Ads

Pages: [1] 2
  Print  
Author Topic: Haveneast: Lost Kingdoms  (Read 1205 times)
Digital wizard
Moderator
Yrthak
*


View Profile WWW
« on: January 24, 2017, 10:27:09 PM »

HAVENEAST: LOST KINGDOMS

Fire

Higgyrl was never bothered by the snow, despite her people's disdain for it. For as long as the bloodlines of Warskaria stretched backward into time, songs were sung and stories were written of the creeping winter, and of the biting cold that pushed the spirits down from the unconquered lands. Others around her often forgot that the winter brought game's tracks that would be left in the snow, frozen lakes for fishing, and the Celebrations of the Ancestors for all to grow closer. To her, a fresh snowfall had a calming effect on the world, and when the storm cleared it left itself as a reminder that, for a time, there was peace. This storm wasn't like the ones she welcomed with content, however, as it was a roaring and cruel blizzard - and they didn't involve her being hunted, either.

Something broke a branch behind her for the third time in perhaps a minute, but she didn't turn to look. It might've been the Aluct raiders she had escaped earlier, or it could've been the beast they sent after her as they laughed and called for her with sweet words of rotten intent. She thought she had lost it on the hillside, but in falling and smashing her axe-arm up on her own traverse down the rocks, it might've had time to catch up. There wasn't much of the forest left now before she broke out onto the steppe, and she wouldn't have anywhere to hide; not that it mattered. Off in the distance ahead of her, only marginally audible over the howl of the storm, she could hear a rumbling - a pounding of war drums, or maybe a mammoth stampede - that didn't bode well for her already dim chances. She leapt forward and a little sideways through some branches tangled between two trees ahead of her, further shredding her left arm in the process and nearly blowing out her knee as she landed poorly in the bubbling, icy stream that separated the woods from open ground.

A splash in the water to Higgyrl's right convinced her to rear her head, only to see a large, muscular, and thick-furred lion watching her, standing in the stream perhaps a dozen bounds away. As she locked her gaze to the creature's, it crept forward at her quickly and efficiently on a calculated path - as if walking a tightrope - mouth agape with the knowledge that its victory was imminent. Its eyes didn't look right - they were shrouded with a reddish substance like war-paint that stood out against its dark-brown fur, and they looked far too intelligent. She hobbled up over the low mound into the open snow, trailing spots of blood along the tracks she made. The big cat was at her in an instant, and it toyed with her, swatting her legs out from her beneath her with its gargantuan paws as she tried to get away, then waiting for her to stand and take a few more steps before continuing its play. As she grew dizzy with each successive fall and desperate return to her feet, the rumbling from before grew louder. For what little cognition she had to understand it as her body tried to go on, it could've been her own heartbeat, slamming into her eardrums.

Having enough of its improvised entertainment, the beast came forward to her side and in the same motion brought its paw forward against her back, throwing her down into a cloud of fresh, now-bloody powder. There wasn't much energy left for thinking. The lion's weight was on her now, and she could feel its breath on her neck, its teeth grazing her skin. She felt its eyes looking at her matted hair, triumphant as its jaws closed around her neck - but the rumbling came again, and this time louder than ever. Its teeth came away from her throat, and even she managed to look up. Mount Torska, the Herald of Catastrophe, the focus of all her elders' attention and fear for years, was erupting. The snow and wind seemed to clear away from them so that Torska could bellow freely, her hellishly-orange flames searing the sky. Then came crash after thunderous crash, each louder yet with less gravitas than the first, as a thick, dark smoke turned the day to night. It rolled down off the mountain at the steppe and at them aggressively, as if it in turn had found its own prey. Though the lion was creeping away from her now, there was no relief for Higgyrl to have; nature didn't discriminate. It felt no sorrow for her, no desire to let her live to pass a wild tale of fortune on to her kin. As the ash-gloom overtook her, in her mind she heard the Herald speak:

Hear my voice. See my power. I have come.

Themes

  • Ice Age - or the edge of one: While Haveneast isn't under a devastating winter like Fimbulvinter, the world is a much colder version of our own. There are certainly steaming jungles and balmy archipelagos to be found, but they are dwarfed by the vast ranges of dry, cold deserts and equally frosty ice sheets.
  • Humanity vs the dark: One of the major themes of every rendition of Haveneast has been the struggle of humanity against its own wickedness as much as supernatural evils. This is reflected in the belief systems of the world, which are dominated by careful worship of varied, localized spirits that are mostly cruel, wrathful and sadistic. Most alternatives to these are more abstract philosophy, or different kinds of nature worship/animism. TL;DR - there are no direct analogues of the Abrahamic religions.
  • Inhospitable, frozen and/or searing wastes: As mentioned above, these are now all over the place. Since so much ice is locked up on Haveneast's land masses, the world is colder and drier, leading to fewer areas with enough water and vegetation to support significant life. These wastes are instead said to be the realm of unnatural creatures, and are believed to surround secret and/or ruined kingdoms hidden in remote valleys and the like...
  • Dire animals, and more dire animals: Many iconic real-world animals have gotten a little bigger and/or more primal, as you can imagine might be fitting for a harsher world (this even applies to stuff like cattle). There are also Haveneast variations on pre-historic species like the woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, cave lion, and smilodon roaming around.
  • Chivalry, nobility, kingdom: Monarchies are commonplace, and courts filled with those who have sworn oaths to their rulers are too.
  • Struggle against the seasons: Despite there being a decent amount of very arable, warm and wet lands to settle and farm, there are an equal number of harsher regions where fewer crops will grow. This leads to more nomadic, tribal cultures, or very guarded city-states that carefully watch for changes to the land and the weather around them, hoping the snow line might recede further each year.
  • Nature magic is best magic: Although spellcasters aren't looked upon favorably in most places, being able to control the weather, understand animals, purify otherwise soured food, and change the land for the better all go a long way in improving everyday life.
  • Distrust of spellcasters: The world is harsh enough; people don't want to have to deal with the risen dead, uncontrollable fires, or losing their loved ones to magical illnesses. Most are skeptical and can be won over, but more militant and hostile anti-magic factions exist.
  • Dawn of literacy: Most people can't read or write. Spoken word is the way of things, but to some the runes and letters that are slowly gaining acceptance are more powerful than any magic the greatest mage could muster.

Changes

So for the last little while I've been talking to sparkletwist and others about ice ages, woolly mammoths, and other nifty stuff. I found this page a couple of years ago and thought it was super cool. The whole ice age thing - especially when you tie it with fantasy monsters lurking around the suddenly all-too-common deserts and frozen wastes, or in endless kingdoms carved out of the ice sheets - seems to fit Haveneast surprisingly well, and it seems like I can't get the imagery of woolly mammoths and bigger, more primal animals separated from the mix of western European chivalric tropes with various Native American cultures. Let's see where this goes. For now I'll be porting over stuff from the other thread that worked, so what you see below may or may not look familiar for the time being. As far as I'm concerned, the sudden climate change has in fact always been this way, and I haven't posted a map yet because relative locations will be moving around  abit


Kingdoms

The reality in Haveneast is that large kingdoms are rare, and sprawling empires are even more so - although in recent centuries, a truly massive one collapsed in civil war where what is known as Anglyrion stands. Gilbany and its allies make war with what other large territories are nearby, but direct conflict is tenuous given the unpredictability of local barbarian tribes, and with the allegiances of the city-states between them often tenuous.

Gilbany

Great Gilbany. The Kingdom of the Horse. Anglyrion's Heart. These are the names given to the single most powerful nation on the continent of Ruskia. Sprawling across a varied land of steppe, mountain, forest, and sea, Gilbany has stood the test of time thanks to its strong royal bloodlines, swift horses, and stalwart cavalry caste. No other has ever fielded a mounted contingent like the warriors that form the core of Gilbany's fighting forces, their chivalric ideals guiding them to protect the weak and improve their world as they go. It has been the steward in the rise of the philosopher-knight ideal in step with the rise of its sacred Megnede monarchy, which has stood as a symbol of strength and unity for centuries. Gilbany's enemies are so for countless reasons, but most begrudgingly acknowledged King Gangrath as High King and his family as having the only true claim to the land - failing to defeat Gangrath or his ancestors when they did not, such as in Palaxin's War but two years past. Gilbany is also a powerful kingdom because of its access to sweeping, bountiful lands for farming - a rare advantage in a world wracked by the march of winter year after year. This also only increases their enemies' desire for raiding, and the smoke of burning villages is not an unfamiliar sight on the open stretches of Gilbanian land. It is by the virtue of its large, relatively-complex system of nobility that the land is ultimately kept safe and prosperous.

Gilbany's nobility consists firstly of King Gangrath, sometimes called High King to distinguish from the other monarchs of Anglyrion, who are styled Prince or Princess as much as they are King or Queen. Beneath each monarch are his Counts and Countesses, who are of lesser nobility but have the same style of long-standing bloodline as the royal family. Beneath them in turn are the barons, often veteran knights who administer a portion of the kingdom. Finally are a multitude of lieutenants styled as Knights, but without the size of holdings or political power of the Barons. These lesser knights are often champions given the duty of protecting a castle and its immediate land. The children of Gangrath are all called by the rank of Prince/Princess (or occasionally Duke/Duchess when given control of significant parts of the kingdom), but other nobles' children are addressed simply as lord/lady. The lords of Gilbany grant knighthood as much by merit as blood, granting small parcels of land from which their champions can sustain themselves in anticipation of war. Inheritance in Gilbany is complicated and to a lesser extent also depends on merit; the first child of Anglyrish monarchs is traditionally groomed as a successor and titled Crown Prince/Princess, but the King can declare another his successor as is appropriate (Gangrath's father, Ultrian II, was the third son). In the event of a childless reign, Anglyrish tradition states that the eldest child of the current King's generation will inherit. The breaking of this tradition was one of many catalysts for the civil war, as Gangrath's wicked niece Mortay was married to Colmeron of Palaxin with the expectation that Mortay would take the throne upon Grangrath's abdication; Gangrath would later have a son (purportedly with the aid of magic) by his second wife after his first died birthing a stillborn, overruling Mortay's claim in the process.

Gilbany's colors are royal purple and white.

Kangdemar

Though less hospitable than Gilbany, Kangdemar too is a power of the region and has long been the staunch ally of the Megnede line. Once hostile, the great great grandfather of Gangrath made amends with House Alactra and a series of marriages entwined the two kingdoms. The two prosper together now, with the mountainous march protecting the heart of Anglyrion from Skordica, the Alucti tribes and invaders from across the Adenian Ocean. The Kingdom of the Raven as it is known is the seat of the Oracle-Lords, the ancient seers of whom many are sent as advisors to allied kings and the Lord Vicar in Hawnil. Though the Oracle-Lords have not sired a true seer in many decades, they remain valued scholars to all of Anglyrion.

King Athlanar internally has the most stable of the three kingdoms' courts, but only because Gilbany's strength was weakened in the civil war. He and his knights are patient and more religious - the Kangs more frequently honor the old gods and the spirits, while Gilbanians have adopted more raw philosophy combined with their chivalric codes of honor within the cities. They enjoy a relatively peaceful common border with Warskaria owed to the numerous and tall mountains barring all but a handful of major routes through the conifer-crowned hills on the edges of the Kangsaars. Kangdemar is at war with Skordica, as the frigid kingdom allows raiders from across the sea to make the mainland without having to attack the well-guarded shores of Kangdemar, Hawnil, and Aquence to the southwest. All the kingdom's land is said to be in sight of at least one purple and black banner flying the symbol of the raven, even on the peaks of the highest mountains where none have been since the men before the Ingari made their tombs in the rock.

Kangdemar's position and climate forces it to rely more on maritime resources than its allies, which in turn leads to a comparatively stronger navy, and traditions that run deep with association to the sea. Many of its largest population centers are on the west coast and feature legendary fish markets, as well as countless shrines to wicked sea creatures said to demand tribute from would-be sailors when they stray too far from shore.

Warskaria

Though Gilbany is where the High King resides, Warskaria is the eldest of the three parts of Anglyrion and is the true homeland of the royal bloodline - House Megnede was born from the marriage of the Warrior-Queen Harrah to Prince Makkalius I, Son of the Ingari, and their children were the first in Anglyrion to bear the blood of both the ancient warrior-kings and the philosopher-kings of the realm. The Realm of the Seven Wolves as it is known is actually split by seven jarls who swore allegiance to Harrah, and their descendants have at times waned in their relations with each other, but never in times when the High King calls. Only once have any of the princes ever risen in contention for the power to rule any part of Anglyrion in the aptly-named Kingsblood War, but the rebellion was defeated. They now make war primarily with Angorad and the Pevolds in the east, their indomitable warrior-culture fostering a ferocity renowned throughout Haveneast and welcomed by the rest of Anglyrion.

Warskars, like the Kangs, revere the demon spirits of the wild to a degree, though their reverence is given more to a group of local spirits of blood and fire less known in the south. Their culture revolves around upholding of honor and battle prowess, with a disdain for the use of magic excepting that which heals the land and the sick. Warskar society is split into three castes: Makers, Fury-Shamans and Magi. The Makers are the people that man the forge, till the fields and build the fortifications and castles; the Fury-Shamans are priests of blood who wear the furs of great beasts to better emulate their ferocity; and the Magi are not sorcerers necessarily, but are tasked with the keeping of high volumes of knowledge pure within their own minds, to be retold by spoken word. Only the Magi are required to know how to read, with much of Warskaria believing that the written word cannot match one's heart in honesty. All three castes are equally responsible for knowledge of battle, and are required by law of the jarls to be proficient at minimum with a dagger, spear, axe and shield, and carry all of these into battle.

City-States

More numerous than the true kingdoms of the region, there are city-states of varying ages, cultures, and allegiances. Some of them are the last vestiges of the old Ingari Empire, while others were built into its ruins.

Arcanathraan

Part of a group of semi-independent territories in the taiga and steppe northeast of Gilbany, Arcanathraan has been devastated by disease and famine, both brought about by ongoing war in the region Although the city itself begins to recover as the front shifts to more distant lands, the abandoned and decaying structures still vastly outnumber those that are inhabited, and even the heart of Arcanathraan seems at times as if the people fled in fear of an impending attack. The ruling House Arcoga's reach and influence was likewise weakened by the conflict, leading to perpetual scheming among the handful of noble houses situated in the city core, while its outlying areas are largely lawless and prone to occupation by bands of raiders, many of whom were deserters. Rumors say that the pestilence settling over the city-state has begun to draw far more sinister things to the area, seeking to feast upon the sorrow and disease, or perhaps practice their dark arts where the unrest of spirits is strongest.

As it was built originally to be a prince's hunting retreat during the twilight years of Ingar, the castle that the city is built around is in good condition, and in the right light it is said to be one of the finest jewels of the northern regions. Reflecting its secondary use as a frontier fortress, the city is a structured web of walls and small towers, which are lined by gardens now largely overgrown.

Glimuppt

Glimuppt is aptly known as the Bog City, nestled among the mountains and the Arkanogee River to the northwest of Aath. Formerly a series of Ingari fortifications along the border with the Irocthana and Sukir (progenitors of the Skordicans), Glimuppt has the distinct advantage of rocky and impassable bogs dotting the landscape where the river, mountains, or walls have become sunken over the years. Since the fall of the Ingari Empire, it has been ruled by the Glimsaar dynasty, the first of whom was an Ingari general whose forces settled there following a bloody annihilation of the former Sukiri inhabitants. The somber weather reflects the dark origins of the city on all but the very brightest of days, where the unfamiliar traveller could be fooled by the shining blue ponds into thinking that the city had a more benevolent past. Though the slowly-increasing presence of humanity has driven them back somewhat, the trumpeting of the great mammoths that wander the valley only add to the unwelcoming nature of Glimuppt's walls. Only armies, outcasts, and desperate pilgrims are said to come to the city of tents among the palisades.

Krudia

Oraha

Aquence

Aquence is often referred to as the Divine City or the Great Shrine of Baalras, due to its spectacular city layout and architecture that extends into the sea. The structures

Dagarny

Aath

Ilotania

Asthus

Methymna-Ocrovia

Tragat

Urache

Tribes
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 08:33:09 PM by Hoers » Logged


Digital wizard
Moderator
Yrthak
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2017, 10:27:29 PM »

Houses, Orders, and Cults

The Crow Guard

The Crow Guard is an elite group of champions founded by a low-born soldier of the Kang rulers nearly a hundred years past, with the goal of serving as an honor guard for the royal blood of Kangdemar. They are well-known for their iconic look of dark armor and a spear, with a shield and purple cloak both adorned with a black spread-winged crow, standing tall and unmovable whether in the brightest of days or the coldest of rain-soaked nights. Crow Guards are agnostic by nature and are united solely by their pledge to protect and serve the rulers of Kangdemar at all costs - and at recent times, this has extended to those of Warskaria and Gilbany. This has sometimes caused conflict internal to warring and/or scheming nobles, whom are often reluctant (at best) to see their progeny ally themselves with the king. Service in the Crow Guards is traditionally for life in Kangdemar, but those who journey to Gilbany and Warskaria tend to serve shorter, five-to-ten-year stints, where they are known as "Far Crows".

The ranks of the Crow Guard are mixed low-born and nobility with an internal ranking system. Their headquarters is in the capital of Kangratta, where they occupy a small fort in the hill overlooking the castle and port town. Their training grounds are diverse, but are especially focused on effective use of terrain to take on multiple opponents, and feature many choke points from which to practice defensive techniques against larger forces.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 09:44:43 PM by Hoers » Logged


Digital wizard
Moderator
Yrthak
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2017, 10:27:38 PM »

There are no direct analogues to any major real-world religions in Haveneast except for Tengriism; there are pagan pantheons, animism, and more modern philosophical movements that various nations aspire to. People who worship typically practice expiation, performing acts as minor as the burning of incense to ones as large as a would-be hero's journey, depending on the nature of their desire and the environment they are in; some local spirits may prove particularly malevolent if these offerings are not given. Shrines may sometimes be hastily constructed in private locations by inexperienced petitioners; these makeshift places of worship are welcomed by most spirits, but some well-known entities respond with anger or fury.

The reach of the pagan religion is far and yet close in that most spirits of one region are unknown in others. The pagan gods listed below are part of a special group known sometimes as the Coven or simply the Old Gods. Most of these are malicious and otherworldly, beings from a place known as the Inaershch. Each of these gods is said to have been born of the wilds of Havenast, but they were corrupted by excess and hatred amplified by magic, turning them into sadistic, wrathful and murderous things. Their presence in the world is weak, but they can still reach it with their witchcraft, often by imparting it through dark pacts and curses to mortals, or possessing a beast of their "house" (avatars). It is believed that only complex banishment rituals, outright destruction, can permanently remove an Old God's influence on a region - although doing so might just convince another to move into the void. Civilization is the true enemy of the Old Gods and they strike out against it to perpetuate humanity's submission. A "strong" devotee to the Coven (someone who deals with it and its avatars regularly) is known as a Server and often addressed as such in conversation.


Megalu, the Turtle

Known chiefly as the god of the harvest, Megalu's likeness is that of a giant, char-black turtle with a shell made of ashen bone and glowing yellow eyes. Megalu is appeased by pagans whose lives revolve closely around the sprawling farmlands, with special importance in countries like Gilbany and Arcanathraan. He protects these people unless they explicitly insult or desecrate his places of worship. A typical sacrifice to Megalu is a small offering of wheat, corn, or another cultivated plant left on an altar to rot.

Abisai, the Horse

The wasting, rotting equine form of Abisai is associated with weather and disasters such as the tornadoes of the plainlands and the fierce snowstorms of the north. Abisai's favor is sought when the forests of Gilbany are dry and in need of rain to quench the wildfires as often as it is for fear of the coming storm season. His domain makes him a well-known and widespread entity whose shrines can be found quite often in the wilderness, particularly at random on the great plains and in open woodlands. A typical sacrifice to Abisai involves a clay vessel to be shattered, but more sinister rituals involve the forceful drowning of small creatures as a gruesome tribute.

Axaycatl, the Coyote

Axaycatl (sometimes pronounced 'axe-cattle') is the essence of pestilence, but also the dark matron of secrets, and appears as an oversized, ageless coyote with wicked features and fur made black by altogether too much dried blood. Savage and wrathful, the coyote demon has wrought plague upon kingdoms seemingly at random. She is particularly difficult to please, as a prayer must be spoken over rotting organic material while the lead worshipper presses their fingers into it, but it must be done in Old Ingari - an ancient language few can speak. Axaycatl's shrines are usually small stone structures with equally small troughs dug in a symmetric pattern on the floor. In the center sits a coyote effigy that must be decorated with the flora of the season. These are often built very close to priests' longhouses in the south, but in the north are found on the edges of small fields in dense forests.

Urorath, the Moose

The embodiment of fear, Urorath is a huge, primal-looking moose with glowing eyes and an unnerving gaze. He is unique in that prayers and offerings are undesired (or at least ineffective), but for fear of the Witching Week and the Night of Two Souls (pagan "holidays"), people sometimes seek to appease him, hoping the distraction will prevent him from sending his minions into the world. Urorath is associated with things that go bump in the night and that lurk just beyond the trees; many a warrior has sought to wear the moose's likeness into battle, and in cooler regions it is considered a rite of passage into adulthood for an adolescent noble to put down a bull moose.

Methecus, the Goat-Man

Also known as the Goat-Witch and Rottinghorn, the demon known as Methecus is the lord of the dead and patron of dark magic. His avatar is a large goat-man whose form is decayed, his fur often hanging unnaturally from the skeleton that remains. Gruesome offerings to Methecus are the only kind that satisfy him - whereas more "traditional" offerings will only bring his murderous obsession down upon you - and they are usually offered by the distraught or insane but also from warlords who worship him as a deliverer of power. Other than severed body parts or excised organs, the only method by which to summon the (non-hostile) attention of Rottinghorn is to burn the rare Ingarian Lotus found growing sporadically throughout the land, particularly on old and abandoned paths.

Hlohovah, the Bear

Hlohovah (pronounced loh-oh-va) is the spirit of all things lost, but especially people lost in the Kangsaars and the dark woods beyond the light of civilization. Appearing as a great, rabid bear with bulging bloodshot eyes and bare, festering flesh in some places, Hlohovah's shrines are monuments made in the likeness of the towering beast. People say that the creature is always watching for those who must travel quickly and recklessly, preying upon them unless a hefty sacrifice of raw (preferrably rotten) meat is left on its altar. Hlohovah is the least likely of the greater demon-gods to appear as a premonition or omen, although it sometimes is said to stalk travellers from the corner of their eyes along long-abandoned trails and in forest ruins. A summoning of the bear must be accompanied by a drum, and is initiated by the rustling of bushes or trees in the presence of either a broken bear claw or charred-black game.

Kananotanir, the Hawk

Kananotanir is the wicked matron of efficiency, authority, discipline, and war. It is no surprise then that despite her tendency to mercilessly prey upon the mortals that ignore her, she is respected by soldiers, knights, and other lords. It is because of her that shamans have learned over the ages to interpret the appearance and behavior of hawks, eagles, and other large birds of prey. Likewise, warriors who wish to be victorious in battle often paint her likeness (using whatever materials, including blood) roughly over the existing symbols on their shields, and the "Wings of the Hawk" shield wall is especially popular with  Skordican war bands. She appears as an oversized goshawk with a plumage that is mostly normal, but tinged with red at the tips of the largest feathers. Kananotanir's shrines are elaborate compared to her fellow Old Gods - especially when built in army camps - comprising a small, triangular pillared temple with an open roof, within which is built a cross-shaped perch made of wood. Offerings to Kananotanir are typically discarded feathers left in a pot of glowing cinders, or a wooden caltrop smashed upon an altar.

Ghru and Avok, the Wolves

Ghru and Avok, the Two Deaths or Howling Dooms, are both individually styled as the Bane of Kings. This is because they are the matron and patron of family, fertility, prestige, and marriage, and throughout the ages their power has been used to curse and ruin noble bloodlines in various ways. They typically appear as two huge black wolves (although sometimes as more normal-sized, but shadowy and immaterial), always together and always flanking their person of interest. Ghru and Avok are perhaps the most welcomed of all of the Old Gods into settlements and castles, where they are received with mixed feelings but are often granted elaborate sculptures of the two beasts entwined and snarling. Wolves encroaching upon a small village have complex associations with the Two Deaths, depending on the season and whether or not a birth or marriage is recent or upcoming, but an ill omen for the lords of the land is to see a pack of wolves lay in the path leading to the castle gate. A common sacrifice to Ghru and Avok is a small goblet filled with blood from both parties in a marriage, but a shaman is typically required to proceed with sacrifices for other purposes.

Scorm, the Spider

Scorm the Many-Minded is the patron of knowledge, magic, architecture, paranoia, and betrayal. His purveyance of dark and arcane powers puts him at odds with the fellow Old God Ichtaca, who shares the role. The presence of large numbers of spiders in a place is at best a sign of the safety of a structure, in middling days a sign of his interest, and at worst a sign of an impending curse. People who do not wield magical powers themselves sometimes make offerings to him for petty or vengeful purposes, such as wishing a curse upon another who stole their betrothed - although it is said that he has a particular disdain for those who waste his time in this way. Scorm rarely appears in his signature Old God avatar form (that of a massive spider), instead preferring to exist as a swarm of arachnids that can watch and act from many places at once. When shrines are built to him, they are typically placed underground, or built as tiny homages in the rafters of buildings where they can be quickly overwhelmed with cobwebs. A common sacrifice to Scorm is a wooden bowl filled with mashed fly carcasses and wax, or a knotted and tangled string that is then burned.

Baalras, the Whale

Among all of the Old Gods, Baalras the Great Drowner is revered as the eldest and most fearsome of all, and for that reason she is styled as The Beginning and the End. Appearing typically as a massive, scarred killer whale for whom the seas themselves seem to part in an unnatural manner, Baalras is the goddess of the ocean, of time, and of cataclysm. As her power eclipses that of even those of her peers who might be more relevant to a region, the Great Drowner is worshipped and feared from the coasts to settlements far inland.

Ichtaca, the Owl

Umgamet, the Mammoth

more coming

Deranism

Deranism is the term for the mixture of animism and totemism (somewhat similar to Shinto) more universally practiced than the counterpart fear-worship of the demon-gods, but more subtle in its presence. It teaches that everything has a spirit and that the physical form is the anchor for that spirit, even unto death. Deranic practitioners worship the sun for light, the world for its sustenance, the moon for the dark it brings and the mind for its potential. Houses both noble and common choose animals, plants, places or things as symbols and protectors of their line and it is appropriate to pray and offer to them. It relies as much on the understanding of ritual and the spirits' desires as on faith. The most general worship one can give is kindness to creatures and the surroundings, whether through the saving of a wounded bird or the burning of a field of dead grass.

Though many great shrines are built and temples have arisen to worship nature in Deranic fashion, the faithful need simply create an effigy out of crude materials to make communion, although a more tangible and accurate anchor achieves a greater one. The simplest of the true shrines (and the most common one to be found along Anglyrion's roads) is a stone slab two feet to a side, decorated by a pattern such as a stone arch or entwined antlers. The most basic ritual one can perform before the spirits is the burning of incense, which provides a neutral ground for them to manifest. Shamanistic tactics in eliminating more wicked spirits from an area involve offerings relevant to the spirits one wishes to bind, light augury to know the spirits' terms, and construction or location of a suitable anchor within which the spirits may rest. This principle justifies the pagan practice of burying the dead rather than simply burning them, as some kingdoms do; Deranic belief states that the graves of the dead are where one's ancestors reside and lend strength to their kin in the area, whereas a funeral pyre will release their soul to the whims of the wind.

Justaism

Justaism is the loosest of belief systems in Haveneast, more a set of foundations from which modern human morality is derived. It suggests that ancient man was a simple creature, governed by Chaos but powerless to wield it - but then they discovered Fire, and thus the catalyst Knowledge became the driving force behind the rise of man. In their hastiness to unlock the secrets of Fire, however, the Old Evils took notice and tempted them with their powers of Decay, spawning Fear from its corruption of the primal Chaos. Fear is the enemy of the rise of Anglyrion and the tool of all evils, used to sow doubt and weakness in the lines and their kingdoms. Justaism warns to avoid Entropy, as it controls and destroys the lives of humans who foolishly believe they can overcome it by their own will. Fire is the birthright of humanity and a symbol of its prowess and cunning, and decorates the halls of many a king and warrior. Justaic principles are essentially in line with chivalric codes but also includes equality of the sexes, a concern for the well-being of nature and a core tenet that one must always strive to make their lives and their world better.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 07:44:46 PM by Hoers » Logged


Digital wizard
Moderator
Yrthak
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2017, 10:27:47 PM »

The Haunting of the Pinewatch

Silence

For as long as anyone could remember, the woodlocks of Greater Anglyrion had tended the wilds with a skillset that was one-part herbalist, one-part game warden, and one-part magician. Named colloquially in reference to the more general term "warlock", a woodlock's magic was soft, subtle, and almost always weaved in such a way to bring them closer to the soil and the forests around them. Here in Aath, where outside of the city's walls the land became monstrously-thick, mountainous woods broken by roaring rivers and fading horse trails, it was their job to keep track of animal populations, so that they could in turn let the locals know whether or not they needed to rely more heavily on the goat herds for sustenance in the coming winter. A thick and abundant forest in Aath, where the Sunerain and Alkostra rivers met, meant that fewer livestock needed be slaughtered in all of Anglyrion, and that the Festival of Dawn that welcomed the spring would get to use the lowlands' crops as part of feasts that drew travellers from far and wide.

Something, however, was wrong with the forest. There was no sound to be heard - part of an absence that hinted not only that the forest's inhabitants had gone, but strained to imply that it had never been inhabited by worms or moles or birds at all, let alone the great stags and wolverines it was known for. It was as if the woodland was suddenly made not of living, breathing trees and thickets, but of clay and stone disguised in dark greens and brown paints. Kranwyc's mind tried to attune to it while his body obsessively pushed aimlessly from tree to tree, but they wouldn't talk. It was almost as if they were pushing back against him, but with a force that was not theirs - and when he tried to delve deeper, it hurt. The inability to hear the song of every leaf and patch of moss felt incredibly disorienting to the woodlock, and he found himself clawing at bark and purposely stepping into murky puddles in a desperate attempt to feel any signs of the life around him.

As Kranwyc wandered on for what might've been an hour or more, the forest grew darker, despite sloping upward and opening up into a rockier variant. The bright greens of the leaves on the slopes below faded into the darkness of the pines, and into something altogether more sinister. The suffocating gloom made the woods appear as if they were painted on the walls of a cave that was shifting, or maybe oozing - and the silence of the world around him made his heartbeat the sole, unnerving hint of life reaching his ears. There was a sudden break in the rhythm - perhaps the sound of a branch breaking - and Kranwyc realized that the forest was singing again - now in a slow, thunderous crescendo of thu-thumps that mirrored and drowned out his heart. With labored breathing and excessive sweat, he tried again to speak to the woods, falling to his knees and planting his hands deep in the soil and roots he churned up, only to be stunned by the unnatural howl that reverberated through him from the earth.

Hunched forward and in excruciating pain, he hardly noticed as the ground seemed to sink beneath him, a soft red glow emanating from the edges of holes from which crept sickly-wet roots to entangle him. They pulled him down into the muck in an embrace that he didn't fight, his mind lost somewhere where only the great Hlohovah might find him now. The forest continued to pulse with a heartbeat that mimic'd his as it faded, masking the footfalls of the creatures that came to watch him succumb. They crept from the upper boughs and from burrows beneath slabs of stone - their skin rotting or missing entirely; their skeletons sewn together by supernatural twine - and all the while, something else watched the scene from the tree above him with piercing yellow eyes...

Blacktree March

For the first time in three years, the spring in the city of Ilycamor was a warm, wet one, and thus the harvest in the autumn was so bountiful that the frequent hunts became merely occasional. In thanks to Megalu, a great wooden effigy filled with waterlogged wheat was burned on the eve of the autumn solstice, where it too was announced that
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 07:17:40 PM by Hoers » Logged


Digital wizard
Moderator
Yrthak
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2017, 10:27:53 PM »

reserved 4
Logged


Digital wizard
Moderator
Yrthak
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2017, 10:37:35 PM »

reserved 5
Logged


Digital wizard
Moderator
Yrthak
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2017, 10:42:03 PM »

reserved 6
Logged


Digital wizard
Moderator
Yrthak
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2017, 01:18:14 PM »

Reserved 7
Logged


Digital wizard
Moderator
Yrthak
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2017, 01:18:33 PM »

Reserved 8
Logged


Iä! Iä!
Yrthak
*


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2017, 06:20:49 PM »

At a glance this seems more exciting than the previous incarnation of Haveneast. Since cavalry is obviously still a thing, how do you figure their horses fit into the ice age picture? Hardier breeds adapted to the harsh climate? DIRE horses(!)? What about other kinds of mounts for characters to ride?
Logged

¡ɟlǝs ǝnɹʇ ǝɥʇ ´ʍopɐɥS ɯɐ I
Paragon * (Paragon Rules) * Savage Age (Wiki) * Argyrian Empire

Digital wizard
Moderator
Yrthak
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2017, 07:10:10 PM »

Ghostman

At a glance this seems more exciting than the previous incarnation of Haveneast. Since cavalry is obviously still a thing, how do you figure their horses fit into the ice age picture? Hardier breeds adapted to the harsh climate? DIRE horses(!)? What about other kinds of mounts for characters to ride?

Thanks! While there do exist dire horses, and some types have been bred over time to gain the requisite hardiness, in temperate regions (such as the one Gilbany and Kangdemar both sit on the border of) horse blanketing is a common practice to make otherwise standard horses more capable of withstanding the cold.

Mammoths are also used as mounts on occasion, although they serve the kind of role that war elephants did in our own history. They also have quite a sacred role in many of the belief systems of Haveneast, so you can bet that they'd be a recurring theme in art, architecture, and daily life.
Logged


Straight Outta Johto
Giff
*


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2017, 10:51:23 PM »

Hoers

Mammoths are also used as mounts on occasion, although they serve the kind of role that war elephants did in our own history. They also have quite a sacred role in many of the belief systems of Haveneast, so you can bet that they'd be a recurring theme in art, architecture, and daily life.

As a life long Prehistoric Mammal nerd, I wholly approve of this concept. If I could add one thing to the discussion, could you please incorporate Platybelodons please?
Logged


Digital wizard
Moderator
Yrthak
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2017, 08:08:27 PM »

LoA

Hoers

Mammoths are also used as mounts on occasion, although they serve the kind of role that war elephants did in our own history. They also have quite a sacred role in many of the belief systems of Haveneast, so you can bet that they'd be a recurring theme in art, architecture, and daily life.

As a life long Prehistoric Mammal nerd, I wholly approve of this concept. If I could add one thing to the discussion, could you please incorporate Platybelodons please?

I don't see why they wouldn't be in the world, but I don't think they would have much of a presence in the focus area given that both mammoths and mastodons are present there.
Logged


Giant Space Hamster
*


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2017, 11:40:33 AM »

Ground sloths?
Logged

Modron
*


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2017, 12:18:26 PM »

I expect there will be some Canadiana? Like majestic mooses, beavers, lynxes and maybe ''marmotte'' (dunno how they're called in english). Any bison?
Logged


Pages: [1] 2
  Print  
 
Jump to: