Friday, April 15, 2016


Welcome to the the first of a series of articles we've called A Guide To. These posts explore various official locations in the Sundered Skies setting and bring together a collection of facts (and maybe fiction) about the locales as scattered through the published rulebooks and adventures.

In this A Guide To, we explore two of the Sundered Skies' most popular locations, the dangerous, yet thrilling SHATTERED CITY and GATEWAY.

What is known of The Shattered City & Gateway 

Although two distinct locations in the Sundered Skies, it is almost impossible to separate the Shattered City from Gateway, its nominal capital. Together these two locales offer years of adventures for the bravest (or most foolhardy) of adventurers.

The Shattered City

The Shattered City, is a collection of small isles that spin together in their own ecosystem. Once a great metropolis, it has been shattered into millions of separate pieces that hurtle through the Void. Each now a rich hunting ground of relics and valuables for scavengers and explorers alike, although such escapades are not without their dangers.
  • The Shattered City is said to cover thousands of islets and ruins - Sundered Skies Core rulebook, page 62.
  • Prior to its destruction, many scholars believe that The Shattered City was once the most important city in world before this one - Sundered Skies: Island Guide: #02.
  • It is home to the Bone Queen, a Bright Cabal priestess, and her death barge (itself the remains of a massive dragon) - Sundered Skies Core rulebook, page 60.
  • Numerous sects of the Bright Cabal prowl the Shattered City looking for dead sailors and scavengers to add to their cause - Sundered Skies Core rulebook, page 78.
  • Merkus Gladwing acts as the Trade Council's representative in the Shattered City (and Gateway). Suffice to say that he doesn't have the best of reputations, and perhaps Tomas Hawke would be a better choice? - Sundered Skies Companion, page 60.
  • The Shattered City is the preferred home of many of the Void's most dangerous pirates - Sundered Skies: Island Guide: #02.
  • Gateway is not the only settlement in the City. Portal, a pirate haven run by the infamous Butcher, is growing in size and importance - Sundered Skies: Island Guide: #02.


Although Gateway is but one of the isles that floats within the Shattered City, it is by far the most important. Part trading port, part pirate safe haven, it is here where many scavenging careers being... and end.
  • Gateway is the largest settlement in the Shattered City (Sundered Skies Core rulebook, page 60) and is built on its most stable island (Sundered Skies: Island Guide: #01).
  • A lawless place, it is a pirate haven, home to combat pits, gangs and money lenders - Sundered Skies: Island Guide: #01.
  • Gateway is surrounded by a dangerous 'sea' of floating rocks and a need has arisen for specialist harbour pilots to bring ships into port safely- Sundered Skies Core rulebook, page 78.
  • Many of the buildings in Gateway are held together by the Bindstone weed - Sundered Skies: Island Guide: #01.
  • Little food is grown on the island and it must be shipped in from other lands - Sundered Skies: Island Guide: #01.
  • Although members of every race can be found in  Gateway, few would claim to be permanent residents in the city - Sundered Skies: Island Guide: #01.
  • Gateway is known for its array of temples - Sundered Skies Core rulebook, page 60.
  • The city's overburdened militia is run by Marcius Valerus - Sundered Skies: Island Guide: #01.
  • Nearly a decade ago, disaster struck Gateway when part of the warehouse district collapsed into a sink hole. Today this is a shunned and haunted section of the city - Sundered Skies Companion, page 40.
  • The Broken, a cult of injured scavengers and beggars, are a thorn in the side of Merkas Gladwing - Sundered Skies: Island Guide: #01.

Tales of the Shattered City (and Gateway)

Within the Plot-point campaign provided in the Sundered Skies Core rulebook, the Heroes have the opportunity to visit the Shattered City and Gateway on numerous occasions. These events are summarised here:
  • The quest for true adventure begins in Gateway, especially as Tomas Hawke is on the lookout for some brave souls to locate his lost son - Sundered Skies Core rulebook, Scavenger Hunt Savage Tale, page 93.
  • Capable heroes may be called on to hunt the Bone Queen's ship, Soulflame, if they locate Joeseth Truthbearer in Gateway - Sundered Skies Core rulebook, A Dragon's Rage Savage Tale, page 96.
  • Hawke's Clearing House is very likely to be the target of an act of vandalism, and those standing in its way are likely to make some dire enemies - Sundered Skies Core rulebook, Bad Business Savage Tale, page 119.
  • Not all elves support the Willow Queen, and it is known that Jeche and Jarle of the Windblown Flotsam, will pay captains well to transport weapons and equipment to the boughbreakers - Sundered Skies Core rulebook, Weapon Run Savage Tale, page 120.
  • The Bright Cabal have been known to lay traps for the unwary amidst the Shattered City and captains must be on the lookout or else all in their care might end up as servants of the God Rotting One - Sundered Skies Core rulebook, The Ship Snare Savage Tale, page 120.
  • Who knows what the Shattered City hides, and even an encounter with an dying wretch can lead to great wealth and opportunity - Sundered Skies Companion, The Cure Savage Tale, page 72.
  • Those who defy the Bright Cabal, may well become victims of the Rotting King. This entity must be found and destroyed to keep the citizens of Gateway safe - Sundered Skies Companion, The Rotting King Savage Tale, page 75.

Adventures and Events in the Shattered City

With the freedom of both the Shattered City and Gateway, it is no surprise that these locations are mentioned in many of the published Triple Ace Games adventures:
  • The Ice Tower by Kevin Anderson - TAG 31007, published 2008, 26 pages - Available as part of the Sundered Skies Compendium 1. This adventure begins in Gateway, after the party encounters an errant rock fragment.
  • Fate of the Summoner by Dave Blewer - TAG 31010, published 2008, 24 pages - Available as part of the Sundered Skies Compendium 1. As part of the Altar of Madness tale, the heroes will encounter a merchant by the name of Johann. He directs them after Kym, one of "Scarred" Colan's crew.
  • Mindthief by Dave Blewer - TAG31037, published 2009, 35 pages -  Available as part of the Sundered Skies Compendium 1. Adventure beings on Gateway, with the Heroes employed to deliver a package to the brother of Goff Forlorneye. As the story unfolds they visit the isle of Goff brother, before returning to Gateway and encountering a cult of the Bright Cabal.
  • The Race by Markus Finster - TAG 31041, published 2009, 38 pages - Available as part of the Sundered Skies Compendium 1. The competitors in the Great Race visit Gateway early in the event.
  • Within the Skies by Luis Enrique Torres & Dave Blewer - TAG 31054, published 2010, 28 pages - Available as part of the Sundered Skies Compendium 2. In the adventure, The Symphony, the party arrives at Gateway to discover some of its most important citizen's missing. Only they can deal with the threat of the heretical Songpriests of The Requiem.


The Island Guides

Although only two island guides were produced (Guide #1 - Gateway & Guide #2 - The Shattered City) both offer valuable insights into this region of the Sundered Skies, and are highly recommended purchases to all of the setting's fans!

Island Guide #1 - Gateway

This 12-page supplement covers everything from the state of Gateway, its crime, gangs and money lenders, through to it Silent wars and militia set-up. Of particular note are the descriptions of the settlement's unique places of interest - Astronomer's point, the Drake Stables and many more -  as well as details on of its most important citizens.

For Game Masters, new rules are included for a new edges and hindrances - Gateway Born, Gateway Militia Trained, Broken and Beholden. Of most interest is likely to be the Cloakfighter Professional Edge, a talent that is only taught in Gateway.   

Island Guide #2 - The Shattered City

Also 12-pages in length, it follows a similar layout as the previous Guide. Beyond some history of the location, it describes not only the regions most aggressive residents - The Bright Cabal and the Pirate Lords - but also details the effects the Heroes might have on their organisations after the events of the Sundered Skies Plot Point Campaign.

We also get to learn of the Sons of the Spire's research in the Shattered City, as well s being provided an introduction to Portal, and of the region's communities. As with the first Guide there are new locations of note - Sanctuary, a free wilding community,  and the Testing Grounds to name but two, in addition to the area's diverse citizenry.

Mechanics-wise things are a little lighter with only a  single new Background Edge - Shatterborn - provided. This is more than made up for though with an exclusive bestiary to throw at your Heroes.

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