Questlandia Playtest: Seaside Surashtu

Alfred Thompson Bricher - Castle Rock, Marblehead - Google Art Project

Our most recent playtest takes place in the kingdom of Surashtu. Surashtu is a rising power, the kingdom having been established a mere two decades past.

Surashtu is a kingdom striving to achieve respect and recognition through cultural prestige. Long before they were an established nation, the Surashturians were a tightly-allied  band of nomadic, seafaring people. Surashturians lived to travel the seas, collecting and trading in the exotic creatures that inhabited the lands they visited.

As their wealth grew, the Surashturians began to settle in one place, forgoing high-seas adventure for luxury linen and stationary homes. The people of Surashtu have since grown their lands into a burgeoning empire, but not all citizens aspire to domestic grandeur.

In modern-day Surashtu, class lines have been drawn according to the city’s geography. Most citizens are pair-bonded with sapient animals, imported from far-reaching lands. Those who are bonded with winged creatures enjoy a life of excess amidst a mountaintop metropolis (virtually unreachable by foot). Those who travel with grounded creatures are relegated to a life of manual labor, toiling at the foot of the mountain as dock workers, merchants, and hired hands.

As the affluent indulge Surashtu’s reputation as a cultural superpower, the disenfranchised search for other ways to get by. For some, this means working to expose the shadowy network of a government-sanctioned black market. Others will do anything to maintain the corrupt politics that support their livelihood. Lastly, there are those who yearn for their seafaring days, and would risk civil war to break down the illusions of plutocratic life.

*Text in bold represents ‘kingdom norms’ established during the initial world-building phase of the game.*