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Land of the Stained Peaks


Round 2 - Top 32: Design a Country

1 to 50 of 95 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka Sir_Wulf

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Zavaten Gura: Land of the Stained Peaks
The Mountains Are Without Mercy.
– Old Zavaten saying

Ruler: His Steadfast Eminence, Voislav the Tenacious, Utograf (“Iron Lord”) of the Resolute, Dragon of the Peaks (N Dwarf Expert 10/Rogue 3)
Government: A council of leaders from the land’s five largest towns is chaired by the hereditary Utograf. In practice, the towns’ leaders are largely autonomous; they are known as the Iyregrafs (“Resolute Lords”).
Capital: Visheksrad (Population 12,400)
Prominent Towns: Smeikas (Population 7,200), Bovodport (Population 7,100), Zopotishto (Population 3,800), Utogstad (Population 3,300), and Slavstad (Population 2,500)
Population: 62,000: Dwarf 51%, Human 27%, Bugbear 10%, others 12%
Alignment: Predominantly Lawful Neutral

A Cruel Land
Zavaten Gura is a mountainous realm, harsh and inflexible as its unyielding inhabitants. A small country swept by the frigid winds of Chopodn Gulf, it is dominated by a forbidding mountain range, the Stained Peaks. The mountains’ wealth has drawn people from across the continent, but the land can be cruel: Many who seek their fortunes here instead end within the communal tombs of the dwarven towns.

Metal ores are found here in unparalleled abundance: Rich veins of silver, lead, black nickel, and even toxic arsenic. Among the inhospitable mountains lie veins of nearly pure iron, metal that hardly requires the refiner’s fire.

These minerals are not an unalloyed blessing: In places, toxic metals and wastes have contaminated the land. Acidic streams wind through poisoned valleys, their unwholesome water home to misshapen crustaceans and inedible, polyp-covered fish. In these places, toxins madden and destroy those unwary enough to ingest them. Contaminated water and foodstuff are a constant danger (Survival DC 10 to avoid). (A common Mineral Toxin: Ingested DC 12 poison; Initial Damage: 1d4 Wis; Secondary Damage: 1d6 Wis)

In some alpine valleys, plants and animals grow with unnatural vitality, adapting to their lethal environment. These hardy survivors are the “rust-tainted”, strangely distorted creatures resistant to the land’s frigid weather and toxic environment.

Along the coast, tidal marshes and scrubland divide the mountains from the sea. Unusually high tides make navigation treacherous, but the tidal flows power the areas’ many tidal mills, sprawling structures where triphammers endlessly pound the mountains’ metal into goods for export.

The People
The dwarves of Zavaten Gura do not dwell underground, where the land’s toxins accumulate. Instead, they build ornate structures of cast iron, covered with rusting gargoyles and bas-reliefs. Within these dismal halls, condensation drips and thin “rustcicles” weep from iron plates and rusting rivets.

Human enclaves are also found throughout the land, mining and trading imported foodstuffs and warm woolen cloth for the products of the peaks’ smithies. Bearded and dour, these men resemble the land’s dwarven rulers, even adopting their harsh tongue for everyday speech.

Bugbear clans haunt the Stained Peaks, formidable and treacherous. Seething with patient hatred, they do not war openly against the land’s dwarven masters, instead quietly ambushing travelers and isolated hamlets. Other creatures also lurk among the isolated mountain passes: Black-scaled kobolds chitter on high peaks, unnaturally resistant to the cold, while tribes of ogres trade with the dwarven towns, exchanging pelts for liquor.

Settlements
A road of windswept stone winds through the mountains of Zavaten Gura. Known as “the Causeway”, this well-patrolled path binds together the land’s major towns: The harbor of Bovodport; the land’s capital, Visheksrad; the market of Smeikas; and the mining town of Ugostad.

Ships of many nations call on the harbor of Bovodport. In its meeting halls, merchants and dwarves haggle and barter, exchanging metal goods for the many imports needed in the dwarven land. Only by constant dredging is the shallow harbor kept free of silt, and even then, vessels wait on high tide before navigating its channel. The city’s ruler is Iyregraf Tvormir, a lazy, dissolute dwarf whose loyal nephew, Harbormaster Osini, labors endlessly to overcome his uncle’s neglect.

The “City of Flame”, Visheksrad, lies under an eternal pall of coal smoke. Fires that once made the city’s ornate towers of gilt iron into a vision of golden beauty now encrust it in soot. Within the fortress-like palace of the Utograf, treacherous factions of dwarves and humans scheme with Machiavellian ruthlessness: Each hopes to claim the ineffectual Utograv’s throne when Vioslav finally steps down.

Deep in the mountains, the mining towns of Ugostad, Zopotishto and Slavstad are home to thousands of indefatigable miners and harried craftsmen, laboring constantly in the vain hope of riches. The grasping leaders of these places drive the miners hard, binding them with contracts little short of slavery.

Even more isolated, villages of “rust-tainted” dwarves, ogre tribes, and other races dwell, the land’s taint bringing them madness and hideous deformities. Only the boldest of traders journey among these unwholesome folk.

Secrets of Zavaten Gura

Spoiler:
  • Within the lands of the Stained Peaks, all know of the bitter rivalries between the dwarven leaders. Few realize that these rivalries have been intentionally exacerbated. Kisel Vioslavov, the Elder of Smeikas (Dwarven Wererat Rogue 9) has slowly spread agents of his household through the land, using the discord between its factions to disguise his own grab for power.

  • In the isolated mountain cities of Zopotishto and Slavstad, a new sect claims the allegiance of the embittered miners, a religion preaching dwarven dominance over all other races. Worshipping an unknown smith-god, the cult’s cruel leader urges his followers to take up arms and drive all non-dwarves from their lands in a great and terrible purge. This bloodthirsty priest calls himself “the Reaper”; he plans to begin his grim harvest soon.

  • In hidden valleys, bands of miserable slaves called “scorched ones” are forced to gather the rare minerals encrusted on the shores of the land’s most toxic pools and streams. These unfortunates suffer daily agony from the poisons eating at them, but their fate is known to few. Their heartless masters, dwarven slavers worshipping only avarice, force purgatives upon the slaves to clear the toxins, but these measures only delay the inevitable for a few months.
  • Qadira Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

    995 words, and every one of them counts. Outstanding way to reinvent the standard dwarven kingdom.

    The rusting castles, the bugbear highwaymen, the poisonous streams and the general sense of a tough place filled with adventure is all there. The writing is clear and evocative. The ideas are original combinations of fantasy elements, with a twist that's easy to explain and that improves the game experience for everyone.

    Way to be a superstar! Recommended for Top 16.

    Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

    Submission checklist:

    Submitted on time? Check.
    Submission is a "country"? Check.
    Submission contains all of the mandatory content as required by the contest rules? Check.
    Submission is within the word limit? Check. 995.
    Submission is free of inappropriate content in violation of the "taboo" guidelines? Check.
    Submission does not use content from a source other than those listed? Check.
    Submission does not reference a published campaign setting? Check.
    Submission does not include maps or art? Check.
    Submission is a suitable setting for roleplaying with the d20 system? Check.
    Submission is not a "joke" or otherwise completely fails to meet the minimum requirements of the competition or other contest rules? Check.

    Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

    Fluff (writing, grammar, style, evocative prose, etc.): A+
    Nice, evocative writing. “Rust-tainted.” That is great. Talk about “less is more” in action. You made the most of your words. Very well done. “Seething with patient hatred,” that is awesome.
    And you guys said you needed a map or a picture to tell a story. Try this on: “Instead, they build ornate structures of cast iron, covered with rusting gargoyles and bas-reliefs. Within these dismal halls, condensation drips and thin “rustcicles” weep from iron plates and rusting rivets.”

    Crunch (basics, rules issues, depth of the setting, details, etc.): A
    The Good: Good crunchy details on initial NPCs. Excellent language bits. Good racial breakdown. Great crunch on the poison. This is one of the best for crunch.
    The Bad: I wanted details on that cool smith-god. You kind of need it for the Reaper. Could have used passing stats for the Reaper.

    Design (choices made, format, naming, originality, theme, balance--ie, is the submission heavy in one part but lacking in another?): A+
    The Good: Color me impressed. You took a dwarven country cliché and freshened it up with the theme of cruelty and bitterness. I love how the minerals, which normally are only positives for dwarves, also poison the land and animals. Good names. I happen to think that it is very difficult to freshen up fantasy stereotypes. Boy did you hit a homerun. You used the format to your advantage and you didn’t shortchange the DM section at all.

    Play (setting for adventure? campaign? is there conflict? are there play limitations?): A
    Conflict, good setting, no real play limitations. Hobgoblins and ogres and things to kill. Very nice.

    Tilt (my personal take, is it evocative? do I want to play there? does it capture my imagination?): A
    This is a solid, solid submission top to bottom. Impressive.

    Overall: A
    An excellent re-imagining of the dwarven kingdom, complete with good crunch, evocative writing and terrific design choices.

    Strongly RECOMMENDED for top 16.

    James, you got my golden ticket for the Leash of the Shadowhound. You almost didn't make it into the top 32. I am sure glad we used that golden ticket method. I didn’t realize this submission was yours until I finished my review. You didn’t disappoint. Keep this up. You’ve got the mojo working for sure. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with this submission.

    Pure Superstar stuff here.

    Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

    Oooh, I really like that you're going for a Russian/Slavic vibe with this, though I think naming one of the towns "Slavstad" was probably a mistake.

    This is perhaps my favorite sentence in the contest so far:

    "Acidic streams wind through poisoned valleys, their unwholesome water home to misshapen crustaceans and inedible, polyp-covered fish."

    Love the imagery. Love the writing. Love it, love it, love it.

    I also appreciated the brief rules bit in there about drinking the nasty stuff. Way to sneak a little crunch into the fluffiest of formats. I like the theme of ecological destruction, and I think the "rust-tainted" creatures from the soiled valleys is a nice touch.

    I appreciate that this is a largely dwarf country, but I appreciate even more the fact that it's not your standard underground cavern system, while it still allows dwarves to be traditional miners and craftsmen, which is a space they inhabit well. New "takes" on them ought to also allow for the traditional take, in my view, and this is especially true of dwarves.

    In my experience players of dwarves often fit a specific profile. I also notice a lot of them _always_ play dwarves, and I think most of these players appreciate the fairly traditional "built-in" character traits of the dwarf class. A lot of them, oddly, have beards.

    Anyway, I like that you provided something unexpected and interesting that still allowed me to play dwarves the way I've always played them.

    This is by far one of the better entries in this round. It receives my ringing endorsement and strong recommendation that it advance to the next round.

    Very well done.

    Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

    I had serious problems with the leash, but I am so glad Clark kept you in the competition. I think this entry definitely puts you in the top tier of contestants, and I can't wait to see what you do in future rounds.

    Cheliax RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 aka Fatespinner

    This is, hands-down, my favorite entry thus far. I'm only about halfway through the list, but this one definitely gets a vote from me!


    I echo the buzz in the Paizo chatroom:

    Weeping Rusticles FTW!


    Voting for this immediately.

    Awesome, evocative...I can envision the coal smoke shrouded land right now.

    RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013 aka Core

    I've read about half of the entries here thus far and this one is probably the one most likely to get actually used. Seems like a good place to start adventures with a lot of good detail and flavor.

    I can almost picture the realms for a campaign
    Zavaten Gura levels 1-5, Iskandria 5-7, Yithnai 8-10

    Anyhow, good material, I will gladly plunder it for my games.

    Osirion

    Considering I do freelance work for the Iron Kingdoms setting, the themes in this entry got some VERY close scrutiny from me. This entry is awesome. Anything I would have said has been echoed already.

    Weeping rustcicles FTW indeed.

    RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

    This is a great submission and the best one I've seen so far. To be honest, I really looking forward to what you have in store for next round.

    RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka exile

    The ninth entry I have read and my favorite so far. It has kind of a steampunk vibe, but is definitely not out of place in a more traditional fantasy game. I want to run a game and use this nation now. Awesome.

    Chad

    RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Aotrscommander

    This is sort of what I was trying to do in my own entry only the Stained Peaks is much more polished, evocative and excellently written.

    Superlative.

    If this doesn't make it into the next round there is no justice!

    RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Spar

    Wow, just, wow.

    Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

    Sir_Wulf wrote:


    Metal ores are found here in unparalleled abundance: Rich veins of silver, lead, black nickel, and even toxic arsenic. Among the inhospitable mountains lie veins of nearly pure iron, metal that hardly requires the refiner’s fire.

    Yeesh. On pure writing talent grounds, this entry wins hands down. Very nicely done.

    Vivid lands, workable society, plenty to see and do.

    I love that the part I've copied above sounds like it would be from a Dwarf's perspective. The priorities are purely that of a miner and metalworker.

    Great job, the only surefire lock vote I've read so far.


    Spar wrote:
    Wow, just, wow.

    Yeah...what he said...So evocative!


    This is easily one of the best so far. Very evocative, and in some unexpected ways. I like that you yielded a place for human enclaves in a dwarven nation as well.

    This entry makes me glad I get more than one vote!

    - Ashavan


    Pure awesomeness. :)

    I think most dwarf players would line up to put this place in their character's background.

    Osirion

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

    I really didn't like the leash, but JM, this land rocks.

    I like dwarves, most of my PCs are dwarves, my main in WoW is a dwarven hunter. Just like their stoic and sometimes fatalistic nature. I was hoping there'd be a dwarven country in the 32. Thanks!

    This place looks like it totally work in both a fantasy and steampunkish setting.

    8/10

    RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Aotrscommander

    Coming back after looking over all the other entries, I have to say (even taking into account my own Lich racial arrogance!) this is by far the best entry.

    I tip my helmet to you sir.

    Osirion Marathon Voter 2014

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Kudos. You get a vote from me.


    You have writing talent and skill, and the consistent Russian Dwarf theme and presentation works. However, the "Stained" part of the name actually didn't work for me because it was inferred and not explained. That said, here's a case of prose and concept that goes well together.

    Star Voter 2014

    Don't know what to add that hasn't been said.

    I could definitely see myself using this as nation in my homebrew.
    The writing was well-done and evocative.

    To be honest I feel it was missing something though, but I can't seem to put my finger on it.

    Still, this entry has a solid chance of earning a vote from me.

    Cheliax

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

    Easily in my top 5, or even top 2. Great images and ideas and very cleanly written. Well done.

    RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Spar

    Wild. I love Slavic anything. Very well done!

    RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka Sir_Wulf

    Thank you for your feedback: I was very nervous about how this would be received!

    Andoran

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Weeping Rusticles. Awesome.

    I’m normally not a big fan of dwarves, but I like everything about this entry – even the dwarves. This is definite superstar material. Extra points if describing minerals as “not unalloyed” was an intentional pun.

    I’d like to go on, but there’s really little I can add. Everything works in this entry.


    I also like it. All very good. The part that really stuck out for me, though, was "tribes of ogres trade with the dwarven towns, exchanging pelts for liquor." Reading that gave me an entire adventure idea, which is what these write-ups are for, after all!

    On my narrowed-down list. One thing I really like - how Ogres and Bugbears are a big part of your realm. Both are races Dwarves get bonuses against, though we sometimes don't realize it.

    Usual dwarf nations are plagued with goblins or orcs, and Giants. Here, we get bugbears (almost Orcish in size, but still goblinoids!), and Ogres (giants, but capable of attacking in larger numbers). Really, a great monster mix that lets Dwarf PCs shine.


    James, I just had to come back in here and say that your entry has been definately the best I've read. My votes are placed at this point and I'll not be changing them.

    Also a chatroom regular, twas I that coined...

    Weeping Rustcicles FTW!!


    Honestly, I didn't want to like this one. In the first paragraph, you use the words "harsh", "inflexible", "unyielding", "forbidding", and "cruel". I get it, Stained Peaks is a nasty place... But still, something stuck with me and I had to read it again. And again.

    Now, it's my favorite entry not named Iskandria. There's something about your country that's familiar, yet original. The writing's great. (Rusticles? Wonderful.) This is the kind of place that players dread, but can't resist. And survive or not, they'll always remember their travels there.

    Nice job, James. You've got my #2 vote.


    Good job! Neat idea with the Iron structures instead of underground caverns. I do wish that you would have added a few more races in the sentence that you mentioned the kobolds and ogres.

    Osirion RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka Steven T. Helt

    While I didn't like 'rustcicles' so much, I am intigued by your world. I like that the community picked up on the ogres and bugnears connection to dwarves: you have subtly looked for mechanics that have story synergy and mixed them into your prose without bragging about it. I compare this to the blink dog-phase spider development.

    I am reallypleased with the writing, I concur with the judges, and thus far you have a vote from me.

    I guess the best thing is, I was intrigued enough to overlook things I didn't initially like (toxic waste is not a phrase that should be used in a DnD game,and I saw a distinctly lawful evil bent that makes me question your lawful neutral claim), and by the end, I had images and adventures ready to go.

    My character in this place: dwarven druid who wants to heal the land so that his people might conitnue to reap the benefits of the ores. I tell you, the Old Man in the Mountain said to me: "Heal the face of my mountains, and they will yield a greater treasure to a just kingdom!"

    Osirion RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

    Great work. I love mining as good and mining as bad (liked the scorched ones and the tainted water/mineral poison drop-ins), dwarves above ground and dwarves below ground--yes it's dwarves and yes they are miners/metalworkers, but in a new, different, logical, and interesting way. The dwarves here do seem to be a pretty scummy bunch, and making the nation LE might not have been out of place.

    I was not a fan of the Leash. Actually, I liked the concept of it a lot but didn't like the mechanics of it. With this, a different type of design challenge, your strength in concept was emphasized and you showed your stuff big time. Next challenge will be design a villian, which will be much heavier on crunch and I'll be very interested to see what you can do.

    I've only read about half so far, but this one is right at the top of my faves.

    Osirion

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

    This one and Iskandria were my favorites

    (1 vote)

    RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Darkjoy

    Can I use it: Yes
    Is it entertaining: Yes
    Is it original: Yes

    Final verdict: 1 vote from me coming up.

    This is evaluation no. 11 and I've only liked 3 sofar.


    I'm still on the fence about this one. The descriptive writing is stellar, and the ideas are fairly good, but for some reason it still leaves me cold. I think perhaps the Slavic flavor turns me off. Even though there are some interesting ideas in there (I'd love to see the "rust-tainted" template), it somehow seems like more of the same old stuff to me.

    But I do appreciate good descriptions. Hmm.

    Qadira

    This I like very much. Some concentration on the core races is much appreciated. I liked the entry's format, the integration of pollution in the country's description and I liked the peaceful trade with ogres.

    The DM notes present some good ideas and I even like how slavery is presented in this entry. The new dwarven god sounds a bit cliché though.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

    I love it, the rusting castles was a nice touch. Getting one of my five votes.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    I grew up in the gold mining area of South Africa. I saw what mines do.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Let me just repeat what everyone else seems to be saying. WOW! Double WOW! This entry is something I would expect from a purchase at a local game store. The quality of your submission not only stands out in it's originality, but in it's easy flowing writing style that had me reading this submission as if it were prose from a novel.

    I not only want to play a character in your country, I want to DM others through it. Great Submission. Absolutely Fanatastic. The images you conjured with your writing are still swirling through my head

    I can't wait to see your villian. I know that may be a bit premature to say, but if I had to choose ONE for sure lock. You would be it.

    RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

    Very nicely done.


    By far the best submission in this round.

    Qadira

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    I'm going to be the contrarian here. While this is in my top ten picks, it didn't make the cut for one of my five votes.

    My problem is this: this reads like someplace that a PC would want to stay the hell away from. There was no compelling reason for a PC to want to go there, and if he grew up there, his life's goal would probably be to get out and live someplace nicer. That would be the first module: "Escape From The Stained Peaks." "You and your companions are in the bar comparing skin lesions, when you decide to form a group and march the hell out of Zaraten Gura before you all die of poison or political intrigue. What do you do next?"


    Initial Poster wrote:
    These minerals are not an unalloyed blessing: In places, toxic metals and wastes have contaminated the land.

    Such wit! Amazing. In my top 5 for certain :)

    -LD

    Osirion

    delabarre wrote:


    My problem is this: this reads like someplace that a PC would want to stay the hell away from. There was no compelling reason for a PC to want to go there, and if he grew up there, his life's goal would probably be to get out and live someplace nicer. That would be the first module: "Escape From The Stained Peaks." "You and your companions are in the bar comparing skin lesions, when you decide to form a group and march the hell out of Zaraten Gura before you all die of poison or political intrigue. What do you do next?"

    See, from my perspective, that's what makes it such a GREAT place to actually run an adventure, from a DMs point of view. It's a pretty simple setup:

    1) Foreshadow how nasty a place the Stained Peaks are for a few adventures by having a couple encounters with Stained dwarves: merchants selling their wares, warriors and mercenaries who, for good reason, got the F out of that place. Bonus points for a PC from there who got themselves out and has background there.

    2) Have a minion of one of your BBEG be a rust-tainted somethingorother. Then make it clear the reason he's so bat-poo crazy is because of the mineral waste, toxic taint and such.

    3) Set up an adventure where the PCs need to find a dwarven sage/smith/priest/etc and the most viable option is city X within the Stained Peaks. Give them the city name but dont tell them which country its on.

    4) Hand them a map. Make sure city X is labeled clearly on it, within the Stained Peaks.

    5) Sit back, grin evilly, and wait for the "We have to go WHERE?"... "Awwwww crap." ... "Should I roll a backup character?" and the like to follow.

    And frankly, the fact that I can make that writeup so easily is what makes this, IMO, the top entry of this round. It doesn't just tell you about the country. It gives a GM the tools to not only make it REAL but gives ideas of what to DO with it.

    Weeping rusticles FTW.

    Osirion

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

    So where was the Weeping Rusticles Wondrous Item?

    No really, I like dwarf-themed settings.

    Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

    Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

    This is very cool and I'd love to read a novel set in this location.

    In terms of a country to run as a DM, I'm not as happy with it - everything's so tightly fit that anything I'd add would seem out of place without building in a huge backstory for it.

    Of course, if it's intended to be a complete setting in which you run adventures handed to you, great. It's probably also great if you want to run a campaign in which there's a lot of political maneuvering between dwarven factions. I'm just less clear on where I plop an adventure for a party of average Joe adventurers.

    But one of the best written countries, and clearly James is highly talented - as a result he'll probably get one of my votes even though this isn't necessarily a place where I'd want to base my campaign.

    Now I'm going to have to figure out how to pare it down from 7 to 5. Ugh. My sympathies to the first round judges.

    RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6 aka adanedhel9

    Wow. You are an amazing writer, James, and you've got some great ideas here.

    There are a few small things that bug me though.

    You use a few odd words and turns of phrase (weeping rusticles, unalloyed blessing) that really made me cringe. Others seem to like them, but I guess I'm just not a fan of that style.

    While your names, in general, are very well-done and consistant, there are a few that I worry about in terms of pronouncibility (Iyrgraf and Tvormir). It's certainly not terrible, though.

    I'd like to have a bit better sense of the value of the mines. It seems to me that they'd have to be extremely profitable to justify living in the Stained Peaks, but I don't think I quite see that in your entry.

    Three minor points to criticize. Wow. So far this is my favorite.


    Talk about a rust monster paradise!

    Nice stuff. I was expecting some more far-reaching DM secrets, but that's ok. This gets a vote from me, definitely. I like stuff that's run down, twisted, broken, and yet stil strangely beautiful.

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