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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All over the place between life and the other projects I am involved in.
Including but not limited to,
GiantKetchup Bolt'Story 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!
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.
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...