Since Ergot is a real plant, with these real properties, there is no reason why this shouldn't have a straight forward presentation.
Abby Hofman studied Ergot before he developed LSD. It is actually not derived from Ergot, it is a stepping stone to get there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ergot
This write up is excellent though. It is a gret way to add a real substance in a fantasy way. Go to Comment
1-The Tincture of Ergot might be one of the greatest names for a substance I've ever encountered.
2-The piece has a pseudo-scientific, national geographic vibe to it, and flows well.
3-Jerry Garcia is a nice touch :D
3-Brings back memories
And it is an instant top-contender for MJS's Tobbacos, Ingredients, and Mind-Altering Substances! Go to Comment
Forgive me but I must interject my own two cents here.
It is fundamentally incorrect to say that Ergot is a real PLANT, it is indeed real, however it is a fungus that grows on plants and not a plant at all. Fugas and plants are not even in the same kingdom much less phylum, class, order and so on as you have tried to bunch them. Ergot belongs in the Kingdom Fungi, whereas all plants are part of the Kingdom Plantae. Saying Ergot is a plant is much like saying a dog is a plant.
Ergot is blamed for many historical events including the demise of the roman empire and the salem witch trials just to scratch the surface and name a couple. This is due in part to it's "medicinal" properties, and the difficulty in removing the ergot from such grains as rye in particular. Ergot is easily removed from processed grains such as flour due to the drastic color differences between the flour and the Ergot, Rye on the other hand is a very similar color to the Ergot. Ergot is a kind of reddish brown color similar to that of rye, and flour is white for the most part.
Don't mean to harp but Ergot was a major research project for me in Botany.
Very well carry on and I shall now go back to lurking. Go to Comment
The setup is definitely neat for any sci-fi/astronomy fan. It must be admitted that, though I have some idea of what Lagrange points are, the Wikipedia post was quite a bit confusing. (You could provide a simplified picture to show what it looks like... but I guess that would be a too big hint.)
So: if you have two massive objects in space, there exist locations, where their gravitational forces will be just about in balance. A relatively light object (compared to the two), would find a stable place in these Lagrange points.
In our solar system, there are of some notoriety the Lagrange points for Sun and Jupiter, or Earth and Moon. (Scrasamax, do I take it right that the two bodies your system is based on are two suns?)
Oh, and before I forget it: the rest of the submission is also not bad. :) Go to Comment
Really this is too much information for one sub, but I am lazy and didnt want to make it out into several larger subs. As for Boccob, I havent finished twiddling with the name yet, but he is the current god of magic according to the 3rd ed of DnD. I havent put much into him since he is permanently imprisoned, and really only high power sorcerers are going to know of him.
This is going together rather like the infrastructure of my basic setting, so it isnt going to be elaborate or given the same level of presentation as most of my other work. In a way, this is the THIS IS HOW IT IS (Godly Baritone) submission that is going to try define various aspects of the realm.
I think, upon reflection, that I might make it a scroll... Go to Comment
Aside from internal Magics such as alchemy, chi, or things that draw upon innate sources of power such as ley lines, nodes or the like, sorcery in Ae draws upon heavenly paths. these are conduits that can be learned, and by inner growth and exploration of the psyche through the conduit can its power be expanded. Each of the four closest heavenly bodies is an anchorhead for a different realm of sorcery. This will be expanded upon in a suitable Article.
The Enigmatic Paths
These are the most rare of paths as the Maiden of the Moon is a secretive power. She only shares her paths with druids and rangers, those most in touch with nature, quiet, mystery, and riddles. The Enigmatic paths are majorly influenced by the phase of Luna, the silver moon.
The Arcane Paths
These are by far the most common of the magical paths, forged before time by Aisling Boccob. Many of these are very well known, which makes them useful as training paths, but limits their effectiveness. These are the traditional powers of sorcery. These paths are constant in power as Aura, the gold moon, or sorcerers moon has a fixed location in the heavens.
The Celestial Paths
The most strongly guarded of the paths, the paths of the Divine tap into the innate power of the Celestial City and the domains of the Segundian gods. These are the realms of healing, divination and the generally powers of Light. Tied to the guiding light of the Celestial City, these paths are the most steady.
The Infernal Paths
The Infernal paths of magic trace their power back to the bleak and blasted face of Dimmault. The prime forces of the Infernal paths are fire, storms, hatred, and malevolence, drawing upon the tainted essence of the Primerian's prison. The paths are convoluted and very challenging, but there obscurity makes them unpredictable and powerful.
The Alien Paths
These paths of magic are the domain of the elves and the dragons, the bastard spawn of the slain god, and are as frightening as they are unknown. These are rare even among those races, with the elves more often adopting Arcane and Enigmatic paths and the elder Dragons seeking the Infernal paths. Humans cannot access any Alien path. Go to Comment
The Four tiers of Gods
There are four tiers of gods, with only the top three which originally numbered 400 (7 x 7 x 7) being considered 'Gods' with the least tier being considered powerful spirits.
Primerian - the Originator gods, who originally numbered 7, but are now six confined in Dimmault after being overthrown by the Segundians. Their prison is Hellish, and their powers have been greatly hindered and now they can only work through mortals.
Segundian - the second gods, who originally numbered 49, but have been reduced to somewhere around 20 or so in the Usurpation. The greatest is the draconic Ouros who is the Guardian of Linear Time, the lock on the prison of Dimmault. He viciously seeks out and destroys those who try to access the forbidden paths of chronomancy.
Tercerian - The third generation of gods, lieutenants to the Segundians and originally numbering 343, though the number now is not known. Many Tercerians were destroyed in the usurpation, but unlike Segundian and Primerian, things can rise in power to become Tercerians.
Cuartians - The least of the gods, and most commonly recognized as 'spirits' and elementals. There are ranks recognized within the Cuartian tier, namely the ranks of Pentarian, Sextian, and Septian, each being correspondingly weaker than the last. Pentarians are one on one matches for average PCs, Sextians match commoners, and septians exist at a near animal/vegetable level. Go to Comment
Spiritual Emanation: The Law of Seven
According to the impulse of the demiurge that spawned the 7 Primerian gods, the universe resonates with the number seven. Each of the original seven spawned 7 Segundians, and each of the Segundians spawned 7 Tercerians, etc. This is as surely a law of the incorporeal realm, the spirit world as is the union of man and woman to create life in the material world.
The seven primal emantations are as follows: Protective - The urge to protect, as aspect of self awareness. Can range from motherly love, to deterrance by massive firepower. Thor.
Directive - The structured organizational urge, can range from keeping peace and order to brutal dictatorships. Zeus, Odin.
Reflective - The observational urge that defines itself in regards to its surroundings. Can be quiet and contemplative or agressive seeking a certain state of being.
Communicative - Words contain power, songs contain power, the passage of information has long been embodied as a diety. Hermes.
Expressive - While words have power, so does art, and the expressive urge manifests itself in the guises of action excedding word. Apollo.
Definitive/Understanding - The technical urge, this is the realm of the maker, the healer, the creator, the tool-maker and map-maker. Haephestus, Vulcan.
Indulgent - The self gratifying urge, the desire for entertainment, pleasure and the like. Venus. Go to Comment
The six Point Elemental Star
Ae recognizes six, not four basic elements, utilizing a mix of both Oriental and Occidental sources. Drawn as a six point star, specifically the two triangles, one rising and one descending as a Star of David.
1. Air - Top of the star, the first rising element as it gives life to rain and clouds. opposed by the three terrestrial elements of wood, stone, and metal.
2. Fire - first point clockwise, top of descending elements as fire consumes and leaves ash in its wake. An energetic element opposed by stone, wood, and water.
3. Metal - A rising element and one of the most vital of men's heritages, it is born of fire and stone, and is opposed by wood which dulls, water that corrodes, and air that rusts.
4. Stone - The base of the star, and the anchoring element that all others rise from. A descending element as stone breaks down into gravel and dust. opposed by water, air, and fire.
5. Wood - The rising element, the living earth. Opposed by fire, metal, and air/storms.
6. Water - The element of life for it is the quickest to die without, choking withstanding. It is a descending element as it always seeks the lowest point by the easiest method. Opposed by fire, stone and metal which destroy or seek to control it.
7. Spirit - The center of the star, also called soul, pneuma, gnosis, mana, essence, quintessence, this is the vital animating force of existance that is both the source of the other six, and the outcome of the combination of the other six. Go to Comment
There is only one sun in my cosmology, and the basic part of the LaGrange theory is that a large mass orbiting a second larger mass is going to create stable points around it where a smaller item could sit and be relatively safe from gravitational effect.
Thus, they are held in a sort of gravitational balance between the two larger bodies, in this case Ae and the Sun. Points L4 and L5 are directly in front of, and directly behind the planet in orbit. Jupiter is best known for this for the Trojan asteroid field that follows the gas giant in the L5 point in it's orbit, and in theory, BTW, each planet in the solar system hase the 5 LaGrange points.
The Cosmogenic Cycle
The various faiths and religions have different ideas and explanations about the nature of life and death, and for the most part they are all correct, but they are also all not literal. The very core of the cosmogenic cycle is essential Reincarnation. The spirit, or vital essence of the soul is taken back into a hidden wellspring that not even the Segundians can alter as it was crafted by the demi-urge that spawned the Primerians and the Segundians themselves.
Breaking the Cycle: Heavens and Hells
There are two ways to break out of the cycle of reincarnation, and one involves the gods, the other is determined by will. The least and most unfavorable way is to linger after death as a ghost. These wretched spirits have by whatever reason or emotion, detached themselves from the cycle of reincarnation. Fear or disbelief of death is common, while avarice, greed, or covetousness are also common. The least common method is by application of necromancy to break the cycle for a soul.
The second path is the goal of the various faiths. Those souls who become deeply resonate with the faith of a god can by this faith be drawn into the celestial domain of said god. now it is a common misperception that the demons and devils rule hell, and that the angels and celestials rule heaven. This is not the case. A single deity can rule one of each.
A soul that strongly believes in a faith, and does good by it can rise to the 'heaven' aspect of a god's demense, or by having faith and doing ill by it can end in the 'hell' aspect of the demense. Some deities can choose to emphasis one aspect over another, such as a hell aspected celestial whose faith is governed by a fear of damnation, or a heaven aspected demon who lures followers with palaces of honey.
Forever is a long time, and if every pious soul that lived went on to a celestial heaven, what good would there be plowed back into the spiritual soil of mankind? None, the stays in the heavens and hells are transient affairs. being in close communion with the deities can become an experience in altered time, with seeming centuries of bliss, or suffering passing before the time to move on comes. a small few stay on, becoming lesser deities in their own right, custodians and saints.
The Demon Atma is a central figure in the Via Mortus, who will be more explained later in the Great Barrow(in work). While there is little said of a glowing afterlife for the dead, those who violate the corpses of the dead, and break the tenets of the Via Mortus, while believing in them, will surely end up in Atma's Maw, a hellish realm of perpetually gnashing teeth that chew at the tormented. After 1000 years of torment, the soul is released and slips back into the cycle of reincarnation.
Only the mightiest of magics can tap into the foggy memories of past lives, these coming from the Celestial or infernal realms exclusively. Astrology can give some glimpses, but the number of frauds among that field can reduce the chance of finding viable information to almost nil. An aspect of the reincarnation is the purification of the soul of its past experiences and being uncluttered of old memories. Go to Comment
The Seven stations draw heavily upon the six pointed elemental star, and the law of Spiritual Emanation. A combination of elemental aspect and spiritual urge combines to form the 7 seminal gods. In normal mythology, these gods stand well above the rest.
1. Divinity of Leadership Air Element, Directive Urge
2. Divinity of Arts and Entertainment Fire Element, Expressive Urge
3. Divinity of Death Metal Element, Reflective Urge
4. Divinity of War Earth Element, Protective Urge
5. Divinity of Love Wood Element, Indulgent Urge
6. Divinity of Crafts and Making Water Element, Understanding Urge
7. Divinity of Knowledge Spirit Element, Communicative Urge
A revolt or attack happens against a strong city/kingdom. All the losers of the battle that can be captured are brutally crucified along the roads that enter the kingdom to show their strength and as a demonstration of what happens to their enemies. ... a long road, decorated with hundreds of dying crucified soldiers... You see them bleeding, you hear them screaming and whispering for help. Do you really want to enter this reportedly peaceful kingdom?