A very good take on the First Woman being reborn, spiritually, as one of the first Oraki; I like how she took to the name and made it her own, becoming a great deal more than "just" a free woman.
The idea of her becoming a mother-goddess kind of figure intrigues me as well; I could see, as the Oraki race grows, generations who've never met the early Oraki beginning to revere them as figures of myth and legend; if the Ironspirit Clan is extant in this universe, perhaps in time the veneration might even raise Lilith and the other early Oraki to a semi-divine status. (And wouldn't it be interesting for Grandfather Adan to meet them then...) Go to Comment
So, this plasma bolt, I am assuming that when the spins cancel out, there's a flash of plasma cloud that scorches things unlucky enough to be in the area, if not outright vaporizing the poor schmucks?
So, I could see this being of use to Oraki; would they be able to power it with their internal power cells? And Salvorathan might not find the malfunction if they've got a cooling thing between them and the power pack, since radiation is far less worrying to them...
Kudos for the bit about how the mechanism for containing the bolt was devised. I am quite amused. Go to Comment
I'm mostly going on the idea of it being dense enough to give a hydrodynamic spin; sufficient mass that, when freed of confinement, being superheated to a plasma form, it flashes out in a small-radius burst of plasma before the heat dumps into the surrounding area and it cool back down to a lot closer to background temperatures. Go to Comment
Ahh, politics. While I admit the description of the events are slightly confusing, I get the idea behind it, and it strikes me as all too common a thing among the politically active and backstabbing kinds of races; the deal-makers, secure in their offices, picking the politically-smarter choice, even if it means some extra numbers on that death statistic... And then campaigning to ensure the better choice is treated as hazardous somehow.
Rumors, no doubt, abound as to the supposed flaws of these things. Go to Comment
Cleric Poppy - This relative of the common poppy, when used to create a salve, lends a faintly metallic hue to the result; the effect allows the unseen to be seen when smeared on the eyes. When burned by itself, cleric poppy is mildly hallucinogenic, and is occasionally included in censers during religious ceremonies.
Goblin Grass - This short, unpleasantly-hued grass lends a bitterly smoky taste to elixirs it gets mixed in; it sharpens the imbiber's ability to see in the dark, but overuse can permanently dilate the eyes and lead to a goblin-like tendency to shun bright lights.
Saintweed - This fernlike plant, if eaten raw, causes a strong sense of peace to overcome the user, but also induces a strong lethargy, and if overused can cause death by way of heart failure. Rendered down and prepared as an alchemical powder, it induces mild lethargy and calmness in users; the sense of tranquility makes it a popular component in medicinal elixirs, where it adds a mildly sweet flavor. Go to Comment
Bleeding Marsh Root - A tuber found in wetlands, noted for the reddish fluid it oozes when broken or cut. Used in salves for wounds, the pungent aroma of wet earth arises from salves made with this plant, and the texture has a certain overly gelatinous feel.
Ironfeather Fern - This lacy, delicate-looking plant may be one of the most deceptive in the world, as the thin fronds are nearly impossible to bring lasting harm to, save through use of a knife to cut them free, and then hours spent with the mortar and pestle to grind the dried fronds to a powder. Used in elixirs meant to grant agility or fortitude, this plant lends the mixture an unpleasantly acrid flavor that lingers for quite some time.
Vinegar Wasp Wings - The unpleasant little flying insect that this ingredient comes from is best known for the acidic burning of the sting it delivers, and the horrible aftereffects on taste and smell, rendering all like vinegar for days thereafter. The wings provide a similar effect, lending an extremely potent vinegar smell and flavor. Particularly strict societies favor it for punishment for young children, often unaware that the wings have a tendency to dull the imbiber's wits for a time; over long periods of regular ingestion, this dimming of mental capability can become permanent.
Vinegar Wasp Stings - Said to be an aphrodisiac, and as such often coveted by those who seek greater ardor. Alas, a side effect of the stings is that they produce a distinct vinegar aroma when the imbiber sweats, and they render anything made with them bitter to the point of astringency.
Serio Weed - This brilliantly hued plant is often found growing wild amid more welcome foliage, and is cultivated but rarely. When properly prepared and added to powders meant for the censer or brazier, the smoke of the Serio Weed has an oddly pleasant smell, similar to freshly cut hay; the effect is such that it opens the minds of those who breathe of it to inspiration. Often used by artists looking for their muses, or in religious rituals to open the faithful to divine revelations. Go to Comment
Sunder Root - This thick, dense tuber grows most readily in rocky terrain, and can be eaten if the bitter mineral-laden taste can be dealt with. Alchemically, the juice of the root can be used as a base for a potent acidic elixir, the mashed pulp of the root makes for a sharply metallic addition to potions which fortify the bodies of the imbiber, and the wood-like above-ground portion can be used in salves to toughen the skin.
Henge Blossom - This marvelous flower is only found in sacred places of natural origin; the petals lend a mild cinammon flavor to elixirs brewed with them, imparting a connection to nature such that the speech of both animals and plants becomes possible for a short time, while the juice of the tender stem can be used to replace fae blood in recipes which call for it, adding a milky flavor and texture. Go to Comment
Thank you. Siren grumbled that it wasn't quite Epic in the sense of something like, say, Monsoon and Typhoon.
Siren thus is directly responsible for the presence of the 'metagods' in Kuramen, which are on the level of Arathena (and may include Arathena, since he's apparently taken that part of the world development...) - and the description of magic, which explains why Whisps are feared, why there's High Magic with the Divine (like this submission) but low magic with the mortals. Go to Comment
For the record: this is a Scroll mainly for organizing the ideas, rough drafts, and concepts of Kuramen. It was, originally, locked, but then I started bouncing ideas with Siren and now we're more or less both battering it senseless.
A rough listing of the gods of the world, updated as more are settled into place.
-Gods in Kuramen-
Primordials: These are the primal entities of existence, fundamental concepts even deeper than the elemental level. Just by coming into existence, they caused resoanance with the potential in Kuramen's dimension-space, calling those things which resonated with them from Potential into Being, giving a vague sense of form to the former void of raw potential. Each of the three both balances and opposes the other two, in various senses, giving rise to a very dynamic balance. The Great Mother, an entity of Life and Change; the Hollow, an entity of Destruction and Death; and the Shining One, a thing of creation and order, all aware on a level that cannot be readily grasped by mortal minds. The Great Mother is the bringer of Life, Change, Entropy, and the potential for growth and the hope for greater and better things. The Hollow is the bringer of nothingness, destroying and shrouding things in shadow and the ultimate peace. The Shining One is the bringer of order, creating strata and classifications, leaving the core essence untouched while giving it purpose and form. Together, the three of them create the base of the world, and are the headwaters of the force of magic.
Metagods: Six elemental forces, born at the moment the Primordials made Potential become Existence. Far more comprehensible to mortal minds than the Primordials, these are the literal incarnations of the forces they are gods of; as long as the concepts exist in the world, the metagods must also exist. Wind/Destruction, Earth/Creation, Fire/Change, Water/Stasis, Life/Revelation, Death/Secrets - these are the raw elementals forces and concepts which the metagods embody; it is from their existence that the raw stuff of the world formed, and it is their influence on the essence of the Primordials which brought about the birth of the next 'tier' of Existence, and thus made possible the world in which mortals dwell. This is generally the most powerful level of magical energy a mortal can hope to have the potential to tap.
The Lost Gods, Abominations, and Dragons: The first tier of Existence where corporeality is as much a component of their nature as their divinity, these entities are the result of the metagods influence on the energies of the Primordials. Divine energy given corporeal, physical form, these are the gods of things, rather than the incarnate avatars of them. The Lost Gods were born of the Great Mother's essence, and are the most familiar to the mortal races. The Abominations were born of the Hollow, and the whispers of their existence lurk eternally in the hindbrains of mortals. The Dragons were born of the Shining One, and so it is that the two branches of Dragons play an ever-more-complex Game to determine the future of both True and Far Kuramen. Their relics are often the cause for the fourth and final tier of divinity, the duality of the Mortal Gods. Far easier to tap than the metagods, in terms of magical power, but also far more focused in nature than the metagods.
Mortal Gods: The Mortal Gods are the closest to mortals, as their name suggests, and for good reason; the first branch of this tier of divinity stems directly from mortal will and mortal belief; ideas, given veneration and worship, gain an awareness and divine power of their own and begin to answer prayers and watch over their followers. Young gods of this form are often nearly unaware of existence outside of their specific facet of existence, but often they become more complex as they age and need to struggle against other gods for mortal support; without it, they wither and die. The other form of Mortal Gods are true mortals who have, in some way or another, transcended mortality to approach divinity; most often this is a result of the artifacts of the more primal gods, which tend to find 'successors' if the role of the former owner happens to be vacant. Mortal gods are the weakest level which may be tapped by mages in an attempt to fuel spells, but the narrow focus of mortal gods tends to limit what can be done with this power level, necessitating the risk of trying to tap the higher levels of divinity. Go to Comment
Firstly, there is no distinction between 'arcane' and 'divine' magic in Kuramen; all magical energy descendeds directly from the gods, primarily as a side effect of their mere existence. Each tier of divinity holds a wider range of potential than those below it, all the way up to the primordials, but each tier is also exponentially riskier than those below it. The analogy in use is that of trying to fill a fine china teacup with water pouring over the Niagra Falls; it can be done, but there's always a significant chance of having your cup smashed or washed away by the force of the falling water. Low-tier divinities - the Mortal Gods - are relatively easy to draw power from; it's like trying to catch water bouncing off a rock ten feet or so above you. There's only so much you can accomplish with power from, say, the Goddess of Ninjas Hiding In Shadows, though; the majority of it directly involves ninjas and hiding in shadows. Thus, mages tend to look higher on the divine totem pole, for more primal sources. The Lost Gods, Abominations, and Dragons provide a wider array of power - Goge, these days, can be tapped for anything relating to the concept of Slaughter - but the amount of power is also a lot higher, and there's more chance that the water falling from this halfway-point on the waterfall is going to smash your cup and cause a magical disaster, which will almost certainly involve the mage exploding in colorful ways. Still, an experienced mage can use this level of power fairly safely, if willing to accept the limitations on the potential use of the power sources. Some, of course, don't like this idea, and try for the next step up the divine ranks, drawing off the elemental metagods, who embody vast concepts. The Goddess of Death and Secrets has a lot wider range of potential than the God of Slaughter or the Goddess of Ninjas hiding in Shadows, after all. The problem is that at this level, you're trying to catch water that fell right off the lip of the falls and hasn't stopped since. The odds of your cup being smashed, swept away, or otherwise wrecked in a disastrous fashion go up dramatically; mages who screw up while tapping this level of power are why mages in general tend to travel in packs - otherwise, panicky mobs may form spontaneously to lynch them before they do something and blow up forcefully enough to destroy the entire town. And again, there are those who aren't satisfied with this level of power - and so they go for a climb, taking their cup up to the top of the falls and the river thundering along toward the edge, so they can try to pull straight off the Primordials themselves. The problem with this is that, from a metaphoric standpoint, the mage is right in the middle of the river. Getting swept off the edge to be smashed into kibble is pretty much a certainty, and some spectacular disasters have resulted from the few mages who had such insane confidence as to try it.
Whisps are a race that basically resulted of the gnomish imperative to test for magical ability; as the tests had a tendency to cripple and/or kill those who lacked magical potential, over the generations this selectively removed the non-magic-capable gnomes from the species, and the interbreeding of the magic-capable ones eventually resulted in a race which has innate sorcerous abilities. Unfortunately, to fuel these abilities they need magic, and the abilities are so entwined to their nature that they die without having magic to feed on. Since they're also still a mortal race, there's a marked tendency to have thaumaturgic disasters result. Whisps tend to be feared as walking time bombs as a result, given the propensity for exploding in colorful and highly deadly blasts of magical backlash.
Goblins are a subrace of dwarves, curious and prone to experimentation, who are taking the basic thaumatechnology known to most races (a sizable portion of which was pioneered slowly and cautiously by the dwarven race) and pushing it forward. This tends to result in all manner of mishaps, but the nature of thaumatech is such that the disasters tend to be smaller-scale than raw magical experimentation. Basic thaumatechnology, to use the waterfall analogy of magic, is the rain barrel someone set out where all the mist off the falls comes down. You may slip on the rocks and hurt yourself, but it's a lot safer and easier than trying to get water off the falls, and best of all, you can pay someone else to bring you water from the barrel. Experimental thaumatechnology, on the other hand, rapidly begins to look like steampunk gone wrong. Ouroboros may be partly to blame for this, due to the Locastus submissions I've been reading... Go to Comment
That particular bit of mythology was, indeed, a major inspiration for this; and I have a weird fondness for devising strange and oddball undead, so it was inevitable that this would happen sooner or later.
The physicality results from a random late-night thought when I was wandering by the Remaking the Undead codex - undead are almost invariably thing of fear and death and the like; yet I've read tales where there are undead who you can't really help but pity. So I applied the latter to the former and we get the Unclean Ones. Go to Comment
It seems like a fair bit of justice, to me; the trick would be keeping the Unclean One under control while the graverobber is caught and brought in; not to mention that a wily graverobber could easily divest themselves of whatever the Unclean One seeks and get away unharmed, or if a fair combatant could defeat it and condemn the soul therein to oblivion. Of course, you could always tie the thief down...
I'm glad you like them; too often I see the undead as being nothing more than monsters to fight, so the Unclean Ones are an inversion of it - to be pitied, and helped to their final rest, rather than fought and destroyed. They only rise up because they can't pass on without their funerary rites, after all... And if given them, they gladly return to their resting place once and for all. Go to Comment
A few creatures, really. On the one hand, you have the sad state of the zombie, a rotting thing dragging itself back from the grave, usually at the behest of someone or something else; then you have the shades which stood on the riverside, lamenting that they had no coin to pay the toll across to the afterlife. Mix them together one way and you get a ghost terrorizing the living. Mix them another way, and you get the Unclean Ones... Go to Comment