20 Questions for the Old Frontier

Look, we all know Jeff, let's get on with it.

Brief Introduction: The Old Frontier
The Dread Emperor rules, has ruled, will always rule from the Mightiest of Cities, Babylon, seat of the Throne, and from his Basalt Throne he stretched his hand across all the Empire and beneath his benevolent gaze, mankind flourishes.
In theory at least.
In reality, the Duchy of Brockenwold is far, far from the vital beating heart of civilisation. The frontier has stood here for centuries, ebbing and surging back and forth, cities and towns blooming and wilting in turn, no-one even knows anymore if the ruined cities in the mountains are the corpses of Imperial cities or the ailing remnants of even older ages. This is just as far as humanity can go, there is nothing worth having beyond the Brockenmoors or the Saurmachts. Some things are certain though.
Something isn't right about the Duchy.
There are (utterly spurious of course) claims that monsters roam the moors, and beasts and creatures of legend, things that cannot and should not be, roam the Eldenwode, and there are even whispers of Gods.
Someone needs to sort these out, and put the old tales to rest.

1. What is the deal with my cleric's religion?
There are two religions in the Empire, the Church of the Angels, and the Faiths of the Saints. There are most certainly, no Gods. This fact is not contested within the Empire, people just sort of... know it. Feel it in their bones, there are no celestial benefactors of divine will and power. Mankind is nearly alone.
This is where the Angels and the Saints come in. Angels protect man from the goodness of their hearts, in exchange for reverence. Saints are the creation of men, self-made heroes to keep the darkness of the world at bay, and defend the bright but feeble hearts of men from devils and demons.
Think of them something like the Catholic and Protestant Churches, roughly. They do the same thing, in theory, and they tolerate each other, barely.
There are Saints of many, many things. I have about 30 or so of them, one day I will do a post about them.
The Angels are a pretty uniform bunch. Very aloof, very imperious.
Some particularly degenerate (noble's words, not mine) foreigners (even in the Empire of All Humanity there are still, somehow, foreigners) supposedly worship gods, bright burning gods. But they are of course, delusional. Gods don't exist. At least, not any more.

2. Where can we go to buy standard equipment?
Many towns and some villages will have your basic blacksmiths who can repair and maybe even make basic weapons and arms. You'll have to go to the bigger towns and even cities to find the more competent blacksmiths to forge proper adventuring equipment. The blacksmiths of the biggest cities (which are beyond the borders of the Duchy) can make you arms and armour of the greatest art and magnitude.

3. Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?
You can't. Monsters don't exists.
For people of... differing proportions however, you will need custom fitted armour, and so you'll probably want to go to the more proficient blacksmiths of the larger towns. Brygge and Regensburg (the duchy capital) are your best bets.

4. Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?
Wizards are a quiet bunch, its hard to tell. Most certainly the Cardinal (who dwells near the Cathedral of Silburn) is well versed in esoteric lore, and some of Duke Hatori's men are supposedly quite proficient in the Subtle Arts, but who can tell?
In the darker corners, by those who profess the trade of Hedge-Magics, the name of Nakvisa is whispered in hushed tones. Nakvisa has yet to announce themselves to the world, however.

5. Who is the greatest warrior in the land?
There are several contenders for this title. Cazimir, the Dogskin knight has supposedly never lost a fight, though this is more than likely the fact that he never fights fair when he can help it.
Most would point at the highest ranked soldier, and left hand of the Duke, Capitan Grace, as certainly the finest traditional swordsman to enjoy prominence and a name, but whether he is the best? Uncertain.
On some of the wilder fringes, there is a new name rising, Vermont, called 'Swiftblade', but there will have to be more of this name to determine the truth of it.

6. Who is the richest person in the land?
Certainly the Duke, Don Hatori. His taxes are legendary, his coffers, more so. No one else even comes close.

7. Where can we go to get some magical healing?
Magical healing is vanishingly rare, granted only by certain Saints and particularly soft-hearted Angels. Seek out the Shrines and Temples, there are at least one in every village, multiples in towns and cities, perhaps you find some there.
The Cardinal has been known to perform healing miracles from time to time, but good luck getting an appointment with him in his lifetime.

8. Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?
Pffft... most people don't even know those things exist. Still probably the Cardinal. Mundane curses can be broken by Witch-Finders though. They are your best bet on curses for sure.
You could go to an Alchemist or a Physician for poisons or diseases if you're brave. Very brave.

9. Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?
No, Wizards don't even officially exist. If you want to learn wizardry, you need to find a Wizard to learn from. Or a Witch, they're a little more unsavoury though.
Hedge Magic you can learn from anyone who already knows it though.

10. Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?
Some villages will have one. Many towns will have one, or even more. Cities are your best bet, they'll possibly even have multiple of what you're looking for.

11. Where can I hire mercenaries?
It'll probably have to be Regensburg, the Duchy Capital. There won't be bands of them, just individuals and small groups. Politics are quiet here on the very edge of civilisation.

12. Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?
There's nothing silly like that, but security is tightest in the Towns and most of all in the cities. Regensburg is positively authoritarian, if the Duke is a street over you'd best hide from the Town Watch.
Out in the countryside however, there are other concerns. The Witch-Finders are always on the prowl, and without the close oversight of their Urban task masters, more zealous hunters might just dish out a little discretionary justice if they think you smell off.
Notably, Johnny Law is rather heavy handed in Brygge. Baron Nathair is somewhat cautious at the moment for some reason.

13. Which way to the nearest tavern?
Most villages will have at least one. The ones that don't are sad villages indeed.

14. What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?
Oh, there are lots of stories; The Beast of the Brockenmoor; Nakati, Black Goat of the Woods; the Whisperer in the Web; Tash, the Breath-Taker; the Grotlyn and her broods; the list goes on. Of course, none of them actually exist, as any proper folk could tell you. Bringing back proof would certainly spread your name far and wide.

15. Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?
Nah, the world is too old and tired for that. Maybe when his Dread Majesty finally dies a succession war might tear apart the empire. We can all hope I suppose.

16. How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?
Rare, but certainly Don Hatori is a big fan of Gladiatorial Battles. So, Regensberg then.

17. Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?
Well of course there are, but they're secret.
There's something called the Foundation, but no-one knows what it is. Don Hatori supposedly has a sect of Secret Police, but there's no proof obviously.
There are many cults throughout the world. Lady Dusts is a fairly prominent name in that regard. Many foolish people who think they have found a god, when in reality it is anything but. They only ever find out the truth when it is too late.

18. What is there to eat around here?
Pffft. Bread? Meat if you're lucky/pay well for it. Its better out in the cities though. Apparently places out on the coast of Eidolmeer have a rather good line in sea food.

19. Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for?
Loads, the Three Swords of the Ancient Kings, the Five Links of the Sorcerer, the Cursed Pearl Blades, loads. Thing is, they're all legends.

20. Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure?
Well, apart from there not being any such thing as a monster...
Supposedly, deep, deep in the Sauermacht peaks, there is a Dragon...

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