Friday, October 3, 2014

Oh Fever-Dreaming Marlinko

The Slumbering Ursine Dunes is lumbering along to its fourth stretch goal, this time putting the ball back into my court to get some more heavy lifting done on the writing front. In this case we turn to the local “home base” of the Dunes region, the eccentric little borderlands city of Marlinko.

In the last KS update I told backers what NOT to expect. Namely that the supplement wouldn't be take "kind of deadly dull keyed map approach that tells you the utterly mundane potter at Building 21 has 3 hp."

In general I plan it less on focusing on that micro-detail of site based descriptions that often bog down fantasy city products (a different tack that makes Vornheim, Weird Adventures and Midkemia's Cities products so refreshingly different and useful). Instead of rehashing that detail you can check it out here on the Kickstarter update.

To get myself back in the mood of this place, the current party continues to disappoint me by stubbornly going everywhere but back to this city, I rustled up old notes from the campaign. Here are some abridged excerpts from the notes (expect cuts and revisions to fit with the focus mentioned above).
The original crappy player's map (to be redrawn professionally, naturally)

Marlinko is a bustling, smallish city of about 6,000 and governing seat of Marlinko Canton. It is the southernmost town-sized settlement in the Overkingdom before it peters off into pure howling wilderness. Though prosperous, Marlinko is deeply infected by it's relative isolation and closeness to the Weird. Life there as such takes on a strange fever-dream cast even by the standards of the rest of the borderlands.

Around Town
The Manse of the Lady Szara. The notoriously-erratic, allegedly -undead lady abruptly moved away three years ago “to visit relatives back in the Corelands” and her town-manse was overtaken by the also-seemingly-undead, thief-hero Kugel the Lucky. Rumors abound about underground excava...cough...cough mini-dungeon.

Catacombs of St. Jack's Church of the Blood Jesus. After three weeks of backbreaking work—under the expert supervision of the Termex the Robodwarf--by devotees of this imported, alien and utterly syncretistic cult, a catacomb space has been excavated by nun-maeneds under the city. The new sparagamos fane and exquiste ossuary-like sculptures are "things of beauty" report cult leader Vatek son of Vatek.

Tomb of the Town Gods. Located in the central plaza is the squat polished basalt bulk of this mausoleum of the sleeping divine founders of the city. The local Sun Lord followers have made a lifetime of quietly ignore the obvious blasphemy of such a thing existing. It is whispered that extradimensional gates lie inside but what fool dares to explore the terrifying silence of that space?

The Guild of Condotierre, Linkboys, Roustabouts and Stevedores's Dome of Supernal Dealings. Marlinko is a “union town” and even the hirelings have lasting organization. The hiring of “scab” henchmen is intolerable.

The Guild of Accipitraries, Drovers, and Ankle-Beaters. Run by the supreme hard-ass, Hurloj Kladivo, a good place for the sale or training of animals. Be wary of kidnapping his daughter.

The Serene Guild of Seers, Augurs, Runescasters and Wainwrights.  For 4000 gold suns answers are given in clear, parseable language. 1000 suns will buy answers in cant with an occasional admit of ambiguity. 500 suns will buy you a parable based on the life and work of our dear Sun Lord to be interpreted as you will and 100 suns will buy you babble in an unknown tongue.

The Drunken Troll. An upmarket inn located just south of the Tomb-Plaza of the City Gods. The inn's silent owner is said to be by local gossips the infamous Yadis, an anonymous, foul-mouthed satirist. The inn is also noted as the home of local second-fiddle mage (and man of letters) Mandamus the Erudite and his companions Uma, Barbarella, and “Martin the Fighter”.

Brothers of the Other Mother chapterhouse. Local chapterhouse of an Orthodox Sun Lord monastic order that promotes the veneration of a less divine “Marian” like mother-figure to the Celestial Lady. These guys are assholes.

Fraza's Brokerhouse. Fraza the freakishly-honest dealer in curios has his showroom here, a good place to experience the novel situation of selling without being robbed.

The News Around Town
The Rada of Marlank (ruling council), in an apparently arbitrary fit of borderlands pique and Pahr identity politics, has decreed that the southern cantonal city will heretofore not be referred to its Nemec exonym and may only be referred to as “Marlinko.”Official reasons remain mirky but one Rada councilmember anonymously stated that it “reminded them too much of Fritz.” Local residents continue to call the city whatever the Cold Hell they please.

Speaking of Marlan...err Marlinko, tiger-wrasslin' has come back in vogue thanks to a self-proclaimed “Master Beastmaster” newly immigrated from points South. Local characters willing to go toe to claw with a lovable furry orange killing machine should inquire with bon vivant Jarek the Nagsmen. A 500 gold sun bounty is offered for anyone who survives the match. 

While Kezmaroki fashion has been bending to the austere and plain of dress since the Turko Fey Anti-Rapture, haute fashion has been taking some risky new steps in the Hill Cantons proper. This week in Marlank, Chovo the Omniaesthete is expected to reveal his new line of fabulously sequined merkins (pubic wigs). Codpieces are definitely on the way out!

In other exotic cult news, the Church of the Blood Jesus has passed its sell-by date as the flavor of the month. Doctrinal arguments over virgin births, a shortage of animals suitable for the Sparagmos rites, and a growing annoyance to the Rada have withered the strange sect's recent growth spate. Despite the setbacks, Vatek son of Vatek, continues to preach the Good Word along with the most devout of the nun-maenads.

Guildsmen of the Illustrious Workers of Wood (commonly referred to as the “Totterers”) are celebrating the fifth century anniversary of their local lodge this week. A giant wickerman has been erected in the Plaza of the Horned Oracle for the festivities.

The scurrilous tribe of were-worms who migrated from the Weird into the Slumbering Ursine Dunes last month have stepped up their depredations in the area. The Rada has hotly debated a plan to introduce giant robins into the dunes to halt the menace. 

No comments:

Post a Comment