CRB is a repository of all the creative things that float through my mind about the RPG Pathfinder. Two major features are random character generation and building characters based on the god they worship. Anything that seems like it adds to the creative aspects of the game will pop up from time to time, including location descriptions, adventure ideas and even short stories. CRB won't just be my own creativity, it will open the floor to anyone who has an idea sparked by what I present to you.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

World Building - The Rubble

Building a world is a lot of hard work, even fleshing out just one city can be tough. Today we return to the City of Whispering Swords and continue our quest to flesh out the city in the Kwanlai region of Tian Xia. We’ve already had three installments and today we are going to start fleshing out one of the city’s major locations.

Previous Articles

Although it’s not the first city in the history of fantasy games to do so, The City of the Whispering Sword gives us the opportunity to bring the traditional dungeon crawl into the city proper. The Rubble – the still ruined part of the city – holds any secrets that we deem it should. As laid out previously it was the home to many of the bigger buildings, including religious structures, educational structures and governmental buildings. To many that means there is a treasure trove of lost knowledge, and possibly actual treasure to be found.


One of the reasons the Rubble hasn’t been fully excavated yet, in addition to the lack of fund in the fledgling government, is that the ruins are considered haunted. Although some think of this as mere superstition, the truth is it bears some weight. A number of ghosts and festering spirits still inhabit the area, whether they are remnants of the original population or explorers who died here later is unknown.

Undead things that cling to this place for reasons only they know are not the only creatures that inhabit the rubble. The snake-like rodents known as Slitherrats also make a home for themselves here. The ratfolk have already had to deal with colonies of them while cleaning out the shadows. One of the few crews of explorers that have made it out of the rubble claim to have seen a mass of rats with their tails knotted together. Tales of a rat king have spread among the people of the city as a result.

The most disturbing rumor that has come from the rubble is that of a centipede-like creature. More than one sighting of the horse sized monstrosity on the outskirts of the rubble has caused panic. Its long many-legged lower body supposedly supports the upper half of a cruel-faced orc. Whether or not this is a sign that orcs have once inhabited this city is unclear, and research into the beast by the learned of the city has produced no leads.


The Temple of the Sun and Moon

Once a great temple to the star crossed lovers Shizuru and Tsukiyo, after the fall of the city the temple has been desecrated by its former master. When the disaster that befell the city happened, the head priestess of the temple Mari Yoshiko sought succor from her goddess and found none. In that moment of inescapable death the high priestess turned to whoever would answer and she received the blessing of Lady Nanbyo.

The blessing of the Widow of Suffering was, of course, more like a curse. Mari did not leave this plane to her final reward, instead she was left as a dark custodian to look after the Lady Nanbyo’s new temple. The desecration of the temple also transformed the remaining priests and some of the supplicants who came seek solace into lesser undead minions of the temple’s caretaker. The trapped souls tortured, but unable to move on through no fault of their own.

The Great Library

The library was once a wondrous hall of learning but has now sunk deep into the earth, only the uppermost floor of the five story structure remains above ground. Although many of the books were destroyed in what appears to have been a fire, and many more were stolen as the city tore itself apart, there are still no small amount of tomes within. Although open to the public as a conventional store of knowledge, the secreted recesses of the library housed a cache of magic lore.

Pushed further into the darkness as the building collapsed, the secret portions of the library remain untouched. Over the course of time however, much of the magics have leaked out of their tomes and scrolls, unleashing many things that should not be; twisting normal creatures with their power and even wholly creating grotesque things of pure magic.

One summoning scroll long ago let its magic loose and dragged a devil from the depths of hell into the lower area of the library. The cabal devil, or uniila, is a diabolist of the highest order and has been forced to spend the intervening years watching in horror as magic has dissolved never to be used again right before its eyes. The uniila collects and catalogs what little magic remains, hoping to find a way home with at least sliver of the vast arcane knowledge that once resided here.

The House of Wu Shang

This small temple was once a dojo for those seeking to master the martial arts. Its first master, Wu Shang, gave it its name. The monks who taught here were resigned to their end, and in the small courtyard the oddly preserved bodies of six of the brothers sit cross-legged. The temple itself is in ruins but some knowledge of the Wu Shang style still remains within.

The greatest treasure to those seeking knowledge is the statue of Wu Shang in a trapped secret room below the temple. Wu Shang was so intent on seeing his pupils prosper that he linked his soul with the statue. Although he most times lies to rest in the realm of Shizuru, his spirit can be called to the statue when needed. Those who are found worthy may find answers to the deepest philosophical questions. Those who are not may only find death.

Pavilion of the Lord of First Vault

Abadar’s worship reaches even to the land of the Tian, and as such many money collectors look to the god of trade to help them in their duties. The Pavilion of the Lord of First Vault was where the city treasury was located. Whether or not there is still anything of value left therein is anyone’s guess. The faithful of Abadar have surely not left what might remain unprotected. Mundane traps and safeguards as well as divine protections keep whatever is lost within the vaults safe – for now.

So there are a few places for your players to explore, although it isn’t an exhaustive look at the area. What do you think should be located in the rubble of a fallen city? What other inhabitants do you think would be appropriate?

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