This bonus post for the Land of Vampires campaign covers the money and technology adventurers might find in Steymhorod. While ultimate say rests with the Storyteller, we wanted to provide some ideas and options beyond medieval fantasy tropes.
Each of the major cities of Steymhorod differs in their money and technology. The dangers that lie between the settlements prevents much trade from passing between them, and those that have maintained a closer relationship with Lord Draego and Castle Cadogan, such as the city of Barasov, have retained more affluence than outlying settlements such as St. Sebastian.
Money in Steymhorod
Gold, silver, and copper coins were common across the world of Eldura from which Steymhorod fell. Some of these coins bore the likenesses of Draego’s grandparents and others of his lineage, though there are seals from the elven realm of Bastion and the dwarven kingdom of Dur’for trickling across the lands as well.
The city of Barasov has remained the most affluent of all the settlements of Steymhorod, in part because it has maintained its close ties with Lord Draego. Each of the city’s noble houses has recast gold and silver coins into their crests. A few hundred years ago, there was fierce debate in the city over whose coins were least popular—the crescent-shaped coins of the Crinolettes or the obnoxiously squared silver medallions of the Stracoxes. A similar campaign had seen the disappearance of the rounded balls of the Wohalls which were notoriously difficult to hold on to and caused many a scuffle as they rolled free across a crowded street from a merchant’s cart.
Smaller settlements such as Willowhold accept furs, wines, and other valuable goods for trade and supplies. Most of the town uses a bartering system to ensure everyone is provided for. Merchants here are willing to accept coin, if an adventurer has some to spare, but goods in this remote location are more costly than they would be in a safer location such as St. Sebastian.
The Green Vale & The Witchwood
If one is lucky enough to be welcomed into the hospitality of the druids, witches, and fae of the Green Vale or the witches of the Witchwood, then trading with magical items and artifacts, useful herbs, or mysterious favors might be in order. While some of the denizens of these two woodland realms will accept coin, they prefer payment of a more magical means. A powerful coven might accept the payment of one’s shadow in exchange for magical healing. A fae hedge witch would be delighted to receive a rare herb carried into her domain from a distant realm. In such magical spaces, creativity and cleverness are key.
Technology in Steymhorod
The world of Eldura was more technologically advanced than its latter iteration, Azuria, especially when it comes to weapons of war. Magical and technological advances in Eldura favored the ever-expanding engine of war, and several of these technologies have lasted through the millennia that have passed since Steymhorod fell.
The advanced weaponry of Steymhorod is concentrated in the cities of Barasov, Rasonov, and the village of Umbra. While adventurers can purchase these weapons openly in the streets of Barasov, they will need to answer a series of questions in order to do so in Umbra. Such a purchase would need to be obtained secretly in Rasonov due to the strong presence of a resistance movement aligned against Lord Draego. The resistance is ever on the move, trying to stay ahead of the raids of Draego’s guards.
Though it is unlikely than an adventurer would find a working airship or solar-powered vehicle, automatically firing weapons do exist in Steymhorod, though only a few craftspeople possess the skill and materials needed to create them. One of them can be found in the dungeons of Castle Cadogan, one in St. Sebastian (Evangeline), and one in Barasov (Evangeline’s protégé Moxie), employed by the Crinolettes.
Pressurized air technology can be found throughout the city of Barasov. Its most common uses are for healing and for weapon-assistant technology.
Those who, for allegiance reasons,* cannot visit the Red Sisters for healing might see a medico—cutting-edge healer-experimenters who use this “breathing” technology to revive organs and, if the rumors are to be believed, even to simulate life.
Espionage and Transportation
Outside of the healing arts, pneumatics offers exciting advances to those who wish to traverse cities in rapid and flashy ways. A pneumatic rope gun, for instance, allows one to fire a hook from a pressurized metal chamber onto a roof or other aerial structure. The most advanced of these rope guns have a trigger that, when activated, retracts the rope, pulling the one holding the rope gun up into the air.
*The reader will remember that the Red Sisters, a coven of way of blood witches, are the spiritual leaders of the Bloodletters. As such, they are strongly opposed to the Watchers and those under the Watchers’ protection so much so that a Watcher or one protected by the Watchers would likely be killed on sight as a spy.
And speaking of guns, a few rogue bands across Barasov keep caches of explosives on hand in case the wars between the factions reignite once again as they did twenty years ago. A small band of Watchers and Bloodletters possess guns that fire this deadly powder, but this form of fighting is still rarely seen on the city streets.
Draego’s enforcers in Rasonov also use gunpowder, though it is a rarity among the populace.
Certain medicos in central Steymhorod, who prefer to remain nameless less their secret be released to the populace at large, have experimented with revivifying technology powered by the strike of lightning. Following their study of anatomy in tomes passed down from the world of Eldura, these medicos made a discovery. The exchange of power between lightning and a metal rod, for instance, creates a burst of energy capable of shocking a heart back to life.
While many of the subjects of their experiments have remained dead, even after treatment, hope remains for an entirely new form of created life—medicomancy—to arise from the experiments. City scholars remain divided as to the degrees of separation between “medicomancy” and the more traditional necromancy.
You did not read it from this author, but some in the city whisper that the Stracoxes have been harboring these scientists. The rumor-spreaders are as-yet unaware of whom the Stracoxes wish to bring back to life.