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« on: January 24, 2005, 12:43:42 AM »
Moved to V2


This is where information about magic systems, otherworldly entities and such will be posted alongside religious information and the like.

Of Demons
Demons are the darker emotions, the destructive forces of creation. In primeval times the demons awoke alongside the gods and the angels, and were herded by the greater powers, chased into hell, even as the angels were led into heaven. The greater Demons, godlike in power, became the overlords of the prime emotions and depraved instincts, while the lesser demons became the scions and the by-products of their powerful patrons. Thus were rape spawned from lust, murder spawned by hate and treason by jealousy. Contrary to popular belief, there are no demon hordes or the like, only the countless embodiments of sin; including different embodiments of the same sin. In essence a demon horde need consist of no more than a couple of demons and could indeed be different creatures inhabited by the same demon force. For the demons can exist in countless places; yet only physically manifest in its true shape at one place, and should that shape be slain, the demon will be gone for all time, drawn back into the primordial mass that spawned all.

Incarnation
Who can say which shape a demon truly has? According to some murals in ancient caverns, they resemble ordinary humans with sadistic smiles. Yet in the chapels of Aahr, the god of time and death, they are portrayed as wily, red, winged gargoyles pulling and dragging at the lord of the dead, manipulating him for their own ends. In the churches and cathedrals of Fhalgharod, the god of the Sun, they are depicted as warriors of darkness, come to extinguish the daylight and make forever night. And for this very reason some sages theorize that no two are alike, but one thing is thought for certain; according to the Imperial Sages they are 99 in number. Some are known, like hatred, lust and murder, and some are still unknown; hidden terrors which are yet to be discovered. A small number of learned men contradict this fact, but they are generally ridiculed and scoffed at as sensationalists and disciples of hysteria.

There has been gathered a certain amount of information about this subject; hidden within tomes and manuscripts, written on stone tablets and woven into the fabric of the Ketange-robes; ceremonial garb of the Monks of Ketange-Ishatal. The Sages of the Imperial College memorize this information and the Arch Magus of many a Cabal and Circle hoard such secrets; mankind is threatened; some disturbed individuals even say in dire peril, pawns in a game much larger than we have ever known. Even the first human civilizations tell of the demonic terrors and temptations; wall paintings in ancient caverns, like those in the myriad caves of the P’tuah plateau, depict humanity spellbound and suffering. And in some of the paintings, like in most of the recorded texts on the subject, there are demons depicted as puppeteers, controlling fools and prideful kings which believe they are rulers, while in effect they are the opposite.  

These are the recorded shapes of Demonkind:
Small critter and insect incarnations: Butterflies, flies, spiders, bats, even the mice scratching and moving inside the walls of our homes. Demons have been found to possess entire packs and hordes of these critters and insects. The demon’s influence will function as a hive intellect; controlling and coordinating the pack to do its will. While they are technically ordinary creatures, the individual critters will not have a will of their own and will follow the commandments of the demon to the letter. Such incarnations have been found difficult to exorcise, because every last critter needs to be purged and freed in spirit. Luckily the powers of demons seem to be limited when they have taken this shape; only a minor number of supernatural powers can be utilized, and the potency of those powers seem to be dependent on the number of critters or insect present.

Psychological incarnations: The Demons within the mind!
Some places are so horrible, so full of malevolence, that people who enter these places are forever changed. Some sages theorize that demonic presences found in these places can dominate a host, possess it and utilize it. The priesthood of Fhalgharod, the sun God, have long fought such elusive powers, exorcised the demons from the flesh of mortals and their exorcisms are hitherto the only antidote to such possessions.

While demons in this shape seem to have reduced power, some of their vulnerabilities do not apply. Such was the case when the Holy Cardinal Karl Sohlmann of Fhalgharod was possessed and led his entire flock and his priesthood into the Scherlingen Silver Mines in which a dark presence dwelled, which was later believed to be an incarnation of Maulhoor, the high lord Rape and scion of Lust. Their Cathedral became a dark place then, a place of sin, and the ill deeds committed therein are too numerous to be recounted; dark rituals and foul orgies. Today the Clerics of Fhalgharod remember this with the annual re-enacting of the culling of the dark priesthood; in which convicted felons are dressed in Fhalgharite robes, gathered and armed and summarily fought by the Paladins of Fhalgharod in their holy rage. Only by this shedding of sinners blood, can the stain on Fhalgharod’s honour be purged, or so say the Priesthood.

While possessing the believers of Fhalgharod, this demon was able to enter the God's sanctum and violate its purity. Ordinarily demons are thought, though it has not been proved, to be unable to enter the temples of the greater powers. This tale is counted as proof that psychological possessions circumvents many of the divine restrictions placed upon demonkind.

Physical incarnations: The Demons walk the earth!
Only through summonings and dark rituals can a demon physically manifest within this reality. This shape can only exist in one place at a time, and in this shape it can be truly slain. Unfortunately these shapes are also unbelievably strong and potent; every other demonic presence can be created by the demon in this shape.

While there exists rituals to summon such entities into the world, such things have only been attempted a few times and with grievous results. True, there are the cults of worshippers, but even these are usually sensible enough to realize the folly in summoning their lords to this reality.

When summoned these beings are rarely bound by anything. Their power is absolute and the strength of the magic needed to bind such entities is staggering. Some witches covens do summon “their lords” but those are usually just spiritual incarnations and not the real thing. The wards and protection those witches use to protect against even these weakened incarnations are powerful, yet would be cast aside easily should a dread lord enter our reality.

Spiritual incarnations: Unseen, malevolent presences
Some places are filled with darker spirits. When sinners converge on a location, or when deeds of great sin are committed in one place, the stain will not go away, unless purged by holy men. These are the places people fear. These are places that send a chill up the spine of even the bravest warriors, sending strong men running away. One example is the dark forest of Shallori, in which the Gheoni Cult raped and sacrificed “the ladies of sin”, street whores and promiscuous women, on impromptu altars of blood and flowers; here the shadows deepened and dark spirits haunt, for there are parts of the forest in which the deeds cannot be forgotten.

Some times the deeds committed in these places are so vile, so awful, that people who enter return changed, if they return at all. (See psychological incarnations).

Material incarnations: The demon within the item
There can be found a few items throughout the world, which carry within them strong energies of demonic origin. Some sages claim that these artefacts of power have been placed to tempt the powerful, to lure us all into the embrace of darkness and folly. While certainly being dangerous items, they are also vastly powerful; each item is a legend in itself. Being of demonic origin, these things are also affected by demonic feelings. Thus these things can fall in love, lust to rape, get fits of rage and so on. The items mood swings are of an epic nature and beware those dominated by them; for they shall love intensely one day and slay freely the next, and with time the host shall be broken and all whom he love will be forever estranged, loved, abused, murdered and raped.

While these feelings certainly are present within other incarnations of a demon, those of an item are epically intense; centuries can pass without the item ever feeling the rush of the kill, the thrill of the rape or a loving embrace, and often it will try to consummate all these feelings within a short period of time, akin to how a man ravaged by hunger would eat himself to death. Ironically this behaviour will certainly doom the item to discovery, resulting in yet more decades and centuries hidden away or stored in vaults sealed by arcane sigils.

Parasitical incarnations: The demon within the body!
Except for the physical incarnations of demonkind, this is the most potent presence of demons within this reality. Whether germs spread through a kiss, or a dark, slithering thing entering their host through bodily orifices, the parasitical incarnation totally dominates and ultimately change the appearance and physique of their host, giving it new powers and new motives.

Such incarnations can only manifest when the demon sends a part of his being, a piece of his very essence, through the realities and let it enter our reality through summoning or the uncontrolled rifts created by unfortunate and unskilled mages. And as it contains a bit of the demon’s essence it is also a link to that entity, a liability and a weakness, but also a path to control and power among the lesser mortals.
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2005, 05:42:04 AM »
Of Dreams
”Dreams are the only reality” suggests some of the ancient manuscripts. Dreams and the dreamers often reveal secrets long forgotten, or dreams can hide the truth only to make it resurface decades or even centuries later. In some cults the speech of the dreamers is believed to be holy, a revelation of true significance and importance. The Dreamer Cultists believe that the dreamworld is a real place, a place wherein dwell their own god, the forgotten Dreamer, father of the Gods, the Heavenly Pillar.

What has become known is that dreams are unlike anything else. They connect everything and sometimes, bad things happen when powerful beings have powerful dreams. The Koenigsburg Massacre of 783 was due to the incursion of dream fiends from the dreamworld which had breached the subconscious fortress of a local Dreamer Cultist and entered our reality through his body. Shadowy beings they were, crawling on four legs, sometimes even slithering on the ground like dark snakes from a horrible nightmare. It took the Priesthood of Fhalgharod, the God of Light, more than a month to restore order. The city had become a living nightmare, the dreamworld merging with reality, and strange horrors were banished during the month long struggle.

The Priests of the Major religions all agree about the danger that uncontrolled dreams present, which has caused the dreamer cult to be outlawed in many parts of the world.

The Dreamer teaches us of the three pinnacles of power within the dreamworld:
Quote from: "The Book of Dreams"
Dreams as a conduit of power:
The Dreamer Cult teaches that dreams are conduits of power, for only in reality (in dreams) can true power be harnessed. While most sages scoff at this assumption, none can deny the power of dream rituals performed by some of the major witches’ covens. Neither can it be denied that Cultist dream nectar is a valued commodity, sought after by mages and warlocks alike.

Through controlled dreaming you can unlock doors, open conduits of power which will strengthen your connection to the elemental essences (used by mages and priests as well as shamans). In dreams you can collaborate to create powerful magic, even though the members of the rituals are far apart.

Dreams as a force of prophecy:
The entity known as the dreamer speaks to us through dreams where he reveals the true meaning of our existence. This phenomenon has become known as dream prophecies, which differ clearly from the waking prophecies of the false deities known as the Dreamer’s Emotions and Baser Instincts. When your mate talks at night, it is the will of the dreamer that he does so and his words are holy. Furthermore the dreamer might directly speak through a dreaming host. When doing so the speech of the dreaming host will become faint, almost monotone. Then the dreamer will deliver his prophecy, usually in short rhythmic verses.  

Dreams as a means of existing:
The dreaming can travel physically within another person’s dreams and even live within them. While the dreamworld is the only reality, it is shaped by the sentient being whose subconscious dream about a particular location. This means that controlled dreaming, as practiced by the dreamer cultist, can shape any location by the strength of their will. This might be countered by the dreaming host, especially if he is practiced in dream channeling.

The Dreamworld exists in a timeless state where everything is connected to everyone, so there is a chance that a host might be from the future or the past. So it is that a young warrior might seek out his ancestor for advice and counsel.

Some powerful mages are rumoured to be able to remain in the dreamworld, even though their host is awake. This is a special kind of stasis where the mage in effect disconnects from our reality and bonds with the dreamworld. He can only re-enter our reality through the original host. This will cause recurring dreams for the host; he will experience the same strange dream over and over until the arch mage relinquish his bond with the host’s subconscious. Should the host die; the mage will be lost within dreams. If the host should awaken while other dreamers are travelling within his dreams, both he and the traveller might suffer a trauma possibly resulting in death.


The Dark side of Dreaming
Nightmares are the darkest aspect of dreaming. While the Dreamer Cultist claim that Nightmares and Nightmare Fiends are the servants of the “Flawed Gods”, the establish clergy of the major deities counter this by saying that nightmares and nightmare fiends are the agents of the otherworldly evil which the Dreamer Cultists worship. “The Nightmare Fiends are the will of this entity, cunningly manipulating naïve dreamers for their own ends” say these priests, shaking their heads whilst doing so. It is important to distinguish these fiends from demons. They have nothing in common with demons, and even Gods and Demons dream some sages and high priests say, and in these dreams the powers themselves are hounded by nightmares sent by the terrible otherworldly evil.
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2005, 09:13:05 AM »
Of Angels

Angels are the guardians of Order, the forces that oversee that the purpose of existence is indeed fulfilled. While most believe that angels are the forces of good, just like Demons are the forces of evil, this is as far from the truth as one can come. Angels care neither for mortals, nor for Demons or the Gods. In primeval times they awoke alongside their brethren, the Gods, the Demons and the Primeval Dragons. They were herded into heaven by the Gods’ united power, for the Gods fear the Angels and their close ties to the Dreamer*. Chained within the heavens, sedated by the glory of the Gods, the Angels are subdued and cannot arise in full power. For within the gardens of paradise, amidst flowery fields and flowing rivers the angels have been imprisoned by their own desires. Astride them are curvaceous nymphs and temptresses of every kind, feeding the angels with lies, lust, and narcotic laced grapes. Whilst the angels are imbibing the sweet narcotics, drinking heavenly nectar and partaking in the pleasures that be, they have long since forgotten the reason for their existence. And step by step, the natural order of creation is unravelled and the Gods recreate it in accordance to their own grand scheme.

Occasionally a temptress is smitten with love for her prisoner, and has to be forcibly removed from his presence, lest she is tempted to liberate him. These unfortunate wretches have been herded to the plains of suffering, the only truly sad place within heaven. Here they wail and suffer, and with time the plains has become almost haunted with the soft sobbing of the fallen temptresses. According to some obscure legends there is one angel who can hear their crying, even through his roars of pleasure, the cries even pierce the narcotics which are clouding his mind. This is Chainbreaker and on two occasions he has freed himself and on these occasions the pantheon has chased him, hounded him through existence, until they were finally able to subdue him long enough for his mind once again to be numbed by narcotics and depraved instincts.

One fact about the angels is known for certain; they are 9 in number. The names of the nine are not known, but in some religious texts they are known by names supposedly given to them by a God sympathetic to their cause. The given names are: Chainbreaker, G’Dizhte the Eternal, Hammer of Order, Heathen, Herder, K’thraun of a Thousand Battles, Z’daun-Z’thaur, Shadowborn and Solitude.

What precious little is known about angels come from the temples and the churches. Considering that the agents of the angels’ captors are the only source of information, it is no surprise that they are depicted as the powerful disciples of the Gods. This is a lie, but one most humans actually believe. It is also ironic, because if anything they are the opposite of disciples; angels are originally the only truly free entities in creation; free of the gods, free of the dreamer, and with only one purpose; the upkeep of order. Even more ironic is the fact that the only free beings in existence have become depraved slaves of every indulgence known to man.

Incarnation
Angels have been depicted as humans with wings for longer than anyone can remember. It seems to be a known fact, but how can anyone know? Angels never materialize outside heaven for they have been imprisoned by the gods; denied passage outside heaven’s boundaries. There is not any power that can force the angels to remain in one place, thus the gods have enslaved the angels through their own angelic desires.

*The Angels are believed blessed by the dreamer. Before the Gods awoke and only the races of Prime Creation existed alongside the Dreamer, the Angels were free to do their chosen role. Although technically a part of the Dreamer, they were still conscious while asleep and silently they monitored prime creation. When Aahr broke the unity and disrupted the heavenly pillar, the angels awoke to restore order. Needless to say they failed.
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2005, 06:53:10 AM »
Of The Eternals
Sometimes unexplainably cold winds sweep across a region, even indoors and in places which have no source of ventilation. In these regions a strange chill can be felt down the spine and when priests call upon their Gods, their call remains unanswered. In those places the hens lay black eggs, the cows yield sour milk, and the cats bark at the moon. Accursed these places have been called, and many an exorcism has been attempted to drive the evil influence away. Yet, when the source of the trouble is the presence of an Eternal, the exorcisms always fail.

The Eternals are one of the few races who survived the awakening of the Gods and the fall of Prime Creation. They were solitary, but powerful, weavers of essence and were locked in a bloody war with the Other Ones, another race which survived the Gods. Few remember the reasons for this ancient war, but it is waged still by the remaining Other Ones, maddened warriors which search Creation for the elusive Eternals. When the Gods shattered the Heavenly Pillar, known as the Dreamer in modern texts, they set upon the races of Prime Creation too, as they had no place within the new order. One after another the Gods exterminated the races of Prime Creation until finally they encountered the endless hordes of the Other Ones, and for the first time the Gods were stumped in their efforts. The first encounter with the Other Ones was an outright disaster and several Gods, now all but forgotten, were slain by the vast, unyielding horde of Other Ones. This allowed the remaining Eternals to flee and they departed for the one place the Gods and the Other Ones were unlikely to look: Within new Creation, the world the Gods were reforging.

Here they wove cocoons of dimensional matter, bent and twisted reality, and step by step they distorted it until small locations had been created, wherein the Gods had no power and where the warm blooded Other Ones would feel uncomfortable. These godless, drafty and cold places became the entryways to the Eternals’ extra-dimensional mausoleums, cocoons in which they have erected magnificent halls and wonderful landscapes. Here they slumber eternally in an attempt to avoid the detection of the Gods and the Other Ones.

The Eternals are so powerful, so closely tied to essence that their memories and emotions can affect people and animals in the area surrounding the entryway. Within the presence of an Eternal, men may dream of events before creation, may witness the spidery armed humanoid shapes of the Other Ones as they assault the Citadels of the Eternals. The entryway itself is usually nigh undetectable, and might be found by accident, for instance as a peasant leans against the left side of an old rock and simply falls through it, arriving inside the Eternal’s mausoleum.

Eternals are always alone, unable to reproduce and only socializing with other Eternals to exchange information and knowledge. The few remaining Eternals have always existed; before the war there was no need for reproduction as the Eternals cannot get sick, old or die from anything but violence, and even that is hard. Yet they hate the presence of others and considering the less than hospitable conditions of the entryway regions, they are usually left alone. The Monks of Ketange-Ishatal have the only known records of Eternals and according to these ancient texts, the Eternals minds are so delicate they suffer from migraine whenever they hear speech or other loud noises. Whatever the reason for their solitary existence may be, the fact remains that the Eternals have never been seen, at least not by anyone who lived to talk about it.
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2005, 08:33:31 AM »
The third part of this text, “the seeds of evil” might be considered offensive. Please do not read any further if you are under age or easily offended. The mentioned undead will be detailed at a later stage

Necromancy: The three paths of Undeath
Necromancy: By some it is considered as nefarious black arts and by others a vault of opportunities, the very key to the secrets of life. A substantial part of the necromancer’s practice is devoted to undeath; a state in which one is neither alive nor dead. Unbeknownst to the general populace there are three ways in which undeath can provoked, and the curse of unlife bestowed upon the recipient.  
 
The magically bound and / or enchanted undead
The use of magic is by far the most usual manner in which undeath is bestowed upon a recipient. Ritual magic is needed to create the undead and for these hour and day long ceremonies, tools, song, dance, drawing of runes, surgery, gestures, chanting, and manual labour may be required. The most powerful bindings and enchantments may even require the proper stellar constellations, certain holy days, objects or locations, or even the sacrifice (or binding) of one or more human souls. The specifics change, but the essentials remain the same: The creation of the undead is a tiresome task indeed. Zombies and skeletons may also be created through non-ritualistic magic, but the duration of these undead is counted by the minutes and certainly not by the decades. Such undead is the necromancer’s last resort and are somewhat unstable, prone to regaining memory of their former life (in the case of zombies) and with that comprehension comes an intense dislike of the necromancer.

The summoning and binding of a deceased spirit is a frightening experience to say the least, especially if the deceased is unwilling. Pulling a spirit from the afterlife is difficult, but possible, yet the first spirits to respond to a general summoning is usually those who, for whatever reason, have yet to depart. When summoning a deceased spirit the necromancer may experience anything from mild amusement to curiosity to infernal anger from the spirit, and in the last case he better be prepared for what comes. Many an apprentice necromancer has perished in this manner as they performed a ceremony their master had forbidden. Contrary to popular belief most necromancers aren’t heartless murderers, although the term pragmatic grave robbers would fit in most cases, and power hungry apprentices is something all adepts expect. There are several kinds of summoned spirits: Guardian Wraiths, Spectral Warriors, Screamer Sentinels, Blood Mists, and Hungering Spirits are but samples of what a necromancer might call forth.

The haunting undead
Sometimes the dead return of their own volition. Some great tragedy, crime or shame has occurred and the dead cannot find peace, so they return as haunts, unable to rest until a wrong has been righted, in one way or the other. The sages argue why they return and some claim that emotional distress at the time of death denies the spirit peace enough to depart. The sages recite stories about faithful husbands who are killed by their wives’ lovers, parents who are murdered by their children for the sake of inheritance, and so forth.

Other sages theorize that the neglect of duty might trigger a haunting, and among these scholars the story of a Paladin who forsook his vow of chastity when he fell in love with a particularly beautiful temple dancer is often told. According to this legend he was d**ned to return as a Rune Wraith and judge those who failed in their duties .  

A third theory focus on ancestral sin and divine curses, and according to this theory entire family lines have been d**ned and return as haunts after their death, minor nuisances which make life difficult for those nearby. There are a few legends mentioning this, but no respectable sage has yet to support this theory. The haunting undead include: Ghosts, Haunts, Rune Wraiths, Revenants and ghouls.

The seeds of evil
The seeds of evil are a special category of undead, as they are newborn souls captured within a rotting host. There are two different kinds: Those created through a pregnancy and those created as a sorcerer ejaculate into a deceased recipient. The seeds of evil is named thus as the sorcerer evilly utilize nature and creation to imbue a dead body with life. When semen and egg cells are utilized in such a manner the created undead is imbued with a soul, a newborn soul which adapts to it rotting host. There is a ritual involved and some magic for sure, so some sages theorize that there are in reality two paths of undeath, but since the semen and egg cells make the creation of these undead so much more potent and easier, it is counted as a path in itself.

Before and after the male necromancer send forth his semen into a newly deceased female host with intact reproduction organs*, he must carefully perform a ritual for the unborn soul to take root within her body. The exact details of this procedure are unknown, but after a few days of this the cadaver will seemingly resurrect; but it will contain half a soul: the male, animalistic part which is imparted by the male. The resulting undead are known by many names but most often the catch all term seeds of evil is used to refer to these abominations.

The female necromancer would utilize the semen of a slain male to impregnate herself with a seed of evil. This involves a nine month long pregnancy and a likelihood of her death upon the birth of the abomination. This has made this particular approach rather unpopular. These seeds are exceedingly powerful and a rumour exist about a certain coven who has discovered a way to make slave girls pregnant instead of the witches themselves. Understandably these slave girls suffer horribly as the cold, dead children claw at the inside of her belly before they finally claw their way to freedom as the hour of birth arrive.

*It is easier to create an undead by using a female, but a male necromancer could feasibly use another male too, though there are few documented reports of this.
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2005, 12:55:04 PM »
Of Saints
In a cold, unforgiving and brutal world the people need their legends to be told around the fireplace. They need heroes both strong and mighty who can oppose the forces that be and prove that sometimes justice do prevail. On occasion these legends get real, as flesh and blood heroes journey through the lands and show the populace that miracles can happen, heroism does exist. When these heroes face grievous perils whilst defending the population against a greater evil, it may happen that the peasants begin to pray for the safety of their heroic benefactors.

In cottages and farmhouses across the land small candles are lit, figurines are carved in the resemblance of the heroes. Farmers’ hands shake nervously and are folded; prayers of hope and protection are whispered, and blessings are uttered. Prayer beads are given to the avatars of the peoples’ hope; the heroic benefactors. Tears of joy are shed when tales of the benefactors’ latest victory is told and wailing and great lamentation can be heard if such a hero should perish. With time the benefactors embody the dreams, desires and hope of the population, and as entire nations pray for the safety of an individual, ancient magic awakens; remnants of Prime Creation which the Gods could not undo or could not perceive. Under these circumstances a hero might discover that his abilities improve drastically, his perception of the world is altered. He may witness things hitherto unseen; he may experience weird and unexplainable events, and it might come to be that he fears for his very sanity. It feels like he can sense the spirit of a tree; like he can even spy lost souls as they dazedly and nervously search for a path to the afterlife. The hero has ascended, has become a saint, and abilities and feats beyond what mere mortals can achieve are now at his disposal.

Ascension after the hero’s demise
When a beloved hero dies tragically and the populace vehemently mourn his passing, he may ascend. His soul will return from the afterlife as a spirit and a force of nature. As such a spirit he can choose to occupy an avatar by possessing an unfortunate individual. He may also opt to remain a spirit, some kind of ghost, and travel the land, drawn to those praying and calling upon his name, beckoning him into their service. These Saints depend upon their followers and the more popular Saints have greater powers than those who have slipped into oblivion, and have become forgotten long ago.

Ascension while the hero is alive
In rare cases a hero becomes so loved by the people, so utterly praised that it borders on worship. Gradually his senses will develop, become more and more acute and his skills will grow with unprecedented speed. New abilities such as supernatural strength, supernatural speed, supernatural skill, and supernatural stamina are common within those who ascended while alive. The Saints are still mortal, can be slain by the lowliest street urchin, but his chances of survival multiply tenfold. Sometimes the Saints develop other skills, like the ability to translocate or control the winds. Some even bond with other creatures and can sense what these creatures sense. In one documented case a Saint gained the ability to change his shape into that of a pack of wolves with entirely white fur. Surely other abilities do exist.

There have been some cases in which a newly ascended saint has been mistakenly accused of witchcraft and summarily been burnt alive. As these incidents occurred within Silmar, the rumour of witchcraft spread and the hero worship ended abruptly, dooming the hero to death for sure. Usually a living Saint becomes a spirit saint upon death, but in these cases the heroes’ reputation became so stained that all worship ceased, a truly tragic fate for a valiant hero.
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2005, 06:43:16 AM »
Of Spirits
When the Gods forged Creation they imbued everything with a spirit of its own, a soul so to speak. The trees, the bushes, serpents and birds, everything was imbued with a soul. Even the very earth and the mountains got spirits of their own, as did the winds, the rain and the storms. There are spirits of love and spirits of disease, spirits of hate and spirits of passion, and all of these spirits answer the calls of the gods, though the Gods concern themselves primarily with the more powerful spirits like Storm-spirits or Earth-Spirits.

Men does not need a love spirit to love, the wind does not need a spirit to blow, nor does the Mountain need a spirit at all, but these spirits are the very souls of nature, caretakers and guardians, keeping silent vigil but also possessing agendas of their own. Every “living” thing, plants, animals but not microscopic life forms such as bacteria, have their own soul. Stones, mountains, the sea and the winds have shared spirits of nature, invisible beings of essence which float through existence in accordance with the Grand Scheme of the Gods.

These souls are what keep creation alive. Without his soul a man cannot walk, nor do anything else for that matter, a tree would wither and die. The mountain would still stand and the winds would still blow, but a farmer’s prayer for rain would go unheard as the Gods no longer had any spirit to command for the task. If a wind-spirit died the winds in its region would become calmer, more dormant and… feel dead. Freak storms born of a Spirits rage would no longer occur, nor would the benevolent intervention on the behalf of the Gods (or in rare instances on behalf of the spirit itself).

Binding a Spirit:
The Spirits are what keep things alive and are nexuses of white essence, the essence that unites the elements and imbues them with life. As such the spirits are powerful and all mages learn early that they are resources that can be harvested or harnessed to fuel their magic and magic creations. Lesser spirits, like those of mice, birds and the insects, provide little fuel, but normal spirits, those of men, dwarves and even elves prove to be powerful sources of energy which can be put to many uses. Rarely does a mage get the opportunity to ensnare powerful souls like those of mountains, the wind, and the sea or of love and hate, but if they do, they have incredible resources at hand, if they prove adept enough to properly wield them, for the manipulation of such souls of power is difficult at the best of times.

Incarnation:
Spirits of lesser and normal magnitude are already bound to a certain shape and cannot take any other form. The Greater Spirits can and do take any shape they desire, provided it is not a shape that is an anathema to their existence. It is worth noting that when the spirits take a shape, they do not actually look identical to any member of that race or plant, but instead they take a form based upon the spirits knowledge of the shape they take, and additionally they retain the traits of their true selves. Thus if a wind spirit took the shape of a woman, it would seem unearthly beautiful, too perfect and its hair would be battered by winds, as gusts of wind stagger the area around the taken shape, even though the wind should be completely still in nearby locations. In some rare instances, a Greater Spirit might fall in love with, or even come to hate, an ordinary mortal. These are instances about which legends are forged and any mortal blessed (or cursed) in this manner have some pretty abnormal experiences in store.
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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2005, 05:04:42 AM »
Teleportation and Translocation
Throughout creation there are locations which serve as nexuses of sorts; conduits between one place and another. Such are the rules of translocation that only areas that border each other can be traversed by physical or magical means. Finding these areas are no small feat and only the power sensitive witches and warlocks can truly sense the presence of such a conduit. Apparently this also applies for ravens and crows and other animals, which are repulsed from these areas, so for common observers such areas would seem devoid of animal life. If an animal was brought into such an area, it would soon react with unease, which would get stronger as the animal got closer to the nexus. There are two kinds of nexuses: Those that have been harnessed and those who remain wild.

The Ancient Gateways
A harnessed nexus requires a mosaic, usually a circle, star or a square, with a unique pattern. This mosaic serves as a mental focus for the magi as he teleports from one nexus point to another, merely by concentrating on the pattern on "the other side". Theoretically this will allow for time travel as additional elements, such as stellar constellations are included in the concentration. There are few, if any, mages who have mastered this art though and the nexuses, or the Ancient Gateways as they are called in literature, are usually controlled by factions who zealously guard their portal. These factions often require something to allow the usage of their portal, among other things membership, fees and favours.

Thus the traveller needs to know the pattern of the destination he is going to travel to, or he won’t get anywhere. This has led to booklets sometimes being sold in which artists have drawn the pattern of a handful of nexuses, thereby letting the mage study the drawing while concentrating. Sometimes these drawings include a name and maybe even a description of the location, but at other times the drawing is without information or even false or flawed. Flawed and false patterns simply result in the nexus being unable to function, while the usage of an unknown pattern has led many a mage into perilous circumstances.

Those with power sensitivity will notice currents of essence within the mosaic pattern, the mechanism which allow the patterns to be used in such a manner. Destroying parts of the pattern in any way might result in the nexus collapsing, which in turn might inflict major damage on the fabric of reality.

Some mages opt to use silver when using the Ancient Gateways. Silver, usually inlaid in runic grooves upon stones of power, is potent when shaped as runes and used in conjunction with the Ancient Gateways. Such stones can allow several men to travel even though only one concentrate on the pattern, provided everyone touch the stone. Other uses of such a stone is to translocate anyone upon the mosaic on the other side of the mosaic to the owner’s location. The power and ability of such a stone is determined by the quality of the runes, the amount and purity of silver used as well as the rune in question.

The Wild Conduits
In some locations wild conduits can be found; untamed links to other places that have yet to be claimed. The manipulation of these conduits is far more difficult and requires hours and hours of ritualistic magic. If the other end is another wild conduit, a scrying device is required, for it is vital to physically see the other end. For a lonesome mage it is very difficult to open such a conduit all by himself / herself, but often entire cabals of sorcerers participate, in which case the exercise is routine though exhausting. If the other end is an Ancient Gateway, the operation is much easier as the presence of a focal pattern removes the need for scrying on the location.  

The presence of a wild conduit is extremely rare and the Ancient Gateways are few and far between. Not nearly all major cities have a gateway and often long periods of travel is required to reach the desolate place in which some witches’ coven has claimed an Ancient Gateway. These conduits are so vital that spellcasters often wage small wars to attain control of the location, as the ritual for converting a wild conduit to an Ancient Gateway is an expensive, gruelling and time consuming task. Additionally it has to be mentioned that wild conduits and Ancient Gateways are the only locations in which a portal or gate to heaven or hell can be opened. It is also the only means through which entry to the Other Places, outside Creation, can be attained.

Short Distance Teleportation
Some creatures defy the rules of translocation and are able to teleport short distances up to thirty meters and within line of sight. These creatures are often highly magical in nature and sometimes even circumvent the laws of gravity and time. There has been no reported case of translocation beyond thirty meters without the use of a conduit.

Summoning
Summoning is quite different from other means of translocation. When something is summoned, the name of the summoned entity as well as a piece of hair or a fingernail needs to be in the summoner’s possession. Summoning always requires a long ceremony and does not always succeed, for the summoned entity must usually agree to  its coming. Simple animals often wish food and shelter, while more insidious creatures require greater sacrifice to answer the summons. Additionally the presence of a wild conduit or an Ancient Gateway makes the summoning quicker. It is not possible to banish a creature once summoned and if the creature is unbound and not agreeing with the spellcaster’s demands, it will do as it pleases and might pose a threat to the summoner.
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