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Author Topic: Avayevnon: Resurrected  (Read 6818 times)
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« on: January 11, 2010, 05:55:13 AM »


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Confessions of a Lost Shepherd

We were so sure that our God was the only one. Back then it didn't matter so much if someone disagreed; they'd be labeled as mad men, ignored, and then everyone would go about their business. Then they arrived. Out of the depths of our deepest imaginations and horrors they came. They seemed to spring from the deepest recesses of our minds'”primal urges given form. We could have stopped it, but we didn't have the foresight. The Forgotten, for that was what we called those madmen'”those heretics'”had grown in number. Their madness took root, revolving around charismatic leaders and strange cults. Some, in their madness, were inspired to hurl themselves at the most ancient of manuscripts, tablets, and scrolls the world had forgotten. And there they found them; old gods of a dead world. Deities not a soul had paid a thought to in millennia. But there they were, sleeping . . . waiting.

The devastation. The devastation was terrible. Whole countrysides wasted and burnt. Fields irrevocably stained with the blood of the innocent'”with the tears and gore of gods. The bloodshed ended, but no one truly won. How could they? The old gods, once awakened, could not be sent back to their slumber, and our God, our bright Sun, would not go quietly into the night. We may have stopped fighting, but the War never truly ended.

You'd think that the faith would be lost. A bevy of new gods on the field, and the foundations of the whole religion crumble. But when people believe something strongly enough, nothing in the world can dissuade them. Not even proof. We just clung that much tighter to our creeds and our doctrines. Fuck theology! We had faith. And the Inquisition. It's funny. When you're confident, someone can tell you the world is bounded in an infinite nutshell, and you just laugh at them because they are clearly out of their wits. But when the faith is shaken, and that barricade of surety cracked, the merest doubt becomes a threat. 'By the edict of Tyrolean, Lord Pontiff of the Most Holy Church of Sôl, the One True God, Glory to Him and Blessed Be His Name, the Word of the Most Holy High Office of Pontiff shall be regarded as the True and Only Reading of the Blessed Solacium. All those who Speak Contrary to His Word, spreading Lies and Deceit shall be deemed an heretic, and subject to the Judgment of the Most Holy Church of Sôl.'

Love and Trust gave way to Desperation and Confusion, and Desperation and Confusion gave way to Fear and Hate. And So was the World Turned Upside Down, and it suddenly seemed to me that it was we who were to blame. The World, the people depended on Us and We Failed them. Yes, the Word was kept True, but what of the Soul? The Whole enterprise of Truth and Light rang hollow. Now the Temples are full to bursting'”fuller than they've ever been'”but True Faith? On the Wane. There just aren't Believers any more. Not like there used to be. They don't make those in factories. We may go through the motions, indulge the ritual, but it's all a façade. Oh, there are a few outliers, a few zealots left, but do the people truly believe in their heart of hearts'”in the depths of their souls'”that all this is true? No. I don't think so. Do I? . . . not anymore. Not for certain.
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Note

Post on the Discussion thread here



____________________Introduction
A century ago, a calamity threatened to destroy all Avayevnon. The old gods who we had safely put to bed woke up. Like a cheap harlot after a long night binging in the tavern, it turns out the gods don't look too pretty in the morning. Never before or since has there been such a dramatic display from the gods. We all know what gods are supposed to do: tell us what's right and what's wrong, give us some comfort, take credit for the good things in our lives, and occasionally talk to someone and tell them to go on some divinely inspired quest. This, however, was the stuff of legends, of whole mythologies. Seas flooding, islands vanishing into the mists, earthquakes, famines, storms and plagues. Monsters we had thought extinct, walked again, amongst some we never would have believed had ever existed.

The roiling chaos of eldritch energy died down eventually, but the sudden explosion of otherworldly power has lingering effects. With the sudden exposure to so much hostile magick, and the wars the events inspired, technology has leapt ahead faster than anyone could have dreamed, in some cases even aided by magick, which has become an academic enterprise'”now scholars and philosophers seek power through ancient and mystical tomes long forgotten. Devices that comingle magick with technology are known as Artifices, and they are highly sought after. Such Artifice has given rise to the pursuit of bizarre weaponry that harness the essence of fire or distilled kinetic energy, advanced engines for increased work output and transportation, and has even bred a new race of sentient automatons dubbed "Effigies."


Those of you ignorant of the world and its wider ways would do well to keep the following in mind:

    The Dwarves'”or Ithai as they call themselves'”are among the most influential and widely spread people of Avayevnon. The Issachar Empire, of Dwarven majority, is the most powerful political body known to us today, and has been instrumental in the advancement of technology. They are a powerful ally or a dangerous enemy. Be wise in your dealings with them.

    *Since the Awakening, between the Plague and the Miasma, people rarely travel on foot. Those who wish to travel travel by boat or by Airship.

    *The Soleist Church, while shaken in the Awakening, remains the most influential and powerful religious establishment in Avayevnon, paying homage to the god Sol, and to his seven Archangels, while combating the Ennead, which in Church theology are considered demons banished by Sol long ago.

    * The Inquisition was established to root out the threat of pagan heresies stirred up by the violent return of the Ennead, whatever they may be. They work to keep the cities "pure" of the "taint" of such deviant religious beliefs.

    *Your honor is you measure in the world. Protect it well.*


____________________Ethos
Right and Wrong
When all sides claim the moral high-ground, how can one truly know what is good? When the forces of light are consumed by the battle with darkness, at what point does one cross over and become that which they do everything to destroy? To what lengths can one go in pursuit of justice? Do right and wrong even exist?

These are important questions to consider when one resides in Avayevnon; the day to day events of the world beg their consideration. When the saviors of the world rule through ruthless despotism, one must ask what becomes of the old moral high-ground. But the question is a dangerous one; can you risk to ask the question? Is it wrong to accept what they tell you, even if that is all that is keeping you alive?

Truth[/font]
Just as Right and Wrong are obscured by the cloudy lens of subjectivity, so too is the Truth obscured by belief. Belief is the unifier and divider. How can one ever truly know the Truth when each belief claims monopoly over it? What is truth? Demons have stood up against the so-called Truth of the One God Sol and held their own. When the "truth" is threatened with destruction, how can one be sure of it's truth? The priests will tell you to have "faith;" is faith the key to truth? Could faith be the truth?

Looking Forward, Looking Back[/font]
History is important. It tells you where you came from, and how you got to where you are, and if you pay attention, it can give you a rough idea of where you're heading. But can we move forward with our eyes on the past? Will what worked in the past continue to work now? Should the past be forgotten, to make room for the future? Or do we need our past to move forward. Can we overcome our history, or are we doomed to repeat it? Can we move forward by looking back? Can we uncover the path we did not take? And is it too late to start down that path now?

The Measure of a Man[/font]
Born out of Artifice, the steam and clockwork Effigies created by the gnomes are considered full citizens in the region of Gambodel, but elsewhere their status is less certain. What determines what makes a person a person?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 02:21:50 AM by Xathan Worldsmith » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2010, 05:55:46 AM »

System

Note

I have lately become enamored of the One Roll Engine, because it combines realism with a streamlined mechanic that doesn't bog down play with endless rolls.  This version of Avayevnon will be designed for use Nemesis rules.

Dice Pools: Avayevnon: Resurrected is being made for Nemesis.  In Nemesis, for those unfamiliar, all rolls function the same way: a pool of d10 is rolled, and the result is determined by matches.  The number of matches of a particular number is called the width.  Width determines the speed of the action, and in combat also determines damage.  The number on the matched die is the height.  Height determines how well something is done, and in combat, determines hit location.

Expert Dice and Trump Dice: These allow you a measure of control over your roll.  If you have an Expert die in your dice pool, you may either roll it normally, or set it to whichever number you like BEFORE you roll.  Expert dice automatically buy off dice penalties: every -1d penalty you would suffer instead changes 1ed into 1d.  If you run out of expert dice to soak up penalties, you suffer them as normal.  Trump dice function much as Expert dice do, except that you assign them a number AFTER you roll.  Both Expert dice and Trump dice count toward the 10d maximum.

Static and Dynamic Contests: You only roll the dice when a task becomes difficult or significant.  A coachman leisurely driving his team of horses doesn't have to roll.  If he is driving along an open Cliffside in the rain, it's a different story.  Anytime you must roll is called a contest.  There are two kinds of contests: Static and Dynamic.  Static contests are contests where you must beat a particular difficulty rating.  Usually it is height that you have to match or beat, but if time is of the essence, you can have a difficulty in width.

In Character

Ghered & his friends get caught in a flooding room trap.  In the center of the room is a pedestal on which a message is written a simple cipher that Ghered must decode in order to disarm the trap.  The cipher itself is not the challenge, it's completing the code before people drown.  He must match or beat a width of 3 in a Mind+Cryptography check.
Dynamic contests are contests where two characters are competing.  Either the wider or higher roll wins, based on whether speed or quality is the determining feature of victory.

In Character

Jahren the Mistrel uses his Song of Sleep against his foe, who attempts to Resist.  Jahren rolls Command+Perform (song) and has 5d+2d+1td for a result of 1, 1, 3, 4, 9, 9, 10.  He chooses to take advantage of that 10, and sets his Trump die to 10 as well, for a roll of 2x10.  Garb, his foe, rolls Empathy+Resist and has 2d+3d, for a result of 1, 3, 6, 6, 7, giving him a roll of 2X6.  Since this contest is height based, 10 beats 6, and Garb falls asleep.
Character Creation: At Character Creation, the GM sets the point scale of dice available for purchase.  The player has that number to spend on Stats, Skills, and Traits.  Negative Traits and Notches to the Madness Meter give the character penalties, but also give the character extra dice.

Stats and Skills: The Stats are analogous to primary attributes in a number of other systems.  The Stats are Body, Coordination, Sense, Mind, Command, and Empathy.  They are measured in dice on a scale of 1-10.  5 is the human maximum, though other races have varying limits, and the Supernatural trait allows purchase of up to 10.  They represent base aptitude in broad ranges of skills.  All characters have at least 1 die in each stat for free, and additional dice can be bought.
 
Stat Cost per Die
Regular die 2 dice
Trump die 8 dice*
*Available with appropriate traits.

Skills are more focused abilities.  They deal with a particular task.  Like stats, they are measured in dice on a scale of 1-10, with a human maximum of 5.  All rolled actions are skill rolls, and the dice pool for determining success is determined by adding the characters Stat dice and Skill dice together.
Skill Cost per Die
Regular die 1 die
Expert die 2 dice*
Trump die 4 dice*
*Available with appropriate traits

Traits: Traits are neither Stats nor Skills, but they can provide abilities or bonuses.  They can also provide penalties.  Each Trait has an associated cost.  There are a number of open traits, but there are also traits exclusive to races and classes.  Traits in and of themselves are native to the Nemesis system, but Racial and Class Traits have been added for Avayevnon.  

Character Points (CP): One thing allows character advancement: Character Points (CP).  There are two ways to gain CP; through successful rolls in difficult situations and by GM reward. The GM can reward CP for good role-playing, or for whatever they feel deserves them.  Sometimes you gain CP by accomplishing a difficult task.  When you match or succeed the difficulty rating of a task, you gain that difficulty rating in CP.  Individual CP rewards number from 1 to 10, and accumulate over time.  Every 10 CP a character acquires can be redeemed for 1 die to put towards a Stat, Skill, or a new Trait.

Skills
 


Traits
 
« Last Edit: August 22, 2012, 11:49:29 PM by Seraphine_Harmonium » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2010, 05:56:10 AM »

Races

Note

Dice Cost: 9
Racial Traits: Changelings possess the following traits:

Fleet of Foot (4d): The Changeling can exchange 1 point height or width for the other on any roll of the Run skill, as would benefit them more.  This can be decided after the roll.  

Keen Senses (2d): Your base Sense is  2 instead of 1.  Your max Sense is 6 instead of 5

Pierce the Mists (3d): You are fey blooded, and can enter the Otherworld through the gateways, such as the mists surrounding the isle of Iluvion.

In Character

_______Changeling
 
Not at home in the light of day, nor at night, Changelings are children of the twilight, caught between the worlds.  Being different is always a challenge. Variously thought to be fairies, demons, or cursed, the ones known as Changelings have a hard life. The name comes from a folk belief that they are fairies who have been substituted for kidnapped human children.  They are, in fact, the progeny of elves who have seduced human women.  

Personality: Changelings in everything are notoriously difficult to pin down. They do tend to be antisocial, however. This may be nurture as much as nature, owing to the fact that they are often mistrusted by their home communities, and even their own families. They may be self-loathing or vengeful, and are often prone to depression, but just as often become idealists. They tend to be reckless, with little consideration for their own lives. They often rush into things, but tend to avoid long-term commitments and are notorious for starting projects and not following through. Their perpetual outsider status makes them more prone to an adventuring life than others.  In general, though, the road suits them.  They grow bored easily, and the constant change of scenery helps with that.  A changeling who is aware of their elven blood is likely to be tormented by the knowledge.  They will have to come to terms with their mixed heritage, and choose whether to choose a side, or spend their lives toeing the line.  Will they choose the light of day or dark of night?    Or will they constantly dwell in the twilight'”in the liminal space hovering between the two?

Appearance: Changelings are often thinly built, with sharp, not-quite-human features.  They are pale skinned, dark haired, and aquiline.   Their pale skin often has strange tinges to it, like a touch of green or gold.  A red tinge can pass for ruddiness or rosacea, or a gold can be mistaken for jaundice.  They tend to be on the short side, with long limbs for their bodies, but their wiry muscles are deceptively graceful.

Customs: Changelings appear too sparsely and randomly to form any kind of society.  Groups of changelings are rare, and are only found when road-weary individuals come upon each other by chance.

Names: Born into human societies, Changelings are usually given human names.



 

Note

Dice Cost: 17
Racial Traits: Duirdaoine possess the following traits:

Forest Born (3d): You can trade one point of width for one point of height to Survival rolls made in woodland environments, succeeding where you otherwise would have failed.

Ignore Decapitation (6d): Even if your head is filled with Shock or Killing damage, you continue to act. All of your Sense skills (save Touch) and all Mind skills drop to 0, and your Sense stat itself drops by '“4d (minimum 1d). Before you can make a melee attack, you must succeed with a Sense+[combat skill] roll to locate the target. Forget about ranged combat. If your torso is filled with damage, that's it, you're dead.

Regeneration (8d): You heal more quickly than others, and can recover from injuries that would kill or permanently maim another.  Every good night's rest fully removes all shock damage instead of half.  1 point of killing damage is immediately converted to shock from each location at the end of the encounter.  Also, you can regrow limbs lost to killing damage.  Use the normal healing rate of one point per week of rest until fully healed for the time frame of regrowth.  

In Character

_______Duirdin
 
Country folk tales speak of 'The Green Man,' a spirit of the wild, whose appearance promises a bountiful harvest.  However, this 'spirit' is most likely just one of these secluded woodland people.  Duirdaoine, the name given them by the elves, means roughly 'Tree Folk.'  A curious people, the duirdaoine are unlike any other, as they are more akin to sentient plants than to humans or Ithai.  Though they may not be the portentous spirits country folk believe them to be, the tales may not be entirely unfounded, as Duirdaoine are typically found in particularly fertile areas, and their presence is a good sign that crops are likely to do well.

Personality:  Duirdaoine are by and large even tempered people, often cheerful.  They are a patient people, slow to anger, but when angered their wrath can be devastating and unstoppable.  But while they will defend their forests from harm, and fight with single-minded determination when driven to do so, as a rule the Duirdaoine abhor violence.  They only ever resort to such as a last resort.

Physical Description: As saplings, they are surprisingly nimble and flexible, capable of bounding through woods at speed.  As they age, however, Duirdaoine lose their flexibility and grow stiff and tough, like trees.  Some Duirdin elders lose the ability to move at all, and remain rooted to the spot, occasionally whispering advice to passersby, who pass off the voice as merely the voice of their intuition.  Males and females are often difficult for other races to distinguish.  Females have none of the classic secondary sexual traits of other humanoid races.  Instead, males and females can distinguish one another by the pheromones they exude.  

Customs: Duirdaoine live in family structures called groves.  It is very rare that a duirdin is ever encountered alone or away from its forest, such is their sense of connection to each other and to their trees.  There are certain exceptions to this; certain situations in which a lone duirdin comes out into the world.  If a duirdin commits an act of undue violence, his grove may exile him.  The duirdin, after some time, may attempt to return, and his grove may forgive him his crime, or turn him away.  A duirdin twice turned away may never return.  The other way in which an duirdin may leave his forest, is if his forest should come to harm and be destroyed.  If his grove is killed, a duirdin may not join a new grove, so if he cannot relocate to another part of the forest without encroaching on another duirdaoine grove, he must leave the forest completely.  

Duirdin mating ritual consists of the releasing of pheromones to attract a mate of the opposite sex.  Males often display bright coloration of their foliage to further attract a mate.  In the mating process the male stands upwind of the female, and, shaking vigorously, releases from his pores a cloud of pollen which attaches to the female, fertilizing her seeds.



Note

Dice Cost: 4
Racial Traits: Effigies possess the following traits:

Mechanical (3d): Your body is made of metal, which gives you certain advantages and disadvantages.  You are immune to poison.  Also, the First Aid and Medicine skills do not affect you, but you can receive the same benefits from the Mechanic skill.  Your Physical Stats (Body, Coordination, & Sense) cannot be improved with CP, but you can purchase upgrades in a shop if they are available and you have the money.

Clanking (-1d): Your body's operations and movement create a ticking, whirring, or even loud clangs, making it very difficult for you to sneak up on anyone.  You take a -2d penalty on all stealth checks.  

Strong (4d):  Your base Body is 3 instead of 1, and your max body is 7 instead of 5.

Ungainly (-2d): Your max Coordination is 4 instead of 5.

In Character

_______Effigy
 
 Created as clunky automatons, in roughly the shape of a man, Effigies were meant to be a multi-use machine for any and all forms of labor.  Endowed with a basic intelligence to allow for adaptability and the processing of instructions, Effigies proved to be of emergent intelligence, eventually becoming self aware.  After much strife, they have been granted citizenship as gnomes in Gambodel.

History: When the machines became self aware, they found that they were not treated as intelligent beings, but rather as pack animals that were meant only to obey.   At first reactions were varied.  Not all even noticed their oppression, others were sad and confused, and some were enraged. A few isolated incidents of violence occurred, stigmatizing the machines.  Fear that the machines would revolt and attack spurred an anti-machine organization called the Tullites (named for the founder Agrius Tull) to take preventative measures, hunting down and destroying Effigies.  A counter-movement called the Machine Movement, headed by inventors and advocates of Effigies, sought the protection and integration of Effigians into Gambodel's culture.  They set of fortified safe houses that would protect those who needed it or were on the run.  Arguments came to the senate of Gambodel, where after much debate over whether an artificially created being was a living, thinking, being, it was decided that seeing as gnomes define themselves by the search for knowledge, that any creature that operates similarly, is for all intents and purposes, a gnome.  

Personality: Effigies have embraced the ideals of intelligence and the idea of having a mind and what that means; and while they are not quick thinkers, they are deep ones.  They are prone to philosophy, and find religion and superstition in general a fascinating subject, if perplexing it its frequent irrationality.  Effigies tend to favor reason over emotion.  Their mechanical minds function more smoothly working through logic.  There have been documented cases of Effigian emotion, however, so it is clearly possible, even if the ordinary Effigy doesn't routinely show it.  Those who were created before the uprisings and the Machine Movement tend to empathize with suffering.  They also tend to internalize the questions regarding their viability as citizens: the idea of life.  Effigies often struggle with the ideas of life and existence, and to what extent they are truly alive.  If they favor a humour, it is melancholy.

Appearance: Effigies resemble a cobbled together mass of sprockets, pistons, and jets of steam arranged haphazardly into the shape of a man.  Their movements are ungainly, loud, and tend to be slow, but their mechanical bodies are capable of much more force than most races.  They tend to wobble when they walk, and the internal movements of gears makes a clanking noise that makes stealth difficult for most.  

Names: Effigies sometimes take gnomish names, but there are also groups claiming their machine heritage who advocate taking names that reflect their nature.  These include names like Clank, Engine, Gear, Sprocket, Tinker, and Valve.


 

Note

Dice Cost: 1
Racial Traits: Gnomes possess the following traits:
 
Absent-Minded (1d): You regularly keep your mind open to new thoughts and ideas.  Your mind is, in fact, a bit too open at times, leaving you vulnerable to mental attack, but that openness makes you hard to control.  You suffer a -1d penalty to Empathy+Resist and Empathy+Equilibrium checks against Enchantments or other effects that would control you or alter your behavior.  If you are still affected on your following turn, you may attempt a second Resist or Equilibrium check to break free.  

Frail (-2d): Your maximum Body is 4 instead of 5.

Genius (2d): Your base Mind is 2 instead of 1, and your maximum Mind is 6 instead of 5.  
 

In Character

_______Gnome
 
Personality: Gnomes tend to have very active (often overactive) minds. They are often rather inconstant, as they constantly come up with new ideas which must be weighed against the old. However, in terms of projects, gnomes tend to spread themselves too thin. They try to accomplish so many different ideas that they fulfill none to completion. If a gnome is on the verge of a breakthrough, however, a point is made not to ignore that project.

A gnome is always seeking information.  This inquisitiveness may at times wear on the patience of those around them.

Physical Description:  Miniscule people, the gnomes are a visible fountain of creative energy.  They are massively intelligent, as is reflected by their slightly oversized heads.  Physically, gnomes tend toward roundness: round chins, round cheeks, round noses, and even their eyes are rather round, compared to other races.  They are often slightly pudgy, giving them a sense of roundness in the belly as well.  Gnomes tend to have rather large ears, and the Farnesians have a particularly pronounced strain of this trait, with ears of a size some other gnomes, such as those of Athos, find grotesque.

Culture:  Gnomish culture places a heavy emphasis on learning and education. They want to know everything. The greatest honor for any gnome is to be credited with a discovery, invention, or new knowledge. This allows the gnomes to become very driven when on the verge of such an honor. The ideal case for a gnome is to be able to have several ideas going simultaneously, each of which is somewhat related to the others, and whose advancement advances the others. More often than not, though, the spread is too random and uncoordinated to be of use to the gnome

Religion:  Gnomes, when religious, tend to follow the established norm of Soleism with their favorite angel being Razhista Christa, as she is the matron angel of learners and philosophers.  A surprising number of gnomes find themselves drawn to monastic life, due to the amount of time it affords them to focus on learning.



Note

Dice Cost: 4
Racial Traits: Humans possess the following traits:

A Touch of Destiny (3d): You have an innate calling to do great things. You gain 1 extra Destiny point per day. (This can also be taken again as a trait by any character. Its effects stack)

Headstrong (1d): You have a strong sense of yourself and know your stance or right & wrong. Once you've made up your mind, it's hard to sway you. You gain +1 d on Resist Checks to avoid doing something you wouldn't ordinarily do.

In Character

_______Human
 
Humans are a paradox of a race, being both immensely creative and destructive, diverse and exclusive, frequently outsiders and typically afraid of them.  On the one hand, humans are frequently the source of many new ideas, but on the other hand, humans as a group fear change and squash deviancy.  They are at once the heirs to the great Adamite Empire and one of the most depraved races in Avayevnon.

Personality: Humans are by nature individualistic.  They have a stronger sense of the self that other races, and this has been both a blessing and a curse in their history.  Humans have had a strong personal drive to create and leave a legacy'”conscious of a fairly short lifetime, especially in relation to the other races, humans seek to achieve what immortality they can.  This has spurred a strong creative capacity in them, and an urge to influence the world around them.  This has brought about the paradoxical reverse side of their nature: by exerting their influence over the world in an attempt to leave a legacy, they frequently are quite destructive in their endeavors.  This desire to influence spreads into ideas as well, as the humans tend to seek monopoly over ideas, truth, and morality.  They have developed a strong sense of right and wrong'”whether this sense is consistent with other races' conceptions of right and wrong is irrelevant.  This combination has been what has allowed humans to gain a large influence, despite their relative youth as a race.  What has held them back, from doing even more is ironically that same feature that allowed them to push forward: individualism.  Because humans are so individualistic, they tend to have more difficulty than other races in working together.  Humans squabble amongst themselves over minute points, and egos clash over which individual will prevail in any given conflict.

Physical description: Taller than most races, the human men tend to stand between 5'6' and 6'.  Some stand taller'”on very rare cases as tall as 7' and some as short as 5'.  Women are shorter, averaging in the 5' to 5'6' range, although like men, outliers exist.  Humans tend to have a thin layer of body hair covering much of their bodies, although this is more prevalent in men than women.  Standards of beauty dictate different amounts of ideal body hair varying depending on group, age, sex, status, and other factors.

Relations: Humans tend to get along with those who hold similar ideas to themselves'”the closer the better.  Xenophobia, however, is more common amongst humans than amongst, say dwarves and gnomes.  The tendency of humans to try to exert themselves over other races tends to interfere with positive relations with the other races, and violence in race relations is tragically common.  It is clear, however, that some groups of humans get along well with certain other races.  The men of Fjal Othila, for example get along well with dwarves, and compare facial hair.

Religion: The large majority of Humans are Soleist in their religious beliefs, although there is more contention in this race than the others on the proper expression of these beliefs.  Because of the human desire for monopoly of Truth, and the individuality of humans as a race, humans tend to polarize themselves into sects more extremely than other races.  Churches favoring the teachings of different angels are common, as are rivalries between them, and the violent suppression of rival churches.  

Language: Language is one factor that cannot be traced back conclusively to anything that could apply to all humans.  Humans spread across the world quickly, and the languages spoken by the different groups today are so filled with other influences that it is practically impossible to say anything universal about human language.  The closest thing to a universal language among humans is ironically the low dwarven dialect spoken for trade purposes throughout Avayevnon.

Names:  Human names can come from regional influences, but a common practice is to use old Adamaic names found in the Solacium.
 Male Names: Abimelech, Abiram, Adonai, Ander, Baal, Elior, Hadar, Hiram, Jehoram,
Female Names: Abilene, Abital, Adina, Apphia, Beula, Elisheba, Jerusha, Micaia, Sarai


 

Note

Dice Cost: 4+
Racial Traits: Ithai possess the following traits:

Sturdy (2d): Your base body is 2 instead of one.  Your max Body is 6 instead of 5

Thick-fingered (-2d): Your max Coordination is 4 instead of 5.

Golden Eye (2d): Some say that dwarves have the eye of Balor, the demon of greed.  Whether this is true or not, many dwarves do have an eye for riches.  You can exchange a point of width for a point of height on all appraise checks.

Guildcraft (2d per skill): You have received training in one of the famed Issacharian Guild halls.  You may purchase expert dice in a particular Craft skill.  You can take this Trait multiple times, but each time it must be for a different Craft skill.

In Character

_______Ithai

The name 'dwarf' for the Ithai people was given to them by the Adam, an early tribe of humans.   It comes from the Adamaic word duvörph meaning roughly 'stocky.'  It was by nature of the fact that the Ithai were of shorter stature that the name picked up its slang denotation meaning 'small' or 'miniature.'  Most Ithai view the use of the term in their presence as an insult, and the Ithai have fiery tempers.  It is an affront to Ithan pride, and their pride is one of their best known features.  Specifics may vary from clan to clan, and from region to region, but they seem to hold an almost universal proud spirit.  Dwarves make up the racial majority of the powerful Issachar Empire.

Physical Description:  Ithai tend to stand between 4' and 4'6', with a rare few standing as tall as 5'.  They have large, hook noses, and their skin tends to be similar in hue to that of the surrounding earth.  Thus, they range from a ruddy brown complexion to a stony grey color.  Their eyes, however, are a bright gold.  It is a common myth that this was caused by the dwarves' obsession with the precious metal.  It is common in many clans to grow out the beards, but this is not universal.  Issacharian dwarves take particular pride in their beards, and make it a point to compare them at every opportunity.  Although they frequently wear their beards long and thick, Ithai have no body hair, and tend to go bald early in life.

Ethics:  Ithai tend to interact with others in a pointed, businesslike manner.  They value 'fair play,' but may stretch the definition of 'fair' when it comes to business and negotiations.  The thing that drives all dwarves, however, is money.  Dwarves can be convinced to do many things they would not otherwise do, if there is enough of a reward. The limit comes when such things involve going-against-the-clan. Members of a clan will try to outdo each other, but will never betray the clan itself. With regards to outsiders and other clans, however, the dwarves can be quite treacherous.

Customs: The dwarven 'clan' is almost more of a business than a familial unit. Its members are loyal, but very competitive with each other, and clans compete to out-produce and out-profit each other. The Dwarves tend to follow a process of vertical integration monopoly, especially when it comes to the production of armors and steel weaponry. A clan is considered first-class if it controls everything from mining, to ore refining to the forges.

The leader of a dwarven clan is generally the head of the business, so-to-speak. The social hierarchy is directly connected to economic advancement. This is the cause of tremendous competitiveness on the part of the dwarves.

Ithai society in Issachar is rigidly patriarchal, and dwarven relationships are often conducted in the same manner as business transactions are. Marriages are usually arranged, and polygamy is perfectly acceptable. In fact, having multiple wives is a symbol of social standing; having enough money to support more than one wife and the children from each. Clan leaders always have at least two wives, often more.

Money: Issacharian dwarves measure wealth in units called "rings," so named for their shape. Ithai are expected to wear their money on their persons. They wear this money anywhere it shows, often keeping multiple rings on each finger, and a plenitude threaded like beads in their prominent beards. Any further rings possessed can be similarly braided into the hair. A dwarf seen unadorned with rings is presumed to be destitute, and a dwarf would need a very good reason to voluntarily appear as such.

A dwarf rarely keeps money hidden, unless they have simply too much to display on their bodies; however, those with such amounts are expected to keep such excess funds in constant use - putting them towards business ventures, hiring protection, investments, financing wars, adventurers, research, etc.

The dwarven penchant for ostentatious displays of personal wealth has led some ignorant folk to believe that dwarves do not grow hair at all, but instead sprout pure silver and gold from their heads.

While not as extravagant as gold or mithril, some dwarves - particularly warriors and adventurers - choose to wear iron rings, as they can help to protect the wearer from bodily harm. A beard or head of hair woven with iron rings can function as a form of armor or shield.

Male Names: Achim, Aldabrat, Adelmar, Alban, Ansgar, Bastian, Bernd, Dedrick, Detlef, Dietmar, Egon, Emil, Eugen, Evert, Ewald, Gerlach, Guntram, Horst, Jörg, Lothar, Markus, Mathias, Radulf, Seppel, Traugott, Ulrich, Xaver

Female Names: Agnethe, Anina, Anke, Antje, Cäcilia, Christel, Cordula, Ebba, Ermtraud, Frauke, Gerda, Gudrum, Gunda, Hiltraud, Lys, Maike, Mirjam, Raimunde, Regula, Theda, Thora, Zenzi

Clans
The Ithai as a people trace their ancestry to The 12 Fathers, near legendary patrons of the race whose children and grandchildren spread across the face of Avayevnon.  Even today the Twelve Clans of the Ithai rule the affairs of the race, crossing the borders of nations.  The blood of the Clans may intermingle, but the status is clear: Men are born into their Father's clan, while women marry into their husband's Clan.  Anyone who is anyone can trace their ancestry to one of the Twelve.  The unfortunate souls who can't are called the Bachara.  While it has been suggested that all Ithai have some relation along the line to the 12, not all can prove such.  Those who are disowned and cast out from the clan cannot produce heirs for the Clan without reconciliation, and orphans often have difficulty claiming lineage.  

The Clans operate from Issachar to Harrowcry, and from Corbyn to Crimnsea.  They influence affairs across the face of the world.  It is, of course, the Empire, where their influence is most readily seen, but it is not confined there.  The Clans operate guilds in many major cities, regulating trade in the manner most beneficial to them.

The Twelve Clans: Araten, Deloric, Durrach, Glambard, Glorzach, Ilimar, Iliring, Ringmar, Toreglan, Torpras, Uranor, Whurilai
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2010, 05:56:34 AM »

Paths and Powers


For the new version of Avayevnon, since I am using Nemesis, which is a more skill-based system, rather than class based, I will not be incorporating classes per se.  What I WILL be including are sets of traits that are to a certain degree progressive, and can be built upon post-character creation as characters accrue Character Points (CP).  Besides a few exceptions, Paths are by no means mutually exclusive; a character can branch out along as many paths as they care to without penalty, but the more paths they traverse, the less ground they can cover in each.

_____Path of the Alchemist
The Alchemist experiments with chemicals and learns to use and create potions, chemicals, and other effects.  Complementary paths include Artificer, Druid, and Witch, although the right kind of Priest might also take to alchemy.  

Suggested Skills: Alchemy, Firearms, First Aid, Occult
Suggested Talents: Herbology, Minerology, Occult Skill

_____Path of the Artificer
Suggested Skills: Alchemy, Craft, Disable Device, Engineering, Occult
Suggested Talents: Artificer, Inventor, Master Engineer, Occult Skill, Trump Gadget


_____Path of the Assassin
Suggested Skills: Melee Weapon, Acrobatics, Archery/Crossbowman/Firearms, Dodge, Lockpick, Stealth, Hearing, Sight, Search, Education, Forgery, Tactics, Performance (disguise), Bluff, Insight
Suggested Talents: Crippling Strike, Hide in Plain Sight, Precise Strike, Sneak Attack


_____Path of the Bard
Suggested Skills: Inspiration, Intimidation, Knowledge, Leadership, Perform (Song), Bluff, Persuasion
Suggested Talents: Bardic Music, Occult Skill



_____Path of the Burglar
Suggested Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Appraise, Bluff, Disable Devise, Dodge, Escape Artist, Forgery, Hearing, Insight, Melee Weapon, Open Lock, Persuasion, Pick Pocket, Search, Sight, Stealth, Streetwise
Suggested Talents: Danger Sense, Expert, Hide in Plain Sight, Light Armor Specialist



_____Path of the Doctor
Suggested Skills: Alchemy, Counseling, Endurance, First Aid, Health, Hearing, Insight, Knowledge (any), Language (any), Medicine, Occult, Search, Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch
Suggested Talents: A Rational Explanation, Expert, Hypnotism, Occult Skill, Precise Strike, Resources

_____Path of the Duelist
Suggested Skills: Athletics, Martial Arts (Fencing), Acrobatics, Dodge, Ride, Sail, Education, Tactics, Intimidation, Bluff, Insight
Suggested Talents: Expert Parry, Full Defense, Light Armor Specialist, Precise Strike, Riposte



_____Path of the Druid
The Druid is the pagan answer to the Orator.  They are the holy men of the wilds.  You may want to play a druid if the campaign is taking place beyond the walls of the city state, out in the Waste.  Complementary paths include Bard, Seer, and Alchemist.

Suggested Skills: Hearing, Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch, Craft, Education, First Aid, Mythos, Navigation (Land), Occult, Survival, Inspiration, Intimidation, Leadership, Counseling, Insight, Meditation, Equilibrium
Suggested Talents: Channel, Herbology, Hypnotism, Minerology, Occult Skill, Religious, The Law



_____Path of the Explorer
Suggested Skills: Athletics, Drive, Endurance, First Aid, Health, Hearing, Knowledge, Navigation, Search, Sight, Survival
Suggested Talents: Expert, Resilience, Wanderlust

 

Note

Inquisitor Swords use intrinsic Solar Symbolism, as they are meant to serve as holy symbols of Sol.  They are inset with a bloodstone to channel His power into the blade.
_____Path of the Inquisitor

Suggested Skills: Melee Weapon (Sword), Stealth, Hearing, Sight, Search, Education, Mythos, Occult, Intimidation, Leadership, Persuasion, Equilibrium
Suggested Talents: Backup, Channel, Frightful Presence, Occult Skill, Religious, Resources, Second Sight, The Law



_____Path of the Knight
Though the status of the Feudal nobility is not what it once was, Knights are still highly trained and valued members of society, both socially and militarily.

Suggested Skills: Archery, Athletics, Endurance, First Aid, Handle Animal, Health, Inspire, Intimidate, Leadership, Martial Arts (Fencing) or Melee Weapon, Ride, Tactics
Suggested Talents: Backup, Expert Parry, Full Defense, Money, Veteran

_____Path of the Orator
Suggested Skills: Counseling, First Aid, Health, Inspire, Knowledge (Religion), Leadership, Meditation, Occult,
Suggested Talents: Channel, Occult Skill, Religious, The Law



_____Path of the Pirate
Suggested Skills: Appraise, Brawling, Firearms, Intimidate, Melee Weapon, Navigation, Pilot, Sail, Streetwise, Survival
Suggested Talents: Expert Parry, Full Defense, Riposte, Veteran, Wanderlust

_____Path of the Seer
Suggested Skills: Insight, Meditation, Occult, Sight,
Suggested Talents: Foresight, Second Sight, See the Thread



_____Path of the Witch
Restrictions: If you are on the Path of the Orator or the Path of the Inquisitor, you cannot travel the Path of the Witch (without GM approval).  Similarly, the Path of the Witch excludes you from the aforementioned paths.

Suggested Skills: First Aid, Handle Animal, Herbology, Medicine, Meditation, Occult, Survival
Suggested Talents: Channel, Hypnotism, Occult Skill, Second Sight, See the Thread


 
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2010, 05:56:49 AM »

Animals
_____Bollag
A small round animal whose primary biological function seems to be to eat.  It's high metabolism would seem to require it to be taking in food almost constantly to avoid dying.  Hunted to keep their numbers down, Bollags also have powerful stomach acid which is prized by alchemists, and furriers fashion their hides into cheap winter clothing.  Added as part of the On the Origin of Species contest.  

_____Gutterfish
This creature almost resembles a starfish at first glance, except that its skin is semi-transparent, revealing its internal organs, as well as any undigested food. There is more to this creature than meets the eye, however, as it is capable of latching onto an enemy with claws at the end of its limbs, and delivering a venomous bite to the target. The flesh of the gutterfish is saturated with the same venom, making it toxic to consume without very precise cooking. In addition to this deterrent against predators, the gutterfish can also release of cloud of foul smelling oils that drive away predators.

_____Morave
Massive birds who soar on 20 foot wingspans.  They tend to prey on smaller birds, nesting as high at the highest point accessible to them--usually a mountain or a tall tree.  They are considered a danger to dirigibles, since their sharp talons are capable of rupturing unarmored balloons, but they are also hunted for their magnificent damasked plumage and their meat, which is prized as a delicacy by the aristocracy.

_____Rainbow Snapper
About the size of a trout, the Rainbow Snapper gets its name from its two most distinct qualities. The first is its armor-like scales which change color to match its surroundings. This is good both for avoiding larger predators of the ocean, and also for sneaking up on smaller fish. The other is its piston-like jaws, which are capable of extending out and grabbing prey from afar.

Folk

_____Djann
The Djanni are an anthropic race that rules a broad empire to the east.  In western art, they are depicted as ostentatious, wearing gilt armor, and silk robes.  They are portrayed as effeminate heathens.

_____Elf
Though they resemble humans, Elves are fae creatures bent on the destruction of Sol's Church.  They have been known to cause massive damage to property, and often kill or maim Soleists.  Country folk who live in fear of them call them 'The Good Folk' to appease them, lest they be listening.  They often steal human children away to their elf mounds, leaving behind changeling decoys.  

The elves, or Everborn, are among the oldest creatures on Avayevnon.  They are proud, and remember more of the past than any others, experiencing a constant stream of life death and rebirth.  Some of the greatest are said to remember everything from all of their lives, though most receive only glimpses and flashes in dreams, or in the heat of the moment.

It is said that the world of Avayevnon and the Otherworld were once one, and that in that time, the elves walked Avayevnon freely.  Through the centuries, however, the Otherworld has been fading into the mists, and the Everborn with it.  It is said that they fear to travel into our realm, where they are mortal, and can taste the sting of cold iron.  Elves who die in our world die forever'”their souls lost.  

Note

Racial Traits: The following traits are available to Gorim:

Battle Trance (2d)
Prerequisite
: Gorim
Effect: If you spend an appropriate amount of time mentally preparing, you gain a +2d bonus to Resist and Equilibrium for the duration of the next encounter.

Gruff (-2d)
Prerequisite
: Gorim
Effect: You have little time for niceties and are blunt to the point of rudeness.  Your max Empathy is 4 instead of 5

LAR (1d per level)
Prerequisite
: None
Effect: You have thick skin. Each level purchased in this trait grants you a Light Armor rating. Buy 5 levels  and you have LAR 5. You can buy any amount of LAR.

Sturdy (2d)
Prerequisite
: Chosen at character creation
Effect: Your base body is 2 instead of one.  Your max Body is 6 instead of 5
_____Gorim
The name 'Gorim' is derived from an old Ithash word meaning 'blue,' to denote the peculiar pigment in their dark skin. Misunderstandings and false etymologies have led some humans to the incorrect assumption that the name comes from the word 'gore,' spawning a widespread misconception of savagery which formed the impetus for several invasions into Gorim territory.  Gorim are naturally hairy, growing thick fur on their chests and extremities, but gorim of Xaoonoi and those who trace their ancestry to there, including the gorim in Shagrunk, keep their body hair shaved, to show their honor and civility.  

Culturally the gorim are very body-conscious, valuing strength, flexibility, and endurance. In Xaoonoi, one of the larger Gorim seats of power, dancing is a widespread social activity that works its way into many aspects of society, from courtship to celebrations to religious ritual. Preparations for war always involve rhythmic dancing to work the soldiers into a proper state of mind for combat.

One of the recurring gorim customs is that of shaving.  The shaving of the body is used as a mark of transitions.  At puberty, as a rite of passage into manhood, gorim boys will shave their entire bodies.  Xaoonic marriages, and other gorim marriages influenced by them, also involve shaving; The bride is ritually kidnapped, shaved, and placed on the bed to await her husband who, also freshly shaved, comes to her to consummate the union.  Elopements are common, as there is, in fact, little difference between elopements and other marriages.  While how consistently gorim are to be shaved between puberty and marriage, married gorim are typically expected to remain cleanly shaven at all times.  Gorim who have been banished are forbidden to shave, although many continue to do so anyway.

Gorim from across the face of Avayevnon seem to hold tight to the memory of a proud ancestral warrior race, and many gorim are still highly trained soldiers. As a race they are proud and highly concerned with honor, but also fierce. In war they whatever advantages they can, taking advantage of terrain where possible, and often resorting to ruses, guile, and psychological warfare. In single combat, however, honor demands all trickery be set aside for the glory of victory, or the beauty of a good death.

Monsters

 

Note

This section will be gradually added to.  It will eventually include additional monsters, and rules for each monster
_____Clank
Crafted by artificers for a particular purpose, this particular brand of automaton serves as guardian.  Programmed with a simple analytical engine operating under steam power, the Clunker contains a built-in furnace that powers the engine and the physical movements of the machine.  It can only act on simple criteria, such as 'kill all that enter this room.'  They are often heavily armored, but the furnace is susceptible to attack, and destruction of the furnace will incapacitate the machine.

_____Daemon
Daemons are incorporeal entities presumed to spawn from the Pit.  They are almost never seen, because there is nothing to see.  They have no visible form, but rather take the shape of a colorless gas.  They sometimes can be detected by scent however, or by temperature, as they are sometimes hotter or colder than the surrounding air.  Physically, they function in much the same way other gasses do.  They cannot pass through walls, unless the wall has a crack in it.  They can physically move themselves, and can stir up a certain amount of wind if they wish to manipulate objects crudely.  Their primary form of interaction with out world, however, is through possession.  Daemons can take control of mortal bodies, and thus mask their presence.  Sometimes their mortal host is aware of their presence, sometime not.  Most daemons are content to allow their hosts sovereignty over their bodies 90% of the time.  This way the few times they act against their will can be chalked up to an inexplicable urge, and not necessarily to the will of another entity.  Others engage in a 50/50 tradeoff, in which the host is aware of the other force inside him, but it might be attributed to madness.  Some very ambitious, or reckless daemons, attempt to control their hosts at all times, forcing them to do exactly what it wills.  This is dangerous in that it tends to draw a lot of attention from those who notice the change in behavior, and in that forcing pushing too hard can get the host to fight back, and maybe even drive the daemon out.

Amorphous (10d)
Effect: Daemons have no discernable body structure; they are amorphous blobs. They have a single hit location that contains all of their wound boxes, except for 4 'head' boxes.

Extra Dimensional (8d)
Effect: A daemon's body is extra dimensional in nature'”it phases in and out of real-space second to second. This means it's exceptionally hard to hit and doesn't suffer damage normally. Every time it's attacked, the daemon's Body stat is automatically rolled as a supernatural defense, no matter what other action it's taking. If it gobbles an incoming attack, the attack fails to injure it.  Against enemies in the Sojourn, this has no effect.

Flight (4d)
Effect: Daemons can fly at a rate double that dictated by their Body score. Double their Body dice pools for resolving resisted contests, so long as enough open space exists to allow flight.

Invisible (5d)
Effect: Daemons are invisible to the naked eye, but can be detected by smell or touch.  In order to attack a daemon, one must first locate them with a difficulty 5 Sense+Smell or Sense+Touch check.  Even then, there is a 50% chance the attack will miss.  Characters in the Sojourn can see a daemon without difficulty, and those with the Second Sight talent can make a Mind+Occult roll to detect a daemon.

Possession (3d)
Effect: A Daemon may attempt to enter the body of a mortal host.  This requires an opposed check of Command vs. the host's Empathy+Equilibrium.  If the daemon succeeds, it enters the body of the host, and can attempt to influence its actions at any time.  This is done by a Command+Persuasion vs. Empathy+Equilibrium roll.   At any point it is possible that the daemon may succeed without the host being aware of anything happening.  If the height of the daemon's roll exceeds the height of the host's roll, the host is unaware of the influence acting on him.

Unnatural Intensity (5d)
Effect: Sensing a daemon causes targets to make an Unnatural check at Intensity 5

 

Note

Dermagast
Number of Dice: 72 to 112
Body: 3d to 6d (6 to 12)
Lift: 200 to 1,600 lbs
Throw: 25 to 200 lbs.
Sprint: 16 to 25 yards
Jump: 4 to 8 yards
Coordination: 1d to 5d (2 to 10)
Sense: 2d to 8d (4 to 16)
Mind: 2d to 6d (4 to 12)
Command: 3d to 5d (6 to 10)
Empathy: 2d to 3d (4 to 6) (26 to 66)
Attack: Width+2 in Shock to width+2 in Killing
Armor: +3 wound boxes per hit location
Unnatural Intensity: 5
Skills: Brawling 2d, Climbing 4d, Knowledge (Mythos) 2d, Sight 5d, Smell 5d (18)
Traits: Ageless (4d), Extra Wound Boxes x3 (6d), Inhuman Biology (3d), Supernatural (8d), Special Attack: Claws (2d), Unnatural Intensity 5 (5d)
(24)

_____Dermagast
Flesh-Eaters, dermagasts are the dark servants of Lillith, the demon of gluttony.  Exactly how they came to be is unknown, but legend tells of one Seanfir Night, when the mists lifted and elves and spirits walked the soil of Avayevnon.  It was common practice for the elves to drag away unwilling folk into their elf mounds, where they might never be heard from again.  One group of elves, having kidnapped a pair of twin babes, made to return to their elf mound and the Otherworld, when the sun rose, and with it the mists, and the elves were trapped in this world.  Unable to return home, and forced to flee from each village they came across, the elves grew hungry.  In their intense hunger, Lillith whispered to them, and put it in their minds to sate their hunger by devouring the babes.  They did so, and in so doing lost their souls to the will of the Glutton Queen.  But they were not sated.  Having been given the taste for flesh, they now crave it endlessly, stalking weak settlements and eating the inhabitants alive, one by one.

To be seen, a dermagast is a massive corpulent humanoid, resembling a bloated corpse.  They usually wear rags, and are covered with blood.  Hygiene is unimportant to them: all that matters is to feed on other humanoids.  Their eyes have a wild feral quality.  Their hunger visibly consumes them.  They are in terrible pain every moment they are not eating.  When confronted, they attack either with their teeth, or with the half eaten remnant of a severed limb, wielded like a club.  The most disturbing thing may be that, as much as it may appear undead, a dermagast is a person; a living, breathing, sentient person, who through whatever fate or choice, will eat another person alive, all the while listening to them beg, plead, and scream.

_____Eidolon
Created by artifice and foul necromancy, Eidolons are tortured souls, condemned to iron shells, denied their rest.  Eidolons are usually made to guard valuables, and some have been in existence for millennia.  They have been found by those digging up the ruins of ancient burial sites.  It appears the old Khoptic kings would have their priests install eternal guardians in their tombs.  The royal bodyguard was ritually killed, so that they could watch over their master even in death.  The expeditions had to deal with the still active guards, despite the fact that they'd been sealed in the tombs for over 2000 years.

_____Ghost
Restless spirits unwilling or unable to go to their judgment sometimes remain to trouble the living.  Unable to appear substantially, they appear like wisps of smoke, or like a shadow out the corner of your eye.  Sometimes they make contact with the living, by whatever means necessary.  Often they seek some end that keeps them from their rest.  Occasionally, however, the fear of the judgment leads some to linger with the tenacity of desperation.  Nothing will ease the fears of these spirits except perhaps the guarantee of salvation.

Tactics
Ghosts normally find little need to enter combat.  The terror of their presence is usually enough to convince those who encounter them to do as they will.  

Extra Dimensional (8d)
Effect: A ghost's body is extra dimensional in nature'”it phases in and out of real-space second to second. This means it's exceptionally hard to hit and doesn't suffer damage normally. Every time it's attacked, the ghost's Body stat is automatically rolled as a supernatural defense, no matter what other action it's taking. If it gobbles an incoming attack, the attack fails to injure it.  Against enemies in the Sojourn, this has no effect.

Supernatural
Effect: This allows the ghost to purchase Expert Dice (for skills) or Trump Dice for any ability. Or to upgrade existing dice to these die types through character advancement. It also allows the ghost to buy stats and skills in excess of 5d, as well as other supernatural abilities and traits.

Unnatural Intensity (5d)
Effect: Seeing a ghost causes targets to make an Unnatural check at Intensity 5

Wither (3d)
Effect: When a ghost attacks an enemy with its bare hands (Brawling or Martial Arts) the attack deals an additional point of killing damage as the enemy's life force is trained, leaving them withered and a step closer to their grave.  This extra damage cannot be healed with normal medicine, but needs some sort of magical or miracular healing to remove.


_____Vampyre

Note

Vampyre
A Vampyre is a 184d challenge

Body 6
Brawling 9d+1td, Endurance 7d, Athletics 6d
Coordination 6
Dodge 9d, Stealth 9d+1td, Acrobatics 6d, Climbing 6d
Sense 5
Taste 8d, Search 8d, Sight 7d, Hearing 6d
Mind 3
Tactics 4d
Command 6
Seduction 8d, Intimidation 6d
Empathy 4
Persuasion 7d+1td

*Dice Pools for skills have Stat dice factored in.

Attacks
Brawling>>>Width in Killing
Bite>>>>>>>Width in Killing + Blood drain
Bite>>>>>>>Width in Killing + Contagion

Traits
Supernatural, Undead, Sun Vulnerability, Blood Addiction, Blood Fugue, Taste the Air

Special Attacks
Blood Drain, Contagion

A plague worthy of Pazrael, the curse of Vampyrism was created by Lillith to spite the plague lord.  The creation of a demon, Vampyres fear the god Sol.  As his symbol is the Sun, Vampyres cannot venture into daylight without great consequence.  But while they cannot brave the day, at night they hunt.  Their thirst for blood is insatiable, and they have many tools at their disposal to obtain it.  They are unnaturally persuasive.  Their bite, in addition to letting the blood consumed by the creature, can also infect the victim with a contagion that attacks the bloodstream, gradually causing mutations that turn the victim themselves into a vampyre.  

Tactics
A vampyre's tactics often vary depending on the numbers involved.  A single vampyre facing a single adversary will usually try to charm it into submission, such that they willingly submit to having their blood drained.  They may or may not choose to deliver their contagion and turn the victim.

Against multiple enemies, the vampyre will first try to turn the enemies on each other, hiding from the shadows and sowing seeds of doubt in their minds, then gradually picking them off one by one, usually by ripping out their carotid artery.

Supernatural
Effect: This allows the vampyre to purchase Expert Dice (for skills) or Trump Dice for any ability. Or to upgrade existing dice to these die types through character advancement. It also allows the vampyre to buy stats and skills in excess of 5d, as well as other supernatural abilities and traits.

Undead
Effect: Vampyres are not alive in the traditional sense.  As such, they are immune to poison.  They do not breath, and therefore cannot be strangled or suffocated.  They do not suffer from bleeding.  They do not need food or drink, apart from the blood they always thirst for.  The downside to their complete lack of metabolism is that they cannot heal any wounds on their own.  A vampire only recovers from damage by draining the blood of its victims.

Blood Drain
Effect: After the vampyre has an opponent pinned, it can make a Body+Brawling roll to begin draining his blood. If the vampyre fails this roll, the victim escapes the pin. If it succeeds,the vampyre makes a Body+Brawling roll each round and deals the width in Killing damage. This damage is distributed equally throughout the victim's hit locations. Blood also sustains the vampyre. For every point of damage done, the vampyre may heal one point of Shock damage, or for two points it may heal one point of Killing.

Contagion
Effect: When a vampyre injects its contagion with its bite, the victim must make a Body+Health roll to resist the infection.  Over the next week, the pigment in the skin is eaten away, turning the flesh almost totally white and the contagion begins to render the victim allergic to sunlight.  The allergy in addition the loss of pigment means that any exposed flesh suffers 1 shock damage to the relevant hit location per round until the creature is either removed from sunlight, dead, or until the associated limb is destroyed.  The contagion also acts on the bloodstream, interfering with the ability to carry hemoglobin, and the subject will ultimately die - at least in the conventional sense.  After a short period, the deceased victim will rise as a new vampyre.

Taste the Air
Effect: Like a snake, Vampyre's can locate prey by tasting the air.  Their max Search is tied to Taste rather than sight, and when an enemy is using Stealth, they can detect with Sense+Taste, rather than Sense+Hearing or Sense+Sight.

Sun Vulnerability
Effect: In the presence of sunlight, any exposed flesh suffers 1 shock damage to the relevant hit location(s) per round until the vampyre is out of the sunlight, dead, or until the relevant hit location is destroyed.  Because their weakness stems from being adversaries to Sol, the holy symbol of Sol functions for all intents and purposes as the Sun.

Blood Addiction
Effect: Any day (or night) a vampyre goes without consuming blood, all Sense, Mind, and Coordination skills are made at difficulty 3.  Additionally, the vampyre must make a Command+Equilibrium roll to avoid entering a Blood Fugue.

Blood Fugue
Effect: When in a Blood Fugue, a vampyre's entire mind and body are consumed by the need of blood.  In this state, the vampyre hardly thinks, and remembers nothing upon emerging from the fugue state.  They act only to sate their thirst.  They kill and drink unthinkingly and recklessly, viciously attacking every creature they see with their blood drain attack. The first time they succeed at this, they may make a Difficulty 10 Command+Equilibrium roll to exit the Fugue.  Each successive time they succeed at the blood drain, the difficulty lowers by 1 until they succeed and emerge from the fugue.  Only humanoids lower the difficulty in this way.  The vampyre will feed on anything it can sink its teeth into, but non-humanoids simply won't serve to sate their thirst once they are in fugue.
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2010, 05:57:07 AM »

Geography

Bizhentluus[/size]
______Shardmoore[/size]
Government: Theocracy
Demographics: Human, Ithai, Gnome, Changeling, Gorim, Effigy
Imports: Weapons, Armor, Pilgrims
Exports: Caecilium, Salvation
Important Sites: The Seven Stones, The Dawn Temple, Castle Shardmoore
Organizations: The Soleist Church, The Inquisition, Knights of the Temple, The Sentinel
Personalities: Grand Inquisitor Exegesis Von Contras, Lord Pontiff Leodoxus I

The Shining City; Shardmoore is the religious capital of Avayevnon, and the political capital of Bizhentluus. Its alabaster towers and marbled cathedrals glitter in the morning light. It is a glorious city, and one of Avayevnon's greatest stories of rebirth. But, even the Shining City has a dark side; as the legacy of the tragedy of a century ago continues to haunt this city.


The Lay of the City

The Old City'”Much of Shardmoore was destroyed during the Crusades, but this section of the city remains. It is now the cultural center of the city, to remember the past while moving forward into the future. Organizations of the arts, such as the Seraphine Harmonium lie within the Old City.
The Castle District'”Castle Shardmoore fell into demonic hands during the war, and was heavily damaged in its recovery, but it was never demolished. Now rebuilt, the Castle and the surrounding district form the military and guard district of the city. The Sentinel, guards of the city is based here, as is the second largest military contingent in Bizhentluus, after Teneret.
Temple Square'”The religious and political district. The Dawn Temple resides here, as does the now defunct Council of Nobles that nominally governs the workings of all the cities and towns across Bizhentluus. The Nobles are hereditary rulers of the sub-territories of Bizhentluus. Ever since the nobles were given positions in the clergy in 7 AR, they all answer to The Lord Pontiff.
The Port District'”Shardmoore rests on the edge of the Weeping Sea, and as such, receives a good deal of sea trade, mostly from the Issachar Empire. In any case, the Port is filled with shops and taverns for seamen.
The Slums'”At the outskirts of the city, just inside the city walls, are the slums. Much of the population lives here, it is the nest of the destitute working class. Beggars and prostitutes reside here. It is also the home of those who are respectable in person and demeanor, but tragically penniless.

Places and Organizations

The Dawn Temple'”The home to both the Lord Pontiff Leodoxus I and his Knights of The Temple. This temple is the center of power in Shardmoore.
The Seraphine Harmonium'”The Seraphine Harmonium, when first founded, was an Opera House. Since then it has been an institution for the faithful during the Crusades. They were freedom fighters against Lady Elera and Pazrael between the assassination of Menclar Flameheld and the establishment of the Soleist 'Theocratic Monarchy.' After the war, it was a home for the helpless, providing safety-and some entertainment-to those who had suffered. It has since reverted to a theatre, but it is said that the members have a second, secret purpose these days.
Castle Shardmoore'”The castle's dark and gothic structure is an uncommon feature in the Shining City. It serves as a reminder of the past. It now houses the city's military presence and the city guard body, The Sentinel. The Knights of the Temple are trained here, before they enter the service of the Lord Pontiff.
The Inquisition'”Even now, nearly one hundred years after the defeat of Pazrael and the heretics who worshipped him, evil lives on and makes its home in Shardmoore. Like a parasite'”a last blight of the plague demon'”the Heretic still clings to the underbelly of the city, sapping its divine lifeblood. At least, that is what the people of Shardmoore are told.
Now, the inquisitors watch over the city with unblinking eyes, striking without warning or clemency. People vanish into the night, with a flash of white and crimson, never to be heard from again. The Inquisition does not rest, and its enemies dare not. Each day, it seems, a new evil is discovered, and the list of actions filed under heresy grows ever longer.


______Teneret[/size]
Imports:
Exports: Wood



Caervenfor[/size]
______Cherdyn[/size]
Demographics: Human, Ithai, Gorim, Changeling, Gnome, Effigy
Imports:
Exports:

The mighty capital of Caervenfor, and the region ruled over directly by the King. Cherdyn is the smallest Thanage, but as it belongs to the king, has access to the materials and resources of the rest. Its palace is grand, but not opulent, sporting a simple splendor. Its gothic arches are impressive to behold.

It is also one of the most defensible of the Thanages, being surrounded on its north, east, and south sides by the arc of the River Bruunrig.

______Corbyn[/size]
Demographics: Human, Ithai, Gorim, Changeling, Gnome, Effigy
Imports:
Exports:


Of all the thanages, Corbyn is the furthest north and the coldest. It is the most barren of the thanages and has little in the way of resources. The people here survive mostly by fishing in the frozen over River Tharlim.

______Grenchowe[/size]
Demographics: Human, Gorim, Ithai, Gnome, Effigy
Imports:
Exports:


______Sassory[/size]
Demographics: Human, Ithai, Gnome, Effigy, Gorim
Imports:
Exports: Salt, Caecilium, Ore

Sassory is probably the richest of Thanages, though it lacks the splendor and glory of Kommenap. Sassory controls the mines and the mountains. It has Caervenfor's highest dwarven population. Sassory has the greatest ore and mineral deposits, and while most ore goes into the production of weapons, armor, and goods for the use of Caervenfor, a great many of the gems found in the mines make go straight into the hands of dwarven merchants in Baldurbrock. The River Tharlim has its mouth in the mountains of Sassory.

The Empire of Issachar[/size]
The Empire of Issachar considers itself the heir to the great Ithanash of old. Since its inception, it has sought to reclaim the lands held in the past by the Ithai forebears. Ithanash predates the clans, so its legacy is something that supersedes family and factional boundaries. Ithai from all over Avayevnon seem to feel themselves a part of the Empire, citizens or not.

Currently the Empire spans most of the Azure Coastline inland to the Weeping Sea. This forms the core of the Empire, and the heart of old Ithanash. At its height, however, Ithanash reached as far south and east as the Lythen border. This knowledge has led much of the southlands to seek the protection of Shardmoore, and to form a loose confederation ready to come to each other's aid for "mutual defense."

Geography
The Empire of Issachar is broken into three primary regions: Baldurbrock, Breeanen, and Gambodel. Each has its own characteristics.

Baldurbrock: The Central hub of the Empire, Issachar proper is located here, as is the more militant Isar. The Duren Range cuts across its northern border, and much of the land is characterized by rolling foothills. The soil is a heavy clay not ideal for agriculture, so much of the food for the region comes from hunting and livestock.

Breeanen: The Southernmost realm of the Empire, Breeanen is a region of grassy plains. The most important settlements in the region are the Cities of Swynvale and Rosemead. Rosemead is an important waystation on the southern Admark Road, even more so since the desolation of much of the lands east of it. It is the salvation of those traveling across the Ashen Plain from Ithegra and beyond, and it is the last shelter for those heading east from Breeanen.

Gambodel: The Northern province of the Empire, Gambodel may be the most lush region of the Empire, though the factories in Teckall and Farnesis have thinned the woods somewhat. The region rests at high elevation, with Farnesis resting at the coastal edge, atop the shearing cliffs of the Cragspar. Being the furthest north, it is more temperate than the other regions, with more varied and intense weather. The inhabitants have learned to make good use of windmills, especially to utilize the offshore currents.

Family
A dwarven male Pater Familias rules the immediate family, constituting his wives and children. The Pater Familias typically takes multiple wives, especially upper-class Ithai. For the aristocracy these marriages are mostly political, and sometimes they will even take wives of other races as a gesture of friendship and allegiance.

The Clan is the closest idea to an extended family. Since all respectable Ithai can trace their lineage back to one of the 12 Fathers of dwarfdom, all members of the clan are considered extended family. Owing to the desire to keep Clan bloodlines strong, relations between clansfolk are often approved and encouraged that elsewhere would be deemed incestuous and immoral.

Amongst the upper class, family connections and responsibilities are extremely important. They establish prestige and honor, which are powerful social bargaining chips. If the Pater Familias or his clan falls out of favor with another, that clan may decide not to recognize a marriage of one of their women to the Pater Familias. While this may not hold water legally, the gesture is an affront to the honor of the Pater Familias, and in some cases may leave him socially bankrupt.

Death and Burial
Ithai of the Empire are buried in the ground. Save for a monuments to great rulers and to the very wealthy, people are typically put directly in the earth. Dwarves tend to feel a keen connection with the earth, and as such, it is seen as disrespectful to separate him from the earth with a box. Even the Emperors are buried in direct contact with earth, as they are laid to rest in stone sarcophagi, which are filled with earth, before being holed up in their elaborate tombs. For the ordinary Ithai, it is customary to lay the deceased into the tomb as he is, and to place a headstone to mark the site. If he died in battle, he is buried with his weapon. If he died working, he is buried with his tools.

The Issacharian burial customs have been a boon to the empire during the plague, as infected corpses are removed from the live population easily and inexpensively.

Crime
As all cities, nations, and empires do, Issachar has a seedy criminal underbelly. In an interesting echo of the social structure of the topside Empire, thieves tend to organize into guilds which regulate territory, targets, and the nature of thefts and heists. There are likewise guilds of assassins that determine accepted weapons, safety regulations dealing with and handling poisons, and how public or private killings should be. Syndicates set price caps on illicit substances, be they of permanent illegality, or do to trade embargo.

______Issachar[/size]
Government: Empire ruled by the Issach
Demographics: Ithai, Gnome, Effigy, Human, Gorim
Imports: Food, Ale
Exports: Tools, Weapons, Armor, Aether Gas, Gems, Jewels
Important Sites: Taran's Peak, Castle Ithanash, The Mines
Organizations: The Clans, The Guilds, The Issach


City Exterior
This is the face Issachar presents to Avayevnon.  It is a stately city with rigid and efficient geometry.  It is filled with shops and guild houses, competing with one another for the business of the residents and visitors.  The Guildhouses are large, competitive unions of tradesmen.   The Caravansary, a large inn built to house trade caravans delivering ghostwood, spices, barley, or a number of other imports, and to help prepare Issachar caravans for export journeys.
The Three-fold Wall:  The City's outer defenses, the Three-fold Wall are actually three walls encircling the area of the city at the base of Taran's Peak.  The outermost wall is twenty feet high, the middle wall is fifty feet high, and the innermost wall is eighty feet high.   Between the outer and middle walls, and the middle and inner walls, is a pair of moats consisting of running water channeled from an underground river.
The Ramparts: The City's walls have been long defended it against foes, but as dirigibles become more prevalent, new kinds of defenses become necessary.  The ramparts have been outfitted with ballistae, cannons, and organ guns to defend against enemy airships.
Arms Guild: The Arms Guild is the city's most preeminent retailer of weapons and armor.  It consists of a union of weapon smiths and armor smiths who meet at the Guildhall and sell their wares, share trade secrets, and provide help and advice to new members.  The guild meets regularly to set standards on quality and production levels.  To a certain extent they compete with the Smithy's guild, which has a branch incorporating weapons and armor, but there is no other guild in Issachar dedicated exclusively to the production of arms.  The Arms Guild is also the only guild involved in the construction of firearms, and at present hold a monopoly by imperial contract.
Craftsmen's Guild:  The Craftsmen's Guild competes with the Smithy's Guild over the production of craftsmen's tools such as the chisel of a sculptor, the saws and hammers of the builders, the iron bars of windows and many other products.
Mason's Guild and the Builder's Guild:  Two guilds competing for business in constructing the stone homes of the dwarven people of Issachar, the sculpting of statues on commission, and the maintenance of city walls and streets.  Issach Bastian XIII hires out both guilds for different tasks, favoring the Builder's Guild in the construction of temples and housing, but favoring the Mason's Guild in matters of statuaries, street and defense maintenance and the like.  The Mason's Guild is generally favored for private work and specialty work, whereas the Builder's Guild serves more utilitarian purposes.
Smithy's Guild:  The Smithy's guild is a versatile guild that competes with both the Arms Guild and the Craftsmen's Guild.  The Smithy's Guild concerns itself with all aspects of the smithy and the forges, from the making of tongs to farming implements to chandeliers to weapons and armor.  As such they run into conflicts with the Craftsmen's Guild over the production of craftsmen's tools, and they conflict with the Arms Guild in the production of weapons and armor.  The Smithy's guild often sells at cheaper prices than its competitors, and so gets more business, but the other guilds accuse it of low quality.  The Smithy's Guild's largest selling point is its ease and convenience: 'Anything made in a forge you can get at the Smithy's Guild.'

City Interior
The City Within the Mountain is the name given to the interior of Issachar, nestled into the heart of Taran's Peak.  This is where everything behind the scenes occurs in the city where market is king.  The inner city is home to the legendary mines and forges, and the mighty Castle Ithanash.
The Mines:  A labyrinthine series of tunnels, passages and mineshafts down layers upon layers of earth.  The Mines are all connected, but do not compose a singular mine, but rather three connected by tunnels in different parts of the mountain to different depths, where the sediment reveals different materials.  The first mine harvests iron ore, used to supply the stream of weapons and armor by which the Empire of Issachar maintains its dominance.  The second mine is the gold mine, through which they form their currency:  the gold Ring, which dwarves keep threaded into their beards and hair until needed.  The third, and deepest mine, is the caecilium mine, at which they extract the mineral used in alchemy and enchantments that fuels the polis' economic partnership with nearby Teckall.  Since the Great Purging, the mines have also become the home for the displaced citizens of the Empire, most of which are Bachara.  The Mines and the Bachara are well suited to each other, as work in the mines is considered beneath the Clans.  The miners dig raw ore from the ground.  The artisans of the Clans turn that ore into what they deem 'functional works of art.'
Castle Ithanash:  Meaning 'dwarvenrule,' the castle is a statement of the dwarven status in the world and the embodiment of the power of the Ithai.  Embedded into the very mountain, the castle has an almost symbiotic relationship with the earth.  The mountain interior forms the barrier on two sides, while the fortress juts out of the caverns of the mountain.  The very walls seem hewn of the raw stone, yet the natural flow of the rock forms itself into shapes of the same perfect geometry as the outer city.  From the outside it is impossible to determine the full size of the edifice, and it is only when one enters the castle that the full realization of its enormity becomes clear.  Castle Ithanash is not 'in' Taran's Peak'”Castle Ithanash is Taran's Peak.  The very wall from which it protrudes is a part of the castle itself, with alcoves and stone hatches from which crossbowmen and harquebusiers take pot-shots at besiegers.  The interior of the castle is a maze of passageways leading up to the summit and down into the roots of the mountain.   The population of Issachar in its entirety could be brought within the castle walls without the slightest crowding.  Indeed, Castle Ithanash can hold within its walls half the dwarven race, which it has done before.

______Isar[/size]
Government: Ruled by Exarch, with deference to the Issach
Demographics: Ithai, Human, Gnome, Effigy
Imports: Dirigibles
Exports: Metal ore, Caecillium, Ghostwood, Fish
Important Sites: Chasm of Chiraleth
Organizations: The Clans, Riftwatchers, The Soleist Church

Isar sits in close proximity to the Ghostwood.  This proves both advantageous and problematic for the city, as the lumberjacks and sawyers harvest the light but sturdy ghostwood, but 'spirits' in the forest often pray on those who stray into the woods, or too nearby.  The creeping mist that at times pervades the region is unsettling to the community, and it seems to come from the forest.  Charms are often sold to those passing through from the spirits.  Some claim this to just be superstition, but others swear by the effect of these charms.

Important Sites
Chasm of Chiraleth: A great fissure in the earth, this was the site of a rift in planes during the War of Reunion, in which heretics opened a gateway to the Pit, through which the Ennead was meant to cross into our realm.  The Heretics were undone, and the rift closed, but the site is still an ominous reminder of the bloody business.  
Riftwatchers: The Chasm of Chiraleth inspires such fear in the people of Isar that a whole guild is dedicated to guarding it an ensuring that it not be reopened. The Temple of the Watchers was erected to this purpose.
Temple of the Watchers: This Sôleist temple overlooks the Chasm of Chiraleth.  Its purpose was to consecrate the ground that was once used for heresies and the work of demons.  The Temple is furnished with statues of Sôl's seven angels holding down the seven demons of the Ennead at the tips of swords and the points of spears.  

______Teckall[/size]
Government: Philosopher Senate with deference to the Issach
Demographics: Gnome, Ithai, Effigy, Human
Imports: Caecilium, Metal ore, Herbs
Exports: Tools, Black Powder, Firearms
Important Sites: Ruins of Amur Koth
Organizations: Academia Oscura, The Soleist Church


The center of Gnomish society, Teckall is home of Gnomish learning and innovation.  With its many libraries, universities, and laboratories, Teckall houses a host of brilliant thinkers.  It is a city of many colors, with arcane towers reaching like fingers to the sky.  A sort of purple haze fills air, obscuring the sun, but street lamps flicker with magical light.  One of the city's current projects is waste removal, as the city streets are in places nigh intraversable due to the buildup of refuse.

The city operates as a form of republic, with the people able to elect members of the state's Philosopher class to the senate for the governing of internal matters.  More than once, however, an Issach has seen fit to suspend the senate, instead placing an exarch loyal to him as executive of the state.  This invariably stirs disruption and dissent in the typically amicable relationship of the city to its emperor.  

The Undercity
While technically above ground, the Undercity lies beneath all other levels of the city.  It is inhabited by the lowest of the plebes, effigy laborers, and dwarven smiths.  The streets are piled with rubbish and in disrepair.  Most of those living here live in makeshift huts interspersed amongst the foundations of the city's grand towers.  Polluted sludge and rats fill the streets, the byproducts of alchemical experiments.  Many dwarven craftsmen have taken up residence here, as they need the sturdier bases in which to forge tools and weapons.  Most of the effigies here have the job of keeping the streets relatively clear of debris.  The people here are used to the ever present perfume of detritus and rats.

The Web
The Web forms the upper regions of the city.  Its series of tower are connected in a crisscrossing semi-pattern of bridges and walkways.  The air is populous with transport balloons that take the city's intellectual community from place to place.  It is a chaotic bustle of people, platforms, and dirigibles.  Its wonders are unmatched by any other place in Avayevnon.  Nowhere else can be found such a fleet of flying ferries.  Nowhere else are the magickal arts so widely accepted.  Nowhere else are the citizens required to be more resistant to the disease-ridden rats and possibly noxious gasses as in Teckall.  

The Academia Oscura'”Even in Teckall, the location and membership in the Academia Oscura, a secret society for the study of the mystical and magickal, must be kept secret.  While the attitude in Teckall is more open to the occult than most, the constant bustle about the city is too dangerous for all but the vaguest and most obscure knowledge of the society to be made public.  Rumors abound, but none are confirmed, about what goes on within the walls of the Academy, wherever it may be.  It is even rumored that the Philosopher Senate is composed entirely of members of the society.  Each member of the society must first study under the academy, each having a Magus teacher.  It is highly insular and selective, and admittance is as much a matter of connections as qualifications.  Students are trained in ceremonial ritual, summoning, sojourning, astrology, and alchemy.
Essik Faust'”Essik Faust is the infamous Master of the Academia Oscura.  He is known to be particularly skilled at alchemy, and due to his extraordinary old age, some suspect he has come to achieve that which all alchemists aspire to: the complete knowledge of life, of death, and of the universe and has learned to create Elixir.  Faust, however, denies these rumors, and claims that he himself still has a great deal to learn.

Important Sites
Ruins of Amur Koth'”Beyond the walls of the city lie the ruins of Amur Koth.  Once a fortress and temple devoted to worship of Pazrael, the site was razed to the ground by armies of the faithful over a thousand years ago.  Over the years its stones and bricks were repurposed for civilian use.  Now all that remains are the crumbling foundations.

______Farnesis (Large City)
Population 75,000 (35,000 Gnome, 25,000 Ithai, 10,000 Human, 4000 Effigy, 1000 Changeling)
Government: Ruled by the Issach from Issachar
Local Government: Guild Republic arbitrated by Exarch.
Imports: Spices, Crystals, Alchemical reagents
Exports: Fruit, Grains, Fish, Clockwork
Organizations:  Guild Council, The Guilds, The Academy, The Watch-Men
Personalities:  Exarch Thruel, Hardy the Dockmaster, The wizard Matric


The City of Farnesis rests atop a plateau overlooking the Azure Sea.  A steep, snaking path leads down the cliff face to the shore and the docks where ships from Crimnsea are moored.  Sailors load up their cargo onto the hydraulic lifts which move the bounty safely up the cliff for unloading in the city proper.  These visitors find everything here just slightly too small.  This is a city of gnomes and dwarves, built with some consideration of the bigger folk, but catering to the locals, few of whom rise to the five foot mark.  The market square greets them'”half-timbered buildings swamped by vendors hawking fish and fruit beneath their carts' brightly colored awnings patterned with stripes and chevrons.  It is still morning, so the clock tower in the east casts a long shadow over the square.  In the distance, smoke from the factories drifts up to mingle with the handful of airships hovering over the skyway.  

They have to duck to pass the threshold into the tavern.  Once inside, they are relieved to find they can stand up straight, but the space feels claustrophobic nonetheless, with their heads only a few inches from the ceiling.  A Dwarven lass stands behind the bar, measuring out a glass of Issacharian vintage before passing it to the tiny barmaid, a gnomish girl of around twenty.  A table is overturned, and an Ithai cavalier shouts obscenities besmirching the honor of his human companion's mother.  Rapiers are drawn, but the brass-wrought bouncer is all but on top of them already, holding them at arm's length.  Hoisting the dwarf by the collar of his tunic, the Effigy carries his flailing form to the door.  The Ithai shouts threats invoking his clan heritage up until he hits the cobblestone outside.  

Across town, the Exarch and the Council of Guilds debate whether a professor at the Academy should be tried for Treason for teaching the pagan heresies.  Some argue that as Soleism is the official religion of the Empire, to teach youths these heresies constitutes an attack on the church and the state.  Others counter that this is a slippery slope toward the banning of all practices of occultism, Anthropism, philosophy and the entire intellectual movement.  Some argue that to forbid the presentation of a viewpoint would be ungnomely, as it would deny the opportunity to increase knowledge.  They state the precedent of inquiry, making sure to remember the history of the Empire, and the Gambodel region above all, as proponents of the exploration of learning.  To convict this man would be to pave the way to closing the Imperial Society of Alchemists, the Ordo Goetia, and the Academia Oscura in Teckalia.  Artificers all over the city would be in danger of losing their jobs.  And if this happened what would become of the Effigies, who owe the artificers their existence?  In response one remarks that the people's faith is Sol is dangerously waning, and something must be done to curb the flow.  The Rebuttal comes that the Artificers played a crucial role in making the city what it is today, and that it might never have achieved a position of significance without them.  In fact the professor in question died years ago, but the council brings up the old case every now and then to use as practice honing their skills at rhetoric, since it was always one of their favorite topics to debate.

Adventure Hooks
    *An Alchemist is in need of reagents not found within the city walls, so he looks for a group of mercenaries or adventurers who can get it for him.
    *The loggers have come under attack by mysterious 'spirits of the forest.'  Investigate and resolve the threat.
    *Mutated rats and vermin stream out of the storm drains


______Brennyr[/size]
Demographics: Ithai, Human, Gnome, Effigy, Duirdin
Imports:
Exports:
Defense outpost


______Swynvale[/size]
Government: Exarch with deference to the Issach
Demographics:Gnome/Ithai, Human, Changeling
Imports:
Exports:

______Rosemead[/size]
Demographics:Gnome/Human/Ithai, Changeling, Gorim
*Imports
*Exports: Ale


Feloria[/size]
Demographics: Human, Ithai, Effigy, Gnome, Duirdin
Imports
Exports: Salt, Caecilium


Hawksport[/size]
Demographics: Human, Changeling, Ithai, Gnome, Effigy, Gorim
Imports: Food, Water, Ale



Ithegra[/size]
______Athos[/size]
Demographics: Gnome, Human, Gorim, Duirdin
Imports:
Exports:
Important Sites: Ruins of Nyracae

______Lykorae
Demographics: Human, Gnome, Gorim, Duirdin, Changeling
Imports:
Exports:
Important Sites: The Standing Stones

______Xaoonoi
Demographics: Gorim, Human, Gnome, Duirdin
Imports:
Exports:
Important sites: Xaoonoi Archipelago
Events: The Games, Tournaments


Kualam[/size]
*Imports:
*Exports: Fabrics, Textiles, Spices


Verlan[/size]
Many travelers find native Verlanians to rival their artworks in beauty. Perhaps it is the fresh, sea air that surrounds the peninsular nation, perhaps the artists so skilled at creating works of art also created living works of art in the form of their children.

Politically, the nation is run by wealthy families who gather once a month at a council in Crimnsea to discuss issues concerning the nation at large. While their actions are meant to alleviate national problems, the oligarchy works primarily for its own benefit, and only secondarily for the people.
______Crimnsea[/size]
Government: Oligarchy
Demographics: Human, Ithai, Gnome, Changeling
Imports: Wood, Engineers, Artifice
Exports: Fish, Sculpture, Art
Organizations: The Banks, The Houses
Events: Carnivale


Crimnsea's main claim to fame is Carnivale. It is a raucous celebration of drunken lasciviousness that in many ways hearkens back to a pagan past. Besides alcohol and promiscuity, it involves masquerades'”often in itself an excuse for drunken promiscuity'”art vendors, street performers, and balloon rides. As the festival has grown in fame, it has attracted attendees from farther and farther away. A new influx of guests and vendors from the Gambodel region means that Carnivale has lately begun to incorporate technological spectacle into its repertoire, including a variety of gadget vendors and steam and clockwork powered entertainments.

Crimsea is also famous for its Aquaduct, which is fed by the ocean and runs underground through a purifying station before being sent off for distribution.

Plots and Rumors
    *
Two Faced: An alchemist who concocted a potion as an experiment now regularly undergoes a monstrous transformation, preying on the townsfolk and partygoers in town for Carnivale.
    * Two Households: What started as a slight to one family's honor spread into a feud that splits the entire city in two. Fighting can break out at any moment, and unless the question is put to rest, the city will eventually destroy itself.
    * The Ghost in the Machine: An inventor claims to have invented the elusive perpetual motion machine, a machine capable of turning out work without putting any work into the system in return. The mechanics of the device don't seem to add up though, and an insidious secret holds the key to the running of the machine.
    * Pied Pipers: Street performers and itinerant troupes are common in Crimnsea, especially around Carnivale. This one is different, however. People turn out their pockets and empty their banks returning again and again to these performing street beggars. When crowds pack up their belongings to follow the performers on the road, the city stands to lose a huge portion of its workforce. [/list]

______Rovenia[/size]
Demographics: Human, Ithai, Gnome, Changeling
Imports: Wood
Exports: Fish, Sculpture, Art
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2010, 05:57:29 AM »

Religion

Sôleism

The Liber Sôlacium

And the Lord Sôl Spake unto His Children, saying:

'I Am He who Begins All Things.  I Am He Who resides on High.  I Am the Mover of All Things.  I Am the Lord, Thy God--The God of Thy Fathers, the God of Thy Ancestors, the God of the Adamites.  I Am Light, and it Was I who Led Thee out of Darkness.  I Am Truth, and if Thou Livest by My Word,  Thou shalt Flourish in the Land that I Have Given Thee.'
Sôleism is the dominant faith of Avayevnon, and has been so for over 1000 years, since the conversion of the pagans.  At its core, Sôleists believe in a single god who reveals himself in the form of the Sun, and is in a constant battle with the moon and with the denizens of the night.  The religion favors those who work in the light, both literally and metaphorically.  Those who live "enlightened" lives will be rewarded with eternal life in Paradise.  Those who live in darkness will be banished to the Pit, where no light shines.

There are groups, primarily human, who view the Adamites--those who first spread his message--as his chosen people.  Since the Adamites were a human group, much of the Sôleist church, even those who do not strictly hang on the chosen people doctrine, claim, truthfully or not, some Adamite heritage.

  • Sôl: The One True God, the ultimate creator and source of light and life.
  • Nyx: Not truly a god in the traditional sense of the word, Nyx is the reflection and opposite of Sôl; the reverberation that created death, destruction, and un-being.
  • The Host: Anahita, Bethor, Cabron, Daena, Razhista, Tanyn, and Xantros'”the seven Angelic servants of Sôl and the arbiters of His Justice.  Partly Mortal, they serve as intermediaries between the Mortal and the Divine.  Represented as rays of the sun.
  • The Fallen: Pazrael, Lillith, Samael, Belphegor, Enkidus, Minos, and Rahab'”The opponents of goodness and light, Sôl is in constant battle with them.
  • The Orators: Dubbed the Speakers or the God-talkers, a select few priests of Sôl seem to be favored with the gift of His Words.  The Orators are the mortal channel of Sôl.  To reach the highest levels of the Sôleist priesthood, one must demonstrate proof of Oration, a form of speaking in tongues, in which the Orator speaks the Sacred Words in the incomprehensible language of the infinite.As such they are given a nearly godlike reverence in their religious authority.

The Word of Sôl
The Word of Sôl comes in many forms. In some cases, it is strict and tangible, such as in scripture.  Sometimes, it is momentary, channeled through his Orators in the performance of His Will.  The best known and most firmly established of His Word takes the form of the Seven Dictae.  

The Seven Dictae

I.   Thou shalt have no other gods in my presence, and shalt not suffer them at my Table, for I am the One True God, thy creator, and thy deliverance.
II.   Thou shalt not make thyself an idol, nor a graven image of any thing in heaven or on earth, nor in the pits below, but at the dawning, turn thou thy eyes to Me, and offer Me thy prayers and thy thanks.
III.   Thou shalt not make wrongful use of any of the names of the Lord, nor shalt thou bear false witness to the Word of the Lord.
IV.   Observe the Seventh Day and keep it holy, as the Lord thy God commanded thee.  For six days thou shall do all  thy work, but the Seventh Day will be spent in fervent prayer, giving thanks to the Lord for His grace, and all that He hath blessed thee with.
V.   Thou Shalt not murder, for the power of Life and Death belongs to Him alone.  
VI.   Thou Shalt not desire, for the Lord shall provide thee thy lot.
VII.   Thou Shalt Heed and Obey those who Speak The Sacred Words and Know My Will.
 
The Angels
Said to be partially mortal, the Seven Angels serve as intermediaries between men and Sôl.  Churches are often dedicated to one angel or another.  Prayers are often addressed to Angels, with the aim that the angel appropriate to the prayer will carry the prayers to Sôl.  The Angels themselves each represent things The One True God finds pleasing.

Anahita-Angel of Charity, Kindess & Love.  Giving and Nurturing, she is the patron angel of healers and medicine, and watches over springs.  
Bethor-Angel of Retribution & Justice.  Sees to it that the guilty be punished and the righteous rewarded.  Patron angel of judges and Inquisitors.  Carries a Sword.
Cabron-Angel of Hope & Fortitude.  Indefatigable, he is the patron angel of the downtrodden; of the meek.  He wears a shining breastplate and holds a spear fashioned from a sunbeam.  
Daena-Angel of Chastity, Beauty, Family, and Duty.  Innocent, beautiful, and pure, she is the Patron angel of family.
Razhista-Angel of Truth, wisdom, and prudence.  Knowledgeable and faithful, she is the patron angel of scholars and theologians.  Holds a Mirror
Tanyn-Angel of Temperance.  Patron angel of the cities.  Weighs a jar of wine against a jar of water.  Hated by brewers and barmen.  
Xantros-Angel of Humility.  Patron of virtuous men of power.  

Heretics


"The Fallen" (Demons)
The reappearance of the Ennead gods threatened to destroy Soleism. The Faith depended on their existence being reconciled with the Faith. The Old Gods were deemed to be not gods at all, but powerful demons who were once Angels of Sol, who fell into darkness, and were subsequently banished.

Note

Those who worship Pazrael, like all other among the demon lords, do not do so for love of him or his evil--for the evil of them is acknowledged--but out of fear, desperation, or emotion. As Lord of Pestilence and Famine, he is worshipped by many who fear crop failure, or by those in plague-stricken towns who beg his mercy. Expectant mothers, who fear more of Lamashtu than Pazrael, may also call on him from time to time, to protect them and their newborn babes from harm. It is rare that Pazrael, or any other of the Demon lords be worshiped for a wholly wicked aim'”but those that do seek power, or the suppression of neighbors.

Pazrael

Pazrael: The Demon of Pride, Pazrael appears in the shape of a lion's head sitting atop a male torso with four massive feathered wings. His hands and feet are the mighty talons of a great bird of prey.

Pazrael is the plague bearer, bringer of disease on the South-Eastern wind. He rules over the skies of the Pit, and is quite fond of tempting mortals into depravity.  He most greatly enjoys the challenge of corrupting holy men.  Even in the darkness of the Pit he has heavenly aspirations; he hopes to conquer heaven, and more than once has tried to use the weakness of mortals to aid his cause.

Pazrael is a creature that spurns authority, and will seek revolution everywhere.  His goal is the end of the Church, and the end of the lord of heaver himself.  He epitomizes the treachery and contagious nature of heresy.  He is the church's most hated enemy, for off all the evils his evil of Pride infects all others, and enstills the folly that we can oppose God and survive. 

Note

Gluttons are not only those who hunger to fill their stomachs; gluttons are also those who hunger to have their tastes of other kinds fulfilled, and fulfilled perfectly. Perfectionists and fetish-holders worship Lady Lamashtu as well as those who seek food to excess. Addicts and alcoholics, who cease to function without their substances, find themselves uttering prayers and supplication to Lamashtu for her aid in helping them to their next drink, or their next high.

Lamashtu

'The vile daemoness Lamashtu is a loathsome creature who devours her owne offspring.  Suche was the punishment for her boundless appetites, and for her insolence.  Proving herself a divell of muche malice and gluttonie, she preys on mortals, feeding off unborne children and neonates, causing stillbirths, miscarriages, and grotesque deformities.'

Lamashtu: The Demon of Gluttony, Lamashtu is mother of all incubi and succubi, and of vampires. She was the wife of the first of the Adam, a divinely touched race preceding the modern humans. She seduced him, but would not relinquish dominance, and left him. She has two insatiable appetites: the first is sexual and erotic; the second is a cannibalistic appetite for children, especially young boys. Incapable of having children herself, she eats the children of new and expectant mothers. The figure of Lamashtu is one whose iconography has not changed significantly since her assimilation into Soleist doctrine. What varies greatly is the interpretation of her iconography: Lamashtu appears as a humanoid female from the waist up, but beneath the waist she is a long, sinuous snake.  Pagan Lamashtu is a mother goddess who is sometimes depicted as eating a child.  Enneadists will say that she represents the duality of 'creator'  and 'destroyer,' and that her devouring of children is symbolic of the end of life, in which we all return to the earth'”to our mother'”to be born anew.  Thus pagans see her as a figure to be both loved and feared.  She is the mortal enemy of Pazrael.

Note

Enkidus is the lord of the lusty and lustful, of the desirous and of all pleasure seekers. He appeals to those who lust after others, indeed, but also to those who seek the masochistic sensations of pain or the adrenaline rush of danger, or of doing wrong. Sensuality falls within his domain. Those who seek beauty inordinately may sometimes seek the aid of Enkidus in delivering it to them.

Enkidus

Enkidus--The Demon of Lust, Enkidus, Prince of Seduction is the father of all incubi and succubi by Lamashtu. Enkidus has an even stronger sexual appetite than Lamashtu. He is also incredibly impatient and envious. Enkidus' power is limited, and he lusts for power as much as flesh.  Like those who he tempts, he often spends as much time lavishing in decadent pleasure as he does pursuing goals.

Church theologians see Enkidus as unique in his ability to tempt us to sin, not against others, but against ourselves, for defiling our bodies with lechery and promiscuity.  And though the sin of lust may be less severe that others, it is a powerful tool for leading the righteous astray, because it FEELS good.  But it misdirects love away from Sôl and enlightenment, and instead leads us to revel in earthly delights, while the heavenly slips away.

Note

The mother of a murdered son, the lover of a slain warrior, a husband whose wife was untrue; all these may be servants of Samael, for he gives aid to those who seek vengeance. He is the woe bringer and the leveler. He helps those who seek an eye for an eye. Those who pray to him seek not wanton destruction, but one victory. They wish to smite the one who did them wrong. The problem is they care not how that victory is won, nor who should suffer for their vengeance.

Samael

Samael'”The Demon of Wrath is also called the Venom of God. He appears in the form of a dark angel with a sword. He was once God's executioner and Angel of Death. Since the fall, he is the Reaper, death dealer, father of murder. His wicked blade drips with venomous gall. He is the destroyer and despoiler; he is the havoc-bringer.

The Wrath of Samael is infectious, and dangerous, for in instills in people the love of something wrong.  It makes us wish, or perform evil on another.  Only Sôl and his Orators are fit to distribute punishment.  To inflict vengeance or death upon another is to usurp the authority of the One True God. 

Note

As the Demon of Greed, those who seek material gain through their toils may look to Asterion for a more fruitful harvest. The Merchant seeking wealth may ask of Asterion to ensure that there is good business for his shop, and that the market turns to favor him. The miser who would hoard his hoard from foes might ask of Asterion to protect his wealth. They must beware however, lest their love of riches lead them seek to take it from all others, and to work wickedness upon his fellow man.

Asterion

Asterion--The Demon of Greed, Asterion is possessed of Avarice for Gold and acquisition of all things. Such is his wealth, that he imprisoned his daughter in a tower of crystal to prevent her becoming pregnant. Asterion hungers endlessly for riches. The more he acquires, the more he desires. He is hateful and spiteful of others and despises anyone else with money, and anyone without money. He is envious and will invoke treachery to acquire more of that which he desires. Asterion is nearly ten feet tall, with red skin and one foul eye. That eye is Asterion's most feared weapon, for it has the ability to turn any man it sees into solid gold, giving a new meaning to "worth your weight in gold."

By representing greed, Asterion is a dangerous being because he instills excessive love in the material.  Silver and gold are earthly gains that cannot be taken to the next life.  Their acquisition only serves to distract the faithful from true salvation and enlightenment. 

Note

Nodens is Patron of the overworked. Those who tire and seek an end to toil find it in Nodens, who gives them petty magicks in exchange for supplication. He is sought by those who weary under hardships. The worst of those who seek him would cut corners; the lazy, who won't do any work the need not do'”and Nodens obliges them too well.

Nodens

Nodens'”The Demon of Sloth, Nodens lures mortals into inaction. It is said that "all that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."Â That is Nodens' purpose. To make good men do nothing. He brings negligence and apathy, and eventually ignorance. Nodens is one of the worst demons, because he is subtle. He does not cause overt immediate harm, so he is not cast aside as easily as the others. Nodens provokes laziness by providing suggestions; ideas; gifts. He seems helpful, but with each of his gifts, his subjects grow more lethargic, more apathetic. He is represented by the donkey and can appear as either a horned and bearded devil or as a beautiful naked woman.

Note

The prevailing sentiment among those who call upon Rahab is Schadenfreude. The sense if injustice at another's (obviously underserved) success, and the jealousy leads many to wish the downfall even of good friends, to say nothing of bitter enemies. Those who succumb to these feelings sometimes invoke Rahab in carrying out the plot. Rahab is the demonic Patron of the have-nots.

Rahab

Rahab'”The Demon of Envy, The Leviathan is resentful of the other demons. Rahab was cast deeper than any other demon, into the depths of the Hells, to the watery tomb away from the other demons. Leviathan works to poison the minds of mortals who are not so lucky as their comrades. He preys on their sense of justice and injustice. Why should they deserve it more than I? Leviathan is, perhaps the most treacherous of demons, for lacking the power of others, he seeks the downfall of those around and above him. He is constantly plotting some new vengeance, some new trickery. His appearance is not always the same, at times he appears as a massive whale with nigh impenetrable skin; other time he is great serpent with the head of a dog.

The Ennead
The Adam came out of the south bringing the religion of Sôleism with them. The people they brought under their rule, they found in large numbers to be of the belief in an Ennead: Nine deities, which to them corresponded to the 7 Demons of Sôleist myth, the Sun, and the Moon. Seeing the worship of these false gods so prominent, the Sôleists engaged in a holy struggle to rid the world of the influence of the demons. The filth of the demons had to be purged one way or another. Those who would not convert were declared the enemies of the True Faith.

 The Goddess
The Goddess represents the Cycles of life, and that which is eternal.  Her symbol is the Moon, and her three forms correspond to its waxing, full, and waning cycles.

Lúghra:  The Maiden.  Her symbol is the crescent of the new moon.  She is the goddess of spring.  She is fiery, youthful, and powerful.  Simultaneously virginal and sexual, she rules poetry, music, and creativity, and dances with Enkíodus.  As the divine child, she represents a state of primal innocence, magick, and possibility.  Lúghra is considered to rule over waters and tides.  Though one of three personae of the Goddess, it is Lúghra whose name has come to refer to the Goddess whole.

Lamáistiú:  The Mother.  The full moon is her symbol.  Depicted with a pregnant belly, with animals suckling from her breasts, and wearing a crown of wheat, she represents abundance and fertility.  She is Mother Earth.  She provides for her children, but must also be where they reside in death.  She always takes her children back into herself.  Therefore is she sometimes depicted as eating her children.

Moireán: The Crone.  She is represented by the crescent of the waning moon.  She is the goddess of fate, warfare, contests, and death.  She is keeper of the Tablet of Destiny, which records the fate of all living things.  She is sometimes known as 'The Grey Lady,' or 'The Phantom Queen.'  In myths, to court her is to carry her favor in battle, ensuring victory.  Because of this, when pagans of the Ennead go to war, they leaders bed a priestess who is said to be possessed of the spirit of Moireán.  To see the Grey Lady is often an omen of death, especially if you find her washing your clothes.


The God
The God represents the vital force; the spark of life.  He is powerful yet fleeting.  His symbol is the sun, but he comes in four forms.  These forms exist concurrently and consecutively.  They are all part of the same entity, yet they have simultaneous life and separate consciousness.

Enkíodus: The Youth.  He is the Sunrise.  Horned god of desire and ecstasy, he is lord of the dance, he is joyful and sensuous.  He is the most primal and animal of the aspects of the god.  His five horns represent the senses and virility.  He is the father of animals humans alike.  His artistic aspect is Painting and his particular sense is Tongue, which represents taste and speech. He represents both free speech but also false speech. He is therefore the god of Eloquence, language, and music.

Enkidus' cult is devoted to sensation and the ecstatic state. Their worship and rituals tend to be hedonistic in nature, but his adherents seek out sensations of all kinds. They seek to feel ice and fire, the kiss of lips, and the sting of the whip. They seek the buzz of liquor and the thrill of chase. Since they value feeling, voice, and music, they are prone to performance, and his cult frequently puts on dramatic spectacles.

Asterion:  The Father.  The aspect of Asterion is the King of the living and possessor of the wealth and abundance of Lamáistiú.  Depicted with the head of a bull, which is representative of wealth, he possesses the all seeing eye of the Sun at high noon, shown hovering above his head.  He is ruler and protector of all life, and his gaze can turn to gold whatever it looks upon.

Pazrael: The Sage.  Pazrael is the bringer of knowledge, stealing the Book of Secrets from Nódens and giving it to mankind.  As the Sunset, however, he also represents dying and decline, ruling storms, plagues, and disease.  He has a Lion's head, representing the thunder, four wings representing the four winds, and is seen covered in boils and poxes.  Pazrael represents the principle of all order dissolving into Entropy.  He upsets the established order of Asterion, and foments revolution.  He loves ideas, gossip, and change.  He preserves the greater balance by laying low the high.  Viewed through the lens of Soleism, he is, in many ways, the epitome of Heresy. 

Cults dedicated to Pazrael tend to be ill-fated and short lived. His priests understand that Pazrael is far more interested in revolutions and shaking foundations than he is in supplicants, and an organization to worship a deity of disorder is rather a contradiction in terms. Some groups gather for that very reason. Most groups disband due to disagreements on cult structure, and what should be considered orthopraxy, or if such a thing should exist.

Nódens: The Ancestor.  Nódens represents the night.  He is King of the Dead and guardian of the Sojourn.  He rules sleep, dreams, and visions, and he is the keeper of secrets.  It is he who brings dreams, hidden by his cloak of shadows, and he who keeps all knowledge in his Book of Secrets.  He creates the visionary city of Temaire in the land of the dead, and is lord of all that might be, for as the master of dreams, he rules imagination and invention.  He has the head of a hound, for he guards the gates of the land of the dead.

Occult Knowledge and Technical skill are among the things most valued in the cult of Nodens. His cult is not strongly organized in a pervasive sense, but rather, he has a number of specialized cults dedicated to an aspect of his profile. Some of his cultists focus on the Occult, delving into dreams and their interpretations, seeking skill at Magick, and divining the future. Others focus on imagination and creativity, and go into music or poetry, or become inventors and engineers. Some merely focus on whatever craft they work at, and put their worship into their employment.

 

In Character

Lúghra unites with Enkí­odus
Asterion is born from Lamáistiú
By Moireán's omen, Pazrael brings decay,
And Nódens returns to Lamáistiú's embrace.

Out of Character

Another myth, which involves Lúghra's grief for the death of the god, results in her tears flooding the earth, accounting for the formation of the Weeping Sea.  It is thought that anytime it rains, it is the result of her grieving.  This has led to a ritual for rain-calling.  In times of drought, pagans will re-enact the death of the God to remind her of the event and stir her tears.


The Pagans
In Pagan Tradition, first of the Everborn, the Ennead represents the primordial aspects of nature.  Among them are represented the most basic and primal forces. Among their number were the Sun, Moon, Storms and sickness, hunger, and desire.  These were the unending cyclical forces of nature--the personified link between the worlds of men, animal, and plant.  As such, they are often depicted with the heads of animals, or with other non-anthropic features.



Cults



 
A philosopher once said, the finest harmony is composed of things at variance.  By that estimation, the god entropy and magic is a lovely string quartet.  Any humorist will tell you that the key to a good joke is juxtaposition, and Paride should know; he's always beside himself with glee. Paride (per-É-dÄ“) is discord and strife, and he is change.  He is the ultimate order of the universe.  He is the parodic paradox.  His Truth is that there is only change.  Change; the juxtaposition of the old and the new, is the very definition of reality, and reality is biggest joke of all.  Some would think of 'Change is a constant' to be a contradiction in terms, but then, Paride is a contradiction in himself.  The Four Humors of Paride are in constant conflict, defining his changing identity with one of four temperaments, tempering each of four realms of magical thought.
 

The Comedians
Often dressed in garish clothes of bright and tasteless colors, the comedians wear exaggerated masks with theatrical plastered grins. 

The Grand Joke:  The Comedians are ruled by the central tenet of their philosophy: Life is a joke.  It is an idea they attempt to spread, and they do so by performing grotesque spectacles for the townsfolk, on whom their peculiar sense of humor is often lost.  They display the world in all its ugliness, and all the while make light of it.  Their farces hold a fundamental sense of being incomplete, however, and a Comedian would tell you that this is because the joke isn't finished yet.  Some people cry when they look at the world, but those who know the Punchline on and laugh. 
The Punchline:  The "meaning of life," according to the Comedians: The ultimate secret.  You spend your whole life waiting for the Punchline, but how many hear it?  How many are really listening?  They are always seeking to discover the Punchline, though it is said that, as the last cruel joke of fate,  we only ever learn it at our deaths.


 
'Who decides?'
'Decides?  It is written!  We are tragedians, you see? We follow directions. There is no choice involved. The bad end unhappily, the good, unluckily. That is what tragedy means.'
--Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

The diametric opposite to the entropic force of Paride, Moira'”the spinner of fate'”sees all ends.   She is goddess to a cult called the Tragedians.  She is all order; solemn and sombre, blank, working the mechanism of her loom.  She minds the weave, and writes the tragedy.  Her followers are keenly aware that all ends in tragedy.  That is why they are the Tragedians.  None know her mind; none know her motivations; not even her cult lays claim to that knowledge.  The most one can know of her is one's own fate, and that is knowledge bought at a heavy price.  But is she all powerful, or can Fate be overcome?  Is it truly writ, set down for the players to act out, or can it be made, forged, bent and molded to the Will?   Whether Fate is written or made, Moira is known to appear to those whose doom is upon them.  Holding the unbroken string of cause-and-effect, she is the unerrant judge.  Some would call her callous, some cruel, but she is, by definition, fatal. 
 

 
Once great men, the Tragedians have suffered a terrible fate and find themselves doomed to repeat it until the end of their days.  Strangely masochistic, the tragedians seek to punish themselves for their flaws, for their errors, and kneel before the architect of their downfall, the mistress of fate herself.  Convinced of her inerrant plan, they have come to the revelation of their error; their peripeteia, that ensured the dread outcome. 
Peripeteia: It takes one who has lost everything, who has seen the tragedy of his existence, to seek out the Tragedians.  It is not comfort they seek, but commiseration.  The peripeteia is the quality which binds all tragedians.  It is the reversal of circumstances; the moment of realization that all is lost.  In the eyes of the Tragedians, all those who have truly fallen are among their number.  Initiation into the cult itself, however, requires a more terrible revelation:  that with Moira holding the strings of fate, there is no choice at all.  Against her there can be no victory.  It is only those that grasp this in its crushing depth and weight that ever reach initiation. 
Initiation: The initiation itself is a grotesque spectacle; a perfectly orchestrated ritual reenacting the downfall of the initiate.  It is always in five acts, with the initiate playing the tragic hero, the High Priests in Support and the remainder filling the role of chorus, chanting our their morbid dirges in Strophes and Antistrophes.  It is in this grim ceremony that the High Priests proclaim the Tragic Flaw.
Hamartia: The Tragic Flaw is unique to each Tragedian.  The fullness of the hamartia contains both the moment of error that sealed the Tragedian's fate, and the internal fault that chose their path.  The Tragedian knows that while a fault alone does not a downfall make, an action cannot be removed from its cause.
Unity of Action:  The Tragedians believe that all life is composed of a single plotline--to use storytelling terminology.  Everything adds up to the ultimate conclusion and all have their part to play.  Therefore, the Tragedians see themselves as each being of a singular purpose.  They are single-minded in the extreme.  Their story ended with their own downfall, now they are without purpose.
Catharsis:  A purging, catharsis is what the Tragedians seek above all.  Having no part left to play in the fate of the world, the Tragedians seek penance for the wrongs they were destined to commit.  They seek to purge themselves of their wrongs, of their passions, wallowing in self-pity and self-loathing, by tempting death experiencing the height of fear.  They seek to purge themselves of their misdeeds through pain and anguish.  They flagellate and torture themselves with hunger, bondage, illness, and pain.  A stoic temperament is best to face eternity, and it is achieved only through catharsis.

Mechanism
A newcomer on the religious scene is Mechanism.  The established religious traditions tend to look on Mechanism as a dangerous cult.  The new religion is favored by Artificers and many of the so-called moderns.  It is centered on the idea that the world runs like an intricate clockwork mechanism'”that in fact it IS an intricate clockwork mechanism.  For how inert this might make the world sound, Mechanists believe in the mystical nature of the workings of things.  Mechanists do not deny the existence of spirit, they merely claim that Spirit and Matter are One.  Alchemy is a sacred art'”considered key to the understanding of the supreme malleability of matter, and the infinite combinations of cogs and gears.
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2010, 05:58:08 AM »

History
[/font] [/size]
Why do we care about the past? The past shows us where we come from, and where we may one day return. There are lessons in the past worth repeating, and dangers, mistakes, and missteps that we risk trotting out again if we do not learn those lessons well. But there are also glories in the past, and wonders that we have lost along the way, and if we can only retrace our steps, we might just find them again.

There are many ways to look at the past. Some start from the beginning of all things, with theories of creation or the slow growth of ages. This approach may suit the theologian, but it is useless to our historians. If we cannot postulate the beginning of history or time, we cannot use it as a starting point. But there is another solution.

Wherever we turn, it is the light shining and reflecting from those objects closest to us that reach our eyes first. It is those things that are closest to us that we perceive the soonest. Why then, should the subject of history not start with ourselves? Our present? Our now?

__________Age of Rebirth

The current age. It plays off of an old folk belief in reincarnation, and refers to the return of the Ennead gods to the world, approximately a century ago. In a more symbolic sense, it stands for a new age in which ancient knowledge is being sought out and rediscovered

The Inquisition

After the events of the Awakening, the threat of heresy to the establishment of the Soleist Church was proven. Tyrolean I called together the Solari to meet at Lykorae for a special council. The Edict of Lykorae ruled that in all nations that still held fast to the belief in Sol, an Inquisitorial Tribunal would be established to root out heresy for the good and safety of the flock.

One of the Solari, a man called Proditus, was named the first Grand Inquisitor. He personally led the Tribunal of Shardmoore, and all branches of the Inquisition would report to him. He himself deferred only to Tyrolean himself.

Proditus the Betrayer

Over time, it appears Proditus was corrupted by prolonged exposure to heresy, and he went mad with it. In the year 27 AR through his influence and commanding personality, he led astray a sizable faction of the clergy, and led an attack on the Lord Pontiff and the City of Shardmoore. He stormed the Dawn Temple during Sunday Worship, and assassinated Tyrolean I.

Proditus attempted to seize control of the City and the Church, but he was captured and executed by a council of Solari, who ruled that he had succumbed to the evils of heresy. The council also convened on how to prevent such an event from happening in the future.

The Council of Teneret

The following laws were ruled on by the Council of Solari at Teneret in 27 AR:

    The office of Grand Inquisitor would be given term limits of 7 years
        * To be eligible for the office of Grand Inquisitor, a candidate must have served for at least 3 years on an Inquisitorial Tribunal.
        * No one could serve on an Inquisitorial Tribunal in any capacity for more than 10 years consecutively.
        * Immediately following the end of an Inquisitor's term of office, whether they had served the maximum legal term or not, said Inquisitor must spend at least a year in monastic seclusion.


Theocracy in Bizhentluus

In 6 AR King Menclar Flameheld was assassinated, pushed from the north tower of Castle Shardmoore. He was without an heir, and in the chaos of the Awakening, the people of Bizhentluus needed something to unite behind. Since the city of Shardmoore had long been considered Soleism's holy land, the Church seemed the ideal choice.

The aristocracy was convinced to submit to what was at the time deemed a "Theocratic Monarchy," wherein the installed head of the Church would act as King, and the aristocracy would be eligible for clerical office. The man who was the effective head of the Church at the time was a man called Tyrolean. This arrangement made him Lord Pontiff Tyrolean I.

The Crusades

The Awakening of the Ennead led to the widespread outbreak of war all across the face of Avayevnon. In the beginning, much of this was very chaotic and unorganized. Lords fought against lords, and cities fought cities, and landed gentry fought to protect their property from encroachers. With the new theocracy in Bizhentluus, however, the Church as an organization gained a political force it did not have before. Since the Church was now also an established ruling body of a country, all those loyal to the Church, were almost by default the new allies of the state of Bizhentluus. Thus, when Bizhentluus declared open war on heresy, the rest of the Soleist world joined them.

It became a full fledged crusade, but the matter was complicated by the fact that the pagans and heretics had few geographic locations that truly and fully belonged to them. It was not possible for the united armies of Sol to march together on one location, but instead they fought on the threshold of civilization--in the fields and farmlands; in the woods and mountains. In some cases, they even fought within the cities themselves. The heretics waged guerrilla warfare, harassing the armies of the crusaders, drawing them and thinning their ranks.

In some cases, gods walked among men, working wonders and wreaking havoc.

Rebirth and After

The Awakening, or as it is variously called, the Return, the Rebirth, or the Resurrection, was at once the most wondrous and most cataclysmic event in the history of Avayevnon since mythic times. Forgotten for almost one thousand years, the Old Gods of the Ennead woke up. They had been dismissed for a thousand years--passed off as dead, or even the delusions of our ancestors' active imagination. But nevertheless, the Dead Gods rose. For the first time in the historical record, the gods made their presence known. They walked the earth and left their mark where they would.

The Rebirth

Some say that the heretics, or pagans as they also came to be called, performed some ritual to summon the gods, and bring them to life. Others say that the surge of belief in them over the course of a few short decades was in itself enough to reinvigorate them. Whatever the true cause, the effect could not be denied: chaos.

Rains came in droves, and the Weeping Sea overflowed its normal bounds and flooded much of the surrounding lands. Shardmoore was flooded, the city of Isar became a waterfront community, and the Burning Bog did not flame for a month. The moon was seen to be closer and larger than ever before, in some cases, appearing to take up half the sky. The tides were unprecedented. Farnesis was nearly destroyed by tidal waves, and Verlan was ravaged. The Xaoonoi Peninsula was all but boiling. The meteorological phenomena were unheard of.

Plague broke out, decimating the population. The densely populated northern regions of Issachar, and Bizhentluus were hit the hardest, although Verlan suffered greatly as well.

In some lands, farms and fields saw the greatest returns on record, while elsewhere, fecund fields went fallow, and would yield nothing. Infant mortality shot up, as did the number of women who died in childbirth.

In Rosemead, at one point every fertile woman in the town was impregnated in the span of about a week. That year there were high reported instances of adultery and rape, but a number of women who found themselves with child had had no sexual encounters of any kind (that they were aware of).

Wars were common, and duels of honor became more frequent.

Causes of the Awakening

Historians cite the Church's complacency and laissez faire attitude towards heresy towards the end of the Solar Epoch as allowing for the return of the Ennead. Heretics in those days went largely unchecked, as there little to no regulations to keep track of them, and no official laws forbidding alternate religious beliefs anywhere in Avayevnon, not even in Shardmoore. Throughout the period, a number of arrests were made on anyone who made enough of a disturbance, but even radical prophets were tolerated, albeit not welcomed, so long as the peace remained unbroken.

This form of religious marketplace meant more options and more opportunity for doubt within the less than clerically devout churchgoing demographic. With so many options, but none of them large scale, no movement seemed any remote threat to Soleism, but over time, the alternate religions together gained a significant portion of the populace all over northern Avayevnon.

Note

The reasons for this particular pantheon being chosen by the heretics is debated, but the preexisting liturgies and mythology on the Ennead have been cited as possible explanations for their popularity.
Over time, these alternate religions came to hold a strange form of collective identity, in spite of vast difference in belief and practice.This bizarre sense of kinship merged with competition led to a number of the smaller cults being assimilated into larger ones. Ultimately a set of nine deities formed the core of heretical worship. These nine were old pagan gods of pre-Soleian times.
   
There hadn't been a major war in 300 years. There was the petty bickering among vassals, and the occasional border dispute and encroachment, but little more than skirmishes. The framework of the old empire remained; even its authority had faded. Peoples and nations exchanged trade and ideas. They lived together and learned from each other, and were, in most everyone's opinion the peak of utopian living. Such a life could not endure long.

The standard of living had improved so much since the Lunar Epoch that death had become strange. Only the very old died on a regular basis, and any time when a young life was taken, it was a shock to all who heard. It was as though , for a time, the anthropic races had forgotten about trouble, as though they'd never heard of war, of hunger, of disease.

In the end, their prosperity would betray them. They did not know how to handle adversity. People became decadent, living beyond their means, drinking and indulging themselves into a stupor. They did not even see the cities becoming crowded. In truth, it was only a matter of time.

Causes
    Church Complacency
        * Decadence
        * Economic Stagnation
        * Military Stagnation
        * Political Stagnation
        * Overconsumption
        * Overpopulation

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Brother Guillotine of Loving Wisdom
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2010, 05:58:45 AM »

[size=35]
Life in Avayevnon
[/size][/font]  Humours
 

Burnham, the Barman

Certain people just have a way about them; a way in which they just can't help but live their lives.  Mel is a hopeless romantic.  Hopeless.  That's just the way he is.  He can't change the way he is; he's a Sanguine.  Fife is grumpy old fellow, but he's always been that way.  He's just unfortunately Choleric.  People have certain Humour to them, or temperament, that show what kind of person they are.  It's not always clear right away, but by the time a person reaches adulthood, it seems to be fairly clear what kind of disposition they've got.  Some people, doctors I guess, study people's temperaments, figure out what makes '˜em tick.  They've charted the whole thing out.  They've got worked out some relation of hot and cold to wet and dry.  Like, Choleric folks like Fife is hot and dry.  Didn't need a doctor to tell me that.  And them Phlegmatics is cold and wet.  As a Sanguine, that has Mel hot and wet.  Heh, well, if that's what you mean by wet . . .

 
Choleric

C

Choleric-Sanguine

CS

Sanguine

S

Choleric-Melancholic

CM

Phlegmatic-Sanguine

PS

Melancholic

M

Phlegmatic-Melancholic

PM

Phlegmatic

P



The Base Humours
Choleric: The Choleric temperament is associated with the fluid of yellow bile, and is associated with the summertime and the element of fire, due to its qualities of dryness and heat.  Cholerics are strong personalities, tending to be charismatic, energetic, and passionate.  Their ambition, confidence, strong-will, and charisma make them natural leaders, but their impulsivity, stubbornness and narrow-mindedness often leads them astray.  They have a tendency to dominate other personality types, especially phlegmatic types.  They are easily angered, however'”a trait aggravated by their suspicion, and a number of their aforementioned qualities.
Merits:  Energy, Charisma, Passion, Ambition, Confidence, Strong-willed
Faults: Anger, Suspicion, Impulsive, Narrow-minded, Stubborn, Arrogance
Sanguine: The Sanguine temperament is associated with the blood, the spring, and the element of air, being hot and moist.  Sanguines tend to be extroverted and optimistic, if a bit fickle.  They have a tendency to start projects, but have difficulty carrying them to completion if they cease to be enjoyable or interesting.  They tend to be scatter-brained, and do much of their work through improvisation and spur of the moment impulsiveness than by following plans.  They are always exciting, if not dependable.  They are often sensible and creative, seeing things others could not.  
Merits: Optimism, Extroversion, Friendly, Creative, Playful, Amorous
Faults: Capricious, Easily bored, Undependable, Absent-minded
Melancholy: Associated with Black Bile, the Melancholic temperament is cold and dry, associated with the earth and with the autumn.  They tend to be very introverted, sometimes to the point of cutting off those around them.  They are consumed by their thoughts, and are often creative.  Like the Sanguine temperament, melancholics are likely to begin projects and not finish them, but where for Sanguines this is from lack of interest, for Melancholics it is out of perfectionism.  If a project cannot be completed to perfection, a Meloncholic may abandon it, or opt not even to begin.  Melancholics tend to over-think, often to the point of being self-defeating.  They attempt to analyze details when they should be taking action, or think themselves into a corner.  This does not ease the Melancholic's tendency to view the world in terms of pain and failure, fixating on its cruelties, tragedies, and injustices.
Merits: Intelligent, Thoughtful, Creative, Determined, Analytical
Faults: Over-thinks, Hesitant, Despondent, Perfectionist
Phlegmatic: Named for the fluid Phlegm, Phlegmatics are cold and wet temperaments associated with the winter and the element of water.  Like water, phlegmatics tend to go with the flow.  They are a more submissive and follower-type personality, and are especially so in the presence of a choleric personality.  They are consistent and dependable.  They tend to like patterns.  A daily schedule or ritual is a comfort to them, and when they see a pattern forming around them, they are often compelled to follow it. They often have predetermined ways of dealing with difficult situations, and have difficulty adapting if these methods fail.  They have a powerful equilibrium, and are not easily moved to strong emotions.  They are more often drawn to observation and reason than emotion as ways of knowing.  
Merits: Recognize patterns, Dependable, Content, Calm, Rational
Faults: Easily manipulated, Predictable, Difficulty adapting, Conformist

The Complex Humours
Choleric-Sanguine: A mix of two hot humours, Choleric-Sanguines are even more impulsive than their Choleric and Sanguine counterparts.  They tend to make things up as they go, living by their wits, but the strong will of the Choleric gives them the drive and stubbornness to follow through where a Sanguine might lose interest.  The extroversion of the Sanguine temperament combined with the charisma of the Choleric means that these folk tend to make a lot of friends very quickly.  Between the caprice of the sanguine and the anger, suspicion, and stubbornness of the Choleric, however, they are unlikely to form many long-lasting close friendships.
Phlegmatic-Sanguine:The sanguine-phlegmatic is a, friendly, extraverted individual who is very sensitive to the needs, moods, and feelings of other people. He desires harmony in relationships, but has a strong need to please, and has difficulty saying 'No.' They are known to overcommit, and exert themselves beyond their means in order to meet others' needs. Their sensitivity to the moods of others means that the often internalize any criticism. They often find it difficult to find the right words to express themselves, so they end up talking much more than is needed, repeating variations of the same statement, or providing excessive detail.
Phlegmatic-Melancholy: Phlegm's conformism combined with melancholy's perfectionism makes these folk very good at following instructions to the letter. They are obsessed with their routine, manifesting in extreme anxiety disorders in some, or forms of autism in others. The Obsessive-Compulsive falls under this category. They are very self-conscious, obsessing over all their perceived imperfections, and deviancies. Some of these can be very concerned with the latest trends and fashions, and constantly seeking them out.
Choleric-Melancholic: A mix of two dry temperaments, Choleric-melancholics often have a similarly dry sense of humor.  The suspicion of cholerics combined with the tendency of melancholics to over-think  and over-analyze leads to a tendency towards paranoia, and the mix of Choler's anger with Melancholy's perfectionism creates a tendency for intense bouts of rage when things aren't going their way.  They are headstrong, however, with a mix of ambition, energy, creativity, stubbornness and perfectionism, which results in a person who will settle for nothing less than exactly what they want.  This may take years, or come at incredible cost, but their single-minded devotion'”one may say obsession'”with a particular model of perfection cannot be stifled short of their deaths.

Disease
While each person has a set humour or arrangement of humours that define their personality, in all people the four humours exist to some degree, and must be kept in a degree of balance.  This functions rather like a scale: more weight on one side than the other will tilt the scales, but too much weight on either side can cause the whole scale to upset.  This is the source of disease.  When a person's humours are drastically out of balance, they grow physically ill.  Any number of things can upset the balance of humours, from stress and grief to magic and curses.

As might be expected, diseases are grouped in four basic types, based on which of the four humours they cause to be out of balance with the others.

Choleric: Cholera, Dysentery, High Blood Pressure, etc.
Phlegmatic: Congestion, Diarrhea, Fever, etc.
Sanguine: Mania, Red Pestilence, Vampyre's Contagion, etc.
Melancholic: Depression, Insomnia, etc.

Red Pestilence

In Character

It was midday in San Riezco and the filthy streets were deserted.  The streets were always deserted as of late.  The people were under orders from Shardmoore not to leave their homes.  None dared; they feared a creeping menace in the shadows and right before their eyes, a fate unpredictable and deadly.  It could not be seen until its work be done, and by then it has passed and left only the corpses of those who would detect it.  Some called it an unholy blight, but all agreed that whatever it was, it must be avoided at all costs, but how can you avoid an enemy that does not live or die, who does not eat or sleep, who cannot be seen nor heard?

The silence was rudely broken by the clottering of cart-wheels upon the uneven cobblestone of Via Pureza towards the afflicted home.  Ahead of the cart strode a tall man with black robes and a mask of a great ibis bird, its long bill stuffed full of hay and cloth.  Upon the cart lay three emaciated figures each a peculiar shade of deep red.  They were dead.  The ibis-masked man mounted the three roughly hewn stone steps to the modest and dirty doorway.  He took hold of his long straight staff and rapt upon the door with its end.  It was long and black with a silver censer at the end hanging from a chain of two links so that it could be swung lightly from side to side for blessings.  The door cracked open and a yellowish eye peered out at the priest.  The two whispered a few snatches of conversation and the door closed, removing the yellow eye from sight.  

Some minutes later the door opened once more to reveal an aging man with a grizzly two-pronged beard.  He wore a filthy brownish jerkin over a tattered shirt more yellow with stains than white.  He walked hunched over from the weight of what was clearly once a woman.  She wore a fearful, pained expression on her lined and once beautiful face.  Her skin was dripping red from every pore and orifice and the spots marked clean by the mans grimy hands shone eerie white, and beneath her skin could be seen a web of mangled varicose veins, as if whole blood vessels had ruptured of their own volition.  The smell of her was the unmistakable smell of blood, blood which had literally seeped like sweat from her gaunt and empty shell of a body.  Scholars and priests called this Cruentus Contagium'”Laypeople called it Red Pestilence.  This was the plight of San Riezco.

Cruentus Contagium
Called Red Pestilence by common folk, this plague can sweep through cities and town, putting thousands in quarantine at a time and killing mercilessly.  Its victims sweat blood as their veins and arteries burst.  It is known to put entire wars on hold as both sides seek shelter from the predatory plague.  Battles and wars are lost by unfortunate armies caught in the path of the deadly contagion.  Some of the most desperate turn the plaue on their foes, catapulting their sick and dying into enemy camps to infect their foes.

Red Pestilence is an unholy blight upon Avayevnon.  It was spawned by the demon Pazrael, the world's most insidious foe and he sends it to wreak havoc on the land.  Only an act of faith can rid someone of the plague and holy water is employed as a defense.  Once infected, a victim is quarantined to prevent the disease from being spread to others.  Orators invoke the One God in their treatment of the diseased.  There have been stories of druids similarly able to cure victims by invoking spirits.  Such stories are unconfirmed.

Infection:  Red Pestilence is spread by rats and vermin.  It can be spread through injury by a bite in which the contagion is entered into the bloodstream where it causes the vessels to burst and the skin to secrete blood.  The plague can also be spread by contact with infected blood secreted from the bodies.  After the incubation period and a failed Body+Health roll the victim takes 1 shock damage each day.  This damage does not go away without receiving some sort of supernatural aid.  Roll 1 die to determine the location of the damage each day.  The difficulty to resist infection is 8.
Incubation:  Cruentus Contagium may lie dormant for as long as a ten-day once infected before the victim shows any symptoms of the disease.  Upon a failed fortitude save to resist the disease, roll 1 die to determine the incubation period before the victim begins to take shock damage.
Healing:  Ordinary use of the First Aid or Medicine skills is insufficient to cure Red Pestilence.  A victim can only be cured of Cruentus Contagium by an Orator's Lay on Hands ability.


Miasma
The Miasma is a strange, creeping fog that first emerged during the Awakening. Its exact nature is unclear, but it has been known to have strange effects on those who enter it. Some have gone mad, others have been physically mutated, or have come down with a bizarre disease. Some have disappeared completely. Some women have emerged from it mysteriously pregnant and given birth to changelings, or to monsters.

The Miasma is unpredictable, and it is partly for that reason that it is so feared. It seems to be roving, but permanent cloud, hovering just above the ground. It can come in quickly on the wind, and blow out just as suddenly. People rarely travel outside for fear of it, even on a clear day, since it's never certain when it will appear.

Case Studies
Some doctors and inquisitive folk have kept track of a number of case studies in the effects of Miasma.

Ludo Walgensian
Walgensian was out hunting in the woods near his home in Feloria when the Miasma hit. He couldn't see it until it was too late. As soon as it was upon him, he abandoned the hunt for the safety of the city where he was put in quarantine for observation by Astrov Dorn, the Plague Doctor present at the time. In a matter of days, Walgensian's teeth had rotted and fallen out, and his eyes had acquired a sunken look. He soon went mad and attacked the doctor, who luckily had tranquilizers on hand to subdue the man. Walgensian's death was called a mercy killing.

Mirra Cadish
A gnomish girl out of Rosemead returned one day after gathering berries, and upon returning home, promptly vomited. When examined, she was found to be pregnant, despite the fact that she had not yet experienced menarche. The Miasma had passed over her while she was out. She swore by Sol that she'd met no one while she was out, nor had she done anything other than the task she had left for. After a short pregnancy, the girl gave birth to a fox cub. She never again showed signs of any abnormality, but none wished to marry a girl who'd birthed an animal, so she resigned herself to the convent.

Dirigibles
 
After the isolating effects of War of Reunion, the Heresy Crusades, and The Great Purging and migrations, the cities most often found that they could not remain completely self contained and survive. They needed a way to reach the other cities, and since ground travel had been widely deemed too dangerous, travel by air became the chosen means of transportation. Dirigibles have become the primary means of travel from one Polis to another, having in one shot overshadowed travel by land and sea.  The Sky Fleet of Issachar is a powerful force, and the floating city of Hawksport has been known to darken the skies in any number of places.

_________Development
The first step in the development of Dirigibles was the invention of signaling balloons.  As it was discovered that hotter and lighter gases could lift objects, it was not long before the technology was applied on a larger scale, and people were lifted into the air in balloons heated by hot air.  For many years there was no further progress made, until the invention of mechanical engines.  The Corecian Engine, a steam engine invented by Carilo Corece was put in one of these balloons and travelled from Crimnsea to Farnesis.  The Dirigible has been a reality ever since, and while the designs have been improved with time, the basic technology remains largely unchanged.

______________Balloons
Hot Air Balloon: Hot Air Dirigibles provide lift by heating regular air.  It requires a burner or a source of fire.  A regular fire of sufficient size, held beneath the balloon in a brazier or similar container, is enough to function, though most Hot Air Dirigibles burn special oils or gasses in specially designed burners for improved efficiency and decrease heat waste.
Steam Balloon:  Some balloons have an additional boiler that fills a balloon envelope with Steam.  While this means extra fire and burning equipment, this works well at lower altitudes.  At high altitudes, however, the vapor in the balloon condenses too quickly to provide lift.  
Hydrogen Balloon:In contrast to the Hot Air and Steam Balloons, the Hydrogen balloon uses a closed balloon filled with Hydrogen.  It can travel to higher altitudes more easily, due to the lighter weight of the hydrogen, and the lower condensation point.  It requires less overall fuel, making it more fuel efficient in the long run, but the volatile nature of hydrogen makes this a more dangerous choice.  Damage to the balloon, or sparks that come in contact with the gas can set the balloon ablaze, and send the entire airship crashing to the ground.
Aether Balloon: Aether Balloons provide the advantages of Hydrogen without the volatile dangers.  It is therefore highly sought after, but it is rarer and therefore more expensive.

______________Engines
Corecian Engine: This refers to Piston operated steam engines that use gears to transfer vertical motion into rotational energy.  It is an intermediate design.
Flambergen Turbine: This style of steam turbine engine is based on ancient models, but updated to great effect.  It makes more efficient use of the thermal energy of the steam than the Corecian Engine, skipping the pistons completely in favor of channeling the steam straight into a rotational system.

_________________Keels
Gondola: A small carriage with only enough space for a two or three people at a time.  Used for surveying landscapes and battlefields, in a defense capacity; for sweethearts to view scenic vistas in a civilian one.  Not very useful for extended voyages, though they can be outfitted with a special cargo hold for one-man trips.  
Sloop: The Sloop Keel is the most common in dirigibles, as it is small and lightweight, but with enough space to allow a group of people to travel in relative comfort.   It is a versatile ship that can carry weapons, cargo, or people as befits the intentions of t its owner.  
Frigate: The Frigate Keel is built for battle.  It is light and fast, maneuverable, and packs a punch, having a long upper deck, and often a supplementary gun deck, both of which can be lined with cannons.  It is not meant to sit in the line-of-fire, though, not having the durability to last overlong under consistent fire without armor plating.  
Dreadnaught: A dirigible of this keel fears nothing.  It is a veritable flying fortress, almost always seen ironclad, and built specifically with strength in mind.  It is the heaviest keel design, and by extension the slowest, but it is typically outfitted with multiple decks of guns or ballistae.  Cargo space is limited mostly to rations for the crew and ammunitions.

_______Enhancements
Ironclad: Armor plating can be applied to balloons or to keels to make the airship more durable.  A vessel so outfitted is called Ironclad.  Adds weight which may slow the balloon or limit the amount of lift produced, but can be invaluable if attacked.
Ghostwood: Although it contains other peculiar qualities, ghostwood is used in airships primarily for its light weight.  It is used in the keels of airships to make them easier to lift without sacrificing strength.
Secondary Propulsion: Side mounted propellers allow for improved speed and maneuverability.  These propellers can be used completely in sync with the Main Engine to boost maximum speed, can be shut off to conserve fuel, or one can be reversed for purposes of quick turning.
Scything: Some airships can be equipped with blades near the aft, which can be used to cut gashes in an enemy ship, either in the keel, or a more devastating blow to the balloon.


Weapons

Ranged Weapons
[th]Weapon[/th][th] Damage [/th][th]Spray[/th][th]Area[/th][th]Penetration[/th][th] Ammo Capacity[/th][th]Reload (Turns)[/th][th]Close Range[/th][th]Maximum Range[/th][/tr]
[tr][td] Crossbow[/td][td]W in K[/td][td] 0d[/td][td] 0d[/td][td] 1[/td][td] 1[/td][td] 1[/td][td] 50'[/td][td] 150'[/td][/tr]
[tr][td] Repeating Crossbow[/td][td]W in K[/td][td] 0d[/td][td] 0d[/td][td] 1[/td][td] 10[/td][td] 1[/td][td] 50'[/td][td] 150'[/td][/tr]
[tr][td] Longbow[/td][td]W+1 in K[/td][td] 0d[/td][td] 0d[/td][td] 1[/td][td] 1[/td][td] 0[/td][td] 50'[/td][td] 200'[/td][/tr]
[tr][td] Pistol[/td][td]W in SK[/td][td] 0d[/td][td] 0d[/td][td] 1[/td][td] 1[/td][td] 1[/td][td] 10'[/td][td] 50'[/td][/tr]
[tr][td] Blunderbuss[/td][td]WK
 W+2 in SK[/td][td] 3d
 0d[/td][td] 0d[/td][td] 1
 4[/td][td] 1[/td][td] 1[/td][td] 20'[/td][td] 100'[/td][/tr]
[tr][td] Arquebus[/td][td]W+1 in SK[/td][td] 0d[/td][td] 0d[/td][td] 3[/td][td] 1[/td][td] 1[/td][td] 50'[/td][td] 150'[/td][/tr][/table]

Melee Weapons
 
[th] Weapon[/th][th] Damage[/th][th] HAR/Wound Boxes[/th][th] Special[/th][/tr]
[tr][td] Main Gauche[/td][td]W in S +1k[/td][td] 3/2[/td][td]+1 Initiative to Block[/td][/tr]
[tr][td] Stiletto[/td][td]W in S +1k[/td][td] 3/2[/td][td] -[/td][/tr]
[tr][td] Dirk[/td][td] W in K[/td][td] 3/3[/td][td] -[/td][/tr]
[tr][td] Rapier[/td][td] W+1 in K[/td][td] 3/3[/td][td] -[/td][/tr]
[tr][td] Cane-Sword[/td][td] W+1 in K[/td][td] 3/3[/td][td] Concealed[/td][/tr]
[tr][td] Greatsword[/td][td] W+2 in K[/td][td] 4/5[/td][td] +1 Initiative[/td][/tr]
[tr][td] Mace[/td][td] W in SK[/td][td] 3/6[/td][td] Penetration 1[/td][/tr]
[tr][td] War Pick[/td][td] W+1 in K[/td][td] 3/5[/td][td] Penetration 1[/td][/tr]
[tr][td] War Hammer [/td][td] W+2 in S +1K
W in K[/td][td] 4/5[/td][td]-
Penetration 1 [/td][/tr]
[tr][td] Pike[/td][td] W+2 in K[/td][td] 3/4[/td][td] +1 Initiative[/td][/tr]
[tr][td] Battle axe[/td][td] W+2 in K[/td][td] 3/5[/td][td] -[/td][/tr]
[tr][td] Labrys[/td][td] W+2 in K[/td][td] 3/5[/td][td] +1d Spray[/td][/tr]
[tr][td] Bardiche[/td][td] W+2 in K[/td][td] 3/5[/td][td] Penetration 1[/td][/tr]
[tr][td] Halberd[/td][td] W+2 in K[/td][td] 3/5[/td][td] +1 Initiative[/td][/tr]
[tr][td] Brass Knuckles[/td][td] W+1 in K[/td][td] - [/td][td] Treat as unarmed [/td][/tr]
[tr][td] Quarterstaff[/td][td] W+2 in S[/td][td] 2/4[/td][td] +1d Spray[/td][/tr][/table]

Armor
   
Armor Chart
 
[th] Armor (Hit Locations) [/th][th] Level (Type)[/th][/tr]
[tr][td]Breastplate (7-9)[/td][td]3 HAR+2 LAR[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Full Plate (1-10)[/td][td]3 HAR+2 LAR)[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Leather (1-9)[/td][td]2 LAR[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Studded Leather (1-9)[/td][td] 3 LAR[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Leather Helmet (10)[/td][td]2 LAR[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Chain mail Coif (10)[/td][td]1 HAR+1 LAR[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Iron Helm (10)[/td][td]3 HAR+2 LAR[/td][/tr][/table]  

______Adamantine
Adamantine is a rare metal scarcely, if ever, used in modern practices.  This is due entirely to its scarcity, for it is supremely hard, and highly reflective, if crafted smoothly.  It reflects enough light as to be almost luminous itself.  It suspected to have mystical qualities, and legend tells that it is this material, a gift from the angels, that allowed the Adam to spread across the face of Avayevnon and establish their empire, the remnant of which is seen in Bizhentluus.  Since the Adam originally came from the dark continent south of Fer Khemer, which remains largely unexplored, it is unknown whether the metal exists in larger quantities, but in the Northern continent, it is found almost exclusively in meteorites, which would hardly refute the claims of its celestial origin.

Adamantine is highly reflective, and seems to amplify the light it reflects.  If a character is wearing armor or a shield of adamantine while in low-light conditions, starlight or moonlight causes the adamantine to shine with the light intesity of a candle.  A candle causes it to shine with the intensity of a torch, and so forth.  In full sunlight, the light shining from it interferes with the vision of those looking at it.  Armor and shields of adamantine automatically gobble 1d from all attacks made against the wearer, this is in addition to any dice gobbled by blocking with a shield, or by dodging.  

Elves and Fae of all sorts seem to have a strong aversion to the material, and suffer a -1d penalty to all skills used with an item of such material.  They also suffer a +1 Killing Damage when struck with weapons made of or coated in adamantine.

_________Caecilium[/font]
This material, which was first found in ritual tools of extinct civilizations has been found to have tremendous amplifying properties. Alchemists have found it to be a very potent catalyst in their experiments, speeding reactions and intensifying results. As a catalyst it seems strangely universal, having applications for almost anything. It can be added to fuel for steam engines, causing the fuel to burn hotter and longer. It has been found to make dirigibles more buoyant, armor more durable, and healing salves more recuperative. It has been suggested that Caecilium is present in Blood Stones and in Moon Stones, and that the magically gifted contain disproportionate amounts of the substance in their blood. More than one spellcaster has since set out to inject the mineral into their bloodsteam, in the hopes of boosting their magical capacity for a short time.

Blood Stones[/font]
Present in all Holy Symbols of the god Sôl, and in the blades used by Inquisitors

Moon Stones[/font]
Legend tells that in time long forgotten, Lugra, the goddess of the moon and Hellidh, the Sun god, were lovers, and were happy, until an upstart to godhood struck Hellidh a deadly blow.  Lugra's grief was so powerful that her tears flooded the world.  The remains of that flood can be seen most readily in the Weeping Sea, but a number of her tears are said to have turned to stone as they fell.  These are the Moon Stones, and followers of the old gods, such as the witch cults and druids.
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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2010, 05:59:16 AM »

Magick
Spells cannot just be cast on the spot.  There is simply not enough magick in the world to fling it around on a whim.  A witch, orator, or other caster must create a magick circle to invoke the power of their deity, familiar, or bound spirit.. As they call on this power, their bodies act as the channel for the theurgic power. Powering the circle takes all of one's physical strength, and as such, the caster must forego other physical actions while casting spells.

The Magick Circle: In order to generate the necessary magickal energy to cast a spell, the caster must create a circle, or rather a sphere, which will focus the energy.  It takes one turn to raise the circle, but the caster must have some implement with which to draw the circle.  This can be chalk or salt, but could just as easily be a knife (athame), sword, or a staff.  It does not matter if the circle is visible, only that it is drawn.  Spells with casting times measured in hours allow slow buildup of energy, and can be assumed to be kept up as long as necessary without any further concern, but magick cast in the heat of battle requires intense physical exertion.  Once the circle is cast, in a combat situation, it must be maintained.  The Circle can be maintained easily for a number of rounds equal to the caster's Spell Points.  To maintain the Circle after that time deals 1 point of shock damage to the chest each round.  When the chest is filled thus, the head takes shock damage.  When the head is filled with shock, the caster collapses from exhaustion.  

The Magick Circle is like a self-contained world.  It is difficult for people and objects to penetrate the barrier between the worlds.  The Caster's Mind+Occult roll to cast the Circle gobbles all attack dice against the caster, or anyone inside being attacked from outside.  Any creature who crosses the circle immediately suffers the same Mind+Occult roll as an attack which cannot be dodged.  If a caster crosses the border of his or her own circle, intentionally or by force, the circle is broken and must be raised again to continue casting spells.

Spell Points (SP): A spell caster has a number of spell points equal to his Command Score.
Using Spells

The Meditation Skill: Using the Meditation skill, you can regenerate Spell Points. On a successful Empathy+Meditate check, you gain the height of the roll in Spell Points, not exceeding your Command score. Each die of damage you suffer during the turn you meditate gobbles one die from the width of your meditation roll. If the width of your Meditation roll is reduced to 1, meditation fails.

Terms for different kinds of Magicians
These are the true spell casters.

Sorcerer: A studious theurgic caster who binds a familiar spirit of some kind to his service, often against this spirit's will.
Necromancer: A Sorcerer or spellcaster whose familiar is a restless ancestor spirit he has called back from the grave.
Thaumaturge: A generic term for miracle workers such as the Orators.
Witch: A spellcaster (male or female) usually the servants of the goddess Lughra, whose familiar serves them freely, and need not be bound.

Magical Non-Casters
These have magical or pseudo-magical talents, but do not cast spells in the traditional sense.

Alchemist: One who experiments with chemical and magically charged reagents and catalysts to learn how to transform one material into another.  Some seek this purely for monetary gain, e.g. turning lead into gold.  Others seek something deeper, and seek a way to change themselves and break the bonds of mortality.
Artificer: One who combines magickal and mathematickal concepts to merge the arcane and mystical with the scientific.  He creates works of technology that are imbued with magick.  


Traversing the Sojourn
The sojourn is the land of the dead, and is ruled by the Sean Fir--The old ones: The fae.  Visually, the Sojourn is a shadowy reflection of the physical world, with the addition of Mount Achron, which cannot be found anywhere on the physical plane, but exists in the Sojourn, and The Isle of Iluvion which on the physical plane has been lost to the mists.  Most who are in the sojourn are spirits of the dead, making their way to Mount Achron for judgment.  It is said that how you died, and the circumstances of your life and character determine how close you are to the mountain when you arrive, and thus, how close to your final judgment.

Some spirits do not rest easily.  Some never take the path to the mountain.  These restless spirits occasionally manifest on the material as ghosts.  To those in the Sojourn, they both more and less potent.  Two creatures on the sojourn respond to each other more or less as they would on the physical.  Whereas affecting each other across the planes is complicated.  Sojourning characters may encounter spirits they would never have met in the physical world, and these spirits may not be friendly.

Sojourning characters must also beware of the Sean Fir.  One who would traverse the Sojourn would do well to befriend them, for they do not lightly suffer intruders to pass through their realm.

Spells
Spells are a way of tapping a numinous power source and turning that energy into an effect. However, channeling that kind of power forces the mind to think in radically different ways.  Those who speak to gods (and for whom gods speak back) are often viewed as insane, and for good reason.  It is a tremendous burden to be the mouthpiece of a god, exposed the transcendent mindset of divine (or profane) beings beyond mortal ken.  The experience can be extraordinarily traumatic to the psyche.  

Spells are learned either by teaching or by reading. Learning a spell usually requires a particular skill, such as knowledge of the esoteric language in which it's written. With a teacher you must see the spell intoned or used and make a Mind+[appropriate skill] roll to gain the spell. Learning a spell from a written source also requires a Mind+[appropriate skill] roll, which takes 5 - width days, weeks or months.

Spells are typically associated with one of the four humors.  This represents different kinds of magical acts.  A choleric character would receive +1d on Occult checks to perform choleric magic, but is not barred from casting phlegmatic spells if they desire to.


Spell Template
Spell Name
Skill: The skill needed to cast the spell
Requirements: Material components or special requirements.
Madness: The roll needed to avoid failed madness notches
Target: The target of the spell (Caster, Single Target, Target Area, etc)
Activation Time: How long it takes to cast the spell
Difficulty: The height of a roll needed to successfully cast the spell
Description: An explanation of the spell’s effect.


Sanguine Magic
Sanguine Magic has to do with augmentation and giving aid.  As the blood gives life and gives us strength and passion, Sanguine Magic gives the strength of aid and vigor to those who employ it. It enhances, blesses, and cures.  People skilled in this magic sometimes serve as doctors.  The converse is also true, with some physicians adding this brand of metaphysical knowledge to their healing repertoire.

Spell Types: Blessings, Healing
Terms for Casters: Sanguinists, Blood Mages, Bloodletters, Leeches

Bleeding
Skill: Occult and/or Medicine
Requirements: Athame or a blessed leech
Madness: Unnatural 3
Target: Single Target
Activation Time: 5-width minutes
Difficulty: 3
Description:  Disease are caused by an imbalance of the humors, a condition which can be corrected by ritually cutting and bleeding the target with a blessed blade.  On a successful Occult or Medicine roll, the subject is cured of any natural disease, but takes the width of the roll in shock damage to a hit location chosen by the sorcerer on casting.

Envigorate
Skill: Occult
Requirements: Holy water, tool to draw the Magick circle.
Madness: Unnatural 2
Target: Single Target
Activation Time: 5-width rounds
Difficulty: 2
Description: This spell involves a hastily drawn magic circle, with a central pentagram onto which the target lays.  The caster speaks the words, and sprinkles the target with holy water.  On a successful roll, the caster rolls 2d.  The target is healed an amount of shock damage equal to the sum of the two dice, plus the width of their successful spell roll to any location(s).  This spell also removes fatigue.


True Bloodletting
Skill: Occult and Medicine
Requirements: Silver Athame, Salt for the Magick Circle, a diamond worth 10,000 rings
Madness: Unnatural 6
Target: Single Target
Activation Time: 5-width minutes
Difficulty: 6
Description:  This spell functions as bleeding, except that it cures even supernatural illnesses like Cruentus Contagium.  

Choleric Magic
Choleric Magic deals with hexes and curses.  As cholera devastates the body, so Choleric Magic devastates those it touches.  Those who dip their feet in these waters had best be careful lest they succumb to their own poison.  But as the Choleric temperament is the most willful of the humors, this field of magic also includes spells that project the caster's consciousness or will beyond his body.

Spell Types: Hexes, Projection
Terms for Casters: Cholerist, Warlock

Blight Crops
Skill: Occult
Requirements: A vial of rat’s vomit
Madness : Self 5
Target: Target Area
Activation Time: 5-width hours
Difficulty: 5
Description: After chanting and cursing, this hex will cause all of the plants in the given area, which can be up to the size of a farm, to wither and die.  Plant based creatures instead suffer the width of the roll in damage.  

Curse of Atrophy
Skill: Occult
Requirements: A poppet or graven image of the target.
Madness : Self 4
Target: Single Target
Activation Time: 5-width minutes*
Difficulty: 4
Description: Making use of some image of the intended target, the sorcerer saps their strength.  This spell removes a number of points from the target’s Body stat equal to the width of the Occult roll used to cast the spell.  One point is lost each day, until the target reaches Body 1.  If there are more points of width left, then for that number of days, the target is bedridden and too weak to take any action other than speaking and resting.  After that time they become active again, but their Body stat remains at 1 until the spell is lifted.

Sojourning
Skill: Occult
Requirements: A casting area of five concentric circles of fire or phosphorus.
Madness : Unnatural 3
Target: Caster.
Activation Time: 5 - width minutes.
Difficulty: 3
Description: This spell consists of a litany that must be intoned within the casting area. The caster's spirit leaves its sleeping body and travels the Sojourn. The caster’s spirit must concentrate—requiring an Unnatural check—to not stray and sever the link between spirit and body.

Phlegmatic Magic
Phlegmatic Magic, which concerns the holding force and the change which stops motion.  As phlegm backs up in the throat, Phlegmatic Magic stops up the flow of energy in things.  It is, in a sense, the magic of countering.  As such, it sees a good deal of practical use for protection.

Spell Types: Shielding
Terms for Casters: Phlegmage

Counterspell
Skill: Occult
Requirements: Material components or special requirements.
Madness : Unnatural 3
Target: Single Target
Activation Time: 5 – width rounds
Difficulty: Special
Description: Choose a target that is in the process of casting, or had declared the intent to start casting, a spell.  Make your occult roll.  Any matches you receive gobble dice from this target’s spell roll matches, possibly resulting in the negating of your opponent’s spell.

Pentagram of Protection
Skill: Occult.
Requirements: An effigy shield and sword; marking material such as chalk, paint, etc.
Madness : Unnatural 3
Target: Target area.
Activation Time: 5 - width rounds.
Difficulty: 3
Description: You create a pentagram in a circle surrounded by four circles, then charge the design with the effigy sword and shield. Roll the spell's dice pool. A successful roll gives you a HAR of the height of your roll and adds 1td to your Body+Health and Empathy+Resist checks for the next width minutes. If the spell roll's width is 4 or greater you gain +2 td instead.


Melancholic Magic
Melancholic Magic concerns knowledge, communication, and mysteries.  As the melancholy seek their answers inwards, Melancholic Magic seeks to uncover truths and whys.   This school of magic involves divination, especially necromancy, for acquiring information.  It also encompasses magic  that manipulates or enchants.

Spell Types: Divination, Enchantment
Terms for Casters: Darksighted, Black Mages, Seers, Soothsayers

Casting the Lots
Skill: Occult
Requirements: Divinatory aid, such as a deck of cards, runes, or an open flame.
Madness : Unnatural 2
Target: Caster.
Activation Time: 5 - width minutes.
Difficulty: 3
Description: This spell opens your senses to time and space. In effect you can experience 'a little of the past and a little of the future' in any given location after casting with a successful Sense+skill check.  How far back and far forward you can experience equals the width of the spell roll in tens of minutes.  What you experience may trigger further Madness checks. Unfortunately, this spell often attracts the attention of astral creatures.  They can never be seen but at least one will always dog the caster's footsteps afterwards.

Whisper Message
Skill: Occult
Requirements: Familiar Spirit
Madness : Unnatural 2
Target: Single Target
Activation Time: 5 – width rounds
Difficulty: 2
Description: You give your familiar a message to relay to a companion, associate, or anyone else whose location you can estimate.  Your familiar will take the most direct route possible to reach the target, and will travel at its top speed.  An incorporeal familiar can travel in a straight line from you to your target, ignoring walls, terrain, and other impediments.  If the target is anywhere in the vicinity you provide, the familiar will find them and deliver the message, which is received as a whisper in the ear.  If the target is far from where you specify, the spell fails.  Once the message is delivered (or fails to be delivered), the familiar returns to, again by the most direct route.  Until the familiar returns to your side, you cannot cast any other spells.

Universal

Call Familiar
Skill: Occult
Requirements: Athame, salt, Pentagram of Power (optional)
Madness : Intensity 5, 7 or 9 in Unnatural (summoning a familiar spirit). See table.
Target: Single target.
Activation Time: 5 - width minutes or hours depending on what is being called.
Difficulty: See Below
Description: With this spell a witch intends to summon a familiar spirit.  The exact nature of the familiar can vary; the height of the roll determines what responds to the call.  Note that when casting you have a choice of how 'far' you want to push the spell, since the trump die gives some measure of control.
Height Familiar Spirit
4 or less Nothing Responds
5 or moreFamiliar from the Material plane, such as a house cat, frog, or monkey
7 or more Familiar from the Sojourn (incorporeal ghost-like entity)
9 or more Creature with near deific power'”an angel or a demon
Once a familiar has responded to the call it must be bound to the caster's command. Binding a creature to the caster's will is a Command+Intimidation check. Resisting binding is an Empathy+Resist check. Wise casters of this spell will set the trump die to the height of the desired familiar. There is a risk that the creature will bind the caster to its will instead; the caster should take protection against that eventuality by only 'calling' from within a Pentagram of Power (see below).

Pentagram of Power
Skill: Occult
Requirements: A sacrifice (the bigger the better); marking material such as chalk, paint, etc.
Madness : Intensity 3 in Self (or 6 or 7 for sacrifice of an animal or a person).
Target: Target area.
Activation Time: 5 - width hours.
Difficulty: 3
Description: Create a pentagram in a circle surrounded by four circles, then imbue the design with power by sacrifice. Roll the occult check.   A sacrifice of cakes and wine, is made normally.  Sacrificing an animal or an anthropic results in adding +1td to your Occult roll.  A successful roll allows you to add 1td to your Command+Intimidation and Empathy+Resist checks when binding summoned familiar spirits. If the spell roll's width is 4 or greater you gain +2 td instead.

« Last Edit: August 22, 2012, 11:50:49 PM by Seraphine_Harmonium » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2010, 03:05:51 PM »

Sample Characters

Jahren

Character: Jahren the Minstrel
Race: Changeling   
Starting Dice: 75

Traits
Children of the Twilight (Racial): Body roll as supernatural defense during dusk or dawn.
Wanderlust (Racial): +1d to Survival and Navigation
Bard Song (Path): can buy td in Perform (Song) skill.
Song of Laughter (Path): Roll Perform against target's Resist or Equilibrium or they lose turn laughing.
Song of Sleep (Path): Roll Perform against target's Resist or Equilibrium or they fall asleep.

Code:
Subtotal: 20d


Stats
Code:
Body   3
Coordination   4
Sense    4
Mind   2
Command       5
Empathy       3

Code:
Subtotal: 30d


Skills
Code:
Melee Weapon (Rapier) 3d+3d=6d
Dodge           4d+2d=6d
Navigation   2d+3d+1d=6d
Survival 2d+3d+1d=6d
Inspiration  5d+3d=8d
Perform (Song) 5d+2d+1td=7d+1td
Persuasion 3d+4d=7d

Code:
Subtotal: 27d


Violence
Code:
Failed Notches: 1 Hardened Notches: 2

Unnatural
Code:
Failed Notches: 0 Hardened Notches: 0

Self
Code:
Failed Notches: 0 Hardened Notches: 0

Helplessness
Code:
Failed Notches: 0 Hardened Notches: 0
Subtotal: -4d

 

Out of Character

If the GM is impressed by the way the player sticks to Jahren's character, or if Jahren succeeds at difficult tasks, the GM may award Jahren pips.  With enough pips, Jahren can eventually buy points in Stats or skills. Or, perhaps Jahren might save his pips to travel further down the Path of the Bard and take Song of Calumny.


 

Leonandro

Character: Leonandro DiVela  

Note

Madness Meter
Violence
Code:
Failed Notches: 1 Hardened Notches: 2

Unnatural
Code:
Failed Notches: 0 Hardened Notches: 0

Self
Code:
Failed Notches: 0 Hardened Notches: 0

Helplessness
Code:
Failed Notches: 0 Hardened Notches: 0

Race: Gnome
Dice: 100

 
Stats
Body 2
Coordination 3
Sense 3
Mind 6
Command 3
Empathy 2


Skills

Note

Traits
Absent-Minded (Racial) (1d)
Frail (Racial) (-2d)
Genius (Racial)   (2d)
Renaissance Man (2d)
Resources (2d)

Talents
Gadgeteer (5d)
->Demolitions (3d)

Occult Initiate (3d)
->Artificer (4d)
---->Personal Artifice (3d)
->Mesmerism (3d)
->Spiritu Familiarum (5d)
->Contact the Spirit World (3d)

Expert Parry (2d)
->Agile Riposte (3d)   

Code:
Melee Weapon (Rapier)   2d+2d=4d
Martial Arts (Fencing) 2d+3d=5d
Drive             3d+2d=5d
Firearms 3+3=6d
Open Lock 3+1=4d
Sight 3+2=5d
Smell 3+3=6d
Taste 3+2=5d
Alchemy            6+2=8d
Craft (Steam)  6+2=8d
Craft (Clockwork) 6+2=8d
Craft (Art)   6+2=8d
Craft (Wood) 6+2=8d
Engineering   6+2=8d
First Aid 6+3=9d
Knowledge (Religion) 6+1=7d
Medicine 6+1=7d
Occult      6+2=8d


Equilibrium   Stat+2d

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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2010, 05:31:02 PM »

Glossary of Terms
 

Note

I've decided to include a glossary for a couple reasons:  Firstly, it's a quick reference for myself and others as to general "things" in Avayevnon.  Secondly, it gives an idea of what is still to come until everything is complete.  Thirdly, it serves as a reminder to me about what I still have to do.

Academia Oscura: A secret society of magick-users, seers, and alchemists in Teckall.
Adamaic: Refers to the language, culture, and artifacts of the Adam.
Adamites: A lost tribe of humans
Aether Gas: Used in the balloons of some dirigibles for its buoyant properties.
Airship: See Dirigible
Alchemy: The art of transmogrification: alters the qualities of something, or turns one thing into   another.
Anahita: Angel presiding over water and healing
Angel: Servants of Sôl who act as intermediaries between anthropics and the god.
Anthropics: Any intelligent, upright biped, such as changelings, humans, and ithai.
Arquebus: Long-range wheel lock firearm
Artifice: Skill at invention and engineering of gadgets and mechanisms that accomplish difficult or   complex tasks.
Astrolabe: A device for navigating by the stars.  
Astrology: The study of the motions of the sun Sôl, the moon Lugra, and stars, and their effect on the behavior and fates of Anthropics.
Athos: City-state in former Ithegra
Avayevnon: The World.  Comes from old Elven word for 'Rebirth.'

Bachara: Clanless ithai, composed of outcasts and orphans.
Baldurbrock: Former nation/region of the Issachar Empire.
Ballista: A large crossbow-like siege weapon.  Often used on dirigibles in place of cannons since they don't produce sparks when fired that could ignite flammable gases in the balloon.
Balor: Demon of Greed/Ennead god of cattle, wealth, and kingship
Bard: Storytellers in the pagan tradition'”though not always pagan themselves'”versed in magical songs.
Berserker: Warriors trained to tap into an animalistic rage when they fight.
Blunderbuss: Mid-Range wheel lock firearm capable of shooting one large caliber bullet powerfully, or a   spray of projectiles at once.
Bethor: Angel of Retribution
Bizhentluus: Former nation.  Was known for religious fervor and clinging to outmoded ideals.
Black Powder: Highly flammable and potentially explosive substance.
Bloodstone: Gem sacred to Sôl.  Apparently composed of caecilium.
Bollag: Small omnivorous migratory animal that must eat almost constantly to stay alive.
Bow: A projectile weapon that launches arrows by stretching and tensing a string.  Requires more strength and training than a firearm, but the archer need not stop to reload.
Breeanen: Former nation.  
Burning Bog: Bog famous for emitting jets of flame.  Legend says it is the grave of a dragon.

Cabron: Angel of Hope
Caecilium: Mystical substance which appears to channel magical energy and enhances characteristics of substances it comes in contact with.  Often used in Alchemy.
Caervenfor: Former nation
Carnivale: Annual festival of revelry in Crimnsea, famous for masquerading, street performers, and   licentiousness
Chainmail: An armor composed of metal rings which has fallen out of use.  Firearms tend to penetrate   it, resulting in the wearer getting rings of shrapnel lodged in their wounds.  
Changeling: Human-elf crossbreed.  Thought to be switched with a human child when no one is watching.
Channeling: The ability to manifest power from a deity to work spells or perform miracles.
Charge: a packet of enough Black Powder to propel a bullet from a firearm when packed tightly.
Cirrelus: Former nation famed for its horsemanship.
Clank: Steam-powered automaton programmed to perform one task, often simply to protect a particular   room or object.
Comenap: City-State and former capital of Caervenfor
Construct: An autonomous machine of limited intelligence.
Crimnsea: City-state in former Verlan.  Center of high culture.
Crimson Inquisition: A body of the Church dedicated to rooting out dangerous elements among pagans   and heretical or unorthodox Sôleism.
Cruentus Contagium: See Red Pestilence

Daena: Angel of family, love, and beauty
Dawn Temple: A Sôleist Temple dating back to the second century of the Solar Epoch.
Dermagast: Anthropic cannibals worshipping the demon Lillith
Dirigible: A flying ship composed of a hull or gondola either hanging from or resting atop one or more balloons filled with hot air or a lighter-than-air gas, ideally with Aether gas.
Dirk: a long knife or dagger.
Dragon: A mythical creature said to have died out
Druid: A priestly class of pagans who can change their shape, commune with fae, and channel pagan deities.
Duirdaoine: Plant-like anthropics legendarily said to have been kings sacrificed for the land.
Durmen Mountains: The Mountain Range cutting through the Issachar Empire, dividing Gambodel and Baldurbrock.
Dwarf: A racial slur for an ithai.

Effigy: Intelligent Anthropic machines.
Eidolon: A soul trapped by necromancy inside a steam-powered skeleton.
Elf: Fae who live in the Otherworld and steal children.
Enkidus: Demon of Lust/Ennead god of Love, Sex, Senses, and Beauty
Ennead: The nine gods of the pantheon of the old pagans.
Everborn: Elves.  Refers to their many rebirths.
Exarch: A regional leader of Issacharian city-states.
Exegesis Von Contras: The Grand Inquisitor of the Crimson Inquisition.  Successor to Proditus.  

Feloria: City-state.  Has extensive salt mines and caecilium deposits.
Fer Khemer: A vast desert in the South-East. Home to nomadic tribes, and the location of the city-state of Khoptis.  
Firearms: Weapons that make use of fire and the explosive substance black powder to launch a projectile   at an enemy.
Fir Mor: A lost tribe of humans
Fjal Othila: Former nation famous for its Berserkers.
Frisii: A lost tribe of gorim


Gambodel: Former nation/region of the Issachar Empire
Gnome: a small anthropic race self-defined by the search for knowledge and truth.
Gorim: An anthropic warrior race
Golem: A construct animated by alchemy or some similar means.
Graft: a limb or body part augmentation or replacement, usually mechanical in nature.
Great Purging: Move by the Church, supported by Sôleist nations to heal the land after the scars of the   Plague Wars and the Heresy Crusades, involving large scale burning of land and destruction of   the 'unholy.'
Greatsword: A large sword of about six feet in length that can be gripped partway up the blade for use   in close quarters.

Halberd:  A polearm with an axe-head and counterbalancing pick for attack or tripping.
Hawksport: Floating city that traverses the skies of Avayevnon on the back of many massive Aether   balloons.
Hellidh: The Sun, in pagan myths, and the Ennead.  In the Ennead, Hellidh is the only god who is dead.  
Heliox: A rank in Holy Church above Priest and below Solarus.
Heresy: To reject the teachings of Holy church, commit idolatry, worship demons, or to spread   falsehoods about the nature of the divine.
Heretic: One who commits Heresy.
Heresy Crusades:  Holy Church's continental campaign to eliminate heresy.  Part of Crimson Inquisition.
Holy Church:  The authoritative body on Sôleist theology, orthodoxy, and orthopraxy.  Hierarchical order   of Solari, Helioxes, and priests under the Lord Pontiff of Shardmoore.
Hornisle: An island revealed by the retraction of the Weeping Sea.
Human: An Anthropic race famous for self-contradiction and hypocrisy.

Iluvion: Island known to be inhabited by elves, which has seemingly vanished into a perpetual mist.
Inquisitor: A special priest whose vows pertain to the hunting of demons and heretics and defending   Sôl's truth, rather than preaching or healing.
Issach: Title held by the imperial ruler of the Issachar Empire.
Issachar: The Capital city-state of the Issachar Empire.  Built into the side of Taran's Peak in the Durmen Range.  Includes vast underground living spaces and extensive mines.
Issachar Empire: A far-spanning empire in the West, ruled by a confederation of city-states populated with Ithai, Gnomes, Humans, and Effigies.  Ruled centrally by the Issach, and regionally by a number of Exarchs.  
Ithai: A stocky anthropic race skilled at craftsmanship and obsessed with wealth.
Ithanash:  Rule by the ithai.  Refers to certain historical periods associated with the Issachar Empire and   previous imperial aspirations of the ithai race.
Ithegra: Former nation

Jermien's Apparatus: A large machine operated by levers resembling a crab.  Can fit two people inside.  

Khoptis: Former Nation
Kualam: City-state known for textiles and spices.

Lamashtu: Ennead goddess of Fertility, ruling over both crops and birth and conception.  Often equated    with demon Lillith.
Lillith: Demon of Gluttony.  Mother of Vampires, Succubi, and queen to the Dermagasts.
Lunar Epoch: Historical Period following the Solar Epoch, after the peak of the Adamite Empire and the   first Invasion of Pazrael.
Lugra: The Moon, and chief goddess of pagans.  Considered mother of the Elves and fae.
Lugragenti: See Elves and Everborn
Lythen: Former Nation

Magick: The use of occult knowledge to work supernatural influences on the world.
Magick Circle: a Circle for protection and for the focusing of magical energy channeled from a god.
Magus: A title held by graduates of the Academia Oscura.
Moonstone: Gem Sacred to Lugra. Apparently composed of Caecilium.
Monk: One who takes vows and lives in a monastery, studying religion.

Nodens: Demon of Sloth/Ennead god of the Otherworld, visions, and dreams
Numinous Focus:  An item used for ritual and for focusing the channeled power of a god, such as a bloodstone or moonstone.  

One God: An epithet of Sôl.
Otherworld:  The land of the dead, ruled by the fae.  It is a transitory land between judgment.  Souls climb the mountain where they are weighed and measured; if they have been holy, they can ascend to Paradise.  If they have been wicked, they fall into the Pit.  Also called The Sojourn.
Ornithopter:  A gliders deployed from a dirigible with movable wing that allow for an extended flight period over a regular glider.

Pagan: One who worships Lugra and/or the old Ennead gods
Paradise: The Kingdom of Sôl.
Partisan: A spearlike polearm with a bladed tip and symmetrical hooked extensions.
Pazrael: Demon of Pride and plague bearer.  Equated with the Ennead god Pazuzu
Pazuzu: Ennead god of storms, plagues, and famine.
Pike: A ten foot long speak whose tip is riveted to the shaft with long iron strips.
Pistol: A short range, personal wheel lock firearm
Pit, the: The realm of torment for the demons who opposed Sôl.
Priest: A rank in Holy Church above Daykeeper and below Heliox.

Rahab: Demon of Envy/Ennead god of luck and contests
Ramrod: A device used to pack blast powder and a bullet into the muzzle of a firearm in the loading process.  Ramrods often include an attachment at the opposite end for cleaning the barrel.
Razhista: Angel of Knowledge and wisdom.
Red Pestilence: A supernatural disease spread by Pazrael causing one to bleed from the pores in the skin, and out of every orifice.  Can only be cured by a mystic who can channel a deity.  
Ribauldequin: Tri-pod mounted artillery weapon consisting of three barrels firing three shells at once, releasing a spray of shrapnel capable of causing heavy damage to several foes within a 30 ft cone.

Samael: Demon of Wrath/Ennead god of judgment and the harvest
Sean Fir:A name of the elves, meaning Old Ones.  
Seanfir: The one night of the year in which the veil between this world and the Otherworld is lifted, and spirits and fae walk the earth.  Named for an epithet of the elves, who are sometimes seen on this night.     
Seraphine Harmonium: A theatre in Shardmoore that once also formed a resistance movement against heretics   and demons in the Plague Wars.
Shagrunk: Former nation
Sojourn: See Otherworld.
Sôl: The Sun and God of the Sôleists.  His symbol is the Red Sun, and he has 7 Angels serving him, and 7 demons   who oppose him.
Solar Epoch: The age prior to the Lunar Epoch, in which the worship of Sôl came into prominence.
Sylvaea:  The Great Forest.  Home to Elves in ages past.  Largely destroyed in the Great Purging, though it has   partially regrown with time.
Succubus:  Female demons that drain the energy of men by having sexual intercourse with them.  Children of   Lillith and Enkidus.

Tanyn: An Angel
Teckall: A city-state of industry within the greater Issachar Empire.  Known for its support of new thought and the new discipline of scientific inquiry, and for its tolerance of sorcery and alchemy.

Vampyre: Something between a corpse and a demon, created by Lillith to plague anthropics.  Violently addicted to blood of athropics, which they must drink to sustain themselves.  
Verlan: Former Nation

Waste, the:  The earth outside the City-states.  So called after the combined devastation of the Plague Wars, The Heresy Crusades, and the Great Purging decimated the landscape, leaving much of it uninhabitable.
Weeping Sea, the: the Inland Sea.  Legend tells of how Lugra wept at the death of Hellidh, and her tears flooded   the land.  The Sea has retracted somewhat with time, revealing land formerly submerged, including a few islands within.
Witch: Mystic who channels Lugra, and in some cases, A demon or Ennead god.

Xantros: An Angel
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AnIndex of My Work

Sparkletwist

It's llitul and the brain, llitul and the brain, one is a genius and the other's insane
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