Malapan Kingdom is one of several kingdoms located on the continent of Greater Larigia. The kingdom of Malapan is not known to many outside of its borders. That is not due to any sort of heavy-handed ruling system, but instead by the remoteness of the kingdom. It is a coastal kingdom, with its entire western coast touching the Parthenian Ocean. It's north and eastern borders, if they could even be considered "true" borders, are open to the vast central area of the continent known as "The Rugged Lands".
The majority of the towns and villages in the Malapan Kingdom are located along the coast. Though the weather from the Parthenian Ocean is often fierce and foul, the various towns, including the capital city of the kingdom, sit in mostly protected coves along the coast. There is a central mountain range that nearly bisects the kingdom into a north and south region.
Malapan Kingdom is populated by a mixture of races. The two most commonly encountered are Humans, which belong to the race of the current king, and Half-Elves. The strange aspect of the abundance of Half-Elves is there there are basically never any Elves seen in the Malapan Kingdom. There are smaller contingents of Gnomes and some Dwarves, and then just the rarely seen Halflings. While magic isn't strange in the land, it is usually only performed by magic users of the king, or from magic users that might randomly pass through once every couple years or so.
The king, King Simison, is a docile king, and one who is content to live out his life being king and not needing to venture afar to defend his realm or to begin a crusade. He treats his people modestly well, not demanding too much in the way of tribute, so the villagers and townspeople can actually save a little money and actually live a little better than people in other lands. The King has several Lords who help him control the various towns and villages in the quasi-divided kingdom. Those Lords are:
Lord Quulan of Cloverdale
Lord Morto of Silverpine
Lord Bessim II of Seaside City
Lord Penrose of Riverbend
Lord Don of Belto Keep
Each Lord tends to pattern their own actions after the king, and take an easy hand in governing their respective areas. Only Lord Quulan of Cloverdale has any sort of drive or enthusiasm, and that is a result of the occasional encroachment of hostile forces from the south and east. As a result, Lord Quulan is quite a fighter and strongly believes that the King should do more to help bolster the borders on the south and east.
Towns and Villages of Malapan Kingdom
Malapan: Capital city and home of the King, this large city rests in the fertile valley at the mouth of a river and along the protected coast of Malapan Bay. The city is walled, with five gates into the city. The main castle rests along a ridge that extends almost to the shoreline.
Ransur’s Crossing: Closest village to the capital city of Malapan, this village has the only bridge spanning the Malapan River. Ransur’s Crossing sits a little over half a day’s journey from the city of Malapan.
Menathesalus: A small, fortified village resting on the foothills of the Emeron Mountains, Menathesalus sits nearly a full day’s travel from Malapan City.
Storm Haven: A fishing village, resting on the northern shore of the peninsula that forms Malapan Bay, Storm Haven is rarely traveled to, due to its remoteness. It sits in a small cove, protected from the rough seas that pound the shoreline. It is almost two days journey to either Menathesalus or Seaside City, from Storm Haven, and the path is not for those unaccustomed to traveling.
Seaside City: Another sizable town, Seaside City is a prospering trading and fishing center. Protected from foul weather by its location, the city is the first town on the western side of the Emeron Mountains and commands the only passage southward. The keep of Lord Bessim II is one of the largest keeps in the land, mainly due to the wealth of the city and the quantity of workers able to expand the dwelling.
Pine Cove: A village that sits two days travel southward from Seaside City, Pine Cove sits on the edge of the Morrin Woods. A road allows access through the woods to Pine Cove, and continues southward to the town of Silverpine, which lies two days away. There are several inns located in this village, as it is a main stopping point for travelers moving north or south from the larger towns.
Silverpine: A mid sized town, Silverpine has much fertile land and lots of space to expand to. Lord Morto has a small keep in the town and relies on the townspeople, many of whom are hunters, to be the primary defenders of the town. While this town rests on the coast, shipping is not the primary business in Silverpine. Fur trading, hunting, and farming are the primary businesses.
Rossell Bay: With woods surrounding it, and sitting in a calm, well-protected bay, Rossell Bay is a small yet peaceful village. The village sits two days travel south of Silverpine, and nearly four days travel northwest of Cloverdale. Roads connected this village with the two towns, but parts of the journey have been known to be dangerous unless escorted. Rossell Bay has several groups that offer their services for escort out of the village.
Cloverdale: Cloverdale is the southernmost town in the kingdom. It is also nearest the borders of both the "Rugged Lands"...an area filled with lawless people and vile monsters, and the "Grand Seymour Kingdom"...an area that actually has some kingdom forces, but doesn't patrol it's own frontier much, allowing for ruffians and monster tribes to set up in the void of control. This hostile area has resulted in Cloverdale becoming a fortified town with walls and a substantial Keep to hold the men-at-arms of Lord Quulan. The people are mistrustful of newcomers to their town, as they have been attacked too often to welcome strangers with open arms. Even with the mistrust of newcomers, there is a healthy bit of trade that goes on in this town, so the markets are usually well-stocked. It is nearly four days travel from Cloverdale to the nearest village of Rossell Bay.
Riverbend: A major town that sits well east of Malapan city. The people here are mostly farmers, and Riverbend is the major food producing town for the entire kingdom. As such, Lord Penrose is the most wealthy of the Lords, and tends to eat well, resulting in his portly appearance. The people in this town are open to travelers and outsiders.
Belto Keep: This area is not so much a town or village, but is instead a stout keep and bailey that makes up the northernmost defensive position for the Malapan Kingdom. There is always a garrison of about 20 men at the Keep, and these men are the most combat-experienced soldiers in the entire kingdom. They are constantly fighting off monsters that come in from the Rugged Lands. They have all but been forgotten by the King. Lord Don, the one in charge of the Keep, keeps his men in shape and on alert. They perform monthly journeys to Storm Haven to acquire food and materials needed, and occasionally to get another couple of men to help fill their ranks. The "Northern" mentality is one of self-sufficiency, and a reliance only on themselves.
The Strange History of Malapan
Malapan is, for all of its appearance, a stable but small kingdom. But there are little indicators throughout the land that hint at something that happened long ago....but it all seems to be forgotten. The local histories of Malapan only pick up from a couple hundred years ago. Prior to that, there seemed to be no written records.
Scattered about the land there are hidden ruins, relics, and forgotten locations that give hints to a different past for this land. Even the prevalence of Half-Elves, yet nary an Elf to be found, has led a few to wonder what happened. Still, none have really made an effort to find out more. The people of Malapan seem more than happy to just let the status-quo remain as it is, and to live their lives knowing only what they know.
The first notable ruin lies deep within the Emeron Mountains. It is the remnants of fortified town and what was once a great Keep. The details in the ruined remnants of buildings indicate they were constructed by a race other than Humans. Signs indicate a great siege and battle occurred here many hundreds of years ago. Buried deep under the rubble of the collapsed great Keep, there is an entrance to a great tunnel, ornately carved through the rock. It leads both down and away from the ruins, and has many carvings detailing a history of Elves and some sort of wicked looking beasts, and a war they seemed to have fought for many centuries. The passage ends in a massive cave-in which cannot be cleared by normal means, no matter how many people were to attempt.
The other notable ruin lies on an island out in the Parthenian Ocean. It is a great, inland castle, mostly still in fair condition. The castle and the surrounding area has been massively overgrown with hundreds of years of plant growth. If one were to find the castle, they would not easily recognize it as a castle, as trees have grown up in the courtyards, vines are covering the massive walls, undergrowth is everywhere, including into the main rooms on the main floors of all of the buildings inside the castle. All wood doors and timbers have rotted away and been replaced with vegetation that makes it look like gates of vines and leaves rather than arches of stone. Residing in this castle are many mindless creatures that have found the area to be naturally defensible and protected. They attack anything that comes near, and swarm when their prey seem too strong for just a few of them. Should such a prey be able to defeat enough of them, the creatures would scatter and run away. Inside the castle there is still iron gates protecting dust-coated and apparently "worthless"-looking magical armor sets and weapons. There is another room, hidden behind a stone wall and activated by a trigger push statue on the wall, that holds an alcove with magical ingredients and a spell book loaded with many magical spells including some quite powerful spells. There is also a magician's robe and magician's hat which provide magical protection for the wearer of 3D, as well as giving a temporary boost of +1D in Magic Power as long as the hat is worn. The ornateness of the material, coupled with the fact that it has not aged to dust, should cue that they are magical in nature and designed by some race other than Humans.
Scattered in various other places through the land, there are smaller artifacts and ruins that can stumbled across. There is a stone pool with crystal clear water in it that rests near a lake and within a forest. A person with the Magic Power can look into the water and see images reflected in it of events from a time long ago. There is also a long forgotten tunnel and cache of weapons in the mountains near Belto Keep. Other small, long forgotten shrines and statues are scattered in generally difficult to reach locations or overgrown areas. They hint at the fact that once this land was teeming with Elves and they fought against an empire of Gnolls lead by a War Gnoll and a host of Gnoll Warlocks. The Elves managed to defeat the War Gnoll, but the warlocks had put a curse on them and doomed their race to decay. With the Gnolls gone, Humans began to move in and worked hand-in-hand with the Elves, but year after year the Elves died off and no new elves were ever born. Only offspring from Humans and Elves could seem to avoid the decay curse. Eventually the Elves disappeared, leaving only Half-Elves around. The Humans forgot about the Elves, and the Kingdom was formed, with history forgetting about the Elves and the deep hidden secrets of the land that happened hundreds of years before the Humans ever arrived.
There is also long buried and lost weapons from the Elves that may be found by accident. Remnants on an ancient battlefield may result in a finely-crafted Elvish weapon or armor being found while digging or while walking through some old growth forests as a person trips over an overgrown bit of armor.
Creatures found in Malapan
Though, long ago, the Gnolls were defeated by Elves, they were never wiped out entirely. The various tribes of Gnolls had fractured the survivors had fled and scattered across the land. It's still possible to run into small (1-6) groups of Gnolls, mainly in the mountains and rarely in the old forests.
STR 4D Move: 9 Scale: Human
Brawling +1 Fear: 4 Hit Points: 14
DEX 3D Armor: Hides -- / +1 / +1
Melee Combat +1 Shield +1D / +1D / +1D
Brawling Parry +1
Attack: either 1 weapon attack or 1 claw attack
Claw Attack STR+1D+2
Weapons: Longsword STR+2D
Battle axe STR+2D+1
Large Spiders can be found throughout the land, typically in the forests. They typically stay up in the trees and drop down on their unsuspecting prey. They can also be found in caves.
STR 1D+1 Move: 6 Web: 15 Scale: Human
Brawling +1 Fear: 2 Hit Points: 8
Attack: 1 bite attack STR
* If the character suffers hit point loss, the spider injects poison. The poison causes 1D loss of hit points for 3 rounds
* These types of spiders can spin webbing, though the webs are not hard to break and are flammable
In the mountains and also found on occasion in the hill areas of the kingdom, there are several monsters. Giants and Ogres and even the uncommon Troll can be found in those locations.
STR 8D Move: 12 Scale: Giant
Brawling +3D Fear: 24 Hit Points: 84
DEX Armor: Hides -- / +1 / +1
Melee Combat +2D+1
Thrown Weapon +3D
Brawling Parry +1D
Specialty: Catch missile/thrown weapon +2D
Weapons: Large Club STR+4
STR 6D Move: 9 Scale: Human
Brawling +2 Fear: 8 Hit Points: 29
Melee Combat 3D+2
* gains +2D to all melee weapon attack damage due to immense strength
STR 7D Move: 12 Scale: Human
Brawling +1D+2 Fear: 12 Hit points: 48
Brawling Parry +1D+2
Attack: 2 claw attacks plus 1 bite attack if target is grabbed
* Trolls never roll to run away from fear; they are fearless.
* Trolls gain the bonus in Observation due to their excellent sense of smell.
* 30 meter infravision, though they don’t suffer any adverse effects when operating outside.
* If this creature loses all of its hit points, it is not killed. The parts will be “out of action” for 1D6x10 minutes. The parts of the bodies will wriggle back together and knit back into a full creature.
* Regenerates 3 Hit Points per round 3 rounds after it takes its first hit point loss.
The creatures that have taken up "residence" in the ruins of the old castle on the island, are a tribe of Tasloi. While not quite mindless, they have no interest in "human things" and basically act like animals with some minor intelligence.
STR 1D+2 Move: 9 Scale: Human
CON 1D Fear: 2 Hit Points: 7
Sneak/Hide +1D+2 Armor: Small Wooden Shield +1 / +1 / +1
Melee Combat +1
Melee Parry +1
Attack: 1 Attack with either fists or weapons
Weapons: Club STR+2
Short Sword STR+1D+1
* these creatures are suited to the darkness of jungles. They suffer –1 to all actions in full daylight, but do not suffer any penalties in darkness (outside, rather than underground)
* Stealth: gain +2D to Sneak
* Can speak own language plus monkey/ape and rudimentary common