Cartithis - Dungeons in the Desert
General World Information
Cartithis is a small, but prosperous, desert kingdom in the great realm of Duhm. Situated between two warlike nations, Kahr to the west & Yaisos to the East. In the north, Cartithis juts narrowly out into the Aurelian Sea, & to the south it ends in the Gilded Mountains. It is a land of traveling merchants, desert nomads, & a few ancient trade posts turned cities. The Aurelian is rich with fish, corral, & many precious minerals, not to mention the ships, arriving day & night bringing the wealth of the west, & the finery & wisdom of the Far East. The mountains of the south are rich with precious gems, silver, gold & platinum. The vast majority of the kingdom, though, is a sea of pearly white dunes, spotted with small desert oases around which trade villages have formed.
There is a greatly dispersant division of wealth in Cartithis, with the slums of the cities filled with bandits, thieves, scofflaws, & crime lords. Slavery, while frowned upon isn’t illegal, & slavers bring their wares from all over the realm to be trained & used as slaves to the wealthy. Drugs are also a common sight in the slums of the cities, & anywhere which is outside of the King’s sight.
There are four races in Cartithis, Men (of every skin tone) who are common throughout all of Duhm, the Nacre (Sea Elves) who have settled throughout the northern half of Cartithis, the Ifreeti Nomads (Desert Elves), who travel the sandy wastes of the deserts & are a common sight everywhere in Cartithis, but rarely venture forth from their deserts, & the Dwarves of the southern Mountains, masters of mining, drinking, & the singing of songs, who have settled throughout the inhabited regions of Cartithis. In General, these races live in a symbiotic & peaceful balance, with the King being a Man who has rarely ventured forth from the splendor of his royal palace, but who sees the wisdom in keeping this peace.
Once there was magic in Duhm, now that magic is all but forgotten, few remember the times before magic stripped this land of it’s verdant foliage, leaving it an ocean of dunes. Occasionally, magical items will be discovered, from simple magical tools, to blades of fire, & this is the last remnant of a forgotten time. As our adventure begins we are all in a bazaar at the oasis town of Terris, in the southern half of the Kingdom. We have come for the same reason that so many other adventurers have made there way here. A few days ago, without warning, east of the town, an enormous tower fell from the sky, embedding itself in the white dunes. The first adventurers to reach the tower, never entered, but brought back a large black pearl the size of a human head inscribed with the following:
Inside these walls lies death
to those who would ignore this warning know
whomever can overcome death
will know riches, power, & wealth beyond their own reasoning
Several adventurers, of all walks of life, have attempted to enter the tower, & retrieve what lies inside, & none have returned from this foolhardy quest. Still, adventurers from all around, are mulling through the city looking for a party of idiots, just dumb enough to attempt the challenge. We are among these adventurers, hoping to find our fortunes! It will take wit, luck, & skill… this we know, & as we sit under the crescent moons, at the patio bar of a small, & deserted hostelrye (cheap & on the outskirts of Terris, away from the rich who are paying for adventurers), we meet around a hookah & begin thinking about making our own attempt at the tower.
Creating your Characters
We are playing under the Risus Roleplaying system, with the following of the Advanced Options:
Advanced Option I: Hooks & Tales
Advanced Option IV: Funky Dice
In the spirit of the game, you must have a character name, & write up a Description of your character (one or two paragraphs, no shorter, no longer). Feel free to invent you own Clichés, as long as they fit the setting, and are not ridiculously overpowered (when in doubt, just ask me).
Those who choose to give your character a Hook, receive seven extra points for character creation, & those who choose to write a tale also receive seven extra points. Hooks should be clearly explained in your character’s Description, whereas a Tale should be written under your Descrition, before your Clichés. (Though it says Tales are usually several pages long, please write no more than five paragraphs, but they must explain what a tale is meant to explain). A character may have BOTH a Hook & a Tale to receive fourteen extra points.
You will start with 70 points (as described in the Funky Dice option), & must have at least two Clichés (I’d prefer you had more, but if two explains your character, go for it). If you are not a Man (human), your race may be used as a Cliché, & I will inform you of specifically what it is good for.
Lastly, here’s a note on what the races look like:
- Dwarves: Dwarves are short, with bulbous noses & muscular builds. Males always have long beards & usually long hair, whereas the females have no facial hair but have long hair. Their skin tones vary as much as humans do.
- Ifreeti: Ifreeti are slender & sinewy, have olive-skin, pointy ears, & dark hair. Males may grow out a short beard, which never gets very long. They are considered attractive by the majority of people, but keep their heads & faces covered with turbans & wraps, to protect themselves from the intense sun, & they rarely expose their faces to those they don’t trust.
- Nacre: Nacre are tall, with lily-white skin, & pointy ears. They cannot grow facial hair, & are considered to be the most beautiful race in existence. Their body type depends on their occupations & run the gambit of normal humans (fat to bony, & muscular to lithe).