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Author Topic: Movers and Shakers - background information  (Read 4750 times)

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Offline EchoMirage

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Movers and Shakers - background information
« on: April 23, 2010, 07:02:00 AM »
"In the beginning, Mauva was dreaming in the Sea of Stars, the never-ending expanse. Vast was her body, holding all and any forms of surfaces and, indeed, landscapes. She was made whole and serene within her dream.
A thousand times thousand years she dreamed the world-dream, preparing to blossom on the day the Creator commanded her. Upon her sleeping form did Bael’Shavat stumble, and desire her for himself. He would circle the sleeping colossus and admire her beauty, craving her all for himself. So enraptured was he that he forgot to hold onto his shape and small pieces broke off his body. Those were the gods and their number was twelve.
Like the one from whose substance they were made, they shared his passion for the beautiful and enchanting sleeper. Yet, Bael’Shavat was filled with jealousy and wished Mauva all for himself; in his gluttony, he wished to consume the twelve newborns to be whole and alone with Mauva again.
They did battle, and in the end, all his rage and malice did avail Bael’Shavat not, for he was sealed in the Void, where he remains forevermore.
From the severed flesh of the Void’s Prisoner, the gods made smaller souls, the peoples of Mauva, to share in the marvel that is creation. Yet, the battle disturbed Mauva’s dream, and she stirs fitfully from time to time when nightmares cross her mind.”

Creation is not flawless, by far. Mauva was not meant to bear life yet; likewise, the gods are young and fallible, and their creations imperfect. All souls of thinking beings are shreds taken from Bael’Shavat, which is the origin of the dark side within everyone.
Mauva herself is not exactly aiding the process, shifting in her fitful sleep and lashing out at disturbances much like a sleeper flails after a persistent mosquito. Failed creations lurk in the dark corners of the world and the lands are littered with the remains of vanished races.
The legacy of your ancestors and future of your offspring is at stake. Success will imprint your mark upon the forming world. Failure will simply be forgotten.

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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Movers and Shakers - background information
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2010, 07:03:33 AM »
The setting

The surface of Mauva is a varied place, tectonically active, with twisting coastlines. The landmasses aren’t of continental size; rather, there is a myriad of islands the size of Albion and smaller, often forming chains, yet some are isolated. Some islets wander, some even float. This lay of the land lends itself to the existence of numerous cultures and smaller nations and city-states, less so to empires. There will always be a golden age of sail on Mauva.
Twin suns light the world, the smaller, Astra, passing twice for each appearance of the larger, Ardor – this leads to a short day, followed by a short dark, with a bright day and long night after that. There is no moon over Mauva, but Dalondir, the home of the gods that is much like a sparkling evolving pattern laid out across the skies, sheds light in abundance, and astrologers can read its changes to predict events. There are tides, tied to the beating of Mauva’s heart.
The climate is oceanic in most places, yet not especially stable, as weather patterns can change in reflection of Mauva’s dreams. Sensitive individuals can predict them, though, making a skilled weather-reader a valuable asset for any ship.
As for life, there is a myriad of species, even numerous sentient races, even unique sentient creatures, as the gods themselves have to learn what works and what does not, often by trial and error. Many of those unlikely creations find a niche to thrive in, while others linger, waste away and fade. Numerous recently established ecosystems are not balanced, and time will tell whether they find equilibrium or collapse. Gods and their minions are still at work in creation, but they are neither omnipresent, nor all-powerful, and certainly not omniscient.
Then, there are beings in existence that were not conceived in a god’s mind: the Mauvangar are ferocious beasts that dwell deep within Mauva’s flesh and around her most sacred places, ready to ward off any and all intruders; sometimes, her dreams break off and become self-aware, turning into spirits and fey creatures. From the waste of creation, some creatures assemble on their own, taking strange and disturbing forms. What is known as ‘demons’ are creatures that turned out so destructive, malicious and simply wrong that they were banished from creation, festering and twisting further in the darkness of un-being, eager to use any opportunity and any means to live once more. The worst of all are the Void-born, evidence that Bael’Shavat’s prison is not completely secure – they are born of the tendrils he extends into the world, and their sole purpose is destruction; some are mindless about it, some more malicious and cunning, and a few abandon their master’s intent completely, following their own agendas.
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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Movers and Shakers - background information
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2010, 07:05:29 AM »
Of the divine

 Twelve were the original gods broken off from Bael’Shavat’s humongous form; they in turn have created lesser assistants, the Celestines, and also interbred with mortals.
Shaia was the first one who thought of creating new life, and it is her who dares to sneak into the Void over and over again, to gather material for new souls. Hers is a restlessly creative spirit, boundless optimism and energy; from her hands, a constant stream of creation flows. A certain naivety and recklessness is a natural side effect of her enthusiasm; not all of her creations turn out as awesome as she thought them to be. A wide variety of believers pray to her: artists and inventors for inspiration, and mothers for bright and good souls for their children, to name a few.

The passionate Valyssa lashed out at Bael’Shavat when he tried to consume the young gods, and the others followed. In that legendary battle, the deity was cleaved in two, yet remained one. ‘Gender’ and ‘love’ are Valyssa’s ideas, and hence, mortals need another to become whole. Feelings, motivation and vitality are Valyssa’s domain, as are the passions. Lovers ask for the deity’s boon, as do married couples, so that the bond remains strong. Indeed, a majority of weddings on Mauva are closed under Valyssa’s patronage. The deity is prone to trysts and affairs with mortals and other gods alike, as well as leaving offspring in front of doors in baskets.

Dalondar is a methodic, laborious deity, forever striving to figure out the workings of things and improving them. It was him who taught mortals to make tools and technology, to better their lot and give them more control over their environment. Ever honing his craft, he gifts his fellow deities and deserving mortals with works of his making; often, though, one will find unintellegible constructions discarded and half-scrapped where their maker abandoned any hope that they would amount to anything. Craftsmen worldwide pray to him for guidance. Dalondar is one of the gods who advise a taming of Mauva, as opposed to coexistence.

 As Dalondar gave tools to the mortals, so did Alar with the gift of magic: a mind grows with responsibility, she claims; mortals are best taken care of if they can take care of themselves. By allowing the peoples of Mauva to use the divine shard that is their soul to work miracles, she gave them a potent way of influencing the world and growing in spirit. Alar advocates personal responsibility, self-improvement and constant search for knowledge.

The eternal wanderer, the prankster, the charming Alivanah is a witty goddess who explores frontiers, breaks taboos, tricks the other deities and mortals alike, to expose hubris and folly. Some may claim that she is frivolous, yet merchants, bards, gamblers, travelers and soldiers of fortune pray to her more often and more ardently than to any other.

Stern and ruthless, Veloren’s might played a crucial role in defeating the Void’s Prisoner. Long did he abstain from joining the experiments with creation the others undertook, observing and analyzing their works. Then, he forged a race in his image, and ‘proved’ to the others that his creation was better – by having it wipe out theirs. Veloren is a deity of armed combat, conquest and growth through adversity. In his teachings, many of the beleaguered peoples of Mauva find strength. His relations with the other deities are usually strained, as he sees little value in tactful conduct, cooperation or compromise.

Sahud is a contemplative and serene deity, wise and learned. While he created little on his own, he helped to smooth the flow of time, enforce natural laws and to structure plans laid out by his less level-headed brethren. Often, it is Sahud who settles disputes between the celestial flock. Likewise is his task to harvest the souls of the deceased, ease their passage, and send each to the god that is closest to them. By his power are souls refreshed and cleansed on the Great Wheel, and readied for reincarnation once ready. Likewise does he weed out flawed souls, and unweave them into raw creation again. Judges, diplomats and rulers pay homage to Sahud; his priests administer the last rites, and battle the undead with fervor – every undead creature is a misplaced soul, after all.

The beastmaster and greenwarden, Chalnys, advocates reconciliation with Mauva, though so far, she failed to understand the dormant world’s alien dream; what its wishes are and if it has any at all. A majority of the animals and plants are her doing though (the others having been there, on Mauva, since before the birth of the gods) , preferring their streamlined design over the (to her, needless) complexity of intelligent creatures. The carelessness with which civilized folk treat her creations drives her frequently to anger, and at times, it is difficult to decide, whether Mauva or Chalnys is worse when enraged.

The self-styled leader of the gods, the proud Vlarad is a patron of the law, the maker of coinage, and had his fingers in the making of the alphabet as well. Cities, houses of learning and grand projects of civilization make his divine heart beat faster. In truth, Vlarad is a more capable administrator than a creator, yet his grandiose plans for the ultimate conquest and taming of Mauva drive (some of) the gods forward. Of the divine twelve, he is most likely to be interested in ostensible shows of faith, grandiose temples and oaths by his name.

 Serene and mellow, Biala spends her time mending the mishaps of other gods, their strife, while finding time to battle the Void-born and oil the sputtering machine that is creation. A patron of healing, family and bringer of hope, the hopelessly over-worked Biala is followed by self-sacrificing idealists from all walks of life. She has a stable and blissfully uneventful relationship with Sahud.

Forever discontent with the works of his peers is Devnos, the dissenter and bringer of strife. While it would be hard to point out a single thing of his making, the discontent god finds opportunities to improve and change in everything. His followers likewise wander the world, ‘improving’. Nobody will wonder that Devnos is the patron of dissenters, anarchists and rebels, and a major pain in the behind of other deities. Although if you asked him, he’d most likely answer “change is good”.

With boundless energy and will to live, Gon has given a piece of himself to light the suns in the skies. Direct and straightforward, the mighty deity lives life to the fullest, enjoying himself and then devoting himself to a goal entirely in turn. While his works are few in number, each is monumental. Gon cares little for the squabbles of his siblings, but would most likely step in if things got too dire. The sun god encourages mortals to overstep their bounds and accomplish the impossible; any being aspiring to greatness in one aspect or another may be deemed worthy of his patronage.

Faith… the faith is young and more… honest in Mauva. Gods are like themes in a melody, and only in bringing your soul in harmony with a deity will you form a bond. Clerics? They are not ‘given’ their powers, nor do they ‘earn’ them like good children do with candy. A cleric forms his bond with the deity by being in tune with its nature. By straying, he separates himself from his god – often without the deity noticing. Atonement, in turn, must be a spiritual journey where the cleric discovers the flaw within, and returns to harmony with his patron. Gods likewise have a need for followers – unable to see and be everywhere at once, they need mortal agents to make their will manifest.
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Re: Movers and Shakers - background information
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2010, 07:07:28 AM »
Of the sentient races

Three primary breeds of sentients call Mauva their home: the humanoid Vaetir, the beast-like Feros and the scaled Kree. Each of them consists of several loosely related races.

Vaetir:

Humans: yes, they are here too. Varied, adaptable and resistant to environmental influences, humans are considered a veritable plague by some races. Driven, lively and eager to spread, humans can be found all over Mauva.
Apparently, humans can let their organisms share information about pathogens, toxins and their likes, thus being less susceptible to plagues. This leads to human conduct including lots of touching, welcome kisses, and their likes; subconsciously, other information is conveyed as well, leading to humans having 'a gut feeling' about their fellow man; especially healthy, strong and smart individuals also have a certain allure, letting them form friendships faster as others feel instinctively attracted to what they can share, while flawed humans are usually shunned.
Humans can easily discern about each other whether an individual is mature, healthy, seriously involved with a partner, in the case of females whether they are fertile and whether they already have children; few are aware of this gift, most just assume that a woman looks 'motherly' or 'happily in love'.

Human traits: +1 Feat at 1st level, 4 extra skill points at 1st level and one extra skill point each level thereafter, and one of the following:
*Good fortune: 1 re-roll per game day.
*Resilience: +3 to saves against poison, disease and environmental effects.
*Adaptability: use any skill that can be used untrained as if you had (your level/5) ranks in it.

Delaani: slender and smaller of stature than humans, Delani are gifted with hair and eyes in the hues of precious stones, musical voices and keen minds. Their third ‘eye’, an iridescent organ in their foreheads, allows them to attune closer to magic. Their long lives allow the Delaani to explore the arts and sciences; they are neither fond of nor apt in warfare, and often rely on alliances or their creations for defense. All Delaani encountered by other races are female.
Usually, Delaani live in democratic city-states that keep close ties to each other, even over long distances. Other races consider the strong bonds of loyalty between Delaani to be a sign of a world-wide conspiracy.
Delaani traits: -2 STR, -2 CON, +2 INT, +2 CHA. Use Detect Magic 3/day, use Identify 1x/day with no material component. +2 Diplomacy, +2 Sense Motive, +2 Spellcraft, and one of the following:
*Allure: +1 DC to Enchantment spells.
*Soothe Magic: 1 extra magic item slot. You choose.
*Broad Learning: pick two extra class skills.

Grunnor: sturdy and strongly built, the Grunnor glisten as metal – indeed, they are very close to it, for as they age, they grow metallic plates, horns and their likes. These can grow so strong indeed that it’s not unusual for a young Grunnor to wear a suit of armor that was once his grandfather. Self-reliant, laborious and of a protective bent, the Grunnor erect their massive fortress-cities and around them, civilization flowers. Indeed, in many areas are they the heralds of order and learning. Theirs is an extreme emphasis on honor, loyalty and propriety, but also a low understanding of other cultures and certain aloofness.
Grunnor traits: -2 DEX, +2 CON. Resistance to fire 5. +1 natural armor, +1 Hit Die. Speed 20. Low-light vision. Impervious to pain; also, one of the following:
*Artificer: +2 to Craft skills.
*Durable: an extra 5 points of any elemental resistance.
*Keeper of Gems: your body may incorporate Runite (normally, only specific items can carry it) in locations where you do not have a magic item.
(note: due to having inherent natural armor, Grunnor may buy more: +1 increase taken as a Feat, can be taken multiple times)

Garmont: giant humanoids of a domineering inclination, they usually are not the best neighbors one could wish for. Born of the seed of servants of the god of war, the Garmont are likely founders of great realms – with others at their heels. To their credit, they can be organized and find it easy to pick up the best aspects of a conquered culture as their own.
While the men play war, the females are the true driving force behind the Garmonti society, and hold a strong sway over their consorts. Due to their powerful physique and the fact that newborns are no bigger than human babes, the females are not inconvenienced by pregnancies; usually, a score of men vies for the attention of an exceptional female; often, she chooses more than one, being able to conceive from more than one man simultaneously.
Garmont traits: Large size – tall. 10 ft reach, use larger weapons, take a -1 penalty to hit and to AC, and a -4 penalty to Hide, +4 bonus to grapple, trip, bull rush. +4 STR, -2 DEX, +4 CON. +2 natural armor. Cooperation: Garmont gain an extra +1 bonus when flanking, when aiding another or being aided by another; allies that are smaller than them may occupy the same space with no penalty.
Level adjustment +1; also, one of the following:
*Stormborn: can hurl lightning as a standard action (ranged touch attack, range increment 50 ft.); damage is a die equal to your character level (yay for forum games, we get d14s)+ your Int bonus.
*Coldforged: activated as a free action, lasts 1 minute, usable up to (character level) times per day. Anyone striking you with natural weapons takes d6 cold damage; you deal +d6 cold damage with unarmed attacks.
*Flamekin: use Burning Hands as a caster of your character level, up to (character level) uses per day. Save DC 11+Con modifier.

Kree:

Rautha: lithe winged warm-blooded lizardfolk, the Rautha rule the skies. Fiery of temper and driven to explore, conquer, challenge, they are one of the driving forces behind the spread of civilization. Indeed, they have taken many lesser races under their wing.
What the Rautha cannot stand is being second to any; this extreme competitiveness guides many of their interactions, even their social system, which is a meritocracy based on personal success. Wealth, victories, scientific advances, even mates conquered improve one’s status; if conflict arises between individuals of equal standing, they can settle them with trials ranging from formalized to feral.
Rautha give birth to live young, yet those are born long before fully developed, to avoid impairing the mother’s flying ability; some old females become land-bound ‘matrons’ as they age, and those carry the youngsters to term thereafter.
Rautha traits: Flight speed equal to Dex x 3, maneuverability ranges from poor to good according to Dex. They can fly carrying a medium load or wearing medium armor. +2 STR, +4 DEX, -2 CON, +2 INT. Great sense of direction (+5 Survival to orienteering). +2 to Search, Spot and Listen. Natural weapons: Claws, teeth, tail. Second wind: when they drop to ½ hit points, Rautha gain +10 ft. speed, +2 STR, +1 dodge bonus to AC and one extra attack at their highest base attack bonus. Level adjustment +2; also, one of the following:
*Aerobatics: +2 Dodge bonus to AC while flying.
*Eagle Eye: increase the bonus to Search, Spot and Listen to +4.
*Master of the Air: flight speed improves by 10 ft, maneuverability improves by one degree (maximum: Perfect).

Malvosin: the world has little that gives the Malvosin pause. Supported by four stout legs and clad from head to toe in thick skin further reinforced by bony plates and spikes of horn, they would make an excellent warrior race, if it was in their nature. Slow to anger, contemplative and level-headed, the Malvosin prefer to avoid conflict; the wise avoid bringing conflict to the Malvosin in turn.
Enduring as they are, they never felt the need to develop a civilization of their own; most of today’s Malvosin live amongst other races, as teachers, priests, scholars, and so on. Dedicated, loyal and thoughtful are attributes that describe them best.
While omnivores, most of them prefer a diet of grain and fruit (although some species of insect are considered a special treat).
Malvosin traits: +2 CON, +2 WIS. Speed 20. Damage reduction 1/-, natural armor +1. +4 to saves to resist fear. Not slowed by armor or by heavy loads. +2 to all Knowledge skills. Stability: +4 vs. being tripped. Need less sleep (2 hrs).  Spikes deal 1d8+STR bonus damage when grappling, 50% more in bull rushes. Clawed hands (1d6 slashing).
Level adjustment +1. Also, one of the following:
*Unimpressed: immune to fear, +2 to Will saves.
*Orator: +2 Diplomacy, Bluff and Perform: Oratory.
*Fortified: 50% chance to ignore critical hits and sneak attacks.

Nagini: the only mammals amongst the Kree, Nagini have the bodies of serpents and humanoid torsos – with four arms. Instead of hair, rainbow-colored ridges and crests adorn their heads; they often complement them with jewelry as well.
Gregarious, verbose and cosmopolitan, the Nagini frequently live alongside other races, trading, plotting alliances and cospirations; their own political life is extremely lively as well. Most Nagini nations have evolved into parliamentary monarchies or republics, and rare is the Nagini who is not deeply involved in the political happenings. Valuing literacy, calligraphy and expression highly, Nagini keep by written contracts; their spoken promises are less trustworthy, though.
Nagini traits: Swim speed 30 ft (though they cannot breathe underwater). Nagini have four arms, yet their coordination is not much better than that of humans, without special training that is. They can wield a two-handed weapon and a shield without problems, though. With the proper feats, like Multiattack, Two-Weapon Fighting, Two-Shield Defense etc they can capitalize on their gift.
Also, one of the following:
*Venom fangs: while they do little damage (1 point) your fangs can deliver a toxin (though you provoke an attack of opportunity if you do not have Improved Unarmed Strike). This can be either one that reduces an attribute, or induces another effect. The save DC is (7+half your HD+your Con modifier). Primary and secondary damage are 1d3 attribute points; this improves to 1d6 at 12th level.
*Veiled mind: you gain a SR of (10+your level) against divination spells.
*Silver tongue: for you, a 19 or 20 on Charisma-dependent skills is an automatic success (if success is possible).

Hadir: this secretive race is a curious one, for it is gifted with malleable bodies. Slender, smooth and slightly moist, the Hadir can change the coloring of their hides with a thought; their control goes further still, though, for they are able to contort in unnatural shapes, extend their limbs or even create new ones with concentration. Suction cups and their light physique grant them an exceptional climbing ability as well. Their tails are prehensile, as are their excessively long tongues.
With a propensity towards paranoia, the Hadir keep their cities well hidden, and likewise they do with their thoughts, rarely trusting, often putting on a façade for others. Secret societies control their people, with membership by invitation only.
Edgy and careful, the Hadir are survivalists; thus, they value anything that improves their odds highly. They love to keep secret hideouts, hidden stashes and clandestine pacts.
The Hadir are hermaphroditic; their methods of procreation are varied as well – they can lay eggs, birth live young, let an embryo grow inside a certain plant, but to name a few. Many ways are certainly unknown to outsiders.
Hadir traits: +2 DEX, -2 CON. Darkvision to 60ft. Chameleon skin gives +4 to Hide. Climb speed 20 ft. +2 to Escape Artist, Tumble and Balance. Prehensile tail, tongue and eventual temporary limbs allow manipulation, but not exertion of force sufficient to swing a weapon. They do not have a good load-bearing frame; hence carrying capacity is 1/3 normal.
Also, one of the following.
*Regeneration: you recover (your level) hit points per hour.
*Slick: you gain a +8 bonus against being grappled.
*Sensitive: gain Tremorsense with a range of 20 ft.

Feros:

Denrow: the feline Denrow are known for their grace, charm, adventurous spirit, ingenious natures and also narcissism, long fingers, a lack of regard for any and all laws.
Indeed, their self-absorbed natures go so deep that they can influence their very appearance: born as non-descript tan kittens, the personal vision of himself allows the young Denrow to shape his future color, fur type, even stature to a certain degree. While it is tempting to shape themselves after racial heroes – those known for the most flagrant adventures, larceny and scandals – every Denrow also feels the need to set himself apart, to personalize his self to be truly original. To that end, they also love flashy clothes, jewelry, piercings…
Denrow traits: Speed 40. DEX +2, WIS -2. Low-light vision. Gain one attack per 5 points of Base Attack Bonus, not per 6. This does not combine with Flurry of Blows and their likes.
Also, one of the following:
*Daredevil: whenever in over his head, such as staring down a street gang alone, armed with but a knife, he gains +1 to all rolls.
*Bad Penny: you might have thought him dead, but like a bad penny, he turns up! If the Denrow dies due to failing a saving throw, or dies as the result of a critical hit, he may re-roll that roll, just barely surviving unconscious and, to casual observation, dead.
*Fast and Furious: increase Speed by 10 ft.

Fayen: of the god-crafted races, the diminutive Fayen have become closest with Mauva, disturbing her dreaming only rarely. Humanoids with features of forest creatures, such as ears, tails, facial markings and their likes, they were made by Chalnys to be her envoys; many still follow that path. Their cities are built in harmony with the land, interwoven with miles of wilderness expanse. Often, the Fayen congregate around Mauva’s most sensitive places and keep outsiders out, much to the dismay of those wishing to reap the bounty contained therein.
Unfettered by many concerns of ‘civilized’ beings, Fayen seem innocent and natural; they are gregarious, curious, bright, sensualist and cheerfully promiscuous.
While considered savage by many, the Fayen do possess extensive knowledge and learning – it just happens to manifest in areas different from marble palaces and machines of war.
Apparently, some Fayen can reach an extreme age without feeling its weight, though they seem to evolve over time. How they accomplish this is unknown.
Fayen traits: Small creature: growing to four feet of height, Fayen are considered small and get a +1 size bonus to AC and attacks, as well as a +4 bonus to Hide. They use smaller weapons than medium creatures; they also can carry less. -2 STR, +2 to either DEX or INT. When using magic, Fayen disturb ley lines far less (half as much as other casters). Beneficial spells cast upon Fayen last twice as long. +2 to saving throws vs. spells and spell-like abilities. +2 to Spellcraft, +2 to Survival, +2 to Heal.
Also, one of the following:
*Voice of Chalnys: use Speak with Animals as a spell-like ability 3x/day, with your character level as caster level.
*Vanish from Mind’s Eye: use Sanctuary as a caster of your character level 3x/day.
*Guardian Angel: use Status as a caster of your character level 1x/day.

Kherran: pirates, raiders, pillagers, slavers – the carnivorous Kherran have a long history of poor relations with each other and anyone else. Gifted with a powerful physique, fangs, clawed hands and feet, swift reflexes and a volatile temper, this comes as no surprise. Though, if not for their reputation and temper, they might be considered beautiful, in a predatory way – tall they are, with an athletic, chiseled build, glossy fur, flowing manes that reach almost to the small of the back, and a regal digitigrade posture and shining claws and teeth.
Organized into tribes, nomad nations or short-lasting empires based on conquest and cult of personality, the Kherran invariably adopt a military dictatorship as their government. Social standing is based on might, conquests and glory, with frequent challenges for leadership being fought. Martial might and social standing has such a profound effect on the Kherran that their very gender is based on it – the few most successful are males, growing into veritable mountains of muscle and sinew (and siring scores of progeny), then follow vast numbers of females, and about a third of the population is asexual, the lowest of the low. Based on changes in standing, gender can change.
On the bright side, the Kherran consider Void-born and demonspawn the worst enemy possible, and do not hesitate to throw wave after wave of warriors at them.
Kherran traits: +2 STR, +2 DEX, -2 INT, -2 WIS. Scent to 40 ft. Low-light vision. Anytime a Kherran wounds a foe, he gains a +1 morale bonus to attack that foe. This bonus will stack, but fades if he fails to wound said foe in a combat round. If the Kherran attacks a different target, the bonus will fade as well. Clawed hands and feet can be used as weapons that cause 1d8 slashing damage.
Also, one of the following:
*Fury Incarnate: +4 to Intimidate.
*Wrathful: when rolling damage for a critical hit, count the weapon as one size larger.
*Second to None: gain a +2 bonus to all opposed rolls, such as grappling etc.

Selik: related to cetaceans, with smooth skin, powerful tails with extensible fins, and closeable orifices, the Selik are at home in the sea, on coasts and especially in mixed environs, such as bogs, bayous and mangrove forests. Understandably, they make excellent sailors, explorers and guides; due to an almost universal talent for music and a refined palate, they also frequently become artists and cooks.
Harmonious in character and very emotional, the Selik prefer to avoid conflict; yet when enraged, they know no compromise. Likewise is it with other endeavors – Selik love deeply and passionately; when in depression, it is the stuff of ballads.
The Selik claim to perceive the World-Song, a strange melody reverberating everywhere; their mystics study this powerful symphony – usually by lying on a beach or in shallow water, and dozing.
The race is not one of overachievers, and others deem them lazy. Indeed, the Selik often work on a minimalist principle, and prefer to live a happy life. They are not too attached to worldly possessions, either; a Selik will be more likely to be loyal to you if the pay is meager yet you are likeable overall than the other way around.
Their capacity for living in symbiosis with other races is comparable to that of humans.
Selik traits: -2 STR, +2 CHA. Swim speed 40, can stay underwater for up to one hour. Perfect sense of taste adds a +5 bonus where this may become relevant. +2 to Perform, +2 to Listen. Selik can also perceive infra- and ultrasound. They do have two languages – Word and Song. The first is a normal verbal language, the second is less precise, yet carries far, especially in water, and is imperceptible and unpronounceable by non-Selik.
Also, one of the following:
*Truly amphibious: you can stay underwater indefinitely.
*Song’s Guidance: you have passive sense of precognition that may foreshadow future events, especially if they concern you or are of great impact. The sense may warn you of sneaking rogues intent on stabbing your back, for example.
*Sonar: this sense may guide you in darkness or underwater. You may learn other applications as well.

Other races: many less wide-spread species inhabit Mauva, many of them sentient. Some are new and not yet widespread, some old and in decline. Some creatures may even be unique, having originated spontaneously, or been created as the sole exemplar of a species.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2010, 10:56:01 AM by EchoMirage »
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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Movers and Shakers - background information
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2010, 07:07:57 AM »
Miscellanea 1

Languages: as each race was created, it received a language; usually, various populations speak dialects derived from it. There have been attempts to create a common tongue, with three of them more successful and enjoying wider use. Each is derived from those of one race group: Vaetir, Feros and Kree.

Magic: the balance is fragile on Mauva, especially that of sorcery. Spells that manipulate existing creatures, create figments or alter thoughts are usually with little consequence. Alas, magicks utilizing elemental forces do upset Mauva, and disturb her dreaming. Each place has a so-called threshold, a measure of how tolerant it is to the use of such powers; the more magical the place, the lower its tolerance for such sorcery.
The most dangerous are spells that actually create something or alter space, as they may draw the attention not only of Mauva, but also that of the Void’s Prisoner.

Enchantment: enchanters may enchant with XP as usual; they may also use Fluid Runite found at magical wellsprings to reduce the XP cost. Solid Runites can also be used – these are gems with specific properties which they bestow upon items.
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Re: Movers and Shakers - background information
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2010, 11:12:35 AM »
The afterlife

What happens to one's soul after it sheds the mortal coil? Is there life after death? What becomes of us, how will we be judged?

Every soul is inherently flawed for it is made of the substance of the Void's Prisoner, and must strive to improve, lest it falls prey to its inherent vice. That is the origin of many an ill.

After death, the soul has several options: if it was strongly affiliated with a deity, in resonance and harmony with its theme and purpose, it will fly towards it, and may become one with it, become one of its celestials, or return to the world to be born anew. Celestials are widely varied in both their capabilities and purpose - some are able to manifest and do the deity's bidding, while most manage to serve as guardian spirits at most.
Many souls do not have a sufficiently strong affinity to a deity, and wander to Sahud's halls, where they exist in a dreamlike state, resting after the rigors of life. The Keeper of Souls will cleanse them, and send them to be reborn, sorting out the most flawed and dissolving them back into raw creation.

While memories of previous lives are hard to keep, souls usually do become wiser with each life - one can notice this especially in hot-headed and inconsiderate individuals, who seem to have to learn every lesson the hard way, and also in especially insightful persons, who are aware of their flaws and strive to improve and learn.

Resurrection is possible, yet has to happen soon after death; once a soul has wandered into a deity's realm or undergone cleansing at the hands of Sahud, no cleric has power to call it back. Souls that were serene and experienced closure in their lives do linger a day or two at most, while those with unfinished business will stay near the world a couple of weeks, a month at most before Sahud's servants collect them.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2010, 11:17:53 AM by EchoMirage »
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Re: Movers and Shakers - background information
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2010, 03:28:25 PM »
The Dominium of Morskoi, Part 1

Established basically by one man over the course of one generation, the Dominium is an assembly of colonies scattered over a dozen islands.
The Dominar started out as a mercenary leader of twenty years, and siezed his first holding in a bloody coup d’etat, with the enthusiastic help of the former lord’s wife. Even then possessed of exceptional charisma, he sucessfuly led a rag-tag horde of of brigands from the four corners of the world as an organized force, to sieze land in an opportunistic fashion wherever they could.
Contrary to all expectations, the titled and landed criminals became a nobility of sorts, overseen by a caring yet (rightfully) dreadd patriarch; indeed, the Dominar had mastered the way of sugar and whip.
Much to his detractors’ envy, wherever the Dominium conquered, women would fall for the ruthless rogue, and he took them as wives; his relationships to his ladies and his word are two things he deems sacred.
Graying, the Dominar saw scores of progeny grow up all over the isles; he had them schooled well – at least those who took to schooling – and therafter tested. One never knows what the real test is, and what just an everyday task, thus the progeny rather stay on their toes and keep their wits about them. Meanwhile, without noticing, they grow up to be capable administrators and leaders – at least those who succeed; dreading their father’s stern gaze yet yearning for his respect, they strive to outdo each other to be the one who receives the Iron Crown of the Dominium one day.

Mainly a naval power, the Dominium gains a large portion of its income from trade, payments for safe passage, various industries in its colonies; it also rents out its regiments as mercenaries when they’re not needed and just sit at home, becoming more restless and harder to control from sheer idleness. Pillaging and piracy are also major pastimes of the Dominium, much to the chagrin of its neighbors.

The armed forces consist mainly of swift sailing ships and light infantry, with sky ray cavalry employed as scouts. Naval operations are assisted by the Changelings – men and women in a symbiotic relationship with a unique cephalopod that can join with a human and keep him alive underwater.
Troopers most often wear hardened leather fashioned from the tough hides of sea ceatures, heavier armor is worn only by a few shock troops and the rare cavalry. Furthermore, men protect themselves with large oval shields.
Weapons of choice are spears, crossbows and curved blades; being a warlike culture, every man knows how to handle a saber. Likewise, openly carrying weapons is the norm. Beside these common armaments, many martial schools focusing on a variety of more or less absurd weapons exist.
In naval battles, ballistae and catapults are still the mainstay, with cannons beginning to gain purchase. The naval doctrine also values a variety of thaumic devices highly, whether elemental projectors, storm-callers or the much-maligned Thumper, which is basically just concentrated disturbance, balled up into a mean package.

Culturally, the Dominion resembles a potpourri and a sponge at the same time, picking up debased customs from the variety of peoples it unites, as well as anything fancy from its neighbors. Those same neighbors do consider the Dominium tasteless, but politely and wisely avoid commenting.
Bright and flashy attires are in vogue, especially those made of exotic furs and leathers; decorated armors are a staple of male fashion as well – a man will have his everyday armor intended for serious use, and a fashionable one for social activities. Displaying one’s wealth openly is commonplace; likewise is carrying a good percentage of the same wealth on one’s person, especially in young men who do not own land yet.
As a noticeable percetage of young men do not live to found a family, polygamy is commonplace. An acceptable life’s path is to first adventure and campaign, earn a fortune and then to settle. Self-rpomotion, gathering renown and a healthy dose of bragging are all essential aspects of the lifestyle, as are various contests, official or informal.
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