View Full Version : Any help with fleshing out a setting?

2013-08-19, 10:13 AM
So ages ago (not that I expect anyone to remember) I posted about a setting I was creating based around a world with five dominant cultures, each with their own style of summoning magic and that there was no other magic in the world (in the castable sense anyway). However, due to a few mishaps I have lost every single not I made on this setting so I'm wondering if anyone here could help me build it up again.

The main backstory of the world is that in the distant past, each of the cultures were given a Gift, this Gift contained the knowledge and ability to use their own form of the magic given, the gifts and cultures are as follows.

The Gift of the Sigil - This form of summoning allows the user to seek out and claim a supernatural creature as his bound companion. However it cannot be just any creature, the most common way of claiming them is to embark on a pilgrimage to seek one of many temples or sanctums erected in honour of these creatures. When the pilgrim has reached the temple they are subjected to either a task or test, if they pass then their creature appears before them and a sigil appears on their flesh, the creature can be summoned at any time either by touching the sigil or (if the sigil is split across two bodyparts, with the forearms being the most common) making the sigil whole. The creature itself that is summoned is based upon the preconceptions of the summoner, so if they're from a family line who is known for having wyverns as their summons, then it's almost certain then they will form a bond with a wyvern. These creatures are obviously not mundane, being mostly covered in a flexible metallic skin, almost completely white aside from details that are coloured according to the house of the summoner. As the bond between the two grows, the creature becomes more powerful and ornate, though not always larger.

The culture this belongs to is the largest in the world, their territories containing a wide variety of terrain and climates. Their own cities are normally large and ornate, featuring towers of gold and marble dotted across the skyline. Their government consists of the head of the 10 largest houses with the chief patriarch being voted in every 5 years by each of the 10. Females are not considered to be worthy heirs to the family lines, however it is in every citizens right (including the females) to challenge the current heir to a duel, often to first blood though rarely to death, to claim the title of rightful heir. If they succeed they are given the title of First Son and if they become the head of the house, Patriarch.

The Gift of the Pact - The Gift of the Pact allows the user to perceive and commune with spirits of nature. Once the spirit has been communed with, it is possible for the user to form a pact with them, though each spirit to do so will require a sacrifice or task to be performed in order access their abilities. The abilities of the spirits vary from enhancing attributes, to allowing flight, supernatural senses and control over the elements. Many users specialise in one form of spirit, so spirits of fire, insects, plant-life may all be used exclusively. Opposed spirits may require increasingly difficult sacrifices to be made but as long as they are fulfilled the powers of them are at the users command. Whilst the pacts may change the user on a spiritual level, increased strength or so on, it takes a very strong pact, built up over years, to change the users physical body such as a growing claws or even minor shapeshifting.

The culture that this form belongs to claim the vast jungles and rainforests as their own. They live in several small to large villages, with a few towns being their largest settlements, and are largely known for their hospitality as long as their guests bring show them the same respect. A large amount of the population are vegetarians, mostly as a way to show respect to the animal spirits they worship and use, however they do maintain a healthy diet thanks to the protein rich sap that can be extracted from the Kenoskeen tree, which, whilst not common, can easily be found along the most travelled paths of the jungles. Each village is ruled by an elder who is most often the most powerful summoner in the area and he is often sought after for answers to questions of morality and ethics.

(I'll update on the other 3 as I write up the notes, however the Gift's left are the Dead, which involves the honourable raising of corpses for services promised in life, the Soul, which allows the formation of a signature weapon created from the spirit of the summoner, and the Craft, which takes the form of customisable golems designed by the user)

2013-08-21, 02:07 PM
Well since no one else is there I might as well write up as much as I can about the others.

The Gift of the Dead - This form of summoning relies strongly on the will of the summoner as it allows them to tie a small part of their life essence with that of a dead body, greater amounts of essence allow for a more powerful and intelligent summon, although the Revenant will not actually return to life. Whilst most people get by with an animal, the most common being that of a dog or horse, as their companion, it is considered an honour to have your own body used by another, although this is strictly a consensual agreement. A lord is likely to have a clause written into the contracts of his guards and soldiers that their bodies will be used once they are dead, as long as they die in the line of duty. A sum is agreed upon and is often more than generous, and the subject of the contract is offered a choice for whether the sum will be paid during their life, or after it to their next of kin. There are certain rituals that allow a greater efficiency when it comes to the power of the Revenant in exchange for the essence used in the creation and many people in high power make sure their contracted employees perform these rituals in dangerous circumstances. The revenant themselves have a form of telepathic link with their creator that allows long and intricate commands to be given with a single word, so "Attack the men who have just entered, leave the blonde one till last" could be triggered by the word "Attack."

The society itself is based the rocky eastlands, and their towns and villages are often built on the sides of mountains and hills, their workforce being greatly supplemented by the undead they put to work. They are known as an efficient, hard-working people and great tacticians, despite their method of summoning putting many people off at first. The are ruled by a representative democracy, with many settlements having annual or bi-annual elections in which any citizen can run as long as they have been nominated by at least 3 non-familial citizens. Each district of the country is ruled by a lord and his knights, each Lord answer to one of the 3 dukes, and the 3 dukes answer to the King.

The Gift of the Craft - The Gift of the Craft bestows upon the user the ability to create a Golemheart, a fist-sized sphere of material, usually a metal or stone, that allows the user to create a full-sized golem (normally around 6-9 feet in height) that follows the summoners mental or verbal commands. The basic structure of the golem is variable, with the first summon creating the base shape and subsequent ones allowing variations based upon the situation at hand. The creation of the Golemheart is considered a right of passage for members of the Craft and is undertaken on the users 14th birthday, at which point they are considered a full working member of the community.

The structure of their communities is based upon their living conditions in the immense deserts they call home, they commonly live in large spiral shaped dwellings, carved into the ground which can support a fully functioning city in its walls. Every citizen of age is considered a working member of society and so fulfils the jobs assigned to them in exchange for food, lodgings and leisure time. The main assignments are Scout and Survey, which hunt for food, mines and other resources outside of the cities, Mining and Construction, which help with the job of increasing the size of the city, Administration, who deal with the economical and logistical needs of the city and Leisure, who handle entertainment and relaxation for the citizens. The heads of each department have weekly meetings in which the concerns and needs of the citizens are brought up and the decisions on how to handle these are made.