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Author Topic: Xiluh  (Read 22795 times)
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« on: June 07, 2006, 02:23:14 PM »



Note

While it might prove beneficial to read through the discussions in this thread, you'll find that the overwhelming majority of information on Xiluh is in this post. Don't let yourself feel that it's necessary to read every last word of the thread to review. For that matter, don't feel it necessary to read this entire post to review. Find something you like, and give as much or as little comment on it as you like.


Only 150 years after The Seven Invasions, the world of Xiluh begins to change- some say as if preparing itself for a catastrophic event. The wise eagles, which once proudly shared their wisdom of the land now take a reclusive nature, Meanwhile, many of the jaguars, once peaceful protectors and companions of powerful shamans now abandon such posts.
Travelers from lands even more exotic then the fabled Valley of Thenta lend to rumors of when and what could such an event be. Many claim that the couatl and sun worshiping guilds may be the only ones safe. Only time, and possibly a few strokes of luck, may tell.



Most weaponry is made out of obsidian ( -1ATK/+1DMG for piercing and slashing, non-ranged weapons require a shatter roll on natural ones, and allow shatter rolls for an extra x2 DMG on criticals). However, the rare metal and stone weapons, introduced by one of the seven invasions can be found, at a price.

important note on culture

save for the cultural inferiority of yuma, racial arrogance does not exist in Xiluh! this means: elves do not look down their noses at humans. elves do not hate dwarves. the only way habatei are looked down upon is in the most literal sense. there is racial pride, in varying degrees that are more or less proportional to what one would expect in traditional settings, but no racial arrogance.

simply put: sure the dwarves are proud of the defenses their homeland provides; why shouldn't they be? but they do not look down upon human or elven achievements simply because of this. the same goes for all races. [/ic]



Elves

Elves have a militant attitude, in response to the attack on them during The Seven Invasions. This is something that turned out to be well-suited by their already lean builds. Elves have orange hued bones, suggesting a connection to Sun. This caused a religious significance about the bones, and the bones of ritually sacrificed elves are used as currency.

Elven males typically resent open displays of emotion, unless said displays are provoked by sport or war. While there are a few emotions that are somewhat accepted in small doses, this is the overwhelming norm for male elves. Such stoicism is pushed for even at young ages, as elven children are given small cuts on their cheeks, to deter stinging tears.

Elven females generally strive for the betterment of both inward and outward beauty. This has lead to the use of crude cosmetics, such as the crushing of purple berries so the juice can accent their lips.

Humans adapt easily to various environments. With short lives compared to the other races, humans tend to focus more on pleasurable activities.

The role of the paladin has been incorporated into the monk; the "fighting for good because good is good and thats good" class otherwise has no place within Xiluh.

Clerics (which may or may not be replaced at a later date) work as Shamans, and are very highly revered. Clerics gain their powers through long, hard apprenticeships, and their Master trains them in the proper knowledge of the world. They're often found at odds with sorcerors and wizards, as the cleric views them as trying to shortcut their way to magic power, which the clerics see as purely divine. Clerics see druids, however, as being very close to themselves, and following similar ideals.


Sorcerors are defined in Xiluh as aberrant spell casters. Unlike Clerics, they did not gain their magical ability through proper apprenticeship, although some have been chosen for such an undertaking due to their inherent power.

Sorcerors and Wizards are viewed sorts of 'unofficial' shamans. This leads to mixed views, as their power is undeniable, but by some it is also unacceptable. Generally, sorcerors are tried to be turned into clerics, whereas wizards are strongly discouraged in all regions but the towns too small to warrant a cleric.

The line between clerics and druids, flavor-wise, is very fine. while druids look at the nature that happens to be divine, clerics look at the divine that happens to be nature. Ultimately, they are for the same cause, but they see it from different angles. Despite these different perspective, they're both very aware of how close they are, and this has helped develop a kindredship between the two classes.
[/quote]
[/quote]


Undead


the people of Xiluh are well convinced in reincarnation; simply put, if you die honorably, you become a star, to light the paths of others. if you don't, you continue your existence as one of those "others". this happens because there is no "spirit world" afterlife; even those who transcend reincarnation do not transcend the material world.

imagine then, the surprise they experienced upon finding creatures with neither the spirit of the stars nor the spirit of the living! these creatures seemed to appear after the Kunahans attacked the elves of Salanta Woods, and bore a resemblance to nothing previously known to Xiluh.

the only possible explanation, of course, was that these... "undead" were somehow connected to Kunahans. after only a few battles, the connection was discovered: Kunahans are somehow exempt from the normal path of reincarnation, and become these wretched creatures upon death. their spirit seems to transcend the material world, but their bodies don't. instead, the bodies rapidly degenerate into other forms.[/spoiler]

Yirgamil


Yirgamil is a hive of a certain type of beetle. This beetle relies heavily on communication with others of its kind, and thus cannot survive without contact with the rest of the hive. Because of the structure of this hive, Yirgamil is considered to be a creature unto itself. As such, there is no name for the beetles that form Yirgamil.

As Yirgamil is not merely a single entity, it is almost incapable of death. This has allowed time enough for it to develop the ability to speak. Although it is capable of profound revelations, it seems fond of incoherent strings of words.



creation myth



Note


There are many stories on the rivalry between Sun and Moon, but the story of their final battle is easily the most well known amongst Xiluhans. Since the question has been asked a few times, it should be pointed out that eclipses do not happen. However, if one were to happen, yes, it would indeed be terrible and frightful.


Moon was reclusive by nature, and attempted to hide everything he did. However, his brother, Sun was clever, and always prided himself in discovering whatever Moon tried to hide. In his excitement, Sun would always reveal his discoveries. For each discovery Sun made, Moon would try even harder to hide whatever his next efforts went to, while becoming increasingly more frustrated.
As the brothers grew older, the great Eagle decided to tell them the secret of flight, feeling no need to inform them that the other brother knew this secret, as well. Moon was determined to hide this secret from his brother, and put so much effort into keeping this to himself, that if Sun hadnt already known the secret of flight, he never would have had any suspicions of Moon knowing the secret. However, Sun did already know the secret of flight, and because of this, he easily found out what Moon was trying to do. Moon, insistent on keeping Sun from flying, grew into an uncontrollable anger, and plotted to kill Sun by removing his heart.
The great Jaguar, knowing each brother had his purpose, and not wanting either to die, told Sun of Moon's plans. Sun then used magic to protect his chest, and waited for Moon. Once Moon was ready, he went after his brother, unaware of the magic protection. In the struggle, before Moon had the chance to kill Sun, Sun plunged his hand deep into Moons chest, and removed Moons heart, killing him. However, Moon had managed to light Sun on fire before dying, therefore killing Sun as well.
Three days later, Jaguar came upon the two bodies. He spent one day mourning over each of the brothers, and that is why each week is five days. Once Jaguar was done mourning, he put the skin back on Sun, and the blood back in Moon. But the skin was tanned, and the blood dried. That is why he could resurrect both of the brothers, but was not able to heal the damage they received. Wisely, Eagle decided to put them both in the sky, but never at the same time. To this day, Sun and Moon chase each other across the sky, Sun still burning, and Moon still unwhole.
[/spoiler]
creation of the world, end of first age.



second age (base calender)

creation of First-Ones (1)
creation of humans (14)
creation of elves (33)
Thark, a First-One, creates the Empire; reign of First-Ones begins (45)
First-Ones create habatei for slavery (62)
Creation of dwarves (91)
The Gods become angered with the First-Ones' sense of cultural superiority, leading Snake to start the perversion of First-Ones into yuma (145)
Humans attempt the first rebellion against the Empire, but quickly fail; Inspired by this, the elves begin secret plans of their own. (147)
Thark is assassinated, allowing Marg to become the second emperor of the First-One Empire (172)
Dwarves split into clans Saan and Saag (200)
Small elven groups initiate their first attacks on the Empire (211)
Humans attempt to ally with elves (213)
Elves make their second wave of attacks on the Empire; Saan clan escapes the rule of the Empire (215)
Saag clan attacks the Empire (217)
Marg captures a small group of Saag clan dwarves, and orders them executed publicly; Rebellions cease temporarily (220)
Public execution of the last of the Saag clan; Dwarves believed to be finally extinct (651)
destruction of remaining First-Ones, ending the empire (684)
release of habatei (695)
enslavement of yuma, end of second age (697)



third age (ta)

Thask becomes first High Shaman (565ta -1262)
A crippled human woman gives birth to a boy, naming him Yaxhuakun. Nothing is known of the father. A month later, the mother dies, and Yaxhuakun is adopted by the village (582ta -1279)
Yaxhuakun starts to show an unusual aptitude for shamanism  (592ta -1289)
Thask apprentices Yaxhuakun (598ta -1295)
Thask dies unexpectedly, abruptly ending Yaxhuakun's apprenticeship four years early. Thask is buried (614ta -1311)
Yaxhuakun succeeds Thask (615ta -1312)
Yaxhuakun apprentices Tlutli (654ta - 1351)
Tlutli gains the title of Second Shaman at the end of his apprenticeship (674ta - 1371)
High shaman Tlutli divines great turmoil (695ta- 1392)
Seven Invasions begin.  (1695ta -2392)
assessment of dwarven fortification. Earth Crusher scouting party captured by dwarves (1699ta -2396)
Scouting party executed (1700ta - 2397
encampment of habatei (1716ta -2413)
attack on elves in Salanta woods, shortly followed by the first appearance of zombies (1724ta -2421)
human-elf alliance (1725ta -2421)
Seven Invasions end (1747ta -2444)

Habatei begin to migrate south to their homelands. Migration proves difficult, and many die. (1803ta -2500)
Surviving habate migrators retreat back to the Hills of the Northern Crescent, where they were encamped during the Seven Invasions. (1806ta -2503)
official mark of recovery (1847ta -2544)
present (1897ta -2594)

Nations


Xiluh has a very loose confederation of tribal city-states, with poorly defined physical borders, but very clear-cut cultural borders.

Hills of the Northern Crescent


Despite the name, the Hills of the Northern Crescent isn't a collection of hills. Instead, it is a cirque of land created by a small, crescent-shaped range of foothills near the northern coast of Xiluh. Since the habatei of Xiluh were imprisoned here over 140 years ago, this has been their home.

Currency is extremely limited, as most of Xiluh is run on the barter system. While adventurers and other nomadic peoples have more of a dependency on hard currency, they will still occasionally run into the need to barter. Hard currency comes in the form of flat, pendant-like trinkets with intricate, complex designs carved into them, to prevent forgeries.

The denominations (and relative values) are:

Wood: 1
Obsidian: 20
Stone: 400
Bone: 8000 (the orange-hued bones of elves)[/spoiler]













If anybody has any comments or critiques, ideas or suggestions, please, feel free to share them. A bibliography of the posts and threads has been added. sometime soon I hope to add more information on what is here (and some on what isn't), but I wont be able to do that yet.

"... How can it be that the gods are wise enough to shape the universe and the world and the life of the world but lack the wisdom to give humans what they need to be human?"
-Daniel Quinn
« Last Edit: February 28, 2011, 10:24:47 PM by SDragon » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2006, 03:12:44 PM »

You might consider for the simplest denomination something like a cacao bean, from which chocolate comes from, which is still used as currency in the parts of the world similar to your CS.  In a world where little currency exists, the simplest currency would be something Joe Peasant can see a tangible value in, whereas the highest would have great cultural significance (you have that well covered).

What/who are the seven invasions?
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2006, 03:48:56 PM »

I sense a good amount of New World influence; I'm under the assumption you will be using much Mayan and Aztec symbolism?

I like what I've read so far. I do have one recomendation: replace the paladin with something. I have a templar class that might suit your world.

I would like to know what the difference between clerics and druids are. To me, druids seem more like shamans (in tune with the spirit world), while clerics seem more likely to be devoted to a single divine entity.

Also, if you're seeking to emulate a more primitive world where metal is rare, you are going to need to create some new medium and heavy armors. If there are dragons, I'd say you could make scale and plate armor out of dragons.
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2006, 03:57:20 PM »

Quote

Also, if you're seeking to emulate a more primitive world where metal is rare, you are going to need to create some new medium and heavy armors. If there are dragons, I'd say you could make scale and plate armor out of dragons.


AEG has some great wood armors. Shell armor might be pretty cool, too.
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2006, 03:59:59 PM »

Ummm... How do you pronounce "Xiluh"? Zilla? Zeela?
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2006, 05:55:24 PM »

the dragonmail is an interesting touch, however, here it would be cuatl-mail. dont know how id work that out, so as for right now, any armor made of metal is currently made of couatl feathers.... just a flavor change, until im comfortable dipping my hands in mechanics.

edit: the rest of this post has been added to the original post.
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2006, 06:06:18 PM »

Edit- Moved to first post.
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2006, 11:12:20 PM »

updated the original post. map to come soon.
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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2006, 11:35:54 PM »

Quote

Currency is extremely limited, as most of Xiluh is run on the barter system. While adventurers and other nomadic peoples have more of a dependancy on hard currency, they will still occassionally run into the need to barter. Hard currency comes in the form of flat, pendant-like trinkets with intricate, complex designs carved into them, to prevent forgeries.

The denominations (and relative values) are:

Wood: 1
Obsidian: 20
Stone: 400
Bone: 8000 (the orange-hued bones of elves)

Yay for barter systems! I'll make sure to link to mine when I write it... wait. You use a currency system after all! Lies!!!11!!one!!

But why would someone take the time to actually carve boatloads of wooden medals? Wood is a very bad form of currency to use because the concept behind currency is that you trade things of equal value. Do you know how much wood a goat is worth? A hell of a lot more than you can cary. I'd personally rather bring my goat to market than a wagon of wood medals.
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« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2006, 11:37:33 PM »

That is why I suggested cacao beans in place of wood.
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2006, 08:04:40 AM »

Raelifin

But why would someone take the time to actually carve boatloads of wooden medals? Wood is a very bad form of currency to use because the concept behind currency is that you trade things of equal value. Do you know how much wood a goat is worth? A hell of a lot more than you can cary. I'd personally rather bring my goat to market than a wagon of wood medals.
I'm led to infer that it's a representative currency; the value of wood coins isn't due to the inherent value of the wood itself, but because the coins represent wealth that resides in some national treasury to back up the currency.

That being said, it could be some kind of rare wood. Mahogany's worth a heck of a lot more than oak. Or since we've got DnD at our disposal already and have established a pattern of coins made out of unusual materials (elfbone), why not use Darkwood? Most expensive wood I can think of, and when you have to carry a whole wheelbarrow of darkwood coins to the market to buy a goat, at least it won't be very heavy. smile
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« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2006, 09:15:46 AM »

thank you, LC. yes, its a representative currency. the only problem is that i havent developed any governments yet, so while there is a government putting these out and backing them up, that government doesnt exist yet.
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« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2006, 12:43:43 PM »

edit- moved to original post
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« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2006, 10:10:01 AM »

Ok, I have other things to say, but before I do...

THAT MAP IS FREAKING AWESOME. Seriously, how did you make that? It is amazing.
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« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2006, 04:19:05 PM »

I'm not 100% positive, but I think it's one of the old maps WotC used to offer for free on their site; nonetheless, I always loved that map, and used to use it for part of my campaign.  
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