Blank Verse: Foe, Ancient Foe

Bel Izeard

A cinereous mist dampens the moors.
The sun is a silver speck in the sky.
The kingdom, it withers under a curse,
An ancient foe that torments its people.

An imperious lizard chuffs in its lair,
A forge of fire and smoke in the mountain.
It slithers and sleeps on piles of treasure,
A beast that was old when the stars were born.

All who have challenged it have died in vain,
Trying to win freedom for the kingdom,
Or for the wealth and glory for themselves,
Their bones are piled up high as a warning.

Here now, another comes to test the wyrm.
A brazen girl carrying a long spear,
Wearing a helmet too large for her head.
She is her father’s daughter in chain mail.

She steps into the dragon’s lair with pride,
Her cloak billows in the breath of its sleep.
So long has it been since…

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Kalespace

Kulan World Journal

This system was my first attempt at creating a brand knew crystal sphere using my full customized Star System Creation Tables. While I let the roll of the dice build this system, for the most part, I ignored the dice a few times when the rolls conflicted too much with previous rolls. It was interesting that two gas giants got breathable atmospheres while two terrestrial worlds got tainted atmospheres. Another interesting aspect is that all the worlds are large or very large. Plus, I rolled for a primary population type for each of the inhabited planets.

The most interesting aspects of Kalespace are the following:

  • The Eberron-like civilization of native outsiders on the massive gas giant, Zeligos;
  • The Classical Antiquity civilization of monstrous humanoids on the massive gas giant, Brair;
  • The giant civilization on the tainted world of Varn;
    • I decided to switch the atmospheric compositions rolled for Blackash…

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Fane’s Star

Kulan World Journal

This star system is linked to Kulan through the Harqualian event known as The Transformation. A human race, called the Belin, was transported to the Lands of Harqual during a forced planar-crossing. Their home world is Salitt, which is medium world with little technology or magic. While it is a arid world with rugged terrain, it has a typical biosphere for a planet of its size.

While four of the system’s planets have breathable atmospheres, only the terrestrial world of Shalinsar has knowledge of spelljamming technology. Margvelvak, Dreen, and Shalinsar all have technology equivalent the middle ages with Shalinsar being the most advanced of the three worlds. In the asteroid field known as Breakpoint, there are neophyte spelljamming outposts created by the denizens of Shalinsar.

The gas giant called Dreen is an interesting world, as it has a standard breathable atmosphere and a civilization with a understanding of both magic…

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Allorspace

Kulan World Journal

This crystal sphere used to exist in the Shell Reality, until one of its inhabitants met the raia and exposed his sphere to the concept of there being different realities. Of course, that man is long dead and it took hundreds of years after his death before the sphere to shift into the Farspace Reality. But it proves the point of the arcane, exposing shell reality inhabitants to the concept of realities is a dangerous consequence of letting other races from the farspace reality enter the sphere reality. The Arcane Merchants’ Alliance actively discourages other races from making contact with ‘shellers’, including trade embargoes and the threat of military action. So far, none have risked the wrath of the arcane by attempting to shift another shell sphere to farspace.

Allorspace was named after the sphere’s primary, Allor (very large fire planet). Allor is what is known as a fire planet…

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Trademeet

System Type: Single Primary Star
Classification of Star: Trademeet (Juvenile, orange, 0.7 – 1, 60 billion years). This star use to have another name long ago but it is all but forgotten in modern times.
Planets: Des, Marrilo, Arana, Salor, Juepet. Allin, Vaigo and Burrun.

DES
Planet Type: Terrestrial
Size: Very small
Gravity: Low
Atmosphere: Vacuum
Geology: Rugged
Hydrosphere: No water
Biosphere: No life
Population: n/a
Technology: n/a
Magic: n/a

MARRILO
Planet Type: Terrestrial
Size: Small
Gravity: Microgravity
Atmosphere: Vacuum
Geology: Very flat
Hydrosphere: No water
Biosphere: No life
Population: n/a
Technology: n/a
Magic: n/a

ARANA
Planet Type: Terrestrial
Size: Medium
Gravity: Standard
Atmosphere: Standard
Geology: Standard
Hydrosphere: Dry
Biosphere: Scarce
Population: Very high
Technology: Imperial
Magic: High

SALOR
Planet Type: Gas giant
Size: Very large
Gravity: Extreme
Atmosphere: Dense
Geology: Very rugged
Hydrosphere: Very dry
Biosphere: No life
Population: Very low (gas mining colonies)
Technology: Imperial
Magic: High

JUEPET
Planet Type: Terrestrial
Size: Small
Gravity: Standard
Atmosphere: Very dense
Geology: Flat
Hydrosphere: No water
Biosphere: No life
Population: n/a
Technology: n/a
Magic: n/a

ALLIN
Planet Type: Gas giant
Size: Very large
Gravity: Very high
Atmosphere: Standard
Geology: Very rugged
Hydrosphere: Very dry
Biosphere: Very scarce
Population: Very low
Technology: Imperial (gas mining colonies)
Magic: High

VAIGO
Planet Type: Terrestrial
Size: Very small
Gravity: Low
Atmosphere: Very thin
Geology: Flat
Hydrosphere: Very wet
Biosphere: Very scarce
Population: Very low
Technology: Imperial (ice mining colony)
Magic: High

BURRUN
Planet Type: Terrestrial
Size: Medium
Gravity: Low
Atmosphere: Vacuum
Geology: Flat
Hydrosphere: Very dry
Biosphere: No life
Population: Very low
Technology: Imperial (military base)
Magic: High

Features: The mercane are the only intelligent native species in this system. There are other races living and working in the Trademeet star system now but they aren’t usually found anywhere else but on Arana or the mining colonies on Allin & Vaigo.
Places: The LifeTrade Alliance Stock Exchange on Arana, the Dirmat Gas Mining Colony on Allin, the Kelit Ice Mining Colony on Vaigo, and the Rithal Military Base on Burrun.
NPCs: Jutil Kai

System Template

After the DRAGONSTAR Guide to the Galaxy came out, I figured I’d create a new template to use in conjunction with the World Building section in Chapter Eight: Running Dragonstar (pp. 126 to 138).

Name: The name at the top of each entry is the common name of the system most often used by the natives of that system. If the system is independent of the Dragon Empire but the Empire knows of it then the system may have been given a random database name entry by the Royal Exploratory Service (i.e. F-163E476U8).
System Type: See DRAGONSTAR Guide to the Galaxy, p. 126.
Classification of Star(s): See DRAGONSTAR Guide to the Galaxy, pp. 126-128.
Planets: See DRAGONSTAR Guide to the Galaxy, pp. 128-137.

PLANET ONE
Planet Type:
Size:
Gravity:
Atmosphere:
Geology:
Hydrosphere:
Biosphere:
Population:
Technology:
Magic:

PLANET TWO
Planet Type:
Size:
Gravity:
Atmosphere:
Geology:
Hydrosphere:
Biosphere:
Population:
Technology:
Magic:

Features: See DRAGONSTAR Guide to the Galaxy, pp. 137 to 138.
Places: See Dragonstar Guide to the Galaxy, p. 138.
NPCs: See Dragonstar Guide to the Galaxy, p. 138.

Theraman Trading Collective

The Theraman Trading Collective just proves the adage that anything is possible. Founded by a soulmech, that calls itself Theraman, the TTC is one of the most powerful merchantile organizations in the Outlands. Theraman is mysterious figure throughout the Aegis region — the soulmechs history isn’t commonly known outside of the TTC. And then, only his most trusted partners and advisors know the whole truth. The Slaadi Lord known as Thuy is one of the only individuals outside of the TTC who knows that the soulmech known as Theraman was once the human known as Ful Theraman.

Those in the know inside the TTC really don’t care about Theraman’s history, as the soulmech has proven itself to be a shrewd businessman and honorable CEO of the organization it founded. The time that Theraman spent being tortured, when he was still flesh and blood, by Thuy, taught the sentient machine the value of patience and honor. Two concepts that it had lacked as a human. When Theraman was “killed” by Thuy, a strange alien secretly took his dying body to a wizard and paid a hefty sum to have a Soulbind spell cast just at the moment that Ful Theraman died.

Theraman, the soulmech, found itself indebted to the alien and was forced to work off the debt by acting as a bodyguard. For just over one cycle did Theraman work to pay off his debt, learning the value of hard work as a result. The soulmech was treated well by the alien and learned the art of compassion. Theraman had soon paid his debt in full to his friend. The alien revealed its true form as a female fraal and explained that she had been watching over his family for two generations. The fraal, called Joiiya, and Theraman’s father had been good friends. She explained that there hadn’t been a way to prevent the death of his human body.

Ful Theraman had grown up without his father being around most of the time and the two of them had never been close. He had always resented his father, which had drove him into the life he chose working for the Slaadi Lords. The soulmech felt something lift off his soul and he would have cried if he had still been human. Theraman found his true soul again and gave up the vileness in his soul. Theraman and Joiiya expanded the fraal’s medium-sized trading firm into one of the most profitable organizations in the Outlands. Theraman was soon running the organization by himself, while Joiiya helped from behind the scenes. It took only two cycles for the TTC to be competing with other interstellar organizations such as the Gnome Commerce Guild, LifeTrade Alliance, and Artificers’ Guild. The TTC is on good terms with the Jade Consortium and respects the boundaries set by that group when it comes to selling merchandise in consortium controlled areas. The TTC does not do business with the Slaadi Lords and will even use force against them.

For while Theraman might have given up evil he still holds a grudge against his old employers. Joiiya worries that such self-inflicted anger and pain might push him back into the darkness and she is constantly reminding him to take it easy once in a while. She is especially worried that Theraman allowed a powerful evil wizard, named Manshoon, too join the TTC roughly a cycle and a half ago. Theraman and Manshoon are, surprisingly, close friends. The soulmech often reminds Joiiya that he too was once a black-hearted man and that she shouldn’t judge Manshoon so harshly. Theraman believes he can change Manshoon and makes the wizard work as hard as anyone else. This no nonsense attitude used to really bother Manshoon but he is becoming used to doing his part (and reaping in the benefits).

The TTC is a member of the Arcanum of the Stars and is one of its biggest supporters. The TTC almost always uses its influence to take a wait and see approach to Arcanum House politics. And while Theraman can’t actually join the council itself, several of TTCs key corporate wizards and psions fill out the membership of the TTC in the House. The most vocal of this group is Manshoon and he is the defacto head of the TTC voting block — another thing that worries Joiiya. She has considered joining the council herself just to keep Manshoon from exerting more and more influence on the TTC Arcanum members. Her disdain for the Arcanum is the only thing that has kept her from applying and she would be the first fraal to join the House if she ever decides to go through with it. She would rather have Theraman break off ties with the Arcanum completely believing that nothing good will ever come from being part of what she calls a bunch of terrorists and hot-heads.