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- Join Date
- Apr 2008
- Los Angeles
Empire: Embers of Dawn [Recruitment Paused]
Two hundred years ago, the world came undone. A cold light filled the sky, a False Dawn that seared the eyes of any who looked upon it, and every land it touched heard the boiling screams of the four winds. In its wake, a red stain blotted out the sky, and the young kingdoms of the ancients were laid waste. Vegetation withered, the herds thinned, and brother turned against brother in an age of despair. Even as the years of red winter drew to a close, savagery and suspicion reigned, and the peoples of the world forgot the greatness they had once dreamed of. Until now. The coming of the False Dawn has passed from living memory, and for the first time in generations the horizon is clear of its bloody mark. New peoples rise to seize control of their destinies, tribes that have emerged from their trials scarred but unbroken. You will lead these people, your people, into an unknown future as clan becomes kingdom, family becomes dynasty, and you strive to carve your names into history. To forge an Empire.
Welcome, players old and new, to the latest iteration of the Empire play by post game. This is a game of mutual world building, strategy, and relationships on both a personal scale and the scale of kingdoms. You will create and take control of a people emerging into prominence in the wake of an age of suffering, beset on all sides not only by the kingdoms of your fellow players but also by the vile Blightspawn birthed in the wake of the False Dawn. Your decisions will guide your people to prosperity or to ruin, and will shape the face of their world. As GM, my role is twofold - to adjudicate the conflicts that arise between players, and to introduce threats and temptations beyond your peoples' ken. Our tone, at least to start, is Heroic Fantasy (think Conan, Beowulf, or Gilgamesh) though we're flexible.
The rules of Empire follow, and be warned they are extensive. However this is somewhat deceptive, as the flow of play is relatively simple. The exhaustive nature of the rules should be taken as an indication of just how much is possible within the world of Empire, and how much past GMs have been called on to adjudicate. Having as many eventualities as we can foresee written down simply streamlines the process for all of us. If you have any questions, I encourage you to reach out to me or to my assistant GM, Aedilred. Empire also has a thriving community of veteran players who would be more than happy to provide their expertise to new players.
In EMPIRE! you play as the ruler of a kingdom. You perform actions to advance your kingdom’s position in the world through fair means and foul. Once your ruler dies of old age, disease, accident or murder, or they are otherwise replaced, their heir takes over, becoming your new ruler.
Spoiler: Ruler MechanicsAll rulers have the following attributes:
These attributes have a score of 1 to 10, reflecting a combination of the ruler’s personal abilities and the institutions they maintain to support them.
For your first ruler, roll 1d4 for each attribute. You can arrange these results however you like. You may also add +1 to any two attributes.
You can make your rolls in this thread once approved. If you roll more than one 1, you may reroll any 1s beyond the first for your very first leader. If you have more than two 1s after the reroll, those subsequent 1s become 2s (you are still left with two 1s). This option to reroll is only available to newly joined players so as to avoid a deeply disadvantaged game start.
When you change rulers, note this in your actions post. You do not need to take an action to change rulers.
If your ruler is a child of a previous ruler, it is assumed that they inherited some of their predecessor’s abilities, and/or that their predecessor provided some education to them. Adopted children count for this purpose as children of a previous ruler.
Roll a 1d4 for each attribute in order (dynastic heirs may not freely distribute their rolls). Your new ruler receives a +1 bonus to any stats their parent had a score of 4 or higher in, or a +2 bonus to their roll for any attribute their parent had an 8 or higher in.
If your new ruler is not related to your previous ruler, roll attributes as you would for your first ruler and apply two +1s as you choose. You may not re-roll multiple 1s.
If you are voluntarily changing rulers, announce this in the round before you want to start using the new ruler. Any bonuses accrued during your current ruler’s last round will be applied to the new ruler when they take over at the start of the next round.
If your ruler is killed in battle, assassinated, kidnapped or suffers some other debilitating mishap in a round opener, your new ruler takes over immediately. Roll your new ruler at that point and begin using them in the same round.
Please note any change of ruler and link the rolled stats for your incoming ruler in your IC post in which the change occurs.
Creating a Region
Spoiler: Region MechanicsDescribing Your Region
When you join the game, the GM will assign you a region on the map. The GM will take requests as to where on the map you would prefer to start.
You must then write a description of your starting region. Once this is approved by the GM, you may start play. A region description can be as detailed as you like but should include at minimum the following:
Geography: Describe the geography of your region. The appearance of the region on the map will give you an idea as to the climate and biome. Set out what the region looks like, including descriptions of landmarks, towns and other settlements.
People: Describe what the people in the region generally look like. What do they wear? What race(s) are they? What is their culture like? What do they do in their daily lives? Explain roughly how their society functions.
Resource: Describe one valuable resource that can be found in the region, which your people make available for trade. This resource becomes a Great resource in your capital region. As such the region contains three trading posts of this resource, one of which your kingdom controls at the game’s outset. (For full details on resources, trading posts, and their relevance, see the Opulence section and the Resources and Trade section.)
Also describe one resource that your region does not have and which your people are obliged to import. This can be something essential, like food, or a luxury item of which your people are especially fond. During the game, you will need to find a way to obtain this resource, otherwise your people will become unhappy and may rebel.
Resources can be traded with other players. Full details of how to trade can be found in Resources and Trade.
Faith: The world of EMPIRE! contains many mysteries and its people follow various religions and faiths. As the game progresses, some of these religions will become widespread, while others may dwindle and die out. Provide an outline of what your people believe at the start of the game.
Your starting faith is not organized and is limited to your region. You will in time have the opportunity to organize your faith, or choose to adopt an organized religion created by another player. Organized religions provide benefits to their followers, which are more powerful depending on the number of followers the religion has. Details of how to organize faiths and the benefits of doing so can be found under the Faith rules.
Your region contains one Holy Site at the start of the game. This could be a stone circle, sacred grove, shrine, temple, or a school where priests are trained. In your writeup, describe your Holy Site and what religion controls it. You can leave your Holy Site “open”, in which case it still exists, but is not considered under the control of any one faith.
In addition to describing your ruler and your region, you may choose one of six starting technologies to help define your people. The starting technologies have no resource prerequisites, but may be used as the basis for further player technologies (see Opulence and Military for the rules on introducing technologies).
- Sailing: Enables exploration and troop transport over deep water
- Masonry: +1 to resist Raids and Sacks
- Writing: +1 Conversion Defense, +1 Conversions in regions that share your alphabet. Kingdoms that do not begin with the Writing technology may adopt it through trade, but will assume the alphabet of the Kingdom whence they received the Writing tech. If exposed to other alphabets over the course of the game, a Kingdom may change their alphabet with a Great Project (see Great Project rules in Actions below).
- Irrigation: +1 Stabilization
- Animal Husbandry: +1 to Opulence and Diplomacy exploration
- Pottery: +1 Buyouts
Spoiler: Map BasicsThe known world is displayed on the map. Each region is marked with a dotted border and a number for ease of reference. The potential starting regions are as follows:
Spreading south from the shores of a trackless sea, Kiswa is a realm of thick rainforests and swamps, thinning to rolling grasslands further south. Born beneath searing sunlight and pounding rain, cool shade and soothing breezes have nurtured your people, but beyond the circles of your villages dangers lurk in every shadow. The vast river to the west has remained taboo for centuries, ever since it bore the tidal wave of the False Dawn’s destruction inexorably inland, while the northern hills remain wild and unexplored. Trade from beyond is rare, and growing rarer, as strange rumors of a terrible curse begin to spread from the south.
Player Kingdom Region Summary Status Gaius Hermicus United Blemmyae Tribes 213 Headless people with faces in their chests reproduce via ovipositing, keep records of heroes of the past, and live in cliff dwellings. Approved Minescratcher Ten-Fuj-Sa-Cos 195 Arrr, it be plunderin’ time... Approved bc56 Veramondo 218 A jungle kingdom dedicated to giving thanks to each other and to the land. Approved Aedilred Henanda Kingdom 193 ??? Approved Corona Hellves 211 Migrating elves that are maybe settling down. Stop judging us for our pyromaniacal ways, or we'll burn down your village! Approved Rolepgeek Kingdom of Lhungho Saar 221 Big, regenerating, and always hungry, the river trolls, their hippos, and their thralls all answer to the troll-king - so long as there is food. Approved Potato_Priest The Anbroch Houses 198 A fertile Jungle region controlled by Dwarven migrants at the mouth of the great Kiswan rivers. Approved Frostwander The Vygra 226 Elemental humanoids with an agricultural social culture. Approved Moriko Gehudu Forest 216 ??? Approved
A land of plenty, Mamut’s fertile plains are divided by a profusion of rivers. Bounded by impassable mountains to the west and the vast expanse of the sea to the east, Mamut’s recovery from the False Dawn came swiftly compared to the rest of the world, as the region was spared many of the great predators that emerged to hunt elsewhere. Blightspawn are a rarity outside the mountain borders, and communication between tribes is a common occurrence. Recently, however, travellers from the north have come with increasingly strange tales of strife and demands for better trade accommodations, as though some great hunger had seized their lands in an iron grip.
Player Kingdom Region Summary Status Gengy Swampum 39 A vast swamp full of life, including boar people riding upon giant toads. Approved Ausar Deru 37 We do not speak for the trees. We are the trees. Approved PartyOfRogues The Na-Kri 44 ??? In Review SOSDarkPhoenix Scions of the Thalaz'ir 30 Displaced solar nobles Approved Electriccat Hraban Confederacy 34 Cleverness and honor are our core. Ooo that's shiny. Approved Zayuz Clan Algar 32 Displaced lunar peasants Approved Miltonian The Ko 51 Small stature, big egos. Approved mystic1110 The Targiz 19 Terraced Farms and Rocky Cliffs Home to Nihilistic, Law-Abiding, Blood-Knight, Flower-Loving Goliath Vintners Approved Silent_Interim The Scrimthun Unity 53 Stone remembers the weight of what it is owed. Approved Aventine Džíu Phè Hwǔ 46 Seafaring tribal humans Approved
Beset by the searing heat of the deep desert, the clans of Sikar have emerged from the False Dawn constantly harried by its aftereffects. Blightspawn stalk the desert, only challenged by the great golden lions that rule the sands. Trade between tribes is as tense as it is essential, as cooperation vies with craving. Yet this crucible has made your people strong, and as you stride forwards to face the sirocco it is with the knowledge of ancestors that endured far worse and survived.
Player Kingdom Region Summary Status Epinephrine_Syn Nocturnal Hydra 280 ??? Approved D&D_Fan The Soreni 308 ??? Approved OmnivorousOgre Ixkarr 295 Cave-dwelling orcs obsessed with glory. Approved Ivor_The_Mad The Sol'lkoth 292 ??? Approved Lleban Ta Seti 288 A kingdom of herders hot and the burning sand, and just as rough. Approved Nefarion Xid Clan Al-Ashir 302 ??? Approved C'nor ??? 278 ??? Not Submitted zabbarot Crow's Tribe 306 Caw. Approved DoomHat The Thunderpeople 275 ??? Approved Roarke The Sands of Shá 307 ??? Approved JBarca The Dolod of Nellen 291 Beings with perfect recall and hereditary memories seek to add all possible experiences to their peoples' memories. Approved
The frigid reaches of Tarandi have never known plenty. Spared the worst of the False Dawn, its impact would be in aftershocks, as foul beasts rose from the snow to compete with your ancestors for scarce food and forage. But to endure is the Tarandi way, and your people have found some way to thrive on the tundra. Some have started to feel the pull of the soft lands to the south, said to be a world of plenty, even though to go there would be to risk the taboo of the great mountains. Others look east, across the sea, to frozen lands just visible on the horizon. Destiny calls to you in the cold voice of the north wind, and your hot blood rises to meet the challenge.
Player Kingdom Region Summary Status PepperP. Hiverness 108 ??? Approved Elemental Aran Viska 111 Semi-nomadic children of two gods that live in reverence of their dead heroes. Approved Jade_Tarem Clann Solais 113 ??? Approved BladeofObliviom The Dannu-Gaon Tribes 96 Beware the River-Smiths, for no blade can turn away a flood. Approved m9p909 The Brayewen Tribes 129 A small civilization of grey humans with a passion for arguments. Approved Tychris1 Creatures of Ancient Ways 137 Spiritual Scavengers Awoken With Rage Approved bupkis Gethan 133 ??? Approved LapisCattis The Arrok of Uldra 109 A snow-covered kingdom bordered by lakes, the Arrok are fiercely protective of their lands, their wolves, and their northern allies. Approved Tentreto Sangar 136 Ascetics who cherish music, and despise decadence and the blightspawn. Approved Laura The Shandole´ 115 A peaceful tribal culture with deep spiritual beliefs just beginning the transition toward agriculture and a more sedentary existence. Approved
Most of the map is concealed by black “fog of war”. You can spend actions to explore into these areas, to discover new regions to conquer or claim. If successful, the GM will publish in the next round opening post the results. This will tell you basic details about the region, including what resource it possesses and in what quantity, what faith if any occupies its holy site, and how many troops, if any, the region possesses.
Depending on your approach to exploration, you can use Diplomacy, Military or Opulence actions to explore. The effects of each type of exploration action are set out under the description for each attribute and in the Map section.
Some regions have coloured borders which indicate special geographic features making that border harder to cross or easier to defend.
Light Blue: River Border. You can cross this border without requiring special technology or naval units, but it is harder to attack across rivers. If defending against an attack over a river border, you gain a +2 modifier to your battle roll.
Green: Hill Border. You can cross this border without requiring special technology, but it is harder to attack across hills. Defending against an attack over a hill border grants the defender a +2 bonus on the battle roll.
Red: Mountain Border. You need mountain traversal technology to cross a mountain border. If you send troops across a mountain border, this counts as crossing 2 regions when determining distance losses. Defending against an attack over a mountain border grants a +4 bonus to the defender.
Gold: Desert Border. You need desert traversal technology to cross a desert border. If you send troops over a desert border, it counts as crossing 3 regions when determining distance losses.
Black: Arctic Border. You need arctic traversal technology to cross an Arctic border. If you send troops over an arctic border it counts as 3 regions when determining distance losses.
Dark blue: Deep Water Border. Crossing a deep water border requires sailing technology. If you send units over a deep water border this counts as 2 regions when determining distance losses. Defending against an attack over a deep water border grants a +4 bonus to the defender.
In the course of play, players from the four starting continents will uncover land or sea routes to each other's continents. When players discover a new continent, they must complete a Great Project to decipher some degree of the local languages and customs. Until this Great Project is completed, all actions taken inside the foreign continent suffer a -6 penalty. Completion of the Great Project reduces this penalty by 2. Similarly, taking control of a region in the new continent or establishing an Embassy with a local kingdom also decrease the penalty by 2. These penalty reductions stack, leading to a minimum -2 penalty to actions outside your home continent. Until completion of the Great Project, claims cannot be established or pressed, embassies cannot be created, buyouts cannot be attempted, and regions cannot be converted in the new continent.
Spoiler: Round MechanicsEach round will take two real-life weeks and will be the equivalent of 4 years in-game.
All player actions take effect simultaneously at the end of the round. Armies raised in a round can therefore not be used until the next round, attribute increases are only added at the end of the round, newly acquired technologies cannot be used until the round after they were introduced, etc.
Rounds close and open on Sunday. The GM will post to officially close the round, resolve outstanding actions, then post again to open the new round. Due to the level of administration required this will usually take a number of hours. The post opening the new round (known colloquially as the round opener) will set out the results of actions taken in the previous round, and may introduce new information which merits attention.
You can edit your actions at any time before the end of the round. If however you have already made rolls for some actions, you should ask the GM for permission before editing those actions. Unless there are unusual circumstances, the GM will usually refuse permission to edit actions which are the subject of a failed roll.
There is an early deadline for war-related military actions. This is to ensure that players have an adequate opportunity to defend themselves against attack. See the battle rules for details of specific requirements for military actions. The GM nevertheless encourages players to post all actions early in the round if they can, as it makes it easier to process the effects of actions at the end of the round, and minimise the transition time between rounds.
If you don’t post actions in a round, that round is considered wasted. If you don’t post for two rounds in a row without notifying the GM in advance, you may be removed from the game. You do not have to take all your actions every round, but any actions you do not take are not carried over and are lost.
If you edit your actions after the GM closes the round, your actions post will be ruled invalid. Because of the possibility for abuse, any action posts that are edited after the round closes will be ruled completely invalid unless proof can be provided (i.e. datestamped screenshots or equivalent) that the actions are unchanged from before the round closed.
Spoiler: Action MechanicsActions are the major things happening in your Kingdom over the course of the round. Is construction happening on a monument to a god or ancient leader? Are armies being raised to answer the call of their sovereign? Perhaps your Kingdom is sending its finest diplomats to an international event to mingle with foreign rulers, or even hosting such an event? If you want your Kingdom to do something and have an impact on the wider world, use an action.
By default, you can take five actions each round. This number can be increased by upgrading your Kingdom to a Great Kingdom, Empire, Merchant Power or Holy Land. These can be created with a Special Action using Diplomacy, Opulence or Faith. See the relevant section on each attribute for how to create each entity.
Each action is associated with one of the five attributes of your ruler. Mark which attribute you are using for each action.
Actions do not have to have a mechanical effect on the game. You may choose to take actions solely to develop the background of your kingdom, or to improve your ruler’s abilities. Normally however your actions will have some sort of effect on your Kingdom, or on other players. Details of these actions are set out under the description for each of the attributes.
If your action is intended to have a mechanical effect, you will probably have to roll to see if it is successful. This may be an opposed roll against another player, or an independent roll against a target number. Details of how to make these rolls are given in the sections on Opposed Rolls and Target Numbers. Normally you will roll to determine success on your own actions, but in some cases (such as battles) the GM will roll for you.
All actions take effect at the end of the round (unless they have an effect that is delayed even longer). For instance, if you buy out a trading post for a resource, you will not have the resource until the beginning of the following round. If you pursue an investigation, the results will be announced in the GM post at the beginning of the next round.
There are some special types of action which are set out below.
Spoiler: Actions ListSpecial actions are actions you can only take when your ruler has at least a 5 or a 10 in the attribute in question. Special actions are limited to a single-use 5 and a single-use 10 per attribute per ruler. If you have a score of 10 in an attribute but do not want to use any of the available special-10 actions, you may take a second special-5 action instead. This will however count as use of a special-10.
You can use these actions at any point during a ruler’s lifetime so long as they have reached the requisite score. They cannot be held over from one ruler to another, so if a ruler dies without using a special action, the opportunity to use it is lost.
Projects: Some major undertakings may take more than one action to complete. These are called Projects. The more actions are spent on a Project, the more significant the outcome. You can take multiple actions in the same round towards a single Project, or stagger actions taken on a Project across multiple rounds.
The benchmark is a Great Project. This takes 5 actions and represents a remarkable achievement which will attract international attention. At the GM’s discretion, Great Projects may have a mechanical effect on the region where they are located. It is possible to undertake as many great projects as your kingdom can spare its limited actions for.
Sub-actions: Sometimes it is possible to take a single action which incorporates the effect of several minor actions. This is most common where you attend an event. At an event, for the cost of a single Diplomacy action, you can make multiple agreements such as betrothals, technological trades, or treaty signings. Details are set out in the sections on Diplomacy and on Events.
The other major form of sub-action is Tactical Maneuvering, which is a sub-action taken when an army is deployed. Details of this are set out in the rules for Military and for Battles.
In general, and unless specified otherwise in the rules, if an action must be rolled for, it probably can't be a sub-action and will take a full action of its own.
Secret actions are actions which are known only to you and the GM. Such actions need to be sent to the GM for verification, otherwise they will have no effect. Send a private message to the GM to notify him of your intentions.
Many actions can be taken as secret actions instead of public ones, with some exceptions as outlined below. You can take a maximum of one secret action per round. These are always full actions, rather than sub-actions or non-actions.
Irrespective of the effect, secret actions are always Intrigue actions unless specified otherwise, and use your ruler’s Intrigue score for any roll. They count towards Intrigue for the purpose of calculating increases to a ruler’s attribute scores.
With the exception of the Intrigue special actions, special actions may not be secret. By default, Diplomacy and Military actions cannot be secret either.
You cannot investigate other players’ secret actions just because you know they have been taking them. If however you correctly guess what another player is doing with their secret action, you can take an action of your own to counter it. Of course, if you are wrong, this will result in a wasted action.
You can investigate suspicious events in a round opener in the hope of discovering who is responsible for them. It is also possible that a secret action will fail, and the player responsible will be exposed without the need for an investigation.
For more information on secret actions and investigations, see Intrigue.
Non-actions are anything you do in their turn that does not cost an action. You can take any number of these, some of which may have a mechanical effect. Changing rulers is a non-action, as is allowing foreign troops passage through your territory. Resisting attempts by other players to buy out your trading posts or convert your holy sites are also non-actions. Non-actions may be used, at the GM’s discretion, to correct administrative oversights or errors in previous rounds.
Non-actions take effect at the end of the round along with regular actions.
For every two actions spent in an attribute in a single round, you receive a +1 bonus to your ruler’s score in that attribute, starting from the following round.
The bonus will be applied to whichever ruler you are using in the following round, even if that is not the same ruler who took the actions that resulted in a bonus.
Your ruler’s score in any attribute cannot increase beyond 10. You can continue to take actions in that attribute, but any bonus that would take the score above 10 is lost.
Please note clearly at the end of your post in the IC thread which attributes you intend to increase, to assist the GM with administration.
New Player Bonus Actions
If you join the game after the end of Round 2, you can take an additional “bonus action” in your first round. You can take a further bonus action for every two completed rounds since the end of Round 2.
These actions and their attribute increases will all take effect at the same time as your regular round actions at the end of the round.
These bonus actions may not involve interaction with other regions or players, as they represent some of what your kingdom has been up to prior to making contact with the outside world. This restriction only applies to your bonus actions and not to the five regular actions that you can take as normal.
Spoiler: Base MechanicsTarget Numbers
Spoiler: Target NumbersEven if your action is not opposed by another player, it may still have a chance of failure. Many actions have a target number which must be rolled against in order to succeed. Where such an action is opposed by another player, you must meet the target number and exceed your opponent’s roll.
The relevant roll is 2d6 + relevant attribute + other bonuses from technologies or the like. Any fractional values are rounded up unless otherwise specified.
If your score is equal to or higher than the target number, the roll will succeed.
Target numbers for some different actions (with the relevant attribute in brackets) are:
Claim an uncontrolled region in two rounds (Diplomacy): 12
Explore an undiscovered region (Diplomacy): 12
Colonize an empty region (Diplomacy): 12
Establish a claim on a region (Diplomacy): 12
Stabilize a region the round after conquest (Diplomacy): 12
Stabilize a region in unrest (Diplomacy): 12
Stabilize a region in rebellion (Diplomacy): 14 Note: The rebels will still need to be defeated for the stabilization to take effect
Claim an uncontrolled region in one round (Diplomacy): 18
Explore a region and gain a claim over it (Diplomacy): 18
Sack a Trading Post or City (Military): 12
Purge a Holy Site (Military): 12
Purge a Holy Order (Military): 16
Explore an undiscovered region (Opulence): 10
Buy out a trading post when unopposed (Opulence): 12
Convert a learning center to your ideology (Faith): 12
Claim title of religious head in one round (Faith): 20
Quest into unknown lands (Hero): 12
Errant quest (Hero): 12
Quest into unknown lands Great Success (Hero): 18
Errant quest great success (Hero): 18
Most other rolls have a Base TN of 12
SpoilerYou will often find that other players oppose your plans or want to resist some of your actions that affect them. When this occurs and it is necessary to determine who is successful, you make an opposed roll against the other player.
Both players roll 2d6 and add the relevant attribute score for the action, and then add any other relevant modifiers. Whoever rolls higher will be successful. In the event of a tie, unless the rules say otherwise for a specific type of roll, the “defending” player, i.e. the player attempting to maintain the status quo, wins. The GM will roll on behalf of your opponent if necessary (for instance, if you are taking a secret action against another player).
Military battles function a little bit differently. Battle rolls are made by the GM at the end of the round, rather than by players. They are determined by an opposed 2d10 roll, plus the Military score of the relevant commander, and any bonuses from units, technologies, and other relevant modifiers. Full details of how battle results are calculated are set out in the Battle rules.
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
- Los Angeles
Re: Empire: Embers of DawnDiplomacy
Spoiler: Diplomacy RulesYour Diplomacy score represents your leader’s ability to sway, flatter, and persuade others, whether in person or through representatives. Diplomacy actions are used to peacefully expand your borders, maintain and restore stability in your territory, found kingdoms of increasing wealth and power, and secure the loyalty of your most powerful followers.
Diplomacy actions cannot be secret - clandestine negotiations and subversive tactics are the realm of the Intrigue stat.
Examples of Diplomacy actions are outlined below.
Host or Attend an Event
In the course of play, you may wish to host a gathering of world leaders, or send a retinue to attend one hosted by another kingdom. The catchall term for such gatherings is an Event.
In addition to being excellent opportunities for role playing and expanding on the relationships between your characters and those of other players, Event attendance allows you to take several specific types of action at once and bundle them as sub-actions to the principal event attendance action. Possible Event sub-actions include:
- Trading Technologies (See Technology rules, and specifics under Military and Opulence)
- Trading Treasure (See Opulence for Treasure rules)
- Trading Units (See Military and Advanced Military for rules on units)
Events are a major venue to debut and develop characters, and will typically feature the highest concentration of named characters in any particular round. As part of this, it is probable that characters will come into conflict. If you can agree a resolution with other involved players, this can take effect without the need for rolling.
If you can’t agree on an outcome, or want the outcome to be left to chance, agree the nature of the contest with the other player(s) and make opposed rolls for the most applicable attribute. You can decide the exact parameters of this as necessary, but the standard is as follows:
Each player rolls each roll 2d6 plus:
If their ruler is directly involved, the relevant attribute
If a Hero is involved, their Hero score (See Military rules for Hero mechanics)
If another named character is involved, half the relevant attribute.
If other players wish to aid one side in such a contest (and circumstances allow), they should choose which of their characters is going to intercede, and roll 2d6 with the applicable bonus as above. If they exceed a TN of 12, they provide a +2 bonus to their chosen side.
Whichever side achieves the higher result wins the contest. If you win, you may determine the result, subject to GM oversight.
A more difficult route of exploration than an Expedition (See Opulence) is to dispatch a Diplomatic Mission. A Mission sends envoys of your ruler’s court as well as a small caravan of servants to make contact with the peoples inhabiting an unknown region. You can only send a Mission into regions adjacent to your borders.
Roll 2d6 and add Diplomacy and any relevant bonuses. A successful roll against TN 12 gives you a +1 to Establishing a Claim over the region in the following round. A great success (TN 18) establishes a claim on the region. You may only benefit from the great success bonus claim once per leader.
Raise Organization Reputation
The three Organizations that span the world are each pursuing their own agendas, and with a Diplomacy action you can attempt to aid in this agenda. Reputation is a measure of your relationship with an organization, ranging from hated enemies to trusted, influential confidants.
It is based on a ranking scale of -3 to 4. You can increase your reputation with an organization by 1 level with a Diplomacy action with a TN dependent on your current reputation with the organization:
Reputation -3 -> -2: TN 16
Reputation -2 -> -1: TN 14
Reputation -1 -> 0: TN 12
Reputation 0 -> 1: TN 10
Reputation 1 -> 2: TN 12
Reputation 2 -> 3: TN 14
Reputation 3 -> 4: TN 16
See the Organization rules for further explanation of the benefits and limitations of Reputation.
A number of events and actions can cause instability in your regions, moving it into Unrest. You take a -2 penalty on any roll involving one of your regions that is in Unrest.
You may attempt to reduce Unrest in regions you control by taking a stabilization action. Roll 2d6+Diplomacy and any relevant bonuses. This roll is not subject to the -2 penalty for actions in that region. If your roll is at least 12, the region becomes stable and is no longer in Unrest.
You may not attempt a roll to Stabilize regions in Rebellion. Once the units generated by a Rebellion are defeated, regions in Rebellion automatically downgrade to Unrest.
See Unrest and Rebellion for more information.
In certain situations, regions may be discovered that lack any substantial civilized population. These regions fall into two categories: Wilderness regions and Blighted regions. In the case of Wilderness regions, you may attempt a Diplomacy check against TN 12 to dispatch sufficient people from your own kingdom to settle the land and begin exploiting its resources. This establishes an outpost of your culture in the region and adds it to your kingdom.
In the case of Blighted regions, exploration will reveal some terrible malady afflicting the area, be it monstrous creatures, unnatural weather, or other factors that make colonization impossible. Exploration results of a Blighted region will include the steps necessary to resolve the Blight. Once these are successfully completed, the Blighted region becomes a Wilderness region and may be colonized.
In order to peacefully take control of an uncontrolled region, you may attempt to establish a claim on it. Establishing a claim requires the use of a named member of your ruler’s family, who is dispatched to the region to enter into a political marriage that binds your ruling dynasty with the region’s power structure.
You can establish a claim on a region that has been explored but is not controlled by another player. Blighted and Wilderness regions cannot be claimed. To attempt to establish a claim, roll 2d6 and add Diplomacy plus any other bonuses. against a TN of 12.
If you roll successfully, you acquire a claim over the region and can press it in subsequent rounds. Failure, however, results in consequences to the dispatched family member at the GM’s discretion. A player may attempt to establish a claim as often as they wish, but successfully establishing a claim happens only once per leader. This is in addition to the Claim potentially generated by a Diplomatic Mission Great Success.
If you have a claim over a region, you may attempt to press the claim by rolling 2d6+Diplomacy. A roll of 12 is a partial success for a claim, and allows you to continue to press you claim the following round. If in the second round the claim is not contested by other players, the region is claimed automatically. If you roll a 12 in the first round but don’t press the claim in the following round, the claim is abandoned and subsequent attempts to claim the region must roll again.
A roll of 18 or higher is an immediate success on a claim and the region falls under your control at the end of the round.
If multiple players have a claim to the region, some of them may forfeit their claims and support other claimants instead. For each player who does this, add +2 to the roll of the claimant they support.
In the event there are multiple claimants for a region more than one of whom wishes to claim it, they should all roll, with the claimant who rolls highest being successful, provided they meet the target number. If none of the claimants roll an 18 or higher in the first round, the claim may still be contested in the second round, in which case the player who rolls highest in the second round successfully claims the region.
Declare new capital
You can declare any region that you control to be your capital region. By default, your starting region is your capital. If you have lost your capital region, you can declare another region you control to be your capital as a non-action, with no need to roll.
If you want to move your capital, choose a region and roll 2d6 plus Diplomacy and any other relevant bonuses, against a TN of 10. On success, that region becomes your capital. Your former capital region becomes unstable, if you still control it. On a Great Success (TN 18) the new capital is successfully established and the former capital region does not enter unrest.
Diplomacy 5 Special: Establish Cultural Identity
If you have a score of 5 in Diplomacy, you can spend an action to create a Cultural Identity for your kingdom. A Cultural Identity will grant an increase in die size (2d6 to 2d8) on a specific type of roll, of your choice. This roll may not be Tactical Maneuvering (or battles). A particularly agnostic or faithful Faith focused state might adopt an identity granting a bonus to Faith rolls resisting conversion attempts. A cutthroat Opulence-focused state might adopt an identity that granted its bonus to rolls to buyout trading posts.
A Cultural Identity lasts until it is changed by a subsequent Diplomacy 5 action. It can be made permanent with a Diplomacy 10 action, enabling you to maintain multiple Cultural Identities.
Diplomacy 5 Special: Create Embassy
If you have a score of 5 in Diplomacy, you can spend an action to establish a permanent embassy in another kingdom’s capital. Two kingdoms linked by an embassy gain the following benefits:
- They may take Diplomacy actions that involve only the other kingdom as a non-action, provided both players agree.
- Technologies can be traded between them with a non-action
- Each can use an Opulence 5 special action to upgrade resources in each other’s regions (subject to agreement).
- Trading posts can be exchanged directly between players with an Opulence action from each player, no roll required.
Technology trades or Diplomacy non-actions taken in this way do not contribute towards attribute increases for the following round.
Diplomacy 10 Special: Consolidate Permanent Cultural Identity
If you have a score of 10 in Diplomacy you may choose to make your existing Cultural Identity, created by an earlier Diplomacy 5, permanent. The Cultural Identity may be introduced simultaneously in the same round with a Diplomacy 5 special action.
A Permanent Cultural Identity remains in play as long as the kingdom exists, or until specifically replaced by a subsequent Diplomacy 10. A kingdom can support as many Permanent Cultural Identities as it can establish.
Diplomacy 10 Special: Elevate Kingdom
If you have a score of 10 in Diplomacy and the requisite regions under your control you may choose to unify holdings that you control into a more potent kingdom.
- If you control four or more stable contiguous regions, one of which must be your capital, you may found a Great Kingdom. Great Kingdoms have a sixth action per round and may take vassals. If you ever control fewer than four contiguous regions at the start of a round, you immediately lose the title of Great Kingdom and all associated benefits. You may regain the title and the associated benefits if you manage to regain control of 4 contiguous regions within four turns. You must take a standard Diplomacy action to re-establish your status once you have achieved this.
- You may form a Great Kingdom if you are already a Merchant Prince or Holy Land, but in doing so your government is restructured. You lose access to the special benefits of being a Merchant Prince or Holy Land in exchange for gaining a Great Kingdom's benefits.
- If you are a Great Kingdom and control 12 or more regions (including vassals) you may create an Empire. Empires have seven actions per round. You lose the title and all associated benefits if you ever cease to qualify as a Great Kingdom, or cease to control fewer than 12 regions, including vassals. You may regain the title and associated benefits if you manage to regain control of 12 regions (including vassals) and spend two Diplomacy actions to re-consolidate your rule within three turns.
Great Kingdoms and Empires gain +1 to their unit cap for each vassal that they have. This includes vassals of vassals.
If you have an Empire, every time you generate a new ruler, assign +1 to one attribute score per vassal that you have. This includes vassals of vassals. You may choose which attribute you add this bonus to.
Spoiler: Military RulesYour Military score represents a leader’s ability to command troops, their Kingdom’s military infrastructure, and logistics. Military actions are used to train or to deploy troops, attack enemy holdings, undertake quests, build fortifications, and to develop a Kingdom’s military theory.
In general, Military actions cannot be secret, as it is hard to keep large-scale troop movements beneath the notice of other interested kingdoms.
Examples of Military actions are outlined below.
Units are recruited with a Military action. One unit is recruited per action taken.
Units function as your available army and navy. Once a unit is recruited, it remains in play until you disband it, or it is lost during combat or other in-game events. It is assumed that any natural wastage due to retirement of individual soldiers is replenished.
One unit is roughly equivalent in effectiveness to 200 members of a human kingdom’s warrior caste, be they tribal leaders, knights, hurskarls, or the like. In addition to these core fighters, each unit may come with a reasonable number of lesser hangers-on, levy soldiers, and camp followers. Regardless of number, these followers are mathematically insignificant and simply exist as background extras to a fight. Units become available for deployment in the round after they are recruited. Larger numbers of less elite fighters may be introduced as a Unit if it is more fitting for your kingdom’s tone - trading off quality for numbers may result in as many as 2000 meaningful fighters per unit, though they will be of lesser strength than the assumed core 200. The reverse is also true, as kingdoms made up of nonhumans may choose to have smaller numbers of meaningful fighters in their Units to represent exceptional abilities. Regardless, in all cases a Unit represents a substantial portion of your people’s potential fighting strength.
You may recruit as many units in a round as you have actions available. The maximum number of units you may have in play at any one time is 6, plus 2 for every additional region you control beyond your capital. For example, a 3-region Kingdom may have up to 10 units in play.
Having vassals or being a vassal has implications for a kingdom’s unit capacity; in general, lieges have increased unit capacity while vassals have reduced unit capacity. For full details, see the Vassalage rules.
If any of your regions are on the coast, you may recruit additional naval units. The maximum number of naval units you may have in play is 3, plus 1 for every additional coastal region you control; this pool is separate from and in addition to the army unit limit. Naval units can be used to engage at sea, transport army units, or participate in coastal battles.
If at the start of a round you have more units in play than the above limits allow, excess units are automatically disbanded.
Deploying Units: Attacking and Defending Regions
Units can be sent to occupy a region that you do not control. You may deploy any number of your units to attack a single region with one action. If the region is not defended, it will be conquered automatically.
If you are under attack, you may deploy units to defend your regions. The defender must still allocate its units to specific regions it wants to defend. If you are under attack in two or more regions, you must therefore decide where to deploy its troops and in what numbers.
If a defended region is attacked, a battle results. If the attacker wins the battle, it takes possession of the region. The region will suffer unrest as a result of the conquest.
If the defender wins the battle, it retains possession of the region and the attacker is driven out. If the result is a tie, the defender retains possession of the region, but if the attacker renews the attack the following round, it will gain a +2 bonus on the battle roll.
Battles are determined by an opposed roll: see the rules on Battles for full details of how these rolls are calculated.
If you are a vassal, you can renounce your vassalage to your liege at any time with a Military action. If your liege does not agree to this, breaking vassalage carries repercussions in your territory.
On taking the Military action without your liege’s approval, you cease to be a vassal automatically and you do not need to roll. However, if the departure is not amicable your liege may attempt to spread unrest as you depart. A dissatisfied liege may roll 2d6 + Diplomacy, opposed by your own 2d6 + Diplomacy roll with a minimum TN of 12. If the liege succeeds, the vassal’s capital region enters unrest as the various mechanisms of government buckle under the reorganization of your kingdom.
See the Vassalage rules for more information as to vassalage generally.
Destroy Organization Base
You may take military action to destroy the base of an Organization located within a region you control. This option is only available within your own regions: bases located in regions you do not control are not vulnerable to direct attack.
Roll 2d6 and add your Military score and any applicable bonuses, which will be opposed by the Organization’s roll of 2d6 plus their primary score. If you beat the Organizations’ score, the base is overrun and destroyed. The region enters unrest due to the social impact of the fighting and destruction of a major regional feature.
If you fail to beat the organization’s score, the base remains and the region rises in rebellion as the organization rallies its supporters against you.
A Purge involves using armed forces (or the threat of armed force) to clear a faith group from a region. To purge a Holy Site, roll 2d6 and add Military score plus any other applicable bonuses.
On a roll of 12 or higher, the Purge is successful and the Holy Site becomes vacant. The violence of the purge causes the region to suffer unrest.
On a roll of 18 or higher, the Purge is successful and the region does not enter unrest.
If the roll is lower than 12, the Purge fails and the region enters unrest as the faithful close ranks against your government.
A Kingdom may sack a Trading Post or City within its own borders, in a neighbouring region, or along shared coastlines. This may be to weaken an enemy’s economic network, to remove troublesome influences, or to gain loot.
Roll 2d6 and add Military and any applicable bonus. The owner of the Trading Post or City will automatically oppose the roll. If the sacking Kingdom wins the opposed roll-off and meets the target number, the sack is successful. The sacking Kingdom gains 1 Treasure.
If the target is a Trading Post, the target number is 12. On a successful sack, the Trading Post becomes vacant. On a great success (the higher of TN 18 or defender’s roll plus 6) the targeted Trading Post is destroyed.
If the target is a City (see Opulence for the Found City special action), the target number is 14. If the sack is successful, the City is devastated. Sacked cities can be repaired with an Opulence action.
If a region is in unrest, a Kingdom can choose to suppress the unrest violently using its military rather than engaging diplomatically. If successful, this will restore order to the region, but the casualties among the civilian population will damage its economy.
Roll 2d6 and add Military score and any other applicable bonuses. On a score of 14 or higher, the unrest in the region is successfully quelled. One Trading Post in the region is permanently destroyed.
Military 5 Special: Recruit Hero
A ruler with a Military score of 5 or more may recruit a Hero. Heroes can be used to command your armies, guard Artifacts, and undertake Quests.
When a hero enters play, roll 1d4+6 to determine their hero score.
For full details on Heroes, see the Hero rules.
Military 5 Special: Introduce Tactical Doctrine
If your ruler has a Military score of at least 5, you can introduce a new Tactical Doctrine. When used successfully, a Tactical Doctrine affects the performance of an army in battle. Examples of Tactical Doctrines would include (but are not limited to):
- Improved medical assistance for troops, decreasing battlefield casualties;
- Better protection for an army’s leaders, with a reduced chance of losing the commander;
- Raiding away from the main force to sack Trading Posts..
Tactical Doctrines are subject to approval on introduction by the GM on a case-by-case basis.
You may possess any number of Tactical Doctrines, but may only use one at a time. Tactical Doctrines cannot be shared or stolen.
Attempting to use a Tactical Doctrine is a sub-action of an attack or defence action. To determine whether a Tactical Doctrine is in effect during a battle, make an opposed roll using Military score and any applicable bonuses. The winner of the opposed roll applies their Tactical Doctrine.
Larger armies are harder to manoeuvre, so you suffer a -1 penalty on any such Tactical Manoeuvring roll for each 4 units in the army.
Military 10 Special: Raise Fortress
A ruler with a Military score of 10 may build a major fortress in one of their regions.
A Fortress grants a permanent +2 bonus in battles to defend the region.
If any of your regions contain a Fortress, you may, once per round, recruit 2 units with a single action. This benefit can only be used once per round, no matter how many Fortresses you control.
Military 10 Special: Research Military Technology
A ruler with a Military score of 10 may introduce a new military technology. Military technologies include such developments as:
- New or improved equipment, such as chariots, longer-ranged bows, or more protective armour;
- Technical developments, such as improved metallurgy or smithing;
- Improved logistics, enabling units to be supplied more easily away from home.
A technology will provide a mechanical benefit to any Kingdom that possesses it and the necessary resources to use it. This is usually expressed by way of a bonus to battle rolls or equivalent effect.
A technology becomes available for use or trade in the round after it is created.
A technology may have prerequisites in the form of resources or other technologies. A Kingdom must possess the necessary prerequisites in order to benefit from the technology’s effect.
All elements of technology creation (including whether a proposed technology is thematically appropriate for the setting) are subject to the discretion of the GM.
Spoiler: Opulence Rules
Your ruler’s Opulence score represents the strength of your finances, trade network, and ability to execute favourable deals. Use your Opulence attribute to manage your resources and develop civilian technologies.
Buyout Trading Post
Each region contains up to three Trading Posts, reflecting the abundance of a resource in that region. If you own a Trading Post in a region, you have access to that region’s resource. The quantities of any given resource are referred to as Minor, Good, and Great respectively (one, two, and three trading posts respectively). You begin play with control of one Trading Post in your capital region.
The number of your Trading Posts may be affected by outside actions, whether increasing them with Opulence actions or reducing them with Military actions. A region with no Trading Posts becomes economically untenable, and will suffer penalties commensurate with the nature of the Trading Post’s destruction and the region’s environment.
You may attempt to gain control of revealed trading posts using a Buyout action. You may attempt to take over unowned trading posts in any region regardless of distance, border connection, or other geographical limitations as long as the region is revealed to you. However, attempting to buy out trading posts on other continents will incur a penalty. (See map section)
Roll 2d6 plus Opulence and any relevant bonuses. If your roll equals or exceeds 12, you acquire the trading post. If another player already owns the trading post in question and does not want to relinquish control, make an opposed roll, with both players rolling 2d6 plus Opulence and relevant bonuses. You must meet the target number and exceed the other player’s roll to acquire the Trading Post.
You may support attempts by other players to buy out unowned trading posts in regions that you control. You can also choose to support a buyout of a trading post you already control. If so, specify this in your actions post as a non-action. If you support a buyout, the acquiring player adds +2 to their roll. You cannot support your own buyouts.
Holding multiple Trading Posts helps increase the overall wealth and prestige of your Kingdom, as rare and precious things flow from across the world to your lands. As a Kingdom gains control of increasing numbers of Trading Posts, they benefit from this by accruing passive Treasure every round. Once a Kingdom passes a threshold of controlling 5, 10, 20, and 40 Trading Posts they gain a stacking 1 Treasure every round (1 Treasure at 5 TPs, 2 Treasure at 10 TPs, 3 Treasure at 20 TPs, etc.).
Exchange Trading Post
If you own a trading post, you can give it to or exchange it with another Kingdom with which you have an Embassy. Both you and the other player must take an Opulence action to transfer control of Trading Posts in this way.
Treasure serves as a unit of currency. You can generate one treasure using an Opulence action, much the same way as a Military action raises a unit. Before making a roll, you may choose to spend a maximum of one Treasure to provide an additional +1 bonus to the roll. Treasure may be spent on most rolls, but may not be spent to increase the result of stat rolls for new rulers, event conflict rolls, Hero generation rolls, Tactical Maneuvering rolls, or Duel rolls.
Your maximum Treasure is determined by kingdom type. A default Kingdom can hold up to 5 Treasure in its treasury. A Great Kingdom or Holy Land can hold up to 10. An Empire or Merchant Princedom may hold up to 15. Treasure that exceeds this cap is lost, whether due to corruption, mismanagement, or the depredations of outside forces.
The easiest way to explore a region is to fund an Expedition into an unknown region. Expeditions will focus on finding out what peoples and resources lie in an unknown region. You can only send an Expedition to a region that borders one of your own regions. Roll 2d6 and add your Opulence score plus any applicable bonuses.
When you take the action, indicate the direction from your own region that you want to explore. Pay attention to the map to ensure that there is (or is likely to be) a region there to be discovered. add your Opulence score and any applicable bonuses. On a roll of 10 or higher you discover a region (assuming an undiscovered region exists in the direction selected) and you gain a +1 bonus to the next round to Buyout the region's Resource.
A Great Success (16 or Higher) provides you with 1 Treasure in addition to the region details and temporary Buyout bonus.
Opulence 5: Create Trading Post
If you have an Opulence score of 5 or higher you may increase the number of trading posts in one of your regions. You may perform this action in a region you control, or in a region with whose owner you share an embassy. Increasing the quantity of a resource will turn a Minor quantity resource into a Good quantity resource and a Good quantity resource into a Great quantity resource.
If the region already contains a Great resource, you cannot add a new trading post, though you may be able to found a City.
Opulence 5: Upgrade Resource
The nature of a region’s resource can be changed with an Opulence 5 by the player who owns the region. You may perform this action in a region you control, or in a region with whose owner you share an embassy. Examples include upgrading a Cotton resource to Textiles, or upgrading Wild Horses to Domesticated Horses.
Opulence 5: Raise City
If you have an Opulence score of 5 or more, you can found a City in one of your regions. A region can support up to one City, which provides an additional trading post of the local resource. A City is always controlled by the owner of the region. Regions with a City gain a +1 bonus to defending against military attack. Cities cannot be bought out or raided, but they can be Sacked. A sacked city can be restored with an Opulence action.
Opulence 10 Special: New Technology
If you have an Opulence score of 10, you may introduce a new technology. A technology will provide a mechanical benefit to any Kingdom that possesses it and the necessary resources (including prerequisite technologies) to use it. This is usually, but not exclusively, expressed as a bonus to a certain type of roll.
Civilian technologies created with an Opulence 10 action do not have a military application and cannot give a bonus to battle rolls. Creating a new technology requires that you already have any prerequisite technologies or any resources that are a prerequisite.
Prerequisites for any technology are to be discussed with the GM. Resources being used for a technology are ‘consumed’; they still count for region requirements, but cannot be used for another technology without additional Trading Posts. The use and bonuses of technologies are generally determined on a case-by-case basis. However, some technologies may specifically apply only to certain regions or have other special restrictions, to be determined by the player and GM.
Opulence 10 Special: Economic Unity
If your leader has an Opulence score of 10, and you possess 15 or more trading posts, you may choose to elevate your status to a Merchant Prince.
Merchant Princes may take a sixth action every round. This action must be an Opulence action. Merchant Princes may also spend up to 3 Treasure on any roll as long as they retain the title (See Treasure rules).
If the number of trading posts you control falls below 15, and remains below 15 for two rounds, you lose the status of Merchant Prince and the associated benefits.
Merchant Princes can become Holy Lands or Great Kingdoms, but in doing so your government is restructured. You lose access to the special benefits of being a Merchant Prince in exchange for gaining a the benefits of a Holy Land or Great Kingdom.
Opulence 10 Special: Establish Trade Route
If you have an Opulence score of 10, you can create a trade route, linking your Kingdom with another through a complex web of economic agreements and shared highways. Choose another Kingdom with which you have an Embassy, and chart the most direct course between your capital region and their capital region. The Trade Route occupies one trading post in every region linked to it, and provides the resources on the route to every Kingdom the route passes through.
If a region along the Trade Route lacks an open trading post, the Trade Route creator chooses one trading post owner to displace in favor of the Trade Route trading post. If transit through other kingdom's regions is necessary for the route, that kingdom must use a non-action to approve creation of the route.
A trade route cannot pass through borders that are impassable to either player whose Embassy serves as anchor (e.g. passing over a Mountain border if both players do not share a mountain traversal technology). Hostile action against a trading post linked to the route, or unrest in any region through which the route passes, shuts down the Trade Route until the unrest is resolved and/or the route TP is restored to normal operations. If a Trade Route TP is the target of a Raid, Buyout, or Sack, the player in control of the region containing the TP rolls the resistance. However, any kingdom connected to the Trade Route may attempt to regain control of TPs lost in this way.
If one of the capitals anchoring the Trade Route is moved, the Route must be re-established with another Opulence 10 Action.
Spoiler: Faith Rules
Your ruler’s Faith score represents their personal devotion, their relationship with the head of their faith and their political power within that faith, and the strength of their religious relationship with their people.
When you first join the game, you will follow the unorganised beliefs of your people, whatever they are. As the game progresses, you can convert to a faith organized by another player, or start your own church to spread influence across the world.
The presence of faith in a region is represented by its Holy Site. The Holy Site may be a shrine, stone circle, temple or school. While there may be various religious minorities across the region, the one which controls the Holy Site is the most important and influential in that region. The relative power of faiths can be judged by the number of Holy Sites they control. Each inhabited region contains one Holy Site, designated at the time the region is written up.
If a Holy Site in your land is controlled by an undesirable religion, you can attempt to convert it to a different religion, or send in troops to drive out followers from the site. Rules for conversions are set out below. Purges are a Military action with a TN of 12. If successful, the Holy Site becomes vacant, but they may result in regional unrest. See the Military rules for more details on Purges.
Organized and Unorganized Religions
At the start of the game, all religions are unorganized. They can be organized through play with use of the applicable special action as set out below.
If you follow an unorganized religion, you can attempt to convert Holy Sites to your religion and discover or create Artifacts, but you cannot establish a Holy Land, found Holy Orders, or perform Miracles. You do not gain any bonuses associated with the number of Holy Sites your religion controls.
If you organize a religion, you become the head of that religion. This means that you can determine the direction and doctrine of the religion, and influence any Kingdoms that follow it. If you decide to adopt a different religion, you will lose the status of religious head, and that position becomes vacant. You may if you wish step down from this position voluntarily even if you still follow the religion. This is a non-action.
If you are dissatisfied with the current head of your religion, you can challenge them and try to take the position yourself. See below for details on how to claim the status of religious head, together with other examples of Faith actions.
If a religion has been organized, you can officially convert to it and gain the benefits associated with being a member of that faith. Take a Faith action to make this your kingdom’s new official religion.
Once you have adopted a new faith, you can make use of the Holy Site Bonuses associated with that faith. You can also contribute to internal church debates over who should lead the faith, or challenge for the position yourself.
Become Religious Head
If you have adopted an organized religion, you can attempt to claim the title of religious head. This is of course easier if there is no competition for the position.
Roll 2d6 and add your Faith score plus any applicable bonuses, including the following:
- Add +2 to your score for every other Kingdom which follows the religion and supports your claim.
- If you are the only remaining follower of the religion, add +2 to your roll.
- If the position of religious head is currently vacant, add a further +2 to your roll.
- If you are a Holy Land, add +2 to your roll.
If your score is 20 or higher, you become the new head of the religion in the same round.
If your score is at least 14, your claim is not wholly unsuccessful, but you must take a further action in the following round to consolidate it. You do not need to roll for this consolidation action if your claim is unopposed.
If multiple players are attempting to claim the title of religious head at the same time, this is treated as an opposed roll with whoever scores highest winning. The highest-scoring player must nevertheless meet the target numbers above. If no player succeeds in the first round, they roll again in the second round, with the player who scores highest winning. If a player successfully claims the title in the first round, the other players are defeated and do not take an action to consolidate their claim in the following round - though they can instigate a fresh challenge and start the process again.
If the position of religious head is currently occupied, make an opposed roll against the existing head to try to oust them from their position, with both players applying bonuses as set out above. You must however both exceed their roll and meet the target number above in order to succeed in taking over the position. If you fail on either count, the existing religious head remains in place. Resisting an attempt to take over the position of religious head is a non-action.
If you succeed in becoming the new head of a religion, you may take a sub-action to redefine one of the Holy Site bonuses associated with the religion. This reflects the change in direction you intend to bring to the faith. You can only change one bonus this way.
Convert Holy Site
Attempt to convert a Holy Site to your faith. You can only convert Holy Sites to the faith that you follow. Even if your faith is unorganized, you can attempt to convert Holy Sites. You can only attempt to convert Holy Sites in regions which you have contact with. If your route to a region is entirely blocked by fog of war, you cannot attempt to convert in that region.
Roll 2d6 and add your ruler’s Faith score, plus any other applicable modifiers, against a TN of 12. If you succeed on the roll, the Holy Site is converted to your religion.
If you are trying to convert a Holy Site in a region belonging to another player, they have the option of ignoring the conversion, supporting it or resisting it. If they ignore it, you roll against the TN as normal. If they support your conversion, you still roll against the same TN but gain an additional +2 to the roll, to reflect local political support. If they resist your conversion, make an opposed roll on 2d6 to determine whether you are successful. Even if you roll higher than the region owner, you must still score at least 12.
Supporting and resisting conversions are non-actions, but must still be noted in your actions post.
If you are the head of an organized religion, you can take an action to cast our or excommunicate kingdoms from your religion. If the kingdom accepts being cast out, this happens automatically on taking the action; otherwise, make an opposed Faith roll.
If you are cast out of a faith, you will derive no benefits from being associated with it. You can re-adopt the same religion with an Adopt Faith action but require the approval of the religious head in order to do so. Being cast out from your Faith may impose additional penalties, depending on the circumstances of your conflict with the Faith Head.
For two rounds following the Cast Out action, the Faith Head may roll to defend against conversions in the Cast Out regions, to represent the entrenched clerical hierarchy's break with the secular government.
Set a Holy Site Bonus
All followers of a religion gain bonuses to certain types of actions as decided by the head of that religion. The size and number of these bonuses depends on the number of Holy Sites controlled.
If you are the head of an organized religion, you can take an action to define one of these bonuses. You must qualify for the bonus at the time you take the action to define it.
You can redefine the bonus with a further action, should you later decide a different bonus would be more desirable.
- When your faith controls 5 Holy Sites, all followers gain a +1 bonus on a specific type of roll.
- When your faith controls 10 Holy Sites, all followers gain a shared Cultural Identity.
- At 20 Holy Sites all followers gain a benefit equivalent to a Tier 1 technology.
- At 40 Holy Sites, all followers gain a benefit equivalent to a Tier 2 technology.
Further bonuses may be available should any organized religion obtain 80 or 160 Holy Sites.
If the number of Holy Sites your religion controls falls so that you no longer qualify for a bonus that you have already established, you can no longer make use of the bonus. It will however be automatically reinstated if you acquire sufficient Holy Sites to qualify again.
Faith 5 Special: Create Holy Order
If you have a score of 5 in Faith you can spend an action to establish a regional Holy Order. These could be warrior priests bound to righteous crusade, a monastery for wise and reflective monks, or a distinguished collection of nobles committed to their faith’s cause. A region can only support one holy order, but a Holy Order may be established in any region, even those you do not directly control, so long as the region’s Holy Site is controlled by your religion.
A Holy Order counts as an additional Holy Site for the purposes of achieving Unity, or defining bonuses based on numbers of Holy Sites controlled. If a Holy Order is present in a region it gives a +4 innate defensive bonus against Purges or Conversion to other Holy Sites in that region which share its religion.
Holy Orders may also be used to guard Artifacts, in which case the Artifact cannot be used outside your own regions, but benefits from the Holy Order’s +4 bonus against attempts to steal it.
Holy Orders cannot be converted, but can be exterminated in a Purge or replaced by another Faith 5 action.
Faith 5 Special: Discover or Create Artifact
If you have a score of 5 in Faith, you can spend an action to create an Artifact. This could be a mystical icon that bestows magical powers onto its bearer, an enchanted, sentient weapon, or the remains of a long-dead holy person that blesses the area in which they’re held.
An Artifact provides a small bonus to one action, up to once per round, and can be lost or stolen. You can give an Artifact to a Holy Order for them to guard, in which case the Artifact cannot be used for rolls outside your borders, but receives the +4 bonus from the Holy Order to rolls to avoid being lost or stolen. If the Holy Order is purged or replaced, the Artifact disappears, and may resurface elsewhere.
Instead of being entrusted to a Holy Order, an Artifact may instead be bestowed on a Hero. In the hands of a Hero, the Artifact may only affect rolls directly involving the Hero. However, if held by a Hero, the Artifact receives a +2 bonus to avoid being lost or stolen and provides a +2 bonus to any roll to maintain the Hero's loyalty. If the Hero is persuaded to defect to another Kingdom, they take all their Artifacts with them. If a Hero is killed in a Duel, their artifacts are claimed by their killer. If a Hero is killed on an Epic Quest, their artifacts disappear and may be searched for with the Investigation action (See Intrigue).
There is no limit to the number of Artifacts a Hero can be granted, but a Holy Order can defend a maximum of three Artifacts.
Faith 5 Special: Organize Faith
If you have a Faith score of 5, you can take an action to formally organize your faith. To organize a Faith, the unorganized Faith must control at least 5 Holy Sites. This may be an organization of your unorganized native religion, or a schism with an existing organized religion. You automatically adopt the new faith without needing to take an action.
Your leader is treated as the head of this new faith by default, although you may designate another character as the head. Followers of an organized religion receive bonuses based on its number of controlled Holy Sites as designated in the Set Holy Site Bonus action.
If you are organizing a previously unorganized religion, Holy Sites controlled by that religion will convert to the new organized religion.
Setting organized ideology bonuses normally requires one action per bonus, but setting the bonus for controlling 5 Holy Sites may be taken as a sub-action of the Organization special action.
Faith 10 Special: Miracle
If you follow an organized religion, you may request a Miracle from the power(s) that you worship, or perform a Miracle using your understanding of magic or other supernatural forces.
The most common use for Miracles is to learn information, accomplish unusually difficult tasks, or impart a benefit to characters such as immortality or increased power. Such uses often have limited direct mechanical effect, but would not otherwise be possible through mundane means.
You can however try to use a Miracle to gain a more tangible benefit. This may take the form of an improvement to your Holy Orders, creation of particularly powerful artifacts, or granting increased abilities to your ruler, ruler’s bloodline, or Heroes. You can request that a Miracle is unleashed on one of your enemies, to smite a character or curse a region.
Work with the GM to determine an appropriate representation of the Miracle you wish to perform. It is a good idea to approach the GM well in advance with your plans for a Miracle, to allow adequate time for it to play out over the course of a round.
Examples of miracles used in previous games include:
- Requesting a deity personally resolve a schism in their church;
- Turning a character into an immortal dragon;
- Bringing an assassinated character back to life;
- Creating a special book that can be read even by people who don’t speak the language;
- Moving a magical storm to interfere with shipping;
- Binding supernatural creatures to a ruling family or group of families;
- Permanently changing the climate in a region;
- Turning a mundane ship into a magical stone ship that still floats;
- Developing a form of magic that characters can use on an ongoing basis.
These are examples only, in order to give an idea of what is possible, and do not represent a limited set of options for you to choose from.
All elements of Miracles - even moreso than for other actions - are at the GM’s discretion, and you may find that your Miracle does not work in quite the way you intended. Standing too close to a Miracle can be harmful to health.
Faith 10 Special: Religious Unity
If you have a Faith score of 10 and meet the other requirements, you may choose to declare your kingdom a Holy Land. Holy Lands are considered an improvement on the standard kingdom with a religious emphasis.
In order to become a Holy Land you must follow an organized religion which controls at least 15 Holy Sites. If the number of Holy Sites controlled by your state religion drops below 15, you lose the title of Holy Land and all the associated benefits. If you regain control of 15 Holy Sites within 2 rounds, you regain Holy Land status without having to spend a new Special.
In establishing a Holy Land, you may establish a free Holy Order in your Capital. This Holy Order may exist in addition to the Holy Order normally allowed by the Faith 5 special action. The bonuses to conversion resistance in the region stack if two Holy Orders are present.
Holy Lands may take a sixth action every round. This action must be a Faith action.
If you are a Holy Land, you will find it easier to take over regions associated with your religion. If an unoccupied region’s Holy Site is controlled by your religion, you may take the press claim action to take control over the region as if you had a claim. See the Diplomacy rules for details of how to press your claim. There is no limit to the number of claims that can be pressed in this way.
Holy Lands can become Merchant Princes or Great Kingdoms, but in doing so your government is restructured. You lose access to the special benefits of being a Holy Land in exchange for gaining a the benefits of a Merchant Prince or Great Kingdom.
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
- Los Angeles
Re: Empire: Embers of DawnIntrigue
Spoiler: Intrigue RulesIntrigue represents a kingdom’s overall capability for spycraft and information gathering, both above-board and surreptitious.
A higher Intrigue score will help in subterfuge against other kingdoms or countering such villainy against oneself. Spying on neighbors, monitoring rumors and communication, and plotting or foiling schemes are the broad purposes of Intrigue. Great Projects intended to draw the attention of spies, saboteurs, and detectives fall under Intrigue.
Examples of Intrigue Actions are outlined below.
Despite the reputation garnered by more nefarious uses, Intrigue is also used to keep abreast of events and to discover the truth behind mysteries. Investigating an event or mystery requires a standard check (2d6+Intrigue) against a variable, hidden TN. The degree of success of an investigation is dependent on the result, and it may be that the investigators meet with only partial success or fail altogether. Note that some investigations may be impossible: a high roll does not guarantee a discovery if there is no lead to follow or secret to uncover.
Intrigue allows canny plotters to sow dissent and undermine the stability of their rivals. A Kingdom may attempt to cause unrest in a stable region using an opposed Intrigue roll against the region’s controller. If successful, the target region enters unrest. (See Unrest and Rebellion for more information)
This action cannot typically cause a region to progress from Unrest to Rebellion - see the Spark Rebellion special action for that.
Kingdoms of a larcenous inclination may use Intrigue to steal Technologies, Artifacts (see Faith, Artifacts), Treasure (see Opulence, Treasure) and other items of material value from rivals. Thefts are opposed Intrigue rolls between a thief and the current owner. In the case of technologies, a successful thief duplicates knowledge of the technology without depriving the owner but all other successful thefts transfer possession of the target Artifact or 1 unit of Treasure from the current owner to the thief.
Intrigue can be used to seize control of a trading post controlled by another kingdom using a Raid. A Raid is an intrigue roll targeting an owned Trading Post, opposed by the existing controller’s intrigue. If successful, control of the trading post transfers to the raider. Unlike buyouts (see Opulence, Buyouts), raids are inherently hostile and cannot be supported, nor can the trading post’s current owner waive their opposed roll. (See Resources and Trade for more information).
Prospective Wormtongues may use Intrigue to sully the names of their rivals in the eyes of organizations worth currying favor from. (See Organizations for more information)
Slandering is an opposed intrigue roll targeting another kingdom with respect to one organization, with both the slanderer and target’s rolls modified by their respective reputations with that organization - a slanderer considered an Initiate to that organization would receive +1 to their roll and a target already seen as an Enemy would suffer -2 to their resistance roll. If successful, the target’s reputation with the selected organization is reduced one step, to a minimum of -3.
It is not possible to slander a kingdom without having first established diplomatic contact with the kingdom.
Secret actions are a special action type which are known only to the GM and the player taking them. Rather than being declared in full in the action post, secret actions need only be declared as “Secret Action”, with the details sent to the GM using a private message instead. Such actions have no effect if not sent to the GM for verification. Secret actions are always considered to be Intrigue Actions for the purpose of determining growth at the end of a round, and any rolls associated with a Secret Action are modified by Intrigue in place of any other stat. Only one secret action may be taken per round.
Many action types cannot be secret actions, including but not limited to all diplomacy actions, raising and using military units, all Special actions (5s and 10s) related to attributes other than Intrigue, Buyouts (see Opulence), and all types of Exploration. Further, secret actions with results causing direct changes to public information - such as Trade Post ownership, Treasure, and the Incite Betrayal special action - will be effectively revealed in the following round opener.
You cannot directly investigate what other players have done with their secret actions taken by players, but by investigating the results of those actions, you may discover the culprit. If you correctly deduce what another player is doing with their secret action, you can take preemptive action taken to foil them. Secret actions are always full actions, rather than sub-actions or non-actions.
Intrigue 5 Special: Assassination/Kidnapping
A kingdom with an Intrigue score of 5 or more may attempt to assassinate or kidnap individuals of interest. An assassination or kidnapping attempt is an opposed roll against the target’s Intrigue score, including any relevant bonuses. If the target is a hero, treat their intrigue as equal to their hero score for this purpose (See Military, Heroes for more information). If the assassin wins the opposed roll, the target is killed or captured. In the event of a tie the target escapes alive, though may be wounded or otherwise inconvenienced. In the event of a failure the special action is not expended, but the target of the failed attempt receives an additional +2 bonus to resist further assaults on their person in the following round. Characters with no mechanical impact on the game may be assassinated as a normal Secret Action without consuming a Special.
Attempts to rescue captured characters (whether captured in war or kidnapped) are treated as kidnappings, with the captor’s intrigue rolled to resist such heroics.
Intrigue 5 Special: Destroy Organization Base or Damage Organization HQ
A kingdom with an Intrigue score of 5 or more may attempt to attack a known Base belonging to an organization. If this action is performed openly or otherwise discovered, the perpetrator's Reputation with that organization immediately drops by 3 ranks. (See Organizations for more information)
Bases located in uncontrolled regions are destroyed uncontested if attacked. For Bases located in player-controlled regions, the result of an attack is determined by an opposed intrigue roll between the attacker and the region owner, with the defender winning in the event of a tie. The region owner may refuse to defend the base if they do not wish to, in which case the attack succeeds uncontested. In the event of a failed attack, the special action is not expended.
If this action is used to successfully attack an organization’s HQ, the HQ is damaged rather than immediately destroyed. While an Organization's HQ is damaged, it takes a -2 penalty to all rolls; the HQ can be repaired with a two-action Project by the owner of the region in which it is located. If an HQ is Damaged by I5s three times before repairs are complete, the HQ is destroyed.
Intrigue 10 Special: Spark Rebellion
A kingdom with an Intrigue score of 10 may attempt to push a region in unrest into outright rebellion. This action must target a region in a state of unrest and requires a successful opposed intrigue roll to upgrade the region’s status from unrest to rebellion. (See Unrest and Rebellion for more information)
A rebellion sparked using this action consists of a militant uprising in a target region with 1d6+1 units led by a Hero (1d4+6) who attempts to throw off the yoke of the region’s current ruling Kingdom. The goals of the rebels are determined by the GM. Some rebels may also have access to technologies or other bonuses, as determined by the GM.
Intrigue 10: Incite Betrayal
A kingdom with an Intrigue score of 10 may attempt to sway a hero sworn to one of their rivals through bribery, seduction, coercion, or other means. To do so requires an opposed Intrigue roll against the target Hero’s current kingdom’s Diplomacy. If successful, the target hero leaves their current kingdom and enters the service of the kingdom taking this special action. (See Military, Heroes for more information) In the event of a tie, the Hero’s loyalty is retained and expends the I10 special.
Any Hero whose loyalties change as a result of this action is forever known as a Betrayer and all future diplomacy rolls to resist Incite Betrayal special actions targeting this hero are taken at a -4 penalty.
The Map, Exploration, and Occupying New Regions
Spoiler: Map, Exploration and Occupation Rules
The current map(s) will be displayed in each round opening post - unlike Previous Empires, there are four distinct starting areas with limited awareness of one another. These maps show all regions known to the players. The rest of the map is obscured by a “fog of war”, leaving details about these lands - including the positions of the four starting areas relative to one another - mysterious.
You can explore into areas covered with the fog of war to try to discover new regions. Spend an action to dispatch explorers. If your exploration is successful, the GM will reveal your findings in the next round opening post. This will include:
The Region number and its position on the map.
Details of what resource the region contains, and how many trading posts the region has.
What faith, if any, controls the region’s holy site.
Whether the region has any native troops who will resist attempts to conquer it.
Whether the region is subject to any sort of blight that will make it more difficult to occupy, and the steps required to remove it if so.
There may also be details as to the region’s population and native political institutions.
Once a region is discovered, it will be visible to all players. You may have to compete with other players to acquire the region before they do.
Types of Exploration Action
You can use Diplomacy, Military or Opulence actions to explore, depending on how you want to make first contact with neighbouring peoples. Depending on the type of action taken, exploration may be easier or harder, and may have different results.
Mission [Diplomacy]: A Mission sends envoys of your ruler’s court as well as a small caravan of servants to make contact with the peoples inhabiting an unknown region, and can only target regions adjacent to your borders. The TN for success in the exploration is 12. If you succeed, you get a +1 to any roll to establish a claim on the region in the round after discovery.
If you roll 18 or higher (a Great Success), you automatically establish a claim on the region. See the Claim rules under Diplomacy for more details as to how to establish or press claims.
Quest [Military]: You can only undertake a Quest if you currently employ a Hero. The Hero is sent into unexplored territory to search for a new region. Your target must be adjacent to an explored region, but it may be within any player’s borders or unclaimed. Roll using the Hero score, rather than your Military score, to determine success.
The standard TN is 12. If successful, the Hero finds suitable land, and returns with information regarding the region. On a great success (TN 18) the Hero also returns with 1 Unit, composed of the followers and hangers-on moved to their service. Failure on the roll leaves the Hero lost in the wilderness, and unable to be used for one round following the failed Quest.
Expedition [Opulence]: Expeditions are the easiest way to explore, and focus on finding out what peoples and resources lie in an unknown region. Expeditions can only occur if one of your own regions borders the unexplored region. The TN is 10. If successful, you gain a +1 bonus to the next round to Buy Out any of the Trading Posts in the region. A Great Success (TN 16) provides you with 1 Treasure in addition to the region details and temporary Buyout bonus.
Taking Over a Region
Once a region is in play, you can attempt to gain control over it. There are three principal ways of doing this:
Claiming: Marry a family member to the existing rulers of the region, then use diplomatic channels to persuade them to recognise your rule;
Colonization: Send settlers to establish colonies in an empty region;
Conquest: Send troops to conquer the region.
Rules for how to claim and colonize a region are set out in the Diplomacy rules. Rules for conquest are laid out in the Military rules and Advanced Military rules.
Once you have taken over a region, you will need to write it up in the same way you did your first region. If you do not do so in a timely fashion, the region may fall into unrest due to your neglect of it.
If you take over a region that has previously been written up by another player, you can make changes to the writeup. These changes should generally be limited to adding details to the region or updating it to reflect the new reality of the region’s government, and you can only delete information with permission of the GM (or the other player in question). You can however make changes to the perspective of the writeup, to add nuance or present details from a different point of view.
Wilderness and Blighted Regions
Not all regions are inhabited or suitable for immediate occupation. You may find a region which is designated as Wilderness. This region has no sizable native population and cannot be conquered or claimed. In order to take over a region of Wilderness, you must send your own people to the region to establish colonies. See the Colonize action under Diplomacy for more information.
Blighted regions may have a native population, but are too dangerous to occupy. They may be infested by monsters or subject to a magical curse. You will need to clear the region before you can occupy it: the details of how to accomplish this may vary by case but will be laid out at the time the region is explored.
Map Legend and Borders
In addition to the basic dotted white borders denoting typical region edges, Empire! 6’s map includes other border colors distinguishing geographically important barriers and terrain types. Many of these barriers have dramatic effects on Military maneuvering (see Complete Military Rules for more information) and/or restrict exploration in that direction without a technology to enable their traversal.
- Light Blue borders are major Rivers that can be forded without special technology and pose no barrier to exploration.
- Green borders represent hilly terrain that poses no barrier to exploration.
- Red borders depict mountain ranges that require some form of mountain traversal technology to cross.
- Gold borders represent deep desert that requires some form of desert traversal technology to cross.
- Black borders sequester arctic regions and require some form of arctic traversal technology to cross.
- Dark Blue borders are deep water, and require sailing technology to cross.
When players discover a new continent, they must complete a Great Project to decipher some degree of the local languages and customs. Until this Great Project is completed, all actions taken inside the foreign continent suffer a -6 penalty. Completion of the Great Project reduces this penalty by 2. Similarly, taking control of a region in the new continent or establishing an Embassy with a local kingdom also decrease the penalty by 2. These penalty reductions stack, leading to a minimum -2 penalty to actions outside your home continent. Until completion of the Great Project, claims cannot be established or pressed, embassies cannot be created, buyouts cannot be attempted, and regions cannot be converted in the new continent.
Resources and Trade
Spoiler: Resource and Trade Rules
Every region in Empire! contains one resource. To gain resources, acquire trading posts for that resource.
The resources of a region have three categories of quantity which determine how many trading posts a region can contain:
Minor resources have one trading post.
Good resources have two trading posts.
Great resources have three trading posts.
Your capital region will begin with a Great resource of your choosing. Your capital region will also start with a resource requirement that will need to be fulfilled through trade with another region.
Other regions will have their details revealed following successful exploration including their resource and quantity.
Regions that are not capital regions do not have resource requirements, but regions or holdings may occasionally demand a resource be delivered within a limited time frame, whether for a reward or to avoid negative consequences.
A region can support up to three trading posts for a single resource. The quantities of any given resource are referred to as Minor, Good, and Great respectively (one, two, and three trading posts).
You begin with control of one of the three trading posts within your capital region. The other two trading posts are unowned.
You can upgrade the quantity of a resource, and therefore increase the number of trading posts, in your region with an Opulence 5 special action. You may perform this action in a region you control, or in a region with whose owner you share an embassy. Increasing the quantity of a resource will turn a Minor quantity resource into a Good quantity resource and a Good quantity resource into a Great quantity resource.
If you own a region, you can also change the nature of its resource with an Opulence 5 special action. Examples include upgrading a Cotton resource to Textiles, or upgrading Wild Horses to Domesticated Horses.
The number of your Trading Posts may change, whether they are increased with Opulence actions or reduced with Military actions. A region with no Trading Posts becomes economically untenable, and will suffer penalties commensurate with the nature of the Trading Post’s destruction and the region’s environment.
Obtaining trading posts
You may attempt to take over unowned trading posts in any region regardless of distance, border connection, or other geographical limitations as long as the region is revealed to the player. However, attempting to buy out trading posts on other continents will incur a penalty. (See map section).
There are two principal means of acquiring trading posts:
Buyouts are Opulence actions. Roll 2d6 and add your Opulence score plus any relevant bonuses. If the roll equals or exceeds 12, the trading post is successfully acquired. If another player owns the trading post, make an opposed roll, with both players adding Opulence and relevant bonuses. You must both meet the Target Number and beat your opponent’s score in order to acquire the Trading Post.
If the player who owns the trading post wants you to gain control of it, they can instead choose to support your buyout, in which case you roll against the TN of 12 only, and add +2 to your roll.
The player who owns the region may choose to support your buyout of the trading post, in which case add +2 to your roll.
Raids are Intrigue actions. They can only be used against Trading Posts that are already owned by another player or organization. Make an opposed roll on 2d6, with both players adding Intrigue and relevant bonuses. The owning player will always oppose your roll: Raids cannot be ignored or supported. If you beat the owner’s roll, you acquire the Trading Post.
Raids can be secret actions, but if they are successful, your ownership of the trading post will be revealed in the next round opener, so they will not remain secret for long.
You can also exchange trading posts with other players, or offer them as gifts. You can only offer other players control of trading posts that you already own: a vacant trading post in one of your regions cannot be exchanged or gifted until it has been acquired through a buyout.
To exchange or gift trading posts, you must share an Embassy with the other player. Both players must spend an Opulence action to acknowledge the exchange, even if it is only one-way. You can however exchange multiple Trading Posts with a single Opulence action.
Sacking Trading Posts
If you want to remove another player’s trading post, but do not want to acquire the trading post yourself, you can Sack it with a Military action.
Make an opposed roll against the owner of the trading post on 2d6 and add Military and any applicable bonus. The owner of the Trading Post will automatically oppose the roll. If you beat the owner’s roll (and a minimum TN of 12), the owning player loses control of the Trading Post and it becomes vacant. If you successfully sack a Trading Post, you gain 1 Treasure.
Trading other items
Spoiler: Trading items
Almost anything that a player owns can be traded with other players. This includes for instance:
To give these to another player, take a Diplomacy action, or a sub-action of a larger trade-based Diplomacy action such as an Event.
You can trade such an item the round after you create or otherwise acquire it. The receiving player can begin using it (or trade it themselves) the round after the trade takes place.
If you want to make an outright gift of any of these items, your action will suffice to transfer it to the control of the other player. It will help the GM if the other player acknowledges the gift as a non-action.
If you want to exchange the item, both players must take an action or qualifying sub-action and specify what they are trading and what they expect to receive in return. The exchange action is conditional on both players upholding their end of the deal. If one player fails to action the trade, both sides of it will fail and the actions will be wasted.
Spoiler: Technology Rules
Technologies can be acquired and will provide you with a permanent benefit so long as you have the resources to keep the technology operational. The most common type of technological effect is to grant a bonus to a particular type of action. You can begin using your technology on the round after you create or otherwise acquire it.
Technology creation is at the discretion of the GM. Technologies must be balanced in their effect and appropriate to the theme of the game. The use and bonuses of technologies are generally determined on a per tech basis. However, some technologies may specifically apply only to certain regions or have other special restrictions, to be determined by the player and GM.
Technologies are created with a 10-special action. Civilian technologies are created with Opulence, and military technologies are created with Military.
A technology will provide a mechanical benefit to any Kingdom that possesses it and the necessary resources (including prerequisite technologies) to use it. This is usually expressed by way of a bonus to a certain type of roll. In addition, later technologies may be built up existing technology to produce a higher tier technology. Tier 2 and 3 technologies typically require multiple resources and at least one Tier 1 technology (or Tier 2 in the case of Tier 3 techs) but allow access to progressively more powerful effects.
Civilian technologies cannot give bonuses to battle rolls. Equally, military technologies will only grant bonuses to military actions. Additionally, military technologies will be assigned a category based on what their intent is, drawn from the following list:
- Special Materials
- Melee Weaponry
- Ranged Weaponry
- Scouts and Logistics
- War Beasts
- Combat Drugs and Medicine
- Sappers and Siege Weapons
The effects of technologies from the same category cannot stack.
You can exchange technologies or gift them to other players.
If another player is reluctant to trade a technology with you, you can steal it from them. This is an opposed Intrigue roll on 2d6, adding technologies and other bonuses. If you are successful, you acquire the technology at the end of that round and may use or trade it in the following round.
At the start of the game, you may pick a technology from this list which your people have already developed aptitude and knowledge in.
- Sailing: Enables exploration and troop transport over deep water
- Masonry: +1 to resist Raids and Sacks
- Writing: +1 Conversion Defense, +1 Conversions in regions that share your writing system
- Irrigation: +1 Stabilization
- Animal Husbandry: +1 to Opulence and Diplomacy exploration
- Pottery: +1 Buyouts
If your starting technology is Writing, you are assumed to have developed a native writing system. When you trade or give this technology to other players, they adopt your writing system.
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
- Los Angeles
Re: Empire: Embers of DawnComplete Military Rules: Battles and Using Military Units
Spoiler: Complete Military RulesWar deadline and OOC conduct
Due to the importance and complexity of military actions, players who wish to deploy troops against other players are encouraged to take their actions as early in the round as possible so that other players have a chance to respond appropriately.
If you are attacking another player, or are taking other actions that are likely to bring you into conflict (such as attacking a neutral region that they are also trying to conquer) you should notify them of your intentions as soon as possible, by private message, in the OOC thread, or by some other means likely to bring it to their attention. If you make dramatic adjustments to your war actions in the course of a round so that it affects another player, you should notify them of this.
War actions are subject to an earlier deadline than other actions. All war actions should be posted and confirmed by the second Friday of the round. The GM may grant permission for actions to be edited after this point depending on circumstances. If you post or edit war actions shortly before the deadline, the GM will probably permit your opponent to edit theirs after the deadline in order to respond.
Players who spring “surprise attacks” (or indeed “surprise defences”) on foes at the end of the round, without permission in advance from the GM, will be penalized barring extenuating circumstances.
Attacking and defending regions
Units can be sent to invade or occupy a region that you do not control. You may deploy any number of your units to attack a single region with one action. Each unit can only be deployed once per round. You can launch as many attacks in a round as you have actions and units available.
You must have a clear path from your own border to the region you want to attack. If any region along your route is unexplored or blighted, you will not be able to pass through and will have to either conquer that region or find another route. Unclaimed regions with NPC troops will automatically attempt to intercept your forces if they move through the unclaimed region.
If you have to travel across the sea to reach the region you want to attack, you will need a fleet of naval units to carry your army. 1 naval unit can carry up to 2 other units. If you do not have enough naval units to carry your army, you must leave units behind.
If you attack a region that is not defended, you will conquer it automatically. The region becomes part of your Kingdom, although it will be in unrest.
If you are under attack, you can defend any number of your own regions with a single action. The defender must still allocate its units to specific regions it wants to defend. If you are under attack in two or more regions, you must therefore decide where to deploy its troops and in what numbers.
If you attack a defended region, a battle results. See below for full details on how battles are decided.
Whether you are attacking or defending, you must specify in your actions post:
- How many units are deployed to the region
- Who is commanding those units
- What, if any, tactical doctrine you intend to use
- What technologies your troops have available for use
Tactical Maneuvering is a specific type of opposed roll made to determine whether one side in a forthcoming battle can establish an edge, whether by intercepting an opponent or by bringing a tactical doctrine into play.
It is usually a sub-action to an action to attack or defend a region.
Tactical Maneuvering is an opposed roll on 2d6 with the following bonuses applied on each side:
- Commander score
- -1 for every four units in their army
- Any bonus from technologies
- Any other applicable modifiers
Whichever side rolls higher wins.
Intercepting attacking armies
If you are under attack, you may prefer to fight the attacker on a ground of your choosing. You can order your defending army to intercept an attacking army in one of the regions it must pass through in order to reach its destination. If the army is coming by sea, you can attempt to intercept them at sea using your own naval units.
Your own intercepting army must be able to reach the region where you are trying to intercept.
The players make an opposed Tactical Maneuvering roll. If you are trying to intercept an opponent inside your own borders, you get a +2 bonus to your Tactical Maneuvering roll. Any terrain modifiers to a defender’s battle roll also apply to tactical maneuvering rolls to intercept. The army attempting to intercept must exceed the opponent’s roll in order to intercept successfully. If the interception is successful, a battle is fought in that region. If unsuccessful, the attacker continues on to its destination.
If an interception occurs at sea, both naval units and any land units being transported fight in the resulting battle. You can send land units of your own to assist your naval units with the interception.
If you fail to intercept an opposing army, your troops are committed and may not fall back to assist in defence of another region.
If one of your armies is intercepted, and you win the resulting battle, you have the option of conquering the region in which the battle was fought, or continuing on to your original destination. Specify your preference in your action post. If you continue on to your original destination, you do not conquer the region where you were intercepted, and your army may have to fight again on arrival.
When two armies clash, they first try to manoeuvre into an advantageous position
State in your action post whether you want to use a Tactical Doctrine. If you have multiple Tactical Doctrines, specify the one you want to use. Make an opposed Tactical Maneuvering roll.
Whichever player rolls higher may use their Tactical Doctrine in the battle. In the event of a tie, neither player uses their Tactical Doctrine.
The winner of the battle is then determined by means of an opposed roll. The GM makes these rolls after the end of the round. To determine the battle result, each side rolls 2d10 and adds:
- Commander score
- +1 for each unit committed to the battle
- Any bonus from tactical doctrines, if applicable
- Any circumstantial bonus from region features.
- Any bonus from technologies
- Duel bonus, if applicable
- Any other relevant modifier.
Whichever side has the higher total wins the battle. If both sides are equal, the result is a tie.
The commander score depends on who is leading the army. Rulers and Heroes are the most effective leaders, but sending them into battle risks their being captured or killed. They are also unable to be in multiple places at once. Each character can only command one army each round. If you have multiple characters capable of leading an army, specify which is leading your army. If you do not specify a commander, it is assumed your ruler will command, even if they are not the best commander available.
If your ruler is leading the army, use their Military score. If a Hero is leading the army, use their Hero score. If any other character is leading the army, use half your ruler’s Military score.
One unit is roughly equivalent in effectiveness to 200 members of a human kingdom’s warrior caste, be they tribal leaders, knights, huskarls, or the like. In addition to these core fighters, each unit may come with a reasonable number of lesser hangers-on, levy soldiers, and camp followers. Regardless of number, these followers are mathematically insignificant and simply exist as background extras to a fight.
Each unit in your army adds +1 to your battle roll. Naval units each add +1 to the battle roll like normal units, but can be deployed only in coastal regions or at sea.
The more units you have, the harder your army is to manoeuvre. For every four units in your army, you take a -1 penalty on any Tactical Maneuvering rolls.
You start play with a set of basic Tactical Doctrines. During play, you can introduce further Tactical Doctrines with a Military-5 special action, subject to approval by the GM.
When used successfully, a Tactical Doctrine affects the performance of your army in battle.
If you possess multiple Tactical Doctrines, specify which one you want to use in a given battle.
The starting Tactical Doctrines are:
- Reckless Attack: On success, gain a +2 bonus to battle results. Move one step higher on the casualty track for calculating your own casualties.
- Skirmishing: On success, both attacker and defender calculate their losses one step lower on the casualty track.
- Cautious Advance: On success, suffer a -2 penalty to battle results, but move two steps down the casualty track when calculating your own casualties.
Certain types of region feature provide a bonus to the defender.
+1 if the region contains a City
+2 if the region contains a Fortress
+2 if defending a River border
+2 if defending a Hills border
+4 if defending a Mountains border
+4 if defending a Deep Water border.
Borders are marked on the map, and are detailed in the Map section.
Military technologies will provide armies with advantages in battle. This may take the form of a bonus to the battle roll, or some other effect, such as reducing or increasing the number of casualties sustained. If an army possesses a relevant technology and the resources required to use it, add the applicable bonus to their battle score.
For full details on how to create technologies and what bonuses are available, see the Technology/Military rules.
Army commanders may fight each other personally with the intention not only of winning glory, but improving the morale of their own troops, or demoralising opponents.
Before battle is joined, you can challenge your opponent to a duel. Your opponent does not have to agree, but rejecting a challenge to duel imposes a -2 penalty on the battle roll, due to the demoralising effect on an army of their leader’s apparent cowardice.
Make an opposed roll on 2d6 and add your Hero score, or Military score if your ruler is commanding, plus any applicable bonuses from artifacts.
If you win the duel, you add +4 to your battle result. If you win the duel by 6 or more, you have the choice to either kill the opposing leader or take them into captivity. Otherwise, the loser is able to withdraw, but may still be killed or captured in the main battle.
There may be additional modifiers available in certain battles. These may include artifact bonuses, attack bonuses for renewing an invasion following a tie, miracle effects, or other specific circumstances set out by the GM. If applicable, these are added to the battle roll accordingly.
If one of your allies is attacked, you can send troops to assist them in defending their regions. You can also send troops to assist one of your allies in pressing their attack. In either case, your troops must be able to reach the region in question, as if you were attacking it.
Where there are multiple armies on one side of a battle, it is necessary to decide on an overall commander. This will determine the command score used, the tactical doctrines that the army has available, and who takes ownership of the region if it is conquered.
An allied army will generally use the highest commander score available. If you want to use a different commander, agree this with your allies and specify this in your actions post. The allied army may only make use of tactical doctrines available to the overall army commander.
If allies disagree on who is to lead, the owner of a region where the battle is taking place takes priority, even if their commander score is lower.
Battles are a bloody business and both sides can expect to suffer casualties. Casualties are calculated as a percentage of the number of units deployed, and depend on the margin of victory.
The casualty track is set out below.
Margin 0-4 5-9 10-14 15-19 20+ Winner 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Loser 40% 50% 60% 70% 80%
Losses are rounded to the nearest whole number. Each side loses that number of units.
For instance, if two armies each with 4 units clash, and one side wins by 14, the winner will lose 20% of their units: 0.8 units, rounded to 1. The loser will lose 60% of their units: 2.4, rounded to 2.
If there is more than one participant on one side of the battle, calculate losses for each contingent individually based on the overall result.
Commanders are vulnerable to death in battle, even in victory. The GM will roll 1d20 and subtract the number of units lost by the army they are commanding. If the army in question has been completely wiped out, there is a further -5 penalty on the roll. On a result of 1 or less, the commander is killed or taken prisoner. Both Rulers and Heroes can be captured or killed in this way.
In addition to casualties sustained during direct combat, armies operating too far outside their own borders may suffer attrition on the march from overstretched supply lines, disease, unfriendly locals, etc.
For every four regions travelled through by an army beyond the borders of its own Kingdom, it suffers up to 10% casualties in addition to any casualties incurred in the battle itself.
After the first four regions, it suffers 10% casualties. After eight regions it suffers 1d2*10% casualties, after twelve, it suffers 1d3*10% casualties, and so on. These losses will be rounded up and applied before battle rolls are resolved.
Outcomes of Battle
If you attack a defended region, a battle results. If you win the battle, you take possession of the region. The region will enter unrest as a result of the conquest. If the defender wins the battle, it retains possession of the region and the attacker is driven out.
If the result is a tie, the defender retains possession of the region, but if the attacker renews the attack the following round, it will gain a +2 bonus on the battle roll.
If you lose your last region as the result of a battle, your Kingdom has been conquered, but your ruler may survive to continue the fight. Your ruler becomes a Rebel Leader and remains in command of any surviving units, heroes, and artifacts.
Rebel Leaders treat all regions they controlled up to two rounds prior to their capital’s conquest as their territory for the purpose of distance. Every round a Rebel Leader operates, they generate Unrest in one randomly selected Region in this territory. Rebel Leaders may attempt an Intrigue check, opposed by the region’s new owner, to raise rebel units in regions they send into Unrest. The Rebel Leader rolls 2d6 + Intrigue against the controller’s 2d6 + Intrigue, with a minimum TN of 12. If successful, 1d4 Units appear in the region under the Rebel Leader’s control. A Rebel Leader may only attempt this once per region per turn. Rebel Leaders have no troop cap as long as they remain Rebel Leaders. Actions taken by the Rebel Leader in territory sent into Unrest or Rebellion by their actions gain a +2 bonus representing the partisans and grass root support for their embattled regime.
However, a rebellion can only be sustained for so long. A Rebel Leader must occupy a new territory within 2 rounds otherwise they begin to lose support. On their third round of operation without territory, the Rebel Leader must attempt a Diplomacy check against TN 14. Failure removes them from the game, while success allows them to act for another round. This TN rises by 2 for each additional round the Rebel Leader spends in rebellion (16 in round 4, 18 in round 5, etc.)
In addition to the localized rising kingdoms after the False Dawn, there are globally spread - though more decentralized - organizations of note in operation. These Organizations operate out of bases scattered throughout the world, and have goals and inscrutable motives of their own.
Each Organization is defined by a short list of action types it is specialized for, a list of bonuses and penalties they grant to players at different reputation levels, and a list of favors they are capable of granting to players they deem worthy. Each Organization may take three actions each turn and rolls as necessary - when performing actions they are specialized for or performing standard favors, they are treated as having a 9 in the relevant attribute and 5 in any other case.
These organizations can be quickly summarized as follows:
The Sentinels of the Stone are an order of deeply mysterious itinerant warriors dedicated to slaying the twisted blightspawn that arose in the wake of the False Dawn. They wield unbreakable weapons of black stone and are rumored to be impervious to harm. Your most common interaction with them at game start is likely to be a Sentinel showing up, expecting your hospitality, and warning you against venturing into certain reaches until they return.
The Dream Speakers similarly wander the wilds, but where the Sentinels of the Stone do it in search of monsters the Speakers seem driven simply to explore. They are all blessed with the Twilight Sight, the ability to pass beyond normal dream and into a realm of grey fog where distances shorten and they can converse across half a world. They are skalds and storytellers, carrying in their hearts tales of peoples never seen by those living in the four starts. However, there is a shadow that follows them, as the Twilight Sight is known to occur in children with no relation to the Speakers, and they will come to collect their errant neophytes.
The Truthseers, in contrast to the Sentinels and the Speakers, are not known to travel far. Instead, this illusive sisterhood dispatches members from their windowless towers to join the courts of every powerful leader. Blessed with the ability to faultlessly discern truth from lie, they often become trusted advisors and confidants to those they serve. However, the nature of their abilities and their motives remain unknown to all.
Your relationship with an Organization is determined by your Reputation score, which ranges from 4 to -3. The higher your reputation, the better that Organization thinks of you, and the more they’ll be willing to assist you. Conversely, making enemies of an Organization may have terrible consequences as they withdraw support or even directly work against you.
The different levels of Reputation and the titles associated with them are:
-3 - Varies by Organization
-2 - Enemy
-1 - Distrusted
0 - Neutral
1 - Initiate
2 - Adherent
3 - Ally
4 - Varies by Organization
By default, players begin at rank 0 and receive no organization-specific penalties or benefits. Players with higher or lower reputation receive reputation bonuses or penalties as defined within the organization in question, and players with positive reputation gain access to the favors associated with their rank and below as specified by the organization.
You can increase your Reputation with an Organization by 1 level by spending a Favor, or with a Diplomacy action with a TN dependent on one's current Reputation with the Organization. See the Diplomacy section for rules on Raising Reputation.
Taking hostile action against the organization and its principles will reduce reputation with the Organization. This includes actions such as destroying their bases, slandering them, or raiding their resources.
Only one player may have a Reputation of 4 with a given Organization at any given time. Up to three players may have a Reputation of 3 or higher. Once you have reached Reputation 3 or 4 with one Organization, your Reputation with all other Organizations is capped at 2.
If a player desires to raise their Reputation with an Organization while all higher level slots are filled, the player may choose to discredit another player occupying one of those slots, making an opposed Diplomacy roll. If successful, the discredited party has their Reputation reduced by 1 while the original player has their Reputation increased by 1. You may only discredit other players inside your discovered area (See Map section for definition of “discovered area”). In the case that two people are attempting to rise from Rank 2 to Rank 3, and the limit has been reached, only the highest roll of those two players will succeed.
Players may also publicly or secretly attempt to slander and reduce another player’s reputation with an intrigue action opposed by the other player. Each player will receive a bonus on this roll equal to their reputation level.
Changing leaders will result in a Reputation change if you have an extremely good or extremely poor Reputation. If a player's Reputation is 3 or 4 with an Organization, it will be reduced by 1 level upon changing leaders. If a player's Reputation is -3, it will be increased by 1 level upon changing leaders. Alterations to Reputation on the round in which the leader change occurs will happen before this step.
In addition to the passive benefits, players with positive reputation gain enough sway to ask organizations for favors. Favors are a currency with a specific organization, which cannot be traded between players and can be spent only with that organization. In general a favor can be spent generically to raise reputation by 1 or on an organization’s specific favors associated with reputation ranks 1, 2, or 3. Organizations will typically refuse to grant favors to those with reputation lower than the rank associated with the favor requested, no matter how many favors the org owes the kingdom.
At the GM’s discretion, organizations may be willing to grant favors to Kingdoms to which they owe nothing, in return for the promise of a later favor returned in kind.
Tasks and Requests
At GM discretion, Organizations may post specific tasks or requests for open fulfillment or for specific kingdoms only. This will take the form of a clearly-laid-out goal and a reward offered for its completion, which may take any form from favors owed, gifts of treasure, artifacts, or anything else the organization has to offer. Such requests may be made toward kingdoms that owe the organization favors as demands instead, and in this case there may be severe consequences for failing to meet them.
Headquarters and Bases
Organizations are by definition widespread and each has bases scattered throughout the world in addition to a single headquarters somewhere on the map. These bases define the practical reach of an organization and serve as hubs of activity. So long as it controls a base on a continent, an Organization rolls actions there as a local Kingdom. Without access to a base on a continent, an Organization takes the normal penalties for acting outside their continent, with the presence of a Reputation 3 or 4 kingdom serving as the equivalent of having a regional embassy.
If an organization lacks an extant Headquarters, its activities are greatly hindered and the organization not only suffers -2 to all rolls but is limited to a single action per round until its headquarters is restored. An organization with no extant bases at all is destroyed entirely.
Destroying Organization Bases
You may attempt to destroy bases belonging to Organizations. If the base is within your own region, you can do so with a Military action. You can use an Intrigue special action to attack a base anywhere on the map that has been revealed to you.
To attack a base in your own region, roll 2d6 and add your Military score and any applicable bonuses, which will be opposed by the Organization’s roll of 2d6+9. If you beat the Organization’s roll, the base is overrun and destroyed. The region enters unrest due to the social impact of the fighting and destruction of a major regional feature.
If you fail to beat the organization’s score, the base remains and the region rises in rebellion as the organization rallies its supporters against you. Irrespective of success, your Reputation with the organization drops by 3 ranks.
If you have an Intrigue score of 5 or more you can attack a base anywhere on the map as a special action, including within your own regions. If this action is performed openly or otherwise discovered, your Reputation with that organization immediately drops by 3 ranks.
If the base is in an uncontrolled region, or a region you own, it is destroyed automatically with this special action. If it is in a player-controlled region, make an opposed Intrigue roll against the region owner on 2d6. If you exceed the region owner’s roll, the base is destroyed.
The region owner will defend the base automatically, unless they specify that they are refusing to do so. If they refuse, the attack succeeds. In the event of a failed attack, you are not considered to have spent your Intrigue-5 special action and may attempt to take another one in subsequent rounds.
If this action is used to successfully attack an organization’s HQ, the HQ is damaged rather than immediately destroyed. While an Organization's HQ is damaged it takes a -2 penalty to all rolls; the HQ can be repaired with a two-action Project by the owner of the region in which it is located. If an HQ is Damaged by I5s three times before repairs are complete, the HQ is destroyed.
If your ruler has a Military score of 5 or more you may recruit a Hero. Heroes can be used to command your armies, guard Artifacts, and undertake Quests.
When a hero enters play, roll 1d4+6 to determine the Hero Score.
If a Hero is commanding an army, the Hero score is used in place of that of the ruler’s Military score.
A Hero may also enter a duel to improve the chances of success in the battle: see the battle rules for full details. It must be clear from the actions post whether a Hero is leading the army.
There is no limit to the number of Heroes you may have in play. Once recruited, a Hero remains in play until killed: it is assumed that when they reach an advanced age they pass their duties over to a suitable protégé of similar ability.
You may attempt to bribe or otherwise induce a Hero away from their current employer. This requires an Intrigue action to Incite Betrayal. If successful, the Hero deserts their existing employer and enters service for the new Kingdom.
If an Artifact is given to a Hero, it will only affect rolls directly involving the Hero. However, in the hands of a Hero, the Artifact receives a +2 bonus to avoid being lost or stolen and provides a +2 bonus to any roll to maintain the Hero's loyalty.
A Hero can be given multiple Artifacts, and gains a +2 loyalty bonus from each. However, if a Hero is induced to join a different Kingdom despite the bonus, they take all their Artifacts with them.
If you employ Heroes, you may send those Heroes on quests. Each Hero may quest once per round. Unlike other Military actions, quests can be undertaken secretly.
To undertake a Quest, roll 2d6 and add the Hero score.
Full details of types of quest you can undertake are set out in the Hero rules.
There are three types of quest:
Quest into Unknown Lands: The Hero is sent into unexplored territory to search for a new region. On a roll of 12 or higher, the Hero finds suitable land, and returns with information regarding the region. See the Exploration rules for details of what information will be found.
On a great success (TN 18) the Hero also returns with 1 Unit, composed of the followers and hangers on moved to their service. Failure on the roll leaves the Hero lost in the wilderness, and unable to be used for one round following the failed Quest.
Errant Quests: The Hero is sent to seek fame and glory in an explored region. This can be one controlled by the Hero's Kingdom, one controlled by another Kingdom, or an unclaimed region that has been explored.
On a roll of 12 or higher, the Hero comes across a worthwhile adventure and returns to their leader with 1 Treasure, at the expense of causing Unrest in the region they Quested in. On a great success (TN 18) they generate 1d4 Treasure instead. On a failed roll, they generate Unrest in the region Quested in but return with no Treasure to show for it. If a Hero attempts an Errant Quest in a region they are not welcome, the player in control of the target region may refuse them entry as a non-action. The player rolls Diplomacy opposed by the hero's player's Diplomacy - on a success, the Hero ceases their quest before upsetting the region's inhabitants. In the event of a tie, or if the refusing player loses the roll, the Hero continues on their quest.
Epic Quests: These quests will be generated by the GM team to provide unique challenges and rewards to those Heroes brave enough to undertake them. The parameters for success and failure will be unique to each Epic Quest.
Multiple Heroes can Quest in the same region or embark upon the same Epic Quest. If they choose to do so collaboratively, one Hero makes the primary roll while any supporting Heroes roll 2d6 + Hero score against a TN of 12. On a success, they provide a +2 bonus to the primary roll.
Regardless of whether their aid was successful or not, cooperating Heroes divide any Treasure rewarded in a Quest equally among themselves and otherwise benefit equally from success or suffer equally from failure.
Spoiler: Vassal RulesYou may become a vassal to another Kingdom, in order to benefit from its protection and greater resources. If you are sufficiently powerful, you can take vassals yourself, to expand your reach and influence. Kingdoms with vassals are known as Lieges.
To become a liege, you must be a Great Kingdom or Empire. If you are a Holy Land, Merchant Prince or Great Kingdom, you can only become a vassal if your liege has an Empire. If you are already a vassal, your liege must be an Empire before you can become a Holy Land, Merchant Prince or Great Kingdom.
Empires cannot be vassals. If you are a vassal and take a valid special-10 action to become an Empire, you must dissolve your vassalage to your liege. For rules on dissolving vassalage, see Military actions. You can do this at the same time as you found your Empire.
If you are a vassal, you may use one of your Liege’s attribute scores in place of your own, once per round. You can use this for any roll, whether for an action you are taking or a roll to passively oppose another player. You cannot use your liege’s score to perform special actions.
If you are a vassal to a Great Kingdom which is in turn a vassal to an Empire, you may use the attribute score of either the Great Kingdom’s ruler or the Empire’s ruler, once per round. You cannot use both.
If you have an Empire, every time you generate a new ruler, assign +1 to one attribute score per vassal that you have. This includes vassals of vassals. You may choose which attribute you add this bonus to.
Lieges may use one of their vassals’ Cultural Identities, once per round.
Military implications of vassalage
If you want to use your liege’s Military score for a battle roll, this operates on the same principles as normal commander rules. If your ruler commands the battle, you can use your liege’s full Military score. If your army is not led by your ruler (or a Hero) you use half your liege’s Military score. You may still only use the score for one roll per round, so you will have to decide between using it for the battle or for Tactical Maneuvering. Heroes may not use their liege’s score, and vassals may not use their liege’s Hero scores.
If you are a vassal, your unit cap decreases by 1. If your liege is also a vassal, your unit cap decreases by a further 1. If you are a vassal of a Great Kingdom which is a vassal of an Empire, your overall unit cap will therefore be reduced by 2.
If you are a liege, your unit cap increases by 1 for each vassal you have. This includes vassals of your vassals.
As a Liege, your troops can travel through regions belonging to your vassals without incurring additional losses for distance. You may still incur distance losses en route to your vassal’s territory, if you do not share a border.
Unrest and Rebellion
Spoiler: Unrest RulesIf you neglect your regions, or a player takes actions which damage the government or rule of law in a region, you may find that it suffers unrest or even enters rebellion.
A region in unrest may be subject to banditry, civil disobedience, or other factors which make it difficult for the government to operate effectively, although it does not yet present a direct threat to your rule. A region will enter unrest if:
- You conquer it
- Another player or nearby rebels induce unrest in your region
- You purge a holy site (unless you achieve a Great Success)
- You fail to satisfy your capital’s resource requirement
- You fail to provide a write-up for the region after acquiring it
- You fail to respond adequately to a GM-instigated event
While a region you control is in unrest, you take a -2 penalty on all rolls in that region, excluding battle rolls and rolls to stabilize the region.
If a region remains in unrest for too long, a Rebellion will begin. This causes rebel units and a Rebel Hero to appear in the region. All players (including you; this stacks with the penalty for unrest) take a -2 penalty on any rolls in that region, excluding battle rolls and rolls to stabilize the region.
Rebel units may sack trading posts or cities, purge religious centers, spread unrest to neighboring regions, or even attempt to conquer the region. Rebel units will continue to appear as long as a region remains in rebellion. Rebels are always considered attackers for the purpose of combats and opposed rolls.
Uncontrolled regions may enter rebellion, if prompted by a player or GM event. These rebellions operate in the same way as any other. Note that native defenders of a region that are present on discovery are not necessarily rebels. Native defenders will not normally spread unrest, or take action against trading posts or holy sites. If an uncontrolled region contains rebels, the GM will notify players.
If you defeat the rebels in battle in any region, you take control of the region (if you did not already own it), the rebellion will end, and no more rebel units will appear. The region will remain in unrest and another rebellion may begin if the region is not stabilized.
To stabilize a region, make a roll on 2d6 and add your Diplomacy score and any applicable bonuses. If your roll is at least 12 the region’s stability improves. See the Diplomacy section for more information on stabilization.
You can also suppress unrest in a region by application of extreme military force. Roll 2d6 and add your Military score and any applicable bonuses. If your roll is at least 14, the region’s stability improves. However, the overwhelming violence of the action means that one trading post in the region is permanently destroyed, as the merchants and craftsmen are either killed in the slaughter or flee. See the Military section for more information.
A region in rebellion will revert to unrest once the rebels are defeated. Stabilizing a region in unrest returns the region to normal.
If your capital region is suffering unrest, negative GM events will be more likely in all regions you control. Capital regions will not normally enter rebellion so readily as other regions, but may do so if their resource requirement is unmet or another player instigates a rebellion. If your capital enters rebellion, you take a -2 penalty to all rolls until the rebellion is resolved. This penalty stacks with other unrest and rebellion-related penalties.
If you think resistance to a rebellion is unsustainable, you can choose to accept a change of government. Your ruler is overthrown. Generate a new ruler unrelated to your previous one. Discuss with the GM what happens to your existing units, Heroes and rebel units in your regions: they may become your new standing army, or some of them may disband or defect. The GM will also adjust the stability of your regions to reflect the new regime taking power.
You can attempt to sabotage other players by destabilizing their regions. Make an opposed roll on 2d6 plus Intrigue and any applicable bonuses. If you exceed the region owner’s roll, the region enters unrest. Pushing another player’s region from unrest to rebellion requires an Intrigue 10 special action. See Intrigue for more information.
- Join Date
- Jan 2019
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
United Blemmyae Tribes
King of Kings Negu Kw’Zinabi
Headless people with faces in their chests reproduce via ovipositing, keep records of heroes of the past, and live in cliff dwellings.
Leader: King of Kings Negu Kw’Zinabi: Mil 5, Opu 2, Fai 4, Dip 3, Int 1
Home Region: The Korebita Foothills
Mount Terar: United Blemmyae Tribes [Great]
Muketi’s Peak: [vacant]
Mount Dinayi: [vacant]
Holy Centre: Bete Great Library [Abiherism]
Starting Tech: Writing
The Korebita Foothills
Sing, o Muses, of the Korebita Foothills
Home of the Ten Tribes of the Blemmyae people
Most beautiful homeland known to this mighty world.
Tell of the stone cliffs standing tall as Adeni
Of the stands of palm and tamarind and yucca
And of the thornéd shrubs grown in the sandy ground.
Let the earth hear of the rushing Eniz river
And of Kema, capital of the Blemmyae
Founded by Haleti in the Dawn of Ages.
The Korebita Foothills, located in the western section of Kiswa, is a rocky, scrubby land. The tropical forests common in the north begin to fade away as they reach the higher elevations of the Korebita Foothills, being replaced by stands of palm and tamarind trees, sheer bluffs and ravines, and the ubiquitous shrubs. The ground is loose, but fertile, and in the rainy season of the winter all manner of other plants grow. In the summer, the region becomes scorchingly hot and dry. At its highest point, the Peak of Muketi stands ten thousand feet tall. At the top is a crescent shaped indentation containing a small lake, perhaps indicating that the Peak is a dormant volcano. At certain times of the day, the sun fits perfectly into the indentation, forming a vista that brings tears of amazement to the eyes of those who observe it. Flowing down the slopes from the lake is the Eniz River. It starts as a tiny trickle, but as it reaches lower elevations, it becomes a mighty river. The Eniz bisects the Korebita Foothills, separating the mostly depopulated southern regions from the north, where most of its people dwell. On a hill overlooking the Eniz is Kema, a town of three thousand souls and the capital of the Blemmyae tribes. The king who rules over all the tribes lives permanently in Kema, where they entertain passing bands of visitors.
Sing, o Muses, of the many Blemmyae tribes
Those mighty headless men with faces in their chests
Descended from Haleti of the ancient eras.
Sing of the greatest clans, Okisi, Adeni,
Mesihafi, Torineti, Anigoli,
Haleti, Zinabi, Fekiri, Muketi
Sing of the Sewi, allies of the Blemmyae
Humans who adopt the customs of their masters
And fight with the courage of the wild lion.
The main people of the Korebita Foothills are the Blemmyae. They appear mostly humanoid, with humanlike arms and legs, but they have no heads. Instead, their eyes and mouths are implanted into the centers of their torsos. The Blemmyae have no sexual differentiation and no concept of gender. Every blemmyae is referred to as “they”, rather than with any personal pronouns. Likewise, they reproduce asexually, by producing eggs within their own bodies and implanting them into the bodies of a non-blemmyae host using ovipositors concealed in their long, spined tongues. After a three month gestation period, the eggs hatch inside the host, tearing through tissue and muscle as the infant blemmyae bursts free of its host. This process is often fatal to small hosts, like the goats commonly used by the blemmyae. Humans would have about a fifty percent chance of surviving.
The blemmyae have a very sophisticated language, including an alphabet and a long tradition of written records. Most of their writing is carved on tablets of soapstone using flint styluses. They dwell in houses built in caves in the sides of cliffs. Although there are over a hundred small clans, each one descended from a minor hero of historical note, there are nine primary Blemmyae tribes.
The oldest tribe is the Haleti clan, descended from Great Haleti, the first blemmyae in the world. The Haleti hold claim to the greatest deposits of flint in the Korebita Foothills, with which they dominate trade in the region.
The Fekiri clan is the largest by far. Between the clan itself and the minor tribes under their dominion, almost one in five blemmyae owe their allegiance to the Fekiri. Unlike the other clans, the Fekiri keep slaves in accordance with their cultural tradition.
The greatest warriors come from the Torineti clan, which prizes strength above all else. The Torineti train their young the hardest of any clan, forcing them to engage in near-constant mock combat and wrestling to increase their strength and skill in preparation for war.
The current leader of the United Blemmyae Tribes comes from the Zinabi clan. The Zinabi jealously hold the secrets of coppersmithing to themselves, wearing bands of metal around their arms and legs.
The Anigoli tribe is fully nomadic. Unlike other tribes, they do not build any sort of permanent home, instead roaming the hills in small packs. They are looked down upon by many blemmyae, who consider them petty thieves and scoundrels.
The Blemmyae writing system was invented by the Mesihafi clan. Today, they maintain the Bete Great Library, serving as its curators and guards.
Traditional blemmyae cooking involves heating a large, flat stone among embers, and then coating a slab of meat with honey, tamarind paste, and spices before cooking it on the hot stone. The Adeni clan, however, consider cooked food an abomination. They only eat their meat raw, and preferably freshly killed.
Blemmyae of the Muketi clan can easily be recognized by their narrow eyes, with much smaller pupils than those of the other tribes. Because of this, they find it extremely difficult to see in dark or dim light, and so are almost never encountered outside after dusk.
The smallest tribe is the Okisi clan. Most blemmyae clans eat their dishonored dead, but the Okisi refuse to engage in this practice, instead burying their dead in underground catacombs.
Along with the blemmyae, there is a sizable population of humans in the region. Most of these humans belong to the Sewi tribe. Although they are of a different species, the blemmyae treat them essentially as equals, worthy of respect. In exchange, the Sewi have adopted the blemmyae culture in its entirety: they use the same writing system, speak the same language, eat the same food, wear the same clothing, follow the same religion, and, although they are forced to recognize sexual dimorphism, do not have a concept of gender and refer to themselves by the neutral pronoun “they”.
The current leader of the United Blemmyae Tribes is Negu Kw’Zinabi. Although they have been king for twelve years already, they are not confident in their own abilities and are considered weak by the leaders of some of the other clans. They retain the title “King of Kings” mostly because the Zinabi tribe (and their allies in the Torineti and Muketi tribes) consider them an easily manipulated puppet that can give their machinations extra credibility. The real power in the Korebita Foothills is generally considered to consolidated in the hands of Negu’s vizier: Huleten Kw’Muketi. Although old and wizened, Huleten is an exceptionally cunning politician who commands the respect of many tribal leaders and is a master of forcing the King of Kings to take a certain course of action. If they were to die, chaos would likely erupt in the region.
Sing, o Muses, of eternal Great Haleti
Born of stone in the days of the ancient ages
Who conquered this homeland for the Blemmyae clans.
Sing, o Muses, of Muketi the Golden-Eyed
Who captured the sun and bound it into the sky
Giving light and heat to our beloved home.
Sing, o Muses, of swiftly running Adeni
Wanderer in the wasteland, slayer of monsters
Forever hunting the cruel Cosmic Hyena.
Sing, o Muses, of ancient wise Mesihafi
Inventor of the words we transcribe into stone
Thus the heroes of the past stay in memory.
Sing, o Muses, of lightning-fisted Zenabi
Master of the storm, bringer of life-giving rain
Founder of Demeniz, great city in the sky.
Sing, o Muses, of war-leader Torineti
Lone survivor of the Battle of the Blood Field
Sacker of a thousand treasure-rich citadels.
Sing, o Muses, of Fikiri of the Long Tongue
Conqueror of fertile lands beyond the mountains
Propagator of seven thousand descendants.
Sing, o Muses, of fox-cunning Anigoli
Who faced down the bone-clad giant Otowiri
And, with no weapon but their words, drove him away.
Sing, o Muses, of the pale-skinned king Okisi
Who was thrice struck down and buried in the cold earth
But thrice returned from death and arose from the grave.
Sing, o Muses, of Sewi, first of humankind
Brought from their homeland as a slave bound tight in chains
But earned their freedom by great courage in combat.
Sing, o Muses, of the Bete Great Library
Carved into the stony heart of a tall mountain
Holding in its walls tales of world-renowned heroes.
Sing of the flowering afterlife of heroes
That paradise of snow-capped mountain fortresses
Where dwell the most renowned heroes of ancient days.
Pray, o worshippers, that we shall attain glory
Shall die an honorable death with dignity
And that our names shall be passed down through the ages.
The blemmyae practice Abiherism, a religion centered on ancestor worship and a respect for those who lived before. Abiherists believe that the soul is tied to a person’s legacy in the mortal realm. A soul whose name and deeds are forgotten will simply fade into oblivion, while a soul still renowned as a great hero in the mortal world will receive great rewards in the afterlife. Abiherists thus consider keeping records to be of great importance, as a written record will ensure that a person’s legacy lasts far longer than the lives of those they knew. Certain heroes, historical figures whose feats are still well known, are worshipped essentially as gods, their stories exaggerated to explain cosmic phenomena. If a hero is especially great, their descendants will take their name as a clan name. This is the greatest of all honors for an Abiherist, as it ensures that their name will be remembered for as long as their family line survives. However, not all people will accomplish remarkable feats and die honorably. Abiherists practice ritual cannibalism of the dishonored dead. The body of a practitioner who dies dishonorably is to be consumed by their comrades, in the hope that their spirit will become linked to a friend who will one day perform great deeds and ascend to the afterlife. If they should do so, the dishonored soul will ascend with them as a servant. This practice ensures that even those who fail to make a name for themselves are not necessarily doomed to oblivion. There are very few requirements to be an Abiherist. All that is needed is a belief in the system of legacy and honor that is incorporated into the Abiherist afterlife (although praying to the more powerful heroes can sometimes yield great results).
In the Korebita Foothills, the holiest of holy centers is the Bete Great Library. A massive cave system that fills the interior of a small mountain, it encompasses thousands of rooms, each one dedicated to a particular hero. The walls of these rooms are inscribed with tales of the hero’s exploits, while various paraphernalia associated with that hero are sometimes also placed in the room. The Bete Great Library is traditionally curated by the Mesihafi clan, who are in charge of adding the stories of freshly deceased heroes to its chambers.
Then great Haleti struck the stones of the cliff face
And broke off a shard of the blackened flinty stone
Long as an elephant’s tusk and sharp as fanged teeth.
And with this flinty shard Haleti made a spear
Suwifi, the ancestral weapon of his kin
No mortal now could even lift sharp Suwifi.
With this weapon, Haleti struck down their rivals
Slaying many foul demons that once stalked this land
It now rests forever beneath the earth’s surface.
Many types of stone can be found in the Korebita Foothills, but the most common by far is flint. This brittle rock breaks into razor-sharp shards, which the blemmyae use as spikes on their clubs and heads on their spears. Although flint spearheads break easily, the blemmyae consider this to be an asset, as a snapped-off spearhead makes it easy to remove the shaft from an enemy’s body. Flint spears are also lighter than metal weapons, and most blemmyae warriors carry several spares into battle. Round disks of flint are also used for cooking, while blemmyae of the Haleti clan occasionally use tiny slivers of the rock as body piercings and personal ornamentation. Three mountains produce almost half of the region’s flint exports between them: Muketi’s Peak, Mount Terar, and Mount Dinayi. The blemmyae focus most of their mining on Mount Terar, as it is the most accessible by river and closest to Kema, the capital of the region.
Although animals such as goats, sheep, hyenas, and even a few dwarf elephants can be found in the Korebita Foothills, the blemmyae do not herd any animals in large quantities, and so it can be difficult to find suitable hosts for their reproduction. If the blemmyae are to maintain an extensive geopolitical presence, it will be necessary to capture a steady stream of living beings, either by legitimate means or by force.
Last edited by Gaius Hermicus; 2020-06-29 at 03:58 PM.Avatar by Sniper Jo!
Played New Bhule in Empire!4
Played as the Rothuun Galactic Hegemony in Empire!5
Currently playing Empire!6 as the United Blemmyae Tribes
PM me sometime!
- Join Date
- May 2015
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
Thanks for setting this up Dark! Time for the canvas to begin anew
To begin, I'll make things easy for you. I don't mind where I am at all, so assign me wherever you want, although some terrain feature would be nice.
- Join Date
- Sep 2017
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
Can't wait to read the new rules and promptly forget them every round (actually very excited tho)! (can I pls have discord link I'm too tired to write up region rn to make formal post)
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
Expressing interest! Probably playing some type of humanoid Boar people. Keep your eyes on this post for details as I update it!
Region Area Preferences: Mamut. 42, 35, 50 (in that order)
The Uzii Ancestral Snorts
Region 39Spoiler: Summary
Region Name: Swampum
Brief Description: A vast swamp full of life, including boar people riding upon giant toads.
People: Uzii (Pronouced: Ooo-zee / uː:zi)
Resource: Battle Toads / Metal
Faith: Ancestral Spirits (Soul Honor)
Leader: Referred to as The Homage, the current leader is Homage Death-grasp Mudmore, of Snort Mudmore
Full title: The Strongest, Most Honorable Uzii, the Homage to the Ancestors, The Tip of the Tusk, the Snortsmoot Champion, the Closest to the Mud.
Spoiler: Geography and EcologyThe region of Swampum – more formally known as Swamp Home – is one of earthy colors of blues, browns, and greens. As the name implies, it is a vast swampy area, with many meandering rivers and pools of water. In the waters are enormous lily pads and other greenery that thrives within the high humidity area. The water is broken up by twisted and bendy blue-green trees growing out from vast and fertile island chains that offer succor from the otherwise dangerous waters. Large edible mushrooms often grow under these trees and along their rotating roots. Small animals feed off the mushrooms, and in turn, larger creatures feed off the smaller animals, like the Dire Flies that can buzz and swarm around small birds and even some fish. A single Dire Fly is an annoyance, and feed larger beats most days; a swarm is dangerous, as they can nip larger creatures to death.
Some reptilian creatures referred to by the natives as ‘Sharpteeth’ live within the shallow waters of Swampum, but they are not the premier hunters of the region. There are the ‘Swamp Cats’ – whose pelts are a dusky blue and earthy brown – that can take down the Sharpteeth and drag them to the tops of the trees where the Swamp Cat makes its home; yet they too are not the apex predators of the region. That distinction, for the animal kingdom at least, goes to the Bloat Toad. An amphibious creature, a single Bloat Toad can grow to be almost seven feet across and six and a half feet tall, from their toes to the tips of their eye-ridge horns. Their slick thick skin is impossible for even a Sharptooth to bite through, and their leg strength allows them to jump over the gnarly and bent trees that Swamp Cats live in. It is their tongues, however, that are themselves impressive: able to stretch out to over six feet, it’s a common sight to see a Bloat Toad leap up high, flick out their large tongues, and snag a Dire Fly from the air before falling into the swamp water with nary a ripple. The noises a Bloat Toad makes in mating season are cacophonous, as it stretches its big mouth to make a deep creaking sound even as it’s face bloats; giving it its name.
Yet… within Swampum, even a Bloat Toad has something to fear… Within the depths of Swamp Home, the Uzii reign supreme.
Apex predators of the region, the Uzii only struggle against each other and the rare Blightspawn. The boar people of the region deeply love living within and under the roots of the twisted trees, and that is where they make their Dens. They love the warm waters of the swamps, and treasure the rare clear hot springs that help keep a Clan clean. Often a Clan will rise in power if they find a new hot spring, even to the point of getting the Sounder Alpha to consider sending a Daughter to set up a Den to be with the Clan. Even if a Clan cannot find a hot spring, they can make a warm mud pit which is almost as relaxing to an Uzii.
Spoiler: PeopleSpoiler: Concept Art
In Swampum, the Uzii are the apex creatures. Sharpteeth teeth are pulled for their spears and arrows. Swamp Cat pelts make their clothes. Meat from both make their meals. Bloat Toads are hunted for sport or domesticated and raised into fiercer versions called Battle Toads.
The Uzii – the boar people of Swampum – have done all of this. Uzii males are roughly 4'5" to 5'1" tall when full grown, but stand a bit wider than the average humans. Their bodies appear top heavy, but they have very strong legs that allow them to run at high speeds on flat ground; though changing directions once charging is often an issue for an Uzii male whom is not thinking once their head is down and their tusks are moving. Which is almost all of them. It is a rare Uzii male that does not become excited to put a spear in their bulky arms and immediately stab at something. They often train to charge, strike at a low angle, and keep moving forward so that their battle brothers can follow up with their own spears or tusks. If the prey is of a small enough size or weight, the lead Uzii warrior will get very low, and try and toss it up so that subsequent Uzii can deal damage with their thick skulls and continue to 'juggle' the target to the next in what is often referred to as an Uzii barrage. Male Uzii are excellent hunters and gatherers.
Uzii females grow to be much larger and more bulky then their brothers. Often reaching 6'0" if not 6'6", the dimorphism and the way that a litter is birthed makes the females much more rotund in nature. They also seem to be quite a bit smarter, as the female Uzii are often the crafters and the source of knowledge for many. They still share the same brown or grey hides as their male counterparts, but their tusks and arms are often proportionally smaller, while their legs are not so thin-looking. Their litters spawn quickly when needed, and a young boarling, regardless of gender, can be ready to fight for their Clan in as little as four years, though only reach full maturity at twice that age. They fight for their survival, and love every danger they come across, as it’s a new challenge to face.
Each Den Mother raises a litter that numbers from 4 to 12 new boarlings. Females are rare, and while the Uzii respect strength and honor above all, there is a great honor in being a Den Mother that has strong sons. In the times of need – such as a Clan War, when more bodies are required – a Den Mother can have a new litter once every five years, with only one in ten of the litter being a new female of the Brood. More commonly, a Den Mother will refrain and only raise new boarlings once every decade or so, as a way to cut down on the number of mouths to feed in her home.
A female Uzii will grow to be smart, remember all the important things, and try to teach the male Uzii how to craft weapons, start campfires, raise Battle Toads, or make armor. A male Uzii will struggle to learn some of these things, but find it easy to learn how to fight, how to run, how to gore things with their strong tusks, and about the importance of honor.
Living to maturity, however, is a fight. Disease is one thing, and most of the native Swampum diseases are something that an Uzii shrugs off, but there’s no cure for stupid. And there’s a lot of stupid in the average Uzii male. Part of it is a low rate for mating seasons, plus a low female to male ratio, plus a desire to prove you are the best around. So, while young female Uzii are often protected, respected, and treasured, young male Uzii aren’t as cherished. They are, in fact, encouraged to be adventurous. Often, this bold spirit ends in a scolding by a Den Daughter, but sometimes it ends in death. While outsiders may see it as harsh, there are no funeral rites for young adult Uzii; only the strong survive to maturity, and only after reaching that maturity does an Uzii earn a ‘name’ and a ‘self’.
Spoiler: HistorySome god took our beautiful wings and cursed our forms, but we showed them! These forms are great! We don't miss flying at all! Birds are dumb anyways! Stupid beautiful birds, with their stupid beautiful wings!
- A Uzii Historian's Summation of Historical Events
White feathered pure beings once flew the skies of Mamut, bringing peace and harmony to all. An age of utopia was upon the land, under the guidance of the Goddess. However, the Goddess became bored with the perfection of the land, so began to cause death and mischief for her own enjoyment. She caused storms and summoned horrible beasts. Many within Mamut begged for the pure beings to aid them, and they did. They saved who they could, and brought joy back to the land where possible. This angered the Goddess, who struggled to effect the pure beings and became angered when they spoiled her fun. They were too strong, so could not be beaten, and too clever, so they could not be tricked.
But they were also proud. And it was their pride that was their downfall. The Goddess came to the white feathered pure beings as one of them, and asked: "Who is the strongest? Who is the cleverest?" Each of the pure beings said that they were the strongest. They were the wisest. And none would back down from that insistence. So they fought. And they fought. And they fought. Never killing the others, but always struggling, much to the Goddess's amusement. It finally allowed her to rip them apart, separating their strength from their cleverness. The pure beings became not so pure; one half of their souls' white feathers turned black, and the other half became twisted and ugly and had no wings at all.
The ugly half was even more ugly because it had most of the pride that was their downfall. As they no longer had their beauty and their wings, they were cast down to the ground below, falling into the swamps, and being reborn in the hot springs as the Uzii. Shamed at losing their forms, the first Uzii became angry and could barely look upon each other, so they spread out to all corners of their new swamp home.
Yet the Goddess still tormented the land. And that could not be tolerated. The Uzii still had their pride. They still had their strength. What remained of their cleverness was used to reach out to their black feathered other halves, and together, they raised a great army from all of Mamut that fought back against the Goddess. Many died, but their combined ancestral souls fought on, ripping the Goddess apart and spreading her poisonous pieces across the land. These pieces grew into flowers, which must be guarded against, for they are poisonous to eat.
To this day, the Uzii hunt and destroy any flowers that bare the name of the hated Goddess: Amaryllis. As for their black feathered brethren, the Uzii grew apart from them and have only heard whispers of them; but the sight of them is disquieting, for it is a reminder of their lost forms. When the two meet, they are family... but families still fight.
Spoiler: Government and CultureGovernment
In summary, a family lives in a Den.
Multiple Dens make a village group called a Clan.
Multiple Clans make a surrounding county group called a Sounder.
Multiple Sounders make a district zone called a Snort.
All eight Snorts make up the region of Swampum.
Swampum is reigned over by the strongest, most honorable Uzii, the Homage to the Ancestors, The Tip of the Tusk, the Snortsmoot Champion, the Closest to the Mud. That's a lot for everyone to remember, though. Even for them! Most refer to them only as 'The Homage'.
A Den Mother leads a ‘Den’. A Den can have anywhere from ten to fifty Uzii inside it, though the larger the Den, the more often it will separate into other Dens. Each Den Mother will designate one of her daughters as the heir, and any other daughters she has will be traded to another Den if needed, or given the rights to make her own Den. Those who set out to make their own Den are given five brothers to protect her and must find a strong mate to start their own Dens.
A ‘Clan’ is often five to ten Dens; the average number of Uzii in a Clan is roughly one hundred fifty. The strongest Male – usually a mate to one of the Den Mothers – is the Clan Leader.
Within her home, a Den Mother reigns supreme, even over the words of a Clan Leader. A Den Mother’s mate could be the Homage himself, but in her den, the law of the Homage is nothing. That said… Outside her home, a Den Mother is just another Uzii.
This creates an unusual local government. Den Mothers are obeyed in their dens, making them the adjudicators for small crimes, like theft or being caught cheating at duels. For larger crimes, such as murder, rape, or god worship, a Den Mother will call upon a Clan Council. These Clan Councils are made up of all the Den Mothers of the Clan, led by the Clan Chief, and advised by the Clan Shaman (of which there is one or many, but never none). The Clan Council also is called upon if a Den Mother commits a crime.
If the Clan Chief or Clan Shaman commits a crime, this is reason enough to call upon the Sounder Alpha. Leader of over a thousand and a half Uzii, the Sounder Alpha has been proven to be the strongest among ten Clans, and often is thought to be inhabited by an Ancestral Spirit. If a Sounder Alpha has committed a crime, either another Sounder Alpha or the Snort Tusker will be called upon. The Snort Tusker leads all the Sounders in one of the eight districts of Swampum, and it is from these Snorts that the Homage is selected. Sounder Alphas gather together under their Snort Tusker, and meet for a Snortsmoot once every twenty years. The strongest of the Snort Tuskers, proven through honorable combat, then becomes the Homage to the Ancestors, and leads until they grow too weak. Their title of Snort Tusker is passed on to one of their sons, who would also become Homage in the event the reigning Champion dies an early death; though the son of an Homage must then prove themselves strong by visiting each of the Snort Tuskers and challenging them to battle.
Strength of Arms, Strength of Conviction, Strength of Family.
Honor for the Ancestors, Honor for the Clan, Honor for the Self.
A true Hero embodies one or more of these.
Uzii care for strength and honor. Male Uzii struggle to survive in the wilderness of the Swamp, but also struggle against each other; first as brothers growing up, then as Clan hunting together, and finally as members of their Sounds and Snort. Most will never receive the honor to fight without a Snortsmoot, but every Uzii dreams that they will have the power to do so. It is this hope that keeps them moving, keeps their grips on their spears, and pushes them to face dangers. They revel in the challenge, and will fight almost anything. Once a male Uzii reaches 8 years old (maturity), they are tasked with finding and slaying a local beast. Many Sharpteeth die, and a newly named Uzii joins the Den able to gain glory for their ancestors. However, the skillful hunter will find and defeat a Swamp Cat on their own. Those that succeed are celebrated, and the pelt is used to create their clothing. Every so often, though, the rarest of Uzii will hunt a Bloat Toad; a task that is possible as a Den or a Clan, but by oneself? Very difficult! A Den Mother herself will reward the successful hunter with praise and craft armor from the tough toad skin. These are the promising heroes of the Clan, and many Uzii who try, fail and die.
There are rumors that an Uzii male can even face off against a Blightspawn by themselves, but Den Daughters, Den Mothers, and Clan Shaman are very quick to smack an Uzii that says this is possible. A Blightspawn is a hunt for a whole Sounder, at least. Yet... the stories say the brave and true can do great things, and bring glory to their Snort!
Uzii male are not dim witted, but they do seem to choose a passion and only excel at one thing. All Uzii male can hunt, but only some choose to be Hunters that work as part of the Clan to obtain meat or deal with dangerous local beasts. Some are good at finding mushrooms and other wild vegetables that grow in Swampum; where others will eat their fill, these gatherers are smart enough to leave enough vegetables alone for another season. Then there are those who do well in the warrior path; be they fighting other Clans over a hot spring or mud bath, or trying to train a Battle Toad, warrior Uzii are the elite of a Clan. Culturally, all Uzii aspire to be warriors, but listen to the needs of the Clan Chief and Sounder Alpha... or fight an Uzii warrior and take their spot.
Uzii female are large but slow to move, yet contain wisdom beyond their years. It is through them and the Clan Shaman that the Uzii remember their history. Uzii females excel as crafters, story tellers, and raise the young Battle Toads with the secrets of the Animal Husbandry methods that make it possible to give their Snort's warriors the edge they need in any conflicts. Uzii female serve as judges, as builders, and act as council members for any large decisions for the Clan or the Sounder. Decisions made by multiple Sounders are made with the Sounder Alphas' Den Mothers meetings called Judgments. These are rare occurrences, and often are cause for the Snort Tusker to be notified if they do not attend themselves. Common reasons for Judgement are the breaking of one's sworn vow to one outside the Sounder, or the conclusion of a Clan War that neither side is willing to concede upon.
Uzii as a whole both love and hate birds. They love them for their beautiful feathers, but hate them because they can fly, and the Uzii cannot. Many Clan Shaman are known to weep tears of frustration at the sight of a large bird in flight.
The Eight Snorts of Swampum
- Snort Mudmore: living in the northwest, Snort Mudmore has the best mud baths in the entire region. Snort Mudmore's Sounders are proud of this fact, and Tusker Hate-grip Mudmore will fight anyone who says they have better mud!
- Snort Toadgrow: living in the west, Snort Toadgrow has the biggest Battle Toads in all of Swampum. Snort Toadgrow are among the best trainers, and Tusker Crack-back Toadgrow will fight anyone who says they can raise Battle Toads better!
- Snort Rocktusk: living in the southwest, Snort Rocktusk is the only Snort to use large stone hammers instead of the more common spears. Rocktusk warriors can bring down a Swamp Cat in a single swing, and Tusker Proud-laugh will fight anyone who thinks they can do it faster!
- Snort Clearfang: living in the south, Snort Clearfang has the most hot springs, and the much coveted Sweet Rock. Snort Clearfang loves the way Sweet Rock looks like a large white fang in the middle of a bunch of hot springs, and Tusker Pull-claw Clearfang will fight anyone who says it looks dumb!
- Snort Swiftspear: living in the southeast, Snort Swiftspear have the fastest spearboars in the region! Snort Swiftspear warriors can stick several Sharpteeth in a single stab, and Tusker Far-kick Swiftspear will fight anyone who calls that a lie!
- Snort Groundpound: living in the east, Snort Groundpound has the toughest tossers in the swamps! Snort Groundpound has perfected the Uzii Barrage ability, and can juggle Bloat Toads! Tusker Face-Smash Goundpound will fight anyone who thinks they can gore better!
- Snort Jumpgood: living in the northeast, Snort Jumpgood has the most athletic Battle Toads. Snort Jumpgood trains their Battle Toad warriors to leap from the sky with their spears pointed at their enemies, and Tusker Rage-win Jumpgood will fight anyone who doubts their bravery!
- Snort Thumpstrong: living in the north, Snort Thumpstrong has the best Clan Shaman. Snort Thumpstrong gets more Shaman than any other in the region, and Tusker Wise-weep Thumpstrong refuses to fight anyone.
Spoiler: ResourcesStarting Tech: Animal Husbandry
[Battle Toads] - Large amphibious creatures, the wild versions (called Bloat Toads) prefer to be alone, near swamps and mires where they can hunt fish, bugs, and Swamp Cats. When angered, a Battle Toad can leap very high into the air, or use their long sticky tongues as whips. With time and dedication, they can be domesticated and trained as mounts. A Battle Toad rider goes through many frustrations, and often a broken bone or two, before they finally pair well with their mount. Battle Toads have been trained to be comfortable with their leather strap harnesses that can hold one and sometimes two Uzii during travel, and are directed by way of pulling on the straps attached to a Battle Toad's horns, making serviceable reins.
[Metal] - Uzii like shiny things, but they love shiny hard metal that can be made into good weapons. Sadly, that is very rare in Swampum.
Spoiler: FaithWhen a Male Uzii is birthed with the intelligence of a Female Uzii, they are said to be touched by the Ancestors. There is much rejoicing in an Uzii Clan, when this happens, as the chosen Uzii grows to learn the ways of the Shaman. Always, there is at least one Clan Shaman, though there are sometimes more, such as within Snort Thumpstrong. The additional wisdom that a Shaman possesses usually means that they are more physically frail, and not as prone to combat like their brothers, but occasionally a wise Shaman will maintain their strength and rise up to be both a Shaman and a Clan Chief, Sounder Alpha, or even a Tusker.
Holy Site - Within Snort Thumpstrong lands, near the center of the region, is the Ancestral Baths. This large open air hot-spring is one of the few in the region that contains almost perfectly clear water, and is said to be the rebirth place of the first Uzii. It is a place of realization of shames, but learning of new strengths and wisdom. The rumors state that a taking bath from within these waters allows the soul to be cleansed of impurities.
Spoiler: Soul HonorSoul Honor, sometimes referred to as Melding, is the primary religion of the Uzi. This process is one where an Ancestor Spirit visits the soul of a Clan Shaman, and provides wisdom and knowledge to the selected Uzii male.
The Ancestor Spirit infuses their host with additional strength in times of need, and it's rumored that well studied Shaman can even perform minor magics if the Ancestor Spirit is strong enough. Ancestor Spirits gain strength through acts of honor and glory from their living descendants; even something as simple as honoring one's family through devotion to one's duties is enough to honor the Ancestor Spirit. Being a strong warrior brings honor. Bring a smart hunter brings honor. Being a clever gatherer brings honor. Birthing many strong sons and raising them well brings honor.
Clan Shaman and Den Mothers instruct Uzii how to gain honor, tell stories of the ancient histories of Swamp Home, and teach Uzii against the taboos:
- Do not be tricked by the gods.
- Do not practice blood magic.
- Do not cause lasting harm to the land.
Spoiler: Notes for helping determine the above8 years to reach maturity (1 year a babe, 3 years a child, 4 as a young adult)
Old Uzii are above 45 years old, with true elders being 55+
40 years (average) of available breeding
4-12 Uzii per litter (average is 8)
(1) litter per 5 years in struggling times, (1) litter per 10 years in relaxed circumstances
That means, over forty years, if a female breeds as quick as possible, they can have a total of eight litters of Uzii. If they are lucky(?) they'll have 12 children every litter, for a grand total of 98 Uzii. If they are unlucky(?) and in relaxed circumstances, that's 4 kids every 10 years for a max of 16 boarlings over the course of their lives.
Call it 50% mortality rate to reach maturity. 8 to 49 Uzii per Den Mother. Probably an average of 25 to 30 living Uzii per Den. Five to ten Dens per ‘Clan’, for a rough average of 150 Uzii per Clan. Ten Clans make a Sounder (1500 Uzii), and there are ten Sounders in a Snort (15,000 Uzii). There are eight Snorts in Swampum that vie for dominance of the region.
Last edited by Gengy; 2020-06-30 at 07:57 AM.SpoilerBladeofObliviom said:
I've only seen a character at anything resembling this level of absurdity thrive exactly once, and he/she/what-the-jongo had the advantage of being written by Gengy, who I look up to as a writer.
Before you insult someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
That way, you'll be a mile away, and have their shoes!
Got my Master's Degree for games (yay!). Still busy (boo!).~avatar by myself
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- Feb 2015
- Constantly Roaming
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
Another round of empire, another chance at world domination and maniacal scheming. I'm in."What is to give light must endure burning."
- Join Date
- Sep 2011
- An Abyssal Tower
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
Currently working on a write up, can't wait for the game to start.
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
Somewhere in the northern part of Kiswa please, with forest. 193 or 192 would be perfect; I'd rather not be on the coast, but I'm not going to be too fussy.Empire! A community world-building game, always recruiting
GITP Blood Bowl Manager Cup
Red Sabres - Season I Cup Champions, two-time Cup Semifinalists
Anlec Razors - Two-time Cup Semifinalists
Bad Badenhof Bats - Season VII Cup Champions
Spoiler: Previous Avatars(by Strawberries)
(by Rain Dragon)
- Join Date
- Mar 2015
- West Siiiiide!
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
Region 108 Submission for approval
Region 108, Tarandi
Spoiler: Region Summary
Region: Hiverness, Tarandi, 108
Resource: Northern Husky Dogs
Required Resource: Luxury Goods
Faith: Way of Eauden
Starting Tech: Writing
The frozen expanse that falls beneath the claim of Hiverness is an arctic tundra. Above the permafrost, the gravel-like soil offers little nutrients for all but the hardiest of vegetation. These coarse scrub grasses and shrubs feed herds of large grazers, such as reindeer and mammoths, who in turn, feed the humans and wolves that rely on them for their primary means of sustenance in these harsh lands. Never reaching temperatures above twelve degrees Celsius, the frozen treeless plains of Hiverness are enshrouded in Winter for most of the year.
There are few landmarks amidst this desert of white, but for the ones created by human hands. Located in their southwest territory is the capital settlement, known to its denizens as Wolfenhall. Wolfenhall consists of hundreds of round mammoth bone houses, arranged in concentric circles spiraling out from the largest in the center. These mammoth bone houses are formed of large curved mammoth bones painstakingly dug deep into the permafrost layer, lashed together with woven grass and then finally covered with animal hides for additional wind protection and warmth.
In the extreme northern frontier of the Hiverness expanse, is a smaller outpost of settlers eager to try their hand at taming the edges of civilization. These tenacious adventurers call their encampment simply, The Breach, seeing themselves as trailblazers, unwilling to settle for the relative safety of the larger community group in exchange for their freedom to roam their territory and beyond. In-between Wolfenhall and The Breach lies the oldest man-made structure within Hiverness, The Stones of Cristalmont. A sacred site to the people of Hiverness, the Stones of Cristalmont consist of thirteen large stone formations, each chiseled with intricate esoteric carvings largely consisting of an astrological theme. These formations were placed to coincide with the phases of the moon and the Winter Solstice.
The people of Hiverness are humans, with light-brown skin, dark brown hair and pale eyes. As lean as their diet, the harsh environment has produced a rather short population with adults ranging from 5’-5’6” for full grown women and men, respectively. They call themselves the Nordgen, simply Northmen in the local vernacular. Despite the seeming cruelty of the Hiverness environment, the Nordgen strive to find and exploit the beauty of their frigid lands, which is shown in the intricate beadwork of their heavy clothes or the carved stone totems that rise up from their settlements, often representative of an important family’s dwelling. The humans of the northern expanse must be eminently adaptable in order to survive the harsh climate. They see change as adaptations for survival instead of threats to the status quo, believing in innovation and tradition in balance. It is this flexible mindset that has enabled the Nordgen to flourish in lands where a less yielding people might struggle against the elements instead of adapting to them.
Wolves, Mammoths, Owls and the Moon are all important symbology for the Nordgen and often arise in their art, lore and sculpture. In Nordgen lore, their people were taught to hunt in a pack by the wolfback-riding Spirit-Princess Pamuya. Like the wolves of their legends, the Nordgen value their community above all else, including their Arrok of Uldra to the west who are seen as extensions of their own people.. With heavy emphasis on love and family, their folklore is often told as precautionary tales, riddled with valuable tidbits of survival passed on by generations since before the False Dawn. It is this pack mindset that allows the Nordgen to hunt the great mammoths that roam in herds across the frozen landscape in search of food. Hunting groups of ten elite hunters each are at work nearly year-round, tracking and bringing down the large animals on which the populace depends upon for food, fuel, clothing and shelter.
Spoiler: History and GovernmentHistory & Government:
According to most of the Nordgen legends, their people have endured the harsh Hiverness conditions since the world began. The arctic environment of their territory is not inherently supportive of life however, especially a burgeoning one, so the reality is more likely of migration and adaptation from the south, no matter how unpopular the idea might be amongst the proud Northern folk. It is believed that the Nordgen were once nomads, following the migration patterns of the herds of reindeer and mammoths they rely on for survival. With the swelling of the population came also the desire for stability, and so Wolfenhall came to be the first, and still largest, of the Nordgen settlements.
The Nordgen Government is composed of several pieces, each wielding its own power and influence over the citizens. At the head is the Nordgen Chieftain, responsible for the intermediating of disputes and diplomacy between the Nordgen and the varying other clans that share their northern lands. The War Council is comprised of several veteran hunters and is responsible for the mapping out and planning of the hunting routes. The Chaman is in charge of utilizing and teaching the healing arts of herbs and spirits and imbuing the next generation with their wisdom. The Oracle is said to be the direct intermediary between our world and the Spirit world, and is in charge of maintaining that connection as well as being given the oversight of holy day celebrations.
Believed to be a gift from the Spirit-Princess Payuma herself, the Great Northern Husky dogs are revered amongst the Nordgen and are considered to be an important part of their family, rather than pets. Highly intelligent and adapted to the cold environment with their thick fluffy coats, the Northern Huskies are believed to be descended from domesticated wolves and still hold a strong affinity for their pack. Useful in hunting and hauling, Great Northern Huskies are the pre-eminent working dog, unfailing in loyalty and the stamina required to thrive in the harsh conditions of their environment.
Due to the scarcity prevalent throughout the Hiverness wilderness, the Nordgen value luxury items such as salt and gems very highly. Gems are sought out as high status gifts for special occasions, or as the status symbols of the wealthy who can wear these items in their day-to-day lives. Salt is more practical luxury though just as coveted by the Nordgen for drying their meats to last throughout the harshest deep Winter when hunting is impossible in the blizzard-like conditions.
Resource: Northern Husky Dogs (Great)
Required Resource: Luxury Goods
The faith of the Nordgen has evolved over generations but has held onto a core reverence for the elements that enable their survival in their harsh frozen wasteland. Originally known as the Way of Wolf and Water by their ancestors, its adherents now refer to their system of beliefs as the Way of Eauden, Eauden being the name for the Moon Spirit that is revered by Nordgen. Credited with dominion over wolves and water, the moon is seen as the driving force in the northlands, as the influence of the sun on the tundra is comparatively weak. Adherents of the Way also sometimes refer to themselves as Seekers, such as Seeking the Way, and the significance of finding one’s own path is a recurring theme in the Nordgen’s spiritual philosophy.
Freshwater lakes and rivers being somewhat scarce in the permafrost lands, open water sources are seen as divine gifts which Eauden either lovingly tends to on behalf of her followers or wields in the guise of floods or droughts against their enemies. A flood or drought in Hiverness would be an occasion to appease the Great Moon Spirit, most appropriately with offers of juniper berry and white sage, both symbolic of the moon. Home shrines are common and often depict symbology of depending upon the focus of prayer for the day, month or week. A moon would symbolize protection or healing. Water upon the shrine would symbolize purification or change. A wolf would symbolize family or success in the hunt.
A yearly gathering is held at the holy site of Cristalmont, a difficult journey at the height of the Winter Solstice. Those who do not survive the trek are said to go on to serve Eauden in the spirit realm. The spiritual leader, known as the Oracle, is seen as the conduit between the spirit world and our world. It was the Oracle who first dreamed of the Aratak Falls to the South, which led to the meeting of the Nordgen and Arrok peoples. Aratak Falls is revered as a space sacred to Eauden and pilgrimages between the two lands are a common occurrence.
LC: Cristalmont (Way of Eauden)
- Join Date
- Sep 2011
- An Abyssal Tower
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
I just realised I forgot to indicate my regional preferences. Especially because I don't have many. I just need trees and cold weather, whether that's from elevation or latitude.
- Join Date
- Jan 2016
- Brinstar Depths
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
Huzzah! And so it begins...
The Ko shall rise to greatness and smugly lord our superiority over all you long-legs!
Edit: I have no regional preference,
except not in the north please.Decided I am fine anywhere.
Last edited by Miltonian; 2020-06-22 at 08:56 PM.
- Join Date
- Apr 2010
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
Expressing some interest. Getting in on the ground level (and at a time where the gitp forum crash + corona onset doesn't murk everything up) will be much better.
I assume the main limits on faction fluff are 'general medieval fantasy things'? I'm already cooking up some ideas for that.
Edit: And here's the start of my faction (stuff like region number and placement subject to change upon dm review/faction approval).
Faction Title: Nocturnal Hydra
Spoiler: Region Start; Sikan, 280, Alskan (and resources)Region Start Sikar, 280
Geography: Dirt. Dry dirt. People call it sand, and it’s everywhere. Why did we come here? This is the worst possible place to be. Sure, we’ve got our water and our bulls are nice and strong, but holy hell does this place suck lion wang. Yet another day where I regret every decision I’ve ever made that has led my life to this point.
The hills are high, the valleys are low, and everything in between is on a slope. Meaning when you make your bed it’s always scorching hot, standing sideways, or in the dens where the beasts lie.
At least the wildlife is useful for keeping other people away. We typically deal with it by not being out and about during Peak Prowling Hours. Of course, going into the valleys at the dead of night means your nipples turn into ice sculptures and it’s a damn wonder how they don’t break off.
I hate everything about this place except the oasis, which has for some holy reason been declared “The Drinky Hole”. I’m gonna find a reason to rename that, but I spent my political capital on practical crap like the rescheduling.
So yeah, in short. Great tourism scene, five stars. Come by and check out all the trade and attractions. Just don’t move in cause once the honeymoon novelty wears off you’ll learn to despise it the same way I do.
Zora Soulsilver, on the majesty of Alskan, circa three days ago.
People: Night Elves
Trade Posts: Drinky Hole (Great)
Resource: Flavored Water
The people of Alskan hold access to the coveted Drinky Hole. Before they snuck into the oasis during the dark, but now they hold claim full-time and outright. Which is slightly difficult as it means fending off those that would take things, but the wild animals, while ferocious, don't actually need to be fended off because they generally aren't making deliberate attempts to damage infrastructure as long as they have some access to everything.
In truth, the water does more. It tastes really good, and induces magical visions onto any that partake. It can be filtered down into natural water, but otherwise glitters in both sun and empty moon alike. Shamans used this to foretell the future and divine what their animistic deities wanted and would give in return. Also handy as a light source if you absolutely need one, but most nights the dim moonlight is better anyway.
Resource Dependence: Food
While water is readily available (to the point where it even get used in technology), food is not. It’s hard to raise up grass grazing mammals in a barren desert, and the rest of agriculture suffers as well. The situation only grew dire recently, as settling down to guard the oasis limited their ability to forage like vagabonds. Elves don't need much, but they need something.
Once problem for another, as it always seems to be.
Starting Technology: Irrigation
Spoiler: Starting Leader: Zora Soulsilver Stats doneMilitary: 5
Spoiler: Religion (might flesh out more)Animistic, believe in spirits living as gods, but not a very strong belief in that system. A combination of their newest unification coming from a pronounced rejection of all these beliefs, and the fact that no actual magic has graced their hands for over a century, it leads almost to a resentment against that religion. If people were given a sign these things were true however, they could still be very easily convinced. A large group of people still believe in their ways of the past, they just recognize that something went Terribly Wrong, and just want to rebuild what was once lost (as so many things were, before the False Dawn).
Spoiler: People/History:Night Elves. Violet in hue, nocturnal in nature. A relatively small band consisting of a mere thousand. Vastly outnumbered and outmuscled by the surroundings, their biggest advantage lied in the complete lack of a circadian rhythm.
What was once a malignant defect, causing sleep problems and heavy disco ordination, under desperate circumstances and a unified leader caused them to genuinely shift their entire society to live by moonlight. It didn’t hurt that elven eyes were well suited for the transition.
Traveling in packs to hunt prey at exactly the point where it wore out the most allowed them to kidnap young Hydra Worms (unlike Lions which travel in late packs, Hydra Worms are bigger but more solitary creatures). Once tamed, they are given armor and proclaimed Bulls, and each one gets a military unit formed around it for large scale battle.
These creatures start off as small as little tapeworms in size, but they grow, and grow, and grow. Five feet long, then five feet in diameter. Their biggest problem is the fact that they literally cannot stop growing, and eventually starve themselves to death, and are suspected by commonfolk to be blightspawn for this reason despite not sharing many of the other typical characteristics. It's unknown what the true maximum size for them is, there's yet to be a year with one held in captivity that hasn't resulted in it ballooning up at least twofold.
Spoiler: Governance, Societal Structure, and Zora SoulsilverBefore current day, the Night elves were organized into different factions, each pledging allegiance to a specific animistic god and using a combination of omens and games to decide the outcomes of quarrels. A sort of sectarian theocracy, based on utilizing the little magic they had left after the False Dawn.
And then Soulsilver showed up.
It turned out that all of the rituals used to divine their fate had long since lost any real power and were no better than random chance. Zora knew the actual laws of the world though, and could manipulate the results to her favor. Despite not being part of any of the factions, she challenged them all and caused a rapid delegitimization.
Naturally the religious upper caste of the Night Elves did not take kindly to this, and attempt to have her executed on the spot. But their support base was shaken, and Zora had a military force of her own. Soon enough, she established dominion over the entire clan of Night Elves. Setting up a council and a vague hierarchy of government where everything was flipped upside down, with her at the top.
Currently their governmental structure is still very tribal and basic, and after such an upheaval (and making sure to codify laws such that her position can't be as laughably challenged as her predecessors) much of their small society is still writing up their laws.
But it is declared the Nocturnal Hydra, symbolizing a beast represented by none of the animistic spirits, but a new one of their own taming, and their new cultural mode of operation which despite only having been in place for a very short amount of time has lent itself to enough flourishing success that it's already become a favored and potentially permanent part of their culture.
Last edited by Epinephrine_Syn; 2020-07-05 at 10:16 PM.
- Join Date
- Jan 2014
- On the Internet
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
I saw this right as I was about to sleep so I don’t have a writeup prepped or anything, however I would like to stake a claim to region 38 (Mamut) for the time being.
EDIT: if others have an interest in 38 I don’t mind stepping aside
- Join Date
- Sep 2011
- An Abyssal Tower
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
Actually no. We're going for the heroic age, Iliad and Gilgamesh and Beowulf type stuff this time around if my interpretation is correct.
But I could be wrong. I'm not Dark after all.
Last edited by Elemental; 2020-06-22 at 01:46 AM.
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
- Los Angeles
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
Re: Empire: Embers of DawnEmpire! A community world-building game, always recruiting
GITP Blood Bowl Manager Cup
Red Sabres - Season I Cup Champions, two-time Cup Semifinalists
Anlec Razors - Two-time Cup Semifinalists
Bad Badenhof Bats - Season VII Cup Champions
Spoiler: Previous Avatars(by Strawberries)
(by Rain Dragon)
- Join Date
- Aug 2016
- Behind you
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
Arrr, it be plunderin' time....
I'd like to grab 198.
ETA: Might have missed it while skimming, but which stats can be used to explore over water with Sailing tech?
Ready for review.
The Bel-Dan Armada
* * *
Ten-Fuj-Sa-Cos, the Place of the Last Refuge
Spoiler: SummaryThe Bel-Dan Armada
Blurb: Exiles from the far north, pirates, raiders, and slavers.
Leader: Ren-Nor-Baj, Fifth Reren of the Bel-Dan-Ub
Military: 4+1 = 5
Opulence: 3+1 = 4
Ren-Nor-Baj has been Reren for thirty of his sixty-two years, and is nearing the end of his life. His son, Ren-Num-Har, is a Ren in his own right and considered an able successor to the old Reren, though some are skeptical of his greed.
Capital Region: Ten-Fuj-Sa-Cos - 195
HC: Lessons of the Exodus
Starting tech: Sailing
Spoiler: TerrainViewed from the sea, Ten-Fuj-Sa-Cos is a land of gentle rolling sand dunes, stretching up to greet the inland forests. Fish dart in the clear waters, birdsong drifts across the sand, and from time to time a great beast of the jungle reveals itself, emerging from the trees briefly to soak in the sun. As one continues inland, it becomes a place of dense forests and bramble, filled with thorns and grasping undergrowth, but also brilliant flowers and many-colored birds. The smooth, triangle-rooted Pandanus trees press close together, thinning out in places only to be replaced in turn by shrubs, ferns, and berries. Notable among the flora is the indigo plant, or Nal, which is used to dye fabrics (especially sails) a bright blue. Monkeys swing through the trees, jaguars stalk the undergrowth, and birds, snakes, frogs, and insects of all different colors dart among the leaves. Small piles of smoothed stones peer out from the foliage or rise up from the sands, leftover monuments from an earlier age. The coastline bends east and inward as it runs south, approaching ever more closely to the great eastern hills, the Mej-Luo-Daně. No Bel-Dan has ever passed their peaks.
A column of smoke on the horizon reveals itself to be a village; a cluster of rectangular wooden huts, each home to ten or fifteen humans, surrounding a central bonfire. Wooden poles poke out of the sand, marking a path leading to a rock near the shore. Fishermen have drawn up their canoes behind it, resting them on the sand to clean and repair them, while others are out on the sea, eyes alert and spear ready. Children play on the sands or help their parents stitch clothes and prepare food, and men and women alike venture into the jungle in search of berries and fruits.
Spoiler: PeopleThe original inhabitants of Ten-Fuj-Sa-Cos seem to have been humans or very humanlike, but were wiped out around the time of the False Dawn. By the time of the Bel-Dan-Ub's arrival, only a few roaming bands remained, and they were quickly enslaved, hunted in the woods, or driven from the region. The regions population is thus now Bel-Dan: The Sea People.
Relatively short, averaging about five feet as adults, their deep brown eyes and generally well-defined facial features are set in olive skin and flanked by flowing black hair, worn long by both men and women. The average lifespan of those who reach adulthood (sixteen years of age) is about sixty-five years. Men sail and row the great seas in fleets of outrigger canoes, fishing, exploring, plundering, and winning glory, while women gather food, raise children, and administer villages. The Bel-Dan-Ub universally wear loose garments of animal skin around the waist; in addition, women usually wear broad-brimmed straw hats and loose jackets, while men typically wear colorful sashes or bandoliers across their chests. The most distinguished Ren-Ub wear large black hats, set with the feathers of tropical birds, each feather commemorating a victory. Warriors wield stone axes and spears, with skilled slingers being prized and rare and swords almost unheard-of.
The Bel-Dan-Ub build their canoes from strong jungle wood. Most fishing boats are dugouts, made from the trunks of straight trees, and often have small outriggers of wooden planks bound together with vines or fibers, but the greatest ships are the double-hulled canoes of the voyagers and raiders: two canoes attached to each other by a wooden deck in the middle, with great sails of Pandanus leaves dyed indigo, several times the height of a man. These double-hulled canoes, called Bel-Fě-Ub, are capable of long journeys, though usually they ply the coasts seeking plunder.
Bel-Dan marriage is monogamous, though captive concubines and consorts are not unheard-of. Marriage ceremonies are long, and involve the singing of several songs reserved for the event, the recitation by sages of a story from Bel-Dan mythohistory, and the presentation of a dowry from the husband's family to the wife's. Funerals are likewise large affairs when the deceased died of age or illness, with a procession bearing them to certain sacred areas of shoreline, where they are laid under the waves and sent out to sea. However, deaths in lands less well-known to the Bel-Dan are usually unceremonious, as simply dumping the deceased into the water will likely just wash them back up on shore; the body may be burned or simply left behind, with a memento sent into the sea in place of the body.
Bel-Dan music follows a ten-note scale, similar to the Western melodic minor in that both sixths and sevenths are present. The common instruments are drums and the human voice; other instruments, especially wind instruments of any kind, are fairly rare. Singing is not done casually, however; drum beats and song might mark time for rowers, but on land, births, funerals, and the anniversary of the first landing in "Chesma" are the only events fitting for song. Bel-Dan singing is fast and polyrhythmic, with multiple voices weaving in and out, and strictly syllabic, with each syllable getting only one note. Ceremonial "land" music is mostly stepwise, while sailing music has much greater freedom to leap between pitches.
Spoiler: History and GovernmentThe sun rose in the night
Spilling blood across the sky
The Ice rose to meet it
Eagerly rushing forward
Crushing all before it
Following the False Dawn, the far northern home of the Bel-Dan-Ub was overrun by fast-moving glaciers and lethal winters. Habitable land dwindled year by year as the great Ice moved towards the southern sea; whole villages might disappear in a single night as the Ice cut off roads and smothered buildings. The Bel-Dan-Ub retreated to the southern coast, where they eked out an existence among the seals and snow, but the Ice followed them still. Three generations after the Dawn, there was nowhere left to flee but the waters. With no other option, the Bel-Dan-Ub cut down the few remaining trees, building fleets of canoes in which they sailed ever southward. Many obstacles rose against them, but each they overcame in turn, until finally they arrived in the land the natives called “Chesma,” at a place they named Ten-Fuj-Sa-Cos: the Place of the Last Refuge.
At the place of their first landing they raised the Ye-Sheb-Sha, a monument to the Great Sea, their savior, and built houses for the sages who retell the lessons of the Exodus:
Take from the land as the water takes from you.
The strong weather the winter.
Let each help their equals, destroy their lessers, and be destroyed by their betters.
The Ice comes.
Bel-Dan-Ub society is hierarchical but porous, with slaves and prisoners at the bottom, the common Bel-Dan-Ub (farmers, fishers, merchants, etc.) above them, the Ra-Ub (villagemasters) above them, and finally the Ren-Ub (“Captains”) at the top. Slaves can buy their freedom or be freed by their masters, becoming commoners, and Ra-Ub and Ren-Ub are promoted from among the commoners. Ra-Ub tend to come from locally-distinguished families, some of whom have held their position since before the Exodus, and they administer self-sufficient villages of 10 to 30 families, averaging around 10 people per family.
The position of Ren is essentially awarded by consensus to those deemed “worthy,” whether through self-sacrifice, glorious victory, or dedication to one's neighbors. Both sexes are equally as likely to become a Ren, though the title exemplifies two very different sets of accomplishments; success in raids or strong stores of fruits and nuts, plunder and loot or well-housed families. The Ren-Ub hold sway over the "tribes" of the Bel-Dan-Ub, though "warbands" or "armadas" might be a better word, since most Ren-Ub command followers and allies, not subjects. The Ren select a Reren or "Great Ren" from among themselves, who mediates among them.
Spoiler: ResourcesTen-Fuj-Sa-Cos is densely forested, providing vast reserves of Timber for the canoes of the Bel-Dan-Ub. However, these primeval groves are as much a curse as a blessing, as their deep roots and sprawling brambles make any attempts at large-scale agriculture impractical. Food is thus often in scarce supply, and rare is the year in which no village is under famine.
Spoiler: FaithThe Bel-Dan-Ub believe in the natural order of the world. Land rises to be swallowed by water, fish swim, birds fly, and humans create and destroy; these things simply are. The shared Lessons of the Exodus serve as a uniting faith among them, defined by a belief in "might makes right," respect for equals, and resistance to the inevitable futility of the world. The Bel-Dan-Ub generally see each other as equals, with captured slaves as lessers and nature as their betters, and have a strong communal mindset.
The Ye-Sheb-Sha, the Pillar of Landing, is a stone obelisk rising some 75 feet into the air. A place of pilgrimage and the only established Holy Site in Ten-Fuj-Sa-Cos, devoted Bel-Dan travel down the coast to the place where their ancestors first set foot on "Chesma," hoping to gain insight and wisdom from the sages who dwell nearby.
Take from the land as the water takes from you.
The strong weather the winter.
Let each help their equals, destroy their lessers, and be destroyed by their betters.
The Ice comes.
- Join Date
- Aug 2018
- Czechia, Europe
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
- Los Angeles
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
- Los Angeles
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
- Join Date
- Dec 2016
- Back home
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
Before I retire for the evening, I have a rules question, specifically regarding the conquest of capitol regions. Is it possible to lose a capitol region in conquest and not claim a new one?
Additionally, in this section;If you lose your last region as the result of a battle, your Kingdom has been conquered, but your ruler may survive to continue the fight. Your ruler becomes a Rebel Leader and remains in command of any surviving units, heroes, and artifacts.
Rebel Leaders treat all regions they controlled up to two rounds prior to their capital’s conquest as their territory for the purpose of distance.
Edit: Oh, I am also expressing interest. I'd prefer Kiswa region 211, 210, or 192 (in that order, but I really don't care too much).
- Join Date
- Jan 2016
- Brinstar Depths
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
Small stature, big egos.
Spoiler: LeaderWorldmaster Thicket:
Spoiler: GeographyThe Ko have mapped the whole world! Ignore the sprawling plains beyond our borders. They don't exist.
The World, at least as the Ko know it, is comprised of forests and thickets surrounding the tower beneath which they were birthed. It is a primeval place, with many hidden gulleys and dense groves where those Ko who have left the Tower make their homes. However, even those that do take care not to leave the Tower’s sight, for until recently they believed that, once you passed to where you could no longer see it, then you would soon step off the edge of the world.
As for the Tower itself, it is a great, stone edifice erected by the combined might of Ko blood and the mad vision of their creator. It looms over the countryside, providing safety and security to the Ko, a beacon by which they can guide their steps. However, to other tribes, it appears as a tall stone structure placed upon the top of a hill. Both its height and location give it an excellent view of the surrounding countryside, but also expose it to watching eyes.
However, the Tower is the former realm of the Master. While the Ko do make use of it, they live in the Under, a sprawling collection of warrens and burrows that riddle the ground beneath the Tower. The entrances to the Under are heavily guarded with devious traps and confusing mazes, which have become something the Ko implement in all their dwellings.
Other warrens exist, dotted here and there, but none have as of yet left sight of the Tower's peak.
Spoiler: PeopleThe Ko are the most powerful race in the world! They conquered every last corner of it, you see, when they slaved away under the Master’s whip. Now, by virtue of their cunning leader, Tangle the Blight Master, they have risen up and taken their rightful place as masters of all they survey!
The Ko are a short, lizard-like race about the size of a human child when full-grown. Most are a mottled brown in color, but rarely other scale-patterns form. While they do walk on two legs, they move with a hunched-forward, skittish gait like a raptor, eyes always looking out for danger. While they are proud and jeer at the 'tall ones' who 'think they're so much better', the first sign of danger sees them scurrying away.
They delight in all manner of shiny trinkets. It is the gleam that attracts them more than the value. For in the darkness of their homes, glittering things are pleasing to eye. A rich Ko will form a bed from hoarded treasure, nesting in it like a lizard protecting her eggs, and wear all manner of trinkets and ornamentation, though a poorer one will rarely wear anything. Second to all that glistens and gleams are trophies of their past exploits. They delight in showing off their superiority and skill, but having proof on hand ensures the others also appreciate it just as much.
.Spoiler: HistoryWe Ko have a long and glorious history. Much better than yours, because it has Ko in it.
They were created by “the Master”, a mad wizard of “great eldritch power”. In reality, he was a second-rate meddler who learned a few tricks about manipulating animals and tried his hand at making an army. As time went on, he became convinced that the gods of the sky and life were angry at him for meddling with the natural order of things, and so ordered his servants to build him a tower that would protect him from the heavens, where the sky-gods lived, and keep him away from the ground, where the life-gods resided. Afterwards, he sealed himself up in his new quarters, requesting only that his servants bring him food and water while he furiously tried to come up with some spell to escape his “curse”.
The Ko decided they could not abide this tyranny, but were afraid to oppose such a mighty wizard as their master. And so, they settled on setting traps and snares, hoping to kill him without exposing themselves to danger. These traps failed to slay their Master, but did convince him that the gods were indeed trying to kill him. Then, a certain Ko named Tangle stepped forward and poisoned the kaffee that they daily served their Master. When he died, cursing the gods all the while, the Ko elevated Tangle to the grand status of “Worldmaster”, for as far as they knew, he now ruled the whole world. He lived and died a hero to his people, beloved by all, and his son Thicket now rules in his stead.
Yet there are rumors of tribes beyond the sight of the Tower, and Thicket is worried and wants to discern if they seek to become the Ko’s new masters. Indeed, some claim to have seen them, or even have had children stolen by them. This, he has decided, will have to be investigated.
Spoiler: GovernmentThe Ko are the best, but only the best of the best gets to be on top.
The Ko are a competitive meritocracy, where position is decided by personal exploits and general renown. Scheming and plotting are common methods of advancement, and the individual families are split between jockeying for position within the family unit and competing with other families for prominence. However, as they also believe that greatness can be passed down via blood, the Heir of Tangle the Wizard-Slayer, Worldmaster Thicket, currently holds the undisputed position at the very top. Thus, it is he who can make or break a Ko. If he is suitably impressed, the lowest servant can spring into prominence. If a Ko earns his ire, though, they are doomed to a swift and merciless plunge.
Spoiler: ResourceI'll have a triple-pitcher of Kaff, please. And make sure it's fresh-boiled!
Kaffee Beans: The beans harvested from the kaffee plant are bitter, but when brewed have a very pleasing aroma. Additionally, the beans and drink have an invigorating effect, granting those who imbibe it a certain measure of energy and focus. The Ko often use it to stay awake far past when they should have gone to bed. Thus, many have become dependent on its effects to continue functioning.
Spoiler: FaithYes, yes! Your gods are mighty. Which makes it all the more fun to trick them.
The Ko (will) believe in many gods, adopting those of the tribes around them (or, to start with, the gods of the sky and of life that their master believed in). However, they do not ‘worship’ them, per se. Instead, the Ko revere the legendary heroes of their own kind who, through wit, cunning, and guile, got the better of the ‘Long-Legs’ and their gods. Thus, the Ko religion is effectively a form of ancestor worship.
The first and foremost of their heroes is Tangle, now deceased but never forgotten. His magnificent tomb, where the Ko hold their "ceremonies of remembrance", is their home's Holy Site. It is Open at game start.
Spoiler: Additional InformationYou want to know more? Well, okay. It all started when I was getting my scales polished and--
Starting Tech: Masonry
Starting Position: Plop me down anywhere. Trees are preferred, but I can modify the geography section according to where I end up.
Required Resource: SHINIES.
Last edited by Miltonian; 2020-07-08 at 05:44 PM.
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
- Los Angeles
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
Where frequency is equal to 1
Cross-posting these from the Discord for visibility.
Can we assume that we start with the traversal tech for the zone we start in or do we have to discover traversal tech for ourselves?
Is there any specific information we have on the Blightspawn as a set of species or is it a catch-all term for a variety of different monsters - ghouls, nekkers, etcEmpire! A community world-building game, always recruiting
GITP Blood Bowl Manager Cup
Red Sabres - Season I Cup Champions, two-time Cup Semifinalists
Anlec Razors - Two-time Cup Semifinalists
Bad Badenhof Bats - Season VII Cup Champions
Spoiler: Previous Avatars(by Strawberries)
(by Rain Dragon)
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
- Mt. Ebott
Re: Empire: Embers of Dawn
I have no strong feelings one way or the other between regions.“I’m a Terrorist not an idiot.” - Me
- Join Date
- Sep 2011
- An Abyssal Tower
Re: Empire: Embers of DawnAran Viska
Semi-nomadic children of two gods that live in reverence of their dead heroes.
Starting tech: Animal husbandry
Spoiler: RulerThe current Aranin is Talsharn Anviskad, who has served in this position for thirteen years. His reign has not been marked by any incidents of note aside from a notable scuffle with Blightspawn in Iskaran Venat which cost him an eye and earned him the admiration of warriors throughout Aran Viska. However despite this he is a somewhat ineffectual and weak leader, unwilling to impose his will on his subordinates and so the Nari are relatively free to ignore him despite the support he has from the Elders.
Spoiler: GeographyA cold and windswept land, Aran Viska is located between three great lakes in the western portion of Tarandi.
In the local tongue these lakes are Karis Ra, the westernmost lake on which Aran Viska has only a very short coastline, Skarazic Ra, the northern lake across which lies Uldra, and Uracan Ra, the southern lake across which lies the lands of Clann Solais. These large freshwater lakes are home to abundant fish and water fowl and, aside from the Skarazic Ra, are large enough that they avoid freezing over entirely in all but the harshest Winters. During the False Dawn this was a very common occurrence and led to much hardship among those of the Viskari who rely upon the lake fisheries and seal hunting for their livelihoods. The Skarazic Ra does freeze over each Winter, but the ice can be broken through and fishing resumed. A river, the Tallanak, flows from Uracan Ra and empties into Karis Ra and forms much of the southern border of Aran Viska.
Aran Viska itself can be divided into four main geographical subdivisions:
The smallest of these is Talla, a marshy area around the delta of the Tallanak. This area is sparsely inhabited and home to stunted trees and shrubs. During the Winter most of the marsh freezes over, but when the weather is warm it comes alive with millions of migratory birds and flowering plants.
The next smallest is Uraca, a lightly wooded area along the shores of Uracan Ra. The migratory routes of many steppe animals, including mammoths, wild horses, bison, musk oxen and aurochs, pass through this region and provide a valuable opportunity for hunters and predators. Predatory animals include wolves, steppe lions and the occasional bear or sabre-tiger.
North of Uraca is Iskaran Venat, the Dead Forest, a densely wooded region that marks the eastern edge of Aran Viska and grows right up to the shores of Skarazic Ra. Iskaran Venat, despite its name, is very much alive and indeed quite beautiful. It is dominated by conifers and is home to a wide selection of deer and other herbivores that are preyed upon by wolves, bears and sabre-tigers. The name given to Iskaran Venat derives from the ancient and discontinued custom of clearing out sections of the forest and raising great burial mounds for revered heroes. These mounds, long since grown over, are considered sacred and approaching them is a deep cultural taboo backed up by rumours of curses and hauntings. Priests do brave the risk however to commune with the dead interned within.
The remainder of Aran Viska, and it's largest component, is the Viskari portion of the Great Steppe of Tarandi. Though separated from the majority by Iskaran Venat and Uraca, it shares many of the features in common with the rest of the steppe. Large herds, both wild and domesticated, roam the lands, moving with the seasons and to avoid predators.
The Viskari primarily live in Uraca, along the Tallanak and on the Steppe, with smaller populations in Talla and Iskaran Venat. Most live a semi-nomadic life, but permanent settlements have grown in the more mild portions of the country and fishing villages are present on the shores of each of the three lakes. Aside from the fishing villages, most settlements are constructed with the purpose of shelter and safety in mind. They usually consist of a large hall, built on a hill if possible, surrounded by a cluster of small houses that are then surrounded by a palisade. Another palisade is located at some distance from the first and the area between them functions as housing for herds should the need arise. Much more transient settlements are located at three spots along the Tallanak where old riverbeds are scoured for silver. Religious sites are usually megalithic in nature from solitary standing stones to entire circles, the largest of which is the Circle of Heroes, located at the edge of Iskaran Venat. While mound building was popular generations ago, the current tradition is to bury the dead near to a stone circle and mark the grave with a stone. This has led to the largest cemeteries being akin to a forest of standing stones.
Spoiler: PeopleThe Viskari, or the Children of Two Bloods as they are sometimes called, are a people formed from the intermingling of Human and Orcish bloodlines generations ago. The circumstances that resulted in this state of affairs is unknown, the facts having been obscured by time and later legends and will likely only be able to be picked apart by genetic studies and extensive archaeological studies. The legends of the Viskari however state that when the world was young and the gods still walked among their peoples, two gods, one of the Orcs and one of Men fell in love and through their union produced a new people. This has led to a feeling of superiority among them as they are dual-blooded, unlike most who are descended from only a single god.
Viskari stand on average six and a half feet tall with women being slightly shorter and have green or greyish-green skin. Their hair, which is worn long and often braided, is black or brown with shades of dark blond or auburn being very rare. Red is the most common eye colour, though black, blue and green are also seen regularly. Each has a pair of tusks pointing up from their lower jaw, a feature that is more pronounced on males than females. Viskari are adapted well to the cold and avoid the heat as much as possible. Assuming they manage to avoid violence, famine and disease, they can be expected to live in excess of seventy years.
The majority of the Viskari live as semi-nomadic hunters and herders and gain their living from the beasts of the forests and great herds of sheep, cattle and horses. Hunting is considered more prestigious than herding, but ownership of herds is the primary source of wealth and control of the best land for pasturing is often contested by the various chieftains. Near to the great lakes at the edges of Aran Viska people live a more settled life, sustained by the bounty of fish from the lakes and crude farming settlements.
The Viskari are master animal tamers and in addition to their equestrian skill, they are expert falconers and wolf-handlers. The golden eagle is both the most common and most prized bird of prey tamed by the Viskari and is regularly used to aid in hunts of small animals across the plains. Attempts to train lake eagles to aid in fishing have failed. Wolves are preferred for hunting larger prey, whether on the plains or in the forests, but they are also used as guard and companion animals. In addition to these useful examples of animal training, ravens are often kept as pets and occasionally they can be taught to speak simply phrases, in general however they are considered fickle companions and rarely trained to do anything. Their long lifespan makes them a fine companion however and they are much cheaper to upkeep than eagles or wolves.
Clothing among the Viskari is dependent on the seasons. Winter clothing is primarily practical and dominated by furs, thick hides and heavy wool to keep the wind at bay. In the warmer parts of the years such heavy clothing can be discarded in favour of lighter garments. Women often wear light woven shawls dyed a number of bright colours and the men are not afraid to bare their chests. Fur trimmed capes are commonly worn by warriors even in the height of Summer as a mark of status. Throughout the year silver jewellery set with semi-precious stones is commonly used as ornamentation. Males occasionally wear tattoos that serve either as symbols of religious devotion or mark especially memorable kills. More than a few visible tattoos is however viewed as a mark of arrogance.
The principle crafts of the Viskari are silversmithing and weaving, both of which they excel at. While weaving primarily fulfils a practical role in the manufacture of clothing and blankets, geometric patterns made through the use of simple vegetable dyes are in frequent use and often employed to make carpets and ornamental banners with most designs including symbols intended to ward off danger and evil. Silver meanwhile is entirely used for ornament and ritual purposes and each object is made with the utmost care.
Marriage among the Viskari is usually for life with both parents expected to raise any children. Arranged marriages are looked down upon as being against the example set by the Dual Gods and a parent who refuses an adult child's right to marry as they choose without valid reason is shunned. However, as the parents of both would-be newlyweds are expected to provide a dowry, spurious objections are sometimes brought up by those who would risk much prestige by providing a substandard dowry. In addition, it is possible for a man or woman to take another man or woman as a concubine. This is a practice constrained to those with wealth to spare as a concubine who is improperly provided for may leave without consequence.
All Viskari adults are expected to know the basics of fighting, but as they are expected to provide their own equipment this limits their usefulness. Nevertheless, they make good light cavalry armed with short bows, javelin and spears. Full time warriors on the other hand are maintained as part of the retinue of chieftain and are outfitted with proper weapons and hide armour. They spend most of their time hunting, feasting and honing their skill at combat.
The chieftains themselves, or Nari, singular Nar, occupy an relatively informal position in Viskari society. Anyone may claim such a title as their is no legal basis or authority associated with it. In practice however, the chieftains regulate themselves, acknowledging 'rightful' claims and discouraging upstarts. In short, the chieftains decide who is and is not a chieftain and they are mostly concerned with preserving the exclusivity of the title even as they scuffle with one another over prime grazing land and silver deposits.
Despite the disunity and decentralised nature of their people, the Viskari do in fact have a king/queen, the Aranin/Ara. They are chosen by a moot consisting of revered elders that meets to elect or remove the Aranin. The Moot of Elders meets each Midsummer at the Circle of Heroes to discuss matters of importance and advise the Aranin. Membership in the Moot is based primarily on age, as indicated by its title, and wisdom. As wisdom is difficult to gauge the Moot tends to favour the inclusion of priests, sorcerers and other individuals whose knowledge at least can be tested.
The sorcerers and witches of Aran Viska in general live on the outskirts of society, respected for their knowledge of magic, medicine and the secrets of the world, but feared and mistrusted for those same reasons. However whenever a child is sick or a talisman is needed to protect against a curse, their door is the first many will turn to.
Spoiler: ResourceAran Viska, while otherwise not particularly endowed with natural resource is nevertheless rich in Silver which is widely used to make jewellery and ritual implements. Silver is viewed as sacred to the Gods of the Viskari and so it's use as money is considered unlucky. To combat this each object crafted of silver is taken to be blessed and marked with apotropaic symbols. Unmarked objects are regarded with suspicion and widely regarded as cursed.
Isla Mine: Aran Viska
Taruk Mine: Open
Garant Mine: Open
The Viskari have all that they need within their lands, but they desire more than this and seek the riches they have heard of in distant lands. In particular Precious Gems are of great interest to them both for their own beauty and the potential within them.
Spoiler: FaithThe Viskari worship two Gods above all others from whom they claim descent, though they do not deny the divinity of other deities. The Dual Gods are equal and are worshipped as an inseparable pair aside from very specific rites. Each has a high priest/priestess, or Aranin/Ara Sarak, who is ritually married to the high priest/priestess of the other, though they may have other spouses and concubines. Their tenure ends when either of them dies, whether through violence, sickness or age and a new pair of priests are elevated to replace them. Viskari priests, in addition to their religious duties, also practice sorcery, medicine and commune with the dead, though these arts are not restricted to them.
The two Gods of the Viskari are Aer Caladon, God of the Moon and Guide to the Souls of the Dead, and Iskandrazac, the Warrior and Guardian of the Gates of the Underworld.
Aer Caladon is usually depicted as a Human with long black hair crowned with silver horns. In one hand they carry a bow and in the other a lily.
Iskandrazac is usually depicted as an Orc with braided hair. They carry a sword in one hand, a burning torch in the other and are often accompanied by wolves.
Other than these principle attributes their depictions vary based on the skill and intention of the artists involved. Usually each is depicted as male, but female depictions are also permitted as the Viskari believe that the gods can alter their forms as desired.
In addition to the Dual Gods, the Viskari engage in veneration of the dead. They regularly visit the great burial mounds to commune with the great heroes of the past and seek their advice. Of late however the need to seek advice has grown and perhaps more drastic measures will need to be undertaken...
The holiest site of the Viskari is the Circle of Heroes, an ancient stone circle built atop a great mound. It consists of a circle of great standing stones capped with a ring of lintels surrounded by a sparse ring of smaller stones. The primary circle of thirty megaliths is aligned to the orbit of the Moon and the outer ring points to important constellations at midnight of the Winter Solstice. The area enclosed by the inner ring is a sanctuary for the performance of religious rituals and none may enter save through invitation of a priest.
The stones themselves are black or perhaps very dark grey and are streaked with bands of native silver and silver ore that glitter in the light of the ritual bonfire. The inner face of each stone is carved in honour of one of the thirty heroes of legend and their exploits and the lintels form a frieze depicting hunters and animals.
Last edited by Elemental; 2020-07-01 at 01:19 PM.
- Join Date
- Jun 2019
- Rural Victoria, Australia
Re: Empire: Embers of DawnWe do not speak for the trees. We are the trees.
The 9th Sacrosanct Conclave
Spoiler: SummaryRegion Name: Bhaile-Koma (come-to-home)
Brief Description: Vast woodlands populated with woodland animals, shepherded by walking, talking trees.
Resource: Living Wood / Bodies
Region 37: Bhaile-Koma
Spoiler: TerrainThe Deru dwell around the Sannha, the sacred spring at the centre of their lives. The centre of the Sannha is pierced by an island of stone pillars and carved reliefs. A ring of the forest tamed by the Sannha’s waters forms Widhu, where trees are sparse and wildlife docile. The traer groves lie along the banks of the Sannha, where Deru and living wood grows. As the Sannha’s waters flow farther, their influence is lessened, and the forest becomes Fiodh, wild and cruel, trees close and twisted, the undergrowth thick and damp. The Straumr river to the north breaks its banks often, leaving the banks marshy while the waters are low. The Ea, the waters to the south, are forbidding and wide, and mark the reaches of the Deru’s experience. To the west the forest grows ever more twisted and inhospitable as it nears the mountains, and to the east peters out, becoming marshland as it nears the Straumr’s delta.
Spoiler: Inhabitants & CultureIn the beginning, the land was parched and dry. All was desert, all was sand and dust. No life there was on this world, no sound but the wind. All was without purpose. And then the Sannha came. From the sacred spring, water poured. All the water in the world poured from this spring, an unending stream of life-giving sustenance. All was well. The Deru were the first trees, the guardians of all plants and animals that lived, the natural world's stalwart protectors. Then the oceans filled. The Sannha lessened, the waters receded. Fiodh and Widhu shrunk slowly, until they covered only from mountain to ocean. Then the False Dawn came. The Silini tells the tales of the 5th High Councillor, Coir-Dhearg Stigali (Red-Bark Stalwart), a Kastania, who led the fight against the first blightspawn, shepherded the beasts of Widhu through the Ashen Skies, and began the lining of the rivers with barriers of wood. During the Ashen Skies, Widhu contracted further, and as the waters of the Sannha receded, whole generations of saplings were lost as the traer groves died. The Deru were nearly wiped out. Eventually, the waters stabilised. The Deru fled the recession of the damp no longer, and certain their new home was where they belonged, they came to refer to what damp land remained as 'Bhaile-Koma' - the home-coming. The Sannha was smaller now, so such that their number went from tens of thousands before the Dawn to less than 300. In the next two centuries they slowly grew, reaching their current numbers around 1100, and starting to agitate at the food shortage. There is a delicate balance to be struck, as the Deru do need to eat, and while most commonly they subsist on the bodies of dead animals, the population is growing larger than the herds can long-term support.
Now, while a multitude of beasts and plants inhabit Bhaile-Koma, the Deru are the protectors and custodians of all within. The Deru are treefolk, given thought and mind, motion and movement, vigour and speech by the waters of the Sannha. They abide in small family groups called groves, facets of the 8 branches, the species of Deru. These branches each have their own traditional roles, and while there are those that leave the branch of their birth and seek to join another, these are exceptionally rare. Slow to grow, the Deru are typically awake and aware for about a century before they take root, although it varies between branches, and slowly lose their awareness, becoming part of the woods.
Spoiler: The 8 Branches of the DeruThe Fuinn, of the Askr tree, are tall, spry hardwoods, elastic an strong. They grow up to 60ft tall before taking root, and are aggressive protectors, crashing through the twisted trees to snatch any trespasser coming from the western reaches, cracking their spine and tossing them to feed the undergrowth. In times of danger they are grown in great numbers, in the most potent traer groves, but otherwise are a relatively low priority branch, as the spawn from the west are not overly troublesome, and few enough that the whole of the branch can usually come together to meet a significant threat.
The Fea, of the Beyki tree, are high-branching, smooth silver-grey barked Deru, hardwoods but less so than the Fuinn. They protect the southern Ea coastline from dangers, the spawn that crawl infrequently from the waters. Their family groups are smaller than the Fuinn, as each grove covers more territory than their larger kin. They typically reach around 55ft before taking root. As the threats from the seaboard have declined steadily since the last High Councillor returned to the lake, so too have the Fea, as the need for their number wanes.
The Castain, of the Kastania tree, are shepherds and herders of the wildlife of Widhu, stooping and broad, reddish-brown barked and gentle. They reach around 25ft before taking root, but spread their canopy wide, as they traverse the sparsely-wooded Widhu. In peace they care for the animals within, and in conflict they direct these charges against invaders bold enough to pierce through the twisted copses of Fiodh.
The Nysas, of the Syrti, are custodians of the trees of Fiodh, sharing their role with the Seiceamain. They are the least sentient of the Deru, barely above the trees they protect. Their bark is gnarled and often peeling, gray-brown, and their voices barely more distinguishable than the groan of aged trees. They reach around 30ft before taking root, and do so around 120 years old.
The Leamhain, of the Almtret, know the secrets of the living wood, growing both this wood and the saplings of young Deru in the traer groves of the Sannha, and working the wood into whatever the Deru have need of. Rarely this takes the form of decoration, but more commonly reinforcements of the mechanisms to save what forest can be saved from the perennial flooding of the Straumr. They are golden-brown hardwoods, smooth-barked, and reach around 60ft tall before taking root around 140 years of age.
The Seiceamain, of the Platanlonn, are custodians of the trees, sharing their responsibilities with the Nysas. Where the Nysas are the guardians of the trees of Fiodh, the Seiceamain nurture Widhu, the non-sentient plant-life within at least. They keep the border between Fiodh and Widhu clear, gently guiding the plants along the edge to stark contrast. As a result, the change from sparsity to choking brush is stark. They reach around 45ft before taking root, and have grey-brown, pale and knotted bark, close kin to the trees they nurture, although slightly less so than the Nysas. They take root after around 90 years.
The Wattlea, of the Vattur, are the keepers of Pillar Isle, at the centre of the Sannha, curators of the Deru’s oral history, responsible for calling the Sacrosanct Conclave in times of great peril, and longest-lived before root of all the Deru, the last of whom to live through the False Dawn taking root only a decade ago. While the history is already becoming mythic, it features alongside the exploits of the High Councillors in the ballads of the Silini. They are squat, small golden-leaved Deru, thin-branched and reedy-voiced. They can reach up to 20ft before taking root.
The Silini, of the Kinsubr, are bards and conductors, singers and poets, the touters of the Deru’s oral histories, alongside ballads of love, loss, tragedy and valour. They are very few, generally less than 20 at any one time, flowering white through red, green-brown barked soft-woods. They bear small stoned fruit, feeding the bird choruses that form their supporting performance. Their singing is low, haunting, echoing through the woods, the voice of the earth itself. They reach a mere 15ft in height before taking root at around 80 years old.
Spoiler: GovernmentEach branch of the Deru decides matters pertaining to all their groves in councils of elders, councils of 8 in deference to the number of the Sacrosanct Conclave. This council of the eldest of each branch meets only in times of threat to the whole of the Deru, usually to elect a High Councillor, a dictatorial figure empowered to act as they see fit to destroy the threat, and ensure the Deru are ready for the next. These figures, of which there have been 6, are titans of myth, the most revered individuals in Deru culture. The ninth Sacrosanct Conclave has just been called, to address sightings of several hostile and potentially dangerous sentient figures along the Straumr, from north, east and west. The Leamhain bring a new idea to the table - surely Living Wood can be used to traverse the waters?
Spoiler: FaithThey revere both the Sannha as their life-giver and their ancestral leaders, the High Councillors, most of whom are now semi-mythical heroes. Most of the ballads of the Silini revolve around the tenures of these High Councillors, or the time before the False Dawn. While they revere the Sannha, they do not believe it sentient, nor know what caused it to be. It has always been, and so it will always be. This is known. As such, there is not a concrete faith the Deru follow. Most natural phenomena and the environment they dwell in are explained as the creations of children of the Sannha, their term for deities and beings of a higher power. None of these are revered by the Deru, as they believe they were born of the Sannha's waters, nothing more nor less.
Pillar Isle is the holiest place within the twin river valley. Here the Sacrosant Conclave gathers, and the Wattlea that keep the knowledge of the Deru's past on stone tablets conduct ritual reverence of the spirit of the Sannha, believed to perpetuate the cycle of rebirth and death that sustains the existence of the Deru.
Holy Site: Pillar Isle [Open]
Spoiler: ResourceLiving Wood; saplings planted near the Sannha in traer groves, uprooted after three years of growth, before the mind develops, but still enough to permit moulding and sculpting by the crafters of the Creathach. This wood, as long as it is kept damp, can be very slowly moulded and sculpted practically indefinitely, and solidifies in a week if left unwatered.
Trading Post #1: Deru
Trading Post #2: Open
Trading Post #3: Open
At present though, the Deru are facing an impending food shortage. Their herding is insufficient to feed the resurgent population, so the forest requires once-living beings - either recently-dead or still living - to feed upon.
Starting Tech: Animal Husbandry
Last edited by Ausar; 2020-07-08 at 01:29 AM."Into the Jaws of Death, into the Mouth of Hell;" (Tennyson)
So shall you tread, once you pass the precipice of villainy.