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- Join Date
- Nov 2007
My Oz: A world based on a bunch of things
So, I've been working on this for a while. I feel that if I don't start posting stuff, I'll never finish transcribing things from my notebooks to a cohesive collection of my campaign world.
It takes place in Oz, many generations after the events of Judy Garland. I've always loved the colorful world and it's inspired so many amazing artistic expressions that have inspiring me for years. Among my biggest influences are Gregory Maguire's The Wicked Years series and early chapters of Isabelle Melancon's Namesake webcomic. I'm sure I've picked up stuff in other places along the way, but they're the big influences.
I'm open to critique and suggestion. The purpose of the world is to be rigid enough to have answers for players' questions, but fluid enough for players to have a say in the world.
So, without further ado:
Spoiler: Emerald Introduction
When the first humans appeared in Oz, the first Grand Artificer found that his recent recipe for a durable, light-weight synthetic fed on the latent magical energies of Oz. In the real world, we would call it plastic, but the Grand Artificer dubbed it “emerald,” a precious stone from his home world which is not found in Oz.
The Grand Artificer, being a man of great science, began producing emerald in mass quantities, learning that, with study and practice, one could use emerald as a focus, granting semi-magical properties to people, places and things that would normally be mundane.
Emerald is mixed in massive vats and forms into chunks of crystal, if left to cool, but it is easily molded as it cools into practically any shape and thickness. With the use of magic, one can nudge a sufficient amount of Emerald to become plate mail in minutes, a fully furnished home in days, and, as the First Grand Artificer proved, an entire city in a few years. The Great Emerald City was fully grown within five years of the Grand Artificer’s arrival.
The City-State of Emerald stands in the center of Oz, as a testament to human ingenuity and expansion.
In the eyes of the Fey, however, emerald is destroying their native Oz. they view Emerald as a foreign being, inhaling natural beauty and power, and exhaling humans and their unnatural inventions. The Fey do not deny the human’s right to exist, but they detest the human rite of expansion and subjugation.
Update: I've got everything I have so far up. I may make formatting changes. I know that some things are references to comics and stuff, and I welcome people pointing it out, if for no other reason than reminding me. I'm working on various monsters found in Oz, but I need to do some more research first.
And, thanks for reading, if, in fact, you did so.
Last edited by Burley; 2014-10-07 at 08:53 PM. Reason: Formatting
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
Re: My Oz: A world based on a bunch of things
Lands of Oz
These are the four large countries that make up the Land of Oz. They are (in Elven) Gilli, Vin, Qua, and Mun. These translate (in Common/English) to North, West, South, and East, respectively. Also, centrally located, is the Emerald Empire.
The following will give brief topographical, flora/fauna and anthropological information on the areas, as well as some information on how they are seen by other lands.
Spoiler: The Gilli LandsMostly swamps, forests and mountains. Swamps are generally poisonous and filled with dangerous monsters. The poison has made its way into the vegetation, causing many of the plants to be purple. Communities use the plants as dyes for clothing and such. Consequently, purple is the color of the Gilliland.
The Gillikin (People of the North): Elves who live in burrows or mountain top villages. The few who live in the swamps and forests live in treehouse communities, due to the dangers of flora and fauna. The Gillikin praise and prize martial might and understanding of natural lore. Communities have a chief or headman, but there is no central unification among tribes.
The Githyanki are a racial variant of the Elves. The effects of Emerald have warped their appearance and given many a natural affinity for the psychic arts. The Githyanki and the Gillikin are friendly, but segregate. Few communities will tolerate a Githyanki once they have reached adulthood and, as a result, many live solitary lives. There are a few Githyanki villages, but they are small and nomadic.
In the mountains of the Gilliland live the Goliaths, who claim to be the fiercest race in Oz and nobody has interest to argue that point. They generally don’t fraternize with outsiders, so, little is known of their societies.
Spoiler: Emerald Eye on GilliEmerald can’t get far into the Gilliland due to the poisonous swamps. Fort Amethyst is the only firm holding in the North. The Emerald citizens and soldiers refer to the Elves as “fish” or “frogs,” because “you’ve gotta have gills to live in those swamps.” Emerald hopes to turn the Elves and Githyanki against each other and move north in the wake of distrust.
Spoiler: The VinkusGolden grasslands, rich in grains and gold mines. Yellow is the patriotic color and farmers hold seasonal crop circle contests.
Vinci (Sunset Tribe): Drow are largest and most powerful race in the Vinkus. They are nocturnal traders to who live gypsy-like lifestyles. They trade in grains and precious metals (gold, silver, copper, etc.). The Vinci tribes have a central meeting ground to discuss news, clan activities and inter-tribal disputes.
The Shadar-kai are a racial variant of the Drow. The effects of Emerald have cause a sort of palette swap from the Drow, but that is the only real difference. Shadar-kai are second class citizens, but, as the population of Shadar-kai grows, so too does their influence.
Kobolds and Goblinoids are common in the Vinkus. Hobgoblins rule the underground communities and use goblins, bugbears and kobolds as pawns in tribal feuds. Charismatic Vinci have been known to amass armies of goblins, as they crave strong leaders. The Goblinoids are the main races involved in gold and diamond mining. The goblinoids fear the surface world and trade with the Vinci to avoid venturing above only their own.
Spoiler: Emerald Eye on the VinkusThe Vinci are hostile to outsiders. The Vinci are distrusted throughout Oz, as they are often thieves and con-artists. Topaz Keep is the main Emerald holding in the Vinkus, though, there are small settlements. Emerald citizens and soldiers refer to the Drow as “Winkies,” because they sleep during the day.
Spoiler: The QualandsThe Qualands are filled with dense forests. The Qualands have the greatest population of fey. Because of the great redwood forests that cover much of the country, Red is the national color.
The Qua-leen (singular: Qua-lien) are Eladrin mages, artists and artisans. Arcane power is highly prized, as are the arts. The Qua-leen are often seen as elitist and arrogant due to their formality and emotional restraint.
The most powerful spellcaster is always the leader of their nation, and it is a position based on respect, not fear. Currently, the Red Witch is the leader and she commands a personal guard of 100 young women trained in magic and war. The
The Githzerai are the racial variant of the Eladrin. Unlike other communities with these recent racial mutations, the Qua-leen embrace the Githzerai as full members of the community.
The Qualands are also the home to many “Beast races.” Dragonborn, Tieflings, Shifters, Minotaurs and Orcs all live in the Qualands. The Beastmen and Qua-leen occasionally aid each other, but a history of persecution make relations between Fey and Beastmen are tenuous and temporary.
Spoiler: Emerald Eye on The QualandsThe South is where the great battles between human and fey have been fought. The Qua-leen have repeatedly tried to rally the four fey nations against the humans, but to no avail. Emerald has a small outpost just inside the border of the Qualands, simply called Ruby. Emerald citizens and soldiers refer to the Qua-leen as “Quadlings” as a pejorative in reference to the Qua-leen’s quadrangular houses.
Spoiler: The MunThe Mun is covered in great blue mountains and lush valleys. Sadly, the Mun is fully under the Emerald Empire’s control.
The Munkin are gnomes who live simple lives in the mountains and valleys. Most are famers and craftsmen. The Munkin have a fairly stable society, relatively free of crime and turmoil. They favor community over individuality and, as such, adventurers are very rare.
Dwarves and Halflings are a racial variant of the gnomes. Possibly because of the Munkin’s length and proximity of exposure to Emerald, these variants (unlike other variants in Oz) are drained of the natural magic the fey possess. Still, they are hardy and more militant than gnomes, and they are the basis of the Munkin Resistance.
Spoiler: Emerald Eye on the MunThe Mun fell to Emerald quickly and with little resistance. The Munkin embrace the Empire as a welcome change from Nerossa, who once ruled over the land. Emerald uses the Munkin as serf labor to feed and fuel its army, using the farmlands and raw ores of the mountains. Emerald citizens and soldiers refer to the Munkin as “Munch-kins” as they’d rather eat than fight.
Spoiler: The Emerald CityHumans and their creations are the inhabitants of the Emerald Empire. The Emerald city is more “modern” that the rest of Oz. The city is made almost entirely of emerald and the inhabitants use emerald as a source of everyday appliance.
Among the humans live the sentient race of Warforged. Created by the humans using clockwork and artifice, they are fully independent, though most consider their creators to be “Masters for Life.”
Humans, too, have racial mutations among them, just as the fey do. Changelings are still human at the genetic level, but as a reaction to the unfamiliar magic of Oz and the emerald radiation, they are shapeshifters. They are feared and shamed by society and, if possible, a changeling will spend its entire life hiding its gift from the community.
Spoiler: Fall of FeyEmerald feels that expansion is a right to those who work hard. The Empire does not want to destroy the Fey, but to unite all of Oz under the Empire. Emerald refuses to admit that they are siphoning the magic from Oz.
Last edited by Burley; 2014-10-04 at 07:19 PM. Reason: Filling in Place Holder
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
Re: My Oz: A world based on a bunch of things
Races of Oz
These are the main playable races (alphabetically) of 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons. Yes, other races exist. And, Yes, they are a part of the world. But, these are the ones common (or uncommon) to Oz. Other races not mentioned will generally fall under "Beastmen" or may come from some of the many surrounding continents on outside the Great Sand Sea that surrounds Oz.
Some of this may seem redundant, but I'm trying to be thorough. That is my excuse for the length, as well.
Spoiler: ChangelingsChangelings – Though genetically indistinguishable from normal humans, Changelings are considered mutants in human society. Since the rise of Emerald, they Fey races have been changing, and it seems that humans have begun absorbing the magical air of Oz. Changelings are shape shifters, making they feared by most and coveted by others. The parents of a changeling will most likely hide its existence, though the Emerald military is openly recruiting changelings for both subterfuge and diplomatic applications.
Spoiler: DevaDeva – Little is known of Deva culture, as the race is not native to Oz. Deva hail from the Cloud Kingdom and the Oz natives have no way of traveling that high into the sky. Though they have been known to come to Oz, you’re more likely to have a house fall form the sky than a Deva.
Spoiler: DragonbornDragonborn – One of the numerous races of Beastmen. Dragonborn do not hail from any particular region and can be found throughout the wilds of Oz. though vicious in appearance, many Dragonborn are friendly to outsiders. Their scales tend to match the color of the tribe’s region, most likely an effect of the natural pigments in their diets.
Spoiler: DrowDrow – This nocturnal race of Fey is the main population of the Vinkus. Farmers, miners and traders comprise this gypsy-like race. They are fiercely territorial and will kill whoever they feel threatens their peace. Though not an evil race, generations of prosperous rule under Bastinda have left them with a propensity toward violence.
Spoiler: DwarfDwarf – A subrace of Munkin. Though a hardy race, Emerald has drained all of the inherent magic from them. Dwarves, and their racial siblings Halflings, are fiercely opposed to Emerald’s rule of the Munland. Most Dwarves live in the mountains of Mun and preform guerrilla raids on Emerald’s forts and holdings.
Spoiler: EladrinEladrin – The largest population of the Fey races and the most magically advanced, the Qua-leen are a strong and forward thinking race. They value magic, art and study. Possibly the kindest of the greater Fey races, they are often seen as haughty or pretentious, due to their formality. They have been trying to unite the four countries against the Emerald expansion and, though they are able to stop the Southern spread of the Empire, Emerald is quickly gaining magical prowess. Without a united Oz, the Qua-leen may not be able to hold much longer.
Spoiler: ElfElf – The Gillikin are a quick and agile race of hunter-gatherers, living in the forests, mountains and swamps of the North. They live in small, but permanent settlements, away from the powerful natural beasts of their lands. Though they fear the Empire’s spread, they North’s natural swamps and monsters make northern expansion nearly impossible. The Gilli can hold indefinitely, unless Oz can figure out how to march an army through poison.
Spoiler: GenasiGenasi – When currents of Arcane and natural energies mix, occasionally, they will form Genosite, a boulder sized egg housing a Genasi. It takes decades for the Genasi to form, and the process is sometimes interrupted, by natural erosion or through miners seeking the horde of magically charged gems inside. If a Genasi does manage to hatch, they will lead a life of instinct and learning, making their own way in the world, having no understanding of family or country.
Spoiler: GithyankiGithyanki – Githyanki are a racial offshoot of Elves. Though the elves hold no ill will toward Githyanki, the Githyanki live in segregate societies beside the Elves. This is most likely due to the physical differences, as Githyanki can seem monstrous next to their Elven siblings. Though they are friendly to each other, Emerald has made attempts to turn the Githyanki against they Elves.
Spoiler: GithzeraiGithzerai – Githzerai are a racial variant of Eladrin, though, if asked, the Githzerai and Eladrin would say they are all Qua-leen. Githzerai are openly accepted as fully equal members of society, and often admired for their natural affinity toward psionics and acumen in battle.
Spoiler: GnomeGnome – The original Munkin race. Quiet and content, Gnomes would rather live peacefully than fight Emerald. After generations under Nerossa, the Gnomes decided that being ruled by somebody who wouldn’t torture you for no reason would be better than fighting and dying.
Spoiler: GoliathGoliath – Claiming to be the fiercest race in Oz, Goliaths are generally left alone. They house a secret shame for their rough features and live in isolated societies, general in the Gilli and Mun mountains. They are fierce warriors but have no interest in fighting a war. They will, however, defend that they love to their last breath.
Spoiler: Half-ElfHalf-elf – The product of human and Fey breathing. Most Fey tend to distrust half-elves, as they tend to share the human traits of curiosity and thirst for power. Half-elves tend to find themselves living in human societies, though, humans often demand proof of loyalty before they are accepted. Because of this, most half-elves find themselves in the Emerald Army or working for ZAPPP (Zonal Arcane Power Production Plants). Those who refuse to fight against their Fey ancestors or aid in Emerald’s growth live solitary lives in the wild.
Spoiler: HalflingHalfling – Another racial variant of Gnomes, Halflings live alongside the Dwarves. Halflings and Dwarves consider themselves to be the same race, but humans and Fey alike draw lines based on their physical attributes. Halflings tend to more lean and agile than Dwarves.
Spoiler: Half-orcHalf-orc – Another race of Beastmen, Half-orcs are not really half of anything. Long ago, Orcs were a scourge of Oz, destroying everything, just because they could. Some tribes of Orcs, wanting to not be evil dinks (slang for devil), aided the Fey in driving the other Orcs into the Wastes, where they eventually died out. Half-orcs call themselves “Half-orcs” as a reminder to themselves, and to the Fey, that they are generally peaceful, but are not to be trifled with.
Spoiler: HumansHumans – Humans are non-natives to Oz. The first human immigrants claimed to be from a country called Yurth, but information on Yurth has fallen to the wayside. Humans found it too difficult to explain their spherical country. Most individual humans are good and kind people, but they easily turn hostile in large numbers. Humans are not inherently magical, though, the most recent generation is showing signs of natural magical aptitude. Humans have come to rely on emerald as a cheap and effective substitute for true magic, and clockwork and artifice is common in the Emerald City. Humans are the only race who become Artificers, as the Fey have come to detest the study and craft, and Artificers are not allowed to train Half-elves or known Changelings, by order of the Grand Artificer.
Spoiler: KalashtarKalashtar – Kalashtar are native Fey who have willingly bonded with good-aligned beings known as Quori. Kalashtar are gifted in the art of psionics, having become one with Quori, who are beings of purely mental existence. Kalashtar prefer to live away from other races, in cities hidden by strong psionics. A person who wanders into a Kalashtar city will find themselves suddenly walking in the direction they came from, hours having passed, with a slight headache, but a feeling of being well-rested and well-fed.
Spoiler: MinotaurMinotaur – a Race of Beastmen, known for their hardiness in battle and their ease of subjugation. Though powerful, they are dim, and many villains have found great efficacy in finding a Minotaur herd and declaring them slaves. Minotaurs will fight if commanded, but seem to not understand how to fight back.
Spoiler: Shadar-kaiShadar-kai – A racial variant of the Drow. Among the Vinci, they are second class citizens, but, as their numbers grow, so too does their influence. Though of similar proportions, Shadar-kai are physically polar to Drow. They have ashen skin, raven-black eyes and they style their hair with long, loose braids and elaborate shaved patterns. While other Fey variants seem to have been changed by Emerald’s influence, some (especially the Qua-leen) theorize they are touched by something darker.
Spoiler: ShardmindShardmind – Emerald hase cause various new races to appear in Oz, but only one is not a mutation of another: The Shardmind. Created when emerald reacts to a source of strong psionic energy, a Shardmind is a consciousness bound to semi-living emerald. A shardmind is, obviously, incredibly smart and has a natural understanding of both Oz and emerald’s effect on it. Shardminds are rare, as they will only come to be within Emerald City, but humans will try to destroy a Shardmind if they find it. Shardminds know, from first thought, that emerald is corroding Oz. Interestingly, Shardminds can function opposite to unconscious Emerald, draining the magic from emerald and returning it to the flow of Oz. Shardminds are usually good creatures and will always attempt to return Oz to its former magical glory. The Qua-leen have great respect for Shardminds, and will not only welcome one into society, but take great risks to free a captive Shardmind, if they know of one.
Spoiler: ShiftersShifters – Perhaps the most beast-like of the Beastmen, Shifters are remnants of an age when Animals and Fey were equals. Tribes tend to inhabit the Qua and Vinkus.
Longtooth Shifters – Longtooth are the stronger of the Shifters. They are pack hunters and strong leaders.
Razorclaw Shifters – While smaller than the Longtooth, they are agile hunters, adept at stalking their prey. Though they are rarely leaders in Shifter tribes, they are valued for their speed. Razorclaw Shifters tend to be more level-headed than Longtooth Shifters and may serve a Longtooth Chief as advisors and diplomats.
Spoiler: TieflingTiefling – Perhaps the most misunderstood of the Beastmen, the Tiefling long for acceptance. Tiefling are intelligent and, easily, the most “civilized” of the Beastmen, but their appearance is an excuse for the Fey to persecute them, more so than other Beastmen. Even worse, humans actively hunt Tieflings, thinking them to be spawn of demons and devils. In actuality, Tieflings are descendants of a tribe of Fey from the Vinkus. The Vinci, jealous of the Tieflings having Ozma’s favor, made a deal with beings of the Wastes, selling them into slavery. Were it not for Bastinda’s intervention, Ozma would have destroyed the Vinci for their treachery. The Tiefling eventually excaped bondage, after being warped by the Wastes, but remain and beaten and broken people. They hope, more than any, for Ozma’s return.
Spoiler: WarforgedWarforged – Warforged fall into two categories: Born and Broken.
Broken – During the Artifice process of creation, a clockwork golem, the Golem may gain sentience. Their human creators see Broken as defects and cast them aside. The Fey consider their life a gift from Ozma and praise them for having “broken free” of human imperialism. Many Fey welcome Broken Warforged, as they tend to have honest and fun-loving personalities, and are thought to be echoes of Princess Ozma.
Born – Rather than gaining life by rare chance, Born Warforged are created on purpose. Among humans, Warforged exist as scions of wealthy families. When a human family has a sick child, if affluent and willing, the family can petition the Grand Artificer to have a custom golem built. If the child dies, a ritual is done and its life force can be trapped in the golem shell. The process only works with the very young, as the life force has yet to become accustomed to its human body and will accept the artificed shell. The Fey see Born Warforged as a testament to human’s disrespect for the natural order of things.
Spoiler: WildenWilden – Whild Shardmings are created through psionic flow, Genasi through Oz’s Arcane energies and Warforged through Artifice, Wilden are creations of Nature, nudged into being by the Slumbering Locasta. Wilden are protectors of Nature and fight against civil expansion in all its forms. Humans are largely ignorant of the Wilden, but Fey take a Wilden’s appearance as a warning that they are pushing against nature and, if changes are not made, Oz will push back. Wilden are sometimes considered harbingers of great storms, wildfires and earthquakes.
Last edited by Burley; 2014-10-04 at 07:31 PM. Reason: Filling in Place Holder
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
Re: My Oz: A world based on a bunch of things
Classes and Power Sources:
While much of this doesn't necessarily seem like a big deviation from the general D&D 4e publications, there are some important differences, which I'm sure will be obvious. If it seems like common sense ever, please know that many of my players are relatively new to D&D, so, this is a primer for everyone.
Also, I'll be breaking it down by power source in different post, to save my fingers and your eyes.
Arcane magic is what Oz is. Everything in Oz is weaved with some sort of magic and it is a part of the lives of all Oz’s citizens. At least, it was before Emerald emerged. Emerald has changed the way Arcane magic works. It is now rare for a being to be naturally attuned to Arcana. Some magic, such as flight and teleportation were simple, common and unimpressive. Now, though, these acts are difficult and draining to an individual, with some skills having become impossible.
For humans, though, something as simple as lighting a torch magically was foreign and amazing before Emerald. Emerald has acted as an equalizer between Human and Fey, strengthening one and weakening the other.
Spoiler: ArtificerArtificer –
Only Humans of Emerald may be Artificers. This is not a matter of inherent skill, or lack thereof, but the training required of an apprentice is arduous and far from clandestine. Until an apprentice has mastered the crafts of clockwork and alchemy, he can expect a lot of wasted supplies and occasional explosions. The Emerald Empire keeps careful tabs on who is being trained, as much of the government’s income is the selling and taxing of Artificial goods and services.
The Fey races would never practice Artifice, as it is the active siphoning away of Oz. Magic is possible for Humans through this siphon and many Fey fear that practicing Artifice could be directly fatal to a magical being.
Though it is technically Arcane, the people of Oz consider Artifice to be a separate power source from Arcane.
Spoiler: BardBard –
In most matters Arcane, the Qua-leen are peerless. It is interesting, though that the great bards have hailed from the Mun rather than the Qualands. The Qua-leen consider magic to be an art and a great artist can produce amazing magic through his work. But, the Bardic magic is not in the skill of the performer, but in the passion, something the formal Qua-leen do not naturally to. The Munkin, however, love nothing more than singing, dancing and entertaining after a hard and honest day of work.
A bard can hail from any place in Oz. A bard can be a performer of many outlets: song, dance, oratory, and even the occasional juggler or comedian. The bard uses his passion for art and entertainment to weave magic.
Spoiler: SorcererSorcerer –
Many arcane practitioners use the term “sorcerer,” though, it is often just verbal aesthetics. A true sorcerer is rare in Oz and are to be feared and respected. Rather than hone a skill, sorcerers are inherently gifted in arcane destruction. A sorcerer’s power can be difficult for him/her to control and can sometimes be unpredictable. A sorcerer is a physical wellspring of power, and it is far safer for them to learn to direct their magic than to completely control it.
A human cannot be a sorcerer. Humans do not possess natural arcane ability and Oz has yet to see fit to give it to them. It is theorized that half-elves have the potential, though there has yet to be a half-elf sorcerer, at least publically. Changelings, being biologically human, are also not natural spell casters, but they do seem to possess the force of will to learn. If sorcery could be taught, changelings could learn it.
Born Warforged, being of human spirit, cannot be sorcerers. Broken Warforged, though, are living arcane souls, and have exhibited signs of weak sorcery.
Spoiler: SwordmageSwordmage –
The Swordmage class is available to any who have the determination to follow the path. While some are gifted in magic and others in weaponry, the Sword mage mixes the rigorous training of both into a complex and fluid battle style. The Qua are great practitioners of sword-magic, given their natural affinity toward magical study, and Humans enjoy it for the flair and accessibility. The Genasi, though, seem to take the path of the Swordmage from the moment of Being, possessing the mental, physical and elemental strengths of a Swordmage naturally. Though Genasi are rare, a non-Swordmage Genasi is even rarer.
Spoiler: WarlockWarlock –
A warlock is a spell caster who has gained power through a pact with a powerful entity.
Fey-pact Warlocks have made a deal with a powerful Fey of primordial spirit. The Red Witch (Ruler of the Qua-leen) has been known to lend power to her personal guard.
Infernal-pact Warlocks gain power from the evil beings of the Wastes. Many fiends have bullied their Tiefling servants into these pacts, in an attempt to extend their reach into Oz’s inner lands. Some Tiefling are still trying to shed the pacts made by their ancestors, generations ago.
Star-pact Warlocks are common among Humans, whose curiosity and willingness to test the unknown in the quest for power leads them to insane bartering with beings forgotten by all but the cosmic bodies.
Dark-pact Warlocks appear mostly among the Vinci. As a people who thrive on making careful deals, the secret darknesses bellow Oz are a tempting target. A Vinci who can outsmart their dark patron is considered a hero among these vagabonds.
Spoiler: WizardWizard –
The terms “Witch” and “Wizard” are generally reserved as titles for powerful casters. The Slumbering Elders each possess the Honorific, as did the 1st Grand Artificer when he first arrived in Oz.
Until one gains the right to be walled “Witch” or “Wizard,” one following this path is often referred to as a “Mage,” occasionally with their level of training, if it is known. The path is a difficult one, though, and even an “Apprentice Mage” can expect respect from the lay people. An “Acolyte Mage” has most likely learned under a single teacher and has either joined a guild of cooperative researches or chosen to venture into the world and put his/her skills to the test. An “Adept Mage” is the pinnacle of the path, having created new spells or even discovered entirely new methods of the craft. An Adept will often times take on any number of apprentices to train, though, they may choose solitary in hopes of gaining the immortal “Wizard” or “Witch” title.
Last edited by Burley; 2014-10-04 at 10:30 PM. Reason: Filling in Place Holder
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
Re: My Oz: A world based on a bunch of things
Divine Magic is less about faith than it is trust. The Elders exist, though no longer in physical form. A practitioner of the Divine Arts does not concern himself/herself with whether the Elders exist, but trusts in the teachings and actions of their patron Elder. Divine magic is not gifted from a diety; it comes from an understanding of the Elders and what they represent.
Most Fey, being good people follow either Glinda or Locasta. Obviously, the Qua-leen, being formal and educated, favor Glinda’s love of knowledge and order, while the Gilli and Mun favor Locasta for her love of nature and community. The Vinci, being historically ill-natured and territorial, prefer to follow Bastinda’s example of “take what you want and kill the rest.” Some cults of Nerossa exist, but her general love of oppression and torture were unpopular in her native Munland.
Humans, though, believe in their right of expansion strongly enough to have formed a church around it, known as the Emerald Orthodoxy. Human historians and anthropologists have found records of Human immigrants praying to “gods,” but, apparently, the advancement of technology and commerce is a more effective source of power than what are now jokingly referred to as “imaginary sky people.”
Divine magic has always existed in Oz, but has been gaining comparative potency. As Arcana grows weaker, people’s adherence to the Elder teachings has grown, as it is becoming all that is left of the Old Oz.
(It should be noted that a divine character need not strictly be devout to one Elder. Maybe they follow multiple, or attempt to balance them all. Maybe they are on a quest for Ozma, not an Elder. Maybe they trust in the power of friendship to gain power. What is important is trust and adherence.)
Spoiler: AvengerAvenger –
An Avenger is a sort of divine assassin. Some consider them radical cultists, others call them terrorists. An Avenger believes so strongly in their patron Elder that would strike down any who oppose their Elder’s way. Some avengers are murderous and torturous fanatics, but the good ones are unerring, untiring destroyers of evil. It is common for Avengers of opposing ideologies to be locked in a game of cat-and-mouse, hunting and eluding each other for months or years at a time.
Spoiler: ClericCleric –
A Ceric is trust incarnate. They are called where they are needed and will teach their Elder’s philosophy as they go. Fey Clerics tend to teach by example, while Clerics of the Emerald Orthodoxy will hold lengthy discussions and lectures on the merits of their doctrine.
Spoiler: InvokerInvoker –
Invokers differ from other Divine classes in that they are powered by a direct link to an Elder. Some claim to have been visited in a dream or while in the wilderness, and, though they lack proof of their communion with the absent Witches, none can deny that Invokers wield powers of creation and destruction that none other possess.
Spoiler: PaladinPaladin –
Similar in style to the Cleric, Paladins are more combat oriented that Clerics. While a Cleric will bolster his/her allies, a Paladin will give his/her life to protect those under their charge.
Spoiler: RunepriestRunepriest –
A Runepriest uses direct knowledge of their philosophy to create amazing effects. They do not derive power from existing philosophies, though, and are on a mission to forge a new path of understanding. They tend to trust in their own strength more than anything, even to the point that their gestures can heal an ally or halt an enemy.
A Runepriest is a rare sight. Many are seen as heretics or opportunists, attempting to gain power in the vacuum left by the disappearance of the Elder Witches. This may be true for some Runepriests, but some are searching for the right rune, symbol or word of power to return the magical Oz to glory.
Most Runepriests, if asked which Elder they serve, will not reply. The introspection required for rune crafting allows no room to serve any but yourself. That is how Ozma did it. That is how the Four Witches did it. That is how the Runepriest will do it.
Last edited by Burley; 2014-10-05 at 12:14 AM. Reason: Filling in Place Holder
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
Re: My Oz: A world based on a bunch of things
Little needs to be said about Martial characters. Though a martial practitioner can be quite powerful, their lack of magical flair make them somewhat mundane. Humans make fair use, as do Dwarves and Halflings. Some Fey see martial characters as lesser, due to their lack of talent or training.
Spoiler: FighterFighter –
Strong melee fighters, used as soldiers throughout Oz. A Fighter could be a thug, a bodyguard, a mercenary, a seasoned warrior, or anything between. Fighters tend to use different styles, based on region, but it is really an individual’s taste that defines his talent.
Spoiler: RangerRanger –
Known for their skills in putting an enemy down quickly, Rangers train in either ranged or two-weapon combat, usually, although there exist Rangers who coordinate attacks with trained animals. Rangers are skilled hunters, be it of beast of bounty. Humans, in their quest to eradicate what they don’t understand, will use Rangers to assassinate opposition and quell the Beastmen population. Shifters are natural Rangers and those of the Gilliland swamps and marshes are prized providers in their communities.
Spoiler: RogueRogue –
A Rogue is a purveyor of the dirty fight. Rogues tend to strike when their opponent is distracted. Rogues are common among the Vinci and the Mun, but find little favor in the honest and lawful Gilli and Qua lands. Humans tend to have more fluid communities and Rogues roam the Emerald City freely, unless they’re caught. Some Rogues will sell their talents of intrigue and subterfuge to the Empire in exchange for immunity, money, political sanctuary or even less savory rewards. Not all rogues under the Emerald’s employ are human, and the Fey distrust Rogues, thinking they could be Changelings, or, worse: traitors.
Spoiler: WarlordWarlord –
A Warlord is a veteran of battle As much as they know how to stab and slice, they know how to inspire and maneuver. A Warlord is a master of tactics and works best when surrounded by allies.
Warlords in the Fey lands are always of noble blood. Since birth, they have been trained to lead, gaining first-hand experience in combat as soon as they can raise a sword. A Fey warlord does not only fight for the glory of his/her family, but to prove his/her right to be a leader.
Human Warlords are trained at “The Mint,” Emerald’s military academy. Rather than being born into the position, The Mint sends talent scouts through the city-state, looking for potential applicants from all walks of life. Of course, one can apply to The Mint on their own accord, but The Mint is one of the few Emerald Institutions that only judges on merit. Very few noble human families have been represented in The Mint, and interestingly, all noble Mint graduates have been Born Warforged.
Primal classes draw their power from the natural world. This could mean from nature itself, from elementals, or even from the spirits of nature and ancestors. Primal power is very personal to each character and their connection to Oz can differ drastically from person to person.
The Beastmen of Oz tend to favor Primal power, partly from ancestry and partly from their time away from “civilized magic.”
Spoiler: BarbarianBarbarian –
A Barbarian can be a wonderful ally and a potential hazard. Ever the loose cannon, Barbarians are not common among the more civilized Fey of Qua, Mun and the Vinkus. Barbarians embody all that the Humans detest: savagery. A Barbarian firghts in a rage, chanelling the fury of beasta into their fighting style.
Some think that Barbarians are actually carriers of a disease, similar to rabies, but non-fatal. Watching a barbarian absorb attack after attack and not fall, one would be hard pressed to deny it. This thought is humorous to most Barbarians, who’d smile as they wipe the foam from their mouths.
Spoiler: DruidDruid –
Druids are channelers so in-tune with nature, they have the ability to turn into animals. Of the Beastmen and the Fey, druids are respected as wise and good. Though often eccentric hermits, Oz would not bestow such a wondrous gift to one undeserving.
Humans distrust Druids more than other primal classes. Humans don’t seem to understand how to control nature without destroying it.
Spoiler: SeekerSeeker –
Seekers are primal hunters. By binding spirits of nature to their ammunition, they stop those who would harm Oz before they can begin.
Some Fey see a Seeker’s invocations as a beautiful bond between the Seeker and Oz. Others see Seekers as little better than Artificers, binding spirits for destructive purposes.
While Seekers do not bind unwilling spirits, it is true that many Artificers have traveled in parties to hunt Seekers, simply to watch the binding of spirits. It is rumored that Artificers have been able to temporarily bind elementals, and their techniques are, in fact, inspired by the Seekers.
Spoiler: ShamanShaman –
While Seekers use spirits to deter nature’s foes, a Shaman is bound to a single spirit, which aids him/her in battle. Shamans in-training will spend days in the wilderness fasting. When their spirit companion reveals itself, they will commune together. If the spirit and Shaman find each other worthy, they are bound for life. If not, the Shaman must work on some great mystery and seek the spirit again.
Shamans are feared among some non-tribal societies. Humans see spirit summoners as a type of necromancy and Vinci tend to distrust fully symbiotic relationships.
Spoiler: WardenWarden –
Like the Druid, Wardens use their powers to take the form of nature. Rather than shift into animal forms, a Warden will take on physical aspects of plants, animals, or the seasons, growing horns, bark armor, or crowns of flame.
Humans are not fond of anything that can polymorph, because they simply don’t have the knack for it. Fey, however, enjoy a Warden’s honest and open reverence for nature.
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- Nov 2007
Re: My Oz: A world based on a bunch of things
Practitioners of psionics are rare, but rarer are those who have crossed a psionicist and remember the experience. The extreme mental control needed to master the art takes decades to condition. Many Humans lack the discipline, and many Fey lack the humility.
Psionic powers may have semi-magical properties and effects, but it is decidedly not magic. As such, anybody with the alacrity to train can become proficient.
Spoiler: ArdentArdent –
An Ardent is a master of emotion. He will fill his allies with pride and joy, and his enemies with fear. Like most psionics users, they tend to stay hidden from the world, meaning little is known and few opinions have formed.
Spoiler: BattlemindBattlemind –
One of the two psionic schools of physical discipline, a Battlemind is so attuned to the connection of mind and body, he/she can make demands of his body that few others can. Battleminds are incredibly resilient. If you see a guy at a party daring people to punch him in the stomach, he may be a Battlemind.
Spoiler: MonkMonk –
Like a Battlemind, Monks train themselves mentally to achieve great physical feats. But, the Monk is about agility more than resilience. Monks are the most welcoming of psionic practitioners and allow those willing and worthy into their monasteries. Each monastery has a different fighting form.
Humans and Fey alike will train at a monastery and they are one of the few places in Oz where all races will work, train, live and love together.
Spoiler: PsionPsion –
Rather than practice “Mind over Matter,” Psions practice “Mind over Mind.” Psions control their enemies, clouding their minds and flinging them around the battlefield.
Humans and Munkin enjoy the ability to beguile others and exert dominance when possible. Qua-leen are also adept Psions, though, their sometimes immoral abilities are understood to be used only as a last resort.
It is easy for a Psion’s power to go to their head, and, all too often, they go mad with power. Psions are revered, but watched closely.
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- Nov 2007
Re: My Oz: A world based on a bunch of things
Spoiler: PeopleSpoiler: OzmaOzma –
Though she is the rightful Queen of Oz, Ozma is known as “Princess Ozma.” Ozma is immortal and powerful; the most powerful being in pre-Emerald Oz. however, Ozma refuses to grow up and has remained a young girl for as long as any can recall or research. During the formative years of the 1st Grand Artificer’s rule, Ozma disappeared and her immortal caretakers, the Elders, fell into a deep trance. It was prophesied that Ozma would someday return, wake the Slumbering Elders and take her place as the Queen of Oz.
Spoiler: 1st Grand Artificer1st Grand Artificer –
Appearing in Oz by balloon, Phagdrig Issac Norman Henkle Emmanuel Ambroise Diggs was welcomed to Oz. The first Human ever seen in Oz, the Fey mistook him for a Wizard, having never seen such things as clockwork or alchemy. Given asylum and free-reign by Ozma, Diggs discovered Emerald and Artifice and used them both to create the Emerald Empire, with massive aircraft bringing humans in droves.
Spoiler: TipTip –
The current Prince of Emerald, son of the Grand Artificer. Tip is the traditional name for the First Prince of Emerald and every Grand Artificer since the first has had a Prince Tip. Curiously, every Prince Tip has similar appearance, though, many assume this is an effect of Emerald. In truth, Tip is Ozma, turned into a boy Digg and the Witch Mombi. This was one of only two true spells ever cast by the 1st Grand Artificer and, though the method was never recorded, each Grand Artificer knows of Tip’s origins and understands the importance of the secret to the continuation and expansion of the Emerald Empire.
Spoiler: The Slumbering EldersThe Slumbering Elders –
While not truly deities, the Elders are the basis of the four Fey “faiths.” Having been absent for generations, their works have become philosophies and their words have become mantras. Clerics derive their power from the divine energy of reverence, rather than have it bestowed. Only a fool would deny the existence of the Elders, whose homes still stand.
Spoiler: GlindaGlinda of the South – Lawful Good – The Poppy is her symbol
Glinda is a lover of art and beauty. She is the patron of the Qua-leen and encourages the collection and creation of knowledge and magic. Glinda is known to have begun many famous sayings: “Look before you leap.” “Brain over brawn.” “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
Clerics and other followers:
-Believe knowledge is precious. One should always consider the options before proceeding.
-Cherish magic and believe it should never be misused. One must prove themselves worthy to pursue arcane power.
-Are often well-groomed. Beauty is divine.
Spoiler: LocastaLocasta of the North – Good – The Lilac is her symbol
Locasta is a lover of nature. She is the protector of the Gillikin. The natural world should be preserved and Locasta would see to it. Locasta teaches that the strong should protect the weak, and that being kind to others encourages Oz to be kind to you.
-revere nature and bask in it.
-believe in karmic rewards.
-would rather heal and help than hurt.
-can sometimes be seen as naďve, though they are often respected for philanthropy.
Spoiler: BastindaBastinda of the West – Chaotic Evil – The Skull is her symbol
Bastinda once directly ruled over the Vinci tribes and many Vinci consider her to be the Greatest Ruler, with select cults placing her above even Ozma. Bastinda advocates taking what you want and leaving behind those whom you don’t need.
Bastinda’s example is to:
-strike first and ask questions to the survivors.
-do whatever it takes to get what you want.
-abandon chivalry and honor. Flee to fight another day, once you have plotted your revenge.
Spoiler: NerossaNerossa of the East – Evil – The Whirlwind is her symbol
Nerossa was once the iron-fisted ruler of the Munkin. She advocates dominion over others and crushing opposition with overwhelming force. Nerossa is loved by those that want to be feared and want to make their enemies suffer.
Nerossa expects that her followers:
-control through fear, rather than letting fear control them.
-punish failure. People perform best when their lives and loved ones are in danger.
-show no weakness. If others thing you unbeatable, they won’t even try.
Nerossa was the first Elder to disappear. In a failed attempt to summon a warrior to fight the Emerald, Nerossa’s manifestation was killed. She hasn’t been seen since. Bastinda was the second to vanish. She initially was very close to the 1st Grand Artificer, even embracing the use of emerald. In exchange for lessons in magic, Bastinda was given the Grimm Grimoire. She was assassinated by the Do’Rothee.
Spoiler: The Do'RotheeThe Do’Rothee – Elven term for the act of a controlled burning to stop a wild fire from spreading
The Do’Rothee were a band of adventurers who, unwittingly, solidified Emerald’s rule. Thanks to his training in magic and his mastery of Artifice, Diggs was able to redirect Nerossa’s summoning spell and used it to conjure who he believed to be the least effective warrior he could imagine: a whiny, teenaged human farm girl. The house falling on Nerossa was a bonus; the girl’s annoying little dog was a penance.
When Bastinda and Glinda arrived after sensing Nerossa’s fall, they gifted the girl with Nerossa’s ruby slippers and send her to the Emerald City, thinking the girl understood her mission was to fell Diggs. The three remaining Elders also sent a protector with the girl, each tasked to follow and obey the girl, as she would know what to do.
Glinda enlisted the aid of one of the Beastmen’s fiercest warriors.
Bastinda sent the Scarecrow, an ex-lover Vinci who scorned her and was eternally cursed to guard the Vinkus. He was promised freedom for his loyalty.
Locasta’s charge, Nick Chopper the Tin Woodsman, volunteered. Though he had lost his ability to love, he was fiercely loyal to Locasta and was perhaps the greatest protector Oz had ever known.
Sadly, the girl had no idea what she was doing and was easily convinced by digs to assassinate Bastinda. Though she was unable to stop the assassination, Glinda realized her error and sent the girl back to her home.
Glinda and the remaining Do’Rothee battled Diggs. The Scarecrow was easily unwoven without Bastinda’s magic to hold him together. Diggs used Emerald to drain and defeat Glinda. Diggs was then able to bind Nick Chopper, who he would later dismantle and use as inspiration for the Warforged. The Warrior Beastman, after seeing Glinda fall, fled and, out of shame, cut his mane and now drips from history’s lips as The Cowardly Lion.
To this day, dogs are beloved pets in the Emerald Empire, and lower than rats elsewhere.
Spoiler: ThingsSpoiler: EmeraldEmerald (substance) – Looks like glass or crystal of varying greenish hue. Feels lighter than it seems it should.
When the first humans appeared in Oz, the 1st Grand Artificer found that his recent recipe for a durable, light-weight synthetic fed on the latent magical energies of Oz. In the world the humans come from, it is called “plastic,” but the Grand Artificer dubbed it “emerald,” a precious stone that doesn’t naturally exist in Oz.
The 1st Grand Artificer, being of great science, began producing emerald in mass quantities, learning that, with study and practice, one could use emerald as a focus, granting semi-magical properties to people, places and things that would normally be mundane.
The Great Emerald City was fully grown within five years of the 1st Grand Artificer’s arrival. Emerald is mixed in massive vats. It forms into chunks of crystal, if left to cool, but is easily molded as it cools into practically any shape and thickness. With the use of magic, one can nudge a sufficient amount of Emerald to become plate mail in minutes, a fully furnished home in days, and, as the 1st Grand Artificer proved, an entire city in a few years. The City-State of Emerald stands in the center of Oz, as a testament to human ingenuity and expansion.
In the eyes of the Fey, however, Emerald is destroying their native Oz. They view Emerald as a foreign being, inhaling natural beauty and power and exhaling humans and their unnatural inventions. The Fey do not deny the Human right to exist, but detest the Human rite of expansion and subjugation.
Spoiler: The Crimson ClothThe Crimson Cloth –
The most powerful artifacts ever created in Oz are known as The Crimson Cloth. This four piece set was created by Glinda and given to Ozma, who found them too formal and stifling. Not wanting to offend Glinda, though, she deemed them too powerful to be united at all times. She gave each Elder a piece to protect. These vestments may only be worn by mortals with Glinda’s blessings.
-Ruby Slippers – These beautiful red slippers were worn by Nerossa. They grant the wearer near immunity to all manner of offensive spells. (Mechanics: +10 to AC, Fort, Refl vs. Powers with Arcane, Divine or Psionic keyword.)
-Spinel Skirts – These skirts shine red, but seem almost clear at the edges when viewed from any angle. They grant the wearer the ability to travel quickly through the air, in a large bubble. (Mechanics: At-will: Overland flight at double movement speed.)
-Garnet Undergarment – Though covered by a blouse or bodice, these delicates accentuate the wearer’s physical abilities, while providing amazing protection. (Mechanics: +10 to AC, For, Refl vs. Powers with Martial or Primal keywords. +1 to Str, Con, and Dex.)
-Crown of Coral – This Dazzling Crown of pressed and polished coral grants the wearer mental alacrity and vigilance. (Mechanics: +10 Will. +1 to Int, Wis and Cha. +5 Bluff, Diplomacy, Perception and Insight.)
Spoiler: The Grimm GrimoireThe Grimm Grimoire –
The Grimoire is a tome of unprecedented Arcane knowledge. It was given to Bastinda by Diggs, as a courting gift, as they were quite fond of each other. Diggs claimed it was penned by a group of wizards called The Almanac, and, though claiming to have read it many times, upon his arrival in Oz, its contents changed to script he could no longer decipher. Bastinda prized the Grimoire over all things, though, at first, she could read very little. It seemed to be a book of creation, with descriptions of everything to exist in Oz, and the recipe to create it, though some materials were unknown to her. With Diggs, Bastinda crafted the first batch of emerald, thinking it a potion to enhance magical aptitude. Bastinda drank of emerald and it warped her, turning her dark skin to green, her back went crooked, her snow white hair turned raven black and her face grew long and warty.
Disgusted, Diggs abandoned Bastinda, creating a bitterness between the two. While Diggs went on to develop Emerald into his legacy, Bastinda shut herself away with the book, plotting revenge. Before her assassination by the Do’Rothee, Bastinda had created the race of Flying Monkey, created a cloak that allowed the wearer to fly and a hat that sustained the wearer without food, water or sleep. She was also able to surround Emerald City with a sea of magical poppies that halted the physical growth of the emerald of the city, forcing it to grow taller rather than expanding outward.
There is an inscription, etched in Bastinda’s hand on the back of the book:
Be warned whoever holds this tome,
The Land of Oz is not its home.
Lest go mad by unknown sigil,
This book, a gift to minds most vigil.
Do read the spine before the page,
T’will make a Wizard of a Mage.
Along the spine are six symbols, each in a different language. If the symbols are translated and read aloud in Elven, the lock on the book will open. “Bastinda and Diggs; True Love Forever.”
Spoiler: Weapons and Special ItemsEmerald Impliments – Necessary for Artificers to wield implements made of Emerald. An Emerald Impliment costs 10% less than a normal implement of its type. Emerald Impliments may only be enchanted or crafted by an artificer.
Firearms – A firearm functions as a crossbow, though it requires proficiency in superior ranged weapons. Reloading is always a minor action and is not mitigated by feats, though, a magical firearm reloads itself, and so, you do not need a free hand.
A firearm may be enchanted with any crossbow enchantment, or with wand implement enchantments. A firearm enchanted with a wand implement enchantment may be used as an implement by those proficient with the firearm and wands.
Tellular Cellaphane – Thin sheets of Emerald which can be used to send messages to others. They do not function outside the Emerald City.
Other worlds – As an inclusionary tactic, all equipment should be considered “available,” though, not always “readily available.” DM should consider Oz a blank slate of sorts on which any and all could be folded into the world.
Spoiler: Lore and MiscellanySpoiler: Munkin LandMunkin Land – Eastern Country of Oz, inhabited by the Munkin (Gnomes, Dwarves, Halflings) and under Emerald rule.
Cheeriobed – Puppet ruler of Mun. Governor Cheeriobed was technically elected democratically, as all Mun officials have been. However, only votes of land owners are counted, and Mun has become a serfdom of Emerald. Only Cheeriobed’s vote was counted, as he was given ownership of a half-acre, on which he had his gubernatorial home built.
Kansas House – The site where Nerossa called for the Do’Rothee girl and where the Do’Rothee girl dropped a house on Nerossa. It is a historical monument and upkeep is performed by Munkin volunteers. Cheeriobed often refers to the Kansas House when giving public speeches to his fellow Munkin, as a reminder of the Evil Witch of the East.
“Do we have it so bad? My people, do we? We live freely, not in fear. Do you hate this new tax so badly? If so, go lift the Kansas House and tell Nerossa all about it. Maybe she’ll powder your bum, while she spins your wife over the fire, and whips the flesh from your childrens’ backs.”
Gorisla Grotto – A hidden, underground, self-sustaining community of Dwarves and Halflings. It serves as the command center of the Mun Resistance. Fresh water, mushrooms and critters feed them. As far as actually resisting… They could use help.
DaeMun Landing – A site far to the East, it acts as a port between Oz and the Kingdoms Beyond the Waste. Over the past few hundred years, with fiend activity rising, few, if any, traders want to make the journey. It is now more of a pirate town; where Nerossa cults gather for sacrifice and cakes; where weak demons and devils will trade “treasures” found in the wastes for the flesh of Oz people; where many Tiefling attempt to live out lives free of persecution. It is a town of thieves and murderers, but, if you need something and don’t want others to know about it, DaeMun Landing is where to go.
Red Brick Road – An access channel from DaeMun Landing to the town where the Kansas House now stands. Thanks to cutpurses and highwaymen, travel on this road is dangerous, but traveling off the road is worse.
Yellow Brick Road – The road from Kansas House to the Emerald City. The Yellow Brick Road begins with a spiral at the center of town and moves outward, in a circular fashion, spiraling through each of the four nations before reaching Emerald City. It was a trade road in peaceful times.
Spoiler: Qua CountryQua Country – Southern Country of Oz, a land of vast forests and many hidden homes.
Great Redwood Forest – The Great Redwood Forest covers about three-quarters of the Qua Country. The Qua-leen build their homes in the trees; some build in the canopies, hidden high in the leaves; some inside the trees themselves, which can grow hundreds of yards in diameter, each tree acting as its own town or even city.
The Red Witch – Ruler of the Qua-leen and the most powerful acranist in Oz. She is benevolent, aspiring to be a modern day Glinda, but she has no patience for fools and does not tolerate incompetence. She has a personal guard of one hundred female battlemages, each in peak physical and mental condition, of Eladrin, Githzerai and Beastmen origin.
Forsaken Forest – The Northern area of the Qua Country has been chopped down by the Empire. Qua-leen mages and druids grew the forest thick and dense to act as a wall. It is now a field of stumps and inactive Warforged golems. The Yellow Brick Road’s inner coil passes through the Forsaken Forest.
Applewood Forest – The outer coil of the Yellow Brick Road passes through a grove of living apple trees. The trees are bored pranksters and will constantly berate any passers-by. Any who attempt to pick an apple without asking are in for a forest full of pain.
Tribesmen – The Qua Country’s forests are home to many Beastmen, who find the forests to be welcome shelter against Fey persecution, with the Qua-leen being the least bigoted of the Fey. Shifters, Dragonborn and Half-orcs make their homes in the small groups and some solitary Tiefling have been known to live in small bush homes, studying magic under special grant of the Red Witch. Tiefling are natural spellcasters, but their affinity for fire and their fiendish reputation forces the Red Witch to assign each Tiefling granted asylum a chaperone who watches over the work space at all times, documenting and reporting all activity.
Primals – The forests are an ideal place for druids, seekers, shamans and wardens to commune with nature and many primals of the tribesmen take to protecting the country as vehemently as the Qua-leen.
Corn Crossing – At the border of the Qua and the Vinkus, where orchards meet grain fields, there has been a new road created. It is technically within the Vinkus, and it runs along the border, passing straight through both coils of the Yellow Brick Road. The Vinci, who do not tolerate outsiders, allow access to the road. A smart traveler using the Yellow Brick Road will take the Outer Coil, turn at Outer Corn Crossing and cut through to the Inner Coil, to avoid Vinci raiders deep within the Vinkus.
Spoiler: The VinkusThe Vinkus – Western land of Oz. Verdant plains of wheat and grain, with gold and jewels beneath.
Tribesmen – The plains of the Vinkus are ideal hunting grounds and pastures. All manner of Beastmen call the Vinkus home, but all will avoid the Vinci, if they can help it. Attitudes vary from tribe to tribe, with some being comprised of multiple races, which is rare in other countries. Dragonborn and Minotaur seem to get along rather well, both being powerful warriors that favor valor. Shifters and half-orcs are more exclusionary, but would usually rather protect an outsider than see them swindled or slaughtered by the Vinci. Some Tiefling tribes exist, but they are well-hidden, nearly impossible to find. They are simply trying to regain the connection to their ancestral homeland, but the Vinci want them gone. One particular Vinci caravan has been accused multiple times of harboring Human hunters on “demon slaying quests.”
Five Golden Rings – The Golden Rings are meeting places for the Vinci to discuss current affairs and settle disputes. They are the closest to formal government in the Vinkus and meet at regular intervals. While the sites are permanent, the members are not, and the Vinci who choose to participate simply go to the nearest site. Those who do not send a representative to the golden Ring meetings lose respect, which may affect trade.
The Underdark – The Underdark is an elaborate system of artificial, natural and supernaturally formed caves and tunnels that span bellow all of Oz. The Vinkus, being rich in precious metals and minerals, has the most readily available access to it, thanks to mining. The Underdark is home to an unknowable number of Unknowns, Aberrations and beings of shadow. It is a place of deceit and insanity, where natural law seems to have little hold and logic is fluid.
Few Surface dwellers venture into the Underdark, but the Vinci have been known to converse with some of its denizens, even bartering with them. Routes into the Underdark are secret and guarded. If the Humans discovered them, who knows the terrors they could unleash?
The Mines – Mostly inhabited by Goblins and Kobolds who are gifted miners and generally fear the surface. Goblins and Kobolds are thought to be evil for some reason, but they are actually naturally honest creatures, who work and trade to support community-families. The assumption could be due to the practice of cannibalism or inbreeding, but they are old and close-knit communities that survive where meat is scarce and dangerous; incest and cannibalism is an evolutionary trait as much as their small bodies, and is only considered taboo by surface dwellers.
Spoiler: The GillilandGilliland – North country of poisonous swamps, dense jungle and high peaks
Fort Amethyst – Emerald has a stronghold in the Gilli called Fort Amethyst. It is used as a staging area for troops and diplomats. Captain Steiner is the officer-in-charge, though Emerald has been warning him to show results or step down. Steiner, unable to march forces through the perilous swamps, has been attempting to gain allies in the Githyanki, in hopes that the Githyanki will fight the Elves for Emerald. Steiner’s progress is slow, but it is progress.
Romulus – Head of the large village of Venice. The village is in the midst of a bog, with structures built in the trees and on stilts around the roots, connected by hanging catwalks and canoe. Venice serves as an outpost to travelers and Romulus keeps patrols posted around Fort Amethyst. His tactics of following Emerald troops and picking off whoever survives the local ecology has proved effective and safe.
Remus – Leader of the Githyanki encampment Bramblethorn, a sister society of Venice. Situated within a protective briar patch, the entrance to Bramblethorn is painful, at best. Remus is a first generation mutation, the brother of Romulus, and bitter about Githyanki segregation. He wants his people to live in homes, not clearings in a needle thicket. He begs his brother for support in taking Fort Amethyst, but Romulus will not take the risk. Remus has been having meetings with Steiner’s men, though, and may be gearing up to attack Venice.
Witch Mombi – Once a follower of Bastinda, she was banished from the Vinkus for her role in Ozma’s disappearance. She fled to the Gilliland swamps with Tip, who would eventually steal her Life Powder, create Jack Pumpkin and Sawhorse, and flee to the Emerald City. Mombi’s role in Oz’s history is not well-known, and Mombi has made few appearances after fleeing the Vinkus. Some have claimed to have seen her walking home in recent years, but she can’t still be alive. Can she?
Pumperdink – A small “kingdom” in a remote corner of the Gilliland. It is ruled by King Pompadore the Judicious, son of King Pompus the Capricious. The kingdom is well-known for marking criminals by dipping them in a stone well filled with ink. Pumperdink is also the home of Kabumpo the Elegant Elephant.
Skeezers and Flatheads – Twho Goliath tribes who bicker and battle constantly. If they could ally together, they would gladly aid in a unified fight against Emerald’s Armies. Currently, though, they have to keep an eye on each other.
Spoiler: Emerald CityEmerald City – Much of the city is made of Emerald, but far from all. The Fey of Oz, only a few having visited, are under the assumption that everything is Emerald. Visitors of the Emerald City are instructed to wear Emerald-tinted goggles within the city, to protect their eyes from the “brilliance of Emerald.” In truth, these goggles serve three purposes: 1) They mark wearers as outsiders. 2) They will magically strike the wearer blind if they enter a restricted area. 3) They make everything look greenish, implying that everything is Emerald, even if it is more mundane.
Southstairs – An underground political prison spanning much of the City. Dissenters, political rivals and even general riffraff are brought to Southstairs for “Re-Education.” There are areas of Southstairs that seem to flood a person with despair and twisted thoughts. The Emerald Officials don’t know it, but parts of their prison overlap with the Underdark.
The Emerald City Cornet Band – This band plays on seemingly every corner in the city. While they are talented musicians, they also serve as watchdogs and spies, watching and listening to everything, causing distractions for police angents, and, as a last resort, protectors of the peace.
Green Beret – Elite secret police. They specialize in stealth and interrogation. They are in charge of Southstairs and its “Re-Education.”
Caractacus Potts – The current and 15th Grand Artificer, Caractacus is the youngest Grand Artificer to ever earn the title. He has ruled for nine years and has gained the reputation of the most umanitarian Grand Artificer. He is a magical prodigy, coming from a non-noble house, he was accepted into The Mint on a full scholarship and was put on the accelerated track. Graduating with pristine marks, he applied for apprenticeship and became a Master seemingly overnight. He is young and idealistic, and is preparing the Empire for a massive surge, should his advance team of diplomats fail to make peace with the Fey. He has attempted to court Jinjur numerous times.
Jinjur – Grand-daughter of the 14th Grand Artifiver and childhood rival of Potts. Jinjur and Potts are the same age, went through the same accelerated Mint program, and finished with similar scores. Jinjur’s request of Artificer apprenticeship was denied by her grandfather, though, because Jinjur is a Changeling. Because of this Jinjur has a deep resentment for Potts, wanting not only to see him fail, but to see him hung by the neck at the hands of his own people.
Jinjur is Captain of the Green Beret and has seen to it personally that no diplomat comes in or out of Emerald City without visiting Southstairs first.
Spoiler: Time in OzTime in Oz
Hours, Days, Months: 60 minutes to an hour, 24 hours to a day, 30 days to a month, 3 months to a season. Seasons change at midnight on the first day of the first month of the season. This doesn’t mean that you would see snow instantly start to fall, but there isn’t any of that Groundhog business in Oz.
Years: 4 seasons make 1 year. Years were not counted until the founding of the Emerald Empire formed.
BCE: Before Coming of Emerald
CE: “Claim of Empire” or, more literally, “so the Empire claims.”
Timeline of Grand Artificers (and edicts effecting the timeline)
5 BCE: 1st G.A. Diggs arrives in Oz @ 45 years of age
0 CE: 1st G.A. Diggs founds Emerald city @ 50 years of age
30 CE: 2nd G.A. Graham elected @ 40 ya.
50 CE: 3rd G.A. Bunson elected @ 30 ya.
90 CE: 4th G.A. Dewey elected @ 35 ya.
118 CE: 4th G.A. Dewey decrees G.A. to be position for life
119 CE: 5th G.A. Thidiot elected @ 43 ya.
188 CE: 6th G.A. Flunk elected @ 43 ya.
218 CE: 7th G.A. Beaker elected @ 50 ya.
256 CE: 8th G.A. Wuddlypie elected @ 58 ya.
289 CE: 9th G.A. Headface elected @ 38 ya.
315 CE: 10th G.A. Eieio elected @ 58 ya.
350 CE: 11th G.A. Rayk elected @ 33 ya.
386 CE: 12th G.A. Metre elected @ 42 ya.
426 CE: 13th G.A. Drangus elected @ 50 ya.
458 CE: 14th G.A. Rewt elected @ 43 ya.
494 CE: 15th G.A. Potts elected @ 25 ya.
502 CE (current year): 15th G.A. is 34 ya.
Spoiler: Factions and Groups in OzFactions and Groups in Oz:
Murderhobos - Carbon copies of an adventuring party, the Murderhobos are pitied and shunned. Their actions tend to be helpful, heroic, or, at least, unobtrusive. They protect the weak, fight evil and, occasionally, quest for treasure, which they sell to small towns for a hot meal, a place to sleep and forty ounces of grog.
Murderhobos are high-level NPCs, tend to be solitary or pack creatures, and have poor hygiene, but friendly attitudes.
Working Girls - Oz has no laws against prostitution, though some individual communitites may prohibit it. Elsewhere, there is the Guild of Working Girls.
Working Girls focuses on the health and safety of employees and has been known to harshly punish clients who harm a working girl, or oversteps his bounds. The Guild offers many benefits to members, making it an attractive career to men and women. While Guild members are contractually obligate to work, they may leave at any time, though, they must usually buy out their contract.
Working Girls are classified by a necklace they all wear, half of a heart, bearing either a W or G (based on job), made of copper, silver, or gold (indicating rank/price range). A non-Guild member with a necklace could be a thief or murderer and can expected to be cruelly dealt with.
Turtlez Guild – A guild of mercenaries specializing in transportation. At one time, they were in charge of upkeep and safety of major trade roads, but, with trade and transit slowing, they have dropped contact work and tend to work “for hire.”
Katz Guild – Traveling merchants who offer goods and services at a rate that reflects the ease of trading in the wild. The Katz Guild offers loyalty rewards for returning customers ranging from free water skein refills and meals to discount enchantments and extra store credit on trade-ins. Many private businesses say that the Katz Guild is destroying jobs and businesses. The Katz Guild attests that they are probiding a service, not a monopoly, and welcome competition. Katz vendors can be found in cities and roadsides. Katz and Turtlez have a special supply and protection contracts. It would be wise to not cross a Katz vendor.
OrcDonalds – This is the first and only food chain in Oz. Brought by the First Grand Artificer Phargdrig Diggs, this chain employs “sub-humans,” almost exclusively. While the food is strangely delicious, it is terrible for both the imbiber and Oz, as the food is made using alchemy, both in ingredient and preparation. Somehow, OrcDonalds has spread through all of Oz.
Emerald State claims that they are providing opportunities with poverty communities for at-risk youths to earn a wage and become role models. There is outcry against this idea in Oz, as many site OrcDonalds as doing more harm than good.
Last edited by Burley; 2014-10-07 at 08:51 PM. Reason: Filling in Place Holder