Before I begin, it has come to my attention that when I post a link to this blog, it only links to that specific post and does not display any of the others (I'm still pretty new to this social network intranets thing). So, before continuing on, I highly recommend that you read the previous blogs. My bad!
I've started to build a sort of pattern already. so far, every other post is about 109 and the in-between posts are about the HF Universe in general. I think I'm going to continue this trend for a while until I catch up with 109. After all, once that happens I'll only be able to update 109 every week or so. You probably could have figured all that out on your own! Oops!
Allow me to explain Lud. Lud is a city built atop a huge floating island. As a fantasy floating island, Lud is massive; maybe a couple miles in diameter. As a city in general, that's a pretty small surface area to fill, so the builders of Lud went up. Almost all of Lud's buildings are skyscrapers, some of the tallest being fifty stories or so. Despite this, metal is not a common building component here. All of the buildings are made mostly of stone and dirt. In fact, the presence of trees growing out of the walls - even at staggering heights - suggests that the buildings are either natural, or created by some divine creator (who could that have been?).
Lud is a perfect example of nature and civilization living in harmony. The streets aren't paved, but made of cobblestone. Trees grow everywhere on Lud. They grow low to the ground, out of sheer cliff faces - which in Lud, there are many - and, as mentioned earlier, even out of the sides of the buildings. In addition to the wonderful city, Lud is home to a small, but lush forest and even a clean, sparkling lake.
The most magnificent thing about Lud is, perhaps, the fact that the island floats hundreds of feet above a stretch of forest leading down several miles to the ocean. Every year, Lud seemingly naturally 'floats' away from the cliff and towards the water. It travels over the ocean, eventually ending up next to a cliff on the next continent. The journey takes several months, and then travels back at the same time the following year. Lud's journey begins in the beginning of the summer and ends at the end of winter.
The wonder and beauty of the island draws in many tourists from across the galaxy every year. As such, the residents host a handful of festivals during the journey. The most famous of these is the Golden Fall. When Lud enters fall, every leaf on every tree on the island turns yellow before they fall off for winter. When the sun hits these billions of leaves, the filtered light appears to glow with a golden shine. The sight is truly breathtaking.
Built on the cliffs that serve as Lud's starting and ending points are a pair of small towns. The towns are home to dozens of inns, shops, taverns and other tourist traps. And it is at one of these towns that 109 found themselves in only days before Lud's departure...
At the time I was creating Lud, I was reading Stephen King's Dark Tower series. As such, I was heavily inspired by it. Lud is, of course, directly named after the city of Lud in his third book in the series. Although, I like to pronounce my Lud as 'lude', so I guess I should technically have some sort of accent above the 'u'... but I'm not entirely sure (if anybody knows, feel free to correct me!)
Anyway, you can ask any of my players, but in my storytelling experience to date, I am most proud of Lud as an environment. Never before have I developed such a rich and vivid setting (at least, in my mind). Of course, it wasn't nearly as detailed and full as it probably could have been, but I guess that leaves room for improvement in the future.
My players were on Lud for almost two out-of-game-years, and during that time I sort of fell in love with the island. To me, it is just as much a character as any of my NPCs. As of the time of writing this, 109 has just barely left Lud (perhaps permanently) and I must admit, I already miss it. I'm not sure if any of my players feel the same, but I know that I will always have a special place for Lud in my memory banks.
See ya next time!