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Old Fart
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About Aesopian

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    Aquiring Minas

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  1. what do u see in the future of lotc magic
  2. What do you see in the future of LotC magic?
  3. The only design choice I think is **** is the weird-ass announcement banner, otherwise @Lyonharted™ is a good guy
  4. _,.,-~"~"~-,.,_,.,-=~´"-~-"`~=-,.,_,.,-~"~"~-,.,_,.,-=~´"-~-"`~=-,.,_,.,-~"~"~-,.,_,.,-~"~"~-,.,_ The Kingdom of Masur -~=~-~=~-~=~-~=~-~=~-~=~-~=~-~=~-~=~-~=~-~=~-~=~- "Long have we talked and the sands listened, but now the sand will talk and we shall listen." _,.,-~"~"~-,.,_,.,-=~´"-~-"`~=-,.,_,.,-~"~"~-,.,_,.,-=~´"-~-"`~=-,.,_,.,-~"~"~-,.,_,.,-~"~"~-,.,_ The deserts of northern Tahn have an ancient history. Their sands hide venomous horrors and the deaths of gods. They have been home to colonies of orcs, dwarves, and half a dozen other races. However, despite all those who have lived there, only one nation was ever born in Tahn’s deserts: the Kingdom of Masur. It was a human empire, and the ruling power of the deserts during the first and second great wars between the indigenous Hou-Zi and elven populations. Masur’s history spans approximately five-hundred years, from its initial unification to its eventual decline. The kingdom’s origins are rooted in several merchant villages that occupied the coastal north of Tahn. They had been established as trading posts between the elves and their distant human cousins across the northeastern seas. The elves were largely content to occupy the woodland areas of Axios, and with Malin’s blessing, these human traders were free to do with the desert as they wished. It was a harsh land, and agriculture was a challenge. The merchant villages often survived on only overseas deliveries of grain. For many years, these villages engaged in small-scale trade with the Kingdom of Malin. The first war between Hou-Zi and elf would see these villages rise to prominence as key suppliers of foreign weaponry and war-technology to the elves. During the first war, the rapid influx of gold and elven wares into these villages in exchange for weaponry prompted two events: first, a dramatic increase in migration and development, with the population of several townships eclipsing one-thousand, and second, a rise in tensions and politically-motivated violence. These settlements had only been loosely governed by their parent nations, and the migrants had a destabilizing effect, particularly after the first great war ended. This culminated in the decision for an aggressive conquest of the entire northern peninsula of the desert by the colonial general Imab Achure. One of the appointed leaders of a collection of these trade villages, he was a fourty year-old human, and had been a senator in his homeland. This unification war lasted approximately eight months, and was remarkably bloodless, with only eight-hundred deaths recorded. Imab declared himself king, and spent the next three years acquiring independence for his new kingdom. Many of the human nations which founded the colonies steadfastly refused to support the endeavor, but none had the military reach to put down Imab’s efforts. He named the empire ‘Masur’ – this was, in part, a politically motivated choice, designed to placate their elven neighbors to the south. Surprisingly, it worked. The recent wars with the Hou-Zi had left the elves exhausted. They had no interest in souring their relationship with their northern trading partners. This began the Achure dynasty, which would rule over the Kingdom of Masur for the entirety of its existence. King Imab set about creating a society of flexible inter-dependent rural and nomad communities which would solve many of the supply and taxation issues previously endemic to their colonial existence. He took great care in breaking the power of the court lords and trade magnates, distributing their wealth through reduced taxation on incoming traders. This relieved the pressure placed on the communities by trade restrictions from the human homelands, attracting much-needed commerce from other nations. Imab's sons were groomed into fulfilling particular roles throughout the empire and, after his death, were assigned positions in his will. Though the original kingship still persisted with Imab’s eldest son, this weakened it substantially. The absolute control which Imab had first possessed vanished overnight. The last ruler of the Kingdom of Masur was Aayan Achure, who lead the kingdom to its doom in the course of the Great Sleep Incident. _,.,-~"~"~-,.,_,.,-=~´"-~-"`~=-,.,_,.,-~"~"~-,.,_,.,-=~´"-~-"`~=-,.,_,.,-~"~"~-,.,_,.,-~"~"~-,.,_ -~=~-~=~-~=~-~=~-~=~-~=~- The Story -~=~-~=~-~=~-~=~-~=~- -~=~-~=~-- The City of Sand al-Damanhur -~=~- The City of Sand was the capital of Masur, founded by the grandsons of King Imab. It swelled with trade and commerce in its early days – elvish infighting led to a great need of weapons. However, al-Damanhur did not truly become grand until the Hou-Zi turned their attention north once again. The second great war began, and the merchants of Masur were delighted. So far from the brunt of the fighting, and under no military obligation to the elves, Masur experienced a wartime economic boom. When the conflict had ended, and the elves returned back to their squabbles, al-Damanhur had gained enough economic traction to rival even the city of Malin itself in sheer wealth. New towers were erected from sandstone and granite. Water was extracted from an aquifer below the city and used to flood the surrounding sands, creating arable farmland. The kingdom was damned quite accidentally. The veins of rainbow sand were first uncovered during a housing project in the east of the city. Thought to be nothing more than sand dirtied with impurities, day laborers made their camps upon the veins. They were ignorant to the sands' properties, and when they slept atop it during the night, they reported profound dreams. It was when one of court magi became aware of the intense dreams of the workers that the king himself learned of the sands. King Aayan believed it to be a great blessing. He had the lands consecrated by priests, and set about forming mining crews to dig up the entirety of the veins -- which stretched deep into the sandstone beneath the desert. -~=~-~=~-- The Ambrosial Sleep -~=~- Those who slept atop the sands experienced lucid dreams. People entered a dream world termed the Ambrosial Sleep, where the desert stretched on endlessly with all the colors of the rainbow. The Sleep lacked the sun and stars, and only the moon graced the dream-sky. Those within did not experience age, disease, exhaustion, hunger or thirst. It became popular to fill bedmats with the sand and place the mat atop a bed of weavings to sleep upon at night. The king and his closest advisers popularized this practice among the rest of the kingdom. King Aayan had his bed tossed out the palace and replaced it with a box of rainbow sands. Soon after, the king withdrew from public life. He began spending great lengths of time asleep in his bed, under lock and protection of his elite guard. He left his trusted advisers in charge of Masur and the capital's operations. His advisers even took to using stand-ins for the king in order to give him the appearance of activity. Nights of sleep turned to days, and days to weeks. As the time stretched on, there were concerns for the king's health, though he refused any treatment. During this period, a number of al-Damanhur's citizens began to complain of seeing the king in their dreams. Parents send their children to bed before speaking of the next part of the story. The king eventually slept for twenty-three days unabated. Some court physicians went so far as to declare him in a coma after the second week passed. After he woke up, the king never slept again. -~=~-~=~-- The Achure Burial Mound -~=~- The king began collecting the great architects, stoneworkers and engineers; the most talented craftsmen from all across his kingdom. He hired the entire craftsguild of Elahdrel. He brought up high elves from the west. On the isle just north of Tahn, among the miles of rice fields, he set about construction of a great burial mound. The dirt mound would be over thirty feet high by the end of the project, and its stone infrastructure would plunge an unknown depth into the earth. Its largest room was truly enormous, a meeting-hall that was ninety-thousand square feet. The king's instructions frequently changed, and he had divided up his teams of workers such that each would only need be provided with a single part of the overall plans for the mound. When the guildsmen complained that they had insufficient laborers to finish the project in the king's lifetime, he had his guard begin rounding up dissidents, criminals, and even commonfolk. They were given mandatory years of service helping to build the mound, on pain of death. It was during this time that rumors spread that the king was going powerfully insane. The king grew abhorrent of sleep, and had the plain-beds confiscated from all those in his household. The meeting hall of the palace was filled with sand and declared to be the only place where those who lived with him could sleep. His wives and concubines began whispering of the king having changed since he woke (the darkest of the rumors say that another creature woke up wearing the king's body as a skin). They spoke of mutterings of the king in his waking hours, and of his rapidly-deteriorating health; the dark bags under his eyes that swelled like pus-filled rot. Eventually, they were put to death for treason against the crown. When the burial mound was completed, the king had its meeting hall filled with rainbow sand. He gathered much of al-Damanhur's citizens, as well as the mound's workers and his army, and had them all join him in the meeting hall on the summer solstice. Over thirteen thousand souls were squeezed into the hall. And then, acting on secret orders given by the king, the doors were closed in, and the multitudes were plunged into blackness. Not one escaped. They were trapped, screaming and panicking in darkness. The doors to the meeting hall were never opened again. The loyal guards who had performed the deed drank poisoned wine and then closed the exterior doors of the mound, sealing it forever. With so many lost, the Kingdom of Masur disintegrated into small townships. The city of al-Damanhur was swallowed by the sands. The location of the burial mound was lost to time, and its entrance was covered in earth and weeds. _,.,-~"~"~-,.,_,.,-=~´"-~-"`~=-,.,_,.,-~"~"~-,.,_,.,-=~´"-~-"`~=-,.,_,.,-~"~"~-,.,_,.,-~"~"~-,.,_ -~=~-~=~-~=~-~=~-~=~-~=~- Moiety -~=~-~=~-~=~-~=~-~=~- -~=~-~=~-- The City of Dreams al-Damanhur -~=~- While the original al-Damanhur is lost to the sand of the desert, and its many buildings and monuments lost to time, rumors persists that the city still lives on in a place beyond the material world. Spoken by travelers and merchants are stories of the City of Dreams. They say that atop the dunes of Tahn’s deserts, when the moon waxes and the stars themselves grow weary, that it is possible to fall into a sleep deeper than any other. While bushmen emerge to prowl the hills for the unprepared, those who have set up their tents on the bluffs where they are protected may be pulled into the Ambrosial Sleep. However, in this dream, traders rarely find themselves alone. They are joined by their fellow sleeping companions; all standing outside the sandstone gates of al-Damanhur. Of course, these gates are not real, because the City of Sand is now the City of Dreams, and only exists by the labors of thousands of trapped souls. The multitudes contained inside the blackness of the Achure burial tomb each fell asleep over the course of several days. Their waking bodies entered a trance where they would not age or decay, and their dream selves entered an Ambrosial Sleep in which they were all members. It was only when the last citizen had fallen asleep that the king emerged from the skies. Although the multitudes were asleep, only the king maintained the powers of a lucid dreamer. Several attempted to strike him down. They failed, and were slain by his deity-like power in the dream. The king ordered the reconstruction of al-Damanhur, and over several centuries the many dreamers rebuilt the city brick-by-brick. The king granted those loyal to him great powers and boons. In the land of sleep, no one defied the king. Even when al-Damanhur was perfectly reconstructed, the king was not satisfied. Now the merchants and travellers who are lucky enough to visit the City of Dreams speak of a new thing being built within the city – some say a great pyramid, a portal, or a temple. The secrets of the City of Dreams are known in pieces to many. Only the sleeping king knows the whole truth, and it is not a truth he will part with easily. -~=~-~=~-- The Clay Legion -~=~- The Kingdom of Masur made use of a curious military construct in order to supplement its army. These were the clay knights: mechanically animalistic warriors built from clay. Clay knights were lauded in their time as magical wonders, for their great strength, durability, and stamina. The process of creating a clay knight was an arduous one, though not so lengthy as to make it a poor substitute for living warriors. It began with the collection of high-quality clay from riverbeds and shores. This would be collected and purified in thickening vats, its detritus turned into fertilizer for desert farms. The resulting clay was turgid even while moist, acting as perfect substrate for bodypotters. Using systems of spinners and pulleys, bodypotters would mold whole humans out of the clay. Though techniques varied between each bodypotter family, they were all tremendously skilled in their own right. Many of their creations so accurately resembled their models that the real people had to take to wearing colorful clothing while in public to mark themselves as actual humans. When the clay people were finished, and a set of clay armor molded and cast around them, they were delivered to the Spirit Kilns. A spiritblower was not the average kiln operator. Though they did tend the kiln’s fire, they had a more important duty: to coax a spirit to enter the clay knight while they were being fired in the Spirit Kiln. Spirit Kilns were designed with twisting and winding shapes coming up out of the ground, confusing and trapping spirits that wandered into them from the earth. A series of runes on the inside of the kiln forced trapped spirits to follow a series of instructions, for instance ‘protect the church’, ‘follow the third battalion’, or to perform other tasks. This magic was an ancient hybrid. They say the knowledge to connect spirits to artifacts was stolen and perverted by an unholy orcish shaman, and sold to Masur’s merchants in exchange for asylum. This knowledge was the ancient prototype for spirit smithing, a technique devised by the orcish spirit of smithing, Gentharuz, to allow spirits to empower orcish weaponry. Twisted by this shaman already to allow him to force spirits into weaponry without their consent, Masur's merchants would go onto further adapt it. With the assistance of runesmiths, they would build the first functioning clay knights. When fired successfully, clay knights become automatons of service, capable and willing to fulfill their inscribed tasks. Though most of the clay knights are now entombed in the sands of the desert or in the mud of fields, there are rumors that, during the creation of the burial mound of Achure, a great legion was produced. Ordered by the king, a legion of a thousand clay knights was crafted. Divided up into companies of one-hundred knights, they were marched into several rooms of the burial mound and sealed within. The king had the spiritblowers who gave the clay knights their original instructions put to death. Now, the clay legions rests in silence, until their mysterious orders come into play, whatever they may be. -~=~-~=~-- The Dream-Stalkers -~=~- There were those who abandoned the Dream City of al-Damanhur, choosing to wander the infinite sprawling wastes of the Ambrosial Sleep rather than dwell under the rule of their sleeping king. Rarer still, are those who somehow insulted the king, and rather than have them killed, the king had these individuals banished. After wandering the infinite sands for so many years, many of these souls have gone mad. It is through this path that these people become dream-stalkers. They can taste the patterns in the sand and hear its many colors. More importantly, they can navigate the sprawling expanse beyond the Dream City of al-Damanhur, to find the sleepers of the world. Dream-stalkers can pass out of the Ambrosial Sleep and into the dreams of the normal denizens of Axios. They particularly target children, due to the vividness of their imagination and their limited ability to escape. It is in the dreams of the normal folk that Dream-stalkers hunt. They chase men and women through their dreams, hoping to run them down. For, if a dream-stalker should slay you in your dream, then they will be able to steal your body and return to the waking world. Your soul will then be thrown into the Ambrosial Sleep, to be lost amongst the infinite expanse of sand and dreams. They can be encountered most often in the northeast of Tahn, usually in the dreams of young dwarves and humans -- the most common race the stalkers originally were. They can be fought while sleeping. In the dream, they have mastery of your nightmares, and will use every ounce of fear in your mind as a weapon against you. If you are strong of will, you can steel yourself against them, and bring the fight to the stalker (hopefully slaying them), or you can simply flee until you wake. When a dream-stalker claims your body, they will generally head as quickly as they can toward the Achure burial mound, seeking to uncover it and slay the sleeping king. They do not know how to eat, drink, or sleep, and will inevitably die of dehydration. They can be purged from their host by holy magics. Cast into the Ambrosial Sleep, a person whose body has been stolen by a dream-stalker has few options. They may venture until they lose their mind and become a dream-stalker themselves, or, if they are lucky, they might find the Dream City of al-Damanhur. They say the Sleeping King can help you return to your body, as the dream-stalkers are his enemy, but this return will come at a price. _,.,-~"~"~-,.,_,.,-=~´"-~-"`~=-,.,_,.,-~"~"~-,.,_,.,-=~´"-~-"`~=-,.,_,.,-~"~"~-,.,_,.,-~"~"~-,.,_ -~=~-~=~-~=~- Conclusion -~=~-~=~- Here you go. _,.,-~"~"~-,.,_,.,-=~´"-~-"`~=-,.,_,.,-~"~"~-,.,_,.,-=~´"-~-"`~=-,.,_,.,-~"~"~-,.,_,.,-~"~"~-,.,_
  5. All wars occur due to OOC reasons. Stop being pansies. All this kid is doing is expediting that process. If the case is that the halflings OOCly support a merger due to low playercount concerns, they can have their characters similarly support such a proposition. However, if you actually want to figure this out, you should survey the halflings individually.
  6. Ti'gobser says that the man used the wrong video. Here's the right one, he says.
  7. This shouldn't be its own magic. It should be a subform of dwarven runic magic, a different 'dialect' of the magic, to use the language analogy. You can keep all the specifics and crap. All it is, is that it just seems silly to have several different 'magical' languages arise separately, when it seems more reasonable to simply have different 'dialects' of the same magical language. Perhaps ancient dwarven runic magic was taken and changed to make this magic, or maybe an ancient form of this magic was taken and changed to make dwarven runic magic, it matters little. That said, the magic seems fine as a subtype, and if it was made into a subtype, I think it would be cool. I really enjoy the idea of a magical tongue with different dialects having different powers. Sidebar: dialect as in how there are regional variants to a language, the actual effects of an 'accent'
  8. ~| The Savage Glade |~ Everything was born, and everything will die. It was not but a few years ago that the Holy Orenian Empire believed it would conquer the world. Now its corpse lays strewn all over Axios. What remains after the fall is a wild mixture of cultural debris, confused and angry people whose certainties have betrayed them, and those forces which were always there, deeper than the foundations of the city walls: the desire to survive and the desire for meaning. We are too often swayed to believe blindly in the irresistible force of civilization's institutions and morals, in the power of its police and of its opinion. The simple fact is that the cities are an intensely fragile construction, built on little more than belief: belief in the rightness of its values; belief in the strength of its system of law and order; belief in its currency; above all, perhaps, belief in its future. Once that belief begins to crumble, the collapse of a civilization may become unstoppable. The cobbles come crashing down from that dark mountain. In my last missive, I asked you to destroy a perversion of life. The birds whispered to me stories of fields being burned in the heartlands, and cattle being slain in the east of Tahn. These small acts are good. We have much larger ones ahead of us. The crater that now rests where Johannesburg stood is a scar left by Oren's fall, and if the balance is to be restored, it must be healed -- or repaid. If the world is to be saved from the descendants, even the scars must be made to fade. Civilization is a cancer which must be cut out. Only when all the unnatural is purged from the world that we might be safe. When the last woman bashes her head against the rocks, only until she has forgotten the very last word in her brain, then creation might return to the good. Now, I will place another task in your hands. Any of you, or all of you. Destroy one of the undead. Travel out at night, and with your fists and your teeth, tear them to shreds. Chew on their bones until the marrow spills out. Take their bows, break the shafts, and cast them into the sea. Burn their corpses in campfires. The light of the Aspects once protected the night, but now the darkness has crept back in. We fight a war on a hundred fronts: against the city, against the mages, against the dead. By the grace of the Aspects and the fury of our hearts, we will succeed, or the whole of creation will be damned. Show that you are dedicated to the cause of restoring balance to this world. I ask this of you. ~ March Ash You find a message on a sheaf of bark, scrawled in animal blood. Previous Issue Dreamer Join the author.
  9. The reason behind the decay of the orcs can be summed up easily: the PVP buff no longer exists. Orc RP is horrifically difficult to get into. Who wants to play an ugly idiot who isn't even strong anymore? And speak a language which is borderline incomprehensible? The orcs will never return to power until the PVP buff is reinstated in its full. duh @Telanir @Teegah
  10. ~| The Savage Glade |~ These grand and fatal movements toward death: grandeur of the mass Makes pity a fool, the tearing pity For the atoms of the mass, the persons, the victims, makes it seem monstrous To admire the tragic beauty they build. It is beautiful as a river flowing or a slowly gathering Glacier on a high mountain rock-face, Bound to plow down a forest, or as frost in November; The gold and flaming death-dance for leaves, Or a girl in the night of her spent maidenhood, bleeding and kissing. I would burn my right hand in a slow fire To change the future ... I should do foolishly. The beauty of modern Man is not in the persons but in the Disastrous rhythm, the heavy and mobile masses, the dance of the Dream-led masses down the dark mountain. An ash tree quakes in the breeze, sentinel for a dead city. Its rhizomes stretch for a hundred miles. From its perch on a hill, it watches the Johannesburg crater, the skitter of looters and the wounded. The Holy Orenian Empire is dead. Hundreds of years of human dominion and power are broken. The isles are strewn with rotting petty-kingdoms, the majority of which will collapse in the next few decades. Social order is shattered, and the future is uncertain. The dwarves stagnate, the elves grow radical, and the orcs are beginning to rebuild. By and large, it would be a good victory. Yet, it feels empty. There are seldom few revelations to be found in extreme social collapse, except a reminder of how quickly it can happen. The stench of thanhium is on the wind. With Philip Frederick's last machinations, he poisoned the land so thoroughly it will take years to heal. Redouble your efforts to find his remains -- corpse, ashes, whatever is left. Then, I want you to begin kidnapping and torturing his family, lovers, and friends, anyone who was still loyal to him by the end of the war. The population of Axios must understand in no uncertain terms that this behavior cannot be tolerated. ~ March Ash You overhear a conversation, but by the time you find the source of the voices, the speakers are already gone.
  11. ((This is actually a good point. Will these races be prevented from taking damaged, or just be one means to enable expeditions into the ruins?
  12. The rule should be simply that you are allowed to down any person, regardless of whether you have previously roleplayed with them or not, and then you must initiate roleplay with them. If they attempt to flee again, you can kill them. They can flee from RP at any time, regardless of if they have emoted or if it is logical. GMs will NOT enforce players who run from RP returning to RP. The onus is on you to catch and pop them.
  13. what about aesop-son
  14. This is p funny