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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Gemini! Treasure Hunting Across Both Sky & Sea!

    Gemini!

    The Race Is On

    Hello and welcome to Gemini!, a campaign setting I've been tooling around with for a while, off and on. You may or may not remember that I briefly posted about this world previously; well, I didn't get too far with that one, but I've been re-inspired so here we are again, updated with a bunch of new stuff and more on the way.

    Let me know what you would like to know more about and I will write about that next!

    What's Up With The Music?


    I like music. I like soundtracks for things. Each section header will contain a link to some composition that I feel captures the mood of the topic. Most of them will be sweeping orchestral scores focused around flying airships, fair warning. It's not necessary to listen to them to enjoy the setting, but I wanted to share.
    Table of Contents
    Last edited by Xallace; 2014-03-19 at 02:17 PM.
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    Avalon and Shambhala are celestial twins, two great bodies locked together in a gravitational dance through the heavens. They are fraternal twins - Avalon is the blue pearl, a wet, watery world with little land and plenty of ocean. Shambhala is much the inverse: oceans of dry sand and rocky mountains surround islands of life-giving water.

    Each planet acts as each other’s moon - they are about the same distance from each other as the Moon is from Earth. Each planet appears in the other’s sky, about 4x the size of the Moon in our sky. This also means that tides are 81x as exaggerated as those on Earth; so a tidal difference of 6 feet would instead be a tidal difference of 486 feet! An archipelago becomes a connected island during low tide. Entire islands disappear during high tide. On Avalon, where water rules, this is an especially important part of everyday life.

    However, the two planets orbit each other much more slowly than our moon orbits us. Likewise, tidal cycles are much slower. In some places, tides might last half-a-day each, while in others, high or low tide might last up to a few days.

    Avalon is our home and our focus, a world of ever-changing islands, big seas, and bigger skies. It is a world with a history longer than anyone knows, and a future more uncertain than any can predict. It’s a place a lot like our own Earth, really; it has mountains and valleys, fields and forests, rivers and lakes, deserts and tundras. It has bugs and plants and birds and beasts, it has iron and gold. It’s a familiar place in a lot of ways, but a very alien place in many others.

    The borders of a given land mass on Avalon tend to be marked at high-tide, as this marks the generally livable bits. Maps of islands come in pairs, one for each tidal extreme. Fishing is a much greater exercise than on Earth. Sea travel is next to impossible. Ports exist only rarely, as there is hardly a reliable way to build them - and they are entirely ineffective half of the time. But recent advancement in, of all things, flying ships have created a whole new world for Avalon’s residents.
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    Geo-Astronomy 2: The Passage of Time on Avalon


    As with so many things, the advent of air travel changed the way Avalonians needed to record time. The separate calendars recognized by Avalon’s nations had to be translated for both trade and diplomacy. Five years ago, a council of representatives from Giralda, Hokusai, Synthranon, and þiudiskaz agreed upon an “International Calendar.”

    The international solar calendar is 365 days long, split into six seasons. Unlike on Earth, these seasons are not split into months.

    {table=head]Season|Rough Earth Equivalent|Length
    Spring|Mar-Apr|61
    Summer|May-Jun|61
    Midsummer|Jul-Aug|61
    Autumn|Sep-Oct|61
    Harvest|Nov-Dec|61
    Winter|Jan-Feb|60[/table]

    While Synthranon officially adopted the international calendar for trade purposes, the majority of its people (including the theocracy) stick to their original Shambhalan calendar for tracking time. Each period begins while the planet is full in the sky, and because this calendar strictly follows the cycle of Shambhala’s phases, it drifts between seasons in a larger cycle known as the “Cosmic Year,” which is about 33 solar years long.


    {table=head]Period|Length|Holy Days
    Defarios|59|New year’s celebrations for 4 days at beginning of period
    Tritarios|59|Soldier’s Day (14th of Tritarios)
    Tetios|59|-
    Pelilios|59|Pelea Holy Nights begin at “new” phase, last for 7 nights
    Paramaios|59|-
    Savanios|59|End of year ceremonies during last 3 days[/table]
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    It dominates the night and can be easily seen peeking through the blue sky of day. Its green mountains and blue seas are visible to the naked eye, and astronomers all over Avalon point their telescopes to it to fill in their maps with meticulous detail. With a powerful enough lens, one can even see cities. It has many names across many cultures. It is Shambhala, the world in the sky.

    There are many myths and legends surrounding Shambhala, but only recently has humanity taken a scientific eye to their cosmic twin. With the naked eye, one can make many easy observations about it: Shambhala is mostly land surrounding liquid seas, in opposition to Avalon’s small islands surrounded by endless water. Many mountain ranges are visible encircling the planet.

    With a telescope, one gets much finer detail: The planet is covered in life. Massive forests surround the seas, and creep up into nearby mountains, and the further one gets from the water, the more deserts set in. Shambhala even has seasons like Avalon, cycling through Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter in much the same way. Most miraculous is this: at the right time, in the right place, with a good telescope, one can see artificial structures.

    Who lives on Shambhala? Well, nobody on Avalon knows for sure, although some claim they do. Religions all over the world make Shambhala out to be the home of the gods, and evidence of civilization only serves to enforce this belief. Some believe that Shambhala is the current home of whatever civilization left all these ruins on Avalon (who are also the gods, depending on who you ask). Now that airships have become relatively commonplace, some hope that soon humanity will be able to fly all the way to their sister in the sky.

    Theories & Beliefs

    • If you are a believer in the Emanations, then to you Shambhala is the kingdom of the Immortals, Heaven itself. There, the land is plentiful and fertile, where none go hungry and all can have as much space as they desire. It is but one world closer to the divine source of all things, and if you live a life of goodness, kindness, and mercy, you will be rewarded with rebirth upon that land. It is said that from there, another world is seen in the sky - one even closer to the Truth.
    • Whoever built the ancient cities under the waves left for Shambhala. Maybe they live there still, maybe they don’t - but whoever they are, they’re responsible for all the water on Avalon. Avalon wasn’t so wet once; in fact, it was quite nice until the Ancients brought on the flood. Now we’re stuck on these scattered rocks because of them, and they’re not even around to pay for it.
    • Shambhala is the great wheel that turns the tides. Pelea uses it to command the waters and bring both wonder and ruin, life and death.
    • It is a planet similar to ours, trapped in a relatively stable orbit with Avalon as both are trapped circling the sun. Recent study indicates that it may be slowly moving away from us, and will eventually disappear completely into the void of space. (Note: this is not a common view)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avatars
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    "The-Fantastic-Protectimaton-MK-VIII" avatar by the wondrous KingGolem!
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  5. - Top - End - #5
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    When the tides recede, ruins appear from beneath the waves. Entrances to great underground passageways, filled with ancient treasures. If they’re close enough to the shore you can see them underwater and sometimes they poke out of the surface even at high tide. There are even more out in the deep, but no way to get there - except for the ones that stick out of the surface at even the deepest stretches of ocean.

    Many of these ruins are filled with relics of civilization past - gold, art, gems, weapons, pearls especially. Others contain large reefs of electrical coral (as explained below), an important resource for the modern world. Many are almost impossible to get to unless it is low tide. Others are filled with strange guardians. There are many reasons to want to enter these ruins, and just as many to want to stay away.

    With the rise of air travel, amateur treasure hunters, coral-harvesters, and University- and government-funded archaeological expeditions to some of the safe-access ruins have become increasingly common. By the same token, pirates have been reported in increasing numbers, attacking and looting ships fresh from expeditions.

    Amidst all this, there is no shortage of legends and rumors among excavators. Stories of unimaginable treasures in hidden ruins pass from airport to airport. Tales of narrow escapes from horrific monsters impress landlubbers in pubs the world round. Some say that digging through ruins will doom our species from some ancient prophecy or another, while others loudly proclaim that harnessing ancient technology is the way of the future - if only we could find some.

    The atargati, for their part, know about as much of the ruins as humans do. Despite their aquatic presence, atargati have no idea who built them or why. Most try to stay away for safety’s sake, as the ancient guardians and vicious critters inhabiting the watery tombs make them a less-than-ideal day trip.

    Rumors, Legends, and Fish Tales


    • The atargati know more than they’re letting on, some say. They’re either keeping the best stuff for themselves or are letting humans dive in, knowing full well that its more dangerous than humans realize.
    • Among the most prominent legends is that somewhere in the world, a ruin contains a treasure so impressive that the lucky son-of-a-gun who finds it will be set for life. This treasure is referred to reverently as “La Realizada,” because whoever finds will be set for life. It is rumored to be everything from near-endless treasure to coral so powerful it would let your airship get to Shambhala, to an ever-willing-to-please mechanical harem. While many of the tales are wild and most flyers remain skeptical, those same flyers, however unwilling they are to admit it, believe just a little that the tales might be true.
    • The religion of at least one nation claims that the ruins are of the gods who once lived on Avalon, but ascended to Shambhala in the sky above. They warn that trips into the ruins are tampering with things best left undisturbed, and that if we continue, it will spell our doom - whether from the return of the ancients, or from awakening some kind of super-weapon, or simply our own greed destroying an ecosystem we don’t fully understand.
    • There is a pattern to the positioning of the ruins, and mapping them all will reveal knowledge of greater wisdom than humanity could discover on its own.
    • Humans and atargati were once a single race who built the ruins together. When split into separate peoples, the two stopped caring for the symbols of their former glory.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Within ruins, and out past the tidal points, there is coral. A lot of it is regular-old, beautiful coral, but some coral has interesting properties. This coral, when agitated, produces an ongoing electrical current in a fashion similar to an electric eel... but much more powerful. So powerful, in fact, that within the past few decades, humanity began to harvest this coral as an energy source. Now, large coral tanks are installed in city blocks to provide electricity to the masses, and on airships to provide energy for the motors and amenities. Thousands of workers around the world are employed to care for and feed the coral, and all airships have at least one individual knowledgeable in coral maintenance.

    The coral must live and thrive in large quantities to produce enough electricity to be of any use, so portable electrical devices are out of reach for the time being. Instead, series of cables transfer electricity from the tanks to the general populace, creating a grid-like structure of wires above the roofs of modernized nations. Anything that runs on coral power must be plugged into this grid.

    The loophole to this is - you may have guessed it - airships. While not truly portable in our idea of a “portable device,” an airship’s coral engine can be used to power other devices than the ship itself. Thus, some appliances and machines are now carried via airship to allow them a measure of mobility. A good example of this are the small maintenance balloons that patrol the electrical grid itself, carrying sensors and repair equipment.

    But there is a bigger loophole than that, even: The infected.



    Sometimes, the coral will take residence in a complex life form. Usually the human body will weed out the invading coral like an infection, leaving the human unharmed and often none-the-wiser. For some, however, the polyps take root. It begins with epidermal growths that spread along the body like warts, growing bright and colorful, but often slimy to the touch. Soon, the coral extends subdermally, connecting via unknown methods to a host’s neural network, forming a kind of symbiosis. The process is obvious and clearly disfiguring, but actual discomfort for the host can be as minor as occasional itching at the infected points (but can range to crippling pain for a few unlucky souls). The coral reproduction is hardly rapid, often taking months to spread to significant portions of the body.

    The coral, for its part, feeds on bacteria present in the human body, and to remain healthy the host must occasionally make sure to feed the coral small fish, often by simply placing it on the infected area and letting the polyps do the rest. The coral retains moisture by feeding on liquid in the host body, and because of this, the host must drink about two-to-three times as much as normal in order to remain hydrated, depending on the person.

    But why keep the coral alive when it has infected a host? As mentioned, the coral is a symbiote, not a parasite. Once the coral has connected to the neural network of the host, the host becomes privy to the coral’s bioelectrogenesiac capabilities. The human becomes capable of producing generous amounts of electricity. In layman’s terms, the host can shoot lightning. Of course, the creative host can find more wide-ranging benefits to the ability to provide electrical current, but the part where one can play Zeus is what they are most known for.

    This phenomenon is well known (and surprisingly common) among the atargati, but much rarer in humankind. Dolphins and whales are occasionally found to host the coral, with one particularly large family of whales seeming to have formed an impressive symbiotic relationship. These whales seem to seek the coral out, and adults are often small reefs in their own right, teeming with fish, algae, and plankton.
    Coral Infected
    [Infection]

    You have succumbed to an infection of coral, forming a sort of symbiosis.
    Prerequisite: Con 13
    Benefit: You can generate electricity with your body by way of symbiosis with the coral growing on your body. You gain a number of “charges” equal to your Con modifier + 1. These charges may be restored at a rate of one per minute spent submerged to your neck in water.

    So long as you have one charge remaining, you may deal electricity damage with a touch attack. This damage is equal to 1d6, +1 per level. You may spend one charge to deal this damage as a ranged touch attack with a range of 40 feet. You may also spend one charge to power any electrical device of huge size or smaller for one minute, so long as you sustain contact. You may also spend one charge to power any electrical device of smaller than colossal size for 1 round, including small airships.

    Drawback: You take a -3 penalty to all Charisma-related rolls that take your appearance into consideration, except for intimidate skill rolls. You also must consume at least double the amount of water each day than you would otherwise normally drink.

    Generator
    You are a powerhouse of electrical generation.
    Prerequisite: Coral Infected, Con 15
    Benefit: You gain three additional charges, and can recharge one charge per 30 seconds spent submerged in water, rather than each minute. Additionally, you can now "Overcharge" yourself; if you are out of charges, you can pump water from your own body into the coral network, recharging 2 charges for each point of Constitution burn you accrue. You can burn one point of Constitution as a swift action each round.

    Drawback: Your mere touch is dangerous. So long as you have at least one charge, any creature or object in contact with you takes 1 point of electrical damage per round. You also take an additional -1 to all social rolls involving your appearance, excluding Intimidate skill rolls.

    Stormbringer

    Through practice or lucky break, you can produce much more massive shocks than usual.
    Prerequisite: Coral Infected, Con 15
    Benefit: You can spend one charge when using your electrical touch attack to increase the damage to (1d6+1) per level, rather than 1d6+(1 per level). You can spend one additional charge (for a total of two) when making a ranged touch attack to increase the damage to the same.

    Additionally, you can "Overcharge" your electricity. If you take a point of Constitution burn while using your touch attack, it becomes a 20-foot radius burst centered on you. You make one roll and compare it to the touch AC of all creatures in the area.

    "Overcharging" while powering a device gives grants greater efficiency. Powering a device smaller than huge in this way grants it power for (your unmodified Con modifier) minutes, even when not in contact with the device. Objects smaller than colossal are powered for the same number in rounds, and objects colossal or larger can be powered for 1 round with sustained contact.

    Drawback: You take an additional -2 to all social rolls involving your appearance, with the exception of Intimidate skill rolls.
    Last edited by Xallace; 2014-03-18 at 05:36 PM.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Humans are not the only sentient species to call this planet home. The oceans are home to an expansive civilization of aquatic humanoids, commonly referred to (by surface-dwellers) as “merfolk” or “merpeople.” The merfolk themselves prefer the term “Atargati.”

    Contact between humans and atargati has been prevalent for decades. Most atargati live far out to sea, but high tide often brings roving pods closer to the shore. Some small bands even swim up rivers, or make their homes in lakes left behind when low tide rolls around.

    The largest collection of atargari make their homes in warm, tropical waters, where there is little need for blubber. Here, atargari resemble the merfolk of Earth legend - human-like upper torso, well-toned from swimming, and a fish-like lower body. In truth, being mammals, the lower body bears more resemblance to a dolphin. The upper bodies of tropical atargati are dark-skinned, while their lower bodies are a uniform grey. Hair tends to be black or brown, and styled in countless different ways. They wear little, although shell-jewelry and the occasional kelp-dress are favorites.

    As one goes further North, atargati become lighter in coloration, but larger in size. Layers of blubber are required for the cooler waters, lending the atargati a chubbier shape - but no less muscular. Mid-Northern atargati tend toward lighter skin and hair in general, with whiter lower bodies and blonde, brown, or red hair being common.

    To the far north live massive, hulking merfolk. They are densely-packed mountains of muscle and blubber, reaching more than 15 feet in length and bearing the strength to capsize small vessels. They are a stark black and white in coloration over their whole body. While humans tend to lump these creatures into a general “merfolk” category, atargati claim that is akin to lumping together humans and gorillas... which, admittedly, is something many atargati do.

    All atargati possess webbed fingers, a special membrane that acts as a sort of “second eyelid,” allowing clear vision while underwater, and gills on their sides that close completely when out of the water. These gills often have a noticeable discoloration while closed.

    Atargati are as varied in society as humans and to condense their complex species down to a few paragraphs is to rely on stereotypes and bullpuckey. There is no “typical merfolk,” just as there is no “typical human.” As such, the descriptions of individual islands and nations will contain sections on the surrounding atargati society, including relations between the two.

    Atargati Racial Traits

    • Medium-Size Humanoid (Aquatic)
    • Base Land Speed 5 feet, Swim Speed 30 feet
    • Atargati possess low-light vision.
    • Amphibious (Ex): Atargati can breathe water as well as air, and do not worry about drowning in either environment.
    • Because atargati possess a natural swim speed, they may always take 10 on Swim checks, and gain a +8 racial bonus to Swim checks.
    • Atargati gain Endurance as a bonus feat.
    • Favored Class: Bard
    • Level Adjustment: +0
    Sea to Land

    Transmutation
    Level: Bard 1, Sorcerer/Wizard 1, Wu Jen 1 (Earth)
    Components: S
    Casting Time: 1 Full-Round Action
    Range: Touch
    Target: Creature Touched that possesses a natural swim speed
    Duration: 24 hours
    Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    You make a series of finger signs before touching your target. Their tale splits open painlessly, transforming into a pair of humanoid legs, perfect for walking on land.


    The target loses their natural swim speed, instead replacing it with a base land speed of equal value. The primary purpose of this spell is to allow atargati to live on land for brief periods. The secondary purpose of this spell is practical jokes at fish markets.
    Last edited by Xallace; 2014-03-18 at 04:31 PM.
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    Coplantor's Official Second-In-Command 2.0. It's alot like being Will Riker, but still with less alien women and also pirates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avatars
    "Epic Abjurer" avatar by the astounding Fayt!
    "The-Fantastic-Protectimaton-MK-VIII" avatar by the wondrous KingGolem!
    "You-Know-You-Want-It" Paladin MD avatar by the mighty thelizard!
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    You may have picked up on it by now, but airships are the latest, greatest way to travel. Held aloft by a lighter-than-air balloon, large tanks of coral power propellers for mobility. Mostly used as merchant vessels for trade, they are seeing increasing personal use, but mostly among the wealthy and those willing to steal them. Many airships are seeing use for archaeological purposes.

    Airship construction is largely monopolized by Merlo Bros. Shipwright Company, and the majority of airships are made at their primary factory on Giralda Island. Gifted amateur craft float the skies as well, although regulations on coral requires that most homemade airships either use other power sources (most, if not all, of which are far less efficient), or required a trip to the black market.

    A corporation the size of Merlo Bros is a new concept in this part of the world, and the potential for both war and economic growth was not lost on the Republic of Giralda. After some debate and negotiations, the Merlo Bros have signed a contract with their government that disallows them from selling airships directly to other nations. This does not bar them from selling to private and public enterprises, however - most of them are sold directly to merchant princes and academic universities, no matter their homeland. At the same time, the Republic of Giralda buys airships by the dozen. Their new (sky-)navy is becoming a worrying force for other nations, and rapid colonization of uninhabited islands is only the tip of the iceberg.

    Not that Giralda is the only island boasting airship technology. Spies in Merlo Bros factories and even a few independent engineers have decided to go the patriotic (or lucrative) route and develop air technology for their own nations.

    A Guide to the Merlo Bros. Shipwright Company SURINOS SPECIAL

    Congratulations on your purchase of a Merlo Bros. Shipwright Company Surinos Special model - only the most economical design for an airship, used by merchants, academics, and the great nation of Giralda alike. Such a design is easily fitted and re-fitted for all of your needs, whether used for sight-seeing, trade, education, entertaining, or colonizing for our great nation. With Her Always, Mother Giralda!

    You will find your Surinos Special a comfortable fit, with many accommodations for long-distance travel. You will have your main bridge and coral room, of course. The galley kitchen is right next to a small break room, allowing the crew to eat together comfortably. And yes, the galley kitchen does come with a sink - hot & cold running water is standard on all Surinos Special models, allowing for refreshing showers in the fully-equipped bathroom.

    And the Surinos Special doesn’t skimp when it comes to comfort! A master bedroom fits two with room to spare, and even comes with a large writing desk built directly into the wall! Nearby are the crew quarters, which can fit two almost as well as the master bedroom, or can fit up to six bunk-beds with room for personal trunks. Both rooms come with a large closet.

    Finally, the cargo hold is especially large for a ship of this size, and there is no doubt that you will find plenty of use for it. The cargo doors open to a loading platform at the read of the ship, from which you can haul goods, release your personal craft, or dive into the waters of your favorite sea on your tropical vacation!
    Operating the Craft


    Operating an airship is complex business. Size, frequency of use, reason for use, and projected distance of travel all factor into what is required to keep a ship afloat and operational. But there are a few basics for every ship, and they are as follows:

    • Airship Crew: Airships require a minimum crew of four to operate safely. Larger airships require many more, and airships in specialized service may require other duties, as their nature demands. Each of the following also requires a license to be considered federally valid in most nations. The Airship Operation & Trade Agreement has designated that standard testing should be allowed for licensing at all Aerospace Guild halls, located in most airport cities.
      • Pilot: An airship requires at least one individual present at the helm. Pilots are situated on the bridge, where they can communicate with other operations by way of a brass pipe system. Here, the pilot is supplied with a large wheel for steering the rudders, foot-pedals for controlling energy supplied to the propellers (one for each propeller), an altimeter, a compass, and a pressure gauge for the balloon. The pilot often doubles as a navigator, but some crews split these duties.
      • Coral Engineer: At least one individual must be present to monitor and care for the coral, the main source of power for the entire ship. The engineer (also referred to as the “gardener”) must be skilled in aquatic biology and electrical engineering, feed the coral and change its water regularly, and keep it sufficiently agitated to produce electricity. On larger airships, there will often be a Chief Coral Engineer who oversees a smaller crew.
      • Balloon Engineer: One individual must be present for balloon maintenance, monitoring pressure and gas flow so the ship may stay afloat. This engineer often doubles as a mechanical engineer for the rest of the ship, repairing structural issues when they arise and keep the body of the ship in top shape. On larger airships, there will often be a Chief Balloon Engineer who oversees a smaller crew.
      • Steward: The steward is responsible for cleaning, cooking, plumbing, and general upkeep of the ship. The steward is often responsible for cargo manifests and documentation. On larger airships, there will often be a Chief Steward who oversees a smaller crew.
    • Documentation: Many airships cannot sell goods, trade, or dock without proper documentation. Aside from the licenses above, an airship must be certified with the Aerospace Guild. Certifications can be obtained at any port from Guild professionals, which requires a detailed inspection. Most airships are certified before their first flight, but in unusual cases, guild professionals may inspect an airship upon entrance to a city. Airship documentation includes the nature of the vessel - academic, trade, private, or military - make & model, year of construction, and any professional alterations or revisions.
    • Yearly Check-Ups: Airships are required to undergo a yearly inspection and receive a signed certificate of airworthiness. Such an inspection can be performed upon request at an Aerospace Guild hall.
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    Default Re: Gemini! Treasure Hunting Across Both Sky & Sea!



    Only a small portion of Avalon is known, but with airships taking flight, exploration and discovery is as simple as point yourself in a direction and putting the pedal to the metal. Maps expand every day as new islands are discovered, new people met, and new ruins uncovered.

    But we should note that the places already known are worth a visit, as well. From bustling metropoli to quaint, wooded villages, Avalon has it all. Let’s take a moment to visit some of the more prominent locations in the world. Specifically, the nations that comprise the Federation of Avalon.

    The Republic of Giralda: Home to the fastest-growing airship corporation in the world and widely hailed as the pioneer of modern trade, Giralda is the place to be if you’re looking to hit it big. A temperate island that maintains strong relations with the atargati, Giralda’s population and economy are both growing by the day. The capitol city boasts the world’s first modern “sky-spear” buildings, entertainment and business the likes of which the rest of the world can only dream... or so the advertisers will have you believe. Giralda’s rapid expansion into colonies on other islands is already worrying other nations as to the Republic’s intentions, and their growing navy even more so.

    The High Holy Island of Synthranon: While Peleism has begun taking the world by storm, its birthplace is in the theocracy of Synthranon. A mountain-edged desert island that relies on a massive river for life, Synthranon has found that new followers are flocking to the Holy Land by the thousands since the rise of airship technology. Income from pilgrims has broadened the small island’s economy, and their exports of various textiles have begun to fatten the wallets of the growing merchant class... who are, of course, expected to donate a generous amount to the church.

    The Kingdom of Hokusai: Ruled for ages by a single family, Hokusai is a land that encourages philosophy, visual arts, and brutal life-or-death sports as the highest tenets of civility. Although wary of the foreigners at their borders, the royal family has allowed restricted merchant access to their own airports. Many parts of many cities are off-limits to foreigners, but they may trade and even enjoy some of the fine arts (or the arenas) of Hokusai as they please.

    The Confederacy of þiudiskaz: Among the largest islands known, even at high tide þiudiskaz would take weeks to cross from one shore to the other. It is a northern land of ice and snow, high mountains and rolling steppes. þiudiskaz is actually several states, each with its own government and ways of life, that have banded together in a tenuous peace. The island as a whole boasts an incredibly advanced education system, which is free for all, but poverty is rampant and economies are strained. The best hope for most citizens is to become a scholar at one of the prestigious universities in þiudiskaz, and escape by airship to riches and fame.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Default Re: Gemini! Treasure Hunting Across Both Sky & Sea!

    Fanciful Tales: La Realizada & Caliburn


    Caliburn
    -- One-Leg Juan
    “I heard some lucky sonovagun got his hands on a sword down there, yes I did. Ain’t no regular sword, neither. Said it looks like it was carved outta coral, and has some queer gyroscopy thing by the hilt. Spins when you swing the sword. You know what it sounds like to me? I think he found himself Caliburn.

    “What! You ain’t never heard of Caliburn? Lass, sit close, this is important if’n you wanta know what to look for in them ruins. Caliburn’s one of them “Weapons of the Ancients,” don’t you know? The ancients built all sorta weapons, better’n any sword or bow we could make. Probably took most of ‘em with ‘em when they left, but they forgot a few. If yer lucky enough t’find one of these things, ohh, it is easy street from the-

    “Oh, don’t listen to ‘im. Damn things ain’t cursed. “Curse of the Ancients” my boot. Look, all them weapons got power unlike we know. Caliburn’s most famous of all, yes ma’am. They say that the sword is like a hardened bolt of lightning, and when you swing it, yer victim is burnt as much as cut. Glass-Eye Rodriguez had his hands on it for a month, and now look at his bounty! Y’know, I heard that when the Navy came in to take him, he swung his sword and it cut through two of their balloons at once, ain’t that right, Alejo? Ahahahaha! Yeah you know, y’were there, weren’t ya! Ahaha, lookit ‘im shudder. Terrifying.

    “Now Caliburn’s changed hands more than a few times, but somehow it always ends up back in the deep blue. Coincidence I think, though if you listen to this one here, he’ll tell you it’s “trying to return home” or some nonsense. But that’s why only a few have seen it! Some idjit looks away for a few seconds and boom, it’s gone.

    Now ain’t that spectacular?”




    La Realizada
    --Professor Earl Albreacht

    “Those flyer boys certainly like to exaggerate, but there is certainly mention of a great treasure hidden beneath the waves in a few separate ruins. That does not mean it’s real, of course. But there is mention of such a thing. For the past few months I’ve been working out a dig site off the coast of Fastvar county, in Southern þiudiskaz. We’ve found quite a number of interesting artifacts, all currently on exhibition in the Fastvar Maritime Museum, if you have an interest in archaeology.

    “Mm, well, there’s no location we can decipher. Really, we’re… well, we’re much further behind on translating the runes than we would like to admit, but the story-murals are quite telling. Several have shown a large structure placed on the ocean floor, beneath which rests what appears to be an extensive treasure room.

    “Hardly hard evidence, especially when you consider that we believe that particular mural to be depicting a myth-cycle. All these flyers are probably chasing a fiction, madame. I get a little chuckle when I hear them call it ‘La Realizada.’”
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