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    Etched In Stone reacted to The Hummingbird for a article, Antigone Isles   
    Once known as Magickera, Antigone was once a utopia for those skilled in the use of magick. All types of mages, psions, and even healers lived in harmony with those whose only magic lay in the gift of technology.
    Even now, Antigone is renowned for its quick and steady advancement in technology, harnessing the powers of electricity, static, and light, turning these into sources of energy. Mages worked to combine these resources with magic, and soon the magitech of Antigone resembled not the fantastical and mystic scenes of mainland Genesaris, but a futuristic island of iron, steal, and adamantium. Still, it was a paradise, a dream of growth and power.
    No one expected the change that would turn Antigone into a horror.
    The leader of Antigone was a queen whose family had been killed by a mage gone mad, intoxicated with his own power. She distrusted all magickers (magic-users) and sought to bring them under a control that would never again see the murders she beheld. Her charisma and oral skills saw her in not only place of power, but a constant place in people's minds and hearts. She was trusted, and no one stood against her as she increased economy, jobs, and technological advancement.
    Over time the queen created a caste system for all magickers. At the first display of an affinity for magic of any kind, they were to be hooked to a machine created to judge the subjects degree of power. Lowest to highest, these four classes were dubbed Grey, Amber, Crimson, and Indigo. Those of Crimson and Indigo were made to wear collars that would restrict their powers, at the same time announcing to the entire nation that they were a danger to themselves, and most importantly, to others.
    This gave the effect the queen desired when one of Indigo power broke free of his collar and decimated a building filled with people of no magic.
    The incident inspired fear and distrust of magickers among the regular folk. Soon it was demanded of the queen that all magickers were to be collared, a request to which she gladly complied. These collars, magi-locks, were produced in frighteningly large numbers, and with their growth grew the segregation and prejudice against magick users. Some magickers fought back, but this only increased the steadily rising hatred toward magickers. The hate grew and grew, and has never ceased since.
    Today Antigone Isles is a nightmare world for anyone associated with magick, to the degree that anyone born or caught inside of Antigone is never allowed to leave. A great wall of mixed metals and steels surrounds the entire island, the only entrance a back gate used for the extremely limited trade with the mainland and a sewer system that runs throughout the city, providing running water and a place to flush out waste products. The interior of the city is of great buildings, fortresses, skyscrapers and hospitals, with every street patrolled by security whose job is to make sure all magickers wear their collars. Those caught without it are arrested and taken to what is known as the Laboratory Arcanist, a massive prison at the head of the city where they are imprisoned and never seen again. Although nothing is conclusive, it is said that captured magickers are experimented on like animals until death.
    It is also said that some magickers have gone into hiding in the woods hiding on the outskirts of Antigone, preparing a revolt.
    Technology on Antigone includes systems rarely seen on Genesaris. This includes sensors, security systems with laser, steel electronic doors with identification requests (fingerprints, eye scans, even blood scans). Motorbikes, known as spellcycles, are a common sight for local police. The most common technology exists around magi-locks, the collars worn by magickers. Some magi-locks are not worn but are increased in size and set up around popular local areas to ensure no potentially harmful magic of any type can be used. It is however important to note that almost all technology is made possible with magic, essentially making almost all technology magitech. The only magickers allowed to use their magic on a somewhat daily basis are specially privileged inventors and scientists to create these magitech systems.
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    Etched In Stone reacted to supernal for a article, Martial Town   
    Original author: Paroxysm
    Heavy contributions (Districts and Zones): Die Shize

    License: Paul Hartzog [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]
    Palgard - Remnants
    In the year 026 AO, Palgard sustained deliberate, catastrophic damage to its infrastructure and leadership, causing innumerous civilian casualties and the collapse of the Mega-City’s government. The world had become bedlam, and anarchy ruled the streets. Normal, everyday citizens, bolstered by a host of mercenaries and visiting anarchists, revolted, rioted, and ransacked the hurting megatropolis. The city had been ruined, if not in form, then in spirit. Death had come for it again.
    But as in the past, Palgard has refused to succumb. Its newly appointed PeaceKeeper appeared following the city’s fall, and with her came the word of law, and imperial strength enough to enforce it. She marched at the head of a great confederacy of soldiers levied from surrounding cities and communities. They brought a measure of order to the chaos, carving out a section of the city for reclamation. Their mission objective was simple: bring Palgard back into the fold, for empire, for the Saint King, for Gaia.
    Martial Town
    Martial Town used to be earthen fortifications raised up from streets cleared of debris and people. Four years old now and entering adolescence, Martial Town today  encompasses all of the the surrounding neighborhoods, repairing, or otherwise repurposing, the apartments, storefronts, and the high rise buildings that yet stood in defiance of Palgard’s defeat. And with its growth, so, too, did its population rise. Soldiers brought their families, refugees sought safety, and opportunists followed the flow of commerce as rumors of the Way Gate’s reactivation reinvigorated the local economy and renewed interest in the city.
    This renewed interest in the city does not bring just growth and opportunity however, but also conflict and strife, as not all citizens are willing to live under military thumb. While the majority of Martial Town, especially its central, regularly patrolled military district, is safe to travel and live, its burgeoning borders and hanger-on communities see significantly higher rates of crime than elsewhere in Lagrimosa. These peripheral neighborhoods are owned by gangs and tribes of anarchists, sometimes backed by enterprising capitalists, and are further bolstered by the sudden influx of illegal trade brought on by missing military supplies, a black market trail speculatively originating from northern Palgard, and a nebulous network of underground contacts seeking the opportunities afforded by a city in disarray.
    Life can be good in Martial Town, or it can be very bad indeed. In order to fight against rampant unemployment and poverty, the occupying military has decreased much of its recruitment from outside of the city, focusing instead on paying adventurers, mercenaries, civilians and the occasional specialist party, keeping the city’s internal economy churning, if only barely, through frequent objective-based undertakings and the rebuilding of infrastructure. Toward this end, many of the black market deals, underground contracts, and use of illegal technology in the district is tolerated within limits.
    (Core, Buffer, Peripherals)
    The heart of Martial Town, its most central area, is called the Core. Here is where the Martial Town Government is based, as well as some of the most prominent and most wealthy residents of the city.
    Crime rate is at an all time low within the Core, at least depending on a particular interpretation of the word "crime". While the Core is quite the opposite of the Peripherals, the outer city limits overrun with organized crime groups, anarchic syndicates and street gangs, the government employs its own full-standing military force to police the city's center. This comes with a price. Crimes against the citizens are still committed. Unsanctioned home invasions. Random street inspections. Abuse of evidence and general abuse. It is all contained enough to minimize the threat of riots, but everyone knows it happens. It is something of an accepted reality.
    Nonetheless, such actions are largely limited to those residents of the Core who make up the general population of the militarized district, versus it's higher class citizens. One need not be particularly esteemed or rich to live here. Maybe you have a particular trade or skill that almost forced you to be relocated. Often, it is just a matter of behaving well enough to remain, or proving so and heading through the gates from the Buffer. A number of people do so gladly. Given the tradeoff, they would rather live under the eyes of a camera and listen to boots marching the streets, wondering if a knock would come on their door and a soldier would show up, compared to a knock on their door and thief or a murderer showing up who was not kept in check.
    Additionally, residents of the Core have an opportunity to work their way up to better living standards, including within the ginormous skyscrapers at the heart of the heart itself. While some of these great towers are owned by and dedicated to the government and the most powerful corporations, others are self-sustainable complexes that provide the greatest security, sustenance and seclusion from the rest of the city.
    Living in the Core really boils down to a matter of preference and permission. As long as the city government allows you to, you are allowed to. As long as you would rather live under the thumb of the government and its military than the MTPD, the corporate paramilitary forces or criminal elements of the Buffer, or worse, the endless gangs, rebel groups and crime groups that overrun the Peripherals, then the Core just might be for you.
    GRAFT Center (Genetic Research, Augmentation, Fortification and Transformation)

    License: zaroshi [CC BY-NC-ND 3.0]
    The GRAFT Center is the headquarters of the GRAFT Corporation. "GRAFT" stands for "Genetic Research, Augmentation, Fortification and Transformation", a broad series of terms that cover a broad variety of functions.
    While GRAFT clinics are spread throughout the city of Martial Town, from the Core to its suburbs, the GRAFT Center contains the most sophisticated and state of the art technology to service its clients. It fulfills a variety of needs for cybernetic limb and organ replacements, and cybernetic enhancements, such as infrared eyesight.
    However, GRAFT is not limited to just 'technology', as with mechanized or digitized features. The former is its primary identity, but it also supports a full-fledged magical enhancement program; a nice alternative to any technophobes, though the reverse also applies.
    Additionally, the GRAFT Center, located in the militarized heart of Martial Town, is where the bulk of the corporation's research is spearheaded, among all levels, including both magic and technology.
    The Purple Penguin
    Amid the night life of Martial Town, where the streets are lit up by neon dancers merely in the way the advertisement signs blink and flash and glow, The Purple Penguin represents the pinnacle of that night life.
    Located on the 'border' between the Core, the militarized heart of Martial Town, and the far less policed areas that serve as its outskirts, the nightclub receives a diversity of visitors, from regulars to newcomers looking for a good night out after a hard day's work.
    Amid its trademark purple lightning that basks the entire building, inside and out, day and night, The Purple Penguin boasts three public floors and a fourth VIP floor that includes management. The floors beneath this one cater to a wide variety of music, with soundproof walls offering additional sections and bars.
    The Purple Penguin offers more than music and drink, however. It is almost impossible to forget or forgive the drug scene running rampant, though this in turn provides any would be do-gooders with a morally questionable source of intel.
    The CyberFunk Cafe

    License: David Revoy / Blender Foundation [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]
    Located nearer the Core, amid its most lively shopping centers, The CyberFunk Cafe is a cybercafe said to always be filled, but always having an empty seat available.
    This paradox of a statement is in part due to the ear-splitting arcades located beneath the soundproof floor of the main cafe. On the main floor, guests can enjoy a latte spiked with caffeine to see their eyes through a deep dive into their favorite VR program, or simply a soothing cup of tea while they surf the web on a laptop for a fine leather trenchcoat on sale.
    Whatever the customer's desire, the cafe itself can probably cater to it, with cakes and scones aplenty. In its own parallel, however, the arcade rooms below ground have a much quicker pace. Down here, gamers of all kinds can sit back and relax, or sit forward in highway-racing tension, as they play video games of all types. Sometimes that may mean looking at a screen from feet, or inches, away. Other times, it may mean plugging a cable into the back of your head and closing your eyes while your mind enters a world like in one of those Sword Art Online games. KAWAAIII!!
    However, what most people are not aware of is that The CyberFunk Cafe has a third level—one beneath the arcade floor, accessed only by a secret door and express permission. This is where an underground hacker club, called ILLusive, plays a whole different game, one with real stakes, and real thrills.
    Pal's Guard
    Pal's Guard, obviously a play on "Palgard", is not at all anyone's idea of a playful bar. This drinking establishment is owned by the well established Vilad Circle, one of Martial Town's most ruthless and powerful organized crime groups.
    Headed by the elven Vilad Family rumored to hail from Palgard since around its inception, the Vilad Circle, as the overall crime syndicate, has since employed other species of all kinds to do its bidding and dirty work. Thieves, assassins, hackers, black market merchants, drug dealers, prostitutes and other colorful careerists come here already under the Vilad Circle's ring or as fresh folk looking for a new career path.
    Whatever the case, whatever the face, the Vilad Family usually doesn't care who, how or why. They are only concerned with profit and power, two paramount aspects that are inseparable as far as they believe.
    However, probably not a good idea to come to Pal's Guard for a beer and nothing else. There are nicer, friendlier, cleaner bars out there. Enter at your own risk, and remember where the nearest GRAFT clinic is!
    MTPD Headquarters (Martial Town Police Department)
    Where the Core of Martial Town is chiefly policed by the government's military force, along with the private military companies of certain corporations, it falls to the Martial Town Police Department (MTPD) to keep the greater extent of the city in check. As with many things in life, however, that is a task that is easier to write than to carry out.
    Only the bravest, finest and most able and capable souls sign up for the MTPD, or else those with a death wish, a low IQ or a streak of psychopathy as they seek to abuse the badge and beat the victims being repressed by it.
    Meanwhile, the farthest suburbs of the city would be hard pressed to find an officer on patrol, unless they're really just strolling toward some crime lord so that they can receive their bribe money.
    There are, though, those who firmly believe in the badge and what it represents. Then there are those hired by the badge, bounty hunters and private detectives, because, when it comes to Martial Town, the MTPD needs all the help that it can get.
    Little Weland

    License: Waylon Wesley [CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/)]
    Just beyond the Way Gate facility, another community has formed from within Palgard, made up of the Weland expats that sought safety in numbers after the collapse of the city’s government. Their desperation made them susceptible to the Bessho-kai, a family of wealthy entrepreneurs that had stricken an accord with the people, offering protection in exchange for labor and small favors, but who now hold the district in their clinched fist.
    The Bessho-kai keep their streets free of outside influences, but their own people are nearly as bad as the anarchists. There is a foot soldier on every street corner, and an eye or an ear always watching for troublemakers or potential threats. They harass the people for what little they have, and recruit their children, perpetuating a cycle of violence and extortion.
    Magic and technology are not at war. Like much of Lagrimosa, they are instead blended and mixed together, until where the one begins and the other ends cannot be easily distinguished. However, much of the heavily regulated, illegal, and obscure technology kept off the streets in the larger cities has in Martial Town fallen into use by anyone aware of, and able to afford, the black market. Most of the technology is benign. City-wide communications are now easily available, and enhanced prosthetics, both bleeding edge and crude knockoffs, some owed to Hell’s Gate, others Last Chance, can be acquired with no red tape or government interference.
    Then there are the killing implements. Cybernetics and magical augmentations designed to make recipients harder to kill while also making them more efficient at the act themselves. Bone-lacing, retractable claws, subdermal implants and vision enhancements, equipment normally associated with military wetwork can be acquired and utilized with little to no interference from the government. For a price.
    Humans, elves, orcs, dwarves and other, Martial Town and its immediate surroundings are made up of many, of a diverse, hodgepodge people whose differences have allowed them to adapt even to its current circumstances. They move ever forward as cutthroats meet military task force, or corporate backed mercenaries. The poor and the downtrodden pick up weapons and fight back, choosing one side or the other, or neither. They exist in flux alongside their city. Order and chaos flowing one way, then the other.
    Nobody knows you: Carbon and Oryx, representing Empire, follow up on an lead which directs them to the location of an artifact: the left eye of Mogonto. They chase it from Martial Town to Palgard, and from Foundry to Zephyrus tower, where they engage enemy forces to claim the artifact. Carbon suffers critical damage and is taken to Martial Town's GRAFT center for recovery. A surprising visit: In an unexpected visit to the fond Neon City, reunited Choisel lovers settle in temporary residence there, terrorizing citizens with an unnatural desire of bloodlust. Leinhart and the Queen Matriarch slowly taint the city. I mean, really now: Eldwine organizes a team in Martial Town to help recover a shipment of stolen ercaniron which was stolen from the bandit who stole it to begin with. Through the course of an operation which drags them all over Martial Town and ends with a raid on a police station evidence locker, the loot is successfully recovered and divided among them. An aye for an eye: The General'ny Direktor engages in a mech battle for the win, and manages to pull off nabbing a cabinet that contains the powerful Left Eye of Mogonto
  3. Superlike!
    Etched In Stone reacted to King for a article, Jigoku, the Imperial City   
    Ruler: Emperor Koji Datsuzoku
    Flag: A black flag hosting the nations Kamon centered in gold.
    Contact: Twitterpated 

    The Jigoku prefecture is a nation built near the heart of the Midlands, claiming the no man's land between a few standing countries and the corresponding lake to its west. As such the city has been equipped with not only a nice port that ferries to any point across the lake, but also that can sail the channel that leads all the way north to the ocean. The location for the city and its design make for a lot of business and attraction. Designed after the architecture of an old civilization of another world and composed of the goods of worlds between as well as this one, Jigoku is a breathtaking sight both to live in and to visit.
    The Imperial City sets approximately 30 miles east from Great Lake, 60 miles east/northeast of Mezathaluen, and 85 miles north of Union City. The wild-lands between these cities and spanning through the blood stone marshes north of Great Lake is dotted with outposts courtesy of the nation’s Imperial Military, reinforced by the re-purposed Union City and its resources.

    Jigoku no Toshi | The Inferno City - The composition of most of the city is built in tandem with what are be traditional on another world apart from this one, boasting a combination of red oak structures topped with black clay tiles. In a world of magic, the city overall is mundane and simple. Rice paper sliding doors, polished hard wood floors, red banners and red paper lanterns littering the entirety of the nation. To those that have been exposed to an environment such as this before, they would surely feel welcome and at home upon visiting. The more imposing structures of import such as the Emperor’s pagodas in the town square are built in a similar fashion to the structures of the entire nation, yet instead fashioned from shadewood, topped with metallic roof tiles fashioned from a rare substance known as Hihi-irogane. The mysterious metal is dark, black in color; It is rumored to be tougher than diamonds several times over, and hot to the touch. Though it isn’t aflame, the metal does give off the ominous appearance than the tiles are in fact on fire.
    The Merchant district seems to give way to that of the residential district. In fact, along the border, it is often seen that a vendor stall might be a home all in one, or perhaps a shop and a home are conjoined. Perhaps a vendor or merchant simply doesn't live far from their stall/store. It is common in this young flourishing city to see about 75% percent of businesses close for the day, at which point the night life of the city begins. Every night seems to look like a festival of some sort. Humans, Yokai, and Undead are mostly common in these parts. They live in harmony and understanding of the Kodo delivered by their Emperor and Empress themselves. The remaining businesses that are open fuel and support this night life, complete with inns and small taverns.

    Semiarid or Semi-Arid means "somewhat dry". The semiarid climate is found around the edges of Arid climate and serves as a transition from Arid to another climate. This is a dry climate that has fluctuating amounts of precipitation, which can often result in drought. Occasional drought can be a very dangerous place for human settlement. The semiarid climate supports more trees and scrub bushes and grasses than Arid and therefore more animals.

    Flora and Fauna
    Ketsueki Sakura no Hana (Blood Cherry Blossom Trees): In addition to the appearance of the Jubokko, a new rare breed of tree case appeared in the lands of Jigoku. These unique trees are exclusive to the newly established Imperial City feature wood so dark the bark nearly looks black. As opposed to the usual softer tones of pink or even white, the petals of the blooming cherry blossoms were naturally stained a crimson hue instead. The first bloom of these trees in the springs, and the wilting of them in the fall seasons are said to be two of the most beautiful occasions the nation has to offer.
    Tsukiyomi no Ran (Orchid of the Moon Goddess): This rare beauty it a unique species of flower than only blooms once a month during the night of the full moon. The bulb cracks at sunset and progresses into a full bloom peaking with the apex of the full moon in the night sky. It is also said that the petals of this flower can be ground into a stun spore, capable of disorienting and incapacitating effects.
    Kokuren and Shiroi-hasu (Black Lotus and White Lotus): In the spring and summer months, it is said to bring one luck to happen upon the bloom of the Black Lotus from local ponds and even the lake into the west side of Jigoku. Rumor has it that the Black Lotus can be turned into an extract that will bring one ingesting it blistering fevers, delusions, dehydration, seizures, and in many cases death. In the fall and winter months, the White Lotus blooms in the very same locations of the Black counterpart. The extract of this Lotus is said to be the only cure to the toxicity of the Black Lotus.
    Kuro Seji (Black Sage): Black Sage grows in the eastern plains and northeastern hills of Jigoku. This sage is not safe for consumption by humanoids as it is fatally toxic. However, with the proper prevention methods to avoid self-harm, this plant is ideal for those that are into energy work surrounding spirits and souls. When dried, this sage turns an ashy-grey color. When burned, its ashes are pure white, and the smoke produced is black. This smoke is said to thin the veil between this world and the Otherworld within the user’s vicinity, thus attracting more paranormal activity to said area than usual. Careful though, those that trifled with forces beyond their control often received catastrophic adverse results.
    Minokemoyodatsu Yona Chaba (Lurid Tea Leaves): Leaves of what is called the Lurid Tea Plant can be used to brew a naturally bitter sweet tea that looks as dark as coffee. Adding just dollop of milk into the tea will barely lighten the tone, though it will remove the bitter taste and maximize the sweet taste naturally available in the leaves. These leaves are also a hot commodity in the baking community. Perfect for making cakes and pastries!
    Taima (Cannibis): This plant grows and processes in a manner like tobacco. However, the plant is what would be referred to by most as a natural remedy or alternative medicine. Despite the plethora of medical benefits, the regulated use of this herb could offer, most seem to enjoy the use of these various plants in recreation. It is said that the high of good Taima can leave one in euphoric bliss for up to three hours. It is also said that the herb is a natural aphrodisiac.
    Ahen (Opium): This plant grows poppy seed that can be produced into a crushed, smokable power. A single hit of this potent opium that’s rumored to have smoke of indigo is said to intoxicate the user for 90 minutes, in which they experience involuntary muscle spasm, reduced heart rate, warped perception, and actual moderate to severe hallucinations. Overdosing can range from the contraction of drug induced schizophrenia and/or death.
    Akuma no Yona Kinoko (Demonic Mushrooms): If one knew where these mushrooms came from, they probably would not even touch them, let alone eat them. These mushrooms are harvested from explicit directions that lead up to the removal of them from beneath fresher patties of Yokai droppings. When devoured by humanoids, many describe feeling the sensation of walking under water. These effects along with varying severity of hallucinations last in a user for six to eight hours.
    Gu Diao
    Ao Yin
    Yama-inu - The Yama-inu or okuri-inu closely follows people who are walking along mountain paths at nighttime. If by chance the person falls over they will be immediately eaten up, but if they pretend to be having a short rest they will not be attacked. It is important not to look too tired, though. These features are common to every region, but the dog's behavior does sometimes vary - for instance in some places it is said that the okuri-inu will charge into you, and if you fall a pack of dogs will quickly appear and attack you. There are also regions that have stories about what happens once you safely make it to the end of the mountain path. For example, one tells that if you reach the end of the trail, saying something like 'goodbye' or 'thank you for escorting me' will cause the okuri-inu to stop following you. Another one claims that upon returning home you should first wash your feet, give thanks for a safe journey home, then offer the okuri-inu gift. After this, it will supposedly leave. 
    Jorogumo -  Jorōgumo (Japanese Kanji: 絡新婦, Hiragana: じょろうぐも) is a type of Yōkai, a creature, ghost or goblin of Japanese folklore. It can shapeshift into a beautiful woman, so the kanji for its actual meaning is 女郎蜘蛛 or "woman-spider", and to write it instead as 絡新婦 ("entangling newlywed woman") is a jukujikun pronunciation of the kanji.
    Jubokko - According to folklore, it appears in former battlefields where many people have died, and its appearance does not differ that much from ordinary trees. Since it becomes a yōkai tree by sucking up large quantities of blood from the dead, it lives on human blood. When a human being happens to pass by, it supposedly captures the victim and, changing its branches into the shape of a tube, sucks the blood out of the victim. A Jubokko that sucks life out of human beings in such a way is said to always maintain a fresh appearance. When a Jubokko is cut, blood trickles out. It is said that a Jubokko branch could heal and decontaminate an injured person.
    Goakarasu (Gore-crow): Any breed or species of bird cane become a gore crow, corrupted by chaos, these mutated crows acquire a blackened color to their feathers and their eyes grow completely red. While these crows are aggressive and carnivorous, especially to humans, they are typically easy to dispatch despite their sharp minds. A swarm of them however can take out the smallest of large cities within days if left unchecked. In the Midlands there are two varieties of these crows; Those spawn of the Whispernight Scourge whom flock to the Trees of Evil still standing throughout the land, and those created specifically by the Heika himself.
    Tatsuo (Dragon-man): a specific brand of Ogre/Oni/Orcish brand of creature. They come in various shapes and sizes, their faces usually grotesque and terrifying. On average they stand between 5’3” and 6’8” tall, weighing between 175 to 325 pounds. They boasted broad shoulders with thick muscular limbs and big hands. Their complexions ranging between firebrick red, black, and a few other colors of rare condition. Thanks to the mixture of Draconic bloods sampled and collected from the Velhatien Desert, Emperor Koji along with the help of his Imperial Adviser and his very capable Harem had managed to develop a system into which they could use to transform common folk such a Hume or Man into one of the mutated Tatsuo brands. So far, the method only works on humanoid creatures, though the responsible parties behind such a terrible creation worked feverishly to discover a method that would work on other animals. More specifically the predator variety considering the perks of increasing the risk an already capable hunter and killer of the animal kingdom naturally possessed.
    While most tend to get many more throughout their lives and careers during for instance times of great change, each fresh Tatsuo receives their first official brand. Traditionally the brand is the Dynasty’s Kamon. It should be noted that these man-made monsters rarely retained memories of their past life. They retained simple motor functions and basic knowledge, leaving them to grow and flourish together as a fresh society. They are incredibly intelligent, brave, and cunning. They hold their own unique culture that develops with each passing day. Though namely they currently uphold their own sort of honor system or code. This, however, did not circumvent or prioritize over the Emperor’s absolute Kodo. In fact, it modified it in a complimentary fashion.
    Dishonor of a Tatsuo was often punishable by carving their Dynasty brand from their body, filling or removing one’s fangs, or their preferred ultimate method of beatings to the death from multiple volunteers. Likewise, the Tatsuo were often found gambling and bargaining with one another in leisure time. Sometimes they would pass the time by wrestling for both fun and competition. On rare occasion, a lesser ranked Tatsuo could be found trying to challenge one of its superiors, in which the death of his opponent decided the winner. While most adopted names and cultural aspects in similar nature to the Dynasty, it was usually a bit of culture shock seen when one viewed the Tatsuo closely in their own communities. The current Tatsuo population among the Imperial City is approximately 7000 strong, a number that will surely grow faster than the rate it would diminish.
    Tatsuo possesses speeds that are not the greatest, though they are much quicker than they appear thanks to their large muscle mass and immense strength. While not being sensitive or vulnerable to light conditions, it should be noted that these creatures see best in low and no light conditions. The average strength of a Tatsuo is roughly three to five times the strength of the average “Man”. Their hides are thick and leathery, granting them a high resistance to piercing damage as well as blunt force trauma and some magic types of damage such as burning or freezing. Thanks to their modified physiology, their diet usually consists of whatever they can get their hands on. Though they perform their best when full and are most full when they devour meat. It is common to see a Tatsuo eating a defeated enemy, though never a fallen brother without specific spiritual significance.


    Jigoku is a culture shock at face value. Many people and species of different types and walks of life find some semblance of unity within the nation. The two major types of citizens are those that chose to be here with the growing nation, and those that were forced out of their homes for one reason or another in which they sought refuge in the comfort of Jigoku. The symbiotic relationship the nation sustains itself upon it the driving for between its success and continued steady growth. Men, Yokai, and Vampires are the most common, though it’s no surprise to catch the random others among the crowds. As if those three cultures weren’t diverse enough.

    Between the flora and fauna carried here like the plethora of man and manlike creatures, and the local lake, the economy flourishes with natural water source and seafood. The water source helps with the dry and drought seasons by supplying water year round. The primary currency of this nation is gold, silver, and copper coins, brandishes with the Kamon on one side of a coin, the opposing side hosting a serpent-like dragon among clouds. Minted coin of similar make is acceptable from any place at equal value to the national coin's weight. All outside currencies taken in are systematically melted down and minted into one of their national brand.

    Major Companies and Institutions
     The Imperial Arts of the Datsuzoku Dynasty
    Hinode no Gakko | The School of the Rising Sun – While there are several dojos found within the nation, the most reputable is one founded outside of the orthodox teachings of the various Dragon schools. Spearheaded by the founder and Grand-Master Momoku, Kenshibobu, this school is prized on its roots in tradition, and its branches reaching into a variety of new styles in its ever-evolving Martial way. While strictly traditional styles stale over time, the mixed martial arts nature of the Rising Sun School will continue to present itself as a formidable way of combat for generations to come. Students are even encouraged to train on their own and to self-develop their own personal style.
    Parks and Recreation
    Landmarks and monuments
    Kokuryu no Chashitsu/Izakaya | The Black Dragon Tea House/Tavern - By day, the second largest pagoda style structure in the entire city is known as Kokuryu no Chashitsu, The Black Dragon Tea House. It is easily a local hub that would easily grow into the hearts, minds, and mouths of citizens and tourists alike. There was no menu. If one wasn't certain of a name of specific tea, they could describe what they were looking for, and certainly they could obtain it. For those unappreciative of tea, other beverage accommodations could be made. Rumor has it that they also offer the best Japanese dishes the city had to offer, save for the palace. As a city with direct access to water, it is certainly easiest to assume there are more seafood dishes to offer than that of any other type. This operation lasts from dawn until dusk. However, from dusk until dawn, this very same location is known as Kokuryu no Izakaya, The Black Dragon Tavern. In likeness to the variety of teas, a plethora of alcohol awaits the patrons of this fine, massive bar. On higher levels, there is even a floor dedicated to small time gambling attractions. Rumor has it that upon vacancy and request, there is also a hidden bath house during these hours.
    Kanrakugai | The Red-Light District - Behind what would bring you to the inaccessible back side of the palace, there was a quaint little part of town known as Kanrakugai, The Red-Light District. All locations of business in these parts operate 24/7. A wide variety of male and female specimen were available to those interested. One might wish to just have a short visit with some obligations attached within any respective house, or perhaps one wished to have a semi-formal escort for a lengthy bout of a day. Some good company to those that had deep pockets and were lonely.  On occasion, one thinking they may have found the one, perhaps they can purchase one of their choice to keep. However, each individual owner of each individual house likely each had a specific individual cost. What was one willing to pay, for happiness? Rumor has it that for those creatures surviving on the life essence of humans, life dolls were also afforded around these parts. It should be noted that dolls are for small feeds, there is a no kill policy on life dolls. Should one break the rules, well, like breaking any other rule, the offense is punishable by death.
    Jigoku no Kyuden | The Inferno Palace - The heart of the Empire city gives birth to a rather expanse city square. Easily 100,000 people could cram into here and at least have an inch to move. The largest portion of the square was in front of what the locals called Jigoku no Kyuden, The Inferno Palace. A fountain was afforded within the square, a center piece statue within the fountain appeared to be an image of the late Empress, with a black dragon loosely coiling about her. Certainly, the dragon was a reference to the Emperor, or so the three eyed face sorely gave it away for those whom had witnessed their Emperor's greatness. The palace itself is built in the hybrid styling of a pagoda meshed with a pyramid. The first level served as a lobby, complete with a throne for the sovereigns of this nation. Occasionally they can be found here for a wide variety of things, and yet also just to be readily open to the public if they aren't out about town somewhere. The courtyard bordering the palace out of the square was heavily guarded, and each night by midnight the square was cleared by curfew save for special occasions. The second floor through the fourth-floor housed guards in barracks. It was important that they work shifts, thought their odd shifts made it to where it was wise to slumber within the palace itself. The fifth floor through the fourteenth floor would be raised as home space for nine hand selected elites from the city. The fifteenth floor was a place dedicated to being the door to the final sixteenth floor, which was ultimately a shrine. This gate floor was usually lived in by the Emperor himself when he wasn't with his Empress in her shrine. A second, pagoda that was more traditional was stationed beside and slightly behind the place, serving as a guest house boasting five floors for any important visitors that the nation’s Leaders feel a need to cater to. Slightly behind and between these was a seven-floor pagoda of traditional value, each floor dedicated to one of the Emperors concubines. Only the Emperor and Empress can enter this area, though the concubine are free to come and go as they please. Don't get any ideas though, even when they look like they are alone, each one of the Emperors wives were kept under a watchful eye, ensuring their safety as they would join their Empress in mothering the future generations of this clan, this Empire. Unlike the other structure in the city, the walls of these building are constructed with wood from the plane of shadow, it's black is unrivaled in any light or lack there off. If one looked closely, they could see what looked like purple glitter infused with the wood. The roofing tiles of these few structures are constructed of a metal of legend known as hihi'irogane. Its dark reddish color was accented well contrasted with the black building and the appearance of the tile that seemed on fire.

    Federal government
    Futilitarian: The citizens and governing body of the Imperial city are Futilitarian, believing human hopes and faith to be in vain, and their strivings unjustified. The false since of order this world clings to is nothing more than a fallacy controlled by fear and greed. Datsuzoku translates as Breaking of the Covenant, the clan and its leaders stand to personify their chosen name. The Empire promotes that it will vanquish the fallacy of Order that is widely spread by mankind, and often abused by the greed of mankind. The Emperor and those beneath his employ pledge to liberate and ultimately untie all people, thus creating a true paradise where all bare true peace, freedom, and happiness. In the same token, Emperor Koji’s brand serves as a vanquisher of its enemies both direct and indirect. None shall stand in the path of the Emperor’s indomitable Will.

    The Kokuryu no Kibo (The Black Dragon Scale), is the official Kamon (Crest/Seal/symbol) of not only the Empire city, but also to the Datsuzoku clan itself. Visitors and citizens alike are held to certain standards. Standards that only vary according to one's level in the societal food chain. Of course, there was a rule of thumb that all citizens respect those deemed of higher status than other. Any visitors that are not accepted as a foreign sovereign or explicit personal invitation was subject to whatever sort of treatment that came to them. Regardless, they fall subject to the Emperor’s Kodo.
    The Kodo is the way of the Emperor. In this case, while the Emperor has a certain lack of desire for “rules”, it should be noted that failure to adhere to the whim or the Will of his Empress or himself is punishable by death. Offenders will be sentenced to seppuku, and in more severe cases Harakiri (sometimes called Hari Kari).
    The Three Supremes
    The First of the Three Supremes is absolute Loyalty to the one and only Chijono as well as his beloved. No other source of power shall be feared or respected more than the head of the Dastuzoku Empire.
    The Second Supreme is obedience. Subordinates under the banner of this Empire are subject to absolute obedience despite the desire/goal of the Empire at any one time.
    The Third and final Supreme is honor. Subordinates should always honor the empire and their duty to it first. Likewise, their views of honor should lie in the likelihood of aligning with the nature of the Empire itself.
    /               |               \
    Empress’ Guard   Shogun   Concubines
    The Lurid Inquisition
    The highest rank in the lands is awarded to Emperor and Empress themselves respectively. Directly beneath them are their immediate subordinates and almost equals. Next in line comes the Empress' Guard and the Emperor's harem, akin to the weight of a Shogun within these ranks. Shogun are responsible for reporting and answering directly to their sovereigns as designated. The Daimyo or Feudal Lords are the next step down in the food chain, answering directly to their respective Shogun when necessary. Once one was through the leadership roles, the ranking system of the nation reached what the Emperor has properly titled, The Lurid Inquisition. This rank encompasses many roles both militant combative and not. To serve the Inquisition was to serve the Will of the Emperor directly. Most able-bodied men and woman of certain age and circumstances are usually drafted into these ranks, though others willingly enlist for one reason or another. Virtually at the bottom of the list comes the civilians. Despite not hosting a role in military or combat setting, all residents of this nation are required to learn some form of self-defense. This is to ensure that they suffer as minimal as possible casualties in the case of war times or invasions. Literally at the tail end of the ranks in the nation, there were the slaves and the service roles. Some work, some served the Inquisition, some were simply purchased, and those that couldn't acclimate were slaughtered. Slaves in this nation can gain freedom, though there is always a cost to be paid to compensate for the weight of a life.
    The Lurid Inquisition
    There are few roles with many differing tasks within the Inquisition. Note that at any given time, these roles are subject to change to accommodate the greater needs of the Empire. Those beneath the Empire's employ are given preference when such can be afforded, other times, a rank, role, or task is given regardless of the recipient's desire.
    Sokushitsu: The Emperor's personal concubines. Their work while seemingly trivial is of the utmost importance. Hand selected by Josei Heika herself, the woman tasked with this role are expected to submit in every way imaginable, and then some. At no point are these women to deviate from their given purpose.
    Onmitsu: Members of the Onmitsu group are tasked with jobs usually associated with spies such as infiltration and reconnaissance. Often, Onmitsu is a term generally interchangeable with the term Ninja or Shinobi/Kunoichi.
    Ansatsu Buntai: The members of this group are general foot soldiers, ranging from what would be your average warrior (Samurai/Saburai) all the way up to the elites. The name means “Death Squad”. Regardless of leading the attack our defending home terrain, their job equates death both in delivery and completion.
    Hogo-sha: These are the guardians of the inquisition, charged with protecting the Emperor/Empress as well as anyone else they are commanded to protect. Their devotion must be absolute! There is no cost too great in the need to serve and protect. Even their own lives.
    Hojutsu Buntai: The most infantile but rapidly growing form and division within the Dynasty. These members are predominately the Emperor's personal brand of Orcs, trained in the ways gun forms and martial prowess alike.

    There is currently no centralized education. Education is primarily home schooling, in which families and clans teach the young their continued trade. Sometimes they convert by studying with a family or clan outside of the one they were born into, or if their parents come from differing clans. Mandatory education in self-defense is deemed important. The able bodied, regardless of intellect, should and will be learned in the martial way. In cases of invasion, all have the right to reassuringly defend themselves and their nation.

    Due to the high population and everyday life of this self-sufficient nation, the most popular method of travel is by foot. Some residents host animals in some small variety they ride or use to pull carriages. Others manage the same feats with a wide variety of lesser Yokai. The roads created were few and held the dedicated purpose to travel and trade to this region’s inlet lake, Mezthaluen, Union City, and its respective borders. The road to the northern border most travels the eastern side of the Bloodstone Marsh, bisected by the marsh itself and the Imperial Base erected there near the northern border. A few other outposts exist, one standing on the road respectively to the east, west, and south.
    Notable Residents
    The Imperial Family headed by Emperor Koji who is also the head of the Datsuzoku clan.

    Arechi-e (Journey to the East) | To Erect an Empire
    Daoda (Arrival) | To Erect an Empire
    Ruto o Torimasu (Taking Root) | Laying the Foundation
    Sokui  no Rei (Enthronement of the Empress) | Coronation
  4. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to jaistlyn for a article, Yh'mi   
    Themes: Low Tech - Horror - Low Powers
    Yh'mi (pronounced as yuh-mi, with a short aspirate between the two syllables) is a mysterious and desolate land at the south end of Terrenus, still almost completely unexplored. A region so untouched may sound enticing to some, but one thing is utterly clear about this place: it is hateful.
    From the twisted things that crawl within it, to the raging storms high above, to the strange whispering which seems to nag at you every waking moment: everything here is out for blood.
    There is only one true sanctuary in Yh’mi- the town of Inns'th (pronounced as in-suth). There, the paladins of the Order of the White Hand struggle to defend their home, and to find a way to contain the evil of Yh'mi before it grows strong enough to threaten all of Terrenus.
    This is the comprehensive set of links relating to all information about Yh'mi:
    Welcome to Yh'mi (How to play) Quest Map The Tomes (Bestiary) About Inns'th (encampment) About the Purgatory (tavern, bar, medical centre) About Esperanza (village of the tribe of Striking Hope, to the east of Inns'th) Locations

    Inns'th (click here for an in-depth description)
    This small encampment/town is the first place most new arrivals will encounter. It is the only thing standing between the dark land of Yh'mi and Terrenus at large. Currently small, but the Order of the White Hand aims to expand it into a formidable bulwark against the coming storm.
    Purgatory (click here for an in-depth description)
    The building known as Purgatory is Inns'th's only bar, which also doubles as a hospital, science lab, and funeral parlor at times. Run by the mysterious Doctor Xeyal, it awaits unsuspecting guests...
    Village of Esperanza (click here for an in-depth description)
    Located to the east of Inns'th, it consists of a circle of huts with a bonfire in the middle. 17 members of the tribe of Striking Hope have made their homes here, aiding the Order of the White Hand in defending and maintaining the wall, and exploring the obscure territory of Yh’mi.
    The Wall
    An ancient wall of wood and stone stands between Yh'mi and Inns'th, silently protecting the inhabitants of the encampment from the dangers of Yh'mi. Nobody knows how exactly how long ago the Wall was built. It had been there even before the Order of the White Hand arrived. A sturdy gate is built into the Wall, closely guarded by the Order.
    The Broken Plains
    The plain beyond Inns'th is an open, rocky space. It is difficult to tread quietly here, footsteps seem to echo in the air, announcing trespassers to anything that might be listening. The encampment was constructed at the north edge of this area, out of hope that large groups of approaching creatures could be easily spotted from a distance. It has since been discovered that the rocky plain is full of deep crevasses, which not only allow things to sneak up on the encampment, but also connect to a deep network of caverns beneath the plain. Nobody who ventured into those caves has ever returned.
    Furthest Point
    A large hill at near the center of the Broken Plain. There are plans to construct an outpost here, as the earth is not cracked, and the hill is a relatively easy location to defend.
    An evergreen forest, perpetually covered by thick white mist, beyond the Broken Plain to the east. It is unknown how far it extends. Compasses and other pathfinding devices will frequently malfunction here, leaving exploratory parties stranded and lost. It has been reported that the mist seems to affect one's memories. It's a short walk to get in, the longest journey of your life to get out…
    The Village of Lirrey
    A small village, beyond the Broken Plain to the south. It is well-constructed, with cobblestone roads and charming wooden cottages. The people there are quite happy and friendly, but nobody knows where its people came from, who built it, or why the monstrous creatures of Yh'mi have not destroyed it. In fact, virtually every aspect of it, including the weather, is completely incongruous with the surrounding landscape. The Order of the White Hand is convinced that this place is an illusion or a trap, and has ordered all residents of Inns'th to stay away.
    The Spires
    A field of massive stone spikes, beyond the Broken Plain to the west. These structures are extremely thin, steep and sharp, with mostly straight edges tapering to perfect points several kilometers high. In the rare event of a sunny day, the shadows of the tallest ones extend all the way to Inns'th. The spires are far too precisely formed to be natural, though their incredible size begs the question: what is the alternative? There is thick vegetation near the bases of the spires, and in addition to the usual creatures, Lun'Silth is known to reside here.
    Observations over time have revealed that new spires appear regularly, at a rate of about one per week. Their appearance has never been observed, and only ever noticed well after the fact. All new spires have appeared on the edge of the area that faces Inns'th.
    Unknown Territories
    Furthest to the south, beyond Lirrey, are lands completely unexplored, and never seen from the air. These are believed to represent more than half the landmass of Yh'mi. Any horrors imaginable might be lurking out there…
    The Skies of Yh'mi
    The air above this dark land is riddled with storms and heavy winds. Airship travel is inadvisable, as vessels are likely to be blown off course and crash into the Spires.
    Virtually all of what may be called 'culture' in Yh'mi is concentrated in Inns'th.
    Unlike typical frontier towns, which are hopeful, busy, and growing, the atmosphere of Inns'th is gloomy and fearful. Its expansion is constantly held in check by the darkness that surrounds it. Other than the Order's paladins, most people here are either former criminals, mercenaries, or refugees of some sort. Few come to live here by choice, they are either hiding, or have nowhere else to go.
    The Order is well-supplied, and very generous. It has so far maintained order, preventing gangs from forming and helping where it can, even forming a small civilian police force with the aid of a mercenary company. However, with an expanding population comes a gradual loss of control, and more and more people begin to suffer and starve.
    Fear and paranoia are rife here, especially with the arrival of the Twistling shapeshifters. The locals will be shifty, easily angered and slow to trust. If you can prove you are there to help them, however, you may earn the unbreakable loyalty that can only be forged in the hardest of times.
    Flora and Fauna
    See The Tomes (bestiary)
    Inns'th: 750 (estimated)
    Lirrey: 500 (estimated)
    Yh'mi: Unknown. Pockets of survivors have been found, but never in large numbers. Sentient creatures known as Cyclopes are also present, but very rarely encountered.
    13 paladins of the Order of the White Hand: 1 Order leader (Chastity) 6 upper-rank Order paladins (Diligence, Erudition, Videntia, Volentia, Remissio and Fidelitas) 6 Order paladins 12 members of the Watch trained by the Order to police Inns'th. Around 150 mercenaries (number varies) Inns'th is also protected by thick walls of wood and stone and heavy gates. Their armory is well-stocked, but contains no notably advanced weaponry.
    When under severe threat, the Order will usually pull in additional mercenaries, and request aid from the Terrenus military.
    Recent History
    This timeline has been put together based on various reports, documents, and personal accounts of recent events. Though some details remain uncertain, most are verifiable.
    Five Years Ago: A small sect splits off from the Gaian clergy, claiming that its fellows are too focused on kindness and the spreading of religion. Naming itself the Order of Purity, the group dedicates itself entirely to eliminating Unnaturals and other evil beings.
    Four Years Ago: An exploratory party is sent by the Terrenus military to Yh'mi. Of the twenty in the expedition, three survive. Their reports are described as "highly concerning," and additional scouting parties are sent, with far more cautious mission parameters. Scouting reveals that Yh'mi is infested with creatures of unknown origin, and their numbers are growing.
    Three Years Ago: The Order of Purity is approached by an unknown benefactor, who tells them the tale of Galan the White and Inn-su. It is unknown whether other persuasive methods were used (the Order claims that none were), but after this meeting, the group's name was changed to the Order of the White Hand, and plans were made to construct a new line of defense between Terrenus and Yh'mi.
    Two Years Ago: The Terrenus military, no longer blind to the threat of Yh'mi, grants funding to the Order to hire mercenaries and construct fortifications. The building of the first encampment, named Inns'th, begins. The Order is named the prime government authority in Yh'mi, until additional military presence proves necessary.
    One Year Ago: Construction of Inns'th is completed. Word of the town reaches nearby cities, and people begin to immigrate, fleeing debts, prison, or grudges. The Order is mostly accepting of these, though careful to keep them regulated. A member of the Order gifted with foresight, known as Videntia, predicts a 'storm' coming from Yh'mi, spurring the paladins to redouble their efforts in response.
    Current Year: The first Twistlings appear. The Order puts out several notices offering pay for dangerous tasks, and adventurers and explorers arrive to contribute. The Terrenus military also expresses an increased interest in exploration.
    Ancient History
    Nobody really knows the truth about Yh'mi.
    Some believe that it does not matter. The place is sick, broken beyond recognition, and whatever it once might have been is lost beyond all hope of retrieval. It is best to focus on present and future threats, and how to deal with them.
    But there are always stories. Tales, rumors, mentions of a past that was truly different.
    Not all of these stories agree, and some are radically different. Still, perhaps they may contain a grain of truth, or at least a warning. It is difficult to know. Anywhere else, historians would have seized any scrap of knowledge they could find- after all, what harm could it do to know more? But here, there is no such certainty.
    For the benefit of knowledge-seekers, three tales are recorded here. They are mere legends, whose true meaning can only be guessed at. It can only be hoped that these are enough.
    Tale the First: The Mother's Wrath
    Though there are hundreds of folktales that speak of ancient Terrenus, only one of them ever references Yh'mi. Until recently, this was all most people knew of it.
    Tale the Second: The Last Stand of Inn-su
    This is the tale of Yh'mi's origin as recounted by the Order of the White Hand. They agree that some details of this version may be incorrect, but nevertheless take its words to heart.
    Tale the Third: The Sound of Wings
    This final hint at Yh’mi’s true history has been repeatedly found carved into ruins and artifacts discovered in Yh'mi, and translated with some difficulty. Its origin is unknown.
  5. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to King for a article, Black Ridge   
    Black Ridge
    Bisected from the remainder of the Black Range Mountain Chain by the Great Pine Barrens, the Black Ridge mountain cluster winds south where its rugged slopes feed into the south-eastern Barnstable Coast and South Sea. While lacking the glorious feats of elevation found elsewhere in the world, such as within Blaurg Mountain and its sister chain, the Black Range, Black Ridge still possesses an impressive view of Palgard to the west, the entirety of the Barrens’ separating blanket to the north, and Herbie’s bed to the east at its highest point.
    Black Range’s highest peaks are defined by Ormond (also known as ‘Spear Mountain’, or ‘Protective Bear’) and Chermona (also known as ‘Sacred One’). Located at the north of the band, at the outer most edge of the Barrens, Ormond boasts an impressive height of 31,000 feet (9889.8 meters) above sea level. His sister, Chermona, rests comfortably at the center of the range, several kilometers from her sibling, with a height of 37,000 feet (11277.6 meters).
    Mount Ormond
    Situated at the most northern point of the range's expanse, Mount Ormond poses an intimidating challenge for any who seek to breach Black Ridge’s boundaries by way of the Barrens. With unnaturally difficult slopes, drastic changes in atmospheric pressure and temperature, and one of the highest points in the entire cloister, many have come to plan their travels avoiding Mount Ormond, in spite of adding nearly three days’ worth of time to their journey.
    Even so, Ormond is deceptively beautiful. As a gateway into the Barrens, the precipitous behemoth serves as a focus for the swell of mystic and natural energies coagulating at its basin and seeping into the earth. These energies strengthen as they funnel up the mountain, only to be released into the sky as a series of vibrant, magical aurorae throughout the day.
    It is said that Ormond is also home to a steadily growing clan of elemental-worshiping trolls, known by locals of the Barrens as the I’ntua.
    Mount Chermona
    Mount Chermona stands tall and proud at the heart of Black Ridge, stabbing into the ocean of bubbling, stormy clouds above like an dagger of rock and soil. As turbulent storms – brewed by her brother’s aurorae – sweep south over the remainder of the range, they catch upon Chermona’s slopes and then climb to linger above her peaks. She, like the rest of the stout earthen array, is forever plagued by dark skies, savage winds, and snow and hale. These storms gather strength at Urae’s Rest, sometimes becoming preternatural super-storms, and at their pinnacle, may cast their shadow as far west as Moonwood, and as far east as the cities of Ashville and Last Chance.
    This perpetual sequence of storms secludes Black Ridge to utter darkness, wherein the name for the mountain chain is derived. And it is this terrible weather than has made Chermona the breeding grounds for unsavory, terrifying creatures such as: mountain and cave trolls, goblins, giants, archons, and mygalae.
    Urea’s rest
    The jewel of Black Ridge, sitting dutifully upon Chermona’s crown of black clouds and white snow, Urea’s Rest (also known as the ‘Heart of Black Ridge’, or simply ‘the Heart’) is a sanctum that very few know of. A nexus of magical power, energy comparable to that which emits from the Shawnee Glacier pours out from this mystical place and bleeds throughout the entirety of Black Range, promoting the seemingly unconquerable conditions through its death-zone. Here, temperatures plummet to an astounding negative -40° Celsius. Winds reach speeds up to 210 mph, which move sharpened fragments of ice and shale in a maelstrom of deadly debris.
    At the eye of the storm, a fragment of Urea’s egg remains. Over the millennia, the jagged crystal splinter has been reshaped and remolded by its own powerful energies, and is now nothing more than a sphere floating several meters off the snowy earth. Some say that to possess this crystal would give the wielder control over all dragons in the world, though this is simply speculation based off of folklore.
  6. Superlike!
    Etched In Stone reacted to supernal for a article, Guide to Canonization   
    What is the canon?
    The canon is the body of Valucre's lore. The end result of years of effort and collective, creative contribution from board leaders and site members. It is a living, breathing document that is constantly added to, updated and patched.
    As a disclaimer, in any threads goal or task oriented threads with an eye towards canonization (artifact threads, quest threads, etc), users that stop posting without warning should expect to have their characters minimally controlled in the interest of the overall story. 
    What is canonization?
    Canonization is how we approve and integrate relevant activities from players into the Valucre canon.
    Writing to influence canon is encouraged by Valucre's administration but isn't a requirement for most threads. It should not be thought of as an impediment to plots and characters that you want to write. It's merely an organizational tool board leaders use to maintain some degree of consistency in a game where improvisation and revision are standard tools in the kit. Many members can, and have, had a great deal of rich storyline and character development in threads spanning over a year or longer without seeking approval for canonization. Canonization should only be submitted if you are effecting a change to established lore.
    What are the requirements?
    Posts in the thread should be no less than 80 words for the purposes of influencing the canon. To canonize your thread, a canon post should be a summary of the events the thread contains which includes the below sections, and then send a private message to the appropriate board leader for their explicit review:
    A full summary: A full summary (1-3 paragraphs) must include all important details. Transparency is required here as anything not included is not considered approved. It may not seem fair but this is the most efficient way to handle a forum of this size, activity and still offer the level of creative freedom we do. A minor summary: A minor summary (2-5 sentences) should be included in the Summary as well as this is what will be included in the lore article.  Consequences and Opportunities:  Itemized list of the aftermath of your thread as well as at least one opportunity so  everyone who contributes gives others a chance to contribute as well. It is both allowed and becoming more common to do a Checkpoint post which canonizes relevant detail until that point and even the final conclusion of the thread while still allowing roleplay to happen after the fact.
    Example of final canon post: Dragons are forever
    Example of checkpoint canon post: What's up with Last Chance?
    What if I don't submit a canon request or it isn't approved?
    If you don't submit a canon request, then your thread is not considered canonized. Not every thread requires canonization to begin with, so this process does not apply for every potential action that a character can take.
    If your request is rejected, it means the same as not submitting a request to begin with. A board leader may reject your request outright, reject parts of your request and approve others, or approve your request on the condition that certain parts of the thread be modified.
    Why this whole process?
    The idea behind the canon process ties closely into user agency and the ability of players to protect works that they spent some amount of time creating. It allows them to decide what changes and how. It isn't about saying your content isn't valid unless rubber stamped, but about being able to track and organize substantial change to shared assets by hundreds of people over many, many years.
    In the past some members have felt a bit helpless in terms of impacting the lore, failing to realize that canonization isn't necessary to have a grand storyline.
    We've automated the process as much as possible to avoid unnecessary wait time. It allows board leaders to strike the balance between the freedom of the members to impact the setting and the ability of the creator of those settings to be able to shape the impact to some degree.
    And to roleplay themselves. Who wants to spend all of their time reading and none of it writing? Not me. Who wants a project they spent a year writing up and working on to be destroyed by the passing fancy of a member that spends a week on the forum and then vanishes? Same answer.
    Examples of actions that you can canonize:
    Completing a quest, which is the most common method of canonization. When completing quests, you must still generate an an RP opportunity for other members. Assassination of a canonically significant figure, which would require board leader approval and likely canon defense. Destroying, rebuilding or renovating an established business or organization. Amassing an army, making preparations for war, or other large-scale actions that would reasonably draw attention and likely canon defense.  Examples of actions that you don't need to canonize:
    Most slice of life type threads Assassination of an important figure in a personal plot (i.e. your character's mother where the mother is not a governor, etc) Your character's death (unless your character is an important figure). Destroying a ready-made (NPC made and destroyed at players discretion) town or village. Reasons why your request might be rejected:
    You exceeded Mild Powers rules. You introduced something incongruous to the local lore. The means does not justify the ends, i.e. the amount of effort undertaken does not justify your desired results. Using copy-written content (Sonic the Hedgehog, Goku, etc). Examples of roleplay opportunities: 
    Add a bounty for your player if they destroyed property or killed people Rebuild something that was destroyed / destroy something that was created Follow up on new information (names of people, cults, organizations, etc)  Who do I submit my canon request to?
    The board leaders of the appropriate section as listed in the world landing page.
  7. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to supernal for a article, Terrenus Creature Codex   
    This codex is not exclusive. Members can play races and creatures not included in this codex or create their version of them or create their own creatures as long as they adhere to Mild Powers. This codex is a collection of both user and staff submissions for races, creatures/monsters, and so on. These can be played as characters or interacted with as NPCs.
    If you choose to play as any of these note that capabilities described in their entry does not mean you'll be able to use the full extent of those capabilities in the canon, nor does it mean you are limited to those abilities or items. Play smart.
    I've added drop items to some of the creatures. I will do all rolls for drop items so contact me when you're ready to reap some rewards. The system is still 'beta' and subject to spontaneous change. The locations listed for each creature is just the primary or originating location, and is not to be taken as the only location you can encounter said creature/race.
    Races are federally recognized species. This means that they are accounted for on census data. 
    Terran Human Banjari - Various Fairy Kharn Moonwood Fairy Veldamari -- Selemath Minotaur (updated) Merfolk Vampyr (updated) -- Tia; Dark Forest; Haunted Glen CREATURES
    Creatures includes animal, plants, and sentient materials, and are distinct from races only in that that information about them is apocryphal. So humanoids that are fully intelligent and with complete cultures can belong to this classification if they aren't tracked by the government.
    Enrele (updated) -- Ponkapoag Lake; Dougton Figwidgett Gargoyle (updated) -- Blaurg Mountain Gwanu Umuir -- Various Ice Fairy Landshark (updated) -- Badlands; Wastelands; Forbidding Hills; High Desert Mahrjan Mandphia Mirror Sprite -- Mirrors! Oiche Duende -- Nomadic but frequent coasts and Blairville Palyopama - Frost Giants Pyrolisk - Hills of Noddendoddy; Blaurg Mountain; Coconino Marsh Rider Dragon Shadow Beasts -- Dark Forest Sphinx -- Hidden Valley Suujali (updated) -- Wastelands Torqhril nomads Terran Doppleganger (updated) -- Forgotten Wood Terran Mimic (updated) -- Dungeons; Caves Ulway - Amalia Yuuja - Tethys; South Sea Territories
    Yh'mi bestiary Bestiary Template
    The below is from Refrigerator's Bestiary Template, with whatever modifications I make along the way. 
  8. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to supernal for a article, Gaianism: A Quick Reference Guide.   
    What is Gaianism?
    Gaianism is a cosmic religion that celebrates and recognizes Gaia as the Supreme Diety; creator and mother to all things. Although many pagan and tribal religions share close parallels to Terran Gaianism, there are differences that help tell them apart.
    The earth itself is a symbolic, rather than a literal, manifestation of Gaia, a physical metaphor for something that cannot otherwise be conceived by mortal minds and that is the source of all life, creative thought, and positive energy. Gaia is an unseen goddess in that she has no face or permanent humanoid incarnation but her presence is deeply and personally felt among her followers.
    Modern Gaianism under Odin Haze is centrally organized with an internal hierarchy among its clergymen, and a rigorous set of rituals, practices and scripture.
    Gaianism precepts revolve arond peace, love, compassion and altruism but not blind pacifism. Gaians are raised believing that good flowers through the action of good and through the prevention of evil and so often are spiritually compelled to take a stand or oppose an evil influence.
    Very few derivative versions of Gaianism propose a version of an underworld where sinners are eternally punished. Most versions with a Hell also have it that the sinner can eventually pay the balance of his sins and ascend to a purer state or that the Executioner, not bound by physical laws, is able to extract penance from the soul directly and thereby cleanse it.
    Modern Gaianism also believes that Gaia can be found through a secular life and perspective, even if the observer doesn't recognize her, if it is one of pure dedication and discipline.
    What is an Unnatural?
    An Unnatural is a being whose existence is a perversion of life. Beings commonly classified as Unnatural are: Lichs, vampires, zombies, poltergeists (but not ghosts or spirits*), aberrations, some constructs**, and Outsiders***.
    Through the very act of existence, Gaianists believe that Unnaturals physically cause Gaia harm and damage shared quality of life. Unnaturals are often killed on sight, unless the Unnatural is able to prove that they walk a righteous path.
    Revivals almost always result in zombies, save for chances of extreme and random fortune, while true resurrections result in a a palatable existence.
    *Poltergeists are lives lost in the throes of intense negative emotion or through grotesque circumstances. The result is a spirit that formed of anger and sorrow, that can express itself only in rage and violence. Poltergeists are treated as any Unnatural, and are purged, exorcised, or destroyed on sight.
    Ghosts or spirits, on the other hand, are the unfortunately trapped soul of a deceased being. These things are not 'evil' by classification. Some are fully cognizant while others are little more than segment's of a person's life, playing in an infinite loop. Gaianists help these poor spirits move on and ascend to their rightful place with Gaia.
    **This depends on the nature of the construct, its composition, and its intent upon creation. Golems, for example, are common in Terran society. Golemists make complex mechanical contrivances. Gaianists make simple workers out of earth or clay. Either way, it is a fairly common practice.
    ***Outsiders are a gray area. Though they may not be evil or undead, they are invaders of the plane and their presence can have a destabilizing effect. Outsiders are treated more fairly than Unnaturals so long as they are amenable to being Shunted if they are dangerous, and are good aligned.
    How do Gaianists control the earth and what do they call it?
    Among the ranks of those indoctrinated into the faith, the art of controlling the earth is known as "the discipline". It is a branch of knowledge; a system of rules of conduct and methods of practice. Outside of the faith, it is colloquially known as earth-bending or geomancy.
    First one "unchains the mind". This looses the hold of the ego on the Self, forcing the disciple to question who they really are and what truly informs and shapes their character. When the mind is unchained the disciple realizes the subtlety with which all things are connected and the Way is exposed to him.
    The second step is "growing closer". Here, the disciple learns the techniques and methods that bring his mind, body and soul into harmonious resonance with the earth's hum. This serves the dual purpose of synchronizing and stabilizing the rapidly maturing connection between the disciple and the world around him.
    The third step is "learning". Here, the disciple is versed in the numerous mental exercises, physical forms, and spiritual strengthening that first enables them to extend their will and influence into the surrounding nature. It is at this point that the disciple also learns their strengths and weaknesses. The peaks and pitfalls of their character determine not just the skill with which they can wield the earth, but their aptitude in phase-shifting and cross-discipline manipulation.
    The fourth and final step is "the awakening". At this point, the disciple is fully realized. The discipline is never "mastered" and so must always be studied, but it is at this point that the disciple is considered competent in their geomancy.
    It is important to underline, once again, that this is a discipline. It is not magic and cannot be dispelled or interrupted by conventional means. Anyone can learn it. Even the secular or the wicked though by the time one reaches the final step it is not uncommon for the wicked to be balanced and the secular to touch agnosticism.
    How do Gaianists view death and the after-life?
    Life is a manifestation of Gaia. Death is nothing more than a transformation of this essence, with the dying spirit ascending to a new state in the cosmological cycle. Birth and death are endless cycles of rebirth and renewal; death is not feared, but simply accepted. Those dying are returning to her grace. When this natural cycle of life and death is altered or infringed upon it weakens Gaia, which is why Gaianists are adamant against the continued existence of the Unnatural.
    Lower levels of Gaianistic heaven are seen as illusion-traps, where the ego is made complacent with luxury and convenience. The highest level of heaven is one of unification with Gaia and complete dissolution of ego as one's emotions and experiences merge with Gaia's infinite expression.
    Odin Haze is the only known being to have gone with Gaia upon death and return with his self-identity intact. Odin states that this was no special feat of his own and that it would not be so if Gaia did not will it.
    What is the Gaian view of Necromancy?
    The misconstrued view of Necromancy is as a dark art whose very nature is meant to twist and pervert the natural order of things. This is a false view that follows the art thanks only to sensationalism around a small number that have used powerful necromancy towards terrible ends. The most infamous of which is Zengi, the witch-king, and his legion of Desecrators.
    No magic is inherently good or evil and necromancy is no difference. It is the art of manipulating life and it is only the manner and degree to which this is done that determines whether it is evil or good.
    Useful talents of a good necromancer involve preparing bodies for last rites, communicating with and exorcising spirits, blessings, rebuking Unnaturals, and Resurrections
    --Side-Note C1: When interviewed, Disterl Norvomand had this to say about Necromancy:
    “Let me guess. Besides being skeletal and moody, I bet you think all necromancers are murderous fanatics eager to turn everyone they meet into a zombie slave.
    "Death has this horrible reputation with mortals. We treat it like some unnatural abomination that needs to be avoided. Death, natural death that is, should be embraced. True necromancy isn’t about zombies and blight and darkness. It is the study and respect of life and death.”
    Death rites
    Cremation is the primary avenue by which Gaians deal with their dead, both as a means to thwart attempts by twisted necromancers to interfere with natural processes, and because of the spiritual perspective that see matter and energy as indefinitely and recyclable. From cremation ashes, creating fertile soil to grow plants or even take a part of the ashes to make an heirloom gem stone are common practices. Beside cremation Gaians also practice blessed burials, where the bodies are washed in holy water, the coffins affixed with holy symbols and interred in consecrated ground. Some especially devout forego the after-life and have their souls anchored into golems to guard temples and protect the faithful.
    What is the symbol of Gaia?
    In Terrenus there are two common modern symbols for Mother Gaia. One is a grand and glorious World Tree which signifies the love of life and peace shared by all Gaianists while simultaneously expressing the stability, strength, and the expansive scope of their faith.
    The other is a circle with thorns. The circle symbolizes the never-ending cycle of life while the thorns represent the martial aspect of Gaianists.
  9. Thanks
    Etched In Stone reacted to supernal for a article, Vampyr   
    Type » Humanoid: Aberration (Undead) Temperament » Neutral (Creatures that aren't outrightly aggressive but will attack if directly provoked, such as when their lives or territories are threatened). Formerly Aggressive.  Sapience » Complex Size » 5-7 feet Weight » 100-300 lbs Location » Cities of Terrenus; Tia Environment » Population centers; dark environments Organization » Single; packs Special Abilities » Blood drain Author's note: There are many different mutations of Vampire, ranging from the Bram Stroker Classic to the Modern Twilight spectacle. An endless variant of "type" can exist but what I seek to do with this article is establish the standard they deviate from. The following is an entry for the standard Terran vampire.
    The basic definition of a vampire is: "A cadaver who retains a semblance of life and can retreat from the grave." Under the Gaian religion vampires are the children of the Weaver, because they are 'static'/unchanging in 'life'.
    The vampiric affliction is supernatural in nature but spreads like a virus under specific conditions. The two requisites for the transference of the affliction is massive loss of blood and an introduction of the 'virus' when the organ systems cease functioning. The virus interrupts the death process, makes the body oxygen-independent, and shifts the biological system into a state of constant entropy that is halted, and reversed, only by the introduction of fresh blood, platelets and plasma. Vampires are compelled to feed but do not strictly need to. Starvation leads to emaciation and eventual insanity.
    The vampire feeds off of life-force, and the most accessible medium through which they can tap this energy is blood. Immature vampires (three centuries or less) need to drink blood to survive and are more biological entities than supernatural ones. Mature vampires (three centuries or more) are more supernatural entities than biological ones, are more in tune to their necromantic nature and can access life-force directly. They are capable of draining energy by contact (vampiric touch) and can influence others through enchantment.
    Both classes of vampyr come with distinct advantages and disadvantages. Immature vampires are more aesthetically pleasing in that they look "normal", hence are more capable of blending into society. They are physically repelled by a wider range of holy symbols, regardless of religious affinity as long as the wielder has faith. They are physically stronger and faster, much like adrenalized versions of their past selves.
    Mature vampires change physically and immediately on their 300th birthday. They lose all their hair, their fingernails grow to the size of claws and can function as such, their scleras blacken and their irises become a deep, hypnotic red. Mature vampires are afflicted only by the holy symbols of the religion of their culture, regardless of their personal belief. They are affected by holy energy rather than specific symbols of other religions. A mature vampire's strength is fueled by life-force, rather than their biology, and so they are capable of reaching levels of strength and speed not accessible to immature vampires or mortal beings.
    Both classes of vampire are weak against fire, will die if exposed to prolonged and direct sunlight, are allergic to silver, wild rose and hawthorn plant. Immature vampires are capable of sex for 16 hours after feeding. Neither class of vampire can enter a residence unless invited by the owner. Decapitation, immolation, and a wooden stake to the heart are the only known ways (besides sunlight) of killing a vampire.
  10. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to Pasion Pasiva for a article, The Orisian Vampyre (Homo Nocturnus)   
    Homo Nocturnus, the Orisian Vampyre
    The Orisian Vampyre, previously known as the Atitlan Vampyre (taxonomically homo nocturnus), is a subspecies of the traditional vampire often found in the folklore of the world. But while there are a number of similarities between the vampires of legend and their Orisian counterparts, there are also a substantial number of differences separating the two.
    Like most creatures of the vampiric domain, they subsist by feeding on the life force (generally in the form of blood) of the living. This is not limited exclusively to humans, however, though human blood is their preferred sustenance. Over the ages, vampyres have demonstrated that they can survive off the blood of animals and mythological creatures (demons, devils, nymphs, fairies, gods, angels, etc.), as well. Some are said to even be able to survive off the blood of other vampyres, a strictly forbidden practice as it is said to cause a severe mental deficit in those who consume vast quantities of vampyric blood. These creatures are called Crusnik.
    In addition to their feeding of blood, vampyres possess longevity far greater than that of even the most fortunate human, often times spanning thousands of years. The eldest vampyre in recorded history is over 80,000 years old, but is hardly recognizable. He or she appears as an oddly shaped slab of marble (most modern vampyres hardly believe it to be a living being, though it is said that a heartbeat can be heard once every ten years).
    This is because, as vampyres age and crest the higher echelons of existence, their skin begins to harden. Over time, the hardened portions of skin spread over their entire body, until they are encased in a marble tomb of their own flesh.
    Another trait unique to the vampyres is not the absence of a reflection, but the loss of it as they continue to age. The vampyre’s reflection first begins to mist, then blur, before it starts vanishing in sections. It is an extremely slow process, as Rafael M. Bartolome V’s reflection has only just begun to mist at the wholesome age of 1,300.
    Now, while this prolonged existence might give the illusion of immortality, vampyres do not live forever, as they are not undead (more on this below).
    Hand in hand with their age, vampyres likewise become more physically competent as the years pass. Already considered superhuman by modern standards, a vampyre’s strength, speed, endurance, durability, and accelerated healing factor significantly increased after their first century. This upward trend in raw ability continues throughout the ages, which has led to a staggering gap in terms of power between the species’ younger and elder generations, excluding the few rare exceptions.
    This correlation between age and power also translates to their more supernatural abilities, as well. Vampyres possess the ability to charm creatures of a  weaker constitution than themselves, a feat that becomes far more pressing the older they become. A vampyre’s hypnotic charm can manifest itself in two ways, the first being intentional. They can direct their influence into a subject at will and force them into submission, making their hypnotized victim believe or do what the vampyre wishes. The second is far more subtle and paired with vampyre’s striking good looks. As creatures of unnatural beauty and perfection, the vampyre is able to exert a subtle influence over sentient beings, encouraging them to believe what the vampyre says and agree with his or her suggestions.
    It is worth noting that as children of Tenebre, the Orisian vampyres possess a powerful affinity for the shadow realm and its various creatures, the Orisian shadow wolves (taxonomically lupus nocturnus) in particular. Though these savage creatures are almost impossible to tame, powerful and determined vampyres have been known to form unbreakable bonds with them, given enough time, as witnessed with the legendary alpha wolf, Lobo, and the vampyric elder, Rafael.
    Orisian Vampyres can also create other vampiric lifeforms through the sire process, though these creatures are undead. Vampyre blood contains significant healing properties when ingested by the living, the effectiveness determined by the quantity consumed. However, if a person consumes too much at once, or too much an extended period of time-- the human body can filter the blood completely over the course of several days --the infectious blood will hijack the body, killing it, and then reanimating the deceased into a vampire. Vampires “born” in this way are bound to their sire for all time, and incapable of disobeying an order given to them by their creator.
    Now, unlike their distant cousins or the sired vampires they create, the Orisian vampyre separates itself from the others in the fact that they are not undead. Created by the Dark Father, Tenebre, as opposed to some curse or dark magic, they are living, breathing creatures with the ability to procreate and pass down their genetic traits and secrets (e.g. the gold eyes of the royal DuGrace family, or the sapphire eyes of the Bartolome family). Still, this is not without its issues.
    The species has been known to suffer from devastating infertility issues, stemming from the lack of a royal pairing. This is not to be confused with hierarchal status, though those possessing the gene are elevated to rule over their fellow vampyres. A king and queen vampyre are two fully matured purebloods that possess a unique genetic trait that allows their bodies to create a specific, odorless pheromone that when paired triggers a chemical reaction in their bodies-- and the bodies of other purebloods that have been exposed to the pheromones --that drastically increases the sperm count in men, and the egg fertility in women.
    However, it is known that even without the royal pairing, vampyres have been able to procreate with other species, as well. Atitlan history has no shortage of accounts pertaining to dhamphirs (creatures that are half human, half vampyre), some of whom have gone on to hold important positions at the royal court. More recently, Irene Gabriela DuGrace, Black Queen of the Summer Isles, gave birth to a boy fathered by devil king of Patia.
    Being a living creature also comes with a myriad of other issues that are typically inconsequential to the undead. The Orisian Vampyre is at the risk of mortal injuries, including, but not limited to: poisoning, starvation, suffocating, drowning, decapitation, loss of blood, bludgeoning, and organ failure. They also possess a deathly allergy to the sun, though some have developed unique manners to which they can combat this.
    Religiously speaking, the Orisian Vampyres are not known to gravitate toward a single creed. While a great deal still hold loyalty toward their creator, the Dark Father, others have flocked instead to the Sitraic Faith led by their champion, Rafael M. Bartolome V. Others have chosen different paths, practicing well-known religions from the planet Earth, from which they all hail.
  11. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to Jesus Negro for a article, Aestus   

    Name: Aestus.
    Supreme SERAPHIM.
    Location: Renovatio.
    In temples and other sacred locales scattered all over Renovatio.
    The Celestial Body.
    Special Qualities/Abilities
    Cosmic Fire. Strength. Honorable. Passionate.
    Good (Lawful)
    Description: The herald of fire, strength, and passion, Aestus is also the bringer of Summer, which lasts for 90 days, and is the mother of Cancer, Leo, and Virgo.
  12. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to Jesus Negro for a article, Nahum.   

    Name: Nahum

    Type:Supreme SERAPHIM.
    Location: Renovatio.

    In temples and other sacred locales scattered all over Renovatio.
    OrganizationThe Celestial Body.
    Special Qualities/Abilities
    Cosmic, Armed combat, Charismatic, and a leader of men.
    Alignment:Good (Lawful)
    Description: Herald of war, courage, and Overlord of Qua`Xar. Nahum is also the father of Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius.
  13. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to supernal for a article, Ponkapoag Lake   
    This picture is open-source and labelled for reuse
    In prehistory, before the proper colonization of Terrenus when the people were still simple in make and mind, a meteor struck the land and left a crater 9,500 square miles. Time and nature worked in concert to fill the crater with water through endless seasons of rain and floodwaters and formed what is currently known as Ponkapoag Lake.
    Ponkapoag Lake is the largest body of water in Terrenus. The lake isn't very long or wide, but its depth is phenomenal. Inventing submarine technology for the very purpose of finding Ponkapoag's Bottom, the Terran government has gone over 20 miles deep and has yet to reach its goal. Despite this setback, their various expeditions have uncovered artifacts significant for the field of anthropology which provides insight into the history of the area. 
    Approximately one mile down, the walls fall away and then come back to form a ledge. On the ledge are homes with porous walls, filled with odd objects. Rangefinder cameras, film negatives, light bulbs and photographs float at this level - and only at this level. 
    Another mile down is the second layer. This area has the proper combination of atmospheric pressure and mineral concentration to provide an ecosystem for two types of flora. One is the marine algae known universally as seaweed. The other has no verifiable relation to any known plant species on Valucre. Bits of incongruous material are found in the pods of this plant, which match up in composition to whatever sediment is in the layer beneath it. 
    Another mile down is the third layer - folk tales from humanoid divers and sentient amphibian species both describe this area as being 'touched by the stars'. The remnants of the aeons-old meteorite which formed the lake can be found here. This metal was initially discovered 300 years ago but its exact location is a secret whispered among only those who belong to certain families. The pressure of the depth combined with the presence of lethal aquatic creatures provides an unpleasant obstacle to casual divers. A master diver could spend days, even weeks, in the lake before gathering enough of the ore to make a decently sized blade. 
    Silence: Miss Blonde with the help of a hired crew and a robot strike force murdered and enslaved a group of gypsies in order to have them harvest the precious metal known as Starmetal for them. Afterwards Miss Blonde ordered the taking of their children in order to keep them in line and not seek vengeance against her or her affiliates. Constructing a Stronghold: Taen Empire establishes a small defensive stronghold a handful of miles South-West from Ponkapoag Lake. A small town has grown to surround it. In need of a drink: In caves beneath Ponkapoag Lake, Ruiser comes across a group that has beaten him to an artifact, concluding their excavation of the Chalice of Jason. After much violence and subterfuge, Ruiser manages to take the chalice and escape, but one of them manages to give chase. From Ponkapoag to Tia and then Palgard, the two meet again and again. After speaking with a local prophet to gain an advantage, Ruiser finds that the way to win his battle is through words rather than warfare, and comes to an amiable agreement that allows him to secure the Chalice for himself. Gaian Academy: The Academy is on an island in the lake called Deepview Island To Ponkapoag: Due to the involvement of a scientist by the name of Dr. Asa, with the help of a few hired hands, in attempting to study marine life in Ponkapoag Lake, an odd race of aquatic extra-terrestrials awaken and spread out from the lake. Ponkapoag River
    This sinuous waterway cuts a path across the south-east quadrant, ranging from Ponkapoag Lake to the coast where it empties its mouth into the South Sea. Over 3,300 kilometers (2,050 miles) in length, the river has been measured to be nearly 4 kilometers (~2.5 miles) at its widest, with a depth of over 3 kilometers (~2 miles) in some regions. Ponkapoag River gives birth to a series of smaller rivulets, such as Timber Creek, and detours the industrial port-city of Palgard on its way to the coastline.
    Many nomadic tribes dwell near this river and claim that it holds mystical properties. Because of this, a wealth of folklore and myths surround it, and have since prehistory. As far-fetched as many of these stories seem, it has not stopped swarms of brave adventurers from flooding the nearby areas, eager in their search of the beasts and treasures sung about in fables and folk tales.
    Foolin' with a witch's brew: After following the rumors of Sable's sword, the Sisterhood of Witches and their orcs find the den of the hydra and ensnare the legend's monster for their own purposes. It is now a beast of the coven, though Sable's sword was no where to be found. Haunted Glen
    The haunted glen is quite literally a place where fears take physical form. The glen in its entirety is a fount of ectoplasmic and parametric energy which creates a feedback loop with any sentient psyche in the area to form a bespoke nightmare realm for any hapless trespasser.
    These schizophrenic perversions of reality can range from the subtle to the bold. When the shadows move of their own will sometimes it is to haunt the edge of sight, but other times its to cloak a predator, or to become a predator itself. Those with sensitivity to paranormal phenomena will find themselves more specifically targeted and acted on. Seeing the ghost of a loved one tortured for all eternity is a common delusion. In certain hotspots of the glen, the membrane between our realm and what the Gaian orthodoxy refers to as 'the spirit world' is thin. In this area necromancy is boosted; ghosts, poltergeists, revenants and specters of all kind are as well. 
    Chateau de Choisel Canon
    A dire housewarming: House of Choisel, a coven of vampires, establishes it's headquarters in the Haunted Glen. In spirit: Members of the vigilante group Justice act on information regarding the Ghost Pouch artifact, which leads them to the heart of the Haunted Glen. Once there, Justice infiltrates a spooky mansion, claims the artifact, gets stuck in, and consequently breaks out of, an illusion-loop, and manages to trap the creator of the loop in an oubliette, the location of which is known only to Justice. Justice leaves the Glen with artifact in hand. Haunted Promenade: The Ghost Pouch, once found in this Glen, has been procured. With the pouch gone, the strange aura of unearthly presence seems lighter. Sightings of spirits have diminished noticeably. Strange occurrences, such as the disappearances of local villagers, have lessened but not stopped completely. Striking the heart - The Haunted Glen: Armin, with the Rod of Peter the Dark in hand, arrives at the Haunted Glen at nightfall and meets with a demon by the name of Blind-One. Together, they summon an army of undead and make war against bands of possessed gargoyles and, after defeating them, Armin finishes amassing a small army (2,284 unnaturals, including 7 gargoyles and one Iselyrian ombra).
  14. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to CorpseHorse for a article, Timber Creek   
    File Code: GCT GA- 24
    File Title: Timber Creek. Survey and analysis report.
    File Author: Edward Hawthorne.

    Timber Creek

    Source: HDWallpapersinn

    Letter to Mr. Hawthorne
    Dear Mr. Hawthorne.
    It has come to the attention of the GCT (The Geographical Committee of Terrenus) that proper documentation, and information made available to the public, has been severely lacking on the location known as Timber Creek. Therefore, the committee has agreed to finance your survey and analysis request. Please find enclosed a check with the requested sum attached with this letter.
    Best of luck,
    Andre R Younger

    Excerpt from Journal entry # 1
    This journal will serve as a record of my personal experiences into Timber Creek, as well as the findings of my team for our expedition. On this 26 day of February within the year of our Saint Twenty Six, I, Edward Hawthorne, set out with my hand chosen team for the survey and analysis of the location known as Timber Creek.

    Timber Creek’s name is nothing short of well deserved, as the land consists of dense forest, small watercourses, ponds and lakes. To the south one will find the forest and watercourses to thin as they meet the harsh and dry climate of No Man’s land. To the east the woods of Timber Creek meet The Great Pine Barrens, while to the west one will be greeted by the rolling plains leading to the city of Tia. The area to north is best avoided, as Timber Creek and The Haunted Glen share more than just a border.

    Excerpt from Journal entry # 98
    As my team and I neared the southern border of The Haunted Glen, it became clear that we had come ill prepared, as our runic wards were swallowed by the growing shadows and fog. Tonic that had been gifted to us from the Gaian Academy only kept the mind invading nightmares at bay for mere moments. My team and I retreated back up the creek before setting up camp to rest, and it is only now that I can steady my hand to write on these pages.

    Photo taken with entry #98

    Source: Moddb
    The source of the Timber Creek draws its water from many outlying areas, the primary of which being all the way south towards Black Ridge. Other noticeable sources come in from the Great Pine Barrens and No Man’s Land.

    Excerpt from Journal entry # 243
    Though Timber Creek has many sources, it is interesting to note that the creek hardly ever detours from its namesake, only pooling up into small ponds, and upon recent discovery, one lake- of which there may be many more. Upon the start of our journey we did a brief survey of the lands around timber creek to further investigate the creek’s source. Nothing of note caught our attention near the Great Pine Barrens, but the source coming from No Man’s Land was indeed puzzling. Further investigation is suggested for this odd phenomenon, as water was observed as trickling in from desert rock faces and even the sand itself. My team and I would have investigated further, but alas, our destination was not No Man’s Land, for which I am grateful.

    Despite having two dangerous neighbors to the north and to the south, Timber Creek boasts beautiful scenery all throughout its landscape. Some locations provide enough peace from dangerous creatures to support small communities.
    Settlements and Inhabitants.
    Timber Creek has a very large highway between Tia and Ashville that intersects the highway from Ashville to Palgard, thus it is not uncommon to meet all manner of traders and travelers when traveling the road. Just off the highway one will find the usual tavern, inn, and even small communities and settlements, but the deeper one travels into Timber Creek, the less likely one will find the hospitalities of the civilized world. Just like any undeveloped and unsecured location in Terrenus, caution should be advised to citizens who travel off the main roads, as taken from the Journal of Mr. Hawthorne, there are dangers that lurk deep within Timber Creek.
    Not all is dangerous, however, should one stray from the path of the highway. One very popular tavern lies within Timber Creek, should the wanderer find their legs more weight than they can carry. The Dragon’s Gut, run by one Julia Thunraw (an orc woman), is refuge from the elements and dangers of Timber Creek.
    Photo taken with entry #132

    Source: Fairytalefanon

    The Dragon’s Gut.

    ~Room and board~

    Proprietor – Julia Thunraw

    Location – East of the Timber Creek Highway, between the Haunted Glen and the Great Pine Barrens.

    Excerpt for Journal entry # 132
    After so many taxing experiences, it is with great relief and comfort that I write this entry. My team and I now find ourselves within the warm shelter of a tavern known as The Dragon’s Gut. I find myself at peace amongst even this small portion of civilization, despite the fact that the patrons seem to be of the less than reputable sort. Though the owner (one very tall and very muscular orc woman) had put me at ease with her straightforward and strong nature, she threatened one of my team, as he had become disorderly from the drink. She stated, very flatly, that if I didn’t get him under control, she would crush his head with her large… chest. I’ll admit that I was terrified by her masculine size at the time, but I cannot help but chuckle as I write this entry.
    Note: Suspend drinking rations for Thomas Hartford for the remainder of our journey, or until he proves himself capable of restraint.

    The wildlife in Timber Creek remains quite tame along the highway that runs through it, but deep exploration should be avoided. Documented reports tell of all manner of beasts roaming the landscape- the reports worsening in severity the further north the reports originate from.

    Excerpt Journal entry # 102
    A Body Snatcher. A Gaia, damned Body Snatcher! We thought we had made a fair distance from Haunted Glen, but one of those disgusting creatures still made its way up the creek! We had paused our journey for a quick swim, but situations as well as the wildlife seem keen to keep us from enjoying ourselves as of late.

    Noted Excerpts.

    Excerpt from journal entry # 116
    It is with great sorrow that I put this pin to paper, as we have lost one Jacob Hoffman to an unknown entity within an abandoned town. Upon our approach the town appeared deserted, as no one answered our calls, save for the echo of our own cries into the fog. We elected to set up camp in an abandoned warehouse. I know not when Jacob left our group that night, but the scream that met our ears was not meant for mortals to hear. Upon our arrival to where we heard him last, the only thing that was there to meet us was a floor stained crimson. His scream still haunts me, as it still pierces my being this day, even as I am protected by the light of the sun. Gaia rest his soul.
    I have reconsidered this expedition, but my men give me courage to press on. I am truly lucky to have such brave souls at my side.

    Photo taken with entry # 116

    Source: Moddb

    Excerpt from Journal entry # 158
    There seems to be a silent battle ragging on in Timber creek. On one side there is the beauty that Gaia has bestowed upon the land in all its glory, and on the other lies the shadows and nightmares that I can safely assume are trickling in from Haunted Glen. Just this morning my team and I took rest near a small pond in the shade of the leaves,

    Photo taken with entry # 158

    Source: 1ms

    but when nightfall came I stumbled upon a very disturbing shack by the creek. I managed to snap a picture before leaving, but cannot help but regret it as the scene grips my heart with a haunting air. I relish the thought of leaving this place, yet hope to return one day- if for nothing else than to hear Julia from The Dragon’s Gut sing again.

    Second photo taken with entry # 158

    Source: Destructoid
  15. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to supernal for a article, Mild Powers   
    Valucre is a mild powers forum.
    We allow the use of powers, abilities, magic, etc. but limit their ceiling to keep the site relatively balanced. Wiggle room for outsized impact exists but is almost always for the sake of collective story, not aggrandizing a single character. A new member who joins Valucre with a balanced character and sees someone cleaving mountains in half might feel pressured to beef up their character in response, but as combat is always optional, this isn't required. As a site Valucre seeks to emphasize character development over ability or power development. If you would like a loose framework to follow along with check out Flow and Fiero in Freeform Roleplay.
    As a free-form site, we don't manage rank or stat based systems for development. Instead we ask members exercise prudence and emphasize narrative when choosing abilities to navigate the fantasy setting of Valucre. Given the wide scale our below mild powers examples establish, we care more about regulating the end result or consequences of powers than their origins or types. Our Character Creation Guide can give you some direction if you find yourself at a loss and want suggestions as to what we think makes for effective character creation.
    As mentioned earlier combat is always optional and requires both declaration and consent. As long as it is stated and agreed upon by both players, any system can be used to resolve an in-character conflict. Examples include collaboration (staff recommended), coin flips, dice systems, and so on. If players agree to combat but can't agree on a system, the default is the Mostly Orchestrated Battle System. Alternatives include the Terrenus Dice System, among any of the various homebrew systems that you can find or create. 
    When in doubt, following the philosophies outlined in Roleplay Etiquette will steer you in the right direction.
    Mild Powers - history and examples
    In its historical context mild powers was "somewhere in between" the poles of Realistic Melee and Power Characters. The former allowed only realistic characters, abilities, weaponry, and the latter allowed concepts which tend to be more about power gaming than telling a story. There's a lot of room on the spectrum between those two poles and so it should come as no surprise if what you consider mild, or even just plain serviceable, varies from what someone else does. When in doubt talk with your partners and come to a consensus on what makes something interesting vs what deflates all tension.
    The below is not an exhaustive list, just examples:
    Examples of forbidden abilities
    Excessive temporal manipulation ("Haste" is often Mild; time travel often isn't) Large scale reality manipulation (at a small scale this is just a different flavor of "magic") Creation of black holes or other celestial / astronomical bodies or phenomena Attacks that manifest instantly or otherwise don't allow a character to react to them Indestructible weapons, armors, unstoppable magic, infinite or impervious items, etc Examples of generally disallowed abilities (can be used for NPCs or collaborative story purposes)
    Soul stealing or manipulation (some writers don't believe in, or make use of, souls in their writing but for others it can be a pivotal aspect hence the "allowed for story purposes" designation) Manifesting an attack inside of another person ("blood bending" is an example of where you want to make sure the player is fine with it) Automatic mind-control (vs attempted) Teleportation and other "instantaneous" abilities or actions "Magical scanning" or otherwise being able to meta-game knowledge about another user Examples of allowed abilities
    Enhanced senses Augmented physical and mental abilities Psionics (telekinesis, telepathy, pyromantic, etc, all dependent on the scale) Magic (spells, runes, hexes, voodoo, etc) Amplitude
    For storyline purposes, large scale attacks are allowed within reason. World- or continent-destroying attacks will essentially always be disallowed; city-busting is sometimes feasible depending on the effort and activity leading up to this as well as obtained permission and coordinating of plot; and the destruction of a building or buildings is usually considered the upper limit of a character or group of characters.
    Someone inevitably fixes on the fact that "building" is a generic term and fail to realize that the term is kept generic on purpose. A single story home and an apartment high rise are both buildings, but are clearly not equivalent in size. In general the takeaway is that as a player you should be prepared to put in a considerable amount of work to destroy depending on what went into making the item. Contributors can work for years building up conceptual sand-castles and don't want to see them destroyed in a turn or two even if they are open to conflict.
    Abilities are judged primarily on their destructive or constructive potential, or the scale on which they apply, as opposed to their complexity. Stopping a boulder mid-flight and pushing it away is less complex than turning it to sand but both work on a similar scale and essentially accomplish the same thing.
    Creator: supernal
    Editors: traxien cion, supernal
  16. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to supernal for a article, Dark Forest   
    This picture is open-source and labelled for reuse
    The Dark Forest
    The heart of the Dark Forest isn't easily accessible. The Black Range provides a formidable obstacle on one side, and the powerful amnesia-inducing effects of the Forgotten Wood make it as challenging to cross.
    Though the degree of pitch will vary depending on the location, direct sunlight has never been directly observed in the forest. In some places it is perpetual dusk, in others more like a clear night light by the full moon. In other places the dark is utter and complete, admitting no light from a torch even though the flame crackles and burns. There are places where even magical light and arcane vision fail. 
    Whether the darkness is the work of some forgotten wizard, the disastrous fallout of some clash between mighty forces, or some unnatural phenomena, is an ongoing topic of debate and remains unclear. Regardless, all creatures of the night have been known to take refuge here, and build small communes and villas away from the sun-washed cities and plains. Flora and fauna have adapted to the darkness in startling ways. 
    Nightburst - A flower with a bright orange bud, white petals, and purple stripes along the stalk and underside of the petals. If eaten whole, bud, stem, and root, the nightburst modifiers the consumer's vision so that night is like day, and day is like night. Its effects take a minute to activate and last for an hour.  Chaos - 10% chance that the effect lasts for 1 week instead The Dark Forest is one of two places that is theorized to house the fabled iron Rod of Peter the Dark. The other is the Forgotten Wood.
    The Cedars
    The Cedars is an unlucky place. Were it not for the fact it is surrounded by areas that were subject to intense arcane experimentation, it would be just another pleasant deciduous forest with pretty leaves. Instead, the color of the leaves, and the time of season mark changes in the flow of magic. Recently found historical documents point to the Cedars as having been planted to prevent the virulent Dark Forest from spreading all over the face of Terrenus. 
    In spring, mana arrives from the Forgotten Wood, and with it memories that were devoured by its power. Travellers who rest in the Cedars during this time have dreams and nightmares lost by others long ago. Most of the time they are mixed and nonsensical, but they are always vivid and distressing. Consuming fruit from the trees that grow during spring can change a person, inflicting recollections that are not their own. In summer, the Hidden Valley warps the Cedars, causing relative distortions in visibility. To certain people, certain people and objects disappear—sometimes forever. It's entirely random, and navigating the Cedars during summer becomes an effort in frustration; it has caused enough unwary travelers to accidentally stumble into unintended consequences. In autumn, it's changed by the Forbidding Hills, where the superstitious claim the spirits of the fallen flock to reenact their battles. Beasts from the Black Range, the Hidden Valley, along with Unnaturals from the Forbidding Valley, and adventurers in the vicinity fight terrible and bloody battles for no apparent reason. Some say it's why the leaves turn red, from the blood and not the change in season. In winter, when the trees are barren and snow covers the ground, the Dark Forest has its turn. The lights dim, they due to a dense fog that forms over the Cedars. Within it, some of the nocturnal creatures of the Dark Forest crawl out to feast on the leftovers or drag them back to their lairs, usually erasing any evidence of what happens. History
    Two years ago, two mercenary groups were chartered for an expedition into the Cedars: Antebellum from Ashville and the Killmasons from Last Chance. In spring, the Killmasons' rations ran out and, too proud to ask the other group, they partook of the Cedars' fruit and had dreams of treachery. When summer came, and members of their group seemed to disappear, they blamed Antebellum and fought to the death.
    Antebellum won the season, but when autumn arrived, they were further beleaguered by the constant battles. Unable to escape, their camp became a fortress. Since everything was busy fighting everything else, they only had to deal with a few incidents of attempted murder. When winter came, they scavenged corpses of creatures for anything edible, and waited out the winter.
    During winter, Chrissy, the wife of the leader of Antebellum was caught outside the fortress in the fog. She was dragged into the Dark Forest by a giant spider. Four skilled warriors were sent after her: Shahe, Orzo, Soba and Mafalde. They were not heard from again until recently.
    After the first year, the fortress became a bastion for the lost, and saw further development by HERB (the Historical and Ecological Research Branch), into the community now known as Clearview. Antebellum is now the Clearview militia, and they help those who have become victims of any of the nearby landscapes. Its population is almost entirely amnesiacs.
    The second winter saw the return of Chrissy, Shahe, Orzo, Soba and Mafalde, but they were no longer the same, transformed into arachnethropes—spider people. And they refuse to leave. They sit outside Clearview, preaching bizarre gospel, but haven't caused anyone harm yet.
    Mafalde's husband, Reed, can be found in any temple or tavern in Valucre, searching for cures to Mafalde's condition.
    Fright Night: Tormo, a large town, has been raided for its gold and resources by Dredge and his allies. Securing their riches and slaughtering the people, Dredge has won the day and has taken liberated prisoners with him while leaving only a burned husk in his wake. Hail to the kings: Dredge's legion arrive at a mountain known to host a goblin village. After using his mercenaries as cannon fodder and bait, Dredge lured the goblins out and engaged them in large-scale combat. After a show of force, magic was used to calm the goblins and subdue their population. A new world to burn: An amnesiac Dredge was summoned to Terrenus for reasons unknown. On arriving he was confronted with a village which proved easy prey. Other evil entities flocked to him and they formed an alliance to crush all who oppose them. Heroes came to stop them and were able to push them back into the shadows but not before the villains wiped out the village. Phantom Light: A lone adventurer fights his way to the heart of the Dark Forest, where in he obtains the fabled Rod of Peter the Dark. Return to the Dark Woods: A little girl is seen wandering into the woods, and then an army of malignant flesh monsters wandering out of it. The removal of the Rod once more lifts some of the darkness, but repeated strain has broken the forest even further, making it an even darker, more chaotic magical zone. The Fall of the Dark Forest: A powerful necromancer, seeking to expand the reach of his kingdom, launches a week-long campaign against the Forest. As a result the forest been possessed by ever more malignant spirits, reanimated corpses, and the foirest's native darkness has grown blacker and more pernicious. A Walk in the Woods: Armin acquires the an artifact, Rod of Peter the Dark. Although the unnatural darkness does not leave the forest, the forest is visibly lightened, indicating that the Rod's presence attributed to its supernatural conditions.
  17. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to amenities for a article, Tia - obsolete 2019-03-03   
    As of 2019-03-03 and the events in destruction des morts, Tia is defunct as a mega-city. It is playable only as ruins / partial infrastructure and has been removed from the map

    Source: TylerEdlinArt

    Themes: Modern Tech - Steampunk - Dystopian - Mild Powers 
    Regent Patriarch: Serafino Heretic Dolos
    Contact: amenities
    Tia has always been a precarious dichotomy of order and chaos between humans and vampires. In recent months, tides have shifted from human rule over to vampire. The former humanoid ruler, Nica Sero, has been taken prisoner by vampires of the Dolos and Matton families. These relatives of the former Viscount of Tia now claim rule over the empire. Suspicion in Sero’s ways keeps even humans from questioning why he was deposed. The kingdom has fallen to warring malaise its wake, deprived of its illusory peace and determined to place the blame on somebody’s shoulders.
    Tia was built on a point of convergence between rivers, creeks, and glens; sodden ground at the surface, but finds stability deep in Valucre’s crust. Pipelines and mining floors reach from there into the mantle in order to harness its heat and fossil fuels as energy. These steel behemoths of Tian industry are draped with brambled foliage and shredded fabric. Ground level Tia resides atop one slab of granite and one of steel. Five pumping rigs larger than any on the face of the planet dot the city with enclosed and guarded vents and shafts that access their underground mines. It is neither known how far down the mines stretch, nor what goes on beneath the -5th story (Classified). Stretching kilometers into the sky beside these monoliths are the many newly sprouting corporate offices and residential towers.
    Proximity to Surrounding Locations
    Ponkapoag River: North ~25 miles Haunted Glen: North-East: ~40 miles Ponkapoag Lake: North-East: ~230 miles Timber Creek: East: ~30 miles Black Ridge: South-East: ~300 miles Palgard: South: ~400 miles. The distance is staggering on foot, manageable on horse. South Sea: South-West: ~870 miles Moonwood: West: ~270 miles Ignatz: North-West: ~710 miles Cityscape
    Having begun as a black mark between Moonwood and the Haunted Glen, Tia stands a story of redemption and failure. Its roots lie in the darkness of the Desecrater era long past and stem through an uncertain age ruled by primal, warring creatures under the thumb Northern vampiric rule. After ages of tumult, a calm overshadowed the city so that it enjoyed the juicy fruit of industry, recreation, diverse social acceptance, and enlightenment.
    The idea that the city was a safe place under the Sero regime has aged poorly. Humans lost trust in regent Nica Sero in light of news that he had been facilitating human trafficking with vampire nobles in order to maintain his own rule. The insidious ruler had been using blood magic to lure his victims into the city’s shadows, utterly decimating the humanitarian image he had fostered during the campaign that won him control over Tia. Nica Sero was a nefarious circuit of mysteries that neither vampires nor humans saw fit to rule any longer, but his experience dealing with the city’s complexities made him valuable. For this reason, Dolos vampire rulers did see fit to keep him prisoner and advisor, a palorous representative of palorous human interests in Tia.
    Copper City demands redemption from its old, but new and demonic tyrants.
    Tia is humid! Snow does not fall in the winter, but instead a most pleasantly rainy atmosphere surrounds the city. The summer heat has its citizens loosening ties and unbuttoning buttons. Spring and fall carry a variance between the cool winters and the warm summers, commonly rain, and a highly dense fog. The muggy air feels still these days, stagnant with death and fear.
    Flora and Fauna
    The vast majority of Tian vegetation lies on the outskirts of the main city, where the expected spectrum of life thrives in a sufficient expanse of forestry and farmland capable of supporting such a metropolis. There wander into town a multitude mysterious creatures, however, due to its proximity to the Black Hills, the Haunted Glen, Moonwood, and the Lake. The number of incoming abnormalities are bolstered by vampire rule.
    Body snatchers: Nasty and hive-minded, these alien buggers were awakened by expeditioners in Ponkapoag Lake and are known to take over minds.
    Ghouls: With the increase in vampire presence and an open acceptance of their power, much of the human population who refused to leave has been converted to slack jawed ghouls. These zombie-like demis are created when a Dolos or Matton vampire sires an impure human (ie: a human who has lost their virginity) and will attack anything that has yet to be sired.
    Drawn from the many very different surrounding areas Tia’s population began about as diverse as it comes, and not necessarily peacefully. As time went on and many factions warred for power both over and under the table all beneath the shifty rule of vampires with heavy thumbs, someone meticulously planned the bringing together of all its people.
    Vampires were overthrown, then the next party, to make way for a politically sound gathering which, combined with spiritual techniques from across the face of Terrenus and a merciless militarization of law enforcement, brought Tia’s diverse wealth together as one. Clans who saw fit to victimize others were crushed or employed by a less niandrotholic, more business-oriented corporation run by city government. At least, this was the facade maintained by the last government.
    Under the layer of ignorant joy settled over much of the population frothed discontent. Vampires were cast as evildoers on the surface world, even though they had just led a largely peaceful rule over humans. The propaganda that unseated them was written by human hands that were bloody with its own kind: Nica’s officients selling children and women to underground blood banks to sate vampires who would otherwise rise up. When vampires realized they could prosper just as well without the support of the human regime, they rose up.
    Led by the Dolos first and second the Mattons, now Tia is a vampire haven imbibed with pockets of powerful human resistance. While many humans are victim to the attacks, a sect of them called the Rooks carries blessed ammunition with which to dispose of the vampire threat called X. Caliber.
    For what could be referred to as somewhat of a golden age of industry, Tia had established itself as a Terran powerhouse of steel and steam to be reckoned with. That was before commute became a matter of risking one’s life. Before a sword maker had to worry he might be stabbed with his own product.
    Now the steel behemoths of Tian industry are draped with brambled foliage and shredded fabric that blows in the ghostly breeze.
    Fauxton: Synthetic protons attach to and break down matter, then are shot from one Fauxton receiver to another at near light speed using line of sight. Living beings can be transmitted through the Fauxton, but will experience almost debilitating discombobulation.
    Thanks to the Fauxton being indigenous to Tia, most businesses in the city have unlimited access to their own Fauxton receivers. Because of this, shipping any business materials is easiest inside of Tia. Fauxton rentals are available from most city vetted Tian companies for a reasonable price.
    Companies, institutions and locations
    Barry’s Bears and Toys for Girls and Boys: A toy factory that toils day in and day out to produce an enormous stock of children's toys and products from hairbrushes, cradles and onesies to action figures, dolls, bicycles and squirt guns. Boarded up: Barry has fled to Aspyn in search of refuge from war. Full Deck Dock: The Full Deck is an extravagant Casino Boat that docks in Casper, Last Chance, and Tia. The Full Deck is presently out of commission, its dock deemed unsafe for human purposes. Gardens Inc.: A clandestine gathering of gnomes who are able to cloak themselves from visibility and deal heavily addictive brain drugs that inflict nasty withdrawals and have led to deaths. This business has experienced a booming in underground illegal activity with the fall of the Sero regime. Girdy’s Girders: A massive steel mill that produces the majority of Tian steel and steam products. Customer demographic includes the outlying villages of Tia and contracts thrive with multiple industries and transportation corporations across Terrenus. Girdy has been taken prisoner, half of her profits given to the Dolos family in order to increase its wealth and tighten its hold on the crippled Tian industry. Highway Wicked Gang: Biker gang composed mostly of vampires who keep some very poorly educated trolls (called the Trolls of Doom 'n Gloomy) as servants in an outpost on a pathway from Tia to Ponkapoag Lake. Now the chugging of their motor vehicles fills the outskirts of Tia as they rove the streets and pick off unwitting innocents. Jidoor Hall: The largest and most popular of inns and taverns for those non-natives in Tia. Rising five floors and filling nearly an acre of ground space, with a courtyard filled with activity at all hours of the day. A small attache of Problem Solver has been posted around the Hall to maintain peace between all races. Those who can afford it go here for a break from the prejudices of the rest of Tia. Priscilla's: A massive department store, connected to its manufacturer, for home goods and appliances, clothing, perfumes and colognes. Boarded up: Priscilla’s owner, Girdy, is imprisoned in the Black Tower. Riverside Park: The first government created, maintained, and operated park in Terrenus. It is the greenest place inside the walls of Tia, and numerous Dryads and mystical creatures live in this mecca of foliage. A few wonderfully sculpted buildings (such as the gazebo pictured above) also dot the park. Vampires enjoy this area too, so it has remained largely untouched. Steamgear Clan: Gang of trolls known for abducting Tian citizens in the nighttime hours of Tia's poorer districts. Facing ostracization and death if they did not defect to either the huma or vampire side of the Tian conflict, Steamgear has taken up the vampire mantle and serves as a detachment of cronies for the Matton family. The Bleeders: The Bleeders are a large and violent gang that dwell largely in the poorer areas of Tia, where they terrorize and rob the citizens and attempt to expand their grip across Tia. Their bases are several abandoned factories, airships, and an old train. They have joined forces with the Rooks in order to survive The Rooks: A mercenary organization who rose from the ranks of government security officers displaced by the Blastice riots in Tia. There are thousands of members spread in fortified pockets throughout the city, but the Rooks’ loose lower hierarchy prevents an accurate census. Due to this, their fighting skills and specialties range across the board in terms of strength and quality. Two commonality all Rooks have, however, is an unbreakable loyalty to the former Nica administration’s values of human-vampire equality and a trust in X Caliber’s ability to dispel unholy beings such as vampires and others who use evil magic. Tia Rail Station: The Tia Rail Station is in ruin. Creeks and clanks of steel signify a quick end in this gloomy abandonment, as it has become a frequent gathering place of vampire punks and demi-human gangs.  
    Local government
    General Advocates Office and Justice Courts (GJAC): Once the symbol of law in Tia, the GAJC is now the site of capital punishment for what? Being human. A Dolos vampire satirically dons the garb of a judge while captured humans are brought before him. All are convicted of the crime of humanism, eaten, and carted off site. The Watch Fort: A huge reinforced monolith, the Watch Fort was once the home of the Tian Problem Solvers, the main protectors and enforcers of the law. Now it is a shell of itself, locked down and dark in the windows, which even vampires have failed to breach. What goes on within the former military barracks is a mystery. The Black Tower: This is a tower juxtaposed against the brilliance of the Watch Fort. It is a dark place from which a devilish mage once puppetized most of the city including his clone, Nica Sero. Once the throne from which Cain Rose laughed down on Tia, now the Black Tower is a residence for the Serafino Heretic Dolos, Patriarch of Tia. Serafino Heretic Dolos: Patriarch of Dolos, Matton, and Tian vampires. Federal government
    Embassy (located beneath Watch Fort): There are quarters and offices in the Watch Fort that housed federal agents both on the move and stationed in Tia. Who survives here— if anyone— is a mystery, but whoever it is will have been locked in the recesses of the establishment for months now.  
    Nichole School of Magick: A symbol of amnesty between serving regent Nica Sero and his past political competition with the Nichole family, this fine institution sculpts the youth of Tia wondrously in the art of all magicks and the defense against them, especially healing. Scholars still frequent Nichole School of Magick for its gated fortitude against the vampire hoards who have taken over the city.  
    Notable Residents
    Gertrude Verdance: Wealthy business owner and investor, owner of Girdy’s Girders and Priscilla’s. Girdy is kept prisoner in the lower levels of the Black Tower. Jackson Crawtervane & Solis Colgan: Partners in crime and leaders of The Bleeders, Jackson and Solis are constantly on the move and hence extremely difficult to track. They can usually be found in one of the Bleeder bases or causing mischief in the poorer parts of Tia, liberating human prisoners from vampires. Jonothon Oaxaki (owa-ha-ki? Symphonic prodigy rising out of the copper-mining district, performs at the Jidoor Hall on Tia's most popular evenings for music patrons, Sundays and Thursdays. Oaxaki is one of the only humans able to live lavishly in Tia. The Dolos clan, largely appreciative of their arts, provide Jon a compound in Northeastern Tia with human security of his choosing should lesser vampires encroach on his protected status. The Black Stripes: Vampiric Terran rock duo Jesse Black and James Black, who made their notability recording garage-style folk rock out of a small home Weland, now reside in the southwestern quadrant of Tia. Their music glorifies the killing of humans as something punky and cool. Dr. Theodore Amantis: Innovative physicist and engineer responsible for the creation of the Fauxton, a transportation technology native to Tia. Nica Sero: Former regent of Tia who surfaced out of the turmoil of the past vampiric regime’s fall. His history is not well known and his family is kept well from public view. He has a crazy relative of some sort who lives in a tower outside of town. This relative was recently exposed to be the puppet master of Nica Sero, Cain Rose. Cain fled with the Problem Solvers, vowing his vengeful return one day. Serafino Heretic Dolos: Vampire Patriarch, acting ruler of Tia. Karalanos (Karl) Matton: Confidante of Serafino Dolos, second-in-command. Brutal vampire who lives off of blood both in physical and emotional terms. May Dolos: Mysterious vampire girl of an unknown race. Harnesses a werewolf-like power but affects others the same as a vampire would.  
    Social Temperature
    Tia, the pinnacle of mechanical engineering in Terrenus, now seethes with trouble. Between steam technology and the manufacturing of steel, Copper City appeared to be on the rise for the past decade. The state of the city, however, is not all it appears to be.
    Vampires viewed Tia as a city that was stolen from them. With the expansion of Gaianism, races like them who were less cohesive with its ideals began falling to the wayside. After a slow rise of resistance to their authority, benevolent vampires fell from positions of authority when a drug was introduced into the city’s water supply which drove vampires to bloodlust and deemed them unfit to justly rule Copper City. Since then, the vampires have plotted their revolution.
    Afterwards, a more human-favoring ruler shifted public opinion against vampires. Humans and other humanoid races now find themselves on one side of a divide of hatred and mistrust between vampires and humans. Humans raid blood banks (voluntary blood donation centers for vampires) and distribute .X Caliber bullets- blessed silver made for killing vampires- for regular arms, sparking a giant mechanical arms race in Tia. Vampires attack humans with a new understanding of, and resistance to, holy magic. Fringe races such as goblins, ogres, and trolls must prove themselves friendly through overt acts of hatred toward vampires or be subject to the same prejudice.
    Who sits at the top of Tia’s uneven power duality changes with the whims of the wicked wind, but one thing is certain: it is always a fight. Whether the rest of the city likes it or not; elves, trolls, dwarves, and demi-humans of all proportions are dragged into the conflict between the two. Which side one is on tends to be a larger topic of discussion than where one works or what they do for fun.
    Likely encounters:
    Vampire-on-human attacks in the middle of the street after dark. Human-on-vampire raids into dark buildings and underground passages. Destroyed blood banks. Opportunities: Ally yourself with vampire force, further their cause. Ally yourself with human force, further their cause. Find faction leaders, merchant bosses, and noble families and gain leverage. Establish arms trade and/or development with human factions. General attacks on government buildings and blood banks. Figure out what happened to the shop owners. Figure out what happened to Nica Sero. Establish your business ventures in the vacuum created by vampiric revolution. History
    Destruction des morts: The Dead destroys Tia, taking several businesses, seventeen (17) Tia issue Faux-ton receivers, the Rooks, Nica Sero, 50,000 children and nearly 11,000 Problem Solvers to a waylay point near the Haunted Glen to be transported elsewhere. Nichole School of Magick escapes Tia and heads for Aspyn, a beacon of safety in Northwest Terrenus. Feurerkonig is dead and Cain has his head. Lilith goes for the Crown of Asteria. Koji's arm turns into an exploded meat log and he leaves. Serafino Dolos survives with a small horde of his Dolos and Matton vampires, but infected with the malignant Maleficence. The surviving clan adapts to a new taste for blood of both nonvampires and vampires. The blood of a nonvampire is empowering as always, but the blood of a vampire offers new and even higher limits. As such, a new dynamic of subversive paranoia exists among these surviving vampires. Carpe Noctem: Dove is guided to a gathering of vampires planning a strike on a human rally. At the gathering, Karna finds himself allied with human sympathizing mercs called the Rooks. Antique finds herself objectified as an icon of evil, and is saved by a vampire girl who then flies her to the dwelling of Cain Rose. Antique finds Cain has been controlling the city’s leading officials and illegally selling human blood to vampires in order to maintain power. Dove and Heretic confront Cain with mayor Nica taken as prisoner, seeing Tia change ownership and now belong to the vampires and unnaturals once again. The Rooks and several human forces, however, remain strong in the name of the former regime, using and distributing blessed X Caliber weaponry. Traffic Control - The Highway Wicked: Apache and Nasreen beat out a The Highway Wicked Gang in Haunted Glen in order to secure a trade route between Tia and Ponkapoag Lake. Cut Out The Heart: An enchanter (Tegrash) hires a group to travel with him to the Haunted Glen to gather rare spell components. Teg unintentionally starts a riot which his hirelings quell and Teg is banned from Tia. The group still manages to gather the components in the Glen and deliver them to Teg, and are paid with a bag of trinkets before Teg rides off. A True Adventurer Is Heroic!: Mismatched travelers foil a trickster's plot to take over Tia, saving the mayor's nephew. The gears of Steam City have shaken their rust and as it corrodes, her innate industry pulses through renewed veins once more. Factions have been disbanded altogether or relegated through extreme force on behalf of a buffered police force to the umbrella of an anonymous organization. Beneath the hand of Tia's current rule crime is falling, business is up, and morale is blossoming. The Calm: A supernatural calm washes over Tia when mayor Nica Sero brings a sequoia seedling from the Peaceful Woods and plants it in the courtyard garden of his manor; directly in the center of the city. Out With The New: Nica Sero enters Tia and overthrows the Nichole regime after deeming it unfit to rule. The Rightful Lady of Tia: We see the rise of Selena Nichole as the new lord-mayor of Tia, following her establishment as a local baron in Search of a Home. La Belle Peches: The nightclub is destroyed in a perceived terrorist attack, brought to ruin in an explosion of fire. Past
  18. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to supernal for a article, Haunted Glen - Obsolete 3018-03-21   
    Rolled into Ponkapoag Lake
    Without the use of literary hyperbole, the haunted glen is a place where nightmares come true and abject fears manifest. The glen in its entirety, with no discernable point of origin, is a fount of ectoplasmic and parametric energy. The atmosphere itself reacts actively to the resonant energies of sentient entities, resulting in internally manifested and externally projected mass delusions of paranoia with schizophrenic tendencies.
    These perversions of reality can be subtle but terrifying. Shadows move of their own volition and take awkward shapes, but only when they aren't in direct line of sight. Sounds come into being without cause. Owls hoot and red dots float in the darkness of their own volition; the trees rustle and move when there is no wind; voices call from the darkness. Those that are particularly sensitive to the spiritual will find themselves afflicted with more personal manifestations. Seeing the ghost of a loved one tortured for all eternity is not an uncommon delusion.
    In certain spots of the surprisingly expansive glen, the membrane between our realm and what some theological systems refer to as 'the spirit realm' is thin. In this area necromancy finds a particular boon, as do ghosts and those of pneumatological origin. This overlap also increases the frequency of such anomalous events as the possession of trees and animals, mutations in native flora and fauna, and forced synesthesia.
    In all one is left balancing the perpetual sense of being hunted with the sober realization that as much as it could be artificial paranoia, it could be legitimate concern.
    Chateau de Choisel Canon
    A dire housewarming: House of Choisel, a coven of vampires, establishes it's headquarters in the Haunted Glen. In spirit: Members of the vigilante group Justice act on information regarding the Ghost Pouch artifact, which leads them to the heart of the Haunted Glen. Once there, Justice infiltrates a spooky mansion, claims the artifact, gets stuck in, and consequently breaks out of, an illusion-loop, and manages to trap the creator of the loop in an oubliette, the location of which is known only to Justice. Justice leaves the Glen with artifact in hand. Haunted Promenade: The Ghost Pouch, once found in this Glen, has been procured. With the pouch gone, the strange aura of unearthly presence seems lighter. Sightings of spirits have diminished noticeably. Strange occurrences, such as the disappearances of local villagers, have lessened but not stopped completely. Striking the heart - The Haunted Glen: Armin, with the Rod of Peter the Dark in hand, arrives at the Haunted Glen at nightfall and meets with a demon by the name of Blind-One. Together, they summon an army of undead and make war against bands of possessed gargoyles and, after defeating them, Armin finishes amassing a small army (2,284 unnaturals, including 7 gargoyles and one Iselyrian ombra).
  19. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to Pasion Pasiva for a article, The City of Drakiss   
    Drakiss Keep

    Irene Gabriela DuGrace, The Black Queen



    Drakiss Keep is one of the smaller cities of Orisia, however it is among the largest of all its Keeps. Serving as a military stronghold, Drakiss Keep overlooks Orisia’s northeastern shores.

    The Keep is strategically located on the northeastern shores of Orisia as the crosshairs between the mainland of Genasaris and the continent of Terrenus across the sea to the east. North/northwest of the Keep, and its surrounding city, lies a vast mountain range that stretches from the coast to the keep’s western borders serving as nearly half of the city’s borders in all. The other half is the coastline northeast/east/southeast/south of the city, with a small valley area to the west. These natural regions place Drakiss Keep in a very safe location from enemies or invaders.

    Drakiss Keep’s construction began immediately upon the Great North’s sudden retreat from Orisia Isle twenty years ago. It has drawn warriors of ever class ever since. People from all over the world and even other realms travel to Drakiss Keep to fight in the arena and prove themselves worthy for whatever cause they may seek to uphold. The Great Keep has become a place where anyone is accepted, or where anyone could come and be left alone if they can properly defend themselves. It is a place where any Orisian who seek shelter and/or protection can receive it. Drakiss Keep attracts warriors, rogues, fighters, magic users, and many others for limitless reasons, but most have one thing in common. They come for the possibility of becoming a legend not only throughout Orisia, but all nations who know of Orisia as well.


    More to come...


    Although Drakiss Keep is one of the smallest distinct city/stronghold, it has an ever growing number of inhabitants. People of all races from all over venture here for numbers of reasons, most of which have to do with military amitions. From the arena to the astonishing school for fighters and magic users, to those who seek to pursue a career in the royal guard, Drakiss Keep is populated by a vast number of warriors and would-be warriors alike. It doesn’t end there however, for many families are also present. Traveling merchants and adventurers are always present as well as there is no shortage to the business received by this extraordinary city.


    The Black Queen is the supreme sovereign of Orisia. Drakiss Keep, like all other cities within Orisia is ruled by two Knights—hand chosen by the Black Queen to protect both her own and Orisia’s interests. These two knights swear fidelity to the Black Heart of Orisia.

    Currently Drakiss Keep has two such Knight Commanders pending, He who is in perfect Temperance and He who is in perfect Patience.

    Royal Courts- Depending on which Knights of Virtue are in town, the number of nobles in the Royal Court can vary greatly. There will usually be at least one Royal Court, of 50 men and women, at all times in this city. Their duties are scattered, but their primary duty is to serve under their Knight Commander and serve as a source of leadership. During times of peace, members of the Royal Court are encouraged to pursue personal interests that benefit the city.

    City Defenses: 

    Despite the fact that nearly every individual in Drakiss Keep are able warriors and stand together as a force to be reckoned with, the city and its keep have formidable defenses in place in the unfortunate event defense is needed.

    Drakiss Navy - In Drakiss Harbor is a force of battleships to be unmatched. With crews made up of nearly every class, these ships and its crews are overwhelming in battle. Each ship is manned and maintained of all hours of everyday, crews taking turns in their shifts. Outside of the harbor along the cliff’s walls facing the sea are hidden caves where even more formidable ships are kept to flank any naval attack or invasion, similarly manned and maintained.

    Volcanoes - There are a number of volcanoes surrounding Drakiss Keep (all part of the Areder Mountains), a few of which are manned in shifts by very powerful magic users who could easily hold any eruptions at bay, ready to summon forth magma-like fire elementals to defend the city.

    Outposts - There are numerous outposts along Drakiss Keep’s perimeter. Outposts are placed on the hillocks and cliffs facing the sea. There are outposts along the wall built from the sea to the mountain range facing the valley, and a line of outposts leapfrogging from the keep to the top of the tallest mountain in the range. All outposts are manned every hour of every day. Magical fires will be triggered causing a domino effect throughout all the posts so that messages can be sent back and forth, different color fires having different meanings.

    City Guards - City Guards are comprised of the unique citizens of Orisia. You will see many races and species in a Guard Uniform. Though the Uniform isn’t much of an actual uniform, Drakiss Keep’s guards are recognized by the simple cloak they wear over their own attire, and an arm band wrapped around one arm which bares Drakiss Keep’s and Orisia’s insignias. The guards wear their own clothes, armor, weapons and everything not only to keep up the morale, but due simply to the fact everyone in the Keep are capable warriors and would fight for the city whether or not initiated into the guard. The insignias on the arm band are enchanted with protective wards that also deflect magical assaults. The cloaks worn over their person, also bearing an insignia, will protect them from all weather and remain dry even in a downpour. The cloaks also provide magical camouflage as well.

    Places of Interest: 

    1. The Arena - The arena is Drakiss Keep’s most cherished and popular feature. Hundreds, even thousands, venture from all over the realms to take part in the arena. The arena offers the chance to become a legend and opens up doorways to many other jobs. It is a form of entertainment for the common folk of this city. It is where men and women train to become guards, or where people are selected the opportunity to become guards, or, in some cases, station of higher ranking.

    2. Schools & Hospital - There are two schools in Drakiss Keep. The first being a general school for youthful education. The children will attend here and learn everyday principles and values. This is where they will be taught life lessons and general education such as literature, mathematics, history of not only Orisia but of all of Genasaris, and valued skills for various professions. The school focuses greatly on physical education, providing the children with many activities to help develop them into formidable young champions as well as provide the resources to do so. The second school is one for the adults wishing to learn more of the art of weaponry or magic. This is also the school where men and women train to become Orisian guards as well. These two schools, though located in a smaller and more isolated location in Orisia, are some of the most regarded and respected among its kind. The Hospital is located underground beneath a section of the city so that even in the midst of an invasion, the helpless are safe. This establishment is free to any Orisian and where most the paladins and healers spend most their time. On their off time, some choose to help out and teach their skill, values and ideals at the schools.

    3. Community Prison - The Community Prison is located beneath the actual keep inside both natural and man-made structures in the hillocks. The more shallow sections of the prison are reserved for the mundane and less serious criminals whereas the deeper the structure the worst the criminals. Prisoners are kept watch by not only guards, but various specific classes of them as well as the occasional elemental.

    4. The Simmering Chains- The largest and most popular of the local taverns. Most gossip and rumors can be heard through the local chatter going on here. A Quest Board can be found for any wandering adventurers interested in making some profit. There are many regulars of all races, so it would be unwise to start in fights with the locals, especially with the number of guards posted within and without the immediate vicinity here.
  20. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to Suta for a article, Palgard - obsolete-2018-09-30   
    GM decision to retire the Palgard setting

    Source: 1zoom

    Themes: Modern Tech - Criminal - Low Powers
    Regent: Sanu Toak (Bandit King) | Hana Alenko (Captain of Industry) | Renata Saratxaga (PeaceKeeper)
    Contact: Suta, Spacegy4, Paroxysm
    Palgard is a pirate haven built on the ruins of New Palgard, which was built on the ruins of Old Palgard. The city is situated to the far south of Terrenus, bordered by the magical Moonwood, No Man’s Land, and Black Ridge, all generally considered inhospitable places. This makes Palgard the Southern Oasis of Terrenus.
    Palgard is an anarchic city populated by a wild mix of all sapient races, and currently lacks all form of organized government. A number of corporations, gangs, cults, and unions have emerged which service the needs of its members and most others, while bands of merchant pirates and bandits pick up the slack.
    Its people are generally distrusting, but relaxed in their dealings with others. People can be counted on to not cheat or steal from each other on constant threat of death, but naturally this puts weaker-willed individuals on edge. By no means does this prevent lying, cheating, or killing. Not that there are any codified laws anymore.
    Social Temperature
    Faction Information
    Additional information is as follows:
    Current - Most of the people have abandoned the dangerous anarchist Palgard in favor of Martial Town
    A well in town which has been spawning impish water elementals has been quieted with the removal of an odd object from its depths. More and more of these elementals keep spawning however, suggesting that there are more objects strewn all over the city. Little gangs of water elementals have been accosting travelers, good and bad alike. 
    Palgard shares a harsh, uneven, environment with the Black Ridge to its east, however the flat land to the north and west are fertile enough to sustain a form of self-sufficient agriculture, and the plentiful oceans to the south offer an abundance of fishing opportunities. Due to this uneven environment, and the river that most of the city runs along, many buildings either float or take on water at various parts of the year, giving foreigners the sense, for a while, that they’re standing on a giant interconnected structure made out of boats.
    Palgard forms a wild and ever changing low skyline based on the skeletal remains of New Palgard’s ruins, and the resourcefulness of those who call Palgard home. Most noticeably, from even miles away, is the towering airship, crashed vertically in the city center - by the river - that has been retrofit into a capital building for the bandit king.
    Boating is an integral part of navigation throughout the city. Boats have a general access to most parts of the city, and walking makes up the rest. People are usually in no rush. Where there is wealth to be had, mine-like carts and rail have been slapped together from salvaged steel to allow people more hasty transport on a haphazard blend of community rail tapped off by whoever adds to it. There is no Gate allowing teleportation travel out from Palgard.
    Palgard, during most months, usually enjoys tepid weather and a warm ocean breeze. However, during the winter months, Palgard endures long spells of freezing rain, though it never snows in the city. A hurricane has never struck Palgard since its renewal, but it is likely a single powerful hurricane would raze all but the capitol tower.
    Flora and Fauna
    The influence of the magical zones surrounding the city are obvious in its nature. Moonwood creatures that range from curious sprites to ferocious multi-fanged reptile-like tree-climbers sometimes venture into spitting distance of Palgard, and Unnaturals from the Black Ridge sometimes haunt the city’s civilians. The outskirts of the city also tend toward an overgrown state, to the dismay of the city’s residents.
    Culturally diverse with no clear dominance of race. Humans, Fae, Orkfolk, as well as aquatic races such as Merfolk, populate the city in equal numbers.
    Culture is a wild mix and match of family and affiliation. Pleasure is equated with happiness, and arbitrary segregation such as racism or sexism only comes into play when it suits one’s interests. Which is relatively common in Palgard.
    Palgard is home to a hostile yet welcoming population of approximately 40 000, following steep rises in population as criminals of a less sadistic and more pragmatic nature flee the lamentable conditions of Last Chance to build and fight for homes in the constructed wreckage of Palgard.
    Lacking a large government and military presence, the various groups that have formed throughout the city and its surroundings are able to cooperate, at least within themselves, and to that extent are able to enforce their own arbitrary rules as per their territory.
    Companies, institutions and location
    Bell Tower Carcass: The concrete and stone skeleton of the destroyed Bell Tower that been brought down by a group of terrorists still lingers in the city. Having once held a mighty tower, the durable foundation proves an apt place for building shanties, and is considered a strategic landmark for warring factions. Life Preserve: A large tract of land taken from the Great Pine Barrens nearby Palgard are used as a free-range for a wide variety of domesticated plant and animal life. Cattle wrangling of all descriptions are commonplace. Odin Haze Monument: A massive stone effigy carved in the likeness of the Saint-King. Physical contact has been known to cure minor diseases, including blindness, deafness, a few forms of physical disability, as well as exorcise possessed people or items. A river of excrement now circles the structure like a heel-high moat. Sharpmate's Noodle Shop: Not quite a famous spot, not quite a hole in the ground, Sharpmate is known for its filling and satisfactory noodles.  Zephyrus Tower: A skyscraper-like structure at the heart of Palgard, home to the General'nyy Direktor and Bandit King. Heavily secured, the structure serves as a logistics center for anyone that enjoys their security. On the lower levels the structure also serves as a hotel brothel. Government
    Local government & Economy
    Anarchy. Needs are met by corporations, gangs, cults, or any word one uses for factions. Rule of the strong and loyal, but with survival the only tool of management, there is no strict hierarchy that is followed. What best allows one to survive is sought after.
    The economy is surprisingly robust. Contracts are upheld by threat of mutual destruction, and with so much danger surrounding citizens people prioritize passive arrangements. The rare few that attempt to take advantage of others with force are countered by overwhelming force, usually resulting in their mob-enforced execution.
    Federal government
    Although initial concerns indicated abandonment by the federal government, the Terran empire has responded to the upheaval of Palgard by tasking some of their best minds with re-establishing order and repairing damaged infrastructure, as well as providing aid and shelter to refugees fleeing violence in the core of the city.
    Factions educate their young, but Palgard is no place for youth. Given that Odin’s laws are generally ignored, children are generally working hard jobs by 10 years old. They learn while they work, experience and seniors guiding them.
    Notable Residents
    Corso: Mercenary. Doesn't do murder but has done nearly anything else. He isn't for hire but he knows about a job or two if you're interested.  Renata (Paroxysm): PeaceKeeper and authority of martial town and the military Bandit King: Leader of the anarchists General'nny Direktor (spacegy4): Leader of the industrialists History
    Well, well, well: Ellen, Morrin, and Circe investigate an odd well that has been propagating mischievous water elementals. Inside the well, the three mages find a strange object of uncertain origin that appears to have been causing the disturbance. The trio remove the object from the well's presence, halting the creation of new elementals, and then go their separate ways. Palgard's club med: A three-man cell of soldiers is given an assignment – find out who keeps stealing the medical supplies being sent to Palgard. They discover that the bandits are well armed and highly coordinated, and follow a trail which leads them to Zephyrus Tower. They're able to reclaim some of the supplies and have uncovered what could be a criminal conspiracy in Palgard. An engineer's work is never done: The General'nny Direktor hires mercenaries to investigate a mysterious bandit outpost. After the mercenaries vanish before their job is completed the Direktor intervenes, and successfully converts the outpost to industrialist control. Demon in the Vault: Adventurers Michael and Donovan venture into a vault with Professor Renés. Sneaking through corridors filled with Grotesqueries, the duo finds the vault containing a demon named Sener. After being exposed, Sener attacks. Defeating the demon and taking a book that described its origin and the locations of others like her, Michael and Donovan leave the vault. After being deceived by an image of a woman he has strong affection for, Michael resolves to find the other demons. Tazarek turns to Palgard: An expedition for resources spirals into a deadly rebellion. No-Way Gate: The military closes its grip on its newly acquired asset, the Way Gate, and restores it again to functionality, but only unilaterally, allowing for inbound traffic only. Following the completion of its power source, work begins on a backup engine, the previously used ICE, as well as restoring outbound traffic between the other mega-cities. Brawl within the Belltower: The swordsman Garrett and engineer Kresh are hired by the General'nny Direktor to investigate the ruins of a Belltower in Palgard. The intrepid duo quickly discover that a gang has taken root in this once proud edifice's ruins, and so are forced to dispatch the anarchists in order to secure the site for whatever plans the Palgard government holds for this region. The First Move: Those Anarchists organized under the Bandit King expand their territory in all directions under the lackluster hand of their leader. They begin stockpiling Auranite. Rumors of secret dealings with the Bandit King and a mysterious, invested, party are abound. Rebuilding Greatness: The General'nny Direktor expanded the reach of her industrial territory by displacing nearby anarchists.  Once in ruins (again), Palgard is (not entirely) renovated (26 AO). The city is attacked by mercenary and pirate forces, a dark army is employed through crony Palgard security to fight them off, but they end up joining forces. A giant airship ends the attack, and the child regent goes missing, believed assassinated. Toppling a Tyrant: A group of adventurers toppled down a tyrant ruling over a small town near Palgard city. They assassinated the tyrant, rallied the people, then led an assault to defeat the bandit forces, routing them. The town is free at last. Attack on Palgard's Belltower: A regal party is interrupted by a terrorist attack that razes Palgard's bell tower, silencing its once haunting carillon. The attack provokes the local government and foments rebellion. Lynching riots between the poor and the rich are an increasing occurrence (Generates new quest: Stop the riots) Derailed Palgard: Terrorists boarded and destroyed the Lightning Rail and train in Palgard, and detonated an explosive in a crowded area. Major trade is disrupted in Palgard, resulting in chaos. Witches Be Crazy: The Sisterhood of Witches manage to end the Orc War, though are unable to salvage the orc fortress, which was one of their primary goals. Once in ruins, Palgard is now renovated (23 AO). The End of Power: For reasons unknown Roku disappears and abdicates his throne. F*ck You Roku!: A noble contracts two bag-men to clean up a mess that goes by the name of Roku. This Is MY Land:Roku takes Palgard by storm. They say he is a demon, spat straight from the bowels of hell. They say that the destruction he laid against the town was an act of vengeance, of justice perhaps, but bloody no matter the motivation. Past
  21. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to supernal for a article, Lagrimosa Landing Page   
    Terran Calendar: The current year is 31 AO = 599 WTA. All new threads happen during the current year unless otherwise stated by the creator. 

    Setting elements cannot be ignored or manipulated
    City maps are guides and not authoritative sources
    ✪ = City | ✦ = Landmark | ✿ = Independent territory
    ✪ Casper (Primary sea port)
    ✪ Ignatz
    ✪ Blairville (Secondary sky port)
    ✪ Hell's Gate (Primary sky Port) | Langley Keep
    ✪ Martial Town
    ✪ Last Chance (Secondary sea port) ✦ Biazo Isle | Bi'le'ah | ✪ Aspyn
    ✦ Weland Gorge; Day River
    ✦ Scudder Forests
    ✦ Hills of Noddendody
    ✦ Blue Hills
    ✦ Moonwood ✦ Ponkapoag Lake | Gaian Academy; Haunted Glen
    ✦ Timber Creek
    ✦ Great Pine Barrens | No Man's Land; Witch's Cave; Herbie's Bed; Peaceful Woods
    ✦ Sidereal Lake | Zuhl Plateau
    ✦ Forgotten Wood
    ✦ Black Ridge
    ✦ Hidden Valley
    ✦ Dark Forest | The Cedars
    ✦ Forbidding Hills
    ✦ Shawnee Glacier
    ✦ The Wastelands | Badlands; High Desert; Dead Peaks
    ✦ Blaurg Mountain
    ✦ Coconino Marsh | Labyrinth Forest; Coconino Creek
    ✦ Hills of Lost Hearts ✦ Barnstable Coast
    ✦ Southern Sea
    ✿ Predator's Keep
    ✿ Amalia
    ✿ Yh'mi
    ✿ Eridianus | Taen | Ursa Madeum
    ✿ Absalom | Béhods
    ✿ Chesterfield | Aligoria
    ✿ Nesthome | Anima Announcements
    Newer information at the top; keep up with the latest in the Updates thread.
    Lightning Rail infrastructure between the major cities of the Terran Empire have been replaced with MagVac Train technology.
    Breaking news from the Symposium Against Doom - body snatchers and volatile loci
    (historical note) Due to the events of the Civil War - Phase 1, mass transportation across Lagrimosa was previously crippled for a period of and magical availability deeply concentrated in the Shawnee Wastelands for a period of 3 years. During Civil War - Phase 2, different factions established themselves in the greater Wilds and poised themselves for sovereignty. During Civil War - Phase 3, the factions fully transitioned to enclaves. Notable stewards of their greater regions are Chesterfield and Absalom.
    Lagrimosa is approximately 18 million square miles (approximately 2x North American) with a citizen population of approximately 350,000,000 (three-hundred-fifty million) as of 28 AO.
    The Wilds are perilous because they are home to tempestuous magic and dangerous creatures. A dense arcanosphere has resulted in large zones of unpredictable climate, terrain and random side effects on plant and animal life. It has also been noted to render gunpowder unreliable in greater Lagrimosa (meant to prompt creative alternatives to basic firearms).
    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.
    Northward the weather increases sharply in temperature and vegetation becomes sparse as grasslands and forests turn into desert with average temperatures of 100°F and prolonged ry periods. The desert is expansive but is at its north-eastern section is abruptly interrupted by arctic tundra. In 28 AO the Shawnee genius loci overtook the Wastelands and froze the desert.
    Southward are warm summers and cool winters with a narrow annual temperature range. There is no dry season here. Precipitation ranges from moderate to heavy and the forests are temperate especially in the Great Pine Barrens. In the tropical climates of Amalia, Ursa Madeum and Biazo Isle, year round temperatures are consistently a humid 75°F and are dominated by rain, with periodic monsoons.
    Flora and Fauna
    Lagrimosa has readily recognizable plant and animal life: flowers, trees, dogs, horses, birds, crabs, salmon, etc. Unique instances of each have been gathered into the Terran Creature Codex, the Terran Herbology Index and Herbalism 202. Users aren't limited to present material and are encouraged to generate unique plant and animal life (in adherence to Mild Powers).
    Cities, Provinces, Territories
    The Terran Empire directly manages a handful of megacities (with numbers in flux due to geopolitical unrest) and numerous villages, towns, and enclaves around the nation. The cities are population dense and, thanks to magi-tech introduced with Odin Haze's sweeping regime, vary wildly in setting and tone. The land outside and between the cities is considered unorganized or unincorporated depending on overlap between existing societies.
    Lagrimosa's Wilds present a lethal barrier to travel and unchecked growth. Travel outside of mass transport or without a security detail is a gamble with life-threatening stakes.
    Of villages and towns for more detail.
    Terrenus Quest Index
    Terrenus Artifact List
    A citizen who has served in the military, gone through public education, and lives within one of the megacities is literate, combat capable, and versed in magical theory and application (aware of phenomena such as ghosts, charms, telepathy; capable of using magic as a result of training and knowledge).
    A native from one of the towns or villages is likely to be literate but have a mythical, rather than empirical, understanding of magic passed to them through tradition, more intuition than logical. Although this makes country magicians more susceptible to charlatans and superstitions, and makes the reliably engineered results of magi-tech less accessible, the wisdom which comes from generational insight into specific frameworks produces younger magicians capable of wielding stronger, older magic.
    Terrans love art, food and dance but have a deep and special love of music, for millenia having considered it the universal language before the discovery of mathematics and then magic.
    Terric is the primary language of the Terran Empire. It is spoken in all megacities and most towns, though becomes rare in isolated villages and islands, where pidgin forms (Terril, Terrin, Terrie, etc) are usually the norm. Terric's primary dialects sounds like Spanish (users should treat this as a plot device and are not expected to learn how to write Spanish). Other dialects sound close to Romance-influenced language, such as Italian and French, but will also deviate into Germanic-influenced languages. 
    The rarest language in Lagrimosa is Oldspeak, which is practiced by less than 1% of the population. The language requires line of sight and has no verbal components, instead communicating complete ideas between speaker and receiver. 
    The Terran federal government has published a white paper on the Terran laws of magic, an authoritative perspective on the laws, principles and terminology of magic as they apply in Lagrimosa.
    Gaianism: Quick Reference Guide
    Bible of Gaia
    The Gaian Church
    Gaianism is Lagrimosa's largest religion, making up approximately 50% (down from 79% and then 70%) of the total population. Gaianists consider nature, the universe, reality, magic and mathematics to be mortally comprehensible expressions of an otherwise inconceivable form.
    Gaianism advocates peace and cooperation as effective strategies, not blind pacifism, leaving violence as a final but sometimes necessary solution. The notable exception of this rule are Unnatural, any creature of perverse necromancy such as: vampires, zombies, liches, and occasionally Outsiders. Gaians attack Unnaturals on principle unless the Unnatural has taken visible efforts to prove themselves benign.
    As a whole the food produced by Empire trends towards the utilitarian. Three primary staples are high-yield disease resistant wheat varieties, a sub-species of rice engineered to biosynthesize beta-carotene, and a hardy cabbage variant which can grow in nearly any biome. This has led to a staggeringly robust ability for Empire to produce food for its citizens, making political inequality and the dangers of transporting food through the savage Wilds the primary drivers behind widespread hunger.
    In its parts, Empire's cuisine can be extravagant to the point of pedantry. Dougton, for example, produces over 100 varieties of cheeses, Casper's array of seafood dishes are second to none (with a special emphasis on snapper, octopus and squid, lobster, and salmon), and Ashville's long-standing traditions for pâtissiers remains alive even when the city is defunct, moving its pastry-making locus to Aspyn.
    With the vineyard in full production in Biazo Isle, Empire is also becoming known for its wines.
    Co-authoring credit to Csl
    Thanks primarily to a largely isolationist government much of Terran fashion has been insular, known to and satisfying the needs mostly of the continent's inhabitants. This trend has changed in the last few years as Dali Fashions, based out of Ursa Madeum, builds international recognition for itself but that is the rare exception - much of Terran fashion is tribal.
    The innate dangers presented by the Wilds has guided Terran design to favor pragmatics over aesthetics. Though these vary by culture or region, garments are made for durability, mobility, and protection from the elements. Enhancing clothing and gear is a common practice as well, with both magical and technological methods; more arcane locations like Blairville specialize in enchantments, while Hell’s Gate integrates magitech in adventurer gear.
    At a national level, one of the early and most persistent waves of vogue design are what is known as "dungeon couture", whose designs and specifications align themselves with the long-standing tradition of adventure economics through the continent's history. Lagrimosa, then Terrenus, has innovated and mass-produced fireproof cloaks and hoodies, suits with hand stitched invisibility runes for slinky thieves, autoswords, and hosts an annual convention of mages and engineers known as StabCon to discuss new enchantments, meta-materials, or machining techniques.
    Technology and Development
    Technology in Lagrimosa is highly advanced, arguably some of the most advanced on the planet. Although this fact not immediately grasped by foreigners accustomed to more conventional forms, the Terran Empire is the historical pioneer of magi-tech on Valucre, democratizing and automating a great deal of otherwise obscure and hidden knowledge. Lagrimosa has golems where another country might have robots, stone satellites powered by runes and divination lattices, telepathy-networks, and crystal-based tactile computing systems instead of console based computers one might find elsewhere.
    In this sense technology found in Lagrimosa tends to blur the line between the physical, the magical, and their intersections. As both a user's knowledge and the physical media are influential to functionality, technology must be more broadly defined; it can be something learned and understood rather than simply 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, replaced by folkloric and mythical modes of thought and ritual magic.
    Author's note: "Lagrimosa uses magic to achieve modern results".
    Transportation varies between cities depending on magi-tech saturation and biomimicry levels. Below are national standards.
    Animal Propulsion
    Often used for inter-city travel, ridden alone or attached to a cabby. The maintenance and upkeep of living transport makes it a largely inefficient for inner city travel or at scale, but because a large percentage of a given city's population are transients (international foreigners, inter-city adventurers, non-natives that live elsewhere on the nation, etc), animal propulsion is still fairly common. A lot of infrastructure continues to supports this form of travel. Horses (ground), Imperial Drae (aerial) and Rider Dragons (aerial) are common mounts.
    Mechanical Propulsion
    Often used for inner city travel. Automatic wagons with steam-engines produced in Tia and Martial Town, and gyroscopic  spheres with stable cores produced by Gaian engineers in Hell's Gate are the most common examples. In densely packed city infrastructure, powered zip-lines are occasionally employed between buildings. Sea-ships and air-ships are common for travel around and between nations. Submarines, which Empire invented and introduced into the world as a counter to the Siren menace, are predominantly used to the military but are becoming more popular among wealthier merchants.
    Magical Propulsion
    Inter-city travel used to be served primarily via Rail and Gate, until consequences of the civil war combined with supernatural phenomena to cause catastrophic damage to both and bring them offline for several years. Tia's Faux-ton system is growing in popularity but has limited application until more pylons are deployed, found primarily in Biazo Isle. 
    Lightning Rails - used to be magnetically propelled trains capable of traveling several hundred miles an hour. Currently offline. Tracks are used by slower, simpler, privately owned carts and trolleys for now.
    Warp Gates - used to be stabilized portals and the only reliable method of teleportation in Lagrimosa. Currently offline. 
    Faux-ton System - Tia patented technology that converts matter to energy to achieve sub-luminal travel speeds. Currently online but limited in presence. 
    New - Rail services between Casper, Hell's Gate and Ignatz has been restored.
    New - Lightning Rail infrastructure between the major cities of the Terran Empire have been replaced with MagVac Train technology.
    General Information
    Following the proliferation of Empire magi-tech in Lagrimosa, economic concerns shifted to prioritize three emerging markets: Energy, Information and Transportation.
    With the explosion of communication methods 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). In response Empire pioneered the fields of encryption, digital signatures and public capability to create spontaneous networks (imagine instant internet of variable size).
    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. For example, military-grade communication systems use quantum entangled encryption to prevent interception by using the observer effect, making any interception obvious and rendering the data useless.
    OOC discussion about some of this technology
    Telecom Availability
    As with other gifts from Empire, sophisticated technology attenuates as one moves from the dense cities towards the smaller towns and villages.
    One notable technology which are widespread are twinned crystal relays which allow for easy, long-distance audio communication between any parties with properly tuned crystals and without the need for complicated training. These simple but effective radios have drastically reduced missing persons reports, increased cultural exchange and facilitated knowledge transfer.
    Villages: Tribes and villages use magical means to communicate where possible. Examples 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 for information 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. 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 spontaneous network creation. The third is the Faux-Ton, a materials transportation system invented by the Tia government which is faster than Rail but limited by line-of-sight. 
    In the years following the World Fair, a number of Ethereal Services have begun showing up in Lagrimosa economy.
    Government and Politics
    Odin Haze is recognized as Saint of Gaianism and King of the Terran Empire. Odin's rule is one of enlightened absolute monarchy. His administration embraces data and expertise as driving forces for national policy, Gaianist spirituality as the basis for social policy, and defers to local governments in most cases.
    The arts, sciences, education and social welfare flourish under Odin's regime, a near polar opposite to the dark ages of King Levas and Zengi; although this lines up with his moral compass it is also no coincidence a healthy and knowledgeable workforce generates large profits.
    The megacities are governed by managers who interpret federal law and administer local policy. Some are appointed, others elected, some rule by heritage, each in accordance with the distinct culture of its region; political states are a fluid in Empire. Each megacity also has a PeaceKeeper, a high-ranking military official to add balance, security, and division of labor for city governance.
    The Gaian Academy is a national 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 argue even globally, and has also begun to establish itself as a competitive research facility.
    Author's note: I don't have a full legal system written out and likely never will because the complexity of that endeavor doesn't interest me. In terms of what's legal, reference real bodies of law for sensible basics. Imagine that things like theft, assault, perjury, slavery, and murder are illegal. Each city has a local police force to operate within its limits and the military employs federal investigators who are able to enforce law anywhere in the nation.

    The Safeguard Act - Prohibits the use of unlicensed magic in specific cities.
    Each city has a congress made up of majority and minority leaders.
    The majority leader is the elected official of a city (usually but not always), 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 managers 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 Empire's law enforcement makes use of various forms of divination, in particular retrocognition and psychometry. 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 Empire penology skewing towards rehabilitation rather than punishment 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.
    Lagrimosa also has one super-max prison in the Dead Peaks. 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. Recently the Dead Peaks Prison has gone offline with the loci event that saw the Shawnee Glacier covering most of the Wasteland.
    Empire exercises capital punishment nationwide for criminals that pose an unmanageable threat or show no potential for reform.
    Terran Military (Overview and Information)
    The king 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 is actually decentralized and distributed throughout the nation. Those few offices that are permanently stationed and open to the public are often underground. This level of confidentiality does not apply to local agencies found in the cities such as Immigration, Sanitation, Education, and law enforcement.
    The path to citizenship in Empire requires a 2 year service in the military (or ranking to Sergeant) and bestows the ability to vote for officials and own and pass down land.
    Foreign Relations
    Empire is an autarky (self-sufficient) and practices a modified form of isolationism, declining to enter into political alliances and international agreements. Where Empire deviates from traditional isolationism is in their support of free trade, travel, and certain, limited, trade agreements with other kingdoms and nations. Recently Empire has entered into the International Police Program and oversaw the program's first successful capture of an international fugitive.
    Because the task of increasing the nation's food security was a critical priority for the Haze regime, Empire focused its resources on agronomy and created several techniques and tools for high-yield farming. This has greatly increased Empire's ability to self-sustain without foreign aid even when its economy falters.
    You can read more about Empire's political relations in Terran Military - Allies and Enemies.
    A large part of Empire's economy is archeology based (see: professional adventures), with adventurers or researchers or salvagers taking on the high-risk work of crawling dungeons for the high reward of prized cultural artifacts or items of mystical power and arcane origin. Although this has led to some legal conflicts regarding ownership of artifacts, these disputes are generally handled in the courts after the adventurer has been paid for his or her legal reclamation efforts. Some smaller economies pivot around this, specializing in crafted weaponry, armor, and healing potions. Others are known to offer tours through cleared levels of dungeons and vaults for tourists.
    Empire exports a great deal of utility (i.e. non-combat) magi-tech and magical and scientific knowledge to other countries, and supplements its national income with submarine exploration of natural resources throughout the large tracts of Valucre which are underwater.
    Empire'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 the Terran Materials List.
    Terran population demographics
    Teran religion demographics
    Condensed Terran Timeline
    Major Historical Periods
    These events are from most recent to oldest.
  22. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to Jesus Negro for a article, Renovatio   
    Nu Martyr Province
    Nu Martyr · Capital.
    Nu Rosinder · City.

      Avylon Province
    Avylon · Capital.
    Nu Damyria · City.

    - Oo`Xora Province
    Oo`Xora · Capital.

    - La Guardia Province
    La Guardia · Capital.
    Jeruxalim · City.
    Babylon · Babel Tower · City.
    Space Colonies
    HAVEN · Eye of Primus.


    World Wonders
    Tree of Life.

    Cities & Villages


    1       G E O G R A P H Y
    · Long before Renovatio had become a nation governed by Man, the land once dwelled amongst the stars as a cosmic kingdom and was governed by the Celestial Body. Its size and mass once incomprehensible, until happening upon Valucre where only a fraction of Renovatio's glory has been preserved on said planet whereas the rest of the land exists outside of time and space. Now the mobile kingdom casts shadows over Valucre from the sky
                        - Renovatio was originally 6+ million square miles.
    · · Climate
    During Exus Prime's reign, Man was blessed with the knowledge to forge suitable atmosphere and manipulate the weather via cosmic means. In Exus Prime's absence, Man manufactured heating solutions to combat the wintry conditions at thirty thousand feet in the sky. Seldom does it snow, or rain. During winter, expect the temperature to drop as low as -20(°F) and 30-70(°F) throughout fall, spring, and summer.
    · · Topography
    Renovatio is a mountainous region, if not the greatest in all of Tellus Mater. On land they say mountains are created by shifting and colliding masses of earth. In Renovatio history, mountains are said to have formed whenever High Fallen Arcs try to force their way out of Hell.
    · · Flora and Fauna
    Normally I leave the discoveries of plant life to the players who chose Renovatio as a role-play locations. With that being said, the most significant note I can think of to list is that all plants of this region are capable of growing in extremely cold conditions. Here are a few of my creations: Superbiphon & the Tree of Life.Note
    · · Cities, Provinces, Territories
    You may discover a rural, feudal setting deep in the country of Oo`Xora, void of technological influences, and then you may find many cities, some so large they've developed micro economies. There are four major city-states; each ran by a PRIME, and there are hundreds of towns and villages.
    C U L T U R E
    · Renovatio is a cultural superpower stemming from a blend of multiple cultures, one such as Italy and its likeness to the makings of Greco-Roman empires, Religion, and the Renaissance. You may experience something in semblance to the Persian/Middle Eastern culture as well as Japanese culture due to long periods of relative isolationism from the outside world, and it's uncanny resemblance to Edo Japan in certain areas. Renovatio was designed to allow players to settle down and write about pretty much anything they'd like to dabble in without having to search multiple forums/subforums for different genres of rp.
    · · Language
    You'll come across Latin, Italian, Japanese, and Sumarian speaking individuals throughout Renovatio, but more commonly, a blend of all of the above to put a little spin on things.
    · · Religion
    Tellus Mater originally was the primary Religion for all of Tellus Mater, for she is the Goddess of the land and creator of all things. As the Tellus aboriginals populated the land, the Gospel of Recreation and the scriptures of Tellus Mater became to two most followed and focal religions in all of Tellus Mater.
    · · Education
    Those who seek spiritual enlightenent and the knowledge to unlock the secretes of the omniverse would apply to the University overseen by the Zodiac Knights. Though in more rural areas, or advanced cities still caught up in ancient ways educate their populace via trade-- whether it's hunting, bartering, or through the art of war.
    I N F R A S T R U C T U R E
    · · Primacy
    The nation is overseen by the Grand Kommandant, which is very much like a president, for this position represents kingship in its finest. One of this position has say over all, though cannot in any way override the rules marshaled by those before he who created the democratic conjunction.
    The Sovereign is similar to that of a vice president, and acts as the Overlord when the Overlord is not present, though their actions are to be reviewed and decided upon prior to being acted out by the Council.
    · · Political Parties
    The Council; a Renovatian senate that works hard to solve internal and external problems should ever they arise, and strategize on ways to better Renovatio entirely. The Council is made up of three parties: the Republica are those who enforce what’s fitting or appropriate for the citizens of Renovatio in the eyes of the rich. The Neutralia party believes in political and social equality of all Renovatians-- ultimately, for prosperity overall. The Commonwealth represents the minority that mainly consists of foreigners that now call Renovatio home.
    · · National Security
    Although SOLDAT are seemingly omnipresent throughout Renovatio, it is CUR that oversees National Security alongside with the Overlord and Soveriegn of Renovatio. When decisions need to be made this group will convene a moot amongst themselves to find solutions for the expected and the unexpected.
    The Holy Order faction is a group of Knights replacing the legendary Commission. The Holy Order answers only to the Director of CUR and their main objective is to protect the Overlord by assigning a renowned Ucissore or a Zodiac Bravada to protect the Grand Kommandant for months or years at a time.
    E C O N O M Y
    · Coin is Renovatian currency and comes in the form of coin-shaoed gems such as: diamonds, rubies and emeralds. All of which are roughly the size of quarters and are measured in ounces and pounds when making purchases.
    · · Primal Alloy
    All that is known about this unearthly creation is that it is an extension of Exus Prime, manipulated to build the foundation of Renovatio. This resource is not available for trade nor available to the public. It is highly durable and its worth is equivalent to platinum.
    · · Depleted Primal Alloy
    Is a combination of Ferro and small samples of Primal Alloy forged by a Sonic Driver. DPA is a common resource and the equivalent of gold in value.
    · · Ferro
    In its unrefined state, is a ductile, malleable, silver-white metallic element, scarcely known in a pure condition, but much used in its crude or impure carbon-containing forms for making tools, implements, machinery, a majority of Renovatian weapons, etc. Refined Ferro (graviton x depleted primal x ferro) is a dark-gray or silvery, lustrous, very hard, light, corrosion-resistant, metallic element, second only to the hard to obtain depleted primal alloy. Ferro is said to substantially improve one's psionic abilities.
    · · Graviton
    Can be found deep within the bowels of Renovatian mountains, and is very expensive and in high demand. Graviton materia ranges in effects and potency, some records explaining how it endows the user with gravity defying abilities, like walking up walls or remaining suspended in the air for seconds longer. Outmoded tech still incorporates Graviton as it is the poor man's resource.
    · · Cànapa(hemp)
    is a tall, coarse plant, Cannabis sativa, that is native to Renovatio but naturalized or cultivated in many parts of the world and is the source of a valuable fiber as well as medicine in the form of marijuana and hashish. The tough fiber of this plant is mainly used for making rope, fabric, paper, etc. (wearing cànapa clothing strengthens earth zodiaco materia twofold).
    H I S T O R Y
    · info
    · · Title
  23. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to Jesus Negro for a article, Oo`Xora.   
    The Golden Dragon is approximately 560 miles West (30min/airship) of La Guardia. Oo`xora is a rather unique destination, for she is nothing like its elder sisters. The heart of the mega-capitol city is very advanced and constantly bringing about evolution to a point that some scientist/alchemist felt the Renovatian race would soon exhaust all its potential and opportunities. The more rural areas outside of the capitol resemble Edo times with very little technological advancements only favored in few arbitrary locations. According to the Renovatian Census Bureau, the population of the Oo`Xora province is around 15,000,000 (capital: 1.3 million); 90% of the people being Renovatian and Damiryans as the minority at 10%.

    Oo`Xora is known as the Golden Dragon because of a single wonder that can only be observed from outer space. Satellite imagery revealed to the public by the Accademia showed that there are massive intricate line systems spanning across the land that takes the shape of a grand dragon chasing the setting sun.

    Might be cloudy with chances of rain TBA.


    Chinese Japanese shit TBA.

    Major Companies & Institutions
    (Dear Valucre members, your business can be listed/linked right here! PM me and find out how.)

    Parks & Recreation

    Landmarks & Monuments
    - The Temple of Ventus. Enigmatic and mysterious, the temple of Ventus acts as a Primal crown sitting high above the beautiful land of Oo`Xora. In the day its All-seeing eye (the pyramid's tip) casts a vibrant golden hue over all, sparkling like a gem in the sky that could be seen from a thousand miles away, and strangely, dulls in the ambiance of moon light. Ancient scriptures explain that the temple is in fact a ship piloted by none other than the Herald, Ventus. To this day, archaeologist discover hidden areas within this colossal structure, though the bridge remains hidden for the temples complexity and puzzles have yet to be mastered. There are four airship docking stations on the north face allowing tourists to explore the ancient megalithic spacecraft, which has actually helped the economy tremendously, generating substantial income annually.

    - The Cosmic Dragon is one of the most famous restaurants in Renovatio, if not the greatest. Specializing in orient and Latin cuisine, exotic cocktails, and entertainment, many of age scholars start their weekends off right here. There are several floors that host parties/raves and other unique club and lounge atmospheres all day, everyday.

    Government & National Security

    Predecessors: TBA.

    200,000 3rd Class SOLDAT, 40,000 2nd Class SOLDAT, and 500 1st Class SOLDAT uphold the law in Oo`Xora, receiving their orders directly from the Prime SOLDAT.

    The Celestial Guard
    The idea of this organization became reality, conceived by way of the Enforcement Act passed shortly after the Cialo event. Both air and space are better protected, and has been as safe as it has ever been.

    Zodiac Knights
    A sacred society of unique Renovatian warriors tasked with protecting their home-front and foreign affairs. There are usually only a handful [~6] of Zodiac Knights watching over cities outside of the capitol.


    Roads, Expressways & Autobahns. (in the Capitol) Train stations & Subways. Ports, Piers, & Riverways. Horses & Chariots (outside the Capitol) Air stations.
    Notable Residents
    (Dear Valucre members, once again, you can be listed/linked right here! PM me and find out how.)


  24. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to supernal for a article, Roleplay FAQ   
    What is roleplaying? What is play-by-post roleplay?
    Roleplaying is the playing of a role. Funny, right?
    Play-by-Post roleplay, the term for roleplay on a forum, is a mutated form of round-robin writing. Threads take place in a location (in this continent, that kingdom, this forest or teahouse or armory) and players take turns writing and replying to one another as their characters. Or as other characters, usually called NPCs (Non-Player Characters; more on that later). Or as the setting itself. 
    Writing is the primary medium of our kind of roleplay. It isn't the only one, as people often incorporate music or a picture or an animation as part of their roleplay, but it's the largest and most accessible component of roleplay as it happens on a forum. This distinguishes play-by-post roleplay from table-top games like D&D and Warhammer, from video games like World of Warcraft and GuildWars, and from LARP, which is basically Improv Acting + Cosplay. 
    Collaboration is key for roleplay. If you want to control all aspects of a story, all characters, all plot arcs and turning points, you're better off writing short stories and novels.
    Roleplay is what you do when you want to co-create narratives. When you want to experience a story that is in constant flux and which provides endless opportunity for surprise because you're not the only person responsible for what happens.
    Where do I play?
    On the front page, everywhere from Terrenus to Tellus Mater represents the virtual space of Valucre and our World page has the lore for those places. It doesn't matter where you start because your character can go anywhere in the world. Make a thread in the appropriately named forum (Terrenus for Terrenus, Renovatio for Renovatio, etc) and you'll have a place to make a story.  
    How do I play?
    Create a character. Choose a roleplay and learn the setting. Post. Create a character
    You can have the character in your head or you can make a sheet. Sheets are optional. Though optional, some members find sheets useful for tracking information, especially if they make multiple characters. If you do make a sheet, post it in User Lore.
    Characters must adhere to Mild Powers, a ruleset we have to bring balance to the fact that Valucre is a freeform fantasy setting and we want to allow our users a high degree of creative expression. Mild Powers threshold is determined by  actual post content, not character sheets.
    We have blank character templates for those that want to use them, as well as a completely optional Character Creation Guide for more detailed advice.
    When thinking about a character, here are some things to consider, whether in your head or on a sheet:
    Appearance: What they look like. Basics, things other characters would notice at a glance such as hair and eye color or visible scars, will give your partners relevant details without being repetitious. Skills/Abilities: Most useful for combat roleplay, like tournaments or adventures, and otherwise not necessary. A lot of roleplay is slice-of-life and this requires very little or no special abilities at all.  Occupation: Their job. Usually ties in with the above. History: Just enough to give your character substance, so it isn't as if they came out of nothing. Anything longer written pieces would be better placed in Creativity Showcase, where our members often display their poetry and prose. Choose a role play, know the setting
    Valucre's lore is immense. Many are tempted to read as much as they can, which is great. That's why it was written. But keep in mind that Valucre's lore is a work which has been added to over a decade by hundreds of members. Don't get scared off thinking you have to read the history of a continent to write in one of its forests or cities. Just read about that area to get started. 
    The lore is there to enhance your writing, not to get in the way of it.
    Now there's nothing left to do but post. The two fundamental things to keep in mind are:
    Have fun Put in some effort. Your writing doesn't need to be flawless and no one expects it to be, but people respond better and with more effort if they see their partner is putting in effort as well. 
    Roleplay Etiquette
    Formatting: Space out your paragraphs. Walls of text are difficult to read and fatiguing to the eye. If you use colored font keep in mind that some users are on Dark themes and others on Light, and it may not carry over well.
    Player primacy: In terms of the lore, a board leader has final say. In terms of the content of a thread, the creator of the thread (or character) is the ultimate authority. This means that, among other things, a player can decide on the magic, technology levels and abilities for their RP and have the final say regarding the fate of their own characters.
    Consequences: Actions have consequences. Characters don't exist in a vacuum and the setting isn't there just to prop up character exploits. If your character engages in criminal activity the setting will push back, and any characters who consistently evade IC consequences to an unreasonable extent may be breaking established canon (such as the ability of a police force to track down a serial killer). If so, IC responses  on the GM or setting level may follow.
    Make things happen: Keep in mind that you are one part of a narrative that is interacted with by many players. When you post don't just react to the things that have happened - make something happen. Add to the narrative, push the story forward, include something that gives other players a chance to react as well.
    Item creation and weighting: Users can create items or acquire them through roleplay. To balance the site's freeform potential against the lore's integrity, Valucre follows a hierarchy system. From top down, artifacts > canon items > readymade items. This means artifacts created by board leaders for their area will always be the strongest. Then items which a player creates  through canonized roleplay. Then items users can make on a whim for their sheets or character backgrounds. 
    NPCs: Try your best to be faithful to the source material in your portrayal of NPCs and always presume competence. If the NPCs of an area are known for being strong, then portray them as formidable. If they're known for being intelligent, try not to portray them as easily fooled. NPCs are there to serve various functions in your stories, but whether they win or lose, please be mindful of their intended role in the setting. If in doubt, reach out to the author!
    Magic: Magic is a common storytelling device used in fantasy of all types. Magic's appeal lies in its mystery, power, and costs. Please remember its use should follow the same rules of good storytelling and cooperation we advance and emphasize everywhere on Valucre -- rules including fairness, respect for other people's agency over their characters, appropriate scale, and consideration for the stories other writers are trying to tell. Magic with a cost, that is unpredictable, that solves one problem but creates another, are all good examples of magic use which increases rather than deflates tension. [also see: valucre's laws of magic]
    Post order: Replies should cycle through players in the order they join unless otherwise stated. This makes it easier to know who posts when to help manage expectations.
    Realism vs Verisimilitude: Verisimilitude is the believably of a work of fiction. Generic verisimilitude is the plausibility of a fictional work within the bounds of it own context. A character singing about their feelings all the time isn't very realistic, but inside of the fictional universe of a musical it makes perfect sense. Inside of a free-form fantasy universe, strict realism isn't as useful as verisimilitude.
    Reply time: 2 days before skipping is the standard. Many members take on multiple threads or request a faster or slower pace, and it's up to you to make clear your expectations to your partners. You can use PMs or the @ mention feature of the site to let people know it's their turn.
    Tags: Use the tag system to your advantage. Threads that are listed as Open get automatically added to a tag aggregate linked at the site footer and are openly advertised in Valucre's social media. Closed threads let people know your story isn't taking any newcomers.
    Villains: Antagonistic characters can be very fun to play and serve a purpose towards creating conflict and dramatic tension. However if your villain or antagonist is impossible to defeat then other players will grow frustrated and lose interest in trying to best them; that makes the story serve you rather than you serving the story. Defeating a villain doesn't have to be easy, or without a cost to the heroes, but should remain a distinct possibility.
    Gamesmanship: Don't look for loopholes in a game a player makes.
    Valucre Role Play Glossary
    AFV: Away From Valucre. Used when announcing extended absences. Auto (AKA powergame): Taking control of another character or inflicting damage on another character without the owner's permission. Depends on degree and context. Writing someone out of the thread because they're inactive is generally accepted. Dictating another character's reactions is generally frowned upon. Ex: People are fine with an innocent handshake but not if it turns into a Judo flip. Canon: The body of Valucre's lore. The end result of years of effort and collective, creative contribution from the board leaders and all of the site members. Read the Canonization Guide for more information. Strict canon: The actual approved and reviewed canon which gets integrated into the site lore. Strict canon follows the canonization process.  Loose canon: The memories of collective events shared by players, and whose content or results are not confirmed by a board leader. Loose canon does not follow the canonization process (ex: Daily Weekly). Flexible time: Flexible time is the concept that your character can participate in multiple threads so long as you keep track of your character's subjective timeline. Threads can't happen in different locations at the "same time", but one thread could come before another, and you only need to keep track of which is "before" and which is "after" for your character. Godmodding: Creating a character, item, ability, etc with no weaknesses, flaws, or limits or that otherwise easily deflates narrative tension. IC: In Character. Mary Sue: Common literary term to mean a perfect character with no weakness aka a godmod character. Metagaming: Taking information you know as a player and unfairly applying it to in-character action despite a lack of grounds for your character to know that information. NPC: Non-Player Character - Any other character in the game world, such as a guard or a bartender. Some NPC's require special permissions to control. It is more acceptable for a player to NPC a bartender than it is to NPC a mayor. OOC: Out of Character. OP: Original poster PC: Player Character. A character controlled by a player. Readymade (AKA shake-n-bake): A story element (character, item, setting, etc) quickly put together for story purposes rather than taken from existing canon. A readymade village is not a legitimized piece of canon, hence has no map placement or sub-board, but players are free to create villages for plot purposes. T1: Interchangeable with "turn based combat". Collaborative: Choreographed to various degrees, from completely scripted to loosely plotted. Also known as "T1 Story", this requires only that players decide between themselves how combat should go Competitive: Unscripted combat. Requires a third-party method (such as a judge, a scoring system, or dice) to settle differences in objective fashion. Note that administration does not enforce character death
  25. Like
    Etched In Stone reacted to Suta for a article, Blairville   
    Themes: Modern Tech; Science Fantasy - Mild Powers
    City Manager: Elleren Pendecast
    Blairville, formerly Blaurg the City of Wonder, is located in the north. It is nestled between two mountain ranges, with Blaurg mountain to its east, and the border to the Wastelands further north. Blairville is population dense, with neatly organized major streets which branch off into innumerable, convoluted streets, roads, and byways, some of which can lead a traveler to destinations unknown. 
    Plant life flourishes in all of the cities of united Lagrimosa, but is unchecked in the city of wonder. Flora is often incorporated into the architecture, with massive, still living trees serving as anything ranging from a house to a guildhall. Animals can often be seen roaming crowded streets in harmony with the citizens.
    Most of the population actively practices the arcane arts. Magitech and industrial steam or combustion technology has a minimal presence in Blairville, and most supernatural practices favor traditional and ritualistic forms of magic. It's citizens take an artistic approach to their magical development in a fashion that differs wildly from Hell's Gate (often called the 'fraternal twin' of Blairville). empirical approach to integrate magic and make it available to the masses rather than to the learned.
    There are few laws in Blairville, making the already arduous task of gathering accurate demographic information all the more challenging. It is estimated that there are 6 million people of diverse racial backgrounds living in the city, and 4 million in outlying villas and villages.
    Social Temperature
    Agents of the Prometheus Initiative get together to plan the organization's direction, anticipated future projects, and the appointment of a new head to a new division inside of the company. Little is known about the Prometheus Initiative, but that may all change very soon.
    Blairville is a semi-even surface built onto steep hills and jagged rock. Looking north, one is treated to a view of steep mountains and low desert. Looking south reveals the Coconino Marsh, whose borders have been enlarged by recent flooding.
    Lax city planning has ushered in multiple ‘downtowns’ and redundant goods and service sectors. This means the city acts more like a combination of multiple, smaller cities. Walking a tightening spiral through Blairville is like sampling a dozen different parts of the world. In all of these areas, Wizard Towers rise high above any other building, their height a culturally enforced symbol. The skyline is broken up even further by the jutting mass of the enigmatic Tower, which reaches up to the clouds.
    Many small tribes (including Banjari and Mahrjan) have set up a semi-permanent residency around Blairville's walls, serving as culinary, cultural, and trade hotspot for all incoming roads. Buildings are commonly made out of the abundant stone quarries around the city, as well as glass crafted from the desert sands for stylized architecture.
    Social Temperature
    A direct challenge to Blairville's core libertarian values, Safeguard has been met with avid and violent opposition. It was first introduced by ex-manager Katamus as one of his final acts in office before disappearing off the face of Valucre altogether. Safeguard requires federal certification for the practice of magic, which many magicians take as an infringement on their basic rights and an insult to the families whose practice of magic precedes even the establishment of Blairville as a city. This has resulted in violent conflicts between guilds that are for Safeguards, guild that are against it, and Constabulary officers who have to prosecute both sides for their use of lethal magic.
    Speculations about the 'true purpose' of Safeguard abound, ranging from its basic claims to provide security to all citizens, to a means for the government to catalog citizens with the ability and means of powerful magic, to even the conspiracy that aliens from outer space are trying to corral threats to their control and keep them out of the way. Recent events saw Blairville's primary Safeguard node attacked with an information virus which flooded the system with irrelevant information and corrupted records, so that shadows of doubt would be cast on any information.
    This has resulted in an unprecedented rise of magical criminal activity.
    Blairville is a victim of cold snaps during the winter, subjecting it to sudden and unexplained cold movements and blizzards. Summer is heralded by boiling heat but a near constant wind from the mountains keeps the city pleasantly warm that time of year, though narrow streets funnel wind to a strong enough point that there is a threat of children being picked up and flung down alleyways.
    As a result of the Wastelands turning into frozen tundra after its loci lost the fight against the Shawnee loci, ambient temperature in Blairville has dropped by 12 degrees. This makes for more pleasant summers, but equally more dangerous winters, and Blairville has to dedicate a portion of its collective magical energy to maintaining proper life cycles for the flora they use for industrial purposes.
    Flora and Fauna
    Of all the megacities in Lagrimosa, Blairville has the most unchecked growth of plant and animal life. The city’s aura and crossing Ley Lines create a breeding ground of mystical animals and plants. Due to the radical changes in climate, Blairville magicians have had to dedicate more time and resources to maintaining both mundane and magical flora for industrial and arcane uses. 
    Brazen deer with blue fur graze the grass growing in cobbled roads as people pass it by. Swift-growing oak trees sprout up between homes and give some residents instant access to burnable wood (and sometimes end up nothing more than a nuisance for families when it turns out they are sentient, like to talk, and mustn't be killed). Fish and octopus vie for control of the river crossing through the city.
    All animals and plants live in symbiosis with the sapient races, and are not considered tamed or domesticated. There are a few domesticated breeds but even labor animals are treated as having individual, legal rights. Outside of the city limits this attitude is more relaxed.
    Dragon Tongue: Dragon tongue is a bright, velvety red with a bulbous center with various, interwoven, flowering nodes filled with regenerative fluids. This flower is one of the top choices for most healing products. A fully bloomed specimen ranges between 15-30 centimeters.

    Blairville’s culture is a diverse melting pot of diverse races and ethnicities with a judicious eye towards syncretism. This means that the ‘bad’ of a culture will be rejected (forced marriage, ritual (genital) mutilation, etc) and the ‘good’ of a culture will remain (limited social hierarchies, food, etc). Although culture varies so wildly from one district of the city to another, there are still concentrations of specific races and ethnicities in locations ('ghettoes') whose insular nature leads to moral distancing.
    That said, for most of the city discriminatory acts such as racism and ageism are almost unheard of.
    Blairville has a population of approximately 6.3 million as of 26 AO. Blairville's demographic is highly diverse, with no concrete majority of Human, Oiche Duende, Banjari, Goblin or Wellfolk. Small population of Molocks (Mole-people) present as indigenous. Numerous other unique entities are also present but in small numbers outside of the scope of census data. 
    Since most people are trained in some form of magic, many in Blairville continue learning their entire lives. As the saying goes, 'everyone and their dog is capable of magic', and Blairville's culture is one that encourages a wedding between safety and fanaticism. Self-defense and honorable, duels are a common occurrence in the streets of Blairville, and are looked upon favorably in civil courts. Previously these duels were rarely lethal but since the introduction, and then lapse, of Safeguard, magical manslaughter and homicide are on the rise. 
    Companies, institutions and locations
    Book|Ends (contact Kittyvoncupcake): Down in Blairville's Western District, wedged between a winery and a fish market, lies a book shop. If one were to pass through the green door, one would find themselves immersed in a collection of oddities, leather bound texts purporting the arcane, and face to face with a rather bored looking elf. For merchandise that held interest beyond mere curiosities, or a special request to uncover such an item, one only needs to ask. Swap Market, The: The Original Bazar of Blaurg (sic), and a grand location for magical trinkets and bizarre curios. It is here that many a hedgewizard and thief ply their trade. Inn de Clairmont: An ornate, three-story caravansary. The Inn de Clairmont serves as a waypoint on Terran's northern road. A common home for passing travelers, it boasts a stable, a smithy for small repairs, and an attached shop for purchasing essential wares. It's perfect for relaxing, re-equipping and getting what you need before moving on. The hanging gardens fringing the building and surrounding the inner courtyard, which is often used for venues, is also a tourist attraction. Pavilion of The Sun, Moon, and Seasons, The: Festival and parades are a part of Blairville culture, and the The Pavilion is the center of that culture. During the day it forms the center of the town, but when parties are about few can hardly comprehend the wondrous, exciting chaos that it plays host to. Rookhelm Tavern Hall: A finer place to feast and rest your feet cannot be found for miles from the Rookhelm Tavern Hall. Somewhat a more legitimate establishment than most towns offer by way of tavern, the Rookhelm is often times used as a meeting place for businessmen, merchants, visiting dignitaries and the Constabulary. The Purple Axe Tavern and Inn: A purple axe cutting the moon into a crescent is burned into a wooden sign and onto the large double doors leading into the tavern. This is a generic tavern and inn. Players are free to come up with their own as well. "The Tower" (contact supernal): Originally a 5 story keep made up of ashen stone and rough walls four blocks wide on all sides, the Tower was commandeered by Julius Aldoid during the mad days of his regency and expanded another 10 stories. Since its abandonment by Artifacture Unlimited, the Tower was retained by the federal government and used at different times for different functions (the lower levels rented out for living space or for research centers) but then left in quiet disrepair. The Tower has since then continued to grow for reasons Unknown, and its peak now reaches 100 stories. Tower Quarter: Arguably the most well-known, and inarguably the largest, Mage District in Lagrimosa. Numerous spires jut from the low-lying shop fronts, and many mage clubs are hidden in the twists of houses and along the gaps in the cobble. Here the professional wizard makes their services available to the public, sometimes with prices too steep or unique for the common adventurer. Unterholm, The: Blairville’s subterranean furnaces, the crucibles and kilns that form the backbone of Blairville’s ore refinery business. Much of the lower caste in Blairville society filter their way down into these depths, finding honest if physically demanding labor. It is rumored that some born within the deeper recesses of the Unterholm are cursed never to see the surface. Walls of Blaurg (sic), The: The only magi-tech marvel of Blairville, the Walls are a massive, semi-sentient artifact, tasked with forbidding entry save by those who pass through its main gates. An exceptionally rare few know about the Wall's mechanics and origins. Government
    Local government and economy
    Blairville is a free-market, unregulated economy where all of the very minor taxes go toward a powerful and swift civil justice system that prefers to exile law-breakers or institute magical safeguards on individual persons. All criminals are entered into the Golden Coalition’s Safeguard database (recently corrupted). 
    The only locally gathered tax is a property tax. Constabulary officers go door to door, especially among wealthy districts, asking for obligatory 'donations' during certain months of the year. Federal taxes are collected in the same manner, most of the money going towards maintenance of inter-city infrastructure, and the Empire Military Guard. Citizens are much more indignant about these latter taxes.
    Since this system is easily corruptible, there are both incentives in place for lower-ranked officers to turn in higher-ranked officers, and a strict documenting protocol for every donation, but it does not make the problem entirely disappear. These records are freely available, and sometimes even used as a badge of honor among officers and citizens that make extensive donations.
    The low taxes offer an alluring opportunity for national corporations, but because taxes per city are handled by the city, Blairville has not become a tax haven, explaining its continued skew towards crowdsourced mystical arts and the lack of a heavy corporate sector. The city is also difficult to live in if one is not accustomed to it, so national corporations tend to avoid it, though Blairville has an affluent trade market.
    Every megacity in Empire is a regency, meaning that the local authority has the power to enact laws that apply to the city with authority equal to that of the federal government, with the exception of government owned operations and services. In Blairville, these are usually staffed and operated by private interests, such as merchants or charities. Because of this, most federal influence is limited to the presence of a Peacekeeper but otherwise it is difficult to implement the mandated federal laws, so they are often skirted or ignored.
    Agency Overview
    16,000 Constabulary Officers: Local police, Constabulary Officers are known for their non-violent crime fighting methods but are not above cracking heads. Armed with handguns, lanterns, enchanted tower shields, and heavy, metal-braced clubs.They are almost always somewhat capable magic users. 17,000 Empire Military Guard: Empire military personnel with varying degrees of training and experience. Education
    Blairville lacks formal colleges and mandatory public schooling, instead embracing principles of open access to information and non-traditional forms of education. The most common form of education is for many of Blairville's numerous libraries to run daycares, ranging from still nursing babies to children as old as 12, with the librarians themselves acting more as facilitators, rather than sources, of knowledge.
    For those pursuing higher educations, artisans and wizard towers accept apprentices and train them in their desired vocation. Didacts and career wizards are well respected, with knowledge of arcana a highly sought after commodity.
    Roads and Highways: Mostly cobble and leveled dirt. A number of streets and byways are filled with grass and populated by trees. Lightning Rail: Offline. Warp Gate: Offline. Riverways: Few people use the river running through town to travel, a few row boats and skiffs navigating between the larger, less common merchant boats. Most trade is done by rail, not by boat. The exception is the sale and trade of small wares and trinkets by Blairville's banjari and roaming merchant community. Cab (mounted horse, etc): Solabernite powered vehicles are limited to hover or flying machines because of the narrow streets and requirement for lateral movement. Domesticated animals like horses or large goats shared by multiple users are common personal vehicles. Notable Residents
    Nagara Tui-Huo: Powerful warlock specializing in hexes, summoning, and enchantment.  Sylvester Von Rosenberg: Captain of Industry. CEO of Rosenberg Innovations with a focus in magitech. Edward Brown: 5-star General, Imperial Advisoer / Hand to the king, and PeaceKeeper handle. Edward claims his home in Blairville but given his many critical duties is rarely seen residing here. Alongside Eustace Monroe and Odin Haze, Edward was a pioneer of the magi-tech revolution shortly after the Crusades.  History
    A dollar for your sword: Donovan is a professor of adventure working out of the Gaian Academy and running a learning clinic for intermediate adventurers. The pay is good (5000 USD) and sounds challenging but straightforward. Will and Luke are shrunk, sent into the client's plumbing, and encounter such wonders and perils as spiders, flash floods, betrayal and mushroom kings. Croissant for a prudent rodent: Addison and Ash assists the Rat King in acquiring the materials he needs to become a man-sized bipedal one day. While searching for the items, they bump into a street gang and hastily make their escape via the rooftops. The two are paid for their efforts, though the experiment isn’t viewed by either of them. Curse of the spire: Addison and Tex McCannon help the Blairville constabulary to explore the sewers in the aftermath of the spire. They discover hostile plantlife living within it, killing the specimen and reporting their findings to the police station. Devising a Pantheon - Hera: In this thread, Issac and Karilius discuss with each other the organization's (Prometheus Initiative) direction and plans for future projects, as well as the appointment of Issac as head of the Hera division. Safe riots and kidnapping: Several parties come together to search for a banjari artificer named Bruga. Agony and Lunara extract some information regarding Bruga in Unterholm while Isidor and Rhys use a tracking spell to retrace Bruga’s last steps. The group assault a warehouse owned by a local gang, where they find Bruga, who  asks of the group to locate a material component (gargoyle lungs) from the Unterholm. The component is claimed through a crucial battle, Bruga completes another amplifier under duress, and members of both the Red Envoy and the Crimson Ledger are decimated. Safeguard, Or: How I learned to love the calm: A peaceful rally turns violent. Protesters are arrested and taken in for questioning. On the way they are attacked by other prisoners with tentacles bursting from their mouths, and are freed by the unexpected actions of radicals. Ethen, Lorsan, and Tori join a cell in attempting to take down Safeguard in Blairville. Results are mixed. The Safeguard Act is temporarily neutralized. The face of Lagrimosa is changed.  Where the bloody hell?: Galen and Aku were asked to investigate the disappearance of a local shopkeeper, Osiris Noworthy. In their preparations they met and befriended [putting it mildly] a lonely lizard woman simply known as Kirin. The actual task seemed to be a cake walk, as there was no resistance in rescuing the Feline Shopkeeper. But something is wrong . . . Bloody rumors and requisitions: A red mist of unknown origin plagues Blairville, inducing irrational anger in the afflicted. Galen and Aku arrive in the city at the height of a fog induced panic and are soon called on by the local PeaceKeeper to investigate the source of the attack. The pair use unconventional methods and gather enough information from the homeless of the city, along with further investigation, to pin the crime on a mysterious red haired woman. A demon and her box: A demon and a witch pair up and destroy a major cache of Blairville's database of information crystals used for the Safeguard Act. Into the silver dream: A large party of adventurers gathers at the Raven's Chalice as a mist of forgetfulness and a malevolent spire suddenly appear in Blairville. Though the party takes many losses, they are eventually able to destroy the Spire, ending its evil control over the vulnerable citizens of the city. The mist dissipates on its own some time later. This is part of a larger event which effected many cities in Lagrimosa concurrently. Twilight Zone: Empire military team investigates fourth level of the Blairville Tower, finds that it is the perpetually-haunted zone of spook. Proceeds to egress with news that everyone should probably just skip this floor and go straight to five if they can. Will you reach your breaking point: Two opportunistic prisoners find themselves trapped in a cell in the Unterholm and shed a large amount of blood in escaping their hold. Merchant's Secret: A demon was partially summoned in the heart of Blairville following an attack by mutated trolls, but was banished by group of wanted fugitives who then disappeared after saving the city from sure destruction. Damn Rats: Adventurers join up and complete a wizard's quest to clear out the rats in his tower. This group fights giant rats and are joined by more as they travel through the tower's underground. Eventually they find the leader and convince him to work together with the wizard of the tower, which ends the rat problem. Swap Market - Dragon's Egg: Three individuals helped an old mobster's wife steal a dragon's egg, and caused a serious ruckus in the Swap Market which resulted in their ownership of the egg. The Sacking of a City: A legion of demons and creatures, headed by a warlord, arise from the marshland and march on Blaurg. The city is on high alert, having been struck with sorrow once too often, and rallies to defend itself. As quickly as they came, the army vanishes; the purpose for their feint remains unknown. Unlike Tower One: Events of the past that explain why Artifacture Tower was empty and the reason behind the 'disappearance' of Julius Aldoid and 'The League of Mages'. Artifacture Tower - Chapter One: Months after Julius Aldoid's disappearance from Valucre, Soren, a time-traveling Mage and his companion, Lunarius Maji, arrive in the emptied Artifacture Tower. Finding the fourteen-story keep empty of both life and activity, Soren and Lunarius claim the tower as their own. Taking Julius Aldoid's study and laboratory, Soren escorts Lunarius to a guest room before bidding her a good evening. Julius Aldoid and his employees and personnel vanish mysteriously and abruptly, leaving behind an empty tower. Blade Sweeping: Blaurg has been razed in a bold, daring move by the Arcantians of Altus Arcantium, located in Genesaris, in a decisive victory for the Arcantians in the Empire (Gaia) vs Genesaris (Altus Arcantium) war. Blaurg has suffered the most damage of any single town in the history of Odin Haze's reign up to this point. Past
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