It has been a hot minute since I've posted to this blog, so I decided to put up a summary of the kingdom of Blackwood from my home setting.
Blackwood is ruled by a monarch, a ruler with supreme authority over the whole nation. Monarchs are selected by completing quests that are determined by the Questing Crown, a sentient magic item. Depending on how much the Questing Crown likes the current ruler, the quests will be relatively easy or extremely difficult. The Questing Crown’s quest is broadcast in the dreams of everyone in Blackwood.
2. What are the people like here?
The people of Blackwood are extremely tolerant, as anyone can become the monarch of Blackwood regardless of ethnicity, species, gender, or sexuality, so long as they are able to complete the quest assigned by the Questing Crown. People of all sorts live in Blackwood, and there is no dominant ethnicity.
3. What religious beliefs do people follow here?
All religions are tolerated in Blackwood, so long as they do not explicitly call for violence. Churches and temples of countless faiths can be found throughout the land, including missionaries from Norenlund attempting to “save the heathens”.
4. What are some notable cities/settlements?
The capital city of Pinehaven is located deep in the heart of Blackwood. It is the location of Blackwood castle, the reigning monarch’s home. Far to the north of Pinehaven is Rimebridge, a relatively large city known for its frigid cold and the many ancient ruins nearby. In addition to these two settlements, there are numerous small towns and villages scattered throughout the nation.
5. Who are some noteworthy people who live here?
The current reigning monarch is Queen Julia, an extremely strong warrior from northern Blackwood. She has short black hair, dark skin, and piercing brown eyes that seem to gaze into the soul. Julia is stoic, but compassionate, and slew a foul vampire for her quest in order to become monarch. She wants to do what is best for Blackwood. The monarch who was in control before Julia took over was Elric Quickfingers, a former thief who stabbed his companions in the back to obtain an ancient tome of magic, the quest assigned at the time. He is vengeful and wants his throne back, and is willing to hire other adventurers to do the dirty work, so long as he completes the quest.
6. What goods are available to purchase here?
Magical items, while not as bizarrely plentiful as in Arcturon, is more common than in other parts of Visterra. The occasional magic shop can be found, mostly in larger cities though. Blackwoodish armor and weapons tend to be good quality, though not necessarily the most technologically advanced. Some gunsmiths exist, but they aren’t very common.
7. What unusual laws are there which PCs should be aware of?
The one unusual law of Blackwood is its method for choosing monarchs. Other than that, laws are fairly standard.
8. What kind of adventures can be had here?
There are many old ruins and caves inhabited by monsters to be slain throughout Blackwood, and always there is a quest broadcast in the dreams of the nation’s inhabitants.
9. What is the environment like?
Blackwood is, as its name suggests, mostly forested, with trees sometimes reaching hundreds of feet tall. Most settlements are nestled in clearings, sometimes hand-made by loggers. In addition, there are some marshes and areas of hilly grassland.
10. What is a brief history of this place?
Blackwood is a very old country, with a history dating back thousands of years. Huge volumes compiling the exploits and laws of its many rulers fill entire library shelves. Famously, however, the first king of Blackwood was named Elwin, a sorcerer who bound his soul to the Questing Crown after he died, so that he could retain some modicum of control over the nation forevermore.