Monday, 1 August 2011

Maquosmouth

The city of Maquosmouth was a vibrant city-port in the Duchy of Uldus, until the Summoning, during which Bhael created a chaos portal in the city, unleashing a swarm of monsters on the hapless inhabitants.
Those who were not killed fled, many of them arriving at Ironmarket
Thus far, it is similar to Erkhart and Aerisport - another Imperial city devastated by the power of a chaotic god and left to vicious monsters.

However, one contingent stayed - these were the students of Gerontium, a wizard of considerable power. Gerontium was known in Toutus, and renowned among the mages of Toutus, as the premier creator of golems and animated statues. As well as creating the well-known, standard types, Gerontium created new types, writing down the formulae and passing the methods onto his students.
Gerontium died before the Summoning, but his mage students carried on his work. When Bhael visited and created the Chaos Portal, it was a while before the students realised how serious the situation was. They started to activate the golems and animated statues only after the monsters had poured out and attacked the townsfolk. They did, however, defend the immediate vicinity - their master's compound and the neighbouring buildings. 


Fifty years later the students are still holding out, but they are losing a war of attrition. They have ways of repairing damaged golems and animated statues, but do not have the materials to create whole new ones. The monsters roaming the city may not have access to healing but their numbers are replenished via the chaos portal.

The architecture of Maquosmouth is worn and battered, as there have been battles and skirmishes for the last 50 years. The city is divided by the River Maquos, and the two bridges over it have collapsed. The students of Gerontium hold onto part of the south side, while the Chaos Portal is in the north side, where the town marketplace used to be. 


The Chaos Portal connects to Hestoris, the first Plane of Chaos. As such, a lot of the creatures that have emerged are chaotic humanoids, including ogres, orcs and gnolls. Although they can swim with difficulty (and given the flow of the river, some get swept out to sea) the orcs and gnolls are trying their hands at boat building to get across to the south bank so as to attack the enclave of mages and golems. The golems can wade through the water as they do not need to breath, and there are certain places where they can lumber up or down the river banks on muddy slopes, while the mages, if they consider it necessary, can usually fly over or use a breath water spell if they need to.


There are certain areas that have seen a lot of fighting - most notably the south docks, which the mages want to use as a lifeline to the rest of the civilized world (particularly Sterin Barony). 
Maquosmouth is strategically important, as seizing it would provide a sea port to connect Ironmarket and the Confederacy up the river in the east with Sterin Barony and Teiglin across the sea to the west.

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