Showing posts from June, 2020

The Ruins of Auromia - Session Four: Blood and Hops

After the battle at the Temple to Bellona, there was a celebration. When Accluso, Dova, Forza, Ilaria, Noke, and Sorrel returned to the Cigno that night, they were all very drunk. That did not stop the strange dreams of the forest from returning again. Dova's dreams were more intense that night: she dreamed of blood and murder, and awoke to find herself sleepwalking, standing over Forza with her arms outstretched - whether to seize the magical sword he had retrieved from the Cavaliere Rosso, or to strangle him, she did not know.

When everyone awoke hungover the next day, it was nearly noontime. They went into the common room for breakfast. The publican Ignazio was helping Bartolomeo and Carlotta, the owners of the local home-brewery, to unload a cask of beer, so his partner Valentino served them while they studied an old map of Auromia and planned their next move. Today was the day of the weekly market, so they were keen to visit it as well. Ilaria wanted to gather the ritual mate…

Cities of Auromia: Cotronai

Cotronai is a small coastal city in eastern Tirenia. It was founded in 1186 A.A.S. by the Ercolian hero Myscelus. He was exiled from Trinacria along with his followers. after accidentally causing the death of his father, and followed a dream to found Cotronai. In 1006 A.A.S. the philosopher Aristaeus of Cotronai started the first gymnasia, a school of philosophy and physical exercise, in Cotronai. He was extremely influential, and following his teachings, the Cotronians deposed their tyrant and established the first democracy. Cotronai’s influence spread throughout Ercolia, which brought them into conflict with Taras. The two cities and their allies fought in the Cotronian War from 907 A.A.S. to 880 A.A.S., in which Taras was eventually victorious. The Cotronians turned upon the Aristaeians and drove them out of the city. The city became part of the Auromian Empire after 748 A.S. While it never regained its influence, Cotronai gained a reputation as a place of learning, and young men …

Cities of Tirenia: Taras

The city of Taras is located on a small walled island between the Grand Harbour and the Little Harbour, a reservoir large enough to hold ships. Overlooking the city to the south-west is Mount Taleton. 
Taras was an ancient Ercolian city founded about the year 1182 A.A.S. by the local hero Taras, the son of a local nymph. During a shipwreck, he was carried ashore here by a friendly dolphin. The city developed a reputation for its mighty soldiers, and today calling someone a Tarasian is a poetic way to compliment their strength, endurance or skill at arms. It became the most powerful city in Ercolia. Part of its success was in creating a slave population, called helots, from towns that fought them. This led them into conflict with Auromia. The Tarasians proved their prowess when they drove back Auromia’s mighty armies, even though greatly outnumbered, but in 748 A.A.S. the Tarasians were defeated. Their control over Ercolia was lost, and the helots were freed. Taras gradually grew again,…

Cities of Tirenia: Larisa

By the mouth of the Sporca River in Tarchania, about ninety miles due south of Fiumenze, sits the abandoned city of Larisa. The settlement there dates to before the War of the Host, but its indigenous population was displaced by the coming of the Tarchanians. Under the Auromian Empire, Larisa was the only major port west of Auromia itself, and it grew prosperous from sea-trade. Emperor Clarissimus chose Larisa as the centre of the magical network he was building to channel the aetheric currents of the world. He constructed a great tower as the focus of the network, but his plan was never completed. The partially constructed tower did, however, succeed at partially redirecting the flow of magical energy artificially. The land began to distort under the pressure. The sea recoiled from the land, and suddenly Larisa was no longer a port. The ground buckled and heaved, leaving the buildings irregular, and the Emperor’s tower leaning on an unnatural angle. In the face of such strangeness, t…

Cities of Tirenia: Eridava

Eridava is a populous city of 60,000 located fifty miles south of Selenizia. It lays claim to be the oldest Tarchanian settlement in Tirenia, built when the Tarchanians first crossed the mountains into the subcontinent. It joined the Auromian Empire voluntarily when it called upon the gold dragons to help put down a rebellion, and prospered under its rule. The city suffered during the fall of the Empire, and many of its citizens fled to what would become Selenizia. The two cities have been close ever since, but Eridava was soon eclipsed by the wealth of its daughter city. In 740 A.S. Eridava lost a war against Selenizia and, while it officially maintained its independence, has been all but controlled by that city ever since. In 746 A.S. the Universita degli Studi di Eridava was founded by students and teachers who left Felsina to establish a more liberal university. It is the second oldest university in Tirenia. As a result of the scholars there, Eridava has a reputation as one of the…

CIties of Tirenia: Panormo

History: The largest city on the island of Trinacria is Panormo, with a population of 30,000. It is an ancient city: the ancient Ercolians who settled here found signs of habitation dating back to before the War of the Host. Due to its commanding position in the Inner Sea, the city became a major trading port, and it swapped hands many times between Tirenian, Sahelian and Crescentian rulers. Ruggiero il Volpe, a Tirenian mercenary, conquered Trinacria and most of southern Tirenia in 596 A.S. He became the first Prince of Trinacria, with Panormo as his capital. This was the beginning of a multicultural golden age for Panormo, but later rulers were not so beloved. In 806 A.S. the Trinacrian Revolution occurred, in which the Prince of Trinacria was expelled in response to tyrannical rule; he fled to Kymaiopoli, which is still the seat of the Prince of Trinacria. The city has been independent thereafter. 
Government: The official ruler of Palermo is the Prince of Trinacria. However, the Pr…

Cities of Tirenia: Ascia

Ascia is located in the middle of Tarchania, east of its rival Fiumenze. According to legend, the city was founded by Ascio, a patrician fleeing from Palladia. It grew rapidly after the fall of the Auromian Empire, when it became an important trade route as part of the Tarchanian League. The city became rich from the wool trade, and from pilgrims on the way to Auromia, although these gradually dried up as the High Ordinarch moved to Aterni. The city became the seat of a different branch of the blue dragon brood from Fiumenze. Following the collapse of the Tarchanian Marches, hostilities broke out between Ascia and Fiumenze. Despite being greatly outnumbered, the Ascians managed to inflict a heavy defeat upon the Fiumentines in the Battle of Berardenga in 784 A.S. This was the city’s proudest moment. Its influence spread until the Great Death, when the population dropped from 120,000 to only 25,000. Alongside this massive drop in population, the city also underwent political upheaval a…

Cities of Tirenia - Zigura

Zigura, the Hidden City
History: Zigura was the largest city in the White Mountains, to the west of Tirenia. It had a population of 10,000, mostly gnomes and humans. It was founded in the Heroic Age by the Tiguri, a group related to the Tarchanians who settled in the mountains rather than proceed into the subcontinent. Accordingly, they speak a dialect that is most distantly related to Tirenian than most other dialects. The Tiguri settled in different valleys and passes, forming small clans that often feuded among themselves. Zigura was the largest of the mountain communities, and much of the internecine fighting in the mountains was the result of Zigura positioning itself as the leaders of the other clans. Zigura was also the home of the gnomes, former fairy spirits who forsook their immortality in order to be able to remain in the world after the War of the Host. 
In 491 A.A.S. Zigura invited the Auromian Empire to interfere in the clan warfare. Once the area was pacified by the bronz…

Street Rat V

Chapter five is here! This is a shorter one, because my wife is putting the finishing touches on her next actual computer game, 'White Rabbit: Royal Scheduler!'

Fiumenze Nights Redux - Session Three: Davide and Ercole

Stripped of their badges, Chiara, Donatella, Heidini, Ilaria and Lia retrieved Davide from the roof where they had hidden him on the roof of the taverna. What were they to do now? They decided that they could not abandon their investigation, nor could they abandon their new friend. They had two leads remaining: Bartolomeo's mistress Angela, whose cameo they possessed from Bartolomeo's rooms, and his apprentice Giulia. They decided to go to the marketplace and see if they could find out anything about Angela.

On the way to the market, the group ran into a gang of six men with sledgehammers. They were workers from the Basilica, led by the foreman Fabrizio, and they had been riled up by Fra Gottifredo to find Davide and destroy him. After failing to negotiate with them, the group made a distraction and fled. Heidini used some of the fairy tricks that gnomes still possess to help throw off their pursuers, and after an hour or so they had left the angry mob behind.

The group was lu…