Monday, May 26, 2014

Fallen Empire - Central Province Ruins

Ruins Of the Central Provinces
Pepinot Vex has set off across through the decaying grandeur of the Imperial Capitol and into the desolation of the Central Provinces.  The heartland of the Successor Empire, and the richest provinces during the thousand years of Imperial Peace, these lands are desolate now, clogged with ruins and soured by the esters of abandoned ancient magics. 

Central Provinces Encounter Tables (Ruins)
A Coaching Inn, abandoned in the past two generations.  The core buildings of antediluvian bonewhite are surrounded by a sagging maze of later wood and stone construction.  The ruin looks uninhabited, but seems the sort of place that wildlife, bandits and arcane sports would congregate
A Coaching Inn, burnt timbers and frames jut from a pile tumbled stones. Only bright yellow mushrooms grow from the ashes so the fire was relatively recent or the ground is cursed with magical waste.  The inn was of modern construction and little remains above ground.  Careful searching will reveal a stone trapdoor that leads to the Inn’s former cellars.
Only a roadside sign, of weathered bonewhite, proclaiming “The Moneylender’s Folly” hints that a ruin of a coaching inn concealed in a dense growth of briar trees.  The ancient buildings have been melted to slag by some magical conflagration, but the foundations remain, filled with a maze of briar trees festooned with bone chimes and trained into a warren.
A Coaching Inn, bright pennants and bunting decorate a plastered white building roofed in blue tile and the sounds of a pianoforte tinkle out onto the road through an open window.  Approaching the ruin reveals that this is an illusion of prosperity a spectral remnant of the past, only single wall of the inn stands pitted and covered with mould.
A much worn coach of black polished wood rest on its side in the ditch, perhaps the conveyance of a member of the rural nobility.  Scattered around and within the coach are 1D4 badly mutilated bodies and the contents of several trunks (torn and soggy clothing).  The massacre appears recent (2D100 hours old).
Half buried in a hill a few hundred feet from the road are the gutted remains of an ancient bonewhite flying coach.  The cause of its crash is not evident, but its location provides an excellent overlook of the nearby countryside.
The bare outlines of farmland remain here: foundations, rotting wooden posts. More notably this large farm was once an orchard, and many of the trees, though long past their prime, are still covered in strange bright fruit of varieties now uncommon or unknown.
The low buildings of an ancient plantation are nearly invisible beneath a riot of fleshy purple vines, some as thick as a man’s waist.  Only a bell tower, molded in flow-stone with lost art, climbs above the overgrowth.  The vines are clearly a product magical corruption, and rustle with ominously.
A hamlet is visible from the road, its exact details masked by strange blurring.  Upon approaching to a few hundred feet the there is a sense of incredible wrongness about the place.  Within the haze of magical corruption figures still move, seemingly carrying on normal errands and work.  If observed for long enough the figures' movements repeat.
A peaceable looking thorp of modern construction, reed hovels surrounding a few substantial wooden buildings.  The entire thorp is mined and trapped so that individuals investigating the building will trip wires, step on buried or disturb carefully balanced triggers  and shatter glass orbs containing air flammable alchemical compounds.  The resulting fire will set off a conflagration as numerous barrels of oil and flammable straw pack the hamlet’s buildings.
A neatly kept Imperial messenger station stands near to the highway.  Its windows are shuttered, door locked, and horse paddock empty, but otherwise the post appears untouched by time.  The interior of the station barracks once housed a long squad of 18 vigiles, but now contain the body of one elderly man, who has rested dead in his bunk for at least a month, wearing the threadbare uniform of a forgotten legion.
Once a small rural garrison, this ruin shows the signs of titanic violence.  The walls of the fortified blockhouse have been blasted outward and the other buildings crushed from above.  All that remains of the garrison are ancient bone fragments and a few pieces of shredded armor
Scorch marks, small fires and shattered windows mark this mansion an empty ruin. The interior is covered in the graffiti of a redistributionist cult and the bodies of the lord and his family hang desiccated from the rafters of the great hall.
Once a stately carved stone manor, worn by eons of rain, now in a terrible state of ruin by neglect.  Still the vineyards that surround it are well trimmed and contain only the most gnarled of old vines rich in black fruit.
The pit’s sides are more slope then cliff, but they are clearly an old sinkhole.  At the center of this pit is a largely intact manor house, its roof collapsed on its upper level and its lower level collapsed onto the elaborate crypts and cellars that may have undermined the structure whose passages still gape in the pit's walls.
A nameless town, built around a distillery, now standing in ruins. The place appears to have died of neglect rather than violence, but careful examination of the buildings will discover repeated graffiti of the yellow plague sign.
This town was ancient, and once prospered on trade from the surrounding farms. It appears as if it was inhabited only recently, at least in some of the buildings closest to the road.  The rest of the ancient buildings contain only bones, human and animal, stacked in huge careful piles.
The crumbled hive of a factory looms, its high walls covered in vines and lichen.  The edifice seems to have been abandoned for centuries, but the descendants of its workforce may still reside within, feral a plague upon the countryside.
A line of stone hills, covered in an aggressive vibrantly green moss, mark the fall of an ancient stone war-titan across the road.  While the immediate path has been cleared, straying will enter the arcane sink created by the slowly dissipating magic of the ancient construction.  The effects of this pollution are minor as the fall occurred long ago, but strange life persists amongst the titan’s crumbled remains.
A bronze titan, 60’ tall and incredibly ancient was finally brought down here, likely in a skirmish between noble houses. The bulky wreck crushes a vineyard building, still partially intact, and the fruits in the fields beyond have grown wild and gigantic from the wreck’s magical emanations, making a fertile landscape for arcanovores.

I have decided that in any game of Fallen Empire played there is an additional stat, much like the stat for Sanity in Call of Cthulhu.  Exposure to magical pollution will slowly wear away this stat, and when it’s exhausted there will be a nice mutation table to roll on.  I might even consider allowing magic-users to burn this stat as a means of recasting spells.

Also given that the pernicious influence of magical radiation is a major setting component, I think that the Owlbear will be a commonly encountered monster, they are inexplicable horrors that persist on vermin and magical radiation after all.

1 comment:

  1. Hah! I've been imagining old coaching inns of a lost empire along a dangerous path in a 'schwarzwald'/dark forest. Really needs one of those 'print to pdf' buttons.