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Offline CaptainPenguin

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The Armorican Kingdoms
« on: January 15, 2004, 03:47:36 PM »
Here now, is the World. See there, at the north, the icy land of Hyperborea, where the tall, gaunt Hyperboreans stalk their grim stone cities. And there, Ixia, the frozen land of the dead, where no man walks who's heart still beats.
There, in the south, see the ancient and dreaming land of Cemitum, desert home of cinnamon-skinned sorcerors and white temples of their solar gods, and 'neath that sorcerous land, the Black Lands, the Kingdoms of Punt and Zembabwia, Aksum and Nambia, where men have skin as dark as fine wood and the deserts give way to jungles that swelter and seethe and hide prehistoric secrets.
There in the southeast, the hot, desert lands of Sakra, Quadiir, and Azghulistan, and the empire of the fire-worshippers, Ahra-Mazda, with its eternal king, Gayomart-Shah. Also here, there is the pastoral land of Elaenia, where dwell the Elaenites, worshipping their One God, Yawu.
Then to the east, see there, the unknowable lands of the setting sun, and the impassable Besarcian Mountains, screening them off from the world, and there Virtek, the snowy land of fur-clad hunters who serve the dark huntsman gods.
In the west, there is the Western Seas, stretching trackless to the edge of the world.
Now, there, is our focus, the Armorican Kingdoms, lands of the Armorican peoples, who, being a fractious and barbarian people in the past have carved out the bejewelled and brilliant kingdoms of the West:
Snowy Haleco and dark Radoth, with its grim god, Roth. The Durmalgish Marches, where bearded, lawless men consort with Eregard barbarians. There is Seduria, the pastoral kingdom, where the Wizard of the Tower reigns supreme. Thence to the Grand Duchy of Daaldag, and south to Chargia, the forested land, and east to Marcosia, the great kingdom, wherein the King wields the ancient Sword of Justice. There is Kozkil, where the last of pre-Armorican people live, dwelling in the darkness and bowing before their Queen-Priestess of K'Thalath. There, Zlandis, land of the dreamers, where they are artists and poets and bards, and have no hand for war. Southward it becomes warm and Mediterranean. The Kingdom of Orlonia, where the Young Kings rule, and Zinaldia, the kingdom of the sea and the sun. And see, Nermalia, on the edge of the South, and Botheria, the meeting of south and north. There are the barbarian lands of Eregard, Alssonia, and Gotha, an unbroken stretch of wilderness in the shadow of the hulking Khossus Mountains. The Czechki Wilderness, where dwell the roaring Czechki barbarians, strains against the kingdoms of Woron and Watzcha, who man the mighty Tibor's Wall.
And all of these are dust without mighty Imperial Arcturus, the Land of Glory, with its satellite kingdoms of Thasar and Nydria and Gloriano. Here, in the Imperial Capitol, the City of Arcturus, called the Polis, dwells the Emperor Tibor Arcturo II, reigning mighty from the Eagle Throne, with the ancient sorceror Aelorio, who peers into the mystic mirror to tell fate for the Emperor.
This, then, is the Armorican Land. The land of cold steel. The land where, if enemies surround, a sword is a trusty friend. The land where, when the stink of sorcery drifts upon the wind, warriors rise to the call.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Great Cthulhu, that took me a long time to write.
So anyway....This is my idea for a quite low-magic, Conan-inspired setting for games that I've been working on for a little while.
What do you think?
Descriptions of the various peoples of the Armorican Kingdoms and beyond are to follow.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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The Armorican Kingdoms
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2004, 06:01:54 PM »
There are no non-human races in the Armorican Lands. Or, should I say, no non-human races that a player can be.
Also, in a move that will piss off my friend Magus, players in the Armorican Lands cannot be sorcerors or wizards. The best magic that can be managed by players are very-limited priestly powers and possibly limited natural magic of some sort.
Sorcerors, wizards, and warlocks are powerful wielders of the Black Arts. They seclude themselves in towers and fortresses. They are the rulers of countries, or, at the very least, mighty powers in said countries.

The feel I'm going for here is very mythical (You guys know how much I like that "mythical feel"), very old-Arthurian legend, late Romano-Medieval, Conan-the-Barbarian feel. Ya' know what I mean? I hope so.
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Offline Agar

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The Armorican Kingdoms
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2004, 08:07:04 PM »
Always cool to see a new and well thought out campaign setting. My biggest question is: How do they heal?

All these swords, added with open sewers, will cause a great many fatal wound. Even putting the average starting age about 12 or 14 will leave most players dead before 20.

Open sewers. Ever seen that 'salute' the fencers give each other? Back in the days of the musketeers, they drug the tip of thier rapier through the dirt before fighting. The same dirt that horses walked and defectated on, the dirt the chamber pot was thrown on, and the rotten lunch was dropped on as well. Full of filth and muck, a scratch was sure to kill.

So, in Conan, there were several types of characters that survived. The uber-tough, the barbarian; The quick, the fighter; The lucky, the thief; The devious, the traitor?

All those different types have different ways to not be hurt. With no readily available magic healing spells or potions, each character will need a way to not be hurt. That will lead to your different classes and such.

Good idea. I like it. But, everyone likes Conan.
After a brief retirement while I got married and traveled the country, I'm back. Just getting back into the swing of things for now, but gearing up to hit things up like I used to.

Offline CaptainPenguin

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The Armorican Kingdoms
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2004, 08:37:37 PM »
Ah, but that's exactly what I want!
There is limited clerical magic, probably healing small amounts of damage and such, nothing too major. That's for sorcerors.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Low Fantasy Rocks
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2004, 02:45:53 AM »
I personally like Low Magic or Rare Magic games. It allows me to focus the game on the characters and their abilities, rather than the equipment they carry.  

Low Magic fantasy games are not simple historical simulations, but new and interesting places, where ones wits and sword arm are more important than their magic items. Most traditional fantasy is of the low magic type, Arthur cycle, Doyle and Boroughs, and even Tolkien (LotR one or two items of power in PC hands and the spell casting was not flashy were low magic levels when compared to most fantasy roleplaying games.  

Note: You can run a game without any magic and it can still be a fantasy game. Just insert exotic places, interesting beasts, and mysteries that players do not understand, and you will capture a fantasy feel.  You can have "great magics" from ancient times crop up from time to time, or be the explanation for certain things in the world.  It is just they are all background, rather than foreground elements of the setting.  
 
Just because a game is of a low magic variety, that does not mean there isn't magic. It will just be of the ancient ritual, the Evil Wizard, and the very rare magic item, variety. It just means that magic will not be a part of everyday life and be rare even for adventurers.  

This means that magic needs to NOT be used against the PCs all the time.  It gets to be an "unfair advantage" the bad guys have over the PCs that way.  The occasional "Boss" bad guy or magikal monster is okay, as long as the characters can defeat said opponents without using magic of their own.

On a campaign note, One of the great advantages of running a low magic campaign is the defusing of the "Magical Arms race". The Arms race starts with the players getting a new magikal doohickey or powerful spell (usually to defeat a new powerful opponent or by finding it in treasure). Now that they have the doohickey or powerful spell, all challenges thrown at the PCs must be equal to or greater than that opponent, because the characters can now use it to defeat everything less. So to challenge the players, the opponents must be ratcheted up a notch. Eventually to defeat the new tougher opponents, they get a new item and the process continues. With the presence of easy to get magik items and spells, the arms race escalates quickly.  

When you are setting up such a campaign, make sure the players know what kind of game they are getting involved in. Set their expectations early, especially if they are used to running in games with much magic.  
 
You must remain aware of the fact that many players are going to act as though something was 'taken' from them. Work with them. Let them know about your plans. You need to get them out of that mindset. One way to do it is to have an encounter that dramatizes the fact that no one else has magic, or if others do, the repercussions, perhaps socially.  
 
As with any other campaign, the strength of the story is going to woo the players into acceptance. If you have a group that is used to having magical items or spells, what have you, you'll have to seduce them with a really cool story and campaign.  Spend some time and prepare good story lines. Make sure the characters are woven together to be a cohesive group. Practice your details and presentation skills- making yourself a better narrator/ storyteller. You can even riff on new pieces of description ahead of time.  All of these elements of improved gamecraft and make the game more enticing and exciting.  The more special the game seems, the less griping you will have about any expectations the players might of had going into it.

Combats need to be exciting in a low fantasy world.  So get yourself and your troupe out of the "roll dice I hit" mentallity. Have movie nights instead of game some times.  Watch John Woo Movies, or The Musketeer, or the 70s Musketeer set, or heck any of the old Flynn/ Rathbon swashbuckling movies.  Take notes on what they do, so you can use the ideas and descriptions later in the game.  Have the players work up their own stunts, given their skills, abilities, and gifts, ahead of time, and reward them for encorporating them into the combat.  And make sure the settings for any combat you have is interesting.  Never have just a bar fight, make sure there are beams and low fire pits to use and be wary of.  Thus by improving the combat scenes, people will feel that they and their non-magikal weapons are just as good as their big boom magic combats.

Note: Make sure the game system you are using can handle various combat options.  If it can't, do some work on it, so it will, OR change to antoher game.  Remember that most of the "cool" aspects of a combat are really just description of how you do the attack, defense, and the damage you do.  Even old AD&D can have exciting combats, as long as the combat is punctuated by exciting description, narration, and the occasional odd act, even though the rules truly did not support anything but a "roll to hit, roll damage" mentality.

Take cues from your favorite low fantasy worlds (like you have CP).  If anything you will do in the campaign does not fit the books standard, i.e. "could this happen in book series X?", then don't let it happen.

 I have some more ideas to add, and will do so soon.
MoonHunter
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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The Arcturans
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2004, 02:58:44 PM »
The Arcturans are the primary and most powerful of the Armorican people. They are the citizens of the nation of Imperial Arcturus. They are considered to be the most noble and civilized race of people in all of the Armorican Kingdoms, especially by themselves.
Arcturans are split between two classes of people: Patricians and Plebeians.
Arcturan Patricians are the nobles and high-class people of Arcturus. They are generally 5'3"-5'8" and have black or (Less commonly) very dark brown hair, which men wear in a Caesar cut (Brushed forward and short.), as is the style, while women generally style as they wish. Patricians have high cheekbones and aquiline noses. The darker one's hair and more aquiline the nose, the finer one's breeding is, by the Arcturan estimation. Patricians dress in calf-length togas, belted with sashes and, if they are in the Imperial service, a purple over-tunic. On formal occasions, the Imperial mantle is worn. This is a diamond-shaped shoulder mantle with a high collar, opened from the back and worn so that the "points" of the diamond-shape point down the middle of the back and torso. The high collar is clip tightly closed. Patricians generally ornament themselves with eagle-crests and symbols, as befits their god, Arcturus the Eagle, worked in gold, silver, and copper, for poorer families. Small jewels are common, while larger stones are reserved for the very wealthy and the very noble. Some Patricians have taken to wearing an eagle-feather pendant, though this is more of a Plebeian custom, and is considered "common". Sandals are worn, and, in the more northerly regions, socks with them.
Arcturan Plebeians are the lower class citizens, including merchants, commoners, soldiers, farmers, and indentured servants. They are generally taller and less delicate than Patricians, and range from 5'5"-6'2" on average. They generally have dark brown hair, but Plebeians are a less pure bloodline that Patricians, usually, and thus they may have any color hair, though dark brown is most common. Plebeian ment also wear the Caesar cut, while women most often wear their hair long. Among Plebeians, too, the darkness of the hair and aquilinity of the nose are remarked upon for estimation of breeding. Plebeian men wear knee-length leather-belted tunics with short sleeves, while women wear dresses similar to the togas of the Patricians. Footwear is, as with Patricians, sandals, with socks in the North. Plebeians often wear an eagle-feather pendant to signify their loyalty to the Eagle God and his empire. Jewelry is generally small, and made with copper or silver, and semi-precious stones. True jewels are rare, and are often the ornaments of wealthy merchants or those families who may have a Patrician ancestor.
Arcturan Patricians live in large houses with roofs made from red tile and walls of plaster-overlayed brick. The houses are almost always centered around a courtyard, with slave and servant quarters on the left ("sinistrine") side of the house, while family chambers are on the right ("dextrine") side of the house. Plebeian homes vary in style depending on region. (For more Arcturan home theory, look up Roman homes.)
Arcturans worship their greater gods, but also make prayers to many smaller gods, such as household Lars and the Numina of the natural world. The woodcutter just as often finds the name of a Numina on his lips as much as that of the Forest God Arborean, and the capricious water-Numinas are ever the patrons of the fishermen.
The primary god of the Arcturans is Arcturus, the Eagle God. Other gods include Ateniad, Fentor, Dellicus and his children, the Inspiri, Ceremeus, Fortuna and Plentimon, Tritonius, Arborean, Orana, Discus, Monala, Marcus, Jaina, and Julius, as well as the left-over Titans, Cthonus and Shaya.

Arcturan Names: Anything sounding Roman or Greek.

For more Arcturan inspiration, see the Romans of the movie "Gladiator".
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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The Alssons
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2004, 11:08:35 AM »
The Alssons are the barbarian inhabitants of Alssonia. The Alssons are most frequently seen beyond Alssonia as slaves or gladiators, or both.
Alssons always have straight, auburn hair, light or dark, and have aquiline noses with narrow bridges. They often have very white teeth that resist decay. Alsson men range from 5'7"-6'3", and are, for the most part, very muscular due to their mountainous wilderness environment. Alsson women range from 5'2"-5'6", and are often in the same good shape as men, though the duties of Alsson women are traditionally at home.
Alsson men wear knee-length, rough wool kilts trimmed on the inside with furs or raw wool, and may wear leather boots or sandals, the former being reserved for the more powerful members of a clan. They wear no shirts, though in wintery months, cloaks of wolfskin or other hides are employed to cut the chill. Alsson women wear a long, calf-length, robe-like garment that is worn loosely on the shoulders. The inside is, like men's kilts, trimmed with furs or raw wool. Women, too, employ fur cloaks during chill times, but these are generally the pelts of deer, elk, and buffallo instead of the wolf and the cougar. Jewelry is common among both sexes, with arm-rings and ear-rings being common, as well as bracelets and anklets.
Alssons live in large migratory tribes, who rarely dwell in one place for more than four months of the year. The primary business of the clans is raiding and battle between other clans, though sheepherding is a duty that the young are called on to conduct. Alsson houses are tent-like constructions of wool and wood.
Alsson gods are a fierce warrior bunch, led by Alotti. Alotti gives a man three chances in life, and when those three chances are up, that man's death is near. Those who died an honorable death or a warrior's death go to the Hall in the Sky, Aiell Bragh, which is said to be atop great Mount Teubora. Those who die cowardly or dishonorable deaths sink to the gloomy underworld, Nifl, to be lorded over forever by Ymor, the lord of the dead. Other gods include Aulga, Teudr Emyrun, and Golla. Yneff Lleneur, the Alsson god of just causes, has of late become popular in the more rural parts of Marcosia, Woron, and Watzcha.

Alsson Names: Cuchullaine (M), Faioleghn (F), Alleimo (M), Mouravicti (F), Ergoalingetrix (M), Maollech (F), Boellah (F), Faefenoilleh (M), Victinmoillah (F), Oannellech (M), Boicca (F)

Inspiration for the Alssons was roughly Celtic/German.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Story #1
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2004, 04:34:04 PM »
"I've come to relieve you,� said Illencio, a muddy-faced, blonde-haired Zinaldian with his iron Legionary helmet jammed roughly over his skull. Nervousness was evident in his round features.
I turned to him and grinned. "Good luck." I said. This was his first time on guard duty, I knew. I climbed down the plank ladder into the fort at the foot of the mighty Tibor's Wall. Ah, the fort, that filthy pile of boards and sticks and cloth and tiles within a tall stockade, with some tattered tents for good measure. I spat.
I am Alssonus. My father was an Arcturan, my mother, his Alsson slave woman. He married her. All of the people in the villas down the road whispered when he did that. Their product was me. I have the sharp-cheeked eagle face of my father, the straight auburn hair of my mother, and the narrow aquiline nose of them both.
The rain fell in a misty cloud, like no rain you see in the warmer regions near the Polis, Arcturus, capitol of our empire. The watery fog descended over the dark pines and the great stone wall, soaking the timbers of our stockade and the clothing and armor on our backs, and…Well, it soaked everything.
This fort was Fort Relsium, in the Imperial colony-nation of Woron, and we were Imperial Legionaries, stationed here in this gods-forsaken pit on the edge of the Czechki Wilderness. I spat again.
There had been sightings of Czechki barbarians lurking in the forests near the wall lately. That usually meant trouble. Woronites from the village of Raslya, for which the Fort was named, came to us in fear, telling tales of Czechkis attacking in the night. But, of course, this was the usual.
I heard a loud scream from the surgeon’s hovel.
“We need more numbing root!� came the voice of the surgeon, Proximo, an Orlonian. A white robed apprentice, his apron laced with blood, scrambled from the hut, running to the supply shack.
I kept on walking, and swept into the mess-hall out of the rain. Legionaries sat grumbling, laughing, chatting over bowls of porridge and hunks of bread and cheese. Supplies were low. The officers had told us that the supply caravan had been attacked by bandits.
Suddenly, I heard shouts from the Wall.
The soldiers came to their feet, and the officers, too.
“Barbarians! In the forest!� I heard.
“There must be an army of them out there!� Came afterward.
I was up on the Wall within a minute.
The Czechkis were there, filthy savages with wild hair in braids and ponytails and beards. Their faces were painted with bright dyes, their shoulders draped with furs. Bangles and belts and poorly tanned hides were their accoutrements.
And they were coming, onward towards the wall, a roaring horde charging.
“WRASYA NUFTAAAAAAAAAA!� they howled.
I raised my spear. Some barbarian would die this day…
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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The Zinaldians
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2004, 05:59:39 PM »
The Zinaldians are the people of Zinaldia, a young nation of the South that was previously the Imperial provinces of Zinaldia and Callamanca. After Feddaro of Messanthia and Egerinus of Cantala successfully sued for freedom and convinced the Arcturan Senate, the two new nations became embroiled in a civil war over supremacy. Eventually, peace was made, and combined into the nation of Zinaldia.
Zinaldians have light brown to golden-blonde hair, and round, soft features. Both sexes range from 5'7"-6'. Zinaldians are inclined to gain weight easily, and chubbiness is common, though most Zinaldians take trouble not to become too fat. Zinaldians have darker skin tones than most Armoricans, being the product of the southern sun.
Zinaldian men often wear their hair long in a ponytail, and have small moustaches or goatees. The typical dress is a thin vest-like garment, with a tunic underneath on cooler days of autumn and winter, and baggy, sash-belted pantaloons with sandals. Zinaldian women wear their hair either long or in a bun, and wear thin, toga-like dresses with a shawl on cold days, and sandals. Men and women often wear ear-rings, and other jewelry is also common. The symbol of the sun is a ubiquitous sign among Zinaldians.
To Zinaldians, life is seen as a game of chance. They are the players, their actions are rolls of the dice, and the score is kept in that most singular of things, gold. Zinaldians love gold, and the traditions of roguery and merchantry are close to their hearts. Their unique take on life is a great advantage in these occupations. Because of this take, their outlook on life is generally exceedingly sunny, and they tend to be laid back and accepting of any situation life may put them in. They are also resourceful, and can keep their wits about them in a hard place.
Zinaldians are heavily influenced by Arcturan tradition. Their architecture is much the same, as well as their dress, when not attired traditionally, as noted above. They also worship the same gods, however, Discus, the Sun God and Lord of Athleticism, Marcus, the God of Money, and Plentimon, the God of Thieves, are known to have greater influence.

Zinaldian names: Fradreko (M), Zinalia (F), Ibecelia (F), Tortaga (M), Doraz (M), Benedicale (F), Fabio (M)
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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The Orlonians
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2004, 04:52:48 PM »
Orlonia is a nation on the Western Sea, prosperous and mighty. It's people have always been very independent and rebellious, and thus, the nation resisted always the domination of the Arcturans.
Orlonians have stiff black or dark brown hair and small, upturned noses. They are typically thinner than average and are 5'5"-5'9". They typically have a healthy tan due to the sunny climate of their lands.
Orlonian fashions are similar to those of more northerly climes.Males were a tunic worn loose with pantaloons, and a calf-length, sleeveless, high-collared overcoat belted over it. Women generally wear whatever dress or shift or gown suits them, and some have even taken to wearing clothing styled after the Alssonian women's garb. For both sexes, sandals are the footwear of choice. Ornamentation is to taste, though especially gaudy jewelry is considered tacky.
The Orlonians, being an independent sort, have, instead of a monarchy, a republican system in which each Orlonian province has it's own representative, known as a Young King, who is given tasks and power by the provincial assembly, and goes three times a year to Orlonium, the capitol, as a representative of its province before the Grand Deliberative, which includes every other Young King, as well as the Deliberators.
Like Zinaldians, Orlonians often follow Arcturan traditions, however, wood is used more in Orlonian construction, and they tend to favor larger windows.
Arcturan gods are worshipped by Orlonians, but the god Ohmath, a native god, is also worshipped in more rustic regions.

Orlonian Names: Elmathen (M), Thoh (M), Lemoh (F), Voehn (F), Lenotha (M), Bellh (M)
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The Paladin Brotherhood
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2004, 09:51:13 PM »
The Paladin Brotherhood is a singular order of warrior priests devoted to the defeat of evil. The Brotherhood as a whole does not devote itself to a particular god, though Paladins may worship any god they wish.
The Paladin Brotherhood are centered in a the aptly-named Paladin Stronghold, a massive fortress in the mountains of northern Marcosia. The Paladin Stronghold is held to be impossible to infiltrate by any mortal, and impossible to defeat by any sublunary army. It is constructed on the shores of the Arendus Lake, and the Arendus River runs through the fortress itself.
The Paladins were founded in the Imperial Year 102 by Palatine the Pious, a priest of Arcturus who went into the land of Marcosia, which, at that time, was a semi-civilized wilderness. He began a small Arcturan mission to bring faith and civilization to the Marcosi, the barbarians who would become the major inhabitants of Marcosia. More and more priests came to Palatine's mission, developing it into a small town of sorts. Danger came with them, in the form of barbarian raids, attracted to the mission-town by its food and supplies. The need for arms was apparent, and by Imperial Year 185, the mission had become a fort, peopled by an amateur defensive force of priests. Barbarians raids became less and less frequent, as the priests became more and more skilled at repelling them. Barbarians even began to join the priests, seeking education and civilization. The entire tribe of Bohkel Marcosi joined the order. By Imperial Year 245, Marcosia had several small Imperial fort-towns, though it was still mostly untamed. The Paladin Brotherhood was far removed from any other Imperial outpost, and was thus cut off from most of civilization. This is still mostly true. Northern Marcosia's mountains are still a wild and untamed area. What started as a tiny chapel has now grown into a mighty fortress, housing the holy army of the Palatine, as the leader of the Brotherhood is known.
The Paladin Brotherhood is devoted entirely to the battle against evil. The Paladins are often dispatched to aid what the Palatine considers to be righteous causes around the Armorican Lands. Paladins who are part of a war usually lodge with the national soldiery. A permanent selection of Paladins are stationed in the Imperial Arcturan capitol of Arcturus.
Paladins come from all racial stock, however, the Paladin uniform is roughly the same all throughout the order. Paladins wear a long chainmail coat with a coif, and a sleeveless surcoat over it. The surcoat and chainmail are worn fastened above the belt and hanging below. Large plate gauntlets and pauldrons are worn. Loose pants, cuffed at the ankle are worn under the surcoat. Plated boots are worn over the feet. A simple helm with a long noseguard and a long dyed horsehair plume or feather plume protects the head, with a faceplate that attaches in to protect the face, leaving only the eyes unprotected. When not battle-ready, they wear their surcoats and pants, with a light, high-collared shirt of white cotton underneath.
All armor that the Paladins wear is simple and undecorated. The trim on the surcoat is always gold thread, however, the surcoat's solid color, as well as the color of the plume on the helmet, depends on the rank of the Paladin. Initiates wear blue, lesser acolytes wear purple, greater acolytes wear green, and optians and centurions wear red. The primus pilus, the Paladin in charge of a cohort, composed of initieates, acolytes both less and great, optians, and centurions, wears blue with a second black stripe of trim. Above the primus pilus is the praefectus, who may be in charge of as many as six primus pilae, or as few as two, wears a surcoat of purple with a second black stripe of trim. The primus tribunus, who commands up to forty praefecti, and as few as ten, wears a green surcoat trimmed with gold and black. The legatus commands an entire legio (legion), which is composed of ten primus tribunae and the commands thereof, and wears a surcoat of red with gold and black trim. Above the legatus, there is the Omnius, who controls the ten legati, and above the Omnius is the Palatine himself.
The symbol of the Paladin Brotherhood is the trium, a symbol like an upper-case "E" turned on it's side, somewhat like a "W". This represents the three pillars of the order, Strength, Duty, and Order, with the base of Faith holding them up.
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The Armorican Kingdoms
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2004, 08:22:57 AM »
Gotta' give credit where credit is due.
The Paladins are inspired by the Sarafan of Legacy of Kain. The story, ranks, and purpose is different, but the outfit is the same.
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The Marcosians
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2004, 08:51:50 PM »
Marcosia is the second-most powerful of the Armorican Kingdoms, under Arcturus. Its inhabitants are a strong and prosperous people, descended from barbarians, who have carved a mighty and wealthy nation from the mountainous wilderness that is their home.
Marcosians have hair that may be any shade of blonde, brown, or, rarely, fiery red. They have strong noses and chins, and their eyes are almost uniformly blue-green. Marcosians of both sexes average among the tallest of Armorican peoples, ranging from 5'8"-6'5". Marcosian men of low class wear a coarse cotton tunic with breeches or pantaloons, women, a dress of the same, and both wear fur-lined vests and coats during the colder months. Upper class Marcosians wear similar, if higher-quality, garments, or, sometimes, Imperial Arcturan garb. Jewelry is generally ornate and heavy. Pendants and armlets are the most common. The sign of Mitras, the Marcosian chief god, is common, as well as the sign of Orana, the Arcturan goddess of mystery and sorcery, who is popular in Marcosia.
Marcosians make extensive use of lumber, stone and plaster in their buildings. Their houses are long, constructed along a main hallway of sorts, with a steep roof in the northern regions to ward off snow. Curtains of fur and hide are employed to keep out the cold during winter (Glassmaking is a skill that has not been discovered in the Armorican lands.).
The Marcosian gods are a mixture of local and Arcturan gods. Mitras, the Marcosian sun deity, replaces Arcturus, and the position of god of waters is taken by Thanoces. The fierce demon Ozibel takes the place of Julius and Cthonus.

Marcosian Names: Baggan (M), Ninga (F), Marco (M), Botta (M), Leggar (M), Lena (F), Elizabat (F), Hega (F), Baza (M), Benzant (M), Reeglen (F), Sarah (F)
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The Chargians
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2004, 11:36:24 PM »
Chargia is the land of forests, home of the Chargians. The Chargians have learned to base their culture around the forest. They dwell in, live off, and love the forest.
Chargians are black, brown, or red-haired. They have high cheekbones, wide nostrils, and diamond-shaped faces. Skin tones are generally paler than the norm for Armorican peoples, which hints at a strain of Kozkilite blood in the Chargian population. They are among the shortest of Armorican peoples, as males are 5'3"-5'5", and females 4'10"-5'3". They are also noted to have unusually large hands and feet. Chargian men dress in enveloping, thigh-length coats made from hides with collars that obscure the face up to the bridge of the nose, and breeches of wool or hide. Women wear much the same, but their coats are calf-length. The coats of both sexes are dyed in pastel patterns with natural plant dies, and the inner lining of one of these coats contains many, many pockets for carrying supplies in the forest. Unlike most Armorican people, Chargians wear leather footwear that incases the entire foot, much like a moccasin. In colder periods, Chargians may also wear a fur cloak, and a pastel-dyed hat of wool that fits over the head much like a beanie. Chargians do not wear much jewelry, but what they do wear is generally very colorful and features natural themes. Dyed leather armbands are among the most common, as well are necklaces and bracelets of beads.
Chargians, above all people, enjoy a good laugh. Humor is the virtue closest to the Chargian heart. Chargians are also peerless hunters and trackers, rivalled only by the Eregard barbarians. Many an expedition into the Black Forest of northern Arcturus is led by a Chargian forest guide. It is also said of Chargians that they are among the best of all animal trainers.
Chargian houses are small, circular constructions of timber and dried mud. A typical Chargian village is composed of six or seven of these circular houses in an open meadow or carefully cleared area of forest.
Chargians worship a variety of nature gods, of whom the chief is Elrim, the Tree. The other Chargian gods, who, Chargians say, dropped off of Elrim's branches as divine fruit, include Rilmanus, Torada, Sesere, and Jode. Chargians also often worship Mitras, the Marcosian sun god, Arborean, Arcturan god of nature and the forest, and Jaina, Arcturan god of growing things.

Chargian Names: Odara (M), Maritann (M), Joden (M), Ettena (F), Lerenaia (F), Horgelon (M), Tessenai (F)
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The Armorican Kingdoms
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2004, 09:57:16 PM »
Hmmm...
"Pastoral" is NOT the right word for Seduria...
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The Sedurians
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2004, 10:20:49 PM »
Seduria is a great northern plain, snowy in the winter and sweltering in the summer. The Sedurians are its people, and they are a hardy and rough folk, considered barely civilized by more southerly populations. However, it is believed, no matter where one goes in the Armorican Kingdoms, that the Sedurians are matchless in the ways of horsemanship.
Sedurians are a thin, wiry people, averaging 5'3"-5'7". They generally have curly red or blonde hair, and are large-nosed and sharp-chinned. Sedurian men wear short beards and moustaches, and wear ponytails. Sedurian women wear their hair in long braids. Men dress in knee-length, high-collared, sleeveless overcoats, with tunics and breeches underneath. Women dress in long dresses with a shawl over their shoulders. Jewelry is generally woven from natural fiber and twines, with beads and jewelry. Horse-emblems abound.
Sedurians love all horses. The husbandry of horses and riding reindeer ("antler-horses") is considered to be the highest occupation one can take up, besides that of warrior. Horses are the greatest allies and friends a Sedurian can have, and riding is a skill that Sedurians learn before they learn to walk. Sedurians are semi-nomadic, moving from hunting spot to hunting spot by season, riding their beloved horses and reindeer. There are established Sedurian outposts, but these are few, and are often empty, used only as temporary homes.
In a typical Sedurian clan ("riedemarc"), there are one-hundred to five-hundred regular men, women, and children, including hunters, gatherers, healers, and trackers, and twenty to sixty warriors, plus a chief, called the Riedenhier, and a shaman-priest, called the Oberthier.
Sedurians worship many gods, but their primary god is Riechter, the lord of the wind and the King of Horses. In addition are worshipped Holchtime, Riedenmahra, Ellchmaea, and Urllenloesch. Sedurians also worship various foreign gods related to the wilderness and riding.
Sedurians hold as their king the Wizard of the Tower, an ancient and mysterious being who lives in a great tower in the capitol settlement of Orollas. It is said among Sedurians that they once had a king, but that in great war he betrayed them and that the Wizard of the Tower saved them from destruction, and thus, they pledged their fealty to him.

Sedurian Names: Marck (M), Fritzen (M), Liesel (F), Seunne (F), Siegen (M), Dreine (F), Urllech (M), Reggiona (F), Franz (M)
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The Daalishmen
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2004, 10:32:51 PM »
The Great Duchy of Daaldag is the peninsular home of the Daalishmen, an ancient seafaring people nearly as old as the Kozkilites. Daalish boats ply the waves wherever they can, though, quite obviously, they are not such skillful sailors as the Gunds. It is also said of the Daalishmen that they are the most loyal allies a man can have, should he earn their trust.
Daalishmen average 5'6"-6'2", with Daalishwomen being similar in height. They have stiff, bristly hair that is usually black, or, in those with foreign blood, dark brown or red, and men wear their hair long as do women, and men usually wear goatees. They have angular, thin features. Clothing is generally similar to Sedurian garb, though it is usually made from more costly materials, as well as fishnet and other sea-based materials. Jewelry is a Daalishman's best friend, and any good Daalishman or Daalgishwoman wears at least copper jewelry with semi-precious stones.  Oceanic images are common.
Daalishmen are a curious people in that they are extremely loyal to those who have earned their trust. No Daalishman will betray one in which he has afforded his trust and honor. For this very reason, Daalishmen make excellent soldiers, though the Daalish temperament is ill-suited to more in-land climes. One of the most famous of the generals in the Arcturan army is a Daalishman, Fraalec Asedrus.
Daalish homes generally follow Imperial Arcturan styles, though they are more weather-proofed due to the marine storms that blow through.
Most Daalishmen occupy themselves as fishermen or sea-traders. They have extensive dealings with the Olkishmen and Gunds.
Daalishmen worship Euthog, their chief sea-god, a grim sailor-god who is also responsible for earthquakes and sea monsters. Below Euthog are Dallmishma, Saagnil, Elleuc, and others. When they die, good Daalishmen go to the Daalsensier, the City of the Gods, which lies across the Western Sea in the Land of Hope.

Daalish Names: Fraalec (M), Maalen (F), Eullecr (M), Vreech (M), Vraata (F), Saanlell (F), Fraagor (M), Senieseu (F)
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Kingdom Capitols
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2004, 09:16:07 PM »
Here are the capitols of the various Armorican countries...

Arcturan Empire: The Polis of Arcturus (Usually "the Polis")
Gloriano: Livia
Nydria: Golunas
Thasar: Simalium
Zinaldia: Messanthia
Nermalia: Odessa
Botheria: Same (Pronounced "sah-mey")
Watzcha: Elmikz
Woron: Weckylais
Kingdom of Marcosia: Assenero
Kozkil: Anorrus
Kingdom of Zlandis: Thermum
Kingdom of Orlonia: Orlonium
Kingdom of Chargia: Dasmuth
Great Duchy of Daaldag: Varchag
Seduria: Orollas
Kingdom of Haleco: Hurmanoth
Durmalgish Marches: Tasonium
Radoth: Erachag
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The Woronites
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2004, 08:32:07 AM »
The land of Woron crouches grimly in the hills above the great Tibor's Wall, manning always that mighty anti-barbarian bulwark. Woron is a gray, gloomy, debatable land, and its people, the Woronites, are as such a gray, gloomy, and fiery-tempered lot.
Woronites range from 5'1"-6' tall, and generally have uncontrollable, rough-textured hair, ranging from red to brown to black. They have long noses and sharp chins, and their eyes have a constant shadow, as if they are deathly tired. Woronite men wear heavy, long-sleeved wool tunics and baggy trousers tucked into leather boots. Woronite women wear wool dresses and robes, with leather moccasins. Both may wear a heavy, fur-lined cloak in the months of cold. Men generally where drab colors, such as gray, slate blue, and dull green, while women wear brighter shades, reds, yellows, and oranges. All Woronites carry a dagger somewhere on their person. Jewelry is considered a luxury that compromises one's personal safety, and it is rare indeed to see a Woronite with more than a dull copper or silver ring or pendant.
Woronites are a ill-tempered and gloomy people, quick to anger and full of melancholy. Imagination is not a valued trait among the folk of Woron, and day-dreamers may be quick to find themselves on the wrong side of Tibor's Wall. Woronites are, however, fierce fighters, ready to do anything to protect their homes, and extremely clever when in a tight spot. Woronites make excellent tacticians, and often have an understanding of the barbarians that they protect against far exceeding that of any Imperial scholar.
Woronites construct their houses of wood and local stones, constructing small, square homes with walls of rock and plaster, and steep wooden roofs stuffed with thatch to ward off snow and cold. All Woronite homes have a large firepit in the center, around which the family beds are clustered. Auxiliary functions of the house take place at the back or outside, in warmer months.
Woronites worship a blend of Arcturan deities and more primitive gods from their barbarian past, such as the warrior-god Erlik and Alssonskya Mezkjya, the god of the Alsson Mountains.

Woronite Names: Pomnie (M), Rawieg (M), Narnia (F), Leczn (F), Iscieg (M), Miolec (F), Budeli (M), Braw (M), Lech (M), Buchac (M), Wprodm (F), Szofia (F)
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The Watzchans
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2004, 09:14:46 PM »
The nation of Watzcha is the brother-kingdom of the melancholy country of Woron, however, it is further south, in the Imperial climate zone, and its weather and its citizens are both much sunnier than those of Woron. Watzchans are gerrulous, sunny-dispositioned folk, and are born merchants.
Watzchans range from 5'2"-6'1" tall, and have rough-textured hair in shades of black, red, or brown, like Woronites. Watzchans have long noses and sharp chins. There are also influxes of foreign blood in Watzcha, Arcturan, Marcosian, Zinaldian and otherwise, so foreign features are not uncommon. Watzchans are a nation of frank Arcturophiles, striving to imitate them in all ways. The climate of their nation has aided them greatly in imitating Imperial dress, and the majority of Watzchans wear Imperial outfits, though in more traditional areas, one can find them wearing vestments similar to, if thinner and more colorful than, Woronite clothing.
Much like the Chargians, much unlike their cousins the Woronites, are a cheerful and sunny people. They are almost uniformly optimists. 'A smile is the best solution to any problem' goes a Watzchan proverb. The expeditious Watzchan temperament makes them ideal merchants, and, indeed, they are the finest merchants in all the land. The trade that Watzchan merchants have conducted has made their kingdom of a prosperous and rich land, which just gives them more to smile about.
Woronites and Czechki, though descended from the same stock as Watzchans, do not get along with them. Woronites find the irrepressible Watzchan cheer to be irritating and disquieting, and, obviously, relations between Watzchans and the barbarian Czechki are not at their best.
Watzchans follow Imperial traditions in housing.
The premiere gods of the Watzchans are the Arcturian gods, though they also share some deities with the Woronites.

Watzchan Names: See Woronite Names
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The Armorican Kingdoms
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2004, 09:37:18 PM »
I just realized that while I was writing about the Sedurians I completely forgot about the Wizard of the Tower!
I'll edit it.
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Story #2
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2004, 09:56:32 PM »
I, Alssonus, blink owlishly as a rare beam of sunlight pierces the oppressive gloom of the Czechki Wilderness. Crossing my arms before my chest, I glance over at my companion, the merchant's other bodyguard. It is very clear to me how much the Woronite wants to kill the merchant's other party. The hatred in his eyes and the hand resting upon his sword-pommel tell it all.
I yawn. There is nothing much I can do about that, though it seems silly to be so up-in-arms over which side of a stupid wall one lives on.
The merchant, a great, fat, grinning Watzchan, is displaying a patchy coat of chainmail, shined with pig grease to make it look like quality work, when, to any civilized eye, it is obviously not. The buyer, a tatooed, pelt-draped Czechki, his braided, matted black mane surrounding his scarred face like a lion's, eyes the chainmail tersely and speaks a few words of Watzchan to the merchant, producing a widening grin and a vigorous nod. "I could trick you into anything, fool barbarian." his expression seems to say.
But the Woronite next to me is becoming more and more agitated as he waits. The Czechki has taken the chainmail and is now going to look at the various amphorae and and pots and jugs that the merchant is offering.
With a sudden snarl and a quick motion, the Woronite leaps forward, jerking his sword from its sheath, shoving the merchant roughly aside and hacking violently at the Czechki, who produces a battered bronze axe and bulls toward his adversary in prime barbarian fashion.
Looks like another day of earning my pay...
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The Zlandics
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2004, 12:34:02 AM »
The Kingdom of Zlandis lies nestled on the seacoast between Chargia and Orlonia, with Kozkil lurking beside. The Zlandics are its people, and are often called the Children of the Inspiri, for they are the most artistic and imaginative of all Armorican people.
Zlandics are a stout people with a large Marcosian heritage. They range from 5'3"-5'8", and are broad and thick-limbed. Zlandics have square jaws and square faces, with sharp, blade-like noses. Zlandics haver feathery, soft hair, in blonde and light browns, that has a tendency to gather much static. Zlandic men generally wear their hair long and combed straight, with short beards, while women wear their hair in styles that suit them. Men wear knee-length pantaloons and tunics, with a vest over, patterned with a colorful geometric pattern peculiar to a particular man's kith. Women wear long dresses or robes patterned with the same patterns, and, when they marry, they adopt their husband's pattern. Both sexes wear sandals as footwear. Zlandics wear whatever jewelry they find beautiful.
Zlandics are known throughout the Armorican kingdoms as the children of the Inspiri, with good reason. No other race is as artistic or musical. Many, many of the Empire's most succesful artists, musicians, and poets have sprung from Zlandic roots. The Zlandic capitol of Thermum is said to be one of the artistic wonders of the Armorican Kingdoms. The Zlandic poet Aslegus Maximus once said "Truly are we Zlandics a blessed people, for we have the gift of imagination." One art where Zlandics do not excel, however, is the art of war. Zlandics are poor fighters, clumsy and unmotivated, and any Zlandic would rather compose a song than fight a duel on any day.
Zlandic homes are large, low affairs, made from mud-plaster and local stone, painted with the geometric pattern of the home owner's kith.
Zlandics arrange themselves in large clans consisting of extended families known as kiths.
Zlandics worship the Arcturan gods, with a special emphasis on the Inspiri.

Zlandic Names: Zlen (M), Sezlan (F), Slessi (F), Ozza (M), Asleg (M), Nezel (F)
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The Kozkirrim
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2004, 10:10:23 PM »
Kozkil is the Shadowed Land, a place of darkness and terror, the last home of a culture which predates the Empire, and indeed the Armoricans, by a thousand years. The Kozkirrim are the deathly people of this bloodstained land.
For a thousand years before the coming of the Armori barbarians to their land, the Kozkirrim were the rulers of a great empire, a massive, military entity controlling iron-fistedly the entirety of what is now called the Armorican Lands. The Kozkirrim are extremely flat-faced, having few planes or extensions to their skulls, with flat, large-nostriled noses, and large, unnatural-seeming eyes, totally black but for the colorful curve of the iris. All Kozkirrim have soft, fieathery hair either of the dark auburn of dried blood, or of a black as dark as a raven's wing. Kozkirrim of both sexes wear their hair long, pulled back in a ponytail. Both sexes also dress alike, wearing long, ankle-length silk hooded robes, with stripes of color indicating caste hemming the sleeves, hood, and front of the robe. The robe is belted with a silk sash in the caste color. Sandals suit the warm, humid climate of Kozkil. They do not wear jewelry, for their religion forbids it.
The Kozkirrim are not the only descendants of the pre-Armorican peoples. Radothites and Daalishmen are alike in that way. However, they are the only folk of their nature who have retained the bloody ways of their ancestors. Within the boundaries of the Shadowed Land, the Kozkirrim array themselves in castes, with the highest caste being the Priesthood  ("Taacharai" or "Godspeakers"), followed by the Law-makers ("Nrachegrai" or "Lawgivers"), followed by the Warriors ("Vartaagai" or "Swordwielders"), followed by the Populous ("Populai", or "Headbowers"), which include merchants, common workers, tax collectors, and other government officials, and, least of all, the Slaves ("Helotai" or "Weightcarriers"), who farm, construct, do tanning work and butchery, and other sublunary tasks. The Priesthood control the entire nation with an iron fist, and their leader is the Priest-Queen of All of Kozkil, She Who's Name Is Not To Be Spoken, The One in White. The Priest-Queen is the most important being in all of Kozkil, to the Kozkil mind, for she is the high priestess of the Kozkirrim god, K'Thalath, an ancient deity forgotten to all but the Kozkirrim since the dark, misty days of the past. K'Thalath is a brutal, bloody-handed god, a dark being who, it is said, demands the sacrafice of blood and the worship of all of Kozkil so that he will not destroy the Kozkirrim once and for all. It is said, in Kozkirrim legend, that in the ancient days of their empire, the Armori swept down from the north, laying waste to the Kozkirrim glory, leveling their ancient cities, and slaying their mighty armies. The Kozkirrim cried out to their solar deity, begging mercy and help, but they were forsaken by the Sun, and their empire was destroyed. The Kozkirrim fled from their capitol, a great exodus, fleeing the pursuing Armori, and they split into three different Diaspori, one going to the far, far north, to Radoth, one to the sea, to Daaldag, and the last to the shadows of the mountains, to Kozkil. The Kozkirrim, in their need, forgot the Sun. At their final battle against the Armori, the Kozkirrim fell beneath the horror of slaying after slaying. Finally, a being came to the leader of the Kozkirrim, a shadowed being, but offering hope, in exchange for eternal service. The leader snatched it up in a second, and upon the battlefield appeared a horrible being, K'Thalath, the Unspoken. The Armori fled, and the Kozkirrim called out to the Unspoken, and pledged forever to worship them. As they established their nation, the Kozkirrim contacted the Daalishmen and the Radothites, tried to give them the glory of K'Thalath, but their brethren would not except it. The Kozkirrim vowed death and destruction upon their brothers, seeing the refusal of the Unspoken as a bitter betrayal. The same is true of all folk, for all but the Kozkirrim see the true dark nature of the Unspoken, and thus, Kozkil is known as the Shadowed Land, a place of evil and darkness, and rightfully so. The very ground of Kozkil is tainted with the evil of K'Thalath, the mountains above, the forests between, and the people within. They have very strong morals and laws, prohibiting killing of other Kozkirrim, rape of other Kozkirrim, and other atrocities, as well as looking into another's eyes, especially a member of the priesthood. All Kozkirrim laws and morals apply only to other Kozkirrim, except under special exceptions.
Kozkirrim homes are large affairs, circular, octopus-like structures sunken in the ground. The hallways and auxiliary chambers form the tentacles, and the  central chamber as the head. The whole home is generally sunken below the ground, but for the roof of the central chamber, which is two storied. Kozkirrim homes have two entrances, one in the central chamber leading to the overcity, and one an auxiliary hallway, leading into a warren of tunnels below the city that connect districts. Kozkirrim towns and cities are odd-looking structures, with the low-boxes of Kozkirrim houses protruding from the ground in irregular patterns spread through a carefully controlled wilderness area overhead. Paths lead throughout this are to the center of the settlement which is always occupied by the pyramidal temple of K'Thalath. The undercity is were most city activity takes place, with subterranean tunnels taking the place of a usual city's streets.
Kozkirrim worship one god and only one god, K'Thalath, and the depth of their dark devotion knows no bounds.

Kozkirrim Names: A'lai (M), Li'laa (F), Kaaz (M), Aazkai-e (M), Kail'za (F), Taa-e-Kai (F), Thaazan (F)
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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The Armorican Kingdoms
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2004, 10:48:39 PM »
Whew! The Kozkirrim was a long one.
Well, a long post for an interesting (read: strange) people.
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

Currently Listening To: "Piece Of Time" by Atheist