Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wörld of Metal Gazetteer: Beyond the Shores

The Sea of Skulls
Land of Pirate Metal

Between Fyrotherre in the north and Amaranth in the south, there is a dark and storm-tossed sea whose very waters have been turned black by the evil that they have borne witness to. These waters a crawling with pirates who prey upon the trade routes out of Fyrotherre or raid up and down the coast from Freehell to Harthrakken. The islands of this sea are inhabited by a variety of foul-smelling cutthroats, the dregs of society from every nation in the wörld. Walk into any tavern in the pirate port of Keelhaul and you may find a dragonborn playing dice with a sand nomad, or a halfling about to start a barfight with a robot. 

Despite its relatively small size, much of the Sea of Skulls remains uncharted due to its treacherous waters. Rumours abound of lost islands containing ancient temples and hoards of fabulous treasure. Others tell stories of Dead Jeremy, the Pirate of Pirates, a lich who pursues the brigands of the seas in his undying flagship.

The origin of Pirates' Metal is unknown, so none can say whether it originated in the Sea of Skulls or was brought here. Pirates' Metal is one of the rarest of all metals by quantity, but only a small amount is required to produce an effect. A talisman of Pirates' Metal will vibrate as it draws closer to a hoard or cargo of treasure, thus making it a prized possession for buccaneers who use it to track down rich merchant ships. Since Pirates' Metal is so valuable, a piece of it will also count as 'treasure', so it is possible for two pieces to home in on each other. But woe betide the fool who allows this to happen, for when the two pieces meet they will form a vibrational resonance that rapidly breaks down into an explosion capable of tearing a whole galleon to smithereens. 

Sounds like: Mastodon, Alestorm, Running Wild.

Far Niniwen
Land of Post-Metal
Beyond the Sea of Skulls, far to the west of Fyrotherre and Harthrakken, there lies an enormous ocean, almost devoid of islands and rarely travelled by any ship. Unlike the Sea of Skulls, this nameless ocean is mostly quite calm, but it is the calm of silence and lurking mystery. It is said that sailors go mad, lost in this flat ocean.

Yet there are some who have crossed it, to find on the other side an uninhabited archipelago that has been named Far Niniwen. It is an eerie place, with few animals and plants. Many of the islands are nothing but long stretches of grass from shore to shore. Others contain mysterious ruins, artifacts of an alien race long passed away. Some such artifacts may prove greatly valuable, while others are inimical to human life. Furthermore, there are said to be a handful of intelligent beings on the islands - not a civilisation or a race, but some sort of arcane talking-relics. Making contact with these beings is considered a risky enterprise at best.

One of the most common treasures brought back from Far Niniwen is Post Metal, though it is unclear whether the properties of these weird chalky cylinders are derived from their substance or their manufacture. In any case, the power of the Posts is this: when set upright and rotated an arbitrary number of turns, the posts become utterly immovable and unaffected by gravity. Only repeating the sequence of turns will release the Post Metal. This seemingly innocuous property has been used to block the advance of whole armies, to build towers that no wind can knock down, and once, by a resourceful halfling, to shatter the very jaws of the Obsidian Dragon.

Sounds like: Isis, Cult of Luna, Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Next on Wörld of Metal Gazetteer: The Southlands.

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