Tuesday, February 26, 2013

In The Abode of Life

The Abode of Life is the chain of oases guarded by the fortress-town known as the Abode of Departure. This oasis-chain links the Three Lands with the Great Basin to the north. The Abode of Life is scarcely more than a few leagues across at its greatest width, and can be as little as a quarter-league wide in some of its narrower valley passages flanked by steep hills. Traversing it usually takes at least a week - and significantly longer in flood season, or when sandstorms blow up the valley from the Kirsi-lands to the south.

The region is patrolled by mounted lancers from the Abode of Departure. Unfortunately, most of these patrols do not go more than 2-3 days north of the fortress-town. They also tend to turn a blind eye to the safety of groups that refuse their en route demands for protection payments. Small bands of nomadic Kirsi hill folk raise sheep and goats on the slopes of the oasis-chain. These folk are expert bandits, and will prey on any groups without adequate protection who pass through the valley.


A prominent landmark seen throughout the valley are the so-called Tower Tombs. The drier areas of the valley are dotted with these structures. The people who built them are unknown. Their tomb-doors are often open to the desert, and there is often a scatter of loose bricks around the entrance. The Kirsi warriors who patrol the oasis-chain warn people to stay away from these structures; hill tribesmen will often attack parties seen coming too near to the Tower Tombs.


Those brave souls who enter the Tower Tombs often find that they are open air structures with vaulted, open ceilings; the techniques used are similar to those in the corbelled vaults built inside the pyramids of the Sixth Kingdom. Oftentimes the floor of the tomb have a skeleton and grave goods. These have often been disturbed by a previous tomb raider. Oftentimes, there is also a stone slab hiding the entrances to a tomb complex below. Such Tower Tombs hide great riches and horrors.

The Three Lands, the Kirsi, and the Sixth Kingdom are part of the default setting of Kevin Crawford's medieval African pastiche RPG, Spears of the Dawn. This post expands on that setting  for use with both Everway and Spears of the Dawn, and was written to comply with  the non-commercial usage guidelines on the Sine-Nomine blog

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