Broken Horizon is a collection of stories set in the fictional World of Orizon, a setting created by a friend of mine, the wonderfully talented Will Calligan. This is a fantastic world of swords, sorcery, and sail. I Dungeon Master a small group of adventurers in this ever-wonderful world (Will being one of them), and I'd like to share a bit of that magic with you. In these chapters, you'll discover the wonders of Orizon for yourself, through the journeys and hardships of Alabaster, a young and optimistic boy with a bright future ahead of him. There will not be much context at the start of this tale, so I encourage you to visit this link wiki/Orizon_(5e_Campaign_Setting) for more information regarding the ever-wonderful world of Orizon. Enjoy n_n.
Within Elizabethia, the great capital city of the sovereign nation of Zephra, night swiftly came to pass against the hues of purple, orange, and red that saturated the late-autumn sky. Like rushing water beneath sunlight, the city glistened ever so beautifully.
At the southeastern most tip of the largest Skyland, at the center of Zephra, Elizabethia was in a position of both aesthetic appeal and well-guarded defense. The rolling hills and farmlands that scattered the countryside outside the city, stretched as far as the eye could see. Though patrols, guard-posts and watchtowers speckled the island at every strategically optimal point, it was a beautiful landscape.
The great curtain wall of Elizabethia stood nearly over forty feet high, with a thickness of well over twenty feet. The bastions and battlements were great, towering structures protruding from the wall, though pressed with intricately carved patterns, rooted deep in Zephrian culture, with oriel windows set neatly throughout the length of the wall. The main gatehouses of the city, both engulfed in heavyset barbicans of their own, towered beautifully against the stonework.
It was an impressive sight, though its beauty seemed to overshadow the fact that it was near impossible to penetrate. Hundreds of well-trained Zephrian soldiers manned the walls at all times. Great, heavy Ballistas sat in large pits atop the junction bastions between the walls, watching the horizon carefully. The glimmer of cannon muzzles could often be seen just barely protruding from their loopholes, an inline against the middle of the wall.
But the beauty of Elizabethia was not found in its towering walls, as beautiful as they were, but rather on the inside. It was a grand, sprawling city. Hundreds upon hundreds of both stone and red brick buildings lined the wide, paved streets. On the far west side of the city, a jungle of wooden structures piled in next to, and in some cases on top of, one another lined bustling and crowded streets filled with merchants, farmers, and simple traders and artisans of basic craft.
On the far east of the city, a grand, walled in area was uniformly lined with red brick stone buildings, the Almery Grounds. A great, dark stone keep sat in the center. A semi-large port sprawled across the eastern side of the city, free to sway against the wind and sky set upon as it wished. Great naval ships belonging to the Zephrian military made birth here, glistening against the evening sky. The wall that separated this area from the rest of the city, also cut-off the military port from the rest of the massive port that sprawled across the entire south side of the city.
To the northeast of the city, beautiful large buildings of both red brick, stone and marble stood slightly above the rest of the city's districts atop a small hill. The Imperial District, or Darthill as it was also coined, was home to the grandest of buildings, most notably the Imperial Palace, home to Zephra's Parliament and all other things political. Beyond Darthill was a single, walled-in expanse of green, with a beautiful and luxurious mansion enclosed within.
The bulk of Elizabethia, however, was found in the Central District, a place of immense decor. At the heart of the City was an immense tree, often called the Grand Oak, though residents know its true name to be Oaktendril. A testament to time itself, though many yet forget the tree herder who resides within, they call him Old Man Grey, though perhaps that is a story for another time...
As the last bit of daylight crept far beyond the western shores of Estir, movement flickered against an oil lamp within one of several windows of Eleutheria's Tower, back behind the Imperial library at the north end of the city. The magical spire glistened against the oncoming moonlight, but the individual within paid no mind to the shift in lighting. In fact, his eyes were piercingly affixed upon the journal in which his right hand madly scribbled notes with a long, black feathered quill.
He was a very handsome young man. His skin was of a deep-olive tone, smooth and healthy. He had very long black hair, of which was braided beautifully and rested gently over his right shoulder. There was a soft-chisel about his face, complemented by his cleanly shaven features. He had lush eyebrows, beautifully large brown eyes, and a pair of partly chapped, pinkish-purple lips that gnawed at each other as he wrote furiously. A small pair of spectacles rested on the bridge of his small nose as he scanned back over the lines he had just wrote. Adorned in jewelry and beautiful silk robes of white and gold, he grunted in satisfaction.
"I suppose that will work."
He said out loud to himself, with his far eastern accent, unfamiliar to this part of Orizon. It was a deep and masculine voice, yet soft, melodic, and stimulating to the ears.
He set down his quill, stretched his arms and yawned immensely. As his face reeled back into a resting position, he rubbed one eye before turning around and peering out into the night skyline of Elizabethia.
"My goodness," He chuckled to himself, "It seems I've worked all day again. And yet there is still so much more work to be done. How ever am I supposed to get through it all?!"
He pondered to himself as he stared about his office. A faint glimmer caught his eye from atop a high-standing table along the wall some ten feet to his right. He squinted his eyes before closing his journal, standing up, carefully sliding his chair back under his desk, before walking to the opposite end of the office. Several large bookcases, filled out entirely with books, lined the walls. A small glass case sat between two of them, several small trinkets carefully rested atop red velvet pillows within. There were other odd knick knacks along the walls, and a small table with two intricately carved chairs sat nearest the outer wall of the tower, where a medium sized window also allowed for moonlight to pass through. The man slowed to a stop as he approached the high-standing table. A long, white-clothed doily draped over the top, where several objects sat, glistening against the moonlight.
There were small silver and gold trinkets, several goblets adorned in jewels, and other various items of particular interest. Though the item that seemed to glimmer and catch his attention from behind his great wooden desk, was not at all a particularly interesting thing, though it meant a great deal to him. Barely 7 inches tall, and half that wide, a silver ornate frame wrapped around what looked to be a portrait of several young people, accompanied by an elderly gentleman, and a beast of some sort. The man grasped the portrait ever so gently and raised it towards his face.
He smiled. A certain warmth filled his body as memories drowned out his present thoughts and worries. He thought only of friends of a time not too long ago, and of the adventures they shared. Suddenly, like drifting into a deep sleep after a long day's work, he was drawn back through the years, through all the memories, to the beginning. He was drawn back to where his life truly began.
This, is the story of a boy named Alabaster, and the journey he decided to take one fine morning, in the summer of 1816, height of the great Age of Sail .