View Full Version : Pro Bellum [Campaign Setting] PEACH

2009-01-28, 11:04 PM
This is my attempt at an arcanepunk alternate history of the American Civil War and reconstruction. This world is meant to be a bit dystopian, and will run off the Unhallowed Metropolis settings, which most people aren't familiar with, and a magic system inspired by Mage.

So without further do,

Pro Bellum

In 1872, the nation of America was one. But with the election of their newest leader, the great Liberator, all hellfire broke loose as the heretics of the southern lands declared war on their righteous brothers. The war looked grim for the rebels.

Until magic. The traitors had stolen it from their slaves, as they'd stolen their slaves from the dark continent. With the escalation, the loyalists were beaten back to their homes, and a swift surrender was brokered.

The great liberator, in all his kindness, was martyred in this retreat, as he held the rear guard that remained behind. But all was not lost, as the priesthood of the Moripaters rescued his sacred host. We now worship him now, as father and savior.

Such is the world we live in.

The History
The American Civil War began as an attempt by the southern states to break away. This course of action was a result of impulse and indignation, not well-planned thought, and the south itself was caught off guard by the war.

After 3 years of warfare, they had been chased back into their innermost lands, with insufficient weapons, soldiers, and food. On top of that, the slaves that they had fought to keep were growing dissatisfied.

The slaves that produced the crops of the south had reached their breaking point. They dug into the forbidden magics from their homelands, and they dug deeper into the magic in their hearts. No longer was it simply pageantry, the art of voudoun and the Loa was born.

However, the movement was weak at first, and gave the southerners a chance to steal this magic for themselves. The aristocracy and their agents corrupted their magic, and took the fight to the north. They marched on Washington, and swiftly ended the war. What follows next is up to debate.

However, what is known is that the defeated union army ran back to its northern capitol of New York, where they hid and learned. They formed their own corps of industrial magicians.

In the retreat back to New York, the president, Abraham Lincoln, was slain through debated circumstances. Some accepted this as another loss of the war, but certain statesmen closer to Lincoln saw a light in him, a divine spark. These slowly crept back to their home of Washing DC and founded the priesthood of the Moripaters.

Such is the world we live in.

The Factions

There are the freedmen, the former slaves and children of the former slaves, who follow their great witch doctors. The freedmen were originally disunified, scattered over the plantation-states of the south, but they have all felt the pull. On each plantation, the most sensitive of the slaves saw a thread that tied their people to the sea. And so, they marched. Onward to what the white men call Jacksonville, and what they call The Home.

Here, they live an immortal life, protected by their voudoun magic. The freedmen are few, for their food and land are few, but they live well. They do not concern themselves with money, and the community is central in daily life.

On the subject of life, they are immortal. This peculiarity is hidden from them, for they do not see their own aging. Their minds are intact, and life simply seems very long to them. They are protected through the magic of the Voudoun and the Loa

To any outsiders, The Home looks like a land of skeletal figures creeping around with crumbled skin and meats attached. They have the vigour of life, simply not the appearance.

The Freedmen do not know of the death of Lincoln, nor does it concern them.

The Old South
Their slave labor gone, their industry nonexistent, the south had to turn to what it had: hard willed overseers and savvy planters. The planters themselves do little work, as they did in the days of the slaves. They simply hire the overseers, who make sure that the cotton is still picked and the products sold.

However, rather than cracking whips at hordes of slaves, the overseers are men clad in white robes who enslave the very forces of nature. They draw upon raw energy and torment it into submission. Their machinery is none, and their slaves are none. They simply employ the tortured spirit of the world.

Southern society has consolidated into plantation-states, as families have moved together. Now, there are vast manors housing hundreds of families, none of whom do work. They plot social schemes and enjoy themselves, living in the manners and ways of old.

The southerners believe that Lincoln was executed for cowardice in battle.

The Industrialists
The union army had never lost a war before this one, and the loss came hard. They hadn't received support from the slaves they fought to free, and the injust and corrupt had defeated them. They'd lost their dignity and their leader, but what they kept was a cutthroat desire to succeed, a good work ethic, and sheer numbers.

They now live in their mile high cities, where skyscrapers reach up in impossible configuartions. This is made possible through their own brand of magic, Ferromancy, the magic of iron and its related metals. Their magic is the magic of conjuration and transportation. Communication is cheap through teleporting courriers, and the locomotive industry was killed by the ability of a small team to simply wish products across a continent.

In battle, this same doctrine applies. Squads deploy straight onto the battlefield and create their equipment there. They are cheap and expendable. In cities, architects burn themselves out raising huge buildings, knowing that if they falter, their lessers will gladly take the job.

The industrialists believe that Lincoln was assassinated by close political aides who wished to replace him.

The Moripaters
The death fathers, the priesthood of the Liberator. It is they who eventually came to reclaim the corpse of the Liberator, who they have placed on the great marble seat at Washington. Here, he is worshipped as an immortal god, and it is true, his power runs through his priests.

The magic of the priests is the magic of illusion. They can use this to make great stories come to life, to disguise appearances, and to hide circumstances. Through this, they have a willing army of the zealous who bow before the rotting corpse of Lincoln on his shrine.

The Moripaters believe that Lincoln fell holding the line against the last confederate charge.

Magic comes later, but that's what I've got for now.

The Neoclassic
2009-01-29, 12:00 AM
Intriguing. I look forward to seeing more on this.

Mr Pants
2009-01-29, 08:36 PM
I have to say, this setting looks very interesting.
Partially, because I helped create it.
I should probably get back to work...