About the Kingdom
Continent: Western Mass
Leaders: The Shah, the Dark Tower
Capital City: Delphine
Cities/Towns/Villages: Desperation’s End, Sol, the Gypsy Encampment, The Rat’s Nest
Monetary Units: Water, Gold, Silver, Copper, Slaves.
Magical Alignment: Unknown
Ethnic Majority: Humans, Elves
Inhabiting Races: –
Religions: Renna the Dark One, Madh al’Ao
Factions/Guilds: The Rat’s Nest
- The Writhing Sands
Natural Resources: Kryst, Seafood, Grain/Rice, Magical Components, Medicinal Remedies.
Local Fauna: –
Once, a long time ago, I was asked to write a history for a land that was already so old that most of its history had been forgotten. And now, that history is so old that even I have forgotten most of it.
However, this was, and remains true, that once upon a time, I made a Vow. A Vow to destroy a place. And though the world itself was destroyed, reborn, destroyed again and reborn again, that Vow remained because ‘it’ had remained. But, no longer.
Kenyon is no more. And, at the same time, it has become so much more than what it had been. Shattered, broken, destroyed, its foundation stones scattered like so many wooden blocks that children will play with, I find myself freed of that Vow, and with that freedom, I will dance among their bones and make a mockery of what they’d held dear.
Kenyon, once a gigantic science experiment by its creator, now flourishes peacefully as it’s own continent among the seas of Elyu. With large plains of green grassland, a blistering desert, coastal waterways, and cities teaming with people, the kingdom of Kenyon has moved beyond expectation. Though a rather huge continent, it is ruled by the Shah who has put into place a governor in each major city who answers solely to him.
“The land itself is lush and strong and, happily enough, mostly empty. The land’s magic is as powerful as ever, and it took only time and concentration to make use of it. Without certain infuriating sources of distraction and resistance, it was simple enough to begin molding this land, remaking it into what I need of it. I make note of these changes below for my own records, preferring to fall back on old habit to ensure that while memory can altered by magic, paper is forever.”
The capital city is pure, bright white and splashes of color. The buildings and streets are clean, there are oases of gardens scattered here and there inside the city walls, and food is aplenty…at least for those with wealth. Beneath Delphine’s glittering, pristine surface bubbles the idea of revolution in the catacombs beneath the city.
Notable Locations in Delphine:
- The Wish Market
- The Slave Market
- The Dryad’s Daughter Inn
- City Catacombs
A dark, seedy city of corruption and misconduct, here the laws of most cities are made to be broken. Racketeering, prostitution, piracy, slave trade are the norm though its own set of laws among criminals are held accountable by an appointed governor by the Shah, Constantina Pendragon, a former pirate of some renown in the area, though loose of moral, she runs a tight ship of expectations in Desperation’s End.
Notable Locations in Desperation’s End:
- Crooked Noose Tavern
- Whisperwind Wharf
- Treasure Reef (a massive coral reef dangerous to ships)
- Capricorn Cove (beach)
- Dark Daughters Den of Iniquity (bordello)
“To east, past the Inner Sea, lies the eastern coast and Desperation’s End. It sits at the crossroads of the only remaining section of roads on this bit of land, with a large natural harbor. It’s the only real ‘city’ that I’ve allowed to spring up here. A pirate haven, it’s strictly filled with those pirates and mercenaries that have agreed to my terms. Those that disagree or go against me are either sent to the Inner Sea to consider their options, or simply killed if they annoy me too much. The rest are compliant enough, considering their options. In return for safe haven there, they occasionally do as I request, as well as funnel information to me on the other realms that exist here on this fair world of mine. And, of course, there are the slaves that they deliver to me.
They’re ruthless and mostly stupid, but they serve a purpose. Should I have need of disposable soldiers and sailors, it’s better to have and not need than need and not have. Of course, should I ever get to the point where I ‘need’ them, it might be better to simple abandon this world again. On the other hand, if they should grow too powerful on their own, I may need to hire some outside ‘help’ to trim their numbers to a more manageable size. Time will tell.”
The Long Red Road
“From Desperation’s End, the long road to my personal domain follows the coast down some miles to the once-empty crater that sits where the Castle Kenyon once stood. It’s by this road that I receive my guests, little presents from slavers at Desperation’s End. My experiments require a steady supply of specimens, after all. Sadly, it is here that the only real source of ‘crime’ exists in my little corner of the world.
Believe it or not, there are people out there stupid enough to steal from pirates ‘and’ me. Brigands and waylayers, and others seeking to free the slaves, if you can believe it. I do what I can, but it’s a long road and to be honest, I get bored bothering with it. It’s the pirates’ problem, not mine. If it gets out of hand, then I’ll deal with it.”
In the southeast portion of the Writhing Sands desert, is situated an oasis haven for travelers and nomads alike. Tall, sandstone walls surround the city, and inside are squat, sandstone buildings with colorful, woven awnings, The city welcomes all peoples and provides shelter, food, and water to those in need. Patrols regularly explore the desert looking for the lost and wounded, and bring them back to Sol.
The Old Wood
“A great lush forest surrounds what’s left of the Castle Kenyon itself, abandoned and empty and perfectly suited to a personal project that I’ve been working on for some time now. A certain Elven city-state that had worked hard to foil one of my other efforts was brought in, made guest in this land that I claim for my own, centered within that newly enhanced forest, granting them a level of connection with that Wood that would make their kin just ‘green’ with jealousy.
A great lush forest surrounds what’s left of the Castle Kenyon itself, abandoned and empty and perfectly suited to a personal project that I’ve been working on for some time now. A certain Elven city-state that had worked hard to foil one of my other efforts was brought in, made guest in this land that I claim for my own, centered within that newly enhanced forest, granting them a level of connection with that Wood that would make their kin just ‘green’ with jealousy.
I have cursed them, every last one, with a connection with that Wood. Should they leave that wood for over-long, they will die a wasting death. And, when they die, for whatever reason, they are reborn in that forest, and their rebirth brings death to one of their cherished trees. So, as they live and struggle on, trapped in their woodland realm, their failures bring a diminishing to their
Wood. Their deaths resonate and bring a lessening to the forest around them.
But, to ensure that some hope remains, for what is despair without hope to fuel it, I let them know the way to maintain the Wood and themselves. Once, every year on a certain night, they can sacrifice ‘Human’ lives to restore the forest. For every sacrificed life, taken with their own bare hands, under the light of their precious moon, a new tree is born and grows to towering heights.
So, every year, these loving merciful honorable elves raid neighboring farms and fishing villages for men, women and children that they then slay with their own small delicate hands to restore their Wood, lest they all perish and fade away, forever.
They called me monster, and now I have made them monsters that men fear in the dark night.
The Wood itself is old, naturally, thick with centuries-old growth, prime elven territory with a pacified environment. No raiders come here, no monsters lurk in its shadowed bowes. Elven patrols ring the inner perimeter, but no enemies come here. The outskirts of their realm are empty of life, save the natural wildlife. Within their borders, they live as they have always lived, though the vast majority of their efforts remain focused on the curse that I have laid upon them and their city. They seek to break free and escape this land, they devote so much time and effort to it.
They will fail.
And while they obsessively work to undo the bindings I have laid upon them, any humans who wander into their land are subdued and brought to their Elders and given a slightly altered version of the truth. They are mollified and allowed to linger there, ‘guests’ of the Elves until that anointed night…
I imagine they mourn their victims with blood-wet hands, crying out for mercy even as they strangle their sacrifices with their own bare hands. Even if they should eventually escape my grasp, they will never be free of what I’ve done to them.
This is my vengeance.”
The Writhing Sands
“To the west of that forest lies a great expanse of deep sands. Mildly populated by nomadic tribes of inconsequential and irrelevant men, it’s what lies beneath those sands that holds my interest.
Years ago, I discovered a strange species of advanced insects. Nothing especially interesting in that, except two distinct details, that being their means of attracting food and what they do with intruders. Both of these details, I leave vague for now, lest I get distracted. Suffice it to say, I opened a few portals to caverns beneath those sands and now a great thriving hive exists there now, filling the caverns and growing rather quickly. I will deal with this in time, should I need to do so, but for the time being, I watch and learn and experiment with choice specimens.
This species that I have not yet named, has a fascinating ability to psychically reach out and reform the sands above them into what, for all intents and purposes, appears to be ancient ruins. Elven, human, other species. Each set of ruins is made entirely of sand, but appears exactly like the type of old ruins that eager and desperate people tend to search for magic and treasure. And those ruins always run deep into the ground where the insects wait for them. These appear to be instinctive, reshaping the environ in order to lure in others.
I have plans to experiment with these things when I have the time and inclination to send some would-be plundering types their way.”
The Gypsy Encampment
Colorfully painted wagons create a huge, protective ring for the Kenyon gypsies in The Heart of the lands. They are a fun-loving, musical people who earn money for providing services such as mending pots and pans, selling whittled, crocheted, and clay wares. They welcoming and judgment-free as a people.
“To the east of the Sands and north of the Wood lies a vast stretch of grasslands that I have deemed The Heart. Empty, lush, filled with herds of deer and wild oxen, a pristine example of unspoiled nature. It’s the perfect setting for a certain experiment.
I brought in three large tribes. Feral satyrs, centaurs and a breed of wild humanoid catlings, far more than what the local environ can support, of course, and then arranged for all three of the tribes to get ‘divine’ messages indicating that their Gods had deigned each of them to be the only truly worthy tribe. Thus began a rather bloody three-way war for the Heart. Thankfully, their war has ensured that their combined numbers, while straining the environment, are sufficiently in balance, at least enough for the war to go on without interruption in perpetuity. Whenever champions arise from their war, I pluck them up and put to use elsewhere. Better that than for them to die pointlessly, in the fields, yes?
At times, I worry that one side or the other might grow too powerful. When that happens, if that happens, well, I can find a solution somewhere. Throw some gold at some naive souls and talk about the ‘balance of the land’ and let them do what needs doing.”
The Inner Sea
“Directly east of the Heart are a set of vast interlocked lakes that are vastly unpopulated, save for number of fishing villages. And since there’s no direct way out of these lakes to the greater oceans and seas that surround the land, I’ve taken to using this ‘Sea’ as a place to put sea-going fools that look to cause me issues.
These lands, all of these lands, have far more storms than I remember, undoubtedly caused by that great Eye to the north-east. Under the cover of these storms, I have plucked a half dozen bands of would-be pillagers and plunderers and set them upon this land-locked Sea and inform them that they can either get comfortable in their new home, become a fisherman, or learn to heed my orders. Eventually, they all come around. Though, at any given moment, there’s a dozen pirate ships on that Sea, angry, bewildered and/or looking for easy plunder. The villagers themselves have no idea where these pirates keep coming from, but I’ve let rumors fly that there’s a hidden path to the Ebon Ocean to the east.”
The Northern Emptiness
“Nothing remains here, there appears to be some sort of energy being flung off from that roiling storm that is positively destructive to just about every species that I’ve put out there, alive and not, demonic and celestial. I have yet to test that upon myself, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Still, it’s not an immediate effect, so I have plenty of opportunity to drop various specimens up there to see what these energies do to them. I hope to eventually find a species that responds positively to it. if nothing else, it’s a great place to dispose of tools that have outlived their usefulness. There are ruins up here, as there are everywhere in this land, but I’ve no time to go and explore them. Perhaps in the future, but I have enough on my plate without playing adventurer again.
However, I ‘have’ found a number of swamps on the northern fringes, with intriguing hints of something powerful there, though it could be anything or nothing. Time will tell.”
The Ruins of Castle Kenyon & the Dark Tower
“Once upon a time, a great Castle full of decent folk existed here. Good and virtuous people that annoyed me to all Hell and back again, and the world went BOOM and so did the Castle.
Today, there’s not a single stone in place, right down to the foundation stones that I deliberately checked on myself.
I raised my new Tower where the Castle once stood, upon the edge of this great cliff now hangs over what they’ve called the Ebon Sea. It’s convenient, really. Whenever I’m done with an experiment, I simply toss it out into the Sea. If it dies, then it dies, but if it lives, then I have a new guardian beast watching the Sea for me.
The Tower itself, I’m told, best resembles a large spike of rusty iron. I wouldn’t know since I spend most of my time inside, rather than outside, offering up critiques. I’ve managed to excavate the majority of the underground, filling those tunnels with new cells for my guests and specimens. Though, I’ve sensed something deeper there, built in the cliffs themselves. I’ve no time to go exploring, but there might well be things there, things that survived the fall and have taken to living in the cliffs and feeding on the things that fall from my Tower. As long as they stay down there, they can stay down there. I’m a generous landlord.
This is my sanctum and it never fails to bring a smile to my face, imagining the looks on their faces, those dead and missing souls that challenged me so many times. I finally got the last laugh, and I intend on making it a good laugh.
This is my land now. Though no one but I should be able to ever read this, I give fair warning to all, there is no mercy here, no relief, no safety. Every bit of it from north to south and all in between are mine. Come here at your own risk, but should you decide to come anyways, be aware that there’s always room in my Tower for another guest. ”