A Landscape of Ideas

By | March 23, 2013

Hello again!

This week I found myself laid low with first a mild bit of food incompatibility, followed by a rather nasty cold.  While suffering from that, writing up a set of QuickStart character creation rules for an upcoming demo, and redesigning the Talent system slightly to reduce unnecessary complexity and speed starting play, I was not able to also do the rewrites to the already-published chapters as promised.  So you won’t be seeing that today.

Instead, I’d like to take a few moments to show you some images from Talover: The Crossroads Kingdom.  Rules are meaningless without a setting and adventures to play them in, and while we’re developing Infinite Earths we’re also working on an inaugural adventure hub.  This adventure hub is a subset of a larger campaign setting we’re developing, but it’s designed to be popped into practically any world.  Covering roughly 10,000 square miles (a hundred miles on a side), this kingdom has numerous locations, adventure hooks and scenarios associated with it.  Let’s take a look at some of those locations.

All of the following images were produced for Room 209 Gaming by Daniel Wood, a fantastic artist who’s been able to really take the ideas we’ve presented to him and bring them to life.  I hope you enjoy these pieces as much as I have:

danielwood_stoneskull

The Stoneskull is to the west of the kingdom of Talover, and is an ancient stone statue that was destroyed thousands of years ago in the Godswar.  Only these broken stone chunks remain, still an almost-pristine white after millennia of weathering.  The nomadic orcs of the Grand Plain, led by Krom Hearthbreaker, use this monument as a resting and meeting place.

danielwood_lonelytower

In the heart of Talover stands the Lonely Tower, home of the namesake mage guild that broke away from the Council Magisteri in the waning days of the War of Sorrows.  They have become a power in their own right in the southern Freelands, protecting the small kingdom and providing advice and arcane knowledge to all they or their king deem worthy. This is Daniel’s most recent piece for us, and I love the detail he put into the figures–almost every one has its own little story.  See if you can spot the nobleman and his guards, the boy and his dog, and the couple on a date.

danielwood_gatesofhorlaw

The mighty Gates of Horlaw protect the broadest pass into the secretive valley kingdom of the monsters, Dax Bor.  Known to be a nation populated by orcs and goblins, and ruled by them, they have remained a secluded but ominous threat to the peace and stability of Talover.  These gates were erected after the nation’s founder, Horghul Dax-Bor, marched across Talover burning and pillaging the towns and villages of men.  They have never been opened, and outsiders have never been welcomed.

danielwood_hightownlotown

In the Dragonjaw Mountains to the east of Talover, the draconid sanctuary of Xan-Zhiir stands on a mountaintop, protected from those that would invade it by steep mountain passes and the tactical mastery of the emerald draconid who maintain a clutchnest there. At the base of their mountain, the gnomish town of Garndarrow serves as a trade hub between the draconid, the dwarves of nearby Flamehammer Hall and the humans of Talover.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this small preview of Talover: The Crossroads Kingdom.