no posts in a long time, and this one’s quick and lazy…
But Dubrovnik’s about as perfect a coastal fantasy fortress town as you could ask to find. And I for one didn’t know about it. Here, have some images and maps (google sat). Just swipe it wholesale; the Croatian tourist authority will probably thank you:
There’s a straight main street from the harbour to the big gate, suitable for triumphal processions or standoffs between local princes and invading revenants.
It dominates an island trading network and maintains an uneasy truce between the Korcula and the Sipangu.
It keeps a string of vassal forts along the coast and around the islands that would be perfect troublesome gifts for enterprising adventurers.
It holds annual contests against the King of the Sea, watched by anxious crowds from the surrounding lands, who fear the day that the mer-folk throw off their ancient shackles and destroy the shipping they all depend on.
It stands guard against the Machines of the Underearth, whose landship thrust out of the ground 1400 years ago and remains, undecayed and indestructible, as a reminder of the contingent nature of human power. The equally undecayed Invasion Bridge has become an indispensable part of the local economy.
And if the PCs arrive as Southern Barbarians, without a Kuna to their name, it offers the infamous Galley-workers’ Barracks for accommodation.
(BTW: on the map kick, check out the change in datasets between google maps’ coverage of post-Yugoslav, kinda-independent Montenegro and weirdo shut-in Albania. One satellite covers the Montenegrin side of the border (with brightly lit river), another has the other side of the river, and a third, older-looking (who knows, really) image takes over from a few miles into the territory. But if you’re short of unfamiliar gaming ground to hexify, just trolling up and down that coast has a bunch of gems for you)