Friday, 29 August 2014

The Highlands

Couple of days later than planned, though bills have to be paid and so the dayjob has to come first.

This week we see the last of the Alyeskan Regional Guide entries in the form of the Alyeskan Highlands, a mountainous and largely unchartered region that forms the central and northern parts of the Continent.

The Highlands

The Highlands is a barren region, almost completely consisting of towering mountains and rocky crags. Few venture pass the outer mountain ranges commonly called the Bastion Peak, even fewer have any real reason to do so since it is very difficult to traverse the mountains either on foot or by air.

Aside from vast, untouched deposits of Glimmer Rock the Highlands is said to house an outlaw haven called Broken Spires. The settlement is rumoured to be located at the heart of the Highlands and requires one to cautiously pick their way through the canyons that surround it, though the canyons are said to be littered with the remains of those who weren't as careful as they should've been.

Though a curious note about the region is the existence of wooden walkways that run along the canyons and across the peaks, effectively creating a network of rackety paths. Problem is that they suffer from years of neglect and nobody is really sure who originally built them, regardless they do provide a relative safe way of getting about.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Frozen Skies Setting Rules V1.2

Version 1.2 of the Frozen Skies Setting Rules has been uploaded, now includes starting cash and some weapons. For general gear it's suggested you use either Deadlands Noir (if you have it) or what would be appropriate for a 1930s era setting.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Much Ado About Lumenpetrium

Lumenpetrium is a corruption of Lumen Petra, which (if Google Translate is anything to go by) is Latin for 'glimmer rock'.

This is important because?

I have long envisioned there being a special mineral in the Frozen Skies setting that could be used for possible plot ideas (i.e. the 'spikes' mentioned in Alyeskan Tales) and to provide some justification for the Weird Science Arcane Background. Effectively think of it being Alyeska's counterpart of either Ghost Rock or Warpstones.

Now Lumenpetrium (or Glimmer Rock as it's commonly called due to how it sorta shines in the light) has some residual energy until 'charged' via an alchemical process. This process typically uses electricity to effectively create a battery to power Weird Science devices. The Sodkans (when they still had their great empire) discovered a large deposit of Glimmer Rock, which they kept a fiercely guarded secret, and an alternative of 'powering' the rocks; Souls.

The so-called 'Sodkan Method' (least to those who know of it) was discovered literally by accident when a lab experiment went disastrously wrong. A team of Sodkan scientists were trying to increase the power load of Glimmer Rock when an equipment malfunction resulted in a power overload and an explosion that killed most of the team and severely injured many others. Curiously the sample piece of Glimmer Rock was still intact and hadn't suffered any damage, though it now emitted a sickly green glow and faces of those who'd been killed in the accident could be seen in the rock. Many tests were run, using criminals who'd been sentenced to death, until the Sodkan Method of using souls was proven and then refined to be more efficient. Not long after this, the Sodkans greatly expanded their mining colony in Alyeska.

The onset of the Great Darmonican War greatly hampered the Sodkan Glimmer Rock Project, the condemned criminals it'd been using were instead being sent to the front lines to fight in penal battalions. In addition the Project had great demands placed upon it by the Sodkan Empress herself to produce weapons for the war effort, forcing the Project scientists to take drastic measures to keep up production of the 'Sodkan Refined Rocks'. Late in the war the Project did start to bear some fruit by producing the so-called 'Tin Men', mechanical automatons that were used to replace the Project's diminished work force of miners. Militarized versions were starting to reach the prototype stage a large explosion destroyed the Sodkans' main research base and devastated the surrounding area during a visit by the Sodkan Empress, the double blow effectively ended the Holy Empire's chances of winning the war and ultimately ended the War itself. In the aftermath the Holy Empire shattered, giving rise to the Union of Sodkan Republics and the Iron Collective. 

The Blast had other far-reaching effects; The area devastated by the explosion remains a dead zone that effectively separates the Iron Collective from the Union of Sodkan Republics. There are also the Spikes, where streams of Glimmer Rock have started building up energy on their won accord before discharging it in a burst of electricity. These discharges of energy have yet to inflict anything more than some minor damage, though they have been growing in regularity.

There are rumours that the Iron Collective may have restarted the old Sodkan Project, though this can only bring bad tidings for Darmonica's future.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Eastern Alyeska

Located on the continent's eastern edge is the Territory of Eastern Alyeska, though most local folk just call it Alyeska which tends to confuse outsiders. The Territory's capital and main settlement of Gravenburgh is wedged in between the eastern arm of the Dragonspine Mountains and the Jagged Coast, though it sits at the head of a large bay formed by the Dragonspine arcing from the south-west through to the chain of islands and rocks in the east called the Needles.

Most of the other settlements here are clustered round Wicked Antler Lake located tens of miles north-east of Gravenburgh and is ice free for much of the year. Aside from mining or logging camps the only real other settlement of note is Prospector's Reach which sits on the northern coast next to the eastern boundary of the Chillwynd Marches.

The Chillwynd Marches


The Chillwynd Marches is a large, completely flat circular plain that is located in the north-west corner of Eastern Alyeska and cuts into the Alyeskan Highlands. It is believed that it was carved long ago for some obscure reason, certainly great chunks of mountains have simply been cut away to form the almost perfect disc.

All along the boundary of the Marches are giant standing stones, all equal distance apart and positioned similarly to the marks on a clock used to denote seconds. At the dead center of the vast circular plain is a towering spire called the Monolith, it is effectively a ruined city carved out of a tall, thin mountain and is only partially explored. Strange glyphs have been found all over the walls of the interior, yet nobody has been able to translate them. One person has claimed to have reached the top of the Monolith, said that the spire contained a throne room filled with ancient treasure but then vanished after making this claim.

The Marches are also known for the eerily wind that blows almost ceaseless across the frost coated, stone plains and gave rise to the Chillwynd name. Many say that whispers can be heard upon the winds, usually that of lost loved ones or temptations. A great many have been driven and by these cursed winds, many others have simply vanished in the Marches and left behind their abandoned campsite.



Compared to Morrdun in New Gwentia, Eastern Alyeska's main settlement has alot more of a frontier feel to it. You'd struggle to find any building thats higher than a couple of stories, save perhaps for the Territory's seat of governance; Commonwealth House with it's clock tower.

The eastern leg of the Trans-Alyeskan Railway cuts through the northern district of Gravenburgh, containing on to the Needles with a line that runs north and across the Dragonspine Mountains to reach Tay River on the southern shore of Wicked Antler Lake.

The Needles


Forming the eastern most part of theentire Continent of Alyeska is the chain of towering rocks and small islands known as the Needles.

The Needles are largely inhospitable, the few settlements here are exposed to the fury of the northern seas and only the hardly seem to live here. In recent years the Commonwealth has started taking a keen interest in the Needles, plans have been proposed to use the Needles and a series of bridges to create a joint road-rail link between Alyeska and the home isles of the Commonwealth. Thus far only surveys and test drillings have been made, though if the project goes ahead then it could transform Eastern Alyeska.

The Lost Sodkan Mine


Prior to the last major conflict, the Great Darmonican War, there was a major nation known as the Holy Sodkan Empire and it had a mining colony somewhere on the northern coast of Eastern Alyeska. It it widely known that the mine used penal labour and was heavily guarded, but with the Empire's shock defeat and resultant collapse in the War the colony was effectively abandoned with its "residents" disappearing into Alyeskan society. The mining colony location has been forgotten, though a few have claimed to have found it over the years.

Recently the Iron Collective, argued to be the Empire's successor (other than the Union of Sodkan Republics), has developed a rather keen interest in locating the lost mine and chiefly finding out what was actually mined there. The Commonwealth and the rest of the Darmonican powers, such as the Artian Confederacy and the Tyland Free State, have also taken an interest as it is believed that the mine might be linked to the moment that ended the War and is also one of the War's greatest mysteries.