Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Vault: Places and Faces

Out in the Sunset Hills of the Land's west coast stands her largest city: the Vault. Built upon, around, and beneath gargantuan ironwood tree stumps, the city was founded after a peace accord was struck between warring clans of Hares and Squirrels. The Accord states that anybeast may find safe harbor in the Vault. That promise draws Folk from the farthest corners of the Land and beyond, and they bring their culture with them. Whether it's Manykings curry, Clowdertown anchovies, Blackheart coffee, Burning Land textiles, or steelwork from the Frozen Baronies, you can find it in the myriad stalls & markets of the Vault.

That individual freedom comes at a cost, the Vault is a democracy and the only Folk with votes belong to one of the two political parties: the Long-Ears and the Long-Tails. Originally legacy associations of the city's founding families. They parties have a love-hate relationship among themselves but presents a united front against interlopers. And that's all immigrating Folk are: outsiders and interlopers.

Municipal policy follows this outlook with curfews and segregation. Divided into three districts: Uptown, Middleground, and Downtown, most of the Vault's populace are relegated to Middleground. Hares and Squirrels are the only ones allowed in Downtown and Uptown respectively, after curfew.Similarly, the city guard often handles party members with a patience and care foreign to Middlegrounders.

Places of Interest in The Vault

The Accord Memorial - An overlooked shrine to Thumb & Fist. The lone caretaker, Lochlain, isn't long for this world.

Saffron Point - The premier spice shop in the city. Saffron, the shop's Pangolin owner, aspires to join the Long-Tails. Her shop is on a ramp leading to Uptown. Prime real estate. For an Middlegrounder.

Thumper's - Though herbivorous, a surprising number of hares enjoy the spectacle of combat and Thumper attracts top shelf talent. Located in the Middleground you can often find Long-Ear party members slumming among the crowds.

Deeproot Hall - Built from petrified ironwood, the oldest structure in Downtown embodies the Vaulters' commitment to clan and community above all. Here the Senate of Sky and Soil convenes, and makes hard decisions. Including whose young are sent to Borchardbriar.

This Old Chestnut - This Uptown pub is the personal stomping ground of Setanta Half-Tail, a Squirrel mobster long in the tooth and short on patience.

Albreicht Books - A tiny bookshop tucked away in a far corner of Downtown. Its stacks and shelves host myriad secret meetings and cabals masquerading as "book clubs."

Beasts of Interest

Lochlain -  An elderly Squirrel monk, he claims to remember the Accord.

Benedict Barkstripe - The disgraced Ironlord-turned-stevedore-boss won't discuss his past. These days he's focused on organizing the Middlegrounders into a new party - the Snub-Tails.

Loyola - Benedict's right hand Hare, she's a true believer in his dream. Too bad her father, Senator Cohen, doesn't share her convictions.

Z. Albreicht - She isn't the original "Ms. Albreicht" - she's a pirate from the Blackheart Isles laying low. Ever since she double crossed her crew, a mysterious black spot has appearred on her paw..

Curren - A touring musician from the northern holdfast, Whisper. His songs have a rabble-rousing aspect to them. Making him popular with Middlegrounders and rebellious youngsters from Uptown.

Thumper - This grizzled kick boxer defends what's his. A stance that's put him on a collision course with Tagger, a Squirrel looking to corner the market in combat spectacles.

Farrell - Ambitious Squirrel enforcer, sees his way to the top goes through Setanta Half-Tail. But first he needs to rustle up some cash.

Nadine & the Shakes - A Cat & Roden musical duo, their repertoire largely consists of old folk music. Their ballads have a musical quality and often invoke the Forgotten 3.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Furred Folk of Stonebones

Great in girth and stature, the great lords of Stonebones all belong to different clans, each holding a Book of Sacred Grudges. Ascending to the Iron Council requires erasing a grudge with the perpetrator's blood.

Big Boned- Start with a d8 in Strength and can raie it to a d12+1. Also the Brawny Edge if their Vigor qualifies.
Rival - Every clan has bad blood with someone.  Ever Badger has the Enemy Hindrance (Major).
Sluggish - Badger can be a bit slow, trusting in their mass to prevent injury. -1 Parry

Before the Badgers came and Stonebones was even a city, the Moles burrowed through the Eastmarches. Their shallower tunnels were used by the Ironlors before the strip mining began in earnest. Mole darkseers fear the Pits may release sightless horrors if they go too deep.

Burrowing - Moles can burrow through loose  earth and move through it at half Pace
Claws - A Mole's heavy claws keep him from counting as unarmed. They also deal Str+d6 with AP 2.
Bad Eyes - Moles suffer a -2 on any Trait roll to Shoot or Notice something further than 5' away.
Whether they're Rats or Mice is an internal division, to everyone else they're Roden. Small, quick and always on edge, they've found a niche in Stonebones operating the foundries and furnaces. A dangerous place for any Beast, but there will always be more Roden.

Everybody's Punching Bag - Constant. Vigiliance. Sums up the Rodens' life. They start with the Danger Sense and the Quick edges.
Small - Roden just run short. -1 Toughness.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Stonebones: Places and Faces

You know you're getting close to Stonebones when the forest withers away under a heavy coat of soot, replaced by hills of cinders and waste. The few trees left stab upward, twisted and barren. A smog choked sparrow or the odd poisoned fish are your only company beyond the Pits. These strip mines encircle the smoke-belching urban beast, worked by a combination of convict labor and freebeast.

The Badgers rule their city in a "gentler" mirror of Reynard's tyranny. The city's majority population are held by indentured servitude, contractually serving the Ironlords and every expense adding to their time. The only way to shorten their time is by volunteering their young for Reynard's Cooking Pot. The Resistance thought the city would be a fertile recruiting ground amongst the Rocen. Unfortunately the Velvet Glove dispenses hefty rewards to informants snitching on demagogues and Resistance operatives. 

Places of Interest

Church of the Chain- This church of Tooth & Claw holds to the food chain as it's liturgy.

Rodrig's Box & Tackle - This shop sells fishing gear and other... useful things even if there isn't any real demand for it. Whatever you pull from the streams is too wrong and too poisoned to eat. Rodrig's been dead awhile now. His son, Ronauld, can't bring himself to change the sign.

The Love Below - To escape the crushing work-day, most Roden fall iunto vice. No place caters to their needs with bawdy entertainment or a bottle of Snakebite quicker, or cheaper, than the Love Below.

The Ingot - This upper crust establishment works to maintain a "working class" feel. A gang of Badger roustabouts slum and racketeer surrounding businesses. 

Sunny Burrows Golf Course - One of the oldest Pits has since been converted into a sprawling golf course. With high fences and dense security patrols, only the richest make it through the front door. The smoke filled clubhouse has become a center of power.

Beasts of Interest
Rojo-   A Hardback smuggler, she usually hustles ore. But for a low price she will transport  Roden indentures as well.

Rollosson- The life of the party, this Bear acrobat's smiling face conceals a cold heart. He hasn't come to Stonebones looking for a good time. 

Nicolo -  A Minister of the Velvet Glove, the Ironlords' secret police. Nicolo feels guilt for his part in Roden oppression.

The Magnificent Aurelius - A "medium" who puts Roden families in touch with their "departed" children. He crosses over 3 nights a week to a packed house. Tickets start at 50 coin.

 Alphonsus Sunflash - An Ironlord eager for stories from outside and Far Away. He retains an extensive entourage of exotic Folk to entertain him. Rolloson is one such member.

The Blind Man - Same as any Mole prospector by day. At night she stalks Stonebones' slouching buildings and shadowy alleyways, handing out vigilante justice.

The Murder - Concealed by sooty clouds and blackened roofs, a cabal of Crows wind skeins of secrets and blackmail across the city.  See them if you've got pressing business but no starting place. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Borchardbriar: Sorcerery, Spellcasting, and other Strangeness part 1

Arcane Background (Magic)
Arcane Skill: Spellcasting (Smarts)

If you listen to a magician they'll tell you everything has a place and a time, a Great Work woven by the mysterious Spinners. Magic is simply tugging the yarns of Mystery. This oversimple explanation downplays the dangers of Magic. There are limits to how much a cautious magician can accomplish without putting herself at risk. Luckily others have stretched the ties that bind, they just happen to be jealous of their knowledge. Their paranoia is rather justified.
There are rumors that a cabal, the Cradle, is snuffing out magicians and hiding their grimoires.
Starting Powers: 3
Available Powers: armor, banish, blind, boost/lower trait, clairvoyance, deflection, detect/conceal arcana, dispel, puppet, slow, slumber, teleport, wall walker
Backlash:  The Spinners hate it when someone meddles in their Great Work. When the magician's Spellcasting die rolls a 1, the caster suffers 2d6 damage

Arcane Background (Miracles)
Arcane Skill: Channel (Spirit)
The Lost History chronicles great wars between numerous Patrons and their followers among the Folk tearing apart the Land.  But that time lays beyond anybeast's living memory and now there are only two Patrons: the Fox King Reynard and the Forgotten 3. The miracleworker is a conduit for the Patron's power often directly infusing their Patron's properties upon their bodies.
Miracleworking Folk for Far Away places like the Burning Lands and Manykings bring foreign Patrons with them.
Starting Powers: 2
Available Powers: armor, barrier, boost trait, darksight, deflection, environmental protection, healing, quickness, speak language, and more depending on the Patron.
Trappings: The performer requires a totem representing their Patron to connect with their power. Without it, they suffer a -2 to their Channel rolls. If lost or destroyed, a new one can be created in 1d6 hours and costs a level of Fatigue. It will take 24 hours to recover.
Backlash: Patrons are greedy. When the miracleworker's Channel die rolls a 1, they lose a Fatigue level. Fatigue lost this way cannot be recovered without making a sacrifice.
Reynard's Favors: blast, confusion, lower trait, shape change, speed
Forgotten 3's Favors: beast friend, burrow, intangibility, succor

Reminder: Borchardbriar uses the "No Power Points" rules variant found in Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

3 Furred Folk and Turtles

One of the most populous Furred Folk, Cats are found everywhere. Sizable populations are found in every holdfast in Between as well. Superstitious folk claim Cats are naturally gifted in witchcraft and other Secrets. The aloof Softpaws never provide a straight answer, things just go their way.

Cat's Eye - Low Light Vision
Uncanny - Fate just breaks their way, start with the Lucky Edge or a d8 in the Spellcasting if you have the Arcane Background (Magic)
Racial Enemy (Prey)  Being obligate carnivores, Cats suffer a -4 Charisma when dealing with prey Folk.

From Down South and Far Away in the Burning Lands, the Antseers sense a malady in the North. Young Pangolin warriors head to Clowdertown, seeking their parts in the Great Story.

Prehensile Tail - A Pangolin's tail can hold most melee weapons, granting an additional non-movement action per round without multi-action penalty. Also +1 Parry.
Unusual Shape- The Pangolin's strange shape makes it difficult to find armor that fits. Purchases and repairs cost double.
Outsider - Clowdertown is as far North as Pangolins go. They have a -2 Charisma dealing with Folk from elsewhere.

Without a home of their own, the Raccoons thrive in the cracks of society. Forging close bonds of business and friendship, Raccons are less clannish than other Folk. The Masked Syndicate is keen to franchise to anyone willing to pay the fee.

The Right People - Masks make friends easily and start with the Connections Edge.
Clever Hands - Games of chance are the official sport of Racoon.  They start with a d6 in Gambling.
The Usual Suspect - Raccoons always get rousted as criminals, even when they're innocent. It's the mask. -4 Charisma dealing with law enforcement.

All across the Land, you can find Hardbacks playing the Rivers on their raft. Their transient life has inured to them to the horrors of Reynard's eternal reign. Insisting that things will change, but remain the same.

Unflappable - Turtles keep on trucking, regardless of circumstances. They start with a d6 in Spirit instead of a d4.
Thick Shell - Their thick shell provides Armor +2, this can be penetrated.
Slow - It's common knowledge Turtles are slow. Their Pace is 5 + a d4 Running die.
Coldblood- They suffer a -2 to Resist extreme heat or cold.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Clowdertown: Places and Faces

Second largest holdfast in the Land, Clowdertown is a study in contrast. A semi-communal matriarchy of insistent individualists, the Cats question the tithe but don't avoid it either. They mediate it through the Lunar Lottery - held on the gibbous waning moon. Cats respect the role played by fickle chance, determining who stays and who goes.

Clowdertown is also notable for the dietary demands of its citizenry. Being obligate carnivores, Cats' demand for meat supports a thriving fish market and an illegal trade in captured birds - "Feathers" being the street name. Cats addicted to the kill are called feather dusters.

Places of Interest in Clowdertown

Abby of the Alley - A church of Thumb & Fist. The sisters here care for beasts unable to care for themselves, particularly cattle. Their cheese is prized throughout the Land.

Fleeting Fetches - A pawn shop located in the Litterbox slums. Calico Jack isn't too interested in the provenance of goods that come through the door.

Ms. Kitty's - In the public sphere Cats adhere to a code of aloofness and disdain, sticking closely to Thumb & Fist. Behind closed doors, they get to cut loose and vent steam.  No feralhouse caters so fully as Ms. Kitty's.

The Fishery - On the surface, the Fishery is a fish market and meatpakcing facility.  Behind the heavy doors of the curing vaults lies the inventory for the largest Feather trafficking ring in the territory.

Boiling Cauldron - This bathhouse is the place where business really gets done. Whether gangsters or eldermaus, this is where the real movers and shakers meet to make deals.

Horace's - A pie shop in the Colony neighborhood, no one makes a strawberry rhubarb like Horace's. The whole operation is ran by a mongoose named Simon. He reeks of corn liquor.

Beasts of Interest

Mother Superior Felice -  The Abbess of the Alley, the Mother Superior keeps a close eye on her congregation. She provides all the help she can for those poor beasts sliding toward the feral savagery of Tooth and Claw.

Calico Jones - The owner and operator of Fleeting Fetches, he has a paw in every pie. If you want to get into the Feather trade, Calico is the gatekeeper

Squeak - A ferret fixer, she connects those looking with.. needs. She harbors a crush on the master thief Mathilda. The money she owes is an excuse to flirt.

Graymalkin, the Warlock - A pallas cat, he was once the court sorcerer of Reynard.  Until he attracted the Foxlord's ire.  And found himself replaced by Mr. Mephistopheles.

Monsier Dan'Quael - A tremendously fat toad with a coat of shelf fungus. Dan'Quael operates the Boiling Cauldron and keeps his earhorn to the ground.

Shifty-Eyed Billy - Hailing from the Empire of Manykings in the distant East. This Tiger Gladiator is a long way from home, and too comfortable to leave.

Duchess - Flat faced and fluffy, the Duchess lays in the lap of luxury.  Ms. Kitty's does well enough that Duchesscan take up pet causes. Like the Resistance.

Sapphire and the Hepcats - A touring jazz band, they work any stage that will take them.  Luckily for Sapphire - they's in high demand.  Her Feather habit takes up a lot of her time and budget.

Horace and Simon - Business partners, Horace is a copperhead, and the pie recipes are his. Venomous snakes are not allowed in the holdfasts so Simon is the face of that business. Horace usually minds their other business - moonshining.

Inspector Bosch -PC- Mathilda's sister. Bosch desires one thing: bring down the Rat King.

Mathilda -PC- An itty,bitty, kitty burglar, she's one of Papa Ringtail's top earners. Bosch's sister.

Papa Ringtail -PC- A fat raccoon kingpin. He may lie, cheat, and steal. But no one else is bold enough to make a run at the Lunar Lottery.