Ads

Pages: 1 ... 5 6 [7] 8 9 ... 12
  Print  
Author Topic: Savage Age: Argyrian Empire  (Read 37063 times)
Giant Space Hamster
*


View Profile
« Reply #90 on: March 19, 2012, 09:48:56 AM »

I've got a lot to catch up on here, but the post about carrying weapons and armor is excellent.  I've watned to implement something like that in teh past but always ran into too much player resisitence.  I shall read on now!
Logged

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

Review Badges:

Iä! Iä!
Yrthak
*


View Profile
« Reply #91 on: March 24, 2012, 02:50:06 PM »

House Leontophoros

  • Family Name: Leontophoros (masculine), Leontophorina (feminine)
  • Current Leader: Andronicos Leontophoros
  • Motto: He conquers who conquers himself

One of the oldest Great Houses, the Leontophoroi are proud bearers of a very long and illustrious past, having stood at the forefront in many pivotal events throughout the Empire's history. They are highly self-conscious of this vaunted heritage and driven to prove themselves worthy to their ancestors. The origins of the family are found in coastal Acropalaea, and they have always possessed an intimate connection to the sea. Theirs is a lineage of salient sea-captains, explorers, admirals and maritime entrepreneurs. Accordingly, the wealth of House Leontophoros draws in no small measure from their enterprises in naval trade and shipbuilding - in particular, they are a major player in the most lucrative business of silk trafficking.


Members of House Leontophoros are well represented in the courts, and present in respectable numbers in high-profile military posts (especially in the Imperial fleets) and as regional governors. Although concentrated in the capital and other major port-cities of the Helikian Sea, the house exerts via patronage and emissaries significant influence in every noteworthy center of trade within the Empire and in several foreign ports. Although it prefers the means of diplomacy and subtle coercion to promote it's interests, House Leontophoros has never hesitated to apply swift and decisive force in the face of aggression.

The Leontophoroi are renowned for their passionate dedication to defend their family's eternal glory, instilled in every new generation through rigorous upbringing. It is said that if you insult one Leontophoros, you insult every single one of their name - the deceased, the living and those yet to be born - and that some day the house will exact unrelenting retribution, whether in this day and age or the next.
Logged


Iä! Iä!
Yrthak
*


View Profile
« Reply #92 on: March 29, 2012, 11:24:28 AM »

Out of Character

I have decided to change the number of moons that traverse the heavens in the Savage Age, reducing the figure from the original 5 down to 3. I've updated the Imperial Calendar to reflect this change.
Logged


Iä! Iä!
Yrthak
*


View Profile
« Reply #93 on: March 31, 2012, 03:33:54 PM »

House Agapetes

  • Family Name: Agapetes (masculine), Agapetissa (feminine)
  • Current Leader: Timarchos Agapetes
  • Motto: A man's character is his fate

The eminent Agapeteis are astoundingly rich, even for a Great House. Much of their fabled wealth can be attributed to the vast estates of premium farmland they hold across Carantia and Therania - copious plantations and orchards tended by throngs of chattel-slaves. The house and it's dependents also operate many of the Empire's most prolific gold and silver mines, wineries and forges.

Because it's business interests rely so intensely on slave labour, House Agapetes has gone to great lengths to secure itself a steady supply of fresh serviles. The house controls directly a sizeable portion of the slave trade, by organizing caravans, slave markets and breeding pens. However, even these measures may be insufficient for their needs, for rumours persist that the Agapeteis sully their hands by trafficking with pirates and bandits, purchasing illegally procured chattel. Such accusations are never voiced in public though, as evidence of these alleged crimes tends to disappear as soon as it surfaces - along with those who intended to bring it forth.

 

Between it's bottomless funds and it's strategic position as the Empire's chief grain suppliers, House Agapetes commands fearsome political influence. Members of the family fill many administrative duties in the Imperial bureaucracy, being often found in roles of civilian governance and tax collection.

Although they have always lacked in the way of martial valor and pugnacity, being more disposed toward politics and commerce, the Agapeteis nevertheless pursue military careers, using their connections and influence to place family members in important positions of leadership. After all, nothing produces fresh slaves as quickly and in such numbers as does open war: when cities are laid waste and entire populations put under the yoke by a victorious general, the markets will be flooded by an influx of cheap serviles. It is hardly a wonder that the representatives of House Agapetes are among the most outspoken warmongers in the Empire's courts, firmly voicing their support for new campaigns of aggressive expansion.

In addition to their material fortunes and status, the Agapeteis are notorious for being a rigidly conservative lot. They oppose the adoption of novel and alien customs, espousing time-honored values and upholding ancestral traditions. They are prideful of their pure-bred lineage, which has been kept untainted by foreign blood throughout all generations since the founding of the noble house.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 03:38:16 PM by Ghostman » Logged


Iä! Iä!
Yrthak
*


View Profile
« Reply #94 on: April 14, 2012, 11:23:49 AM »

House Aristenos

  • Family Name: Aristenos (masculine), Aristene (feminine)
  • Current Leader: Epicrates Aristenos
  • Motto: A word is a shadow of a deed

Strength. The virtue by which House Aristenos lives and breathes. Other houses may revel in greater wealth, higher esteem in the courts, or the favour of the gods. But when it comes to the art of making war, none are the equals of the Aristenoi. For centuries they have stood tall as the Empire's paramount noble warriors, warlords and heroes. They have achieved and maintained this envied position by an absolutely uncompromising philosophy of warrior-ethics. In the eyes of an Aristenos, a man's strength is the sole and ultimate measure of his worth - strength not only of one's flesh, but also of one's spirit and of one's character. Those who are in all ways strong are worthy of respect and success in life, whereas the weak exist to be ground to dust under the heels of the victors.


In accordance with this philosophy, House Aristenos hardens it's members from early childhood on through a brutal upbringing of harsh athletic conditioning, austere stoicism and adamant discipline. Those who display weakness are mercilessly weeded out: exposed to the elements in their infancy or disowned and driven away if older. The ones that survive are taught the ancestral ways of the family, trained in the martial crafts of violence and leadership, and instilled with the loathing of fear and the grim determination to die for the glory of the family. An unusually large portion of the house's female members join the Cult of Amazon, an act that the Aristenoi appear to silently condone unlike other noble houses.


As befits their warlike reputation, most Aristenoi pursue military careers with outstanding success. Their prominent presence in the chain of command of the Imperial armies incites fear and concern in the other Great Houses, and even the Emperor must be wary of their ambitions. While their dour and blunt demeanor and distaste for political games often leaves them sidelined in the courts, the Aristenoi rarely have shortage of allies, for they are well-known for keeping their words and honoring their commitments. They are also quite capable of seizing the social spotlight in athletic games, as members of the house number among the victors of such contests more often than not.

House Aristenos possesses sizeable holdings in Therania, Aspidia and Orestia. Moreso than for their harvests these are known for the quality of their stables, breeding excellent horses for riding, chariot racing and war-mounts. The house also tends to see major gains during wartime, as their generals find opportunities to seize plunder and capture fresh slaves.
Logged


Giff
*


View Profile
« Reply #95 on: April 14, 2012, 11:35:20 AM »

Very nice, Ghostman. Liking the Great Houses very much.
Logged


Stream-of-Consiousness Prophet.
Flumph
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #96 on: April 14, 2012, 12:47:13 PM »

As do I.  
the use of pictures and the mottos provide a much stronger picture added to the descriptions.  Nicely done.

I do need to ask if the Argyrian's live in a Human-only world?  For example, I found myself wondering about the slaves of the House Agapetes, their makeup and where they come from.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 12:51:00 PM by LordVreeg » Logged

VerkonenVreeg, The Nice.Celtricia, World of Factions

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

Iä! Iä!
Yrthak
*


View Profile
« Reply #97 on: April 14, 2012, 02:01:02 PM »

Thank you both for commenting smile

LordVreeg

I do need to ask if the Argyrian's live in a Human-only world?  For example, I found myself wondering about the slaves of the House Agapetes, their makeup and where they come from.

The setting is very human-centric by design. Nonhuman beings largely play similar roles as they do in real mythologies and folklore: monsters haunting the untrod wildernesses, ineffable fey tricksters, supernatural spirits to be revered or warded off, unique creatures belonging to specific places, etc. Even the ones that have something of a society among themselves, such as the Centaurs, effectively stand outside the daily experience and world of Men. They are not really "races" in the vein of modern fantasy conventions, being too few in numbers and scattered about, having no kingdoms of their own.

This is not exactly how I originally envisioned SA, but it's the direction I've been moving with it. Anyway, while it's possible for intelligent nonhumans to be captured by humans from time to time, these would be rare incidents and more than likely in very small scale. There couldn't really be a war between humans and nonhumans, the way that two human states might have a war against each other. Thus the rare, captured nonhuman would likely be seen and treated as a curiosity, something to be put on display for the entertainment of the masses. They wouldn't end up like most human slaves do, eg. rowing a merchant galley - the very idea probably wouldn't even occur to their human captors.

So to answer your question regarding the origin and makeup of slaves, they'd be humans, mostly from the same part of the world. The way slavery works in the Empire and it's neighbourhood is quite remiscent of slavery in classical antiquity: theoretically there are restrictions on enslavement (those who are under protection of the law of the land can't be enslaved except as punishment for crimes), but in practice you could be jumped by a bunch of bandits or pirates, put in chains and carted off to be sold - unless you can escape or somehow prove you were illegally enslaved, you're SOL. And victorious armies will generally do their darndest to reap as much profit out of their conquests as possible, by sacking towns and pilfering fields and capturing surrendering soldiers (and civilians) to be sold to slave traders.
Logged


Stream-of-Consiousness Prophet.
Flumph
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #98 on: April 14, 2012, 02:35:16 PM »

Ghostman

Thank you both for commenting smile

LordVreeg

I do need to ask if the Argyrian's live in a Human-only world?  For example, I found myself wondering about the slaves of the House Agapetes, their makeup and where they come from.

The setting is very human-centric by design. Nonhuman beings largely play similar roles as they do in real mythologies and folklore: monsters haunting the untrod wildernesses, ineffable fey tricksters, supernatural spirits to be revered or warded off, unique creatures belonging to specific places, etc. Even the ones that have something of a society among themselves, such as the Centaurs, effectively stand outside the daily experience and world of Men. They are not really "races" in the vein of modern fantasy conventions, being too few in numbers and scattered about, having no kingdoms of their own.

This is not exactly how I originally envisioned SA, but it's the direction I've been moving with it. Anyway, while it's possible for intelligent nonhumans to be captured by humans from time to time, these would be rare incidents and more than likely in very small scale. There couldn't really be a war between humans and nonhumans, the way that two human states might have a war against each other. Thus the rare, captured nonhuman would likely be seen and treated as a curiosity, something to be put on display for the entertainment of the masses. They wouldn't end up like most human slaves do, eg. rowing a merchant galley - the very idea probably wouldn't even occur to their human captors.

So to answer your question regarding the origin and makeup of slaves, they'd be humans, mostly from the same part of the world. The way slavery works in the Empire and it's neighbourhood is quite remiscent of slavery in classical antiquity: theoretically there are restrictions on enslavement (those who are under protection of the law of the land can't be enslaved except as punishment for crimes), but in practice you could be jumped by a bunch of bandits or pirates, put in chains and carted off to be sold - unless you can escape or somehow prove you were illegally enslaved, you're SOL. And victorious armies will generally do their darndest to reap as much profit out of their conquests as possible, by sacking towns and pilfering fields and capturing surrendering soldiers (and civilians) to be sold to slave traders.

Well, I was one of the original commenters on this thread.    I like deep, detail-heavy settings.  I also understand how these things change and grow as time goes on.
So this is not a world with demi-humans making up a large population groupings, either within state level structures or with their own race specific statelevel structures.  That clears that up.

How about ethnicities within the human sphere? 
Logged

VerkonenVreeg, The Nice.Celtricia, World of Factions

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

Iä! Iä!
Yrthak
*


View Profile
« Reply #99 on: April 14, 2012, 04:56:07 PM »

LordVreeg

How about ethnicities within the human sphere? 

Ethnicities are numerous, even accounting for just this corner of the world. A very important thing about human ethnicities (which actually will be called 'races' in-setting) is that they are defined from the point of view of the characters living in the world, not from the POV of the player/reader. So there won't be any pretense of objectivity nor modern sensibilities. Ethnic distinctions will primarily be drawn based not on appearance, but on tradition and perceived ancestry. The populations of two neighbouring towns might look every bit alike and speak the same language, yet consider each other to be separate (sub)races due to a long-standing rivalry.

To better understand what I'm after, consider this thought experiment: "Athenians are a race distinct from the Spartans, who are a race distinct from the Cretans, who are a race distinct from the Etruscans, who are a race distinct from the Romans, who are a race distinct from the Carthaginians."

It probably wouldn't occur to a modern audience to draw quite that fine-grained categories, but it wouldn't seem so odd to the ancient peoples in question. They might recognize various different levels of commonness (eg. Athenians and Spartans would agree that they are both Greeks, as opposed to Thracians who are non-Greek, even as they continue to see each other as distinct), but the more narrowly defined racial identities would be given precedence. This isn't very far from how the people of the Savage Age approach the issue of 'race'.
Logged


Iä! Iä!
Yrthak
*


View Profile
« Reply #100 on: May 16, 2012, 08:56:47 AM »

Greetings
The customs of greeting follow the same general pattern throughout the Empire, with minor variations from locale to locale. To Argyrian people, the manner of greeting one another is of great signifigance, for it reflects the social status of each person involved. Using an incorrect form, whether deliberately or by accident, could constitute a grave insult or an embarrassing faux pas.

To greet people or to welcome them as guests into his house, an Argyrian will exclaim the word "khaire!", accompanied (or not) by one of the following gestures:

Note

At with most other social customs, there is a great deal of resemblance between the Argyrian manner presented here and the ways of other Eurian cultures.
Raising a hand
The most common gesture of greeting is the raising of one's right hand: the palm is open and facing forward, the fingers straight and pointing upward, and the elbow bent. The exact position of the arm varies based on regional traditions, but the hand is usually raised roughly to the height of one's own eyelevel. This action communicates a message of peaceful intent, the empty palm declaring that one is unarmed and means no harm upon those being addressed. At the same time it allows the greeting to be delivered at a distance, and doesn't compromize one's ability to defend against a sudden attack nearly as much the barbarian handshake.

Citizens of similar social class always greet each other by raised hands, thereby acknowledging one another as near-equals. A man of clearly superior rank may also decide to greet those below him by this gesture as a magnanimous courtesy, although he need not do so.

Bowing
In Argyrian culture, the act of bowing carries very strong connotations of submission and humility. It is therefore only ever performed when facing someone of clearly higher station: slaves bow before their masters, peasants bow before the nobility, and sons bow before their fathers. Because the gesture intrinsically communicates an admission of inferiority, the very idea of two people actually bowing to each other is completely alien and unthinkable to Argyrians.

Prostration
A display even more meek and obsequious than bowing - to fall prostrate is an extreme act of self-abasement. It is generally reserved for groveling slaves and for prisoners pleading for mercy; freeborn citizens would only expect to ever have to perform it in the presense of the Emperor or one of the high-ranking members of the Imperial family.
Logged


Iä! Iä!
Yrthak
*


View Profile
« Reply #101 on: June 16, 2012, 02:48:36 PM »

House Branas

  • Family Name: Branas (masculine), Branaina (feminine)
  • Current Leader: Agathocles Branas
  • Motto: The sky is open to those who have wings

The youngest of the Great Houses. With barely two centuries to it's name, the House of Branas is scoffed at and belittled as impudent upstarts. It's rise from obscurity to the forefront of politics has been rapid despite an uphill struggle against such attitudes - a testimony to the family's resourcefulness and savvy. The Branai are ruthlessly pragmatic in their dealings. While they spare no expense at adorning themselves in the traditional trappings of nobility, they are quick to ignore "sacred" ancient conventions and taboos whenever it's convenient. The vigorous and cosmopolitan Branai shamelessly fraternize with foreign emissaries and low-born tradesmen, and are often able to beat the older houses to new avenues to wealth and glory.


House Branas is still fairly small, and it's holdings and interests are largely confined to the capital city and a few major ports. It's influence however reaches much further due to an extensive network of contacts and alliances, and is easily underestimated by rival houses. Members of the family can be found in military and civilian offices, though not as often as they would like. The prejudices against such "green" aristocracy are a significant hinderance when it comes to securing political appointments, and the Branai have found that they must ascend the ladder the hard way - by relying on genuine merit. This handicap motivates them to push themselves to excel at their careers.

The stereotypical Branai are outspoken, confident and showy to the point of flamboyance. They are wont to make decisions quickly, seize opportunities and take daring risks - but do so intelligently and always take care to cover their backs. They hide their shrewd, calculative genius behind a facade of panache and bravado.
Logged


Iä! Iä!
Yrthak
*


View Profile
« Reply #102 on: June 17, 2012, 09:37:50 AM »

House Zarkadis

  • Family Name: Zarkadis (masculine), Zarkadina (feminine)
  • Current Leader: Lysias Zarkadis
  • Motto: Wisdom stands more firm than the stoutest mountain

Note

Among all the Great Houses, the one of Zarkadis has ever been the curious, uncomfortable oddity. Even it's origins are outrageous, founded as it was by an infamous sorcerer. The stigma of occultism has haunted the Zarkadeis throughout the family's existence. Although no actual proof has ever been brought forth, rumours persist accusing them of unwholesome pacts with fell spirits of the Underworld, of cabalistic schemes to manipulate the courts, of secret congregations where the dead feast with the living...

It is true that the house has maintained something of a mystic tradition, filling it's libraries with secret lore of the most esoteric kind. It is also true that some of it's members have successfully dabbled in arcane arts, with rarely a generation passing without at least one such adept rising from it's ranks. That said, the egregious reputation of House Zarkadis is largely unwarranted, a result of centuries of wanton exaggeration and hearsay. And that is exactly how the Zarkadeis prefer it. Thanks to their ominous image as formidable magicians, masters of unspeakable curses and otherworldly servants, there are few among their rivals who would dare to step on their toes. Having ever been contemplative and inwardly focused, they appreciate being given a wide berth to conduct their business in privacy.

Most Zarkadeis possess quick wits, acid tongues, and a dry, laconic sense of humor. They tend to excel in tasks that require patience and attention to detail, and thus are a common sight in scholarly circles. Perhaps surprisingly (for the other noble houses), the family has also been quite successful in military pursuits, having produced quite a few cunning warlords whose mastery of strategy and familiarity with military manuscripts could put an Aristenos to shame.
Logged


Iä! Iä!
Yrthak
*


View Profile
« Reply #103 on: June 24, 2012, 11:47:20 AM »

The Seven Ages of the Argyrian Calendar

The Dreaming Age (primordial past)
  • The gods walk the earth, warring with each other and the giants and other mythical beings. They give shape to the universe by erecting mountains, carving valleys and flooding the seas.
  • Mankind is young, primitive and unspoiled, the world wild and full of mystery.

The Age of Glory (ancient past)
  • Mankind transcends it's animalistic origins, yet remains in many ways close to the earth and the gods.
  • The Supreme Oracle appears on Mt. Helix. History begins to be recorded on clay tablets.
  • Demi-god kings rise to rule over and unify the multitude of tribes. The first fledgling city-states are founded.

The Age of the Chariot (ancient past)
  • Mortal Men tread the blood-soaked path of war, mighty kingdoms rise and fall.
  • Legendary heroes steer the course of history, Argyros himself among them.

The Golden Age (archaic past)
  • The five fortunes of Mankind: prosperity, rule of law, the arts, high civilization, and philosophy.
  • Populations multiply, cities swell and wax into vast behemoths, explorers voyage beyond the edges of the known world, sages contemplate the mysteries of the universe, holy men preach words of prophecy, and courtiers device grandiose games of romance and guile.

The Age of Chaos (archaic past)
  • Mankind is wracked with disasters and strife on epic scale, smote by the wrath of the gods.
  • Many great heroes rise and are fallen, immortalized in tragic poems.

The Age of Silk and Steel (recent past)
  • Order triumphs over chaos, but the taint of corruption lurks in it's shadow.
  • Intrigue and decadence nest in the hearts of Men: The seasons pass in a perpetual cycle of paranoia and treachery, assassins' blades strike in the black of night.

The Age of Thunder (present)
  • Akin to a soaring phoenix, a new era rises from the flames that consumed the previous age.
  • The winds of change have calmed for the time being, but already dark clouds gather in the horizon. A storm is coming.
Logged


Yrthak
*


View Profile
« Reply #104 on: June 25, 2012, 11:37:13 AM »

I may never have said this before, so let me say it now: This setting is excellent in a multitude of ways.
Logged

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

Pages: 1 ... 5 6 [7] 8 9 ... 12
  Print  
 
Jump to: