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Broken Kingdom

Worldwide

Temple of the mind

The story goes that around the world there lies a secret library filled with all manner of knowledge both known and unknown by mortal minds. The structure is never in the same place twice, and it never stays in one place for long.

Knights of the Solar

Tales of the Fish

A collection of stories of varying degrees of truth associated with the Bard Leslie the Fish

Stargazer Plateau

Mad Mammoth Max

The Windspeakers

Ashed City-States

The Vagabond

The story tells of a man from the Ashed cities who became disdainful of the demands of everyday life. When told "one who does not work, does not eat" his response was "so I shall not eat". He wandered in between the cities, playing his violin by firelight eating whatever he could beg or scrounge before dying one winter from the cold. His body was found with a smile on his face by a dead fire.

To this day, travelers between the cities report hearing his mournful songs and even encountering the vagabond, asking for a hot drink on cold nights. Legend tells that should a drink be given, cryptic but useful advice may be given about future events important to the charitable.

Sewer Dragons

A great storm came in from the firelands flying through the coldwater swamps near the Ashed city-states. The storm picked up and deposited thousands of baby water dragons around the waterways around the city states. An entrepreneurial spirit decided to capture and store many of these small, adorable, reptilian creatures and sell them as pest-eating pets.

These pets were a large seller in the city states for a few years, many of them going to the outer districts as cheap exotic pets. However it soon became clear that the pets required fresh meats to survive and became aggressive and uncontrollable as they grew older. Many of these creatures were eaten by their Ashed owners, others escaped or were released into the plumbing systems of the Undercity. The ones that were released into the undercity grew up in the lightless tunnels, feeding on rats and sewerfish that dwell down in the pipe filled artificial rivers of the city. Many of them are still rumored to live down there occasionally catching an unwary plumber or prisoner cleaning the pipes as a tasty meal.

Jaan Hammerhand

The myth of Jaan Hammerhand is less legend than others as records can indicate that he did in fact exist and work for the Stonesaw masonry company.

The story tells of an Ashed worker by the name of Jaan Hammerhand who was known for being a moderately efficient but fiercely loyal stone shaper for a masonry company. He worked on the factory lines turning uneven lumps of stone, metal, or wood into various shapes of specific dimensions for construction work. As the oldest sibling of a family that had lost their providing parents in a series of unfortunate accidents, he worked to support his younger siblings and ensure they had everything they needed to succeed in life.

One day, pair of inventors from the Circle arrived at the city-states claiming they had created a machine powered by steam and oil that could easily outpace any Ashed worker on the stone shaping line. The Guildmaester asked them what would happen to his employees if they were to be replaced, the inventors, puzzled by this as everyone in the Circle was given jobs by their central bureaucracy had no answer. The Guildmaester thanked them for their visit but asked them to leave, they challenged the Guildmaester to a contest to prove the worth of their invention.

The Guildmaester realized that should she decline the challenge, then she would be admitting defeat, and the future of the business and the well being of her workers would be in jeopardy, but if she accepted and lost, that would be just as bad. Cornered, she offered extra pay to anyone willing to take the challenge with a monetary prize if they could beat it. Jaan Hammerhand stepped up saying, "This machine wishes to steal our jobs, our lives, and our dreams. What kind of man would let that go unchallenged?" The challenge was set to who could create more finished items in the span of a twelve hour work day.

The challenge commenced, the machine having to be calibrated to carve the shape given, while Hammerhand began immediately. Four hours into the timed event, the machine caught up, and began outpacing Hammerhand. He did not falter, merely kept to his working pace. The machine at five hours needed to be refueled, and Hammerhand caught up, at the sixth hour, the machine surpassed him yet again, to the smug grins of the inventors.

At the eighth hour, the machine broke, and a high tension chain snapped, throwing it into Jaan's face, leaving a burning laceration from his chin to his eye and spewing hot steam and oil all over his arms. The inventors, horrified, called for the competition to stop. Hammerhand looked at them with his one open eye, determination clear on his face, and told them, "The competition is not over, and I will die before I let your machine steal our dreams," and continued working. By the tenth hour the inventors shakily repaired their machine and got it working again. At the final whistle call of twelve hours, the total stood that the machine was twelve units up.

The inventors declared victory, until the guild bookkeeper calculated the cost of the machine, maintenance, fuel, and on staff repairmen would cost ten times that of one Jaan Hammerhand. The inventors left angrily, stating they had been cheated. Jaan was given a substantial raise and offered the position of floormaster, to which he declined saying, "This is my place, making things with my own two hands to provide for those I care about." His ashes were used to create a steel sledgehammer in the masonry supply room that is used to this day.

Goran

The Redeemer

Firewalkers

Kushan

Benki of the seven swords

Temple of the void

The Circle

Gadget the Tinkerer

Tallet Empire

The Defiant

From the earliest days of the Tallet empire, it has been a tradition for the people of the inner provinces to be

honored by warriors to show glorious displays of combat in arenas for the entertainment of the masses and profit of those who run the show. The first and greatest of them all, Colossus Theatrum drew the greatest warriors from around the world to compete for vast fortunes risked against their very lives. Slaves, battle captives, prisoners, and indentured servants also found their way into the arenas, but none so famous as the gladiator whos name would be lost to history, only remembered as The Defiant.

Wallpaper-645348

"Fall of the Defiant" Painting showing a dramatization of the battle results in the Collosus Theatrum

The man was once the son of a middle class citizen of the inner empire who became a soldier, the soldier, who became a general, the general, whom betrayed the empire and became a slave to the arena, sentenced to death by combat. His crime of high treason, the specifics of which are subject to great speculation landed him his death sentence. His death was made to be entertaining to the masses so they would celebrate his execution, was attempted for years. Warrior after warrior they sent into the arena to kill him, every impossible scenario he triumphed. His popularity began to attract powerful allies within the political structure of the Ivory city, and the nobles of Tallet houses began seeking his endorsement and company. Matriarchs and Patriarchs of various households paid vast sums of gold and favors to spend the night with him.

His end finally came with a spectacular defeat at the hands of one of the Emperor's sons who entered the arena to prove their worth to the Tallet. Armed with the finest weapons and armor money could provide, youthful and trained by the greatest warriors the Emperor's own academy could produce, the battle raged until a narrow victory was had over the defiant gladiator. The houses whom supported him lost fortunes as they were forced to pay the losing end of very skewed betting odds. The tale is often told with the ending "Become a soldier, become a general, but do not betray the empire"

Right hand Jack

Woag

Hidden People -

Small humanoids rumored to live in rocks, trees, holes, and other small natural features. This legend is shared by the Inisfalli.

Guardian Beneath

A humongous shark rumored to circle the Woag isles and keep them safe. Woag give offerings and sacrifices to the shark.

Mother of monsters

The Cloyne

Far in the northern glaciers of the Woag islands the native tribes tell the tale of a creature that plagued the entire northern islands for generations. The creature was described as a tall, lanky creature. Nose blistered red from frostbite, pale as snow like the woag, mouth curved upwards in an impossibly large permanent smile with lips red as blood, and hair brightly colored as a fire. Their imitation of speech punctuated by their natural language composed entirely of laughter put naive or trusting off guard.
Legend of the Cloyne

Illustrations from Aemir hunting journal recovered from one of their northern strongholds of the Woag isle

The creature would lure unruly or foolish children away from their chores and families with song, playful behavior and treats, giving off the smell of cooking sugar, only to drag them off to its lair with frightening strength and devour them whole. This creature plagued the northlands for centuries. But there came a time when children became less foolish, or parents became more protective, and the creature's hunger grew past its patience. It began hunting children actively, no longer content to feast on the foolish or unruly.

The Woag warriors hunted it, and succeeded in finding one, then another, then another. Many warriors died hunting these creatures, but still they came. Realizing it was an entire family of monsters that plagued them, they put out a call for more heroes. Agents of the Aemir came to their call. Aided by the Woag, working side by side, they found the creatures' lair, killing and purging every last one. They were skinned and scalped, mounted on the feasting halls of Woag that once were plagued by them.

Centuries later, when the last Aemir was killed, Woag in the north claimed that the monsters were never truly hunted to extinction, that some survived and still patiently hunt unattended children. To this day, the vengeful laugh of the Cloyne haunts the nightmares of Woag parents.

Inisfall Confederacy

Lady of the Leaves -

Feminine, leafy faces that seem to occur regularly in pre-Fili works.

The Hidden People -

Small humanoids rumored to live in rocks, trees, holes, and other small natural features. This legend is shared by the Woag

Tradepass Isle

Bone Island -

The Isle of Bone is a rumored island off the northern coast of Tradepass Isle near a storm ridden nautical route. The island itself is rumored to be primarily a collection of bleached and stripped bones that have been washed in to one large collection by the natural currents of the oceans and helped by the rumored denizens of this cursed place. The Island itself is difficult to find as it is located in an area dotted with dozens of small islands, many of them rumored to be inhabited by Rakkaaran that somehow made it across the sea and now exist in starving pockets of population waiting to ambush and devour unwary travelers looking for a port in the storm.

Many tell tales that it is a breeding ground for shipwreckers that sink or maroon ships so that they can feast on those that try and swim ashore, piling the bones into an unnatural landmass. Whatever the story, many sailors claim to have seen the Isle of bone through the fog and the dark figures in the water surrounding it, many who have gone into this area have not returned, ships lost with all hands.

The Dweller

Southern unclaimed

Watchers woods

There lies a story of a dark forest in the southern regions of Soi known only by the locals and those that pass through as Watchers Woods. The exact borders of the woods varies depending on the stories told and those that tell of it, some say the wood can be beaten back by saw, ax and fire, however pressing too deeply into the wood or pushing the borders too quickly will bring about the ire as if it is alive. The stories tell of the eyes of the wood, the feeling of being followed once you enter its borders. The trails of the forest close behind those that walk into the forest and twist in front of them, brambles and cliffs block the ways out and open up for those to wander in.

Watcher

"The Watcher" as drawn by a child who returned without a scratch after several days of being lost in the wood

Within the forest unfortunate travelers find themselves stalked by their worst fears, hidden monsters and dark reflections of their own failings, as if the forest itself is a nightmare one could walk into and never leave. The few that have exited recall one singular similar feature of the wood. The watcher in the leaves, the eyes in the dark, the haunting, mocking laughter they tried to escape. "It let me leave" They all say. Some who wander into the wood never return, others are found dead in various states on the outskirts of the forest, some mangled beyond recognition, burned, or features frozen in screams of terror. The encircled folk attempted to come in and understand the watcher's woods, only to leave in fear and confusion, the grand Kushani empire attempted to tame the forest, only to leave empty handed bitter and bloodied. To this day the wood survives, expanding and contracting as if a living thing. Waiting for unwary travelers to sate its hunger.

  • To this day, the southern unclaimed around certain regions send their worst criminals into the forest they call Watcher's woods in a similar fashion to Kushani haunted forests
  • The Technocracy during their peak sent research teams into the area. After several failed missions stationed border patrols and warning signs to prevent entry into the area they deemed "hazardous" They have since retreated due to missing patrols and cutting of funding.

Northern unclaimed

Libra Secretorum

>A prince one day is struck with an illness >Fever, nausea, weakness, and horrible, horrible nightmares >Every night it gets worse >Writing his will, he begins scribbling mad drawings and words in a language he can't understand >Every word he writes seems to alleviate the illness >He demands more paper and ink >Every day he writes more, and every day the prince gets better >Eventually, he has penned an entire tome >Distraught with what he has written, he tries to destroy the book >Every wound he inflicts on the book brings about terrible pain and suffering in himself >Instead he elects to have the book of vile rituals and secrets stored away somewhere secret >The book however, corrupts the minds of whoever holds it, begging them to read it and spread its dark knowledge

ColdCrow plains massacre

In the early Classical Era, a war in the northernmost borders of Broken Kingdom territory was nearing its conclusion. One of the last remaining armies of the conquered forces had been harrying Kingdom supply lines, and was now on the run from a pursuing group of 1000 armored riders and their knighted leaders. The riders chased the army into the large stretch of land known as the ColdCrow Plains.

The details of what happened are unknown, as both armies disappeared into the plains. When an expedition force was sent to follow and reinforce the armored riders, they found a stretch of land covered in bodies that were described as "shredded, gutted, torn apart, or otherwise savaged beyond recognition. Covered in the torn scraps of armor that yielded to some ungodly force I cannot identify". The bodies of horses, men, broken weapons and rent armor were scattered across a quarter mile stretch of land, many of them bearing bite and claw marks of creatures both great and small, in some cases puncture wounds filled with some unidentifiable foul smelling liquids that left the ground infertile where it fell. Among the bodies, a single survivor was found in a state of delirious fear, and would speak of nothing but a sun that shone with a black light, and an endless tide of horrors that could not be stopped.

The field upon observation was marked by strange claw marks, hoof prints, footprints, and other markings, no consistency in size or shape could be found. Further searching of the area found several body parts from unidentifiable creatures that had been hacked or broken off. Since that time, ColdCrow plains has been an uneventful place inhabited primarily by farmers and sheepherders, with no other disturbances to speak of. The field in which the bodies were discovered has been turned into a monument, a stone sword placed in the ground for every body found.

Western unclaimed

The Mathematician

A mysterious lady who appears to the people as a wandering teacher of maths, then leaves once her lessons are learned. She has many names, but they all translate to the peoples' word for "mathematician".

Eastern unclaimed

The Eminent Scholar

A mysterious gentleman who says little, and yet so much. He stays in a land for a short while, works for his supper, and gives snippets of advice before going on his way. He has many names in many languages that laud his wisdom.

Headless

A young boy named Laz from the outskirts of the Broken Kingdom lived in a mortal nation and always dreamed of meeting the Truest King. Laz had always been a curious boy, showing no emotion and never speaking or playing with other children. A very serious child, when the Grand Parade came through his town, he asked what he would have to do to become an Armored Rider. The knights told him he would have to be able to swim in full armor, fight all day, and show honorable conduct, and Laz set to training. As he grew older, he showed a troubling fascination with death, performing experiments in secret on captured animals on how long he could keep them alive yet close to death.

Laz, through his training, became an excellent fighter. Strong of body and very clever with his axe, he sold his services out to various caravans until he had enough money to enter into a Broken Kingdoms tourney to prove his worth. After several failed attempts, he was invited to stay in the Broken Kingdom as a citizen and offered to serve as a man-at-arms captain to a lesser noble, an offer which he declined, but would continue his mercenary work while living within the borders of the Kingdoms.

Eventually, Laz earned his title as an Armored Rider, then low knight through hunting bandits, rogue knights and troublesome beasts. Only a few years after earning his title, the Lord, acting upon several disturbing rumors, investigated Laz, finding that he had been continuing his experiments and some bounties Laz had gone after never seemed to be found. He was arrested for committing cruelty and abomination against fellow human and life itself, sentenced to be beheaded by the Truest King himself. Laz confessed and agreed.

Sleepy hollow by sparrow

Upon walking to the executioners block, Laz looked into the eyes of the Truest King and for the first time in his life laughed sincerely, stating, "I understand now". He repeated the phrase over and over as he was walked to the block, The Truest carried out the beheading and ordered his body returned to the outskirts of the Kingdom and burned. His body never made it home. Everyone escorting it save for one man-at-arms died during the night, heads cut off their shoulders. Laz, his body, his armor, and his axe had all gone missing. The only thing the man at arms would say when questioned was, "He lives."

To this day, roads on the southern borders of the Broken Kingdom travelers claim to see on moonless nights the headless rider. Likewise, every few years a small crusade of would-be heroes tries to hunt down the headless rider. Few have even reported seeing the target of such journeys, but every so often an expedition does not return.

Midland Unclaimed

Sword of Sumera

During the Age of expansion, the second Tallet occupation of Sumera was led by Supreme commander Taethus, renown for the ability to bring to heel even the most rebellious of territories through cunning and brutality. Fascinated by the legends of Sumeran steel, she and her armies tore into the heart of Sumera, capturing the central lands and demanded the best metalshapers be brought forward to shape a sword of Sumeran steel that would act as a symbol of Tallet dominion.

The blacksmiths, all refused and were dismissed back to their daily lives. Taethus readied her soldiers and set up the entire town as a killing field, before moving to seize the blacksmiths and their families. The people of the city resisted, but due to the preparations, their skill and spirit were soon overcome. All warriors that were not killed had their hands removed as punishment, and the Blacksmiths were brought before the Supreme commander once again. Only one of them, it was revealed through questioning could shape true Sumeran steel, and he was not among those gathered. As Taethus brought a regiment of soldiers to his home and forge, he resisted and a struggle ensued. In the struggle the blacksmith's wife landed a blow on Taethus, causing a minor injury. The supreme commander, remained calm and picked up their infant son, stating that if the Blacksmith did not forge the sword, then the child would be fostered in a Tallet academy, far from home to one day return and lay his own rule over Sumera in the name of the Empire. The blacksmith agreed to forge the Sword.

He and his wife drew knowledge of the most foul arts, gathered the severed hands of the captured warriors, the groundsoil of Sumeran graves wept over by the grieving, mixing the ground bones into the crucible, bleeding themselves into the fire to imbue the steel with the fury, anger, and defiance of the Sumeran people and the will of the warriors to cast down tyranny. Into the steel they mixed the anger of the Sumeran people, and the boundless freedom of the land itself. When the blade was finished and presented to Taethus, it was the finest work anyone assembled had ever seen.

A decade later, a rebellion had re ignited in northern Sumera, everywhere Taethus carried the sword, Tallet forces faltered, lost heart, or deserted. The people were emboldened and strengthened as if by the mere presence of the weapon. During a daring assault on her personal fortress, a young Sumeran warrior carved through her guards and faced her in single combat. Though far more experienced and quicker, her Sumeran steel sword seemed to grow heavier in her hands, fighting her every cut and parry as if a second pair of hands were gripping it and fighting her. The warrior ran her through, taking the sword from her body while saying "This is my family's sword", and led the successful rebellion to push the Tallet out of Sumera.

The young warrior carried the sword to the Center of Sumera and gathered the clan leaders. Holding the sword aloft he cried "I am the one who has united all of Sumera, I declare this day the beginning of my glorious rule" As soon as the words left his mouth, the blade twisted in his hand, pulled downward and skewered him through the throat straight through his heart. His parents stricken with grief, buried the blade with his body, it was decided that day that no one ruler would ever claim the arrogance to rule over all Sumera.

Speechless the Bear

The story claims that a huntress in the midlands of Soi found one day a young bear caught in one of her snares. As she walked up to the bear, drawing her longbow, the bear called out in perfect common, "Stop," and began pleading with her for his life. She stopped, shocked at the presence of a talking bear. After she set it loose, she tended to its wounds, surprised that she found a talking bear. The two of them spoke on why she was hunting and they came to an agreement that she would charge people to see the talking bear.

The two of them made plenty of money over the years. The huntress made a deal with a local warlord to have the speaking bear perform at one of their ceremonies for a generous sum. The bear began expressing loneliness in not being able to live among the other bears, and wished to leave. The huntress however didn't want to lose her income and she had the bear captured and caged so that it could never stop performing.

The warlord arrived with his entire war band demanding to see the talking bear. The bear remained silent. The warlord became agitated, demanding if the huntress thought him a fool. She pleaded with the bear to speak, but it remained silent. The warlord had her executed publicly for making a mockery of him, the bear, upon seeing her public execution, began laughing in a human voice, stating that his current imprisonment was worth watching his betrayer die. The bear eventually died of old age in captivity and its skin has been traded to various lords and merchant masters in the area since.