- 1 Introduction
- 2 Languages
- 2.1 The Westrasian Tounge
- 2.2 Qoktengel
- 2.3 Souxi
- 2.4 Tribux
- 2.5 Diverux
- 2.6 Non-Human Tounges
- 2.7 Cant and Creole Tounges
- 3 Timeline
- 4 Fauna
- 4.1 Westrasi
- 4.1.1 Boulderlug
- 4.1.2 Goldland Megafauna
- 4.1.3 Storm Island Fauna
- 4.1.4 Windhell Viper
- 4.1.5 Windjelly
- 4.1.6 Wyvern
- 4.2 Central Plains
- 4.3 Ram's Head
- 4.4 Northedge
- 4.5 Midland
- 4.6 Eastralia
- 4.1 Westrasi
- 5 Religion
- 6 Gods/Godlike Entities
- 7 Races of the World
- 7.1 Humans
- 7.1.1 Westerasi Human
- 7.1.2 Suoxi Human
- 7.1.3 Tnz'qran Human
- 7.1.4 Yugr Human
- 7.1.5 Ruskata Human
- 7.1.6 Grendarrym Human
- 7.1.7 Modern Uruzataar Human
- 7.1.8 Qoktengal Human
- 7.1.9 Highlander Human
- 7.1.10 Agrarian Radmir Human
- 7.1.11 Modern Radmir Human
- 7.1.12 Qi-Fu Human
- 7.1.13 Basal Vishga Imuuga Human
- 7.1.14 Storm Island Native
- 7.1.15 Komjátinan Human
- 7.1.16 Modern Storm Islander
- 7.1.17 Black Sand Islander Native
- 7.2 Elves
- 7.3 Gargoyles
- 7.4 Giants
- 7.5 Trolls
- 7.6 Dwarves
- 7.7 Halflings
- 7.8 Lizardman
- 7.9 Dragons
- 7.10 Mermaids
- 7.11 Oni
- 7.12 Araknea
- 7.13 Treants
- 7.14 Hobgoblins
- 7.15 Goblins
- 7.16 Ogre
- 7.17 Molemen
- 7.18 T'lc-Kha
- 7.19 Teriads
- 7.1 Humans
- 8 Geopolitics
- 8.1 Westrasi
- 8.1.1 Goldland
- 8.1.2 Windhell Valley
- 8.1.3 Storm Islands
- 8.1.4 Kingdom of Belara
- 8.1.5 Morloux Republic
- 8.1.6 Sarkation Empire
- 8.1.7 Kingdom of Vesterlanders
- 8.1.8 Sisilia Citystates
- 8.1.9 Lahaila Merchant Republic
- 8.1.10 Kingdom of Uoro
- 8.1.11 Lazari Confederation
- 8.1.12 Jorivakia
- 8.1.13 Tautoburg
- 8.1.14 Halfling-Giant Alliance
- 8.1.15 Wyrd Tribelands
- 8.1.16 Yoroslovan Kingdom
- 8.1.17 Yoroi Tribelands
- 8.1.18 Vashian Republic
- 8.1.19 Araxian Kingdom
- 8.1.20 Veranese Citystates
- 8.1.21 Leixi-Airoxian Commonwealth
- 8.1.22 Terravia
- 8.1.23 Chiefdom of Voroi
- 8.1.24 Principality of Suezi
- 8.1.25 Farisian Republic
- 8.1.26 Euraxian Kingdom
- 8.1.27 Uroxian Federation
- 8.1.28 Free City of Betranox
- 8.1.29 Chiefdom of Uraka
- 8.1.30 Sarcian Mountain Tribes
- 8.1.31 Saramese Kingdom
- 8.1.32 The Wastrasian Trade Bureu
- 8.2 Celestia Subcontinent
- 8.3 Suoxi-Dan Dio [Celestial Empire]
- 8.4 Northedge
- 8.5 Grendarrym
- 8.6 Sanukinuiq
- 8.7 Frozen Kingdom of Troll King Skrug
- 8.8 Lost Nation of Yugr
- 8.9 Central Plains
- 8.9.1 World Scar
- 8.9.2 Uruzataar Khanate
- 126.96.36.199 Kara Khan
- 188.8.131.52 The Tear of Kara Khan
- 184.108.40.206 Pre-Conquest States within the borders of the Khanate
- 220.127.116.11 Khans of the Uruzataar Khanate
- 18.104.22.168 Crystal Spire
- 8.9.3 Tnz'qran Raiders
- 22.214.171.124 History
- 126.96.36.199 Nhi'Orde
- 188.8.131.52 K'elle'Orde
- 184.108.40.206 Hte'Orde
- 220.127.116.11 Qssl'Orde
- 18.104.22.168 Eta'Orda
- 22.214.171.124 Qwwl'Orde
- 126.96.36.199 Swe'yus
- 8.9.4 Nulamore
- 8.9.5 Janedi Citystates
- 8.9.6 Supprian Alliance
- 8.9.7 Treant Empire
- 8.9.8 Treant Vassal Nations
- 8.10 Midland
- 8.10.1 Ruk
- 8.10.2 Zephyr Mountains
- 8.10.3 Thoughtcrafters Commune
- 8.10.4 Grand Duchy of Komjátina
- 188.8.131.52 History
- 184.108.40.206 Culture
- 220.127.116.11 Government
- 18.104.22.168 The Houses
- 22.214.171.124 The House of Komjátina
- 126.96.36.199 Ecology
- 8.10.5 Cannibal Cults
- 8.10.6 Necroswampers
- 8.10.7 The Marshes of Drache
- 8.10.8 Seem
- 8.11 Ram's Head
- 8.11.1 Honorable Ecinevian League
- 8.11.2 Confederacy of Highland Bean Farmer Cantons
- 8.11.3 Nanji Citystate Alliance
- 8.11.4 Gold Coast Tribes
- 8.11.5 Punaji Chiefdom
- 8.11.6 Ranji
- 8.11.7 New Belwed
- 8.11.8 Mun
- 8.11.9 Maaga Amazon Tribes
- 8.11.10 Boro
- 8.11.11 Maag Kingdom
- 8.11.12 Pash Kingdom
- 8.11.13 Theocracy of Radmir
- 8.11.14 Mai-Xi Dynasty
- 8.11.15 Heretics of Viy and Svyat
- 8.12 Eastralia
- 8.13 West Sea
- 8.13.1 Grand Mollusk Reef
- 8.13.2 Minor Mollusk Reef
- 188.8.131.52 The Mollusc Stragglers
- 184.108.40.206.1 Nation
- 220.127.116.11.2 Culture
- 18.104.22.168.3 Religion
- 22.214.171.124.4 Organization
- 126.96.36.199.5 Origin
- 188.8.131.52.6 Diplomacy
- 184.108.40.206.7 Geography
- 220.127.116.11.8 Economy
- 18.104.22.168 The Mollusc Stragglers
- 8.13.3 Counsil of Pirates
- 8.13.4 The Most Devout Followers of Quilio-Fil'zón
- 8.1 Westrasi
- 9 Writefaggotry
- 9.1 Mek-Shaman's Travel Journal
- 9.2 Belarian Explorer's Desert Journal
- 9.3 The Chosen Child
- 9.4 The Glutton
- 9.5 Chill Anon's Midlands Oneshot
- 10 Threads
Gloria-Etalia is a setting which was brought into existence when Anon gave /tg/ an empty map and people doodled things onto it. Gloria-Etalia is a post-post-apocalypse world where the remnants of the once great civilizations remain, but they has decayed beyond recognition and the world is mostly in the medieval peroid.The continent is about 4200 km north to south and 6300 km west to east. For contex, the Westrasi Sea is about the size of Italy.
Every culture developed their own interpretation of magic. Magic is, at its core, a meta-manipulation of physical rules. Existence itself is permeated by an energy that is referred to by many names, and it is the formation block of everything. From the tiniest speck of matter to life itself. It's the action of drawing from, molding, and releasing this energy that allow some to bend reality to their wills. Because of this, it can be used in an hypothetical infinite amount of ways. The more noticable magic systems used by nations are listed below. (Keep you're descriptions vague enough to be used in multiple systems)
While the setting of Gloria-Etalia has their own form of magic called ritual magic, this should not interfere with any system that has some form of magic. Hypothetically, ritual magic can be integrated into any system with a form of magic casting with ease. If you are playing a low or no magic system ritual magic can be safely ignored to use Gloria Etalia in your setting, but a few lore points will have to be re-explained or ignored. You have been warned.
To create and cast powerful spells, most nations have created a form of magic called ritual magic. This is complex and requires time, resources, and manpower, but has powerful results. The eternal jungles of the treants are maintained by ritual magic, for example. Ruskata’s powerful ice magic that halted the Khanate's advances was also ritual magic. Unlike the normal spells of your system, ritual magic has limitless potential, where the power of the spell is directly connected to how much time, resources, and manpower is put into it. As a GM, you have a choice to keep ritual magic out of the hands of the players and use it solely as a tool for the setting. You can also allow your players to access it in limited ways, or to use it freely. The choice is yours!
There is an optional rule for playing in Gloria-Etalia that the most powerful spells that your characters can access (like the 8th and 9th level spells in fifth edition of dungeons and dragons) are ritual spells. To cast a ritual spell, you will need to achieve four prerequisites. Time, Resources, and Manpower. For an example, let us take the 8th level spell clone and cast it using ritual magic. Please note that this is casting the spell clone using Gloria-Etalia ritual magic, and not as a 5e ritual. First let us look at the resources you need to cast a ritual spell. This can simply be the regular components to cast the spell, but at your GM’s discretion you can require more or less components or a special item to cast it. Next, the time to cast the spell is decided by the GM, but is usually no less than a day of constant casting. This however does not mean the same person or people have to cast the spell the entire time for it to work. This brings us to the final prerequisite: manpower. The amount of people needed to cast the spell will vary from spell to spell and system to system. The amount of people needed to cast the spell is decided by the GM, but less powerful spells usually require less people than more powerful spells. You can also decrease the amount of people needed to cast the spell at the cost of an increased amount of time and resources, and decrease the amount of time and resources needed to cast a spell with more manpower. How much is increased or decreased is decided by the GM. Taking our example of clone, we can declare that it would require 3 people 1 full day to cast it, using the normal components for clone. If you had 6 people to cast the spell, you can have 3 casters each cast for 12 hours, or have all six of them cast for 10 hours and use less components. If you had 12 casters, they could take 8 hour shifts three at a time or cast it all together for 6 hours and a reduction of components. This is only an example however, and should not be used to argue with your GM.
Ritual Magic is difficult and dangerous. If by one reason or another a ritual ends prematurely, the consequences could be catastrophic. A premature end to a ritual can happen over small actions, like if a person stops chanting or moves away from his position. When a ritual ends prematurely, potentially anything could happen, from everyone in the area going insane to everyone’s hair disappearing and being replaced by living flowers. The exact danger that befalls botching ritual magic is decided by the GM, but can easily be dire.
Any spellcaster can cast a ritual spell, and they do not have to know the spell to cast it. However any caster that does not know the spell must be taught to cast it as a ritual by someone who does know how to cast it. This is not the same as knowing how to cast the spell, but rather the movements and chanting required to cast it using ritual magic. This will take time and effort, the amount of which is decided by the GM. A spellcaster can be a level below the spell level to cast it as a ritual. Using our example ritual spell clone, a spellcaster of 7th level or higher can attempt to learn it as a ritual, but a spellcaster below that level will not be able to learn it. Again, this is up to the GM to decide and if you use this passage to argue with him you are a ninny and have to announce, loudly!, that you are a ninny to the table. And you still can't use the passage to argue, no matter how loudly you declare your ninnyness.
A GM is allowed to declare the casting of a ritual to be impossible when set up in certain ways. He can also declare that certain spells cannot be cast using ritual magic. This is to prevent the use of spells like 5e’s simulacrum to cheese the ritual magic system away from its intention
Another optional rule is that normal ritual spells can be cast by PC’s. These are powerful spells not found in your system’s spell lists, but in the world of Gloria-Etalia. These can be learned through NPC casters, exploration, or by other means. A player can also attempt to create their own ritual, but it must be decided by the GM if the spell is possible to create. Creating your own ritual will be a difficult, adroudious, and time consuming process that is completely up to GM to determine.
Largely based on curses and mischief. Trolls utilize crude runes and some items related to the target or purpose of their magic (a fetch or voodoo doll, hair, blood, treasured items) and/or bloody rituals using livestock. Old trolls can burden others with a curse simply by declaring one but the spiritual, magical power required to maintain the curse remains lost to them until the curse is lifted or runs its course.
The world of Gloria-Etalia has developed many languages. There are five major human proto-tounge language families. The Westrasian tounge, Qoktengel, Tribux, Diverux, and Souxi. These families break down further into indivusial languages. Almost each nation has their own dialect of the language, and these dialects in the same language group can be understood after some translation efforts and can be relatively easy to learn by a person who knows the language. Learning a language in the same language family is harder, but can be done. Learning a language in a different language group is very hard.
The Westrasian Tounge
These languages are spoken by The Westrasi, The Grendarrym, and The Izill. The tounge breakes down into five main languages, and further down to individual dialects.
Spoken by Belara, Goldland, Windhell Valley, Morolux, Sarkation, and the Storm Island.
Spoken by Lazari, Uoro, Tautoburg, Jorivakia, Lahaila, Vesterlands, and Wyrd.
Spoken by Terravia, Voroi, Suezi, Yoroslovan, Yoroi, Vashian, Veranese, and Uraka. Some Halfling and giant loanwords have made it into the language due to a small slave population.
Spoken by Araxian, Farisian, Sarcian, Leixi-Airoxian, Uroxian, Saramese, Bertnuio, and Euraxian.
Is a mix of Nanauit and Westrasi. Is a lot closer to what the original proto-Westrasi would've sounded like.
Is spoken in Izill and used to be spoken in The Cursed Wasteland. Is the closest surviving language to proto-westrasi.
Qoktengel is spoken by most of the north. The three nations who speak these languages are the Uruzataar, Qi-fu, Ruskata. It is broken into five differnt languages, and further down into local dialects.
Is spoken by the Khanate in their homeland. It used to be a lot more diverse but the rise of the great khanate wiped out a lot of tribes and languages.
Is a mix of Uruzari and Destfurkuski. Spoken in parts of the northern Khanate.
Is a mix of Ururuski and Fuufakaji. Is spoken in the eastern Khanate.
Is the native language of the Ruskatan region. Is spoken in Ruskata, Norvia, in conquered Ruskan terrority, and Yugr. Has been heavily influenced by Grendarrym, Nananuit, and Troll.
The native language of the Qi-Fu region. Is spoken in Qi-Fu, Ta-li hold, and conquered eastern lands.
Souxi is spoken by The Souxi-Dan Dao, The Tnz'qran Raiders, and The Kingdom of Ivory. It has four languages, and can be broken further down into local dialects.
Is spoken as the common language of the Celestial Empire. Can be broken down into the High and Low Dio-Dao-Souxi dialects, which act as almost completly different languages. Uses the 36 letters of the Celestial alphabet. These are each made by combining a symbol of one of the six elementals with that of itself or another.
Uses pictograms instead of the Celestial alphabet. Was the origional writing system in the Celestial Empire but a standard system was created for common use. This system is still used by the elite classes for official and holy texts.
Is the common language and uses the 36 letters of the Celestial alphabet.
Is the language group spoken by the Ivory coast, Swe'yus, Nulamore, and The Jandi City-States. Is the closest to the Souxi-Dan language but has changed a lot due to an influx of forgien language groups.
Is the northern and eastern language group of the Tnz'Qran Raiders.
Is the southern language group of the Tnz'Qran Raiders.
Is the languages of the various south eastern nations. It has 5 languages, and can be broken further down into local dialects.
Is used by the Honorable Ecinevian League and the Supparian Alliance.
Is used by the southern Treant vassal tribes. Is a mix of Mreek and treant.
Is used by the Ranji, Punaji, Nanji, Gold coast, and Boro nations.
Is used by the Mun, Maaga, and Canton Confederacy
Is used by the Maag and Pash Kingdoms, and some of the canton confederacy
Is the language groups of the midlands and parts of the Ram's head. Is broken down into four languages, and can be broken further down into local dialects.
Is spoken in Duchy of Komjátina, Seem, and in the northern marshes of Drache.
Is spoken by the necroswampers, the cannibal cults, and in the southern marshes of Drache.
Is spoken by the Treant vassal nations. Is a mix of Triverux and Treant.
Is spoken by the theoracy of Radmir, Mai-xi, and the Heretics of Vin and Savat.
The Treant languages are truly ancient and have stayed relatively unchanged due to the Treants long lifespans and strong memory. It has seen a few changes recently due to the mixing with the many human vassal tribes to the dismay of the older generations, although these changes are comparatively small to the influence the Treants have had on the vassal languages.
Giant is a language which bases itself of the natural low sounds giants produce. The language itself is a simple syllabic language, but this constraint of low Giant vocal cords gave birth to the idea that "Giants are mentally impaired". After all, a non-Giant only hears every 3rd sound a giant even makes when speaking!
While minor tribes still speak the true "halfling tongue", most speak a bastardized version of "Sukwestu". Halflings from many tribes were enslaved by Sukwestu speakers as such upon their escape or freeing and return to their tribes it developed as a language of inter-tribal communication.
The tongue of the trolls has a layer based structure. Akin to how trolls seem to grow more intelligent with age so does their language. Unlike the languages of other races Troll is not learned and is a language Trolls are born with and thus as universal among them as barks are for dogs. A troll's age can often be told easily by simply how they talk and how many layers of complexity of "Twerlrlow" they use.
The language of the northern Sankinuiq elves. Also known as "snowtongue" is the hunter's tongue of the Snow Elves of Sankinuq. Nanauit unlike other elven tongues does not derive from Proto-Elvish. Instead if derives from the special tongues early snow elf hunters used. Using their sophisticated vocal cords hunters would imitate the wind, or sound of stepping on snow. That's how the language was born. Partly because of it's usefulness it became the trade language of the elves and slowly replaced their native tongues. Currently both hunter's Nanauit and common Nanauit are spoken, Common is simplified sound-wise and gentler on the ear.
Cant and Creole Tounges
--TODO, add the creole stronghold tounges--
A creole tounge created from a mix of Qistsouxu, Souxinakoa, and Mreek language groups. It is the result of multiple invasions into the lands of the Swe'yusi over hundreds of years. The resulting language is used by the common people of Swe'yus and in local trading areas.
Black Cant is a mix of words from the native black sand island tounges, westrasian languages, and a few halfling words. It's used for pirates to identify and communicate with each other outside of safe ports. It also is being used in the Westrasi criminal underground as a safe way to communicate.
The world of Gloria-Etalia is broken up into different eras. These eras while used by some nations are not universal.
The lore here needs a lot of work! If it dosn't make sense, then please make it make sense.
- Genesis: Unknown to -2450
- The Dawn: -2450 to 0
- The Collapse: 0 > 1200
- Antiquity: 1200 > 3500
- Era of Discovery: 3500 > 4250
- Era of Expansion: 4250 > 4750
- The Modern Day: 4750 > 5000 (Present)
No one knows how Gloria-Etalia was created, at least no one who is still alive. Truth to be told, the first sentient creatures that evolved on the planet were not concerned by this fact, and unfortunately they had no time to ponder it, because from space came a new race called Humans, that brought technology and through technology changed the world. Nature itself was given a semblance of sentience so it could please their new masters, and in this way the Treants were created. Great projects were created. Some biological like the Molluscs, hivemind "janitors" that were tasked with enforcing a climate according to their masters wishes and more. Technical projects were also created to, like the great amusement parks of the what is now known as the world scar. The whole planet was united by race that achieved its utopia.
But no utopia lasts forever, and there can be no utopia for everyone. Evolved races that considered Gloria its home were bioengineered to be stunted in their evolution. Many of them were made such that it was impossible for them to enter the human societies. But this cruelty was ended by what could be considered divine punishment. A giant meteorite hit the largest nuclear powerplant on the planet, engulfing most of the planet in nuclear fireball. Radiation in atmosphere combined with nuclear ash blocking from the sun made most of the planet uninhabitable. The Era of man was over and now is lost and forgotten. Thus began The Dawn.
The Dawn is called so because beings that continued to live on Gloria-Etalia saw the meteorite hitting the ground combined with a nuclear explosion that engulfed the planet in flames, as the rising of a second sun. Destruction was so great that all the pain, death and souls lead to birth of new god Some of goverment offcials quickly evacuated, but most humans were left behind. They hid in bunkers, and used what remained of their technology to wage war on one another, culminating in threat of another nuclear anihilation, that pushed gods of the planet to direct action, and destruction of remnants of human modern military. With mayor city centers destroyed by apocalipse, strife, and wrath of gods, humans survived only in far off corners of the world, rest were mutated beyond human limits, while small minority just vanished from the annals of history.
It took a long time before the planet was stabilized again, but some beings used this instability to its advantage. Trolls, and Dragons, both resilient creatures were first to have an impact on the Age of Dawn, but it wasn't a positive impact. They began hunting each other in the plains and mountains of the north, and those hunts lasted centuries or even millenia. Only the youngest survived in the end, and were alive to see the creation of the first human hunter gatherer tribes that managed to cultivate agriculture and animal husbandry, but they were also witness to the last contact with that cosmos this planet had. Three ships flew from the sky, one hit the ground in the plains near the world scar, and was forgotten by most races, but not elves, who were its passengers. Two other ships were more curious. They were called Gloria and Etalia. Alien creatures that were on board brought seeds of civilization back to this world. Writing and reading, simple metallurgy and more. They also brought supplies, and everywhere they went they brought happiness and hope. Future generations remembered Gloria and Etalia as gods, or goddesses that depending on their mythology created the world, humans, or were just protectors of planet, so they named it after them. Gloria and Etailia created a paradise for man to live in harmony under their rule.
No one knew why Gloria and Etalia left, and probably no one will ever know. Everyone however knew that they did leave, and that mortals need to finally forge their own destiny in this world. In this first period after their takeoff, civilizations grew like grass after a rain. Most of the sprouted nations rose and fell too quickly to be anything other than footnotes in historical books. Many cultures managed to establish countries and kingdoms that lasted many years, but as tides of history turned they too ultimately became just part of the mythological realm.
Two of most well known empires in the present day are the empire of Yugr, and empire of Drache. They were almost exact opposites of each other. The evil Yugr enslaved all of the north, and under its ruleship made earth itself bleed frozen tears. Drache peacefully united all of Midlands, and established rule of law and justice. Many myths and legends tell of tales of wars between the two empires, but all of them agree that destruction of both came from within. Yugrians mastered icecraft and frostcraft magic, but even they couldn’t stop the ice age that froze most of the north. Knowing this they retreated into their ancestral valley deep in the north, and in one night Yugr stopped existing in the eyes of the rest of the world. The region quickly fell into obscurity, with the former slaves fighting against each other for dominance. Dwarfs, Elves, Humans and most importantly Trolls all fought for power. Many war chiefs rose and fell, without any achievements of note.
Drachne on another hand was so focused on fighting external threats, that they ignored the growing darkness inside of their empire. One of the tribes from the forbidden crater created new and terrible art of magic – necromancy. They quickly mastered it, managed to breach the barrier of death, and achieved lichdom. With this corruptive power they quickly attacked the empire, and destroyed city after city. When they stopped by gates of the capital of Drachne, it was agreed that no matter what happens to the empire that the necromancers have to be stopped. With great power and ritual magick long forgotten the Drachne mages destroyed the undead armies of their enemy, but in the process cursed the land. No normal life could continue there. Earth turned into mud. In some places no matter the hour the sun seemed to never rise. In other places it seems to never fall. Everywhere humans fell to sicknesses, and in a matter of years the empire fragmented, and fragmented until it was no more. The last line of the Drache royalty tried to recreate its empire in the west near the mountains, but all records of their rule as been lost to time. It is worth noting that over the milenia the ancient curse grew weaker and no longer holds control over the coastal lands and borders of the once empire. It is no longer the fertile land it once was however, but a desolate and dangerous swamp.
Some civilizations not only survived a few centuries, but managed to become foundation stones for future kingdoms. Many of them were nomads, like the many ordas on the great steppe, or the Canne people that conquered northern Ram’s Head and assimilated native Kappara and Old Radmir civilizations. Different kind of nomads existed on black sand islands. There existed a sea faring people like no other in the whole world. They spend their lives almost only on their ships, traveling from island to island only to resupply. They finally were united by king, but even then they never accepted a sedentary lifestyle. They found cities, but still had an incredible connection to the sea. A different growth was seen in Westrasi. Following the departure one nation was created and unified the whole continent, or at least that is how westrasi like to remember this period. All nations unified under one banner. However there are little historical accounts of such creation, just an oral tradition reinforced and written down after the creation of the Church of Gloria Estalia in the middle of the Antique age. In fact the few historical writings from the period from this Celestial Empire describe this region as divided, and no less barbaric than the rest of the world.
Finally there are three civilizations that not only have their roots in the third era, but are well documented. The first of them is the Celestial Empire. The Souxi-Dan Dao people at first were just the nations of Souxi, Dan and Dao. Each nation with its own kingdom, and each unified in culture, technology and language by end of era. The other two empires copied the achievements of the Celestial empire. Qu-Fu in the north-east was the first empire to do so, and in fact was the only country recognized by isolationists Celestials for a long time. Inversely, the Treant Empire back then was just a jungle south of the Midland, but slowly growed forward. After their first contact with the human empires and the Celestial explorer, Treans understood the importance of politics when dealing with the fleshier races. It was the beginning of their use of vassal tribes to extend their influence.
Era of Expansion
The Modern Day
Giant turtles living only on the wastes of Windhell Valley. Growing up to 7 feet high and about 10 feet in diameter, their large sizes, heavy shells, and dense bones prevent them from being taken by the winds.
One of the more unique behemoths of Goldland, pyrosaurs have an odd defense mechanism. Their long, hollow crests are used to store a flammable substance which, when the beast is threatened, is sprayed out as it combusts. The Pyrosaur gives out a booming howl and a gush of flames from its mouth, scaring off most of daring predators.
Storm Island Fauna
Small burrowing snakes from the wastes of Windhell Valley. They feast on any tiny creature that nears their burrows, striking prey with incredibly potent venom that could kill a human in minutes. The venom's potency makes it a very valuable and sought-after substance among the locals' hunters and Westrasian traders.
Human-sized aerial jellyfish that use the strong winds of Windhell Valley to move around and feed. These jellies are a primary source of food for the locals. Windjellies come in a variety of sizes and range from white to light blues, purples, or grays in coloration.
Wyverns are smaller, piscivorous relatives to the larger, predatory, and far more intelligent dragons of the east. They are often seen soaring over the Westrasi sea and the ocean offshore of Belara and the Storm Islands. They grow up to have wingspans of about 30 feet and come in a variety of colors.
A distant relative to the wyverns of Westrasi's inner seas. Instead of vivid colorations and elaborate crests, northern wyverns have shale-colored thick scales, snow white fuzz, and antler-like horns. They have also adapted more to scavenging on the beached carcasses of whales and preying on terrestrial animals on the beaches and mountains of Northedge. Because of their armored integument and predatory nature, Grendarrym warriors praise these wyverns as the ultimate game. One would be seen as a paragon of strength if they were able to slay a northern wyvern.
Inhabiting over the inner seas of North Westrasi on the Sarkation coast and some coastlines of Belara, the Belaran wyverns are the most common species. People of the Sarkation Empire have managed to successfully tame Belaran wyverns and even use them as aerial mounts. These creatures range across the whole Northedge region.
The largest and rarest of the four wyvern species, growing wingspans up to 35 to 40 feet. The large bounty of fish and the inhospitable conditions of the Storm Islands and its nearby waters have given them larger sizes and much more aggressive demeanors. Unlike other wyverns that are seen in at least pairs, storm wyverns are solitary and territorial. Their agression and sheer power can be a challenge to even the hardy natives; killed storm wyverns are a rare instance, tamed ones are even rarer.
Farisian Emerald Wyvern
Known for their shiny, bright green coloration, the Farisian emerald wyvern is the smallest of the four species growing wingspans up to 15 feet. They are also the ones that come in the largest groups, at most five, and are the most skittish.
Saramese Parrot Wyvern
The most common wyvern around the Westrasi Sea. The Saramese parrot wyverns are known for their wide range of vivid colorations. Westrasi nations, especially the Saramese, have bred parrot wyverns for their colors and made them attractive assets in the menageries of nobles and kings.
A Type of Taurox which seems to overproduce blood. The creature is very tame and seems to have been "domesticated" by the Tkgerian Galoping Bat. It is the largest known bovine currently in existence at 3 meters in height. Humans also keep these animals, but have to keep in mind they attract bats and need to be subject to constant bloodletting or they will grow sick.
The height could varies a lot by range, averaging from 2m height to 4m, but they can grow bigger. They migrate in packs from North Celestia to the Thoughtcrafters Commute and back yearly. They are viewed as sacred beasts by the Raiders. Some North Celestial nobles keep miniature giant lions, and breed for unique fur colorations.
Native around the southeast jungles, Greatbumbles are giant bees grow around to the size of cats. Although very large and a bit defensive when threatened, they are overall friendly towards humanoids. Due to this approachable disposition, peoples within the Treant Empire even keep them as house pets.
Oozestadons are giant near extinct elephant like creatures native to The Great Plains. They release a thick mucous from their trunks that dissolves grasses into a nutritious paste when they then slurp up. This paste when fermented was used to create the traditional drink Qoiag, though in modern times it is usually made from fruit juices. Oozestadons have been rendered near extinct by massive human migration and population booms in the great plains. This is especially dangerous as they were a key food source for Dragons, who have become more and more dangerous as they become desperate for food over the generations.
Large, crab/spider-like creatures that live on the cliffs that descend into the World Scar. they reach out and eat any creature that flies near or falls down above their cave burrows.
Simileons take the appearance of a large baboon with a lion-like face. Growing to up the size of gorillas, simileons are fearsome hypercarnivores of the south forests having both powerful bulk and incredible agility. They also hunt in coordinated packs making them an even more frightful encounter.
Stickygrass is a type of meat-eating plant. Some parts of the plain a severely lacking in ammonia and that's where the sticky grass grows. If faced with a lack of ammonia the grass becomes extremely sticky and viscous. The "viscous liquid" instantly solidified when touching "salt" (sweat). Easily capturing small critters or even ones as big as a coarse. Once prey is caught the grass starts slowly producing acid which will dissolve the corpse and fertilise the ground.
It is suspected that stickygrass is very common, but just rarely faces conditions of low ammonia content.
Tkgerian Galoping Bat
Tkgerian Galoping Bats are a common species of vampiric bat which used to prey on megafauna. The Bat is about the size of a rabbit and can move by flight or by "galopping". It feeds on the blood of other species. These bats are considered very dangerous not just due to them sucking blood, but also due to the dangerous desiese they spread. The Bats are eusocial and raise children communally creating large underground cave-hives. Where they store blood in iron-rich waxes.
Once created to be familiars for a shaman in the Ram's Head, they are small monkeys with a skin and face that has a clay-like consistency. They often mold their faces to the ones of certain animals in the jungles they live with. Monkeys that are raised in captivity or lived in human settlements almost always choose the faces of humans.
Fire eels are native to the rivers and inner sea of the southeastern tropics. They have a unique predation strategy that involves producing a oily substance that produces great amounts of heat, cooking their prey alive. The eels are fished by the locals that harvest this hot substance to be used in alchemy for elixir brewing or turned into a flammable substance used in naval combat.
Semiaquatic predators from the northernmost shores of Northedge. About the size of a bear, the Akhlut takes the appearance of an orca with wolf-like legs and head. The Nananuit elves tame these beasts as mounts to traverse and hunt in the tundras, cold seas, icebergs, and glaciers.
Bramblebirds are named so after their multiple spindly legs that allow them to traverse terrain.
On the smaller end of bramblebirds, the thornrail is about a foot tall. Thornrails are scavengers inhabiting in the mountain circle in the middle of Midland and are known for their legs that are covered in spiny scales.
The Wading Bramblebird lives in the Drache marshes, growing up to heights of 6 feet. Due to their large size and ability to traverse on the swamp muck, some humans and goblins of the marshes have domesticated these birds.
Drache Giant Turtle
An extinct species of large turtle native to the Drache Marshes. Not much is known except that they could've grown to about 15 feet in length. A necromancer one time got his hands on a complete skeleton of a giant turtle and reanimated it as his personal vehicle.
The Glowing Mushroom Valleys
One of the most traitorous places within the Dutchy of Komjatina and Marsches of Drache are the Mushroom Valleys. Few know why, but in said valleys only Mushrooms grow and any creature which sets foot there slowly dies. Even if you enter and then leave you still will die. It is said that the mushrooms lure in animals with colorful displays of light or by mimicking plants or fruit.
In truth said places are remnants of nuclear impact sites where mushrooms feeding on high levels of radiation now grow. By now the radiation levels in most of these valleys while still lethal are to low to support these grand giant myconic growths as such the mushrooms evolved to lure in animals which then die of radiation to supplement their diet.
The Borosian Pantheon
The Borosian Pantheon are made up of four gods. They are worshiped by the Boro people as folk heros who strived for the current ideals of the Boro nation.
The Arn are a fellowship of deities, worshiped by the northern peoples within the region of Skrug. Much of the faith involves acts of; singing, music, dance and many other acts of passion, skill, cunning and violence.
Two aliens who arrived on the planet during The Dawn and gave a bunch of technology to barbarian tribes to uplift and civilise them. However the humans who used their gifts lived immorally and improperly in their eyes, and in disgust they distroyied the uplifted nations and left. They are mostly worshiped in Westrasi but can be found all over the world. They are viewed as a benevolent god with two faces who came down to the planet to give a paradise to humans, but when the some "savage" humans broke the rules of paradise they left with the proper humans and their paradise to live in the stars. While only one gods with great power, they also had angels (AI helpers) at their beck and call. The main rule of the church is to be the most civilised person you can be, and to civilise others in the world so that one day Gloria-Etalia might come back. All other gods are viewed as being barbaric gods, and must be killed if they dont submit to the civilized ways of Gloria-Etalia.
The Cult of Miracle
Cult was founded by Arkan the I, the first grand Ressurectionist, and one of most favoured followers of First Prophet. Under his ruleship two major philars of cult belief were created - ten lessons, and saint worship. Ten lessons are 10 rules to live by in peace with Miracle, that were based on life of First Prophet, and miracles he was part of. Those are: 1 Don't be afraid of worldy dangers, for Miracle is your protector 2 Dedicate your pain to the Miracle, for pain is road of life 3 Never doubt in Miracle, for everyone has place in its plans 4 Don't stop in spreading truth of Miracle, for paralysis of hearth is paralysis of soul 5 Never stop in fighting demon worshippers, for they reject Miracle 6 Be weary of pleasures of flesh, for they will pull you away from Miracle 7 Enforce your will on the earth, for its your gift from Miracle 8 Controll your passions, for they are winds that will split you from Miracle 9 Be fortress of truth on face of earth, for only best are Miracle chosen 10 When times come don't be afraid to sacrefice yourself. Your life was given by miracle, and one day you will give it back. Those lessons are reason of pondering of generations of sholars, but official doctrine of church is that they go in rising order. First three are demanded from all worshippers, next three from wariors, nobles, and people of influence, next three from priests, and temple guards, and last one is demanded only from Ressurectionists. Church hierarchy is simple. At the bottom there are acolites, people that still take their priestly lessons. After person stops being acolite, they can chose two paths. Path of scroll or path of shield.
First one leads to becoming priest, missionary, hight priest, Ressurectionist, and then Grand Ressurectionist. As person goes throught this hierarchy they are revealed more and more secrets, rituals, and even are teached blessings (priestly spells). Ressurectionists are called so because they are teachen blessing of life, only way to bring way the dead that is not belived to be consorting with demons (anything that is phisicaly dealing with souls of men is considered to be demonology). To cast bleesing of life whole conclave, all 21 ressurectionists including the Grand one, have to met, and confirm need to use power of Miracle this way. Way of the sword is even simpler, you become, temple guardian, grave guardian, and and grave saint. As you rise in ranks and become grave guard you are expected to drink undead blood poision, and forced to suffer. Those that survive 10 hours of this totrute are healed by hight priests, who cast on them multiple blessings. To become Grave Saint you first have to be in Grave guard in for one houndred years, and then you are put in grave made of solid gold for a week. If miracle puts its gaze on them and transforms them they becoem grave saints, otherwise they turn into solid gold, and are put in baracks of grave guard. Cult of saint is idea that all gods that people of Gloria worship are in fact aspects of Miracle, and because of this ther are ougt to be acknowleged as saints, and used as way to convert those of other religions. This religous syncretism works, and in fact more and more people across are starting to worship Miracle. Cult is also used to give honors to great Heroes, and statesmen of Radmir nation.
Ram's Head Religions
Though they very region to region, even having multiple variations within a single nation, most cultures within Ram's head believe in a similar group of gods, known collectively as the Burveda, meaning 'Lordly Ones'. However, there are exceptions like the Borose people. The basic template for the local myths usually follow a trend of two great celestial beings, usually one representing 'Daylight' and 'Good' and the other representing things such as the Moon or Night. These two beings, for one reason or another will enter conflict. The Maagan Amazon tribes believe that Sun and Moon battled over the 'Oneness' of the land and created man and woman in their respective beliefs on what the heir to the world they made should be like. Thus started a great war that was only stopped by the Monarch of plantlife, being both male and female, which brokered peace. Many influences from other cultures can be found in the religions of Ram's Head, even those that do not have two clans of gods. The Kingdom of Maag worships their immortal Pharoh, The Lord Horrendous, who was once a Techno-Barbarian long before his ascension to immortality.
A god of the native black sand islands, his most common form is a humanoid figure shaped out of thick vines or rope. He was worshipped as a master of the body and the soul, and his practitioners were able to borrow his knowledge to heal the human body from near death and to perform powerful voodoo. His power came at a price however, and that price was offering him mortal souls. He would take the humanoids and “eat” them by wrapping them in thick vines, covering them.
The Borose Pantheon
There are four gods in the Borose pantheon.
Ghelut the Lightbringer, who was born from a secret spring on the highest peak of the Ram's Head. He has clairvoyance, but never uses it to alter the path of the world. He is the god of summer, fire, smiths, knowledge, and dogs. He is said to ride a chariot pulled by flaming dogs and patrols the horizon, when night comes when he descends into the abyss under the world to do battle.
Suht Duriannia, the Earth God. He is the child of a giant frog and the earth, and was born three times from a rocky egg. He has three heads and is the god of wealth, metal, stones, forts, and trickery. He guards the way to the dead lands. His priests oversee funerals.
Muvir Sahulahin, The Storm Witch. She is the goddess of the seas, rain, anger, and storms. She is a wrathful goddess that is equally feared as she is worshipped. Those that die at sea are sent to her domain instead of the dead lands, where they serve as her servants for eternity.
Conchobor Boro. Instead of starting out as a god, he earned it through his many exploits. He was the first king of Boro. He married a powerful wolf fey. Once did battle against the armies of the Amazons, The Kingdom of Maag, and The Gold tribes at once to defend his kingdom and his people. He fought alone for three days during a solar eclipse. Conchobor fought by himself with two swords and an axe against the might of his enemies until he fell due to his wounds. He spilled his intestines forth into the armies, and with his last act drowned the armies in his blood.
A humanoid with two faces. Their form was said to change, and so they can be depicted as having miltiple of one body part or none at all. They are viewed as the bringer of paradise and enlightenment. They also have many angels (read: robots) that can help humans with certian problems. While Gloria-Etalia is gone, many say that some angels remained to inform Gloria-Etalia when the mortals had learned their lesson and they were ready to experence paradise again. The angels also can give mortals blessings in leau of Gloria-Etalia to further the goal of civilizing the world.
Creed, lord of the skies, is the chief deity of the north in Skrug. Rulership, honor, victory, duty, storms, sunlight, the moon, lions, eagles, freedom, dancing and paternity are attributed to Creed. Veles priests will play music while Creed priests dance, each tries to out-compete the other, to offer more beautiful performances. Warriors scream oaths to Creed into the wind and sky before battle. New fathers dance when their first child is born. Vassals swear oaths of fealty upon Creed. Impromptu rituals are held when storms arise. Great dances are had in the rain in thanks and in the hope of a great harvest to follow. Duels are held under full moons. Freed slaves that come to worship Creed brand themselves with the sun over top of their old slave brands. These people often become warrior-priests, devoting themselves to the dance of battle.
Veles is the deity primarily worshiped by the Trolls of Skrug. A god of the underworld, the earth, waters, trickery, cattle, snakes, bears, wolves, music, and magic. Trolls believe that Veles grew them from the soil of the underworld like mushrooms on the bodies of the dead and watered them with blood and mead. Trolls with a gift for magic is rare and crude but is always attributed to being favored by Veles. Music is considered sacred and any who can play beautiful music for a faithful troll must be allowed safe passage so long as they offer no violence in return. Cunning is considered a chief virtue and clever mischief is as much an offering to veles as it is an enjoyable pastime.
Skala, the ocean mother, is the mistress of the sea and origin of life. The ocean, sailing, singing, dolphins, sea turtles, whales, merfolk, travel, adventure, hope, motherhood, adversity (WIP)
Fryt, the muse, the lorekeeper, inspiration, story telling, lore, art, craft, games, cats, mourning doves, flowers, puzzles, etiquette, comfort and healing
Miracle of the Creation:
Miracle of the Creation, sounds majestic, doesn't it? Truth is maybe even more majestic. Atleast MoC thinks so. MoC was born moment Asteroid G04-T hit mega theromonuclear reactor and during following fireball that engulfed most of planet. He was formed from all the pain, screams and souls of men and women that died this day. And he was alone in darknes. In darkness he found light, and this light were souls that were still alive, and stived forth to next day, even after world was in shreds. He watched them from afair for long, and only time he intervined was time when remnants of goverment that were left behind tried to fry rest of planet to take it all with themselves to graves. He disarmed all nuclear missles on planet, and massacred all people inolved in this as he saw it - greatest crime. After this, he let humans and other creatures to reign over planet undisturbed. He had no ill intentions to them, but as time grew he started to despise how weak they are, and how some of them allow themselves to be enslaved by beings similiar to him. He finaly had enought and selected one of the weakest men on earth, given him weapons to survive, guidance, and power, and in turn demanded him to bring stability. This man was First Prophet. He revealed him truth about himself, and even told him his True Name. But prophet while was great men, had all the sins of men in his heart, As he was started worshipped by his kinsmen he started to just use true name of miracle for his own gain. He did so until he died. After this Miracle tried to steer back radmirians to what he saw as just, but all the prophets had similiar stories to the first one. Miracle grew to despise humans, who are to weak to create something lasting, so he started to take most pure of them, and grand them knowlege and power how to create better world, at the price of human weekneses. All the grave saints and saints that walk the streets are part of this way of making better world.
The Wild Lord:
A giant humanoid with a build resembling a heavily furred satyr with the head of a fanged buck and talons at the end of his claw like fingers. He goes by many names as he wanders from one forest to the next, encountering many of the people of the world for good or ill. He is attended to by maenads, once human women that have fallen under his influence and abandoned their humanity as well as his sons, the satyr and his daughters the faun. A clay pot filled with blood (of any kind) left in the woods is considered the most common means of paying respect to the Wild Lord. Those who pay their respects to him before travelling through the forests often find their passage less dangerous than it might have been. While those who greedily plunder the wilds will find themselves stalked day and night by an unseen foe until at last they pay for their crimes. Hunters leave the heart of their kill upon a flat rock and encircle it with the blood of the kill as thanks. Druids seek to emulate his savagery in defense of nature. His children can be seen on the outskirts of forests carrying bags of tree seeds, spreading the forest and their father’s domain.
Races of the World
Westrasi are the dominant ethnic group on the western board of the continent. Stocky, tall, though less tall the Suoxi, they are often built stronger than their lanky tall counterparts in the east. Westrasi are hairy, often have rosy and fair complexion, and their hair colors varies regionally a lot. Blond and redhead in the north, deep shades of brown and black across the Westrasi sea. Green, e and hazel eyes are the most common colours.
Westrasi culture is as fragmented as their nations, though most Westrasi countries seem to be somewhat contentios and turbulent in history. Westrasi tend to worship Gloria-Etalia, though the specific religion changes a lot from country to country. Many countries have their own local religion, called 'Chapels'. These are not connected to any higher authority or between each other. Auraxian GE chapel is completely a different beast than the Euraxian GE chapel, for example. But a few countries worship GE through the centralize, multinational Church of the Divine Duality.
Suoxi human vary in height between 170cm and 205cm as adults, with an average of 190cm for men and 180cm for women. They are the tallest human ethnicity. Suoxi have skin that ranges from caramel to ochre, soft features, with thin lips and aquiline noses. They have almond-shaped eyes, which are often called 'narrow' or 'slit-eyes' by the Westrasi men, and often they are gold, hazel or yellow in color, though blue and green are also common. Suoxi are almost universally ashen-haired, though they vary from pure white to varying shades of grey and silver blond. Although they are tall, they aren't the broader or stronger of built. Suoxi males have very little body hair and females almost none. The Suoxi hair color gene seems to be recessive and in multi-racial pairings, almost certain to disappear.
The Souxi are the human ethnic group with the largest current population and the ultimate origin of most writing systems.
Beginning in the pastoral valleys of the Celestial subcontinent they would take advantage of the climate to commit massive feats of agriculture . The large population booms caused fierce competition which would lead to several Souxi migrations. These would carry the Celestial religion and pictograms with them, the later becoming the basis of the Uruz Script and Vishga-Imuugan Star Runes.
The Kif tribe migrated into Qoktengal lands where they intermixed with several groups of the Great Plains. They would settle in Eastralia and supplant the native Qoktengal culture of the "Spring Penisula"
A secondary mass migration would split in two at the Kanna knot.
One branch sailed south along the river and colonized the Nanj peninsula.
The larger group would migrate through the Planar Gulf until settling in the Eci Peninsula, where they would take immigrants from ancient Dryad cultures and form The First Pharaonacy.
The tribes remaining in the Celestial Valley would eventually stabilize into several petty kingdoms that would form the seeds of the modern Celestial Empire.
Suoxi humans are the largest ethnicity of humans on GE. They have dark, caramel to ochre skin, white hair, almond-shaped eyes and are very tall. Their hair is almost always a shade of white, light grey or silver blond, however, that pale hair is a recessive gene and disappears whenever a Suoxi has children with someone from a different ethnicity. Since Celestia culture is the dominant Suoxi culture, and Celestia is very xenophobic, white has acquired a connotation of purity and white hair is seen as a mark of Suoxi racial superiority to foreigners. The Celestia royal family hair is always pure white, as most of the nobility does too. Suoxi often have yellow, hazel, golden or light green eyes.
White, along with gold, are the colors associate with the faith in Celestia culture.
The Tnz'qran humans are short and stout. Growing between 1,6 - 1,7 for men and 1,5 - 1,6 for women. In spite of their short stature they have unusually long Arms likely due to Hobgoblin admixture. Depending on region the skin colour ranges from light yellow (Suoxi Admixture), Green (Treant Admixture) or Orange (Treat Vassal Admixture). All of them have almond eyes which are even more slit-like than those of the Suoxi people.
The people of Yugr are ancient and heavily altered by magic. Frost magic having flowed trough their bodies for millennia their skin has turned light blue and their body temperature is usually around 0 C. Their eyes are the color of bronze, the metal they still use for tool production.
The people of Ruskata are a rare breed, similar to Amazons in the fact that the women are taller and often stronger. Though in the Ruskata women that strength is magical not physical. The people of Ruskata are descendant from Grendarrym Humans, but possess less Elven admixture and are characterized with an unusually high Troll admixture. The Matriarchal lineages of many noble families are also descended of "Crones" which are a type of Fey.
The Grendarrym nation is made up of the Jorden people, who have blonde hair, fair skin, blue eyes, and broad, strong bodies.
The Grendarrym people have usually black hair and green or blue eyes. They are slender and tall and some are born with pointy ears suggesting large Elven admixture.
Modern Uruzataar Human
In spite of no real ethnic ties the Uzataar look similar to the Tnz'qran people. Their eyes are less almond shaped and they are taller on average, but likely due to goblin admixture tend to have a crooked posture.
The Qoktengal are an ancient race that first domesticated the horse, propagated tarrow-weed and colonized most of the Great Plains, Eastralia and Northedge.
Originally a small culture on the Qok River that hunted Oozestadons, horse domestication led to many tribes scattered across the ancient world.
When southern Qoktengal discovered Tarrow-Weed in the Sevalut river valley, the tribes quickly propagated its flying seeds. This led to stronger horses, fatter livestock, and a huge population increase.
With the numbers swelling the various Qoktengal cultures began to differentiate into various subgroups. The Modern Uruzatarr are the closest to the original group but Qoktengal ancestry is strong in the Tnz Ordes, Qifu and Ruskata as well as their descendant groups. The last of the "Qok Purebreds" are found in the Temegal Tribes, which are currently under the domain of the Uruzataar Khanate under Teme Khan.
Agrarian Radmir Human
Modern Radmir Human
Basal Vishga Imuuga Human
Storm Island Native
Extremely pale skin, with brown, black, or white hair. Their eyes are bigger than normal for humans, and the pupils are enlarged to catch more light. They burn easily in the sun.
Optional Trait. Because they have grown up generation after generation in eternal darkness, Komjátinan Humans have 20 ft of darkvision and sunlight sensitivity.
Modern Storm Islander
Black Sand Islander Native
Elves came to this world when their mothership crashed into the planet. For their own safety, they scattered far away from the crash site, and their origins soon became lost to living memory.
Elder Tribe Ravers
Drow are elves that have lived in eternal darkness of the Duchy. They are not evil, but simply have adapted to living in perpetual darkness. Like all elves, they have a maternal cultural structure.
Gargoyles supposedly came to be by mere accident. While a power craving, mad wizard was in the process of attempting to create life it is said he was come upon by a hero of great renown. In every nation where this tale is told, the locals insist it was one of their own. The wizard stood chanting outside a magic circle, within which was a dozen or more statues of various demonic and grotestque designs. As the evil wizard reached a crescendo in his chanting the hero launched himself at the villain, only to be struck in the back by a goblin's spear. The hero landed hard on the edge of the circle, his life blood issuing from him rapidly. The circle erupted with light and the villains shielded their eyes from what seemed like a sun blooming into existence. When the light faded the wicked arcanist cackled with delight. Each of his beautiful, beastial or hideous works of art now lived and breathed. With heinous delight he issued his creations first command, to finish off the would be hero. To his frustration and dismay the gargoyles leapt upon their creator and his minions instead. They say the component spells of protection weaved into their very being compelled them to protect others not destroy them. The wizard had ordered these creatures to go against their purpose and in their fury they denied him.
The wizard was left bloodied and beaten, his minions driven off and his lair in shambles. The newborn creatures flew the unconscious hero to his people and left him where he would be found before they hid from the eyes of men. They knew instinctively that their features were monsterous. When the hero regained consciousness he told all of his people of the living statues that saved him. Hearing this the gargoyles crept out of hiding. Upon seeing the hero's rescuers the people reacted with fright, despite the assurances of the barely living hero. He was powerless to stop his people from driving these creatures away. They flew into the mountains, never to return the people thought. As we now know that is not the case. A gargoyle is a guardian. That is its purpose, its destiny and fate. A gargoyles drive to defend is as strong as a lion's urge to kill.
Today small clans of these creatures can be bargained with for a defensive pact, if one is charismatic enough to convince them that one is trustworthy. A history of being regarded as demonic monsters has left them wary of trusting others with their safety. When the sun rises these creatures return to stone until the sun sinks beneath the horizon again. Gargoyles will burst out of a stone shell that forms about them during the day like a snake shedding its skin in an explosive fashion. Many grievous wounds will heal in time given enough cycles spent in daylight. A gargoyle is even said to be able to survive off of only daylight for some time before dying of thirst or starvation, such is the nurishment and power that the sun provides them. Still, they are utterly at the mercy of any who come upon them during the day. Whatever damage is done to them in this statuesque state of being is permanent. No amount of sunlight will heal such injuries. Likewise their eggs are rumored to turn to stone forever if exposed to direct sunlight and they must be placed under the light of a full moon if the eggs are to hatch. The eggs are said to be quite large in size and as heavy as stone, making them difficult to relocate. In return for the sanctuary of their clan, gargoyles are said to offer consumate protection at night. They are supposedly able to see through any darkness and fly as gracefully as birds of prey. Some gargoyles are as strong as trolls or possessed of a sense of smell as strong as any bloodhound. Would be assassins and creatures of the night are easily dispatched by these stoney guardians. Gargoyles also make for excellent scounts, provided they do not range far from safe roosting locations.
The giants are on average 12-20' tall depending on their age and are proportioned like slender humans. They live for a very long time unless killed 400-600, their size increasing slowly as they age, they reproduce rarely and mature slowly. Although not otherwise intellgent, they have a highly analytical mind focused on resourse and tribe management. Most of their thought process during the day is geared torwards the best and most efficient way to run their tribes. It takes a lot of effort to make them think about something else however, and talking to giants can be frustrating if it is not relating to their tribes.
Twice the height of a man or more, trolls generally have large curling tusks and or horns that they adorn with trinkets and engrave crude runes upon. Their skin tones generally match the coloration of the stone most commonly found in the area of their birth. Most trolls have a hunch backed and wrinkled appearance resembling old humans but have corded muscle strong enough to shatter stone or heft fully grown cattle above their heads. Younger trolls generally have elongated, protruding faces and lack the tusks or horns of an adult. A troll’s tail is a point of pride and is often left unadorned and swayed in front of others as if to taunt them or dare them to attack. A troll without a tail is typically one that has faced utter defeat or folly. Trolls begin life as little more than feral beasts, however over the course of decades their intellect will develop and improve. Most trolls living today are still simple minded creatures compared to other sentient species. Female trolls are especially rare and competitions among male trolls for the attention of females is fierce. Female trolls grow much slower than male trolls but develop much faster mentally than their male counterparts. Trolls have a great love for mischief and even the dullest of them are capable of low cunning. A troll will only die by violence, starvation, poison or disease. Though they lack gills, trolls are capable of breathing underwater. Should a troll lose a limb it will regrow over time. Fire and acid put an end to their regeneration for roughly three days, though the older the troll the faster they recover their capacity to regenerate. If a troll is severely wounded and its wounds are burned it will die. Due to their sheer size most trolls die of starvation or violence in a desperate struggle to feed themselves.
Through oral tradition it is said that the first dwarves emerged from deep within the mountains, illiterate, mute and half blind. It was as if they emerged, half formed, from the ground itself in the wake of the great cataclysm that seared the surface and shook the world to its core. It is said that many had died in the first days of the dwarven people, great were their losses and terrible was their grief. Some terrible foe, its name no longer spoken of, its existence unrecorded in runic script, harried them, chasing them all out of their tunnels and into searing sunlight and the dangers of the surface. Hordes of dwarves stepped out into the world somewhere in the mountain range in the center of the great continent. The surface was no kinder than the deeps. Lessons were hard won and with the deaths of so many little of that wisdom could be passed on. Pure water was rare, food was scarce and competition for survival was ruthless even among their own kind.
It is said that in the darkest hour of their kind's very existence that a single spark of hope was found. Obok and Gunrym, friends forged in battle with irradiated mutants, feral machines, savage humans and wild beasts, took to organizing their people, using their numbers and physical strength to their advantage. One victory over their enemies led to another and their forces grew as they traveled the wastes. After a great battle with a mutant-fiend, Obok dragged a wounded Gunrym to an ancient ruin. There they and their companions rested at the foot of a cold and long abandoned forge of ancient design. By accident or fate as the cold of night set it and the dwarves threatened to freeze Obok tripped over rubble and accidentally activated the great forge. It was here that dwarven historians claim true dwarven history began. As the forge roared back to life a great spirit, Lomonos, the forge-father, greeted what would become his adopted children.
The companions of the forge, as Obok, Gunrym and their companions are called, spent an indeterminate amount of time with the great spirit of the forge. From the forge spirit Obok recieved assistance in deciphering ancient writings and developed the runic script dwarves still use in the modern era. Gunrym was granted a suit of armor using the last of the forge spirits arcane technological crafting components. This suit is rumored to be the fabled Forge-King battle suit, though it has been lost to time. Every dwarf learned some craft from the forge-father creating a mania born of hope within the dwarves. While enraptured in this manic state the dwarves created masterworks unmatched today. Finally when the dwarves were fully armed and armored Obok declared that the people would seize the wastes and together the companions of the forge did just that. All of their enemies were driven before them, wailing and gnashing their teeth as the might of the forge fell upon them. In the intervening years all the dwarves came to live within what was fast becoming a forge-fortress of such might and splendor as has ever been seen in this world. In that time the dwarves came into their own and felt complete for the first time in their harsh lives. This happiness would not last however.
The people forgot the lessons of practicality and cooperation the forge-father and the wastes had taught them. Infighting began the moment the suggestion of conquest was brought forward. Fully half of the people would not allow the forge father's work to be used against those who had done them no harm, the other half would see the world brought to heel under dwarven boots. Still half of each side had differing opinions on how things should be governed and how resources should be allocated. Each argument led to another. Finally, in a fit of rage Gunrym, wearing his great armor, declared himself high-king of his people and would brook no opposition. In response to this, it is said that Obok declared his old friend an arrogant fool. The resulting argument led to a brief duel. Though Obok was intelligent and wise he was said to be not even half the warrior his friend had been. With a single blow Gunrym punched his fist through Oboks chest and cast his heart into the forge. It was at this moment that devastation struck the dwarven people for a second time. This act sparked a civil war within the fortress that flooded its halls with blood and woke something terrible within their adopted father. In rage, denial and confusion the forge-father began to lash out at his adopted people. Great machines hell-bent on death and destruction flooded his forge and the ground shook with his fury. The dwarven peoples fled their father's rage, fled in every direction from the fortress, all save Gunrym. Gunrym knelt beside his fallen brother and wept bitterly crying out in blood chilling wails of despair. As the people fled an angry crimson glow enveloped the forge-fortress and it sank into the earth.
Today the dwarven people have spread across the world, building new homes for themselves with liked minded dwarves, bearing ancient grudges against barely remembered kin while begging forgiveness on their knees before lit forges for their crimes against their father. The dwarven people are long lived, ancient elders among them have marked the passing of roughly 500 years. They are short and stocky compared to other peoples of the world and built of heavily corded muscle and robust constitutions. They have lost much of their technological advancements and equipment. Many dwarves make a pilgrimage once in their lives to attempt to find their lost home and convince the Forge Father to forgive his wayward children.
Halflings are small and short sighted creatures, rarely looking past the short term and find that anything that cannot instantly benefit them is of little merit. They are terrible combatants but make excellent farmers and craftsmen, with a passion for making practical things. They are on average 3' tall and proportioned like humans and live to be about 70 at the oldest.
Lizardmen are larger than humans, with an average height of around 6 feet and an average weight of 180 lbs. They generally have a dark green to black coloration, to better camouflage in their native biome of the Drache Swamps. Lizardmen are somewhat stronger than humans. However, lizardmen are generally less intelligent than most other sapient, having a difficult time grasping abstract concepts like mercy, altruism, and most emotions beyond basic hunger, fear, and pleasure. Despite this, some lizardmen learn how to mimic mammalian emotions to the point where they seem to have mammalian thought processes and are no longer limited by their more instinctul brains. Lizardmen have an average life span of around 50 years, though some have made it to 70 years of age.
Dragons are a massive mutant lizard species native to the mountain ranges surrounding the Central plains. They are very long-lived and tend to be isolationist.
When in heat, a Dragon will become very aggressive until a mate is found, in times past dragon heats became the substance of many legends about dragonslayers and "tamers."
The traditional dragon diet was to feed on megafauna native to the Central Great Plains and Giant Clams found in the Gulf of Eastralia. The rise in humanoid civilization lead to theese food sources diminishing, causing the Dragon population to dwindle over the ages.
Geoffrey, referred to as "Galuu Ataar" by people of the Khanate, is an old, wise dragon. He is seen by the Khanate as almost a god, but usually wants to be left alone. From time to time though, he will exchange a bit of his grand wisdom and advice for a nice game of checkers. Uruz Khan had visited Geoffrey often for his strategic advice and ancient wisdom. The frequent visits have helped make the Khan into the mighty, cunning conqueror he is... and a really good checkers player.
Tharsa, Mother of Flames
Tharsa Mother of Flames was the most feared natural disaster of the sixth age. When she went into heat, livestock and wild game of the entire Great Plains was depressed for generations.
Her scourge and burning rage led many would-be heroes to quest to slay her, but since a dragon that active hadn't been seen in decades, no one had the experience to handle her.
The growing human settlement had depopulated the megafauna Dragons usually fed on; the lost of Oozestadons around the World Scar and the death of the Eastern Grand Mollusc reef led to dragon populations trending ever lower.
As Tharsa couldn't find a mate, she stayed in heat far longer than usual and for 40 years she ravaged the Great Plains from her nest in the Zephyr Mountains.
The devastation ended eventually, many assumed she finally found a mate, but the widescale ecological and economic damage she caused would outlive her terror.
Limited resources of the Horselords would cause the political tension that Uru would ferment into his massive Khanate. Qi-Fu's economic depression from the failure of the western grain trade would lead them to be weak enough to lose to Belaria in the Cape Wars, causing the cessation of the Tai-Li hold.
The implied existence of a second Male Dragon would lead hunts for this "Ghostflame" for many years. It was on one of these hunts were Geoffrey, the Dragon God of the Khans, was first discovered by human society.
To this day Geoffrey expresses extreme discomfort whenever Uruz asks about Theresa, many assume Geoffrey was the product of the mating that calmed her great rage, but he isn't one to talk of family matters.
To this day people stand in fear over what happens the next time a Dragon Heat emerges.
Oni are a multicolored race with a natural affinity for magic that are native to the Hellspont located in The Wall of the World. Oni are naturally blue or red or similar shades, twins tend to have the opposite color of their sibling. Oni have wings they can extend or retract as well as fangs and claws.
The tend to wear ornamental face masks as markers of status, the gaudier the mask, the richer you are.
Large amount of tectonic and magical energy in The Wall of the World opened up The Helspont in ancient times. From this Helspont, the Anicent Demons emerged. When ancient Souxi Humans first climbed the Stepped in The First Souxi Expansion, the humans interbred with the demons and shared with them the secrets of agriculture and city building in exchange for knowledge of demonic magic. This original community would eventually be enslaved, becoming a temporary bastion for the demonic creatures. They would interbreed with their slaves forming a hybrid race later known as Hobgoblins. Lacking demonic powers, but versed in Souxi culture and warfare. The Hobgoblins would enact a bloody revolt and flee the region after slaying many of their demonic forebears. What few Oni were left were mainly of mixed blood. Full of demonic power but lacking in the physical stature of their forebears and their immortality.
Those Oni that survived remained a minority in Souxi states for generations, often used for duties considered "too low" for purebred Souxi. This led to Oni subcultures becoming prominent in magic and finance.
When the Kif tribes first left the Celestial Subcontinent, a small group of Oni left with them. A conflict between these Oni and the Naga found at the Kanna knot led the Kif tribes to split into two. One would go with the Oni and eventually colonize Eastralia to found Qifu. The other took the river south to the Nanji Penisula and formed a culture with the Nagas that would become the Ivory Kingdom.
Oni of the modern era are long-lived and breed very slowly, but when they do reproduce, twins are common. Two sets of such Twins have set up Banking cities, Dou-Qian, near the Celestial Empire, and No-Rex and So-Xen, in Qifu. These cities are centers of commerce and mysticism. The cities near the Celestial Empire tend to be treated with cool distance by the Empire proper, while the Oni Twins in Qi-Fu have economically dominated the entire nation. Illusory magic is a common tool utilized by the Oni people for vanity as well as art, exhibitions of skill and intimidation. One might never know they are speaking to an Oni Magi while in their great cities.
Oni often have forced relationships with slaves and underlings, though the low Oni birth rates make hybrids rare. When hybrids with slaves are born, they are treated as full Oni and often are given their non-Oni parents as gifts . Oni slaves are not awarded names, property, identity or even genders. They are titled after their function (Sword for soldiers, Washer for domestic slaves etc.) Slaves of the Oni Banking Clans are given numeric titles to denote rank among their structure.
Oni that are born without a twin are seen as degenerate abominations, they are often sold as slaves or simply killed.
Slavery is formally outlawed in Qifu, so the Oni there tend to economically dominate others less so than legally. They still share the prejudice against non-Twins , though Qifu Oni fancy themselves "enlightened" for usually not killing them.
Araknea. It is shortened to Arak by most. “Arak” means “born from”, “youngling” or “weak” if applied alone. “Nea” means “web” or “home”. They called their species as a whole “Born from the Web”. They are native to the Marshes of Drache, but have begun to spread out due to enterprising humans wanting their silk.
Arakneas typically look like spiders twisted in the shape of a man, and just as tall as one. They have short hair growing out of most of their body. Their diet dictates how their bodies and mind develop. They are omnivores, but they eat things other than meat when there is none to find as it is extremely less nutritive for them and is unlikely to help their growth during their infancy stage. Those who ate the most during their growth from newborn to adulthood naturally become the strongest of the tribe and are called Araknii (“Nii” means “strong, “superior” or “above”). Their 3 pairs of arms are powerful, the hair on their body is black or brown and their eyes shine like precious gems. Females can be distinguished from the males by red streaks in their hair on the top of the head and their back. They are also taller than most males. When born, all Araknea have grey hair and black eyes. It is when growing up that those who maintain those traits, those who haven’t been eating enough but still managed to survive, are called Arak. Their middle and lower pair of arms become atrophied, almost vestigial, and their mind are just above feral. The life expectancy of an Araknea is hard to judge since so few of them ever reach the end of their natural lifespan, but it is estimated at up to 30-40 years old. Araks barely use any weapon other than their natural claws, but under the supervision of an Araknii, they might learn to use primitive ones. Arakniis are those who have learned to use weapons, and might even trade with outsiders in exchange for goods such as these (or raid settlements and grab what's closest to a weapon).
Arakneas typically live in nests made from their own webs. The strongest reside at the top, while the weakest are at the bottom, where other predators can attack them, if they do not eat among themselves first. There is one female who leads the whole colony. She is also the mother of all the Arakneas in the nest. Other females serve as replacement and figurehead for small raiding units.
There are many minor deities that vary among multiple colonies, but they all share faith in one, Orok’Nea. “Orok means “ not born” or “beyond”. They give an special importance to the word “Orok”, which is why it must always have a space when you pronounce it, as to not offend their deities. This also means that they venerate an entity that is not born from their home. It has also influenced their first contacts with civilisation, which went smoothly, since the first explorers were from beyond the nest. They believe that the spirit of each Araknea that dies fly into the heaven of Orok’Nea’s web. Those strong enough can break through it and reside among the stars until their goddess reincarnates back to earth. Those who are weak will be stuck into the webs, where they will serve as the next meal for Orok’Nea. They can however prove themselves worthy in life and be released from the web once their life ends.
While they do not have prejudice towards other races, it is also difficult for them they associate with them. From their mindset, once they have learned that the outsiders are not divine, they become either food, or a source of food. From an outsider’s perspective, Arakneas have a monstrous appearance and can prove to be untrusty allies if the prospect of eating you outweighs the gains of an alliance. They do however offer their service as mercenaries, or sell their spider silk in exchange for great quantities of food.
Some humans have offered to give the Araknea enormous quantities of food if they leave their homeland to travel with them. Some have agreed to this, and Araknii populations have started to sprout up in mercantile and sea faring nations all along the southern coasts. Their spider silk is a prized commodity, as it is much stronger than regular rope, and can be used to make the finest silk clothing.
Their dialect is a mix of words unique for them (which varies from colony to colony) and words taken from other languages. Most Arak are also barely able to talk, but they do mimic what they are trying to express... at least those who are smart enough. Some also click the mandibles to communicate simple messages.
Ents and Dryads
A mortal offshoot of the demonic Oni. The hobgoblins came about generations after the Oni began to sire mortal offspring with human beings. Each generation of hybrids became weaker and possessed less of the magical talent and raw power of their forebears. Since each of these descendants were born of a union with a slave it mattered little to the Oni. They began to breed their descendants selectively, aiming for specific traits in order to create armies they viewed as worthy to serve their goals. The end result however was something much more violent and resentful than they had anticipated. Generations of physical, mental and magical abuse and experimentation engendered a deep hatred in their slave army. After an extremely bloody revolution, in which many of the pure blooded Oni were slain, the soon to be dubbed "Hobgoblins" fled before any could be punished by the remaining Oni lords. In the generations to follow, the hobgoblin people would largely stay together, a common belief among them, even after all this time, is that if they were to separate from others of their kind, their old masters might hunt them down.
They are the 2nd most populous race of the Khanate and many are in the employment of the Great Khan. Goblins came about when troll females began seducing Hobgoblin males using illusory magics. The resulting children were creatures of malign mischief like their mothers and ingrained resentment like their fathers. Goblins reproduce, grow and gain muscle at prodigious rates but die quite young.
Deformed Humans which live in the ancient Vaults of the World Spine. They are an important part of most Technobarbarian Tribes.
These creatures are largely eusocial, there are very few males among the species and most are protected as precious resources. Hive members share a very simple telepathic link, without which separated members tend to fall into a catatonic state before dying of starvation, thirst or predation. Independent individuals, that do not suffer due to being separated from the hive, are occasionally spawned for important tasks to benefit their hive or to act as costly mercenaries. The queen provides much of the motivation for its hive. The species is incredibly cautious and very aware of the limited resources their world contains. As a result careful population control is practiced among the hives.
Rare T'lc-Kha spawn known as the "Sacrifice," T'lc-Kha that are made to assimilate lead in order to develop protective lining on their shell made of the metal. A sacrifice is a hulking brute compared to its kin in the hive, the added strength is required just to compensate for the added weight of the lead. The additional benefit is that these brutes are far more capable of surviving the wilds of the wasteland. After their shell has fully developed they are then sent into the wastes to look for Gold so that their hive may spawn the "Golden Children" their hive needs to combat arcane threats.
It may not be a surprise to many, but the T'lc-Kha have deep ties with the Cursed Wasteland. The truth is they are descended from the Teriads. Millennia of evolution have resulted in this evolutionary branch of the ancient bioweapons developing sentience. While having diverged greatly from their ancestors, the T'lc-Kha are still able absorb metals into their shell. Unlike their ancestors though it takes them weeks or months to process the metals into their carapace. No outsider is privy to this connection but the queens are beginning to suspect that one exists. Encounters with true Teriads often result in confusion as those with sufficient organic components give off pheromones that are eerily similar to their own. The T'lc-Kha species as a whole feel a spiritual pull to the Cursed Wastes and old T'lc-Kha drones will often wander into the wastes to die.
Strangely, horses are terrified of these creatures and must be rigorously trained to ignore the instinctive fear they impose on the animal. As a result neighboring nations will often take corpses of these creatures to train their horses not to react so fearfully at their sight or scent.
Everything west of the Mountain ranged on the edge of the irradiated desert and the Celestial Empire.
Much of the region is heavily forested, hot and humid. Massive vents of super-heated water leak out from the mountain range and fill the air with dense mist. Mega fauna wander the ancient forests and jungles of mega flora within the region alongside a multitude of smaller fauna. The area is so heavily populated by a rich diversity of wildlife that it is seemingly impossible for explorers or locals to categorize them all.
The region is split between the world above, and the world below and is primarily inhabited by a race of giant sapient insects. The T'lc-Kha, as they are known by Goldlands human population, are an insectoid race that have created a massive underground network of tunnels in which to live. The name stems from the sounds their metal exoskeleton and soft under tissue makes. This same shell reveals their caste in the hive. As larva they feed on metal so that after pupation will that metal will be incorporated into the exoskeleton of their adult form.
"Flower wars" occur when a queen fails to moderate her hive's population. These wars result in the culling of her hive, the ceasing of many resources, land and the diminishing of her status among her fellow queens. Rumors abound of golden T'lc-Ka, that were fed gold and developed golden shells and a latent skill with magic and thus the entire society is obsessed with the acquisition and consumption of gold. Attendants of the golden one's carve strange glyphs into their carapace. The shells of deceased gold ones are locked away in guarded vaultombs to thwart the ever present risk of other hives' shelleaters and looters looking for wealth or arcane secrets.
Some of the hive's warriors may be hired as mercenaries for short excursions or an entire brood of more independent T'lc-Kha may be produced if a nation is willing to pay a kings (or queens) ransom that a queen might set for her brood. The "freeborn" T'lc-Kha, as they are colloquially known, are more individualistic but retain an in-bred loyalty to their hive. To them, it is their purpose to serve the "client" as they would serve the queen. The only order they would refuse, would be one that would result in harm to their hive of origin. Such mercenaries are highly prized for this very reason, though the cost of maintaining them in both food and metal is quite high.
The Coatlanhan people are made up of many petty kingdoms. Each of them preserve a small amount of ancient technology, the greatest of which, their god machines, are objects of worship and great weapons of war.
The Teritzoklan people, known as the godless by their countrymen, are those who occupy the lands nearest the eastern mountains, have suffered the most out of all the Coathlanhan peoples. Hordes of horsemen, regular techno barbarian raids and wandering abominations from the irradiated desert have left this tribe without even a single god-machine. As a result they rely heavily on massive flightless birds of prey as battle mounts. Most of their warriors no longer wear the armor of their ancestors as it has been lost to battlefield scavengers. Instead the eagle warriors wear the feathers of their mounts and simple leathers for increased speed and mobility. Occasionally the rare warrior will manage to tame the larger behemoths of the land, that warrior will be instantly recognized as a champion of the people. As hard as it is to tame the great birds, the behemoths are that much harder, that much more intractable. More often than not behemoth eggs are sold to merchants as exotic goods to be raised as arena fodder.
Once a decade a dance of blades is held. The dance is in fact a great battle, in which warriors attempt to capture one another to be used as sacrifices to their tribe's god machine. The people believe that the dead join their ancestors by fusing with the walking god. Great works of art have been fused to these "God machines" giving these once terrible weapons of war an ornate appearance. These additions were once simple attempts by their ancestors to repair the devices that held back the dangers that other races, peoples and predators posed. While impressive to look upon the towering weapons of a bygone era are now handicapped by the ignorance of the priesthood. As it stands the God Machines of today have long run out of ammunition for their weaponry and instead rely on melee combat utilizing absurd weaponry pieced together from the scraps of the fallen. Constant repairs are required to forestall the cascade of system failures that threaten to occur on a regular basis. For the time being God Machines suffice to keep the peoples faith and hope alive that they are protected and blessed by a higher power but when the last great machine falls, devastation is sure to follow.
In the current era, treasure hunters and raids from other kingdoms for the technology the Coatlanhan people have hoarded for generations, are common. The high priests of "Goldland" as it is known by outsiders, work endlessly to maintain their great defenders to keep the armies of other nations at bay. Small raid parties are often far more successful than any large scale invasion. Many of Goldlands outlying settlements have been plundered of its most valuable and arcane technologies. The most "successful" of these large raids was The Last Hunt of Kara Khan; in which 10,000 soulriders were led by the Khan to raid Goldland, and only 12 made it back alive.
Few suspect that the T'lc-Kha are descended from the Teriads. Separation from the bulk of the Teriad population and millennia of evolution imposed by Goldlands ecosystem, have resulted in this evolutionary branch of the ancient bioweapons developing sentience and a more organic physiology. While having diverged greatly from their ancestors, the T'lc-Kha are still able absorb metals into their shell. Unlike their ancestors though it takes them weeks or months to process the metals into their carapace. The T'lc-Kha began their time in Goldland as an extremely violent and expansionist species. After multiple encounters with the surrounding sapient races and the rapidly dwindling resources at their disposal a convention of queens was held during which the queens of that era decided upon a path of stewardship of their lands and peoples rather than expansion. A brief yet bloody civil war followed as dissenters and incompotents were destroyed and millennia of relative peace has followed.
The Coatlanhan people are said to be descendants of the great builders of old. After the cataclysm many of the builders greatest works were either broken or loosed upon the world at large. The people crept from the ancient stone buildings and vaults of their ancestors to discover a world utterly at odds with the depictions their ancestors had left them. Were it not for the great machinery left behind by their ancestors the Coatlanhan would never have survived the robust mega fauna and flora that had grown in the fallout of the ancients demise. Little is known about about the origins of the many kingdoms except by those of the priesthood who hoard any and all knowledge of their people with religious zeal and paranoid possessiveness. Those who attempt to break this strangle hold on such knowledge are put to a bloody end and the truth matters little to the Coatlanhan as life holds enough challenges without worrying about the past.
T'lc-Kha commonly trade the following goods with surface dwellers; fine silk, chitin, resin, gems, metals and mercenaries. The Coatlanhan economy is as insular as its people and trade with outsiders is rare. The Teritzoklan are unique among the many tribes in that they frequently trade with outsiders in vast quantities of meat, hides and bones as well as novelty items like behemoth eggs both fertile and infertile. Behemoths often make for wondrous additions to the arenas and circuses found throughout the world.
The Windhell Valley is a large area in the shape of a gigantic basin in which a powerful wind blows permanently, which can vary in intensity depending on the time of day. At its weakest level, the wind is already strong enough to make it difficult to walk in its opposite direction. At its strongest point, the wind blows in incredibly powerful gusts capable of tearing anything off the ground and skinning a human being alive.
The Windhell Valley is a very depopulated area. The few communities that live there are small, scattered tribes that dig shelters under the ground to protect themselves from the wind, as no construction over one metre high can stand up to the wind in this area.
The most important member of a tribe is usually the Wind Singer, a scholar who is able to predict wind movements several hours in advance, especially its sudden rises in intensity.
The culture of the Windhell Valley natives leads them to be naturally inclined to be hospitable and to help travellers in difficulty by offering them refuge in their underground shelters.
The only animals that live in the Windhell Valley are vipers that bury themselves in the ground to protect themselves from the wind, giant turtles with massive shells, so heavy that the wind is unable to tear them off the ground, and finally flocks of jellyfish that float in the air, being carried by the wind and feeding on dust.
The natives feed mainly on these flying jellyfish and hunt them with their boomerangs.
Boomerang throwers from the Windhell Valley are highly sought-after mercenaries throughout the continent. When they fight, they use special boomerangs with sharp blades.
Travellers and merchants who wish to go through the Windhell Valley often hire these boomerang hunters as escorts because they are not only very good fighters but they know the location of the various underground villages in which to take shelter in case of a surprise storm.
The westerlies are at their strongest and are coming in from south-west. Also because the passage for the outflow is narrower than the inflow, it creates a funnelling effect so the wind intensifies further. As the winds are pushing on the eastern side of the cyclone, the eye of the cyclone is moved west.
The westerlies are at their weakest and are coming in through the north, so they're further weakened by going from the narrow opening to the wider. The cyclone is at it's smallest and the winds are pushing on the west side so the eye is moved east.
Spring and Autumn
Somewhere in between summer and winter but with much more unpredictability as there's more turbulence from the north and south wind's friction as they blow past eachother. There's also a particular time where the winds shift from predominately southern to northern during spring and vice versa in autumn. During this switch the cyclone is disrupted and the chaotic flow of air creates utterly extreme windblasts, the world's biggest tornadoes and thunderstorms and even many areas of complete wind-still. This only lasts a couple of days at most.
This also affects the climate in the rest of Westrasi, particularly outside the two passages. At the north passage, warm humid air from the south is brought up during winter, leading to year round rainfall. At the south passage, cool dry air from the north is brought down, leading to more extreme summer droughts.The rich soil of the valley has been grounded up and blown out by the winds over millennia, making much of Westrasi soil nutrient rich.
Races: 100% Modern Storm Islander Human, ?% Fish People Government: Collectivist Theocracy
It is said that long ago, the ancient Westrasi ancestors discovered the Storm Islands when they were still learning to sail. This was before the Great Storm surrounded the islands. A number of ancient Westrasi emigrated to the new lands, and were welcomed by the natives: an albino race of humans. They interbred with the Westrasi, creating Modern Storm Islanders. When the world became tumultuous, and the people began to war with each other over the riches of the earth, The Druids of The Storm Islands raised the mighty gale that surrounds the islands to this day.
Although lacking an official government, there is a universally adhered to social order, based very much around the spiritual beliefs of the islands inhabitants. Islanders born with primarily albinid traits such as pale white skin, silver eyes, and white hair, are believed to be sacred by their peers. Known as the Cloud People, they are trained as societies rulers and druids, and tasked with protecting the island through Storm Magic. They hand down the teachings, rulings, and judgements, and lead their people forward in times of uncertainty. There are not many rules to stifle the lives of Storm Islanders, just basic social contracts. A Storm Islander may not kill another Storm Islander, unless it is in self-defense. A Storm Islander may not go out of their way to cause harm to nature, if they gain no resource from their actions. Storm Islanders are expected to actively participate in the well-being of their society. This includes taking some profession, whether it be whaling, or beer brewing. It also includes the duty to spar and train for combat on a regular basis with their peers, to act as a standing army and aid the men at arms in a time of need. It is said that a Storm Islander that violates these social contracts is sent to sea in a small boat.
Trade with Storm Islanders, as well as the conquering, and resource extraction by greater empires; has been staved off by impracticality, because of the constant fog and storms surrounding the island, making travel to and from the Island, treacherous at best. However, they are not outwardly hostile to any un-enterprising outsiders, and are quite welcoming, and even more fun. The plants, animals, and even mineral make up of Storm Island, have evolved in a unique way, because of the inhospitable climate. The Storm Island Sheep, and the Storm Island Seal, are bigger, fiercer, and hardier than elsewhere in the world. The sheep provide wool, hide, meat and dairy, and the ram's horns are fashioned into instruments and drinking horns. The seals provide meat, furs, and a large supply of rich fats; used for anything from candles to preservatives, soaps, and more. The only known birds on the Storm Islands are large scavenging corvids, and fish eating sea eagles. It is uncertain why so many fish and whales live in the extremely stormy waters around the Storm Islands, it is as if they are swept there. There are many trees in the Islands, but all subspecies evolved for the climate. Broadleaf trees harder than the hardest mainland oak, growing twisted and gnarled, and Conifers which can bend completely in half without breaking. These unique woods are the backbone of Islander culture. They form their spears and bows, their storm-weathering architecture, and the only boats that can withstand a fishing expedition on their stormy seas. The unique climate, and the volcano on Cloud Island, give the Islands a unique black iron, that looks almost, iridescent in certain lights. Storm Islanders are warriors, farmers, and fishermen. They live hard, and recreate hard. They have an insatiable appetite for their dark ales and whiskeys, made with wild tasting herbs that grow there. Some are brewed with rarer herbs, that cause much stranger effects. There are even stranger fungi. The Islanders are hard, but fun loving, and ever adaptable because of their environment. A Storm Islander can be thrown from a fishing boat, climb back aboard unshaken, and share a good laugh about it. Storm Islanders cover themselves in tattoos. They mark status and deed, as well as personal beliefs and virtues. A deed for a Storm Islander may also count a funny anecdote. There are three inks used. The most common is black, from charcoal, The indigo woad ink is reserved for those more well off, or those committing greater deeds, and the rarest, a crimson ink, is reserved only for the Albinid Druid family, who will often mix in blue and black ink purely for aesthetic reasons. Most Islanders have hair ranging from Brunette to Dark Blonde, as well as many shades of Red, especially Reddish Blondes and Browns. Grey and Hazel, are the most predominant eye colors, and many tend toward a paleness. They tend to be anywhere between 5'4" and 6'2". Although Albino Islanders are mainly born within their own group, when this phenotype manifests among the other islanders, they are married into the druidic family.
The Storm Islanders don't believe that Gloria-Etalia abandoned us. Rather, they believe she sent angels here to lead us. Storm Islanders believe that their people expressing the albino phenotype, are Gloria-Etalia's angels, repeatedly reincarnated. The albino druids are the emissary to god, and what they say is the word of god. If the way Storm Islanders live contradicts what people believe Gloria-Etalia stands for, it is because that is what she said before, and the Storm Islanders know what she says now. The sleeping volcano on Cloud Island is the site of ceremonial power for the druids, and it is rumored that the magic they do there protects the island with it's fogs and storms. Although not part of their religion, they believe the fish people from the west to be supernatural beings. They may bestow a boon upon you, for a price.
The Lore behind the Lore: The Native Storm Islanders were inbred descendants of scientists from the ancient advanced civilization. The geo-thermal energy from the volcano was long ago utilized to power a HAARP like machine within the volcano. The inside of the volcano was sealed off to become a safe chamber, housing the HAARP, like how people seal nuclear reactors. This machine was used to utilize wind currents to keep the inhabitants of these islands safe from nuclear fallout, and to keep the dust from totally blotting out their sun. The Veil of Storms was lifted when Gloria-Etalia came to earth, and the initial Westrasi migration was welcomed as much needed diversity to their gene-pool. The veil was raised again when Gloria-Etalia left and the peoples of the world began to clash. The Druidic class pass down the knowledge of the HAARP to keep the Island safe, and upkeep the infrastructure as much as they can. Noone in the setting except the highest ranking members of the Druidic Family would know this.
Kingdom of Belara
Races: 85% Westrasi human, 8% Imuuga human, 7% Other
Government: Absolute Monarchy.
Capitol: The city of Belwed
What was once by far the most powerful nation in Westrasi, the great Belaran empire which controlled almost all of the north-west, was split in twain by a bloody civil war. Today it’s an entire nation dedicated to recapturing the glory of a foregone empire, maintaining millenia old traditions together with modern innovations, a clash which has brought them both terrible grief and great heights, though far from the old behemoth they take their name from.
Much of the Belaran cultural identity is based on regaining the glory of the old empire. This manifests as a superiority complex and they often appear arrogant and vain to outsiders. They fashion themselves in elaborate clothes which resemble the garb of the old imperial royals and the architecture, even peasant homes, are made to evoke the old royal palace. This also manifests in an expansionist mindset, believing that all Belarans should seek to expand the land and Influence of the kingdom no matter the cost and this philosophy is the uniting principle of all Belarans. That’s not to say that they lack behind. With their new maritime empire, the changing political landscape in Westrasi and scientific, technological and magical advancements, many nobles have chosen to embrace these modern changes, going from tyrants, schemers, warriors and warlords to thinkers, tinkerers, traders and explorers with a few even looking to their rival cousins to the south. Despite this modernisation, Belara remains firmly rooted in their history and many other more traditionalist nobles reject all but the advancements in arms and warfare. While much rarer than in the past, feuds and skirmishes between the nobles is still not entirely uncommon though it's more prevalent among traditionalists.
Another aspect central to Belaran culture is the feudal ranks. These ranks are extremely strict and families tend to stay in their ranks for centuries. Gaining or losing ranks is extremely rare, despite great achievements or losses. This has led to strange situations where some people of lower ranks end up achieving more wealth and influence than some of higher ranks yet officially being lower than them, for example some individual knights have amassed greater lands and armies than many nobles and even some peasant merchants are wealthier than some of the poorer nobles. The ranks in descending order are king, nobles, clergy, knights, peasants, serfs and slaves (Although the last two are for all practical purposes the same and only exist to differentiate between native Belarans and foreign slaves). Someone of higher rank could murder someone lower and face few consequences while one of lower rank could face death penalty for addressing a higher rank improperly.
While most Belarans believe in Gloria-Etalia, the Church of the Divine Duality has been barred from entering the nation. Instead the Belaran chapel is deeply intertwined with politics and believes the only way to ensure the return of Gloria-Etalia is for Belara to conquer the world and enforce the Belaran way of life across the continent. It even portrays the king as an angel, directly descended from Gloria-Etalia. The Belaran inquisition ruthlessly pursues anyone of deviant beliefs, particularly anyone who follows the Sarkatian faith.
Claiming to be the oldest continuous state in the west (A claim that’s highly disputed among Westrasi schoolars, particularly the “continuous” part), it also maintains a rather old political tradition of feudalism. The various lords hold absolute power over their lands while the king holds absolute power over them, at least in theory. In practice, the lords hold much power and if they banded together could easily overthrow the king, a fact the king is keenly aware of. This same power dynamic extends one level down further to the clergy and knights and another level down to the peasants, who have a right to own private property. The only ones with absolutely no power are the serfs and slaves (Who make up about 65% of the population) who, outside a couple of revolts here and there, are practically owned by their lord. The current regent, King Silandra (Only a king is allowed to rule, regardless of gender) has officially been king since the age of five when her father died and her brother was proven to be a bastard. Now she’s twenty-three and has proven a capable king, although a staunch traditionalist to the dismay of modernist nobles and peasants. Only time will tell if she can hold the kingdom together.
The Vestlarians who travelled across the southern mountains (See, Kingdom of Uoro, Origin) found a new bountiful land by the coast where they saw an opportunity to build a new city from which to expand their dominion. The city was called Balar, the name of the Westrasi in their tongue, and from there began their expansionist empire which in time would be called the Belaran Empire, marking the beginning of the fifth era in the west, fifteen hundred years ago. In time, the empire would control the entire north-west coast of Westrasi and even reach far enough inland to reach the Westrasi sea, reigning for a millennia as the most powerful nation in the west. What could break apart such a vast empire?
Five centuries ago, the first heir to the throne Prince Layrone the Third had landed in trouble. Only twenty years of age he was an incredibly charismatic young man gifted from birth with wisdom in all matters from strategy to politics, however he was also debaucherous and impulsive, often acting and speaking with no regards for the consequences. In a single drunken night, he had killed three noblemen in an illegal duel, spoken heresy against the church, sodomized several nuns and kidnapped the daughter of the Celestial Empire’s envoy to marry her, among other charges. Being a royal he was exempt from execution so instead he was banished from Belara. But the stubborn Prince Layron was not content with his fate and gathered what friends he had in the aristocracy and appealing to the oppressed peoples of Belara, began a revolt against his own family. This led to a bloody civil war reaching across all of Westrasi and beyond for 70 years resulting in the complete dissolvement of the Belaran empire and the birth of the kingdom of Morloux, as well as the independence of many states. The Belaran royal family had fled to the northern islands, retaining what was left of the old empire.
Belara has rather poor relations to the rest of Westrasi. Their closest neighbor, the Morloux, are considered the arch-enemy of Belara and they’ve been in a semi-perpetual war since the civil war. This hostility has worsened in the last two centuries after the Morloux revolution, now seeing these revolutionary ideals as a threat to the Belaran power structure. The rest of the Westrasi nations, particularly those who were subjects of the old empire, tend to hold negative connotations against the Belarans. Ironically, Belara has better diplomatic relations with the rest of the continent through its colonies.
Currently they're on a similar level power and influence as the Morloux republic, although where their power is concentrated in Westrasi and the southern continent, Belara can project their power anywhere in the world. The confusing manner in which they interact with the world can be attributed to this traditionalist/modernist divide, where on one hand a Belaran noble may greet you with exceptional kindness and politeness and on the other they may cut you down on the spot for not bowing in their presence. The greatest contrast is between the colonies of Ta-Li Hold and Norvia Stronghold, the former of which has been largely amiable, preferring to gain favour and trade deals by diplomatic conduct vs the latter which prefers to gain trade deals through violence and intimidation and takes resources and slaves as they see fit. New Belwed is an odd mix, giving them a reputation of unreliability in the region.
The Belaran Isles are a mix of flat lowlands and mountainous highlands, the former of which is the most populated and largely been converted to farmland, while the latter is still mostly forested and used more for grazing and hunting.
The Belaran homeland produces quite a lot of resources, with many mines producing iron, gold and other metals, and has a strong agricultural base, although most of the food production is located on the continental lands it still holds onto. However, its true wealth comes from the overseas colonies. Arctic nibbler fish from Norvia, Silk from Ta-Li hold and xuxu beans from New Belwed are only some of their more extravagant exports which they sell primarily to the western kingdoms.
Population: 60% Westrasi human, 10% Vassal Tribesmen, 9% Halflings, 8% Swe’yus human, 7% Janedi human, 5% Wood elves and Dryads, 1% Other
Government: Democratic Republic
Called the land of two revolutions, almost the direct antithesis to the old Belaran empire. A powerful nation, it’s an influential country both in Westrasi and the rest of the continent. Though whatever the fate of this nation, it’s true mark on history will be the radical new ideas on subjects from politics to science to philosophy, which will undoubtedly affect the world for centuries to come.
The fact that this country was born from revolution becomes immediately apparent when you talk to one of its citizens. The Morloux believe that everyone is ultimately free and equal and that no one should subject oneself to another person's will unless they’ve made themselves worthy or it’s beneficial to you. From this, they generally have little respect for people of authority, especially those who’ve inherited their position and nobility are treated with open hostility. This manifests as a characteristic bluntness and honesty, talking to anyone as if they were on first-name basis, regardless of social rank or actual closeness. This is interpreted by many foreigners as rudeness but in reality, being overly formal is what’s seen as rude in Morloux. The overall culture is clearly Westrasi but it’s been influenced a lot by the people brought over as slaves during the nation's monarchic phase leading to a remarkably multicultural society.
The many Treant vassal tribesmen, elves and dryads who were brought here to work farms and plantations with their Treant magic, created an agricultural revolution, drastically increasing the food quality and quantity, leading to a population boom on the continent. This new larger and healthier population is probably one of the causes of the second revolution. Many of the treant natives returned home after they gained their independence but most stayed, having now lived here for generations. Most live in scattered communities in the countryside but many who abandoned their phobia of industrialisation choose to live in the cities where dryad and Westrasi wizards teach and incorporate each other's magic. Most Treant peoples speak a kind of “Treant Creole" formed by the many tribesmen who now lived and worked together. In truth, now it's mostly just a dialect of Morloux and almost all of them speak standard Morloux in addition, though it grants them some cultural unity.
Swe’yus and Janedi
Out of all the slaves brought to the homeland, these two groups were the ones who were treated the worst. While their living conditions have significantly improved after the second revolution, the scars of slavery are the most apparent among them, particularly the Swe’yus. They’re the ones who’ve assimilated the worst, often living in ghettos and suffer the worst from poverty and prejudice, even by the treant. The Janedi fare better but have many of the same problems as the Swe’yus.
The Belaran empire had been enslaving halflings since its inception, forcing them to craft tools and weapons for them. When Prince Leyron staged his revolt, he promised all halflings of Belara they would be free under his rule. So many skilled craftsmen in his army who built him arms, armour, ships, siege engines, castles and much more, granted him a technological edge over the royalists who were deprived of their armourers. The halflings, now no longer slaves to other masters, gained vast amounts of wealth selling their craftsmanship and today they fill most upper echelons of Morloux society, even seeing some in the Commons Seat. The republic (then kingdom) also gained much, as the freer, wealthier and more educated halflings advanced technology drastically and paid huge sums in taxes. While they’re generally regarded well by the Westrasi humans, the Treant, Swe’yus and Janedi hold some animosity against them as they hold much power and wealth in Morloux while these new arrivals, some of whose ancestors were brought on Halfling merchant slave ships, still occupy the poorer quadrants of society.
Freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Morloux Constitution. While Gloria-Etalia is the majority religion, the Church of the Divine Duality only has some influence with the chapel of Morloux being the largest religious institution. Halflings primarily believe in Gloria-Etalia, though a larger percentage of halflings are non-religious than Westrasi humans. Most Treant natives still follow some form of Treant worship, although it’s been very influenced by the local religion and the urbanised treants have mostly converted to GE. Large portions of Swe’yus and Janedi people believe in the Celestial religion, although most of them have converted to GE and are in fact often more devout than the local Westrasi.
After the formation of the first Morloux kingdom, three institutions were created. The Kings Seat, representing the royal house, the Barons Seat, representing the aristocratic elite, and the Commons Seat, representing the people. While this was certainly more fair than the previous system, it was still a minority that held most of the power. With the death of the royal family and most aristocrats during the second revolution, the Commons Seat for all practical purposes became the de facto state, whose members are elected in local elections in the various regions and cities across Morloux. The Barons Seat now only implements and enforces the laws that the Commons write. In theory the Barons could simply ignore their instructions and enforce their own laws, thereby taking all the power and instating a new rule, if it wasn't for the fact that the "Barons" are just members of the Commons who're voted in and out on a half year basis. The Kings Seat is reduced to a ceremonial institution with no power or influence who's only responsibility is to manage the king's old estates, whose profits are all paid to the Commons Seat. Currently, around fifteen different parties have members in the Commons, the two largest of which are the Democratic-Republic party, the oldest party in the Commons having formed only twenty years after the birth of the republic, and the Radical Liberalists Party, the current leading party which gained prominence the last forty years, with Corinou D’afete as party leader. New serving his first term as prime minister, Corinou has been engaged in politics for fifty years. His platform runs on sweeping economic and social reforms and anti-traditionalist rhetoric. A highly capable man with decades of experience, he’s popular both in and outside Morloux, though many kings worry how this headstrong man will shake up the political landscape.
After the Belaran civil war, the new Leyron royal family possessed the strongest nation in Westrassi but since it came to be partially through a people's revolt they had to grant some concessions to the people leading to a constitutional monarchy. Furthermore the Belaran kingdom, now mostly banished from the Westrasi main land, still held on to some of their old colonies and sought to regain power through them, something the Leyron family couldn’t allow. While Belara managed to gain colonies around the continent, due to their better ship technology, Morloux only managed to hold onto one in the south of the continent, Nulamore, however this one colony proved to be hugely profitable. This profit was mostly spent on waging the countless wars against their old kin in the north and the luxury goods were still reserved for the wealthy aristocrats of the old empire, so the people rarely saw much of this treasure. Adding to this, the Morloux brought many of its colonial slaves back to the homeland which led to explosive population growth and ethnic tension on top of the already existing halfling minority, unlike the Belarans in the north which rarely allowed foreigners to enter their lands. All these factors lead to the second revolution about two centuries ago, this time wiping out the royal family entirely and most of the old aristocracy, finally eliminating the last remnants of the old Belaran empire. This led to one of the first true democracies on the continent and introduced a radical new constitution which included things like the complete abollition of slavery, freedom or religion, freespeech, right to assembly, etc. This inspired many more revolutions in Westrasi, some bloody, some peaceful, some successful, some failures but whatever the case, the political landscape of the region had changed forever and the monarchies that remain must tread lightly.
Morloux tends to have good relations with the rest of Westrasi, the obvious exception being Belara who they’re continuously extremely hostile towards, often swapping lands through battles and skirmishes. Morloux likes to use Jorivakian mercenaries in these many wars. Outside of this, they’re deeply intertwined with Westrasi politics. They're relations to the eastern continent are significantly less civil. Many nations hold a grudge for Morlouxs slaving past, although these tensions have somewhat eased with the founding of the republic. Their worst enemy here is the Ecinevian League, who they wage multiple proxy wars against and everyone knows it’s only a matter of time before a full scale war is declared.
Flanked by coast to the north and mountains to the south, the land is a very mild climate. Most of Morloux has been converted to farmland although forest is spreading again with help from the treant natives.
Nulamore is an important part of the Morloux economy, bringing exotic goods to the rest of Westrasi, although it’s far from their only source of income. Their trade network extends all the way around the Westrasi sea where they buy and sell the vast majority of their products. Morloux itself sells large amounts of high quality craftsmanship from the halfling population, whether that’s tools, toys, arms or other knick knacks as well as many luxury foods brought over and cultivated by the treants. Like many others they’ve attempted to cultivate xuxu beans but even with treant magic and labour, it’s been to no avail.
Population: 92% Westrasi human, 5% T'lc-Kha, 3% other Capitol: Etaliana Government: Theocratic Constitutional Monarchy
Home to the Church of the Divine Duality and the two holy cities of Gloriana and Etaliana, the Sarkation empire is central to the religious landscape of the west and anyone in the world who worships Gloria-Etalia. The country is powerful in of itself. Being the link between the Westrasi sea and the west sea, it has gained much wealth through trade and pilgrimages, and it possesses a strong army bolstered by the infamous Wyvern Knights.
Being influenced by the noble roots of Belara, the revolutionary ideals of Morloux, the devout nature of the church and the mercantilist mindset of the inland sea, the Sarkatians have developed an interesting, seemingly contradictory world-view. On one hand, they believe that unity is the greatest virtue and that true order and civilization can only be achieved through a strong, moral authority. On the other hand, they believe the individual is the ultimate master of destiny and that no one should pursue a cause that is not their own. There's a common saying, "The best blessing is a Sarkatian friend, the worst curse is a Sarkatian enemy". Those they consider to be friends they'll do anything for, even sacrificing their own property and well-being to help someone in need and those who're enemies are treated with utmost scorn and hatred and rivalries can last for generations, even going out of their way to hurt their foes. Relationships between nobles and the common folk are generally good, as these attitudes incentivise the rich to donate much of their wealth to either the church or directly to the people. Visitors tell of the excellent service and courtesy they receive in Sarkatia by there are also many tales of strangers being harassed and even killed for perceived disrespect.
Being home to the Church of the Divine Duality, an organisation with branches in all of westrasi and even the rest of the continent, spirituality and worship is deeply ingrained in Sarkatia, easily being the most religious country on the western continent. Many people make pilgrimages to the cities of Gloriana and Etaliana, the former of which holds the headquarters of the church . The church itself is largely independent and is the official authority on all religious matters for most worshipers of Gloria-Etalia.
While Gloriana is the home of the church, Etaliana is the home of the emperor and the parliament. Inspired by the Morloux model, the parliament members are elected in the various regions of Sarkatia, however unlike Morloux, the emperor and church still hold much power. The emperor must approve the laws parliament writes before they go into effect and has the right to veto many of their decisions, as well as being the sole authority in all matters of warfare and being absolute ruler of the Imperial province. While members of the church can't officially be members of parliament, many priests will resign their position while they run for election and sit in parliament to then resume as priests once their term is over. This is accepted since the Gloria-Etalia faith considers politics to be a worthy endeavor as it’s integral to all civilisation. They possess an impressive military but their most iconic units are the Wyvern Knights. During the persecutions by the Belaran empire, monks fled into the mountains where they learned to tame Belaran wyverns and used them to fight against the Belarans. The revolution was the first time they were using wyverns as mounts and Emperor Sarkan used them to great effectiveness, gaining them their fearsome reputation. They’re still a religious order but have sworn total loyalty to the emperor and only act according to his command.
The Church of the Divine Duality has existed since the 4th era for over 2000 years, with the two holy cities being even older, possibly dating back to the 3rd era. The land surrounding the cities has been conquered many times and through the many kingdoms that’ve risen and fallen around them they’ve experienced both golden eras and hard oppression. Their worst oppression however began a thousand years ago in the 5th era when they were conquered by the Belaran empire. The empire sought to control Westrasi through the faith and therefore turned the church into a puppet and any priests and bishops who dissented were imprisoned or executed. During the Belaran revolution, lord Sarkan the 5th of Gloriana, who was skeptical of the Belaran royal family, was inspired by Prince Layron’s strategy of gaining power by promising the halflings freedom and Sarkan did the same by promising the church full independence if they recognised him as the sole ruler of the surrounding lands. Devout worshipers across the continent flocked to join his army to escape persecution. Once the revolution was over, the peace treaty recognised the Sarkatian empire as an independent nation. During the Morloux revolution only a few centuries later, the Sarkation empire was still an absolute monarchy and a similar revolt was brewing. It was however much less bloody as emperor Tianan had seen what happened to the nobles in Morloux and decided to concede much power by founding the parliament.
While they have good relations with most Westrasi nations because of their religious importance, their relationship with both Belara and Morloux has been sour. Sarkatia is the second most hated country by Belara, right after Morloux, seeing them both as treacherous. The Morloux kingdom saw them as a threat, believing their church would try to influence Morloux in service of Sarkatia. In addition Sarkatia has a pass through the mountains, meaning they’re the only nation with a link between the Westrasi sea and the west sea and for this reason, both kingdoms have tried to invade multiple times. After the Morloux revolution, relations between the nations have somewhat mellowed although old grudges remain.
Sarkatia is a very mountainous land with much rocky terrain all the way down to the coast. Much of the lush forest has been converted into farmland. The mountain range is almost impassable except for certain passages. Gloriana is located down by the bay while Etaliana is located up in the mountains, which is why Emperor Sarkan made it his capital for its defensible position.
Sarkatia has quite a strong economy, both because of the many pilgrims who travel to and from the land as well as the many Westrasi merchants who have to travel through the mountain pass to trade with the rest of the continent. Both Belara and Morloux have attempted to set up tolls for any ships trying to leave the Sarkation bay but neither have been successful due to the others' presence, so getting out to the west sea is quite safe.
Kingdom of Vesterlanders
Population: 96% Westrasi Human, 4% Treant Vassal Tribesmen Capital : Vesterland bay
Constitutional Monarchy. A high king, chosen from an extended family claiming lineage back to Lahailain. A constitution protects the people's rights to personal autonomy and private property, as well as other basic rights, with some restrictions on how much new laws made by the kingship can actually contradict the constitution.
The modern Vesterlanders value, freedom and autonomy like the Lahailans, but value tradition much more than their Southern Cousins. Although their culture also embraces the rugged individualism that comes with being an outlander, there is no emphasis placed on business and entrepreneurship. In fact, The Vesterlanders feel that having a constitutional monarchy makes them freer than their southern kin. They do not feel the pressure to engage so actively in global trade, and don't feel a threat of being exploited by large business ventures, Most Vesterlanders are happy to have a small simple home in the countryside or wilderness, and farm, hunt, or fish for what they need. They come together with their neighbors to share food in times of strife, or brew alcohol together, or build boats and fish together for those living by the sea. However, those Vesterlanders that do live in the only large city, and the ceremonial capital: Vesternland Bay, often work loading and unloading freight for Morlouxian and Lahailan trade ships. Some even take a trip or two as merchant sailors. Mostly for the experience. There is a small population of Treant Vassal Tribesmen, who emigrated to Vesterland for it's undeveloped wilds after being freed from Morloux. They were decidedly welcomed for their proficiency with crop growth.
There is a High King who rules from the only major city, and ceremonial capital: Vesterland Bay. All citizens are protected with basic rights by their constitution. Other than some renter-tenant relationships in the capital, most Vesterlanders are communities and extended families occupying farms and woodlands. The operate as immediate family units for many matters, but also come together as extended family or community for many others.
The origins of the Kingdom of Vesterland and the Lahaila Merchant Republic, are intrinsically tied. During the expansion of Ancient Westrasi culture, there was a prominent zeitgeist of moving northward. Lahailain, a warlord of one of the more powerful Westrasi warbands, disgruntled that many of the new fiefs and lordships of the north were becoming so quickly occupied, and that the dishonesty and politics of courtliness were beginning to permeate Westrasi culture; decided to instead move westward, into largely unoccupied lands. Him, and his people, settled along the westernmost shores of the continent, the site of the modern day nations of The Kingdom of Vesterland, and The Lahaila Merchant Republic. They named it simply Vesterland or the Western Lands, in their toungue. Lahailain declared himself the king of these lands, and declared them sovereign from the greater Vestrassian Kingdom. After the Vestrassian Kingdom split into Voros, and Vestlaria; Vestlaria, invaded the Vesterlands. Having become significantly larger and more advanced, compared to the outlanders of Vesterland, Vestlaria easily defeated the Vesterlanders, despite their prowess and valor in battle. Vesterland became the Vesterland colonies of Vestlaria, which overtime became Belara. After the Split of Belara, Morloux controlled the former Vesterland colonies. These colonies were largely regarded as outlands, and were all but neglected by the rulers of Morloux. The inhabitants of these colonies saw an oppurtunity to restore the Vesterlands to glory and sovereignty. Morloux busy with it's Revolution, and subsequent aftermath, was powerless to expend the resources far southwest to stop this secession. The organizers of this secession were split amongst themselves. One half wished not to be under the thumb of any monarchy, but create a new and freer government based on the old Vesterland values; the other half wished to return completely to their old kingdom. The former took the southern shores, and named this new country Lahaila, in honor of their original founder, and hero Lahailain. The latter took the northern peninsula, and named their country The Kingdom of Vesterland, as it was in the glorious times of old.
Although they split from their southern kin, they view The Lahaila Merchant Republic as their greatest allies, and have a fair arrangement with them over the use of their bay for trade purposes. They also have a cautious relationship with Morloux, on the good word of their Lahailan allies. There is a small Belaran occupation in the rocky coastal wastleands of Vesterlands northernmost tip. They Belarans use this occupation as point for sailing to the other side of the world, and have promised no further encroachment for the use of this otherwise uninhabited area. Because this area is otherwise uninhabited, and because the small and mostly unorganized nation of Vesterland can not afford to take military action over a small and to them useless part of their land.
The Vesterlands is a peninsula, with dense deciduous forest in it's center. There are steep ocean cliffs to the west, and some rocky shores to the east, tapering into a calm and pleasant beach in and around their Vesterland Bay. To the north, rocky hills roll into jagged and rocky, coastal scrub wastelands.
The Vesterlands do not have much of a centralized economy, however they do receive some national wealth through the use of their bay by Lahaila and Morloux. In the Vesterlands bay many Vesterlanders also take some part in working for these international trade businesses.
Population: 96% Westrasi Human, 4% Other
Government: Five Counties, each ruling over a small city.
The Sisilia Citystates, also known as the Sisilian Counties, or simply Sisilia, is a region of contrasts. Within it's five moderate sized cities, wealth is tied to social status and therefore flaunted. Nobles dress in expensive but practical clothing that is inspired by fashions all around the world, with constantly changing trends. Deep in the forests however, the simple hunters and subsistence farmers stick to their superstitions and barbaric practices. Between the two extremes, the farmers who make up much of the population tend to have more in common with the city folk, but retain some wildness to them.
Social classes are seemingly straight forward in this nation. Nobility enjoy wealth and deeply entrenched legal privileges, while the common folk theoretically don't. However, unofficially, wealth, proximity in blood to clan leadership, clan membership, race, and bloodline are also very important. Despite the power of the nobility, the common folk are well organized into clans, allowing them to exercise far more rights than found in Belara, and in some cases become quite wealthy.
One of the most noteworthy social traits of the region is that everything is organized by clan rather than family. Both noble and common clans exist, and within both these groups there is an unofficial pecking order. The clan leader has final say on who is an isn't a member of their clan, and both men and women frequently marry into other clans.
Although slavery is outlawed in the Sisilian Counties, impoverished foreigners are often badly exploited and have none of the unofficial protections that natives have from their clans. Foreign merchants and mercenaries are generally treated with respect however.
The Wild Lord is hugely popular in the more remote stretches of forest, while a watered down version of his worship is fairly common in the farmlands and cities.
Gloria-Etalia only enjoys moderate support in the region, mostly from newcomers.
Sailors and fishermen sometimes worship nautical gods of other religions on the basis that they are servants of The Wild One.
Several other minor religions exist, but they are poorly understood by outsiders. Many believe they are just subcults of The Wild One's worship.
The Five Counts, representing the most powerful noble clan of each city are the theoretical leaders of the region, but many of the clans, both noble and common, pay only lip service to their supposed leaders. Violence between clans is surprisingly rare however, thanks to a mutual paranoia that one of the stronger neighboring nations will try to take advantage of any excessive infighting.
Much like other nations in the region, what is now Sisilia was once part of the Belarian Empire prior to the Civil War. It was part of the Morloux Republic prior to the second commoner revolution, but democracy never appealed much to the clannish Sisilians, thus allowing the local Duke and his Counts to keep their positions. It was only a century later that the Counts forced the existing Duke at that time to abolish his position, leading to the current decentralized governments that exist today.
The peculiar worship of the Wild Lord and the oddities of the clan structure have been around as long as anyone can remember, despite many attempts to suppress it prior to Sisilia becoming its own nation.
Despite some similarities with Belara and Morloux, the Sisilians value their independence too much to enter full alliance with either group.
They are somewhat sour on the Sarkation Empire due to past attempts by the Church of Gloria-Etalia to suppress their culture.
The relationship with The Vesterlands, Lahaila, and Lazari is largely friendly, though rivalries between trading companies sometimes lead to localized violence.
Sisilians find the Jorivaki way of life strange, but that doesn't stop Sisilian nobles from sometimes hiring Jorivaki mercenaries.
Sisilians regard Tautoburg as a vassal kingdom of The Wild Lord, and generally avoid it, believing the strangeness of that nation to be a sign that the local vassal of The Wild Lord does not wish to be disturbed.
The Sisilia Citystates region is generally flat and temperate, though foothills can be found in the northeastern portion of the nation. Thick forests cover most of the region, but pockets of farmland can be found near the coast, and along river valleys.
The Sisilia Citystates are largely self-sufficient, but alchemist concoctions and enchanted goods produced in the cities fetch a high price in neighboring nations. Wealthy nobles sometimes enter trade partnerships with merchants and nobles from neighboring nations.
Where the wild things are: The deep forests of Sisilia have a certain supernatural wildness to them. Many fey creatures, both friendly and otherwise, can be found in the deepest parts of the forest. Some creatures can be encountered randomly, while others can be deliberately summoned by desperate PCs or NPCs in order to take advantage of their peculiar magic. Among the many types of fey that have been encountered in the forests are: nymphs, hags, bad shadows, will-o-wisps, redcaps, dryads, treants, necro-treants, harpies, satyrs, dark satyrs, minotaur, fairies, sprites, mushroom men, tree spirits, river spirits, vine zombies, changelings, fey trolls, the stone men, soul snatchers, fish men, glow wolves, boggles, kelpie, not to mention various unique individuals, some of considerable power.
Snack time!: Occasionally PCs will simply get unlucky and run into one of the few monsters in the area who see a small group of humanoids as valid prey. Certain large species of wyvern, as well as both non-sentient and sentient fey creatures, fall into this category.
Tomb raiders: Countless barrows, ranging from one room chambers, to large necropoli, dot the Sisilian Counties. Most of them have been looted long ago, but some are home to undead, dark fey creatures, bandits and outlaws, or occasionally even law-abiding citizens (if the barrow is empty anyways, why let a good structure go to waste?)
You picked with the wrong clan: Rural common folk in the outlying areas tend to rely on their clan to protect them when law enforcement can't be bothered. Commoners tend to not be particularly well equipped or well trained, but most have access to sword and bow, militia training, and sometimes pacts with fey creatures of varying degrees of power. Killing or harming a clan member, whether for good reason or not, is bound to lead to some fights, particularly since the NPCs are probably outlanders.
Goon squad: Cities, towns, noble clans, and merchant companies/clans rely on hired muscle to look after their stuff, bully commercial rivals (particularly foreigners), and uphold the law/"law". They usually go for quantity over quality, but there is typically a few heavy hitters in a large group. Veteran melee fighters often augment their abilities with potions and enchantments, while arcane and druidic magic users are more common here than many other parts of Westrasi. Despite their modern, civilized appearance, even urban dwellers sometimes can call on ancient pacts with the fey. Most goons are local, but foreigners are occasionally used, particularly Jorivaki.
Dark Agendas: Although often just seen as a backwater wedged in between more powerful nations, Sisilia is bustling with intrigue. Dark fey frequently make pacts with humans here, and desperate souls are often looking for slaves, souls, victims, and odd items to meet their end of the bargain with their whimsically cruel fey patrons. More mundane intrigue is common as well. Noble, merchant, and even commoner clans sometimes engage in low key power struggles, while foreign agents occasionally enter the region looking to stir up trouble.
Lahaila Merchant Republic
Population: 70% Westrasi Human, 9% Other, 13% Halfling, 8% Giant Capital : Freeport
A Liberal Republic, with leaders elected by a voting class consisting solely of entrepreneurs.
Lahaila was founded on the principals of individualism and free-enterprise. Being your own business owner, and making money for yourself is the ideal in Lahailan life. This can mean the owner of a merchant fleet, a mercenary guardsman, a shop owner, a subsistence farmer, or even a career criminal. Most Lahailans work as independent contractors for larger business owners, hoping to invest their earnings in a business of their own. Many Lahailans are merchant sailors, working for shipping fleets.
Many Lahailans believe Gloria Etalia was just a myth perpetuated by the old-empires to keep the populace complacent. This does not mean they do not find their own ways to be spiritual.
The origins of the Kingdom of Vesterland and the Lahaila Merchant Republic, are intrinsically tied. During the expansion of Ancient Westrasi culture, there was a prominent zeitgeist of moving northward. Lahailain, a warlord of one of the more powerful Westrasi warbands, disgruntled that many of the new fiefs and lordships of the north were becoming so quickly occupied, and that the dishonesty and politics of courtliness were beginning to permeate Westrasi culture; decided to instead move westward, into largely unoccupied lands. Him, and his people, settled along the westernmost shores of the continent, the site of the modern day nations of The Kingdom of Vesterland, and The Lahaila Merchant Republic. They named it simply Vesterland or the Western Lands, in their toungue. Lahailain declared himself the king of these lands, and declared them sovereign from the greater Vestrassian Kingdom. After the Vestrassian Kingdom split into Voros, and Vestlaria; Vestlaria, invaded the Vesterlands. Having become significantly larger and more advanced, compared to the outlanders of Vesterland, Vestlaria easily defeated the Vesterlanders, despite their prowess and valor in battle. Vesterland became the Vesterland colonies of Vestlaria, which overtime became Belara. After the Split of Belara, Morloux controlled the former Vesterland colonies. These colonies were largely regarded as outlands, and were all but neglected by the rulers of Morloux. The inhabitants of these colonies saw an oppurtunity to restore the Vesterlands to glory and sovereignty. Morloux busy with it's Revolution, and subsequent aftermath, was powerless to expend the resources far southwest to stop this secession. The organizers of this secession were split amongst themselves. One half wished to return completely to their old kingdom., the other half wished not to be under the thumb of any monarchy, but create a new and freer government based on the old Vesterland values. The former took the northern peninsula, and named their country The Kingdom of Vesterland, as it was in the times of old. The latter took the southern shores, and named this new country Lahaila, in honor of their original founder, and hero Lahailain. They valued individual liberty and enterprising innovation, and developed a republic where leaders were elected by those members of society who had established businesses for themselves. Being some of the more industrious and entrepreneurial Westrasi, they began to establish themselves as vital pieces in major world trade routes, even being responsible for establishing previously non-existent trade routes. Their affinity for business earned them the modern name: The Lahaila Merchant Republic.
The Lahailans are business people before all else. Although once they had to take their independence from Morloux, in modern times they are deeply involved in global trade with Morloux, a decision which grants them access to a greater market than they could reach on their own. They also have positive relations with The Kingdom of Vesterland, whose bay they use in conjunction with Morloux, in exchange for fair taxation. They retain good reltions with the Kingdom of Uoros, who they view as the other parent, in the birthing of the Lazari Confederation. Even though Lazari declared it's independance from both Lahaila and Uoros, both countries maintain positive relations out of trade necessity, but also admiration.
Lahaila is the southwestern most part of the former Vesterlands. It is a mostly comprised of flatlands and rolling hills, with temperate deciduous forests, tapering off into grasslands closer to the shore, with a river valley in it's northeast corner.
The Lahalia Merchant Republic is mostly liberal capitalist economy, which encourages entrepreneurship. Although there are many small-businesses, there are several large shipping corporations, whose vessels transport most of Morloux's international trade. To eastern Westrasi, to the Giant-Halfling Alliance, and to Morloux's colonies in the east.
Kingdom of Uoro
Population: 87% Westrasi Human, 8% Suoxi Human, 3% Other, 1% or less Halfling, 1% or less Giant Capital : Vestrasia
The Uorosian government is a Constitutional Monarchy, whereas most power is held by the Parliament, which is chosen on a basis of Meritocracy and Geniocracy. The Position of royalty is mostly ceremonial, although highly respected, because it is considered the oldest known Westrasi Throne.
The original home of the Westrasi is now home to a paticular breed, whom celebrate their rich history, but are always looking forward. The Uorosians hold great value in knowledge and accomplishment, second only to the inquisitiveness and adventurousness that precedes them. Their capital Vestrasia, is a regional center for knowledge, and an important port city for any trade ships taking goods along the river system from Vesterland's Bay to The Westrasi sea and eastward. Being the oldest known Westrasi civilization comes with great pride, but also regret. The Uorosians harbor great shame about their ancestor's history as slavers. This shame likely reinforces the hospitality Uorosians show outsiders, the continued predilection of intellectual and exploratory pursuits, and their aversion to senseless violence. Most Halflings and Giants still have no trust, and no love for Uorosians, but some of their prominent intellectuals have taken up residence there, in appreciation of their pursuit of and archiving of knowledge. Although they are not militaristic, they do indeed value the ability to defend themselves. They are intelligent enough to realize that passage along their river is crucial to all their neighbors, and are cunning enough to defend their nation solely through securing their river.
Wardens of the Wyrd Watch
In the pursuit of exploration, the Uorosians became the first Westrasi to make continued expeditions into the Wyrdlands. These early explorers made peace with the natives, and participated in their ritual use of Phreissian Wyrd, allowing them to traverse the Wyrdlands with greater ease. These early expeditions resulted in many unexplainable events, the disappearances of countless Uorosians, and brief political instability about the risks involved. Eventually it was concluded that keeping close to the river would be general protocol for the explorer's. They were still permitted to explore on land, away from the river, but for no more than 72 hours at a time. Eventually these adventurous Uorosians encountered the Time Wraiths. These beings are aberrations in existence, often indescribable in appearance, and unfathomably destructive. little is known about them, but soon after the first encounters with them the Kingdom of Uoros decided it needed to take precautions against them. The Wyrd Watch was set up all along the border of the forest, populating treeline fortresses built to house them, and was made up of the most elite rangers leftover from those early explorers of Wyrd. The modern Wardens of the Wyrd Watch act as sentinels against the Time Wraiths for Uoros, and also all of Western Westrasi. They are said to be invaluable guides through the Wyrds, and a merchant ship passing between the Vestern Bay and the Westrasi Sea hasn't passed without a Warden or two since anyone can remember. They still act as rangers, exploring for new knowledge, and investigating any anomalies that occur. The Wardens use Pherissian Wyrd ritually, not only burning it, but also ingesting it in various ways. They hold many strange beliefs, some would say more similar to the Wyrd Tribesmen than their fellow Uorosians. It is rumored that some Wardens have met themselves out of time in the Wyrdlands and went mad, or never returned.
Valuing intellectualism, and adventurousness, most Uorosians have a pretty secular view on Gloria Etalia. They do however, amplify the importance of Gloria Etalia's message of striving for civilization, and believe that their intellectual pursuits are the best reflection of that. Most Wardens of the Wyrd Watch have their own spiritual beliefs, consisting of a mixture of Gloria Etalia, the beliefs of the Wyrd Tribesmen, and their own collections of superstitions and skewed views on the nature of reality, aquired through experience.
The Westrasi came into prominence under the shelter of their Northwestern Forest, in the southernmost tip, when the lands to the North where still frozen in their ever-winter. Vestrasia, the first and current capital, was built in the center-most point of their river, which provided all they needed in the early days. Growing stronger and more ambitious in the cradle of their green garden, they began to venture south, to avoid the "cursed" lands to their east. They found a way around the Wyrdlands, but they also found new people. Small, but useful people. Caught in the fervor of their ambition, they began enslaving the smaller, and relativley defenseless people. With a new and exceptionally crafty labor force, the Westrasi were able to grow in power and expand into previously unconquerable lands. Around this time the ever-winter of the North began to wain, and a second capital was built; called Vestlaria. Vestlaria became the port of exploration for the Westrasi world. There was a major divide between the global explorers. The Academics, and the Enterprising. The academics thought that the goal of mankind should be to explore, aquire all the knowledge that they could, and enlighten society as whole, to create a paradise on earth. The enterprising believed that exploring the world, and aquiring knowledge was useless, unless you had great power, and ever-expanding your own civilization was the end-goal of these former ventures. Unsurprisingly, the enterprising types had a majority control in both ruling class and military. A revolutionary academic named Voros led an uprising in Vestlaria, but the academic forces were much less militaristic. They were ultimately defeated, and fled back to the all but forsaken Vestrasia. Those in Vestlaria deemed their homeland no longer useful, and ceased pursuit before wasting the resources of crossing the southern mountains. Vestlaria became Belara over time, and continued a tradition of power-hungry expansionism for many years. Vestrasia made Voros a Sage-King, and the Kingdom of Voros became the Kingdom of Uoros. Although most former slaves were now in Vestlaria, they outlawed slavery upon the founding of the new kingdom, to prevent it's tpxic grasp from taking hold in their culture again. With a natural inclination for intellectualism, they developed systems of Meritocracy and Geniocracy, which grew into a governmental parliament naturally, as the succession of sage-kings realized their own position of absolute power was antithetical to their beliefs. Their society continued the tradition of exploration, but for the love of knowledge and adventure. Becoming a center for knowledge, and passage from Western Westrasi to Eastern Westrasi, and the rest of the world.
The Uorosians are extremely diplomatic. They are ambassadors to all, and a lynchpin in a crucial trade route for much of Westrasi. They are still mistrusted by many Halflings and Giants. One of the only nations to actively maintain a friendship with Wyrd Tribesmen.
The Uorosians inhabit the southeastern most tip of the Northwestern Westrasi Forest, it is also the native homeland to all Westrasi people. They are the gateway to the rest of the world, a dense broadleaf forest, with a central river valley and patches of meadows leading into the Wyrdlands to the east, and more Mediterranean lands to the South. The initial expansion of the ancient Westrasi saw significant forest clearing, but there was been a concerted effort since the early days of the kingdom to replant native trees, leading to even their capital city having relatively abundant forest coverage.
The Uoros control the crucial river connecting trade ships from the Lazari canal, safely through the Wyrdlands to the Westrasi Sea. Merchants pay sizable taxes for the use of this river, as well as handsome fees for Wardens of the Wyrd Watch to be used as river guides. They get most of their money this way, and it is enough for most Uorosians to live comfortably. There is a general egalitarianism among it's people, leaving them free to pursue great accomplishments. There is also a decently lucrative hospitality industry servicing travelers who come seeking knowledge from Uorosian archives.
Population: 94% Westrasi Human, 6% Other, Capital : Port of Lazar
A confederation of sovereign peoples, who contribute to the common infrastructure and economical well-being of Lazaria. They are bound by basic laws of non-violence towards their fellow countryman, as well as non-disclosure agreements about the proprietary methods of the confederation, and confidentiality agreements to their clients.
The Confederation of Lazar is made up of sovereign people, with an individualist attitude towards trade and personal freedoms. The population of this nation may not be many, but their Canal is the lifeline of trade between West and East Westrasi. Their mountain fortresses offer an opportunity for high-profile clients to hoard treasures and artifacts away from the inquisitive eyes of taxing governments, and self-important conservationists alike. Most inhabitants come from a Lahailan or Uorosian background, although there are some others. There are bustling port cities on either end on the mountain range, and many Research Rangers within the mountains themselves. Many Lazarians that aren't port city merchants, or research rangers, make a living working on the constantly needed repair of the canals infrastructure.
Rangers of the Strongholds
In the ancient steel caves, turned research centers and wealth strongholds, reside the Rangers of the Strongholds. With their hippogriffs acting as guard dogs, and occasional mounts, but mostly as companion animals, These rangers uphold the secrecy and integrity of their research, as well as the utmost discretion and confidentiality about their clients' hoards. It is said that unauthorized visitors may be rode down upon for coming within a mile of their great steel caves.
Comprising mostly of Lahailan and Uorosian descendants, most Lazarians tend to be quite secular about Gloria-Etalia, although they do believe that having some spiritual belief is important to personal growth and achievement, and more importantly that someone's spiritual beliefs be their own.
After the Uorosians separated from the Belarans, the explorers of Uoro began expedetion east into the Wyrdlands, and Northwest into the inhospitable Mountain range between them and the most concentrated part of the Belaran Kingdom. An initial outpost settlement was constructed on the northernmost point of the Uorosian River, where it's headwaters disappeared into the foothills of the mountains. The Uorosian Research Rangers encountered a native population of Hippogriffs, of which they domesticated a small portion. Although large enough to mount, the Hippogriffs could not carry excessive supplies in flight with a rider, and could only fly with a rider short distances. They still proved effective for exploration as they displayed agile footing in the mountains, and could at least fly the riders over patches of otherwise impassable terrain. On the western end of the mountain range, the explorer's found the headwaters of another river, the one they knew flowed into it's estuary in Vesterland Bay in the Vesterland colonies of Belara. They found something else just north of the headwaters as well. In the mountains nearby the rangers found a series of magnificent caverns, the likes of which they'd never seen. They were lined with thick metal, and inside were ancient relics. This was a mother load of ancient knowledge, if they could put together the pieces of such degraded material. They went to work building another major outpost here, both to accommodate their extensive research, and to keep a watch that Belara did not try to invade them through their Vesterland colonies. After the Split of Belara, and then later, the Revolution of Morloux, The westernmost parts of the Vesterland colonies became the Kingdom of Vesterland, and the Lahaila Merchant Republic. One day a ship from the Lahaila Merchant Republic docked at the western research outpost. The leader of this expedition was a scout named Lazar, who was searching for a trade route to Eastern Westrasi. The rangers informed him that there was another headwaters, and settlement on the eastern side of the range, but they were seperated by unfavorable terrain. Lazar had an idea. He proposed that they let Lahaila build a canal joining the rivers, to use as a trade route, They would invest in the infrastructure of the research settlements, and that this trade route would greatly benefit their home kingdom of Uoros, which high in honorable deed, and academic pursuit, was admittedly not economically flourishing. This was agreed upon between the two nations. After a brief time, Lazar learned of the ancienct metal caves, and coveted them as merchandise, which led to a brief conflict between The Uorosian Rangers and Lazar. Ultimately it was agreed upon that Lazar could make more money using parts of the less relic-filled caves as strongholds, which Lazar could charge high-profile clients to hoard secret treasures from their governments and enemies. Then, although he was one of the richest men in all Westrasi, Lazar grew discontent with paying taxes to his homeland of Lahaila. He knew that the Research Rangers of the mountains were sometimes criticized by their homeland for their inability to decipher meanings from the ancient caves and their relics. Lazar and the Researchers from Uoros agreed to declare themselves an independent confederation. They had wealth, and they had a stronghold on the main Westrasi continental trade route, as well as the accumulated hoards on undeclared treasures belonging to many of the most powerful people of Westrasi. Noone dared to stop them. It was decided that the expereinced Uorosian Rangers would actually wield most authority over this new nation, while Lazar was afforded the dominion over national profit, as well as the vanity of naming the nation and it's capital city after himself.
The Lazarians are the up keepers of the infratructure of one of the most vital trade routes to all of Westrasi, and their strongholds house many powerful Westrasians' secrets. Nobody in Westrasi would every start a conflict with Lazari, and Lazari would never pick a side in any inter-Westrasi conflict.
Lazari's landscape is an inhospitable, mountainous, boreal forest, with most of it's civilization residing in it's two port cities, and along the canal in it's foothills.
The people of the Lazari Confederation makes their money by heavily taxing non-citizen's using their canal connecting the Vesterland River and Uorosian River, as well as many of it's citizens being involved in continental trade themselves. They also make substantial money acting as a private confidential treasure horde to wealthy clients.
Meta-Lore: The great metal lined caves of ancient relics, were actually a system of bunkers where elite members of the ancient bygone society and their extended families hid during the nuclear extinction event at the dawn of our current world. When they ran out of resources, they were forced to exist the bunkers. They found the mountain range inhospitable, and most of that area and northward and westward were still on the tail-end of a nuclear winter. They migrated southeastward to the site of modern Uoros, where they found a more temperate forest and settled. This is the true secret origin of Westrasi Hunter-Gatherers.
Population: 66% Westrasi Human, 6% Imuuga Human, 17 % Suoxi Human, 3% Treant Vassal Tribesman, 8% Other Capital : Jormsburg
Military Junta, consisting of: an Infantry General, a Naval General, and a High Commander.
Jorivakia is a nation of Mercenaries. These elite soldiers operate out of the fortress city of Jormsburg in the middle of their territory. Here the High Council of Commanders, dictates the orders and assignments that will send their warriors around the world. People have seen Jorivaki fighting in many conflicts, waging proxy wars on behest of their clients. Some say they will even be fighting for different sides in the same war, but never cross each others paths, as if they were aware of each others positions. This is convenient, because the Jorivakian code prevents them from ever raising arms againts their countrymen, no matter what battles they be involved in. Their code states many other things. Among them that a Jorivakian may never have a family or rear children within the territory of Jorivakia. This does not restrict the Jorivaki from engaging in sexual intercourse, or even rearing families that live away from them, outside of Jorivakia, just that they may not bear and raise children within Jorivakia itself. It is no place for children. This also helps ensure that only individuals who meet their requirements become Jorivaki. A potential recruit must complete a series of feats, and training to be excepted as a Jorivaki. The training tackles a wide array of subjects, so that a Jorivaki can fulfill any role in active duty outside their borders, and any role of their military society within, even the mundane task of cooperative group cooking. The final feat is to be stripped naked, and sent into the strange forest in the eastern half of the country, with no weapon. This place is the home to the JormsBoar, a uniquely wild, large, and dangerous breed of wild boar, that hunt in intelligent packs, and have a taste for human flesh. The recruit must successfully survive for a month in this forest, only eating and clothing himself with this most dangerous game, only then will they be a true Jorivaki. The Jorivaki hold a great admiration for their native fauna, emblazoning the boar on their banners, armors, hilts, and shields. While the wild forests lie to the east, to the west are more docile forests. This land is home to the handsome estates of the Jorivaki, where they reside during their allotted downtime. When off-duty, a Jorivaki may recreate at their estate, or travel anywhere they please, as long as it would not cause them to be absent for their next assignment of duty. Although Jorivakia supplies any goods they need, it's up to the Jorivaki to prepare their own food, and entertain themselves when off-duty. Some Jorivaki have set up improvised taverns for the enjoyment of their comrades. Although the Jorivaki sell their services to anyone in the Mukwesk or Nurwesk regions, they will not act to significantly upset the balance of their homelands. For instance; They would not use their entire force to invade and conquer a Westrasi nation for another. Most people also believe, that if a foreign force ever invaded the Mukwesk or Nurwesk, that the Jorivaki would stand and fight, for free.
Jorivakia is composed of many different cultures, and has no over-arching religion, but it does have a universal code, this code states thats: 1. A Jorivaki must never raise arms against a comrade. 2. A Jorivaki must never show fear. 3. A Jorivaki must never flee from a battle in which they are matched equally in power and number. 4. A Jorivaki must never disobey direct orders from a superior, unless an inquiry, or blatant obviousness, finds their superior to be of unsound mind. 5. A Jorivaki must not horde the spoils of war, with exceptions for trinkets of sentimental significance, and in some cases, through approval, an exceptional trophy of unique achievement. 6. A Jorivaki must never plunder, pillage, torture, or otherwise brutalize, and most show their enemies as much respect as is possible. 7. A Jorivaki may not procreate, or rear children in the borders of Jorivakia.
Jorivakia is a rather young nation, if a nation you could call it. It came into being when some of the greatest soldiers of Belara and Morloux came together, and decided that for all that was built on their backs, they didn't get the share of wealth or power they felt they deserved. They resolved to establish their own nation-state, where they would all be equal, and all at arms. They took the greatest men loyal to them, and went south to a stretch of land that not even the Vesterlanders or the Lazari desired to inhabit, because of it's proximity to the Jormsboars, and the anomaly of Tautoburg. There they first began selling their swords in battle, and in doing so recruited many great warriors they met in battle around the world. Word of the equality among warriors, and comfortable lifestyle stretched across Westrasi, and now ambitions sellswords from all over the continent travel to Jormsburg, for a chance to become a soldier-citizen of Jorivakia.
The Jorivaki sell their services to any and all nations of the Mukwesk and Nurwesk regions, and have good relations with all of them.
The west of Jorivakia is rolling hills of deciduous forest, and the east of Jorivakia is a strange mixed forest.
The Jorivaki are elite mercenaries. Used not just for war, but also elite guards for important people, and security forces for trade shipments. They are paid handsomely for their services, whether it be in money, weapons, armor, common goods, or foods. This bounty is distributed evenly among all Jorivaki, whom live more than comfortably, when they are not on duty. Since the economy of Jorivakia is based on centralized distribution, many clients cut out the middle-man, and pay the Jorivaki with goods and services. Most of the buildings in Jorivakia have been built by tradesmen hired by the clients of Jorivakia. Most goods and food are not produced in Jorivakia, but rather shipped their on trade boats, which pass through Jorivakia, via the Vestriver.
Population: 100% Westrasi Human (???) Capital: Tautoburg
Seemingly: A Monarchical City-State
What We Know about Tautoburg
A traveler who finds themselves in the strange patch on dense, thick, and abnormal mixed forest in the central Mukwesk region, may happen upon Tautoburg; A sudden and unexpected castle-town, among the thick wilds. The visitor will quickly notice something very unnerving: All the people of Tautoburg appear to be identical copies of the same small handful of people, repeating without end, but in different clothes, doing different things. These people are all friendly and welcoming. They have good food, and good alcohol. If one should inquire into the strangeness of their home, they will be blankly ignored. The Wardens of the Wyrd Watch, who have traveled here for research, have attested that this phenomenon is not a temporal anomaly, like that of the Wyrdlands, as they can see no evidence of aging in either direction on any version of the Tautoburgers. Further puzzling is that the inhabitants don't look the same to every traveler or group of travelers who venture to Tautoburg. Accounts of their appearance may differ from one encounter to the next, but in every encounter, the entire populace is made up of repetitive copies of no more than one hand's full of people. Most puzzling, and perhaps most disturbing of all is to seek an audience with the Lord of Tautoburg. This King or Queen will appear in the exact visage of the visitor seeking their audience. Some have reported that two or more separate individuals have seen this lord as themselves, while their companions saw the lord as their own self, simultaneously. A resemblance, never acknowledged.
Noone knows when Tautoburg came to be. There are references to it in the oldest known Westrasi folklore.
No nations have a regular relationship with Tautoburg, and none desire to make aggression against it. Tautoburg itself is friendly to all visitors, and noone could say with certainty they'd ever seen a Tautoburger outside it's walls.
Tautoburg is a walled castle-town, in the center of a dense and abnormal patch of mixed forest in the central part of the Mukwesk region.
Tautoburg trades with noone, it is not even known if they use currency. Noone knows how they aquire resources, but they are always abundant with food and common goods.
An integrated society of halflings and giants with halflings forming the bulk of the population mostly as farmers and the giants usually being the warrior and ruling classes. In the middle of the nation there is the most amount of mixing from the two races, with the homelands of the two skewed toward the native race, but with a portion of the other race living there. There is a giant wall spanning the top of their border to keep out their ancestral enemies, but they are not isolationist. They have fleets of ships that go out into the world to trade and learn from the humans.
The government is made up of two parts: the representatives and the crown. The crown is made up of a giant who takes on the role as tribemaster, and a halfling who takes on the role of king or queen. Once elected, they rule until death unless the representatives all agree to dispose of them. The representatives are made up of elected officials from each village, and are mostly giants due to a lack of interest and natural skill for nation working from the halflings. But there are some halfling councilmembers.
The halflings always lived in fear of slavers from the north coming to take them away as they are terrible combatants but make excellent farmers and craftsmen.The giants, while big and strong, could not support their constant need for food in big groups, and when to small they were hunted down and their children sold off as slaves as a giant broken as a child makes a wonderful slave laborer/status symbol.
The First Union
One day a cunning and enterprising halfling named Lifferkin who, in his campaign for mayor, approached a small and suffering giant tribe and offered them food, weapons, and shelter in exchange for guarding and protecting the halflings. The newly appointed giant elder, an old and half-blind female named Urte took stock of her remaining tribeskin’s chances, and agreed. In her mind, they had nothing left to lose. He then brought them back to his village to show the other halflings the “solution to all of our problems!” as his slogan went. While there were many halflings unconvinced that the plan was going to work, they decided to hear him out and went on to feed and arm the giants. When some slavers came for easy prey, they were met with well equipped giants, and were easily crushed. Lifferkin was quickly elected mayor, and continued to integrate the giants into halfling society, implementing them as construction workers and excavators. Soon other towns across the border started to hear about Lifferkin’s new policies that were making his town flourish, and invited giants to join their towns as well. Soon both giants and halflings were living together, and slavers became a smaller and smaller menace, even though people were sometimes still caught. Urte was living now well past her expected lifespan due to her newly forged security, but she was not content. Being wise, she saw the village’s solution had only driven the slavers away to halflings that could not protect themselves and giants that were easily preyed on. Seeing this, she proposed to Lifferkin, who has kept his position as mayor almost as long as any halfling in remembered history due to his policies, that the independent villages along the border join up to become a greater threat to those that would wish to harm them. He was skeptical at first, but Urte wore him down, and they both proposed their plan to “unionise” to the other villages. With some convincing, they agreed, and the halfling-giant villages formed to create the first kingdom their land had seen. They called it the Halfling-giant alliance.
The Birth of the Halfling-Giant Alliance
Soon enough a government was formed. Each village sent a representative to start to create laws and policies. These representatives were mostly giants, who knew how to work together for the benefit of their tribe, but a small number of those sent were halflings. They met with Lifferkin and Urte, who they proposed that in order to govern efficiently, they should elect one giant and one halfling to run the kingdom with the titles of Tribesmaster and King, with the representatives acting as a counterbalance to their power with a council power of their own. After some debate, they agreed that someone has to run this new kingdom, and everyone having a direct voice was inefficient. So they agreed and elected Urte and Lifferkin as the first Tribesmaster and King.
Their first policy enacted was to get more villages to join up, and envoys were sent to both the giants and the halflings. One by one, villages were convinced, and halflings and giants were sent to integrate into the two societies. Soon enough they turned their eyes north, where slavers were still a big nuisance that they were fed up with. Their solution: build a giant wall stretching the border to keep them out. They hated the westrasi people, and wanted nothing to do with them after being preyed on for so long. It took many years, but soon enough with giant prowess and halfling ingenuity a wall started to go up. Litterkin and Urte died, but others rose to take their place. After many decades, the wall was complete and the two races were united. Urte and Lifferkin are still celebrated as national heroes to this day, for uniting the tribes and solving a near-impossible problem
The Wyrd tribe lands have their name derived from one of two things from their "weirdness" or from a plant which grows there only known as the Pherissian Wyrd.
An oddity of the tribelands which makes them impossible to conquer or subdue is the non-linearity of time. Diplomats sent to the Wyrd Tribes report meeting people who claim to be ancestors of leaders they met centuries before or younger versions of Wyrd mercenaries which work for them. The Yoroslovan Kingdom even claims to have hired the same mercenary twice and the two which were one served alongside each other. The Tribe of Ywyrd claims though that, that was just a prank played by two twins.
Anthropologists describe the Tribesmen as using the Pherissian Wyrd or as they call it "Nostalgie plant" to navigate the land. When you burn it the smoke always shows towards the past. Supposedly one also sees the smoke facing different directions depending on date of birth and the further you wish to travel from the day you were born at the quicker the smoke changed directions and new fires need to be lit more and more often. Thus Wyrd tribes often are not derived from family units, but formed from people born on the same day to make traveling together easier.
The Tribesmen seem to not really ever mourn the dead or have any funeral rituals. I mean why would you do it if you can just go back and visit your mother when before she died?
The greatest myth of the Wyrd is the "City of Glass" they describe a city of glass where no one hungers. One resembling in description the mirages of the grand desert. One can only reach the City of glass once he follows the Smoke of the Wyrd all the way to the beginning of time where once it's lit on fire the smoke forms a spiral.
Due to it's odd layout and diplomatic visits it is suspected that the Land of the Wyrd Tribes might be folded like Origami and likely is as big as Suoxi-Dan Dio or even bigger.
The City of Glass
Before the great Calamity which struck ending the Age own Dawn a single city in the world knew it would come. The name of that City is long lost.
They were foretold a catastrophe would come which would doom the whole world, no the whole universe. As such they chose to leave. Their scientists worked on creating a bubble. A bubble of time and space. One where time would still run, just completely separately from the world around them.
The experiment succeeded, creating what we now know as the Wyrd, or rather an imperfection in the process gave birth to the Wyrd. The Wyrd is a place of transit a thin layer of time and space separating the City of Glass and the world of normal flowing time.
With enough patience and knowledge of navigation it is possible to travel between those two planes of existence.
The City of Glass exists as a myth among many of the Wyrd Tribes as their ancestors either laid their eyes on it themselves, or met researchers from the City sent out to explore the world.
It is not exactly clear what is inside the City of Glass and how it operates now, but whenever they send someone out they always ask about the "Wandering City of Mimics".
Founded by the land's first king, the warlord Yoros. Yorosolovan's founders were raiders flung far afield from the icy north. They were chased from the halfling lands by giants even larger than the trolls of their homeland. Fleeing to the north, into the lands that would come to be their home, they found tribesmen ill equipped to defend against their dwarven steel and the cunning of Yoros. Yoros himself pitted rivals against one another only to set his outnumbered forces against the loser and absorb the prisoners of war into his army with promises of lands, gold and women. WIP
In modern day Yoroslovan the monarchy rules over a council of lords. Much of their sea raiding ancestry and infantry tactics has been cast aside in favor of massed heavy cavalry. Their sons organize "chivalric games" games of war where they organize into teams using small levy troops in brutally violent displays, often resulting in injury and damage to peasant dwellings. In early spring as the snow falls the lords gather their forces and practice raiding on the bordering tribal lands, attacking specific tribes that have offered insult whether that be real or perceived. Occasionally tribesmen are hired as mercenaries for skirmishes against Uoro or Araxia, though usually they are hired as fodder for "giant hunts" for when one of the southern giants cross their borders. The kingdom of Yoroslovan has few allies though the current king Yoros the eighth wishes to wed his three daughters off to remedy this before his neighbors grow weary enough of his war obsessed kingdom to band together and destroy it.
90% Yorai Westrasi Human 10% Vashian Westrai Human
The Yoroi Tribes were a loosely connected culture of hunter-gatherers that settled along the Westrasi Sea. They practied a form of agriculture in which the trees and orchards of the area were cultivated around their migratin routes and the Yoroi calendar is still used as the basis of almanacs around the sea.
The Yorai culture was conquers by a series of invasions across the sea from Saramese exiles. Over the years these raids would see the Saramese form a unique ethnic identity known as Vashian; they took control of the Yorai lands and declared an independent Vashain republic, based on the Morloux model but without rights given to the Yoroi or the poor. Recent economic pressures led to a campiagn for voting rights for all citizens and to avoud giving control of the government to Yoroi; the majority Yorai areas were spun off into an "independent" reservation known as the Yorori tribe lands. They are governed by a Consulate headquartered at the border, and Yoroi are forbidden from entering the republic without written docuements.
Lumber and fruit from the woods is harvested by underpaid Yoroi then sold to the republic to be shipped across the sea for mass profit.
Population: 45% Vashian Westrasi Human, 20% Elves/Half-Elves, 20% Yorai Westrasi Human, 15% Other (mostly other Westrasi Humans)
The inhabitants of the Vashian Republic are a notoriously arrogant and self-righteous people who see themselves as a beacon of civilization compared to the other Westrasi nations. The Republic is centered around the large metropolis of Helias, a city famous for its gorgeous marble buildings, clean streets, and strong law enforcement presence, though several other cities and towns exist. The Vashians takes great pride in their efficient and largely uncorrupt bureaucracy, skilled diplomats, high levels of education, sponsorship of scholarly endeavors and the arts, progressive attitudes to gender roles, good relations with the elvish peoples, orderly cities and landscapes, commitment to peace (in theory), piousness, and vast wealth. However, to the frustration of some in other nations, it is rare to see any Vashians acknowledge their exploitation of the Yoroi, class divide, authoritarian government, skill at realpolitik, and general hypocrisy.
Vashian society is organized around wealth and status. It has a large number of wealthy nobles, merchants, scholars, artists, and artisans in proportion to its population, who enjoy rights and privileges on par with the best of the Westrasi democracies. Meanwhile, servants and laborers live out of sight of the upper and middle classes. Many of them are foreigners (particularly Yoroi) from poorer nations, who take on indentured contracts in order to be able to live in the Republic without fear of arrest. Despite miserable wages, the expectation that they live in packed basements and barns, limited legal rights, and dark stories of abuse, there is no shortage of people willing to accept these conditions in return for being able to escape extreme poverty and/or instability in their home nations.
Gloria-Etalia is the dominant faith within the Republic, with a heavy emphasis on their self belief that they are far closer to being an ideal civilization worthy of bringing about the return of Gloria-Etalia than most of their neighbors. Their subjection of the Yoroi People (when acknowledged at all) is rationalized on the basis that they are helping them achieve a more civilized state.
Despite the Vashian's fondness of claiming they are an open-minded society, other faiths are not tolerated in the Republic, and even other Chapels of the Gloria-Etalia religion are shunned.
Although theoretically a democracy based heavily on the Morloux Model, in practice, power lies with the representatives of the dozen or so most powerful noble families in the Republic via seats on the Privy Council. In particular, the First Citizen, who is elected by the Commons Seat, wields enormous executive power. Since the founding of the Republic, the First Citizen has almost always come from the powerful Verrun family, leading some to refer to the Vashian Republic as a de facto monarchy.
Power is highly centralized around the First Citizen, who commands both the large Vashian Army, as well as the public purse to hire mercenaries. Smaller towns and cities are ruled by mayors elected by the wealthy, however every sizable community in the republic contains spies loyal to the First Citizen, as well as at least one unit of the Vashian Army in their distinct red and white uniforms with silver edged armor plates and soft brown padding.
Like much of the Westrasi Sea region, the area where the Vashian Republic now stands was once part of the Verani Empire. Helias and the surrounding area were once one of the wealthiest regions of the old Empire, but the area was heavily looted by the ancestors of the Yoroi People following the Fall. The Vashian Republic was founded by Saramese exiles who mixed in with the descendants of the Verani Empire who were still living along the coast, who then together conquered much of the surrounding area in a series of wars. Recently the Vashian Republic has split the Yoroi Tribelands off into its own separate vassal state in order to prevent the emerging Yoroi middle class from influencing the Commons Seat.
The Yoroi Tribelands are a de facto vassal state of the Republic. Despite their theoretical independence, the Yoroi government is filled with Vashian "advisors", and Vashian Army units are common throughout Yoroi lands, either to guard Vashian financial interests, or to defend the borders. The Vashians know they can't hold the Tribelands forever, but plan on holding onto "their" territory for as long as possible via drawn out negotiations and economic dominance. A small separatist guerrilla movement exists, who some feel are just Vashian pawns that will provide an excuse for the Vashians to re-invade Yoroi.
The Yoroslovan, Euraxian, and Araxian Kingdoms, the Suezi, the Farisians, and the Commonwealth are seen as primitive barbarians who descended from those who destroyed the Verani Empire. In particular, the Farisians have made themselves a nuisance by either directly or indirectly funding Yoroi separatists. Although the Vashians claim open warfare is crude and uncivilized, they have in fact been involved in more wars than any other nation on the Westrasi Sea, typically involving themselves in other's disputes in return for trade concessions and military alliances against other nations.
The Vashians see the Veranese, Betranoxians, and Saramese as fellow descendants of the Verani Empire (or at least inheritors of said culture who didn't actively participate in bringing down the Empire). They all share a certain love for scholarship, art, intellectualism, and the arcane, and scholars, artists, poets, and arcanists from the republic frequently visit these nations. The Vashian Republic often chides the other three nations for fighting among themselves, but the Vashians have never been ones to let their own self-righteousness get in the way of self interest, and have either secretly or openly sabotaged the interests of the other nations when it was to their benefit.
Terravia and Uroxians are dismissed as nations of wackjobs, bordering on being seen as outright evil, and are poorly regarded by both nobles and commoners in the Republic, though, of course, faustian political and trade alliances are common.
Relations with Sarkatia are poor due to several long standing theological disputes.
Vashians generally ignore the giants and halflings who live south of their Yoroi vassals, seeing them as too barbaric to civilize.
The Vashian Republic is a relatively small but densely populated region. Most of the land has been transformed for "civilized use", with large fields of grain, orchards, vineyards, and grazing pastures covering a large part of the territory. Sections of grassland and forest have been left alone for recreational horseback riding, hunting, and to provide privacy to the estates of the wealthy.
Generally considered one of the wealthiest nations on the Westrasi Sea, the Vashians benefit greatly from their near monopoly on the Yoroi Tribeland's abundant natural resources. However, even without the Yoroi, the Vashians make good money thanks to the many skilled artisans, arcanists, and theurges living within their territory, not to mention their uncanny ability to come out on top in many conflicts and trade disputes.
The Araxian kingdom is one of the earliest Westrasi human kingdoms, formed along the river Tarkos, Araxians are called by other nations 'The Bulls', as the bull was the symbol of the first Dynasty of Arax, and the one with the longest reign. By the time the House of Brachen had fallen, the bull had become intertwined with Araxian identity and the new ruling family, the House of Gotley, kept the Bull Throne and horned crown as a symbol of their newfound power. Araxians have a long history of conflict with the Sarcian Mountain clans in the west and the Yoroi clans in the East. While large scale warfare is rare, the constant raids and skirmishes along these borders helped imbue into Araxian culture a heavy dose of militaristic thinking. Their kingdom political structure is a feudal monarchy, and the kingdom is broken down in three duchies and the Crownlands by the mouth of the Tarkos into the Westrasi sea. Arax mostly content ignoring the giants beyond the great wall, as the kingdom is often pulled into the may wars and disputes of the Westrasi Sea. Arax has a strong rivalry with the Farisian republic, due to the Farisians occasional usage of Yoroi mercenaries, which the Araxians see as sponsoring of the troublesome warlords past the border.
Country name: Veranese City-States
Population: 65% Westrasi Humans, 20% Elves, 15% Half-elves
Capital: Dominating cities in the region are Ravena, Tiria, Iluria and Sforza
Goverment: Varies by city, but all the cities are part of a League with a leader elected by each city casting a vote.
Veranese are merchants, lovers and bon vivants at heart. While the city-states are not a big military threat to any neighbor, they are the home of many fable duelists, poets, fabled seductors and legendary gormands. Each city has their own habits and peculiarities but in general they are brave yet undiscipline, hot blooded people as quick to yell and curse as they are to fawn and flatter. Often in the span of minutes
The majority of cities follow the Church of Divine Duality. However Sforza is the founder and most burning adept of the Sforzian Chapel of Gloria and Etalia.
The cities of the Veranese coast formed a league to protect themselves and most important, their trade routes from raiders, Westrasi Sea pirates and foreign invaders. Most cities are 'republics', though they are de factor ruled by a plutocracy of the richest patrician families.
In the ancient age, the Verani Empire conquered the whole Westrasi Sea and held grasp of it for over seven hundred years. The Empire called it 'Our Pound', as they held all lands around the sea. The Verani empire fell mostly due to internal economic strife and sternal pressure from less civilized neighbours, but the core of the empire remained tightly knitted together by paved roads and a love for gold. While the cities fought each other frequently, recent conflict with the Saramese lead them to join forces to present a united from in naval warfare, and the benefits of the alliance caused the temporary pact to become a temporary arrangement with rotationary leadership.
The Veranese cities have tense relations with the Saramese, but close ties to the Euraxian kingdom. They trade with most of the Westrasi sea, but their main rival is the Free city of Betranox. Depsite both fearing the Saramese fleet, Betranox is constantly disrupting Veranese trade with by being a corsair haven.
The land is mostly arid, rocky hillsides not good for growing much besides grapes and olives.
Trade is the backbone of Veranese economy. Trade and craftsmanship and refining. They by raw materials, from timber, stone, olives, grapes, wheat, wool from all over the Westrasi sea and beyond through land routes, and the high urban population provides sufficient journeyman guildsmen, tools and facilities to process these goods into their most expensive form: Sculptures, furniture, wine, olive oil, clothes, etc. These high quality goods are they sold either back to where the raw materials were bough, or elsewhere. As their main trade is 'knowledge and skill', Veranese city states have developed craft universities and a overarching guild system to both preserve the secrets of the trade but also expand the knowledge base. Veranese crossbows are legendary quality. The most expensive of them are fitting gifts for kings.
Races: 95% Human, 5% Assorted Others Government: Electoral Monarchy Capital:Tharnux
Leixi and Airoxia were once separate nations, but they are now united under one crown. Leixi is centered around the river running through the Commonwealth, with a high population density due to the regular nature of the river's flooding. Airoxia, on the other hand, is largely rural, relying less on agriculture and more on pastoralism. The monarchy of the Commonwealth is a semi-electorate, with each heir to the throne having to be approved by an assembly of all the Airoxian nobles. The king largely relies upon Leixi for the tax revenue and military, leaving the Airoxian nobles free of large-scale taxation or manpower levies to ensure votes for his heir. As a result, Airoxia is a land of feuding nobles, where noble families have near limitless power within their own demesnes. However, true conflict beyond small skirmishes is highly uncommon, as the monarch has the potential to raise a huge military far and away beyond anything any single noble family could muster. Despite this, the noble families have the potential to raise a similar sized army, if they work together, which ensures that no monarch uses the Leixi power base to disrupt the electoral nature of the monarchy. The Commonwealth was formed hundreds of years ago when the kingdom of Leixi insulted the Airoxian nobles, who jointly banded together, deposed the Leixi monarch, and elected a king from amongst themselves to rule both kingdoms.
Though Leixi and Airoxia are united by a monarch, they are very culturally distinct, only sharing some basic similarities. The people of Leixi live their lives seeking order and regularity, believing that a perfect world is one ruled by schedules and conformity. Many believe that the ideal way to achieve the perfect world of unity and peace that they desire is to follow a strong leader who can impose order over chaos. Though they are not inherently warlike, they are willing to go to war if they can be convinced the war is just. The Airoxians, on the other hand, believe in strength gained through struggle, which lends them a more warlike stance in life. This divide comes primarily from the different souces of subsistance in the two kingdoms. Leixi depends on the regular flooding of the Rzeka river for its high population, while Airoxia relies upon pastoralism, which focuses on bending a herd of animals to an individual's will, much like how the Airoxian nobles feud with one another, hoping to gain dominance over the other nobles.
Leixi-Airoxia follow a modified version of the faith of Gloria-Etalia. The people of Leixi believe that Gloria-Etalia will return when the people of the world have created a perfect orderly society, while the people of Airoxia believe that they will return when an individual strong enough bends the world to his will and calls them back to the world.
In Leixi, the king is treated as an absolute monarch, but the Airoxian nobles are largely left alone within their own fiefs to guarantee their electoral votes for the king's heir. As such, Airoxia often has no larger ruling power than the counts of the land.
Airoxia has existed in some form since the late fourth age, with the many counts agreeing to come together to defend their lands in threatened. Leixi cut through the Airoxian lands on the Rzeka river, forming a unified kingdom to defend against the Airoxian nobles in the early fifth age. They existed as separate nations until the sixth age, when the ruler of Leixi, King Amhaten IV, insulted the Airoxian nobles, calling them savage raiders not fit to be known as counts. The nobles banded together, sacked Tharnux, publicly humiliated and executed Amhaten, and elected one of their own, King Thutszkoe I, to lead both nations. The Airoxians enjoyed supremacy over the Leixi during his reign, but his son, Thutszkoe II, rallied the Leixi people, defeated the Airoxian nobles on the field of battle, and the two people came to the agreement that rules now, with the Airoxians having the power to approve the heir, provided they submit to the current king.
Leixi-Airoxia are seen as a fragmented people by many, but their closest neighbors know that though they seem disunited, the entire kingdom despises foreign influence and will unite to drive out any invaders. Many states have attempted to seize the holdings of some Airoxian noble, only to be quickly repelled by the full combined might of the Leixi people and the Airoxian nobility. The Airoxians are suspicious of foreigners, but are content to leave them be, provided that they are left alone in turn. The Leixi see most foreigners as chaotic people who need to be shown the light of order and stability, be it through peaceful relations or through conquest.
The land to the northeast of the River Rzeka is a grassland, gradually becoming less fertile the closer one gets to Windhell Valley. The land to the southwest of the River Rzeka is composed largely of rolling, grassy hills. The land surrounding the river itself is a highly fertile valley perfect for growing crops.
The Airoxian economy is built largely off pastoralism, though some counts with territory on the mountain range have focused their efforts more heavily on extracting iron and silver from the mountains, much of the former is sent to the industrial centers in Leixi. Most of Leixi is dedicated to wheat farming, though certain large cities such as Tharnux are more urban, focusing on industry and manufacturing goods for the rest of the kingdom and beyond.
Population: 95% Westrasi Human, 5% Other
Capital: The City of Deru
Terravians pride themselves on their sophistication as a people. However, instead of priding themselves on their wealth and social power, they instead focus on philosophy and spiritual enlightenment. The Terravians believe themselves to be the most enlightened and knowledgeable people in the world, and have declared all other humans to be uncultured barbarians. Their occult practice of Emotism and its teachings is practiced by every citizen. Everybody is very eager to meet new people, to the point that almost everyone in the region knows everyone else on a passing level. One of the most popular pastimes of Terravia is to meet new people, and adventures from Terravia can be found all over Westrasi and beyond. Because of the communist doctrine of their leader and their religious practices of deepening ties with their community, they share everything they can with everyone else, and because of this everyone is happy, which is shared around as well.
Emotism is an occult religion which focuses on the emotion of the human body. They believe that everyone is connected, and that emotions travel from person to person. They believe these ties to be the most important part of a mortal body, and practitioners spend their time deepening their ties to those around them through magic and deep connections with other people. The happier the community is, the happier the person is, and so people strive to make sure their neighbors are the happiest they can be.
The nation follows the social doctrine of their leader, Owens Hue, and his political advisors. Under his leadership, everybody in the nation shares what they own with everyone else.
Terravia was founded 37 years ago in 4963, when Owens and his followers fled the Saramese mainland after a failed revolution. Recognizing the deep rooted practices of Emotism already in place in what used to be the Kingdom of Terra, he won over the nation by preaching his policies of communal interconnection and the abolishment of the structures of society to achieve this. The people were all for this new doctrine of sharing and caring, and declared themselves a new, united nation. The royals and noble classes were assimilated into this new state or exiled. Owens lets his advisors lead the nation, and instead focus on philosophy and refinement of his political system for other nations to adapt.
While their political and social practices are strange, most other nations are neutral to them. They are an agricultural powerhouse and happily bater food at generous prices to forgien powers in exchange for goods.
Terravia is a fertile and developed land, with most of it being used for agriculture.
There is no money in Terravia. Internally people share with each other, and everyone gives everyone else what they need. Externally they use a barter system with other nations to export food and raw materials.
Chiefdom of Voroi
Population: 58% Westrasi Human (Voroyan), 19% Westrasi Human (Morloux), 11% Westrasi Human (Suezian), 8% Westrasi Human (Other), 4% Other.
Government: Hereditary Chiefdom.
Out of all of the words that could be used to describe the people of Voroi, combative is the most accurate one. Almost everything that a Voroyan says can be taken as a challenge, and almost everything that is said to a Voroyan is taken as a challenge. Famous for their scathing wit, they're quick to lash out with both their tongues as well as their fists. For this reason, they are given a wide berth whenever they're encountered outside of their homeland.
The Voroyans are also renowned for their defiant nature, and their refusal to bow before any foreign power. Though their nation has been conquered innumerable times, the people of Voroi have never been broken. Every attempt at occupation has ended with the invaders being pushed out of the country, licking their wounds and cursing the natives. “Taming the Voroyan” has become a common idiom in the Westrasi subcontinent, synonymous with attempting an impossible task.
In the eyes of the Church of the Divine Duality, the Voroyans are considered a barbaric people that desperately need enlightenment. This is used as an excuse by the Westrasi powers to invade Voroi and occupy its lands, under the pretence of civilising it. Though most Voroyans believe in the legends of Gloria-Etalia, they have concluded that the world is beyond saving and that the Two-Faced God will never return.
Despite this, there are some adherents of Gloria-Etalia that can be found in Voroi. The Morloux Chapel has a significant presence in the Northernmost parts of the country, due to frequent occupation by the Morloux Republic. Similarly, the coastline and the Southeastern border have been partially civilised by the Suezians and the Church of the Divine Duality has a small presence there.
The hierarchy of Voroi is quite simple. The Voroyans divide themselves into clans, each of which is led by a ruling family that serves as that clan's warrior aristocracy. The leading figures of these families are known as headsmen, who fight each other in ritual combat for the title of voivode. In times of war, all of the Voroyan clans band together under the leadership of the voivode. In times of peace, the title means nothing. The current voivode of Voroi is Zahariya Vazepa, who has only recently claimed the position.
When the Verani Empire fell over a thousand years ago, the great Belaran Empire saw an opportunity to claim the Westrasi Sea for itself. Colonists poured into the region through the mountain passes, where they went about subjugating the Verani remnants. Rather than suffer at the hands of their Belaran oppressors, many of the Verani fled into the neighbouring Wyrdlands. The imperial colony of Alsonne was established in the land that they left behind.
For almost five hundred years, Alsonne remained loyal to the Belararn Empire, only to suddenly fall silent. No taxes came from the province, nor did any messenger sent to the colony return. In search of answers, the King of Belara sent an imperial legion to investigate. They found that Alsonne had been overrun, seized by a barbaric horde that had emerged from the Wyrdlands. The Verani had returned, although their exposure to the Wyrd had changed them. They had become the Voroyans.
The Belaran King demanded the reconquest of Alsonne, at any cost. Though his armies were successful, the Voroyans returned years later and reclaimed their homeland. This cycle repeated itself several times until eventually, the Empire of Belara was engulfed in the bloody civil war that would lead to its division. At long last, the Voroyans had the opportunity to entrench themselves and found the independent country of Voroi. Finally, they were free.
Voroi has a lot of enemies. Denounced by the Church of the Divine Duality as an uncivilised nation, they are the subject of constant invasion by the other countries of the Westrasi Sea and beyond. One of the most frequent aggressors is the Principality of Suezi to the South, which sees itself as the rightful heir to the Verani Empire's throne. Another is the Republic of Morloux to the Northwest, which seeks to re-establish the colony of Alsonne under its own dominion.
However, the Voroyans are subject of fascination in the Uorosian lands, and they maintain a warm, reciprocal relationship with the Wardens of the Wyrd Watch. The clans of Voroi also have strong ties to the Wyrd tribes, and it is common for them to offer resources that are rare in the Wyrdlands in exchange for the treasured nostalgie plant. This friendship has led to the accusation that the Voroyans are little more than an upstart Wyrd tribe themselves.
There isn't much in the way of wealth in Voroi. There are fisheries along the Eastern coast, mines in the Northern hills and farmland found in both of those areas. However, the vast majority of the country consists of undeveloped woodland. If there is one thing that the Voroyans are famous for producing, it is a liquor known as stawka that's distilled from fermented buckwheat. It is so beloved by sailors of the Westrasi Sea that it's earned the moniker “seaman's bane.”
The people of Voroi are also known for their intimate connection to the Wyrdlands. Though most traders would rather work with the Wardens of the Wyrd Watch, miserly merchants who might turn to the Voroyan rovers instead. Their manners are coarse and their methods are unconventional, but they are able to navigate the Northern forests of the Wyrdlands without getting lost in time. They never venture further South than the River Uoro, however.
For the most part, Voroi can be considered a dense forest. Along the Northern border, colonists from Morloux have deforested the land to make room for their agriculture and mining operations. Along the Eastern coast, the Suezi and other invaders have torn down a great many trees to clear land for their farms and settlements. Beyond that however, Voroi remains wild and wooded, full of ancient trees that cast long shadows. This is where the Voroyans are most at home, where they live and die.
Each clan has its own grounds, a parcel of land within the great woods where they cut back the trees and build their homes as they please. However, they know that the forest serves as one of their greatest weapons against the invaders, so they fight to preserve it. Deforestation outside of these clan grounds is a crime that is severely punished, sometimes even with death if the culprit was responsible for chopping down one of the Jezik.
For the truth is that the influence of the Wyrdlands bleeds into Voroi. Scattered throughout the Western reaches of the country, there are Wyrd zones where time ceases to be linear and flows in whatever direction it pleases. The Voroyans identify these locations by carving elaborate runes into the trees that border them and are found within them. These trees are known as the Jezik, and the symbols are a code. A single rune contains the date as the carver reckons it, the time of day as the carver sees it, the identity of the carver, the last Jezik that the carver passed and the next Jezik that the carver is going to.
The Jezik are found throughout Western Voroi and the Northern forests of the Wyrdlands. Through their runes, the Voroyans are able to crudely navigate their way through the temporal anomaly of the Wyrd and sometimes even exploit it. This is why entire clans can vanish into thin air only to resurface months later, and why the size of a Voroyan army can miraculously double in the space of hours.
Principality of Suezi
Country name: Principality of Suezi
Population: Population: 87% Westrasi Humans, 3% giants, 10% Halflings (both nonhuman races are assimilated remnants of old empire slaves)
Capital : Suezi
Goverment: Absolute Monarchy, with fundaments on bureaucracy not nobility.
“Wear your words like long shining coat to blind your enemies, and be always ready to put long knife from underneath” – Astrator, self proclaimed tetratch-heir of old westrasian empire.
Culture: While similar in culture to their southern neighbors, because of shared historical heritage, Suezians recently experienced remergence of their culture before collapse of old empire. Dignified, pious, and disciplined are words that can describe this both new and old kind of westrasi man.
Religion: Principality has no official religion, to reflect empire it tries to recreate, even though most of population follows the Church of Divine Duality. It’s one of few nations on continent that permit not only different religions, but also atheism.
Organization: Since old duke founded principality 100 years ago, it was always monarchy, based on military administration. As person joins legion, they become part of administration. As person grows in rank, they are assigned cities, provinces and more, along with divisions in legions, and legions itself. Capital city itself is where biggest army is always ready to curb any political opponents that could try to destabilize regime of Astrator.
Origin: While city of Suezi exists since beginning of old empire, only in last century it grown in prominence. Old duke Commustus, then just doge of city, founded his own nation throught war. First civil war against his opposition that ended in 4900, and after that just war. He fought surrounding cities first, then confederations of cities, and destroyed tribe after tribe. When he died in 4958 at age of 90, he united only half of what is principality now, but he did so truly. He was father of new nation, and he left it to his sons. 4 Devils they were called because they plunged new state into civil war that lasted 32 years. In 4990 Astrator, son of one of devils united broken nation once again, but his ambition was ever growing. He declared himself tetrarch-heir (tetratch was emperor title during times of old empire), and thus declared his ambition to once again unite westrasi sea. Most think him a madman, but in just 10 years he destroyed all his enemies, and now looks south on city-states and their lucrative trade routes that need change in management.
Diplomacy: Militaristic by design, people of Suezi have little time for diplomacy, and no friends, because as they see it, everyone around them is enemy, usurper, or both. Thats why, when they have to end up creating pacts, they are always willing to end them in blink of the eye. Their greatest enemies are city-states to the south.
Geography: The land is in south mostly arid, rocky hillsides not good for growing much besides grapes and olives. In north thought, fertile farms and deep forests are very frequent, and create picturesque landscape.
Economy: Mayority of country economy is geared towards war, and so large manufactures of weapon and armorsmiths are much more common than in neighboring countries, but that could be said also about industry in general. From agricultural standpoint, large amounts of wine, olives and grain are produced every year, and (even thought army confiscates its share of every harvest) brings large profits for landowners.
Population: 76% Westerasi Human (Farisian), 11% Westerasi Human (Yoroi), 6% Westerasi Human (Other), 4% Halfling, 3% Other.
Capital: Faris, the Striving City.
Government: Maritime Republic.
The Farisian people are defined by their ambition. Every citizen of the city-state, from the highest patrician to the lowliest peon, always hungers for more. Society in the city of Faris revolves around the acquisition of wealth and prestige, with little interest in matters of faith or philosophy. Yet at the same time, there is a certain respect for law and order in the city. Everyone must play the game according to the rules, and if anyone is foolish enough to get caught breaking them, they are subjected to draconian punishment. The brave and the stupid don't last very long in the city of Faris.
However, there is more to the Farisian Republic than the city that it is named after. The metropolis is surrounded by a great deal of satellite settlements that exist for the sole purpose supplying Faris with the resources that it requires to function. These days, that mostly involves food. In these sleepy rural communities, life isn't anywhere near as cut-throat and the citizenry are happy to get on with their lives without worrying about matters of wealth of prestige. The only cause of any discontent is the growing influx of Yoroi veterans, who have been granted citizenship for their long service as mercenaries.
Faith isn't an important part of Farisian life. In fact, over the course of the past three centuries, it hasn't established a chapel of its own. The primary religion of the city-state is the Araxian Chapel of Gloria-Etalia, but there is no discrimination between religious sects in Faris. Every chapel of the Church of Divine Duality is welcome in the Striving City, though there's little respect for anyone who devotes too much of their time and energy to religion.
The class of patrician is an important aspect of life in the Farisian Republic. It is a title that is awarded by the Minor Assembly to citizens who have 'served the city of Faris with grace and dignity.' More often than not, this involves contributing a great deal of wealth to the republic's coffers. The title is hereditary, and is granted to the eldest male descendant of the patrician upon his demise. Patricians enjoy significant tax relief, though this typically doesn't outweigh the original cost of acquiring the title.
In addition to that privilege, patricians enjoy membership of the Great Assembly, the legislative body of the republic which handles day-to-day legislation. It is also responsible for the electing thirteen patricians from their own ranks who form the Minor Assembly, which oversees the Great Assembly and possesses the power of veto. In turn, they are led by the Chancellor of Faris, who is elected for life from the ranks of the Minor Assembly by the Great Assembly. Both the Minor Assembly and the Chancellor are elected for life.
The position of Chancellor comes with a number of powers. To list a couple, he has the authority to revoke the title of patrician, provided that the subject of revocation is not a member of the Minor Assembly. He also has the authority to declare war or sue for peace. However, the Minor Assembly's power of veto applies not only to the Great Assembly, but to the Chancellor as well. Every power that he seeks to enact must go through the council of thirteen before it can become a reality.
The current Chancellor of Faris is Vitale Orvaro, and his reign has been somewhat troubled. Though he was successfully able to sue for a white peace with the Euraxian Republic, defeat was only narrowly avoided through the mass employment of Yoroi mercenaries, many of whom were paid with the promise of Farisian citizenship.
The fall of the Verani Empire was a time of great opportunity. On the Northern coast of the Westrasi Sea, the Saramese built a great kingdom on top of the ruins left behind by the old regime. On the Western coast, the legendary adventurer Euron Pean razed a helpless Verani colony and founded the nation of Euraxia on its ashes. The Araxian Kingdom took advantage of the power vacuum as well, and seized a great swathe of woodland that had once belonged to the fallen empire. On the coast of their new territory, the Araxians built the city of Faris.
Taking advantage of their position and the great forests of the province, the people of Faris set about constructing a fleet of boats for the purpose of trade, plying the Westrasi Sea. With every century, the wealth, fleet and population of the merchant city continued to grow. By the end of the Era of Expansion, the Farisians were an unstoppable force. They had a hand in the majority of trade in the Westrasi Sea and they had brought great prosperity to the Araxian Kingdom, yet the people of Faris were hungry for far more.
In the midst of its golden age, the Araxians had grown complacent. They didn't expect the Farisians to demand independence, backed up by a horde of mercenaries from a dozen different nations. At that time, the armies of Arax were stationed on its South and Western borders, in an effort to ward off Yoroi and Sarcian savages. This meant that the mercenary legions of Faris were able to lay waste to the Araxian countryside without consequence. By the time that Arax would be able to muster its forces, there would be nothing left to fight for except for scorched earth.
So with a heavy heart, the Araxian king granted Faris its independence. The city-state has existed as a sovereign state for over three hundred years since that fateful day, free to decide its own fate. But one must always remember, in the Farisian tongue, there is no word for the concept of “enough.”
There isn't a single nation that thinks of Faris as an ally or even a friend, yet every ruler accepts that you can't do business in the Westrasi Sea without working with the Farisians.
After a recent war, tensions between the Farisian Republic and the Euraxian Kingdom are gradually fading, and trade between the two nations has resumed Hopefully, the promise of mutual prosperity will be enough to prevent the conflict from reigniting.
Even though the Farisians claimed independence over three centuries ago, there is still some bitterness towards them in the Araxian Kingdom. Recently, tensions have begun to rise over the employment of Yoroi mercenaries in the armies of Faris.
Though many of the Yoroi Tribes eagerly join the armies of Faris and provide the Striving City with much-needed lumber, others are wary about this exploitation. They fear that they are witnessing a return to vassalage, just under the Farisians rather than the Vashians.
Speaking of the Vashians, they have grown increasingly frustrated with the Farisians contesting their dominion over the Yoroi Tribelands. As a result, the two republics are locked in a trade war that only seems to be growing more vicious by the year.
Long ago, most of the land surrounding the city of Faris was covered in dense, impenetrable forest. Centuries of heavy deforestation to provide lumber to Farisian shipyards has changed that. These days, Farisian territory is best described as warm, humid farmland, even in the less arable regions. As for the coastline, it's mostly steep and rocky cliffs, inhospitable to all but the emerald wyverns that consider them their natural habitat. The only exception to this rule is the site where Faris was founded, a sandy cove has been converted into a hectic port. A few small rivers flow down this inlet into the sea, though they are known to swell and flood the city during periods of heavy rain.
If the Farisian Republic is known for anything, it's its ships. Expertly crafted galleys are churned out by its shipyards at an alarming pace, which has led to a rumour that there are almost as many ships in Faris as there are men. In the past, the construction of seaworthy vessels was accomplished with Farisian lumber, harvested from the impenetrable forests that used to cover the countryside. These days however, most of the lumber used for shipbuilding has to be imported, typically from the Yoroi Tribelands.
The patriciate of Faris uses these vessels for the purpose of trade, faccilitating the exchange of goods all across the Westrasi sea with cut-throat efficiency. There's no one that's as eager to strike a bargain as a Farisian, nor is there anyone who drives a harder bargain. Driven by the unending desire for more, these patricians are responsible for the inconceivable growth of the Farisian. Every coin that these traders earn is funnelled straight back into their business, leaving them teetering on the brink between even greater prosperity and bankruptcy. They quite literally cannot afford to fail.
However, no economy can run entirely off of trafficking. Anyone with a boat who can't afford the big business of trading resorts to fishing instead, trawling for mullets and hake and mussels and clams. Truly enterprising Farisians dive into the warm waters of the Westrasi Sea in search of pearls or valuable salvage, scraping the seabed in search of anything of value. There are even rumours of Farisian “privateers,” who make a fortune for themselves by intercepting foreign traders and robbing them for all they're worth.
It is often claimed that the economic practises of Faris aren't sustainable, that a crash is inevitable and their foolhardy lust for ever greater wealth will end in their downfall. Whenever a Farisian hears these remarks, their only response is a wry grin.
Country name: Kingdom of Euraxia
Population: 95% Westrasi Human, 4% Elves, 1% mixed
Goverment: Feudal Monarchy
They said you should never taunt a shark in the water, a dwarf in a tunnel and an Euraxian on Horseback. The Euraxian knights charging downhill are among the most terrifying and awe inspiring sights in the Westrasi continent. Euraxians nobles are proud, strict adherant to their code of honor and chivalry that makes war almost a 'game' of capture for the nobles, and a slaughter for the peasants trampled beneath their hooves.
Most Euraxians follow the Euraxian Chapel of Gloria-Etalia, and many knights join the prestigious order of the Etalian-Templars, sworn to defend the church and it's subjects, or the Glorian-Hospitallers, sworn to protect the commonfolk and keep the roads safe.
The Roy (king) of Euraxia sits on the Chateau Blanch overlooking the city of LaBaton from the high cliffs. He commands the loyalty of his subjects but his authority actually derives from keeping the noble lords of his kingdom happy. At least happy enough that if it came to warring, he'd have more loyal knights than whoever revolted against him.
The kingdom was founded in 3982, by Euron Pean, a legendary adventurer who had amssed a large company of followers. His captains became the first knights of Gloria-Etalia.
Euraxians are currently in a stand-off position, ever fearing an invasion from the Commonwealth. After warring with the Farisian Republic and failed attempt to lay claim to the Saramese throne, Euraxians seem to have given up on expansionist prospects.
Hilly meadows and small pockets of forests where nobles hunt, with bright white sand beaches where they built their summer manors, Euraxia is rich in game, specially boar and deer, and grows a lot of wheat and barley. They also export very expensive warhorses, which are exported gelded so other countries can't raise them
Euraxian economy is feudal based, with the excedent of production paid in kind or coin to one's liege, all the way up to the king. The merchant class of the kingdom, mostly resident in LaBaton, trades in wine, beer, grain and wool across the whole Westrasi sea. As the kingdom has no particularly strong navy, merchant often hire Veranese boats to scort them, creating close ties between the merchant classes of the two nations.
King Louis X of the house of Cheval-Noir, Duke of Proveaux and First Knight, also known as the Cleaver of LaBaton. Despite being king, Louis X frequently partakes in the melee in tournaments and participates in the frontlines. When fighting besides the Auraxians in the War against the Yoroi warlord Kukata, Louis gained his nickname by chopping the Warlord's Horse's Head with a swing of his greatsword, Matilda, Dame of Crimson. Louis was then known as Prince Rennard, but he took the dynastic name Louis when he ascended to the Throne. As king, he still fought and won three single combat duels against gruelling Euraxian Nobles.
Population: 97% Westrasi Human (Uroxian), 3% Westrasi Human (Other).
Government: Federal Elective Monarchy.
Uroxians are famous for their severe and brusque behaviour, and for their almost fanatical adherence to the science of Euhaematics. It is the study of the human condition and how it can be improved, through a combination of selective breeding and rigorous training. What little free time they have is spent on self-improvement, on the excision of weakness through physical hardship. When it comes to marriage, Uroxians select their spouses for their physical health and their lineage above all else, and go on to produce a great deal of offspring.
Every child is inspected by a Euhaematician of the University of Caedox at the age of four. During the examination, the inspector must decide whether the child is an invalid or a postulant, based off of their physical health. Invalids are discarded, as they are of no interest to the University of Caedox. Postulants are taken in and raised in crèches, where they receive intensive training and education. At the age of sixteen, they are inspected for a second time, to determine whether they are an exemplar or a defect.
Exemplars are seen as the future of the Uroxian Federation. If an exemplar is the child of invalids or defects, they are swiftly married into one of the exemplary families, which serves as the aristocracy of Urox. If they were born into one of these families, then they may return to it.
Defects are assigned vocations based off of their examination results. They may learn the ways of the Euhaematician at the University of Caedox, serve as metalworkers in the foundries or join the ranks of the Steel Legions of Urox.
Invalids are damned to a lifetime of serfdom, toiling in the farms and mines of Urox. If the child of exemplary parents is declared invalid, they are quickly disposed of before their family's reputation is tarnished.
Euhaematics ultimately has religious roots, as it was founded on the belief that humanity were created as a perfect race by Gloria-Etalia. A combination of indolence and cross-breeding led to the degeneration of humanity and the departure of the Two-Faced God. Gloria-Etalia will only return if humanity is able to reclaim perfection, or so the scripture claims. For this reason, the Uroxian Chapel is closely tied to the University of Caedox, with Euhaematicians doubling as clergymen in the eyes of many.
The nation of Urox is divided into twelve duchies. Each of these provinces is led by a duke, who possesses a great deal of control over the internal affairs of his state. Each duchy is divided into estates, each of which is controlled by a count, the only truly hereditary title in the Uroxian Federation. The count's titles are inherited by his eldest male descendant, provided that he is legitimate.
As for the inheritance of a duke's titles, the counts that once served him must elect a male successor from his dynasty upon his demise. This even applies to the Duchy of Aegost, which belongs to the Archduke of Urox and is home to the city of Caedox. The fact that the provincial dukes have no say in the election of the Archduke is a common source of resentment and was the cause of a bloody civil war almost a century ago.
The current Archduke of Urox is Matthias Gotha, who has overseen two decades of relative prosperity and stability for the Uroxian Federation. However, he is past his prime and with tensions rising all around the Westrasi Sea, it is believed by many that the coming years will be fraught with chaos. The Archduke himself has succumbed to these fears and is singularly focused on preparing the Urox Federation for the coming storm.
As is the case with many countries that border the Westrasi Sea, Urox was once controlled by the Verani Empire. During its imperial occupation, it was known as the Uro Tribelands. Even back then, the natives sought to cultivate their strength through a combination of diligence and selective breeding, a lifestyle that they called the Way of Heaven. In the eyes of their Verani overlords, this made them ideal slaves. So they subjugated the Uro Tribes and put them to work in plantations and mines. Though the tribesmen suffered greatly under the dominion of the Verani Empire, they bade their time.
At the end of the Era of Discovery, the decline of the Verani began. It didn't take long for the empire to collapse in on itself, leaving its provinces vulnerable. As one, the Uro Tribes rebelled against their masters. However, driving their overlords out of their country wasn't enough. Instead, they declared a campaign of extermination and set about killing every last one of the Verani. Once the purge was complete, the Uro Tribes gave the land a name and set about partitioning it. This was the birth of the Chiefdoms of Urox.
Though there was occasional infighting, the Chiefdoms of Urox managed to coexist with each other and whenever they were faced with invasion, they banded together and fought as one. As the centuries passed, the Uroxians gradually adopted the feudal structure of their neighbours and the chiefs became dukes. It was during the Era of Expansion that the Way of Heaven transformed into the science of Euhaematics, with the establishment of the University of Caedox.
The Euhaematicians declared that the holy mission of the Uroxian people couldn't possibly be accomplished while Urox remained divided. Over the course of a decade, the disparate duchies were convinced to band together beneath a single Archduke. In 4542, the twelve dukes of Urox met at the University of Caedox and signed the Affirmation of Heaven's Will, forming the Uroxian Federation.
Urox is viewed in a strange light by the other Westrasi nations. The Uroxian people are commonly viewed as culturally bankrupt boors, and every country seems to have its own joke about their humourless ways. However, Uroxian steel is highly sought after and the University of Caedox is renowned as the pre-eminent medical institution of the subcontinent. For these reasons, merchants and traders tolerate the dismal manners of the Uroxians, at least until their backs are turned.
The last time that Urox went to war with one of its neighbours was over fifty years ago. For this reason, the Uroxians currently enjoy a cordial relationship with the Saramese Kingdom, the Euraxian Kingdom and the Leixi-Airoxian Commonwealth. That is not to say that the Steel Legions do not see conflict, as the Uroxian Federation frequently sells their services to the highest bidder.
However, the Uroxian Federation is on poor terms with the Church of the Divine Duality. Two centuries ago, Archbishop Naran II declared the Uroxian Chapel to be a heretical sect. This was due to its strong ties to the science of Euhaematics, which he described as an “inhuman and immoral conceit.” Despite frequent petitioning from the Archduke of Urox, the Church of the Divine Duality is yet to rescind its declaration of heresy.
Urox possesses little in the way of flatland. It is a land full of rocky hills and verdant valleys, with plenty of steep slopes and sheer cliffs that make it difficult to traverse. The weather can best be described as subtropical, which leads to hot, humid summers and cool, mild winters. Unperturbed by the verticality of their country, the natives commonly build their settlements into hillsides and live in squat houses made of rusty red stone. One can rarely travel for more than a mile without seeing some sign of Uroxian industry, typically in the form of great quarries and iron mines that scar the land.
It is no secret that the majority of Urox's wealth comes from its foundries. These great halls of industry are found in almost every Uroxian town and serve as the destination of the ore that is gouged out the countryside. Through a rigorous and standardised process, the unrefined iron is transformed into good, strong steel. Though the majority of this goes towards arming the Steel Legions, the surplus is sold to the other nations of the Westrasi Sea at a premium. While some merchants recoil when they hear the price that the Uroxians ask for, many others are happy to pay out for steel of that quality.
Despite the condemnation of the Church of the Divine Duality, the services of the Euhaematicians are sought after throughout the Westrasi subcontinent. Centuries of dedication to improving the human condition has made them an authority when it comes to matters of medicine and anatomy. Many of the world's greatest surgeons and physicians hail from the University of Caedox and whenever a lord or lady seek to stave off death or save the life of a loved one, they will often pay an arm and a leg for a Euhaematician's expertise.
Over half a century of peace has meant that the Uroxian Federation has had no need to retain its professional military, the Steel Legions. Rather than disband them however, the Archduke sells them to the highest bidder. One third pikemen, one third swordsmen and one third arbalestiers, the Steel Legions are famous for their unshakeable discipline and lockstep marching style. Having participated in a number of wars and skirmishes, they have made quite a name for themselves as a mercenary army. They never stray far from Urox however, in case their homeland requires their services once more.
Free City of Betranox
Population: 99% Westrasi Human, 1% Others Capital: Bertranox Government: Plutocratic Republic
Betranoxians share the same values and cultures of the Saramese kingdom, being sophisticated lovers of knowledge, free-thinking, and esotericism. However, they are also fierce believers in republicanism and the rule of those who work and produce the wealth, rather than those born to power.
Those with religious ideas too radical to be tolerated even in the Saramese kingdom often find exile in Bertranox. The city is a haven of heretics, apostates, prophets, and doomsday cults. While most of the people in the city/island believe in Gloria and Etalia, the Church of Divine Duality has a hard time enforcing its dogmas on the islanders, and as such, most GE temples are run by the Bertranox Chapel of Gloria and Etalia.
The City is ruled by a council of composed by one member of each of it's thirty-two guilds, who elect a First Chairman for life. Upon death, they elect among themselves a new chairman. This council appoints a High Marshal of the Guard to command the small contigent of soldiers who keep the peace in the island. Aside from that, the council seeks to only deal with affairs that affect the island as a whole or foreign relations, and the guilds each address the issues inside their areas. Due to this 'hands-off' approach, the island of Bertranox is almost a 'legal' haven for pirates, who the City will not attempt to arrest or prosecute unless they break the law while landed on the island. So many pirates choose to make a home there while reaving the whole Westrasi sea.
After a failed revolt that sought to install either a liberal republic or a constitutional monarchy (depending who you ask), many Saramese rich citizens and nobles fled to the City of Bertranox, the last bastion of the Rebellion after their continental forces were crushed. The Saramese attempted a naval siege but were soundly defeated by a fleet of ships hired by the rebels from the Veranese. Subsequent attempts to retake the island failed twice more before the government simply decided to let the rebels be. The rebels named themselves an independent 'free city', and this has been the status quo for the last sixty years.
Veranese quickly regretted their support for the island, as Bertranox became a haven for pirates who plague their Westrasi Sea trade routes. The Saramese Kingdom still claims the island is part of its domain and will often refuse trade with countries that openly deal with Bertranox as a free city. In the Saramese Kingdom there has been a 'count of Bertranox' and the last 60 years the titled was passed down from father to son twice and neither has set foot on the island. They instead reside at the king's court waiting for the faithful day their family holds will be restored.
A rocky island filled with cliffs and surrounded on one side by a barrier of reefs that limit a lot the naval approaches to a potential invasion, a reason for their independence to last this long.
The city trades mostly in goat and sheep byproducts and survives merely serving as a warehouse for foreign merchants and haven for pirates, as they have little to no arable land, and rely on outside trade to even feed themselves occasionally.
Chiefdom of Uraka
Sarcian Mountain Tribes
Population: TBD, mostly human, maybe also goblin?
Government: Tribal. Each village-hold is usually a single tribe, with their own chieftain. However, when the neighboring empires and kingdoms try to invade or claim their territory, an Administrator is elected in a War-moot composed of all the Sarcian chieftains.
Each Sarcian tribe lives in a village-hold, which is a fortified, hidden village in the mountains built around ancient sanctuary caverns (actually doomsday prepper vaults). Strong hexing/curse-flinging culture, their practicioners are old women called Spitfires because many of the rituals involve rapid chants and mantras akin to singing. Grievances between village-holds are settled with champion-duels, and for the most grievous offenses and accusations, the losing champion gets sacrificed via hammering and their body thrown from the heights to please the spirits of law. Sarcians tend to use guerilla tactics when defending their homes, and many turn towards the mercenary life.
Abstract animism. As in, they believe in spirits, but only abstractions have spirits. For example there is no 'spirit of wind' but there are 'spirit of haste'. Spitfires often reference and call upon the spirits in their rituals.
There are around 13 Sarcian tribes, some of the most prominent are the craftsmens of Tighay, cliff-artists of Cheyo, Spitfire central Esk, and mercenary Kaish.
Sarcian oral history tells of the time where the sanctuary-caves sheltered the progenitors of the Sarcians; for fourty times fourty days they endured inside until the magical storm that ended the previous world abated. From the sanctuaries they emerge, and staunchly defended their land for generations.
Staunchly isolationist and independent. Pain in the borders for neighbors, especially when a paranoid chieftain decides to pre-emptively strike a perceived threat. Celestial Empire keeps wanting to wipe them off the map but due to mountainous terrain, guerilla tactics, and Celestial armies getting spread thin keeps the Sarcians still existing. Only the few Sarcian mercenary companies and fewer traders ply their trade elsewhere than Sarcia.
Mountainous and hilly. Plenty of cliffs but also some flatter valleys and highlands, where most of the village-holds are.
Mostly mining and high-altitude tubers, normal croplands and grazing pastures are at premium. Livestock herding is third most profitable after mining and tubers.
Population: 98% Westrasi Human, 2% Others (mostly elves)
Government: Highly centralized Feudal Monarchy
Saramese are proud and sophisticated people, with a taste for the finer crafts. With a higher degree of literacy and a larger part of their population living in cities as craftsman and free workers, Saramese are among the greatest sources of literature and culture, philosophers, astronomers and other intelectual pursuits. They great value knowledge and domain of a craft, and often define themselves by their work and achievements. Also, Saramese have a leaning towards mysticism and esoteric doctrines, making for great arcane practicioners and theurges.
While most of the population follows the Church of Divine Duality, due to their proximity to the Sarkation Empire, the Saramese Kingdom is a cradle to many religions who count no more than a few hundred followers between themselves. Which ones are cults and which ones are legit faiths is a matter entirely subjective. Gurus and wisemen abound in this highly mystical land. Bapshire is known as the city of a thousand prophets; and the tone in which one calls it that often tells you how they feel about these smaller faiths.
Saramese follow a very common feudal structure present all across the Westrasi continent. Knights, Barons, Counts and Dukes. However, the kingdom has very fertile lands and this allowed for a large urban population. The Verani empire city of Baptium was the second most populous city in the Empire before it's fall. This is now the city of Bapsburg and the Saramese capital. With this large urban population, this means the mayors and guildsman have a much greater impact in Saramese politics, and while the feudal lords do serve as knights, a big part of Saramese forces is composed by freeman's militias armed by the cities' guilds.
Saramese were the tribe originally settled in this lands. The kingdom formed a few centuries after the fall of the Verani empire, with Saramese natives stepping up to fill the role of local governor when the Empire collapse, and eventually crowning themselves kings and lords.
Saramese have a ongoing dispute with the free city of Bertranox. Once part of the Kingdom, a group of exiles from a civil war fled there and declared it independent. The saramese don't recognize it as such, but with Bertranox allied with some naval powers, the Saramese lack the maritime might to press their claim.
Semi arid and temperate areas abound both in the kingdom, who mainly exists as big cities along two rivers, the Sarans and the Yonax rivers.
Saramese mostly grow wheat, olives for oil production and lettuce. Oil is their main export, and the kingdom actually excels in the production of codexes, or books, but in no way this amount to more than a blip in it's trade. Saramese export the occasional luxury articles, and are famous for producing a blue dye out of a flower known as King's Crown. This leads to the expression 'Saramese blue' to describe deep, vivid blue color.
The Wastrasian Trade Bureu
The Westrasian Trade Bureau is a loose "Adcavocy Group" of various Westradi companies with interests in the transoceanic trade. Headquartered in East Hibon, in the Farisian Republic, their primary rivalry is with the Ecinev Merchant Empire and they are heavily entangled with the Belarian Government.
Originally an extension of the Belarian Crown meant to manage its holdings, the revolution saw it spin-off and take on investors and traders from other firms. Currently, most shares in the group are held by The Great-West Trading Federation but Urox Incorporated and Westsea hold major influence as well.
The current business model is based on taking imports from New Belaria and then shipping them for sale across the Westrassi Sea. Many in the trade bureau are interested in setting up plantations in the fertile tropics and fields of the "Wild East." However, finding a way to grow xuxu beans without buying them from the Cantons has been a particular holy grail for the Bureau, and several mercenary groups have been funded to destabilize Ram's Head for the purpose of acquiring land to do this.
A small mining company is part of the group and is based on selling salvaged materials from the Cursed Wasteland. They have yet to venture far inland and are mostly seen as curiosities at this point.
The Qifu Oni Banking Clan of No-Rex and So-Xen are currently petitioning to join the Bureau.
The Wall of the World
The Wall of the World is the mountian range deviding the Celestial Empire from the Westrasi nations. It is precipitous and nearly impassible to cross. However, there are in fact two passes of note.
The first is the route along the top of the cliffs where the mountains meet the sea. That route is narrow, but can be navigated by mule trains with care, and there is some trade between the Giants and the Empire, mostly of fine wine and brandy for silks. It is fortunate that both sides are peaceable. There are also several places where there are landslides hanging above the route, barely restrained by clever contrivances of rope ensorcelled to never rot, eternally ready to close this route permanently at the slightest threat of invasion.
The second is by the Pass of Yari. Also called Great Dragon Pass, this consists of a twisting route up a great col on the western side to a wall at the top of the pass, manned year round by the army of Leixi-Airoxia. There is then a narrow rope bridge from the gate in the wall across a sheer ravine over a mile deep to the other wall, guarded by Imperial forces. The walls are adorned by great designs of dragons in the style of the two sides (bearing in mind that neither side had an artist who had actually seen the overwhelming majesty of a real dragon). The route down on the other side to Yari is mostly along a long and narrow ridge. It is through the Pass of Yari that the Empire trades their tea for precious amber from the beaches of the Westrasi Sea and Saramese jade.
The exact manner by which the bridge over the great border ravine was made is uncertain, but it is surely the case that no invader could cross this way: a bit of fire, or some quick work with a knife, and the pass will be closed. By being so under threat, it can be viewed as *not* being a threat, and so safe to allow trade to happen that way.
Dou Qian - the Twin Mountain Cities
Races: 35% Oni, 47% Human, 9% Dwarf, 3% Elf, 6% Other
A city-state, Dou Qian is made up of twin cities dug into and out of, the northern mountains between the Celestial Empire to the south, the Windhell Valley to the west and the irradiated deserts to the north. Massive bridges of unmatched architecture connect the two mountain cities and the passes through these cities act as the only means of safe and practical travel through the mountains for trade and military purposes. The oni maintain their hold on the city through ruthless application of magic, strategic use of the terrain and their slave armies. Most of the population is made up of slaves and travelling merchants. The city’s banks are renowned for their security and discretion. Its slave markets are renowned for the variety of “goods” available.
Rule of the twin cities of Dou Qian is always held by a pair of Oni Twins. The elder twin is given Duo to rule while the younger is given Qian.
When reproductively compatible, tradition is they are to be wedded, with their firstborn set of twins to inherit the cities upon the death of one of their parents.
In cases where the twins are not reproductively contemptible (as is the case now) the first twin to have children will have their spawn inherit the two cities upon the death of either of the current rulers.
Duo-Fan and Qian-Ru
The two current rulers of the twin cities, twin niece-children of twins Duo-Xan and Qian-Zed, are in fierce competition to see who can spawn heirs first. As Oni spawn very little young, this competition has gone on for some time.
Second Sword is the bastard child of Duo-Fan.
The child of a Half-Elf, Half-Human slave, their race isn't why they are illegitimate (many Oni Rulers have been spawned from slaves). They are considered unworthy of inheritance and a true name because they were born with no twin, a degenerate weakness in Oni culture.
Second Sword's true parentage has been kept secret by forces in Duo, who wouldn't want an excuse for a conflict with Qian. They were mixed in amongst other slaves and given a slave name, eventually rising through the ranks of the Oni slave armies to become Second Sword.
Second Sword is the soldier assigned to oversee the cities slave, and they have become famous for over compensatory brutality on Oni chattel.
Suoxi-Dan Dio [Celestial Empire]
The Celestial Empire is one of the largest human nations and perhaps the most populous nation in Gloria-Etalia. This is due to their effectively urban-agrarian model of production, where people don’t own or live in the land they work, but rather in centralized towns and cities, and are assigned to different fields or infrastructure work by the local administrators. The Empire was the fruit of the attempts to maintain control over the large conquests of a warlord, and ended up divided in macro regions that were mostly autonomous and ruled by the local Lord Generals with an iron fist. The Celestial Emperor lives in Celestia and while formally he has full authority over the empire, the sheer travel time between the edges of his domain means he can’t enforce his wishes in far flung regions. Instead the Emperor is content to rule the central province and collect tributes on the rest but insists in maintaining a tight, crushing bureaucratic and public service in all his lands. A common joke is that the Emperor wears the crown, the generals wave the sword but Celestia is ruled by bureaucrats.
The empire is quite xenophobic and view any non Dan Dio’s as barbarians. The population is quite wary of any newcomers or foreigners and views them as inferior to their grand and powerful nation. Overtime in the celestial empire the expression 'glass coin' emerged, coming from the ‘glass payment’ that the merchant empire makes to the emperor every year. It means something that's guaranteed to give you good returns over a long period of time. The citizens of the empire are intrigued by these forgien goods and trade deals, and because of this development and interest in economics has recently exploded across all levels of society. Ideas like ‘glass policies’ have gripped the government as it has become increasingly trendy to produce taxes and laws that will pay off in the long run. In the military, a new branch of thought has appeared called ‘glass warfare’. Even the peasants have become interested. The barter system is being rapidly pushed out of favor in exchange for paying for goods at a set price (usually with glass) and a new idea has formed called ‘glass deals’, where someone will pay cash upfront to a person, with the expectation that they will receive that money back and more in a few years. (The peasantry invented the idea of investments). Their empire has a high percentage of literate people (for a pre-modern society standard) and three official languages. High-Celestia to be spoken by the Emperor, his court and high ranking nobility, Low-Celestia that is taught to everyone, and Holy-speech, which is closer to the original, now forgotten Celestian tongue, and is used by the priesthood since it's grammar allows them to understand the holy texts. Those languages really related of course, and sem from the same root language. High-Celestian was intentionally changed from Low-Celestian so nobility and high ranking could differentiate themselves from the rest. Technologically, they have aqueducts, sewers and everything that involves massive human cost infrastructure because the empire use said projects as an excuse to move the slaves and military around the country so they are often in unfamiliar terrain and less likely to revolt (or to succeed if they do, vs local forces who know the place). This means roads are abundant and wide, forts and dams are present even more than needed. Physically they are tall, caramel to ochre colored skin, white hair and asian eyes. Their material culture is really into intricate geometric patterns, and the colors red and black are associated with wealth and earthly power, white and gold are associated with religion and the heavens, and other colors, but especially blue and green, as 'poor' colors. They are traditional and a bit stagnant culturally since their massive empire is built upon culture.
Due to the mountainous borders that separate them from the westrasi and the northern wastes, they only deal with two other nations on a regular basis. The first is the raiders, a nation and people that only reinforces their xenophobic views. Warlords have small livies posted along the border to drive off any large incursion, but small raids are still a common occurrence. The second nation is the Merchant Empire. In the past, the Celestial Emperor got impressed with an exotic good: colored glass. The merchant empire offered to sell this to them, and the emperor agreed. To go around the bureaucratic process of adding an exception to their isolationist trade policies, the Emperor sold a small island of the coast of the mainland called Yisuxi to the merchant empire in exchange for a large fixed amount of colored glass goods to be paid directly to the empire every year. This tribute eventually became a bit clumsy to pay so they started to pay the agreed value in coins. The Merchant Empire always pays on time, because the island makes them so much money they easily make a profit. The two empires refer to that as the 'glass payment'.
Celestial religion sees the Emperor as a minor deity, or the living avatar of the All-Father or Heaven-King, the main deity of the Celestial Pantheon. Celestial Religion is a mix between Polytheism and Animism, where they believe there's a pantheon of nine deities (Two Major Deities and seven 'minor' ones), but also that the six essential elements have a minor shared conscience and many things have a 'spirit' inside them, who receive local worship.
Heaven-King is represented as a sage with long white beard, clad in golden scaled armor and holding a shepherd scepter in one hand, and a pair of orbs in the other. He's the God of Rulers, family, order, and the Empire itself.
The second major deity is his wife, the serpent-dragon. Mythos say the serpent-dragon had no gender, and the Heaven-King carved her female parts so that she could lay the egg that became the world. They believe that's why women bleed on their first time, that the male having sex with them is finishing to 'carve' her into a full fledge women, and that's why the bleed monthly too. A wound from the Sky-Father sword never heals. Even through generations. The seven smaller deities are:
- . Kryzhan: His long white hair is the snow of white and cover the mountains in ice. He is the first born of the Heaven-King, after the world was made.
- . Sha-Xuan: The Night and Darkness. She's Kryzhan's twin, both after him. This is why nights are longer in winter, she takes longer to go away when she can stare at the twins he misses. This is also why snow accumulates in high mountains, Kryzhar wanna be closer to his sister.
- . Din-Zhu: The First Human and patron of cities and craftsman. He molded clay into his wife, Taisha.
- . Taisha: Wife of Din-Zhu. She's the goddess of fertility as from her womb spawned the race of men.
- . Krokotan: Foreign deity adopted long ago, included as a major deity now. It's literally a huge humanoid crocodile. Celestians believe he will one day eat the Serpent Dragon and the Egg of the World.
- . Guan Jin: First born of Taisha. Is the patron of soldiers and warriors.
- . Zin Wan: The spirit of the wind and patron of sailors, Guan Jin younger brother, he gave his body do the race of men could eat. Without a body, he became the wind.
The Celestian Empire grew along the Heaven's Tongue (Dan-Fo) River. the flood plains surrounding most of the river were home to many small settlements of shepherds, while nomad pasture roaming tribes existed around them. For thousands of years this cultures coexisted, raiding and fighting for territory. As tool craftsmanship evolved, the sedentary communities near the river diversified into agriculture and grew in numbers, forming several city-states and micro kingdoms, while the nomad's technological advancements came mostly from trading with these cities. Centuries of stability in the region led to the parallel development of these communities, until one of the nomad tribes introduced as the new breed of horse bred for war, and the long bamboo lance. Those two inventions together allowed them to defeat most other tribes in battle, and eventually built into a sufficiently strong army to threaten the River Kingdoms, as they were called. The conquest of the River Kingdoms by the nomad warlord Dan Su-Do led to the first unification of the Suoxi humans in the region. These kingdom would grow and splinter into two smaller kingdoms at Dan Su-Do's death. In the centuries following, the civilization in the area flourished in several large kingdoms. It would be six hundred years after Dan Su-Do's death that a second great King would united the region, this time his edge being not technological warfare, but the riches from Emerald trade allowing him to hire tribal mercenaries from the neighbouring regions to subdue his neighbours, and settle said mercenaries into the newly conquered lands, allowing them and their families to move in. These man's magnitude of conquest was unrivaled, and for many years, stories about him were deemed fable in far away kingdoms. But Tinq Kisari was very real. By the time of his death, after forty years of mostly successful campaigns, his domain occupied half of the current extent of the Celestial Empire.
In Tinq Kisari's death, his generals elected among themselves a 'High General' called Qung Lao to continue to command the growing army into further conquests, and this became a tradition. This era is known as the Commander's Tent (Xin-On) Era, as the 'Emperors' of that time (they did not use that title yet), were generals ruling from their campaign tents. Eventually the conquests were so fast, the generals had to splinter their armies to double back and crush rebellions as the main body of the army marched on. Years of this led to the division of the Empire in macro regions where each Lord-General would rule as governor, establishing forts and managing the local army. Once the Empire reach the natural limits of the mountains and plains, the Xin-On era ended, and the High General moved back to Tinq Kisari's home city by the Dan-Fo delta, naming it the City of the Celestial Heavens and Many Great Things, or Celestia as foreigners would translate it. The High General named himself Emperor and established the basis of the modern empire. A standing army fed and paid for by the work of the urban population. An agrarian system where the population lived in towns and cities, rather than the fields they worked in. They worked the fields who belonged to the local Lord General, effectively the governor, and were assigned different plots everyday, and even infrastructure projects in others. Fields hands were expected to know the basics of earth work and construction and were used as a massive labor force by the estate. City dwellers who knew a craft belonged to a higher caste, free from field work, but still would need to use their skills for the benefit of the empire if asked. To keep track of obligations, a extensive public service of bureaucrats slowly developed, and they became their own social class in time, almost as prestigious as the lower ranking officers of the standing army.
The Nine Golden Heads
The Nine Golden Heads are nine High generals of the Celestial Empire from the Xi-On era that each were defeated and killed in conflicts relating to the Magna Orde.
1. Xu-Fan Who first attempted conquest of the ethnic Tnz in the north. He believed in the "Pursuit of the Peak" a belief that the Celestial culture was destined to reach the Izil Mountains. Aetl's defeat and slaying of Xu-Fan was a major reason why he was able to amass the political power to form the Second Great Orde.
2. Me-Fong was a defensive general who decided to consolidate past conquests instead of pursuing Xu-Fan's foolishness. Aeetle led an army of raiders on Lionback down the Dan-Fo river and burned Ion-Dan to the ground. The ash run off from the river causes crops to wilt for a full two years. Me-Fong was assinated by her own guards and her head was presented to the great Han in tribute.
3. Xaan-Du lead the Celestial Empire at a time where it almost collapsed. They were fortunate in that the decentralized system of kingdoms and fifes prevented a total conquest by the Magna Orde unlike the Tnz who had a strong link of culture and identity to hew to, most Celestial petty kingdoms had no strong ties so the Great Han could basically conquer a village at a time. Xaan-Du claimed the title of High General but really only had the loyalty of the most prosperous cities in the south east. Aetl Han spent ten years hunting down the general until he met them in single combat and fed them to the Giant Lion Az-To.
4. Gan-Ru is widely held as the worst "emperor" in celestial history. In fear of the Great Orde they bought off the raids with massive amounts of gold and tribute. This bankrolled The Magna Orde's conquests across the great plains and let the Orde become the greatest empire of its era. The tribute demands caused massive economic depression in the celestial empire and Gan-Ru was killed by an uprising in his "Golden Tent"
5. Ton-Zu was a military genius who was born a peasant in the central Celestial subcontinent. He amassed loyal followers and was able to band several generals under his command. He led a counter strike deep into the heart of Orde territory and was considered by Aeetl to be "My fondest enemy." On the eve of an epic campaign to clash with the assembled might of three Orde batllaiins of Lion Chariots, Tom-Zu died of a heart attack.
6. La-Mi was the claimed daughter of Ton-Zu and led the brunt of the bloodiest battles between the Empire and the Great Orde . By this time Aetl has decided to focus on governing his massive advanced empire instead of dealing with further conquests. She signed a peace with Yne Great Orde and many belive they had a relationship. 7. Tanz -Han was the first leader of wider Celestial civilization with known foriegn blood. Called "the Bronze bastard" he led a civil war against his Mother La-Mi that raged at the same time the Magna Orde was being invaded by the Kara Khanate. The armies of Tanz-Han and La-Mi devasted themselves and both were proclaimed dead. (Traditionally held to be the same day Aetl Han died in battle against Kara Khan)
8. Qi-Chon was a peaceful and gentle minded general who saw the fall of the great Horde to the west as an opportunity for peace. Unfortunately every minor Han saw invading the east as a way to gain acclaim and be seen as the next Great Han. Qi-Chin survived 40 raids and assorted assassination attempts until they died from suicide from the stress.
9. Baal-Zchrun was a wizard in the employ to Qi-Chon that rose to power via dark magics learned from imported magic texts from the west. Their reign of blood fear and terror stabilized the Celestial Empire and lead to the first new conquests in most of living history . They were the first Celestial Leader to gain permanent land in Tnz Territory but this dark power came at a price and they went mad from mystic influence.
Conquored Tnz'rans who are native to the northern Celestial Empire. They are the predominant ethnic group there, but are fiercely loyal and have little separatist ambitions currently. They pride themselves in the loyalty to the Siouxians and see themselves as equals to them. Other Ordes see them as just another Orde "allied" to the Celestials and treat them as such. The other Ordes represent them as a separate state on their maps and demand to discuss political issues with a Dandio'Orda representative instead of an imperial representative when dealing with their northern territory.
Kingdom of Ivory
The Ivory Kingdom occupies a peninsula covered in jungles and swamps, laid with a thousand rivers. In cities of stone surrounded by rice paddies, the Taj lords and ladies enrich themselves with the commerce of silk, jungle spices and a drug called the Fiend-Kiss, a powerful narcotic that causes relaxation and lethargy when burned and inhaled like incense.
Ivory Kingdom natives are called Nangi, out of the kingdom's native word for itself. Nangi is a highly patriarchal culture, a warrior like society that values cunning, the ability to acquire and maintain wealth and status, and honor. It's best to die a honorable Nangi than live as a dishonorable pariah. However, only the ruling caste is thought to have 'honor'. You are born with it and may lose it entirely, ceasing to be a noble. Though great deeds are understood to 'increase' one's one. It's not measurable but there's a social consensus of who has more and less. This unofficial count plays a big role in the corts.
Half of Nangi follow foreigner religions brought by traders from the west, and Celestian pantheon. The other half follow the ancestral worship of the Nagas, the race of serpent people, godlike and immortal, and their serpent gods.
The Taj-Mai rules the Ivory kingdom from the Ivory Throne. The Taj-Nang rule their own fortress cities (nangs), almost fully independently. Taj lords always ride into battle astride an elephant
Founded around the year 3400 as the local cities were united in conquest by the first Taj-Mai
The jungles are the only thing protecting them from the Ordes. The Ivory kingdom enjoys trading relations with many kingdoms, including the Merchant Empire. They are, however, suspicious of outsiders when not trading.
Low land jungles covered in rivers, with swamps white sand beaches. The kingdom is almost flat, except for rocky low hills in the jungle.
The Gulf of Nang
The Gulf of Nang off the coast of the Kingdom of Ivory is usually a placid place. It's shallow warm and dotted with small islands. Most are little more than sand bars, uninhabitable due to the lack of freshwater, but near the port of Dan-Nang the islands are tall pillars of limestone, festooned with forests and fed by the yearly monsoons. Once a year on a quiet summer evening when the moon is full the giant moon jellyfish of the southern ocean gather to spawn. These jellies are known to be both sentient and telepathic, but outside this short period when they breed they are hardly ever seen. The psychic backwash from the spawning event is supposedly considerable but is rarely felt by anyone on the mainland. The local fishermen like to take their wives out with them fishing on these nights, but for some reason, the catch usually seems to be great down compared to normal.
Consisting of the continent’s northernmost lands.
Itzil - Technobarbarian Mountain Tribes
Basically they are techno-barbarian clans, degenerate leftovers from a far more advanced civilization, eking out a living on a blasted plain with mountains at their back and a deadly wasteland in front. They now brave the desert in hopes of scavenging spare parts, metal, artifacts and whatever technology they can find in the Irradiated Deserts to sustain their failing machinery and tech. Their trademark is their "gear armor" and automata, clockwork powersuits powered by windup mechanisms, used to safely traverse the blasted plain and do battle with the mimic menace as well as man the few remaining outposts at the wasteland's edge against various mutant horrors that try to breach through to the rest of the world. The weird technology they use has long since become obscure and revered as something magical rather than something exactly understood, it's workings preserved in the oral tradition and songs of their bards. Their main city is Izzil, a stronghold hidden somewhere deep in the mountains where their main "base" is located, with various caravans and nomadic camps constantly shifting across the plain. Few other settlements are more permanent, namely the underground cavern-city of Dhe, border town of Far Water, small harbor of Pirn, shining Giyasdo, city most reminiscent of their former glory and their "official" capital and hamlet of Terganon, a last refuge on the lonely island of Lyr. Their land is the purple colored area.
One thing which many could ask themselves, is "Why are there still Technobarbarians Millennia after the age of Dawn?". The answer comes in the fact, "where they are". The World Spine is the tallest mountain range in the world with Mount Setherest reaching 12 kilometers in height. This desolate location made the rich and powerful of the Age of Dawn create bunkers and safe-havens in the mountains. The modern Technobarbarians are also known as the Children of Itzil. The ancient Prophetess of the Wind. Trough use of wind magic, she managed to condense the air and lead many of the Mountain Tribes higher and higher up the mountains discovering those ancient vaults of technology. Said Vaults were inhabited by those they would only know as Molemen. Blind bald 1 meter tall human-like creatures revering some sort of Metallic Effigy. They would offer it gifts and would receive rewards in exchange.
This effigy, this ancient God was nothing more than an Universal Molecular Production Facility. It has bluprints for various things saved and if you provide it with raw materials it will make said things. Still for both the Molemen and Children of Itzil, this was a supernatural creature. Give it the right rocks and it will make magical weapons superior to anything they have ever seen.
As such for centuries the Technobarbarians have toiled in the service of these Moleman Effigies treating them as Divine creating an expansive religion no different to a Cargo Cult on modern earth copying the attire of the the people they see in framed pictures and holotapes. Memorizing component lists like prayers.
The biggest revolution in Technobarbarian society was when the 4th Prophetess Hetzla asked the Effigy an important question "Can you make another one which is you?" and the Divine being answered with a list of ingredients more expansive, esoteric and incomprehensible than anything ever seen before. These things listed there were not of this world! That's when the Technobarbarians first started launching raids on other parts of the world, making their tactics more aggressive, but only few places were promising. The World Scar and the Cursed Desert.
Due to it's curse no man can live in the desert, thus even after millennia it is still littered in ancient Artifacts. Thus Technobarbarians in clockwork power-suits made out of lead wander the Cursed Desert in their Divine quest for the components to have the Moleman Effigy make one more of itself. an Effigy for the Children of Itzil, an acknowledgement of their devotion.
The Technology the Divine Machines produce is far beyond the understanding of modern man as such they are treated as magic artifacts, with someone knowing as much as maintaining the devices being rare.
Many ancient bunkers were unveiled after. Tens or even hundreds, but the Moleman Effigy stands alone, a true remnant of Divinity on this cursed earth.
The Cursed Wasteland
There was a nuclear disaster here that leveled the civilization living here. The remnants of a great sea wall can still be seen along the coast. The disaster fractured the great wall and erosion took care of the rest over many generations, leaving it as just many crumbling piles of sediment and brick, blocking access to the desert from the sea.
Many speculate that the curse laid on the wasteland (being bombed into a nuclear wasteland) happened during the Age of Dawn collapse, but in fact it happened many Centuries earlier near the peak of Human Civilization.
Records are missing, but a human Nation specializing in Biotechnology was seeking conquest of it's neighbors. For that purpose they created a weapon the likes of which the world has never seen. A weapon which while produced with standardized tools would be universal.
The "Teriad" an insectoid beast of war which would be able to instantly assimilate any technology it touches. If it came in contact with an enemy Tank it would absorb it and become one with it, same with infantry equipment.
The Teriad War, as it is now known was ended by the Union of World Nations trough a harsh decision. Complete Nuclear Holocaust. The once lush and mountainous region was turned into a sea of boiling radiation and mountains rose at the coast from the amount of nuclear warheads dropped. Still, repeated bombings were required for while all human life was eradicated the Teriads still remained. Albeit due to the radiation have heavily mutated and lost a lot of their original potency.
For the next centuries having thought the Teriad extinct the wasteland was used as a trash disposal as well as a place to drop defunct satellites onto. That mixed with it killing anyone who enters made it into the largest deposit of ancient Technology in the Modern World. Though now various forms of Extremophile life reside there, along with the mysterious Wandering City.
The Peoples of the Wasteland
Radiation fades over time and while still leathal in most parts of the wasteland small regions have become habitable in recent years. The Expeditions from Goldland and Technobarbarians have lead to small communities emerging in those pockets of low radiation. While they still need to watch out for Feral Teriads and other extremophiles. They manage to live there.
These people are known as "Lead Shells" because they are either T'lc-Kha with lead shells or Humans wearing Lead Power Armor.
The Great Pyramid
Not much is known about this structure. The tech barbarian tribes that found it debate over its purpose. Some say that it is a tomb for an ancient evil. Others say that it was created from a contest between the gods. However, nobody knows for sure because entry into the structure has been found impossible. Any doors that have been found have been sealed with metal that has been proven to be impossible to cut. Also, the long and dangerous trip through the desert means that only the most determined of adventures can make it to the structure. There has been a recent breakthrough in its purpose though. Famed priestess and divine iconographer Qux Yozik recently made the journey to the pyramid, and spent several days excavating and studying the outside of the pyramid. Her work was difficult and took many days, but soon uncovered a massive metal door in the side of the pyramid. Her team was unsuccessful in opening it, but two signs were uncovered during the process.
No one knows for sure what they mean, but the talk of a great evil and death under the pyramid has increased amongst the tribes. Qux herself has now dedicated her life to figuring out these symbols, and has even sent for outsiders of many kinds to try to find anyone who would understand what they mean.
City of Wandering Mimics
Wandering city of mutant is called that because no one ever found there another human, or even an non human. Just hungry and mad mutated masses of tissue, some humanoidal, some just blobish. The truth is however that in deepest corners of city there are still humans keept in a stasis, with their minds active and connected to a vitural world. Those monsters that haunt the streets are those of pre-dawn humans that were exposed to radiation of meteorite and reactor, and were left behind. Those below were deemed to costly to evacuate. And now they sleep, forever.
Ruskata Capital: Kzatch Racial make up: 80% humans, 10% snow elves, 8% dwarves, 1% trolls, 1% others. Government: Matriarchal Feudal-Chiefdom Monarchy.
The Queendom of Ruskata was founded originally by tribes pushed out of Grendarrym and Skrug territory, shunned by neighbouring tribes due to their practices of human sacrifice. Although a rare ritual, the yearly sacrifices and the culture of worship to the witch-crafting crones led this tribes to flee the northern lands and settle further south at the shores of the Kizek river. Originally mountain tribes, in exile they found more fertile lands and their population grew, causing cities to form. The largest and most important of them was the city of Kzatch, a port city at the mouth of the Kizek. While these cities' religion was based on the reverence of the witch-crones and the worship of the winter deity Zoraya, Kzatch received many foreigners visitors as a trading post of furs, whale-bone and timber, and their influence let to watering down of the least digestible aspect of their faith, as well consolidation of their government. The Ruskatan cities were culturally very close and often allied themselves to fight of foreign invasions. Eventually this alliance was formalized into a federation, and gradually Kzatch influence became such that the city was able to unite the others as vassals under its Queen, forming the Queendom of Ruskata. The Queendom is matriarchal, meaning that the maternal bloodline is determinant for succession and inheritance matters. This is in part because the crones blood run through the female line and the Queen must always be able to use ‘Ice Magic’. Also known as Winter Magic, Ice Magic is what the name suggests. The ability to manipulate the weather in a small concentrate area, causing blizzards, flash freezes, fog, snowfall and that sort of thing. Although the Queendom has armies, the Ice Witches are the true walls of their cities. Their powers are exponentially stronger during the harsh winters of the land, and if they are naturally hard on any non-native, facing the cruel long winter nights when the witches want to freeze you out is near impossible.
Belara Norvia Stronghold
Country name: Colony of Norvia
Population (Novia): Belarian 10%, Native Human 40%, Native Elven 50%
Capital : Norvia Stronghold
Goverment: Colonial Administration
Norvian colonists, are mostly families of garnisson military, and so come and go, so represent traditional Belarian culture. Different situation is represented by fishers, and miners. They work in proximity with natives, and while Belarians see themselves superior from them, cultural osmosis still takes place in little things like superstitions.
Same as Belaria
Board of Colonial Administration – Norvia, or just BCAN, right now has military majority between administrators. 3 of them are militarists, 2 are merchants and 1 is colonists representative. Right now biggest problem from administration perspective is continuation of slave trade, and its profits, considering more and more nations in westrasi are starting to be abolitionist. While Merchants and Colonist are seeing profits to be made here, Militarists would rather stop having to divert their forces from slave raiding, to already understaffed forts. Kings representantive right now supports status quo.
Norvia was first colony created by Belarians, who defeated local tribes and fended of Ruskatians. Since then local skirmishes between natives and colonists are normality, but no huge war was fought yet.
BCAN diplomacy is based on one thing: technological superiority. In simple words, even though its army is understaffed, they carry big stick of advanced weapons, strategy and armors. Because of this no one thinks there is need to be subtle. Native tribes are strongarmed into pacts, and sometimes whole villages are enslaved, and send to metropolis, or to iron mines. Only ecception being khanate, that is seen as great danger by Novian administration, because of how they know in case of attack they will be conquered before support arrives, if it arrives. And such, no hostile actions are taken against them.
Its arctic and mountainous land. There is almost no fertile land, and its littered with mountain passes and chokepoints turned into fortresses.
It's the main hub for the arctic fish trade, its also hub of forestry and mining industries. Its here where lies biggest mine of Iron in the entire north. Additonaly Norvia has great investment in slave trade, to a point of having biggest slave marked in whole Belara.
The Grendarrym tribes are hunters and gatherers of the far north. They are not a aggressive people, and instead stick to the asterial waters to hunt, fish, and recall the history of ages long past.
The nation is ruled by a council made up of any female who can claim to be related by blood or family ties to the last chief. This chief is decided by the ruling of the previous chief, or who is the eldest daughter of the chief's family. This council in turn rules over the nation, each having a section of land to administrate. The amount of power one has on the council is decided by how much land they administrate, and this is decided by the current chief. There is also a wise woman, who is usually the oldest woman alive, who acts as a sage and historian to the council.
The Jorden people of Grendarrym were hunter gatherers who migrated to the north and developed an early culture of reaving and pillaging. The nation was originally made up of several small tribes who were fighting for dominance. It was very unstable, as whenever a chief died there would be fights over who would rule in turn. This escalated into several small scale civil wars between the tribes. However, as time went on the Jorden people realised that they would all die to the harsh northern climate if they kept fighting amongst each other. Thus the remaining tribes decided to join together into one tribe to survive. They named this tribe Grendarrym, from the words Grendar which means "Grand Whole or "Grand One", and Jarrym, which means "People". Thus the Grendarrym tribe, meaning One United Jorden, was born.
The Jorden people have been heavily influenced by their eleven neighbors. Despite having little in the ways of writing, they have a strong oral tradition that retells the history of their people hundreds of years back. They are one of the most knowledgeable human nations regarding the past and history. However, they only know what has happened in the north and they know little of the outside world. Women are taught from a young age this history through ballads and sagas. Some of these women are also taught to have a nearly flawless memory, and study the current events of their lives so they can retell them to the next generation. Men do not learn these histories, as the superior intellect required to do such acts is found to be lacking in then. Instead the men are taught to fish, hunt, and gather.
There is a ritual that every boy must go through to become a man, called the Grendar Hunt. Each boy of 15 is sent as a group into wilderness alone in the height of winter. To the Grendarrym, great warriors are forged in battle against the elements themselves, as the wilds they live in have proven more to be deadly than any one man could be. They are to survive working together as a group, and to bring back a worthy trophy by the beginning of the spring. Those who return with a suitable trophy are marked with tattoos to represent their adulthood, and are given a new name in relation to the trophy they caught and the acts they had to perform to achieve it. The greatest of these feats are retold among the men during hunting trips, and usually contain more fiction than fact. The Great Mollusks are considered the greatest trophy that can be achieved. To build a sea faring vessel and sail it through the ice to kill a mollusk is a dangerous and deadly feat, requiring teamwork and skill. Those that manage to bring one back as a trophy are viewed as blessed by the gods, and are given to the bravest fishermen and hunters to work with. Those that fail to bring back a suitable trophy are looked down upon and are given menial tasks for the rest of their life. As hunting techniques and skills advanced with the Grendarrym population, over fishing led to the death of the Eastern Great Mollusk Reef.
When returning from a hunt Grendarrym, are blessed with tattoos that mark them as an adult. These tattoos usually relate to their hunt or achievements in some way and tap into ancient nature magic that enhances their natural abilities. Only female elders are trusted with the sacred writes of the tattoo ad their power is fiercely treasured.
That said, to venture out on the sea on your own in the depths of winter is still to take on a perilous task worthy of adulthood. To bring back a boat filled with the great fish that run during those times? A truly worthy trophy, and a mark of someone who will be wealthy in times to come, with a great longhouse of their own. Or they might bring back the pelt of a giant tusker or an ice bear. Those who choose this path often gain powers from the ritual to make them even finer fishermen, and more able to stand the rigors of the winter. The womenfolk of Grendarrym have a different path. They are the ones who look after the home farm, the hearth and the kin, and their tattoos (often given after their first blood) make them far better at those tasks. They also take the scales of the great fish and magically weave them into the famed armor suits of Grendarrym. To outsiders, they claim it is the mithril of long lost legend, of course.
Anyone hardy enough to visit Grendarrym and Jordheim in the depths of winter had better be keen on fish, for it often seems like the whole population of each country is out catching the great arctic nibbler, which runs in vast numbers down the coasts of each country at that time. Since time immemorial, the fishing fleets of the two countries have caught fish by the millions every year and yet they still seem undiminished, due to the amazing bounty of the Gods! Once caught, the fish are dried on great racks for several months in the winter air, before being traded to the Belarans at Norvia Stronghold for sale down across Westrasia. The dried fish is used in many ways, but is always a tremendous delicacy, even as far south as Lemba. A smaller amount is traded to Ruskata, and through them into the Khanate.It is said to be personal favorite of the Great Khan himself!
Because of their historical knowledge, they have realised that messing with the outside world will only bring trouble. Instead they tread their tribal homelands, and leave foreigners alone.
They are snow elves. One of the first races of the Northedge, living on the icy coasts as simple fishers and hunters. Practicing magical druidism to survive in the far north. Amber skin, short and slim bodies, black-irises, upturned eyes. Their culture is deeply rooted in animist and spiritualist beliefs. These mostly involve worshiping the land, the powerful northern winds, and the animals of the Northedge.
Sanukinuiq has been consistently stable. The native Nananuit tribes have had no interest in warring one another. These tribes have shared religious practices, and are too occupied with keeping themselves ahold in the harsh climes of the far north. The Nananuit elves have been long natives of Northedge, but their long cultural reign is currently threatened by Skrug and Ruskata pushing into their lands. Trolls sometimes, but very rarely, emigrate west from Skrug’s kingdom into Sanukinuiq to find new hunting grounds. Trolls are often warded off and kept away from the Nananuit villages. The Sanukinuiq have created a non-aggression pact with the Grendarrym in exchange for goods. Powerful as their drudism is, they are ill equipped and outmatched against Skrug and Ruskata. Further deals are being written, and there is talk among the two nations about an alliance...
Frozen Kingdom of Troll King Skrug
Work in progress...
25% Troll, 50% Human, 15% Dwarf, 10% Snow Elf.
Svärden, a coastal trade-city held by the largest human clan of the region.
Monarchy ruled by a single ancient troll, with an advisory council that act as the government comprised of three humans, a dwarf and an elf.
The predominant culture within the troll kingdom is in fact, a human one. The Vargr are a complicated people who have suffered greatly at the hands of other nations, beasts and monsters. Their traditions are based upon both their Grendarrym and Ruskata ancestors but have taken on a more violent, practical and oddly passionate change. Raiding far and wide is a common practice and the primary use of military force. Music, singing, martial prowess, sexual prowess, cleverness and strength, all are extolled virtues. Personal glory is constantly sought after and the Vargr people seem to be well known for their boastful telling of tales. After the return of raiders, traders or explorers stories always abound of their adventures as they will tell any who will listen. Some manner of trollish customs have seeped into the ways of the Vargr as well. Cleverness and wit are highly prized attributes among the Vargr, even a frail man might find a place for himself provided he is clever enough. Pranks and jests are said to be common during times of revelery. On the summer and winter solstice games of chance and mental fortitude are played among the usual celebrations. "Trolling" an enemy by painting their face across a goats ass and presenting it too them as a gift is a grievous insult, an ultimatum and an opportunity to surrender. If the goat is left outside the targets home it is considered a sign of surrender for all to see. For those willing to fight it is considered traditional to respond with a malicious prank before hostilities truly begin.
The Arn are a fellowship of deities, worshiped by the northern peoples within the region of Skrug. Much of the faith involves acts of; singing, music, dance and many other acts of passion, skill, cunning and violence.
The Frozen Kingdom of Skrug is a region claimed as the territory of the largest and oldest known troll. There are 13 clans of Vargr humans, one dwarven and one elven clan as well as a multitude of trolls living under the protection and in service of Skrug. Skrug’s method of rulership is to mostly leave the day to day running of his kingdom to leaders chosen from among his subjects. Humans make up the bulk of the population of Skrug's kingdom, followed by dwarves and a few elven clans. Trolls, though a minority are treated with grudging respect for the obvious physical threat they pose and their dedication to maintaining the kingdoms borders. The human clans raid neighbors and coastal cities within range of their ships for glory and to gather enough food to sustain the growing troll population. The dwarven clan of Jolgrith provides the troll population with massive two handed swords, simple plate armor and the human raiders with fine dwarven arms and armor. The elves within Skrug’s territory largely avoid attention but offer mead and music when trolls corner them for Skrug’s tribute. Skrug himself spends his time eating, drinking, sleeping and planning his next “turn” in the great game against the great dragon to the south.
The thirteen Vargr clans; Bjørnung, Njaling, Bodilung, Arning, Åsung, Haralding, Runnung, Walling, Geirrung, Siffing, Pórderrung, Yngling, Vetlung
Dwarven Clan; Clan Jolgrith
Elven Clan; Yssret
Skrug is the largest, oldest troll within the region and has developed a degree of intelligence comparable to humanity over the years alongside the wisdom his experience has granted him. The local clansmen attempted to slay him for their own glory. In response he slew the attacking clansmen and gathered the younger trolls of the region into an army to conquer all of the peoples of the north so that he could go back to eating, sleeping and wargaming in peace. Skrug rarely leads his forces anymore and leaves much of the rulership of his kingdom to the smaller races. When he takes to the field he does so with great determination to end the enemy quickly and return to his cave-palace filled to the brim with treasures, food and massive tables covered with complex battlefields.
Regular raids against neighboring lands keep the large population of trolls well fed and allow the men of the region a means of attaining greater glory for themselves.
Trade in metals, gemstones, hides, fish, dwarven manufactured weapons and armor.
Disciples of Skrug
We know that Skrug wrangled most of the troll, goblin, and hobgoblin population in his territory (most of them are possibly his own offspring). What if the ones that show promising above-average intelligence gets taken in by Skrug to become his disciple, just so that in case Geoffrey died somehow he'll still have someone to wargame against? This has the added benefit of having those smarter greenskins becoming capable governors or lieutenants, able to divert some of the burdens of nation-managing away from Skrug's true passion: wargames.
Lost Nation of Yugr
Yugr was a once powerful slaver empire of people that came from the northernmost point of northern glaciers. They enslaved both humans and trolls alike, and their borders went as far as Grendarrym and Ruskata Rivers, with vassal states that ranged towards Zephyr mountains. But as climat grew colder they had to give up their empire, and hid themselves in the heart of their empire - behind a valley of glaciers in one of the only fertile lands up north. They hid from the people they enslaved and the rest of the outside world through magic. The spell hiding them has grown weaker, and the government tries to prepare itself for reemergence to the outside world. They are proud, reactionary people that value their isolationism. They live and abide by convoluted honor codes. Because they stopped advancing technologically they use late bronze age technology.In the minds of the outside world they exist only as a this almost mythical nation state up north.
The World Scar is an unfathomably large depression; deep enough to have weather patterns form inside it, and wide enough that you can see the other side in only a few places. Such a grand geological feature has significance in many cultures and religions, and as such, pilgrimages into the Scar are not uncommon. Over time, a certain route into the Scar became quite popular due to its generally easy to traverse terrain. This route, known in the modern age as the Pilgrims' Path, has 4 small outposts along its length so that the pilgrims may restock on supplies, and enterprising merchants may separate them from their money.
Seen as a holy place by many, the divinity is only reinforced by what is inside the Scar. All religions in the world claim the Scar as their holy place and all people of great faith or love for knowlege long to go there. They set of on the Pilgrimage Path with 12 Dolas prepared. Or even more if they wish for deeper enlightenment. What is a Dola? It's a small green, piece of cloth with magical symbols in slightly lighter green engraved in it. If the symbols are even slightly wrong one will be chased off and bared entry by the Keepers of the Scar.
One is only permitted to enter the scar half a year. It is unknown why. The Keepers of the Scar have skin made out of metal and dress in odd ways. Mainly depending on the "Park" they chaperone.
There is 7 Parks which are remnants of ancient amusement parks.
Park of the Mouse This park teaches us ancient tales, of valour nobility and femininity. In plays and dogs. It is a great honour to meet one of the Princesses of this Park. All such meetings are commemorated with paintings.
The Park of the Cow It is a land reminiscent of the desert. Where the art of "pistols" dueling is paramount. These Izitzil relics are common here. The Keepers of the Cow are the warriors and soldiers of the Parks. Teaching us of honour, Valor and justice. The values of the Wild Vest, if one embodies such values they get to wear such a Vest themselves.
Park of the Bear It is a fake Forrest with the flora and fauna of the ancients and divines. Here one can learn how to maintain forrests and manage fires. It is a holy place for druids and Treant worshippers.
Park of the Kraken A holy place for the people of the Black and Storm island as well as many sailors. Here one can learn of the deeds of heroic pirates. Ancient beasts of the sea and various tips on ship building and sailing.
Path of the Divine Beasts A park where one admires ancient divine beasts. Dragons, Dinosaurs, Giant Lions and more. One learns how they live, their anatomy and much more. It's a divine place for the people of the Khanate and Orde's.
Park of the Eagle Seen as a holy place by the Techpriest of Goldland. This place teaches the history of Godmachines. The battles they fought in space against one another in ancient mythical times. This Place even includes a few Godmachines! One can learn basics of Godmachine repair here as well.
Park of the Star A land which the Priests of Gloria and Etalia take as their own. Rokets displayed here reflect the ancient horses the two Gods visited the world on. In this place one learns astronomy and of the many races which live on other worlds. As well as of the land of the Gods.
The Keepers in spite of gaining sentience still follow the same goals they were programmed to follow: 1. Maintain the Park 2. Entertain the guests 3. Act as if it's all real. On top of those directives new goals emerged. Combat Androids were created to keep the Fire elementals at bay. Mining outposts were created to provide materials to keep everything running. The Keepers themselves only ever leave the Scar to hunt down someone who stole something from the Park.
Outside the Parks
The World Scar is a large place, mostly full of plains and rivers. Being on an old Supervolcano it is full of geysers and all the water is building and full of sulphur. The Parks are climatised, but the outside temperature is usually 40-60C. In the 6 months the Scar is closed it goes above 100C. And that is when the heftiest wars with the elementals happen.
The cliffside of the Scar is riddled with Moleman outposts and villages. They often stage raids to steal technology as sacrifices to the Effigy. Thus are hunted down. The only other sentient inhabitant of the Scar are Dwarves. They can simply handle the heat. Various minor Dwarven tribes live there. Some allied to the Parks, others isolationist, some work together with the Molemen and the last ones have signed a pact with the Fire Elementals and are openly hostile with a small nation of their own existing in the scar.
The World Scar was formed by the eruption of a supervolcano in the distant past.
The world Scar used to be a mix of no man's land (like Antarctica,) and national Park (Yellowstone).
4 companies once managed to obtain the right to build theme parks there. The 7 theme parks, were a fad which passed soon, but being located in no man's land the companies kept them arround to do illegal robotics research there.
After the collapse of civilisation only the automatons survived in the Scar. Running the empty parks untill magic returned to the world. The scar is the most magically active area of the world. Thus on one hand the Keepers gained sentience on the other the will of the ancient Supervolcano became manifest in fire elementals which wish to spread death and destruction.
When entrances to the scar were rediscovered it was by primitive people. Who saw everything they saw as holy and divine. And skills taught to kids by play, were actually very useful to those primitives. As such the scar became a place of worship and knowlage.
Races: 98% Qoktengel Human, Government: Monarchy Capital: none
The Uruzataar Khanate is a massive nomadic empire ruled by the fierce warlord Uruz Khan. The people are composed of nomadic warriors riding across the northern steppes on horseback, thirsty for bloodshed and conquest to favor the Khan.
Kara Khan was a Great Khan that lived at the end of the Sixth Era. At the time, the Magna Orde was the greatest power in the known world. When they came of age, Kara made a pilgrimage to the great spire. No one knows what they saw there but when they emerged, they seemed to possess eerie powers of the mind that led them to great victories in battle.
Kara's army of "Soulriders" was made up of tribesmen from across the Great Plains and beyond. Goblins, Treant and Humans alike rode in "Great Hunts" that weakened the power of the Magna Orde until its leader, Aeetli Han, came to face Kara in single combat. Kara won the battle and took the pelt of Aetli's Giant Lion as a trophy.
With the Magna Orde falling apart, Kara's wife, Pellar, asked them to settle down and organize their horde into a proper empire. Kara was obsessed, however, and embarked on what would be their Final Hunt.
Kara assembled an army of Soulriders, Horselord and Tnz'qran both, and declared The Great Hunt. They would ride past the World Scar, trek through the cursed wasteland, and circle the Izill mountains until they could plunder the lost secrets of the ancients.
Many thought the Khan mad, but the victories on the battlefield gave the Khan a sense of near divinity. So ten thousand soul riders left from the Crystal Spire and began a long trek west.
Half would die by the time they passed through the Wasteland, many begging to be killed out of mercy from the pain and terror the sands brought. Yet that horror was a mere taste of what was to come.
The 3000 soulriders who made it into the land of gold were crushed by metal demons since thrown into myth. Blue flame seared meat from bones, ferocious sounds saw men and beast alike claw out their own eyes; their soldiers died like flies and yet Kara pressed ever forward.
At the final bend, in the heart of Goldland itself, the remaining 100 soulriders begged Kara to turn back, but a strange look in the eye of the Khan told them there was no answer that led to survival. With tears in their eyes (as they told it) the last hundred turned back, to watch the Kahn travel to their death.
Of that hundred, only 12 made it back through the wasteland. Found by scouts and taken back to the Crystal Spire, the report of the Khan's death crushed the people.
Pelar declared herself Khan and completed the raids against the Ordes but she was no Kara. Without their divine figurehead, any dream of any empire to match the Magna Orde was dashed.
The Final Hunt was the final major interaction between the eastern and western halves of the continent until Vayos the Belarian made their Great Voyage centuries later.
The double power gap of the fall of The Second Great Orde and the Kara Khanate lead to a massive vaccum in the East that enabled the Celestial Empire and Treant Empire to rise to the heights they see now.
And the legend of the Last Hunt cemented Goldland as a place of fear and terror for generations and religions to come.
To this day the name Kara is considered near sacrilegious to be granted in Orde and Khanate cultures, and their death has been cemented in the national myths of both peoples.
The Tear of Kara Khan
When 12 soulriders returned from Kara Khan's ill-fate exposition from Goldland, they returned with a scrap of Mithril, the largest such source of the metal found west of the Cursed Wastelands.
It has exchanged hands across the centuries from Khan to Khan and the occasional foreign raider. It was originally used as a symbol of power to connect to the fallen great Khan, until Uruz mages learned how to magically smelt off shards of The Tear that couldn't otherwise be torn. Mithril arrowheads have become a prize product of the Tear, notable for being more durable than steel and being able to conduct magical energy better than gold. Due to the small size of the Tear, most mihtril weaponry is used for vanity weapons by various Khans.
Owing to his wariness of anything having to do with the Cursed Wasetlands or ancient power, the Great Khan doesn't use an Mithril weaponry, though he was wise enough to keep the Tear safe in the Kanakar Steppes away from ambitious wizards like Kana Khan.
Pre-Conquest States within the borders of the Khanate
Just gonna propose some lands conquered by the Khanate, their general former location, possible date they've been conquered, and some extra notes. I'll allow other people to add on to this, whether it be lore or more regions.
>Kanakar Steppes People (~25 years before present)
First to be taken by the Uruzataar, forming the Khanate.
Culture very similar to Uruzataar people.
>Temengel People (~24 years before present)
Culture similar to early Qoktengel humans and Uruzataar people.
>Kazai Tribes (~20 years before present)
Culture maybe similar to some human tribes occupied by Treant Empire.
>Daizhun Kingdom (~17 years before present)
Culture a combination of early Qoktengel and early Qi-fu humans.
>Ni-Jeong Dynasty (~13 years before present)
Culture very similar to modern Qi-Fu.
>Inengu (~12 years before present)
>Aizhaw (~10 years before present)
Elvish-inhabited region culturally closest to the First Elves.
>Oktaw (~8 years before present)
>West Qi-Fu (~5 years before present)
Land east of river remains disputed territory.
>Mokuit (~3 years before present)
Elvish-inhabited region culturally closest to the Nananuit snow elves.
>Vargen, Grendarrym (~2 years before present)
>South Ruskata (~1 year before present)
Currently disputed territory.
Khans of the Uruzataar Khanate
As Uruz Khan conquered various local tribes and smaller Khans, he imported the Uruz Khanate system to the underholdings. Each major section of the empire is under a Khan who has risen to the title with a mix of skill cunning and loyalty.
Born as Jimu-Da, Kana Khan are the younger fraternal twin sisters of the Great Khan. Under Uruz culture, twins are legally seen as a single person and Jimu and Da were chosen by Uruz to take advantage of this. Pre-conquest, Uruzataar and the Kanakar Steppes were invoked in a tangled web of tribal politics and clan conflicts. Uruz eased this tension with massive violence but the remaining system is still rife for sedition. Kana Khan's mastery of intrigue, politics and fierce loyalty to their brother made them the ideal candidates to run the holdings closest to the homeland and well time assassinations and sold off marriages have glued the formerly wild Steppes into a hotbed of diplomatic culture.
The Temengal people were the most respected of the Great Khans conquests. They held the ways of the ancient ancestors, hunting Oozestadon on horseback and worshipping ancient Dragon spirits. The mighty Qok RIver served as a natural barrier and Temegal horsemanship was matched nowhere else. They fell only by Treachery. On Dragonfall Day, peak of the ancient Qoktengal FEstival where bloodshed was forbidden, a bribed Temegal chieftain massacred all the priests and chiefs of the Temegal tribes while they were inebriated from the Qoiag ritual. The traitors name was stricken from record in shame and they are no known as Teme Khan. Seen as a savage even amongst the Khanate, Teme is the Great Khans axe-man for when the unspeakable needs to be done.
The Kazai tribes were the longest of the Great Khan's conquests. The countless polities were hard to take down and the influx of Treant magic made the usual illusion magic tactics of Uruz ineffective.
The tribes were finally delivered by an alliance with the spellcaster Mah-Leek. A master Druid, they trained a sorcery Corps within the Khanate soul riders that specialized in offensive magic. The Khanate burned down trees and fields alike, and as a reward, Mah-Leek became Kaza Khan, ruler of the ashes.
They now are the Khanate's chief sorcerer, to the irritation of Uruz illusion mages and their Kazai subjects both. Kaza Khan cares not, and is assembling spells and spellcasters from across the Khanate to collect the greatest compendium of arcane knowledge in the world.
Mesha Rhuk was seen by many as the fiercest warrior in Uruz forces. Serving on the frontlines since the Kanakar wars, she time and time again was frustrated by political issues rewarding allies over true warriors. She demanded a territory from Uruz and the Great Khan offered her the mighty Daizhun Kingdom, whose fortress had held off the Khan’s horseback armies for decades. … if she could take it in a month. Should she fail, her head would be forfeit. For 20 days Daizha and her soulriders laid siege to the Daizhun walls, the fields outside the barriers becoming a marsh of blood. On the 21st, she made a request to sue for peace, unheard of from the Khanate. The Daizhun KIng celebrated in generational victory and during the negotiation, demanded many concessions from the Khanate...until messengers told him the entire west coast of the Kingdom had fallen.
The 20-day siege had been a mere distraction. Mesha used the time to build enough ships to take an army of 6000 soldiers from the inner Khanate straight across the Daizhun sea and into the kingdom’s heartland. Half the souriders died on the journey, but the survivors took total control of the innards of a Kingdom that amassed all its forces to the frontlines. Mesha offered a trade, the Kingdom’s head, and throne, and she would only massacre HALF of his citizens.
Mesha arrived on the last day of the month with the king’s rotting head, waiting until the last minute on purpose in mockery of the challenge. She was named Daizha Khan and became the admiral of the first true Uruzatarr Navy.
The Ni-Jeong Dynasty was utterly destroyed by the combined forces of the Khanate’s various holdings. The ethnic Qi-Fu were almost exterminated and the land of the Dynasty was called "Spring's Graveyard."
Nizha Khan is a 15-year-old youth, a scholar assigned a near-barren territory as an appeasement to politics out west. Nizha Khan has a gentle heart and has tried to give some measure of dignity to the survivors of the genocide but is still hated by the Qifu populace as an invader.
Despite traces of elven heritage, the Uruz Khan cared little about the differences among various cultures and so all Elvish claims in the Khanate were bundled into one.
Ahkta Khan, born Nanu-Nanalenin, was a Mokuit Elf enslaved by Uruz Khan's brother. As the elf of highest standing in the Khanate they were given rule of Inengu, Aizhaw, and Oktaw elves by default. Ahkta was raised a scholar of shamanic magic but their skills make it hard to control a territory of so many different peoples. Most of the time they are dealing with age-old tribal disputes and trying to keep Kaza Khan from taking elves for experiments.
Marza was the Councilor of the Grendarryn territory of Vargen at a time when Grendarryn was under internal strife brought on by the economic disaster of the Dragon Heat. As the Great Khan decimated three regions, she saw the writing on the wall. Realizing serving under the Khan could be a benefit, she willingly submitted to Uruz and was named Vargen Khan for her efforts. Vargen is now a unique blend of Westrasi and Uruz culture as the natives have been allowed to keep there culture and traditions under the Tarrow Yoke. Vargen Khan seeks to use the resources of the wider empire to take down the other Grendarryn Councilors and become Khan of all of Northedge.
As the Khanate grew larger and more stable and Uruz Khan grew older, younger and more viscous upstarts often tried to take power, either through military might or political gains. Red Zhan was a beloved military hero who was amassing enough prestige to challenge the Great Khan himself. After an inspiring checkers match the Great Khan “rewarded” Red Zhan with the Ukzi Khanate, a mostly worthless strip of desert with no chance for fame or glory. Ukzi took this maneuver in stride and used the closeness of the region to the Tnz’qran Lands to secure an alliance with the breakaway Ete’Orde. Trading his daughter to the new Eta Han, Ukzi Khan now plans to become lord of the entire Central Plains
The lost elven mothership. This ship is the size of a small city on the inside and is powered almost entirely by magic. For a reason lost to time, it crashed into this backwards land, and the surviving elves scattered to the corners of this new land to avoid the magical fallout that came from the crash. Those that didn’t were changed. The magic warped them in many ways, and gave them powers. The sanest ones left used their new magic power to seal the ship in crystal, making the spire that now stands today. But nature always finds a way, and deep in the mountain the fey still live.
The Great Kara Khan made a pilgrimage to the spire in the late sixth age and was seemingly granted great wisdom in battle from it, as well as an obsession with venturing west to the cursed lands. Many horselords have tried to recreate this pilgrimage, but few survived and none have been blessed as Kara was.
With the Death of the Khan more interplay between the Khanate and Ordes will likely happen. Both civilizations after all even if Ethnically far apart are culturally very close. The Ordes are afterall nomadic horserides which have begun to settle down.
The most dominant of the Ordes has for a long time been the K'elle'orda thanks to it's marital ties to the Celectial Empire. It has dominated most other Ordes with the Nhi'orde and Hte'orde being direct vassals to it. The Qssl'orde on the other hand is used as a buffer state by the Treant Empire and might soon become just another vassal. That's how low the once mighty Tnz'qran have fallen. Only Qwwl'orde remains as an old Independant Horse as Swe'yus has gone back under Suoxi Controll.
There is a new player among the Tnz'qran though. The Eta'Orde a new Orde. The Minor horselord Hun Eta has married his daughter to off to one of the Great Khans son's allowing them to rebell against the K'elle Orde and carving out their own land. They seek to unite The Orde's once more and trough marital ties to create a joint grand Empire of Horseriders as well as retake Tzn'qran Land in the Northern half of Suoxi-Dan Dio.
The Tnz'qran Raiders, previously known as the Magna Orda are a mix of the Huns and Tatars. The Great Han, Aettl once united all the Tnz'qran tribes and lead to their rapid expansion, even nearly accomplishing a conquest of the Celstial Empire. Since then the Orde's have splintered and lost a lot of land.
The various Ordes have existed in some loose fashion since The Collapse, but it wasn't until early Antiquity with the First Great Orde did they start to become prominent on the world stage.
The First Great Orde
The First Great Orde was formed in the Era of Antiquity around 1350 by the Semi Mythical Qral Lionson. "Qral" is said to be the origin of the terms Khan and Han. His twelve wives and thirteen husbands are said to be the origin of the 24 major clans of the Tnz'qran people.
Qral Lionson ...
To this day there is debate among the various Orde houses over just how much of the First Orde was fact and how much was fiction. What most people do agree on is that the Tnz'qran Valley of the Great Plains was the origin of the first chariots and the domestication of the Giant Lions. This military culture became a major aspect of their society.
The First Collapse
(how the first great orde kicked the bucket)
The Second Great Orde
After the collapse of the First Great Orde, the Tnz-qran people would not be reunited under one Khan until nearly 3100 years later in 4450. The Second Great Orde which was known at the time as the Magna Orda was created when Aettl the Han united the other Ordes into a massive nomadic empire that was able to lay waste to all that stood in their way. The Magna Orda became the dominant political power of the late sixth era until continuous raids by Kara Kahn, Pelar Khan and Bezel Khan from various western forces caused the Magna Orde to collapse.
Aettl the Han ...
The Second Collapse
The "Great Mixing of Cultures" (derogatorily referred to as "The Great Impregnation" by some Tnz) lead to a broader Uruzatarization of Tnz culture, as words, strategies and cultural forces from western groups broke into the region. To this day, the main written language of the entire Plains region is in Uruz script. This era also saw the importation of goblin foodstuffs such as Bezel Beetle and Red fungus which became staples of the Tnz diet as well as the creation of the first magic wands based on imported Treant Mysticism.
The Tnz’qran worship the giant lions that migrate through their borders as sacred beasts. Due to the lions traveling in packs and their size they are quite deadly and cannot be killed easily without dooming the hunter. A warrior who could manage to kill one of these beasts alone without dying and bring it back is regarded as a holy being that is one with nature.
They used to be one united nomadic Empire, but splintered into multiple Ordes at the death of the Khan. Each Orde is ruled by a clan house which governs their land.
The Seni Pass and Nhigei Steppe
The Seni pass is named after the great Tnz'qran explorer Khuwwl Qran Seni. He discovered the passage by following the Black Sevalut into the North. This lead to the discovery of the Nhigei Steppe and it's conquest by the 4th Nhi'Han Khran Nhigei. It was the conquest of the Nhigei Steppe which allowed the Nhi'Orde to become one of the major Orde's.
The Hena Pass
The Hena pass was discovered only about 60 years ago by Bartolomew Hena a Westerasi Explorer in the service of the K'elle'Han. The discovery of another major entrance into the Nhigei Steppe is what allowed the forces of the K'elle'Orde to defeat the Nhi'Orde, seze land and subjugate them.
The Nhi'Han and Goatman Mountain Tribes
After suffering a great defeat at the battle of Peak Kreht the then Prince of the Nhi'Orde went into self exile to travel the world and learn of the world and bring greatness to the Nhi Orde once more. He returned on the day of the death of his father as if by divine prophecy with 5000 Dwarven War Goats. Within a few months he trained his riders to use these mounts as mounts of war for the mountains. For the first time the People's of the steppe managed to take control of the Goatman Wall, subjugating the local Technobarbarian tribes.
The World Spine
Very tall mountains where the technobarbarians live, it is a bad omen to go there.
The K'elle'Orda is the most powerful of all Orde's thanks to an alliance with the Celestial Empire. The Hte' and Nhi'Orda are it's Vassals. The Han of the K'elle'orde is trough matrianial ties one of the candidates for the next Emperor of the Celestial Empire and the two countries share a deep alliance.
The Sewalut River is the largest river along which the Tnz'qran civilization resides. It's the only major landmark which cuts the endless steppe. It is there where villages and settlements exist. The riversides are full of farms and trading huts and the river is very important for transporting Timber from the Goatman Mountains to Swe'yus.
A Small Area at the border of the K'elle and Hte'Orde which is mostly inhabited by people's related to the Natives of the Treantian Vassal tribes. The Swamps are relatively inaccessible as such little is known about the natives of the Swamp.
Population: 35% Suoxi Human, 30% Unclear/Other, 20% Tnz'qran Human, 5% Westerasi Human, 5% Vishga Human, 5% Imuuga Human (approximate percentages, much of the population is mixed race)
Clan House Hte (Vassal to the Han of the K'elle'orde)
Often referred to as the "Sewage Gutter of the Central Plains" as well as many even less flattering titles, this often overlooked region consists mostly of poor rice farms supporting a handful of river towns, and three sprawling slum cities. Those of relatively pure Tnz'qran origin rule over the others, though their proud martial traditions have withered a bit, and they are sometimes considered the dregs of their race. The merchant class dominates the cities and towns, only partially held in check by the ruling Tnz'qran. All sorts of goods (more than a few illegal at their destinations) travel up and down the River. The common folk possess little of value, and are generally ignored by the other classes as long as they don't try to steal anything.
The Tnz'qran people in this region tend to treat the other races with disdain, since both the merchants and the commoners are seen as lazy, decadent, corrupt, jaded, cynical, and overly fond of narcotics imported from the Ivory Kingdom.
The Han rules from a crumbling, yet massive fortress in the middle of the city of Engret, just north of Kanna's Knot. His kin and other vassals (all Tnz'qran) rule over the other two cities, and other communities of sufficient size. Small Tnz'qran armies are stationed at the cities of Engret, Vallum, and Tristabool to watch the borders with Swe'yus, Qwwl'Orde, and Qssl'Orde respectively.
Despite strong beginnings, the Hte'Orde has long been regarded as cursed. A series of failed attempts to conquer the Kanna Knot caused many Tnz'qran warriors to lose faith in their leadership and join other nations. The remains of the Hte'Orde eventually became sedentary, ruling over the thin inhabited stretch of the Sewalut River they conquered on the way to the Kanna Knot. Aside from the Tnz'qran, the people here mostly come from a largely forgotten minor branch of the southeast Suoxi migration, with a scattering of refugees and fugitives from all over Celestia, the Central Plains, and the Ram's Head.
Hte'Orde is a vassal of the Han of the K'elle'Orde. Not that the K'elle'Orde benefits much from ruling this stretch of river. Hte'Orde pays tithes and occasionally supplies soldiers, but it has little to offer in terms of men or wealth.
Qssl'Orde is a cause for concern for the Han of the Hte'Orde. At the time, few though the Treants would bother conquering such a dry, treeless area, but the motives of the Treants are poorly understood by others.
Qwwl'Orde is largely ignored by Hte'Orde, and vis versa, since neither nation is in position to try to bully the other.
Official relations with the Kingdom of Ivory, Swe'yus, and Nulamore are poor since the Hte'Orde views all three of these nations as rivals in their half-forgotten quest to conquer the Kanna Knot. However, the Hte'Orde will not act without permission from the K'elle'Orde. Despite this tension, merchants and smugglers from Hte'Orde do lively business with these regions.
The Celestial Empire views the Hte'Orde as impoverished mongrels beneath their notice, though indirect relations are maintained via the K'elle'Orde and the Dandio'Orde.
The desert region that makes up much of this nation is regarded as one of the most inhospitable places on the continent. Almost no one lives here except for a few fortified wells along the road from Nian Do to Qwwl'Orde.
Most of the population lives along the western bank of the Sewalut River, which forms the eastern edge of the province. The salty marshes of this region can support some rice farms, but otherwise this region offers little of value
The Hte'Orde is generally considered the poorest region of the Tnz'qran Lands. It is barely self sufficient in terms of food production, and most legitimate wealth comes from taxing and supporting the trade route between Swe'yus and the northern Tnz'qran Lands. Of course, less than legal goods also change hands often here, particularly in Engret.
The Qssl'Orda is a Treantian Subject. Not fully vassalised. The Qssl'Orda is probably the most powerful, yet least integrated of the Treantian subject states thus is often receive special treatment from the Tree-people their other subjects don't appreciate. The biggest example of that was the marriage of the current Qssl'Han to a lower Treantian Royal.
The Minor horselord Eta Han, recently declared independence with the help of the Ukzi Knan one of the Generals of the Great Khan, whom he married off his only daughter to. They seek to unite The Orde's once more and trough marital ties to create a joint grand Empire of Horseriders as well as retake Tzn'qran Land in the Northern half of Suoxi-Dan Dio.
The Qwwl'Orde is is the last remaining fully independent Orde. This independence came at a great cost . It's lands have been slowly chipped away at by it's neighbors and technological stagnation has plagued this Orde. The Qwwl'orde has developed pride in standing alone. They have adopted an isolationist attitude extending it to their culture where they emphasize individual greatness in combat, which means they are great mercenaries. Qwwl Mercenarries can be found in every corner of the world.
By Suoxi control I meant the ethnic group. Swe'yus was a minor ethnically Suoxi state the Orde once took over as it gained it's independance it became a mix of both cultures, but the citydwelling Suoxi became the biurocratic Caste while the Tnz'qran became somewhat of a Warrior caste.
Formerly known as the Swe'Orda the nation has adopted the name "yus" which used to be a derogatory name for the settled people's the Orde's encountered. Swe'yus is a land where most of the horselord tribes have settled and adopted a feudal and mercantile style of trade centered around the ancient city of Kua'lang which was a citystate conquered by the Greathan centuries ago.
They have devolped a creole language.
The Kanna Knot
At the Kanna know two major rivers meet making it a major trading port which is constantly fought over. In fact it's contested location is the only reason why the Kanna knot did not grow into a major metropolis yet.
A Nation that used to be part of the Jandi city states, but has been taken over by to Morloux. This has been "precived" as a direct act of agression by the Ecinevoi Empire.
Racial Make-Up: 97% Suoxi Human, 3% assorted others Capital: N/A Government: Varies depending on city, but usually some form of monarchy
Janedi culture is based first and foremost on loyalty. No matter how much you have been screwed over, you can never break a promise. While the Janedi are not inherently warlike, this loyalty makes them very popular mercenaries, leading to Janedi mercenaries being seen across much of the world.
The Janedi citystates follow the Celestial religion
The Janedi citystates universally follow their ruler, be it a monarch, or the uncommon elected ruler. Though there have been inter-Janedi wars, they have died down in recent history as the Janedi peninsula has become a playground for larger states.
The Janedi peninsula has been settled since the 3600s.
As the Honorable Ecinevean League and Morloux Republic have expanded into the Janedi peninsula, the Janedi have become puppets of the larger powers. Many of the southern citystates are bound to the service of the Honorable Ecinevian League from treaties signed centuries ago, and the northern citystates have come into the service of the Morloux Republic. As the two large states have entered into an economic rivalry, proxy wars have been staged between alliances of citystates, but as true conflict grows nearer, the Janedi people prepare for their homes to become a battleground between great empires, and for a war the likes of which have never been seen on the peninsula.
Most of the peninsula is a tropical rainforest, with large swathes being cleared out for the construction of cities. As a result, it seems like there are huge holes in the dense jungle.
Many citystates hire out mercenary companies across the world, though the more stable, yet less profitable, source of income for most states is sugar production.
The Supprian Alliance derives it's name from the Suprian River to it's North-West which they see as their natural border.
Originally the Alliance was an Alliance of a few dozen of Vassal Tribes to the Treant Empire. Not even 3 Centuries ago the Suprian Uprising has started where the 18 founding tribes have declared open rebellion against their Treant Overlords. Usually a futile endevour, but thanks to a large about of support from the Merchant Empire the 18 tribes managed to establish their independence.
This war of independence later lead to the 14 Wars of Wood and Steel which lead to the expansion of Treantian Vassal holdings and the loss of many continental holdings in possession of the Merchant Empire.
What started as 18 tribes in a dennse forrest slowly transformed into 11 Citystates and finally into the 4 Great Cities we know today. The 4 Grand Cities of the Suprian Alliance are known as: Hawafunekilluna, Kneleggujillaha, Hjektlonikakkana and Krelekjavvwokna. It is impressive that in spite of 14 wars their lands remain unchanged.
Hawafunekilluna (Light Blue)
Also sometimes refereed too as the City of Thorns is the most militaristic of all the citystates as it is the only one with an open border to the Treant Empire unaided by a river as a defense. This is likely why they have invested in great fortifications. A great (for local standards) complex of walls dots the border with star-shaped fortresses dotting the inside. The Nation consists of one grand city comprised of a grand fortress of 3 layers and 10 smaller 1-layer fortress towns. Farmers live both inside and outsidet he fortresses, but each fortress is to be self-sustaining when it comes to food which is made possible due to Treantian Druidic magic. Farming done outside the fortresses is done excursively for the same of exporting food. The name city of thorns comes from the Star-Fortresses looking like a bush with thorns.
It is known as the City of Pearls. Having both access to the Suprian River, the ocean and being in the middle of the alliance this citystate is known as a local center of trade. Therefor it's defenses are comprised of mercenaries, which is seen as foolish by the other 3 Citystates, in spite of them greatly profiting from learning of the tactics and equipment of the foreign forces. Beyond trade what also makes this citystate rich is their farming of Kseklthrien Clam. An odd form of freshwater clam which can grow up to 2 meters and produce pearls as big as 0.5 meter in diameter. The pearls are a bland, stiff and green, thus not very expensive or desired, but are popular as a material to lign insides of manssions with for example.
Hjektlonikakkana (Dark Blue)
Is also known as the City of Craftsmen. In the 4th War of Wood and Steel the Hjektlonikakkanan Army raided a Treantian Camp of Prisoners of War freeing Tens f Thousands of Captive Dwarves. Thinking them to be humans who have grown short due to malnurishment they took them in as kin only to later find out what a Dwarf is. Thus the Dwarven Klan of Krutz has chosen to settle down in the City to repay an eternal debt of gratitude. The City is now famous from the great weapons it produces which are a mix of Dwarven Craftsmanship and Treant Magic.
Also known as the City of Demagogues is known as the political center of the Suprian Alliance. Being the first City founded it is also the one surrounded by most prestige thus is the one negotiating on behalf of the alliance with foreign powers like the Merchant Empire. A more insidious role of the Citystate is espionage. Many of the Wars of Steel and Wood would have ended, much worse for the Alliance if not for secret spies placed among Vassal tribes. The work of the Krelekjavvwoknans has lead many more minor tribes loyal to the Treant Empire to betray them and to join the Suprian alliance instead. To keep their fierce reputation going it is custom for all 1st born boys aged 7 to be given to the Monasteries where they are trained from birth to be Warrior Philosophers. The Krelekjavvwokna Monasteries carry so much renown in the world for producing some of the best Diplomats and Generals in the world that rulers of other nations have requested the forming of said Monasteries in their land. Currently there are 20 in the Citystate itself, 3 in the Merchant Republic, and 1 in Swe'yus.
25% humans, 50% humans with treant ancestry, 25% treants (both Ents and dryads) Capital: Kuhikugu Government: Gerontocracy
The Empire’s territory and the world’s greatest jungle are one and the same. The Treants make sure it is so. And as wild as it seems, it is wholly designed for sentient plants. The heat and humidity is oppressive. The insects are as big as birds and the birds are big enough to carry off a child. The soil is a labyrinth of fallen branches, webs of vines so thick that they can make a whole tree disappear. Below the layer of rotten leaves there isn’t much soil, for it always seems as if the space between two roots is taken by a third one. The green canopy hides the sun and the moon, but the veins of luminescent brown fungus and orange lichens within the trunks’ grooves ensure that it’s never dark. Your nose will be assaulted by honey, garlic, rotten wood, pollen and a thousands other fragrances: all fresh, damp, sweet and nauseous at the same time. Your ears might never calm down due to all the shrieks, mating calls, rustling leaves, creaks that happen all day, every day. For those that do not submit to the Treant’s authority, it is a green hell: allies are marked by the pheromones that one emits due to eating certain fruits throughout his or her life. For the enemies, there are a thousand poisons, diseases, parasites and predators.
And the Treants plot millennia-long strategies so that, one day, all Gloria-Etalia becomes like this.
The treants have been around for a long, long time. They had no government until a high ranking explorer from the Celestial Empire went to far into their terrority and got captured. He told the treants about nations, writing, and the outside world. When pressed, he told them about the Empire's govermental system, and they deciced to create their own by copying them. Following the outline of the empire they started to expand their terrority, slowly. They also started to keep time using a system the explorer told them about. The first recorded date of their empire was 1426, and was drawn in the dirt. The treants remembered this, and the words can still be found.
Treant Vassal Nations
75% humans, 20% humans with treant ancestry, 5% treants (both Ents and dryads) No capital (at least yet, or perhaps multiple ones) Tribal Confederacy
The Vassals of the Treant Empire are all the non-Treants which were slowly pushed out of the most fertile lands. Most of them are tribal humans. Those with noticeable Ent or Dryad descendance are commonly elected as chieftains and shamans. The hundreds of tribes have their own customs, languages and religions, although Treant worship is present in most of them.
The trade language is nhagatupira, a sign language which uses movements of the whole body. For those which don’t know it, a fast speaker may seem like a very bad dancer. Besides commerce, nhagatupira is used to perform ceremonies, tell stories and make speeches.
The Treant Vassal tribes act as buffers among the Treants and neighbors. During peaceful times, they trade lumber, healing crystals made out of Treant amber, silver, messenger-parrots, capybara jerky and ceramics for metal tools and weapons, educated slaves and wine.
Next, we shall detail some of the more distinct tribes:
Among the various tribes that form the vassal nations, it is common practice to regard the Treants with religious idolization, often treating the massive treefolk as living manifestations of some natural divinity. Over time and due to the tribes' unification, a semi-organized form of this worship has even emerged, with a focal point being the ever-constant cycle of life, death, and rebirth that nature endures.
Enter the Chamanza, known as "Ash-Walkers" in the native tongue.
Physically, they're similar to the rest of the vassal tribes. A tad small compared to the average man, dark-skinned, and ferociously quick. Where they differ is in their eyes, which contain a wild, blazing intensity that threatens to consume all in sight. This is because their magic often does.
The Chamanza focus intensely on the "rebirth" aspect of the cycle of life, and accordingly, have turned to a near-fetishistic worship of the concept of fire and ash. Their magicians wield the most taboo of magics in the Treant Empire, burning the landscape and their enemies to a charred crisp, their warriors covering themselves in the ashes of the fallen.
To them, they are the spark that sets flame to the dead undergrowth of the forest, so as to make room for new life to grow and spread. To most others, they are a band of pyromaniacs.
Why, then, are they allowed to stay in the empire, albeit under a short leash? For a few main reasons: 1. While taken to an extreme degree, they're not entirely wrong in their sentiment. At times, a cleansing is needed, lest rot and decay choke the life from a once-pure grove. 2. They serve as excellent, if sparingly and carefully used, auxiliaries for the Treant army. Few would expect the treefolk to bring such firepower (pun semi-intended) to the fields of battle, and it makes the Chamanza all the more effective as a result. 3. They serve as brutal enforcers for any politicking that takes place. The destruction that can be wrought with only a handful of pyromancers in the lands of the eternal forest is a capable threat, enough to keep any rebellious Treant or Tribefolk in line. 4. Lastly, they make effective fire fighters. As it turns out, having someone skilled in manipulating fire is helpful in redirecting any errant flame from destroying anything too precious. Equally as useful during warfare too, with fire being a common tactic against the Treants and all.
A large and rich tribe, with tens of thousands of members. They gather gold dust from a river which passes through their territory, exchanging it for metal tools and scythe-like blades. This makes them superior warriors and better farmers, explaining their numbers.
They live together in great halls. For a person or family to live in a house separated from the others is seen as suspicious, at the very least. These halls are surrounded by unique defenses: groves of trees in whose hollows live a type of poisonous wasp. To cross such woods, without knowing the right path, is madness.
The rite of passage is the same for men and women: trepanation. They believe that the soul resides in the head, and opening a hole in the skull creates a way for it to escape when death occurs. Their fighters, emboldened with the belief that their souls won’t be taken by the enemy, gather in warbands in which the members are sworn to help and guard each other. Then these same bands go forth to acquire that which the Guaxós prize more than anything: heads. They take the heads of their enemies, shrunk them and use them as amulets which increase their strength and give them the power to resist great wounds.
The Iacaré tribe is formed by dozens of nomad clans which travel all over the Empire’s rivers and coasts on their vessels. The common boat is the Bumbaré, a big canoe which can house one family, a fire at the center, a sail and can be covered by a leather canvas. Bumbaré flotillas group together for safety, fishing, trading, whale hunting and gathering pearls. Each clan has a totem, usually an aquatic animal like a frog, shark, crocodile and such.
Among the Iacarés, being a pirate is an honorable profession. The Treants forbid them from attacking other Vassal tribes, but allow them to prey upon any foreign vessels which come too close to the Empire and don’t have a permit to do so. A pirate crew is usually made of several families which build or buy a bigger ship. They elect their captain and follow him during combat. But in every other matter, like deciding who to attack, follow the will of the majority.
Each clan buries their dead on a specific Sambaqui. These are earthen mounds filled with layers upon layers of bones. Some Sambaquis can be mistaken for hills. Many precious offerings to the ancestors are also buried on them, some taken as booty from far lands. Every ten years, the Iacarés gather around the Sambaquis and perform competitions to select guardians.
The Íbaros are a tribe marked by a curse, although they don’t know who cursed them or why. Due to this, they are suspicious and even aggressive towards all foreigners. They suffer intense pain when under the sunlight. As they live in deep jungles whose canopy blocks much of it, the curse isn’t as bad as it seems. When they need to go elsewhere, they dress in mud, leaves, feathers and great hats.
Despite the curse, the Íbaros remain lovers of freedom, indomitable and even arrogant. They organize expeditions to plunder other lands, specially targeting the Merchant Empire which they suspect to be the ones which cursed them. They don’t even value the precious metals taken from the merchants, storing them in certain places of the jungle.
An ìbaro can be recognized by the zig-zag tattoos all over the body, a sign that he or she passed through the rite of adulthood, which consists of spending at least a day under the sunlight.
Each village consists of ten to twenty families. Polygamy is common. When they go hunting or to war, they elect a commander. He must lead by example, and if the hunt or fighting ends badly, must be exiled. They’re seminomad, changing places every three years. Their region is full of rivers, making them skilled in the building of wooden bridges.
The Íbaros divide themselves into three groups:
The shamans of this group know how to make potions through internal alchemy. They swallow, smell and chew certain plants, then uses his body as a laboratory. Their sweat then produces the desired substance. They know how to create healing unguents, love perfumes, poisons and many others.
They practice an art of body domain, through fasting, meditation and a drink made out of a vine which makes them enter the spiritual realm. As a result, they can sleep less, survive with little food and have greater resistance to pain. Some aguushus can even live under the sunlight, but this leads the other groups to believe that aguushus don’t suffer the curse, and might be the ones that created it in the first place.
The shamans of this group know how to produce tsentak, a substance used in darts, arrow tips and javelins. It poisons their enemies, but heals their allies. But to achieve this effect, they divide all people in allies and enemies, and to establish the intents of newcomers is paramount.
Not all amazon tribes migrated after the Treants took over the region. A few remained. The better known local tribe are the Icamiabas. They are led by a dryad queen called Conhõri and have dozens of fortified settlements spread out through the borders with the Necroswampers, acting as frontier guards. Each settlement is actually a stone keep directly linked to the smaller houses (like pic related). They communicate between each other through “manhuarés”, drums made out of two hollowed tree trunks which can be heard 10 miles away. Their temples, called Caranaís, are silver-plated pyramids dedicated to the moon or the Treants.
Contrary to other amazons, the Icamiabas allow men to live among them and even wage war, but they must also accept a lower social status: men herd common capybaras and fight as skirmishers, while the women are full-time warriors, priests and officers. Men which wish to mate with an amazon must beat them at a “jungle marathon”, a three-day race among the jungle which includes puzzle-solving, traps and hunting.
Icamiabas have a wide range of skin colors and body shapes, due to freely accepting warrior women from all over the continent into their ranks. Both men and women wear little more than clay thongs. To better deal with the heat and insects, they use intricate body paint which also denotes their social status, fighting club membership and other details. Deciphering one’s paint is the basis of Icamiaba etiquette. All adult women must dedicate themselves to training and warfare. Their rite of passage has them hunting Necroswampers, either coming back with one’s head or not at all. Those that succeed sharpen their teeth, the signal of a true warrior. Their common weapons are bows, two-handed clubs, bolas and a type of single-stone bolas which can both be thrown and used in melee.
This tribe has an exclusive duty: they are the shapers, entrusted by the Treants to make living tools and other items out of wood, sap and all the products of the jungle. This power is only possible due to deep ties with the Treants themselves. All families of the tribe have direct ancestry to one Treant or another. They are seen as witches by the other Vassal tribes, both respected and feared. They create bioluminescent candles, razorgrass blades, amber ceramics, petal plates, greentowers, bark pickaxes and spades. Vegegós were the ones to craft the underground rootways which the Treant Vassals may use to travel through the Empire, as well as the podships that form the imperial Treant fleet.
Their most prized and unique power is to cover themselves with vines, roots and wood in a sort of living armor. Some Vegegós spend so much time in this state that they fuse with their armor, becoming half-man, half-plant. The latter can be very hard to distinguish from Treants.
Unknown to the Vegegós themselves is that the Treants see them as a successful experiment of their objective of slowly making all the other races closer to plants, both mind and body. This is how they plan to, one day, remake all of Gloria-Etalia in their image.
Zangós aren’t part of any particular tribe. Only the Treants know their origin. What all know is that they are a secret society of people possessed by night spirits which can smell thieves, witches and murderers. They wander from tribe to tribe, acting as a supernatural police force. The rumor of a coming zangó is often enough to make people confess. Thus they provide the law and order the Treant Empire needs. All zangós wear a mask, which is said to house the spirit, and a leather cape which hides their whole body.
Once the zangó reaches a village or wandering tribe, he will fall into a trance. This might take hours or days, and the natives must protect him or the Treants will punish them. After the zangó starts moving again, he will dance towards the evildoers, singing in an unknown language. Then it falls for the tribe to arrest, force a confession, judge and then apply the sentence.
Races: 60% Human, 30% Lizardfolk, 10% Assorted Others Government: Dictatorship, with the successor being chosen by the current dictator Capital: Ruk
While the war is raging between the vampires and necroswampers, entire villages are destroyed by the battling forces. From the rubble, a charismatic lizardfolk named Ssaal rises up, gathering refugees from destroyed villages and leading them North. They eventually stop at the lake in the Northern Drache Swamps, Lake Srrezi, and they form a settlement named Ruk. It is composed primarily of humans, with humans being about 60% of the population, but lizardfolk make up another 30% and act as the main element of the militia and so are a dominant minority. The remaining 10% come from a hodgepodge of races. The city is currently held together mainly by the charisma of Ssaal, though there is tension between lizardfolk and humans. The humans believe that they should hold more power because they make up a majority, and the lizardfolk believe that they deserve more power because they keep the city safe. The city is mostly a dictatorship, but a benevolent one. Ruk isn't known by most of the world due to it being so deep in the swamp and so young, but it has begun trying to send diplomatic envoys to Seem.
The Zephyr Mountains were the original home of Hobgoblins, famed as Roc Riders. Caught up in the original expansion of Qi-Fu, their discipline was quickly seen as a tool for conquest, and embodied as a slave soldier. As a slave soldier, they were inherently considered of lower value than the Qi-Fu, and often thrown into desperate assaults or last stands. as the hobgoblins began to grow wise with these tactics, rebellion and desertion began to ferment - their skill at arms and nature as veterans of a dozen combatants along with their determination meant that success was often as common as failure, and as a result, the Qi-Fu, realising the risk with resurgent uruzataar khans decided to shower the slave legions with potent gifts and even political power. the hobgoblins are currently deciding their own internal divide - those who stay see all deserters as traitors to the people who giving them a life of luxury, while those who desert have a choice - join the khans, or flee further. the "Thoughtcrafters Commune" is a hidden plateau in the Zephyr Mountains - shielded from basic attempts at scrying, the routes to the entrances guarded by both disguise, mind-manipulation, natural dangers and more conventional military watchtowers as a final line of defense. It is spoken about in terms of veneration among the deserter slaves, being seen as a perfect place where they can be free. The leadership of the commune is a maternal druidic/shamanistic circle, who are said to be literally able to craft their dreams into physical objects, so that none can want, and none can need. Few hobgoblins speak of this to the outsiders, as this was originally formed from the survivors of the original qi-fu expansion but it's thought that some among the qi-fu and khanate may have told of tales of this perfect land to their superiors in order to gain additional favour, and so preparations for war are being made… The signature battle abilities of the thought crafters are riding beasts, carrying hobgoblins into battle in howdah and saddle, and calling upon the natural magics of the zephyr mountains to empower their huge storms, with winds capable of knocking a Roc out of the sky. Lightning is rarely used as it is seen as inefficient for the amount of effort that needs to be put in summoning it.
Grand Duchy of Komjátina
The Rise of the Noble Vampires
The Dusken War
This was the agreement that brought the dusken war to and end. To end the brutal and bloody conflict that had ravaged the nation for over a generation the mortal races bent the knee once again to the vampire nobles. The vampire houses would never again kill Komjátinan subjects, and would instead convert a portion of taxes owed to be not paid in food or coin, but in blood to feed. The Houses would also hunt any creature that threatened their subjects, be it the ever more common threat of werewolves, rogue vampires, forgien threats, or other creatures. They also swore to the other houses that the days of open infighting were over, and that they would instead all rule equally on a council. This day is called Verpacti, and is celebrated by both mortals and vampires.
Because of the council’s nationwide population surveys, the racial mix of Komjátina is well documented. It is reported to be around 80% human, 10% drow, 5% Hobgoblin, and 5% Other. Komjátina is also home to a sizable amount of unholy monstrosities. Werewolves, ghouls, vampires, and many more creatures of the night can be found in Komjátina. Because there is no sunlight, most of the races that live here, including humans, have developed a limited range night vision. They can see a lot better in the dark, at the drawback of not being able to see well at all in the sunlight.
Because of the monstrous threats that are commonplace in Komjátina, the populace is extremely well armed and knowledgeable. Every man, woman, and child carries a silver weapon on them, and every house is reinforced and can be easily barricaded. By dealing with monstrous threats all of their lives they know exactly how to kill them.
When a mortal dies, they are buried in what is called a morugrădină (moru-grə-dinə). A small and fortified field where the body is then used to grow a special type saprophytic plant called gurau. This is then distilled into a tasty and slightly hallucinogenic beer that is drunk on days of celebration and tragedy.
Komjátina has many days of celebration that are practiced by both mortals and vampires. The first day of summer is called Luminăzi (lu-minəzi), and is practiced by catching fireflies during the day and releasing them into a giant globe made of cloth. Everybody then brings out the Gurau and enjoys the light show. The next big celebration is three months and 9 days after the summer solstice and is called Verpacti. Verpacti is the day Komjátinan’s Pact was agreed upon, and it is celebrated by every able bodied mortal and vampire going out into the woods and hunting monsters. Suspected weres are rounded up and are tested with silver, and if any are found they are killed, brought to the village square and are hung. Several watchguards are then posted who then ambush any carrion eaters that come for their meal. This has evolved into a competition between the vampires and the mortal races, and they compete to see who can find and kill the most weres. The last notable festival is hosted two months and 7 days after the winter solstice and is called Balul Mascat. It is hosted by the local baron and baroness, who disguise themselves as a mortal as best they can and invite every subject under their rule to enjoy an evening at their manor. They then mingle, and everybody tries to guess who the vampire is. Someone can accuse somebody of being the vampire, but if they are wrong they are pelted with rocks and are chased out of the manor. If they are right however they recieve a tidy sum of wealth and get to chase the vampire out into the woods and everybody gets to spend the night in the manor. At midnight, the vampire reveals themselves and can choose one mortal to enjoy themselves with. They cannot kill them, but the vampire can ask them the next day if they want to become their thrall. This only happens when the vampire is sure that they enjoy the persons company to the point of having them stick around for literally forever.
Because vampires have a natural affinity with wolves, houses breed them for sport and entertainment. Instead of turning wolves into dogs however they try to get them bigger and more nastier. It is a status symbol, as having a dire wolf would mean you were rich and powerful enough to feed your dog a lot of meat in a land with not a lot of excess game, and that your house has been around long enough to produce such a fine creature.
Komjátina is a Dictatorial Republic run by a council of vampire counts and countesses. The council is jointly run by Duke Flaviu Komjátina and Duchess Anișoara Komjátina. In reality they are the queen and king and have been for hundreds of years but have not abdicated their titles due to an old law stating that the nation would be run by a council with no king or queen. Sessions are most of the time held in the nation’s capital Koborbirku. However sessions are held in other count’s castles and manors to keep everyone busy. They have full power over the council, and use it to keep a tight leash over the other members. The house of Komjátina keeps the other members busy scheming amongst themselves and showing off to their fellow Counts. Due to the Komjátina’s strict rule these conflicts never result in bloodshed or civil wars, and the Counts only moderately tax their subjects to show off, instead of bleeding them dry. Duke and Duchess Komjátina’s main goal as head of the council is to maintain the status quo and to keep busy for eternity.
The nation is run by several noble vampiric houses. Each house has their own rich lineage and history, but none is as old or noble as the house of Komjátina.
The House of Komjátina
Due to their extremely long lived life, Duke Flaviu Komjátina and Duchess Anișoara Komjátina find mortals to be more a source of entertainment and less of food. Due to this and the rational fear of a bloody revolt, they see more value in keeping the human population alive then dead, and impose this will on the council.
Due to the workings of a powerful and ancient spell, the Grand Duchy has been plunged into eternal darkness. The sun cannot ever shine on the land, and the moon and stars are the only source of natural light. The sky is normally the same light level as dusk, but can variate depending on the moon and the weather. Before the spell the nation was commonly overcast and cloudy, and traces of this can still be seen along the edges of the border. The day and night cycles are still followed by both mortals and vampires, with everyone getting up in the day and sleeping at night. This is because the moon and the sky is a little brighter in the daytime.
Because there is no sun, the ecosystem is rather unique. Plants that get nutrients to grow in three ways. The first is relying on nutrients in the soil. The second is the production of energy from the moon’s rays. The third way is growing on decomposing animal matter (aka. Saprophytic plants). Instead of leaves, plants bloom flowers to soak up the moon’s rays. They can be any color, but are mostly black or white. These flowers follow the lunar cycle. Going into a micro hibernation when the moon is empty and blooming when the moon is full. Regular trees can also grow, but use flowers to gather energy instead of leaves.
The full moon becomes very important in Komjátina. The days leading up to it are used for foraging and harvesting, as edible plants can be seen with their flowers in bloom and determined to be ready to harvest or not. The full moon itself brings out werewolves and other monsters, and the death of local fauna stemming from that would allow for a lot of fresh carcasses for saprophytic plants to use to grow. The days after the full moon would be used to plant new crops. In the spring and summer, humans would harvest fruit and plants and store up for autumn and winter, where stores would be tapped into and game would be hunted as the soil replenishes its nutrients. The local wildlife mostly consists of small burrowing animals because there is no grass for grazing animals and not enough food for big animals. There would be small birds that eat fruit and bugs, and fish that would eat moon plankton. Carrion eaters as well would also be present. Most of the carnivores are tiny, like foxes, small wolves, racoons, and other tiny creatures. These creatures are small because there is not a lot of big creatures to hunt.
The cannibal cults first started eating people as a reaction to the growing power of the necromancers, after all an eaten body cannot be raised. They eat the undead to stop them from being re-raised and reused by the necroswampers even when defeated. They also eat the undead for nourishment, as they live where almost nothing can grow.
Their capitol is Dawns Gate, and is built inside a crater of a meteor that crashed there around the age of dawn. The Cannibal Cultists worship the rock as a part of Eiph's flesh that was much closer to his soul when it was still in the ground.
The Cannibal Cultists believe that everything used to be one god, named Eiph. There used to be no sun, or stars, or any life except for Eiph. Eiph was the world, and the world was his skin. There was nothing but his skin on the land, which was the rock. Everything that is in the land and the sky now was deep inside Eiph. Epih, after pondering his existence for countless ages, Eiph realised that his purporse in life was to kill himself. To do this, he first cut his skin with his many hands. From those cuts his blue blood came forth, and it flowed and becamse the ocean. While bleedin out, Eiph relaised that he would engulf his skin in blood if he did not do something. So he took his many hands and from his back gourged out a great chunk of his flesh. He pushed his flesh up into the sky, so that his blood would not engulf it. This became the land. The rivers are his blood that leaked out through his flesh, and the mountians are his fingers that elevated the land. After bleeding until all of his blood ran out of his body, he realised that he could not die until his soul was removed from its resting place, the khret. Through the flesh that he tore away from his body, he dug deeper into the center of his self, and all of the flesh from his body that he removed to reach his soul he flung from his being, and it became the moon. After clearing a path, Eiph reached inside to the deepest part of himself, and brought out his soul. In a final effort to die he grabbed his soul with his many hands and flung it from his body. His soul was flung far from his body, and became the sun. At long last Eiph did die.
However, when he flung his soul away, he pireced it with his many hands. Instead of lying dormant in the sky, the sun started to bleed. Fragments of Eiph soul flew away, and some went off into space to create stars. Others touched the earth that Eiph made. The ground, knowing the pieces of soul to belong to itself, tried to readsorb it. But it was not the complete soul of Eiph, and so the land could not fully intergrate it into itself. However the fragment of Eiph's soul did find a home in the dirt. It nestled into the ground, and from it came the first humans. These humans, who had no way to sustain themselves, quickly died, and the fragment of Eiph's soul that they housed borrowed deeper into the earth, and gave life to the first animals and plants. They have only the smallest fragment of Eiph's soul however, and because of that cannot live or think like a human or other mortal.
Soon enough however more fragments of his soul nestled into the earth, and from it sprouted not only humans, but the other races as well. Thus, the world as we know it was created.
The Cultists believe that the a mortal body is a Khret for Eiph's soul. By living, a person slowly burns out the soul fragment until they die. This process is stalled by eating food, which containts the tinyist bit of Eiph's soul. However, this only forstalls a persons inevitable death. Each body has a fragment of Eiph's soul, and by eating a body, you also consume the soul fragment that they carry.
When alive, the human inprints themself upon the soul fragment, and if they are eaten and the soul is transferred, bits and pieces of the dead mortals survive in the new body. They are no longer alive, but the eater can remember, very faintly, their life. The Cultists believe that the soul rests on in the body of those who ate them, and so it has become pratice to eat family members as a way of rememberance and connection. When a person who has eaten many people die however, only their soul and a little extra gets transferred when the body is eaten. The remaining soul fragments decompose with the body into the earth.
By eating a person you consume their soul fragment, and by doing so extend your own life. The heads of the cult do this to extend their own life far past normal human standards. These cult leaders are usually elders who get to eat the majority of a family member when they die. Due to their age and the knowledge of many lives that they carry, these elders are viewed as wise men and women who help lead the cult.
When one has many souls inside of them, they start to exibit traits of Eiph's power. This develops into magical abilities, from casting to superhuman powers.
If someone dies and is not eaten, the soul decomposes with the body and dissapates into the earth.
Because the process of gaining Eiph's blessed power usally involves killing good and holy mortals of his faith, there has been development keeping the soul whole when consumed. By eating the body whole while it is alive, the two bodies merge into one. The soul however stays intact, and the two people now have the power of someone that has eaten two whole soul fragments. This process is diffucult, as the person must be eaten whole and alive until they are fully broken down and consumed by the eater, which can take several days. Magic to transfrom the bodies help, but if something goes wrong it can prove to be fatal to both the consumer and the consume. This process is called god eating among the cultists. If the god eating goes well, then two whole minds inhabit one body with the power of two full soul fragments. This does also cause mental and physical issues. The most common side effect is that extra limbs develop and the person starts to talk and interact with themselves, but other things can happen as well. This process can be repeated with more bodies, but the side effects of god eating start to become bigger and bigger until you are left with a blob of limbs and heads, with many voices calling out with no rhyme or reason. This is being worked on and fine tuned.
The cultist believe that the undead have no soul. Zombies, ghasts, skeletons, and other such creatues have been simply reanimated using foul demon magic. They are eaten as a food source and to make sure they cannot be raised again. Creatues like vampires are unholy beings, which consume the Eiph's soul fragments through blood because they have no soul themselves. This is seen as a terrible fate to the cultists, who would rather have their soul be shared among their loved one then feasted on by a demonic beast.
People who commit terrible crimes are not eaten, and are usally fed to pigs or other lifestock to make the animals soul richer, but not carry the inprint of the person when the animal is killed and eaten.
Country name: Necroswampers
Population: 90% Undead 10% Alive
Capital : Lacking
Goverment: Anarchy of Lich Warlords
It does not take too much thinking to realize that lands Occupied by Necroswampers have no culture of their own. Non-cultists were killed off and enslaved by magic, or forced to escape. Only centers of “culture” are Lich Lords castles and mockeries of towns. There Lich Lords experiment with their magic, create philosophical treaties, and sometimes even invite not undead scholars or artists.
Lich Lords are worshipped by cultists like gods, but they themselves over time, as they lose connection with reality start beliving this charade. On case by case basis they sometimes keep their religion from time being alive, or just loose all religious convictions all together. There is one unifying, almost religious like idea connecting all Lich Lords -they all follow three rules: 1 Rule of Hospitality, if another sentient being is given access to your lands by you, you are responsible for their safety. 2 Rule of Immortality, if another Lich Lords existence is endangered, you can’t sit back and allow it. 3 Rule of Greatness, if one of Lich Lords manages to convince another about their superiority, they have to follow them until their fall. Those rules in fact are failsafe against betrayal created by ancient necromancers, and written into ritual of lich transformation. Lich is physically unable to break them, if he used this original ritual to transform, but no one know about this fact, so no one tried to create new ritual.
Lands of Necroswampers are considered dangerous not just because undead roam the swamps and ruins. Its land destroyed by warfare between Lich Lords – warlords occupying Necroswampers lands like their personal fiefdoms, even though they have no king to offer their loyalties to. Each of them is prideful, vengeful, and full of betrayal. Each Lich is content keeping to his land, with exception of raids into lands of the living, for more experiment fodder. Periodically Necroswampers are unified by Lich (King ™) Necrolord who tries to use unified power of Necroswampers to do his bidding. Lack of Necrolord for long times leads to decreasing of power of Necroswampers, and country right now is middle of such period of renewed anarchy.
Necroswampers were created in third era, by men influenced by rock lying in the valley of what are now cannibal cults. They were just small tribe, but as they heard rock speak, they gained power over the dead. Rending bone from flesh, souls from bones, creating monsters from it all. They quickly mastered power over death, but lost control over their lives. Tribe feel into war, and only 16 men stood at the end. Some of them left in peace, one to the west, two to the north, one into treant empire, and two into rams head. 10 remaining Necromancers were witness to vanishing of meteorite they worshipped, and realized that they have so much more to learn, because meteorite hid many secrets now it wont be able to tell. They all created ritual. It was horrific, most monstrous thing they created, but it worked. They stopped to age, stopped to breath and crave. All that remained was steel will, and crystal clear intellect. They ruled together, and to make sure crimes of the past won’t repeat, they made lich transformation ritual in a way that made it impossible for them to endanger each other. But as spell grew weaker with centuries, they started to forget, became separated, and one after another died in demented state, only to be replaced by cultists, necromancers from far away, and many more kinds of people. Each joined cycle of first great activity, of growing in power and subjugating each other, and then failures, to end in land of mental prison.
War with anyone who is not lich lord, and can be reached since atleast 3000 years, but unless Lich Lords are united under Necrolord, most of their power goes into keeping their armies "alive".
Land of Necroswampers is most dangerous and wild region of Drache Marshes. Air rich in posionus gases makes it impossible for normal flora or fauna to exist. Because of this only foul necromanced creatures roam the land.
Economy Necroswampers don’t trade, they don’t plow the land and they don’t mine the earth. Cultists gain what they wan’t from raids, Lich Lords know alchemical ways of creating gold, and use it each in their own ways.
Only one lich remains from the old tribe, called the Eldest, and while respected by his peers, he can’t be called Lord even by his cultists, who worship him nonetheless, beliving it will save them from death of old age. It wont.
The Marshes of Drache
The east wetlands consist of a hodgepodge of races, cultures, and ethnicities; from necroswampers and goblins to ogres and various beastfolk. It's often seen as a savage mess by outsiders. There is no official nation in the marshes, but there are small or barbaric groups that do call this place home.
It is composed primarily of humans, with humans being about 60% of the population, but lizardfolk make up another 30% and act as the main element of the militia and so are a dominant minority. The remaining 10% come from a hodgepodge of races. The city is currently held together mainly by the charisma of Ssaal, though there is tension between lizardfolk and humans. The humans believe that they should hold more power because they make up a majority, and the lizardfolk believe that they deserve more power because they keep the city safe. The city is mostly a dictatorship, but a benevolent one. Ruk isn't known by most of the world due to it being so deep in the swamp and so young, but it has begun trying to send diplomatic envoys to Seem.
I'm imagining that Ssaal will name his successor, but no matter who he names, there is likely going to be a civil war to determine the social order. the humans and lizardfolk will fight it out without Ssaal to hold them together, and whichever side wins will dominate the city and choose the next ruler. Everyone knows that this is almost a definite fact, though Ssaal is trying his hardest to prevent it from happening when he dies.
The marshes are a deadly place, from the canibal cults to savage beastmen. People live constantly in fear, and villages can get whiped out in a second if they are unlucky. From this, a charismatic lizardfolk named Ssaal rised up. He gathered people that needed a new home and lead them North. They eventually stoped at the lake in the Northern Drache Swamps, Lake Srrezi, and there they formed a settlement named Ruk.
The Araknea are native to the Marshes. Living in differnet tribes, with their homes built as giant spider webs in the trees. Natives of the marshes know to steer clear of a Araknea settlement, as it would most likely mean that they would get caught and eaten.
Seem is an interesting place. A carved out riverbed out of the Drache Marches which are backed in eternal Darkness. Laying at their very edge Seem experiences a "sunny season" it lasts about 3-4 weeks. The existence of that sunny season is what marks the border of seem. Beyond that line the sun never shines and Vampires roam.
Thus is would seem that Seem should be a relatively peaceful human settlement or even trade power...
This is in fact where the name of foreigners for this place comes. Things here only ever Seem normal. The entirety of Seem is covered in huts and villages. It is not a super-city. Rather is is a super-village. Small homes with gardens big enough to just feed the family inside everywhere. There is no king or lord. There is no walls. There is no merchants, manufactorums, blacksmiths or cooks. Instead empty work stations are littered throughout it with tools no one seems to ever steel. All who need something go there and make it. Children are treated no different than adults from as young as 2 working in jobs better suited to those of small stature.
And of all things that seam, it always seams like they all are one. It feels like they hide it, but it is not rare for a Mai-Xi trader to visit the place and while talking to someone else a merchant starts a sentence, but a random passerby finishes it. And any rumor spreads instantly. Talk to one Seemian and all know you.
Seem also seams weak. No army no defenses no weapons. The Kingdom of Belara and it's colonial ambitions in Seem were quickly quashed because they trusted for things to be how they seam.
Honorable Ecinevian League
Nation Name: Honourable Ecinevian League
Racial make up: 75% westrasi humans, 25% others
The states which compose the league are bound by treaties of mutual defense and trading, but they would never have been established in the first place without the common grounds due to the original típu tribes. These peoples already showed an aversion towards bloodshed, a skill for sailing and favoring the accumulation of wealth that could then be used to settle disputes.
These traits remain. The league faces challenges and settles things by using money. Although other nations might define their aristocracy by superior breeding, divine rights or physical power, here is a matter of how much wealth one has. The ruling families might change from one generation to the next, as people born wealthy rarely are that competent in keeping it.
Wealth is the means to all ends. It ensures one has slaves to grow the food, mercenaries to fight the wars and the dowry needed for marriages.
However, there is one field where wealth isn't paramount: the sea. Even if the captain won a bid for his position, the crew will value him for his actual skill at keeping law and order aboard the ship, his knowledge of the monsoons, his experience facing storms. The league might hire the generals that command its armies, but the role of admiral is only given, and never sold or bought, to the best naval commander available, no matter how poor he might be.
As a whole, the league worships the twin gods Gloria and Etalia. The first is worshiped as the ruler of the skies, giver of rain and lord of the sun. The second is reverenced as the queen of the oceans, provider of fire eels and lady of winds. They are seen as the ideal couple, each one complementing the other. Not out of love, but because both benefit. Each and every league settlement, even if far from the waters, has one lighthouse-temple which serves both deities.
Some regions adopt other minor gods, if only to appease the natives.
The Honorable Ecinevian League is a federation of two hundred cities, petty nations and even some chiefdoms grouped together through treaties of mutual aid during wars and disasters as well as a complex web of trading monopolies. Each member sens one ambassador-senator to the Great Council in Ecinev, where they must elect one of their own as the Sereníssimo, the title for the ruler of the whole league, the Grand-Admiral, responsible for its warships, and the First-Citizen, responsible for law and order. That Alexander Silveira currently has all three positions is a testament for his fortune and skill. That he survived two dozen assassination attempts means that his peers fear such accumulation of power.
The details differ according to whoever is telling it and whoever is paying the historyteller, but most agree that the members of the league came to be after the legendary overthrown of the Treants in the Fourth Era. While there are mentions of glorious battles and rebellions, the truth is closer to a gradual diaspora of coastal tribes creating canoe fleets to cross the sea and conquer the aboriginal clans of Vishga-Immunga and elsewhere. It was during this time that the tribes discovered how to process the oil of fire eels into the fuel used in flame-projectors against the Treants and, later, against enemy ships.
The Fifth Era is marked by the transition of tribes into city-states, which constantly sought to establish dominance over each other by any means available. There was little open conflict inland, but many naval battles, underhanded sabotage, bribery and assassination attempts.
The Honorable Ecivenian League came to be in the midst of the Sixth Era, as Ecinev managed to become the "shark in the reef" by assassinating, buying or bullying its opposers. Many of the other cities, tired of conflict, came to accept its suzerainty. The rest had no option but to follow suit.
The members of the league are predictable. They can expected to make a profit in whatever it is they do, and they believe the profits justify the means. As they don't expect their own neighbors to be trustworthy, they make and enforce very elaborate contracts which are followed to the letter. They also don't see anything wrong with this, and will be the first to provide such advice. The fact that they gave said advice will be included in the contract as well. It's only fair.
They have a distinct relationship with the Boro nation. Members of the league don't trust locals to be their bodyguards and private militias. But the well-equipped buerse warriors are considered trustworthy and even a sign of social status, and so are employed by most of the merchant families.
Against Belara and Mourloux, the league maintains revolts, corsairs and proxy wars but it knows that it is ready to face and overcome only one of these powers in a proper war.
The league's homeland dominated by grasslands and rocky outcrops, except at the north and west, both influenced by the monsoons. The dry seasons bring fires and the wet seasons bring floods. The rivers are flanked by gallery forests, many of which provide good lumber and charcoal. Much of the interior is given to the herding of cabybaras.
The league's homeland has its fair share of resources, supplying foodstuffs and some metals, but what brings them wealth is trading. Metal crafts from Boro, silk from the Celestial Empire, amber and lumber from the Treants, gold from Radmir, opium from Mai-Xi. Thousands of ships ply the seas, buying from here to sell there.
That doesn't mean that the league doesn't have its unique items. In fact, there are two: the homeland's plantations produce half's the world's sugar. And the colored glass from the Muirano Island is unmatched in color, transparency and reflexion.
Ecinev, the Capital
Hundreds of vessels pass by Ecinev every day. And every night, a couple more hulks are left to rot nearby. These ruined vessels quickly become part of the floating slums which threaten to choke water traffic. To avoid this, Ecinev's authorities established a prison ten kilometers downstream, the Carcerary Fleet. It is made out of the old hulls, modified to fit as many people as possible. And they're fuller than they should, filled with mendicants, thieves, murderers, pirates and all sort of scum, both men and women. The air is so damp and foul that lamps can't burn. The heat is so overpowering that anyone which still wears more than rags might prefer to go naked. The death rate is high, for there isn't enough food to go around. Guards must form groups to enter the cells and retrieve dead prisoners to prevent cannibalism, diseases or simply that shivs are made out of their bones. Now and then, a whole ship and its cargo is sold for slavers.
Tens of thousands live in Ecinev, a city built in islets of a lagoon surrounded by swamps. Tons of foodstuffs are needed daily. To feed so many, engineers hired by the senate arrived at an ingenious solution. They built artificial islands fully dedicated to farming. Barley, lentils and other plants are harvested multiple times a year. The canals between the chinampas are fenced and used to raise giant salamanders, crayfishes, capybaras and fire eels. A network of dikes, sluice gates and aqueducts prevents that the farming areas aren't filled with salt water. Alchemical fertilizers, the swamp's mud and the city's night soil keep the fields very fertile. The chinampas are worked by multitudes of slaves and peasants. A whole tribe of canoe nomads and their tamed crocodiles was hired and brought from overseas to police the workers, keep the jaguars away and prevent bandit raids. Here and there, watermills grind maize. And every day, thousands of boats navigate towards the Ecinevian Floating Market to sell their produce.
Ilion, the Palace of Dancing Lights
Built over an artificial island in the middle of the harbor, lies the tower of the senate. Here, two hundred and two representatives discuss, argue, bicker, plot and sometimes fight each other. Their housing quarters also are inside the tower, together with their families. This is the epicenter of the League's political game.
The Tower is a hundred and twenty meters tall and tiered, resembling a wedding cake made out of ten layers. Its base circumference is of a thousand meters. It is called the Palace of Dancing Lights due to the hundreds of Muirano-made sculpture holding prisms which decorate the exterior walls. Besides being aesthetic pleasing, they channel sunlight inside the building. An intricate clockwork system, powered by watermills, moves the prisms in such a fashion that they reflect the sun towards the towers' thousand rooms at all hours. The rest of the tower's exterior is no less glamorous, being covered in mosaics of quartz, ceramics, brass and marble which depict maritime animals, ships and great moments of the League's history, such as the Treant Wars.
Besides housing the senate, Ilion's top tier also serves as the harbor's lighthouse. It has an assemblance of mirrors and lenses that can be readjusted in several ways: it can reflect sunlight, both to spare firewood during sunny days and to ignite sails; it can also serve as a powerful telescope which can gaze upon astronomical bodies as well as observing distant ships. The whole machinery is complex enough to allow for the astrologer-watchers to perform two or three of these tasks at the same time, although better results can be achieved if the whole system is employed towards one single task.
Although being called an "university", it is actually a community of teachers, scholars, alchemists and magicians occupying a whole cluster of islands, each researching and teaching their respective fields of study at their homes, halls or even in the open. Many teachers teach the same fields, so they compete for students, leading to rivalries, espionage and even sabotage. The district also has three libraries which together have about 350,000 manuscripts, codexes, lead and clay tablets, old scrolls and much more. There are laboratories, workshops, dorms, guild halls and schools for over 10,000 students, many which come from other cultures and far lands. Here one can learn rethoric, singing, swordsmanship, poetry, several living and dead languages, magic, literature, ethics, law, zoology, cartography, medicine, painting, writing and reading, astronomy, astrology, alchemy and metaphysics. The university also has a grand hall of curiosities, artifacts and relics from all over the world, and it always seeks to expand its collection. Finally, there is a small zoo with such beasts as parrot wyverns, a new litter of akhluts, shadow dolphins and even a scarcrawler.
A cluster of islets previously used as a resort, its villas were recently converted into workshops and housing for all the previously spread glassmakers of Ecinev. The idea is to concentrate the entire glassmaking industry into one place from which all imports and exports can be easily guarded. Despite this, smugglers still manage to move glass products out of the islets. How they manage to do this is unknown: some outlandish theories include trained clay monkeys or some sort of underwater breathing apparatus. To prevent further contraband, the senate has forbidden glassmakers and their families from leaving the area without official escorts. It produces mainly glass beads, mirrors and chandeliers, but its alchemical furnaces can produce wonders such as soft glass and cast obsidian blades of incredible sharpness.
Ecinevian Floating Market
Open land is scarce in Ecinev. Almost everything has been built over, and expansion is only possible by filling up the waterways. Which is against the law. Even the open plazas of old have been covered by six-store tall buildings. But this hasn't stopped the commerce. As the public spaces were occupied, the traders gradually started to have their shops on the very ships which brought the merchandise. Eventually, the city's authorities noticed this and decreed that the Caixas canal, easily a kilometer long, as well as both wide and deep enough for three caravels abreast, would become the new market.
From dawn to nightfall, it contains a mess of boats, canoes, dhows, barges, floating shops, gondolas and much more, many of which are connected by planks of wood. Money flows faster than water here. One can find countless merchants, clients, artists, adventurers, mercenaries, pickpockets, priests, homeless and a few city officers trying to oversee everything. They always fail. One can find glass coins, tons of amaranth grain, domesticated clay monkeys, soap made from wyvern fat, the fur of a giant lion, obsidian daggers, scribes for hire, Treant wood, giant pearls, quartz jewels, a breastplate made out of a turtle's shell, second-hand slaves, golden stools, even the ruined core of a Godmachine. And much more.
Come the night, come the vices. Most of the previous ships go away while new ones enter the canal. Floating brothels full of red lamps and bards aboard gondolas dispute space and customers with barge-casinos and leaky canoes full of barrels of cheap rum. People sing, dance, eat, drink and get warm in the arms of whores of several races and preferences. Fortunes in gambles and bribes are quickly spent and not all bodies found floating at the next morning drowned against their own will.
Confederacy of Highland Bean Farmer Cantons
Races: 99% Human, 1% Lizardfolk Government: A dispersed general alliance of local cantons and villages, co-operating only for defense, negotiation and ritual. Outspokely clannish and democratic. Capital: N/A
The men of the Cantons, or the Apurimac (Bean-Growers, in their tongue), are of a different stripe from the men of the West, having come out of the Eastern sea into their beloved highlands in the distant past. Living in the craggy mountain valleys and holding tightly to the high passes, their lives are defined by the growth and harvest of beans (and, less importantly, squashes, gourds and potatoes).
Their mountain valleys are well fed with nutrients from the mountain springs above, but require much work to be tamed and put to use. The work of carving sheer valleys and cliffs into even terraces suitable for farming is what brought together the Apurimac into their villages, towns and cantons, and the need to maintain them against storm, flood and mountain-spirits alike demands they stay together.
For the Bean Farmers, the mountains and their valleys are constant companions. The valleys are held to be sanctified by the spirits of the ancestors, who toil to defend it from the wild mountain spirits just as the living hold off treant, beastfolk, lizard-kin and all other comers. The passes into and out of the valleys are well washed in blood and paved with centuries of bones. The spirits of warriors, enemy and friend, are held to dwell beyond the valley-passes, and these wandering war-spirits are feared and courted by men at their peril.
Within the valleys, the Beanfarmers live in centuries-old fortified villages. Monumental stone walls surround their rock-cut houses and the entrances to deeply cut chamber tombs. To them, the village is the central organ of daily life. Though they are parsimonious and ruthless traders with all outsiders, with their village kin the Apurimac give with an open hand, since all must work together for the terraces to survive and the harvest to be taken in. There is a saying among them; “Do not spite your shieldbearer” - since all must serve in times of need to defend their valleys, the Apurimac prize good nature and honesty between themselves.
For outsiders, the same is seldom held. Other beanfarmers are trusted more or less depending on shared descent - all claim the same first ancestor, Huemac, with closer villages sharing more and more ancestors before diverging. A man is not counted an adult until he can recite his ancestors in this fashion. A man who shares all but two of your ancestors is to be taken into your home at need, fed and counted as a brother, but a man who only shares Huemac can expect a bowlful of beans and a place in the root cellar for three days and no longer.
This, of course, is broken in case of feuds - if a dishonour is done, a feud is the usual response, with the two family lines attempting to slay one another on sight more and more ferociously the more shared relatives they have had, since there is little graver than the insult of one who shared your father.
Villages maintain deep cellars full of dried beans, which are held up as the sacred source of life, from which sprouted the raft that carried Huemac’s fathers over the ocean to their blessed highlands. Most trade is conducted by the standard of sacks or pots full of dried beans. More pressingly, beans are held to be the food most fit for the dead, and a family will pour bowl after bowl into the rock-cut tomb of their forebears, only retrieving the preserved legumes at times of great need.
Nanji Citystate Alliance
Gold Coast Tribes
The Gold Coast Tribes are a people of dark-skinned humans, occupying a coastal strip stretching from the Kingdom of Boro to the Merchant Empire. The entire territory is covered by dense rainforest, dotted with rock formations that rise above the trees and on top of which the various tribes have built their fortified palaces.
Members of a tribe, in order to reproduce, employ breeding slaves, usually bought in neighbouring countries or captured from other tribes. Since it is a sin to shelter a member of a foreign family in a Family Palace longer than is strictly necessary, breeding slaves are killed when they are no longer needed.
The Gold Coast takes its name from the very numerous gold mines in the area, which the tribes of the region exploit in order to trade with neighbouring kingdoms. In fact, gold is so common in this province that it is not uncommon to see Family Palaces with roofs covered in gold, or tribesmen parading around with solid gold crowns and belts.
You shouldn't underestimate the dangerousness of the tribal warriors of the Gold Coast, though. They are considered the best archers in the world and know the jungle of their region like no one else, using, when fighting neighbouring nations or enemy tribes, fearsome guerilla tactics that allow them to eliminate armies far outnumbering them without suffering a single casualty. The fact that, despite the wealth of the region which attracts the greed of many kingdoms, the place has never been conquered and is still the territory of these tribes, testifies to their valour in battle.
Country Name: Dominion of New Belved
Population (New Belwed): Belarian 30% Native Human 69% Ogre 1%
Capital : New Belwed
Goverment: Colonial Administration
Belwedian Culture is splin into two groups. The creole combination of islands native population and Belarian cultures that is prevalent in countryside, and classical Belarian culture in cities.
Same as Belara.
Board of Colonial Administration – New Belwed, or just BCAB, right now is in tie between administrators. 2 of them are militarists, 2 are merchants and 2 are colonists representatives. Right now biggest problem from administration perspective is ensuring continued supply of Xexe beans.
New Belved was founded soon after technology allowed transoceanic voyages to be easier and safer to complete. with idea of it becoming second Belara. Fight with natives was quick, and new colonist flocked to this new land. Now few centuries after the fact its still most civilized out of its colonies, even if belarians still are still minority. Things changed only some time ago, with xexe discovery. Now colonization almost stopped, since war over xexe is on horizont.
If Ta-Li could be called velvet glove diplomat, and Norvia an giant stick vielding thug, when it comes to diplomacy New Belwed is combination of both. Slave raids are not uncommon when it comes to enemies of Belara, while lucrative pacts are offered to nations willing to sell its own land for xexe plantations. In fact almost half of Beanfarmer confederacy was sold out in this way, and now is used as plantations of beans, that no longer are used by natives.
New Belved is peculiar land. On one hand land near coasts is almost same as on Belara, creating illusion of new homeland that was shattered long ago. Few miles into land temperate land becomes jungles, and jungles become wet hells. Rain falls there half a year, and then it falls another half, but more.
They are main exporter of Xexe beans to Westrasia, beyond that they export tropical wood, fish, and precious stones and gems.
Maaga Amazon Tribes
The Maaga Amazons are not natives to the hills and plains of Ram's Head, once calling the southern jungles in the central plains home. However as the Treant Empire grew, more and more tribes were forced to migrate away from the tide of deadly flora. Some tribes tried migrating east, only to be lost to the Necroswampers and be raised up as undead. To the south however, they found hills, valleys, and fields along the Maaga River. However these lands were not unsettled, and the Amazons purchased their new home through blood. After several wars against the Cantons and the Gold Coast tribes, they had carved out a nation with their warrior priestesses and female equestrians.
Matriarchal in design, the Amazons are a culture ruled by strength and a series of ancient laws taken with them when they were forced from their homeland. They are organized into various tribes, each ruling over a geographic area and managing most of their day to day affairs. Two matriarchs are elected from each tribe, One veteran warrior and another of a priestly sisterhood. They are sent represent their tribe in the council of amazons, where the tribes would organize themselves and discuss internal politics and external dealings. If war is ever declared a symbolic spear is struck through a effigy representing the chosen foe within the temple of the Goddess of war.Upon discovering a new nation they will build a statue representing them within the temple of their Matron War Goddess, who also encompasses the domain of sovereignty and rule. They will hang an olive branch on the effigy, signifying that the Amazons recognise their nation. The branch is a symbol of peace through victory, and if war is declared to another nation their branch will be sent to whoever rules the enemy nation. The Amazons will then spear the statue, officially declaring war in the eyes of their goddess, and they will recover the branch through their Victory. Inability to reclaim a Olive Branch, and thus claim peace through victory, is a great stain on the honor of any matriarch. The only current unreclaimed Branch is that which was sent to the Treant Empire.
Men within the Amazon Tribes are treated as second class citizens, unable to choose mates and used mostly for physical labour and dishonorable tasks, such as farming or dealing with unclean creatures. If a male is particularly unique, he may be selected by a tribal matriarch to serve as her personal shield guard and often times breeding servant, such males are given the privilege of carrying weapons and shields for the purpose of defending their mistress, such roles are sought after by the male masses and rarely given by the ruling matriarchs.
Races: 93% Imuuga Human, 7% Other
Government: Feudalistic Monarchy
Capital: City of Borinn
Located in the southern region of Ram's head, Boro, which is called Buero in their own tongue, and the people of boro refer to themselves as 'Beurs' and 'Beurese'. It is a hilly nation with stony cliffs and rocky coasts along the Ram's sea. It borders parts of the Gold Coast clans, The Amazon Tribes, and The Maag Kingdom. Boro is famed for their great, dark forests and metalworking skills. Many foreign princes and traders travel to the foggy coasts of Boro to purchase fine weapons of steel, with the most sought after treasure being the Damasced Swords of Boro. These weapons are a smithworking miracle closely guarded by the most prestigious smith families. The nation of Boro was once much larger, a region known as Greater Boro, but much land has been lost in numerous wars against the Canton Bean Farmer Confederacy and The Kingdom of Maag.
It is a mostly untamed nation ruled by local lords that answer to a high king, which historically is the man with the largest army. However the high king must always be able to claim heritage back to Conchobor. These claims are always dubious at best, and the main method of questioning the king is by questioning his lineage to Conchobor. The current king of Boro is called Dallik Boro. He rules by cleverness and not by blade. He is not a popular king, and many dispute his claim to Conchobor's blood. Though his rule started bloody, Dallik brokered peace between Boro and the Amazon tribes after a few arranged marriages and blood oaths. He has expanded the wealth of the nation and seems to walk the path of civilization, abandoning the warlike roots of his nation of smiths.
They are a hardworking people, with a culture strongly built around one's chosen trade and his ability to maintain cleanliness. To a Borose man, his hair is a symbol of his pride, a man with well groomed and decorated hair is a wealthy and strong man. It is tradition to send an enemy a bronze or bone comb when war is declared, as a sign of respect.
They worship four gods in their pantheon. Their most famed hero and famous god is Conchobor, who is said to have founded Boro. Priests within Boro hold a great deal of power and control most of the nation's educational Institutes. Many Buerse warriors, who have grown tired of the current peace in Boro, work for the Merchant kings as skilled bodyguards and warriors. Though they currently are at peace, many local Kings and tribes watch the Maagan border; their old grudges and hate of the Chariot Kings still runs deep within them.
Boro has only officially become a nation in recent history, only in the 6th Age. For the greater span of the Borose people's history, their region has been divided by many warlords and clans. In the earliest written texts of Boro, there were the 6 Great Clans or Fynes. These clans were; The Chalucya(The Shield Breakers), The Pallavasa(The Hill Dwellers), The Fiacharah( The Wolf Men), The Daurash(The Water Logged), The Una Harsha( The Fire Eaters) and the last clan, Una Falin(The Iron Skinned). These 6 clans warred just as eagerly against their own borose brethren as any foreigner, whenever one promising warlord tried expanding from his native region, he would be struck down by another and a vicious cycle continued. Clans were their own autonomous nations, even if they shared blood with one another the laws and practices of one clan could vary greatly from a bordering clan and visa-versa. These cultural divisions still remain in the small nation to this day, with three regional dialects spoken in Boro(Chalui, Fiannie, and Dun-Speak). Three centuries prior to the current age however, the clans were forced to put aside their bloody feuds and united under the banner of the cultural hero and savior; Conchobor. During this age much of northern Boro was lost in conflict to the Maag Kingdom, their wise Pharaoh and their well disciplined mounted Caste-Warriors defeated the Borose army in any open field battle and as such forced the clans into the hills where they rearmed during the harvest season. However, the local druids and shamans warned that any army that marched during the Harvest festivals would surely insult the gods, as such the Borose could not defend their own home. Conchobor instead left his kind to tend to the gods, taking with him the blessed spear Dál Karna and his trusty swords to do battle with the Maagan armies alone. The Battle lasted for three days, some sources claim he battled them on a mountain pass near the modern Boro capital of Borinn, while other sources claimed he battled the army on a bridge that led over the Maaga River. All sources agree, even those of Maagan Sources claim that Conchobor used the local environment and geography to terrorize the invading force single handedly, on the second day even attempting to assassinate The Lord Horrendous himself, losing the Dál Karna in the process. The third day however he was wounded fatally by a group of war charioteers; and on the forth when the sun broke they found their foe standing before them at the crossroads, his body held against the tree marking the parting with his own intestines. The pharaoh's advance was slowed and by the time his army arrived at the Borose clans, they had prepared for battle and drove them back, helped by the wound that Conchobor gave the immortal Pharaoh before his death.
Some say their hero will return in the hour of Boro's greatest need with an army of Werewolves and warriors from the Other-Realm. In the modern day many Kings or aspiring lords claim ancestry to the clanless Conchobor, his clanless birth has not stopped the 6 Great Clans from claiming him as their own post the hero's death.
After the loose unity of the nation during the 1st Maagan War, the clans began to steadily lose influence as each elected king gained more and more power over the nation. The current King, Brasha II, has increasingly introduced reforms that further model the nation after 'Civilized' nations such as Celestia. Furthermore, though the nation currently is at peace, tensions with Maag, The Cantons, and even their long time ally the Merchant Empire have never been higher, even reaching the point of warriors adherent to the old ways that have spoken of open rebellion.
Population: 70% Westari Human, 20% Vishga Human, 10% Beastfolk
Capital: Opug Goverment: Absolute Monarchy, Caste Based Society
In the South of Ram's Head is the nation of Maag, a land of warm hills and flat fields of grass and sandy zones. This nation is mostly encompassed of the natives that migrated to Ram's Head in the age of hunter gatherers, an agrarian society composed of several social and legal castes, as was implemented when they were conquered by the Techno-Barbarian army of The Lord Horrendous.
The Techno-Barbarians came several hundred years ago, a singular wash and escaping the north and travelling to Ram's Head at the wish of their warleader who had gained strange visions of what he thought were gods, that urged him south. The southern lands of Ram's Head were not prepared for a hardened force of barbarians, experienced in years of battle, and the locals were quickly defeated and forced into submission. After a swathe of land was conquered the Lord Horrendous sought to claim more and scour the sands for his destiny, and to do that he needed more men. So he implemented the Opug Code; a legal text that would organized the conquered people's into a society that would willingly follow The Lord Horrendous. The Lord Horrendous himself stood at the top of the Maagan Caste system, and below him were the converted locals into a priesthood. Then came the other techno barbarians and future generations of warriors that would fight for Horrendous. The came the scholars and merchants, then the craftsmen and farmers, then the slaves. Horrendous then set out and found his prize, as well as conquering lands stretching up to the Highlander Cantons. His prize would be located under where the new city of Opug would later be located, an ancient underground bunker of the Old World. Here he would gain immortality, and find his destiny amongst the gods and drag the Maagani people with him
The small kingdom of Pash is an arid and dusty land dotted with rare oases around which huge city-states have been built. These city-states, ruled by Merchant Princes, although officially forming a Commercial League supposed to act as a grand coalition headed by the King, from his city of Ran Dagaan, are in fact constantly at war. In Pash, anything can act as a casus belli between two city-states. Even a simple insult can result in ten years of armed conflict. However, gold is supreme in these merchant lands and the trade routes are neutral and sacred grounds that cannot be disturbed for any reason.
In the city-states of Pash, fencing is considered as a science and studied as such in prestigious fighting schools. Each city-state has, over the centuries, developed its own style, quite distinct from its neighbours. For example, the style of the Floating Blade, elegant and slow, is typical of the city of Jyrash, while the Sleeping Gazelle, much more lively and based on feints, is the predominant style in Karash.
The Pashi society is divided into four social classes: To the three usual social classes (nobility, clergy and plebeians) is added the class of duellists, noble families dedicated to the study and practice of fencing since centuries.
In these families, one is considered a man when one receives his karij, a typical Pash sword. Each duellist carries on his blade, in the form of tiny runes, the story of his life and accomplishments, and the experience and value of a fencer is measured by the number of runes on his sword. Losing one's sword is, for a Pashi fencer, the supreme shame. Those who lose or break their sword are usually exiled and end their lives in utter misery because it is taboo for a Pashi duellist to change blades. Each blade is forged by adding a little of the blood of the child to whom it will be assigned and is thus considered to be linked to his soul.
The artists who carve runes into Pashi swords are called the Karijdyana and are incredibly respected. By tradition, they teach their art to only one disciple in their lifetime, often a former duelist who has decided to stop fighting.
Fencers are everywhere in Pashi society: as bodyguards for rich and noble merchants, guards in cities, escorts for caravans, soldiers in the mercenary troops hired by city-states to wage war on each other, or simply itinerant fencers who travel from city to city to accomplish their "shakash" (an initiatory journey that every duellist undertakes between the ages of 16 and 20 in order to meet and challenge other duellists from different schools), etc...
A popular legend in Pash is that of the Broken Blades master, a Pashi swordsman who lost the rest of his family went mad and took all the blades of his ancestors and smelted them down into one horrible-looking, jagged monstrosity of a blade.
Theocracy of Radmir
Population: Humans 90%, other (non human converts that emigrated to Radmir; they come from all the sentient races) 10% is official racial makeup that shows in censuses.
Government: Strongly decentralized theocracy. State is being led by the Great Ressurectist who is also leader of the council of Resurrectionists, that consists of 20 high priests, that in times of peace lead one province each. They have despotic powers, but in times of war great conclave is summoned, and they have to give their power up to civil governors. Great Ressurectist is head of church, leader of the military, and decides on matters of external politics.
Culture: Radmirians are patient, peacefull but vidicative people. They put huge emphasis on moderation, while trying to live in the moment, finding pleasuers in beauty of life, art and nature. Contrasting with this is their culture of alcohol drining and production, even the poorest Radmirains can aford to drink beer few times a week.
Religion: State religion that is worshipped by almost everyone is Cult of Miracle, its church IS the goverment. Some time ago heresy started, and is mostly worshipped on island close to northern coast, and in hidden communes in mountains. It advocates greater emphasis on creating lasting, positive legacy, and justice.
Organization: While Radmir state church is closely tied to country, it also is represented in other countries and regions. Some cantons, most of Mai-Xi native population, huge communities in largest cities of all of southern Rams Head and large portions of drache marshes all follow techings of First Prophet, and thus are represented in church.
Chronology of orgin: around year 30 - first settlements in delta of radmir river. around year 200 - first civilization of radmir rises up and creates its alphabet used with changes to this day. around year 700 - canne clans split up year 760 - kappara slaver kingdom created year 841 - Niniwa kingdom created year 1597 - Bloody mountain erruption, First Prophet rise to power Year 1598 - End of erruption, destruction of Dar Year 1601 - punitive strike agains northwester beanfarmers, creation of new mountain range Year 1602 - Unification of Radmir Year 1612 - Second Eruption, destruction of Bloody Mountain Year 1613 - death of First Prophet, rise of Theocracy of Radmir
Diplomacy: Radmir tries to sprad its religion far and wide, and thus maintains peacefull relations with most of their neighbors, exception being necroswampers, who Radmir constantly tries to eradicate, and Northern Beanfarmer Cantons that they have bloody vandetta against each other. Radmir is alied with Mai-Xi Dinasty, but if native population were to rebel they would intervine on their behaf. Radmir is also alied with Merchant Empire against westwards colonization, and to ensure stability in region. Heretic don't have foreing policy.
Geography: North of the country is made of deserts, south is mostly mountains rich in metals, west tip is made up of delta of poisonous Udar river that creates marshes, Southeast, and east is based in riverlands of Radu river. Most of population lives there.
Economy: Radmir is rich in resources, especialy gold, but giant mines also mine out iron, coal, salt, copper, gems, and much more. Radmirian goldsmiths are one of the best in the world, and Radmiran coin is almost imposible to fabricate. Radmir is also trading nation, two main trade routes that enrich it are Empirean south route, and Treant western route. Radmir hoever always needs to be prepared in case of famine, so one of more imported resources is simple grain. Radmir in times of peace is also defender of Norther rams head from pirates, but heretics stop this anti pirate action at the moment.
Radmir Ancient History:
Radmir long ago was split into three civilizations. Radu river nations (called by historians old Radmir), first to achieve agriculture in northern corners of Rams Head continent, and first to create functional alphabet on whole Rams Head. Canna horsemen, nomadic people that lived in peace with nature, and used lush pastures of Canna steppe, before it became desert. Dar-Kapparians, isolationist people that were content living in deep mountains, where they often came in contact with small creatures. Those creatures were probably dwarfs, but no one can be sure, because of tribal war that ended with total destruction of those small people. This period is known as Silence by the church, because even though Old Radmirians knew the alphabet, no written record from those times was ever found.
After Silence came the Storm, named so because of chaos that happened during this period. As time went on, climate grew ever hotter, and ever more arid in the north. This change, simple on the glance, caused starvation, and infighting between clans, and in the end there were three contenders to title of overlord, that could unite Canna for the first time. None of their names was remembered by future generations, because none menaged to fulfil their desiny. Instead Canna people split, one leader led his clan north, where they created civilization separate from mainstream Radmir culture, but were subjugated by newcomers from far, far north. Second commander led his people south, to the Radmir, where he conquered all that opposed him. His conquest wasn't finished in his lifetime, but by sons of his sons. First king of unified Radmir and Canna took the name Niniwa, and founded the city of the same name as his capital. Third warchief went west, and entered war with the Kappara people. Even before he went on to conquer them his wish was to live forever, and so he entered into a pact with Death Mountain (then knew just as Bloody Mountain) spirit. He would grand him immortality, in exchange for endless reverence of his name. With his power Canna people enslaved Kappara people, and near the end of Dar river they founded a new capital, named the same way. Storm lasted a few centuries, and almost all the information of this period (and silence) comes from Epoh of Niniwa, a heroic poem describing the deeds of Niniwa ancestors, himself, and his sons. Storm ended with the eruption of Death Mountain, and the Apocalypse of the First Prophet began.
Rise and Life of First Prophet:
Apocalipse, the grand reveal of reality, happed same day Bloody Mountian erupted. Prophet then was an lowly miner, returning from day in mine. When he was reaching his house he saw erution in the distance, and fell to the ground. When he woke up a week passed, and he was under a thick coat of ash. During this time he took part in communion with God. His name was to holy to enter his ears, and so Prophet at first wanted to call him just that a God, but it displeased being that he was adressing, who called itself Miracle of the Creation. And so Prophet, and his followers used this name ever since. He was comanded by the God to go north, to the place where sea meets land, and he did so. After he reached sea he saw horrible sight. Water turned red, anddead fish, animals and humans lied everywhere. And those corpses sang the song for the Miracle, and Prophet who was horribly afraid of whole situation demanded them to stop. And they did. And he on the fundamental level understood why he was send there. He had to bring peace to disturbed souls of this land. This level of understanding was granted to him by Miracle, who was pleased with his obidience, and who wanted him to become its speaker to the world. Prophet then turned his gaze to the sky, and beged Miracle to not leave him alone in his quest. And as he did from the sea rose giant fortress that flew to the sky. And it was first miracle, and everyone in the desert saw, or atleast felt what happened. And they flocked to the floating fortess, and First Prophet. He said them what he saw, and was told, and he felt, and they followed him. He did not know what to do, so after he and his people prepared for a month, he begged once again, this time to find his target.
And sand swallowed him, ripped his skin from his body, tore organs outside, and filled him to the brim. And miracle tied his soul and sentience to the ravaged body, healed his wounds, and prophet was reborn. And it was second miracle. From his skin he created the map, and from his organs the ink. And invoking power of miracle he created map of whole world, not only on material, but also spiritual and many other levels. Following the map he, and his men came to the giant lava river coming from death mountain, and to be precise they came to place where it met the sea. He then entered the river of fire with iron in one hand and wood in another. And after a day he reemerged, He caried ironwood sword, an holy weapon fit for fighting evil, and after he left the river, it fully turned into obsidian, and it was third miracle. He and his people traveled to the Bloody Mountain, and stood before army loyal to demon that was once Canna warlord. And once First Prophet drew Ironwood sword Canna army was hit by paralisys. Only Demon was spared. And it was fourth miracle. Demon and Prophet fought for a week, and Demon was killed at the dusk of every day, only to be recreated by his overlord the next dawn. At the dusk of seventh day prophet killed his enemy, and asked his master for help. At this very moment sand sipped throught prophets pores, and surrounded Demons body. Everyone who was there heard monstrous scream, but only the prophet saw as his foe's soul is ripped to the shreds, and stored in grains of sand. Soon wind took the sand away And it was fifth miracle. Quickly prophet went away, forgiven opposing army, and recruited them himself. He led his army to the vulcano, and before the dawn they were there. So no one saw as the body of warlord is surrounded by fog, destroyed and reformed by it, and how it rose, to forever serve as reminder to people of Gloria-Etalia that there is no rest for the demon worshippers.
At the vulcano rose the prophet, and fire spirit, and they talked, and in the end prophet menaged to convince him that it will be better for its well being if he stops the eruption. After prophet left the vulcano he went to the dar, to tell people that live there that their saviour have come, and now they can rebuild and serve true god in peace. But those unvelivers had hard hearts and even harder necks, and didn't even opened hates for him. And his revange was monstrous, because he demanded from the miracle to punish them. And at the same time wind concentrated all over the city, pushing noxious air from both vulcano and marshes to the north to the houses of dar people. And they all perished, but their souls stayed behind, and beged prophet for forgivness, and he allowed them to leave for afterlife. But air forrever tainted the river, that now was called udar (the punishment in radmirian laungage). And it all was sixth miracle.
After uniting most of present Radmir, First Prophet stopped his war march. His mission was bringing peace to the souls of the land, but there was still much work do where he stood. He couldn't allow his followers to suffer from lack of security, plauges, starvation and dehydration. So he for two years, builded and reinforced town after town, village after village. He builded irigation canals, roads, bridges, water wells, shrines, surrounded every settlement with walls, and in cities he constructed hospitals and temples. After all of this, he ventured south, to the lands of barbarians that lived in the valleys, and his forces sacked land in many miles from the border. He did so to ensure that no enemy force could arise there, and to ensure that no revenge could reach true belivers, he asked Miracle to make earth itself subservient to his will. And it did so, and he used it to create giant earthquake, that destroyed old and risen new mountains, until he created almost impassable wall mountains that were rich in minerals, mainly gold, because it was favoured metal of Miracle. And it was seventh miracle. After he entered warpath once more he traveled to Niniwa kingdom, and demanded them to convert, and to take Miracle as their master. He gave king Niniwa XI an day, and in fact he wanted to comply, and surender, because he knew what First Prophet done in the past. But nobles didn't wanted to hear anything about it, and killed the king, introning his son. After a day with no reply, First risen his hands and with blast of wind cut city into half, 3 meters height from the land. Anything below it, was swalowed into the earth, the rest hit earth with such force that most people died on impact. And it was eight miracle. After this happened rest of nation quickly converted, and Radmir was united for the first time.
Radmir recent history
For centuries Radmir was mostly peacefull nation, few times it went to war with Mai-Xi to end their brothers slavery under boot of northerners. Sometimes they succeeded, and in fact once for whole century they pushed invaders out of penisula. But those wars were an distant memory now, last one ended more than 50 years ago. Radmiraians also sometimes faced against Bean Hightlanders, but it was problem only in and around death mountain region, and no teritorial changes were made by ether side. Radmir hoever is in constant state of war with Pirates and "Pirates" funded by surrounding empires. No formal declaration of war is needed to do so, and both southern and northern admirality go far and wide to fight pirate scum, and so in times of peace waters of Radmir are one of safest on planet. But recent times couldn't be called peacefull with stright face by anyone living in Holiest country on Gloria-Etalia.
Twenty years ago peace was violently ended by split in the church. Both Svyat and Viy were members of Ressurectionist council, and in fact they were one of most prestigious mebers of it, conroling two of the most rich provinces in the delta of Radmir. As time went on thought, they started to teach populus and priests theological doctrine that was different from official stance of the church, and while it was toleraded for a time, in the end they were recalled to capital to explain their behaviour. Once they got in Radmir, and in Black Citadel thought, they acted in a way no one could have imagined. They met Grand Ressurectionist in his throne room, only to assasinate him, and storm the golden city. Those two men had strenght to hold on temple guard, death guard, ghostly defenders and every other horror that was on path to Golden Piramid. They went there, and in their greatest transgression lied their eyes on the body of First Prophet. And after they did greates blasphemy, they decided to also rob his Grave from precious relicts. The ironwood sword, the flayed skin map, and skulls of first and second ressurectionists. Everyone belives that they wear those skulls as masks, but no one who belives this theory can ecplain why those maska don't look human at all... After they stormed out of the city, they escaped capital, ralied their forces and declared that they in fact represent true Radmir. and for five years they fought until they were forced to escape with rest of their forces to the island of Prossa.
Population: 10% Qi Fu Human, 88% Canne Human, 2% ogres
First men to settle tip of penisula were Canne clansmen, who enslaved native ogre population. They created first Cannxi kingdom, but as time went on, it became more and more instable, and this instability was used by invaders from North. Qu-Fi establised there thier colony, and throught the millenia were forced out of it many times, but each time they came back, and reenslaved native population.
Change in those relations was independence war fought between colony and mainland that happened 40 years ago. After independence was secured, first nation to acknowlege this fact was Radmir, there was only one condition - end the enslavement of all that followed cult of mirracle. Then general, now monarch - Mai-Xi agreed to this, probably unknowingly that in fact most of native population, both man and ogre, already followed this religion. To not find itself on brink of war with more established nation in west, they followed with their promise.
Rich coffe and opium plantations now lied desolated, and to change this Mai-Xi dynasty quickly funded slaver fleet. Since then black ships of this kingdom are bane of all tribal nations in southern sea. Slavers are wise enought to not attack established nations, or atleast to do so in times of chaos. On the mainland thought, second most worked job, beyond being slavers and slaves, was woodcuting. While not as prestigious as treant woodcraft. It had hight enought quality to become second largest importer of such craft in the region.
People of Mai-Xi are not happy with current regime. Qi Fu humans are acustomed to meritocratic administration known in their homeland, while Canne still crave independence even after emancipation. Only ogres feel like they finaly achieved succes, because they are one of most common enforces of will of King. Only time will tell how long will this entity survive, but one thing is sure, not for long.
Heretics of Viy and Svyat
Population : Radmirian Humans 99%, 1% Ogres
Capital : Prossa
Government : Disorganized, cult like remnants of rebelious Radmirian administration and clergy led by Viy and Svyat .
Culture: Radmirians are patient, peacefull but vidicative people. They put huge emphasis on moderation, while trying to live in the moment, finding pleasuers in beauty of life, art and nature. Contrasting with this is their culture of alcohol drining and production, even the poorest Radmirains can aford to drink beer few times a week.
Religion: Major religion on island is heresy of Cult of Saints. It advocates greater emphasis on creating lasting, positive legacy, and justice, than religion it comes from.
Orgin: Twenty years ago peace in Radmir was ended by split in the church. Viy and Svayat started to teach their own gospel of Miracle, and in proces antagonized church. After they had no other choice they ralied their forces and declared that they in fact represent true Radmir. For five years they fought until they were forced to escape with rest of their forces to the island of Prossa Magna.
Diplomacy: Heretics are cut off from larger world throught Radmir blocade of island. If they were to break throught naval blocade, supporters of Viy have plans to forge pact with one of colonial powers, but such action would be seen as dealing with the devil by most of continents population, and could bring consequences unforseen by island population.
Geography: Heretic nation is located on Island of Prossa Magna. Its rocky, hot and unpleasant place, but it offers great deffensive value, that current owners of island try to use in their advantage creating multiple fortresses on steep slopes, as gates to galleys, and on sea cliffs.
Economy: Prossa economy was always supported by fishing industry, but now that whole island is surrounded by naval blocade its almost dead. To fight food shortrages all farmable land on island is being turned into farms, but it could have great long lasting effect on its ecology.
Qi-Fu's economy was heavily held up by trading of Tarrow Weed. A grass propagated through the Great Plains that increases muscle and fat in livestock hy large amounts.
The Horselords weren't considered with using it for industry, they instead covered the steppes with it to feed their mounts.
Qi-Fu's western territory was the breadbasket, they would harvest and dry the fodeer then ship it down the coast . Livestock was a major source of industry and so they profited as a major supplier of energy for horses, oxen, fearroaches and shadow dolphins.
The environmental disaster that was Trasha, Mother of Flames going into Heat caused famine and depression across the Great Plains region. With a major source of Tarrow Weed cut off, the Qi-Fu economy faltered.
This weekend state is what allowed Beladia to defeat them in the Cape Wars and led to the lost of the Tai-Li Hold.
a generation or so later western Qi-Fu would fall under contested status as the Uruzataar Khanate laid raids on it.
Qi-Fu is known as "the sick man of Easterasi" due to their weakness, especially in comparison to the strong Celestual Empire, which shares a common heritage.
With the government weak The Oni Twins of the two cities No-Rex and So-Xen have claimed more and more power in the area. With aims of exporting xuxu beans in order to start plantations in the Dou-Sai mountains.
Country Name: Colony of Ta-li
Population : Belarian 2%, Native Human 53%, Oni 20%, Goblin 20%, Hobgoblin 10%
Capital : Ta-Li Hold
Goverment: Colonial Administration
Because they are minority, belarians keep to themselves in terms of culture.
Same as belara
Board of Colonial Administration – Ta-li, or just BCAT, right now is in controlled by outside force. All representatives were bought out in secret in Wastrasian Trade Bureu . If this corruption came to light it could begin chain of events ending in destruction of one of two Bureu’s.
Belara was first nation to recognize weakness of Qi-Fu, and after long time of Cape Wars victorious Belara establied colony of Ta-Li. Sometime after initial colony was established, they also claimed uninhabited island north of Great Plain, as a trading station with tribes to the south.
Since initial war there was not a single use of warfare by Belarians on peninsula. In fact before rise of khanate, it was Belarian diplomats that ensured relative peace both on peninsula and on great plane, because as everyone knows money must flow. Now hoever rise of khan stopped trade in east, and if conquest of peninsula is continued it might cut it off to the north. Ta-li merchants are not bothered by this hoewer because they underestimate power of khan, and more concerned with including twin cities to belarian economic sphere. There are also talks of establishing xexe plantations in Qi—Fu itself, but before such investment can be made, peace must be first restored to the continent.
Ta-Li hold itself is located on sole mountain, that is surrouned by plains and steppes in all sides of the world around.
They export all that Qu-Fi produces, while mainly imporing addicting xexe to peninsula.
Grand Mollusk Reef
They are giant clam like creatures that eat sand and minerals. The orifice on the top submerges occasionally to take in water. Their crust slowly sheds away due to erosion and currents, leaving a rather stiff mineral behind. They are around like 70 meters tall. They can't be gargantuan but the water supports the weight. They were created by Gloria-Etalia to help clean up the radiation on the planet and keep the atmosphere clean. They are sentient, but prefer to pretend the other races don’t exist by ignoring them.
Minor Mollusk Reef
The Mollusc Stragglers
A small group of people who have been stranded on the minor mollusks.
The stragglers are a mixture of every people who have set sail and sailed next to minor molluscoid reef. Although very little of their original culture remains. Their life is relatively easy, as sustenance is provided by their living island in some form or another. This leaves them with plenty of time for philosophical pondering or making war on other islanders or Black sand kingdom pirates who stray too close.
The farmed position of humans living upon their host-islands gives them the overabudance of free time to develope different sorts of belief systems to explain their current position. This, coupled with the complete indifference and silence of their island hosts means that none of these ideas actually represent the wishes of the molluscs accurately. These groups are called Straggler-cults.
The molluscs are a promised land of plenty, and it's a duty to invite others to live upon them as well. The singers try to attract passing ships upon the isles as well as they can, wether by playing the role of shipwrecked in need of help, or denizens of a paradiselike isle. They usually implode rather quickly if they are successiful, as the island gets too crowded.
In most cases, the mutated molluscs absorb the corpses of those who die on them in hopes of accumualting enough biomass to grow, and some denizens take it upon as a sign that the island can be fed, and that this feeding is their purpose there. In cases where they don't simply kill themselves, they raid other mollusc isles that stray too near to theirs, or try to lure new sacrifices in the same way as singers.
Simply put, some see molluscs as gods, and try to futilely discern their will. The believers try to interept the will of their island by interepting anything that happen as omen. They usually slowly shift to other types of cults as consensus upon the will of their island forms.
Some stragglers see themselves as prisoners, and seek out to kill their island. This would normally be quite futile attempt, but most molluscs taht actively hunt for stragglers to repair them are usually mutated to the point where their shells may have weakpoints that can be taken advantage of by shipwrecked who have salvaged a sharp object or two. Only a few of them can transition to the point where they can skip islands after destroying their own.
Most often recent arrivals, who believe the loss of their ship to be an accident. They try to lure other ships near them as singers do, but in hopes of being spirited away from their unnerving new home. After all they know where the shoals that sunk them are and can surely guide other ships to land safely.
Ones who try to accumulate enough woodstuff to build crude ships and escape away from the reef. Most often they manage to only change their islands.
A small subset of people whose ship had a well-cartographied map of the continent. They believe that they can influence the happenings of the wide world by playing different sorts of games with the aid of this map.
It's not uncommon that recently shipwrecked decide to stay on island, and emulate the country they were originally from. There are multiple doges, kings and at least one celestial emperor within reef, although none of them command many subjects.
Are those who assume that they molluscs want to take over the continent. they usually try to decipher the workings of molluscoid life, in order to successifully replicate it so that the minor mollusc reef could cover the whole southern seabed. none know if they are actually successiful in their attempts. Some of them also try to escape the reef with pieces of mollusc shell or some other parts, with the intent of planting those "seeds" somewhere.
Of course this is all without mentioning of molluscs that simply automaticly consume all life that sets their foot upon them, or the ones that have remained relatively unmutated and try to function as normal despite the horde of stragglers crawling on them, or the islands that seem to be moving towards only one direction.
The life of stragglers is often short, and miserable: despite the edible overabudance provided, the molluscs are compeltly barren and leave their denizens vulbernable to harsh weather and sudden death in case the mollusc submerges.
The basic unit of straggler society is a single molluscoid. Usually one molluscoid is inhabited by uniform group of straggelrs who live off it as parasites, and in some rare cases, as symbiots. Geenrally, the molluscoid sustains the stragglers even when tehy don't provide anyhting for it in vain hope that their children will invent a way to improve their size. This coupled with molluscoids inability to communicate with short-lived beings due to not understanding actual language and living on different timescale, usually leaves the stragglers to live in permanent state of confusion.
Unlike their northern major cousins, the minor molluscoids were faced with struggling weather conditions that prevented their growth. At some point in time, unknowable to short-lived history, some molluscs started to lure passing short-lived ones onto them in hopes they could form symbiotic bond which would allow molluscs to grow into the height that was spesified onto them upon their creation. Initial attempts were simple noise-based lures, such as beautiful melodies. Later some molluscs tried to cover their shells with shiny materials that evoked the glow of gold. at some point, molluscs mutated enough so they could move very slowly. If any ships would divert their course towards the suddenly appeared unmapped islands, they would be breached by spiked mollusc shells below the water surface, leaving the seafarers stranded. In time, this population started to grow, as molluscs could provide them with edible material either by becoming their food, or creating habitats for fish and other maritime animals on the underwater parts of their shell.
They do not offically exist, as all who come within the reach of minor molluscoid reef usually join stragglers when a stealthy molluscoid sinks their ship. There are of course exceptions, and they will be described in next post
The minor molluscoids do not appear as intimidating as their major cousins in north. Fro mfar away, they appear as slightly crooked or funny-looking islands. Islands that are conmpiciously unmapped. And if some ship were to observe them for weeks, they would see that they move, albeit very slowly.
The mollusc-island feeds all stragglers above it, and in some cases, the stragglers feed the mollusc. This leaves all trade to be made with items seized from sunk ships. And of couse, the sunk ships themselves - there is no wood or clothing to be found on molluscs. Making the husks of ships and their sails the most valuable commodity of all on the islands.
Counsil of Pirates
Once home to a terrible tribal kingdom that was wiped out from a plague, the black sand islands are now a den of pirates, mercenaries, adventurers, unscrupulous merchants and other opportunists from across the continent. Their ships are made to sail in the shallow, rocky, and turbulent waters of the islands. They are fast, nimble yet are enduring and can reach every part of the continent and even sail up some rivers. They're protected from outside invasion because of shallow waters, dangerous coral reefs, and deadly storms. Only areas near the coast are inhabited since most of the islands are covered by dense jungle, with monstrous plants and strange beasts living in the forest. The ruins of the old Black Sand kingdom lie in this dense and dangerous land, and adventures sometimes brave the jungle to find the treasure of a lost nation and a twisted god.
While lawless, the nation isn’t uncivilized with many unwritten codes borrowed from maritime nations. Gangs, communities, and merchant guilds that look out for one another and keep the peace. The Council of Pirates are made up of leaders and representatives of these groups. Infighting is uncommon, as everybody knows that greater rewards are to be had stealing from forgien ships and selling those goods back. You can walk around most settlements with little worry, although it's definitely a den of crime so carry a weapon anyway.
The Black Sand Kingdom The black sand islands were originally made up of small tribes that lived in the jungle and on the beaches. However one day a tribe rose up in prominence, and told the other nations that they had been given a message by a local god called Mokla Ka-li, who said that the tribes must unite and bring him souls from across the sea in exchange for some of his powers. They then demonstrated these new powers to the tribes, and soon enough they joined up and formed the Kaleen tribe. They then created durable and powerful ships to reach this supposed mainland, and sailed off. The first expedition met strange people, with strange tongues and strange objects. The captains prayed to Mokla Ka-li for guidance, and he replied that they should take the foreigners back and offer their bodies to him. They did so using his magic, and when Mokla Ka-li took the bodies, strange stonework began the form out of the jungle. He said to bring him more, and they would be rewarded. They did so, and soon became a menace to all that they came across. From Westrasi to the tips of the merchant empire they sailed and stole treasure and lives. With each soul that Mokla Ka-li consumed, his practitioners became more powerful. None could stand in their way. Cities formed in the deep jungle, where festivals were held and treasure was stored. Every native on the island had the wealth of a king. Their ships were infused with power and blessed to go farther and faster. None were ever hungry. It was a paradise. This however, painfully ended. The raiders were going father and father out for human prey, and in doing so brought back humans from the tribe lands across the sea. These people carried a strange sickness with them however, and on the journey back the ship’s crew started to die. When they finally arrived in port, the ship was being run by a skeleton crew of half dead men. They were quickly rushed to the voodoo doctors to get healed up, and because no one ever stayed sick for very long under Mokla Ka-li’s power they were frequently visited by friends and family. However they did not get better, and more and more people started to get sick. Those people died, and soon there weren't enough people to go out and gather more souls for Mokla Ka-li. When he stopped receiving power, Mokla Ka-li stopped giving his protection. When this happened, no one was spared from the plague. When the dust settled there were only a tiny fraction of survivors left. The Black Sand Kingdom has fallen. The Council of Pirates Years after the fall of the black sand kingdom pirates started to come to the island. At first as a temporary safe haven to hide from the aggressive well armed merchant ships that now had a lot of free time to hunt pirates now that their ships were not being preyed upon by terrifying forgeners. However as word spread and more and more pirates came to the shores, its true potential was realised. The survivors of the epidemic were in no place to put up a fight as pirates took over the now empty homes and took the kingdoms' war vessels to sail the waters easier. The remaining leaders did however force the most powerful pirate captains to agree to rule the islands as a council with some laws, under the threat of taking the remaining natives into the jungle and becoming a massive thorn in their side until one side or the other was completely whipped out. They agreed, and the council was born. Soon others began to arrive on the shores as well. Political exiles, smuggling merchants, and others began to settle on the shores, and the council slowly grew and grew to accommodate more groups.
The Most Devout Followers of Quilio-Fil'zón
This could use some cleaning up!
Races: 85% Merfolk, 15% Merfolk Pureblood Government: Theocracy Capitol: His Blessed City
Deep under the wakes, their lies an undersea empire. Merfolk, living under the rule of their god Quilth-Fil'zón.
The merfolk follow the commandments from Quilth-Fil'zón to the letter. For example, one of them is THOU SHALT NOT HURT THY FELLOW BELIEVER and because of this no one hurts or kills any other merfolk, emotionally or physically. Ever. However most of his other commandments are along the lines of WORSHIP ME, GATHER POWER FOR ME, EXPAND MY DOMAIN, etc. So they are really not nice to anyone else. They truly believe themselves to be good however, and dress and act like the nicest nuns you'll ever meet. While they sink your ship when you get to close to their waters, that is.
As the meteor struck the world, volcanic activity rocked the planet. Islands formed in the north west from the violent tectonic activity while the ocean floor split open. The blast from the reactor explosion sent an immense amount of radioactive material into the atmosphere and launched massive boulders of irradiated rock across the world. The largest of them sank into the crevice, damaging reality as it sank deeper into the oceanic abyss.
Generations later colonists new to the islands would suffer great and terrible visions. After numerous unsolved murders and disappearances the people would flee back to the mainland. Years later yet another attempt at colonization would be made by people from lands unfamiliar with the islands. These people suffered from similar visions, building in intensity until one woman began to sing by the seashore. Merfolk rose from the ocean and joined her in singing. The visions became prophetic rather than horrific. The people organized choirs to sing to the ocean and the choirs became the basis of the island's religious worship. Visitors to the islands are ordered to remain on their ships at night or in areas relegated for visitors. The people themselves have taken on exotic yet beautiful features, almond shaped eyes with golden irises and tall slim builds. Elders who begin to hear singing at all hours swim out to sea never to be seen again. Piracy is extremely uncommon in the region and many who sail across these waters tell tales of sea serpents, sirens and strange lights under the waters at night, like the ocean reflects stars that don't match the skies. Storms that rise in the region are especially vicious and many ships are lost within them. The islands are an abundant source of many gemstones though so many brave the dangers of the voyage for the promise of great wealth. The few survivors of these wrecks tell tales of a great iridescent city beneath the waves and strange fish creatures that attack them on sight and drag them down into the waves.
Exrta lore from events in Gloria-Etalia.
Mek-Shaman's Travel Journal
The following passages are excerpts from a traveling Coatlanhan Mek-Shaman's travel journal. Riding with a trade caravan, he journied through Morloux Republic.
It has been a couple months since I have entered the domain of the Morluc (sic.), as part of a trading caravan. I have heard rumors that the Morlucans have their own God-Machines, far bigger than any in Coatlanhan - and this is why they are more advanced than our civilization, or so they claim. We shall see.
We approach the mountains separating the Morluc and the Latzari, and from a distance it could be seen: dozens upon dozens of gigantic god-machines, scattered upon the range like dolls. The locals call them Stone Giants, because they look like they're part of the mountains. My heart fills with awe as we pass one such god-machine's head half buried near a road, some offerings of flowers and alcohol left near its mouth.
The sense of awe dissipates as questions begin to be assembled in my mind. Why do they not decorate and take good care of their god-machines? It is true that the Morluc revere and emulate them, as evidenced by the local guards' armor. Do they treat their gods like this? And why do none of the Stone Giants I've seen do not move at all?
Belarian Explorer's Desert Journal
The following is what remains from the journal of a Belarian explorer, found in an empty desert. The rest of the book as been damaged beyond repair.
Scribes Note: *Canaries: something akin to Geiger counters.
The expedition continues, despite my Techno-Barbarian guide's grumblings. I had assured that she'll be compensated with whatever artefacts we will find at our destination. The raid by a hostile T-B bandit group was most unfortunate, but thankfully we only lost a crate of Xuxu beans. Broderick will have to contend with that.
Another underground settlement we encounter late at night. At least these ones are more amiable to foreigners. Jayana, my guide, claimed to know a relative of a relative here. Sadly, these people have never even seen the Mimic-City - although they point out to go deeper north. Deeper into the Wastes. Let's hope these ancient Canaries* still work.
We're all packed up and ready to go northwards. Broderick is jittery without his Xuxu, Jayana is constantly praying to her pagan digi-spirits, while Lucas is complaining about the sand again. As good an omen as we'll ever get.
Radstorm on the horizon. We take refuge in an ancient ruin, Lucas thinks this was once a fallen tower. Many signs of prior T-B habitation. Jayana seem spooked by a few of the pictograms. In other news, the Canaries are working. Silver lining.
Radstorm taking far too long. Broderick resorted to pacing about and occasionally tried to provoke Jayana. Lucas just tries to ignore while reading that thick book of his. Supplies still good for another week. After that, we have to resort to butchering the horses.
Something smashed into the ruins at night. Something like a building dropped on us. Broke the ruins even more, letting the radstorm in. Broderick dead, Lucas is missing, I am wounded. I owe my life to Jayana. Saw glimpses of something bigger than the ruins connected to this place Jayana stuffed us in.
It was no building. It was a leg. And Jayana took us on top of it.
The metal facades greet us as our Canaries sing furiously. We are in the court of the Mimics. I hope this journal is found. Last entry either way.
The Chosen Child
A boy has been chosen by a village of techo barbarians to visit their gods in their sky fortress above the heavens.
Today marks my fifteenth summer, among the braves of my tribe, only I was Chosen for this task. Truth be told, it was not because of a feat of strength nor was it my lineage as son of the chief. I was Chosen since this year, only I among the children of my age manage to survive to this day. The rest are too young or too old. Sometimes I ponder… can I really succeed? What if it was I that would have died many seasons ago and one of my late friends who could have taken up the task?
”The tribe is ready child.”
This was the shaman; this man may as well have raised me like I was his own son. I used to sit every night at the front to listen about the glory of our people, how we came to be and what is our mission. Now, it all seems like a blur, I can barely remember any parts of his tales. If I am forgetting his teachings the night the grand ceremony is supposed to be held, am I really going to make it?
”You have no need to speak; I know that responsibility weights on your shoulders. Yet despite all this, you chose not to abandon the tribe. Cowardice has never been one of your failings.”
I want to scream. I want to tell him that he is wrong. I want to run. I know that all the Chosens before me has never come back since way before the grandfather of my grandfather was even born. Yet I stay still, whenever others are in need I stood my ground. Perhaps the gods will look on me favorably this day.
”Only a few ever deserved the privilege to speak to our gods. Among the blessed few, those who brought back gifts of the heavens were declared heroes of the tribes!” He then stripped me of all but my loincloth, and then painted on my skin the symbols dear to our people. Also were the names of the previous Chosens who has brought the gods’ blessings, for calling their names may remind them to be generous again. “When you will stand before them, remember to ask for those rocks and materials for the Effigy”.
On the leather of an animal I do not know the name of, were crude drawings representing what the Effigy asked of us so many generations ago.
The shaman grabbed me by the shoulder and we exit the ritual tent where I was resting and we went for a circle of stones, one of the many we build around the mountains. The bards were already singing and playing drums. I could hardly hear what was told, but I wager it was praises to the gods, prayers to the previous Chosens, and lastly encouragements to me and my enormous task. ”Tonight! When tribes will celebrate the longest day in all four seasons, we will rejoice at the return of the long nights! Our creators reside among the stars, and it is with glee that we will be able to contemplate our glorious guides once more! Yes, it is only during this time of summer do they fly the heavens above our heads!”
“GLORY TO THE HEAVENS, MAY THE GODS RAIN UPON US THEIR GIFT, MAY THEY BLESS THE WINDS THAT PUSH OUR BACKS TO NEW HEIGHTS!” The bards chanted.
“MAY THEY GIVE STRENGHT TO THE CHILDREN OF ITZIT!” The tribe followed.
The shaman circled around me, outside of the circle of stone. He sang, but his voices could barely be understood under the noises that the ritualistic drums made. He was wielding his staff. It was made from a metal that never rust and is as pale as the immortal snow upon the mountains. Lights of colors belonging to a rainbow ignited and disappeared, like fireflies in the night.
One last look. That’s all I had before leaving our lands for the heavens. I saw my tribesmen with joyous expression, I saw the shaman exulting to his prayer that has been answered… what I never saw was my own father, the chieftain. Did he never show up because he knew inside him I would fail? It is hard to say, as my last thoughts on this earth were swallowed by a celestial light. I went up so fast the land seemed like blur, my lungs were emptied of air.
And then I arrived. It was dark… so unlike the light from before.
There was silence. No cheering from my ancestors. No gods welcoming me. No Chosens here too. Then there were creaks, some like a giant animal, and others like sticks being stepped on.
It smelled of death… why?
I cannot move. I panicked. I struggled. More creaks. Something then came loose. I pushed. I climbed. I have trouble breathing. I am blind. I reach. My hand grasp handles. A shield perhaps? Could it protect me from this horror without name? I pull. It is stuck. I feel myself choking on the smell, and the lack of air. I try to push. It moves slightly. I twist. It opens.
I fell on the floor. On top of me were piles of what I cannot describe. What I do not describe. What if I thought it for a second would destroy my very being.
I left up my chin. At the ceiling there was a light. Not lighten up by flames, but like our shaman’s staff. Only this time brighter, and also colder as if snow could shine like the sun. Around me was a shell of metal.
I have never been curious by nature, but I did look behind me. Not because I wanted to know, but a compulsion I had. Something has grabbed my hand. Something that is rotting. Something that is foul.
I yelled. It was an exploit by itself since I could barely breathe, but I screamed none the less. On top of myself were the remains of dozens of children. Behind them was a transparent tube with a door open, most of its previous contain dropped on the floor. When I looked at the corpses, I hazarded they were all around my age by estimating the less decomposed ones. I didn’t bring myself to look at their faces. I couldn’t fathom to try and recognize if those were the previous Chosens.
It is then that I heard it clearly. The high pitch yell of the metallic shell I was in. I barely had the time to try and breathe, I heard it again. There was also another voice; I couldn’t understand what it was saying.
It is dark now. Like if I was in a tunnel of a grotto. The noises, is becoming quieter. I cannot remember when was the last took I took air in.
I want to scream. I want to tell my people that they were wrong. I want to run. Yet, I know that I will never come back. I have no strength left. I am laying low on the floor. The last thing that comes to my mind before it ends were thoughts of my tribe.
The Cannibal Cults while seen as odd, primitive or even barbaric are rarely seen as outright monsters. Among them there is one which can be seen as a true monster. His name long forgotten, but his story starts as a young boy who has eaten his newborn sister as she was being born. His mother powerless after realizing what just happened chased out the boy not able to slay him herself. Living as a half feral creature the boy would always eat. Swallowing rats whole, later even whole cats. Flavoring his dishes with Pink salt he slowly developed a small rat's tail and a cat's eyes. Normally one would only flavor human flesh not animal one in fear of such mutations, but the boy relished them. Wandering tribe to tribe he'd become an acolyte of death as if he knew when someone was about to die consuming their flesh before the family could arrive. It is a great crime to steal the last memories of a loved one from their family. As such the boy was locked in a cage and sold to slavers. For no one wanted to kill him, for what you kill you must eat and they feared the essence of this boy. The slavers were happy they got many slaves cheap and even a boatload of the rare pink salt.
The fate of the boy would change on that boat. It stranding on an odd island. That island being one of the rare Minor Mollusks. Being brought on land for months he would be kept in cage as the slavers were rebuilding the ship. Them eating true food, the slaves being thrown corpses of those who died among them. The boy didn't like that, he knew that one who eats slaves will remain a slave. He stuck his hand trough the bars of his cage, deep into the sand. As if being pulled in he felt something warm and soft. It was flesh. The flesh of the island, he bit into it and he started hearing voices. Thousands of them, and he spoke with them.It was the voices of the mollusks. Voices incomprehensible to man as man is to the mollusk.
For a few brief seconds the boy experienced contact with beings so alien that if fundamentally changed how his brain worked. For the next month he did not eat. Left as a dried up husk or of a corpse it was his time to be fed to the remaining slaves, but that is when he awoke. His jaw opening wide enough to swallow a man's head whole. Who consumes masters will become a master. So he consumed. As if having transcended humanity he ate grown men one after another, consuming them. The other slavers trying to attack the boy suddenly felt held in pace. Tentacles from the island itself holding them in place. Said same tentacles grabbed those wishing to flee. In a 100 days the boy consumed a 100 men and became as large as a 100 men. And the slaves were fed to the island. Finally ready the spilled all the pink salt in a cave which slowly turned to mollusk flesh and he ate and ate and ate until he had become one with the Island. Now the Glutton is known as the most dangerous pirate in the sea. His ship a mollusk larger than a city, his stature as large as a giant, and 10 times the weight. In the south sea he eternally raids for slaves and food with a massive crew of fat men who wish to be like him. They say that a raid of the gluttonous fleet feels more like a war than Pirate raid as that big how his army is. A quote which sums up the "Gluttonous Fleet": "Before a Kraken, an armada of ships shivers. Before the Glutton a herd of Krakens Shivers."
Account of Glutton's Fleet raiding the Giant-Halfling Alliance
The Gluttonous Fleet Usually operates near the Ram's head with frequent raids on the Cannibals (for Punk Salt). They raid as far North as Seem and as far West as the Celestial Empire. Striking at Random.
It was only once so far where the Fleet Traveled west into Westerasi waters launching a Raid on Midnat. Not only encroaching on waters of the Black Sand Pirate Council but also attacking one of the most Dangerous raiding targets one can imagine. The homeland of the giants.
From the Giant's Perspective, the raid was a truly apocalyptic event. On a hot summer day on the Horizon, an island appeared. It looked like a Grand mountains covered in a ram shack cityscape. With a port surrounding it on every side and a fleet following it.
Slowly the fleet filled the whole horizon and not much after the ships seemingly made out of shells started making landfall. Hordes of fat humans started flooding the Homeland of the giants raiding Halfling villages villagers and even ambushing some giants.
The response on the side of the Giants was swift. Armies of Giants soon arose from the great walled cities of the alliance. They are trained to deal with human invaders, who they easily send flying with one swing of a club. these humans were different though. While small in stature, they were great in weight flying only a meter or two before jumping up to charge again protected by a layer of blubber. The Rare giant with a sword, spear or halberds has proven himself more useful here. The Giant counteroffensive managed to spearhead the Gluttonous invaders splitting their force in two, arriving at the shore of their homeland only to see the Mothership herself make a landing. As the Mollusk came close to shore out of Mollusk shell a gateway grew and onto it the Gluttnous one himself descended. Neither covered in armor nor, wielding a weapon. All he had was a bag of salt in his left hand.
As he marched arrows were flung his way, but none seemed to hit. Likely because the Giants could not bear to look at him for even a split second. Their eyes averting themselves if they tried to look. Same for the archers. With bravery in their hearts, they rushed the Glutton a human dwarfing giants in size. Only for the first one of them to be caught by the neck and lifted up unusual inhuman fear would paralyze the giants as the mass of blubber moved its bag to cover their champion in pink dust only to then in one gulp bit off his head and as the Glutton enjoyed his meal his men broke out in a song a sea shanty so loud the entirety the Alliance could hear. No ordinary song, bardic spell sand by thousands in unison. Suddenly the once weak humans could hold their own in combat against the giants in fact overwhelming them with numbers as the Glutton himself marched along picking off and eating Giants one by one.
Before the end of the raid, tens of thousands of giants and halflings were abducted or eaten before the Gluttons forces retreated to avoid facing the proper army of the Alliance. Those unfortunate enough were either eaten by the crew or sacrificed to the Mollusk itself.
Metanote: The Glutton himself is a powerful psion with a mental connection to the Mollusk he uses as a ship. His fleet is mostly comprised of minor psyons and normal pirates. Though all are trained in basic bardic arts. Raids are also usually not this successful, this one is significant because it went so unusually well and because it was basically a declaration of war on the Black Sand Council.
Account of the Battle of Tsu-Xia, The Glutton Fleet vs The Celestial Empire: GE year 4997
From the Commanding Tent of the High-Lord General Nion San, stationed at the Fort of the Majestic Southern Watchtower by her divine grace Empress Dan Ning, Long May the Skyfather Watch over her.
I, Nion San, of sound mind, dictate this missive following Her Most Divine Wishes to be updated in the situation regarding the defense of our coastal settlements against the threat of the Thrice cursed Great-Fat-One. For Imperial Records ends, it's the Seventh Day of the Third Month of the year 2 of Dan Ning's Blessed Reign.
I was sent to the coastal lands after the devastation of the village of Susu. The guard there, numbering five score strong detachment of Xia's Regional People's Militia, was slaughtered to the last, and of the three thousand people living in the village, two thousand remain unaccounted for and presumed dead, with the rest being found either in hiding in the caves by the foothills near the coast or dead on sight and near it. Evidence piling, my conclusions were inevitable. This was an act of most vile piracy or worst, by terrible Koi-Shi* and in my mission to secure Her Imperial Majesty's Peace in her Most Blessed Reign, I took to myself to convey with Koi-Shi from the Yusixi Island. This glass-man had stood witness, in the past, to similar massacres. He assured me, swearing by his facial hair, that this raid was the doing of a being whose foulness defies belief, known as the 'Big Eater' in the Merchant's tongue. After conveying with Imperial Sages, it was told that the 'Big Eater' was indeed the Great-Fat-One of our fishermen legends. It was known for his terrible deeds, but long believe he left our coasts alone for fear of our Celestial Might. It's clear that if this truce ever existed, it was now violated.
I explain this in the hope that her Divine Grace Empress Dan Ning and the Most Blessed Imperial Office of Requisition will judge my next actions with the proper understanding that they meant not to be wasteful, but necessary.
My investigation led me to believe this raid as a prodding raid feeling the defenses of our Imperial Shores and trusting my senses, I sent scouts to the villages near Susu to collect information from their fishermen about the weird sightings at sea. It was confirmed that there had been more than usual, particularly near the rather large coastal village of Tsu-Xia. Time was wasting and I used my authority to approve a black-seal edit, taking command of the province's workforce from the Agrarian Imperial Administration and Imperial Office of Roads and Bridges, and another to seize control of the Imperial Office of Munitions of the Xia Province. The scribes and officials were displeased, as I am sure Her Divine Grace will have heard. Much work needed to be done.
Three villages were raid after Susu, and Tsu-Xia was left alone. These villages are as listed: Din-Su, Nang-Su, and Ling-Su. Casualties numbered now near the eight thousand civilians and eight hundred soldiers. Her Majesty will have heard I refused to evacuate or reinforce villages, and that is true. I take responsibility for the loss of life, but defend my actions as strictly necessary. These prodding attack brought the gaping maw of the enemy towards Tsu-Xia, like a charging boar.
The size of the enemy would have shaken lesser men to their core, but being Celestial Bred Suoxi virile males, my men stood their ground as the Second Day of the Third Month of the Year 2 of Dan Ning's Blessed Reign, we saw the enemy fleet. Ships numbered over two thousand, and a small island seemed to move closer ashore in the middle of them. This hasn't been the case in other attacks, according to reports, only a couple dozen ships had attacked each village. With me I had the Sixth Crane Legion, the Fourth Crane Legion, and the Third Lion Legion, number fifteen thousand strong among them all. I also had the Xia Provincial Auxiliary Militia, numbered a thousand strong, so we knew, before seeing the enemy, we'd be deeply outnumbered. Tsu-Xia's walls opened fire with their trebuchets, and two ships were sunk by our flaming boulders, yet nothing could stop the tide descending upon it. When the longboats were deployed, perhaps a hundred thousand enemies rowed towards our shores, and from the island, the vilest form of the Great Fate One shambled towards us. I had the city garrison fire their rapid-fire crossbow and while thousand of bolts fled the air and many struck home to our enemies black hearts, the Koi-Shi were simply too many. From the moving island, even more, longboats came, the whole island covered in a dark pathetic Koi-Shi dwelling. We had not even dented their numbers when they made ashore.
Now if her Divine Grace is unfamiliar with Tsu-Xia, that is understandable. So vast is her domain, knowing it all would be beyond even the Great Divine Empress. Tsu-Xia is the heart of the Xia province and stands in the center of a very large bay. Rocks rise from either side of the bay, and Tsu-Xia sits in the only beach one can land or launch ships from. The valley is surrounded by tall, steep cliffs, and few routes lead down into the walled town from the heart of the mainland. I knew this target would be tempting to our enemy, for there would be nowhere for the fifty thousand men and woman of Tsu-Xia to flee once the raid started. At least not effectively, as they would clog the narrow trails and be slaughtered to a man. Tsu-Xia sea is also peculiar in its shallowness, almost a flatbed no deeper than a hundred feet stretches across the whole bay, and the sea won't become deeper until much further. The ground shook when the island ceases to move, for it had become embanked into the shallows, being over a hundred feet deep. So massive was this enemy vessel, it blocked a lot of the routes of the bay, and until it managed to free itself, it almost entirely corked their fleet inside the bay.
Our rapid crossbows were without ammunition as the first of the Vile Koi-Shi made landing and the enemy island-vessel run aground in the shallows. That's when I had the flag raised. Small skiffs around the bay cut the ropes of the large net I had constructed using the whole province's supply of hemp rope and even needed more commissioned in a hurry. These ropes attached to weighted hooks held our most glorious Turtle-Bombs***.
I used the entire supply of the province and explosions that issues were so vast and so close together, that the steam rose and blocked my view of the bay. Over a thousand Turtle Bombs went out in the space of half a minute, and the bay was covered in hot steam. Later reports said that fish emerged dead over five miles in either direction of the bay. As the enemy fleet disappeared from sight under steam, the great fat creates let out a bellowing roar, and the men on the skiffs kept coming and began singing an unhallowed shanty. That's when I raised my second flag.
Three Hundred and Seventy-Five Dragon-Doves were loosened into the enemy. I had them outfitted with whistling ammunition and as expected, the loud whistling of eighteen thousand fire-spears whistling down into the skiffs still between the fleet and the shore drowned out the shanty and some of the enemy numbers covered their ears as they began to bleed. Without their unhallowed magic, when the fire-spears touched the frail rowboats, they were upturned and sunk by impact, tossing the man into the now near-boiling water resulting from the turtle bombs. The enemy numbers greatly diminished yet thousands had made ashore already and were marching across the white sands between the sea and the walls of Tsu-Xia, walking between the warehouses of the harbors and cutting down a thousand militiamen I sent from the gates to fight them at the beach. The militia broke, retreating and I had the gates closed. The enemy rushed to finished the fleeing militiamen, piling themselves by the crowded docks. And that's when I raised the third flag. Archers with flaming arrows peppered the warehouses whose roofs were filled with tar, and the interior filled with dry straw. The great conflagration consumed the land forces of the enemy, and the few survivors fled back towards their boats at the beach. I sent the Crane Legion's cavalry cohorts to cut them off and caught between horse and flame, of the hundred thousand enemies, less than a thousand made it back to their boats. By them, the steam cloud had cleared and I could see the enemy fleet of ten thousand boats was now reduced to a mere three hundred, and those were heavily damaged and likely not well crewed. The Great Fat One did great effort to release his island back and retreat. So I raised the fourth flag.
A Hundred Thousand Imperial Gold I requested to pay the Glass-Men proved their worth. The Glass Koi-Shi**** brought us fifty fireships, and I hid them in inlets around the bay. They now swarmed from the sides and spilled their fire upon the island-vessel of the fat one. The shantytown was wet and took many bursts of flames to set it ablaze. But eventually, it did. By them, the Island Vessel stirs violently, shaking the foundations of the shantytown above it and tossing most of it's flaming debris into the ocean. The great fat one burned and even from a mile off in my watching post I could smell its fat burning. It was the vilest thing I ever smelled. The Fireships kept spilling flames and the Great Fat One Island-Vessel moves, trampling and destroying perhaps ten of the fireships in its path to flee. The surviving three hundred ships tried their best to follow the smoking wreckage as their leader bellows filled the bay, but the fireships did still manage to set perhaps twenty of them ablaze. All prisoners were executed and their limbs and heads cut and set on spikes, spaced a hundred paces in between, there was enough spikes to cover the whole shore of the Xia province with warnings for the next pirate who deems to attack Her Divine Grace's Subjects.
With this, I hope to justfiy the use of resources and loss of life by explaining to her Divine Grace that the actions were necessary to properly discourage further inclusions from the Great Fat One in our territory. The Imperial Council seeks to have me executed for the loss of life of civilians and soldiers deliberately sacrificed. if Her Divine Grace deems my actions unjust, I'll gladly take my own life upon her Blessed Command.
With no more to declare I sign
Your Forever Loyal, Nion Sang, High-Lord General of Xia Imperial Province of Her Divine Grace Dan Ning of the Celestial Empire. Dictated and Read.
*(translator note: Celestial world for foreigner and savage is the same; Koi-Shi.)
- (Translator note: Celestial often refer to foreign merchants from the Ecinev league as 'glass-man' even when they trade in other products.)
- (Turtle-Bombs are a Celestial war device, a small clay pot filled with air, explosives and with triggering iron spikes. Submerged, the air causes them to float. When clay breaks from contact with a ship, water touches the alchemy Sinfan, causing the water to boil instantly from the heat released, and the expansion of steam forms a fireless, yet extremely strong explosion. Survivors of the kinetic blast are often boiled alive by the rising steam.)
- (Glass Koi-Shi likely means Ecinevan League foreigners)
Account of Black Sand Pirate Representative's interaction with the Heavy Eater
The news of the actions of the East's Heavy Man have been puzzling lately. Weeks after a disastrous Raid on the Celestial Empire, he launched a raid further west than he has ever gone, into waters which trough unspoken word fall under the jurisdiction of the Black Flag. Thus the Admirals of the Pirate Council have decided, to send me as a representative to demand and explanation from the Fat one and to understand his actions and to judge whether or not we should see this as an act of war. I have been assigned a 100 ships to my retinue as protection, I am vying for the sympathies of said crew for if said sympathies I obtain then they may chose to stay as my own fleet.
To find the Gluttonous Fleet is no easy task one has to travel to the Far East, beyond the nation of the Glass Merchants, or Bean Farmers, North Beyond the Radmathir Khaliphate and alongside the shores of the Damphir Swamplands. It is said that the Glutton Controls most of the Trade coming out of the Deep Swamp. If a ship does not work for him directly, it pays him to avoid his wrath. Trough some minor raids, we soon caught attention of his men, who while they approached us with hostility were soon swayed by gifts of gold, slaves and booze.
As such soon we were taken to the Glutton, the Captain of his fleet. The fat man of the East. The rituals of the east are odd, before being even permitted to set foot on the "Big Shelly" (Name of Mollusk, actually is in an asian tongue similar to vietnamese which just translates to "Big/Enormous Shell[pet name]") we had to bow and pay respects to the captain. While the Pirates on the boats look not very different to the Pirates of the Black Sands, the ones on the Flagship certainly do. All obese and grand in statue, in armor out of shell always eating something. The smell of odd things being fried in oil and slaves lamenting in cages filled the busy streets. It was hard to tell whether one was on a ship or in a city at times.
In the West Great Magnats wish for castles, while grand Pirates wish for grand ships. The East's Heavy Eater had both. Entering the Palace reminiscent of a cheap imitation of those found in the Celestial Empire we were asked to bow once more and remove our shoes and all present weapons. We complied, as surrounded by so many, no amount of weapons could protect one. Wandering the inside were servants eternally offering us food. It is considered a great insult to refuse food gifted to you, as such we ate. Finally we entered the grand ballroom taken up by the Glutton himself 1/3rd just him, 1/3rd the servants serving him. The rest was a grand dining table prepared for us. Once again, we bow. The high Glutton bows back.
"There is no need for that my lord, it is custom to bow to a lord while in his castle in our land, no need for him to bow." - I replied as politely as possible
"If an equal bows before you, you bow before them. This is the custom of this land. You showed the respect I deserve bowing to me the captain when you set foot on the ship and to me the lord when you entered my palace. You speak on Behalf of the Black-Flags, now let's talk as equals." - the voice of the Fat Man rang inside our head. As he continued to eat.
Me and my compatriots looked puzzled, magic which invades one's mind is rare and taxing. Why would one use it out of mere convenience? The Glutton sat there food being presented to him without break. That which he judged worthy he sprinkled with salt and ate, that which he did not judge worthy he either ate or had it thrown to the slaves.
"You my lord are a Captain I represent a 10 000 Captains. A 10 000 captains which you have insulted, by raiding waters they consider theirs. I wish to understand why, so it does not have to come to unneeded hostilities." - I uttered this prepared reply, with fear and angst.
"Among you Raiders of the West, no matter the fleet or ships all Captains are to be seen equal, but equal only in dignity, not responsibility." - a pile of black flags is brought out and thrown on the ground - "If I am no more than a mere captain of your ilk, then I have broken the unspoken agreement 67 times fewer than you pirates of the West. Now watch your words, for even if I am a kind man I am also one who does not wish their dignity insulted."
Indeed piles of black flags amassed over decades. It was then when fear struck me, but also a sense of opportunity.
"If their punishment was death, then shan't it too be yours?"
A hearty laughter filled the room, from the true mouth of the Glutton. "We both know justice lies on the side of the strong. If you have the power to justly punish me then do so! Great sailors are valued, I don't put them to death. Willy nily. For the wished to raid in the east I let them, but that is under my flag and in my name. If you did not comply then you met your punishment. Here I would ask, if you truly wish for me to join the Council?"
His answer had, put me on the spot. If I was to be fair I should agree, but one captain as strong as this joining a council of thousands... what would stop him from putting us under his hegemony? I had to relent.
"No, my lord. No punishment or war is in order then. The Council has overstepped it's boundaries and we wish to return to the old Unspoken Agreement. May, I know though why you have staged 2 rare massive raids so recently? Rarely does the 'Big Shelly' herself participate in raids so why 2 so close by." - I accepted my defeat, and he accepted it graciously. At least my 2nd mission had to now be fulfilled accordingly.
"Tell be, Captain of the Black Flags. What is the difference between a pirate fleet and a state?"
"I do not follow."
"A nation gains soldiers from it's kin. From raising kids. From the men of the land. A nation bitten and wounded has the luxury of calm and and rest and rebuilding after a defeat. A fleet stands on the shoulders of it's myth. No more is needed than one grand defeat, for your men to loose hope. For them to leave. A fleet cannot sit idly by after a defeat. It has no luxury, so if you ask why? It's to keep up the myth. In most recent memory I am not Glutton the Looser of Dan-Dio. I am Glutton the devouter of Giants!"
Another healthy laugh followed from his mouth, as he took a second to neat eat. For one to attack not because he is strong, but because he is weak. An odd form of wisdom rarely found in the west.
I have chosen to return to the West, but only 70 of the protective vessels chose to follow me, the rest joining the Glutton's fleet willingly. On the way back we raided relentlessly so I may not return without a victory.
Chill Anon's Midlands Oneshot
Be me, DM running experimental one shot in Gloria-Etalia setting
Be not me, 3rd level barbarian maid for Vampire Baroness and Old Farmer Warlock
Both are from the Grand Duchy, becuase that is the area that I know best
Cannibal cults have been stealing a few people here and there
Soldiers would just get lost and taken out if they cross as a group
Vampire Baroness tasks party to go across the border and kill some cultists
Would remind them not to mess with the Duchy
Also tasked to bring back any dead bodies if they can get away with it
Old Farmer Warlock to be paid by the tounge, the maid will get a special payment
Get sent across the border during the night becuase they have sunlight sensitivity
Crosses a very steep mountainous pass but with not a lot of width to it,so they cross easily enough
Land in marshland and are stunned by strange and alien world
They have never seen so much fauna in their life, due to the ecology of the Duchy
tfw trees have green things on them, and toad isn't pure black
Barbarian casts speak with animals to talk to the toad
Rolls a history check to remember what the cultists look like and some basic lore about them
Gets a nat 1
Can only remember rumors about cultists
"They are savage, inhuman creatues that are basically monsters"
Toad leads them to a scary looking tree, and then buggers off
They go into the marshes searching for cultists
Find a human footprint, and follow it back to a camp
Camp is five humans around an unlit campfire
1 man, 3 women, and 1 boy, who all have only a blanket on them
Party decides to stealth up to take them out one by one
Debate on who to take out first, and Old Farmer Warlock throws a knife as a distraction to wake them up
throws knife and wakes the boy up, who fails his spot check and lies back down
Fails to overhear the party debating what to do next
Party takes a look at the cultists, and notice a few things
Cultists have chunks of flesh missing
fingers, toes, flesh from the body
Party realises that cultists cannot be cultists, and must be native running from the cultists
nat 1 history check from earlier comes to bite them in the ass
Decide that they cannot kill such helpless savages
Will bring them back alive to live to become civilized in the Duchy
Barbarian talks about how the kid is should be the priority, as he can be convinced to be civilised the easiest
Decide what to do next
Old Farmer Warlock decides to eldrich blast their campfire pit, to wake them all up
"Are you sure"
Old Farmer Warlock's player did bike 12 miles in 92 degree weather today, so I don't blame his decision making on him
Old Farmer Warlock blows up the campfire with a flaming eldrich blast
Proceeds to give a simi-coherent speech about coming with them to live a better, move civilized life
Tries to convince them to come with the party
PC's look like pale humans due to having never been exposed to the sun
Giant pupils to see in the dark
Just blew up their camp with an ELDRICH BLAST
I call a break to go to the bathroom, and burst out laughing when I must myself
I come back, and tell Old Man Farmer to roll persuasion with disatvantage
Doesn't make the two nat 20s somehow to not make them run away
They scream at the top of their lungs and run away
Maid Barbarian proceeds to ge a nat 20 on initative, Old Farmer Warlock a 21
All cultists get below a 15
Maid Barbarian then goes to grappel one of the women and a child who is grabing the women
15 DC to only get the woman, 20 DC to get both of them
rolls a 22
They cry out in fear
Old Farmer Warlock then casts hold person on the man
The other two women start to run as fast as their legs can carry them
Maid Barbarian then tries to tie the woman-child combo up
Gets a nat 20
I rule that he gets another action because of the nat 20
Proceeds to shoot one of the running women in the leg, trying to deal non lethal damage
Gets max damage on the short crossbow, 10 dmg
Is using commoner statblock
4 hp for the commoner
She falls, instantly dead
Other woman hesitates for a second, then continues running
The woman and child are still crying and screaming
Old Farmer Warlock ties up man, and then starts to go after the other woman
Maid Barbarian goes to pick up the "unconscious" woman
Try to tell him to make a survival check, but keeps interrupting me to tell me that picking up the woman should be a free action
Old Farmer Warlock runs after the other woman
Maid Barbarian makes the survival check
Realises there is a LOT of blood around for an unconscious person
Sets her down and covers her with some sticks
Walks back to the captured cultists covered in blood
Child starts to scream and cry, saying Kanra, Kanra!
Woman with him, who is also sobbing, hugs him closly
Maid Barbarian OOC makes the connection that they are "surface raiding like the drow"
Old Farmer Warlock comes back and lets the woman cultist get away
The man finally makes his save on the hold person spell, and starts to scream and cry as well
The party tries to calm them down, and says that they are here to help them
Woman figures out that they are from across the barrier (the mountians) from the Duchy
Man fails to spit on Old Farmer Warlock, and tells them that he would never submit to unholy monsters as his ruler.
Maid Barbarian takes this as a personal insult on his Dutchess, and proceeds to tell him that if he makes another comment like that again, she will kill him,
Man, thinks about this
"Vania, take care of the child."
Proceeds to insult the duchy, the vampires, and the PC
Vania screams out NOOOOO and starts to sob
The man has very good religious reasons why he wants to die rather than be brough back to the Duchy
I wrote some lore for them for this which I will post tomorrow
Basically he things that his soul will go to fuel the vampire
If he dies here, there is a chance they will leave his body where he could be found and eaten
His soul would then go into the people that ate him, instead of the unholy vampires
Maid Barbarian proceeds to pick him up by the neck and drag him away to get decapitated
Old Farmer Warlock convinces him not to kill the man
The man is screaming at her to kill him now
The woman and child are crying as they see their family member get hualed off to die
Is 11:15 and everyone wants to go to bed now except me
The session then ends with the PC's having no idea what to do
Party has no idea what to do
Talks among themselves for 10irl minutes, debating options
Decide to head back to the mountain, and chain gang the captured cultists to bring them along with
Start to head back to the mountains and their exit
Halfway back they hear a noise and stop
Turning around, they see an old man crouching behind a tree watching them
They also see him motion his hand in a stop motion behind him
Three old people dressed in robes and one shaggy beastman with bull horns step out of the woods
Mechanically, this is three acolytes and a reskinned lizardfolk attacking them
The captured cultists yell to him that they humans are dangerous
Old Farmer Warlock steps forward to attack, and gets half of his hp taken out by the beastman
Switches out with the Main Barbarian, who proceeds to fuck the cultists up
The cultists fall in short succession, and one even gets captured running away
The captures cultist is an old woman, who seems strangely fit and healthy for someone her age
She is unconscious, and is slung over the Maid Barbarians back
They continue to the mountains, and are unmolested along the way
They call up to the soldiers that they are back, who hear them and drop down two ropes
They call up that they have company with them
No response, as the soldiers don't hear them
During this, there have been small interactions between the cultists and the party
A lot of name calling on the cultists part, and one of them states that they would rather die than be brought to the party’s unholy masters
This is taken lightly by the party
They decide this will do and go to tie the captured cultists to the rope so they can climb up
They turn to find the ropes binding them fall away, and a knife in the woman's hand
They never searched the cultists
The cultists turn to run, and get stomped by the party
Old Farmer Warlock rolls a three to tie up the kid, does a terrible job and knows it
Turn to talk to the man and woman some more, and tell them that they were foolish to try to escape
See a smirk on the man’s face and relief on the woman’s, and turn to see that the child is gone
”Oh well, we still have you three”
Go to search the man and woman to see what they find
Cultist man rolls a 13 to hide his knife, Maid Barbarian rolls a twelve
Being satisfied, they tie them to the mountain rope, and they all start to head up
Man, then woman, then Maid Barbarian with the old woman cultist on one rope
Old Farmer Warlock is on the other rope
Halfway up, they see a glint in the man’s hand, who starts to cut the rope to head back up the mountain
Maid Barbarian cannot get to him, and asked Old Farmer Warlock to do something
Old Farmer Warlock decides to simply blast him
The cultist are using the commoner stat block, instant death
His knife falls out of his hand, and the wife catches it
Maid Barbarian sees this and armlocks the hand behind her back
She drops the knife, and it is sent down the mountain to the earth
Maid Barbarian makes a comment on how the man must have been suicidal to the woman, to try to send them to their doom like that
”Better death than oblivion”
Maid Barbarian does some acrobatics to untie the man
Debates whether to just cut him and half and have the blood and guts fall on his wife on the way down
Decides against this, and just tosses him off of the mountain
They continue up, and reach the top
Are met by the guards, who bring them up and gets them situated
The woman tries and fails to run off of the mountain top, is stopped by Maid Barbarian’s firm grip
They rapellel down the other side, back to the Grand Duchy and away from that unfamiliar land
Halfway down, the cultist woman goes into a freefall
Her rope gets caught by the Maid Barbarian, but falls enough to warrant a d4 of damage
With her shit luck, would most likely get a 1 and would only be lightly bruised
Gets a 4 and the woman falls unconscious
Maid Barbarian decided to rappel down with her
Gets a shit roll, and they both go into a freefall,
Maid Barbarian catches herself and the woman’s rope, but the woman falls enough to warrant another d4 of damage
Most likely going to just get a 1 or 2 and be fine, if still unconscious on a cliff
Gets a 4, and her head cracks against the rocks
Maid Barbarian retrieves the body and gets to the bottom safely
Goes back to the outpost to meet back up with the vampire lieutenant
After taking a bath to get all of the blood off of them, they head up
Finds the lieutenant waiting for them, and is out of uniform
Congratulates them on not only spreading fear among the cultists, but going above and beyond bringing one back alive
Says that the live one would make a good gift to the Duke and Duchess themselves
Askes to.. “experience” the dead woman, and her blood should still be warm
They agree, and leave the room for a few minutes
Come back, and the lieutenant looks a lot healthier, with a red flush fresh in his cheeks
Smiles, pays Old Farmer Warlock 100 gp for his work and the “excellent meal”
For the Maid Barbarian, writes a letter recommending 1 week off as her reward
Maid Barbarian is surprised at the generosity, and accepts this along with the praise from the admiral
Sessions ends with them heading back by carriage, looking out at their homeland, and thinking about what they just did
> New Wiki (1d4chan collapsed on us so we abbandoned it and, it was gone for like 6 threads so there is no point going back) https://gloriaetalia.fandom.com/wiki/Gloria-Etalia_Wiki