Bet you've never seen the primal creator gods turning on their own children and creation. ;)
Reminiscient of the titans perhaps, but there weren't the same primal forces the Elder Gods are.
You do have a point, but more one relating to virtually all mythologies. The mythological landscape of earth is so rich and varied, it's virtually impossible not to make a new one simply variations and combinations of ones done before.
My focus was not so much on originality in all aspects, as it was for generating original storylines. This myth not only gives an explanation for why orcs et al are so hated, but also gives them a real legacy - they are created from the real creator gods, not the 'wannabees' (as orcs would see it) who have supplanted them.
I also like the fact that there are races and spirits (and possible, a few beings still alive in Éran today) that are older than the gods and who abide by a different celestial order than the ones the young gods have made.
You may also note (or at least, you will as my 'gods of éran' codex develops), there are no traditional 'gods of darkness', except perhaps Tarun who is a fairly minor deity. The real threats and those who fill the role normally filled by 'god of annihilation and destruction - mwhuahahaha' are the elder gods, who are not evil by nature, but simply because their cosmic aims, on a cosmic scale fairly neutral, are in grand opposition to all life on Theras.
anyway, just a few of the thoughts behind the idea. Perhaps I should as a general rule post a commentary right after the post, explaining my thinking. I want to share those as much as the finished product. :-D Go to Comment
well spotted, Pariah. I made the following comment to someone else about it:
"The Shining Path was inspired as a bit of a mixture between Buddhism and medieval christianity.
It is intended as a distinctively counter-political and counter-cultural movement, which is how it has largely preserved its 'purity' of morals among its dedicated followers. There isn't really much benefit in terms of political power or anything of the sort to be gained from associating with them, which keeps out the sycophants and pursuers of power.
The main exception to this is the Kingdom of Amrond where the Shining Path defines the politics and culture - Here is a ripe field for all sorts of religious corruptions and zealotry getting out of hand (it is also the only thoroughly religious country in the region). That is is situated right next to the most 'wizard-infected' (their pov) country in the region which has developed into this over the same timespan as Amrond's religious development makes for some interesing dynamics."
about the 'religion of the intellectual elite'. Yes, of sorts, though not really the noble classes.- It is more a culturally revolutionary one, in that they are trying to break down the usual classes and hierarchy through the power of knowledge. They are very much at the front of a movement where knowledge is not just the exclusive providence of the rich and noble. Go to Comment
The Crown of Brennèl has been the royal insignia of the rulers of Brennèl ever since it was given to its legendary founder Devon Bren I by the dwarves of Amlaithir, over 1300 years ago.
A shining silvery surface, the crown is obviously a piece of outstanding craftsmanship. Delicately wrought, with fine spires protuding above the head, one delicate spire protuding downwards at the front, covering the centre of the forehead and a thin metal net covering the head and around the ears to help keep it firmly in place. Its only decoration is a diamond at the front.
It's symbolism of the sovereignity of the Emperor is more than just figurative however. It is made of Dragon Silver and effectively protects the wearer from any kind of mind-affecting magic, demonstrating that the emperor answers to no one, by mundane or magical persuasion.
In Brennèl, the crown has given rise to the saying to have 'an Emperor's mind', indicating someone stubborn and unruly, who clearly won't be swayed by anyone. Go to Comment
The magic needs to contact or attempt to penetrate the silver somehow. The crown in the example above is pretty useless against a fireball. But, it protects the upper head entirely, making the mind impenetrable to magic. Go to Comment
To be honest, I was never a big fan of demographics and largely ignored them for a long time. Certainly they will never be allowed to obstruct a storyline in my campaign. If I need a high level character in a tiny village, I'll place one there.
The"Medieval demographics made easy" article linked to above, however changed that, as I found that dablling with the numbers opened up a multitude of considerations I hadn't paid attention to before.
My "four maxims for world bulding" article (http://www.strolen.com/content.php?node=2606) stresses among others, making connections in relation to aspects of it.
While the numbers in themselves are not neccesarily useful, it does lead to some interesting considerations for a setting: How many people actually receive training to a degree they qualify as one what you'd call the adventurer classes (personally, I think 'adventurer' is a very arbitrary concept. If anyone describes themselves as such in my game, people will perceive them as dilettantes).
A martial society will probably have more trained warriors than your average kingdom. Personally I think when you look at ancient Sparta, you have a society that is such a thourough concept, it would fit right into a fantasy setting as a 'fantastic' but still very neat society. Everyone's a trained warrior? ok... It also impacts considerations about magic guilds. It gives you an estimate of how many wizards there might be active in a given kingdom. Sufficient for large guilds? if not and you have one, it is worth considering what special conditions there are that makes magic so accesible to the common people.
Hvaing such a framework also gives you some idea of just what it means for characters (or NPCs) to progress to the higher levels. Can a character really progress to the 18th level and still be generally unknown? No. On the contrary, they likely become veritable celebrities, at least in the areas they have frequented the most, rulers should be offering them lands and titles as the common people will want such distinguished people to govern them far more than your average nobleman. They will be feeling the pressure of taking up responsibility in society; wizards will receive petitions to take up seats as head of mage guilds, fighters to accept leading positions in the armies and so forth.
In the same way, NPCs should follow the same pattern. Contrast it to Forgotten Realms, where you can have random 20+ level wizards inhabiting cities and towns that don't really impact much more than their local community. Such people should be known far and wide in countries far from where they live. Fame and high standing is price to pay for power and should be a difficult bullet to dodge.
Of course all of this is fairly superfluous if you don't demonstrate them in your game. Personally, I make sure that my players know where they came from and if they have any responsibilities concerning family, etc. A wizard coming from common ranks will, in a setting where they are not that common, probably be brought up with a sense of expentancy and responsibility. the one the family have vested their hopes and finances in. Go to Comment
The Menagerie Society/ Organizations (Criminal/Espionage)
I like the idea. It's an excellent cover for a group of assasins.
As is often the case with worshipping evil gods, I feel their raison d'etre is somewhat missing. What is the motivation for them to worship this death god and commit such brutalities? What does this death god have to offer them (or threaten them with) that compels them to join his cult? Go to Comment
My first character was with basic D&D, an old cowardly and greedy 1st level wizard (so greedy he was looting goblins for arrows to sell later).
Spent most of the time hiding. Did excel himself by figuring out the crystal statue was animated and convinced the others to throw out the warlock's tower.
Then, at the top of the tower, eager to be the first to get his hands on the loot or battle the warlock (the one magic missile had been saved for the final enounter) he ran first up the stairs, sprung a trap that fired a poisoned arrow at him and failed his save. Never got cast a spell or engage in combat. He died a greedy death on his first adventure. Go to Comment
Minor Cultural Modifier: The culture believes, for the soul to leave the body, the corpse' eyes must be open. So any member of that culture takes care any dead body they find has its eyes open. Doubly true for those they kill themselves, for then the corpse will surely rise as an undead hunting him.