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[Atheus] General Notations/Ideas

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On the subject of knights

To take a break from magic, let's talk about knights.

But before we launch  right into the topic, let's hit the history books, and write up cavalry history.

First there were chariots. Back in the day, way before the Year of the Exile, the invention of the chariot (and the innovations that accompanied it, such as spinning death-blades on the wheels) was a big thing in military history. It was used to great effect on the plains of Atheus, and the myriad of city-states strewn throughout the continent. But then the phalanx emerged from the western hills (courtesy of the goblins) and the chariots was swept aside.

Cavalry then moved from a rickety box on wheels behind the horse to a place on top. The services of cavalry changed, too. They went from the front line sweep to such duties as scouting the enemy, raiding stationary targets, pursuing fleeing foes. Such duties were thought best done out of the chariot. And then, once the world got used to this diminished role of cavalry, infantry tactics transitioned from anti-cavalry to anti-infantry. After all, everyone's cavalry is all ready weak. Why pay men trained to fight a foe that won't attack?

This brings us to the World War. At the beginning, all of the fighting was infantry against infantry. The commanders of Tauria and Obstaria watched this fighting, however, and thought to themselves about how best to exploit this to their own advantage. They knew that they were probably going to be dragged into the conflict somehow, no matter how aloof their kings were acting. They decided on the knight.

Unlike the cavalry of the past, the knight was a heavy cavalry. The other cavalry was light, with light armors and supplies that aided long-distance and sprints- the type of things they were designed for. The knight wore heavy armor, had heavy equipment, and didn't give a s*** about what the horse felt about all this weight on its back.

When Tauria and Obstaria did, in fact, join the war, the unleashing of their knights was a shock to the rest of the world. The first knights charging into battle, pompously blocking a sword swing with their shield was jarring. Shields on a horse? Unheard of. But they were successful. Charging directly into combat with a line of lances, which decimated the opposition, and then finishing what was left with their swords, was an entirely new tactic, which the troops were unprepared for. Which, along with the other innovations of the two countries (such as the Raveten), left the world reeling.

After the war was finished, the world stared. And produced their own knight corps. And infantry forces trained to be effective against both knights and infantry.

Today's knight corps are formed from the nobles of each kingdom. As the horse and equipment is very expensive, a knight is required to provide its own. Nobles and rich men do join, however, especially in Atheus's current lull in hostilities. They join to get glory, to get woman, but mostly because its expected of them. Its almost a sign of masculinity, of affirming that they can do something. A common career path for younger noble sons who arean't going to inherit is advancement through the knights.

On the subject of wands

In the early days of spells, when the elves, dwarves, and humans started inventing them, casting spells were tricky. No one really knew what they were doing, they were simply acting, which meant that there were redundancies and contradictions and all sorts of things making even the simplest of spells complex and difficult. Which led to the invention of wands.

The wand is an object (any object, though the short, straight rod is the most common) that has been imbued with a spell. All that the wizard needs to do is activate the spell. Once that spell has been cast, the wand cannot be used to cast the spell again. To counter this fallacy, the inventors of the wand found a way to put multiple charges inside the wand, though the charges have to be all of the same spell. For example, you can't put a charge of a Fireball in, and then throw in a Lightning Bolt. You could, however, put in two or three Fireballs into that wand.

Another limitation is the material that the wand is made out of. A wand has a special carrying capacity for spells, and going over that capacity causes all of the magic to burst from its confines. This first burst is usually harmless- they were spells, and ordered, and tend to simply leak back into the background magic. What happens next is an implosion. The background magic rolls back into the wand, causing a high magic density and pressure, which results in an explosion of magic. The wand will either explode, shatter, turn to dust/ash/dirt, or in some other way be destroyed, while 1-4 sorcerous effects will take place. Normally, these effects are violent and harmful, though there is a chance- albeit slim- for helpful or neutral effects. Tentacles, 100 cubic meters of water, wand turning into acid, spikes rocketing from various nearby surfaces, and more have all been documented.

Naturally, most wizards don't put a lot of spells into their wands. Or carry multiple wands.

With these two limitations, why are wands used? For two reasons. The first is if you do mess up you spell, or it "fizzles," as the wizards call it. Then, there's a chance that a random, usually completely unrelated to the spell, sorcery will occurr. These fizzles usually occur in combat, when its in the enemies' interest to make you fizzle, or in other tense situations (assassinating the king, cheating at poker, etc.). Wands are useful since no concentration is required. You give it a little magical encouragement, and poof, the spell is cast.

The second is for convenience. The wizard might have a very busy morning, and a certain spell helps them go through it faster, and they have plenty of time to prepare the wand at nights. Or when you're repeatedly called upon to do the same spell repeatedly, like a Divination at a war council, or a Fireball when defending a castle (where the enemy can't make you fizzle).

The creation of the wand is very simple. First, you must take the object that you want to turn into a wand. Second, you cast a spell on it. And thus, you have a wand, and can now proceed to fill it with spells. This wand-making spell takes some experience to learn and be able to use, but not much (in game terms, make it a level two to level five spell, depending on your game system- it should be an easy spell, and quick to learn, but not immediate).

On the subject of Shaman Staves

My previous post discussed wands. This next will discuss their upgrade: the Shaman Staff. In the barbarian tribes, a common feature is the shaman. The shamans are the wizards of the barbarians, and bear a special title mainly because humanity bestowed it upon them to make the other races seem inferior to them.

Though it may be true that as humanity's numbers and information storage potential have allowed them to invent and remember more spells than the barbarians and (more specifically) the shamans can, the shamans do have one advantage over the humans (or more advantages, I'm not sure yet): their staves.

Humans have not found out how to store different spells in the same device. Shamans have. They have found how to enchant a staff so as to be a conduit for the magics contained in objects attached the staff. The one requirement for this is that the objects attached have to be alive at some point. Which is why Shamans typically use bird feathers, as they are less likely to rot. Besides, they look nice.

There is two main disadvantage to the Shaman's Staff. And that is that once-living objects used in either the Staff or wand making are unreliable. They are able to hold less magical charges in general, compared to non-living objects. Of course, this is easily overcome by having extra feathers.

The second disadvantage is that the taking off of the once-living spell-holding, once spells have been stored inside of it, tends to cause... adverse side effects. Depending on the amount of spells stored in the object, the resulting explosion increases in size, from taking off the plucker's hand to killing everyone in a hundred-foot radius.

Still, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, and if the humans deigned to consort with the barbarians, or, in the case with kingdoms other than Tauria and Obstaria, were given permission too, they would immeadiately try to get the Shaman's to reveal their secrets.

On the subject of freetexts

Perhaps it is rash of me to say this, put I would like a freetext for my current world of Atheus. As I currently have 14 subs, not including the base sub of Atheus, I feel that it is time to organize them in a more lasting way, and I am tired of linking them to Atheus. Besides, I'm considering (well, more like all ready decided to) turning Atheus into one of those weird Region things, and I need a couple more submissions from what,4965.0.html says.

I don't know the general protocol for getting freetexts, but I do know that I am not done with Atheus, and can see many more subs to be added in the future. After all, I haven't even touched the various organizations or city capitols. I don't think I've named a capitol either. And what about the Merthia question? Since it's completely wrecked and is pretty much bandit country (what? Did I not mention that?), and that Obstaria is probably going to be a land with nobles being the ones with any real power, and not the king, there is considerable more to say of Atheus. You haven't seen the last of the place.

So, uh, can I have an Atheus freetext? Please? Pretty please with sugar on top? Pretty please with :medieval: and :bow:?

Are you unable to create the freetext when you edit the submission?


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