The Continent Ream
Ream is the 2nd largest of the 9 continents of Purella. Purella is a relatively young, Earth-sized planet, measures 21,575 miles at its equator, and has 9 major land masses separated by hundreds, if not thousands of miles of open oceans. It has 2 satellites, Beaitus, which has a slow North to South orbit of 30 days, and Gam the Red, a smaller body that, contrary to its name, is not red and orbits much faster at 7 days. Ream’s months are 30 days long, marked by the orbit of Beaitus. It has the four seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, although in some regions, they are referred to differently. Each season is three months in length. The months have no names but are referred to as the First, Second or, Third month of the corresponding season. Some regions on Purella use Gam the Red instead of Beaitus to mark time, referring to each orbit as one week. For them, each season is 13 weeks long with no 7th day on the thirteenth week. Ream is a land of rolling hills and flat plains, the most notable exceptions being the jagged peaks of Vantaran Peaks and the high cliffs of Marquent Canyon, through which the river of the same name flows. There are few trees scattered throughout Ream except for the dense forest known as Morn Woods. The Bay of Ptolus is a large, and curiously fresh, body of water that sits to the north of Ream, its mouth opening out into the Great Northern Ocean. In addition to the Marquent River, there is also the Colathan River that flows out of Vantaran Peaks into South Bay Ocean. There are small streams and ponds, but no other major bodies of water in Ream.
Ream has moderate temperatures and winds during the Spring, Summer, and Autumn months. The Winters see very cold temperatures and quite often, snow. Wildlife is abundant throughout the continent, many varieties due to left behind farm animals and pets after the Great Uprising. Very few people strike it out on their own, choosing to stay in established towns and villages, leaving much of the land of Ream being reclaimed as ‘wild’.
Places of Interest
Ptolus – The capitol city of Ptolic rule, led by King Ralmond Vise Ptolus. It is the largest city in the Ptolus Region. It houses the training facilities for the the military, the royal castle, and acts as the headquarters of imports/exports in the Ptolus Region. It has enacted the Demarcation Act (DA), meaning while most all races are welcome within the city, people of certain races, such as Drow, must be accompanied by a non-DA race for security and safety reasons, not just for the city, but for the individual.
Hallerton – This is the city of the Dwarves, its leader Baron Vondergutt. Only 1/4 of the the city is above ground, the rest underground connecting to a series of long, deep tunnels can caverns. It sits on the greatest known deposits of ores, minerals, gems, and stones in all of Ream. Its colors are red, gold, and brown. Its symbol is a hammer pounding an anvil.
Larith – A moderate-sized seacoast town run by Lady Sel. It has a static population of 4,952, with several hundred people commuting daily as workers. It handles all the shipping for Ptolus, as it has a much larger coastline than even the much larger Ptolus. DA races are permitted as long as they have work visas and abide by the rules. Its banner is forked and bears the Ptolus colors, the center a shadow of a hand holding two coins.
Charenburg – The Ptolus Region prison. Its numbers are kept secret, as well as the number of guards stationed there. It houses the serious criminals whereas the drunks and trespassers are held in the respective city’s jail. It is overseen by Captain Stylus Firant. It is a magically shielded and self-contained penal colony. Its banner is the forked Ptolus flag, manacles and an hourglass at its center.
Sariush – The city of, and fashioned by, magic. It had a population of 15,212 at the last census. The very wealthy also live here, and DA is somewhat enforced here, although a DA race that is wealthy enough ceases to be seen as a DA, but rather a citizen. Lord Lady Serabel is the Head Magister and one of the most powerful, and curious, mages in the land. The city is a wonder to behold, garish colors, odd architecture, floating buildings, and large dark crystal eyes that hover above the city and on every high tower. It is the unofficial headquarters of fashion, new styles being introduced quite frequently. High etiquette is required here. It bears the forked Ptolus flag, a magic triangle at its center.
Phinothae – A fishing and whaling town that provides for the majority of Ptolic cities. Admiral Rialthane Ten-Ships is the overall head of its 3,244 people, but very few speak to him directly and must go through Capt Jack, a salty human sailor. Even Admiral Ten-Ships’ wife must make an appointment through Capt Jack. It is arguably the nicest place in Ream, despite its trade. All people are treated respectfully and with care. There is virtually no crime here and DA is not practiced. It flies the forked Ptolus flag, an anchor and a fishing rod as its symbols.
Pretty Pink Tavern – A large 500-room inn complete with stables, a tavern, general store, small police force, and armory. The party has a discount rate of 2gp/night.
Field of Sorrows/Tears – Former battlegrounds in which one third of the deaths of the Great Uprising occurred, now the grounds for the Games.
Rolomsford – This is a city of churches, temples, and other areas of worship and training. There are an estimated 2,200 people, but the numbers cannot be confirmed. There is no one central leader, but the general loyalties are to the Ptolic crown. Some see Father Gabriel as the unofficial leader, as he is the head cleric at the Temple, the largest of the churches. There are two very large buildings in the center of the city that are identical from the outside, one housing the seminarians/ordinands to the gods of good, the other, the students of the neutral gods. No church to an evil deity has ever stood in Rolomsford and by Ptolic decree, never will. DA is strictly enforced in that the races are not permitted on the grounds of the city without having gone through a cleansing process, after which, they are forbidden to leave. Its flag is the forked Ptolus flag with a twelve pointed star in the middle.
Byron – Byron is the educational center of Ptolus Region. It has a teaching and faculty staff of 350, its attendance ranging from 1,000 to 8,000 throughout the year. Arch Dean Frostwinds is the Dean and mayor over the city. While there are small learning centers scattered throughout the Ptolic realm, Byron contains all the advanced universities and magic academies, the exception being the research facility at Czerbinith Observatory. Byron also contains the grand academy, the University of Ptolic Enlightenment, a library of sorts that hold the orginal or copy of most every document that has ever been printed in the Ptolic Region. It also holds documents from before the time of Ptolic rule, as well as some foreign manuscripts. The University of Ptolic Enlightenment rivals the royal palace in security making it the most guarded and protected building in Ream, quite possibly the world. It flies the Ptolus forked flag, in the center a scroll, an open book, and the words’ “Libertas Per Cultum”.
Czerbinith Observatory – A research and development laboratory for all things primal, pyschic, and arcane. It has a staff of 40, but only the top 3, the human wizard Arch Mage Hamby, gnomish Psion Arcanits Mizzlerder, and the elven druid Elilune Silverraven, have unrestricted access to Maath Tower, the heart of Czerbinith Obeservatory.
Bay of Ptolus – A oddly freshwater bay teeming with fish that opens into the salty Great Northern Ocean.
King’s River Road – The first paved road laid under Ptolus rule the year 82 Ptolus by King Lerus Phear, who actually physically worked on the road alongside his workers.
Emperor’s Road – A road that originally was constructed by magical means by Emperor Gran Rafis the First that stretched from Ormond to Gharon and east to Kartare. It was lit at night and provided protection from wild beasts as well as periodic rest areas along the way. The road disappeared when Raymond Ptolus destroyed a magical machine after deposing the Emperor, incorrectly believing it to be a device that withheld magic from others.
South Road – Attempt by King Lerus Phear to build a road to the southwest. King Lerus Phear and the entire team disappeared without a trace. All that were sent to find the King also disappeared. On word from a dying dragonborn, King Nathaniel, father to King Ralmond Vise, followed in his ancestor’s footsteps and began to continue the road to Mrathrach’s Pit. He too disappeared without a trace.
Red Dog Inn – One of the most popular inns in Ream, it sits at a crossroads and sees many visitor daily. The party knows this to be a headquarters for a thieves guild. It is owned by a large red goliath named Red Dog.
Travelers’ Pathway – A poor, albeit heartfelt, attempt by travelers and random contractors to rebuild the road that was once the Emperor’s Road.
Talwheat – It is the agricultural center of Ptolic rule. In terms of acreage, it covers more land than the Big Five combined. There are 10,418 people here, farmers, their families, and workers that live in the area. It contains the most fertile lands in Ream. It is headed by Force Colonel Flitlock, a no-nonsense elf. Talwheat’s importance is so great that Ptolus’ 1st, 3rd, and 5th regiments are stationed here and go nowhere else. It flies the Ptolus shield flag, as well as a smaller white flag with a green bundle of wheat in the upper left corner.
Scattered Hills – Home to gnomes, halflings, and wilden. There numbers are estimated to be near 15,000, but they do not cooperate with the Ptolus census. Also boasts the finest wines in Ream.
Mrathrach’s Pit – A long and deep chasm that reported has a large crystal in one end.
Gwyvor Hills – Hills abounding with herbs and flowers found nowhere else in ream.
Maiden’s Wash – A grove whose location varies, depending on who tells the story. Rumored to have curative waters that flow from a low waterfall into a small pool.
Small Hamlet – Actually a small inn far to the south offering a place to rest where there is none for miles around. Nasty Cartwright is its owner.
Vantaran Peaks – High mountain range said to be home to dragons and other terrible beasties as well as ancient ruins. The party has never been here.
Colathan River – One of two major rivers in Ream said to flow out of the Vantaran Peaks.
Marquent River – The largest of the rivers in Ream that flows through the bottom of Marquent Canyon.
People of Interest
King Ralmond Vise Ptolus – 35 y/o human king of Ptolus and the Ptolic Region. Married to Illistra Feyid, an elf from Morn Woods. He is the first to marry a non-human in his lineage. Has an 18 year old son, Dominic, who is human (his mother Lefay died during childbirth), and a soon to be 18 y/o daughter, Syn-val-Reck, who is half elf.
Emperor Grand Rafis the 13th – 46 y/o human emperor of Reigas and the Reigal Empire. He has four sons from four different wives, all of which inexplicably died at childbirth. They are Hunter (21), D’Vilre (23), Larssen (23), and Lazarus (26). Hunter serves as his father’s emissary, while his brothers serve in the Riegal military.
Baron Vondergutt – 52 y/o Dwarven leader of Hallerton and staunch friend and ally to King Ptolus. Baron is not his title, it is his name.
Lady Sel – 33 y/o Eladrin head of Larith.
Capt Stylus Friant – 42 y/o Goliath head warden over Charenburg.
Lord Lady Serabel – Elven head of Sariush. Her/his age as well as sex is unknown.
Capt Jack – 37 y/o human acting head of Phinothae. Admiral Rialthane Ten-Ships is the actual mayor but rarely sees or speaks to anyone but Capt Jack. Even Ten-Ships’ wife and children send messages though Capt Jack.
Father Gabriel – 62 y/o human head cleric at the Temple, the largest of the churches in Rolomsford.
Livery Pains – 29 y/o half elf proprietor of Pretty Pink Tavern. The party has good rapport with her as through their actions she was able to save her tavern from orc invasions 2 1/2 years ago and grow it to the status it holds today.
Arch Dean Frostwinds – 44 y/o tiefling head of the University of Ptolic Enlightenment in Byron.
Red Dog – 30 y/o goliath owner of Red Dog Inn. The party has spent many nights here in the past and racked up quite a tab that has not to this day been paid. But Red Dog continues to see them as friends as they saved his life.
Force Colonel Flitlock – 45 y/o human protector and leader of the units stationed at Talwheat. A man of no humor, he does not care for the party much due to a run in with one of their members.
Nasty Cartwright – 48 y/o human owner of Small Hamlet. The party has met him once when they first started their adventures and have not seen him since.
Head Merchant Nesbit of the Loom – Current leader of Gharon. The party has not met her.
Lucas Fearsnone – Dragonborn leader of Kartare.
Savion Shieltief – 40 y/o elven shopkeeper in Sariush. His business has expanded to 3 locations due to quests completed by the adventures.
Severus Greatclaw – The name given to the blue dragon the party ‘slew’, propelling them to legend status, ending their adventures at that time. His actual name is Szvarchorvyx.
Swift Fairhair – 30 y/o reddish orange-haired Vryloka bard and former party member. He left for Byron to spread the legend of ‘The Saviors of Ptolus’ and immortalize their names in song and prose and book. He is the main reason Force Colonel Flitlock does not like the party. He bedded his wife and daughter in the same day. But at least it wasn’t at once.
Mrathrach – A mysterious dragonborn that was found nearly dead on South Road, a short distance from Ptolus. He was taken to the infirmary and babbled something of a giant crystal in the desert that formed a large crack in the ground. He managed to point out a place on a map before becoming hysterical, repeatedly saying he was cold, so cold. He died before any identification could be made, his body buried several hundred yards west of the point on South road where he was found. Messages were sent to Kartare, but no replies were recieved. No official attempts to investigate his claims were made, as the spot he pointed to was miles within the area where King Lerus Phear and all that came after him had disappeared. Offically, the area the dragonborn pointed to was call Mrathrach’s Pit and placed on maps as a warning to any would-be travelers or adventurers as a place to avoid.
Currency – In the year 234 Ptolus, a new form of currency was created at Czerbinith Observatory. Simply named coin crystals, these small crystals were magically enchanted to hold a near limitless amount of coins. They operated simply by placing a coin on the crystal and it would be absorbed and a balance could be checked by speaking the password to it. Each crystal is attuned to the individual’s voice. Withdrawal of the coins is also done with a password, allowing the owner to quickly pay for transactions. However, there were several drawbacks to the coin crystals. One was the fragility of the crystals. A dropped crystal would result in the owner seeing all his or her savings shatter into thousands of pieces. Also, a pickpocket could make off with them, although they were near useless without the password and the owner’s voice. The cost usually put these out of the hands of all but the wealthiest of people, 1000 crowns (1000 plat or 10,000 gold).
Great Uprising – The 5 year war begun by Raymond Ptolus to usurp Emperor Grand Rafis’ rule. Of the 15,000 that joined Ptolus, only 533 survived. These are known as the Founding Fathers of Freedom. The banner and official seal of Ptolus bear the number 533 as a tribute to them.
The Big Five – Refers to the five most prominent cites in Ptolus rule: Ptolus, Sariush, Phinothae, Larith, and Byron. While Byron is many miles south of the the others, it is a key city in that it holds the University of Ptolic Enlightenment as well as archives of every written story, law, and history. While the cities are separately governed, they work together as is one city. In 59 Ptolus, King Lerus Phear decided to essentially break Ptolus into five separate cities. His logic was that should Ptolus fall, the kingdom would not. Weapons must be checked in upon entry to the Big Five, unless one is military or noble. Being found with a weapon within city limits is a jailable offense, the weapons subject to confiscation.
Curse of Heirs – The Ptolus family line is filled with deaths of childen before their 18th birthday. While Raymond Ptolus only had one child, a son, Demeter, those from his generation to the present have had tragic deaths. Those that bore more than one child usually lost all but one. It was believed when Raymond Ptolus destroyed the machine in Ormond, it cursed his lineage. But others say it is nonsense as King Patris Ptolus had 2 sons, Giovanni in 340 and Don in 350 that both lived to have their own children. However, Don lost both his sons, both before the age of 15.
The Lady King – Refers to Queen Christin Ptolus, the first and only female ruler of Ptolus. She is revered by all in the Region, especially the women. She was thrust into power when her cousin, then King Divold, was killed in a hunting accident two days after his crowning. She emboldened women to be more than ‘back slaves’, as she called them, challenging them to join the military and to hold public office. She is sometimes referred to as the Crying Queen, as she had faced more loss than any other Ptolus ruler. Her mother died the day her first child was born, her father, the day her second child was born. Her husband died the day before the birth of their second child, her fourth. She lived to see the death of three of her children, as well as her only grandchild. This all before her 35th birthday. She did however live to see her great grandson Ralmond Vise Ptolus grow up and take over rule from her. She died in her home at the age of 76, days before the birth of King Ralmond’s son, Dominc.
Identification – All citizens are required to have identification papers and to present them when asked by authorities. These papers allow them access to the Big Five and other cities throughout Ptolus. A separate travel visa is required to travel within a territory other than a citizen’s home territory. These visas run around 25 gold each, preventing many from legally crossing boundaries.
Maps – Maps are rare and expensive, despite the many adventurers that have come and gone. People in general are not usually interested in areas outside of established towns and cities. Some adventures try to sell maps of their exploits, but most are inaccurate, some flat out lies. People can expect to pay up to 1500 gold for a verified accurate map, although most show only the major cities, routes, and features. The latest updated map is from 463 Ptolus.
Demarcation Act – A controversial act decreed into law by King Dublin Ptolus in 313 after the murder of both his 3 year old cousins and their father by Drow assassins that had been legally allowed into the city. The King demanded the council at the University of Ptolic Enlightenment to provide a comprehensive study on the different races and provide information as to which races were inherently evil or less than honorable and had them banned from Ptolic cities. His grandson, King Giovanni Ptolus changed the law allowing the banned races access and provided the current stipulation that they must be accompanied by a non-banned race. The outrage by both banned and non-banned races was greatly voiced, but King Giovanni stated that while he could not lift the law, he could change it. He also convinced many that the law helped to protect those under the DA, as violence against them had escalated in the previous years, mainly against those that were alone throughout the Ptolic lands. Through time, the DA was accepted as a necessary inconvenience, though adopted differently in each city. The following races are considered DA races: Drow, Tiefling, Vryloka, Revenant, and Duergar. Goliath, Minotaur, and Wilden are not DA races, but are generally frowned upon in Sariush.
Lost City of Psulot – rumors abound of a lost city beneath the waters of the Bay of Ptolus. This city is called Psulot and is rumored to have been a great magical city that became overwhelmed with its tremendous powers ans sunk deep below the waters. Some scholars state this lost city as the reason behind the Bay’s fresh waters despite it opening up into the salty ocean.
The Machine – A magical device of some sort that was destroyed by Raymond Ptolus after the defeat of Emperor Grand Rafis. Raymond mistakenly believed the device to be a machine that somehow harnessed magical energies that prevented people from using them. But his mistake was apparent when the magical Emperor’s road disappeared ans well as the magically protected waystations and lights that guided and protected travelers. Some historians believe the destruction of the device cursed Raymond and the entire Ptolus line, what is known as the Curse of Heirs.
Other Features of Purella
Aran – The northernmost of Purella’s continents. A land of steep and jagged cliffs littered with thousands of caves, sparse vegetation, and almost no running fresh water.
Blesile – Southeast of Ream and the next closest land mass to it. It is mainly composed of jungles and forest. The most noted exception is the south and eastern tip of the continent where the Malowhi Yol volcano exploded, covering almost half of Blesile in thick lava and ash. The explosion was so powerful it littered 2 other continents with ash and rock, and is said to have caused another to become a wasteland.
Lre – Argued to be the smallest continent, Lre is a land that is said to defy natural law. No sanctioned expeditions have been dispatched to its shores. Most all accounts are tales from sailors or hearsay, no two stories being alike. With one exception. The beaches are said to be bright pink in color, the water around it within half a day’s sail reported to be crystal clear and still, despite the conditions of the rest of the seas around it.
Magdoth – Northwest of Ream. The outskirts are a dense jungle. The center was cleared reportedly by the Tieflings centuries ago. Massive ruins are found throughout the interior of Magdoth. Ptolic scholars argue the ruins to be of several different civilizations while some, mainly Tiefling, claim the ruins to be from one giant city, making it the largest single city that ever existed, some 50,000 times larger than Ptolus.
Phan’langes – Rather than one solid land mass, Phan’langes is comprised of some 20 long islands surrounded by three very long enclosing islands. The combined land mass would make it the smallest continent, but the islands are spread over a larger area than Lre. Located east northeast of Ream, its waters surrounding the islands are surprisingly warm, despite being in an area known for icebergs. Large ships avoid sailing these waters as they are filled with dangerous coral reefs.
Piormont Se Vrent – The largest of the continents of Purella. It lies far to the west, southwest, and south of Ream. It is so massive, its area is greater than all of the other 8 continents combined. It is the most fertile of the continents and most fiercely defended. Piormont Swamp, Piormont Forest, and White Peak are three of its most known features.
Strada – Far to the southeast of Ream sits Strada, the only landmass that seems to have benefited from Malowhi Yol’s explosion. Before, Strada was little more than a desert, a small mountain range in its center. After the eruption, the settling ash and lava seemed to bring the continent to life. Over 80% of Strada now teems with vegetation, oases, and wildlife. The eastern border is still desert however, as it was the furthest from the eruption. It has become somewhat of a tourist location, its black beaches among one of its draws. However, pirate activity in the last 35 years has grown, causing official travel agencies in Ream to remove it from their lists of destinations.
Southern Frozen Bl – The southernmost tip of Purella. It is “…basically a gigantic glacier that goes nowhere. Lousy with white dragons that seem to get along, more or less.” It was discovered in 111 Ptolus by the explorer Phineas Magadeleon the First. His written report was his last act in this life. The glacier was so named because he had a heart attack and died while pinning his report. “Southern Frozen Bl” were his last words. Many consider him to be the last great explorer/adventurer.
Taurans – Located far to the east of Reams, Taurans is a wasteland. There is little scattered vegetation, most being cacti and thorns. The temperature is the hottest on Purella, the average daily temperature being 98 degrees, with highs in the 150’s. While it was no tropical island before the eruption of Malowhi Yol, it has suffered greatly since. No rain has fallen on the continent since the eruption. Most of the indigenous peoples have died off, moved far underground, or left to other less harsh lands. Still some refuse to leave; they believe the living conditions make them the toughest beings on the planet.
The Whirl – The area between Blesile, Piormont Se Vrent, and Strada is called The Whirl and is generally avoided by most sailors. Thousands of ships have disappeared in this area. One rumor recounts a thousand mile wide whirlpool opening up, devouring a fleet of gold ships, then disappearing, leaving the waters as calm as a windless day. Three expeditions were sent from Ream to document and explore the mystery surrounding The Whirl. Two did not return. The third was Phineas Magadelon’s expedition. The expedition reported sailed the area for three weeks before sailing to the south. Nothing out of the ordinary was reported. However, Phineas was said to have noted something in the Captain’s log, which was turned over to officials in Ptolus but lost in a fire. He was to recount what he saw in his written report, but was unable to do so before his sudden death.