Xian Threats

While Xian stands as the strongest of the city-states currently in the Sunset Isles, it is not without its threats. Three of them are particularly acute, though few stop to realize just how precarious its position remains.

First and gravest of the threats are the goblinoids. Even now, regular raids penetrate deep into the lands claimed by Xian, plundering villages and isolated farmsteads. Adventurers are always needed to root out goblinoid bands and drive them back into the mountains. By custom, the slayers of a goblin raiding band may keep whatever loot they took. Presently the goblinoids are a quarrelsome and squabbling lot, constantly fighting with each other to prove the purity of their bloodlines. With the increasing threat of Xian to the east, however, it's just a matter of time before some warlord or witch-priestess manages to forge them into a coherent whole. Against the combined hordes of the western mountains, it is unlikely that Xian could survive- especially since the heroes that fought off the tribes so long ago are all a hundred years in their graves.

Second, Xian is threatened by its neighbors. The increasing power and influence of the city is pressing on the myriad small city-states of the isles, and every village alehouse from the walls of Xian to Nordheim finds something new to complain of in their trade. While none dare directly confront the city, Xian is apt to find help suddenly and profoundly unavailable should it come to need, and its troubles compounded by quiet machinations against it.

Third, the city is threatened from within by the slow increase of Tide Cults among the decadent and desperate of the city. The vain scholars and hungry workers of the city share an equal interest in what power can bring them, and the Tide is always whispering to those who care to hear it. Strange rites performed in dark cellars and perfumed gardens can both bring forth demons, and while the godbone of the Isles prevents the Red Tide's uninvited approach, it does nothing to ward off the desired.

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