Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Settlements of the Scaled Continent

In ACKS' default 'borderlands' setup, it is assumed that there is a region of human civilization on one map edge, with forbidding wilderness on the other side and a sparse line of frontier towns down the middle.  The Scaled Continent has a very conveniently navigable dividing line, namely coastline.  And so, a list, named in my typical town-naming style:
  • Notable non-border settlements:
    • Salvation - The largest settlement on the Islands of Voltager, so named due to its position as a source of fresh water in the middle of an otherwise massively empty ocean.  Once occupied by the lizardmen, fell to a short Auran siege due to Voltari complicity and poor fortress design.
    • The Forks - Once-capital of the Thrassian Empire, located at the massive fork in the Serpent's Tongue from which that river derives its name.  A multiracial city, hosting large resident populations of lizardmen and vipermen along with representatives and slaves of a hundred jungle races, along with man, dwarf, and elf.  The Citadel, a massive castle once home to the dragon-king Itzcoatl, rises eighty feet from an island at the center of the city.
    • The Pit - An immense sinkhole deep in the jungle whose walls the vipermen have riddled with burrows.  Known for its market, where it is said to be possible to buy any poison known to man, and many more exotic.
  • First, towns that are where they are for a good reason:
    • Stillwater (town) - A trading port at the mouth of the River Langour.  Primary port for man-crocodileman interactions, and a designated Human Preserve / slave-trading area.  Named for the speed of the aptly-named river on which is sits.
    • Haven (village) - a good natural harbor located midway between the mouths of the Langour and the Serpent's Tongue.  Old lizardman ruins on the promontory overshadow the town.
    • Unity (village/hamlet) - Settled by a passing ship's crew due to generosity of friendly natives.  Good relations persist to this day.
    • Port Maw (town) - Positioned at the mouth of the Serpent's Tongue river, a major trading port with the lizardmen and vipermen of the upcountry.  Once a major slave port, less so now.  Named for the impression of early sailors that the overhanging canopy resembled a toothed mouth.
    • Mission (hamlet) - An Auran religious / military outpost some ways south of Port Maw.
    • Guano Cave (town) - Midway between the Serpent's Tongue and the Islands Innumerable.  Primary natural resource and export is guano from the extensive nearby cave complexes, contested by cave inhabitants.
    • Liberty (village) - Carved into the cliffs of the Turtle's Beak by escaped dwarven slaves.  Remains a dangerous place for slavers to put ashore.
    • Scurvy's End (village) - Among the northwestern Islands Innumerable, and home to extensive fruit trees and abundant fresh water.  A favorite stop of sailors.
  • And of course, those settlements with less fortunate origins (mostly villages / hamlets)...
    • Mire - A hellhole in the Crocodile Fens founded by poor benighted (and beknighted) fools in search of a city of gold.  Enjoys regular visits from hungry crocodileman raiders.
    • Miasma - A barrier island off the coast of the Fens settled by sailors who ran ashore during a storm.  The whole place stinks of rot from the salt marshes, and malaria is its primary product.  The soil is good for growing rice in the marshes, but mortality is atrocious.
    • Rat's Nest - North of Port Maw, a ship washed ashore during a tremendous storm was caught in the canopy of the jungle.  Most of the original sailors have left, but the elves enjoy the humor of the place and congregate here.
    • Splinter - A treacherous reef in the Islands Innumerable, inhabited by sharkmen.  Their religion prohibits them from eating anyone who makes it to shore, and a small colony of survivors has sprung up on the nearby atoll as a result.  They trade crude alcohol, crafts, and stories to the sharkmen for fish, but are always careful to stay out of the water...
    • Mutiny - Beyond the Islands Innumerable lies the Bay of Black Sand, abutting the Desert of Black Sands.  A fool captain once attempted to chart the coast of that miserable place.  When he came upon a river running north into the desert, and a merciful source of fresh water, he let it be known to his crew that he intended to continue east along the coast after only a day to gather provisions.  His mistake in henchman morale management cost him his life, and a town sprang up at the river's mouth.  These days it caters to fools seeking to explore the desert's interior, and is inhabited by the desperate, the wanted, and the slightly-unhinged.
Of course, there are a number of abandoned, destroyed, and forgotten settlements littering the coast as well, but those are adventure locales and must be found!

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