I spent a few hours playing a game with some dice. I was using these dice and their results as writing prompts to try to create a history and map out the geography of an invented city and the surrounding area. Try to imagine that the following paragraphs are set a believable amount of time from one another.
The people who moved here fled from the harassment of a cult that worship the duck god Quackel Beakshake. The cult killed the people’s livestock and stole their bread in the night. The new land was settled into using basic wooden planks and sticks for housing. It was discovered that the local hills were rich with ore so a mine was created.
In their old lives the people lived by a caste system. The seeds of dissent had been sewn. The two castes built their own landmarks. The Higher Caste had a castle built by slaves in their section of the city while the Lower Caste gathered nightly around a huge bonfire that gave hope to the disadvantaged people who were determined to gain the power to properly govern themselves. The two sides were separated by a wall.
While mining in The Ironcore Hills some members of the Lower Caste went to relax in Seeself Lake where they found fish which provided an extra food source for the faction.
The earth shook, causing panic in both sections of the city. In the distance a giant crystal could be seen, so tall that it appeared to be above everything else. It dislodged itself from the ground left the crystal floating in the sky. The people named it The Sky Stone.
Members of the Higher Caste captured, bred and trained pigeons which they used to send messages. The messages were sent to tribes known to exist throughout the world. After a while the city gained new settlers who didn’t know who to ally themselves with, so they built their own houses.
The Higher Caste started to struggle for supplies behind the wall. Their people grew sick and hungry.
As children in the Higher Caste section died, women wept and grief spread.
A huge, mad bear attacked the exposed houses of the newer settlers. It was slain after turning two of their houses into rubble and snapped sticks.
Tricked by promises of riches and glory by the Higher Caste a group of Lower Caste children took food to the Higher Caste territory, bringing some strength back to the Higher Caste.
In seeing the aid that the Lower Caste could provide, the Higher Caste members decided it was time to put their ideas of birth right behind and joined the Lower Caste faction. Together they were stronger. The wall was dismantled.
In order to form a trusting alliance, the Lower Caste demanded that the former Higher Caste members worked to extend the city and added a market district with the available resources.
Knowledge of the population was gained by a spy who reported back to the Cult of Quackel Beakshake. The whole city could’ve been in danger once the old enemy held that knowledge.
The city dwellers decided to celebrate their unity by building a monument at the edge of their known world. On the edge of The Wastes they erected a giant head which they named Friendly Bill. Friendly Bill is still visited yearly for a giant feast of chicken and beef with gift giving.
Over fishing led to a loss of the fish in nearby Seeself Lake. Food became harder to obtain.
A message was sent to Quackel Beakshake’s followers. Some of the Cultists abandoned their duck god to join the settlers. The city grew.
The settlers were forced into hiding by an attack from the Cultists. Not wanting a battle, the people isolated themselves. This kept the people safe but the castle was broken down for its stone, this left only ruin. The Cultists took their loot home.
Exploration proved useful as the Big Forest was found to contain nuts and roots that the settlers could have as a new food source.
The people knew that a battle was coming. The Cultists would not leave their home alone. It was only a matter of time before a full force would show up. A battle and training arena was built using stone left over at the location of the destroyed castle.
The training that the people did was not enough and when the Cult of Quackel Beakshake showed up many of the buildings were lost and the more powerful faction established a presence near the Woodstone City.
The Cultists saw The Sky Stone above and through dark sacrifice their god allowed them to create Golems from the land that the crystal had risen from.
Fearful of The Cult, the original settlers tried to improve their own lives and built a sewer system connected to Seeself Lake which seemed to have magical cleaning properties.
The settlers built a road leading from Seeself Lake to the home of an outside tribe who traded weapons made of steel for the nuts found in Big Forest.
The outside tribe were the fabled Followers of Conan, a tribe of Bandit Barbarians. In having the settlers build a road and revel themselves with an offer of trade a new raid had become possible. This tribe was huge and powerful.
The Sky Stone exploded with rays of light. The Cult of Quackel Beakshake sent their Golems into the lights where they grew larger, gaining elemental powers and becoming even more powerful.
Some of the settlers who were still fearful of The Cult offered themselves to the Bandit Barbarians, providing them with more strength but weakening what was left of the Lower Caste settler faction.
Tribal chants, brawling and partying raised the spirits of The Followers of Conan, making them a deadlier force in battle.
The Bandit Barbarians built a stable and bred horses. Their power didn’t increase but their mobility did.
A man emerged upon the land, born from the ranks of The Cult. He claimed to be a prophet of Quackel Beakshake. With this man’s presence The Cult gained members and with that, strength.
An old rival of The Followers of Conan turned up. Only a scout at first but he made his presence known. An outside faction was coming.
Gold was discovered in The Ironcore Hills. The remaining settlers had a new resource to make them a valuable ally… or target.
Just for the fun of it, the Bandit Barbarians created a large sports field.
With a new sports field people started breeding pigs to get their bladders for use as balls. Nobody could see another use for the animals so the rest of the corpses were left to rot.
The then leader of the original settlers planned to join The Cult. He was found out and executed for treason. The settlers were almost powerless without a leader.
More treason within the Lower Caste faction but this time half of them killed the others and joined the Bandit Barbarians. They offered the items of the dead as tribute. The Lower caste faction of original settlers was no more.
The Bandit Barbarians beat some random people that they found in the wilderness until they were forced to submit and joined up. The Followers of Conan were incredibly powerful.
The Followers of Conan, the Bandit Barbarians dominated the land with their forces. Civilians were stripped of weapons and a militarised police state became the new form of rule. The Cult eludes them to this day and the Swallowers are not much of a concern.
The coins in the images of faction cards represent the overall strength of each faction at the end of my history. The more coins, the more power compared to the others.
If anyone wanted to borrow this history for the setting for a round of a roleplaying game like D ‘n’ D it’d be great to hear how you used it, I’m sure some plots can be drawn from what I’ve laid out.