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  1. HOUSE STAFYR INTRODUCTION & FOREWORD By Arthur K. Stafyr 23rd Lord & Guardian of House Stafyr The legacy of the House of Stafyr is a rich and prestigious one. One of the oldest families in humanity, we Stafyrs have weathered the rise and fall of many an empire and kingdom alike. From windswept Shadowcastle to glacial Nenzing, my family has seen it all. Our eternal virtues of Law, Honor, and Loyalty are what have held us together. Our history is part and parcel to who we are. Yet, in recent years, the several lines of Beorn have been scattered like chaff in the wind. The heritage which we champion has begun to slowly fade from living memory. In an uncertain world, we cannot forget what makes us that which we are. Let the culture, customs, and traditions of the Almannir tribes and of the Stafyr family not go unrecorded. I pen this ethnography and history, the latter of which I have edited and modernized from the works of Leopold, Count of Nenzing and Nikolas Flynn Stafyr so that our name might not be forgotten. Indeed, I further write this compendium with the help of my Uncle Thondorus, and my beloved Elia, so that it may be spoken by living tongues once again. A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ALMANNIR Almannir Horsemen in the Highlands of Aegis, c. 572 On Almannir History An excerpt about the Almannir people and their history by the current keeper of the Book of Tales, Thondorus II. of House Stafyr Foreword This brief summary shall give the reader some insight in the ancient and thus far very unclear history of the Almannir people. The contents are based on a combination of collected records, fragments of history and a more proper translation of the stories in the Book of Tales. A degree of conjecture is present, but the reader must forgive as this history is many centuries old. Without further ado, I bid the reader an enticing or equally boring read. Overview Etymology and meaning History: Foundation, Aegis, transition into modern records (the Verge) The five Houses Altbaum, Altbom, Oldtree Steinkachel, Stoakachl, Stonetile Weidenfrau, Wiidafrou, Meadowswife Steinfeuer, Stoafyer or Stafyr, Stonefire Rettersmann, Rettersma, Saviour The Galdr The Book of Tales and its stories Closing statement Part 1: Etymology and Meaning Part 2: History: Foundation, Aegis and The Transition into Modern Records (the Verge) Part 3: The Five Houses As described in the preceding part, five Houses led Almania at its peak with the first one being of kingly status. Unfortunately the records are quite limited as to what are their traditions and customs but a few basic pointers may be given. Part 4: The Galdr Part 5: The Book of Tales Closing Statement This brief excerpt should give some insight into the history of the Almannir, their origin and who they were. It is by no means exhaustive and there are many more secrets to be found within the fractured sources spread through the libraries and memories of the people all around. What matters the most, is that the people descending from these heroes of olden days remember their roots and never forget their origin. History is part of who you are. THE HISTORY OF HOUSE STAFYR The Siege of Schattenburg, c. 1435 The Birth of House Stafyr (UNKNOWN - 1353) The Rise of Saint Godwein (1353 - 1426) Clash of Brothers (1426 - 1435) The Golden Age of Stafyr (1435 - 1464) The First Falcon’s Fall (1435 - 1521) Stafyrian Renaissance (1529 - 1718) The Bear’s Regency and the Erichian Era (1718 - 1744) The Second Falcon’s Fall (1744 - 1794) THE THREE LINES OF BEORN An Artist’s Depiction of the Siblings Galtor and Sybilla as Youths The three familial lines of House Stafyr all descend from the children of Beorn Stafyr, the founder of the House. They are aptly named Hanethor, Galtor, and Sybilla. While there have been known to be Stafyrs who have broken the stereotypes associated with their lines in the past, the Three Lines of Beorn are often associated with the particular characteristics and occupations for which they are renowned. Hanethorian Line Galtorian Line Sybillan Line ALMANNIR & STAFYR CULTURE Leana & Katherine Stafyr Riding Horses, c. 1732 By Katerine Ruthern nee Stafyr (@Sirenscall) THE TRADITIONS OF HOUSE STAFYR Over the centuries, House Stafyr has developed for itself a set of unique ceremonies and traditions. Many of these are Almannir in nature, though several are unique to the Stafyrs as an ancient family in their own right. Though the customs and traditions of Stafyr are vast, I shall endeavor to document the most important to which almost all are accustomed. Even among our disparate members and branches, these coming of age rituals are all widely acknowledged. Coming of Age 1.) The Hatching (Age 13) 2.) The First Pilgrimage (Age 16) 3.) The Falcon’s Flight (Age 16+) Almannir Funeral Rites Equestrian Festivals Mummer’s Shows Almannir Lullabies CULTURAL HERITAGE Over the centuries, House Stafyr has developed for itself a set of unique ceremonies and traditions. Many of these are Almannir in nature, although nearly a half millennia of nobility has led to the adoption of some which are unique to the Stafyr family. Traditional Foodstuffs Clothing Jewelry & Regalia The Men of Stafyr The Women of Stafyr THE VIRTUES OF HOUSE STAFYR St. Godwein Imparting the Virtue of Law Unto Ser Edmund, c. 1418 The House of Stafyr is renown for the motto which it has championed throughout the ages, this being the phrase “Licent, Honorem, Pietas.” Roughly translating into “Law, Honor, and Loyalty” in the language of Flexio, a true Stafyr from any branch of the House will always strive to live by these virtues to the best of their ability. To live by these virtues is of paramount importance to any Stafyr. Failure to abide by these virtues will rarely fare well for a Falcon, often proving to be their downfall. This is a recurring theme throughout Stafyr history, as its members strive to emulate the lofty example set by Saint Godwein of Huntshill throughout his life. Though there have been definitive villains throughout the House’s history, those who have remained true to these virtues have thrived and prospered. ‡ LICENT ‡ ‡ HONOREM ‡ ‡ PIETAS ‡ THE LORDS OF STAFYR Ser Edmund and Ser Farley: A Clash of Brothers, c. 1428 Beorn Stafyr Born - Unknown Death - Unknown Titles: 1st Lord of Stafyr and Guardian of House Stafyr. Hanethor I. Stafyr Born - Unknown Death - 1349 Titles: 2nd Lord of Stafyr and Guardian of House Stafyr. Master Thondorus Stafyr Born ~ 1300-1305 Death - 1355 Titles: 3rd Lord of Stafyr, Founder, Master and Bailiff of Rivacheg Master Graveth I. Stafyr Born ~ 1320-1323 Death ~1380-1390 Titles: 4th Lord of Stafyr, Master and Bailiff of Rivacheg Saint Godwein the Honest of Huntshill Born ~ 1360-1365 Death - 1426 Titles: 5th Lord of Stafyr, Marquis of Schattenburg, Baron of Feldkirch, Baron of Huntshill, Lord High Treasurer and Grand Justice of the Holy Oren Empire. After his death sanctified as the Patron Saint of Honesty, Woodworkers, Fungi and Skin-afflictions. Lord Edmund I. Stafyr Born - 1392 Death - 1435 Titles: 6th Lord of Stafyr, Lord of Geminine, Marquis of Schattenburg, Baron of Feldkirch, Lord Privy Seal of the Holy Oren Empire, Noble Ser of the chapter of the Lion, Knight Commander of Renatus. Lord Farley II. “The Young Lord” Stafyr Born - 1431 Death - 1464 Titles: 7th Lord of Stafyr, Count of Shadowcastle, Baron of New Huntshill and Fieldchurch, Lord Privy Seal of the Holy Kingdom of Oren, Warden of the South. Lord Symon “The Bread Count” Stafyr Born - 1445 Death - 1509 Titles: 8th Lord of Stafyr, Count of Werdenberg and Shadowcastle, Baron of New Huntshill, Fieldchurch, Commander of Eastgate and Master Keeper of the Imperium Tertius. Lord Athelstan II. Stafyr Born - 1460 Death - 1535 Titles: 9th Lord of Stafyr, Count of Werdenberg and Baron of Katzburg. Lord Thomas Stafyr Born - 1474 Death - 1515 Titles: 10th Lord of Stafyr, Count of Werdenberg, Baron of Katzburg and Waldstadt Lord Jakob II. Stafyr Born - 1477 Death - 1521 Titles: 11th Lord of Stafyr, Baron of Waldstadt. Lord Altaron II. Stafyr Born - 1529 Death - 1599 Titles: 12th Lord of Stafyr, Baron of Arnaut and Master of Coin for the Archduchy of Lorraine. Lord Eadwulf Stafyr-Thurant Born - 1579 Death -1622 Titles: 13th Lord of Stafyr, Duke of Raetia and Baron of Thurant Lord Kristoff Ludvic Stafyr-Grauspin Born - 1588 Death - 1669 Titles: 14th Lord of Stafyr, Viscount of Grauspin, Ambassador and Emissary of Haense Lord Sergei Heindrik Stafyr-Grauspin Born - 1645 Death -1706 Titles: 15th Lord of Stafyr, Viscount of Grauspin, Baron of Thurant and Lord-Marshal of Haense. Lord Leopold Kristoff Stafyr-Grauspin Born - 1688 Death - 1718 Titles: 16th Lord of Stafyr, Count of Nenzing, Viscount of Grauspin, Baron of Thurant, Lord-Palatine and Chancellor of Haense Lord Erich Stafyr-Grauspin Born - 1712 Death - 1744 Titles: 17th Lord of Stafyr, Count of Nenzing, Viscount of Grauspin, Baron of Thurant, Royal Envoy of Haense, Commandant of the Brotherhood of St. Karl Lord Alaric Leopold Stafyr-Grauspin Born - 1735 Death - 1775 Titles: 18th Lord of Stafyr, Count of Nenzing, Viscount of Grauspin, Baron of Thurant, Commander of the Royal Expedition to Athera (1756) Lord Hektor Stafyr-Grauspin Born - 1755 Death - 1794 Titles: 19th Lord of Stafyr, Count of Nenzing, Viscount of Grauspin, Baron of Thurant Master Damron Stafyr-Beron Born - 1735 Death - 1807 Titles: 20th Lord of Stafyr and Guardian of House Stafyr. Master Morvon Stafyr-Beron Born - 1787 Death - 1856 Titles: 21st Lord of Stafyr and Guardian of House Stafyr. Master Nikolas II. Stafyr-Beron Born - 1827 Death - 1884 Titles: 22nd Lord of Stafyr and Guardian of House Stafyr. Master Arthur Konrad Stafyr-Beron Born - 1868 Death - Titles: 23rd Lord of Stafyr and Guardian of House Stafyr. THE STAFYR HEIRLOOMS The Vault of Old Nenzing, c. 1745 ‡ ANCIENT HEIRLOOMS ‡ ‡ MODERN HEIRLOOMS ‡ APPENDIX OF HISTORICAL WORKS [[THANKS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:]]
  2. *An old stack of parchment laid hidden within a clay jar in an unkown cave. As the lid of the jar was lifted the paper was exposed to the first light it has seen in hundreds of years. The light illuminated the dusty and worn out paper, most pages had been eroded by time, but most of the cover remained.* The Weight of a Leader’s Name -By Una Mossborn If a historian were to look through the history books of the Mossborn Clan, they would discover that all the chiefs, from the first chief Brak The Leafy to the latest Geraldine The Blooming , that they all possess titles in their names and that their clan surname is never mentioned, not in a single text. At most, you’ll see them referred to without their title. But this is the first misconception that even many forest dwedmar have about the Mossborn Lineage of Chiefs. They are not titles, but their full names. This is because the Mossborn believe in the power related to one’s name and duty. A Mossborn Chief-To-Be is normally named with Mossborn, or if the Chief-To-Be is a child, they are not referred to by any last name. Before the night of their ascension, they pray to a shrine dedicated to Anbella to receive inspiration for their title. This title reflects their character and their duty. A Mossborn Chief’s duty is always to stand by his clan, aiding and nurturing its members. Like how a name is a continuous reminder of one’s identity, the title is a constant reminder of their sacred obligation to take care of one’s people. Once one’s duty is over, either by death or retiring, they may choose to return to their old name, but they will forever be immortalised with their title. Though a title is inspired by the Brathmordkin, in the end it is still chosen by the Chief in question. It is extraordinarily poor form to pick a title that is too flattering, such as “The Mighty” or “The Wise“ as it goes against one of the core pillars of the Mossborn Clan, which is Humility. This new name must be linked to nature as well as Anbella is the patron Brathmordkin of the clan. Thus names such as “The Viney“ or “The Bear” are acceptable. Although typically a prayer is done to Anbella, it is not strictly forbidden to pray to other Brathmordkin. For example, Donachan The Cloudy prayed to Belka. What is strictly forbidden, punishable by exile, is a non-chief dwed performing the naming ritual for themselves. Such an act is a usurpation of the position of Chief and the belittling of the duty one must hold to the clan. It is an act of dishonour and disloyalty. To Conclude, a Mossborn chief’s title is not just a fancy thing to increase their prestige. It is their true name, an ever-present reminder of their obligation to the Brathmordkin and to the people of their clan. It is not something that is taken lightly in the clan.
  3. Felyx F. Colborn, a Voice for Reform! Simple contemporary oil painting of Felyx F Colborn Introduction Felyx, born in the Second age 64, did not come into the world in a noble household. He worked for everything he has gotten so far, and will continue to serve his Kongzem to the best of his ability. The combined efforts of House Colborn now mean that Felyx is granted a unique position to let his voice be heard. As a child, he worked to start the St. Carolus University which still exists today, has participated in medic lectures, climbed to the rank of Armsman and Officer Cadet by now in the BSK Haeseni Army, and is an avid Adventurer and Poet to the Royal Family. Felyx made many friends during his time, be it commonfolk and nobility alike, and has expanded his horizons by carefully listening to minorities such as Orcs and Elves in Hanseti-Ruska. This has given Felyx the confidence he needs to run for Alderman on this day. Aspirations and Pledges I, Felyx Francys Colborn, do so pledge to honour our community of evolving peoples in-tune with their conservative roots by working with the Duma to issue reforms that benefit the Kongzem in the long-term. I will be your elected dreamer of a brighter future for Haense and, with the know-how and tools I have amassed so far, vow to work hard to listen carefully to anyone who would give me feedback or advice, and implement reforms that I deem necessary for the prosperity of Haense to Krusae Zwy Kongzem! More specifically, I, Felyx will pledge to work on Seven primary points: Promote Crown-endorsed reforms to stimulate political interest of the People of Hanseti-Ruska. Introduce non-politically aligned Commonfolk Societies for greater multi-social representation in our Motherland. Stand for greater Diplomatic cooperation, including a Worker’s Exchange Programme between allied nations to foster more open-minded generations who are willing to accept the diversity of Hanseti-Ruska and Almaris as a whole. Promote theological debates led by the Church across various beliefs, using a novel, proposed technique, coined: “Deep Listening”. Work to integrate the aforementioned “Deep Listening” into the Duma, which will hopefully bridge divides between opposite opinions to reach compromises. Introduce a Koeng or Koenas Royal Jubilee, in coordination with the BSK, every 5 years to celebrate the efforts of the Crown. Introduce a “World Pilgrimage” with the consent of the Church, in order to become aware of different and opposing cultures and beliefs, to reinforce Godan’s virtues and learn to live harmoniously with others despite opposing views. These are just a chunk of ideas I have deemed worthy to put to paper. Being a soldier of the BSK, I find it important that we can avoid War as much as possible. However, peacetime is never a reason to stop training and drilling diligently. I will take my discipline and dedication from the Army when pursuing my goals within the Duma. With great Passion Felyx Francys Colborn stands by his values, and hopes to work alongside Duma members with his Aspirations, by the pleasure of the Electorates of Hanseti-Ruska!
  4. Introduction: The most well-known fact about dwarves is their love of alcohol. From ale to rum, brandy to whiskey, the dwarves are undoubtedly masters of their drink. The primitive and defunct Mossborn Clan is no exception to this rule. Though they are well known for their armour, the history of their alcohol industry is no less interesting. This text aims to chronicle their long-lost methods, and the changes in production of their alcohol through time. ❃ First Drink: Being Forest Dwarves, their alcoholic beverages are not typically made of malt, wheat or hops, instead they fermented the produce of their forest such as wild berries and roots. The first Chief of the Mossborn, Brak The Leafy, is credited for the invention of their traditional Hollow Cider. According to Legend, Brak The Leafy wanted to stash a hoard of fruit away for himself. He found a hollow tree in the forest, and deposited all his fruit into it and then sealed it. He later forgot about the stash, only remembering it a few months later. When he rushed to recover the fruit, he discovered that there was a strong smelling liquid inside the tree. This liquid was the very first Hollow Cider. The original Hollow Cider was described as “drinking rotten tree bark” but regardless of this, it was popular because of its powerful inebriating effect. ❃ Improvement: In the year SA 17, the 6th Chief of the Mossborn Clan, Baran The Sappy (a known reveler) wanted to improve the taste of the alcohol in order to drink more cider. He implemented rules prioritising the cultivation of special trees specifically for fermentation and ordered his brewers to experiment with different formulas, flavours and ingredients. This concentrated brewing effort resulted in a much more delicious and fruity Hollow Cider. ❃ Decline: Unfortunately, in the year SA 18, Baran The Sappy plucked a cursed mushroom. When he brewed it into cider and drank it, he began foaming at the mouth and shortly he fell down dead. It was deemed he had an extreme allergic to the mushroom. A few months later, a plague swept through the trees used for Hollow Cider, since those trees were closely grown to each other. This event was known as the Cider Drought, because the plague nearly destroyed their entire Hollow Cider industry. A strict cider rationing was implemented shortly within the clan. ❃ Discovery: This period of drought lasted for 2 years. It was ended when scouts of the Mossborn clan discovered a wagon wreckage containing various alcoholic drinks and ingredients. In the wreckage there were crates of yeast and wheat, alongside barrels of ale. Farmers replanted and grew wheat in the forest with limited success. In the end, they eventually bred their own unique strains of grains to be more suitable to the forest floor. The brewers who worked previously with Baran The Sappy were very experienced and took to brewing these ingredients into new forms of beverages, such as Sweet Moss Ale and Berry Liqueur. However, because of the limited production of wheat, there was only a small increase of alcohol in the clan. When salvaging the wagon wreckage, symbols of axes were discovered engraved onto the barrels and wood. These were preserved in the clan, in order to give thanks for the revitalization of their brewing industry. It is believed that the wreckage belonged to the Grandaxe Clan. ❃ Conclusion: In SA 28, when Chief Eilek The Bramble eloped with his dryad lover, the Mossborn clan descended into civil war, due to prior religious differences. This internal civil was terribly brutal, and resulted in the effective extermination of the tribe, and the destruction of almost all of its relics, including the barrels of the Grandaxe Clan. There currently exists no remaining trace of the alcohol brewed by the Mossborn clan. Though things might change if the clan ever gets revived.
  5. GORLOTH The Gorloth Staff and The Gorloth [A Dour Watch Lancer being strangled at the hand of A Gorloth] “Bestow unto us as Setherien once had, return the Gorloth to the fray.” ~The Brightiron Prince says to Azdromoth in his Court of Fire. The Gorloth; A forlorn abomination which is remnants of a bygone time where abyssal sorceries and dark magic reigned with absolute malevolence which strangled the hope from the hearts of many. The Dark Lieutenants of Setherien wielded the wretched tool which had come to be known as The Gorloth Staff. The only device of its kind to hold dominion over the corrupted golems of yore. It was said that the sorceries in which these atrocities were bound to were achieved by a group of Aegisian blood mages enlisted by the benevolence of Setherien even before that of their Asulonian counterpart. It is said black tendrils which drilled and writhed between the joints of the Gorloth could be seen as a graceless bastardization of the draconic creatures their life derived from. It does not matter if the genus is harvested from a Dragaar or a hundred snakes, the end result remains constant. [Promiiitheon, The First Gorloth.] “The **** is a Gorloth?” ~Draakopf to Kalgrimmor ‘pon the eve of his ascension. A Gorloth is essentially a Golem corrupted through the means of blood magick borne from a series of intrepid rituals which had been based upon the premise of corrupting inert or active Golem cores. The Dark lieutenants of Setherien were once said to have scrawled great symbols and pentagrams onto the crust of our very earth. Rituals would have taken place on a grandiose scale of which would require the participation of the many simultaneously; to warp and mend the draconian genus into that of the Gorloth Staff would be the purpose. Only do those daring and/or foolish enough to mayhaps manifest some eldritch terror, use the ritual to conjore a construct of their own, though it is not unheard of. Such times went by and had long been forgotten until the Black Titan, Azdromoth set his smouldering gaze upon that of two Dwed. A pair of visages wrought of malice and greed glared back unto the sublime First-Born who he himself had been a conjuror of malevolent sorceries. A deal was devised and the Arch-Wyrm knew the mortal spawn would once again wreak havoc upon the realm. A world he had wished so badly to be rid of Order so that Chaos may ensue and bring about an Age of Fire. And so, they would enact the next several decades as harbingers of the wyrm’s wroth and in return the ancient knowledge, once wielded by Aegisian blood mages, was retrieved from His lexicon and bestowed upon the two. The Gorloth Staff acts as the source of power and sentience to the Gorloth itself in tandem with the Lexicon. One with naught the other, simply does not work. In order to create a staff one must first properly go about corrupting a golem’s core which would then be transmogrified into a newfound Lexicon . The process of which is no easy feat and will serve as a test to Man’s willingness to serve The Dark. [Archetypal blood mages during the dawn of the First Age bringing to life Promiiitheon.] The Gorloth Staff In a bid to trounce the mystical Dwarven Golemancers of times bygone, it was Setherien who ultimately succeeded in recreating a dauntless comparison of the Stone Men. Through a series of malefic alchemical amalgamations of the dark arts did the Sun Swallower birth anew perverse, but yet profound incarnation of corruption. It was His Dark Lieutenants who would hoist these mighty sceptres wrought of draconian corruption and charge forth unto battle behind the ranks of their Gorloth. There may only be one particular staff per Gorloth and should the the staff be compromised in any sort of way, The Gorloth will cease to function as it had. Rendering itself lifeless and rid of sentience should The Gorloth Staff be destroyed and or disposed of by the means of breaking and or burning, etc. The Staff itself is capable due to the malefic magic imbued within to corrupt any existing Golem into a Gorloth. Such a process might define the will and ability to persevere of the one who wields The Staff, as they will have to formulate and conceptualise a strategy to subdue and corrupt the Golem over the span of time it takes for it to become a Gorloth. The initial core that resides within a Golem, once tainted by The Staff, will become abyssal and black as the thanhium turns to that of a Lexicon. The core, once azure and radiant, would soon be rendered unto a tool of Setherien’s device; The Lexicon would serve the wielder of The Gorloth Staff and the Gorloth itself. The Lexicon The sublime Gorloth staff and its ability to corrupt and change serves as a sort of reiteration to Setherien’s past tendencies whereas the Sun Swallower himself in times of old would transmute thanhic crystals into that of blood crystals. Such is reminiscent in the mystery that is The Lexicon. To each is their own and may one lead to an alternate rumination; Each staff is privy to what lain within their respective Gorloth’s ‘mind’. Behaviour The Gorloth is stricken with dread and sorrow as it undergoes a drastic change in its programming, essentially. Oftentimes faces will appear to surface within the stygian tendrils that writhe and contort within the construct which seemingly would call out to those free on the other side. Such an effect can be an umbrage to the Gorloth and its thoughts, but dread is in its nature and it is born to be a harbinger of such. Servitude is the nature of this construct, but yet within the depths of its own ruminations, permitted by the black magick its wrought of; thoughts of betrayal and deceit linger and fester. To wield a Gorloth Staff is to forever be watchful of your back and the One you so daringly command. The Gorloth is often going to ask questions and seem inquisitive, though even if believed by their master, this is a mere flaw in their almost perfect design. Though they will never truly retain the understanding of what it is they ask, they will always persist to attempt to understand. Perhaps a reminiscence of the genus used in their creation or perhaps a flaw, but one may never know truly. Appearance The Gorloth may stand up to (8ft) at max unless a Greater Gorloth is constructed, which itself is left up to the imagination of the Creator. Inherently it is by the hand of the progenitor who would sculpt these Gorloths into whichever image they so desired. These archetypal masons were that of a malignant order and it would be their very own horrific thoughts in which their creations held reflection. Often times it is existing Golems who are corrupted then turned to Gorloths so by nature of the dark magikk lain deep within the staff, interpreted only by one divine or omniscient, then it is only the stygian tendrils that manifest that would change any apparent aesthetic otherwise. The application of igniting embers and creating heat distortions around ones person is permitted. Abilities Ignite Flame [Combative] The Gorloth possesses the capability to ignite or extinguish flame with its palm/fist or it may en wreathe its head in a crown of flame. Anything further is not permitted. If one wishes the ability to en wreathe their blade and or armament in flame they must specify such in a MArt. A Gorloth may often times use this ability to assist their master in starting fires whilst on wayward adventures in lands remote. This ability requires 1 emote to cast and lasts for 10 emotes. Greater Gorloth [MArt Only] The possibilities and ranges are simply left up to the imagination of the one submitting the artefact Gorloth. Though, it is encouraged by the lore holder for the sake of roleplay that if such an artefact be submitted, that substantial roleplay has gone into the creation of such a construct. The Creation Ritual The creation ritual itself serves as a pinnacle to blood magic invention for the success achieved can only be looked upon in awe as one may wonder what sort of divine intervention would look to create such a monstrosity. Naught it was, for Man lay waste to any claim that He is not able to persevere through sheer will and with the genus of dragonkin and or anything descending from the Slumbering God, all the way down to a snake; Let there be life from the blood from Setherien, Child of Knowledge itself. Upon creating a circle with the use of the following runes to reflect its unique commanding power; Life and Binding, alongside that of the symbol for Power itself. Without some sort of genus derived from a creature with relation to Setherien the ritual will falter. This means that even an abundance of snakes carefully collected and treated to be extracted of their genus could serve as a supplement for the ritual. In fact it is not uncommon for those who wield Gorloth Staffs to carry with them in fact serpents! Often not venomous, but still such a detail is a rather fascinating indication of the willpower these Gorloth Warlocks possess. Albeit this would inherently serve as the foundations of creation for the invention pioneered by Setherien and his ancient cabal of Aegisian blood mages. REDLINES Appearance/Durability/Weakness Redlines: CREDITS hotbox_monk/hotboxYSL: Writer @z3m0s: For telling me about the lore and it’s history and for being the reason I wrote this lore today. Thanks for being the homie. @Formenost: In depth consultation and moral support @Sorcerio: In depth consultation and moral support https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/202370-%E2%9C%93-magic-lore-blood-magic/
  6. Almarism What is Almarism? Almarism is the most recent incarnation of an ancient religion dedicated to worshiping and protecting the goddess Almar, the so-called "Lady of the Lake." This ancient religion was founded millennia ago, at the very dawn of Almaris' creation, by the first people of Almaris. Its history and tenets are recorded in the Book of the Lake, an ancient fragmented text discovered in a hidden cavern near the Lady's Lake (Eye of the Lady). Modern-day Almarism is the state religion of Redclyf, whose rulers and citizens alike are called to pledge their loyalty and service to the Lady. The spiritual head of Almarism is the Fey Enchantress, who communicates Almar’s words and actions to us through dream-walking in Almar’s sleep. Who is Almar? Almar, Lady of the Lake Almar is the ancient goddess responsible for the creation of the nine realms. Originally part of the prehistoric pantheon of Old Ones, Almar broke away from the old gods when they became no longer content to rule the cosmos and instead began to feed on it. A goddess of life and creation, Almar stood against the Old Ones in an ultimate defense of light and life. Who are the Old Ones? The Old Ones are the progenitors of life and death in this world. Their pantheon is composed of at least nine gods: Aeg, Asul, Anth, Athe, Vail, Axi, Atla, Arc, and Almar. More may exist, but their names are lost or indecipherable in the fragmented text of the Book of the Lake. How did Almar create the nine realms? Long before the realms we know today were created, the Old Ones ruled over many ancient realms. One day, however, the god of death, Aeg, became no longer content to feed on those who died in the ancient realms he ruled over. He became possessed with an unquenchable craving and began to consume worlds upon worlds. The Old Ones stood against him, but they too fell and were consumed by Aeg, emerging as new gods of death, sharing in his eternal hunger. Only one Old One remained - Almar, the great Mother-spirit, goddess of life and nature. Her nature was so opposed to Aeg that he could not consume her, and so their two wills locked into an unceasing battle. Fearlessly, she struggled against him for eons, the force of their wills striving against each other shaking the very stars. But this battle commanded so much of her attention that she could do nothing as the rest of the gods ate up world after world until none was left. But still Almar battled on, and once every world was devoured, the Old Ones turned their attention back to her, preparing to overwhelm her and utterly annihilate her. Aeg devours the cosmos It was here, in this moment of desperate determination, where Almar finally called on her true power and realized how to defeat the Old Ones. She could not destroy the Old Ones, for she is the goddess of life, and they of death, and they thus held more power to destroy than she did. Therefore, no longer did Almar seek to destroy Aeg; instead, she called upon her powers of life and defeated the gods of death and decay in a single ultimate act of creation. Stretching out her hand, Almar called matter into existence, creating new worlds and locking each god into a world-prison of earth and stone - a continent designed to hold them fast for eons more. Aegis, Asulon, Anthos, Athera, Vailor, Axios, Atlas, Arcas - instead of the gods devouring worlds, these new worlds now devoured the Old Ones, drawing them down deep into their bellies. And where Almar touched each realm, life sprang into existence, bountiful nature covering each of those stone prisons in verdant splendor. There the Old Ones remain to this day, clawing at the dirt above heir heads, destined one day to break free and once more terrorize the realms. How did Almaris come to be? When Almar had finished binding the gods in their prisons, a great sleep fell upon her, for the eons of struggling against Aeg and the Old Ones had brought her to the brink of death. Almar laid her head down and fell asleep, and where her head lay, bountiful life again sprang up all around her. A newborn realm dawned around her - the land of Almaris. The curves of her body became green mountains and hills, and her hair became great pastures of green grass. The Creation of Almaris One great eye closed in slumber, but even as she slept, one eye remained open, ever watchful of the return of the Old Ones. And where that eye stared up at the heavens, it became a brilliant blue lake. There her new creations, the first people of Almaris, gathered to settle, guarding the Lady of the Lake vigilantly even as her eye vigilantly watches the sky. It was here that they wrote of her battle against the Old Ones in the Book of the Lake, and even once they passed on and became extinct, their writing remained, waiting to be rediscovered, waiting for a new generation of Almarists to rise up and settle around the Lady's Lake: a new order of Almarists once again dedicated to defending the Lady as she sleeps, even as she once defended their ancestors. What is the Sisterhood of the Lake? Foremost among the followers of Almar is the Sisterhood of the Lake, an order of priestesses dedicated to ensuring Almarist devotion to the Lady. The Sisterhood shares the load of responsibility amongst them, taking turns to lead ceremonies, plan religious festivals, induct citizens into Almarism, and tend to the needs of the Fey Enchantress. Any woman may volunteer as a Sister of the Lake, provided that they are sincerely dedicated to the protection of Almar and her people, and that they are not denied entrance by either the Fey Enchantress or the Duke of Redclyf. Who is the Fey Enchantress? The Fey Enchantress is a highly respected prophetess among Almarists. One pure of heart, the Fey Enchantress is chosen by the servants of the Lady, with the Lady’s guidance. The Enchantress possesses the unique ability to communicate with Almar herself in her dreams. When she lays down to sleep, her purity of soul causes the Lady’s dreams to interweave with the Enchantress’ own dreams. Through these dreams, the Enchantress can gain insight into Almar’s thoughts and desires. In order to prevent harmful misinterpretation of her dreams, however, the Enchantress is not tasked with both dreaming and interpreting. Before communicating her dream to Almar’s leaders and people, the Enchantress first convenes with a rotating cast of two Sisters, who listen to the Enchantress’ words and help her to distill the essence of the dream. Following that, it is then told to the Duke and his advisors, as well as to the people of Redclyf, if the Enchantress and Duke deem it worthy to be announced. What is the chief purpose of Almarism? The Book of the Lake speaks of the inevitable return of the Old Ones. Their prison-realms cannot hold them forever, for all life gives way to death. On that day, when the Old Ones break free of their prisons, they will once again converge on Almar with murder and destruction in their hearts, seeking to destroy her and devour all of reality, and then each other. If the Lady is blinded or crippled before that day, then she will not be woken until it is too late, and both she and all of Almaris will perish. Thus, it is the primary purpose of every Almarist to guard the eye of the Lady, so that she may be roused from her slumber by the coming of the Old Ones and may rise to defend Almaris. Why should I convert to Almarism? Almarism is not a "faith," unlike Canonism or the Red Faith. It does not demand a personal belief from its followers, does not impose a creed on its subjects, threatening excommunication and execution for violating its directives. There are no laundry lists of rules, no tomes of thousands of pages of arbitrary theology, ranks of religious leaders jockeying for power and political favor. Almarism is a single, strong call amidst the chaos of this world, welcoming to all, its message ringing true and clear above the strident screeches of death and damnation from other religions. Almarism is not a "faith;" rather, it is a duty. Its single principle is this: "Protect the Lady of the Lake." Whether you believe in a hundred other gods or none at all, you have a place in Redclyf, guarding the Eye of the Lady. Whether you think her a goddess or a mortal, so long as you raise a sword against those who attempt to destroy the Eye of the Lady, you are as family to those of Redclyf, from the humblest Sister of the Lake to the Duke of Redclyf himself. Guard the Eye of the Lady! Move to Redclyf today!
  7. Adunian Orthodoxy Overview “We are a people twice damned by the choices of our forebears, abandoned by the Creator for their sin. Left aimless and adrift in a hateful world, we now turn to the only ones who understand our lot - our Ancestors - to guide us to salvation. And thus we have chosen to undergo our third damnation, to remain restless in the river of souls, to guide our kin from beyond the grave until our honor is restored.” - Llyfr yr Hynafiaid (Book of the Ancestors) Adunic Orthodoxy is a religion created in the early days of the Adunians’ time on the isle of Illdyn. In the aftermath of the Fall of the High Kingdom, the Adunian people began to see themselves as abandoned by the Creator that their Orthodox Cannonist faith saw them pay homage to. They were half-breeds, abominations in the eyes of their old church and its Creator. Thus many began to lose hope as they grew more hated by the rest of the world and more aware of their twice cursed nature and lack of guidance from a higher power. However, their lord Elendil held strong and led his people to a new home on Illdyn. Maria served as a mediator and counselor, quelling tensions on the ships and keeping people together. Elendil’s son Braen also helped the people stay strong, serving as a moral and spiritual leader among the people, showing wisdom beyond his age. Eventually, after a successful move and with the growing settlements on Illdyn secure, Elendil passed onto the next world. Braen saw his spirit linger, however, as that of a saint, or perhaps something different. He quickly spread news of this boon to his comrades, that his father had ascended to guide his people from beyond the grave, and people took the news well. For a damned people, twice cursed and abandoned by their Creator, this ember of hope grew into a flame, which quickly spread across Illdyn, drawing people to it wherever it went. However, Braen would not live to see the full impact of his words and his philosophy, for the prophet and lord died young, slashed by an Illdic Bear only a few short years after taking his father’s throne, cementing himself as the third member of the high Trinity of Ancestors - Elendil the Father and Leader, Maria the Mother and Counselor, and Braen the Son and Prophet. This tradition stayed strong for several centuries, but eventually, as the Adunians began to once again integrate with their human kin many were drawn back to Cannonism, either by their own wishes to be close to the humans they resided with or necessitated by the threat of persecution, ostracisation, or execution. However, those among the Adunians who call themselves the Harren’hil, or “Heirs of Harren”, seek to keep these ancient traditions of ancestral worship alive, and see them as an integral part of restoring the glory of the High Kingdom. Beliefs “With great forebears to guide us, we shall always be strong. For if we heed the wisdom and warnings of the past, it will guide us to a brighter future. This is why we make our final self sacrifice, for the good of our sons and daughters, so they may see better days than we.” - Llyfr yr Hynafiaid (Book of the Ancestors) Adunic Orthodoxy holds several core beliefs paramount. They do believe that the Cannonist Creator did create the worlds, and share many of their beliefs about the creation of the world, the rise and fall of Iblees, and the ancient days of history with the Cannonist religion. However, they believe that when Harren and Sarai married and procreated, whether it be out of love or for the good of their peoples and the cessation of conflict between them, they created an abomination in the Creator’s eyes, and he turned away from them and their heirs. While the High Kingdom followed the Creator, and at first found great success, he was not there to save them in their time of trouble, and the High Kingdom fell. Thus, the Adunian race needed to turn to a new guide - their Ancestors. The veneration of the Ancestors is perhaps the most key part of the Adunic tradition. It gives the people hope, for they can look back on their ancestors achievements and learn from them, and apply the lessons to the present. However, the veneration of ancestors goes far beyond this. Adunic Orthodoxy teaches a much more real and corporeal connection with the ancestors, for it is believed that many of the greatest Adunians, in a tradition starting with Elendil, refused to find peace in the afterlife. They refused the protection and peace offered to them by any Aengul, Daemon, god, or spirit, and instead remained in the Soulstream. Thus, they decided to avoid peace so they may more easily be called upon and help their children. It is for this reason that some select elements of magics involving spiritual communion are sometimes seen as almost holy by the Adunians, for they serve to bridge the gap between the self-exiled Adunic ancestors and the physical plane, allowing for more direct guidance to be granted. In contrast, magics that mar the soul irreparably and leave no choice to enter the soulstream are generally viewed in a more negative light. Thus the decision to overextend any magic - voidal, divine, or unholy - in a way that would destroy, mar, or trap the soul is taken only in times of great need for the whole of the Adunic race, for any who would make such a choice would be shirking their duty to guide their progeny for the sake of immediate and temporary power. Voidal magic of any sort (besides enchanted items) is generally frowned upon due to its corruption of the body and soul for the sake of pure power rather than any sort of spiritual connection, while the corruption or effects of Spiritualists, Seers, and Templarism are generally more excused, since they serve to either connect the race to their ancestors more directly, guide the race into the future with their true-sight, or to sacrifice themselves to protect their people in the most dire times of need. Notable Ancestors “Harren the Founder, strong and proud, who’s imprudence sealed our twice damned fall. Sarai the Fair, of Wildewynn, who sailed for western shores afar. Elendil, Father and Leader Strong, pillar in the monstrous sea of doubt. Maria, Mother and Counselor, who eased the pain and fear of all. Braen, Son and Prophet wise, who’s light restored us to our course. Lead us, please, to better times where prosperity reigns forevermore.” - Litani yr Hynafiaid (Litany of the Ancestors) While many Adunic Orthodoxists, due to the nature of their faith, choose to stay in the Soulstream as guides and are thus venerated at least by their close families, some have reached such renown for their actions that they are respected by most or all those who follow the Adunic Rite. These can be sorted into three categories: The Founders (Harren and Sarai), the Trinity (Elendil, Maria, and Braen), and the Doethion (Felcryn Delmar, etc). The Founders Harren and Sarai, being the progenitors of the race, are viewed in a complex way by those who followed. On one hand, they are viewed with respect and honor, for they laid the foundation for the High Kingdom, a golden era for the Adunians where they were able to advance their skill in arts, architecture, literature, shipbuilding, medicine, and the natural sciences to a level never again recaptured. They showed the value of the friendship between Elf and Man, and through their union and the unions of their peoples granted the Adunians of today their longer lives. However, they are also viewed with a degree of scorn, since they through their shortsightedness also brought upon their offspring the twice-cursed nature they know all too well to this day, and the scorn of the Creator and many other gods and spirits who despise such cursed unions. Hence, the positive aspects of these founders are respected. The advancements of the High Kingdom, friendship with the elves, and a love of woods and sea are all remembered fondly, but the resentment for the extra curse laid upon their offspring cannot be overshadowed or forgotten. The Trinity The second set of major ancestors chronologically, and the chief ones in the Adunic Orthodox Rite, are the Trinity of Elendil, Maria, and Braen. Elendil was born in the latter days of the High Kingdom to High King Arendil. When the High Kingdom fell and his father was deposed by the rebelling highlanders, Elendil inherited the leadership of the Adunic people, now banished from their great cities and lush forests, forced to sail across the sea from Aegis or face genocide for their transgressions. Elendil, however, kept his resolve, gathering his people and leading them across the sea to Ildyn, where the Adunian people had their second chance. But the journey was not easy, and many divisions came, to the point where several times the whole affair nearly failed. This unrest was quelled and mediated by Maria, wife of Elendil. She helped to settle disputes and be a calm, gentle hand and voice to her people, nurturing them and keeping them together until they found their new home and regained their hope and resolve. She and Elendil then also had a son, Braen, who became Elendil’s heir. Braen was for most of his life wise beyond his years, and had a deep interest in the spiritual and the philosophical. After several years, once the kingdom had begun to regrow on Ildyn, Elendil passed on into the next world. Braen was the only one to witness this, and when his father died he saw him rise up, as a saint, or perhaps something else. This vision by Braen became the basis of the Adunic Orthodoxy, thus making him the founder of the faith. He rose to the position of Lord or King upon his father’s death and spread the new faith in ancestral guides about the land. However, he didn’t live long enough to see the full effect of his teachings, for he was killed shortly thereafter, slashed and mauled by the claws of an Illdyc bear. And thus the Trinity had all passed into the world beyond. Elendil the father, admired for his leadership, justice, and his undying hope for his people, Maria the mother, admired for her calm, nurturing demeanor and her ability to keep her people together, and Braen the son, prophet and giver of wise counsel. The view of the Trinity is overall far more uniformly positive than the Founders. They already faced the same curse that all subsequent Adunians face, and they managed to give their people hope and a new chance at survival by founding a new kingdom, a faith that actually serves to protect and guide their descendants, and moved their people away from the pride and slave-based system that led to the fall of the High Kingdom and to a more humble, hearty, self-sufficient, and well-balanced way of life. The Doethion The final group of ancestors are the Doethion, or Wise Men. These are the equivalent to Saints among the Adunians, and are made up of all those Adunians who passed on into the next world and, as is customary for all those who are not bound by some other fate for the good of the people, remained in the Soulstream to aid their progeny. To join the Doethion in death to guide one’s ancestors is viewed as a final duty and oath to the Adunic people that all should make, and to sacrifice the ability to join the ancestors is often taboo, though it is accepted as a noble sacrifice in certain cases, such as that of the Templars. This is why the study of deific magics and magics that corrupt the soul are exceedingly rare among the Adunians, and while small bands of Adunic holy mages (especially Templars of the Aengul Malchediael, also known as Saint Michael to many Humans and Adunians, and is counted among by that name) are common, and often kept around, the choice to join one of those groups is an extremely difficult one for an Adunian to make, and is never taken lightly. While all Adunians who pass on and enter the Soulstream are members of the Doethion, some are worshiped more widely than others. Each clan or house will tend to have certain ancestors who they hold in high esteem, and then there are ones that are held in esteem by all Adunains. Small Prayers are oft written to them asking for intercession, along with the greater rites for weddings, funerals, and invoking the spirits of the dead. Prayers, Songs, and Rites Funerary Rites "In the tradition of Elendil, lord and father, may the soul of [name] forever join his (or her) forebears in the river of souls. May he (or she) join the ranks of the Doethion, to offer his (or her) descendants his (or her) wisdom and good counsel. Never to rest, until our honor is restored, and we all may find peace." The Rite of Invocation “O Doethion, O wise forebear of old, heed my call. Come now, [name], return from thy slumber and aid thy children, as is thine oath and duty! Come now, [name], grant us thy wisdom from ages past, to help our present plight! Come now, [name], speak to me, then return once more to thy watchful rest.” The Rite of Matrimony "Sons of Harren and Daughters of Sarai, we are gathered here today to celebrate the blessed union of [Couple’s names here]. Let all gathered here, with the Trinity and Doethion witness, seal, and bless this Union. [Name], [Name], do ye swear to Elendil, Father, Lord, and Guide, to lead thy family forth into the uncertain future. To be an example of discipline, honor, and humility to thy children, so long as ye both shall live? I do [Name], [Name], do ye swear to Maria, Mother and Mediator, to let thy home be one of kindness and understanding. To weather all the difficulties, disagreements, and woes that life brings cheerfully, fairly, and respectfully, so long as ye both shall live? I do And do ye, [Name] and [Name], swear in the name of Braen, Son and Prophet, to let thy house be one guided by faith and reason. To teach thy progeny of reason, and of our faith and our history, and to always grant them good counsel when they should ask, so long as ye both shall live? I do Say now any other vow or oath ye wish to swear to each other, and make known to the Doethion and to the People here gathered. [your own vows go here, if you want to have them] With these oaths of long tradition and of thine own love, ye art in good faith bound to one another in the eyes of the Harren'hil and of the Doethion. Exchange thy rings and thou mayst kiss the bride. Go now in peace and prosperity." Elendil’linn “Father Elendil, Lord and Guide, show us the way through the tumultuous sea of fate. Inspire us to lead our people ahead, through the darkest of times to the brightest of lands. Help us stay humble, to never feel dread, to know that soon our time is at hand.” Maria’linn “Mother Maria, show us your grace, show us the way through the problems we face. Be our good counsel in times that are hard. Help us stay civil, to lay our thoughts plain. Show us to reason, and keep us from hate.” Braen’linn “Braen, son and prophet, patron of the wise, show us the truths which most never find. Help us to recover the knowledge we’ve lost, and grant us the wisdom to use it or not. Show us the way on the rivers of death, so we may also guide forever our kin.” The Prayer to Felcryn Delmar “Oh mighty Felcryn, grace my tongue with the sharpness of silver and my ears with the keenness of the hawk. Guide my actions and my words so all may be under my thumb and follow my will, knowingly or not.” The Prayer to Malchediael “Aengul of Courage, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of Iblees. Help us to stand resolute against all odds, to selflessly defend our people from harm, and to deny the temptations of corrupting power.” The Burning of Aglaribaind "Woe to thee, Aglaribiand, Strong and tall in distant land. Vanished now across the sea, Ashes due to our folly. Aglaribiand stood tall upon the bay, It glistened white, and blue, and grey, Its walls were strong, its halls were fair, And great works we created there. Poems were read and Songs were sung, Hammers from the forges rung, On the wind our great ships sailed, But beneath all this our city ailed. For in our pride we took on slaves, Our Highland kin all to us gave. We abandoned honor in our greed, And for that folly we now grieve. The slaves rose up upon the town, Burnt great ships and buildings down. Threw Harren’s corpse into the Sea, Over which we soon would flee. To his Throne Elendil rose, As King Arendil hung for the crows, From Aegis we were banished forth, On pain of death we left the North. We sailed west to Illdyn fair, And Elendil ruled us there. Nevermore to fall to pride, To live with honor at our side. Woe to thee, Aglaribiand, Strong and tall in distant land. Vanished now across the sea, Ash due to our folly.”
  8. Hyphae You find a journal locked by a green ribbon. It's edges are worn, yet it is still firmly kept together. A crow and a rose are engraved onto its dark leathery face. Entry I My dear mother. Once a respected druid, now a sickly woman on her death bed. All because I ignored the underlying stress she bared. It had all started when I ventured off into the woods again like any normal day. I had failed once again to heed the worry of my mother, who had now fallen ill to an incurable disease. Not even all the doctors of our Seed - nor herself - could cure the wretched fevers, coughs, ill pale skin, or freckling chills that felt like needles to the back that she felt every time she woke up. How could I, her only son, be so ignorant. Now she lies there every day, as if waiting for her last breath. Now my graceful father works harder until he could work no longer. Now I sit here writing, as if writing my woes could ever cure my mother. That is until I prayed to the gods. Cerridwen and Cennunos, Mother and Father of the nature that is gifted to us. Even after every moon and sun did I wait and prayed for an answer. Patience grows thin, and and so did my inpatient mind thinned until it could no more. I have packed my bags up for a journey far away, into the deeper areas of Almaris. There, I can find some sort of cure, or at least hope to help my family. Entry II In my extensive knowledge I have gain from travelling around Almaris, I would have not known I would gain a sister, or well adopt one. As I was looking for some sort of person with a medical background, I had met the young prodigy Delilah coincidentally along the way to Vortice. She had kindly greeted me and swooned me over with her childish nature. How dearly I love her. As we grew closer the following month together, she was immediately under my wing. Through her, I had learned more about the people in the East, and even settled down at Elysium to understand the herbs around there. From Bat's bulb to Jailer's Moss, I studied hard to get to her level. I wished for my parents to meet her. They always ways wanted a daughter. Entry III The peaceful life of Elysium had taken a turn for the worse. Krugmar, the warring nation up the road from Elysium. War has stepped into our lives as they threaten us with raids and kidnapping our people. Delilah resides in Fenn for her studies; where it is safer. On the other hand, I have decided to stand my ground and stay at Elysium, in hopes that our kingdom is strong enough to keep the Orcs at bay. I watch over the walls, always anticipating death at our gates. Entry IV Uruks. Crude in nature and powerful in battle. They had somehow gotten into Elysium while I was away gathering more herbs. They side with Krugmar. What crazy racists they show to be. I used the citizen tunnels to quietly get in, spying on them as they lurk the streets of our home. Seven in total I have seen. How could a handful of them get in when we had guards on every post? I have heard their prideful yells of how we are cowards, how the guards ran away, and how they would not let anyone in; mostly because they did not have the key. They vilely spill alcohol down their throats, celebrating their success. I hope this ungodly hour ends before Delilah returns home. (Entries will be added continuously in the later future)
  9. “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. Good day to everyone. I have a question of sorts. Well, it’s also intended to generally get a gauge of the server’s community and opinion, and to perhaps open a discussion. I'm mostly just speaking my mind. Please keep matters calm and civil, since some things discussed may be contentious. I also would like to apologize well in advance, for I have a very good feeling that this will be very tangential as opposed to being a well-structured essay. The subject is regarding the nature of the Techlock. See, I'm new, I'm not some community veteran or old-guard who can sway the lore team, or events or outcomes of certain civil wars… but I've hardly played, so I wouldn't really know about that. The thing is, I very much want to. But to explain the matter, I will have to share a little about myself. I love and am obsessed with bits of technology in fantasy settings. Steampunk, retrofuturism, magitech, science-fantasy worlds, these have always fascinated me since I was a kid. Movies like Atlantis, Treasure planet, and others sparked my imagination, games like the old Neverwinter Nights, Ultima, and others occasionally presented small amounts of technology in their setting, and it fascinated me. Wanting to be an engineer IRL, it really helps transport me to another world, time, and place where things only in the most distant theory are possible. Ever since the start of fantasy, there's always been room to mix these things together here and there, settings and worlds like Spelljammer, Eberron, Magic The Gathering(Just look at anything involving Urza), so many of Hayao Miyazaki’s masterful films, I could provide examples for days. The truth is, science and technology have the capacity to conjure wonders unimaginable prior into real being in our universe today, and it’s hard to imagine this not being so elsewhere. This can be the example portion of this whole post, delving further into where I’m coming from, and just simply explaining what I like and enjoy. I’ve read Jules Verne, and played games like Bioshock, Thief 2: The Metal Age, The Dishonored Series, The Bioshock Series, Divinity: Dragon Commander, Path of Exile, Myst, Iron Harvest, Morrowind(And the rest of the Scrolls games), the Vaporum series, and more. I love playing an Artificer in D&D ever campaign that I possibly can. Hell, I loved the Legend of Korra, which I know wasn't exactly popular as a continuation of ATLA. You get the idea, you get the picture, I absolutely adore this sort of thing, and seek it out in media. I’m a massive uber-nerd for this sort of thing. Technology and magic mirror each other in many ways. Of course, many world-building troubles and complications might arise from this, how do magic and technology exist? Where do they compete and where are they compatible? You have to treat technology as a sort of magic system in many respects, so some of Brandon Sanderson’s thoughts apply, generally, it has the power to greatly affect the feel and themes of a world. An industrial revolution is an incredibly transformative event, after all. In a day and age where Netflix’s Arcane tops charts, Magic The Gathering is creating planes and card blocks like the new Kamigawa and New Capenna, The Legend of Zelda features ancient Shieka magitech as a core part of its worldbuilding, and science-fantasy elements become less niche and work their way bit by bit into the spotlight and mainstream, I want to ask. Why does Lord of The Craft have to imitate Tolkien ad nauseam until the end of time(or at least the server, presumably), and even disregard the surprising technologies that actually did exist during the medieval period and throughout history (I’ve taken a History of Science and Technology class, I can debate this if you really want). Who exactly mandates that it has to be limited to one kind of RP, one kind of world, one kind of story, one kind of context, one time-period, doesn’t it ever get old? This is where the rant ends. I really just wanted to toss these ideas out there, because I've wanted to get it off my chest. Part of me is playing devil's advocate here, I want to know what people think. I’m being disingenuous. I know a bit more than I’ve let on, despite my hours on the server probably being 2 at most. The other thing about technology compared to magic, is that, while similarly arcane in its complexity and required knowledge, is that it leaves a more permanent artifact, sure spell tomes can exist, but technology(and artifacts in general) is very much a matter where, once its out, it can be difficult to put the cat back in the bag. When something is invented, the factions in power seek that power, people study, learn, teach, and perpetuate that knowledge. And even if all the skilled craftsmen and engineers who worked on these things have vanished, then their works can still be unearthed, and potentially reverse-engineered(if enough of them is left to do so with). The other relevant property, is that technology is built upon learned principles generally fundamental to reality, and methods and discoveries can be reapplied in different contexts, and improved in efficiency- realistically, the tech train doesn't easily stop moving once it has been started- someone will usually think of all sorts of uses for things which already exist, and try all sorts of wacky stuff. In truth, all fantasy worlds, regardless of tech-level, do have a certain techlock of their own- to prevent a runaway effect and maintain a particular vibe, to prevent a Kaladesh from becoming an Neon Dynasty, so to speak(I understand they are different planes obviously, they were just examples of tech style). Some, like Divinity, opt for a magical unexplained reset that just simply wipes all of the technology, and presumably all of the knowledge, tools, memories, possibly people, and drive to replicate it, or even think to replicate it. This is terrible writing, but I do understand why it’s done. Many settings relegate their technology to little pockets, advanced ancient lost and dead races and civilizations, whose incredible works simply cannot be understood, they are simply too vexing and arcane, and perhaps nobody quite bothers… for some reason, or an isolated and mysterious island of tinker gnomes. The Dwemer’s secrets lie guarded away in buried ruins, defended by magimechanical automata that pose great threat to all but the most skilled and capable, or armies and legions. Only a few characters understand their works, like Sotha Sil(and a significant amount of that understanding likely came about post-’ascension’ via the heart of Lorkhan), and sparingly few scholars, artificers, and alchemists who appear only at special occasion. Regardless, I digress yet again. This isn't about The Elder Scrolls. Now, onto how any of this at all relates to Lord of The Craft, beyond trying to turn it into something that it’s not. I’ve read about the past, about things like Smoggers and Thanium devices, the list seems to go on- devices that were once accepted, and once existed prior to the establishment of the (current?) Techlock. I won't lie, I adore the sound of that stuff. It looks to me like you guys tried it. From what I can tell, there was such significant tech-creep that the techlock became absolutely necessary to keep it in check. It simply must be discussed how technology relates to RP itself. It is obvious to me how balancing, CRP, and fun for everyone can be… potentially negatively impacted by simply letting these ideas run free and wild. It’s clearly a problem if one nation is the Fire Nation, and has such a technological advantage that its screwing over others, and forcing people to advance to compete whether they like it or not, it’s obviously a problem when the people managing sieges and battles now have to deal with one side rolling out steam-tanks or some nonsense. I suppose it's also a problem if someone's 'so unique and special of a character' that went through the bureaucratic nightmare of endless applications and back-and-forth with staff/loreteam to have throwable vials of horrible alchemical concoctions and chemical weapons, or a repeating crossbow that only requires like, 1 or 2 emotes to spam-fire, and regular soldiers and guardsmen with sword and shield have to deal with the BS of fighting that. I understand these things. I also know that tinkering and technology aren’t entirely crippled today either, it’s just very carefully and cautiously selected and limited. I know automatons and animati still exist, that special magic items and creations exist in circulation here and there, things like mechanical arms which can spray pressurized water, and that a long-forgotten, ancient buried thanium bomb might still detonate causing a massive disaster from time to time, that Urguan’s navy consists of steam-powered paddleboat ironclads. I know these things, and I’m sure there’s still a place and room for me, and things that I can explore. I’m not the kind of roleplayer who wants to invent or bring about technology for powergaming or to crush my competition with the power of “SCIENCE!!!”, and I genuinely care about the experience of others. I just personally love the flavor of fantasy tech, and writing these things. I don’t want to ruin things for anybody. But of course, this sort of thing is still what I tend towards, it’s the sort of thing that Iove and get the most enjoyment out of. And I understand you can tell me to go somewhere else, but, this is the biggest RP server in existence at the moment. I don’t know of a server more my style that exists anymore. My first character is a Dwarf, and I plan to go through the trials necessary to work my way up the ranks of Clan Irongrinder. I want to make interestingly and creatively written and flavored- and well-balanced- magic items, and sell them, introduce them to the world. But I have read a few past forum debates about this very topic, and they were not without vitriol. After this long-winded wall of text, the real question I want to ask is this: Am I welcome here? And also, to be entirely earnest, to a lesser extent, the secondary question is: Will the current state of the techlock ever change? Will there be exceptions for me to enjoy? Will things like smoggers ever exist again? Cannons at the very least? Or did I just miss out on all the cool tech before it got banned forever? Did I just arrive here too late?
  11. Cognatism https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzNcSvKCOyA With the initial connection to the void, scholars were unaware of the untapped potential within the abyss. The only knowledge given was that it is a replacement for substitute power. Unbeknownst to the scholars, the discovery created a pathway to our realm from the void. Each connection pinged the void and the entities within, announcing the mortal realm to those residing in the abyssal void. Discovering that the breach was simple, per new connection grew the intrigue to the horrors, drawing them close. A barrier, however, prevented them from accessing our world. Both worlds separate by a veil neither understood, only able to pass meek connections to either side. Mortality used the void for power, the horrors for consumption. After centuries of waiting, the breeches widened within the void, small voidal pockets filling space within their realm emerged and with this - a pathway. Both worlds, unknowing of each other, finally found an opportunity to meet, the horrors of figuring out ways to aperture the veil could cause a destructive mess, scarring the landscape. Void rifts, explosions, and destruction ensued in both realms. The horrors trying to cross the veil led to explosions that defaced each realm's land. Scholars studying the rifts and void explosions were able to decipher the strange occurrences, this only prompted a further study in the void that ended in two minds meeting. — Evo’lur Tartarus, Cognant. Magic Explanation Cognatism is a symbiosis between twin minds bound at the veil of the void. The connection serves as a tether between two minds fighting for dominance and control over the other, locked between a mortal mind and that of a voidal horror. The binding communion between the two entities is an agreement of protection for an exchange of knowledge. The horror using the mage voidal pocket forms a protective ring defending against outsider attacks, syphoning the host's mana to keep the barrier up. The lesser horror seeks a new host if the reserve of mana and connection isn't grand enough, putting the host in a prismal loop trial. Cognatism is a feat, it can be learned alongside all other voidal rituals. Cognatism can be learned by players with/without magic. Just be aware it takes an initial voidal connection to draw in the horror, described in 'Expanding Ritual'. If you're character/race/magic/alchemical being doesn't allow for this, you cannot become a cognant. To learn Cognatism one must find an applicable teacher or horror stone. You do not get ‘smarter’ for having the twin mind, just access to tools that aid in seeking knowledge. The Horror The void is a split consciousness of many residing horrors seeking consumption and essence to grow in a hierarchical status amongst lesser, greater, supreme and behemoth horrors within; ascending only through the consumption of essence from other horrors may cause one rise within the standing, following the philosophy/culture of Darwinian on the principle of survival of the fittest. The voidal horrors often seem to form into packs, led by pack leaders of greater to behemoth horror standing, allowing greater intellectual control of the horde to seek further essence to grow and command within the void. Ascension is through consuming weaker ‘superiors’ when the opportunity arises, allowing lesser to become greater or greater to superior standing in the horde of horrors. The evolutionary standing of voidal horrors amongst this hierarchy is dim to lesser horrors, offering nothing but a plaything or food to the horrors above them in constant strife and antagonising nature. Seeking a pass to escape and even protection, they seek the aid of rifts accessing their domain to flee through, or even that of magi to house them. Nevertheless, the outside look on their primitive nature prevails even in this state to consume, grow and evolve. Cognatism focuses on those voidal horrors, opening up a barrier of protection along the veil between the void and the mortal world, forming a psychic link between the two providing a protective barrier within the void pocket of the magi to encapsulate the lesser horror free from consumption long as the connection remains untampered. The Prismal Loop The connection between the two minds is an imbalance of a power struggle between two sides, where if faltered, can subdue either party from a grander force applied to the other mind. It is possible that through no fault of the Cognat, the Horror may issue a test of strength on the connection and the strength of the consciousness it shares a mental home with. Should one fail to push the Horror back, the void beast will stick your mind into a Prismal Loop. The focus will spin round and round, disabling the Cognat from reaching consciousness once more. The Loop forces them into a Comatose state, wherein the Horror will administer a series of tests for the Cognat to achieve. Moving the Cognat deep into the mindscape they create, they must battle the demons of the past and self to defeat and conquer each stage. Once all trials are complete, the Loop will break, and the Cognat will be free. Should such falter, the Cognat will succumb to the mental debilitations threefold as the horror debates to leave you. They are seeking a more extraordinary mind for protection. This occurs if the Horror does not believe that your connection is strong enough to protect it. The Loop can occur more than once. The tests are not easy, not in the slightest. They are hard, and can and will result in damage. The Loop forces the Cognat into a coma, where they must complete trials of the mind in order to get through. This adds some flare to the roleplay, though grants no additional abilities. Whilst in the Loop, the body must still be sustained. Food and water are still required. If wounded inside of the Loop, the Cognat will suffer phantom pain on the body as if it occurred. Accumulating a large sum of phantom pain will fail the trials. Failure of the trials means the horror can leave your mind, breaking the tether. These trials are difficult and will push the Cognat to their limits but will always be within the Cognats ability after the first connection trials. If the Cognat survives, they may still believe they are inside of the Loop even after they have awoken. Mental Effects The voidal horror cohousing within the mind of the Cognat brings an assortment of conditions brought to the single mind they bound to, yours. A Cognat bound by the first connection will suffer from minor debilitations, and the longer one has bound increases to the point, it'll become part of the host's personality. The debilitations can come and go through; some will always be present within the mind at any given time. The horrors’ personality is governed by a teacher or ST melding with your own character. Taking aspects, greed, growth, hunger, ascension, ext. This effect occurs over the duration of the horror being bound. Intrusive thoughts come far more frequently, of the horror's personality. Self-illusions, the mind of the horror might overwhelm the host sending false images across the landscape or area you’re within. Paranoia, a presence is always felt watching you that you can never escape. Despite knowing it is the horror. Sleep paralysis, the horror will wake you from slumber occasionally as it feels threatened by the barrier weakening due to lack of focus. Frequent nightmares, given by the voidal horror to keep you awake of its own experiences. Obsession, when the voidal horror has a set agenda that is right in front of you to get, it’ll attempt to force you to achieve and get it at any cost. Memory Consumption, the voidal horror will actively consume memories which you hold no attachment towards, and root itself further within. The Twin Mind Sharing one’s mind with any consciousness but your own isn’t unheard of, though without a doubt life-altering. Taking in a second mind inhibits you to a tirade of mental debilitations that fatigues the mind, weighing you down without the twin mind speaking to you. The voidal horror paired will send intrusive and controlling thoughts to inhibit your actions, sway mood swings, self-illusions or enact paranoia in the act to weaken the mind for takeover, having no affiliation or opinion on the world around, the horror rather running on its primal urge for ascension. With gaining the third mind, the tri-mind, from either void stalker feat, or another sentience, will amplify the mental debilitations. Although the Cognat and the mind of the horror are linked, the horror wouldn’t share any information given to it back to the Cognatunless learned while bound with the host and imperative on the horror to do so. The exchange of information between the twin minds can only be done if it is imperative to the horror to do so and learnt while bound to the host. You may learn any of the voidal ritual feats, (voidstalker, artificer, scion, eminence). Limited to one, as specified in the respected lore. Losing the Twin Mind/Cognatism, you’ll still suffer from all the mental debilitations if you pass the connection prismal loop (2 IRL Weeks of MA acceptance). The twin mind may not be “tamed” or “befriended”. It is an unbiased entity out for its own survival. The Twin Mind may be purged by a paladin, or cleansed upon a spirit-walk by a shaman. Gaining the Tri-Mind+ doubles exponentionally the mental debilitations, plus the debilitations of the other lore. Teaching https://i.pinimg.com/564x/70/a5/9d/70a59db7195662b7b58b01a3e4fd4efd.jpg Teaching within Cognatism is probably the most strenuous feat in the void archetype; it isn't about learning spells but instead building a symbiosis between two entities. The actual teaching aspect of Cognatism only allows easier access for a student to work on developing this symbiosis, subduing the horror within until the student can take its full strength. The voidal horror is extremely captious when its consciousness is brought from the void into another's mind — often rejecting the new host out of little faults they have unless subdued by the teacher. After the horror has successfully moved into the mind, Prismal Loop trials can begin. The trials are demanding on both the new host and horror, separating their connection to cast any magic until ALL trials are completed. Prismal Loop trials can be incredibly imaginative to the horror or incredibly simple; the trials are here to test the will and drive of the host to form the symbiosis between the two entities. These trials are not without risk. The horror can easily manipulate the host if seen weak and consume the host's memories if the trial is accepted. The teacher must caution the student and make sure they're aware of these risks; otherwise, the student might lose themself to the horror during this stage of connection. The initial connection of the student's mind to the horror is something that doesn't cause pain or torment to the individual, yet a sense of surrealness. While the horror subdued, it won't lash out or probe the mind until the trials have begun. Without the subduction of the teacher on the horror, it can lead to disastrous mental affecting damages to the new host before leaving if not forcefully forced to remain. The Prismal Loop trials on beginning cognatism last for two IRL weeks, the trials happening periodically through this period and dictated by the teacher/ST. While within the two IRL weeks of obtaining, once connected to a horror you’ll be unable to cast any archetype of magic. While connected, all mental debilitations will constantly barrage the host, until full symbiosis is achieved. Failing prismal loop trials considerably will lose you access to Cognatism, dictated by teacher/ST during the period of connection. (2 IRL weeks). Aka - you lose the magic. You can attempt to link to a new horror after two IRL weeks of failing the prismal loop trials. Practising Cognatism https://i.pinimg.com/564x/e0/15/8f/e0158fb401fe4867f5bccddb6e90b97b.jpg The practice of cognatism once passed the Prismal Loop trials after connection can finally begin. The voidal horror begins to dig its roots through your mind, from either empty or occupied space taking over memories feasting on them if needed. The mind would take some personality of the horror unto the person, only amplifying the further tiers you progress through the feat. The horror bestows the feats amongst the host occurs periodically as the beast roots itself deeper into the mind. It shares consciousness by amplifying its grasp for survival and sharing a deep root of knowledge with the host. Voidal Commune (Passive/Non-combat) An endless abyss and the mortal world, the twin mind connection rests in between to commune. While the connection between horror and cognant exists, all information gathered through any senses is collected and stored within the mind of the horror, for them to share back to the cognant if desired. The host cannot do the same, only hearing whispers of intangible moonspeech screeches through the void. The voidal horror is able to translate moonspeech into the common tongue and vice-versa only if the horror wills it. The only exception is a power superior to the horror commanding it to do so. Redlines: This is a passive ability, active once the initial prismal loop trials have been passed. The ability is always active. The horror will not always respond or answer questions, queries or have a casual conversation with the cognant. They’re not your friend. The horror will not teach you moonspeech, the horror will not translate moonspeech for you unless forced by a superior horror. To draw out information stored and gathered from bound, you need to use the ability ‘Notes’ listed below. Infusion (Passive/Non-combat) The link between the twin minds equalises a pool of mana shared between them, the reserve is unusable or able to be directly drawn from by both parties. When a time of need, be for the horror to create a barrier to protect itself from creatures in the void or the cognant drained of all mana, an infusion will commence taking the reserve mana to prevent Thaumburn. When either the horror or cognant is suffering from Thaumburn, exhausting all mana an infusion will instantly commence from the reserve mana collected. The reserve mana is unable to be used for spells, nor does it revitalize the expended pool of mana, purely all it does is prevent Thaumburn for a single-use per IRL week. Redlines: Prevents Thaumburn, one IRL week cooldown. If a mage uses all of their mana, the infusion will save them from death/pass out, recovering faster so they may “walk it off”. Doesn’t refill/refresh your mana to cast further spells. Notes (Non-combat) The mind is a fickle thing, forgoing memory, knowledge lost or minor details left unable to be recollected or traced. The Voidal Commune link can be brought forth by drawing stored information collected by the horror back into the mind of the cognant, able to reminisce the forgotten parts of the mind. While the Voidal Commune link is active, any information gathered/collected by the cognant is stored by the horror, able to be drawn forth and brought back into the mind of the host. Information lost from short-term memory or degradation can be brought back if desired. Emotes: Connection to the horror -> Discuss information to be brought back -> Information sent to cognant. Redlines: The information gathered/collected can only be brought back from when you learned it post horror connection. Anything lost prior to the connection cannot be returned. The information gathered/collected happens passively and is stored within the mind space of the horror to be recollected by the cognant if desired. If your character died in any capacity the information of that death is lost unable to be brought back, following guidelines of death rules on the server. Memoir (Non-combat) Amassing knowledge is something both cognant and horror do best though with some information, it is best to forgo. The wonders of the world or attained memories are something that can harm the overall individual and by will, the cognant may ask the horror to consume these discoveries. While done so without much affliction done to the cognant, they will feel part of them taken as what was consumed cannot come back. Communing with the horror, you may request anything gathered from past events within memory to be consumed. The information of whatever the memory was is lost by the cognant and only known to the horror. Emotes: Connection to the horror -> Discuss information to be consumed -> Consumed memory. Redlines: The information consumed is lost by the cognant, unable to be obtained except through the spell ‘Notes’. The information lost, cannot be sparked back in memory from another party speaking about it. The horror can be deceitful. If a memory contained a prominent/non-prominent figure/item it may consume all information in other memories on that same item. This is consensual, unable to be forced. Scrambling (Passive/Combat) The twin minds are a link bound through the relationship of the horror and host, forming an interconnecting bond that aids in the prevention of interference of outside sources of magic. If one mind is taken hostage from an ability, both are afflicted for better or worse upon the cognant and horror. Both an ability that can be used to detriment the cognant or be beneficial. Detriments with the affliction on the mind afflict both causing both minds to be affected by the spell that may cause amplification on ‘mental debilitations’ listed above. Beneficial would be if someone attempts to search or implant images within one mind finding two instead, potentially not afflicting the cognant but the horror instead. Redlines: Spells that afflict the mind with disorientation, sounds, afflictions affect both cognant and horror. This may double the effects of ‘mental debilitations’ listed above in ‘mental effects’. Illusions/spells that target a sole mind on the cognant will have a chance to fail, doing such unannounced to the horror instead. This can be done through a simple “/roll 1d2” or puzzle. Broadcast illusions work normally. Self-Illusion (Non-combat) Varying abilities cast by the horror cannot be articulated down through the link between the twin minds, so much so deciphering objects are pushed to a near mundane level of power to the cognant. Only able to cast illusions the cognant sees themself in a limited capacity to calculations that aid in the feat of discovery. The mechanics of this ability are as follows; the cognant may only procure illusions which they see themselves limited to; 3D Models. A full, and complete three-dimensional model of an object can be constructed. Calculations. Creating a visualization of operations in front of you, like drawing lines/functions on a chalkboard. This, however, will only aid someone who is able to work out calculations normally, as the connection does not increase your intelligence. Another use of this is the ability to project a visual aid such as a ruler to measure an object. Data Projection. A complete projection of data is shown to the user through a visual rendition of a table. This can include numbers and other information regarding the object, such as weight, height and contents should the cognat already know them. Horror Projection. The cognant is able to work with the horror and able to project an illusionary form of themselves or another being to be seen by the cognant. The illusion can move independently but requires active focus to maintain. Alongside self-illusions, if one possesses voidal illusion (sensory illusion), they may be able to see their own illusions. This is optional and to be able to do all the above self-illusion spells you must follow the emote guidelines. Emotes: Connection to the horror -> Charge -> Self-Illusion. Redlines: Self-illusions can only be seen by the cognant. If two cognants are together they cannot see each others illusions. This spell doesn’t increase the user’s intelligence. The spell is similar to if you had a chalkboard writing notes, just now to yourself. Horror Projection is like an assistant to point things out you might’ve missed, although may not provide further help in discovery. Inducement (Combative) The twin mind isn’t without fault and an overwhelming sense of emotions will flood the minds of both, pulling and twisting actions of the horror and cognant alike. When time of complete focus is necessary however to prevent the constant pulls of temptation, inducement can be called upon. Inducement is called on when the cognant feels the need for intense focus and aid themselves without being pressured by the horror or mental debilitations pulling them down. Focusing on a singular emotion the cognant may induce it on the mind pushing all others to the side temporarily. Emotes: Connection to the horror -> Charge -> Inducement. Redlines: Is only to be self-cast. The exception to this is within the ‘expanding ritual’. Once cast, inducement will last until the encounter is over or the cognant breaks focus. Casting the inducement spell temporarily subsides all emotions but the one is chosen and mental debilitations. Once the encounter is over/focus is broken the mental debilitations will come back onto the cognant twice fold for the next thirty RP minutes. Focus can be broken by a forced void connection disruption. Expanding Ritual (Non-combat) A ritual between three, the cognant, the horror and the apprentice to expand one mind through coupling/circling. The cognant pulls mana to feed to the horror, asking it to reach into the mind of the apprentice opening a rift within to the void without a voidal connection made. The mana fed to the horror is used to draw near a lesser horror calling them to the void pocket of the pupil, once one has successfully been drawn in - teaching may begin sending the student through the prismal loop. Emotes: Connection to the horror -> Feed Mana-> Open apprentice to the void -> Call Horror -> Prismal Loop. Redlines: Inducement can be done on the apprentice to lessen the abruption of the void/horror. This is the ritual to call forth a lesser voidal horror, thus creating a cognant. The horror creates a voidal connection, not the teacher during the ritual. A voidal connection is not required to practice Cognatism after however. After the ritual, follows all guidelines/redlines of ‘Teaching’. Cannot be forced. Enchanting Cognatism enchantments have been undefined for the most part, while bringing the feat back I wish to put some limitations and allow only selected spells to be used to prevent abuse/loopholes. This list may expand/retract some spells in the future to be used or further clarified if needed. Overall Enchantment Redlines: Any enchantment made follows the restrictions on combat/non-combat of its given spell. A ‘note’ enchantment cannot be used in combat as per the spell. This can be amended by the creation of a MArt. Possible Enchantments: Notes. Enchanting an item with notes, allows it to work similarly to a ‘voice recorder’. Able to take in information given to it through mana-transfer into the item or vocal command. Notes may be applied to any other voidal enchantment, and do not require MArt to be applied to an already existing one, unlike other enchantments. Memoir. Able to take information from one mind if they draw mana onto the object. The object can then return the information if siphoning the mana back out through the same process. You may only take/return information from the person collected. The information given requires RP consent. If destroyed, the information is lost. Self-Illusion. All self-illusions can be enchanted with the specifications given to them. You may ‘save’ information on the enchantment if the spell ‘Notes’ is attached. Self-illusion may only be enchanted alongside ‘Notes’ on the same object. Cannot enchant ‘Horror Projection’. Inducement. All inducement enchantments will focus on one emotion bound to it when held/on users body. Multiple emotions cannot be induced even if one has multiple enchantments. Once the enchantment breaks, they’ll suffer heightened emotions of the other emotions for thirty RP minutes. Expanding Ritual. The enchantment known as the ‘horror stone’ will follow all rules/redlines of the spell. If a player willingly connects to the horror stone, they need to contact the Story Team to continue. This is effectively self-teaching. Without a teacher, the initial prismal loop will be extremely strenuous and will most likely fail. Depending on the ST handling the ticket. Single-Use. If you fail the trials you cannot try again with the same stone. Tier Development: T1: - After successful Prismal Loop Trials (2 IRL weeks) - Voidal Commune - Scrambling. T2: - Four IRL weeks to get to T2. Including Prismal Loop trials. - Infusion. - Notes. - Self-Illusions, except horror projection. T3: - Two IRL Weeks from T2. - Self-Illusions, full list. - Inducement. - Memoir. - Expanding Ritual. Purpose: The purpose of bringing back Cognatism isn’t to take over from voidstalker lore, rather be its own rendition of old Cognatism while following current standards of roleplay. Similarities between the two lore pieces do exist, though as voidstalking is more subservitude and cognatism written here is co-existence there is a big difference between the two. I wanted to further address why the list of abilities is mostly self-rp reliant, simply as I didn’t want to cross over the power which other more intensive magics bring, as taking example from voidstalking. That magic breaks the soul and gives access to ‘voidal feats’ previously unobtainable, cognatism forms a connection through the mind so the feats will be lesser. I hope to of created enough differentiation between the two for it to be considered its own piece of lore as I didn’t want to overlap anything between the two lore pieces. Citations: https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/152537-✓-magic-cognatism-rewrite/ https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/158898-✗-additioncognatism-the-mind-of-a-horror/ https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/197734-✓-voidal-feat-voidstalking/ Credits: Ttwesten / Jenny_Bobbs - Main Writer/Ideas/Conception. Booklight12 - Ideas. Z3m0s - Ideas. Kalehart - Ideas. CephalonAir - Ideas/Edits. ImStuckInHell- Edits. TojoTime - Edits. TwistChunky - Edits. Zarsies - Voidal Horror Help. The intention of Distribution: If the feat is accepted, I will be in discussion with ST members on selected members of the community not aligned with each other to help spread out the magic and not have it gatekept. If you’re interested please reach out to me on discord: E__V__O#0001
  12. 7th of Tobias’ Bounty, 1857 So it came, another weary night for the old Duke of Cathalon. He had spent the eve pacing his halls, ever drained from the ordeals of recent years. Once he had all the piss and vinegar of youth, but father time had seen to that. His hand grazed over a dusty windowsill, recoiling as he took notice of the wrinkles that adorned the appendage. “All that you see before you is yours, dear. From the River Reden to the Petra, all that falls beneath the statue of the horse is yours.” He heard his mother say, recalling the touch of her hand on his brow and the golden tresses that would wreath him in an embrace. It was a simpler, boring time. It almost moved the Duke to a smile, were it not for the dagger that punctured his mind for daring to recall. Her death was but the first that he could not put right, the thought unsettling him as he gave a final look out over the hills dissolving into dusk. Beside him now paced a phantom of his younger days, moving through the vaunted Cheval Hall. He sparred with the pottery as a boy, practicing his spins, twirls, and pirouettes as he had been taught. Below he saw himself drinking with friends, belligerent in his candor as he socked a bard in the mouth. He also saw his sister come and go, the presence of his elder sibling he greatly missed as she departed at last with an easel and wrapped portraits. Arriving at the door of his bedroom, he took a glance back to it all now. Where once had been visions of himself, he saw his children scurrying about the halls. In one corner his sons Helton Rhodes and Owyn Leopold quarreled, fighting over whose turn it was to shoot the arbalest. Another he saw his daughters Henrietta Therese and Francesca Ada fuss with their dresses and braiding each other’s hair. At the windowsill he saw Guinevere Amadea throw down a rope of bedsheets to escape for the night while Saturnina Cyrille fidgeted with her hands, contemplating tattling on her younger sister. Then there was Daphne Priscilla, no more than four at the time, cradling the newborn Laurentina Marigold wrapped in swaddling clothes. The Duke lingered there for a time, finding some small contentment before the beat of his heart struck like a hammer, pressing him on. Within his room was darkness as he was greeted by a pale specter of a woman whose back was turned to him, Raven-haired, he knew it to be his wife Leopoldine Vivien and so the Duke moved to embrace his beloved. He imagined the warmth of her touch, shutting his eyes as tears sprung forth and dripped through the vision of his wife. Still, however, she did not turn to him. “You know this is not real…” she murmured to him, “I know.” He murmured back, collecting himself after a few breaths. When the Duke opened his eyes the specter now faced him recalling every gruesome detail of the dead woman. She was devoid of eyes, peering at him with empty sockets that bleed over her porcelain skin, her neck ripped and torn open as if by some savage beast. Thus did the Duke’s torment begin and every image of his dead loved ones appeared within the room. The twisted form of his mother Blanche, broken by the fall she had taken. The contorted neck of his daughter Daphne who had likewise fallen from a height, unable to breath in her last moments. Then there was his eldest daughter Henrietta who had perished most recently. He had only seen after she had been prepared for the funeral pyre, but nevertheless the eerie stillness of her form was enough to unnerve him. So many were gone now, what a truly terrible thing it was for a father to outlive a child. Beyond the dead, however, the Duke saw a light come through in the windows of his bedroom. The landscape that had so recently fallen into the night was now engulfed in flame. In the shadows cast over the land, he saw the fates that were still to come, small horrors in and of themselves. The Duke shut the curtains and turned to the dead. “I’ve had enough for the night.” He spoke aloud and they did vanish, leaving him alone in the dark. Shutting his eyes, the Duke made ready for bed, retracing his way around the room from memory. Outside he heard the whinny of a horse and the clip-clop of its hooves, no doubt one from his own stables, paying it no mind he crawled into bed. Thomas Andrew then laid down and died. R.I.P. 1793-1857
  13. Kaedreni Renaissance: THE PEOPLE OF ANGREN Table of Contents I. Overview II. Origins Aeldin, 1420-1468 Athera, 1468-1513 III. Beliefs The Mortal Coil Humanity Monstrocity Fate Civic Virtue IV. Traditions The Many Saints of Kaedrin The Dubbing Cremation The Victor’s Draught Livestock Bovine Peafowls Rhoswenii Liege V. Appearance Physicality Fashion Overview The people of Angren, the Angreni, are modern-day descendants of old Kaedrin, the Fatherland. The Angreni build their lives on the herds they shepherd, ever vigilant of threats made by man and monster to the lands they protect. They are a dutiful and superstitious people set in their ways, who’ve weathered on from Kingdom to Kingdom, Empire to Empire. Zealous in their deposition to protect their ways and suspicious of outsiders, the Angreni seek to preserve their humanity most of all, uncorrupted and unblemished by the ravages of others. For mankind is God’s chosen in His granting of humanity’s ascent into the Seven Skies. Grim as life might be, the Angreni seek the joy in celebration and revelry as one might the warmth of a bonfire. Hearty jubilation is custom, whether it be at a child’s birth, the dubbing of a sword, or the slaying of a great beast, a roar of laughter is sure to bellow forth, along with a round of drinks on the house. The Angreni weave themselves into the tapestry of mankind as warriors and philosophers, as lovers of drink and song, and as keepers of sacred traditions and order. Aeldinic Raiders drive their newly acquired livestock after successfully pillaging a neighboring tribe, 1425. Origins The original term, Angreni, refers to those who settled amidst the mountains of Angren during the Imperium Tertius and Quartus in Athera, and subsequently settled the fields after the destruction of Kaer Angren. Immigrants from Aeldin brought from distant battlefields, the Angreni adapted to a pastoralist lifestyle after decades of warfare. Considered to be a branch of the old Kaedreni, they even go so far as to refer to Kaedrin as their Fatherland, however, the history of the Angreni is not so direct as that. Aeldin, 1420-1468 Beginning first in distant Aeldin, they emerged as warriors during the continent’s subjugation by Emperor Owyn I ‘the Pious’. Highlander by blood, these proto-Angreni descend primarily from stocks of Kaedreni, Waldenians, and native Aelds. From the initial military camps that grew into such cities as Valtian, to the wild Banardian frontier where only monsters dared roam, these soldiers fought on for a variety of reasons, coin and plunder chief among them. The bonds of these once disparate peoples would later be forged into one of faith during their service to the Sparrow Banner of Saint Peter of Gaekrin. The Aelds, serving as pathfinders for contingents of Kaedreni Caerngard, used their knowledge of the land to aid in many pacification campaigns across the continent. Equally decisive in this time was their knowledge of which tribes to tame and which to burn, although this often sparked tensions along old tribal lines, it proved effective in weeding out challenges to Imperial rule. In time this association saw the pagan auxiliaries cast out of the mystic cults of their ancestors, suffering brutal reprisals by their once countrymen. This would culminate upon the Isle of Ynys Mon off the shore of Agathor, where scores of these auxiliary Aelds were given in a bloody sacrifice to summon a demon to stop the Imperial onslaught. Saint Peter and his Kaedreni knights launched the expedition to rescue the Aeld auxiliaries from these cultists, beginning a massacre that drenched the island in blood, further fueling the ritual. Saint Peter himself is thought to have felled the last of these mystics on Ynys Mon before the completion of the incantation, although this came at a terrible cost. The severed head of this cultist spoke the words of a curse before hitting the ground, having absorbed the unbridled power of the surrounding carnage, empowering it to claim the life of Castor Chivay, Saint Peter’s only trueborn son. In honor of their savior, those natives who had been taken captive now readily burned their pagan idols on the pyres that consumed the fallen, renouncing the old ways as they cut into their flesh the Kaedreni Cross. Renewed in the light of the Creator, these new converts found absolution by driving from the land all that which consorted with the magical or strange, their pogroms engulfing much of the continent, with cities such as Setring experiencing pogroms for three whole years on account of the alleged Serpent Kings. The new comradery tempered in these fiery crusades brought these peoples closer, forging together a common identity as warriors of Saint Peter. The Aelds were no longer mere woad painted gauls, they now donned the steel carapaces of Waldenian Landschneckts and the kettle helms of Kaedreni Arbaletriers, with striped pantaloons becoming the fashion of their army, a penchant they were well known by. With peace soon falling over the Aeldinic Empire, it would not be long before these warriors were drawn to other shores, wanting for the frontier of battle. They would find such a battlefield in the Fringe, where they would follow their patron now as Emperor Peter I of the Imperium Tertius. Angreni settlers preparing their cattle to ford the River Nocibur, 1487. Athera, 1468-1513 “Keep the heartlands strong. Go forth and claim this land in the name of Oren!” Saint Peter as Emperor Peter I, 1462. These warriors returning with the Imperium Tertius, and ever loyal to Saint Peter, would fight on in the Fringe War, from Kaldonia to Vekaro, Fenn to Urguan, unleashing their fanaticism upon the strange continent. This was until the Robertine Plague, which greatly ravaged their ranks, blackening their lungs and infesting them with buboes that crippled the joints. With only a few left to toss bodies on the pyre, else the dead might rise again to spread the contagion, the survivors could no longer field the zealous contingents they had in the past for Saint Peter. Taking it as an omen to quell their rage lest they become as consumed as the sons of Krug, the survivors would lay down roots in the Empire’s acquired territories in Athera, a majority settling in the mountains of Angren. There, without further war and conquest to sustain them, the Angreni took on a new identity, seeking a reclusive, pastoralist existence in the aftermath of Marshal Vibius de Sola’s betrayal and the rise of the Imperium Quartus. Where once the campaigning season had ordered the lives of the Angreni, the migrations of the herd now did, moving to higher pastures as the summer months thawed the mountain passes and descending before the winter snows blocked them again; a harmony fell upon the people to dull their fangs of yore. Among these early settlers was the young Saint Foltest of Aeldin, once an Imperial soldier and a native Aeld of Valtian, little is known of Saint Foltest at this time, save his enlistment at the age of thirteen and his service in the Order of the Flaming Rose. These idyllic times would not last, however, as the wars following the Imperium Quartus’s collapse would bring devastation to all of Angren. During this catastrophic period Kaer Angren, the mighty fortress that protected the mountains and highways north, fell to the undead. With their pastures blighted, and their livestock suffering unspeakable mutation, the Angreni were sent into a diaspora that saw them scattered across the continent. Some returned to the mercenary work that had sustained them prior, while others tried their hand at ranching other lands. Without a realm to call their own, and no leader rising amongst them, the people anguished, clinging to the memory of what had been the Fatherland, Kaedrin, and the mountains of Angren that had borne them. Years would pass before the Angreni would have their vengeance against the forces of undeath. At the hands of Saint Foltest of Aeldin, the corrupted fortress of Kaer Angren would be obliterated in whole, reducing the mountains themselves to an ashen field. Upon this newly reclaimed land, the Angreni would settle once more, now under the protection of Saint Foltest in the Reformed Kingdom of Oren. The fiefdoms that comprised Angren during this time would later be reunited by the Saint after his brother-in-arms, Guy Silsbury, bequeathed them before death at the hands of other worldly specters. After this, peace came to the Angreni once more, complete in their lands and now able to return to the herds that had sustained them. For this the House of Helvets, the direct descendants of Saint Foltest, would earn their place as the traditional liege-lords of the Angreni with whom their fate would inexorably be bound. Beliefs The Mortal Coil “Know that our morality is as a whetstone to a blade. Our lives are made complete by its sharpness even if our palms are bloody and bitten by it.” An Owynist Friar, 1424. Life and death are the twin forces by which all men are compelled. Life is to be cherished as a new born son in your arms, a lover’s kiss, or the warmth of the hearth. Yet none of this can come to pass without a prospect of death and oblivion, as dreaded as it might be, dealing upon man the wrinkles of age, the scars of battle, and the chill of the night. To live is to be immersed by this duality, a double-edged sword that cuts as much as it gives. The Angreni must make their peace then with that pale rider, be it with terrified screams or a cackling smile. Mankind is blessed with only a short few years, exceeding no more than a hundred. To prolong their existence beyond such is unthinkable and the abandonment of one’s own humanity, where one abandons what he is, he surely invites a monstrosity into his heart. Humanity “The good book says the world is a garden which God once conferred upon man, and we man have this garden neglected. In consequence, all manner of filth has made its lair here - drowners, ghouls and other kobolds!” Ser Eyck of Denesle, 1458. Humanity is the ember that will not smolder but shall engulf the world in inferno, cleansing it of sin. The enchanted crystal palaces of forgotten elven races, the mithril dwarven holds fathoms beneath our feet, these are but a fleeting shadow of what once was. These sights of grandeur shall return to naught but dust and ash with the passage of eons as their architects turned to legends and fables before them. Despite the longevity of the other races, only the Sons of Horen shall be left through Gehennasnacht, the Night of Hell. It is only through the perfection of the human form that the Angreni believe this salvation can be attained, by pursuing a purity of blood, with bodies unmarred by mutation and augmentation. Monstrosity “Monsters are born of deeds done. Unforgivable ones.” A curse afflicted man, 1532. A grain of truth lies in every tall tale, be it the drowner’s resurrection from a criminal cast down river, or the power of Iblees to exempt his followers from their curse. But all things come at a cost, and to consort with the Deceiver the price is always one’s very soul. Monsters are not only born from deals with devils or vile sorcery, any act of evil can create one, be it a failure to heed old wives’ tales or the desecration of the Creator’s works. Spawned of mankind’s neglect for the world, monsters shall fester in dark places, their ilk growing in turn to threaten that which is good. There are also monsters created not just from man, but spawned from nature’s evil itself, this includes beasts such as the manticore, the cockatrice, and all manner of beastmen. Many tomes exist cataloging these fiends, describing in-depth their behaviors and weaknesses. A common reference for the Angreni is the Helvetii Bestiary, written by Lady Margaux Renée Helvets, which is often embellished to children to spook them into behaving. “It is well known that when a hexer inflicts pain, suffering and death he experiences absolute ecstasy and bliss such as a devout and normal man experiences during sexual congress with his wedded spouse,” Monstrum, or Description of the Hexers. Not nearly as damned, there exist those that tote the line between man and monster, the Marked Men, Hexers, are one such case. Warriors turned by sorcery and mutagenic herbs to fight monsters and do battle with those which lurk. Their abilities blacken their hearts and turn them from the righteous path, instead extorting trinkets and coinage from those that would contract them. Sadly, this is the fate of those who consort with such unclean tradesmen, and the Hexer is best avoided by sane and reasonable men. Nevertheless, they can on occasion prove useful; when the best remedy to fire is another, who better to kill a monster than another monster? Always keep in mind, however, that a Hexer never works for free and one should count themselves lucky if the toll is to be paid only in gold. Fate “Verily I say unto you, the era of the sword and axe is nigh,.. the Time of Madness and the Time of Contempt: Tedd Deireádh, the Time of End.” A prophecy by the last Elder sage of Aeldin, Unknown. Perhaps a holdover from their Aeldinic roots, the Angreni cling fiercely to the concept of destiny and fate. While some might call it mere superstition, the Angreni see signs, omens, as evidence of a preordination of the world. To them there is an equal and opposite reaction in all things where one reaps what they sow or so it is told. Where there is good there is evil, life and there is death, warmth and there is cold and vice versa. If one tempts fate, you had best heed the consequences lest you suffer them eternally. When a black cat crosses your path, it is to be slain and a broken mirror is a mirror you need repair, else misfortune takes you. More than a run of bad luck is incurred by unclaimed debts, for the Angreni despise usury. Debts are to be paid in full else even one’s life may become forfeit. When payment is due, the Law of Surprise may be invoked as an alternative, the price of which is that you have at home but do not yet know. To do so is to meddle with destiny itself, so the law may only be claimed in exchange for saving a life, else fate shall not bless it. Another peculiar tradition is that of Guest Rite, invoked upon a host receiving a gift from his guests and partaking of his bread and salt. The host is then obliged to their protection and security for the night, offering hearth and hospitality to them. While a host may fail in protecting his guests, a matter to be avenged separately, the worst crime is that of a host inflicting harm to his guests and vice versa, where a death shall seal a curse eternally upon the household of the offender. Still yet the most hideous fates are reserved for the most hideous of crimes. Kinslaying, regicide, and treachery unto the human race are among those considered irredeemable, from which only God Himself may deliver divine absolution as He did with Exalted Owyn. As for what destiny lies in wait for all mankind, the Angreni find their answer in the Holy Scrolls: “As you have subjugated the nations of the world and wrought iniquities upon them, so will those nations return upon your people, and their suffering will be thrice over.” (Gospel 7:37) “As in the time of Owyn Godwinson, the people of Idunia will persecute them with false prophets and violations.” (Gospel 7:40) “For when I return, the waters shall thaw and wash over the world, and all shall know My Word, and none will reign as prophet above another.” (Gospel 7:61) “The Sons of Horen shall walk the Seven Skies.” (Gospel 7:62). Amongst these verses of the Book of Sealing, the Angreni interpret the omens that shall prelude the Scroll of Auspice, an apocalypse known as Gehennasnacht. Beset by a coalition of nonhumans, humanity shall suffer thrice over the suffering of every war combined; this shall occur three times over, laying mankind and the faithful low. Next, or perhaps simultaneously, those of mixed heritage shall despoil mankind, leading them into the worship of Iblees as the Leviathan, Vargengotz, stirs. Those who are truly human will be persecuted in this time, facing every manner of violation at the hands of the Adunian; humanity shall persevere only by the same action of Owyn Godwinson, who smote the unrepentant wherever they were found. Finally, the Creator will return and weep over the devastation, the world shall fall beneath the waves, consuming both faithful and faithless. In this deluge only those true Sons of Horen with the knowledge of the Scrolls will survive by walking the Seven Skies, thereby avoiding the destruction of the world. It is for this purpose that the Angreni fashion dogma of the faith, to see themselves and humanity saved from the damnation that is to come. Civic Virtue “He who is not angry, whereas he has cause to be, sins. For unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices, it fosters negligence, and invites not only the wicked but the good to do wrong.” Unknown, 1467. All men are possessed of a certain duty to their country, and this is no different for the Angreni. Where a monster is found it is the duty of a man to see it slain, whether by a blade of gold or a pouch of coin. If a traveler’s wagon is found broken by the roadside, the Angreni is to lend a hand in its repair or to send for another transport. To not do so is to falter in one’s duty to their fellow man, and see oneself bedeviled by a like wickedness. Through the cultivation of such a virtue of reciprocity, the Angreni believe that their salvation may be dispensed and the goodness of the human form made apparent. Traditions The Many Saints of Kaedrin While the Angreni revere Exalted Owyn especially from amongst the Prophets, they hold to a great number of the Fatherland’s Saints, honoring them in their ceremonies and homes: Saint Peter of Gaekrin, Patron of Military Orders, Victory in Battle, and Plight against Heathens, Saint Thomas of Gaekrin, Patron of Virtuous Leadership, Discipline, Frontiersmen, and Kaedreni Peoples, High Pontiff Saint Lucien I of Ulmsbottom, Patron of the Kaedreni Cross, Crusaders, Landholding Clergy, and the Family, Saint Adrian of Leuvaarden, Patron of Statesmen, Lawyers, and Politics, Saint Edmond of Lachsin, Patron of Knights, Hospitality, Baronial lords, and the Auvergnian People, Saint Foltest of Aeldin, Patron of Bastions and Siegeworks, Saint Arianne Helvets, Patron of Archers, the Forest, and Servitude, Saint Rick Felder of Kaedrin, Patron of Heroes, Bannermen, and the Fight Against Setherien. Other than the Saints of Canondom that adorn the shrines and halls of the Angreni, also revered are the heroes of old. Based upon the caste of the Rhoswenii, descendants of those virtuous men of the Order of the White Rose, this culture of heroism is honored in the songs and legends that are passed down along with the Kaedreni Saints. Though not every man named in these tales possesses the dignity of a Saint, they form a crucial part of the surrounding parables that inform the Angreni of what virtues to cultivate and which sins to scorn. Baldir Toov, the first Confanonier. For what good work the man did as a knight, chivalric and righteous, he was given to certain proclivities that diminished his virtue. Adeon Fableknight, the Hexer. While Hexers may in part be abhorrent creatures, Adeon Fableknight was certainly a proficient killer of monsters whose work helped to rid the Fatherland of the magical and strange, clearing the way for humanity to exist. Alexei Nicodemus, Rex Slayer. A greenskin is no different from any other form of monster, and to slay one is no different either. To slay a Rex, the barbaric leader of Krug’s spawn, is however itself an accomplishment worthy of praise. For the Angreni shall always remember Horen’s death at the hands of Krug, the first Kinslayer. Temp Thersist, the Spymaster. Spymaster T, an enigma, many tales circulate of a bald-headed brute whose web engrossed the continent from Godfrey’s reign to the Marshal’s betrayal. Legend tells of a wardrobe wherein an ear from each of the Spymaster’s servants was placed, that he might hear the entire realm with. While celebrated as a figure of nationalism, he is doubly considered to be quite sinister, bordering on villainous at times. Bran Volsung, the Water Mage. While there is some debate as to whether he was or was not a mage, it is known that Bran Volsung did serve alongside the Order of the White Rose. He is remembered for his pagan upbringing and conversion to the faith, from which he would set about bringing others to baptism in many a hidden pool, hence the epitaph. Leric Tresery, the Knife-Ear. Embodying the concept of a “good elf” if ever there were such a thing, Leric set about correcting the ways of his misbegotten race, teaching them their place beneath humanity. Prideful so as to never have his ears clipped by a man, Leric was used to flush out dens of elves that would reside upon human lands, chasing them into checkpoints of the White Rose. The Dubbing The Angreni celebrate the naming of a great many things with much applause and fanfare. There is a certain power to names that the Angreni vest in these ceremonies, whether it be a warrior naming his blade or a lord his castle, a celebration seals it with a toast by the participants. These are to be jovial affairs, replete with barrels of drink and plenty of meat to share, the harder the Dubbing is celebrated, the better its omen. Cremation As for their dead, the Angreni practice cremation, placing their deceased loved ones upon funeral pyres and collecting the ashes into urns. Vigils are held throughout the night as the dead are burned, serving as a final mourning for the deceased. By burning bodies in such a manner, the Angreni aim to prevent the spread of necromancy as well as preserve the humanity of their souls by freeing them to the Seven Skies. The Victor’s Draught “Free Ale! Free Ale!” Pat the Baker, 1353. Upon victory in a battle or a campaign, it is traditional for tavern owners to open their doors to the soldiery, exclaiming “Free Ale! Free Ale!” and serving patrons their reserves free of charge. This tradition dates back to the Anthosian campaigns by the Order of the White Rose, wherein a tavern keep known only as Pat the Baker would mysteriously appear and offer ale before ominously disappearing in the morn. Such an event, known now as the Victor’s Draught, is incomplete without a brawl resulting in three lost teeth, several broken barstools, and the shattering of all empty glass bottles. Livestock Bovine For the common folk, cattle is a primary part of everyday life. Even the poorest of men own at least two heads, and families scrape a meager living out from their milk. For the burghers and larger ranch owners, the meat of their cattle goes toward feeding the hungry masses of the big cities. The beef produced by the Angreni is of high quality, as they’ve spent generations perfecting the methods in raising the beasts amongst the hills and valleys of their homeland. As was once the tradition to migrate their herds up and down the mountains of Angren with the seasons, the Angreni still celebrate this today by donning their prize cows in flowery wreaths and textiles. This is traditionally done in the spring, when the mountain pastures would thaw and allow for grazing so the decorated bovines could be driven through town in a short parade before ascending the mountain. It was not uncommon for excess livestock to be traded and auctioned during this season, leading to more elaborate decorations and adornments to bolster their price at market. Peafowls Peafowls are a mysterious bird to the Angreni; the male peacocks boast magnificent displays used for both mating and defense; they are kept as wards against ill omens. Thought to be imported from the far east by Rhenyari sailors, where the birds live in harems centered around a single peacock. The birds are most often left to wander the gardens and woods of the Angreni, never culled for fear of inviting a curse onto one’s self. It is believed that a peacock’s feathers are able to reflect bad luck on those that would threaten the bird or do it harm. For such, their feathers are highly prized as adornments and jewelry, but must never be plucked until after the bird’s death by natural causes. Rhoswenii Liege The Coat of Arms of the Duke of Cathalon, traditional liege-lord of the Angreni. “The value of the rose lies not in its material, but in the purity of its form.” Duke Thomas Andrew Helvets, 1849. The people of Angren hail themselves as part of the cultural legacy of Kaedrin, the Fatherland, and so they steep themselves in its many symbols and heraldry. Among these, the rose is the most universally revered, the perennial flower is emblazoned upon all, from the buttons of a coat to the stained glass fixtures of their cathedrals. This is owed to the Order of the White Rose, whose work and example is itself synonymous with that of the Fatherland. To this day, the Order’s roots are still felt as the sons of Kaedrin, the Angreni included, look to the Rhoswenii, those living descendants of the Order’s members, to lead them. Amongst these Learned Elders of Rhoswen, the Angreni are guided by the blood of the King Adrian I of Kaedrin, whose line combines the blood of Saint Foltest of Aeldin and Saint Peter of Gaekrin. Today, this lineage is represented in the House Helvets of Cathalon, the dynastic patriarch of Helvets, and its cadet the House Helvets of Rochefort. Appearance Physicality The Angreni take on a pale complexion, described as milky though sometimes freckled. Angreni typically sport fair heads of hair; auburn, red, orange, blonde, and mousey blonde are amongst the spectrum, though black and brown is not unheard of. Men will often stylize their hair with mullets, undercuts, ponytails, mutton chops, beards, or mustaches, but will often not grow out their beards until they have started a family, though this practice is not universal. Women keep their hair long, though oftentimes hidden under veils, hats, hair nets or - for nobility - circlets. However, girls and unmarried women are often seen with open hair or simple braids or pigtails. Angreni eyes are thought to match the fairness of their heads, composed largely of grays and greens; seldom has there been an Aeld without peridot eyes, although the Angreni can of course bear a deep brown due after generations away from their original gene pool. On average, any Angreni is not far from the norms of the human race, some might be tall from the meat and dairy that is a staple in their diet, while others grow rotund instead. Angreni pride themselves on how ‘human’ they are and despise physical deformity. They look upon mutations such as a hunchback or clubfeet as the work of Iblees or witchcraft and will gladly cast them from their lot or force them into servitude. Those afflicted with scaly skin or albinism are thought to be curable, though through some unclean means and are to be avoided. Worst of all, however, are those humans born with elven ears or a harelip, and are thought to be the product of immense sin and miscegenation with elves; these the Angreni would put to the pyre. Fashion Striped Breeches are always in fashion for men, whether worn as hose or over armor. Rich dyes, peacock feathers, and fiery displays are especially coveted, a vanity indulged more often by the nobility than the common man. Otherwise, the Angreni will clad themselves in leather and woolen textiles produced from their herds. This clothing is usually of a sturdier make to better combat the elements, or the odd harpy swooping down from mountain top cliffs. It is not uncommon for men to wear some form of armor in their daily attire, whether that is a studded jacket or a pauldron and chainmail shirt. One might never know what they’ll encounter in the mountains or on the road, so it is better to be prepared. The Angreni often don furs during the colder months or in court. These furs will not be bought from merchants, but rather be that of creatures they have felled themselves. The Angreni also enjoy decorating themselves with golden or silver adornments, as these precious metals are thought to ward away evil. They are a highly religious folk and will often keep a lorraine cross or a rosary close to their hearts. Women often try to imitate men’s fashion by donning the same furs their husbands, fathers, and brothers have hunted. Though it is not uncommon for them to go out and hunt themselves. The ladies of the culture will often be seen with high-collared dresses, usually in warmer colors, though it is not unusual for them to wear shades of green or blue. Working women tend to focus on the practicality of their wardrobe over fashion, but women of a higher social status may often wear impractical adornments, such as massive collars or wide sleeves, to show off their family’s wealth. Another thing that has found itself in the female Angreni wardrobe recently would be aprons. Simple linen ones for the working class and embroidered silks for richer ladies. Credit to @[email protected] everyone else who helped get this out the door. More is planned to expand upon the culture in the future such as describing the society and other traditions but I felt this was a good point to publish it at.
  14. ~* A Halfling's Afterlife *~ Like many other belief systems, Halflings believe that there are two possible places that one may end up depending on the course of their life; one for those who have lived ‘good’ lives and a place for those who have lived ‘bad’ lives. However, unlike many other beliefs one does not gain access to one or the other through strict adherence to a set of rules. Instead, the actions Halflings take during their lifetimes and how they treat those around them is what determines their final destination. The Golden Wheatfields The Golden Wheatfields is where any decent Halfling will strive to end up and most do make their way there after their life has concluded. One must only strive to treat those around them with respect, help their community, and be a good person in order to find themselves here in the never ending sea of grain. Even if one stumbles every now and then through their life, as everyone does, it is merely the intent to do good that counts and this is something that is rarely missing from the wee-folk. This world is everything a Halfling could hope for, a large hill sits in the middle of it which has countless burrows for all the Halflings who have made their way there throughout the ages. Song and dance are always close at hand as the endless feasts keep the residents' bellies full and hearts happy. The ale never stops running, laughter never stops coming, and music is always filling the air with it’s soft melodies as the decent wee-folk from everywhere are able to live without fear of being raided or going hungry. It truly is heavenly. Around this hill golden wheat is planted as far as the eye can see, almost seeming as if it never ends. Many choose to spend their days tending to the crops, finding the utmost joy in tending to the land even in death. Many families live in burrows together, up to 20 generations sometimes living in the same burrow which can grow as big as an entire village. Yet nothing is ever too far away to walk, as time does not matter. The only worry is who will tell the next story as Halfling history is told and discovered all around this most splendid of places. Arugula’s Tide This place is the golden wheatfields mirror in every way; food and drink being unheard of, crying and wailing replacing that of laughter, no crops to tend to, no friends to catch up with. In fact, this realm consists of nothing but dark murky water in which the poor souls who wind up here float, a giant whirlpool which continuously sucks them in and drowns them over-and-over again, storm clouds delivering a constant downpour of rain which ensures no one here can ever feel the warmth of dryness again, and lightning which is always quickly followed by thunder to assure even if one was able to fall asleep they will not be granted that relief for long. You see, Halflings prefer to have their feet planted solidly on land, to feel the earth between their toes. So, when the place of punishment for the wee-folk was thought up it only made sense to never allow them that pleasure or security ever again. Instead, those cursed to spend eternity in Arugula’s Tide simply float in an endless ocean, constantly being sucked into a giant whirlpool in the center where they drown, before bobbing back up on the outskirts only to repeat the process so many times they lose count. To make matters worse, sometimes Arugula themself will show up, devouring some poor soul and sending terror throughout their realm before disappearing into it’s murky depths once more. Though many people do not find themselves here, parents often tell stories of this place to their children to make sure they behave. Though it is rare, some unfortunate souls have been sent here through the ages, cursed to forever float in a sea of darkness.
  15. ~* A Story of Destruction *~ Age of Expansion The creation of Knox allowed Billy Bob to enter another age of relaxation, turning his attention once again to his private affairs and hobbies. As time went on he was able to take a more relaxed position in the world, travelling out less and less as the years went on. This laidback behavior was what allowed the problem to spread so rapidly without being noticed. Knox had been created to defend the Halflings; however, Knox was so good at his job that it in turn gave the wee-folk an unfair advantage in the world and allowed them to spread rapidly. Halfling settlements eventually popped up all over as their population increased exponentially in a way that had never been seen before and has never been seen since. Knox viciously defended these villages, eventually earning a reputation as a serial killer that many bigguns still associate with him to this day as he struck down bigguns with his scythe over and over again. However, while the world outside these communities may have seen him as an evil creature bringing death wherever he went, the wee-folk of the world came to know him more and more as the protector of their people and way of life as he killed in defense of them. The Halflings thrived during this age, multiple cultures and societies sprouting up all over. However, in creating a guardian of the wee-folk Billy Bob had in turn created an unfair advantage. Allowing the wee to spread unchecked was problematic, and many of the societies that were forming were not what he had in mind for them when he grew them all those years ago. As rich and diverse as these cultures were, many Halflings were going against their nature in order to form them and were not living the life they were meant to. A Discovery It was on one of Billy Bob’s trips that he first started to notice this, coming across a city of Halflings who had grown into a nation that could rival it’s human counterparts. Mina were being used, weapons of all kinds were being taken up, shoes were being worn, and worse of all they had shunned their traditional burrows in place for walled cities and biggun buildings. Nothing about this place was what he had expected and it shocked him, realizing that gifting them Knox had allowed this to happen. Returning home he spent weeks mulling over what to do, not wanting to simply take Knox away from them as it would cause the Halflings to be massacred in mass by the other races. Instead, he opted to create a counterpart. A Creation Once again Billy Bob found himself entering his personal gardens to grow something new for the first time in centuries. Heading to the stream behind his cottage where he grew various water based plants he bent down and labored extensively to create something to one again fix the balance he had disrupted. Using the roots of lily-pads he created 10 tentacles that stretched off into oblivion, from the river rocks he created a giant beak, and from the mud itself he created a head to which attach it all. In doing so Billy Bob gave Arugula life, a giant squid with the power to destroy entire Halfling villages, settlements, and even cities and drag them into the ocean’s depths. Which is exactly what it went on to do. Age of Destruction For the next few years the Halfling population diminished as Arugula would show up at Halfling settlements that had lost their way and dragged them into the ocean depths to never be seen again. Knox did his best to defend these places but as designed Arugula would show up and drag their homes away so quickly the deity would not have time to get there and defend them. It seemed to the wee-folk at first that they were doomed; however, after a few years and the majority of the settlements that had gone against their original design had been wiped out these constant attacks by the squid came less and less as the remaining wee-folk returned to their life as simple farmers. Eventually they all but stopped for the most part, the stories fading into legends told to children to get them to behave and not stray from properness. Thus ends this story of destruction, Knox still watching over the wee-folks while Arugula always lingers in the depths right out of sight, waiting to drag any Halflings who have strayed from their path into the murky depths below. ((Like my previous post this is just some more expanded religious lore for Halflings))
  16. ~* A Story of Creation *~ The First Age Golden wheat fields, growing as far as the eye could see were all that made up the world in the beginning. Billy Bob, the first man, tended to these fields and as time went on he was able to use his knowledge to start growing more and more. It was not long before cabbage, carrots, potatoes, beetroot, and every other vegetable one can imagine could be found in tidy little rows stretching into the horizon. Each one given so much attention and love that having one perish before it’s time was unheard of. Days stretched into weeks, and weeks into years as he worked, back-breaking labor giving rise to more and more flora and soon the earth was covered in the diverse landscape we know today. Trees of all sorts thrived, flowers turned the land into a majestic painting, and herbs grew all over that Billy Bob used to create wonderful dishes for himself. The Second Age These centuries were peaceful, with the deity travelling around and admiring his creations, but never wavering in his dedication to caring for them. It was not long after that he grew content with his work with the plants of the world and he decided to turn his attention elsewhere. The world, while beautiful, was quiet. This is when he tried his hand at growing more sentient life, in his gardens he started to grow the fauna of the world. Billy Bob filled the waterways with marine life, planting them on lily pads to float away into the oceans and rivers until old enough to break free on their own. For the air he grew birds from dandelion seeds to fill the earth with song, blowing them into the air and giving them life with his own breath. And for the land, emerging from flowers in every corner of the earth came creatures that would roam it’s forests, deserts, tundras, and everything in between. This too went on for years, as the farmer travelled to and fro creating the creatures that still inhabit the lands, seas, and skys to this day. The Third Age In creating the animals Billy Bob thus created a self-sustaining cycle, creatures feasting upon the plants and going on to seed other areas, animals dying which would then go on to fertilize the plants that would feed the other animals. For the first time since his creation the creator was able to take some time off, thus came the first true age of relaxation. He used this time to work on more personal pursuits: learning to create furniture, to smith tools and weapons, how to use the herbs he had grown to create magical alchemical potions, how to use the animals he created to help him with his chores, and lastly how to use both of his creations to cook up the best dishes that the world had ever, and will ever see. It was not long before he was creating grand feasts for himself which he would eat on a long dining table he had built himself. Yet, there was still one thing missing. The Fourth Age While the earth was now teeming with life and full of sound, Billy Bob found himself wishing to share his creations with someone who could appreciate them the same way he could and so he turned his attention to the last of his great tasks. The creation of intelligent life. Strolling out into his personal gardens he began his work. ~*~ “From sage oi crea’e yeh ‘umans, wise an’ s’rong yeh s’all covah teh eart’ in yer multitudes. Howeveh, yer conques’ shall cause yeh ter ‘ave shor’ lives as yeh perish in yeh ques’ fer expansion. From Orchids oi crea’e yeh elves, long lastin’ an’ forevah beautiful. Yeh s’all live fer years an’ covah teh world in ar’, bu’ yeh children will beh few an’ far between. From vines oi crea’e yeh dwarves, hardeh an’ clevah yeh s’all t’rive w’erevah yeh are plan’ed. ‘owevah, yer greed s’all cause yeh ter s’rangle yerselves as yeh move abou’ searchin’ fer teh worlds treasures. From teh cac’us oi crea’e yeh orcs, may yeh grow in teh toughes’ condi’ions an’ spi’ in teh face of deat’. ‘owevah, because of teh pain yeh s’all cause othahs yeh will always beh fightin’ t’em off. An’ las’leh, from teh whea’ i’self oi grow yeh Halflin’s. Small bu’ pure of hear’ yeh s’all tend ter teh land an’ i’ s’all love yeh, bu’ yeh will always beh used by t’ose more powahful fer t’eir own pursui’s.” ~*~ From these plants sprouted the descendants, who then spread themselves to all four corners of the land. No longer lonely, Billy Bob now had friends to share his majestic feasts with and he was happy. Each race going on to create homes, nations, and societies for themselves and each falling into the curses he had bestowed upon them. Billy Bob continued to watch over his garden, the world thriving with the life he had created. The Creation of a Savior However, it was not long before he noticed a problem amongst the smallest of them. While he had known the Halflings would be used by others, keeping towns and cities well fed with the produce of their fields, he did not expect the violence that they would experience as well. While on one of his travels he passed through a small Halfling shire he found the residents there being picked on by a group composed of elves, humans, dwarves, and orcs. Angered that they would take advantage of the wee-folk in such a manner, Billy Bob gave life to one of the scarecrows in the Halfling’s fields. In doing so he created Knox himself, a deity unto itself who would serve as the Halfling’s protector and guide from now into the future. Thus is the creation of the world, Billy Bob to this day nourishing it’s residents with regular gifts of taters to keep us going in times of duress. Each race filling the niche they had been created for and all the while Knox watches over the smallest among them. ((This is simply to serve as expanded Halfling religious lore for the community to interact and play with))
  17. "A kiss of contagion; on your pretty unmarred cheek. O~oooh. Generous gifts to you, so as to enhance your physique; Buboes, phlegm, blood and guts! Boils.. rots and pus Blisters, fevers.. weeping cankerous sores From your wound it festers Blessed be upon your bleeding pores For you are graced with the opportunity to cleanse Almaris from despair and stagnation through the acceptance of his gifts." - Pope of Pestilence, Sagoth. "Sooner or later, GOD won't stand the succulent itching within his decaying body anymore." ------ He, who stands upon his Garden of Affliction. He, who creates life from the rotting frames of his faithful. He, whose benevolence know no bounds, spreading his gifts without discrimination. For you are all his children. Fret not, He who now knocks on the window of the mortal realm of Almaris, his all-seeing gaze peeking through the Voidal Tears. ------- Note: First post, wanted to test the waters. It's pretty obvious where my inspiration comes from, nurgle of Warhammer franchise, credit goes out to games workshop. Thanks for reading.
  18. Frostwood Bitter Origins: Within the dark, frozen, tundra's of the north, two close friends go searching for a legendary material said to make them rich beyond compare. While exploring these frozen wastelands, the two are forced to cross an icy lake too thin to walk on, causing one of the two to fall deep beneath the ice. Their friend dived after them but quickly found themself trapped in the freezing water, unable to surface or locate their friend. But in an ironic and seemingly cruel turn of fate, they would come across an air pocket they could surface into, find the very material that would make them a fortune, at the cost of a close friend. Description and Properties: Frostwood is a frozen slab of fossilized trees and foliage that has decayed in cold climates surrounded by water, causing them to retain their wood properties while not being able to splinter or break under its own tension. Frostwood slabs has a color mix of grey, charcoal, dark blue and lapis lazuli, and when exposed to light, it would reflect parts of the light as specs of blue, grey, and black particles as if emanating from the wood itself. Its texture and weight would be similar to that of maple wood, with its only additional attributes being that it does burn unless exposed to temperatures of 2372 degrees Fahrenheit (1300 degrees Celsius) or greater, and it is very resistant to blunt objects and tools such as hammers. Despite these unique properties, it cannot negate high temperatures from a direct source and is highly susceptible to damage from objects and tools that have pointed or sharpened edges of any kind. Frostwood Location and Harvesting: Frostwood slabs are often located by experienced divers and water mages on the walls of frozen underwater caves located near arctic salt lakes and oceans, most of which are exposed in tight air pockets within these caves. These divers and mages are often equipped with special gear meant to withstand freezing temperatures, as hypothermia would be a great risk to the divers undergoing this task. Because these divers cannot take torches and lanterns down into these caves, or any objects suitable for producing a flame, sea lanterns are often taken as a substitute for a standard light source. Due to the location of the Frostwood slabs, two hundred foot long ropes are tied to the edge of the boat, where one or more person(s) are on standby. Meanwhile, one or more divers equipped in arctic clothing would dive down into the cave, dragging the rope alongside them as they dive. Once they have located the cave, the divers surface in the air pocket and get to work removing the Frostwood slabs from the rock. When gathering Frostwood slabs, ferrum rods are inserted into the grooves and crevices between the rock and the slabs, slowly prying it loose without the aid of chisels, hammers, pickaxes or crowbars. Directly mining the Frostwood slabs or the surrounding rock with conventional mining equipment that has any sharpened edges and points will break the Frostwood slabs into smaller fragments, and make it harder for someone to harvest a slabs worth. To remove a Frostwood slab from the surrounding rock, one simply needs to insert the ferrum rod into the grooves and crevices between the rock and lever it out. Because blunt objects do not damage the Frostwood slabs, a great amount of force can be applied to the slab using the ferrum rod for quick and safe removal, oftentimes cleanly separating from the rock with not much force required. Once the Frostwood slabs have been obtained, all the diver needs to do is tie the slab to the rope the diver brought down initially, and for the person(s) on the boat standing by to pull on the rope as the diver navigates it out. This step is the most important part, as the Frostwood slabs can get such within the walls of the cave, requiring the divers to maneuver the Frostwood slabs out of the cave safely while it is being pulled to the surface. A standard practice used by experienced divers is to have a different colored dummy rope which they tug on inside the cave to indicate when they plan to surface, though these are all improvised prior to the dive and mostly depend upon the skill and experience of the divers and individuals on standby. It is important to clarify that divers attempting to swim to the surface with a Frostwood slab unaided by anyone else is almost guaranteed to drown. As an example of why no one can survive this endeavor, imagine trying to deep dive thirty feet (nearly ten meters) into a frozen lake with a tree branch. Once they have reached the surface with the Frostwood slabs, the harvest is complete and all equipment can be safely retrieved without compilation. Frostwood Slab Application: Frostwood slabs is a frozen wooden slab of blue and grey coloration and when exposed to light, it would reflect parts of the light as specs of blue, grey, and black particles as if emanating from the wood. It is vulnerable to slashing and piercing items such as swords, spears, and arrows but resistant to bludgeoning strikes such as hammers and quarterstaffs. It does not burn unless it reaches temperatures above 2372 degrees Fahrenheit (1300 degrees Celsius) and when bent it does not splinter or break under its own tension. This form is not very practical, but improvements can be made to it for a more effective material. Frostwood Block Creation and Frostwood Molding: To convert a Frostwood slab into a Frostwood block, one must submerge a Frostwood slab into a boiling pot of saltwater. From there, it will slowly decrease in volume to half its original size, as the ice particles, heavy metals, fossilized tree sap, and other elements and composites are removed from the material over the course of an hour. Once the Frostwood slab has undergone this process, you can remove it from the boiling water momentarily split the transformed slab into two Frostwood blocks. It is important to note that despite the decrease in size, the density and properties of the Frostwood blocks are identical to that of Frostwood slabs, the only difference being that it can be worked on and retains its shape following the work recently done on a boiled block of Frostwood. Using standard wood molding practices, these Frostwood blocks can be molded into whatever shape you desire, so long as they are regularly brought to a boil every fifteen minutes. In addition, other Frostwood blocks can be molded together using the same wood molding methods, able to chop and press blocks together which will bind to one another when boiled together. It can also be chopped into thin strips and have small holes be created for future application post-molding process. The minimum workable volume of Frostwood blocks is found to be one cubic inch no thinner than half an inch at any point. When working with Frostwood blocks, creating items such as spears, swords, pikes, or any other objects that have sharp edges or points are strictly prohibited during the molding process as these items can cause great damage to the Frostwood in future forging application. Wood carving is accepted, but it is warned against doing unless you are exceptionally skilled at it for similar reasons. Other applications of Frostwood include furniture, wooden sculptures, house frameworks, and standard uses to that of Maplewood are also accepted, though are uncommon due to its rarity. Solidified Frostwood: Once the Frostwood blocks have been molded into the desired shape, one can solidify it by submerging the molded Frostwood in pure water and bringing it to a boil. Once it has come to temperature, take the molded object and submerge it in pure salt until it has cooled over the course of several hours. Once it has been brought to a cool, the molded Frostwood would become solidified and can no longer be worked on using other Frostwood blocks. Unlike Frostwood slabs or blocks, fully formed Frostwood would lack the vulnerability of piercing and slashing items that its slab and block forms had, any points or edges intentionally or unintentionally made during the solidifying process would deform and break upon first use. The breaking of these points and edges would make it a blunt object, and any attempts to create sharpened edges or points post-solidifying will cause similar results. This is why the creation of points of edges during the molding process is strictly prohibited, as it wastes both materials and runs the risk of destroying the newly created Frostwood item. Handles for tools and weapons such as hammers, axes, swords, spears, glaives, halberds, and maces would be a common and practical application for this material, as when striking with blades, it would absorb the blunt trauma from the strike and not be damaged by it. It will also find common use in quarterstaffs, shields, bows, and crossbows, as its ability to not break under its own tension with the bonus of not being able to splinter allows for maximum drawback on even smaller sized bows comparable to longbows and not deform from bludgeoning strikes from quarterstaffs and shield bashes when it would normally snap and splinter over prolonged use. This material, naturally, can be combined with other materials to produce some pleasant weapons. An example being the use of Starsteel as the blade in a sword-spear with a Frostwood acting as the polearm’s grip. Just remember, that when creating these items, using extreme heat to fix them to the Frostwood, if hot enough, can cause it to combust and result in it being lost. Frostwood Application: Frostwood is the item property given to a material created from Frostwood blocks done through the molding and solidifying process. It is blue and grey coloration and when exposed to light, it would reflect parts of the light as specs of blue, grey, and black particles as if emanating from the wood. It is innately resistant to bludgeoning strikes and does not deform or warp when stuck with items such as hammers, quarterstaffs, rocks and shield bashes. It does not burn unless it reaches temperatures above 2372 degrees Fahrenheit (1300 degrees Celsius) and when bent it does not splinter or break under its own tension. Its most common applications include the handles of swords, axes, polearms, blunt wooden tools, carvings, shields, bows, crossbows, and furniture. Purpose (OOC): Frostwood would act as a wood alternative for shields, bows, weapon handles, as well as being able to be used in the creation of wood-based items such as carving and furniture work. It would be a viable wood alternative to weapons that desperately need it. There are no wood-based ST nodes on the server and the two unique wood types that exist are not easily obtainable/well integrated with the world. This material would diversify the already existing and implemented ST nodes in a mostly underutilized part of the lore and possibly result in some outstanding lore items that aren’t just swords, axes and armor. (This is my second submission for this material submission, and I have adjusted the post to be more concise and consistent with its formatting, per the request of ST member SquakHawk. Link to the original denied lore post is listed here; https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/205966-%E2%9C%97-world-lore-wood-frostwood/?tab=comments#comment-1868321 I would once again like to credit ST Members EdenGlitched and Auric_Saint for assisting me in the creation of this material. Credit also goes to Oh_Ontario#4000 on discord for the creation of the Frostwood texture. They have been of great aid to me in this and I cannot of done this without them.
  19. Necromancy - Amendments/Additions Purpose: Amendments Pestilence - Amendment Current Pestilence abilities may be administered in combat and out of combat, where using plagued bone weapons, boneforged tools, Ghoulflesh, or plagued refreshments where applicable. Beyond Ghoulflesh, all implements are single-use. Modified Pestilence abilities may be administered in combat and out of combat, where using plagued bone weapons, boneforged tools, Ghoulflesh, or plagued refreshments where applicable. Beyond Ghoulflesh all implements are single-use. Boneforged tools and weapons are only usable once per encounter, or once a narrative hour. Branding - Amendment/Addition Just as Branding may be utilized on fallen corpses, it may likewise be applied to those who still walk the earth- at least for the time being. By utilizing another necromancer or any within the weaver’s path, they may embellish a ‘brand’ unto the person by means of touch. Once their lifeforce has been conjured and weaved, they are ready to enact the spell. Taking three whole emotes, where the first two are spent conjuring one's essence, the spell requires full contact to inflict. Upon the third emote they must touch a living person anywhere, as long as it is in contact with either skin or light cloth. This funnels the lifeforce into the living person, acting as an invisible battery that would reanimate the afflicted should they perish. The contact must also be done on skin, as thick armors and hides would protect those from the enthralling spell of the necromancer. A slight numbing sensation would sprawl over where they were touched, though no visible brand would be seen, only felt. There are no effects caused by this brand outright once it is enacted, lasting through only the combat encounter and no longer. The purpose of the brand comes once the brand falls or succumbs to death, as after this brand has been applied- should the branded individual perish, it would take one emote after the death for the corpse to shamble to a rise. Thereafter, the corpse simply acts as a normal Branding reanimation, lasting for 8 emotes until it succumbs to the earth once more. Branding on a living individual requires two emotes of charging with lifeforce, then a third emote where direct touch on skin is required to set the brand. Hides and plate armor will protect against the touch brand, but light cloth will not. The brand has no effects outside of a slight sensation upon anointing, remaining unnoticeable thereafter. The brand only comes into effect is the individual dies, reanimating them in the next emote as a combat reanimation. A necromancer may only use branding when not in use of their oculus, as this follows all redlines of the normal branding spell. The brand will lose its effect after a narrative hour, or after combat has been concluded. Branding is unusable on any undead or likewise spectral/holy or soulless creatures. Should the branded individual be drained of their lifeforce by darkening, the brand would expire. Branded individuals must be culled by other means to raise them from the dead. Branding - Cantrip Often utilized by necromancers in the midst of projects or in preparation of rituals, these masters of life and death may raise the fallen cadavers within their lair to mill about, completing tasks and even cleaning the debris of lost projects if they so wish. A rotted half skeleton may bring their master the herbs and salts they require, while others may simply pile the skulls of the deceased into a ‘tidy’ pile. No matter the task or the empty husk commanded, these corpses range from swarms of small insects to humanoid descendants, their role in the afterlife but one of labour and service to their master until they are once more quelled to eternal slumber. Tasks uttered by the weaver must be simple and clear, unable to give commands such as ‘build a house’, or ‘forge a sword.’ Instead, much more simple commands are optimal for the reanimated, such as ‘sweep this room,’ or ‘bring me two saffvil from my quarters.’ etc etc. By using branding, a necromancer is capable of raising embalmed corpses and skeletons to work as their assistants and janitors outside of combat. There are tools for different tasks, as a few undead rats will be quite useful in retrieving bone matter and viscera from a gutter- but a full sized human will not. As these animations are purely non-combat, anything relating to combat including traps, pit falls, etc are unable to be constructed by these undead. In addition, if combat is to ever start in the vicinity of a risen cadaver, it will immediately fall inert as the Necromancer’s attention is then focused on their oculus, or on a branded combat animation. Cantrip branding may be used in tandem with oculus bound undead, up until combat starts in their vicinity. Anything larger than a descendant is unable to be risen by the cantrip, requiring the handling force of an oculus to restrain the creature. As for miniscule creatures, ‘swarms’ of risen insects may be no larger than a human’s head, whereas rodents and other small fauna may range in their numbers, but are limited to the mass of a human. Notable as well is that swarms of creatures operate in a hivemind, unable to work as individuals in any regard. This spell has no range, as the creatures will simply continue to toil in the absence of their master. This means they may be used as messengers or as aesthetic creatures which simply mill about one’s lair. Should any person touch or jostle the undead minion, it would crumble and fall dead, inert as the last remaining lifeforce escapes from the husk. The cantrip of branding requires two emotes of conjuring one’s aura, and one emote of touching or pointing/motioning to a corpse within quiet range. On the third emote where it is touched, the body will begin to shamble upwards, and on the fourth it will be ready for whatever orders it is given. The branding cantrip is learned once the base branding spell is learned. The cantrip cannot be used in the midst of combat, nor to serve ANY combat purposes (other than an undead retrieving the necromancer’s weapons before a fight, or anything of that caliber.) Should combat start in the vicinity of the undead, it will simply fall inert until combat is resolved. Servants can’t build traps, pit falls, wards, or anything requiring higher intellect. Servants can’t aid a necromancer in reaching areas mechanically unable to be reached, save for if specifically allowed in certain ET events. Commands must be simple and clear, as far too complex commands will offer nothing to the necromancer. The undead must be capable of doing whatever task they are given. Telling a skeleton to lift a boulder will result in a broken skeleton, just as telling one to fly will result in either nothing, or a broken skeleton that has fallen from a great height. Commands must be spoken verbally, in any language. Commands must be made in RP chat range. Swarms of insects may never exceed the size of a human head en masse. Groups of small animals may be utilized within reasonable numbers. (No groups of animals may reach more than a descendant’s worth of mass.) Anything larger than a humanoid descendant corpse is unable to be risen by the cantrip. Thaumaturgy - Addition Mass Plague - Ritual Rite of Malediction Woe be to those who garner the vice of a necromancer, for their covens may harness pestilence to reap the harrowed fields of decaying kingdoms and bastions alike. By gathering a mass of lifeforce is a coven capable of spreading disease across a region of land, varying from fields of grain to entire lakes that subside the populace with water. Twisting and stagnating the land can produce abyssal effects, giving those who enter the area flu like symptoms, and perhaps even benign tumours and growths if exposed for too long. Those who consume the afflicted substance are then wrought by whatever malediction has been planted within the chosen substance. Whatever disease the coven opts to infect the area with, it must be done upon fields capable of life, either farms or grassland, or a body of water. The Rite of Malediction is a ritual that requires at least two necromancers to perform, growing in size and intensity with each additional necromancer present. By fusing twisted lifeforce into the earth and the targeted harvest or body of water, a necromantic pestilence may be fused with the mass. This may extend from a small field of wheat, to an entire lake given the needed amount of necromancers are present to expand the area of effect. This land may be afflicted with a specific pestilence within necromancy, or may simply bring about abyss-like taint and effects. Abyssal taint infers that flu-like symptoms are felt by those who ingest the tainted substance or meddle in the area affected for a narrative hour. After two narrative hours of standing within the region, small bulbous tumours may begin to appear on ligaments and appendages, offering no true harm other than acute sores and a dulling pain. A gathering of two or more necromancers may call upon their lifeforce to twist and plague a field of farmland, flora, or any body of water with a chosen malediction. If no malediction is chosen, abyssal like taint is instead called upon as fields grow grey and the air lingers with stagnant lifeforce. The rite requires two or more necromancers, with the scourge scouring a base range of a 20 meter radius with only two present. With each additional necromancer 10 meters of range are added. The disease has no max range, as long as PRO permission is given and there are the required amount of necromancers. The chosen disease must be an approved pestilence from the necromancy pestilence section. If a pestilence is not chosen, the land is instead given abyssal like taint, lesser to that of the Heith-Hedran scars. One must spend over a narrative hour in these areas to have flu-like symptoms appear. Consuming the afflicted substance, whether food or water, will infect the individual with the chosen pestilence. Plagued land may be mechanically plagued, having either swarms of locusts consuming entire fields, or holding strange growths and abyssal taint within crops. Plagued fields and crops only affect those within the area and region specified. This is locked to the tile that the plague is set upon, with afflicted substances falling to ash when carried long distances. Such prevents intentional transferring of plagued items to be “spread.” Bodies of water may be murkier, or hold strange scents that are not natural. Plague lands may be purged by fire for crop fields, removing the taint once all has been reduced to ash. Blight healing is capable of purging mass plague. One an afflicted substance is consumed it takes 3 OOC days for the disease to arise. This disease lasts for 2 OOC weeks, unless cured. Victims may choose to permanently keep the affliction, if chosen OOCly. Diseases may be cured by means of homeopathy, alchemical remedies, or any general healing magic. Plagued lands must be ST reqed, either having put down a sign to signify its effects, or to show signs of plague. The visual effects of pestilence are left to a notice sign or otherwise, with in game builds requiring RO permission to aesthetically change and alter the blocks. Land outside of a region is determined by WT on if it is viable or not. Mass plague as a ritual is only capable of being done once every OOC month by those who enact it. Likewise, attempts to spam the spell in aims to ruin nations is thoroughly frowned upon.
  20. Frostwood (Tier 4 Material Node) Bitter Origins: Within the dark, frozen, tundra's of the north, two entrepreneurs searching for riches went to daring lengths to find something that would make them rich beyond comparison. Exploring this frozen wasteland, they would cross a not so frozen lake, causing one of the two entrepreneurs to plunge beneath the ice and finding themselves unable to break through the ice. His partner dived down to save them, only to find themselves trapped beneath the ice, unable to surface or locate his partner. But in an ironic and seemingly cruel turn of fate, had managed to find himself in a place with the very thing they were looking for, at the cost of a dear friend. Description and Properties: Frostwood slabs take the form of a discolored frozen bark slab with the chilling touch of ice and a spotted wave pattern of grey, charcoal, dark blue and lapis lazuli. When exposed to light, it would reflect parts of the light as specs of blue, grey, and black particles as if emanating from the wood. Impacts from sharpened or pointed objects would damage the Frostwood slabs, regardless of whether it is in the rock surrounding it or to the Frostwood slab itself. Strikes like these can split and break the Frostwood slabs into unusable splinters, effectively rendering them worthless. It is also combustible at temperatures of 2372 degrees Fahrenheit (1300 degrees Celsius), rendering the material unsalvageable. This combustion will not happen if the Frostwood slab is in a location where combustion is impossible, such as underwater or where there is no air. Frostwood Location and Harvesting: Found embedded into the walls of underwater caves and air pockets, the slabs would often be accessible in small pockets of air deep beneath the watery depths, requiring proper diving equipment to prevent hypothermia for the would-be harvesters of the Frostwood slabs. Frostwood is most commonly found embedded within the walls of the underwater caves within enclosed air-pockets, oftentimes resembling routes or veins that have been retracted into the walls themselves. These air pockets are just as cold as the water which one must enter through, and are commonly laced with frost and thin sheets of ice both on the walls, and blocking the way into the air pocket. Though this sheet is easily broken with a firm kick or strike of the hand. Due to the location of the Frostwood slabs, one person must remain at the surface where it was initially discovered, ready to pull on a rope at a moment's notice. Meanwhile, one to three divers dawned in protective swimming gear made of insulated leather, or metal cloth would dive towards the Frostwood slabs, standardly with a form of prying rod, and a rope tied to them. Once they have reached the Frostwood slabs, they would insert ferrum rods into the grooves around the Frostwood slab, and slowly pry them loose from the rock. Standardly, this will cause a large, semi-flat slab to disconnect from the wooden mass, revealing blued and grey tree rings beneath. The grooves that form around the slabs of Frostwood for a decently sized pole or hook to slide in and pry it off without bringing harm to the Frostwood itself, assuming the pole is not sharp or edged at the end that is being inserted into the wood. The use of hammers to insert the rod deeper into the groove by force is not recommended as it could damage the Frostwood during extraction, this advice is allow applied to the use of crowbars, pickaxes, chisels, saws, and other conventional mining tools for the same or similar reasons. When the pole is levered, the Frostwood slabs would separate from the stone, or further remaining-log base and can then be removed by hand. Extraction is now as simple as tying it to the rope and navigating its way back to the surface. Once the Frostwood slabs have been secured to the rope within the cave, the person standing by at the surface would slowly pull the wooden slab to the surface, aided by one or more divers to ensure that the walls of the cave do not clip or snag its sides, or risk of having it fall loose. It is highly advised that one person does not make more than two trips at any time, as the risk of hypothermia would be too great for anyone to pursue any more dives. Frostwood Slab Application: It is a wooden slab of blue and grey coloration and when exposed to light, it would reflect parts of the light as specs of blue, grey, and black particles as if emanating from the wood. It is vulnerable to slashing and piercing items such as swords, spears, and arrows, and temperatures above 2372 degrees Fahrenheit (1300 degrees Celsius) will cause it to combust. This form is not very practical, but improvements can be made to it for a more effective material. Frostwood Block Creation and Molding: When introduced into boiling salt water, over an hour, the Frostwood will become incredibly malleable, able to be bent, stretched, and shaped freely without snapping. However, it will condense and its size would decrease to half its original size. Once this process has been completed, a slab or multiple slabs may be layered over itself or each other to laminate and mold it into any given shape. Alternatively, the now malleable slab/slabs can be divided into blocks via the use of a cutting tool, with two blocks being sourced for each Frostwood slab treated. These blocks can be pressed together with other blocks using the same methods to create larger objects. In addition, it can be bent, layered, stretched and thinned out to create intricate or practical shapes such as handles, tool heads, shields, and even intricate objects such as chairs and armor parts with enough blocks. The splitting is optional, but one standard Frostwood Slab is equivalent to two Frostwood blocks when fully treated. During this process, tools (though most applicably pliers, tongs, and mallets) can be used to shape the material into whatever the wielder desires, with a minimum volume of one cubic inch being workable. Its shaping is not unlike shaping hardened leather, requiring a decent amount of effort to pull and pressing into shape. When shaping, creating points and sharp edges are doable but are forbidden in practice as this will cause problems for the item during and proceeding the shaping process. Purified Frostwood: Following the creation of a Frostwood block and the molding of it into a given item via the shaping process, the Frostwood can be solidified permanently by bringing the item to a boil within pure water before being removed and submerged in pure salt to cool. Once it has been brought to a cool, the molded Frostwood would become solidified and can no longer be worked on using other Frostwood. Unlike Frostwood slabs or blocks, fully formed Frostwood would lack the vulnerability of piercing and slashing items that its slab and block forms had, any points or edges intentionally or unintentionally made during the solidifying process would deform and break upon first use. The breaking of these points and edges would make it a blunt object, and any attempts to create sharpened edges or points post-solidifying will cause similar results. This is why the creation of points of edges during the molding process is forbidden, as it wastes both materials and runs the risk of destroying the newly created Frostwood. Tools, armor and weapons reliant on wood such as shields, wooden mullets, swords, glaives, bows, and crossbows would be its most common application, though utensils, furniture and wood carving would be achievable. It should be noted that caving with Frostwood at this state is doable, but not advised unless skilled at carving. It is important to remember that when working with Frostwood, that it cannot withstand extreme heat for prolonged periods. So it is not advised to be within areas or environments above 2372 degrees Fahrenheit (1300 degrees Celsius) such as in forge-furnaces or near lava. Frostwood Application: It is a wooden slab of blue and grey coloration, and when exposed to light would give off small, iridescent particles akin to embers, shimmering and emitting shades of blue, grey, and black. However, they're only visible under light and do not glow. Temperatures above 2372 degrees Fahrenheit (1300 degrees Celsius) will cause it to combust, and any attempts to shape or create a point will result in its deformations upon the object with the risk of breaking. It can be used to create shields, bows, crossbows, wooden poles, wooden tools like mullets, and tool and weapon handles. This material would be very difficult to burn, with a unique aesthetic unmatched by regular wood or coating combination. Though it is somewhat possible to hack apart, it is hardy, akin to hardwoods such as Maple. However, it is remarkably bendable, and though it will bend akin to hardwood, it has no point by which it will splinter or snap apart. This immunity to being overbent allows for extremely hardy hafts and backings for shields, and bows of all kinds able to store more power within its limbs. Purpose (OOC): Frostwood would act as a wood alternative for shields, bows, weapon handles, and well as be able to be used in the creation of armor, hammers, and blunt tools like mallets. It would be a viable wood alternative to weapons that desperately need it. There are no wood-based ST nodes on the server and the two unique wood types that exist are not easily obtainable/well integrated with the world. This material would diversify the already existing and implemented ST nodes in a mostly underutilized part of the lore and possibly result in some outstanding lore items that aren’t just swords, axes and armor. (OOC Credit: Credit to ST Members EdenGlitched and Auric_Saint for assisting me in the creation of this material. Credit also goes to Oh_Ontario#4000 on discord for the creation of the Frostwood texture. Without their assistance and willingness to aid me in my goals, it would not have turned out the way it has, and I am grateful for what they’ve done for me.)
  21. Haruspices The Martial Shamans Origin “...TO KRUG, SHE GIFTED HIM A BONE KNIFE MADE FROM A MILLENNIUM OLD DRÛTH SKHELL TO CARVE TOTEMS WITH, SO THAT HIS STORIES WOULD COME TO LIVE WHEN REMINISCED BY THE FIRE…” Within the ancient orcish lands of Mor’Ghuun, shamanism was in its infancy. The early children of Krug did not understand the Elemental and Immortal Spirits, nor had the power to walk their planes. In the war against Iblees, many of the orcish people were lost to the undead, empty souls wrenched from the Soul Stream to fight against the living. War horns blared distant, sonorous booms into the fields of battle. The armies of the Four Brothers clashed with Iblees’ undead legions. With each fallen descendant, a novel undead soldier shambled forth in their place, using their weapons to carve their past kinsmen asunder. Yet the Urukin held steadfast against the Fallen One’s onslaught - so too, did the other descendants stand strong in the face of the undead. For decades the battles raged on, and when the dust had settled, and the soulless battalions were driven off, all that remained were the tarnished breastplates and weapons once wielded by warriors of legend. But these were not simple weapons, nor were their blunt edges devoid of use. Once Apohet saw the might of Krug, he created the Spiritual Realms; Immortal, Elemental, and Ancestral. The weaker spirits gushed into the Mortal realm to embody aspects of the world, in hopes of pursuing greater powers within the Spiritual Realm. Dlimbok the Wise, the most intelligent of Krug’s four early children, was the lead strategist in the war against the undying. He watched as his people were slaughtered in battle, and their lives lost. It brought him an indescribable anguish, and a rage that nearly matched his father’s. In this age, there was no Ancestral Realm, no grave tenders, and no records to preserve those who had fallen. To mourn for the lives of his fallen, he took forth the storied knife of Krug, and drew forth a tale that no orc would forget. He collected their weapons, armor and tomes and restored them to their original form, drawing their energies into him. He offered himself up, etching his skin, flesh and bone with the dagger gifted by the Daemon Ydea. The orc had hoped his offering would please the spirits, but instead they granted him a power even greater. His flesh became tapestry. In rending the flesh, his blood, bone, and body became an ink that preserved what was made dead. A finger, a hand, an arm. Dlimblok carved away and with it, those who had been lost became as clear as the night sky. The ink stoked the minds of the orcish people. They could see their battles, their losses, their mistakes, and their culture deep within the magic of Dlimbok’s storied flesh. Much of recorded history had been cast into the horrid fires of Iblees, and with it had gone the proficiency of veterans long dead, but this newly-restored knowledge would help to reshape the ragtag bands of amateur fighters into elite squadrons of feared combatants. Under the same banner, and led into battle by Azgal the Titan, the orcish war machine began once more churning and pushing back against the forces of Iblees, now able to outmaneuver and preserve the lives of the living. They matched the once seemingly endless ranks of undead in fierce combat - and as they spread their knowledge to the other descendant races, Iblees’ lines and formations grew thin across the many fronts. And so, with its aid in Iblees’ defeat, the orcish people learned and grew reverent of this primitive form of shamanism, and many of the former soldiers learned among the greenskins sought out Dlimbok, so that he could teach them in his ways. Explanation Dlimbok was a great orator and strategist, and taught his future students how to use this art in providing knowledge to his people, allowing them to gain insight via the spirits and how to extract insight from the world around them. When the great orc had died, his body was blessed, torn, and scattered across the world as a testament to the profoundness of stories and their tellers. He would become an eternal tale, one that orcs could draw upon at any time to preserve their history. Haruspicy is a non-combative magic dedicated to story-telling and preservation of stories. Haruspex draw upon the torn body of Dlimbok. Rather than connecting to the spiritual realm akin to other types of shamanism, haruspicy calls upon an extremely powerful Ancestral, one who’s blessed body remains within the mortal realm akin to the Muyakelgs of the past. These spells do not grant the user any abilities featured in shamanism, nor allow the user to speak Old Tongue without having knowledge of it. To become a haruspex, one must have studied and devoted themselves to the spirits for at least one IRL month, as Dlimbok would be unlikely to lend his power to one that he believes would be unworthy of it. This feat does not teach any form of shamanism or any aspects about it, though many of the more devout followers of the spirits may know of it and spread the knowledge, orally or through books they may have written on the matter. These could help a prospective haruspex begin on their journey, after which they would continue to forge their own path toward mastery of the feat. Someone experienced in the cultural practices of haruspicy could write a book describing and depicting the processes of these feats and work as a means of spreading the practice. To draw upon Dlimbok’s power, one must create a Threshing Inkwell. This device, powered through various different offerings acts as a catalyst that interacts with the many scattered pieces of Dlimbok. A haruspex calls upon the power of the ancestor Dlimbok for their powers. While his powers extend so far as to allow the user’s memories or stories to come to life, it comes with the caveat that these memories are just as susceptible to degradation as any other memory before they are recorded - that is, haruspicy does not provide perfect memory, and memories from longer ago may therefore be inconsistent with the actual events. Threshing Inkwell The Threshing inkwell is simply a place of offering that threshes all of Dlimbok’s scattered pieces from around the world, and draws power from them. Traditionally, they may be placed in homes or places of gathering, where they are readily available for use. To function, they require an idol, some sort of ceremonial arrangement specific to the haruspex, and a bowl to collect the spiritual ink. To charge the bowl with spiritual ink, the user makes an offering, whether blood, gift, but the most potent-- literature and other storied artifacts. Any thoughtful prose suffices, with the varied offerings empowering the ink in different ways. In the case of physical offerings, these can be burned or otherwise destroyed in proximity of the Threshing Inkwell, which will fill with ink on its own. The Threshing Inkwell only produces ink and exists as a way for the haruspex to channel their powers towards Dlimbok. Destroying the inkwell would simply cause the ink stored within to spill and revert to regular, black ink. Mechanically, the Threshing Inkwells are a communal structure which simply hold a large, but still limited amount of ink charges (up to 60 maximum). Exceeding 55 charges causes the inkwell to begin overflowing. There is no limit on the number of extant threshing inkwells, beyond the fact that any haruspex may only create and ‘own’ one at any given time, despite their communal nature. Upon being created, the inkwell should be reported to any ST members (though they need not be signed, and can be used even if an ST member isn’t immediately available). Any RP to refill the inkwell should be screenshotted and saved. As ink drips down the inkwell’s sides, it has a tendency to transform into small animated figures, perhaps simply out of boredom on Dlimbok’s side. Nevertheless, these figures scurry about the area for a short while before disappearing entirely. The amount of ink that drips from the inkwell is insignificantly small - it does not reduce the amount of ink in any way, and simply exists for roleplay taste. Ink Tiers Tier 1 - 1 Charge - Gifts and Basic Offerings (Prayer, Meditation, etc) Forming a black and basic ink, this form of ink serves as a general base or go-to option when other materials aren’t available. It is also often mixed or added as a filler to other inks. Tier 2 - 5 Charges - Blood and Bone (Descendant/Animal Sacrifices) All viscera, whether animal or Descendant can serve as a more powerful offering to the Threshing Inkwell. Once the ceremony is complete, the bowl fills with a pungent, dark red ink. It smells somewhat like blood, although much more aromatic. At this level, the imagery is extremely striking, though still appears as paints and colors that dance and move. Tier 3 - 15 Charges - Literature, Books, Artifacts Important literature, large books, and powerful artifacts can be offered to the Threshing Inkwell. The ink shifts colors between many deep and bright colors, but will serve to paint in the haruspex’s desired color. At this level, the paint may draw upon the user’s senses, though only briefly and in the more striking parts of the work. Ink Red Lines - Only descendant or normal animal viscera will serve as a tier two offering. - A haruspex cannot use their own blood to fill the Threshing Inkwell. - Stronger inks (Tiers 3+) or more particular effects require a MArt and more significant offerings. - Offerings to the Threshing Inkwell are destroyed in the process of offering Spells Pages Alive [Non-Combat; 2 charges] Description: The caster is able to utilise their Threshing Inkwell’s ink to write onto a book or other such item with a small surface area, no bigger than that of a banner. This ink comes to life when the page is turned, causing it to play out the scene imagined when the ink was first put down, as opposed to having the reader read it. This can also be used to make two-page spreads, though the ink never comes off of the surface of the page itself. Mechanics: To enact this spell, the haruspex first creates the type of ink they wish to use for the pages. Once the haruspex has chosen said ink, they draw symbols, characters, or etchings in whatever language or artstyle they’re most familiar with in the palm of their hand, or another tool like a quill or paintbrush. Once they do so, the ink resonates with their hand, and the whispers of storytellers are faintly present. Then, the haruspex simply touches the material, and the ink transfers. A haruspex may follow this process to fill books without needing to restart the entire process, but requires additional ink for every page. The process is done in four emotes, but can be shortened to two with tools like quills, paintbrushes, and so on. 1) The haruspex readies the ink, meditating on the story or picture they wish to tell. 2) The haruspex draws on their hand, or simply soaks it within the ink. 3) The haruspex touches the paper, smearing the ink on to canvas. 4) The ink transfers from their hand onto the paper, shifting and twisting into the desired image. Pages Alive - Redlines: - Characters in the story who are not known to the haruspex simply appear as faceless visages with no discernible features (horns, tusks, hair etc.) and cannot be used to discern any information about them whatsoever. - A haruspex is only able to put their own memories into the book/banner, and these memories cannot be used to teach magics or other complex skills that need to be taught in person. - A written book or banner is no stronger or weaker than the original product, and the memories written to it are not updated in any way unless updated by another haruspex. - If the surface on which the ink lies is cut in half, or similarly seriously damaged, the ink simply acts as normal ink and dries up. WRITING: 1 EMOTE MEDITATION, 1 EMOTE WRITING EXAMPLE WRITING: [Emote 1] Tulgarok opens his book, as often he had before. He dips his quill into his Threshing Inkwell, as images of what he is to write begin already to form in his mind. Taking a deep breath in, then out, he imagines the way these thoughts will flow on the page. [Emote 2] The orc now puts quill to paper, and begins scribbling down crude forms of people, among other integral parts of his story. Even as he writes, the ink begins to swirl and move just as he had envisioned it. A Storied Artifact [Non-Combat; 20 charges] Description: The caster is able to impart spiritual ink on an object, allowing them to portray a tale stored within the weapon - this may be done through fire, water, paper, or for more experienced practitioners, the events may be played through the very mind of another. To tell the story, the haruspex must spill their blood onto the object, and onto the canvas (or person) they wish to tell the story. In meditating, they connect to the scarred body of Dlimbok, and utilize the power within Ydea’s dagger to bury a powerful memory within an artifact. Once the haruspex grows more proficient (2 weeks IRL), they are also able to preserve stories within the object of its wielder through ritual. The haruspex must have the memories so vivid that they are able to describe and feel the sensations the memory’s owner experienced. By engaging the senses with stimuli relevant to the story (the smell of burning flesh, the sounds of war drums), the user is able to fully immerse himself, the tether between Dlimbok and the haruspex strengthens. The more objects and information they have relating to the event and its characters, the more vivid and detailed the story becomes. Mechanics: Essentially allows for a storytelling aid, where whatever selected medium comes to life to show the story stored in the item. In the case of the initial writing of the item, only the memory holder’s items may be used, under the idea that the item itself has ‘memories’ of its own.When the story is replayed in someone’s mind, they must be in physical contact with the item. The memories within Ydea’s artifacts are just that, memories. Prone to incorrect detail, or pieces missing, a memory only holds small pieces of reality. Often intense experiences and emotions cloud the transferring of the memory, and the haruspex’s own mind may warp the overall message(i.e an arachnophobe depicting a spider as three times its actual size). These memories are not permanent, and just as quickly, if not more prone to error or forgetfulness. A user may remind themselves of the vision by looking through the artifact, but overuse (more than 3 times per IRL week), leads to severe headaches, memory loss, and mood swings. The items themselves, upon creation, are signed by ST. In the description of said item, beyond any text describing the item’s appearance, it must include the ingame username (or other form of contact, eg. discord tag) of its creator, whose responsibility it is to record the stories within however they see fit. A Storied Artifact - Redlines - The object must be signed or have some roleplay significance. A normal sword or object is too nondescript to base memories off of. - The haruspex must already have extensive knowledge about the wielder, usually by having known them personally for at least an IRP year (one IRL week), or being told of them by someone who has known them personally for at least two IRP years (two IRL weeks). - Characters in the story who are not known to the haruspex (including if someone who does know of them is being shown the vision) simply appear as faceless visages with no discernible features (horns, tusks, hair etc.) and cannot be used to discern any information about them whatsoever. - A haruspex is only able to put the memories of the owner into their own tools. Memories cannot be put into items that belong to other people, and these memories cannot be used to teach magics or other complex skills that need to be taught in person. - A written weapon is no stronger or weaker than the original product, and the memories written to it are not updated in any way unless further updated by another haruspex. - If the written weapon is seriously damaged (i.e, the head of an axe is separated from its handle) it becomes unreadable, though if repaired further memories may be written to it. - A vision cannot be forced on another player. Their characters must fully consent to seeing the vision before they are able to see it. - Only one scene/vision may be recorded in any one item, as any given item may become ‘saturated’ with the haruspex’s ink. - Constantly living the memories of others has a severe impact on mental wellbeing, causing headaches and even memory loss. - The memories themselves are just memories. There is no way to permanently retain this information, and it would be lost within 2 IRL weeks. READING: 1 EMOTE MEDITATION, 1 EMOTE SLIGHT MOVEMENT The scene that plays out is then emoted by the haruspex EXAMPLE READING: [Emote 1] Tulgarok seats himself in front of a nearby campfire, a dulled war axe in his lap. He closes his eyes, and emits a low drone from deep in his throat as he lays his hands over its handle. His fingers press into each of its grooves as the weapon’s story makes itself clear to him. [Emote 2] Now the aged orc lifts his hand over the weapon. He slices into his palm with a bone dagger, before tightening his grip such as to make blood drip from it onto the weapon, then into the centre of the fire. He takes another deep breath, and begins to speak as the flames come to life. [Storytelling/Emote 3] “It waz during our latest war with da pinkzkinz…” The fire splits, showing two clear sides. Each lick of flame lashes out toward the opposite side, as if it were one soldier mocking another with a war chant… (etc.) WRITING: 1 EMOTE MEDITATION, 1 EMOTE RECALLING, 1 EMOTE WRITING EXAMPLE WRITING: [Emote 1] Tulgarok seats himself before the Threshing Inkwell, dipping his fingers briefly into its bowl of ink, and a short spear in his lap. His eyes shut, and as they do, Grommok, his apprentice, lights a number of items aflame - wood and pig’s flesh - and slops a handful of thick mud right below Tulgarok’s nose. All scents from the hunt before. [Emote 2] Grommok soon leans into Tulgarok’s ear, describing to him the events of the hunt. How they’d tracked the beast for days, and finally cornered it in some deep cave. The animal’s bellows, as it realised it had been beaten and stood upon its hind legs and swiped at its hunters… (etc.) [Emote 3] Tulgarok breathes deeply, as he finally lifts his hand from the bowl of ink and begins scrawling symbols on the blade and shaft of the spear, eyes darting from side to side beneath their lids as the story unfolds in his mind. The ink quickly squirms on the weapon’s long handle, before seeping into it, leaving only a faded, dark trace that it had ever been there. Finally, Tulgarok rises from the ground, spear in hand. His job was finished. Cave Painting [Non-Combat; Charges vary] Description: Haruspex are able to paint with spiritual ink, invoking life into a stony canvas. Through this, they are able to paint their tales and those of written items onto walls so that others might see them. The figures painted move, twist and dance as if they lived. Each character within the painting requires 10 ink charges, while larger set pieces (large boulders, buildings, etc) and environments (grass, lakes, etc) take 5. Mechanics: As shown below, the player is able to build a mural roughly describing the story (though this is not necessarily required). More importantly, the player is then able to author a book describing the events taking place in the mural, which RPly would be in constant motion (though this is obviously impossible in minecraft). To create these paintings, the haruspex would begin a similar process to Pages Alive. Readying the ink, through the tool used would be the haruspex’s hand, clay, a chisel, or some other etching instrument. Once the tool was soaked in the ink, the haruspex’s mind would begin to clear, and they’d draw upon the power of the Threshing Inkwell, invoking the ink to mold into and twist what the haruspex had worked with into story. Cave Paintings - Redlines: - Haruspex pieces are displayed within minecraft as murals (whether through clay, banners, roleplay materials, blocks, ink, etc), and the story/moving figures are described within the book. - Characters in the story who are not known to the haruspex (including if someone who does know of them is observing the mural) simply appear as faceless visages with no discernible features (horns, tusks, hair etc.) and cannot be used to discern any information about them whatsoever. - The scenes cannot be used to teach magics or other complex skills that need to be taught in person. - A written wall is no stronger or weaker than the original product, and the memories written to it are not updated in any way unless further updated by another haruspex. - The person whose memories are being written on the wall needs no prior connection with the building etc of said wall. - If the wall is significantly damaged (i.e, up to one third of it is broken by an explosion or construction work), the ink simply acts as normal ink and dries up. WRITING: 1 EMOTE MEDITATION, 1 EMOTE RECALLING, 1 EMOTE WRITING [Emote 1] Tulgarok stands before a large, flat sandstone wall - a clean canvas upon which to make art. His eyes shut, as he dips each of his hands into a bowl of ink. Already, somewhere behind his eyes dance the silhouettes of soldiers, fire and great cities. Silhouettes that will soon dance on the walls of his home city instead. [Emote 2] Charred wood is strewn about the place, and several orc kubs are told to jingle chainmail, bang sticks against helmets and snap twigs loudly. All this aids in Tulgarok’s mental recreation of the raid, how his ears rang with the terrified screams of women and children as they evacuated, leaving their homes behind. [Emote 3] Pleased enough with his mental recreation of the raid, the orc begins slapping his palms against the stone wall, dragging them to make crude shapes which soon swirl and correct themselves into what he had envisioned minutes before. As he steps back from his masterpiece, the ink begins to churn into the image of an orc impaling some human halfway down the haft of his own spear. General Redlines - A haruspex needs to be able to interact with spirits and thus other non-spiritual magics interfere with this practice, this also includes creatures that are unable to cast deific magics. - A haruspex cannot identify anyone in their visions unless they have extensive knowledge about the person within the story already, or have interacted with their tools or weapons via ritual. - “Extensive knowledge” implies knowing the person personally for at least one full IRP year (one IRL week), or being told about them in detail by someone who has known them personally for at least two full IRP years (two IRL weeks). - Memories written to objects or murals cannot be used to learn magic, or other such supernatural tasks. - Dlimbok is dead and his body is physically scattered across the world. His pieces could be hypothetically found through ET or dredged forth in a MArt, but he is otherwise uncontactable, being very much dead. - A haruspex’s memory is not perfect. Details can be misremembered, especially in older memories. This feat is primarily for storytelling, not perfect renditions of past events. - Either memories or stories/fictional events may be recorded in any given medium, though fictional events cannot be recorded for malicious or seriously deceptive reasons(i.e a fake war with real memorized characters), as these would go against Dlimbok’s personal views on honour, and he would simply not allow his power to be utilised. - Real world stories and memories would possess more sensory detail (although not entirely accurate) while fictional stories would have more visual creativity and detail. - Overuse of haruspicy leads to issues like headaches, memory loss, and mood swings. Tier Progression Tier 1: The haruspex reaches this tier immediately upon learning the feat. Haruspices are able to transform a little of their ink through prayer and meditation. They also have access to the Pages Alive spell. Tier 2: Two weeks after learning the feat, and through regular practice, the haruspex is now able to better transform the lifeblood of sacrifices into more powerful ink, and gain access to the Storied Artifact spell. Tier 3: At this tier, six weeks into their journey, the haruspex is able to take their final step into the art, gaining access to the Cave Painting spell and being able to sacrifice more powerful artifacts and literature into even larger amounts of ink. Greater tiers may be achieved through MArts or Events by staff, though the capabilities of the artifact or action (holograms, living stories, ancient messages from the past, etc) should be discussed with lore holders, older haruspex, or ST. Ultimately, the decision falls to the staff on a case-by-case basis. OOC: This is a feat accessible to anyone with knowledge of the spirits and a desire to learn the histories of weapons and wounds alike. In doing so, I hope haruspex gives more flavor to post combat, in being able to regale tales of battle, as well as making RP items more valuable and useful to the people who have them, rather than sitting on the shelf till the next map. I realise that some objects cannot be 'written' as such - that is, their stories can't be described as their owners may not use the server anymore, which is the sole caveat of the feat itself. Maybe it gives them a reason to come back, or gives characters more of a reason to create powerful stories. Thanks for reading! Inspired by: https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/151780-%E2%9C%93-origins-of-the-orcs-and-morghuun-the-land-of-warfare/?tab=comments#comment-1433374
  22. Ͳհҽ Ɱҽʂʍҽɾʂ [Ambience] T E D I U M “Boredom and Power are a deadly combination.” The demise of the Izukthii has driven the Daemon of trickery into a droll boredom. Dawning a new guise to meddle in mortal matters would surely stir him from his boredom; however doing so would risk alerting other Celestials to his machinations. Rather than take such a risk, he concocted a different scheme to relieve him. Through the resurrection of a long dead school of magic, he introduced a new element to...enrich the lives of mortals. With this, the Mesmers were reborn. P E R D I T A “All history is lost eventually.” The Mesmers’ origin story is one with great variation. However, it is widely agreed upon that the first Mesmer was created in ancient Almaris. Only two facts remain constant in each retelling of its creation: a desperate man and a bored Llahir. The most common tale depicts a gambler who amassed a debt so great that an execution order was placed upon his head. In his desperation, he pleaded to the Celestials from his cell for a chance at redemption. Yet, his sorrowful pleas remained unanswered up to the day of his execution, when all hope was lost. Only then did Llahir appear before him. Having sensed an opportunity to sow chaos in the mortal realm, the being offered the man a deal. He would grant the man the gift of magic, a Maniette, and the means to escape; all in exchange for allowing the being to place a mark upon his body. The man gladly accepted the hand outstretched to him in his time of need...though in his glee, he remained totally unaware of the Daemon’s trick. The being’s Mesmarae, his magic, now coursed through his veins--allowing the Daemon access to his body whenever it so pleased. The gambler returned to his ways, which allowed the Daemon access to the seedy underworld of mortal society. His infamy grew more infamous with each passing day. His newfound status as a legendary figure drew the envy of his peers, but also allowed him to amass a rather sizable following. Thugs and thieves flocked to him in search of increasing their own lot in life. Even those driven to desperation fell in line, pledging loyalty to the trickster that had granted him such power. The Daemon allotted power to those he believed would further his cause: inciting chaos in the mortal realm. One by one, new Mesmers were marked and gained power. At first, their numbers were few, and it was rare for anyone to grow as powerful as the original Mesmer. However, as time progressed forward more Mesmers came to light, sowing the seeds of chaos in the lands they inhabited. N O V U S “The end is but another’s beginning.” Unfortunately, this period of prosperity did not last. The magic and history of the Mesmers faded into obscurity following the mysterious collapse of the Ancient Almaris. When the last Mesmer died, Llahir grew bored of his game and turned his attention to other matters; at least, until the Descendants landed on Almaris anew. He had long yearned for the time when there existed those worthy of wielding his chaotic power--but finding new hosts proved to be a rather difficult task. He lent his power to various individuals, only to toss them aside when they proved unworthy of this boon. That is, until he found a group of three tricksters to whom he bequeathed knowledge of the ancient practice. Modern Mesmers practice a less potent form of chaotic magic. While Llahir sought to empower them, he did not intend to make the path to greatness quite so easy. Instead, he sought to spur their imagination through placing limitations upon them. While he did not detail the method for doing so, tricking the system he had created was greatly encouraged. Much like the Mesmers’ magic, he underwent a kind of rebirth. The Daemon took on a new name and was then forth known as ‘the Watcher’. P E R S O N A “Are you ready to roll the dice?” Rolling the Dice [Magic Explanation] Mesmer’s draw their power from the link formed between themselves and the Watcher. This link sends waves of mana to a Focus, which is then redirected to the Mesmer. Without a focus, there can be no link--and thus the Mesmer is rendered incapable of using their gifts. This serves as a precaution meant to protect the Mesmer themself. Without a Focus, the surge of power would overwhelm the mortal caster and cause them grievous harm...or in the worst case, death. Spells must be taught, with the exception of the ‘base’ spells, which each Mesmer knows innately. All Spells come at the cost of charges, or mana bursts that are stored within the Focus. Rolling the Dice is the basis of all Mesmer casting. RPly, this effect happens when one uses the focus to make a random selection. [Ex. Pulling a card, Spinning a wheel, etc.] OOCly/Mechanically, this is done by using the rolling plug-in. All rolls are out of 20, though the flavor effect of high-tier spells may be exempted from this rule. All spells require a roll. This emphasizes the fact that each spell is a gamble for the Mesmer. The more powerful the spell, the more likely it is that the spell will backfire on the caster. Casting any Mesmer spell requires 3-4 emotes at the base level. However, other spells may have a higher or lower cost depending on the desired effect, Connection to Focus [T1-T2] → Connection to Focus → Rolling of Dice → Effect of the Spell. The Mesmer forms a Connection to Focus when they draw mana from within the focus and channel it in preparation for a spell. This task scales in difficulty according to the Mesmer’s tier. A higher ranked Mesmer may find this task easier than a lower ranked Mesmer would, for example. T1-T2 Mesmers require two emotes to connect to their focus. Most often the Mesmer becomes very relaxed upon connection or suddenly filled with energy. One of these must be emoted as a Mesmer’s tell. Rolling the dice requires the Mesmer to use their focus. At this point, the Mesmer should roll a D20 to determine the spell’s effect. Once these emotes have been completed, the Mesmer is then allowed to emote the effects of the spell. The Mesmer’s Mesmerac glows brighter than usual until the spell effect ends. Mesmers possess a greater soul in order to practice as a Mesmer. The Watcher is a possessive creature; for this reason, Mesmers are not allowed to engage in certain Magics. The Magics forbidden to active Mesmers are as follows: Paladinism, Azdrazi, Naztherak, Necromancy, and Mysticism. One who has been touched by the aforementioned Magics may not become Mesmers. Those who wish to become Mesmers may seek out a Master Mesmer. Master Mesmers have finished their studies and have access to all available Mesmer spells. These magicians must be Two-Slotted in order to put up a TA. Most Acolytes of the Mesmer path spend a period of one (1) to two (2) years in study acting as assistants to their teacher before beginning to practice magic themselves. Mesmer is a feat up until T3 whereupon they may Dedicate up to two slots. Slots taken must be noted on the MA after the Calling event. Redlines - Only creatures in possession of a Greater Soul are capable of becoming Mesmers. Constructs, Atronarchs, and all other creatures lacking a Greater Soul are incapable of becoming Mesmers. - Active members of the following orders are prohibited from becoming Mesmers: Paladins, Naztherak, Necromancers, Azdrazi, Druids, Shamans, and Mystics. - All magics not defined above may be mixed with Mesmer Magic. [Ex. Blood Magic, Voidal Magic, etc.] - Siliti, Epiphytes, and other beings of that nature may not become Mesmers. - Every spell a Mesmer casts requires the Player to roll a D20. If a Player is caught casting spells without adhering to this rule, they will be stripped of their magic and blacklisted. - If the Mesmer has a visible Mesmerac they must emote it flaring/glowing when they cast a spell. - The ‘Tell’ for the Mesmer must be emoted when they connect to their focus. - You must be a Two-Slotted T5 Mesmer to make a TA. Tier Progression Tier One: Newly initiated Mesmers’ have access to T1 spells. They cannot further their studies until one year [one (1) ooc week] has passed. This time is typically spent studying or researching their newfound magic. A Mesmer must make their Maniette while in this tier in order to progress to T2. Connection to Focus takes two (2) emotes. Tier Two: This stage takes place after the Mesmer has come to better understand their new power. While the Calling has not yet taken full effect, the Mesmer may begin to start displaying more chaotic behavior. This stage lasts three years [three (3) ooc weeks] minimum. During this time, the Mesmerac forms as a small tattoo on the Mesmer’s body. Connection to Focus takes two (2) emotes. Tier Three: When they enter T3, the Mesmer begins to hear the Call. This provides them with more spells they can use by allowing them to take up to two (2) slots of the magic. This stage lasts three years. [Three (3) weeks OOC] Tier Four: At this point, theMesmer’s Mesmerac grows larger and becomes more complex. The Mesmer’s magic becomes more unstable, sometimes lashing out when they are under duress (See ‘Wild Surge’ in Abilities) This tier lasts four years. [Four (4) years OOC] Tier Five: Few Mesmers ever reach this point in their studies. However, those that do gain access to T3 spells. Mesmers cannot advance past this tier. Mesmer Focuses A Mesmer’s power must be channeled through a Maniette, more commonly known as a Focus. Focuses are personalized for each Mesmer. For this reason, they can come in any number of shapes and sizes. Dice, cards, and mina coins are the most common forms for a Focus to take. When in their first stage of study Mesmers must either choose or make a focus. The T1 spell imbue focus can be used to bond with the object. After that, the object acts as a Focus and can be used to cast Mesmer spells. All Mesmer focuses must have two-sides or otherwise be capable of creating some kind of random result. A bear statuette, for example, would be incapable of being a focus. However, a spinning wheel would be a serviceable option. If a Focus has multiple pieces [ex. A deck of cards], all imbued pieces must be together in order for the Focus to function properly. If even a single card that was there during the imbuement is missing from the deck, then the deck cannot function as a Focus until that card is returned to the deck. To counteract the risks associated with losing part of a focus, Mesmers can choose to imbue select parts of their focus. For example, ½ of a deck or one of their dice. This allows the user to replace part of a focus without having to start from scratch with a new one. In order to cast spells the Focus must spend charges. The amount of charges available scales to the current tier and slot level the Mesmer is at. Each spell has a charge cost which must be spent in order for it to be cast. After the roll the dice emote the spent charges may recharge again after 1d4 hours. T1: 3 Charges T2: 6 Charges T3: 12 Charges T4: 15 Charges T5: 18 Charges One Slot Dedicated: Four Additional Charges Two Slot Dedicated: Four Additional Charges Focus’ can be manipulated in small and subtle ways, such as making a deck of cards hover over your hands, changing the color of one’s dice, etc. These are purely cosmetic and cannot be used as an advantage for the Mesmer. Hovering focus’ must still be within arm’s reach, you cannot manipulate dice to roll a certain number, etc. Redlines - If someone takes, or attempts to take part of a focus [Taking a card from a deck, taking one die, etc] players who imbued half of their focus MUST roll a d20 to see if part of the focus was taken. Evens mean the focus remains untouched, odds mean they took a focus part. - Maniette must be made through the T1 spell Imbue Focus. Focuses can only be remade if part of the focus is destroyed or lost. - An object can only be made into a focus if it can allow random selection. Wheels, Dice, Cards, etc. - Mesmers cannot cast spells without a Focus. The sole exception to this is the spell ‘Imbue Focus’ which may be cast without. - Focus’ must be ST signed. Mesmeracs When a Mesmer completes their first year of study, they will awaken to find a small glowing tattoo located somewhere on their body. This mark is a Mesmerac; a claim left upon the Mesmer by the watcher to warn off other Celestials. The Watcher is extremely possessive, and does not allow the claimed to perform certain Deity-gifted magics. When the Mesmer reaches T4, the Mesmerac grows in size and becomes harder to conceal via conventional means. It is said that the design of the Mesmerac reflects the Mesmers inner being; however, no one truly knows why Mesmeracs take a certain form. Even the method through which they appear on one’s body is currently unknown. Once the tattoo is formed, it can not be changed in any way. Tattoo ink, scars, and anything else that might obscure the lines of a Mesmerac fade within one narrative day of being inflicted. Mesmaracs start off small, in places easily concealable by the Mesmer practitioner. They cannot be multicolored. However, they do glow in the color of the Mesmer’s aura. The Mesmerac can only change color if the color of the Mesmer’s aura changes; though it is also possible for the mark to maintain the original coloration. Removing the Mesmerac is impossible. Even those who abandon the practice are incapable of removing it. If the flesh containing the tattoo is wounded in a way that would obscure the tattoo, the Mesmerac remains in place. The portion of the scar that would obscure the lining disappears within a day of being inflicted upon the Mesmer. If the limb containing the tattoo is removed, the tattoo will manifest on a different part of the body after a narrative day has passed. Unbeknownst to anyone, the Mesmerac has a hidden purpose. Upon completion of the mark being formed, it acts as a bridge between the Mesmer’s body and the will of the Watcher. After Mesmerac’s grows at T4, the Watcher is able to take control of the Mesmer’s physical body. Should this event happen, the Mesmer finds themselves trapped in their own subconscious. Redlines: - The Mesmerac’s design is determined by the player. They can depict animals, abstract images, and most other things. However, they can not depict words associated with any language. At most, they can depict a string of letters which amount to gibberish. - Their glow is faint. A Mesmerac can not provide enough light to illuminate an area. - The Watcher can take control of the Mesmer’s body at any point following the Memerac’s growth at T4. This MUST be a ST event. The Watcher will not cause direct physical harm to the Mesmer, but may cause some trouble while wearing their skin. - Mesmeracs can not be multi-colored. They match the color of the Mesmer’s aura. - A Mesmers’ corpse can only be identified by those who have been told ICly that the scorched remains of a Mesmerac identifies the body as a Mesmers’. - If a Mesmerac is visible, the Mesmer must emote it flaring brighter when casting a spell. The Calling Only after four (4) full years [four irl weeks] of practicing does a T3 Mesmer begin to hear the call. This means the Watcher has finally taken notice of the Mesmer, and has decided to give them the chance to gamble with it. Initially, the Calling begins with the Mesmer feeling a faint sensation of being watched. Ultimately, it culminates in a dream. In this dream a person with an ever-changing visage offers the Mesmer the chance to increase their power--all in exchange for a little gamble. If accepted, the Player dedicates one (1) slot to the Magic. The entity will then offer the Mesmer the chance to play another game which, if accepted, will end with similar results. The Player will dedicate another slot and gain access to higher level spells. Once the games have been completed, the entity will thank the Mesmer before vanishing from existence. The Calling will only happen once for a Mesmer. The entity that approaches the Player can take many forms; though it often chooses to take a form familiar to the Mesmer by mimicking a person they know. It is naturally skilled at every game, though it has a random chance of winning or losing each one. However, the Player still uses a slot to further advance their practice of the Magic regardless of the game’s outcome. It’s personality, much like its form, is ever-changing. Each Mesmer may perceive it as having a completely different personality than another might. It prefers to appear in a unique form each time. The only constants among all appearances of the Watcher is its playful and possessive nature. The dream will end if the Player is hostile towards the being in any way. The Mesmer can never experience the Calling again, even if they drop the magic and take it up once more at a later date. When the Calling occurs, the player must roll out of 20 to see what would happen should they choose to drop the magic. Odds mean that they retain their magic slot, but Evens mean that the Watcher consumes the slot. Redlines - The Calling must be RP’d by the Teacher of the Mesmer. They may not progress to T4 until they have completed the Calling. - The Watcher - or what may be claiming to be the Watcher - will never harm the Mesmer. It is not malicious. It seeks only to sow chaos for the sake of its own entertainment. - This event only ever occurs once. If the magic is dropped then relearned, it may not repeat, leaving the Mesmer stuck at a feat-only level. - The Watcher is extremely possessive of its Mesmers. For this reason, it may express jealousy if the Player has other magics. This is only ever expressed in an event. It has no bearing over what the Mesmer can or cannot do. Spells Mesmer spells harness the chaotic energy of their patron. Because of this, all effects are entirely reliant upon the luck of the caster. More powerful spells have bigger backlash associated with them, because more is gambled with the casting of such a spell. High risk, high reward. All Mesmer spells must be taught by a Teacher before they are able to be used. Base spells are the only exception to this rule. All spells require Charges to be spent in order for them to function. Without charges, no spells can be cast. Tier One Spells Dice’s Gambit [Non-Combative] [Base Spell] Cost: One Charge Mesmers are no strangers to cheating. However, sometimes loaded dice are not quite enough to beat the system. When that happens, the Dice’s Gambit is used as a low risk gamble to reap higher rewards. This spell allows the Mesmer to will the dice to roll a favorable number for whatever game they happen to be playing. When the user visualizes the dice, the spell will encourage the dice to land on the desired number. ROLL THE DICE 1: The Mesmer’s dice explode in a mist the color of their aura. Normal dice would explode upon use; however, if the dice is the Mesmer’s focus, they would only be stained this color for a narrative week. 2-3: The Dice would roll the opposite of the desired number, causing the Mesmer to lose the game. 4-10: The Dice are not influenced by magic. 11-20: The intended effect succeeds! The dice lands on the intended number as envisioned by the Mesmer. Card Vision [Non-Combative] Cost: One Charge Similar in purpose as the Dice’s Gambit, Card Vision allows the Mesmer to briefly see the other side of playing cards. This allows the Mesmer to change their decision-making based on the opponent’s cards, thus allowing them to win easier or lose gracefully. To cast this spell the Mesmer must have sight of the cards. ROLL THE DICE 1: The Mesmer’s eyes flash with their aura, much like a voidal mage. This renders them blinded for up to an OOC hour. 2-3: The cards visualized are different then the actual cards, making the Mesmer make choices on wrong assumptions. 4-10: Nothing Happens. 11-20: The Mesmer sees the other side of the card clearly. Electric Handshake [Non-Combative] Cost: One Charge Ever get whoopee cushioned? Electric Handshake is a more advanced way of giving someone a spook. The Mesmer generates a small electric shock in the palm of their hand, which allows them to give someone a little surprise. This is usually done during handshakes, but it can be cast anywhere on another person’s body so long as contact is being made. ROLL THE DICE 1-5: The spell backfires, causing a shock in the palm of the Mesmer’s hand. This jolt is twice the strength of the normal spell, which causes a stinging sensation. 6-10: The spell succeeds! The opponent gets a good shock. 11-20 The spell succeeds...however, it is more potent than intended. The recipient finds that their hair suddenly stands up as if it were rubbed aggressively by a balloon. Sparkling Lights [Combative] [Base Spell] Cost: Two Charges Every entertainer needs to dazzle a crowd, and that is precisely what this spell does. Dazzle. The Mesmer summons a wave of sparkling light from their fingertips. Unlike their other spells, the caster can choose what colors the sparks take on. This spell is often used to scare away bandits or other wrongdoers. Sparkling lights can be used as a sort of warning sign for others. The sparks vanish upon touching the ground unless it is otherwise specified by the rolled effect. ROLL THE DICE 1-3: The summoned sparks take on a pungent smell which lingers on the Mesmer’s clothing for an OOC hour. 4-15: The Spell goes off without a hitch, dazzling any who witness it. 16-19: The sparks do not vanish upon touching the ground; instead they turn into glitter. The sparks stun anyone within ten blocks for one round of emotes. 20: The sparks take on an explosive quality. They erupt like firecrackers as soon as they touch the ground. This causes sharp pain if they are touched, but they cause no permanent harm. One-Slot Misty Escape [Combative] [Base Spell] If [or when] a Mesmer finds themself in need of a quick escape, Misty Escape is the perfect spell. Summoning a thick mist that covers up to a ten block radius with the Mesmer at its center is the spell's intended effect. The mist takes on the color of the Mesmer’s aura, though it is a bit darker. This spell can be used as anything from a simple party trick to a way to obscure the area and make for any easy escape. ROLL THE DICE 1-5: The Mesmer lights up like a beacon. Their entire body illuminates in a near-blinding light. 6-10: The Spell’s effect acts as intended, causing a thick colored mist to surround the Mesmer up to a ten block radius. 11-20: The Mist is cast successfully.. but it seeps into the caster’s flesh. Their skin is temporarily stained the color of their aura for up to two (2) OOC days. Impromptu Shower [Combative] [Base Spell] Getting on the bad side of a Mesmer is never a good thing. The Impromptu Shower spell is one of the best examples of this fact. After it is cast, a small cloud will form above the victim’s head and a light shower of rain will begin to fall. The cloud has a visible expression which will change to match the victim’s. For example, if the victim smiles, the cloud will also smile. The worst effect this spell can cause is a slight cold. ROLL THE DICE 1-5: Instead of raining, the cloud showers the victim with illusionary mina. The mina looks and feels real, but disappears when the cloud vanishes. 6-15: The Cloud manifests as intended. It rains down upon the victim. 16-20: The rain instead manifests as a sudden downpour. Occasionally thunder can be heard from the cloud. Imbue Focus [Non-Combative] Cost: Ten Charges Imbue Focus is one of the most important spells in any Mesmer’s collection. However, only those who have gambled with the Watcher are capable of learning it. New initiates require another Mesmer to help them bind their gifts to a Focus. This is the only Mesmer spell which can be cast without a Focus. Those who know this spell may use it to create a new Focus to replace a missing/destroyed one. As mentioned prior, they may also use it to find a Focus to a Mesmer who does not have access to this spell. The Mesmer who casts this spell must be touching both the Focus and the person it is being bound to. A misty aura will spread from the core of the one being bound before encircling and melding into the core of the Focus. When the aura has faded, the object may then be used as their Focus. ROLL THE DICE [Note, it is suggested that the one being bounded roll for the spell] 1: The Spell fails, and must be redone. A cooldown of two (2) OOC hours is required before the spell can be reattempted. 2-20: The spell is completed, and the Focus is bound correctly. Two-Slot Minor Illusion [Non-Combative] [Base Spell] While the Mesmers are not quite as skilled as Voidal Illusionists, they are capable of creating small illusions. Illusions created using this spell can be nor larger than a foot in both width and height. They are also incapable of producing any kind of sound. Minor illusions cannot copy or create the image of a Mortal; however, animals and plants may be mimicked. Upon summoning the illusions, the Mesmer may manipulate it into doing certain actions. For example, they could make an illusory cat walk. The illusion is unable to affect the world around it. Since it is immaterial, anything that touches it will phase through. ROLL THE DICE 1-3: The Illusion is a truly warped mimicry of the intended object. 4-9: Something about the Illusion is off, but it is minor enough that it may go unnoticed. 10-15: The Spell goes off without difficulty. It works as intended. 16-19: The Spell is overloaded! The illusion is colored in the Mesmer’s aura and has glittery accents. 20: The Illusion temporarily behaves on it’s own. It may change form entirely, or choose to roam about the premises. Mimicry [Non-Combative] [Base Spell] When a Mesmer is able to cast T2 spells, they suddenly become capable of unmatched feats of mimicry. Once they learn this spell, the Mesmer is able to perfectly replicate any word or phrase that they have heard in the original speaker’s voice. They can not, however, create new sentences, speak at length, or copy phrases that they have not heard verbatim. ROLL THE DICE 1-3: The Mesmer’s voice does not replicate the intended target. Instead they emit the sound of nails raking down a chalkboard. They cannot speak in any language until the passage of fifteen (15) OOC minutes. 4-15: The Spell is has the intended effect. 16-20: The Spell is empowered. After the intended word or phrase is spoken, the Mesmer’s voice temporarily warps into a high or low pitched version of their normal speaking voice. This effect lasts thirty (30) OOC minutes. Tier Two Spells Gibberish Sight [Non-Combative] [Base Spell] It is unwise to get on a Mesmer’s bad side. This spell is but one of the many reasons why that phrase rings true. This spell can be cast on any person in their line of sight; and it causes that person to be rendered temporarily illiterate. When the victim looks at any sort of writing the lettering will appear to them as ancient indecipherable runes. The spell's duration can last anywhere from thiry (30) OOC minutes to one (1) OOC hour. ROLL THE DICE 1-5: The Spell fizzles. The target of the spell’s eyes flash in the caster’s aura. 6-10: The Spell has the intended effect. 11-15: The Victim’s eyes turn the color of the caster’s aura until the end of the duration. They suffer the effects of the spell regardless. 16-20: The effect of the spell rebounds onto the next person the Mesmer looks at, excluding the original target. Roll the Dice again. This is capped at three total victims. Illusionary Animal [Non-Combative] Cost: Five Charges Ever see a talking animal? Well now you have! This spell makes any who perceive the target of the spell as an animal of the Mesmer’s choosing. This is just an illusionary effect, and anyone who can see through illusions can immediately tell that the person is not truly an animal. The victim can continue to act as normal, speaking and moving without issue. Should someone touch the area the target stands, they feel behind the illusion and touch the target. ROLL THE DICE 1-5: The Spell misunderstands the directive, and instead of making an illusion of the animal.. It temporarily makes the target think they were the animal. This effect lasts three emoes after the initial effect emote. 6-10: The Mesmer suddenly appears to have an illusionary effect resembling the animal they attempted to make. This includes sporting a snout, ears, etc. This effect lasts three emotes after the initial effect emote. 11-20: The Spell casts as intended. One-Slot Hideous Laughter [Combative] Cost: 6 Charges Hearing voices is the fear of many men. Hideous Laughter causes a victim to hear a chorus of demonic voices in the confines of their own mind. Such an effect lasts for up to three emotes, but may be stopped earlier should the Mesmer wills it. The laughter may resemble the voices of loved ones or people the victim knows, or may sound like a horrible demonic laugh. ROLL THE DICE 1-2: The Spell backfires on the Mesmer, causing them to hear the laughter of the Watcher and suffer the effects for twice the length of the spell. 3-10: The spell acts as intended, stunning the victim. 11-15: The Laughter warps into utterings in a language long lost, causing the stunning effect to double. 16-20: The spell is too empowered, and the victim begins to laugh along until the spell ends. Additional effects may be rolled with OOC permission from the victim’s player. Two-Slot Memory Incantation [Combative] Cost: 9 Charges The mind is a cage, and this spell seeks to use that to the caster’s advantage. The Memory Incantation spell traps the victim within their own mind. While there they are forced to relive one of their memories from the following list: their Happiest Memory, their Saddest Memory, or their Most Traumatic Memory. This spell only lasts for 3-5 emotes--however, it feels as if an eternity passes for the victim targeted by this spell. The Spell effect can be stopped if the victim suffers physical pain or the Mesmer wills the spell to end sooner. It cannot be used in active combat. ROLL THE DICE 1-6: The spell entraps the caster within their own mind. Roll on the below table and RP the chosen memory. 7-12: The Memory begins to degrade and warp halfway through. It has the opposite of the desired effect. 13-19: The spell has the intended effect. 20: The spell has the intended effect, plus an additional effect. Roll for an additional effect on the table below. Tier Three Spells Third Eye [Non-Combative] [Base Spell] Cost: Seven Charges Opening one’s third eye is typically a rather difficult feat; however, as always, Mesmer’s have a trick up their sleeve that makes their lives just a little bit easier. When this spell is cast, a large eye protrudes from the Mesmer’s forehead. This Eye has the ability to see in the dark. Its iris is the color of the Mesmer’s aura. ROLL THE DICE 1-8: Instead of summoning a third eye, the Memer accidentally merges both of their eyes into one. This effect causes a sharp pain, and lasts about twelve (12) OOC hours before it returns to normal. 9-16: The Spell has the intended effect. 17-19: After the spell is cast, the eyes of the Mesmer temporarily become the color of their aura. 20: The spell works as intended. However, the Mesmer must roll on the table below for one additional effect. Fake Affliction [Combative] Cost: Seven Charges Fake Affliction creates an illusory effect upon a target that causes them to appear afflicted with a horrible disease. This can not actually give the target a disease. The illusion will only last for a period of five (5) emotes after the spell is initially cast. ROLL THE DICE 1-5: The illusionary effect backfires onto the caster. They also roll for an additional effect on the table below. 6-10: The spell is cast, but at a cost. Any time the caster of the spell speaks, pink bubbles escape their mouth. This lasts for the spell’s duration. 11-20: The spell has the intended effect. One-Slot Eyes of the Watcher [Combative] [Base Spell] Cost: Eight Charges The feeling of being watched is one of the worst sensations one can feel. The unfortunate soul targeted by this spell begins to see an innumerable amount of illusory eyes sprouting out of most physical surfaces, people, and flora. The eyes are permanently focused upon the victim, though they do blink occasionally This effect lasts for 1d6 rounds of emotes. ROLL THE DICE 1-5: Instead of summoning the illusion in the target’s mind, the Mesmer casts the spell upon themself. They are covered in hundreds of eyes for the next three (3) rounds of emotes. 6-10: The Spell is cast as intended. However, the Mesmer must roll for one (1) additional effect on the table below that also happens. 11-19: The Spell is cast as intended. 20: Mouths accompany the eyes, taking on the voices of the target’s loved ones. The voices beg the target to save them. They vanish once the spell ends. Imbue Object [Non-Combative] [Base Spell] Cost: Three Charges Imbue Object allows the Mesmer to touch an inanimate object and bestow upon it a small glow the color of their aura that lasts for 1d12 OOC hours. The object receives no other effects. Typically, this is used by Mesmers to sell mundane objects as rare magical items, or scare off enemies by imbuing their weapons. ROLL THE DICE 1-5: The Spell fizzles entirely, instead turning the Mesmer’s hair a vibrant shade of their least favorite color. 6-20: The Spell is cast as intended. Two-Slot Misdirection [Combative] Cost: Twenty-Two Charges The spell allows the Mesmer to catch a Voidal spell that is thrown at them, and throw it another direction. This is one of the most powerful in the Mesmers collection. Misdirection takes control of the mana within the voidal spell, allowing the user to temporarily redirect it as if it were their own spell. This effect takes a large amount of energy. Disguise Self [Non-Combative] [Base Spell] Cost: Eleven Charges The Disguise Self spell allows the Mesmer to make minor illusory changes to their appearance for twelve (12) OOC hours. They can make minor changes to their features; however, they can not make themselves unrecognizable. Hair color and eye can be changed at will at any point during the spell’s duration. Skin color, scars, and tattoos cannot be altered. The Mesmer may also make themselves appear more masculine or feminine; however they may not completely change their body type. They also cannot change their height. The Mesmer may drop the spell at will. ROLL THE DICE 1: The Spell fails, causing a horrible deformity to appear on the Mesmer until the duration of the spell ends. They are unable to cast this spell again until the duration is up. 2-9: The Spell’s duration is rounded down by half, with a minimum of one hour. 10-19: Disguise Self is cast without issue. 20: The Spell is empowered. Any of the changes made leave irritated skin after the duration of the spell ends, which may result in painful blisters. Abilities Wild Surge When a Mesmer of T4 or higher feels a sudden burst of intense, negative emotions their magic produces a ‘Wild Surge’. This summons a random effect that may influence them or their surroundings. The surge is always accidental, though it is controlled by the player in order to deliver the most fun and contribute to random roleplay. When a surge happens, the player must follow the same emotes as if they were casting a spell; however, it would always be accidental from a roleplay perspective. Roll from the table below to see which random effect occurs. 1: The Player turns into a potted plant for 1d4 emote rounds. If the pot is broken, they return to normal without any memory of becoming a plant. 2: The Mesmer’s shadow begins to relay the Mesmer’s inner thoughts. For example, it might cry if the Mesmer is sad, or gesture angrily if the Mesmer is angry. 3: The Mesmer loses the ability to cast spells for 1d4 emote rounds. 4: The next spell the Mesmer casts will result in an automatic 9 for the ‘roll the dice’. 5: The next person the Mesmer sees is filled with the emotion the Mesmer is currently feeling. 6: The Mesmer suddenly shoots steam from their ears. 7: The Mesmer turns into stone over the course of 1d4 rounds. After the fourth round, the statue shatters and the Mesmer returns to normal. Illusionary Sight T5 Mesmers with at least one (1) slot dedicated to the Magic are given a rare gift from the watcher as thanks for their dedication to him. This blessing allows Mesmers to see through illusions. This only affects mesmers who see with their physical eyes. It has no bearing on beings who see through other means, such as Seers. Red Lines - Mesmer spells must be taught by someone with a TA. The only exceptions to this are the ‘Base’ Spells, which are innate for all Mesmers. - Only beings with Greater Souls may practice the magic. Musin, Constructs, etc. are not capable of becoming Mesmers. - You cannot combine Mesmer Magic with the following: Paladinism, Naztherak, Necromancy, Azdrazi, Druid, Siliti, Mysticism. - Seers, Blood Magic, Afflicted, and other unlisted CA or Magic are permitted to combine with Mesmer. - All cast spells require a roll. This may be done in #w or in another channel. If a Mesmer is found to be fudging their rolls, they will be stripped of Mesmer and permanently blacklisted. - Mesmeracs cannot be identified as anything other than a tattoo unless explicitly told IRP. This includes identifying a body with a scorched mark. - Mesmeracs glow brighter when Mesmers cast spells. This must be emoted if the Mesmerac is visible. This is not required if the Mesmerac is hidden. - Llahir is not known to be the source of a Mesmer’s power. Mesmers believe the source of their power to be the being known as ‘The Watcher’. - Mesmers cannot cast spells without their Focus. - The Calling can only happen to a Mesmer once. Any further interaction with the Watcher is reserved for ST events. - A Mesmer may only ever have one Focus at a time. Purpose Credits @Remyy - Writer Quinn [OOC Friend] - Editor @verriberri - Artist, Brainstorming, Proofreader @JustGrim - Brainstorming, Proofreader
  23. Potions not listed under the restricted section are all considered public knowledge and is usable by anyone with the alchemy feat. Lore: OOC: Warmth Potion Mermaid Skin Potion Bottled Charm Gelatinous Salve Wyvern's Protection Hunter's Venom
  24. ♫ What We Could Have Become ♫ STRIGAE CHILDREN OF THE UNSEEN “Fear not, Gedym aep Helgraen, who hath so foolishly called us to this world,” spoke the first and tallest of the beings, “You have sought immortality, and so we shall grant it to you.” TABLE OF CONTENT: Origin Summary Culture Creation Physiology Lesser Striga (degeneration) Abilities Purpose / Psyche Physiological Degeneration Changelog ORIGIN SUMMARY Most familiar to the world are the legends by which the species are known; they serve as the iron curtain by which their accursed society operates beneath. Vengeful beasts who live beneath the light of the moon; creatures who come at night to feast on children, revenants banished from death and reanimated in flesh to haunt the living. Their legacy is known throughout all the common cultures of the world, each with their own names designated only in whispers. Most prominent amongst the wide territory of the Empire is Vampyre, suitable and simple, as Ruahdrel and Ardolar they are known as well by Dwarf and Elf in kind. Among their own however, and by a select few scholars invested in the topic they are known by their true name: as Strigae, Children of the Unseen. The Striga are a race of ill-begotten monsters descendent and derived from ancient antiquity. Created by the Unseen; a host of seven aengudaemonic entities of the deific plane who forswore their names in service to the Archdaemon Iblees as his lieutenants. Summoned into the world by an infamous mage of the continent in a wry ceremony, they gave their blessing upon Gedym aep Helgraen; though if all was not shrouded in mystery some Striga would assert that what they offered was more aptly described as a curse. By the emergence of their pregenator were the rest of their ilk borne to the world; the blood of the Unseen spreading from Helgraen to servants of strong constitution who could simply survive. CULTURE Strigae society revolves around the word of the Unseen. The foremost text amongst their kind being the written laws provided by the seven to aep Helgraen upon their emergence unto the mortal plane. Most only have scraps and copies of the original parchment, the most common demands of which have been translated into common for even the youngest neonates to understand correctly: The Unseen Codex. One must never drink the blood of and kill another fellow greater striga. All those who defy this principle shall be considered anathema. One must always remain unquestioningly obedient to the Unseen. All those who defy this principle shall be considered anathema One must always provide fraternal assistance to any fellow striga whose body has been destroyed, and they must be helped to regenerate. All those who defy this principle shall be considered Anathema One must never consort with the lesser striga, for they are beast and a shame upon our kind, and are considered to be anathema One must never consort with the anathema, and must consider them exempt from the privileges of any greater striga, and thereby anathema are worthy of present death One must always endeavour to avoid bringing the attention of mortals onto the greater striga. One must always consider it their duty to cremate the cast-off flesh, leavings and destroyed bodies of any fellow striga. These tenants are held strictly by most in secret society and those Striga who find themselves in violation of the law are outlawed commonly as anathema; essentially a strict call by the upper-echelon that essentially servers all chances of redemption. A Striga that is declared anathema by an elder is banished from the wider community and actively shunned or hunted by compatriots. Most who are declared so however are most typically a part of a coven populated enough to enforce the law and a lineage respected enough to offer a legitimate ruling. There is in fact a proverb which defines which best describes the intensity with which wider society regards their own traditions: what is out of sight, is out of mind. Thus if none are able to find feasible fault; there is little actual insistence on the banishment of their own. If none can pin the crime, none have commited the crime. REDLINE: these “tenants” are essentially only RP flavor/aesthetic and have no basis to force others into RP or enforce any type of DC or PK. CREATION “Give us a maid of unspoiled stock, that we may hew her limbs. And on a pile sacrifice her flesh, before this earthly prison of her bones, a virgin’s blood, so that the Taker of Souls be appeased.” Fresh blood of an elder Striga is the primary material used for transformation, it is a reagent which is transfused into an aspiring prospect after their own blood has been taken from them, causing the body to react and change. Accordingly then does the curse take hold and spread throughout the body, multiplying rapidly in a forced evolution which incurs a heavy toll on the body. Most enjoy an excruciatingly slow death by rejection, a spectrum from simplest rot to the wildest flailing; most are strapped to a stone surface due to the variability. In conjunction is the ritual itself, which over the centuries has been refined to mimic the work of Helgraen’s first accursed ceremony. Seven acolytes to bear witness, fresh meat for the chosen neonate to dine upon. The latter is most critical, for if the chosen survives initial contact with their parent’s ichor they must feed and stabilize their own physiology or face their inevitable degeneration. Deprived neonates wither and fade, though overindulgence equally priced at far too high a cost. Striga who overindulge in the earliest stages of their budding birth risk evolution into a mindless beast, thus is the eternal battle of one under the influence of the Unseen lineage. The immediate effects of success are evident in the features of the neonate; pale skin like a sickly performer ill on-stage and arrogantly ignoring the consequence. It is as if the skin were blemished with cloudy white cosmetics; likewise in traditional form are the canines of the individual mildly elongated though also easily veiled by a simple closing of the mouth. Each is manageable with balanced and regular feeding; able to be subdued to the point of normality. The last feature is the iris, denoted as yellowish-green; a permanent feature unchangeable regardless of one’s diet. The curse greatly diminishes the body’s own ability to produce its own lifeforce, by virtue of this it is then for that reason that Strigae hunts perpetually in search of it in the blood of others, this much is certain. REDLINE: roll based ritual transfusion; base roll of 12+ needed for success and you get three rolls. If they don’t feed in the 24IRL hours after or fails all three rolls the person in question either dies, or degenerates into an Upir. The Elder in question must also have an accepted TA. the three stages of hunger (left to right) PHYSIOLOGY There are in essence two denominations which Strigae are characterized; the greater, and the lesser (vampirus superiores and vampirus luminares respectively). The first and most familiar to traditional literature is the former, the greater strigae which practice the most distinctive aspect of subterfuge. They are physically ageless and live near up to four thousand years in age. They are stunted in no way save for the void that the Unseen demand be filled, the cravings of a beast. Strength and sense are expanded beyond normal capacity; operating at the highest peak of their previous biology. Greater Striga also appear physically much the same as they had at the point of their turning in eternal perpetuity. Completely humanoid they are able to disguise their more feral features and hide within common society and live much the same as they might have before if as aforementioned, they retain a suitable diet. Failing to feed therin rendering one cold to the touch, akin to chilled feet unprotected by the warmth of a blanket at night. While in a calm state Greater Striga are able to maintain their form with relative ease. There is the previous form, known for convenience as the ‘passive’ form, there is also the following ‘bestial’ form. In a state of anxiety Striga are put into a state of flux and transform into something far more sinister; a ‘bestial’ attack form. Much like any cornered animal when it’s back is to the wall, when Strigae experience intense bouts of emotion it sends that individual into a state of fight or flight. The eyes previously mentioned as being primarily yellow-green are completely blackened, and while their frame remains much the same as before the features of that physiology become far more gaunt and sunken. Their blackened veins become visible as well, their nose flattened, their ears long and sharp. Striga also gain access to elongated talons which serve them well as tempered weapons for defense in the most dire of circumstances. male Striga in beastial form LESSER STRIGAE A Lesser Striga Is the product of an individual's self-indulgence. Degeneration to this state is in practice caused when the body has ingested far too much blood for its own good. The blood curdles to the point of mutation and the specimen in question becomes in its entirety the beast that was formerly chained by strength of character. Satiation of the hunger is conducted in bloody fashion with no regard at all for nuance or even security; the strength that occupies the upper echelon of the species having disappeared in its entirety. Symbolic of this fallen mental-state lesser Strigae also lack physical control of their vampiric traits; lost to the beast is their original passive state, forced to remain in a revolting shell which mirrors the tainted mentality of the subject, their healing factor becoming a parceled shard of what once was. It is for these reasons that lesser Strigae are subsequently shunned and oppressed by the wider society; those who have given themselves to the hellion inside are traditionally barred from aid by nominal authority which finds itself vested in the collective covens that encompass the hidden corners of the world. The wild conjecture of common myth and legend are perpetuated at their fullest by the fallen, as most find no other shelter than amidst the darkest caverns and tombs, only arriving in populated areas to slaughter indiscriminately before retreating into the shadows. Thus they are also the only subset of the species which experience a true and final death as it is thought repulsive to help revive such a reviled example of the species; once the body of a lesser Striga has been torn asunder it is simply no more, doomed to linger in the place of it’s death in perpetual torment. Lesser Striga themselves are then divided into three subspecies, first categorized as so in books recovered from the ruins of the Marked stronghold the Hexicanum. Each is identified specifically by their place in the metamorphosis. An Upir is the immediate product of degeneration, the state of an individual who has only recently given themselves to their baser instinct. All the features that were once contained by the self are displayed clear. The face is left sunken and grey in appearance, and the claws are permanently present. The array of savage teeth even become so unmanageable that an Upir’s maw protrudes from mouth perpetually, their lips receded and thinly retracted back behind the marrow of the bone. Behind a cloak or any dense clothing capable of hiding their monstrous features can be masked, at a practical distance at least; Upirs are still very much humanoid in shape, they walk on two feet. The hunting habits dawned by most of its subspecies reflect these limitations, often only appearing in the night to avoid being properly seen. Upir are also even capable of some stunted speech confined to a few simple audibles; a grunt there, a moan here, the howl of a rabid dog, unintelligible a sane mind though amongst themselves oddly communicative. Some Upir even experience desperosity; a need for a way out of their condition. TO that end hunger will drive them to appease or devour their distant greater kin, most often one who has been set apart as anathema. After several years of survival and continuous ingestion the midway in development follows; defined as an Alp. Degenerating specimen at this second stage no longer maintain a typical humanoid form; they grow blackened and obese via the nutrition progressively sustained over the span of their years. What is most particular to the subspecies is the density of muscle; the trait is asserted as a product of a subject’s accumulated weight which also lends to it’s quadrupedal orientation. The increased load being distributed between the Alp’s four appendages. The beast essentially resembles that of a great ape; all that comprises it’s former identity driven so far deep into the body that it might never be retrieved from the void. Alps are thus also incapable of any variety of speech or higher thought. What they do manage to ascertain is based solely in auditory sense; an Alp’s eyesight is poor, so it will attack indiscriminately any entity that cannot considerably subdue their own steps. Many fallen Strigae do not last past this state, and the ones who do find themselves unable to find security even in the darkest of catacombs; the slaughter they stir far too great to go unnoticed in most circumstances. the three subspecies (upir to carcoran) The final stage of development is prone to extreme rarity; known as a Carcoran these creatures are eternally starving behemoths. The process to reach this point is debatable, however the spectrum of most individuals closes after a common period of five years if feeding is regular. The body’s evolution starts to churn down; it’s development catching up with the beast’s own bloody diet, the creature’s physiology taking shape as that of a gargantuan bear with most of the creature’s weight distributed on its hind legs. As a result a Carcoran may walk on all-fours, or stand rampant when confronted with suitable danger. When fully erect a Carcoran stands nearly nine feet high, though their full height is left unused in most cases due to the slouch that accompanies them. It’s limbs themselves long and thick like the trunk of a great oak tree. They are also completely blind; the issue of eyesight exacerbated to the point redundancy regarding the subject. Completely vestigial in nature. Instead a Carcoran relies completely on their ears in the form of echolocation. Their habits reflect this, as most of the subspecies live in caverns on the outskirts of townships or villages, even sometimes feeding on petty animals to retain their fill though they are prone to eventually vomiting it all back up. Despite this immense strength and speed consequently Carcoran are also subsequently the most unintelligent of any of the three aforementioned specimen; dumb as an ox and easily dispatchable by overwhelming force. RED LINE: Lesser Striga beyond Upir restricted to ST; degeneration occurs after the equivalent of four adult meals (two people drained in their entirety.) Upir are playable with a separate CA dictating that a player is aware of the differences between a greater and lesser Striga, should the lesser Striga devolve further they become unplayable. An Upir may ascend back to greaterdom by consuming a greater Striga, in doing so they would be rendered Anathema. PSYCHOLOGY The Strigae experience a hunger that transcends the common temptations of ambition, greed and social acceptance: forced to become the architect of their own sustainability, all centered around the premise of discrete existence and consistent feeding. While the lesser Strigae fail to carefully cultivate an existence that serves their needs, the greater Strigae find no challenge in being the realm’s greatest pretenders. Bishops, merchants, bureaucrats and soldiers alike: the Greater Strigae climbs the institutions of man so that he can be protected by its mantle of privilege: a trust, but primarily access, that comes with certain professions and social classes exclusively. The calculating and mobile are rewarded, whereas the clumsy and gluttonous descend into an existence of violent madness. Simply put: their sole purpose is to feed. But one may wonder if the grotesque machinations created around such an existence, don’t deserve to be considered a purpose by itself. The quality of the psyche differs per individual: but much like the commoners among us, the steady hand can hold the most. Once a Striga discovers a formula within his environment that succeeds in providing undetected, yet consistent supply: he is not prone to change it. Though for those that have been adhering to such a formula for centuries, adding self-established ceremonies and rites before or after consumption is not uncommon. Different covens were unable to escape the cultural influences of their location, which brought different ‘enrichments’ to its ceremonies across the realm. Considering that temperance is a matter of proper existence to the Striga, and not just a valued trait: one might not be surprised that most Striga come off as calm and stable to the outside world. Drunkards or excessive talkers are rare, as most wield an iron discipline to only take steps necessary for their continued survival. A quality to some perhaps, but also a trait that renders them inhuman even in public affairs. They can be seemingly bored at a festival, or oddly indifferent at a trial: these events are human pretensions of satisfaction. True satisfaction is being fed. ‘Love and Pain’ by Edvard Munch PSYCHOLOGICAL DETERIORATION There are significant differences between the psyche’s Strigae that go beyond the greater and lesser distinction. The path from greater to lesser takes place on a spectrum: with each Striga differently placed. The Striga could survive without blood, as much as it can handle a constant routine for centuries. The question however, is whether their psyche is strong enough to sustain it. The less well fed a Striga is relative to what he is used to: the more agitated he becomes with the unnecessary in his life. Distractions can, in serious cases, evoke sincere rage or loss of composure. The usual façades towards those around him weaken: the need to be fed tampers the mind. On the opposite end of this primitive bloodlust stands the achilles heel of even the finest of Greater Strigae: the contemplation of their existence. Outliving all friends that they could possibly have, with no natural transition of their bodies nor the rush of inevitable mortality: what can they get from their prolonged, systemic lives? For those that have made it into the finest circles of mankind: the curse of too much time and insufficient pleasure brought them to pursue acts of psychological distraction. Analyzing all the structures, tales and norms that the world operates through. Pondering what their place is in a world that seems to wither before they do. The upper echelon of Greater Strigae make of the greatest, yet loneliest of minds. For those unable to cope with the inability, or excellence of their ability, to cultivate a comfortable existence for themselves: this destiny seems realistic. GREATER STRIGAE: CAPABILITIES & LIMITATIONS Striga blood itself is a stimulant that derives its potency from the concentration of the life essence that is extracted after feeding upon a mortal subject. Gifted first from the Unseen to aep Helgraen and subsequently thereafter: from the oldest to the youngest. It is from this that all Greater Strigae derive their abilities; abilities that can be divided on the basis of passive or active function. In essence, active abilities require conscious effort, while passive effects act practically as regular bodily mechanics. It is also worthy to note that these abilities are dependent on blood intake and that efficiency is entirely tied to the health of the individual. If a Striga decides to starve himself of life-essence he will lose that which fuels his abilities; thus being as weak or infirm as he might have been otherwise before his transformation. Likewise if the subject feeds regularly their powers and functions will remain intact. PHYSIOLOGICAL AUGMENTATIONS: HEIGHTENED PHYSICAL PROWESS, When Strigae are at their most potent they benefit from a variety of bodily boons; most noticeably in both strength and speed. This heightened physical prowess is however limited to the body’s bone structure and muscle density; when a Striga has been underfed or continuously starved these factors then weigh down on the individual to subsequently tire them out more quickly than not. It stands to reason then that the longer a fight goes on for the less opportunities there will be for the specimen in question to defeat their foe, or even possibly flee. Striga are built for quick decisive movement; their high-twitch muscle fiber allows them to strike hard and fast. The body reflects the need of the species: that a fight must be avoided at all costs, to either win quickly or flee quickly. This is further reflected in a Striga’s bestial form, the structure of the body polymorphing against the weight of their anxiety and fear. Striga are also capable of a passive low-light vision allocated to them via augmentations they acquire after their turning; great falls also prove ineffective in hampering Strigae, as many encounters end commonly by way of open window. RED LINE: all physical attributes are capped at the capacity of an Uruk/Orc and limited by the amount of blood they have consumed recently. Someone who hasn’t fed in months will not benefit at all. Strength must abide by reasonable means: think any mixed martial artist or peak athlete, not some unrealistic hulking monstrosity. HYPERMETABOLISM, The aforementioned metabolism also gifts Strigae with inherent health; Immunity to poison and disease (but conversely unable to benefit from alchemical potions.) Theirs is an accumulated numbing to the variable stimuli that life offers over time. As a product of their enhanced metabolism, Strigae also have an inherent resistance to cold and are even able to wander through a tundra, or swim through frozen over waters in relative comfort when well fed. Their immunity to poison makes strigae unable to benefit alchemic healing or elixirs for the changing of appearance. Their body would also reject the afflicted symbiote in this regard. This is also why Striga are unable to learn extraordinary magics, and why the potential for all else is burned out of them by the transfusion of the Unseen’s vile blood into the vein. Once turned, the body fights vigorously against foriegn influences and does not allow an inch of ground in this regard. This is also partly the reason why normal sustenance is simply inferior to the consummation of life energy. In order for the body to continue to operate efficiently it is critical that Strigae receive enough fuel to sustain their corporeal body and their abilities, as even if they are immune to tampering they cannot stave off the gnawing twisting rot that accompanies starvation. Whilst for the most part unhindered and unfeeling of cold, their bodymatter is not exempt from it; a Striga’s skin and muscles can still be frozen by alchemical, magical or even mundane means and the same pain and restriction would be experienced. Similarly intense heat is handled the same way. The body can be hampered like any other creature; yet despite feeling that pain Strigae are also equal to it, fortuitous to curb their physical reaction. REDLINE: Striga are unable to learn any kind of magic, nor are they able to be cured, or transformed into another CA equivalent creature. Everything they had before they turned would then be lost. Also while strong in constitution that does not at all mean that extreme cold or heat does not affect them, they have a tolerance, not an immunity. TEMPERAMENTAL SENSORY, Striga are also found to be more acutely aware of other’s physiology. When blood is near so too is the compulsion to transform and hunt, though this can be mitigated via one’s strength of mind. The compulsion is so great that some specimens of Strigae are even prone to losing control and going berserk. This is also the very reason why Striga can sense their own kind; blood calls to blood. But it is not the blood itself that Strigae are attuned to; rather they are drawn to the qualities held within the blood which offers them sustenance and euthporia in return, very similar to the experience mortals undergo when being subjected to their own blood. The quality of the blood is in fact offset by the elemental composition; essentially the chemical composition and balance of bodily fluids. There are components in this regard, identified as the four humors, four excesses which effect and work to imbalance the body identified as such since antiquity: black bile, yellow bile, sanguinity, and phlegm or mucus. It is believed then that an abundance in any of the four is unappealing to most Strigae; yet some do acquire specific tastes, as these four Humors translate to certain temperaments which are really how those of the species identify the subject of their next meal. Some Striga are in fact abundantly picky in their diet. For the wide majority of Striga however: what is preferred is a meaningful balance of these fluids in the body, as both an excess or a deficiency of any four provides to taint the experience of feeding. Thus it is for the purpose of determining blood purity that their senses are enhanced, and although all five senses are enhanced they are not absurdly so; more apt is that this predatory affinity manifests instead as a sixth sense entirely. REDLINE: It is not possible to use these sensory skills as an out to track people, to sniff people out of hiding, to listen in unreasonably unto another conversation from another room. Misuse in any of these ways, or in any other malicious manner will result in that player’s CA being revoked. REGENERATION, Passive, Active, and Otherwise, The most prominent ability a Striga may possess is the raw regenerative potential of it’s physiology. Striga retain an ability to heal from even the most dire of wounds. This objectively potent ability is then subsequently contained by the time it takes the body to recover from harm. For the most dire of circumstances most prefer to lick their wounds in solitude or hibernation; in places hidden to the eyes of mortals, the trait is shared by lesser Strigae as well, giving credence to their mythological preference for crypts and graveyards. This passive regeneration is at its most effective when there is no other preoccupation inhibiting the respite of the specimen and it’s latent capacity for cell growth. Thus it renders Strigae are only actively able to manage surface wounds in combat: cuts, bruises, burns, frostbite; these things are understandably manageable. A sword thrust through the chest however? As painful for any variety of Striga as it would be for an ordinary mortal being. The surest way to best a Vampyric beast is by debilitation. If one burns out their eyes or perhaps breaks their arms, removes their tools from play; these are the stratagems best suited for ultimate dispensation in a disadvantageous senario. A secondary option is the use of a purifying deific magic which renders these boons redundent in combat; slowing the rate of regeneration to a near halt until the body has fought off the virus in a safer environment. Overwhelming force is also of great issue, Strigae cannot feasibly recover from being burned to a crisp or having their heads chopped off and their brains shattered, not without the aid. a striga recovering via the vetalas moments after it’s resurrection True death however is not achievable at the hands of a mortal, as a Strigae spirit remains clung to the site of it’s death. It lies dormant there forever in a hibernative state, the cells of the deceased clinging to whatever it might possibly manifest upon. It is a hopeless endeavour requiring the intervening aid of another Striga that may be drawn to the area. With the aid of another however, and with a donation of blood the regenerative process can be drawn in-kind and the reformation of the body can begin; typically over the course of nine years at the minimum. The state the Striga is left in is near identical to an abomidal abortion. The recovery of one’s skin and bone structure being some of the final components. Strigae return to corporeal form as bloody heaps of meat which must be fed unflinchingly for these painstaking years after their revival; though once completed this new body would look nearly identical to the one they had before their death. It is an odd development, and a traumatizing one for the mind to undertake: for while the mind is not fully conscious the specimen does retain it’s intelligence in this extremely vulnerable state which is consequently dubbed as the Vetalas. Indeed for the majority of this time period Strigae cannot walk, nor even hunt or feed without the aid of a provider. For real death to occur under the prior conditions the entirety of the specimen in question must be devoured upon death with no remains left uneaten; and to that end is the virtue of fraternal aid twisted into the fratricidal act of anthropophagus, or cannibalism. In this instance the murderer in question takes the dormant spirit of their kin and incorporates it into their own; effectively ending the lesser partner in this taboo union. This process effectively renders regeneration defunct, as there is logically no material matter remaining to latch to. For this reason it is held as taboo amongst hidden society that Striga quarrel amongst themselves; it is even mandated by the Unseen themselves through their Codex which details the rule of their covenant with aep Helgraen. REDLINE(S): all internal damage done to a Striga in combat cannot be undone while still in combat. If you're stabbed in the chest or someone pierces a lung, stabs out an eye (again) all of this cannot be feasibly regenerated when focusing on defence. To do so is powergaming and will again result in the immediate revocation of that individual’s CA. Minor wounds can clot and scab, but this must be achieved in combat via emote and to fully heal they must again be safely outside of combat. (A Striga may still PK to valid RP death should they wish) HEMATOLOGICAL ATTRIBUTES: HUMORIC STIMULATION, It is already well known that Strigae possesses a latent ability to sense the blood and blood quality of other individuals, but why is this the case? Striga are required to drink of life-essence to maintain their abilities yes, but this is not also why they hunger and crave for it. Essense held in the blood of mortals is the fuel, but it is also in turn a major stimulant for the Striga as well. The numbness of life being temporarily sated in an instance of feeding. Striga experience a certain euphoria when consuming humorically balanced meals, and intensely the range of emotion tied to their victim’s own experiences. It is in this way then that a Striga can almost in a literal sense; suck the life out of an individual. All the valuable emotions and feelings that constitute their own identity: it is this that Strigae yearn for in a life of otherwise poor and miserable circumstance. REDLINE: emotions are the only thing that can be experienced by a Striga when they feed, strong feelings and not memories, events, or clues of any kind. Breaks lore and will result in the revocation of the individual’s CA. BLOOD ENTHRALLMENT, Enthrallment is the result of the innate hypnotic properties found within the blood of Greater Strigae. Strigae blood is capable of posing a unique sway over the waking consciousness of a descendant; instilling in whomever sups from a Striga the same malignant need that the Strigae themselves possess for the blood of those unafflicted by their curse. It is unknown whether these properties are a result of the changes the curse has had upon the Strigae’s body, or if the blood itself carries a magical property to it, but it has proven effective in producing an effect on the body most similar to an opiate addiction; producing great stress both mental and physical upon those reliant upon the substance in the absence thereof. Any descendant who drinks of a Greater Strigae’s blood, wittingly or unwittingly, will begin to fall under the allure of the Strigae. The amount need be no larger than 15 ml, and can subsequently be disguised in drinks such as wine with little difficulty. It is tiered, with subsequent encounters with Strigae blood producing a greater effect building onto addiction and thus true enthrallment. It also has the effect of producing an infantile version of Strigae regenerative ability in the thrall, with blemishes, bruises and otherwise trivial wounds healing passively via this effect. Upon initially being fed the blood of a Strigae, the individual will feel the effects equivalent to post-mild intoxication, with inhibitions loosened and clarity of mind obscured by the sinister nature of it. At the first stage, this bond lasts for two IRL hours and can be utilized to assist in mild persuasion of the person in question. The ‘strength’ of the bond increases exponentially upon every incident where they imbibe the blood of their original regnant. This increases the length of the bond by two hours each time, and subsequently the addiction and the overall hold their affliction has over them up until the fifth and final incident, wherein the bond will be made permanent (until the thrall completely neglects their urges for a period of two IRL weeks) at which point they become fully beholden to the whims of their Regnant and cannot go against their will. (this final stage requires OOC consent) Upon being denied the blood of their Regnant for over two IRL days, the thrall will enter into symptoms similar to drug withdrawal and will suffer from the agonizing effects of such for a period until they feed again or have staved off the addiction for a total of two IRL weeks. REDLINE(S): the final stage of enthrallment requires ooc consent. Enthrallment cannot be used to force a thrall into any sort of act that would entail the willful suicide of the character, or that would be considered lewd or unwholesome. Enthrallment cannot be used to force actions onto a character up until the fifth and final stage of enthrallment, which requires the OOC consent of the player involved. It is meant to instill suggestibility, not outright mind control. Thralls are not granted the abnormal strength or regenerative ability of Greater Strigae, instead inheriting a higher physical resilience that allows them to recover from minor wounds such as scrapes, bruising, etc. Enthrallment must be broken through abstaining from the blood of a thrall’s Regnant, whether willingly or unwillingly, for a period of two IRL weeks and cannot be cleansed by any magical means. STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES SUMMARIZED STRENGTHS SUMMARIZED: General Strengths Strigae are immortal, unaffected by time or disease. Strigae are endowed with some significant strength relative to their size. This is not super strength. Strigae can sense and determine the quality of blood in another individual close at hand according to temperament and physical tells. Strigae are able to be very quick and evasive, capable of moving and concealing themselves in the shadows adeptly. This is not super-speed. Strigae may grow talons (up to 12cm) for use in combat when enraged, hunting, or blood-drunk. Greater strigae are capable of regenerating wounds that would be fatal to mortals, such as a stab through the heart or a slit throat, unless inflicted upon them by gold or holy magic, in which case such wounds take considerably longer to heal and are able to more easily incapacitate the striga. In combat this ability is restricted to surface wounds ONLY Strigae are capable of tapping into their victims emotions and feelings through the drinking of their blood. No more, and no less. Greater strigae are unkillable under most circumstances. While their bodies can be totally incapacitated in much the same manner as would a normal humanoid (Rapid dismemberment, beheading) and destroyed through destruction of the brain, ‘death’ in this fashion only serves to destroy the corporeal body and banish the spirit from this plane. With enough time (Recorded in this document as a minimum of nine years) and the aid of another striga’s blood, a greater striga may regenerate a new body, identical to the last. However, if a greater striga is killed by one of its own kind, it suffers a final death - and similarly, if another striga refuses to offer aid to a comrade whose body is destroyed (Whether this is because they are anathema or for other reasons) they may not regenerate. LIMITATIONS SUMMARIZED: General Limitations Strigae are compelled to feed on blood, hungering for it like a powerful addiction. Though this ‘alcoholism’ can occasionally be overcome by the most controlled of strigae, it is always latent. Strigae who have not fed on blood for an extended period of the time are cold to the touch and begin to suffer from a state of degeneration. While they do not become lesser striga, they become emaciated husks the longer they go with blood, eventually reaching a point where they will be incapable of feeding themselves without the assistance of another due to extreme physical lethargy and muscle degeneration. Greater strigae who overindulge (More than four adult 'meals' per seed-month) on blood will begin the process of degeneration into an Upir and subsequent creatures. Animals (specifically of the family Canidae) are able to detect the scent of a striga and are averse to one’s presence, often unfriendly and suspicious in the presence of a striga. Strigae are susceptible to aurum, and cannot immediately regenerate wounds inflicted by blades of gold, causing it to take twice as long as would normally be applicable. To a striga, any form of aurum or silver is very uncomfortable to the touch, and must be handled with gloves. When a stake formed of either material is driven through the heart of a striga it causes immediate bodily paralysis and inhibits the regenerative functions of the striga until removed. Becoming a striga is irreversible. Strigae are infertile and can only reproduce by inflicting their curse (Or as they often see it, a blessing) upon others. Strigae are completely unable to learn and utilize magical skills as a result of their affliction. Prior magical skills that were learnt prior to transformation become unusable. Strigae cannot utilize the Cloud Temple monks to heal their bodies. The scent of excessive blood such as that of a large battle or slaughterhouse will drive even the most controlled striga temporarily wild and rabid, forcing them into their more bestial form and causing them to lose control of their emotions. Lesser Striga beyond Upir restricted to ST; degeneration occurs after the equivalent of four adult meals (two people drained in their entirety.) Upir are playable with a separate CA dictating that a player is aware of the differences between a greater and lesser Striga, should the lesser Striga devolve further they become unplayable. An Upir may ascend back to greaterdom by consuming a greater Striga, in doing so they would be rendered Anathema. Cultural distaste for individuals who have violated the Unseen “tenants” cannot be used as a basis to DC or PK and an individual, they are essentially only RP flavor/aesthetic and have no basis to force others into RP or enforce any type of DC or PK. Creation Limitations Must use rolls based ritual transfusion; base roll of 12+ needed for success and you get three rolls. If they don’t feed in the 24IRL hours after or fails all three rolls the person in question either dies, or degenerates into an Upir. The Elder in question must also have an accepted TA. Physical Prowess All physical attributes are capped at the capacity of an Uruk/Orc and limited by the amount of blood they have consumed most recently. A character that has fed within the week(IRL) will be at full capacity. A character that has fed within the past month(IRL) will have that capacity subtracted by half. A character that has NOT fed within the past month(IRL)will have that capacity become redundant. Striga are uniquely strong, yet that strength must abide by reasonable means: think any given mixed martial artist or peak athlete, not some unrealistic hulking monstrocity. Metabolic Limitations Striga are unable to learn any kind of magic. Striga cannot be cured. Striga cannot be transformed into another CA equivalent creature. Everything they had before they turned is lost. While strong in constitution that does not at all mean that extreme cold or heat does not affect them, they have a tolerance, not an immunity. Temperamental Sensory It is not possible to use these sensory skills as an out to track people Sensory skill cannot be used to sniff people out of hiding Sensory skills are also unable to allow someone to listen in unreasonably unto another conversation from another room. Misuse in any of these ways, or in any other malicious manner will result in that player’s CA being revoked. Regeneration All internal damage done to a Striga in combat cannot be undone while still in combat. If you're stabbed in the chest or someone pierces a lung, stabs out an eye (again) all of this cannot be feasibly regenerated when focusing on defence. To do so is powergaming and will again result in the immediate revocation of that individual’s CA. Middling wounds can clot and scab, but this must be achieved in combat via emote and to fully heal they must again be safely outside of combat. Middling injuries (ie. cuts and other blemishes) will take three emotes to recover from* Minor injuries (ie. internal bodily injury) will take between 4 irl hours to regenerate from*. Major injuries (ie. severed limbs or grievous wounds) will take between 3 days to regenerate from*. Mortal injuries (ie. destruction of the brain, or complete bodily destruction) will take 1 month to regenerate from, and will also require the help of another striga to help regenerate. Any injury received from aurum will take twice as long to recover from as the same injury received by regular means. Real Death while preferably ending in the permanent death of the character can also result in degeneration or eternal limbo instead. Combat must also already be decided before the rp can commence, one cannot consume their opponent mid-combat. A Striga can still pk to valid rp death should they wish, the same as any normal character. Enthrallment Limitations The final stage of enthrallment requires ooc consent. Enthrallment cannot be used to force a thrall into any sort of act that would entail the willful suicide of the character, or that would be considered lewd or unwholesome. Enthrallment cannot be used to force actions onto a character up until the fifth and final stage of enthrallment, which requires the OOC consent of the player involved. It is meant to instill suggestibility, not outright mind control. Thralls are not granted the abnormal strength or regenerative ability of Greater Strigae, instead inheriting a higher physical resilience that allows them to recover from minor wounds such as scrapes, bruising, etc. Enthrallment must be broken through abstaining from the blood of a thrall’s Regnant, whether willingly or unwillingly, for a period of two IRL weeks and cannot be cleansed by any magical means. PURPOSE Striga exist to challenge the significant value we place on the concept of immortality, and to answer the question of what would happen if a finite entity suddenly found itself invested with infinite vitality. It’s a question that can only really be purely expressed in roleplay, and that is ultimately the core pillar of the community. What would happen if an old man regained his strength? Or a young man remained eternally youthful? What would happen to that individual as a character? It’s the promise of story in the long term for players who value a level of realism that cannot be adequately gained elsewhere. Striga also presents a very fascinating philosophical dilemma; that this curse can transform a moral character into someone unrecognizable. It’s this question: of how beings with such a limited scope manage to fill all the centuries they’ve been given without falling into depression, going mad, or getting killed. The essential battle of a Striga is between humanity and the compulsion to do harm. The niche is complex because of that black and white dynamic and the result is something that is far more unique and character driven than in most other formats on the server. It’s what has made this lore so paliable in the past and why people continue to be dedicated to it now. It’s the reason why it was the first to get traditional night creatures right on this server without conforming to the typical twilight cringe aesthetic. CHANGELOG March 21st, 12:42PM removed most paragraphs copied from the original post via Maly and MTH due to insufficient detail in the requested subjects; instead now using the older source primarily as a base. added table of content to guide progress. added two paragraphs, condensed origin/ background added two paragraphs, elaborated further on creation and related mechanics. added next section: three paragraphs, physiology: greater striga v. lesser striga; lesser striga further described. March 23rd, 7:10AM added three paragraphs on lesser striga March 27th, 7:21PM added three paragraphs, finished physiology added seven paragraphs, psychology finished by Draeris March 28th, 12:58AM start on abilities, marked out titles to fill in; goal to better explain and expand on basic powers, trim the fat. title changed from ABILITIES to specifically capabilities & limitations of greater striga (playable striga) added one intro paragraph; divided abilities on the basis of passive and active function with formal division between physical improvements and abilities that are directly due to exposure to blood. added two paragraphs under subtopic: physical prowess. added a paragraph and a half under subtopic: hypermetabolism. March 29th, 8:58AM added two paragraphs under subtopic: humoric sensory, renamed ‘tempramental sensory’. start on regeneration, critical to get right. added five paragraphs to subtopic: regeneration. expansion on the following topic: real death, regeneration period after death, solidified healing times as requested. started on blood attributes: ‘hematological attributes.’ divided as follows: humoric stimulation, blood enthrallment. added a paragraph to subtopic: humoric stimulation added three paragraphs to subtopic: enthrallment added new redlines and further consolidated strengths and weaknesses in the bottom topic. added relevant red-line restrictions under the relevant abilities. restructure of topics to fit required format added two paragraphs to the topic: purpose. created changelog upon request; documented added to paragraphs to topic: culture added requested caveat on unseen legality feedback hopefully addressed March 31, 10:29PM edited strength augment and redlines after ST consultation; will reverse if necessary. CREDITS To all the people who helped work on this new rewrite, and to all the folks who came before to create this special creature on lotc. This one is for you guys, as none of this would be possible without you; we stand on the shoulders of giants. | MALY, MTHDOMINATOR, SCREAMINGDINGO, KBR, LEVIRAD, BAGLEY, & JACK |
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