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Bastion23: Harshbiscuit

This is the first week’s borough from my Bastion23 project. Harshbiscuit turned out to be a fairly wealthy borough — I imagine Gilded Age mansions.


Points of Interest

By The Barrel

A posh bar catering to conspicuous consumers; the poor can drink here as entertainment.

Canal Spa

Rich people pay top dollar to bask in the remaining pool of a long-dead canal. It smells awful.

Carson’s Toys for Tots

A lovely toy store specializing in small replica Mockeries. Some move!

The Council Zeppelin

The Harshbiscuit Borough Council floats high above, ever-watching, ever-wise, ever-wary.  Also: a small restaurant there charges outrageous prices.

Elision Bank

The Bank specializes in  converting embarrassing  debt into debt owed to the  right sorts of people.

The Geigerplex

In the back of a bicycle shop, mad scientists are building Mockery automatons for unknown purposes.

Golden Midden

Rich people throw out so much stuff.

Haraldson College

A training ground for young duellists.

Larsen’s Bakery

The best bakery in  Bastion; decorated with amazing puppets.

Naey’s Place

Once the 5 story Council Chambers,  now a bombed-out  husk. Home to most of the poorer people in Harshbiscuit.

The Night Vault

This is where the old debt paper from the Bank lives. The Bank doesn’t forget.

Welcome To Harshbiscuit

Two rival tourism bureaus have set up shop opposite one another; there is consistently violence between them.


Elevated Train

Someone with more money than sense has hung a complex pavilion off the elevated rail track, and the train crew is unwilling to destroy it. It’s unclear if this is because of the risk to the train or because of the risk to the idle rich.

Bicycle Path

People are flinging trash down at passers-by from the Council Zeppelin, for sport. d6 damage, but the value of anything that hits you is equal in £ to the damage done. Some objects may be more valuable, but the actual owners are likely to want those back once they figure out what’s going on.

City Tram (East)

A torrential rainfall has revivified the old canal. It smells terrible, and blocks part of the tram tracks. Investigating the water will draw the attention of a crocodile (8 HP, d6 teeth, Armor 1). Other important buildings nearby are threatened by the rising water.

City Tram (West)

The line to Larsen’s Bakery has outstretched any reasonable limits, as a result of a kitchen fire. It’s moving slowly. Thank the gods for the mini-Mockeries that are entertaining everyone and offering free samples.


New Harshbiscuit Tourism Bureau

The old tourism bureau didn’t highlight local businesses enough; too much focus on natural beauty. The NHTB is pulling ahead in the contest for hearts and minds with a modernized, swarm-based task allocation system built on complex systems of pipes. Flash mobs assisting every tourist who sets foot in Harshbiscuit: the way of the future.

Drive: improving property values
Leader: Caroline Trintigat
Current Project: hostile takeover of the Harshbiscuit Tribune in order to gain information warfare superiority (6 slice clock)

Venerable Guild of Hand-Crafters

This aging group of craftsmen, dedicated to preserving the ancient ways by preserving their near-monopoly over the furnishings of the rich, is well-funded and unscrupulous. Think Luddites, but with positive cash flow. 

Drive: destroy mass production
Leader: Edgar Chao
Current Project: discover who’s behind Carson’s Toys (4 slice clock)

The Bastion Futurists

An underground student art society which is mostly made up of Haraldson College undergraduates no matter how much they’d like to be a city-wide movement. They’d do a lot for a good contact at another school or two. In the meantime, they strive to give the finger to those who are obsessed with the past and to the Borough Council, not necessarily in that order.

Drive: become famous while remaining edgy
Leader: it’s an anarchist collective, but Rosalie Toe has a lot of influence
Current Project: acquire the necessary artillery to down the Council Zeppelin



Chuckobolt is a badger Mockery with a grizzled muzzle, a bandanna wrapped around his head, and two wickedly sharp swords slung from his belt. 

Goal: defend the rights of Mockeries everywhere
Plan: beat down humans who abuse his siblings
Itch: show that he’s the superior fighter

Jessie Harrison

Daughter of the renowned collector of serial killer artifacts: she hates her dad. If she can find the right materials she has a plan to do something about him. She is angular in every particular, both physically and mentally. There’s always a new approach.

Goal: blow up her father’s mausoleum/museum
Plan: acquire the Neverquenched Gunpowder
Itch: get up to the Council Zeppelin so she can see everything at once


Spiritual leader of the indigent of the borough, he is somewhat more solid than his name might imply. Generally speaking he knows what’s going on, at least at street level. People owe him favors.

Goal: extend his knowledge down into the Underground
Plan: establish a powerful clairvoyant gestalt among his people using rare psychoactives
Itch: never see the Sun again


  1. Six Haraldson College freshmen (4 HP, d6 rapier) looking for a good time and some rapier practice. One of them wears a Kappa Gamma fraternity badge.
  2. Four functionaries of the New Harshbiscuit Tourism Bureau (4 HP, d6 club) drumming up business; won’t you follow them to the local establishments they’ve been tasked to advertise? Not really a request.
  3. Ten Mockery automatons (2 HP, d4 tiny fists), which have been programmed to believe that by collecting scraps of material they might yet grow to be full-sized. Meat is a good scrap.
  4. Four dangerous scavengers (6 HP, d8 spiked clubs) heading for the Golden Midden, but they’ll happily stop for opportunity muggings.
  5. One Haraldson College senior (10 HP, d8 electric foil, d6 hand pistol, +1 Armor wire shield) collecting scalps for her senior thesis; you are the only thing between her and graduation. She carries a Winged Brooch, which permits her to hover ten feet above the ground for 15 minutes per day while moving at a steady walking pace.
  6. Poor Harry (14 HP, Armor 2, d8 smother/drown) and Wealthy Jane (4 HP, d6 rock), a canal beast and his “mother.” If Harry kills enough people, Jane can sell him off to Harrison for a sizable fee. She’s also contracted with Keith, a journalist, who follows behind to chronicle the kills. “Wealthy” is aspirational.


The Elision Ledgers contain the history of all the embarassing debt cleansed by the Bank’s financial magicians. Their import is not limited to the question of which wealthy merchant had to take out a loan from which hated enemy; by following the transactions therein (which, to be fair, would require a very good accountant) you could trace the pillars of blackmail and robbery that support Harshbiscuit’s entire economy. And a few neighboring boroughs to boot.

They are divided into three parts, none of which are useful without the others, as the data is split between the volumes in a complex fashion. Each volume is rotated to a new location within Harshbiscuit monthly. They are all quite heavy; bring wheelbarrows.


One Comment

  1. Ginger Ginger

    I really need to sit down and read this rulebook.

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