Lore Primer in New World - Dragonsmoke Archipelago | World Anvil

Lore Primer

Dragonsmoke Archipelago

  The wandering roads of Dragonsmoke Archipelago spiderweb away from Wildcross in ever changing and unpredictable ways. The archipelago is home to every environment one can imagine: freezing tundra, scorching desert, stagnant swamps, staggering peaks, tropical jungles, rolling hills, and more. All manner of beast and fiend can be found roaming around the many isles, but returning to civilization once you have ventured into the wilderness can be a challenge.   Protected by a torrent of storms, and not existing on any map, no captain comes to the islands on purpose. Many just get lost in a storm and barely make it to the harbor at Wildcross.   One of the first things noticed when the first ships crashed here was that beyond the small camp they made, the paths always changed, no way led to the same destination twice. And as more people arrived, eventually a few ships made it through the storms. Now there is a thriving trade between the various islands that people have spread out to inhabit, but it takes a very skilled captain to navigate when the currents and tides can change on a whim and storms can blow in from nowhere.  


  Wildcross, on it's surface, is a lawless pirate town where the people like to say "coin is king". Rough men, that in more civilized places wouldn't be welcome, stumble off their ships into the taverns near the harbor and spend the coin they've made from trade or by more nefarious means from the waters beyond the Archipelago. Not every captain can pilot the rough storms and successfully make it back and forth but many risk it because to be able to regularly berth at Wildcross means you are safe from the outside and that you can make it rich, even carrying standard goods.   The odd thing you'll notice after spending some time in the city is that despite the fact there is no real governing body, and there are no real "laws", the common folk here walk the streets without fear; merchants and other tradesmen don't have armed guards at the door making sure their wares aren't stolen, and even the thieves are polite if you catch them picking your pocket, and take only a small portion otherwise.   If asked, the common folk will say it's nothing, merchants will smile and wave you off, saying customers are simply well mannered, and thieves simply apologise and pretend not to hear. Every once in a while, though, someone will glance towards the great, hulking iron tower in the centre of the city.  

The Iron Coin

  You can't go far in Wildcross without hearing about the The Iron Coin or seeing the iron tower that serves as their headquarters. They offer many services to adventurers such as life insurance, and the Waygates that are used to travel to various points across the Archipelago. They also seem to conduct a booming trade in various goods, and collect money from the businesses in town. In turn, they support public works, and provide wages to mages and mercenaries for seeing to the city's overall safety.   But don't begin to think they govern the city. After all, in Wildcross the Coin is KIng.  

Other Settlements

  There are many bastions of relative stability among the chaotic, shifting landscape of the Dragonsmoke Archipelago. Each place, however, has it's own problems to contend with. Heroes who balk at the irreverent nature of the soldiers of fortune in Wildcross might feel more at home among the pious people of Hillsfar, but will have to contend with the Shadar Kai at the gates. There is Marxstaff that was once overrun by devils until the paladin Cohor cleansed the embattled hamlet. It is still in the process of recovering. The great dragons of Bellrock have been all but exterminated, but the villagers there still watch the skies with trepidation. Not all is as it seems in the town of Cuttleton, and the nearby horde of orcs may be the least threatening of its denizens. These settlements are dangerous when ventured into alone, but there is strength to be found in numbers.  


  To this end, many organizations have been founded which seek to tame the wilds within and without the cities' walls. Innumerable churches and religious orders, the wizards of The Mage's College, the dragoons of The Spire, the legitimate businessmen of The Trade, and many more all seek to impress their own sense of order on the entropy of the wheel hub world, and they're always taking on new members. Joining a guild affords you several opportunities to earn a little extra coin by performing tasks which advance their interests, but who you choose to associate with says much about your character, what lengths you're willing to go to, and how far you can be trusted.   You can find out more about them in the links below.  

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