World Lore

Until I can relocate all of the information about the Iron Domains, use the Google doc to learn about the setting.

Twenty questions for the Iron Domains

These questions were supplied from Jeff’s Gameblog which I found on reddit’s r/rpg. I thought they might lend some use in explaining some overview of the setting.

What is the deal with my cleric’s religion?

Characters with divine powers usually receive them through an organization of religion. This could be a group that spans the world or a cabal of cultists so obscure they don’t even register in the scheme of things. Are deities real in the Iron Domains? The simple answer is “yes”, but how much of a hand a god has in the world isn’t always so clear. Deities make their presence known through their followers. A god without a shrine is not a god at all.

Where can we go to buy standard equipment?

Commerce is everywhere. Bartering and haggling is commonplace, even in domains with well-circulated currency. The silver standard is in effect for most civilized areas. In less advanced cultures, other items may be used for currency, or there may be little or no currency at all. Your character’s silver coined in Thrakia may and probably will be rejected outright in Anasra, so you will need to convert your coin at a moneychanger (with a service fee of course — and a high one for carrying a coin with one of the Thrakian dukes’ likeness on it).

Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?

If you tamed a monster, that is quite the feat. Monstrous mounts aren’t uncommon in some domains, so there may be little or no trouble finding barding for your Juadaleran phase panther. In others, you may find it difficult to find a saddle for your horse.

Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?

Saule the Ebon Greed was likely the most powerful and influential sorcerer in ages past and likely many years to come, but there are contemporaries of magic who are forces to be reckoned with. Vastaban sorcerers are known for having magic in their blood, and the current Pharoah of Vastaba is the son of a deep lineage of magic. Each of the four Thrakian dukes are rumored to be skilled in a secret art of magic. And it is said that Woes was ruined by a mad sorcerer, who still haunts its shattered canyons and the regressed primitives there through living spells.

Who is the greatest warrior in the land?

In the northernmost domains, the frost giants hold warrior traditions that have allowed them to ascend to the appearance of godhood. In the West, kensai use soul power and rigid training to defeat their lesser-skilled opponents in battle. The Mezzodomains are known for their prize fights which pit champions who seem almost larger than life against other challengers and exotic beasts. Far to the east and south in the lost domains, there are warriors who only know primeval means for survival, where endurance and passion boils in their blood.

Who is the richest person in the land?

The wealthiest person in the land is likely a Komosian, which is why he may keep himself hard to find from cut-purses and cutthroats. He may keep his riches safe at home, in the Land of Ambrosia (the term “Ambrosian” might be offensive to a Komosian, but also a form of flattery — so speak this slang at your own risk). In Komosef, it is said that a peasant can climb two social ranks simply by sailing to another country.

Where can we go to get some magical healing?

As with other fantasy settings, magical healing can be found in religious temples at the hands of ordained priests. However, not all clerics practicing magical theism are able or willing to heal, and not all zealots are even capable of receiving or performing miracles from on high. Luckily, the campaign began in Anasra, a domain dominated by the Church of the Gilded Hand. Clerics of Aureat are usually able and willing to heal others through miracles, and thus they are usually held in high regard by all but opposing faiths.

Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?

RuneQuest handles magic differently than Dungeons & Dragons. The afflictions above are things a character might experience in a D&D campaign, not a RQ one. However, similar afflictions exist in the RQ rules, and can be offset or cured by magical means (typically by Theism). The answer to this question also varies on where you would seek out healing. Resurrection in the Iron Domains is possible, though rare — perhaps only a handful of people have been raised from the dead in a true living form in the entire history of the world.

Is there a magic guild my magic-user belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?

A guild or school is usually the main way a magic-user learns and receives powers in the Iron Domains. RuneQuest is very explicit about groups being important necessities to learn trades, skills, and powers. Brotherhoods, cults, monasteries, universities, guilds, and so on provide more than mechanical bonuses and abilities, they’re a source for connections, information, and adventure.

Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?

These sorts of NPCs can usually be found in small societal niches. An NPC with special knowledge/ability will either be exalted or ostracized by word-of-mouth, but unless their ability is commonplace in a society, they will not be ignored.

Where can I hire mercenaries?

Check for a local mercenary guild. If there’s no such thing, a tavern might just do. I want the Iron Domains to feel like any resource can be found if you look for it, but something as simple and available as a hired sword shouldn’t be tricky to locate. NPCs, like in other fantasy settings, will likely join the PCs for the right cause or coin. These hirelings may be temporary help on a strict contractual arrangement, or they might be new long-term friends with similar allegiances to the PCs.

Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?

Yes. However, carrying armaments is usually expected and encouraged in some regions. In cases where the nobility or upper class citizens feel threatened by lower-class citizens touting sharp, dangerous-looking objects around, weapons may be outlawed or even seized by the military.

Wielding magic is better kept a secret until the unfamiliar area is discovered to have kept sorcery legal or its people are not suspicious/afraid/hostile toward it. In areas where magic is more common, it can be suggested that using it is likely legal under some stipulations.

Contacting spirits through animism is usually viewed as sorcery; most average citizens would not be able to decide on much of a difference. In places lacking advanced civilization such as The Black Vales, spirit-calling is a serious matter. A shaman might hold a lot of power in her ability to bind spirits, but an unaccepted practitioner might be killed by the fearful for meddling with spirits.

Which way to the nearest tavern?

Ask someone. Take a Walk. Either way will probably work (unless you don’t speak the language…

What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?

The frequency of monsters is something that has yet to be decided. Certainly a fight with a true beast won’t be as common as breakfast, but adventuring will drastically raise your chances at encountering one. Monsters will require careful consideration to fight effectively due to special abilities or simply having enough mass and strength to easily overwhelm a character and tear them limb from limb. “Boss” monsters may be legendary creatures witnessed by few — perhaps because the creature leaves few of them alive or unchanged.

Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?

Certainly. With political tensions simmering in the Mezzodomains (that is, Thrakia, Anasra, Kabahn, Wilcale, and to a reaching extent, Hpora, Komosef, and the empires to the west), war could be on the horizon. More covert action is always being taken by nations in underhanded attempts to control the political weather; spies and cowled killers skulk in the shadows and in broad daylight, perhaps many miles away from their homes to fulfill the wishes of their masters. Violent conflicts that are currently ongoing include: the Anxis Insurgency (revolutionary war) in Duke Anxis’ Thrakia, Genocide in Campuchea, the Pandilla War in Juadalera, the nationalistic Endless War in the Western Domains, and the strange interplanar Rift War in Kha’Ib are some major examples.

How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?

Visit Thrakia. The Empire of the Four Dukes has fighting games galore, and takes the spectacle of theatrical violence very seriously. Thrakian gamemasters employ slavers, beasthandlers, architects, and heartless judges as creators and organizers of the empire’s games. War spoils in the form of captured combatants and prisoners are often used as fodder for hopeless battles for their lives in the arenas. Exotic beasts and monsters are captured or enter the games on their own accord. Willing participants may enter the games under fairer stipulations. Consecutive winners receive riches and titles that make risking their lives worthwhile. Fallen participants who enter under their own will are honored for their bravery and their contribution in entertaining the people of Thrakia.

Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?

Yes. Who they are though, is secret.

What is there to eat around here?

Animals of delicacy are virtually unchanged from the real world. Cultures and religions may discourage the consumption of certain foods, as in the real world.

Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for?

Pulp-style adventuring is a goal of the Iron Domains. Every major location has opportunity for treasure, either in the form of riches or experience or otherwise. Don’t be afraid to ask around or go looking for such things.

Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure?

This question has already been answered for the most part. About dragons, however…Dragons are a part of the world. Their involvement has yet to be determined. I’ve kept in mind that I’ve never run an encounter with a dragon.

World Lore

Iron Domains Tim_Heckler