Thursday, September 9, 2010

Overview of the Kinan-M'Nath

Now that summer is over (in the unofficial "it's after Labor Day" sort of way), I'm gleefully awaiting the coming of autumn with all its chill air and changing leaves. This time of year affects my senses and truly gets me in the proper mindset for playing D&D. The cold wind, a crackling fire, and the rustling of fallen leaves always makes me think of high adventure.

In particularly, the change in the weather will also be closely resembling the environment found in the Kinan-M'Nath (although you're currently exploring it in the early spring, not the start of fall). I found the following in my campaign notes folder. It formally appeared on the Obsidian Portal wiki, but with that shut down, I'm reposting it here so that you get a better idea of just what is outside the window of the Mad Manor, and what type of environment your characters are operating in.

The following are general notes about the geography, climate, and people of the Kinan-M’Nath.

  • Much of the Kinan-M’Nath is rich in raw, rough pastoral and sylvan beauty. Winters are long in the Kinan-M’Nath, with snow sometimes falling into the late spring. Areas of deep green woodlands are punctuated by jagged granite mountain peaks capped with snow and ice. In deep crevasses in the shadowy mountains, ice remains year round. Glittering streams trickle down from the peaks, winding through beautiful meadow valleys and thick stands of aspen, fir, and pine trees. In the spring, apple trees erupt in showers of pink and white blossoms. Waterfalls are common in the high peaks, throwing rainbows of color against exposed granite cliff faces in the bright afternoon sun. Many caves dot the hills and mountains of the Kinan-M’Nath.

  • Common animals found in the Kinan-M’Nath include deer, rabbits, wolves, moose, panthers, black bears, owls, hawks, ravens, songbirds, boars, stags, and sturgeon.

  • The human populace is largely descended from the Scalva, a nomadic tribe of barbarians who traveled along rivers on massive houseboat-like rafts. The Scalva eventually became an agrarian society and settled on the lands bordering the major rivers in the Kinan-M’Nath. Despite centuries of settled existence, the people of the Kinan-M’Nath still bear traces of their barbaric ancestry. Black and brown hair is common; dark-eyed blondes less so. Young, unmarried men wear the hair long and grow beards, only to trim both once they marry. Women wear their hair long and loose, although young girls often braid their tresses. The most common professions amongst these people are fishermen, herdsmen, farmers, lumberers, and miners.

  • Homes are usually timber and plaster affairs standing 2 to 3 stories in height. Many are whitewashed every other spring, with yellow and red commonly used to paint the trim. Window boxes filled with flowers are a common decoration.

  • Staple crops include potatoes, turnips, and cabbage. Berries grow in abundance during the summer. Goat cheese and sheep’s blood pudding are local delicacies.

  • Weddings among the people of the Kinan-M’Nath are joyous, colorful, and boisterous events that usually include a procession through the village. In the spring, families with girls of marriageable age often adorn their doors with wreaths of wild flowers to attract potential suitors.

  • During the winter, heavy snow makes travel by snowshoe and sleigh most desirable for those who must be about.

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