That one, :heehee
In Character Show
A book falls to the ground. It is large and holds a sigil of the city of Gladius on its face. It flops with a flump. Near a pile of dirt. A man looks on, his face scraggly with a wolf's beard. The plain is quite. The book flumps again. Out of it crawls a mouse. With a wizards hat on. He mumbles to himself.
"that was a certainly interesting departure." Suddenly he notices the mans. In an instant a mirage of many monsters and spectacle appeare. A beast of wild terror wields an axe menacingly and a dragon lands with a kathoom! A single star drops from the heavens before the mouse realizes that all is truly quite and the visiage of a demon god revaporates into a watchtower like perimeter. The dragon returns to its original moonlight and the mouse hrumphs.
"that probably wasn't .. well .. he shouldn't have startled me. I'm a terrible bit of a mood. Where was that world link. Wheres my book!?"
whats so funny Show
I try to be amusing, sometimes it comes off wrong. In between the lines its just hope and dreams. This is really just shameless self advertising. "Fearless" if you would. When my ego pops everything has a tendency to get wet.
thats not hot air! Show
Its boiling hot water! NoOoooo!
Now this is funny, "if your reading this" etc
For about three days I thought I had got myself banned, but no it was my browser and the day the server went down, and I get silly headed every now and again. BUT! I decided to "go where I dare not go" here. and "show everyone mine" Its been there the whole time, and who knows if anyone ever saw it. Have you seen it yet?
It has its own forum .. no one posts there. It has its own book, not quite finished, BUT Still For Sale!
Arconistic Astronometrics Show
Precursor to the Technometrics practiced by the Tolonese, Astrometrics was the art practiced by the Diplomancers. Once the Diplomancer discipline was considered to the most important and necessary facet of society. Modern Technomancers utilize ancient Astrometric terms in their nameology, but in general scoff these ancient traditions as not only nonsensical, but dire and dangerous. While Technometrics is the codified study of refined soul and mist – Astrometrics is the refined art of reweaving the web of connections that exist between the greater powers. Astrometrics was based first and foremost around the powers of the Seven Greater Isles. (Ergo..niania…. hrmph), Monteria, Taurnia, Elendria, Arconisti, Cardonia, and Tolonia. Seven isles that have taken new names in the centuries since they were categorized by the long lost Diplomancers.
All true Diplomancer schools of old have been truly and utterly lost to the ravages of both the Tree Wars and the Ascendancy. It is known that the Trees were the first teachers of Diplomancy, though their strange methods of magic are not truly Diplomancy. Leaf handed magics and blood borns sorceries are rarely constructed the same. The inversion of Bark and Blood in the Arconistic equation creates a dissonance of impractical proportions. An ancient Diplomancer saying sums the simple impossibility into a single statement. “The Trees cannot walk, and Mans cannot fly” to understand this phrase implies that you understand Arconistics well enough to have foregone the attempts to weave wyrd as a Tree would. Nonetheless the original Diplomancers’ words (“born of leaves” were created with the Trees’ assistance.
Trees have long since foregone helping Mans or Taurn with Arconistics. The Tolonese and the Trees have concurred with no small protestation that Astrometrics is a dangerous practice. For the Blood Born Arconistics is a path fraught with peril and in all likelihood the death of not only the practitioner but anyone nearby when their lost gift returns. The Dragons claim that once this was not so. They declare calmly that the Ancient Acronistic Academy of Astrometrics and Mathmatology was the finest point of light in all blood born history … next to the accomplishments of the High Dragon Lords. In the accomplishments of Arconistic Wonder there are 8 that contend for the most miraculous. The raising of a fragment of the Bottom Lands higher even than High Skies during the first great Dragons’ Rising, of course, stands apart and above all others.
Mans’ most amazing work of Arconistics was the physical binding of the (Ergo..) and Tolonia (known as Dargonia and Tolon in modern times). Some assume that the connection of these isles is simply that of superior cord. “The Tether” that ties these two is more than a mystically enhanced metal. It is the literal manifestation of the Astrometric connection between the two isles of Mans. Once upon a time Mans and Gnome could create transitory tethers between the lesser isles and via swinging and climbing made a living and a home in the middle skies. The majestic Imperial City is commonly thought of a true wonder. Its creation was most certainly impressive, but the Tether is a far more profound and unfathomably powerful act than that broken city will ever be.
Technometrics feeds off of the breath of the gods, the mists. Astrometrics creates it. All creations of true Astometrics are infused with soul and are alive. The natural creations of nature and miracle breathe air and consume blood or water. The wondrous creations of Astometric Arconistics consume substance and breathe mist in the fashion of the gods. Technometric Arconistics inversely consume mist in order to make substance. Since the time of Ascendancy the mist reducing faculty of Technometrics has been the only grace that saves this last form of Mans Arconistics from being persecuted by the allied temples of the empire. The strange fact that the giftless Tolonese are the only Mans able to effectively manipulate their devices only lends credence to the popular belief that the discipline of Technometrics itself is the gods' gift of the Tolonese.
The Tolonese reply that the gift is not of the gods, but a phenomena occurring in regions due to the lasting impact of overused Astrometrics. The few trees that maintain Arconistic communication with modern Diplomancers are silent regarding such matters. Trees have powerful reasons for limiting how much of their knowledge they share with the hidden councils of Diplomancers. Long ago Trees told Mans the secrets of words and sealed the doom of their empire. The allied temples of Imperial City consider Leaf Weaving and Technometrics the only sacred forms of Arconistics, and are still somewhat leery of the Elder Trees of the Bottom Lands. Aquamancer Trees are welcome in the broken city, as well as Vivomancers. However, creating water and light are far from the terrors of Astromantics that only the great and powerful Elder Trees can currently wield.
Now you know what the word Astrometrics means. Forget it. Those who have never heard it, shouldn’t. Those who know it are either like yourself, or seeking to persecute those who would pursue Arconistic knowledge. Since Ascendancy the Diplomancer colleges were systematically routed and burned. Divine fire and miraculous destruction have left little for modern Diplomancers to recreate their lost discipline. The elder dragons are our most secure ally, but even they cannot be trusted with our protection. Even as you read these last words this page is fulfilling the meaning of the life that I gave it. The words are transubstantiating into flame. The paper into soot. Keep your secrets safe. Diplomancer.
:fooosh! fire flare:
OOC Walking Plants Show
OK, every tree, bush, and vine in the Wonderful World can walk and talk. Well in a “so to speak” and … “if you call that walking” kinda way. What is more important is that they are alive and a PC race. The average merchant Tree travels “potted” and has a number of allies assisting it with business and travel. Trees develop allies easily; it is their very nature to succor small creatures of the forest with their disciplines. In exchange the small creatures of the forests lend their eyes and voices to the trees. As a tree ages its ability to commune with other life forms grows stronger.
Some trees can literally walk. Very very ..very slowly. Quite literally more like a tottering lumbering than walking. They can bend their branches enough to whack someone hard, if slowly; and they can throw things like .. apples and acorns. A war band of trees is literally a sea of spiny wood creeping towards a city with the speed of molasses, but when the powerful wooden men reach a city gate they are an unstoppable force that can uproot walls and buildings.
Only the biggest and more powerful trees walk like this. Well the “Kraken Tree” is very mobile, walking at nearly animal speeds, but their “walk” involves no small amount of dragging themselves along the ground instead of actually stepping like the tall walking trees. Snakes are actually plants (vines) in the Wonderful World with vicious razor sharp roots that plant in living creatures and feed off their blood waters. Bushes are bustling little fellows that glide and roll amiably through the world.
The standing trees are more common than the walking trees, and they “cannot walk” but they can instantiate an ephemeral form such as a dryad communally. Similar to a lich the dryads are immune to destruction unless their secret grove is decimated. Furthermore any item or creature that has spent time in a dryad’s grove has a more potent
The flower people though, they are the real busy bodies. “Blooms and Shrooms” are the most common walking plant. They are roughly similar height as Mans and Orcnin, but their bodies are rubbery “snake like” plant matter. Bloom merchants are known for their cheap prices and their easy deals. Commerce is a pastime for a plant. Trees are known for their emmense greed, but the walking flowers are generally less concerned with their “horde” than their wooden cousins.
Pixies “the singing plants” look more like ‘Ayads, but are organically more closely related to the Blooms and Shrooms. The little plant people are often confused for Elendi largely due to the fact that they are so rare there are few who are aware of how to identify a Pixie as a plant instead of an animal.
None of the plants save the ‘Ayads and the Pixies are able to speak, and “plant sign language” is the typical trade language of the modern world. While most blood born races are able to decipher and comment in plant sign, true mastery of the language requires more digits and limbs than most Mans or Orcnin have wave around.
regarding the mists Show
The mists are one of the most important aspects of the Wonderful World. The mists are literally the “paradoxical presence” of the gods when they walk the face of the Wonderful World. Deities have the ability to reshape both lands and creatures, and they do so without active intention. The mists are the reflexive presence of the many eyed gods. The mists are the emanation of any powerful arconistic work. The forests of the wonderful world are misty with the minor workings of the many trees. Astrometric laboratories are full of misty fumes, and storm whales swim through the skies in miniature seas of their own mystic creation. Entire towns have been swallowed by the mists only to be returned without the inhabitants noticing. There is said to be a city in the mists, and many have claimed to have spent time there but the name of the strange shrouded port town is ever forgotten upon return.
Entering the mists intentionally is something only the mad or desperate would dare contemplate. Magic may be predictable and the gods may answer prayers, but the mists are a capricious natural phenomena that smoothes the erratic impact of the gods. Keep in mind that divine spark is relatively easy to come by, but harder to keep … and the most magnificent deities are at odds with their eternal opposition the elder dragons. The most powerful single deity in the wonderful world is the Dark Lord Jakenar. Despised foe of the elder dragons Jake has been able to gather more divine spark than any deity save for the original triune, and has even become forced to distill his divinity into obfuscated containers. These containers hide in mist filled caves throughout various locations. Other gods hide their powers from the elder dragons in similar fashions, but it was the Dark God Jakenar that first split apart his soul to hide his spark from those who would devour it.
Dragons devour creatures based on the energy value. The powers of the seven elements are intermixed with all living things, and dragons feed on that energy. To clarify, dragons do not eat meat, they ingest it and extract the elemental energies of the creature devoured. Dragons devour creatures for their energy, but elder dragons devour gods. In the first dawn of the wonderful world the triune molded mist like putty and drew pictures as with paint. The dragons were their aids, and attendants. When the speaking things came to the wonderful world of their own accord the dragons took favor in them and taught them things. When the Triune began to war over the speaking things the dragons became the protectors of the speakers. They taught the speakers how to become like the triune.
As a mortal attains divine spark they come to understand the mists that are an extension of themselves. They become manifestly aware that “Dwaren” is grey fumes that mingle in the dirt, “Elendria” is the moist and comforting “blue mist” in which Port Unknown can be found and from hence to a potentially larger cosmogony one could be bound or from. “Ogran” is the sickening fog that hangs in dark corners and blots out the former orbit of Taurn and Arconisti. Any “faces” of the triune that have ever been seen were in actuality avatars or allied lesser deities. The triune are not gods in the same manner that Jakenar is. Instead the triune are the literal substance of existence. They are the mists.
Once a deity gains the spark to see the three mists they learn their place within them. The countless lesser deities are bridges that flow the elemental energies of the universe throughout the sublime intermixing of the mists. Over time the dragons took it upon themselves to monitor and influence these bridges; building them up or burning them down as they see best fits the greater harmony of existence. The smallest of deities need worry little for elder dragons’ ire, but the more powerful a god becomes, and the more they disturb the mists … the more likely that an elder will seek out the errant deity and either set him on a path or devour the sparkling soul stuff that makes the god more than mortal.
Insomuch as game play is concerned,
The mists are meant to give you leeway. Sure that smacks of “lazy” dming but used properly it is not. In the setting of the wonderful world absolutely anything could happen with very little explanation. The divine red crested falcon could fly by and drop fireballs on the players ifn ya wanted. Stones can rearrange themselves under their own motivation, and you can never be certain a pesky plague isn’t catching a ride in your cohort. Basically… nothing is very predictable in a world that’s one part Eldritch Laser Beam, one part Bantering, and one part 1/2 elven theif mage.
The mists though, they provide “a visual” indication that the “many eyes of the gods” are present in the scene. Which god? Who knows. Spellcraft (or equivalent) can be used to analyze the mists for clues of the intruding deities intrusion. The divine casters can often see the personalities of gods they are allied or opposed to in the mists, though the reliability of such visions is circumspect. Creatures and items are swallowed by the mist and returned improved, destroyed, or eerily unmolested. People are drawn into the mists to meet with their destinies … or their fates.
Simply enough – the mists are the supra-fantastico. They are the fudge that you can use to make the wonderful even more unpredictable.
“My hometown was right here … damn mists … OH! The town moved to the other side of the mountain!” ~ Survival roll ... failed? "Oh musta been the mists." is a valid statement. Made by the gm ... or the player
The lost Island of Taurna. Remnants of the fallen Island litter the Bottom Lands. Entire villages were destroyed by burning mountains hurtled through the three skies. Once the home of the True Taurn; the Tyrn, as the two legged “Taurn” are properly called in the Annals, believe themselves cursed with their failure to protect their native homeland. Some say that they have been doomed to the Bottom Lands, and other claim that when they have passed through the curse they will regain their original forms. This fanciful notion is not shared by the majority of the “Tyrn” who have heard it. We know that the Taurn is one people, and the silly term Tryn is almost an insult to many Taurn. At least it is not commonly used by Taurn. The Taurn have embraced the Bottom Lands as a new Taurn, but there are also many that still seek the high skies that their ancient homeland flew in. Taurn have made new homes throughout the Islands, yet none of the greater isles can match the mythical expanses of ancient Taurna. The largest Island that ever flew through the skies, Imperial war zone, and the world’s most tragic loss.
Taurna was a high sky island. Larger than both Dargonia and Tolen combined. Larger than the general expanse of the Sky Lakes. In ancient time the Imperials would lumber their grand ferries, and metal clad armies, to Taurna to do battle in a civilized fashion. The Taurn did little to stop this, they didn’t have nations on Taurna in the same fashion as the Imperial council. Representatives of the greater tribes of Taurna were welcome in the Imperial council, as were all civilized nations in the time before the Wizards War. Orcnin even sat in the council prior to the Wizard’s War, but of course the Arconistic Isle has been lost as well. “Tyrn” are welcome in council, but without a Greater Island as their homeland both Orcnin and Taurn have lost their seats in the Imperial councils. This of course was the intent of the Dark Mist. The spell that Turned Light Blue to Dark Green, and created the Dark Skies where Taurna and The Arconistic Islands once flew was most certainly meant to remove the Orcnin Hoards and the Tribes of Taurna from the politics of the overreaches of the Imperial Councils.
Pieces of the two Islands are indistinguishable when they are found in massive craters, mostly in the Pride Lands of the Bottom Lands. Some spectacular artifacts of Taurna can be found on all the greater isles of mid and low sky. A rarely seen Taurn, the (worm) lived not on the surface, nor the reverse, of Taurna, but inside the Island. These Taurn live much as the Flame Elendi of Tolen. There are many seekers that hope to find one of the “hidden chambers” of the “Burrotarun,” as Mans commonly knows the (wormtaurn). In ancient times they stored many mighty artifacts in their deep chambers. These reinforced caverns miraculously seem to remain mostly intact. More than one fortune has been made by those who have found such a remnant of Taurn. The city of Raniel *** made a fortune selling ancient Taurnin tapestries to Dargonian nobility, and more than one Bottom Lander settlement has been formed around the impromptu “castle” that the fallen (wormtaurn) cavern became when it crashed. Some of these falling fragments crushed cities and villages, and the remains of these lost Bottom Lands enclaves are also considered prizes worth searching the shifting wastes for.
Above the ridge on Taurna was said to have been mostly like the Pride Lands of the Bottom Lands. Expansive and mostly flat, there were forests and plains as far as the eye could see. The lakes of Taurna were brought by the storm whales, and Taurna never swung close to the Deluge. According to many legends the Ronians were originally of Taurna, but they were seated amongst the councils as from the moon. Since the Gnomes have overtaken the Moon, or “Ball Island” as they have renamed it, the Ronians have been without any true homeland. The Ronians have never acclimatized to the Bottom Lands the way that the Taurn have, and have mostly settled along the inner ridge of Dargonia and the outer ridges of the Sky Lakes. When Taurna still flew the Ronian net cities hung from the sides of the Island much the way the Bloom settlements color the underridges of the Greater Islands these days.
According to the reports of Imperial expeditionaries and the Taurn legends the Island was populated with an abundance of life similar to Wild Home. Fantastic creatures such as Horses and (… were lost when the Island was knocked from the sky. The Bat, and the Taurn, are only two examples of how many of the creatures once unique to Taurn managed to survive the destruction of their native island. Bats originated from Taurna, and these cave dwelling creatures were flung across the skies and littered amongst the bottom lands. Once upon a time there were no Bats anywhere but Taurna, now, like the Taurn, Bats are found on almost every island in the skies. The valiant animals have found their way into the deepest Dwaren caves, and the flutter around the Gnomes Moon Ball. It is a curious phenomena that must have held the Bats on Taurna before the Wizards War. Just as they have over the last few centuries the Bats have migrated from Island with little trouble. They are now regular pests in the high skies (***) … when once they were an all but unheard of creature, they have become a staple food for hunters worldwide. The Bat, and the Taurn, are only two examples of how many of the creatures once unique to Taurn managed to survive the destruction of their native island.
The Catman, the Purrin, the Felin, the Fara. The Felintaurn are a common sight around the world. The most startling thing about them is the vast differences between one tribe of Pherthan and another. “Pherthan” itself is a recent appellation to the Cat-taurn, a sign of the times and “Tyrn’s” return to the Imperial councils. Amongst the Orcnin the Pherthan are known as the Hoc’Fara, the scions of Fara. Those who are not familiar with the church of Fara are unfortunate, and honestly rare. The Pherthan are a traveler people by nature. The Kattan, Felien, and Ocelan tribes of Tolen are the most familiar to Dargonians, but dozens of tribes of Pherthan have speckled the Greater Isles and the Bottom Lands since the time of the Mans-Tree wars. Pherthan are almost as common a sight in an imperial region as a Bloom, a Mans, or an Elendi. Those Pherthan that live amongst Mans are quite the imperials despite being Taurn. The Pherthan that live outside the bounds of the Empire are an entirely different story, and always unique amongst the Taurn.
Most Pherthan households are made up of one or two adult males, a number of females, and various other relatives of the primary family. The elders of the Pherthan are kept safe within the homes of the nomadic people along with the children. The males are expected to stay near the house while the females hunt and explore the territory around their encampment. Pherthan families that live amongst Mans will usually live much as their neighboring Mans, forsaking the nomadic lifestyle and living in a building instead of a mobile camp. Pherthan that make their homes with Mans will usually affect the clothing habits of their neighbors, but those Pherthan that live outside the cities of Mans rarely wear more than a loose harness and some form of cover against the wind such as a cape. Some tribes of Pherthan wear shoes and boots, but most Pherthan find footwear as uncomfortable as other Taurn. Specifically the Katur tribe of the Bottom Lands is known for their extraordinarily Mans-like appearance. Most Katur wear not only shoes, but pants and shirts as well.
The variety of Pherthan in the world is due, most likely, to their wandering nature. The Pherthan were the first of the Taurn to meet with Mans and Elendi. Long before Taurna was lost the Pherthan had begun settlements on Tolen, the Bottom Lands, and the Sky Lakes. Over the centuries apart the Pherthan diversified. The Katur tribe has nearly Mans feet, while the Felien tribe of Tolen has the () foot of most Taurn. Some Pherthan have thumbs, and some do not. Then there is the question of the Pherthan pelts. Brown, orange, yellow, mottled, and gray. The Pherthan are as multicolored as Mans, and at times there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why a litter of Pherthan children will match or not match each others’ pelts. At least amongst Mans their coloration has some elemental connection, blue for water, red for fire, yellow for wind, and etc. The pattern of a Pherthan’s pelt appears to have no meaning whatsoever, other than the cosmetic value that is. Unlike most Taurn Pherthan are known to take lovers of other peoples, despite the physical complications involved, and also unlike most Taurn they are often considered attractive to Mans, Elendi, as well as other Imperial peoples. The Orcnin of course cannot stand the smell of any but another Orcnin, and most Pherthan agree that Orcnin stink.
While the Pherthan have an excellent sense of smell it pails in comparison to the olfactory abilities of most of the other Taurn, and comes nowhere near the stupendous noses Wolfen and Barkin have. Their hearing however knows no comparison, and their vision is most excellent. Most Pherthan are more than capable of operating in the dimmest light, but there is some diminished ability to discern subtle colors. Their diet is finicky, and if it changes too rapidly a Pherthan can suffer greatly. Most Pherthan eat the same meal everyday, and most Pherthan tribes eat mostly fish. Bottom Lander Pherthan, in particular, favor birds or other small game. Those tribes that cook their food will commonly mix rice or other grains with their meat, and like many of the Taurn tribes the Pherthan must eat meat. Mans may be able to eat like Elendi, but the tragic tale of Galien Felien, the “Starving Felien” is one of the oldest tales of the Mans-Tree wars. A diplomatic envoy that curiously managed to starve to death despite eating three meals a day with his hosts. In that ancient time the Taurn knew nothing of the Elendi and assumed the worst. The tragedy of Galien Felien is one of the many disasters that lead to the eventual loss of the Taurn homeland.
Pherthan, perhaps more so than the other Taurn, are flighty and eager to anger. A thousand Elendi paid in blood for the death of Galien, thousands more for other slights. Insulting a Pherthan is the same as drawing a weapon on them, and unlike most Taurn Pherthan have retractable claws – not horns. Their very hands are weapons equal to any Orcnin paws. Only the Wolfin are regarded with the same apprehension as Pherthan, and of course Wolfin have razor sharp claws as well. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the Pherthan have always been intrigued by interacting with non-Taurn. The Pherthan tribes of Tolen consider themselves Elen, and part of the Dune Elf society. The Pherthans actually make most of the contact with the Tolenese and other Mans for the Dune Elves. The Pherthan that make their homes on the Sky Lakes have positioned themselves as a de facto policing authority that is effectively more powerful than the Imperial Dragoons. On the Bottom Lands the Pherthan are a major force both in the Pridelands, but also amongst the Silestrians and the Oceanic League (a loose confederation of water sailing Mans with strong ties to the Thalians). Wherever you go be it Orcnin or Imperial territory – you will find Pherthan keeping watch and a keen ear.
Visiting a Pherthan camp is rarely done, and the Pherthan are not known to maintain large settlements of their people. A noble may, however, find themselves in the position of requesting aid of an encamped Pherthan family, or in need of approaching a war band of Pherthan (usually the largest collection of the Pherthan at any given time). In such a situation there are a number of things to keep in mind amongst these touchy people. In their own domains they do not appreciate being looked at directly, they detest any attempts to make physical contact, they disdain those that wear clothes save for physical protection, and are usually willing to make a snap decision based off of a first impression. The key being that Pherthan do not welcome others to their homes. They will occasionally bring the lost or the wounded into their camps to heal, but most Pherthans would prefer to visit you – or meet you at a predetermined location rather than invite a retinue to their private demesne. The time that it is best to contact a Pherthan family is actually during one of their celebrations. During a birth, marriage, or coming of age Pherthan families will gather together and party louder and harder than most. The agile Pherthan will dance and “sing” for hours – even days, and all are welcome to participate. On such an occasion, however, any talk of business must wait until the end of ceremonies.
Inviting Pherthan to your household is again something that can be troublesome. Imperial Pherthan are of course an outright exception, but those Pherthan that do not ally themselves with the Imperials can be the most intractable house guests. If your pets happen to be in their diet – they may go missing, and while the Pherthan will gladly compensate you for “the meal” … trying to explain to a Pherthan why a pet is different than a free range food is simply frustrating, particularly since you know they know what a pet is, and are trying to get away with it simply because they have retractable claws. They will invariably be unable to keep the same resting schedule as the rest of the household, or at least one of them will. Even more disastrous in an Imperial household – most Taurn Pherthan will slink into as many beds as possible, try to buy or sell their or your children; often to each other. And! There are numerous reports of Pherthan “diplomatic” envoys whom have come, enticed the youngers of the house, and slipped off into the night with a dozen or more formerly Imperial citizens in chains. Or! Not in chains. The Pherthan have a strange effect on people, and due to their lack of larger ethnic government – the best advice regarding Pherthan diplomacy – is that there is no such thing.
A Hart, or an Antelope. There are many antlered beast that runs through the forests of the world. They have many names and are hunted from Bottom Lands to High Sky. They are not the most intelligent animals when set beside the Golden Dogs of Karn, nor the Squirrels that live amongst the Mans of Dargonia, but their alphas keep herds of wives and children safe from predators. The alpha of a deer heard is a formidable opponent. His head a rack of spears, and his hooves as deadly as swords. The herd will learn the layout of the territory the family lives in and use this knowledge to its advantage. Deer keep their sons and unlike lygers they keep their brothers and their wives within the herd. The mobile community that is a Deer herd will often have a white doe. This doe is a chosen similar to the chosen of the named, and is capable of elemental attacks. Hunting a herd with a white doe will bring renown to any who seek a true hunt. It is the rare explorer that finds such a herd however.
The cats that roam the wastes. Often mistaken for a brawny Pherthan the Lygers are a race of animals with powerful claws, and terribly huge jaws. Like a snake the Lyger can unhinge its jaw and eat its prey whole. They travel around a range or in a migration pattern, and a pack is made up of a single male, his wives, and their children. An adult male of age is driven from the pack by the parents and may or may not take others of his generation with him when he leaves. With his once sisters the potential alpha Lyger will forge its own territory or its own migration, its own hunting grounds. Amongst Lygers the women are the hunters, like their named cousins the Pherthan, and the male the ultimate home protector. Like their chosen brothers, the Lyger is a fearsome creature. It is powerful and more deadly than even a Troll. The Barragan Hoard of Bottom Lands keeps Lygers and uses them during their tournaments. Only a Troll or a Giant would ever look forward to fighting with a arena trained Lyger, and most consider it a death sentence.
The green guest, the luck dragon, the pond guardian. Frogs are an odd little creature, and were originally of from the Lost Arconistic Isle. Before the Wizards Wars the Frog was a favored pet of the Orcnin, and in modern times the Bottom Lands are literally teeming with the friendly creatures. Generations of development on the bottom lands have changed the Frogs, and they have diversified. According to legend the original frogs were small, usually green, and able to carry the thoughts of their masters to others. Those frog breeds that have grown on the Bottom Lands have developed strange Bottom Lands abilities, and found various niches to fill in the ecology. To this day most Orcnin keep Frogs as pets, and those Orcnin that live on the Bottom Lands have been breeding the larger “Thunder Frogs” and a fire Frog they call a “Salamander” as guardian animals – much as many Mans keep Dogs or Bats.
A rare breed of Taurn. You find them in small settlements on Dargonia, Montara, and Wildhome (most likely). The fall of Taurna was disastrous to the Centuarn. There were very few of these hoofed runners living anywhere but Taurna itself. In ancient times they were said to be the most dominant tribes of Taurna. Their territories spanned entire valleys and mountains. The Centaurn were legendary for their speed, but the Centyrn are not the highland runners their ancestors were. The tribes that exist on Dargonia are found *north of the Elven Forests. They live in the rocky foothills between the forest line and the *southernmost area of the Old Imperial provinces. The Centryn are a simple people. The fact that their ancestors were rulers of the Lost Taurna is not reflected in their simple lifestyles. Of all the Taurn, they have taken the faith of () that says the change of Centaurn to “Centyrn” is a form of curse for failing the homeland they supposedly ruled. The Centyrn tribes of Dargonia have embraced the “Tyrn” name suggested by (), and to a greater and lesser extent so have the Centaurn of Montara. Whether the Centaurn of Wildhome are even aware of such literate constructions is unknown and unlikely.
Centaurn have an ancient and well maintained miraculous method of communication. Similar in many ways to some Elendi charms the Centaurn are able to communicate over vast distances using sacred braids made of their mane. This allowed the Centaurn to communicate across the vast plains of Taurna in antiquity, and is still used to keep close watch on their families to this day. With braided beads wives will give their husbands locks of hair, their’s, their children’s, and their family member’s. Using this charm the father in the family can keep track of his herd. Actually, the Centyrn of Dargonia no longer run in herds, and in fact have rarely see even the ridges of Dargonia. The tribes of Montara live on the surface of the Island and live a much as their ancestors did. The tribes rove the islands, slowly as Tyrn when once they ran faster than the wind. The Centaurn recognize the Dwar’s supremacy of Montara, and regularly attend the councils of the Dwar that rule the island. The Dwar care little for the upper side of the island. To date there has been no major construction or actions taken to improve the top of Montara by the Dwar that the Centaurn did not request.
The Centaurn of both Dargonia and Montara are reclusive, and other than keeping regular contact with the officials of the Empire, the Centaurn (or Centyrn) keep to themselves. They keep fields of various grains and seeds that are their primary diet. Like Elendi they eat solely plants. Unlike Elendi they prefer grains and breads, tubers, and eat sweet grass for their desserts. However they are more than able to survive on the bark of Trees and lesser grasses. Slaughtering food is actually something that Centaurn are loath to do. If, once upon a time when they ruled Taurn, the Centaurn prepared meat for their guests; they are no longer willing to do this. Perhaps it is an affection of the massive guilt they experience as a people, not just from the Loss of Taurn, but also a number of other “transgressions” as described by the () faith. Ideally the Centaurn – the bastions of Taurn – should have “driven themselves like a spear into the heart of their transgressor” – to quote the (). The fact that not only did the Centaurn fail to protect their island, but also failed to revenge the loss, has turned this once proud warrior race into indolent farmers. Most Centaurn seem to carry this burden of “why” with them constantly, though nicely in an entirely rhetorical fashion.
The () faith is not the only force amongst the Centaurn, certainly the Wildhomelander Centaurn could not have heard of it. Some of the Montaran Centaurn follow the gods of the Pride that their Taurn brethren have made contact with on the Bottom Lands, but more powerful than the Bottomlander faith is the general adherence to the Triune. Triunism recognizes the (), and the Pride Gods, and of course all deities as potentially actual Arcons. Regardless of the manifestations of the gods the Triunists amongst the Centaurn are certain that their people are not cursed for eternity. In quite dissension with the majority of the Centaurn, the Triunist Centaurn seek prophecy and omen that may bring their people back to their former glory. If they have made any progress toward this regard they have not made the knowledge public, and the ()ite Centaurn are particularly spiteful toward their hopeful brethren. They claim that the stain of failure will forever haunt the Centaurn, and that those who seek to undo the curse are dishonoring those their ancestors that died in defense of Lost Taurn. In such a dispute who can truly say what is right and what is wrong? Regardless, such things are best left to dragons and the Arcons themselves.
Any Mans that seeks to visit the Centaurn should either be prepared with their own provisions, or be ready to eat unbuttered bread. Of the Centaurn’s general fare only their coarse bread is palatable to Mans. Elendi guests, of course, find Centaurn cuisine delightfully exotic. Beyond the problems of feeding, the Centaurn are a placid people and are not very interested in pomp and circumstance. Sending heralds ahead would be considered rather overbearing, and even the standard retinue of minstrels and assorted assistants could disturb their peaceful existence. Neither the Centaurn of Dargonia or Montara hold councils, nor do they have recognized royalty. If there is an unofficial understanding of prestige or superiority amongst the various tribes of Centaurn it has been kept secret from their Imperial allies. Visiting even the most renowned of Centaurn tribes, () of Montara, is an experience far more similar to dining with an old Asperian Sheppard’s family than it is attending court. In comparison to the other breeds of Taurn the Centaurn are extremely rare, and many attribute their general apathy to their lack in numbers. Considering the legends of their majestic ancestors, Lords of Taurn – as they were called, this may be true.
It is an interesting fact that there are no known Centaurn tribes amongst the Pride Landers. Some say that the Centaurn prefer the skies, the () claim that since the Centaurn are the ones truly responsible for Lost Taurn they are not allowed the blessing of a new homeland, and yet the real answer would seem to lie with their paltry numbers. At the time of the destruction of Arconistic and Taurn the Centaurn were populous, but only on Taurn. The Centaurn that have settled on Dargonia were ferried there as survivors from Lost Taurna, and the Montaran Centaurn are the only known colony of Centaurn. Before the loss of Taurna the Taurna Centaurn considered their brethren of Montara to be a strange and starstruck collection of outcasts and dreamers. Perhaps their dreams prophesied the coming catastrophy, perhaps they were simply lucky. Regardless the few remaining Centaurn, or Centyrn, are a cautious and even timid people. Haunted by the specters of their past failures, and fraught with questions as to their place in a world without Taurna. Most scribes say that any glory to come of the Centaurn must come from the independent, and ancient, colony on Montara. The Centyrn of Dargonia, and the savage Centaurn of Wildhome, are assuredly far too complacent in their niches to resurrect the glory of the ancient Lords of Taurna.
Kings of the skies and masters of the Moon. The word “gnome” is actually a Dwarn term used to refer to anyone that uses arconistics. Throughout the history of the Dwar there has been more than one instance of the Dwar ejecting entire clans of “once-Dwar-now-gnome” from their Bottom Lands caverns. The Dwar that began the original colonies of Montara were once such a group. They had embraced Orcnin Arconistics and were thusly exiled. Several centuries later, during the Wizards Wars, the second largest exodus of arconistic Dwar became the people known by the rest of the world as the Gnomes. To the Bottom Lands Dwar that exiled both the Montaran and Gnomish Dwar – all Dwar from beyond the deep caverns are usually considered gnomes; that is unless they are considered Goblins. “Goblin” is the Dwarn word for Orcnin. The Dwar of Montara refuse to abandoned the name Dwar, whereas the Gnomes have embraced their separation from those that cast them out. To those that are not Dwar the linguistics of the matter may seem imposing, but: calling a Gnome a Gnome is correct, calling a Montaran Dwar a Gnome is not, and calling a Bottom Lander Dwar a Gnome is a dire insult that could very easily lead to a duel for the Dwar’s honor.
The Gnomes are Dwar in both appearance and mannerisms, and in general there is no way to distinguish them from other Dwar. The identifier is the fact that the Gnomes keep with them the trappings of Arconistics. It is strange that in an age when practitioners of Orcnin Arconistics are literally hunted and hung in many Imperial territories the Gnomish Arconistics are allowed to roam freely through most Imperial territories. The simple fact is that control of the skies is divided between the Tolenese and the Gnomes. The Dragoons of the Empire are certainly a powerful force to be reckoned with in all the skies, but they do not busy themselves with mercantile endeavors. The Gnomes, however, are extraordinarily interested in trade. With every passing season the Gnomish merchant fleet grows in size. A not-so-secret contest exists between the Tolenese and the Gnomes to dominate inter-island commerce, and the Gnomes are clearly winning. The Tolenese ships require careful upkeep and a team of Tolenese engineers to maintain their proper function. The Gnomish ships are capable of functioning with a properly trained pilot, and little else. Yearly, or even simply regular, upkeep is all that is necessary to fly a Gnomish ship. The Gnomes charge a high price for the overhaul of one of their ships, but they do offer an alternative option to some.
The Gnomish crews are a fair bargain. The crew is staffed partially with Gnomish sailors, and partially with the captain’s crew. The Gnomish crew is paid a large sum upon return to the Moon. Their “tour” of service is usually 4-8 years depending on how much money they are aiming for. Their duties are to keep the ship running, and learn about the world that they see little of from the Moon. In return the ship captain feeds and watches over them during their travels. The Gnomes only offer this to certain captain’s and the selection process is a strange, unclear, process. There is some oath involved that obfuscates the details of the full arrangement, but there are no record of captains who have petitioned for any form of retribution or grievance against the Gnomes and this arrangement. There is an entire district on the Moon dedicated to the Captains who have sailed with Gnomish crews. They are treated as Gnomes to the extent any non-Dwar could be, and the “captain’s district” is a deep well of information from around the world. Retired captains full of stories and friends from their old crews share glasses of ale and wine. A captain cannot simply “move-in” to this district – they must purchase their plot inside the Moon the same as any Gnome would. Non-Dwar living on the Moon only happens in two places. The Captain’s District and the Moon Deme, a forest being grown by the Kinder Elen on the outer surface of the Moon.
The epic comedy of the Gnomes capture of the Moon is told in taverns throughout the skies. Tanzian players have created countless valiant Gnomish adventures seeking ever higher skies for love, money, or simply wanderlust. The truth is that an exiled people made their way carefully, and with little help from any allies, to highest skies. There several clans of Gnomes first attempted to match with arconistics the miracle of Dolor. The various disparate clans of exiled Gnomes were unable to hold the pieces together, and eventually the confederacy of settlements of Gnomes in the High Skies came together in a council. They agreed to work together to reach the Moon, and within a generation they had. The Ronians controlled the Moon at that time, however the Gnomish arconistics proved more than sufficient to overpower the Ronians. Within another generation all the Ronians on the Moon had either been driven off – or eradicated. Since that time the Gnomes have been plunging the depth of the Moon and carving a symmetrically arranged series of caverns. Generations of Gnome have now labored inside the Moon, and the (), as the Gnomes call it, has not been completed. Of course, there are portions of the extant caverns that have not been inhabited yet.
Since the Gnomes overtook the Moon they took the Ronian seats on the Grand Imperial Council they have asked for little more than the rights of trade necessary to sell their ships to Imperial nobles. The Gnomes are the newest members of the Grand Imperial Council and are the only peoples that have not served a writ of war. The Gnomes seem more than content to simply remain a nation of merchants. Beyond just their ships the Gnomes also move delicacies from island to island, building materials, and a
Healer Mans Show
The tragic stories of the subjugation of the Healer Mans are enough to make even a Darien cry. The Healer Mans have been persecuted and literally hunted by most Imperials since the Mans-Tree wars. The Healers once had their own cities on the Sky Lakes, but during the formation of the Empire the Healer Mans refused to comply with the order to war. They sided with Trees in many occasions, and eventually a Ronian army descended from the High Skies and laid the Healer City to waste. It is believed that refugees from the Healer City made their way to the Bottom Lands with the aid of their Tree allies. From there the tales of the Healer Mans moves out of history and into legend – or fancy tale. The Healer Mans have been demonized and ostracized almost universally regardless of where they find themselves. The reason for this is their miraculous ability to steal souls.
There is no one alive that wants their soul removed from their body and used as some sort of food. This is exactly the ability the Healer Mans are born with, but unable to use save they are either killed or driven off. There are those that call them “Vampires” referencing ancient Karnian tales of soul eating monsters that can walk only at night. There are those that claim the Healers keep the arconistic arts alive and teach the secrets of arconistics in order to undermine the Empire and bring about a new Wizards War. There are those that believe the Healer Mans are a unified conspiracy dedicated to devouring the souls of every living creature in the world. Those who have met a Healer Mans find that impossible to believe. The Healers are simply a breed of Mans. They have a gift more ancient than the ones given Mans in this era, and those that condemn an individual for the powers granted them by the gods are worse than any vampire out of a Karnian fancy tale.
Those Healer Mans that survive to this day are known to travel together in secret. Families ally themselves with open minded caravans and other nomadic peoples. The Healers’ gift is powerful as well as scary. The act of removing a soul from a body allows the Healer Mans to cleanse or defile the soul. They are able to make wounds vanish from the body through manipulating the soul, and they are able to mutilate and deform as well. Tales aside most Healers spend their lifetime without so much as manipulating even one soul, and many simply save their gifts for when it is absolutely necessary. The truth of the Healer gift is that manipulating a persons soul is as dangerous to the Healer as it is to the subject. A powerful soul can override the Healer’s own mind, or a powerful wound or curse can transfer to the Healer from the subject. Those that protect the Healer Mans often misunderstand how dangerous it is for a Healer to use their gift, and many Healers have sacrificed themselves to save their protectors so that their families will be able to stay within the shelter of their adopted social group.
Societies such as the Dune Elves, The Watchers, and the Guides of Miria are all friendly toward the Healer Mans. Asking any of these groups if you could use the services of a Healer is likely to result in not only a dismissal, but also yourself being watched in case you intended the Healers any harm. The powers of the Healers are of such a nature that most consider them more frightening to imagine than the Savage Pherthan of Wildhome or a battle crazed Karnian. The reality is that for every hundred Healers that have been put to death simply for being a Healer there have only been one or two Healer Mans who actually intended to cause anyone harm or even use their abilities for anything other than healing. The Dune Elves in particular are adamant that the Healer families they protect are of no danger to their people or any else. The Healers that live with the Dune Elves are the source of the most accurate information about this scattered people, and the origin of the true tales of Healers sacrificing themselves to bring one of their adopted brothers back from the very brink of death.
The Healers of the Bottom Lands face even steeper trials. The Orcnin of the Bottom Lands actively seek out the Healer Mans families in order to force them to use their powers to benefit the Orcnin’Sa, and the Karnians have an absurd hereditary abhorrence of the Healers. Fancy tales aside, the Karn’s hatred of Healers most likely came from some form of territorial dispute dating from the first Mans-Tree wars. The destruction of the Healers’ City and the migration of the Karnian people to their current homeland could easily have happened at the same time. The details of the Karnian migration, including where they came from, is lost to history. There are some scribes who speculate an even deeper connection between the Healer Mans and the Karn. Allowing that the destruction of the Healers’ City occurred at the same time as the Karnian migration – perhaps the Karn are an offshoot of the Healer Mans breed. The powerful vivomancy that is the Healer Mans gift could have transitioned much as the Taurn did when they came adopted a new homeland on the Bottom Lands. The Karn are also similar to the Healers in that the Healers have an invariably monochromatic skin tone. Similarly the Karn are uniformly a light pinkish brown. The connection is tenuous and supported mostly by the fact that Healers (in this case called Vampires) are featured more regularly in Karnian fancy tales than in most cultures.
In some perverse twist of fate, the same Healers that are vilified worldwide are at the same time worshipped by cults of swamp born. According to legend a Healer of immense power revealed to them that a god would be born of the Healers, and that it would be through the guidance of the “true doomsayer” that this godling would be found. Since that time, the cult has spread from the southern swamps of the Bottom Lands to the Crosslands and via the Crosslands into Dargonia. The sad fact regarding this cult is that they have been significantly influenced by the Doomsayer religion of the Dariens. Only very little is known about the Healer Prophet, other than what his followers claim he said. If the Healer Prophet set out any guidelines of behavior they are most likely forgotten or replaced by the Doomsayers that consider the Healer’s Cult a subset of their own faith. The Dune Elves and the Mirians refuse to deal with Doomsayers or the Healer’s Cult, and most Healer Mans scoff at the idea – those that have foolishly put themselves forward attempting to gain the “royal treatment” from the cult have found that the secret “trials” outlined by the ancient Healer Prophet are quite deadly.
The first of the mist blessed races. The Elendi were created from Mans before Mans truly became Mans. At least, so says most legends. The stories say that Mans came to the world without precedent. A natural occurrence that came as a surprise to the Triune. Elendria and Ogran’s reaction to the unexpected species was to collect all the Mans, split them in half between them. Elendria transformed her Mans into Elendi. A race of “Mans” both animal and plant. Mixed of both worlds and entirely dependant on neither. The greens and browns of their skin, and the yellow of their blood betrays their near plant physiology, but their form is wholly that of a Mans … with obvious subtle adjustments. Most are familiar with the Elendi and their Demes, but to review.
The vast majority of the Elendi live in what is called a Deme. The combined sacred powers of the Patriarchs and the Matriarchs create a protected region in which hostile creatures and dragons cannot enter – save in dire need or great numbers. The sacred area of a Deme grants all those that live there a communal ability to communicate with the Trees and other plants that will invariably grow strong and quick in the realm of the Elendi. In addition to averting potential predators the sacred power of a Deme encourages life and growth – ensuring all that live within the Deme (Elendi and Bloom alike) grow healthy. Blooms are the most common non-Elendi found in the Demes. The second most common non-Elendi residents of Elendi Demes are the Kinder Elen. These “gnomes” are mostly adherent to the Mother of Light Elendria, and are readily welcome at most Demes. In the skies however it is more common for the Elendi to create a smaller “lesser” Deme specifically for their Kinder Elen allies. Mans are also found in the Demes – particularly those who wish to extend their lifespans, even if only by a couple of decades.
Elendi industry and mathmatology has never truly compared to that of the other gifted races. They live long lives, but mostly under the shade of friendly Trees. Their ability to use Arcanistics is renowned in legends, but in modern times the civilized world would rather not know of such things. If the Demes harbor the remnant of the ancient Arcanistic Masters, or simply the remains of their ancient Acronistic traditions is not common knowledge. The truth is that each Deme, as each Mans nation is different. Many, particularly Bottom Lands Demes, maintain Arconistic practices that have served them since the dawn of civilization. In the skies there are Demes that never bore the Mages ill will, and perhaps harbor the remnant of the Arconistic Masters. Nonetheless speaking of such things in an Elendi Lord’s court would only be seen as the height of boorish ignorance. Sacred works are readily available to the Elendi, despite any Arconistics that may be practiced in their Demes. The Elendi are (after all) the favored, and eldest, child of Elendria and Mans.
Food and drink amongst the Elendi is provided most willingly by the Trees. Fruits are very common flavorings, but the most important part of the Elendi diet is leaves. With leaves and the sap of Trees an Elendi could survive indefinitely. Despite this simple sufficiency the Elendi also eat meat in roughly the same degree as they do fruit – mostly for the taste, and for their company. The fruits found in a Deme will be determined by the region, but the meat will most likely be dragon. The (Dargonian) Deme is famous for its small willow dragons. The docile dragon’s fur is spun into cloth, its skin makes sturdy leather, and the meat is sweat with a fruit juice diet. (Bottom Lands) Deme is famous for the rearing of large caravan dragons that not only serve to carry travelers and goods, but also provide such a surplus of meat that the (Name) Elendi are renowned for its export. Again the sacred power of the Demes makes the Elendies’ meat exports stand apart from that harvested by Mans or Taurn. The highly nutritious meat sells for nearly ten times the price of similar meats exported by other races.
Fruits are rarely exported by Elendi, as they are kept primarily to feed the Elendi live stock. Most merchants must take great pains to travel to the Demes themselves and purchase the legendary fruits of the Demes. In addition to prize meats the Elendi also export some of the finest craft work and art. The long lives of the Elendi predispose them to creating supremely intricate and detailed tapestry and sculpture, as well as some of the finest clothing and metal works available in the world. Some say only the Dwar surpass the Elendi’s craftsmanship. The Tolonese would disagree, but that contrary breed of Mans considers their technometrics a superior craft to any in the world. The weaponry and armaments of the Elendi has rarely been shared with other races. Most Elendi are given sacredly imbued swords and armor that has been handed down through the generations of their family. To give or sell such personal items is considered tantamount to selling children, a practice uncommon in modern times.
In ancient times the Elendi were second only to the Trees in maintaining “owned” servants. Armies of Mans and Orcnin were kept by the Elendi during the dawn of ancient civilization. The abolishment of the practice was simply due to the Orcnins’ refusal to allow such a practice. The hordes of short lived Orcnin were relentless for centuries. Again and again the stories say the Orcnin laid claim to the Elendi slaves, and this was no small part of the reason for the war between the two civilizations. The Orcnin claimed Ogran’s Right over all of their people, and the Elendi claimed sacred charge over all “lesser beings” in the world. An Elendi general named (Name) is classically attributed with bringing an end to the practice of Elendi owning Mans as slaves. The formation of the Empire, some 200 years later, was the result. The exact reasons (Name) freed their Mans servants is lost to legend, but most assume the Mans refused to fight for the Elendi even to the peril of their own lives. (Name) released them to their own sovereignty in order to then bargin for their aid against an attacking Orcnin horde, at that’s how most tell the tale. Since that ancient time no less than five Mans nations have claimed to be that nation formed by the Elendi.
As a commoner visiting the Elendi one has little to worry about insomuch as etiquette. Elendi are a loving and forgiving people that take pains to accommodate their visitors. Many say that Elendi are elitist and superior in attitude, and while that is often true when dealing with the nobility of Elendi – the common Elendi is far from it – at least in public. Perhaps the most pertinent facet of Elendi life is the phenomena known as Heart’s Tongue. The various Elendi languages that one might learn in a school or from an Elendi are all trade languages. The Elendi retain a special and secret language that is spoken only by native Elendi. This language is not unified, and varies greatly from Deme to Deme. The knowledge of how to speak a Deme’s Heart’s Tongue is considered sacred. Teaching anyone that is not native to the Deme (even another Elendi) is considered forbidden, and those that have betrayed that trust have historically suffered greatly. Reactions ranging from duels to imprisonment, or worse, can result. The story of Tain Ewin (a Mans scribe) who learned the Heart’s Tongue of Tala Deme – and his subsequent execution is an oft told cautionary tale.
For any Nobility that plan to make visitation to an Elendi court the first and foremost matter of concern is to ask first. Elendi hold little to be outright offensive other than presumption. Prior to the arrival of the your personage and envoy should be sent with a request of ceremonies. The long lived and easily amused Elendi will often bend over backward (literally in the tale of … to appease their honored guests. Left to their own devices an Elendi household can become rather creative with their welcoming ceremonies, and on many occasions outright prankfull. Any renown or fame that your household claims may become a ready target of light jest, or regal production. The Elendi of the Dargonian Island are well known for creating theatrical performances honoring the guests of their ancestors. And never even attempt to speak the strange phrases of the Heart’s Tongue.
The Karn Show
The legends of the Karn are told worldwide. “From High Sky to Bottom Lands” as they say. These Bottom Lander Mans live in the most inhospitable region of the Bottom Lands and deserve the reputation they have as being unstoppable warriors. As the stories say, the dead walk in the Karn Lands, and the Karn settlements are in a constant state of warfare against the dead. Animals, people, everything that dies in the Karn Lands raises. The Karn destroy the bodies of their dead. This prevents the bodies from returning, but the ghosts of the Karn ancestors are a regular part of a Karn’s life. Due to the honors given to these spirits they protect the Karn cities and teach their descendants. The phenomenal luck attributed to the Karn warriors is actually the protective spirits that accompany Karn seeking adventure outside their homeland.
A visiting Karn is usually a delightful guest. The spirits that accompany him will guide and scold the warrior, and the ingrained sense of duty and honor prevent a Karn from reacting inappropriately even when they are offended. Beyond treating the warrior with respect the best way to get in good graces with the Karn is to honor the dead that accompany him. Traditionally this is done by placing a bowl of blood underneath the Karn’s chair. Another point of interest is the Karn’s golden hounds. These extremely intelligent dogs often accompany a traveling Karn, and should be treated with the same respect that is given to the Karn. These hounds are perfectly capable of understanding complicated ideas and are often smarter than the Karn. The “Karn’a’Karn” Girin is said to have brought these golden hounds from another plane of existence to be the guardians of his people before the generations of ancestor spirits had grown powerful enough to protect the Karn cities.
Visiting the Karn, other than being extraordinarily dangerous, is a treat. The society is built on respect and the weight of still present history. Ancestor spirits support the authority of the rulers, and have no qualms decrying a ruler that fails in their eyes. The ancestors and the manifest danger of their land means that Karn settlements are tight knit and generally free of internal conflicts. Visitors are treated with all the honors of family, and only outright hostility or evil intentions will change that. To truly gain the favor of the ancestors one should always make a toast to Girin before drinking, and the most respectful gift a non-Karn can give to a Karnian host is the tip of their sword. If you consider yourself a warrior breaking the tip of your sword on the hearth stone is the proper act, a noble or craftsman should have a broken tip properly prepared with hilt and handle. A warrior will receive the ceremonial blade back with hilt and handle, and be honored forever after with the title Karn.
It is important to clarify that “Karn” is the term Imperials use for the Mans that descended from Girin. The word Karn means warrior. Girin the “Karn’a’Karn” is simply “the warrior of all warriors” or “the greatest warrior” and to be called Karn is the highest honor the children of Girin can apply to an outlander.
What does it look like? :P
suffice to it is a collection of papers.
Doom and Woe befall anyone who would seek audience with the Orcnin. The discussion of manners amongst Ogran’s children is … tacit at best. Dominance is the only rule of behavior. Commands are the only respected form of communication, and threats are a kindness when lethal force is used wantonly. Amongst the Orcnin there is a strict racial hegemony. Unlike the Elendi or the Taurn the many breeds of Orcnin are drastically different. Goblin and Kobold, O’Sa, O’Ha, Gnoll, Troll, and more – each breed made for a purpose. Each species a component in the prophesied army of Ogran. The “Army of Ogran” is perhaps the most direct translation of the word Orcnin, at least as it is spoken amongst the Orcnin themselves. It is a Mans conceit that has stolen the word (actually) “Ogran’s” and transformed it into Orcnin.
The initial meeting with an Orcnin (of any sort) is best when full of bluster. One Orcnin has no real compunction killing and eating another Orcnin. In fact, most ‘Sa keep the teeth of Goblins as jewelry, and it would be considered outright shameful to wear the teeth of any creature you haven’t killed and eaten yourself. It is considered pathetic to back away from a fight – even one you know you will lose. Amongst the Orcnin there are a thousand subtle rules of engagement. Paramount to any attempting to integrate or gain influence in an Orcnin hoard is the recognition of the racial Hegemony. At this time the Sa, usually Orcnin’Sa, are the dominate species. How this is determined is a mystery to anyone not chosen by the Elder Dark Lord Ogran. What this means is that the Sa will always win. If a Goblin could kill a Sa – he will instead surrender. This divine mandate is the only thing keeping the Orcnin hoards intact. Without it, the internal strife would tear the Orcnin asunder and leave the world a safer and less dangerous place.
No Orcnin needs to be explained how to deal with Orcnin, but the first thing that any non-Orcnin needs to be aware of is that they are Goblins in the eyes of Orcnin. Goblins are the least of the Orcnin, the servants and messengers of the army. Goblins may not wear any teeth save those of other Goblins, or non-Orcnin. Entering into an Orcnin hoard for the purpose of business is easy. Keep your weapons sharp. Sneer at everyone, and threaten (or use) physical violence against Goblins wantonly. Assuming you properly impress the watchers – you will be lead to the Sa or their proxies. There you make your bargain, and are ideally allowed to leave unmolested. Those foolhardy enough to seek a deeper connection with the Orcnin have a more difficult task ahead of them. They must transcend their Goblin status in some manner or another. There are numerous ways and all involve death and destruction. The simplest method is to “become a Troll” though that “path” is not pleasant. To become a Troll you simply need think of nothing but food and death. Loose all sense of reason, attack first last and always, and you may be able to earn a “Troll Mark” amongst the Orcnin. That is … the Sa will give you (or more accurately allow you to keep) a Troll tooth to serve as a sign of your place in Orcnin society.
The elders of Orcnin society are eaten as a delicacy. All food is served raw or seared for flavor. Children are eaten on a regular basis, but it is a taboo to eat of your own breed save for special ceremonies. It is not uncommon for a Sa to force a Goblin to eat his own foot, and a routine punishment for failure is having one of your eyes removed and eaten in front of you. The worst place to be in Orcnin society is missing an arm or an eye. To have lost either means that you are simply waiting for your turn to be turned into stew. There are pins found in any Orcnin hoard where the doomed are kept until the time comes for them to be eaten. It is considered an honor to be allowed to make a selection from such a pin, and traditionally the chooser is allowed to keep the teeth of their chosen meal.
Kinder Elendi Show
The Kinder Elen are something of an anomaly in that they are not technically Elendi. They are born of Dwar, but as Gnomes they have been forsaken. Unlike those commonly called Gnomes the Kinder Elen have embraced the ways of the Elendi. The Term Kinder Elen translates the “Child Like Elendi” in classic Elendi phrase turning this means both that they are small and that they are similar to the Elendi. Most Mans are unable to tell the difference between an adult Kinder Elen and an Elendi child, particularly since the Elendi readily welcome the Kinder Elen into their Demes. Unlike the other Gnomes races born of the Wizards Wars the Kinder Elen have found peace and a place in the world that existed before the Wizards Wars. Kinder Elen have taken a true name, and in this age are born of Elendria.
Kinder Elen are most often found as guardians of Elendi households. Often Kinder Elen will masquerade as an Elendi child, or simply allow potentially hostile onlookers to consider them a child in order to better maintain the upper hand. The strange affinity that Kinder Elen have for diplomancy allows them to keep more than enough emergency provisions and weapons, and tents, and shovels, and etc other things that could be useful all while appearing unarmed and defenseless. It is a rare Kinder Elen that does not have a pair of mittens with the miraculous ability to stow a sword unseen. While others can suffer dangerous arconistic disturbances simply having a diplomancer’s bag the average Kinder Elen will have a pair of mittens, a belt, and even a diplomancer’s hat. All without generating any mist. The belt in particular is a point of interest. Similar to Mans Kinder Elen exchange an object in their marriage ceremony. The girl makes a belt, and the boy gives a hat.
As far as diplomatic relations with the Kinder Elen there are no particular rules that need to be complied with. They are a flexible and free spirited people. They are usually more concerned with your feelings, and will often vanish into their hats if they think they have offended you. Their pallets are almost identical to Mans, in that they eat fruits, meats, nuts, and vegetables. Unlike their Elendi allies whose main diet is grass and leaves. The only point where a Kinder Elen may become touchy or put out is if the discussion of what they smell like comes up. They consider their scents are very private and personal matter. This is most pertinent due to the fact that despite their taboo of speaking of it – they take great pains to smell very strongly. Again, Kinder Elen are a very affable people, and would most likely say nothings the matter should the conversation happen. They will however be extremely embarrassed, and polite hosts should avoid the topic.
Asperians are mostly familiar with Kinder Elen, and affectionately refer to them as “half elves” or “halflings” even in polite company. When making listings Asperians usually refer to them simply as Kinder, leaving off the proper Elen. What many Dargonians are not aware of is that the Kinder Elen of the Bottom Lands are warlike. These Bottom Lands half elen have a capitol deme of their own, and they maintain it in one of the most unlivable and hostile areas of the Bottom Lands. Kinder Deme, as it is simply known, is situated just to the south of Troll Country, north of the Goblin Mountains, and is on the shore of the pirate infested Inner Sea. The Kinder Elen of Kinder Deme have successfully held their city from countless assaults from their neighboring “countries” and have never sought aid from the nearest Imperial nation. In fact the people of Kinder Deme often say that they would sooner hire pirates than ask the Revalians for help. Though, despite this, the Kinder Deme representative in Imperial City have arranged for military aid from all the Cross Lands nations in the case of open warfare with the Darians.
Aquan Elendi Show
The Sea Born Elendi are considered the most beautiful creatures that walk the earth. Dwar, Mans, even Taurn find themselves fascinated by the lithe and agile movements of the mere-elves, as they are sometimes known. These elegant Elendi make their land locked cousins seem clumsy. Even on land the Sea Born Elendi appears to float, and in the water they fly. Their fashions are “different” than the Elendi of the land, favoring gems and worked metal jewelry in comparison to most Elendi’s preference for natural accessories such as flowers. A noble Sea Born Elendi in preparation for council is a sight to behold; brilliant eyes, a stately bearing, long strait hair cascading over a svelte sea and sun toned skin. Majestic only barely begins to describe the Sea Born Elendi, and odes have been written to their fingers. Ballads sung to their toes. Tales are told of Sea Born Elendi starting wars with one word, and those that have beheld them have no question as to this truth. The Sea Born Elendi are no fools either, and they use this irresistible allure to their advantage whenever they deal with others.
The Sea Born Elendi as a society are equally as accommodating as most Elendi. They conform to the lay of the land, or as they say “we flow with the current.” Unlike their land and sky cousins the Sea Born Elendi eat meat, mainly fish, as well as what they call “sea grass” – a strange plant that grows underwater in the Endless Sea. The carefully worked jewelry they wear is crafted under the water, and it is due to the lack of heat that gives the items their unique beauty. On land the Sea Born Elendi wear thick cloth wraps that hold water to keep their skin moist. In the water these robes are discarded and they reveal the slim skintight outfits that the Sea Born Elendi wear in their natural environment. Unlike land dwelling Elendi the Sea Born rarely have more than a couple of suits of clothing. Their apparel is necessarily more resilient than land walkers’ clothing, and most Sea Born Elendi wear the same outfit for around a fortnight before going through the process of extracting themselves from the suit – that serves a Sea Born Elendi for warmth, modesty, and no small amount of armor-like protection from the various sea dwelling beasts.
The children of the Sea Born Elendi are never seen on land. Their young lungs are not able to handle the air until they are at least a hundred or more. In the deep grottos protected by the Sea Born Elendi, hidden amongst the unfathomable space in the endless sea, schools of young Sea Born Elendi learn to fly through the water and speak the language of the sea creatures. After the young Sea Born masters the movements of water they are sent out into the endless sea to find new grottos and new homes for the Sea Born to inhabit. The Sea Born will not say how expansive their confederacy of hidden grottos is, but from rumor and tales Imperial scribes have reason to believe that the Sea Born Elendi nation may very well be the largest nation of people in the world. The Sea Born Elendi’s calm presence in even the most heated council sessions supports this belief, but the fact that they know no other nation in the Empire could make any use of their territory may be reason enough to alleviate fears that other nations would have. The Sea Born Elendi have also refused to put forward armies – even at the height of the Wizards-Wars, claiming that they have troubles in their own world.
The troubles they speak of are the curious breed of Taurn called Shaketaurn. These Taurn, if they are truly Taurn, must have dived directly into the endless sea when the Island fell – if they ever lived on Taurn at all. Regardless of where they came from the Shaketaurn, or Shakaer, are a vicious race that by all evidence has no written language, and only the barest spoken communication. When the Sea Born Elendi speak of their difficulties with the Shakaer they simply say that they have encroached on their territory, or have cost them much this last year. What the scribes have been able to gather, is that the Shakaer are actively seeking out the hidden grottos of the Sea Born and violently destroying them. What and why the Shakaer are after by attacking the Sea Born is a real mystery. The Elendi confirm that the Shakear are not using the grottos once they take them, and in one particular case the Sea Born were able to return to a lost grotto and found that not even their valuable were missing. The Shakear normally live in the shallow waters surrounding sea isles, and yet they continue to seek out these grottos and attack in mass. The always calm Sea Born Elendi say that they need no assistance from the rest of the Empire; “The seas are ours, and we will master them” they say.
Despite the Sea Born’s mastery of swimming they do have carriages that are drawn by beautiful creatures known as Sea Horses. These creatures are quite bizarre indeed. With a single bulbous head that is also their body, and no less than eight swimming arms to propel them through the water. The Sea Born train these Sea Horses to draw their carriages, though “carriage” hardly seems like the proper term. The undersea vehicles are shaped more like sleds, and are designed to be backed onto the beach or ship they will be unloaded on. With minor miracles the Sea Born are able to create air seals for the cargo that might need to stay dry, including a visiting Mans. The hidden grottos of the Sea Born are not truly hidden so much as they are secluded and nearly impossible to find. Under many circumstances the Sea Born Elendi have welcomed visitors to their homes, using what they call bubble charms to provide their air breathing guests with the ability to survive in their grottos. Trading with the Sea Born Elendi is almost entirely a matter of minerals or novelty. The food they harvest is unedible to land dwellers, and the same is true in reverse. “The sea is a bounty that will never end” is an oft quoted Sea Born saying, and leads one to wonder why they bother to trade at all.
Those that see plots and plans behind every curious question accuse the Sea Born Elendi of using trade goods to collect a hoard of crystals greater than any before. What they would do with this hoard is a serious question that has not been adequately addressed by those that accuse the Sea Born Elendi of such nefarious plots. More likely the Sea Born Elendi trade with the land dwellers because there are many crafted items that cannot be made under the sea. Steel being a prime example. Artwork and other novelties are major trade goods amongst nobility throughout the Empire, and there is no reason the Sea Born Elendi would be any different. While the bulk of the Sea Born Elendi’s exports are rare minerals that the Sea Born find readily on the bottom of the sea, the most sought after Sea Born product is their wine. It is assumed by many that the wine is made from some form of undersea grapes, but this is not the case. The wine is created from a fruit that has no land equivalent called the Luscious Darn. The wine is called Sea Born Wine, but is properly called “the Luscious Water.”
Fire El Show
Fire Elendi are perhaps the most unusual of all the Elen. The largest collection of their demes are found in the heart of Tolen. They are rarely seen even by the Dune Elves that live above them. The Tolenese generally avoid dealings with them because of a historical hostility of questionable origins. Most Tolenese consider the Fire Elves outright savages, and most Fire Elves consider the Tolenese woefully stupid. Admittedly through some strange circumstance the Tolenese refuse to use Arconistics or call upon miracles of any kind, but it is the opinion of this author that the Fire Elves are underestimating the miraculous nature of the Tolenese Technometrics. Luckily the Tolenese have no interest in the subterranean realms beneath them. Luckily for the Tolenese that is.
The Fire Elendi are the most hostile and warlike of all the Elendi. Their Demes are circular arrangements surrounding a large sacrificial alter, and they have long standing allegiances with dragons from the deepest heart of Tolen. The sacrificial pits are used to feed the dragons and their whelps, as well as punish those the Fire Elendi feel have offended the gods, or their honor. While not nearly as concerned with honor as most Dwarn the Fire Elendi do not allow a slight to pass easily. Blood duels and family feuds fill countless tales around their cooking fires. Despite their appellation of Fire Elendi they do not surround themselves constantly in flames or particularly worship fire in any particular way. Their immunity to the flames and their affiliation with the deities of fire mark them as Fire Elendi. The true and stark difference between the Fire Elendi and the rest of the Elendi is their cultural attitudes.
Most Elendi are never in a rush, but the Fire Elendi are constantly preoccupied with various games and sports. Sometimes wars disrupt their play, but the heart of Tolen is a quiet place. In the last four hundred years there has been one major conflict with migrating (burrotaurn) and six ascension wars. The Fire Elendi are generally a monarchy, and roughly 24 houses of noble blood rule the various demes of Tolen. Links exist between their nobility and that of the other Elendi, but the Fire Elendi are extremely secluded beneath the surface of Tolen. Most of their contact with the surface, and the rest of the world, happens through interaction with the Dune Elves. The Dwarn like jewelry that the Dune Elves sell is actually purchased from the Fire Elendi. The Fire Elendi barter their crafts with the Dune Elves for food and stories from the surface world.
A rarity in the world today – the Fire Elendi do not trade in crystal. The fact that the Tolenese are the foremost crystal traders in the world (and the mutual antagonism the Fire Elendi share with the Tolenese Mans) may have something to do with their aversion to keeping gold and silver crystals for trade. (name), a Fire Elendi king, has declared that the crystals of Tolen are obviously Arconistic. Most of the nobility have followed suit and overtly confiscated or destroyed gold or silver crystal currency. Interestingly the Fire Elendi have a form of currency that they use only amongst themselves. There is a certain blue stone that can hold the fire created by many of the Fire Elendi. This flame can be drawn out by those Fire Elendi that can sing fire, and it is said that in ancient times the dragons were the ones that taught these Elendi how to join the fire stones into statues and jewelry.
Just like the forests full of watchful trees and wise birds the Fire Elendi demes are under the careful watch of living stone statues. Most Fire Elendi patriarchs wear an earring that allows them to hear the sounds of their home from the other side of the deme. Statuettes adorn kitchens, and their blue stone eyes shine with a miraculous light when the cook wants to watch the kitchen. Fire Elendi children are taught to keep the stones with them, and many learn to control their gifts simply and naturally through using the stones. As they grow older they are taught the names that will release the powers locked in the stones. An exploding fire stone can be a nuisance or a lethal attack – depending on the Elendi who throws it. Many elders of a deme are able to use a supply of the stones to create a ring of fire in order to protect their family. The kings of the Fire Elendi are able to communicate through special fire stone statues.
Traveling through the subterranean caverns of Tolen can be confusing. A traveler knows they are getting close to Fire Elendi territory when they meet the sentries, a statue race that the Fire Elendi have created to guard the outskirts of their caverns. The sentries are carved in outlandish unnatural shapes and are brought to life via a combination of the Elendi fire stones, and dragon magics. The carved and adorned statue is lowered into the depths of the sacrificial chamber and weeks later the living stone climbs its way out of the well and joins the others. They speak the silent language of dirt and will either aid or hinder a traveler from finding the actual Demes. They have the ability to alert the Elendi kings instantaneously through the fire stone statues when hostiles are noticed. Most of the sentries spend their time standing at the crossways of the more commonly traversed cavern ways. Some are designed to blend into the cavern walls, and others appear as giant statues.
The sports and games of the Fire Elendi are no mere child’s play. Races through treacherous caverns and fighting tournaments are the most common pastimes. The elders of a deme will gamble on the performance of the participants, and the children will be given carved emblems of the contestants. The victors of the contests are rewarded with numerous honors, and, in stark contrast to similar sports amongst other Elendi, the loosers could easily die. The games the Fire Elendi play are treacherous and extreme. The most common contests are the footraces. Sentries watch warden and the strongest youths of the deme race through the underground passages, up sheer cliffs, and across deadly crevasse. They say that the deepest caverns will hold the bones of those who slipped until Tolen falls. Most likely the deep crevasses are linked in some manner to the same depths that the Fire Elendi’s shrines lead to. The dragons that live down there may feed on the failures as well as the sacrifices, and the attitude of the Fire Elendi? “Tough”
The honors of the Fire Elendi are usually fine crafted jewels, though a resplendent chambers and companionship are not uncommon prizes. Food is mostly a non-issue as the Fire Elendi eat primarily in communal meals. Daily meals are served in the center of the deme, and the established homes welcome less fortunate members of the community into their public dining chambers. Sculptors that can tame stone are highly sought after, as the Fire Elendi make their homes in the hard unyielding stone that surrounds the golden heart of Tolen. Like arboreal Elendi the Fire Elendi fit themselves into the space they live, instead of trying to force the surrounding to bend to their will. Nonetheless, stone singers are honored members of the community. When they are not rewarding contest victors the Fire Elendi stone singers are sculpting new murals into the walls of the communal chambers of the deme.
Making a diplomatic envoy to the Fire Elendi is far more complicated than simply visiting one of their demes in the course of travel. Weary subterranean explorers are welcomed so long as they pass the sentries, and given a share of the communal space and food. Visiting dignitaries and their retinues are held to a higher standard however. The most pertinent and potentially disastrous point of protocol is matter of the sacrifice. When one Fire Elendi king visits another it is consider a time for the execution of prisoners. The ritual of two lords condemning those criminals that have been held in sanction for the last season is very solemn and not to be disregarded. To make the best impression as a visiting noble, bring at least one condemned prisoner that you are willing to sacrifice to the dragon lords of the Fire Elendi. Other than that gruesome detail the rest of making a good impression amongst the Fire Elendi is fairly standard. They appreciate delicacies and tales of foreign lands, and share the general Elendi aversion to speaking with non-Elendi in or about their Heart’s Tongue.
Large scale trade with the Fire Elendi has proven impossible for Imperial envoys. Their visits usually end in some form of polite disaster according to historians. The Fire Elendi claim no serious grievances with the Imperial council, and the names of more than one of their dragon lords has been entered into the Annals. Mentioning the names of these dragons amongst the Fire Elendi is similar to speaking of their Heart’s Tongue, and should be avoided. The food that the Fire Elendi produce for themselves is mostly moss as well as a sunless breed of Heather tree. The only goods that they produce worth shipping are their enchanted jewelry, and this is readily available (at a minor markup) from the Dune Elves on the surface of Tolen. Given the simple ways and needs of the Fire Elendi, their most marketable commodity is actually a vacation location. Visiting the caverns of the Fire Elendi for the times of contest is worth hiring a cabal of Dwarn stone singers, and bringing accomplished stone singers is most likely your best bet when attempting to barter with the Fire Elendi.
The Crosslands, Imperial Territory of the Bottom Lands. The territory is named as such due to the grand crossroads created during the original settlements of the Bottom Lands by Imperial Mans and Orcnin. Two roads were created. One leading from the Inner Sea to the Western Shores (the “Short Road”, and one leading from the Western Shores to the heart of what is now called the Pride Lands (the “Long Road”. A third grand highway (the “South Road” was created, but it was never connected to the Long Road. The South Road was never enchanted in the same manner as the Long and Short Roads, but has served well to aid those traversing between the Goval region and the Pride Lands. The difficulty involved in connecting from the South Road to the Long Road is further complicated by the Pridelanders themselves. The region is not so much “hostile” as it is rigorously taxed.
The Long and Short Roads can be seen from most of the Mid-Sky when the Low-Skies are clear. The ancient diplomancers of the Empire worked mighty miracles and arconistic enchantments into these roads. They created an aversion to violence that protects those that travel on the roads from harm. No arcane activation is required, but those who know arconistics are able to quicken defensive and offensive magics while traveling the roads. Once Orcnin could walk these highways, and the Orcnin houses were in fact the builders of the short road. However, when the Orcnin lost their seats in the Imperial Councils the sacred power of the roads turned against the traitors to the Empire. To this day not Goblin, nor Sa, nor Troll may set foot on the roads. Trees as well back away from the roads, which is why the Long and Short roads are clearly visible from the Mid-Sky and the South road has been nearly devoured by the forests.
In the Cross lands four noble imperial families are housed and continue in a grand scheme as old as the cross roads that give the territory its name. The Bottom Lands is an expansive place. Not only is the Crosslands larger than any of the greater isles. It is larger than the three largest islands in the sky combined; Dolor, Wildhome, and Montara. Vanira, Merran, Relion, and Haaron forged an alliance of blood dating to the original campaigns of the first Mans-Tree wars. During the era of the Mans-Tree wars the house Reval was considered part of the Imperial Territory of the Crosslands, post Wizards Wars era the Imperial House of Reval declared dominion over the Goblin Forest region, and their independence of the Crosslands Councils. A representative of the Revalian house is present during Crosslands open chambers, and advising the Crosslands Councils as to Revalian interests. Any Imperial envoy to the Crosslands will find the eyes of Reval on them at all times, and unfortunately as foreign diplomats you will be invited to all the same parties.
Thankfully a commoner needs worry nothing of Revalian spycraft when visiting the Crosslands, and travel by ferry to the Crosslands is a common pastime amongst both nobles and regular imperial citizenry. Unlike the stout and rarified air of Reval or the “very Elendi” (name) city, the Crosslands are the picture of Imperial life from architecture to meal times. Ground beef, noodles, bread and cheese. Four meals a day in wood walls. Bunnies in the barn and the Dogs watching the fence. Dragoons watch the roads that are not the Long or Short, and familiar Imperial standards mark shops and inns. Then of course there is the beach, and the Crosslands major export - fish. The Western Shores have more beach than all the Sky Lakes combined, and the Endless Sea that stretches farther than the eye can conceive. The Crosslands are a beautiful place, and alive with Bottom Lands beasts of momentous size! Imagine Asper, only bigger.
The Haaron family has held the first seat in the high council for dozens of generations, and have lead the Crosslands to achieve significant progress in the realms of sea power (an odd craft) and the fortification of their Bottom Lands settlements. The security of a Bottom Lands city is no small matter. Silestrian villagers are capable of literally moving their cities over the spans of miles. One particular village, Rolling Rock Shire, moves seasonally in and out of Crosslands territory. In the summer time Rolling Rock transports itself to the Shores of Silestra and in the winter it returns to a reserved location near the cross roads itself. Miraculous land movement like this is one of the most profound differences between the Skies and the Bottom Lands. The miracle is that Mans have been able to tame the upheavals of land, and the slipping of space that is this strange island that floats on water instead of air. Other than a few villages like Rolling Rock the Crosslands has been mostly tamed, at least from the cross roads to the Western Shores.
As one travels further east from the Crossroads the leering Trees and the familiar habitation fades away. Taurn habitats and habits become apparent in the cities that lie east of the cross roads. The territorial skirmishes of the Taurn tribes that have made their new homes in the Pride Lands leave their mark on Imperial houses in the form of banners. As far as the Taurn are concerned the Pride Lands extends to the cross roads itself, the Empire sees the Crosslands as somewhat larger. Thankfully for the Imperial settlements in eastern Crosslands the Taurn are loath to drag non-Taurn into their private conflicts. They lay claim to certain regions (and the Imperials within), but the claiming is little more than the request to bare the standard of the tribe. Foolish Mans meddle with the squabbles of the Taurn war tribes and end up dead. Smart Mans smile and nod at the beast men and fly a flag, and take it down if another beast man tells them too. Only twice in the Crosslands Annals has the Haaron declared war with the Taurn of the Pride Lands; both times at the behest of the Merran, and both times due to Merran’s meddling with Taurn politics.
Strangely the Haaron have reported more difficulties dealing with the Revalian border than the Pride Landers. Mostly Orcnin incursions from the Goblin Forest, but there have been some mutterings of bad business with the house of Reval. The occasional apology for “misunderstandings near the border” has appeared in the Annals of the High Imperial Council. Those that watch the interplay of the houses see clearly that Reval’s excusing itself from the Crosslands Territorial Alliance (and the blood dept they paid to do so) was a move made to sever the sacred bonds of the Empire that would prevent them from getting away with independent councils. Reval is the only Imperial territory on the Bottom Lands that is ruled by only one noble house. At least, Reval is the only Imperial territory watched by one noble family, that has survived through all three Mans-Tree wars and the Wizards Wars. The House of Reval are of old arcanists, and most attribute their withdrawal from the Crosslands pact one of tact. The minor arconistics of one of the ancient and honored houses of the Bottom Lands campaigns (and one that has envoys in most Imperial houses throughout the skies) is of little concern to the rest of the Empire, and perhaps it should be.
Please post more! You might be insane, but I'm having an awful fun time reading all this.
I have to second that. This approach is...interesting. I'm not sure if you are insane, a genius or simply not a native english speaker ^^
:embarrass Hi :D :P
In most Asperian homes there are Bats in the ceilings. The rather clever animals keep watch over the houses and families that live in them. The screech of a Bat is loud enough to wake dogs and their masters. Most Dargonian provinces train these Bats to protect their homes. They are raised amongst dogs and the family they will protect. The Bats are usually fed by leaving berries on scented paper. Some Bats are awake at night and some during the day. Both breeds are kept in Asper, though most Dargonian houses keep only one of the breeds. The Night Bats are particularly hard to handle, due to their glow. Day Bats require special care to keep as when startled they use their death curse. Despite the difficulties in caring for such dangerous and powerful animals the benefits are manifest. Night Bats light the way through gardens in the eve, and Day Bats are the most efficient guard animals. Many Imperial nobles keep a Day Bat with them at all times.
The black birds of the Bottom Lands. These rather intelligent little creatures are possibly the worst gossips in the world. They are capable of normal speech as well as the chirp speech of birds, and yet they use it sparingly and only for their advantage. Most times a Raven will simply cackle in amusement as they watch from nearby trees. Dealing with a Raven is basically dealing with the tree whom they keep their precious shiny objects, and bargaining with the black birds is a simple matter. Unless instructed to seek a specific prize by their wooden allies, all a Raven asks for is something that glitters in the light … other than gold of course.
The common Snake is a slow predator. It is able to sit for weeks in one spot waiting for an animal to come by. The unwitting prey is captured in a single snap of the Snakes powerful jaws, and the strike of the Snake is like spring being released. The Snake’s jaw unhinges and swallows its prey whole, and the Snake is left to sit and digest its meal over the span of days. The larger Snakes are able to constrict themselves like rope around the larger prey while it slowly devours the animal. The illusion that Snakes are quick is part of their magic. Slivers of light “snake” out and away from the real Snake as it slithers slowly away from potential predators. Snakes also have a profoundly good sense of smell, and communicate more through scent than they do through the hisses and rattles they actually make to scare predators away from them. Some Snakes are poisonous, and some are fire tongues. The rare lightning Snake is found in the Sky Lakes, and certain areas on the bottom lands.
The wild Warg is a noble creature. Like the Hound the Warg gathers in packs. They maintain a territory and generally do not attack people like Mans. If you violate their territory or appear wounded however they may become hostile. Many Warg packs have tacit alliances with nearby civilizations. Tacit in that the animal is incapable of recognizing the larger implications, and yet understands the alliance exists. The alpha male of the pack is capable of forging these connections, and the bargain is always as follows. The Wargs will come to the aid of Mans if they are allowed to hunt in peace. The rulers that the pack is allied with must enter the Wargs den and give food to the alpha male periodically. This ceremony serves several purposes, but the primary reason is to teach the younger members of the pack what a Mans is and to recite the sound that is used to summon the Wargs.
Why anyone would even consider diplomacy with a Troll is beyond reason, however they are intelligent. They have a most cunning and ruthless intelligence, and they are capable of complicated speech and mathmatology. Though the average Troll would rarely bother. The reality is any Troll that would be invited anywhere in Imperial society will be a most unique and individual being. More importantly one should be aware of how to behave should they find themselves amongst a clutch of Trolls.
The vast majority of Trolls will be found in the care of other Orcnin, and as such treated as little more than wargs. Independent clutches of Trolls are rare, but still not uncommon on the Bottom Lands. Most often an individual Troll will live alone somewhere within a hunting range. The rare families of Trolls that exist outside of a hoard are usually a cluster of females with one male. The female Trolls will attempt to remain hidden at all times, and the male will roam the hunting territory that the clutch has claimed. If you find yourself dealing with the male simply escape or fight. If you somehow manage to find yourself face to face with the females there is one and only one “diplomatic” option that might leave you alive to bargain with the Trolls. Chop off a limb and offer it to them.
As most know Trolls can regrow limbs, and assuming you have good reason and willingly participate in their form of greeting – the females of the Troll species can lend their ability to regenerate to you. The question of will they, and why you would even bother is one best left to the insane individual that wants to talk to Trolls.
A more interesting possibility that is still nonetheless a bad idea is keeping your own Troll similar to the Orcnin’Sa. The process is simple. You must defeat the Troll, keep it in a dark place, and feed it constantly. Giving it a piece of yourself to hold onto will make it feel more comfortable.
The Great Isle of Dolor is the most unusual Island in the skies. The Island not in the skies in the ancient times, and in fact there were no islands in low sky until Dolor was created by the Dolorian Ogres. This noble breed of Ogre was created by the Light Lords durring the Wizard Wars. Unlike the Ogres of Ogran the Dolorians are beautiful to behold and even stronger than the grotesk Ogres that maintain their alligence to their ancient Patron. Due to their reverence of Elendria the Dolorians are pacifists and will loose their gift of strength and beauty if they ever harm a living beast. They rarely leave the island home that they created.
When Taurna fell in the final confrontation of the Wizard Wars much of the gold infused debries were strewn about the low sky along with the twisted remains of the Rover Islands. This (term) sealed the Bottom Lands away from the civilizations of the mid and high skies for centuries. When the Dolorians began their search for a home the world was not willing to accept them. The Elendi could see them as nothing more than Ogres with pretty faces. The Orcnin saw them as nothing more than elves. They were like the Gnomes in their complete poverty as a people.
Amongst the Dolorian people there were powerful druids and no small amount of masterful Arconists. As they migrated from Dargonia to Tolen to the Sky Lakes they formed a plan. The greatest of the druids began collecting the debries of the fallen islands and bringing themtogether into larger and larger clumps. The center of the Dolorian capitol city is what was once the largest clump and the first one that was settled by the Dolorians. The city GreenHome began as a simple staging ground for the druids.
From GreenHome the high druids of the Dolorians were able to bring more and more clumps of fallen island together untill, many generations later, the island of Doloria was recognized as a true greater island. Doloria is idylic. It is a crafted island. Roads were grown, mountains were scultped, and each tree was brought specifically to the island. It has only been with the last few generations that the ecology of Doloria has taken a life of its own - having reached a critical mass of bugs and plants needed to support the beasts that have come to live on the Island.
The Dolorians have a distributed form of government that does not rely on noble houses. Each region has both a master druid and a circle of Arconists. Many fear to sail to the island due to the number of Arconists that live and work their arts on the island - but most of the Arconistics practiced on Doloria are kept in strict watch by the master druid and their alcolyts. The peoples of Doloria live mostly simple lives and rely on their isolation from the other civilizations of the skies to keep themselves safe. It is hard to imagine how the pacifist Ogres of Doloria would be able to withstand a invasion force considereing their gifts of Elendia.
The Pure Lands Show
Very little is known about the pure lands. Many believe they are a myth, but they are not. Those who have found their way to the Pure Lands find themselves in a bit of a quandary. You cannot reveal the secret of the pure lands. It is not a curse of magical prohibition - it is an understanding that you gain when you find yourself there. What can be said of the Pure Lands is that the Mans that make their home there are unlike any other in the entire world. They are short furry and nearly Taurn in appearance. They have skin of dark tan, and bright eyes.
They live simply and do not know lies or hatred or fear. There is a ceremony that the Pure Lands practices to both excise and purify their people. It is called the simply the seeker of the stone. Once a generation a child is chosen of the people to carry an artifact known as the purpose stone out of the Pure Lands and into the larger world. The mans who bears the Purpose stone at this time is known only as Pa Wah. Those that meet the seeker may learn the secret of the stone, and perhaps the secret of the Pure Lands itself.
The Dariens are one of the most powerful peoples of the Bottom Lands. The Western swamps of the Bottom Lands are entirely controlled by the Darien Empire. Within their sphere of influence Orcnin, Naga, Elder Trees and many variety of swamp born make their homes. Discounting the loose confederation of the Elder Trees and their woodborn cousins the Darien's Empire is rivaled only by the Great Empire itself. Trade throughout the Western half of the Bottom Lands is carefully regulated by the Darien, this "many armed" people are observant and extremely calculating.
The Darien society is for the most part very similar to that familiar to most imperials. Complete with governors, councils, and officials such as sheriffs and the like. Dariens pay taxes to their government, and trade for goods and services. What may disconcert the average imperial visitor is the fashion of their construction. The Dariens make their buildings mostly from a unique fabric that special members of their species create naturally. Some wood is used for supports, but most walls are made of a flexible organic cloth of amazing durability. Some of the more wealthy imperial importers will recognize this substance, it is called silk.
The Dariens themselves are physically unique when compared to the many peoples of the world. Their skeletons are on the outside of their bodies, and their eyes are like many faceted gemstones. Most Dariens are in possession of at least one extra pair of limbs (taking Taurn, Mans, and Orcnin four limbs to be average). To the casual observer there seems to be no rhyme or reason for the number of limbs that a Darien may have. Some have the standard four, some six. The fact is that family and heritage play a large part in the number of limbs a Darien has and whether their spare limbs serve as legs or arms. Legends amongst the Dariens speak of eight limbed Dariens that are born in times of great calamity - a sign of the gods favor.
The gods of the Dariens are for a most part analogous to the gods of the Triune and the Empire, leading most to consider them simply Darien names for the great gods known to most, one diety in particular stands apart however. The Doomsayer. The Doomsayer is a deity known only through the words of her prophets. Described as a female eight limbed Darien of immense power - stories of The Doomsayer have reached imperial city by way of travelers and Tansian storytellers, but no appearance of the Doomsayer has been reported by the Imperial councils. Speculations as to whether the diety is anything more than an alternate face of Ogran, of the Triune, are rampant. Furthermore the prophets of "The Doomsayer" are known to rely on martial prowess over the use of greater miracles.
Despite this lack of manifestation by the Doomsayer deity - the faith in her philosophies are pervasive throughout Darien controlled lands. Each region of Darien controlled land maintains a temple to the Doomsayer - led by a "husband" of the Doomsayer - a male six limbed Darien claiming to be in contact with the deity. Their edicts are invariably in support of local authorities, and the cults that follow the husbands of the Doomsayer are called upon to quell uprisings or civil disputes should they occur.
Visiting a Darien controlled territory should result in no particular difficulties so long as your interests are apolitical. Dariens are as interested in trade as any people, and are willing to trade in either crystal or barter. Crystal trade is not as common in the Darien regions, and one may be forced to convert crystal into barterable goods such as forging metals or food. Silk is by far the most common export out of the Darien swamps, though Orcnin make regular trade of slaves with the Darien. Dariens that make their way into the skies are almost invariably interested in gathering slaves from the sky lands. Perhaps due to this - Gnomes rarely sell their sky ships to the Dariens. The Tolenese do not share this compunction - thusly fueling the crystal trade in the Darien Lands.
Entertaining Darien guests is a simple matter, if one that would disconcert the average Imperial pallet. Dariens feed exclusively on the blood. Cooked food is not digestible by their physiology. A simple order - draining blood being one of the standard steps for preparing food. Instead of discarding the blood simply give it to your Darien guests, and eat the meat. Similarly the Dariens seem to find it amusing that the "refuse" of blod drained meat that they generally turn into livestock feed is the staple of non-Darien visitors Diets. Despite their regular association with Orcnin the Dariens maintain no outright hostility toward their imperial visitors ... unless they are diplomatic envoys. If one intends to send diplomatic contact to the Dariens on behalf of the Empire - simply forget it. The Dariens have maintained a staunch support of the Orcnin over the Empire since the first contact with the Dariens dating back before the Wizard Wars.
One of three breeds of the singing flowers. Nixies are perhaps the most rare of all singing flowers, and are considered by most to be "dark pixies" though this is a misunderstanding of the relationship between the breeds of singing flowers. Unlike their larger cousins the walking flowers (or blooms, buds, etc) the Nixies are capable of speech. They are also nearly indistinguishable from Kinder Elendi except for the fact that their "hair" is made not of hair at all but petals. These petals are coated with a poison - that will render most Mans or Orcnin incapacitated or dead within moments. This natural defensive ability is the source of their moniker of "Dark Pixies" despite their sharing little to no appearance similarity to the Pixie at all.
The Nixies are found mostly on the Bottom Lands, but are also native to the Sky Lakes. Tribes of Nixie are found on the WildHome Isle, and an expeditionary force of mercantile oriented Nixies make a Guild Hall their home on Gem-Ron. The Merchant House of Strenmowla is not the strongest house on Gem-Ron, but their incomparable ability to facilitate trade with the Walking Flowers and the Trees of Gem-Ron Isle ensures them a position of power that is not soon to be contested.
Nixies like most of the woodborn need little more than water and sunlight to survive and trade primarily for the adventure and interest of it. The Nixies of the Bottom Lands are known to act as protectors of regions as of yet uninhabited by Mans or Taurn. They maintain the dominion of the woodborn with a ferocity reminiscent of the beast born they resemble. Truly the Nixies is the most bestial of all woodborn. That said "the Dark pixie" are not particularly hostile without good cause. They have been known to hunt and prepare meals for visitors, and many tales tell of them coming to the aid of travelers on the Bottom Lands.
Beyond the Merchant house of Strenmowla there are no known "nations" of Nixie - instead the Nixies of the Bottom Lands make their homes amongst other woodborn glens. Acting as the heralds or ambassadors for their silent cousins. The rare traveling Nixie is unlikely to seek audience or lodging of an Imperial house - but if they should it is best to treat them as simply as you would a Bloom, though with quite a bit more conversation.
The two legged children of the once proud Sataurn. On the Bottom Lands these sorry and disorganized peoples are usually referred to as Satyr. There are no known Satyrn societies in the skies and even the rare collection of Satyrn of the Bottom Lands are scarce. The Satyrn are perhaps one of the saddest testaments to the loss of Great Taurna. The once proud Sataurn, the wise philosophers and guides of Taurna, were struck down harder than the Centaurn. While the descendants of the Centaurn, the Centyrn are exant on Wildhome, Montaran, and other isles - The Satyrn are found only in the outlying areas of ancient imperial settlements on the Bottom Lands.
The Satyrn have more than suffered over the centuries since the fall of Taurna. While the other Taurn have made progress in their attempts to reclaim their civility and society, the Satyrn have literally wallowed in the mud of the bottom lands. With less civility than Orcnin the only Orcnin disgrace these Taurn have not succumb to is the eating of raw meat. Of course the Satyrn are like their hoofed Taurn cousins in that they cannot eat meat. Perhaps decrying the Satyrn for their falling is too harsh - The Sataurn were steadfastly of Taurna. Unlike many of their Taurn cousins they did not make settlements off of Taurna from which to reconstitute the society.
The future of the Satyrn looks bleak - without some driving force to lead them into the future they will most likely fade into history as the arrogant Mintaurn have. Should a Satyrn find themselves in your lands - treat them as you would a Centyrn. Though expect a lack of the social graces and civility that the Centyrn cultivate.
Imperial City Show
The grandest city in all the world, home of the High Imperial Council, and nexus of civilization since the dawn of recorded history. Countless myths surround the creation of the grand city. Stories of the city created by the hands of gods, or demons. Tales of how the city was forged by Dragons, Mans, Elendi, or even Dwarn abound. The truth is the many myths of Imperial City's creation are the result of the failure of fact to hold more power in the mind than fancy. The history of the creation of Imperial city is writ plainly upon the walls outside the High Council chambers.
In the most ancient times, before language had become codified into words, the greatest Arconistic masters came together in an attempt to end the savage conflicts between the many peoples that sailed the skies. Mans rode dragons out from the Sky Lakes and waged war with the Ronians. Elendi rose from the bottom lands to battle the Orcnin of the Arconistic Isle. Taurn found themselves allying with either side willingly or unwillingly, and Trees played each side against the other. In that time, some 100,000 years ago, Mans had only just begun to learn (or perhaps better to say steal) the arts of Arconistics from the Orcnin. The Elendi had yet to throw off the yoke of the Trees dominion, and the Dwar had never seen the light of the skies.
In the bitterest of irony it was the Orcnin Masters that created Imperial City. To this day there are places in the great arconistic device that is Imperial city that cannot be accessed by any save Orcnin, and those places have remained unreachable for over 10,000 years. Not since before the wizard wars have Orcnin arconistic masters been allowed in Imperial City. Orcnin certainly - so long as they forswear their alliance with the dark gods of the Orcnin, but none who maintain their allegiance to Ogran or his host. This prohibition is no hollow proclamation. In ages past the streets of the city were enchanted to harm any who walked on them that were not citizens or bearing the mark of citizens. In this age those enchantments are no longer active, but those that enter attempt to enter the city with Ogran or any Arcon known to be amongst his host will suffer the ancient curse of a thousand screams with every step they take in on the streets of the city.
The ancient Orcnin acronistic masters that created the city left a pictographic record of their work upon the walls of the council antechamber. In that time before the Empire the arconistics masters came together and made a great work - powered with the sacrifice of one million Mans. The city was created a perfect circle of seven stacked disks. The centermost and highest disk was designated as the seat of the gods. () thrones were set to honor the pillars of existance and () arcons were invited to take seat upon those thrones. The intent of the arconistic masters was to gain sway over the entire world by allying with the grandest of the arcons, and thereby overpower both Trees and Dragons alike. As history must certainly show - this grand design failed terribly.
The first tragedy that struck the grand city was when the acrons refused to remain in seat upon their thrones. The great arcons were intended to remain and grant their power to the city - keeping it in the skies amongst the isles. An artificial Isle, however the arcons began to bicker amongst themselves and then all but the dark lord Jakanar abandoned the city. The magnificent disks fell from high sky and by Jakanar's will the city struck the great island known today as Dargonia. Most historians who have studied the pictographs detailing this event are certain that it was Imperial City's impact upon Dargonia that began the slow, but steady, breaking of Dargonia. A process further aggravated by the great tether that links Dargonia to Tolen.
In further disaster, when Imperial City embedded itself into the side of the great Isle of Dargonia, then known as Ronerian, it shattered in twain. Almost half of the city fell off the side of Dargonia, and landed somewhere on the Bottom Lands. The location of this lost piece of Imperial CIty is unknown to this day. The arconistic masters that survived the process thanked their respective patrons and set about to salvage what they could of their great work. To their credit the city as is is today - with greater enchantments and the docks, and the landscaping (city walks, structures, and gardens) are for the most part the same as they have been for 50,000 years. Some minuscule personalization aside - the major structures other than the temples of the 5th tier are exactly what they were when in a final comedic turn of events the Orcnin lords of Empire city were overrun by Mans and Elendi.
Using both the miracles of Tree taught Elendi and arconistics stolen from Orcnin, and army of mostly Mans overpowered the lords of the city. The former name of the city is lost - its pictographic emblem remains above many archways of the city. A six pointed star surrounded by a disk with four arrows pointing inward toward the star coming from each cardinal point of the star. The taking of Imperial City (called in some Mans legend Orcnin City) marked the official beginning of the Empire. Mans arconistic masters could control the city, and miracle working Elendi could appease the arcons. Between them Imperial City took on something of its intended purpose - as a meeting place between the representatives of the most powerful of the mortal realm - and a council of the most powerful of the arcons.
Arcons or Gods OOC Show
I Apologize for any confusion. Arcons .. are Gods. As I eventually intend to collate all this into a book written entirely in character and the word "god" will eventually be removed entirely (for more than one reason as I am want) in favor of the flavor term arcon. Just in case your getting confused. (hence the "don't be an acronistic" thing - acronistics is the act of ... well "acting like a god" so inherently hubristic and most often eventually resulting in the other arcons requiring you to "pony up" so to speak - usually with rather nasty soul rending implications.
This keeps blowing my mind. What are you going to do with it? :D
There is a specific couple of people that I want to work on the project with. Though any suggestions will be taken into consideration. I'm putting this stuff up (instead of keeping it to myself) as a ... erm "sneak preview" kinda stuff.
:P I'd also like to see if I can inspire some graphic artists :P
... any good setting book needs IMGs ...
Most Imperial Mans are familiar with the Pherthan, Weran, and Dardan peoples of the Taurn. Interestingly it is the Barkan that are by far the most populous of modern Taurn. The Pherthan are a close second most populous Taurn societies. The Barkan, similar to the Pherthan, were always a traveling breed of Taurn. Unlike the Pherthan they are almost entierly nomadic. Rarely will you find a city established primarily by a group of Barkan. Barkan tend to prefer to stay on the move, and while they are without cities proper to call their own they do maintain certain hideaways. Caches of resources that they will return to periodically, or seasonally. These caches are usually stored not on a greater isle, but on a smaller orbital isle to keep random passer byes from happening upon the Barkan tribes secret storehouse. These stores of equipment are usually redundant. Not so much necessary to the Barkan family in its travels – but a resource that they can return to in times of need or loss. Many such caches remain undisturbed for generations.
Barkan are extremely family oriented. Of course all peoples are concerned with their families, but it is very rare for a Barkan to leave their family unit. Barring disaster or marriage a Barkan will remain with the family that they were born into. When there is a marriage amongst the Barkan the will come together for almost a month of feasting and celebration – at the end of which more than one union may occur. According to ancient practices of the Barkan the newely bound will depart with the family that has the least numbers. Thereby steadily growing the strength of the weaker tribes, and preventing the larger tribes from growing too large to support. When a tribe grows beyond either five families or about a hundred or so members the Barkan will begin to seek a smaller tribe in order to balance their numbers more evenly. Centuries of this practice has helped maintain the Barkan as one of the most powerful societies of Taurn – even if they have no cities to to call their own.
Physically the Barkan and the Weran share much in common, but the two peoples of Taurn could not be more different from each other. In fact the antagonism between the Weran and the Barkan is the most likely explanation of why the Barkan are rarely found on Dargonia except in Imperial City itself. The two peoples of Taurn and their vicious disputes are the stuff of legend on lost Taurna. The most notable of which is the tale of Lyangi of Weran's War. According to the legend a Barkan tribe was moving through a territory claimed by Lyangi's tribe, and Lyangi demanded an offering of respect. Such an offering is very common amongst the Weran, as well as many other Taurn tribes, but the Barkan tribe refused. They claimed that they would be gone before Lyangi would have so much as a chance to appreciate any such offering. Lyangi responded by banishing any Barkans from returning to her territory for all time. The stories continues that the Barkan decided to test this prohibition again and again. Eventually the Weran and the Barkan were in full scale war.
After a generation of conflict, according to legend, Lyangi won the war and Barkan were all but banished from their homes on Taurna. Again, according to Taurn legend – this is the reason that the Barkan were found more commonly on other islands than Taurn itself. As with most legends, particularly Taurn legends, the actuality of Lyangi and his war is unverifiable. Perhaps the Barkan simply never made much of a home on Taurn – preferring to roam the world free of the more territorial Taurn's conceits. The problem for modern researchers and determining the truth of any such legend is that Imperial records have scare information regarding the Taurn or the history of Taurna. The legends of Taurna and its peoples and histories are nearly a millennium old and passed more often through campfire tale than texts. Weran legends aside, however, the Barkan themselves tell tales of “Vicious Lyangi” as a cautionary tale regarding why the Barkan do not stay in one place for long – though their versions of the legend are told more like ghost stories than history. The Barkan's Lyangi could be everything from cannibal to terrible torturer – and vile arcanist. No amount of historical accuracy remains in the tales they tell their children.
When a Barkan tribe enters your territory the most obvious sign (other than a disturbance amongst any other Taurn) will be their most notable form of communication: the Howl. The Weran that most Imperials are familiar with will howl as part of their ritual observance, monthly. The Barkan, however, prefer to howl almost constantly. If you can get past the constant howling – then they are generally pleasant guests. Do not expect them to provide any form of “offering” or recognition of territorial authority – the Barkan have a certain disdain for those that are “bound to dirt” as they call it. The one thing they will bring is their most trade able commodity – their wine. An individual Barkan is almost always seen carrying a jug – in that jug is a wine that is being prepared. In their carts the wine ages. They will rarely part with their prized wine for free, but if you do them a great favor they will most likely pay you with the wine. This wine is one of the best anywhere in the world and prized by those who respect great wines everywhere. Barkan are meat eaters, and like many Weran are quite in favor of cooked meat.
Should you find yourself in need of the aid of a Barkan there is one thing to be primarily concerned with. The males of the tribe are in clear and uncontested dominance. Barkan are polygamous and there are usually up to five primary males. Often these males are brothers. To travel with a Barkan tribe you absolutely must swear to follow one of the primary males of the tribe as though you were their child. That said – once you have passed that hurdle of diplomacy the Barkan are welcomed without and protected as one of their own. Sadly the truth is that there are Barkan tribes that have been whipped out to the last member when they welcomed too readily someone that was all to willing to deceive the trusting Barkan.
The dead who walk. There is not much to be said regarding the dead who walk. They are not polite dinner guests and in no way could they ever become so. They are dead. They have been reanimated by some dark force or another and there is simply nothing to do with them other than to put them down again. They are quite annoying - as they are already dead, and the only sure way to end their existence is to beat them most utterly into a pulp. The unfortunate peoples that must deal with them regularly are actually quite adept at doing so, and have one particular piece of advice: blunt objects. Blades seem to do rather allot of nothing to the pestersome beasts.
Dargonia is thankfully fairly clear of the creatures, however those that live on the bottom lands are plauged by them on a rather regular basis. Particularly the Karnian regions where any dead that is not properly inturned arrises as soon as the next dawn. Those who live too close to dark sky are also continually vexed buy the unholy creatures. Thankfully for the most part the "Zombies" are rather dull. Birds and badgers are regularly far more intelligent than the walking dead, and it is perhaps by this reason alone the creatures are more a nuesance than they are a danger.
In regions where the powers of death are great enough to generate hordes of the walking dead they are indeed a great threat, and it shows to the wisdom of those such as the Karn that they take regular precautions against such creatures. Salt is a certain protection against the zombie. The Karn lay salt in a circle around their cities in ritual fashion every night. The Revalians do so as well. Those in the skies are loath to waste a resource that, while common on the bottom lands is rare in the skies, in such a way. Thankfully the power of the churches also drives the walking dead back.
The only diplomatic advice regarding zombies that need be given is this: oft times zombies are governed not by pure dark forces alone - but by an insidious intellect as well. If such a dark arconistic practitioner is active in your region it is best to seek the aid of the nearest imperial outpost. The dragoons are adept of old at dealing with such dire arconistic practices. Attempting diplomacy of any who would raise the dead is a futile endeavor .. at best.
The Air Show
The elementals that are the living wind. These capricious and ephemeral beings are the most common of those known as the Sand Born. The term barely applies to the Wind Elementals. The substance that they are made of is the most non-substantial known to any and were it not for the powerful force they apply at times most would refuse to believe in it. Air elementals, like all Sand Born, are neither male nor female. They are created in a fashion inexplicable to those with blood or sap in their veins. Most presume they are eternal, however this is not so. Bizarre as it may seem even the wind can die.
An Air Elemental is immune to the strike of a sword or the swing of an axe, but there are certain arconistics and miracles that can destroy an Air Elemental utterly. In addition to mysticism, the Fire Elementals devour Air Elementals in the natural cycle of existence. Unlike the versus relationship that a blood or sap born creature would feel toward its predator the Air Elementals hold no grudge against the Fire Elementals. Perhaps the lack of family and children creates a lack of attachment to their own existence. Perhaps they are simply incapable of joy in the same sense as a blood or sap born creature.
While the Wind has no attachment to life - they still retain a certain willfulness that can be either boon or vexation to the blood and sap born. The wind may decide to rush strongly against building - rending structures to pieces that would otherwise stand strong. A Wind may decide to knock a person off their feet, or snatch a object from their hands. Conversely Air Elementals have been known to spontaneously aid a person by catching them and saving them from the long fall off an island. Many tales tell of someone that has fallen off the a ridge only to be rescued by the Wind.
Those who adhere to the Imperial Religions declare that there are two fonts of Wind. Two arcons, brothers in dire opposition, that generate the Winds in their divine forges beyond the mists. Dak'na'ule and Thamior. Dak'na'ule is the Lord of the Dark Winds of Winter, and Thamior is the Lord of the Warm Winds of Summer. Attempting to speak to the Winds regarding the brothers is pointless. The winds will only echo the words of those that they have heard, but avatars and heralds of the brothers most assuredly proclaim dominion over the Air Elementals - of one type or the other. This claim to dominion is not a hollow claim as the heralds and avatars of the brothers are readily capable of calling on the Winds to their aid - not the least of which is their ubiquitous ability to fly.
In the rare case that a Wind attempts some strange form of diplomancy, and manifests a visible or at least tangible presence in an Imperial court, they need no more hospitality than acknowledgment of their sovereignty. The Winds are the very vehicle of speech. Without their humble presence words could not make sound, and the vital energy of the arcons could not enter the bodies of the living. While Water, Fire, and Earth Elementals are far more tangible - it is the Air Elementals to whom all breathing creatures owe the debt of continued existence. It is unfathomably horrific to imagine what would happen to a city or land that drew down the ire of the Air Elementals. To have not only words but the very breath refused yourself and your peoples.
Indeed - praise the winds with every breath they deign to give you.
When one thinks of the Ronians the image that comes to mind first is most likely an Aieron. Their feathers are as multicolored as any Mans, and they are by far the most populous of the Ronians. Their flocks are common on Dargonia, Tolen, Dolor, the Sky Lakes, and even the steps leading to Moon. Their culture is a simple on - like most Ronians they avoid lasting settlements, and do not have a formalized form of writing of their own. Aierons are mostly hunters and their ancient arts are mostly dedicated to the rights of the hunt. They worship both the arcons of the skies, and the arcons of the hunt. Unlike some of the Ronians the Aierons are generally welcome amongst Imperials, Taurn tribes, and Orcnin hordes alike.
Some say the ancients ways of Diplomancy were first created by the Aierons. If this is true they have most certainly been surpassed in this art over the centuries. They still retain the arconistic arts of the many tongues, and their wayfinding ways are stronger than the other Ronians, but in this era it is the fey, the water born, that are the true masters of Diplomancy. Even the Elendi are able to create waystones and sure paths, an art that the Aierons have either lost - or never truly had. Perhaps like most of the Ronian peoples - their legends are prone to be aggrandized, but the possibility that it was the Aierons that first created the ways of Diplomancy is very real. They may have begun what others took up and took further than the Aierons ever would have needed to.
Being free of the land - the Aierons are the very definitions of "flighty" in that most are loath to enter into bargains or agreements with them. If a situation becomes difficult or embroiled in conflict beyond the Aieron's comfort they will simply take flight and depart. This tendency prevents the tribes of Aieron's from establishing any sort of strong business or trade relationships with other societies. Hence the Aierons have remained hunters and gatherers over the long centuries. It is difficult to imagine these habits changing with the weight of centuries of history driving a wedge between Aieron culture and the larger mercantile societies of the world. That said they are still always welcome in most cities as their services, if transitory, are always in demand.
Should one be lucky enough to find themselves at the mercy of Aieron hospitality be prepared for a smorgasbord of fine foods. At least if you are a meat eating person. The Aierons are consummate hunters and use their arts to prepare and keep meat in some of the most miraculous fashions. They maintain some of the strongest alliances with the Elemental beings of any culture and can literally cook their meat while in flight. It is rather difficult to keep up with an Aieron tribe if one cannot fly, however if necessary the Aierons will call upon the Air Elementals to carry you. Some tribes, that don't have such a good relationship with the Air, or when the Tribe is flying through Dark wind, craft rope bassinets from the grasses that grow on the stepps of the high skies. Their luggage and guests are able to ride in these if necessary.
A visiting flock of Aierons, or lost Aieron in search of a flock to join, are relatively simple guests to accommodate. Unless wounded severely the Aierons will hunt and cook their own food - a point of pride amongst the Aieron peoples. It can be difficult to convince them to attend such functions as fine dinners. The fact that such events are usually held inside a roofed hall is one of the major reasons for this. A proper host to a Aieron flock would do well to have any events held outside in the open air. Aierons are meat eaters, but are able to stomach fruits and nuts. They would prefer nuts to fruits, and regardless of the sides of a meal meat should remain the primary course. This is a point of contention as their cousins the Kieron are strictly fruit eaters and many a diplomatic disaster has resulted from being unable to discern the difference between the two peoples of Ronian.
Dragon's of Light Show
Like most the Light Dragons are created not born. Light Dragons come from elementals of the the air or fire. During a dragon's rising an elemental will take on a more substantial shape and manifest flesh. Like all dragons each one is unique and forged by the mists with a purpose. In particular Dragons of Light are guardians of civilization. They are perhaps the most common of all dragons - most often found lounging on the walls of cities or flying regally outside of towns. They spend most of their time keeping the mists at bay, and retrieving those lost in the mists with their guiding light. Light Dragons are the friendliest to the peoples of the world and the most dire opponents of those that practice Arconistics.
While many are tempted to treat Light Dragons as friendlier than other dragons - do not fall prey to this temptation. They are as quick to anger as any dragon, and they are generally pre-occupied with their own matters. If you find yourself at ones mercy, or in need of ones aid - make your case quickly and simply and do not pressure them to aid you. Once they have made a decision they will not be swayed. Unlike most dragons there is nothing that can be brought to them as an offering as they survive off that most abundant of energy - the mists themselves.
When a Light Dragon comes to visit - feel honored. The only reason a Light Dragon will ever seek audience in an Imperial court is to barre tidings of either great calamity or wondrous fortune. It is best to accommodate them however they ask - and they should ask very little. There is no need to prepare them food or gifts, though songs and plays have been known to amuse them. Those of the Sky Lakes are regularly visited by Light Dragons - as the great wyrms seem to have some fondness for the chimes and pipes that the Sky Lakelanders make their music with.
Followed the link in your signature "Clockwork Horrors". Do you also write true horror campaigns by any chance? It seems we're a bit lacking in that department hehe.
Still slightly confused by the "clockwork horrors" reference, and sadly unable to post as often as I'd like. I started a new thread about horror, join that discussion here.
Creatures of pure light. Similar in many ways to Air Elementals the Will-o-Whisp is a creature of the air. They are born from the conflicts of Air and Fire and have a unique personality of their own. They draw sustenance from the attention of living beings. They need no other food, but their need to be watched provokes them to perform many odd and otherwise unfathomable deeds. The kinder and more altruistic Will-o-whisps will act as guides to those lost in the woods. Often leading animals about the wilderness for days on end eventually bringing the creature in the path of a hunter or traveler. Will-o-whisps with darker hearts will lead those that have become fascinated by their light into fell traps where they can pester their prey continuously - feeding off the subjects attention while it wastes away in a pit or tangle vine prison.
Those that befriend will-o-whisps are lucky indeed as the creatures are capable of traveling nearly anywhere and finding almost anything on short notice. All that they ask in return is to be watched for a number of hours. Watching such a creatures is, while time consuming, quite amusing. Their aerial acrobatics are beyond compare. They are also able to start small fires with their sparkling bodies. Some Will-o-whisps make their "permanent" homes outside the gates of cities in the hopes of meeting travelers in need of a guide and "flying lamp" and others have been known to ally with a noble houses in larger cities. There they serve as watchmen on the busy streets where the eyes of many can see them.
If a swarm of Will-o-whisps arrive at your palace you are in luck. They need no food, nor lodging. It is a rare treat when all a guest asks is to be watched, particularly when watching them is such an amusing experience. There is reason to be cautious however. Will-o-whisps in large groups can become somewhat vicious. A lone traveler happening upon a large enough collection of will-o-whisps is in dire danger of being contained in a circle of the light beings until they have wasted away. A very large contingent of Will-o-whisps could descend upon a city and fill it full of light for days as the citizens are slowly lulled into a waking slumber that will only end with their deaths.
The most important thing to remember about Will-o-whisps is that they are not elementals, though they share many traits with them. Will-o-whisps have needs and will do what they can to attain them. Like all living creatures some are kind, and some are cruel. Some are willing to steal the attention of their prey and some are willing to work for it. In case of need simply remember that while a Will-o-whisp is difficult to grasp - once you have gotten hold of one destroying it is as easy as snuffing a candle flame. A wash of water, a sheet of dirt of cloth, or even a strong enough blast of wind will extinguish these "lamp-o-lights" (as they are called in Imperial City).
fyi - this is my tentative checklist for the races I need to "anthropolate" or whatev'
• Beast Born
• Montaran Dwar
• Imperial Dwar
• Iron Wall Dwar
• Ferry Born Dwaren
• Half Dwaren
• Goblion Dwari
• Elen Dwari
• Feral Dwerein
• Feathered Dwari
• Hoofed Dwarentyr
• Clawed Dwarentyr
• Flipper Dwarentyr
• Lanalfar Dwari (star)
• Hudder Dwari (stone)
• Derro Dwari (soot)
• Lanvatier Dwari (Kinder Elentsi)
• Gnomen Dwarel
• Sky Born Gnomes
• Star Eyed Gnomes
• Sky Island Elendi
• Heart Land Elendi
• Feral Elendi
• Sky Born Elani
• Stone Born Elani
• Sand Born Elani
• Sea Crystal Elani
• Malenti Elani
• Dragon Hearted
• Dolorian Elentsi
• Kinder Elentsi
• Vampire / Healers
• Wild Homelanders (Vanara)
• Imperial Citizens
• Tolonese Citizens
• Sky Islanders
• Wight (blues)
• Bottom Landers
• Gemron Aberrants
• Arcon Hearts
• Orcnin Sa (Bugbear)
• Orcnin Ha (orcs)
• Orcnin Ka (Kobold)
• “Scrag” Water Troll
• Hag (female troll).
• “The Misshapen” (Athach and Ettin)
• Weran (wolf/kangaroo/weasel)
• Satyr (goats/sheep/emu)
• Hotyr (otter/raccoon/seal)
• Centan (horse/donkey)
• Minotan (bull/buffalo/rhino)
• Dardan (deer/antelope/camel)
• Dolphryn (porpoise/whale/hippo)
• Miryn (mouse/squirrel/rat)
• Pherthan (felines)
• Barkan (dog/fox/pig)
6. Ronian (Achaierai)
• Aieron (wind) All skies
• Keiron (light) High Skies
• Fieron (flame) Mid and Low Skies
• Volturon (stone) Mid Low and Bottom Land
• Icthyron (water) Low Sky and Bottom Land
• Emuron (forests big flightless) Land Based
• Rhearon (plains small flightless) Land Based
• Bog Born
• Two Legs
• Four Legs
• Sting Tails
• Araneas (dopplegangers)
• Daritaurn (Drider)
2. (alligator/crocodile) Lizardfolk
• Two Arms
• Many Arms
6. Haggan (Sauhagin)
7. Eadro (Locathah)
8. Trogdorn (lodyte?)
• Black Pudding
• Gelatinous Cube
• Gray Ooze
• Ochre Jelly
10. Chuul? (crab)
11. Aboleth (worm)
• Green Born
1. Dirt Eaters (plants)
• Phantoms (Phantom Fungus)
• Running Trees
• Standing Trees
2. Water Eaters (Nymphs)
• Tuathan (palaces)
• Chimera (dangerous places)
• Gorgon (stones and snakes)
• Grig (little lover)
• Pixie (little sleeper)
• Nixie (little killer)
• Bogan (homes, public greens)
• Gremlin (vehicles, machines)
• Gromit (workshops, factories)
• Knockin (tunnels, mines, ore veins)
• Alseid (glens, groves, meadows)
• Auloniad (pasture, vales)
• Crinaeae (fountains, city parks)
• Dryad (forests)
• Hamadryad (trees)
• Hesperides (flowers/gardens)
• Limnades (fresh water lakes)
• Meliae (graves, battlegrounds)
• Naiads (rivers)
• Napaeae (grotto)
• Nereids (shores)
• Oceanids (deep waters)
• Oreads (mountains)
• Pagaeae (springs)
3. Salt Eaters
• Strangling Trees
• Assassin Vines
• The Plauges
• Belker’s Plauge
• Shambler (Tendriculos)
• Filmsholk (high skies)
• Sky Born
• Stone Born
1. Arcon Born (created)
• Homunculus (tom thumbs)
• Watchers (Invisible Stalker)
2. Sand Born (genie)
• The Sculpted
• Air Elemental
• Earth Elemental
• Fire Elemental
• Water Elemental
• Cloud Giant
• Fire Giant
• Frost Giant
• Hill Giant
• Stone Giant
• Storm Giant
3. Dust Born (ghosts)
• Allip (plant ghost)
• Shadow (plant ghost)
• Doppelganger (plant ghost)
• Ghilan (ghoul/ghast/genie-ghost/doppelganger)
4. Mud Born (natural)
• Gibbering (mouther)
• Stalkers (invisible).
Masters of the endless seas. The Haggan are the reptilian rulers of the seas. Those who live on or in the endless seas know the Haggan well. Their armies control the largest swath of undersea territory of all the aquatic empires. The sheer numbers of the Haggan would make them a terrible opponent to the Empire if they were interested in land. Thankfully for the Empire the Haggan cannot live on the land and will never be a threat to the Empire. Their only opponents are those that live in the seas with them - the Aquan Elendi. The Aquan Elendi call them the Shakataurn, or sometimes the Shakear. There is some question as to whether the Haggan are in fact Taurn at all, and indeed they claim to have always lived below the waves of the endless seas. If that is true then they could not be true Taurn at all.
By most civilized standards the Haggan are vicious barbarians. Their society is brutal and simple. The majority of the population are warriors, and the few rulers of the Haggan live in relative opulence. A Haggan ruler is constantly accompanied with a harem of female Haggan that are both wives and an elite guard. As fierce as the Haggan soldiers are the four armed women of the Haggan are far more fierce. The children of an entire tribe are kept with the king and the women of the Haggan. This royal retinue of women and children rarely moves. The dominar of a Haggan tribe claims a place of calm waters within the territory of the tribe and most often remains there for the entirety of their short life. Even the longest lived Haggan rarely live to a hundred.
The soldiers of the Haggan are sent out from the calm as soon as they have learned the art of the spear or trident. In the vicious Haggan way they are left mostly to their own. They are told to gather together and seek out food or enemies of the Haggan - and capture them dead or alive. Outside of the calm that the dominar lives in the Haggan soldiers swim circles. Many never truly leave the safety of the larger swarm, and that is how the calm remains protected. The majority of the army simply gather fish and other meats for the dominar, the women, and the children. Periodically the dominar of the Haggan band will select the best hunters and give them a gift of having a chance to have children with one of the women. In times of war with other Haggan or Aquan Elendi this reward is given to the most successful warriors.
In the most absurdly remote possibility that any Haggan would ever seek audience personally with any member of the sky landers the first and foremost matter of propriety is of course the water. Haggan cannot live outside of the water for more than a couple hours at best. It is not unheard of for a Haggan diplomat (if one could be called as such) to travel in jars much as some merchant Trees travel in pots. This pot must be maintained with arconistically refreshed sea water. Fresh water, rain water, deluge water none of these will serve. There is some special property in the water of the seas that the Haggan need. It is a point of interest that you cannot drink sea water. It is extremely salty and attempting to drink it will cause uncomfortable side effects for any creature that is not accustomed to it.
Visiting a Haggan calm is something that could come to pass. The Haggan are a powerful force out in the seas and do occasionally barter with surface dwellers for goods and weapons. The Haggan do not have the arts of mining or metal working so any metal weapons they have are either scavenged from sunken ships or traded. It is important to note that Haggan "merchants" are always of the soldier class and are often willing to forgo trade and simply attack if the asking price gets too high. In the presence of the Dominar of a Haggan tribe the only rule is obsequiousness. "Do not disturb the calm" is the advice one elder Aquan Elendi diplomancer gives regarding making court with the Haggan. Quite simply - doing so will result in you becoming the next meal for the tribes children.
Orcnin Ka Show
Kobold, Furred Orcnin, Weasel People, or worse. The Orcnin Ka are the least of the true Orcnin. Legends say that when Ogran of the Triune created the Orcnin he made Trolls first, and found them wanting. According to legend the Trolls were too stupid to satisfy Ogran's ideals of a perfect race. Second to be created were the Orcnin Ka. These little furry Orcnin were everything the Trolls were not. Keen and cunning, and small. Where the Trolls were tall, the Ka were short. Where the Trolls were strong, the Ka were weak. Where the Trolls were scaly, the Ka were furry. As with all of elder Ogran's creations he declared the Orcnin Ka a failure and continued with his experiments. Hence the creation of the Sa and the Ha. The Ka were left to find their own way and they have.
Most Orcnin hoards have amongst them the Orcnin Ka. Those Ka that accompany the Hoards are the most brutal and powerful of the Orcnin Ka, and are by far the minority of the Orcnin Ka. Most Orcnin Ka prefer to remain separate from the hoards. Something in their creation sets them apart in mentality. Often a tribe of Orcnin Ka will avoid the hoards of the Orcnin Sa like a plauge - preferring to live in their simply and ancient ways. Most Orcnin Ka live in a very regimented and ceremonial culture. Their language, one of the oldest in the world, is pictographic as opposed to glyphic. Their subterranean halls are filled with images that tell the history of their tribe. The most common arrangement of an Orcnin Ka tribe is a cavern with three chambers. One for the men, one for the women, and one for ceremonial purposes.
Children are kept with the women until the time comes for them to learn the history of the tribe. When that time comes they are lead through a long hall that connects the chambers. Along the walls of the hall are tales of the tribe writ in pictures. The hall from the women's chambers leads to the ceremonial chambers. There the children meet the king of the Ka, and if they are women they are given to the king or one of his chosen, and then they are returned to the women's chambers to begin learning the arts of Arconistics. If they are men they are taken through the chambers, introduced to the king, and the lead through the second hall to the men's chambers. The pictographs of the hall that leads to the men's chambers are intended to teach the young man the arts of war. In a proper Orcnin Ka society the only man that learns any arts of arconistics is the king. The other men learn to fight with weapons.
In a proper Orcnin Ka society the women are never seen save for the occasional ceremony. If visitors come to the tribe the passageway to the women's chambers is covered in an arconistic fog, as well the "secrets" displayed in their murals are concealed as well. Of course these Orcnin Ka tribes have existed without change for countless centuries and their secrets are those that most Imperials could learn in a library. Things such as how to create a staff, or how to work metal. If the Orcnin Ka hold any true secrets they are kept by their mysterious womenfolk. Few have even claimed to have seen a female Orcnin Ka, and those that have are speaking of the Orcnin Ka that travel with the hoards of the Sa and Ha.
Orcnin Ka religiously avoid leaving the demesne of their tribe. They hunt and return. They fight to protect their territory, but rarely to expand it. There are two reasons an Orcnin Ka might find itself seeking audience with an Imperial house. The first is simply a lost or pariah Ka, and in such a case diplomacy is a mere afterthought. They eat their meat raw as most Orcnin. The other eventuality is that an Imperial house is encroaching on an Orcnin Ka's long held territory. Should that be the case an envoy of Orcnin Ka men will arrive with their king. The Orcnin Ka can be remarkably polite for Orcnin, if rather blunt. There will be no negotiations, there will be no need to accommodate them other than to provide them space or access to court, there will be no discussion at all. They will enter, wait for court, attend and declare the land that has been encroached upon theirs ... and then they will leave. They won't even give ultimatums. They will leave "threats" to be implied.
Visiting the Orcnin Ka can be a rare treat if your are interested in such things and not hostile to them simply for being Orcnin. They eat their meat raw and they do not allow visitors to leave the ceremonial chambers, but otherwise they can be quite considerate. Orcnin Ka that are familiar with Mans or Elendi have been known to prepare a special kind of stew they call "outlander soup" in the tongue. The stew is made of roots and tubers seasoned with bugs. Its relatively terrible, but not eating it would constitute an insult to the Orcnin Ka's hospitality. The Orcnin Ka will of course not leave you alone in their ceremonial chambers. The king and many guards will stay with you constantly, and most pleasantly - their primary pastime is singing. Their songs more ancient than the Elendi, and incomprehensible to any but themselves, are quite beautiful. Hence the Dwar saying "When lost listen for Kobold song."
The spirits of the mechanics. When a working machine is created the sum of its concept and components combine to create a sprite. These creature are usually invisible and mostly innocuous. For the most part they remain as they are, unawakened from their humming slumber save for the occasional knock on the machine, or a breakdown. Should the device that is their physical body breakdown they will most certainly begin to howl and wail at their "bodies" failure and those that are able to hear the speaking of the sprites will most certainly find their noisomeness disturbing. A Gremlin does not become a "true" Gremlin in its own right until the day that their vessel is destroyed.
Without their physical form to rest in the Gremlin is loosed. Many are rapidly devoured by greater spirits, but some of these wily sprites are able to slink and hide until they can find refuge in a greater machine. Once a Gremlins first form has been broken it can conjoin with another to maintain. Alternatively it can slink silently around corners simply surviving. Should the Gremlin inhabit another machine it will slowly bond with that machine's natural Gremlin until the two are one and greater than before. This more powerful Gremlin grants the machine abilities beyond the mere mechanical function of it, and the process is encouraged by machanics of many disciplines.
The cost of growing gremlins is that, while your machines become capable of wonders beyond their simple function, they are also endowed with certain quirks and attitudes a simple Gremlin would not normally possess. Something of the previous machines nature is carried over to the new and in their synergy the device can become slightly hard headed. Even so much as to refuse to function under certain circumstances. Simple teams of Gremlins are often sacrificed through burning their device when it nears its breaking point in order to prevent their Gremlins from escaping and joining with others.
Gremlins are not polite house guests. Even the greater Gremlins of many composite connections. The great walking contraptions long loosed of any masters control. The Gremlin feed off of motion. Knocks and bangs. Whistles and humms. Far from being willing to sit politely at a dinner table while others eat an adventuring Gremlin is at best in search of some mechanically talented person able to correct some design flaw or component in disrepair. It is said that the greatest of Gremlins transcend physical form and become something more like and Air elemental or genie. Such greater mysteries of the arcon dominions is beyond the scope of this treaties.
The Dardan are Taurn of few words. More so than their fellows the Dardan are usually quite. Their eyes watch their surroundings carefully and their minds are always looking into the future for any possible eventuality. They are travelers, and have been since before the fall of Taurna. Despite being travelers they are one of the rarer breeds of Taurn. Their numbers have remained few throughout the centuries. Their tribes are most common on Dargonia and Dolor, but a fair population exists on the Bottom Lands. Of course there are Dardan on Wild Home, but as with any that live on Wild Home it is hard to say much in regards to them.
Many mistake the Dardan for the legendary Centan, but the difference is plain to see in their build and feet. Not only their build but also their cultural attitude. The Centan were the ruling breed of Taurn. They have carried the weight of that legacy for centuries. Not so with the Dardan. The quite peoples of the Dardan have remained silently on the sidelines throughout history. While the Centan seem to seek out ways of strengthening their legacy the Dardan look to the skies and watch the changing of the winds, content to travel on when change comes.
A connection to the weather marks the Dardan apart from many of the other Taurn. Something in their quiet nature perhaps grants them an understanding of the Air Elementals that others lack. Due to this connection the Dardan have escaped many calamities simply by not being there. Without cities to call their own the Dardan have no qualms about vanishing from their encampments with little or no notice. Their presence is rarely even noticed by the nobility on an area, and if anyone complains about their arrival it is the Blooms. The Dardan tend to take up the same spaces as the Blooms when they visit a city.
Should an envoy of Dardan arrive to visit your city the foremost thing to consider is space. Dardan tribes prefer room to run and play with the winds. Most likely even a full diplomatic envoy will consist of only a few members of the tribe entering the city or castle. Something in their nature shies away from the enclosures of Mans. The Dardan, unlike the Centan or the Satyr have retained their four legged nature. What that means regarding the curse of Taurn is difficult to say, but nonetheless the Dardan are nearly impossible to seat at a table. That said - chairs are not necessary for them, they will kneel and at most Imperial tables that should suffice. They have historically indicated no dietary proscriptions.
To visit the Dardan is a pleasant affair. They do not keep permanent structures, and they eat mostly nuts and fruits and certain grasses. They do hunt at times, but only for certain light meats. Mostly lizard and bird. They are a welcoming people but do not take their hospitality as foolishness. They are a watchful people. Constantly wary, one step out of line and you will find their spears at your neck. They are protective of what they have, and do not keep more than they need. Try to take what is theirs and they will fight viciously. Asking for aid of the Dardan takes no special ceremonies however.
Formians are a strange bog born race that lives only on the bottom lands. Near the lands of the Darians there is a mountain that is inhabited by a people often confused with the Darians. Like the Darians their skeletons are on the outside of their bodies, and they have an extra pair of limbs. Unlike the Darians the Formians have a consistent number of limbs. While the Darians society is ranked by number of legs, the Formian society is ranked by size. The Grand Mother of all the Formians is the largest. Her husbands the next, and their multitudes of children consecutively smaller.
The Formians are great builders. They work together with using a mental link so that they do not disturb each others work or get in each others way. The majority of the Formians are technically female. Most however are unable to become mothers. The Grand Mother gives birth to all the children on the colony. Amongst the workers and the warriors there are certain special Formains that have the potential to become a Grand Mother. These are called the taskmasters. If the Grand Mother dies the colony goes through a series of internal convulsions as the taskmasters compete for the Myrmarch's attention. When this happens all work in the colony comes to a halt.
The warriors war with each other, the workers become idle. The taskmasters bicker amongst themselves and the Myrmarchs sit back and watch the colony go through upheaval. The exact circumstance that converts Myrmarchs to the side of one taskmaster or another is difficult to determine simply by historical accounts. The three colonies of Formian that live in the swamp lands of the Darians control have not gone through upheaval recently. The details of the transition of power are obscured mainly by the abnormal nature of the Formians. Like most bog born they bear little resemblance to the beast born. Even the Darians are far more fathomable than the strange Formains.
Formians will never send a diplomatic envoy to an Imperial city. A merchant group may pass through led by taskmaster. A war band may find its way to your borders, but the Myrmarchs and the Grand Mother do not leave their colony. In the recorded history of the Darians diplomatic negotiations with the Formians have always taken place within the colonies themselves. An errant taskmaster is one such that it is difficult to anticipate their behavior. To have left the colony implies some irregularity in the taskmaster. The best that can be said is that Formains are scavengers by nature and will eat nearly anything without complaint.
Visiting a Formian colony is not advisable. The environment is bizarre. The workers and warriors are in constant motion. The majority of the colony is underground, and the to visit the Grand Mother you must be led through countless winding tunnels into a deep and dark cavern wherein the Myrmarchs entertain the Grand Mother with their songs written in clicks and hums. Even speaking to a taskmaster on the surface of a colony can be a disturbing experience. Formians are loath to trade, and far more likely to take any visitors as a form of food offering from your people. In general, avoid the Formian colonies.
Stone Elendi Show
The Stone Born Elendi are a rare breed. They are found on the Bottom Lands living amongst the Dwar. Deep in the earth these extremely long lived Elendi have watched the dragons rise and fall. They have watched the man-tree wars start and end. They have watched the Empire rise to its great power, and they watched the wizard wars of ascendancy nearly break the empire. They have watched the Dwar nearly destroy their own people through their fanatical sense of racial purity, and all the while the Stone Born Elendi have remained silent in the darkness. Waiting or merely watching it is hard to say.
Stone Born Elendi do not make nations. They create a safe place for themselves. Their skin is hard as stone and their eyes glimmer like gemstones. Slender like all Elendi their bones are brittle like crystal. They are almost impossible to cut, but they are susceptible to being shattered like so much glass. These Stone Born Elendi are able to heal themselves by resting in the earth, and unlike most Elendi the Stone Born do not need to breath. Hence their perpetual silence. Stone Born Elendi are able to talk, but they must make great effort to do so. Their communication is one of hand signals and understanding.
It is hard to say if the Stone Born Elendi hand language is more or less complicated than the Plant hand language. The fact that no one other than the Stone Born Elendi and some Dwar know how to speak it makes it difficult to say. On one had the Stone Born Elendi's hand sign is ancient. These Elendi live longer than most Trees, let alone the lively walking flowers. On the other hand they may not need as complicated a lingo as the merchant plants have developed. The life of the Stone Born Elendi is far simpler than that of the world traveling plants. Perhaps they simply do not have that much to talk about.
Visiting the Stone Born Elendi is nearly impossible. The best you could do is to visit a family of Stone Born Elendi. They are generally amicable, and serve fine meals of underground fare such as bugs and grubs. They keep farms of moss and mushrooms as well. Its a simple life without complications. There is not much to talk about with them, and getting them to talk is somewhat of an imposition as they do not do so naturally. More preferably they play a silent game of strategy that has no name. Attempting to win against a Stone Born is impossible. The Stone Born play their game to pass time, and the rules are so complicated that it would take a Mans lifetime to even begin. Playing for fun however, can be quite enjoyable.
On the rare and magnanimous occasion that a Stone Born Elendi will make an appearance at an Imperial Council or City be prepared to do your best. In some unfathomable way any slights turned on a Stone Born Elendi have carried with them unutterable curses. It is said amongst the Dwar that to offend a Stone Born Elendi is to offend the world itself. Those who dabble in the Arconistic arts claim that the gemstone games of these Elendi is a form of Arconistics that gives them insight into the world that they do not participate in actively. With such a quiet and unknowable people it is hard to say.
Glittering Gold Dust Show
A common curse.
Because = Gold floats. Its all over the place. Its worth nothing. Ha!
Lanalfar Dwar Show
The Star Born Dwar. These Dwar are perhaps one of the most astounding peoples of the entire world. They do not truely belong in this world. They are in fact of the worlds beyond the world. There is no way short of miracle or vile arconistics to travel to their homeland in the stars beyond the Dragon's Crown Isle. The only contact the mortal peoples of the world have with the Lanalfar is via their trading ships that descend from the heavens into the upper and mid skies. They are Dwar, their stature and their language reveals this clearly, but their eyes shine with the starlight that is their true home. Their skin glows with the energy celestial and if you touch one you can feel the heat of the realms beyond.
The Lanalfar keep the secrets of their homeland safe with them. They never speak of what their homeland is like, and are never quite clear as to why they are descending from the high realms into the world to trade goods with mortals. The fact is that they do, and are extremely good at it. Their presence is something fearful and causes merchants to react with awe. Their luminescent ships sail in a fashion unlike the Gnomish and Tolenese vessels. Few have been allowed to travel on the Lanalfar ships, but they claim that the vessels are larger on the inside than on the out. It would come as no surprise to anyone if the Lanalfar carried portals to their homelands with them on their miraculous star ships.
Speculations abound regarding the Lanalfar. They are mysterious and rarely speak. They make their transactions and move to the next port. Those that deal with them cannot say that they are not fair, and they pay almost exclusively in barter. It is not that they avoid crystal, but it seems they are more interested in moving goods from one location to another. Those that travel with them say that they do not eat. They do not sleep. They are not mortal. All these things may or may not be true. Such a mysterious people may take pains to increase the mystique of their nature. They are most certainly prone to singing together. Their songs burst from their docked ships with every dawn's light.
Visiting a Lanalfar is as simple as booking passage on their vessels. Despite countless peoples attempting to ride with them back into the stars the Lanalfar have refused to bring any with them to their homeland. They do not seem afraid of anyone. Simply certain that the peoples of the world cannot go with them back to their homeland. Many think that the reason for this is that we who live in this world are unable to survive either the transit or the arrival to the Lanalfar's homeland. The fact that none have ever seen them eat or sleep supports this theory quite strongly. While traveling with the Lanalfar be certain to be ready to prepare your own meals, as they wont.
A visiting Lanalfar crew are obsequies guests. They are quite, but not rude. They are do not eat but they will tell tales of their travels and speak of practical matters from the lands they have been to recently. There is not need to feed them as they will not eat regardless. There is no need to offer them lodging as they will return to their ship to rest. One certain way to make a good impression is to ask them to sing one of their songs. They love to sing and they have an amazing knack of being able to sing together. The language of the Lanalfar is such that while it is Dwar .. it is difficult to decipher the details of the songs. Regardless the sound is beautiful.
Ahhhh, the 31st post. Time to look back and reflect on what has come and gone while I pull strings from my brain and twine them into threads on wotc.
I should probably be a little more strait forward about "where this is going" :embarrass people have asked after all - and I responded with casual flippancy - as I find amusing. What I find funny - others might find offending, but thems the breaks eh?
Where this is going Show
Its a bookstore. On this bookstore is a couple of scripts, a short story, and the appendix/outline and forwards of the book that you are here in this thread reviewing. Yes - I am serious. I am planning on turning this into something I am planning on selling. Map makers? Artists? Anyone who wants to get pro cred and (if/when by some act of fortune) MONEYS!
I am totally serious about this - not only am I so totally serious about this that not only can you lay money on the fact that the majority of what you see here is going to appear in the book titled "A Wonderful World, Bestiary" (barring death by disaster - just to be precise), I would also like to proposition those of you with some amount of editorial bent.
A decent proposal Show
Anyone who considers themselves good with a red marker, anyone who appreciates just how many people appear on the inside cover of published game books, and anyone who would like to get their name on a well put together and well edited sample of work,
I need some help. I can't do this all on my own. I am at this point specifically looking for editors. Anyone reading this respectfully invited to select from any of the pieces already posted and ... well ... edit them. Spelling, grammar, flow, even content editing is welcome.
If you perform any editorial tasks (even critique commentary) please include a reference as to how you should be listed in the legal section of the completed work. If you would prefer to remain publicly anonymous (here at wotc-public) please state; "leave my name off" or "use my forum name in the 'special thanks to' section" alternatively you could send me a PM with your listing info - and have it simply appear in the list of editors in the final product).
To the writer/creators .... next sblock!
Policy regdaring submissions Show
I am willing to entertain concepts inspired by the work as a whole. Don't be scared to throw something out there - I might like it. I am a pretty agreeable guy. I will most likely be modified, edited, rewritten, and reworked .... buu'ut .... you should be ready for something like that to happen to your writing. If you want to be professional about it anyway.
Dragon's Home Island Show
The highest of the high skies. So called seat of the dragon gods. Above even the moon and the font of the deluge there is an island that none can honestly claim to have reached. There are those that claim they have been to Dragon's Home Island. Legends speak of these hearty adventurers, but surely they must lie. No one legend agrees with the other. The tale of Cinder Sailmistress claims that on the surface of Dragon's Home there is a vast city, larger even than the Imperial City. The stories of Gerna, Gnome Trader claims the opposite - not city but endless fields plowed by dragons. Many tales tell many stories, and not one of them agrees. The only way even two of the stories could be true is if Dragon's Home Island changed its face for each visitor. Such a thing would be wondrous indeed, but most likely impossible.
That which is known is that Dragon's will never speak of what is on Dragon's Home. Over the century cycles of Dragons Falling and Rising some of the dragon kind descend from the island, and some ascend to depart from the world forever. Nevertheless they will not speak of what is upon the island. They will however speak of what is above the Dragon's Home Island - the True font of the deluge. Most that sail the high skies have seen the font. A hole in the sky directly below the lowermost underpeak of Dragon's Home. There on that crag is a small shrine. Too small for a ship to land, but not too small for those with flight to reach. From this shrine a seeker may look down to the flipside of the font and see any place in the entire world save the surface of Dragon's Home or the Pure Lands themselves.
According to the Dragons the font of the deluge that is seen below the fountain shrine is a mirror of the true font. The true font, they say, is above the Dragon's Home Island. The font below is a portal that the eldest of the dragons (those more aged and powerful than the dragon elders that rule the elements and the mists of the world below the Dragon's Home Island) use to transfer the endless waters of the font where they need to go. According to the dragons the font is endless. The water that falls from the font below the shrine is carefully measured for the well being of the world. Excess waters are sent to the bottom of the world and fill the endless sea. The truth or lie of these tales is impossible to say - for who can question what comes from dragon's mouth?
revised checklist Show
• Beast Born
• Montaran Dwar
• Imperial Dwar
• Iron Wall Dwar
• Ferry Born Dwaren
• Half Dwaren
• Goblion Dwari
• Elen Dwari
• Feral Dwerein
• Feathered Dwari
• Hoofed Dwarentyr
• Clawed Dwarentyr
• Flipper Dwarentyr
• Hudder Dwari (stone)
• Derro Dwari (soot)
• Lanvatier Dwari (Kinder Elentsi)
• Sky Born Gnomes
• Star Eyed Gnomes
• Sky Island Elendi
• Heart Land Elendi
• Feral Elendi
• Sky Born Elani
• Sea Crystal Elani
• Dragon Hearted
• Dolorian Elentsi
• Wild Homelanders (Vanara)
• Imperial Citizens
• Tolonese Citizens
• Sky Islanders
• Wight (blues)
• Bottom Landers
• Gemron Aberrants
• Arcon Hearts
• Orcnin Sa (Bugbear)
• Orcnin Ha (orcs)
• “Scrag” Water Troll
• Hag (female troll).
• “The Misshapen” (Athach and Ettin)
• Weran (wolf/kangaroo/weasel)
• Hotyr (otter/raccoon/seal)
• Minotan (bull/buffalo/rhino)
• Dolphryn (porpoise/whale/hippo)
• Miryn (mouse/squirrel/rat)
6. Ronian (Achaierai)
• Keiron (light) High Skies
• Fieron (flame) Mid and Low Skies
• Volturon (stone) Mid Low and Bottom Land
• Icthyron (water) Low Sky and Bottom Land
• Emuron (forests big flightless) Land Based
• Rhearon (plains small flightless) Land Based
• Bog Born
• Two Legs
• Four Legs
• Sting Tails
• Araneas (dopplegangers)
• Daritaurn (Drider)
2. (alligator/crocodile) Lizardfolk
• Two Arms
• Many Arms
7. Eadro (Locathah)
8. Trogdorn (lodyte?)
• Black Pudding
• Gelatinous Cube
• Gray Ooze
• Ochre Jelly
10. Chuul? (crab)
11. Aboleth (worm)
• Green Born
1. Dirt Eaters (plants)
• Phantoms (Phantom Fungus)
• Running Trees
• Standing Trees
2. Water Eaters (Nymphs)
• Tuathan (palaces)
• Chimera (dangerous places)
• Gorgon (stones and snakes)
• Grig (little lover)
• Pixie (little sleeper)
• Bogan (homes, public greens)
• Gromit (workshops, factories)
• Knockin (tunnels, mines, ore veins)
• Alseid (glens, groves, meadows)
• Auloniad (pasture, vales)
• Crinaeae (fountains, city parks)
• Dryad (forests)
• Hamadryad (trees)
• Hesperides (flowers/gardens)
• Limnades (fresh water lakes)
• Meliae (graves, battlegrounds)
• Naiads (rivers)
• Napaeae (grotto)
• Nereids (shores)
• Oceanids (deep waters)
• Oreads (mountains)
• Pagaeae (springs)
3. Salt Eaters
• Strangling Trees
• Assassin Vines
• The Plauges
• Belker’s Plauge
• Shambler (Tendriculos)
• Filmsholk (high skies)
• Sky Born
• Stone Born
1. Arcon Born (created)
• Homunculus (tom thumbs)
• Watchers (Invisible Stalker)
2. Sand Born (genie)
• The Sculpted
• Earth Elemental
• Fire Elemental
• Water Elemental
• Cloud Giant
• Fire Giant
• Frost Giant
• Hill Giant
• Stone Giant
• Storm Giant
3. Dust Born (ghosts)
• Allip (plant ghost)
• Shadow (plant ghost)
• Doppelganger (plant ghost)
• Ghilan (ghoul/ghast/genie-ghost/doppelganger)
4. Mud Born (natural)
• Gibbering (mouther)
• Stalkers (invisible).
The Masters of the Sea. Oft Called Water Mans. The Thalians are the most populous Mans of the seas. Unlike Mans that live on the land and venture out into the seas the Thalians do not sail in boats. The Thalians live in a most amazing and unique form of city. Their cities are made of crystal. The famed crystal cities of the Thalians are actually alive. The cities are ever changing as the crystal grows over time. The most important profession amongst the Thalians is the art of singing crystal. Without the Crystal singers the city walls would grow uncontrolled and eventually open a vent from which water could cascade into the city and sink the entire settlement. Those born with the gift to sing crystal are given the very best the city has to offer, and are the symbolic leaders of the Thalians.
For the most part Thalian crystal cities do not interact with the surface world hardly at all. Most of their trade is done with sea born races such as the Malenti (Sea Elendi) and even some with the Haggan. The Thalian cities may sink deep into the waters to harvest goods from fallen ships. There are also deep sea cities that have attached themselves to mines on the bottom of the world. These deep sea mines are the Thalians most well protected settlements as the Haggan hoards are most interested in taking possession of ready made sources of metal. The Thalians are technically Imperials, but are rare to attend any form of Imperial councils on the bottom lands. Similar to the Malenti the Thalians see themselves as beyond the reach of the normal Imperial business. Disputes between the Thalians and the Malenti are handled differently than the way that Land and Sky dwelling Imperials handle such matters.
Thalians harvest mostly fish and sea plants for their food. They, like all Mans, are capable of eating nearly anything. The one thing that defines their diet is availability. There are certain plants that the Thalians are able to grow on the very crystal that makes up their city, but most of their vegetable and fruit are gotten through trade with the Malenti. The Malenti, like the Haggan, are mostly interested in the weapons of worked metal and crystal that the Thalians produce. When trading with the Imperial cultures that are willing to venture out to sea to meet with a Thalian crystal city when it surfaces seasonally the prize that most seek is the very crystal that makes up the city. The living crystal has one particular trait that makes it invaluable to those that travel the waters of the world. Placing a shard of the crystal inside your mouth allows you to breath water as though it were air for nearly an hour before the crystal dissolves.
Traveling to a Thalian city is far easier than attempting to visit the Malenti. Furthermore, visiting a Thalian city is most often the first step in attempting to meet with the Malenti. Thalian cities surface twice a year, depending on their city's calender. Due to ancient trading arrangements with their Imperial cousins the Thalians will always surface at the same location so that trade is made easier. Those that wish to visit a Thalian city for longer than a couple of weeks as they make trade with the surface, and enjoy the open air, are in for an extended duration. Six or seven months will pass while the Thalian city travels under the surface of the sea. Beyond that, the Thalians are remarkably Imperial. Customs and language are mostly familiar, save that the crystal singers are granted the deference that most would apply only to Kings and High Councilmen.
In the rather rare case that a retinue of Thalian nobility should attend your court the most proper thing to do is treat them as you would any other Imperial guest. The Thalians are Mans, and appreciate novelty in their dining. They live their entire life on a diet of fish and will rather enjoy whatever local delicacy your province or kingdom has to offer. Noble Thalians are as well versed in the matters of court and council as any Imperial house, and should you consider it judicious to be pointedly tactful the exploits of the Thalian houses are readily available from Imperial scribes. The most common mistake in diplomacy with the Thalians is in accidentally treating them as you would the Malenti. Thalians are most certainly Malenti - despite their common relations with them.
The household invader. The treasure that eats you. These creatures, if they can truly be called as such, are to be found throughout the known world seemingly without rhyme or reason. What was once a common item is at some point replaced with one of these creatures. They have to date refused to be diplomatic to the point of even giving a common name for their species, and are most often referred to as "the mimics" by those that have run afoul of them. They are carnivorous, and extremely dangerous to any who come upon them. They are categorized as mud born for our purposes. Interestingly a single mimic is not single at all, but in actuality a colony of creatures. Their "hive" nature is what allows them to take on the various forms they are to be found impersonating.
The Mimic is in reality a teeming mass of small shelled creatures smaller than a firefly. The creatures that make up the mimic are so small that they are impossible to see with the unaided eye. Those that have examined the remains of a fallen mimic have noted that the remains of the creature are capable of movement and have found that barring fire or acid the colony of creatures will regroup and become a new mimic. The ecology of these tiny creatures is such that they work together to locate a an object they are able to subsume. In the process of enveloping the object they gain a small amount of sustenance, more if the object is organic such as a wooden chest or barrel and less if it is inorganic such as a statue, but their primary motivation for subsuming the object is to lure a living creature near them.
Once an object has been subsumed the mimic hive creature will wait for the arrival of a living creature. A well fed mimic will wait until the creature touches the object. Once the unsuspecting victim touches the object the mimic will expend the energy to attempt to catch hold of the creature. Some mimics must exist out in the wilderness amongst the tangler trees, but they would be hard to identify. The Mimics most speak of are those that have found their way into storehouses and treasuries. The most notable legends of mimics are told regarding that most uncommon of mimic - the ones that have taken the form of statues out in public. They benefit from the fact that people regularly approach and touch statues, but they suffer from the fact that they are easily detected if they fail to keep careful watch over who is watching when they attempt to devour their victim.
Attempting to speak with a Mimic is an exercise in futility and frustration. Most often the mimic will simply ignore you an attempt to eat you. Occasionally a especially urbane mimic will be willing to speak with you, with the sole purpose being to convince you to bring victims for it to devour. Those Mimics that do speak invariably speak in a plural "we" when referring to itself. This facet of the rare communication with the Mimic species is what lead to the discovery that the Mimic is in fact a hive being, and not a shapechanger. Those with dark hearts have been known to use Mimics and their endless appetite as a way of disposing of bodies. The Revalians, are notable examples of those that do so.
"A Mimic in your court" is a saying that comes in and out of favor over the years. Usually referring to someone masquerading as a diplomat of another nation when they are in fact a rouge. The idea of actually entertaining diplomatic negotiations with a race of creatures that seeks nothing more than to devour as much living flesh as possible is simply unconscionable. Not even the Revalians keep Mimics in a diplomatic sense. The Mimics held in the darkest dungeons of the Revalian keep are there expressly for their disposal capacity. The only "diplomacy" any other need concern themselves with is fire and acid. In one of the two lies the answer to any negotiations with Mimics.
When a soul cannot rest, or will not. The souls of those that were not properly interred rise to haunt the area that their remains reside in. In civilized realms wraiths are almost unheard of. In the wilderness and in certain realms they are far too common. Should someone die in the wilderness for any reason they will most certainly raise as a wraith. Hence the civilized Mans natural fear of traveling through most wilderness. In some of the less civilized regions of the Empire the dead are not properly cared for and in these realms they are plagued with these angry dead. The Taurn and the Orcnin deal with wraith in a fashion that most Imperials would find repulsive, however they do so for reasons they consider adequate.
The great roads of the Bottom Lands were originally created to protect travelers from the countless wraiths that plague the expanses of the Bottom Lands. Perhaps it is the Empire's own fault as their ancient form of execution was to simply toss an offender over the ridge and allow them to fall to their death. It was these angry spirits that most thoroughly vexed the original expeditions to the Bottom Lands and provoked the ancient Imperial archonists to create the great roads and enchant them so that wraiths, as well as other creatures such as the Orcnin, could not set foot upon them.
Regions such as Reval have taken to dealing with the angry dead in much the same fashion that the Taurn and the Orcnin do. Instead of interring their dead in a proper fashion - binding their souls to the greater powers and releasing them properly from their material shell - the Taurn, the Orcnin, and some Bottom Lands Imperial houses have taken up the practice of binding the souls to service. Upon death the souls is captured in a gemstone imbued with Arconistic power. This bound souls is doomed to be a servitor to the gemstone's owner much as the Genies are. Their only hope for release being the destruction of the stone.
A wraith as a guest is unlikely. They may maraud your house but not in any fashion that resembles pleasant company. The problem most certainly stems from a wraith inability to perceive the present properly. A wraith will always recognize those around it as being those that were present when it was killed. Some shadow of recognition may glimmer in the dead soul, but not hardly enough to alter its behavior. The only types of wraith safe to keep around uncontained are those that died of simple causes such as food poisoning or accident. Those that were murdered or mauled by dire beasts are a threat to all those who come near. Those that died of accident are often still quite annoying as they are prone to wailing for unending hours.
Should you find a wraith and desire to do something about it the most simple process it to contain it within a gemstone much as the Revalians do. This fact alone is the reason that the laws allow that particular arconistic ritual to this day. Without the simple yet powerful ritual of containing wraiths in imbued stones many of the greatest Imperial houses would be haunted to this day. More difficult, yet better for the soul in the long view, is a ritualized internment. The longer the remains have been left to the elementals the more difficult it becomes to complete the ritual, but nonetheless interring the body of the wraith will at the very worst contain the wraith to the proper area of your city or village - the graveyard.
Ronians without wings. The giant chickens of the Bottom Lands. The Emurons are perhaps the most civilized and powerful breed of Ronians in the world. Their agricultural industry is one of the most powerful on the Bottom Lands. They build cities that outshine any created by their sky born cousins. They maintain a form of communication between the Orcnin tribes, the sea faring peoples, the pridelanders, and the crosslanders. While technically Pridelanders the Emurons stand apart from the Taurn much as their sky born cousins hold themselves apart from sky lander societies.
When the Imperial expeditionary forces found themselves setting out across what would later come to be named the Pride Lands they found the Emurons waiting for them. Their cities simple yet shining examples of intelligent architecture. The Emurons offered them hospitality and served them the delicacy of their red potatoes. The first time an Imperial had ever eaten such a thing. Hard to imagine the Empire without potatoes, but they were cultivated first by the Emurons. In a classic example of Emuron diplomacy the Emurons not only aided the Imperial Expeditionary forces across the pridelands to the Goval region, but they demanded that the humble potato forever remain a symbol of their alliance with the Empire.
Emurons and other Ronians have a strange relationship. Whereas most Ronian tribes of the skies are tacitly anti-Empire, and in some cases openly hostile to the Empire, the Emurons have always defended the Empire while at the sametime never officially joining it. Perhaps it is as they say "Ronians are Ronians and nothing else" but despite their refusal to form an Imperial house and council the Emurons have never openly warred with any Imperial house. They have remained cordial relations with all the major powers of the Bottom Lands save for the Darians and Formians. The simple yet elegant people seem content to remain tucked along the shores of the Bottom Lands. Living both on the plains and in the waters of the endless sea.
Visiting Emurons are a treat. They regularly purchase travel up to the skies for the purpose of both travel and trade. While potatoes are commonplace throughout the Empire in this era there is still something unidentifiable unique about the Emuron's stock. Their potatoes are not their only trade good. They fish the seas and raise livestock as well. Emurons have as cultured and civilized a palate as any Imperial, and suffer no particular dietary restrictions worth noting. Furthermore Emurons are well versed in diplomacy, should any matter of note be important - their heralds would most certainly inform the lords of the house.
Visiting the Emurons is not as glamorous as it might sound. Their structures are elegant ... in their simplicity. Sturdy most certainly, and arranged in such a fashion that they are easily defensible from the great threats that roam the Bottom Lands. Perhaps they are comfortable to other Ronians, but they are most certainly not designed for Mans or Taurn. Those that intend to visit the Emurons should prepare as they would to visit the wilderness. Tents, furniture and the like should be brought with. The grand dining halls of the Emuron's villages are most impressive and covered with murals telling the saga of the tribe however, that at least is something to look forward to seeing.
Flipper Dwarentyr Show
Mer-Dwar. The sorry soggy lost dwar. Like most Dwarentyr the Flippered are not a "true dwar" as most Dwar would consider. In this case the Flippered are not in any real fashion a civilization. They have no place in Dwar societies. They have no real place in any society for that matter. Mostly they are found living on the fringes of another group such as the Shakar or the Aquan Elendi. There are usually a handful making their way amongst the Thalians, but they must make their homes on the outside of the Crystal sphere, and are thusly rather lonely. The Flippered Dwar are invariably lonely as they have no true society - only the scraps of others.
Six Legged Dwar, Eyeless Dwar. The Darin Dwari are considered an anathema to the greater population of Dwar and Dwaren. DarinDwari are the result of a Dwar and Darian crossbreed. Such a thing is only possible due to the nature of the Dwar, and the result is more horrid to look upon than the Darians themselves. DarinDwari are born eyeless and with an extra pair of Darian limbs. They do not gain the webbing of the Darians, but they do gain a special affinity for manipulating it that non other than the Darians have. DarinDwari are almost exclusively found amongst the Darians. Even amongst the Darians there is some societal antagonism. The Doom Sayer religion considers them a weak detriment of the Darians interaction with other societies that will be whipped clean once the true Doomsayer returns.
The grand experiment gone wrong. Hobgoblins are the result of the Orcnin'Sa attempting to create their own breed of Orcnin. Originally intending to call this species the Orcnin'Ra the result was so far below the Sa's expectations that they named the species after the goblins. Some thing that the Hobgoblins are some half breed between the Goblins and the Sa, but that is not the case. The source of the Hobgoblin is truly the blood of the Trolls. At the same time that the Imperials were invading the Bottom Lands the Orcnin were dabbling with greater Arconistics - blending the blood of Trolls with the blood of the Taurn. The result is the nearly feral (but minimally more intelligent than a Troll) Hobgoblin.
The Hobgoblins are more intelligent than Trolls. They are not much more intelligent than Trolls, and it is debatable if they are more intelligent than Goblins. They are larger than Goblins with has placed them above the Goblin in the Orcnin pecking order. The Trolls still outrank them for sheer destructive power. Their superiors are the Ogre, named after Ogran himself. The Ogre are the successful version of the rituals that created the Hobgoblin. The stretch of history that separates the creation of the Hobgoblin from the creation of the Ogre includes the change of power amongst the Orcnin from Sa to Ha, and the massive defeat on the Bottom Lands at the hands of Mans Empire.
The Hobgoblins are fiercely loyal to their creators. They at all times favor the Orcnin'Sa over the Orcnin'Ha. Whether this facet of their sub-society in the Orcnin's is due to their creation as subservient to the Orcnin'Sa or if it is due to ingrained indoctrination is unknowable. What can be said is that where the Orcnin'Sa go the Hobgoblin will follow. They are the protectors, heralds, courtiers, and flag bearers to the old guard Orcnin. They maintain many of the traditions amongst themselves that the Orcnin'Ha have done away with at large. Most specifically the rituals wherein a Hobgoblin, or Goblin that speaks out of turn is fed its own finger. Many Hobgoblins bear Troll hand necklaces, and only those that have had their teeth removed are taught to read or write.
A Hobgoblin that arrives at your palace is not to be trusted save they have no teeth. That is not to say they are all vicious, evil, and unworthy of trust. Simply that Hobgoblins have long been used by the Orcnin'Sa as insurgents. Tales of old warn right that Hobgoblins will enter into a city seeking sanctuary from cruel masters. Full of true tales of despicable treatment, and unfathomable punishments. These creatures have nonetheless betrayed their patrons without regret or remorse on countless occasions. Let history be your guide and never trust a Hobgoblin that can still smile.
Visiting the Orcnin is always a risky venture. The Hobgoblins are rarely found without the Orcnin'Sa and thusly to visit a Hobgoblin tribe is to visit an Orcnin'Sa horde. The Orcnin'Sa are the elder tribe of the Orcnin. They follow rules of antiquity in most cases and unlike the Orcnin'Sa may be willing to break bread under the flag of Triune truce as was done of old. However such practices are also considered one of the major factors leading to the Orcnin's defeat in ancient times and as such the Triune flag of truce may or may not be respected amongst them. Worse the Orcnin'Sa may at first honor the flag only to betray its honor when the time is right for them to avenge their fallen ancestors.
The unseen watchers. The invisibles. These beings are mysterious to the extreme. Their society is as invisible to most as they themselves are. Many mistake them for a form of air elemental, but nothing could be further from the truth. Stalkers, or watchers as they are known by some, are simply another race that lives and loves in this wide and wonderful world. They make their settlements in the shadows and nooks of larger cities. There are a select few cities that are even aware of a the Stalker settlements that co-exist with them just around the corner and in the lee of the city walls.
Save for their invisibility Stalkers look much like hairless Barkin. An interesting point is that they are invisible to each other as well. They occasionally participate in a ceremony that reveals their appearance to each other. This rare moment is something that the Stalkers treasure and anticipate with great fervor. Marriages and coming of age ceremonies are happy occasions. Condemnations and executions are less joyous, but are also occasions when a Stalker's appearance is revealed to the community. In lieu of the ability to see each other the Stalkers must rely on their hearing and touch to interact with each other. Their language has perhaps the most explicit form of location declaration of any of the known languages of the world.
The most celebrated and famous of the Stalker settlements is the one in Imperial city. They live primarily in the 7th tier. Along with most Orcnin and races that prefer subterranean life. Stalkers are not subterranean by nature, however they find it easier to interact with those that do not utilize sight as their primary sense. The Stalkers of Imperial city are equally urbane as any, and despite the Stalkers less than illustrious reputation throughout the Empire they are respected members of society in Imperial city. The next most well known Stalker settlement is far less respected. Found in the Sky Lakes the city is known to be a haven for scum and villainy.
Stalkers are hardly a unified society. For the most part they simply find places for themselves amongst the societies they find themselves in. Sadly due to their natural gifts the Stalkers find it easy to associate themselves with the darker elements of any given area. A Stalker makes a profoundly effective thief and the guilds that organize such things are constantly seeking to bring more Stalkers into their fold. Thankfully the majority of Stalkers are simple people more interested in family and health. At this time there is no recognized nobility amongst the Stalkers. Instead they simply either swear fealty to the nearest Imperial Noble or attempt to avoid such issues entirely by remaining simple commoners.
Should a rare family of Stalkers consider itself noble and make an official reception at your court the first most important thing to consider is not their invisibility. They have no qualms regarding being spoken directly towards. In fact the occasions on record with the Imperial archives indicate that Stalkers will usually present statuary to serve as focal objects for their hosts. This practice is apparently used in the homes of the Stalkers as well. The Stalker children grow to adult hood speaking to an images of their parents created by a member of the family from the memories of their appearances that were revealed during the marriage ceremonies.
The deep dark MereDwarel. The shadow Dwar. These Dwar are rarely met by those that do not live in the depths of the Bottom Lands with the Dwar themselves. On those rare occasions that a MereDwarel is found outside of the deepest of Dwaren halls they are most often mistaken for the Flipper Dwarentyr. Though they look nothing alike the MereDwarel and the Flipper Dwarentyr are similar in that they are an aquatic people. Flipper Dwarentyr are rare enough that very few know that the Flipper Dwarentyr are furred, while the MereDwarel are entirely hairless.
The MereDwarel hold a rather unusual place in Dwaren culture due to the fact that the Dwar do not consider them Dwar, and yet keep them amongst the Dwaren people. Hence the title Dwarel as opposed to the outcast Dwari. According to legend the MereDwarel were created from the Dwar by the Gnomes (one of the Dwari) in the grand conflict that seperated the Gnome from the Dwar. MereDwarel are the only one of the five types of Dwarien that were spawned by the Gnomish Wars that remains with the Dwar. The Hudder Dwari, the Derro Dwari, and the Lanvatier Dwari were cast out when the allied with the Gnomes. The MereDwarel adhered to the High Lords of the Imperial Dwar.
The MereDwarel are the only known extant Dwarel. Once long ago there was another Dwarel. According to Dwar legends it was known as the DraconDwarel, but this race of Dwarel died out long before the fall of Taurn in the Mans-Tree wars of antiquity. The nature of being Dwarel is such that the MereDwarel are allowed to participate in the larger Dwar society only in limited ways, and yet they are afforded the full protection of the Dwar armies and resources. The MereDwarel live in the deepest of the Dwar halls where waters from the endless ocean have seeped in and created underseas. They mine precious stones from the bottoms of these undeseas for the Dwar Empire and are thusly wealthy after a fashion.
The MereDwarel are not keen on house guests, and do not maintain the same kind of high ritual that the majority of the Dwar do. Visiting the average MereDwarel home is a simple occasion. You will dine on fish and squid. Perhaps turtle or other aquatic lizard. The MereDwarel are able to breath underwater but they do not generally live below the surface. Rather they make their homes on the shores. Partially in the water and partially on the land. There is always an entry portal from the water and from the land. Staying in one of their homes if nothing else a damp experience.
As far as entertaining an envoy of MereDwarel, it is simply not going to happen under any normal circumstances. There is a remote possibility that a group of MereDwarel may seek sanctuary at your keep, particularly if you are a Bottom Lands house, but such a circumstance is hardly one requiring of pomp and circumstance. While they primarily eat sea creatures such as fish and squid, the MereDwarel are not unable to eat normal fare. The fact of the matter is that the only time you will likely meet a MereDwarel is in the company of a larger Imperial Dwar reception. Beyond that occasion is probably better to forget they even exist, as most of the Dwar do.
Orcnin Sa Show
The Elder Orcnin. The once great Sa. These are the second born race of Ogran. After Ogran found the Trolls wanting for lack of any form of real intelligence the great and hoary elder god decided to create a beast race. The Trolls thought like Trees, slow and simple. The first and greatest lord of the dark decided he needed a race capable of thinking faster than the Elendi. In his "wisdom" Ogran gathered together a collection of the beasts that he considered most powerful and dire - the Owl, the Bear, and the Crocodile. These three beasts were warped and wrapped together to create the creature first known as the Orcnin. In their own language they are called Sa.
For century upon century Ogran guided the Sa directly. The Sa ruled the Arconistic isle and they were the first true Arconists. Their great arts emulated the true Arcons in that most sacred act - the creation of new peoples. The Goblin, the Hobgoblin, and others called Orcnin. The nomenclature of the Orcnin clarifies what was created by Sa and that which was created by Ogran. The Orcnin'Ha and the Orcnin'Ka were created by Ogran. The rest, save for the Trolls, were the creation of the Sa. The Sa ruled the Orcnin empires for centuries until their great failure durring the Wizard Wars. When Arconistic Ilse was lost they were cursed by Ogran and cast aside.
The curse of Ogran on the Sa was as such; where once every Sa had the ability to commune with Ogran directly the cursed Sa cannot hear the words of Ogran. Also the cursed Sa are hairless. In ancient times the Sa were covered head to toe with luxurious long hair. It was a point of pride and vanity amongst the Sa. Orcnin'Ka were kept mostly to preen and brush the Sa. Those who follow the Arconistic drama point to this flaw as that which led to the Orcnin'Sa's ultimate downfall. Their interests being focused more on their own appearance than the success or failure of their strategies. The Orcnin'Ha are most certainly not beautiful to behold as the ancient Orcnin'Sa were.
The Orcnin'Sa are surprisingly civil, for Orcnin. They are an elder race and as such comply with the ancient tenants of the Triune faith. So long as once visits on the proper holidays or under the proper circumstances the Sa are most hospitable. They will cook food for you, and even speak in you language. This was the way of the ancients. It was the Sa that taught the ancient Elen and Mans the ways of Arconistics. Before the loss of Arconistic Isle Mans, Elendi, and even Dwar were allowed to attend the schools of Arconistics that the Sa kept on their Isle. Some say that it was this honor, not their vanity, that angered Ogran. For, certainly the Orcnin'Ha have none.
Should an Orcnin'Sa seek audience with an Imperial court the moon has most likely fallen into the endless sea, the deluge has dried up, and Taurn risen back into the sky. While the Sa will gladly offer the hospitality of the proper Triune holidays to their ancient enemies - they are proud in such a manner that they rarely, if ever, seek the hospitality of others. Rather than beg the graces of an Imperial house they will forage in the woods for game. Even after their curse and fall from rulership of the Orcnin peoples the Sa will never forget that for untold ages they were the chosen of Ogran. Of course the only people that care for such matters are the Orcnin themselves.
The strange and misshappen shore dwellers of the bottom lands. Sometimes called MereMans. These creatures, though a people after a fashion, are perhaps the barest example of such in the known world. Their intelligence mocks the term. On average there are smarter beasts roaming the world than these hairless near Mans. Those that study such things ponder that perhaps when the gods first made Mans they made instead the Trogdorn. Then seeing what a dreadful mistake the Trogdorn were they cast them down to the Bottom Lands to survive or expire with the rest of their unwanted creations. If that is the case it is a miracle that this simple people has survived for so long.
The Trogdorn live on the shores of the inner sea of the bottom lands. They hunt and fish and generally live simply. The only thing that separates them from the beasts is their rituals, and of course their hands. They create art. This art is crude by comparison to that created by any other people in the world, but it is art nonetheless. Statues of their ancestors and their gods. Though in their simple society it is hard to be sure that their ancestors and their gods are not one and the same. They do not domesticate animals so much as there are a number of animal species that have taken a kindness to them. Crocodiles and some birds live amongst the Trogdorn and the beast kings will often aid the Trogdorn in their hunts.
The Trogdorn are able to breath underwater for a short period of time, but live on the land. If they stray too far from water their skin will dry and they will suffer for it. They are a most perilously created people in that it seems the only place for them to survive at all is exactly where they are. Just near the shores edge where they can fish, but close enough to woodlands to hunt other game for the furr they make their clothing out of. Their weapons are made of simple bone or wood. Even stone spear heads are something only one Trogdorn craftsman out of a thousand ever happens upon. Metal wepons occasionally come into their possession from other peoples, but does not take long for such a wondrous item to rust in the hands of a simple Trogdorn.
Visiting the Trogdorn can be a retreat from the wearisome civility of Imperial life. Much like visiting some Taurn settlements living amongst the Trogdorn the world seems to slow down. So long as a meal is ready and the store houses are stocked for the coming weeks there is nothing to worry about. The miracle workers of the Trogdorn are more intent on monitoring their children than defending the marshy stretch of the Bottom Lands that they claim. If there is one thing that can be respected of the Trogdorn is their focus on family. Entire tribes will create rituals and songs that can be sung in mass during marriage ceremonies. These rituals are most marvelous to behold, and will always occur in the spring.
The likelihood that the Trogdorn will visit is rare. It has happened that an envoy of young Trogdorn will set out to learn something of the larger world, but they have rarely gotten farther than the Darien or the Crosslands. The Kinder Elentsi are the people that know the most about the Trogdorn visitors as they are the closest nation to the stretch of shore that has been left to the Trogdorn. According to the Kinder Elentsi entertaining the Trogdorn is easier than falling off a log. Anything, literally anything, other than the simple shore life they are used to is wondrous and astounding to them. The only thing to remember is that the Trogdorn skin need constant moisture. Other than that they should be fine.
The masters of technometrics. The Tolonese Mans are the most powerful nation in the Empire. Their arts of technometrics have taken the place of ancient arconistics in almost every facet of society throughout the Empire. For centuries the Tolonese Mans were little more than nomadic ascetics that inhabited the deserts of Tolon, but in since the Wizard Wars and the fall of Taurn the Tolonese have developed their once simple technometrics into the phenomenal power that it is today. Before the rise of the Tolonese Mans the Gnomes were the undisputed masters of the sky sailing. Today the majority of ships that sail the skies are of Tolonese make.
While the Tolonese are the number one manufacturer of sky ships the Tolonese Mans themselves are rarely found sailing the sky lines. When they do they prefer to sail in ships that are as large as small cities. Entire families of Tolonese Mans are known to travel together on the Tolonese cruisers. The ships that the Tolonese make for themselves are both larger and faster than any of the models that are sold to non-Tolonese. The Tolonese battleships are also special models that the Tolonese refuse to sell to the non-Tolonese. These battleships are tiny in comparison to most of the sky ships, and yet are armed to the teeth with Tolonese lightning guns, and wind force battering rams.
To date none have attempted to attack the Tolonese, and for good reason. Not only do they have the most advanced sky ships both of merchant and war, but they are also the pillar of modern economy. The vast majority of trade in the world must eventually profit the Tolonese. The modern economy is often called the Tolonese economy or the the crystal economy due to this fact. The explanation is of course the Tolonese crystals. Created with technometrics; the gold, silver, red, and blue crystals that most of the world use for merchant trade are created in Tolon City One. To most of us the crystals have little use other than trade, but to the Tolonese the crystals are the miraculous source of energy that they use to power their technometric devices.
Visiting the Tolonese is a bland if unique experience. The Tolonese do not have ceremonies the same way that other nations do. They are extremely ascetic, and the best you can hope for is a short audience with the grand engineer or a private meeting with the grand financier. Visiting a Tolonese machine city is amusing for its novelty, but the food is perhaps the blandest in the known world. If you wish to attempt to pass unnoticed you will have to shave yourself completely as the Tolonese do.
A visiting group of Tolonese engineers are the most pleasant and obsequies guests in the world. They will rarely speak, they will refrain from interacting with others in the court, and they will request only grain for food. Any invitations to enjoy events will be seen as an insult, and any attempt to cajole them to participate in seasonal festivals will be considered even more insulting. The best thing to do is leave them alone, pay them their wage in crystal, and allow them to complete whatever technometric wonder they have come to install into your palace or city.
The Shackled Dead. The Embodied Ghost. The Ghilan are actually a class of ghost that refers to several different types of dead. Ghouls are Ghilan that come from Mans, Ghasts Ghilan that come from Elendi, and Ghilan proper are actually the dead souls of the Genies. There is a fourth type of Ghilan most often called the Doppelganger that comes from dead plants. The Doppelganger is sufficiently different from other Ghilan that it will be covered in its own entry. The Ghilan are often mistaken for undead due to the fact that they have physical bodies unlike most ghosts, but unlike the undead a Ghilan will reform its body some days after being destroyed.
They key element that defines whether a dead soul raises as a Ghilan as opposed to a Wraith is in the amount of arconistic power that the body is invested with at the moment of death. Genies of course always become Ghilan due to the vast amounts of arconistic power they collect naturally, but Ghouls and Ghasts are created from the death of an arconistic master. Despite any knowledge or power collected by the Ghilan in life the Ghilan of Mans, Elendi, and Genie are all mostly alike. They are near mindless beings that differ from zombies only in their sturdier nature and their ability to reform when destroyed.
Many consider battling a Ghilan less unsettling than battling a being such as a Wraith or Spectre. Most ghosts are bodiless and extremely difficult to defeat. It requires a powerful force of presence to defeat a bodiless ghost, but a Ghilan can be beaten into submission through simple force. They can be destroyed, at least for a while, through the same means that one destroys any opponent. One can usually tell whether a Ghilan has been defeated once before as the newly risen Ghilan will often retain the clothing and equipment they carried in life. Whereas as Ghilan that has been defeated a number of times will usually be dressed in the remnants of rags or nothing at all.
Ghilan are unlike most ghosts in that they are not bound to the location of their death. Instead they wander aimlessly throughout the world. Should they be destroyed they will reform in the place of their original death, and in that way they are connected to the place of their death. Most commonly the Ghilan will attempt to attack and devour any living beast they come across. What exactly motivates them to do so is somewhat obscure as the Ghilan needs no food to live. It is presumed that the remnants of intelligence that remain in the dead vessel motivate the Ghilan to reenact the most basic activity of the living which is to feed.
There are those that have attempted to put a Ghilan to rest by seeking out its original place of death and setting the reforming body of the Ghilan in a proper burial. This act is pointless. Even a properly interred Ghilan will simply claw its way out of its grave and continue its mindless attempts to feed on living flesh. The Genie are the only people that have a reasonable method of getting rid of the Ghilan. As all Genie that die become Ghilan it was incumbent upon them to find a way to deal with the phenomena. The arconistically adroit Genie simply open a portal directly into the darkest of the shadow planes of existence. They place the Ghilan there and leave it to wander for eternity.
The fallen ghost. The Shadows are the ghosts of Trees. The long lived Trees grow ever taller throughout life, and their shadows ever longer. Until one day the Tree must fall, and when it does its long shadow is loosed. Few would be able to guess that the Shadows are the spirits of dead Trees. The reason being that a Shadow will always mimic the shadow shape of those that it is attacking. This of course means little once you understand this fact. Shadows are perhaps one of the most dire of the ghosts because of their unwavering drive to create more of their kind. Shadows do not attack the Trees to make more Shadows, instead they plant their seeds of death in Mans and Elendi.
When a Shadow attacks its touch chills the living to their core. If they are not driven off the touch of the Shadow will freeze your blood, and you will die. Once you have been driven to death by the Shadow the dead Tree will plant a seed into the soul of the Wraith that would normally form from your untimely death. Instead of becoming a Wraith, doomed to haunt the place of your death, a Shadow spirit will devour your soul and unleash a new shadow upon the world. All told, perhaps more Shadows have never lived than were once Trees.
Shadows are by far the most common dust born in the world. Not only are they created by the death of Trees, but they are able to create more of their kind from the beast races. Unlike Spectres and Wraiths they are impossible to contain in gemstone prisons, and like most dust born they are able to reform mere days after being banished or beaten. It is possible to disperse a Shadow through sheer force of presence, but doing so will only slow the spread of the dreadful Shadows. Only the brightest of lights can protect one from the Shadows.
While Trees know that they create Shadows upon their death, they seem unconcerned. The only race the Shadows do not attack are the Trees, and it is most likely the Trees final ploy in the long past Mans-Trees wars. For every Tree felled Mans brought a being perhaps even more dire into the world. The Trees have no direct control over the Shadows, and the ghosts are not intelligent in the least, but they are nigh unstoppable. In the end, some 100 centuries after the end of the Mans-Tree wars the Trees may yet win with their dead.
There are those that know how to destroy the Shadows. These being are known as the Healers, and were it not for their undeserved reputation amongst the majority of the Empire they would possibly be able to stop the menace that is the Shadow. The Healers (sometimes called Vampires) are able to bring the Shadows into their soul and are somehow immune to the chilling touch of the ghosts. The Healers have been known to do this for some Imperial provinces, but more often the tales of Healers saving travelers from Shadows have simply made their way into the archives.
The bound soul. The guardians. The Spectre is perhaps the most unfortunate of all the dead. While a Wraith is a spirit that was not properly interred and thusly doomed to haunt the place of its death for nigh on eternity the Spectre is the soul of one that has been intentionally transformed into a ghost. Instead of not being interred the Spectre is intentionally turned into a guardian spirit by the priests when interring another. Often the being that is to become the Spectre is alive up until the burial process is finished. The practice of creating Spectres is one that was much more common in the ancient times, but is still practiced in some Imperial provinces to this day.
The process of creating a Spectre is one that was learned from the Plants. During the Mans-Tree wars the Trees would take the souls of their fallen foes and use them as weapons against the Mans. Those arconistic masters that allied with Mans Empire learned how to duplicate the process, if not perfectly, and the result was the Spectres. Unlike the wrathful ghosts created by the Trees arconistics the Spectres are as equally tethered to a specific location as the Wraiths are. Unlike the wrathful ghosts created by the plants a Spectre retains much of what it knew in life. Those that are able to communicate with the dead can learn much from a Spectre.
Most often the Spectres were created to be guardians of a crypt. When a noble is interred the family will take a number of the slaves owned by the recently deceased and bind their souls to the crypt for eternity. Sometimes the slaves are willing, and other times they are not. Their attitude toward their fate has little to do with how they will behave once they have become Spectres. The nature of the ritual creates a compulsion in the dead soul that forces it to protect the area it has been bound to. There are a handful of Imperial provinces that use Spectres not only to protect their gravesites, but also to protect their city walls.
The most well known Imperial province to use the Spectres publicly is Revalia. Traveling to the Imperial Province of Reval is a frightening experience in the first place, but arriving at their city gates is nearly soul shaking. To those that can see them the Spectres of Reval's fallen enemies and publicly executed circle the city gates furiously. The eyes of the beings glow with the power of those that they have most recently devoured. Passing through the gate is chilling, and making your way through the city almost as bad. The Spectres make for powerful defenders of the city, but at what cost? Simple enough to say that Reval city is safe for any law abiding Revalian.
Spectres cannot leave their stations once bound, unless they are captured in crystal. Similar to wraiths the spirit may be contained in a properly arconistically treated gemstone. Revalians sell captured Spectres as a commodity, and indeed the guardians are effective at protecting your treasures. Should you allow the Spectre escape containment however ... it will become what is known as a Boggy. The Boggy are a dreadful nuisance that will be covered in their own section of this tome. Needless to say it is best to attempt to prevent a Spectre from escaping its crystal containment.
The souls of the mad. The wrathful ghosts. These spirits are created when a living being is driven to madness and death. When the soul is escaping the mortal coil it has been weakened so much that plant arconistics are able to capture and put the spirit to task. The result of the strange plant arconistics is the gibbering Allip. These ghosts are unbound in that they are not tied to a particular location. Instead they roam the world seeking that which drove them to madness in life. Unfortunately for the Allip their spirit is equally as mad in death as they were when they died. Their never ending quest for vengeance cannot be accomplished, and even if it was the Allip would have no way of knowing that justice had been served.
An Allip could have equally as easily become a restless wraith, bound to its place of death. Both Wraiths and Allips share the fate of not being properly interred. The difference is found in the plant arconistics that are enacted at the moment of the creatures death. In ancient times the Allip was one of the plant peoples most potent weapons against the Mans Empire. The Allip was terrifying to Mans because it shared in part the soul of Mans or Elendi. As such it is able to pass through certain protections that plant spirits cannot. Furthermore the Allip is a wrathful ghost with a dire compulsion to punish those that made it suffer in life. This violent nature is perhaps the most potent aspect of the Allip as a weapon of war.
Allips have become less common in the years since the Mans-Trees wars came to an end. Most of the Allips that roam the world to this day are the remnant of those created in the ancient times. There are still Trees that consider it their duty to create Allips when a Mans or Elendi makes it way into their grove to die. Not all dying Mans or Elendi are able to be turned into Allip. The subject must be mad from suffering. Those that die content are immune to the ritual that creates an Allip, and those that are interred properly by clergy are of course safe from such a fate despite their sanity or lack there of.
Seeking out an Allip is difficult at best. The Allip roam far and wide in their futile quest to avenge the suffering they experienced in life. They rarely roam together, but the occasional pair of Allip have been found. Sometimes the Allip travel with arconistic masters. These Allip have been captured with arconistic arts, and bound to serve their masters. Doing such a thing is possibly one of the most detestable acts one can think of. Those that have the power to contain and command an Allip must also have the power to release the soul to its natural place.
If an Allip finds its way to your protectorate it is best to seek out any aid possible to be rid of the thing. Miracle workers or arconistic masters either one. The Allip are dire beings that are capable of inflicting their madness upon you population. There is no reasoning with them - one must have them bound or banished. The only way to truly be rid of an Allip is to unleash the spell of containment wrapped around it by the plants that originally caught the soul. Few miracle workers are adept at such a process, and thusly one must consider relying on an arconistic master for such a thing an unsavory but necessary reality.
The free spirit. The homeless ghost. The Boggy are created, most often, when someone who has purchased a Spectre fails to keep the containment crystal safe. The Boggy can also be created when a Wraith is released from a containment crystal as well. Once released from containment the Boggy is no longer bound to any location or to follow the orders of any master. The Boggy is free to roam, and maraud, the world as it pleases. To a greater or lesser extent the Boggy may or may not remember its life, what happened to it, or what is happening around it at the moment. As a dead soul its connection to the living world is tenuous at best.
Some consider it an act of piety to obtain the soul gems sold by Imperial provinces such as Revalia and release the souls by destroying the gems. Many of these well intentioned individuals are thereupon destroyed shorty. Serving only to bring another Wraith into the world. A Wraith or Spectre that has been through death and binding may retain little of it once life, not to mention many of those transformed into Spectres are murderers or villains of some sort. In Revalia being transformed into a Spectre is no form of honoring the dead. Wraiths have often been lost for centuries before their binding, and the longer a Wraith is disconnected from the time it lived the more confused it can become.
There are rare, powerful, Wraiths and Spectres that are able to retain much of their personality. These beings invariably had undeniably powerful presences in life, and this attribute carried over into their ghost. This sense of self does not make them safe, only aware of themselves. Where some newly released Boggy are scarcely able to recognize that they are dead, those occasional powerful souls are very aware of the fact and may attack without compunction. It is the rare Boggy that will be both self aware and still capable of enough compassion to thank the one that releases it.
Boggy are an unpredictable type of dust born. Due to the fact that they invariably come from the some form of containment they are wary of being captured again. Those that are able to understand what happened to them are wary at least. There are many Boggy that might as well be misplaced Wraiths. Without the presence of self to understand what has transpired, or the ability to recognize the difference of the location, they will return to their original haunting behavior. Those that were originally Spectres will often seek to return to their place of birth for some attempt at rest, or seek to return to their place of death to exact revenge on the arconist that damned them.
Some of the grandest advisers in history have been Boggys. Those powerful souls that retain their sense of self, and the ability to recognize their surroundings have been known to find a place for themselves in an Imperial household as a source of knowledge. Not only knowledge, but as a nearly invisible spy and sleepless guardian. It requires quite a special being to have both a sterling sense of self and the piety to wish to aid others after the horrors they have suffered. More often when a Boggy comes to your keep it desires to drown your children in its death aura while they sleep in retribution for the act of binding it. Being prepared with Revalian crystal traps is the most effective form of defense against such a happenstance.
I have been reading your posts over the past two days or so, and find them very astounding.
Interested, I downloaded the 78 pages you have published on the site, and started reading them about 45 minutes ago. I am now on page 25 (not very far in).
I love it. It is good to the point where I almost don't feel right reading it. Personally, I think you have hit home with this book.
I am good with a red pen, and would be honored if you would allow me to even correct spelling and grammatical errors.
I have also been know to squeeze out a good map or two (only by hand though, computer programs are too inefficient for map-making).
I would send you the pdf but ... its free on lulu.
This might be of interest though (particularly the map)
Elen Dwari Show
Those once known as Gnome. Not Kinder Elentsi. The Elen Dwari are often mistook for the Kinder Elentsi in that they are almost identical in appearance. The difference is that Kinder Elentsi are a completely separate people created by the wizards during the wizard wars, and the Elen Dwari are the result of a Dwar female mating with an Elen. These Dwari are thinner and less hairy than most Dwar, and are much longer lived as well. Like most Dwari they are rare, and considered unacceptable by Dwar society. The only place for an Elen Dwari is with the Elen. They are a part of the Elendi houses, and while there has never been a noble house of Elen Dwari, they have served Elendi houses with great honor.
Elen Dwari are more Dwar than Elen. They must consume at least some meat to maintain a healthy diet, and that puts them in an odd place amongst the herbavoracious Elendi. Elen Dwari are often the beast keepers of the Elen. Which means that visitors to an Elendi settlement have a disproportionate amount of contact with the Elen Dwari. When Mans, Taurn, or Orcnin visit the Elendi the nobility will often employ an Elen Dwari to prepare meals for the meat eaters. Elen Dwari are also employed regularly to act as guides and diplomancers for those that are unfamiliar with Elendi society. Due to the fact that they hold such an unusual place in that society.
Feral Dwerein Show
The lost Dwar. The outcast. The strange result of a Dwar that has grown of age without connection to any of the rituals of the Dwar. These beings are difficult to communicate with, and do not have a culture per se. More properly they are the result of a Dwar reaching maturity without any culture. Even those Dwar raised by Mans or Elendi achieve a measure of civility, but a Dwar that matures outside of the watchful eye of a society become something more bestial than say an Elendi that matures outside of a Deme. The power of blood connection that Dwar posses is the cause of this strange aberration of what most would consider normal.
The blood of the Dwar is perhaps the oldest extant blood of the known peoples. Some argue that Trolls or perhaps Elendi, or even Mans, is more ancient, but the Feral Dwerein are a case example of the argument for the Dwar blood being more ancient. Something in the nature of Dwar blood connects over strongly with that of the Dragon. The Feral Dwerein develops scales that are similar to the Dragon. They grow talons and fangs. Their legs are more powerfully developed, and many are known to develop draconic gifts such as the breath. Many who encounter a Feral Dwerein believe they have met a Dwar Dragon crossbread. This is not the case.
Those who study the Peoples of the world know for a fact that any pure blood Dwar raised without the rituals of maturity practiced by Dwar societies will develop these draconic traits. The Dwar themselves will sooner destroy the Dwerein than attempt to bring them into their society. Their legends tell of great calamities in times past caused by Dwerein. Some Dwerein have found a place amongst the Dragons themselves, while most seek either solitude or the company of Mans. Those Dwerein that have civilized have most often done so amongst the Imperial Mans. Numerous Dwerein have gained much prestige in the Dragoon orders. Their connection to the Dragons gives them an unparalleled knack for handling the less intelligent of the great beasts.
Feral Dwerein do not have noble houses. They are accidents each and everyone. In the cases where two Dwerein have had offspring the children have matured as normal Dwar. Feral Dwerein is the strange result of a Dwar child rearing itself outside of the confines of any civilization. It is a credit to the power of the Dwar blood. Most Mans or even Taurn children would be completely incapable of rearing themselves. It is also an indication of the potential callousness of the Dwar society that so many Dwerein have been known to exist. Some have even suggested that there is some sort of regular practice amongst the noble Dwar that intentionally creates these outcasts. It is a strange phenomena.
When the Dwerein come to visit or to stay the foremost question is whether they have achieved language. Those Dwerein that have achieved some civility are generally as amenable as any Dwar or Mans. Individuals to the last of course, having no real society of their own. When one finds a truly Feral Dwerein however the most important issue is to treat it as you would a Dragon. Offer food. Meat preferably. The risks to one's person are real, but the rewards of adding one of the powerful Dwerein to your roster of Dragoons is manifest. And! Unlike training a battle Dragon, a trained Dwerein is actually fully intelligent an capable of normal speech.
Feathered Dwari Show
The Sky Dwar. The noble Dwar of the High Skies. These Feathered Dwar consider themselves equal or greater to the Dwar of the Bottom Lands. Without any authority other than the Dwar themselves one cannot say which is more ancient. The Feathered Dwar of the High Skies are certainly less populace. They are primarily found on the Isle of Wild Home. A number of settlements exist on larger islets throughout the High Skies, and the Feathered Dwar are a common sight on the Isle of Gem-Ron. Unlike the Dwar of the Bottom Lands the Feathered Dwar are not nearly as antagonistic against the Dwari such as the Gnome. The Feathered Dwar are perhaps the most civilized of the inhabitants of Wild Home.
Feathered Dwar do not have the ability to fly as is commonly held by many Dargonians. The only physical difference between the Dwar of the Bottom Lands and the Feathered Dwar is in the fact that they have feathers instead of hair. Other than that detail they are remarkably similar physically. Socially however they are almost the opposite. Where Dwar strenuously refuse to deal with any of the Dwari, all the peoples of Dwar are welcome in the halls of the Feathered Dwari. Feathered Dwari have worked with the Empire during the colonization and mining of the Gem-Ron isle. The architecture of the Feathered Dwari is definitely reminiscent of the Bottom Lands Dwar, but differs greatly in that the Feathered Dwari create standing structure instead of burrowing into the ground.
The noble houses of the Feathered Dwari have been invited to join the Empire on a number of occasions and they have each time politely refused. They do seem to favor alliance with the Empire over dealing with the Orcnin, or even the Taurn tribes. Despite cordial relations the Feathered Dwari have remained separate from the Empire, and the reason may have more to do with the Dwar than the Empire. The Dwar are officially part of the Empire, and have been since the initial expeditions to the Bottom Lands. Some suggest the Feathered Dwari are supporting the Empire by refusing to join the Imperial councils. There is a distinct possibility that the Bottom Lands Dwar would withdraw from the Empire should they be forced to deal with Dwari on a council level.
Visiting the Feathered Dwari is a dangerous proposition. The High Skies are perilous. If you can survive the journey you will be rewarded with some of the finest sights and pleasures to be found in all the world. Feathered Dwar are fond of music and arts. In their bright halls they put on regular performances, and they have delicacies that can only be found in Feathered Dwari halls. Their unique access to the isle of Wild Home means that their game, and their fruits, are unlike anything to be found in all the skies. Those Feathered Dwari that oversee passage to the Gem-Ron are sterner than their higher sky dwelling cousins. Their place near the breach in Dark Sky means that their settlements must be made of sterner stuff, and are interestingly more reminiscent of Bottom Lands Dwar construction than that of their relatives.
Visiting nobles of the Feathered Dwari are to be treated much the same as one would the Bottom Lands Dwar. Similar requirements of food and accommodations apply. The necessity of keeping any Dwari scare however is entirely unnecessary. In fact the Feathered Dwari quite fond of the other Dwari and Dwarentyr. The only Dwar they seem to come into conflict with are the Dwerein and the Half Dwaren. This has more to do with the unpredictable nature of these two rare Dwar than something strictly to do with the Feathered Dwari themselves. The Feral Dwerein generally prefer their solitude anyhow. All in all the Feathered Dwari are a treat to have in your castle or keep. One can only dream of the day they officially join the Empire and our relations increase in frequency.
Hoofed Dwarentyr Show
Centan Dwari. Running Dwarentyr. These Dwarentyr are the result of the crossbreeding between Centyrn and and Dwar. They are for all intents and purposes Centyrn. These crossbreeds, as with all Centyrn are raised by the father's family as the Dwar will treat them as Dwari. They are stouter than the Centyrn, and their faces are decidedly more Dwar than Taurn. Their furry legs are thicker and more powerful than the average Centyrn, but they are decidedly slower. Interestingly the Hoofed Dwarentyr do not have the same hoofed fingers that the Centyrn. This allows them to create finer and more intricate works of art than the rest of their hoof handed tribesmen.
Clawed Dwarentyr Show
Weran Dwari. Worg Dwarentyr. These Dwarentyr are the result of the crossbreeding between Weran and and Dwar. They are for all intents and purposes Weran. These crossbreeds, as with all Weran are raised by the father's family as the Dwar will treat them as Dwari. They are decidedly stouter and more powerful than their Weran brothers. The mixture of Weran and Dwar blood makes their connection to the after realms even stronger, and a Clawed Dwarentyr are often found as the speaker for the dead amongst a Weran tribe that has one amongst them. Other than being shorter and stouter most could not tell the difference between the Clawed Dwarentyr and the rest of the Weran.
I'm doing the NanoWrimo this month, I'll pick this back up in December.
Great ideas - the setting is very imaginative and you play with and subvert cliches wonderfully. But due to your somewhat unclear writing style and the lack of any organization all I've been able to glean is a series of interesting, clever and apparently unconnected ideas. I would suggest that before posting anything else you edit and re-organize your posts to make the world a little more cohesive.
Imperial Crosslands Show
Of the fifteen houses of note that rule the bulk of the Imperial Realm of the Bottom Land Isle. (1), (2), and (3) are of but little import, and the rest not at all save for their allegiance and role in regards to the affairs of the House of Lou. Founded by Lounawn of Asper. A commoner by all respects. Lounawn was the surviving enlisted commander of the Imperial beach head on the Bottom Land Isle. The commonly called Crosslands are the colony that grew from that original claim of territory. Won through one of the most terrible uses of force against the Trees that was ever perpetuated by the empire.
Claiming the golbin coast of the Bottom Lands was a conflagration of fire and Arconistic powers. The ships that sailed there were all lost. Every noble born died within days. It was the ground forces that survived through the fires that they had themselves started. Lounawn was the ranking Imperial military commander and his house has stood as noble as any or greater. As of this year the Supreme Commander of the Dragoons of the Bottom Land Isle is a descendant of Lounawn. Fornu Loun, Lord Regent Commander Supreme of the Forces of the Supreme Imperial Council of Bottom Lands. His favorite dish is Cake, preferably lemon or orange.
Visiting the Crosslands in Retinue is a everything that is to be expected here in Asper or anywhere upon Old Ragonia. Visitors from Ragonia or even the Ferry Rover are celebrated with great vigor. The Ferry Rover stops in the Crosslands once a year. During the Festival of Lands Down. In honer of the original Landing. It is quite a site to see, Ferry Rover Isle blotting out the sky with the Blooms waving at the Statue of Lounwan. Bottom Lands Imperials are of a slightly darker hue. The deep reds and blues of the Bottom Landers make the Ragonians of Asper look as pastel as an Elendi.
There are True Elendi that visit the Crosslands. The Elendi's Isle floats on the Endless Sea just goval of the Bottom Lands Isle. Sailing in a sea ship around the Pridelands and the Iron Wall is actually fairly pleasant. Traveling through the Crosslands to the Elendi Isle is something that most Noble Ragonians decide to do during their search. The high priestess of Miria may tell you if your stone is a purpose stone, but one must sail in a sea ship with her further goval than even the Thalians sail. There by the light of the Sea Sun alone she may tell you. It is a long journey, but a pleasant one. Ride Ferry Rover to the Bottom Lands, stay in the Crosslands in comfort for a season. Sail the Endless Sea to the Elendi's Isle of Trees.
There is a ponderousness amount of material readily available in any Ragonian Library regarding the Houses and day to day affairs of the Crosslands. High Council is held regularly with all Imperial Houses, save for the dreadful (t) Houses. Reval, the nearest regency to the Lou's, is (t). The hold High council with none save the Crosslands unless necessary, and only them at High Season. Revalia's Hunts are best avoided by those that have no business there. It is best to stay within the wings of House Lou. If somewhat provincial by Ragonian standards, House (2) has made for various arrangements from the Tolonese. And of course House (1) holds the land guarding the gates to the Long Road, important for those who would have dealings with the Taurn of the Pride Lands.
Wild Homelanders (Vanara) Show
The Vanara, the Wild Runners, The Beast Mans. This breed of Mans is found almost exclusively on the greater Isle of Wild Home. The Vanara are always in the company of animals. So much so that they have been known to suffer and die of some strange mystic illness when separated from their beasts. The Vanara have an ability to communicate with the animal kind to an extent beyond measure sans the miracles of the ancients or the arcons. A quick visual examination of a Varana reveals readily their connection to their animals. Their very forms are altered to signify their bond to their animals.
There seems to be no limit to the kind of animal that a Varana can be bound. Bird, beast, snake, even dragon linked Varana have been recorded by the Imperial archivists. Often enough you will meet traveling Varana, they call themselves "Runners" which seems to be some specific linguistic convulsion that is attempting to avoid the terms Traveler or Adventurer. Trader specifically seems to be an insult to the Varana. Those that venture beyond the hunting grounds of their homelands to the wider world are seeking something. Be it knowledge or wealth they do not expect to pay for it with more than force. The Varana do not trade crystals for goods and services as we do.
The Taurn and the Varana have found one mutual agreement amongst themselves that has been reliably reported via the disparate visitors from Wildhome. Neither the Taurn or Varana of Wildhome mine the metal of their Isle. It is considered sacred by both of the most powerful peoples of the Wildhome, and the Varana in specific will often refuse to touch metal objects for fear of offending their ancients. Those that have converted to the Arcons of the Empire put aside this silly superstition, and more than once an Imperial envoy has been tasked with delivering swords and spears to the Varana town of Falinport. Falinport is the last Imperial Dock created before the fall of Taurn.
Falinport is the most that any sane Imperial will ever see of Wildhome or the Varanal. There is nothing of great worth hidden in the vast forests of Wildhome that one would even consider contacting the hidden elders of the Varanal about. What little trade occurs with the people of Wildhome, be they Taurn, Orcnin, Ronian, or Varana happens through Falinport. Most Varana that visit Dargonia and Tolen come travel here first. The journey is not an easy one for a Varana or a Taurn. The Standing Blooms control the majority of the territory separating the passage to Falinport from the rest of the Isle. These weird Dome headed blooms will have no dealings with the Empire, yet remain clustered around the city of Falinport. Silent as a Bloom.
Actually traveling through the Bloom fields and finding your way into the heart of the Wildhome Isle is a feat in itself, but if you accomplish that task then you will have made your way to one of the most dense and dangerous forests in the entire world. The Taurn travel in hunting territories around regions controlled by Ronians, Orcnin, or Varana. The Varana territories are near caves and contested by the Orcnin. The Ronians rarely threaten the ground dwellers. Easily the most effective form of negotiation amongst the Varana is force. According to legend the Varana Cuisine is a story best left untold. They eat of the hunts they make into the wilderness of Wildhome, and to refuse to share a meal with them is something that could warrant your death. The Varana are not civil in the standard sense of the term and should not be treated as such. Violate their superstition at your own peril.
Sea Crystal Elani Show
The Elani are more akin to the Kinder Elentsi than the Elen. Rare to the extreme the Elani were born of the Wizard Wars and found their way to the goval side of the Bottom Lands and the endless sea. Their eyes are made of crystal in a rare trait amongst the Elendi peoples. It is a striking feature and one they more than well enough understand its impact on those that do not possess such a unique feature. The gifts of the Elani is often centered around their eyes. Beams of light that illuminate the darkness of the deep seas. Hypnotizing charms, the ability to create illusions, even cutting rays of heat. Their eyes are the stuff of legends. To have seen them is a sight that few have had the chance to see. Any tale that is told of the Elani is most certainly to mention their gemstone eyes. Beyond that they are remarkably similar to the Kinder Elentsi. They travel and find themselves usually near the Merelindi. There are a few settlements of the Elani, but most of them can be found in amongst the grand Merelindi grottoes.
Of the three largest populations of the Elani (x), (x), (x) are the only ones that are of note for trading purposes. There are smaller collections of the Elani beyond the three largest settlements but they maintain connections with both the Merelindi and the larger settlements of the Elani. Travel underneath the surface of the endless sea is difficult. More difficult than sailing the high skies in fact. Not only is there a constant force of pressure from the water, but also an equal number of (term) threatening to impact and destroy the hull of your vehicle. Traveling too far afield of the safeways through the endless sea. Guided either by the Thalians or the Merelindi through the dangerous waterways of the deadly sea is one thing but to seek out the farthest reaches of the endless sea as the Elani have is a business best left to them. The Sea Crystal Elani are resourceful in a way that their longer lived Merelindi cousins are not. Perhaps it is true, the long lives of the Elendi make them careless in comparison to those that die before seeing both a dragons rise and a dragons fall.
The Elani create many of the Merelindi's most marketable magical commodities. Like the Kinder Elentsi the Elani are adept at creating the miraculous in a way that most are not. All peoples have the gifts of the Arcons, and most have rituals that bond their families together. The great houses of Dargonia the charms that give them command of the dragons and access to the great libraries of the Arcons. The Gnomes of the Moon are able to craft great archonistic machines unlike any other, but the Elani are able to create all manner of truly miraculous items. The oddist things that simply cannot be found anywhere else of the same compare. Even the creations of the Druids of Dolor cannot compare with either the Elani or the Kinder Elentsi for the sacred qualities of the Elani's works. Unlike many of the container boxes or travel gates that you can obtain from the Gnomes the Elani's are a pleasure cruise. Travel through a Gnomish travel gate will leave you on your knees in pain and vomiting. The Elani's coral ring gates are like falling through clouds of smoke. Something about the way that the Elani's items are made sets them apart.
Direct contact with the Elani is rarely necessary as they are content to allow the Merelindi and the Thalians to make most of handle contact with the rest of the world. Those that travel directly to the Elani kingdoms can expect a significant discount to their purchase of those items that can only be made by the Elani. Doing so is a difficult endeavor and if you go to that extent you should prepare to come with a full retinue or something that resembles one. The Elani are rarely visited by outsiders of any kind and really appreciate the pomp and circumstance that accompanies most Imperial travelers. The population is made up of mostly craftsmen and hunters. Performance is common enough but theater and the art of speaking is rare amongst those that live in the water. Speaking in the water is an amazing thing. Simple spells that the Elani and Merelindi know make it possible to breath the waters of the endless ocean, but talking aloud under the effects of such a spell is a bizarre experience.
The Elani do not commonly use the plant sign language and they can hear just fine. Their language is simple, and the tones they make to communicate can be heard for miles underwater. Their language is an interesting one that is simple for the sake of the fact that it can be heard for such long distances. One word spoken properly can be heard throughout the kingdom. Private communication between the Elani is done through arts and writing. Their written language is far more complex than their spoken language, but shares the quality of placing great importance on single words. Most of the Elani can read other languages like most Imperials. Learning the Elani language is a task that most should consider unnecessary beyond the basic greetings and honorifics. Rather than learn the necessary depth of understanding to speak a proper five word sentence in Elani it is better to entertain them with the flowwing syllables and endless phrases of Imperial Dargonian.
Wight (blues) Show
The common people of the old Ragonian Isles. Imperial Nobles are distinctive from the common people of Ragonia most clearly by their telling patterns of coloration. Houses of Imperial nobility share visible markings such as the star brow of Asper. The red palms of Montaran, and countless others. There are dozens of noble houses on Ragonia and each of their bloodlines are identifiable by these telling marks. Those with an eye for detail can look a noble Ragonian up and down and know their entire heredity from their "constellations" as they are known. The proper appearance of the constellations is something that can determine the chain of succession in some houses. The Wights on the other hand are have no constellations at all. The most common of them are the blues. Reds are common, are while they can be found in nearly every color red and blues are the most common on Ragonia proper. Greens and Browns are common amongst the Bottom Landers.
Wights maintain the most vital parts of Imperial society. It takes hundreds of Wights to maintain a castle, and thousands to maintain a city. Without the Wights to maintain our society the Noble houses would fall. Without the noble houses the Wights would likely reduce themselves to the simple societies found amongst the Ronians and the Taurn. The nobles provide direction and a surety of interconnectedness. The Wights maintain their own traditions, but the Houses carry maintain the laws and the commerce by which the Wights live and work in. Traders need those to trade with. Metalsmiths need someone to create for. Armies need someone to fight for. Without the Houses the knowledge of history and value, the stability of law and order, would all vanish. Imperial life requires both the Wights and those of noble blood. Without the Guilds the Houses would fall, and without the Houses the Guilds would falter.
In times past the Empire was said to be supported by three pillars. The Dragoons, the Wizards, and the Guilds. After the Wizard Wars many Imperials believed that the Empire was doomed. The Guilds with the aid of the Church have proven the doubters wrong. Without a doubt the Empire will stand without the Wizards and their Orcnin Arconistics. Many of their grand works still serve the Empire today. Imperial city and the seats of the Arcons, the Archivists Library where all Imperial scribes may go and read books written in thought. The Council Tables and the Imperial Docks still stand as a testament to what the Wizards have done for the Empire. The Guildsmen, made up of mostly the wealthiest of the Wights, know the ways of operating these ancient arconistic wonders the same way that the Noble familes retain the secrets of their Houses. The Wizards are no longer necessary, it is better that a Wight become attached to a House, a Guild, or join rank with the Dragoons.
In the end all Imperials descend from the Wight. They are the most populous of all Imperials, either monochromatic or two toned they lack the constellations that have been given to those of Noble blood. Asperia of Govalan Revalia was a Wight by birth. She became a Dragoon and won the land that became her House and later nation leading an army of her fellow Dragoons against the Ronians that once controlled the land where Asper now lays. As a gift for conquest the dragons marked the survivors of the Battle of Asper with the star brown. All true Asperians have or gain the star brow of Asper once they have joined with the House. Over the ages the constellations have grown many. Those who come from generations of Asperian blood are born with a star map that covers most their body. Those whose bloodline has only just allied with a noble house possess less of the markings. Those that share allegiance amongst multiple Houses will bear both the constellations or marks of their families allegiance. Noble Houses have been formed due to a single family maintaining alliance with sufficient other Houses to produce Dragon Marked child. Such an omen from the Arcons created the House Baneh that holds dominion over most of the Sky Lakes.
There are no true Wights as the term would suggest. All Imperial Mans are brothers and sisters. Refering to those outside of the bonding of a noble House as Wights is something from an elder age. When Old Ragonia held three kingdoms. The Ronians, The Orcnin, and ours Revalia. The Cities built by Wizards made use of enchanted walkways that only those of noble blood could walk. In that time the Wights and the true Revalians spoke two different languages. In moderns times what separates the Wights from the Nobles is only the amount of responsibilities. A Wight may work all day but a Noble is charged with taking stock of more than a days work. Such as the custom of dining. It is the sure and certain duty of a Noble to know the real lives of both work and family that they protect. What better way to do that than to eat with them. The pomp and circumstance of festival is no way to learn the troubles of your people. As they say, leave your troubles at home - don't take them to the fair.
The Scrag is one of the most vicious intelligent creatures in the known world. Trolls found across the world are dangerous creatures indeed. They are an elder species and fought with the Elentsi and the Taurn before the Dragons birth. In the traditions of the Orcnin it is said that Ogran was frustrated by the idiocy of the Trolls and made them anew. He stole Sharks nose and Trolls hands. He tied them together with Kraken's chains, and breathed them into life with Elentsi's fate. The creation is believed to be the last of the Immortals. Scrags like Trolls and the True Elentsi never die. It is difficult to even try. In the Scrags case even more so as they are faster, stronger, and more intelligent than the average Troll. Despite the success that Ogran had wrought. The Scrags are perhaps the most powerful living people in the world but they like all immortals seek nothing more than the comfort of their everlasting eternity. There are scarcely twice the number of Scrags in the world today as there were when they were wrought from Mans. So the legends say.
If all the tales told of Ogran and his creations, the Orcnin, can be taken as true the Scrags are far from Ogran's most successful creation. Ogran wishes his peoples to dominate and destroy across the land. "Tear down Tree, stab Elentsi, burn the fur of Taurni." An Orcnin war chant. Scrags do not join with the hoards. They seek nothing but their own shallow grotto. They live in the shores and shallows of the warden coast of Bottom Lands. Some can be found seeking in the Land known only as Troll Country between the Darian's nations and the mountains held by the Orcnin warden of the Imperial Crosslands, but most have lived their long lives mostly alone in their private grottoes. For every hundred or so Scrags there is one dominate mother called the Hag. The Hags are a breed apart from the rest of the Scrags. These Troll mothers are powerful, ancient, and wise. They have kept Scrag society intact through Dragon's War, Dragon's Rise, and the Fall of Taurn.
It is the Hags that decide when the time has come to bring a new Scrag into the world. Such is the purpose of the Seek. The only real cultural ritual of the Scrags. It contains both the rights of death, birth, and marriage. The Seek begins when any one of the Scrags has lost their life. Amongst the Scrags this means that one of the most perfect creatures in the entire world was a failure somehow. The question the entire people of the Scrag must answer to the Hags is how and why one the perfect Scrag could have died. A certain number of the Scrag are selected and sent from the grottoes out into the world. Most precisely to learn as much as they can about the being that slew a Scrag. So tell the tales no Scrag has ever died from anything other than murder. If they had is doubtful that the Scrag would tell stories of it. Scrags on the Seek are usually little more than a strike of retaliation against an opposing force that thought they could claim part of the Scrags territory.
Trolls avoid the water, but are nonetheless the worst enemy of a Scrag when they are outside of their grotto. A Scrag is sufficiently a Troll to trigger the ancient being's feeble mind into challenging any Scrag found in its territory. A Troll may allow a Mans or Elendi pass through its range without pause if it is satiated, but a Scrag is seen as a competitor for territory. Scrags are intelligent enough to cooperate for shared space but nonetheless give themselves wide spaces between them. The Hags, who never leave the safety of the grottoes, pass from haven to haven and carry stories between them. The similarity to Trolls with the intelligence of Elendi is so striking that it cannot be overlooked. In the wild Trolls keep their mates and children within a cave and they either never leave or do so only to escape from the dominate hunter. The matriarchal society of the Scrags maintains all the elements of trade for goods in the form of stories and food. The Seek provides a religious purpose to the Scrag peoples.
Trade with, or envoy to the Scrags as a noble endeavor is pointless to the point of absurdity. Scrags need nothing of food or art from us. The most likely result will be a well intentioned and praised test of might betwixt yourself and whichever one of the Scrags grottoes you disturb first. They have no love of the Empire, nor anyone else. They are isolationist to such the extreme that the only diplomantic action one can take in their presences is to leave. Barring a rapid retreat a battle to prove to the Scrag that even one of their number is worth a hundred of any other people. Though all the tales tell you truly they are a lazy and sleepy people that never leave their homes, disturb their rest and you will see that the Scrag are the monsters the Orcnin'Sa could only wish to be. Fast as lightning with keen senses honed from hunting fish their long lives. Those with a heart for death defying adventure could perhaps dare to steal a gemstone or one of the Scrags rare fruits. Beyond that there is nothing to be gained from the Scrag.
Goblins are considered to be the most worthless of all the Orcnin. It is said that Ogran denied them the gift of intelligence so that they would better serve their masters. The Goblidoran are the Goblin that have embraced Doloria's proclamation of Elendra's forgiveness. The created Isle of Dolor is protected by the strength of the Dolorians and the Power of the Druids, but the day to day management of the Dolorian Society is handled by the Goblidoran. Elendra's gift to the Goblin that have accepted her forgiveness is the great minds that Ogran denied them. The Goblidoran call Elendra Sul'Ogran. It means "Not of Ogran" in their ancient Goblin language, and was the name that they knew her her by before they became the Goblidoran.
The Goblidoran are keen linguists. Unlike their Dolorian brothers, for whom they have literally created a language that without the Dolorians would still be speaking Orcnin, the Goblidoran pride themselves on their intelligence. With the power of the Druids maintaining the prosperity of the Isle of Dolor the Goblidoran spend most of their time handling the Druid's affairs with the Imperial councils. Trade is not uncommon between the Imperial nations and the Dolorians that rule the Isle of Dolor, and when it does occur is handled by the Goblidoran. The linguists of the Goblidoran have gone so far in their language craft to create a specific language to use when in council with each of the Imperial houses.
The Goblidoran keep the history of the Dolorians. The Druid ancients that Doloria found through her call to Elendra's service taught the Goblidoran the ways of the Elen Demes. The Goblidoran build in the manner of the Elen. They find room in the natural forest for their structures and farms. Their food is remarkably similar to the Elen, and in fact visiting a Goblidoran city is a jarring experience. It is as though an Elen Deme was overrun and every Elen was replaced with an equally congenial Goblin. If you are not aware of the legends of Doloria and how she escaped doom of Arconistic Isle the image of Goblin living as Elen would most certainly be difficult to believe, but it is the reality of life on Dolor. The only major difference between the Goblidoran's diet and that of the Elendi's is their inclusion of milk with most of their drinks.
The tribe of Ogre that became the Dolorians received the call of of Elendra through the prophet Doloria. For the simplicity of remembrance the Goblidoran decided to use Doloria and Elendra interchangeably when speaking with the Dolorians. While Elendra's forgiveness granted the Dolorians beauty and strength the Goblidoran embraced their gift of knowledge. The power hierarchy of the Created Isle is simple The Dolorians rule the Isle of Dolor. At the direction of the Druids, and with the aid of the Goblidoran Scribes. The first of the Goblidoran were the Goblins that Doloria saved from Arconistic Isle. Doloria received the call of Elendra just before the Fall of Taurn and the subsequent destruction of Arconistic Isle.
Diplomatic envoy to the Goblidoran is a treat. Their cities are so similar to the Elen Demes, and yet so different for being populated by the short lived Goblindoran. Meat of any kind is considered abhorrent by most Goblidoran. It will never be served in the lands of the Goblidoran, and serving it to an envoy of Goblidoran would amount to an outright failure to respect their culture. The Goblidoran are not Orcnin, despite their appearance, and treating them as Orcnin will serve only to infuriate them and breach whatever deal you are trying to make with them for Dolorian goods or protection. Speak to them in any language from anywhere in the wonderful world but do not even show them caged fowl.
Goval, Golbin, Ward, Wise, Coval Point and Coblin Point.
Instead of N/S/E/W
The silent workers of the Dwar. Grommits are the most populous amongst the Dwaren peoples. Grommits grow in the corners of factories and behind sheds. It takes only a turn for a Grommit to develop to the point of joining the workforce with their brethren. Grommits are an example of some of the most single minded and studious of all the fae. Their birthplaces are only to be found in the proximity of warehouses, and something of the magic that naturally surrounds buildings of construction and labor draws the power of the nature gods and with it the mists and the Grommits. The urge to work is so manifest in Grommits that they are known for working their wooden hands to the point of burning.
More so than most the Grommits will do whatever they can to keep the mists at bay from their (term). The Dwar find this trait of the Grommits quite appealing and they are happy to give the Grommits the ash and salts they request in payment for their service. The customs of the Grommits are all centered around work and the travails therein. Without their jobs to go about they seek out places to travel to. In the most ancient of Dwaren cities the Grommits abound. Their short twiggy forms clothed in a similar fashion to the Dwar, and their creaking voices the sound of snapping twigs in contrast to the deep gravel of the Dwar. The Grommits seem the most at home in the dark firelit caverns of the Dwar.
The Dwar that are found elsewhere are not the same sort as the constantly creaking Grommits that live throughout the Dwaren Empire. More Grommits are to be found in the Bottom Lands, and of the Isles in the Skies GemRon has the largest population of Grommits. The industrious nature of ports and docks means that you will also find them there. It is the rare port that does not have a cluster of Grommits willing to lend a hand for burnt wood and growing salts. They need the ash and salts for their young, and it is the ritual amongst the elder Grommits to have their bodies burnt after their death to provide their nutrients to their people. It is a great favor to the Grommits if you bring them one of their fallen to be burnt.
The largest settlements of Grommits in the realms of the Empire are on GemRon. The Grommits there are fully represented in Imperial Councils, and while their rights to territory are occasionally invasive to some it is sufficiently similar to the agreements the Tuatha have with the Empire that the worst of the matter is complaints from the owners of property the Grommits combined their leverage to purchase for their people. Transplanting more than a small amount of Grommits to a new area is almost impossible. Containing or eliminating one is a simple matter of torch. There have been no outright hostilities between the Empire and Grommits, not without the Dwar involved at least. There have been a few recorded incidents of a (term) being destroyed by land owners that did not appreciate the Grommits helpfulness.
Visiting with the Grommits is a simple affair. They love to tell stories and dance by the fire. Their music is fast and snappy. Their dance is lively and full of jumping. The wooden fae leap over fire for the fun of it. As far as food is concerned they keep many types of berry tree growing amongst their children and eat little more than that. It is not at all uncommon however for the Grommits to have mastered a number of Imperial dishes to accommodate guests. Like most they like visitors and will gladly trade tales with you for days. Under no circumstances expect them to call off any of their work however. Grommits work long days and then return home to dance the most of the night. You are of course always welcome to join them at a job.
• Limnades (fresh water lakes) Show
In still pools the Limnades dance. Round and calm the Limnades guard their homes from intruders with their magic as opposed to their force of arms. Limnades are formidable to face. They are long lived and their faces do not betray their emotions easily. You know what they want you to know of them. They have little interest in the world of Mans beyond the art that we produce. Limnades do not need anything from the busy world of the Empire, but they occasion our cities to make selections of our finest arts. These nymphs of the lakes usually travel with a small retinue. Pixies, Gorgons, and Bogans are their often allies when they are found outside their lake homes.
Ancient alliances between the Dryad, the Gorgon, and the Limnades keep the lands that the Nymphs claim nearly impassable to those that are not on good ground with the Trees. While the Limnades in particular have never begun open conflict with any Imperial provinces their allies are the Trees and the Limnades have not forgotten the Battles of Iron wall. The loss of their great lakeside palaces in the Empire's conflicts with the ancient Tuathan has made the Limnades cautious about dealing with the Empire. They have no great love for the Orcnin hoards either. The Limnades as a people are interested in preserving their lake homes. With our without the Tuathan.
Like other water Nymphs the Limnades are able to leave their domains for far longer than most. Limnades have even been known to sever their ties to their birth lake and bond with other lakes. This power is how the Limnades came to live in the sky lakes and Dragonia. It was the Limnades that brought the Dryads that live among the Elendi forests to Dargonia. There are even said to be Limnades on the Wild Home Isle. If this is so then these Limnades must be weak in power indeed. At their most basic essence all Nymphs draw their strength from the waters of the world, and Wild Home Isle is far from the endless sea and the Oceanids that rule there. The Oceanids do not seem to exert political influence over the other Nymphs so much as they hold dominion over the most powerful source of water Arcanos in the world.
All Nymphs are tied to the waters of the world in one way or another. Limnades are the most accessible of these beings. While Pixes and their tiny cousins are often too flighty or too capricious to speak at length of such arconistic matters the Limnades are usually more than willing to speak at length regarding the mystic nature of their existence. Oceanids and Tuathan both hold strict stipulations about the arconistic matters they will discuss, and according to most Limnades that is because they are seeking their own benefits to the exclusion of all others including other Nymphs. To quote "I do not have to tell you what makes a lake. A shallow place and some water."
Limnades are water. Not like a water elemental is water, but the Limnades are of the substance water. They are born out of it. If they are slain their flesh and bone return to water. You cannot burn a fire with a Limnades as you could a Grommit, and you cannot eat the flesh of a Limnades either. The Limnades themselves do not eat of anything but the rains. Visiting them with proper deference however will most often result in a feast of noble proportions. Fish and fowl, creatures of the forest, all manner of life must humble themselves at the lakes, and the Limnades have no qualms at hunting. They are usually found in the moonlight hunting parties of the Dryads, and inviting a visiting Limnades on a hunt is a most excellent idea.
• Mummy Show
The once honored ancestors. The forsaken souls. In the past both the Empire and the Arconistic Masters of the Sa attempted to preserve the power and wisdom of their great leaders by performing special preservative rituals upon them. The Sa reserved this ritual for great warriors and masters of Arcanostics. The practice became so popular at one point in the Empire that entire generations of nobles and their retinues were entombed together in the catacombs of Imperial City. For a short period it not uncommon for Mummies to be found in the courtyards and plazas of many noble houses. That of course changed after the Wizard Wars. When the green mists turned dark something about the nature of the Mummies changed and they turned on their once masters.
The majority of the Mummies that once served the Empire have been destroyed. Some must exist below the surface of Imperial city, but remain locked in chambers that no one intends to ever open again. Before the Wizard Wars the Arconists would consult the Mummies for the knowledge that remained with them after death. These days attempting to talk with a Mummy will result in only in violence. Whatever happened to warp the ancient spell that created them left the Mummies with a hatred of the living. Hatred may be the wrong word. There seems to be nothing left of the mummies intellect. They are said to act intelligently in battle and even communicate with each other in the language of their life, but in the presence of the living they are always hostile.
It is dangerous to speculate on arconistic matters, but some scribes have suggested that the problem with the Mummies is that the ancient Imperial arconists performed rituals that they kept secret from the rest of the Empire. Supposedly these rituals maintained a level of control over the Mummies. By theory the night Arconistic Isle fell from the skies and the Mummies throughout the Empire turned on their masters truly marks the end of Imperial Arconistics. Half their number lost to the Wizard Wars the remaining Arconistic Masters of the Third Pillar were unable to maintain control of one of their most ancient and practiced spells. Perhaps had they kept record of these rituals the damage could be undone, but such is not the case.
• Gibbering Show
The foul result of a failed transmutation. The Gibbering were once a normal person, perhaps more than one, that was arconistically mutilated by a spell gone wrong. Along with the Wizard Wars, things like the Gibbering are exactly why the practice of Arconistics is prohibited in the Empire. Amongst the Orcnin hoards however the Gibbering are far too common. Hardly more intelligent than a dog or mud dragon the Gibbering are sometimes used as messengers by the Orcnin. Only amongst the Orcnin could such pitiable being be left to languish in suffering, when they do not feed them to the Trolls outright. They are capable of carrying objects in their folds, and conveying simple messages. A Gibbering found in Imperial lands is sufficient to call a hunt.
• Strangling Trees Show
The Killer Tree. The most ancient enemy of the Empire. Before the Empire met with the Orcnin or the Taurn they did battle with the Strangling Trees of Dargonia. The Strangling Trees feed their roots with the blood of beasts and dragons. When all is measured it is truly the Strangling Trees that brought about their eradication from the Isle of Dargonia. They sought out conflict with the Empire. They and their minions attacked the walls of () and tore the city to its foundation. In a day a forest stood on the broken shell of an Imperial castle. Fire and Axe and a thousand years later the Isle of Dargonia is free from Strangling Trees save perhaps for those that may live in the untamed mountains of Warden Dargonia.
Along with the Orcnin the Strangling Trees have maintained a constant state of hostility towards the Empire. Strangling Trees are found throughout the Goval Forest region of the Bottom Lands, but are thankfully rare to unheard of in the golbin where the Crosslands were founded. Most of the Imperial settlements in the Goval Forest region are protected by powerful miraculous blessings. () is a solid stone castle city that is guarded from the growth of any Trees for a mile from its borders. The Empire learned of the dangers of the Strangling Trees before it left Dargonia, and by the time the Empire colonized the Bottom Lands we had learned much of how to defeat the Trees before they can even get started.
The Trees of Dargonia these days are Standing Trees, and now many are in truth Hamadryads. They have no war with Mans, and we none with them. Once they may have allied with the Strangling Trees, but since their extermination the Trees of Dargonia have kept peace with Mans. The coming of Elendi and Dryad to Dargonia further seals the certainty that something vicious grows with the Strangling Trees. Their need of blood does not explain it all. Their powers of arconistics allow them to control the smaller creatures of the forest, and surely it would be simpler to lure beasts to your lair and feed your roots that way? Instead the Strangling Trees have again and again waged campaign of aggression against the settlements of Mans.
Not just Mans, but the Taurn of the Pridelands have told tale of ravenous groves of Strangling Tree making their way across the plains of the Pride Lands. Where they hoped to reach if it were not the Cross Lands is unknown. In ages past the Strangling Trees would communicate with the Standing Trees and the Nymphs, even the Elendi. Since the last of the Great Mans Trees wars the Strangling Trees have distanced themselves from all save some of the Nymph and the Elendi of the ancient Elendrian Isle. The Orcnin and the Strangling Trees have been known to ally on the battlefield when the Empire is involved, but beyond that the Orcnin's blood will feed the roots of the Strangling Trees as well.
Most Strangling Trees are hostile to the Empire, but there are always those exceptions. It is not unheard of for a grove of Strangling Trees to ally with and stand guardian for an Imperial settlement in the Goval Forest region. Three Pillars Village is a perfect example of such an agreement. The Goval Forest region is lush with animal life and the Strangling Trees have no shortage of feed for their roots. These traitors to their peoples ancestral cause of destroying the Empire are certainly looked at with distaste while their fellows attempt to make the difficult trek across the Pride Lands. Doubly difficult for a Tree. The ancestral hatred between Mans and Trees is no more vivid to you than when you stand before a Strangling Tree.
• Dragon Hearted Show
The Gifts of the Arcons come in many varieties. Not all seem to be created equal. The Dragon Hearted children of the Empire are doomed from the day they are born. Not all will die, but most will. Those that live past their childhood are forever changed. They stand apart from other Mans knowing what they have done, and despite the knowledge that they had no choice in their actions they all carry that burden throughout the rest of their lives. You can recognize the Dragon Hearted easily by the scales that glisten on the cheekbones of their faces, and their monochrome skin. The Dragon Hearted mostly come from the ranks of Wights, but some are born to noble houses.
Those that are born to nobles are usually hidden away at least until they reach maturity. Because they are kept apart from other Dragon Hearted and are prepared for their eventual transformation the noble borns are often more likely to survive. Their cursed gift not only wracks their bodies with arconistic power, but also drives them to violence against other Dragon Hearted. Gifted in part with the unstoppable powers of the dragon kind the Dragon Hearted child must master themselves and their gift to survive. By far the ones that survive are the ones that learn control through conflict. The battle to survive with other Dragon Hearted of their own generation does sharpen the senses and tests the will to survive.
In most Imperial provinces the Dragon Hearted of the same generation are raised together in some way. When the time of the change comes they are brought together and sent into the wilderness to survive together. Often they bond together, but far more often they turn on each other as the change overtakes them. The change comes upon them when their Dragon Heart connects to the Arconostic power of the nearest Dragon Lord. The fury and power of the true Dragon overtakes the young mind of the Dragon Hearted and drives them into a violent rage unlike anything most Mans will ever see. It can takes weeks or months for the Dragon Hearted child to regain their sanity, if they do so at all.
In Imperial City the Tanzian church welcomes those who cannot bear to raise their Dragon Hearted children to leave them with the Tanzian priests. The Tanzians do their best to strengthen the childrens' souls before the time comes, and without shame they hold a spectacle yearly where the patrons of the Tanzian temple may law wagers on the survival of their favorite Dragon Hearted. It seems callous, but many of the Dragon Hearted raised by the Tanzians survive. The battles are not intended to be death matches even though a raging Dragon Hearted in mid change has often taken the life of another going through the change. The Tanzians preserve as many as they can, but are not too proud to profit from the unfortunate phenomena.
Once a Dragon Hearted has survived the change they are much like other Mans. They carry the memory of their insanity with them, and they are in contact with the Dragon Lords. The effect of their experience marks each in a different way, but the connection to the Dragon Lords makes them useful so long as they are willing to be of use to the Empire that all but abandoned them. Many consider the Empire to have betrayed them. Those that don't serve in powerful positions. Intervening with the Dragon Lords on behalf of the Empire requires someone who understands the Dragon Lords. No Mans understands the Dragon Lords better than those that share their Heart.
Wanted to bump-date.
All over the place between life and the other projects I am involved in.
Including but not limited to,
and the newest "Saint and Sinners"
I am working with a preacher round these parts in Oklahoma to see if I could get it published in the christian book network. He seems to be positive - so long as we can make it into a nice learning tool. The name ... may need to change, but thats hardly a big deal. Furthermore I will probably not end up being the "author" so much as the "formulator" ... they can be kinda persnicity about their stuff - but it would be a big win for us all around if I could make that happen!
Well - tata for now. I hope to be able to get back to my world as soon as I can. ~ Shea!
Regarding "Saints and Sinners"
Remember that is a working title - and somewhat tongue in cheek. Don't worry about it - its not a big "Shea Production" its an attempt to give them something. I am probably going to remain simply a contributer. Give them... "a formulae" to work with. The hard part is finding the right young man to write it. I am going to get a number for a guy in Texas tomorrow. The son of the preacher man ... hehe. Apparently he doesn't mind cursing - so we can talk about what he missing from understanding. His father told me that he played D&D back in college, and of course he is also closer to my age.
Pastor Kent Wood - doesn't even have the internet
Also - check out my new BEBO!
Well. I don't have anywhere else to put this (that I'll be able to keep track of) and it is of tangential interest to this project (as is "why am I not posting here more often - current answer ... complicated). This came up durring game, and HiveMind is written differently in different places. So! I decided to write a "special quality entry" that is of "d20SRD caliber" ... do you still flank and flat-footed in 4th ed? Eventually I am going to write this setting up for as many rulesets as I have available to me
I have been working on it for over a decade now...
HiveMind (Ex): A creature with HiveMind uses HiveMind as their primary language. Two creatures with HiveMind that share a race subtype are able to communicate perfectly so long as they are within line of sight of each other. Communication via HiveMind takes no action and is able to transfer complicated concepts without any chance of being misunderstood. Creatures that do not have HiveMind and the same race subtype are not able to intercept or understand anything that the creatures communicating in HiveMind are telling each other. To access the combat benefits of HiveMind the creatures sharing the HiveMind must be connected via Telepathy.
If a creature with Telepathy connects two creatures with HiveMind and the same race subtype the HiveMind between the creatures with HiveMind in complete. All creatures sharing the HiveMind are aware of any dangers and directives the other members of the HiveMind are aware of. If one member of the HiveMind is not Flat-Footed, none of them are. A member of the HiveMind is not flanked unless the entire HiveMind is. Two creatures that do not share a racial subtype are not able to communicate via HiveMind, but any creature with Telepathy may establish the link between creatures with HiveMind and the same race subtype.
For Example: An Mindflayer is Telepathically linking 10 Formians and 10 Abeils. The Formians share HiveMind benefits with the other Formians, and the Abeils share HiveMind benefits with each other. The Formians do not share HiveMind benefits with the Abeils, and the Mindflayer does not share HiveMind benefits with either the Abeils or the Formians.
Was talking with one of my more religious friends and he suggested that Saints and Sinners was too... gauch (sp?) and so I came up with a better one!
Cafes and Coffee shops. I like it - it sounds nice.
Regarding A Wonderful World - I have been thinking about Port Unknown some lately. Some friends of mine have Second Life accounts so I have been learning how that works. A Wonderful World Sim would be totally awesome. I wonder if WotC could work out some sort of collab with Second Life ... they could provide that "digital mini" experience they were talking about with Gleemax.
Problem being it would have to be isolated from the rest of Second Life. Considering WotC/Hasbro's mature content restrictions. Doable though...
OK! Four months and wotc has transformed the face of the website, and I was apparently posting in book4 mode (which I no longer have access to) the last two posts. Ahh the well.
The sblocks stopped. Why did the sblocks stop? I am going to make a todo list and come back in the next 24-48 hours. A, figure out what happened to sblocks.
b, come up with two more entries.
c, figure out whats up with editing (and the mups too).
d, add entries for plant dragon, sky islanders, and Volvocales.
read about real wonderful world adventures at shea.hardestlevel.com
revised checlist Show
2. (alligator/crocodile) Lizardfolk
10. Chuul? (crab)
1. Dirt Eaters (plants)
2. Water Eaters (Nymphs)
3. Salt Eaters
1. Arcon Born (created)
2. Sand Born (genie)
3. Dust Born (ghosts)
4. Mud Born (natural)
Plant Dragons Show
Flower Born. The terrible trees. Plant dragons are more populous than beast dragons. It is the plant dragons that most land travelers must contend with, and contend with you will. Unlike the elemental types of dragon the plant dragons are most keen on devouring beast flesh. Mans, Dwar, Orcnin, even Elendi are the foods the plant dragon craves. While the elemental dragons occasionally devour beasts, and the beast dragons almost never, it is the plant dragons that are the scourge of Mans and kind. It is generally understood that this is the nature of the dragons over all. Plant dragons devour beasts. Beast dragons devour plants, and the elemental types devour their opposition. As there is no oppositional element to the light dragons that leads to questions regarding its nature, but the preclivities of the plant dragon is not in question.
Plant dragons are common upon the surface of Montoran, Elendi Isle, and were once very common on Dargonia. Mellenia of conflict with Imperial Mans has all but destroyed the plant dragons of Dargonia. Some remain in the lands controlled by the Orcnin hoards, but throughout Imperial Dargonia there are none. Some perhaps remain protected in the Elendi forest, but these are most likely aged and wise dragons that have learned to keep their predation to the dragon kind. Those that understand the place of dragons in the ecology oft wonder how such a feat was possible. Barring some miracle dragons undergoe dragon's rising when one of their number dies. This process was indeed halted by miracle of the Imperial New Gods in order to protect the Mans of dargonia.The consequence of this miracle is most likely an increase of the number of plant dragons somewhere such as the Bottom Lands, or the Sky Lakes.
Like all dragons plant dragons begin their existence as tiny creatures. In the Elendi they are called "Flower Born" because their smallest form is like unto a flower bud. These tiny flutter dragons are a nonetheless a nusance. Their bite leaves stinging welts, and itches for hours afterwords. A large enough swarm of the flutter dragons could easily end the life of a Mans. Beyond their flutter stage they rise to larger forms as do most dragons, and eventually reach the massive size that one dreads to think of. The safety of Dargonia leaves Imperial citizens unprepared for the gargantuan dragons of the Bottom Lands, and even the untamed regions of Dargonia itself. Risen to their mature size these dragons are perhaps the most dangerous creatures in the entire world. Intelligent and powerful, solitary and deadly. They care no more for civilization than to destroy it.
Most plant dragons are capable of flight from the time they are flutter dragons. Despite this they are very territorial, and are rare to leave their rooting ground. Like all plants a plant dragon must "plant" or root itself regularly. Should the dragon go for more than a day or so without planting it will begin to wilt and loose strength. While rooting the dragon is slow to react, almost as if it were sleeping. It is durring its rooting phase that it is best to attack the creature, preferably from a distance. Fire is our greatest ally against them. Fire and miracle. The holy ones of Miria have long weilded the gift of a lance of light that strikes to the very wick of the plant dragons wilting them and weakening them. Hacking them to slivers only transforms the carcase into a seedbed for another generation, and thusly it is best to roast the body to ash even after it has ceased livelyness.
Diplomatic relations with the Terrible Trees is much the same as diplomatic relations with the lesser trees. Long war with Imperial Mans makes it difficult for our kind to deal with these dragons. Rather force, fear, and fire than polite discussion least the creature decide to end your existence on this plane mid-sentence. Technically like all dragons they hold council with one another upon Dragon's Home Isle in High Sky, but unlike their cousins the beast and light dragons the plant dragons seem to have no desire to communicate the decrees of the Grand Dragon Council. Even amongst other plants the Terrible Trees are uncomfortable residents. A scribe once likened the relationship between the Blooms and the Plant Dragons to be like unto the relationship between grass and weeds. The Blooms being the soft and inviting grass, and the Plant Dragons being the weeds. Do not deal with these creatures, the cost will invariably be your life.
Sky Islanders Show
True Mans. Dragon Favored Mans. The Sky Lakes are the birthplace of Mans. Ages ago tribes of Mans left the Sky Lakes on the backs of dragons and forged the Empire. The decendants of those that stayed are generally reffered to as the Sky Islanders. For some centuries between the formation of the Empire and the calamity of the Wizard Wars the Sky Islanders were believed a myth. The phenomenal waters of the deluge created weather patterns that prevented travel to the Sky Lakes, and the powers of the ancient mists protected the sacred paths that now lead to the ancient home of Mans. With the fall of Taurn, and the rise of the black mists, the travel to the Sky Lakes became possible again. The peoples of the Sky Lakes were revealed to the Imperial world almost as an antiquity. Many look upon the the Sky Islanders as primitives less worthy than event the Wights. Interestingly Wights are not common amongst them.
The signature marks of the noble houses of Mans are clearly a legacy of the noble Sky Islander Mans that took to the skies on dragon back and tamed the great Isles of Dargonia and Tolen. Sky Islander Mans are all manner of marked. Were it not for their regular shortness they would be easily mistaken for a Noble of the Imperial houses. By and large the Sky Islanders are a full foot or more shorter than Imperial Mans. Their marks are also more complex, or convuluted, perhaps from centuries of open marrige. Unlike the Imperial Mans there is no codified marrige restrictions that prevent Asperian and Ragonian from producing children with each other. There is no such distinction amongst them. The Sky Islanders themselves claim that the marks are the gift of the gods. As they cannot see the stars, the stars were instead etched upon their skin.
If Sky Islander Mans as a whole could be said to have any affinity it is to water. They are born in water as is their ancient custom. One custom we Imperial Mans have long forgotten. Their homes are built partially submerged, and of course the deluge pours rivers of water upon their heads throughout most their life. The affinity for water is strong amongst them, and many of the SKy Islanders have gifts that allow them to live in the water much as the Thalians of the Bottom Lands. Unlike Thalian Mans the Sky Islander Mans have no living crystals on their Lakes. One must wonder what would happen were you to lift a Thalian Crystal City into the Mid Skies and land it in one of the Sky Lakes. There is no record of it being tried, but what is true is that the waters of the endless sea are different than the waters of the Sky Lakes. They say that the waters of the endless sea have in them the taste of blood and cannot slake one's thirst. Perhaps the crystal of the Thalian Cities could not prosper in the pure waters of the Sky Lakes.
Since the rise of the black mists, the Dark Sky, travel to the Sky Lakes has been possible. More than any other destination the Sky Lakes are a point of call for those seeking leisure. So long as one does not mind the steady dripping of the Deluge upon their heads the Sky Lakes are most certainly pleasant. Rare quarrels between the Taurn that make their homes on the Sky Lakes and the Sky Islander Mans are perhaps the most dire of occurences. These quarrels are far from the outright war of Dargonia's borderlands, and are most directly revolving around fishing or "hunting" rights. The Otteryn in particular consider it their perogative to protect the fish population from Mans over predation, and interestingly this faith is upheld by the ancient Triunism followed by the majority of Sky Islander Mans.
When important travelers from the Sky Lakes arrive at your court do not expect some strange Merelindi affair with tanks of water, and all manner of bizarreness. Sky Islanders are Mans and travel in much a similar fashion. Their digestion is much like ours, if perhaps somewhat more attuned to fish. They are familiar with their dietary necessities and there is no need to adjust your courts affairs to accomodate them, or to make strange overtures of preparing fish. Should you be interested they will most likely bring their own supply of fish, and will most likely be far more capable of preparing fish plates than any Dargonian chef. The only point of civil diplomacy one should concern themselves with is that as a over all rule Sky Islanders do not appreciate the presence of Elendi or Blooms at their table with them. Imperial Mans have had centuries to become familiar with the Elendi, but the Sky Islanders remind us that once long ago our people were dire enemies of Trees. Elendi, Blooms, and other plant people are all but non-existant on the Sky Lakes.
The Friendly Kraken. The soft sea beast. The Volvocales are a form of Kraken, but unlike the Kraken proper Volvocales are soft and spongy. Kraken look much more like aquatic strangling trees while Volvocales are alike the Shambler. A Volvocales is a floating mass of moss. They are intelligent but like most Kraken they are do not develope kingdoms or civilization in the manner of Mans. There are few creatures in the world that are more alien to Mans than Volvocales. There is no such thing as sex amongst the Volvocales. They are each an independant entity that spawns through a bizarre form of seperation. Over time their mass increases and one day splits in two. Thusly are new Volvocales brought into the world. This manner of reproduction transfers the knowledge of the Volvocales meaning that the friendly krakens that float along the shores of the endless sea are storehouses of knowledge inso much as one is concerned with the history of a particular streatch of beach.
Volvocales are not known to travel. They do not form groups, and they do not trade. Should you find yourself in their domain cout yourself lucky you are amongst the Volvocales and not the Kraken. True Kraken are dire predators of Mans and beast. The Volvocales care little for Mans. In the outlandish occurence of a Volvocales appearing to court the proper thing to do is keep them wet and communicate in the simplest form of plant sign possible. It is highly unlikely that a Volvocales is educated, despite this do remember that they posses the knowledge of their forefathers. It is most proper to treat them with respect regardless of how scant of use their knowledge may be.
Oh Internert access how you vex me, and with video games as well!
I do not think my last few enteries are "verve" enough - wibes wrong. Instead I am goign to review the project in post form for anyone to whome may be reading. Umm.. "Sty-Rn"
Big world. Started from the image posted in page umm six now. Much different when first drawn. Long ago ...
More races than you can imagine ... Animal Vegetable or Mineral? Old - oft said quotes. I actually got paid to run a game in this setting once. Literal "play me a game in that crazy world of yours - here money" It was great. "Tomb of Heaven" called that campaign, and it will be included (proabably in the Wonderful World Devotional) as the exemplative element. Now in regards to Sty-Rn most of you have no real understanding whatsoever. Sure you have read the waxings of a self rightous scribe ... but what does an oponion tell you? The game mechanics provided will of course be more ... umm... unbiased, however those are going to come last, due to the fact that will come multiple times. Effectively this text (the thread I am building here, and will continue to, so long as Wizards allows it ) is the pre-release of the ... books ... of Wonderful World "in general" :smile: I like it. For other projects I will inspecct other prospects, but Wonderful World will stay here. I do actually have the intention of "using" you people.
Any one wants to throw ideas my way - understanding that I am not working on a collabarotive project (and while I authorize WotC to use my material in publicity; which I cannot see hurting me) I keeps it. Mine. Post here - I take it to wonderful world and you have to make it to port nowhere follow the thread to the pure lands and solve the riddle of the mists to get out of Wonderful World. You could starjam .. I guess .. if you wanna go there .. like Tobias did.
Sty-Rn is about travel. Its about going places and seeing .. what has not been seen. Being where ... you have not been. Were there a "DMs" foreward in any of my books (which there won't be) :" href="http://community.wizards.com/go/post/reply/75882/19919742/Http:www.lulu.com/shea_reinke">smirk: however there will be editions for use with all the "editions" I can get my hads on. First - 4th, then 3rd, then BST. Possibly pushing it farther into Gurps, Hero systems (which it has been used with more than once) or even (gahh) Storyteller. Who knows what else could come out of the conventioning (and this is what is getting me off vibe - I am thinking in marketing terms and it is the same thing as thinking in terms of lighting and special effects) It had to be thought of and now that I have it all ... "schematized" ... I should get back to doing what I am best at and "making character" I need to find Sanjaya (or maybe someone new) and get back into her Journy.
If you haven't noticed the "Book" is the journeys of One girl, her mentor, and the letters she shares with her mother/sister back in Asper. She is a dargonian noble woman who spends her life documenting the known races - suddenly I remember the character I should use - as his writing is not gotten much appearance in here - he should be an expert on the dwar ... hmmm (revisions will happen go with it reinke) - but there is more - I need another one ... a hidden character - the hidden fifth voice of the narrative ... hmmm .. its supposed to be like a little game - "who wrote this entry" when you have the finished book it should be apparent. No, I need to find a new character, and to do that I need to go "there" and there is only one sure fire way I know how to do that ...
Pawah is a paladin. A warrior of Truth! He carries the purpose stone, a true human from the pure lands. He alone carries the knowledge of the way to the pure lands, Grall lied to Sanjaya when she told him that. Grall lied much. His tales were not those of Krawl. Krawl was a real scribe. Grawl, nothing more than a barkan raised by a pherthan, a Felin at that. Pawah appears and dissapears through no control of his own. Fate takes him from place to place as the purpose stone unravels. He appeared one night in this very cabin. He spoke to me of what had become him, and where he had been. It took me no time at all to determine that he jnew nothing of the world. Nothing of the skies and the isles that we take for granted. He told me of his homeland, and how the sky was so mcu closer and filled with countless light. Such a wonder the pure lands must be to behold. A sky filled with lights - impossible to imagine.
I, being mute, was unable to communicate with him. I could not teach him of the land about, and instead I created this book. Without a voice I cannot give it to mine, but you can give it yours. It is a wonder to have met someone who does not know to knock to stone, whisper to grass. Such things that you take for granted. When you look at your world through new eyes even those things you take for granted become strange and exciting again. Pawah stayed with me for a few short weeks before his stone, the purpose stone, took him away from me. He has this book, and I hope he will remember me always. May it be a guide through the ways of the world for you.
~ Scyra'alanta Elendi Druidess
So ... hmmm ... Pawah ran into Scrya, then Sanjaya met ... Scyra .. and offored to add the book to the scribe annals, and eneded up just putting it into her book ... because the Imperial annals only accept writing from proper scibes.
Hmmm ... Ima sleep on that.
Things we take for granted. What a difficult consideration to contend with. The skies are blue, the grass is most often green, and the light of the sun is the reflection of the star of Tolen. These things are as common as gold, and however so much we think on them as being strange to someone, it is hard to describe them without speaking as you would to a child. I do not mean any slight against your intelligence, but the way I shall describe these things is as I learned them myself. "As common as gold" I say that every day, most likely. Gold is the yellow rock that floats. Gets in everything, Some silly people get into their head that if you get a big enough chunk of it you can jump off the lands and stop before you hit the Bottom Lands, but as far as I know it just ain't the case.
The bright light in the sky is one of two things, depending on whether your in mid sjky or low. If your in mid sky there will be two lights. The lower one is the star of Tolen, and the higher one is the Sun, the Elendi call it the Moon, and the Orcnin call it Earth. It reflects the ilght of Tolen. If you are in the Bottom Lands or Dolor, as I have heard, you cannot tell if the light you see through the Stom Whale Seas is Tolen or the Sun. When Tolen is Goval and Coval it shines so bright on the Bottom Lands and Low Sky that the Sun cannot be seen, Those who live on the Bottom Lands grow to know the difference of the year by movements of the Sun and Tolen.
Those that live in Mid Sky count the year, at least we do now, by our journey around the Dark Sky, and those that live in the High Skies count theirs by the deluge as far as we know from what the Gnomes have told us. The High Skies are impassible by ship. Only the ArchMagics of the Gmomish gods allow them to transpor their ships to Mid Sky from the Sun. Tolonese ships are now taking to the skies, but Technometric contraptions are a far cry from Gnomish creations. The Dwar that climbed the skies to the Sun are able to create sacred creations as the worshippers of the Gods are able, only without having to sacrifice to the Gods. Supposedly they "follow the Triune" but they say that the Gnomish Dwar hold no ceremonies nor festivals to their Gods.
To say that you "follow the Triune" is to say that you simply don't care. Most who adhere to no curch say such a thing. For an entire people to say it seems suspect at best. The Triune is mentioned in all faiths. The three true Gods that are one, and all of the world simultaniously. The story is simple and the same. There was Elvna and Ogran, elvna the plants and Ogran the beasts. They fought over the world and how it would be made for their creations. When they could not agree as to how to make the world there came Dwar and Dwarin who was to make the descision, and with Dwarin came the Dragons, the children of Dwarin. My island is called Dargonia or "Gift of Dragons" and was once called Ragonia "Home of Dragons" before the Orcnin, the Imperials, and the Elendi settled here.
Trees ruled the land then, since we do not say that dragons rule, and it was the Elendi that came here first. For a season you can leap from Dargonia to Elendira, and long long ago my people did so and began the first civilization on Ragonia. Then the Elendi were fast freinds with Trees, and my people allied with the Trees against Dragon. Then came Mans, and their Empire soon after. The Gnomish had not begun their travels yet. The wizards had not begun their wars. Mans brought a new tactic to the war with Dragon. Mans could speak in the way of Dragon as my people do the way of Tree. They tamed the dragons as so was founded the Empire. With Arconistics stolen from their enemies the Orcnin the Mans wizards brought down a council of Gods and by their power gained Dominion over Dragon. Within the realms of The Empire dragons bow to the power of Mans gods.
Elendi live amongst the Mans, in their Empire, as do Dwar and Taurn. Orcnin even dwell within the Mans Empire, but it is still Mans' Empire. Forged from their will and working attheir pace. The Elendi that live among them are different from them that live, as most do, in the Demes. Elendi Deems are a sigh to behold should be allowed within one. In between the Trees where nobody sees the Deme is a place within and not within the Forest. The shack that you stayed at was place outside of my Deme. I only spend so many seasons a year outside of the Deme, and when I am not within the Deme I stay at the shack and observe the animals and the Dragon. In the Deme only the Trees and the Elendi can stay for long. Others are sent back to the forest no matter how they found entrance to the Deme.
The Deme is built with the power of the Trees. Mans cities are with the power of Stone, and Orcnin hoards are built with the power of Bone. To say the power of Bone is to mean the power of those Gods that the Empire's Gods oppose. There are also the Pride Gods of the Taurn, and though it should go without saying Gods are those ancestors that have exhalted themselves in the realms beyond this one. WHat goes on beyond this world is said to be outside of comprehension. Arconistic masters and the Gods themselves perhaps, but I have heard tell of Gods themselves being lost in the ways beyond the world. The Star Gnomes of Dwar legend and Gnomish tale are supposidly from that other place. Some say they are from the future, some say they are from another world called Aziera.
In the Dark Sky, the Dark Sky. The Dark Sky is the darkness in the sky. Were I standing beside you I could point at it. Dark Sky is larger than any island, and is said to be the Oort cloud or two islands that collided via the power of the wizards Arconistics. The Orcnin wizards took control of Arconia and were intent to guide it to Dargonia and lay waste to the Empire and Imperial City from above. In order to prevent that the Empire's wizards took control of the island Taurna and drove it into Arconia and thusly creating the great cloud that is Dark Sky. Dark Sky streatches from High Sky to Low Sky but always stays Cobal of Bottom Lands. The great Deluge, the source of the Storm Whale Seas is said to fall from True Ragonia - the highest island in the skies.
Once, when Dargonia was called Ragonia, the Sun was thought to be the highest island in the sky. The star had been found and Mans believed itself the wisest of the peoples of the world for its wandering. With Elendi's aid the Mans concoured the surface of Ragonia and when they had the Elder Dragon Lords appeared to Mans and told them that their island was not the "The Home of Dragons" but that there was a "True Ragonia" above even the Sun. Why such a thing would have happened escapes me and most, but who can speak the mind of the Elder Dragon Lords. Those beings are alike unto the Gods, but they have not passed beyond the gate of death. It is said that dragons do not persist past their lives, and that their spirit evaporates, becoming one with the mists.The truth to these tales is for the Gods to know and the vile Arconistic master to speak of. It is not the place of a mortal to speak of the nature of the immortal. You should never speak of the eternal, or of souls, nor death.
There are many amongst the Empire and the Elendi that believe it is speaking of them that draws those that have passed beyond into our lives. The Gods are different than the restless souls. The Gods have somehow seen beyond the desire for life and are content to remain as they are. The restless seek nothing more prfoundly than to return to the life of flesh and bone. There are Orcnin hoards that have been lead by the same soul for centuries. Some say mellinia. Some say longer. There are houses of Mans that follow this priciple as well, strangely tied as Mans history is with Orcnin. The Elendi know better than to truck with such Demon. The Gods and the angels of their hosts guard the cities of Mans and the Demes of the Elendi. They can slip through time with nothing more than a little bit of rhyme. Demons and angels are powerful enemies should you find yourself outside the protection of Deme, Empire, or Hoard, but you know this better than most Pawah.
The body and soul can be seperated and animated. Such are the angels that protect the walls of Mans city, and Elendi Deme. The souls, wherever they have gone are beyond the reach of the our healing for whatever reason. Perhaps the soul was summoned by vile Arconistics, or warped into a weapon by Orcnin artifice as the Elendi seal Allip into their creations. The body is available to be animated as the walls of Mans' cities. Just so much dirt, only in a convienient shape. It is an honor amongst Mans for their moral shell to be chosen to join the forms of their ancestors along the walls of their cities. Countless angels guardian the tiers of Imperial City, and most Mans cities are also protected by the remains of their long dead. Elendi prefer to devour their fallen dead, a practice that Mans find as equally offensive as Elendi do the reanimation of their ancestors. Only the darkest of Elendi disgrace the memory of who once lived in the body by using Allip, Golem, or Spirit.
It is amazing to think what is common amongst one people is considered atrocious amongst another. Planting Trees is a horrible taboo amongst the Empire. Even planting flowers is something that most Mans frown upon. The presence of Bloom and Elendi amongst the Mans brings with them flowers and grass, but most Mans consider the fruit of pomegranate and pear to be the only thing of value from plants. To an Elendi Mans' cities are barren of life, but full of bustle. The Deme is still and serene. The city is full of noise and shouting children. Unlike the the Mans the Elendi take greater care in buying their children from the Gods. Mans who perform the ancient rituals of appeasement to the Gods in order to be given a strong and healthy child are mocked. Yet more than most of Mans young are dead before they come of age. In the Deme there are perhaps twice the number of young as there are old, but among the Mans that proportion is far closer to ten times the number of young compared to adults.
In the Deme a child knows their father and mother. They are raised with attention and care, not released to the world to find their way. Succored by priesthoods like Tanxia's Mans children are nearly wild beasts. Elendi children will sit quetly for days or even years depending on their temperment. As they learn to dream, which Elendi do concious, Elendi children learn to hold themselves still as they travel in their mind. Mans can only dream when they sleep, but unless some extraordinary circumstances occure Elendi do not sleep, and when we are young we amble around with our sight lost in dream safe in the protection of the Deme. In the Deme there is nothing to fear save walking into a Tree. Elendi children that grow up outside of the Deme must be kept safe inside as they learn to be still.
Mans' cities are fed with countless beasts. Most cites keep their livestock outside of the walls of the city itself. The lives of the creatures that Mans make their food are also easy sacrifice to those things that live beyond the bounds of civilization. The great beasts of the land and the wild Dragon will feast on the bones of either Mans or their beasts equally. The priests of the Imperial Gods are able to summon beasts from the outer realms to replace the heards that are lost, and in the end a city of Mans would soon fall without the divine grace of their Gods. The Elendi way is far different. Save for the most important of circumstances Elendi do not call upon the Gods for their aid. The creation of the Deme is one of those rare circumstances. With the aid of our Gods the Elendi bind the many places between throughout the forest into one and create the safety that is the Deme. The Elendi ask their Gods to intercede on greater affairs and on matters of survival and crops. Mans Gods are employed daily, while Elendi's are called upon yearly if at all.
Imperial City is lit with a thousand lamps. They call them the lamps of Miria. Every child of the Empire hears of these lamps when they are young, and the Lamps of Miria are seen as the ultimate example of the oppulance of Imperial City. The lamps are of carved stone and are held aloft by statue carved in Mans image of Elvna. Their light allows the city to function in the lee of Tolon Island. This light is powered by the same worship that other Imperial lands use to keep the city clean, and maintain the domonion of Empire over the wilds. So grand and magnificent is Imperial City, so wealthy and powerful, that it is able to expend that energy to illuminate Imperial Dargonia.
Dargonia is covered in darkness save for the light of Imperial City. Tolon is techered to the underside of Dargonia by a gargantuan tether that is believed to have been made by the ancient Imperial wizards. The thether can be used to travel between the two islands, and keeps Tolon below the ridge of Dargonia. The star of Tolon is below Tolon and as such the light that illuminates most of the world does not shine on Imperial City or Dargonia. Tolon itself see the light of the Sun all year long, as the islands of Dargonia and Tolon and the Sun follow each outher in orbit around Dark Sky. As such the darkest island in the skies is Dargonia, and Elendira as it passes through the lee of Dargonia.
Plauges wander live throughout the world. Their influence driving all that share the beasts blood to insanity and death. Much of my purpose is to ward the forest from their presence. They say that amongst the Orcnin plauges are fostered and encouraged to work upon the enemies of the hoard, but I have never seen Imperial City let alone an Orcnin hoard. Though there be dozens upon the Cobal side of Dargonia I have never seen them. The hoards do not prey upon this Forest for the sake of Impire City Goval of the Deme and Old Ragonia upon the Goblin. I have never seen an Orcnin in my life, but expect that in the time I have upon this world I will one day see Imperial City, and I know that you will find Orcnin loyal to the Empire there. My knowledge of the Empire is small, but my knowledge of the Empire is great.
Elendi met Mans first in the skies. On dragon back and sail. Falling to the Bottom Lands from Mid Sky, finding no Doloria in their travels. Doloria was formed from the Scattared Isles. Elendi found the Bottom Lands first so the legends say. It was the ELendi that found the Dar and the Dwar. It was Mans howevver that tamed the Trees. The Dwar and the Dar live beneath the surface of the Bottom Lands but above the Endless Sea. The Elendi that first found the bottom of the world found their refuge beneath the waves of the Endles Sea, but when Mans came they brought fire and burned away the Trees of Coval Bottom Lands. With the aid of the Dar. That aid was betrayed by the Doomsayer. A God of the Dar she nearly eradicated the Empire before it began.
That was the First Mans Tree wars. The second was the what brought about the formation of the Empire. Mans Empire despite Dwar and Elendi merely honoring their dominion over Dragon. Dragons of sky and flame were brought from what is now Old Ragonia. Knighthoods called the Dragoons were formed to defend the Arconistic masters of the Mans armies. From the Elendria had come Elendi, and the Sky Lakes had come Mans. On Ragonia they fought Orcnin and Dragons hand in hand. Together they found Dwar fighting Trees, and together the three built the Empire from the wood of Trees.
There are said to have been Orcnin upon the Bottom Lands, and mellenia later their are Mans, Orcnin, and Taurn all strong upon the Bottom Lands. Ronians have no true home, but the Bottom Lands belongs to the Dwar. They have long lived beneath the surface, but since the Fell of Montar and the Dwarin migration to Montaria the cities of the Dwar have begun to open upon the tops of the Goval Mountains of Bottom Lands. The loss of Arconistic was a blow to the Orcnin people. Though plentiful times a thousand compared to Mans they, as a people and by the the will of their Gods, refuse alliegences. Their is Master of the hoard and the rest. There may be many masters in the hoard, but all bow to the one Master. As it was so it shall always be amongst them, so they say. The Empire works by council as appossed to pure strength. It was the Council of Imperial Senators that made Arconistics illegal throughout the Empire.
Elendi were neve much, as a people, for Arconistics. They did not stand in the way of the Dwar when they petitioned for the ban, and the Mans were sore from the loss of the Wizard Wars. There were no winners of the Wizard Wars. The Empire felt the flush of the victory of the last Mans Tree wars a mellenia too early, and had turned their eye to the Orcnin. Between the two people there was a massive Arconistic might and the was was fought less between dragoon and hoard than between the might of wizards. The hidden towers upon Arconitstic and Taurna were all cast from the skies for their hubris against the Gods. Worse still to think that the wizards of the Empire knew what was to happen, and did so anyhow. Either way it is a good thing that Arconistics is forbidden in the lands of the Empire.
Mans' Empire is governed over by a Divane Senate. The representatives to the Divine Senate are divided evenly between Mans, Elendi, and Dwar. Strange as it may seem Mans has granted Dwar and Elendi a signifigant influence in their Empire. Neither Dwar and Elendi have developed such a unified government between their peoples. While, most relations between opposing Elendi nations are corgial, there have been many disputes broached in Imperial chambers of the disputes between rival nations of Dwar. Not the least of which was the problem of Gnomes. The mightiest of Dwar nations of old are violently opposed to those they call Gnome. Arconistics, be they Orcnin, Elendi, Mans, or Dwar has always been taboo within the lands of the Bottom Lands kingdoms of the Dwar. Even before the Wizard Wars those Dwar that were branded "Gnome" were cast out of Imperial lands.
These many centuries later the Gnome have found a home on the Sun. The Gnome Dwar have made their own nation far from the lands of their ancestors. When once, in the ancient times when the Empire began, the Dwar of Goval were the strongest voice in the Divine Council. Now, man mellinia later, the Gnomes and the Rouge Dwar nations of Montara have become the most represented. The ancient Dwar nations of Goval Bottom Lands keep only one Embassy when once they held all nine of the Dwar seats in the Divine Council. Even as the Wizard Wars ended the ancient Goval Dwar were in the lead of the Dwar people that were represented, and it was their voice that outlawed Arconistics, but the migration of the Gnome to the Sun and the formation of the Rouge Dwar nations on Montara over the last three melennia has shattered their influence in Mans' Empire.
Thre of the nine Dwar embassies are Gnomish, and the Gnome ships are the backbone of the Empire's trading fleet at this time. Gnome ships are powered by Arconistics no matter what they say. There are many who see the ban on Arconistics to change before another century passes. The idea of a new Tower of Arconistics being erected upon Dargonia is hard to concieve. For thousands of years Emperials have not only cast out those who practiced Arconistics, but literally hunted them and brought them to death. That has changed on Dragonia, but is still common upon the Bottom Lands where teh Goval Dwar watch with a closer eye. Nonetheless those who practice Arconistics have survived and passed their knowledge from one to the next. Once the wizards were as important to the Empire as the dragoons. It was Emperial wizards that formed Imperial City with their Arconistics.
The holy orders that follow the Imperial Gods are the true power in the Empire. Once the nine great orders of dragoons controlled the empire. The knight orders that tame the great dragons to their will were the strength of the Empire. In ancient times those orders had been founded by the Mans wizards from the sky lakes. In the turns of fate the knighthoods that had forsaken their ancient charges in favor of serving the Empire have all but lost their voice in that Empire. The holy orders that rule the Empire in these days take adherents of all peoples and thus gain stronger voice. They grant their members the gift of miracles wrought by thier God. The peoples of Mans still identify themselves by their house and land of origin, but their choice of embassy to the Divine Council has turned to the holy orders that follow the members of the Divine Council.
The twenty seven Gods that hold seat in the Divine Council are not absent Gods, but as the Pride Gods they are manifest. Tanzia is seen throughout the Empire, and often in Imperial City. Ft'rod is a Ronian God and yet holds the seat of Summer's Breeze. The embassies to the council are divided between Dwar, Elendi, and Mans but the exhalted beings that hold the seats of the Divine Council and maintain the dominion of Empire via the allegience of all who acknowledge Imperial Dominion are decided amongst themselves. In accordance with the ancient Arconistic principles that founded the Divine Council every century one seat in the council is made vacant and any God that attempts to claim it, and is able to defend it, may. Each of the twenty seven seats of the Divine Council is dedicatedto a different grand principle, and by Arconistic principles it is this concordance that grants Empire dominion over Dragon.
The seats of the Divine Council are three fold seven. The seven brilliant seats are the seat of the Summer's Breeze, the seat of Storm's Blood, the seat of Burning Stone, the seat of Flashing Flame, the seat of Talon, the seat of Vine, and are ruled by the seat of Eternal Light. The seven hidden seats are the seat of Winter's Breath, the seat of Sea's Fury. the seat of Liquid Stone, the seat of Scroching Flame, the seat of Fang, the seat of Tooth, and the seat of Seed, and are ruled by the seat of Eternal Darkness. The seven solid seats are the seat of Wind, the seat of Deluge, the seat of Metal, the seat of Lightning, and the seat of Beast's Heart, and the seat of Tree's Root, and is ruled by the seat of the Final Judge. The senator of the seat of the Final Judge on;y votes upon the matters of the Divine Council save there is a thirteen thirteen split amongst the council.
Tanzia, the seat of Flashing Flame, is perhaps the most well known of the Imperial Gods. Tanzia gained her seat when it was opened and she has held since. Miria, the seat of Eternal Light, is the the only remaining of the original twenty seven Gods of the Divine Council, and holds significant sway over the council. In most things regarding the people of the Empire Miria is the first and final say. Tanzia and Miria have long been allies and have kept the brilliant seats in accord since the dawn of the Empire. The hidden seats have not held strong ties between them, and the hidden seats have shifted far more often. Fara, the seat of the Beast's Heart, is the longest sitting member of the solid seats. It was Fara, a Taurn God, that first brought the forbiddance of Arconistics to the Divine Council. Another God of note is Jakanar. He was the first and the third seat of Eternal Darkness. Some say he has seeks to return to the Divine Council again.
The Empire's territories cover half of Dargonia, many of the Sky Lakes, Elenaria, Tolen, and near a third of the Bottom Lands. There is no nation that holds the combined power of the Empire. The Dar control a third of the Bottomlands, and the remainder of that massive island is contested between Orcnin and Taurn. The Endless Sea that the Bottom Lands rests in is inhabited with the Elentsi and a strange breed of Mans called Thalian.The Elentsi and the Thalian are the descendants of the first Mans and Elendi that found their way to the Bottom Lands and found only the Endless Sea to be safe from the terrors of the Bottom Lands. The Dwar live, as they always have, beneath the surface of the Bottom Lands, and like the Thalian and the Elentsi have no interests in the lands of the Empire.
Should the strength of the Pride Landers grow much they may one day come to threaten the Cross Lands or the Imperial cities of the Goval region. The remnants of the Taurn are scattered. The Pride Land Gods claim that they have always called their people to the Bottom Lands, but Imperial scribes say that there are perhaps more Taurn on the island of Wild's Home. Travel to Wild's Home is perioulous and reports of what live upon the island's surface are scare, but according to the tales there are still entire nations of Taurn living on Wild's Home. Legions have been seen through the forest canopy. At least two nations of Pherthan have been in contact with Imperial traders.
The Ronians go where they please, and the Orcnin loose territory to the Empire everyday. The Great Trees that opposed Mans in ancient times have been felled, and only the Great Trees that were in alliance with Elendi still stand. Perhaps should the Dwar unify they could stand against the Empire, but many of the Dwar nations owe alligence to the Empire over each other. The Elendi nations stand with each other, but have no need to quarrel with the Empire. The Elendi people are slower to move than Mans and Dwar. The Demes of today are much the same as the Demes of ancient times. Some Demes such as Padon have been formed in the Goval region since the end of the Mans Tree wars, but there have been no new Demes upon Elendria since the Wizard Wars.
:omg: its been almost six months since I updated :roll:
Since last I posted I have become the VP of Marketing for eyeofthevortexonline.com
I have become the co-host on a weekly geek cast ~ redphonezone.com ~
I remain dedicated to completing this project - as I have been for almost two decades now.
Wonderful World is one of my first campaign settings and has transfered through Hero System to Storyteller and then into D&D ~ for those of you that are following the development of Wonderful World, or those of you interested in collector's items ~ there are new signing copies of the Wonderful World campaign setting available for purchase at my bookstore :wink:
In case your wonderin' a "signin' copy" is a "pod" unfinished draft of a book. When I sell one (or more) I end the sale and republish with another version - there by creating "collector's items" !!
Just in Case,
If anyone has used wonderful world, I would love to hear about it. While I am away would be a great time to leave some comments regarding what you think so far, what you have questions about (that would be great), or what you want to see from wonderful world. Keep in mind that the "world theme" (if you need it summed up in one word) is "travel" or "exploration"
Until Next time!
The honey killer. The Vegitaurn. The stinging flower. A rather rare breed of Vegitaurn. Unlike the three fronded nightmares of the Mans Tree Wars these flowers are a sappy Tree. The Pottaurn are deemed such as they have a bell pot topped with two thick liplick petals, and filled with a scent as intoxicating to Mans and Dragon alike. Orcin, Taurn, and Dwar as well find the scent of the Pottaurn's stinging honey sweet. Elendi alone of the Peoples of the world are immune to its persuasive toxin.
The Elendi pallat is severe. As they grow they twine with the land in accordance with the powers of the seasons. Most devoure sticks and leaves along with fruits, berries and in some cases small amounts of bone and meat. Most Elendi have faound the smell of the Pottaurn's honey to be that of rancid meat.
The petals of the charging flower were once called simply a Vegitaurn alike to the Flynntaurn and Venutaurn. Seratuarn and Ozzentaurn more common, some many others lost to the burning times, all these bounding blooms once called Vegitaurn are today named and defined in the archives of the scribes. Though they once were counted only as combatants the details of their consumption and structure are cataloged and recorded in the halls of the Imperial Scribes.
Pottaurn, perhaps more so than any extant breed of Vegitaurn, are savage and aggressive. Pottaurn are found almost exclusively in the lands called by many Troll Country. Troll Country is a region of the vast Goblin and Cobal forest of the Bottom Lands. The entire region stretching from the spiney rang of mountains Goblin Bottom Lands to the sandy marshes of the Darian Empires Cobal is beyond the control of the Empire and the Darian Empires alike. Troll are said to rove in packs. Vegitaurn of all kinds garden and hunt the Trolls. Pottaurn and Trolls alike hunt the Dwar and Orcin that live in the grounds and caves of this dire forest. The Goblin Mts are ruled by dread Dragon Lords, and the forests Coblin of them are ruled in truth by Revalin Empirals.
Most likely meeting a Pottaurn will be in battle. Unlike Flynntaurn Pottaurn's historic allegiance with the Standing Trees is not more than the terretorial vegitables' insticts to defeate and devour Mans' armies with equal fervor as they do their primary prey; the Troll. With sword sharp petals the Pottaurn disarms limbs, and stews the flesh off of bone in its stinging honey pot. As with the Flynntaurn, the spongey soupish remnant of a Pottaurn meal is rich fertilizer for most planting Trees. Unlike many of the extant Vegitaurn the seeding cycle of this viscious flower is unknown.
Deadly Clover. The Vegitaurn. The slashing bloom. This Vegitaurn is rather common, but unlike the Flynntaurn they are not a meat eating plant. Flynntaurn rarely plant, while Serataurn spend a good deal of time planted. Like most blooms Serataurn need little more than dirt and rain to survive. Blood and the sap of Flynntaurn being the best of fertilizers for their dirt, and the the blue rain of storm whales is their fondest water. Dry dirt and sand and the green waters of the deluge are sufficient for any bloom, and sufficient for this Vegitaurn.
Instead of a Flynntaurn's three snapping fronds, the Serataurn is feathered with broad bladded petals. More a vine than most blooms the Serataurn is a fruit bearing plant. Due to their long vines and broad petals the Serataurn are often confused with Flynntaurn at a distance. Upon close examination they are clearly a rope of twines more like a mass of root, buds, berries, and bladded petals. Flynntaurn have long stalks holding their snapping fronds high.
It is the assertion of some scribes that the Serataurn is most similar to a Kraken. The power of the Empire holds the Sky Lakes, GemRon Isle, Half of Dargonia and Tolen alike, most of the Bottom Lands in alliance with the Elendi, and in alliance with the Elendi and Dwar Councils rules more of the world than any Darien Empire or Orcnin'Sa. Nonetheless the tales told of the Aquan Elendi and the countless kingdoms of the endless ocian have rare entry into the Imperial records. The Krakens that have been studied upon the shore are only rare examples, but their twiney vines that mix spindley roots and sharp flower petals are strangely reminicent of the Serataurn.
Perhaps the most common of all Vegitaurn, at least in Imperial Dominion, there are many Serataurn gardens that turned leaf to side with the Empire and peace durring the Mans Tree Wars. Many Mans houses first learnt the Plant Signal language from Serataurn. Before the grand seeding of Blooms that heralded the final peace between the gods of Tree and Mans alike, it was the Serataurn that most Mans might have spoken with regarding the accords of Mans and Tree.
Like a Bloom the Serataurn needs naught but dirt, water, and starlight. The gardens of Serataurn that guard Imperial walls grow in number with every turn of Tolen. To this day only Blooms are allowed Imperial Citizenship. The terms of war between the grand Trees shall stand till the Trees themselves fall, but the Serataurn have long been the diplomats between Mans and Tree.
The Vegitaurn. The snapping flower. The leaping bloom. The most powerful and quick of all the vegitables. The leaping blooms have several springy root legs and three snapping flower buds. The average Flynntaur looks remarkably similar to a Felataur and from such their common title. Durring the Mans Tree Wars the Flynntaurn were amongst the number of Vegitaurn that served as the primary bastion of the Tree armies. To this day the Flynntaurn are the nightmare dipicted most often in the images of the Mans Tree Wars.
Most likely the Flynntaurn are the most common of all the Vegitaurn, and while there are numerous kinds of Bloom and Vegitaurn flowers, the particularly terrifying triple snapping fronds of the Flynntaurn have haunted the tales of Mans since before the empire. Trees that run and jump and eat like a wolf. Truly in the Imperial annals of the Mans Tree Wars the lists of Vegitaurn put to fire are most likely the list of beast eating Blooms. Differing Strangling Tree and Standing Tree from Leaping Bloom.
Unlike a Bloom or Shroom the Vegitaurn need the flesh of beasts and dragon to survive. They only plant to seed and have historically held little society amongst themselves save for the rites of providing for a seeding Vegitaurn and their traditional servitude to the Standing Trees. Beyond this Vegitaurn, such as the Flynntaurn, are rare for the mechantilism of Blooms.
By nature Vegitaurn are Bloom, but something of their ecology makes them grow taller and stronger than the viney and spongey flowers. These rending and eating flowers spend little time planted and dreaming. They are universally killers of Mans and Orcnin alike. When not found in an Army of Tree they are in a garden of terror. Hunting Troll in the Cobal forest of Bottom Lands. Racing Emuron in the deserts of the Pride Lands. Stalking Sa and Mans alike in the borders between Ronian, Orcnin, and Imperial Dargonia. Vegitaurn have been burnt out of the Sky Lakes as of ancient times, but as the Mans Tree Wars fade further and further into legend Tree of all kind have become more welcome in the paradise lakes that are the ancestral home of Mans.
Flynntaurn are regularly the general, captains, and domos of Tree armies or households. Flynntaurn serve as guards to Tree convoys. Entertaining these Vegitaurn is as such to entertain an Orcnin'Sa or Dragon High Lord. The only caveat of protocol that need be remembered beyond that of their Lord's is that Vegitaurn of all kinds need their meat served raw. Their strange mawlike flowers digest meat in plain sight and is expeled into the pots or planting grounds of their Standing Masters. In a divine correspondance this remnant provides the planted Tree with the most nutricious fertilizer.
Aras the realm of Man. Not a true realm as they say, but a mist realm. Found first legend says by Mans that sought the Bottom of the World. Before Mans found the Bottom Lands and the Endless Ocian legends tell of a land called Aras. The land is strange, they sky is said to be empty of isles, and a single brilliant sun shines like Tolen seeminly no higher off the Bottom than Dolor.
There are those that claim to have sailed through storm whale trails to find Aras, and those that seek the lost Isle of Arcanos say that it has drifted to the realm of Aras. The star of Aras may seem low to the bottom, but those who have found themselves in Aras and found their way back have followed the same path of return. They sail to the star. Like sailing to Dragon's Home only your flight is through a vast and empty sky. Uncluttered by particle, rover, dragon, isle, or silt. Naught but storm whales cloud the way to great round light that is your way back home.
There is said by some that there is one rover sized isle that drifts low to the bottom round Aras, and like the true Bottom Lands Aras floats upon the waters of an vast ocian. There is a Karnian legend that tells of a mighty Vampire Slayer called the Karn'ah'Karn who traveled to Aras and sailed to the very edge of the Ocian of Aras. There he found a waterfall the breadth of which only gods can imagine. The stories of the Karn'ah'Karn are many and legend at best, but a diety claimant to the title held seat in the Light Council of the Imperial Gods.
The Brilliant Lord of Fire called Girin of Karn, the Karn'ah'Karn, COnquorer of Taladas, Hated of Doom, and Bringer of Justice entered into the record of Imperial Cosmogoney a dissimilar account of the land of Aras. His account shared the element of sailing ship toward the star, called "The Sun" by the natives of Aras, and thusly returning to the skies above the Bottom Lands.
The "Conquoroer" as he was mostly called durring his brief reign as Brilliant Lord of Fire was a renowened traveler of many realms. His accounts were all alike in that they were each as outlandish as the next and as unbelievable as an ancient Legend. Doomsayer tales and Centaur. "Horses" and Dragons made of varnished metal. Lasers and machines. Travel to and from stars to lands such as Aras and even stranger.
The most outright and irregular thing regarding Aras is in the end, according to his Brilliance, is not that the sky is vacant of all but a single isle. Rather the Elendi are not, and Taurn are rarer still. Mans are all Karnina tan. Like the Orcnin, Dwar, and Elendi there are creatures that are far more Mans than Dwarn. Elendi share the peach and tan skins of the Karn. Dwar somewhat darker, and Orcnin somewhat red.
Dragons of this realm Aras came of five type red, blue, green, black, white. These beast ruled the Land of Aras without contest. The Conquorer's Brilliance was, to tell the tale, of such affront to the Great Dragon Lords of Aras that Lord Girin was driven from the land without pause or delay.
Others have said to travel to Aras and traveled amongst cities of Darian and the Elendi, not Elendi. Named Havaline, the sole skyborn land of this other worldf and supposedly no larger than a rover, this isle is the heart's deme of these strange Elendi not Elendi. Havaline Elendi are said to look like the Karn, and not only Girin claims such. The Dwar look like Karn. In fact the entire world is Karn skinned. It is hard to imagine a world without red skin and blue, faces without stars upon them, and hair of auburn and straw alone. If you were raised to it perhaps you would find a normal rainbow skinned Mans and green skinned Elendi exotic, or even shocking!
What little is known of this land for certain is that it is ruled by Dragons. Mighty wyrms greater than the beasts of this world. Perhaps the greatest of Dragon High Lords compares to these beasts, but to the last the dragons of Aras are terrible dragons. They only come in five metalic colors, and they lay eggs to have their children. Dragons can get large, but these beasts are born large. Beasts they do seem to be, and perhaps are not dragons as such. Dragons in the real world are the hybrid of beast and plant. Neither and both combined - while the dragons of Aras are clearly beasts, and quite concerned with their progeny.
Orcnin Horde Show
Doom and Woebefall anyone who would seek audience, or the court, of the Orcnin. The existence of propriety amongst Ogran’s children is … tacit at best. Dominance is the only rule of behavior. Commands are the only respected form of communication, and empty threats are a kindness when lethal force is used wantonly. Amongst the Orcnin there is a strict racial hegemony. Unlike the Elendi or the Taurn the many breeds of Orcnin are drastically different. Goblin and Kobold, O’Sa, O’Ha, Gnoll, Troll, (or Gn'ole and Tro'ole) and many more – each breed made for a purpose. Each species a component in the ever prophesied army of Ogran. The 'Army of Ogran' is perhaps the most direct translation of the word 'Orcnin' itself. At least as it is spoken amongst the Orcnin themselves. It is a Mans conceit that has stolen the word (actually) 'Ogran’s' and transliterated it directly into Orcnin.
The initial meeting with an Orcnin (of any sort) is best when full of bluster. One Orcnin has no real compunction in killing and eating another Orcnin. In fact, most `Sa keep the teeth of Goblins (Gob'lin'ha) as jewelry, and they would consider you downright shameful wearing the teeth of any creature you don’t kill and consume yourself. It is also downright shameful to back away from a fight – even one you know you will lose. Amongst the Orcnin there are thousands of subtle rules of engagement. Paramount to any attempting to integrate or gain influence in an Hoard of Orcnin is the recognition of the racial Hegemony. At this time the Orcnin’Ha, are the dominate species. How this is determined is a mystery to anyone not Archon of the Triune Dark Lord Ogran. What this means is that the `Ha will always win. If a Goblin could kill a `Ha – he will instead surrender. Everytime. This divine mandate is the only thing keeping the Orcnin hoards intact. Without it, the internal strife would tear the Orcnin asunder, literally consume itself, and leave the world a safer place.
No Orcnin needs to be explained how to deal with Orcnin, but the first thing that any non-Orcnin needs to be aware of is that they are Goblins (save free of Ogran) in the eyes of all Orcnin. Goblins are the least of the Orcnin, the servants and messengers of the army. Goblins may not wear any teeth save those of other Goblins, like non-Orcnin. Entering into an Orcnin hoard for the purpose of business is easy. Keep your weapons sharp. Sneer at everyone, and threaten (or use) physical violence against Goblins wantonly. Assuming you properly impress the watchers – you will be lead to the Sa or their proxies. There you make your bargain, and are ideally allowed to leave unmolested. Those foolhardy enough to seek a deeper connection with the Orcnin have a more difficult task ahead of them. They must transcend their Goblin status in some manner or another. There are numerous ways and all involve death and destruction. The simplest method is to 'become a Troll' though that 'path' is not pleasant. To 'become a Troll' you simply need think of nothing but food and death. Loose all sense of reason. Attack first, last, and always. You may be able to earn a 'Troll Mark' amongst the Orcnin. That is … the `Ha will give you (or more accurately allow you to keep) a Troll tooth to serve as a sign of your place in Orcnin society … If you live in the Tro'pits with the Gnolls.
The elders of Orcnin society are eaten as a delicacy. All food is served raw or seared for flavor. Orcnin young are eaten on a regular basis, but it is a taboo to eat of your own breed save for sacred religious ceremonies. It is, though, not uncommon for a Ha to force a Goblin to eat his own foot. A routine punishment for failure is having one of your eyes removed and eaten in front of you. The worst place to be in Orcnin society is missing an arm or an eye. To have lost both means that you are simply carrying stuff and waiting for your turn to be turned into stew. Cabnetry is not a science practiced amongst the majority of Horde. There are Gno'pits found in any Orcnin hoard where the doomed are kept until the time comes for them to be eaten. A pathetic collection of that Horde's refuse. It is considered an honor to be allowed to make the dinner selection from such a pin, and traditionally it is the chooser that is allowed to keep the teeth of their chosen meal. There is only one way out of the Gno'pits. Through the Tro'pits.
At this time among the Horde there are three major 'political' organizations. The Baragan, the Gagarin, and those described as the Traditionalists. Were it not for the traditions of Ancient Triunism, the Traditionalists would be the greatest ally of The Empire. However, the traditional relationship between Orcnin and Mans, Orcnin and Elendi, Orcnin and Dwar … is antagonism, murder, and genocide. As it stands the Baragan are the nearest to 'allies' of The Empire. Gagarin adhere to an absolute fabrication of Ogran's that the War Hero and New God Girin was actually a Troll. This is absolutely not true. Girin's lesser archon was a Mans, and a powerful one at that. His war cult commands a small breed of barbarian bottom lander Mans and now nearly half of the Orcnin Horde. The Baragan are the most diplomatic social society of Orcnin'Sa. A sky born philosophy of the Horde that deal with pirates. High sky pirates ally with Ronian and Taurn armies for mutual defence against both the Dragoons and the Horde, and thusly the Baragan build alliances with Mid Sky Mans pirates, a Race once deemed 'Gno' and only good for food. Consolidation of the Baragan with The Empire is nonetheless a pie dream as The Empire would have to first embrace the pirates, and their codes, into the imperial councils. Pirates are in a sense the hight of outlawed arconistics, and without a true pirate archon to stand in the Grand Council neither will Orcnin'Ha (and their powers of Dominion), the pirates (and their arconistics), nor the Baragan (and their diplomacy) will be accepted by The Empire.
sketchy at best Show
I had a sheet of paper with all the Orcnin Horde and Breed names written down. I have revivified them as this piece of paper has varnished ..something, anyhow..!
Gian - The first born of Ogran's Army. Half Stone. Living Construct/Elemental/Beast
Troll - The supposed first born of Ogran's Army.
Gno - anything that the Orcnin'Ha won't breed with. Lit. 'Only good for food' or ubreadable.
Gnoll - a beastial / doglike breed of Orcnin.
Baragan - Sky Born War Hero and New God of the Third Empire.
Gagarin - Mistransliteration of the word Girin.
Orcnin'Sa - The rulers of the Orcnin, taller and burlier than Sa.
Orcnin'Ha - Once rulers of the Orcnin. Resemble walking bullfrogs.
Hob'gob'Sa (Gob'lin'Sa) or simply Ho'Sa a breed spawned from Goblin that resemble the Orcnin'Sa.
Ko'gno'lad - (Kobold) or Orcnin'Ka tiny furry monsters with latching jaws. Highly intelligent.
Grim'loc - Blind proto versions of Orcnin'Sa
Ko'Cher - (Choker) Plant like tentacle Orcnin, resembling Trolls only smaller with tentacles.
Og'ren - 'People of Ogran' massive brutes said to resemble the visions of Ogran.
Shakar - oft mistook for Taurn, an aqutic breed of Orcnin, similar to Hobgoblins.
Ath'ack - Ogre with extra limbs and heads, and tails and such. Sometimes, Mongrelmen.
Skum - a rarer proto version of Orcnin'Sa (amphibious).
Fiend - A Mans, Elendi, or Dwar that has joined the Horde.
Goblin - Gob'lin'Ha, Miniature versions of Orcnin'Ha. Similar to Mans, but smaller.
I also had a sketch of a basic 'Goblin Toung' using the sylables as protowords, and you can see bits of that are being worked in. Such as 'Gno' as a Ogran word used by Dwar as a pejorative for their wizards, and also embraced (oddly) by the Gnome Nation of the Moon. The Dwar race is divided by Mid Sky, The Empire, and their clashing warrior/wizard ideals. Nearly all of the Gnomes are trained in Arconistics (originally a development of the Orcnin'Ha) and none are the match for even the average Dwar Knight, sans their Arconistic Powers. I want to continue with the development of the 'Goblin Toung' in favor of making *yet another* Elendi/Elven language, even though Elendi is not Elf.
Flame Dragon Show
The orange worm, the furious beast. Fire elemental dragons are perhaps the least intelligent of all dragon kind. Perhaps their elemental affiliations have an effect on their thought process, or perhaps they think so fast their behavior seems alien to us mortals. The eternal beast are all highly intelligent creatures once they reach their maturation. Even if they remain in their seedling forms they are will continue to develop cognitively. Their affiliation with the flame element grants them numerous different abilities unlike the gift of flight granted to all the wind beasts, the gift of melting given to the water beasts, or the gift of metal granted to the stone beasts. Flame dragons can spit terryifying rage into the minds of those around them by altering the temperature. Many can fly via some nature form of heat adjustment. Of all the types of natural beasts the developed Flame Beasts have been known to practice arconistics. Technometrics is a science learned from the ways of the Tolonese dragon lords, and works equally well for dragon kind as it does for the Tolonese Mans. The nature of Orcnin Arconistics is the act of recrafting the elements of existence with the power of your understanding of the divine beings, and acting toward the goal of becoming one. As such, the Natural Beasts of the world have such a subtle nature to them. This nature places much greater burdens upon the beast kind than those of us with souls gifted by the Arcons.
A common initial nature of a flame dragon is that of a fruit. Small, red, with a little piece of tuft of green at the top. Little starlights glow just upon the skin. They grow in patches. Should a more advanced beast fall in combat the delicious little fruit undergoes the process of maturation into a juvinile stage of development. The number of the flames that develop is based on the elemental variances of the region when the elder dies. Should an ancient be destroyed. The entire relm will undergo the process of Dragon's Rising. Anyone who cares to pay keen attention to the elemental balances, be they arconist or adherent, will immediatly feel the change in the balances. The entire region's worth of immature, juvinile, seedling, or aged dragons will begin the transformation. They will develope further in the blood power to redress the balances of the elements. The flame berry, for example usually develops into a long lanky racer without wings. Some become little bubble shaped eaters that fly with heat vortex assisted wings. The bubble type is ruffly and the size of a sparrow. The runner type has full use of its heat breath, and will be able to easily develop a heat sphere that creates an invisibility phenomena, as well as sweltering their opponent.
For several years after this shift, or perhaps another death amongst the elders the juvinile flames will be able to grow through a regenerative and developmental process similar to sleep. This is the point in time that they are the most voulnerable. For many days they will be completely insensible to the outside world. In most cases they coil or huddle into an completely unmoving state and in the case of the Flames they will usually surrounded by a heat flield of a strength higher powered than they are able to make awake. Do not think that you will be entierly safe from their claws and bite when they are asleep, usually insensible and froven does not mean always. I have a scar from a sleeping Flame earned when taking a measure of the beasts temperature. 464 gold 7 silver Tolonese, at least and that from the tail tip. The Tolonese beasts charge their coin with power in vast machines that somehow charge off of the heat. The lamp that sits above Tolone One shines with the power of four sleeping dragons. These beast obey the dragon overlord's command and have stayed their natural wanderings. In most of the world they wander wildely, and are driven to travel by the quicksilver shifting of the elemental flames balancing.
Water flows, and winds ****. Stones sit. Plants grow. Light beams, and flame whips. Dragons of darkness are not real. Those less learned regarding the dragon species know that the so called 'black dragons' are usually lights, waters, or flames. The lights can directly shine darkness as well as light, and many flames have a little understood ability to effect the eyes of their victums. Your vision grows dark, and your sense of equilibrium if comprimised to a degree. Some fall immediatly to the ground blind. Some are scarcely effected by the experience at all, and any soul with a fire gift is not only immune but energized by the experience. Imperial Dragoons greatly prize those elder Flames that have this particular ability as they are able to increase the fighting power of entire units with their natural emmanations. More than simply a fire spout that can amplify a Dragoon's gift the defensive ability of these Flames is highly effective. No ancient ever stays with the Dragoon's armies, and only rarely will an elder remain after the Knight who tamed it has died. For this and other obvious reasons it is usually an Elen that leads an Imperial Dragoon Regiment. Once dragons of all colors were common amongst the Dragoon's, but in these times Stones are the most common with some winds and flames. Rare are the Light beasts in the Imperial cities, and none of water and plant.
Amongst the Dragoons it is required of them to go out and get tame their own dragon. This rite of passage is what makes a legionare into a knight. There is a ethos amongst them that has grown weak in these modern times. A True Dragoon, was once what a Knight was called when they mastered many Dragons. Legends speak of the Hoards of the True Dragoons, but within Imperial City there are perhaps seventy Knights with more than one dragon, and they scarcely more than three. Teams of Flame Dragons are perhaps the most common, winds are mostly single, and some say that the lack of True Dragoons is the reason for absence of Water and Plant beasts. "Taming a Water beast is said to only be possible by one who has tamed a Flame." Being an old Dragoon saying. The waters are perhaps the most elluisve of all the Beasts one could imagine that having a dragon help would be a wise idea. Waters and Lights demand great freedom from their Knights, while Flame Beasts demand a great power within their masters.
:bash: Today I will be revealing the weakest element of my world building skills. The book that this material is being written for is an in character in world item. Its a travel and diplomancy guide. Created by a Mans maid for her family. There are brief racial descriptions (mostly what I have posted) and then .....these.
The Crosslands are the largest Imperial Colony on the Bottomlands. Founded durring the first Mans-Tree wars. Reval and (xx) were the beacheads of the Imperial Armies, and their houses are held in regard akin to the Dragoon Knighthoods that rule the Dargonian Isle. If the Dargonian lands and peoples could be called metropolitan the Crosslands Imperial Nations are certainly provencial. Of the Dargonian Nations Asper is perhaps the most similar to the Crosslands. Peaceful and generally free of strife. While the Crosslands are bordered by Orcnin territories such as the Goblin Forest coval, and the Taurn dominated deserts goval, there is little warfare amongst them. The reason for this is, of course, the grand arconistic roads and protective wards of the Imperial Arcons. Due to these enchantments Orcnin are rarely found in the Crosslands. It is more likely to meet an Orcnin in Imperial City than it is to be accosted by one in the Crosslands. These protective enchantments are ancient and have kept The Imperial Crosslands in safety for centuries.
The two grand archonistic roads created durring the second Mans-Tree war, before arconistics was banned from Imperial Domain, are safe to walk only by those who have been granted lee to walk them. Once it was the Imperial Arconists that would have held these gates, but since the expunging of Imperial Arconistics the power of access has been held by the Arcons and their reprasentatives. The rule is simple. One must be an Imperial Citizen to walk upon the road. Any other being that attempts to walk upon the roads, or even come close to them, is repelled by phenomenal force and no small assortment of archonistic trappery. Teleportation and direct explosive force are common expressions of the power of the roads. Weak willed creatures are simply avered, and even the most fearsom of beasts are sapped of their strength when attempting to approach the roads. The 'long road' begins in the heart of the Crosslands and ends near the coblin shore of the bottomlands. The 'short road' crosses the long road near its coblin end point and head goval. Hence the term Crosslands despite the fact that the cross point of the two roads is far from the border of the Crosslands themselves. The majority of the two roads is actually in the Taurnin or Tyrnin wastes coblin of the Crosslands proper.
(xx) lays tacit claim to all the Taurnin lands, but lacks the drive or strength to take those lands. The Crosslands are peacful and productive. The wastes are harsh and violent. There is little profit to be made in conquoring those lands, and most believe that someday soon the Taurn will come to ally more strongly with The Empire. Should the disparate Taurn tribes join forces with The Empire there shall be no need to conquor the Tyrnin wastes. Though how the Taurn tribes will acclimitize with the Imperial Councils and the Imperial Arcons is another matter entierly. Life in the Crosslands proper is highly regulated. Daily worship empowers the younger dieties and the Imperial Councils to create the necessities of life as it does in the skies. The city arcons maintain the massive enchantments that prevent Trees from encroaching into Mans territories, and bolster the armies of the Empire. Regular patrols of non dragoon soldiery patrol the borders of the Crosslands to prevent Orcnin bands from threatening the safety of the central Crosslands cities. Reval performs annual hunts to cleanse the forests and shores of Orcnin and hostile Taurn.
Reval itself is one of the most powerful houses of The Empire. Though many may consider them barbaric their strength has protected the Crosslands since the beginning. Viscious and cruel are the words that come to my mind, but vigorous and exacting could be synonyms for those terms. Revalian crystal is powered by the souls of the dead. If one positive thing can be said of the Revalians it is that they do not seek to press their ways upon the rest of The Empire. Proud and isolated. Powerful and steadfast. (xx) could be called agrarian, pastoral, and peaceful. While the Revalians are intent on producing warriors of equal calibur to the dragoons (xx) are busy producing Imperial citizens. It is due to the (xx) that the Crosslands has a quarter of the territory as the Dargonian Empiral Lands, and half the population. Non Revalian life in the Crosslands revolves around ceremony, marriage, and faith. Much fine craftwork is produced without any intention of using it as export. Rather clothing and jewelry is created as gifts for friends and family.
Traveling to a from the Crosslands is usually annual. The last of the great Rover islands carves a yearly path through the skies from Dargonia to the Crosslands. As the Crosslands is self sufficient and, at this time, not in war there is little need for regular trade. Dragoons make regular quests to the Crosslands from the skies, but these quests are individual and usually done on dragon back. Some ships can be hired to travel to the bottom lands, but the cost is steep. Rover islands were created for a reason. It is as perilous to sail the skies of the Bottomlands, and to hire a ship to take you there is expensive. Doubly so as there is scarce profit to be made from the Crosslands in trade. The value of the Crosslands to The Empire is not in barter but in control. The Imperial Crosslands are a foot of The Empire upon the Bottomlands. A foot set down durring the Mans-Tree wars that The Empire will value eternally. When necessary this foot is used to kick Silestria and the Tyrnin. It is used to exert the will of The Empire against the strongest hoards of the Orcnin when necessary, and has remained strong and growing ever stronger since the end of the Mans-Tree wars.
Ok, reading that you should notice two things right out. A, I don't even have the name for the second emperial house of the Crosslands. Reval has been around since day one, and the Crosslands have existed semi-substantially as a backdrop. Technically Revalians are antagonists, while (xx) are the 'good guys' but ..... B, I should have names and dates. Some sense of timeline better than 'substantiated around the time of the Mans-Tree wars.....and yeah' at some point.....maybe on this thread I wrote down some hero story about some Dragoons.....but I'll have to find it. This piece? Is most def a rough. I feel like I should get some more of these regionals out - despite them being absolute rubbish. I shouldn't be scared to do real rough drafts
Ack, I did two Crosslands.. blast. I'll have to synthisise.
The nature of the Fey, brainstormin'
The different types of fey are the 'mind/plant elementals' of the wonderful world (which I have decided is what 'Sty-Rn' means in Taurn ~ it was always 'earth/here' but I wasn't certain what language or what connotations it had, 'wonderful world' will work perfectly, so fey.. ) and they are spawned from the ideas of place and object, and their substance is secondary. wood or soot or even a bush. A dryad is a collection of leaves and sticks, while the sprites (Pixies, Nixies, Gremlins, and Grigs) are actually living plants almost akin to the vegetable races. Nymphs are practically humans, and the Tuathan *seem* real (in your mind), though they are little more than the dust stirred to reflect the light just right. However much the Sprites and Nymphs are solid and resemble a normal living creature they are not. They subsist off the sustenance of dreams. A sprite must keep their vegetable vehicle alive, but the Nymphs need not worry even about that much.
Tuathan (palaces, castles, rooms, a fairy)
They appear to be of your Race and have long memories. Usually proud to declare their identities, but sometimes extremely secrative. There will always be a prominant distinguishing mark of somekind other than physical features (such as a hat or a coat pen) as they always appear to the beholder as strikingly beautiful.
Chimera (dangerous places, ancient ruins, a fairy)
The difference between a Tuathan and a Chimera is allot of bad memories.
Gorgon (holes in the ground and snakes, a nymph)
Amongst the prancing Napaeae and the babbeling Niads the Gorgon nymphs hide. Elusive and compeling they stare with whipcrack eyes.
Grig (little lover, a sprite)
Hard to find unless they want to be. The Grig is a peculiar little cactus whose spines create a number of enjoyable reactions in the beast peoples.
Pixie (little sleeper, a sprite)
A naturally invisible creature. Made of the rarest almost crystalin plant. With the powers of the fey the pixie can coast on slightest wind, and ebb consiousness or memory from a beast like sap from a tree.
Like Dryads and Oreads the Selkie is a being of great power. Silest is the selkie of the innner sea of the Bottom Lands, and her ire is legendary. It is the selkie that brings tempest and to the selkie must reprations be made.
..nice little brainstorm.. will have to come up with better uniqueifiers for the Alseid, Auloniad, and Crinaeae nymphs. right now I am kinda thinking of them as 'slightly different hamadryads' and I am also considering how to handle 'nations' ..Arconid? God Fey? Perhaps.....
Elemental Nature Scraps Show
Dark Orcnin hail from the transelemental realms. Earth, Air, Fire, Water. Each element exists within a shifted where the element has primacy and the functions with only the light, mind, and beast. Dark orcnin are the only beings capable of existing within the realms of the elements. The Jinn and Fey…..find their true homes here ..in time.
Light flows into the matric of the four terrestrial elements. Called true arcanos, primessense, or vivos by the Vivomancers of old. The element of light is the domain of Miria Ancient. With her beneficence was the empire able to be founded. Those within the realms of the empire are illuminated. In the magical light of of her lamps the the citezens of the empire are able to live and work without fear of the darkness. In the ornin lands most of the races can see in the dark, and those that can't either operate entierly blindly or are the fire bearers. The Kobolds are both nearly blind and one of the original fire bearers. The tiny Orcnin are also among the most ancient. Their caves hold some of the eldest records of the Orcnin peoples. Without the power of vivos all would be unseable and unformed. There would be no space between and all existence could not be.
Earth Air Fire Water. Sky filling up space between bodies of water and earth, fire following where sky leaves off. The two val float on the interplay of the two lin. Water and earth buyed within the sea of sky and the roar of fire. Light fills the space between each element and fills them with vivos. Motivation. Pusuence. Force. As the islands humble round their ordinals and the font pours from the Dragon's Home above us all to the grand bottom lands below the waters fall. Down down down to the couldron of fire that sits above nothing, and upholds all. The world matric is a gargantuan ball of flame that is simultaniously impossibly huge and infentessimally small. Oneness and that which is and is not the space yet between the vivos and the val and lin is the realm of the Diplomancer.
The mind is the power of change. An untenable weight the tells water to fall and fire to climb. Time is an element of mind and rare are those that understand how time is not one step in front of the other but a pearl of explosions expanding or contracting through the universe. The chronomancer understands the nature of both mind and beast, and has never been able to explain what some call the nega element of mind.
Beast is life. Mans, Orcnin, and Dariens. All beings dragon or mortal are of the element beast. Like the contemplation of the world flame the element beast is the synthisis of all the elements and is also an element. The beast is the element that is able to walk into the realms of the val, the lin, and the nega and return to its own transelemental plane. The one in which I and you belong.
Mountain Giants Show
The Shark Show
The Shakar, Shakataur, The Shark. Commonly confused for a Taurn the Shakar are
not. Beasts of a more dire creation adherent supposedly to Elendria, but acting
ever more inline with the tenants of Ogran. Fearsom aquatic creatures that live
in the outer shores that seperate the Bottom Lands from the edge of the world.
It is their claim only to be refuted by the Arcons that their people guard the
falls that lead to the under side of the world. Supposidly mosters of untolled
terror attempt to climb their way from the underside of the world and that they
The Shark have earned every stolen prize in the right of their people. This is
likely a bold faced tale told by a truely bizzare and alien creation of the
gods. Some proclaim that the Shakar were first convieved by Ogran and are in
truth Orcnin. Others proclaim the same of all Taurn. Only the Arcon's know the
truth, and have never attempted to explain the essence of patronage.
Without the sacred truth Mans and Taurn must use guess work and analysis to say
that Shakar are Orcnin, Taurn, or Elen. They are Shakar and perhaps that should
be enough. Should Fara have stolen the nightmare of Elendria the Shakar would
be Taurn. They are not Fey and they are not Dwarien. This much is certain. They
breath the water in the same fashion as the Aquan Elendi. They suffocate on the
land as fast as a Mans underwater. They wear little, less than the Aquan Elendi,
much in the way of the dragons that walk amongst men. Their homes are the
dense vegitation of the outer shores. The tight weaves of sea trees and grasses
hundreds of feet long acts as a shelter from the surges of the seas. The Aquan
Elendi suffer and sometimes war with the Shakar, and they are rare upon The
shores of the Bottom Lands. Thalian and Shakar legends alike speak of the
coming of the Dar. The humble Dar quietly grow in number upon the vastness of the
Lands, but if the legends of Doom are true the Dar come from the underside of
the world. Their invasion surpasing The Shark and The Troll alike to carve out
a territory on the bottom lands after crossing the endless sea and who knows
Shakar eat meat. Rare amongst the Elen the Shakar eat like dragons. They must
devour the life essense of another creature to survive, and for whatever reason
the strength of Elendria does not satiate the lust of Fara. Dinner manners are
much like that of the Orcnin if not more relaxed. Most Shakar hunt and eat on
the hunt, and banquets amongst the Shakar are morbid affairs of silence and
corpses. Most beast eating Taurn and Orcnin prefer to chunk their meat into
limbs. The Shakar do not. There are Aquan Elendi Demes that have reported to the
empire that the Shakar have eaten Elen or Mans but the Shakar peoples are so
disperssed and decentralized there is no way for the empire to take action.
Some Aquan Elendi Demes house Dragoons, but certainly not most. The endless sea
is mostly unknown to the empire. Aquan Elendi tell many tails and there has
never been an invasion of Shakar into any Imperial territory. The Shark
menaces the sea and has no intent upon land.
Trading with the Shakar is certainly something that would require no small
amount of travel in bizzare lands to most of the world. Months of safe travel
underwater, and weeks of sailing and sinking to the outer shores. They closest
collection of Shakar is amongst the Coval Shores, and have accepted Imperial
envoy in the past. They posses a talant diplomancy as the Kinder Elen. Beaded
bags that hold far more than they seem. Powerful enchantments that displace the
wearer in location but not in plane allowing you to move as though though you
were the wind in the water. An adventurous soul can swim through a grand ring
and thereby travel to one of numerous location in the world. Many Shakar possess
such gates, and were their secret not obviously Arconistics of the highest
order the empire would surely have adopted their usage. Similar devices of
Orcnin are Mans must be linked to a specific location. The Shakar gates are
easily reconnected to one another, and can even fling you to a destination
without a recieving gate.
Those that seek the pure lands without a purpose stone often seek amongst the
outer shores. Whether it is the Shakar's fault or some other menace beyond the
reach of the Empire these sojurners rarely return. There are islands of size
large enough to build a city or even larger civilization upon them. These
settlements are surely plauged by the raiding of the Shakar, and are perhaps
most likely location to happen accross The Shark. Water magics and vivomancy
allow the Shakar to come ashore for short periods of time to obtain their due.
Never forget that the Shakar people protect to very borders of the world from
dire monsters of untold power plauging the realms of Mans and Elendi. The most
proper greeting when finding yourself amongst them is 'Thank you and your people
for your protection of my homeland' this will most likely ingratiate you to a
group of Shakar regardless of the legends veracity.
Direlendi, Winged Elen, Half Elen. These Dragon are known as Elen for honors
Welp, the time has finally come, and lo when the rise of the fifth edition began so then did Sty~Rn come to the fourth!
Group of players, want to play - I have the most experience conducting, running mastering or guiding or what have you, so without any complaints I will be converting the 4th ED details to A Wonderful World format, and I will also be updating this thread more regularly with world building elements that result from play. Depending, I may even report the exploits of the party.
I have already ressurected an ancient campaign scenario that never flew - but it seems the perfect thing...
The City State of Hilltown Show
Long ago durring the Mans Tree Wars a powerful Karnian Warlord founded a city on the Goval shores of the Thalian bay where the Inner Sea mets the Endless Ocean. Like all Karn Cities it had no name. The savage Karn simply refer to cities by the name of the current ruler of settlement. Knolos, was his name. The city held many names over the wages of the Mans Tree Wars, and near the end of the third and last Mans Tree War the city was taken by the Orcnin hoards. For a thousand years the Orcnin Hoards made their homes there and used the sea port created by the Karnian founders. Durring the Wizards War The Empire took possession of the city as part of a manuever to control the Inner Sea. Today the Inner Sea is divided amongst the imperial allies of Silestria, Thalian, and Kinder who hold the port and patrol the shores of the majority of the Inner Sea. The Coval shores of the Thalian Bay are tacitly controlled by the Darian people, however the Invading Darian Empire's conflicts with the Orcnin natives of that region prevent them from dominating the seas. Only a small patch of the Inner Sea shores, the cliffs of the Giant Mts, remain in the control of stout sea faring Orcnin. Hilltown is close enough to these cliffs to be almost constantly harried by Orcnin Pirates and Brigands. The imperial name of the city was determend rather simply. The keep and tower that overlook the larger port below was casually refered to as 'the hilltop' and the port 'town' - there is also a gladitorial arena for sport and resolving disputes of honor - as there are in all large Karn settlements. When considering a name for the newly conquored city the Legis of the Empire found himself thinking of the city as two cities - Hilltop and Portown, with the arena between. So, split the difference, and the city state became listed as Hilltown in the imperial records. Some twenty years before today the current ruler of Hilltown ( won by right of honor in the arena ) Adinama Gerul Rathmiel, was convinced durring the flush of his new power to install Gomish plumbing into the city. Adinama Gerul Rathmiel will go down in history as being the first King of the Bottom Lands to rule over a city with modern plumbing. Unfortunately unbeknownst to both King and Gnome was the fact that Rathmiel had no idea that he would need to maintenance and revamp the arconistic plumbing system roughly once a decade. Currently ten years out of warrenty the plumbing is growing more and more dangerous. If Rathmiel is not convinced to do something about the systems soon the bathrooms and sinks will begin to turn into deathtraps. As it stands many of the bathrooms have been designated off limits because the patrons come out dirtier than when they went in. Some deaths have already occured from drowning and pandimensional displacement, and unless something is done the people of the city will return to their old manner of disposing of filth. The streets will once again smell of refuse, meanwhile every home and manor in the city will have a death trap and potential gate to other realms developing chaotically in the corner rooms. It is up to the players to decide whether or not to get imbriglicated ( or run off and become pirates ), and it is up to the players to decide how.. they go about rectifying the plumbing situation.
It's been awhile,
I am looking to 'kickstart' some sales of my Wonderful World Gold books. PoD this scrap is destined to end up in the devotional. I have the books broken down to five the 'devotional' is a 'collection' of various in character documents regarding the subjects divine and cosmoginic. I don't have a character for this piece, but.. Since when I am writing in character what I do is structor the information as if you already know it ( e.g. In the depths of winter when the red sun gleams in the high skies over the Darian coasts ) and what I am really trying to accomplish is inform a completely unaware reader of new information.. I am going to writ out the explanation in PHB style straitforward exposition, and later reword/work this piece into an in character document of some kind. Most prolly as a component of a larger themed item ( such as an 'excerpt from chapter seven of Pahwah's Travels' ).
I decided to do something 'funky' with the word vampire in Sty-Rn. In a world full of all kinds of cannabilism and undead the standard vampire becomes less sexy and more a bizzarely peculiar form of undead what with the strange aversions, lack of reflection, inability to cross running water, etc. And a weak one without the ability to walk in the light of the sun. So instead of being a regular undead the word vampire ( and the 'Vampire' entry in the Beastiary ) is actually a pejorative used to refer to a race of Mans that in their own toungue refer to themselves as Healers. In their language 'vampire' means 'the opposite of a healer' and is used to refer to a specific type of undead healers ( those that have been killed by the power of the Undead God Kithain - and only Healers and Tolonese can be converted into this type of undead. Kithain was staked and sealed in a cave before the time of the Mans Tree Wars by the Karn Hero God Girin. Kithains converts however 'live' on and make their haven mostly in the darkness and caves of the bottom lands.
Common Mans and Taurn however refer to the entire Healer peoples as Vampires. Healers have a shared Gift of the ability to move life force ( read hit, action, and attribute points ) between characters. The worst of the Healer peoples gives the mostly pious and cautious people a terrifying reputation. An evil Healer fighter might rip the strength from a nearby ally to repair damage to themselves. A Healer Assassin might seduce and drain the mind of a subject allowing them to easily convince them to take what they would otherwise recognize to be a suicidal action. An insidious Healer might 'sip' almost undetected on the Dexterity of his party members to give themselves a phenomenal improvement to rogue skills. Things of this nature are the stories told of the 'Vampire' in the skies of Sty-Rn.
The insectoid 'Dopplegangers' are often muxxed up with the Healers by those that call them Vampire. While the Dopplegangers Gifts are similar their abilities are purely mental ( read psychic ) and their shapechanging ability is only cosmetic and does not 'draw' on their prey's own life force. Nor do they 'take' the memories of their subject just observe them. Unless of course they are an advanced psion with such powers of their own. Healers are not a psychic race, but their ancient allies the Watchers are powerful psychics with a natural Psychic talent as their people's Gift. The other race ( other than the Karn ) that are connected intimately with the Healers is the Tolonese people.
Unknown to most is that the Patron of the Healer peoples incarnated the Patron of the Tolonese. The Tolonese people and the Healers share a similar Gift, however the Tolonese Gift is bound to transfering energy between mineral character/items ( read PP, Hardness, and other HP style values of constructs ) similar to the Gnomish peoples' enchanting Gift. The Tolonese gift is so subtle that common wisdom holds the Tolonese Patrons do not grant The Gift to their people at all. The truth of the nature of the Tolonese Gift is known to very few. Wherea the Healers Gift is the same for all Healers the Tolonese Gift expresses as a form of knack with Technometric, Archonistic, or Natural item such as reducing the chance of misshap with a Technometric device, the ability to recharge Gnomish boomsticks ( fireball wands ), or the ability to use 'savage idols' ( divine power stones etc ) to charge devices that would otherwise require a Tolonese power core and gold crystal 'coins' ( which are the foundation of the currencies in the mortal realm of Sty-Rn ).
I should note that the Healers, Tolonese, Karn, and the Watchers are all 'Mans' but are categorized as different races for Play due to the regular differences from Sky Born, Bottom Lander, and Common Mans. Karn are 'normal human beings' ( and a special breed of red pelted 'albino' Pherthan ). Their Gift is the ability to communicate effortlessly with spirits and see partially into the etherial realms at all times. Their peoples are rare and are found mostly in the Goval region of the Bottom Lands. Watchers are a psychic Mans race that otherwise is indestinguishable from Common ( or pale ) Mans. Watchers and Common Mans come in any skin / hair / teeth color combination. Blue hair, green skin, and black bones would be a common sight amongt the peoples of Mans. Healers and Sky Born Mans are even more spectacular resembling the wildest 'blue green sparkled and patterned' style aliens from all your favorite syfy. Like, imagine Jadzea Dax from DS9 only her underskin is purple and the spekle pattern is rainbow. And her hair is silver and gold. Amongst the Sky Born and Healer Mans the patterns are heriditary and can be used to instantly identify ones parentige in many circumstances.
The difference between Bottom Lander and Sky Born Mans is that the Bottom Landers are squater, their patternss are more stark ( read tribal, compared to fractal style patterns in Sky Born ), and the tone of the color of their skin and hair is simply darker no matter the color. Common Mans and their pale colors are found everwhere, and in some ( evil ) noble houses if your child is born pale it is considered cursed or scorned by the Patron of the house and cast out or eaten. The actual reason is that the Common Mans are the half elves of Sty-Rn and their colors and tones are more like the simple pastel colors and tones of the Elendi or elven peoples. Unlike the Elendi the Half Elf / Common Mans never have camouflage patterns on their skins or hair. Another, even rarer, people of Mans is the feral Mans called Wild Runners who inhabit the sky island of Wild's Home. Their skins and teeth, and sometimes feathers, fangs, and fur, are tied to their shared Gift of animal familiarity. All Wild Runners have an affinity and Gift ability to create a familiar style bond with a specific type of natural animal. This bond is stronger than a Mage's familiar in that once bound the two are said to be one mind in two bodies. Wild Runners encountered away from Wild's Home Isle are usually bound to predatory animals or migratory birds, but on Wild's Home Isle it is equally as common to be bound to a worm or frog or dog.
The Healers mingle mostly unnoticed amongst the Common and Sky Born Mans with the aid of their long time cousins the Watchers. Both the Watchers and the Healers are unreasonably feared by the majority of the populations of the Empire but are ironically welcomed into Taurn communities. The Taurn, Healers, and Watchers have been long persecuted and demonized by the average imperial citizen and as such the Tuarn see them as allies and are wary to believe the 'nightmare tales' that describe the Healers as Vampires and the Taurn as unholy and uneducated savages. While society as progressed and the rise of the Tolonese civilization has rewritten the economies of the world, the ideologies of the average imperial citizen are scarcely different than that of their ancestors in the time of the Wizards War. Amazingly the Orcnin ( read goblinoid ) peoples have gained vastly more acceptance in the Empire since the 'destruction' of their homeland Arconistic Isle in the Wizards War. In actuality Arconistic Isle still sits in the skies, but has been shattered into several pieces - one of which is the gold core that rose to the high skies after being dislodged from Arconistic Isle proper when the Archmage of the Black Tower of Arconistics used an Epic spell to slam Taurna ( the now *obliterated* homeland Isle of the Taurn ) into Arconistic Isle in an attempt to destroy his rival the Archmage of the Grey Tower of Arconistics. The Black Tower was later phase shifted from it's location in what is now called the Pride Lands Desert on the Bottom Lands to a deadly and perilous pocket realm ruled over by the eternally imprisoned Last Archmage of the Black Tower ( read Epic Bad Ass Lich, who I have never bothered to name ). The White Tower still stands, hidden, on Wild's Home Isle, and the Red Tower that once proudly looked over Empire City was abandoned after the Wizards War due to the change in attitude of the Imperial Councils afte the worldwide devastation caused by the Wizards War. A new 'Red Black Tower' has been erected on Red Star Isle in the dark skies by those Arconistic Masters who find themselves unable to escape from th Dark Sky, but the Red Black Tower has yet to develop the power and might of the elder temples. It would be a campaign in and of itslef to assist the Red Black Tower and it's Arconistic Masters to build a pan dimensional bridge to the Black Tower and gain the strength of the Last Archmage of the Black Tower - even one that could elevate a PC to the status of Archmage of the Red Black Tower..... A position currently held by no one. Perhaps the Patrons of Destiny call out for a Healer to take on this mantle?
A story now 2 decades writ,
From the first single player game in Sty-Rn,
Ho! And hear the tale of the greatest hero who has ever lived! First and true Ka'a'Karn! Girin Everlasting!
In ancient times ( before the creation of Empire City and the first Mans Tree Wars ) The Ka'a'Karn walked the Bottom Lands ( with rightiousness ) and lo could non stand before him. Girin Undefeated paragon of Mans did roam the reach of the peoples of Karn. In the time of Girin Traveler the rule of the Karnians was vast. Fom Goval point to Pride Lands the Ka'a'Karns ruled. In those days only the Loney mountian and the Iron Wall could not be tamed by the ferocity of the Karn!
( and only The Vampire could best a true Ka'a'Karn )
No tale tells the truth of how the battle penultimate between The Vampire and Girin Triumphant began!
( lo tho the Doomsayers claim to know )
What is truth is that the Great War of the Two was waged over days. Girin Resplindant met each attack with shield and claymore as his father had taught him. ( fly the Father of The Everlasting! ) Strike and parry Girin Supreme won the glory of the name Ka'a'Karn! Blow verse blow and lo did Girin Resolute outlast The Gift of The Vampire! ( and all know ) With a final thrust did Girin Ka'a'Karn ( greatest of warriors ) stake The Vampire ( his name forever forgot ) through his undead heart to the dirt of the cave in which he hid and in which The Great War of the Two was won ( and forever hence was the heart the weakness of vampire ).
With a final act Girin Conquerer broke his sword in cleave! Leaving the half of his blade to hold The Vampire to the dirt of the cave. So did Girin Wise ensure the safety of his people ( his rightious charge ) and with a final word ( peace ) did Girin True seal ~forever and ever~ the cave of war with The Vampire ( the first ~ whose name is forgot ) for ever and ever and ever everlasting.
( and then did his travels begin )
Ho! And now you know the tale of Girin Everlasting! First and still True Ka'a'Karn! Lo! And tho none know where his travels have taken him! All true Karn follow the path of Girin! First! Greatest! and The Last! The Ka'a'Karn Everlasting!
:cheers: in character writing!
Using a homeric voiiiiiiice~
Note: Girin is currently on another realm on the great wheel cosmoginy attempting to build an etherial bridge for the ancestor spirits of the greatist of the Karn ancestors to expand the reach of the Karnian people into the realms of ..... ( insert your favorite setting )
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