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Artificer

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    Artificer reacted to TheAncient for a article, Shadow Beast   
    Name: Shadow Beast
    Latin Name: Umbra Jumentum
    Type: Mammal from the Tenebrae realm
    Size:Height: 31 - 43 inches | Length: 4.5 - 9.25 ft | Weight: 220 - 66 pounds
    Location: Terrenus
    Environment: Any dark and gloomy places like dense forests or dark caves.
    Organization: Shadow beasts run in packs for most of their lives, but elder beasts prefer to stalk alone.
    Special qualities/abilities:- Enhanced vision (8 eyes)
    - Darkvision
    - Shadowform
    - Dark energy blasts
    - Can run as fast as a horse
    Alignment: Somewhat aggressive but not necessarily evil. If caught and tame their alignment changes to reflect that of their owner.
    Description: 8 read eyes frame their skull like a tiara. 6 scaly legs with draconian claws jut from their bodies, with fur replacing the scales as the limbs come closer to the body. Their bellies and flanks are covered with scales and their backs are matted with thick black fur; a long, prehensile tail helps them keep their balance when running.
    Behavior/notes: As a recent transplant to the world of Valucre, the shadow beasts are few in number for now (less than 20) but will grow if left unchecked. They are territorial and prowl in groups, but tend to hunt on their own. Be careful when wandering through dark forests or caves, as the darkness attracts these beasts and the light repels them.
  2. Like
    Artificer reacted to King for a article, Dairut (Slaver's Enclave)   
    Regent: Council of Seven
    Contact: King
    Dairut, popularly known as the Slaver’s Enclave, is located at the heart of the region known as the Slaver’s Alcove. This is an area that reaches from the south-western corner of the Bloodstone Marsh deep into the rocky eastern boundaries of the Velhatien Desert. It is a land shrouded in mysticism, said to be protected by the desert itself. Home to a wide variety of nationalities and cultures, the city is a collage of both foreign and domestic banners.
    Dairut currently has a population of roughly 1,100,000.
     
    Geography
    Topography
    The city is situated alongside the largest westward artery of the Great Lake (the largest source of fresh water in the immediate region), which in turn feeds the intricate, man-made irrigation system the city uses to grow its crops. Beyond this single waterway, which some use to travel from one end of the city to the other, district to district, Dairut is entirely landlocked.
    To the north, east, and south lie the major cities of Aelindra and Raven’s Landing, Mezthaleun and Union City, and Stormward, respectively.
    To the west is the expansive Velhatien Desert, of which Joran city rests on its flank. With slavery all but outlawed across the continent, many see the Enclave’s positioning as reckless. However, Dairut is an elusive establishment -- some say it is protected by powerful magic -- that is only capable of being found by those who already know where it is. Surrounded by unforgiving outcroppings and a desolate wasteland on all sides, many have died seeking its walls.
    Cityscape
    Dairut is built in the shadow of a colossal desert outcropping. It is a mass of colorful slaver tents, busy merchant shops and trader stands, and luxurious harems separated into four permeable districts (with Arabain and African inspirations). The city walls are high and thick, spiked near the top with the skeletal remains of trespassers, criminals, and rebellious slaves. The buildings are built close together and on top of each other, giving even tall spires a somewhat squat appearance.
    The Jovial Flats is the largest and most popular of all the Enclave’s districts, encompassing the entirety of the city’s eastern boundary. It is a sprawling maze of harems, service stalls, and auction blocks where dozens of men and women are used, purchased, and traded every day. Some of the product available come from spoils of conquest, while others were sold into slavery as bargaining chips to clear a debt. Named after its customer’s continued satisfaction, the Flats are a living nightmare for beauties that find themselves on the wrong end of a collar and leash.
    Second to the Flats is the Valley of Strength in the west, which deals in the business of selling and training slaves gifted in the art of killing. The buildings hard are generally carved from solid stone, or are reinforced otherwise. There are a number of pits located throughout this district, the largest of which is called Tartarus, where slaves are pitted against each other for blood sport.
    The Etiquette Bazaar is the smallest of the slaver’s market districts, located in the south. It is the first district one passes through upon entering the city, and due to the nature of its product, is likewise the tidiest. The buildings are architecturally beautiful, the streets cleaned regularly of manure and other garbage, and the people the best dressed. Slaves that find themselves here are former servants, well-mannered and housebroken (men, women, and children that are well-educated in the expectations of a lordling’s house staff). They are seen by many as the most valuable and useful slaves, and so they enjoy a life considerably better than other slaves.
    Smaller even than the Bazaar is Nebu, the living quarters for the Dairut elite. Located at the northern end of the city, only the wealthiest, most powerful slavers call this luxurious district home. These are the self-proclaimed rulers of the city, a council of seven men and women, who employ the city guard and keep the peace. All businesses pay tribute to this council in the form of taxation, and all foreign negotiations operate through them.
    Climate
    Year-round, the weather in Dairut is always warm, or hot, and the nights either cool or freezing. Even with its position so close to the Bloodstone Marsh, there are only two seasons: a scorching hot summer lasting one half the year, and a mild, lukewarm winter that lasts the other half. The city is incredibly dry, receiving on average only about a centimeter of rain a year, but is particularly humid throughout the summer due to its location on the Golden Path (the river from the Great Lake).
    Every so often, the city is known to experience dust storms. These occur more frequently during the transitory months, with the most severe storms taking place during the winter-to-summer transition. Over the years, Dairut has learned to better track and predict these storms, and have renovated their city to better withstand their devastation.
    Flora and Fauna
    Valhatien Scarab: The valhatien scarabs are small (roughly the size of a tennis ball), carnivorous insects that eat the flesh of whatever creature they touch. Since their domestication by the Dairut beastmasters, they have been used as a form of execution and punishment, and have developed a keen taste for human flesh. Because of their black carapace, diamond-like in toughness, they have earned the name “black death.”
    Sand Wyrm: A small snake that generally grows no longer than a meter. They are the natural predator of the valhatien scarab. They are able to emit a steady flow of fire from their mouths, which cooks the scarab inside its own carapace. They then swallow them whole.
    Demographics
    Culture
    The city is one rooted deeply in the ways of old. All but removed from the cultural revolution of the world beyond the desert, Dairut has maintained the ways of the Age of Conquest. They have coined many popular phrases such as, “You keep what you conquer,” and “Take that which is yours.” Despite these imperialistic mottos, Dairut has long-since lost its thirst for battle and expansion and has instead become a centralized hub for like-minded individuals.
    However, it is through their firm belief of ownership by conquest that they validate the exercise of slavery. Those that are too weak to defend themselves, to define themselves, become the property of another, stronger individual, and thus are subject to their definition of them.
    Slaves do not have any manner of civil or human rights in Dairut. They can be beaten, maimed, humiliated, or even killed at their master’s discretion (as many are). And while it is not incredibly uncommon for some owners to treat their slaves with a hint of dignity, offering roles similar to indentured servitude, this is often done indoors, away from prying eyes as to avoid ridicule.
    Unsurprisingly, damaging another owner’s property is regarded as one of the most serious crimes in Dairut. Punishments range from compensation, immediate or long-term, to death.
    All slaves from Dairut are given the opportunity to earn their freedom during an event known as Kaf Shakur, an annual tournament. It is the most celebrated event in all of Dairut, a glorious affair of debaucherous festivities and brutal combat. For six nights, ten slaves are thrust into the Tartarus pit in a battle royal and made to battle each other to the death. On the seventh and final night, the survivors of all six rounds and once again made to fight, with only the sole survivor able to claim their freedom.
    In addition to their practice of slavery and all that it entails, Dairut has a rich history in the literary and fine arts. Many merchants savvy to the city’s location travel from across the continent to purchase their goods, from tapestries to paintings and written word.
    Economy
    In spite of its isolated location, Dairut boasts a notably strong and self-reliant economy built almost entirely on its slave industry. Attracting buyers and sellers from every corner of the continent, hundreds of pounds of gold and silver flow through its gates every day, along with various other forms of currency. As with most merchant-based cities, the city also makes use of a strong barter system, whether it be land, goods, or slaves. Dairutian merchants likewise supplement the slave trade with the sale of exotic native jewelry, art, and attire (African-Arabian).
    Major Companies and Institutions
    The House of Domestication: The most well-known slave training facility in the city, focusing on the domestication of unruly pleasure slaves. Through the use of extensive and rigorous training regimen, the handlers at House Domestication mold the finest servants of pleasure one can ask for.
    The Treasury: Arguably the most important institute in the city. The Treasury is the largest bank-- and one of the largest buildings --in all the city and holds over eighty percent of its wealth. It is said that the Treasury’s subterranean faults have never been stolen from.
    The Gilded Chalice: The most luxurious inn throughout the city, located at the fridge of the Nebu district. Travelers with enough coin enjoy the finest cuisine, scenery, and pleasurable company in all of the city.
    Parks and Recreation
    Landmarks and Monuments
    Tartarus: A large coliseum located on the west end of the city, in the Valley of Strength. A number of high-profile gladiatorial events take place here, including the Kaf Shakur.
    Government
    Local Government
    The Council of Seven: Dairut operates outside and beyond the Genesar government, and answers to no other empire. They are instead governed by a council of native elite, seven of the wealthiest men and women in the city. Together, they oversee the day-to-day operations in and around the city, including its security. It is through their combined effort that the city has prospered into the desert metropolis it is now.
    Military
    — 1 Khafre (Commander)
    — 100 Khufu (Elite Guard)
    — 5,000 Overseers (Slave Drivers, Trainers)
    — 40,000 City Guards (Infantry, Calvary, and Beastmasters)
    Education
    Traditional education beyond the rudimentary requirements for business (reading, writing, and understanding basic arithmetic) is of little value to the people of Dairut. They raise no poets or scholars or scientists, but master slavers and merchants. Most education throughout the city is trade-based, with individuals learning what they need to be successful in their particular area. There are no postgraduate institutions in Dairut. Of course, the wealthier individuals in the city pay for exceptional education from external sources, and many professors have been brought in from prestigious institutes across Genesaris.
    Transportation
    Roads, Walkways, and Bridges: Given the size of the city, the primary method of travel consists of an intricate system built on cobblestone roads, stone walkways, and both narrow and wide bridges connecting broad rooftops. This web of travel connects the various walls, sectors, and districts of the city.
    Cabbies: Whether they are horse-drawn or magic-fueled, cabs -- or carriages -- are the leading method of transportation throughout the city.
    Riverways: The city has the beginnings of an elaborate canal system running through it. While not entirely operational yet, the eastern and northern side of the city riverways has been introduced to great success.
    Notable Residents
    -- -- -- History
    Canon
  3. Like
    Artificer reacted to paradigm for a article, The Realm of the Crystal   
    New lore article: https://www.valucre.com/lore.html/tellusmater/alterion/alterion-overview-r738/


     

    Cosanastre Region
    The Holy Cities
    Arkadia Prime Region
    The Cities of Tomorrow
    Izral Region
    The Free Cities
    Xaengri-La
    The Celestial Realm
    Cosanastre (Proper)
    1
    1
    1
    Chamre
    2
    2
    2
    Kageroth
    3
    3
    3
    Opharion
    4
    4
    4
    Vysroth
    5
    5
    5
    Setroth
    6
    6
    6
    Arysene
    7
    7
    7
    Zompoc
    8
    8
    8
    Brummagen
    9
    9
    9
    -
    -
    -
    -
    G E O G R A P H Y
    Climate
    During the reign of MaGNUS Corp, the Alterian people learned how to manipulate the atmosphere via technologikal and Alchemical means. Alterion receives all four seasons, but is known to have very mild winters, being a land of spring storms and fall rains more than winter and cold. The people believe that the Crystal helps keep the weather in check and this has largely proven to be true. Most hurricanes and storms that build off the coast of Alterion rarely make landfall and those that do, leave few casualties in their wake.
    Overall, Alterion can have it’s sweltering days in the summer, but is largely a pleasant and mild locale. It’s snow capped peaks are known for their cold bite, however, and its coasts are known to have creeping tides that can pull an unsuspecting soul out to sea, at times.
    Topography
    Alterion is slightly a mountainous region, with the Kageroth Mountains stretching across it’s center. It is largely a land of forests, plains and meadows, however. Surrounded by water on three sides, it’s coasts and beaches are some of the most romantic locations in all of the known world and also possess some of the most dangerous creatures in its depths.
    Flora and Fauna
    I intend to leave plant life at the player’s discretion. Having said the only lore I’ve toyed with of note regarding fauna and agriculture thus far is detailed below. Alterion is flush with various types of plants, many of which are used in alchemic concoctions and various other chemicals. As the player, feel free to create your own type of plants and creatures. Notify me of their creation and I’ll add them to the Lore page.
    You can read more in the Alterion section of the Bestiary and Race Codex
    Despite its vast urban city-scapes, Alterion is quite rich in agriculture. Though, Izral specializes in genetically modifying and distributing produce, Alterion as whole can provide for itself. Alterion's coastal regions, with their sandy, soft soil terrain are ideal for fruit and vegetable growth. Alterion is the largest producer of citrus in the known world and has cross bred a particular hybrid known as the Cosa Blood Orange—named so due to the Crimson color of the orange's pulp.
    Alterion does have difficulty cultivating a lasting row crop, however, these crops usually see a boom in production thanks to genetic engineering.
    Cities, Provinces, Territories
    Alterion is a booming hub of technology, with it’s primary Regions all having access to advanced technology. For a more detailed look at the individual regions and their varying designs please visit the links provided above in the introduction.
    Alterion has three massive regions and numerous disparate villages, towns, baronies and lordships around the nation. The three major  regions are population dense and, thanks to advanced technology and spell crystals vary in tone and design.
    Outside of the major cities the Alterion wilderness is horrific, wild and unbroken. It is not uncommon for the merchant or fool hardy hunter to venture on their on beyond the protected regions and wind up dead.
    Alterion is scattered with ‘unaffiliated cities.’  (disparate villages, towns, baronies and lordships that do not adhere to the Masonic Faith). These small towns and villages have limited to no technology and range from rural, feudal villages, to lower steam punk tech. They’re referred to as ‘unaffiliated’ since they have not sworn fealty to the Masons and, as such, are not always afforded protection from bandits, rebels and monsters.
    C U L T U R E
    · Alterion is flush with cultural stemming from a blend of multiple locales and time periods, one such as Victorian London/America and its reliance on corporations during its industrial revolution. As well as Chinese culture due to long periods of trade with the outside world, but its systematic reliance on a caste system and honor bound code of conduct. Alterion was designed to allow players to write whatever they desire without searching various subforums for a specific genre. The City-States allow a rich modern/steam punk/sci fi culture, along with its affiliated cities, while the unaffiliated cities and unconquered realms allow for any other genre ranging from fantasy to cyberrpunk, pending your desire.
    A citizen living within one of the mega cities, or an affiliated city, is literate, adequately versed in alchemic theory to make use ofAlterion crystals and technology, is aware of common metaphysical phenomena (ghosts, rituals, telepathy, charms, hexes, etc), and is often capable of using Alchemy (“magic”) as a result of scholarly pursuit and understanding.
    A native from one of the unaffiliated towns or unconquered regions is less likely to be literate and have empirical insight into Alchemy and metaphysical phenomena. Instead, their ability to use metaphysica is a result of hereditary traditions and cultural myths. Their understanding of alchemy is intuitive rather than logical, making them more susceptible to charlatans and superstitious fears. But, steeped in tradition and removing empirical observation as an obstacle, more young tend to be able to wield powerful, ancient abilities.
    An Alterian from any part of the nation tends to be robust due to exposure to the Crystal’s energy and Masonic religious practices and have a strong fortitude and charisma about them.
    Language
    The Primary spoken language of Alterion is Alterrin. It can be compared to Chinese and its multiple dialects. It has various dialects (well over 200), but the best known in order of use.
    1) Indigenous; the standard dialect, very proper lots of honorifics. Used exclusively by the uppers with other uppers or with those they are showing a high regard for.
    2) Lesser; bastardization of the first. very gruff, very urban. 
    3) Muhiran dialect, a blend of 1 and the muhiran tongue. Most common amongst the merchant and lower classes.
    4) Rosinderian dialect; a blend of 1 and the rosinderian tongue. Most common amongst the uppers and middle class.
     
    Politics & Religion
    Political Turmoil and Affiliation ; The Crystal ; Masonism: The Clergy ;  The Rebellion, Alterion Religion and Mythology
     Politics and religion in Alterion are largely one and the same, with the nations largest religious body, The Masons, also being the dominant political force in the realm. 
    The dominant religion of Alterion is Masonism. It is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Riva the Masonress as presented in canonical gospels and other writings. Adherents of the Masonic faith are known as Masons.Masonism advocates acceptance of all beings, but not at the cost of its tenants, violence is not encouraged, but accepted as a means of furthering the faith and promoting safety.
    Masons are accepting of every faith, creed, ideology and race believing all stem from the Crystal. This also includes Unnaturals and Outsiders provided their existence promotes the greater good. If determined otherwise, Masons eradicate Unnaturals, Outsiders and Xenos with unparalleled righteous fury. The Masons have been warring with a faction of fanatics known as The Rebellion since the founding of the church. 
    Alterians believe in an afterlife and in the existence of alternate planes of existence. The Alterion refer to the realm of their Archon's as Valholl  (the hall of heroes). It is considered to be similar to Renovatio's realm of Qua'Xar. Alterion's also recognize the existence of Inferno and utilizes their own version of Heaven's Gate called Xaengri-La for entering and travel between the realms. The celestial plane that encompasses all these realms is referred to as Xaengri-La, as well.
    Government 
    Alterion is unique in that it can fit a multitude of definitions. To the outside world, it’s a Theocracy with the Masons ruling over the people by divine right of the Crystal. Those within the nation itself, Alterion very much appears an Oligarchy, with a select few (Regents, CEOs, Crime Bosses) working together to rule over the populace. To those who fill these shoes, Alterion is known as an Autocracy with the High Mason, Ocelot Royce having absolute authority over the nation, as a whole.
    Alterion is composed of three Regions, each the size of a small nation in their own right. All three Regions now operate at the pleasure of the Masons, but have been broken up into different Province's with each Province being ruled by a Regent. As the largest region, Cosanastre is split into the most Province, and is Alterion's capitol city. Each Province's Regent is granted authority over their Province(city/kingdom) and granted the right to rule as they see fit, provided they follow two basic tenants. First, they must continuously pay taxes to the Mason's, for protection both physical and spiritual and second, they must swear fealty to the High Mason. 
    Though Ocelot rarely calls upon his Regents, he expects loyalty from all of his citizens. 
    Education
    The Masons provide an education for every man woman and child at their various temples and chapter houses scattered throughout Alterion. The Uppers often hire tutors for their children and their are private academies and universities available for those who can afford them. There is public education, as funded by the Masons for all children in Alterion, regardless of age or station (though children of the Uppers/the Nobility often receive private schooling to prevent them from mixing with undesirables.) The Masonic Clergy also provide schooling to any who seek knowledge, but reserve the secrets of their Alchemy for those who have earned the privilege.
    I N F R A S T R U C T U R E

    National Flag
    Law and Order
     The Poors Sons; The Justicar
    The Masons are the ruling political body of Alterion. They are represented in the Alterion Justice system by two separate, yet equally important groups: The Poor Sons who attempt to stop and apprehend criminals and the Justicar who wage righteous justice on those who have offended the state. Certain members of the Masonic Clergy may pass judgement as well, but the Justicar corps often serve as judge, jury and executioner. It is not uncommon, however, to see a Justicar apprehend criminals.
    It’s worth nothing the Masons maintain national oversight, but individual Regents reserve the right to rule their Province/Kingdom as they see fit. The Poor Sons and The Justicar still have authority, but will (almost always) defer to the Regent’s government in matters of the Provincial Courts. 
    So essentially, you have the Masonic Courts and the Provincial Courts. 
    The same applies for Provincial defense. It’s safe to assume there will always be Poor Sons and Justicar stationed somewhere in all the Province’s but, again, they will (almost always) defer to whoever the Regent places in charge of their Province’s security. 
     
    Foreign relations
    Alterion is far from an isolationist nation, but it primarily deals in exports, feeling it can provide for its people. Certain imports are permitted, provided they come through Masonic sanctioned vendors, but overall Alterion prefers to operate as an intermediary, moving what would be their imports to a third party before it touches Alterion soil. It's a poorly kept secret that the Masons and Daius Industries are large supporters of piracy/privateers , particularly Sky Pirates, and pay decent and fair wages to those who provide consistent service. 
    Alterion has signed no official treaty's with any foreign body's but remain on good terms with most nations. 
     
    | Terrenus
    Alterion holds Terrenus in what regard it's due for its 'World Superpower' status. That being said, Alterion is not overly fond of Terrenus' lax view of invaders in its own territory, nor is it particularly fond of its high non-hume population. Alterion maintains a small amount of trade, for appearance sake, but prefers to remain out of Terrenite affairs. 
    | Genesaris 
    Alterion does not deal with Genesaris, as a whole. Aside from the vast diverse races and religions, Alterion prefers to deal with some of Genesaris' smaller nations. Alterion's dislike of Genesaris stems more from Xenophobia than anything else. 
    | Cold South / Kadia
    Alterion is on good terms with the Cold South and considers the nation its closest trading partner aside from Renovatio. In addition to shared values, the two nations are known to fulfill various work contracts for mutual benefit. 
    | Rising West --Aelindra City 
    Much like the Cold South, Alterion is on good terms with Aelindra City, but the relationship is more tenuous. Whereas the Cold South and Alterion are bound politically, Aelindra and Alterion are bound only by business. Mostly, Alterion waits to see if Aelindra will adopt the Xenophobic values of the Cold South before it will commit more of its resources. 
    | Orisia 
    As a city run by an unnatural (specifically one not motivated by greed), Orisia is seen as a nation that must be conquered and cleansed. 
    | Muhir 
    Alterion is on neutral terms with Muhir. Given that both nations pay tribute to Tellus (albeit in different ways), Alterion does not view Muhir as a heretic, merely misguided. As such it maintains regular trade routes with the nation. 
    | Renovatio 
    Renovatio is Alterion's closest trading partner. As the two largest technological powerhouses of Valucre, Renovatio and Alterion keep a steady peace, but have yet to official declare one another as allies. Recently, each nations premier shinobi clan have formed an alliance and held a joint examination for students, making strides towards a better tomorrow. 
    | Rosinder
    Prior to its abrupt disappearance, Rosinder was Alterions most frequent antagonist. The highly religious technophobic Kingdom was constantly at odds with Alterion. Despite its vehement stance towards Rosinder Alterion’s view the nation as their honored enemy. To this end they view Elandaron with a great deal of disdain and hatred.
    National Defense
     The Royal Alterion Military; The Masonic Imperial Family ; Alterion Mecha
    The Nation of Alterion is defended by the Masons, in conjunction with multiple Businesses and Private Military Companies. Much like the King would press his Nobles into service, any PMC or Weapons Manufacturer that wishes to continue doing business in Alterion (or continue living) are required to assist the Masons in all matters of National Defense. Ocelot Royce, as High Mason, serves as Supreme Leader of Alterion and is also its Commander-in-Chief, exercising total authority over the military. Enacting a practice wherein all students must complete military training prior to graduation, Ocelot has raised the number of military participation from 15% to 60%. A majority of the Alterion populace serves the military in one capacity or another. 
    The Royal Alterion Military of the Masons is broken down into Multiple Branches:
    Branches
    Sanctum—The High Mason’s personal soldiers. An elite subset within RioT. 
    COMMANDER: HIGH MASON
    RioT—Genetically modified super soldiers, beholden to the High Mason.
    COMMANDER: HIGH MARSHSALL
    Justicar- Holy Knights of the church.
    COMMANDER: HIGH INQUISITOR
    ARMADA—Heavy Artillery. Maintains and pilots Alterion's massive war machines.
    COMMANDER: HIGH FIST
    Radicals—Black Ops Intelligence Agency
    COMMANDER: HIGH KING, PRINCE
    SEER—Alterion’s version of a Mage Council. Made up of Alchemists and the brightest minds of Alterion.
    COMMANDER: HIGH OVERSEER
    Poor Sons & Proteus-- Weapon Masters and foot soldiers. The general military of the Masons. 
    The  Regents sit on the High Mason’s Council and have a voice in matters of War, but final say is ultimately the High Mason’s.Ocelot's Council consists of his personally appointed Ministers, The Cabinet (Any and all Regents of Alterion, including Cosanastre, Ark Prime and Izral), Military High Command and the Royal Family. 
    The Rebellion
    The ever present enemy to all Crystal fearing Alterians. To those who serve the Masons they are seen as pirates and terrorists. To those who will not suffer the yolk of Masonic rule they are freedom fighters and revolutionaries.
     
    Economy
    Currency
     Despite dealing heavily in crystals, Alterion currency is known as Notes. A note may be transcribed via alchemic sigil on special alchemic paper (this is the most common form of currency among the populace) but the more tech savvy traders are capable of transferring Notes through specialized alchemic crystals (all managed and monitored by the Masons.) The particular brand of alchemic paper, the specialized and treated ink, and the specialized sigils used are closely guarded secretes of the masons, making counter fitting a nigh impossible task from outside of the organization.
    Exchange Rate: A Note may be loaded with any specific type of currency. Given that most of the world trades in precious metals, (ie. Tin Copper SIlver Gold  Platinum, Rhodium, etc) Alterion notes typically reference these. (ie. a 10 Gold Note, exchanges for 10 oz of Gold. ) Alterion's wealth of precious crystals and jewels and its booming alchemical prowess means the nation is usually able to create, trade or (thanks to the booming sky pirate trade) steal almost every known currency. 
    Magic and Technology
     Crystallyns, Tellyns and other Preternaturals; Tellus Seeds 
    Alterion doesn't practice traditional magic, viewing magic unaided by the Crystal as of questionable means.
    The closest thing to Mages Alterion has would be the Alchemists. While Alterion does practice traditional alchemy and chemistry, the term has become something of a catch all for abilities granted via the Crystal.Other forms of magic exist and are practiced in secret within, Alterion—but it's not something the populace likes acknowledging.The most common forms of Alchemy (Magic) within Alterion follows and are in order from Common to Exceptional.
    Please note: that the order does not dictate supremacy over the other, merely the level of exposure.
    Common Knowledge
    Alteria/Alterna— Imbued with the power of the Crystal these manufactured crystals come in all shapes and sizes and grant individuals abilities and powers they might not otherwise have, and/or enhance current abilities/powers.
    Crystallyn—Crystallyns are individuals infused with the Crystal's power, either by genetic enchantment or by virtue of birth (given that the Crystals power literally infects the land it resides in, it's very common for children to be born with preternatural abilities.) They can be considered something of a demi-god. 
    Masonic Alchemy —Just as the Runemaster serves as the jack-of-all-trades for the magical community, so too does the Alchemist serve the psionic/scientific. The alchemist uses scientific knowledge and complex formulae in conjunction with Alchemic symbols to unleash devastating attacks. Just as a Runemaster studies spells and their workings, an alchemist studies the world and it's compounds in order to manipulate it.
    There are numerous schools of Alchemy each of which differ in their results, but all operate off of the same principle of equivalent  exchange.
    Many practice the basics of Masonic Alchemy, but few can claim to be a master of a specific School.
    Tellyn—the term reserved for individuals who have consumed a Tellus Seed and gained supernatural abilities as a result. Considered a lower level demi-god. 
    Rare Knowledge
    Althane—a race of greater demigods resulting from the breeding of the The Guild with the indigenous people of Alterion. They left Alterion when the Alteri and the Guild fled, but unlike their ancestors have been known to visit the mortal realm from time-to-time. 
     The Guild—a pantheon of gods and goddesses that are descended from the Alteri. They are sometimes referred to as Archons and High Archons by Renovatians and the Altarr, by Alterians. 
    The Alteri— The primordial deities spawned from the Crystal during its descent into the Alterion landmass. They were exceptionally powerful beings revered as nature spirits and elementals. They birthed the Altarr, the gods and goddeses of the Guild.
    Technology and Setting
    From a technological standpoint Alterion is on par, if not a small step ahead of Renovatio—if only in regards to biotechnology.
    Alterion is a blend of dark science fantasy and horror. There are certainly modern and futuristic elements, at play. You'll see motor cars, you'll also see horse(and various other creature)drawn carriages. You'll see men in doublets and men in jerkins alongside men in business suits. You'll see a man in a suit of armor. It's common for people to utilize swords and other bladed weaponry as guns (as is the case with most RP) aren't tried and true methods of stopping an attacker. Older sections of certain  Provinces may have archaic temples and castles with vaulted skyscrapers looming over them.
    How is Alterion tech affected elsewhere?
    Alterion technology operates via crystal energy from synthetic crystals. Unless you are in close proximity to the Crystal or crystal reactors (ie. if you’re not in Alterion and there are no sources of Crystal energynear ) then your power is finite. Alterion tech can usually function in other realms, but since it operates on auxiliary energy it is only as powerful as that land can provide (ieAlterion weapons in Terrenus are bound by that boards limitations, but function normally in Alterion.
     
    Political Climate & Important Events
     Political Turmoil & Affiliations
    Alterion has three distinct and powerful political factions at play: The Masons, The Hunters and the Rebellion. These three groups represent the greatest military forces on Alterion, and their relations are very vital to the balance of power and maintaining the Alterion Nation. The three powers exist in a delicate balance of power, not all the details of which are known. It is however known that only the other two organizations are equivalent to the Masons' military might. While there are certainly more than three organization at the end of the day, a player/groups alliance will fall into one of these three Categories.  Heroes have emerged within all three factions, and infighting is common among them, but full out war has been averted for a number of years. 
    H I S T O R Y 
    Condensed Alterion Timeline
    Major Historical Periods
    These events are from oldest to most recent.
    The Republic of Alterion
    Settlers from the Muhir and Rosinder regions, fled their homelands for various reasons and commingled with the native Alterian's, who revered the Crystal as a god. They eventually established a thriving republic, wherein the wealthiest individuals made up a senatorial body, contingent upon election by the people. Dependent upon a patron-client relationship, the republic thrived and spread across Alterian, forming a vast merchant empire. During the Republic's reign a number of slave revolts occurred, leading to what would become the First Rebellion. Claiming the Crystal was not a true Deity but a malevolent entity from another world, the rebellion was subsequently crushed by the republic forces, but not before it destabilized the republic.
    Era of the Winter King
    The republic attempted to stay strong for a multitude of years, but eventually lost its waning stability to a warlord called The Winter King. The Winter King reigned for a very short decade before being deposed and the republic took control again. Vowing not to repeat it's mistakes, the republic reformed into a genuine merchant Empire with the most prosperous family serving as Emperor. It was during the reign of the Empire that a young woman stepped forward claiming to be the Crystal incarnate, Riva the Masonress.
    The Age of Riva and the Rebirth of Rebellion
    Riva rose up against the empire and spoke out against the corruption in the senate. Calling for lighter tax on free merchants and stricter regulations on the slave trade, Riva soon made allies within the Merchant Guild and used these contacts to build her army and eventually overthrow the republic/empire. The remnants of the original Empire scattered across Alterion, going on to reform into several rebellious factions that plague the Masons and the Corporations, to this day.
    The Masonic Theocracy
    Upon seizing control, Riva began the arduous process of building her church, the Cathedral, around the Crystal itself. Riva's design of the monolithic temple and further blueprints for her ideal city were used throughout the years to expand Cosanastre—building the new world atop the ashes of the old.Of all the merchant families and allied organizations that followed her, the four most powerful ruled alongside the young Madonress and eventually spread to found the remaining cities of Alterion.The MaGNUS collective of merchants, the Proteus Company Caravan Guard, The Daius Syndicate of Pirates and the Aureus School of Scholars and learned men—these Titans of industry founded the four ruling companies and oversaw the protection of Riva and her Masons, long after her death.
    The Hidden Oligarchy
    Riva soon died and her body disappeared, leaving the Corporations to elect a puppet High Mason. For the next several generations Alterion saw the nation ruled by a collective of four corporations—each vying for control of the High Mason, while the people prospered or suffered as the ruling company deemed fitting. Within the last generation MaGNUS Corp gained control and maintained their position, but Alterion was destined to never know peace or stability.
    The Royce Conspiracy
    MaGNUS fell, under mysterious means, though many believed a young Daius Operative, Ocelot Royce responsible for the act. As was the case, the corporations began their quiet power struggle and Daius rose to the top, their CEO and High King Long Tom Gallin claiming superiority and control of the High Mason. Long Tom was eventually betrayed and replaced by his adoptive son, Ocelot Royce. In a move, as rash as it was daring, Ocelot also assassinated the High Mason and seemingly merged with the Crystal, claiming his actions guided by the deity's divine will.
    Resurgence of the Winter King
    In an unprecedented move, Ocelot Royce named himself High Mason and CEO of Daius Industries (High King of the Daius Syndicate). In order to secure his power, Ocelot moved against Proteus and Aureus, engaging the rival companies in a successful hostile takeover, adding Proteus Enterprises and Aureus Labs as subsidiaries of Daius Industries. Though the Rebellion remains an ever present threat in Izral, it remains the sole city not officially under Ocelot Royce's purview.
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    Artificer reacted to supernal for a article, Dark Forest   
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    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. 
    Flora
    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.
    Canon
    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.
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    Artificer reacted to supernal for a article, Great Pine Barrens   
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    The Great Pine Barrens are the largest wooded area in Terrenus and take up a large amount of the continent in general. Due in part to its size, and in part to the odd collection of people and energies inside of its tree covered paths, the Pine Barrens are home to a diverse selection of races. The animal life here is savage and exotic, some of them shockingly large and powerful while others nearly imperceptibly small yet equally as dangerous. It is a melting pot of creatures and creation alike and thanks either to natural adaptation or man-made intervention, the creatures of the Barrens are dangerous.   Though most of the Desecrator legions had been wiped out in the Crusades a little over twenty years ago, there are a few families that live on in the Barrens. Those who lack the talent or patience to blend in with the masses, or who do not favor gaining political sway, or who have not taken refuge among the criminals of Last Chance, choose to reside here.   There are rumors, scant and hard to find even when looking for them, that Zengi the witch-king has made his return and resides in the place he made his home six-hundred years ago: the witch's cave, near the southernmost leg of Timber Creek. In his day and age Zengi was a powerful and influential force of negative intent. He is blamed for the tidal wave that damaged Casper six hundred years ago, the sabotage of the Noble houses, the propagator of the invasion in the Hidden Valley, and recently undeniable evidence has surfaced that Zengi also brought into being the terrible plague that swept through the lands in that era. Given his necromantic proclivities it is feared that Zengi has only grown stronger after death.   Zengi isn't the only celebrity to call the Great Pines Barren a home. A thousand years ago Herbie was a simple potato farmer born and raised in Terrenus to simple parents who had a knack for magical systems and arcane typology. Before long other great minds gravitated towards his own and Herbie made friends with the revolutionary geniuses, the Scudders' brothers. Together they laid the groundwork for modern magical theory, invented the field of arcane telemetry (which is the basis for contemporary arcane cryptography), put magi-tek on its feet and contributed vastly to runic architecture. Less than a year after meeting the genius centaur twins Herbie abandoned the city life in his search for God-Truth and wound up in the Pine Barrens, where Herbie made a Bed for himself.   Herbie is lauded for such acts as helping to overthrow the tyrannical King Levas and toppling the monarchy, of convincing the King of Fairies not to 'cleanse' the human race off the face of the earth, who found the necropolis hidden in the Forbidding Hills, who fashioned the Terrenus' first Sanctuary spell based on the Peaceful Woods, and who some allege was directly responsible for Zengi 's death.   Canon   The wild hunt: Miss Blonde with the help of a hired crew tracked and hunted down three legendary creatures in order to harvest their valuable resources and sell them. However Miss Blonde also stole the beasts spirits and used the energy to make a powerful magic item in order to sell. Developing a Gambit: Three political alliances are formed throughout the course of this thread. One between the Giants of No Man's Land and the orc tribe in the Great Pine Barrens. One between the orcs of NML and GPB. And finally, and perhaps most significantly, one between the orc tribe and witch sisterhood of No Man's Land and their Giant neighbors. In July 2013, the water sprite will be a fully mature water elemental that can be captured or befriended and summoned. The Hunt For Supplies - Ch. 2: Cross and Keanue go to the Barrens to mine solabernite. They are attacked by a giant beetle with the mineral crusting its shell. The battle causes the solabernite to detonate, causing an explosion that sets fire to the area. Cross summons a water sprite which douses the fires. Having gathered all the solabernite they needed, the two take off to Black Ridge to mine Nth before going their separate ways. No Man's Land
    No Man's Land is a curious patch of earth stretching from the base of a nearby mountain two miles to the east and 15 miles to the north, following along the mountain's natural border for the whole upper half. Passerby's report a feeling of general unease. Extensive investigations have revealed nothing suspicious in particular, home to the usual range of Terran beasts though a handful of scientists have remarked that intelligent, self-aware creatures seemed to keep their distance.
    To the sight, No Man's Land is perfectly described by its given name. it is a wasteland, one of utter desolation with fixed boundaries, the waste neatly delineated by a thin line separating the waste from the verdure of the adjacent forest. This border has never been known to either shrink or grow. Nothing is wrong with the scene, no sense of foreboding or danger hangs in the air, but the utter lack of anything alive has a depressing effect on the conscious mind and hikers are urged along to the mountain, where the interminable silence finally ends, to continue their journey across Terrenus.
    No Man's Land was named by the great sage Herbie hundreds of years ago when the Scudders' Brothers ostracized themselves from civilization and left Herbie's genius mind distraught with idleness. The land is so called because it is where Herbie performed the vast majority of his later experiments, and he asserts that it is not a land 'upon which mortal men are meant to dwell. It is indeed and foremost a playground of the gods of ideas and nature, whose expression is not meant to, and cannot, be tamed and restrained'. No Man's Land is, quite literally, a land for no man.
    Recent advancements have brought with them finer tools for the measurement of natural forces. This applies as much to the technological concept as to the spiritual. Saint Odin Haze, upon passing through No Man's Land for the first time, returned to Ignatz a few months later with schematics on new telemetry devices. These devices record astonishing amounts of energy that operate at the 'white level' frequency, facilitating the natural processes of healing, creative thought, ingenuity, and empathy.
    The Saint has gone on record as remarking that some who report unease in passing through No Man's Land are the source of their own discomfort. They see waste and ruin, and so afflict themselves with the negative connotations those thoughts attract. Those truly in tune with their surroundings might find themselves moved to tears at the grand display of life to be found there. Saint Odin Haze, calling to the mind of the general public that Herbie was a notorious trickster, regards No Man's Land as Herbie's greatest practical joke.
    Locations
    Mt. Ariadne: Home to the Sisterhood of Witches Canon
    Dragons are forever: Alexandria of the Sisterhood of Witches infiltrates a newly established dragon's hive in No Man's Land. With the help of orcs and the collective, she manages to take over the nest and commandeer 30 Rider Dragons to be used for the witches' developing stable. All the while, she protects the land from a nasty spider infestation in making.   A once snowy morning: A man in black with gold eyes (Faustus) claims a teenage frost giant as his special project. He augments the giant's intelligence and teaches the young giant how to best the alpha of his tribe in single combat, taking his place. Working through his champion, Faustus makes the giants more intelligent; his "son" becomes their king and he their high priest. Life Can Be A Witch: The Sisterhood of Witches, after finding their magic going haywire in No Man's Land, stumbles across and puts a stop to an orc horde burning witches alive in a bon fire. After defusing the source of the arcane conflict the SoW claim No Man's Land, the orcs and their fortress for their own. Herbie's Bed
    Herbie's Bed is a cross-section of land comprising a little under one-tenth of the total surface area of the Great Pine Barrens. It is comprised primarily of shale and breccia with interspersed pockets of rhyolite. At the very peak of Herbie's Bed an observer is given an uninterrupted view of the Great Pine Barrens, stretching for miles in every direction but south, flooding the eye with the lush greens of vegetation for 220 degrees. The remaining 80 degrees are completely occupied by a breath-taking view of the Southern Sea, looking like cascading sheets of gold at sunrise and a blazing pool of cerise fire at sunset.
    This vast dichotomy of nature has inspired awe and has been the direct source of inspiration for some of Terrenus's greatest painters and scientists.
    The savvy Terrenus cartographer notes a certain curiosity in the fact that Herbie, arguably one of Terrenus's greatest magician, scientist and overall force for good, made his home in direct proximity and competition with the abode of the sinister Zengi, arguably one of Terrenus's most malignant and driven forces of evil. Some Druidic mystics have noticed an odd corruption at the exact point where the boundaries of Herbie's Bed meets the boundaries of the Witch's Cave, but are as yet unable to determine a cause.
    Herbie the Sage is talked about rarely save in the most advanced scientific and occult circles. To some he is known as a mystic of extraordinary power and knowledge; to others he is known as one of Terrenus's most famous scientists, pioneering the field of magical theory in an age of base superstition.
    Herbie has had a direct hand in the development of various well-known places across the face of Terrenus. The ones most widely recognized are:
    Herbie's Notable Accomplishments
    No Man's Land
    A long strip of rocky terrain extending through the south-eastern part of the Great Pine Barrens. It is a place that seems afflicted by the most perverse desolation but which those sensitive enough will vow is a place rich with life and energy. Odin Haze has called No Man's Land Herbie's greatest practical joke.
    The Hidden Valley
    The Hidden Valley is the only place in Terrenus, and arguably the whole of the Valucre world, that is completely hidden away from all forms of divination or scrying. The effects guard solely against the arcane, so telescopes and the like can see the Hidden Valley but have a hard time penetrating its thick canopy. Herbie is rumored to be the source of this anti-divination.
    Moonwood
    This area is affected by an odd effect that causes the gravity to mimic that of the moon. Although this effect is generated by the magic of the elves that live in the Moonwood, and not through the hands of our mystical Sage, Herbie nonetheless has history in Moonwood. Herbie managed to bring peace to Moonwood just as the King of Fairies was about to unleash his deadly army to sweep the lands of the wicked King Levas.
    The Forbidden Hills
    Launching the very first arcano-analytic investigation into the Forbidden Hills, Herbie was able to discover why the site was such a great well of unease for the general populous. He came to discover that the Forbidden Hills was the site of many a massacre and dark rituals, and was a forgotten necropolis.
    Peaceful Woods
    There are two rumors regarding the Peaceful Wood. That it was either created by a race of nearly extinct shamans, that it was one of Herbie's greatest creations or, the holistic approach, that Herbie himself was one of the shamans that made the Peaceful Wood what it is.
    The narrator has taken the time to expound on a few of Herbie's most infamous, past achievements for the sole purpose of emphasizing the importance of this piece of Terrenus land in particular. The appropriately titled slice of land known as Herbie's Bed was indeed Herbie's home, and home as well to a number of priceless artifacts of untold power.
    Canon
    Diamonds are a witch's best friend: The Sisterhood of Witches travel in search of an ancient dragon. Much of the thread is spent finding and facing the trials of the fierce dragon and cold mountain. Two witches are incapacitated and three orcs are killed, but the remaining prevail in capturing the dragon [barely] alive, along with its valuable egg. Under the efforts of Clementine and Alexandria, the dragon is now belongs to Luna and her coven. Witch's Cave
    Canon
    Life Sucks: Richter Grievous finds that his quest for the Artifact of Immortality has led him to the Witch's Cave. Grievous's life is threatened, his sanity challenge, and his mortality brought to bear but he manages to fell all foes, including the Elder Vampire who has made the artifact his personal boon. Richter claims the artifact for himself. The Haunting: After countless years spent in search for Zengi, Alexander (a student of the necromantic arts) acquires information that leads him to the Witch's Caver. After days more of searching, they come face to face. Alex proposes a merger. For reasons that remain unknown to anyone but Zengi itself, Zengi agrees to the deal. In catastrophic union the two become one. The Witch King returns. Peaceful Woods
    The Peaceful Woods border the Great Pine Barrens' south-eastern flank and fringes a small mountain range. As its name suggests, it is peaceful. No, no. Peace truly reigns supreme in the woods. Nothing can come to harm in the Peaceful Woods. Nothing. There is no might in the world that can injure anyone or anything within its bounds. When the Desolator covered the world in darkness, the Peaceful Woods and its inhabitants alone remained unaffected.
    Ever since its discovery, it has been a popular training ground for newbie Terran soldiers. They can strike each other with spells and swords, but nothing happens. Nothing is cut, and nothing is bruised, neither wood nor flesh is burned. The Peaceful Woods defy the circle of life as mankind knows it. Nothing is ever seen eating anything else except sap excreted by the ancient sequoias that make up the woods. It is thought that the sap from its trees is distantly related to the sap in the forests outside of Biazo, but since the trees cannot be dissected, and stealing the sap from animals that use it as sustenance counts as a malicious act that causes harm, it cannot be taken except for eating and quenching thirst.
    It is known from folk stories passed from old tribes to traveling bards to history books that the Peaceful Woods predates written history. The sanctuary is thought to have been forged by many clans of shamans working in tandem, the only two still known by name being the Coconino and the Shawnee; the latter tribe still exists, but they have secluded themselves on the Shawnee Glacier. Nobody really knows what happened to the Coconino.
    Surprisingly few people live in the Peaceful Woods. The only permanent residents are few and far between, and they enjoy their seclusion. But there is a friendly bunch of talking red foxes, bright eyed and bushy tailed, that lope around guiding travelers and spinning unbelievable tales for anyone who will listen. Perhaps they might know something of the Peaceful Wood's past. Of course, when people leave the Peaceful Woods, if they follow the foxes’ advice they tend to get into some kind of trouble.
    Since the existence of Unnaturals is harmful in and of itself, they cannot enter the Peaceful Woods. They literally bounce off. This property is highly coveted by the Gaians, but they have been unable to replicate it; their sanctuary spells are feeble in comparison. Notably, the Peaceful Wood shrinks by approximately one-fifth of the distance the Shawnee Glacier recedes every year, making the reproduction of its tranquility a top priority.
    It is heavily rumored that the Peaceful Wood is the way it is due to Herbie the Sage creating the first ever Sanctuary spell on this land.
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    Artificer reacted to supernal for a article, Hidden Valley   
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    The Hidden Valley, true to its name, is a perfect enclave. To the south lies the Forgotten Woods, to the north the Wastelands, to the east turbulent stretches of ocean and to the west the infamous Black Range. The Valley is protected on all fronts from intrusion and remains impervious to divination even from skilled practitioners for reasons unknown. Despite being enclosed by dangerous terrain on all sides, it is still possible to see what goes on in the Valley granted that the observer has a high enough vantage.
    The Valley has long been rumored to have been one of many playgrounds of Herbie, the infamous scientist-sage, though there is no historical evidence or credible eye-witness testimony to give substance to the hearsay. With that in mind, it is a commonly entertained opinion among magical scholars that Herbie's involvement would explain the anti-divination measures blanketing the Valley as the sage was notorious for prizing his privacy. Along with diviners not being able to peer in, divination magic is completely defunct once inside of the Valley, and methods of recording information aside from simply writing or sketching often times fails.
    Edward Brown devised an algorithm to measure and plot cluster decay alongside isometric transmission, allowing properly modified telemetry devices to project possible events going on inside of the Hidden Valley through halo emissions of energy rather than divination. The end result is little more than a rough sketch but, as Edward said, it's "better than going in blind".
    The rumored involvement of Herbie the sage is a deus ex machine favored among occultist for the explanation of the strange creatures inhabiting the Hidden Valley. According to eye-witness accounts, the creatures are equally invisible to the naked eye and arcane vision; no one has attempted True Sight inside of the Valley yet, given the spell's strong ties to anti-divination. These creatures show no presence in the astral, ethereal or shadow planes and, as yet, there has been no method for classification of the different types. All that is known about the creatures is that they are terribly strong, extremely quick, and surprisingly intelligent.
    Despite being detached from any significant body of water, some eye-witnesses have nonetheless reported a savage waterfall can be found in the valley. Even more curious, the waterfall never seems to stay in the same place.
    Canon
    I'll race you there: Iris Hyacinth (PK03; Dougton) And Theodore Amantis (Physicist; Tian) journey back to the moon and explore the cave system Iris had marked out on her previous expedition. Their trip unearths a lot of information with curious implications, least of all is the suggestion of two distinct forms of alien life and civilization. Aim for the angels: Iris Hyacinth, PeaceKeeper 003 and guardian of Dougton, builds a spaceship but sorely needs an engine. She asks a friend for help and her friend contracts Catalyst Corporation to build her an engine based on his designs. Iris flies to the moon and back, sowing the seeds for future research and exploits.
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    Artificer reacted to Song Sprite for a article, Selemath   
    The Sovereign City-State of Selemath



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    Selemath is the ancestral home of the Veldamari - the High Elves. It is found deep in the forested region that dominates southwestern Terrenus, the area previously known as Oliver Scudder's Woods to the humans, though the Veldamari refer to all of Scudder's Woods as Orolindaria: "the Great Woods".
    While they do not consider themselves to be directly under the rule of Odin, they acknowledge him as the rightful ruler of the rest of Terrenus, and laud his efforts to spread the truths of Gaianism.
    Geography
    Topography
    Selemath is situated at the highest point on a line of gentle forested hills that runs from northwest to southeast. From most places in the city, the ground slopes gently away in every direction. The centre of the city is its highest point, and home to some of its oldest and largest structures: the royal palace, which also houses many of the Royal Guard, the city library, and an ancient temple to Gaia: the Temple of the Tree.
    Cityscape
    From a distance, it is impossible for a newcomer to discern where the forest ends and the city begins, especially during the day. Most of the original trees have been left standing; the fluid architecture of the Elves incorporates the living trees into its structure, often curving to allow a large tree to grow, and sometimes even using the living wood as part of the structural form of a dwelling, by means of enchantments and flexible building materials that can be modified over time to allow for the growth of the tree.
    Most dwellings are constructed of a mix of wood and stone, many having two or three storeys, and featuring high arches and pillars that mimic the natural structures of trees with intertwining branches. Within a dwelling, most doorways are closed by an ornamental hanging of heavy fabric rather than a wooden door. These fabric door hangings, called veldaln, are often very beautiful, featuring delicate embroidery and feltwork that has been a family member’s labour of love for many years. Some show family portraits or woodland scenes, while many others feature the mother tree.
    Climate
    The climate of Selemath is moderate, affected mostly by the weather systems of the great sea to the south and east, and the warm inlands to the west. Snow is rare and considered a treat, as it covers the ground with a mere dusting that is gone in a day. As a rule of thumb, if the wind is coming from the southeast, it will bring rain, and if it comes from the west, it will bring sunshine.
    Unique Flora
    At night, the paths that wind through the city are lit by a variety of bioluminescent life forms: the path itself is clearly marked by an edging of bioluminescent moss and mushrooms, while the trees which arch over the paths are entwined with symbiotic vine-like plants called moonbright. These vines are carnivorous, catching insects and tree parasites in their globes of sticky, sap-like nectar. These translucent globes regularly grow between two to nine inches across, and the larger ones cast a cool, bright light like moonlight, hence their name; the nectar itself is the source of the bioluminescence.
    Demographics
    Population
    The Veldamari are immortal: births and deaths are equally rare in their peaceful society. Historically their population has increased slightly over time, although easier access to the rest of the world by means of airships has meant that many young people choose to settle elsewhere in Terrenus, which has caused a small but noticeable decline in the population in the recent past.
    Their current population is around 1.9 million, with about 800,000 living in the city proper, and the rest spread out in smaller communities in the woodlands all around. Over 97% of the population is Elvish, with the remaining 3% consisting of centaurs, gnomes, humans, and other more exotic creatures who find the city a peaceful refuge from the bustle of the larger cities of Terrenus.
    Selemath maintains a small standing army in the form of the Royal Guard, which consists of about 8,000 armed Elves, trained and equipped for archery, swordfighting and magical combat. About 20% of the Royal Guard is female. In addition, every Elvish citizen of Selemath is required to spend fifty years on duty with the Royal Auxiliary Force before they reach two hundred years of age, where they are trained in archery, leadership and the basics of hand-to-hand combat and guerilla tactics; at the completion of their time with the Auxiliary they are given a bow and quiver of arrows, which it is their duty to keep in good repair for the remainder of their life. This practice ensures that if war ever comes to Selemath, a very high percentage of its civilian population will be able to mobilize in an organized fashion for combat.
    Culture and Lifestyle
    The Elves worship Gaia, after their own fashion. For more on Elvish Gaianism, see the Veldamari.
    The sleeping and waking of an Elf does not follow the pattern of alternating consciousness and unconsciousness that is practiced by humans. Unless ill or injured, an Elf will rarely pass into a deep, unconscious sleep. Instead, when they are at their ease they often pass into a state of half-dreaming, while still cognizant of their surroundings. As they are as likely to do so during the day as during the night, they are often up and about all the night long; the streets of Selemath, well-lit by its bioluminescent plants, are almost as crowded at midnight as at midday.
    The arts in almost every form are practiced at a high level in this cultured city: it has its own choirs, orchestras, dramatic arts groups, and guilds for nearly every kind of fine craftsmanship imaginable, from embroidery to swordsmithery.
    Economy
    The Veldamari live on a diet of nutrient-rich plants, fruits and root vegetables which thrive in the forests all around. Many hundreds of acres of forest are dedicated to providing food for the residents of the city; rather than clear-cutting the woods, the Veldamari carefully cultivate and ‘garden’ the native flora, in the honoured role of Thessli, which is part farmer, part gardener, and part woodsman. The Thessli also provide high-quality lumber both for use in Selemath and for export, carefully choosing trees whose removal will improve the health of the surrounding woods.
    Within the city itself, trees and plants also abound in a natural extension of the Orolindaria, and every family has a small personal garden of herbs and edible plants.
    Selemath is also home to an abundance of freshwater springs. Many of these have been carefully tended so that they continue to run cleanly, often into a fountain or stone pool, with gardens all around.
    Major Companies and Institutions
    The Royal Guard & Royal Auxiliaries
    The Thessli Guild
    The Veldior Trading Company: this large, profitable company has a hand in most of the trading that goes on between Selemath and the other cities of Terrenus. Some of its main imports are salt, magitech novelty items, paints, and silk, while its main exports are fine artisan craftworks, seeds and seedlings of rare plants, and lumber.

    Parks and Recreation
    For its beauty and tranquility, almost the whole city of Selemath could be characterized as a park. It is impossible to travel more than a few minutes through the city without encountering some beautiful sight, be it a carefully-tended garden around a freshwater spring providing public access to water, or a shrine to Gaia, with letters of prayer gently tied to the boughs of a sacred tree.
    Landmarks and monuments
    Several of the city’s landmarks are gathered at the central high point of the Selemath’s natural hills:
    The Royal Palace: this expansive, many-levelled structure is home to the Queen and her family, along with several members of the council. The Queen holds public audiences to all citizens of the city for a few hours every afternoon in the throneroom. However, residents are encouraged to take advantage of the many mediators and lawyers available at the palace and throughout the realm, leaving the queen free to address only the most serious matters.

    The City Library: more than a simple repository of scrolls, the Library is also the hub of post-secondary education in Selemath; see the section on Education below.

    The Temple of the Tree: This ancient holy site centres around an ancient giant of the forest; one of the oldest and largest trees still living on the continent. It takes almost five minutes just to walk around its base; its living branches stretch into the air for hundreds of feet, the undisputed king of the skyline. The temple itself is simply an open-air series of pillars and archways that lovingly surround the base of the tree, with seating here and there for those who wish to simply sit and contemplate the majestic sight. The Veldamari often come to the tree for prayer or contemplation when their hearts are troubled; simply the sight of the tree brings comfort and peace to restless souls. Expectant mothers and those with young children also come often to be ‘blessed’ by the peaceful spirit emanating from the gentle giant.

    Other landmarks include the airship landing pad, which is in a natural meadow about ten minutes’ walk from the palace, and which always attracts merchants eager to sell their wares to newly-arrived tourists, and the Royal Theatre, located about half an hour’s walk from the palace, which has some of the best acoustics anywhere in Terrenus.
    Government
    The Veldamari government is a hereditary monarchy. The crown passes to the firstborn of each generation, independent of gender. The current ruler is Queen Anoria. She is aided in her rule by a circle of advisors, though her decision on any matter is considered final. In addition to the Elven advisors, the queen takes into careful consideration the opinion of the ambassador from the Scudder centaurs, with whom they share the vast expanse of Orolindaria.
    There are court-appointed judges and mediators available at the palace to handle legal disputes and cases of injustice. Due to the peaceful nature of the Veldamari, who are naturally predisposed to lawfulness and goodness, such disputes are far less frequent than in the bustling human cities of Terrenus.
    Education
    The Elves are, as a rule, literate and well-educated. They have access to most of the same levels of magitech as the rest of Terrenus, although for the most part they eschew use of techno-gadgets in favour of the use of ‘pure’ elemental magic and traditional craftsmanship, as they are proficient in both of these areas, and value beauty and craftsmanship much more highly than efficiency and usefulness.
    As there are, at any given time, relatively few young people in Selemath, the regular system of education is tutoring, carried out partially by the extended family and partially by professional tutors.
    For higher education, the Library boasts a faculty of professors who teach a range of subjects, including the finer nuances of elemental magic, history, poetry, music, economics, herbology, medicine, and ecology. It is here, by passing a rigorous entrance exam, that students may pursue graduate studies with the goal of eventually attaining the honoured rank of Thessli. The educational program takes decades to complete, equipping new Thessli with a thorough knowledge of every plant native to the Orolindaria, its uses, how to care for it from seed through to its decay and return to the soil, as well as the practical magic involved in curing blight and encouraging a withering shoot to blossom, and the intricate ways in which the flora and fauna of the Orolindaria depends upon each individual life form to allow it to form a healthy whole.
    Transportation
    There are monthly airship ferries from Doughton, Casper and Weland to Selemath; it is not part of the Lightening Rail or Warp Gate systems.
    Within the city, transportation is almost exclusively by foot, although horse-drawn carts are available for special occasions or those unable to walk.
    Notable Residents
    Queen Anoria and her husband, Lord Mirdos
    Goldenrye Scudder, speaker for the centaurs on the council
    Lady Laurelei, chief of the Thessli Guild, council member
    Lady Mabelinara, Queen’s Magician and Keeper of Lore; head of the council and one of the oldest and most revered Elves
    Sir Elendar, captain of the Royal Guard
    Sir Sorados, captain of the Royal Auxiliaries

    History and politics
    As a political body, the Veldamari have remained mostly separatist, preferring to keep to themselves and mind their own business, and let the human and racially-varied cities of the rest of the continent do the same. To this end, they have declined the offers from the Terrenus government to incorporate Selemath in its network of Lightening Rails and Warp Gates, although they do maintain a crystal communication system with Ignatz, and regular airship ferries sail from Doughton, Casper and Weland to Selemath, as humans and other races travel to see the beautiful, peaceful city, and young Elves travel to see the rest of the world.
    They have a military force, however it serves only to protect the city, as a deterrent to any potential invasion or annexation by the other forces on the continent.
  8. Like
    Artificer reacted to supernal for a article, High Desert - obsolete 2018-11-05   
    Now part of Wastelands article

    This picture is open-source and labelled for reuse
    The whole of the wastelands is, for the most part, fairly inhospitable. And yet there can be found signs of life, if one knows where to look. Cacti and shrubs and other forms of tenacious plant life pepper the landscape. Reptiles and coyote and Suujali find their shelter in the shade of outcroppings or in underground coves.
    But in the high desert, life is a fiction. The high desert is roughly twenty miles square of visibly elevated land, its sands a richer brown, and its epicenter is sketched out by a neat ring five miles in diameter, where the silica has given up its identity as particulate and fused to form a large, flat disc of highly reflective crystal. At high 9 in the morning and at 3 in the afternoon the sun strikes this disc at such an angle that the resulting light can be seen from orbit. Its light has been known to blind on sight and, for nearly an hour before and after those times, raises the desert to temperatures forbidding of life.
    Travel across the glass disc is feasibly only at night, and curious effects can be observed at this time of night. When the moon washes over the crystal disc instead of the sun it refracts at odd angles that illuminate the desert and wash it in silvery beauty. The moon's pull is greatly amplified during its Full phase, somehow generating a denser atmosphere so that one feels as if one is moving underwater. The moon's amplified presence also has the notable side-effect of vastly increasing divination abilities.
    During the autumnal equinox, the interplay between the aurora valucreaus and the quartz crystal of the glass plate make the skies lurid with color.
  9. Like
    Artificer reacted to Mickey Flash for a article, Elendaron   
    Elendaron is a place of magic, danger, and mystery.  There are many different lands, underground, underwater, and floating in the air.  The creatures residing there are just about as diverse as the land, and each one has made their area fit their lifestyle.  It is ruled by a queen, Queen Malia.  She is a new ruler, young, and elven.  She must prove her worth with the wildness of the land, and against the strength of her enemies.  
     
    Elendaron Quests
     
    Geography:
    Topography:  The land of Elendaron is surrounded by water on almost all sides.  In Elendaron there are massive amounts of forests, a few mountains, some desert plains, caves, and gentle rolling hills.  Jungles are not unheard of, nor ice lands.
      Climate:  Different areas of Elendaron have different climates, due to magical disruption or location.  In the north the climate is more mild, with only rain storms and a possible tornado or two to be disruptive.  In the South there are plains and mild weather as well.  In the West there are desert lands and jungle.  In the East there is snow and wasteland.  In the very center of Elendaron there is the Great Forest that has acquired aspects of all the areas climate.  
      Demographics:
    Population:  50,000,000
    50.7% are female, 49.3% are male
    Species - There are a variety of mixed species in Elendaron.  The majority of them are elves, dwarves, human, vampire, demon, and fae.  
      Culture:  Having to deal with wildly different climates and environments depending on where they are located, the people of Elendaron are a hearty and enduring people who are as familiar with sailing as they are with making their way through a jungle. They are a henotheistic culture, which means that many different parts of the populace will adhere to one particular god without discounting the possibility or existence of others. The Elendaron people are known for their enchanted gems and jewelry, as their land is covered with crystals known to have magic properties. Until the recent reign of Queen Malia, education in Elendaron has been focused mainly on textiles and subsistence farming; they are now focusing on engineering and magic to poise themselves to enter the global stage.
      Economy:  The trade is fairly good with Elendaron.  It’s resources are magical and unique.  The crystals that litter the land and inside the mountains have magical properties, as well as can be used for energy purposes.  There are flora and fauna found nowhere else in Valucre.  
      Government:  Elendaron is ruled by a Monarch.  Queen Malia is the new ruler of Elendaron.  She has inherited the title after the death of Queen Nylam, her distant cousin.  
      Military:  Each area has their own regiment of military soldiers, but they are all loyal  to Queen Malia.  She can request their services for war time at any time she deems necessary.  Some areas have more military than others, and the queen also has her own personal protectors on hand.  She also has a special forces unit made up of some of the most dangerous and skilled individuals.  Some are public figures, while others wish to remain out of the public eye.  
      Foreign Relations:  Elendaron is allied with Athentha, Alterion, and newly allied with the underwater city of Adain.  
      Education:  Queen Nylam had always enforced a desire for higher education for her kingdom, and Queen Malia reinforces her cousin’s wishes.  The areas are stressed to provide the best forms of education available to them, and education programs have been specially set up for relief for each area that requires it.  
      Transportation:  There are many forms of transportation.  The most popular is the Obsidian Tear, which is a magical hover train that can transport all over Elendaron.  There are also more modern areas in Elendaron, which allow for motor vehicles.  And some areas still use horse and carriage.  Some magical portals have also been found in or around Elendaron, natural warp gates that can take you to different destinations.  These gates move continuously, and are not easy to find.  If found the exact destination can not be determined, so most locals never use them.  
     
    History:  (From past to present)
    Dragon Wars - Long ago, there was a conflict between dragons and the rest of the species.  A war broke out, and left many dead upon the earth.  The dragons began to take heavy losses and were either slaughtered, or went into hiding.  The dragon population had been scarce ever since.  Some think that the dragons had died, or their bloodline had been weakened.  Others say they are still hidden in Elendaron, in the mountains, or underground.  
      Rosinder Takeover - Rosinder was a great kingdom, built in a savage time and a savage land.  The people were warriors.  No one knows exactly how the people were conquered or where they disappeared to.  One day in the midst of another in a long line of wars, they vanished, and all that is left is the Elendaron you see now.  
      Queen Nylam’s Reign - Queen Nylam began her rule after the Dragon Wars and the Rosinder Takeover.  She was a fair ruler, kind and considerate of her people.  She was well loved by most she ruled.  
      Queen Malia’s Reign -  Present day.
      Areas of Importance:
    Seinaru Forven - This is an area abundant in magic and dragons.  There are giant crocodiles and hidden magical cities.  The elven queen was born here, and many political endeavors take place in this area.  
      Vechynacht - This is a land of darkness as well as cold.  You can find horror as well as a comedic nonchalance among its people.  Death is not done here, and you might find walking talking clothing items.  
      Draco South - This area has a steampunk theme, with a more modern twist than the rest of Elendaron.  Organized crime is common, and it has political conflict due to the distance from the queen’s home of Seinaru Forven.
      Nar Oeste - This land is harsh and wild, part of it being desert while the other half is jungle.  Though as abundant in different species as the rest of Elendaron, Nar Oeste also boasts of a large population of vampires.  
      Athentha - Floating mountainous islands decorate the sky, and its name is Athentha.  They are allied with Elendaron, and are populated by a majority of demon species.  
     
  10. Like
    Artificer reacted to Jesus Negro for a article, the Tree of Life.   
    The Tree of Life, or better known as the Orchard, has been around since before a time when Heralds claimed Renovatio their own. It was during an era when Exus Prime practiced the art of Life, Love, and Forgiveness. To this day the Orchard remains, unlike many of his creations that have been dismantled due to their imperfections, for the Tree of Life was perfect, and should Primus ever reenact Revelations, it will remain to help repopulate Renovatio as it has always done. The Orchard bare seeds of various shapes, sizes, and colors for Renovatians to cultivate and or even trade with neighboring nations. These seeds can be harvested manually or found on ones doorstep, having been carried by the currents as if pollen, seeding Renovatio day and night, sowing bountifully so that Renovatians may reap bountifully.
      Fruits
    Mela (apple; red family)
    Albicocca (apricot; red family)
    Bacca (berry; red family)
    Pesca (peach; red family)
    Pomodoro (tomato; red family)
    Zucca (pumpkin; orange family)
    Arancione (orange; orange family)
    Papaia (papaya; orange family)
    Agrume (citrisquid; yellow family)
    Medusa (jellyfish; yellow family)
    Banana (yellow family)
    Melone (melon; green family)
    Ananas (pineapple; blue family)
    Cantalupo (cantaloupe; blue family)
    Uva (bellgrapes; purple family)
    Ciliegia (cherry bombs; purple family)
    Caramella (sweet moai; purple family)
    Mangano (mangolephant; white family)
    Pera (pear; white family) Vegetables
    Cipolla (honey onion; orange family)
    Carota (spiny carrot; orange family)
    Girasole (cornflower; yellow family)
    Cabbage (green family)
    Dialaurel (green family)
    Lettuce (green family)
    Squalphin (squash; green family)
    Gold Clover (blue family)
    Menta (mint blue family)
    Basil (blue family)
    Piselli (peas; purple family)
    Melanzana (eggplant; purple family)
    Rapa (turnip; white family)
    Agilo (garlicrown; white family)
    Patata (potato; white family)
    Mushroom (white family)  
  11. Like
    Artificer reacted to The Hummingbird for a article, DragonSoul Summit   
    "We are the superior. None can defeat us, for we are one."
    DragonSoul Summit
     
    Regent: A council of five dragons; namely, a red dragon, gold, silver, black, and green.
    Flag: A banner flies above the city’s tallest spire, featuring a great winged dragon of red and black stitching breathing gold fire over a mountain range. 
    Contact: The Hummingbird
    Most cities are composed of humans and humanoid races, welcoming to all.
     
    DragonSoul Summit is a city composed entirely of dragons and creatures the humans call monsters.
     
    Once, DragonSoul Summit was occupied by humans who fought daily with the monsters that roamed the mountains. Creatures of great size and immense strength attacked the city with growing ferocity and increasing numbers until at last the humans fled. It was then that the dragons came. With their vast power, the dragons asserted authority and dominion over the mountains and abandoned city, and to this day rule over the monsters who have made DragonSoul Summit their home. Living side by side, the dragons and monsters capable of doing so occasionally take human shape to explore the city the humans left behind, but regard true humans with prejudice and suspicion. While allowed into the city, they cannot be called welcome and are often barred from entering certain areas. Indeed, some areas can only be entered by way of flight.
     
    Power is everything in DragonSoul Summit, the deciding factor in status and received respect. Even the lowest born creature of DragonSoul can gain a respected place in society if they demonstrate enough power and savagery, often given a chance when the city is outright attacked or threatened by an outside force, usually by outsider monsters or dragons disgusted by the sight of the two living together.
     
    For those hoping to gain the partnership of a dragon or other supernatural creature, any human can enter the grand arena set atop DragonSoul Summit’s majestic castle, and prove their mettle by fighting and perhaps defeating a prospective partner. Only by doing so will a monster or dragon respect you, and consider joining you in your travels.
     
     
     
    Geography
    Topography
    DragonSoul Summit lies atop the tallest mountain peaks of the mighty Shienvar Mountains in Southwestern Genesaris. Craggy peaks and sparse regions of forests and woods dot the mountains, hiding the aeries of lone dragons as well as secret caverns filled with the fierce and savage inhabitants all humans regard with healthy respect and healthier fear. Small streams and rivers flow between the mountains, providing freshwater seafood and a constant, clean water source. The base of the mountains is populated thickly with deer, moose, and various other wildlife, all providing a rich food source for the inhabitants of DragonSoul Summit.
    Deeper into the mountains, on the outskirts of the city grounds are ruins of temples and libraries and various other buildings – perhaps school and churches – often occupied by a monster or dragon who find the city too crowded for their liking. These ruins are in increasing disarray the further into the mountains they are, having been the primary targets in DragonSoul’s violent past. In the sides of the mountains there are caves and entrances to the underground region of DragonSoul Summit, a prosperous and dangerous part of this strange society.
    Three cities lie in close proximity to DragonSoul Summit; Talthanus City, Wicker Town, and Saitn Desolatus, and all are interested in the gems and rich resources the mountains hide in their rocky earth. It is said gold and emeralds were found in rich abundance there, but now are hoarded by the dragons, who have shown little interest in trading with the human civilizations.
    Cityscape
     
    Stone buildings and towers make up the majority of the city, some of them overrun by vegetation and others having degenerated into crumbling ruins. However, many are still standing, filled with the possessions of the humans long departed. Tapestries, statues, furnishing, and other belongings can be found in houses. Jewelry and trinkets can be discovered in stores long abandoned, and books and scrolls of long lost tales can still be read in the city’s many libraries.
    The city is maintained well enough for those interested in wandering the city grounds, and in truth, the architecture is a fascinating example of creativity, sophistication, and beauty. Domed roofs and sharply pointed spires stand together, adorned with the flag of DragonSoul Summit on which a dragon will often perch, overseeing the citizens of the city. But for those uninterested in the city, there are caverns, caverns, underground tunnels and countless aeries burrowed into the mountainside for any manner of creature wishing for a home.
    The underground of the city is nearly its own society, inhabited by such creatures as hydras , nagas, and other, darker specimens. Mysterious power radiates in these underground sections, and it is said a crystal lies hidden somewhere deep beneath, and may be how the dragons managed to contain and establish power over the monsters who drove the humans out.
    Climate
    The Shienvar Mountains experience all four seasons in their time. Summers are warm and bountiful with prey; springs bring rain to rejuvenate the earth; fall brings a chill in the air and color to the forests; winters often bring a bounty of snow to the mountain peaks. Fall and winter is when many dragons and monsters creep back into caves and aeries to sleep. Oftentimes, this is when thieving humans crawl into the city hoping to steal the hidden treasure dragons tend to collect. However, there are a few dragons and monsters who stay awake, watching for threats.
    Flora and Fauna
     
    Flora and Fauna are bountiful in the mountains. All s orts of creatures and platns exist alongside one another. Here are just a few of those, a small sample of what may be found.
    Dragons: the most common creatures are, of course, dragons. They are divided among the primary colors of Red, White, Blue, Green, Black, Bronze, Copper, Silver, and Gold. Each dragon race nurtures its own ways and traditions, along with being diverse in attitude, personality and views toward outsiders. Some dragons are more aggressive towards their own kind than others, which has led to great aerial battles that can be seen from miles away. However, no battle has led to the destruction of their city – yet.
    Nagas: these serpentine humanoids are mysterious and beautiful to look upon, though their lower half is often that of a great snake. They pride themselves in their collection of tomes and ancient books, gathering knowledge and priding themselves in all that they have learned. They are willing to teach and tutor other monsters and creatures for a price, their lessons including that of arcane knowledge and the magical arts.
    Nightmares: it is uncertain whether these black, fiery equines are more spirit or mortal animal, or perhaps something in between. Possessed of a great intelligence though often feigning less, these horse-like creatures roam the lower heights of the mountains in small herds or, more often, alone. Their manes and tails are of fire, usually orange, or red, but the older, more powerful Nightmares have manes and tails of blue or white fire. They rarely let anyone or anything ride them, but there have been rare stories of those who joined their strength with that of a worthy human.
    Prophecy Tree: the wood of this tree is a deep, wine red, hard as stone and growing nowhere else in the world. It is said that carving words into this tree will make those words come true, and so anyone who encounters this tree vies to alter the future by marking its wood. It is so far unproven whether this myth contains a kernel of truth or not.
    Demographics
    Culture
    All the creatures living in DragonSoul Summit are wary, suspicious, and sometimes outright hostile toward outsiders, whether they be other creatures or humans. Although they avoid driving out outsiders, it is difficult to find a welcoming and friendly attitude when first entering the Summit.
    Culture and tradition vary from region to region within DragonSoul, for each species and race of creatures has its own ways. DragonSoul is a not a melting pot of culture, but rather a city divided among culture and tradition, accepting in diversity and tolerant of mistakes.
    The population of dragons and other species are unknown, foro many creatures hide in the aeries within the mountians and beneath groiund, keeping to themselves.
    Economy
    It is said that treasures exist underground, and that a few dragons hoard the massive treasury that once belonged to the humans who, long ago, lived in DragonSoul Summit. However, instead of trading in gold and other tradition currency, many creatures deal instead in the trading of rare goods and even deeds. Those who wish to gain something must trade something of equal or greater value, or do something worthy of gaining notice. It is not enough simply to bring in a pouch of gold when gold is plentiful and therefore of minimal worth. A legendary weapon or heroic deed is of far greater value.
    Major Companies and Institutions
    Parks and Recreation
    Parks and the like are all in profusion, since most of the city is a beautiful if inhospitable ruin. There is one place where all creatures may gather without fear of one another, where battle is prohibited and everyone is demanded to be respectful of one another; the Central Park. Located near the center of the city, this green and verdant area is often filled with creatures eager to learn about one another, and is about the only place where even humans can feel secure.
    Landmarks and monuments
    The Summit: The highest peak of DragonSoul this mountain peak is topped with the statue of a dragon with three heads overlooking the entirety of the city. It is in debate how old this statue is, but most claim it is at least hundreds of years old and just as long in the making. Chased with valuable metals and with eyes of sapphire, rubies, and precious topaz, this stattue is truly a beauty of art.
    The Deep Gate: the entrance to the underground lies here, in the northern point of the city and lowest point of the upper mountains themselves. Guarded by giant dire wolves measuring fifteen feet in height,  it is difficult to gain permission to access this forbidden area, which is both dangerous and filled with secrets. It is said treasure is hidden here, and more, rarer valuables as well.
    Arcane Library: this library is as old as the city itself and holds books and scrolls of knowledge not everyone can boast of. Secrets to forbidden blood magic, ancient runes, hexes and curses can all be found here, or so the proud Nagas who guard this empire of knowledge attest.
    Government
    Education
    Each creature teaches its own kind, though there have been many instances of other species entertaining and teaching others of its way and cultures, creating a bridge of communication between all the creatures making DragonSoul Summit their home. The Central Park is where most of the combined learning and education take place. Most Nagas are also found here, willing and able to teach a great many things than the other creatures of the city.
    Transportation
    Horses and other flying mounts are the main transportation provided to humans who travel toad n form DragonSoul Summit, but those creatures themselves  have no need of such things, preferring to use their own methods, whether it is by flight or foot, shadowalking or teleportation.
    Notable Residents
    Red Dragon Sayrithekin: the leader of the council of dragons overseeing DragonSoul.He is old and powerful and protects the city proper.
    Elder Naga Haytressi: She is the oldest naga to live in DragonSoiul. She is completel blind, but all other nagas bend to her wishes, reveling in the powerful aura and knowledge she exudes. Few ever see her, however, as she spends most her time in her den underground. It is said she has seven serpent tails, a blessing from the gods.
    History
    A long time ago, humans occupied DragonSoul Summit, worshipping the powerful creatures that roamed the borders of the city – dragons, wyverns, nagas, spirits and other creatures that no human could hope to fully understand. They fought and tamed and communicated with thse creatures on a daily basis, until the humans grew contemptuous and hostile, beginning to hunt down the creatures for hide and resources. Dragons were the most endangered, for their horns and hides produced the best armor and weapons for mankind.
    Finally, the dragons banded together and attacked the city, led by Sayrithekin, the Red Elder Dragon. Other creatures joined them, and in an alliance never heard of before or since, drove out the humans. The dragon generals took the throne of rulership over the city and declared DragonSoul a safe haven for all creatures seeking asylum from mankind.
    Canon
    Will you fill this?
     
  12. Like
    Artificer reacted to The Hummingbird for a article, Stormward City   
    "May lightning rage in your heart and soul."

    Stormward, Sanctuary of the Storm God
    For some reason, Stormward never goes long without being struck hard by a Magestorm. The entire city has warped to reflect this magical phenomenon; the buildings and proud towers glow an eerie, electric blue, and the skies are often clouded over yet gleam a bright silver, emitting great bolts of lightning frequently. The outsider might consider the city too dangerous to live in due to the lightning storms, but not the Stormwards. They regard themselves as favored by the great Storm God Zare and all the lesser deities. Although they are accepting of other religions, they are said to be less tolerant than all the other cities. While other cities have various temples and adhere to the beliefs of others, those of Stormward have only one temple; the temple of Lord Zare. All citizens of Stormward are required to be practitioners of the magic of electricity and lightning, even those who have little skill in magic. These latter often devote themselves to learning the science of magic anyway, studying how it works and the possibilities it provides in the realm of magitech, which is largely prevalent throughout the city.
    Due to their reverence for the Storm God, the people here have some peculiar beliefs. People struck by lightning and killed are said to become avatars in the next life of the Storm God himself. Those who have been struck but not killed are said to be highly favored and become priests.
    Flag: An electric yellow phoenix, made of lightning, against gray stormclouds on a black flag.
    Ruler
    A coven of priests struck several times by lightning and somehow still alive. The greatest priest is Nikolai Stormson, struck 10 times and wielding great skill with lightning magic.
    Prime Military: The Stormsingers and Thundermasters
    Due to everyone being required to study magic, the city has produced some of the finest mages in storm magic and the science of in the land. Dangerous and fearless, they are also noble, austere, and hold a great sense of honor, aspects they consider valuable and advocated by the god Zare. Even so, they seem to enjoy fighting, and can often be seen in the streets sparring with each other at a distance. Their magic is such that even shields made to repel lightning can break. Their only true weakness is weapon combat; while they can still shock their enemies, they have neglected handheld blades.
    Citywide Landmarks
    Monument of Zare
    Zare was said to be human once, turned into a god at the end of his life. This marble statue, erected at the center of the city, is a brilliantly carved statue and the tallest structure in the city, taller even than the towers scattered about the roads. It features a young man, hands clenched in prayer and face in pain, ind mid-transformation to a phoenix made of lightning, proud and fierce, wings spread and taking flight. Though without color, the statue seems alive, and has never been damaged by the lightning that strikes it so often.
    Due to quite a number of deaths in hopes of blessings, people are encouraged not to get too close.
    The Temple of the Storm God
    The only temple offered to anyone, this is the widest and longest structure in the city and is never without people. The ruling priest, Nikolai Stormson, lives his life here, preaching the Storm God’s religion, offering blessings, forgiving sins, and generally offering his entire life to the god. The temple often shakes with the resounding thunder outside, but none of this stops the murmur of prayer drifting through the building.
    The temple is a marvelous building with stained glass and paintings of Zare, with scriptures detailing the life and transformation of the man who became the god. Treasures and artifacts dealing with Zare decorate every wall and even the ceiling. Stealing any of these is considered paramount to murder and is punishable by death.
  13. Like
    Artificer reacted to The Hummingbird for a article, Shrine City   
    Regent: Neronius, Primark, and Emperor of the Cold South

    Contact: Alexei

    Current Aid:

    Shrine City is the strong Capital of the Cold South, and the place where the seed of the Corvinite Cult was planted. The people here are hardy, strong, and incredibly pragmatic despite their xenophobia, traits that have, in fact, kept them alive after the devastating invasion of the Great North then the trials and tribulations of constant non-human incursions during Corvinus’ rule.
    Shrine City currently has a population of approximately 1,550,000.

    GEOGRAPHY
    Topography
    Shrine City is built with the great cluster of mountains at its South, and access to rivers to its North. This has allowed the city both access to vast stores of precious metals and minerals, and great fertile valleys during the planting season. These factors have made the city not only self-sufficient but the center of the region. Under Corvinus and now his son, Neronius, this influence has only increased, and this is now true to the greater Imperium. Without Shrine City’s protection of these factors, much of the Cold South would starve. This has made sure the other cities remain compliant.
    The city itself has natural protection. To its rear, a vast cluster of mountains protect it, for an army would surely die to attempt to cross them. Especially when they would only find themselves before the great white wall of the outer ring. To its front is the fertile river valley. The soil is tilled deep during the spring and summer months, and due to the rain can often become deep mud traps for an advancing army. Forcing them to wade through it before reaching the front of the city. With its wall to intimidate an already exhausted invading force.
    In the winter it is far more treacherous. The cold is biting and with the lack of trees, as they have been cleared for farmland, the wind can kill an unwary man in a moment. Blizzards can come without warning, and fog can shroud the view. This makes the footing treacherous, and those unwary crossing the frozen rivers can find themselves drowning beneath the ice. While these factors might not destroy an army on their own, they will affect morale. Shrine City soldiers are well versed in surviving these times, often using them to hit the foe with unconventional war tactics. Attacking in the whiteout of a blizzard, striking from the dense fog, and then disappearing just as quickly as they came. It makes the city a nightmare to siege and a jewel to defend.

    Cityscape
    Shrine City—seat of the Primark Emperor—is a swell of curves and high walls and enormous, tapered spires. Most of the buildings are built from white kadium reinforced concrete, color accentuates the city in statues if gold, silver, and onyx, as well as Imperial Banners.
    The center of Shrine City has been built not only to represent the strong faith of the people, but also their will to survive and succeed. High walls of Kadium reinforced concrete, pure as the snow, surround each ring of the city, extending over 30 feet into the air, and 30 feet beneath the soil. Built into the walls are the barracks for active duty Legionnaires, where their power armor and weapons can be maintained and stored. These walls are not only thick enough to withstand prolonged abuse from conventional siege weapons but also the more metaphysically inclined. The buildings in each ring reach higher the more one draws closer to the center. A testament to mankind's struggle to rise.
    Ravenscar palace, the First Temple and largest structure in all of Shrine City, is located at the center of this great and holy city. Birthplace of the Corvinite Faith, it is one of the holiest and most sacred of locations to the faith, and likewise the only temple to Corvinus’ name in all of Shrine City. Ravenscar dominates the entirety of the centermost district, with all other structures of the area either built into it or under its imposing arches.
    In spite of its archaic appearance, beautiful though it may be, Shrine City is the result of ingenious human engineering. That the majority homes support features such as central heat and insulation and indoor plumbing, is credited to the work of the city’s people and its unique non-magic technology. However, this is not to say that the latter has not accentuated the residents’ manner of living, assisting in things such as transportation, communication, and entertainment.

    Climate
    Situated between the rivers and valleys and valleys to its northeast and west and the Dragonfall Mountains to its south, Shrine City has been known to experience a variety of climates. Only one word can describe the nature of the Cold South. Unforgiving. Winters are harsh and deadly to the unprepared, fraught with the danger of deathly cold, hunting beasts shrouded in fog or hidden in snowstorms, and recently non-humans. Springs are rainy, and chilled, summers less so but one will never find the warmth expected farther north. Fall us bitter cold and short-lived, a quick death heralding winter’s deathly grip. Magestorms are not incredibly common but can be quite powerful.
    Recently Shrine City has survived many magestorms, this is attributed to the construction of the Corvinite Obelisk. The city is now shrouded in the God Emperor's influence, a testament to his people that they are always under his protection.

    Flora and Fauna
    As a city of Genesaris, common flora and fauna can be found in abundance around the city and its territories. These listed below are merely a few that are exclusive to Shrine City and its immediate demesne.
    Ravenwing (Flower): A small, black flower with wing-shaped petals. They grow abundantly throughout the city, and a rumored to be a gift from the Empress Leoa to her Emperor Corvinus in the early years of their rule. They are known to break away from their stems and fly in the breeze during the spring.
    Wintersbreath Roses (Flower): These strange, unique flowers can be found growing along the city’s outermost wall. Their name is derived from their ice-like petals, which appear to shimmer like freshly fallen snow in full bloom.
    Frost Sprites (Elemental): Otherwise known as “frost spirits,” these small, floating elementals have the appearance of a swirling snowstorm. These harmless sprites tend to gather in valleys along the Cold South’s, subject to frequent blizzards, feeding off the latent energies. Storm sprites are rather vicious creatures, drawn to the biological warmth of living creatures, and have been known to attack large groups traveling to and from Shrine City.
    Southern Trout (Fish): Colloquially known as the “Crystal Trout,” these deceptively crystalline fish inhabit the rivers of Shrine City. Known for their hearty size and crystalline scales, the southern trout is known to reach weights over eighty pounds (when fully matured). These fish are greatly sought after for their flavor and above all their scales.
    White Wolves (Animal): These pale, heavily-muscled, wolves are found exclusively in the Cold South. Used in the Ritual of Struggle, it is said that Shriners send out those on the cusp of manhood to hunt these great beasts with the more archaic rifles of the past. Only upon successfully killing one or surviving the three week period in the wild are the boys then considered men upon their arrival. Those who return with the body of a wolf are hailed as heroes, and feast upon its flesh. These wolves are known for their large size, great strength, and intelligence. They are a deadly opponent for any human or non-human, even more so in the winter months.

    DEMOGRAPHICS
    Culture
    Shrine City is a bastion for those of mankind who seek unity, spiritual evolution, and enlightenment. This evolution, or enlightenment, generally takes shape in conforming to the faith of the Corvinite (the only religion legally practiced within the borders of Shrine City). Humans are the only inhabitants of this city, having been the majority and since the so-called “Xenophobic” decree, make up one of the only recognized species allowed to be in the city (Elves and Dwarves are allowed but segregated). What numbers had been lost due to the decree were replaced, and even increased by the influx of Renovatian and Alterian immigrants.
    Alternatively, life in Shrine City is not one of placid utopian dreams. As it is written among the Corvinite’s holy tomes, “only the strong survive the winter cold”; the citizenry of Shrine City stand firmly on the principle that the strong are forged upon the crucible of struggle and the weak broken. They believe that true strength can never be given, but instead, it must be taken -- earned through blood and sweat, yours of your enemy's. It has created a people who, while they consider each other an extended family, have no tolerance for those who do not pull their own weight and burden others. A harsh people, but a people who can survive.
    And since they pride themselves as the moral vanguard of the Imperium, the people of Shrine City adopt seemingly totalitarian measures to ensure their moral code remains untarnished. Crime of any form is harshly punished; there are no misdemeanors within the city. This seeming cruelty is countered by a thorough justice system, one that incorporates fair and just consideration of all the circumstances involved.

    Economy
    Shrine City as with the rest of the Cold South, is not known for trading with the neighboring regions. Largely independent its wealth is gained through the tribute of the various cities that make up the Empire. This is done in in exchange for food, materials, and the continued aid of the empire. Since Nero’s taking of the throne, there has been a shift of a more active economy within the Cold South and the greater Imperium. Much to Union City’s chagrin, the Cold South maintains an isolationist economic policy.

    Major Companies and Institutions
    Corvus, Academy of War: Second only to Ravenspire in Kadia, this is where much of the education of the Southern Empire’s citizens take place. Raising up the youth in a strict scholastic and martial regimen. It is famed for its high achievement, even outside the Imperium, and stands as a testament that the Southerners are not some primitive minded society.
    Veche, Soulseeker Academy: A branch of the Eichmann academy, the youth showing potential enough are taught and trained to be the greatest warriors of the Imperium. Soulseekers. Focusing more on theology and war, it produces some of the most stalwart and unshakable Soulseekers to serve the God Emperor’s will.
    Eichmann Industries (Branch): The main supplier of weapons, transportation, and infrastructure in the Cold South and the greater Imperium. Created and overseen by Deiter, the Crown Prince, this company provides the non-magical technology which brings power, purifies water, and defends the vast cities, Shrine City is no exception.


    PARKS AND RECREATION
    Landmarks and Monuments
    Crucible Arena: A large, arena located in the first. Fully equipped, with reinforced rooms and a slew of both real and practice weaponry, it is a place where individuals can come to practice their martial skills.
    The Lion’s Square Garden: The largest inner-city greenhouse garden in all of Shrine City, this beautiful stretch of vibrant emerald grass is teeming with enormous clusters of flowers: roses, lilies, lilacs, lotus, and everything in between. The park also houses a large playground.
    Ravenscar: The palatial fortress of the Primark Emperor, Ravenscar derives its name as the birthplace of the Imperial Faith. The palace has since then become a place of great pilgrimage for all the religiously devout, as a Corvinite’s greatest honor is to behold the origin of their faith and mighty deity. Ravenscar is the largest structure in all of Shrine City, a mountain of walls and spires and towers of white reaching deep into the sky above, and bathing the city below in its shadow.

    GOVERNMENT
    Local Government
    The Temple Guard and High Court: These are the courts of the police forces tasked with protecting, monitoring and patrolling the city ring. These buildings, serving as both court and prison, are used to settle common disputes among the people: property damage, breach of contract, disorderly behavior and murder. Crimes regarding Heresy and Non-Human infiltrators are handled by the Inquisition.

    Imperial Government
    Inquisition High Command: One of several enormous, reinforced monoliths built, the Inquisition High Command holds barracks, training grounds, armories, torture chambers, prisons, and personal forges of the Imperial Legion. The notable feature of this facility is the massive rose window at the front though the glass is dark from the outside.

    Flag:


    Military
    The Fist of the Emperor (Imperial Legion): The military forces of Shrine, known as the Fist of the Emperor, or the Fist, make up one of the smallest percentages of the Imperial Legion (the combined forces of all the Corvinite Imperium and its domains). The Fist is responsible for handling all matters of Shrine City, namely defending the Temple Square and its surrounding areas should they ever fall under attack. Because of this, their various divisions -- such as the Southern Wolves, or TEMPLAR Knights of the Raven -- are often considered the Legion's elite forces.
    They are stationed in every ring of the city, their barracks built into the massive walls, and by the great gates. During times of invasion, they become a gauntlet to fight through. Highly knowledgeable of the city and Urban warfare they are a force to be reckoned with. Every citizen is a member of the military, having access to a polybolos rifle, and a suit of power armor only their biometrics can access, making up both active and reserve forces.
    — 1 Primark.

    — 15 Ucissore

    — 25 High Inquisitors.

    — 500 Inquisitors.

    — 10,000 Police Force Personnel (Legionnaires).

    —  1,550,000 Imperial Military Forces (Legionnaires, TEMPLAR, Inquisitors).
     
    EDUCATION
    Under the God Emperor’s rule, education throughout all of Shrine City – and to a greater extent, the Imperium itself – has flourished to an all-time high. Shrine City hosts two of the most prestigious postgraduate institutions in all Genesaris: Corvus, Academy of War, and Veche, Soulseeker Academy.

    TRANSPORTATION
    Boat: Great waterways wind their way through the city, crafted by channeling the hidden mountain streams to provide a source of clean water to the people, and advanced technology maintains it. Specialized boats carry many citizens and tourists throughout the city.
    Automobile: Paved roads, highways, and bridges provide quick routes through the city. Vehicles of steels and fusion batteries drive seamlessly through the city and are usually the general means of travel for the citizenry. A system of different colored lights and signs help to keep traffic smooth.
    Walk: Sidewalks, walkways, and small bridges are also built to accommodate those who prefer to travel on foot. Signs and lights help protect and direct pedestrians.

    NOTABLE RESIDENTS
    Neronius C. Melisende: Primark Emperor of the Cold South, and one of the many sons of God Emperor Corvinus and God Empress Leoa. He is a man of great passion, unwavering fortitude, and intellect. It is said he is akin to a war god, and perhaps even the greatest representation of the Cold South and its people.

    HISTORY
    A list is currently being compiled, all threads, however, are to be considered canon (Especially done by Aleksei or myself) unless otherwise stated.
  14. Like
    Artificer 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 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.
    Geography
    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.
    Climate
    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.
    Culture
    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.
    Language
    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. 
    Magic
    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.
    Religion
    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.
    Cuisine
    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.
    Fashion
    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
    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.
    Communications
    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.
    Law
    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.
    Military
    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.
    Economy
    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
    History
    Condensed Terran Timeline
    Major Historical Periods
    These events are from most recent to oldest.
     
  15. Like
    Artificer reacted to The Hummingbird for a article, Genesaris   
    Setting elements cannot be ignored or manipulated
    City maps are guides and not authoritative sources
    ✪ = Capital City | ❖= Megacity | ✦ = City | ◇= Landmark | ✿ = Independent territory
    ✪ Union City
    ✪ Aelindra City
    ✪ Umbra 
    ✪ Shrine City
    ❖ Joran City
    ❖ Mageside
    ❖ Coastal Grande
    ❖ Mezthaluen
    ❖ Strider City
    ❖ Raven's Landing
    ✦ Dragonsoul Summit
    ✦ Wicker City Prison
    ✦ Reyer City Prison
    ✦ Stormward
    ✦ Valjer Town
    ✦ Vdara
    ✦ Crystallo Stella
    ✦ Kethlerin
    ✦ Sunset Way
    ✦ Port Kyros
    ✦ Alethea
    ✦ Port Caelum
    ✦ Slaver's Enclave
    ◇ Cold Mountains
    ◇ Mt. Fulgur
    ◇ Cavern of Blades
    ◇ Umbridge Isle
    ◇ Velhatien Desert
    ◇ Abyssal Enclave
    ◇ Bloodstone Marsh
    ◇ Bloodmage Mountains
    ◇ Shienvar Mountains
    ✿ Orisia Isle
    ✿ Open Space
    ✿ Stonehaven
    ✿ Arlais Isle
    ✿ Nymeria
    ✿ Antigone Island
     
    Other Territories/Locations
    Port Thea, the City of Sunsets Jigoku, the Imperial City
      Announcements
    This area will be updated with major events that either affect entire regions or the continent as a whole.
     
    Geography
    Located in the north-west of the planet Valucre, Genesaris is approximately the size of the Eurasian continent with a population of approximately 218,000,000 in the current year.
    Climate
    Genesaris is divided into a total of six massive regions, these being: the Great North, the Cold South, the Rising West, the Southern Swell, the Arcane East, and the Midlands. Each region has its own climate, which varies according to the season and specific locations within each land.
    In the north, the calm waves of the warm sea extend well beyond the northern shores. Summer is nearly eternal here, and the citizens rarely know the hazards of snow and hail. Grasslands, forests, and gentle hills provide a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere, which in turn has made it one of the most densely populated regions on the continent (with some of the largest cities in all of Genesaris).
    To the south, one finds the antithesis of warmth and hospitality. The south is dense with thick, untamed forests and bitter mountain chains, shrouded in an icy fog and nested in banks of snow that do not melt. The savage wilds of the south are considered some of the most dangerous in the world, filled will all manner of beasts. These harsh conditions have made the south unfit for living, spare for the hardiest of people.
    The eastern lands find themselves at the foot of the Cold Mountains, which runs the entire length of the coast. From this footing, a seemingly endless sea of green and golden grasslands reaches out to the west, dappled with mighty forests and woodlands throughout. However, in spite of its richness in beauty, this is a land plagued by violent magical storms and naturally dreadful winters.
    In the west, one can find a myriad of seasons and climates throughout the year. These have given rise to the scorching Velhatien Desert and the cool, lush tropics of the Bloodstone Marsh. The mountainous chain directly to its south rises high and large, thick with trees, woods, and natural resources. The sea cuts deep inland, providing coastal temperatures for those that dwell there.
    It is at the heart of the continent (the Midlands) that all of these climates and geographical differences meet. Here, one experiences all seasons from soft snow in the winter to gentle rains in the spring. No season is known to naturally overpower the other, and a collage of natural landmarks and scenery provide all the beauty of Genesaris in one location.
    Flora and Fauna
    Genesaris has plant and animal life recognizable to most characters, such as: flowers, trees, dogs, horses, crabs, salmon, etc. and so on. In addition to this standard, there are a number of animals and plants unique to Genesaris. Be sure to check each region's bestiary and herbology index for region-specific entities.
    Note that users aren't limited to what's included in the present material and are free/encouraged to come up with plant and animal life as long as they adhere to the Mild Powers rules. Users can also make bestiary submissions if they want to formalize information about their creations and make them available for public use.
    Cities, Provinces, Territories
    Genesaris is comprised of four distinct territories, each with their own capital city. These are: Aelindra City, Capital of the Rising West; Shrine City, Capital of the Imperial South (Cold South & Southern Swell); Union City, Capital of the Midlands; and Umbra, Capital of the Carmine Dominion (Arcane East & Great North).
    While these are undoubtedly the most important of the continent’s megacities, they are only a few. Many of those inside the cities live with luxuries and the many benefits of magitech, thanks to the prevalence of both magic and technology taught throughout the lands.
    Between these cities are a number of disparate villages, towns, ports, baronies, and lordships. Even so, there is still a considerable amount of land that remains wild and untamed by expansion, beckoning adventurers and explorers with the promise of fortune.
    The islands of Genesaris, most notably Antigone Isles, Nvengaria, and Orisia Isle exist under their own government and rule, independent of Union City and the other mainland governments.
    Culture
    It is rare for any citizen within the capitals or megacities to be illiterate. They are a well-educated people in the traditional sense (maths, sciences, and liberal arts), with a pension for the occult, as well. That has been a great cultural investment in the arcanum since the beginning of the nation's existence, which has expanded into the inclusion of blending the metaphysical with current technology.
    This is more prominent in some areas than others, such as with the Imperial South and Carmine Dominion, which thrive on such unification. Those who live in smaller towns and villages are less likely to be as finely educated in the traditional sense, but are still likely to grasp simple-to-moderate concepts (middle school to early high school education levels). It is, of course, not unheard of for mages and other spellcasters to have taught themselves their special art, coming into contact with their magic through intuition and unique talent.
    Most civilians are as prominent Genesaris’ peoples are often magically inclined, capable of sensing the arcane.
    A long history of bloody civil wars between regions has, for many years, made military education a  priority for many of the nation's cities and people. This has led to a significant number of military academies throughout the nation (at a 2:1 to traditional education academies), and a cultural sensationalizing of gladiatorial events and war games. Standard battle training is generally available to all who seek it, either through the local or federal governments.
    Language
    Genesari is the primary language of Genesaris. It is spoken in every megacity and in most major establishments (smaller cities, large towns, villages, and baronies), and is considered the national language. It is also referred to as common, trade tongue, and sometimes genspeak. Genesari's primary dialect sounds like German (users should treat this as a plot device and are not expected to learn to write German).
    The are other predominant languages throughout Genesaris, namely in the Carmine Dominion and Imperial South. In the former, the predominant language - among the pious and imperial nobility - is Sitraic. In the latter, the preferred language is known as High Kadian and is spoken by both nobles and commoners alike.
    Magic
    Nearly all of the Genesarian population is aware of the existence of magic to some degree, and throughout the generations, most - if not all - people native to the continent have developed a "sixth sense" which allows them to sense the arcane in its various forms (from spells and wards all the way to psionics). This has led to a number of edicts and bylaws over the years that seek to control the spread of magical use, limiting the dangers.
    On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are a number of institutes dedicated to the expansion and further study of the arcane and its many uses. Two of the most prestigious establishments joined in this cause are Bronte, the Academy of the Arcane and the Mage Academy located in Mageside City.
    Religion
    Genesaris: Religion Overview
    Carmine Dominion: The Sitraic Faith
    Imperial South: The Corvinite Ecclesiarchy
    There is a great abundance of religions throughout Genesaris, with many different regions worshipping a variety of gods and goddesses. Generally tolerant of open ideas and religion due to its size and diversity, Genesaris has many bibles and holy texts and art dedicated to all of these deities and celestial lords.
    Of them all, the three primary religions of the nation would be the Trinity of the Cold Mounts (High Lords), the Altus Arcantium, and the Sitraic Faith. While this trio all have their own pantheons and tenets, they hold the largest congregations by far, with influences reaching from coast to coast.
    Technology and Development
    Until the current century, the majority of Genesaris operated on early-to-mid Renaissance period technology. There was a significant lack of telecommunication, self-powered vehicles (with the exception of airships), and sophisticated operating systems (computers, surveillance, or radar). However, with the continued growth of Joran City and Antigone Isle, along with the rise of the Imperial South, Genesaris has developed small pockets of highly-advanced territories, arguably some of the most advanced on the planet. The pushing of this hard-technology boundary has bled into the nation’s more ideal magi-tech fronts, leading toward something of a technological revolution over the last one hundred years. This is more prominent in some areas than others, yet the national importance cannot be overstated enough.
    In most cases, magic - whether raw ether channeled from the atmosphere or various manifestations, such as crystals - plays a vital role in almost all of the nation’s technological advancements (spare for regions like the Imperial South, which have dedicated themselves to hard-technology paths, such as legitimate machines that operate on non-occult power sources). This has led to the nurturing of the idea that technology is something that is learned, understood, and developed further, not picked up and used (with a heavy emphasis in the educational curriculum). Like with most privileges of rural versus suburban areas, technological advances and availability are more bountiful in densely populated areas (megacities, capitals, etc.) as opposed to smaller towns and villages.
    In recent years, the blooming technological fronts of Genesaris suffered a devastating setback as an unexpectedly powerful magestorm swept across the continent, rendering the majority of technology useless, once again plunging the majority of the continent into the dark ages. In the days and weeks since that devastating storm, magic - in all of its many forms - has once more asserted its dominant over the land. Those seeking any and all technology that managed to survive the magestorm will only find it along the nation's western seaboard (a region now known as the Western Fel)n the cities that escaped the fullest extent of the storm's fury.
    Communications
    Modes of Communication
    In the aftermath of the Great Storm, there still exists a great number of areas in Genesaris that now lack former advancements (while a great many lacked the desire to have them). There is now a disparaging difference between cities such as Joran and the rest of the continent. Detailed below are just some of the methods of communication available throughout Genesaris and its regions; this is not an all-inclusive list.
    Tried and true, the messenger system is still a thriving communication network in Genesaris. While boasting a larger presence in small towns and villages than in the magi-tech abundant megacities, the Genesarian courier network is actually quite extensive (and similar to today’s mailing service) and encompasses both humans and well-trained avians. Despite advanced security measures taken both by clients and the courier system, troubles with interception and authenticity remain an issue. As such, these are rarely used for matters of importance, and best reserved for more casual correspondence or deliveries.
    The reed pen, a previously obscured manner of communication, has since risen to prominence in the wake of the Great Storm as a primary means of communication over great distances. They are created by splitting an Exalta Crystal in half and then inscribing each one with a conjoiner rune. These are then embedded into the top of reed pens - they can then mimic the movements of the other, exactly. The setting of the crystal is able to be rotated to switch between different "modes", sending and receiver, which dictates which pen is writing and which is following.
    In the Carmine Dominion, there has been an increased significance placed on communication since its annexation of the Great North territories. The need to correspond sometimes vital information over great distances has led to a focus on authentication (assurance of claimed identity), integrity (assurance data has not been altered), and confidentiality (assurance that none but the specified parties can read said data). Through mega-telecom corporations like Mormont and Sons (CG) and DRAKE Technologies (CG), the Dominion is rapidly becoming a defining force in the field of military-grade encryption both technological and magical. Following the storm, the Dominion has reverted to more of its traditional manners of communication, such as crystals, messengers, and reed pens.
    Transportation
    Transportation varies from city to city depending on their magi-tech saturation and biomimicry level. Examples of common transportation methods will be included in the lore articles of each city. Below are elaborations on those methods.
    Animal Propulsion
    Whether ridden by themselves or attached to a cabby. The maintenance and upkeep of a living transport make this a largely inefficient form of inner city travel, but because a large percentage of a given city's population is travelers from abroad, a lot of infrastructures still supports this form of travel.
    Mechanical Propulsion
    Powered by magical crystals known as Exalta, airships are the most popular form of travel. For a small fee, most can ride on a large airship that flies to and from various cities. All megacities and most smaller cities have stations, bays, and areas where airships are able to land. Almost all airships carry weaponry and shields to protect against air pirates.
    For travel by sea, basic seaships are used, which vary in size and carry weapons for protection against sea pirates.
    Currently, Spellcycles have been created, similar to motorcycles with a futuristic/steampunk design. Powered by the magical crystals Exalta, these are expensive rides and can only be bought in Joran City and straight from Antigone Isles, the home of their creation.
    Magical Propulsion
    Inter-city travel is served primarily by smaller airships and Crossroads. Crossroads are generally gateways that provide instant travel throughout a city and often to and from cities. Crossroads are keyed to certain areas and the side effect is nothing more than mild disorientation that passes quickly. Guarded by soldiers, Crossroads are cheap, easy, and effective to transporting goods and civilians alike. Sometimes, magical creatures pass through from realms beyond, in which case the soldiers must deal with them. Generally, however, the Crossroads are kept safe and steady.
    There are found in every megacity and are currently online.
    Government and Politics
    With the formation of the Imperial South and Carmine Dominion and their continued growth, the Genesarian political landscape has shifted quite noticeably. While the High Lords are still regarded as the supreme rulers of Genesaris, they rarely venture from their mountains to associate with human matters. More recently, they have been said to have retreated further from the mortal affairs of the world, with some whispers claiming the three great entities have all gone into stasis.
    Genesar Remnants
    In what remains of Genesaris proper (The Midlands and Rising West), all things concerning the law or government proceedings are handled by the High Court, a democratically elected council of 15 individuals from the West and Midlands. The council's grand meeting chamber is located in the Hall of Justice, which can be found at the heart of Union City. The High Court is seen as the place of wisdom, Union City itself a respected neutral city. Entire wars, ceasefires, alliances, and treaties have been declared at the High Court.
    The Carmine Dominion
    In the Carmine Dominion, the current emperor, Rafael M. Bartolome V, is recognized as both the absolute monarch and prime deity of the Sitraic Faith. His rule has been described as an enlightened theocracy with strong elements of authoritarianism. From birth, citizens are indoctrinated into absolute subservience to the Lord's throne and his agents, sometimes at the cost of their personal freedom.
    The arts, sciences, education, and social welfare all flourish under Rafael's regime, a near polar opposite to the dark ages of warring tribes and inter-region isolationism.
    As the Dominion was host to a number of independent city-states and self-sustaining establishments prior to the rise of the Empire, it was decided to allow these kings and queens of old to retain control over their holdings. Because of this autonomous manner of ruling, there is a great deal of variation in the regional governments within the Empire. So long as these Lords fulfill their duties to the broader Empire and operate within the Imperial Edict's boundaries, their rules will generally be accepted by the higher authorities with little or no interference.
    Law
    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 basics, so imagine that things like theft, assault, perjury, slavery, murder and so on 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.
    Military
    Prior to the separations of the Cold South and Arcane East from Genesaris proper, and the annexations of the Southern Swell and Great North, respectively, Genesaris had a unified military of ~6.25 million, with over 800,000 reservists (a potential total of 7.08 million). This daunting number was once scattered across six separate regions, though could be unified at the command of the High Council of Union City, facing national a crises.
    Since then, this number has been fragmented between the three prime factions with the Dominion obtaining the largest section due to acquiring the North (42%), then the Imperial South (38%), and the Genesar Remnants retaining all that remained (20%).
    In the realm of the Dominion, their emperor also serves as their Commander-in-Chief, exercising total authority over the military. The empress, Irene Gabriela DuGrace, is Rafael’s chief advisor and possesses the highest level of authority - military or otherwise - other than the emperor, himself. They are both involved in the day-to-day responsibilities of maintaining the military, government, and nation.
    There are a number of military outposts, bases, and depots located throughout their lands. The most secure of these are found within Umbra, the Red City, and Coastal Grande.
    Foreign Relations
    Pre-schism, due to its size and a war with Terrenus, Genesaris practiced isolationism, suspicious of other lands.
    Traces of this practice can be seen in the Carmine Dominion's foreign policies, which practice an alternate form of isolationism. While prioritizing their own ends over that of the world, they are firm believers of free trade, travel, and in some instances (namely those that are significantly beneficial to the empire either politically or economically), have been known to enter loose trade agreements.
    Economy
    The currency of Genesaris Proper is simple and is as follows:
    1 chip [Zinc Alloy] = 1  Chip 1 Rosy [Manganese]= 5 Chips 1 Kite [Bronze] = 2 Rosies 1 Raven [Zirconium Allloy]= 10 Kites 1 Merlin [Silver] = 10 Ravens 1 Hawk [Gold]= 10 Merlins The Chip is made of cheaply made pot metal , easy to cast and easy to gather from the streets, typically a majority of zinc with alloyed with other scrap metal. When one is used up, it is collected and recast into a new chip coin. These are the most common coins, used for everyday small purchases. A single pot metal can buy you a couple of eggs or half a loaf of bread.
    A Rosy is made from an oxidized manganese, its color a silvery pink. It bears a picture of a Finch, its namesake. These are uncommon but exist in circulation. 
    A Kite is made from bronze. It has the picture of a Kite (bird), its namesake. These are common coins.
    A Raven is made from a zirconium alloy, making this coin almost jet black. If one looks close enough, they can see a picture of a Raven etched in. These coins are uncommon, but do make their way around. Some people collect them.
    A Merlin is made from silver. It has a picture of a Merlin Falcon etched upon it. This is a common currency for bigger purchases.
    A Hawk is a gold coin. It has a depiction of Aletheiar in his Golden Hawk form. These are commonly used in expensive transactions, such as buying property or an airship. They are rare in smaller purchases.
    Jewels, gems, and other valuable metals can also be used and traded among the shops and merchants of Genesaris.
    Due to inflation, wars, and other variables, the value of any currency may heighten or drop to reflect the times.
    History
     
  16. Like
    Artificer reacted to CasualCrisis for a article, Orisian Dragon Compendium   
    Back when the dragons came to Orisia they stretched their influence to all corners of the two sister islands. With the rise of Lord Areder and the loss of La'Ruta 500 years ago, most of the dragons fled to Ceyana where they established their own city and protected the whole island against invaders of any sort. It is only recently with the rise of the Black Queen that the dragons of Ceyana have opened up to allow newcomers onto Orisia' sister island. In small steps, the dragons that remained upon Orisia, in hiding, are now also coming out of the woodwork. 

    Here you will find a list of the dragon species' that we are currently aware of. There may be many more. 


    Blackbolter

    Average Lifespan: 200-450yrs
    Average Length: 15-20ft
    Average Weight: 900-1000lbs
    Location: Orisian Mountain Ranges
    Diet: Tuff, Obsidian
    Desription: Among the fastest of dragons, built for speed and stealth. Its most unique feature is the “acid†it spits. The acid is not corrosive, but is believed to be made out of liquid energy. As soon as the acid leaves its mouth, the clear fluid begins to spark, then erupting into flames and electricity. The effects are short-ranged, but effective, able to burst large sections out of entire boulders in concentrated amounts. These creatures generally live in solitude with large territories, and very little is known about them, save for their general location in Orisia's highest mountain ranges.
     
    Thornback

    (baby dragon from hell by *artkingman on deviantART)

    Average Lifespan: 30-60yrs
    Average Length: 3-5ft
    Average Weight: 100-120lbs
    Location: Lake Atitlan, Orisian fresh water rivers
    Diet: Fish, Frogs
    Description: Small with viciously sharp teeth, thornbacks are largely aquatic dragons. They have surprisingly powerful jaws that can break through bone, and spit out small clouds of “sleep fog†that renders its prey unconcious. Its most typical methods of hunting consist of sneaking up on prey, knocking it out with sleep fog, and biting off the head before consuming the rest of the body. These creatures lay their eggs in natural springs, but frequently visit broader waters to hunt for prey.
     
    Rumbler

    (created by Somniferum @ deviantart.com)

    Average Lifespan: 250-320yrs
    Average Length: 30-42ft
    Average Weight: 5,500-6,300lbs
    Location: Dorado Plains
    Diet: Sheep, Rams, Deer, Mountain Lions
    Description: Enormous creatures that are less than graceful in flight. Their speed, however, is enough to outrun most land animals, and they use their massive roar to stun and knock over prey. This roar is so powerful that it can knock down fully grown trees. These creatures tend to be intrepid wanderers, sometimes hunting in pairs or otherwise braving valleys alone.
     
    Snapblossom

    (Flower Dragon by Vauhtipatti Flower Dragon by Vauhtipatti)

    Average Lifespan: 250-320yrs
    Average Length: 15-22ft
    Average Weight: 600-1,000lbs
    Location: Ellwood Forest
    Diet: Insects, small mammals and birds
    Description: Decidedly bird-like dragons that live in heavily forested areas. They build their nests in excessively large trees or cliffs, and generally live in small groups that roam far to hunt. These prideful, but oddly playful creatures are attracted to shiny objects, and are more notorious for stealing from humans rather than trying to eat them. Their breath, rather than being fiery or acidic, creates a perfumed and diffused “syrup†that condenses on objects, rendering them trapped in stickiness. Given time, this substance will crystallize its victim over.
     
    Noxious Twiste 


    Average Lifespan: 100-150yrs
    Average Length: 10-15ft
    Average Weight: 350-400lbs
    Location: Valanian Desert
    Diet: Small mammals and reptiles
    Description: Colorful creatures that live in caves, sometimes trees, and even like to swim. They are solitary creatures that seem fine with sharing territory, as they don't seem to claim any. They are wanderers, but have very predictable migratory patterns up and down Ranthus River. As far as tactics, they tend to employ ambush strikes, spiting out venom that numbs skin and paralyzes muscle when inhaled, or simply curl around prey to strangle it.
     
    Skincrawler 

     
    Average Lifespan: 60-90yrs
    Average Length: 2-4ft.
    Average Weight: 30-40lbs.
    Location: The Aerder Mountains, The Red Sands
    Diet: Insects
    Description: Lizard-like dragon that can change its skin color to match its surroundings. It uses this camouflage to hunt for its meals, and when the prey closes in, it emits a small burst of fire to fry it. These creatures tend to live in small groups around warm, rocky areas.
     
    Bone Wyrm 

     
    Average Lifespan: 850-2,000yrs
    Average Length: 40-50ft.
    Average Weight: 1,000-2,000lbs.
    Location: The Red Sands
    Diet: Souls
    Description: Believed to be a living mix of nightmares and fallen dragons—where they come from is unknown, but they are believed to have been created by whatever force lies hidden in the lair within The Red Sands. They tend to appear at night, hunting for any living creature that dares to move upon the sand. Their methods of hunting consist of flying over prey and blasting it with its icy breath, and once frozen, the dragon either devours the prey whole or sucks out its life essence, leaving only the husk of a body behind.
     
    Lurker


    Average Lifespan: 600-1,000yrs
    Average Length: 40-50ft
    Average Weight: 1,000-1,500lbs
    Location: Orisian Coast, Lake Atitlan
    Diet: Fish
    Description: A fairly peaceful creature of the sea, which uses its voice to attract prey. It is believed to be the creature that first made the siren song, allowing other creatures of the sea to entice men to their deaths. At any rate, the song is believed to have magic qualities, as it soothes its listeners and draws them to be closer to the water.
     
    Nightmare
     
    Average Lifespan: 600-1,000yrs.
    Average Length: 6-7ft.
    Average Weight: 700-750lbs
    Location: Migrates; Theoretical Roost in Viridian Pass
    Diet: Unknown
    Description: A nocturnal dragon that is able to render itself invisible to those around it with its own telepathic aura. It is an exceptionally clever dragon that appears to feed off of the dreams of other creatures, which leads to its name—Nightmare. Nightmares are capable of breathing blue fire, which has no heat, but negatively affects the mind of the target. While touched by the flames, the target is forced to face their greatest fears and desires, overcome by visions that touch the deepest and darkest places of their hearts.
     
    Black Broiler

    Average Lifespan: 600-1,000yrs
    Average Length: 35-40ft.
    Average Weight: 3,000-3,500lbs
    Location: Areder Mountains
    Diet: Rocks
    Description: A large dragon that feeds off of the soft and hot rocks that volcanoes produce. They are highly territorial creatures, guarding precious stones and soft minerals for consumption. As per the typical dragon norm, they breathe excruciatingly hot fire, and have scales that are almost impossible to penetrate with metal.
     
  17. Like
    Artificer reacted to CasualCrisis for a article, Orisia Lore   
    A Brief History of Orisia
    Orisia is an island with a long and tragic history. In the ancient days, the island enjoyed a golden age of peace that could be attributed to its lack of dealings with the mainland. Well aware of Genesaris’ existence, the people of Orisia opted for a quiet and isolated life, enjoying all that their secret paradise had to offer. There was a subtle magic in the land—a sort of ethereal presence that enveloped absolutely everything. Without any true understanding of what it was, or why it existed, the magic was never given an official name. Referenced to only as La’Ruta (The Path), it simply existed and extended out from the earth to the trees, to the beasts and the people. The Orisians were touched by it, and in turn became beings of unimaginable patience and virtue. Those who believed in living according to the unstated laws that command La’Ruta did not institutionalize their beliefs until much later in Orisia’s history.
    The published beliefs that did eventually develop made direct references to La’Ruta, but openly accepted and taught the impossibility of ever fully comprehending the power of the land. Fundamental forms of the following focus on philosophies of balance between light and darkness, breaking down conceived notions of good and evil, and the importance of the five natural elements; fire, earth, water, electricity, and air. The ethics that developed around the following were varied but always focused on teachings of the Three Treasures; compassion, moderation, and humility. An ancient note, carved into the wall of one of The Cathedral Mountain’s many caverns by an ancient monk, best describes the school of thought that commanded La’Ruta: “Who can wait quietly while the mud settles? Who can remain still until the moment of action? Observers of La’Ruta do not seek fulfillment. Not seeking fulfillment, they are not swayed by desire for change.”
    This magic was utterly impossible to grasp, and its followers accepted this fact fully. It was enough to be surrounded by the miracles provided, to merely marvel at the pure and perfect essence. Attracting a number of mythical creatures, desperately in search of a safe haven, which they immediately found in the fiercely guarded island. These creatures, both noble and fearsome, were regarded with respect and granted a position of honor upon the Orisia’s sister island Ceyana, for their presence was a testament to the magic that seemed to thrum it's call to the rest of the known world.
    La'Ruta is said to have come from Genesaris itself, but it has not been felt in the mainland for many hundreds of years. For some time that same magic seemed lost to Orisia as well. Drawn by the rare breeds of creatures and a taste for their blood, a dark and horrible creature came to the lands. Areder DuGrace came with powers of distorted darkness the likes of which no Orisian had ever seen or could hope to understand. No one was safe from this creature, for he used the very shadows cast by the innocents to enslave them. So vicious and malevolent was Areder’s powers that the Orisian people, having grown soft due to their time bathed in the peaceful presence of La’Ruta did not know how to react. Those who opposed him were thrown into the abyss, where a fate worse than death awaited them—an eternity of night. Areder seemed to drain the very life of the land once he drank of the blood of both man and beast. When it seemed that he would waste away the divine spark that made Orisia so special, a champion arose from the devastation to challenge the fiend and to slay him; a man named Aulden.
    It was a fierce battle—one that changed the face of Orisia forever. Meeting upon the place where the modern-day Areder Mountains are located, these polar opposites met with the sole desire to undo the other. The clash was unlike anything the island and its people had ever encountered. While there were no witnesses to the epic fight, every man, woman, and child felt its progression and eventual outcome. The earth trembled with the force of their swords as they clashed, and when at last Aulden bested the horrible monster and spilled his blood upon the ground all of the magic he had stolen spilt back into the earth. So concentrated was the power Areder had ingested that it burned into the very ground upon which they had met, and from it—like the seeds of creation, the soft hills were ripped open and from them birthed a treacherous mountain range. Raw rock was exposed, jagged, beautiful, and bleeding, in the form of red-hot molten magma. Unfortunately, Aulden did not escape the battle unhurt. Having suffered serious injuries he lived only long enough to be returned to his place of birth among The Cathedral Mountains. There his body was laid to rest, and the city of his birth renamed, in his honor, to Aulden’s Gate.
    The magic of the land suffered and grew quiet after that battle. Only the most devout followers of La’Ruta were able to hear or feel it. As it regressed, growing weaker and quieter, so did the Orisian’s memory of all that they had learned. From generation to generation, theThree Treasures were often mentioned, but not seriously followed. After Areder’s death Orisia suffered greatly from the political turmoil, left in the wake of lost leadership. With Aulden’s death, Orisia lost the only individual who was capable of restoring peace and balance to the land. Civil war after civil war between warring noble families further weakened the population, until finally, some three hundred years after Areder and Aulden’s death, the House of Beauchene finally secured the throne. For two hundred years this Royal Family squandered the resources of the island, living in excess and luxury while the people suffered in crippling poverty.
    Orisia became a cesspit of crime and misery, crippled by two centuries of endless war and uncontrollable famine, losing two-thirds of its population throughout this period. Still, the island still managed to hold on to some of its enchantment. Its natural beauty, though marred, could not be completely undone. Sensing the decline, the creatures of myth went into hiding, with the great and diverse landscapes of Orisia seemingly to closing off from the violent touch of man.
    The last Beauchene family to rule, some twenty years ago, was particularly sadistic and oblivious to the plight of their people. With the mounting civil unrest, Orisia’s environment was exceptionally ripe for civil war. However, the opportunity to strike, despite preparation, never came. Back in the mainlands of Genesaris, The Great North tore through the country bloodthirsty and power-hungry. Confusion still remains as to why the Great Nation of the North set their sights upon the small and already terribly dysfunctional island. Some believe it to be punishment—cruel retribution for the loss of La’Ruta. Others saw the Great North as an omen of violent, but positive, change, like the mighty fires that cleanse the dry and dying forests. The Great North, though indiscriminate with its killings, did purge the land of all the bad blood and tilled the land, abandoning it at the last moment and leaving it fertile and ready for the seeds of transformation.
    With the imminent threat of forces from the mainland, no noble family rose to claim the throne, especially not after what the Beauchenes had suffered at the hands of the Northerners. Orisia fell to lawlessness and chaos. Those with enough wealth managed to buy protection, to live above and beyond the harsh conditions of the common people. For twenty years, things remained in much the same way. The Great North seemed to lose interest in the island, but criminal organizations had settled so comfortably upon the territory that it was near impossible for anyone to reclaim control.
    Enter the DuGrace Family. Gabriela, who had gone into torpor and had remained asleep or the better part of three hundred years, awoke to a startling revelation. Eden was gone, and somehow her tomb had been transported to a new world. A gift from Tenebre—Gabriela felt the nearby presence of the many members of her family and felt a single throbbing yearning in her heart. Her desire was to build a home—a true and lasting home for her three children. Tenebre, a profoundly powerful but unbalanced abysmal deity, had already scouted the world of Valucre and had found Orisia to be the perfect gift for his newly awakened protégé. Reluctant, at first, Gabriela was immediately won over the moment she set foot upon Orisia. With her presence, La’Ruta seemed to finally stir from its long slumber. With no prior knowledge, Gabriela imagined the sensation that coursed through her body to merely be an unconscious reaction, one that urged her to remain, to rebuild, and to grow.
     
    Orisian Cities and Landmarks

    Map by the wonderful Off Topic
     
    Cities, Towns, Villages, and Ruins 
    The Capital City - Versilla
    The City of Morgana
    The City of Drakiss
    Port City of Izabal
    The City of Coban
    The Port City of Veelos
    The City of Urbem Amissam
    The Village of Banha
    The Ruins of La Cierra
    The City of Antigua
    Brightstorm Keep
    Solum Irae
     
    Mountains, Rivers, Forests, and Others
    Lake Atitlan
    The Cathedral Mountains
    Dorado Plains
    Platiado Plains
    Ild Pass
    Bovania River
    Ellwood Forest
    The Valanian Desert {The White Sands}
    The Red Sands
    The Hodenaufer Mountain Range
    The Foothill Forest
    The Areder Mountains
    The Vortex Bay
    Viridian Pass [Forest]
    The Selah Mountains
    The Nameless Desert
     
    General Orisian Information
    Population: The joint population of the islands was last measured at around two million humans. This number does not reflect the large number of non-human peoples who call Orisia they’re home.
    Technology: Orisia’s technology is definitely not as advanced as other nations or cities, this may have to do with the fact that Orisia has often gone to great lengths to isolate itself from the mainland. Although the people of Orisia are highly intelligent, and place great value upon education—there is an overall sentiment that advanced technological methods of warfare cause a disconnect from the significance of life. Orisia’s technology is comparable to the European technology of the mid-1600s.
    Climate: Orisia is large enough to enjoy quite a range of climates. From the central white sands of the Valanian Desert to the snow peaks of The Areder Mountains and the lush near tropical forests located toward the Northern end of the Island. Orisia seems to have a little bit of everything. Overall the climate of the island tends to be warm and mild along the coasts, comparable to the Mediterranean type of weather.
    Commerce and Goods: With such favorable weather conditions and lots of open space, Orisia boasts one of the healthiest and most diverse agricultural settings. Orisia produces rare and delicious fruits that are traded to neighboring cities along the Easter coast of Genesaris. For the most part, Orisia is a self-contained country, with many rare and precious goods to offer such as fine lumber, precious stones and rare metals. However, Orisia has a dark side when it comes to trade—as a safe haven for mythical creatures of all kinds, the Government often finds itself combating the illegal capture and trade of endangered creatures such as unicorns, griffins, wyvern, and many more.
    Defenses: Orisia boasts a unique natural defense in the form of its high sheer cliffs. A majority of the island's coasts are high walls of jagged rock, easily showing how the land mass was carved out of the Genesarian mainland. The few available beaches and more assessable bays have been claimed by busy and growing port towns and cities. As centrals of commerce, these places are heavily guarded. The seas that surround both islands are patrolled by an organized and impressive naval force. It has often been said that in all the waters great and small of Valucre there are no sailors more committed to the sea than the men and women of Orisia. This sentiment is reflected in the magnificent ships, both of war and commerce, produced by Orisian shipyards.
    Upon land, it is The Order of the Black Heart that serves as both a source of leadership as well as military protection. Individuals who join the Order are completely committed to the protection of Orisia, its people and its interests. These are highly trained men and women who not only swear their lives in military service, but also in intellectual service. During times of peace those belonging to the Order are fully expected to continue contributing to the growth and development of Orisia. Nearly every city of Orisia houses a royal court—the number of nobles within the court depends on the size of the city. Larger cities that house one of the Noble Seven (Duke or Duchess) will automatically have a court of at least fifty nobles. All nobles (with the exception of a small number) are knights—an individual cannot be a noble, belonging to a royal court, without having sworn service to Orisia.
    Soldiers make up the biggest part of Orisia’s military. These are men and women, usually specialized in a specific area (Infantry, Cavalry, and Archery). Highly trained and highly paid, these men and women are committed to their country.
    Finally, depending on the size of a city, town, or village, a sheriff along with a number of officers is assigned. These individuals are not part of The Order of the Black Heart, but they are employed to ease the burden of enforcing Orisian laws. A sheriff (or his officers) is more than likely the individual who will show up whenever there is some minimal disturbance. Unlike a member of the Order, a sheriff (or officer) is not allowed to use deadly force (with the exception of self-defense). Instead, a sheriff will try to mediate a situation that requires an authoritative figure, and or make arrests when a situation requires it. Sheriffs and officers can, at any moment, ask for the assistance of a knight.
     
    Orisian Lore and Legends, Expanded
    La'Ruta
    Orisian Dragon Compendium
    DragonForging
    The Order of the Black Heart
    The Orisian Vampyre
     
    Abyssal Beasts
    The Orisian Shadow Wolf
  18. Like
    Artificer reacted to supernal for a article, Mandphia   
    Picture distributed under OGL
    MANDPHIA
    Previously referred to as “teletype”, now named Mandphia after a portmanteau of its scientific name manducaris sophia (eater of wisdom).
    Type » Insect: Arachnid
    Temperament » Aggressive — Creatures that tend to attack rather than flee, whether for food, to defend a territory within a certain radius. They will usually break pursuit when too threatened.
    Sapience » Complex
    Size » 16-20 feet
    Weight » 500-700 lbs
    Location » Ezh Khaelidruiza; Nich'e
    Environment » Caves; underground
    Organization » Packs
    Special Abilities » Telepathic; telekinesis
    Although the absorption rate is not perfect, the mandphia’s peculiar diet leads to increasing cunning, greed, and madness. Teletypes feed on dreams, memory, intellect, sanity and other cognitive aspects.
    Mandphia have been present on the Lagrimosa continent for thousands years. Mandphia were known enemies to the Frost Giants, having engaged with them in several distinct wars over periods of time spanning centuries. In recovered tapestries and art work from the Shawnee region, there are indications that the teletypes are the primary reason the Frost Giants became feebleminded and lost their history and culture. The Palyopama proved no less savage for losing their intellect and killed most of the remaining teletypes. One spider escaped to a building in ancient Blairville which would later become the Tower, where it locked itself away to avoid being killed with its family. 
    The Blairville natives reinforced the lock via ritual and the spider had not seen outside of the Tower for over a thousand years, where the Cold Snap broke the lock and a cartography expedition to map zones of the Tower inadvertently set it free. Since being freed, that spider has gone underground and begun the arduous task of awakening other large arachnids, which go into a chrysalis and emerge psionically enhanced. 
  19. Like
    Artificer reacted to supernal for a article, Rider Dragon   
    Picture licensed under CC BY 2.0
    RIDER DRAGON
    Type » Reptile: Avian
    Temperament » Aggressive — Creatures that tend to attack rather than flee, whether for food, to defend a territory within a certain radius. They will usually break pursuit when too threatened.
    Sapience » Constructed
    Size » 12-20 feet
    Weight » 1200-1800 lbs
    Environment » Caves; mountains; forests
    Organization » Packs
    Special Abilities » Empathic link; flight; breath weapon (fire, acid, lightning)
    Rider dragons are used as intelligent mounts and beasts of burden for the clearing of fields, the trapping and hunting of animals, mail amd item delivery, and combat. Rider dragons have animal cunning and are capable of learning complex tasks, but are unlike other dragon species in that they do not contain true sapience. A rider dragon makes for a true companion but is not to be confused with the species of dragon capable of learned magic and civilization. 
    Rider dragons have to be bonded with their rider in order to be tamed. The empathic link formed with a bond allows for the communication of familiar ideas, such as fear, doubt, trust, anger, joy, and so on, but not complex or detailed messages. A larger rider dragon can be fitted with a saddle that can comfortably accommodate four to five people.
  20. Like
    Artificer reacted to supernal for a article, Valucre: An Overview   
    Back to Topics
    Estimated reading time: ~4 minutes

    Year 18,599 World Time | 599 World Time Abbreviated

    Plot
    Valucre is the story of your characters and how they interact with other characters in the world, whether those interactions are epic tales that span the globe or the intimate dramas of everyday life in a local town. What you decide to write, the actions you decide to take, can have as much or as little impact on your personal storyline and on the surrounding world as the effort you choose to put in. Knowledge about Valucre by its inhabitants should be taken as mythological rather than empirical. This means that what a people believe may not actually be accurate, and is subject to ongoing interpretation, debate and modification. There is no indisputable theory for how the universe came to be. Instead there are dominant and recessive theories, myths and worldviews which vary depending on where you are and who you ask. 
    The World
    Valucre is comparable to earth standard in terms of size. For simplicity's sake, Valucre has similar seasons, weather, atmosphere, flora, fauna, etc. Valucre's creatures are also open by design, meaning that while nations may have their own bestiary index, their own unique creatures or versions of existing creatures, players are not limited to these and can create their own as long as they adhere to mild powers. 
    Despite a high level of scientific understanding among its people, the presence of magic has confounded efforts to get an accurate measure of the planet's age, and has complicated cartography and archaeology for eons. Different nations may keep different calendars for religious or cultural reasons but also keep track of a universal World Time. For example, when the universal calendar shared throughout the nations indicates that Valucre is in its 18,597th year World Time (WT), it is colloquially referred to as 597 WTA (World Time Abbreviated, cutting off the millennia digits). For simplified timekeeping purposes, Valucre advances at a rate of 1:1 with the real world, usually in June.
    The Nations
    Continents and territories tend to favor a major theme while also participating in the shared game space. This means that while one location on the planet can be high fantasy (like Orisia), another can employ magitech and airships (like Lagrimosa and Genesaris), and another might favor futuristic scifi (like Absalom). Because of the complex interplay between magic and technology it's difficult to say that one nation is more 'advanced' than another since different means can be employed to similar ends, though that doesn't stop different kingdoms from trying.
    Keep in mind that these descriptions are not meant to isolate one setting from another and that your character can travel freely between each location, having to surpass obstacles magical and mundane. Also keep in mind that settings have a general theme but are not restricted to that theme. Considering these continents occupy the same world, expect to see some truly odd and wonderful sights. 'Fast travel' is a common plot device; you don't have to play out the travel between locations.
    To learn more about a location click on the name, and if you have questions visit the Ask Me Anything (AMA) of the location.
    Language
    The following is meant to be descriptive rather than prescriptive. This means that you can use it as a stylistic guide to your writing, rather than a rigid formula you have to follow to be accurate. Don't expect things like etymologies and expressions to perfectly match; don't expect to have to write in these languages
    Unii sounds like Russian. Unii is a constructed trade language designed to bridge communications between people who do not share a native tongue. It is employed most commonly by entities with international dealings, such as trade, diplomacy and criminal enterprise. Terric sounds like Spanish Genesaris sounds like German Renovatio sounds like Latin Alterion sounds like Mandarin Lagrimosa | AMA | Quests | Artifacts
    Major themes: science fantasy - religion (Gaianism) - birthplace of magitech
    Board Leader: supernal
    Geographic standout feature: Deepest body of water; Ponkapoag lake
    Genesaris | AMA | Quests
    Major themes: high fantasy - modern elements - birthplace of airships
    Board Leader: King
    Geographic standout feature: Largest desert
    Orisia
    Major themes: traditional fantasy - vampiric queen and population - local magic interferes with advanced technology
    Board Leader: Pasion Pasiva and King
    Cierno
    Cierno lies between Genesaris and Lagrimosa and is made up of multiple territories. 
    Nehalen | AMA | Quests
    Major themes: Dark Fantasy - Medieval - Steampunk - Myriad of island nations creating a single continent - Conflict between Magic and Religion
    Board Leader: Aleksei
    Geographic standout feature: Largest volcano
    Faejarhe
    Major themes: sci-fi - dark horror
    Board Leader: -Lilium-
    Geographic standout feature: Largest canyon
    The Vortex | announcement
    This is a gateway into what is commonly referred to as "the infinities of the spirit world", a portal which leads to endless realities and dimensions and through which come travelers from far off worlds. It can deposit you anywhere on the planet, not just near itself.
    Alternative
    Not a part of the canon world of Valucre. Alternative is where members can go to host roleplay that wouldn't fit in the world of Valucre. Roleplay that takes place on other planets, on modern-day earth, or that surpass the mild powers limitations of Valucre can be hosted here. Roleplay here must still abide by the code of conduct. As of the introduction of the vortex, characters can freely travel from Alternative to Valucre, and must adhere to the rules of the local realm. 
    Magic and Technology
    Valucre is a fantasy setting where magic and science have evolved separately but in parallel. This results in areas which vary drastically from one another. In a single nation you can have locations where people use coal and oil, other areas where they use steam and electricity - one area where magic is sacred and divine, and another where it is used for convenience, or doesn't exist at all.
    You can read more about the laws of magic in its dedicated article. The laws are open by design to allow members to use any ability or system they please, as long as those things adhere to mild powers; actions that observe the laws are considered as having canonical backing. Board leaders may have local systems which will override or supplement the universal system. Like any system, the laws are a 'living document' and subject to change.
     Back to Topics
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