Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I've been putting together a gazetteer for my Vaaran Kingdoms campaign. The party is in the Kingdom of Palus and recently passed through Tongtel, the lone Elven city in the region. I am still working through the details but here is a look at what I have so far (subject to change of course). 

A free town with a large elven minority who form a unique aristocracy in Palus. Their freedom predates the formation of the kingdom and they claim their independence was granted by a mythic king of Nong Sai named Tong-Gai. The town is ruled by a council of 7 elders called the Phra Sheng, led by a 720-year-old Elf named Chang. The city allows the Church of Light and the Church of Ramos to erect churches but  the predominate religion among the elves is one involving the veneration of Senga mixed with strange regard for Ranua.  Ranua is feared here, making the elves of Tongtel different from those elsewhere, but her powers are respected. To keep her wrath at bay a single individual, The Minister of Life and Death, makes offerings of song and poetry at her shrine. The Tongtel elves are believed to have lived in Palus since the fall of Nong Sai. This is likely true, but none of the elves in the community are that old. Change, head of the Phra Sheng, is the oldest Elf in the settlement and he was born seven hundred years after the fall.

The lower classes of Tongtel range from farmers to merchants but they have freedoms they wouldn’t otherwise outside the town. The exceptions to this are the weapon smiths. Only elves can be weapon smiths in Tongtel and their arms are highly regarded. In particular their war axes are light and well balanced, yet still effective (no accuracy penalty). They cost 300 Silver.

Inns, shops and elven dancing halls are common throughout the city. Dancing Halls are a form of entertainment held inside domed buildings and staged on round platforms. Dances mostly depict events from Nong Sai history. Each day markets are held near the gates. Any outsider purchasing armor or weapons would do so here just outside the gates. Nobles from Port Sul and elsewhere commonly come here to make such exchanges.

Houses are a combination of timber and stone, with the secrets of Nong Sai architecture largely lost, though most building and houses in Tongtel do have stupa-like domes made of wood. According to local legend this helps the town blend in with the forest.

Even though Tongtel is free it is a crucial settlement and the king has a contingent of 6,000 dwarven soldiers. The soldiers help local trade and keep the city defended from Gru incursions so they are well treated by the Phra Sheng. These soldiers are led by Archon Narses from Hanno-Kar Castra.

Laws of the town are enforced by a small guard of elves called the Lions of Senga. These are well trained warriors and elders. They are led by the Minister of Life and Death. The Minister of Life and Death alone venerates Ranua at her Shrine located on a small hill at the edge of town.

Tongtel has a population of 13,000 but 6,000 of this number are the king’s soldiers. Entrance to the city costs 3 Silver. No weapons can be carried inside the city walls except by Elves or soldiers of the King (weapons may be purchased by non-elves at the city gates).

Buildings of Note: The Cathedral of Light, Churches of Light (3), Church of Ramos (4), Temples of Senga (6), The Inn of the Golden Lion, Hanno-Kar Castra, The Bank of Port Sul, Hall of the Emerald Snake.

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