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Author Topic: Demon-Haunted (working title)  (Read 1850 times)
Yrthak
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« on: March 16, 2010, 11:42:25 AM »

Out of Character


This thread is for the setting I have been developing through play over the last six-ish months in my current Iron Heroes campaign. Unlike the other work I have presented here it has not been written as an entity in its own right, but rather it has evolved to suit the needs of the story and characters in the campaign. For this reason it is a lot more messy, although hopefully, as time goes by, I will tighten it up and make it more structured and elegant - in appearance at least.

Also, for some reason I've ended up going completely against my usual preferences when it comes to settings, and I've started this thread with a big block of ancient history. This will probably change, but for now, be forgiving smile


The coming of the Demons

In a time before history, when humankind was young and the world was a place of blood and storm, there came the Tath-Kra. They tore into the world from the beyond, an infernal brood bent on domination.
The Tath-Kra were five;

the prince of fear - Ektherion Tath-Kra
the lord of pain - Kharkus Tath-Kra
the thundering one - Ghoribuld Tath-Kra
the lady of silence - Kereshoi Tath-Kra
the mistress of war - Akraska Tath-Kra

Though they came as conquerors to the young world, they came too in flight. In the beyond there was one demon who was greater than all the Tath-Kra combined, and his name was Skith-Rhu Volos. He was stronger than Ghoribuld, more vicious than Kharkus, more terrible than Ektherion and more bloodthirsty than Akraska - and above all, he knew only undying hatred for the Tath-Kra.

So the Tath-Kra fled to the world, where they became powerful and feared. They were monsters that bestrode the world and lashed at humankind, delighting in their devil-play.
But in those days of the race's youth, humans were a breed of uncommon ability, and they were millions against the five of the Tath-Kra. Against the demon's devastating power, the humans ranged their mighty warriors and hunters, and arcane folk such as the copper-witches and fire-crowns.
Seeing the strength of humankind, Akraska laughed. Battle was her joy, and here were adversaries aplenty. She stretched out her knife-talons and tore into the beyond, and dragged through an army of lesser demons - the Shebbeth Tekk - and the bloodletting began.

The rise of the Dark Queen

War consumed the world, savaged it like a slavering beast. But amidst the chaos and slaughter and Akraska's hideous laughter, there came love.
Ektherion spied upon the gore-sodden field a queen of humankind, with black hair and eyes, and a beauty that rivalled the depths of the beyond. His demoniac heart wrenched in his chest and he went to her.
The Dark Queen and Ektherion bound themselves together, his power becoming hers, and the Prince of Fear betrayed his siblings. Together they drove back the Shebbeth Tekk, until they were bound into the cold bones of the land in the far north-east by the selfless sacrifice of the copper-witches.

Meanwhile the Dark Queen used Ektherion's gift of power to battle the other Tath-Kra. One by one she hunted them down. Akraska she chained beneath a mountain on a wind-ripped isle in the north-west of the world, and Ghoribuld she sent crashing into the earth with such force that a sea opened up where he landed. Kharkus locked himself away beneath a mountain in the middle of the world to escape her wrath - a mountain that would later become the city of Graask.
The Dark Queen could not, however, find Kereshoi, the eldest of the Tath-Kra. It seemed that the Lady of Silence had stepped back from the world, and indeed she has not been seen again, save in nightmares and febrile terror-glimpses.

With the demons gone, Ektherion Tath-Kra and the Dark Queen built the first empire across the world, binding the tribes of humankind under their shuddersome power.

The deeds of Garrett Bloodstone

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The betrayal of Fear

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« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 11:53:04 AM by Kindling » Logged

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Yrthak
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2010, 11:42:35 AM »

civilised peoples

Severians

In Character

Here in the heart of the world, the cradle of truth, censer-smoke casts shadows on bronze walls and the All-Father's chants are sung. Here I set my wander-sick heart, in a manse of metal, on a table of delights, between silken sheets. Oh, Severium, my home, how I have missed you!


The people of Severium - and the Severianised peoples of other parts of the empire - would consider themselves the only "truly" civilised people in the world. The Bronze City is ruled by a venerable council of elders, whose legates and other agents function as regional authorities throughout Severian territory.
They maintain the largest modern empire, encompassing as it does the rich grain-lands of Alberia just north of Severium, the dark forests of Sylvarnum in the west, and a good deal in between.
The Imperial lands are policed by a professional army of mail-clad cavalrymen armed with longswords or maces and crossbows. This is supplemented by heavy employment of barbarian mercenaries from the Five Tribes, especially deployed in insurgency-ridden Sylvarnum. Severian forces can also temporarily conscript Imperial citizens to form "line companies" - unarmoured masses of fighters with minimal training and equipped with either crossbows or polearms.

Neshoi

In Character

Swept away
Lost in ice
We stride through death and beyond
Lords of life
Pain-rulers
Moonlit snow-shine shows the smile
In our hearts

Cold as the land beneath us, we are enthroned. Greed is our nature, and we are but half-satiated. We are now children once more, and our merest squabbles shatter the lesser-folk, the dying-folk.

We are forever!


Although most of the people are of barbaric stock, the icy northern lands of Larr Nesh are studded with heavily militarised city-states whose culture owes more to the rulers of the country than their subjects. Larr Nesh is ruled by semi-undead Lacedonian aristocrats who fled north from their motherland in ages past, when the armies of the Dark Queen came to topple their nation.
The Lacedonians are principally occupied with their internal conflicts and centuries-old inter-house fueds. As such, the city-states they rule are often mobilising troops against one another, although those to the far east of Larr Nesh are rightfully more concerned about possible incursions by the Zorr than by aggressive neighbours within their borders.

Momokans

In Character

The life is subsumed. Beneath the monolith of Her eternal Darkness, mortal shadows merge and flicker out like candles in a squall.
It is the duty of a good retainer to think well of the Queen. A retainer who is able and talented, yet cannot put the Queen's needs before his own, is more useless than a retainer who is inept and dull of wit, yet who is devoted entirely to Her service


Momoka is a city in the heart of the eastern desert, and the seat of the Dark Queen's powers. Sustained by her sorcery despite the hostile, arid environment surrounding it, it breeds a strange type of people; tough and stoic, yet at the same time somewhat ethereal.
The wiry, golden-complexioned Momokans worship the Dark Queen as a deity, constantly offering sacrifices to her and chanting in her honour. Their skilled horse-archers form an elite fighting force that waits to do her bidding should she wish to strike out once more at the world, and the terrifying Red Mask Society provides a base of talented assassins and spies for her to send out on her service.

Balosites

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barbarian peoples

The Five Tribes

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Snaketalkers

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Zorr

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Bol-Kith

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Grimdowners

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Sulbokans

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Yrthak
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2010, 11:43:08 AM »

religion

In the south, God is the All-Father, although each of the many cults knows him by a different name and in a different aspect. In the most mainstream of beliefs, he rules the sky from the golden palace of the sun, wise and just and eternally strong.
By contrast, the general southern view of the Morrigan is as the demon-queen of the crepuscular underworld, a devilish vampiress who drinks the blood of the damned from an iron chalice.

In the north, amongst the barbarians, the two are seen less as hero and villain, deity and devil. Rather they are two halves of divinity. The sky and the earth, the masculine and the feminine, the light and the darkness: these are but a few of the dualisms that the various clans and tribes see the All-Father and the Morrigan as representing. Yet, in most cases, it is not a dualism of direct conflict or enmity, but simply the two halves of the whole. In many barbarian societies, most notably the traditions of the Five Tribes, the two deities are not even worshipped as such, but rather simply acknowledged as one might acknowledge the existence of sand or trees. Direct reverence is instead placed on ancestral ghosts, or similar animistic sub-spirits.

Out of Character

Needless to say, this section will be expanded a LOT when I get round to it smile
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2010, 11:43:18 AM »

::place holder::
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2010, 12:31:30 PM »

You've done a great job of making the demons feel more pagan/folkloric than Christian (at least, that's my impression).  Looks great so far... I've been curious about this world, based on the glimpses you've given us.
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Yrthak
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2010, 04:26:08 PM »

Your curiosity flatters me, and your comment reassures me; I was worried that the mytho-historical passages might come across as somewhat too biblical.

At the moment I'm just going to be laying out the basics of the setting - the history and the different peoples - but once the skeleton is in place I plan to add some flesh.
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I'm Not A Contra >.>
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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2010, 02:23:53 AM »

MOAR?!
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Settings I\'ve Designed: Mandria, Veil, Nordgard, Earyhuza, Yrcacia, Twin Lands<br /><br />Settings I\'ve Developed: Danthos, the Aspects Cosmos, Solus, Cyrillia, DIcefreaks\' Great Wheel, Genesis, Illios, Vale, Golarion, Untime, Meta-Earth, Lands of Rhyme

Yrthak
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« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2010, 06:17:14 AM »

Haha, I dunno Jaerc, I haven't run this game in a while now, and the world was kind of built to accommodate the gameplay. I guess when I come up with new setting ideas to post (and there is no telling when that might be) I could try to incorporate them into this world rather than start anything new. In a way, not having the game running gives me a freer hand... so yes, maybe you will get more tongue But don't hold your breath, I am a notoriously infrequent poster when it comes to my actual settings...
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