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Found 133 results

  1. ((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))
  2. yopplwasupxxx

    Haeseni People

    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
  3. theldryn

    [FOOD]

    Sweet Beat Bread These perfectly made buns of bread are made for commoners and royalty alike. The bread is made out of very smooth flower, sieved to perfection. The flower is so smooth, it rolls off one's fingers without feeling a thing. The yeast inside is so fine that one can see that is has been harvested with much love and care. The honeyed water inside is so special, only one has the knowledge of how to create it. The honeyed water is said to be the best mixture of both honey, ale, and water. Made into a dough with almost godlike hands, grabbing every piece of it as it is done. Sodium chloride as small as one's hair is found within the bread, harvested from the south sea only. Several powders are also used in the baking process, but that knowledge is only for the maker to know. After the dough is finished it goes into a hot and wet chamber where it will be laid to rest. After is done in the chamber, several buns are to be made with such precision and love it is said that the gods made them. Then they will go back into the chamber to rise to twice their size. It is covered in egg yolk and egg white as it goes out of the chamber, such fine sugar is powdered on top that it is to smelt in the mouth. The perfect combination of love, hate, and skill went into making these pieces of bread. The combination of sweet and savory makes most water their mouths if they enter a tavern or ones home. Every bun is so special and precious that it is to be wrapped in paper with care to protect it. Currently, the only one who knows how to make divine pieces of bread is a high elf by the name of Melkor.
  4. The Under-Realm River of Kismet Location: The Under-Realm River of Kismet is a peculiar underground river deep within the mines of Kal’Varoth, the capital city of the Under-Realm of Urguan. It lies at the end of a long series of cave systems. One could reach the river without much trouble if equipped with proper cave traversal equipment and a proper amount of provisions. Geography: The trek to the river begins at the entrance to the mines in Kal’Varoth. At first, the mines are heavily worked, with various mining tools being scattered about the cave. Deeper in the cave, dwarven work become scarcer and scarcer until reaching the breach leading towards the Under-Realm River of Kismet. Once on the path to the river, untouched cave passageways and chambers bring whoever wanders them deeper and deeper underground. Gemstones and ores are abundant, and shine brilliant colors off the light of an explorer’s torch. Further down, a silvery moss begins covering a single long passageway. The moss holds no special properties in and of itself, but nutrients within the moss give hallucinogenic effects to whoever touches the flowers blooming from the moss, pszichedelikus virag. The jade colored flowers, pszichedelikus virag, give off a slight glow and induce intense hallucinogenic effects onto anyone who makes direct skin contact anywhere on the flower. All five senses are dramatically altered for a time dependent on how long one makes direct skin contact with the flowers. Effects on Afflicted Dependent on Time 1-4 seconds: Intense hallucinogenic effects, the afflicted’s senses are all dramatically altered. Paranoia, feeling of invulnerability, and deep retrospection are typical during the experience. The experience is manageable by oneself, albeit very hard. Being assisted by someone else will likely aid the health of the afflicted. Effects will last around twelve hours, and the afflicted will feel normal after about sixteen hours. 5-10 seconds: Heightened hallucinogenic effects, the afflicted’s senses are severely impaired. They will likely be unable to function on their own for at least a day. If not monitored, it is likely the afflicted will accidentally harm and/or kill themselves. The effects will dissipate after a day, but it will take three days for the afflicted to feel normal once again. “Afterglow” effects occur after the initial days time is up, affecting one sense at a time. An afterglow could be as harmless as smelling food that is not there to feeling like you are burning alive despite being physically normal. 10+ seconds: The afflicted will experience severe hallucinogenic effects that almost entirely alter their sense of reality. Manic behavior is certain as the afflicted will be completely out of touch with what is and isn’t reality. After about three hours, the afflicted will suffer a brain aneurysm and die. Geography cont.: Picking the flowers from the moss will kill the flower immediately, as they cannot be separated from the moss; however, they can be transported assuming the moss it is growing off of is still alive. If the flower is dead, only minor hallucinogenic effects, similar to making contact with the flower for one to four seconds, will occur regardless of how long contact is made. The buds that have yet to bloom are entirely harmless to touch. The river itself is at the apparent end to the passageway, and it flows from the right wall downwards to the left. Darkness covers both the right and left as well as across. Any attempts to traverse the river will be met with an increase in the current speed to the point where one cannot possibly swim in it. The water is around twenty feet deep. If contact is made with the water, no matter what or where, the one who made contact will be unable to break free, and they will be swept down the river by a sudden burst in the current’s speed. Civilization: There are no civilizations evident at all in this area. History: Not much is currently understood of the cave system leading up to the river. The companion post in the spoiler sheds some light on its discovery and the initial expedition, but nothing is evident from its exploration thus far. *wink* Purpose: The purpose of this world lore is to introduce the beginning of a (hopefully) long series of areas I hope to create for the dwarves of Arcas. This area is not purposed to be a one-off event area, but an interesting place to explore and build in. Creating a common story around this area and future areas will provide a meaningful, entertaining story for players, even non-dwarves if they want to show up. The area is meant to have a consistent purpose, rather than a mob pool and RP item hand out. Players will able to interact in this area by building in the larger chambers, and exploring the passageway down to the river. Interaction with the flowers has the potential for an enjoyable RP experience, and further interaction with the cave itself. This does and will not interfere with any canon present on LotC as this is a completely original idea to the best of my knowledge, and does not involve other pieces aside from the standard dwarven lore.
  5. Burnsy

    What's Under the Under-Realm?

    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.
  6. Beamon4

    -=-Clan Irongut-=-

    The Ironguts The Ironguts are the longest living clan amongst the Dwedmar, being true Cave Dwarves at heart. Since the reign of Urguan, many Ironguts have held influential and vital roles, including Kings, Lords, and some even among the Order of Ascended. With these positions, the Ironguts have helped shape the world we see now. Through the forging of great weapons,the spelunking of cavernous ruins, and delving deep into the arcane, the Ironguts have been highly regarded among the Dwedmar. Ancient History of the Clan Modern History of the Clan Clan Government and Laws > The majority of decisions are made by the Clan Father, who solely holds the responsibility to lead the Clan. The Clan Father, chosen by a majority vote by the Elders of the clan, should represent the beliefs of the Clan. It is very rare, if ever, that a Clan Father is removed by the Elders. His word is the final say in matters > Elders of the Clan are elected by the Clan members themselves by popular vote. Elders are responsible for leading the clan members in place of the Clan Father is he cannot be there. > Elders are to reflect the Clan tenets directly onto the Clan members and beardlings. They also handle the initiation and teaching of magic to beardlings in the Clan. Clan Culture Forging of Weapons A tradition where those with the skills to use the Forge will often forge personal weapons. These weapons are a symbol of the Clansman's style of fighting and often have a symbol of the creator upon them somewhere, identifying them as that specific person. Many famous weapons are under possession of the clan, for example the famed blade of Dwain I Irongut, Mourgil, which is now in the hands of Balek Irongut. Beard Braiding Just having a simple beard is not enough for the Ironguts. The Clansmen can often be seen with braids in their beards. These can be as simple as forking the beard in two or as complex as weaving it into an intricate braid, some even weaving in gems, or adding rings of metal. The clan members grow their beards long and are careful not to burn them in the forge or get torn in battle. Magic Ironguts are known users of magic,and the only Dwarven Clan capable of learning Void Magic. Any member of the clan has the right to learn magic, so long as the member can follow the Clan rules. Those inclined to learn should first speak with an Elder in order to begin training. All apprentices are expected to be patient during the process of learning, as it is not a simple one. Magic is considered a sacred tradition within the Ironguts. Clan Crest The Ironguts often adorn a crest composed of a mug of ale and a sword to show that it was sent from an Irongut. We take pride in being Ironguts and won’t hesitate if we get a chance to show it! Clan Banners The Ironguts have always used their banners to mark their homes and Clan halls in the past. The banner is composed of our Clan crest and our Clan colors, silver and blue Clan Diplomacy Clan Ireheart: Friendly Clan Grandaxe: Friendly Clan Doomforge: Neutral Clan Frostbeard: Hostile Clan Irongrinder: Neutral Clan Goldhand: Neutral Clan Treebeard: Neutral Clan Starbreaker: Neutral Clan Silvervein: Friendly Clan Hammerforged: Neutral Records of the Ironguts ((Family Tree: https://www.familyecho.com/?p=JBMRI&c=3rihhyqbxa&f=118731965149584681)) Clan Father: Dimlin Irongut (Beamon4) Clan Elders: Bolgnir Irongut(Tide1) Dwain II Irongut (Hiebe) Balek Irongut(Hobolympic) Clan Members: Tharggus Irongut (Tharggus) Balek Irongut (Hobolympic) Yeulf Irongut (IronGroot) Dorin Irongut (DarthArkous) Bolgnir Irongut (Tidemanno) Alfy Irongut(littleyoshy) Sharr Irongut (lordbobby123) Grandour Irongut(SaltyStormJakob) Ulhor Irongut(BlackDwarvenFire) Yor Irongut(punni_boi) Robin Irongut(Pilantos311) Beardlings: Hall of the Deceased: Deceased: Thordon Irongut ((Jordan1921)) Thrym Sliverfist ((NoobCrafert14)) Nurrak Irongut ((Destroyer_Bravo)) Kara Irongut ((skippyoak)) Gamil Irongut ((Unknown)) Belin Irongut ((Skinner541)) Isabelle Irongut ((Unknown)) Whurgar Irongut ((Owl_7)) Theor Irongut ((Blob9000)) Balin Irongut ((darkjames)) Thak Irongut ((GavinTheViking)) Ore'zy Irongut ((lawlmansayshi)) Fariken Irongut((30326)) Rehki Irongut ((bov61)) Smalltoe Irongut ((Musboris)) Nozagen Irongut ((Bov61)) Lilum Irongut ((KarmaDelta)) Chase Irongut((Dtrik)) Goroth Irongut((30326)) Dun Irongut ((blackhawk77g)) Skippy Irongut (skippy369) Honored Dead: Hiebe Irongut ((Hiebe)) Belin Irongut ((Skinner541)) Darius Irongut ((Blackhawk77g)) Phelrin Irongut ((ChAnKoEr)) Susan Irongut ((ABoyNamedSue)) Algrim Irongut ((Isemburt)) Draco Irongut ((RP)) Dwain Irongut ((RP)) Grungron Irongut(James27049) Missing (Previous list purged): Beardling Yurvo (MonkeyFaceGamer) Thorgrim Irongut (irDusk) Kilgrim Irongut (Kilgrim_) Gauldrim Irongut ((Redbench)) Banished: Mili Irongut ((Leland22)) Grimloth Irongut ((jakesimonson)) Tortek Silverfist ((Axmaynard)) Bofauk Irongut ((lawlmansayshi)) Duregar Irongut ((ww2buff99) Sili Irongut ((Leland22)) Aengoth Irongut ((Aengoth)) Uldar Irongut ((Tirenas)) Clan Tenets In-character 1. Respect your elders. Respect those who are older than you. You represent our clan and your actions, good or bad, affect us all. 2. Loyalty to your clan above all else. 3. Help your clansmen when you can. Don't abandon each other in fights, however hard it might be. Out-of-character 1. Your Irongut character should be your main character. 2. If you're an Irongut and you betray the clan, your character, if killed by an Irongut, is perma-dead. 3. Separate RP from OOC, we’re all friends here. Proving of the Lineage (Application) (Copy the below and paste to use) [ MC Name: ] What is your name? Where do you live? What are your primary skills? Short biography (5+ sentences): How are you related to the Irongut Clan? (See family tree, don't create your own father or mother unless you PM the Clan Father): Do you swear loyalty to the Irongut Clan?: OOC Do you agree to follow all the rules of the Irongut Clan? Discord ID? (optional, you can also send it through PM if required)
  7. Note: I’m aware that ghosts are already a playable CA race, but I’m offering a rewrite to their currently outdated lore and tried to give as much detail as possible to every part of it to avoid confusion and give people a better idea on how to RP as one. And no, it’s not a complete rewrite, and more of a cleanup/fix to their lore, where a lot of parts have been heavily edited, some parts added and other parts nerfed to make ghosts more balanced, and so on. Through the lands of Arcas, there are incorporeal beings that haunt locations or people. While most of the time they are translucent, some take colored glows of blue and red, while others simply appear like remains of their former living selves, except in shades of gray. They are called Ghosts, mostly unable to directly interact with the world around them, keeping the same personality as they’ve had in their past life, each one seeking to continue living their lives in this new world of theirs. It all depends on whether or not they’re willing to accept themselves as one of those new creatures, or falling into a pit of darkness for being what they currently are now, those miserable creatures will eventually have to choose a side. What Ghosts Are There are several different stages of ghost, all of which “evolve” from a base ghost. All ghosts are copied images of souls of dead characters left behind to wander the mortal plain. Ghosts are most often created when a person dies unnaturally or dies without being baptized into a religion. Either way, for whatever reason, a mirror image of their soul is left behind. Some ghosts may find comfort and move on eventually while others never will. Some ghosts choose not to move on, preferring to stay on the mortal plane. Even though they are mirror images of a soul, they are still individuals with individual consciousnesses. Can they be PKed? Nope, ghosts definitely cannot get PKed unless consent is given, just like the other creatures. They demanifest when ‘killed’, and eventually drift back to their haunt Also, another way to get rid of a ghost would be to wrap the item they have possessed in gold, and as long as the gold hasn’t been removed, the ghost will be stuck inside. Note that when this is done, it’s essentially captive RP, so it will be following the rules of when someone is taken captive, and with enough time the ghost can get out of the object unless they decide to stay. As usual, they lose the memories of how they demanifested and the events leading to that due to having to follow the rules. Evolution of Ghosts Level 1 - Haunt A haunt is depicted as a black and white ghost with blank, white eyes, no pupils or irises to be seen. And during that time, they don’t realize they are dead, so the ghost continues to ‘live’ as if nothing happened in the first place, going back to their daily tasks, trying to talk to people they usually talk to and essentially trying to implement themselves back into the normal mortal world. Though, due to their nature, the are unable to be seen or sensed during that time, and in turn end up being ignored by mortals. They exist in a sort of delusional haze that is half reality and half constructed of their memories. For example, even though a haunt can’t physically interact with the world, such as lifting objects and so on, an ex-soldier ghost might believe they are still one, and that they actually are holding weapons and interacting with the world at that. Though, in time, haunts may begin to break through those delusions that they’re believing and see more the real one, if things they encounter don’t fit in with the delusion. For example, if we go back to the ex-soldier, he’d be totally ignored during training hours and be left alone with no partner, and end up making him feel confused and upset, and begin manifesting in a way mortals can sense, such as noises, sounds and visible entities. They may manifest as strange sounds, voices, or visible entities. Often, they will try to interact with the people they sense around them. However, since the Haunts still believe they are alive, it is difficult to speak to them. They will often speak in delusional and deeply confused ways. Their voices are often distorted and vague. They will often refuse to accept the idea that they are dead. They will interpret most new information within the framework of their delusion. For instance, the soldier will believe that no one likes him anymore and feel more of an outcast, instead that he’s just dead and no one can sense him anymore. During that time, Haunts begin to manifest their powers, but in a really slow and weak way. They may create sounds, or appear visible from time to time, though that’s about all they can do so far, due to them not being aware of their death, and the sounds or visible entities they manifest as are mainly accidental, not something the ghost actually thinks about doing, due to them being unaware of themselves being actually a ghost and instead just a mortal. Because of their weak to nonexistent powers, a Haunt’s ghostly aura has no effects, as it hasn’t manifested yet. If a haunt manages to realize that they are dead through stable proof that can’t be countered in any way, the haunt will then move on to the next phase. Level 2 - Revenant Now, this is when the ghost is actually aware of themselves and their current state, and the time where their powers actually begin to manifest, existing as a spirit within the mortal realm. By now, their irises and pupils are visible, though keeping the white/black colours, and all shades in between. Due to their nature as a ghost, and now that their delusions are finally broken, they’ll finally realize that they actually can’t feel touch, or smell anything at that. What made the haunts believe was the smell of pie their mother just cooked in the morning for a wonderful breakfast can’t be smelled anymore now that they don’t have any delusions to help them re-create the smell in their mind every morning. Besides that, they also aren’t able to taste anything, obviously. That pie is definitely a no-no for them, only thing they can do from now on is watch other people eat it instead. A newly awakened Revenant will have trouble remembering people’s faces, which sometimes leads to them mistaking people that they meet for someone they had a connection with before they died. And because of all of that, many Revenants may fall into depression or feel miserable due to the lack of those sensations, along with not being able to directly interact with the world on a physical level, such as being able to grab a piece of pie and lift it up. As their powers begin to manifest, a ghost will begin to do the usual ghostly thing, such as shifting between invisible and invisible, shapeshifting, shrieking, making noises such as of a creature or basic instruments and so on, and even floating. However, these powers are extremely difficult to master and may take some years as a Revenant to fully master. Though, as a revenant, their powers are naturally weaker than the next stage of ghosts, as they are still manifesting them, and in turn will be harder for them to use those powers. For example, a spectre who could easily fade in and out of visibility, for a mere revenant it would take longer to do. As for the ghostly aura, as soon as the Revenant’s powers begin to manifest, so will it too, the aura itself being completely dependant on the ghost’s power. Its effects include sadness, itchiness and a chilly sensation at first, but the longer a mortal sticks around the ghost, the stronger the effects become up to a point completely dependant to the ghost’s powers, as sadness could eventually turn into depression and back luck, chill into a freezing sensation and so on. Naturally, a ghost can feed that aura’s powers to strengthen it, or even decrease the aura’s powers, but both of those actions result in the ghost having to sacrifice their own ectoplasm over time for this. A revenant, obviously, still can’t interact with the physical world the same way a mortal can, but they have different way to do things. For example, they can now begin to use telekinesis, up to Tier 3, where a revenant will begin to be able to lift a small object with some effort after enough training. Make sure to check the Telekinesis guide for help about how to use Telekinesis, since there is no difference between a mortal using that and a ghost, besides the fact that a ghost’s eyes don’t change colour and instead when they want to use telekinesis, they instead focus on the object, and it begins shaking in the first emote, then can begin floating in the second emote. As expected, every mortal has the laws of physics deeply ingrained in their minds, and so a newly awakened Revenant will have no access to ghostly powers and will still react to things as if it were a physical entity, even if they cannot touch or be touched by anything, which is why a revenant can’t shapeshift or begin floating unless they stop following those laws, which is hard to do, and takes a lot of time. Now, once a revenant has manifested their powers, gave everything enough time to be a typical ghost, now comes up for the next part; Level 3. Ghosts in Level 3 are divided between Spectres and Poltergeists, where the former is blue-coloured, latter being red, each with their own differences that will be mentioned later. If a revenant accepts themselves for who they have become now, they will be moving on to become a Spectre, and if not, and instead react to it in a horrible way such as with a lot of anger and/or hate, they end up turning into Poltergeists. Level 3 - Spectres and Poltergeists If the Revenant reacts negatively to their death and cannot be calmed down, they may turn into a Poltergeist. Poltergeists are ghosts consumed by anger and hate. They can be identified by their strong red color, ashy appearance, or completely black eyes. Poltergeists have mastered the ability to force their will onto physical people and objects. They will often throw things, destroy objects, scratch or harm people, or wail or make frightening noises, and are also able to physically touch flesh, living things, such as being able to grab someone, pull them around, choke the living essence out of people and so on. Due to their nature, Poltergeists are more drawn to the chaotic sides, and usually begin to haunt people, terrorize them with their powers and cause chaos all around. Though, that isn’t the case for all Poltergeists since ghosts retain the same personality they had from their past life, and instead be just more leaning towards the chaotic side from their nature. A Poltergeist doesn’t always have to be terrorizing people. If the Revenant can be calmed or gracefully accepts their new deceased state, they may become a spectre. Spectres are identified by their luminous blue color. Spectres are benevolent or at least neutral ghosts and are mostly harmless. They’ve mastered the ability to float, turn visible or invisible, and change appearance, but they typically do not use these abilities to frighten or disturb anyone. Spectres are less of the harmful side of ghosts, and more of the trickster type, or so to say, and can still be malevolent or playful. They definitely still can haunt and terrorize people like a Poltergeist would be more inclined to in order to feed from people’s emotions, which is no unfamiliar thing to them, but can also draw out different emotions, such as happiness, or even sadness and depression without having to drag out the fear. Where a Poltergeist will for example terrorize someone, traumatize them for life and feed out of the strong emotions they get out of, a Spectre can do the same, bar being able to physically touch the mortal, but can also use their powers for comedic value. Ever heard of a ghostly penguin with halfling feet that can breakdance? Ghosts don't have to fit neatly in either box, though. Whether they are poltergeists or spectres, are still individuals and will retain their living personalities even into their third evolution. Because the core of a poltergeist is anger and the core of a spectre is peace, the two level 3 ghost types often find each other repellent and try to avoid contact with each other if possible. They do not usually fight one another - simply avoid each other. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. Because ghosts are still all individuals, sometimes individual poltergeists and spectres may not hate each other, and can even interact with each other. For example, a deceased mother and daughter, the mother ending up being a spectre and the daughter a poltergeist, and while still retaining their same personalities and memories from their past life, nothing’s stopping them from still loving each other like they did back then as a family, even due to their differences as ghosts. Ghost's Characteristics Ghosts of all colors have a strong aversion to both bright light and magegold. If a house is afflicted by an unwanted ghost, the spirit can be driven out with either of those objects. Most ghosts, however, are fairly harmless. Since they can be chased out by magegold or light, it is often not worth it to call upon a holy being or shaman. The ascended, for example, have been known to deal with the undead, and can be very capable of dealing with them if a ghost is powerful enough to need one. Though, they could always be dealt with by just any person, as long as they have the gold to protect themselves and to drive them away. Ghosts aren’t killers, so driving them away is definitely possible without having to worry too much. Haunts and Spectres are often not actively malicious. Revenants can be malicious, but not always. Poltergeists are usually the ones that require exorcism, as they are the most actively malicious and actively perform harmful deeds. Most ghosts stick to a single place or person when they haunt. Most ghosts will haunt the places and people they remember from their lives before they died. Sometimes, a ghost will haunt an object and move where the object moves. A lot of ghosts do not usually congregate in groups and don't typically have government systems, even though that is completely possible due to ghosts being able to retain their past life’s personality. While ghosts can interact with one another, they are mostly inclined to be solitary. When they do congregate in groups, it is usually because something awful has happened. Ghosts are usually created when people die violently or unnaturally. If a large number of people die at once, under certain circumstances, they may form up into an Apparition. In which case, they become extremely dangerous. However, this occurs under specific and unusual circumstances and does not always happen. The garden variety ghost can be an annoyance, especially if malevolent, but they are usually solitary and usually easy enough to vanquish. Since they are often attached to specific people, places, or objects, a simple solution to a ghost problem may be just to move away from the place/thing/person the ghost is haunting. Ghost Powers How Gold and Aurum work on Ghosts Ghost Red Lines: -They cannot learn any type of magic besides their own ghostly magic and Telekinesis, which comes naturally and grows up to T3 at most. -Ghosts cannot RP what they mechanically can’t do. Emoting your ghost phasing through a door then getting the owner to unlock it for you is not a possibility. -Ghosts cannot physically interact with the world the same way a mortal does. Only a Poltergeist is able to move objects around and grab living things without the need to use telekinesis. -It takes ingame years for a ghost to move on from Revenant to Level 3, they will have to manifest their powers and either accept themselves as a ghost or react with anger. -Haunts do not have access to ghost powers besides visibility/invisibility and noises, and even those are accidental and not thought about consciously. Anything beyond that is a no-no since they aren’t aware of their death. -They cannot pass through gold barriers, unless they have possessed something that protects them from it on the way through. -A spectre cannot move objects and grab living beings physically like a poltergeist can, and instead have access to 1 emote invisibility, which every other type of ghost can not. -A spectre cannot turn into a poltergeist, or vice-versa. Once a decision has been made, the ghost cannot change anymore and will require you to make a whole new ghost if you’d like to have one of the other type. Purpose: Same purpose as current ghosts, but this rewrite is mainly because their lore is pretty outdated and was back when holy beings and shamans were plentiful, and people were more equipped to dealing with ghosts. Hopefully this will change that and make it fit more with what is currently going on. Citation:
  8. 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
  9. SimplySeo

    ----<{ Clan Starbreaker }>----

    “Though the night has darkened, and the forge has long since chilled, I do not despair Though sorrow has been wrought, and struggle lie ahead, I shan’t ever falter For as long as stars still adorn the sky above, and the rock does not give way beneath my feet The Line of Gotrek will endure, as we always have.” MUSIC The Starbreakers Kazamar Kornazkarumm Named from the title of their progenitor Gotrek ‘the Starbreaker’ the Starbreakers are an Elder Clan of Cavern Dwarves known for their history as some of the greatest smiths and scholars in Dwarven history. Distinguished by their skin color (or lack of) of light grey, their darker hair colors, and eye colors ranging from amber and brown, to sky, or steel blue. Beyond this all Starbreakers are of the same blood, as adoption is forbidden except in very specific circumstances. Over the centuries they have thus developed a strong focus on family values, this is a defining trait of their clan which is shared by almost all their number. Though they are all well read, personalities vary widely, from wizened, kind, and understanding, to the more ambitious and volatile of their number. Despite this highly polarized nature, they are more often than not unified due to their close-knit traditions, and will stubbornly defend their kinsmen over all other loyalties. They are prideful of their long history, and credit their clan’s founder with the invention both Runesmithing(a talent unfortunately lost to the clan, many years ago) and golemancy, which is still in practice. It is these deeds, and many others that the Starbreakers hold great value in, leading to particularly noteworthy ancestors in their clan’s history being venerated almost to the level of Paragonhood, at least by members of said clan. A smithing family first and foremost, it is of little surprise that Starbreakers who have been raised according to traditional doctrine, follow Yemekar with a borderline fanatical devotion, given his nature as the smithing-God and father of the Brathmordakin. Other popular Gods (though never venerated above the Forgefather) are Anbella, whose role a mother and protector of children earns her great praise from the Kornazkarumm, and Ogradhad who is also commonly prayed to by the more scholarly members of the Clan, as greedily seeking knowledge is a common trait among them. Gotrek, the first of their number is also worshipped more often than not, and is seen as everything a modern Starbreaker should aspire to be. Wayward Starbreakers(those not necessarily raised within the clan) tend not to follow such a zealous practice, but even they respect the Progenitor and Forgefather above all others. Customs and traits Ashen skin A trait common to many Cave Dwarves, but most of all the Starbreakers, is their skin color being of similar shade to the stone in which they reside. The exact color can vary from a dark, almost coal gray, to a lighter, ‘colorless’ gray or somewhere between. This does not act as dark skin among surface dwellers, and in fact often acts in exactly opposite a manner. Starbreaker skin can best be described as the lack of a pigment, and though a tolerance can be built up over time, it is not unusual for Starbreakers to suffer a form of photosensitivity referred to as ‘sun-sickness’. This is not extreme in any regard, and in most cases is simply poorer eyesight above ground as well as itchy, or burned skin in direct sunlight. The cure for this is simple, wear a cloak, as it is never wise to leave home without one regardless. Dark hair Though not an absolute by any means, the dominant genes of a Starbreaker often surface in the form of hair color, even with Dwarves of other Elder Clans, a Starbreaker’s hair tends to be of darker shades, specifically black, with a coal-like color being the most common variant. Starbreakers of the past were occasionally born with brown hair, however the family branch known for this has long since died out. Height and build As Cave Dwarves, it should be known that the Starbreakers are not the tallest folk. While Mountain Dwarves can reach up to heights of 5’1, a Starbreaker has never been recorded of going over 4’6. However their build is hardly as lacking. Do not let their height fool you, the Kornazkarumm are often just as hardy, and just as physically tough as their more surface-inclined kin. It is not unusual for them to spend many hours in the forge, and just as many in armor in an attempt to familiarize themselves with it. As such, it is common (though not always) for Starbreakers to be of athletic builds, as such a driven folk are not as prone to feasting as other Dwarves. Stoneblood and Ironblood Terms coined by Jorvin Starbreaker after the trial and execution of Torkan Silverfinger, the phrases ‘Stoneblood’ and ‘Ironblood’ refer to the two dominant schools of modern Starbreakers. The stoneblood, or amber-eyed Starbreakers take after Kazraden, who all modern clan members are descended from, whereas Ironblood or blue-eyed Starbreakers, take traits more akin to those of Kalmania, wife of Kazraden who was according to legend, born a member of Clan Ironborn. Stonebloods will often be of leveler heads, and more keen to diplomacy and neutrality then they would be to wage war, whereas Ironbloods will often take a more direct solution if offered, and though they are not any less wiser than the rest of their clan, they tend prone to outbursts of anger, as well as gravitating towards grimmer personalities. This does not mean Ironblooded Starbreakers are inherently untrustworthy and in fact, if their ambitious and aggressive nature are kept wisely in check, they can grow to be quite competent leaders. Stonebloods, in stark contrast, are quicker friends and more forgiving foes, as utterly destroying an enemy, and destruction outright should only be done when all other means are exhausted. It is these individuals, who think before they act, that prove to be great golemancers, and men of knowledge. Family values It is of no surprise that Clan Starbreaker, being a blood clan with such an focus upon it, remains a close-knit family. Loyalty to one’s clan should supercede that even to one’s kingdom, and be second only to one’s Gods. Betrayal of the clan is a most grievous sin that will result in immediate expulsion, and disowning. Secondly, a Starbreaker is to remain as steadfast and respectable as possible in public, lest shame be brought upon the Clan, any action which possesses even the potential to dishonor the clan’s name should not be acted upon, and it is expected for a Starbreaker to put the interests of family above that of their own. Secrecy While not an official tradition of any sort, the Starbreakers are often to focus inwards, sooner settling disputes between themselves than in any sort of court. This is also in no small part out of fear for the Clan’s name, as one can only imagine the damage that would be wrought upon their honor should their dirty laundry be aired in public, not to mention how improper it is. Almost ironically however, it is because of this, conjoined with the Clan’s controversial history that has led them to be viewed as suspicious to outsiders, a distrust which is mutual in many regards, as the Clan’s inner workings are not oft to be shared with outsiders. Neutrality Starbreaker neutrality is a fickle thing and one should not take at face value. To be ‘neutral’ as a Starbreaker is not to sit upon the sidelines, and let the world tick by without your intervention, but instead to raise oneself above petty games and politics, to not throw the first punch, for when you strike let it be only for a righteous cause, and may you strike with all your mustered fury. A Starbreaker’s voice is not to be bought and sold like cattle, but instead offered when wisened council is required. Even still, should the Dwarven realms be threatened, let the sons of Gotrek be the first to raise their arms as it is Yemekar’s will that Urguan’s folk be protected, and the underrealm they reside in defended, to the last drop of blood. However, should kin-strife once more take hold of the Dwarves, it would be better to await it’s end than sully one’s blade with Dwarven blood. Should a tyrant arise however, once more may the Kornazkarumm be spurred into action. Clan Prayer Eng: Yemekar guide my hammer, in battle as in the forge. If I fight, let it be for a cause that is just, and if I fall in battle, and death steals my soul, may the stars forever shine over Gotrek’s line. Dwe: Yemekar akhoral thas ord, nir Krazdran as nir da kadrel. Kolun tha Krazdran don it mer yoth yir yol-mer reeth nar thorok. Kolun kavir agolam thas dwedohin, dar da kor morred vekaan. Clan Trials Trial of Blood The first and most important of the trials, it is performed either ceremonially a year after the birth of the Starbreaker in question, or for the more wayward sons of Gotrek, immediately after they are brought to the clan hall. This trial’s purpose is to determine ‘worth of blood’ and to ensure the person in question possesses blood from Gotrek the Starbreaker, a requirement. The ritual is performed by slicing open the young Starbreaker’s hand with a runic dagger, should the blade glow brightly, they are immediately inducted into the clan. If it does not glow, then the person in question has failed the ‘blood test’ and is barred entry from Clan Starbreaker. Trial of Creation Occurring as a ‘coming of age’ ceremony, when a Dwedki grows into an adult (anywhere between the ages of 16-20) the trial consists of using the particular talent and knowledge of the beardling in question to create an item of value. While this does not necessarily pertain to forgework, it is encouraged to be so, in keeping with clan customs and traditions. Trial of Knowledge After the creation trial has been completed, it is wise for a Starbreaker to immediately begin working on the next, as it will often take several years to complete. The Starbreakers pride themselves as ‘the few and the wise’ and to ensure this remains the case, work must be done to instill them with both the want and desire to learn more. The budding Starbreaker will scour the lands, seeking to retrieve a single book containing knowledge of great value, be it magical, historical, or other. Should no such book be found, they must take it upon themselves to write it. Be it recording a legend passed down over the campfire for centuries, or writing down an alchemist’s greatest recipe. When such a book has been found, it is to be brought to the Clan Lord, and it’s quality judged, should it pass, the trial is completed, and the individual has but one step left. Trial of Courage Having proved themselves wisened, and dedicated to their craft, the Starbreaker has but one trial left, a final grand tribute to Yemekar, the Father-God of the Dwarves. It is all well and good to bring new creations into this world, but equally crucial to protect what has already been made, as such the Trial of Courage is simple. Be it in the field of battle, or otherwise, save the life of one who has not lived theirs to its fullest. When the deed has been done, the individual has proven themselves capable in the utmost regard. Each trial is performed with the intent of bringing the Starbreaker closer to their progenitor and by extension, their Ancestral God Yemekar. Industriousness, perseverance, wisdom, and the iron-clad determination to do what must be done for the betterment of the family, and Dwarves as a whole. These are the virtues that make a Starbreaker what they are. History Elder Histories: Aegis-late Atlas Modern History: Late Atlas-Current Family Chronicle To those of you who have read through all that, I applaud you, and now that we are at the end, I am sure you are curious to learn more, perhaps you are even wayward children of Gotrek yourselves? If you’d like to find out, below are some notable Starbreakers you might wish to speak to, and more importantly, an application. Thank you for reading, Narvak oz Kornazkarrum! Please note this post isn’t (completely) done, normal members, and artifacts will be listed at a later date. Clan Lord/Father Titles used interchangeably, ‘Lord’ being preferred when the Starbreaker in question themselves are not a father Jorvin Starbreaker (DixieDemolisher) Seo#0650 Clan Elders Kazrin Starbreaker (DrHope) Stromnikar Starbreaker (Dungrimm) Crevin Starbreaker (Mavromino) Dangren Starbreaker (Dtrik) Application Name: Username: Character’s age: Biography: Skin: (If you do not possess one, don’t worry! We can fix you up) Ancestry: (If you don’t know who your character is related to, that’s fine! We’ll figure it out Discord:
  10. theldryn

    The institute of Armitage

    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)
  11. yopplwasupxxx

    The Memoirs of Aylwin Blaxton

    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
  12. UnderRealmsofUrguan

    Dwarven Legion Manifest

    The Dwarven Legion <=-<>-=> The Dwarven Legion, guardians of the Under-Realm, protectors of the Dwedmar and bastions of the Dwarven Spirit. The mission of The Dwarven Legion is to protect and serve as the main military force within the Under-Realm. The Legion is known for its admirable order and discipline, and its roots in the most prestigious and oldest military guilds to date. It is currently led by Grand Marshal Gimli Grandaxe. Perks of Joining the Legion <=-<>-=> Equipment: Gear for combat and traversing the land is available to the forces of the Legion who have passed training (Grunt Rank) and can be obtained from the Grand Marshal or Commander, a Dwarf may only receive one off duty kit per Stone week and will by default receive a combat kit during times of war. Free Barracks Housing: A new recruit may gain free housing within the barracks, the recruit that partakes in this bonus will lose their lodging after purchasing a home of any type within the capital or in the kingdom’s surrounding lands. Housing Purchase & Tax Discounts: Legionnaires may purchase a home in Kal’Varoth for 50 minas (instead of 120 minas) and are also required only a mere 50 mina per stone week tax (instead of 100). Military Ranks The main body of the Legion consists of her Legionnaires. Dwedmar from Kal’Varoth with an extra urge to protect their home. Having the choice between Light, Medium and Heavy armour is left up to the individual but the ranks stay the same for each Dwed. Acquiring Rank In order for Legionnaires to acquire a rank, they must fulfill certain requirements for each rank in the Legion. -=<=-=>=- Honor Points: Honor acquiring Honor is a way to show commitment to the Legion and the dwedmar. A certain amount of Honor is required for each rank. The ways to achieve Honor in the Legion are: Gate Duty: 5 Honor per ½ hour Patrol: 5 Honor per ½ hour Attending a Training: 10 Honor Recruiting a Dwed into the Legion: 25 Honor Small Fight: 15 Honor Raids: 25 Honor Skirmishes: 35 Honor Battles: 50 Honor Trainings: Trainings are essential to learning the skills required of a Legionnaire, and also present commitment to The Legion. Raids / Skirmishes: Experience in smaller scale fights such as raids and skirmishes are critical in warfare, and make up much of a Legionnaire’s combat experience. Battles: While more rare, Battles are the crucial large-scale engagements that shape young Legionnaires into veterans. -=<=-=>=- -=<>=- Senior Offices xxxxxxx Grand Marshall <=-<>-=> First in Command. Leading the Legion in the name of King and Council. The utmost respect is paid to the Leading dwed and his voice ranks so high that it he even allowed to be seated on the council of Rikkin. xxxxxx Commander <=-<>-=> Second in command. These Dwed work as the Right and Left hand of the Grand Marshall and should be treated for they managed to obtain the rank. This legionnaire must be treated as the Thruum'Kazak, should he be absent or if he has chosen the Velerakian to give orders. Only two Dwarves may have this position at a time. Junior Officers xxxx Lieutenant <=-<>-=> Highly respected among the Legionnaires. Veterans and skilled fighters, the Barel'Rikkin are trusted the most. They may be chosen to lead squads or lead the army, should both the Velerakian and Thruum'Kazak prove absent. These Dwed often show exceptional fighting prowess or combat-leading capabilities. Only three may have this position at a time. Enlisted xxx Ironbreaker <=-<>-=> The Ironbreaker is the highest achievable Legionnaires rank. Often veterans within the Legion. They are some of the finest soldiers found on the field compared to any Nation. Rank Requirements: 600 Honor. 8 Trainings. 4 Raids / Skirmishes. 3 Battles. -=<=-=>=- xx Ironguard <=-<>-=> The Ironguards are the Stoneguards who had proven their expertise. Either a display of discipline, bravery or fighting prowess has earned this Legionnaire a distinguished rank above the common soldiery. Rank Requirements: 300 Honor. 8 Trainings. 2 Raids / Skirmishes. 1 Battle. -=<=-=>=- x Stoneguard <=-<>-=> A Stoneguard is the base rank for most Legionnaires. The backbone of the whole order. These are your average well-trained Dwed who know how the to fight. Rank Requirements: 100 Honor. 3 Trainings. -=<=-=>=- - Grunt <=-<>-=> A Grunt is the beginning Rank within the Legion. All Dwarves can sign up at any time to start their progress within the legion as a Grunt. These beginning soldiers will be taught all the basics they need within their military career. Grunt is the enlistment rank, to become a Grunt fill out this form -=<=-=>=- Auxiliaries <=-<>-=> Thorns of Hefrumm The Thorns of Hefrumm is a unique group within the Legion for only the Forest Dwarves of Hefrumm can join them. These brave warriors of surface-dwelling kin are expected to guard their own town but fall under the direct influence of the Legion’s chain-of-command. -=<=-=>=- The Obsidian Guard The Obsidian Guard. The guards of King and Council. The strongest, the best of fighters and nothing but the best. These are the Legionaries that will protect the High King, the Rikkin and all of those who need extra protection. They are one of the few that may be armed around the High King and Rikkin. As the Most elite Warriors, the Obsidian Guards enjoy a respected status within the Legion and Nation. When not personally shielding the High King or Rikkin, they are tasked with guarding the key elements such as the Throne Room, Council Room and Upper Gates. -=<=-=>=- The Longbeard Regiment The Longbeards of Urguan are veterans of the many battles fought by the Dwarven Legion, and make up a more reserved section of the Legion. The Longbeards operate as active service Legionnaires, however they are not mandated any active service outside of war-time. Longbeards receive full benefits of Legionnaires, however this does not provide immunity towards any taxes or activity checks done outside of the Legion. Longbeards do not receive pay, unless put into full active service during war-time. -=<=-=>=- Training <=-<>-=> Practice or Training one’s combat skills and labor talents is an important factor within the Dwarven Kingdom as well as the Legion. Formations and discipline are often the most stressed subjects as the Dwarven Legion is well known for its organization and discipline. Combat Training Military practice is often done once or twice every Stone Week to hone the skills of both recruits and veteran soldiers. It is also to ensure that siege weaponry is in working order. Practice also allows the legion to plan for their battles, and also to give newer recruits a chance to gain experience. Group Training Drilling (Training one’s fighting prowess.) Combat Practice (Fighting in Formations in Combat Scenarios.) Discipline and Order (Training soldiery) Personal practice Demonstration of Competency to be excluded from, or put in a educating role, in one of the fields of Group Practice. Guard Duty <=-<>-=> The Duty of Guarding is a crucial role within the capital, Militants within the Legion are expected to serve for one stone hour to protect the Hold, duties of guarding include: Gate Management Is the duty in which a Legionnaire is to protect the mighty stone gate way of the capital. In order to promote camaraderie it is recommended that more than one guard is on duty during shifts. During shifts legionnaires are expected to keep the gate open for Dwarves to pass freely in between, but be alert enough to shut the gates for outsiders. When an outsider approaches the gates, the guard on-duty is expected to ask their Name, Race, Reason for Visiting, Where they’re from, and if they have any weaponry/magic). If they are wearing any face-covering masks, helmets, or hoods they must be removed. If the outsider refuses or fails to answer any question or comply with commands then they shall not be granted entry past the gates. Patrol Patrolling is vital to the Kingdom’s well being be it either; tunnel clearances (when a guard goes into the deep mines and disposes of creeps and critters who may harm the miners) or doing surface checks (where the militant will do tasks similar to the tunnel clearance but on the surface. This is usually the job of a ranger.) Any peculiar sightings are to be reported to the Legion Officers for further inspection. Surface Checks The Guard is to wander about the perimeter of the capitol where he or she will be charged with examining the wall that protects the Hold’s border as well as slay and critters who threaten travelers, any peculiar sightings such as wall breaks, mysterious structures, or brigand presence, is to be reported. Formations <=-<>-=> Vel <=-<>-=> - Vertical line. - Formation always has the leader in front - Line must not pass leader or break form during march - Not default stance when inactive Dree Vel <=-<>-=> - Multiple vertical lines. - Formation always has the leader in front - Line must not pass leader or break form during march - May be default stance when inactive if numbers exceed 8 soldiers - Continues going down in rows to accompany all soldiers Aemiz <=-<>-=> - Horizontal line - Formation always has the leader in front - Row will not be used during march - Default stance when inactive if number is less than 8 soldiers Tekom <=-<>-=> - Box - Formation has leader in the center - Important individuals will be hosted on the inside - Line must not pass leader or break form during march - Rarely used during march due to difficulty to maintain - Not default stance when inactive Uniforms & Rank <=-<>-=> Tailor Supplied Uniforms Enlistment Form
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. “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.
  19. 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]
  20. 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]
  21. The Soulbound Servants: Didacts of the Forest Holy Ghosts of Druids An elven druid returns as a Soulbound Servant, watching over the forest with a careful eye. It is a well known truth among druii and those that study the aspects or their faith, that devout druids who die ascend to the realm of the fae, to serve out their days as Soulbound Servants. In the realm of fae, these spirits of passed druids are revered by all as wise men and oracles. Creatures of the fae flock from every corner of the realm to hear their words of wisdom. In the realm of fae, they are considered demigods, chosen of the aspects themselves. (The Fae Realm). In death, these sages reflect the souls of what they were in life. For those that sought the taste of battle in defense of the balance, they may find themselves as a spirit of fury, blessing those of the Twilight Bound. A gentler druid, a healer perhaps, may find themselves as a mending spirit of the Dayward Way. All these such spirits are revered amongst the fae creatures of the world. The servants can take the form of an incorporeal spirit, the physical body they had in life, or even as a reflection of their own spirit animal. Respected and revered by all races of the fae as the chosen vessels of the Aspects themselves, the Soulbound enjoy their afterlife by serving as wise men and priests. The most dimwitted of rock-creatures to the most cunning of Imps will travel across the entire Fae for the chance to meet one of the Soulbound and receive words of wisdom. Like all fae creatures, they possess the ability to traverse over one of the many thin threads that hold our realms together, through a fae ring. For one that may find themselves facing one of these spirits, they can expect only unbridled wisdom, for they gaze upon a fragment of the fae realm itself. However, while they were able to become corporeal in the Eternal Forest, their journey to the mortal realm has diminished their strength, and they hold but a fraction of the power they hold in the Fae Realm. A soulbound servant, in the mortal realm, is little more than a spirit of the fae. They cannot touch or interact with the world. They will never again feel the embrace of a loved one, nor the wind on their cheek. They are dead, lost to the world. Incorporeal beings that merely exist as a passer of knowledge, a wielder of the torch of druidic power. Even when their connection to the Eternal Forest is strongest, standing within the fae ring, they are unable to lay a finger on the world of the living. One may ask, why would a soulbound servant return to the mortal fold? What other reason than the one they hold in the realm of the fae. They serve as ancient teachers, passing on the wisdom of their many years. It is the primary mission of all Soulbound Servants to pass down their own knowledge of the balance, and to guide the druids of the world towards a heightened understanding of what their duty is, and how they might attain it. They serve as powerful guides to all that follow the path of the aspects. To dedicants, they serve to inform and teach. To Druii, they seek to offer their different perspective on the world and how it may function. And above all, to Archdruii, they serve as powerful advisers in the face of great adversity. But they are just that. Guides, advisers, wise-men. Vessels of knowledge. Due to the distance from the realm of the fae, and their diminished power, they are unable to use the gifts that they had throughout their lives as druii, but they still retain their ancient knowledge of the arts. To fulfill their mission, these spirits are able to pass on their understanding of the gifts into the druii of the world in several ways, detailed a bit later. In addition to this, the servants have access to a few smaller tricks from their time in the fae realm that they would use in pursuit of guiding dedicants, druids, and archdruii alike, without impacting the world on a physical level. Blessings of the Aspects Gifts From the Eternal Forest A druid completes a task with the oversight of the Soulbound Servant Soulbound Servants tend not to intervene in worldly affairs, beyond their task of guiding others, and serving the balance. Without the ability to hold a sword, or travel far beyond their fae rings, they take up a more guiding role, using their abilities to teach, rather than lead. Their time spent in the realm of the fae shows now though, and Soulbound Servants find that they have a few lesser abilities that they didn’t have before. These can be very straining for the spirit to perform, and only one may be used per day, that they might serve the spirit in guiding others. Greensight Soulbound Servants mimic many of the abilities of regular ghosts, being able to use their own version of Horrorchill called Greensight. With this ability, Soulbound Servants have the ability to reach out to attuned minds, and are able to incur visions of the past, things that the servant themselves have seen, or even things that the subject has seen. Through this, they can evoke calming memories, or through their own memories, lessons of the past. These visions can be as vivid or as vague as the spirit wills it. This ability, unlike horrorchill, only works on a willing subject who knows they are being affected. This only affects attuned druids, and those affected by fae rings. Oversight Similar to the talking host ability that usual ghosts have, soulbound servants are able to bind themselves to a druid for as long as they wish, seeing what they see, hearing what they hear, allowing them into their thoughts. However, this must be entirely willed on the part of the druid and the servant. During this time, the druid is marked with a fae rune upon their forehead, showing that they are a vessel of the spirit. This lasts until the subject no longer wills it, or the spirit decides to leave the body. If the host is killed while the servant is inside of the body, that spirit demanifests as they gather themselves again. In addition to these two abilities, Soulbound Servants can do several abilities like their ghostly cousins. Soulbound Servants may shift between visibility and invisibility at will, disappearing or appearing in a flash of their fae energy. Soulbound Servants can interact with the environment in limited ways, such as opening doors, or nudging objects. (In the same way that ghosts do.) Soulbound Servants may float (In the same way that ghosts do) Soulbound Servants give off a glow that reflects their fae energy. Soulbound Servants can change their appearance in a limited way, such as gaining fae attributes, or taking on the form of their spirit animal Due to their distance from the realm of the Fae, they cannot fully return to their physical form. However, when in the Eternal Forest, they can regain such a form. Instead of decaying life around them, and feeding on it, Soulbound Servants serve as a conduit of fae energy, and many may find the world around them blooming to life as the world is touched by the mystical energies of the Eternal Forest. Soulbound Servants do NOT have telekinesis, unlike their ghostly cousins. Guides and Redlines Soulbound Servants must have been at least a T5 in Control and Communion before their death to be brought back. Soulbound Servants require a CA to be played. Soulbound servants are the spirits of druids that return to the mortal realm to continue their duties as druids. In order to be brought back from the realm of the fae at first, the spirit must be guided back by a druid using transcendence. They cannot be forced back if they do not want to come back. If a druid already knows the Transcendence feat, they can bring themselves back. Soulbound Servants can appear as a manifestation of their former selves, or as a reflection of their spirit animal Soulbound Servants can interact with the environment in limited ways, such as opening doors, or nudging objects. (In the same way that ghosts do.) Soulbound Servants can no longer perform control, blight healing, or herblore, shapeshifting, unattunement, attunement, or powersharing. Soulbound Servants can no longer teach unattunement, attunement, or shapeshifting. Soulbound Servants can still teach druidism, including control, communion, blight healing, and herblore if they have a TA A servant doesn’t need to eat, sleep, or breathe; they may survive indefinitely without damage Golden Weaponry affects the spirits as a normal weapon would to a person, and cannot use any of their abilities on gold. To banish a servant to the Eternal Forest, one can summon a cleric, shaman, Fi’ user, or alterationist to perform an exorcism. This demanifests the ghost, but is not a Perma-kill on the Soulbound Servant. It is not necessarily possible to "kill" a Soulbound Servant, but they can be forced them into the Eternal Forest. This causes the Ghost to demanifest for 30 minutes, akin to death for other Descendants, and leave the area to go to the Eternal Forest for a prolonged amount of time. OOC Note: What I really tried to change with this rendition of the lore was the “how” one becomes such a thing, and the abilities. I really tried to trim down the lore piece from Shade lore levels of length to a nice, easily read piece. Short, sweet, simple. I’ve turned it into a lore addition, as a way to extend the ghost lore into other aspects of the server. I’ve translated a lot of the “horror” of the abilities into more Fae abilities. I wanted to create a way for druids to return as ghosts without relinquishing their connection to the Emerald Forest. So, druidic ghosts!
  22. TheDragonsRoost

    [✗] [Deity] Zarelek, the Empty Lord

    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
  23. Gyezu Yeti Origins~ While only now showing themselves during the realm of Atlas, many theorize that the Gyezu Yetis have followed the descendants throughout their journey, moving with them to each new realm, while others believe these creatures reside on all realms before the arrival of the descendants.No one knows how these large creatures would have been able to stay undetected for centuries, but their recent discovery seems to be one planned by the creatures, not something man happened to stumble upon. Description~ Gyezu Yetis are creatures ranging between six and ten feet tall, with a thick fur covering all of their body, except their hands, feet, and part of their face. These creatures have similarities to descendants, as their hands and feet look to have individual fingers and toes, and are capable of grasping items. Their fingers and toes are ended with sharp claws, usually around two inches long. The skin of the Gyezu Yeti is tough and thick, providing an extra set of protection against weaker weapons.The face of one of these yetis is very chiseled and long, with a large nose covering most of the face’s center. Yetis are estimated to weigh between 600 and 800 pounds, with a tremendous amount of muscle mass. The strength of the Yetis can be compared to that of a golem, or olog. The race of Gyezu Yeti are known to have a rather high intellect, Habitat~ With their thick coats of fur, the Gyezu Yetis have adapted to the harsh, snowy climates of Southern Atlas. The Yetis are known to live within mountains or caves, which is seen as quite odd due to their high intellect. During the summer months, when the temperature is a bit higher and it snows less, the Gyezu Yeti’s fur thins, and their time in their caves lessens. Behavior~ Although there have been very few interactions with the Gyezu Yetis. They are a fairly peaceful species. The Yeti, while being physically capable of dealing heavy damage, chooses to only attack when hunting food. The diet of a Yeti consists of a balance between vegetation and meat, as they could be seen eating large animals, and various plants. Yetis have never eaten a descendant, or any other intelligent race, seeming to stick to the normal food sources of wild game. The level of intellect of the Gyezu Yeti remains unknown, as they keep themselves away from civilization until only recent. Even without much information, they seem to have a very high intellect, which is quite strange for their body type and attributes. .
  24. Preface (OOC) The lore written below is to implement a new neutral Aengudaemon, adding it to the established pantheon on LotC. What we have written hopes to develop just who Lagara is, her realm, and the many beings she has created beneath her. Thank you for reading! Created by: MajesticOwyn, Wulfery, PosidonX7 and xxEnderking Lagara, strumming her harp as she overlooks the serenity of Hastilaegi. (Source) Lagara, Goddess of Lein Hahnu Aengudaemon of Devotion and Ancestry Origin From the beginning of her existence, Lagara relegated herself to the shadows, taking on a role as an outside observer. She watched on in a mixture of envy and horror as her brothers and sisters squabbled over the the mortal realm, each vying for the largest amount of control and power. She secluded herself from them, avoiding any ties or connections, determining it was the safest way to stay out of their endless cycle of conflict. With time these emotions only increased in severity, for Lagara was a being of extremes. Were she to love, it was a deep and boundless one. Were she to hate, it was as if it had taken root into her very soul, coursing through her being. After time, one emotion came to dominate the others. Loneliness. This feeling quickly spread through her, and with it a sense of existential dread. Through this torment Lagara quickly realized that she needed more than to just be the one who watched. She had not forgotten all that she had seen, however, and realized that there was no place for her among the others of her kind. It was their eternal cycle of conflict that she wished to avoid. She desired a realm of her own, one in which she was the most powerful and beautiful. A realm which she would fill with followers and servants who only desired to please her. So, Lagara tapped into her very being, channeling her latent powers into one sole desire: to create a realm of her own. In the beginning, only a seedling; a thought, an idea. Lagara poured every thread of her being into nourishing her creation, smiling upon it as a mother would her babe. As she toiled away, it grew, coursing with her divine power, one which was steadily growing more chaotic. Cradled within her hand, she brought the seed to her chest and planted it into her flesh. With that, the catalyst, which unbound the violent tempest of energy. Thus, Lein Hahnu was born. A Demand of Service Lagara sat at the center of this immense and powerful force as it spread outward, her realm forming before her eyes. The creation was chaotic and uncontrollable, and Lagara soon realized that she may have made a mistake. While she was indeed an Aengudaemon, a divine being of great power, she was immature and inexperienced. What she had forced into existence soon grew out of her control. This was not the only problem, however. She soon realized that her power alone would not be enough to sustain this crucible of creation, and that the realm would only grow in size and complexity until it collapsed, consuming itself. Just as Lein Hahnu was born, so was its death inevitable. Even with this thought on her mind, she did not despair. It was her realm, she would not stand idly by as she had done her entire existence. Lagara began to create. Her thoughts soon materialized in front of her. Landmasses, structures, even other beings, all born out of her love. Though the chaotic tempest that tore at reality loomed in the distance, a brilliant light above, and a roiling darkness below, Lagara had managed to strike a balance in the center. Her sphere of peace pushed back the threatening forces of destruction, creating a sanctuary at its heart. From her soul, she forged several divine beings called Idols. They would tend to her whims and wants, each created with purpose. With her realm and its inhabitants created, her powers were stretched to their limits. For the first time since, her gaze drifted back to the familiar, though this time it fell upon the mortal realm. With her realm unsustainable, she had concluded that the the descendants were a solution to her problem. From them, she would demand their devotion and love. In return, she would offer them a place in her realm, an afterlife for those who remained loyal servants throughout their lives. Not only did this serve to appease her vanity, it also brought a source of power to her realm. These first descendants who would follow and worship Lagara came to be known as the Gorundyr. This came from Lagara’s name for the creator, “Gorund”, who the mortals believed they were the children of. She had created a conduit that would draw in the power of these souls, the most devout of mortals, and which would also gather the threads of their memories. This spiritual energy would course throughout Lein Hahnu in the form of a vast nourishing river, though not one made of water, but instead essence. It infused itself in the realm, an unstoppable and crushing force which connected all things. Lagara now gazed out over her realm from atop the canopies of a massive tree, which towered above all. From her perch, she was able to rule with absolute authority, her song heard by all. She was, however, a prisoner of her own making. The seed which she had planted in her being, which had formed the realm she so desired, also bound her in place. This made her the anchor for all that was to be, and she knew that if she were ever to perish, so too would her realm in a violent fashion. So Lagara commanded the denizens of Lein Hahnu, both descendant mortals who had bound themselves to her, and the Idols she had born of her own flesh. It was these servants that would do what should could not, guided by her iron hand of authority, nourished by her loving heart. Blood Pact As Lagara shifted her gaze to the mortal realm, she began to influence the descendant races of Aegis. Through her powers, she and her servants would manifest before the mortals in many ways, often taking on the forms of animals and other mythological beings. They soon began to worship and appeal to these beings as gods, and while they had little idea of their true nature, their mythos was shaped by these interactions. These early peoples called themselves the Gorundyr, and it was from them that Lagara would draw the most worthy of mortals to serve her. The Gorundyr built shrines and other places of worship devoted to Lagara and the various other “gods” that influenced them. It was these places of power that Lagara and her followers could hone in on, allowing them to watch and observe their fledgling worshippers. Through her early influence, their culture and way of life was heavily shaped. One early gift was that of language. Lagara bestowed upon them the ancient tongue called Jolfmarr’tal, one which is used by the beings of Lein Hahnu itself. After many generations of observation, Lagara realized she could use these mortals to fulfil her own desires and she began making blood pacts with them. A blood-pact binds a Gorundyr to Lagara through direct connection, or with one of her divine servants. Through her will and power alone, these servants are able to manifest in the mortal realm, to be heard, felt, or even seen. While this is possible, it is extremely draining upon her, and the one manifesting has little power while present in the mortal realm. These visits are brief and few, intended to influence the Gorundyr and in a way manipulate them. To appeal to their core values, and to bind them to her will. These blood-pacts offer no benefit to the mortal who undertakes one, only acting as the truest form of devotion and loyalty to Lagara herself. It is only those who undertake the blood-pact whom are taken to her realm upon death. When a Gorundyr bids farewell to its mortal frame, it is guided by the soul stream to Ebrietaes, just as other mortals would be. It is these Gorundyr who have been marked that are allowed into Lagara’s divine realm. The only physical effect of these pacts are the birthmarks that appear upon Gorundyr who are bound under their oaths. These take the shape of varying forms and are usually connected to the soul and personality of said mortal. Lastly, the birthmarks seem to be hereditary. When one undertakes a blood-pact, their bloodline is bound to Lagara for eternity. Blood-pacts can be broken, however, for Lagara only accepts those who uphold their honor and oaths. Should one commit a grave sin, such as kinslaying, or betray the will of Lagara, their pact is broken. They lose not only her favour and love, but their place amongst in her realm. A Seer of Lein Hahnu pictured he ventures throughout the forest, seeking communion with Lagara. (Source) The Seers of Lein Hahnu Seers are those that bind their lives to their gods directly. They do not follow one, nor do they offer their service to the singular. They are vessels for Lagara and her servants to pass their divine will and knowledge onto the realm of the living, making sure that their words will reach those who need to hear them. To become a seer you may not suddenly just embark on the path of service to the gods. Seers are born to be united with Lagara. From the earliest days they are destined to walk the path guided by her will. Only those who are truly chosen may be able to change their fate, whilst others simply have to accept that fact. Taken away from their parents at their first birthday, they are then brought under the care of other Seers, as well as their servants. Treated with care for their youngest years and watched over, they are taught about language, customs, and worship. The sons or daughters of the Gorundyr that are destined to become seers are to be protected and shaped in preparation for their future of duty and servitude. At the age of five they are put under the test which determines what weapon type they are most fit for. Once that is done, the child will learn how fight with only that singular tool of war. They are taught to master it, understand it thoroughly and deeply with hours of training day after day. By the age of fifteen they have to be able to face their teacher in single combat, the outcome of which must at the very least be a draw. Even with weapon and body training, they still continue their lectures about gods, beasts, and connections with the divine. They have their first lessons about tattoos, and creating bonds with the realm of Lein Hahnu, or how to fight against souls that have been stuck in realm of living even after death. The day of their adulthood is also the day during which they have the last chance to become Seers. Whether they are ready for the ritual or not is of no consequence, as they will have to face it anyway. It is intended to test their resolve, willpower, and faith. They will have to withstand painful removal of their eyes, and yet not mutter a single word. All the time keeping themselves in prayer to Lagara. In the last part of the ritual they will have to prove that they are able to witness Lein Hahnu through visions, to prove their connection to Lagara has been established. If yes, they will successfully be taken in as Seers, able to wander off into the world, learning new ways. They are to spread fate and lead those who wish to pass into the realm of the gods upon their deaths. One of the Blessed Isles of Halvengr, floating listlessly through the heavens. (Source) Halvengr - The Blessed Isles At the core of Lein Hahnu is the physical domain of Halvengr, Lagara’s kingdom. It consists of many isles, each home to an array of denizens. These isles are chaotic and ever growing in complexity, thriving with life. There are, however, three main isles which bear the most importance within the realm: Hastilaegi, Alvegen, and Halenlaga. Halvengr was the name that Lagara and her Idols would whisper to the Gorundyr during their blood pacts, etching it into their minds. In that moment, they offer visions of the beautiful paradise that would await them. It is a world that promises eternal life amongst the gods to reward their loyalty and devotion. The river of essence that flows throughout the realm weaves between these islands, made of many condensed threads of memory. These threads are colored differently based on the type of emotion and context of each memory, but each come together and intertwine intimately. Some beings of great power can graze their fingers upon its surface and isolate single threads, catching said memories to be viewed and felt. All of the isles float within the heavenly void, suspended peacefully in the sphere of Lagara’s protection. The void roars all around them, a swirling tempest on the edges of reality. The sky, a dazzling and radiant explosion of light, and the depths below, a pulsing and ever consuming darkness. The Heart-Tree in its moment of creation with Lagara at its center, banishing the encroaching chaos. (Source) Hastilaegi - The Heart Tree Hastilaegi was the first of the isles to be, suspended above the others so as to look down upon them. It is also the smallest of the isles, acting as Lagara’s personal home, and the location of the Heart Tree; born of her divine seed. A gargantuan tree, larger than any ever seen in the mortal realm, dominating the majority of the island. She sits atop it on her throne, clad in a dress of vibrant green made of leaves and ivy. In her hands she grasps a golden harp, which she plays softly, a peaceful but commanding song that fills the hearts of her followers. At the trees base is a peaceful paradise, a collection of gardens and groves that stretch to the edges of the island. It is here that the Daughters of Lagara call their home, humanoid beings of great beauty, headed by Lokaliin. They act as tenders and matrons to all life upon the island. Deep beneath the tree rests a prisoner of great darkness, grasped at by its thick roots, and contained within. This being is guarded by a massive serpent, whose mass is largely burrowed into the earth of the island itself, intertwining with the roots of the tree. Jokull the Burrower he is called, acting as the defender and warden of the Heart Tree. Lastly, we have the resting place of Lagara’s essence conduit, Vakasul. A white tree with blood red leaves which sits in the middle of its own sacred grove, the focus point for the river of essence. It courses through the tree, it’s surrounding network of runestones, and the grove itself. This grove acts as the entrance and exit to Lein Hahnu, which is marked by a large structure made of stone and metal called the Rumdrev. Upon passing under its massive runic engraved gate, you would find yourself within a dome-like room, an ancient device built into the center. It is used by Lagara and her servants as a transporter, harnessing an immense amount of power to send the traveller between the different islands of Halvengr, as well as the mortal realm. Souls delivered from Ebrietaes manifest before Vakasul, wandering the grove in a sort of limbo-like state. After some time, an Idol named Ankou will appear to whisk these souls away to their proper places. The Gates to Alvegen, home to the Sun King and the ancestral land of eternal light. (Source) Alvegen - The Howling Vale Alvegen is the second largest of the islands and the most orderly. A vast landmass of mountains, glaciers, and boreal forests. A large inland sea covers a fourth of the landmass, contained by the rocky exterior of the island. One of the many mountain ranges towers above the rest, home to the Sun King Havardr and his Joriin, a tribe of early Gorundyr who were granted patronage by Lagara. His indomitable fortress, Haemdormr, is built far up on the side of the mountain, its many rooms and passages burrowing deep into the stone. Alvegen is also home to the majority of Gorundyr souls who have been brought to Halvengr over the many generations that have passed. As such, it is the most civilized of the islands. Several cities and settlements spread over the valleys and mountains, all ruled by various Gorundyr Clans, some of which have been long forgotten by their mortal descendants. This land was granted as a gift to Havardr and the Gorundyr and as such resembles their favored homeland. It in some ways mimics what they knew in life, though it has been warped by their own vision of a perfect paradise. Alvegen never falls under the cloak of darkness, an eternal sun looming above. Far in the mountains and the more secluded areas of Alvegen live the giants. Born of the stonefather, Oknar, they vie for the survival of their race against the Gorundyr ancestors that encroach upon them. They are broken into three types, and thus also three tribes. Stone, ice, and flesh. These ancient beings are some of the oldest in Lein Hahnu. One last major being calls Alvegen his home: Auroth. One of Beira’s pups, he is a proud and noble wolf who imposed exile on himself because of internal family conflict. After time, other outcasts and rejects flocked to him for leadership. He now found himself the leader of his own pack, a position he embraced and an oath he gladly swore. The unstable and untameable growth of Halenlaga, hiding a darkness within it’s depths. (Source) Halenlaga - The Primordial Wild Halenlaga was to be the last of the islands and by far the largest. It’s creation was shaped by the violent temporal energies that gave birth to Lein Hahnu. The island is plagued by an unstable verdant growth, utterly uncontrollable and unstoppable in nature. For this reason it is the least inhabited and is often avoided by most, for the depths of the wild are not only fraught with danger, but also a deep and unabiding darkness. In an attempt to tame this realm, or atleast control it, Lagara gifted it to one of her creations, a spirit she had cultivated from her own soul. Andarta, as she was named, tamed small portions of the growth, turning them into serene groves and lush forests. In time, she took in a mate by the name of Belenus, and with this bore many children to inhabit her forest home. They are spirits, able to live in the trees but also take on corporeal forms. Their fight against the untameable nature of Halenlaga is a never ending struggle of survival. It became apparent, however, that the chaotic force of Halenlaga was not the true threat, merely a symptom of a violent birth. A darkness had seeped into its dankest depths, one which steadily encroached on Andarta’s realm, threatening to consume it. Manifestations of ill, demonic beings, and eldritch horrors infested it at its core, born of the chaotic darkness which nipped at Halvengr from below. It thrived in this lawless wilderness, as no light ever strayed beneath the surface. This corruption worried Lagara. She knew that if it were to be left unchecked, it would consume Halenlaga and the rest of her realm. While at its core it could not be destroyed, nor tamed, it certainly could be fought. To do this, Lagara created a being named Beira and gave her dominion over her own wolfpack. A wild hunt was called by her and her children as they descended upon Halenlaga, oathbound to destroy the darkness which threatened all life. The primordial forces of light and dark locked in their eternal struggle. (Source) Beware the Darkness and the Light As Lein Hahnu was born, the inevitable conflict between the light and dark began. Both primordial forces, each unstoppable in their nature, were simply the rule of law. They would always exist, and a balance would always be required if existence were to be. At their extremes, both the light and the darkness are absolute, their nature corruptive. The light instills in someone a sense of absolute justice and purity, while the darkness is chaotic freewill, a force of unbridled destruction. While this was simple fact, it did not matter to a being such as Lagara. These certainties threatened her realm and creation, and so she would deny them as she could, just as all conscious beings do. The Isles of Halvengr exist in a sphere of peace, placed between these two destructive forces. To the light and the darkness, it was nothing more than an anomaly. A void that needed to be filled. With time, it would be so. We begin with the Light, which bore down on this realm from above. To some, reassuring, simply a tool to aid in sight and offer warmth. To others, a captivating power from which they could not tear their gaze. From their fortress in Haemdormr, the Joriin were the first to fall to the invincible Light, their very beings warped by its absolute power. We end with the Darkness, which seeped up from below, infusing itself with all that it touched. A much more obvious threat, less subtle in its destruction. From this darkness many entities were born, heralds and servants of its chaotic power. The land itself bore marks of this corruptive force and from time to time some being or another would stray too far, losing itself to madness. Thus, the beings of Lein Hahnu were in a constant struggle to contend with the two forces of power, for they simply existed to be overrun. They had no stake in this eternal conflict, and no hope of altering fate. (Source) Idol: Beira, the Denmother Animal Avatar: The Direwolf Beira, the fiercest of the Idols and the matriarch of wolves. In her soul Lagara infused her strength, wrath, and motherly nature, creating a worthy warrior and champion. From then on, the Denmother would live by these ideals breathed into her from birth. Beira was tasked with the defense of the realm, primarily from the dark corruption that had slowly began to seep through the protective sphere. She was granted the gift of motherhood in return for her loyalty. From her first litter, only three survived. Rahdonir, the first to take breath and thus the eldest. Now her most trusted and loyal kin and the second in command of her warpack. He is the embodiment of strength and leads with fanatic zeal. Korrigan, who was born into darkness, her soul tinged with the very corruption that she and her kind were tasked to destroy. She hunts alone, always at war with the consuming shadows within her. Auroth, the most noble and proud of the three. He had come to love all of his kin, a point of discontent toward his mother and siblings. Only the strongest bore any worth in the wolfpack, for only strength would protect the realm. Auroth exiled himself from his siblings and gathered his rejected kin into a pack of his own, one which would make up for any weakness through the strength and bond of family. (Source) Idol: Oknar, the Shaper Animal Avatar: The Mouflon Ram Oknar is a gargantuan being created by Lagara to act as her smith and architect. From the early stages of her realm, Oknar was tasked with the creation of the isles, and the shaping of each. He wields his massive hammer Himdah Buld, scouring Lagara’s realm in his unending duty to shape her vision into reality. From the jagged peaks of Alvegen, to the verdant wilds of Halenlaga, and all the isles in between. His desire is creation, and in its beauty he takes fulfillment. To Oknar, his grand dream of perfection will never be realized, for there will always be imperfection. It will be one that he chases until the end of time. He is regarded as the stonefather, though not only because of the valleys and mountains he has shaped, but also the beings he created. Early on, he breathed life into stone in an effort to create others like him, who could shape as he did. Mahmul, who he carved from ice, the first of his creations, born from the purest ice he could find. Gohil, who he hewed from stone, docile in nature. He roams the land, emotionless and slow-natured. Fariik, who he shaped from flesh, the last of his children. While the others showed little ability and desire, Fariik was born with a heart of aggression. In the end, all of his attempts made for poor workers. Oknar abandoned his children to their own devices, returning to his duty. While he was a master at creating worlds, he lacked the necessary spark when it came to conscious beings. Idol: Andarta, the Forest Wraith Animal Avatar: A white-pelted Red Deer Andarta bears perhaps the closest bond with Lagara, created as if to be her other half. Andarta is able to manifest in very many different forms, though her usual being that of an incorporeal spirit. Physically, she bears a lithe humanoid frame, covered in various forms of plantlife. Long brutal claws sprout from her fingers, able to gore with ease. Her face is angular and thin, with her eyes looking as if they were two orbs of polished onyx. Andarta regards herself as the Queen of Halenlaga and has dominion over the chaotic wilds which span its surface. She is distant and cold to outsiders, her desire simply to remain secluded in her forests and sacred groves. The only exception would be her relationship with Beira, as the two have grown close together, a bond forged by their mutual struggle against the darkness which infested the depths of the island. After a time, Andarta grew lonely herself, and took on a husband. A mortal man named Belenus who had lived and breathed the forests and their ways. A man who worshiped Andarta alone, tending to her shrines and offering himself to her will. Together, they created the Children of the Forest Ara, the eldest of Andarta’s children, she takes on the form of a small fawn and prowls around the forests, her true purpose unknown. She is regarded as the Spirit of Springs as she is often sighted near them. Borvo, whom appears as a white-furred bear, lives as a Spirit of the River, prowling the banks and protecting them from harm. Cernu, who was given the task of defending the realm from the darkness that threatened it. From an early age he envied Beira and her pack, choosing to take on the form of a gray wolf, stalking the brushes as they do. Aife, the Spirit of the Oak, who embodies the pride and strength that an oak tree represents. She frolics among the canopies of the trees, taking on the form of a squirrel, her small form often deceptive. Olwen, the Spirit of Luck, whose name many Gorundyr utter, both to curse, and to praise. He takes on the form of a rabbit. Sirona, the Spirit of Mischief, a popular patron of children and the like, who is regarded as a trickster. She appears as a fox spirit and often harasses travellers in the woods. Alastir, the Whispering Wind, a spirit that communes with the trees themselves. It is said that he delivers the words and desires of the forests in the breeze. Alastir is commonly associated with an Owl, with tapestries depicting him as one dating back to legend. (Source) Idol: Maratsu, the Kinslayer Animal Avatar: The Common Raven Maratsu was the first of the sky-gods created by Lagara to defend her realm, the each of them given absolute dominion over the skies. Each had a distinct form, avatars gifted to them, Maratsu’s being that of the raven. Together, they soared throughout the skies of Lein Hahnu, always remaining steadfast in their defense of their matron and creator. There was peace, for a time. Then, it was threatened to all be undone. Maratsu, the stalwart protector, in his naive desire to do good, decided to challenge the darkness which roiled below. He traveled to the very edges of Lagara’s sphere of peace, prowling along the border between serenity and chaos. In his heart, he knew the danger it posed, not only to him but that of the realm as a whole. In an instant, he shifted, plunging himself down into the dark abyss. He had done what no other had ever considered, leaving the sanctuary he had always known to venture into the unknown, to strike at its heart. In an instant, the darkness overtook him, its pure chaotic will infusing with his soul. In his moment of arrogance, the being that was Maratsu ceased to exist. From within the tempest, Maratsu returned, now tainted by an all-consuming darkness. He spread his wings of midnight and called out, a resonating cry which pierced all that heard, full of horror and pain. The chaos that now raged in his mind guided him to Hastilaegi, to the one who dared defy its absolute power. Maratsu, pulsing with shadow, reeked of tumultuous evil and existential dread. He crashed into the serene paradise below, beginning his rampage of destruction. He tore at the pristine fields and the sacred groves, devouring any being that got in his way. Lagara watched in horror as her creations perished before her. With one quick movement, she struck at her harp, a chord that lacked her usual peaceful melody; a call to war. Within moments, the remaining sky-gods arrived, Argal, the eagle and Ankou, the hawk. They struck out at their brother, entering into the fray. Destruction raged across Hastilaegi as they danced in battle, the ferocity in which Maratsu fought only fueled by the chaos that had consumed his soul. As the pair gained the upper hand, Maratsu lashed out at his brother Ankou, piercing him with a brutal talon. Ankou roared out in anguish as he fell back, his form disintegrating in part, as if an acid were eating its way into his flesh. This final strike was interrupted by an ominous and resonating roar, which seemed to come from the depths of Hastilaegi itself. The earth beneath Maratsu quaked and exploded as a massive form erupted from below. Jokull burst forth, his gargantuan form towering above the battlefield.. He gazed down upon Maratsu, yellow serpent-like eyes piercing into him. With a speed impossible for his mass, he struck, jaw unhinging as he devoured the fallen sky-god whole. Jokull carried through with his momentum, burrowing once again into the earth. Maratsu remained within his belly, carried far below the heart-tree, unable to be destroyed. The darkness so infused with his soul rendering him invincible to any attempts Lagara has made to do so. So Maratsu rages, a prisoner bound to the depths of Hastilaegi, a seed of darkness always lingering on the minds of the beings of Lein Hahnu. (Source) Idol: Ankou, the Gatherer of Souls Animal Avatar: The Ferruginous Hawk Ankou the second of the sky-gods, was left scarred and broken by his brothers betrayal, his once proud hawk-form now grotesque and skeletal. As he had writhed in the dirt, dying from the blow delivered from his brother, he had been spared by the one whom created him. Lagara struck at her harp and guided her loving hand outward, purging the little corruption which burned within, replacing it with her divine breath, and with that came new purpose. To Ankou, she gave control of the river of spirit that flowed throughout the realm, and thus made him the master of souls. Tending to the river and all souls within Lein Hahnu is his sole responsibility. When the worthy souls of fallen Gorundyr arrive in the grove of Vakasul, it is Ankou and his minions who welcome them. He is the guiding hand who sees that they arrive where they belong. It is also through Ankou’s power that one may commune with the dead ancestral souls who live upon the Isles of Halvengr. Crypts, grave sites, and other specially prepared monuments to the dead can be used to draw his attention, and that of the souls themselves. It is common for Gorundyr to make each individuals grave a sort of shrine, like the ones dedicated to the gods, so that they may pay respects. Lastly, Ankou is responsible for dealing Lagara’s justice within the realm. Should one of its many beings lose the favour of their mother or commit a grave sin, they are dealt with by him. In this regard, Ankou has an array of minions that assist him in his duties. The Valkyrie, who act as enforcers of Ankou’s will. Perfectly neutral beings who strive to maintain the balance between dark and light. They are situated in both the brightest and darkest places of Lein Hahnu, vigilant watchers and stalwart defenders. The Damned, a procession of souls who have been condemned for crimes such as kinslaying and oath breaking. The large majority of them are bound in a spectral legion which marches endlessly, an eternal prison for lost souls. Should a damned soul somehow escape from Lein Hahnu, Ankou’s wraiths can be sent from the realm to retrieve them so that justice may be delivered. (Source) Idol: Havardr, the Sun King Animal Avatar: The Canada Lynx Harvardr was the first of the mortal descendants to be given divine power by Lagara. In life, he was her most loyal servant, and is largely responsible for influencing her initial followers in their devotion. He formed a tribe of descendants that would be the early Gorundyr, and the first of the clans. While his rule as a king in life was successful, his potential would only increase in death. He was the first mortal to be given divinity in her realm. As he strode through the grove of Vakasul and came before Lagara in her throne, she poured her power into him. As a gift, she allowed him to take a council of his most trusted advisors and bestowed upon him the isle of Alvegen. Here Havardr and the Joriin settled, constructing an impressive stronghold and palace called Haemdormr, built into the side of the isle’s largest mountain. From his table, he was able to see all of the realm, ruling it beneath an eternal sun. This same light, however, was subtle in its nature of corruption. Over time, the light that had always threatened to consume Lein Hahnu from above instead gently seeped into the hearts of Havardr and his Joriin, warping their personalities. They become beings of absolute justice and purity, reinforced by their divine right to rule. Not all were naive to the Light’s seductive power and thus Ankou sent the Valkyries to watch over the Joriin with a careful eye. Were it to ever to reach a catalyst, they would be there to maintain balance. And so the Sun King ruled with a unwavering sense of justice, as did his Joriin. In total they numbered six. Hlifhildr, the Sun Maiden, Havardr’s beautiful bride and loyal queen. In life, she had been a shield-maiden and a fierce warrior in her own right. She was always willing to please her husband and answer to his every whim. Taranis, the Forgemaster. He constructed Havardr’s realm, from its massive keeps, statues, and gates, to his spear forged of light, Dagor’kaen. Rodun, the Master of Knowledge, who constructed the grandest libraries and archives to record the history of the Gorundyr and all else. Not only were these in written texts, but also memories which he extracted from the river of spirit which connected all the souls of Lein Hahnu. Muir, the Dreamwalker, who spent her time living the lives of others, rather than her own. She had become a master at delving into the river of spirit to isolate single threads. The more Gorundyr who ascend to Halvengr, the more she has at her fingertips. Barid, the Unifier, who acted as Havardr’s greatest champion and general. A masterful tactician and fierce warrior, he was the iron fist with which Havardr maintained his rule. Svalinn, the Gleeman, who was not blind to the fate of the Joriin. He was the embodiment of good nature and joy, and a true artist. He spent his time away from Haemdormr, instead visiting the many cities and villages which dotted the hills and valleys around Alvegen, spreading his love for art and joy to the Gorundyr abound. One of the many beings of Halvengr, venturing forth into the realm. (Source) Minor Beings Agantyr A gargantuan sky serpent, twin to Jokull. Agantyr’s form dwarfs some of the isles themselves, floating listlessly through the sky. He is tasked to act as a warden of the skies, protecting Lein Hahnu from any of the latent energies threatening to break in. His final duty is to prevent anyone from making the same mistake as Maratsu by venturing out of the protective sphere and into the chaos outside. Draug An ancient guardian who slumbers beneath the sea which spans over the surface of Alvegen. Draug is rarely ever encountered or seen, though it is said his form is giant, that of a many headed sea monster. He is the patron of sailors and fishermen to whom they pay respect and prayer. They whisper to him for protection, both on Halvengr and in the mortal realm. Argal of the Sky The third and final sky-god and now the last remaining, his form that of a massive eagle. Argal and his brood make their nests on Hastilaegi, placed amongst the branches of the Heart-Tree. They act as defenders of the island itself and guard the realm below from any would-be threat. Mimir and Haenir, Wardens of Lein Hahnu Mimir and Haenir are living manifestations of the river of spiritual energy which flows throughout the realm. Born to protect the Grove of Vakasul, they act as guardians to both the grove itself, and the Rumdrev. Their forms are that of twin colossal bears, shaped of stone by a loving hand. Runes cover their bodies, with the largest being on their foreheads, glowing faintly with blue mist. The runestones around the grove bear the same marks, all of which seem to pulse together, as if a unified heartbeat. Synopsis Lagara and her Idols are attracted by shrines and heavy activity of worship by the descendants. She can focus in on these to locate them. Shrines found in this way can be blessed, indicating they are places where the gods will hear those who pray and offer. These places would feel as if they had been touched by her hand, in many ways. Some examples include a passive aura, a powerful background pulse of energy which can be felt, but not harnessed. Whispers in both common and Jolfmarr’tal delivered on the wind. Passive visions for those who linger too long or choose to sleep there, teasing the wonders of Lein Hahnu and the gods themselves. These dont convey a ton of information, just enough to draw the desire and interest of any descendants. They can visit the Gorundyr in their dreams, or do so physically through apparitions or visions. This follows the current rules of manifesting in the mortal realm by Aengudaemon, and would be used to simply facilitate roleplay. The forms in which they manifest are the listed animal avatar, but can also be their humanoid forms. It is up to the preference of the individual, allowing several options. Blood Pacts offer no benefit to a Gorundyr and only seek to bond them to Lagara and her Idols. The only physical trait being a birthmark based on their personality. (To allow people the freedom to pick something most relevant to them.) Ancestral souls which have gone to Lein Hahnu (and ONLY Lein Hahnu) can be communicated with through shrines of worship in the mortal realm, acting much like ones devoted to the gods. These shrines, often gravesites or crypts, can attract the attention of Ankou, allowing interaction with the souls of fallen Gorundyr. Anyone can worship Lagara and become a Gorundyr. It is simply a group of people and a culture that were shaped due to her influence on their earliest ancestors. Naturally, larger concentrations of worship are more likely to attract her notice. The Rumdrev harnesses the power of the river of spirit within Lein Hahnu to act as a bridge between the Isles of Halvengr and the mortal realm, capable of transporting beings. The River of Memories which flows through Lein Hahnu sustains the realm and Lagara’s power. The more mortals and other beings who reside in the realm, the more the river is strengthened. This is Lagara’s main motivation for seeking mortals for blood-pacts, as it is this power she needs to maintain to keep the forces of chaos from consuming her realm. At a lesser stage, Lagara is a vain and selfish god. She desires to be worshipped and loved by many. To her, she is the most powerful and beautiful being to exist. She is a true neutral Aengudaemon, entirely self absorbed in her own world. The Idols are Lagara’s main servants, and the ones who have influenced the Gorundyr the most. Any beings mentioned under them are minor in nature, simply related to their stories. They are the most powerful beings in the realm, other than Lagara. In the end, the goal of this submission is to create actual gods that can interact with the Gorundyr culture in some way, played by the LT or ET. Unlike most Aengul and Daemon, this submission alone does not seek to give any additional boon or power to the Gorundyr or any other mortal. It is simply to take our belief beyond that of faith and add all sorts of potential for RP. The Children of the Forest are spirits that only hold any power or control within Lein Hahnu itself, and not outside of it. They are simply to add flavor to the deific realm, and do not have any involvement with the aspects or other spirits. It is likely they would not even be able to manifest in the mortal realm, or if they were able, it would be without any ability whatsoever. They could simply act as supplements to an event or messengers of some sort, their only significance being that of their connection to Lagara and her realm. That is all! Thank you for reading and we hope you enjoyed this lore submission. Please feel free to post your feedback, as well as any questions! We would love to hear it.
  25. Thoak_Sludgefist

    Returning to Stone

    Death – Returning to Stone The sounds of battle and metal clashing echoed throughout Garrond’s Vale. Smoke risen high from the gates of Kal’Tarak as the Crownhold had been breached and claimed by the Empire of Man for the first time in history. High above the valley of Garrond’s Vale facing southwest, an old and wounded dwarf made his way through the unforgiving bitter cold of the mountains high above the clouds. Resting was not an option at the altitudes he had climbed, for at every moment of stopping, the snapping wind would have surely made quick work of him, freezing his ancient blood, or even tossing him off the edge of the path he took sending him down the slopes to a certain unfortunate death. The path to his destination was narrow and old. The way only marked by loose cobble that were at times, flooded with snow. When the path was not clear, the old dwarf would keep his covered hand to the rigid walls of the mountain, feeling for old runes he used as guidance to ensure he didn’t get lost along the way. Several hours passed before he made it to his destination, an entrance hidden to the naked eye. He felt his way to the hidden stone doorway before he placed his fingers snugly into the grooves of the rock, as if the grooves were made for his fingers only. After gaining momentum, the old dwarf managed to counterbalance the slab with his weight and push it to the side where it comfortably slid into a crevice. The warm air, compared to the outside rushed past him, creating a slight breeze that threw his snow-white hair back, and the old familiar smell of mildew and must filling his nostrils. He then turned and closed the stone entrance behind him, concealing himself in total darkness before descending further into the cavern. He hastily made his way down a narrow flight of stairs, moving at a speed which felt fast to the old dwarf. Soon he entered a large cavern space, shrouded in complete darkness, but for the readers sake, was a great antechamber in the making with pillars chiseled from solid stone, partially decorated with runework, and adorned with intricate carvings depicting events of the past. Several wooden ladders hewn together by rope rest upon the pillars, placed there from when he was last at work. Lastly, a stone table sat in the center of the room between the four unfinished pillars with a open jar filled with blackened sand, and a leather bound utility belt equipped with the tools of a stonemason resting on top of it. Directly Below the table sat a purple and gold pillow, mostly used for meditation and comfort when resting on the hard floor. The darkness did not pose a threat for the old blind dwarf as darkness was something he had been used to for over a hundred years. He approached the table and laid out various objects from his travel sack, including a box of matches, and an old keepsake box. Producing several sticks of incense, he placed each one upright in the jar of sand before lighting them. The smell of mildew soon dissipated as the strong smell of incense filled the air. Satisfied, the dwarf soon disrobed, shedding his bloodied heavy furs and leather coat, leaving only a linen shirt and his plated battered leggings which were suspended by a pair of suspenders that rested over his broad shoulders. Lastly, the dwarf slid off his ring, a band that reminded him of his wife, Yula. Somebody that he hasn’t seen since the fall of Aegis, though his grief would soon subside as he thinks about ascending to the halls of Khaz’A’Dentrumm to be with her once more. Moving a hand over the wound that lacerated his side, the bleeding would subside momentarily, though not enough to fully stop the bleeding. He would turn and prop himself up against the table as his mind begins to drift off, thinking over his long life and the choices he had made along the way. From the simple halls of Kal’Urguan to the Crownhold of Kal’Tarak, the dwarves had changed greatly during this time. It would feel as if he’d been living in a completely different timeline than the one that he’d been used to. The meaning of honor and oaths were completely disregarded. The beardlings of today could only hope to reflect what their ancestors had once done, and by attempting to do so, will only fail miserably. Thoughts of how great Urguan once was soon faded to how Urguan spiraled into failure and decadence. Of course, an old dwarf born within Urguan and loyal to the Grand Kingdom for so many lifetimes wouldn’t have sided with ‘wrongful usurpers’, though he did. Unfortunately Kaz’Ulrah followed in the footsteps of Urguan but at a much more rapid pace leaving the kingdom to only be a shell of what it once tried to represent. As the kingdom declined, it’s lovely image had done so as well, and its purpose soon became meaningless among the people that resided within it. Voices of the dark would begin beckoning the dwarf, calling out to him. Many of these voices would be recognized as his father, mother, brothers and sisters all lost in conflict, and lastly his beloved wife. The old dwarf would find reassurance as he spoke to these voices, a grin spreading across his face as he lets in his last breath of air before moving onto the realm of his ancestors, finally united with his true kin he’d known and loved.
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