Someone complained that orcs, in the campaigns he knew, were just cannon fodder -- there was nothing horrible, or terrifying, about them. This was the answer I gave. It proved a controversial one, and some may think it takes a stronger stomach to contemplate than they appreciate. This is your content warning: if you're easily revolted, I won't mind if you give this one a miss.
I had someone ask me, recently, why I not only allowed such characters in my campaign, but didn't seem to care that anyone wanted to do so. Parts of my response seemed worth sharing.
It is the height of the Victorian Age. London is the shining jewel in the most expansive empire the world has known. It is a good time to be a British citizen. The only problem is, you're a mouse.
Space travel is achieved by exposing Aerstones to mana while ancient threats awaken throughout the galaxy.
Starting at the end, part of a seven section submission series.
Tips on how to utilise resources on and functions of the Citadel to Develop and Maintain World settings
From sticks and stones to the modern faith. (May be offensive to some readers, read with caution)
Many, perhaps most fantasy lands are monarchies, which can be ruled well when the monarch is a clever and able man or woman devoted to his or her people. But what happens when the monarch is ill, or is tyrannically cruel, or a young child, or is otherwise blatantly unfit to rule? How can he or she be dealt with without risking civil war as powerful nobles fight for the crown?
The most influential event in Atheus is the Year of the Exile. It set up the division of the world into east and west, the human's side and the barbarian's side, respectively. But how did it actually happen? How did one race manage the incredible feat of the exile of four other races?
There's money to be made ripping the past out of the ground and turning it back into usable reclaimed materials. It just takes the right equipment and the wrong people.
Aircraft vanished from the skies, and it changed the way war would be fought for over three centuries.
I have attempted several articles about the mecha of the Cosmic Era, and all of them have either died in development hell or were simply deleted. This, I hope, will be the one that I see through to the finish.
Meta Level submission about the nature of conflict in the Cosmic Era.
A basic history of the continent of Atheus.
A very brief set of guidelines for writing material in or for the Cosmic Era setting
The Cosmic Era setting operates on a number of different levels of engagement.
Article 34 of the Tycho Conventions details the legality of (mega)corporation and state cooperation. Often known as the Seperation of Corp and State law, Article 34 is one of the most frequently violated and trampled sections of the treaty organization.
"So's ya want ta know about the maze and the labyrinth? There's a difference, ya know. The maze is more like a, a, puzzle, a puzzle where ya wander and gets lost. An' a labyrinth is more... straight, ai guess, straight with curves, if'n ya gets what I'm sayin'."
-Old Gerald, man in the pub.
One thing holds consistent across the numerous worlds of science fiction and fantasy: everyone speaks the same language. Whether it's Lojban, English, Common, or the High Tongue of the Autumn Empire; there's one language that everyone knows, unless plot demands otherwise.
Sages and naturalists frown at the common name given to these strange creatures by the small folk, but sometimes the silliest nicknames for creatures, places and people persevere in the minds of many. “Purifiers”, “Pond Jellies”, “Breath-Stealers”, “Lung-Ticklers” and “River Butterflies” are much less commonly heard appellations for these life forms. Wet Faeries are basically (and simply) a species of fist-sized, fresh-water jellyfish. Several traits steer them toward the peculiar category however. Firstly, Wet Faeries are nearly invisible in the water, much like their marine cousins but even more so. One can swim in a river swarming with these critters and not even notice their presence. Secondly, they possess the unique ability to clean and purify whatever body of water they inhabit. They do this via some sort of biological filtration process, sucking in all toxins present in the water, and releasing it back in its purest form. Needless to say, they are both a blessing and a curse to whichever folk dwell beside the rivers and lakes Wet Faeries inhabit. On one hand, no purer water can be found anywhere than a Wet Faerie lake or pond, and yet, in “pure” water “life” tends in fact to die out, lacking the needed nutrients to prosper. Thirdly, their “sting” is (unfortunately) virulently poisonous to all mammalians. Wet Faeries are loathe to sting anyone or anything, using their barbed fronds as a last line of defense, but if stung, most swimmers will suffer respiratory arrest, and die within minutes, usually drowning before they can make it back to shore.
Alchemists, druids, and less savory characters have studied these creatures over the years, and have predictably found all the ways Wet Faeries could be exploited. Morbidly humorous, some bards find it, that the Poisoners and Assassins Guilds as well as the Healer’s Union, all prize these creatures. The assassins use the extracted venom in obvious fashion, while the priests and healers use the still-living jelly-fish to sterilize other poison potions and to cure those already poisoned on death’s door.
It is known that a certain Earl Von Trumble keeps his vast castle moat stocked with Wet Faeries, the waters so clear that every bone of every one of his past enemies can be clearly seen on the bottom, twenty two feet below.