Alright, I've had this project sitting in the background for a while, in part because it wasn't very developed, serving only as an origin point for the character of the Expanded Multiverse, Raef. (Full blown story in that link guys, check it out.)
But as more time passed, the more I wanted to flesh out the world and in general play around with a concept: Mono-colored Five color angels. The entire premise here was to manipulate the iconography and imagery found in religious texts, mostly shying away from the more generic pop culture interpretations of what an angel is.
The problem is, While I have a lot of ideas and a lot done, I find myself reaching a limit to what I feel I can accomplish alone. So that is why I'm opening this up to public consideration. This is not a group project in the same way Jakkard was though. Ultimately, I determine the final shots, but I will fully credit the contributors where appropriate.
Just to give an idea about the aesthetics I'm shooting for in the world, a combination of Celtic and Roman, instead of the more classical middle centuries anglo-saxon imagery. Technologically they are about at a Renaissance level, but they've been in a Medieval Stasis for a long long time now. They plateaued.
Without further ado I present Ellysium:
The spell is called “The Rapture.” The spell recognizes when worthy beings die, and according to a number of aspects, it forces the ascension to an angelic status. Each of the angels holds a different virtue, and those virtues determine what sort of angel a being would ascend to. Duty and Valor for the white angels, Strength for the green, Passion and Creativity for the red, etc etc.
However, this was all long long ago, and people have forgotten who cast the Rapture or even when. The purpose of the spell, to some degree, has even been lost. The angels were designed to eliminate the destructive elements of those barbaric cultures, and in some ways, they excelled at their purpose. This meant... genocide. Races were hunted to utter extinction by the angels. This war happened so long ago, most histories have forgotten it. All the people of Ellysium now know is that the angels ruled peacefully for long ages. Ellysium knew prosperity and peace until the balance of power changed and the forces of the very heavens themselves turned upon each other, throwing the plane into civil war.
The Five Powers were torn apart after centuries of balance.
The Angels are known as The White Host, Blue Sphere, Green Flight, Red Chorus, and Black Dominion
Seraphim: Called “the Shining Ones” Seraphim have flawless skin, unmarred by age or injury. They wear unique armor. Silver, steel, and gold are forged together in ways that make the metal like cloth. Runes decorate their armor, which is often built to resemble half plate when in full battle regalia. The only armor that all Seraph have in common are their helms, ornately carved masks that obscure their blazing golden eyes, though it does not impair their sight. Their physical features, such as hair and skin color, are as they were during life. Their title “Shining Ones” is derived from their wings, six white wings whose feathers are made of light itself.
They were crafted to destroy demons and devastate armies as the main force of shock troopers. They imbue their weaponry with pure mana.
The lord of the Seraph is called the Magnus. There are three ranks within the Seraph Host. Wardens and Soldiers make up the lowest Choir, Generals and Judges make up the second Choir, and The Magnus and lords makes up the Highest.
The Seraph act as the governing body of the plains, with many of the Council of Lords that the Magnus surrounds himself acting as Counts in the individual lands. The Judges act as judiciaries in criminal cases brought forwards to their attention and the Wardens contain what criminals the constabulary catch.
The prisons are self sufficient, containing only one rule: You must grow what you need to survive.
The soldiery of The Legion is broken down as follows: Soldiers, Knights, Archons, Angels.
The Hashmalim are the seers of the angel, their Sphere charged with guiding the future as well as seeing the present.
The first lord of the Hashmalim was known as Enochel.
Zabaniahim: Called “the Wardens” The Zabaniahim are grim figures bearing 8 enormous raven’s wings upon their backs. Their cloaks are made of the darkness itself and hoods obscure their heads completely. Ornate glistening scales armor their body like stars on the night sky and their robes prevent any sight of the being within, leading many to believe they have no flesh at all. They wield lances of shadow that pierce the ethereal. They control the underground, a series of caves that generate the darkest mana on Ellysium. The bodies of the honored dead were stored in these catacombs in better times. The Zabaniahim were originally sired to quell the restless dead. They bound the spirits and ran the strongest of them through the crucible, reshaping them into the fierce legion known as spectres. Humanity worships them as the “Cult of Shadows”, necromantic assassins that kill by binding the spirit of their victim and slaying the body.
Cherub Angelheim: The Tree of Life “Da’as”. Giant winding trees wrapping around a massive hollow space, multiple enormous redwoods growing together to form the Cherubim fortress. Gigantic leaves form lakes and large spaces in the branches provide light.
Seraph Angelheim: The Radiant Bastion “Ketheres”. A crystalline structure which floats within the sky. The construction is of magical quartz and opal. It is decorated in the specially forged metal cloth that the seraphim are known for and is the seat of the Magnus.
Ophanim Angelheim: The Ophan hollowed out a mountain and reshaped it, creating an enormous fortress of obsidian carved by the very molten rock they channeled.
Humans: Primarily white, though found in every color. Most live in towns and cities. The second most plentiful human color is green, where they live in clans the develop a specific territory as theirs. No matter what angelic lord they bear allegiance to, Humanity does not see differences in themselves, therefore, despite the war, commerce and cultural exchange has not diminished in Humanity's quarters.
Goliath (Giants): The Goliath revere the old ways as wel as paying allegiance to the Cherubim. They live in the large redwoods forests present in the western lands but have been found on the plains as well, though they are far from common. The Goliath are thick browed and have even thicker muscles. They mark themselves with tribal tattooing, denoting their bloodline as well as their history.
Goliath worship the old goddess Binah, the soul of the World and mother of history. She is not the creator of the world, but the source in the world from which all creation stems. She is the distaff counterpart to the old god Chokmah, whom the blue worship as the god of knowledge and the keeper of creation.
Gorgon: the gorgons move away from the monstrous depiction that magic has tied them to. They have heavy ophidian feature overtures, but don't have the freaky tentacle heads. Ornate scaly patterns around their faces, fangs and snake tongues, dark black hair on all of them, yellow snake eyes, noses a bit flatter than normal and claws.
Thicker scales turn up in other places on their body, but they're smaller on their faces.
As a group they are able to live underground, though it has been some years since they chose to live there. In better times they would be searched out for their skills to create monuments from the fallen so that people may pay respect. However, in the times since the war began, they have been animating the dead that once stood frozen. Zombie statues generated as the fighting force of the Zabaniahim which spares the sparse gorgon population from the worst of the fighting.
Their diet consists primarily of fungi, fish, and fruits.
Flamekin: They have flaming obsidian androgynine bodies of smooth stone with a feminine faces. They are born beings. (Yes, I actually DO have a process which coincides with this, but I won't get into it until someone asks.)
Missing Characteristic Races: Blue and White.
So you see, I have quite a few gaps that need filling. I've considered a lot on the blue race as well, even going so far as to imagine something I like to call the Tidekin, which are essentially water based elementals.
Additionally, if there is any aspect of a civilization you'd like expanded or would like to expand, go right ahead. A lot of the civilizations lack a true culture to speak of, so go nuts in designing those.