Introduction/Choosing a realm
Earlier in the day, you had brought up a more sensitive subject with Uncle Frederick -- your parents may decide to send you or one of your brothers to another island entirely, and represent the family's interests there. Freddie hemmed and hawed a bit, and finally sent you into town to have a word with the grizzled old quartermaster, a scarred and tattooed man whose master had done quite a lot of travelling before finally settling down.
- The old warrior chuckles. "The realms of the world, my boy? Why would you want to know such a thing as that?"
You tell him.
- He laughs harder. "A skinny lad like you would last not even ten minutes in a battle worthy of the name. It'd be hard on my conscience if I were to tell you, then you were to go off and get yourself killed. What would your Aunt think?" He takes a swallow of ale. "She's a formidable woman. I think I'd prefer facing the entire army of Sirion or Taselak or Minas Ithil alone then face her, even if I were beside the greatest warriors in the world."
"Sirion? Taselak? Minas Ithil?" you ask him.
- His wrinkled eyes narrowed. "I think I've said too much. Best be off now, lad, before anyone hears us talking of this nonsense."
Without a word, you drop a small bag of gold on the table, giving a satisfying clink. Across the table, the warrior raises an eyebrow.
- "Well now then, lessee what we've got here," he says, reaching towards a small shelf and pulling away a few dirty old scrolls. "These might not be the most up-to-date, mind, it's been some time since I've last travelled the world."
- He brushes a space open on the table and opens some of the scrolls. "Now, there are seven islands around these parts: the East Continent, Dwilight, Beluaterra, the South West and South-East Islands, the Colonies and the Far East. Each of them has its own realms, I haven't much up-to-date information on them, but you'll probably want to look them up sometime. But you can get a general feel from looking at these old records, what they're like."
"Where have you been?" you ask eagerly.
- "I've been almost everywhere, boy!"
"Could you tell me a little bit about each of them?"
- "I could give you a little information. My memory's not the best, mind, and it's been some time. You'd best be looking up some of this stuff later."
- "The East Continent was the first place we knew of," he began. "Tales tell that all other islands trace their people, eventually, back to the East. As you can see, there are many realms from the plains to the swamps. Not the greatest of battles, but you'll certainly not be long wanting for war." He pointed to another scroll.
- "Dwilight's much larger as you can see, but it's mostly unsettled. It's a frontier out there, full of haunted wilderness and some realms on the edge of the world. They actually keep tabs on how well you carry out your role, and if you don't do it or don't do it well enough, they chuck you out. Discipline is important there. It's a bit more dangerous than the East Continent, but that don't mean much."
- "Beluaterra is alot like Dwilight, bit of a quirk there for you, but they have problems bigger than that. Every so often armies of undead and monsters and daimons will sweep through and ravage the place. That makes the realms more scared than any enemy army," he chuckled. "Apart from that, it's just like any other island. You'd best be starting off somewhere else, though. It is a dangerous land that isn't welcome to new nobles."
- "The South Island has been stuck in warfare since long before I was there. None of that wishy-washy diplomatic claptrap you get on the other islands, it's a real soldier's world. Not so big as the other islands, not as many realms either, but trust me," he said with a grin, "You might get tired of travelling, but you'll not want for battle."
- "There's always the Colonies and the Far East. They've got quirks of their own. In the Colonies, things go slower up there, so you'll be waiting longer for travel and trade. Although, after a good stint in the South Islands, you might enjoy the idea of not having to do anything for half the time."
- "The Far East is a strange place. It's a lot like the East Continent, but with it's own history and such. It's an interesting trip for sure."
You nod. "Where do I go to find out more about these places?"
- "I've no idea boy. Should be some official looking place around that'll explain to you all the islands and realms. Any idea where you want to go now?"
"I'm getting ideas, yes."
- "Good lad," he winked, "You might get past your first battle with your head after all. Now, not a word of this to your Aunt, or anything that'll have her blame me, right?"
"Of course," you nod.
- "Good lad indeed."
You turn and leave, as the old man grabs your bribe and loudly orders another tankard of ale.