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QED - Iltazyara
2013-01-25, 05:52 PM
So, I've been reading the OOTS for a long time, and the forums for about a year or so, and finally decide to post. Well, it'll be a big one.

I'm Q.E.D, my initials anyway, I've been working on a setting for around four years on and off, this is the current evolution and area I'm using. Any critique, suggestions or comments would be appreciated - this is all from my own head, and I'm starting to run out of ideas.

At any rate, I'd best get started. This first post will contain the introduction, I've got the posts I need now. I do apologise for the fact there is so much text - but this is basically what I've done over the last few months, I intend this setting to last me a while. Or kill my players when then want to go somewhere else, either works.

Introduction
This Document is intended to detail the region of the world of Reanven known as the Ainliatic Desert, and the places that lie therein.

What is the Ainliatic?

The Ainliatic Desert is the predominating region of the Great Northern Ring of the flat world of Reanven. Stretching from the far East where it touches the Yomath Jungle, it is bound by the Edge of the World, The Sea of the Sword, the Bay of Taln and the Sunlight plains of Lorelai until it reaches the Bay of Steam and the Volcanoes of Flame in the West.

The Desert stretches from East to West for a distance of one and a half thousand league; a league is three miles so this makes the Ainliatic four and a half thousand miles from end to end. From North to South the Desert is smaller, averaging four hundred Leagues from the Edge of the World until the natural barriers in the south. At its thinnest point it is only two hundred leagues, at its largest it is closer to six hundred.

What to expect

Sand, sand, more sand and a bit of rock. In all seriousness this is a very, very, very large desert. Traders from the capitol of Ain take upwards of six months to make the trek from Ain to Lorelai to trade. It can take three months to get from Locsi, the seaport to the capitol.

The desert is scattered with monumental ruins, often times lying buried beneath the sand these ruins were built during a thousand year period. During this early period of Reanven's history an advanced race, of around our early industrial revolution level of technology, came into the desert and made it their home. While never numbering more than 8000 they used slaves to construct cities, palaces and monoliths to their own glory uninterrupted for nearly a millennium.

The Ainliatic is quite peaceful; while Orcish raids, thievery and battles with the Barbarians of the Yomath do happen there has not been full scale war in the Ainliatic for a millennium and a half.

The outside world

The lands outside of the Ainliatic are plenty; to the West is the Yomath, a Jungle stretching north to south along the Great Western Ring, terminating north of the Plains of Loamhurst, where the Halflings originated from.
In the East lies Tamaran, an enclosed nation surrounded by mountains, a secretive Chinese/Japanese style society resides within. Further South than Tamaran is Lorelai, the maritime peninsula that boasts the second most sophisticated society in the world. Further East still are the Burning sands and the Bay of steam, inhospitable lands where no creature can survive easily.

To the South lies Lena, a nation guarded by mountains, silver dragons, a strong group of military units. The most sophisticated society in Reanven, Lena tries to avoid external influences, keeping their great magical knowledge to themselves.

Across the Sea of the Sword, beyond Loamhurst and upon the southern edge of the world lies the Rocasan empire, a medieval place where barons, dukes, earls and knights reign under the rule of the Empress.
East of the Empire are the nations of the Great Eastern Alliance, Anis the land of the Dwarves, Anis land of Chivalry, Ami-Enhei, land of bogs, swamps and witchcraft and finally Fantena, the rolling highlands of the Cat-Folk.

Reanven

The Ainliatic Desert is part of the twin worlds of Reanven, set upon the lands of Alostes – which in the fictional language of the gods’ means; “The Lands Above”, its twin, Velestos means; “The Lands Below”

The world of Reanven is large; counting the scale of both Alostes and Velestos Reanven is larger than the Earth, although each of the twin worlds are somewhat smaller.

The full scale of Reanven is impossible to realise from the surface of the world itself – due to the nature of the connection between Alostes and Velestos. Reanven is a disk, not a traditional flat disk-world however; Reanven has two faces, The Lands Above and The Lands Below.
As gravity tends towards to middle of the disk anyway, the sense of “above” and “below” may be questionable, but the world itself provides a suitable answer to this.

The full title of Alostes is; Alostes Ceres Omoira, or “The Lands Above upon which the Heavens Lie”, following in form Velestos is similar; Velestos Ceres Caranir Urath, or “The Lands Below from which the Hells are Chained”
The five heavens, the domain of the pantheon of good aligned deities soar above the clouds of Alostes. The five Hells, the dominions of the pantheon of evil aligned deities hang by dark, demonic chains from Velestos.
This answers the meaning of “Above and Below”, and with where the goodly and evil deities reside.

The remaining Cosmology

In the centre of Reanven, from the high above the Heavens and far below the Hells stretches the Spire of Creation, the realm of the more neutral, but extremely powerful pantheon of deities. The spire hosts the Sun, which beams out light and energy to the world during the day, and the Shadow-Sun, which draws in life, darkening and engulfing the world at night.
The twin suns are the Positive and Negative energy planes, moving up and down the Spire of Creation from Dawn to Dusk, from morning to evening.
In the four corners of the world, to the north-east lies the Flame, fire and inferno, south-east lies Stone, rock and earth, south-west is the Wave, rain and water, north-west soars the Wind, sky and air. These are the four elemental planes, bounding the worlds of Alostes and Velestos.

In the highest skies three demi-planes orbit the world, not in the material realm but visible from it; Soaring Alai, the eye of fate, Sparkling Eastris, the lunar star and Judgemental Viania, the hall of reincarnation. Each of these demi-planes is the realm of a god, or gods, without stars in the sky to guide travellers these celestial bodies are used in their place.

The names of the five heavens are; Asuant, the Land overlooking the Sun, Ana, the Halls of Battle, Loltara, the Families Rest, Ahn-Quasari, the Endless Bazaar and Lomengg, the Caste of the Protectors.

The names of the five hells are; Omend, the Pit of the Unnliving, Ract, Halls of Screaming, Oslin, Prison of Filth, Vend, the Keep of Insanity and Bradut, the House of Sinister Pleasure.

I'm constantly revising the introduction section, I need it to give sufficient information from my secret files (I'm a habitual DM, of course I have secret files) without giving spoilers for the campaign I'm running in it.

QED - Iltazyara
2013-01-25, 05:56 PM
Chapter 1: Characters

Races of the Ainliatic

In this section the races that live in the Ainliatic in number are described, while others are to be found they are not numerous. Nor are they native to the Ainliatic Desert.

Bhukas

The Bhuka are a race of goblinoids, altered by their journey to Reanven during the remaking of the World. Now a nomadic, tribal people they keep to themselves save when their survival is threatened.
There are four Bhukan tribes, each serving a special purpose in the structure of Bhukan society. While children are born into a tribe, they can choose to leave the tribe and join a differing one if their opinions or skills, suit another tribe better.

The Water-Weaver Tribe

The Water-Weavers are the spell casters, healers and priests of the Bhuka. Caring for spiritual and physical needs the Water-Weavers tend to live in small groups, often no more than a score in number.

Always travelling the Water-Weavers look for Scaled-Soldiers and Deep-Dwellers who are in need, giving them healing and aid in tasks when they can.

Because of their position and power the Water-Weaver tribe is treated similar to minor nobility by the two warrior tribes, receiving food, water and supplies whether their aid was needed or not.
Because of their life style Water-Weavers tend to be slightly smaller than the warrior tribes, although not as small as the History-Speakers. They favour blue colours in their adornments, exotic blue bird feathers often fetch a high price with the few Water-Weavers who trade with outsiders.

The Scaled-Soldier Tribe

The Scaled-Soldiers are the largest Bhuka clan, formed of warriors and hunters who travel the length and breadth of Bhukan lands searching for food.

The size, and prolific nature, of the Scaled-Soldier tribe is attributed to the fact more females are born than males, allowing for a larger breeding pool and thus more children.

One of the effects that this has had on the Scaled-Soldier clan is that the women of the clan perform the most dangerous hunt that the Bhukan tribe can attempt, that of the Great Sand Worm. As a coming of age ceremony several clans come together as one group and have all the of age females attempt to bring down a sand worm, those who succeed have their pick of mate – those who fall, either die or must wait for one to choose them.
Scaled-Soldiers tend to be larger than the other tribes, although the Lotus-Guardians come close. They prefer colours that blend into the desert landscape for clothes and ornaments, such as sandy-browns and lighter greys.

The Deep-Dweller Tribe

The second smallest Bhuka tribe is the Deep-Dweller tribe, living below the sands the Deep-Dwellers more closely resemble their Goblin heritage than any other tribe. Although they resemble their distant cousins, much of their time is spent preventing the sprawling hordes of goblins that live below the surface from making their way above, into the unsuspecting Ainliatic.

Little is known about the Deep-Dwellers, they keep themselves more isolated than any other tribe, they treat History-Speakers and Water-Weavers with great respect, but do not give out secrets to anyone.

Deep-Dwellers are pale, always looking somewhat malnourished, they tend to be evasive, reclusive and wary, always ready to fight or flee should they have to.

The Lotus-Guardians Tribe

The History-Speakers Tribe

Dragons

The Cloud-Spun Coppers

The Silvers of Azin

The Blues of the Dread Waste

Ash Scorched Reds of the Burning Sands

Dryads

Dwarves

Half-Elves

Halflings

Humans

The Ainites

The Caravaners

The Nomads

The Ka'Karans

Raptorans

The Pilgrims

The Outcasts

Tieflings

Orcs

Bone Eater Clan

Stone Breaker Clan

Head Hunter Clan

I've tried quite hard to come up with a good list of races that would fit a desert, while giving a good amount of choices to the players. My odd set of dwarves in the region can largely be attributed to the Cleric Quintet books, dwarven druids amuse me.

Classes of the Ainliatic

This section lists the trades, or classes, that adventurers who are raised in the Ainliatic may train to pursue. Those from other classes can adventure in the Ainliatic Desert, but they would come from foreign lands to the desert.
While each class has races that tend towards it, all of the races and peoples of the Ainliatic could be any of these classes, but a religious Raptoran is more likely to be a Favoured Soul than a atheist money-seeking Human Caravanner.

Ardent
Ainite & Nomad Humans, History-Speaker & Water-Weaver Bhukas, Dwarves, Pilgrim Raptorans

Barbarian
Orc, Ka'Karan human, Bhuka

Bard
Ainite Human, History-Speaker Bhukas, Orc, Halflings

Beguiler
Ainite & Ban-Barbaran Humans

Cleric
All

Druid
Ainite Humans, Half-Elves, Dwarves, Halflings

Favoured Soul
Raptoran, Bhukas, Nomad & Ainite Humans, Head Hunter Orcs

Fighter
All

Mystic
Ainite Humans, Water-Weaver, Lotus Guardian & History-Speaker Bhukas, Raptoran Pilgrims

Paladin
Pilgrim Raptorans, Ainite Humans, Scaled-Soldier Bhukas

Psion
Ainite Humans, Lotus-Guardians Bhukas

Ranger
Half-Elves, Nomad & Caravanner Humans, Outcast Raptorans, Scaled Soldier Bhukans, Orcs

Rogue
Tieflings, Halflings, Ainite Humans, Nomad Humans, Half-Elves

Sorcerer
All

Spirit Shaman
Bhukans, Nomad Humans, Orcs

Swashbuckler
Ainite Humans

Warlock
Ainite & Ka'Karan Humans, Outcast Raptorans, Orcs

Wizard
Ainite Humans, History-Speaker & Water-Weaver Bhukans, Half-Elves

I intend to do a description on each of the classes, why they exist here, and so on eventually. It just isn't as big a priority as finishing the races, the history, or getting the gods nailed down. Pesky gods, keep dodging the nails.

QED - Iltazyara
2013-01-25, 06:01 PM
Chapter 2: Details of the Ainliatic

Geography


The Ainliatic Desert is, as the name would imply, a vast sandy desert, the various areas of the desert are vastly different. Some are trackless, unmapable with great dunes constantly moving in the wind. Others have no water for a thousand leagues in any direction, with no way for a living creature to survive. In the farthest East of the Ainliatic the desert begins a shift from sand to ash, as volcanoes spew smoke into the show and it showers upon the land creating one of the most inhospitable regions of the desert.

There are four mountain ranges bordering to within the Ainliatic, the Tamaris Mountains in the North East, surrounding the more temperate lands of Tamaran. In the South cutting off a peninsula are the Spy Spur Mountains, creating a natural border between the desert and the lands of Lena beyond. In the South East are the Northern Spur of the Lorian Mountain range, from which the great Sensi river flows. And finally, in the North West lies the Cloud Spire, tallest mountain in Alostes. Surrounding the Spire are mountains that would be tall in their own right, but beside the Cloud Spire are but the Cloud-Spun Foothills.

The nature of the Ainliatic Desert is to deny cartographers the ability to map it accurately, for hundreds upon hundreds of leagues one can travel without a landmark to guide them. At night the sands can shift and move below a traveller, carrying them miles while they sleep, unaware of the movements of the sand. The only immutable features of the desert are the Ainis Lake, the Cloud Spire and the River Sensi, all other natural markers in the desert are unlikely to stay in the same place, or visible for more than a decade at a time.

The Ainliatic has been roughly scaled as one and a half thousand leagues from East to West, from the Yomath Jungle to the Volcanoes of Flame. From north to south it varies more, but has been estimated to average at a mere four hundred leagues from the edge of the world to the ends of the desert in the South.

Religion
Religion in the Ainliatic encompasses many of the deities, the god with the largest dedicated following would be Trestantill. Who has the city of Clanet, at the base of the Cloud Spire dedicated to his praise.

In the capitol of Ain a great Pantheon temple is build, revering Shess, Eithana, Trestantill, Lombandi, Allumaya, Remani, Mandor and the Twins, Sorame & Penai. Each has a wing of the temple dedicated to them, where clerics of the gods receive offerings in exchange for healing, potions, remedies or beseeching the gods.

A single wing of the temple remains vacant, left as it was for the last thousand years ghosts are said to haunt it. On the anniversary of the Swords Fall the head priest of each faith prays to the broken statue that stands before the entrance of the wing, in remembrance of the dead god who once resided within.

Every home in the Ainliatic will have a place for a divine statue to be placed, when the homes are built the builder usually leaves a statue to their own god in the alcove. Some home owners are not religious to any specific deity, but others with rededicated the alcove with great fervour to their own god.
Diplomatic Relations

Due to the remoteness of all the states in the Ainliatic, and the isolation that many of them pursue the diplomatic relations of the Ainliatic are un-notable, save for those of the associated city-states of the Ainites.

The central governance at Ain creates the diplomatic policies of the Ainites based on recommendations from travelling merchants, the lords of Locsi and whatever the Lenese embassy chooses to mention in passing. The informality of the decisions is largely based on a lack of knowledge, only the Caravaners have contacts in Tamaran and Lorelai. The Lenese embassy is the only source of information from the Ainites closest neighbour. And the lords of Locsi are the ones who trade with the Sword Isles, the Rocasan Empire and the Halflings protectorate of Loamhurst.

The City-states of the Ainites have no formal alliances with anyone outside of the Ainliatic, despite attempts to create a alliance of knowledge with the Lenese which has never borne fruit. the Ainites are allied with the Bhuka of the Lotus hold, sworn to aid them in war, and granting equal status to merchants from the Lotus Hold.

The Ainites are at war with two groups, the marauding Bone Eater Orc Clan, who have been ravaging the Bhuka in the North for the last half a century but have not been defeated yet. And the Barbarian tribes of the Yomath jungle, upon which from their base in Ka'Kara the Kara family has sought to loot and conquer them for centuries.

Gender Roles in the Ainliatic

Men

Males in the Ainliatic are seen as the food winners, the hard workers who toil in the armies, on construction, in the fields or transporting goods long distances. While some men lead more sophisticated lives, most work as labourers, or in peacekeeping professions.

Despite being the manual labour of the Desert the men of the City of Sand and surrounding lands are not looked down upon. They are traditionally the home owners, although they do not keep the house, the house is usually theirs not their partners.

The Bhuka follow similar rules, the men guard, toil and carry in their culture. Those unable to serve as the muscle are taken in to be taught the more intellectual arts, or how to lead.

Women

Females in the Ainliatic, deriving from both the Gnomish heritage of the region and the small populations tend to educate the women well. When there are only so many men strong backed men available it is understandable to have less physically demanding tasks, especially those that would not cause difficulty to child bearing or rearing, performed by the women of the culture.

From often training as Wizards in the mage colleges, to being the architectural designers and planners most of the intellectual work in the City of Sand is performed by women. Many of the Southern nations would be shocked to learn that more than two thirds of Ain's Satraps have been female.

Bhuka culture follows similar rules for women, the women tend the homes, prepare the found gathered by the men, but they manage the magic of the Bhuka. Most Bhuka merchants are female, as are their diplomats. What would shock the outsiders is that among the Scaled-Soldier tribe there are more women than men, and they are the ones who perform the Grand Sand Worm hunts in the depths of the Desert.

Costume

Men

The men of the Ainliatic tend to wear loose, light fitting robes of cotton or silk to keep off the desert heat. A variety of turbans, hats and headdresses are used to protect the head from the heat.
Guards and soldiers tend to wear lighter chain armour, with padding underneath and loose robes overtop. As otherwise the heat of the desert would be fatal to those who wear their metal armour open to the desert sun.
Labourers for whom it would be impractical to wear the robes that most others favour tend to wear only leggings, leaving their upper body uncovered. Most labourers are darkly tanned due to this.

Women

Women in the Ainliatic change their wear based on the days of the year, during festivals most women wear more revealing garbs to entice the men into revelry.

For the rest of the year light weight silk robes, cut to the wearers choice are worn. Those who travel out into the desert tend to wear headdresses that cover their hear, but the city-dwellers prefer to leave their hair loose, styling it in evermore fanciful ways to show off their wealth.

Jewellery and finery are rarely worn in the Ainliatic, even by women. The winds kicked up by the desert and the ever present pickpockets force the people of the Ainliatic to keep their valuables at home, where they are safe from becoming lost or stolen.

Bhuka

The goblinoid Bhuka tend to wear silken garments, covering the essential areas but not caring for much else.
Most decorate themselves with gold, silver, ivory and exotic feathers in headdresses representing their tribes.

Dwarves

The Dwarves of Imaria have largely mimicked the dress of the Humans of Ain, wearing cotton clothing that keeps the heat off when they travel or relax at home.

When they work in the mines however they wear tough leather shirts and breeches, durable materials that will last in the harsh environments of the mines.

In war the Dwarves deal better with the heat than Humans, they will wear heavier armour and proudly show off the smith's craftsmanship by displaying the armour for all to see. Dwarves prefer hard capped helmets for headwear, in both war and work, to augment the protection of their skulls.

Weaponry of the Ainliatic

The weapons and armour used in the Ainliatic varies from group to group; the most modern of the groups is the Ainites, then come the Bhukans of the Lotus Hold, then the Servants of Ban-Honira in Ban-Barbaran, and finally the least advanced are the Orcish hordes of the Dread Waste.

Ainites

The Ainites tend to use pole arms, spears, halberds, guisarmes and glaives, often training to wield their reach weapons with a shield for defence.
For secondary weapons Ainites prefer short swords and short bows, along with a javelin to injure the target before closing.
The quality of the weapons is quite high, as the Ainites have their weapons forged by the Dwarves of Imaria, amongst whom reside the best smiths in the Ainliatic.

Lotus Hold

The Bhuka of the Lotus hold tend to wield spears, hand axes and hammers. Magical tribal weaponry is passed down through the clan chiefs, but the majority of the Bhukans purchase their weapons from the Dwarves of Imaria, trading for them with Ivory and Silk finery.

Ban-Barbaran

Ban-Barbaran has few military traditions, most of the nations army is comprised of the lich queen's personal horde of undead. These undead are equiped with swords and shields, wearing leather armour.

Orcish Hordes

The Orcish hordes of the Ainliatic tend towards stone axes and clubs, wood being so very in the Orcish lands that many Orcs are forced to fight bone hafted weapons.

The most dangerous of the Orc tribes are those who have managed to loot a merchant caravan in full, stealing the weapons used by the guards. These Orcs quickly rise in the ranks with their superior weaponry and armour.

Finishing the various bits on the details made me incredibly happy, it was the first chapter I finished, still the only one really, and it has so much useful information in it.

A lot of the way I set out the details here, and in the ninth chapter, were inspired by David Edding's Rivan Codex. A compilation of the notes, details, and writings he did as prep-work for his book series, the Belgariad, Mallorean & two extras.

Areas of the Ainliatic


The Sensi Riverside

Originating in the North Spur Mountains of Lorelai the Sensi river is the only river in the Ainliatic that flows constantly throughout the year. The Sensi floods massively in the Summer months, due to snowmelt in the high peaks of the North Spur and Tamaris Mountains.

The lands beside the river are marshy, fertile in places, in others the river flows quickly along sandy banks devoid of life. The floodplains of the Sensi are in three places; the joining of the Sensi, Marsi and Lorsi rivers flowing from the North spur, largely uninhabited the Marsi marsh serves as a breeding ground for migrating birds and other flying creatures. Further along the Sensi is where the Taman River flows past Olai to join the Sensi, it is here that a fertile plain of grass, marshes and clumps of trees exist.

The third and largest of the floodplains is where the Sensi exits into the Ainis lake itself, the land on the East side of the lake where the river splits and snakes is vast and verdant. Famers live for the time between floods, planting and harvesting crops in the time of greatest fertility; between the floods.

The Endless Sands

The Endless Sands consist of the area of the Ainliatic that stretch South and East from the Yomath Jungle in the West until it reaches the Lotus Hold in the East and the mountains of the Sky Spur in the South.

The Endless Sands earn their name well, as they consist of the greatest stretch of Desert in the Ainliatic. the Ainis Lake is within the boundaries of the Endless Sands, as are the towns of Ishai, Imaria, Locsi, Ka'Kara and Clanet.

The Endless sands are home to many of the Blue Dragons who reside in the Ainliatic. Studies by Ainite and Raptoran scholars put their number as no less than fifty, but no more than eighty, with great disagreement of the number of draconic families who comprise this number.

The Ainis Grasslands

The floodplains of the Sensi may surround the delta which forms at its mouth, but for leagues to the North and South of the river enough water flows into the soil to create the rolling grasslands of the Ainis Lake, the Ainis Grasslands.

These great fields of green are what allows Ain to be so large a city in the vast Ainliatic Desert, upon the grasslands cattle, wheat, rye, grapes, vegetables, coffee and cotton are grown in great quantities.

More people live upon the fields of Ainis than do in the city of Ain. Many nobles of the city have estates where a personal crop of their favourite foods are raised for their personal consumption. Nearer the lakeside, and upon the lake itself rice paddies and fisheries exist, creating one of the most expansive diets on Reanven.

The Shifting Sands

The area of desert that lies between the outpost of Olai and the two nations of Lorelai and Tamaran is known as the Shifting Sands.

The name is well earned, any traveller who strays from the road beside the River Sensi in the Shifting Sands is liable to become lost, a single hour away from the road can turn into months of searching for it again.

If travellers sleep on the sand itself, rather than the stone road beside the Sensi or the more solid riverbank they risk being swept away in the night by the roving dunes of the Shifting Sands. These dunes carry travellers hundreds of miles in the night, deep into the desert.

Scholars speculate as the cause of these dunes, most believe them to be the whimsy of Djinn or Air elementals. But what could cause so many extra-planar creatures to reside in the region baffles all scholars.

The nature of the Shifting sands makes travel to and from the Theocracy of Tamaran especially difficult, as there is no safe river to follow. Caravans that head to Tamaran must take special watch of the stars and the Spire of Creation, in the hopes of not losing their way.

The Dread Waste

In the North of the Ainliatic, to the East of the Lotus hold and bordering the Tamaris Mountains in the West lies The Dread Waste. Only a single clean source of water exists in this desolate landscape, the land is cracked and dry, bones litter the landscape, telling of the massive creatures who once lived here.

Only the Orcish tribes choose to live in the dread waste, and wars are fought over the Bok'Gar Oasis, the tribe that holds the water is the strongest by far in the wastes. All other tribes must settle for pools of stagnant, fouled water that seeps up from deep below ground. These rare pools often disappear in the safe day that they appear, making even this foul dark water a valued resource for the Orcs.

According to Orcish legends in is here, in the land of bones that all dragons come to die at the end of their years. The Ainite scholars, as of those of Tamaran, have found nothing to disprove these beliefs. As the dragon bone weapons the Orcs wield may be crude, but they are indeed dragon bone.

The Burning Sands

Far, far to the East, beyond the Tamaris Mountains lies the most inhospitable region in all of Reanven. The Burning Sands of Ash.

Storm clouds brew overheard through day and night, blotting out the sun, but still the sands burn with intense heat. Flows of molten rock form deep in the Burning Sands, where volcanoes erupt more times than can be counted.
No creature can live in the Burning Sands, only Red Dragons reside here, only elementals thrive and only the foolhardy try to steal the riches that lie upon the rocky, ash covered surface.

One safe place exists in the fearsome place, Matrosk. Guarded by an artefact, which by legend was crafted by the Firen Gnomes of the Bay of Steam under the guidance of Alimah, the town of Matrosk is safe from the heat, storms and ash of the Burning Sands.

The Cloud-spun Foothills

Surrounding the Cloud Spire are the Cloud-Spun Foothills, many of them mountains in their own right the Cloud-Spun hills are all dwarfed in size by the immense Cloud Spire.

The foothills stretch for several leagues beyond the base of the Cloud Spire, in the valleys and lakes of the hills small rivers, lakes, and forests form, protected from the desert sands and wind by the tall stone guards.
One of the most hospitable areas of the Ainliatic the Cloud-Spun Foothills are the breeding grounds for most of the migratory desert wildlife, who come here in the spring. Once the floods begin they herds follow the rivers that originate from the Cloud Spire and travel along them to their feeding grounds.
The milky white and strong grey stone that makes up the Cloud-Spun Foothills is the main trade of the region, as the valuable building material can be hard to come across in the Endless Sea of Sands.

The Forgotten Sands

The lands of yore, lost to memory of Man and his kind, the Forgotten Sands which shroud the ancient home of the Bhuka in storms of sand and the mists of history.

The Forgotten Sands are the Northern sands of the Ainliatic, within which lies the Bhukan home of the Lotus Hold. The Forgotten Sands are inhospitable to those who do not know them, little water exists on the surface, and what lies below is jealously guarded by the dangerous beast who make this land their home.

The Sphinxes, Copper Dragons, Great Sand Worms, Crawling Apocalypses, Protoceratops and Sand Dragons all dwell within the Forgotten Sands. The region is a horrifying death trap to all newcomers; the Bhuka learned the dangers of the sands and know how to avoid them. Living at the heart of the Great Sand Worm nesting grounds has meant that they have a connection to these creatures and use that connection to survive.

The Cliffs of Maran

Stretching, between the Sky Spur of Lena and the North Spur of Lorelai, and standing above the Bay of Taln lie the majestic Cliffs of Maran. Uninhabited, the cliffs are the homes of hundreds of thousands of migratory and sea birds, from where they fly to all the reaches of Alostes.

The cliffs themselves are hardly remarkable, but what lies beneath is one of the wonders of the Ainliatic. The Cliffs of Maran are the entry way to a network of underground caverns and tunnels, some of which are river tunnels passing deep under the Ainliatic.

The Caves of Maran stretch from the cliffs all the way to way into Tamaran, where they connect to the underground jungle at Sien, the water from the Maran cliffs is what feeds that place. The water from which is purified as it passes through the tunnels, cleansed by some means unknown to all who have tried to navigate them.

I can't help but like the regions section, it describes the world as best I could, although it could be better.

QED - Iltazyara
2013-01-25, 06:03 PM
Chapter 3: locations

Towns & Cities of the Ainliatic

The City of Sand, Ain

Pop:209,000
Imports:
Exports:
Races:

The Great Caravan’s Outpost, Olai

Olai is a small outpost between the City of Sand, Tamaran and Lorelai. It serves as a rest stop for traders, travellers and military patrols, keeping a supply of food and drawing water from the Sensi so as to allow for resupply along the long Ivory road.

Owned by lord Datromar the outpost has grown with the trade along the road, while small enough canvas and cloth is stored in warehouses to erect a city of tents when the great caravans pass through.

A few farms sit along the flood plains beside Olai, providing it with a continuous supply of food for its small population. But the primary food is fish, the Sensi is a large river and during the floods the Silver backed Skimmers migrate into the lakes to the north of Lorelai to spawn, passing straight past Lorelai.

Pop: 2000, or up to 7000 during a great caravans passage.
Imports: wood, luxuries, weapons, meat
Exports: water, fish, bread
Races: 90% human, 5% Bhuka, 5% other

The Mines of Ishai

Built by those who hoped to trade with Lena Ishai surrounds the only clean watering hole between Ain and Lena, the intentions of the builders was not appreciated by the Lenese however and the town faltered.
When gold was discovered nearby the town came back to life, old ruined buildings being restored and new families moving in to work the new mines, much to the irritation of the Lenese patrols who make treks into the area.

Pop: 750, addition 1500 in forced labour camp
Imports: Food, tools, guards
Exports: Gold, Coal, Copper
Races: 70% Human, 7% Bhuka, 15% Dwarf, 2% Half-Orc, 1% Half-Elf 5% other

The Outpost of Kanamar

Hidden in a valley deep in the Ever Shifting Sands region of the Ainliatic Kanamar is the last Ain’s outposts in the North. In the valley is the only source for scores of miles, attracting all kinds of desert dwelling animals, sometimes falling prey to the outposts demand for food, at other times preying upon it for food.

Due to its Northerly position the outpost deals mostly with the Bhuka Worm Hunters, namely the Water-Weaver tribe, the Scaled-Soldier tribe and the Deeping-Delvers tribe. In their dealings they sell weapons, armour, writings, spices and many other luxuries to the tribes in return for the pure white ivory worm teeth and the work silk that the Bhuka gather from the Grand worms of the region.

Pop: 300
Imports: Wood, Food, Steel, Paper
Exports: Ivory, Silk
Races: 60% Human, 30% Bhuka, 7% Halfling, 2% Dwarf, 1% other

The Boiling Port, Roti

Pop:
Imports:
Exports:
Races:

The Prison of Flame, Matrosk

Pop:
Imports:
Exports:
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The Farmer’s Home, Esefel

A small town north of the Ain Lake, existing between the desert and grassland the flourish around the lake, the town is a hub for farmers, hunters and brewers, causing the town to have strong rural roots.

Caravan from the town leave for Ain every three days, taking figs, rice, maize, ale, beer, meat and the reeds use for making common parchment. These caravans are the lifeblood of the City of Sand, without Esefel Ain would cease to function as the food and paper ran out.

Pop: 700
Imports: metals, wood, cloth
Exports: rice, figs, reeds, maize, cotton, meat, wheat, vegetables, coffee
Races: 40% Human, 20% Halfling, 15% Bhuka, 7% Half-Orc, 7% Orc, 4% Dwarf, 7% other

The Woodland Keep, Imaria

The greatest asset the Satrap of Ain has access to be the forest of Imar, built in the shade of the forest is the forest town of Imaria. With watch towers guarding the woods the fort ensures the monopoly and supply of wood the Satrap holds remains intact. To this end the Satrap herself works to keep relations with the dryads of Imar cordial, with extra effort put into place to protect the young saplings and ancient heart trees of the dryads.

Under the fort and forest is the largest dwarf holding in the Desert of Ain.
Deep below the forest a dwarf keep, town and mine began sprawling out of a cavern centuries ago, the mines are rich, the city self-sustaining, supplying Coal, Iron and silver to the land above the mines are valued as highly as the forest. Even the Dwarves take care not to harm the woods, keeping their work Deep Down Below.

Pop: 5400
Imports: Food, Guards, Luxuries, Cloth
Exports: Wood, Iron, Coal, Silver, Paper
Races: 50% Dwarf, 27% Human, 10% Halfling, 5% Half-Orc, 3% Half-Elf, 2% Shifter, 1% Other

Ka’Kara – Kara’s Land

At the border of the grand Yomath Jungle lies the farthest East outpost the Ain controls in the desert, although an argument can be made as to whether Ka’Kara truly remains within the Ainliatic and not the Yomath. The fruits, woods, slaves and beasts that are caught and harvested here find the highest prices back in the city, both for the difficulty and the danger in living beside the Yomath. Tribes of barbarians, beasts of colossal scale, vicious dragons the trees and even a God have waged war upon Ka’Kara in the past.
Ka’Kara is built of stone quarried from the Cloud Spire, dragged hundreds of miles to build the fortifications of the outpost on the orders of lady Kara’Si Manador, whom the outpost is named for. Continuing to be ruled and owned by the Manador family Ka’Kara is a monument to their past, when slavery was rife, the Satrap seeking conquest not alliances and the Ka’Kara family the second most powerful in the Northern Ring.

Ka’Kara is now the Ainliatics third city, housing more people than anywhere other than Ain and Locsi in the desert. However, due to the distance from the city to anywhere else it is still reliant upon the City of Sand, Ain, for diplomatic and military reasons.

Pop: 25,000
Imports: stone, metals, staple foods
Exports: slaves, fruit, wood, herbs, flowers, animals, gems, magic relics
Races: 70% Human, 15% Halfling, 5% Dwarf, 3% Killoren, 6% Orc, 1% Other

The Lost Kingdom, Ban Barbaran

An independent city kingdom deep in the desert manages to survive solely based on secrecy; no living creature can leave the kingdom with the knowledge of its existence still within their minds, lest the kingdom become revealed to outsiders.

Lush Oasis and high cliffs keep the land cool and watered, shade lasts at all times save for the two hours before and after noon, making the kingdom much colder than the surrounding desert.

Ruling Ban Barbaran is Ban-Honira, Lich Queen of the kingdom, unlike most liches she is animated by positive energy, having once served as a priest of Allumaya before her death. Due to the form of animation she retains her flesh, but must take great pains to keep her appearances how they were in life. Much of her magic goes to the protection of the kingdom, hiding the valley from sight and harm with protective spells and magical constructs.

Pop: 24300
Imports: N/A
Exports: N/A
Races: 70% Human, 5% Dwarf, 5% Bhuka, 5% Half-Elf, 5% Catfolk, 2% Raptoran, 6% Other

The Shining Port, Locsi

Back in the times when Ain was the Empire of Sand the Satraps knew the ocean lead to new lands, riches and knowledge from far, far away. Because of this insight they sought out a group who lived upon the coast and set them a task, find a natural harbour at which to build a city. These isolated tribal peoples were shocked by the task, they took their crude vessels and sailed the length of the coast looking for the perfect harbour for a large port city.

After three years of searching they brought their choice to the Satrap in Ain, thus the plans for the foundation of the city of Locsi, The Silk Port were made. Built in the age of slaves Locsi is a sight to built, majestic spires loom over the port, warehouses line the docks filled with goods from Loamhurst, Rocasa and Zemith. Above all else in the city stands the Lighthouse of Allumaya, where a group of priests shine light through the dark of night to guide ships safely into the port, on a clear night the beacon from the lighthouse can be seen from the Sword Isles, far to the south.
Now that the Empire of Sand is no more and the former colonies are semi-independent cities themselves Locsi only holds a vague loyalty to the Satrap in far away Ain, merchants of the city hold more loyalty to coin than their far away monarch. And those across the vast Sea of Swords have more coin to spend on Silk, Ivory and other goods from the desert than they know what to do with.

Pop: 47,000
Imports: Wood, Linen, Mithril, Adamantine, Amber, Wine, Livestock, Magic goods
Exports: Gemstones, Silk, Ivory, Cotton, Coffee, Slaves, Silver
Races: 40% Human, 10% Dwarf, 8% Halfling, 5% Half-Elf, 5% Catfolk, 3% Tiefling, 3% Asimar, 2% Orc, 2% Half-Orc, 2% Goliath, 1% Dragon, 9% Other

Places of note in the Ainliatic

Lotus Hold

Alimah’s Tomb

The Cloud-Spire

The Tower of Dhrakari

The Ruins of Eastris

QED - Iltazyara
2013-01-25, 06:06 PM
Chapter 4: History

The lands of the Endless Desert have had some of the most stable transitions through the eons, from the earliest days of settlement by the fledgling Gnomes of Lore the Ainliatic has seen no great destruction of its histories.

As such the history of the region is largely unbroken from Shess' Arrival and the present day, save for a short break of lost records at the time of the Sword's Fall.

This is the section which really got me settled into the setting, doing a history, properly anyway, was something I'd never attempted anymore. It went remarkably quickly, singing along to myself I must have typed half of this in about five hours.

The Dhrakan Period
0 SA - 947 SA

In the earliest years of the Ainliatic it was uninhabited save the Nomadic Bhuka and the deeply religious Raptorans, the Bhuka wandered the desert from watering hole to watering hole, searching for a place to reside forevermore. The Raptorans lived upon the Cloud Spire, their homes were higher than the clouds themselves and in the heights they lived to give praise to their God, Trestantill.

Before the settlement of the Capital at Ain be the Gnomes of Lore the Ainliatic desert was ruled by the Dhraka, a now extinct race that is known only by the carvings of the earliest Satrap's of Ain.

The Dhraka were a technologically advanced race, having built what we now know as the City of Sand themselves, implementing the baths, irrigation, fountains and waterways that allow the great city to thrive.

To achieve their wondrous creation the Dhraka employed the then slave race, the Bhuka to build under the guidance of the powerful, but scarce Dhraka.

Little more of the Dhrakan period is known, the records from the era have been lost to the Timeless Sands. The Dhrakan Period ended abruptly during the Fall of the Dhraka near the end of the fourth decade of the Ninth Century since Shess' Arrival.

The Early Ainliatic
947 SA - 1500 SA

With the defeat of the Dhraka most of the Bhuka chose to return to the old ways, wandering the desert in search of their Holy Land that would sustain them and protect them forever more. Some, though few, believed their Holy Land to be with the Gnomes of Lore and Humans of Lain, choosing to remain in the City of Sand with those peoples.

The Gnomes of Lore occupied the grand city of Ain along with the Humans of Lain, welcoming the Bhuka who chose not to return their former Nomadic ways. Building upon the existing systems within The City of Sand the Gnomes, Humans and Bhuka managed to make the city proper capable of house over 65,000 people in luxuries unheard of back in their homelands.
To rule the new land the Humans, Gnomes and Bhuka decided to elect a ruling family to govern them, giving that family dominance over the nation until the line ends. The Dynasties formed from this ruling may come only from Human, Gnome or Bhuka families, by the decision of the original council of Ain. The name of the one given lordship was put forth by the gnomes, as Satrap, meaning Lord Watcher in the Gnomish tongue. The first Satrap chosen this way was Ifale Ishalar an elder of the Gnomes who had been captured by the Dhraka.

The first commands of Ifale Ishalar and his immediate successors were to establish new farms along the irrigation systems left behind by the Dhraka, to build a wall around the city and command that new constructions were only to be built outside this wall. For the home of the Satrap Ifale chose the small island that sat near the shore of the lake, just past the mouth of the river Sensi. On the island he ordered the construction of palace to house him, and all future Satraps. The palace was built around a peculiar stone circle on the island, which was inscribe with runes in the unknown Dhrakan language, the circle became the centre piece for the Satrap's Great Gathering Hall.

In the many attempts to expand the city reproducing the architecture of the Dhraka proved impossible, even with the aid of the Bhuka who were used in the initial construction of the city. Inevitably the Satrap of the city, Amaria Ishalar 3rd Satrap of Ain commanded that those who were attempting to emulate the construction of the Dhraka take their task to the West, where she ordered the construction of a Holy City at the foot of the great Cloud Spire.

The Holy City at the food of the Cloud Spire was named Clanet by the Satrap upon the completion of the City's heart. The naming of Clanet was done with much fanfare, ceremony and praise to the god who resided above on the pinnacle of the Cloud Spire. The Raptorans, the elusive bird-folk who worshiped Trestantill devotedly had watched the construction of the city with interest, and sent a priest as emissary to those who sang praise to the gods.

The arrival of the Raptoran emissary came as a shock to the Ainites, who had not known that any creature lived upon the Cloud Spire. Satrap Camaar Ishalar the 4th Satrap of Ain welcomed the Raptorans, offering them a place within the city at which to guest at anytime and requesting guidance on how to construct the temple to Trestantill at the base of the spire.
Before his death Camaar Ishalar dedicated the last few decades of his life to the recording of what history was known, so that the Satraps of the future could retain their watchful vigil for the dangers of a Dhrakan return. Many of the records that this document is placed upon were penned by Camaar Ishalar in his last years.

With Camaar Ishalar's death ended the first Dynasty of Ain, the Ishalar dynasty had lasted 357 years and had four Satraps. The successor to the Ishalars were the Renath Human family. So began the second dynasty of Ain in the year 1294 SA.

The Renath family were a family of sorcerers, they established the Melosi guild of magic under the guidance of the gnomish arch-mages who had emigrated across the Desert from Lore in the 12th century SA. The individual Satraps of Renath were largely un-notable, with only one name recorded as performing a great act in their lifetime.

The Satrap Karn Renath 16th Satrap of Ain, led a group of priests, Wizards and guardsmen into the forest of Imar, to the south of Ainis lake where they sought out council with the Dryads of the wood. In the forest the Imaria accords were made; no tree may be cut from the "Heartwood" of Imar, only the growth of trees encouraged and maintained by the foresters of Ain may be harvested for wood. In return the Dryads will not entice the Ainites to their embrace from where so few return alive.

To enforce the accords Karn Renath ordered the construction of Stone fortifications around the forest, to prevent trappers, hunters or loggers from breaking the accord. Any who have been found to do so are turned over to the Dryads to be granted justice.

And with the construction of Imaria and accords of Imar did the Early Ainliatic period end, the Bhuka continued to wander the waste and Raptorans continued to sing their praise on high. After 553 years the Early Ainliatic period ended, and the Empire of Sand began to bloom.

Foundations of the Empire of Sand

1501 SA - 1662 SA

The beginnings of the Empire of Sand was humble, the Empire originally comprised of but two cities and one fortress, Ain, Clanet and Imaria. What allowed these three places to expand into the Empire of Sand was a expedition of dwarves crossing the Ainliatic Desert from far away Anis, while numbering only a few hundred these dwarves were created with great courtesy by the Satrap Karn Renath.

The dwarves, lead by one Horun Silverbeard thanked the Satrap for his hospitality, and began his tale of the journey, from the voyage across the Bay of Steam to the Gnomish port of Roti, to the crossing of the Shifting sands where the expedition lost half its number to the desert. Horun begged to be given a home for his clan who had made the trek, as he did not believe returning home would be possible.

The dwarves were told of the fortress of Imaria, built of stone quarried from the hill it is built around. The dwarves hearing this exulted for they could aid in the quarrying, digging deep into the earth for riches below Imaria while building themselves a new home.

Seeking to renew ties with their ancient homelands the last Human Satrap's of the Renath dynasty began the construction of the Sensi Highway, a roadway that followed the Sensi river towards their homelands of Lore and Lain. The project was only possible due to the stone dug from the ground by the dwarves, who were happy to sell what they had to remove from the earth to reach the deposits of Iron, Silver and Gold. The construction of the highway proceeded well, the outpost of Olai was established by the Datromar family in the year 1602 SA as a way-stop for travellers along the highway.
The end of the Renath Dynasty was unexpected, the last Satrap of Renath was subject to a coop-d'état by a woman known only as Ban-Honira Barais. The last heir of Renath, Askam Renath 19th Satrap of Ain lay dead he and his children murdered in the night in the 1654th since Shess' arrival.
The Ainite military was mobilised to oust the usurper Ban-Honira and her followers. Driven from the city Ban-Honira took her followers deep into the Ainliatic, losing the pursuing army in the Endless Sands of the North. In the depths of the desert she found refuge and founded the Queendom of Ban-Barbaran in the year 1657 SA.

Following the deaths of the Renath dynasty heirs the Nobility of Ain were frantic. The Renath Dynasty, while not ambitious or particularly remarkable had taken care of the city and it's dependencies for 363 years, many lifetimes for the largely Human nobility.

It took five more years before the successors to the Renath Dynasty was chosen, a devout Human family who resided in Clanet and had been lords there for the last century and a half were eventually chosen. The renamed Clanet family head, Imira Clanet the Pious became the 20th Satrap of Ain in the year 1659 SA.

Imira Clanet lasted a mere three years before succumbing to her old age, but before she died she order the conversion of one of the largest Dhaka constructions into a temple. The project took four years, Imira did not live to see the fulfilment of her promise to the gods. The Great Silver Pantheon became the largest temple in the Northern world, and Imira Clanet's name is engraved upon the steps leading into the temple.

The Empire of Sand Ever Victorious
1662 SA - 2345 SA

Imira's successor, Clara Clanet the Vicious was vastly different from her mother. Clara's first command was to expand the Cities military strength, and prepare for conquest, the dwarves were contracted to make weapons and armour, thousands upon thousands were made to practice in preparation for the subjugation of the desert peoples.

In the time leading up to transfer of power to the Clanet family the Bhuka found their home at last. After a six century sojourn the exiles finally found a place to reside, the Lotus Hold. A construction dating sometime in excess of 1000 BS the Lotus Hold spun from the desert sands up into the air, and below the sands into the darkness of the earth.

Around the hold a lake glimmered in the desert, fed from below by springs. Upon the surface of the lake thousands of Lotus flowers bloomed all year around, and in the shadow of the hold the Grand Worms of the Sands left their young to cocoon and feed upon the lotuses when they emerge.
The Water-Weaver clan who first found the Lotus Hold understood its significance immediately, and sent runners to all the remaining Bhukan tribes; The Scaled-Soldiers, the Deep-Dwellers and the History-Speakers. From each of the tribes the strongest warriors, the greatest minds and the wisest matrons were selected and formed into a new tribe; The Lotus-Guardians. This new tribe was to protect the Lotus Hold from outsiders forevermore.

In the year 1646 SA the Bhuka's great quest came to an end and all the Bhuka rejoiced, for they would reside upon this world Forevermore.
Far to the East for the last three centuries in the Shifting Sands exiles, wanderers, adventurers and explorers from Tamaran, Lore and Lain all became lost and gathered together to form the Great Nomadic Tribe. This tribe had traded with Ain on occasion, but refused to be brought under the rule of the city in the past.

Elsewhere in the desert independent communities sprung up near Oasis, upon the stable rivers, in the foothills of the Skyspur and even around the North of the Ainis Lake. All of these people refused to join the Ainites to become as one people.

It was due to this peoples that Clara Clanet the Vicious began militarising Ain, with the army she raised she began a mission to bring the entirety of the Ainliatic Desert under the dominion of Ain.

For the next four centuries the armies of Ain would march across the Ainliatic desert, destroying every community who refused to submit to the dominion of the Satrap. All those who survived the assaults and the destruction were taken as slaves by the Ainites, the men were sent work in the Dwarven mines or to toil in the fields, the women made into playthings for the soldiers or the rich families who resided in the City of Sand.



Thus was the Empire of Sand, or as it was known to those who watched in horror "The Empire of Blood and Tears", born. The once Pious, reverent Clanet family went mad with power in when they gained the Satrapy and only a grandiose mistake would halt their unending thirst for more power. And so it was that the assembled host of 100,000 Ainite soldiers, 150,000 slave fodder troops and the three current Clanet family members assaulted the Lotus Hold. In the year 2107 SA the siege of the Lotus Hold began.

The three members of the Clanet family at the siege were the 37th Satrap Honir Clanet and his two daughters Elise Clanet and Honira Clanet. The three of them commanded the army sieging the hold personally, as they had in many in skirmishes far to the East with Lorian patrols.

The Bhukans, knowing the power of the Ainites would turn on them eventually had prepared for the siege. No man could cross the Lake of Lotus flowers, nor was the water of lake drinkable, for the Bhukan Water-Weaver tribe had altered the lake in such a way that it was poison to Human, Gnome and Bhukan alike. Only deep in the Lotus Hold at the lake's source was clean water to be found. The Scaled-Soldiers guarded the bridge to the Hold fiercely, killing dozens for every one of their number that fell. In the night the Deep-Dwellers snuck up from below the sands, butchering the invaders in their sleep before retreating underground to safety. And yet, even with the efforts of these tribes and the guidance of the History-Speakers the Bhuka cause seemed hopeless, as they were outnumbered 100 to one even after 14 ten-days of attrition.

And yet, the Lotus-Guardians had yet to show their trump card. In the eighteenth ten-day of the siege from the pinnacle of the hold three horns sounded, the Grand Sand Worms who returned below the sand to birth their young in the shadow of the hold fell in a frenzy from which there was no waking.


With regret did the Bhuka sound those horns, for though the Great Worms smashed the invaders into pieces, killing all the remaining Clanets, all but one of the mother worms died that day. Only two new cocoons formed in the Vale of the Lotus that century.
So ended the empirical reign of the Clanet dynasty, spanning 448 years and seventeen Satraps the Clanet was one of the most successful, long reigning and best remembered of all the Ainite Dynasties. But the lessons learned from the Clanets were caution, tolerance and stability. For half a century after the Clanets fell the succession was in question, not family to succeed them could be chosen.

So it came to be, in the year 2154 after half a century of political strife the moderate Mirin Palandas of Gnomish decent became the 38th Satrap of Ain.
Mirin began her reign by making concessions to the Bhuka of Lotus hold, freeing all those taken as slaves in the campaign against them, offering valuable luxuries, such as timber, wine, exotic fruits and Dwarf forged steel to them as gifts. The two decades of amends given by the only Palandas Satrap can be said to be the only reason the Bhuka of the Lotus hold resumed communication with the City of Sand.

Mirin dedicated her life to the restoration of the peoples of the Ainliatic, abolishing the slave trade step by step for two hundred years. During her reign however she did order the construction of the port city of Locsi, in the style of Dhrakan architecture. This shining jewel of a port was to open more ways for trade with the outside world, from the East word had spread that the Ainliatic Desert was the domination feature of the Great Northern Ring, but far to the South was the Grand Southern Ring, where countless millions lived.

After a century of 60 years of construction the port of Locsi was finished, the slaves who had worked upon it freed in honour of their service by the Satrap, continuing her cause for the abolition of the trade. The port was completed and the First Merchant Fleet of Ain set sail in the year 2307.
The last acts of Mirin Palandas were to establish contact with the Halflings of Loamhurst, along with the Human and Elven kingdoms on the Southern Ring. At the City of Roci a group of Elves agreed to board one of the returning vessels and travel to Ain, bringing a veritable library of magical tomes with them. These elves went on to establish the Medras Mages guild in competition with the Melosi guild.

But soon, in the sad year 2345 SA a war between Heaven and Hell broke out, spilling into the Skies above the Sea of Swords so came the ending of the Era of the Empire of Sand, having lasted 683 years.

The Fall of the Sword
2345 SA - 2445 SA

The Dark Years
2445 SA - 3052 SA

The Coming of Lena
3052 SA - 3487 SA

Recent History
3487 SA - 4085 SA

QED - Iltazyara
2013-01-25, 06:09 PM
Chapter 5: Organisations
(Utterly Incomplete chapter, more content once work has been done on titles) I only did this one guild as my players ended up joining it, I needed details. And fast. So off I went, I used the PHBII for a few stats and pointers, but it wasn't too hard to sort out. Now I just need to do the 14 others.

The Hellion Houses Guild

The Hellion Houses are a collection of information gathering groups all associated under the same name. Every major town in the Ainliatic, and one in Lorelai, has a Hellion House in it. The houses themselves pose as inns and brothels, while underneath the building a network of tunnels and rooms lead deep down into the realms of the spies and assassins.

The Hellion Houses are not known by that name to most, they operate in secret, their ability to have such open places of operation is their greatest advantage over the more numerous "Method" Guild.

The houses attract people of all classes, as they are funded and set up by the guild they are well built establishments, free of disease, spoiled ain, flees and other nuisances that would deter customers from returning.
Not all the employees at the Hellion Houses are members of the guild, but they do enjoy the benefits. The girls of the houses are never mistreated, as they are guarded by protective charms, the head of the house, and their admirers down below.
Details

Motto: "A good job is one nobody even noticed having happened"

Scale: Continental

Type: Spy Ring

QED - Iltazyara
2013-01-25, 06:10 PM
Chapter 6: Persons of Importance

Same as with the previous chapter, I needed an important NPC with a backstory quickly, I went with an idea and it flew into this. an hour at most was all it took, it helps when you have a deadline of players arriving.

Melina Irvine - Head of all the Houses

Melina Irvine is a Half-Elf, one descended from those who came to the City of Sand and founded the Madros Arcane College in the years before the Fall of the Sword.

As the head of the Hellion House in Ain Melina is the highest ranking member in her organisation, overseeing many of the operations run in the City of Sand personally. Despite being the Head of the House she still works in the Brothel as proprietess of the house, managing the bar and making sure none of her girls are abused.

Some would be surprised by the fact that this young looking woman is one of the most powerful people in Ain. The Hellion Houses may not be the largest organisation in the Ainliatic, but it does have ample blackmail material, insider knowledge of political news and spies able to reach the most secret places of the most powerful. All of this is available to the knowing soul, for the right price of course.

Melina is a spell caster, having trained in the Madros guild in her childhood, her admission to the Hellion Houses as a spy came to place after she left the Melias guild however. As she proved herself suitable by finding the Arch mages of Melias and giving them secret plans that were to be set in place by the Madrosi. In return she was given a scholarship in the Melias guild, which she remains in contact to this day.

Skilled in Illusion, Enchantment and Conjuration Melina is an able Wizard who has proved her skill innumerable times. She likes to keep track of newcomers to the city, mages and priests especially, as she can gain influence if she helps them early on in their careers.

(Only character that's been made so far, more will come as my campaign and organisations progress)

QED - Iltazyara
2013-01-25, 06:11 PM
Chapter 7: The Divinity of the Ainliatic

Incomplete Chapter
Reserved Space

Chapter 8: Magic of the Ainliatic

Incomplete Chapter
Reserved Space

QED - Iltazyara
2013-01-25, 06:15 PM
Chapter 9: Running the Ainliatic

Timekeeping

Calendar
Sorting out a sensible calendar with the same day count that made sense in a flat world that's more or less stationary took some work. Eventually I gave up and basically took the calendar from the FR and pushed bits around./SPOILER]
The Ainliatic year is three hundred and sixty five days, some debate over why the cycle of the seasons allows for those five days is made by scholars worldwide, but no answer from the gods is forthcoming.

The year is split into four seasons, of ninety days each: Earth, the time of Spring, Fire, the time of Summer, Air, the time of Autumn and Water, the time of Winter. Immediately one asks; where are the remaining five days?
We will get to that. The seasons are split into three months of thirty days, these months are split into three ten-days. The first month of a season is known as the Birth of [element], the second as the Life of [element], and the third as the Death of [element].

The ten-days within the months are simply referred to as the first set, the second set, and the third set. The names of each day in a ten-day are; primidi (first day), duodi (second day), tridi (third day), quartidi (fourth day), quintidi (fifth day), sextidi (sixth day), septidi (seventh day), octidi (eighth day), nonidi (ninth day), décadi (tenth day).

There are four seasonal holidays, they have differing names throughout the world, but in the Ainliatic they are known as; The Flame's Return (Between Earth & Fire), The Wind's Requiem (Between Fire & Air), The Water's Song (Between Air & Water) and The Earth's Renewal (Between Water & Earth).
These four holidays, and one other, are celebrated as the turning of the seasons. The final holiday, however, takes a more solemn note. On the day upon which the war between Heaven and Hell came to a climax, when the gods battled each other in the skies, the day upon which the Sword Fell, a day of mourning for the loss of five deities and the extinction of two races is held.

Clocks
The keeping of time in the Ainliatic, and in the whole world, is largely based on the idea of a sun-clock.

No, not a sun-dial, a sun clock.
[SPOILER]I make jokes in my writing, depressing bit is I wrote them knowing at the time no one was going to read them. I might not be entirely sensible when writing.
The way that the sun of Reanven, that is the plane of Positive Energy, moves up and down the Spire of Creation at the centre of the world marks the hours of the day precisely. On the tower are six dragons, as the Sun is in the sky for 12 hours of each day these dragons mark two hour intervals. This creates the basic method of timekeeping used by all peoples upon Reanven.
This method, of course, falls apart during night. Which is why candle clocks and water clocks are used, while imprecise they allow for the marking of hours during darkness.

Clockwork, as a mechanical means, is unheard of in the Ainliatic. Although might exist amongst the more advanced Dwarves of Anis, or the secretive Lenese.

Governance

The Ainliatic is not governed by any single body, instead having several independent nations within the desert. The governance of secretive Ban-Barbaran remains a mystery, the Bhuka follow a caste system where each tribe serves a role for the greater good, only the Ainites have a formally established government.

Structure

The Ainites of the Ainliatic live in a grand bureaucracy, headed by the Satrap the bureaus of the Ainites control taxation, civil construction, trade regulations, civic events and the instatement of laws.

While the Satrap holds much of the power, the bureaucracy is what follows the Satrap's commands and issues the orders down the chain of command. If the Bureaus disapprove of a Satrap, that Satrap will not remain in power for long.

Due to the size of the Ainliatic Desert each city of the Ainites in the modern era are self-governing, while all refer to Ain as the capitol, in many towns it is the capitol in name only.

In the event of a war the power of the Ainites remains with the Satrap, but it becomes a shift from the head of the bureaus to the general of the military.

Intelligence

Information and knowledge of current events is of high value to the Ainite government, the Satrap keeps several members of the Melosi and Madros guilds on hand to speak with associate members in the far flung towns of the Ainites.

The intelligence provided by these communications is often, minimal, beyond current events - new diplomatic envoys, criminal capture, murders and the departure of caravans. The mages of the two guilds are not suited for information gathering, which is left to the traders and merchant classes.
The caravans that cross the desert bring spy reports from other nations, in areas messenger birds are used to transfer coded information about the intelligence network. While this network of spies is owned by the Satrap, it operates autonomously and anonymously, to prevent the identity of its agents from becoming known to outsiders.

The intelligence service of the Ainites infiltrates the Lorian society of Lorelai, the Halflings of Loamhurst, Tamaran and several members of the United Kingdoms of the North. Despite its success elsewhere the Ainite spy network has never managed to embed an agent in either the nation of Lena, or the Lenese embassy.

The Nobility

There are many noble families amongst the Ainites, all hoping to take the mantle of the Satrapy when the current dynasty ends. Despite their current status, many of the noble families keep true to the roots of their power, keeping a holding in the trades, industries, or territories which allowed them to gain their power originally.

The five most powerful noble families are as follows;

The Drarune

Originally a military family that began in the years of civil turmoil that followed the fall of the sword. Exploiting their position in the military the Drarune successfully established themselves control of the keep at Imaria, taking profit and power from holding the woods of Imar. This position has caused some mingling of the blood between the Drarune and the Dryads of Imar.

The Manador

Mad with power, taking the exploitation of their people to extremes and the only region of the Ainliatic that still practices the slave trade the Manador family of Ka'Kara are looked down upon by the other nobility of the Ainites, but still hold much power.
Got to have a power mad noble family, some one's gotta be the bad guy, my players won't be happy unless there's someone to terrorize the countryside with.
The Almoster

The Almoster family, headed by Datromar Almoster, are by their past traders. In ages long past the Almoster family took control of the outpost of Olai. By securing Olai they were able to gain tax revenue upon the caravans that travel to far away Lorelai and Tamaran, and removed the same taxes from their own caravans.

Now the largest Ainite merchant family the Almoster have their extended family scattered across the desert. From the family home in Olai they reach to major trade markets in Ain, Locsi and Ka'Kara, leaving them as the wealthiest family in the Ainliatic.

The Holm'terra

Descended from the adopted Human child of a Gnomish noble family from before the cataclysmic event that wiped out the Gnomes, the Holm'terra family are the de-facto rulers of the Shining Port, Locsi.
As the original Holm'terra family oversaw the construction of Locsi the current family managed to hold sway over the city during the civil war which wracked the Empire of Sand. Towards the end of the war the family put their power behind the family that managed to gain the Satrapy, who granted them governance of the Shining Port as a reward.

The Airianis

The current Satrap, Halasia Arianis may she rule long and well, is the head of the recently come to power Arianis family. The Arianis came to power when after years of indecision their name was put forth for the Satrapy, being of no great power the disgruntled greater families of the time put their support behind the newcomer. Anyone was better than their bitter rivals.
The Arianis, having no family seat in another city consolidated themselves within the City of Sand itself, many members of the family are trained by the Colleges and Guilds of the city. The training and skills of the family have led them to become a powerful family, now considered to be the family associated most closely with Ain itself.

Coinage

The Ainliatic desert uses the standard Lorelain Gold, Silver and Copper coins, but due to interaction with Lena also uses their Platinum coinage. As a leftover from the Bhuka and the ancient Dhraka the Electrum coin is used, considered the common coin with which most purchases are made.

Coins, in order of value;
Coins. Yeah. I doubt anyone'll use this. I showed it to my players and the blank looks on their faces, they refused to listen whenever I said "Electrum" for the rest of the day.
Platinum Piece: 1 Gold to 1/10 of a Platinum
Gold Piece:, 2 Electrum to 1 Gold
Electrum Piece: The standard coin
Silver Piece: 5 Silver to 1 Electrum
Copper Piece: 10 Copper to 1 Silver

All Ainliatic coins are minted in one of three mints, in the cities of Ain, Locsi and Ka'Kara. Copper, Silver, Electrum and Gold coins are marked with the incumbent lord of the city they were minded in as the "head". On the "tail" of the coin one of ten marks is placed, one for each year in a decade. The marks are; Dragon, Grand Worm, City of Sand, Satrapy's house emblem, Tower of Law, Lotus Hold, Sword's Fall, Tower of Creation, Griffin, Dryad. Also on the Tail of the coin is the year of minting.

Platinum coins are circulated by the Lenese embassy, who use the coins for all of their exchanges. The coins are all identical save for the year of minting, the "head" shows a Silver Dragon and the "tail" a place named the "Starborough University"

Taxation
Taxation is levied unto all home owners, land owners, merchants and guilds operating within the city. Rent to a landlord or tavern keep is expected to cover the taxes of those who stay in the buildings.

The tax collectors travel each city twice a year, in midsummer and midwinter. Those who do not pay their taxes are faced with a half-year in jail, or any holdings confiscated. As most land holdings will be of significantly more value, and the tax collectors being backed up by Madros Guild diviners most choose to pay their taxes, rather than risk being discovered.

Tax is 10% on all sales, 1% a year on the value of a home, 5% a year on the value of land and 10% of guild membership fees. The taxes are relatively light by comparison to other regions, due to the mercantile profitability of each city in the Ainliatic, that is, the Ainite cities run at a profit.

Laws
The law and order of the Ainliatic is largely a thing of the Ainites, while the Bhuka and Nomads do have a legal system, it is based on a council of elders convening to decide the punishment of a crime.

The Ainites have spent thousands of years developing a legal system that works, for most of it they have managed to stick to several basic laws, although different groups of Ainites have had some disagreements over the legality of slavery.

The laws in this section a general to the desert, although some are only enforced in full by the Tower of Law in the City of Sand.

Laws are judged as Severe, Major, Notable and Minor, the punishment for breaking a law depends on how strongly that law is viewed

The Laws
Considering my players have a habit of breaking them, I felt I needed a good supply of set-in-stone laws. Well, I got a few anyway.
I: In the name of the Satrap, so shall this Law be; The murder of another citizen of Ain, be it in cold blood or at offence, will be punished severely.
Severe

II: In the name of the Satrap, so shall this Law be; May those who seek to take possessions from another be caught by the wardens of justice and be punished for their crime.

Major/Notable

III: In the name of the Satrap, so shall this Law be; The rape or prostitution of an unwilling creature, sentient or no, citizen or no, is punishable by the will of the Satrap, divine is her Name.

Severe

IV: In the name of the High Judges of the Tower of Law, so shall this Law be; Those who would usurp justice, injuring or maiming an officer of the Law will be punished for their crime.

Major

V: In the name of the Satrap, so shall this Law be; The injuring of another citizen or ally of Ain, with intent to harm or no, is to be taken to the courts and viewed with great suspect.

Major/Notable

VI: In the name of the High Judges of the Tower, so shall this Law be; Those who avoid Her Highnesses, the Satrap, collectors of the Tax will be punished according to the severity of the negligence.

Notable/Minor

VII: In the name of the Satrap, so shall this Law be; If the cause of the Satrap’s agents is to be impeded, it must be done with reason for their safety, or those who wish to stop the agents of the Satrap’s will may be punished according to their crime.

Notable/Minor

IIX: In the name of the Satrap, so shall this Law be; The creatures of the Imar Forest, the Dryads, the beasts and the trees themselves are under the Satrap's protection, may only those who seek the wroth of Ain seek to harm they who dwell within.

Severe

IX: In the name of the Satrap, so shall this Law be; The peace of the Cities of the Ainites will be maintained, those who seek the destruction of the property of the city, or of the property of others will answer to the Tower of Law and the judges therein.

Severe/Major

X: In the name of the High Judges of the Tower of Law, so shall this Law be; The bribery, blackmail, coercion or use of magic to influence the decisions of the Tower of Law is to be punished with the full power of the Law.

Major

XI: In the name of the combined magic colleges of the Ainites, so shall this law be; The unrestricted use of magic by those spell casters who do not align themselves with any college is to be punished according to the severity of their crime.

Severe/Major/Notable/Minor

Enforcement

The laws of the Ainites are enforced by the Tower of Law, while this implies that there is only one, there is a branch in each of the major cities. The Tower of Law is made of watchmen, trained thief-catchers, and contracted mages from the Arcane Colleges.

The Tower of Law uses some ingenious ways to catch pickpockets and thieves, one of which is the attachment of alchemically created glue to coin purses, which will catch pickpockets red handed to be taken for judgement.
Divination magic is used where suitable to discover the perpetrator of severe level crimes, but the expense of the mage contracts forces divination out of use for lower level criminal activities.
Alchemically glued, secured by chains coin purses. My rogue was not amused. My barbarian, Wizard and Druid laughed their asses off.
Criminals are judged within the Tower of Law itself, where courts are held to decide the severity and guilty of crimes. Below the courts in the tower are the jails, one section is specially designed for thieves who may have skill at picking locks, another for spell casters who may use magic to try to escape.
The Tower of Law is funded by the Merchant Guilds and the Satrap herself to enforce law and order within the influence of the Ainites.

Punishment

The punishment for crimes depends on the severity of the crimes, some may carry the death sentence, others a fine or community service.
It is to be noted that young criminals, those of under the age of maturity for their race, are granted some leniency by the Tower of Law. Usually sentencing labour until a debt has been paid, with room and board provided by whom the labour is being done for.

Severe

The committing of a severe crime with either lead to execution, life imprisonment or enforced labour. Most often enforced labour is used, with the offenders sent to the Prison of Flame, Matrosk, though the way-gate. Those who cannot be properly imprisoned, or kept secure are those who face execution.

Major

Committing a major crime will net the perpetrator a long period of imprisonment, or enforced labour. The labour can be in the fields surrounding the Ainis lake, or if the crime was bordering on severe shipment to Matrosk will be the sentence.

Notable

A short stay in prison is the usual occurrence when a Notable penalty is incurred. Rarely lasting more than a few months the stay in prison is usually to simply give the offender time to contemplate their actions before being released.

Minor

Incurring a minor penalty can be for as little as stealing bread as a child, preventing an agent of the Satrap from completing a task without knowing who they are, or bar fighting. The penalty is a fine, or if the fine cannot be paid enforced labour until the debt has been paid in full, plus room and board.

Magic Items
Due to a lack of knowledge within the Ainliatic, and the world in general, magical items cannot be produced by the Spellcasting Colleges of the Ainites and Bhuka.
This part is for me, if you like the rest ignore this bit. I made it because I wanted a way to stop people buying anything under the price limit, a in story reason why things are limited is the best way. No complaining later about "its not fair!" when it was stated at the start.
Availability

Magic items, as they cannot be made by the inhabitants of the Ainliatic have to be imported from the one place that can create them, Lena. Due to the closed borders and the lack of mercantile interest from the Lenese this leads to a lack of permanent magical items on the market.

The Lenese are not against selling, or giving their creations away. But they will not do so for just anyone, people who perform a favour for the Lenese embassy usually receive some form of magic item in payment for their services. The items on offer range from household items, to weaponry and armour. But never is the ability to create the items offer as a reward.
Tomb raiders and pilferers make up the remainder of the market suppliers, taking the items from tombs and selling them to the highest bidder. Some more lazy entrepreneurs have realised that ambushed such tomb-raiders as they return to the cities is far more profitable, and less likely to attract the attention of the law, than their normal pursuits. This thus creates a large and expensive black market for stolen magical goods.

Pricing

On the open market the price of magical items is double, or triple the standard it would be in the lands of Lena, the more powerful the item the more the price increases.

The Lenese are willing to spell magic at their homelands prices, but only once every three months to a group that has done them a favour. If a group does a quest, job, or request for the Lenese they can return to purchase items on occasion, the Lenese will take orders of an item to bring into the desert if they do not have it on hand.

As Treasure

The ancient ruins of the Dhraka, and due to Alimah, the earliest settlements of in the Eastern desert are filled with magical items. Tomb robbers may have taken most of what fills these ruins already, but deep below the sand there is always more to explore.

Magic items can be found as treasure as would be normal in other worlds, forgotten ruins often have artefacts lying around that would be of use to a aspiring adventurer. Finding exactly what they desire however, is a completely different matter.

Travel

Caravans

Walking

Mounts