Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Once More Into The Breech ...

Well, we are going to try this blogging thing once again. Each week, I will try and add a litttle to this blog and keep the layers informed about the progress of the party as they make ther\ir way throught the wildlands of Asselin.

So where is Asselin? First, a little information about the world. I run a GURPS-based world and have recently made the investment for Dungeon Fantasty, a GURPS supplement that essentially streamlines the game and makes it more of a classic dungeon-crawl and all of the characters will enjoy the additions to game from DF. Althoough we are running an overland campaign, there will be a lot of time spent underground as well. Right now, the PC's have to figure out how to get the taxes paid to the royal treasury on the demense they have taken over (run by a noble when they are off adventuring), purchase or pirate a ship perhaps and locate the legend of Qilla the Wizard and where her stronghold was located. All of this while they have to settle Goblin raids, meet Orc incursions, trade with the Elves, and worry about to PC's who decided to jump the broom and have run off to make babies together.... But that's another story.

Here is a little background for the Island-Continent:

"The fleet of the three Drakkens dipped their oars into the sea, splashing spume into the air as the soldiers tugging against them bent their backs and thrust the ships forward toward the distant shoreline. The noble leaned forward in the lead ship, foolishly clad in his heavy armor, ducking his head against the spray of the bow wave from the ship as it crashed against the waves that were driven by the fierce wind. If anything happened aboard ship, the noble would sink like a stone, clad in the plate mail like he was. But he was the King, and he needed to put forth a brave face as his ships churned forward toward the land.

He turned and thrusting his sword in the air, his left hand gripping the rail, he shouted, "Pull, you dogs! Pull like your life's depended upon it!" for they surely did, thought the King. The damn fool weather wizard had cast his spell and apparently offended some wind spirit, for the air shrieked and howled and blustered against the furled sail, bound tightly upon the spar, the wood beating a tattoo against the mast straining against its rigging. One of the other Drakken had already lost its mast and lost headway, its mast dragging like a sea anchor over the port side while soldiers furiously rowed to keep up, the sailors of the ship hacked at the rigging and mast with axes and hatches, trying to free the mass with no hope of raising its mast again.

The King saw the white splash of the surf as the lead Drakken near the shoreline and the King bellowed to the men to pull harder. The men, sensing a final victory and smelling earth and trees and the solidity of land, hearing the close-by surf pounding, pulled with a will and the Drakken surged forward, it's stern rising on the strength of the wave and the rising tide caught its stern, thrusting the ship forward. The King Feeling the motion grabbed the rail with both hands, his sword forgotten in the moment, as he sought to steady himself and the ship turn to starboard, the wave pushing up on the ship's hull. As he tightened his grip, the King felt the ship begin to turn turtle, the side coming up and over, the oars on the port side splintering in the oar holes and the starboard oars waved in the air liked an insects arms and legs.

The King felt. His body, weighted by the armor, sailed through the air and then he felt the splash of water as he landed in the sea, salt spume running into all the openings of his armor, gushing into the slits of his helm, the terror of drowning flashed through his mind. But only for a moment as he felt the sand of the beach slam into his back, the air rushing out of his lungs as he convulsed hard from the impact. As his eyes regained their focus, he instantly saw the silvery glint of steel as his sword, which had lain forgotten on the deck of the ship, flashed in the sunlight as it flew through the air and plummeted toward the King. Only a quick jerk of his head to the side saved the King from being stabbed through the helmet slit as his sword buried itself halfway to the hilt in the sand. But nothing could save him from the entire contents of the cargo hold as it poured itself out of the hatchways and buried both King and soldier alike

Only his moaning two hours later allowed one of his lieutenants to discover King Asselia lying under two nettings and three water casks, half drowned and tormented by the crabs feasting upon the dead and the dying.


Thus began the first expedition to what would become the kingdom of Asselin three hundred and fifty years ago. The humans met limited resistance and slowly expanded, occupying the outer rim of the island-continent on three sides, encountering the races, both hostile and non, and slowly building their empire. In expanding, they discovered that they had not been the first. They discovered old worlds, old castles and keeps, the remains of ancients races, the remnants of evil empires and strongholds, dungeons and crypts, necropolises and ruined cities. They slowly spread, increasing their hold in the south, building their central kingdom and slowly expanding to the north with smaller cities. Resistance was often met, hairy and scarred races that did not want the humans in their areas (and some that did, only because they tasted good and crunchy), evil Goblins, slimy Troglodytes, nasty and pimply Orcs, Giants, and Cyclops.

Then when they thought that there would be no redemption of this evil and scarred land, the Elves finally showed themselves and the communication between the two was at first tentative, then casual and cordial but distant. Next the Hobbits popped out theirhobbitholes with their hairy feet, once they realized that the Elves were making friends (because they wouldn't want the Elves to secure all the trade) and so they began making inroads with the Humans, too, opening roadhouses near the Hobbit world and slowly expanding into the Human areas. Even more secretive were the Dwarves and the Gnomes, always competitive, the Gnomes of the Forest and the Mountain Dwarves above and the Svirfneblin Gnomes and the Deep and the Duergar Dwarves below, made their presence known and began to trade with the Hummans, too.

The world as it is now is dominated by a mix of Humans and Demi-Humans struggling to establish themselves against many other races of Humanoids and other types spawned from the evil and dark lands.

The Kingdom of Allesia is currently ruled in a fuedal government by Queen Elwyn of leFullere, who lives in the Black Keep of Allesia, the capital city of the kingdom, and has ruled since she was three years old. She is, in fact, assisted by the Royal GovernorCouncilor - Degore Reymund of Penton Mewsey, who basically controls everything in the kingdom for the girl of 22 until she learns her place in the kingdom. She currently spends her time hunting, feasting, celebrating festivals and faires and the like.

The Army is commanded now by General in Chief Lord Geroldin de Ernauld, who is currently in the north with his swordsmen and archers, spearmen and wagonners, and leading the way, the Rangers of the Order of the Queen’s Will, led by High WardenGamel of Clyst St. Cyrcampaigning against a move by the Orcs to try and drive the expansion of the Humans south. He is being assisted by the Grand Diplomat Wilmot of Sedgehille who is trying to get the Northern tribes and clans to make a move from the north against the Orcs from Cemmes and the surrounding araes through Vambag Pass.

Meanwhile at home, the High Priest Thim, who guides the Kingdom's religious growth and sees to its spiritual needs, continues her not-so-secret machinations among the religious sects and insures that they continue at each other’s throats while remaining above the fray, her hands clean to adjudicate their disputes. She has lately been assisted by Magister Rogerius the Red, who guides the Kingdom's higher learning and magical employment and also heads the Magical Guild "Archons of Panadera's Creed.”

While this is all going on, the Peace is kept (or tried to be maintained at a civil level) by the Marshall Good Osgood Alston and his sheriffs throughout the countryside in their surcoats of Red and White checkerboards, adjudicating justice in courts, forming juries when necessary and answering the Hue and Cry of the peasantry, and dispensing summary justice as needed, not always fairly but at least even-handedly. Alston is oft-times assisted in the shadows by the Royal Assassin atta Welle, who will deal many times with the more serious crimes summarily, the justice unseen by the peasantry but swift and true none the less, the party or parties simply disappearing, “a victim of the Good Shepherds”, “carried off by the Orcs” or some other disaster of natural or unnatural means. Meanwhile, the Spymaster Le Chaluner Hardegin, a secret and unseen individual who may or may not exist but surely makes his presence felt, for even the Queen raises her hand for silence when his name is mentioned, slithers about in the dark alleyways and byways, drafting the thieves, cutpurses and footpads for his secret and never-mentioned needs.

Meanwhile, funding it all, through his typically fair and balanced taxes (and sometimes by other means that are not mentioned), the Treasurer Bardwin Theabaldus sits in the Royal Black Keep, filling his coffers, stacking his bars of Amber Golden Pegasi, counting his piles and bags of Silver Riyals, Copper farthings, and Heavenly Nine Pound Pieces of Platinum. Suffice to say that the taxes are fair, the money flows in and out, and the economy has its ups and downs.

But on the whole, the world is dangerous but it is good. Now all it needs is a few good adventurers to help clean it up. And there are few of them at the moment …


 I'll be filling it in as we get deeper into the campaign and will detail some background on the characters and more of the world, my gaming philosophy, and the like.

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