First Step Castle: This castle is built upon the "first step" up into the mountains. The trail leads to the only pass in the area. This castle and the several watch towers that work with it keep watch over the mountains. The mountains and their foothills are the province of the Dragon Preserve Nation, where over five dozen dragons and their clutches make their home. The castle and watch towers are there to provide warning and defense should the Dragons violate the treaty. They are also there to stop the unwary from crossing the border and becoming "edible". If there needs to be diplomacy between the groups, it is performed here at the First Step Castle's massive courtyard with is odd stone constructs (which are lounging chairs for Dragons). Note: The Dragons call this the First Step Castle as well. However, their reasoning is that after the first step past this castle, the person is now food.
Cathedrals of Industry: ships for crusade... LArgest dock works ever.. pumping out more ships outside and after the crusade Go to Comment
Dragon Warriors (great creatures, near immortal, who sleep for nearly 100 years for every day of awakening... but what power these godlike creatures possess)
A society under the influence of Chaos Items
Were once people of balance, but they were corrupted to serve only the Chaos Gods.
FOR 10,000 YEARS the Bright Empire of
Melnibonk ruled the world. The folk of Melnibonk are
not human, and their race is far older than humanity.
They are powerful sotcerers, and magic comes to them
as easy as breathing. In their heyday they forged unthinkable
pacts with Demon Gods, shaped the elements and the lands to
their liking, and tamed dragons and rode them to conquest
across many worlds. Old age has dulled the Bright Empire,
tarnished its proud beauty, and weakened its people; now the
Dragon Princes of Melnibonk conquer only in their
drug-induced dreams, as their Empire rots from within. Even
reduced to this crumbling introspection, they remain a great
power among the upstart human nations which have sprung up
around them in their dotage. Soon a new Emperor will come to
the Ruby Throne. Whether he will bring the Bright Empire to
glory or extinction is unknown, even in dreams.
Melnibonk, Dragon Isle and Dreaming City
THE DRAGON FOLK of Melnibon are alien.
Their moods are so different from human emotions
that they are considered insane by most Young
kindom scholars. Behavior which is unremarkable in the Dreaming City is often taken as being decadent, cruel, and evil by human witnesses. The Mehibonkins are hated and feared in the lands which were once their dominion, but are nowadays rarely seen in the
world outside Imrryr. Surrounded by an aura of fear, suspicion, and legend, Mehibonkins in turn treat humans with contempt. To them the swarming races of humanity are little better than beasts, their civilizations a crude, unflattering mockery of the glory of the
Bright Empire. The Dragon Folk have yet to learn how far humanity has evolved in the last four thousand years. Before they begin, it will be too late.
MELNIBONCANS ARE TALL and slender, and their bones are delicate. They have slim-fingered hands, fine arms, and long legs. Women are willowy and supple to human eyes, the men similarly languid.
The Melnibonh life span averages 90 years, with extremes
of 120 years not unheard of. Terhali the Green Empress,
allegedly the daughter of Iuntric X and a demon, lived for over
620 yea=. By contrast, average Young Kingdoms humans live
only to 40 or 50, their lives made harsh by disease as well as
day-to-day hardships. The lives of most adventurers are even
MelnibonCans have slightly slanted eyes and pale skin. The
Melnibonian skull is narrower than that of a human, with high
cheekbones, and tapers towards the jaw. Ears are thin and
close to the skull, lobe-less and almost pointed. Possessed of
sensitive hearing, Melnibonhs dislike noise as much as they
enjoy harmony. Their voices are capable of a wide tonal range,
and their delicate eyes percieve a greater spectrum of colors
than humans. Their hair is fine and long. Most have dark hair,
usually black, although browns and auburns are not unknown.
MelnibonCans’ movements are smooth and graceful. Like
cats, a supple strength underlays their beauty. Many enemies
of MelnibonC have been deceived by this seeming softness
before being flayed by the steely claws hidden beneath.
T HAS B E E N remarked by human observers that
Melnibonhns must have set aside the softer virtues of I emotion in their need to conquer the physical and
supernatural worlds, and that they have abandoned natural
beauty in favor of insane, drug-induced dreams of Chaos and
horror. Such false beliefs reveal the gulf which lies between
human and MelnibonCan comprehension and behavior.
The set of the Mehibonkan mind is such that concepts as
guilt and conscience are unknown to them. Once an act is
committed, it is beyond anyone’s ability to change it. Why
then should one feel nagging emotion over something that has
already happened and cannot be affected? Remorse is rare in a
Melnibonean life, nor is shame known to them. Melnibonhs
try not to let emotions affect their well-being, and may seem
cold and remote to human observers. All MelnibonCans are
taught to hide their feelings from lesser beings, and to
maintain a proper distance between themselves and those
below them. Unless in the grip of some furious passion
MelnibonCans seem detached, concealing their emotions
behind a guarded, implacable face. They do not speak freely,
guarding both thoughts and words.
Aware that they are naturally malicious, MelnibonCans need
no excuses to exercise their whims. Melnibonhns feel no
need to justify any act beyond the reason that they wanted to
do it. Good and evil are unknown to them. They simply are,
and that is all that can be asked. With their casual cruelty and
laughing ferocity the folk of the Dragon Isle judge things
neither sane nor insane, relishing every experience which
comes their way.
Along with their natural gift of sorcery, MelnibonCans
inherit a f i belief in omens and portents, often allowing
oracular consultations to decide their path. Melnibonbns do
not enjoy having to make choices. Tradition and ritual
prevents such tedious and unnecessary decisions.
Conservative and secretive, MelnibonCans are without the
human traits of self-control and self-restriction. What a
Melnibonean wants he takes, and if he must kill to have it, he will do so without qualms. privacy is of utmost importance to
MelnibonCans, and many of them spend long days in
drug-enraptured meditative solitude.
MelnibonCans are sharp-witted, sensitive and cruel. Pain is
considered one of the finer of their arts. That which is sadism
in human eyes is to a MelnibonCan merely a deeper
appiation of a specialized art. The Imrryrian artiste, Doctor
Jest, considers that by inflicting pain upon his subjects he
raises them from dross flesh into a higher, more sensitive
W X A
LOVE IS NOT UNKNOWN to MelnibonCans,
although it is rare. Once a Melnibonbn falls in love, it is L for life. Many never encounter love, their lives engrossed
in intellectual pursuits. but thii is no terrible thing. “Each
person’s life,” they say, “is destined from the moment of birth,
and only on some do the gods bestow that happy agony named
love.” Should the object of desire die, often the grieving lover
lives out the rest of existence in a drab and lifeless fashion,
waiting only to join the beloved in death
Melnibonhs often love no one but their immediate family,
and even then know that family bonds are not always strong.
They often seek holds over their relatives other than those of
blood. They are a manipulative and vengeful people, and
feuds on the Dragon Isle linger for centuries, taking on the
slow ordered steps of an intricate tradition, a dance performed
by an entire city. Once offended, a Melnibonkan will go to any
length for vengeance. Losing face is a deep dishonor. The only
fate considered wme than dishonor is exile, for nearly all
Melnibonhns consider banishment from the Dreaming City
to be worse than death.
Many observers have commented upon the seeming
amgance of MelnibonCans. From a Melnibonkn perspective
this is not arrogance at all, but instead an awareness of their
natural intellectual superiority. Melnibonkans are proud, and
from their perspective they have every reason to be.
Once roused, MelnibonCans are a frightful foe, their rage
fierce and brightly burning. The sight of an angry
Mehibodan is one to strike fear into the boldest of hearts.
Contorted by rage, the already inhuman Melnibonkan features
seem positively demonic. Melnibonkans revel in slaughter.
Bringing pain and destruction is an art and a sport, and one to
be relished. Melnibonkans’ eyes flash with fervor as they
laugh and howl the battle-songs of their ancestors. They are
allied with demons and aided by the most earth-shattering sorceries imaginable. To enter into combat with a Melnibodan is to invite death
5 OC I ETY I S surprisingly ordered,
considering their predisposition towards Chaos. Power is I held by the Emperor, affirmed and enforced by the heads
of established noble houses. Their rank is determined by the
number of generations their ancestors can be traced back. The
most important families can document a lineage of over ten
thousand years. Emperors are almost sacred, the inheritors of
centuries of lore and tradition. Their only duty is to rule their
subjects however they see fit. The sole authorities recognized
by all Melnibonkans are Chaos and the Ruby Throne, although
the respect for these icons varies among individuals. The only
morality held by Melnibonkans is a respect for the traditions
that rule their lives.
The head of each noble house holds one of the titles of the
Mehibonkan nobility. These include Grand Admiral, Lord of
the Dragon Caves, Lord High Executioner, and Master
Inquisitor. Although it is within the Emperor’s power to strip
the head of a noble House of his or her title and award it to
another, such a deed has never been performed in recorded
history. The titles are unassailable, passed down from
generation to generation. Some houses now hold many titles,
transferred to new blood after the diminution and extinction of
several lesser noble lineages.
Melnibonkan society observes no difference between male
and female in any way save their sexual characteristics.
Gender is no obstruction on the Dragon Isle, nor is age,
impairment, or sexual preference. An individual is only
ostracized by kindred if he or she breaks with the traditions
which bind Imrryrian society.
The noble houses are rigorous in keeping their bloodlines
pure, expelling impure offspring to the slave pits without
mercy. Those slaves with a more obviously Melnibonkan
appearance and mien become the overseers of their
mongrel brethren, human and hybrid alike. The
slave/master structure in Imrryr has produced a society
totally reliant upon its two parts. Without the drugs their
masters administer, the majority of the slaves in the
Dreaming City would die. Without the slaves to carry out
the simplest of day-to-day functions such as cooking and
cleaning, Melnibonkan society would collapse.
MelnibonCan life consists of a series of brittle poses,
mannered observances, and public rituals. Melnibonhns are
drilled in etiquette and the complex patterns of court ritual
from an early age. To an extent, the demands of tradition are
the only laws Melnibonhns recognize. The only rule that
holds true with every Melnibonkan is to seek pleasure
however one can. Prince Elric is doomed because of his
nature, unique upon the Dragon Isle, that he finds a moral
dilemma in Mehibonkan life.
So old is Melnibonkan society that many of its ways are set
in stone, traditions which have taken on the significance of law
simply because they have been followed for so long. To break
with tradition upon Melnibone is no small thing. Only the
powerful can do so without public rebuke and humiliation, and
even the Emperor thinks twice about flouting convention.
Education and family
MELNIBONEANS ARE NOT fond of
responsibility, and it is rare for a woman to sacrifice her time and freedom to allow a child to be born. Contraceptive herbs are customarily used. If a woman
does decide to bear a child, she has little to do with the infant
after the birth, except on a formal basis. Once a Mehibonkan
child is born, his or her upbringing is largely entrusted to
slaves. They rear and educate the child, providing lengthy
instruction in Melnibonk’s long rituals and ancient traditions.
Reading and writing lessons begin at age two or three, sorcery
within the year if applicable.
Discipline of the body begins at the same time as does
discipline of the mind. Although a child will not pick up a real
sword until the age of ten, from six years age and upwards
Mehibonkan children are given weapon training, as well as
general exercise. Elite slaves from throughout the Young
Kingdoms are available to instruct the youth of Imrryr.
weapon masters collected at great cost from across the world.
Education concerning Melnibonk’s many drugs is also started
as soon as a child is old enough to leam to pick and choose.
CLOTHING AND FASHION
ELNIBONEANS EXPRESS themselvesthrough
their clothes. Clothing is a way of stating oneself, M one’s moods, station and vocation. Individuality is
conveyed in a thousand subtle ways through the drape of a
sash at an angle opposed to the current style or in the flutter of
rainbow-hued ribbons. Delighting in a rich mixture of lush
colors, Mehibonkan costume is composed of startling blends
of fabric, texture, and hue. Clothing upon the Dragon Isle
differs from summer to winter, and between court garb and
everyday costume, but regardless of season it shares the
common features of luxury, beauty, and style.
Common elements of Melnibonk costume include velvet,
silk, linen, brocade, satin, cloth-of-gold or silver, fine leathers
and suedes, furs, feathers, and delicate jewelry of pearls and
precious metals and stones. Cleverly dyed colors are carefully
blended and contrasted, with lush mixtures of pigments and
hues in a variety of fabrics. Accessories carried by the
fashionable among both sexes include lace handkerchiefs,
small decorative daggers, perfumed pomanders, gloves, and
fans. Most clothing is adorned with lace, braid, or complex
embroidery. Hand-painted motifs also appear, stylized flowers
such as roses, water-lilies and chrysanthemums, geometrical
designs, birds, animals, and objects such as fans or landscapes.
When not at court Melnibonkans wear simpler clothing, but
even the simplest tunic is lushly embellished, be it padded,
brocaded, embroidered with gold thread, or sewn with pearls.
Dresses are the norm for women, doublets and tunics for men,
while all wear hose, silk in summer, fine wool in winter.
Cloaks are worn by both sexes. Women’s garb is generally
Wamors on duty wear quilted and padded jerkins beneath
their chased and embellished armor, long sleeved shirts, and
loose breeks or kilts. Foot soldiers wear leather sandals, and
cavalry wear calf-length riding boots. Depending on which
nobelhouse they serve, warriors’ cloaks and accoutrements
consist of one major color. Those guards in service to the
Emperor wear yellow, others deep red, scintillating blue, and
every possible color of the spectrum in between.
War regalia consists of fine armor, lacquered, enameled, and
polished: breastplates, gorgets, vambraces, gauntlets, cuisses
and greaves. As Melnibone’s wars become a thing of the past,
the fashions of armor in Imrryr grow increasingly baroque.
Helmets are omate, often inlaid with ivory or gold in delicate
filigree. The helms of the Dragon Princes are the most ornate,
cast in the form of their awesome mounts. The dragons are
depicted winged, rearing, mouths as visors, scales embracing the warrior’s head and face. Weapons are similarly f i e and
slim, light slender swords, deadly bone bows, and long spears
with sharp, leaf-shaped blades.
Makeup is generally worn by Melnibonean women, who
paint designs upon their eyelids and cheekbones to enhance
their beauty. This fashion dates from the time of Terhali the
Green Empress, when sycophantic courtiers painted
themselves in order to attain a coloration similar to the
Empress’ own skin. Facial hair is unfashionable among
Melnibonean men, being seen as barbaric and primitive.
“Apes encourage facial hair, Melniboneans do not,” so the
saying goes. Of late some dandies have began to cultivate long
waxed moustaches and small beards.
Hair is worn long and loose by both sexes, although the
ladies of the court sometimes pile their hair in elaborate
styles above their heads. Filigree tiaras of platinum, or
combs carved of coral or ivory might be worn to hold the
hair in place. Scented and oiled, ringleted and curled, the
fashionable of Emperor Sadric’s courtiers adorn their hair
with strings of pearls or glittering gemstones strung on
silver chains. Some may place miniature lanterns in their
hair, or otherwise sculpt and transform their tresses into
DEPENDS upon her slaves, who in
turn depend upon Melnibonk. Drugged, dazed, and M controlled by their inhuman masters, the slaves of the Dreaming City are generally treated better than their peers
in other nations. Only laboring slaves have a short life-span, exhausted and broken by their harsh work. The majority of Melnibonkn slaves live a long, rich life, dining on finer fare than the free peasants of many lands, and clad in the cast-off finery of their lords and ladies. Regardless of their station, all slaves on Melnibonk are controlled by their dependence upon the dreams their drugs bring, and thus the drugs’ source, their
inhuman overlords. Drugs make their lives far more pleasant than they would otherwise be. The pain and torment of their lot is blurred in a warm narcotic fog.
Slaves make up approximately nine-tenths of Meleibone's population. Some of these are part-Melnibonkan, performing an elite servant-overseer role in Imrryrian society. Most slaves are human, either descended from generations of enslaved ancestors, or survivors of ships which have crashed while navigating Imrryr’s maze, or enslaved for breaking one of the myriad laws of the harbor. Any task which Melnibonkans cannot bring themselves to
perform, slaves carry out for them. Because the sight of their slaves is disagreeable to many Melnibonkans, a hidden network of corridors and passageways exists throughout the
Dreaming City. With them, slaves can travel about undetectably. These warrens let slaves traverse Imrryr from north to south without once seeing the light of day. Go to Comment
I only planned one sentai game, it was a demo campaign for a martial arts rpg I wrote. I called it Element 5
The characters were all actors and crew of a fantasy martial arts film being shot on a remote pacific island location. The island had a number of ruins on it. The five heroes are pulled from the crew (the idea seeds were: The young, rising martial arts star, The Arnold Schwartzenegger clone doing MA film to restart his flagging career, female love interest lead (who is the best damm martial artist on set), the stunt double (who wears the rubber suit for the aquatic monster), camera guy, the lead effects tech, the medic, and the suit (who used to be a HK action star a long time ago). If you didn't want one of those, you could make your own.
The director was the only person who would never get powers, he was bitter, angry, and of course would be either the dramatic betrayer or the person trying to be the leader, for the group.
So in the course of filming, forces were unleashed. (Yes, the director was messing around.) The first few parts were running away from the mooks (either souless, eyeless grey ninjaoids or gargoyles). Eventually, they find their way to the temple and discover the elemental coins. After flashes of light and a spirit guide (Zorlon) explains things about binding them to the coins to stop The Dark Night (evil bad corrupting thing from another realm). The coins augment their already good MAs, with certain super abilities (based on one of the elements), transforming them into sentai ninja heroes, each with a unique weapon and an elemental power or two.
So they fight The Dark Night, his new minions (people who he contacts and utilizes his powers and their resources), endless mooks, and an empowered being (who usually can transform into a monster).
They could teleport to and from the temple of the elements at will. It serves as their "command center".
As time goes on, and they level up, they earn, bikes, vehicles, eventually the transformation into a personal battle suits/ small mecha (every try letting 5 players run one mecha?... it really does not work) . One hero (usually the odd loner of the group) gets to turn into a rubber monster of his own.
Remember that these are anime heroes, so they are seriously flawed and less than compentent when compared to western heroes. (of course the guy with the experience and power wins, so anime heroes are always short, dark, and neurotic). Each one of them will have several flaws that will need to be resolved over the time of the series. One needs to be personal, one needs to be professional (between the team members), one needs to resolve their place in the world.
The important part of a sentai game is the sequence of advancement. As they gain in skill/ level, they must earn periodic upgrades. One of the requirements for advancement is that the character must overcome one of their flaws in the interveaning times.
A common theme is coming together. The teams never quite work well together in the begining. They must work out enough of their issues to work together (then gaining a toy that requires them to work together to use). These issues usually go through again later in the series and must be completely resolved.
A common theme is also - The Power Destroyed. Every time in the series, the bad guy manages to beat the crap out of the heroes and break their toys. Powerless (or under powered) the characters must search out "The Lost Source of Power" in an attempt to "Power UP" and usually come away with greater power.
__________________ Go to Comment
A tal is an ancient kind of coin. It is an approximately rectangular coin of some antinquity. Soul Tals are not spent for goods. They are connections between the living and their dead.
Upon a death, family/ friends/ loved ones, commission a tal. A tall is about two inches long and one inch wide and a fraction of an inch thick. It is engraved with either an etched picture of the loved one OR an epitath/ favorite saying or some symbol that means someting to them. Each immediate family/ friend/ loved ones recieves one tal. Some where them upon a neck cord or chain, others as bracelets, others as inserts to leather vests.
These are memorials, symbols of memory, and connections that allow the living to feel the presence of the dead. Go to Comment
Normal cleric. These clerics know the lay of the land... not just the terrain, but the people.. politicals, clericals, and little people. They are the church's experts on a given area.
Order of the stars:
Agents of destiny. By knowing the celestrial ways, they have an advantage in making sure destiny occurs the way it is supposed to. In fact, but knowing the celestrial forces, they can have advantages ove given targets
Gate Hound: see PDA phone notes
They magically bind a person to a religious vow, making the person to completely resist breaking the vow. Enough fetters and the person is practically saintlike. Once on, they generally can not be taken off without major magics.
Each fetter grants bonuses to the use of clerical abilities and skills.
The catch is, remove all of them and you get the person who first took the vows... not the person who was willing to take them on.. one at a time...
Was a noble's second son. When his brother took the seat, he order his brother to do many things... including getting married. He refused and left his brother's service. He took his brother's last command, which was "ride off a cliff and the Devil Take you" was taken litterally. He and the mount survived. Now this warrior serves another Great Noble Lord of the realm as The Cliff Rider, Scout and Knight extraordinaire.
Woodwraiths: Evil Spirits of the Green...
Most people think forest spirits are nice helpful natural sprits. Those people are wrong.
. In 1908 a phantom city of assorted houses in different architectural styles was seen for three hours in Ballyconnelly on the west coast of Ireland. Similar apparitions had been seen in that region in 1796, 1797 and 1801.
Spectres of Adventure, Tomb Spectres, Dungeon Spectres
A long name to sum up.. a basic idea
Ghosts are created when the dead have a) strong emotions, b) unmet needs, and c) a violent, usually quick, death. Where can these conditions be met easily? A dungeon or other place of mystery, and the fools... err.. adventurous souls that plunder them.
Thus the creatures endevor to stop those who might succeed where they failed... just to prove that they were not "inusfficient to the task" and that it was just a quirk of "bad luck" that got them.
Spectres are the most powerful of spirits, having shed most of their humanity and handing it over for power. Telekinesis, Soul Numbing touch, the ability to possess and animate things (not living people), and a few others depending on their core abilities at death. Go to Comment
Biblioklept A book thief; one who purloins or steals books.
A psychotic who steal books to keep the knowledge
A thief tomb raider who specializes in books, especially magic tombs.
A religious thief who steals books that are against his religion... Go to Comment
Hernan De Soto, comrade of Pizarro, famously rode his horse right into the Inca Emperor's throne room. Eyewitnesses later recalled:
"The captain advanced so close that the horse's nostrils stirred the fringe on the Inca's forehead. But the Inca remained still, he never moved."
Spanish conquistadors like de Soto were inheritors of some of the finest riding techniques in the whole of Eurasia. The jineta riding style, unique to Spanish cattle-ranchers, emphasized spontaneity, speed, balance in the saddle and maneuverability. Bull-fighting, a pastime which grew out of Spanish ranching, also helped riders and their horses improve their techniques of forceful advance and swift retreat.
The conquistadors who sailed to the New World had grown up on ranches and farms. They had ridden horses since their youth, and brought their finest animals with them. The consequences for the peoples of the New World were catastrophic.
The Conquistadors mastery of the horse allowed for a swift defeat of the Inca empire
On the morning of November 16, 1532, a surprise charge of just 37 Spanish horses, concealed in the Inca town of Cajamarca, unleashed an orgy of bloodshed. Europeans had known for centuries that foot soldiers stood a good chance against cavalry if they stood firm and repelled the outnumbered mounted troops. But the Inca had no experience of this, nor could they have read about others' experiences, since they were geographically isolated and had no written records from which to learn. Instead, they panicked and tried to flee, allowing the outnumbered conquistadors to run through them with great speed and efficiency.
But the great irony of the conquistadors' victory was that, until about 10,000 years ago, the horse's wild ancestor had flourished throughout the Americas. The plains of North America had in fact been the natural homeland of the Equus species, some of which migrated across a narrow land passage to the plains of central Asia.
Then, between 10,000 and 8,000 years ago, the species vanished from the Americas – it is believed, through a combination of over-hunting and climatic change. The submersion of the Bering Strait meant no subsequent, reverse migration could occur from central Asia, and the horse remained absent from the Americas until its reintroduction by Europeans. Go to Comment