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Author Topic: New Terra [Update 6/8/11]  (Read 14615 times)

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Offline hylandpad

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New Terra [Update 6/8/11]
« on: April 30, 2011, 01:07:05 PM »
New Terra

This is the setting of my novel which I have been working on for several years now. It somehow never leaves the drawing board, but since we are nearing the summer, and I find that I have more time on my hands I want to get cracking on at least the first couple chapters. What I have here is an almanac of things I want to share with you all and see how well received it is, if that's alright.

Also, I realize the grammar is a little rough, alot of these are from my notes which I sometimes type in the middle of the night. You will have to pardon my less than perfect grammar, which will be ironed out at a later date.

I would like to light heartedly mention that this is all my own original work, belonging to me and me alone. I have zero qualms about it being used in friendly roleplay,  nor do I have any problems with modifying any ideas/concepts which you find particularly interesting. But please do not steal or sell my intellectual property under any circumstance. (and it this is covered under the Poor Man's Patent) I don't mean to sound abrasive or overly protective, but I realize in this day and age, information is easier than ever to steal, and I am simply guarding something I hold very close to my heart.
-Patrick Hyland, 4/30/11

[Update 1] 5/4/11: Removed themes section in favor of Cultural Detail. Started detailing world Regions, starting with Greatland. Also added an unfinished,rough timeline. Also added some information about the Feudal Structure and the ranks of the Ark. Finally added some additional technological tidbits.

[Update 2] 5/9/11: Added some cultural tidbits on some of the Greatland people.

[Update 3] 5/11/11: Broke up the text blobs into separate posts to make things easier on the eyes.

[Update 4] 5/17/11: Started adding a section on magic! Go to my latest post to see it!

[Update 5] 5/20/11: Added some awesome Flora.

[Update 6] 5/26/11: Finished the Magic Section

[Update 7] 6/3/11: Started working on Warrior Orders, made some changes to Flora and Fauna, Added more Ethereal Phenomena, Working on physical descriptions for New Terran Races, Added some Cultures, began working on Subs for main site =]

[Update 8] 6/8/11: Language section! Started detailing Archeoc, my very own Conlang with a Conscript! Take a look!

Table of Contents
Post #1 - Species Outline, World Specs and Terrain
Reply #2 - Flora and Fauna
Reply #3 - Resources and Technology
Reply #4 - Regional Information
Reply #5 - Abbreviated Timeline
Reply #6 - Institutions
Reply #7 - Religions
Reply #8 - Warrior orders
Reply #13 - Magic


WELCOME TO NEW TERRA

It is a world where Magic and Technology freely mingle, where kings and politiques play out their conniving games across massive kingdoms and principalities, where Knights lead soldiers into battle in suits of augmented power armor, carrying weapons that can only be described as devastating. Aliens from fallen empires, crashed motherships, and decimated elder races mingle with genetically re-engineering humans, all of which struggle for supremacy against one another, the dangers of an alien world, and the perils of the Ether. The name of every game is intrigue and persuasion, whether it be by a silver tongue or a steel sword, both of which are always in demand. Be you peasant or soldier, merchant or prince, king or noble, the world is filled with dangers legion in number and unimaginable in magnitude.
And things are about to get worse - the shadows of a new world order are beginning to cast themselves over Greatland. It is foretold by an archaic prophecy that the suns of New Terra will be eclipsed by a cloud of war so thick, that mankind will sink into a new age of darkness. But the Kings are oblivious to the oncoming age of strife; too occupied with their petty squabbles, border wars and conquests. The nobility is enraptured with fighting and the Wizards have their noses too far in their books to even be aware of such things. If not the kings, nobles or wizards, who will see the dangers for what they really are, lest they be mistaken for a simple passing storm? It will take an unlikely team of mismatched miscreants, mutants, mercenaries and mistresses to recognize the plot. But will our unlikely heroes be a shimmering beacon of hope, or will they simply be snuffed out by the encroaching darkness?
   

You have heard it all before. Plot to destroy or erase the order of the world. No one wants to help. It will take a group of unlikely heroes to stop the impending doom. But I hope you haven't heard it like this.

This is New Terra.

It is a world fundamentally rooted in reality. It's a plausible place with a fantasty-scifi twist. Humanity was long ago (or in the not-so-distant future for us) destroyed by an Alien Empire, only to be resurrected decades later and transplanted on a strange new world, filled with dangerous new threats. With a little help from their progenitors, human civilizations was re-established, flourished, fell into a dark age, and is now slowly but surely on it's way back up. But it would seem that humanity is going to have to leap another hurdle, and the race starts in Greatland, a continent well known for it's shady dealings, politicking kings, warring states, and highly varied peoples.

The setting takes advantage of the best parts of sci-fi and fantasy, in a world where both magic, and high technology flourishes, albeit unevenly. Knights wade to battle in suits of powered armor; machinations made of metal and synthetic muscle, while Wizards tap into the Ethereal Plane to garner enough power to cast spells that have devastating and terrible potency.

And humanity is not alone; races such as the Kandolari, Elysians, and Tor live side by side with them. Distrust, skepticism, and outright hostility is abound. This is only multiplied by the ever present threat of the monsterous flora and fauna that inhabits New Terra.

So welcome to New Terra. Find a sword or an Archenbusse. If you can't find one of the two, find a rock and hide under it.

Brief Racial Overview

reHumans - Come in many shapes and sizes, but are all of the same genetic stock (being reborn from the human DNA that was recovered from the planet earth after it was cracked open by the Tor Empire.) More than anything else they are divided by linguistic barriers. The groups are, for simplicity's sake, greatly abridged;
Greatlanders (Caspernians, Teutons, Midalians, Valyks, Ienpokans, Islanders, Sigurds, Acarids)
Saharians (Alut, Subsahor, Rajput, Alimur-Ien)
Orientalii (Imperials, Tonga, Hyak-Yor, Tarokyan, Enu)

Elysians - Mechanical constructs surviving from a former race that was destroyed by the Tor Empire previous to humanity's transplantation to New Terra. Found mostly on Sahar, which is believed to be the homeland of the "Derro'Kar" the creators of the "Eleskios" (Elysians.) The Elysians have managed to find a relatively safe nook in Alut and Rajput society, the scattered pockets of them in Greatland and Orientalis finding it much more difficult to live peaceably.

The Kandolari - unfortunate survivors of a great home world ship that crash landed onto New Terra, the Kandolari are a break off branch of a great world fleet of hyper advanced, star faring people. The Kandolari, using the broken remnants of their crashed ship want nothing more than to be rescued by their comrades who are now light years away, and they remain stranded on this back water planet and have to deal with the seemingly barbarous inhabitants. They have found a place in Orientalii society, choosing the least of all evils, finding Imperial society to be most palatable out of the multitude of choices given. They have been at least warmly welcomed in, thanks to their general disdain of "magic" and their aptitude for natural science, mathematics and philosophy. They still treat humans as little more than overdeveloped apes, sharing only a portion of their great knowledge that they so jealously hoard.

Tor - The Tor remaining on New Terra were left to be advisers to the ruling class; to ensure that Humanity was operating correctly, behaving, and was not on the way to wiping itself out before it had a fair chance at restarting. In this task, the Tor failed miserably. reHumanity, it would seem, was just as hell bent on killing each other as Humanity was before their brief unification, and ultimate destruction. Still, Tor can be found as court advisers, scholars, professors, engineers and other high ranking officials. Even in these positions, Tor are somewhat scorned - reHumanity sees themselves as unduly indebted to the Tor; a debt which they cannot pay off and which breeds contempt.  Still, the Tor are the few membersof human society who can hope to study and reverse-engineer the age old Xenotech and Archeotech blueprints. This alone makes the Tor a valuable asset - and warrants their continued, comfortable and unhindered existence.

Worlds Specs:
Mega Earth (Greatland is roughly the size of Pangea, with Orientalis being slightly smaller, and Sahar being about the size of North and Central America.) Twin suns, four moons (one even has pretty rings- ooooooh) and is located somewhere within the Perseus arm of the Via Lactea (Milky Way Galaxy)

Terrain:
3 Continents - Greatland, Orientalis, Sahar (largest to smallest, with respect to their order) 

« Last Edit: June 08, 2011, 10:50:20 PM by hylandpad »
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: New Terra
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2011, 10:40:44 AM »
Read it, now digesting. Will read again and produce useful commentary shortly


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Offline hylandpad

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Flora and Fauna
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2011, 10:47:17 AM »
NATURAL PHENOMENA

FAUNA

Equiux
“Big, this one is. Strong, fast and smart to boot. It may start telling YOU how to plow properly instead of the other way around.”
-Anonymous
not at all dissimilar to the horses of Old Terra, the Equiux is the primary mode of transportation for the majority of people on New Terra. The Equiux stands slightly taller than the average Old Terra horse, perhaps by an entire head. They have cloven hoofs, and larger eyes, with a fur that is notably more shaggy and thick, almost resembling that of a mountain goat. They are fairly easy to domesticate, even tempered animals, with a friendly disposition to humans who rewards them and treat them well. That being said, they are also trainable to make for war animals. Certain breeds of the Equiux are more suited to this than others, war equiux standing even taller and even more muscular than the average Equiux. While the Equiux no longer serves as a mount for Knights on Greatland (Knights have not ridden on horseback since the advent of Powered Armor – they are simply too heavy) the warrior castes of Alutremur and the Orient still use the beasts excessively and to deadly effect. While the Equiux no longer are used exclusively by knights (cavalry contingents are still widely used, just not by the nobility) they still carry the air of nobility, and represent the military elite. The symbol for “Knight” in New Terran literature still is the mounted Knight on the back of a fearsome Equiux steed.

Sand Lion
“Aghamemnon  is more than a mount - he is my guard, my companion and above all, my friend.”
-Adonis ex Allejandria, of the Sultan’s Immortal Order
Sand lions, not truly mammals at all, are actually lizards. They have a furry hide and a feline snout curiously lacking a big wet nose. They sport a thick mane and slitted eyes, as well as a gaping wide maw of razor sharp teeth, some of which are the size of short swords. They weight about the same as a true adult lion might, but the fact remains that they are hatched from eggs and they need several hours of basking time every day to keep their blood warm. Sand lions are incredibly intelligent, so much so that they are widely believed to be able to understand human thoughts by a rudimentary form of psionics. As such, they are valuable allies, and if caught early on in life, fantastically domesticated animals. They begin life as an egg which hatches into a small, fur-less creature of vibrantly bright color, ranging from bright fuchsia to a deep sapphire blue or forest green. Eventually, after a few weeks, Gold, brown, or white hair emerges from beneath the tender scales, and grows rapidly. The growth cycle from then on is highly accelerated, reaching full adult size in a little over a year. They are believed to be hermaphroditic, with no visible reproductive organs and laying eggs every couple years without the coupling of a mate. These creatures, equipped with knife like claws and a crushing jaw make a fearsome mount, and the Immortals of Alutremur ride them into battle exclusively.

Xarxeri
"I saw it, by the God. It grabbed Nasir by the shoulders and tore him in half, like a piece of parchment... Nasir... poor Nasir."
Raja Cyrus melBhaka
Xarxeri are quite possibly the most menacing of the horrid menagerie of perils that await any who venture into the many jungle regions of southern Sahar. They are hulking behemoths, eight to ten feet in size, with cords of muscles as thick as small wine casks lining their four arms and barrel chests. They are roughly apelike in their features, shaggy dark fur (or on occasion, stark white) with black skin. Their eyes are blood red, and males have pronounced tusks that jut out several inches from their lips. They are omnivorous, eating the fruits that fall on the ground, and whatever prey lands in their hands. They do not, however, eat dead meat. They are rarely alone, as a single, over-sized male leads a harem of females. Occasionally male offspring will venture out to find a harem of their own, or even rarer, establish a "gang" of all males. This tendency to form a gang is believed to have a sexual component, and gangs are highly irregular in their tendency to manifest. They are highly territorial and aggressive. Encounters between two males are always to the death, and the creatures do not seem to have a grasp on the concept of retreat. No matter the odds, the males always fight, even if there is no hope of victory. That being said, a battle against a Xarxeri is fearsome to simply look upon, as all four muscular arms can swing at high speeds and deliver crushing blows, ones that could easily pulverize an unarmored man into little more than a bloody pulp. In most cases, it has been found that running is the most effective option, since male Xarxeri will rarely stray far from the harem.

Landshark
“I’d wrestle an entire pack of sharks under a hundred feet of water before I would even contemplate getting in the way of a lone landshark with an army at my back.”
-Anonymous
Found mostly around the coast, Landsharks are amphibious creatures which have the bullet shaped body of a shark, and four stubby appendages that end in clawed webbed feet. They are highly unintelligent, aggressive and have zero regard for their own well being. Commonly thought that the brain of the creature is located somewhere within it's bowels, stopping one in the middle of it's rampage can be a tiring event, and a potentially deadly one. One the land, it's speed is substantial and, if one has never experienced an encounter with one, outright shocking. Though it may look like an unwieldy walker, it can speed along at running speeds like that of a bear. When in a bloodlust, it will charge the nearest alone target, or the smallest group. Multiple arbalest wounds, gunshot wounds and melee wounds later, the creature might die, or turn tail and flee when it realizes itself having no chance of getting a meal. The animal seems highly damage resistant, if not impervious to pain. It's legs are the only bony structures in it's body, the rest of the skeletal system being made of flexible cartilage – making it even more resistant to blunt force trauma. This is exaggerated by how fast it's wounds seal, and only a wound of the most critical damage will fell the beast (Such as cutting off it's head. No easy feat.) The regenerative properties of landsharks are an interest of most natural scientists, and those regenerative properties are multiplied when it submerges itself in salt water. There have been accounts of landshark corpses being carried off by the tide days after death, and then magically, then reanimating when it is far out to sea.

Stirge
"Ugh. Stirges. As if my day couldn't get any worse."
-Maximil Gold, former Captain of the Gold Company
A Stirge is little more than an irritant for most people. They are small birds, about the size of an average sparrow, with a fuzzy body and no discernible eyes. It has a long syringe-like beak tipped in a slight barb, slightly curved and two fleshy, bat-like wings which it can flap at phenomenal speeds. Using it's rapidly beating wings, it can seemingly hover in one place as might a bee or fly. It's beak is tipped with a mild irritant which causes blurred vision, or in heavy doses, paralysis, though a lone stirge rarely is able to inflict enough damage to paralyze an enemy. The issue however is when a swarm of Stirges happens upon a person or persons. Two or three hundred stirges make a swarm, and swarms are highly territorial. Usually found in bogs or marshlands, a Stirge territory can be several acres large, and traveling across any part of it is liable to upset the swarm. Stirges communicate with high-pitched squeals, which is presumably also some sort of echo-location. Their method of attack is fairly simple, and brutally effective; they fling themselves like darts at their targets, their beaks sticking into their prey and lodging there, hoping to poison their aggressor enough to send him into paralytic shock. Once their target falls, the tip of the beak breaks off, and the stirge is free, at which time the swarm continues patrolling around their territory. The beak regrows in several days. The victim is now hapless and helpless to defend itself, and waits the unfortunate coup. The stirges, however, do not do the killing. After their targets have succumbed to paralysis, they usually meet an untimely end by drowning in bog-moss, swamp waters, or at the jaws of some creature. If the paralysis is severe, it might halt the lungs from functioning leading to death by asphyxiation.

Skutaceph Lizard
"...head so thick, it would dull a sharp sword."
-Liber Monstrum
Skutaceph Lizards are undesirable for a number of reasons, the first of which being the very nature of the beast. It is a particularly aggressive creature, usually brown or grey in coloration, with a knobby hide of tough, leathery scales. It has two powerful rear legs which can propel the beast at upwards of twenty miles an hour, and two small front mounted arms that are equipped with four bony claws perfectly adept at tearing flesh in close quarters. It's also equipped with a gaping hole smack in the center of it's face which opens wide to reveal rings of teeth that extend downwards into the creature's gullet. But these would all be trivial compared to the two things that make the Skutaceph lizard truly terrifying; one is it's ability to deploy an umbrella of bony appendages from the upper neck to form an impressive "Shield" from which the creature gets it's name. The bony shield protects the most vulnerable area on it's body from attack; it's soft neck. To add to this, the creature has an already incredibly thick skull, which reportedly rebounds most slashing or stabbing weapons that aren't of the highest quality. Perhaps it's most fearsome attribute however, is it's ability to project highly acidic digestive enzyme from it's gullet onto a potential target. This enzyme burns straight through light armors literally in seconds and slowly eats it's way through tougher armors such as carapace plates or shields. One Skutaceph lizard is not a particularly dangerous threat, considering that solitary members tend to retreat when faced with just one enemy. However, Skutacephs travel in "tribes" of fifty to a hundred members, and have been known to rampage through small hamlets hoping to score several kill which they can drag off and consume. Such attacks are sophisticated and seemingly coordinated by series of high pitched screeches and whoops emitted from two organs at the top of the back (which also seem to be a vulnerable area) and suggests that the creatures have some sort of method of communication and are at least somewhat intelligent.


MEGAFAUNA


Leviathan
"Quiet boy! Never utter that name on a ship... we don't want one of the bloody things to hear you."
-Zuudi Sailor
A leviathan is a twisted abomination of nature, a cross somewhere between a massive sperm whale and a kraken. It's body is a long cylinder, ending in a squarish head and a maw that's nearly as wide as a battleship is long. The beast has a gunmetal coloration, four eyes (two on each side of it's block-shaped head) and two massive, muscular fines on the sides of it's body and a powerful caudal fin capable of smashing all but the hardiest ships into splinters. What makes the beast truly fearsome is it's four to eight massive tentacles that protrude from the middle and lower parts of it's spine. They are prehensile, and lined with writhing muscle. Two, dubbed the "arms" are spotted with suction-cup-like apparatus which it can use to grasp onto sheer surfaces, such as the sides of a boat. The other fins are very good at manipulation, picking up objects as small as a dog with striking dexterity and ease, despite their massive size. They are highly aggressive, hyper territorial and all around bad tempered. They aren't too bright though, and often times manage to beach or impale themselves on rocky crags or beaches stalking after passenger ships. Leviathans may follow potential prey for hours or even days to catch it unawares, but it's strikes are vicious and long lasting, since they have a curious way of "playing" with their food. They throw them around, smash them into the water, bite tiny limbs off and so on. When they aren't stalking ships, they go after the Giant Sea turtle schools that ride the warm ocean currents, which are their primary prey.

Roc
"That...is a big nest."
"And THAT is a big bird!"
"Run!"
-The Brothers Gremm
Rocs are colossal birds of prey, vaguely eagle-like in appearance, with some distinct differences. The males are usually a vivid, shimmering snow-white and their torso can be twenty five feet across, and approach a hundred feet long. They have an ivory beak of enamel, and two large, sensitive black eyes. Females, slightly smaller, are a woodsy brown, but in all other respects, look like males.  Like all "Dire" animals, they are not only incredibly strong, but also incredibly intelligent and aware. They have a wingspan of well over two hundred feet, and a fully grown adult can pick up prey as large as an equiux in each talon and carry it off easily.  Gusts of wind created by a fly-over by a Roc have been known to tear houses from the ground, and flatten wooden barns or granaries. They generally hunt the overgrown mountain boars that roam the hills and valleys of Val Torens, but do on occasion near human lands to carry off a farm animal or two. Though humans, sheep or pigs tend to be a little small for their appetites, Rocs have been known to carry off a handful if the pickings are particularly scarce. The Valykians say that seeing a Roc is a rare and benevolent omen; though any shepherd living around the mountains will see them fairly regularly, flying high in the clouds above.

FLORA


Hemoflora (Bloodpetal or Vampire Flower)
"Ugh...They call them Vampire flowers... Gives me the creeps."
-Eryk Jgarlson, of the Gold Company
Hemoflora, belonging to a species of plants known as Necroherba, is both curiously beautiful but terribly disgusting at the same time. Hemoflora, sprouts over the beaten, destroyed landscapes of massive field engagements, where hundreds have died, usually a week or so after the battle. Since Greatlanders in particular have no true concept of funeral rights, and leave their dead on the field to rot, this plant is particularly common across Greatland. It has a thick, thorny stalk, and a lush white or red flower, and stands just a little shorter than the average sunflower. Like a sunflower, it's head turns to face the suns as they pass overhead. However, the flower, after it's luscious red coloring has few redeemable attributes. Firstly, it stinks of decay. Instead of covering up the pungent odor of hundreds of dead bodies, the fields of hemoflora seem to amplify it. The reason for this is what gives Necroherba it's name; they prey off of the decaying flesh of fallen animals. Hemoflora in particular, thrives on blood - old blood or new blood matters little. The plant seed starts it's life once the progenitor plant runs out of blood - usually this results in droves and droves of these flowers systematically dying. The seeds are shot into the air, and with luck, landing in the feathers of crows, vultures or other scavengers lingering nearby. The seed lies dormant until it senses blood, usually when the scavenger birds touch down to feast on corpses. The flowers take root somewhere near the bodies, growing rapidly, inserting roots into open wounds or slowly wedging into soft tissue. The flower sprouts nearly clear, and as it matures it becomes and opaque white. However, as the flower begins to leech the remaining blood into it's system, the millions of tiny capillaries on the petals of the flowers fill with blood and are exposed to the warmth of the sun, turning the flower a brilliant red. Once the hosts are drained, the seeds are ejected and the process starts over again. Needless to say, the cycle is rapid and as vile smelling as a field of Hemoflora is, it's still a sight to behold.

Frenzyflower
"There's nothing like it. Everything becomes clearer, sounds become more distinct. The fear... it just melts away. Once you dose, you can't fight without it."
- Sir Eddin Brune, of the Stormguard
Frenzyflower has sapphire blue petals, a bright green stalk and smells sweeter than honey. It grows only in warm, tropical climates and only in the most perfect soil. Needless to say, those who grow Frenzyflower guard it with the utmost vigilance - and not just because they will win any awards for being beautiful horticulture. The true redeeming quality of Frenzyflower is it's potency as a combat stimulant. When the petals are crushed, heated and distilled into a liquid syrup, it can be absorbed into the blood, usually by an adhesive patch placed over a muscular region, or in some cases where it needs to be especially potent, a spinal injection. Once "Dosed" the user experiences what can only be defined as a combat high - complete mastery and awareness of the immediate battlefield. Fear seems to disappear, only to be replaced with an amazing cognizance. While it does manage to help clear the mind so that one can focus just on the battle, it does have some adverse long and short term effects. Short term effects are usually a crash after the combat is over, which can range from incessant screaming for no reason, to depression, to exhaustion, and/or a physical crash (the drug allows a person to operate under circumstances that would normally incapacitate a person, such as heat stroke, or dehydration.) Long term effects are numerous, number one being impotence, as many long term users are well aware (sometimes called "Frenzy Eunuchs".) Other long term effects are epilepsy, and even brain damage, should one ignore physiological problems that occur while under the influence of the drug.

Death Willow
"The old maids talk of a tree that grabs you while you walk the forest at night, strings you up like a spiders prey, and drains away your very soul."
-Eryk Jgarlson, of the Gold Company
Death Willows resemble very old, barren weeping willow trees, perfect for sitting down next to, reading a book, and taking a nice,long nap. They belong to the family of plants know as Necroherba, and are a carnivorous plant. They do not, as the myths might suggest, eat live prey, but rather, they prefer aged corpses which they slowly drain of all their nutrients. They are still however, quite murderous. It's roots  produce an earthy fungus that looks very similar to an apple in shape, size and consistency, tied to the root by several sticky sinews that break easily when picked up. The apple-like-fungus that the root produces is highly toxic, and is usually strong enough to kill a full grown man or woman, and easily venomous enough to kill a child. It does do one kindness, of lulling the victim to a final sleep filled with happy dreams before the heart stops beating. Once the body has sat for either a few days or a few weeks, the prehensile vines of the tree lift up the corpse, wrap around it so that it looks like some over-sized human cocoon, and sprout needle-like thorns that act as pumps. These thorns suck the nutrients from the corpse until there is nothing left but a dried out husk. The husk is dropped, the tree uproots itself slightly, and brushes the husk beneath it, where it will presumably never be found. Rumor has it, that these trees have the ability to slowly relocate should food become scarce in one area. It is also known that the tree will use it's dendrites to either defend itself from woodsmen, or attempt to strangle prey that seems to be small enough. The dendrites are strong enough to snap a small child's neck, though not strong enough to resist a sharp knife or strong arm from tearing it asunder.

ABBERATIONS

Scarhopper
"One second it was in front of us, the next it was behind us! Grabbed Joachim, bit him - he screamed, and then he disappeared. Dunno where he went... scariest moment of my life. We left a day later... sent a bird to the Arbiters... we weren't equipped to deal with s**t like that."
-Sergeant Hanson of the Vetterlund Militia
Scarhoppers were, at one time, normal fauna, probably related to Skutaceph lizards. However, when a giant Ethereal rift burst open in their homeland, the lizards were exposed to massive amounts of Ethereal corruption, which twisted and changed them; gave them terrifying abilities. They resembled a skutaceph lizard - bipedal, with two small arms, an enlarged head and a gaping maw. They have no discernible eyes or nose, and their coloration is normally a discomforting aqua blue-green. Lacing the natural armor of it's one time cousin the Scarhopper lizard would seem, with it's ridiculous coloration, to be bait to any would be predator. But, it can do something no ordinary creature can do. Seemingly at a whim, it can simply blink out of vision, only to appear meters from it's foe, or steps behind it's target. Whats more, is that it can do this wherever or whenever it wants, and rapidly too, providing it can see it's destination. It can also take small or medium sized prey with it, providing it's touching what it wants to "Blink" away with. In it's wake, it leaves "Scars;" temporary rifts in the fabric of space time - not to be confused with voids or rifts, which lead to the Ethereal plane. The scars close moments after use, but a crafty mage or trained arbiter can, with the right training, hop through these scars to effectively chase the creature. Though one never knows where a scarhopper might run to, possibly right into the maw of danger.



ETHEREAL PHENOMENA

Fetishes (Animus Minoris Neutralis)
"A skull? That's where this specter has been hiding all along? Some skull? Well lets crush it and be over with it."
-Last words of Sir Breccan Moore
A fetish is an ethereal spirit of some power that lives within a mundane object, taking shape of the object at the time of it's first occupancy.  Usually, the object has to be inanimate, or dead. Fetishes often house themselves within a body of a freshly dead corpse; usually one who has died remotely or far away from civilization. The Fetish assumes the immediate visage of the body and all the wounds or physical characteristics of the figure, and stays that way indefinitely, remaining a perfect picture of the body long after the body rots away. All that is required for the fetish to stay in the material plane is some part of the body, be it a bone or a tooth to remain in tact. When the last of the remains is found and shattered, the fetish loses it's tie to the corporeal realm, and is sucked back through the closest ethereal rift. While in the corporeal realm, the fetish may do a number of things. Ethereal spirits are notoriously unpredictable, and highly varied. They are as likely to be malevolent as they are to be benevolent. That is to say, a spirit who assumed the body of a girl murdered by bandits might guide more unwary travelers into the hands of the bandits simply for sick pleasure, or might try and use it's frightening, ghostly visage to scare travelers away from the bandit's road. While tethered to it's "Totem" a fetish can interact with the corporeal world with some limitations; it can manipulate inanimate objects, but cannot touch or directly cause harm to animate beings. A fetish touch may cause one to feel cold, or if one is especially sensitive to ether, perhaps even sick, but that is at worst. It can, however, with limitless strength, pick up trees or boulders and heave it at a person, or set a vicious trap for a victim. It also has the ability to manipulate ether, should there be enough in the surrounding area, and even cast spells. Considering the fact that fetishes are prevalent in the periphery of rift zones, this is a highly probable scenario.

Strange (Ourgos Archpotentas Sinistra)
"They say just looking at a Strange makes a man lose his sanity."
-Arbiter Delios of the Circle
Sometimes, for reasons unknown, an incomplete demigod is exposed to the material plane by floating through a rift. While the gestation cycle of Ethereal Beings is unknown, it is assumed that these fetal demigods can simply develop outside of the "Body" of the parent while in the ethereal plane, just as any human child would develop within the confines of the womb. However, when these fetal gods are brought either, on purpose (as an abortion, so to speak) or by accident, to the material plane, their bodies warp and distort. They are most often likened to massive, skeletal figures, wrapped in leaking, opaque goo. They lack any developed eyes or mouths, their hands are twisted and gnarled, and their bodies dis proportioned and unevenly stretched by massive clumps of musculature. Their head is enlarged and slightly elongated, and it hovers above the ground usually curled into a floating fetal position when not actively pursuing something, giving the Strange the image of some sick, twisted stillborn.  This twisted being is known as a Strange. Stranges are anathema to the demigods of the Ether, and are not allowed to enter back through the rift, being mercilessly hunted down if, or when, they do transgress back into their homeland. This rejection makes them not only physically twisted, but mentally unstable. They have no place and no parents. What they do wield is the power of the gods, which makes them fierce opponents. They have a particular disdain for humans, whom they will actively pursue on sight. They tend to "play" with human prey, experimenting with them, often times tearing them apart limb by limb just to see what they will do. They wield frightening power and are able to sling potent spells expertly and rapidly , in a manner that would strike dead the most powerful wizard at the tip of a long, wide brimmed hat. Luckily, a Strange, is usually only found near the origin of a massive ethereal rift, where it can suck it's power directly from the Ether. Rifts large enough to channel this divine power must be massive in size, and thankfully, such large rifts are rare, and where they exist, they tend to be isolated. Even so, the very mention of a Strange can send a shiver down the spine of fully grown men, hundreds upon hundreds of leagues away.

Echo (Animus Minoris Maleval)
"The Echo - a common poltergeist gone angry."
-Arbiter Handbook
Echos are a more severe manifestation of the troublesome Charm phenomenon; commonly known as poltergeists. While Charms simply tend to cause general mischief without risk of serious bodily injury, Echos are hell-bent, so to speak, on making sure someone gets hurt. Being malevolent Ethereal spirits, they are prone to serious emotional provocation. They usually manifest themselves by climbing through the rift temporarily torn open by a spell, usually a powerful one. Once free, they need to ties to the ether, but do not possess extreme powers, other than being invisible, inaudible and mostly undetectable. That being said, those qualities make an Echo fearsome enough. They are able to manifest a semicorporeal form - being physically present, and subject to physical harm - but not physical death. There have been accusations of unprovoked rapes, murders and beatings by mysterious, invisible entities. They tend to stalk targets around a specific area, usually in down trodden parts of cities, small rural villages or in places with little to no contact with wizards. Without the intervention of the Arbiters, Echos may rampage and terrorize the locals unhindered. Once found however, disposing of an Echo is fairly easy; tearing a temporary rift open will suck the spirit back to the ethereal plane (killing Ethereal entities is physically impossible on the material plane) where it will be forced to stay until another rift of sufficient size opens nearby.

Prophet (Archanimus Symbiotis Majorit Neutralis)
"And in the middle of the battlefield, he ripped open the sky and reigned down fire from the heavens. The earth was scorched and castle walls melted beneath the inferno."
Every so often, Ethereal spirits take an interest in the affairs of mortals on the material plane. Usually, they target one mortal, but they may also take interest in a political party, social group or other conglomeration of people. They find their way into the material plane, usually by manifesting a rift of their own volition, and occupy the body of a target, usually an individual the spirit finds likable, amiable and generally agreeing with it's point of view. This target is usually unharmed in the process. The spirit attaches itself to the soul of the target, which serves as a mobile tether to the Ethereal plane (souls are in fact what tethers every human to the "heavens.") This spirit, known as a prophet lies dormant, or at least quiet, in the host, simply listening and observing. The host is usually young, as the spirit wants a hale body to work with. Eventually, the host will start to gain immense powers, starting usually with the ability to cast simple spells seemingly from thin air. Eventually, these spells become more and more potent and the host becomes a Sorcerer, or a wizard who can cast spells without the need for a Nexus or an Ethereal Rift. At the heart of any Sorcerer is the prophet, who feeds him his power. Sorcerer and Prophet are consciously aware of each other, sharing thoughts, emotions and an intellect, and forming a strong bond over time, eventually resulting in the permanent bond of Sorcerer and Prophet. Thus, the Sorcerer speaks with the voice of the Prophet and the prophet need not speak. The Prophet will, from time to time, take over the host and speak with it's own voice. At times like this, the host's mind becomes dormant, his skin cracks and glows like prismatic magma.  It is important to note however, that often times Sorcerers come into contact with Prophets of conflicting interests. It is on the Material plane that the battles of Prophets play out. Entire nations, alliances and armies have gathered around groups of powerful Prophets and their Sorcerers. Sorcerers with likeminded prophets often times form enclaves, and sorcerers can also be found in the Circle. Sorcerers are highly sought after in all kingdoms, by all nobles and all manners of people.

Puzzle (Animus Minoris Neutralis)
"Did that statue....just ask me a riddle?"
-Martella Aurelias
Puzzles are spirits that are usually accidentally released from the matrix of a Nexus. They are most commonly found outside prominent mage circles or in the mage quarters of big cities. They are fairly harmless minor versions of a more severe phenomena known as Sphynx. They tend to inhabit inanimate statues, but they will go so far as to inhabit trees or small animals. They speak always in rhyme and usually will stop any passerbys to tell them a riddle. They offer them a reward for a correct answer. Unlike the Sphynx abberation, there is no penalty for a wrong or skipped answer. Still, answering a puzzle can be a boon, because they tend to overhear all manners of gossip, secrets and local news. They tend to barter information, and a successful answer will often yield interesting tidbits of knowledge. A refusal to answer or a wrong answer will usually evoke a disappointed reaction, or maybe an outright disdainful one depending on the personality of the individual spirit.

Minion (Animus Symbiotis Minoris Servus)
"Oh Qwarog? Don't mind him. He hasn't really mastered how to walk yet - falls down quite a bit. The poor thing isn't accustomed to having a corporeal body. Raising a Homunculus is truly a tedious endeavor. It's almost like raising a child... though a child at least instinctively knows when to eat and s**t. Try explaining that to something that never had a metabolism before."
-Goemus Tallhat, Wizard of the Circle
Minions are Ethereal spirits bonded to some sort of constructed body by Convocation. Usually, this body is made of something natural; clay for example. The body is usually very complex in it's structure. To function it needs to have certain mechanical elements that will properly imitate a true living organism; things like lungs, a circulatory system and even a brain need to be created from gene cultures and inserted into the Minion's shell. Usually musculature and nerves are created from Kellerhadrin plants, and a very small Altera crystal functions as a heart (Minions normally need to be heated by the fire, or bask in the sun to be functional.) The skeletal parts are usually forged from galvanized metals. When all the elements come together, it forms the body and all it's systems. The body can take many shapes and sizes, from the smallest "Haemunculus" to the largest "Archgolem"; the possibilities are endless (though the larger and more complex the body, the harder it is to A) find a cooperative spirit and B) bond the spirit to the body.) Once that has been done, the spirit is summoned and, if it is willing to enter the Material plane, it is bonded to the body. The spirit effectively animates the body, jump starting the heart upon it's entrance into the body. The spirit and body now effectively are tied together, and nominally the Minion is subject to it's master's will (as any convoked spirit is.) There are all sorts of uses for a minion; as a guardian, as an aide, as a spy or as a menial household helper. There have been, however, reports of mutinous Minions; wily spirits who have been bonded to a body and rebelled against there masters. While a Minion is obedient as a general rule, they are still Ethereal spirits at heart, and prone to logic that may not make sense in the minds of men. Thus they must always be carefully watched.

Phage(Cruxus Majorit Sinistra)
"Something terrible happened here... terrible enough to warrant the attention of a Phage."
-Garibaldo, Tutor of Augustus
The site of particularly heinous crimes, gruesome battles, and horrible deaths often time attract a phage. They tend to inhabit the bones of the dead, being strong enough to fully reanimate themselves within the skeleton and walk around amongst the living. Phages often find a simple garment to cover themselves, usually a black sheet, and for extra effect arm themselves with the crudest, most horrific looking weapons - scythes, in particular are a favorite. The Phage has, due to it's deathlike appearance, earned itself the nickname of "The Reaper" for where it goes, only death can follow. It chooses to hunt at night, and needs only to touch bone to skin to leave a target stone cold dead. It is truly impossible to kill a phage, even in it's physical form. It feels no pain, can magically mend any damage, and it shrugs off most magical attacks with the greatest of ease. As with most Ethereal phenomenon, it has no brain, so Psionics proves to be yet another dead end. Only truly powerful magics can be used to destroy the phage's physical body, and send it's spirit back to the ether. Not only is a powerful spell necessary, but a Phage requires a large rift to be torn open - which can open the material plane to a host of new troubles. There is, however, an alternative. Phages are a type of Spirit that is bonded to the Material Plane by a strong deathwish for vengeance - also known as a Cruxus, or Curse. The body of the Phage is usually made up of the remains of a victim of a crime, or the collected remains of many victims of tragic deaths. Bringing the Phage the blood of the murderers (usually some of the descendants blood) can spirit away the phage, leaving only the inanimate bones behind. This can prove to be difficult, as phages often appear years, decades or generations after the initial crime, and finding the blood of the perpetrator or his relatives can be a hassle, especially when the quantities need to be...significant.

Prism (Animus Minoris Benevolenta)
"Martella...why are you glowing?"
-Karl Hagardson of the Gold Company

Paramour (Archanimus Symbiotis Majorit Emisarius)
"An Eidolar... why here?"
-Avowed Renault of St. Archambaud's Monastery



[Under Construction]
« Last Edit: June 07, 2011, 10:57:30 PM by hylandpad »
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Offline hylandpad

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Resources and Technology
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2011, 10:50:49 AM »
Altera Crystals
“The Altera crystal, in the years following the plague has filled in the technological need for renewable power. It isn’t simply a fuel anymore; it’s an economic necessity.”
- Jax the Chronicler
Altera exists as a mineral across the entire world of New Terra. It's non-toxic, and is not detrimental to soil. The mineral is, however, not only conductive, but also electric. When heated, the mineral generates a trace electrical current. This is evident in many plants, which uses this current to flex the muscular fibers in the stem of the plant to follow the sun, as it warms the ground and heats up the crystal particles. On a much larger scale, Altera crystals, when heated, give off exponential amounts of energy, enough to easily power entire cords of synthetic musculature, such as is found in armored exoskeletons, as well as having other civic uses. The heat source usually comes from a plasma radiator or reactor, which is a substantial investment in itself, being of the most complex sort of Archeotech. The crystal degrades slowly over time, and considering that veins of Altera crystals are rare, and deep within the earth and hard to mine, it is exorbitantly expensive, and not suitable or affordable by those who don't have access to steady income. Thus, it is highly elitist in it's uses, and largely, an alternative, rather than a primary, source of mass energy.

Stygian Gas
“DON’T OPEN THAT PHIAL!”
-Anonymous
This gas found on New Terra is remarkable for a number of reasons. Not only is the gas a highly poisonous neurotoxin, but it also can be heated and ionized to create a relatively solid plasma, less prone to blooming than other plasmas. Thus, it has both battlefield and political implications – because it is critical in the creation of plasma for plasma radiators, and within weapons such as Plasma Lances.

Alitol
“I never knew sludge could be worth so much.”
-Lord Markhus, one of the Black Barons
Alitol, plentiful and up until recently, quite useless, was considered a bane to find on one's land, good for only one thing; causing poor soil quality. However, with the advent of the engine, Lords with access to Alitol have become not only more powerful, but highly sought by those who lack the resource.

Engadium
“d**n Engadium bolts... straight through the breast plate.”
-Anonymous
Engadium is a fairly common metal, found in many mountains across all of New Terra. It is very soft, and not suitable for armor plates or for most weapons. However, it is useful when used to coat arrowheads, bolt or bullet tips. Engadium is incredibly low friction, which means it penetrates most objects much more easily than a regular arrowhead would. Often times, high quality carapace armor has an uppermost layer of Engadium coating, which is said to be able to deflect point-blank Archebusse rounds. While numerous battlefield accolades do indeed hint that Engadium coating might have saved their lives against a stray arrow, bolt or bullet, it has not been proven; though it does add an attractive decorative shine to the armor.

Geotherm Plants
“ I have seen a city of steam and fire, that stretches down to the core of the world, where the forges glow night and day.”
-Father Nahmides, Pontifex of Cog
The most massive fabrication centers are those placed on natural geysers and fissures where geothermal gasses are released. The entire economy of the planet would undoubtedly be upturned without these massive production centers. Staffed by priests of Cog exclusively, these giant plants exist only for one reason; to ensure that plasma production, the very heart of all technology across Greatland (and much of New Terra) continues. The Priests owe allegiance to no one, and these plants act as personal monasteries, where they nominally pay a tax to a local lord, but also own serfs and act as liege lords to the knights living in there desmne. The plasma, produced at the plants, is stored in radiators, which are then shipped off to clients who need the products, or to other temples of Cog where they will be further worked into other pieces of equipment. These giant plants are built in a order to be functional, but also as venerated cathedrals, creating a unique architectural style that is uniquely found only within the priesthood of Cog.

Powered Armor
“Give me ten knights in powered plate and mail over a hundred men in carapace armor any day.”
-Caspernian Saying (quality trumps quantity)
An exoskeletal suit powered by a plasma radiator and an Altera crystal. It combines the protective capabilities of mithrilized steel, the raw power produced by synthetic muscle, and the combat technology of ancient Tor battlesuits. The suit interfaces with the wearer's nervous system, making the wearer acutely aware of the battlefield surrounding him, amplifying sight, sound, smell and hearing. While the suits boost strength and constitution, it requires a special suit to integrate the wearer with the neuroplugs of the suit. Also, the suit requires that excess heat created by the plasma radiator and the respirating muscle is regularly vented. Failure to vent will boost the acidity level in the synth muscles, which can cause rupturing and suit failure. These suits of armor are highly valuable, and are often passed down from father to son in hereditary seigneural families. In most kingdoms across Greatland, a permit or proof of nobility is required to even possess one or request the production of one to be built anew.  They are highly valuable and meticulously maintained and decorated, particularly by the Priesthood of Cog, which specializes in Archeotech, Xenotech and electrical maintenance, and the Guild of Smiths, which ensures that the metallic components are kept in working order.

Carapace Armor
“So what? Maybe it lacks all the bells and whistles that their [the knight’s] fancy armor has. My armor has saved my hide more times than I can count. Sure, it’s chilly to wear in the winter, boiling in the summer, and yeah, it chafes a little after a day or two of marching, and maybe it gets heavy. But when you do what we do, you learn to eat, sleep and s**t in this tin suit -  pardon my language your highness.”
-Miles Secundi, Man at Arms of Prince Kastame
Most other protective gear on Greatland is fashioned from simple steel, or in cases of high quality, thin mithrilized plates. At the joints,  leather or scale is stitched to allow freedom of movement, and a long or medium length skirt of mail is used to protect the legs. While more affordable than pricy Powered Armor, Carapace Armor represents a substantial investment as well, made for the poorest nobility or even some well-to-do commoners who are either drafted into mercenary companies or who are members of a noble's bodyguard or men-at-arms. It will stop punishing sword slashes across the majority of the surface area of the body, but is vulnerable to piercing attacks at the joints. Powered weaponry, however, will cleave the armor clean in half still, and offers little protection against Archebusse volleys or even hails of frictionless arrow heads.

Plasma Lance
“Careful with that, Gods d**n it! That will burn through you head to toe and not stop till it hits the bloody core of New Terra.”
-Quillin Belti, The Gold Company
An advanced anti-armor weapon, the Plasma Lance is effective against both powered carapace armor and tanks. It is shaped like a tournament lance with a flared, conical hilt that quickly narrows down to the tip of the lance. At the tip a small Altera crystal is mounted. Before combat, the entire shaft of the weapon is heated in a fire, and heater coils inside the tube retain the heat for up to an hour after. The heated Altera Crystal at the front is also charged. Upon use, a canister of highly compressed Stygian Gas is loaded into the weapon. On firing, the compressed gas is rapidly heated, and launched through the narrowing tube, propelling it in a narrow stream. As it nears the end of the tube, the Altera crystal charges the gas, turning it into a deadly stream of plasma. The plasma stream can be projected up to twenty feet, and easily tears through all but the toughest, and thickest mithrilized armor plating.

Plasma Radiator
“Mind your fingers. That gets hot.”
-Anonymous
A marvelous feat of Archeotech studies, reverse engineered from original Tor models by the priesthood of Cog, the Plasma Radiator, in combination with the use of Altera Crystal, provides powerful, albeit limited, supplies of electricity to the modern world. The radiator is a series of complex tubes, valves and pumps which circulate superheated plasma. The plasma is circulated through finned apertures which collect and store the heat. At adequate temperature it is released in bursts to continually heat an Altera crystal to provide electricity to numerous things; suits of armor, a lord's manor, or the artillery targeting systems atop a castle. They can range in size from about the size of a lockbox, to the size of almost an entire room. Plasma radiators need regular refueling of Stygian Gas, the intervals depending on the size and heat draw from the crystals, as well as natural heat disappation. In order to more effectively store heat, Plasma Radiators have are equipped with numerous heat coils, which collect and store heat so that the radiator can shut off when the crystals are not actively drawing mass amounts of heat.

Force Blade
“It’s name is Anything. Why? It cuts through mithril along with anything else.”
-Mikul, The Gold Company
Force blades are bladed weapon which have heater elements embedded in the folds of the steel, which, when turned on, touch a network of Altera Crystals to electrify the blade. The electrical charge helps nullify the hardening treatment found in mithrilized steel, which in turn makes the blade cut through heavily armored opponents. Force weapons must be charged, usually by a apparatus located in the sheath which is powered by another power supply, usually by the plasma reactor in a suit of Powered Armor. In the case of massive weapons such as a two handed battle axe, a charging station may be required. It is noteworthy to add that because the heater elements are highly energy intensive (they heat up very rapidly) they drain much of the charge  in the capacitors a short time. The weapon, after the charge is activated and subsequently spent, reverts back to a state of an ordinary blade until it is recharged. Soldiers using these rare and valuable weapons, in turn, learn to maximize it's effectiveness in a fight by constantly ensuring that when out of use, the blade is kept in it's charging sheath, or keeping the weapon near an open flame.

Mithrilized Metals
“What does it take to make Mithril? That’s a bold question. Does the Wizard tell the peasant how to summon up a firestorm?”
Master Julian, Master Blacksmith of the Guild of Makers.
A process by which metal is hardened to a far greater degree than it normally would be. After metal is refined normally, such as iron into steel, the metal undergoes a secret process highly guarded by the Guild of Smiths which makes the metal highly resistant to all manners of blows. Though it is not formally known outside of the guild how such a process is done, it is fairly common knowledge that a strong enough electric current can carve through mithrilized metal as it would any other metal.

Vibrosteel
“Now here’s a rarity that hasn’t been seen in the Kingdoms for years and years! Yes, Vibrosteel - a marvel of the east. A simple dagger of vibrosteel will melt the thickest breastplate like a hot knife through butter!”
-The cries of a Merchant in the Aludan Noble District
Incredibly rare, difficult to smith, and without a doubt the most expensive piece of metal per tonne, Vibrosteel is also without a doubt the most amazing, and highly sought metal for weapon crafting. Those who craft with this precious metal are of the highest rank of Craftsmen, and such work doesn't come cheap – but the product yielded is unparalleled. The metal makes for an exquisite bladed weapon, but in particular makes for legendary swords. When it is drawn rapidly across another hard surface (usually the metal of a scabbard) the metal vibrates at a microsonic frequency. This sound, not unlike the rapping of a tuning fork, is not harmful to human ears – however, at this frequency, it nearly melts any metal it makes solid contact with, making it excellent at cutting through the thickest mithrilized armors with the ease of a hot knife through butter. While Vibrosteel is almost unheard of in Greatland, it is much more plentiful (as far as rarities go) on Alutremur and in Orientalis.

Archeotech
“Humanity, through it’s own failings has lost much.”
-Saying from the Biv
Technology that hails from the Classical Human Age is known as Archeotech. It represents the pinnacle of human technology before the fall into the Age of Night. The means of production for Archeotechnology is extremely limited in the modern era, and such expensive and important technology is meticulously maintained, lest it be irreparably damaged. Though the Age of Night spanned across all human lands in New Terra, it hit the denizens of Greatland hardest. While there was a distinct technological regression in Alutremur and Orientalis, it was not nearly on the scale of the loss of technology on Greatland. Because of this however, interest in Archeotech is most prevalent on Greatland, where such knowledge is worth far more than it is anywhere else. It is no coincidence that Greatlanders tend to be the cultural backwater in the eyes of the world, simply due to the fact that technology, due to it's expensive nature is kept from the common people.

Xenotech
“Only through careful, monitored, mutual cooperation with non-humans can humanity possibly achieve it’s highest excellence”
-Saying from the Biv
Unlike Archeotech, Xenotechnology is expensive across the entire world. Xenotechnology is the technology garnered from the various alien races that have been in contact with humanity. Whereas something like Plasma Power is of human engineering, and comparatively more accessible, things such as Pulse Carbines and Gravity-Null vehicles are incredibly rare and expensive world round. Xenotechnology in some cases, has been adapted into human use regularly, the most prevalent being the adaptation of ancient Tor Exoskeletal Armor (Which was not only unsuitable for the human physique, but also confusing to reverse engineer) into the current iteration of the Powered Armor used by the Knights of Greatland. While items that fall under the category of Xenotechnology are allegedly  supposed to be tracked and monitored by the Bureau of Xenotech (at least on Greatland) an entire Black Market exists in dealing with these items, illegally smuggling them to shady dealers and buyers who want to operate under the radar of the law.

Autorailers
"Alright men. Load up."
-Knight Captain Mercator Rax of the Caspernian Ducal Regiment
The Autorail system was the precursor, and spiritual progenitor of the modern battle tank. It represented a a step towards the management of fast transport for heavy infantry. The autorailer cars can number anywhere from five to fifty, and travel along steel lines, and are powered by oversized, superheavy plasma radiators. The autorail engine is a seventy foot long plasma radiator on wheels, usually immediately followed by a car with several tons of Altera crystal. Most of the heat from the plasma radiator is used to boil water, to create steam and turn a turbine. The rest of the energy is converted to electricity, to run the electronic components aboard. The steam energy is converted by means of a large transmission to high-torque rotary energy to turn the engine's wheels, which pulls the cars following. Over time, the cars gain speed, and can approach upwards a sustained sixty miles an hour over the course of about an hour. Autorails are used mostly for troop transports, and the freighting of highly valuable military materials and were traditionally owned by either the royalty or nobility (depending on the region.) But as the middle class grows, there is an increased number of small, private autorails becoming popularized in the periphery of growing cities. This means more effective freighting of luxury and mass goods from the cities and into the countrysides, promoting the growth of local markets and even small cities around autorail hubs. Lately, as plasma technology has become more efficient, and the autorail engines begin to have more torque power, military engineers (particularly in Teutonia) have found ways to mount large artillery on flat train cars, making the trains not only a simple armored transport, but into a mobile battle fortress.

Command Orb/ Command Sphere
"The right arm of your suit is badly damaged. I'll reroute the power the the leg servos. You won't be able to lift the arm, but you'll at least be able to make a quick get away until we can get the armor to an Artificer. Let me just enter the command sequence."
Engineer Morgan Traut, Squire to Ser Eddin Brune
The command orb is the most reliable and widely used programming tool available across New Terra. The Cube itself looks like a circular "rubix cube" though with hundreds of cells as opposed to dozens. Iside the cube is a incredibly complex mechanism comprised of capacitors, intricate clockwork, and several potent enchantments. To "Command" whatever it is that needs to be programmed, the user simply presses down on the many "rune keys" that line the entire outside of the sphere, as well as twist the Sphere along two axises to line up the runes in the correct sequence. There are thousands upon thousands of possible sequences and combinations, and at least two hundred different runes on the Orb. Thus, mastering the programming of the Sphere can take years upon years. Once the Sphere has been programmed, it is linked to whatever it is to program by touching it to a special crater-shaped receptor known as the "command well" which streams the information to whatever processing unit the instrument uses. Once the information is stored in the instrument's capacitors, the Command Sphere can be removed, a Data Wipe sequence entered, and the Orb is ready to program whatever lies ahead. This device has in the past been used only by the priests of Cog, since they were the ones dealing with the majority of technology requiring programming. However, in the past several decades, the devices have seen increased uses among royal engineers and private individuals who are well learned in all sorts of vocations as programmable technology becomes more available. Common uses of the Sphere include: in Nexus' to write command routines to open up Matrix Gates for a controlled flow of Ether; in Powered Armor to write battle subroutines to automate some menial system functions; in Autorailers to automate where and when to stop.

Archbalest
"Skewered that whoreson to the mainmast, I did!"
-Sean McArny, Caspernian Marine
Archbalests are oversized Arbalests that fire two foot long, sharpened, metal tipped shafts across long distances. They are made primarily with wood and metal components, have no combustible ammunition, are more reliable than thumpers or stompers, with no overheating problems, but with nearly the same devastating power (albeit at the cost of range and accuracy.)They can usually be mounted on a strong, pivoting metal frame, and require only a single person to arm, fire and reload. They fire from a large metal bandolier that is fed into the side and ejects from the receiver when spent. The Archbalest uses it's own momentum to spring the bowstring back to loaded position and thus can fire bolts in rapid succession. These weapons are ideal for naval warfare, as the tips of specialized ammunition can be loaded with flammable or combustible materials. Some Archbalests are modified to fire two "netted" bolts or "grapeshot bolts" to tear down enemy masts. Alternatively, a chain or cable may be tethered to the bolt which can stop a ship from fleeing if enough bolts strike into the body of the ship. These are also makeshift boarding devices which marines can shimmy across.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2011, 05:20:29 PM by hylandpad »
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Regional Information
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2011, 10:51:38 AM »
Greatland, Sahar and Orientalis are all very large, diverse places. Grouping all the populations on each continent would be doing a severe disservice to the varied cultures that live there. I have taken to liberty to break down each continent into broad regions and detail those regions before detailing the people that live there,

Greatland:


Midaly
"The rich lands of Midaly are responsible for the rise and sustenance of two of the most powerful Empires in all of history."
-Jax the Chronicler
The middle section of the continent, Midaly is a temperate mix of warm, green hills, flowing rivers, and ample timber. Though it is hilly, the Midalians lack mountains and their access to stone is restricted to the Spine of the World, which is at their easternmost border, and trading with the Teutonians. There are a number of tributaries and small rivers which serve as natural borders for the many kingdoms, as well as a pronounced delta at the southern end of the region, from which sprung the Old Midalian Empire. Midaly has warm winters and pleasant summers, as well as ample rainfall, making it the breadbasket of Greatland, the food producing center of the world. Midaly, having over a fifth of it's entire population on the coast of the Sea of Midaly, is run on the maritime trade of "Big Fishing" such as whaling, and leviathan hunting.

Teutonia
"Do you know what brings a tear to my eye, Damian? I have spent six months drinking that gods-awful Midalian wine, wenching those terribly flat Caspernian women, and fighting those pathetic Acarid mercenaries. Now time for a real drink, a real woman, and a real brawl. It's good to be back in the fatherland."
-Emperor Tychrion Hallenbrak IV
Teutonia is the mountainous peninsula just southwest of Midaly. The region is a mix  of deep valleys and high peaks. The people of Teutonia are hardy, accustomed to cold winters and cool summers. They are never wanting for stone, iron or timber, making Teutonia to one of the most resource filled places in the world. The mountains hold a number of natural hot springs, making it a perfect region for the Geotherm plants run by the Cog Priesthood. The edges of the peninsula facing westward are constantly berated by the punishing storms of the Wide Sea, while the eastern seaboard has to only deal with the warm, placid weather that floats over the Sea of Midaly.

Caspernia
"Ever majestic as the storm, Caspernia, may thee always provide."
-Ode to Caspernia, Geste of the Storm Kings
Caspernia, just north-west of Midaly, is filled with wet plains, dense forests, and cold shores. Caspernia, facing the Wide Sea, is much colder than Midaly, especially since it lacks the warm winds coming from the Sea of Midaly. It's summers, however, are pleasant, and it's winters are not as cold as Teutonian winters tend to be, albeit much more wet. Caspernia is roughly the same size as Teutonia and Midaly, though much less flat than Midaly, and significantly flatter than Teutonia. Wood is a plentiful resource, and rocky hills provide ample stone quarries, though no mountain ridges run through Caspernia, save for the single Guiuix mountain ridge that carves hundreds of miles into the mainland from the base of the Wide Sea.

Caern
"There are rarely few who would brave the cold, with no hope of finding anything at all. Fewer still are those who brave it, and return with a caravan filled with liquid gold."
-Gustra the Teuton
The Island off the north coast of Caspernia shares a very similar climate. Wet, cold, and slightly more unpleasant than Caspernia, the isle of Caern is not a place anyone would  actually live, provided they would have a choice. However, the Caern Channel is rich fishing ground year round, and all major trade routes to Caspernia, Midaly and Teutonia use the channel, making the Caern cities that skirt it, convenient stopping places for rich merchants.  Northern Caern, stretching nearly to the northern pole of the planet, has a climate that's downright close to arctic in temperature, making it an inhospitable wasteland tundra - but rich with Alitol.

Valykia
"Valykia? How could I forget Valykia? By the Father, my balls froze and fell off in Valykia."
-Fredrick the Fat, of The Gold Company.
The Valykian region is due east of the Spine of the World, north of the Valy-Ishael mountain range that separate the cold, mountain region from the arid plains of Acary. The mountainous pathways through both the Spine and the Valy-Ishael mountains, bordering warm regions, tend to be dry and bearable, albeit rocky and inhospitable in their formation. However, the Valykia region is nothing less than a walled in winter-wonderland. The mountains of the Spine and Valy-Ishael ranges shoot so high into the sky, warm air simply doesn't penetrate. On the cold side of the mountains, there is only the Chilskehavet, or the Frozen Sea to the north, which brings in only strong, cold winds. But the mountain trees are towering beasts, and the people are rugged. Metal, those brave enough to seek it out, is plentiful deep within the mountains, where the Chilstahl runs like tree sap.

Acary
"Beauty? What do you know of such things? My friend, you have not experienced beauty. Beauty is the sunset over a lush desert oasis, where a topless desert maiden, fair as the warm sea, feeds you olives from the sprig while the other rubs you down with the finest smelling oils from the most lush desert cacti flowers. Maybe, while another shampoos your hair with soaps from Ienpokos. My friend, until you have done that, do not speak of beauty."
-Nikos Koinenos
To the south of the Valy-Ishael mountains (lit. The Cold and Hot mountains) lie the arid plains to Acary. Towards the center of the region, an inhospitable desert wasteland. Civilization flourishes on the periphery of this rather small portion of the region, where there are numerous plainsland oasis, (oasi?) and well maintained roads from the days of the Ienpokan Empire. Maritime settlements, as with most coastal society, flourishes in the warm Sulid Sea which is rich in colorful, large fish. Acary doesn't have many forests, and wood is scarce, though metal can be mined from deep mountain veins. Acary does have an abundance of clay, found at the shore or around the oasi, which, along with mud brick, is the primary building material in the area.

Halzud
"The cities are pretty, the land is grand and the sea as clear as a jewel. The food may be crude, the people oft rude, but to leave my sweet Halzud is cruel."
-Verse from Joliander's "Odye Halzudia"
Halzud lies to the south of Acary, several thousand miles away from the Teutonic peninsula. Halzud, about one and a half times the size of Teutonia, is only attached to the mainland by a land bridge a couple hundred miles wide, that floods for half the year. Halzud's climate is half tropical, half temperate (and indeed Halzud can be broken down into Hal or 'half' and Zud or 'south' - synonymous with "hot" or "tropical.") The Halzud people lead some of the easiest lives, exporting precious stones from their rich mines, in return for food stuffs from the regions surrounding them. Timber is also in excess towards the inland areas, but precious metal is still a primary import.

The Islands
"There could not be more of a difference between two people than a Clawman, and a Wingman. One, a prosperous craftsman, and the other, a virtuous farmer. The only things that keeps them from killing each other? A couple leagues of water between."
-Anonymous
This shattered archipelago was once whole, the home to an ancient and advanced civilization, cracked apart through events unknown. The Archipelago is divided into two sides, east and west, Claw and Wing respectively. The easternmost archipelago is rich in minerals and looks similar to the claw of a beast from the air. The Wing islands, rich in nothing more than arable land and harvest able forests, looks similar to the wing of a gull in it's curious shape. The archipelago lies several hundred miles west of Halzud, and just a couple hundred miles south of the south eastern coast of Midaly.

Ienpokos
"Civil? You speak to me about being civil, barbarian? While you were still nursing at the tits of the Tor, we were building Empires!"
-Prince Andronikos Hagios
The island of Ienpokos is a crescent shaped formation east of Acary. It's rich in many things; minerals and forests primarily, with somewhat rocky soil that makes growing slightly difficult. The Ienpokans have a a hot summer, and a very warm winter, which offsets the problem of lack of arable land slightly. The people of Ienpokos had the first real Empire, and expanded it at least half way through greatland, and were a great maritime civilization, thanks to their position in the warm waters of the Sulid sea, only a two years journey away from Sahar.

Peoples of Greatland

Midalians
"There are few people I find more repulsive than Midalians; no other group of humans have cried for so many decades about glory lost and done so little to remedy the problem. Well, except for the Ienpokans."
-Gallardo of Firans
The people inhabiting the Midaly region of Greatland tend to be the best benchmark for defining the "average" Greatlander in terms of height and weights. They stand roughly five and three quarter feet, have a bronzy skin tone (which gradually whitens as one moves away from the coast) and dark hair ranging from dirty blonde to auburn in coloration, often worn very short, with shaved or well barbered beards. Midalian language is a confusing mix of New Archeoc dialects, the offshoot of Imperial Archeoc, and the father language for many of the other languages of the surrounding areas. Midalians try desperately to cling to their old Imperial heritage, constantly obsessing about "the good old days" and always harkening back to the days of the mighty Midalian Empires. But the fact remains that they are now small fries, so to speak, fragmented into dozens of smaller kingdoms all claiming to be next in the inheritance of the Hegemony. So they remain highly  divided, and will remain so for all of  the foreseeable future.

Teutonians
"Whats to say about Teutonians? They got the Valyk in their blood. They are big, they drink too much, and prone to sudden and unprovoked bouts of ravenous behavior. Of course I like them! Lets invite more!"
-Kincaid II, King of the Sigurds
Teutonians are slightly larger than their Midalian counterparts, averaging an inch or two higher, with heights of over six foot fairly common. They have, on average a much whiter complexion, hair color gravitating towards blonde, strawberry or various shades of red, which they wear long, either braided, pony-tailed or down to their shoulders. They are considerably more well muscled than their Midalian counterparts as well, making them adept martial fighters, especially in the lines of nobility. Their strength does not go unnoticed in the lowest classes though, as the Teutonian working class make excellent laborers. The Teutonians, unlike mostly every other Greatland people, consider themselves all one people, working towards a common goal - at least in principle. That philosophy diminishes as one becomes a more powerful lord, and Teutonian lords tend to be some of the most powerful men on the continent. Thus, the reason for the establishment known as the Reichstadt, the council that holds it all the mixed aggressions, lies and threats in place. Teutonian language is a branch of Old Val, the mother of both Valyk and Reichzunge.

Ienpokans
"The Ienpokans cherish their culture, almost as much as their little boys."
-Severius Noverus
The Ienpokans are of the same stock as the Midalians, being of average height, with a slightly darker skin due to their position close to the equator. They generally wear their beards long, and hair cropped short, though this varies widely from region to region. They were the first real Imperial Power of Greatland. The Ienpokans, somewhat forgotten by the Tor, had been forced to survive off of technology alone, much of which was, quite literally alien to them. Long before the age of Empires, and only in the fledgling years of independent human civilization, did the Ienpokans create a complex society of inter-linking city states, the concept of citizenry and even the first vestiges of what might be commonly referred to as a democracy. Interestingly, their earliest years are plagued by violent and long civil wars between neighboring states, often for trivial reasons (over a woman perhaps, or over an ad-hominem attack on a diplomat for example.) Still, a wonderful dichotomy formed even within this early tumultuous period. Ienpokan culture was diverse, vibrant and in demand. Their mastery of alien technology, without the help of the Tor in manufacturing and instruction was unparalleled, and it was this advanced technology that they took and conquered nearly half of Greatland with. While the Empire ultimately failed, Ienpokos' fray into the mainland left it's mark, opening the floodgate to it's enlightened philosophy and culture. Until the rise of the Midalian state much later, Ienpokani was the language of academia and Ienpokan philosophy is still preeminently taught in schools across Greatland.

Acarids
"The Acarids believe themselves to be the evolutionary successor to the Ienpokan Empire. This, of course, has yet to be seen as Acary's boundaries have moved little in over seven hundred years."
-Jax the Chronicler
In the latter years of the Ienpokan Empire there was a last ditch effort at establishing a fully ethnically Ienpokan kingdom within Greatland. From Ienpokos, thousands of citizens (and their slaves) from every city state flooded onto the mainland, with the promises of becoming rich land owners. This dream, of course, quickly came to a close when the Empire, almost over night. All that remained were thousands of confused middle class citizens who were now stuck on foreign soil with no direction, no leaders, and no allies. So, in the fashions of the great Ienpokan city state Atensia, there was an election held to determine a worthy leader. Naturally, every citizen voted for a member from their city state, and nothing was accomplished. So, a letter was sent out to all the fledgling nations of Greatland, inviting members of their noble houses to run for king. After a healthy episode of drama, murder and plotting, it was a Caspernian noble who ascended to the throne as the first king of the Acarids, or "Forgotten People." Acary, with culture very similar to Ienpokos, also has a strange mix of Caspernian and Valykian culture intermingled (perhaps not so surprising) and to this day, a very very (VERY) distant branch of the Acarid royal family still shares blood with the Caspernian Storm Kings.

Caspernians
"Never trust a fully aged man who shaves off all the hair on his face."
-Teutonian proverb (Dont trust Caspernians)
Caspernians are similar in build to Teutons, though perhaps on average a little smaller, and slightly less fair (though physical distinction becomes near impossible close to the border of the two regions.) They often are referred to as "priestly" as it is common in male fashion to shave one's face completely head included. The richest may even wax their bald pate, giving them a shiny, reflective cranium. This custom is somewhat alien, and it's origin unknown, but it's hypothesized that it stems from the tendency of the early rehumans attempting to emulate the look of the Tor. Caspernians are, like Teutons, hard working people who have a somewhat less than perfect piece of land, but have adapted so well as to thrive on it. They are tremendously skilled builders, being among the first people to record building fortifications, and mount sieges in the earliest days of rehuman existence. They do have a tendency to be quite fractious though, and there is a tremendous amount of pride in one's own parcel of land, even at the most local levels. This stress, this natural desire to decentralize at the lowest level. The lords, likewise, are very careful that they maintain complete control over their parcels of land, and when possible, make efforts to establish their own dominions within Caspernian at the expense of other lords, or even the king. While both Teutonia and Caern also have a distinct feudal order, Caspernia's nobility is by far the most empowered, making the position of the current Storm Kings (kings of Caspernia) a seriously disadvantaged one, bordering on simply ceremonial.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2011, 05:21:26 PM by hylandpad »
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Offline hylandpad

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Abbreviated Timeline
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2011, 10:52:13 AM »
Rough Timeline:

2nd Half of the 22nd Earth Century – Humanity has achieved, for the first time ever, peace spanning across all Continents. The new world order called aptly “The Unity” is a byzantine governmental structure that spans across all countries, nominally allowing for countries to keep existing cultures and traditions, providing it does not conflict with the peace that the Unity so laboriously keeps. Pockets of resistance are still existent, however they are not of any threat to the established power. It is also in this century that the earth is introduced to a series of alien contacts. By the time the 23rd century arrives, Earth is beginning to become part of the galactic community.

24th Earth Century – The Tor Empire, an extra-terrestrial Hegemony arrives at Old Terra. They, claiming to be the progenitors of the human race, demand access to the resources of the world to drive their inter-stellar war machine. Humanity confers upon this demand, and decides surrendering large quantities of natural resources would be against the best interests of humanity. Several other alien races stand with the Humans, while the client races of the Empire stand with the Tor. The Tor leave Old Terra for over a hundred years, vowing to return to take the resources by force if need be. The Unity, in the face of this crisis is faced with a dilemma; the Tor Threat has upset the populace and the order of the world is upset. Numerous campaigns are organized to regain complete control of rebellious elements, but the Unity has, by the latter part of the 23rd century, all but crumbled.

25th Earth Century – Old Terra has reformed boundaries, re-established sovereign countries and autonomous nations. The idea of a universal government is internationally rebuked, and The Alien Diaspora begins as an attempt to oust Tor spies.  A new Military Alliance is formed by the greater nations of the world, in order to man the Outposts in orbit around Earth, which had been abandoned during the fall of the Unity. The move to reorganize into an international military comes too late however, and in the latter half of the century, a Tor Stellar Armada arrives in System Solaris. War formally breaks out between the Tor Empire and Old Terra, but with no alien auxiliaries or non-human allies, victory shifts towards the Tor quickly.
In a radical attempt to cut off the head of the invasion, Human Commandos infiltrate the Tor Capitol ship and execute the Tor Consul. The Consul, along with  thousands of Tor Non-combatants on the ship, are assassinated as a nuclear weapon is detonated in the belly of the Capitol Ship. The assassination evokes a highly emotional and irrational response from the Proconsul, who orders the entire human race to be obliterated for the transgression of the humans. The surface of Old Terra is turned to glass by a massive Orbital Plasma bombardment, and humanity is wiped out. In subsequent trips to the planet to crack it open and extract resources, trace elements of human DNA are found and stored by Tor scientists.

Year 6202 of the Tor Imperium (Age of the Human Renaissance) – With a violent coup overthrowing the Imperial Council on Tor Prime, revolutionary factions gain access to the entire database of the Tor Secret Archives. Within, they find record of Genocides of hundreds of different species across dozens of planets, Humans being among the extinct. With each document, they find the location of surviving genetic materials and embark upon an ethical crusade to revive as many extinct species as possible.
The Humans, being last on the list (being wiped out a mere seven hundred years earlier) were naturally last to be revived by genetic reconstruction. These humans or, "reHumans" as they were typically called, were identical to the humans of planet earth save for some genetic anomalies that came about in the re-engineering process (wider ranges of eye colors and hair colors, notably.) Their chosen re-location spot was initially on a Luxury Planet on the outskirts of Imperial Territory, but due to a routing incident, the carriers bearing the humans (and their Tor overseers) was sent deep out into uncharted space, where they were forced to make an emergency landing on a planet that the humans would later dub as New Terra.

Human Archaic Age – For the first several centuries of life on New Terra, the reHumans were little more than clueless apes. Being abruptly brought back into existence with no recollection (With several exceptions of alleged Genetic Memories) of their former ancestors, they relied completely on the Tor to try and understand how the world works. Accelerating culturally and racially every year, the humans grew from little more than intelligent monkeys to a highly cultured and developed society. Thanks to advanced Tor technologies and permanent presence within human society, these humans quickly excelled in complex mathematics, sciences, galactic philosophy, religious theory, physics, metallurgy and architecture.  They had, presumably by the end of this age, began to excel within meager centuries had achieved after over five millennium of existence. 

Human Classical Age – The Tor, seeing that their work as human rehabilators was coming to a close, they left the planet, leaving only a handful of Tor on the planet as permanent correspondents. The Human cultures, fundamentally based on that of the Tor culture, can be grouped into three basic groups – one per continent. The Greatlanders, The Alut and the Orients. Though these three groups are similar in their overarching culture having descended from Tor mentors, in the ages after the Tor leave the planet,  the cultures begin to slowly define themselves. This, report the Tor left on the planet, is a good thing.  Cultural difference breeds competition, and competition is considered vital to a strong economy. Humans had indeed taken up the ropes left by their absent Tor mentors quickly and effectively, seeming to take to the reigns of autonomy very well. Human culture, continued to make itself distinct, even breaking down into separate groups within the larger groups on the continents. This, at the beginning did not prove to be a problem. Human dominion continued to be fairly tranquil, and differences were settled peacefully in international forums.
Throughout this age, human poetry, literature and philosophy promulgates quickly, with international events being held yearly to which all current thinkers and scholars were invited. These events, not only for academia, promoted the spread of inter-cultural fashion and culture, as well as the newest technologies that human scientists labored over.  Such was the legendary brilliance of the Classical Period, that the greatest minds and authorities are still lamented and revered as saints, gods, muses and paragons.

The Imperial Age – nearing the end of the relatively short lived Classical Age, there was a distinctive shift away from the advancement of technologies that were of societal application, to technology that was of military application. Old Earth Humans, it seems, when left to their own devices would often times create conflict for no reason other than to display superiority. These reasons of course, need rationalization, which comes in many forms – necessary resources, religious crusade, imminent danger, or preemptive strikes being just a few of these rationalizations. It seemed that the newly engineered humans did not lack this trait. So for the first time in human history on New Terra, conflict finally erupted on a large scale. Humans had not been allowed access to the advanced Tor Weaponry. They had an incredibly cultured lifestyle, with enough technology to be able to live comfortably, modestly and without fear of hunger, disease, or fear of the elements.
It had been, by Tor standards, a perfectly utilitarian society where social disparity was low and where the Global economy would continue to thrive so long as people continued to work. This, changed however, in the latter parts of the Classical Age when production centers began to form companies, and take over large sections of the market, refusing to sell or buy from other sections which eventually drove those sections out of existence. The economic stress, starting locally slowly crept from continent to continent, until the means of production of any of the given corporate “nation-states” was completely under the control of the newly formed ruling elite. This economic  tension translated into conflict, and under these pretenses, the world was introduced to war. New Technologies were created for making war, old technologies were recycled into military usage, and the peaceful nature of the world was largely overturned. It was an era of intense nationalism. All male citizens were soldiers for their nation state. Competition between neighboring states (or even between neighboring cities) was often strenuous, and any alliances were simple ones of convenience.
 The trenches of mistrust and hatred were soon dug, and would only deepen in the coming ages. Borders shifted as states exercised powers far outside their original boundaries, and foreign governments were oppressive of the native populations. The literature that came out of this period are often times warrior epics, about long journeys from the shore of one nation to another, or treks across an entire continent, or a siege of a neighboring city. Another new concept was the concept of slavery that emerged in the Imperial Age, where the victor would claim a defeated populace as property and do with as he saw fit. Often times this translated into the formation of a slave market, though in some cases, a particularly savvy ruler would use them as a military force. The Imperial Era saw rise and fall of dozens of large empires, and hundreds of smaller hegemonies across all three continents. It also saw the first population decline in the human race since the eradication of the humans of Old Terra. The destruction and destability left in the wake of this era, however, was far more deadly than the actual wars could ever hope to have been.

The Age of Plague - The constant tumult that raged throughout the Imperial Age left the humans of New Terra unaware and unprepared for a wave of horrible diseases. Where they came from is entirely unknown. Speculations on the origins of the new macrobial threats are legion. Some insisted it was unleashed from the belly of some ancient Derrokar ruins where diggers or miners poked their heads to far into whilst looking for treasure. Others said it was of Elitar origins, a genetically engineered virus made to wipe out the humans from New Terra. Others insisted that an Ethereal entity was urging more sinister forces into the material world for the transgressions of the wizardly castes. What is known is that the devastation left in it’s wake touched all continents of New Terra, and left over a half of the population of New Terra dead or dying after over a century. Not only did the diseases target humans, but their livestock and crops. There was no cure for this massacre, no solution to the famine. People died from disease or else starved to death.
 Eventually, after years and years, it slowed down, and the sudden, spastic deaths came to a halt, and crops began to slowly grow, but the world was still forever changed. The warlords of the Imperial Age, beaten into submission not by their enemies, but by the cruel hands of fate, returned to their thrones, leaving behind their barren lands and consolidating what little arable lands they had left. Brilliant thinkers, mathematicians, theologians, scientists and think-tanks had died by the cartload. Historical and cultural information, all but abandoned during the Imperial Age, was utterly lost in the Age of the Plague. As a result, in the wake of the Age of Plague, the world,to most people, was a scary, unforgiving and outright hostile place. Society would recover, but only after a lengthy age of recovery.

The Age of Night - Not much is known about the Are of Night. Humanity had at long last fallen from it’s Utopian pillar of supremacy, unable to ward off Elitar and Elysian migrating bands. Orientalis suffered the worst, but Alutremur also had to deal with invading foreigners. The Elitar are the most well known invaders, pushing south from their home in norther Orientalis, down as far as the Tonga Plains. In Alutremur, the constructed “machine men” known as the “Eleskios” or Elysians, began to move in roving bands into human lands. While their numbers were few, and they were for all intents and purposes peaceful, they still remained outsiders. Intense levels of xenophobia existed not only between humans and non-humans, but between humans as well. In the Age of Plague, there was some mutual cooperation between the men of each nation, putting their differences aside to attempt to save themselves as a species. It seemed that this mutual cooperation might continue after the Plague had stopped. But old adversities hailing from the Imperial Age somehow resurrected themselves, and they came out louder and more resentful than every.
Each nation blamed the other for the Plague. Cults joined in, blaming anyone who wasn’t with them. Fanatical zeal took off within the cults, and secular control over the institutions began to wane. In the midst of the tumult, the people of the Valyk mountains, considered barbaric outsiders descended upon the shattered Greatland nations, as well as raiding the western coasts of Alutremur, and as far inland as Al-Ihadraya. These barbarians, the only ones seemingly not affected by the plague, took advantage of the recovering people of Greatland and Alutremur, raiding and ransacking and settling wherever their ships could land. But, the effect carried a shining beacon of hope.
The Valyk, though considered barbaric, still possessed some technologies hailing from the Classical Age of humanity. Though the Valyk did not partake in the Imperial Age (they abstained from all international policy at the middle of the Classical Age - their abstinence earning them the mocking title of “Socosius Barbareos” or “Social Barbarians.”)  They, among the raping and pillaging and plundering, brought back technology that people thought was long lost to them. It wasn’t particularly advanced or particularly useful technology.  If anything the Valyk sold the right to such technology, as a proto-patent, which only the richest could afford (and the rich were few and far between - very distant relative of the Corporate Aristocracies of the Imperial Age.) But, with the reintroduction of Archeotech and Xenotech, society could slowly, very slowly, turn the wheels of progress once more.

The Era of Kings: <incomplete>
« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 12:14:47 PM by hylandpad »
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Major Institutions
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2011, 10:56:26 AM »
Greatland Social Structures:

Because the Novel takes place mostly in Greatland, I will detail several of the institutions most prominent there.

The Teutonic Reichstadt Assembly - The Teutonic Empire in Greatland is a hodgepodge of Teutonic Nobles seeking to secretly kill each other off, while hoping that someone will guard their back from a similar knife. That mediator is the Teutonic Emperor, who's only objective is to try and keep all of his subjects alive and cooperating well enough to keep the Empire from crumbling in an instant. The assembly is council of all the nobles from the Empire Great and Small in which all issues (great and small) are argued, from land claims to family law suits. The original intent of the assembly was to settle blood feuds in a civil manner, though when it was clear that the intention was not being met, it simply became a dramatic soap opera where one could publicly announce one's alignment in relation to the emperor.

The Ark - the overarching religious institution of Greatland is known as the Ark. The Ark has a secular and regular arm, one for the priests and one for the monks (both members of the second estate, fyi) The Ark is in charge of regulation and change of religious doctrine, primarily the production of the Biv, the central book to Greatlander religion, which includes bits and pieces of theology, philosophy and even history. The Ark, though boasting no secular control at all, save for some monastic lands and the citadel which is the headquarters of the council, is highly influential. Religious reform and counter-reform are always in motion and as such, the Ark tends to be in constant flux on it's political involvement, though it nominally seeks to place itself comfortably between the ruler and the state, ensuring that the constituents of the Ark are being properly educated in the ways of the Gods.

The Circle of Masters - The Circle of Masters, or just The Circle, is effectively the Mages Guild of Greatland. It's influence stretches far and wide. It acts as a cohesive bond that glues the many different wizard orders together, keeps peace and ensures that magic isn't being misused (at least in theory.) The Circle prides itself on it's neutrality, not taking a definite stand in the affairs of kings and princes. This proves difficult however, since many of the Wizards of the Circle are Vassals, Lords or Sworn Men of a King's court. Thus, the Circle of Masters often days becomes an internal tug-of-war; a battlefield field where the Wizards play whatever political goals they wish to further. Circle magnates are usually Wizards found within their Nexi, but only the most privileged of Wizards actually own one of these colossal structures. Those who own a Nexus of their own are the "Wizard Aristocracy" or "Master Wizards" and are usually of noble birth or from rich merchant families. Most Wizards, known as "Wizards-Tenant" reside as a tenant with a master Wizard, or travel from Nexus to Nexus, lending their services to any Master Wizard in need. The Circle, at least in theory, has all the registered Sorcerers in Greatland at it's beck and call also. These sorcerers are known as "Highly Volatile Personnel" due to their ability to cast spells without the need of Ethereal rifts. The Majority of the circle is considered "Non-Volatile Personnel" or those who don't directly interfere/manipulate Ethereal Magic. These are people like Alchemists, Librarians, Diplomats, Arbiters, Guards and all the Menials required to make the guild administrata function. Psions also have a position in the circle known as "Counter-Traditional Non-Magical Phenomenon Manipulators," though most Psions prefer the moniker "Mindflayers" (though slightly misleading, it lends more 'danger' to their already slightly fearful nature.)

The Aurelian Banking Firm - Midaly is known for it's banks. They have existed since the first Ienpokan Empire, and they continue to exist today. Nobles come from around Greatland to store their coin in private accounts. Perhaps the most notable of all the banking firms is the House Aurelias Banking Firm. The Aurelian house was a large, spider-web network of bankers, loosely related only by name (that is to say, non-Aurelius partners, associates and employees were granted the name Aurelius to make the operation look more "family owned.") They are, by a landslide, the largest bank in March, which is the banking capitol of Greatland. Their firms are located across Midaly, with isolated branches in Teutonia, Caspernia and even Zuud. While it is possible to do business at these locations, most nobles would prefer to deal with Severio Aurelius, the Patriarch of the Family, in person. He is generally considered a good, upstanding man, who treats his business partners and beneficiaries with respect and courtesy. And, if one does make the trip to see Severio at his "House" they are in for a true treat; The Main Bank in March is nothing short of a small fortress built around a massive underground vault, with all the trappings of the grandest lords, and decoration that the wealthiest kings would be envious of. There has been of late talk about shady dealings within House Aurelias, dealings that are not only less-than-orthodox, but very sinister in nature. If these whispers have any truth to them, House Aurelias might be in for a rough season...

The Society of Makers - The Society of Makers is a "Guild of Guilds" in a sense. It protects the interests of large sectors of the job market, across Greatland by extracting a tithe from guilds, to standardize prices and to make sure that raw materials are evenly distributed and accessible to every worker within a guild. It has been traditionally comprised of the "Guild of Artificers" (namely metal smiths, weapon smiths and armor smiths) "The Guild of Fabricators" (Carpenters, Masons, Landscapers) and "The Guild of Artisans" (Artists, Poets, Musicians, Luxury-Goods Dealers.) However, in recent times, new occupations have fallen under the umbrella of the Society of Makers, such as "The College of Legates" (Lawyers) and "The Mercantile Consortium" (extra-territorial traders.) The recent absorption of these two formerly sovereign organizations leads some to believe that the Society of Makers is out to "own everything" and some kings have even offered comparable benefits to local guilds who abstain from the Makers. Still, the Society of Makers own a considerable chunk of economy across Midaly and Zuud, where central authority is weak, and the Makers are highly efficient and profitable. Their most recent move has been to try and annex the local Midalian banks; a smart move which had been foreseeable by most Midalian economists. The merge had been going smoothly, until the Society of Makers found that a certain Severio Aurelias had thrown a spanner into the gears of their operation, for reasons unknown, and the merger never happened.



Social Structure of the Greatland Feudal System


Archlord: King, or Emperor
Archvassal: Large Landholders – Archdukes, Arcounts,Archbarons, AND/OR direct Vassals of the Archlord
Rear Vassals/Subvassals: Vassals of Archvassals – Counts, Barons, Jarls, Princes, etc. Not necessarily direct vassals of Archlord
Gentrymen: Lords granted a small Fief (usually a group of three or four hamlets called an “Aura”) within a rear vassal's Desmne. Often titled “Karyn” and is not a hereditary position
Greater Peers: landless Lords of high birth, granted a place in a landed noble's court by pledging allegiance to him/her. Usually given the title of “Rhone” or “Dayn”
Lesser Peers: landless lesser nobility, granted a place in a landed noble's court by pledging allegiance to him/her. Usually given the title of “Subrhone” or “Subdayne.”
Knights: the largest, lowest nobility function as the primary warriors of Greatland. Knights are usually given a very small fief of a single village, in exchange for an oath with Rear Vassals, or directly from an Archlord or Archvassal (and thus hold a higher status than most knights as a class of Royal knights known as Ministerialis.) Knighthood in some kingdoms is hereditary, while in others it is not.


The Ark Hierarchy


Regular Clergy

Chapter Master – In charge of interpretation of the Regula, and in maintaining contact with the Secular Council outside his abbey/monastery.
Chapter Archivist – Responsible for ensuring histories are properly stored and accessible.
Master of Ceremonies – Responsible for conducting ceremonies.
Reliquarian – Catalogs and assess the status of relics or alleged relics.
Scribe – Oversees production of Books, and ensures content is correct.
Chapter Tactician – Ensures that Brothers/Sisters are trained in some methods of self defense
Father/Mother Superior – Responsible for teaching reading and writing to the lower monks. Also act as Captains in military situations.
Father/Mother Inferior – Teachers aides
Brother/Sister Superior – Book Writers
Brother/Sister – Book Writers
Avowed – Field Workers, maids, servants and other maintenance workers who do not take  Regular vows.
   
Secular Clergy
Patriarch/Matriarch – Patriarchs have ultimate power of Veto over the council.
Hierarch – Heirarchs are governors of Temple Fiefs, and have a 1.5 vote count in the council. They are also in supreme command of the cult military forces if one such force exists.
Consiliarch – Large Body  of Councilmen.
Exarch – In Charge of a single Archdiocese
Ardinarch – In Charge of a single Diocese
Bishop – The high priest of a Cathedral
Archpontifex - In charge of overseeing the transferal of Administers from Temple to Temple.
Pontifex – The high priest of a Temple
Administer – One of numerous Clerics in a Temple/Cathedral
Subadminister – An non-ordained priest who is able to administer certain rights.

Reichstadt Assembly Hierarchy (The Titles are very appropriately in Old Val, a language that is no longer used but has always functioned as a litigation language in both Teutonic and Valykian courts. I have put the Archeoc translations in brackets.)

Eldur Hellig - The Oldest Lord (more appropriately translated as "Venerated Land Holder") [Vendominux] or [Dominux Veniticus]
Koneg Kansil - Kings of the Council [Majesticus Advisiock]
Hellig - Lord [Dominux]
Hellinges - "Little" Lords [Subdominux]
Hausmen - House Men (meaning wealthy knights) [Archmilitex]
Nonskekin - Literally "Those without a voice" meaning adjutants or non-voters. (There is no word in Archeoc for this - closest representation would be [Inoadvisiix] Literally "From the council" or "Adviser")
« Last Edit: June 08, 2011, 09:59:36 AM by hylandpad »
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Offline hylandpad

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New Terran Religion
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2011, 10:58:43 AM »
Greatland Religion

Gods are neither male nor female in their natural state, but can be one or the other or both at a whim. They represent the primal elements of all living things. They have no shape, unless they will it, and depictions of them are often idealized. Each God has a number of “Aspects” that encompass it’s nature, usually numbering between two or three (but may have more or less depending who you talk to.) All Gods are worshipped by the Ark, the dominant institution that governs spiritual affairs. However, within the Ark there are specialized cults that focus and venerate the individual gods rather than the pantheon as a whole. Most notably is the Coggites, the cult of priest engineers, who are in charge of maintaining machinery across all of Greatland.

Cog - Technology (Cog the Protector/Cog the Purveyor) [technological protector vs. technological destruction]
Scala - Justice (Scala the Lawyer/ Scala the Prefect) [ law & order]
Kronoi - Time (Kronoi the Father/ Kronoi the Decayer) [paternal love vs. temporal decay]
Junos - Nature (Junos the Mother/ Junos the Destroyer) [maternal love vs. natural destruction]
Arkand - Magic (Arkand the Mage/ Arkand the Havoc) [mastery of the volitions & the universal status of chaos]
Anthropean - Sentience (Anthropean the Mortal/ Anthropean the Warrior/ Anthropean the Magnate) [human desire/emotion vs. human desire to war vs. human desire to rule]
Musa - Arts (Musa the Master/ Musa the Bard) [ scholastic arts & performing arts]

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Offline hylandpad

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Warrior Orders/Elites
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2011, 10:59:17 AM »
Warrior Elites of New Terra (unfinished)

Order of the Immortals (Siparo Himmortalitz)
"Flowing white robes, a golden mask and a glimmering scimitar. Topped off by a fearsome sand lion. What else could you be but one of his Majesties Immortals?"
Ahmal Numair, Kalik of Seratil
The Immortal order is the Royal Guard of the Suiltan of Alhandria. They are known for their pristine white robes, and ornamental golden plated masks. The robes represent purity, while the masks, represent how the individual must forsake his own identity to devote the entirity of his self to the Suiltan. Once, long ago, the Order of the Immortals was large, nearly an entire legion in size, each Immortal owning a sand lion mount and wielding powerful archeotech weapons. Unfortunately, that time has long passed and the order dwindles as the Suiltans become weaker and weaker, and exert less and less power. Still, the Immortals are a force to be reckoned with, as they devote their entire lives to their training. They practice the martial art of Dahenn Nari, which is both a philosophy as well as a fighting technique. While the Immortals are allowed to marry, they take monastic vows, and must never live more than several miles away from an established Immortal Chapel.

The Pal-Adin
"All people fear the witch, the wizard, the sorcerer. It is the duty of the King to take measures to make sure that the blasphemers are kept in line."
-Kwarzam il Batha, Philosopher.
The Pal-Adin are warriors of the Shiek, temple monks who style themselves after the Knights of Greatland. As the Suiltanate has declined in power over the years, the position of Shiek, the singular vicar of the Temple of Alutremur, has become more elevated. While not enemies, the Immortals have been surpassed and nearly forgotten since the formation of the Pal-Adin, who manage to dazzle the populace with their majesty and strength. This explains the apparent, though polite, tension between the two groups, and it doesnt help to mask the animosity between the Shiek and the Suiltan. They import most of their armors and weapons from talented Greatland artificers, though they slowly are learning to replicate the complicated designs. They fight unhorsed, in Greatland fashion, in Greatland formations and have even adapted certain Archeoc words into their vocabulary to used in certain battle situations. For all this preparation, they rarely see open field combat, though this is beginning to change as the Temple the Suiltanate drift closer and closer to open warfare. The foremost duty of the Pal-Adin, after bodyguarding the Shiek of course, is the persecutaion of unregistered Thaumaturges and Sihirians (wizards.) Their responsibility lies only in apprehending these abominations, while the trial is by the Temple Legates.


Greatland Knight
"Look at him - walking around like he's the king himself. Thinks just 'cuz he's got a suit of fancy armor, and some big sword that he's something special. Well...come to think of it, maybe he is...a little special."
-Sergeant Kirkman of the Tatiom Legion
Knights represent the penultimate fighting force of most of Western Greatland. Where the feudal system is strongest, knights tend to flourish. Thus, they are fairly common in Caspernia, Teutonia, Caern, and even across Midaly (and by common I mean about 5% of the entire population.) Knights are effectively the lowest of the lords, usually small landholders or "house men" residing in the manor of their lord. If they are landed, they usually have a plot of land just large enough for them and their family, complete with some peasant laborers to bring in food and supplies. To be a Knight, one must present a pedigree that stating that his ancestors (be it a father, grandfather, great grandfather or older) had in fact been Knighted, by the declaration of a Lord, usually a rear vassal or greater. Secondly, a Knight requires some sort of fortune; he is responsible for the maintenance and procurement of all his equipment, as well as the equipment of his men at arms (and men at arms need lodging, feeding and pay as well) - a costly endeavor indeed. Speaking of which, all Knights must be outfitted with a working suit of said armor and weapons - for which they need to purchase a Writ of Armament. Such a Writ states that the individual is of sufficient standing to warrant the construction or requisition of a valuable suit of Powered Armor and assortment of powerful weapons - such laborious items cannot simply be granted to just anyone. The knight usually begins his training as an apprentice to a senior knight, as a squire. The squire rides into combat with the knight, trains with the Knight, eats with the Knight and does whatever the Knight bids of him. The Knight, in return trains the squire in all manners of combat, from simple unarmored staff fighting, to dueling technique, to fully armored sword play, mounted superiority, and all other manners of battle. Once a squire matures, and shows prowess in battle (and can prove it) he may be knighted by his master's master (the knight cannot grant his own squire knighthood.) While the Knights of Greatland fight on foot, they are well versed in a number of different fighting styles - but their primary combat methods focus around the already enhanced abilities of their powered armor. They rely primarily on shock tactics, simply overpowering their foes with brute force. Knights literally tear through swathes of light infantry, being nearly untouchable to all but the most powerful weapons. Thus, Knights are truly the only effective answer to countering other Knights (or lots, and lots, and LOTS of lighter infantry.) Because of their superior training and equipment, knights remain the terror of the battlefields, and in high demand.

Dread Commandos
"Rosus - I want flash bombs through the door. Haynes and Galhager, you cover with Arbalests from the antechamber. Fulks, you're in the tree with the Archenbusse; you see his head - take the shot. Maybell, Fieri and I, will breach. Alright gentlemen - positions."
Captain Fusil Merens of the Jahilian Special Forces
In places like Zuud and the Islands, civil war is a constant threat. City states fight bloody border wars every day. Rambunctious nobles try and assert power over their neighbors constantly and intervention by the local authorities can be hindered by endless rows of red tape. Over the last several decades, prominent southern monarchs and councils have found that the best ways to end these struggles before they begin is a little bit of subterfuge. Enter the life of a Dread Commando. These are small, mobile forces composed of either battle hardened veterans or mercenaries who do deeds no one else will do, and go places no one else will go. Usually these units of Dread Commandos are sanctioned directly from the highest authority, and given permission to simply "Do what needs to be done" as their prime objective. Nothing is illegal, nothing is sacred, and no measure is too extreme for a squad of Dread Commandos. They utilize all manners of covert warfare; assassination, bribery, espionage, terrorism, and guerrilla tactics to get the job done. This type of warfare was popularized in the southern Islands, and it is the Zuudis and the Islanders who are seen as the progenitors of this new type of warfare. They have perfected it through constant use, and it has proved particularly helpful in evading some of the most serious threats to civil authority. While the southerners are the undisputed champions of this type of warfare, Dread Commando units are popping up across the western regions of Greatland as well, though they see much less use due to the heavy handed nature of Western Monarchy. The one notable (and easily believable) exception is within Teutonia, where Dread Commando units see extensive use among the lords of the Reichstadt. Most of these units are rented from the Zuudi allies across the sea. Unfortunately, the ruling council is so divided, these Dread Commando units are used as leverage against the other lords, which helps to fragment the assembly even further.

The Ryakvyad
"Where would we be without the Ryakvyad? Undoubtedly, we would be at the jaws of some sinister jungle beast methinks."
-Shardul al Bhafi, Royal Sihk to Rana Tenwar IV

The Tengu
"Just primitive barbarians? Clearly, you have never fought the Tonga."
-Master Yic Horun of the Lion Clan

Witch Slayers
"We are the Fury of the Emperor."
-Witch Slayer motto

Nanju Guard
"I have been guarded by them my entire life... and I rarely even knew they were there."
-Daem Aio Genbakan, Heir Apparent to the Imperial Title

Ienpokan Hoplites
"FOR ATTICA! FOR THE COUNCIL!"
-Cries of the Attican Hoplites

The Endoctro
"No march is too long, no order too onerous. We serve and protect, at all costs. It is our honor to give our life for you."
-Chant of the Endoctro

The Guild Regiments
"Alright lads, suit up. Today, we ride for Caspernia. Tomorrow, for Teutonia."
-Master Artificer Fulcher of Heront

Senatorial Lictors
"The Lictors are perhaps the last vestige of the Midalian Republic that still matters. They are trained in the old ways of combat. They are outfitted with the highest grade weapons and armor. They are the best possible bodyguards one could hope for."
-Jax the Chronicler

The Royal Sihks
"My life for the Rana!"
-Chant of the Royal Sihks

Janissariat
"This, brothers, is a Jezail. Learn to love it; it's going to be the best friend for the rest of your lives."
-Janissary Captain Muar ibn Jyana

The Yngwo Hexmen
"They wear all black. They don't speak much. They give me the creeps. Hexmen, I bet. But what are they doing here?"
-Oro Kano, of the Crab Clan

Clockwork Guard
"I'd hate to get on a bad side of one o' em. They're a walkin', livin', breathin' suit of power armor. Except with no human insides... makes em' more efficient."
-Daron Hegel of the Gold Company

The Damyori
"Not bad, for a keir'yn."
-Sozian Mandalor, First Tricurion of the Damyori Citizen Soldiers

The Sisterial Custodians
"Scary, those women are. Never...EVER ask one to 'handle your sword' unless you're actually in the mood for a duel."
-Daron Hegel of the Gold Company

The Circle Arbiters
"This area needs to be quarantined. If you want me to get rid of this Phage Magistrate, I'm going to need everyone's cooperation. Micaela, Faustin, bring me my books and notes. Ageros, Hellin, bring me my sword and armor."
-Head Arbiter Jamil de Aludan

Inquisitorial Mandate
"I just want to chat, about your friend Gaston... nothing serious, so relax your mind. Good. Close your eyes...yes that's it. Now enlighten me; what were you and Gaston doing the night of Ianarius the thirteenth?"
-Mattias von Archrom, Inquisitor

The Black Circus
"The funniest joke I ever heard was at the tip of a blade. If you can tell me one better, I'll make your death quick and painless. Come - make me laugh."
-Jaquomo the Harlequin, the Black Circus

[Under Construction]
« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 12:11:26 PM by hylandpad »
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Offline MysticMoon

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Re: New Terra [Update 5/9/11]
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2011, 08:44:16 PM »
Rather than read through the whole thing and then comment, I will work my way through this one section at a time. (So, if I ask a question that gets answered in a later post, bear with me.)

Since there is so much material to absorb, perhaps it would be helpful to have a quick overview of the basics before diving into the details. Maybe just a few paragraphs for the reader to orient himself by. (What genre(s) is this? What's the theme? What core pieces of information are needed as a foundation to understand the rest?) Then, dive into the details.

Post #1 - Species Outline, World Specs and Terrain:

There is enough detail here to intrigue me and make me want to read further: Humans having to be reengineered from DNA recovered from a destroyed Earth makes me want to know the history and why they were recreated. A mechanical race and disdainful alien castaways open up lots of intriguing possibilities. As does using a gigantic new Earth to replace the old one.

I like what I see so far, but I do want to bring up some questions.

How diverse was the stock of DNA used to recreate humanity? Is there a lot of genetic diversity or no? If so, are the Teutons blond-haired and blue-eyed? Are the Rajput dark-skinned and dark-haired? Do the cultures match the way they sound? If so, why? If humanity was recreated whole cloth from DNA, what would be the impetus to recreate old-world cultures and ethnic groupings? It seems like there would be the possibility of creating something completely new.

On a different note, I'm a little confused by the the "disdain of magic" by the Kandolari. Is this sci-fi mixed in with fantasy? Or is that not real magic? This is something that could be cleared up by an introductory paragraph.
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Offline hylandpad

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Re: New Terra [Update 5/9/11]
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2011, 12:24:10 PM »
Thanks for the reply Mystic!
I do need a setting summary, and it's finals time where I am, so I've just been SO busy.

To sum up your questions though;

The Alien race known as the Tor literally melted Earth's surface and turned it into a big marble. All human refugees that had fled to the underground cities and stockholds effectively starved and asphyxiated themselves over the hundreds of years they were trapped there. When the Tor came back and cracked the world open years later, they found millions upon millions of dead humans. It was this genetic stock which was, for all intents and purposes, all-encompassing of most of the races on Earth, used to recreate humans at a much later date.

Which is precisely why there is a rough mimicry of why things on New Terra seem to mirror old world cultures and ethnicity. While I believe we are each our own person, born tabula rasa so to speak, some primal biological mechanism helps shape our societies in certain ways, as well as the obvious influence of the resources that we have or do not have.

As to the Kandolari, they are simply not magically inclined. The world is a dichotomy of nature and technology,  with the so called "Magic" on the side of nature. The Kandolari spent eons and eons honing their adeptness in technological pursuits that they simply forgot how to tap into their more natural abilities to evoke "Ether." A similar thing happened to the humans of Earth, but upon their "Renaissance" (being reborn) they managed to tap into that ability and start to experiment with what is now called "Magic."
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Re: New Terra [Update 5/9/11]
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2011, 05:29:06 AM »
The Alien race known as the Tor literally melted Earth's surface and turned it into a big marble. All human refugees that had fled to the underground cities and stockholds effectively starved and asphyxiated themselves over the hundreds of years they were trapped there. When the Tor came back and cracked the world open years later, they found millions upon millions of dead humans. It was this genetic stock which was, for all intents and purposes, all-encompassing of most of the races on Earth, used to recreate humans at a much later date.

That definitely helps.

Which is precisely why there is a rough mimicry of why things on New Terra seem to mirror old world cultures and ethnicity. While I believe we are each our own person, born tabula rasa so to speak, some primal biological mechanism helps shape our societies in certain ways, as well as the obvious influence of the resources that we have or do not have.

Does humanity have access to pre-reHuman history? That could also help explain it. A race suddenly born anew might look to its ancient past for guidance.

As to the Kandolari, they are simply not magically inclined. The world is a dichotomy of nature and technology,  with the so called "Magic" on the side of nature. The Kandolari spent eons and eons honing their adeptness in technological pursuits that they simply forgot how to tap into their more natural abilities to evoke "Ether." A similar thing happened to the humans of Earth, but upon their "Renaissance" (being reborn) they managed to tap into that ability and start to experiment with what is now called "Magic."

Interesting. I'm curious to read more about the "Ether" and how it relates to magic.

I will read the next section soon and comment.
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Offline hylandpad

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Re: New Terra [Update 5/9/11]
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2011, 11:52:51 PM »


Which is precisely why there is a rough mimicry of why things on New Terra seem to mirror old world cultures and ethnicity. While I believe we are each our own person, born tabula rasa so to speak, some primal biological mechanism helps shape our societies in certain ways, as well as the obvious influence of the resources that we have or do not have.

Does humanity have access to pre-reHuman history? That could also help explain it. A race suddenly born anew might look to its ancient past for guidance.

reHumanity has very little knowledge of their forefathers. I used mimicry of cultures past to indicate that something within us shapes our cultures. And because it will be easy to identify the various nations of New Terra with historical counterparts. Granted, there are many nuances, and unique taboos and quirks that differentiate New Terrans from Old Terrans, but there should be enough similarities to connected Tuetonians to Medieval Germans, Caspernians to Medieval Frenchmen, and the various Alut tribes to assorted medieval Islamic Cultures.
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Ethereal and Psionic Magic
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2011, 09:25:08 AM »
Overview:

Magic can be divided into two subcategories.

Ethereal and Psionic

Ethereal Magic has to do with the manipulation of a substance called Ether to create a desired effect. Ethereal manipulation (called Thaumaturgy or Sorcery in Greatland, Sihirianism in Sahar and Maihonokitai in Orientalis [ generalizations]) is the preferred manner of magic because any dedicated and adequately supplied individual can manipulate Ether. The issue for most Mages is finding a constant source of Ether, which is the fuel for their power.

Psionic "Magic" is not truly arcane or magic at all. Psions have a controlled mutation that has changed their brain fundamentally to unlock a wide variety of highly evolved mental abilities. Psionic powers are much more limited and much less dramatic than Ethereal magic, but they do not require a steady source of Ether to invoke; rather they can be used anywhere at any time, provided the Psion has enough mental willpower.

All you need to know about Ethereal Magic

Ether essentially "leaks" from scars in the space-time continuum, known as Rifts or Voids. These rifts are not immediately noticeable, since they have no physical appearance. However, these ethereal rifts widen over time, and overexposure to Ether has an adverse effect on the fabric of reality. The first sign of a Rift and abundance of Ether is gravitational abnormalities; floating rocks is most common. Following that is trees, shrubs or clumps of grass mysteriously uprooting. After these anomalies comes changes to the light spectrum; normal green foliage turning vibrant pinks, purples or blues for example. One step further is the animation of inanimate things, commonly referred to by the Old Midalian Empire as Hectoritix or "Insanity." This includes trees sprouting wings and flying, boulders growing fins and floating on water, and the very earth growing a mouth and babbling incoherent conversations to itself.

Needless to say, it's hard for humans to live in an area like this. Indeed, most wildlife has some sensory perception that makes them aware of the presence or overabundance of Ether, and they make themselves scarce, and for good reason. Overexposure to Ether in humans has a tendency to drive a person towards hectoritix. A person who isn't trained and conditioned to handle overexposure to Ether may temporarily become mentally unstable. A big enough dose might cause permanent mental damage. It is well known fact that Ether can drive a man to do very strange, very dangerous things. Indeed, the most basic conjuration most thaumaturges conjure up is a diluted burst of pure ethereal energy to knock a man insensible for a few minutes.

This tainted land is, however, highly sought after, at least in the early stages of the rift. Most well-to-do mages invest in Arcane Metals (Lysonite and Arcanite) and construct a monument known as a Nexus around the Rift.  These metals conduct and absorb Ether, making the monument effectively a conduit for the energy, utilizing gates, valves and matrices to conduct the Ether through it and towards the mage, who is specifically trained in how to manipulate Ether.

Mages spend their entire lives studying Ether, either as an apprentice to another, or at specialized schools, most notably the Yngwo School in Orientalis. Few are self taught, though that will be touched upon much later.

Manipulation is broken up into several "Volitions" or Study areas.

Abjuration - Forming protective barriers, or other anti-magical barriers
Runixion - altering the physical properties of a mundane item to improve it, or add extraordinary effects
Invocation - shaping Ether into the image of elemental effects (ie. Rainstorms, Fireballs, etc)
Evocation - shaping Ether into something extraordinary (ie. "magic missiles" "prismatic orbs" or other high fantasy spells)
Convocation - calling Ethereal beings into the material plane
Necronomication - calling the dead back to life

Invocation, Runixion and Abjuration are the three most popular schools in Greatland, simply due to their multifaceted uses. In Orientalis however, Evocation is the school choice, and is seen as more mysterious, and arcane which lends it a more ominous and powerful image. In Sahar, Rajput Shamans will sometimes utilize convocations, which is the most dangerous of all the volitions, to call an Ethereal being to the Material Plane.

How is Ether manipulated, you ask?

Ether seems to be prone to excitement - what exactly excitement is, is open for discussion. It reacts certain ways to certain energies. Ether is semi-sentient, meaning it's not living, but it carries some sort of consciousness. Not only does it seem to respond to vocal cues (indeed, there is an entire language devoted to it called "Aercan") but also movement (Somatics) and emotion. It senses happiness, sadness, joy, sorrow, excitement and all sorts of other emotions, and reacts to them in certain ways. This reaction, in essence, is what gives the ether it's physical form. Ether is usually invisible, but when it's in a reactive state it enters the visible spectrum, usually in a vibrant color. It has a milky yet gaseous appearance, like a curling wisp of smoke from a smoldering candle.  When one ties Vocal, Somatic and Emotional stimuli together, it prompts a certain, specific reaction that we call a "spell."


All you need to know about Psionic Magic

Psionics, as it's name might suggest, is not really magic at all. It's actually telepathic communication that bypasses all other senses. It plants a suggestion in the brain of another individual. Usually this means that the target of a psionic attack has to have a brain, or some sort of discernible and complex nervous system.

Not just anyone can be a Psion. Psions are the mutant byproducts of Tor experiments on early reHumanity. By enlarging certain parts of the brain, they managed to tap into the natural psionic power of the human race. They theorized that ALL races have a psionic well within their minds that simply needs to be tapped into. reHumanity was simply the first of many successful psionic races. However, psionic power did not come to fruition in all the members of reHumanity; in fact it is only an extreme minority that exhibit any sort of psionic potential. Of this minority, only a very small percent is able to manifest the powers to do anything meaningful with them.

Psionics is very simple in concept, and highly complex in execution. "Thoughts" are channeled into "Will" by the psion. Will is nothing more than a complex set of instructions that is launched from one brain, through the air, and into another brain. Depending on the power of the psion, the Will is interpreted in varying ways by the other brain. The Will of a master Psion is almost impossible to fully resist, while the Will of a latent or lesser psion may be able to be simply shrugged off.

A Will is effectively a stimulus that sends a chemical message to the brain telling it how to react. The size and potency of the stimulus is determined by how much "Thought" the Psion puts into it. A powerful, emotional and focused thought will translate into a very powerful stimulus. Once the will reaches the target mind, it tells the mind how to react. A common Psionic "will" is a simple "psi burst" which convinces the brain that somewhere on the body, a large blunt object is smashing into it at high velocity, causing the person to fly back. In reality, no such object is hitting the person - it is the mind's mental lashback that causes the body to react as if it were, in fact, being hit by a large object at high speed.

Another simple example is a "psionic truth serum," or so it is called. Psions cant truly read another persons mind; they can only send messages, they are not prone to receiving them (unless of course, there is another psion involved to telepathically chat back.) But what they can do, is compel someone to tell them the truth, by willing them to simply tell the truth. It doesn't work like in the storybooks, but it's an effective interrogation tool, and it's no surprise that the Ark's Inquisitorial Arm is highly staffed with professional Psions.

This of course begs the question "Well how does psionics actually hurt someone?" Take for example psionic immolation. The "thought" that the psion casts down is usually something having to do with fire, usually very powerful, hot fire. The more vivid the thought, the more potent the Will. When the will reaches the brain of the target, it effectively fools the targets mind into believing that the target is truly on fire. Nerve receptors overload, as if the body were actually on fire. The person would feel the heat, pain and charring of skin, though no such things actually occur. Eventually, the target would go into shock and eventually, due to sensory overload, die.

Occasionally psionic lash back even fools the body into manifesting some physiological symptoms as well. Psionic immolation has been known to, on occasion cause wrinkled, blackened skin. Eyes begin to dehydrate and shrivel rapidly. The reason in this particular case is unknown. In other cases, such as a psi burst, the bones break, due to a seizure-like reaction of the muscle, which squeezes the bone so tightly, violently and quickly,that it snaps. Other symptoms like this occur from time to time. Psionic lightning bolts often char all the hair off of the body, or leave vicious cobweb scars. Psionic drowning fills the lungs with watery biological fluids. Psionic "Cuts" (an assorted array) often open fatal wounds across necks, forearms and other places. Much of this lash back is unexplainable, due to the complex nature of the brain. But it is what makes psions so feared; nothing is safe when one is around.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 01:25:20 AM by hylandpad »
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Re: New Terra [Update 5/9/11]
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2011, 08:53:11 AM »
reHumanity has very little knowledge of their forefathers. I used mimicry of cultures past to indicate that something within us shapes our cultures. And because it will be easy to identify the various nations of New Terra with historical counterparts. Granted, there are many nuances, and unique taboos and quirks that differentiate New Terrans from Old Terrans, but there should be enough similarities to connected Tuetonians to Medieval Germans, Caspernians to Medieval Frenchmen, and the various Alut tribes to assorted medieval Islamic Cultures.

It would make it easier for the reader to have a grasp on cultures when they can use the names as reference points.
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Re: Flora and Fauna (New Terra)
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2011, 09:08:50 AM »
Equiux
“Big, this one is. Strong, fast and smart to boot. It may start telling YOU how to plow properly instead of the other way around.”
-Anonymous
not at all dissimilar to the horses of Old Terra, the Equiux is the primary mode of transportation for the majority of people on New Terra. The Equiux stands slightly taller than the average Old Terra horse, perhaps by an entire head. They have cloven hoofs, and larger eyes, with a fur that is notably more shaggy and thick, almost resembling that of a mountain goat. They are fairly easy to domesticate, even tempered animals, with a friendly disposition to humans who rewards them and treat them well. That being said, they are also trainable to make for war animals. Certain breeds of the Equiux are more suited to this than others, war equiux standing even taller and even more muscular than the average Equiux. While the Equiux no longer serves as a mount for Knights on Greatland (Knights have not ridden on horseback since the advent of Powered Armor – they are simply too heavy) the warrior castes of Alutremur and the Orient still use the beasts excessively and to deadly effect. While the Equiux no longer are used exclusively by knights (cavalry contingents are still widely used, just not by the nobility) they still carry the air of nobility, and represent the military elite. The symbol for “Knight” in New Terran literature still is the mounted Knight on the back of a fearsome Equiux steed.

Sand Lion
“Aghamemnon  is more than a mount - he is my guard, my companion and above all, my friend.”
-Adonis ex Allejandria, of the Sultan’s Immortal Order
Sand lions, not truly mammals at all, are actually lizards. They have a furry hide and a feline snout curiously lacking a big wet nose. They sport a thick mane and slitted eyes, as well as a gaping wide maw of razor sharp teeth, some of which are the size of short swords. They weight about the same as a true adult lion might, but the fact remains that they are hatched from eggs and they need several hours of basking time every day to keep their blood warm. Sand lions are incredibly intelligent, so much so that they are widely believed to be able to understand human thoughts by a rudimentary form of psionics. As such, they are valuable allies, and if caught early on in life, fantastically domesticated animals. They begin life as an egg which hatches into a small, fur-less creature of vibrantly bright color, ranging from bright fuchsia to a deep sapphire blue or forest green. Eventually, after a few weeks, Gold, brown, or white hair emerges from beneath the tender scales, and grows rapidly. The growth cycle from then on is highly accelerated, reaching full adult size in a little over a year. They are believed to be hermaphroditic, with no visible reproductive organs and laying eggs every couple years without the coupling of a mate. These creatures, equipped with knife like claws and a crushing jaw make a fearsome mount, and the Immortals of Alutremur ride them into battle exclusively.

Landshark
“I’d wrestle an entire pack of sharks under a hundred feet of water before I would even contemplate getting in the way of a lone landshark with an army at my back.”
-Anonymous
Found mostly around the coast, Landsharks are amphibious creatures which have the bullet shaped body of a shark, and four stubby appendages that end in clawed webbed feet. They are highly unintelligent, aggressive and have zero regard for their own well being. Commonly thought that the brain of the creature is located somewhere within it's bowels, stopping one in the middle of it's rampage can be a tiring event, and a potentially deadly one. One the land, it's speed is substantial and, if one has never experienced an encounter with one, outright shocking. Though it may look like an unwieldy walker, it can speed along at running speeds like that of a bear. When in a bloodlust, it will charge the nearest alone target, or the smallest group. Multiple arbalest wounds, gunshot wounds and melee wounds later, the creature might die, or turn tail and flee when it realizes itself having no chance of getting a meal. The animal seems highly damage resistant, if not impervious to pain. It's legs are the only bony structures in it's body, the rest of the skeletal system being made of flexible cartilage – making it even more resistant to blunt force trauma. This is exaggerated by how fast it's wounds seal, and only a wound of the most critical damage will fell the beast (Such as cutting off it's head. No easy feat.) The regenerative properties of landsharks are an interest of most natural scientists, and those regenerative properties are multiplied when it submerges itself in salt water. There have been accounts of landshark corpses being carried off by the tide days after death, and then magically, then reanimating when it is far out to sea.

Leviathan
"Quiet boy! Never utter that name on a ship... we don't want one of the bloody things to hear you."
-Zuudi Sailor
A leviathan is a twisted abomination of nature, a cross somewhere between a massive sperm whale and a kraken. It's body is a long cylinder, ending in a squarish head and a maw that's nearly as wide as a battleship is long. The beast has a gunmetal coloration, four eyes (two on each side of it's block-shaped head) and two massive, muscular fines on the sides of it's body and a powerful caudal fin capable of smashing all but the hardiest ships into splinters. What makes the beast truly fearsome is it's four to eight massive tentacles that protrude from the middle and lower parts of it's spine. They are prehensile, and lined with writhing muscle. Two, dubbed the "arms" are spotted with suction-cup-like apparatus which it can use to grasp onto sheer surfaces, such as the sides of a boat. The other fins are very good at manipulation, picking up objects as small as a dog with striking dexterity and ease, despite their massive size. They are highly aggressive, hyper territorial and all around bad tempered. They aren't too bright though, and often times manage to beach or impale themselves on rocky crags or beaches stalking after passenger ships. Leviathans may follow potential prey for hours or even days to catch it unawares, but it's strikes are vicious and long lasting, since they have a curious way of "playing" with their food. They throw them around, smash them into the water, bite tiny limbs off and so on. When they aren't stalking ships, they go after the Giant Sea turtle schools that ride the warm ocean currents, which are their primary prey.

Stirge
"Ugh. Stirges. As if my day couldn't get any worse."
-Maximil Gold, former Captain of the Gold Company
A Stirge is little more than an irritant for most people. They are small birds, about the size of an average sparrow, with a fuzzy body and no discernible eyes. It has a long syringe-like beak tipped in a slight barb, slightly curved and two fleshy, bat-like wings which it can flap at phenomenal speeds. Using it's rapidly beating wings, it can seemingly hover in one place as might a bee or fly. It's beak is tipped with a mild irritant which causes blurred vision, or in heavy doses, paralysis, though a lone stirge rarely is able to inflict enough damage to paralyze an enemy. The issue however is when a swarm of Stirges happens upon a person or persons. Two or three hundred stirges make a swarm, and swarms are highly territorial. Usually found in bogs or marshlands, a Stirge territory can be several acres large, and traveling across any part of it is liable to upset the swarm. Stirges communicate with high-pitched squeals, which is presumably also some sort of echo-location. Their method of attack is fairly simple, and brutally effective; they fling themselves like darts at their targets, their beaks sticking into their prey and lodging there, hoping to poison their aggressor enough to send him into paralytic shock. Once their target falls, the tip of the beak breaks off, and the stirge is free, at which time the swarm continues patrolling around their territory. The beak regrows in several days. The victim is now hapless and helpless to defend itself, and waits the unfortunate coup. The stirges, however, do not do the killing. After their targets have succumbed to paralysis, they usually meet an untimely end by drowning in bog-moss, swamp waters, or at the jaws of some creature. If the paralysis is severe, it might halt the lungs from functioning leading to death by asphyxiation.

Aside from an insane urge to cry out, "Candygram!" :D I like these critters. They give a wild, dangerous aspect to the world. Equiux are not just modified horses, they sound more like Dire horses. The Sand Lion is creative and a good way to show that this ain't the "Old Terra." The Landshark (knock, knock ;) ) don't sound like anything to be trifled with. The leviathan is good.

One question: do Stirges later go back to eat their prey? It sounds as if they just move on. Their method of attack is well illustrated but I'm not certain of the purpose. I was kind of expecting some kind of gigantic mosquito at first (maybe because the name reminds me of the D&D critter.)

Everything seems larger than life. The world is larger than Earth, the beasties larger, alien, and truly terrifying. This sets a good, consistent tone for a new, alien Earth.

You have some good examples of fauna. What about the flora?
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 11:30:07 AM by MysticMoon »
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Offline hylandpad

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Re: New Terra [Update 5/17/11]
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2011, 06:16:24 PM »
I have got the Flora coming =]
Thanks for reading again, I appreciate it.

And no, stirges are like honeybees or hummingbirds. They own large amber hives, alot like a bees nest. They collect pollen from plants and make it into a hive in the hollow of a tree. Symbiotic bacteria turn it into a thick nectar, which they eat. They simply attack anyone unfortunate enough to cross into their territory. Usually the victim regains his/her ability to function after a couple hours, but often times they get eaten or drown during their paralysis.
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Re: New Terra [Update 5/17/11]
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2011, 07:01:49 PM »
I have got the Flora coming =]
Thanks for reading again, I appreciate it.

And no, stirges are like honeybees or hummingbirds. They own large amber hives, alot like a bees nest. They collect pollen from plants and make it into a hive in the hollow of a tree. Symbiotic bacteria turn it into a thick nectar, which they eat. They simply attack anyone unfortunate enough to cross into their territory. Usually the victim regains his/her ability to function after a couple hours, but often times they get eaten or drown during their paralysis.

That little bit of detail helps paint a better picture.

And I'm glad to help; the setting intrigues me. I hope you are find my feedback useful.
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Re: New Terra [Update 5/17/11]
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2011, 01:09:08 AM »
Added some flora.
=]
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Re: Flora and Fauna
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2011, 09:27:08 PM »

Hemoflora (Bloodpetal or Vampire Flower)
"Ugh...They call them Vampire flowers... Gives me the creeps."
-Eryk Jgarlson, of the Gold Company
Hemoflora, belonging to a species of plants known as Necroherba, is both curiously beautiful but terribly disgusting at the same time. Hemoflora, sprouts over the beaten, destroyed landscapes of massive field engagements, where hundreds have died, usually a week or so after the battle. Since Greatlanders in particular have no true concept of funeral rights, and leave their dead on the field to rot, this plant is particularly common across Greatland. It has a thick, thorny stalk, and a lush white or red flower, and stands just a little shorter than the average sunflower. Like a sunflower, it's head turns to face the suns as they pass overhead. However, the flower, after it's luscious red coloring has few redeemable attributes. Firstly, it stinks of decay. Instead of covering up the pungent odor of hundreds of dead bodies, the fields of hemoflora seem to amplify it. The reason for this is what gives Necroherba it's name; they prey off of the decaying flesh of fallen animals. Hemoflora in particular, thrives on blood - old blood or new blood matters little. The plant seed starts it's life once the progenitor plant runs out of blood - usually this results in droves and droves of these flowers systematically dying. The seeds are shot into the air, and with luck, landing in the feathers of crows, vultures or other scavengers lingering nearby. The seed lies dormant until it senses blood, usually when the scavenger birds touch down to feast on corpses. The flowers take root somewhere near the bodies, growing rapidly, inserting roots into open wounds or slowly wedging into soft tissue. The flower sprouts nearly clear, and as it matures it becomes and opaque white. However, as the flower begins to leech the remaining blood into it's system, the millions of tiny capillaries on the petals of the flowers fill with blood and are exposed to the warmth of the sun, turning the flower a brilliant red. Once the hosts are drained, the seeds are ejected and the process starts over again. Needless to say, the cycle is rapid and as vile smelling as a field of Hemoflora is, it's still a sight to behold.

Frenzyflower
"There's nothing like it. Everything becomes clearer, sounds become more distinct. The fear... it just melts away. Once you dose, you can't fight without it."
- Sir Eddin Brune, of the Stormguard
Frenzyflower has sapphire blue petals, a bright green stalk and smells sweeter than honey. It grows only in warm, tropical climates and only in the most perfect soil. Needless to say, those who grow Frenzyflower guard it with the utmost vigilance - and not just because they will win any awards for being beautiful horticulture. The true redeeming quality of Frenzyflower is it's potency as a combat stimulant. When the petals are crushed, heated and distilled into a liquid syrup, it can be absorbed into the blood, usually by an adhesive patch placed over a muscular region, or in some cases where it needs to be especially potent, a spinal injection. Once "Dosed" the user experiences what can only be defined as a combat high - complete mastery and awareness of the immediate battlefield. Fear seems to disappear, only to be replaced with an amazing cognizance. While it does manage to help clear the mind so that one can focus just on the battle, it does have some adverse long and short term effects. Short term effects are usually a crash after the combat is over, which can range from incessant screaming for no reason, to depression, to exhaustion, and/or a physical crash (the drug allows a person to operate under circumstances that would normally incapacitate a person, such as heat stroke, or dehydration.) Long term effects are numerous, number one being impotence, as many long term users are well aware (sometimes called "Frenzy Eunuchs".) Other long term effects are epilepsy, and even brain damage, should one ignore physiological problems that occur while under the influence of the drug.

Death Willow
"The old maids talk of a tree that grabs you while you walk the forest at night, strings you up like a spiders prey, and drains away your very soul."
-Eryk Jgarlson, of the Gold Company
Death Willows resemble very old, barren weeping willow trees, perfect for sitting down next to, reading a book, and taking a nice,long nap. They belong to the family of plants know as Necroherba, and are a carnivorous plant. They do not, as the myths might suggest, eat live prey, but rather, they prefer aged corpses which they slowly drain of all their nutrients. They are still however, quite murderous. It's roots  produce an earthy fungus that looks very similar to an apple in shape, size and consistency, tied to the root by several sticky sinews that break easily when picked up. The apple-like-fungus that the root produces is highly toxic, and is usually strong enough to kill a full grown man or woman, and easily venomous enough to kill a child. It does do one kindness, of lulling the victim to a final sleep filled with happy dreams before the heart stops beating. Once the body has sat for either a few days or a few weeks, the prehensile vines of the tree lift up the corpse, wrap around it so that it looks like some over-sized human cocoon, and sprout needle-like thorns that act as pumps. These thorns suck the nutrients from the corpse until there is nothing left but a dried out husk. The husk is dropped, the tree uproots itself slightly, and brushes the husk beneath it, where it will presumably never be found. Rumor has it, that these trees have the ability to slowly relocate should food become scarce in one area. It is also known that the tree will use it's dendrites to either defend itself from woodsmen, or attempt to strangle prey that seems to be small enough. The dendrites are strong enough to snap a small child's neck, though not strong enough to resist a sharp knife or strong arm from tearing it asunder.


I don't really have anything to say about these except that I enjoyed reading them. You should write some of these things up as subs and post them.
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Offline hylandpad

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Re: New Terra [Update 5/26/11]
« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2011, 11:55:10 PM »
How do I post as subs? Don't I need my own forum to do that?
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Re: New Terra [Update 5/26/11]
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2011, 01:03:58 AM »
How do I post as subs? Don't I need my own forum to do that?


Have you spent time in the main website (http://strolen.com) as opposed to the forums (http://strolen.com/guild )? You really should if you haven't. That is where most of the content is posted and where most of the feedback happens. You can post your stuff as individual subs and get more feedback. Your stuff is good and I think would do well there. Just make sure you read a few first to get an idea of how they're structured and the tone of the comments.

The focus is primarily on material that can be used for role-playing games, but since there are no game mechanics allowed feel free to post stuff intended for fiction (I seem to recall you are working on this for a book.)

Please excuse me if I misunderstood what you were asking. And if you have any questions, I will certainly do my best to point you in the right direction.
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Re: New Terra [Update 5/26/11]
« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2011, 01:44:48 AM »
I'll take a look for sure. I browsed the stuff there. Wouldn't be opposed to putting some of my ideas up for use in tabletop games at all.

Your commentary is super helpful, so provided you have the time, keep it coming =]
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Re: New Terra [Update 5/26/11]
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2011, 07:32:38 AM »
All I can say is wow.... This is going to take me a tad longer to read and digest that I had first thought. The little I have skimmed through looks promising though, and reading Mystics comments help on some areas already questioned. I personally would like to see this on the main site to trim it down and make it more reader friendly  (to me that is, yes I'm selfish.)

But kudos to all the work you have done.
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Current completed guild quest.
Necromancer's Cult Quest - Acolyte
Current guild quest.
Necromancer's Cult Quest - Deathpriest
Hewdamia

Offline hylandpad

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Re: New Terra [Update 5/26/11]
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2011, 01:31:06 PM »
At the behest of Mysticmoon, I'm actually working on doing some subs on the main site =]
Your wish will be granted =]
sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?