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Thread: Concentric circles (WIP PEACH)
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
- Darkest Dorset (UK)
Concentric circles (WIP PEACH)
This setting is a blend of the poetic eddas and brothers grim style fairy tales (one is something of a Christianized outgrowth of the other so they synegize nicely)
I want this to be an intrinsically magical setting. So a high level of magic in the world and its spirits and creatures. To offset this I want the players to feel that magic is wild and dangerous; something not to be messed with (your character will brake long before you can brake the world).
Good and evil have objective existence but subjective moral value. The great driving engine behind this world is between positive and negative; these have absolutely no moral value and are both utterly hostile to life.
Races of fulcrum
Nations and cultures
Types of magic
Schools of magic
More nations and cultures.
Magic, lots and lots of work on magic.
Many thanks to:
And any others who I have yet to name here
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
- Darkest Dorset (UK)
Re: Concentric circles (WIP)
This cosmos is dominated by the prime axis and the great wheal, fulcrum lying at the heart of creation. Beyond lies the myriad far planes
The Prime Axis
There are 3 major spheres, three major over plains of the of the prime axis. These are the positive energy plain, the negative energy plain and between these the fulcrum. Interconnecting these are the essential elemental axis; three pillars that are embedded in both the positive and negative planes as well as thrust through though the centre of the wilds spheres. Laying between and around these spheres is the swirling elemental maelstrom.
The great duality
Some call them the font and the well, eternal light and the ultimate dark, the annihilator and the oblivion. The energy exchange between positive and negative planes is one of the prime underpinnings of the cosmos. Without this there would be nothing but a great dark empty void.
The sun and the moon
Some know them as the sun and the moon. It is not possible to “see” the great plains themselves for the negative plane is invisible and the positive plane would burn your eyes out to look directly upon it.
What light the world by day is a cloud of burning plains held aloft by white hot ejecta as they slowly evaporate. These dying infernal planes are far more complex than mere fire planes, as such they play host to a far wider variety of life forms including dragons, flame djjins, salamanders, fiends, expatriate iffrittes and fire giants.
The disk of the moon is the light reflected off of frozen planes as they are drawn in and devoured by the oblivion. These frozen realms have a timeless yet transient quality to them, they are home to Lapudians, snow Djjins and frost giants.
The pillars of the world
These three axis are the essential elemental vectors. Without them reality would collapse and there would be no higher elements.
These are composed of the six essential elements. 3 negative and three positive forming three opposing pairs, these are:
+ <---> -
Mass <---> Void
Light <---> Dark
Heat <---> Cold
The pillars brace reality, they prevent the vast attractive forces from drawing the great planes together and in so doing obliterating all that is, was and could ever be. The pillar are not solid objects, they are composed of the pressure and fallout of war. This conflict has raged since before the ages of time, it is fought with a single mindedness of purpose and ferocity that makes the battle between good and evil look like a playground squabble. It is a battle fought between sentient black holes and living voids, between raw plasma and liquid cold, between piercing light and moving darkness. These beings care nothing for the material universe, indeed the violent crescendos of their war has destroyed the world countless times. However it is the pressure of their eternal battle that holds up the pillars of creation, their conflict is the elemental crucible; the catalyst of complex matter. It is said that souls are born from the sparks thrown off from their clashes.
The elemental maelstrom
This large region lies between the positive and negative plains. It is a swirling maelstrom of elemental plains driven by the vast currents of conducting energy.
The elemental planes themselves are caused by the various conflicts and combinations of the essential planes. These planes are unstable, they collide, combine and transmute into new more complex elements. This is the gradual process of evolution that combined with accretion eventually created the prime material planes at the eye of the storm.
The great wheel
This is a disk of relatively stable planes and ejected from the maelstrom as well as the divine and darkened thrones. They drift serenely in orbit around the cosmos. It is the home of the god and their divine hosts as well as the fiend legions.
The golden havens
Above, below and intermingled with the great wheel lie the celestial halls. These otherworldly planes are the physical embodiments of the gods power, its life force.
Within its heaven a god is all seeing and wields its maximum power. It may have one or more avatar within its celestial hall, whilst killing one or more of them will harm the god to kill it with violence you must kill that very plane itself.
The souls of dead worshipers -particularly the souls of more exalted individuals- can end up here, otherwise those post mortal celebrants are located on one of the one or more planes that a god claims for their eternal reward
The stars are planes. Most of the brightest stars are the heavens (afterlifes and divine home planes). Pantheons cluster their planes together in relatively stable formations (the constellations). The links between the constellations are clearly visible under mage sight.
When two pantheons go to war you can see their constellations fighting in the sky. When gods die their stars fade and when pantheons fall their constellations fall apart.
At the edge of the universe there is a barrier, it divides that which lies within from that which lurks without; just as well. Beyond the realms of reality the fabric of that which is, alien to common sensibility; immiscible to mortal life.
They are not the harmonious realms of impossible geometry one might imagine; they possess distinct and recognisable regions. From the cloying abyss to the living sea, the seething gestalt to the furious void, the timeless eternity to the twisted inferno; each a unique myriad of whirling madness and all of it corrosively other.
The outer realms
These are plains that have drifted beyond the barriers of our universe. Most become enmeshed within that without; these realms are in the far plane but not truly of them. They are relatively safe and stable places on the edge, gateways from this universe to the great unknown; note the ephemeris on relatively safe.
Some of these realms however are transitory; they orbit the great wheel with eccentric distended arks that bring them across the boundaries at least twice a rotation. Some penetrate deep into the far realms and some still swing very close past (or even through) the elemental maelstrom, they bring with them the untold horrors of the beyond. It is from the study of these realms that we first discovered the far planes, from them that we know most of what we think we know about the without.
The denizens of the far planes are shaped by their environs much as we. Few of their kind can enter our reality, the screaming fabric rejecting them from the realms. All that crosses the barrier does so changed, made other by the transgression. Most of the beings that we think of as of the far planes are actually the decedents of beings from this universe that have either returned from the without, mutated by contact with elements of the beyond or where changed when they attempted to cross the barrier and where rejected.
The far planes are not for the faint hearted, nor for the brave; angels dare not and fiends refuse to tread. The most surprising thing about these plains is not what they tell us about them but what they tell us about ourselves; from their perspective our reality is no different.
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
- Darkest Dorset (UK)
Re: Concentric circles (WIP)
This is the prime setting for the concentric circles setting. Fulcrum is comprised of the realms and the wilds spread across five concentric planar spheres.
The old wars
In the old world of the before the world was inhabited by a plethora of races. A huge diversity of aberrant races of which humans where only one. Each race wielded one of the great magics; humanities magic was faith, their gods where physical beings that walked the earth.
The race wars that followed where a series of protracted conflicts to determine the dominion of the world. It destroyed the aberrant species one by one as they where driven to near (or absolute) extinction, exiled from the earth or sealed away. In the end humanity won.
Using the secrets we had won we built a tippyverse (sans golems) and for an age of the world it was good. But the world is cyclic, the powers that sustain it periodically destroy and remake it. Humanity wasn't going to just let this happen; not after sacrificing so much, not after coming so far.
We attempted to use (abuse) true naming to change the nature of humanity, change the fate of the world. It went disastrously right. Eldrich energy flooded into the world through the teleportal networks remaking the world as it was.
• The space time of the landscape was changed into a shifting and twisting taffy (kind of fae wild).
• The gods where pulled apart; the bodies becoming the titans, the mandates becoming the patrons and the minds fragmenting into the dragons.
• The mages of the city became Alfar (insane immortal elves and living demi-gods)
• The surviving peoples of the city became trow (immortal baby trolls) or worse.
• Humanity (and all humans) lost its truname
"lands lie beyond the hills we know"
The wilds have a fully plastic and fluid geography. The horizon acts as a kind of black box, you do not know what may or may not lie beyond it until you are over it. Paradoxically it is unlikely to be the same vista the next time you past (making it near impossible for you to pass the same horizon twice without divine assistance). Add to that the fact that distance and duration are entirely subjective it make mapping literally impossible; wild atlases are a Cartesian nightmare that require both mystic sight and near insanity to appreciate.
The wilds are known as the natural home of the fae as well as a host of exotic flora and fauna not found in more mundane regions. These include a host of mega fauna such as migratory dragons, tarrasque, ettin, collosi and giants.
Wilderlands are the frontiers, they are the middle state between realms and the wilds. More pliant than plastic the wilderlands are difficult to navigate for the uninitiated. One of the more unstable elements of the wilderlands are the ruins relics and monuments of ancient lost realms. These are fully capable of wandering around the landscape or dispersing into the aetherspace for centuries at a time.
Wilderlands are host to isolated villages, small (usually) independent frontier towns as well as more nomadic tribes. Wilderlands are the favored haunts of Kiamera manbeast tribes as well as other beings both more human and less.
The nature of the terrain is affected by the integration of the material planes and collapsing elemental planes. It is this rather than latitude, elevation or airflow that dictate the climate and topography.
Where these planes touch the material they create large amounts of homogenous terrain. Massive forests, deserts, ice caps, mountain ranges, lakes and jungles. At the edges these brake up and spread out over time. The net effect is like pack ice brake up over a multi dimensional overlay
To put it flippantly these are the places where mortals [not fae] live. A realm is geographically pretty stable and home to at least one a nation of people who define themselves as one.
Realms follow the fichers and to a (certain extent) the revers mass ficher principle. The land and nature of a realm is affected by its ruler and the people are shaped by land. For example a realm with an insane king will be subject to greater levels of random or unpredictable events. A hard and harsh realm will shape its people into a hard and hash people.
Naturally occurring realms may be as small as city or as large as a kingdom. Smaller realms do exist but they require divine or magical assistance to be sustained or come into existence at that size. They are normally fringed by a band of wilderland though they may abut other realms or even wilds.
Realms that overextend have difficulties holding themselves together. Realms that collapse often disintegrate into craton linked sub-realms, revert back to wilderland or even to wildspace.
A craton is a shared semi-stable region of three or more realms, often containing a considerable amount of wilderland. One of the defining characteristics of a craton is that its realms define themselves as of that region. Examples of cratons include multi-realm empires such as Xui'Sha or realms with a shared culture such as the lands of the former necrotheistic empire.
A special case is the bi-realm. These are formed of two realms that define themselves in relationship to each other; they usually have an adversarial or antagonistic relationship though symbiotic realms are not uncommon. Bi-realms are highly stable and can endure for millennia. Bi-realms most often emerge from the brake up of larger cratons and form the core of emergent cratons.
This sphere starts at the base of the high clouds and extends upwards from there. It is warmer, thicker, richer and far deeper than atmosphere of that height as any real right to be.
The aethosphere plays host to the tops of the tallest mountains, flying fortresses, levitating mountains, cloudscapes, skyscraping babble towers and Ydrasil trees. Indigenous fauna include air whales, gas floaters, dragons, harpies, furies and other winged humanoids.
By the very nature of the plane advanced magitec is an absolute essential to day to day existence. One would imagine that this would lead to the domination of magoracies; this is not the case. The wizard artificers of this sphere have a tendency to be aligned with one or more of the various competing inter-realm magical industrial combines. Actual leadership of the realms is dominated by the noble clans; be it in duchies, principalities or the oligarchic republics (although having said that these clans have a far higher instance than average of potential sorcerers).
One of the most distinctive phenomena of the aethosphere are the skyships. These craft use magic to levitate and propel them through the air. They are often used by merchants and explorers as well as sky pirates and the various aerial navies. The sight of two fleets of airships hammering seven shaded of snot out of each other is one of the most awe inspiring things in the world and as strong a reminder as can be not to cross mages. Skyships cannot fly bellow the clouds, the ability of the magic keeping them aloft to resist the pull of the earth become progressively weaker the lower they go until it becomes too much and the ship "flounders".
Examples of military magitec include aetherial pulse jets, magistorm Gatlings, ark lightning projectors, S.G.R.S (spirit guided rocket systems), Golem auto loaders and bastion class sky knights. Examples of such tec on the surface are usually limited to badly damaged salvaged from crashed airships or as the "fallout" of aerial warfare.
This is the second sphere of fulcrum. Its residence believe that it is most important of the planes; it does for example have the largest number of realms and 7 out of the top ten largest stable realms, surprisingly it is (by volume) the smallest of the five spheres, it is also the least spherical. It extends only a few hundred meters below ground and scant kilometres above sea level. The terrosphere covers only the large landmasses, inland seas and the oceans within sight of the coast. It is broken up into several large semi-stable continental clusters.
These are the shifting open oceans of fulcrum. It plays host to mysterious storm wracked islands, floating lands, icebergs, horrors from the deep, under sea civilizations (both living and lost) and nations under sail.
This is the sphere of stone. It stats below the frost line and proceeds down past the crush depth to the ferrosphere. It is a wild place of caves, grottos and vaults. It has its parched deserts and its underground rivers, lakes and seas. The vast cavern networks are constantly shifting and are not always mutually accessible, sometime forcing people to the surface to make progress.
N.B This is obviously an underdark stand in with the realms/wilds mechanics built in.
This is the innermost and most hostile sphere of fulcrum. It is composed of an infernal sea of extreme pressure liquid metal encased in solid rock. It is illuminated (if this can be said to be the right word) from its centre by the convergence of the three essential pillars, the flux of positive and negative energy grants the ferrosphere its 36 hour "day"/"night" cycle.
Iffrites are the dominant power of the ferrosphere. Their civilization clings to the deep furrows and ridges of the edge of their world, heavily concentrated on the margins of the stone highlands and the deep basins filled with nickle cobalt oceans or along the antediluvian plains of vast liquid metal river systems.
Like all live in the ferrosphere they posses a silicon based biology with a complex system of metallic ichor and bio plasma. They live in fear of the terrors of the deep core; most particularly the dreaded iron drakes. Aside from certain elemental plains the Iffrite cannot survive outside of the ferrosphere without extensive xenoforming. This transmutation allows them to endure the "extreme cold and low pressure" of the "lesser planes"; this is a permanent exile however as they would never survive the return home.
How would you describe the world of fulcrum?
Take one reasonably standard high fantasy RPG world.
Take sledgehammer to the fabric of time and space
Scatter the bite sized peaces of space time in a broth of elderich fae wilds
Bring to boil and allow to simmer
Season with insane troll logic to taste.
What is a craton anyway?
A craton or tectonic shield is a geological term for a large piece of ancient stable continental crust. Cratons include baltica and siberia. If you can think of a better colloquial name for this don't hesitate to say.
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
- Darkest Dorset (UK)
Re: Concentric circles (WIP)
Very few people know of them but most would recognize them. They are very powerful and have existed unchanged since the time of the cataclysm. They do not speak, move or act (but have been known to shift, vibrate and resonate); it is considered that either they lack minds or that said minds operate outside of the human timescale.
There are 24 known archetypes; 12 cultural and 12 elemental. They do not grant power in so much as they give structure. It is from these universal blueprints that the divine draw their nature, the fabric and substance of their being.
The patrons are the archetypes governing cultural phenomena. As they cannot speak for themselves many philosophers and theologians have different interpretations of what exactly each embodies. Whilst they may seem contradictory in nature it is generally understood that each represents a dichotomy or cyclic change within a phenomena.
It has long been debated as to whether the patrons reflect the nature human society or mandate it, whether they change us to fit them or are changed to fit us. As with many such ideas it appears to be the wrong kind of question (the answer is of course both).
It is generally understood that the attempt to alter the true name of humanity cost us it. It became fragmented, merging with the celestial sea to form the patrons.
The patron of fools and parents. All about growing up, the mistakes we make and the lessons it that teaches us. Symbol is the circle/ring.
Trickster and teacher. At bet benevolent and fun loving, at worst manipulative and destructive. Symbol is the quill
Protector (guardian) and destroyer (reaver). Symbols are the shield and spear respectively.
The Balance: (the judge)
All about fairness and justice. About judgement and forgiveness, vengeance and mercy, duty and charity. Symbol is the scales and cudgel.
About the planting (ploughman) and the harvest (reaper). Fertility, death and fatherhood. The symbol is grain.
This one is all about looking after (herdsman) and standing judgement over (butcher) the flock. Is a metaphor for leadership (also known as the steward/tyrant). The symbols are the crook / brand.
Hearth and home
The patron of property and community. At best homely and inclusive, at worst possessive, acquisitive and xenophobic.
The patron of the predator/prey and the eternal chase. Symbol is the bow.
The patron of the thief and the watchman. About stealth, detection and darkness. Symbol is an eye in a hand.
The patron of merchants, beggars and taxmen. It is all about enterprise, tax, prosperity and poverty. Symbol is a round coin with a square hole.
Patron of artisans and artists. It is all about creation, inspiration and adaptation. There is a strong dichotomy between tradition and progress. The symbol is the hammer.
The portal is the patron of doors, passage and obstacles. Its Symbol is doorway
The ancient mages tried to seize control of the material fabric of the world by dividing its truename and fusing it with the true names of the gods. After a fashion it worked. The gods became divided between body and mind and came to embody the power of the elements.
These beings are the embodiment of the destructive power of nature. They are formed from the bodies of the old gods and the sleep forever in the elemental maelstrom. Their children bring war and destruction wherever they go.
These beings would stand well over ten miles high, if they stood at all; they are the progenitors of the giant race and they have never been seen in the realms. Once they were gods; the old gods of man during the dreaming. In the cataclysm that followed their heavens in the maelstrom were destroyed and they were cast adrift. The essence of their beings was fused with the elemental planes themselves; they became the titans they are today.
From that time since they have slept; guarded, served and fought over by the children they have born in their sleep. It is said that the souls of those who worshiped them as gods in the great before and those in the time since live forever in their dreams. The titans cannot wake; must not wake. To disturb their rest is the greatest crime in giant society.
These beings are gods in a very real sense; the lords of the elemental maelstrom.
Giants once they reach two thousand years old are eligible to join the Jhontus. He or she must pass tests of strength, courage, wisdom and skill to be admitted into the elemental halls. Once they have past these tests they must go on pilgrimage to the titan that spawned them, to partake of a small part of its essence and in so doing kindle to flame their own divinity. Finaly they must seek out and swear allegiance to or defeat one of the many Jarls; a ruler of one or more of the elemental planes.
The Jarls, their thanes and warriors are fighters; they fight amongst themselves, the other Jarls, dragons, trolls, the elder gods, the new gods, the arch fiends and arch fae; they will fight anyone and everyone. Their major problem is that they are too big and powerful for the material realm to bare them. To pass into this world they either have to leave most of themselves behind or they require the sacrifice of a divine being.
Jhontus grow ever larger, wiser and more powerful as they age. As they age however they become more withdrawn, more resistive. They sleep first for weeks on end, then months, then years and decades. It grows ever on to the point where they might wake once or twice a century. It is said that the final fate of all Jhontus is to join their forefathers in their eternal slumber.
These beings are the embodiment of the natural order. They are formed from the minds of the old gods. They are often worshiped by country folk and oppose the growth of civilization. They tend to reside in pocket dimensions formed from their own egg sacks.
They view mortals as a kind of living interactive soap opera. They both protect and manipulate them; they make a game of achieving high drama, outlandish scenarios and unlikely couples.
They aren't shape shifters and only breed amongst themselves (no more half dragon templates) but they don't mate often and most of the time they don't enjoy it. To get their rocks off they go for a joy ride; they slip into people’s minds and whisper suggestions into their thoughts as they bask in the physical and emotional fireworks.
When hording they prize objects of sentimental and emotional significance; monetary value and magical power are irrelevant. They can read the feelings and memories imprinted in such items and when they sleep the wrap themselves up in a warm cloud of other people’s dreams.
[N.B]: I intend to create a mirror structure to reflect the titans of wyrms and drakes with kami subservient to dragonkind.
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
- Darkest Dorset (UK)
Re: Concentric circles (WIP)
The anatomy of the soul
The animus is the only part of the soul that I have any strong conception of, it is a swirling orb of positive and negative energy. It acts kind of like a spiritual heat engine and its linked to stamina and life force; some call it elan others vitality and still others chakara. The animus expends energy when you work, concentrate or use magic. When you sleep your physical, mental and emotional turmoil are stilled; this allows the animus to settle into the smooth lamina swirls of energy required for it to recharge properly.
Death causes the animus to unbind, releasing its bound energy in a spiritual and mystical shock wave (the one of the primary reason for human sacrifice). After death their is a vestigial animus that slowly fades from existence.
This is the seat of memory. It is effectively a static field of your memories, skills and experiences, thus it grows over the period of your life. The Logos acts as a reservoir and capacitor for the mental energies used to manipulate the arcane. The logos is closely linked to the senses.
This is the part of you that is actually you. The part that does the thinking and the feeling, the part that does the watching. It is the inner core of your being and its what separates people from animals or constructs. It is very ephemeral and hard to pin down but it is thought to be comprised of three spheres (though this is a controversial model); one given over to thought, one to feeling and last one is only very loosely understood.
Good and evil
The nature of good and evil?
That good and evil exist is an undeniable fact, that they are opposed is also undeniable, they attract like and repel the other. What this actually means is debatable at best. Philosophers, scholars, sages and scientists have long investigated the nature of good and evil. For every verified fact about the nature of good and evil there are a thousand hypothesis, base assumptions, ”self-evident” truths and outright fallacies. All that can be said with and degree of certainty is that good tends to deal with things as they might be and evil tends to deal with matters as they are.
Scattered though out the astral sea are fonts of both good and evil. These appear like liquid spheres of a sickly sweet radiant honey or a shimmering dark mercurial substance. These fonts are not an unlimited resource, eventually they run dry. New fonts are found to replace old ones and it is theorized that there is a finite amount of pure good or evil in the universe at any one time. These substances (ambrosia and ichor magna) are highly prized by celestial and mortal beings alike. They are used in a huge variety of application; in spells, rituals, enchanting, genesis, potions and poisons, mutagens and reproduction.
What does good and evil anyway?
I like the idea of the forces of good and evil being opposed by cultural and political differences, but not opposite.
The forces of good favor actions certain actions, they also approve of actions that favor themselves. In this they are no different than the forces of evil. Alignment is connected to morality by opposition and cultural convention only. Necromancy is evil because the forces of evil have a proprietary interest over it
The effects they cause and the rules they follow are subjective. If a being has access to a source of good or evil they get to define all of these things for themselves. However those who source this power through another are beholden to their rules, to their definition of what good and evil is and how it should work.
Good and evil feel good, feel euphoric. They have a highly addictive effect on mortals. Good feels like being loved, being a part of something bigger. Evil feels like the ultimate rush of power and excitement. Often mortals get a taste of it and are left hungering after ever more; they turn to celestial and infernal being to get their fix. Once they have their hooks in they are almost impossible to be free of
These beings are somewhere between gods, archangels, saints and avatars. An exarch is what happens when a demi human reaches beyond the pinnacle of mortal perfection. This can be achieved in life or after death and is often done with assistance (uplifting)
These elemental beings are uplifted by their association with the jhontus. The sustain and empower themselves by collecting a small personal “haream” of mortal soils to exploit. They are often associated with mages and are known to inflict wishes.
They are similar to dijn in some respects. These beings are closely associated with the genius loci of the world and with the forces of nature.
These are the spirits of powerful beings that are reincarnated after death under their own power. Few saints ever realise what they are in any given lifetime.
Fiends are made in the image of the hidden aspects of vice/virtue. They may be good or evil (or frequently both or neither), many are a lot more independent than archons though infernal legions do exists.
The government men. They make up the various pantheons and serve as the officer core and nobility of the same.
Ascendant goblins. Goblins as a rule understand people and the world in terms of stories. Berghaust are those goblins who achieve exemplar status.
The natural fate of the soul
1)upon death the standing wave of the animus blows out its current reservoir.
2)The soul is expelled from the material plains by the force of the death shock.
3) The soul is usualy weighted either positvley or negatively. This causes them to be drawn towards either the positive or negative energy plains.
4) The spiraling souls are dragged beyond the event horizon of these plains. Nobody knows what happens after that but the general consensus is that the soul is destroyed or consumed somehow.
a) The gods, daemons and assorted others claim souls on their long voyage through the astral sea.
b) It is easier for them to find and hold onto the souls of their alignment (as good and evil repel each other but good attracts good and evil attracts evil).
c) Divine beings can find the souls of worshipers very quickly as the act of worship is kind of like a distress beacon. The strength of faith and worship is directly proportionate to the strength of the beacon.
The Divine and souls
The Exarchs don't particularly need your worship or faith except as a means to an end. They want your soul; worship helps them get it.
When they get a hold of your soul they subject it to "reward" or "torment" (strong emotional stimuli). By doing so they harness the energy of your soul, sucking the power out of it until you are spent; where upon they eject you soul out of the celestial plains and if your lucky back down to earth to be reused.
Names are important, names have power. To hold somethings name is to own power over it.
This grants power over a thing; knowledge of it. Humans, man beasts and animals don't have true names. Fae don't share their true names beyond their immediate families and are extremely weary of people knowing them. Some fae like goblins don't get a true name until they reach adulthood and it is possible to strip a being of its name.
The names of gods invoked in preyer and ritual are parts of their true names. The most powerful of priests hold all of their gods name but because of the mark they bear cannot misuse or share this knowledge
This is a publicly known name of a person or being. It has some power over a person and can be used for tracking and targeting spells. Beings with a true name can change their given names on a whim, those without must earn changes.
With it can be used in lei of a true name but it is more effective with beings without true names. Fae won't deal with anyone who doesn't give them their given name.
This is given to a person with a spirit brand. Its harder to apply to someone with a true name, It overwrites and replaces the previous names but these must be known so they can be invoked and stripped.
Brand names allow the holder of the brand a similar level of power over the bearer as true names but also protect the bearer from its use by others.
Its a mark of power; a link between the physical fae gods and mortals. The symbols are keyed to individual gods and a person may bear more than one however one always takes precedent. One factor is that they cut you off from the celestial gods.
Normaly when a person dies the remaining life energy in the vital part of the soul (the animus) explodes ejecting the conscious spirit away from the material world and into the astral sea. When a person wearing a brand dies it channels this power though itself to the god (alfar/slaugh/giant ectra) where upon it eats it. The soul then drifts through the material plane until it encounters or is drawn into a sentient unborn child and thus reincarnates. Many races take steps to ensure their spirits are reborn into their own peoples.
The can be in the form of a permanent and intricate tattoo (as used by half elves) or a temporary bodypaint (as used by goblins). These allow the recipient to call on their god for aid as well as for the god to channel power though the bearer.
A brand is a similar kind of mark that is magically burned into the recipients skin using enchanted irons. A brand is subsidiary to the spirit mark of another person or group (often the brand wielder or holder of the iron itself). Brands are usually burned into slaves, humans and manbeasts.
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
- Darkest Dorset (UK)
Re: Concentric circles (WIP)
Also known as the dark host, the harrying and the lords of night.
To live as Unseele is to live in the shadows of their might, to pay homage in flesh and souls and service to might and cunning of the Lords of the Slaugh.
They are not one people but an alliance of many powerful races and unique individuals. They are cunning and semidivine aberrations of flesh and though; a terror on the land. Alone they lurk in the dark places of the world, hunting and preying on the foolish and curious. Together they rise and descend on those who oppose them or offend their ideals, hunting and destroying them.
• Divine trolls
• Ogres mages
• Fallen Alfar
This is a cavalcade of terror, a group of semidivine huntsmen lead a charge of beings across hill and dale, they descend on those who offend the fae and bare them away to destroy them.
They chase down and torment their victims before killing and often devouring them. Those who fall are usually resurrected to begin the cycle anew each day. At each rising they are less human, the changes becomes slowly etched into their being; their sin writ large for all to see. In the end they are either killed outright, released as hideous mockeries of their former selves or forced to join the hunt, running ever after at the huntsmans heals. So to is the fate of any and all who oppose the hunt.
These are the semi-divine; in a very real way they are living physical gods. They are composed of flesh and fae in its purest form; as such once adult they cease to age, are nearly impossible to kill and extremely difficult to injure. As gods it is not surprising that the alfar have "portfolios". These are a reflection of their basic power and it’s that power that shapes some of their personality, not the folio itself. They can hear the prayers of their followers. They can perform and grant miracles; for a price
They look more or less human; more or less. They stand between 6’ and 7’6” and are willow thin. They have sharp angular features, long supple fingers, inhuman eyes and a dizzying array of hues. Their eyes and skin glow with a radiant unearthly light which is dim when they are calm but burns brightly when their power is upon them.
The alfar live in sihdee, twisting multidimensional courts outside of even what passes for the normal rules of time and space in the wilds. These hollow halls play host to strange hidden worlds, impossible feasts and insane revelries. They are beings of the wilds, never setting foot in the realms. It is said that tilled earth burns underneath their feet.
How would best I describe the Alfar mind in one word? Insane; as in literally not sane. Part of it’s the godlike power, part of it is longevity and then there is the near indestructability. All of this combines to make them far removed from and very alien to the mortal mind.
They are temperamental, moody, prideful, vindictive and vain. They are at best honourable after a fashion; they will try to fulfil any promises they can’t twist their way out of (almost at any cost) though they begrudge making straight promises. They almost never give a straight answer and are insulted by direct questions.
They have a hard time conceptualizing other people as real people, that they have feelings and lives of their own beyond their relationship with the Alfar. Even those who manage to wrap their heads around the idea find it difficult to extend it beyond the people they personally know. Most Alfar tend to view mortals (at least subconsciously) as toys; things to play with. At best they try to look after their toys and play responsibly; but if they get tired of you they will toss you aside and if you brake; well whist they might weep beautifully at first they will soon forget about you and look for someone else to amuse them. At worst the game is no fun if you don't scream.
Alfar race was once human; even if they have become far from it. Underneath the power, the immortality and the madness beats the same primitive instincts of cavemen as everyone else. They hunger and lust after the human form; in spite all their protestations that they are the most beautiful creatures on earth and humans are rough and crude by comparison. It is that very roughness that causes them to abduct, seduce or just plain take mortals; one after the other. They have a particular fondness for handsome and strong young men. Whilst for a time their attentions often make a man think that he must be the luckiest man alive in the end he can count himself lucky if he escapes with his humanity (let alone sanity or manhood) intact.
Alfar don’t farm, tend crops or keep animals. But what about those horses and hounds they keep, and I swear I saw one tending a grove of apple tree the other day, what up with that? Well their “companions” aren’t animals; or rather they weren’t always animals, the trees aren’t really trees. They were people once; mortals who fell afoul of the fae; to make matters worse they are aware, they know what they were and what they have become. Some of the Alfar even think that they are doing them a favour; that what they have done to them is a great honour or a payment to some debt that the mortal owes them. Be very very weary if an Alfar ever offers to do you a favour; nothing is as it seams and nothing is for free with them.
Words of truth
This is the most powerful ability of the alfar, the most feared and why they rule the seele. Alfar only speak the truth (of a fashion); when they speak with power and name they can make their words the unvarnished truth.
The three limitations are that the outcome must be possible, the subjects true name (or if absent that given name) is known or brand name held, and finally that they can hear, see or can be seen in earshot of the speaker.
So an Alfar saying "Greta, thou art Pig" would literally turn the poor Greta into either a pig or a pigwoman depending on the intent of the speaker. This is one of their favorite games and one so popular that it has spawned a bushel of manbeast races
Trolls are powerful and dangerous predators of man. The most powerful of them are the masters of the dark host; often solitary but never beyond the aid of their kin and worshipers. They are not sword fodder for adventures and are never to be taken lightly
Adult trolls start about 9’ tall with 12-15’ being more normal. Trolls live forever and can grow (depending on diet) to enormous sizes; 90’ is not untypical for a Bjertrolden though the largest recorded was three times that size.
They have tough unyielding flesh, large saucer like eyes, big noses and disproportionately long arms and fingers. They usually have wild manes of dark unkempt hair. Few ever wear more than a belt or bandoleer for pouches, knives and such.
Over time they can regenerate all but the most serious of injuries. Mundane fire or burning irons must be used to sear the wound to make it stick. By cutting off the charred flesh and reopening the wound trolls can heal even these injuries.
Trolls have excellent night vision and senses of powerful hearing and smell. Bright light all but blinds them and they become drowsy and dopey of a daytime; come night however they are alert, active and dangerously cunning.
Trolls are ancient; as a race they are as old as any, one of the first to emerge after the cataclysm at the end of the dreaming. The essence of what is troll is a primal, eternal potency that refuses to be constrained by the human conceit of language. Goblins give it words, they give voice to the seething tableau of possibility they are dimly aware of and call them the tales because that is the only way they can conceive of such things. Trolls have no need of such trivialities, their fabric was baked in the very fires of the remaking; they live as one with the beat of all that is, was or ever will be.
Trolls do not think in words. This can give them a stumbling speech pattern as they struggle to get to grips with language; however to mistake this for stupidity would be a fatal error. Behind those eyes is a cunning and efficient mind; uncluttered by human preconceptions.
Trolls are carnivores. They prefer fresh meat; the fresher the better. For a troll nothing beats the taste of flesh that is still warm, still bleeding, still moving, still screaming. To this end trolls have been known to keep some of their prey alive; either by keeping them captives or by picking off groups of free range beings in ones or twos and letting the rest keep for another time. Some troll witches cook meat for preservation and later use but it has to be done live over a magical fire.
Trollkind have dietary adaptability; the phrase you are what you eat was never applied more strongly to anything else than it is to trolls. The variances among the Troll depend on their food source; those who feed on magical creatures themselves have increased intellect and magical acumen, those who feed on fish and sea life benefit from amphibious qualities such as gill, decreased mass, and general agility, while those who consume more mundane warm-blooded mammals are larger and more strongly built with claws/needle spines/razor sharp teeth, and so on.
The life cycle of a Troll
Trow are the infantile stage of troll. They are born in litters of about one hundred and range from fine to small. They live in mounds that are often mistaken for barrows. Of all their brothers and sisters only a handful will reach the next stage of development.
It takes nearly a century for trow to mature with the final stages happening in a few short years. During this Trow grow into full sized trolls, often eating their smaller and weaker brethren for magical sustenance.
From full sized trolls there are two developmental paths. A troll can continue to grow in size by eating the flesh of trolls, giants, ogres, normal humanoids and gobliniods. In so doing the troll becomes a Bjertrolden, it grows to the size of giants but it wits and magic never develop; this is the path that male trolls usually take.
By preying on magical beings or beings with a propensity for magic (fae, casters and humanoids or gobliniods with large amounts of wisdom, intelligence or charisma) a trolls mind and magic will develop instead of their bodies, becoming dangerous and cunning troll witches. This is the normal path of female trolls but it is not limited to females and not all females follow it.
Rarely a troll will be able to attain great size and power. It is said that this requires that either it eat the flesh of a truly diving being or that it eats the soul energy of tens of thousands of mortals. The real trick of it is to master their own truenames
It becomes a regenerating man mountain and magical powerhouse with a dangerously cunning mind to boot. For trolls this is ascendency, this is divinity and these beings are capable of miracles both dark and terrible.
Trow stand between 2’ and 4’6”. They are violent, cunning and perpetually hungry carnivores. They have short wide heads and thin mouths full of razor edged teeth. They hate and fear mundane fire and love the dark. Whilst they have no casters themselves they are exceptionally resistant to magic in all its forms. It is said that they have a great love for eating babies and children.
Trow who do not partake of only human and not trow flesh get stuck at just about human size, they are called Hrulden and whist fertile with humans they are a dead end on troll development. The children of the hrulden are the goblins.
These are what become of trow who eat rotting carrion. They are afflicted with a disease of the spirit that makes them rabid living dead monstrosities. Trolls loath them and like all undead reject eating their flesh. They are the progenitors of first ghouls and through them vampires.
Trow who eat all their vegetables grow up to be big and strong treekin; ents and dryads. They have leaves and tough woody skin. As Trow know that the proper diet is raw steaming sentient flesh Treekin only occur in the most isolated and deepest forests.
These are pixies and fairies; you can't discuss pixies without mentioning fairies and you can't analyses fairies without referencing pixies so they both go in together. They are essentially the same species and biologically at least humanoids.
They both look mostly human, (some with a slight dash of elf) but they are approximately 3" high. Under mage sight it is revealed that each generates a standing reduce person enchantment; this is what allows them to exist with a human shape on a non-human scale. It is commonly believed that they are descended from a near human stock who souls where branded with this spell in perpetuity. This spell is what is thought to be similar in nature to the mystics supporting gigantism. Only they have any ability to replicate it but they don't possess any real understanding of how exactly it works.
One of the defining features of the little folk is their intense hatred of each other. It ranges from sporadic brutal inter-tribal raiding to systematic organized total war. This conflict at times resembles nothing less than 1:18 scale Ragnarok and can run the gamut of ritualized honour duels and slave raiding to orchestrated carnage. They can and will manipulate the bigger races as unwitting pawns in this.
Fairies are intensely magical for their size. Most are capable of glamor and minor catnips but there witches and warlocks are some of the most accomplished illusionists and fae enchanters outside of the Alfar courts.
Fairies are bonded to a network of glades and meadows, these are places of power for them and they fight to defend them. This makes them surprisingly resilient as they can regenerate even mortal injuries. It’s said that one of the two only ways to permanently kill a fairy open to normals is to cut it off from or destroy its place of power. Pixies prefer the old steal pin though the heart but only after they have had their fun.
The unique thing about the fairies reproductive system is also the most horrifying aspect about them. They never carry their own children; they transfer their unborn to human women and use them as surrogate mothers to bare and raze their offspring for them. When the fairy child reaches puberty they come to claim their own. Fully igniting their magic and shrinking them down into their real fairy size. In cases where the fairy child has a “twin” or simply a child from their human lives they cannot or will not let go of (or will not let go of them) they shrink both down. The human becomes a pixie and s mistreated and abused as a slave by the wider circle of fairies. This is generally the fate off all humans who seriously fall foul of the fairies.
Legend has it that all fairies fly with insect wings. What most fairies actually do is ride flying flower stems. These tales stem from some fairies (and some pixies even) using strap on magical constructs made of insect wings. There have been reports of fairies with bio-grafted wing however few serious scholars give this any credence.
Pixies are intensely physical beings for their size. Most can lift twice their body weight (a full pound), from a standing start jump three or even four times their height and make a running jump of twice that. Their terminal velocity only causes them serious injury if they fall badly. This when combined with feather fall allows them to achieve feats of death defining acrobatics and martial prowess they need to take down their aerial opponents.
They are good with animals. The farm insects and rats and have been known to tame and ride larger animals like foxes and weasels or various birds.
Their material culture is based on theft. This is because of the many things that don't scale well fire is one of the most important. They can’t work metal or bake clay without magic. Wood is no substitute at that size, the grain simply isn't strong enough and flint and glass are all but unbreakable with any degree of control. Instead most need to steel the things we make; that button you "lost" is now a shield, the needle a foil and so on and so forth.
The big problem rural pixies face is inbreeding; those sad misshapen drunken brownies you might have heard of; the results of generations of inbreeding. This is caused by the fact that the nearest family of unrelated pixies could be leagues away and leagues when you three inches high and its hostile county might as well be a thousand miles. To beat this pixies use size manipulation to take advantage of the human gene pool. Those with access to the required magics can temporarily make themselves big; big enough to get in to trouble as it were. The other trick which is both harder to achieve and yet strangely more accessible is to make humans permanently small; suitably small enough to act as spouses. Because they have enough enemies as it is without adding more at home they either shrink down and adopt unwanted children (particularly those too young to remember) or seduce "willing" brides and grooms who may or may not know what exactly they are getting themselves into. Pixies love to steal fairy children, they often cruelly mistreat them; a pathetic and petty revenge on a child who has done them no wrong. This is another major source of conflict between the races. Pixie mages are usually born of these people and as such are often mistrusted by
the pixie community.
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
- Darkest Dorset (UK)
Re: Concentric circles (WIP)
They are the human descendants of the Alfar and form the backbone of the entrenched aristocratic clans throughout much of the land. Most are staunch traditionalists who worship their alfar ancestors with pride.
They stand between 4’8” and 6’4”. They are usually considered adults by 21 and venerable at 90. They seem have slim athletic physiques as well as high sharp cheek bones and slightly pointed ears. Many have nonstandard hair and eye colour.
The Elan are morphologically unstable. Sickness, injury, extreme emotion and traumatic events can cause them to spontaneously change their height, features and even gender; hence their other name “Changelings”. These changes are usually temporary but may be permanent. Few outside of the Drineagh have any real degree of control over this.
It is a closely guarded secret known only to a few Elan that they possess a true form. Most Elan go their whole lives without realizing this; however it is said by those who know that only those who have seen their true form and completely accept that this is their real nature can control and command the change. This form is grey, genderless, hairless, slender, big heads with large black on black eyes and no noses, lips or ears. Children born this way are always handed over to the alfar and are considered dead to the clan. No mortal truly knows what happens to the babes but some speculate that these are where many of the Drineagh come from.
The Elan are caught between the devil and the deep. With each generation that passes they fade just a little; they need a fresh infusion of Alfar DNA to their genepools at least every fifth generation. This process is not helped by their unpredictability and meagre fertility of the Alfar. To expedite matters the clans greedily seek out Alfar scions to marry into their family as well as giving some of their children to the alfars service or sending a daughter of to a “convent” and hoping for the best. When an elani talks about a personal relationship with her god it is understood that she is not talking about a little voice in the back of her mind and a general sense of spiritual wellbeing.
By intermarrying normal humans their blood line fades; their longevity is diminished. Because of this many clans are endogamous and obsessive with purity. This carries its own risks and a great many clans struggle with infertility, congenital deformity and insanity. More pragmatic individuals accept that the extremes lengths that others go are even more damaging then taking normal humans into the family; those family attempt to strike some sort of a balance.
The elani produce few wizard or divine casters. They are known for their sorcerers, enchanters, artificers and inordinate numbers of fae pact warlocks.
Also known as fallen or wild clans; the Drineagh are nomads. Of all Elani they possess the strongest connections with the Alfar and their sihdees. It is said that they act as the eyes and ear and knives of the Alfar amongst the human lands, that each clan has its own patron who personally ensure their continuation.
Amongst the elani they act as spies, assassins and scouts for hire. Few trust them but all respect and fear them. The only thing worse than Drineagh knives in the dark is being captured; for there are no more sadistic and imaginative torturers to be found outside of the fairy courts than they.
They are most often in direct conflict with each other; either at the behest of the godlike masters in their intrigues or because of the vicious vendetas and generational feuds that can result. These shadow wars bear little resemblance to the open battles, duels and skirmishes of other peoples and are known for their convoluted pileups of gambit and counter gambit all covered in a thick fog of deceit and misinformation.
Of all elan the Geid possess the most extensive holdings. From their halls and fastnesses they rule huge swathes of land, their people owe them featly and tribute. At best they are firm but fair rulers and protectors; at worst they are arrogant and exploitative tyrants who think nothing for the welfare and happiness of their people.
The Geid are notorious slavers and raiders. They take great pride in border raids against neighbouring lands to take slaves, goods and cattle; some are also known for daring sea raids. They permit slavers to traffic, trade or even take captives in their territory, caring more about their honour and their cut than about the injustice being inflicted.
The clans create, breed, use and trade manbeasts. Whilst they don’t possess the true speech of their Alfar ancestors they use injections of ritual circles, injections of alchemically altered blood and potions to achieve this. Manbeasts form the cutting edges of their armies, lending firmness and power to their peasant levies.
Of all the elan the Aintiarna are the most cosmopolitan. The clans live together in large fortified towns. This arrangement of adjacent clan halls, compounds and vassal estates can make for a vibrant if tense society.
They are renowned for their metalwork’s; for the smithying, crafting and enchanting of high quality arms and armour. It is the trade in their crafts that provides the Aintiarna with the majority of their wealth and influence; the competition for trade and trade secrets is intense and at times cut throat.
Officially they acknowledge no human slaves in their lands; unofficially the Elani nobility can command any of their vassals in any way, punish or even kill them for any or no reason. The common folk can be ordered, bought, traded and sold into an indentures servitude that doesn’t even have the honesty to admit slavery. No slavery just means that the base state of most humans in many Aintiarna clan holds is no better than a slave.
Humans …poor bloody humans. Humans where one of the dawn races; the only known surviving dawn race. All modern mortal races are derived from humanity; by alteration as well as by hybridisation.
Humans are a rough, tough, adaptable folk who are the dominant race of Fulcrum. By population they outnumber all the other races combined by a factor of at least three to one. Most estimates place the combined goblinoid races in second, the manbeasts in third and the elani and little folk in a distant joint fourth.
These vibrant city states are typically confined to river valleys and the
coasts. They are the heartlands of humanity; typically small oligarchic republics or principalities. The rise of these cities are often driven by divine fervour; the belief that the gods are on side - protecting the people- is vital element in binding people together and giving them the impetus to throw of the superstations of traditional fae rule, fae worship.
The Freistats are the home of wizardry. The constant pressures of the fae and the other perils of the wilds as well as the interstate rivalry are the engine that drives forward magical and technological progress.
Most humans of the faelands live as the feudal vassals or serfs of the great Elani clans. The majority of the human race live in small freehold communities or serf villages within the faelands and have to either contend or strike bargains with the endemic goblin tribes.
These are territories ruled over by the settled barbarian tribes. They straddle the outlying areas and frontiers of the old empires. These are a wild almost lawless place where a mans rights are determined by the weight of his sword arm. These lands are divided up into areas ruled over by tribal confederacies and clanns. They are poorly developed and vicious feuds and border raids are daily realities here.
People worship gods, dragons, titans, trolls, devils, fiends and Alfar in any which way but loose. Power is power and the world is a dangerous place for mortals they will worships anything with power to share really; they don't discriminate.
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
- Darkest Dorset (UK)
Re: Concentric circles (WIP)
General culture and physiology
Gobliniods are the descendants of humans and trolls. Like trolls gobliniods acquire traits from their diet; this normally occurs over several generations of eating an exclusive diet however. Without the influence of human genetics in their systems the fae ancestry begins to take over
Atavistic goblins are strongly effected by their diets as they grow into maturity, able to acquire physical and mental mutations; many beyond the range for even the most heavily adapted of normal goblins. Shaman are typically atavistic to one degree or another.
Gobliniods are not that much more fecund than humans it’s just that they reach a breading age earlier (11-13) and that their hunter gather lifestyle ensures that they have a higher infant survival rate. They normally give birth to a single live offspring at a time though twins are not uncommon. Large litters of five or more are unheard off outside of a dark generation and usually kill the mother.
Goblins commonly breed with humans, in such a hybridisation the fathers blood usually breeds true, especially in the case of male children. A stable goblin blood line requires a regular infusion of humanoid DNA; at minimum every fourth generation. Genetic isolation from other goblin clans makes matters worse and mandates human inclusion every other generation at the very least to maintain stability. Without this the rate of fertility slowly drops off; given long enough a tribe with can become almost sterile except to humans, it often precipitates a dark generation. It is for this reason that goblins are eager to take or trade for human slaves and mates.
A dark generation occurs when a tribe produces large litters of male offspring. This can affect one family, an entire tribe or an entire region. The sheer number of sons they produce causes a demand for slaves and females that far and away outstrips the local supply. A dark generation can cause civil strife, the tribe splintering or furious intertribal conflicts with their neighbours. The scale of slaving operations can strip an entire region of eligible maids;
Shaman often rely heavily on some of the more esoteric magic during a dark generation. They "rationalize" the supplies by transforming surplus male slaves into desirable maids or holding lotteries or games to decide which of the men should remain so and which should also undergo transmutation. Those shaman with the foresight to see it coming take steps to limit the damage by sterilizing or enslaving some of the males as well as ensuring the local humans produce a bumper crop of daughters.
Goblins believe in stories. They hold that goblins are exulted by learning the wisdom inherent in their legends and oral histories. That great honour can be found in perpetuating the old tales, in reliving them and laying down new tales for future generation. They believe that no goblin is dead that tales are still spoken of he, that he or she are reborn to relive their tales again and again where they are most needed. No goblin would ever write a tale down, for they believe that the written word imprisons the tale and harms the spirit of the told and the teller. As a result few goblins can read and fewer are willing to write
Goblins who live the tales merge with one or more of the slaugh, the host of living stories and vengeful ancestor spirits that progenitor the goblin race. The tales are alive to the goblins in a very real sense. They actually happen and are made to happen; as such they change with each telling. They cross pollinate, merge and diverge in a liquid flow of potential. They have momentum though; they want to be told; to be finished. If the plot is sundered the broken end of a tale will flail around wildly, seeking perhaps some hapless mortal to earth itself in.
Goblin shaman wield two great magics; the magic of the spirits and flesh crafting. They are also well versed in herb lore.
The primary role of a shaman is conversing with the “spirit world”; be it in the form of nature spirits, the departed, extra planar entities or even the fae. The shaman strike deals and make offering to placate, for divination, for good fortune or for personal power.
Flesh crafting revolves around the use of the mutagenic and adaptive properties of atavistic goblin blood. The shaman draws samples of his own blood and using rituals he heightens its potency, awakening its dormant power. Carefully mixing it with a variety of substances allows it to be used as a controlled (in theory) mutation inducing salve or grafting agent.
Flesh crafting is used both for practicality (particularly combat utility) as well as symbolic and ceremonial reasons. Slaves in particular are subject to the flesh crafters art; often to the point of becoming full blown man beasts. It is considered a sign of high status to own a heavily crafted slave and shaman will compete with each other to inflict evermore outlandish, artistic and original mutations.
Goblin ale is a mildly alcoholic drink they use to draw in and help entrap potential slaves. This drug is a euphoric and makes the subject suggestible; it is very addictive and will cause almost irresistible cravings after the first three doses. In this state the victims are easy marks and will agree willingly to almost any terms in exchange for another dose. Only goblins know the cure for this and they will only do so at a great price. It is not for nothing that mothers warn their daughters; "do not sup with goblin men; eat not their food nor drink their water."
Goblin tongue is a poly guttural language composed of verbal and nonverbal “particles”. These have a contextual meaning and are assembled together to form words. Most particles and most of the basic words are universal.
Their language relies heavily on allusion, simile and metaphor. The problem comes that most of these are specific to a given region, to a given tribe, to a given generation or even to a given family. These can be considered as accents and slangs, goblins have ease out the thickness of their accents to a more regional cant to be understood by company.
Many goblins can speak the local human language to one degree or another. Almost all headmen can speak with humans fluently; after all how can you trick humans into slavery if you can’t understand them? As goblins have long pointy tongues they do have a tendency to lisp their words somewhat.
These are the default of the gobliniod races. They stand erect between 4'6" and 5'2", they have long limbs and a hunched stance that makes them appear shorter than this. Goblins have disproportionately large features such as their dog like ears, hands with long clawed fingers, eyes noses and feet, they also have course dark hair and wide thin lipped mouths with sharp teeth.
Most of these tales are morality plays where take on the role of judges and agents of cruel ironic justice to the "morally inferior" races. Sometimes they act as advisors and teachers; the wise shaman guiding the “unenlightened” toward knowledge about some threat, quest, magic or some such.
Goblins live in large patriarchal tribes dominated by chieftains and shaman. A goblins status at birth is inherited from the social rank of their mothers. Leadership as well as status is about more than strength or cruelty; it is about one’s ability to contribute as well as one’s ability to convince, cajole, intimidate or persuade others to submit to one’s bidding. A chieftain is one who has either directly or through his lieutenants and the family elders convinced all of the males to submit to him.
A tribe is composed of usually up to a dozen or so extended family units, about two score of unmated or unproven males as well as an assortment of communal slaves and various hangers on. Each unit will have their own permanent dwelling and hunting grounds, these domiciles are often up to a day’s walk apart and almost always over a league separate.
A household is composes of a headman and up to five subordinate tribesmen. These may be sons, brothers, nephews, good friends and or lovers. Beyond the inner circle are their mates, relatives, slaves and children. It is rarely any more than two score (setting aside infants who are neither counted nor named until their third spring).
These families have a pretty strict hierarchy of strict and often corporal discipline. At the top you have the head man and his subordinate tribesmen, then you have invalid male relatives and the head wife or matron. Next are the mates of the families males. Sons and widowed relatives come next. Personal slaves (brides), unmated (uncollared) or adolescent female relatives and daughters are the next rung. Finally you have slaves and the daughters of slaves at the absolute bottom of the social heap.
Goblin women and their social status are defined by their relationships to their fathers, mates or brothers, they are -like children- essentially dependents of the male head of their household. The chief wife or matron is responsible for enforcing discipline and maintaining order amongst the household; a quiet word here and there helps but this is primarily about physical discipline, punishment and forcing feuding females to kiss and make up. Failing this the chief wife will recommend the sale of the problem family member.
As masters goblins are inclined to be dominant and sadistic as a rule but there also supposed to be compassionate and considerate. For a lot of them it’s just about keep up appearances.
In goblin society the term slave is not an insult. It implies less about servitude (although this is involved) and is more about status and obligation. For them everyone is a slave to something or someone; be it a superior, custom, tradition or society.
One of the peculiar things about goblin slave customs is that the victim or someone with power over the victim must agree to give up their freedom. This could be in the form of a promise, as a sale, gamble or bargain. There also exist customs to allow a goblin to claim a victim as slave by right of fiat.
Goblins often enslave each other. Men are expected to be ready, able and willing to contribute to the tribe and goblins who fail to prove themselves by a certain age or brake certain taboos are enslaved. Goblin women are also routinely enslaved, It is not unusual for girls to be sold to, exchanged with or wagered against another tribe or family as a way of strengthening links in the wider community. This is a very common fate for the daughters of human slaves.
Some pacts stipulate a limitation of terms. These state that the slave will be free after such and such a time, when a particular debt is paid or service rendered or when an event occurs. Goblins being goblins use careful wording to twist the meaning of these terms to suit themselves; as a result few slaves are ever simply released. It is not that uncommon for slaves to be freed by the intervention of an outside force
One would think that this human traffic was a one way street; in fact a fairly large number of captives have their freedoms -to one degree or another- bought by other humans. These people are used to hard work, they are inured to privation and have been instilled with unthinking and immediate obedience; as such they are in great demand by certain parties. Given that goblins value basic wears and grain above gold it is not surprising that there are so many takers looking for a good bargain. Goblins won’t sell humans to Alfar however; even they have their standards and something’s are just beyond the pale.
It is possible for a slave to become a free member of the tribe by a process of formal adoption, this requires the sponsorship of the master and the approval of a majority of the tribesmen; as such it is only open to goblin slaves and not humans or any other race.
Goblins have naturally grey skin but habitually paint their exposed skin in a variety of colors culled from their environment. They use scarification to denote status and are painted with colourful body paint in social and ceremonial settings, they use muted natural hues while hunting or fighting; slaves are burned with prominent brands to permanently stake ownership, children are marked with symbols to represent their parentage, adult females bear a mark to proudly display their mate and a chieftain or shaman will wear elaborate markings denoting their ties, status and accomplishments. Amongst these makings on adult males is always a spirit mark, getting your first independent spirit mark is a sign of coming into your manhood.
Goblins are great artists, carvers and musicians. Rather than the hyper realistic and finicky artwork of elves goblin are focuses on strong colours, broad bold strokes and symbolic abstractions. It tell you less about what a thing looks like and more about what it means; how it makes the artist feel and how he thinks it should make you feel. It is the importance of feeling, this sense of narrative and the search for meaning strongly permeates all of goblin culture.
The entire tribe will gather at least once a year at a designated "fairground", these fares are a place to trade, gossip, exchange news, renew old ties and arrange marriages. Fares are often meeting grounds between two or more tribes, sometimes with a few representing families sometimes with entire tribes from across the region in one place.
They are open to human visitors and tradesmen; it is against the rules to enslave, poison, bespell or drug any human; except on the last day of the fare. At the fare watered safe goblin ale is served and games of chance, skill and strength are played. Prize games require all of the participants to put some stake (typically a female, goods or a joint of meat) and the winner takes the lot.
On the last day full strength goblin ale is served even to humans and all the events and facilities are open to them. Amongst the games a prize hunt is held open to human free runners and competitors, the slave auctions are opened to human bidders and sellers. Come nightfall the shaman light the witch fires for the finally; a bone chilling magical display where they test each other’s strength and skill.
The good shepherd watches his flock by night. And so it is that goblins watch over their humans. They go to great lengths to drive off predators; both natural and otherwise. They help the lost and the sick, they leave food for the starving and they take in the desperate and dispossessed. They are also extremely proprietary about their villages; poaching is a serious matter and can lead to conflict or even war.
Humans always outnumber goblins; in a straight up fight they are also stronger and almost certainly more violent and yet as a community they tolerate the depredation of the children with remarkable aplomb. The domestication of a village is a gradual and painstaking process. They understand that too great a yield will damage the health of a village and the bond between goblin and human. Conversely too little and the village will become unused to the harvest, plus the fact that they often grow beyond the goblins ability to readily control and that is just as dangerous. Wild or feral villages are anyone game.
The medicine men are important figures in goblin society, they work very closely -sometimes intimately- with the village shaman and together their knowledge of herbs, medical techniques, healing and natural magic are an order of magnitude better than anything else that most commoners have access to. They make these abilities readily available to the humans; this is a good source of barter, it also builds a bond of trust and dependence. Most importantly it allows the goblins to assess and improve the health of their villages. The goblins use (or some would say abuse) this position of trust to ensure that the villages have more surviving daughters than sons; this surfeit of girls reduces the tension and resentment that the harvest can cause and grants the goblins a wider range of choice as well as more opportunities.
The humans are for their part forbidden from rescuing slaves, killing goblins or giving shelter to their enamies or escaped slaves. Goblins demand a blood price for offenses against them, either in terms of the lives of the offenders or the enslavement of one or more of the villagers of their choice. Conversly humans who turn escaped slaves over to them or inform them of threats to them are rewarded by the goblins; often money but sometimes the release or guaranties about the freedom of their own children.
Humans often describe goblins as maggots, this is both a slur and an affection; they eat away at societies dead flesh. They are quick to absorb unwanted children and orphans as well as expose and or destroy dangerous, negligent or just irresponsible individuals. "Be good, or the goblin men will take you" is a common refrain and more than a few elders have carried out the implied threat of this to dispose of wayward or inconvenient people.
Other goblin societies:
Also known as water goblins. They have barrel chests, webbed fingers and toes, slimy sometimes scaly skin, wide faces with long prehensile tongues and membranous eyes. Many have no teeth and speak with a heavy lisp.
They live in marshes, by lakes and water courses and in river deltas. They build villages on dry islands or raised platforms, their buildings are made of woven reeds and are very hard to see.
The get about their watery home using stilts and coracles. They are also very powerful swimmers. They live by fishing, hunting and trapping water fowl and the small animals of the marshes. Kappa have a rule that if a kappa saves you from drowning you and all you own are their property.
As they can range father and faster by water the kappa of a tribe all live together in the one village. The location of these will periodically be changed to proven an over burden on the natural wild life.
Water side villages and river traders live in fear of kappa, for it is said that they lure lone people and especially children to the water side and drown them. The truth of the matter is that they have been known to save drowning women and children; so they can enslave them and often after luring them but never the less they do save them. The bit about using misleading lights in swamps and fens to draw travelers to their death is true however.
Boggarts are wraith thin, pale and cold to the touch.Their eyes are black from edge to edge and whilst they have very good dark vision they struggle with light sensitivity.
Boggarts started the practice of ritual self-mutilation. They use hot knives to slit their ears and cut off their own noses. Other goblins find this behaviour odd to and limit these practices to scarification, branding and the occasional oversized bone piercing though hobgoblins (never ones for being out done) have been known to go just as far.
They claim abandoned and ruined buildings, catacombs and tombs. They love shiny objects and metal trinkets, these they collect, horde and trade. This love of objects lead them to launch night raids on villages and isolated homesteads where they steal coins, jewellery, cutlery, pots and pans as well the more usual assortment of food, livestock and children (and the occasional full or near full grown woman) asleep in their beds (though most are returned the following sunrise, note the emphasis on most).
Of all goblins Boggarts are the best armed and the best armoured. Status is linked to the amount of "ting" they possess and high status males practically clatter and jangle as they walk. This is alright as boggarts love noise, they think it drives bad spirits away.
Boggart shaman (or witch doctors as they are called) are very good with all kinds of spirits and undead.
Humans welcome the presence of boggarts in ruins; for a start they are a deterrent for anything worse taking up residence. They also help to keep anything deep below locked up tight. They have a sixth sense about things that are better left alone, as such they are usually better guardians of such things than any human would be.
Kobalds live in caves and mine workings; they have ruddy often brown skin that's leathery and calloused. Most have burn scaring to some degree or another and many are partially or totally blind. They have long thin noses and bat like ears.
Kobalds have unquestionably the most materially advanced societies of any goblins. They are the only goblins known to mine, to forge and work metal. It is said that they learned or stole the knowing from the dragons and that each forge was lit from the original drakes fire. They products include knives, axe, spear and arrow heads, needles, traps, cages, darts, chains, halters and branding irons, all the paraphernalia of day to day life
There are two distinct kinds of kobald tribes; the deep tribes and the smith clans. Deep tribes are big and rare; they may swell to thousands of kobalds and slaves. They dig down deep into the roots of the earth and carve complex labyrinths of caves, mine workings, grottoes and caverns. Their products are traded with the tribes of entire regions.
A smith clan is tiny, little more than a family unit. They live in isolated caves and work in close association with one or more tribe . They provide day to day services like sharpening or mending as well as custom peace work.
Of all goblins gnomes are the most cosmopolitan and well-travelled. Few humans ever leave their home towns or villages and goblins are seldom seen outside of their tribal ranges but gnomes are known to follow caravan routs of hundreds or thousands of miles. Nine out of ten goblins seen in cities are either gnomes or the slaves of gnomes.
Gnomes possess and jealously guard the secret of making portable extra dimensional spaces. From handy haversacks, Grendel sacks, portable holes and bags of holding. The lone peddler you espy could well be carrying his entire inventory of goods and slaves as well as his family in the purse on his hip. It is said that the gnomish homeland is the hidden city of Grollodar, an artificial plane built from a series of extra-dimensional spaces and linked to the material world by secret portals.
Gnomes are by and large Traders; they ride shaggy ponies and donkeys They often have brightly painted wagons or boats and tribes are entirely nomadic. Gnomes are also bankers, money lenders (who prefer to use “human collateral”). More well to do gnomes keep their captives in discrete and escape proof extra-dimensional cages.
Gnomes place little value on coin. They spend their money like it where water on good food, strong ale, flamboyant clothes, jewlry and women. Instead they value good quality goods, loyalty, honour, family, friendship and oaths; a gnome’s word is his bond.
Snake goblin live in the dry mountains, badlands and high deserts. They have flashes of soft scales on their arms and down their backs though they are still mammals. Many snake goblins are venomous and have slit pupils.
They always have water; always. They have the power to find water, call rain and even create magical springs. These springs involve living human sacrifices; hence the proverb “where blood is spilled water flows.” Desert tribes are very superstitious about killing snake goblins; that their water will dry up in sandstorms in punishment if they slay one.
They have been known cut off slaves legs at the knee and inject them with venom and blood; turning them into lamina manbeasts. Apparently they can’t run away if they can’t run
This breed of gobliniod stands between 5’-7’ tall with the females usually a few inches shorter than their males. Hobgoblins are a tough rangy people, well known for their mental endurance and physical stamina.
They are adolescent by about 11 and adult by about 15 years old however their mental development is usually only a year or two ahead of their human age mates. Hobgoblins are venerable by about 65.
Hobgoblins are required to “be raised on the milk of human kindness”; literally as infants they must drink human breast milk. It is generally a little more complicated than this alone otherwise every slave child would be a hobgoblin but essentially that is what it boils down to. For this reason they gratefully take on unmarried (or widowed) pregnant women as nursemaids; her milk is far more valuable to them than her chastity ever could be.
As gobliniods they are required to infuse humans into their blood lines every few generations. They employ a variety of strategies to meet this need; from trade and seizure though to extortion, adoption and strangest of all seduction. The absolute requirement for lactating human women for their children to be hobgoblins at all ensures that there are very few cases of atavistic hobgoblins.
In general are a more prideful, more martial, better developed and more aggressive people than their goblin kinsmen. Hobgoblins are more likely to resort to violence than trickery.
Like all gobliniods they follow the old tales, it’s just that hobgoblin in general have a different role in the tales. Goblins are the tricksters, the deceivers; they bring justice to balance by their wits and magic. Hobgoblins the warriors, avengers, hunters and protectors of yore; their justice is forcefully perused with strength, skill and determination. It is this different sense of self identity that sets them apart from goblins.
They run a much more egalitarian society than their smaller kinsmen. Men and women have almost exactly the same rights, duties and responsibilities as each other. Their ranks are also open to others outside of their tribe as well members of other species that win their respect.
The tribes are mostly nomadic, few ever settle down for more than a year or so. Always the horizon beckons; monsters to hunt, tyrants to topple, wrongs to be avenged and lands to conquer. The exception that if they can find something that will be theirs, that they will fight and possibly win to hold onto it; then they settle down.
This lust for adventure draws may young hobgoblins away from their tribes; they leave their families to carve a place for themselves amongst the tales. After many years or decades of questing most of those who survive settle down in other tribes or found their own new tribe.
Hobgoblins just don't fit in very well amongst their smaller kin. They are welcome guests; but few stay for long. In places where the hobgoblins rule the local goblin tribe fall under their protection, in exchange for this they are expected to provide tribute of slaves, produce, crafts, information as well as warriors when the call to arms is given.
Strange as it may seem a lot of humans don't equate hobgoblin with goblins. They are mercantile, mercenary, well-travelled and cosmopolitan. Some regard them as trouble makers, others as dashing adventurers; women swoon and men leer as these athletic warriors in their well-oiled finery go by.
Redcaps are what happen when a goblin tribe is cut off from breeding with humans and turns to human cannibalism.
Redcaps are hulking bruisers who stand between 6’ and 7’6” tall. They are violent, aggressive, confrontational and inhumanly patent. They are highly atavistic but because of their diets they are atavistically human. Their eyes are red from edge to edge, they are extremely resilient, can live for centuries and they have few daughters.
Redcaps are all about power; power of the body, power of magic, power of the mind. Those with power have the right to use abuse or compel those without. With this right however comes the responsibility to do so wisely.
They live in small marauding bands who wander the highways and byways under the leadership and domination of a single Alpha. Sometimes an extraordinary individual will be able to call together several to several dozen tribes to form a horde. These hordes rarely last more than a few months but those that manage to endure build or destroy great nations.
Redcaps view their role in the great tale as destroyers. From small bands of roving marauders to the iron hard backbones of reeving hordes; they are the barbarians hammering down the gates. Once the walls have fallen they have been known to drag whole populations away in chains for butcher, sacrifice or enslavement.
Redcaps have the strongest relationships to trolls of all the goblinoids. They worship them directly and openly, they pay tribute and sacrifices to them; some obey their commands. Many redcap tribes welcome young developing trolls and even trow amongst their numbers.
They get on reasonably well with their smallest kinsfolk. They avoid harrying villages and farmsteads under goblin protection, actively seek out and destroy settlements guilty of killing goblins and refusing to pay a blood price. Redcaps also trade plunder and captives with goblins for tools, weapons and goblin women.
There is a great deal of conflict between redcaps and hobgoblins but also a great deal of mutual respect. Redcaps respect hobgoblins as a tenacious and cunning enemy; hobgoblins respect their power and purity of purpose. Alliances between the two are surprisingly common but often short lived.
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
- Darkest Dorset (UK)
Re: Concentric circles (WIP)
Ah manbeasts; also known as primal folk, Kyma, and filthy animals (but not to their faces if you know what’s good for you). There is more honesty, more decency and more humanity in your base manbeast than any fae. It’s not to say that they are not dangerous, it just that you generally know where you stand with them.
The manbeasts where first created by the alfar as a kind of cruel game. Most alfar wrought manbeasts are unique and few ever escape their clutches. The three basic forms of manbeasts are shifters, primals and kyma.
The classic manbeats. They are usually humanoids with one degree or another of animal characteristics. Some extremely adapted gobliniods are classed as kyma.
Sapient animals; made by either turning a human being into an animal (the method favoured by Alfar) or grafting a human spirit into an animal (the method open to anyone else). Some primals are born to kyma parents
Shape shifters; These beings have the ability to shift between two or more forms, often uncontrollably. They are more common in some kinds of manbeats than others but natural shifters are generally uncommon outside of
the courts. Shifters are often of Elani parentage.
The kyma you see at large where mostly wrought by the Elan. The process involve injecting a human with animal extracts and essence of goblin blood (small wonder then that they too are in on the action) to transform them into the desired result.
As artificial races they can have problems with reproduction; many are infertile and they have a high rate of miscarriage and infant mortality. The upshot of this is that they value their lives and the lives of their surviving children very highly (though infants are sometimes given short shrift), they are also poly-amorous and practice group marriages as standard. Another factor is that they feel the need to include humans in their blood line as a way to ensure they stay healthy and fertile; though in truth this is only of situational value (despite this many Elani manbeast breeders swear by it).
Kyma in the wider world
There are two broad categories of Kyma at large; feral and domestic.
These beings are legally property; either the states or an individuals. They are created, breed and used by many Elani cities and clans. They are often used as low level slave labour or expendable soldiers.
These are found in the human free cities, the barbaric lands and the wilds. Solitary inderviduals are not uncommon but most feral manbeasts live in tribes and small villages.
• The Elan regard them as at best problematic and at worst vermin.
• They get on reasonable well with goblins but there is a fair amount of conflict
• Most normal humans are frightened or superstitious of manbeasts but some they get on with well enough
Kinds of Kyma
These Kyma have furry backs and limbs. In addition to the normal two eyes they have a speckle of simple eyes across their foreheads and venomous fangs. They have four legs and four arms, two fingers and a thumb on each hand. At the end of each limb they posses a small digit with a long hooked climbing claw. Most true Arachne live in the treetops and are known to spin silk.
Adult males live together in a nomadic warbands. Females reside in small territorial family units and look after themselves. Males overwinter with the families; usually a different one each year.
They get on a lot better with goblins than they do with most humans. Goblins don’t judge them because of the way that they look so much as humans; there is nothing that they hate more than being judged.
Arachne also give birth to spidrosities and driders. Driders have an important function in Arachne society as casters and clerics. Spidrosities on the other hand are bear sized beings with a human head and torso for a thorax but spider all the rest. They live in underground burrows and will take anything that walks the earth. They are all abandoned but spidrocities are self-sufficient, instinctual and lethal hunters from birth. It wouldn’t be so bad if they were mindless animals but they possess all the cunning and intellect of their Arachne parentage honed to a razors edge by their bitterness and hate.
[N.B]: Mechanically I view man beasts as a template you overlay on the base creature type. They are currently subject to review and I am trying to come up with a range of fleshed out cultures.
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
- Darkest Dorset (UK)
Re: Concentric circles (WIP)
Vampires have addictive tenancies. Be it blood, sex, power, daylight, danger, violence, alcohol, narcotics, travel, adventure, food, gambling... a vampire will usually find themselves at least one serious vice.
They also have obsessive tendencies. This is the trait that allows them to focus on a goal for centuries, to plan for events lifetime away. The downside of this is that it causes them to become fixated on trivial little details, to moon over a particular victim or to nurse a grudge beyond all reason.
A newly sired vampire will usually spend many decades amongst their blood clan. About a third will never leave their blood kin and spend the remainder of their unnatural lives there.
For one reason or another many vampires leave the embrace of their new families. They wander between territories and wilderness for centuries, few ever able to settle down for more than a decade in any given community. Many end their days dying alone, some wander for all eternity or become hermits but most will eventually be adopted by an existing clan or settle down with a partner to try to form a new clan.
Rather than an a normal soul vampires posses a font of negative energy within them centered. This is caged within a standing positive energy field inside their hearts.
They absorb ambient positive energy, this is then carried to their negative font by their blood. The energy is annihilated within the heart releasing "vital energy" or Qi, this allows the the volition to move, to think and to wield magic; it is what gives them their unlife.
If cut off from or deprived positive energy the negative energy in their heart builds up, gradually eroding their semblance to humanity and eventually overwhelming them.
Whilst they produce their own "Qi" they need to draw on the Qi of sentient beings because they lack some essential spiritual element and need to supplement this from their diet in the same way we need vitamins.
The quickest and most efficient way to do this is to open someones veins and drink the life energy that spills out with the blood. They can do it through touch alone but it takes an awful lot longer and most people will sense that something potentially harmful is being done to them.
If they don't feed will result in a diminished connection to the negative plane. This will drastically weaken them, reducing them to a comatose state if left for long enough.
This is a rage like ability of X use per night. It gives boosted movement speed and damage, it represents the predatory abilities of a vampire during the hunt.
Their bites have the ability to paralyses their victims, allowing them to feed comparatively safely.
The get night vision and a better sense of smell.
A weak suggestion/confusion ability.
By injecting their blood into a mortal victim a vampire can over the course of a few nights enslave them, turning them into a human familiar.
Daylight is not good for vampires but far from instantly fatal. They can get away with the hood/robes outfit but they wont be particularly comfortable under the mid day sun. The main problem is the fact that their eyes are very light sensitive though heat exhaustion is also a factor. Magic darkness and bad weather help considerably but they still have to be careful.
The positive energy in daylight is simply far too much and too pure for their systems to handle. Their absorption systems all but shut down to protect them, shutting off most of their abilities and making them weaker.
For vampire sunlight is an addictive narcotic with long term health implications. The can handle it and even enjoy it to a certain extend but it all about moderation. "Daywalkers" are self destructive junkies; "Kin don't let kin do days". Given enough exposure daywalkers develop a complete resistance to sunlight, however this "burns off" most of their abilities including their immortality.
Children of the blood
The siring of new vampires can not be done alone. It requires the cooperation of two vampires working in consort. The best results come from experienced vampires with a great deal of attunement with each other. When two vampires that are closely linked by blood attempt to sire a new vampire the results are rarely ever stable.
The process involved drinking the blood of the initiate, transmuting it within themselves and re injecting it. This is done progressively over the course of three to five nights. The most delicate stage is when the victims heart stops; the animus of the soul must be contained, caged within the heart and reignited as a font of darkness.
The process is risky and can have varied results, some of them can be deliberately inflicted. The victim may:
*bound as a spirit
*Rise as a zombie
*Rise as an unstable undead abomination
*Rise as a Ghoul familiar
*Remain alive and become a dhampire
*Become sired as a new vampire
Children of the loins
Most vampire are fertile but will struggle to conceive without assistance, particularly amongst their own kind. Vampires may conceive human children; about one in seven of which will become dhampires, however they may only carry dhampires to term themselves.
A vampire may have one of three affinities and one of three natures. Alternately they may be pure blood vampires.
These vampires gain wild shape instead of hunters thirst. They can call and charm animals and may posses an animal familiar.
Wild vampires are particularly vulnerable to silver
They are the best at blending into the crowed, they are charismatic and gain improved abilities to suggest, manipulate and dominate people.
Vampires with a mortal affinity do not have reflections and are afraid of mirrors.
These vampires have the closest connection with the dead and spirits. They are better necromancers and may commune with spirits.
They are vunerable to salt.
They tend to be brooding, pessimistic and cynical. Their shadows are particularly dark.
They possess the ability to manipulate darkness and shadow. They are very good at hiding, they are particularly vulnerable to sunlight.
The most ethereal and otherworldly of vampires. They are slight and almost insubstantial.
They gain the ability to become ethereal and to levitate. They are vulnerable to running water.
The most callous and unfeeling of vampires; they are pale, cold to the touch
and misty breathed.
Cold natured vampires have the ability to lower the temperature, control ice and mist. They are particularly vulnerable to fire.
These are the poor flesh eating relation of vampires.
These guys are mostley human ...mostly. They are a bit stronger than human, stronger than vampires in daylight. They can also become full vampires unless they are the result of a burn out.
[N.B]: This list will be expanded. I particularly want to work on liches.
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
- Darkest Dorset (UK)
Re: Concentric circles (WIP)
Giants are born fully formed from the titans, they emerge in small litters from blisters in the titans skin; the flowing blood of the wound knitting itself together into the flesh of the infant giant. The gestation of the spirits of unborn giants takes about 100 years and takes place in what is less a womb and more a quazireal demi plane within the titans dreams; this is how it is that male titans can give birth to their sons and the females their daughters.
Young giants stand between 12 and 15 feet tall. Many giants periodically descend upon fulcrum, some reside there for most of the rest of their youth. Giants grow slowly as they age; they usually top off somewhere between 60’-100’ around their mid 1700’s. Giants live in small tribes of their kith and kin; in fulcrum this is most often in the isolated and forgotten parts of the world. Many giants wander the lands far and wide; perhaps going for months, years or decades between visits home.
Giants have the power to affect the world around them; their prolonged presence in an area causes plants and animals to grow to abnormal size. Without this power the larger giants would starve as the natural world simply cannot provide enough food for them.
Giants are nigh indestructible; they are able to survive almost anything except a strike with a powerful magic weapon to a specific vulnerable spot on their bodies; this spot (called a stigmata) is different from giant to giant and a closely guarded secret. It can even be removed for safe keeping.
Most giants hate the alfar, and stomp on Small Folk with glee. They insist on helping hobgoblins or humans if it meant war or honour, regardless of what the other participants think. They rarely have "restraint" in their dictionary, and tend to fight with more zeal than skill. Other species are beneath notice, unless they're rude or tasty.
They are honour-before-life bloodknights who treat war as a glorious and ultimate sport, and love every aspect of it; they simply don’t believe they will ever die and don’t make allowances for the frailty of others. They often recreate wars they've fought 5000 years ago, regardless of who might be living on that ancient battlefield now.
Squat, ruddy arsonists. Flame giants are militant, aggressive even for giants and love fire. This is tempered by their discipline and mental focus. Flame giants are known for setting up shop beneath dormant volcanos and slowly kindling them up to a “comfortable temperature”. As they find most of the material world unpleasantly cold many don’t go out much. They have a far greater tendency to relocate themselves to the elemental planes than most giants.
Tall, thin giants who love trees and the deep woods. It is said that every ydrasil (multimile “world trees”) that ever lived was planted by a forest giant. They get on better with the alfar than most giants and have a great love for the sentient once human trees they make. It is said that Forrest giants can speak with these trees, grant them volition and even turn them into dryads. They are known to keep large groves of them.
Deathly pale giants who live in the high mountains or beyond the snow line. Frost giants love the cold and deep snow. They cloth themselves in the furs of the mammoths, woolly rhinos and mastodons they herd.
These beings often live on sky islands, cloud lands or table mounts. They are known for their pronounced wanderlust and love of thunder. It is said that where ever a storm giant goes the sky will be overcast and damp; if he ever knows the sun it is because he isn’t trying hard enough.
These beings love to swim and wade. They live by the water on isolated headlands, mysterious lakes and small islands. They are also responsible for the construction of the largest ships known to exist. The city ship Argus was one such vessel before it was found adrift and converted for use by smaller beings.
These are beings of the dark places of the world. They live in deep valeys and caves and have the ability to move through and manipulate solid stone. Many of the vast caverns and complex tunnel networks beneath the earth were carved by the magics of the stone giants.
Of all beings fair and foul to wield magic beholders are amongst the most dangerous. They are effectively large floating heads with a single eye in the middle of their foreheads. Instead of hair they possess a nest of ringed tentacles with an eye on the end of each, these tendrils are detachable and have worm like bodies. They have fine angular features and a large jaw filled with a long tongue and razor edged teeth.
It is said that beholders where once mages who delved too deeply into the mysteries; that what they saw their changed them. Their mortal frames where no longer able to withstand the knowledge they had absorbed; their bodies withered or burned or faded or just crumbled away. Over the course of a number of weeks their still living heads where transformed into beholders. It is said that the main eye holds a faint glimmer of this unwholesome truth; that mages should not look a beholder in the eye lest they suffer the same fate.
Now they hunger for the flesh they once possessed. They can bite the heads off of their victims and using magic seal the wound and keep the body alive. By removing one of their eye tentacles they can implant it along the victims spine and allow them to control and feel with their new bodies remotely. Since their stalk eyes can reform into maws the poppet has all the mouth it needs to eat.
Is a mages familiar. These beholder kin are loyal miniature beholders barely four inches across and can permit their master to see as they see and to shoot gaze spells from their eye. An eyeball is usually born when a mage rubs the magically charged tears or blood of a beholder in his eye. The eye is slowly and painfully transformed into the semi-independent familiar. Many mages choose not to regrow their lost eye as not only does this strengthen their connection with the familiar but also allows them to reinsert the eyeball into their empty sockets and release it at need.
These beholder kin are roughly the size of human heads, they possess between 2 and 6 eyestalks as well as a nest of thinner semi-prehensile tendrils where a human might have hair. Gauth are made when a humanoid is forced to imbibe the blood of a beholder before being decapitated. Mage wrought Gauths have the blood of the mage mixed with that of the beholder to allow him to control the abomination he has created. Gauths are normally made out of normal humans as mages and magical being have the chance to grow into full sized beholders.
Like beholders they have the ability to reanimate and control freshly decapitated bodies. Unlike beholders they do this by attaching themselves to the severed neck using their tendrils. Given time a small proportion of their tendrils will fuse into a notochord. Once this happens the gauth can detach itself from the chord and control a single poppet at a time remotely. Aside from this it can cause the still living body will enter a form of suspended animation. As long as the body is looked after periodically and the chord undamaged the body can be stored for later use.
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
- Darkest Dorset (UK)
Re: Concentric circles (WIP)
The only nation I have fleshed out as it where. It is a magocracy where necromancy is used to free society from the control of the divine; their conflicts, constraints and alignments.
A nation ruled over by hags (humanoid witches who bathe in human blood to rejuvenate themselves and maintain their immortality).
It is mainly confined to the aethosphear (the sky and high mountains). It has many strongholds in the deep caves and dark forests of sky islands. Hence its other name "Empire of the black night".
Its military uses a lot of harpies (winged manbeasts), flying monsters and powerful sorcery.
These are city states that:
Have a minimalistic aesthetics and a lot of plain white architecture and organic curves.
Have extreme rapture style capitalism between small group collectives.
Are dominated politically and economically by women.
Regard men as irresponsible and disruptive. Males are supposed to focus on improving themselves and thus dedicate themselves variously to the arts, innovation, philosophy, magic as well as athletics and other physical pursuits.
Practice slavery and eugenics but in a sinister deniable fashion rather that more overtly.
A confederation of sky nations. Ruled over by aristocratic clans with a heavy predisposition toward sorcery and other forms of magic.
These nations employ huge amounts of magiteck (to the point of magepunk) provided by competing wizard corporations. Use airships, golems and power armor.
Deadly enemies of the Imperium.
[N.B] Any help with more concepts or fleshing these out would be apriciated.
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
- Darkest Dorset (UK)
Re: Concentric circles (WIP)
Types of magic
This is the “science” of magic. It owes far more to traditions, rules of thumb and the accumulated wisdom of trial and error than logical and mathematical analysis but never the less it is a functional workmanlike affair. Manipulation of the magics is based on the use and arrangement of the Quoans. These are “sealed units” of magical understanding; they work, they can be used for this and that but how they work is anyone’s guess.
The craft (wizardry) is known for its heavy reliance on implements, book and scroll learning as well as its achievements in the field of magical crafting, herb lore and alchemy.
This magic is innate; inborn. It depends on flashes of insight and intuition; not for them the endless rote of basic Quoans and dry dusty tomes. Inspiration can strike anywhere, anytime. Many artists spend years looking for a muse or studying the works of a master.
The basic principle of the art is to manipulate the magic of the world using the medium of ones soul. As everyone’s soul is different the art is a deeply personal experience and few are willing to discuss the specifics openly; even so techniques do not always translate directly between different people.
There are places in the world that act as natural confluences. These places draw in the power of the world. They act as vast primal animiae; unleashing huge amounts of vital energy into the world. This energy ensures that these nexuses are always abundant with life and draw in a great many spirits.
Certain individuals bind themselves to these places; they pledge to defend and preserve them. By harnessing the magic with groves and circles, my manipulating ley lines with monoliths and mounds, by forming bonds with the spirits and animals of their lands and sacred sites great power; the power of the earth, the power of the land is theirs to call.
When you absolutely have to reduce every mother in the room to meat jelly and bone shrapnel and you have only your fists or a hunk of wood to do it with then you want the way. The essence of the way is the manipulation of the vital energies with your own body to make you stronger, faster, tougher and able to attain extraordinary feats of magic and martial prowess. It takes years of dedication, mental discipline and enormous physical effort to achieve this.
There are two schools of thought about how to control the flow of vital energy:
The first relies of the principle that adrenalin causes the Chi to naturally spike. Focused busts of controlled aggression are used to channel Chi into ones abilities.
The second states that the vital energies are naturally heightened when the mind is at its most restive (sleep). By calming the conscious mind and setting aside thought they are able to dramatically increase the flow of energy.
Tranquil fury is the rare state when both are achieved simultaneously; such a state is highly unstable but extremely powerful. Beings who are able to enter this permanently (the tranquil) become near immortal living engines of destruction.
Clerics and priests are known to invoke “miracles”. What is generally not known is that those are in very rarely in any way due to the direct intervention of the divine.
The point of religion from the divine perspective is to acquire souls; faith is merely a by-product, a means to an end. Faith has real power, faith can move mountains. The temples, chapels, shrines and symbols not only spread and administer to the religion but they also act as engines of faith; harnessing that power for the use of the priesthood.
The energy can be invested in places, artefacts and in people for the cause of the religion and for the protection of the faithful. Priests and other agents of the temples can use symbols and relics to draw on a limited amount of that great power for their own ends. By making vows, by undergoing ordeals and by competing tasks an operative can be “ordained” with an increased allotment of the vast (and sometimes not quite so vast) reservoir of magical power.
Schools of magic
This involves the manipulation and use of positive and negative energy. It is sometimes called necromancy by the unenlightened.
Biomancy is the manipulation of life and life energy. It is the single most demanding of all of the disciplines in terms of knowledge and skill. Misuse and misapplications of biomancy can have unforeseen and undesirable side effects.
It is used to:
• Alleviate the symptoms of dieses
• Sterilize wounds, water and implements (negative stripping)
• Aid in healing and surgery
• Creation of hybrid , transmuted or transgrafted beings
• Infliction of sickness and injury
• Boosting or suppressing biological performance
• Purifying and purging poisons and toxins
• Manipulate growth
It is the direct manipulation of positive and negative energy as a destructive force. It is the straightest forward and potentially the most dangerous of all the dualistic disciplines.
It is used to:
• Annihilate or incinerate using beams of positive energy
• Dissipate or obliterate using fields of negative energy
• Disintegrate or destroy using blasts of an explosive mixture of both.
This is about the use of vital energy and soul fragments to artificially recreate a synthetic animus. It is the most misunderstood and abused of the dualistic disciplines. It is typically synergistically paired with spiritualism and sealing for the greatest effect.
It is used to:
• Reanimate the undead
• Animate golems
• Create other forms self-powered artefacts, constructs and implements
• Create animate plants
This magic involves the creation of seals to bind things of power as well as the creation of geise.
This is the magic of contracts. Of all the Keikai it is the most forceful of the disciplines but requires the most focus and force of will.
It is used to:
• Summon and bind of beings or entities from the elemental and outer plains.
• Dismiss or exorcise summoned or outside beings or influences.
• Call, translocate and bind beings and entities of the material plane
• Call objects and artefacts
This is the magic of seals. Of all the Kekai it is the most subtle and esoteric. It requires absolute precision and concentration to be of any real use.
It is used to:
• Create area protective barriers
• To contain entities within, objects, and chambers
• To place seals or wards on artefacts and doors
• To sense or examine power within a given area
This is the magic of spirits; both living and dead. Of all the keikai it is the most sympathetic discipline.
It is used to:
• Sense, communicate and command spirits.
• Summon, raze and dismiss spirits.
• Manipulate, contain, bind and liberate spirits and soul energy.
Glamour is about the manipulation of the mind and the senses. It is a signature of the fae.
This involves the manipulation of light and sound to create images that are really there but not actually real. Of all glamour is has the most tangibility.
It is used to:
• Create illusions
• Conceal things from mundane senses.
• Manipulate light and dark
This is the manipulation of though, memory and the mind. Of all glamour it is the most invasive.
It is used to:
• Communicate mind to mind
• Manipulate perceptions
• Suggestion and mental domination
• Memory alteration
This involves the manipulation of emotions. Of all the glamours this is the most pervasive.
It is used to:
• Sense and read emotions
• Enflame or calm emotions
• Charm or manipulate a subject through emotions
• Call, calm and control animals.
This involves the manipulation of the forces, matter and energy.
This is the magic of change. Of all the evocation it is the most useful but requiring the most imagination.
It is used to:
• Transform objects
• Transmute substances within their elements (metal:metal…liquid:liquid …ectra)
• Size, weight and other forms of property manipulation.
This is the power of the elements. Of all the evocations it is the most destructive and harmful.
It is used to:
• Control elements
• Manefest elements
• Transmute elements
This is the magic of the manipulation of reality. Of all the evocations it is the most energetic and demanding.
It is used to:
• Teleport objects and persons
• Temporal manipulation
• Perform Telekinesis
• Spatial manipulation