Ads

Pages: [1] 2
  Print  
Author Topic: The Realm of Camulus  (Read 3671 times)
From out the wild wood comes the call...
Flumph
*


View Profile WWW
« on: July 16, 2012, 06:24:14 AM »

A Campaign Setting for Dungeons and Dragons *Cough* edition.

This started out as an entry for a mapping contest over at the Cartographer's Guild, but I started deciding some of what each place was like, so I thought I'd bring it here.    

The point of this is to have a fairly generic D&D world.  It is meant to be a DivSet world, offering players the potential for a bit of just about anything.  Races and classes have their twists for this setting, but they are meant to be instantly recognizable as the races everyone knows.  Players can island-hop as pirates avoiding or fighting the imperial navy of Altistrad, finding secret coves for hiding ships.  They can be northern raiders, Knights, or in Ulonimas can find a desert backdrop for Egyptian or Arabic inspired adventures.  One kingdom may even resemble Feudal Japan.

I am going to say right now that this is probably not going to be a full time setting.  I will probably keep what I do have around as a "backup" setting for if I want to DM with people who want something specific that doesn't fit with Cad Goleor or Avayevnon, but there won't by any means be regular updates.  Once I get the basics up, and the contest is over, I may not touch it again for a long time.  I admit that most of it will probably be a very standard vanilla fantasy designed with D&D in mind, with all the standard tropes that come with it.  Well, maybe not ALL, but much of this is "to be expected."  If someone wants to steal any part of it, feel free.


The Realm of Camulus

Empire of Altistrad

Note


Capital: Lucidus
Other cities: Pileum, Veleum, Opascus, Lacunos, Incus
Island Holdings: Avia, Nimbose, Rane, Nephol, Fibra, Nebul, Intortus, Cumul

A "Human" empire with a proud history, Altistrad stretches out into the Northern Archipelago.  They are the biggest Sea power in the world, and control much of the trade between Camulus and Strutis.  The empire is only nominally human, since it is populated not only by the descendents of Old Altistrad, but by all the tribes and peoples who moved in after the empire collapsed.  It is now also home to Halflings, Goblins, Dwarves, Orks, and others. 

Extensive navy and merchant marine.  Their galleys and triremes are well suited to the shallow coastal waters surrounding Altistrad.  They are versatile craft; their large capacity of oars and oarsmen give them guaranteed means of locomotion when the fickle winds die down, and they can build up a good amount of speed for escape or for a ramming attack. 

Once a mighty empire stretching into Lenticulum, decadence and overextension caused the Altistrade Empire to become fractured.  It is now much closer to its original borders, contained on the western edge of the continent.  Corruption, attacks from outside, and the collapse of the system tore the empire apart, but over the past 300 years it has picked itself up, reorganized into a new empire.   The Emperor rules at Lucidus, the City of Light, and his lords command from Veleum and Lacunos.  Lesser vassals in the form of Dukes of Pileum, Opascus, and Incus keep imperial rule throughout the continental empire. 

The Imperial City of Lucidus has a river running through it out to the bay in the northwest.  The main port city of Veleum lies where this river meets the ocean.   From the imperial city, Altistrad is ruled by the Dragon Emperor, but there is a mayor/governor who handles the day to day affairs of the city itself. The "Dragon Emperor” is not a true dragon himself, but is descended from dragons.  He is Dragon Disciple sorcerer descended from a bronze dragon.

Old Altistrad was a unified empire that spread its culture, knowledge, language and architecture across the face of Camulus.  Over time the empire grew too large to be controlled from a single location, and was divided into the Western and Eastern Empires.  Over time the center eroded out from the empires, and the Western empire collapsed altogether.  Several barbarian tribes rose to prominence, and created a diverse culture.  But the banished and embittered descendants of the old empire set out to reconquer the lands that were “rightfully theirs.”  Many of these prove to be truly evil. This dynasty largely dies out, though.  The current Dragon Emperor seized rule of the Empire, drawing on his draconic heritage.

Tradesmen’s Guilds: Shipwrights, Carters, Coopers, Chandlers, Scribes, Smiths, Masons, etc. all have their own guilds regulating prices, trade, and product quality.  There are some “professionals” who are higher level experts, who are often private contractors independent of the guilds.  These experts will go to the guilds to hire out workers for projects.  Sometimes these are Royal/Imperial commissions, sometimes they are merely approved by the emperor.

Oraenes, The Dragon Emperor: Though not a true member of the old dynasty, the dragon emperor Oraenes was the son of the last empress.  She gave birth to him before she was taken as the bride of the old emperor, and so he has no true blood ties with the old empire.  He was given into the keeping of the church of Cruny, where he was trained as a paladin to fight for truth and valor.  But when he was made aware of his mother’s dragon blood, his own magical heritage lit the fire within him.  He began to study sorcery and sought out his draconic ancestor, learning from this Bronze Dragon, but never abandoning the principles his upbringing with the church instilled in him.  He is the first ruler of the new empire in over a century that the people have truly loved.

Out of Character

Historically, Altistrad would be the closest thing the setting has to "Rome." At one point they ruled most of the continent.  But as in our Middle Ages, its glory days are in the past.  The new empire is much more like the "Holy Roman Empire" in that it is now an amalgamation of different tribes and peoples all under the banner of a single pious emperor.  Tangentially, one history professor alluded to an old quip that the "Holy Roman Empire" was neither holy nor Roman, and was not really even that much of an empire.

Kirrus

Note


Capital: Gobelund
Other cities: Hobheim, Niflburg, Ork Knee
Exports: Iron Ore
Imports: Steel

Savage lands of the north populated mostly by Goblins, Hobgoblins, Orks, and Bugbears.  Several Warlords are loosely aligned under a “king.”  This King changes frequently, and is often just whoever is the biggest baddest guy on the block at the time.

This land very much believes in “Might makes right.” There is very little in the way of formal “law.” Disputes are usually resolved in a Trial by Combat.  The winner is considered to be in the right.  Your power is legitimate for as long as you can keep it.  A woman is your “wife” for as long as you can keep her.  You lose all right to her if someone steals her away, or if she escapes. 

Ork and Goblin longships attack coastal villages, conduct trade, and sometimes attack Altistrade galleons.  Their pirates often attack Altistrade island colonies.  Less often, they will sail further south to attack Strutis or enter the Strait of Skaiye.   

Orks and Hobs are the fiercest competitors.  The hobs are more disciplined, but the orks are more driven to conquer.  Orks and Hobs both are bullied when the bigger, nastier bugbears come around, though.  In mixed race areas, though, everyone walks all over the goblins.  There will occasionally be clever Goblins who rise in the ranks, and by brutal displays of their sheer cruelty and ingenuity manage to keep the others at bay.  Such goblins hold onto their power by knowing when to play the stronger races against each other. 

Tribes usually consist of just one of these races, though tribes often form short-lived “alliances.”  These are mostly issues of dominance, where one tribe conquers another.  Killing another tribe’s leader in single combat usually results in dominance over his entire tribe.  The strongest of the conquered tribe would be given a measure of prestige, but most would be no better than slaves.

Kirric Iron is naturally (relatively) free of impurities, and produces much higher quality, stronger steel for weapons and armor, making it highly sought after in southern lands.  The tribes of Kirrus have not developed the techniques to produce steel.  Sometimes Kirric Iron can purchased from Goblin traders, but as often as not it means an incursion into the north. 

Out of Character

This is a land belonging to what D&D usually calls the "Savage humanoids."  I envision that the true nature of the place is more complex.  For the general FEEL of them, though, imagine Vikings fused with "The Iron Islands" from A Song of Ice and Fire.

Ulonimas

Note


Capital: Marnaq
Other Cities: Djoza, Ul-Qemeti

Populated mostly by gnomes, halflings, and dwarven slaves, Ulonimas is famed for its skilled mathematicians, architects, and artificers. Its skills in calculations enable the people to build their stunning architectural wonders, and their magical devices. Gold is highly valued as a conductor in their electro-magical devices. The clerics often commune with divine beings to learn the secrets to creating these wonders.  Artifice and magic have mostly supplanted technological advancement. 

Djehauti is one of their most revered gods, after Oris’re, Is’Athor, and Anub’os. Those three are crucial to their very survival, but Djehauti allows them to be great. He is the one who teaches them the arts of magic and artifice. He teaches them sacred geometry, and how to make the devices that allow them to build fantastical structures.

Uloniman religion differs from that held by most of Camulus. Theirs is an earth-centered animistic religion, with a different pantheon of major deities than their neighbors. Halflings, Gnomes, and Dwarves all share common ancestors. All were (or are to some extent still) subterranean races. They all have a psychological desire to return to the earth, which manifests in an obsession with the “underworld” in religion. They are buried deep in the ground upon death, and thought to come up from the underworld at birth. The earth itself is deified in the form of Ghebbis, and all creatures are thought to have souls. They are not to be mistreated or killed lightly. This is especially important as their gods often take animal form, so you never know whether an animal might be a god in disguise. Birth rites, death rites, hunting rites, building rites; all aspects of life are given a ritual, religious meaning. It is the belief of this people that failure to properly perform the rites results in catastrophes, and could even result in the destruction of the world.

Gnomes form the priestly caste, which has two forms: the Druid Class (possibly to be renamed) which is the shaman and wise man, and the Cleric Class, or "Godslaves" who are beholden to the will of a particular deity.  Each city has several clerics, who each serve different gods, and preside over different events.  One Cleric would oversee the death rituals, another would oversee births, another coronations.  The most powerful Cleric of Oris'rah is seen as the embodiment of the god, and so rules the nation.  This God-king would have a druid as an advisor, as would each city/town/village. 

Packs of gnolls, who in this setting have the heads of jackals, roam the desert, worshipping Anub’Os, the god of death.  They are widely feared, but as they are seen as the children of one of their principle gods, their coming is considered to be divinely ordained.  The locals see them as “Death Made Flesh” and it is against their religion to do battle with death.  They mere hope the gaze of death overlooks them as long as possible. 

Out of Character

I make no attempt to disguise that Ulonimas is this setting's "Egypt" analogue.  It is the region of the setting that allow players to experience that kind of adventure, or to play with "magitech."  So peppered into the true egyptian influence are the conspiracy theorists' ideas about "they couldn't possibly have done this on their own.  The must have had help from ALIENS!" expect instead of aliens, it would be gods and celestials.

Arkus

Note


Capital: Kastelanis
Other Cities: Falstreak, Strasfarne, Flockas

A smaller kingdom seeking to establish itself as a power in its own right, Arkus is constantly out to prove that it can stand up against Altistrad and Lenticulum. Though in a perpetual state of tension with the two empires flanking it, they are at present holding to a tenuous peace with these two powers. Their military force is concentrated on the isle of Fraecte; the ruined and bloody battleground of a war between Arkus and Strutis. Here both sides constantly build strongholds, only to have them destroyed by the enemy. This island is considered crucial, as its central location in the Strait of Skaiye would give the winner almost complete control of trade along the Strait between East and West.

Arkus is known for its disciplined regiments of Archers, with their signature Composite Longbows. Though some cast aspersions on the kingdom for "unchivalric" combat, the people of Arkus are much more concerned with success and victory than with honor and chivalry. They have been known to use underhanded tactics or spying, stealth, ruses and trickery to come out on top. They are known to hire rogues and mercenaries to sabotage their enemies, and to take out key targets. "All's fair in war."

In an effort to bolster their troops and shore up the loss of life to their own people, they even hire out Ork and bugbear raiders from the north to harass Strutis.  However, their need for resources leads them to tear down more and more of the forests of Onnwood and Nionwood.  As a result, the lumber towns are suffering from increasingly frequent raids by elves. Flockas has been hit particularly hard.  

Lenticulum

Note


Capital: Uncinium
Other Cities: Spisatum, Logens, Stratiforma, Undulatis, Pannum
Imports: Gold

“The Eastern Empire”

At the height of its power the Empire of Altistrad stretched  all the way into Lenticulum.  But this proved to be too great a strain on the rulers and the overextended military, so the empire was cut in half.  Over the years, the middle has shaken free of imperial rule, and new powers have risen. 

Now Lenticulum’s Western border is protected by mountains, the only land route guarded by the Greyspires, flanking the pass like sentinels.  Travelers to the Eastern Empire would first stop at Logens, a city nestled into the hills at the edge of the Grimholt Marsh.  Its stony walls defend its people from both Lizardmen and foreign invader alike.  In the hills beyond the wall resides a sizable Halfling demographic native to the area, with houses built right into the hills themselves.  A rough palisade surrounds the community, as an afterthought gesture.

The jewel of Lenticulum however, is its port capital Uncinium, where the emperor sits.  It boasts two luxury palaces, one for the emperor, and one for the mayor,  and fortified keeps for defending the city in case of a siege.  The walls of the city are brightly colored, and include relief carvings of Dragons, Gargoyles, and scenes out of myth and legend.  The architecture is peppered with pillars, arches, and domes, often gilded with gold imported from Ulonimas.  Many come to visit the famed bath houses, which are said to be the most luxurious anywhere. 

The city sports a dedicated sewer for managing waste.  Several Otyughs, Gelatinous Cubes, and other oozes are left to roam the sewers, devouring trash and waste.  Killing one of these results in a heavy fine.  Any remaining waste is taken by a series of channels to the river, which deposits it in the bay.

Elves
Not really a nation or kingdom per se.  Elves in this setting are pretty much all of the “wood elf” variety, though there may be some “wild elves" too.  No “High Elves,” no “Dark Elves,” and no "Aquatic elves" at the moment.  

Settlements in most of the forests, with a major city called Eth Eral at the edge of a lake in the Southwest of Camulus.

So, diverging a bit from the D&D standard, rather than being aloof, I am thinking of the elves being very aggressively territorial, thinking of the forests as "theirs" and taking offense to other races ("animals" not included) entering them without permission.  So the forests are a dangerous place to go into.  Of course, they would also take great pride in their forests, taking pains to beautify them and cultivate them.  But I do not want to downplay their nasty streak.  Elves periodically raid human settlements at the forest edge, regularly attack loggers and woodcutters, and perform other acts of eco-terrorism in the vein of the--you guessed it--Earth Liberation Front.  They might kill humans that they find hunting "their" game, or might even take pleasure in hunting humans for sport every so often.  

Other
No world-spanning “Underdark,” though there are some underground settlements, passages, and even cities.  Most of these belong to dwarves, with other creatures existing underground, but not having large-scale organization.  

 
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 03:00:58 PM by Seraphine_Harmonium » Logged

Brother Guillotine of Loving Wisdom
My Campaigns:
Discuss Avayevnon here at the New Discussion Thread
Discuss Cad Goleor here: Cad Goleor

Bardistry Wands on Etsy

Review Badges:

From out the wild wood comes the call...
Flumph
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2012, 07:13:33 PM »

Races of Camulus

Out of Character

Write-up on some of the races.  Parts of it are very much standard, but I like to think there are at least a couple unique, or at least uncommon tweaks.  The mentality of the Elves as it manifests in my mind is like a combination of River Tam and Doctor Manhattan.
Dwarves
Physical Description:  Dwarves are actually the biggest of the “Little People” or the “Wee Folk” as they are sometimes called.  They stand at about 4 feet tall, though some can grow as tall as 4 ½ feet.  They are stronger than the others, and they are the most recently emerged from the surface. 

Dwarves tend to display curly beards that vary in length.  They have heavy cheekbones, and large aquiline noses.  While they sometime grow their hair long in the back, surface dwarves tend to bear the tonsure of a slave. 

There is a widely held, but inaccurate belief that dwarves have stone for skin.  While their skin may be tough, it is ordinary flesh, and Dwarves are actually quite pale, being the most recent race to emerge from the underground.  Their skin is almost completely without pigment.  This leaves them highly vulnerable to sunburn, and so almost all surface-dwelling dwarves cover any exposed skin with mud.  This protects their skin, and as a byproduct having the earth constantly against their skin tends to placate them. 

The diet of the surface dwarves is largely vegetarian.  They eat bread and grains that grow from the earth, and a large portion of their nutrients come in the form of beer their Gnome and Halfling masters serve them.  It keeps them healthy, and knocks them out enough at night to help prevent insurrections.  “Mudder’s Milk.”

Personality: Dwarves are grounded in the earth.  They feel themselves to be a part of the earth.  The longer they stay in a place, the stronger the connection they feel with it.  They smear mud and dirt on themselves when they are anxious, frustrated, or otherwise upset.  They tend to love feeling and working the land, but they are greedy, always wanting more, and they highly resent land being taken away from them.  While they do not necessarily mind other people in their land, they respond viciously to any challenge of ownership.  An assault to a dwarf’s land is a direct assault on the dwarf himself.

Dwarves on the surface are in a state of discomfort.  Most of these are enslaved in Ulonimas.  As such they have no land that they can call their own.  And lest they grow attached to an area, the lords of Ulonimas regularly trade dwarven slaves, to keep them from settling, and forming bonds with the land that would lead them to rise up against their masters.  Their masters encourage them to cover themselves with dirt and mud, though, to keep them calm, discouraging riots.

Relations:  Humans in Dwarven lands are welcome as long as they are clearly visitors or travelers.  Settlers are unwelcome and met with violence.  Surface Dwarves are in an odd position vis-a-vis gnomes and halflings.  There is some connection as “earth people” but they sometimes resent their masters.  Though if they are kept well fed and earth-smeared the dwarves remain pleasant enough.

Humans generally look down on dwarves, both literally and figuratively.  They are seen as second-class citizens, and don’t really fit in with society.  They are mistrusted, and occasionally driven out by the locals. 

Dwarven Lands:  True “Dwarven lands” are almost exclusively underground, usually in and around the mountains.  They have no lands of their own on the surface. 

Religion: Dwarves either follow the religion of their masters, or adopt an earth-centered religion worshipping the great Mother.  Some speak of a day when a leader will rise up to lead them back to THEIR earth under the mountain. 

Language:  On the surface, the Dwarven language is sometimes called “The Slave Tongue.”  Outside of Dwarves themselves, slave drivers use it, as do some masters.   Most “respectable” people don’t bother learning it.

Adventurers:  Dwarven adventurers may be individuals who have been driven out of the underground, escaped slaves, or they may be indentured to a warrior.  If they are emancipated, escaped, or otherwise “free” they may be seeking a place they can call home.

Elves
Once thought to be fertility spirits, Elves are wardens of the forests.  They tend to their woodland homes, master cultivation, and most likely supplement their homes with magic.

Physical Description:  Tall and slender, with hair the colors of autumn leaves, elves are instantly recognizable by their severe bone structure and long pointed ears. Their skin is often pale, but can range into a dusky brown. 

They have difficulty building muscle mass, and their joints tend to be knobby.  Their eyes are sharp and their ears are keen.

Their clothes are typically woven from plant fibers, and tend to be formed of loose drapes wrapped, pinned, folded, and tied about them.  They sometimes also wear hides and leathers.  They tend to be lightly armored, as they favor hit-and-run tactics in combat to protracted melees.

Elves do not sleep.  For 4 hours a day they must meditate, and their deep trance is as restful to them as a full 8 hours to a human.  While in this trance state, an Elf’s consciousness dissolves into the flow of time.  In this way he experiences past, present, and future simultaneously.  Elves sometimes slip into this state in a form of “daydream” giving them a faraway look, and a sense of being “out of this world.”

Personality: Elves are goal oriented.  Their long lives mean that they can concoct elaborate plans, and have the focus to work toward events that are far in the future.  Their actions therefore often seem unpredictable and capricious, but only because they experience time differently.  Alliances are typically strategic, and are abandoned when no longer of use, often without notifying these former allies.

Elves periodically slip into a light trance state, during which time they may respond whimsically, acting dazed and speak apparent nonsense, or seem unresponsive altogether.  This trance is shallow, however, not restful, and it is easily broken by danger or pain.

While elves tend to think in the long-term, they are very aggressively territorial, thinking of the forests as "theirs" and taking offense to other races ("animals" not included) entering them without permission.  Their response to such offense is swift retaliation.  They will not hesitate to attack intruders. 

Relations:  Human and Elf relations are tenuous at best.  Though occasionally allies, they are just as often enemies.  Elves do not take kindly to other races entering “their” forests without invitation, making those realms potentially lethal to venture into.  They raid human settlements at the forest edge, regularly attack loggers and woodcutters, and perform other acts of what could be called eco-terrorism.  They might kill humans that they find hunting "their" game, or might even take pleasure in hunting humans for sport every so often.

Elven Lands: Pretty much all forests are “elven lands.”  They are very protective of them, and cultivate them.  Their homes are often constructed of living trees, which are grown artfully to shelter them.  The long lives of elves give them the patience to see this through. 

Adventurers: Elven adventurers are a fairly common sight, actually.  Since elves as a people have a sense of what is to come, they often send out adventurers to bring about the future, avert some disaster, or stop some threat to their forests.
Logged

Brother Guillotine of Loving Wisdom
My Campaigns:
Discuss Avayevnon here at the New Discussion Thread
Discuss Cad Goleor here: Cad Goleor

Bardistry Wands on Etsy

Review Badges:

From out the wild wood comes the call...
Flumph
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 12:36:34 AM »

Halflings
Physical Description:  Halflings are short, only about half the height of humans.  They rarely grow full beards, but men often sport thick sideburns.  They sport large amounts of coarse body hair, on their chests, forearms, hands, and feet.  They are counted among the “Wee Folk,” and as a race, halflings specifically are sometimes called “The Fair Folk.”

They like wearing colorful, but comfortable, clothing.   Some have been known to wear yellow boots, red breeches, a blue jacket, and a green cap.  

They are pale to mid-toned in skin color, with hair ranging from black to red.  They are prone to freckles.  

Personality: Halflings typically enjoy the “quiet life,” though they are jovial, and not always quiet in strictest sense.  They love to eat and drink, gather, and make merry, sing songs, smoke pipes, have a bit of a row for the fun of it  Halflings like sporting events. They will often wrestle or get in fist-fights for the fun of it.  They will compete in teams hurling round stone down a road some miles.  A few miles is the most they are usually willing to travel from their homes.  

They love telling stories, and often make them up on the spot.  Among halflings, skill at storytelling can make you a local celebrity.  Each person endeavors to tell the very best stories, because as long as you are telling the story, you are the most important person in the room.  They so love stories, that they will frequently replace the truth with a more interesting lie, whether there was a need to or not.  They will call this “embellishing.”  It is highly embarrassing to be caught in a lie, but if the lie cannot be immediately detected or proven convincingly it is accepted as “true.”

Halflings always seek to make everything—their clothes; their lives; their stories—more colorful.  If forced outside their “home” bubble, they often have difficulty coping with the ugliness of life.  Some break down in tears and go mad, others refuse to take the world as it presents itself, choosing to see life through a romanticized, colorful lens.  This too can get them into trouble.

Relations:  Halflings are very hospitable, and are willing to entertain travelers as best they can, though such people are not always comfortable in their small accommodations.  They often ask no more of their visitors than to regale them with a story.  Halflings place so much value on stories, that they sometimes offer stories as payment for goods and services--something that frequently irks the other races.  Some human cities with halfling populations have discovered a need to post "Stories not Accepted as Payment" notices in their shops.  Other races do not always accept them as readily as they accept others, however.  Humans often mistrust halflings living in their cities, thinking them pathological liars and thieves, and generally inferior beings.  

Alignment:  Halflings tend more towards good than evil, and are generally freewheeling and unconcerned with “rules” and “laws,” so they are more inclined towards chaos than law.

Halfling Lands: Halflings have few lands of their own.  Mostly they live in designated “Halfling” districts of human cities, or in the hills at the edge of human lands.  

Adventurers:  Halflings rarely go out adventuring on purpose.  Sometimes they get dragged into it by chance or fate.  Sometimes they are on the run from human authorities, sometimes they go traveling in search of new stories.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 06:13:49 PM by Seraphine_Harmonium » Logged

Brother Guillotine of Loving Wisdom
My Campaigns:
Discuss Avayevnon here at the New Discussion Thread
Discuss Cad Goleor here: Cad Goleor

Bardistry Wands on Etsy

Review Badges:

From out the wild wood comes the call...
Flumph
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2012, 05:32:20 PM »




Deities and Religions

Out of Character

So far I have two religions.  It is possible I will add a third, but unlikely.  Most of the world follows the first, religion, and its pantheon of goddesses (which were randomly generated on Chaotic Shiny, and nudged a bit by me.  The second pantheon is that of Ulonimas, which is basically the ancient Egyptian gods, though most of these are composites of more than one.  I may go ahead and say that subterranean dwarves worship Moradin as in most D&D religions, and that Elves worship Corellon.

Burrai
Greater Goddess
Symbol: The Year Wheel
Alignment: Neutral
Portfolio: Death, Abundance, Fire, Autumn, Nightmares, Spring
Domains: Death, Earth, Fire, Plant, Madness (Nightmare), Weather (Seasons)
Favored Weapon: Scythe

The Goddess of Death, Abundance and Fire, is unusually beautiful, with brown skin, shoulder length, rippling auburn hair, and eyes the color of moonlight. She is very short and muscular, and tends to look sad. She usually wears rich robes dyed black and medium yellow.

She is also associated with autumn, nightmares and spring. She is often worshipped by commoners. Her few, but dedicated followers can be primarily distinguished by their daily prayers, though most people offer her occasional prayers of appeasement.  There are many carvings of her just outside of cities. As a goddess of abundance, she is desired in the fields, but as a goddess of death, they hope to keep her beyond the wall.  There are many myths involving her constant scheming with Id'mes. She is the mother of Id'mes. She is known to send visions to epic mortal heroes.

Cruny
Goddess
Symbol: A Crescent Moon
Alignment: Lawful Good
Portfolio: Valor, Truth, Moon, Strength, Tricksters
Domains: Strength, Trickery, Moon, War, Glory
Favored Weapon:  Greataxe

The Goddess of Valour and Truth, is somewhat plain, with dark skin, long, flowing dark golden hair, and eyes the color of deep pools. She is average height and somewhat muscular, and is usually smiling. She usually wears opulent robes dyed dark gold.

She is also associated with the moon, strength and tricksters. She is often worshiped by law men. Her many followers can be primarily distinguished by their ritual scars. There are widespread shrines to her in most villages. There are many myths involving her wild romance with certain mortals. She is the mother of Jens. She is known to help great mortal warriors.

Th'r
Goddess
Symbol: Three rays of light through a cloud
Alignment: Neutral
Portfolio: Opposites, Wind, Charisma, Science, Nobles
Domains: Air (Wind), Artifice, Charm, Nobility (Leadership), Knowledge (Thought)
Favored Weapon:  Crossbow

The Goddess of Opposites and the Wind, is almost plain-looking, with brown skin, long, curly light grey hair, and eyes the color of fire opals. She is tall and of hearty build, and is always smiling. She usually wears formal attire dyed blue-green and grey-green.

She is also associated with charisma and science. She is a figure that seeks to learn and understand, without judgment.  She is often worshipped by nobles. Her numerous followers can be primarily distinguished by the symbols they wear. There are many carvings of her just outside of cities. There are many myths involving her illicit relationship with Kann. She is the daughter of Sciskica. She is known to sometimes place obstacles in the way of great mortal leaders.

Tesixer
Goddess
Symbol: A gold cat's eye
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Portfolio: Cats, stars, keys, fortune, youth, wealth, vengeance
Domains: Darkness (Night), Retribution, Animal (Fur), Travel (Trade), Portal, Void (Stars), Luck
Favored Weapon:  Claw Bracer

The Goddess of Cats and the Stars, is somewhat plain, with pale skin, long, flowing gold hair, and eyes the color of deep pits. She is very short and muscular, and almost never frowns. She usually wears chain mail dyed grey.

She is also associated with keys and youth. She is often worshipped by the wealthy. She is fickle, and favor is often fleeting.  Her few followers can be primarily distinguished by the holidays they observe. There are widespread carvings of her in most cities. There are many myths involving her illicit relationship with certain mortals. She is the sister of Kann. She is known to give help to mortals seeking vengeance.

Kann
Goddess
Symbol: Half-sun on the horizon
Alignment: Neutral Good
Portfolio: Summer, Sun, Underworld, Seduction, Fertility
Domains: Sun, Charm (Lust), Renewal, Cavern, Repose, Body
Favored Weapon: Spiked Chain

The Goddess of Summer, is quite beautiful, with very pale skin, short, curly flaming red hair, and eyes the color of golden sand. She is very tall and of hearty build, and is usually laughing. She usually wears light armor dyed dark green and bronze.

She is also associated with the underworld and seduction. She is often worshipped by clerics. Her almost fanatical followers can be primarily distinguished by the weapons they bear. There are a few carvings of her near rivers, and it is at rivers she is most often worshiped, as it is thought that these are entrances to the underworld. There are many myths involving her illicit relationship with Id'mes. She is the sister of Ka. She is known to hinder wicked mortals.

Sciskica
Goddess
Symbol: A lightning bolt
Alignment: Neutral
Portfolio: Storms, Poetry, Nature, Debates, Eloquence, Language
Domains: Storms, Weather, Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Rune (Language)
Favored Weapon: Javelin (Javelin of lightning)

The Goddess of Storms and Poetry, is surprisingly ugly, with fair skin, short, wavy cinnamon hair, and eyes the color of dark rubies. She is tall and willowy, and tends to look sad. She usually wears leather armor dyed gold.

She is also associated with nature in general. She is often worshipped by commoners and poets, for whom the lightning strike is a metaphor for poetic inspiration.  Bards, who often view the world with childlike amazement, are sometimes called "thunderstruck."  Her almost fanatical followers can be primarily distinguished by their daily prayers. There are a large number of offerings to her in large cities. There are many myths involving her great debates with Tesixer. She is the sister of Kann. She is known to appear to wicked mortals.

Jens
Goddess
Symbol: A face smiling on one side, frowning on the other
Alignment: Lawful Neutral (or both Good and Evil)
Portfolio: Good, Evil, Sacrifice, Names,
Domains: Nobility (Martyr), Good, Evil, Luck, Law (Slavery)
Favored Weapon:  Halberd

The Two-Faced Goddess of Good and Evil is almost plain-looking, with sallow skin, long, dark golden hair, and eyes the color of summer sky. She is very tall and very slender, and is usually smiling. She usually wears leather armor dyed grey-brown.

She is also associated with names and sacrifice. She is often worshipped by the elderly. Her few followers can be primarily distinguished by the ritual greetings they use. There are a few depictions of her just outside of cities. There are many myths involving her friendship with Kann. She is the daughter of Kann. She is known to challenge distressed mortals.

Ka
Goddess
Symbol: A White Veil
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Portfolio: Innocence, Purity, Virginity, Life, Pride
Domains: Chastity, Denial, Healing, Protection (Purity), Pride
Favored Weapon: Scourge

The Goddess of Innocence, is surprisingly ugly, with fair skin, short, curly dark grey hair, and eyes the color of black opals. She is very tall and of average build, and is always smiling. She usually wears simple clothes dyed dark blue and pale gold.

She is also associated with life and arrogance. She is often worshipped by women, especially brides to be. Her surprisingly numerous followers can be primarily distinguished by the weapons they bear. There are a respectable amount of shrines to her in most cities. There are many myths involving her mercurial relationship with Tesixer. She is the wife of Burrai. She is known to send visions to great mortal heroes.


Id'mes
Goddess
Symbol: A fish
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Portfolio: Celebration, Fish, Magic, Dreams
Domains: Water, magic, animals, oceans, Community, Weather, chaos, Liberation (Revolution), Dreams
Favored Weapon: Quarterstaff

The Goddess of Revolution and celebration, is eerily beautiful, with tanned skin, shoulder length, curly bright red hair, and eyes the color of the green sea. She is medium height and very muscular, and often appears angry. She usually wears leather armor dyed dark yellow and beige.

She is often worshipped by lawbreakers. She is the spirit of discontent and the push towards change.  She is also associated with fish and magic. Her few, but dedicated followers can be primarily distinguished by their secret language, which they use to protect their special mysteries, and plots. There are a small number of offerings to her in the foothills of mountains. There are many myths involving her epic battles with Ka. She is the mother of Cruny. She is known to send dreams to wicked mortals.


The Netjeru

Oris’rah
God
Symbol: The Sun Disk, or the Wedjat
Alignment: Lawful Good
Portfolio: The Sun, vengeance, rulership, kings, life
Domains: Good, Law, Nobility, Retribution, Sun
Favored Weapon: Ankh (Khopesh)

The Sun God is usually pictured as a hawk-headed humanoid, but he can take the form of any animal he chooses.  In myths he has transformed into a ram, a snake, a phoenix, a heron, a scarab beetle, and a cat, to name only a few.  He is tall, and very muscular, and often appears aloof.

Oris’rah is a god of sovereignty, life, and protection.  He has lived and died and been reborn countless times, and his lives and deaths are connected to the cycle of day and night.  He dies at sunset, and spends the night traveling the Underworld to be reborn in the morning. 

Through the myth of his revenge on Setesh for the death of his father Anub’os, Oris’rah is associated with the concepts of justice and vengeance.  He rules the pantheon.  He is said to have created himself from nothing, and so has no true parents, though in his various carnations he has been born to Nu’ut, Is’athor, and Shekma’at, with Ghebbis, Anub’os, and Djehauti as his fathers.  There are many myths of his epic battles with Setesh, and his complicated relationship with his fathers.  He is known to give help to mortals seeking vengeance.


Setesh
God
Symbol: A Typhonic creature
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Portfolio: Chaos, the Desert, droughts, jealousy, destruction, betrayal, ambition, night
Domains: Chaos, Evil, Hatred, Darkness, Death (Murder), Destruction (Catastrophe), Trickery
Favored Weapon: A Spear or Trident

Setesh is the god of chaos and darkness.  He takes the form of a monster, or a humanoid with a monster’s head.  It resembles an anteater or a donkey.  He is the antithesis of his ordered brethren.  He is a threat to the natural order.  He is shown in myth to be in constant opposition to the Sun god Oris’rah, and his father Anub’os, making him a warrior for darkness.

Setesh is associated with trickery, disaster, and all manner of actions that bring about entropy.  He is worshipped by rebels and lawbreakers, and by those who merely wish to placate him, or divert his wrath.  Is’athor and Anub’os are his siblings.  Ghebbis and Nu’ut are his parents.  There are many myths of his epic battles with Oris’rah.  He is known to challenge distressed mortals.


Is’athor
Goddess
Symbol: Sun Disk with Cows horns
Alignment: Neutral Good
Portfolio: Fertility, Motherhood, crops, rivers, water, weather,
Domains: Family, Good, Healing, Plant, Water, Weather
Favored Weapon: Cow's horn (Scimitar)

The goddess of crops, motherhood, and fertility is strikingly beautiful, with bronze colored skin and dark hair down her back.  Though often depicted as all-woman, she sometimes bears the head of a cow, or takes the form of a cow or a sow suckling piglets.  She sometimes also has wings.  She is responsible for the flooding of the river necessary for growing crops. 

She is also associated with weather, and with magic, especially healing and resurrection magics.  Her parents are Ghebbis and Nu’ut, and her siblings are Anub’os and Setesh.  Oris’rah is sometimes her son.  There are many myths involving her travels throughout Ulonimas to acquire her husband Anub’os’ severed limbs.  She is known to send visions to great mortal heroes.


Anub’os
God
Symbol: Crossed Crook and Flail
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Portfolio: The Dead, The Afterlife, Nature, Vegetation, Harvest, Mummification
Domains: Death, Good, Healing (Resurrection), Law, Plant, Repose,
Favored Weapon: Flail (light or heavy)

The Mummified, Jackal-headed god of the Dead has jet black skin, and is depicted wrapped in bandages, holding the crook and the flail.  Anub’Os was for a time the king of the gods, until his brother Setesh murdered him and mutilated his body.  But the magic of his consort Is’Athor revived him, and as first to die, he became the King of the Dead.

Anub’Os rules the plane called Duat, said to lie beneath the earth.  He presides over mummifications, and is the final judge of the dead—a task which he is aided in by Shekma’at and Djehauti.  He is worshipped by almost everyone.  Ghebbis and Nu’ut are his parents.  Is’athor is his consort.  His siblings are Setesh and Is’athor.  There are many myths about his unhealthy relationship with his brother Setesh.  He is known to sometimes place obstacles in the way of great mortal leaders.


Nu’ut
Goddess
Symbol: A starry sky
Alignment: Neutral
Portfolio: The Sky, Stars, Night, Day, Air
Domains: Air, Darkness (Night), Protection, Sun, Void (Stars)
Favored Weapon: Punching Dagger

The goddess of the stars and the sky is eerily beautiful, with jet black skin covered with stars, hair of a wispy silver-blue, and eyes like the sun.  She is as big as the sky, and does not wear clothes.

A primordial figure who gave birth to several gods, Nu’ut is associated with both light and darkness.  Her consort is Ghebbis, and her children are Is’athor, Anub’os, and Setesh.  There are many myths of her passion for Ghebbis, and her birthing of the gods, and creation. 


Ghebbis
God
Symbol: A mountain
Alignment: Neutral
Portfolio: Earth, Stone, Snakes, Life, The underworld
Domains: Cavern, Craft, Earth, Plant, Protection, Scalykind
Favored Weapon: Heavy Pick

The god of the earth is surprisingly ugly, with rough and cracked dark skin, and stiff green hair like reeds.  He has chiseled muscles, and often appears forlorn.  He usually wears clothes of yellow and green.  He typically looks humanoid, but sometimes appears with a snake head and neck. 

Ghebbis also has associations with miners and quarry men, and with snakes, which are sometimes called the “children of Ghebbis.”  His body is sometimes considered the location of the underworld Duat.  He is often worshipped by dwarves, who feel a kinship with him.  Some also equate him with the ancestral deity of their race.  His consort is Nu’ut, and he is the father of Anub’os, Setesh, and Is’athor.  There are many myths of his wild romance with Nu’ut.  He is known to ignore worthy mortals.


Shekma’at
Goddess
Symbol: Lioness or an Ostrich feather
Alignment: Lawful Good
Portfolio: Battles, Truth, Law, Protection, The Natural Order, Morality
Domains: Repose, War, Law, Protection, Luck (Fate), Good
Favored Weapon: Ostrich Feather (Glaive)

The Lion-headed goddess of battle, truth, and law is intimidating, with short golden hair, and black eyes.  She is tall and muscular, and often appears aloof.  She usually wears a white linen dress under segmented bronze armor plates.

She is charged with maintaining moral and natural law, being involved in the weighing of souls in the underworld.  If their soul does not balance against her ostrich feather, they will be destroyed.  Her cats and lions guard the underworld, to ensure the spirits do not escape.  Undead are her most hated enemies, and she and her followers track them relentlessly, to bring them true death.  Her consort is Djehauti.  There are many myths of her bringing order to the primordial chaos of the universe at its creation.

Djehauti
God
Symbol: Moon with a papyrus scroll
Alignment: Neutral
Portfolio: Good and Evil, The Moon, Balance, Magic, Science, Language, Writing, Arbitration
Domains: Craft, Moon, Artifice, Magic, Knowledge, Rune
Favored Weapon: Quarterstaff

The Ibis-headed god of magic, and balance, is surprisingly ugly, with no hair, and pale brown eyes.  He is very tall, but not very muscular, and often appears thoughtful.  He usually wears linen robes, and a mantle of gold.  He carries a magical staff.

Djehauti is an arbitrator of disputes between the gods, balancing the forces of good and evil, to ensure that neither side overpower the other.  He is also associated with knowledge and the moon.  Invented language and writing, and without them some thing the gods could not exist.  He maintains the scale on which souls are weighed in Duat.  His consort is Shekma'at.  There are many myths about his cleverness, and powerful magic.  He is known to hinder powerful mortals.

Logged

Brother Guillotine of Loving Wisdom
My Campaigns:
Discuss Avayevnon here at the New Discussion Thread
Discuss Cad Goleor here: Cad Goleor

Bardistry Wands on Etsy

Review Badges:

From out the wild wood comes the call...
Flumph
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2012, 09:02:09 PM »

Altistrad

Note


Capital: Lucidus
Other cities: Pileum, Veleum, Opascus, Lacunos, Incus
Island Holdings: Avia, Nimbose, Rane, Nephol, Fibra, Nebul, Intortus, Cumul

A "Human" empire with a proud history, Altistrad stretches out into the Northern Archipelago.  They are the biggest Sea power in the world, and control much of the trade between Camulus and Strutis.  The empire is only nominally human, since it is populated not only by the descendents of Old Altistrad, but by all the tribes and peoples who moved in after the empire collapsed.  It is now also home to Halflings, Goblins, Dwarves, Orks, and others.  

Extensive navy and merchant marine.  Their galleys and triremes are well suited to the shallow coastal waters surrounding Altistrad.  They are versatile craft; their large capacity of oars and oarsmen give them guaranteed means of locomotion when the fickle winds die down, and they can build up a good amount of speed for escape or for a ramming attack.  

Once a mighty empire stretching into Lenticulum, decadence and overextension caused the Altistrade Empire to become fractured.  It is now much closer to its original borders, contained on the western edge of the continent.  Corruption, attacks from outside, and the collapse of the system tore the empire apart, but over the past 300 years it has picked itself up, reorganized into a new empire.   The Emperor rules at Lucidus, the City of Light, and his lords command from Veleum and Lacunos.  Lesser vassals in the form of Dukes of Pileum, Opascus, and Incus keep imperial rule throughout the continental empire.  

The Imperial City of Lucidus has a river running through it out to the bay in the northwest.  The main port city of Veleum lies where this river meets the ocean.   From the imperial city, Altistrad is ruled by the Dragon Emperor, but there is a mayor/governor who handles the day to day affairs of the city itself. The "Dragon Emperor” is not a true dragon himself, but is descended from dragons.  He is Dragon Disciple sorcerer descended from a bronze dragon.

Old Altistrad was a unified empire that spread its culture, knowledge, language and architecture across the face of Camulus.  Over time the empire grew too large to be controlled from a single location, and was divided into the Western and Eastern Empires.  Over time the center eroded out from the empires, and the Western empire collapsed altogether.  Several barbarian tribes rose to prominence, and created a diverse culture.  But the banished and embittered descendants of the old empire set out to reconquer the lands that were “rightfully theirs.”  Many of these prove to be truly evil. This dynasty largely dies out, though.  The current Dragon Emperor seized rule of the Empire, drawing on his draconic heritage.

Tradesmen’s Guilds: Shipwrights, Carters, Coopers, Chandlers, Scribes, Smiths, Masons, etc. all have their own guilds regulating prices, trade, and product quality.  There are some “professionals” who are higher level experts, who are often private contractors independent of the guilds.  These experts will go to the guilds to hire out workers for projects.  Sometimes these are Royal/Imperial commissions, sometimes they are merely approved by the emperor.

Oraenes, The Dragon Emperor: Though not a true member of the old dynasty, the dragon emperor Oraenes was the son of the last empress.  She gave birth to him before she was taken as the bride of the old emperor, and so he has no true blood ties with the old empire.  He was given into the keeping of the church of Cruny, where he was trained as a paladin to fight for truth and valor.  But when he was made aware of his mother’s dragon blood, his own magical heritage lit the fire within him.  He began to study sorcery and sought out his draconic ancestor, learning from this Bronze Dragon, but never abandoning the principles his upbringing with the church instilled in him.  He is the first ruler of the new empire in over a century that the people have truly loved.

Out of Character

Historically, Altistrad would be the closest thing the setting has to "Rome." At one point they ruled most of the continent.  But as in our Middle Ages, its glory days are in the past.  The new empire is much more like the "Holy Roman Empire" in that it is now an amalgamation of different tribes and peoples all under the banner of a single pious emperor.  Tangentially, one history professor alluded to an old quip that the "Holy Roman Empire" was neither holy nor Roman, and was not really even that much of an empire.

Kirrus

Note


Capital: Gobelund
Other cities: Hobheim, Niflburg, Ork Knee
Exports: Iron Ore
Imports: Steel

Savage lands of the north populated mostly by Goblins, Hobgoblins, Orks, and Bugbears.  Several Warlords are loosely aligned under a “king.”  This King changes frequently, and is often just whoever is the biggest baddest guy on the block at the time.

This land very much believes in “Might makes right.” There is very little in the way of formal “law.” Disputes are usually resolved in a Trial by Combat.  The winner is considered to be in the right.  Your power is legitimate for as long as you can keep it.  A woman is your “wife” for as long as you can keep her.  You lose all right to her if someone steals her away, or if she escapes.  

Ork and Goblin longships attack coastal villages, conduct trade, and sometimes attack Altistrade galleons.  Their pirates often attack Altistrade island colonies.  Less often, they will sail further south to attack Strutis or enter the Strait of Skaiye.  

Orks and Hobs are the fiercest competitors.  The hobs are more disciplined, but the orks are more driven to conquer.  Orks and Hobs both are bullied when the bigger, nastier bugbears come around, though.  In mixed race areas, though, everyone walks all over the goblins.  There will occasionally be clever Goblins who rise in the ranks, and by brutal displays of their sheer cruelty and ingenuity manage to keep the others at bay.  Such goblins hold onto their power by knowing when to play the stronger races against each other.  

Tribes usually consist of just one of these races, though tribes often form short-lived “alliances.”  These are mostly issues of dominance, where one tribe conquers another.  Killing another tribe’s leader in single combat usually results in dominance over his entire tribe.  The strongest of the conquered tribe would be given a measure of prestige, but most would be no better than slaves.

Kirric Iron is naturally (relatively) free of impurities, and produces much higher quality, stronger steel for weapons and armor, making it highly sought after in southern lands.  The tribes of Kirrus have not developed the techniques to produce steel.  Sometimes Kirric Iron can purchased from Goblin traders, but as often as not it means an incursion into the north.  

Out of Character

This is a land belonging to what D&D usually calls the "Savage humanoids."  I envision that the true nature of the place is more complex.  For the general FEEL of them, though, imagine Vikings fused with "The Iron Islands" from A Song of Ice and Fire.

Arkus

Note


Capital: Kastelanis
Other Cities: Falstreak, Strasfarne, Flockas

A smaller kingdom seeking to establish itself as a power in its own right, Arkus is constantly out to prove that it can stand up against Altistrad and Lenticulum. Though in a perpetual state of tension with the two empires flanking it, they are at present holding to a tenuous peace with these two powers. Their military force is concentrated on the isle of Fraecte; the ruined and bloody battleground of a war between Arkus and Strutis. Here both sides constantly build strongholds, only to have them destroyed by the enemy. This island is considered crucial, as its central location in the Strait of Skaiye would give the winner almost complete control of trade along the Strait between East and West.

Arkus is known for its disciplined regiments of Archers, with their signature Composite Longbows. Though some cast aspersions on the kingdom for "unchivalric" combat, the people of Arkus are much more concerned with success and victory than with honor and chivalry. They have been known to use underhanded tactics or spying, stealth, ruses and trickery to come out on top. They are known to hire rogues and mercenaries to sabotage their enemies, and to take out key targets. "All's fair in war."

In an effort to bolster their troops and shore up the loss of life to their own people, they even hire out Ork and bugbear raiders from the north to harass Strutis.  However, their need for resources leads them to tear down more and more of the forests of Onnwood and Nionwood.  As a result, the lumber towns are suffering from increasingly frequent raids by elves. Flockas has been hit particularly hard.

Lenticulum

Note


Capital: Uncinium
Other Cities: Spisatum, Logens, Stratiforma, Undulatis, Pannum
Imports: Gold

“The Eastern Empire”

At the height of its power the Empire of Altistrad stretched  all the way into Lenticulum.  But this proved to be too great a strain on the rulers and the overextended military, so the empire was cut in half.  Over the years, the middle has shaken free of imperial rule, and new powers have risen.  

Now Lenticulum’s Western border is protected by mountains, the only land route guarded by the Greyspires, flanking the pass like sentinels.  Travelers to the Eastern Empire would first stop at Logens, a city nestled into the hills at the edge of the Grimholt Marsh.  Its stony walls defend its people from both Lizardmen and foreign invader alike.  In the hills beyond the wall resides a sizable Halfling demographic native to the area, with houses built right into the hills themselves.  A rough palisade surrounds the community, as an afterthought gesture.

The jewel of Lenticulum however, is its port capital Uncinium, where the emperor sits.  It boasts two luxury palaces, one for the emperor, and one for the mayor,  and fortified keeps for defending the city in case of a siege.  The walls of the city are brightly colored, and include relief carvings of Dragons, Gargoyles, and scenes out of myth and legend.  The architecture is peppered with pillars, arches, and domes, often gilded with gold imported from Ulonimas.  Many come to visit the famed bath houses, which are said to be the most luxurious anywhere.  

The city sports a dedicated sewer for managing waste.  Several Otyughs, Gelatinous Cubes, and other oozes are left to roam the sewers, devouring trash and waste.  Killing one of these results in a heavy fine.  Any remaining waste is taken by a series of channels to the river, which deposits it in the bay.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 09:05:27 PM by Seraphine_Harmonium » Logged

Brother Guillotine of Loving Wisdom
My Campaigns:
Discuss Avayevnon here at the New Discussion Thread
Discuss Cad Goleor here: Cad Goleor

Bardistry Wands on Etsy

Review Badges:

Stream-of-Consiousness Prophet.
Flumph
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2012, 09:05:23 PM »

god, the map, the map...the rest is good and getting better, though it feels a bit simplistic....but the map is to die for.
Logged

VerkonenVreeg, The Nice.Celtricia, World of Factions

Steel Island Online gaming thread
The Collegium Arcana Online Game
Old, evil, twisted, damaged, and afflicted.  Orbis non sufficit.Thread Murderer Extraordinaire, and supposedly pragmatic...\"That is my interpretation. That the same rules designed to reduce the role of the GM and to empower the player also destroyed the autonomy to create a consistent setting. And more importantly, these rules reduce the Roleplaying component of what is supposed to be a \'Fantasy Roleplaying game\' to something else\"-Vreeg

From out the wild wood comes the call...
Flumph
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2012, 09:29:54 PM »

LordVreeg

god, the map, the map...the rest is good and getting better, though it feels a bit simplistic....but the map is to die for.
Well yes, it was always meant to be at least a little "simplistic" but I think it's getting less so as I go.  And making the map was what drove me to create the other stuff at all.  I actually need to upload an updated map, since it's improved significantly since I posted this one.
Logged

Brother Guillotine of Loving Wisdom
My Campaigns:
Discuss Avayevnon here at the New Discussion Thread
Discuss Cad Goleor here: Cad Goleor

Bardistry Wands on Etsy

Review Badges:

From out the wild wood comes the call...
Flumph
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2012, 10:18:00 PM »



Logged

Brother Guillotine of Loving Wisdom
My Campaigns:
Discuss Avayevnon here at the New Discussion Thread
Discuss Cad Goleor here: Cad Goleor

Bardistry Wands on Etsy

Review Badges:

From out the wild wood comes the call...
Flumph
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2012, 01:36:41 AM »

A bit about technology

Tech level: All kingdoms are late "Iron age."  Weapons and armor are regularly made with steel.  That said, it is very difficult and expensive to create large surface areas out of steel.  "Plate" armors, which include Breastplate, Half Plate, and Full Plate, are twice as expensive as usual, due to the difficulty in forming the large chest plates.  Character who wish to have full plate armor at the standard cost can substitute a steel chest plate for a softer bronze one, however this reduces the AC granted by the armor by 2.  Steel armors that use smaller strips, such as scale mail, banded mail, etc, cost normal.

The focus of technological advancement in most places would be on agriculture, and would take the form of animal harnesses and ploughs, though better metal-working technologies are also considered important. 

However, in many realms true technological advancement is being surpassed by magical advancement.  This is especially true in Ulonimas, which is famed for it's artificers and their mixed knowledge of "science" and "magic." They often use magically charged "tech devices" to improve the lives of their desert people.  They have simple automatons each capable of performing single, simplistic functions; magical cooling systems to mitigate the oppressive heat, and enchanted hydraulic suits that allow their workers to lift heavy loads and are mostly used in constructing their elaborate tombs.

Spellcasters are also known for using their magic to alter the weather, to improve agricultural yields, prevent blights, and otherwise improve the livelihoods of many people. 
Logged

Brother Guillotine of Loving Wisdom
My Campaigns:
Discuss Avayevnon here at the New Discussion Thread
Discuss Cad Goleor here: Cad Goleor

Bardistry Wands on Etsy

Review Badges:

From out the wild wood comes the call...
Flumph
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2012, 03:04:49 PM »

Updated the OP to include updates to the various kingdoms.
Logged

Brother Guillotine of Loving Wisdom
My Campaigns:
Discuss Avayevnon here at the New Discussion Thread
Discuss Cad Goleor here: Cad Goleor

Bardistry Wands on Etsy

Review Badges:

Giant Space Hamster
*


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2012, 11:34:19 AM »

Just did a quick initial scan of the thread, and the first thing that popped out is that you state bronze is softer than iron/steel (which are the same thing for manufacturing purposes, btw).  This is a common misconception.  Bronze is every bit as hard as medieval steel, and superior in some ways - it doesn't rust out nearly as quickly as steel does.  The primary limiting factor for bronze is that it is typically 15% tin, which is quite rare in most parts of the world.  Historically, this drove the price of bronze objects up significantly (around four-fold).  That price difference is why people started using inferior steel as early as possible - it was cheap.

The primary limiting factor for steel was the heat required to smelt/melt it.  Until the development of the blast furnace, it was quite difficult to make large pieces of iron; which, in turn, restricted the kinds of armor pieces possible.  You've mentioned this, actually, which is great.  Bits hte size of breast plates and back plates simply aren't possible.  Spanglehelms are easy enough to make, but I'm not entirely certain a single helm of one piece are (those are rare anyway, so meh).  Once intersting thing worth noting is that if the will had been there in history, brigandine armor could certainly have been made quite early (as early as bronze age, or out of steel at any point in the iron age).  It simply wasn't for some reason.  Who knows why...

aaand back to reading thread . . .

[EDIT]
Kirrus looks interesting and (probably intentionally) vague at this point.  Considering the constant infighting, do you think they'd really manage to get a proper "king" of the entire nation?  My first thought was that it'd be much more fragmented and clan-like (more like the vikings were), which the leader of the clan adopting whatever title makes him sound like a badass.  In times of particular trouble, like an invasion or Waaagh! or some such, a king of kings might arise, but otherwise, they'd stick to their petty infighting.  Perhaps that's a major concern for the rest of the world - if the gobs, hobs, and orks ever unify, they'll decimate everything in their path.  No matter what, I'd like to see more about them.

[EDIT]
The gods and celestials of Ulonimus could certainly have an "extra-terrestrial" flare about them, if you want to accentuate the conspiracy side of things.  D&D has a long history of incorporating scifi into its folds.  Also, are gods given the d&d treatment where each acts as its own monotheistic religion or a more natural treatment where the pantheon as a whole gets attention, grants miracles, and is generally unified despite the occassional (or constant) petty infighting?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 11:53:14 AM by Humabout » Logged

`\ o _,
....)
.< .\.
Starfall:  On the Edge of Oblivion

Review Badges:

From out the wild wood comes the call...
Flumph
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2012, 01:44:03 PM »

Humabout

Just did a quick initial scan of the thread, and the first thing that popped out is that you state bronze is softer than iron/steel (which are the same thing for manufacturing purposes, btw).  This is a common misconception.  Bronze is every bit as hard as medieval steel, and superior in some ways - it doesn't rust out nearly as quickly as steel does.  The primary limiting factor for bronze is that it is typically 15% tin, which is quite rare in most parts of the world.  Historically, this drove the price of bronze objects up significantly (around four-fold).  That price difference is why people started using inferior steel as early as possible - it was cheap.

The primary limiting factor for steel was the heat required to smelt/melt it.  Until the development of the blast furnace, it was quite difficult to make large pieces of iron; which, in turn, restricted the kinds of armor pieces possible.  You've mentioned this, actually, which is great.  Bits hte size of breast plates and back plates simply aren't possible.  Spanglehelms are easy enough to make, but I'm not entirely certain a single helm of one piece are (those are rare anyway, so meh).  Once intersting thing worth noting is that if the will had been there in history, brigandine armor could certainly have been made quite early (as early as bronze age, or out of steel at any point in the iron age).  It simply wasn't for some reason.  Who knows why...

aaand back to reading thread . . .

I think we've had this conversation before.  I am ruling that (regardless of whether it was actually better in our real-world history or not) the STEEL in question is harder and stronger than bronze.   Though I might play up something with special processes that are only known to certain masters, or in certain places to achieve this.  So, while wrought or even forged iron straight couldn't hold up to bronze, what qualifies as steel is better.  Just, as stated before, really difficult to make in big enough pieces to form a breastplate.

Humabout

[EDIT]
Kirrus looks interesting and (probably intentionally) vague at this point.  Considering the constant infighting, do you think they'd really manage to get a proper "king" of the entire nation?  My first thought was that it'd be much more fragmented and clan-like (more like the vikings were), which the leader of the clan adopting whatever title makes him sound like a badass.  In times of particular trouble, like an invasion or Waaagh! or some such, a king of kings might arise, but otherwise, they'd stick to their petty infighting.  Perhaps that's a major concern for the rest of the world - if the gobs, hobs, and orks ever unify, they'll decimate everything in their path.  No matter what, I'd like to see more about them.
You've pretty much hit it on the head.  I mean, a "King" of the whole region is not likely to hold much actual control beyond his immediate area.  And he would only retain his position as long as he could enforce it.  He might ride through the farther lands every now and then to remind them who is in charge, but when he was gone, they'd probably go back to ignoring him pretty quickly.  It is mostly fragmented bickering of local clans, warlords, and the hordes they can keep control over.

Humabout

[EDIT]
The gods and celestials of Ulonimus could certainly have an "extra-terrestrial" flare about them, if you want to accentuate the conspiracy side of things.  D&D has a long history of incorporating scifi into its folds.  Also, are gods given the d&d treatment where each acts as its own monotheistic religion or a more natural treatment where the pantheon as a whole gets attention, grants miracles, and is generally unified despite the occassional (or constant) petty infighting?
Both and neither.  But more the latter.

The gods are taken as groups.  People tend to worship the whole pantheons. 

In Ulonimas specifically, there is a priesthood highly devoted to individual gods, and there are sects that are devoted to individual gods to the exclusion of others, but the religions as a whole are polytheistic, and the people pray to whichever god seems most appropriate for whatever they want at the time.   
Logged

Brother Guillotine of Loving Wisdom
My Campaigns:
Discuss Avayevnon here at the New Discussion Thread
Discuss Cad Goleor here: Cad Goleor

Bardistry Wands on Etsy

Review Badges:

(Salacious Angel)
Flail Snail
*


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2012, 06:11:10 PM »

Seraph, my problem with DivSet settings (insofar as I understand the terminology) is that, accurate or not, I feel like I know as much as I really need to from that single word alone. It is difficult to zero in on a compelling conflict or theme and say "this definitely matters, I need to know more about it."

Is there a particular "subsetting" of Camulus that is exceptionally interesting to you as its creator? Where would you, as the GM, most like your players to adventure? That's where I want to focus my attention.
Logged

From out the wild wood comes the call...
Flumph
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2012, 03:14:32 AM »

Exegesis

Seraph, my problem with DivSet settings (insofar as I understand the terminology) is that, accurate or not, I feel like I know as much as I really need to from that single word alone. It is difficult to zero in on a compelling conflict or theme and say "this definitely matters, I need to know more about it."

Is there a particular "subsetting" of Camulus that is exceptionally interesting to you as its creator? Where would you, as the GM, most like your players to adventure? That's where I want to focus my attention.
My understanding, and intended meaning of "DivSet" is just short for "Diverse Setting," meaning that there are several different KINDS of places, that cater to different kinds of adventures and different kinds of stories.  These settings do usually lack a unifying theme or ethos, though.  As for particular "subsettings" I suppose Ulonimas has been given the most attention so far, though since I received a request for more on Kirrus, I will give some more details on that below.


Kirrus
The Straifwood
Though properly pronounced more like "Stroff", this forest in the north of Kirrus is often called the "Strifewood" instead.  The savage tribes go here to pay tribute to their dark and cruel gods, who often take the form of Blackthorn Trees, for which the forest was named.  (Straif is the word for Blackthorn in a forgotten language).  These gods demand regular sacrifices from their supplicants, and only human(oid) sacrifice will sate them.  The Blackthorn tree is considered holy to them, and it is forbidden to fell them.  Branches are often cut from these trees, however, and carved into holy symbols.  The Symbols are of a hand with an eye in its palm, and they are carried with the Orks, Goblins, and Bugbears when they venture beyond their borders, to ensure that wherever they go, their gods will have an eye to see, and a hand to act. 

Social and Family Structure
Clans: The strongest and most feared member of any particular clan is its warlord, and its chief.  His clan consists primarily of his extended family, with a large part of this being his children.  Children are expected to obey their fathers completely, for as long as he lives.  As it should happen, the rate of patricide (or at least ATTEMPTED patricide) is higher here than anywhere else in Camulus.

Marriage and sex:  There is no formal institution for marriages, and wedding ceremonies are something that are only ever heard of in tales of the southern lands.  A male ork (or Hobgoblin, or Bugbear, and sometimes goblins as well) typically "marries" a female by abducting her.  She is his wife for as long as she remains in his home or in his care.  If another ork kidnaps your wife, you have no further right to her, unless you can capture her back.  Similarly, monogamy is an alien notion.  A man has as many wives as he can manage to keep around.  In theory, a woman powerful and strong-willed enough could acquire multiple husbands in the same way, by capturing them, though this rarely happens in practice.

Sex up in the north is, like much else, about what you can take.  There is no real concept of consent to govern sexual interactions.  But then again, in Kirrus, you take what you want, if you can; the idea of asking for permission for ANYTHING is alien.  Sex is often therefore seen as just another form of fighting, as your "partner" is either trying to fight you off, or fight you for control.

Hierarchy:  One gains standing by having power to throw around.  Having many children (often by as many wives as you can support) is a significant way to can this standing, but the real source of social status is in fear.  Displays of power elicit fear, and sometimes respect for a chief from the rest of the savages, gaining the support of those who wish to avoid death at his hands.  The more feared you are, the higher your status.  If, for any reason, a chief's people no longer fear him, he has no power over them, and a new chief will rise.  When two rivals both seek to rule, it is always settled with a duel.  This duel need not end in death; surrender is sufficient.  To surrender, however, is to lose a tremendous amount of face in one's clan. 

By way of dueling and fear, one chief can sometimes conquer another clan, and so grow his numbers and his prestige.
Logged

Brother Guillotine of Loving Wisdom
My Campaigns:
Discuss Avayevnon here at the New Discussion Thread
Discuss Cad Goleor here: Cad Goleor

Bardistry Wands on Etsy

Review Badges:

Yrthak
*


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2012, 07:02:53 AM »

Quote

The Blackthorn tree is considered holy to them, and it is forbidden to fell them.  Branches are often cut from these trees, however, and carved into holy symbols.  The Symbols are of a hand with an eye in its palm, and they are carried with the Orks, Goblins, and Bugbears when they venture beyond their borders, to ensure that wherever they go, their gods will have an eye to see, and a hand to act.

Bad. Ass.
Logged

The gods won't give us all their gifts at once.

Pages: [1] 2
  Print  
 
Jump to: