Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Perilous creatures

Arihmere, as has been mentioned, is known for its haphazard and unlikely collection of perilous beasts. Here are a few, presented for use with Sword/Play.


Could be mistaken for men in the distance, for they go on two legs. But their backs are broad and shaggy and their arms are longer, and they have only four digits on each hand. Their faces are like those of goats or sheep, though they have no horns. Grimelocks are silent; no one knows if they speak, or make their thoughts known only by grunts and howls. They are not needlessly cruel or given to mischief, but rather heedless and touchy, and they will slay any being they find within their territories. They weep during battles.
They have no true smith-craft, but arm themselves with spears and axes beaten out of stolen blades.

SKILLS: Tireless, Silent, Hunter


Naggs fly out of darkness, from caves or deep clefts in the ground. They have leathery wings, stretching as far as the arm-span of a man, but their beaks are long and blade-sharp. They attack by diving and are very swift, but cannot fly if wounded. They hunt for blood and sport, like wolves, and are most dangerous in packs where they will harass and slash before stooping to the kill.

SKILLS: Fly, Slash


Diminutive vermin, little taller than a man's knee. They scamper about in wastelands, preferring fens and marshes, where they hunt and scavenge. Oftentimes, they will attach the glowing seed pods of a knafer tree to a branch, creating a tiny, greenish light that they parade to lure the curious and unwary into sinkholes and other crude traps. They are cowardly, quick, dangerous only to those they trap when they mob their prey in large numbers, armed with sticks and sharpened stones. A trillit hole can often contain unregarded treasures as well as the leavings of their victims.

SKILLS: Sneak, Hide, Quick


Ancient, vile predatory spirits, that lurk in old tombs and bury-grounds. Having no bodies of their own, they dress themselves in grave-shirts, dust and bone, creating a vague mockery of the forms of the dead with cold blue eyes. Blades cannot wound them, unless spell-bound or forged of deep-steel. Their touch burns like ice. They cannot travel in daylight, and the wind and sun will destroy them.

SKILLS: Lurk, Terrify, Freeze


Ungainly, at least half again as tall as any man, with bulbous heads and features, and bones that are often uneven or ill-shaped. Ungainly and awkward in movement, they are easy to strike, but their thick hides and dense bones make them difficult to wound, and their great strength and terrible two-handed swords are to be feared. Surly and solitary by nature, they are unusually deft metal-smiths. They forge treasures and weapons of great worth, which they guard ferociously.

SKILLS: Smith, Greatsword, Massive strength

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Beyond Arihmere

Although the old realm of Arihmere is unfortunate enough to contain more than its share of dangers, there are many notable realms beyond its borders.

South: The Sundering Wars

Cordaigne, once known as the Captured Kingdom, was held entire by the Theran Empire, but the empire is now divided, and both successor states, east and south,  claim a patchwork of provinces and cities within its borders. As though the separation were not chaotic enough, the brawling Andaran Princess and the nominal King of Arihmere intervene in the simmering conflict, siding with one side and the other, warring and aligning, claiming and ceding territory, every year.

North: The Fell Lords

A hundred years ago, or more (for historians argue the dates as much as they doubt the events) it is said that Haladrin the Good was the only king ever to unite Arihmere under the one banner. Naturally, he was murdered by an ambition noble, Streigil, the Lord of Vosse and Cabel. Streigil did not rule alone, for he had nine (or eleven, or twenty three) dark lords at his side to impose his terror, and a witch-wife besides. Naturally, there was a revolt, and Streigil was struck down in battle (some say, slain). But his lords would not accept defeat, and turned to sorcery and infernal pacts, and three years later the Lord of Vosse and Cabel (or his revenant) returned to the throne with his wife as Queen and First Minister.

Whatever the truth of it, the Lady Streigil was finally undone by blade and magic, and her Fell Lords retreated far into the north. Most likely they perished among the fens and mountains, but in the north they say that the Fell Lords still rule among the black forests and dead lands where the pastures wither, planning their return, when they will recover the master and his lady from the deep, secret barrow where they were interred.

The Copper Road

The Wolve's Lane is but the end of a long road, winding from the far, forgotten south-east, from mountains, steppes, deserts and rivers and boundless forest, from sprawling kingdoms, empires, satrapies, protectorates, khanates and republics. Through all of this runs The Copper Road, named for the earliest coins that travelled between its markets, before even steel was forged.

The Arrant Sea

The Arrant Sea is wild, cold and clear. Most ships follow the shore, but there are uncounted islands and strange landings out there. For three hundred years, the Reaver Thegns have come from over the horizon, raiding or seeking kingdoms to steal, and every once in a while, the great armoured backs of the Heviathands, bristling with walls and turrets, heave into view from the shore.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

On the realm of Arihmere

Arihmere is a varied country, and its terrain includes wild coastlines, valleys and moors, and rugged mountains. There are many manors and villages, watch-towers and castles, and a handful of villainous cities and deep ports.

The peoples of Arihmere, townsman and peasant alike, have long settled within stout walls and hedges. Under the manorial system, most commoners are protected by the arms of a nobleman and his knights. But the realm is divided, tugged in many directions. In the south, the impetuous King Martyn spends the campaign season mired on the Sundering Wars, draining his treasury while he clings to the ancient title of king in the city of Warrensworth. At odds with him, but scattered along the north marches, the great houses bicker over precedence and territory, in the shadow of the Withered Lands.

In truth, Arihmere, like most of the Harrowmarch, has never been under a single law, but a subject of incomplete rule, from the ramshackle empires of the Erduath and Kees, to the clannish realms of the Ellfolk, to the Reaver Thegns and the witch-realms of the Leaden Lords before their fall. Much of what is known or said of the history of Arihmere is mere guesswork, were it not for the old pits and works of these lost domains.

The only certainty is that the realm is known for its haphazard and unlikely collection of perilous beasts and strange folks, for its grimelocks and trillits, ourgarths and teamsprits, monstrous wyrms and shy fae, and countless other oddities.