The Land of Sins
Exploring the world of Song of Sins
Far away in the Land of Sins is where our story begins.
Those are lands of profane emotions and desire, a plane of existence beyond the material. They are broken into many domains, each one a manifestation of the Seven Deadly Sins that permeate every being. Each of these domains is ruled by a Ruling Sin, a fiend powered by the sins committed by mortals, both inside their realm and in the material plane.
It is from these wretched realms that demons attempt to change the course of mortal lives, offering small temptations on a path toward complete corruption. It isn’t until you are totally in their grasp that they pull you into the Land of Sins to play the game on their terms. This isn’t a fate reserved purely for individuals, however, if a devil is powerful enough and it owns the souls of enough people of a place, it can pull entire realms into the Land of Sins, along with all its inhabitants.
Here, the demon’s rule is absolute. Souls are their currency and deceiving others is their natural instinct. For those who fantasize about escape only one fate is known: their demise at the hands of the cunning demons or of their fellow mortals.
Fiends in the Land of Sins
Here the term demon is used to encompass all fiends. An adventurer would hear terms like “demons”, “devils” or “fiends” used interchangeably by denizens of this plane, since there are no discernible differences between them in this setting. All fiends are thought to be powerful corrupting entities, born from sin and only interested in forcing mortals to partake in horrible acts that will allow them to steal their souls, gaining power or wealth. In general, feel free to use any fiends in the Land of Sins, since any of them could be found here.
The Plains of Endless Greed
This domain is devoted entirely to the sin of Avarice. The Plains are where most mortals arrive in the Land of Sins and where the largest population of mortals and fiends reside. It consists of an ever-expanding prairie sparsely dotted by pieces of other realms, dragged here through the corruption of demons.
These sites don’t sit still, however. In a process of manifesting the will and greed of their inhabitants, and mirroring the emotions that fill the Plains, they drag themselves across the vast emptiness of the landscape, trying to overwhelm and conquer one another. The victor consumes the loser and buries it under the ground, making it into another part of their own vaulted dungeons, conquered houses of greed stacked on top of each other. In the Plains, all living things are constantly offered an easy way to fill their worldly yearnings, be it treasure, talent, or any material possession they can imagine. All at a hidden, treacherous cost, of course.
Leaving one of these sites will not mean escaping from your pact. Travel between the City-States of the Plains is scarce, seeing that distances between them aren’t exactly as they seem, you may walk for months on the arid Plains and never arrive at a City-State that looked to be only a day away. The sites move, distances are unreliable and in constant flux. For this reason, those who walk the Plains without a guide tend to grow insane or perish on their journey. The only way to travel consistently through the Plains is by joining the caravans of commerce that travel from site to site. But beware, if you have unfinished business when you join a caravan, your pact may come to term, forcing you to give back what you owe, or your arrival at the next site will just come with a new master as devils relish in exchanging or selling pacts. Escaping the Plains as a whole is a nearly impossible task, the people there are essential for the Sin to exist, so it clings to them just as hard as they cling to it. After all, greed asks both for those who dread losing what they have hoarded and those who crave, stopping at nothing to acquire what they desire.
The crowning jewel of the Plains is the city of Emoria, where the Ruling Sin of Greed, Avaritium, resides. This place is the origin of his greatest contracts and the reason he eventually rose to his position. The city used to exist in the material plane, but was pulled into the plains by Avaritium himself.
A Day in the Plains
The nature of the Plains of Endless Greed is fickle and largely controlled by powerful fiends like its Ruling Sin. If they will it to be night or day, it shall be so, great tempests might tear through the plains in response to a fiend’s anger. However, the weather in the plains has a tendency to be mild, following a normal day and night cycle, as it is easier to control mortals if you give them some sense of normalcy.
The one thing that is beyond fiendish control is the frequent earthquakes that shake the lands. They happen every few days, and most of them are very mild. No one knows for certain their origin, but some say that there are realms roaming below…
The City of Emoria
The city of Emoria stands divided, its people squalid and betrayed.
The death of the good king Visen Emorion left his two children squabbling for power. The weakness in their resolve and the brewing animosity between them was the opening the imp Avaritium needed to sway them. Emoria was quickly torn by the siblings, both rulers marked by the deals they struck with the devil, and unable to escape their eternal squabble.
This sent the city into a political civil war and, slowly, the demon’s deceit consumed Emoria and pulled it into the Plains of Endless Greed.
At present, Emoria has been subject to the sin of greed and the influence of the Plains for many years. Avaritium and his fiendish consorts prey on its citizens, crafting pacts with them to satisfy their deepest desires. The royal siblings, their youth maintained through one of their many pacts, still fight for control over the crown, a goal that continuously eludes them, by Avaritium’s own design. The inhabitants of Emoria have grown either complacent or warped by the pacts they have made with Avaritium and other demons.
People of Emoria
The people of Emoria are quite diverse. Although a majority of its populace are the original inhabitants of the city when it fell from the material plane, it has taken in quite a few fiends, extraplanar entities, and other mortal inhabitants of the plains.
In Emoria, most mortals are defined by the contract they are beholden to and which devil they owe. Devils are always judged by the number of contracts they have. Although everyone’s worth is measured by the wealth they have acquired.
You can use the following lists to create Emorian NPC names on the fly.
Fiend Names. Bactor, Baleverna, Dozayos, Glignar, Gnerob, Golmig, Gomoth, Kizlak, Merzu, Moxaldiza, Pelbra, Pyrvax, Rizonan, Sartoth, Var, Veroth, Vulkelig.
Male Names. Alexander, Alexei, Alexis, Andrei, Antoine, Benjamin, Boris, Denis, Dimitri, Édouard, Elgeni, Georgi, Guillermo, Igor, Ivan, Lev, Matthieu, Maxim, Mikhail, Nicholas, Oleg, Pierre, Sergei, Thibaud, Thomas, Vasili, Vladimir, Yuri.
Female Names. Alexandra, Alina, Anya, Aurélie, Camille, Caroline, Charlotte, Claire, Elena, Émilie, Galina, Irina, Katerina, Larisa, Ludmila, Marie, Nadya, Natalya, Nina, Olga, Pauline, Raisa, Sasha, Sonya, Sophie, Stéphanie, Tamara, Tatya, Valentina, Vera.
Locations of Emoria
The city is defined by the sloping hill that stretches from the Royal Heights district, and finally arrives at the plains ground, at the edge of the Old Port. In the Plains, the city is surrounded by an inclined precipice, created from the ripping of the valley city from the material plane. The Tower Ward, the Downhaven District, and Central Promenade, are the most affected by the siblings’ power struggle, often changing hands and redefining boundaries. The Old Port is the center of new wealth in Emoria, due to the caravans that arrive there and the trade that happens in the Solace Bazaar, which makes it the most coveted district in town and generally the most overrun by the fiends that live in Emoria.
Recently, Emoria has overpowered the town of Avonesse, and it is in the process of slowly “digesting” it. Only one district of the old town remains now, and many plunder its streets in hopes of amassing new wealth for themselves.
Once the richest neighborhood of Emoria and bed for its wealthiest citizens, now the old villas, palaces, and mansions are overtaken by the most squalid and poor citizens of Emoria. Here is where the Emorion Fort is located. It used to be the home for the royal family, but now it’s the place where Avaritium, the Ruling Sin of Greed, acts from. This is the part of Emoria that saw the biggest changes with Avaritium’s ascension, since the contracts that brought the city to the Land of Sins were signed here. The citizens of this district are a mixture of the old destitute nobility, brought low by the pacts they signed, and the people of Emoria who haven’t got a place to stay and seek refuge in these strong stone buildings. This district is where the largest number of devotees to the cult of the Good King Visen reside, and they believe the pure king will return to deliver them from the greedy hands of his children.
1. Emorion Fort
This rough stone fortress sitting at the edge of Royal Height’s precipice has been the seat of power of Emoria for many generations, constructed by the Emorian bloodline at the founding of the city. Now it’s the location of Avaritium’s throne and the place from which the Ruling Sin influences the Plains of Endless Greed. This is also the final destination for the souls acquired in Avaritium’s name by Debt Chainers and Soul Jailers. The souls are brought here to be kept in Avaritium’s vault. The fort also has the Umbra Torment’s chambers, although he is seldom ever here. Secretly, deep in the dungeons of the fort, lies the only exit from the Plains of Endless Greed in Emoria, leading into the catacombs below.
2. Gullian Palace
This unassuming decrepit palace used to be the home for Grigori Emorion, a present given to him by his brother Visen Emorion. Now, the High Sorcerer has turned the building into the secretive Headquarters of the Sorcerer’s Order. Chosen followers perform rituals and study the old musty tomes collected by Grigori when the city of Emoria was about to fall. The High Sorcerer can often be here. Any players that enter Gullian Palace will be asked about their intention. They will either be invited to join the Order or be marked as a target to be dealt with.
The Tower Ward comprises the eastern part of town, currently controlled by Mirza Emorion. The district consists mostly of the houses and buildings that surround Mirza’s Tower. It is here where a new aristocracy is gathering from the new, most influential, and wealthy citizens of Emoria. They crowd in support of Mirza’s rule, for the prince promises great profit to those who join him. This new aristocracy is obsessed with amassing even more wealth and understanding the weird magics of the Land. Some of them have even managed to wield some of that magical power, learning its darkest secrets.
3. Mirza’s Tower
The long mismatched tower is an intriguing sight in the middle of this district. Here is where Mirza Emorion rules from. The Tower was magically raised through the power of one of the many contracts signed by Mirza in his war against his sister. Avaritium offered Mirza a defense from the outside world at a time the prince grew paranoid about his sister’s machinations. Around the Tower, Mirza’s new aristocracy has filled the vacant houses and has been building their small utopia. In their community, the influence of both demons, that helped them get to where they are, and of the Sorcerer’s Order, which most of them have sought in their attempt of gaining power, can be palpably felt.
The Downhaven District is the western part of Emoria, controlled by Ulmira Emorion. This district consists mostly of the old and traditional aristocracy, which supports Ulmira’s claim, alongside some of the great artisans from the city and the military troops. Ulmira’s supporters are willing to do anything for her to claim the throne. Their own avarice makes them quarrel among themselves for the title of “princess’ favorite”, and they are willing to offer money, weapons, knowledge, and anything else Ulmira might desire to be in her good graces. These political games played between her subjects are a detractor to Ulmira’s efforts and one of the reasons the princess has not been able to best her brother.
4. Ulmira’s Palace
The home of Ulmira Emorion is a breathtaking sight, in the middle of Downhaven District, impossible to ignore. This palace was the result of one of the many contracts Ulmira signed with Avaritium. She desired a fortress to protect her legacy, but also a stunning and visually perfect castle to show who is the rightful ruler. Within the Palace walls, there are many subjects who got their contract bought by the princess, and now serve her. This is also the place where Ulmira keeps the finest artisans from the city, her favorite subjects, who she keeps like trophies. They aim to please her in every art piece.
5. Warcamp of the Watch
This is where the military force of Emoria has gathered in support of Ulmira’s command. It’s mostly occupied by some of the greatest warriors of the city, also by guards loyal to Ulmira. People in the Warcamp are averse to the magic Mirza’s supporters do, in a mix of fear and contempt. Those soldiers normally protect Ulmira’s Palace, but recently a group of them is focused on searching Lower Avonesse while it’s not completely devoured by Emoria. They are gathering any resources that could be useful in the future.
The long stretching avenue called Central Promenade stretches from the top of the Emorian Fort in Royal Heights, crossing down to the Grand Cathedral and The House, finally landing on the edge of the Old Port. This district is defined by the most important locations on the avenue. Central Promenade constitutes what used to be the heart of Emoria. This is the district where most of the disputes between the two Emorion siblings take place, where their followers eventually trade blows, and where they meet to work out cease fires. The buildings in this district are the largest in town, and they are usually the stages where the core of Emorian politics and life happen.
6. Grand Cathedral
The old center of faith now lies in ruin, but still serves as the last place of worship in Emoria. The destroyed grand cathedral is seen as a safe haven for the people of faith to meet, under the watchful eye of Lienn, Blade of Greed, who has made the cathedral her home and lawful court, at least to those who donate hefty amounts to the church. Here you can also often find Willem, Crazed Hunter, while the old hitman isn’t on assignment.
7. The Royal House
Half of the old meeting place for the fallen nobility of Emoria has fallen to ruin. Anything that wasn’t stuck to the ground, or too heavy to carry, was plundered from the abandoned building. This building still serves as a meeting spot for the influential people in town, a gray space in the middle of the siblings’ war, where the two might meet to settle disputes or, more likely, to argue endlessly. Some people say that, during the dark of the night, every now and then, one of the siblings can be found there with Avaritium, writing new contracts to continue the endless war.
While in the Material Plane, Emoria used to be a port town, receiving hundreds of trading ships a year, but the old docks are useless in the arid Plains. However, this district kept its old purpose, serving as the arrival point for the devil caravans that cross the Plain of Endless Greed. This is where most of the new wealth is generated in Emoria, where contracts are offered to those in need and passed on to other demons. Here is where most raiding bands of the Plains of Endless Greed tend to target when trying to land a big score off of the city.
8. Solace Bazaar
A sprawling bazaar that hugs the coastline of the Old Port. Although the foundations of its largest buildings were built by mortal hands before Emoria’s fall, this is not a market run by these same mortals. There are many weird things sold here, from souls and contracts to objects only found in the Land of Sins. Many distractions from the rough Emorian life can be found here, no matter what vice you’d like to indulge in. The caravans which roam the Plains all head for the Solace Bazaar sooner or later. The market is also where you will see the most varied inhabitants and visitors of Emoria, be it the demons of the Land or any other types of creatures from the Plains.
9. Gambler’s Den
If you want to test your luck and win big in Emoria, this is the place to go. Gambler’s Den is a place for true players, those who love the thrill that comes from a dangerous bet, willing to lose everything in hopes of winning it all. In a city where every deal has a hidden trap, here the trap is in plain sight, in fact, it seems to be the allure. There lives one of the most intriguing people of Emoria, known as The Gambler, who welcomes anyone that is brave enough to make the right bet… Or a daring contract.
Emoria has recently overpowered the city of Avonesse and is in the process of absorbing it into the sprawling catacombs below. Most of the citizens of Avonesse have fled the town and joined the populace of Emoria, but some insist on holding down any wealth they may have acquired in the doomed town. This district is further devoured, every day, under the Royal Heights district of Emoria, but until it is completely gone, the citizens of Emoria can visit it, either in the hopes of plundering what is left or visiting the establishments that Avonesse had to offer.
10. Dull Coin Tavern
An oversized establishment that is steadily on its way to being destroyed under Emoria. The tavernkeeper Strazi (LN male tiefling commoner) refuses to let go of his property, arguing that he will serve booze even as the last piece of Avonesse is devoured, like the captain of a sinking ship. Even in the face of imminent destruction, there are still people who are willing to drink the ale served in this tavern, claiming no place in all Emoria could beat the booze made in old Avonesse.
Events in Emoria
The following table is a list of ideas for random events that can happen in the streets of Emoria and will help you present information about the town. Roll 1d12 or choose one, to determine what event happens during a day of exploration or as the party crosses between two districts.
|d12||Sparks Table for Events in Emoria|
|1-2||Mirza’s and Ulmira’s supporters are arguing on the streets, shouting insults and profanities at each other. The players are caught in the middle of it and are inquired about who they support. If the players do not interfere, or if they pick a side, the civilians come to blows by ineffectually throwing food and garbage at each other.|
|3||Mirza’s new aristocracy is campaigning for his cause on the streets. They try to convince the players that Mirza is the rightful heir by pointing out all the failures of his sister.|
|4||Members of the Watch are strong-arming citizens to get money for Ulmira’s cause. They seem interested in what the party might have.|
|5||Either Umbra Torment or Willem, Crazed Hunter are hunting for a runaway contract breaker. They have not found him yet, but may take an interest in the newcomers and follow the party stealthy for some time.|
|6||Joria (NG male human commoner), an inhabitant of Avonesse, is leaving the town and entering Emoria with his daughters. His mother, Filga, didn’t want to leave her house. He asks the party to help, by retrieving his mother from Avonesse, as he cannot abandon his children.|
|7||Ariza (CN female human noble), a destitute noble inhabitant of Royal Heights, is walking the streets and singing the praises of Lusor, the Gambler, and his deals. She tells the players about the Gambler’s Den Location and urges them to visit it. If pressed, she may reveal that she is herself, indebted to the gambler, and each soul she sends his way clears a bit of her debt.|
|8||A group of Scrivener Imps and Contract Holders is going up the Central Promenade offering to buy contracts and extend their duration. Anyone who takes a closer look at the contract they offer can make a DC 17 Wisdom (Insight) check to understand that it’s signed by the “true Emorion heir”.|
|9||A member of Mirza’s new aristocracy is secretly meeting a robed figure in an alley. The man is Kerio (CE male tiefling mage) and belongs to the Sorcerer’s Order. He thanks the noble for his business before leaving for Gullian Palace.|
|10||Troops from the Watch boast the wealth they recently acquired in Lower Avonesse. They promise the players there is wealth to be found there, but only if they announce their support for Ulmira.|
|11||A Soul Jailer and a group of Debt Chainers are going up the Central Promenade towards the Emorian Fort. Mina (NG female human commoner) follows the group, begging for the devils to release her daughter’s soul.|
|12||Avaritium, Lord of Contracts and the Ruling Sin of Greed, makes a surprise appearance. He inspects the members of the party present, jovially conversing with them and revealing details he should not know. He knows the value of every single item they carry and may mention it along with the value of their souls, before leaving with a smile.|
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