View Full Version : Setting help needed. Work in progress.

Evil DM Mark3
2008-12-12, 06:00 PM
This is a setting I am working on for a free-form game. I need two things here, first, help filling in the gaps and second help to see if there are any gaps in the logic.

I want to use other races but as of yet I am not sure how. I do not want cliches. Any ideas as to who they might fit into the setting?

The world is held in place by eight forces, the four elements and the four imperatives. The elements are Earth, Air, Fire and Water and these, in differing ratios, make up all of matter. What holds them together are the Imperatives. The Imperatives are Purpose, Resolve, Tranquillity, and Turbulence. Purpose causes motion/form, Resolve continues motion/form, Tranquillity removes motion and Turbulence removes form.

There are three types of magic, Natural, Artifical and Wyld. Magic is a function of the soul. Areas of high background magic and other circumstances such as rituals can cause damage to the soul that permits the use of magic by distorting the Imperatives. Wyld magic is linked dierectly into the user's emotions and grows the more it is used, eventualy destroying the wielder.
Certain individuals are born with the ability to influence both the Elements (with a focus on one) and the Imperatives. They are born with a physical extension of their soul known as a familiar. This familiar allows them to draw magic into themselves. Magic of this type is intuitive, improved by exercise and confidence. A familiar normally takes the form of a small animal like thing made of the element that they specialise in. Specialities are inherited. A familiar of this type cannot be destroyed (other than by the death of the caster) pertinently and reforms next to its master if sufficiently damaged. The familiar has a crude animal like intelligence of its own but can bind to another living being to use it's mind and body. The host retains their memories and has a hybrid of their original and the familiar's personality but severing the bond kills the host. Due to it being a natural extension of the magic user's soul a familiar cannot disobey or act against its master. Male and female users (usually called Warlocks and Witches) have different types of magic, males focusing more on Imperatives and females more on the Elements (very rarely a man is born with a "female soul" or visa versa and uses the other type of magic. This does not necessarily have any impact on sexuality before you ask). Female magic tends to be more directly powerful but male magic can be used to influence already channelled spells.

Whilst only a small fraction of mankind are born with Familiars a larger fractions can have an artificially created familiar grafted onto them. This familiar allows them to draw magic into themselves. Magic of this type is academic, improved by training and study. This is because of two factors, one it does not permit the channelling of imperatives, only elements. Second the familiar is unable to directly help them use the magic it provides. A familiar normally takes the form of a sphere of light. There are 13 types of artifical familiar based on elemental weighting. Not everyone can recive all of them and once you receive one you are bound to that type forever. For more info about this see Organisations of the Empire. A familiar of this type can be destroyed, an agonizing experience that destroys the users ability to use magic until a replacement is obtained.. The familiar has a no intelligence of its own but can bind to another living being to use it's mind and body. The host retains their memories and original personality (and in the case of animals gain near-human intelligence). The bond can't be severed save by the host's death. Due to it being a natural extension of the magic user's soul a familiar cannot disobey or act against its master. Unlike natural familiars they confer no ability to control the host.

Over 10,000 years ago all of human lands where ruled by natural magic using families known as covens. The practice of making artificial familiars was discovered and lead to a civil war. The war ground itself to a standstill with Mages and Covens ruling differing territories.

About 3,000 years ago a uniting of the Covens lead the Mages to unite under one leader, Glarden the First. Glarden founded the Brotherhood of Mages (he was the first as he was the first to use the term Mage to mean artifical magic user) and codified the Primas and Biasras. For almost a 900 years the Brotherhood of mages held the Covens at bay until corruption and decedance lead them to ruin. From the ashes came a variety of human warlords who where eventualy united by Mourashila Blacktent in what is now Empire year 0.

Emperour Mourashila I made the empire a feudal state ruled by 6 families and gave the various types of mage political power by founding guilds (a move that separated them from each other too). 350 years ago the crown passed from the Blacktent family to the Whitewater family and then to the Grimfist family 87 years ago. The current Empire year is 879.

The Empire:
There are nine provinces in the Empire, six are states and three are wards. Each state is ruled by an Earl (the term is gender neutral) and has significant self authority. The three wards have differing political power. The hyerachi of the Empire runs are follows:
Emperor: The hereditary ruler of the Empire. Currently also the Earl Grimfist. The way that the Crown passes down is different to how the Eearldoms pass down, meaning it can change families. The Emperor is the Highest court in the Empire, he alone can declare war, he can seize any property he desires, he can grant or remove the rank of nobility from any citizen and force through or Veto any laws he wishes. The current Emperor, Emperor Dunkan II, is well into his 90s and highly infirm.
Earls: Each State is ruled by a noble family, at the head of which is an Earl. The states are, from northenmost to southernmost:
Fairfrost: Mountainous and frozen this is the largest and least densely populated state. The people, especially the nobility, tend towards the sombre and serious. The land is mineral rich in most ways. The regiments of this state tend towards both very light and very heavy infantry and very heavy cavalry. They are also the only regiments that have mages as part of their permanent complement rather than bringing them in as mercenaries when needed. All of this makes them the most reliable but also the most expensive regiments in the empire. Primary imports include steel, wood and (in the winter) food. Exports include gems, precious metals and coal.
Whitewater: Small on the mainland but with almost fifty islands of varing sizes the Whitewater state is the heart of the Empires' naval forces and a significant contributor to its trade wealth. It is quite cold in the north, although not as cold as Fairfrost. The people, especially those that live on the islands, have a much greater sense of individuality than most other states. Whitewater borders Fairfrost in the north, Holdstein, Grimfist and Swiftsabre in the east and blacktent in the south. Their regiments are smaller than one might expect but well balanced and in any case their real role is the navy. They import and export almost everything but only timber is exported directly from them.
Holdstein: Another mineral rich state Holdstein is far more hospitable and fertile than Fairfrost. It and Grimfist are the only states that are net exporters. Holdstein, by virtue of containing Grilkar, is the Mage capitol of the Empire. One of the biggest problems it faces however is the fact that its eastern reaches are very near hostile lands and as such can tend towards bouts of lawlessness. As such its regiments are quite large and experienced despite no official wars in many years. However they lack any real heavy cavalry and have scouts/skirmishers that border on a joke. They export a lot of things including minerals but the most famous is steel.
Grimfist: The current royal state Grimfist has used this to make itself the centre of commerce and bureaucracy in the Empire. The lands are open but hilly with many small woods. The wealth they possess has been used to improve roads, law and order and revamping and reworking the internal bureaucracy. This makes the state one of the best places in the world to live from a certain point of view but some it has also introduced intolerable tyranny. Its regiments are sub-par on the whole, mostly due to a historical lack of military service among the senior family members, but are the only regiments to adequately cover all of the soldier types. Grimfist exports only a little more than it imports and most of its exports are luxury goods.
Swiftsabre: The state of Swiftsabre is massively overpopulated. The result of historically "free" attitudes, a large number of cities (most of which are without much in the way of work available outside of menial factory work) and poor soil fertility means that the state has to import food almost all year round. The upshot of this is a bankrupt Earl family and a massive, light infantry and dragoon centric, army (as the soldiers are paid and indeed FED by the Empire). Whilst they lack heavy troops the Swiftsabre Rangers and Dragoons are legendary and feared by the foes of the Empire. Swiftsabre also has the only Earl who is also an active field officer. This fact alone has given him much respect from the officers of other Earl's regiments. Swiftsabre exports processed goods and imports food and raw materials.
Blacktent: A large desert state the Blacktent state is miles and miles of sand dotted with oasis cities. The state is home to most of the Empires' natural spellcasters as they are the only place in the empire that does not generally see them with superstition. The regiments of the Blacktent state lack much cavalry but are otherwise very powerful. They import and export much but have to bring in a lot of materials to maintain their irrigation and cities.
The earls can, but rarely do, come together to veto or alter a law made by the Barron's council. They are also the highest court in their land.
Barron. A member of an Earl's family given his authority over an area. Each duke also appoints 20 Barrons to the Barron's council, the primary law making body of the empire. One appointed a Barron sits for 7 years. During this time they can't have their authority revoked.
Knight/Dame. A person of lower rank is typically raised to this level if they found/run a very wealthy business, rise to high rank in the regiments or a high rank in a guild.
Citizen. A free man, the middle class. Skilled workers for the most part.
Peasant. The working class, have limited legal freedom.
Thrall. Archaic. Only used for indentured servitude when one person owes another a large sum of money.

The three Wards are: Grilkar: The city of guilds. Home to the High Guildhouse of each mage guild. Easily the most cosmopolitan city in the Empire, one would need to actually strip naked in the town square to be considered unusual. Located in the Holdstein state it has a lot of political power. High hold: The home of the armies and the generals. From here the Empire's armies are controlled. Has little real power of its own as all of the Regiments are existing only on the say so of Earls. On the border between Grimfist and Whitewater. Stammar. The capitol of the Grimfist state Stammr is the imperial city and as such is the personal domain of the Emperor. Changes if the crown changes family.

Organisations of the Empire.
The Mage guilds: The mage guilds are run for and by both Mages and humans who are acting as hosts for mage familiars. The guilds have three broad categories for members, Craftsmen (who live in an area and do things, includes the teaching staff), Journeymen (who travel and perform services) and warmages (who focus on the use of magic as a weapon). Only warmages have any real offensive power and even then it takes a very powerful warmage to take on more than a small squad of trained fighters head on. Most types of mage have their lives extended by their magic, although exceptions exist. Pyromancers:Fire magic. Pyromancers focus exclusively on the fire element. They tend to be highly passionate and driven individuals with a level desire for activity that is almost disturbing. On the downside Pyromancy is one of the few types of magic that actually shortens the user's lifespan, a powerful Pyromancer can expect to live to be 50 at the very most, although all of that time will be spent full of life and energy before a short, rapid decline. Pyromancers are the most common type of Mage to enter military service. Aviomancers:Air magic. Aviomancers focus entierly on the element of Air. As a group they tend towards the cereberal but also towards the flighty. It can be hard to keep their attention at times but they also have the vision to build castles in the sky and when angered can be almost as aggressive as pyromancers. As they grow more powerful they get less focused and more vague until the most powerful of them simply vanish one day. Aquamancers:Water magic. Focusing entirely on the element of water Aquamancers quickly learn to live entirely in the water as easily as the land. Adaptable and determined given enough time it is said they can achive anything. They are often duplicitous however, preferring that others fail to read their motives. Still waters run deep, but a Pyromancer is a treacherous stretch indeed. Geomancer:Earth magic. Traditionally the last guild to declare it's position on all issues and also the last to vote at cross guild meetings when the guild is moved to action the results are terrifying. Geomancy ages its users prematurely but causes them to live long and to keep their strength and health. Thermomancers:Ice magic. Primarily taking part of fire, that is to say heat, and adding the stability of earth gives ice. Most find it hard to beleave that the cold and sombre Thermoancers are most closely related to Pyromancy and illusion. They tend to live long and, when moved, strike with finesse and savage agression. Sonomancers:Sound magic. The air carries noise and, when you add the creative nature of fire you get music. That is what is truly at the heart of Sonomancy. Eccentric and eclectic even by mage standards Sonomancers can raise the heats of a city's defenders or, via vibrations, raze the walls. Metamancers:Shape shifting. Water is the home of life, air is the home of change. Together one gets the changing life. The path of the metamage is possibly the one with the most obvious dangers. To spend too long outside of your natural form twists one's mind. Animals are easier to take but harder to recover from, distorting your form to be, for example, larger is harder to pull off and often has strange side effects. Botomancers:Plant magic. The ground is full of potential life, water brings it forth. To control and mimic plant life has to be one of the greatest sources of potential power that exists. Botomancers have access to this ability but the power is a tricky one. Trying to tap into the power of the oak can render one with the viewpoint of a thousand year old tree. Illusionists:Light magic. The glow of the fire on wings of air light is one of the most interesting things in existence, formless and weightless it is invisible but allows us to see everything else. Illusionists harness light as a tool and recourse. Their dependance on a formless, shapless, nothing like energy for their power is however has strange effects, Illusionists often loose the ability to remain sincere or fixed on any thing for any length of time. Psiomancers:Mind magic. Thoughts drift through the world as tiny portions of life in the air. By this bringing together of air and water Psiomancers can tap into and warp the minds of others directly. This is dangerous behaviour however as to enter the minds of others is to render oneself exposed to getting lost. Vitamancers:Life magic. Water gives life, earth gives solidity. Vitalmancy empowers bodies, healing them and strengthening their abilities. What it cannot do however is restore what has been lost. Its practitioners are long lived and spend all that time in the very peak of health. Alchemists:Elemental transmutation. Closer in behaviour to a mundane guild than a magical one the Alchemists guild uses the changeability of fire to alter the permanency of earth and change one thing into another. They are the richest of guilds. Necromancers:Death magic. The elements together are the world. By harnessing all of this one can pierce the veil of death itself. The smallest guild its members can often live well into their second century. Despite the stereotype much of what they do is in the order of quieting the restless dead and allowing the departed to move on in peace. The mundane guilds: Much like the magical guilds but far more local. Have varying levels of authority and power going from social clubs to groups with the ears of Earls. The army: Each regiment is manned and equipped by the Earl but paid and fed by the Empire. The generals are appointed by the Emperor (mostly from officers) and have almost total authority over the assignment and promotion of officers.

2008-12-12, 06:11 PM
1 question: why is Wyld spelled with a 'y'?

Evil DM Mark3
2008-12-12, 06:12 PM
Answer:Everyone else was doing it.

2008-12-12, 10:33 PM
1 question: why is Wyld spelled with a 'y'?

"I"s are for boryng losers. "Y"s are reserved for tme desygners of awesome fantasy settyngs.

I lyke the look of yt so far; you plannyng to flesh the settyng out?

Evil DM Mark3
2008-12-13, 05:26 AM
If I can get some advice/questions to build from yes.