Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Setting: Bright Face

Imagine a rift valley, forty miles wide, over a thousand miles long, running east and west. And threaded down the valley, weaving from side to side, is a smaller rift, a canyon, with branches and various levels as the rock has worn away over the millenia, and the deep places at the bottom over five thousand feet below. There are duchies of hundreds of square miles; there are single farmsteads of a couple of acres, terraced in one tiny notch of a cliff.  The south wall of the rift, thousands of feet high, is always in shadow; and the north wall is the Bright Face. To the west, the Long Lake and the oldest cities; to the east...well, the new tribes who come, come fleeing from the East.
They say the elves were here first. Elves or goblins or dwarves--they're all the same thing. Short and ugly, with pointed ears and sloping brows, but masters of crafts and smithing. And the powerful ones, it's said, shape not just steel but flesh, creating monsters for their soldiers and slaves. Thus the ogres, the wights, the terrible beasts guarding the deep places of the earth. But also the great swords, the vaulting bridges, the mighty works of old.

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