Echo Souls (OOC)

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Echo Souls (OOC)

Postby Cascade » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:20 am

Echo Souls
Lost Fantasy RP

Played with RPtools/Maptools and Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition.

Number of Players: 5

-Index and Player Roster-
1. Premise
2. How to Play
3. Making a Character
4. Setting: Geography
5. Setting: Races
6. Setting: Other
7. Joining Game and Other Stuff
8. Campaign Synopsis.

-Player Roster-
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP)

Postby Cascade » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:50 am

In the faerie tale, humans were newborn.

Strangely proportioned and ill-adapted, they were alien to the lands of Calux. They did not have the ancient knowledge of the alboz, the cunning of the nisse, the brutality of the oknisse, or the iron fortitude of the dverger. Some said that they were a populous and great race from the far continent of Radux, but there was little in their tattered clothes or rusted tools to suggest that.

They came upon a land where sand pooled like seas of golden ore, with waves high enough to submerge whole villages. Verdant pasture fed wildlife of ample fat and meat and their movement was a quiet cloud's shadow, rolling over smooth hills. In the north there were the knife-like spires of the mountains, where the teeth of some world-serpent bit the sky in an everlasting grip. In the southeast there was a forest that was literally endless; you could travel through it your entire life and never see the end of it, regardless of your people's longevity.

With time the fecundity of their species peppered the planes of the Southlands with settlements. The newborns loved to grasp things around them and give them names. The long, golden-bearded king of the newborns was named Janiculum I. They gathered 'round him in circles and migrated to a round hill. That was where the Aventian Kingdom was founded.

Other creatures who populated Calux were at times lost in their dialogue with the humans. How to regard these strange creatures with voracious curiosity and ever-increasing numbers. Eventually, when it became clear the humans would not be going back across their thin strip of land into Radux any time soon, the Aventians were granted a mythril crown and allowed into a Council of sentients. These old races had many things to tell the humans, because they believed that the newborn needed to be reared up righteous and strong, in their own ways.

"Dabble not in our mystic arts," the knife-ear said, "and you will have peace as long as you wish it."

"Seek not the mastery of our mountains," the stunted one said, "and we may teach you the vagaries of the forge yet."

"So long as you have interesting stories to tell and food to share, we will always smile upon you." the even more stunted one said.

"We'll see you on the battlefield," the tusked one said.

And the newborn took these things and observed them. Since he was the namer, he named the knife-ear "elf," the stunted one "dwarf," the even more stunted one "halfling," the tusked one "orc." For a time there was peace, save with the orcs, who knew only battle, hated no one and coveted nothing.

Yet the humans bared a sickness endemic to all their kind. They were namers because naming entailed a sort of grasping and manipulation of the objects of the world; if one could name something, one had dominion over at the very least that aspect of it, and so the namers were at their soul's core conquerors. To name that which already had a name was theft. Humans tested the boundaries of their fledgling kingdom, for a century was a long time among the short-lived creatures, and their lands teemed with newborns.

The elves did not appreciate this theft, and nor did the others of Calux. The humans, whose lands were bursting at the seems and teeming with the sickness known as "avarice" took up arms and threw down the mythril crown. Years of warfare past and the humans named more and more things, further and further into lands they had never visited, erasing names already present in foreign, indecipherable tongues.

A feverish red lined the horizon and burned for 12 days and 13 nights, and the land on the other side of the corridor the humans came to Calux through was silent. Famine ravaged the tiny one's field, molten rock flooded the halls of the mountain king, dark ones sprung from the earth in the land of the knife-ear. And one by one these Inhumans clung to their new captors and lost their names. In the world of Man, without a name, one could never retain his form. Without a name, the children of Calux fell into a murky blackness.

That was how the strange creatures known as humans came to own the land of Calux, taking the mystic arts, mastering the mountains, hording the food and conquering the battlefield. Aventia became many Kingdoms and the world across the corridor of sea and valleys became hazy. The feverish red returned to the skies over faraway Radux, coalescing into a smiling tear.

Terrible story, right? I'm not good at making up faerie tales. It's always the names that get me.

-Premise-
I sort of wanted to make a setting in which fantasy races were "fantastical" again, which meant making them rare. Eventually I started writing a lot of crap that I shouldn't have and it all added up to nearly 20 pages of random setting notes in a word document.

Essentially, Echo Souls uses a D&Desque world with D&D mechanics. The origin and flavor of various species in the setting is different from that of the actual official Wizards settings; it's a world in which humans have obtained supremacy and are the custodians of the entire continent. Humans have been in Calux for 535 years. The elves, dwarves, halflings and orcs have been exterminated or bred away, even though their traces of culture and genes remain in human blood. The more inhuman you are, however, the less of a member of society you can be. The trio of threats in human society are the Undead, the Inhuman, and the Twisted. Calux is a large continent, but the world is larger still, and beyond the Stele peninsula that once connected the two continents upon which humanity existed there lies a barrier of fear. In human homes and the cities is a miasma of fear. In the tombs beneath the desert and in the skies there is fear. It is the conquest of this fear that motivates the human race. But, the human race epitomizes fear for the remains of the Inhuman as well.

Not a huge amount of the RP's plot is planned, but invariably these three threats will enter the story, though perhaps not in ways you might expect.

Sorry in advance; I did write almost 20 pages of this stuff, so I might make some big glossary again. Most of it is not necessary to play the RP though.
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP)

Postby Cascade » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:51 am

-How to Play-
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v414/ ... nfight.jpg
Hur hur.

For this game, you will need Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition and RPtools application. Both are very simple and easy to learn, and 4e plays well as long as you have a map or some kind of visual aid, which is why I chose this combination. I'm thinking that I may also use the website Mythweavers to keep track of all your character sheets.

The RP will run as typical for games on this forum, with PCs interacting with each other through posts. I might have a few minor rolls done through Invisible Castle for skill checks and what have you.

Depending on players' availability and the mercies of the timezones, we'll schedule some kind of adventure encounter every week or perhaps every other week. My personal availability is sadly high but may be subject to change at any time; my timezone is Pacific.

The length between encounters need not be the same, so if you guys would like to request more time to RP, I'm certainly willing to oblige. However, I felt the urgency of having a time limit until the plot of the RP grinds on might be helpful for those of you who have trouble posting regularly. >_>

Being as it's a D&D game, the possibility of character death does exist. In the rare case that it does happen, you have two options: You may opt to make a new character, in which case the RP's focus will shift to finding this new "replacement" party member. The other option is leaving the position vacant, in which case the spot is open for a new forum member. Regardless, I'm a nub GM, so I'm sorry if some encounters are poorly balanced or there are sudden character deaths; my ultimate goal is to make such character deaths as dramatic as possible.

Further information and necessary material may be provided through PMs.

Obviously this sort of RP system can be very time consuming, and unlike Jay's RP, the plot of mine may be able to accommodate having one less party member at an encounter, so please tell me in advance if you will not be able to make a scheduled encounter time so that I can rescale the battles. You won't miss out on experience, but you will miss out on loot, and of course the fun of participating in combat. If a player is absent from too many combats, I may consider replacing him/her.

This is a very simple RPG system, with the basis of all rolls being one twenty-sided dice, plus bonuses conferred by conditions and your character's abilities, minus penalties, versus a target number (DC). In basically all cases, you want to roll high, though it is the DM's discretion as to what kinds of penalties ore benefits are conferred from having a resounding success (Critical success, a 20 on the die) or a failure (Critical fail, a 1 on the die).
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP)

Postby Cascade » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:51 am

-Making a Character-

Rule 1 of my campaign: You're Human. No exceptions. I'm thinking of letting people re-flavor everything from race to their attacks, so it might be that you may choose another race's ability bonuses and racial features, but remain Human overall. Rule 2 is that I don't do alignments. The D&D alignment system isn't ambiguous enough to be truly accurate, but it's fun to use. If you want to use alignments, feel free to do so, but I only pay attention to whether you're Lawful, Neutral or Chaotic.

The first step is obviously thinking of what kind of character you would like to play. It would be good to look at the current roster and see if there is an open slot, as well as what sorts of characters are already part of the party. Unlike other RPs, you will not be writing a history; your character may have ideas of what kind of person s/he is and where s/he's from, and you will have selected a Background from the list to represent the general gist of who your character is, but a bit of trust is involved, as I may introduce long-forgotten history for your character to confront.

If you're unsatisfied with the way your character's background is developing, just ask me and I'll try to approach it from a different angle. I'll try my very best to grasp what you're aiming for from the character sheet and the little details included there.

Alternately, you may have an idea for a character in mind (How s/he fights, what s/he looks like) that you simply don't know which D&D Class to assign him/her to. In such cases, I will definitely advise you on which class, or even hybrid class, you should pick.

After deciding what kind of character you would like to make, the next step is making a sheet. I'll PM each of you with instructions on how to go about this and where to find the appropriate resources.

In D&D 4th Edition, class roles are divided into four categories for convenience. These elucidate the general purposes classes tend to fall into a cooperative fantasy die-rolling combat system.

1. Leader: Exhorts party to better performance in combat through score bonuses, tactical positioning and healing.
2. Defender: Absorbs damage and draws the enemy away from vulnerable party members; the "tank."
3. Striker: Does high damage to single enemies.
4. Controller: Does damage and debilitates large numbers of enemies, or strong enemies in a specific area.

Character classes generally fall into one or more of these roles, but dabble in the others, depending on how flexible the class is. For example, the Ranger is a very inflexible Striker that excels in one thing: dealing huge damage to a single enemy. In contrast, the Rogue is a Striker with more utility than simple damage-dealing, able to Control enemies by forcing them to move or take penalties.

Try to keep in mind what strikes you as the most fun to play in combat. As there are 5 party members and 4 combat roles, it's best to have at least one of each group, while there could be a double of any role. I will say that there may be a lesser need for two Leaders in this RP than in most D&D campaigns, but if you want to play one because it sounds the most fun, I'd definitely encourage you to do so.

After figuring out what kind of character you'd like to make and choosing a class, you must determine your character's Ability scores, select Powers, Feats, Trained Skills and Equipment.

Powers are the abilities you use in combat that represent feats of remarkable strength or insight, the kind you can only pull off under the right conditions, which may come about a few times every combat or daily. Alternately, they represent reserves of supernatural energy or spells you can only cast a certain number of times per day. Either way they are the quirks that define your character in combat most.
Feats are passive abilities that give your character traits such as being able to wield two weapons more skillfully or prepare spell Powers you haven't actually learned.
Each character has a list of skills used for combat and non-combat situations, and each class has a list of skills a character of that class can be trained in. Trained Skills gain a bonus of +5 to checks made with that skill.
Equipment is fairly self-explanatory. Anyone who has played an RPG knows gear is important to making a strong character. Some equipment you purchase with your starting gold, while other equipment you may purchase in-game or find during encounters.

The number of resources available to 4th edition players was limited for a while considering how new the game is, but it's rapidly expanded. Key to expanding your character options are the "Power" books. Each character class draws from an innate Power source, for flavor reasons. Some books such as Arcane Power, Martial Power and Divine Power have been released with more Powers, Feats, etc. for players to choose from.

Arcane is power gained by the manipulation of magical energies.
Divine is power gained by calling upon the favor of deities.
Spirit is power gained by calling upon the forces of the natural world.
Psionic will be re-flavored in this game, but it is the power of the mind.
Shadow is power gained by the manipulation of dark energies.
Martial is power gained by nothing but your own training and determination.

Consider these power sources if you are looking to make a character who draws his/her strength from a specific part of the fantasy world.

In order to differentiate your character from others, Ability Scores determine what your character is good at on a basic level. The classic D&D ability scores are as follows:

STR: Character's physical strength; determines your lifting and carrying capacity.
DEX: Character's flexibility and agility; confers bonuses to avoiding attacks and feats of acrobatics.
CON: Character's physical integrity and health; helps determine HP and Healing Surges (New to D&D 4e)
INT: Character's intelligence; helps determine character's education-related skills
WIS: Character's wisdom; helps determine street smarts-related skills and awareness
CHA: Character's charisma; a combination of strength of personality and looks, how good your character is at influencing others and force of will. Used mostly for social skills.

In addition to their innate benefits, Ability Scores contribute to a number of things. Virtually any Ability Score can be made into your primary attacking stat; the one that confers bonuses to your attack rolls in combat with a weapon or abilities. This depends on the class and class features you are taking. Ability Scores also contribute to Skill bonuses and Defense bonuses, improving your character's survivability. Ability Scores increase slowly as you gain levels and can't be reversed, so it's better to plan in advance with them than with Powers and Feats, which can be retrained if you feel you've made a mistake.
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP)

Postby Cascade » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:06 pm

-Setting: Nations and Geography-

Continents
Calux:
Setting of our story. Medium-small sized continent (A bit smaller than Australia). The name was given to it by the ancestors of the Aventian people, meaning "Closed Blossom." Its shape is roughly semicircular, like a crescent or comma, with the larger end in the south and thinner end at the northeast. In the south are warm coniferous forests and planes. The southwest is largely marshlands and deciduous forest, with an emerald plateau, Lenguria. The thin western edge of the continent are dry, arid grasslands. In the center of the continent, the earth begins to dip into a wide basin known as Kuarla. Along the northern edges of the continent lie an unbroken frozen mountain range, Drakenkugel. Humans moved into Calux roughly 90 years before the establishment of Old Aventia in the south; before that time, the continent was dominated by the race of elves in the southeast, the halflings in the east and south, the orks in the center of the continent, and the dwarves in the north. By 440 Old Aventian Calender, humans had gained supremacy over the continent after a bitter war dubbed by Janiculus VI "The Olive Crown" as The Age of Retribution that lasted an entire century. By 450 OA, the Old Aventian Kingdom began to split into multiple nations of man, as similar nations had done before on the continent of Radux. As of 535 New Aventian Calender, Calux is controlled by six nations.

Radux:
"Open Blossom." Now known as Jasteuch. A large continent, twice the size of Calux. From the frozen plains of the north to the arid desert of the middle region to the wet forests of the south, Radux was dominated by humans since early times. Although ancient non-human species such as the Goliath were believed to at one point controlled most of Radux, as early as human oral history the continent was largely unpopulated and Inhuman races were always secondary in size and influence. Radux was dominated by the conflicts between the massive Grand Triturian Empire and the smaller but equally powerful Tiansha Empire. The predecessors of Aventia were refugees displaced by their wars. Triturate's influence was so great that the continent was named Jasteuch to better fit their native tongue, and in all nations but Tiansha became commonly used.

Stele: The peninsula connecting Jasteauch and Cadux's southeastern corner. It is wide enough to accommodate a deep canyon between two parallel ranges of coastal mountains. Events leading to the isolation of Cadux from Jasteauch popularized the general nickname "The Canal" for Stele (as in birth canal).

Lenguria: Southwestern plateau where the center of elven civilization was housed. Beneath the plateau lived the dark elves or drow. Surrounded by an enchantment called the Deepspell, the woods surrounding Lenguria seemed endless to outsiders, as if space indefinitely repeated itself. Once the spell was broken and the plateau invaded, the dark elves suddenly emerged and poisoned the land in a vicious eastward migration. Though the poison has mostly faded, it remains a lost region, uninhabited save for dangerous monsters.

Drakenkugel: Northern frost-encrusted mountains said to be the jaws of the world serpent. Most of it is virtually impossible for man to live in, but the tundra and smaller mountains near the southeastern and southwestern corners of the range are accessible enough. Homeland of the dwarves; it was conquered when humans stole their smelting technology and filled the caverns with molten metal. A common breeding ground for dragons before the races of Cadux hunted and exterminated their kind.

Kuarla: Said to have once been inhabited by a race of scaled hermits similar to the dragonspawn or lizardmen, it is a vast basin of bronze sand; circular in shape and littered with nameless ruins, some mountainous in size. Whatever sentient creatures might have lived in this land before, they certainly fell to the hands of the orcs, who dominated this region before humans lived in Calux.

Nostio: A large, shallow bay on the eastern edge of the continent. This inland sea borders the lands formerly inhabited by halflings, and bequeaths bountiful produce from its waters.

Orizzonte: Coast of the western side of the continent, with high, rocky cliffs, with a series of plateaus traversed by rivers and waterfalls leading to the sea. The halflings lined this land with irrigation and canals long before humans settled there.

Political Powers
New Aventia Kingdom
Location: Southern Plains, southern edge of Kuarla Desert, eastern edge of Lenguria Delta
Color: Forest Green
Political: Enlightened Monarch
Military: Standing Army, +Arcane, +Divine, +Heavy Armor, +Tower Shield, +Spear
Economic: Foodstuffs, Education, Magic
Social: +State, -Individual, --Demihumans, +Arcana, -Expansion, =Technology
Relations: =Galheim, -Kuarla, =Bourgundy, =Orizzonte, +Khet Nal
Undead: Common
Leader: Janiculus IX "The Lame"
History: Direct descendants of the dynasty that began with Janiculus I 5 centuries before. The largest state in Calux and the only one that has no need of militia to support its standing army. With its vast pastures and fields, it is an ideal location to feed the continent. No plans of expansion but dreams of leading a unified Calux. Its massive Arcane academy, Lyceum of Dynewalther, is the only one of its kind in the world. The Office of Sacred Blood cleanses the population of Demihumans, while the Office of Holy Corpses purifies the Undead. Responsible for magically sealing the Canal.

Republic of Galheim
Location: Southeast Steppes, Nostio
Color: Vermillion
Political: Feudal Republic
Military: Militia, Mercenary, +Ritual, +Heavy Blade, +Medium Armor
Economic: Metalwork, Military, Sea
Social: +Individual, -State, =Demihumans, -Arcana, +Expansion, +Technology
Relations: =Aventia, -Kuarla, +Bourgundy, -Orizzonte, +Khet Nal
Undead: Many
Leader: Council Head Joachim Schneider
History: Former fortress region of Aventia. Threatened to secede in 460 NA due to regional nobles chafing under difficult royal orders. Formally allowed independence by the House of Scepters and Janiculus VIII. A feudal state prone to warring among itself, but militarily strong enough to aid Aventia heavily in holding off the Canal. Heavily infested with Undead. Craftsmen respected as some of the best in the land. Many lords are retired adventures with a thirst for battle, and hire out mercenary armies. Demihumans keep silent; they rarely live long once revealed, even if the state policy is neutral.

Queendom of Khet Nal
Location: Southwest Delta (Lenguria Delta) and all rivers
Color: Turquoise
Political: Confederacy/Matriarch
Military: Militia, +Ritual, +Divine, +Void, +Polearm, +Flexible, +Unarmored
Economic: Sea, Foodstuffs, Trade
Social: ++Individual, =State, =Demihumans, +Arcana, -Expansion, +Technology
Relations: +Aventia, =Galheim, =Kuarla, =Bourgundy, =Orizzonte
Undead: Few
Leader: Princess Sura Theravajyra
History: Disparate collection of ethnic groups scattered from Jasteauch, following an exiled Suryan treasure fleet. Originally accepted into Aventia as refugees and granted a small plot of land in the southern delta, they petitioned for autonomy and were granted it in 200 OA. Khet Nal is a mobile nation; it floats along the waterways of Calux in massive trade convoys that are equal to cities. Only agriculturalists and trade ports are grounded. Some convoys are mixed ethnic group; others are entirely Suryan, Himoto, or Tiansha. Great traders who inadvertently spread demihumans and undead.

Principality of Kuarl
Location: Central Desert (Kuarla Desert)
Color: White
Political: Elected Monarch
Military: Standing Army, Militia, +Ritual, +Spirit, +Cavalry, +Archery, +Light Armor
Economic: Trade, Compounding, Glass
Social: =Individual, -State, --Demihumans, =Arcana, +Expansion, =Technology
Relations: -Aventia, =Galheim, +Orizzonte, -Bourgundy, +Khet Nal
Undead: Rare
Leader: Amir (Prince) Khiber Zedek
History: Harsh territory of the former foreign legion of Old Aventia's army. During the war, responsible for pacifying the orcs and hiring orc demihumans as mercenaries. Later, fortresses in Kuarla urbanized and grew indignant over lack of support from Janiculus VIII. After a brief war of independence in 465 NA, Aventia relented and Kuarla's Principality was founded. Many amir compete from multiple noble families. A pious land trading state, envious of its neighbors with better resources. Experts in the skills of medicine crafting, horse riding, and hunting half-orc bandits in the deep desert.

Duchy of Bourgundy
Location: Northern Mountains (Drakenkugel)
Color: Maroon
Political: Hereditary Monarchy ("Dukedom")
Military: Militia, Standing Army, +Ritual, +Divine, +Blunt, +Gunpowder, +Heavy Armor
Economic: Technology, Stone, Ore
Social: +Individual, +State, -Demihumans, -Arcana, -Expansion, ++Technology
Relations: +Aventia, =Galheim, -Kuarla, -Orizzonte, +Khet Nal
Undead: None
Leader: Duchess Rochelle Bourgundy
History: An independent state founded by ancestors of Duke Ilya Bourgundy "Stonemason," who was the leader of the Aventian campaign against the dwarves. Difficulties in Kuarla choked their supplies; after 30 years the campaign succeeded, but Bourgundy's men disappeared into the mountains. In 470 NA, envoys from the "Duchy of Bourgundy" reappeared in Aventia. Bourgundy is a small nation with advanced technology based off of ancient dwarven plans. They have unlocked the power of heated water vapor and the dangerous compound known as "fire dust" in small numbers.

Orizzonte City States
Location: Western Coast (Orizzonte)
Color: Violet
Political: Feudal City States
Military: Mercenary, +Ritual, +Divine, +Light Blade, +Crossbow, +Light Armor
Economic: Sea, Trade, Foodstuffs
Social: +Individual, -State, =Demihumans, +Arcana, +Expansion, =Technology
Relations: =Aventia, =Galheim, =Kuarla, -Bourgundy, =Khet Nal
Undead: Many
Leader: Gentleman Council
History: An incredibly young nation that harnessed the fruitfulness of the halfling pastures to build itself in a record time. Splintered off from Bourgundy, it is a divided land of canals that separate city states. The state of Lycon draws comparisons to Galheim, complete with skilled mercenaries and undead infestation. The state of Arcas borders the elven lands and is renowned for its euphoric scenery. The state of Fiume competes fiercely with Khet Nal city fleets for shares of Calux's rivers. Fuye is a state occupied largely by Tiansha Queen's Fleet immigrants, home to skilled doctors, philosophers and heretical magic researchers.

Foreign Powers
Grand Triturian Empire:
Infamously powerful nation in Jasteauch, older than even the original Aventian predecessors. The empire is so named because of its ability to "triturate" or pulverize to dust any nation in its path. While this did not hold true for their rivals of Tiansha, the Triturate Empire's largest province is bigger than the entirety of New Aventia. The Empire was infamous for its brutal regime and systematically oppressed serfdom, but for nobles and middle class the Triturate promised relative cultural independence and endless riches. It was said that their army could wear mountains into hills wherever they tread and that their siege engines reduced enemy cities to mere wisps of dust.

Tiansha Empire:
Rivals of the Grand Triturian Empire, they occupied a great swath of the southern lands of Jasteauch, from the marshes to rocky deserts. Known as "Children of the Heaven Mind," Tiansha was gifted with a large number of highly intelligent philosophers and strategists, who employed brutal, inhumane tactics using peasantry and soldiers like weapons. Eventually Tiansha became an empire that, while not rivaling Triturate in size, was certainly its equal in military power. It is said that they are the only empire to have devised a magic system for humans alone, Void; the secrets of which made it into Calux with the Suryan treasure fleet along with a few Tiansha natives.

Queendom of Surya:
The original nation which the Suryans in Khet Nal came from. A matriarchy with a highly competitive array of noble families, each with competing princesses seeking the throne. An agricultural nation, the peasantry frequently revolted, using their control of Surya's chief method of tribute to Tiansha as a bargaining tool. The frequent intrigues and vicious infighting of the matriarchal competition lead to the pending queen's flight from Surya to Calux in a fleet of legendary size.

Himoto Islands:
A chain of small lands populated by feudal clans of an obscure ethnic group. Little is known about the land, other than the Himoto are highly xenophobic and enjoy mastery of the sea. Many of their sailors were enlisted by Surya's treasure fleet, and formed small floating communities of their own, but it is unknown how similar the immigrant Himoto society of fishermen and warriors is to the original islanders' culture.
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP)

Postby Cascade » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:10 pm

-Setting: Races-

Humans: An unremarkable race descended from apes, with little to their name other than their rapid reproductive rate. They are prone to disease and lack any distinctive physical characteristics to defend themselves with unless in large numbers or using tools. They were believed for a long time by Inhumans to be the only race capable of reanimating as undead, lending to the belief that humans were innately soulless, and as long as their body moved and ate there was no difference between a living one and a dead one. In Radux, it is believed the earliest humans were slaves of reptilian creatures and their stone-giant foes. In Calux, the humans initially were treated as low, non-sentient life forms, until halflings agreed to trade with them. It is the tenacity of humans and their adaptability that led them to become the sole remaining masters of Calux, as well as their compatibility in bearing half-breed children with similar species.

Inhumans: Pure-blooded, non-human species. Hated by humans because all Inhuman races have had at least one case of hostile activity towards them. The policy towards Inhumans varies from total genocide to allowing isolated ghettos, but virtually no pure-blooded Inhumans still exist.

Demihuman: Half human, half “Beast.” Also called “Beastmen.” Any human with Inhuman blood is considered this. Most are killed before they reach maturity, but some tiny, mobile camps of these people exist, struggling to evade hunting squads. The most common of these are half-elves, half-dwarves and half-orcs, who were tolerated for longer than other Demihuman species due to the compatibility of their races in breeding and their usefulness in the war against their own kind. They now band together in a futile attempt to regain their lost culture and create some semblance of the old civilizations. Of course, many attempt to hide their Inhuman heritage and live among normal people with some degree of success. Those who are almost indistinguishable from humans can occasionally thrive in human society. Depending on the nation, the harsh feelings towards Inhumans have been tempered somewhat, and Demihumans may be able to attain citizenship or prestige. These Demihumans have almost totally disavowed their heritage however.
Because magic during the great war thinned the blood of many Inhuman creatures, some Demihumans manage to exist within human society through great secrecy. Demihumans who fully resemble their old Inhuman species are exceedingly rare and almost always found and killed in their childhood. Those who have visible traits flee to the nomadic camps. Their blood is so thin and culture so thoroughly incinerated that their offspring would be essentially human in every meaningful way.

Elves: True name of "Alboz." A proud, ancient race. Appearance is similar to humans in facial structure and body type, save for a shorter average height and a pair of pointed ears. The Elves straddled the gap between the artistic and the warlike, valuing trade the least in their culture. There were many subspecies of Elves, depending on where in their territory they were born, as the race was heavily tied to the land. Wood elves had a reputation for being wild and impulsive, and eschewed organized settlements. River elves were highly skilled sailors and fishermen. Dark elves or Drow, lived underground, and were the "untouchables" of elvish society for innumerable centuries. Every elf subspecies organized itself into a “house.” Twice per cycle, (the elvish equivalent of a human year) all clans of elves would convene together in the high elf (Eladrin) capital and coordinate religious ceremonies and hold massive festivals. This was the one time of year in which business was valued over spiritual, artistic and martial pursuits, and the clans traded enthusiastically. The different clans also set political goals for the coming year and transitioned into new leadership at the convention.

Staunchly isolationist, they used the Deepspell to make the woods surrounding their cities seem endless to any person attempting unwelcome entry. Their plateau mostly terminated in waterfalls and rapids, making approach by river hazardous. The elves were the erstwhile rivals of the dwarves, loathed the materialism of the halflings, hated the brutishness of the orcs, and scoffed at the unseasoned young human nation. Even within themselves, each variety of elves tended to favor different facets of their culture heavily, and beyond that, each bloodline of elves had a distinct sense of aesthetics and philosophy, like an endlessly branching series of veins or a tree. Losing the war was a mental trauma the entire race never recovered from. After the conquest, the Elves became sub-citizens and were forced to marry with humans. The distinctiveness of each elvish subspecies was ignored. Practicing their treasured, unique culture became a crime, and their rich artistic, literary and mystical pedigree was lost to time.

Some elves believed they were capable of accessing the memories of their ancestors when meditating or unconscious. As if entering an archive, they could withdraw phantom sensations, emotions and knowledge from those that had gone before them. Though the existence of this ability to “junction” spirits to oneself was never conclusively proven even by magic scholars, it ensured that the oldest families in each elf house were the most seasoned and respected. They carried the lion's share of leadership responsibilities and perks to the exclusion of others, who were essentially auxiliary to their function in the society. The subspecies with the largest concentration of the oldest families was unquestionably the House of Clouds: The High Elves, or the Eladrin in the elvish language. Other houses were the House of Rivers and the House of Trees, obviously enough.

Eladrin: The House of Clouds, a subspecies of elves, known as the high elves or eladrin to humans. Only eladrin had light colored hair among elves. Hair was almost always blonde, often white even from childhood. Eyes ranged from gray to black. Frivolous magic experimentation resulted in irregular hair and eye coloration for some eladrin. Their traditional domain was the peak of the plateau elven civilization was situated upon; a mountain chain constantly shrouded in billowing white clouds. The eladrin were the oldest and most respected of elf races, though during the time at which the drow were an accepted part of elvish society, they had competition for the title of “progenitor bloodline.” After the drow were driven out, the House of Clouds rewrote elvish history records to suggest that the high elves were the original elf species, and that the others originated from them. Although eladrin were not the only ones who could use magic, they were often considered the most adept users and most of the basic principles of magic were based off of eladrin thaumaturgy. The high value of magic to keep the elven race's culture pure and untainted of outside influence, as well as its war and artistic applications, meant that eladrin consistently had a powerful influence on elvish government at the bicyclic conventions, which led to the misconception among outside races that the elves valued those with light hair as the epitome of beauty, and made them into a ruling caste. In fact, darker hair and lighter skin were considered more attractive among many elves, domain of the substantially lower-class River Elves.

Drow: Subterranean subspecies of elves. Their appearance was the antithesis of what elves considered aesthetically appealing and they were frequently subject to internal purges and genocide. The drow worshipped a heretical spider goddess that supposedly communicated to them her intentions to bless any of those who crossed The Canal. At the outset of the Age of Retribution, all those drow remaining “migrated” across human lands in the south and crossed The Canal, impossibly enough, walking unhindered through The Seal of Sanctity. The destruction they caused was the final chapter in the Retribution. They have not been heard of since.

Dwarves: Two stocky races of short humanoids lived in the plains and mountains. Those that lived in the mountains considered themselves a different species than the plainsdwellers, and referred to themselves as the Dverger, or in the human central tongue, dwarves. They typically reached the shoulders of humans in height. Their specialty was in metal working, but infrequently traded with the humans. Unlike the elves, the dwarves valued business skill and pragmatism over warfare and artistry, but they were still highly capable defensive fighters, and conquering their mountains was not easy for the humans. The dwarves were the first to offer aid to men during the Fading of Jasteauch, offering their cannon technology and simple machines to help the nation of men mass-produce weapons. As a result, humans and dwarves were at peace for longer than any of the other Inhumans save the halflings, their kin.

However, the dwarves eventually began to resent the powerful competitor they had created, as the humans proved highly skilled at manipulating machinery, creating the living construct with elvish magic and dwarven technology. They warred frequently with the elves, and their brief alliance with the elves during the war with humanity broke down quickly. Though they offered aid in the form of advanced metalworking, the dwarves were slighted by the creation of warforged and resumed war versus mankind. Despite having no allies, the dverger proved to be a tremendous threat as they controlled mineral deposits of substantial value, and their mountain homes were naturally fortified. Eventually they were defeated by Duke Bourgundy's army, which in desperation entombed the remaining dwarves in solid molten metal with their own smelting machines. The dwarves were in this way the first of the Inhumans to go effectively extinct.

Halflings: The plains-dwelling cousins of the dwarves, known as nisse in their shared language. Similar to dwarves in height but not as stocky or muscular due to their more relaxed lifestyle, they too valued business, but their specialty was agriculture. They were by far the friendliest race to man and aided them long before Jasteauch's disappearance by teaching them crop rotation and sharing their seed-planting technology. This agriculture made it possible for the humans to fully utilize their rich lands and support a larger population, which made the humans a true power for the first time in history. Halflings lived wherever the land was flat and well-suited for agriculture.

Because of their rapid expansion, the humans naturally gained the ire of other races and the halflings, by association, were seen as breeders of men, who were cultivating the humans like cattle to make up for their own physical deficiencies. At the time, the halflings had begun to give birth to smaller and smaller children; this became a subspecies known as gnomes. Halfling fertility rates were declining, so their population continued to shrink in both definitions of the word; this was the motivation behind their innovative agricultural techniques. Because of this latent hatred, trade relations with non-human races soured, and the halflings and gnomes became more and more reliant upon the race of men, eventually merging with their empire entirely. Other races saw this behavior as traitorous, and their bountiful fields and vineyards were razed by the dwarves. Some halflings became highly skilled assassins, perhaps as an attempt to prove that they weren't the slaves of humans, and became a threat that left most human generals and royalty unable to sleep at night. Their land was thus occupied by the humans and kept thoroughly under control. Clans of assassins were hunted down and purged.

Thus were the nisse placed in a precarious position; reliant upon humans for commerce, their chief cultural value, but unable to become fully human and accepted in their society. They could not associate with other races, and especially not their cousins under the mountains. In a few centuries, the halflings, breeding freely with humans in an effort to save themselves, were all but a swiftly fading racial memory. The northeastern races of men are noticeably shorter than the others.

Gnomes: Even shorter, mutated halflings. The name for gnome is the same in human languages as it was in the halfling language because of the closeness of the two species. Gnomes are one of the few races other than men to exist in any number, but they are still far from common enough to be anything but overlooked. It is unlikely that more than a few thousand exist in the entire world. Due to their rarity, many people are unaware that they are in fact halflings and assume they are humans of exceptionally small size.

Orcs: Nomadic, predominantly carnivorous tribes of large humanoids with thick teeth and great muscle mass living in the desert planes to the south of the human lands. Long feared for their great strength and warlike tendencies, the orcs never had peace with any nation for long, and due to their disparate tribal nature, fought as mercenaries in almost any war they could find themselves in. The orcs lived for battle, much like the dragonborn, though their martial heritage was entirely different. Orcs did not bow to any leadership but strength or money, and their undisciplined, brutal tendencies left half-orc brood in the territories they helped conquer. These creatures were outcasts in their own tribes and often needed to live among humans, who were more accepting of them.

It was common folklore that the orcs were descendants of wild boars and the orcs resented this suggestion. Some embittered humans even referred to the orcs as “pigmen,” and vehemently hated the race. Although capable of eating almost anything, orcs were not shy about consuming the remains of their slain enemies and were feared for this fact. This is how war was carried out among their own tribes, and though they recognized that other races did things differently, they quickly realized that their own culture was valuable as a shock weapon. Thus outbound orcs who worked as mercenaries were actually far more brutal than the orcs living in their home territories. They did not believe in the rights of the defeated, or in the concept of honor, and thus raped/pillaged as they saw fit.

The truth was Orcs actually had a highly sophisticated, varied culture focused on shamanistic ritual and ancestor veneration, but they did not share this with other races and thus the only exposure to orcish culture was martial outside of their tribes. Humanity's superior grasp of magic, technology, value of strategy over melee tactics, and their willingness to use half-orcs as more than agricultural slaves meant that it was only a matter of time before the orcs were completely eradicated. In spite of their uncanny martial prowess, their capability for long-term strategy was hampered by their deeply ingrained cultural paradigms of fast raid warfare and personal combat, and they were not prepared for the human technique of attrition warfare. Orcs were large creatures and required a substantial calorie intake, as well as being strictly meat-eaters, so they were easy to starve. Their willingness to cannibalize was actually in many cases due to intense starvation.

Half-orcs still suffer severe discrimination even among demi-humans, and are the most common members of the bands of roving demi-human camps. They look largely human but carry some of the thickness of tooth and face that characterizes their ancestors. Their facial features are almost entirely human-like, depending upon their heritage, but if one opens his mouth, there are slightly enlarged canines, with teeth being thicker and wider in general. Many have a strong jaw, giving the impression of a flesh-eater. Most noticeably, they have an unusual tanned complexion and have remarkable height and muscle mass. Their stereotypes of brutishness and volcanic temper lends to the uneducated belief that the camps are nothing more than criminal bands or barbarians. Of course, these criminal bands of demihumans became criminals because they were exiled from human society and cannot survive otherwise.

Dragonborn: Children of the Spilt Blood, the dragonborn, known by the human race as lizardmen, were the last relics of the ancient race of beasts known as dragons. In ancient times, before humans had fully developed into a civilization in their own right, the races of the world were threatened by powerful creatures that could fly, spit fire, lightning, acid and cold winds, and were feared and worshipped like gods for their unlimited power and fiendish intelligence. It is believed that shortly before recorded history, the good people united to hunt down and slay the dragons for the benefit of all those who had their numbers culled by the aerial carnivores. A legend lost to time suggested that the dragonborn rose from the spilt blood of the dragons that flowed into the bodies of those who died in the great wyrm hunt. Thus the dragonborn were creatures who were born from violence and lived thus ever afterwards in violence. These fierce creatures were paragons of martial skill and many of the world's greatest warriors learned from the rare “scaled hermits.”

As they were solitary creatures and resembled the monsters imprinted in every race's memories as their greatest foe, the dragonborn were already hunted and discriminated against in all nations, and could only find solace in training in military arts with those who respected them. The humans retain a trace of respect for the dragonborn, perhaps because they are thought to have been totally extinct centuries even before the Age of Retribution, as some human kingdoms have orders or military decorations named after them, and many traces of their martial technique endure.

Much of the nature of the Dragonborn is a mystery and a wealth of conflicting information about them exists. One such theory contradicts the legend of their birth from dragon blood and instead stipulated that they were an entirely different race from another plane of existence that gifted the primitive races of the world with magic and machine principles, then disappeared. There are rumors that dragons continue to exist, that dragonborn continue to exist, and that both continue to exist, but that they even existed at all in the first place is often treated as little more than a folk tale.

Shifter: Freakish humans capable of harnessing the latent supernatural power within the blood of ancient extinct races. Their bodies undergo remarkable transformations that make them a popular subject for research and experimentation in secret. Not considered a true “race” yet as they are so uncommon as to be unheard of in most parts of the world. Considered abomination in most lands of men as the capacity to shift form and flesh without the use of magic is believed to be an element of the plague.

Warforged: Living constructs possessing qualities of a golem and an organic creature. The youngest of the races aside from humans. Their ancestor designs were originally planned by humans using Elven magic and Dwarven technology, based upon the body structure of the stone Goliaths. Initially intended simply for non-sentient activity and basic labor, as time went on and the humans desperately needed more soldiers for the war against the Inhumans, the strength and intellect of the living constructs were upgraded. As they are man-made, they enjoy a reasonable degree of respect. In some nations they are hated and in others they possess all the rights of human citizens. Their attitude towards the Inhumans is the same as human beings, only instead of seeing them as an ancient enemy, they see them as races too weak to continue existing. The fact that humans made Warforged means that few Warforged will see humans as being unable to adapt; adaptation being the chief tenant of their embryonic worldwide culture. (They see themselves as another one of humanity's myriad adaptations, which continues to adapt itself.) Some nations that do not accept artificial life-forms have “habitations” for Warforged; these are often in inhospitable locations humans rarely dare to tread such as waterless deserts and deep within the uncomfortably hot earth near volcanos. The lack of food, or in some cases even breathable air, poses no threat to Warforged.

Goliath: Supposedly the race which humans built Warforged in the likeness of, they occupied the position of dwarves as the mountain dwellers in the continent of Jasteauch. Characterized by a stereotypical pride and tendency towards contemplative thought over immediate action. The term Goliath is actually the human name for the race; another name they were known by was the Trow. They were known for their stoic philosophy and intense martial prowess. Historians believed they were the oldest species on the Jasteauch continent and controlled a massive empire that spanned the entire continent, the fall of which they would not explain to any not of their race. Supposedly they were 20 feet tall in the ancient days and were made of animated rock, but this diminished over a remarkably short span of time, relatively speaking. A few Goliath outcasts supposedly moved to the north in small mountain enclaves.

Deva: A rumored race with the gift of mana from the southern Jasteauch continent. They had an unusual violet skin color and glowing eyes, and their presence was phenomenal; they could not go unseen for their steps were followed by an aura of majesty, likely caused by their personality affecting reality around them through instinctive mana use. Rumored to be travelers from another dimension cast out by their rivals, the Asura. Nothing has been heard of them since the plague.

Genasi: A species of men formed by the fusion of magic energies with human beings, created in experiments conducted in the Triturian Empire. The objective was an attempt to harness Arcane magical energies. Also known as Element Liners, because of the way veins of elemental energy flowed along their crystalline skin. Nothing has been heard of them since the plague.

-Enemies of Humanity-

Undead: Catchall term for monsters that were created from dead sentient creatures. Ranges from ghosts to zombies to vampires to demons. Certain races were more apt to birth these affronts to life than others; humans being the most prone to rising as or creating undead. This was the origin of the Inhuman races' fear of humanity's infection with the unknown plague from Jasteauch, though the plague is of an entirely different sort. The state of being undead is completely unnatural, as death draws from life; thus the undead are the natural enemies of all that live, as no undead creature exists that does not feed upon the living in some way.

Ghosts: Malevolent spirits. Rarely overtly harmful, but some areas of great death such as battlefield from the Age of Retribution and the old abandoned cities of Elves and Dwarves are filled to the brim with grudge-bearing souls condemned to darkness. The form of undead that is most commonly associated with Inhumans, as they rarely raise as walking corpses or vampires. They are believed to feed upon the breath of the living, even living plants and non-sentient animals. Depending on the strength of their negative energies may have a deleterious effect on creatures around them, such is the volume in which they feed.

Walking Corpses: The lowest form of undead. Efforts to control zombies and ghouls, creatures who rose without any free will or consciousness from their dead state and crave the flesh of the living, expanded proportionately with the rise of humans, as did the numbers of the creatures themselves. The climate has an effect on the low undead's movement; in northern lands, the cold climate tends to freeze those exposed to the elements and make it even more difficult for the stiff corpses to travel aimlessly in their search for flesh. In the southern lands, they decompose quickly due to the heat and humidity. Lands that are most savaged by undead tend to therefore be temperate and arid climates at the center of the northern continent. Walking Corpses are animated by lower magicks and those who appear to consciously follow orders (A method more akin to pulling puppet strings) are referred to as Thrall; those who move randomly and eat flesh are referred to as Soulless. It is believed that the Grand Triturian Empire gained a massive amount of its territory by strategic application of Ritual alchemical necromancy and undead Thrall armies; historians believe this is the origin of the tendency in Old Aventian records to refer to the Triturian army as the “Shambling Dark.” Despite popular belief, zombies and ghouls are not capable of infecting other creatures to make more of their own kind; they are undead and thus contribute nothing to the world save death. Undead can only be re-animated through magic, such as that of a Vampire's bite.

Vampires: The lords of the undead. The name of their people is “fear” and they are the creatures that strike terror into the hearts of all mankind. Their falsely-immortal life cycle, feeding and destruction all involve the death of countless human beings and their powers are incomparable to other monsters known to most laymen. Unlike the lower risen corpses, vampires retain their intellect and ability to make free decisions, but lose all signs of their conscience, acting entirely upon selfish and preservative instincts. The goal of all vampires is to outlast humanity and escape the apocalypse, which they are all too willing to do through surreptitious and vicious means. However as their numbers and survival rely currently upon humans, they must act in secret and infiltrate human society in order to maintain a herd of loyal human thralls to feed upon, until they find a method of eternal life that allows them to outlast their prey. Vampires are often human spell casters seeking eternal life; these are also referred to as Liches and are in cases physiologically and magically different than other forms of vampires, who may have been reanimated by intense foci of magical energy or craven artifacts. Perhaps their most dangerous aspect is how similar they look to the living; a vampire can make his undead flesh bleed, cry, eat human food, and make love. Their skin appears to have the flush of life, as long as it isn't in direct moonlight, and weaknesses such as not being able to cross running water are little more than folk myths. Vampires do lose most of their infernal powers during the day however, and prolonged exposure to the sun will make them rot, but they are otherwise extremely hard to kill. The majority of vampires live and feed among the nobility of every nation, and to locate and exterminate them all would be a costly and dangerous undertaking.

Vampires themselves have a world wide quasi-religious social order based upon territories, and due to their ingrained self-preservation instincts, do not always work together as those instincts rarely extend beyond themselves. Wars have been plotted by vampire lords who conspired against rivals in foreign nations in an attempt to gain a larger flock to feast upon. In some respects, the game of territory exchange is a method to whittle away their unending lives and unending boredom, involving both charisma and guile to attract gullible fresh blood and at the same time evade detection by the royalty.

The Twisted: Mutated creatures from beyond the Canal. Their forms are distorted and their original state is almost completely indeterminate. Since contact was lost with the continent of Jasteauch, the red haze and "Agares Tear" appeared in the sky, nothing but disfigured aberrations have come through the Stele. What happened on the other side to unleash this plague is known to no man. The manner in which they act and whether or not they are sentient are total mysteries, but they kill or consume other living creatures at random when they pour out periodically from the weakening Grimoire's seal. Some are believed to be infectious and their presence twists the land. Their numbers are usually managed easily by the border guard, but once every few years a hideous flood is exhumed fourth from the Canal. Little is known about them, other that some simply kill their enemies; others are beasts and consume the flesh of those they kill. Still more seem completely lacking in hostility but graft and begin to merge with any fleshy creature they come in contact with, absorbing and dissolving them alive. Some Twisted have the bodies of humans jutting from their flesh, frozen in their dying moments as if still scrambling to escape as their limbs and organs began to betray them and junction to alien viscera.
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP)

Postby Cascade » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:11 pm

-Setting: Other Terms-

-Periods and Events-

Before Old Aventia: Humans spent 90 years in Calux before founding their first kingdom, despite the Triturian Empire already existing by this point in time and driving refugees out of Radux into the Stele Peninsula. A dark period in which humans and Inhumans skirmished frequently with much loss of life. The last period in which dragonborn were sighted, and when the last few dragons were being exterminated.

Old Aventian Calender: 440 year period dating from the founding of Old Aventian Kingdom on Ianiculum Hill to the declaration of the New Aventian Kingdom. Drafted by Bartholomew I "The Milky-Eyed," Aventia's first historian.

Fading of Jasteauch: Officially confirmed in 200 OA, but signs of its coming are argued by historians to have been noticed as far back as 160 OA, when Janiculus III "The Touched" went mad with strange dreams and a red light shone over Jasteauch across the sea for twelve days and thirteen nights. The signs of the Fading are the red haze on the horizon near Jasteauch visible at night and the "Agares' Tear," a teardrop-shaped object bigger than a star in the sky but smaller than the moon. Since this year, all contact with the continent of Jasteauch ceased. The infectious creatures known as the Twisted began to appear in 270 OA, and surged fourth from Jasteauch in the Battle of Nobody in 272 OA. After the peninsula was sealed with the Grimoire of Sanctity, Twisted only managed to pass through once every couple hundred years, but the surges have become more frequent over the last few centuries.

Crimson Rondo: Beginning in 210 OA, shortly after the discovery of vampires in Old Aventia, a period of terror began in which victims piled up rapidly over a course of 40 years. Even nobility was not safe, threatening the political integrity of the kingdom. Janiculus IV earned his honor title "Fang Collector" by hunting the vampire lords down. The Rondo severely damaged human relations with other races in Calux, due to their lack of familiarity with the undead.

Age of Retribution: 315 OA to 415 OA. Period of genocide heralded by the effective extinction of pure-blooded Inhumans in Calux. The three forms of warfare committed to by Old Aventia were epitomized by the philosophy of "Swing the Sword, Scatter the Seed, Salt the Earth." The Inhumans were conquered by sword and fire, their leadership and offspring were spread across the continent and systematically killed when possible, and those races that were proven to be compatible with humans bore half-human offspring to thin their races' blood.

New Aventian Calender: OA 440 to present day (NA 535). Continuous with OA Calender, due to them sharing the same days/year reckoning. Followed by all nations in Calux.

-Organizations-

House of Holy Corpses: Sponsored by the Church of Old Aventia, it is an exorcist and hunter organization dedicated to documenting the appearance of the undead and exterminating them wherever they might hide. Although technically tied to the Church, this House employs many mercenaries and unbelievers, some of whom have a personal motivation in hunting the undead. It is both respected and feared for its work in Aventia, as some believe its exorcists are loose cannons. It is said they are even hired out by foreign states to hunt undead outside of Aventia's borders. Or perhaps their zealotry is such that national borders are meaningless when they track their prey.

House of Sacred Blood: A companion organization built from the ground up in mimicry of the House of Holy Corpses. It applies the same brutal methods to the hunting of visible Demihumans and those few remaining true Inhumans in Aventia. It cooperates to provide Dynewalther Lyceum with research subjects for Arcane experimentation, as well as breeding projects. Like the Holy Corpses, they are said to sometimes stray outside of Aventia's jurisdiction...

Dynewalther Lyceum: Both a highly respected educational institution for the nobility in Aventia, the best of its kind in the world, and the only research academy for the study of Arcane magic. Other forms of magic are also studied there, but the experiments carried out to analyze the esoteric powers that form the world are unlike anything seen elsewhere. Its use of demihumans as test subjects is an accepted truth of Aventian society, but some secretly find it distasteful.

Church of Old Aventia: A polytheistic church known for its highly stratified clergy and ornate houses of worship. The pantheon is of three gods: Erathis, god of civilization, Ioun, god of arcane study, and Kord, god of war. The religion has restructured itself many times. For example, originally the practice of Arcane magic was heretical, but after the founding of the Dynewalther Lyceum was given its blessing by the royalty, Aventia's perspective towards magic use softened, and the god Ioun was recognized. After the defeat of the elves, many aspects of their goddess were subtly absorbed into the Aventian church. The Church of Galheim is an offshoot of the Aventian church that believes Erathis, Ioun, and Kord are all aspects of a single god (The Armor, the Book and the Sword). Despite its name, it does not have many worshipers and is only practiced in a few Galheim feudal domains, but it was a motivating factor in Galheim's secession.

Church of Kuarl: A church that recognizes a universal force known as Xsaeta (kh-say-ta), a serpent which fell from the sun to coil about the world. Xseata is all-pervasive. Its serpent shape is not physical but rather a human envisioning of how far its reach extends. Kuarlans see Xseata as the sun's rays, as well as the serpent's coils, as the serpent sunning itself on rocks was believed to sustain itself on light in ancient times, and the world serpent extends everywhere, even to places the sun doesn't reach. Believed to have been inspired by an ancient deity known as Pelor, Xsaeta is not a god but rather a set of natural laws that govern the world, epitomized by the world-serpent symbol. It has no consciousness of its own and is not worshiped in the traditional sense, but clerics of Xseata see themselves as spreading knowledge of the natural law. Part of Kuarl's hostility to Bourgundy is the naming of the Drakenkugel mountains, as they imply the mountains are the world serpent's bared fangs, and to imply that the natural law is something physical ("implying that anything but the coils of the serpent can be seen") trivializes the world's grand scale.

Vecna Cult: Small group of delusional maniacs who worship the undead and practice the forbidden art of necromancy. Considered a threat in most states but tolerated warily in the free-thinking Orizzonte cities. The House of Holy Corpses considers most simply hypnotized slaves of vampires looking to secure emergency food supply in case circumstances prevent them from being able to hunt, but the Cult does not simply worship one specific form of undead. Hierophants of the cult seek secrets of the heretical necromancers believed to have resided in Triturate in order to become Liches. Generally too small to have any serious repercussions and perpetually hunted by vampire-slaying organizations and vigilantes.

Other Religions: Less practiced and well-known religions are the solar-worship/queen worship of the Suryans, believed to have influenced Kuarlan religion, the celestial politics of the Tiansha culture, and the shamanistic ocean/moon worship of Himoto's blind, quarantined priests and priestesses. Bourgundy is remarkably impious, with very little religious practice, save for academic study of the relic dwarven religion.

-Magic/Power Terms-

Grimoire of Sanctity: An immense ritual incantation using the early knowledge of Arcane magic stolen from the elves, filling a thousand-page manuscript. This great magic put a seal upon the Stele Peninsula, so that the Canal would become a near-impenetrable barrier to entry by the Twisted. The spell took almost an entire month to cast, in which time the south steppes of what would become the Galheim Republic were depopulated and metamorphosed to a nauseating nightmare landscape. The Seal of Sanctity acts in a similar manner to the elven Deepspell, utilizing arcane energies to fold space in such a way as to render the Canal many magnitudes longer of a trek from Jasteauch to Calux. The Seal does not lock off the old continent from the new so much as make travel through the peninsula inordinately long for the enemy, giving ample time to prepare defenses and drive off a surge. The distortion of time and space also serves to space out the surges more, though the gradual degradation of the spell is slowly bringing the peninsula back in line with the normal time line.

Arcane Magic: The purest expression of magic. Utilizes the animating force of the universe, ether, to manipulate laws of reality. All other forms of magic are essentially manipulating arcane energies through proxies of human emotion, mental state, physical feats, etc. Only individuals with Inhuman blood can utilize Arcane magic, but those with acceptably small traces of blood can still wield it effectively without being considered truly Demihuman; a natural result of the utility gained from the powers of the tradition.

Divine Magic: Form of magic believed to be the work of miracles powered by faith in one's deity. In actuality, it is the manipulation of ambient ether through human emotion, rather than direct manipulation as Arcane does. The expressions of strong devotion, or conviction, that arise from those who believe in their god manifest in Divine magic effects, given an essentially spiritual visual form by the user's own imagery of gods, the afterlife, etc. Some Divine magic, specifically that pioneered by dwarves, utilizes ancient, evocative runes that provoke emotional fervor in those who view them, shunting power into the caster's incantations.

Spirit Magic: Not true magic per say, but contracts formed with semi-sentient natural spirits; bodiless ethereal forms that may or may not have been living creatures before. They may be the ghosts of animals or supernatural creatures, or true ghosts, in cases which perhaps would be considered necromancy in some magic institutions. These spirits can be called upon by the contractor with invocations that allow them to manipulate natural forces in the wild.

Shadow Magic: A form of necromantic spirit magic that contracts with ghosts and shades of deceased, grudge-bearing creatures. Much like other forms of necromancy through the use of ritual or arcane magic, it is considered heretical.

Void Magic: A unique form of magic pioneered by humans in Tiansha. A form of magic that manipulates internal ether rather than ambient ether, it is traditionally only practiced by those with intense mental focus and total control over their emotions, as well as those with a strong mathematical grasp of positioning and space. Others channel barely-controlled feelings, reflecting that empathetic power onto the environment around them in raging blasts. Void magic users are not as academic as those who study Arcane and are more physical in nature, as repetitive actions and self-hypnotic gestures are helpful in channeling one's internal ether.

Martial Esoterics: A technical term for the ability of mere humans to achieve near-supernatural effects with training and determination. Similar to the state of Void but more emotional and not innately supernatural, some warriors are capable of achieving strange effects when in their natural element of combat. Some believe their sword lights on flame because they're righteous. Others think it's simply the power of their iron will. Still others actually just lit some flammable oil on their sword and called it a special attack. Either way, stranger things do happen on battlefields and there are styles of fencing and other martial traditions believed to bring out these incredible abilities.
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP)

Postby Cascade » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:07 am

-Other Stuff-

-Joining-

First, write up a brief profile using these general questions.

{Character Name}
1. What region in the setting do you think you'd like your character to be from?
2. What sort of role in battle do you wish to play?
3. What kinds of skills would you like your character to use?
4. What's your character's general personality and behavior?
5. Do you have any particular look for your character in mind?
6. Where do you see your character going? (What kind of story do you have in mind for him/her, past and future?)

{Player Name}
1. Have you played any pen and paper RPGs before? If so, which ones?
2. What genre of fiction do you enjoy most?
3. What video game RPGs/P&P RPGs have you played that you enjoy most?
4. What times during the week do you think you'd be most likely to be available?
5. Which do you like more?: A linear story, controlled by the storyteller, or a branching one, controlled by the players?

These are all very vague for various reasons. Since the plot of the RP isn't totally pre-determined, I want to get a feel for what players would like to see and where they want to go with their character. In order to surprise you, I will be in control of a bit of your character's to-be-revealed history, but your character's personality, behavior and responses to all the things in the RP are your own. Since I don't want to make revelations uninteresting for you, I want to also get a good feel for what you expect out of the character; thus, be sure to think carefully about how you answer Character Question No. 6. That question and the Player questions will influence what types of situations I will put your character into, as well as their past. As a rule, how specific you are lowers the amount by which you will be surprised (Which can be fun) in the RP, but increases the control over your character's background.

I'll look at this and think about party coherency and which characters I think might be interesting in the setting. I'm sorry the party size is so small, but I don't think I could manage any larger of a group, since I'm relatively new at this. Don't curse me if I don't accept you, lol
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP)

Postby Cascade » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:08 am

-Campaign Synopsis-

Mission 1: Old Aventian Church

The heroes are sent on assignment to their new base of operations in Aventia, where almost immediately they are directed into the formation of a new mercenary division. Their first mission: Target the Vecna Cultists who were occupying the Old Aventian Church and eliminate them. Leave no undead remaining. Headed by an apocalyptic evangelist Dark Heirophant and an unfamiliar, effeminate vampire nobleman who seemed to be a foreigner, the cultists were hardly a threat to the heroes due to their lack of military training.

Rewards:
760 XP
250 GP Ivory Statuette of Tristina
2 Violet Gems
2 L. Green Gems
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP)

Postby Cascade » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:04 am

Don't worry, you don't need to read all that crap; I just wrote it because I felt like it. :3
Express interest here; I'm still working on the preliminary character app. (Not the actual 4th ed character sheet.)
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP, Now Unlocked!)

Postby TheMaddness » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:34 am

THIS SPOT IS MINE! I'll FIGHT YOU FOR IT!!!
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP, Now Unlocked!)

Postby Tuor » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:43 am

So does one have to posses the actual D&D book to partake in this Rp?
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP, Now Unlocked!)

Postby Jay » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:07 am

Well, maybe not necessarily possess, but I'm fairly sure you'll need to be able to read them at least. *cough*
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP, Now Unlocked!)

Postby smileyblacksun » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:04 pm

Must... Find... D&D... rulebook...
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That's the problem with worshipping the god of schemes. You never quite know whether or not you're being divinely blessed, screwed over royally, or both at the same time.
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP, Now Unlocked!)

Postby TheLivingCouch » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:18 pm

If anyone's interested you can download 4E character builder. It would aid muchly in the process of character creation.
Last edited by TheLivingCouch on Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP, Now Unlocked!)

Postby Jay » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:18 pm

You should be at least a bit more subtle.

Snafu IS technically a video/computer game comic, so piracy is ever so vaguely sensitive. xD
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP, Now Unlocked!)

Postby Alcas » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:33 pm

You can download them legitimately can't you? (either that or I know a lot more pirates than I thought I did.) I do have the books, so I might join the RP. Never used RPtools though.
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP, Now Unlocked!)

Postby TheLivingCouch » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:41 pm

Jay wrote:You should be at least a bit more subtle.

Snafu IS technically a video/computer game comic, so piracy is ever so vaguely sensitive. xD


Meep... Anyway you can download it legally, but it will cost a few bucks to get the full version. Still good for making a lvl 1 char though.

Have the books as well, though they haven't had much use since the semester started.
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP, Now Unlocked!)

Postby Jay » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:00 pm

Well, all I know is google's quite nice and frank.
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP, Now Unlocked!)

Postby Cascade » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:08 pm

Don't be afraid to ask questions about whatever, but try not to discuss piracy.
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP, Now Unlocked!)

Postby Deena » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:20 pm

*raises hand* Interested~!:>
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP, Now Unlocked!)

Postby TheLivingCouch » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:32 pm

Quite... You may also consider myself interested.
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP, Now Unlocked!)

Postby Alcas » Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:24 pm

Yeah I'm interested as well. I would just need to learn a little about RPtools first. Already have all the apps on the site dled anything else you would suggest me dling for it? anything third party.
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP, Now Unlocked!)

Postby Yumeko » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:50 pm

I'm interested, also. ^__^
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Re: Echo Souls (OOC WiP, Now Unlocked!)

Postby Cascade » Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:52 pm

Alright, I made a few character/player questions. You can find them under the first post index in "Joining Game and Other Stuff." I'm trying to approach this RP in a slightly different way, so please answer them. I'll determine who to accept into the campaign from there.

You guys *are* still interested, right?
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