Sunday, October 2, 2011

Answering Jeff Rients' Twenty Questions (Part 1 of 2)

Awhile back, Jeff Rients posted a list of "Twenty Quick Questions for your Campaign Setting," which he then proceeded to answer (here and here) for his own Wessex campaign. Inspired by his example, I will now answer those same twenty questions as they relate to the Lands of Ara, to the best of my ability, also in two parts. Here goes part 1:

1. What is the deal with my cleric's religion?
We are discovering that as we play. Some well-known and widely worshipped Arandish deities include Awra, the creator-sorceress; Frey, God of the Noffellians; and Aldor, goddess of the Elves. Innominus, my current PC group's cleric, has suggested that his own order, the Followers of Endra, are a smaller sect, possibly based in the Western Lands, but who (like all other religious groups in Ara) also have a Temple in the Free City of Kaladar. In general, as I have previously posted, "Adventurers in Ara can surely find temples to almost any god or worshippable thing within the walls of the Free City of Kaladar; but outside that city, full-blown temples to anything besides local deities or those entities specifically designated below are probably rare."

2. Where can we go to buy standard equipment?
Any small- to mid-sized town* in civilized areas of Ara would do.

3. Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?
The Free City of Kaladar. Maybe a few skilled armorers exist in towns with significant dwarven populations like Farn Junction or Ironcrown who could pull off such a task as well.  Of course, no civilized Arandish town or village would allow you to bring your new monster acquaintance inside its walls!

4. Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?
The greatest living thaumaturgist in the Lands of Ara is Arlanni, current head of the White Council of Arlon. However, many Arandish folk believe that Awra herself still roams the Lands, sometimes in Gold Dragon form, sometimes as a human, even occasionally as a rodian. If these legends are in any way true, then the creator-sorceress would rank highest -- for she could surely blow Arlanni out of his booties any day of the week.

5. Who is the greatest warrior in the land?
Officially, whoever is the King of Noffel's current Champion and Captain of the Noffellian High Guard. But that would be a highly contested title, especially outside southern Ara. Usually the head of the Kaladarian Royal Guard is a major badass as well, and there may be other less well-known warriors toiling away in the monster-infested regions of northern Ara who have not been given their due in more civilized circles.

6. Who is the richest person in the land?
I am not completely sure, but I know that he or she surely lives in the Free City of Kaladar. Or possibly is a member of one of the older Noffellian families, or is an Achelonian noble in the Queen's favor who possesses vast tracts of central Arandish land.

7. Where can we go to get some magical healing?
Temples of the Healers of Carcoon abound in most central and southern Arandish towns and cities. Other local and regional sects may offer this service as well.

8. Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?
The Brothers of Carcoon could do most of these things, but only in their Temples in towns at least the size of Farn Junction, i.e., Medium Towns or bigger (pop. 4,500+).*

9. Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?
Yes, it's called the White Council of Arlon, and you MUST join it upon reaching name level, or else be hunted down by its (powerful) representatives.

10. Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?
Many good-sized towns in Ara may have such experts, but the larger the metropolis, the better. The Free City of Kaladar is a sure bet, as would be Highgate, the Noffellian capitol. The Delzarian capitol of Bilnhof is also well-known for its high concentration of sages and folklorists.

More Arandish secrets will be revealed in Part 2!
* See Labyrinth Lord p. 125 for settlement size categories.


  1. Great details, sir. Very well done!

  2. Thanks, Christian, I appreciate the support. Also, watch your (snail-)mailbox for a letter from me!

  3. I am really diggin' this. I love how it gives a great overview of your world and a summary of some of the things that are rooted in its deep and well thought out history. I've found myself clicking links and getting lost three or four deep by the time I realize I'm so far out from the main post. Very entertaining!

  4. Mike: Thanks a lot, I am glad you're enjoying this stuff! I eventually (2012? 2013?) plan to release a Lands of Ara Gazetteer as a pdf / POD product, which will contain all this stuff and more.