Saturday, February 25, 2012

First! and The Dry Docks of Lariat


Welcome to The Adventuring Archives.  A year and a half ago my wife and I discovered we were going to have a child and I knew immediately that my gaming days were numbered. Now, don't get me wrong, I am a very happy and proud papa, but I need my gaming fix. I am not much of a video gamer, though there are a couple that can hold my attention (i.e. Assassin's Creed and Dragon Age: Origins). So I cannot get my gaming fix that way.  I don't like the idea of online chat based games, so that is out.  Also, one of my favorite parts of Dungeons and Dragons was the creation process.  Creating new people, new worlds. I sit at work, at home, where ever and I just write. Just little bits here, a paragraph or two there.  Notes of things I was going to include in my next game. A new monster idea. A great trap.  A tricksey puzzle.

But that next game never came. I wrote my notes on little slips of paper, post it notes, copy paper.  Whatever was handy.  It drove my wife NUTS! I didn't realize it at first but my little papers were everywhere! My bookcase was full of them.  My desk was covered in them.  Even my night stand next my bed was littered with these little notes with ideas that were going to be in my upcoming game.  I felt bad for my wife.  It looked like trash.  And it was. Though they were covered with many interesting ideas, they weren't being put to any use.

I couldn't just throw them away though.  These little slips of paper representing something to me.  An outlet.  My fix.  They were the only way I was satiating my thirst for gaming. So I continued.  I tried organizing them.  I gathered them up and put them in a folder.  Copied some down in a college rule notebook. Still these pieces of paper keep turning up.  I can only buy so many notebooks.

So I finally decided.  A Blog! I will take the notes I have and record them here online.  Plus I can take a little extra time and expand on some of them.  Give a little insight.  And once I am done recording that note?  I can finally throw them away.  Get rid of this clutter.

So without much further ado, here is my first note.  My take on The Seven Wonders of the World for my homebrew gaming world, Verdenheim.  I will start with one for now

The Seven Wonders of Verdenheim: The Dry Docks of Lariat (and Docktown)

Lariat used to be a very wealthy port city on the western edge of Verdenheim.  The Docks of Lariat were huge, beautifully crafted stone structures with amazing maritime reliefs carved into its sides and rails. Some time ago, in the last age, the western seas retreated from the coast of Lariat, leaving a drying sandy clay soil in its wake.

The City of Lariat remains, still prosperous but no longer a port city, the nearest coast now a hundred miles to the west.  Lariat is now the source of the finest pottery and porcelain on Verdenheim.  The clay soil is harvested in mass quantities and made into great pieces of art and china. The citizens of Lariat became known as the finest and most sophisticated merchants around.

The fact that Lariat is a port city with out an ocean brought adventurers and the curious alike to see the mysterious Dry Docks of Lariat.  Dozens of feet high, the docks offer a spectacular view.  They are beautiful and engaging.  But most only see the sights from the top.

Not many make it down to the base of the Docks, where lie the lean-to's and huts, collectively known as Docktown. Dozens, even hundreds of these little shacks strung together, one built against another, bonfires and garbage pits strewn around. Filthy, unwashed bodies packed under the docks which provide what little protection from the elements they have.

Docktown is a completely different animal from the city of Lariat.  These dregs of society are mostly indentured slaves, forced to work harvesting the clay by the wealthy.  To the Dockers it is just mud, since there are Screws who go around Docktown making sure the Dockers don't take home any clay mud that they could turn into pottery or anything they could earn a few gold by selling.

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