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Author Topic: The Storehouse of All Knowledge (Works in Progress and such)  (Read 21572 times)

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Offline CaptainPenguin

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The Storehouse of All Knowledge (Works in Progress and such)
« Reply #50 on: January 20, 2005, 08:28:20 PM »
The Vale of Swords

Description:
Soaring mountains wall Parakonia and the Three Kingdoms from Mysia, a left arm of the mountains of Arachosia, and prove a very choice barrier against trade between these lands. While traders could pass around the mountains through swampy Bedalia into Kerastar, southernmost of the Three Kingdoms, or pass eastward up the Carmanian coast on the Sea of Esh-Eir and through Cilicia, but both routes are somewhat dangerous and rather long. One could go through some of the passes of Arachosia, but these are heavily tolled by the people of Chon, and long to boot (what with passing through all of Arachosia). But for traders who need great speed, and have little regard for their own safety, there is the Vale of Swords, a straight chasm-slash through the mountains, known as one of the most dangerous regions in Ageratos.
The main body of the Vale of Swords is a huge chasm running roughly north-south through a narrow region in the mountains. In this area, the land has split, as if a blade has been jabbed into the ground, and the wound ripped apart. The walls of the cavern are a tortured maze of knife-edged cliffs and crazy, wind-carved rock bridges, mad ledges and impossible formations slashed out of the stone by the wind which blows sand constantly down this ravine. It is constantly windy here, screamingly windy, howling wind that the local people call "iziphon aephon", wind of souls, for the superstition that it is composed of all the people who have died in the canyon.
The tattered rope bridges and ropewalks that swing across the canyons many bridges, planes, and cliffs present no true coherent trail, but they allow a sort of passage, such as it is. The prayer-flags hung by the Valefolk generally follow the route of the safest trail, but... one never knows. The Vale is frequented by dangerous bandits and monsters which prey on the travelers through the area. The walls are always ready to collapse upon the unwary, yawning chasms loom, bridges are ready to collapse.

(Maybe I'll finish this, but I'm not sure where I'm going with it, and I want to make it seem more dangerous than all that, and... I dunno, it just is unsatisfactory and I've lost interest for now.)
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #51 on: January 20, 2005, 08:39:31 PM »
Still to come...
-Tsartians
-Massagettae
-Dragonfighters or Dragon Warriors, whichever name I pick (maybe)
-The Legion of One (I know, it's a corny name... What do I do with it?)
-The Children of Lasaron (and the Undead, to whom they are related)
-Ur-Belut, the Great Fortress
-various sorcerors
-plants and things, maybe.

Any suggestions on what I should do first?
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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I'm on an Undead bent... Can you tell?
« Reply #52 on: February 15, 2005, 05:15:05 PM »
The Undead

Horrors of the grave, unnatural servants of ancient sorceries and dark curses, the Undead exist in dark places across Ageratos. Terrible, powerful, evil, and immortal, the Undead are not common, though any Agera can tell you that they exist in truth. There are many kinds of Undead, from the restless Hungry Ghosts, to the unnatural black Azhag, to the goat-headed underdwellers known as Ghouls, ranging in power, though all are more than a match for the average man (though let it be known that adventurers in Ageratos are often more potent than the average).

Azhag (Tomb Guardians, Demon Shadows)
The Azhag ('ah-ZHAHG'; from Old West-Carmanian azadg, meaning watchman, sentry), called Tomb Guardians or Demon Shadows, are the terrible Undead guardians of the tombs of the Ancient Ones. They were originally bound to the various tombs and crypts they guarded by powerful oaths and spells. Some were bound with more than oaths- their souls were chained to the gateposts of the tomb. But as the ages passed, and the Ancient Ones disappeared, many devious and unfaithful Azhag abandoned the tombs which they watched and protected and wandered away to find blood to quench the burning flames of their eternal hunger. Others, freed of their oaths, remained faithful to former masters and stayed, or were held back by chained souls, and their hunger gradually made their souls feral and wild. Thus, though ancient Azhag can sometimes be found in the wilderness, hiding in dark places, others still can be found dwelling in the dusty porticoes of the tombs of an elder race.
The Azhag can take many forms- a tall, spare man outfitted as a watchman in ancient garb, a shaggy black hound, or a watching black owl. However, when they are enraged, or when they encounter a large threat to themself or their tomb, they reveal their true form: the Azhag have, in self-absorbed madness, not only forgotten their former lives, but all sense of what it is to be mortal. They appear as bone-thin, oily-black-skinned, rotting fanged men with a corpselike appearance. Their noses are sharply ridged. Their bellies are swollen with starvation, and instead of hair, they have thick, heavy tentacles, hanging down to the smalls of their backs. They wear no clothing in this state, and multiple unearthly sexual organs and protruding, purposeless bones emerge and recede constantly from their body as they move. Their eyes are milky green and leak a stream of gray bile, which run down trenches in their long faces. Azhag constantly hunger for blood, which is the only thing that can quench the fiery hunger of their starvation.
Azhag are supernaturally strong and fast, despite their crumbling appearance. They are dull-witted and easily tricked, but they are likewise prone to vile tricks and have a sort of animalistic cunning. In addition to their sharp, curved nails, they can use their tentacle-hair to slap and bite foes. Their tongues can elongate to the length of two feet, and have a pair of deadly poisonous spines at the tip.
Azhag are killed by the severing of their tentacle-hair and by the removal of their hearts. In addition, a mad Azhag confined to the tomb will crumble to dust given the news that it is freed of its oath. Azhag are burned by the touch of sunlight; it reduces the places it touches to ash.

Hungry Ghosts (Bogghon, Blood Drinker)
The Hungry Ghost (from Mysian bogghon, "one who devours") is relatively common, as Undead are. A Hungry Ghost is born when the lower soul (the animal soul of the body, containing physical urges and violences) becomes angered and, rather than descending to the Underworld, lashes out against the living, which, in its instinctive state and having dulled senses, it percieves as enemies who have "wronged" it. The animal soul can be angered in many ways- murder victims, especially those whose murders go uninvestigated or unavenged, often produce Hungry Ghosts. Those who are poorly buried or buried without proper ritual sometimes yield Blood Drinkers. But it is most often the unburied or uncremated dead (or in some cases, those who are not pleased according to local ritual) who give up their Hungry Ghosts.
Hungry Ghosts vary in appearance depending on the person. Often, they manifest merely as an apparition of the person, though twisted and animalistic; others are more monstrous (the Hungry Ghost of King Ytath of an ancient country is a crouching evil shadow with four clawed arms).  However, all Hungry Ghosts are semi-immaterial. Their touch is icy cold and often raises blood blisters or wounds on the flesh of the touched. It is dangerous to fight a Hungry Ghost, for in sustaining their touch they cause more serious wounds, and their breath is like terrible slaying ice. They consume the blood and flesh of those they slay.
Hungry Ghosts have dull senses- they see only poorly, in shades of grey, black, and very dulled color; they hear screams, cries, and sobs very clearly, though laughter they hear not at all. They cannot feel, and when they eat they taste only ashes (some mad Hungry Ghosts consume vast amounts of food and wine in attempting to taste again). Hungry Ghosts are not harmed by bright lights, but rather, avoid it, for its brilliance overwhelms their poor vision.

Crawling Ghosts (Yabuj, Brown Ghost, Lonely Beetle)
The Crawling Ghosts (from Parsic "yabuj", "it crawls") are the loathsome, disturbing ghosts of those who die lonely and rejected, shut-ins and the forgotten. Scuttling in the places where the lone dead once inhabited, the animal soul takes on the form of a huge brown insect, a cockroach or hornless beetle, as long as a man's body and as wide as a platter, endlessly lonely and full of sadness. They are chained to the places where, in their former lives, they once frequented- Crawling Ghosts often scuttle about a single room or tiny cell. Crawling Ghosts seek out living ones to ease their loneliness, but seem unaware of how much horror and fear their presence causes. They are little appeased when, invariably, those they approach flee in terror.
Crawling Ghosts take only one form- that of a huge brown cockroach or hornless beetle. Their snapping jaws drip a foul brown fluid, and their feet trail a similar stick substance. They smell horribly, as if they were a manifest presence of rot; this stench is often the first sign of their presence, along with trails of vaporous residue along the walls, ceiling, and floor of a room. Their eyes are small, black, and gleaming, and their antennae wave furiously when they are agitated.
Crawling Ghosts sense very little- they can barely feel through their stiff shells, save pain and the aches of their existence. They see very poorly- beyond about 40 feet, they see very little other than a grey fog. They have no sense of smell, though it seems that they have a more acute sense of taste than Hungry Ghosts, for they relish garbage and rotten things and are repelled by fresh food. Crawling Ghosts can speak, but unless they speak very slowly and quietly, it is nearly impossible to understand them through the insectile stone-scraping squeal of their voices. Crawling Ghosts rarely sense what they have become- many attempt, at first, to go about their old routines or lives, even attempting to stand and dress despite inexplicable difficulties such as strange aches and whirling limbs where there never were any before. This makes them even lonelier, for in attempting to go about normal human existence, they cause even more horror, and become ever lonelier.

Ghouls (Ghulas, Eaters of the Dead)
Below the surface of the Earth, dwelling in darkness and forgotten catacombs, the goat-headed Ghouls, dark spirits of murder, feast on the dead. Ghouls dwell in old, forgotten places, luring others down into the grasping claws of their evil tribes. Ghouls rarely appear in the daylight, though it causes them no harm, for it serves their secretive tendencies better to be shrouded in darkness. Ghouls have their own loathsome gods, terrible, nihilistic deities who mortals have luckily forgotten.
Ghouls are human enough in form from a distance, or in their preferred darkness, with two arms and two legs, despite a somewhat hunched stature. But when approached, the truth becomes clear. Their spatulate feet and hands are horrible splayed claws, stained a rusty-brown with dried blood. On their meaty chests, there are bloody wounds where their hearts should be. Long tufted tails hang from their backs. But their most inhuman aspect is their heads, for they have the heads of goats, with filthy, blood-crusted grey hair and curving black horns. Their red, strange-pupilled eyes represent the terrible evil of their former lives.
Ghouls seek only to do evil, for one reason or another. Some claim ulterior motives for their vile deeds, while others refute such rationalizations. Ghouls often spin elaborate fantasies to clothe their existences in, fearing to see the truth, that they may slay themselves of it. Some ancient, powerful Ghouls have made wickedness into an existence in itself, and do not even think that they do anything different than any other being. Young Ghouls are often vilely clever, and devise elaborate means to trick mortals into their lairs or traps. Elder Ghouls, having had centuries or even millenia to gain knowledge and power, are vastly intelligent, and more sagely even than mortal sorcerors (some ill-intentioned mortals seek out these elder Ghouls for forbidden knowledge, though the price is often far too high).
Ghouls can see in the dark, and have a taste for human flesh and blood. They use the skins and bones of their victims to create elaborate sculptures macabre and grotesque. Some Ghouls dwell in large tribes- such a life makes it easier to trick mortals by having the aid of others.

(Maybe more?)
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #53 on: February 15, 2005, 08:54:10 PM »
Hungry Ghosts added to Undead
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #54 on: February 16, 2005, 05:59:54 PM »
Added Crawling Ghosts (inspired by Kafka's Metamorphosis) and Ghouls (inspired by good ol' H.P. Lovecraft).
I find I am enjoying the creation of Undead very much! Perhaps there is something more in it... :)
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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The Storehouse of All Knowledge (Works in Progress and such)
« Reply #55 on: February 17, 2005, 09:35:02 PM »
*sniff, tear falling*
My little baby's moving on up!
I'm so proud!

Prepare for the storm!
Of a new setting forum for Ageratos!
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Offline Maggot

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The Storehouse of All Knowledge (Works in Progress and such)
« Reply #56 on: February 17, 2005, 10:48:16 PM »
Congratulations to the proud father,er creator. Nice work with the undead,especially with the ghouls.
“I'm yet another resource-consuming kid in an overpopulated planet, raised to an alarming extent by Hollywood and Madison Avenue, poised with my cynical and alienated peers to take over the world when you're old and weak.” -Bill Watterson

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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Offline CaptainPenguin

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The Storehouse of All Knowledge (Works in Progress and such)
« Reply #58 on: February 21, 2005, 09:55:07 PM »
Just for safekeeping, to be added to a history thread later:

Mysa and his Agera, after helping the other Agera to establish the fort which would one day become Nightwater, on the coast of the Sea of Death, began to march south through the Great Swamp into what is now the Western Wilderness. Then, turning east in the face of the Swamp's diseases and demons, the Mysathoi marched through lands once belonging to the Ancients, raiding as they went. Having already dispatched their desperate armies to defeat the Agera at Nightwater, the Ancients (whose empire was already destabilized and crumbling) were totally unprepared for the golden-haired barbarians, who fell upon them like a hammer. Thus, the Mysians were spared the bloody setbacks of the Assembly of Warrior Gods.
For over four hundred years, lasting well into the Bloody Age, the Mysian states remained squabbling principalities split along tribal lines from their old homeland, divided by language, culture, and power. The Mysian land, as it is known, was not united under one kingdom until the end of the plagues of the Great Fear. After the plagues of that time, a warlord arose among the people of the River Hart, where, it was said, Mysa himself had been buried after the Battle of the River Hart. This warlord, claiming to be a direct descendant of Mysa, forged a kingdom out of the balkanized states of Mysia, creating the Mysian state roughly as it now lies.
Mysia is, thus, one of the most ancient states in Ageratos
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Updated To Do List
« Reply #59 on: February 28, 2005, 09:22:04 PM »
-Tsartians
-Massagettae
-Dragonfighters or Dragon Warriors, whichever name I pick (maybe)
-The Legion of One (I know, it's a corny name... What do I do with it?)
-The Children of Lasaron
-Ur-Belut, the Great Fortress
-various sorcerors (Malluvyam of the Iron Hand, the Lord of Worms)
-The magical arts (the Chymists, Thaumaturgy, Shamani [including Grass Charms and Taproot Magic, other tribal magic], Necromancy, Diabolism [including Warrior Gods])
-Various tribes (detailed in threads related to their homelands, i.e., Alocimi and Tytoni in the Mysians, Taproot Diggers in the Carmanians)
-Freewomen
-Izadans
-Khwarezmian Peninsula (and Khwarezmians, maybe; depends on what I decide
-As a sideline, flora and fauna and s**t.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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The Storehouse of All Knowledge (Works in Progress and such)
« Reply #60 on: February 28, 2005, 09:23:48 PM »
Oh, and by the way... This thread is now the Repository of All Knowledge- this is where works in progress, to-do lists, and stuff that I can't find a place for yet will go.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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The Storehouse of All Knowledge (Works in Progress and such)
« Reply #61 on: February 28, 2005, 09:24:17 PM »
Check previous page for updated to-do list.
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The Storehouse of All Knowledge (Works in Progress and such)
« Reply #62 on: September 11, 2005, 05:10:21 PM »
Notes for Gedrosi:

Name comes from Gye Drus Ji (pronounced "gyeh druhsh yee"), meaning "The Real [or the Visible] People".

Famous Gedrosi leader-
Mr Ji Deak ("muhr yee deyk")

Red-brown skin, with epicanthic folds ("Asian" features); males have frizzy, bleached-white hair, females shave their heads.

Important weapon- the fr bis ("fuhr bish"), staff with a blade at both ends, and the tem teak ("tehm tayk"), square-tipped, straight-bladed sword with a single edge.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Dragons of Ageratos
« Reply #63 on: September 12, 2005, 08:48:45 PM »
The Dragons of Ageratos are (or were, I haven't decided yet if there are any left) terrible forces of nature, beings of immense strength and incredible power, beings of incontrivertible evil. It is often said among the darker cults that the dragons descended onto the Earth from the darknesses between the constellations, and label them among the foremost of the foulnesses of the Outer World.
Dragons are semi-mythical, incredibly powerful, and hideously evil creatures. None are exactly alike; some are giant amphibian beasts like toads or salamanders, others are huge creatures like a mix between lion, serpent, and man, some are vaguely insectoid monstrosities, and some lack physical bodies at all.
Dragons are also very wise, despite their destructive and evil natures. They possess secrets which were brought down from beyond the stars in the earliest gulfs of time, know sorceries perpetrated by the inhuman ones who ruled the world before Man, and other esoteric secrets which none can imagine. Many sorcerors have tried to make the devil's bargain with a dragon, though all inevitably fell to the strength or the trickery of these foul monsters.
Dragons speak their own language, an animalistic tongue of shrieks, roars, croaks, and rumbles. However, they are wise enough to speak any tongue once they have listened to it for a while; even the most complex languages come easily to these reptilian polyglots. They are named in their own language, and men call them after these names, rendering the noises of the dragon language into words, and generally giving them a fearful title.

Examples (mythical dragons from Agera history)-

Achash, Furnace of the Underworld
Achash was a terrible destroyer, an enormous beast who terrified the people of Styrash. An a quatic behemoth like a toad or salamander, he had a long, fleshy body which was at turns snaky or squat like a toad's. He had six limbs; two pairs were squat, splay-toed limbs which sat halfway along his slimy bulk; the other pair were gnarled arms, with horrible hands possessing dozens of tendril-like fingers tipped with claws like broken glass. His salamander-esque head, with it's bulging toadish throat, had two pairs of balefully-glowing eyes.
Achash was called the Dragon of Gluttony, and also of Greed. He denuded entire mountainsides and cities of life in his search for satiety. He was called the Furnace of the Underworld, for the fire in his belly never ceased, and he was wont to vomit forth huge tides of flame and molten gold upon his enemies.
Achash was finally defeated by Unydis, the Last Emperor of Styrash, so clever he outwitted even the Furnace of the Underworld. Unydis slew him, and his corpse dropped into the marshy lake which he dwelt in; thereafter, the Dragon's Lake became eternally befouled, and to this day continues to steam and belch forth ingots of poisonous gold.
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