The Riddle of the Seal
That the seal may be split in twain is a legend known to a relative few. It has been said that splitting the seal will split the world. Some believe it to be a literal sundering of the world while others believe it would mirror a division of the faith. Others have conjectured that the two halves represent the division between this world and the world of spirit; they hypothesize that a split of the Seal would cause a rift between those two realities and bring chaos to the world.
The Seal itself appears to be rather simple in nature when viewed from afar. When one attempts to follow the details it appears complex. The simple spiral is actually made up of a number of thicker lines intersected by a number of smaller ones. Hagartha used it as a focus for spiritual meditation and believed that he came to know something of the nature of Ahkti by pondering these lines.
Following the lines with ones fingers reveals that the lines are not solidly connected but are rather pieces of wire threaded around each other. Pressure on various parts causes other parts to shift. To Hagartha, this symbolized the interconnectedness of all. Accordin to Hagartha's teachings, this shows how we cannot affect the smallest thing in life without touching a web larger than ourselves. He used this as the basis for a philosophy of peace and respect toward others.
The two halves are connected by a bisecting line which is made up of a great multitude of these variously sized threads. Putting pressure on a point of one half of the Seal will cause a shift in the threads of this bisecting line which will then be reflected in a change in the other half of the Seal.
The legend of the puzzle is this: if the bearer of the Seal were to place pressure upon an intricate series of points on the Seal, in a specific order with specific differences in pressure, the lines in the middle would slowly unwind and cause the Seal to split into two mirrored halves.
Most bearers of the Seal have been vehemently opposed to solving the puzzle, feeling it would undo the divine power of Ahkti. A few have tried, however, but with no luck. In the modern age it is often a source of speculation, especially in the argument between mechanical and animistic world views.
Reading a few Ouzquin Dremorix subs beforehand helped me place this in a larger context. Please, please keep writing these subs... I only have a few more before I run out :)
The graphic is really cool.
While this is not a traditional dragon for the fantasy genre, I would argue that a dragon should be a powerful force, elemental or otherwise. To me this sort of cuts to the heart of what a dragon should be about.
I like how the elements of the desert play such an importance in this setting; it seems very fitting.
No question for me: 5/5Go to Comment
The way events were unfolding, I thought Jacob was seeking entrance to the other world so that he could chase down the murderers and make them pay in the afterlife. I was a bit surprised to learn that he himself did not really understand what he was searching for. (A meta search?)
The moment where he determines that he himself is a killer who must pay fits in neatly with the genre, me thinks. I like it.
I am very glad you went with the Lady Delores over your original Lord Briggs idea. She may be an old woman who worries about getting dirt on her dress but she's a hell of a lot scarier.
Her story is tragic, of course. You never quite know how people will change under that kind of trauma. But then again, maybe she would have developed that side anyway, and James got off lucky.
The tiny arena is creative, horrifying, and really a little bit funny (albeit in a macabre way.) I kinda want to find a way to use that.
The one thing I'm not sure of is how she manages to get away with so much. With all the witnesses to her arena, including the ones who decided never to come back, her level of cruelty must at least be whispered about. In addition, I can't imagine her treatment of the prisoners could be kept completely secret, since so many disappear in her care. I suppose this wouldn't matter if the nobility have carte blanche to do such things, but part of her charm for me is the nonthreatening old lady shtick as a front for secretly being the scariest person around.Go to Comment
I can respect the passion that went into this. These characters are obviously very special to you and I appreciate your desire to share them with the rest of us.
As with Darkstand, I'm not at all concerned with the spelling or the grammar. Those are not as important to me as the idea.
There are some intriguing elements to the ideas you present here; I only wish there was more to it. If there's any suggestion I would make, it is this: you have the core of an idea but it needs more details to make it feel complete.
I tried to make this sub very focused on Fena, so while there are references to what goes on in the wider world, very little is explicitly said about it. Since I didn't have a particular setting in mind when I wrote this, I made the background details vague enough that they could be adapted to whatever the GM is using. As such, you are correct that many details are left out.
The binding of Fena could have been a good bit of narrative fluff to add. I'm sorry I didn't think of it.
A few ideas about the magic: It could be that magic waxes and wanes in this setting. Thus as it wanes and gets harder to use, its application becomes rare and fewer attempt to keep the traditions alive. Maybe Karilea was not the first to attempt to bring Fena back but, with magic waxing once again, was just the first to be able to tap into the power to do so.
Karilea's desire to free Fena was not random. I think it is common for some people to look to the distant past and seek a connection with it or to try to bring some of it into the present, especially when they feel lost or that life provides little spiritual meaning. Look at all of the various real world neopagan traditions that are around today.
Fena from the past would fit right into a high fantasy campaign but the modern version was designed specifically for a setting with little magic (or at least a world where magic is only beginning to come back.)
Thanks for the thought provoking feedback!Go to Comment
Good point about the light details. I wrote this up as part of my 8-in-8 challenge, meaning I had less than a day to work on it. So it wasn't intentional so much as the consequence of a lack of time to fully flesh it out.
With the changing cultures and beliefs in Ahkti/Aktagarti over time, it would be difficult to present a singular set of official dogma. It is something to ponder, however, and I may add at least an overview of some of these variations in the future.
This seems like good flavor for the setting. I don't know if I'd use it directly; it's possible to make a Macguffin out of it, but I don't know that I would. I'd be more likely to make the location, or the road to it, a setting for conflict involving the two dominant religions.
Of course, I could certainly see Trianarianists attempting to destroy such a tangible symbol of the dead prophet.Go to Comment
On reading this updated version I am upping my vote. The background made the character more real to me. His hidden skills in sorcery and necromancy, used as a tool in his battle for supremacy of his religion over the other, also speaks to the nature of the faithful in your world.
However, I do agree with the points made by valadaar. Saying "1 in 10" sounds like the simple mechanics of a die roll, which pulls me out of the story. I really like the idea of John in turmoil over being possessed by a spirit which both helps him and controls him.