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Found 148 results

  1. AND TO THE MIRE, HE RETURNS ___________________________________ [!] A depiction of Kaer Glythen, the Aeldinic seat of House Grimm The war between the feuding Imperial Houses of Horen and Marna has claimed many lives as of recent, and families all throughout the two imperiums now grieved for lost sons and daughters - taken all too soon in the conflict. One such family is the noble House of Grimm, its members having learned of its patriarch’s death in the most horrible of ways; The Baron’s corpse was shipped to the stone-maken walls of Reza, confined to a wooden box devoid of any means to initially identify him. Eventually, however, upon reaching hold of Lady Grimm, authorities were able to properly identify the bloodied husk as her spouse - a man who had so chivalrously lived past his prime. As the family grieved together and sorted through the late patriarch’s belongings, a piece of parchment was found. On the paper lay dozens of crossed out lines of text, all discarded before the middle of the page. In there, a handful of lines remained, writing comparable to chicken scratch, though legible nonetheless. I remember my arrival upon Atlas hazily, though some memories do not escape me. The overwhelming fear of leaving my parents, and my eldest siblings, on their lonesome in Venerra. Thankfully, I had my sister Alana by my side throughout the voyage. Tempests raged about us as we ventured further into the murky waters, our vessel soon being consumed by a grey mist -- restricting our vision for a good while. In the days following, we could make out a jagged mountain ahead; Overjoyed, Alana and I leaped into the frigid waters and gradually arrived to Haeseni shores. As we made our way into the confines of Markev, we were greeted by our cousins, Emma Ludovar and her younger sibling, Jacob. My sister took the path of Chamberlain; I, on the other hand, pursued the path my father had always desired for me - knighthood. And so life went on for me: I had four beauteous children and a supportive consort. Alas, I write this for I have spent fifty-some years alive - Death encroaches, and rapidly at that. Should you find this and I’m deceased, my sole request is to be returned to my grand-nephew, William I of Venerra, where I am to be laid in our family crypts with my father Elias, my mother Selina, and my siblings. To the mire, I return. Credit to Axelu for writing the entire thing, I’m just here for the rep.
  2. The Secrets of Carbarum The Gem Metal An ancient Vihai during the times of Larihei, adorning a full set of Carbarum Armor, with an axe in tow. Carbarum By far the most rare and mystical metal to be obtained by the hands of mortal men. A metal with such a reputation for its strength that speaking its very name echoes power. It shimmers and shines like diamond, its surface sleek and smooth, but strength comparable to that of scales from a true Dragon. It is almost crystal like in appearance, one of the reasons it has been commonly confused with diamond, while diamond being one of the things that tend to make the metal impure. Its beauty far exceeds any gem or ware made of other metal. Found far beneath the earth and in places where the earth touches the sky, it is no wonder that it’s hard to find, for only the most treacherous places seem to hold this awe-inspiring material. Alas, its reputation may have had its leaps and bounds, but the art of forging Carbarum has been lost to the ages, only the most ancient of Dwarven and Elven smiths knowing of its processes. Carbarum is not diamond, it is similar, but not the same. Carbarum is found only in the deepest depths of the earth and the highest peaks of mountains. Pure and Impure Pure A metal unlike every other, it surpasses all when most pure. One of the few ways known to merely bend this metal after it has been refined and forged, is by the strength of a Greater Drake, able to bend Carbarum Swords with their forearms and claws. However, its main downside is the weight of such weaponry and armor. In equal amounts, Pure Carbarum will always be at least twice the weight of Steel. If you tap Pure Carbarum lightly with a steel file or with something, you will hear a ring similar to that of silver chimes in the wind, soft on the ear. With enough force, it is even said that a man on horse-back could have his sword shatter to pieces if he struck a blade of Carbarum, though that would be a rare occurrence, and unlikely without the aid of tremendous speed. Impure Though still containing remnants of the beauty Carbarum has, it is still impure and lacks the full radiance of the legendary metal. Its weight still being roughly the same as that of Pure Carbarum, its strength is greatly diminished but in an odd way. You may take a Carbarum Axe that is made of Impure Carbarum and hack into a tree and it will remain still as effective as Pure Carbarum, but giving too hard of a tap onto something harder, such as a metal, and it will shatter like exploding glass! You can tell if Carbarum is impure, simply by lightly tapping on the metal with a steel file, or something similar. You shall hear a very soft, high pitched ring emanate from the metal, this is what causes it to shatter. The impurities in the metal cause vibrations so intense that the Carbarum quite literally shakes itself into shattering into tiny sharp shards, almost like glass! So it is important to know that Carbarum Tools remain effective if they are not struck against things that would cause the metal to resonate at such a high frequency! Iron and anything of similar or greater hardness will cause the Carbarum to resonate at such a high frequency that it will shatter! Forged In Flames This part of the post won’t be fluffy or RP friendly at all, it will be purely informational and filled with OOC. This will be the full process of Carbarum Forging! Including mining/gathering, smelting, the hammer, forging, and sharpening. Mining & Gathering Carbarum mining is a very dangerous task when you set out to do it. Any action done wrong could quite easily end in your death, so be careful! You must completely mine around the ore and not actually into it. Mining into Carbarum while it is an ore, so while it is impure, will cause it to shatter violently, releasing sharp shards of Carbarum in all directions and something else of much more concern, dust. Mere dust of Carbarum when inhaled could easily cause death. The dust particles not only potentially choking the inhaler, but also leaving thousands of tiny cuts and pieces of dust embedded in the throat and lungs. A mask is not required but highly suggested in case of an accident! Smelting and refining Nothing like melting iron or gold down in a forge, Carbarum requires special treatment for it to be done fully. First off, Drachalite and Boomsteel must be harvested for this task and ground into fine dust. This, combined with the use of Alchemist’s Fire and a forge capable of intense heat for extended periods of time will allow the smith to melt the metal. The Drachalite and Boomsteel dust being thrown into the forge with a vial of Alchemist’s Fire will purge the ore of most of its impurities, creating a large amount of slag at the surface of the molten material. After removing the slag from your crucible, you should then pour the metal into a mold, allowing it to solidify but still be malleable. With large, two-handed steel hammers, multiple men should beat on the ingot, fold it, and continue to beat on it. This should be done several times over to deliver a product that gleams a light-blue when completely free of impurities, it will be a darker hue, similar to teal when impure. You will notice when the product is nearing becoming a pure material not only from its color, but because your steel hammers are also likely to start denting themselves on the metal at this point. Note, Smelting step can be completely done with Draconic Fire if you’re able to get your hands on such. The Hammer Carbarum is not so easily forged with your everyday steel ball-pin hammer, you must use one of Carbarum, but how do you acquire a Carbarum Hammer without being able to forge the metal. Simple really, you use a Bluesteel hammer, the second best thing. You may have to reforge your Bluesteel hammer a few times as it will dent itself on striking the heated Carbarum. Otherwise, once you have made what appears to be a rather acceptable appearing Carbarum Hammer, use that one to make another Carbarum Hammer, the final one being neigh perfect for creating Carbarum of the highest quality. Forging It may take hours to fully forge Carbarum to its appropriate shape and strength, so a lot of manpower and endurance is needed for the task. This should also be done in one session because if the product cools off without being properly forged, it will warp and deform, ruining whatever you may have worked on. Even though the metal may be fiercely hot, you should know that it is still quite hard to forge even when so soft, a lot of strength required in blows to shape the metal. Any edges you wish to make should be done as thinly as possible because you will not get a second chance to simply reforge a sword so that it is thinner along its edge. Sharpening The only way to sharpen Carbarum is with a grindstone or whetstone made of Boomsteel, Ferrum, and Diamond ground into dust, with the Ferrum and Boomsteel being 90% of the stone is made of, half and half, while diamond dust is the 10%. This combination of materials allows for strength, hardness, and a bit of heat to warm the metal. Some Extra Red Lines! 1. You will need LT approval to forge Carbarum and require IRP knowledge on how it is done, currently, no one knows, so good luck finding out! 2. You will need LT signed Carbarum Ore to even start the process of forging Carbarum. 3. The knowledge of Carbarum Smithing can be self-taught or passed on via teaching if you able to actually acquire Carbarum and experiment on it. 4. Carbarum Weapons/Tools may be represented with Diamond Weapons and Tools, but of course with only the stats of iron! Carbarum Armor will require iron armor to be LT signed and represent such, and a skin!
  3. Stargush

    The History of Orc

    (Iblees disguised as a man attempts to fool Krug with riches and luxury) THE HISTORY OF ORC Instances of Orcish history across the major realms of Aegis to Arcas DAWN OF AEGIS (BCW) 1 BCW: The Four Brothers are born into the lands of Aegis: Krug, Horen, Malin, and Urguan 2 BCW: The descendants battle in the fateful war against Iblees and the Undead 3 BCW: Krug becomes scarred and burned by Iblees acid skin and cursed with bloodlust after the Arch-Daemon was defeated. In return, the Aenguls blessed Krug and his kin with Honor and Valor as contribution after the war. 4 BCW: The Four Brothers split into separate ways raising great families and unique civilizations. 5 BCW: Krug and Grahla birth children named Rax, Dom, Gorkil and Lur. 6 BCW: Krug’s children triumph in many battles and obstacles earning great respect to their names. 7 BCW: Krug wages war against the Empire of Horen. While the Orcs sieged the city, Krug is challenged to an honor duel by the Emperor. Horen is swiftly defeated by Krug who planted his axe into his brother’s skull. CLAN WAR (CW) 1 CW: The Orc Clans came about when the Children of Krug began having children and eventually they separated into different families, or Clans. These Clans would have many differences and would respect their Clan Father and die for Him. 2 CW: These Clans would eventually start following Greatfathers, and there were two who possessed the most appeal; The Great Warrior Tythor, slayer of the Kar'ak Scorpion, and The Great Shaman Or'ta, who could call down whole lightning storms. 3 CW: Two major Mega-Clans of the time were the Rax Clan led by Tythor’Rax and Dom Clan led by Or’ta’Dom. 4 CW: The Clan Wars tear through the lands of Krug between the Clan Dom and Clan Lur 5 CW: Warlord Veruk’Gorkil leads a campaign against Warlord Tythor’Rax in the Battle of Nomad Plains leading 500 Gorkils riding their fastest war boars against 1,200 Jabbernacks that Tythor’Rax brought to battle. The Gorkils tore through the Rax cavalry while the Dom’s sent lightning crashing from the sky into the center of the Rax forces. At the end of the battle, Tythor’Rax retreated with 150 Jabbernacks while Veruk’Gorkil only lost 30 War Boars and even fewer Gorkils. 6 CW: Tythus’Rax is pronounced War Lord of the Rax Clan after Tythor’Rax falls in battle. 7 CW: After slaughtering through the numbers of Clan Lur, the clans of Krugmar are revealed the dark shamanism utilized by the Dark Shamans of Clan Dom. This causes Clan Gorkil and Clan Rax to join Lur and face the Doms. 8 CW: Warlord Tythus led many victories over the Dominus Clan and in one fateful battle, the High Shaman Or'ta tried to use Dark Magic to win. Krug, in anger, showed his displeasure for the weak and sent down lightning bolts to aid Tythus. Or'ta was killed and the Dominus Clan was eliminated, many joining Tythus soon after. 9 CW: War Lord Tythus’Rax leads a great victory over the Elves, taking their ruined city and establishing it as the capital of the War Nation, San’Jazel. AEGIS (1305 -1349) 1CW - 1305 - Tythus’Rax unites the Clans after the end of the Clan Wars and establishes the first Rexdom of Krugmar 2 13XX - Bein’Lur suggests the formation of an Orcish Army and Rex Tythus grants Bein the title Dominus. 3 13XX - A Nomad Village was land granted to the Dominus of Krugmar by Rex Tythus 4 13XX – Dominus Bein’Lur scouted a village near San’Jazel that was called Riverside. After some interactions and conflicts the Dominus waged war upon Riverside. The details of the battles are foggy, but the Orcs prevailed and the Dominus reconstructed the ruins forging a new city called San’Har. 5 13XX - An Orc named Petri bought a home in Kel’og but began building an army in a short span of time. It was brought to the attention of Dominus Bein’Lur and as Petri was confronted a skirmish broke out and left Petri’s army scattered and demoralized. 6 13XX - The Orcish Horde was reformed and construction of Fort Krug is completed. 7 13XX - Or’ta the Dark Shaman returns from death with the help of Iblees after being cast to the Nether by Krug for using Dark Magic. Dominus Bein is captured but after numerous attacks upon Orc cities he is defeated and killed by a group of Orcs in the Battle of San’Jazel. 8 13XX - Dominus Thyst challenges Tythus for the title of Rex and was mortally wounded in the battle. He suffered from his wounds and eventually was sent into the afterlife of the Stargush’Stroh. 9 13XX - Many of the Clans despised the leadership of Rex Tythus and united together to overthrow him in a revolt. 10 13XX - Just before the Assault of San’Jazel many of the clans became conflicted amongst themselves. Many laid their support in the Chieftain Mogroka’Gorkil while others supported the Lower Dominus Gorefang’Gorkil. 11 13XX - Mogroka and Gorefang decided it could only be settled through a duel. The duel lasted for three days and nights but neither got the upper hand. On the fourth day, after dehydration and starvation begins to set in the two Orcs land a solid blow upon each-other ending the duel without a winner. 12 13XX - Many feared that bloodshed and civil war would soon break out without a winner and just as each side prepared for battle they were interrupted by The Wandering Wizard who convinced the Clans to re-unite to their cause to prevent the Undead from reaping their lands. 13 13XX -A prophecy is told by Elder Shaman Krink’Gorkil that two brothers would lead the Orcs to victory and it would be the Orc’s Golden Age. 14 13XX - Mogroka and Gorefang together set out for San’Jazel to meet the Rex and challenge him for the Rexdom. Rex Tythus arrogantly accepted both challenges at the same time and was defeated leaving Mogroka and Gorefang to share the Rex title. 15 13XX - Shez’Lur, son of Bein’Lur, destroys San’Har and opens rebellion against Mogroka’Gorkil believing him to be a Usurper since he had never held the title of Dominus. Rex Mogroka acted quickly and had the rebels in full retreat as Shez’Lur was killed in the fighting. 16 13XX - The Great War began with a series of skirmishes between the Orcs and Dwarves outside of San’jazel. 17 1336 - Rex Mogroka’Gorkil of Krugmar and Prince Mylas of the Holy Princedom of Malinor, accompanied by Hochmeister Gaius Marius, marched on the capital of the Grand Kingdom of Urguan, Kal’Urguan 18 1336 - The Wandering Wizard falls defending against a horde of Undead 19 1339 - Grand Councilor Valen Blackaxe of Kal'Urguan and Warlord Mogroka of Krugmar end the Great War with a peace treaty, allowing Kal'Urguan to join the United Aegis Coalition. 20 1343 - The Dwarves begin work on a new coalition made up of Kal'Urguan, Renatus, Malinor, Hanseti and Krugmar. 21 1349 - Aegis falls 1 The Verge - Explored and colonized towards the end of Aegis, the Verge was a collections of islands that the people of Aegis fled through a portal to when Iblees' power became too great to contain. There they built ships to travel to Asulon. ASULON (1351 -1414) 1 1351 - As the orcs ventured to Asulon with the other mortal races, the orcs saw a boost in their population. 2 1351 - An idea spurred that the Rexdom of Krugmar was not working for the orcs, and thus the War Uzg, a nation of violence, was born. 3 13XX - As a result of the new found strength, the War Uzg aids the Hanseti in raids against the Kingdom of Renatus 4 13XX - War eventually breaks out with the orcs and Hansetians on one side and the Kingdom of Renatus on the other side. The war is stalemated after the orcs take over the fort of Das Boot. 5 13XX- After these tensions, the War Uzg set it's eyes on the Silver City of the High Elves. Within time, the orcs had burned down the Silver City after weeks of raiding. After the sacking of the Silver City, the War Uzg sat dormant for a while, until a new political advance in the War Uzg occurred. 6 13XX - The first Rex Klomp of the War Uzg occurs between the standing Rex Mogroka’Gorkil and Warlord Pok of the Ugluk Clan. After a fierce battle, Pok’Ugluk emerges the winner and becomes the Third Rex to ever hold the title. 7 13XX- Rex Pok quickly turns relations with the nation of Salvus for the worst and forms four powerful alliances 8 13XX - The War Uzg declares war on Salvus, backed by the coalition Pok had formed. The coalition consisted of Alras, Renatus, Hanseti, and Malinor as well as some larger guilds and a rebellion lead by a Human noble. 9 1414 - The Descendants depart from Asulon 1 Elysium - A collection of islands that the people stopped on during their sea trip from Asulon to Anthos. 2 Kalos - A big island which the people stopped to restock on supplies between Elysium and Anthos. ANTHOS (1420 -1454) 1 1420 - The Descendants reach Anthos 2 14XX - The Orcs of the War Uzg occupied the capital of San'Orka. 3 14XX - The dwarves push back the orcs, after a victorious battle at Storm's Crossing, ending the war between the two races. 4 1440 - The War Uzg is disbanded and the Orcish desert is called the Orcish Badlands. The Orcish Clans become the center of Orcish political life. 5 1454 - A new land would be discovered by the descendants, known to most as the Fringe, a peculiar land seeming near ancient as Anthos itself, with a sprawling temple of marble with a peculiar obsidian portal, seeming much like the ones once used in Aegis by the Undead around roughly a century ago. 1 The Fringe - Explored and colonized towards the end of Anthos, the Fringe was a land surrounded by very high mountains, with weird natural land formations. The people escaped here through a tunnel when Anthos was flooded. 2 Thales - When a harsh heat passed through the Fringe, the people took a portal to Thales, where they stayed there until finding a more suitable land of Athera. ATHERA (1470 -1513) 1 1470 - Power struggles existed each and every day, orcs had no honor towards each other. This occurred over the span of Athera, until an ancient and experienced orc known as Vrograk'Gorkil took it upon himself to fix things and declared himself Rex. 2 1470 - The Iron Uzg was established 3 14XX - Rex Vrograk'Gorkil orders construction of a capital city, Kodar'Goi. After years of construction, the fearsome city of violence was completed - arguably one of the most defendable places in Athera. 4 14XX - Skirmishes soon broke out naturally between the dwarves and the orcs. Primarily, the dwarves were angered by the shaving of dwarven beards by the Rex, Vrograk'Gorkil. 5 14XX - The Grand Kingdom of Urguan issued what was known as The Treaty of the Red Sands, which angered many orcs. Without second thought, Vrograk'Gorkil used the treaty as toilet paper - his faith in his newly revived orcs higher than ever. Soon after, both nations mobilized their armies in preparation for a bloody war. 6 14XX - A battle is won decisively for the Iron Uzg as they then marched to Kal'Ekknar - the Grandaxe Village. 7 14XX - After a long battle at Kal'Ekknar, the Dwarves utilized a strong flanking route and sent the Iron Uzg in a full retreat back to their original land. 8 1491: After a several year long conflict, peace has been made between the Kingdom of Akovia, Mardonic League, the Dwarves and the orcs. 9 1513: The Orc-Dwarf War comes to an end, and within a few months a giant worm destroys most of Athera. The descendant races then move on to The Isles of Vailor. VAILOR (1513 -1570) 1 1513 - Shortly after the arrival into Vailor, Rex Vrograk'Gorkil fell fatally ill - later dying, but not before naming his son, Vrogrash'Gorkil, to be trained to be the Rex of the Iron Uzg. 2 15XX - After some years it was realized that Rex Vrogrash'Gorkil never truly lived up to his father's legacy, and he later left the Iron Uzg. 3 15XX - In his place, surprisingly, the first non-orcish rex in history - Phaedrus'Yar took over the Iron Uzg as the Rex. At first faced with opposition, Phaedrus quickly proved he was an orc in an elf's body - truly the most vile elf to ever live. 4 15XX - Under Phaedrus's rule, the clans were reunified after a brief period of seclusion, tribute to the rex was expected from all clans, a holy warrior of the Church of Canon was slain in a duel, and most surprisingly - outlawed slavery and declared an era of industry. 5 15XX - Phaedrus'Yar was later defeated in an honorable duel by the orc known as Kahn'Braduk, an orc more ancient than Vrograk'Gorkil himself. 6 15XX - Briefly, the Iron Uzg was a part of the Southern Vailor Coalitio, but Rex Kahn believing the Chancellor of the coalition, Aelthir Tundrak was trying to control him, took his nation out of the alliance and left the heart of the great beast the Fleugal at their feet, challenging them to seek retribution. 7 15XX - The Iron Uzg had brief skirmishes with the combined armies of Urguan and Fenn, but did not react until the Southern Vailor Coalition broke up after the vassalization of Aeroch Nor by the Holy Oren Empire. 8 1527 - The Iron Uzg begins advancing towards the Princedom of Fenn as an act of retribution to prior threats. 9 1528: The Iron Uzg wins against the Ivae'Fenn outside their city, and prepare to siege Tar'sil, the Princedom's capital. 10 1529: The Princedom of Fenn with Dunamis support bests the Iron Uzg in a siege against the Princedom of Fenn's capital. 11 15XX - Regrouping his forces, Rex Kahn'Braduk attempted again and conquered the Snow Elves. He ultimately fell ill, and was challenged by his friend Targoth Ubba'Ugluk who would go on to become Rex and reform the Iron Uzg as the War Uzg 12 1560 - The Iron Uzg collapsed and is reformed into the War Uzg 13 15XX - Rex Ubba’Ugluk falls ill and grants the Rex title to his friend, Snoop’Azog. 14 15XX - After the clans showed dissatisfaction for their newly elected Rex, Snoop’Azog is defeated after entering an honor duel with Kharak’Raguk. 15 15XX - The Shaman Rex Kharak’Raguk leads the War Uzg on the Orgonic campaign. During this time much of the land became blighted or tainted with disease. 16 1570 - The Descendants flee Vailor through a Spirit Portal after the Great Spirit of Disease, Orgon, tainted the land and created an imbalance of nature ultimately destroying it. AXIOS (1571 -1642) 1 1571 - Vailor falls into destruction while the Orcs sail through the Spirit Realm into the lands of Axios eventually splitting from the mass of Vailoric Ships and anchored at the Jungles of Asul in the city of San’Garath. 2 1573 - Rex Kharak’Raguk dies at the hands of a mysterious spirit, and Kulgarok’Lak, a notable shaman, succeeds him. 3 1574 - Kulgarok constructs a new city, San’Kharak, in the swamp not far from San’Garath. San’Garath is promptly abandoned. 4 1576 - Rex Kulgarok’Lak is challenged by Malgunuz’Raguk, who handily defeats Kulgarok and takes the title of Rex. A group of Orcs known as the Sarnites break off from the Uzg and establish their own settlement across from San’Kharak, claiming themselves to be the true Rexdom. A civil war erupts between the Sarnites and the War Uzg. 5 1577 - The Order of the Angathgul is formed and separates from the Uzg, making its home on Ceru, by Sutica. Later that year, The ‘Ivory Mandate’ is signed in Oren, stating that all Orcish tusks brought to the crown will be rewarded with a hefty sum of minas. 6 1579 - John I Owyn, Emperor of the Holy Orenian Empire, declares war on the War Uzg. As a response, the Sarnites reunite with the War Uzg and their disagreements are put aside in order to stand up against the Orenian menace. The first major engagement, known as ‘The Battle of Atlay’, is a decisive Orenian victory. 7 1580 - Vorgo’Yar claims Rexdom after Malgunuz’Raguk is imprisoned by the Skygods. 8 1581 - San’Kharak is evacuated right before Oren encircles the city and begins to siege it, the only people left to defend it being Vorgo’Yar, Dominus Khargak’Raguk, and the honorary Morka’Vorgor. The city quickly falls, with Khargak being slain at the battle, and Vorgo and Morka being brought to the Johannesburg Courthouse for trial, ending with both of them dying.. And with that, the War Uzg is disbanded and the remaining Orcs hide across Axios to try and recover from the absolutely devastating war they had fought. 9 1582 - The surviving Orcs begin to reunite and sail to the desert of Urguan as provided refuge by the Grand King of Urguan, Torvin Grandaxe, and founded a camp in the wasteland of Azaghol, where the Orcs lived as a loose band with little in the means of government. 10 1589 - Kulgarok returns and briefly claims Rexdom. However, very quickly he is challenged by Drokon’Ugluk, who beats Kulgarok and reforms the Orcish society into the War Nation of Krugmar. 11 1591 - A Warzone erupts between Urguan and Azaghol versus Orenia and the Dominion of Malin after Wood Elf scouts found Orcs in Azaghol also known as ‘The Battle of the Gray Peninsula’, which ends in a loss for the Orcs. 12 1593 - Rex Drokon’Ugluk helps form a Coalition alongside The Grand Kingdom of Urguan, The Kingdom of Courland, the Ivae’fenn, and Norland to fight against the warmongering Orenian Empire. 13 1594 - The Orenian Empire attempt to cross through a valley in the desert but are defeated by the Coalition forces in a fight known as ‘The Battle of the Gorge’, marking the first battle the Empire had lost in over a hundred years. 14 1595 - The Coalition battles for the unstable county of Lorraine which is famously known as ‘The Battle of Goldfield’. 15 1596 - Drokon’Ugluk is severely injured after a hunt, only being saved due to both a surgery performed by Murgosh’Raguk and some magic by the dark shaman Kulgarok. Drokon is severely altered by Kulgarok’s magic and the Rex goes a spree of killing many Wargoths and other Orcs who he believes are conspiring against him. Soon after, Kulgarok reforms the Clan of Dom, bringing with him a new era of dark shamanism. 16 1597 - Drokon is returned to his right state of mind, ending his reign of terror. 17 1599 - Rex Drokon’Ugluk, out of shame for what he had done and the countless he had killed, hands the title of Rexdom over to Orgoth’Braduk. With this abdication, the clan Ugluk is decreed to be absorbed into clan Gorkil. 18 1602 - The Clans Braduk and Raguk, in an attempt to shore up their lacking numbers, merge to form the Clan Braguk. 19 1606 - Rex Orgoth’Braduk abdicates Rexdom to Gurak’Yar. 20 1608 - A coup is attempted by the Wargoth Kuntklobbera’Raguk at a feast, leading to a short battle that ended with Kuntklobbera being stripped of his status, yet still in Orcish society. 21 1612 - The Braguk Clan breaks up, reverting to Clans Braduk and Raguk. 22 1614 - Gurak’Yar steps down, leaving a void in the leadership that is filled by Kulgarok’Dom. Immediately, Kulgarok is challenged and defeated by Eath’Lur, and is once again banished from Krugmar. 23 1615 - Rex Eath’Lur steps down and hands the title over to Kuntklobbera’Raguk a bit before the World Cactus Festival. 24 1617 - A Coalition is formed between the War Nation, Urguan, Veris, and Norland to fight against the newly reformed Oren. 25 1619 - Anti-Laureh’lin sentiment rises immensely, with a spree of raids and taunts from the Rex and other Orcs, leading the two nations to the brink of war. The tensions did not result in any major conflicts, but they persist for years afterwards. 26 1620 - The Shamanic Fellowship, a shamanic order like Angathgul (yet nowhere near as separate from the Krugmar), is founded. 27 1621 - Kuntklobbera'Raguk, in order to show his devotion to Leyd, changes his name to Leydluk'Raguk. 28 1642 - The Isles of Axios sunk into a deep thanic winter while the Orcs and other descendants escaped by sea. ATLAS (1643 -1705) 1 1643 - The Descendants reach the shores of Atlas after spending some time sailing upon the sea. 216XX - Orcs enter the first half of the Orc-Elf War and shortly into it Rex U’la’Yar is captured by mercenaries and executed by the Dominion of Malin. 3 16XX - Leydluk’Raguk reclaims the Rexdom and leads the War Nation of Krugmar 416XX - Rex Leydluk’Raguk involves the War Nation in the Courland-Renatus War 5 16XX - Rex Leydluk orders the construction of Fort Stronk bordering the lands of the Dominion of Malin 6 16XX - Several skirmishes and conflicts occur upon the roads outside of Fort Stronk 7 16XX - Rex Leydluk’Raguk relieves himself of the title and raises the Targoth Puknaak’Lak as the next Rex of Krugmar. 8 16XX - Krugmar enters the second half of the Orc-Elf War as Rex Puknaak orders a re-design of Fort Stronk. Many battles continue to happen between the Elves and Orcs. 9 16XX - Puknaak’Lak enters and honor duel with the Prince of the Dominion as suggested by Emperor Aurelius of Renatus-Marna which concluded with Rex Puknaak’s defeat and death. 10 16XX - Morlak’Lak rises as Rex when the clans decide upon him after his brother, Puknaak’s, death. 11 16XX - After Rex Morlak’s death, the clans fumble for the Rexdom and an honor duel is declared between Falum’Lur and Blogus the Black. After a decisive brawl, Rex Falum’Lur reigns over what remained of Krugmar and San’Kala which was shortly stripped away and granted to the Dominion of Malin. 12 16XX - Rex Falum’Lur departed for some time leaving Krugmar after San’Kala was taken and left the Orcs in great unrest. When he returned, Warlord Shakul’Gorkil claimed himself as Rex backed by a newly elected Warlord of Braduk. Shakul challenged Falum and dueled each other in a close match until the Gorkil claimed victory and earned the title as Rex Shakul’Gorkil. 13 16XX - Rex Shakul’Gorkil settles the orcs in the lands of the Frostbeards of Kaz’Ulrah for some time but eventually reclaims San’Kala then facing the conflict of the separate Orc Horde of Thagurz’Grish and resolves the situation by assimilating the Horde into Krugmar and allowing them to continue their ways. 14 16XX - Many Clans become unsatisfied with Rex Shakul’Gorkil as he often referred to making intolerable actions in the view of the Clans of Krugmar. 15 16XX - Glottgut'Raguk and Rognor'Lak lead a revolt of the clans in hopes to overthrow Rex Shakul’Gorkil which then phased into a Clan War. 16 16XX - After several battles, Rex Shakul’Gorkil is defeated and the Warlords choose Rex Gilgamesh’Braduk, son of the late Kahn’Braduk, to reign. 17 16XX - The War Nation of Krugmar is reformed into the Rexdom of Krugmar 18 16XX - Rex Gilgamesh vanishes from the lands of Krug and Warlord Murak’Gorkil rises to the occasion claiming the Rexdom. 19 1700 - Clan Raguk gets banished from Krugmar by Rex Murak’Gorkil ARCAS (1705 - Present) 1 1705 - The Orcs and other Descendants reach the lands of Arcas after escaping Atlas. 2 17XX - Relations with Clan Raguk are repaired by Rex Burbur’Lur, but remain separate entities. 3 1715 - Rex Burbur’Lur gives an order to begin reconstruction of San’Strohk.
  4. Dear players, Moderators, Admins, and all other teams. Recently, there has been talk of shelving the creatures called Striga, the vampire equivalent in LOTC. I object to this shelving for several reasons which will be listed. Already, many creatures have been “nuked”. And a lot of these creatures were creatures of evil. The biggest problem that we have now is banditing which becomes boring after constantly being downed on the road by bandits. Bandits themselves irp are not bad, yet everyone is resorting to banditing now. If we had more of these creatures such as Striga, it would add more color to the rp. When I first joined LOTC, I was a character by the name of Alkheim Guillén. After a week of RPing, I discovered an undead sect. This itself was extremely exciting to me. I had discovered creatures who practiced dark arts and I had my character strive to battle them. It inspire different much thought and a lot of rp. Rather than just fleeing like bandits had done, they took a stand as undead and fought. It added so much to the rp we had and just was so fun. If we keep these creatures in, the rp will be even better for the community, especially the new players. These evil creatures truly add something into the lore of LOTC. It offers creatures, played by players, that have no mortal morals. They are inhuman humanoids that groups can band together to fight. It does not divide us like normal human and elven evil does. For when someone decides for their character to turn evil, they still allows some goodness in the character, but monsters leave that all behind and truly add something evil to fight against in LOTC. Look what the Vaeyl order did in Atlas. Because of them, all the nations of Atlas fought together to exterminate them, bringing such enjoyable rp into the whole of Atlas. Another objection is that, these creatures are just fun to play anyways. To be the tyrannical Vampire with not even a smidge of goodness who does not fight for money, but just for pure power, or revenge, is fun sometimes, IRP that is. Turning people to your minions is also enjoyable. Instilling fear in the nations of the RP land can be awesome for both the player and the nations. These are only some of the cons of shelving a lot of monsters. And I know why it is done. Chaotic creatures are often played by chaotic people, meaning disorganization and rule breaking. But with revision, proper revision, it can be done properly and still be enjoyable. I beseech the Players day LOTC to join me in securing the monsters of Arcas to exist as playable races, not creatures of history that has passed. PS. +1 this if you like it. Plus, with every shelving of a creature just allows more and more creatures to be erased from LOTC
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytQ5CYE1VZw Hûn’Zna Lore extension and Addition “Martial Arts are codified systems and traditions of combat. The term is derived from Latin and means “Arts of Mars” The Roman God of War…” (Thank you _Jandy_ for allowing me to expand and update the original, amazing Hun’Zna lore-piece you made) History of Hun’Zna Orcs’ bodies are evolved, conditioned and bred for combat. An Orc’s worth is determined by his ability to fight, and their society has been built upon a Warrior culture. To an Orc, strength, size and determination are the key traits for a Warrior, although to the members of Clan Gorkil, skill and prowess counters all. Ugluk, Gorkil’s third born son and famed for his skill as a Warrior stands as the bastion of all combat-orientated Clansmen, and it was under him that Hun’Zna was born. Ugluk, although physically dominant in his own right, was not as big as his father, Gorkil, and certainly not Rax, but he didn’t have the brains of his brother, Angbad, and didn’t have the savinness of his other brother, Azog. As such, he took up the role of a Warrior. Thanks to his physical traits, he stood out from the other Orcs, but he would never take the lime-light from Rax. Unwilling to settle for being looked over, he sought out the Shamans until one suggested a Spirit that may help. Vulka, the Spirit of Siegecraft, Strategy and Warfare had a lesser in her realm who had not yet been discovered. Maukumgoth, the Spirit of Martial Arts and Combat, had hoped that an Orc would travel to his realm for a long time. Ugluk did not have to spend long communing with the Farseer before Maukumgoth reached out and contacted them. With that connection, the Farseer took Ugluk to his realm. Perhaps they had expected a wartorn land, a battlefield or cold and dark room filled with heavily scarred and fearsome Orcs, although instead they found some of the weakest races from their own world. Elves, Humans, even Halflings, but not an Orc in sight. His realm was peaceful and serene. Ugluk feared he had been tricked, but he had no choice but to continue forward, walking through a peaceful garden and arriving in a large hall with a padded floor, punching bags, training equipment and four people sat down on a large mat. One was an Elf, a Human, another a halfling, but the 4th, at the centre and behind them, was a large Orc. Moving forward, as soon as he stepped on the mat, the Human rushed at him. Before Ugluk could take up a stance, the Human shot forward onto his front knee, slid his rear foot forward and his shoulder collided into him, wrapping his arms around his legs and lifting him into the air before slamming him off the mat with a double-leg takedown. The Human then immediately moved back, sat down and the Elf looked over Ugluk sternly. Letting out a grumble, Ugluk moved forward, back on the mat for the Elf to then rush forward. Ugluk this time knew what to expect, and lowered his hands to receive the takedown, but instead the Elf feinted a takedown, then quickly sprang up with an over-hand right, connected with his jaw, then landing a left uppercut and finished off with a leap in the air, kicking his right leg back and firing his right fist forward, colliding with his face in a superman punch. Ugluk, yet again, fell back off the mat and onto the floor. Angered, and a bloodlust beginning to boil, rushed forward. The halfling then moved forward. Ugluk stopped in his tracks and braced, not knowing what to expect, however the Halfling surprisingly laid on his back right in front of him. After a moment, Ugluk moved forward and sent his fist for the Halfling’s face, only to be halted by a foot on his hip, then another foot slamming into his ankle, sliding his foot back and causing him to fall to 1 knee. Before he could pull back his arm, the Halfing wrapped his arm around it, then pressed his foot besides his collapsed knee and throwing him heavily over that foot with a leg against the side of his chest on the other side, flipping him over with a scissor sweep. Falling on his side, Ugluk tried to stand, although before he got up very far he felt a yank on his arm and a leg swing over and pin against his chest, then another slide over his lower chest. Struggling, he’d slowly stumble up to his feet, however the halfling hung from his arm and began to pull back and push his hips forward. Ugluk didn’t have time to slam him to the ground before his elbow fuzed with pain as the joint was about to pop out, and he tapped quickly. The halfling immediately let go and returned to the trio. Filled with anger and shame, he looked to the Orc with a lowered head, obviously not willing to fight another skilled fighter, but this time equal in strength, speed and endurance. About to leave, considering himself unworthy, the Orc spoke “Lat’z azh’zt lezzon ov humility iz komplete. Return tomorruw agh wi zhall begin teachin’”. Ugluk said nothing else as he thought about what to do. But it didn’t take long for him to decide he would study this art until he met the grave. Introduction Hun’Zna is the method and style of combat taught within Clan Gorkil, passed down by it’s original master, Ugluk the Third born of Gorkil. It’s use can be used by any type of fighter or race, from Halfling to Olog, with specific areas of the martial art being especially effective for certain fighters. The utmost amount of focus is placed on pure efficiency and constant improvement. Tradition has no place inside the art, and it’s masters are expected to constantly fight and challenge other masters, including those from other nations with other styles. Before a fighter becomes a teacher they make a vow on Ugluk and Maukumgoth to demonstrate any technique in live sparring if doubted, and to never refuse a challenge from another martial art. A practitioner of Hun’Zna must hold proficiency in every form of unarmed combat and from there they may choose which to focus on. Grading A practitioner will wear a Burzol’Nak, a hemp rope, on a specific area of their body to roughly display their proficiency. Where the rope is tied is dependant on if they display the most aptitude in either Mauk, tied to the waist, Grush, the upper arm, or Glim, below the knee. In the same order, Grappling, Striking and Wrestling. The rope changes in colour as the practitioner’s aptitude increases, going in order as follows (IRL time): Grey - 1 week minimum Orange - 2 weeks minimum Brown - 1 month minimum Green - 2 months minimum Black - 3 months minimum Blue - 4 months minimum Red - 6 months minimum (IRL practitioning of MMA, or a martial art that covers all the 3 forms can skip the practitioner into an appropriate colour) The Three Forms Mauk’Zna - Grappling The method of fighting whilst on the ground, transitioning into superior positions, sweeping your target to put them on their back or latching onto them and then submitting with strikes or a submission. Grush’Zna - Striking The method of fighting with your limbs to strike the opponent in any way, such as knees, elbows, punches and kicks. The practitioner may also make use of light wrestling and clinches to supplement their strikes. Glim’Zna - Wrestling The method of fighting in which the practitioner takes the opponent to the ground and defends takedowns in any way they can, such as tripping, picking up and slamming, hip-tosses, tackles and dragging. This form is considered extremely important in order for the fighter to dictate where they want to take the fight, either to the ground or staying standing. Joining a Gym For an Orc to join a gym of Hun’Zna, called the Tail-dâr by practitioners, an Orc must seek a blue or red Burzol’Nak combatant and join their teachings. Sometimes an aspiring fighter will have to complete a task, or a trial. Other times they are simply taught, with the process itself of learning the art as a trial. Either way, those capable of teaching are most often public knowledge, and their gyms often being somewhere seen by many. Codes of the Art Hun’Zna is praised and held with honour amongst those who study it. Seen as a direct, tangable blessing from Maukumgoth, learning it’s way is as cherished as Shamanism and all it’s forms. As such, before someone undergoes their lessons, they must swear an oath; Code of the Initiate: I swear, (name), to follow the path of Maukumgoth in learning the art of Hun’Zna with honour and integrity. May my body be a vessel of his knowledge, and my instinct directed by his teachings. All challengers who wish to test my form shall not leave the arena unbloodied, nor shall my techniques remain untested with full veracity. (Taken by those about to receive their first lesson) Code of the Fighter: I swear, (name), to continue the path of Maukumgoth in learning the art of Hun’Zna with honour and integrity. May my art remain effective, and the lessons I learn shape my for my future self. My ego shall remain dulled by my humble defeat against my masters. Challengers have fell to my skill, and myself have fallen to my own flaws. (Taken by those after receiving the brown Burzol’Nak) Code of the Master: I swear, (name), to continue the path of Maukumgoth in learning the art of Hun’Zna with honour and integrity. May my art be passed on with honest intention and in praise to our ultimate master. In teaching this art, I acknowledge my still present flaws, and strive to find solution with passing on my knowledge. May those who benefit from my experience in turn grant me new perspective and challenge. (Taken by those after receiving the blue Burzol’Nak)
  6. The Gorkil Warboar “Big zkah’n gitz wiv der originz goin’ bakk zinze dah dayz ov Gorkil!” History Hailing from the days of Gorkil and his sons, and likely even Krug, the Warboars travelled with Clan Gorkil throughout time. Their unity to the Clan being a symbolic, almost Spiritualistic connection and process of trust and companionship. Ever since the beginning, Warboars being used as cavalry have been a essential and famous hallmark of Gorkil warfare. Whilst the Gorkil Berserkers would wield zweihanders, Kriegsmessers or Poleaxes in a fit of bloodlust, swathing and scything apart the enemy with untouchable speed and agility, the Warboars would pierce the rear end of the enemy in wedge formation, driving the riders deep into the collapsed and terrified foe, to then leap off and then lose themselves in a fit of frenzy, now being fully succumbed to rage and actions dictated by years worth of muscle memory. Physiology Growing from 5 to 6 feet, and usually weighing around 500-800lbs, and some even bred to be as tall as a typical Paint Horse, Warboars have thick, dense and explosive muscles and light bones, allowing them to suddenly sprint forward in a burst of speed and charge down almost any foe , far quicker than a normal horse, and faster than even a Lur wolf. Their tusks grow long and sharp like scythes, with two sets growing on both sides in many cases. Their skulls are thick, allowing them to withstand impact from their charges, and their necks are tall and strong, evolved from their days of digging up roots from the ground. Finally, the Gorkil Warboars are famous for having mud-red fur, whilst also being thick and wiry, allowing them to withstand the moderate cold, and protect them from the sun. Mental Characteristics Typically skittish and temperamental, a Warboar is likely to either charge or flee in an instant upon seeing someone in the wild. A mechanism commonly used for charging, and subsequently goring, any who would dare approach them .Their brains are hard-wired to be the first to react, and their bodies have evolved to be the quickest animal on the plains. For a tamed Warboar, the instinct to flee can be dulled and dampened when bred right, and the right training can make almost any Warboar instantly charge upon command, or when trained to recognise certain foe. The pure reaction time of a Warboar, and the speed at which it accelerates on a foe is usually enough to finish someone off out-right, and afterwards, the Warboar is likely to begin eating it’s target’s corpse. Although a brutal and smelly beast, once an Orc has tamed a Warboar, it will immediately form a strong bond with its owner, and if it is the alpha in it’s farrow, the entire farrow themselves may adopt that Orc as their leader. Similarly to Orcs, Warboars breed from the strongest. The alpha Boar gains most of the mates, whilst the lowest in the chain tend to get bullied, and often cast out from the farrow. A harsh behaviour, but when a single female Boar, a sow, can give birth to as many as 12 Warboars in one pregnancy, and sometimes give birth to yet another dozen in the same year, Warboars find themselves to be their worst enemy, and as such, there’s little point in allowing the runts and weaklings to eat from the food-source when they serve no use and only worsen the gene-pool. Diet Warboars famously have a voracious appetite, and will feast off of anything edible. Roots in the ground, and animals they are able to kill are a common part of their diet, although an Orc may feed his farrow with the left-overs of feasts and the un-usable parts of his kills. Even Humans, Elves and whitewashed Orcs are on the menu. Warboar Armor The Gorkil smithmaster, usually the oldest and wisest devout of Azog in the clan, can be commissioned to make Gorkil Warboar Armor for the boars of especially notable individuals, such as the Wargoth. Since the beast is exceptionally large, it can typically be a long endeavour, but the result will be worth it. To prove a boar worthy of its armor, the boar needs to pass a series of tests that measure speed, endurance, and strength, for only the strongest boars can carry the heavy armor.
  7. The Armitage Institute, Reborn The Researchers And Innovators For A Better Tomorrow, A Better Future The Catalog (Menu) -Story & Background -Research & Studies -Ranks & Roles -What We Seek (Goals/Expectations/Requirements) -Payment & Punishment -Application Story & Background ~2nd of Snow's Maiden, 1708~ On this day, a person named Kuvira Percy has given him/herself a new title unheard by the world, “CEO”. And with the kind help and funding of a steward of Adria and Olbrecht Von Denhardt along with the X-CEO’s self entrusted title and honor, has established a new guild with the name of “The Armitage Institute”. An institute where biological warfare, viruses, mutational modification and medicine shall be explored to their full potential and used for the better good against all evil that delves and hides in the Realms Of Arcas. With that resolve, he/she started his short journey that soon came to his/her end. ~Unknown~ Facts were hidden,were lost, or perhaps washed away by time that is unforgiving. But on this day the founding members who are truly royal to the Institute has their heart broken, even shattered to pieces and grind to dust as they knew, their X-CEO no longer walked the same plane as them. The only things remained behind that is known by the members are the remains of the original “The Armitage Institute” and his/her resolve to explore all that is considered unknown,dangerous and unacceptable by other beings for the greater good, a better life for all descendants in Arcas, and to be the first one to make change. ~15th of The First Seed, 1715~ After much discussions and meetings held by the remaining members, an Executive (a rank in the Institute) with the alias, E. M. Bow-Blackmaer steps up and takes the role as CEO. As a new CEO is born, The Armitage Institute is officially back and hopes to lead everyone that believes in the Institute to one of the many possible futures that lies ahead. Along with that, changes have been made to see to The Armitage Institute’s better development and contribution to the realm of Arcas. Research & Studies There will be 3 branches of research & studies, based on the three adjectives, “Unacceptable”,”Dangerous” and “Unknown” that can be chosen from upon joining the Institute. If you want to focus on a more specific sub-branch, please do so after you’ve been enlisted into the Institute and consult the head researchers of each respective field, Executives who bears responsibility for said branch or straight to the CEO if you have evidence that prove you will be better off focusing on that particular sub-branch instead of the whole. A person can only be enlisted into 2 branches by most, unless deemed qualified by the CEO or half of the Executive members. ~Botany, The Unacceptable~ The study that revolves around plants. Members in this branch will learn and record characteristics, growth condition and etc of both known and unknown plants that exist in the realm of Arcas so we have more knowledge about plants that can be used in the near future. ~Zoology, The Dangerous~ The study that revolves around animals. Members of this branch are required to observe and gain information about all animals that exist in the realm whether they’re known or not because there is a chance that animals evolve and have different behaviour as they’ve moved from one realm to another. ~Geology, The Unknown~ The study that revolves around minerals. Members from this branch shall research and explore the underworld, consisting of underground ravines, caves and many more to record and make a list of ores and rocks found in their respective areas and zones. ~More To Come~ Ranks & Roles The ranks system that is implemented in the Institute are very simple as they are based on each individual’s level of access which are number coded. Starting from Level 1, which is the lowest until Level 3, the highest a person can obtain at the moment.This is said so because only the Leader of the Institute owns a Level 4 Access. ~Chief Executive Officer (CEO)~ Level 4, The only individual with near absolute power over the Institute, he/she will be the one in control of the main flow of the Institute’s development. This individual will oversee all Executives and make sure they’re doing their jobs efficiently and accurately, also the one that decides who can take the role of Executive that will aid and advice him on managing the Institute. ~Executives~ Level 3, Members who have contributed a lot to the Institute, they report directly to the CEO and are able overthrow him/reject his decisions when needed during the elven monthly meeting. They will voice the CEO’s desires and notices and enforces all contractors and researchers to follow the flow of development that the CEO has set. ~Diplomats~ Level 3, They are a group of members that are trusted by both the CEO and half of the active Executives. Anyone who hold this role should be proud of themselves as they’re entrusted with all the information that the Institute hold. Their job is to ensure friendly diplomatic relationship with all nations, whether it is big or small and tries to seek cooperation and help from all other guilds that also strive to maintain Arcas’ safety and peace. They are also tasked with keeping the Institute funded with money and materials so research and experiments can go smoothly. ~Enforcers~ Level 2.5, Skilled fighters that are royal to the Institute. These members will be expected to give up their all, including their own lifes (But not their treasured ones) especially when they’re ordered to eliminate abnormalities that can threaten the peace of the realm or traitors that got their hands on dangerous assets. They are also tasked to protect the VIPs (Very Important Poeple) from harm’s way and are in charge of the Institute’s security and military force. ~Contractors~ Level 2.5, They are the hands of the Institute, they are entrusted with the making and maintainance of devices, equipment and instruments that are needed for experiments and research. Their other jobs includes but not limited to expanding the laboratory, making sure all security measures are always in order, repairing and upgrading the gears used by the Institute’s security or military force. ~Guards/Militants~ Level 2, Swords and shields of the Institute. They are the only personnel excluding Enforces that are entrusted with weapons in the Institute. The guards are needed to be always be on guard to stop raiders from invading the Institute, maintain order and discipline aswell as prevent traitors and test subjects from escaping out of the Institute building. Whereas militants are required to show themselves when called upon to eliminate threats that show themselves in the realm and cooperate with other guilds with elimination and/or capture of hazardous mystical beasts. ~Researchers~ Level 2, The smarts of the Institute. They have devoted themselves into research and analysis of what they’re tasked with, according to their branch or higher ups’ wishes and orders. Making sure that we have the most up to date information on everything they have gathered over the time. They’re also in charge of what courses the teacher will teach to the newly recruited and or students that wish to learn more about a particular subject. ~Teachers~ Level 1.5, Members who are tasked with enlisting students into the Institute. They will also teach the students they have under them knowledge that is approved by the researchers,Executives and CEO. They will also take responsibility for the group of students that learn under his/her wing and report any findings on behalf of their students. ~Students~ Level 1, Those who are newly recruited or seek to learn knowledge about their particular branches. These members will be divided into small groups and put under experienced teachers’ wing. They will slowly but surely build their foundation here and know more about the Institute as they decide if they would want to leave with their obtained knowledge or countinue to serve the Institute. What We Seek (Goals/Expectation/Requirements) ~From All Individual Members (Students)~ One, to always follow your higher up’s orders and execute them as commanded. Two, to always treasure the knowledge learned and use them for good. ~From All Research Groups (Teachers)~ One, to guide the students under their wing through the whole basic course diligently. Two, invite and recruit potential students and members that are interested in our studies. ~From All Fields of Studies (Researchers)~ One, to provide the teachers and their higher up the most recent reports on the information they’ve gathered. Two, to confirm that their research bears fruit and none of them is leaked out to those who shouldn’t get their hands on it. ~From All Enforcers/Guards/Militants~ One, to be ready to sacrifice everything in possession to eliminate threats and traitors that would bring harm to the realm. Two, to stay on alert and physically fit at all times so they can execute their task efficiently. ~From All Executives/Diplomats~ One, to always think of the realm and the Institute’s benefit before oneself to avoid badly made decisions. Two, to give everyone a good impression of the Institute and make good relationship with all nations and guilds. Payment & Punishments ~Coming Soon, Haven’t Been Decided~ Application Roleplay Name: Race: Age: Desired role(s): Desired study(ies): Reason for enlistment: Do you swear to live up to the Institute’s expectation: OOC Username: Age (Optional): Discord Tag (Example#1996):
  8. Gorkil Battle Strategy “Few Urukz iz born true Warriurz, but meneh bekum zo through trainin’ agh forze ov Diziplin” - Wargoth Mûrak’Gorkil “Ang Gijaak-Ishi” Introduction to the Philosophy on Warfare ‘Iron in Blood’ The oldest currently existing Clan, and one fully committed to waging warfare in the truest form. Gorkil, who the Clan is named after and son of Krug, was arguably the greatest military general to exist, and his sons all came to represent War in each form. Angbad, a brilliant Military General. Azog, one of the greatest Blacksmiths to exist, and Ugluk, a great and powerful Warrior. Where a Braduk may wage war using their size and overwhelming bloodlust. A Raguk may make the finest suit of armour and send hordes into the enemy, and a Lur may fight from the sidelines with archers, skirmishers and Wolves used as anti-Cavalry. A Gorkil embraces all the greatest aspects, and hones them into the ultimate fighting force. The elite Veterans, usually in their 2nd Century or older, and their minds and bodies completely adapted for battle. Their muscle-memory is by now pure instinct. Each step taken in a fight has been hard-wired for countless years, and even in Bloodlust their Muscle-memory is impeccable. Fighting with skill, grace and pure efficiency, a Gorkil Elite is THE greatest warrior on the planet. Ranks Amongst the Army Da Durbûrz The Mighty; As already mentioned, these are the elite of the elite. No other fighting force could match their skill in combat, and their mastery of Warfare. Not only are The Mighty extremely fine-tuned for combat, but they fully understand the codes and rules of Warfare. Each has researched and studied past battles. Understand the physics and uses of certain armours and weaponry, and how to use the Bloodlust in an effective form. It is from these Uruks that Clan Gorkil has gained it’s reputation of being berserkers. The Mighty are equipped with some of the greatest arms and armour that you can obtain. Although not Bloodsteel, the armour of The Mighty looks very similar to Human plate-armour. It’s purely efficient, designed to withstand blows from all weaponry, and each piece of metal forged and fixed has a reason. Whether to deflect lateral blows, protect gaps or offer more choices of inflicting damage on the opponent by fixing a metal spike on their helm or elbow. This unit is either mounted on Warboars, or on-foot, tasked with cutting through a specific area in the enemy formation to get to their general. The Mighty are responsible for slaying their leader, or swathing a hole through the enemy’s line to break it’s formation and overwhelm them. Da Krampûrz The Loyal; After years in the field and fulfillment of countless tasks and deeds, an Uruk is promoted in this retinue. For many, this is as far as an Uruk can hope to achieve, and for even more, it is the greatest honour they will achieve. To survive enough battles and be skillful enough to reach here means an Uruk has near enough mastered combat, and understand warfare through their own experiences. Usually, this unit will ride Warboars, however special circumstance may require them to serve as a infantry unit, often serving as the Wargoth’s personal bodyguard. When mounted on their Warboars, they wield multiple Pilum, a Polearm of their choice, and a side-arm of their choice. Reaching out furthest on the battlefield, and tasked with the most crucial aspects of the battle, which may be taking down the enemy’s cavalry or harassing their general. When they have finished their tasks, they will be given the order to form a wedge and slam into the rear or back of the enemy and leap off when penetrated deep into the formation, losing themselves in a fury of arching and body-hurling strikes and blows of their weaponry and limbs. However, the fury inflicted in the ranks isn’t from lack of skill. Instead, each blow is delivered with exceptional technique and forth-rightness. Only, it is empowered with Bloodlust, and thus almost unbeatable. Da Ânghâsh The Anvils; Making up the majority of the army, The Anvils are the soldiers who have fought for a few years and learnt how to fight well, whilst taking moderate control over their bloodlust. The role of The Anvils is dependant on the battle, however they typically line up in a wall, wielding a large shield and a long spear, similar to a Spartan Dori. However, suitably long to their own physical strength. These talls bastions act as a meat-grinder to the enemy. Only the great beasts such as mammoths could pose a threat of penetrating the line, however, with spears as long as an Anvil’s, the Phalanx is capable of having 3 rows of men fighting at once. The front, second and third, holding the spears over the rows infront of them and striking, thus meaning no matter how close the enemy may get to the shields, they are always being struck by a spear, and the 400 pounds of muscle behind that spear. For an enemy to fight a foe larger than them, heavier than them, around a 100 years of fighting experience and good quality armour is the nightmare of any foe. Da Shaatii The Spears; The new recruits of the army, given a set of Pilum, spear, shield and one-handed axe, these Uruks have the least combat experience, and thus tend to have little control over their bloodlust. As such, they are used at the start and before a battle as skirmishers. Running back and forth to try and antagonize a charge from the enemy, or simply inflict casualties upon them using their Pilum. Such ranged warfare allows these men to work up a bit of a bloodlust, without losing themselves in a melee and harming their own kin. Also, from here, they get used to the battlefield without dying at a young, unexperienced age. During the collision of the main army and the enemy’s, they are on the flanks. Still skirmishing and responding to commander and general’s commands. Sometimes they are most useful hurling their Pilum into the sides of enemies committed to combat, whilst other-times the Warboars will have pinned down the enemy cavalry, in which case The Spears charge the enemy cavalry and assist the Warboar riders in finishing off the cavalry. In dire situations, The Spears can fill-in the main Phalanx, however, such a choice can easily result in many deaths of the inexperienced fighters, and their uncontrolled bloodlust often makes them take stupid choices and die. The goal is to keep The Spears alive, and allow these recruits to mature into Anvils. Pre-Battle Although the true out-come of a battle tends to be decided on the battlefield, preparation and tactics used before any combat takes place is vital. It can decide which army is properly fed, which army has proper sleep and which army suffers from poor morale and skirmishing casualties. The main body of a Gorkil army is situated apon a hill, the slope of a mountain or, if no-higher ground is available, in a large open clearing of woodland, or beside a lake/river. The camp is to be set in a location hard to encroach upon without being seen, and to give a environmental advantage if the enemy manage to attack un-seen. Warbands are formed, comprised of a mixed group of experienced soldiers, to both make sure they all have someone experienced to give out commands, and to teach the Shaatii what to do. The warbands are assigned different tasks. Some to collect firewood, or others to roam the woods for scouts, search for their resource collectors and some to encroach upon the enemy camp mounted on warboars and harass them with pilum. Scouts are also sent out, sometimes mounted on a Warboar, other times dismounted to remain more concealed. If in enemy terrain, or near their border, raiding parties are sent out in warboars to perform lightning raids, setting fire to buildings and slaughtering their populus. Should they have resources or equipment, such as wagons and food, and enemy forces aren’t close, the raiding parties seize what they can to bring back for the army. However, if the village of town being raided lays their weapons away and submits, they are spared and allowed to keep all they own, aside from their weaponry. Such a tactic is employed to persuade the enemy to surrender instead of fight, causing the enemy general to consider going on the offensive, or risk losing his lands and his people out of their fear of being killed. The last tactic employed before a battle is sending spies, disguised as envoys, to the enemy. These envoys are often slaves, however Orcs, or specifically Goblins, can be sent in their place to deliver many different demands. These demands are usually preposterous, such as demanding all their lands to be submitted, however the goal isn’t to get an agreement, rather to allow these envoys to see the enemy’s fortifications, the morale of their troops and any other valuable information, and due to the general rule of not attacking envoys, these spies are rarely put at risk of being killed. Battle Strategy and Tactics As is now obvious, a Gorkil army is diverse and adapted for the majority of military engagements, with a focus on methodical planning and countering of enemy tactics to create victory. Although each battle will be different depending on the terrain and circumstance, certain rules and tactics are usually always enforced. Formation: At the front of the army the Spears stand with Pilum and shield, spread out in a line as long as the enemy’s front-row and spaced out to best reduce casualties from enemy missile units. Their aim is to hurl pilum into the enemy and cause casualties, render shields inoperable and, hopefully, instigate an advance from the irritated enemy. Behind them are the Anvils with shield and spear, lined up in a loose shield-wall to protect from missiles, although not so tight as to make moving over terrain difficult and slow. Only once they are close to the enemy to they squeeze together and interlock shields to create the phalanx with three rows of attacking spears. Often the un-engaged Orcs behind will raise their shields to create a canopy to defend against arrows. If the enemy do not engage, the Phalanx slowy moves forward in unison until their front row of spears are able to attack. The goal of the Anvils is not to inflict mass casualties or break apart their formation, but rather to remain defensive, never stepping out of formation to land a blow or overreaching with their arms and risking injury. They simply stand their ground and deliver stabs at enemy troops who make steps forward or over extend with their arms. With the enemy now pinned down, The Spears stand on the flanks with new bundles of pilum and a spear, their goal to harass the enemy flanks and prevent their own flanking maneuvers. Beside them are then The Loyal, either dismounted or on their warboars waiting for command from the general. If the enemy have fielded cavalry and they are moved far away enough from the enemy missile units, The Loyal (If on Warboars) will charge the cavalry, hurling pilum and harassing them, instigating an attack or risk losing their men and horses before they have even fought. The Loyal will try and pull the cavalry back to their army’s flanks, and then engage in melee, so that The Spears can then charge the pinned-down cavalry and begin slaughtering them with their spears. Once the enemy cavalry is defeated, The Loyal move to the rear of the enemy to look for where the formation is thinnest, or begin slaughtering their missile units. When they eventually have finished off the missile units, they form a wedge and charge into the rear of the weakest line in the enemy formation, leaping off once at a halt and beginning to cut and tear apart the line. Finally, stood behind The Anvils are The Mighty, with their general and waiting for the enemy line to falter and show weakness. Then they move forward towards the general, either moving around the army or cutting directly through the enemy formation in order to get to him. With a tired foe, this unit of highly armoured and incredibly well trained Orcs is near impossible to with-hold, and thus The Mighty begin slaughtering and tearing, their goal to finish the General and deliver the final blow to the enemy force to cause a mass-route. When the enemy are routed, the Spears and The Loyal follow after their routed men, aiming to kill the most valuables troops first. Before they are then too out-stretched from the main army, they pull back. The Loyal and Spears are then sent out to scout the area, whilst the rest of the army begin looting the battlefield and loading the goods on carts and wagons. Enemy defeated and loot plundered, they bring it all back to the camp to be counted and distributed evenly. Post-Battle When the main force of the enemy’s army is defeated, the Gorkil army makes a methodical advance through their territory, arriving at each village and town with warbands of men to secure loyalty, or slaughter the resistant. The goal is to make sure the populus is tamed, and do not cause trouble when the army moves even further in the enemy lands. Along the main-road men are ordered to construct wooden forts on hills and strategic areas. These forts are not only made for defence, but to look out for enemy armies, defend the roads to protect the supply-lines and to impose dominance over the locals to remind them who is here. It is very rare for a Gorkil army to advance quickly through enemy lands, since quick advances make for easy ambushes and over-extension of the army. Only when a Gorkil army does not plan on settling the land do they advance quicker, but even then they still construct temporary forts, although the difference is that in this instance they will burn and pillage everything they come across, rather than tame the populus.
  9. Greater Mani Malikki, Prince of Apes Image by Vance Kovacs. “The winds howl in anger. The heavens weep for the fallen. For fourteen Moons this temple has been my only sanctuary, yet how long until they too flood? How long until we are all lost!? When mothers and fathers butcher sons and daughters! Without a means to enter or leave the capital, our rations will run out! What then? Never in my lifetime did I think to question the Divine King, but I fear for my peers. If we all surrender to the jungle, not another soul will suffer.” -Final accounts of a Fei-Zhu scholar It was in ages past that the Daemon of Time claimed a single monkey in the Jungles of Asul as her pawn, bestowing sentience on par with that of a Descendent. Under the name Hou-Shen, the Monkey King, he would erect the first and greatest empire of the Hou-zi. Imparting the gifts of their Goddess between every simian that swang from the trees...at the costs of favor with their former Wild Gods. Yet the tolls of this afront would reach a tipping point when the Prince of Apes, Malikki, gave an ultimatum. So it was that an event recollected by only the eldest Hou-zi historians came to be known: The Siege of Jing-Taiyun. Shortly after the construction of Jing-Taiyun, bodiless voices filled the ears of its citizens. “Discard your rags. Abandon these dens of stone which pervert the land. Embrace your nature or suffer the consequences.” An instinctual uprising resonated through peasant and noble alike, all save for Hou-Shen. He stood from his throne and declared that he would sooner die than live the life of a savage beast, forbidding his citizens from forsaking their sacred kingdom. Initially, life resumed as normal for the fledgling state and complacency returned to its denizens. But when the calm before the storm gave way, Malikki’s wrath was a typhoon. For a harrowing twenty-nine days and twenty-nine nights the clouds never parted. The rains flooded the streets while entire buildings were swallowed down into the earth. Those that ventured into the jungle were never seen again, and many others were driven feral, none more so than the Hei-Zhu. As the jungle reclaimed the city’s outskirts, the howling of apes grew louder as the hopes of the populace only diminished. Yet on the 30th night, when the full-moon managed to breach the clouds, fate let Hou-Shen fell Malikki then and there. Abruptly bringing the siege to an end. The Arboreal Giant is known in numerous Hou-zi fables as a most controversial figure. Followers of Shenjiao, the faith of Hou-Shen, portray him as a vindictive demon. An embodiment of a primitive past that condemns the rigors their people have endured. Over time, this notion would be contested by those who revere the Mani as an Ancient God. A guardian who shaped their first ancestor from the mud, twigs, and moss of their native jungles. Today these people remain in hiding, eagerly praying for his day of rebirth so that all worldly strife wrought by the Doombringer might be undone. As Chieftain of the Great Apes, Malikki resembles an orangutan of tremendous stature with a wildly unkempt coat of hair. Prone to hide his shrewd and authoritative nature beneath a convincingly easygoing guise, do not mistake his empathy for weakness. Jeopardizing the Mani’s troop is to surely incite the definition of guerrilla warfare, where his aptitude to lead and strategize reign prominently. The Gigantopithecus is prone to using fallen trees as an instrument to bludgeon his opponents, whereas those worthy of his favor are gifted a branch bestowed with his blessing. When the demigod fell, it was from one such tree that Hou-Shen fit his famed polearm “Yuan-Dāo,” or the Moon Blade. Forging its blade from the purest moonlight with a glow that never dims. Ceruvil, Prince of Bovines Source found here. “Claims attest to tremors occurring throughout the day. The cowhands had become increasingly agitated over the weeks and were thought to be mistreating the cattle. Later that evening, witnesses saw a dust storm on the horizon. Several of them swear it had piercing red eyes, calling it an apparition of devils. Devil or not, after it crossed paths with the ranch, not a picket was left standing. Every worker lay dead with the animals nowhere to be found.” -One of many ranch tragedy reports across the continent of Aeldin Descendentkind has forgotten when the first farmers corralled those of Ceruvil. Whether cattle were first domesticated for milk, meat, labor or otherwise. Save for the Prince of Bovines, who to this day is said to resent mortals for robbing his kin of their right to roam. For generations in wake of his vengeance, calamity has followed. A force of nature that has brought civilizations throughout the ages to their knees, typically in times of tyranny and strife. The Chieftain of Bulls goes by many names across numerous cultures, having amassed a broad influence. Historically he has been worshipped in ritual and emblazoned on a coat of arms. Holymen have attributed his wrath to that of GOD, orcish warlords would invoke his name unto foes, nomadic elven tribes have even perceived him as a harbinger of the end times. The peoples of entire clans have lived and died believing that he and his harem will ferry them across the stars and into the realm of the afterlife. For the only parallel between these societies is their unified fear of his notorious stampedes. Despite bringing dread and distress to most visited by the Champion of Horns, there exist pastoralists worthy of his respect. Rarer still are those handpicked by the Wild God to oversee one of his sons, born to someday lead a herd of their own. These chosen few dedicate their lives to the well being of the herd, often becoming druids in their own right. Other followers of the Aspects will often pay him homage during times of tyranny or enslavement. Given a penchant for bringing oppressive peoples to heel, it is perhaps this coincidence that has earned the Mani's title: Patron of Freedom. Lesser Mani Silissa, Princess of Bees Image by VladBacescu. “If this message is ever found, know that my name is Josef Walter. Our ship ran aground during a roaring storm, and now we're stranded on the coast of an uncharted landmass. Aside from several abandoned shipwreck sites, our chances of finding other people look bleak. Just pristine forests and meadows as far as the eye can see. Some of the crew swear they saw a massive beehive beyond the western ridge, so we plan to pack up and investigate in the morning. If we’re lucky we’ll find others stuck on this rock. Please, should I never make it back home, tell Helena Walter that her boy always loved her.” -A message in a bottle, but one of many under almost identical circumstances The Queen of the Hive fervently toils to ensure the longevity of her brood, deep inside a hidden labyrinth of honeycombs known only as the Buzzing Citadel. It’s within the safety of her domain that she holds total dominion over her children. Being able to amass swarms of bees throughout the known realm, very few descendants are ever inclined to make an enemy of the Matriarch. Superstitious individuals believe that all queens are subject to her blessing, while other theories speculate she only shows kindness to those capable of leading. Some rural communities still celebrate her during the early spring, donning bright flowers and dancing jovially through the streets. History recalls that attempts to tame and yield the profits of Silissa’s brood always ended in failure and agonizing death. A perpetual cycle that would continue to persist until two travelers chose to make a change. One was a young druid of Old Malinor, the other a traveling Farfolk gypsy. Equipped with quick-wits and moxie to match, they would manage to locate the Buzzing Citadel and approach the Queen with a proposition. A proposal of their lives for the chance to quell her rage, which was as infamously relentless as it was iconic. Yet, disregarding ample chances to murder the two outright, the curious Mani allowed them to try under strict terms. Ready to slaughter both at the first signs of foul play. Thus in a ceremony of precision and dexterous movements, they danced before her, employing beautiful flowers from places unknown. Lasting from dawn ‘til dusk, they performed, chanted, and lit incense that soothed every one of the hive’s denizens. For the first time since the Hivemind had taken her mantle, she felt inner peace. A feat that would earn both travelers her royal highnesses favor. When asked for the gift to harvest honey, she would in-turn ask for the company of the elf in exchange. So it was that the druid would dance every day up to his last, while the gypsy went on to pass the knowledge of beekeeping to generation after generation of descendants. All the while, victims to their furious swarms would dwindle to the negligent, brash, and gravely unfortunate. Although the gypsy is widely believed to have lived a prosperous life, some think the druid still dances somewhere within the depths of the citadel. Sworn to do so eternally lest the vows are undone. Plenty of explorers have searched for the Matron’s fabled hive only to return bitter and despondent. Easily enticed by rumors of a royal jelly that can cure all sickness, locating the Buzzing Citadel has been the bane of countless adventurers over the centuries, despite itself being larger than entire cities. Since becoming Matriarch, Silissa’s growth has been a constant that requires continual expansion throughout her immeasurable domain. Workers in the hundreds of thousands must tirelessly tend to the necessities of their ever-growing broodmother, while even more search for sources of nectar. This provides a perpetual cycle that gets bigger with each subsequent winter. Ray’voray, Prince of Ratites Image by Ravenari. “I shalt usher youth from the shadows of the nest. I shalt help youth to forage and fend for themselves. I shalt give youth time to grow strong. Henceforth, I know nary greed, gluttony, nor sloth. Now and forever I serve to nurture strength and wisdom, a champion of the fathers before me. My life I pledge to the Elder’s will, upon the blood of my blood, every wife, daughter, and son.” -Vows of Fatherhood of a forgotten Farfolk people Often overshadowed by his airborne brethren, those knowledgeable of Ray’voray know him for his humble devotion. Praised as a figure of fatherhood, the lengths that the Prince of Ratites has pursued to maintain this are vast and bloody. Over time his beautiful black feathers have gone gray with age, while their ruby and sapphire streaks have all but washed away. Due to this, he is often regarded as the “Elder of the Outback.” Yet this old buzzard still stands as an ardent defender of his flock, swift to neutralize potential threats. His spite for the mortal races runs so deep that those brash enough to incur his ire could forsake all they love and even their most distant relatives. The scarred, one-eyed avian having discarded his last shreds of sympathy for their ilk long ago. Superstition suggests that the Elder's flock fell from grace, leading to the loss of their wings as penance. Other accounts mention a gamble during perilous times, abandoning the skies in favor of the ground. Whatever the truth might entail, the inability to fly came with evident consequences. When the earliest Descendants roamed the realm aimlessly, and farms were yet to become commonplace, many foragers targeted the larger eggs of the ratites. Emus, rheas, and cassowaries alike making for easy meals, taking out the nesting males and reaping the respective eggs. Those affected by the gluttony of people only grew over the course of time, until the Mani could bear it no longer. Yet his retribution to keep the poachers in check had come at a time too late, the damage already done. Their parental genocide meant fewer females could find mates, marking the beginning of their decline across the realm. Ray'voray watched the determination of poachers develop with each less nest to pilfer, much to his abhorrence. Eggs were nigh sacred to the Flightless Father, as were the obligations of every parent. Although innumerable offenders would be torn asunder by his talons, for every one that fell, another two took their place. Unless drastic measures were taken, the ratites would fall victim to the same zealous growth that had killed off so many other species. So what does the demigod do: eliminate threats before they’ve done the deed. Regardless of innocence or guilt, whether they’re just an apprentice or a distant relative, any noteworthy association would prompt the Mani to take action. Alas, this countermeasure would come to an end after a nearly fatal injury left him permanently handicapped. Forced to recuperate, he and his flock would abandon their native ranges to stave total extinction. Despite the disappearance of the Elder’s blessed born, the Moa, ratite populations would recover over the course of time. The plight of their patriarch but a byproduct of an age where people paid little heed to what they slaughtered. Èyr, Princess of Anglerfish Source found here. “I don't care what you think, nothin’ normal can describe the damn horrors I saw! The night was dark, the ocean even darker, yet out of the blue it started glowin’ like a thing possessed. Soon enough the corpses started floatin’ up, but no! Not fish, not people, feckin’ MONSTERS! All of them! Sea devils and dragons, hydra and sirens; other things with teeth linin’ their tentacles, jellies with a bulgin’ eye, giant snakes tha’ were all mouth and no face. Swear the sea must’ve gotten drunk and puked the lot out- uck. Then the ones still alive started to shriek and flail. The water churnin’ with their entrails and various limbs, rage and hatred boilin’ ‘em waves like somethin’ outta hell. They went for me! ME- and my vessel before I knew it! They was gonna tip the boat and take me with ‘em for feck sake. So I threw the fish overboard, I beat ‘ere tendrils back, I fell ta my knees screamin’ and pleading for it ta stahp... Then everythin’ goes quiet. I look over the bulkhead and the brine is still red and rank with death...but calm. Empty. A shadow underwater shrinking away with the last bits o’ light.” -Recounting of a Terrified Fisherman, inspiring countless high sea stories thereafter Far below the ocean waves in a domain starved of sunlight, an unassuming glow prowls the abyss. Creatures who’ve laid eyes upon it fall under her spell, becoming sustenance to be devoured by rows of jagged teeth. While whispers on land tell of the Maiden of Maws guiding seafarers through their darkest hour, the reality is that anyone remotely capable of encountering her wouldn’t live to tell of it. Whereas most Mani are known to be reclusive, the Jewel of the Deep Sea isn’t known to interact with any of the surface races. While sources do exist among the odd haggard seaman, it’s a given that knowledge about her is all but abysmal. Just as the Matron of Anglerfish prefers to lurk in the dark, so too is she content to remain invisible to any and all mortals. As a chosen of the Aspect of Culling, Èyr makes it her mission to eradicate the wretched sea monsters that threaten to overrun her domain. No nemesis does the Mani loath more than the Old God of the Sea, Dresdrasil, the progenitor of all manner of alien leviathans. Being keenly aware that direct confrontation with the former Daemon of Abundance would be her undoing, however, has instead opted to keep the numbers of her spawn in check. This thirst for blood causing her to cross paths with those directly descended from the daemon, such as Kavous the Warlord and Thetis the Siren Princess. Ongoing to this day, the forces of culling and abundance clash without a reasonable means to an end. Cold like the abyssal trenches and equipped with a voice as cutting as her teeth, the Wild God remains apathetic to matters not concerning her fold. It comes to no surprise that this incessant conflict has left her with many grievous wounds and little time to recover them. For that reason, male anglers always standby to merge over their matron’s injuries through a method of parabiosis, latching on by the teeth in order to supplant lost fluids or the organs required for bodily function. Truly a grotesque parasitic dress that keeps her appetite in high demand, eager to slaughter prey and consume them even sooner. Know her name is an ill-omen to hear, and an even worse one to find yourself begging for mercy. Kadal, The Prince of Lizards Image by Akiman. ”At dawn, the men depart to face the Tyrant of Scales at the forest’s heart. Those that return will return as warriors, ready for every danger this land has to offer. The Elders of Cannavin tell nothing of his origin, only that his supremacy was chosen at the hour of Reckoning. For every beast beneath these great boughs recognize his rule, as do the Lesser Lords allow their liege to prowl unopposed. Most would flee in terror at first glimpse of the tyrant, however, that is not our way. That is not the way of Kadal, nor the seeds of Orrarante. It is our sworn duty to honor our Lost Lord. -Oracle Adria, 1st of The Deep Cold, 1589” -Translated Texts of an Elven City, located in the Great Library of The Haven Islands Kadal, a name once indicative to numerous nomadic Mali’ame seeds, has all but vanished completely. The Prince of Lizards was once venerated for his faultless resolve to overcome any challenge. Few remain today that still remember their esteemed patron of tenacity, let alone his countless tales of triumph. He who had faced hordes of war, who butchered rampaging titans and repelled the tides of calamity that once endangered his kind. Others reputed him as a herald of death, indeed a most befitting title for those who warrant his ire. Yet Kadal also demonstrated an affinity for his followers. The Lord of Scales, much to the disparity of most Wild Gods, not minding the company of Descendents proven of their own worth. During ancient times, the demigod led his kindred cold-bloods across the realm to settle where the Sun shined brightest. Navigating the dangers of entire jungles, canyons, savannas, deserts, and even the wide open ocean. Each time a few of his kind would remain in their newfound surroundings, and each time the Prince would impart skills necessary to survive, all before leaving them to their fate. Those that were strong and resourceful would live on to bear future generations, gradually evolving both physically and functionally. Many becoming integral to their existing domains, while others still forged for lands to claim. And so the Mani watched from afar with tinges of pride, satisfied that one among them would someday rival his own success. However, weathering eras of conflict and contemplation, at last, gave way to a revelation: his kin would never stand at the top. How could he have been so foolish? Those under the Greater Mani had always overshadowed his fold as intended, either outcompeting or hunting them instead. What point did his prowess serve if it couldn’t usher the same for his scaled children? Thereafter, the Lord of Scales withdrew himself from nigh all realmly affair, and slowly he was forgotten amidst the sands of time. None have known of Kadal’s fate for hundreds of years. Druids eager to invoke his presence fall on deaf ears, while other Mani answer with abstruse riddles. Efforts to locate the Wild God have proven fruitless, known by neither lizard nor inhabitant of the Fae. Rumors about the Lost Lord remain dubious at best, ranging from claims that he was stripped of influence to being captured by a malevolent force. The only legacy of Kadal that remains is, in fact, his fervent teachings. Upheld by his former disciples and taught to the generations that followed them. To this day those Mali’ame devote themselves to becoming masters of their domain while surpassing weakness at all cost. Knowing full well that they’ll have the opportunity to appease their absent patron when the time comes. Special thanks to everyone who helped give critique!
  10. Overview For some time these Druidic Gifts have had no clarified limits to their capabilities, which for the most part hasn’t been abused. In light of a few incidents and the generally lacking guidance for lower-tier users of these Gifts, a few of us volunteered to help write a clarification. Our general aims were to firstly establish sensible upper caps to the range of Blight Healing, and to the enhancement of herbs offered by Herblore, then to outline where each tier sat within those boundaries. Several TA holders were involved in this process, and it was then brought to a majority of the Druid community for thoughts and suggestions. The feedback was mostly positive, so here we are. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Blight Healing Ranges The following ranges are given as a maximum. Performing Blight Healing at the max range of your tier is enough to physically exhaust you and will likely result in blacking out and other symptoms of extreme exhaustion, requiring extensive rest. Radius and area are used as an example, but a creative user could guide mists in a number of ways. T1: 4 metres/blocks; 8x8 area T2: 8 metres/blocks; 16x16 area T3: 12 metres/blocks; 24x24 area T4: 16 metres/blocks; 32x32 area T5: 20 metres/blocks; 40x40 area Additionally, corruption cannot be cleansed until T3 and must be taught, as it requires more complex manipulation of Blight Healing energies. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Herblore Ranges This also assumes someone is using this Gift to its maximum potential, rather than making a lesser enhancement. It’s difficult to conceptualise the huge variety of effects into numerical values, thus the following examples are provided to indicate the capabilities of each tier. T1: Effect receives a minor boost, barely noticeable. High chance of failure. Enhancement lasts 1 irl hour. T2: Effect receives a minor improvement, which is noticeable. Slight reduction in chance to fail in familiar herbs. Enhancement lasts 2 irl days. T3: Effect is moderately improved. Failure very unlikely in familiar herbs, unfamiliar herbs less so. Enhancement lasts 1 irl week. T4: Effect is markedly improved. Chance to fail is almost entirely muted. Enhancement lasts 1 irl month. T5: Effect is improved to the greatest one could reasonably expect. Enhancement lasts virtually indefinitely. Remember that if a herb is processed immediately after enhancement, the resulting remedy, poison etc., keeps the alteration until it has expired. When an irl week is a year, solutions, potions etc. will expire unless kept in adequate conditions. Use your common sense, expiration dates shouldn’t be necessary. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Increasing potency The spores of a blistering toad mushroom cause corrosion of the throat and airways by default. In this example, it’s assumed that the intensity of the spores is the target of enhancement. These are what one would expect to occur should someone inhale the enhanced spores: T1: Painful to breathe T2: Infrequent coughing, in addition to pain T3: Severe pain, which provokes coughing fits T4: Coughing fits sufficient enough that the victim is likely to vomit and will struggle to breathe T5: The soft tissues of the throat and airways melt painfully, likely leading to asphyxia Crouching feather may be smoked or brewed into a tea, which calms and clears the mind. Assume in this example, that the herb is infused into hot water as a tea, that by default its effects last for 2 iRP hours, and that the duration of its effects were the area enhanced using Herblore. T1: Effects last for 2 and a half iRP hours T2: Effects last for 3 iRP hours T3: Effects last for 5 iRP hours T4: Effects last for 6 iRP hours T5: Effects last for 8 iRP hours Habgobsnit is a grass which can be dried, ground and smoked for a clarity high, or pressed for its numbing juices. In this example, assume the potency of the clarity high has been enhanced with Herblore and that by default, the high begins about ten minutes after smoking. T1: The minor loss of potency from the drying process is mitigated T2: Moderate anxieties are assuaged, cognitive processes un-hindered by minor stressors T3: Clarity is such that the user feels more aware of themselves T4: The high comes on more quickly T5: Severe anxieties are soothed with a smaller quantity. Marked calmness in stressful situations ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Decreasing potency Remember that lessening the quality/effect of a herb is more difficult, more draining and is less efficient than increasing potency. Night sap is a golden sap, which induces sensations of calm, relaxation, safety and sleepiness. It’s sometimes used as a sleep aid, though it causes splitting headaches or even paralysis upon waking. It’s also highly addictive, so in this example assume it is the addictive quality which is being lowered with Herblore. T1: Minor decrease in the chance for addiction. Users still highly likely to become addicted T2: Further decrease in chance for addiction, the addiction is still akin to that of opiates T3: ‘Moderately’ addictive. Addiction is more like that of nicotine, meaning some will escape it T4: Those who become addicted will experience less severe withdrawal T5: Addiction has reduced to the level of alcohol. This does not mean that it is no longer addictive, but that the majority of people are able to use it without developing an immediate addiction. Repeated use will still pose a risk Flash fruit is an orange-like fruit with yellow streaks upon the skin, which can be consumed to quench thirst. The flesh of the fruit however, will numb the throat. In this example, it’s this numbing quality which is being reduced with Herblore. T1: Eating small amounts of the flesh will not immediately numb the throat. There is still some loss of sensation T2: About a quarter of an orange-sized fruit can be consumed with only some numbing taking place T3: The majority of an orange-sized fruit can be eaten, before the throat becomes entirely numb T4: Eating the whole fruit is now possible, though will leave moderate numbing in the throat T5: Upon eating a whole orange-sized fruit, the numbing effect is much less severe and retention of feeling is possible Yarrow can be used to enhance the medicinal effects of other herbs, but alone it can reduce blood pressure and inflammation. A side-effect is that it can lead to fainting and dizziness from low blood-pressure, so in this example assume it’s this blood-pressure reducing quality which is targeted by Herblore. T1: Fainting is slightly less common in strong doses and overdosing. Dizziness may cause nausea T2: In concentrated doses, fainting is most common in those of a fragile constitution. Most users are likely to experience nauseating dizziness instead T3: Fainting is much less likely, even when overdosing. Dizziness is still uncomfortable. Has a decreased ability to lower blood pressure, thus much less useful in treating high blood pressure if one were to use it T4: Fainting is acutely found in overdoses with those already weakened. Dizziness is much less nauseating, allowing for fairly normal day-to-day functioning T5: Fainting is highly unlikely unless extremely concentrated doses are consumed. Dizziness is reduced enough that someone could continue daily life largely uninhabited, but combat or casting would still suffer some. At this point, the ability to treat high blood pressure is largely muted, requiring a healer to obtain a fresh sample of yarrow ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Credits A_Keefy and Archipelego as our lovely LT points of contact, also making some good criticisms and suggestions. Darksoundwave, ThatGuy_777, ShadowedOblivion and Eranikus for their writing assistance and scrutiny. Wytchlings for providing feedback. The Druid Community for some encouraging feedback.
  11. Mirelurk (Ignore that out-of-place Wheel :3 ) Habitat: Seas, Ponds, Lakes, Underground Caves (With Water Access) and Swamps Diet: Mostly feeds upon smaller Water-based Creatures such as Fish and Squids, but known to also resort to Land-based creatures if in need. Temperament: Mirelurks can be Both Hostile and Neutral, depending on the situation at hand. If Hungry and without food it won’t be wise to even slightly get near them as they will attack anything in sight that isn’t of much threat to them, but if they are in a “good” mood, or that you encounter the more rare and intelligent kind of Mirelurk, than they will only attack if provoked. Brief summary of the creature “The Mirelurk is a Water based creature which mostly lives in groups with other Mirelurk. While some groups of Mirelurks are basically savages and possess the Intelligence of an Animal, some rare groups are actually quite intelligent and this is seen in them constructing more sophisticated constructs and using hand-made weapons, unlike their savage counterparts. They are known Hunters and protective of their Young ones, are known to scare away anyone who tries to get too close of their habitats, but will also attack if hungry or if feeling threatened. They can swim at remarkable speed, see under water and some rare individuals also posses rare traits such as Spitting Acid and leaping large heights. Characteristic: The Mirelurk is Almost Twice the size of a fully grown Human Male, Is Covered in Colorful Scales which defers in color from one Mirelurk to another, Has a long Tail and possess Sharp Claws and some even has Horns. It seems there are Males and Females in the Mirelurk’s lines, although it first sight it would be hard to acknowledge which is which. They also posses a regenerative healing factor of some kind, that deals best with small-medium physical damage, poison and low level burns. Mirelurks usually live in groups in areas with very close proximity to Water bodies (Although there were rumors they can also resign for long periods of time underwater). While some groups merely constructs nests, some rare groups posses higher level of intellect for some unknown reason and thus are known to construct more elaborate constructs such as walls, and huts. Weather Savage or Intellectual it seem’s all groups have a few key “members” such as a queen, guards, scouts and hunters (although in the end of the day, if one dies another can easily replace it except as the queen). Origin: Their origin is a mystery, their first documented sighting was a few hundreds years ago, yet even with all the time that passed between than and now not much information was gathered about them. It is theorized that they came from far away marsh lands due to the drastic changes in weather and world geography believed to be caused by unknown magic sources of kinds. But if there’s one thing Historians can agree about is that at least some of the Mirelurk groups are slowly gaining knowledge and getting smarter. Weaknesses: The Mirelurk are Mainly known to be sensitive and weak to Magic Based Light and Fire LM Approval Required: Permission will be needed to use this Creature, weather in an Adventure-like Event such as Exploration of a Swamp, or Underwater Ruins. If playable, what are redlines? -Must read and understand what is written on this creature lore. -Weak to fire and magic based light, cannot travel too far from any body of water. -They speak to each other in a language that is only known to them, and no one succeeded at translating. -Their regeneration is not instantaneous, it takes two emotes to heal from an inflicted small-medium wound, poison or fire damage. -If your group’s queen is killed, you are weakened both physically and mentally, yet will become more feral and “suicidal”. -Players who decide to look “different” from what a Normal Mirelurk may look like, either by missing a trait (Tail for example) or have a unique trait such as a bag of some kind (indicating a more intelligent Mirelurk) must state why/how these changes came to be. -Being Enslaved/Captured will eventually result in a neutral death due to you being far from suitable Water body/Your group’s Queen.
  12. ((OOC: Sorry for posting this in a doc, but I wanted to use footnotes. My favourite passage I have posted here : ) )) ’Assembled brethren, let us make this our maxim: that whilst the STRONG do what they will, the WEAK suffer what they must. And them that are righteous are weak men. We should have it that we do our share of willing, and that others do the ‘suffering’ part - for a strong man is greater than a wise man, and it is workers of iniquity that are exalted on Earth. Therefore, let us kill this Guy, who in his righteousness is weak, just as we are in our ruthlessness strong. And so shall we rape Savoy of its laws and people, vanquish its customs and traditions, and say, in short, that whatsoever should prevail upon the Earth: Savoy must be destroyed.’-Chronici Sapaudia, 2.7 FRIENDS, let it be known that I have published the great work of my father, a most excellent historian of the highest quality, and have translated it into the Common language in order that it might be for the benefit of the whole Commonwealth. I urge you to read this most valuable and excellent work, which I have, with God’s help, faithfully and diligently translated. Erwin von Manstein. FULL Chronicle here enclosed. ((https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Oq--XHhFluH4mDD8pWIz7C00K2T-KCJa4KxHx_dvTKw/edit))
  13. HAESENI PEOPLE THE HANSO-RAEV CRUCIBLE VE EDLERVIK TABLE OF CONTENTS I. INTRODUCTION II. HISTORY III. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS IV. WAY OF LIFE V. RELIGION VI. LANGUAGE VII. MONARCHS OF HAENSE VIII. NOTABLE INDIVIDUALS I - INTRODUCTION A BRIEF SUMMARY The Haensic people (also known as Haeseni, Haensetians, or Edlervik in their native Naumariav) are the national and ethnic natives of the Kingdom of Haense, one of the only autonomous highlander states in existence. Their identity can be traced to the waning end of Schismatic Wars in the late 1400s, where the recently-conquered Hansetians were subjugated to Raevir governors and ruling elite. The ethnonym and national name ‘Haeseni’ and ‘Haense’ comes from the canonical city Hanseh, the capital of Saint Joren’s realm and its successor states. Historically, the considered ‘beginning date’ of the Haeseni is usually the coronation of Petyr Barbanov in 1579 to the thrones of Hanseti and Ruska, soon being shortened to Haense in vernacular lingo, though the process of cultural infusion of the lords and commoners started much earlier. Throughout the years prior, Botch was phased out in favor of languages either in Flexio or Marian, and to maintain order in the provinces, the upper class adopted Hansetian customs and legal systems, and especially following the disastrous War of the Ducal Confederation of the late 1510s, began to associate themselves as natives rather than Raevir settlers. As noted by John Macdonough in the 1560s, ‘... when you enter the halls of the crow lords, it is almost baffling to gaze at Sigismund and King Mark sharing motifs, and how no man would ever admit to having more Rusk than Marian in their blood.’ The military remained dominated by the Raevir, and it remained the most stubborn to hansetification, and the nation maintained the unique cavalry traditions and hierarchy, though in recent years the modernist reforms of the heartlands have trickled in. The upper class specifically also maintains a heavy precedence on Karovic lineage and Sigismundic decent, keeping many of the classical clan institutions of its ancestors, albeit more formalized and generally for ceremonial purposes. --- NOTE ON ETYMOLOGY The most common demonym in referring to the culture is ‘Haeseni’, especially popular vernacularly, and ‘Haensetian’. However, the latter has caused confusion among historians, with only a letter difference between ‘Hansetian’ and ‘Haensetian’. In most writings, it is common to see Haensetians referred to as “Haeseni” or “Haensic people”, in order to mitigate this confusion. “Edlervik” is used in Naumariav to refer to Haensetians, transliterating into ‘the Edel folk’. Other, rarer demonyms, include “Hanso-Raevir” (made popular by the writings of Stanimar van Rytsborg at the beginning of the sixteenth century), “Edelites” in reference to the canonical city of Edel, or “Haensian” which is more popular by southern writers and authors. --- PLAYING A HAESENI CHARACTER | OOC There are no special requirements in making a Haeseni and is especially encouraged when playing in the Haense player base. This guide will (hopefully) help you in making such a character and give more flair in roleplaying your character. However, every character is different! Nothing on here is set in stone, and you may act as you wish. This culture is not some ancient people deriving back thousands of years, but an organic population founded almost entirely through roleplayed events and history. Everything is subject to change and it is our belief everyone can add their own little bit to this evolving culture. II - HISTORY OVAREVED SENOEHR AND THE NORTHERN QUESTION [1491-1578] Most historians consider the foundation of Haense at the first settlement of Raevir in Hanseti- namely in Ayr, Hiebenhall, and Drakenborg- during the waning years of the Schism War in the 1490s, when the Kingdom of Aesterwald began to crumble and kossak bands took control of a vast majority of the country-side. Vanderfell itself, the capital of Aesterwald, would fall in 1492 to officially end the Schism War, and in its remnants a puppet state was formed under a Hansetian governor known as Otto Heinzreich. However, the nobility was almost completely replaced by newly arrived Raevir lords, such as the Barbanovs and the Kovachevs, and eventually Otto Heinzreich would be later succeeded by a raev himself, Karl Barbanov. Karl reorganized the state, forming a true ducal realm, and it was decided to be called ‘Haense’, after ‘Hanseh’, from the biblical name of the Joren’s first and capital city during his conquests of the northmen. Karl therefore became the first ‘Duke of Haense’, a title which has suck upon the Barbanov familial holdings for generations. In these early years, the focus was the Third Human-Dwarf War, and the Duchy of Haense became a warzone. Scattered throughout former Waldenian realm lied numerous dwarven outposts, and control of the mining and lumber industries became vital to both side’s war efforts. Famous battles include the Siege of Drakenborg and Karl’s Capture of Hiebenhall, which marked the end of dwarven occupation in the highlander realm. Hiebenhall was reconstructed into Siegrad, the first de jure capital of a Haeseni realm, and it prospered to trade on the rivers. Shortly after war ended, Karl launched new attacks upon the pagans deep in the hinterlands, pushing many out of the region (including future pagan settlers on the isle of Avar). Karl died in the Great Worm Attack of 1518, and the duchy continued into a regency led by the Hansetian Tarcell Othaman. The War of the Ducal Coalition went into full swing following the Wett Massacre, and regent Tarcell declared for Duke Hugo Sarkozic in his bid for kingship. For majority of the war Tarcell remained near Haense, defending against numerous attempts at an invasion. Karl’s son Siguine reached of age near the middle of the war, and when Hugo died mere months after his fourteenth nameday, he was elected the Duke of Adria and Lord Paramount of the Coalition. Many Haeseni soldiers followed Siguine south to Brelus, where Siguine suffered defeats both at the Blackwald then Barrowyk. Brelus soon after was sacked and destroyed by royalist forces, and the Ducal Coalition admitted surrender the following day. Despite this, Tarcell remained stubborn in rebellion and continued to be defiant till his untimely death a year after in 1522. The Haeseni soldiers, now without a leader, fell quickly to an Orenian company led by the northman Jan Kovachev, who later was granted a fair majority of Haense’s ducal lands. This status quo did not remain long, however, and the Horen Restoration in 1526 saw Haense once again reorganized into the rump state of Carnatia, given to the Sarkozic-claimant Otto Sarkozic. The imperial reformation founded a sense of calmness in the land, but soon it once again came to disorder. Throughout previous empires, there has been at least one form of autonomous highlander state, and many looked who it would be led by. The hinterlands during this were split three-way- Carnatia, the heartlander-controlled Courland, and the Horen principality of Alamar. The Duke of Carnatia and Viscount of Alamar came to an agreement known as the Sigismund’s Day Compromise, to form an autonomous realm with the emperor as king. However, they did not include the Duke of Courland, and the proposed government never came to be. The Eighteen Years’ War stretched a good majority of this time, which gained the mixed Raevir-Hansetian Carnatians a military tradition. Two of the war’s most famous commanders, Jan Kovachev and Josef Vladov, came from their ilk. The Capture of Avar under Josef Vladov was also a celebrated success in Carnatia, and the company known as the Carnatian Hussar gained rapid fame throughout the imperial army. What became now known as ‘the Northern Question’ ripped apart relations between the two power-houses of the hinterlands, Haense and Courland. The return of the Barbanov-claimant Petyr to Carnatia and the Duke of Courland’s illegal seizure of Kraken’s Watch (a fief owned by the Vanir family) sparked the bloody Riga War. Command was given to Petyr Barbanov, supported by talented commanders such as Jan Kovachev, Fiske Vanir, and the later Palatine Rickard Barrow. The war ended in a Haeseni victory at the Sacking of Riga in 1564. Petyr look the position of Lord Governor of the North by the imperial government, and he helped lead the pacification of the Krajian Rebellion from 1565 to 1576. Haense’s most famous victories during the entirety of the Anarchy include the Sacking of Riga, which ended the Riga War, the Battle of Krajia in 1570, raiding and looting the de facto capital of the hetmans, and the Standoff at Eroch River, where Rickard Barrow bravely saved the imperial crown prince. Only two years after the submission of the hetmans, Petyr was granted the crowns of both Hanseti and Ruska, to which he called after his ducal seat: ‘Haense’. Historians consider this the founding moments of what is to be the ‘Haeseni people’, a culture that is not wholly Raevir or Hansetian. --- THE FIRST REGIME [1578-1603] With now total legal control over most of the hinterlands, Haense expanded immensely. New fortifications, villages, cities, and estates sprang up overnight. Marian was adopted as the official tongue of the nation (though Raev Iliyric was still used in rare occasions). Karlsborg was constructed as a planned city under the direction of Rickard Barrow, designated to be a true Haeseni royal capital. He also designed the palace of Ottostadt, the first home of the royal family. Petyr only ruled for four years, and though it was a large blow to the nation, his popular son Andrik II took the throne. Haense continued to blossom and thrive, its population boomed, and its culture thrived. In 1585, Andrik II was supposedly disrespected by the reigning emperor at the time, John IV. In rage, he killed the emperor, then fled north to commence the short-lived Deep Cold Uprising. It ended quickly in 1586 by a pro-Imperialist faction led by Sergey Kovachev, the Duke of Carnatia, and he forced Andrik II to abdicate to his infant son Marius. Andrik was later captured by the veterans of the Carnatian Hussar, and he was boiled in milk by the insane emperor Philip. Andrik’s brother and Marius’ uncle Karl Sigmar took power as regent, and unlike his father and elder brother, he could not rally the nobility behind him. His centralization efforts with the military was an intense struggle, and numerous lords were placed in power due to personal relations with the monarchy rather than true talent. By Marius’ accession as king in 1598, the nobility forced him out of court. The nobility of the time was controlled by two main factions- the Sergeyists and the Andrivists, who quarreled for control. A small royalist faction under Stefan Bihar and later Lukas Vanir existed, though it struggled to keep the peace maintained between both sides. Throughout all the political turmoil, Haeseni culture continued into its golden age, producing countless works and the creation of the first proper Haeseni language, known as New Marian. Marius attempted nationalization of his country, and he reached some success, and continued the vast effort of colonizing the Haeseni hinterlands. He founded countless cities, roads, and forts, though majority soon after left abandoned following the coming war. A few short rebellions, such as the Brawn Rebellion in 1600, but the nation resumed a tenuous peace. To the south, the empire had fallen to the Coalition Wars, and was divided amongst the ruling warlords. Due to multiple diplomatic blunder, include the Haeseni councilor Diedrik Barrow’s murder of one of their princes entered Haense into the First Northern War. The military of Haense at this was disorganized and weak, the blunder of Branimar Vanir’s command taken its toll. Both at the battles of Elba and Vasiland, Haense experienced bloody defeat, and soon the monarchy of Marius left in exile to an allied court. --- GREYSPINE REBELLION AND THE RESTORATION [1603-1655] The loss of the nation is perhaps one of the greatest forces which bonded the now divided Haeseni people, when occupied by Heartlander warlords. Much of the nobility fled to the southern city of Mardon, where Marius made his court-in-exile. The lower nobility and minor landowners stayed, however, and there grew a great friction between the highlander natives and now newly-arriving heartlander colonists. In a pact led by the Count of Ayr, Eirik Baruch, and the Rutherns of Metterden, short incursions began, which soon spread wildfire throughout the former Haeseni realm. The exiled government soon took interested, and now in leadership of Stefan Barbanov, they met at the climax of the Second Battle of the Rothswood, where the occupier’s army was annihilated, chased by the soldiers of Harren van Metterden. The first true Karovic duma in years began, and the Karovic houses met to choose a new king. The Ruthern, a primary combatant in the war, wanted their own as king, yet the royalist faction wished for a return of the Barbanovs. In a landslide victory, Stefan won and was elected king, appointed numerous famous officials such as Henrik Bihar and Alessa Grendok. In the beginning, raids by the western pagans were common, though after the brief Battles of Rostig and Alban, they halted further incursions. Palatine Henrik Bihar oversaw the construction of the new capital of Alban (the former Karlsborg was destroyed following the war) and vast reforms spread throughout the state. Despite imperial losses to the south, the Haense state militarily rebounded dramatically, and due to the Pruvian Inheritance the economy boomed. Alban thrived under Stefan and his two successors, Otto I and Otto II, and Haense continued to maintain themselves as one of the dominant powers in the human realms. Barbanov grew to become a wealthy family not only in terms of their own realm and came to exhibit strong influence. Otherwise in the brief conflicts on the Vasiland Coast during the War of the Beards in the Siege of Kraken’s Watch in 1635, Haense remained relatively peaceful, while the south was rocked by scandals such as the Adelburg Coup. Otto II joined the Third Crusade, helping remove the pagan threats to the west, and constructed the new capital, known to the present day as Markev. When his son Otto III took the throne, he greatly expanded both Markev and his new palace of Krepost. However, the cultural golden age was running on fumes, and as tensions increased between the heartlander states and Haense, war came to everyone’s mind. For a decade, no conflict happened, though intense diplomatic meetings did not help the situation. In 1653, conflict broke, and while initial successes were had, the Curon front was decimated by their opponents. Belvitz, one of the main trading partners with Markev and the main breadbasket of humanity, was cut off by embargo from the Horen crown. By 1654, the capital of Markev experienced famine and later the Great Plague of 1654, which decimated the populace. Both Otto III and his heir (though on mysterious circumstances) died due to this plague, which left the realm to his second son Karl II. --- MODERN ERA [1655-Present] Haense experienced multiple losses to their heartlander enemies, though Karl II, joined by his cousin and Palatine Franz Bihar, were able to maintain their overs from crossing the River Czena. Karl II attempted to fix the lack of food by constructing more farms, expanding the wheat production of Haense tenfold. Though with heavy embargo upon Haense’s goods, the economy suffered, and trade was little to be had in Markev. Liberals under a constitutional radical message attempted to overthrow the government late in 1560, though Karl II and his forces were able to beat them off. When Karl himself died in 1666, an intense succession crisis occurred. Nobility expected a duma to be called, but Jakob Bihar, the former Palatine, seized control as king short after. However, he was captured mere days since becoming king, and executed. Now in a status of emergency, Franz’s nephew, Sigmar Lothar, was quickly rushed to the throne to ease tensions. Under Sigmar, he convinced the embargo to be lifted and trade flooded back in, with Markev receiving a short boost in population and wealth. He loosened control on his vassals and pursued policies of weak central authority, which angered his family’s more centralized focus. Sigmar was unable to reverse the military blunders of the past, however, and his army was crushed as the Battle of Karl’s Hill in the beginning of his reign. Soon after, he looked to appeasement with his aggressors, and swore under their monarch Aurelius, forming a new imperial state. Sigmar passed away to the flu, leaving the throne to his son Robert. III - PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS PHENOTYPES In the decades of inbreeding between waves of migrations, settlers, and the natives, there are three basic phenotypes for the Haeseni people - the High Marians, the Low Marians, and the Vezuchet. The average height of a Haeseni man is around six feet, and for women around five foot eight. Vezuchets are the tallest, averaging around six foot one, with High Marians around six foot to six foot and a half. Low Marians are the shortest with an average at five foot eleven to five foot eleven and a half. --- HIGH MARIAN - THE ELDER NOBILITY The High Marians are the elder nobility - namely, the Karovic household. Traits of this phenotype is black or blonde hair, and green or blue eyes. The traditional green-eye with Crow-plume for hair is very common, though intermarriage with Hansetian lordlings put a high desire on the typical blonde-hair, blue-eyed highlander. High Marians remained tall along with their kin, though they are slenderer than the rugged peasants of the frontier, with larger heads compared with the average Haeseni. --- LOW MARIAN - THE LOW NOBILITY AND BURGHERS The middle class of Haense, they display a mix of Hansetian and Raevir features, though favor more towards the former. Brown and blonde hair is the most common, with blue or grey eyes. They are bulkier than the High Marians, though on average shorter, though still maintain a larger head compared to the poorer class of the Vezuchet. --- VEZUCHET - THE COMMONERS, FREEMEN, AND SERFS The Vezuchets are the largest, yet poorest class, and exhibit mostly features such as brown hair and grey to brown eyes. From surviving the hinterlands has made many of them larger than the average High or Low Marian, both taller and larger in size. Their heads are smaller, with longer torso compared to legs. IV - WAY OF LIFE CREMATION OF THE DEAD AND THE ASHERN In highlander tradition, cremation has always played a part in paying respects to the dead, and it continues strong in the Kingdom of Haense. Kinsmen are burned by their family members in great pyres, and their ashes collected in urns called Ashern. Everyone is typically given their own ashern to house their ashes. However, in the higher nobility, it is common for patriarchs and extraordinary individuals to have their ashes collected in the Haucashern, a large urn which is home to the ashes of previous patriarchs of the family. The size of a family’s Haucashern is a symbol of status, and the oldest of families typically have the largest of haucasherns. Both kinds of urns are usually ornately decorated, and the more prestigious a house the better quality of urn. This practice resurged namely after the War of the Ducal Coalition, where it became a trend to carry ashes of the burned dead of Brelus in urns, typically used by knights as a sign of respect and honoring the dead. In the heartlands the fad faded quickly, though the tradition remained strong in Haense. Many veterans and lords of the war requested to be cremated as an honor, and it soon evolved into the norm for last rites. --- THE LAST DRINK OF DEATH Following the funeral ceremony and the cremation of the dead’s body, a solemn feast begins in memory of the fallen kinsman and comrade. At the beginning of the feast, a toast is given to the fallen, called the ‘Last Drink of Death’, to which each pours half the contents of their glass upon the floor. After which, everyone must finish the drink. A prayer is given shortly after, and the feast commences. --- PERMISSION FOR COURTING Although the courting process itself remains similar to the heartlander traditions, Haense maintains a very strict protocol in the asking of permission for a lord or sir to court a lord’s daughter or female kinsman. The man must gather exactly two sheep, a goat, and four chickens, and give them as an offering to the family patriarch. The gifts are taken by the patriarch, and the man in question is invited to a feast in the patriarch’s house. At the end of the dinner, the man is given one of two dishes - the lok (goat intestine filled with pork) or the erkindelir (boiled pig heart). If the man is served lok, then the patriarch has given his permission for the man to court the respective female of his clan. If the man is served erkindelir, however, he is refused permission. If the erkindelir is covered in a spicy sauce known as uli (milk and cream mixed with spices), then the denial is extreme, to a point where the man is forbidden to see his desired female companion again. --- BREAKING THE BREAD It is the commonly-held belief of a naturally enforced peace amongst those eating under the same roof, a common and old highlander custom. Feasts and dinner gatherings are seen as times of house bonding but also a rare instance of vulnerability. And so, it is very common for rivals and enemy parties to ‘break bread’ before a diplomatic meeting, to make the gathering a ‘feast’. Violence of any kind is strictly prohibited, and it is very taboo if it is allowed to go unpunished. In the case of political and diplomatic meetings, it is common to dip the bread afterwards into Carrion Black, and shortly thereafter eaten. --- TRIALS OF ULRIC TIBERAN Published late in the sixteenth century, the Trials of Ulric Tiberan is a collection of children stories all featuring the title character as protagonist. The stories are commonly used by Haeseni parents and teachers in schooling young children. They commonly feature virtues of loyalty, dedication, and humility. Numerous stock characters are used in the tales, such as the twin crowns ‘Alvin and Darren’, the greedy Sir de Viri, and his squire Enoch. He commonly uses ‘Soulstrung’, a bow and his signature weapon. His most famous story is the ‘Trial of the Dragon’, where he slays the frost wyrm Toruug. --- PERISSEM NE PERISSEM - PERSISTENCE At the core of Haeseni lies the chiefest of virtues - persistence. Persistence in the hardships of life. Persistence in the hardship faced by the Haeseni people time and time again. Unlike other realms, Haense boasts a continuous history, filled with peaks and troughs, and through it all, despite all violence against it, the Kingdom of Haense and its people remain. This is commonly shown in the famous Haeseni proverb: “I would have perished had I not persisted.” Time and time again, Haense has been brought to a low position, yet every time it resurfaces and returns to the days of glory and its manifest destiny. Only through persistence and dedication can the Haeseni people live on. --- PERISSEM NE PERISSEM - SELF-RELIANCE Throughout history, Haense has found itself either surrounded with allies or swimming in enemies, and the Haeseni people have attempted to a staunch belief in self-reliance. No matter political affairs of neighboring states and outside world, Haense must focus in relying upon its own to rebuild itself up from any destruction. Many in the world will promise help, and while some will actually give, to depend your entirety on the whims on foreigners never bodes well. --- PERISSEM NE PERISSEM - SELF-ASSURANCE With their concept of self-reliance comes their belief in self-assurance, that no matter what path Haense takes, the people are ready and will stand together to face any threat. Haense must not look at the total outside for their evaluation, but look within, and seeing together as a united Haeseni people. This is embodied in the Haeseni saying, “Lest my shield turn to ash, but I shall not falter.” --- BIHARISM - THE AGRARIAN DREAM Haense has, and for the foreseeable future will be an agricultural society, and with it the social concept of land ownership. It is considered culturally the proper Haeseni way to law ownership to land and live from the bounties of the earth. It has been the cornerstone of the Haeseni political thought of Biharism which is that every freeman of Haeseni stock to own their own farms, provide for their own families, and raise that proper family to follow in the same tradition. --- BIHARISM - JEREMIC LIBERTIES From the beginning of Karl’s first warrior bands in the fledgling Duchy of Haense, the military followed a pseudo-cossack code. Not following many of the traditions, they still maintained the famous concept of the ‘Jeremic Liberties’, which are the freedoms given to each freeman within the realm. These, of course, have been adapted heavily in more Hansetian tradition, though the base meaning remains the same. The liberties are as followed: “To each freeman is his own life, to take it is to be a thief, To each freeman his own time, to take it is to be a slaver, To each freeman his own sword, to take it is to blind him, To each freeman his own wife, to take it is to injure him, And to each freeman his own farm, to take is to make him no man.” These five principles are the core freedoms of each free Haeseni man- rights which, culturally, cannot be taken away. --- BIHARISM - HAESENI DESTINY The Haeseni Destiny is the belief is required colonized of nearby lands, that the homeland of the highland peoples must be expanded to allow for future growth. This has been a common policy carried on by many administrations, and remains a common belief held by the Haeseni public. The hinterlands are wild and dangerous, and it is the Haeseni duty to colonize and bring order to the land which God had given us. --- CURSE OF FRANZ The ‘Curse of Franz’ is the popular belief that misfortune will fall upon lords and kings named Franz. This superstition has begun after three kings with the similar name Franz meeting horrid fates: Franz the Martyr was killed in his own court, Franz the Faultless was executed for his brother’s war, and the Franz the Unfortunate’s murder before even receiving the crown. It is therefore taboo to name heirs Franz, else fall prey to the curse. --- HOLIDAY - SIGISMUND’S DAY 7th of the Sun’s Smile Sigismund’s Day is the national holiday in celebration of Sigismund, one of the patrons of Haense. This is typically a private family affair, and usually involves house and clan unions. During this day, it is tradition for all members of the Karovic household to feast in the halls of the current Karovic Patriarch. Common foods during this meal include veal, iskov (blend of potatoes and vegetables), and restineol (salted horse brain). --- HOLIDAY - BAROVIFEST 2nd of the Amber Cold Barovifest originally was the celebration of Barbov the Black’s victory over the Nzechs at the Battle of the Elks, although in time it has transformed to the largest harvest festival within Haense. It is tradition, after sunset, to burn five large hay crows, with the typical locale playing music and other assortment of activities, such as apple bobbing and squash hurling. Many during this event wearing hand-carved wooden masks, called Maskoe, which are either in the shape of animals or famous individuals (including mockeries of disliked politicians). Throughout the festivities, the staple drink is yopil, a mixture of Carrion Black and fruit (berries and apples). --- HOLIDAY - FEAST OF SAINT TOBIAS THE PURE 15th of the Snow’s Maiden The Feast of Saint Tobias is the celebration of the winter solstice, and typically includes a large feast and play in the village center. Traditionally, the holiday was a very solemn affair, although in recent years it has been combining with the similar traditions of the heartlander Saint Tobias’ Day, which includes traditions of gift-giving and selfless acts. --- HOLIDAY - FEAST OF SAINT JULIA AND THE FIFTY VIRGINS OF PARADISIUS | JULIYEAFEST 21st of the First Seed Juliyeafest is considered the ‘festival of love’ within the Kingdom of Haense, and it is considered a Canonist fertility festival. Marriages on Juliyeafest are very, very common, and it is considered romantic for a male to give their female companion and crown of lilies, known as a Liliekongis. --- CORONATION OF THE KING - GOLDEN BULAVA The first item given to the king during his coronation is the Golden Bulava - the symbol of authority over the army. In the early days of the Duchy of Haense, the military was heavily dominated by the Raevir elite, and in their traditional fashion used the bulava as the sample of hetmanic authority. Eventually, the bulava has been adapted in Haeseni tradition and used as symbol of power for the commandants in service to the royal crown. --- CORONATION OF THE KING - MARIAN SWORD The second item given to the king during his coronation is the Marian Sword - symbol of the people. During the original settlement of the Duchy of Haense, the clear majority of the peasant population remained Hansetian, and so at the opposite of military life rests in the left hand the sword of the people. The sword is reputed to be the sword Gaius Marius, first monarch of Hanseti, and even in battle is worn by the king, in order to always carry the will of the Haeseni people with him. --- CORONATION OF THE KING - CROWN OF BL FRANCIS THE MARTYR The Crown of Haense is known officially as the Crown of Blessed Francis the Martyr, and since the coronation of Petyr I, has been the symbol of the Haeseni monarchy. The eleven jewels on the coronet (six blue and five red) each to signify a martyr of the Franciscan Massacre. --- SIGN OF FEALTY - KISSING THE KNEE In swearing the oath of fealty to a monarch or lord, it is common practice to ‘Kiss the Knee’, which is the literal pecking of the liege’s right knee. This is typically done following the reciting of an oath, such as an Othamanic Oath, and must be done with both knees on the ground. Before kissing, the words ‘Belei doe [name of liege]’ must be recited. --- MILITARY - CAVALRY TRADITION Since the ridings of Jan Kovachev and the warrior-general Alessa Grendock, Haense and the Haeseni people have always maintained a strong cavalry force and tradition. Numerous Haeseni have made names for themselves as horsemen during the countless wars, and it is considered an honor to be allowed to ride in one of Haense’s many horse divisions. Majority of these companies maintain a traditional dress of colorful robes and fur hats, typically accented with feathers. --- ROYAL FAMILY - KAROVIC’S HAND The Karovic’s Hand is the traditional advisor to the Patriarch of Carrion- a tradition which has survived in Haense under the Royal House of Barbanov. For many years, the Karovic’s hand followed the young Bihar line while the patriarchy followed the senior Andrivian line. The Karovic’s Hand maintains the household of the royal family and the integrity of the family in full- in the Karovic’s Hand who monitors and keeps the peace amongst the Karovic household. This, of course, includes not only those of the direct royal line but any family within the borders of Haense which draws male-line descent from the House of Carrion, which includes a plethora of cadet houses and bastard lineages. In times of strife, it is the Karovic’s Hand who calls the Royal Duma in place and organizes what is required, typically the selection of a king. Example of this can be seen when the National Duma was called after the Second Battle of the Rothswald, as the meeting officially proclaimed by the standing Karovic’s Hand at the time, Heinrik Bihar. Typically, the Karovic’s Hand would appoint a Palatine in place, though in recent years the Palatine and Karovic’s Hand have been one in the same. Anyone of the Karovic household can technically be Karovic’s Hand- however, traditionally it has been a cousin or of a specific line which receives the position. --- ROYAL FAMILY - KAROVIC NATIONAL DUMA In times of crisis and the lack of a central figure, the Karovic’s Hand may call the Karovic Duma to meet. The Karovic Duma is a body of elders within the Karovic household- the total sum of those claiming male-line descent from Carrion within the borders of Haense. By a vote of majority, the elders of each branch of the Karovic household select who shall be consider the Velkipadreil, or Karovic Patriarch, and assume the title of king. Even in the extremely Hansetian-influenced Haense, the concept of Karovic blood is still maintained strongly amongst the elder nobility- which almost entirely dominated by Carrion-descended houses. Kingship is, culturally, tied with the concept of being the Karovic Patriarch, and so whoever is the reigning monarch is technically the Lord of Carrion. The voters are typically the recognized patriarchs of respective houses which claim Karovic descent- examples, Kovachev, Ruthern, Sarkozic. Those considered ‘patriarch’ are only so if they are by complete majority recognized by the current standing electors. In some cases, a house that does not have patrilinear Carrion descent can join the electorate in the Duma. This is called a Matedervik Karoveo, or ‘Crow by the Mother’, and is typically restricted to those who have had a line of marriages with the Karovic household. Example of this is Vanir. However, a ‘Crow by the Mother’ cannot wear the Haucvogir feather in their cap during court or during a duma and may not display any Karovic heraldry upon their arms. --- ROYAL FAMILY - HAUCVOGIR PIEREN The Haucvogir Pieren, or the Grand Feather, is the symbol of Karovic lineage in the eyes of nobility. Those of the Karovic household- male-line descendants of Carrion- are granted the privilege of wearing a crow feather in their cap to signify their prestigious lineage. Those of the royal family wear golden crow feathers, while those not of the royal family wear black crow feathers. Each patriarch of the Karovic household can have two feathers, the second being a color of their choosing (typically a color of their house), as well as the Karovic’s Hand, whose second feather is white. The King of Haense, and therefore the Karovic Patriarch, is allowed to wear three feathers, in the colors of yellow, red, and black (original colors of Carrion). V - RELIGION CANONISM The Kingdom of Haense and the Haeseni People follow the Church of the Canon. More information on the Church and the faith of Canonism can be found in their respective subforum. --- SAINTS OF HAENSE Every culture which follows Canonism maintains a set of cherished saints and holy figures, patrons to their homeland and examples to follow by their people. Haense and the Haeseni people are no different, sporting a wide array of specific saints commonly referenced and revered. · Saint Joren of Paradisius · Blessed John Jeremus · Saint Julia of Paradisius · Exalted Sigismund · Saint Tobias the Pure · Saint Wilfriche of Hanseti · Blessed Francis the Martyr · Blessed Demetrius of the Dreadfort · Blessed Frederick of Royce · Blessed Andrew Vydra · Blessed High Pontiff Sixtus III · Blessed William of Herman · Blessed Stephen Himmel · Blessed Vytanis Andruikatis · Blessed Marius of Ayr · Saint Otto the Bald · Saint Emma of Adria · Saint Charles of Haense · Blessed High Pontiff Sixtus IV · Blessed High Pontiff Owyn II · Saint Henry of Haense · Saint John of Ruyter · Saint High Pontiff Everard IV --- PONTIFFS OF HAENSE Haense has also boasted a sizeable number of pontiffs from its own people, one of the largest numbers to sit upon the throne of the Vicar of God. · High Pontiff Theodosius I – Gregor Nikovic van Kvasz · High Pontiff Sixtus IV – Berengar Gotthold van Krinford · High Pontiff Lucien IV – Jan van Luka · High Pontiff Everard III – Bernard Baruek van Ayr · High Pontiff Adrian I – Lothar Sarkoz van Carnatiya · High Pontiff Owyn II – Jan Othaman van Karlsborg · High Pontiff Everard IV – Josef van Alban · High Pontiff Clement III – Jan Amador van Mondstadt VI - LANGUAGE I’ll be honest I can’t be assed to finish this language so here are my notes/Floop’s notes, who helped me work on this. LINK VII - MONARCHS OF HAENSE KOENG PETYR I SIGMAR - HAES BARBOV Petyr var Sigmar | eddywilson2 R. 1578 – 1582 Peter Siguine of Barbanov Petrus Siguinus Carovus Primus Curonicus “The Butcher of Riga, the Founder, the Bold, the Strong Crow” Petrus Curonicus, the founder of the modern State of Haense and its first king, is by far one the most legendary Haeseni figures in its history. Born during the late end of the War of the Ducal Coalition, Petyr was raised in exile following he and kinsmen’s banishment after the Sacking of Brelus. He did not remain outside the Orenian and Haeseni lands for long, however, and in the deal made between Otto Sarkoz and the emperor, Petyr could return. He lived in the rump state of the Duchy of Carnatia, compromising a of a sizeable chunk of Petyr’s family former holding of the Duchy of Haense. The first mention of him in his own right come from the Eighteen Years War, where the young Petyr served as cadet under Josef Vladov and later Jan Kovachev, fighting in the famous brigade known as the Carnatian Hussars. After the Peace of Avar, Petyr returned to Carnatia, where partook in the regional politics, known at the time as the tense Northern Question. He was one of the first supporters of Britanus Vanir following his disposition by the rival heartlander Duke of Courland, where he and famous commanders Fiske Vanir, Jan Kovachev, and Rickard Barrow formed the Carnatian League, kickstarting the Riga War. Petyr successfully commanded numerous battles, including the Siege of Kraken’s Watch and the decisive Battle of Curonswald, though he is mostly remembered for his successful Sack of Riga, which formerly ended the Riga War and left him in control of most of the highlander hinterlands. Petyr furthered showed his talent in the later Krajian Rebellion, successfully subduing rebel hetmans under the pretender Sveneld Ivanov by 1576, later being named Lord High Governor of Hanseti and Ruska. In 1578, under intense pressure by himself and his supporters, Petyr was bestowed the titles of King of Hanseti and Ruska, to which he became crowned as later in the year. In reference to his family’s traditional title, the realm at first was vernacularly called ‘Haense’. Under his rule, countless cities and forts were created, and the population in Haense soared. His military continued to serve under the larger imperial army, and his forces led multiple victories during the concluding dunlander revolts. Petyr’s technical reign as king only last four years, though, and he fell to old age by 1582. By the end of his reign, his kingdom and standing army had reached quadruple the size of their formers, and the first true city- Karlsborg- had been founded. --- KOENG ANDRIK II OTTO - HAES BARBOV Andrik var Petyr | Seannie22 R. 1582 – 1586 Andrew Otto of Barbanov Andreas Otis Carovus Secundus “The Winter King, the Rash, the Black” As son and later crown prince to his father, Andrik was extremely popular by the Haeseni military and nobility alike. He was known for his charismatic nature yet was prone to rash thinking, and in the fledgling kingdom he was cherished as another titan to succeed his father. In 1582, he was crowned to much fanfare, and the groundwork laid by his father and Palatine Rickard Barrow left Andrik a bountiful realm. Andrik was originally remembered fondly for his work in settling new villages and forts throughout his kingdom, as well as first highway between hinterlands and the heartlands. He joined the imperial conquest of the ork peoples, where Andrik as monarch led the vanguard in the famous Siege of San Uruk. Andrik led multiple forced-expulsions of pagans outside his realm, even from his time as crown prince. He commanded multiple army incursions against native territories deep inland and performed numerous successful raids against them and their third-party Avarite supporters. His bold and almost arrogant nature made his movements near impossible to be predicted by his enemies, and he won many conflicts against larger numbers. However, Andrik is most infamously known for his role in the unsuccessful and chaotic Deep Cold Uprising, where he slew the emperor John IV in his court and declared open rebellion. This move was very unpopular with some of his followers, and while half of his lords swore to him (under the leadership of Branimar Vanir), the other half declare Andrik insane. The powerful noble Sergey Kovachev, a staunch imperialist, captured the royal capital of Karlsborg and forced Andrik to abdicate. --- KOENG MARUS ANDRIK - HAES BARBOV Marus var Andrik | Piov R. 1586 – 1611 Marius Andrew of Barbanov Marius Andreas Carovus Primus “The Good, the Beautiful, the Exiled, the Young, Defender of the Faith, the Loyal Dog of the Empire” Marius first succeeded to the throne as a babe, following his father’s abdication during the nation-wide scandal of the Deep Cold Uprising. His government was led by his uncle Karl Sigmar, who acted as Palatine and regent, and left the ultimate raising of the infant sovereign to his aunt Juliya. His uncle was unpopular with the restless nobility, and by Marius’ fourteenth nameday, and was quickly crowned king. As monarch, Marius suffered from a divided cabinet, split between the Sergeyists and the Andrivists, and Marius had a difficult in reach bipartisan compromise between the two. Royalist powers were undermined by both factions at the time, and his officials were most of the time picked for nepotistic and political reasons rather than true talent. During this time, Marius did find success in pacifying rebellions following his father’s mess, including the Brawm Rebellion of 1600 and nativist revolts in the extreme northern regions of the kingdom. His policies of land reform struck well with the commoners, however left his nation in economic strain and unable to fully maintain the standing army of his predecessors. Marius was also a patron of the arts and culture, and sponsored numerous artists, including the young Jakob Madonvik. He opened the first theater, the Gilded Duke, and held the first Edmond Manston play outside of the imperial capital. His patronship included many, such as the author Blakton Alvitz, poet Alistair Wailer, and his famous painter aunts, princesses Juliya and Natalia. Karlsborg became a heaven of Dumatic and proto-Biharist thinkers, encompassing the larger Sanoist movement sweeping the heartlands at the time. In the heartlands, the Coalition Wars destroyed imperial authority, and thanks to multiple diplomatic blunders, a southern coalition of forces declared war upon the State of Haense. The army under Stefan Bihar attempted to strike first, however, yet most fell at the disastrous Battle of Elba, where in only a few years Marius soon fled to exile and left to the realm in occupation. Marius lived out the rest of his life in exile, continuing to style himself as the King of Hanseti and Ruska. --- KOENG PETYR II MARK - HAES BARBOV Petyr var Marus | Pureimp10 R. 1611 Peter Mark of Barbanov Petrus Marcus Carovus Secundus “Prince of Nothing, the Poxed” Petyr II only ever ruled in exile, succeeding his father Marius for only a short time. Before his death, however, the Greyspine Rebellion had begun, and Petyr was prepared to return and become figurehead of the revolt. He died of the pox, however, only three months after his accession, leaving the throne to his brother. --- KOENG STEFAN KARL - HAES BARBOV Stefan var Marus | yopplwasupxxx R. 1611 – 1624 Stephen Charles of Barbanov Stephanus Carolus Carovus Primus “A Foe to All Humanity, the Green, the Duelist” Unlike his elder brother Petyr, Stefan was not raised to ruled by his father nor the court, and traditionally was expected to enter the church as his counterpart took the throne in Haense. His brother’s death to the pox thrusted Stefan to kingship, to which he was elected in heated debate during the Duma of 1610. His candidacy was supported mainly by the established nobility, who wished for a weaker monarch to maintain noble autonomy. First few years of his reign was left mainly to the nobility, and Stefan remained mostly in the heartlands in the fortress of Hochspitze. Through a deal with the Prince of Pruvia, he secured the Pruvian Inheritance, which included not only a large sum but control of many of the famous ‘Pruvian Banks’. This and the shrewd work of his advisor and later Palatine Henrik Bihar, a new army was established in direct control of the crown, which made the nobility more prone to compromise. Karlsborg was destroyed in the First Northern War, and without a capital, the royalist war camp during the Greyspine Rebellion soon evolved into the royal city of Alban- the de facto Haeseni capital. Veterans flocked to the restored state, and despite imperial losses in the Santegian Rebellion of 1617, the Haeseni army gained numerous victories, including the Battle of Asaili. In the spring of 1616, his army under command of Alessa Grendock and uncle Prince Otto Henrik beat back several attempts at raids by natives and Avarite mercenaries, fully pacifying them by 1620. Stefan meddled greatly in heartlander affairs, in contrast to the isolationist views of his predecessors, and was the focal point of many conspiracies and plots. He was first revealed in the Mardon Letter of his plans for a coup d’état of the emperor John V, and later his successful uproar in removing the imperial regent Robert of Marna. There were numerous assassination attempts against his life and he fought numerous duels against political opponents, including against the former heartlander archduke Odo d’Amaury, and his most famous showdown against his rival Robert of Marna, who he fatally wounded and killed. Stefan died a young death in 1624 due to genetic Hodgkin’s disease of his mother’s side, passing the throne to his uncle as he died without trueborn heirs. His reign marked the beginning of an era of regrowth for Haense following the disastrous Coalition Wars, which continued well into the reign of Otto III. His seemingly arbitrary political moves left Stefan a vile reputation in the heartland states, to which he gained his famous moniker by Prince Philip, ‘A foe to all Humanity’. --- KOENG OTTO I HENRIK - HAES BARBOV Otto var Andrik | NJBB R. 1624 – 1627 Otto Henry of Barbanov Otis Henricus Carovus Primus “Hero of Alsaili, the Equestrian, the Elder” Most of Otto’s life was in service to the crown as prince and commandant, fighting in nearly every war since his brother Marius took the throne. The failures of the First Northern War sent Otto reeling, and through most of the period he remained as an outlaw soldier, raiding the occupier’s settlements and supply trains. During the decisive Second Battle of the Rothswald, he commanded the left flank and fought with valor on the field. He and Alessa Grendock commanded the Haeseni cavalry during the numerous imperial wars, such as the Santegian Rebellion, and retained Haeseni forces despite imperial losses. He took the throne after the death of his nephew and ruled a paltry three years. Haense continued its flourish under Stefan and Otto maintained the peace following the transition. His eldest son, also named Otto, would succeed him as monarch. --- KOENG OTTO II GEORG - HAES BARBOV Otto var Otto | Pureimp10 R. 1627 – 1644 Otto George of Barbanov Otis Georgius Carovus Secundus “The Temperate, the Prudent, the Quiet Crow, the Younger” Before his rule, Otto George served as a courtier in the restored Haeseni court and worked as a diplomat under the Palatine Henrik Bihar. He was known for his humility and strict adherence to moral doctrine, which clashed greatly with his cousin’s more extravagant court. Otto maintained a close circle of advisors and friends, mostly of ordained clergy, which included the future pontiff Everard IV. In his father’s three years, Otto served as crown prince with dour respect, creating the record-long sixteen-hour hymn for his elevation as heir. Otto ascended to the throne in 1627, and his reign saw Haense continue its economic and cultural boom. He, as a committed Canonist, created many royal hospitals and institutions of faith within Haense, as well as the first irrigation system stretching across the Rothswald and Wickswald. Lavish donations were bestowed upon canonist charities and orders within Haense, and Otto encouraged a theological revival in Haeseni sciences. To pay for much of this, Otto II cut down spending on the armed forces and military. Haense maintained relatively peaceful throughout his reign, except the brief of Vasiland by dwarven forces in 1635, where the army faced a considerable loss when allied with a coalition of fellow imperial vassals and dwed loyalists. In the beginning, Otto’s management of the army led to few blunders, such as the controversial dismissal of commandant Cullen Valrein, though by the end of his promotion of talented military minds such as Berengar Helvetz and Geralt Rauen led to sizeable martial influence. Otto also joined the Third Crusade in coalition with the heartlander states, successfully sieging and capturing the pagan capital in the process. Towards his final years, he finally unveiled and started construction upon the planned city of Markev- a new royal capital to replace the cramped and poor-looking Alban. This took considerable fortune, though his strategic placement upon the River Czena allowed for better trade through river travel. He had translated the Canonist Scrolls in New Marian, called the King Otto Scrolls, which is now commonly used in Haeseni churches. He died in the city he created and was succeeded by his son Otto Stefan. --- KOENG OTTO III STEFAN - HAES BARBOV Otto var Otto | NJBB R. 1644 – 1655 Otto Stephen of Barbanov Otis Stephanus Carovus Tertius “The Haughty, the Defender, the Builder, of the Czena” With a newly-constructed capital from the previous rule of his father, Otto Stefan’s blooming years as monarch were fruitful. Markev prospered under the diligent administration of the newly-appointed Lord Ruslan Amador, with trade along the River Baltas-Czena, especially with the river-port of Belvtiz, making the city one of the wealthiest in humanity. His newly-wed wife Ingrid Sarkoz was popular with the commoners, and since the turmolous beginnings of the Ale Riots in the 1600s, the realm was finally in a state of peace. He reversed funding cuts to royal forces done by his father in a military build-up between themselves and Renatus, putting strain upon the royal treasury. Otto favored the arts and commissioned many public works. He and his Palatine Robert Bihar attempted to modernize the Haeseni nation and reconstruct many of the haphazard sites made following the Greyspine Rebellion. He created the first royal parks and named the black-coat crow the national animal. Universities also continue to flourish, and under Otto especially who gave massive sums to benefit their studies. Arcane arts especially became popular, and under him the first schools of magi were formed. Diplomacy soured between Otto’s government and the heartlander states, such as Renatus and Marna, and in response Haense attempted to form its own coalition under the Czena Confederation. Conflict first broke out in 1653, and in the beginning Haense experienced some success. Under the leadership of commandants Geralt Rauen and Jan Wick, they won strategic victories at both the First and Second Battles of Stallion’s Hill and the Battle of the Dam. Lack of a central leadership within the coalition, however, stopped any progression. Assaults upon Curon, one of the member states, became more frequent, and the ineffective allied troops did little to stop enemy successes. Belvitz, one of Haense’s main export locations and its main importer of grain, was under enemy influence, and soon all trade from the city stopped. The large population of Haense and its lack of consistent farming effort did nothing to help, and by 1654 the city and country were in a national-wide famine. In 1655, the Great Plague broke out, devasting the nation. Otto caught this sickness and died in 1655, along with his heir Otto Josef, leaving the throne to his second son Karl Marus. The final years of Otto’s reign marked the beginning of a string of military defeats by Haense, and its diminished influence in the next few decades. --- KOENG KARL II MARUS - HAES BARBOV Karl var Otto | cruzazul8 R. 1655 – 1666 Charles Marius of Barbanov Carolus Marius Carovus Secundus “The Stubborn, the Unyielding, the Excommunicated” Karl, unlike his father before him, was handed a nation dying of famine and exhausted from war, with a restless nobility. By 1656, the Czena Confederation officially became defunct, as numerous states either left or were conquered, as in the case of the Principality of Curon in late 1655. Haense and the remaining states reformed into an alliance, which began to include non-human and pagan states, much to the ire of Karl’s nobility. He was unable to reverse the military losses from before, and the allied coalition suffered numerous defeats, most importantly the Storming of Cyrilsborg and Siege of Ruriksgrad in 1662. Karl was able to keep the enemies from fully crossing the Czena River and entering Haense proper, creating many dug-out forts along the river in defense. He commanded much of the military works personally and left control of the city in hands of his Palatine Franz Bihar. By 1665 the war had reached a stalemate, and the Karl remained on the defense. The city did little recovery, and Franz Bihar maintained his work in suppressing liberal radicals popping throughout the city. Briefly in early 1666, the palace was stormed by peasantry, though beaten off by soldiers under command of Franz. Karl in 1666 died childless, as he never took a wife, and the state entered a succession crisis. --- KOENG FRANZ II JAKOB - HAES BIHAR Franz var Henrik | Birdnerdy R. 1666 Francis James of Bihar Franciscus Iacobus Carovus Secundus “The Unfortunate, the Unready” Franz seized control of the government shortly following the death of his cousin, and shortly proclaimed him regent. Only after one month, he fully couped the state and proclaimed himself king before the duma could be called. Franz’s history in the capital and the loyalty of the military stationed there allowed him intense sway over the lords, who begrudgingly agreed to his accession. During his coronation, however, the city was surprise-attacked by a sizeable blitzing force, and Franz was captured in the defense. Stating his refusal to bend the knee, he was executed by his captors, and the throne passed to his nephew. --- KOENG SIGMAR LOTHAR - HAES BIHAR Sigmar var Robert | Arkydog R. 1666 – 1681 Siguine Lothar of Bihar Siguinus Lotharus Carovus Primus “The Short, the Shrewd” Sigmar took the throne following the death of his uncle, to which the duma did not contest. He attempted a policy of appeasement with the heartlanders, and through diplomatic work, lifted the embargo on Haense and allowed grain shipment back into Markev. The city recovered from its recession and the economy went positive once again. With the famine relieved, the population slowly began to recover within the urban cities. His attempts at military conquest, despite his success in diplomacy, was not as graceful. Sigmar received a damaging blow at the Battle of Karl’s Hill, and put ravaging repercussions upon the country. He swore under the Renatus state in 1678 and reformed an imperial state, formally ending all hostiles between the two countries. He allowed a freer reign for the nobility, and much of the land was granted or fell under control of powerful barons. Royal power suffered, and the nobility gained massive influence over the affairs on the government. Sigmar would die in 1681 of a disease for the throne to pass to his son, Robert. VIII - NOTABLE INDIVIDUALS OTTO VAR DIEDRIK HEINZREIK Otto Arius Heinzreich | yopplwasupxxx Otto Arius, of the Rovin-Heinzreich clan, was a minor cousin in the Aesterwald royal family, until his defection from his home nation during the Schism Wars of the late fifteenth century. He became an important courtier in the papal court, and with backing from the High Pontiff and Count of Drusco, claimed a majority portion of former Vanderfell following the conclusion of the conflict. He founded numerous towns amidst the ruins, and though not as successfully as his successor, began a policy of unification from the balkanized Hansetian states. During the 1490s, he abducted the twins of his sister, children of the late Emperor Alexander, and kept them in his custody to raise him. When Otto ascended to the seat as Grand Duke of Vanderfell, he groomed Karl for heir, picking him over his own children with Lady Frederique of Savoy. With loss of support by the Count of Drusco, he was forced to abdication following pressure by his liege King Andrik and the blunder of the Petrus Scandal. Following his death in the late 1510s, he was canonized in the Church of the Canon as Saint Otis of Vanderfell. --- KARL VAR ALEKSANDER BARBOV Karl Barbanov | Arkydog Born to the Rovin-scion Princess Annabelle and the Carrion Emperor Alexander, his early life moved him across Oren during the infamous Schism Wars. His mother abducted Karl and his sister when the war began, and during transit was stopped by Otto Heinzreich, who took the children for himself. He raised and named Karl, choosing him to succeed as the Grand Duke of Vanderfell- and later, the Duke of Haense. He also spent much of his childhood with the High Pontiff Daniel I and Emma Vladov, the warrior-female, and garnered huge support from Duchies of Adria and Akovia, both led by former loyalists to his father. Karl led multiple raids against dwed fortifications during the Third Human-Dwarf War, capturing fortifications such as Polaris and Hiebenhall, the latter of which he made his capital and renamed as Siegrad. His accession to the ducal coronet came with much fanfare, and he tightened his grip upon the Hansetian hinterlands, as well as forcing mass conversion upon the native tribes. When he died following the Great Worm Assault upon Siegrad, Haense has become one of the leading powers in Oren at the time. Following his death, he was canonized in the Church of the Canon as Saint Carolus of Haense. --- CARR VAR JULIYUS COLBORN Carr Colborn | Julius55 Carr entered the service of Karl early in his career and became one of Karl’s most loyal lieutenants. His claim to fame comes from his extensive work upon fledging Haense’ infrastructure and economy. He created numerous highways to cut through the hinterlands and expanded the weak mining industry to produce on par with their southern neighbors. The fortune he amassed became notorious throughout the realm, and he was one of the richest, and for a time the richest, peers of Oren, owning a fat monopoly upon Haeseni trade and goods. He was also a known amateur historian, and chronicled numerous novels covering his family’s history and the history of the highlander peoples. Following his death, he left much of his wealth to the state, and his funds later maintained Haense from total financial disaster during the end of the War of the Ducal Coalition. When a sum of his vault came missing, it created a craze throughout the hinterlands, with numerous treasure-seekers, or Geltisaar, settling throughout Carr’s former trading posts, hoping to find the hidden gold upon his former estates. --- TARCEL VAR JAN OTHAMAN Tarcell Othaman | Eddywilson2 Though Tarcell was of Hansetian-blood, he was one of the first to bend to Karl following his accession as Duke of Haense and became commandant of his forces. He spearheaded assaults on numerous dwarven fortifications in the hinterlands during the Third Human-Dwarf War and was a general during the War of the Ducal Coalition. He expanded the military of the duchy greatly, issuing levies upon newly-conquered land on the hinterlands to bolster their numbers. Following Karl’s death, it was Tarcell who became regent, and it was he who commanded the war effort against the Savoyard-led Oren. He won skirmishes on the northern border during a short attempt at invasion in the north, though when Brelus fell at the end of the war he was forced to a defensive position at the Haeseni fortress of Norvik. Throughout the war he raised and helped the young Siguine, who after Hugo’s assassination was elected Duke of Adria alongside being Duke of Haense. Siguine’s disappearance, or to him, his death, left Tarcell distraught and bitter, and remained defiant against crown. His untimely death in 1525 though left his remaining troops in chaos and Norvik eventually fell to a contingent led by Jan Kovachev in the late summer. Tarcell’s military organization would become the basis of the Haeseni royal military. --- SIGMAR VAR KARL BARBOV Siguine Barbanov | Arkydog At the age of fourteen, Siguine was elected as Duke of Adria amid the War of the Ducal Coalition, succeeding Hugo the Headless following his assassination. Though chosen by the lords, he held little authority, and when he left to fight the Savoyards at the Blackwald his army was disorganized and unruly. He was defeated badly in the marshes and retreated to the fortress of Woldzimir where he attempted to push back Oren by a siege defense. He failed, however, and he fled following Woldzimir’s fall. --- JAN VAR VARON KOVACHEV Jan Kovachev | 6xdestroyer Jan rose through the ranks of the Orenian army during the War of the Ducal Coalition, and when he was able to be captured Norvik in 1525, he was granted the castles and the estates he conquered. He supported John Horen during the Horen Restoration, and later became one of his most trusted commanders during the Eighteen Years’ War. Jan commanded the Carnatian Hussars, and with his fellow peer Josef, was the leader of the Haeseni contingent during the war. He served alongside Petyr Barbanov during the Riga War and the Krajian Rebellion, subduing fully the Hansetian hinterlands and helping unify what later became the Kingdom of Haense. His death left him as the Duke of Carnatia and his family to continue as one of the principle Karovic houses within humanity for centuries. His veteran cavalry became a staple of the Haeseni army, and his descendants would continue to dominate the Haeseni army for some decades. He lived well into his nineties, and for it he was called ‘Jan the Old’. --- JOSEF VAR FRANZ VLADOV Josef Vladov | Burkester Along with Jan Kovachev, Josef Vladov was one of the two leaders of the Haeseni contingent during the Eighteen Years’ War, commanding multiple battles as imperial generals. Josef’s crowning achievement is the Battle of Cape Bronson and later the Capture of Avar. His family diminished in influence within Haense following death, though he remains as one of Haense’s and Oren’s more proficient commanders. --- GREGOR VAR NIKOLAS NIKOVIC Georgiy Nikovic - H.P. Theodosius I | Dakota Georgiy was one of the first in a string in Haeseni pontiffs, first serving as the Bishop of Carnatia then being appointed High Pontiff in 1562. His greatest deed was the removal of the Revelation Doctrine which was created by his predecessor Daniel III, and attempted a fail revival of reforemd Raevir Iliryic as the Haeseni holy tongue. He would appoint his successor Berengar Gotthold to his previous position of bishop, and maintained close relations with the hinterland lords. --- EMMA VAS BRITANUS VANIR Emma Vanir | Julischlong Emma was married to an imperial cousin following the attempted peace of the Second Diet of Saltstone, and while at first it kept the peace, it soon fell through. She carried an extramarital affair with one of the rebel hetmans of the Krajian Rebellion and a Savoyard princeling, called the Ancelcourt Scandal, which continued the Anarchy for another decade. --- BRITANUS VAR BIGORN VANIR Britannus Vanir | Pureimp10 The War of the Ducal Coalition left the Vanir family in shambles, and reduced to their fortress of Kraken’s Watch, though Britanus dreamed of one day returning his family’s fortune. He acted as one of the crucibles for the Riga War, which although at first left his homeless, later regained him a large portion of his family’s former estates. In his spare time, Britannus worked as a mathematician, and together with Edmond Manston, discovered the ‘Manston-Vanir Constant’, which is used by modern day architects in constructing arches and domes. --- FISKE VAR BRITANUS VANIR Fiske Vanir | InfamousGerman Fiske the Bloody, a title earned as one of the survivors of the Siege of Seahelm, is one of Haense’s most effective company leaders, having been known for his brutality. He led the vanguard during the Riga War and Krajian Rebellion, as well as throughout the Anarchy of Oren, where he gained a reputation of combat prowess. Following his death, he left his family at its peak as Margraves of Vasiland, as well as one of the only non-Karovic families to be invited to duma. As mentioned, he was called ‘Fiske the Bloody’ for his valor at the Seahelm in the Avarite theater. --- LERALD VAR TEODOR VYRONOV Lerald Vyronov | Flapman Commander of the Carnatian Hussars under Jan Kovachev, Lerald worked his way from his position as serf to a peer of the realm, serving loyally to his realm and gaining the fief of Rytsborg. He fought throughout the Eighteen Years’ War and the Anarchy, later retiring following the coronation of Petyr Barbanov. --- ULRIK VAR ULRIK TIBERAN Ulric Tiberan | Giambro No child in Haense has not heard at least one of the tales of Ulric Tiberan, one of Haense’s most famous knights. Known for his acts of bravery and his slaying of the Dragon Toruug, he has become a local legend to the poorer classes. In his life, he served under the Carnatian Hussars, seeing battle from White Mountain to the Siege of Dunland. His stories are collected in the novels known as the ‘Trials of Ulric’, though there is some variation. He is commonly pictured with two talking crows, named ‘Alvin’ and ‘Darren’, who guide him (and sometimes hinder him) to his next goal. --- ARIK VAR CARR COLBORN Eirik Colborn | Julius55 One of the successors to Carr’s fortune, Eirik Colborn continued his father’s legacy within the mercantile businesses. He founded the colony of Metterden in Erochland following the Peace of Avar and organized a rapid colonization of the Eroch River Valley. Eirik later served under Petyr Barbanov during the Riga War, helping rebuild much of the lost infrastructure after the Anarchy. For his wealth, he was known as ‘Eirik the Rich’. --- RICKARD VAN WOLDIZMIR Rickard Barrow | Arkydog A bastard of lowly origin, though it did not stop him in becoming of the most influential Haeseni politicians. He served as first Palatine to King Petyr, and he laid the foundations of Haeseni administration which continue to present day. He followed a strict policy of land colonization, coining the term ‘Haseni Destiny’, standing for the ideology of full highlander colonization of the hinterlands in its entirety. He oversaw the first royal capital of Karlsborg and the palace of Ottostadt, which became the seat of the royal family. Rickard was also well known in his martial talent, and saw intensive action during the Riga War, and become one of the fiercest proponents for total annexation of the former Duchy of Courland. --- KARL VAR PETYR BARBOV Karl Sigmar Barbanov | Birdnerdy Karl Sigmar became his eldest brother’s Palatine following the latter’s coronation, and he continued his predecessor Rickard’s policies of colonial expansion and centralization. However, when King Andrik II rebelled shortly from Oren and later was forcefully abdicated, Karl was placed as regent for the babe King Marius. In the shambles Karl attempted to rebuild, though the now restless nobility splintered, and Karl became vilified. The nobility pushed hard against his attempts at a centralized army, and when Marius finally came of age, Karl Sigmar left his office in shame. Despite the unpopularity of his attempted policies, they would be continued by his successors in the string of Bihar Palatines, and his ideological thought became the basis for his son’s Biharism during the reign of King Stefan and the Ottovars. --- JULIYA VAS PETYR BARBOV Julia Barbanov | DreamInSpace If there was one-person King Marius always listened to, it was his aunt Julia, who maintained a strong influence over his life. She, along with her good sister Reza, maintained the royal court during the regency and continued to do so well into the reign of her nephew. Julia also painted numerous canvas and scenes, which are displayed in the Royal Haeseni Guild of Art. --- BRANIMAR VAR FISKE VANIR Brynden Vanir | assassinofawsome The good-brother then good-uncle to the King of Haense, the Margrave of Vasiland rose rapidly through the court. He eventually reached the rank of Grand Commandant of the armed force, though because he was picked more from nepotism than true skill, his inefficient leadership weakened the army. By the time of the First Northern War, the Haeseni military was ill-prepared to face the coming battles. After the war, he was captured, where he died in captivity in the court of Aleksandria. --- TATIANA VAS PETYR BARBOV Tatiana Barbanov | Starry Tatiana had married Branimar, one of her brother’s chiefest supporter, and it was to her which kept the remnants of the Andrivist party in line with the crown. Later in life, she remarried to the elder Lord Viktor, sparking short controversy. She was known for her stitching and drawings, with many of her works displayed in the Royal Haeseni Guild of Art. --- SERGEY VAR JAN KOVACHEV Sergei Kovachev | NJBB During King Andrik II’s short rebellion of the Deep Cold Uprising, Sergey stood as the uncontested leader of the Imperial faction within Haense, and rallied loyalists to his cause. He single-handedly marched into Karlsborg during the chaos, forcing Andrik’s abdication and flight, before having his captured by the remnants of his father’s Carnatian Hussars. Even through this strong show of power, he resumed an alliance with the royalists under Palatine Lukas, forming coalition against the squabbling Andrivists under Branimar Vanir. Sergey’s death upset the balance of the Haeseni court, and many attributes his early demise to one of the factors in Haeseni military defeats during the Coalition Wars. For his use of stealth and hit-and-run tactics in the Anarchy, he was referred to by the soldiery as the ‘Ghost of Turov’. --- REZA VAS SERGEY KOVACHEV Reza Elizaveta Kovachev | marques Daughter of the powerful lord Sergey and shortly queen to Andrik II, Reza spent most of her life as Queen-Mother to Marius. However, she set the role as consort and matriarch within the royal family, establishing numerous courtly customs which are followed to this today. To the female body, she became a role-model for the epitome Haeseni lady. --- MARKUS VAR HEKTOR LOTHSTON Markus Lothston | Legoman Markus Lothston, though kinsman to the Brawms, fought for the Kingdom of Haense during the Hounden’s Rebellion, acting as one of King Marius’ commanders on the field. After the short and bloody conflict, Markus served as King Marius’ personal champion. He followed his king into exile and continued to serve the court-in-exile faithfully. He was known far and wide for his skill at the sword, and he was known in life as ‘Markus the Mutt’. --- LUKAS VAR BRITANUS VANIR Lukas Vanir | Pureimp10 Serving as Palatine during the later years of King Marius, he performed numerous capital and law reforms, though was cut short following the Coalition Wars. Forced into exile along with the rest of the royal court, Lukas worked as an author in philosophy, specifically the school of Political Lukasism, and the concept of the ‘Greater Man’. His status left him as a cultural symbol for the occupied nation, and many of his works were smuggled in secret to the native Haeseni population. For his erudite nature, he is commonly referred to as ‘Lukas the Learned’. --- STEFAN VAR KARL BIHAR Stefan Aleksandr Bihar | cruzazul8 Stefan came ahead as the leader of the Royalists following the pseudo-exile of his father, effectively leading a coalition with the Sergeyists. He was the greatest advocate for first action against Courland, and maintained a heated rivalry with Lord Branimar, serving Grand Commandant at the time. Stefan was killed at the Battle of Elba, creating an unavoidable power vacuum in the royal court. --- OSGOD VAR JESPER COLBORN Osgod Colborn | Birdnerdy Osgod Colborn served Haense since the beginnings of the Riga War, and continued to serve well into the years of King Marius. He held commands during the Krajian Rebellion and was one of the Royalist most veteran soldiers at the time. --- DIEDRIK VAN FLOTZAM Diedrik Barrow | Knox A former burgher, he rose through the bureaucratic ranks of the royal state by sheer cunning, becoming one of the leading officials in Marius’ court. Diedrik maintained an underground smuggling syndicate during his tenure as Auditor, using his position to repossess noble land to return to crown control or his personal management. When his assassination of a heartlander prince came to light however, Diedrik was forced to resign and later executed. --- BLAKTON VAR GREGOR ALVITZ Blaxton Alwyn | Marquisalex Blaxton emerged as a knight under the Amador family, operating as a successful bureaucrat and diplomat in their court. He owned multiple companies in the lands of Haense, Mardon, and Pruvia, and began a tradition of warm relations between Pruvia and his home. His works of Memoirs of Alwyn Blaxton has made him of critical historical importance, chronicling a period of lessened literary creation. --- ALISTAR VAR HEKTOR WAILER Alistair Wailer | Flooptroop Alistair led the contingent garrisoning Ottostadt for a short duration, before and after serving as knight in the royal court and proficient swordsman. He also created poetry, publishing numerous works under the alias ‘Chad the Mad’. His greatest work, Ehr Nau, became adapted to the Haeseni royal anthem in the early 1600’s. Alistair’s skill in verse earned him the moniker ‘Alistair the Poet’. --- OTTO VAR ARIK BARUEK Otto Marius Baruch | Kiwikilla Baruch in the Kingdom of Haense up to the Coalition Wars was of middling influence, owning poor estates scattered upon the Shattered Coast. Following Haense’s defeat, Baruch remained from the exodus of higher nobility, and retained their fortresses following occupation. It was thanks to Otto Marius, the Count of Ayr, who first brought together many of the minor Haeseni lordlings into rebellion, leading by example during the Standoff at Ayr. --- HARREN VAN METTERDEN Harren of Metterden | Seannie22 A veteran soldier under the Metterden garrison, the regency of the Count of Metterden left him de facto in control of the affairs of the estate. Along with the Count of Ayr and numerous families, he led the successful Greyspine Uprising, returning the King of Haense to the throne and the land returned to royal control. Harren, however, favored the Count of Metterden as the potential sovereign, and the election of Stefan made him leave the realm. He served in the Imperial Court later in his life and eventually rose to the prestigious position of Archchancellor, where he held a staunch rivalry with King Stefan. For his reputed strength, he is commonly referred to as ‘Harren the Hardy’. --- ARIK VAR HOGMUND RUTHERN Arik Ruthern | Birdnerdy The Greyspine Uprising attracted many mercenaries to each side, and the Ruthern clansman dared not pass up a moment such as it. Arik led the band known as the Black Company, which operated in great success in the Rothsvald against the occupiers. In its aftermath, he struck a deal with the royal-candidate Stefan Barbanov for support in exchange for the County of Metterden, to which he upset the Ruthern political clique by his vocal support during the duma. --- NIKOLAS VAR PETYR RYKOV Nikolai Rykov | maxgemini Nikolai Rykov was Arik’s right-hand man and helped pacify both Metterden and dissenters during Arik’s accession. Following the settlement of Alban, Nikolas took the cloth and was quickly raised to the position of Archbishop of Jorenus. --- JAKOB VAR JAN MADONVIK Jakob Macdonough | Doggedwasupxxx Many have seen the works of Jakob Macdonough, and for his time he was one of the most prolific painters in both Haense and Oren. He has created numerous works, such as ‘The Spanking of Staunton’ and ‘Joys to the Boys of the Rothswald’. Jakob later served politically following his uncle’s selection as Palatine of the Duma, where he succeeded him for three weeks. --- JAN VAR THORMUND OTHAMAN Jan Othaman – H.P. Owyn II | eddywilson2 Othaman, a clergyman, rose to the position of Archbishop of Jorenus then to the throne of the Vicar of God, where he attempted to mend the schism plaguing the church. On a diplomatic mission, however, he was killed by fanatical schismists, becoming a martyr of the faith. --- ANDREY VAR SERGEY KOVACHEV Andrey Kovachev | Soulstrung Following the disastrous Battle of Elba, Andrey was appointed command over the Haeseni military, and took position at Vasiland. He failed, however, in stopping the enemy advance, and the Siege of Vasiland was yet another defeat. He re-emerged a decade after and launched the unsuccessful Horseman's Revolt, which attempted to make Carnatia an independent estate. Andrey, along with his rebel kinsmen, were later killed by Qali mercenaries in the Battle of Carsaca. For his hot temperament, he was called ‘Andrey the Wroth’. --- FREDRIK VAR ODRIN PRUSEN Frederick Augustus Preussen | Dabliusmaximus During both the short reign of Petyr II and the accession of King Stefan, the Prince of Pruvia held vast influence over the king, as well as naming him heir to the large sum known as the Pruvian Inheritance. This, and his willingness to grant trading privileges to the Haeseni trading clans of Amador and Alwyn, Haense experienced an economic boom following its restoration. --- HENRIK VAR KARL BIHAR Heinrik Otto Bihar | Flooptroop Following Haense’s restoration, Heinrik became the new leader of the Royalist faction and took up the mantle as Palatine like his kin before him. Through clever tactics and pacification of a now weakened nobility, Henrik accomplished what his father failed. Henrik’s policies and ideology became known as the chief thought of Biharism- doctrine agrarianism with strong crown authority. He worked efficiently as both a diplomat and a steward and reinvigorated a stagnating Haeseni bureaucracy. Through his tireless work, Alban rebuilt itself from a war camp to a capital, and his plans and designs for Alban were later carried on by the later authorities constructing the later capital of Markev. In his career he stopped many decadent procedures in the Haeseni court, and so he commonly referred to as ‘Henrik the Humble’. Following his death, he was canonized by the Church of the Canon as Saint Henricus of Haense. --- ALESSA VAS ELIZAVETA GRENDOK Alessa Grendock | Eagles Though history is not alien to warrior-women, Alessa emerged not only as a successful fight but also commander, leading successfully time and time again in the heat of battle. For her service, she was raised as a Baroness and Lady Peer, though continued her command of the Haeseni cavalry contingent for decades. The tallest mountain in the Yahtl Wastes, Mount Grendock, is named in her honor. --- FORDSEN VAR EKKARD KYNGSTON Fordson Kyngston | Devland Fordsen joined the court with his brother, being appointed numerous governorships throughout the kingdom and eventually receiving the position of Palatine for a brief few years. He was the main architect for palace of Esenstadt, as well as numerous manors and estates for the nobility, and his style, known as Kyngstonian Architecture, has become a point of study for aspiring royal engineers, and much of his work can be seen today. --- ANTON VAR EKKARD KYNGSTON Anton Kyngston | QuackerCracker Along with his brother, Anton joined the royal court in Alban and served first as a courtier, then later enlisting the armed forces, where he reached position of commandant later in his life. He also served as maer for the capital numerous times, helping violently suppress the turmoil of the Ale Riots of the 1620s. --- JOSEF VAN ALBAN Josef Baldemar - H.P. Everard IV | Piov Josef began his career as a peasant parishioner in the poor Alban diocese, and eventually rose to the seat as Vicar of God. Though his extensive charity work and preaching in the wooden capital of Alban, Josef created a powerful network of allies and contacts within the secular world and the papal court. When he eventually rose the seat of the pontificate, he brought peace following the Adelburg Coup, and re-established a position of clerical authority throughout the land. Following his death, he was canonized in the Church of the Canon as High Pontiff Saint Everardus Quartus. --- KOLTAIN VAR PIPI WICK Coltaine Wick | Hurferdurfer Coltaine belonged to the mysterious Wick clan, which rose sharply to prominence following the accession of King Stefan. He established to the first Magi Circle within Haense, constructing universities to teach theology and the arcane arts. However, in the peak of his power, he was assassinated and replaced by a supernatural entity, which was quickly destroyed by the very magi he created. During his life, he published numerous journals over his extensive studies on the arcane, including the famous Dialectics, which has become an important collection in arcane education. For his mastery of the arcane arts, he was known in life as ‘Coltaine the Elder’. --- JAN VAR KOLTAIN WICK John Wick | Kav Though the son of the famed Magi Coltaine, John pursued a career in the army. He is most famous for his brutal suppression of the numerous Ale Riots of the 1620s and became infamous for his vicious treatment of dissenters against the crown. He, along with his father, was assassinated and replaced by a supernatural entity, where he was swiftly destroyed by Haeseni magi. John was also remembered for his work in exploring the deepest part of the hinterlands called the Yahtl Wastes. For his womanizing ways and his charming looks, the court referred to him as ‘John the Handsome’ or ‘John the Pretty’. --- CULLEN VAR CULLEN VALREIN Cullen Valerin | Blago During the strike of the Metterden veterans, many lowborns rose quickly in the lack of a true officer core, including Cullen. He came quickly into the light of the royal court following his successful command against pagan raiders to the east, and he eventually rose the primacy rose as Commandant. During Otto II’s military reforms, however, Cullen was dismissed, and he retired to the countryside. For his stoic ways, he was known as ‘Cullen the Stern’. --- PETYR VAN ALRICZAN Petyr Barrow | _Gridlock Another veteran of the Black Company, Petyr served under the Palatine Henrik as a personal guard, where he performed numerous acts in service of the crown. He is most famous for being the suspected assassin of the unpopular consort Elizabeth of Courland, as well as being participant and leader of the Three Hand Plot, a conspiracy to assassinate King Stefan. --- SIGMAR VAR OTTO BARBOV Siegmar Otto Barbanov | Blauschlong The second son of Otto II, Siegmar studied in the burgeoning arcane arts, under the tutelage of the master magi Coltaine the Elder. He wrote numerous papers on his studies, mostly over the art of golemancy, and perfected the method of creation known as ‘Sigmarization’. Siegmar also hand a penchant for painting, and created numerous portraits of the royal family and the Karovic household, now maintained by the Royal Haeseni Guild of Art. --- KRISTOFF VAR SALDEMAR STAFYR I GRAUSPIN Kristoff Stafyr | Edel Kristoff was a minor lordling of middling estates of the ancient lineage of Stafyr, and served under the governments of Palatines Henrik Bihar and Josef van Alban in the position of ambassador and later emissary. He wrote numerous political treatises on diplomacy and state affairs, his most famous being Vayrkilar, detailing philosophically the concept of 'fair exchange' or 'geltostrin' and his controversial criticism of the imperial economy of the time. --- RUSLAN VAR ODRIN AMADOR Ruslan Amador | Xarkly Descended from the Amador banking clan, Ruslan continued the family tradition and maintained once again the Royal Amador Bank- the chief banking authority within the Kingdom of Haense. Ruslan was elevated to Steward and Auditor during the reign of Otto III, where he oversaw the construction of the planned capital of Markev. He maintained his grip upon the national reserves for all his life, serving till the death of Karl II. For his risky yet successful business choices, his peers called him ‘Ruslan the Ready’. --- BERENGAR VAR REINHOLT HELVETZ Berengar Helvets | Abeam1 Berengar ascended rapidly through the Haeseni military under Otto II and Otto III, achieving the prestigious rank of Grand Commandant by the end of his tenure. He was known for his quick wit and successes in the open field. After his service in the military, he retired to the colony of Otistadt, where he served as elder and maer till his death. --- INGRID VAS ADRIAN SARKOZ I ULGAARD Ingrid Sarkozic-Ulgaard | Tarrebear Perhaps the most beloved queen of the commoners, Queen Ingrid did her duties diligently as consort to Otto III. Following the example of her former peer Reza, she reinstated many traditional Haeseni customs back into court life, in addition to proficient diplomatic work with neighboring powers. The commoners referred to her as ‘Ingrid the Good’. --- JAN VAR ODRIN AMADOR Jack Amador - H.P. Clement III | bromodan Successor to Everard IV and of Haeseni stock, Jack was known for his humility and piety, yet clear bias towards the Kingdom of Haense. He wrote numerous papers upon different Haeseni saints, collected in the book ‘Yekilonsant’. --- GERALD VAR LERALD RAUEN Geralt Rauen | Pureimp10 A career soldier of Haeseni military, Geralt is well-known for several numerous victories on the field during the later reign Otto III, successfully commanding both the Second Battle of Stallion’s Hill and the Battle of the Dam. However, following setbacks as the conflict progressed and his main patron and liege Otto III dead, Geralt resigned. After the army, he settled deep into the hinterlands and Yahl, where he founded numerous trading posts and villages, including Geraltikev, Maristadt, and Tovikev. --- WULFREY VAR WULFREY SKARPEFANGER Wulffrey Skarpefanger | Wulfrey A settler of Gorundyr descent, Wulffrey Skarpefanger was an officer-favorite during his service in the Haeseni military during Otto III and recruited heavily to maintain manpower during conflicts on the River Czena. Later in his life, he led a colonization effort deeper into the River Czena valley, forming the trading post of Aberrang. Wulffrey was the most adamant in the conflicts in the inner hinterlands, most importantly against a body known as the Vaeyl- a group of supernatural entities, which squabble upon rightful Haeseni clay. The Personification of Haense = | = What truly is Sacrifice? Is it a personal burden each man must carry? Perhaps tis’ permanent or a moment in life that must be given once, or twice, or thrice? A punishment for our greed, and avarice? Is it with the grain or contrary? What truly is Sacrifice? A response to every human vice? Is there only one thing to give or does it vary? Perhaps tis’ permanent or a moment in life that must be given once, or twice, or thrice? Is it esoteric or precise? The focus of life or ancillary? What truly is Sacrifice? Oh creator what is the price? Simply a way to keep us warry? Perhaps tis’ permanent or a moment in life that must be given once, or twice, or thrice? How does one open the doors to paradise? On this I shall wonder till my body they bury. What truly is Sacrifice? Perhaps tis’ permenant or a moment in life that must be given once, or twice, or thrice? -Alistar Wailer, 1580
  14. What’s Under the Under-Realm? by Burnsy In a small, musty storage room at the entrance to the mines within the halls of Kal’Varoth, a group of eight dwarves stand around a table in the center of the room in total silence. Various pieces of well-kept mining equipment are organized by shelf, but the dwarves are already outfitted in their own personal equipment. The echoes of hammers clanging on black iron, and the crackling of the fires in the forges can be heard; however, the typical hustle and energy of life in the Under-Realm of Urguan is absent in this compact storage room. The dwarves standing around the table study a map of the known tunnels in the Under-Realm, but they plan to venture deeper than any map could take them. The previous day, whilst working deep in the mines, a clan elder and his beardling happened to break into an uncharted section of the cave. The Grand Prospector, Dwarger Silvervein, was informed by the elder, and so he dispatched a crew of highly experienced miners to chart the new system. Any changes in the known cave system could pose a threat to the safety of the Under-Realm, as nobody knows what could be lurking deep within Arcas. Because of this potential danger, only the best would dare take up the challenge of exploring the vast subterranean maze. All the dwed standing in the storage room understood that even the slightest mistake could mean the cave becoming a crypt for them all. After the last of the crew had arrived in the storage room, a final check was conducted to ensure all present were ready for the expedition. With the preparations complete, the crew began their journey deep into the mines of the Under-Realm. The trip took the dwed through massive caverns filled with a multitude of scaffolding and machines used by the general mine workers; however, the presence of other dwarves became less and less apparent as the crew went deeper. Finally, the dwed reached the breach discovered by the elder and beardling, and so they entered. The sounds of the city of Kal’Varoth had long since faded away, and now the only noise present was the gentle dripping of water from overhead stalagmites. Torches carried by the crew of dwed reflected off the untouched walls of the cavern; gemstones and ores projected beautiful red, blues, and greens off the cavern walls. The dwed marched on in silence, knowing they were venturing into darkness that rivaled even the deepest caves the city of Kal’Azgaryum had to offer. The subterrestrial voyagers continued down through the winding passageways and enormous chambers, keeping their eyes sharp for any sign of danger, and marking their personal maps to compare at the end of the voyage. At the far end of a particularly large chamber, the dwarves were stunned by the presence of a thick, silvery moss that seemed to sprout out of the wall. It coated a majority of the back wall, and there was neither an apparent source of water, nor a way around. The leader of the expedition ordered two of the dwarves to draw their axes and inspect the moss as the rest of the group provided adequate light. The two axe-wielding dwed prodded cautiously at the moss with their axes before taking a hefty swing each into the silvery barrier of moss. The axes dug into the moss, and together the two dwed were able to remove a sizeable patch from the wall. Before the dwed now stood another passageway even deeper into the mine. The entrance was blacker than the smoke of the coal fires that raged within the forges of Kal’Varoth. The crew of dwed stood frozen in front of the entrance as a gentle breeze caressed their beards. As the breeze faded, the deafening silence of the chamber became apparent, as not even the sound of dropping water could be heard. The crew then carried on through the breach, torches and axes drawn. Not a single dwed would dare admit to his fear of what could be in the tunnels, but the strained breathing of everyone present spoke the words the dwed could not. Many times in the past had dwedmar run into horrible beings residing deep underground, and many times before had there been great loss of life due to the beasts that resided in the shadows of the caverns the dwedmar called home. The crew found themselves in a narrow passageway, covered top to bottom in the same moss they had broken through a moment ago, but there was yet to be an indication of any waterways this deep. As the dwarves progressed further down the passageway, small buds began appearing on the moss, dotting the walls and ceiling of the passage. One of the dwarves tapped a bud with his axe and picked it off the wall. Upon inspection, the bud showed nothing of interest, almost as if it could belong to a regular flower on the surface. After what seemed like an eon of walking down the long passageway, the company of dwarves stopped for a small rest. The dwarves sat eating small provisions they had packed for the journey, making sure to keep torches around the passage to ensure they would not be interrupted in the middle of their meal. After finishing up their allotted provisions, the crew began assembling their gear to continue forward. The gentle rustling of rucksacks being packed and closed was interrupted by the clatter of a small rock knocked down the passageway by one of the crew. The rock tumbled down into the endless darkness, the sounds echoing back until a small splash cut off the echoes entirely. The company headed further to inspect the source of the splash. The buds that had been dotting the passageway now gave way to dazzling jade colored flowers, a very faint glow surrounded each of the flowers, but before any of the dwed could further inspect the strange below ground blossoms the sound of rushing water filled everyone’s ears. What waited for the dwarves at the end of the seemingly endless passageway was an underground river. It intersected the narrow passageway, and ran down into an even deeper section of the cave out of the sight of the dwarves. The water came from under a wall to the right of the passageway, but the water was clearly too deep for the crew to safely traverse. Despite numerous attempts at lighting the way, the dwarves failed to see past the edge of the water; darkness swallowed any light past the river. The dwarves had struck a dead end. The company stood befuddled at the presence of a waterway so deep. One dwarf knelt down and ran their hand through the water. It glistened in the light of the torches, and was so pure and calm that the dwarf kneeling down could see his own reflection. It was cool and smooth to the touch, and a sense of calm enveloped the dwarf with his hand in the water. When the dwarf attempted to stand back up, his hand got caught in the water at the wrist as if he got it stuck in a long tube. He pulled harder, but to no avail, his hand remained firmly under the water. Confusion turned to panic as the continued efforts of escape only began dragging the dwarf along with the current. Other members of the company attempted to pull their companion back to safety, but the current only began picking up, roaring louder and louder until getting to such a point that the dwarf whose hand was stuck in the water was ripped down the waterway into a blanket of blackness. Not even a scream could be heard from down the waterway as the dwarves stood in awe at what they had witnessed. The current calmed down once again, and the company was left one member short, and devoid of a rational explanation for what they had just experienced.
  15. The Armitage Institute of medicine and warfare -Story -Programs and study's -Training -Roles -Secrecy of its study’s -Joining _______ ___________ Story 2nd of Snow's Maiden, 1708 Kuvira Percy, the first CEO of the institute founded it on the 2nd of Snow's Maiden 1708 with the kind help and funding of a steward of Adria and Olbrecht Von Denhardt. At that day the Institute of biological warfare. viruses, mutational modification and medicine was born. Otherwise known as The Armitage Institute. The CEO is a master in the study of all previously mentioned topic's. Studies -Biological warfare: This is the study of all living things. The institute makes sure none of these things rise to power outside of the Homo sapiens. They do this with other living things. -Virus: This is the study of all topic's related to bacteria or virus, certain pathogens are also treated within this study. Certain developed viruses will also be for sale, the Institute will have the only cure unless told otherwise. -Mutational modification: This is the study of all mutations, That means that the Flora and Fauna belong to this category. If a certain creature wants a modification to its body they need only come to The Armitage Institute and pay for the (X) modification. Then the process will continue and the creature will have the modification. -Medicine: This is the study of healing, The common healers would do good to come here so they can come to know more. Training The Armitage institute uses its variety of toxins and poison in warfare and matters that would go out of its guidelines. One may choose to become a master of the institute's arts of warfare. The institute has enough experience to utilize those toxins and poisons within an instance if needed, each trainee that finishes training will get a set of toxins and poisons. Every person who acquired this set might use if for everything that the person desires. The consequences are to be made by the guards if discovered using the set. The Enforcers will also be set to hunt the criminal down and execute their punishment as well. Defense of Arcas The Armitage Institute will use these studies to defend Arcas. Biological warfare will face the threat of creatures. The Virus department will deal with all bacteria and virus-related threats. The Mutant department will deal with all supernatural threats that Arcas throws at it. The Medicinal department will focus on healing Arcas in said circumstances. Roles Several roles are within the thick walls of the institute this is the small summary of those roles (others can still be added). -CEO -executive -Enforcer -Teachers -Students -Researchers Secrecy of study's Any of The Institute's enforcers or students that spill their knowledge about their study will be punished by that department, example: Kuvira told Henry how the rats inside the institute are mutated, Kuvira will then be punished with said rats until the message is clear. If the punished creature is then again proved to spill, more severe punishments will be allowed. ((OOC)) Name: Age: Discord: ((IG)) Name: Race: Age: Interested in a study: (desired role)
  16. Aylwin Blaxton (Naumarian: Alvin Blakton) was a Haeseni courtier and diplomat serving the majority of the life under the service of the Amador family, as well as numerous ambassador positions. He is most notable for his ‘Memoirs of Aylwin Blaxton’, an autobiographical account of his life. His memoirs record a typically shunned part of history, revealing the complicated political scene of the Marian court and the struggles and exploits of the Haeseni émigrés during the Coalition Wars and brief occupation period. Later in his life, Aylwin settled in Pruvia and retained high positions in the principality and died shortly before the Pruvian Inheritance to King Stefan of Haense. (OOC: Full credit to @MarquisAlex who wrote all of this, posting this for easier access. Links to his originals below: https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/157760-the-memoirs-of-aylwin-blaxton-book-1/?tab=comments#comment-1492858 https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/157915-the-memoirs-of-aylwin-blaxton-book-2/ https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/158112-the-memoirs-of-aylwin-blaxton-book-3/ https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/158744-the-memoirs-of-aylwin-blaxton-book-4/ https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/158822-the-memoirs-of-aylwin-blaxton-book-5/ https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/159307-the-memoirs-of-aylwin-blaxton-book-6/ https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/161235-the-memoirs-of-aylwin-blaxton-book-7/ https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/157760-the-memoirs-of-aylwin-blaxton-book-8/ ) --- THE MEMOIRS OF AYLWIN BLAXTON WRITTEN BY THE HAND OF AYLWIN BLAXTON PUBLISHED BY HIEROMAR LUDOVAR THE ELDER, SSE --- BOOK I BOOK II BOOK III BOOK IV BOOK V BOOK VI BOOK VII BOOK VIII
  17. THE SIGMUNDIC CALENDAR The Sigmundic Calendar derives from the historic calendar and time-keeping of the ancient Highlander tribes, used in variation by the Raevir, Hansetian, and fellow peoples (though under different names). The Common and Imperial Calendars came to supersede it in usage by northern statesmen and scholars, and while the Sigmundic Calendar is rarely used in everyday use, it is still maintained in traditional, liturgical, and some scholastic functions. The year-dating by the ascension of the Prophet Sigmund, known as Ehr Sigmunda, is a more contemporary invention and is commonly used in place of the Anno Oreniae of imperial calendars. A single year is split into fourteen equal months, and those months are categorized into four seasons, known as fasts. The fasts (Gomesvey, Skepyr, Lejz, and Wilfulle) are dictated by the migration of the birds, and so are split themselves into ‘quick’ fasts (Skepyr and Wilfulle) and ‘slow’ fasts (Gomesvey and Lejz), where the ‘quick’ fasts are when birds are moving the most, while the ‘slow’ fasts are when they move the least. Each month is assigned a patron bird, used commonly as a good-luck symbol by those born to them. Month Conversion Snow’s Maiden - Wzuvar and Byvca Horen’s Welcome - Jula and Piov First Seed - Vzmey and Hyff Grand Harvest - Gronna and Droba Sun’s Smile - Tov and Yermey Amber Cold - Msitza and Dargund Deep Cold - Joma and Umund Months of the Canonical Year Wzuvar - Mejeni Redpoll Byvca - Bogdan’s Warbler Jula - Dove Piov - Hummingbird Vzmey - Atheran Kestrel Hyff - Pine Robin Gronna - Northern Bluebird Droba - Purple Finch Tov - Golden-caped Crow Yermey - Waldenian Sparrow Msitza - Five-feathered Magpie Dargund - Northern Swallow Joma - Blackbird Umund - Yatl Tern Fasts of the Canonical Year Gomesvey - Wzuvar, Byvca, and Jula Skepyr - Piov, Vzmey, Hyff, and Gronna Lejz - Droba, Tov, and Yermey Wilfulle - Msitza, Dargund, Joma, and Umund --- SIGMUNDIC YEAR SYSTEM In the modern Sigmundic Calendar, the year count is based on the date of the Final Revelation of the Prophet Sigmund (Year 1447 in imperial calendars). Years after that date are marked ‘Year of Sigmund’ or ‘Ehr Sigmunda’ (abbreviated as ES), while years before marked ‘Before the Year of Sigmund’ or ‘Aestehr Sigmunda’ (abbreviated as AES). Year 336 = 336 - 1447 = 1111 AES Year 1447 = 1447 - 1447 = 0 ES (Revelation of Sigismund) Year 1693 = 1693 - 1447 = 246 ES Year 1707 = 260 ES --- THE HAESENI ZODIAC The Haeseni Zodiac is a collection of six constellations (plus the Moon) assigned to two months of the calendar, and is commonly used to predict the temperament and behavior of children born in its time-frame. Each sign is symbolized by a mythological creature or founder, and aside from the moon, carries a set of relationships with its peers. THE MOON | Wzuvar and Byvca [Snow’s Maiden] Nikul, the Silver Moon The son of the solar rays, who taught the Highlanders the ways of the harvest and the hunt, and how to construct the first fires. However, when he father saw this, he cursed the Highlanders with burnt skin when faced under his gaze for too long, and forced Nikul to appear for only half the day. Those born under his sign are known for their jovial and overall content nature, aiming to please those around them, but are hard think for themselves and easily manipulated. Ally - None Rival - None --- THE QUEEN | Jula and Piov [Horen’s Welcome] Morrighein, Lady of the Moon Morrighein, the mythical queen of the hinterlands, who waged a fifty-year war against the vile Mali’Dun and led another fifty-year golden age. When her son was captured in battle by her elven enemies, she offered herself in sacrifice for his life. Those born under her sign are traditionally held as leaders, altruistic and selfless to an extreme, and rarely carrying the same regard to their own health and wellbeing. Ally - The Giant Rival - The Wopperklaw --- THE CROW | Vzmey and Hyff [First Seed] Gorm, the Three-Eyed Crow When the mighty glaciers melted at the Great Torrent, the Three-Eyed Crow guided the Highlanders into the newly-formed valley. Yet when they looked to the specifics where to settle for their tribes, Gorm could not answer, and the people divided and fought over the new land. Those born under his sign are known for their sageness, wisdom, and capability for abstract thinking, yet inaction, procrastination, and their own self-questioning rules their mind and heart. Ally - The Wopperklaw Rival - The Wyrm --- THE WYRM | Gronna and Droba [Grand Harvest] Garundonrech, the Worm Lord The great Worm Lord ruled the under-earth for centuries, his ambition knowing no bounds as he conquered relentlessly with his great armies of mice-men. However, in his madness, he aimed to rule the volcanoes, and died when trying to enter its magma core. Those born under his sign are known for their ambition and spontatunity, bold in their beliefs, yet their stubbornness and lack of forethought to many make them dangerous and unpredictable. Ally - The Drake Rival - The Crow --- THE GIANT | Tov and Yermey [Sun’s Smile] Osbjor, Champion of the Giants The chief of the legendary Gauntr, who taught the Highlanders the way of honored battle, considered the patron of Highlander ‘chivalry’. His great rivalry with Frysklund is recited in countless ballads, ending in the fantastical Dual of the Delung which culminated in both their deaths. Those born under his sign are traditionally known for their honor and loyalty, though are unable to look past their idealistic and cherried views of the world. Ally - The Queen Rival - The Drake --- THE WOPPERKLAW | Msitza and Dargund [Amber Cold] Koltin, the Cursed Magus The court-magus of the legendary king Joren, whose knowledge helped construct the first great Highlander cities. Yet when he saw to learn beyond the mortal world, he was tricked by the demons of the Void and turned in the twisted wopperklaw. Those born under his sign are known for their curiosity and tolerance in the unknown around them, though lacking in loyalty and deviant in social norms. Ally - The Crow Rival - The Queen --- THE DRAKE | Joma and Umund [Deep Cold] Frysklund, the Northern Drake While it was the giants who taught the Highlanders the ways of combat, it was the fierce and cunning Northern Drake who bestowed them the knowledge of strategy. For centuries he ruled the land from the mountains, but fell in the Dual of the Delung when betrayed by his son for five golden thistles. Those born under his sign are known for their cunning and wise-planning, though are mostly feared and disliked for their perceived cutthroat and treacherous nature. Ally - The Wyrm Rival - The Giant
  18. Alister Wailer (Naumarian: Alistar Vailer) was a Haeseni courtier, poet, and knight in the service of Kings Petyr I, Andrik II, and Marus I, and one of the most famous of the Haeseni Stranniks (poet-knights) of the Johannian Era. Much of his works, many unpublished in his notes, were lost following the Fall of Karlsburg in the First Northern War (including his lost epic poem, the Mariad), though the collection that survive have remained a cornerstone of Haeseni literary and poetic tradition. Alister died following the Battle of Elba due to an infected arrow-wound, and was one of the few ignoble individuals of the age given a royal funeral by the state. (Ooc: Full credit to @floop who wrote all these, posting so they aren’t lost in the jungle of google docs) --- THE SELECTED WORKS OF ALISTER WAILER WRITTEN BY THE HAND OF ALISTER WAILDER PUBLISHED BY HIEROMAR LUDOVAR THE ELDER, SSE --- SOLDIER’S SONNET When I look out to the North what I see It brings joyous tears to mine wide eyes I will pray the creator hears my plea I will fight and shout to the very skies Creator protect this beautiful land With its Illustrious pines, and frosty air Wise one I beg thee please guide my hand So that I may truly protect its heir From Karlsburg’s stone walls high they stand with might To the wild unkempt untamed Northmarch of freedom The great white expanse will shine gloriously bright Each man with the liberty GOD guaranteed him Loyal golden crows of the north heed my word Loyal golden crows of the north march for’rd --- LIMERICK NO. 1 There was a man from Haense In his **** he did feel pains So he cut it off And now all the ladies scoff It seems they don't want his brains --- A VILLANELLE ON SACRIFICE What truly is Sacrifice? Is it a personal burden each man must carry? Perhaps tis’ permanent or a moment in life that must be given once, or twice, or thrice? A punishment for our greed, and avarice? Is it with the grain or contrary? What truly is Sacrifice? A response to every human vice? Is there only one thing to give or does it vary? Perhaps tis’ permanent or a moment in life that must be given once, or twice, or thrice? Is it esoteric or precise? The focus of life or ancillary? What truly is Sacrifice? Oh creator what is the price? Simply a way to keep us wary? Perhaps tis’ permanent or a moment in life that must be given once, or twice, or thrice? How does one open the doors to paradise? On this I shall wonder till my body they bury. What truly is Sacrifice? Perhaps tis’ permanent or a moment in life that must be given once, or twice, or thrice? --- THE STORY OF WILLIAM BRANDYNUCK I once knew a gambler named William Brandybuck Now Billy Brandynuck had a lot of luck Until one day in the stables a mare did buck I yelled “duck” He yelled “****” And that was the end of Billy Brandybuck --- A POEM FOR THE HIGHLANDS When the sun sets in the west it can warm the coldest heart you see And The heartlanders have their fields and flowers so beautiful, and gay But when I look out at those misty pines I know there is nowhere I’d rather be For the North is my land, and it is so much more than clay The beauty of other regions is ephemeral, oh sadly so But not the glory of Haense, oh no I have felt the North’s pure snow on my shoulder I have been in Haense and felt the frost nip the air With its unparalleled beauty there is nowhere I’d rather grow older Oh yes I have seen Haense and I know I must be there From its misty mountains strong and high To the clear blue northern sky Let the bells of Haense’s freedom ring --- HAIKUS FOR A LOST FRIEND Fur as white as snow A Smile as bright as the sun Gone too soon my friend When my Kingdom comes I will see you there for me On the other side friend The clock of time ticks Oh Until we meet again Reunited my friend --- KING PETYR’S POEM What is the meaning of this loss? Is it a source of sorrow, of inspiration? A bridge together we must cross? A silent shout that echos through our nation? ‘Tis the loss of a father ‘Tis the pain of a daughter ‘Twill bring us farther ‘Twill make us stronger Perhaps it just is That everybody dies But we shall carry the legacy of his Legends live in highlander, hearts, minds, and eyes. --- SONETTA NO. 5 [SONETTA FOR THE SEASONS] Were I to Compare thine beauty to that of a new Spring It would simply be unkind to do the season such a disservice For I have seen you when the flowers bloom, I have seen the luster you bring Oh yes I have seen your stride in the springtime and how you leave the men nervous Shall I compare thine eloquence to the winds of winter? Of course not, for your charisma can not be questioned Oh, your words, the coldest hearts they splinter Clear as ice, pure as snow, for legend they are destined If I were to compare thine wit to the nip of fall It would not be fair, for your mind is sharper than the storms of autumn Tis’ now that I see why you leave them befuddled at every ball Oh When they hear you speak, no man will be able to forget what you taught ‘em Shall I compare thine voice to the tender sunshine of summer? It would not be fair to the season, for in your heart you have the song of the birds My lady I have heard thee sing, and they melody can be matched by no bard, or drummer You have left me awestruck, for in your voice is all is beautiful from poems, to idle words Nay My lady I Shan’t Compare thee to a season, for ephemeral their beauties are Oh yes thine qualities are not so fleeting, truly you are a shining star
  19. EN SENTVORIGEO EDLERVIK ON THE ANCIENT HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDER PEOPLE Written and compiled by BROTHER ALEXANDER OF THE FIVE LAKES, WHO, by the Grace of God, records these notes to chronicle the histories and myths of the Highlander People, to bestow upon future men the knowledge of their blood. May these texts be used for righteous intention, and any who pollute this message be cursed to eternal damnation, with their ashes grinded and discarded. ON THIS DATE 7 SE 1689 - Dedicated to Sofiya, my once love and now angel of the Skies, for which I don this habit and wield this quill. PROLOGUE Years -1000 to 0 TIME BEFORE TIME or The Four Brothers and the Curse of Iblees In a time before the Four Brothers and contemporary civilization, the world was shapeless and boundless, without form or purpose. Before there was man, elf, ork, dwed, there was His aenguls and daemons, who roamed the world freely and without constraint, and His First Beings, those who He had created yet had not granted True Life. The great cohorts of divine aenguls were said to have shaped the world in His Image, creating the mountains and the seas, while God Himself bestowed His Touch upon all corners. He did not stop till fish teamed every sea, till every valley filled with life, and till every mountain laid buried untold treasures. God left the aenguls and daemons to steward the realm as He created it, entrusting them to maintain what He had created. These angelic beings, however, held their own personal desires and ambitions, and while He loved all, these rotten aenguls quarreled unnecessarily. The greatest of rivalries emerged between His two greatest angels, Iblees and Dragur, who carried on year-spanning clashes in the clouds and enslaved mass armies of mortal creatures to attempt to overtake the other. These included the First Beings, man before sapience, who were nothing more than animals prone to crude and bestial desires, and knew not better the machinations of the aenguls. Specifically Iblees, the most vile of the pair, had forced great numbers to fight in slave armies, wantonly destroying all which He had created. This continued for some time till He Returned and saw the destruction wrought by his children. He saw the death of countless of His First Beings and the sin wrought by His celestial children, and so He punished them. Dragur, the more noble of the two, willingly accepted the punishment, but Iblees stubbornly relented, growing jealous of His Power and Majesty. To His First Beings, who ached from pain of countless deaths, He sought to never be pawns of such evil again, and bestowed upon them True Life as He did his angels. He created the First Man and the First Woman, and through them created the Four Perfect- Malianus. Crucus, Urganus, and the greatest of them, Horonius- to lead his nation known as Man. Each was given a fourth of the new people, where they founded the first great cities of the world. The sinful aenguls were instructed to work not above, but below Man, to teach them how to live and be faithful. The aenguls under Dragur taught Man the Flexio tongue, and worked as advisers and teachers. Dragur himself grew a great love for Horonius, who was the quickest of his brothers, and taught him many things, and Horonius would become even His favorite child. All four realms grew immensely, and the mortal beings all prayed and loved God, and paradise was founded upon the earth. Horonius founded the First City which God called Paradisius, and it became the Favorite of God’s People. All of the brothers took massive harems expect Horonius, who took a single wife Julia, the most pious of the women, and had three sons named Aeternus (Harren), Joraenus (Joren), and Gosvenus (Godwin). Iblees was furious to be subjugated to beings he once considered beneath him, and refused in rebellion. God, though His Love is great, could not be idle at the sinful nature of His son Iblees, and cast him out of the Seven Skies to the mortal plane to repent. In secret, Iblees conspired with his legions of unholy aenguls and daemons who were also defiant against Him, chiefest among them being Metizus and Aerial. Disguised as wanderers, the fallen children traveled to each of the four realms, intent on polluting their teachings with sin. To Malianus, who grew tired of each mate He created to sate his drive, they taught the sin of debauchery and sloth, bestowing upon him shameful lust. To Crucus, who grew bored of the mundane trials upon His world, they taught the sin of murder and blood-lust, bestowing upon him a drive of death. And to Urganus, who grew a hunger for power and and the mundane metals of the earth, he taught the sin of greed and envy, bestowing upon him to want nothing but the trivial treasures of the mortal realm. With each one falling prey to the demonic corruption, the realms quickly followed suit, and sin spread across the population like a plague. Iblees and his cohort were able to confront Horonius four times, each with a different coercion. First, they promised Malianus’ passion for the flesh, but Horonius had his wife Julia, and desired no other. Second, they promised Crucus’ passion for death, but Horonius had love for his people, and sought battle only for benefit. And third, they promised Urganus’ passion for wealth, but Horonius had his care for his realm, and desired only the fruitful bounty for his people. Iblees was wicked though clever, and the fourth time offered eternal life. Horonius at first laughed, for he was His creation, and would live eternally in God, yet Iblees continued, and offered it for his children, for he claimed the children were not of His creation but Horonius’, and that they would not be Loved. Horonius still refused, though he came to doubt God, and unknowingly was bestowed the sin of doubt and questioning the Power of God. In his doubt, he prayed, and God answered, sending Horonius to fast upon the Rock of Gamesh. Dragur and his party, including the beings Tersion and Micahelus, visited down from the Seven Skies, and after three days Horonius was given the heavenly laurels as a crown. God gazed upon His creation and saw the sins of Malianus, Crucus, and Urganus and wept, and so Horonius made covenant with God never to stray from His Love as his brothers had. Though in Horonius’ absence his realm came to be infested with unholy sin, and like its sibling tribes, soon became a haven of chaos. Through the guise of man, Iblees preached and taught the ways of wickedness to the pure tribe of Horonius. Julia, who kept the home in the absence, took the most faithful of men and protected the home of their family, and prayed to God for His son’s return. God heard the prayers of Julia and commanded Horonius to return with the aenguls to his decaying city of Paradisius, where he rallied those who had not fallen, including his faithful wife Julia, who eternally remained faith to God and her husband. Horonius gathered what forces were not under the taint of Iblees, and God granted him generalship of the armies upon the earth. For his position, the daemon Garumdus crafted the Great Axe and Sword of Horonius, embedded with divine power of the Skies. He and the faithful men of God cleared the streets of Paradisius of the wicked followers of Iblees, and restored the temple which laid burdened by heathenish false idols. By this time, Iblees had taken control of nearly half the world and wreaked havoc upon the earth below. His army consisted upon legions of fallen aenguls and daemons, who joined Iblees in horrid rebellion, as well as the corrupted tribes of the fallen three brothers.. The remaining aenguls under the cowardly Xanus, who cared not who won but how they would benefit, sat neutral in the conflict much to the displeasure of God. The war began first as daemons under the malicious Metizus attempted to storm the great doors to the Seventh Sky, only for himself to be cast down to the earth after a duel with the warrior-angel Micahelus. On the mortal plane, great battles were fought, and the world shook for months in great earthquakes and floods, as divine manifests clashed in crescendos of power. Entire cities were destroyed in flashes of light, and many people lost their lives in the ensuing fights of mortals and aenguls. Despite the bravery and valiant deeds of Horonius and his tribe, the corrupted forces of Iblees and the twisted clans of his brothers proved too much, and they made a last stand upon the gates of the Seven Skies. Horonius, who still loved his brothers, met them upon the field, and because of his love and wit, convinced the three to turn away from sin, repent, and follow the Way of God. This came a terrible blow to Iblees, and when Horonius began to chant the name of God, the gates of the Skies shuttered open. God Himself, who could not be seen by His sheer power else be blinded by his glorious light, shattered Iblees in a great deal, before grabbing hold of his unholy body and dragging him below. Before he left the earth, however, Iblees uttered a final curse to the people. To Malianus and his people, he cursed with infertility and for their hedonist desires to never be satisfied. To Crucus and the violent warriors, he burned to give them green skin and deformed teeth and an eternal lust for blood. To Urganus and the greedy miners of the mountains, he hammered each to be half-men and cursed with blinding avarice so no amount of gold would fill the void of their hearts. And finally, to the faithful Horonius and his people, he cursed with lives too short to experience the bounties of God, the greatest curse for the most pious of the brothers. These demented curses created the four modern races of man, elf, ork, and dwed. For five days, the world stood in complete twilight, for even the aenguls felt powerless without the presence of God, and the whole world wept in fear. He drug Iblees to the coldest depth, and instead of killing his son, for He Loved him despite such sin, he imprisoned for eternity in repentance. Many aenguls and daemons followed suit, locked in the void as prisoners, and those mortals who continued to follow Iblees despite all that occurred were forced to wander the void, becoming demonic spirits and unholy beasts. God’s Power radiate throughout the void during His five days, and it has remained in the void as pure energy, later to be utilized by magi in the form of magick. On the fifth day, God returned to the Seventh Sky, and the light returned to the world. The aenguls, daemons, and people rejoiced, and those faithful angels returned to the Skies in glorious triumph, where the heavenly halls lit in jovial celebrations. God allowed this for two days, giving us the seven day week, yet on the eighth day he stopped all and doled upon judgement. To the neutral aenguls of Xanus, he banished from the Seven Skies, to always walk the mortal realm or spend their days in the cold reaches of the void. To the three brothers who casted God aside, he did the same, though he bestowed upon them gifts of mortal longevity, as to enjoy the mortal realm till they suffer punishment in eternal solitude. To Horonius and his tribe, which he called Man, he favored as His Chosen People, and while He did not lift the curse of Iblees, instead allowed His Chosen People to walk the Seven Skies as He and His aenguls and daemons do. Horonius was honored, and God bestowed upon him leadership of the world, and the brothers were subservient to him. This grew a great jealousy between the brothers, for they were once equals, but for the coming decades peace was had. Horonius ruled as King of the World, advised by the aenguls Dragur and Tersion, and remained faithful to God. --- CHAPTER I Year 0 FALL OF PARADISIUS or Death of the First Prophet and the Calling of the Three Sons “And so Harren, Joren, and Godwin, the sons of the Chosen Himself, stood and watched the collapse of their home, by the hands of the once uncle of their kind. Harren cursed the Skies and above, the one of indulgence. Joren bellowed in rage, the one of wroth. And Godwin drank himself blind, the one of acedia. Soon Micahelus came down, the one which guided Horen years before. And he sayeth one phrase, before sending the children to each corner of the world; ‘So is the Darkness That Comes Before, and So is the Light That Comes After.’” -The Book of Saints, Unknown For twenty-five years, the world was at peace. Paradisius, the capital and home of Horonius, grew to immense sizes, with temples spanning to the sky, great halls stretching miles, and divine marvels unknown to our contempory world. Upon the Isthmus of Kramoroe, where Paradisius stood at its mouth, the city bustled, and Horonius’ tribe grew to great numbers and its members spread across the world from the barren north to the bitter south. Aeternus and Joraenus, the two eldest of Horonius’ children, were eventually granted tribes of their own, while the third-son Gosvenus remained steward under the eye of his father. The aenguls Tersion and Dragur remained at the court of the King of the World, advising its ruler and teaching the arts of science and law to Man. In the vastness of the Realm of the World, all paid homage to God, the King of All Kings, and in every corner His Touch reached all. However, Horonius’ brothers, the recently cursed Malianus, Crucus, and Urganus, despised the attention and favoritism given to him. They resented their weakness in falling to the false promises of Iblees, while Horonius prayed to God and remained true, and so many from the tribes of ork, elf, and dwed sought conflict with those of Man. Some even began to consort and pray to the fallen aenguls and spirits for help, who they called gods in mockery of Him. Malianus turned to the forest nymphs, who he took as wives and disrespected the sanctity of love. Crucus turned to the twisted followers of Iblees locked in the void, giving blood sacrifice in exchange for unholy power. And Urganus turned to the selfish aenguls who denied God’s call to war, delivering tribute of treasure in order to fill their meager coffers. But the humans of Horonius were pious and true, and they flourished with children spreading throughout the world. The siblings saw this and they resented the purity of their brother, and swore to correct what they perceived unjust. Crucus devised a devious plan, where under the guise of repentance, he would trick the noble Horonius and corrupt the holiness of Man. He wrote to Horonius about his great, feigned regret for the sins he committed, how he wished to turn back to God, and desired to unite both tribes in prayer and worship. Horonius believed in the goodness of his siblings, and accepted readily, for he wished nothing more than for all the races to live under the Love of God. Crucus promised no weapons, though Iblees cursed him with sinful cunning, and hid his tribal weapons in hay bales given to Horonius as tribute. He brought his son Gorcus, known for his weakness in spirit, to lead his vanguard when he reached the holy walls of Paradisius. Both of Horonius’ eldest sons were not within the city when Crucus and his tribe arrived, remaining in their own tribal lands, though the third-born Gosvenus remained. Julia grew wary of the size of Crucus’ party and warned her husband of her suspicion, feeling wicked intent in disguised piety. Horonius had great love for his brother, however, and denied every thought of believed treachery by a kinsman. Julia in her wisdom turned to the aengul Tersion, who agreed with her and went to the room of Horonius to convince him of the wisdom of Julia’s warnings. Again, since Horonius had great love for his brother, he denied the allegations of the aengul Tersion. Tersion, furious in righteous rage, turned only to the wisest of God’s servants, the Lord Dragur, who agreed on the risk of allowing Crucus such liberties. Dragur left for the room of Horonius, but again Horonius’ love was greater than the reason of the aengul, and he denied all. Julia grew upset, and under the advice of the wise-woman Philipia, she left in seclusion to the Cave of Ari with fifty virgins sworn to maidenhood in their love of God. Horonius held a grand celebration upon the arrival of his brother, where he led personally a great parade of the riches and splendor of Paradisius and the bounties of God. The parade lasted four days and four nights, where upon the fifth day Crucus and Horonius embraced upon the Rock of Gamesh. Horonius attempted to convince his brother soon after to fast with him for the coming four days, though Crucus denied vehemently. The love for his brother blinded Horonius, however, and he thought nothing of Crucus’ denial to prayer. Within the Great Temple of Paradisius, which expanded to the heavens, the brothers held a mass feast and union between the tribes. Man was weary of the green beasts, though they held loyalty to the King of the World, and took them with open arms as brothers. The feasting lasted for four days and four nights, with tables stretching to thousands of seats, headed by the fathers Horonius and Crucus and sons Gorcus and Gosvenus. During the feasts, sports and duels were had between both members of the tribe, and a great rivalry emerged between the weak Gorcus and the valiant Gosvenus. Looking to trickery rather than honor for victory, Gorcus turned to the magick of the twisted spirits, who bestowed upon him unholy strength. Gosvenus was pure and stooped to no ibleeic tricks, for he carried only his love of God, and trusted in Him. In the final bout between the two kinsmen, Gosvenus overcame Gorcus and forced him to submit, and though the dark powers clouded his mind, Gorcus saw the might and valour of Gosvenus, and swore upon him friendship. In a confusing rabble to Gosvenus, he claimed he could not stop what will occur, though his descendants would ‘forever look in companionship with his ilk’. These words troubled Gosvenus, who turned to his secluded mother Julia for guidance. Yet this occurred on midnight of the fourth day, and Crucus executed his diabolical planned attack upon the Tribe of Man. His orks gathered the hidden weapons while the drunken humans feasted within the halls of the Great Temple, and began butchering those who did not submit. Crucus stole the Great Axe crafted by Garumdus and used it to slay his brother as he slept. With the blood of Horonius staining the Great Axe, he called upon the twisted spirits and named the weapon falsely as the Axe of Crucus (Axe of Krug). His soldiers captured the gates of Paradisius, where upon they allowed great hordes of dwed and elves into the holy metropolis, all desiring to pollute the treasure with their sins. Gosvenus and Julia saw the destruction wrought by the three tribes and they wept in the seclusion of the Cave of Ari. Julia bestowed upon Gosvenus the Great Sword crafted by Garumdus, which she called the Sword of Horonius, and instructed to Gosvenus to lead the house of Man from the destruction of its brothers. The third son rallied the soldiers who had not fallen to the parties of orks, dwed, and elves, and left in great hurry to save the tribe from total destruction. Crucus himself led the sacking of the holy city, razing the great stone buildings and killing wantonly. He was assisted by Malianus, who captured men and women for his harems, and Urganus, who melted the great shrines to Him for statues in his own liking. They burned the holy books of the temple in a bonfire dedicated to the twisted spirits and fallen aengudaemons, sacrificing man, woman, and child in ceremonies to taint the holy power of God’s mortal city. Once he gathered the surviving people in the grand chaos, he returned to his mother, who he bade to join into retreating to the Valley of Aaun. Though Crucus had seen Gosvenus and his attempts and he gathered forces to hinder them from retreating. Julia claimed to her son that she must remain and guard the house of her husband, and sent him off. She was joined by the wise-woman Philipia and the other forty-nine virgins, and they prayed in the Cave of Ari. From his scouts, Crucus discovered the cave as the potential location of Gosvenus and the remaining humans and soon arrived, joined by his two brothers Malianus and Urganus. They laid short siege and took the cave with no fight, and rounded up Julia and the women. The three brothers demanded the location of her son and the Tribe of Man, but she refused, and no matter what words they gave, she stayed true to her vows. All three offered themselves as husbands to Julia and their tribe as suitors to the gathered virgins. Malianus offered passions and pleasures immeasurable, though Julia refused, for the only passion she desired was her husband’s. Crucus offered power and control over the lives of slaves and foes, though Julia declined, for the only power she desired was the peace of her people. And finally Urganus offered riches and splendor which rivaled that of the aengudaemons, though Julia refused, for the only wealth she desired was the bounty of humanity. All three brothers grew enraged by the piety of Julia, and offered the same to each woman of Julia’s company, who all stood by their matriarch. The sinful brothers butchered the women after their spurning, where Crucus beheaded Julia in the same fashion as he did to his brother Horonius. He ordered his son Gorcus to give chase to Gosvenus; however Gorcus had given oath to Gosvenus, and deliberately lost the trail of the fleeing men. Crucus claimed the spoils of the city of Paradisius for himself, which came to the anger of Urganus and Malianus, who both wanted the capital of the Realm of the World for themselves, and they soon quarreled. Both the dwed and the mali were cast out by the orks of Crucus, and for five years the three races fought for the spoils of their kinslayed brother Horonius. Tersion appeared to both Joraenus and Aeternus, who were ruling their own tribes in the north and south respectively, and told of what occurred. The three sons of Horonius eventually gathered in the Valley of Aaun, with Aeternus and Joraenus accompanied by their fiercest warriors, and Gosvenus with the remnants of the men and women of Paradisius. The warrior-aengul Micahelus appeared to the three in majestic splendor, and instructed them of the great struggle to come in reclaiming the City of the World. Aeternus, who carried great indulgence and pride, cursed the aengul and questioned why God did not stop the sinful takeover. Joraenus, who carried great anger and jealousy, demanded immediate retribution and march upon Paradisius at once. And Gosvenus, who carried great acedia, grew great sadness at his failure to protect his father and took to wine. However, when Micahelus blew the Holy Oliphant, the sons of Horonius listened, and when their immediate shock passed, planned for divine reclamation of their birthright. They would take five years to gather the armies of men from across the World, in plans of gathering the largest army since the great struggles of God and Iblees. Aeternus would be sent south, to rally the Desert Clans and the Clans of the Jungles under his banner, Joraenus to the north, to bring the Five Great Tribes of the Highlands, and Gosvenus would remain in the Valley of Aaun and call upon the Heartland Folk to gather in its confines. When the plans were made, the aengul Micahelus beckoned them off and gave upon them the graces of God. However, Aeternus, who despised the south and desired the bountiful north of his brother’s tribe, left northward as well, much to the anger of Joraenus, and would cause great conflict in the future. --- GLOSSARY Names, Terms, and Translations
  20. In the quiet hours of the night, a small, robed figure slowly comes to a halt in front of the statues of Cerridwen and Cernnunos within the Sparrow Grove. She slowly kneels, laying a book on the steps, wrapped in leaves and tied together with handmade rope. Quietly she whispers a prayer, departing. The book has been left behind, for the priesthood. The Emerald Way The Way of Will, The Emerald Path Perfection is unattainable, But it is no excuse not to strive for it, This henceforth is my quest, My ideal, my call. I will try when my arms grow too weary, And face the unbeatable foe. I will bear with unbearable sorrow, And I will right the unrightable wrong, What is sickness to the body of Emerald? What matters pain? For each time I fall, I shall rise again, And woe be unto the wicked! For I am Emerald I will endure all things, and be vigilant in my stand, From this day until the end of my days. The Oath of Emerald, scribed by the Oracle Hurricane The Emerald Way holds no place amongst the annals of history. I, it’s creator, am no ancient mali of yore. Yet the way has taken root within our culture, and it grows now. It began with the pilgrimage of the Oracle Awaiti Aureon, who took to the wilds in search of a solution to bring together the Naelurir of Caras Eldar once again. Over her time in the wilds, she scribed the beginnings of the philosophy, and laid down the framework for the creeds of the wild faith. The Emerald Way was born then as the first creed of the wild faith. From the birth of the first creed, others were motivated to kindle the beginnings of their own creeds. What followed was a renaissance of philosophy within the wild faith, and the birth of the Ichorian Creed, and the Sage Way. Their own separate and unique philosophies. In the darkest reaches of the forests, the Ichorians dwelled, seeking to cultivate raw strength to match the power of the primal wilds. The sages took to their own, focusing on the balance within, ignoring the material need. But those that followed the Emerald Way took a different path. After the exodus of the Ithelanen and the Torena seeds to the Gladewynn Company, the Oracle left her people, leaving the philosophy in the hands of her students.Within the budding nation, her students kept to the ways. To endure, to fight for what is right and just, and to revere the aspects in all things. Core Values Indomitable Will To be understanding, yet absolute. To not bow, or bend, or break. For the Emeraldians know that true strength does not come from the body, but from the will. Great Courage Not to be without fear. But to recognize that there is something more important than fear, something that outshines fear. From this, will is born. Emotional Resilience To stand strong despite unspeakable horror. Despite loss and anger. To be able to think with a clear mind, while the world crashes down around you. Foresight “The Storm Rises” To look ahead, and prepare for the worst. The key is to look forward without becoming fearful or paranoid of what has not yet come. I pray caution. “And Emerald shall rise to meet it.” Philosophy of the Emerald Way The Emerald Way can be summed up in its axiom “To will change upon the self is to change the world. Only through will can all balance be attained” This axiom rests upon several truths. The self is malleable. Changeable. Nothing is untouchable by great change. The world can be changed by the effort of the self. Our actions cause change. Balance is gained through change. Change is obtained through will. Will is forged by choice. As followers of the Emerald Way, we use these truths as a guide for our lives. Cerridwen The Mother. Lady of Life. Bearer of all fruits. Cerridwen. She holds many names, and titles in our faith. She is the mother of life, the shaper of all that is living. She is often depicted as a beautiful woman, carrying a staff. She created all that is living, each and every tree and frog and tiger. It is to her that we owe our fruitful harvests, and it is to her that we thank for the shade of the great elder trees. We shape her trees into homes, that we may be sheltered from the storm. Think of life itself as water. And think of every creature and plant as clay vases. Cerridwen created all of the vases, and filled them with this water of life. In the Emerald Way, we view her as the great unifier. We are all united by these waters of life, and each and every descendant carries this water of life inside of them. Cernunnos The Father. The Horned Lord. Strength. Cernunnos. He holds many names, and many titles in our faith. He is the lord of the hunt, and the father of strength. He is often depicted as a horned man, carrying a bow, or a spear. It is to him that we owe our bountiful hunts, and it is to him that we are granted our strength. We enjoy full bellies, and great feasts because of him. But despite this, many view him as lord over death as well. After all, he chooses what lives and dies by granting strength and taking it. But the Emerald Way views him in a different light. He is instead, the lord of change. Instead of drying the oceans, he is the tide, ever changing the world around him. And he is the current, ever shifting life around. In the Emerald Way, there is no death. There is only life. A corpse feeds the grasses, and enriches that life. Suddenly, more grass arises. We are fed, and we give birth to our sons and daughters. Life never leaves this world. It only shifts from form to form. Think back to the vases and waters in Cerridwen’s passage. Instead of breaking the vases, Cernunnos merely pours water from vase to vase, and shapes new ones. There is great peace in this. I take heart knowing that I will live on this world even when the last elf has fallen. I. Morality as Inner Balance On yesterday's eve, I witnessed a sight most common, though for some unknown reason, it struck me strange. An elk was torn into by a beast, and ripped into, to eat. A common occurrence, yes, this is known. Tis’ the way of nature, the beasts eat the common gazelle, and so on. The predator eats the prey, and the prey feeds on what it can. There is no evil in it, the predator must eat as much as the prey, and the prey must eat what it can, and there is only survival in it. The predator feels naught for devouring its prey, nor does the prey when it grazes upon the grasses, despite life being taken from the world. Such is the unseen way of all natural life. Life passes on and on and through each moving piece of it. There is no evil or good in the natural balance, only what is and what survives. Such also is the way of druidism, our gifts are given without thought of good and evil, but with only this delicate balance of the cycle of life in mind. Druids are expected to be as neutral as nature in this sense, are we not? It is the duty of druids to correct the balance, wheresoever it may be corrupted, without heed for borders. It is our duty to correct it, we must. We have been charged by the aspects above to do our sacred duties, and the order has decided we must do it this way, completely neutrally. But this charge ignores a most fundamental principle of our life as descendants, of how we have grown and developed to live with morality, to have the sense of good and evil, and all in between. It is what makes us what we are, it is what gives us our humanity, and this makes us truly and beautifully unique. We are not a part of this balance the aspects have created for us, but we surely live with it. Though to attempt to live without morality, to attempt to live neutrally and strive to think as the aspects do, without heed of what is good and evil, this is unnatural of our own being. It makes us only as simple as the beasts and prey that are in the balance we seek so desperately to protect. We cannot, and we should not deny what we are, how we think, but we must find a balance of our own, and look over the balance of nature with a sense of right and wrong. To live along with both the balance and the descendants, separately, yet together. In this, we are allowed to exercise our sense of right and wrong and do our duty to protect the balance with great strength. It is not the nature of men to keep out of everything, we, as Malin's kin, must be involved in the survival of our people, and our culture, for surely the theatre of the world seeks to stamp us out yet. One would say it distracts us from our duty, to be a part of a nation. This is not the case, nay. I might even say it better allows us to perform our duties. While we cannot live as neutral, we are able to do our best to spread what is good, and what is just. It is of the utmost importance that druids maintain strong ties to the world they live in and protect, they cannot fly above it all. Neutrality is a disease that leaves men weak, and staggeringly alone, as many beasts are. Fellow priests of the balance, I say to you. Do not catch the disease of neutrality. Hone your sense of right and wrong, fight always for the path of good for you and your people. Do not become unnatural men, stripped of all sense of what is good or evil in the world. In morality, we find our strength together. Apathy is a fate worse than death, for even a rotting corpse feeds new life. II. Will Within Balance We are inherently separate from the thing we protect so dearly, as druii. The balance consists of life around us, the seen and hidden movements of nature ever moving in a circle around us. The birds and trees die out, but there is ever a forest standing, no? Songbirds fill the air, do they not? We are ever surrounded by life, yet death lurks and strikes here and there. No matter how oft or how heavy death’s strikes may be, life ever moves on. Many druii take our duty to protect the balance as a sign that the world is weak. It is the opposite indeed, for the balance of the world knows a will far greater than our own. Life will find a way, no matter how damaged it may be. We druii exist only as a means of preserving the balance’s state, and correcting it where we find imbalance. Yet as I say, we are inherently separate from the balance of the world. Instead, we hold a force of our own within, potentially even equal to this primordial balance of the world. The balance of the self. The Emerald way is, at its core, the way of two balances. One cannot neglect this balance of the self when protecting the balance of the world, for it is far more fragile, and far weaker. This balance, in a way, is even more important than that which the druii are sworn to protect. With this separation from the balance of the world, the circle of life is entirely indifferent to us, to our very being. We have little sway over it, though many druids seem to rely on it for their source of strength. They use their gifts frivolously, and have grown dangerously dependant on them. They fail to realize that to rely on their gifts to do protect is dangerous, and leaves men weak. No man or woman can hope to fully control this primordial force, and they are left with atrophied bodies, defenseless without their gifts. They fail to realize that true strength comes from within, and that in order to change the balance, and protect it, we must cultivate our own will to match the strength of the world’s will. While faith is important, true strength is drawn from our own volition; The power to use your will, which is equally important as obtaining power itself. Never live for the sake of another, or an ideology. Live for yourself, and no other. With that, we empower ourselves to carry out the will of the aspects, to protect the balance. III. The Nature of Will A man can change everything if he is willing to sacrifice for it. The greatest changes require the strongest wills, And we must give much for the salvation of this world. In the beginning, we have nothing. Our privilege is the dirt. In such darkness, our will guides us to light Perspective pierces the veil of dark. Our birthright is our failings, and the pain we suffer. When darkness comes, we can rely on no other to face it for us. Only through our willpower can balance be attained. IV. Beings of the Present Self The balance does not, nor can it be made to be still for long. All things move until they pass on, and even then their energies move ever forward into other forms, other vessels that will move on and on. And from movement, movement is born, ever arching outward. You, druii, are no exception to this commotion. We constantly expend our energies in creating islands of quiet within our lives, trying to still the waves that march ever onward, yet it cannot last. Time encroaches, it consumes all things. Fling yourself to the waves of life, druii, engage in the here and now, and you will find that the key to living is your own will. The will to see life for its flaws, and the will to better it, to create your own waves. One cannot focus on the waves that have long since passed, the echoes of feelings you once felt. The past does hold merit in giving us its teachings, but from there, move on. It holds nothing for you. Let the past die, and use what you have learned to shape your present. With the lessons of the past, we can focus on dealing with what is here and now, with the waves that crash over us. Use what you have learned to enact your will, and shape the waves around you. And perhaps prevent a tidal wave from overwhelming you in the future by dispersing it before it happens. By changing your destiny. There is no lasting stillness. It is impossible. Accept this. Know it in your bones. Watch the world happening around you, and through your will, forge your own echoes, your own cadence in this world. Live in the moment, and your will can shape the future. V. The Balance of the Self My words earlier in these pages were far too simple, I’m afraid, for they leave out a great deal in seeking to express the point, but they failed to truly explain my deeper meaning. Earlier, I stated that the balance within consists of the will to act on the sense of good and evil. Though I do not refute that, I’m afraid that the truer meaning of the inner balance is lost on such words. Good and evil are a point of view, different to each person. I have found better words to explain such a dichotomy. Instead of viewing the inner balance as the senses of good and evil, replace such words with selfishness and selflessness. To act for the self, and to act for others. This opens the situations to all by providing a common meaning. You cannot have one without the other in life. Pure selfishness only harms others, and amassing your own power can lead you to enact your desires as opposed to working toward the balance. Instead, one must use the powers gained from selfishness to act selflessly in life. To sacrifice for the good of others, and of the balance. But beware, lliran. Pure selflessness is just as destructive as pure selfishness. Benevolence for the sake of benevolence leaves you in a worse position than when you started, it weakens you and sacrifices your own strength to help. In addition, it robs others of their struggles, their own opportunities to learn and gain their own strength. Never sacrifice your own strength to rob another of their struggles. As I said before. Recognize the value in letting people fight their own battles, and they will be all the stronger for it. Selfishness for the sake of selflessness… this is how we can protect the balance. By enacting our own will through this, we have the strength to alter the balance and preserve it. This inner balance is not inherent to druids, or even the balance that they protect. It is inherent to the descendants, this ability to act in selfishness and selflessness. It is where inner strength is drawn, the will to enact change upon the world. Such a principle applies to all aspects of life, and so it is important that druids hone their will to act on this sense. A druid who has mastered their ability to act on this sense will go far. A soldier who has mastered it will find his enemies falling before him. A farmer who has mastered it will know only bountiful harvests. It applies to all paths through life. If we cannot find the strength to act on this and hold balance in our sense of selfishness and selflessness, how then can we hope to protect the primordial balance of the world? We cannot. VI. The Absence of Understanding The Lord and Lady have blessed you with eyes to see and ears to hear, and a whole world to experience. Yet we remain blind and deaf to most of it. I remain blind, despite teachings that were meant to open my eyes and help me see the world for what it was. We consider it a great tragedy when one falls to darkness, when they stray away from the teachings of the order, and when they fall into hands that turn them to violence and disparity. Many of our students are failing, falling to darkness in their belief continuously. Those that remain follow blindly to their teachers, like sheep, unable to think past the surface of druidism. Most haven't thought yet to dive in. We are missing something within our teachings. Missing a piece that keeps the ambitious prodigies away from darkness, and a piece that allows others to break their chains and to be free from the slavery of secular thought. The teachings of our order, I find, ignore the dark of the world. They preach only the light, and are blind for it. I have sought the contrast myself, the dark to compliment the light, not to oppose it. I will not tell what I have learned here, only that the current teachings do not hold all of the answers you need. By learning what they have not taught me, I have seen what makes us weak. If you are to truly understand, then you too must seek this contrast, not adherence to this single ideal. To believe in an ideal is to be willing to betray it, to look where it may forbid you to go. It is a lesson of strength. If you do believe in an ideology, then find its opposite, so that you may reinforce it by correcting its flaws. Become what strengthens an ideology, not a slave to it by following it dogmatically. Without this contrast, we are but marionettes, tangled in the strings of weaknesses in our ideologies. VII. The Value of Struggle and Self Reliance Pure benevolence weakens the self, and those to whom it is cast upon. Do not roam the world, dispensing pity and self sacrifice unto others. By giving others the chance to fight their own struggles, internally and externally, we give them the chance to cultivate their own will. Do not be a thief in the night, stealing strength from others where you would mask it with benevolence. If you truly wish to help another, recognize the value in letting them cultivate their strength and will through their struggles. When they triumph, their victory will be far greater than it would be if you would help them. Through your own struggles, cultivate this inner will, and you will find the path to balance. Create a strict reliance on yourself, rather than your connection to the balance, to the thing you protect. Too many druids of our age focus on honing their gifts to better serve the lord and lady above on this earth. I ask you, strip them of their gifts, and what do they become? Only empty shells, incapable of enacting their duty to the balance without the gifts of the aspects. And that is no true disciple of the balance. Without will, we are nothing. This brings us to a fundamental question: If a druid loses her powers, is she still a druid? The way you would answer would depend on your view. If you say no, you believe inherently that only those with the gifts can make a difference in this world, and you are wrong. The devout, druii without gifts, are simply those with greater will. With the proper will, everything can be changed, such is the nature of will itself. Druidism is something greater than simply gifts. Those that would choose death over a life without their gifts are those whose wills are weak, and were unworthy of them in the first place. VIII. The Nature of Life and Death The Mother above creates and cares for life throughout the world, and spreads it over the land. Helps it grow, nurtures it. Heals it. Guides it. The energy of life exists through all living things. Tt surrounds us, penetrates us. It binds the world together, and unifies it all. It is fluid, like the water that carries it. This is known. Death does not exist. This life created by the mother never leaves this world, it merely passes from vessel to vessel. The fallen elk feeds the grasses, and the prey feeds the predator. On and on the cycle moves, life being poured from vase to vase. It holds many different shapes and forms, but at its core, all forms are simply life. We are no exception to this. It is because of this that the role of the father is oft misunderstood, however. He is not death, nor is he the hunt. His name is strength, not for his ability to take life, or hold mastery over it. But for his power to move the energies of life from one vessel to the next. It is from his will that the balance exists. It is from his own will that life moves from vessel to vessel, never stagnating, never finding stillness. It is due to this change that life is truly precious, and each form just as valuable as the last. So where do we lay among all of these vessels? Where does our power come from? We cannot define ourselves by our ability to take life, to control it even or possess it. To do so is to have nothing, truly. Death does not exist, and to define yourself by your ability to usher it, your strength is as fleeting as grains of sand in the wind. But if we define ourselves by our ability to will great change in the world, to move and change the vessels of life as Cernunnos does? That is true strength, lliran. This is what the focus of druii should be. Cultivating the will to usher change. IX. Facing Conflict I speak much against a neutral stance, and this much holds true. One should always act when they have the opportunity to, and when there is greater suffering in the world. But I have not always been clear on what it is to act on, or how one should carry themselves. In my life, I have been through many struggles of my own, and this is the view I have learned thus far, and it is the view I shall give unto the Emerald Way, that others may find a better way to approach their problems. Live your life, and act with great respect and wisdom, for you must be a beacon of change for the world, a fount of knowledge and veneration. Without strong principles to guide us through our own morality, what then can we enact our will from? A principled life, one with a strong basis for which we act is the only life worth living. But what is principle without the perspective to see the world around you as it is? Through rigorous meditation we gain clearer perspective, and can find the solution to any problem. When on your journey through life, take one step at a time, look up from your feet and observe the living world around you. Speak to all you may meet and soak in all the details you can, learn what comes to you. Life is to be savoured, taken slowly. Rashness is the path toward greater suffering. Will. Principle. Perspective. These are three values that the Emerald Way promotes. Through these values, act with a tempered and clear mind, and seek always to see more than what you are shown. From these values, we find the strength to change anything in this world. Even destiny. X. The Place of Gifts and Tools I have said before, the druids rely on the gifts far too much. It overtakes their being, and in some cases, druids cannot function in day to day life without the use of their gifts. It becomes a crutch, one that would leave a druid crippled without it. Such deep rooted dependency is something to be avoided, something to be shut down and moved away from. And even in our divine mission, many rely entirely on this aspect-given gift to do our work. Without them, I don’t doubt that many would fail in their mission, that they would cease to protect the balance without their precious gifts. And I sense an even more sinister plot. That many druids are here only for the power that they may receive from the gifts. Devotion is a scarce thing to see these days, true devotion to the lord and lady above. Many druids fall, and when they lose their gifts, they simply move onto something else that may give them the power they seek to enact their wills. Give many of the druids of the order only silence, and you will truly see who follows the aspects. But you may see this as me having a negative view of the gifts, which cannot be further from the truth. I have only a negative view of druids that rely on such gifts, that depend on them, sometimes to the extent of needing them to live. Such reliance is weakness, and weakens the order as a whole. However, the gifts themselves are not to blame. We have many tools at our disposal to aid us in our mission of preserving the balance of life. Our mind, our physical strength, our charisma, our words, and yes, our gifts. The gifts are but one singular tool with many uses, just like the other tools. You do not need the gifts in order to protect the balance, just like you do not need the gifts in order to be a druid. To believe that one must have the gifts in order to carry out our divine mission is vanity, don’t you see it? I would rather a devout person without gifts that protects the balance to the best of their ability rather than a druid who uses their gifts for personal gain, or one that seeks personal power. The Order should enforce teachings of these inherent tools that we already possess, and their uses in protecting the balance, rather than preparing them to rely on their gifts. Teaching students that only their new power can preserve the balance is a dangerous and self destructive way of thinking, and is the reason behind many of the greatest failings of our order. There is a silent lust for power within our teachings, I think, and we are utterly blind to it. Always, the next step in learning is to master a new gift. At least, this is what I have seen in the world. There is a great flaw in this method. XI. Amongst the Shadows, the Hunter Preys “When the darkness comes, we can rely on no other to face it.” A hard truth that rings out in the Nature of Will. We are alone in this world, and we can rely on no other, be it a nation, or a friend, to protect us from the evils that seek to cause imbalance in ourselves and in the world around us. Sure, others can assist you in your journey to find balance, but ultimately, we are on our own on this path. This includes when the walls of our world come crashing down around us, and when others draw blades in offense. Remember this lesson though, amongst the shadows the hunter preys. Stick to the shadows and become the hunter, not the hunted any longer. The wild hunter works alone, or perhaps in a smaller group, staying away until the moment is right to strike. Be the wild hunter, and stick to the shadows like paste, be they physical shadows or metaphorical. A hunter can navigate through the webs that society weaves just as well as the darkest depths of the forests. Watch always. Strike without warning. Wait for the opportune moment to strike. And train with but a close teacher watching, no others. Do not show others your strength until the last possible moment. Hold your strengths, your tools close to your chest, and they become all the more powerful. When traipsing through society’s webs, blend in. Do not draw attention to yourself. To walk the path of a druid is to live in service to the two balances. Fight for both of them, and little else. Use violence for necessity and defense, never for indulgence or boasting. Survival is key. Balance is key. XII. The Power of Identity In all things, know who you are. Your identity as a person is imperative to the two balances. Control your identity. Form it. Shape it. Let no other have reign over it. For when your identity is controlled, you are controlled, and your ability to serve the balance diminishes. Your name is your own, and no other’s. In terms of your tools, it is among your strongest. Forge a new identity if you must, in order to break the chains placed upon you by others. Take no titles but those you forge for yourself. Self control is the path to true will. XIII. The Importance of Endurance as Mali As mali, our people are fragile. We are few in number, but long lived. Much can happen within our lives, and we must be prepared to face everything. Be it death, war, famine, or genocide. Be it the murders that haunt us, or the misdeeds and sins of the many. Be it our own failures. We must endure through all things. We must stand at the highest peaks, until the wind tears the mountain into the sea. We must live amongst the forests until they no longer stand. We must endure a thousand wars and watch the blood of our brothers and sisters stain the grasses. This is why we must value endurance to the point of zealotry. We must tune the mind and body to last through all these things. We must constantly stand tall, or we are doomed to fail in our mission as druii. As the world changes around you, remain unmoved by it. You have a duty to your brothers and sisters to endure. But more importantly, you have a duty to yourself, and to the aspects to endure. XIV. On Mani I have noticed something that quite disturbs me. It has brought questions that have shaken my being. In the decline of the Dominion, before we were split to the core, I was beginning to see the rise of the worship of mani. At first, I was quite pleased to see it, watching the faithful delve deeper into the mysteries that the aspects laid before us. But before long, I saw trouble brewing. The faithful began directing their prayers only unto the mani. They rose their names higher and higher, and I watched as many began to favor the statues of the mani over those of the aspects themselves. Before long, our faith began dividing itself yet again, its members grouping themselves by their patron mani. When I saw this, I suspected a schism to pass, yet I did little to change the fate I saw before me. And before I knew it, the followers of Morea and Moccus led an exodus from our lands. This disheartens me. Watching my brothers and sisters place others over the aspects themselves. Perhaps it was the natural progression of this faith, I do not know. But even after I watched as many followed down this path, I knew that the aspects are above all. The Emerald Way will hold no mani of its own, that we may show our reverence to the aspects above all else. Revere the mani, yes. Worship the mani, yes. But in all things, the aspects reign over all. The Emerald Path The dedicancy of an aspiring druid is a path that varies greatly between circles, and even between kindred druii. All of our brothers and sisters have been birthed from these various dedicancies, and many great druids have been birthed from it. Yet despite these successes, we’ve been failing our students. I’ve seen two extremes of our failure within the Naelurir. Our students become mindless sheep, unable and unwilling to explore the deeper mysteries of our world. They cannot act until they’re ordered to, and are often the victims of sloth. They do not carry out the tasks required by our priesthood. And the other side are the independent minds. The ambitious ones with their own agenda in mind. Ones that seek power before faith. These are the dark ones that come from our order. We are responsible for them, for their actions as an order. We’ve always blamed them, their own passions and shortcomings, but we’ve never pointed a finger to ourselves. There is great fault in our teachings, a lack of tempering for these minds that leads them to search elsewhere for better answers. Thus, the basic teachings of the Emerald Way; Faith Studies After taking their oath to the aspects in blood, a strong foundation and understanding of the wild faith is important in fostering a deeper understanding from which we can truly become independent thinkers. To pass through the trials, one must have these foundations prebuilt, that they may fully utilize the tasks they’ve been given. Therefore, before tasks can begin, a student should have in depth instruction on at least the following topics, if not further. The Core Teachings Cerridwen, Cernunnos, The Balance, The Mani The History of Mali Taynei’hiylu, Irrin Sirame, Seed Era, Modern History Survival Medicine and Combat Studies of the Mysteries The Eternal Forest, Rituals, Prayers, and Offerings The Insight of Creeds To search for deeper insight. This is the purpose of examining the three creeds of the aspectist faith. It is one thing to know your duties, to perform them to the best of your ability. It is another to fully understand why you do them, and to find a deeper meaning in them that may echo in all of your actions. A creed is not something to tell you how to live your life, nor to tell you how exactly to do your duties. They are simply ways for finding a deeper understanding of druidism and aspectism in your life, and connecting the self to the balance in ways unheard of before. Thus, it should be required of all dedicants that they examine each of them, learn from their heralds about each of them. To understand the contrast betwixt the three creeds is of the utmost importance, even when dedicated to the Emerald Path alone. Path of an Acolyte To further prove dedication to the aspects themselves, and to prove the prowess of the self, dedicants must serve the priesthood as unattuned persons, assisting their guides in protecting the balance through whatever means are required. Whether that be defending a druid during their travels and in their duty, or witnessing a conversion. Through their time as an acolyte, a dedicant should learn how to act as a priest, and how a priest must carry themselves. The Trials After an acolyte has taken the path, and shadowed a priest, the priest overseeing them will announce them to be ready for the trials. The priest must present them either before two high priests, or two oracles to be judged if they are worthy to become priests. If found wanting, they will be returned to the path of an Acolyte. If they have been judged worthy, they will begin their trials to ascend to priesthood. Which trials to be taken are up to the priest overseeing their acolyte. If one has joined a creed, then they may follow the trials of the creed. If not, a teacher may start them on their own trials. If a teacher has not developed their own tasks, they may follow the ones below. Trial of Knowledge: The acolyte must write a thesis on the lessons of the wild faith, and of the Emerald Way to show their understanding and provide a new perspective on either of the three to show critical thinking. If they can find another way to show what they have learned, they may show it that way. It will be left to the judgement of the priest overseeing. Trial of Steel: An acolyte must show great courage and bravery, be it through fighting a great enemy, or facing down against a great evil. Defeating a dark creature, or fighting in a war. Any great feat of bravery must be shown. Trial of Endurance: An acolyte must endure great hardship, struggle, pain, or loss. Be it through battle, or the rending of flesh. Battle scars may suffice. If an acolyte cannot endure loss, or pain, how can they be expected to uphold their own character, and that of the order? Trial of Reflection: Give dedicant peyote or other herb that makes them disoriented. Then, take him to a mountain nearby with a dagger and nothing else to learn about Cernunnos. To feel that longing for food and to experience the grit of the hunt. They must come back with a kill. (OOC NOTE: For this one, make them write a short story about their character’s experience, like a forum post, as making them emote at nothing while they’re on their own in a forest is boring.) Trial of Faith: Perform a public ritual (Wedding/Last Rites/Warpainting/Leading a group offering), with an elder priest to oversee. OR an acolyte may bring two other mali into the fold of aspectism. Or in some way, the dedicant must demonstrate a considerable knowledge of the wild faith. Either will do. GRAND TRIAL: Dedicant comes up with what they want their grand task to be. Guide has to approve it. Must be Grand Attunement “The gifts do not maketh the priest. The priest maketh the gifts.” - The Oracle, Hurricane After their path has been taken, and their trials complete, it has come time for a priest to be attuned, and to undertake the burden of the two balances.
  21. Clan Otsugowara Crest of the Otsugowara Clan Great sadness is tearless.. Supreme enlightenment is wordless.. Loud laughter is silent.. Clan Otsugowara is a fiery and enduring clan borne from the remains of the once-mighty Hirafu clan hailing from the far-flung eastern continents. Members of the Otsugowara profile themselves to be wily and resourceful, keen on defending a reputation on serving as protectors of the easterners and battering their foes that reaches across the many seas both west and east. Recent History Clan Otsugowara is presently led by Suzuhito Otsugowara, currently within its sixth generation, succeeding after centuries of bloodied conflict and a gory end to numerous clan members. Otsugowara joined in the side of Clan Kato in the Echo Bay Uprising of 1692, a tumultuous and complicated easterner conflict that saw Otsugowara brought to close to complete destruction by its enemies. In a stroke of fortitude in the closing days of the conflict with defeat for themselves and their allies all but certain due to malicious tactics, Suzuhito Otsugowara alongside the bravest of his kin and retainers commandeered the fastest sailship from the enemy fleet in a brazen night mission, and placed it into service at the forefront of the refugee fleets that came to this continent… Familial Direction In-Game state of the Tokoko Refugee Camp Clan Otsugowara has declared the restoration of the Easterners in the continent to be an imminent priority, toiling hard to ensure consistent development of the Tokoko Refugee Camp as a hub to encourage growth and recovery of the Easterners. In true likeness, the clan has established a personal godo kaisha to achieve its financial ends and prepares to trade in various artisan trades and crafts to bring both wealth and life back into the Eastern people. Family Legends and Ancestry. Clan Otsugowara claims to be the descendants of Asuka no Hirafu, a legendary naval commander in their fables who let a thousand ships to conquer the eastern mainland. His campaign culminated in the battle of Hakusukinoe which saw the coalition forces of the mainland successfully push back his invasion. "We learn that in ancient times there have been cases of troops being asked for and assistance requested: to render help in emergencies, and to restore that which has been interrupted, is a manifestation of ordinary principles of right. The Land of..., in its extremity, has come to us and placed itself in our hands. Our resolution in this matter is unshakable. We will give separate orders.. to advance at the same time by a hundred routes” It was said to be an honorable cause as the Lord had given his word to the remaining survivor of a royal clan of antiquity and married her to see the return of the once prosperous kingdom. Although the restoration forces had initial successes it eventually saw defeat at the hand of the mainlanders and Asuka no Hirafu returned to his hometown to seek redemption. It was there that he received a vision that there will come a time in which his clan will herald a new era for their people in another faraway continent, and hence is how the legend goes. Family Traditions WIP as In-game roleplay brings improvement to the traditional aspect. Version 0.1 An Introduction: Kanzeon is an Easterner belief that Clan Otsugowara follows with an emphasis on ancestral worship and familial piety, believing in the importance of a Sangha (Native Language: Seng-Chia) which is a religious community as an integral class of society. Origins: Far-East. Kanzeon is a way of life that developed from the mainstreams of Eastern Farfolk culture, usually regarded as a minority in many of the larger urbanized regions in the area. After many local tragic upheavals, local sages (Native Language: Onymodos ) and monks began to propagate the importance of familial virtues and the merits of strong bloodlines as a matter of self-perseverance. A key aspect of Kanzeonism would be folk religion where a follower attempts to propitiate and attract the favor of local and ancestral spirits known as phi(Native Language: Kami). While some have often drawn a clear line between their beliefs and folk religious practices, this distinction is rarely observed in more rural locales. Spiritual power derived from the observance of Kanzeon precepts and rituals is employed in attempting to appease local nature spirits. Astrology, numerology, ancestral relics and the creation of talismans and charms also play a prominent role and often kept in proper shrines. Annets part one: Amongst the descendants, Kanzeonism has permeated strongest in the retention of ancestral relics due to its importance or heritage. An example would be that of a sword or katana of a famous warrior being kept by his family or colleagues after his demise. Another example would be that of meditation beads of a monk, kept and consecrated by his colleagues to be a talisman to honor and respect his memory. Such acts are seen as good deeds and contribute to the individual dharma(Karma) in a positive light. An example of a platform, usually wooden in nature where relics are placed upon and tended to on an almost daily basis in a shrine or home as part of the caretaker’s routine. OOC implementation: An Easterner player character could have a wooden platform in their home dedicated to items of importance to them which can be consecrated by a member of the monastic class. After which, the caretaker of these items can be done through the daily cleaning and burning of incense to honor these items and relics. Similarly, in shrines for more important items and relics usually using fancier platforms and flower arrangments. Some practitioners even offer offerings in the form of food that is changed on a daily basis. Joining the Clan - OOC - Clan Otsugowara is an ever-expanding concept that will improve and is seeking competent and passionate players interested in growing Easterner culture on the server, it will be my hope to create an entertaining roleplay experience to those interact and join the effort with the Easterners and I will be keen on listening to criticism and feedback to improve the Easterner clan with. I added a small section in the event that someone would be interested in signing up! OOC: Roleplay Experience?: Roleplay Strength?: Previous Punishments?: Discord?: (You do not have to post it. A simple pm or adding me at Crines#2975 will be fine! Feel free to contact me and ask questions this way as well) @Miss_Confined
  22. “And verily I say unto you, go forth and fear no darkness; for ours is the way of the Light, and no foul evil may turn us away from our Oath.” -Aegnor I Starfinder, first bearer of the Seastone Crown. The Venerable House of Sylvaen Mar’lin Sylvaeri The House of Sylvaen, often known colloquially as the House Sylvaeri, is an ancient Elven bloodline which traces its furthest roots to the ancient homeland of Malinor. Alongside the elder Elves of the House Silma, they serve as representatives of the Elder Bloodlines upon the Continent. While the extent of their early history is best told in the Lay of Aegrothond and other tales, they have made their mark upon modern Elven history as well; many have served as High Princes, Princes, and Lords in Old Malinor, the Dominion, and Aegrothond. The Sylvaeri Despite the great span of years which has passed since their formation as a distinct bloodline, the House has remained generally uniform in appearance and in phenotypic traits. They are almost always possessed of peculiarly grey eyes, akin to their forebear, and this is the surest method of discerning pure blood. They are more varied in the colour of their hair- while the dominant colour has always been dark, the Sylvaeris of the Atlasian era are largely fair-haired. Their skin is also fair, though tends towards tan in those who spend a great deal of time in the sun and sea-spray. The House dresses primarily in shades of crimson and gold- simple garb, and fitted for the active trades. Common also are earthy tones, and sometimes autumnal wreaths, though these are considerably rarer. They are not, despite their other vices, particularly prone to vanity- as such they rarely adorn themselves for the benefit of others, and only do so to their own humble satisfaction. To this end they have a greater appreciation for jewelry, especially in the realm of gold and precious gems- but they love silver best, and pale diamond and opal-stones which are found deep beneath the earth. They are not miners themselves, however, and as a result the House has often made alliance with representatives of Dwarven Mountain Clans; they are welcome in their woodland halls, and the Dwarvish language is commonly learned by their children. The sons of Almenor are with few exceptions proud and haughty, and value personal honour highly; the spirit of fire associated with their ancestor burns true within their hearts, and ire comes more easily to them than to other Elves. Grudges and feuds are seldom left unpunished when slight (perceived or true) has been done upon them- though these resolutions may come many generations later. Some who bear the blood are by this virtue grim, and even dark-hearted- but most tend towards a nobility of spirit, and do no evil. The Forges of the Almenodrim Of all the families of Elvendom the forge-craft of House Sylvaeri may be considered chiefest and greatest; by virtue of their friendships with the Dwarves they long ago grew wiser in the lores of metals and gems, and developed their own styles to better suit their Elven natures. Therefore the steel wrought of their forges is considered to be among the best in the world, and is prominently reinforced with woven natural magics and other, more secret arts which are taught only to few. The Oath of the Seven and Bloodsilver Rings There are few customs which define the House of Sylvaen more clearly than the Oath of the Seven, which is sworn by all of-age members and is considered the rite of passage for young Elves. The Oath, and the accompanying tradition of forging rings made with the blood of the oathkeeper, find their roots in the establishment of the House by the Seven Sons of Sylvaen. This tale, and its meaning, is fully told in the Tale of Dagnir, which is a constituent part of the Lay of Aegrothond. Symbols and Banners Most prominently featured upon the crimson banner of the House are the hammer and anvil of Sylvaen, which are set below a crown; the latter represents the Crown of Malinor, which was worn by their ancestor Eleron, last royarch of that fallen Princedom. The seven stars which flank the arms are of the constellation Narnir’vallei, which is known in Common Speech as ‘The Mariner’. It is beloved of the House, and the grouping can often be found in their works, and even sewn upon their garments. The use of the arms follows the practice of a quintessentially Elven form of feudalism; they can be worn by any sworn to the House and honour of Aegrothond, and as such are not reserved solely for the bearers of Sylvaen’s Elder Blood. Heirlooms of the House Due to the rich tradition of forgework kept by the family, the Sylvaeri clan are possessed of a commensurate amount of relics, artifacts, and jewels of rare and unmatched craft and beauty. Most of these were wrought in the old lands of Almenor, but some are more recent- and with few exceptions are associated with great deeds and Elves of yore. The Necklace of Stars Known also as the “Light of the Almenodrim”, the Necklace of Stars is one of the greatest treasures of all Elvendom, and the work of Sylvaen’s own hand. It is set with a great multitude of diamonds and other gems, cut to perfection by the ancient hosts of Aegrothond. It bore for a time one of the Crown Stones, taken from the circlet of Malin. Belethil- The Star of Morning A gem crafted by the hands of ancient Dwarves, Belethil is steeped in the traditions of Malinor, and greatly treasured. It was lost when Sylvaen cast himself into the sea, and none have seen it since. At times, when the moon is high, it is said that the path which it traces upon the surface of the ocean will lead a traveler to Belethil’s resting-place. The Crown of Storms A younger artifact than the first few, the Crown of Storms is representative of the later deeds of the Almenodrim- most specifically of Aegnor Starfinder and his descendants who dwelt upon the shores of the Sea (and for whom it was made). Though the Crown itself has been lost to time, it was fabled to render unto the wearer the wisdom of the ancient mariners- to render them safe from the furies of the storm, and even to prevent drowning. Whether these tales are true or not, is entirely unknown.
  23. Edrahil and the Dragon Which is the third part of the Lay of Aegrothond, in which the deeds of Edrahil are told. In the elder ages of the world, when the Sun and Moon were bright and untarnished by years uncounted, a fair realm was spread between the mountains and the sea. In those days the paths of the Elves were greatly sundered and broken, and not least of all these rifts was the breaking of faith between the Almenodrim and the Crown of Malinor, of which the Song of Dagnir tells. By this virtue most who departed Tavule had come to follow the Great Houses, which had come together in order for to be known as the wider realm of Aegrothond. For a time they were guided by Sylvaen the Everflame, of whom many a tale is told- but by the time of this telling he had passed into oblivion, and led no longer. Now Prince Aegnor the Starfinder ruled over the holdfasts which had been his father’s, and he took upon his own shoulders the mantle of Lordship of the Almenodrim and the stewardship of the land and the people. Six brothers remained to him, left over from exodus- and each was possessed of a craft and mastery so that their holdfast flourished and grew. Thus they together spread their princely wisdom, and all the lands were glad for it. One among them was foremost in martial skill and ability, and it is he that will feature most prominently in this tale.Lord Edrahil was his name, which is well-remembered, and he was the fourth son of Sylvaen. Great faith he kept in the Oath of his House, and a will indomitable to purge the darkness from the fouler places of the world; to this end he traveled often beyond the far bounds of the realm of the Almenodrim, to seek out all evils and break them beneath the power of his bright will. Thusly were the lands of the Elves kept safe from harm, to grow and be fruitful. Now in the northern mountains in those years the dwarf-manses were in constant strife with all manner of dark creatures which grew and multiplied, having been left behind by the wraths of Iblees and other, older evils which have no name. Chiefest among these at that time was the wyrm Ankar, which had fled to those parts after the first breaking of the Deceiver. From the high peaks this beast commonly ventured to terrorize the peaceful Dwarves- a terrible wrath incarnate, borne upon a sudden wind and a gout of freezing breath. Ere long it came to be that the wyrm’s hunger was not sated with dwarf-flesh and gold, and it began to hunger for the far sweeter meats of the south. The first settlement beneath his wrath was called Myrdaen, a village known for its refining of fine wool and ornamented cloths of all kinds. It came like a cold wind from the north, and tore the land asunder- feasting upon the sheep and cattle, and driving aside the stones of Elvish buildings with brutal force. Of all who dwelt there, few survived- and in great clamour the Lord himself was felled by the snapping jaws of darkness incarnate. Some managed to escape, and hastened to the shores of the Sea where the Court of Prince Aegnor was held. There the beleagured Elves made their plea, and were received in dour mood by the Prince and his lordly brothers. So it came to pass that Edrahil heard of this grey terror of the high mountains, and his mind at once was set with fateful purpose. “By what right doth Ankar claim the mastery of the skies, who was made in mockery of Creation?” he cried aloud, and his eyes shone with a sudden flame. “Too long have we allowed this danger to play upon our borders, and done nothing! Give me leave, brother, and swiftly shall Ankar’s monstrous head adorn your mantel-piece.” And his Company of friends struck their spears against their shields twice with great clamour, calling their assent. But Prince Aegnor sat a while in deep thought, causing even the rowdiest Elves of the Court to fall silent. “Cheaply valued is thy own life, brother, and the lives of thy Company,” he spoke at last, and his eyes grew dark with foretold doom. “Great danger lies upon the paths of the northern mountains, and small comfort will pride be to thy widows if thou art slain in pursuit of this beast. If thy hearts do not know fear, let them at least know wisdom. Death and grim fate shalt thou find in the North, and naught more.” All eyes were upon Edrahil then, who was silent, his eyes aglow behind his golden mask. But it was Erendriel the Bard who spoke, and stood forward from the other nobles with hand upturned- whereupon glimmered the ring of blood-silver, bound and sealed with the Oath of Seven. “Hearken to the rings of our brotherhood, if thou shalt not hearken to the pride of thy brother! For we are not of those who step back from perdition, and stand idly by, while brother-Elves are so cruelly put upon.” And the Prince was given pause, saying- “Rightly dost thou speak, Erendriel, though calamitous doom of one kind or another I presage of you. Wyrms do not tire easily of Elven silver, or turn away from simple cruelty.” Then he stood, and upon his brow the flames of the Seastone Crown glimmered with a ruddy light. “Go forth, then, ye twelve Companions, and as a token of hope take with you the Helm of our Father, who is perished.” And Edrahil received the Helm, and bowed deeply, for it was a high gift. Within the fortnight he set out north, and thusly began the great quest from the citadel of Tamun. Here it will be noted that this citadel was at the very edge of the realm of Old Aegrothond- that is to say, at the juncture shared by the mountains and the lowlands which swept down towards the Great Sea. This was because the Almenodrim (and indeed most Descendant Peoples of that time) kept to the ancient laws set forth by the Four Brothers, who demarcated all the lands of creation for their descendants. Therefore Men were granted dominion over the plains, Orcs over the deserts, Dwarves over the high mountains, and Elves over the broad forested lands wherever they may be found. In keeping with this practice Tamun was raised upon a wooded foothill, not far from the true mountains of the dwarrows, and served as a border-fort for general purposes. In any case, as the northernmost fortress it had been first to receive news of Ankar’s attack on Myrdaen, and thus the mood was high when the crimson banner of Edrahil was seen approaching from the south. Twelve there were in total, alongside their Lord- the aforementioned Company of heroes, and Erendriel the Bard who chose to ride with them. Hardy Elves were they, who had seen many a trial in their time and had sailed west with the Seven when the call was sounded. They had participated in the wars of the old homeland, and knew well the sting of dragon-breath. The keepers of Tamun received them gladly, and informed them of the state of the Northlands. In the time of their marching it seems the wyrm had grown bolder, so that even the fortified cities were no longer safe, and feared him. But Edrahil only smiled, and called for more mead, saying: “It is he who should be trembling, good Elves. Soon, we shall make a fine powder of his ancient bones.” And so it was that the final night in warmth was passed, and there was little trepidation (far less, as you shall soon see, than there should have been.) The dew lay heavily upon the path into the Vale of Tamun as the Company of Edrahil set out, and clung to their scarlet cloaks in silvery droplets which shone in the morning sun like so many stars in a crimson firmament. Well-armed and armoured they were, for each among them bore a sword and a spear, and a shield rendered by the highest arts of the Almenodrim. Upon their faces were fearsome mask-helms of gilded steel, but beneath them the Elves smiled and were merry- for Edrahil led them whom they trusted, and Erendriel seldom ceased to sing and jest. “A score of red-breasted robin-fowl we look!” he laughed in melody, and the songbirds sang along with him in lilting tones. “To pluck the worm from the northern mountains, hear hear!” And a great shout of mirth and joy rose among the Company in march, for they did not know fear. Edrahil ordered then the banner to be lifted, and together the voices of the Elves rang farewell in ancient song as the town sank into the hills behind them. “Again they come, and swift they ride, “For Elvenesse, for Elvenesse!” Their voices rise with ringing pride. And trumpets high above them soar, for elder fathers, dispossessed for many kin, who fought and died, And nations torn and rent by war. For fear is foreign to their hearts, and blades with gladness strike and reave, Through forest air grown thick with darts, And long-spears wrought by Elven arts, Which forest-cloth like needle weave.” And so forth they sang in joy beneath their seven-starred banner of scarlet, as the road turned northwards and the foothills began to grow great and dark to either side. Ere long the heads of the mountains became hidden in the clouds, and the forests of Elvenesse gave way to stone and fallen gravel. As the last great tree faded beyond a ridge the group made camp, and settled in for an unhurried sleep. When the sun rose upon the second day the Company of Edrahil set out once more, though they sang less and spoke sparsely to one another; for the path had become difficult, and in places it wavered and fell into sudden crevasses which had doubtless been the death of many a reckless explorer. All about the road were tall crags of grey stone, interspaced atimes by small springs of clear water too cold for drinking- they had flowed down from the glaciers which crowned these mountains, too high above to be seen. The band stopped for short luncheon at noon, having brought with them a wealth of provision from the grateful Elves of Tamun, and set up a way-camp to rest their weary feet. Some jested that they hoped that the greater part of the journey was finished, but most remained silent- marveling at the broad tallness which was arranged about their fellows. So it was that one of them spotted a small creature crawling upon the rocks far below, which were woven with mists. He called to his companions, and Erendriel nocked a swift arrow in his heartwood bow. “Hark!” the Lord Edrahil cried into the abyss, and the astute Elven eyes of the Company discerned that the creature was in fact a particularly hairy dwarrow of auburn mane and pale complexion. “What business have ye here, in the lands between the forest and the mountain?” But the Dwarf did not reply, instead waving his short arms and swiftly scurrying from sight.“How odd,” remarked Edrahil, “I did not recall the Dwarves to be so fearful of Elves, especially in these parts. I wonder what it was that caused him to flee?” But no sooner had the Lord spoken, than a warbling cry pierced the air alongside many black-hafted arrows. [To be Continued]
  24. The Tale of Dagnir Which is the first part of the Lay of Aegrothond, and the earliest story of the Almenodrim. Among the tales of sorrow and ruin which come to us out of the elsewise forgotten years before the rising of the Moon, there are yet some in which the eldritch dolour is lifted, and a light is shown to endure even beneath its gloaming shadow. Of these histories perhaps the most stark is that of Sylvaen, and of the Almenodrim who were his progeny. It is told fully in the Lay of Aegrothond, the longest of all Elvish ballad-poems, which concerns in its majority the Parting of Kindreds and the many deeds, both fair and ill, of that family in the First Ages of the world. It is retold here in prose to lessen its length, for alike to all Elvish poetry it is prone to elaborate musings which are not conducive to the educational purposes of this text. The Lay begins in the ancient land of Malinor, wherein the great Eternal King kept his court and dwelt undying beneath evergreen boughs of yore; Malin was his name, which is honoured forever, and upon his brow was a crown unquestioned. His sons were as one, their ways unparted, for neither false prophets nor forces of earth and heaven could dislodge the keeping of blood which bound them hence. They loved well the trees and valleys of their realms, and delved in the deepest reaches of the forest to build their villages, being foremost among woodsmen. Among them, firstborn of the Father, walked Sylvaen Everflame, of whom this tale is told. He was tall, and fair of face, and resembled in all ways his father save for his locks, which were of raven-dark hue, and for his gaze, which was of piercing grey akin to the sea-floes of ice in winter. While his kin walked the deep forests he took a different path, and instead traveled to far western reaches of the Kingdom, near-to the mountains which held some erstwhile manses of the young Dwarves. In that land he built his holding, which he named Almenor, and few citadels were fairer in that time, or in any time since. In that place of silver fountains he came to know Serinwe, who would come to be his wife- and together they reared the Seven Sons of oath and legend, who led their people to glory and tribulation in equal measure. Their names were Aegnor, Edrahil, Renarion, Muindir his twin, Ilurien, Vitras, and Erendriel who was youngest of all; and they themselves were fruitful, so that the pillared halls of their kin rang with the laughter of children which the Elves valued more highly than any treasure. This great family was known as the Almenodrim, and they are remembered thusly in many songs, most chiefly by their own descendants. In the days before the Curse they were greatly peopled, so that several distinct Houses sprung up among them- but each bore loyalty to the Everflame and wavered not from their path alongside the Seven, throughout all of their history. Of all the children of Malin Sylvaen was the greatest in forgecraft, and in the tempering of steel and the making of mail he and his descendants were never outmatched, save perhaps by the most great-skilled of the Dwarf-smiths of yore. The hauberks and plate of their forges did not rust, and did not sustain the tarnish of age and weather, shining new-burnished even after an age of wear. All of their works were highly treasured, for they were crafted with arts which were not known to other wrights, and have been forgotten. It must, too, be noted that steel was scarce more than a servant to them- and it was in the working of silver, gold, and precious gems that they truly excelled, ultimately peerless. Made in those elder days were some of the greatest and most beautiful treasures of all noble Elvendom, which were beloved of all the Elder Folk and held in regard even in the furthest reaches of the continent. Among them were the Necklace of Stars, and Mίr n’Ardhon, and of course the great carved gem Belethil which was lost, of which more shall be told in other tales. All which could be wrought by hammer and anvil they excelled in creating- but no weapons, for the sons of Malin had no need for them, save of course for spears of alder and bows of yew, which they used to hunt wild game. In those days there was no strife, and all Elvenkind dwelt in harmony and peace. But even as Sylvaen and the Almenodrim laboured with great zeal and saw no ending to their works, doom of an eldritch sort came to the halls of Almenor. It began, as such things are often wont to, with a falling star, which tore the heavens and fell burning from the firmament. A clash like thunder heralded its coming to the plane of Aos, and a great fire and clamour levelled the forest about its landing- for such was its heat in that time that all which came in contact with it was immolated entirely. With a roar of splitting earth a chasm was opened about it in that wilderness, and there it would have remained if not for the curious whim of fate. It was Aegnor who found it, riding upon the great northern hills with his banners- and ever after for this reason he was oft-called by the name Elpharon, which means ‘star-finder’. Marveling at the desolation, he delved into the blackened cavern at its center- and though it burned his hands, he could not find the will to leave the glede-star behind. All marveled at it, and at its providence, for even the most experienced among them had not seen such ore. Concluding their businesses in those lands the Almenodrim brought it to their home, and though none could foresee it, sealed the fate of their House. For upon that metal lingered an evil which had no name, born of the darkness and vapour of primordial creation and forgotten by Gods and mortals both. At that time Sylvaen, being come to his full mastery and eminence, was filled with new intent and purpose- and growing bored in his lordship over forgecraft the great wright took great interest in the star-iron discovered by his eldest son. Many months after its arrival the metal did not lose its immense heat, and would burn those who laid hand upon it; Aegnor had failed to tame it, and it had scarred the reach of Muindir who was Sylvaen’s most promising student. So it was that at long last the father of the Seven came first to behold this curse of his family, and resolved to make something of it forthwith. But as he took up his hammer to strike upon the ore the smith beheld a great darkness which descended upon the great fires of his forge, alike unto a black grip which sought to take him in vice. And it spoke to him, this being, in a voice alien as the rubbing of coke on steel. “I have seen thee, Everflame, and all thy purposes and works are laid bare before me- but I deem them to be lesser far than those of thy Father, who is Malin. You shall fade, as leaves of autumn in the winter wind, and none shall know thy small name in posterity. As paupers thy sons will be, and grim fate shall find each among them in his time.” And the elf-prince was stricken by sudden doubt, for in his heart stirred a fear which had not been known to any in those blessed years; it was an evil not of this world, but rather of the one which had come before, and was never meant to linger. “By what vile sorceries dost thou speak unto me, creature of darkness, and what false poison dost thou pour upon my mind?” he cried out, and stepped back from the forge-fire which burned not yet so hot as the metal before him. “In skill of hand I have no single peer- all shall remember my works, and those of my sons, who shall be lords when I am gone.” But despite his remonstrance the creature of gloaming had seized upon the core weakness of his being, for though Sylvaen was foremost in cleverness and craft, his brilliant mind of metal and stone had become flawed in its vainglory, and in the obsession with legacy which was to haunt his line forever. “Stay thy despair, my child- for I sense a greatness in thy blood which shall surpass thy brethren,” the fallen star whispered, in tones of dulcet, layered upon with the cloy of paternal sweetness. “I will show thee much of that which thou knowest not, and change the path thou treadst- for great wisdom I see in thee, and a great promise also, which shall change the doom of the world in its stride. In my image thou shalt shape what none hath shaped before, and all shall know thy will, and fear it.” And though Sylvaen was not yet won over, his mind was curious- as all wrights he wished primarily to expand his art, and to craft ever-greater things until he had exhausted all possibilities of matter and shape. It occurred to him that to bind this star to his will would be the greatest achievement of his time, and a fine treasure in the vaults of Almenor; no creation had yet been beyond his ability in all his life, and no metal could give him pause at the height of his expertise. So it was that a fateful artificery began, which would last many days and many nights. Three times the smith began his work, and three times the metal defied his expert hand- for the spirit which perched upon it was possessed of its own design, and did not lend itself to mastery. For many hours they strove in the deeps of the Almenodrin forges, until the anvil of the wright glowed hot, and the smith himself was nearto spent. At last, putting forth all his lores and knowledge, the Everflame made corporeal the doom of his House- but it was not of his design, and the great shadow was upon it. So it came to pass that the first sword was born, and the Gods wept, for in the hand of Sylvaen it was destined to cause great pain and strife. The visage of the blade was as wrought iron, black and cruelly sharp, and it shone with a dull polish which caught and twisted the faces of those who would look into its surface; its guard was alike unto an umbel of upthrust thorns, and its hilt bound in pallid corded wire. Dagnir was its name, which was given to it by its creator, and harshly indeed did he lament its making; deep into Almenor he bade it be taken, and set inside a dark chamber to which no elf went willingly. And there Dagnir lingered, awaiting its fate. Sylvaen and the Seven soon forgot the star-stone in its entirety, and returned to their works of art and craft, growing more fruitful even than they had before. In those days the halls of Almenor were second only to the capital in populace, and greatly rich also, for they continued to trade with the Men and Dwarves who dwelt beyond the borders of the Greenwood. But the peaceful days of the First Ages were swiftly drawing to a close; and darkness festered in the far deeps of the world, marked by none save the delving Dwarrow-kind, who could not comprehend it. For Iblees’ work upon the Nether had been done, and the days trod ever-closer to the great war which would change the course of history forever. [To be Continued]
  25. Zarelek... Time to wake up... Zarelek had been scrying for hours on the boy with his Ethyrian Star, watching over him from his throne room in his ever-decaying castle within the Realm of Oblivion, a vast realm of nothingness and structures built of the Oblivion Energy that is constantly generated. He had no idea of how long time had passed since time meant very little in the Realm of Oblivion. To the many, it was a hellish plane of existence, meant for those who were too powerful for their own magic and consumed by their own feelings of guilt and bound by shackles forged from their dying ethereal light. Zarelek ruled over this Realm as a god, but he craved something infinitely more precious than this realm of his own. He craved the presence of others. He wished to teach others of his knowledge than rather have people wage war on each other. He was one of the only gods of Dark Magic that did not crave absolute power or the attention of rituals done in his name, but rather to crave the attention of others and teach them of magic that would benefit themselves as well as others. Sadly, he did not believe that his powers of Oblivion or Shadow could be used by those who had the mindset of balance. Calm before the storm. Darkness before light and light before darkness. After a thousand years of being bound to the Realm of Oblivion and feeling the power of Oblivion Magic course through his veins, he felt like his unending stasis of decay had not let up since he left the mortal world when the denizens of Atlas had left the continent to all of the other continents. This did not mean he didn't keep a close eye on the people he sought to teach his powerful yet ferocious magic to. Using his knowledge of Shadow Magic, he created the first Shadows which were his eyes in the mortal realm. Unseen and virtually undetected, these Shadows were able to take root everywhere, even in places that Descendants would consider too dangerous to sustain life. They were not creatures of undead origins, but only Zarelek understood what the Shadows were made of. The Shadows were also immortal or gave the semblance of immortality as they could not be seen by mortal eyes. He was, in the literal sense, old and decrepit with nothing to live for. He did not have any children of his own before or after his confinement, yet he also wished to give his power meaning. Zarelek observed the many people of Atlas, searching for those he considered worthy of his knowledge of the Dark Arts. These people, he believed, possessed an aura unlike any other. Prismatic color with near-infinite potential for any magic and when he found one, he kept an eye on that person to see how they use their potential. However, this aura was exceedingly rare to find in all of Atlas. Zarelek spent countless years searching for someone with the perfect aura to teach his magic to, utilizing his network of Shadows to spy on the many people as they went about their daily lives. This changed when he observed a high elven man doing some kind of calcuations, seeking knowledge to crack the calculations and access power beyond the Voidal, Deity, and Dark magics. Zarelek noticed his aura shining with a prismatic aura and he had a charming nature to him, which made Zarelek think that he could divert the high elf's calcuations to his own benefit. It took many years in the mortal realm for Zarelek to make up his mind and decide he would offer up the man a deal to which he would benefit greatly while also giving the man what he wished. More or less. Upon his final decision, Zarelek sent a Shadow to suppress the high elf's magical potential and granting the boy irrevocable denial to nearly all magic, save for those that Zarelek would teach him. He found himself a student, but the man would not know it until his calcuations were complete that he had been noticed by a dark deity of magic unseen in millennia... ~(+)==(+)~ Deity Information Name: Zarelek, the Empty Lord Age: Unknown Race: Divine Entity Alignment: Chaotic Neutral (1000 years ago; Artwork not by me) (Present time; Artwork not by me) ~(+)==(+)~ Abilities Zarelek has many abilities due to his masterful skills in Oblivion and Shadow Magics including changing one's identity, hiding in plain sight, and enhancing one's own spellwork. He teaches such knowledge to the most elite of his students or disciples and even teaches his most powerful students to become creatures that constantly draw upon the powers of Oblivion itself to fuel their magic and their very existence. Such creatures are not Shadows, but they represent the caster in the most darkest of lights and can even hear Zarelek speaking to them directly as if he was right next to them. He has the power to possess one of his disciples at a time to help augment their magic in their time of greatest need, which is helpful against foes that are too powerful for the caster alone to handle. However, he does not possess the power to possess those attuned to other magics other than the magics he himself possesses. Zarelek has deep respect for those who practice magic of nature itself and does not interfere with matters of the druidic or shamanistic type, though he allows all races and all genders to be taught his magic, but however he possesses the ability to corrupt soul trees with his powers of Oblivion Magic and even destroy them if he so wished. Not all of his abilities are known to all people, even those he teaches his magic to. [EDIT: In the Extended Lore, the redlines for the deity abilities are listed.] ~(+)==(+)~ The Laws of Oblivion Completely aware of the advantages that his magic would produce for those who learn his magic, Zarelek wrote down an Edict of Oblivion that all those who learn or wish to learn Oblivion Magic will adhere to lest they risk to lose Zarelek's favor and risk losing their connection to him and succumb to the wild power of Oblivion Magic, dying from the damage it would cause. (OOC: These laws apply to the Oblivion Magic submission that I will write if this deity is accepted. These laws will be enforced by the Magic Lore team or the Lore Team in general and anyone caught breaking these rules can lose their magic after 1 OOC week. They can avoid this by adhering to the rules for 1 OOC week and they may regain their power.) Thou shall not kill innocents with the use of Oblivion Magic. Keep thy word of honor. Do not perform rituals in Zarelek's name. Do not reveal your brethren to those of authorative power. Thou shall keep eternal silence of the Shadow Network save to share information with Shadow Mages or fellow Oblivion Mages. Do not reveal thyself to those who are not worthy. Thou shall not practice other Dark Magic while wielding the powers of Oblivion, save for Shadow Magic. Thy shall not adhere to the usage of Deity Magic of the holy kind, save for Druidism or Shamanism. Oblivion Magic shall not be abused to grant one true immortality from death. Thou shall be able to learn Voidal Magics, but thou are not allowed to use Oblivion Magic to enhance thy spellwork. ~(+)==(+)~ The Laws of Shadow Aware of how dangerous and intoxicating Shadow Magic is to those not used to such power, Zarelek wrote up another Edict, one of Shadow, so that those who wish to learn Shadow Magic or learn Shadow Magic must adhere to lest they wish to lose their ability to deceive and conceal. Being incredibly wise, Zarelek hates those who abuse such power and if they broke his rules, they would lose his favor and risk losing their powers forever and letting themselves succumb to their own deceits which would become known to all who were influenced by the mage. (OOC: These laws apply to the Shadow Magic submission that Melkor will submit if this deity is accepted. These laws will also be enforced by the Lore Team and anyone caught breaking these rules can lose their magic by the end of 1 OOC week. They can avoid this punishment if they adhere to the rules of this deity for 1 OOC week and they may regain their power. However, all deceits or acts of betrayal that the mage created in roleplay will degrade over time and all those who felt the mage's power will start to see the trickery that the mage in question had done if they lose their power completely. This can be avoided if the mage has regained their power by adhering to the rules.) [EDIT: These rules are null and void due to the first amendment within the Extended Lore. This was done as a request from Melkor.] Thou shall not kill Oblivion Mages. Do not betray your fellow Shadow Mages or Oblivion Mages. Thou may perform rituals in Zarelek's name. Do not break thy word of honor to those who wield Oblivion Magic or Shadow Magic. Thou shall keep eternal silence of the Shadow Network save to share information with Oblivion Mages or Shadow Mages. Thou shall not reveal their magic to those unworthy. Thy cannot practice other Dark Magics save for Oblivion Magic. Thou shall adhere to not using Deity Magic of the holy kind save for Druidism or Shamanism. Shadow Magic cannot grant thyself true immortality from death. Thyself shall be able to learn Voidal Magics, but thou is not allowed to use Shadow Magic to enhance thy spellwork. ~(+)==(+)~ Extended Lore Below ~(+)==(+)~ Zarelek sighed within his Realm of Oblivion, wondering on how everything turned out this way. Being bound to this unyielding, ever-decaying, black nothingness that Zarelek had the unfortunate luck of being bound to. Over a thousand years ago, he had been able to interact with the mortal races freely and without consequence, allowing him the chance to meet and possibly even be friends with the mortals who lived out their lives daily. He had been able to sate his craving for attention that long ago, but then something happened that forced him into exile into this realm that was created to specifically bind all who abused their power due to their overwhelming feelings of guilt and sorrow. Zarelek did not know who or what created this Realm as they remained hidden from his Ethyrian Star when he last tried it. He believed that this was his punishment for what happened a long time ago. During the War of Gods. ~(+)==(+)~ The war lasted eons. Between the forces of the Daemons that Iblees led against the Aenguls that the Creator had lead into battle, Zarelek was not on either side, choosing to remain neutral. Before he had begun his penace within the Realm of Oblivion, he lived in peace within the town of Dunshire. He loved being around the little halflings who enjoyed their relative peace from the War of Gods that raged on outside of the city’s gates and even enjoyed being in their festivals and silly games. Being a god himself, he did not have the ability to truly be a part of the mortal realm and had even considered giving up his godhood to enjoy a mortal life with the halflings he enjoyed being with so much. Though this was not to be towards the end of the War of Gods. Zarelek had been found by the Daemonic forces of Iblees. They desperately wanted his help in defeating the Aengulic forces of the Creator as they heard of his power over the forces of Oblivion, his natural magic. Shades, necromancers, wraiths, and all manner of dark creature came into the city in waves, killing all who stood in their way of Zarelek. Naturally, the halflings banded together in an attempt to hold back the forces of Iblees and giving Zarelek time to flee, but their attempt was short lived. The halflings screamed out in pain as women, men and children were slaughtered by the forces of Iblees and their desperate need for Zarelek’s help in the war effort. However, a select group of halflings survived. The surviving halflings did not know how or why that they had survived, but Zarelek did know. He saved them from the massacre of the daemon forces who were after him and his powers of Oblivion Magic and this infuriated Zarelek to the point where he broke his promise of neutrality in the war and sided only with himself, using his powers of Oblivion to drive back the daemons from Dunshire and even corrupt their souls to the point where Iblees could not even revive them from the blackened pit of Hell. “You wanted me and you got me. You got me pissed!” Zarelek screamed out as he pulled out his wand made of elderwood with a core of a stem of an unknown plant. He ignited his wand, which glew a dark purple as his eyes glew purple as well, signaling that he was channeling his powers in spellwork that the daemon forces were not at all prepared to fight against. He began to speak in a deep guttural tone of authority as if he was embodying the power of Oblivion itself within him. “You wanted my help and you slaughtered innocents this day! I’ll never join Iblees or the Creator’s forces in this war! Die, you pieces of Dark filth!” Within the town of Dunshire, Zarelek had begun to use his powers in the most deadly way possible against the forces of Iblees. He was going to make sure that they never existed from that point onward, even if it meant he’d pay for it later on. He began to cast spell after spell towards the forces of Iblees to the extent that he would run out of magical energy at times and wait some time to regain his power. During these instances of low power, the forces of Iblees would come back and tear apart Dunshire in the feeble attempt to collect Zarelek for Iblees. This happened for a few years until they forced his hand and captured a halfling, one of the very distant ancestors of the Applefoot clan whose name was lost to Time and who was vital for their formation. Zarelek heard of this and went to rescue the halfling, leaving the town defenseless against any other attack. This would prove to be the nail in the coffin for Zarelek because once he arrived at Iblees’ camp, he was tricked. There was no halfling to rescue, but a mere illusion by one of Iblees’ own in a gamble to see if Zarelek would come running to them. The gamble worked in their favor and Zarelek came running to a trap that Iblees himself organized. Before anything else happened, Zarelek felt himself become energized with Oblivion Energy. Even for a god, he felt someone watching his every move and before too long, he knew what he had to do. Zarelek was bound by one of Iblees’ generals and forced to his feet to face judgement by Iblees himself. Apparently, Zarelek had killed one of Iblees’ favorite generals and one that was vital to Iblees’ campaign against the Aenguls of the Creator, which meant that the War was soon to end. Zarelek smiled once he knew what he did against Iblees to force him to resort to mere trickery. “Master Iblees, we have the Oblivion Mage.” one of Iblees’ commanders said as they entered into the room where Iblees was standing in. To Zarelek, he’d suspect the fallen Aengul to be grossly daemonic, but for Zarelek, he was impressed slightly with the sight of the Aengul in front of him. He didn’t look heavenly like the Creator’s own Aenguls, but he did know of Iblees’ heavenly origin before his fall from grace. In fact, all the lesser known deities knew of the Fall, but Zarelek was there to witness it. Another story for another time. “Bring him in,” Zarelek heard Iblees say to his commander, who then had him thrown into the room. Zarelek was attuned to the forces of Oblivion, but he could tell the murderous psychopathic aengul he now faced. The Father of all Shades, Iblees himself, was close to Zarelek himself and if Zarelek could forcibly regenerate himself, the blast of Oblivion Magic would be enough to brutally injure the fallen Aengul and his forces so that he can make his escape. However, Iblees seemed to have other plans for Zarelek. “You killed my general, Zarelek the Wise,” Iblees said to Zarelek, sounding utterly pissed. Zarelek smiled even if he was not injured himself. “Your people killed innocents. Seemed only fair that I slay your generals as well as demolish your forces as retribution.” Zarelek replied, seemingly happy that he caused Iblees pain. “What’s stopping me from taking out the big bad Iblees himself for the Creator? I could easily use my magic to tear your camp apart, leaving you all dead.” “You cannot kill me, mage. You bluff on how powerful your magic truly is when all it is good for is what Voidal powers can do. Stale and unoriginal.” Iblees said, grabbing Zarelek’s throat and choking him out. “You aren’t a god but a mere toy of Fate. Of your own power.” This forced Zarelek to play his hand too early. Zarelek, though bound, made the rope that bound him decay at over a thousand years a second and forced himself to regenerate by Oblivion Magic. Now, Zarelek knew the consequences of regenerating forcefully as it could make his state of decay worsen over time as well as not be as effective as it would be if Zarelek was dying himself, but he had no choice. He began to glow a violent purple with the various enchantments to protect himself from the Reaper and before Iblees could stop him, he exploded like a supernova, emitting purple light that seemed to attract the attention of the wizard and the Aengul forces. Zarelek screamed out in pure agony as he regenerated and forcing a lot of brutal injuries onto Iblees and his nearby squadrons, thereby weakening them a bit to give the Aenguls a true fighting chance. Iblees, however, knew only one spell that could save his army from the magic that Zarelek had power over. The banishing spell. Iblees, in the middle of Zarelek’s regeneration, casted the banishing curse upon Zarelek to happen within the year of Iblees’ defeat by the hands of the wizard and the aengul forces. When the spell was casted, Zarelek’s regeneration was finished and Zarelek laid unconscious, having to wait for the day he’d awaken... ~(+)==(+)~ Zarelek woke up a few days later, back in the town of Dunshire. He had a splitting headache and felt like he was extremely woozy after the forceful regeneration he had suffered. He began to get up when the wizard came in with two archaenguls behind him. “Seems like I have the pleasure of meeting Zarelek himself,” the wizard said as he noticed Zarelek sitting up in what appeared to be a Dunshire medical room. “Regeneration by Oblivion Magic. Nasty form of resurrection.” “Yeah, it is. Dangerous if you’re not already dying.” Zarelek replied to the wizard. The wizard smiled a little before he spoke up, sounding sad. “Well, it seems that Iblees has cursed you, Zarelek. He put a banishing curse upon you, but I have enough power to shorten it to at least a few millennia if you want.” Zarelek thought about it for a moment and he nodded to the wizard, who worked his magic to shorten the banishing curse by a few millennia. After a few moments, Zarelek felt at ease with the wizard and said simply “Thank you.” After that, Zarelek faded away from the mortal realm, his banishing curse taking hold. A few millennia later, he worked out a way to give himself some time in the mortal realm before the curse took hold once more, the chains of Oblivion dragging him back into the desolate wasteland of nothingness where all Oblivion Energy is generated. Well, you know the rest... ~(+)==(+)~ Redlines Zarelek may have powerful magic at his disposal, but even he is not all-powerful. This deity has weaknesses as well that any Holy Mage can do as well as a Voidal Mage of a high enough caliber. These same weaknesses translate to his followers of Shadow and Oblivion, which makes them susceptible to these kinds of magical power. However, Oblivion Mages do not have the same curse that Zarelek himself has, being dragged into Oblivion itself. (OOC: I will provide the redlines for this deity and Oblivion Magic whereas Melkor will provide the redlines for Shadow Magic) ~(+)==(+)~ Amendments Now, the original lore of Zarelek was left with some holes in it, which was made to allow for adaptability. In this part of the extended lore, I will write some amendments to the deity Zarelek that were left unanswered or need to be fixed. Zarelek’s Laws of Shadow are null and void. These tenets were made in place ahead of the full written Shadow Magic lore that Melkor has yet to write and has requested me to remove these tenets so that he can work with the freedom it provides. I will, however, write up another set of tenets with Melkor’s input for this deity. Shadows (Zarelek’s feeble attempt at creating life) are Oblivion-enhanced creatures that feed off the infinite Oblivion Energy that his Realm provides. These creatures are animals that have been heavily affected by the presence of the Rifts and have grown to obey Zarelek and any of those who are bound to his power. In the extended lore, I have made mention of Rifts. Rifts are small tears in the mortal realm that delve into the inhospitable Realm of Oblivion and only allow objects, Shadows, or those imbued with Oblivion Magic to enter. All other people are excluded. They also affect the environment and offer new herbs and plants that can either kill or heal people. Oblivion Magic is both a Creative and Destructive magic. I was talking to Quavinir in voice chat when he asked me about Oblivion Magic and what it is, which made me a little annoyed. However, the criticism was received and I’ll point out what it can do. Oblivion Magic can be used to heal those inflicted with soul damage, physical injury, and mental injury while it can also be used to take away someone’s life completely or even give them a true death. However, this only applies to kinetic Oblivion Energy. Raw, untapped, potential Oblivion Energy can outright kill anyone that is not protected from the magic, making the Realm of Oblivion an instant death (PK kind). The Realm of Oblivion is desolate with very little true life to exist. The energy that the Realm provides can make any Oblivion Mage truly godlike, but the only true god is Zarelek the Empty Lord within the Realm of Oblivion. Of course, it can be a place to visit if you have the powerful Oblivion enchantments and a Rift to access it. If you do not have protection, you will have to PK your character upon entering. These enchantments last indefinitely while within the Realm of Oblivion and starvation is not possible or thirst. This does not protect you against any injury you may sustain. While within the Realm of Oblivion, there are some kind of herb that is exceedingly rare to find. This herb has magical properties of healing (crushed) or killing (not crushed) the person who takes it in. This herb can only be applied into drinks and represent the alchemical symbol for Earth. It is called the Herb of Oblivion. -Redline: This herb can only be found in the Realm of Oblivion and is a lore item. Can only be acquired with a trowel and cleansed by water blessed with holy magic or druidism. Telepathic communication between Shadows and Zarelek exist as a unique form of Possession where the Shadows are an external form of Zarelek, allowing for Zarelek to receive near-instant communication from his Shadow network, even across the dimensions. This connection cannot be severed, even with his “death.” Regeneration for an Oblivion Mage is exceedingly difficult to perform, even if they are near-death. It can be forced by the caster themselves to regenerate themselves, but no one can force a regeneration to occur onto another Oblivion Mage save for Zarelek himself. It allows for a loophole in the death rules as they can regenerate on the spot of their deaths before going to the nearest Horcrux without losing thirty minutes of their memory. Redline: Regeneration is a Tier 5 ability due to how it loops around the death rules. It also takes one Horcrux per Regeneration and cannot refund that Horcrux. Maximum of Regenerations is ten. Horcruxes (yes like from Harry Potter) are inanimate or animate objects that have a piece of the Mage’s soul within them. These objects can be anything, save for Oblivion-enhanced or Oblivion-enchanted items. However, these items are exceedingly dangerous and nearly indestructible. Redline: Only ten horcruxes can be made at a time. If a Horcrux is destroyed by magical means (Voidal Fire, etc.), that piece is refunded to the caster to make another Horcrux. However, if the user attempts to Regenerate, the nearest Horcrux is used up and cannot refund the soul piece. Any magic user of this deity is prone to sickness by digesting Gold or being burned by Tier five voidal fire. No Holy Magic can cleanse the user of the magic of Oblivion or any magic that this deity is tied to. This includes Ascended and other such Holy Magics. Monk Magic has no effect on those who are tied to this deity. Zarelek has a deep affinity to teaching those he considers worthy of being taught Oblivion Magic. This excludes Shades, Necromancers, Frost Witches, and Mystics. He allows some Holy Magic users like Clerics and Paladins to be taught, but it would take longer for them to learn the magic. Voidal Magic users are also allowed to be taught magic tied to this deity. No one knows why he has such an affinity. ~(+)==(+)~ Rifts Rifts are cracks in the fabric of Reality where magic from the Realm of Oblivion seeps through and infects the area around it with Oblivion Energy. These Rifts affect the area surrounding it by killing off the natural flora around it and infect the animals around it with Oblivion Poisoning, a gruesome plague that can only be cured with Oblivion Magic (Tier 3) or with a cleansing ritual by a Holy Mage (Tier 5). These Rifts cannot be closed by any magic other than Oblivion Magic (Tier 4) and they allow travel between the Mortal Realms to the Realm of Oblivion and back again. ~(+)==(+)~ Credits Original Author: TheDragonsRoost Contributors: Melkor__, Farryn, Quavinir, FlamboyantRage (Clarification on Scrying tools), Fitermon (Ethyrian Star), Farryn
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