regional towns

Texas Gothic: North Texas
  • There are flocks of screeching black birds at every intersection, but only in the dusty twilight hours. They sit like malignant blots on the grass, the power lines, the trees. Without warning they fly all at once, a great crying black cyclone that makes you want to cover your ears and pray. They settle again, like they never moved at all, and you wait for it to start again.
  • A school bus passes you, but it’s not time for them to be going to or from school. You look again, but you can’t see anyone inside. The bus turns down a side street you don’t remember being there a moment ago. You blink and the bus and street are both gone. In your rear view mirror you see another empty bus.
  • There is a construction zone. There is always a construction zone. You have never seen anyone working at a construction zone, but they are always there.
  • Every shop in the strip mall is for lease. Half the shops in the next are for lease as well. That building is for lease. You swear there was a restaurant there yesterday, but no more. That building is for lease. You went to that store just last week. That building is for lease. You begin to expect the constant emptiness of the buildings and strips.
  • The wind howls and howls and strange things appear in the street, in your yard. They’re blown away again in moments, but the memory of them stays like a sour taste in the back of your throat. You pray the wind stops, but you also dread it. No one knows what will happen if the wind stops.
Mordak

Setting:

Mordeadus - this is one of several campaign settings I run

Country:

Mordak

Population:

Human

Terrain:

The region is mostly dark pine forest.

The area is often dense with fog, that can rise from nowhere and often stays for days.

Within the woods, howls and groans can often be heard but rarely a source can be found.
Note: The sounds are usually magical in nature, deriving from old curses and often emanate from nothing.

The sky is stuck in perpetual twilight and night, and the sun has not risen in known memory.
Note: Again, this is magical in nature, and outside the borders of the nation the sun will still rise. Most likely a curse from a God or ancient demon.

Settlements:

Few cities exist as the region is mostly small towns and villages.

The roads within the settlements are lined with jack-o-lanterns as well as the outskirts of the towns and villages.

The faces on the jack-o-lanterns are believed to ward off spirits, the twisted faces of flames bringing fear to the supernatural. Because of this, jack-o-lanterns are carved daily and replaced as needed, each family unit responsible for the area around where they live. It is also not uncommon for homes built within he woods to line their property with  jack-o-lanterns.

Architecture Style:

Homes are built with black stone.

Buildings are never built with windows as the people of Mordak believe leaving holes in a building will invite evil spirits and the fact that there is no sunlight leaves little point.

Shelves are cut into the outside walls and lined with candles. Due to the constant dark, the light is meant to scare away the dark. The people of Mordak believe once true darkness descends on them, it will never leave.

The walls on the outside of the houses will often be thick with old wax left on as the people Mordak believe it is good luck since the wax has been blessed with light.

Iinside, the homes are covered in candles, dozens filling every room, and fires roaring at all times in the hearth. The people of Mordak never for a moment let the dark overtake them.
Note 1: Consider most inhabitants having a phobia of the dark.
Note 2: If at anytime a player is caught in true darkness, consider having ghosts or undead start manifesting.

Clothing Style:

The people wear mostly black wolf or rabbit furs gathered from the woods.

Because of the dangers of the dark, every citizen of Mordak travels with a bandolier of candles across their chest and many more in pockets, belts or sacks throughout their body

Religion:

There is no central religion as the people are more into superstition than Gods.

Black cats are bad luck. Mirrors can trap and release souls and most keep trinkets of cold iron in their pockets or as necklaces.

Government:

Lead by a monarchy that has little control outside their city, each town or village is instead controlled by an elder or a powerful baron.

The leadership is indifferent and usually bands together for survival than for anything benevolent.

Economy:

The region is mostly poor and struggling with little in the way of nobles and powerful merchants.

They use standard coin as their currency.

Their main import is animal fat to make candle wax; being such a necessity it is not uncommon for towns to sell off loved ones or even give up their remaining food for wax, preferring to starve than face the dark. Because of this, merchants across the borders will often overcharge for animal fat with Mordak having little option other than to pay.

Issues:

The hags

They are more spirit than physical, capable of flying, passing through solid surfaces and materializing at will.
Wearing tattered flowing rags, they are gangly female forms with long black hair, white faces and large black eyes.
Standing 8 feet tall, they have oversized fingers and toes.
They feast on the souls of the living, flying through the pine forests far from the light of candles and jack-o-lanterns.
They will often wait underground and drag their victims into the dirt, suffocating them before absorbing their essence, leaving only a dry withered corpse.
Note: When figuring out the hags’ stats, they are considered ghosts or wraiths.

The witch covens

Deep in the pine woods, living within overgrown cottages are covens of witches from 1 or 2 to dozens.
They are female, their bodies aged and twisted, their faces wrinkled with crooked noses and skin patches with hairy moles.
Being spellcasters, they mostly use illusion and charm spells to lure victims to their layer with a disguise of a good looking man or women in distress, then using their charm to seduce the victim.
Once brought to their lair, the witches descend upon the victims like wilds dogs, eating their flesh while the person is still alive, then boil down their fats and organs into spells or wine.
Their cottages are often decorated with bones, their walls layered with dried skins and stinks of rot.
In the center of every cottage is the iron cauldron where the witches cook, create potions and wine.
Some using their disguise will wander into towns and sell their potions or wine – healing, flight, etc, - in exchange for things they may need or to eye new victims. Unfortunately for the buyer, it isn’t till too late do they realize what they have been drinking.
Note 1: The drinks or potion will work as described -healing, flight, etc, despite its disgusting and macabre ingredients.
Note 2: When figuring out the witches’ stats, they are considered undead human spellcasters.

Pumpkin heads

Roaming the pine woods are packs of leathery humanoid creature with jack-o-lanterns heads.
They can run on all fours and will often do so howling and growling form their pumpkin heads.
They are always hostile, almost mindless,  attacking with sharp claws, breathing fire from their pumpkin head or biting with bone like teeth growing within its pumpkin head mouth.
Considered demons, their numbers are small, from only a couple to now more than a dozen, but increase as it gets closer to a full moon till the countryside can be filled with 1000s.
During the full moon, most people in settlements hide barricaded within their homes and all life stops while the moon begins to wane.
No one knows where they come from or why the moon plays an effect, they just know the saying, “When the sky is bright, get out of sight, when the woods groan, hide in your home.
Note 1: The pumpkin heads are demons and come from deep in the earth, drawn to the magical nature of the moon only to return back to the earth to slumber during the darker nights.
Note 2: When figuring out stats for a pumpkin head, they are considered demons. With the more powerful ones being larger and older than the ones with lesser stats.

The dark farmsteads

A large region Mordak’s is covered by an area known as the dark farmstead.
This was a region of rich farmland long ago before an unknown ancient blight cursed the grounds.
Now the farms long since abandoned are in a state of perpetual decay. Old corn is always withered and dry, never growing, never dying. Undead pigs, cows, horses still graze the fields and live within dilapidated stables.
Homes and windmills have fallen into disrepair but never collapsing. The wood has turned black and rotting, doors are rusted closed and vines and moss often net entire buildings.
Animated scarecrows wonder the fields, killing anyone who enters, then uses the dead as feed for the undead livestock.
Note 1: When figuring out stats for an animated scarecrow, they are considered golems with only two orders: kill all who enter, feed the remains to the animals.
Note2: When figuring out stats for the undead animals, they are considered zombies.
No one is sure why the area is in a state of decay or when it happened, but some believe it is an undead God slumbering beneath the once fertile fields or that the Gods have forsaken the place all together with the very lands itself being cursed to be undead.

The grave fields

Near the northern borders of the country exist long stretches of graveyards some centuries old.
10s to 100s or 1000s of graves dot the area and are rumored to be from a massive war once fought on the continent, although little record can be found in history.
Note: The graves are from a massive war with most records being destroyed long ago.
Many graves are worn and long since pillaged of their valuables with others still unopened, holding enormous tombs consisting of entire dungeons going deep into the earth.
The area is extremely magical, flowing with natural necromatic energies and anything that dies in the region, soon comes back as undead.
Because of the energies, massive amounts zombies are always rising from the graves, from a few dozens to hordes in the upper 1000s.
Usually the zombie mingle mindless in the northern border, seldom leaving their gravesite, but when a horde forms, they begin to wander. Some make their way across the border, becoming someone else’s problem, while others go south, wiping out entire settlements of Mordak with every thrust.
Although effort has been put in place to dug up the graves and burn the dead, little has changed and every few months to years hordes continue to rise.
Every horde has been dealt with so far, but at a cost and every generation of Mordak is smaller than the one before it with some believing there is only a generation or 2 left before they can no longer stem the tide.
In addition to the zombie swarms, necromancy cults have come to the area, taking advantage of the natural necromantic energies that linger within the graves.
Hoping to gain favor with their particular Gods, some come for power, some to cause chaos, but all have exacerbated the problem by enriching and strengthening the necromantic energies in the area, causing the undead to rise in accelerated numbers. Now what was once a rare occurrence has become common with some necromancers reporting that certain cemeteries have an almost unstoppable flow of undead rising from graves.
Note: While the hordes will not be the only problem a character may face while in Mordak, the zombie swarms should always be at the forefront of their survival, a dark cloud always looming.

-regional at best is-

regional at best is screaming into the woods praying that some one hears you but being terrified of what you’d say if they did. regional at best is hiding from help with a smile. regional at best is being afraid of your weaknesses. regional at best is plans falling apart in your head as you plan the future in a basement in your quiet home town. regional at best is a dream you never saw possible. regional at best is real. regional at best is a creative outpouring free of producers, free of labels. regional at best is the story of two boys, two lonely boys. regional at best is blue, and regional at best is red. regional at best is a battle between synth and piano, chaos and serenity, fear and peace. regional at best is the first promise that peace could win. regional at best is an open window. regional at best is the crack of a baseball bat. regional at best is potential not yet born.

regional at best is the sweet mellow place between the past you want to forget and the future you never thought a reality.

regional at best is, and it always will be.  

February 14, 1917 - Further Discussion of Postwar Territory: France will acquire the coal-rich Saar and the Rhineland will be Demilitarized

Pictured - A map of post-war Germany, with the Saar shaded in black and the Rhineland highlighted.

In 1871 Prussia stripped France of its border territory Alsace-Lorraine, and in 1914 the Imperial German armies quickly swept over France’s most important coal and steel producing regions in the north-east. Determined never to lose either territory or necessary war-making regions again, France wanted acquisitions of its own in the peace when the Great War ended. Allied meeting in Petrograd in February agreed that Alsace-Lorraine would be “restored to France.” On top of that, France would acquire the coal-rich Saarland valley, while German towns and regions west of the Rhine would be “entirely separated from Germany and freed from her political and economic dependence upon her.” Negotiations continued about a new Imperial Russian frontier with Germany and the Hapsburg Empire into March. 

Hello followers! This is a call for help, please. Can you tell me, how would you describe how people from your country talk?

As in, would someone from your country (or your area or your town, regional accents vary hugely!) speak with rounded syllables, flat vowels, a lilting softness? Is it common where you’re from for people to be very expressive with their hand gestures, or do people tend to be quite clipped? Does the tone of voice matter - do you end your sentences on an upwards note even if it’s not a question, do people in your country have a tendency towards deadpan accents? Is your language a musical one, a harsh one, one that’s usually spoken very fast and is difficult for non-native speakers to follow?

Basically, if I was writing a character from your country, what little details can I drop in to bring them to life as actually from your country and not from how I think your country might be?

Let me know! Wherever you’re from. Even if you think I probably know how people from your area sound already, I assure you, I don’t. And if there’s any common stereotypes you want me to be aware of and avoid, fling ‘em at me and I’ll be aware of them to avoid.

Ta!

Sneasel and Weavile Headcanons

(For @punkrockfever. Hope you enjoy!)

  • Owing to their natural speed and sneakiness, sneasels can be trained to pickpocket. 
  • In some areas of the world, sneasels and weaviles are dubbed as demonic servants, believed to scavenge the souls of wanderers and offer them up to the devil. Children are taught to pelt them with stones if they see them in the cities. 
  • Sneasels purr when they are content. They tend to show affection by nuzzling their trainer’s neck.
  • Albino sneasels, which boast white fur and pale feathers, are unique to the mountainous regions surrounding Mahogany Town. Such sneasels have thicker fur, longer bodies, and are diurnal. Because of this, they are not classified as dark, being regarded instead as pure ice types. They are rarely ever used by trainers, as they struggle to regulate their body temperature in milder climates and respond poorly to domestication.  
  • Weaviles will sometimes carve markings into walls and cupboard doors in order to claim territory and communicate.  As this behaviour is innate, it is incredibly difficult to train out of them.
  • Some trainers will buy claw guards for their weaviles and sneasels - translucent, glove-like coverings that stop them from accidentally ripping holes in every piece of furniture they climb on. Weaviles will sometimes protest to wearing these by biting the furniture instead. 
  • Although sneasels rely on sensitive night vision to hunt their prey, their eyesight actually deteriorates when they evolve. Instead, weaviles use the crest of feathers on their head, which has a curved formation and acts much like a satellite dish, to detect vibrations in the air and hunt prey both above and below ground.      
10

Smith Horse

The Smith Horse is the Spirit Rahi of the Fe-Matoran because they had practically saved the lives of Fe-Matoran in poor business. It is also the first known Spirit Rahi to not originate from its representative region.

A blacksmith shop in Fe-Wari during this time was very poor due to customers and commissions not coming very frequently. Until one day, a war had taken place in Zakara, people needed horses, and they needed them to have armor in order to be protected from weapons. Hundreds of soldiers arrived with hundreds of tamed wild horses. Business and wealth in the blacksmith shop increased as workers smelted swords for Matoran and Toa and armor for hundreds of horses.

To this day, the blacksmith shop has been rebuilt and is much larger and more appealing-looking to attract customers. Its workers are also responsible for the large horse statue at the center of their region’s town.

Smith Horses did not receive their species name until that day in the time of war. They in fact were an unnamed species that galloped the plains of Le-Wari, back when most of them were wild Rahi before their domestication in farms, sports, and transport. Smith Horses today are becoming less and less needed for transportation in Zakara due to the increase of Matoran-made transportation, so the horses are either beginning to repopulate the wild or are being domesticated in farms.

They are one of few Rahi to vary in color, ranging from brown, dark brown, burnt orange, black, and white. They are also currently the largest equestrian Rahi.

(The dark brown horse is an example of an unarmored, wild or non-war horse. and the gold and silver horse was the steed of the captain that led soldiers in the war)

You know why Po Town is the eeriest villain hideout I’ve seen in any Pokemon game? There are places like Po Town in my own city - places taken over by criminals, hollow shells of what they used to be. For all of Team Skull’s silliness, Po Town - the way Nanu says before you go in, “If you don’t make it, I’ll make sure you remains make it home,” Po Town really does bring it back down to Earth.

Vermont Gothic
  • The green feels strange on your feet as you stroll through the thawed meadow. It’s wispy strands seem to clutch onto your feet as you stroll. What is this strange green substance? Somewhere, deep inside your mind you feel as if you once knew, but it is gone now. Only speculation remains.
  • Driving down route 7, you see a car wreck. All New York and Mass plates. A wide grin begins to find it’s way over you as you speed past. The brightly colored leaves nod in approval.
  • They say the bloodstains found in the fresh snow were only from animals, but you know Timmy did not come home last night. In order for spring to begin, the winter must take it’s payment. Buds begin to sprout on the trees, and the temperature suddenly rises.
  • Spring is in the air and the roads subsequently turn to mud. Dirt roads no longer exist, and we are not sure how much longer the pavement is going to hold up.
  • Walking alone on a trail, you suddenly trip over a root. Before you have the chance to lift yourself up, a voice in the trees whispers your name. You forgot it was maple sugaring season. The trees are hungry.
  • Your shoe sticks in the mud. As you begin to sink deeper and deeper, you are glad. There will be a bountiful harvest this summer.
  • After years of living near the power plant, you begin to forget it even exists. The black and white spots developing on your skin must just be a rash, you say. Soon enough the only thing you can say is “moo”, and you come to realize something.

As promised, we’ve also decided to release some more information for the site today! We’ve been more than impressed, to say the least, with all of the character development we’ve seen so far, so we think that giving you all some information about the setting would be helpful to give you some ideas on what the town is really like. (Please bear with us, there is a lot of information.)

Keep reading

Small Town Ohio Gothic

  • It’s just outside of Columbus, just closed off from the city. You came here because everyone talked about how nice it was, how lovely, how special. How everyone in Columbus wanted to live here. It was costly, but it seemed worth it. Everyone was so welcoming to you, wearing their nice clothes and big smiles. But after a few weeks, it feels strange– why won’t they stop smiling?
  • Everything is so white here. White people with their white teeth and white pearls and white tile floors and white houses and white picket fences, it’s as though the entire town has been bleached. In fact, everything here kind of smells of bleach.
  • One man owns the town. His name is plastered on every building. You’ve never seen him leave his mansion, you’ve never seen him at all. No one has. Sometimes you wonder if he’s actually there. 
  • Every house must be built the same way, every building a similar style, every school the same style. You must follow the rules. You don’t question it– you’re too scared to.
  • The school kids all wear the same clothes in different colors, bought from the same store, with the same hair, and the same voice, the same face. They are all the same. You begin getting them all mixed-up. You can’t find anyone different. You wonder what happened to them.
  • The housewives all gather together at a high-end cafe for brunch every friday. They all talk loudly about the same college their children all happen to be going to, and how happy they are. They lean in and whisper quietly and rushed and something about it feels wrong. One of them meets your gaze. It becomes dead silent. They go back to talking loudly about their lovely husbands and lovely children and lovely lives.
  • A woman stands in front of your house every morning at 9:08 exactly. You mention it to your neighbor who says, “I’ve never seen a woman at your house.” The woman stops coming.
  • You know it’s safe because they told you the police circle the neighborhood every hour. “It’s so safe here,” they all tell you, “so, so safe.” You see a flicker of something in their eyes– was it fear?
  • Ever since you moved in you haven’t been able to sleep. You confide to one of your neighbors and they suggest you go to the town’s doctor. He prescribes you medicine and doesn’t tell you the side effects. You take it anyway.
  • Every neighbor has a dog. Every other night at three am, they bark and bark. Sometimes they get loose. One of them attacks the child from across the street. You don’t see the child or the dog again.
  • You begin having nightmares you can’t wake up from. A man standing at the end of your bed, staring. An owl hoo-ing at your window; its eyes are dead and remind you of the people in the town. You stop taking the medicine.
  • There have been five suicides in the little you’ve lived there. You try to read about them in the town papers, but they aren’t there. No one talks about them. No one acknowledges them. Everyone just smiles.
  • You haven’t left the town since you got there. Something tells you to, but every time you try the car breaks down. You call a mechanic and he asks you why you’d want to leave. “Everything you need is right here.”
  • A neighbor invites you to their party. You go. A lady with diamond earrings begins talking to you. You notice a stain on the edge of her high heels. It’s the first time you’ve seen a stain in this town. It It looks like blood.
  • They don’t like you here. One woman says “it seems you aren’t assimilating well.” She says it with a smile, but the words give you chills. You don’t know why, but it scares you.
  • Your neighbors maid stops by your house. “Get out,” she says. It’s not a threat, it’s a warning. But she’s too late. You can’t.