Over the Sea and Far Away

Introduction

You are all starting in the Imperial Dockside Prison in Ruywick, capital of the Ruy Empire. It's up to you how you got there.

Ruywick is Fantasy Constantinople. It's the capital of an empire that once covered 1/4 of the known world. The empire has shrunk in recent generations – the loss of the eastern half to the Orcish Hordes being the most recent tragedy, but it is still powerful, vibrant and increasingly sea-oriented. Thousands of ships from across the known lands dock here, and the docks are a massive stew of cultures, races and goods.

The Imperial Prison is a massive stone keep on the waterfront. Prisoners are housed on the towers and lower levels. You are responsible for your own care and feeding, and for protection the residents of each hall or chamber tend to stick together. All of your characters have been put in the Underhall, which is an old storage chamber that runs underneath one of the walls. It's a long stone rectangle, with narrow barred windows high on each wall. One set of windows looks up onto the docks, the other into the Yard.

You have your money and any small items that you could reasonably carry and protect with you. The rest was put into a chest when you arrived, and will be returned to you upon release (or sold to pay for your upkeep, if you can't manage it yourself).

1 silver piece per day pays for ample food and water, and the guards who run the prison are friendly enough, provided you aren't a troublemaker. The dockside urchins come by the lower windows regularly, and are happy to provide errand services, provided they are paid for their time. They have an understanding with the prison guards, and won't supply weapons, files or fire-starting materials, but otherwise, they're keen to help and relatively reliable.

Currently, the Underhall is a fairly safe place. Most of the inmates there don't seem to have much interest in fighting or causing trouble. It is well-know that most inmates who are put into the Dockside are eventually Transported to the Southland Colony.

Transportation is a relatively new (in the last 20 years) sentence. From the gossip and general knowledge, you've pulled together the following information:

  • The Southland Colony is on a different continent, about 2 months sail to the South or South-East.
  • The Colony is about 50 years old, but it's only in the past 20 years that prisoners have been sent there.
  • Transported are generally used as cheap labor in the Colony, and it's apparently quite dangerous.
  • The Southland Colony is run by Colonial Administration, and they are mostly concerned with squeezing every last drop of profit from the Colony as possible.
  • The Southland has huge alien beasts, strange races, dangerous wastes and is mostly unexplored. It is dotted with ruined ancient cities, too.
  • Port Greyscale is the capital of the Colony. Most Transported end up there, at least at first.
  • You are tattooed before they Transport you. Anyone who shows up back in the Empire with a Transported tattoo is summarily put to death.
  • There are some other cities in the Southlands. The Free Ports are off to the east of the Colony.
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