[Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole thread

Discuss Freedom City, Paragons, Wild Cards, or your own campaign settings here.
User avatar
Libra
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 19834
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:46 pm
Location: The Green and Pleasent Isle

Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Libra » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:51 am

It struck me while writing that article on The White Sail Alliance and has since struck me again when Charles posted those kind remarks in that other thread that it may be a kindness to post some background information concerning the East Coast of Alacarn in general, as well as the Black Coast and their neighbours from the Pirate Islands in particular to help place things in their proper context.

Would that be alright with you Charles?
Founder of H.E.R.O.I.C, Complimenter-in-Chief, Co-Arch Henchman to the Grin, Servant of the Hoff!

Rule Brittania! Praise the Hoff and the Grin!

Warning!: May cause Thread Drift.

User avatar
Charles Phipps
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 7867
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Ashland, Ky
Contact:

Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:38 am

Soitanley.

User avatar
Libra
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 19834
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:46 pm
Location: The Green and Pleasent Isle

Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Libra » Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:09 pm

RESEARCH!

<I have to bellow that one out HERE because the archivists of Alacarn are even sterner with bombastic enthusiasm that The Librarian, except when it comes to bannana-related puns.>
Founder of H.E.R.O.I.C, Complimenter-in-Chief, Co-Arch Henchman to the Grin, Servant of the Hoff!



Rule Brittania! Praise the Hoff and the Grin!



Warning!: May cause Thread Drift.

User avatar
Charles Phipps
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 7867
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Ashland, Ky
Contact:

Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Charles Phipps » Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:55 pm

Comments part 1

Libra wrote:Being a highly accurate, true and partial account of the Dread Privateers and Sea-Dogs calling the most unfortunate City of Paalok's Touch their Home Port and Their Own in despite of all Law and Sound Custom.


Piracy is another activity that deserves it's own article, much like those on the Hedge Knights and the life of the mercenary. Bluntly, as befitting Winterweir's status as a "****sack Setting", piracy is not just a form of brigandry but a day-to-day reality on the high seas. In addition to sea monsters, storms, and other problems--people attempting to take the goods of others is a thoroughly accepted pasttime. Sadly, this has an affect on the commerce of developing nations. The general lack of growth and Medieval stasis can be largely attributed to the fact so many traders are ***hats.

Ironically, those pirates who start their own protection rackets and build their fleets around transporting cargo are actually contributing the most to rebuilding the world.

Libra wrote: In brief the White Sail Alliance make a hearty living doing to the Oceanborn (that inveterately opportunistic Island Nation of hungry fishermen, well-fed pirates and merchants offering a wide variety of goods acquired under extremely fishy circumstances) what the Pirate Islanders have themselves turned into a fine art through several centuries of experience with aggressive negotiations, ships, other sailor's property, wheedling the customer into submission and cutting out the middle man (figuratively AND literally); bluntly The Oceanborn have made The Sea of Shadows their own, helped by the fact that the Powers bordering it have better purchases to make with their money than their own costly fleets (not least because when it comes to hungry neighbors, Oceanborn are the least of their worries, not least because they're happy to hire out their own warships to the East Coast Thrones looking to wreak maritime havoc on their neighbors).


The issue is complicated by the fact the hungry fisherman are as, often as not, the well-fed pirates during a better season. The merchants, likewise, vary between being fences and legitimate businessmen based on the availability of stolen goods. Likewise, the people who prey on the Oceanborn are, as often as not, other Oceanborn. The sense of national and racial loyalty one might expect in a more "civilized" nation is near-nonexistent. Indeed, the case of being an Oceanborn means you are in a wonderful position to victimize Oceanborn.

Libra wrote: Their free run of the East Coast, it's markets and ports, the shipping which calls them home AND the cargo holds of same is kept from being an absolute monopoly thanks primarily to the Oceanborn's increasing competition over the choicest slices of the Coast and the White Sails Treaty alone (an agreement on the part of 13 particularly maritime Black Coast city-states, which happened to hate one another slightly less than they did the Oceanborn containing a series of protocols dictating how the Alliance will jointly muster, fund and employ a Unified Fleet to their mutual defense seldom honored except when emergency which is seldom honored except in time of crisis and a far more frequently employed agreement to hand any ship-master willing to target the Pirate Islanders carte blanche to do so).


As mentioned above, the Black Coast's formal endorsement of piracy has actually had an interesting effect on commerce as a whole. With piracy now conducted in an orderly and efficient manner with the Pirate Lords taking protection money as often as good themselves, the waves are safer in the large run. Of course, this means that Pirates who don't want the White Sail alliance to conduct their business have an extra-big target now.

Libra wrote: Paalok's Touch, a ramshackle city of refugees squatting at the foot of the towers called Home by that powerful college of spell-slingers known as The Nine since their protection was sought in the wake of The Old City of Peace was quite thoroughly plundered and reduced to near-ruin by Pirate Islanders is somewhat unsurprisingly a leading advocate of The White Sails treaty and has given that agreement much of it's cutting edge since employing the idiosyncratic collection of captains and their ships who, by signing the White Sails Treaty, have effectively been given a license to rob the Oceanborn blind, then sell their eyeglasses for fun and profit.


Paalok's Touch is pretty much a anarchic free-state. You can find every sort of leisure available there but the society is always on the brink of collapse due to a lack of basic goods. Ironically, this isn't because the merchant fleets are lacking wealth and goods. The Pirate Lords are too busy exporting goods to care about the endless piles of refugees that come seeking fame and fortune.

Libra wrote:Now their only problem is living long enough to enjoy the profits (also preventing Paalok's Touch from descending into a still deeper level anarchy or worse yet turning respectable enough to kick out their Piratical Peacekeepers).


Needless to say, the high turnover rate on crews is one of the few benefits that people wanting to make their fortune might have. The many deaths of pirates open up new spots.

User avatar
Charles Phipps
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 7867
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Ashland, Ky
Contact:

Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Charles Phipps » Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:08 pm

Skullak the Slaver (Captain of The Sea Serpent): A riverboat captain and face of an extensive slave-trading network that travels those labyrinthine inland waterways, Skullath has been charged by her senior colleagues to cut out the Oceanborn middle-men who keep eating into the profits of anyone who so much as sunbathes at a beach next to the Sea of Shadows.

Being already hardened to violence, but neither suicidal nor particularly experienced with the complexities of seafaring, Skullath elected to sign up with the White Sails and has slowly built up a reputation as a useful partner in any cruise with a target too big for one crew to handle waiting at the end of it - earning the nickname 'fifty-fifty' for her conscientious division of spoils and her habit of never sailing the wide waves except with a partner.

While arguably the most respectable of the White Sail Crew by dint of her frequent trading in good other than those acquired through piracy on the high seas, she's still a lizard-woman who makes her living primarily through the profits of her investment in that slave-trading conglomeration of merchants previously mentioned and one who has been known to minimise losses incurred when shipping live cargo by proving that a dead slave is a dead loss only to those squeamish enough to pass up the prospect of reasonably fresh meat when it drops dead in transit.


Skullak the Slaver isn't the sort of person who trades in humans and other mammals as food, despite trafficking on the reputation of the Slythin for cannibalism. This already drastically overstated quality, however, benefits her in intimidating opponents as well as rivals but slaves are simply TOO VALUABLE to waste for even gourmet meals. As for slavery, the practice is only legal in a very few places but such a source of wealth that traffickers can always find markets as well as individuals to kidnap and train.

Amusingly, the slave trade is one where Skullak primarily serves as a facillitator more than anything else. There's no end of bandits, corrupt lords, and even families willing to traffick in individuals to be sold on the market. As such, you might say she's not even that much involved in piracy as a whole but has extended her network to the White Sail Alliance. She actually makes more from the sale of drink and basic supplies to them than the trade in slaves, at least in terms of money, but has taken to sending "conscription" parties into the slums of Paalok's Touch too.

This may be an act which undoes her as Paalok's touch has a LOT of disgruntled sailors who would love to have a target for their poverty.

Red Melyssa (Captain of The Sweet Revenge): The daughter of a noted captain of the Oceanborn who took the idea of winning the High Throne of Krandoir more seriously than any other would-be King of the Oceanborn in recent memory and found his chances of being taken seriously flopping only after his death amongst a multitude of others in the course of a longshore raid that proved that while such a scheme could still turn a profit, it was inordinately difficult to get away with both your life and the plunder anywhere on Alacarn within easy reach of an Oceanborn Fleet these days.

Herself a lifelong exile by dint of her inability to downplay her own role in that particularly abortive feat of piracy, Red Melyssa has turned to the White Sail Alliance in a bid to work round the complete refusal of any known Oceanborn to have anything to do with her and the massive hole this put in her plans to acquire the treasure to excel all other treasures.

While somewhat uneasy with being obliged to sail against her own people for profit and the purpose of winning enough money to bribe any opposition to her return from exile into submission, Red Melyssa has proved an extremely useful source of what one might as well call insider knowledge on the ways of the Pirate Islanders and an energetic hunter of profit (even if her record of hunting down pirates is infinitely more spotty).


As mentioned, being an Oceanborn preying on her fellow Oceanborn doesn't remotely make her as special as one might think. Indeed, a larger issue for her amongst her people is the fact that she violates a rather expansive number of taboos being the heir of her father. Likewise, her continued political ambitions has resulted in her rivals conducting quite an expansive smear campaign against her.

Those individual Ironborn who would sail under *GASP* HER are individuals who thus threaten to forfeit their manhood (or femnine equivalent thereof). It doesn't help Red Melyssa has taken to running a more professional Navy than is traditional amongst the Oceanborn including uniforms, strict codes, and proper accounting. These foreign traits she's adopted into her military only increase the sense of spookiness the Oceanborn have about their Pirate Queen. Treating her modern regimated Naval force as the equivalent of a Lovecraftian cult.

The Faceless One (Captain of The Hellship): That rarest of pirates, a man with plans for the future beyond "Sail, Plunder, Squander, Sober, Repeat" The Faceless One earned his nom-de-corse through the mask which he has made notorious and the calculated employment of rumours regarding what lurks beneath that mask which have reduced strong minds to whimpering capitulation (when coupled with a hearty crew of well-armed buccaneers with blood in their eye and the prospect of profit through bloodshed on their minds to back).

A shrewd, surprisingly well-educated rogue with a curious habit of favouring some herbal elixir called 'Tea' over any kind of booze and a remarkable ability to pick plunder from a man's pocket and secrets from his skull without resorting to those crude expedients so common to other pirates, The Faceless One is arguably the most successful and least violent of the blatant pirates amongst the White Sail Crew.

Even he faces an uphill struggle against the strong probability that he won't live long enough to die old - not least because he has a bad habit of letting his customary lucid cynicism be undercut by a romantic streak which he takes pains to suppress, but which surfaces at the most appropriate yet inconvenient moments.

Well that and his determination to hunt down the worst crew of reavers in the Pirate Isles (a hellish crew that make other Oceanborn look like the crew of the Black Pearl next to the monstrous Reavers from the Firefly 'Verse) because even a man without any loyalties or even any past which he will admit to can bear a grudge.


The Faceless One's reputation as the most dire villain to sail the Thirteen Seas has a somewhat backhanded effect on his business, unfortunately. People are actively seeking him out for dark reputation than in spite of it. Worse, many of the White Sail Alliance's enemies are seeking him out in hopes that destroying him will end their problems.

You know, as opposed to eliminating one of the few forces holding their darker urges back.

Chubbath the Tormented (Captain of The Growler, formerly master of The Snarler): Attack dog of the White Sail crews and quite possibly the unluckiest sailor afloat, having suffered the loss of crews, limbs and at least one ship in the course of his drive to take out his anger at the World out on some socially-acceptable target - not to mention a Curse inflicted by one of The Nine when the latter discovered that Chubbath shared the common Batha inability to take into account a Wizard's desire to keep Clarke's Law secret from the proles.

To be precise he was cursed with sea-sickness, which is a lot more of a curse when you can't make any living on dry land by dint of being unable to find an opportunity to turn your innate talent for slave-driving to any use there that doesn't demand you actually torment some poor d----- slaves (principles can be a pain, especially when they make you few friends and many enemies).


Sea-sickness is surprisingly common amongst the Bathas who aren't on their ships. Which, bluntly, are so stony and metal-filled it's a wonder any of them are able to float. Chubbath's inability to even so much as step on a DOCK without upchucking his lunch. Nevertheless, he remains one of the most powerful and influential members of the White Sail Alliance. Not only does he control a substantial fleet of significantly more seaworthy pirates (but ones deeply in debt) but he also controls nearly every bar, alehouse, brothel, and (curiously) laundromat in Paalok's Touch.

Mikael Hawkwing (Captain of the Knight's Fee): A gentleman who found himself obliged to leave the modest knightly household into which he had been born and had expected to inherit one day by dint of falling victim to the sort of luck that furnishes many silk purses, only to reveal them as sow's ears and being left no recourse but to skip town ahead of The Law and jump ship once those interesting nautical types who'd tried robbing him switched tactics to promise him that with them he would make his fortune and that without them he'd be left to sink along with his previous means of transport.

Being a decent man but no martyr, Mikael Hawkwing signed on and proceeded to make himself first a valued seaman and then a Captain in his own right; attempting to regain some shred of legitimate renown Mikael Hawkwing signed the White Sails Treaty and has been hunting Pirates ever since (and much to his embarrassment occasionally hunting other prizes alongside them to boot).

He's STILL cursed with a surfeit of fortune good and bad, not least because he remains cursed to be a Romantic longing to be the Pragmatist he attempts to pass himself off as - not to mention under the scrutiny of the diabolical conspiracy known as the Crimson Dawn, whom he fully intends to stab in any constituent part of which he can reach once he finds backing that will provide him the support that might allow him to survive this defiance.

In the meantime he spends that part of his time not spent before he mast trying to bring Paalok's Touch to something approaching decent order, even if peace continues to elude the city (in great part due to the efforts of his colleagues, but also the machinations of the Shadow Network, yet another criminal conspiracy which he has made it his hobby to take pot-shots at).


Not much to add but this is the kind of character who would be AWESOME in AoW.

User avatar
Libra
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 19834
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:46 pm
Location: The Green and Pleasent Isle

Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Libra » Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:36 pm

Bluntly, as befitting Winterweir's status as a "****sack Setting", piracy is not just a form of brigandry but a day-to-day reality on the high seas.


Charles, much as I remain fond of your Savage Worlds settings, one thing I remain on the fence about concerning Winterwier (and to lesser degree the lines depicting those other parts of this super-setting) is your definition of it as a 'Crapsack World' - if only because we could never survive trying to compete with the eternal cluster-frack that is the Warhammer World or even accursed Athas home of Dark Sun (you'll note that I do not include the Demi-Plane of Dread, but that's because I see Ravenloft as a purgatory for the Darklords and a fantasy setting that's actually a lot more quiet than most for it's other residents - on the whole you have to go LOOKING for trouble to find it in many Domains; the job of Adventurers is to make sure that when Trouble finds one, that someone happens to ready and waiting with their friends): instead I would prefer to define it as a World Half-Full, a Pre-Industrial Sci Fi setting enjoying the opportunity for some Fantasy cosplay (which still leaves the World half-empty, but beats the alternative).

I am willing to compromise and say that Winterwier IS a Crapsack World, but that unlike the Warhammer World it won't be one for much longer:- an Age of Heroes is coming and after that nothing will be the same again (my thoughts are that if I were writing a line of Winterwier fiction I would show the events leading up to, during the course of and following the local equivalent of The War of the Ring - showing how a planet became messed up enough to resemble a typical Sword and Sorcery setting and how it's locals might go about turning it into a slightly more quiet sort of place generally; almost a literal Deconstruction-Reconstruction switch).

I know WHAT I would love to do with Winterwier, but I'm not sure if I know HOW I'd do that, so please don't ask me anyone!


In addition to sea monsters, storms, and other problems--people attempting to take the goods of others is a thoroughly accepted pasttime.


Perhaps it might be more accurate to say that it's accepted in many quarters that if the sea doesn't allow you to make any other living honestly, it's time to make a dishonest living and start taking other people's stuff rather than starve. It's not that people are any more innately violent or dishonest, it's just that they live hand-to-mouth and therefore can't even START to build the sort of infrastructure which generally allows us to operate on points of principle without risking starvation or execution or even worse.

Then there are the bad, mad sorts who would make a living by the closest equivalent to Piracy operating in their locale and have some 'Fun' doing so even when they could enjoy a full belly and a decent living without running the risk of having it pulled out from under their feet on the whim of some local power-player. These are the sort of awful individuals whom it is your duty and privilege as Adventurers to hang from the nearest gallows tree (Trial recommended).


The general lack of growth and Medieval stasis can be largely attributed to the fact so many traders are ***hats.


Also sea-monsters, pirates and Lawful Authority that tends to be obliged to run on what we might refer to as the Law of the Dragon-Infested Dungeon in order to avoid being gobbled up itself.


Ironically, those pirates who start their own protection rackets and build their fleets around transporting cargo are actually contributing the most to rebuilding the world.


The Honourable East India Company would take a look at this lot and cry out "Grandad?"


The issue is complicated by the fact the hungry fisherman are as, often as not, the well-fed pirates during a better season.


Their definition of what makes a season 'better' is also more flexible than other fisher-folk making their living off the coasts of Alacarn; on the whole Weirfolk or Hennans would say that more fish make a season better for fishermen - Oceanborn just tend to settle on a Profit/Loss ratio pointing directly to profit (but that's because The Pirate Isles really are an awful place to make an honest living as a fisherman because there's too much competition for the same shoals, since almost EVERYONE has to do so, assuming they want to make an honest living*).

(*except of course the wood-workers, lumberjacks and jills, fully paid-up or oath-sworn fighters and those lucky enough to find land sufficient to graze their domestic beasts or sow a crop - somewhat amusingly the most fertile of the Pirate Islands is called 'Honest Island').

Well, that and fewer Wyverns, Wyvern Riders being seen by Oceanborn in the same way the rest of the world views Oceanborn, mostly because flight allows them to outmanouvre Pirate Islanders, a situation with which the Oceanborn are unfamiliar thanks to their national skills in sailing and skulduggery.

The sense of national and racial loyalty one might expect in a more "civilized" nation is near-nonexistent.


I would like to suggest that since the Pirate Isles cover a much smaller area of territory than most of the Great Thrones and due to the fact that Oceanborn get around more than most (also a certain 'Us Against the World' mindset common to Island Nations and Pirates alike) The Oceanborn have a relatively strong sense of Racial Loyalty - it's just that they've been so succesful in kicking the rest of the world in the shipping that they're running out of targets that don't fly Oceanborn sails (a situation exacerbated by the fact that their loyalty goes first to their Family, then to their Island and then to The Islands).

Indeed, the case of being an Oceanborn means you are in a wonderful position to victimize Oceanborn.


You do tend to know where the good stuff is hidden and who's hiding it!


Of course, this means that Pirates who don't want the White Sail alliance to conduct their business have an extra-big target now.


I can't quite work out if this is amusing or not, but at a later period in Alacarn's history The White Sail Alliance would probably spit in your eye if you called them a pirate and insist that they're commissioned privateers (especially in any court of law); at present they're quite happy to admit that they're a Pirate Alliance, but might do their best to emphasise that they are PROFESSIONAL Pirates and that therefore all collateral damage will be a deliberate punishment, not product of sloppyover-enthusiasm or amateurism.

How very comforting.


Paalok's Touch is pretty much an anarchic free-state.


The problem is that the locals lynched or exiled their former masters, but The Nine refuse to assume responsibility except in emergencies (they saw what happened to the last half-umpteen numpties to try THAT).

You can find every sort of leisure available there but the society is always on the brink of collapse due to a lack of basic goods. Ironically, this isn't because the merchant fleets are lacking wealth and goods.


It IS however due to the fact that Paalok's touch controls the smallest area of agricultural hinterland relative to the two other major Black Coast city-states, partly because The Nine are world-beaters who don't care to become world-conquerors and partly because D'Henna tends to hold a grudge (and therefore makes a point of taking steps to ensure the city which triggered the Uprising which cost them their East Coast ports and has therefore kept them living in fear of a two-front Turlon/Turlon-sponsored offensive does not enjoy the freedom it gouged out of it's former masters).


The Pirate Lords are too busy exporting goods to care about the endless piles of refugees that come seeking fame and fortune.


Also importing them, trafficking in stolen goods, STEALING goods, butchering rivals, blowing their money somewhere the sun does not shine, avoiding being butchered by the Shadow Network (Archnemesis, rather than rivals), surviving retaliation, imposing something like order in a bid to create some quiet in their immediate vicinity, evading orders from the Crimson Dawn and in one peculiar case prosecuting Holy War.

Hawkwing doesn't LIKE those Divine Throne heathens.


Skullak the Slaver isn't the sort of person who trades in humans and other mammals as food, despite trafficking on the reputation of the Slythin for cannibalism.


No, but she remains an ice-hearted snake who sells people as PROPERTY to be treated as chattels or beasts of burden for the profits such a transaction returns.

This already drastically overstated quality, however, benefits her in intimidating opponents as well as rivals but slaves are simply TOO VALUABLE to waste for even gourmet meals.


Any slaves that die in transit DO represent a decent source of fresh meat, which soothes the annoyance Skullak experiences upon losing such a valuable percentage of her profits; it should also be noted that while Slythin are not innately disposed to see other Kinfolk species as food, there does seem to be a pronounced tendency to present the Kinfolk as an unrelated species (allowing what we would call cannibal practices to be passed off as a slightly more distressing sort of hunting).

If only so Slythin can derive a pride from being 'Blood of the Dragon' that allows them to spit in the collective eye of those that would treat them as monstrous primitives.

As for slavery, the practice is only legal in a very few places but such a source of wealth that traffickers can always find markets as well as individuals to kidnap and train.


The problem - for slavers - is that while slavery is legal everywhere except Alacarn and Winterwier, the laws governing who can be made a slave are extremely strict at this point in time (which means the sort of mass trading that made the Middle Passage profitable is impossible - for now, at least on the East Coast).

This may be an act which undoes her as Paalok's touch has a LOT of disgruntled sailors who would love to have a target for their poverty.


Given that Paalok's Touch has so many disgruntled sailors looking for a living, one has to ask why Skullak must resign herself to the crude expedient of the Press Gang when even Chubbath the Tormented (a captain who has lost a ship, one limb, one half-limb, two prizes and no less than eleven digits) can summon up a crew at a moment's notice; the simple answer is that in order to recruit a crew along the coasts of Alacarn one must beat the drum and see who answers it's call (press-ganging being illegal, mostly because no state strong enough to suppress the outrage such actions inspire exists as yet).

Given that the sort of sailors amongst whom Skullak normally finds her crews fear both salt-water sailing AND pirates, not to mention the fact that the salts of Paalok's Touch still see her as a 'River Rat' who has yet to prove herself as a particulalry succesful pirate Sea-Serpent is currently rather short-staffed.


Indeed, a larger issue for her amongst her people is the fact that she violates a rather expansive number of taboos being the heir of her father.


Mostly because HE violated any number of the taboos Oceanborn traditionally respect (and Pirate Islanders scoff at laws, but regard taboos with more religious reverence than they do most priests), amongst them taking mixed crews on long-distance cruises (so in addition to all the customary risks run by hardened pirates on a long-haul cruise they had to worry about Pregnancy too ... ); Melyssa observes many of her more eccentric traditions, but that one was a bit too much even for HER (no Maternity Leave on Alacarn and a ship has fewer resources to spare than any given dry land settlement).

Those individual Ironborn who would sail under *GASP* HER are individuals who thus threaten to forfeit their manhood (or femnine equivalent thereof).


"Ship, Soul and Firstborn" I believe are the traditional Oceanborn forfeits for taboo-breaking.

These foreign traits she's adopted into her military only increase the sense of spookiness the Oceanborn have about their Pirate Queen. Treating her modern regimated Naval force as the equivalent of a Lovecraftian cult.


It's practically in their blood really; their ancestors swapped out military discipline for something more along the lines of a trade union a LONG time ago and their descendants have never yet regretted the transition - as one old salt put it, we may obey orders (long as they make sense) but we sail under ARTICLES (long as they ain't foolish) and nothing else, dam' the eyes of any who think else.

One observer remarked that by tradition every Pirate Island ship was an isle unto itself and that therefore every Oceanborn sea-captain was Queen or King absolute on their own Quarter-Deck, with power of life or death at their disposal - they might have added that Regicide is an equally time-honoured tradition of the Oceanborn (who do NOT suffer fools, lest they themselves suffer as a result).

The Pirate Islands aren't the most democratic society on Alacarn (God help us, that's probably Amania), but their democracy is undoubtedly the oldest and most Direct, by sea or by land.

Red Melyssa and her father before her ticked off the entire Oceanborn Race when they took one look at the brake this sort of pragmatic thinking (always keen, but short-sighted by virtue of it's focus on getting through first this day and then the next ones) put on the Islands potential to dominate the East Coast of Alacarn and who knows what else.

They have a point, but one a majority of Oceanborn find leaves them too sore to appreciate it.


People are actively seeking him out for dark reputation than in spite of it.


When you start receiving Job-offers from the Crimson Dawn one would do well to reject them, but might very well do better to secretly retire to somewhere very, very far away from where you made your reputation (or anywhere else that might recognise you).

Worse, many of the White Sail Alliance's enemies are seeking him out in hopes that destroying him will end their problems.


The only thing keeping the Paalok's Touch branch of the Shadow Network from doing away with The Faceless One is that wonderful brain of his; he could give Captain Peter Blood a run for his money and old Cap'n Blood wrote the book on Magnficent Piracy.

(Admittedly the fact that the Shadow Network in Paalok's Touch is the only one that runs at a LOSS helps; it's hard to corner the market on little indulgences when the entire CITY sells them and The Khitai aren't very good at legitimate business as yet).

You know, as opposed to eliminating one of the few forces holding their darker urges back.


More channeling them to productive ends, but that's a pretty fine distinction to make.


Sea-sickness is surprisingly common amongst the Bathas who aren't on their ships.


The irony is that while most Batha love the close-quarters environment on ships, as it reminds them of home, it's the fact that ships PITCH on the Ocean Sea and the fact that the open sky is never more than a few decks away that throw them off their game.

Well that and the fact that most Batha ships are oar-driven and galley slaves make a LOUSY investment when there's a strong likelyhood that an entire shipload of pirates is going to come over your bow (for some reason galley-slaves are a lot less likely to fight for their ship than actual sailors).

Which, bluntly, are so stony and metal-filled it's a wonder any of them are able to float.


Amusingly Batha are very keen on Ironclads, but have yet to work out a reliable steam engine that will propel them (not least because the slavers and slave-drivers keep handicapping any such effort to put them out of a job).

Chubbath's inability to even so much as step on a DOCK without upchucking his lunch.


Ironically he went to sea because he HATED mining, and stuck with the sea long enough to discover that sea-sickness eventually wore off - then some mildly-offended spellslinger made it Permenant and even WORSE.

Nevertheless, he remains one of the most powerful and influential members of the White Sail Alliance. Not only does he control a substantial fleet of significantly more seaworthy pirates (but ones deeply in debt) but he also controls nearly every bar, alehouse, brothel, and (curiously) laundromat in Paalok's Touch.


At some point Chubbath was pointed at the Shadow Network; let's just say that they chewed him up, but he still refused to spit them out and has therefore enjoyed the profits of cornering their market ever since; there are PERKS to being an attack dog, if the bones thrown to you are good enough and you don't lose all of your teeth.


Not much to add but this is the kind of character who would be AWESOME in AoW.


Possibly, but Alacarn has greater need of his services ... and his rugged charms. :wink:

http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb2 ... rofile.jpg
Founder of H.E.R.O.I.C, Complimenter-in-Chief, Co-Arch Henchman to the Grin, Servant of the Hoff!



Rule Brittania! Praise the Hoff and the Grin!



Warning!: May cause Thread Drift.

User avatar
Charles Phipps
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 7867
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Ashland, Ky
Contact:

Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Charles Phipps » Sun Dec 15, 2013 3:51 pm

My view of Winterweir is a more Game of Thrones style thing (show more than books) with the caveat that Dark Ages are really nasty-nasty times but they're even worse when there's a bunch of monsters wandering around the setting.

Is it going to get better?

Honestly, that's entirely up to the PCs.

:mrgreen:

But yes, it's probably going to be nasty for a couple of centuries longer assuming they can survive invasion by crazy anti-sex Aztecs down below.

User avatar
Libra
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 19834
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:46 pm
Location: The Green and Pleasent Isle

Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Libra » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:39 pm

My view of Winterweir is a more Game of Thrones style thing (show more than books) with the caveat that Dark Ages are really nasty-nasty times but they're even worse when there's a bunch of monsters wandering around the setting.


I basically see it as something of a cross between a pre-Industrial Dresden Files and Game of Thrones (although visually I basically think of it as Guillermo del Toro's vision of Middle Earth, more or less).
Founder of H.E.R.O.I.C, Complimenter-in-Chief, Co-Arch Henchman to the Grin, Servant of the Hoff!



Rule Brittania! Praise the Hoff and the Grin!



Warning!: May cause Thread Drift.

User avatar
Voltron64
Luminary
Luminary
Posts: 2668
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:12 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Voltron64 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:48 pm

Libra wrote:
My view of Winterweir is a more Game of Thrones style thing (show more than books) with the caveat that Dark Ages are really nasty-nasty times but they're even worse when there's a bunch of monsters wandering around the setting.


I basically see it as something of a cross between a pre-Industrial Dresden Files and Game of Thrones (although visually I basically think of it as Guillermo del Toro's vision of Middle Earth, more or less).


Or a Sword & Sorcery version (by way of Metal Hurlant) of Westeros.
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

User avatar
Charles Phipps
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 7867
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Ashland, Ky
Contact:

Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Charles Phipps » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:23 am

Libra wrote:I basically see it as something of a cross between a pre-Industrial Dresden Files and Game of Thrones (although visually I basically think of it as Guillermo del Toro's vision of Middle Earth, more or less).


A good image. Basically, I made Winterweir when I was in a somewhat heavy metal/mithril mood and decided to make a setting which was darker than black.

:mrgreen:

User avatar
Libra
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 19834
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:46 pm
Location: The Green and Pleasent Isle

Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Libra » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:39 pm

It might make sense to lighten up Black Hole to highlight the relative abundance of better options heroes enjoy when facing down a foe at the Godzilla threshold while employing technology much more advanced than a pointy stick and a tin can (also that living standards really HAVE improved since the Dark Ages and don't let anyone tell you different - well, in many places at least).

Doing this also allows you to highlight just how CONCENTRATED the weirdness on Teth'Ammon is by the standards of the rest of the galaxy (also show races in a new light and in new situations, obliging us to answer questions generated by the sheer weight of assumptions across Alacarn; are Slythin innately savage primitives? NO, just look at the history of the late, lamented Kashoot Empire - slippery, but infinitely civilised).

Just a few thoughts.
Founder of H.E.R.O.I.C, Complimenter-in-Chief, Co-Arch Henchman to the Grin, Servant of the Hoff!



Rule Brittania! Praise the Hoff and the Grin!



Warning!: May cause Thread Drift.

User avatar
Voltron64
Luminary
Luminary
Posts: 2668
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:12 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Voltron64 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:44 pm

Not to mention that rabid xenophobia is something best addressed with a hook across the face.

:mrgreen:
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

User avatar
Libra
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 19834
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:46 pm
Location: The Green and Pleasent Isle

Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Libra » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:32 pm

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often.
Founder of H.E.R.O.I.C, Complimenter-in-Chief, Co-Arch Henchman to the Grin, Servant of the Hoff!



Rule Brittania! Praise the Hoff and the Grin!



Warning!: May cause Thread Drift.

User avatar
Voltron64
Luminary
Luminary
Posts: 2668
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:12 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Voltron64 » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:48 pm

Libra wrote:Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often.


I'm totally sigging this Libra.
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

User avatar
Libra
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 19834
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:46 pm
Location: The Green and Pleasent Isle

Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Libra » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:22 pm

Thank you kindly for the compliment old fellow. :D
Founder of H.E.R.O.I.C, Complimenter-in-Chief, Co-Arch Henchman to the Grin, Servant of the Hoff!



Rule Brittania! Praise the Hoff and the Grin!



Warning!: May cause Thread Drift.


Return to “Mutants & Masterminds Settings”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests