Terran Calendar: The current year is 27 AO. All new threads happen during the current year unless otherwise stated by the creator. The beginning of each year has no fixed OOC time but tends to occur in the fall. Keep up with the latest in the Updates thread.
Setting elements cannot be ignored or manipulated.
2. Casper (Primary Port)
3. Tia (Secondary Port)
6. Last Chance (Tertiary Port)
7. Hell's Gate (Sky Port)
8. Langley Keep
12. Marlboro Keep
15. Scudder Forests
17. Hills of Noddendody
18. Coconino Creek
19. Blue Hills
22. Ponkapoag Lake
23. Haunted Glen
24. Timber Creek
25. No Man's Land
26. Great Pine Barrens
27. Black Ridge
28. Witch's Cave
29. Herbie's Bed
30. Peaceful Woods
32. Hidden Valley
34. The Cedars
35. Dark Forest
36. Forbidding Hills
37. High Desert
38. Shawnee Glacier
39. Dead Peaks
40. The Wastelands
42. Blaurg Mountain
43. Coconino Marsh
44. Labyrinth Forest
45. Day River
46. Weland Gorge
47. Hills of Lost Hearts
48. Barnstable Coast
49. South Sea
50. Predator's Keep
Located in the north-east of planet Valucre, Terrenus is approximately twice the size of the North American continent and has a citizen population of approximately 300,000,000 (three-hundred million) as of 24 AO.
A dense arcanosphere has resulted in sections of unpredictable climate and terrain. The fluctuatiing levels of magic also lead to random side effects on plant and animal life, and has been noted to render gunpowder unstable and hence unreliable.
The tip of Ponkapoag Lake will be used as the central marker for description purposes. The area enveloping Ponkapoag Lake and Coconino Marsh is characterized by warm, dry summers which average 66°F with low precipitation and cool, wet winters which average 25°F and moderate precipitation. Evergreen and deciduous trees, fig, walnut and citrus trees, and bay rosemary herbs thrive in the area.
North of the central marker the weather increases sharply in temperature and vegetation becomes sparse as grassland and forest biomes turn into desert, which average around 100°F with pronounced dry periods. The desert biome is expansive but is at its north-eastern section is abruptly interrupted by arctic tundra.
South of the central marker, the climate features warm summers and cool winters with a narrow annual temperature range. There is no dry season in this section, precipitation ranging from moderate to heavy, and the forests are temperate, especially in the Great Pine Barrens. In San Yara, Ursa Madeum and Biazo Isle, year round temperatures are consistently a humid 75°F and are dominated by precipitation, especially during monsoon season.
Flora and Fauna
Terrenus has plant and animal life recognizable to most characters, such as: flowers, trees, dogs, horses, crabs, salmon, etc. and so on. In addition to this standard there are a number of animals and plants unique to Terrenus. You can read more in the Terrenus section of the Terrenus Creature Codex and in Terrenus's Herbology Index.
Note that users aren't limited to what's included in the present material and are free/encouraged to come up with plant and animal life as long as they adhere to the Mild Powers rules. Users can also make bestiary submissions if they want to formalize information about their creations and make them available for public use.
Cities, Provinces, Territories
Terrenus has ten megacities (originally 12, two have been lost to major ruin or a shift in politics) and numerous disparate villages, towns, baronies and lordships around the nation. The major cities are population dense and, thanks to magi-tech introduced with Odin Haze's sweeping regime, vary wildly in setting and tone.
Outside of the major cities the Terrenus wilderness is mystical, savage and untamed. It is not uncommon for the citizen or amateur adventurer striking out on their own between the cities to find death as to find fortune.
A citizen living within one of the megacities is literate, adequately versed in magical theory to make use of Terran magi-tech, is aware of common metaphysical phenomena (ghosts, rituals, telepathy, charms, hexes, etc), and is often capable of using magic as a result of scholarly pursuit and understanding.
A native from one of the towns or villages is less likely to be literate and have empirical insight into arcana and magical phenomena. Instead, their knowledge of ability to use magic is a result of hereditary traditions and cultural myths. Their understanding of magic is intuitive rather than logical, making them more susceptible to charlatans and superstitious fears. But, with generations of experience springing from tradition, the villages produce more young people capable of wielding powerful, ancient magic.
A Terran from any part of the nation tends to be physically robust due to Gaian religious practices and Terran diet. They have a special love for music, having considered music the universal language before they discovered mathematics and magic, and as a consequence also enjoy indulging lavishly in food and dance. Terrans celebrate not just their history, but their art throughout their ages as well.
Terric is the primary language of Terrenus. It is spoken in all megacities and most towns, though becomes rare in isolated villages and islands, where a pidgin form of modified Terric of varying names (Terril, Terrin, Terrie, etc) is usually the norm. Terric's primary dialects sounds like unaccented English. Other dialects sound closer to Romance-influenced language, such as Spanish, Italian, and French.
The Terran federal government has published a white paper on the Terrenus laws of magic, an authoritative perspective on the laws, principles and terminology of magic as they apply in Terrenus.
Gaianism is Terrenus's major religion, constituting over 83% of the total population. Gaianists consider nature, the universe, reality, magic and mathematics to be mortally comprehensible expressions of an inconceivable deific form.
Gaianism advocates peace but not blind pacifism, leaving violence as a final solution and a mechanism for self-defense. The notable exception of this rule are Unnatural (any offspring of dark necromancy, such as vampires, zombies, liches, and occasionally Outsiders). Gaians attack Unnaturals on principle unless the Unnatural has taken pains to prove themselves righteous.
Technology and Development
Technology in Terrenus is highly advanced, perhaps the most advanced on the planet. Although this fact not immediately grasped by foreigners accustomed to development in the form of electrical and mechanical contrivances, Terrenus is the historical pioneer of magi-technology on Valucre. Terran tech is rooted in cores of abstract knowledge, interlacing philosophy, natural and conceptual science, and magical theory to pioneer the current paragon of magi-tech in Valucre. Terrenus has sentient golems where another country might have "robots", rock satellites powered by runes and divination lattices, and crystal-based tactile computing systems instead of console based computers one might find elsewhere.
In this sense "technology" is something learned and understood rather than picked up and used. For this reason education, especially developmental and postgraduate education, is of vital importance to the government. The newest generations of children show an adept knowledge of magical theory, a strong grasp of complex mathematical concepts and explore unconventional modes of thought. Like with telecom availability (see below), technology and magi-tech is the most advanced in the cities and attenuates as one goes into towns and then villages.
Following the introduction and proliferation of magi-tech in Terrenus, economic concerns shifted to prioritize three new markets: Energy, Information and Transportation. With the explosion of communication methods, primarily in the form of crystal storage devices and photonic relays, came the immediate concern over authentication (assurance of claimed identity), integrity (assurance data has not been altered), and confidentiality (assurance that none but specified parties can read a piece of data).
To those ends, Terrenus also pioneered the fields of encryption and hash algorithms, non-repudiation practices with digital signatures, and now with the advent of the Crook, the Public Encryption Cipher System (PECS) to allow civilians and citizens the same capabilities. Military technology and ciphers are known to be highly advanced, though private and public technology is catching up as corporations invest in the Information market.
Terran military-grade communication systems use quantum entangled encryption to prevent interception. Systems create entangled photons, beaming one half of each pair to the receiving system, and made secure because the "observer effect" will change the quantum state of the key pair. This would make any interception obvious and also would modify the key, making it useless.
A notable outlier demographic to the conventional communication methods in Terrenus are those that are fluent in Oldspeak (.7% of the population), who are limited by line-of-sight but require no material channels for relay.
As with other gifts of the Empire, the most sophisticated technology and methods tend to exist in the megacities and attenuates as one radiates outwards towards the smaller, more numerous towns and villages. One notable exception are the twinned crystal relays created and distributed by the government to any signification population center. These allow for easy, long-distance audio communication between any parties with properly tuned crystal fragments and without the need for complicated training. These simple but effective radios have drastically reduced missing persons reports and increased cultural exchange.
Villages: Tribes and villages use magical means to communicate where possible. Examples of this include telepathy, oneiromancy (dream-walking), divinatory practices with water, smoke and mirrors, and shamanistic practices like reading tea leaves and animal guts or bones. Where these means are not available, visual communications rely heavily on beacons, smoke signals, and flags and audio communications rely on coded drumbeats and whistles.
Towns: Towns use copper and nth wires run over natural ley-lines, piggy-backing on their natural radiation to power the communications. With this method towns are able to communicate with equivalents to telegraphs and telephones. With the advent of Tia's faux-ton relay system, towns are now able to communicate with line-of-sight-limited laser communications at millisecond speeds.
Cities: Communication systems in the megacities make full use of magical theory and the technological capabilities of the nation. Three-dimensional holographic arrays (holo-arrays for short) are used primarily for relay on politics, economics, weather, and criminal activity. These relay systems make use of the military satellites and are capable of radiation communication (radio and microwave).
The World Fair introduced three new pieces of technology which greatly influence communications in Terrenus. The first is the LIES (Luminal Illusion Entertainment System), an immersive storytelling platform which is having a notable growth effect on the Entertainment sector. The second is the 'logical' Crook technology, which allows for the lossless interlinking of disparate crystal computing systems. This allows for the creation of ad-hoc, large-scale networks and what is being termed 'nebulous' storage. In tandem with The Storage Movement's efforts to digitize all written information, the Crook is widening information availability and increasing literacy. The third is the Faux-Ton, a materials transportation system invented by the Tia government which allows for the movement of objects at speeds many multiple that of the Lightning Rails, but limited by line-of-sight.
Government and Politics
Odin Haze is recognized as the Saint of Gaianism and King of the Terran Empire. Odin's rule is one of enlightened absolute monarchy, and his administration embraces logic and expertise as the driving force for fiats and policy.
The arts, sciences, education and social welfare all flourish under Odin's regime, a near polar opposite to the dark ages of King Levas and Zengi.
Though Odin Haze rules Terrenus as a whole, the megacities under him are ruled over by individual regents that interpret federal law and administer local policy. Some are federally appointed, some are democratically elected, some are rulers by heritage; political states are a very fluid dynamic in the megacities. Each megacity also has a PeaceKeeper, a high-ranking military official to add balance and division of labor. There are also present in the massive Terran continent enclave baronies and kingdoms, which are independent governments. Examples include Tazarek, Yh'mi, and Amalia.
The Gaian Academy is a national research university located on Deepview Island, an inland island and part of the Ponkapoag Lake Archipelago. It is the premier education center in the nation, some say even globally, and has also begun to establish itself as a competitive research facility.
There's a congress, which is made up of majority and minority leaders from each city. The majority leader is the elected official of a city, and the minority leader is usually the one who lost the elections but still represents a significant portion of the electorate. The king decides on issues which affect everyone. If regents are in conflict about any change, the king is the final word and can supersede any motion. The king also appoints chief of staff for various departments, such as the head of the military, the bureau of science, internal investigations, as well as determines who makes up the supreme court out of nominees put forward by the congress.
In criminal investigations Terrenus law enforcement makes use of various forms of divination, in particular retrocognition and psychometry, as well as Gaian candles of truth and clergy to compel honesty. Each megacity has at least one maximum security prison to house the most dangerous local criminals, such as terrorists, political prisoners, the excessively violent or those with gang affiliations.
With Terrenus penology skewing towards rehabilitation rather than deterrence or retribution and treating most criminal offenses as mental health issues, the megacities also have a larger distribution of minimum security prisons for non-violent offenders. Minimum security prisons populate the city at the ratio of 1:15 compared to libraries, hospitals, and schools.
Terrenus also has one super-max prison in the Dead Peaks, aptly titled the Dead Peaks Prison. The Dead Peaks Prison is the most secure level of custody in the nation, purpose-built towards providing long term, segregated housing for inmates classified as posing a threat to national health (a classification that designates one a danger to people or life rather than to information or infrastructure) or international security risks. Terrenus exercises capital punishment nationwide for criminals that pose an unmanageable threat or show no potential for reform.
Terrenus Military is made up of ~2% of the population (approximately 6 million).
Odin Haze, as King of Terrenus, is also its Commander-in-Chief, exercising total authority over the military. Edward Brown (5-star General and PeaceKeeper handler) is Odin's right hand man and adviser, the highest military authority other than the King himself. He is involved in the day-to-day responsibilities of maintaining the military, government, and nation.
The complex that stores and relays information, innovates military technology and strategy, and is responsible for national security is known as Central. Despite its name Central has no central location. It has a manifold presence throughout the nation, and those few offices that are permanently stationed and open to the public are often underground.
Note that this enigmatic and transient nature applies to the most secure aspects of Central and do not apply to the various local agencies found in the cities such as Immigration, Sanitation, Education, local Law enforcement, and so on.
In regards to foreign policy Terrenus practices a modified form of isolationism, declining to enter into alliances and international agreements, and generally attempting to make their economy as self-reliant as possible. Where Terrenus deviates from traditional isolationism is in their support of free trade, travel, and certain, limited, trade agreements.
You can read more about Terrenus political relations in Terrenus Military - Allies and Enemies.
Terrenus's economic and market systems revolve around precious metals. Crystals and other minerals are valuable as spell components but are not fungible.
Copper, silver, gold, and platinum are the most common precious metals traded and used for purchase. Value is determined by weight and type, not by design or origin, allowing travelers and immigrants from other countries to more easily integrate.
- 1 oz of Tin = .25 USD
- 1 oz of Copper = 2 USD
- 1 oz of Silver = 10 USD
- 1 oz of Gold = 50 USD
- 1 oz of Platinum = 100 USD
- 1 oz of Rhodium = 500 USD.
Each metal currency comes in fractions as well, such as half-ounce and quarter-ounce coins. These prices are not an accurate reflection of real world costs.
You can read more about special metals and materials in Terrenus at the Terrenus Market - Materials List.
Transportation varies from city to city depending on their magi-tech saturation and biomimicry level. Examples of common transportation methods will be included in the lore articles of each city. Below are elaborations on those methods.
Whether ridden by themselves or attached to a cabby. The maintenance and upkeep of a living transport makes this a largely inefficient form of inner city travel, but because a large percentage of a given city's population are short-term travelers from abroad (international foreigners, inter-city adventurers, etc), animal propulsion is still fairly common. A lot of infrastructure still supports this form of travel. Horses (ground), Imperial Drae (aerial) and Rider Dragons (aerial) are common mounts.
Buggies with steam-engines produced in Tia and gyroscopically rotating spheres with a stable core produced by Gaian engineers in Hell's Gate are the two most common examples of mechanical propulsion in the major cities. In densely packed city infrastructure, powered zip-lines are occasionally employed between buildings. Ships are common for nautical travel around and between nations and submarines, which Terrenus invented and introduced into the world as a counter to the Siren menace, are exclusive to the military.
Inter-city travel is served primarily by Lightning Rails and Warp gates.
Lighting Rails, the preferred method of travel through the savage wilds of Terrenus, are massive over-air and underground trains, ranging from economy to luxury, that regularly travel between cities depositing materials and people. The hard metal shells of the rails hover a variable distance over discs inserted into the ground and tuned identical inserts in the Rail's chassis. They average a speed of 350 MPH but have been seen to double or trip their speed. A Local Rail from Casper to Tia takes about 7 hours while an Express Rail takes about 4.5 hours.
Warp Gates are stabilized portals established between the cities (for canon purposes this technology cannot be duplicated). Infrastructure housing the portals are operated by live-in technicians, and stationed near the heart of every major city, within walking distance of the local temple. Transport to the main cities by Gate is streamlined and automated, with customers able to purchase tokens to determine their destination. The tokens are coded with unique coordinates in encrypted code that allow the techs to target another gate.
Gates have resilient and redundant physical and logical infrastructure. Built-in failsafes cause the Gates to go inert in a non-lethal manner. The live-in staff are combat capable and military trained.
Haste Lanes are dedicated arcane infrastructure alongside roads and sidewalks permanently enchanted with a Haste spell. Once in the lane, citizens are capable of traveling at high speeds on their own legs.
Major Historical Periods
These events are from most recent to oldest.
The Terran Empire (0-30 AD)
After the Crusades eliminated the majority of remaining Desecrator gangs and leaders, Odin unified Terrenus under the banner of Gaianism. He immediately put into place programs to develop educational institutions, reform criminal law, and helped pioneer magi-technology alongside Edward Brown and Eustace Monroe. From this sprang increased transportation by way of Lightning Rail and Warp Gate, as well as enriching quality of life, education and health for all citizens.
The Empire is considered to be prospering under a golden age.
The Oligarchic Republic (~200 BG)
The most cunning and ruthless of the nobles during Levas's reign prospered in his death. They filled the void of his power and inserted themselves into lucrative mercantile positions that allowed them to establish their families as enduring and financially powerful dynasties.
With Zengi and his mad bid towards universal destruction no longer a threat or distraction, the most recent generation of those families form a "proper government" run by "proper men"; an oligarchy that concentrated more power and more gold into their hands, masquerading as a legitimate republic.
Eventually the republic is exposed and the leaders systematically vanish without a trace. There are rumors that the Assassin's Guild was involved.
Zengi the Witch-King (~400 BG)
The witch-king, also known as the Wyrm's Head, has no known origin and is referenced in the earliest known records of written history. Zengi cares only for destruction and ruin. There is no mention of his name where there is not death or pestilence shortly accompanying him. He is thought to be the source of the Queens's insanity, hundreds of years ago, as well as the worst plagues and diseases.
The next century is one where all life knows only darkness and fear. Zengi seeks only to scar the earth and render it inhabitable for all life. In the chaos the Desecrators were created in worship and awe of Zengi's power.
The Lions are a party of the final hopes of mortal-kind in Terrenus. From them comes Jason of the Lions, who sacrifices his life to end that of Zengi's, and in banishing Zengi from the physical world and restraining him in the spiritual, is himself turned to stone.
Levas The Cruel (~700 BG)
Regents appointed during the diarchy continued to administrate over the plots of land to which they had been originally assigned. Levas the Cruel swept from east to west like a plague himself, gathering men for his army, women for breed-stock and currency, armaments as he conquered regent after regent and united the disparate territories under his iron fist.
Levas's growing reign and consequent human affairs repulsed the King of the Fairies, who took his kingdom and retreated into the Moonwood. Almost immediately after the disappearance of the Fairies a fifth of the population contracts an infectious disease which kills over two-thirds of the infected.
Levas is successfully assassinated by the Assassin's guild.
Diarchy -- Queen Ersela and Queen Hildena (~900 BG)
Queen Ersela and Queen Hildena were two monarchs who, despite lacking any sexual or familial affiliation, united their kingdoms under their joint rule. The kingdom prospered until it was overtaken by a famine, which is speculated to have been the work of Zengi.
This complicated economic depression led first to the downward spiral of the Queens as they went slowly insane and mismanaged their territories and funds, and then to the establishment of the Assassin's Guild which eventually took their lives.
Edited by supernal