girl had been there the day before, a youth of about seventeen, and that she had tried to hire a ranger at the tavern to guide her into the Badgerways. She was overheard, and for her own safety the men of the town tried to detain her, but she slipped loose of them and disappeared into the night.
Grine's Knot barkeep:
"She was looking to hire Kligson, and Kligson went looking for her after she ran off. Haven't seen him back here yet."
Kligson thought the girl was touched in the head, y'see. Talking madness about witches following her. He told her he'd take her through the Badgerways to Hazard but he knew that'd be the end of them both. While she packed her things he rounded up Harmon Koal and his son, and Vicar Jon, and I forget who else, and when she came back they pressed her to go on to the Koal house to sit tight and have some sense talked into her, but when they were just at the house she slipped under Harmon's arm and kicked him in the generatives and took off running! Ha! I seen it all from my porch, then Vicar Jon explained what it was all about, because sure as shit I couldn't tell what was going on. Madness! If she made it to the Badgerways she's most like to be warming a goblin's belly right now, fellow."
If the Implacable* should find her before we do...
If you see {Zora} in Hazard, entreat her to seek refuge at the Shrine of Culsu**.
**a minor goddess of the underworld, associated with passages and doors both literal and metaphorical.
Harmon Koal:
Kligson went after her. Said that as best as he could figure, she'd go to the King's Cradle, which is the entrance to the Badgerways most folks have heard of and does in fact link up to an old smuggler's tunnel that bypasses the Milvil Bridge. He planned to try to get there ahead of her and talk some sense into her, try to get her to someplace actually safe. King's Cradle is about thirty-five miles from here. It's been six nights and five days and he's still not back.
"Cross the river and head south-by-southwest," Harmon says. "When you reach the foothills, you'll find a settlement called Five Stones. Two miles due west, there's a hill and on top of that hill is the rock formation they call the King's Cradle."
Milvil Bridge :
The Milvil Bridge is almost as old as Hazard itself and serves both as a chokepoint for boats to Hazard from upstream and as the only nearby crossing for foot and wagon traffic that doesn't pass through Hazard itself. As such, it is tremendously strategically important and is heavily guarded with fortified watchtowers at either end. The Bridge Authority collects tolls and taxes from all who pass over or beneath it, and functions as an autonomous entity tolerated by the government of Hazard for unclear reasons generally assumed to be an inscrutable tangle of centuries-old pacts, familial ties, secret kickbacks, and unbreakable oaths.
Last edited February 26, 2016 11:50 am, a total of 15 times
Jan 28, 2016 12:34 am
The map is spot on, except that the exact location of Zora's campsite is of course speculative.

W/r/t the timeline, you're missing a day inbetween leaving Sthombo and staying with Old Welg (the fisherperson). You slept a night in the barn where you found Zangua and Shamush.
Jan 28, 2016 12:35 am
Ah ha! Yes will update timeline.
Jan 28, 2016 12:48 am
Also, the Milvil Bridge would be right between the campsite dot and Hazard.
Jan 28, 2016 2:01 am
It's still late on Day 4 when we met Patlen, as she interrupted the first watch we set.
Jan 28, 2016 10:15 am
Well, I assumed it was the middle of the night. So you could call it either way.
Last edited January 28, 2016 10:15 am, a total of 1 time
Jan 28, 2016 1:58 pm
Added a list of possibly important items we've picked up. Was there anything else that others have? I know we got rid of the six-pointed-crown dagger.
Jan 28, 2016 4:55 pm
You could add this to the timeline:

Day -7: The Iron Sphere goes missing.
Day -6: Zora escapes from Sthombo with Mordred's help.

For clues we also have Adan's mention of the Shrine of Culsu in Hazard and The Implacables, for whatever it might be worth.

Where is the copper vial from?
Jan 28, 2016 5:10 pm
Yeah we could do with a summary of clues surrounding the sphere/Adan etc.
When we went to Kells' village to bury him, we were ambushed by guys who were supposed to capture us and take us to a second set of guys. The 2nd set of guys had the picture of Zora and the vial.
Last edited January 28, 2016 5:10 pm, a total of 1 time
Jan 28, 2016 5:35 pm
Added a few passages with meaty info. Feel free to post any other useful stuff here.
Feb 21, 2016 1:26 pm
ETA: In case someone is reading this well after the fact, this little play is a puppet show that Mordred puts on for the benefit of a scared child near the bottom of this page in Chapter Two.

Abi and the Adventurers
A Drama in One Act

Dramatis Personae:
Abi, a yarn-haired poppet
Mama and Papa, two slightly larger poppets
Adan, a stuffed tiger
The Adventurers, several carved wooded soldiers

ABI: (surprised) Oh hello there, I did not see you! My name is Abi, and I live on a small ranch, close by to King's Cradle. It's ever so fun to live here with Mama and Papa, and... probably some brothers and sisters and some friendly ranch hands, and of course aaaaaall the cows and sheep you ever could want. Except the cows do stink a little when they poo. (Wait for laughter)

MAMA: Oh, Abi, stop telling strangers about cow poo and listen to me. You are old enough to know never ever to go off with strangers, aren't you? Well, it's true. Strangers can be mean and scary and just as stinky as cow poo.

PAPA: Oh hush, Mama. Now you are talking about cow poo. Abi here is a smart and brave girl. She knows that you mustn't go with strangers, but she also knows that sometimes rules have to be broken.

ADAN: (gruff and scary) Ha ha! I am a terrible tiger, and I am here to eat you all up!

MAMA & PAPA: Noooo! Run away, run away!

ABI: (appearing at the corner of the door, near the floor) I'm so very brave, and I'm not going to run away. I shall hide from this scary tiger and all his tigermen.

ADAN: Oh, rotten cow poo. Everyone has run away, and I haven't anybody to eat. I'm leaving this stinky ranch forever.

ABI: Well, I hid from the tiger, but now I'm lonely. What shall I do?

ADVENTURER 1: Hello there, young child. I am Sir Aloycious, and these fine men are my associates, Sir Cow and Sir Poo. Unfortunate name, that, but still. Are you all by yourself in this big ranch?

ABI: Well, yes. I am. And I am a bit scared to tell you the truth.

SIR COW: Then you must come with us. We can help you find some family or friends to stay with until your Mama and Papa get back.

ABI: But I was told never to go off with strangers.

SIR ALOYCIOUS: We aren't strange, dear. Except for Sir Poo over there, but still. In any case, I'm sure that whoever told you never to go with strangers was not thinking about dangerous tigers and whatnot. There are always reasons to break even the best rules, aren't there, Sir Poo.

SIR POO: (pause) What now? I wasn't listening.

SIR ALOYCIOUS: Yes, well. In any case, do come with us, little one, and we will help you find someone to stay with and to give you all the milk you can drink until Mama and Papa get home. We will have a brave and exciting adventure together.

ABI: (long pause) You said there will be milk?

SIR POO: Warm milk, with sugar in.

ABI: Then I shall come with you, I think. Papa will be proud of me for being brave, and Mama will understand that rules can be broken, when there is danger.

ALL: Hurrah!

Last edited February 22, 2016 8:30 pm, a total of 1 time
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