Tropis De Encyclopaedia (last updated: 12/28/2009)
Posted 22 February 2009 - 02:32 PM
Some non-essential reading, detailing life & lore, in the world of Tropis.
Liber De Portentuosa
Monsters and their kind.
Abyssal (0 sub categories, 0 documents)
Celestial (0 sub categories, 0 documents)
Elementum (0 sub categories, 0 documents)
Somnium'Terra (0 sub categories, 0 documents)
Tropis (1 sub category, 6 documents)
Loci ac Atlantis.
Maps and locations of interest.
Kaig (0 sub categories, 0 documents)
Somnium'Terra (0 sub categories, 0 documents)
Zenulatsin (0 sub categories, 0 documents)
Lore and history.
Beyond The Wall of Sleep
Of Gods & Men
The Goddess Reborn (New!)
The Knights of The Rose
The Modern Kaigian Calender
The Old Empire
People of interest.
Anna Rainecourt (Retired: Book 2, Chapter 7)
Arturo Biani (Slain: Book 3, Chapter 10)
Sir. Briar Moss of House Pendragoon
Inga Eriksson (Slain: Book 3, Chapter 7)
Sir. Ivan Belova
Lady Carolynn of House Rainecourt
Druce Braeden & Miach
Father Ga'Elroth Elmida
Lt. Roland Lorentia of House Dominous
Carminis ac Precis.
Song and prayer.
The First Battle Chant of the Crusaders
The Oath of The White Rose
Fabulae de Tropis.
Tales of Tropis.
Pyronis I: A Most Ignoble City (Preview!)
Originis I: Daemon-Spawned (Preview!)
The Symbol (Preview!)
Originis II: Exiled (Preview!)
Pyronis II: The Madhouse
Originis III: Traitor
Pyronis III: The Cats of Pyronis
Originis IV: Heretics
Originis V: Tested
Originis VI: Massacred
Originis VII: The Shaline
Posted 22 February 2009 - 02:41 PM
A non-essential reading into that most prolific order.
"Be without fear in the face of your enemies.
Be brave and upright that Thandos may love thee.
Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death.
Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong.
That is your oath."*
-- Pendragoonic Oath
Before The Fall
The formation of the Knights of The Rose can be traced back to the original Knights of Babylon. Those warriors were charged with defending Babylon's lands against invaders and enemies of The Thandosian Faith.
Each Knight had under him a small army of men-at-arms and squires and such was the honour given to those brave men that the Council of Babylon gave to them great tracts of land. These lands where the property of the Knights and would remain in their respective bloodlines till such a day that the Knight failed his oath.
The greatest of each generation would be chosen by his peers to become a Lord Knight. The three Lord Knights of each generation had command over the other Knights of Babylon and even have a seat on The Babylonian Council. The 'Order of Three', as it was so named, was formed so that no one man would ever have full command over so much power. For any command to be issued all three Lord Knights would have to agree. This method worked well during the relative years of peace, but such inflexibility proved the undoing of The Knights when Babylon fell.
After The Fall
After Babylon fell to the vengeance of the True Gods, the surviving Knights were scattered. With one of their chosen Lord Knights now one of the Undead and another presumed dead, they turned to the remaining Lord Knight; Sir Pendragoon of The Rose.
Before the Fall, Sir Pendragoon's lands encompassed much of northern Kaig, his family had come over from Zenulatsin some years before with the full grace of Babylon. He was well known as being 'the perfect knight'.
Sir Pendragoon reorganised the Knights. Removing the old Order of Three and instead organising the Knights into four Orders. Each Order would take a rose for identification and would serve a different purpose. The head of each Order would be fully responsible for those under his command, but would in turn see Sir Pendragoon as the head of all Orders.
By doing this Sir Pendragoon obtained more power than any other Lord Knight before him, but at the same time ensured the survival of what The Knights of Babylon stood for and ensured they would be flexible enough to conquer any of the many trials ahead of them.
II: Ordo Rosaceum
There are four Orders that make up the Knights of The Rose, each order is composed of some thirty, or so, Knights each with their own servants, men-at-arms, squires and militia.
On average, most orders number some three-thousand heads. The largest order is the Rosaceum Comintatus at seven-thousand strong, while the smallest is the Rosaceum Restitutus with just over a thousand men.
The Order of The Red Rose
The Rosaceum Venficium
The most famous, and perhaps the most prolific, order is that of The Red Rose. This order was constructed with a single goal in mind: the destruction of Witchcraft and the Arcane wherever it might appear. The Rosaceum Venficium have been the driving force behind the continued war against Dominious.
The Rosaceum Venficium were tasked with dealing with all external threats from Witchcraft to Daemonic forces*. More commonly known as The Witch Hunters, the goal of these Knights is rather similar to that of The Ordo Purgatus, except their methods are much less brutal and they deal in external, rather than internal, threats.
The Order of The Yellow Rose
The Belli Sanctus
This relatively large Order is rarely seen on the shores of Kaig, for their duty lies in bringing The Faith to foreign non-believers. Mostly seen taking war to Northern Zenulatsin, these 'Crusaders' as they are more commonly known, are seen as heroes of the Theocracy.
The popular image of a holy knight on a mighty steed, cutting down great numbers of Barbarians, a prayer to Thandos on his lips and a strong sword in his hand, was born from this Knightly Order.
The truth is as always different. The Crusades are nothing but ignoble conquests for money and power, but this black truth is skilfully hidden both from the loyal Knights of The Yellow Rose as well as the people of Kaig – As is the dire situation in Zenulatsin: The Belli Sanctus are losing the Crusade and are being pushed back towards the Coast. It is likely that in a few more years (if not sooner) Orion, the closest port to Praig,* will fall and with it all of Zenulatsin will be lost.
The Order of The Blue Rose
The Rosaceum Cominatus
The Rosaceum Cominatus, or Brotherhood of The Rose as it is sometimes known, was the first Order to be formed by sir Pendragoon and is also the strongest single military force on Kaig.
The Order is composed of some 5,000 men-at-arms, 50 Knights (with their assorted companions) and over 1,000 peasant militia, conscripted from the various Knightdoms within Pendragoon. The total is somewhere near 7,000 fighting men.
The Rosaceum Cominatus serves a duel role. Firstly the order is made up of the standing armies within the united Knightdoms so must defend those lands against intrusion. Secondly they, like all the other main Orders, must serve the desires of The Theocracy.
What one must remember, when studying the Knightly Orders, is that The Knights of The Rose are a neutral organisation. Owing fealty to no land beyond their own they are a force of the church. Their greatest duty lies in defending The Theocracy and its lands.
What makes The Rosaceum Cominatus exceptional in this regard is that, as previously mentioned, it is the strongest single military might on Kaig. With such a force at it's disposal no nation (excluding the magic-using Dominousians) can afford to defy the wishes of The Theocracy.
The Knights of The White Rose
The Rosaceum Restitutus
The people of Kaig have many threats to their lives. Some come from supernatural enemies, such as the Daemon or the Witch. Some threats lie in wait for unsuspecting travellers, such as the orc, or the goblyn. Worst of all, is the threat that cannot be seen, a threat that will slay even the greatest of warriors and ignoble peasants equally: illness. It is against that threat the noble warrior-priests of the Rosaceum Restitutus battle.
Originally this order was like any other, but it was only natural progression that led those that dealt with physical wounds to soon learn to heal those spiritual injuries that only a priest can deal with. Many feel that a Knight should be a warrior, or a priest, not both. While others see the tasks set before the Rosaceum Restitutus as being beneath a warrior. It is because of these popular views that this Order is the smallest, numbering even less than the Theocrat's Bodyguard at just under 1,000 fighting men.
During peacetime this order operate from travelling Medicorum* where they offer aid and advice to local Medici (Kaigian Physicians). During times of crisis the order travels to the worst affected areas to aid those that need it the most. While when war strikes Kaig, as it did when Dhar'kon emerged into the world, the order splits up. It's members join with other Knightly Orders and national armed forces to enable them to provide aid when and where it is needed. Wherever there is conflict, you will find The Rosaceum Restitutus*.
However a issue has emerged in recent years and that is the question of this order's loyalty to the Theocracy. Just under a month ago, a member of this order was captured by The Inquisition and later confessed, under torture, to providing medical aid to a Dominousian team operating secretly north of Praig.
After refusing to identify the surviving members of this foreign team, the Knight was executed under charges of treason. This was not the first time a member of The Rosaceum Restitutus has placed his Medici-Oath before defending The Theocracy. Nor will it be the last, but if the order is not wary it may soon find The Inquisition at it's door.
III: Agnati Rosaceum
As well as the four main orders there are also four sub-orders too. These are generally composed in a similar fashion as the main orders, however only The Roboris Arx still retains their ties with the main orders. The Inquisition and Ordo Daemonis long ago cut their ties with the main orders.
The Theocrat's Bodyguard
The Roboris Arx
The Roboris Arx are formed from amongst the best, and most loyal, the combined orders have to offer. As the Theocrat's Personal Bodyguard they are equipped with the best armour and weapons, and are also subject to the most severe training Kaig has – they are trained by the best the famous Blackthorn Regiment has to offer.
Another requirement with working in such a close relation with the Theocrat is that all members of The Roboris Arx must be nobles. This, the Order's leaders understand to be a restriction rather than a benefit, so instead of denying membership based on birth, they decided that any who show enough skill to be promoted into The Roboris Arx are granted the rank of minor noble. Needless to say many a Knight's goal is to become a member of The Roboris Arx.
The Ordo Purgatus
The infamous Inquisition clearly holds it's roots with the Knights of The Red Rose and although no longer considered a part of their mother order, no examination of the Knightly Order could ever be considered complete without mention of The Ordo Purgatus.
The Ordo Purgatus was originally formed by a small group of Knights brought together from all the four orders. They were united by the need for a group to handle the internal threats posed by Witchcraft and Heresy. Infamous for their heavy handed tactics and free use of fanatics and mercenaries, the Ordo Purgatus would never have survived if it was not for holding the full support of the Theocracy.
These days the Ordo Purgatus needs only answer to the Theocrat himself and that Theocrat has granted them the authority to use any method necessary to deal out holy justice against the enemy within.
The Daemon Hunters of Pern*.
The Ordo Daemonis
The Ordo Daemonis are very similar to The Ordo Purgatus, although they lack the extreme methods and religious backing of the Inquisition. The Daemon Hunters do exactly what their title suggest and while The Inquisition does occasionally encounter the daemon, most of their conflict occurs against the Witch or Heretic.
The Ordo Daemonis fight against the Daemon wherever it may appear and there is no more experienced group than this when it comes to Daemon Hunting in all of Kaig. Even Dominous has called on the Ordo Daemonis in the past.
Operating from the island of Pern, The Daemon Hunters don't care who they help in the process of hunting the Daemon as long as the Daemon is hunted. “It matters not where the Daemon lairs; we will send it back to the hell that spawned it!” It is this neutral stance, however, that has left the Ordo Daemonis without the Theocratical support it needs and as a result casualties are high amongst the Knights in this order.
The Lost Order
None can tell the story of Babylon's Fall without mentioning the Lord Knight, Sir Bedivere. Sir Bedivere was a man that had the chance to save the entire Empire. All he had to do was sacrifice himself, unfortunately he refused to sacrifice himself and because of that he died a Oath Breaker's death.
The world would have been a better place had he stayed dead, but such is not the way for Oath Breakers however, and Sir Bedivere and all his Knights and Men-at-Arms under him returned to the world as the Undead.
A number of attempts have been made to remove this Undead threat from Vattarn, but* each and every one has met with limited success. A number of these attempts have actually led to Lord Bedivere's destruction, but a few years later he is always seen again, completely unmolested.
Lord Bedivere's goals and plans are unknown, however his original force has been boosted over the years as he encounters and corrupts other loyal Knights. Something he has become quite skilled at over the years able to turn even the most loyal of the Theocrat's soldiers.
* A modified version of the Knight's Oath in Kingdom of Heaven. Normally I'm above borrowing ideas, but that one was far too good not use it.
* Although the Ordo Daemonis generally tackles most daemonic intrusions encountered during modern times.
* The largest and also closest port to Zenulatsin.
* As the word 'Hospital', in English, is derived from The Knights Hospitalier, a force that does not exist in Tropis, the word 'Hospital' too does not exist. Instead the word Medicorum is used with the same meaning.
* I guess that makes them the Kaigian BBC then...? :lol:
* They have nothing to do with any Dragonriders that Jess informs me exist.
* I need to find a new word other than 'However' and 'but'...
Posted 23 February 2009 - 08:57 AM
A non-essential look at the great empire of Babylon; both it's rise and it's fall.
“By Babylon, we were saved from a dark age of ignorance and fear. So it seems fitting that, by Babylon, we were returned to that from whence we came.”
– Human Historian, commenting after the fall of Babylon.
There is many a young scholar that knows of Babylon, here and there it is even mentioned during our recordings. The actual events that took place to orchestrate the rise of The Old Empire, and it's eventual fall, did unfortunately remain, till this point, rather sketchy.
The thing to understand when reading this document, is that before the forging of the Babylonian Empire, the world of Tropis was in disarray. The War of The Gods was still raging (albeit in it's dying days) and man was still a ignorant fledgling dying a still birth in the wake of False Gods. Babylon was the single greatest step towards a truly modern civilisation that the world had ever encountered. So when Babylon fell the shock waves were felt throughout all the known world. Shock waves, even to this day, Tropis never recovered from for Babylon was Tropis.
The reader must also understand that the events taking place during the earlier portions of this document took a mighty long time to come to their conclusion. The building of Babylonia, for example, took over a hundred years to complete. So when the document speaks of old nations falling and new rising, it is not just being poetic, the it is being literal.
The Elves were not the first race to be formed, but there were the wisest. When the Elves laid down the first stone foundations of great Babylonia, man was still living in mud huts discussing around the fire what kinds of monsters lurked in the dark places of the world. Trapped in his own ignorance, man would have never become what he is today, had it not been for the Elves.
Man outnumbered the Elves, not so much as he does today, but still enough for it to be noticed. Even with his numbers though, man was a fool. His lands were governed not by law, but by strength of arm and a false faith in equally false, worthless gods.
Man did knew some things, how to make weapons, how to turn the ores of the earth into tools and how to build his house. But while the Elves strode about in suits of steel plate mail, the men of the world dealt in Bronze swords and shields. Man feared the strange Elves almost as much as he feared the dark, empty places of his own mind. Those places so empty of knowledge that ignorance bred false terrors to bar his path. How could man ever go far when he was afraid that without sacrifice his false-cattle god would not bring forth the sun?
At this point in time the Dwarves were still a young race, younger even than the humans. They kept to themselves, avoiding man and elf alike, mining and blacksmithing away, as they do today and no doubt will do unto the day of unmaking. Today Dwarven society remains almost unchanged from what it was during the rise of Babylonia.
While the Elves worshipped the True Gods such as Unsando and Unsandee, man looked to False Gods of his mind's construction. At the best of times these false gods would be harmless in their non-existence, however on far too many occasions these false gods would be nothing less than daemons seeking to gain entry into Tropis through man's weak mind. This the Elves, in their wisdom, saw to be a grave danger. As much a danger to themselves as it would be to this ignorant race that called himself 'man'.
It took time, as do all great endeavours, but the Elves sought to bring man into the embrace of the True Gods. They sent among man's greatest tribes, missionaries of the True Gods to bring the light of Truth into the darkness of their minds. Such a bold move did not always meet with success and many of the tribes proved unwilling to cease their worship of their false gods; The Human blasphemers declared the Elven missionaries to be Blasphemers, in one of the world's first great ironies.
War was inevitable, all could see it coming, but it was a war man in his divided state had no chance of winning. The Elves knew this and had no wish to decimate this young, deluded race. So instead of converting the inconvertible they instead welcomed onto their island of Kaig, those that would be brought into the light of civilisation. Babylonia's construction was eventually completed, by both elven and mortal hands and together the two races lived in peace and spiritual understanding.
Meanwhile those tribes that had refused the generous offer placed before them by the wise Elves of Babylonia were struggling. The rise of Daemonic forces in the world proved the Elven predictions right and man had become a slave.
With the opening of the Abyssal Rift during the closing stages of the War of The Gods, man was crushed beneath the daemonic boot of Unsandee's forces. They needed the Elves and unlike before, even the most ignorant could see it.
The Elves of Babylonia were not a callous folk. They graciously admitted entry to all those that wished to be saved and the great holy magics wrought by the Elves during that dark time kept the darkness from Babylonia. Allowing the Elves to teach the newly arrived Humans of the True Gods, of Magic and the written word and a great many of things.
Human blacksmiths were taught the art of steel working. Human artists were tutored by the greatest poets, playwrights and painters Babylonia had to offer. Great were the gifts the Elves bestowed upon man, both cerebral and visceral. Even the births of Elven-Human unions were seen as a great gift, not the curse they are today.
When the war of the gods came to it's dramatic conclusion Babylonia was gone. According to an Elven Historian so many had died during that last battle that it was difficult to spot the living from the dead.
“...and we did stand up and shout to the crowd before us; who among you lives? Such was the answer from the dead, that not a man among us could make out the words of the living, so we wept for all that was lost.”
Babylonia was gone, but it's ideals still lived and this was enough to summon survivors from all over Kaig. Both Elf and Man worked together to rebuild Babylonia and when it was finished they named it 'Babylon', naming it after the city that had come before.
With Babylon built, those who had survived the battle for Babylonia looked out onto a world that was a stranger to their eyes. Of the old tribes of man there were only the faintest remains. The war had destroyed nations, but from their death others had formed, until the world was as it was before, but different.
This time the Babylonians were met with open hostility from the moment they and the newly formed human nations met. This new Tropis was a world at war. Man fought man in a unending tide of blood – one poet remarked “...it was as if these young nations were reenacting the war of the gods”.
It was during this time that some of the gods we know today as the 'Other Gods' are first mentioned. Set, Amon're, Bast and others all seemed to have their own little nations, especially in the deserts of Kre'tem.
This time, the Babylonians were not willing to stand aside and allow history to repeat its self. Forming the Knights of Babylon and leaving them to defend their city-state, the world's first Crusade began.
“War is a terrible thing, for it shows men as they truly are. Without the masks we wear, we are such monsters hidden beneath a pretty flesh.” The words of a human playwright in the Babylonian army, as they brought faith to the heretics of Zenulatsin, a nation south of Kaig.
The war went on for a great many years, with both great victories and horrendous defeats being felt by Babylon. Theirs was a noble quest however and the Babylonians knew that if they did not do such a terrible thing, as make war against these new nations, the Other Gods would lead man only to repeating the mistakes of his past.
How long that great crusade took, none now can say, but when it was over Babylon was an Empire. There was none among the known lands that did not owe fealty to Kaig. Those were golden days matched only by the times of Babylonia, but of such a magnitude words cannot describe. Man and Elf worshipped the gods not just with prayer, but in every action they performed. Those of the Empire were truly holy.
But all great Empires must fall, Babylon was the greatest, which made it's fall all that more decisive.
Babylon's fall was many faceted with the tales of the main players told below, but a few details must first be explained.
The war of the gods ended when, during the battle for Babylonia, Unsando the Goddess of Life threw herself from the city of the gods. Her death marked the end of that horrific war. Led by Thandos the gods collectively gathered up her body and retreated to mourn their loss and to find peace. A patch of blood remained however,* and it was this patch of divine blood that fuelled Babylon's fall.
The King* of Babylon.
During the time of The Empire, the Emperor would always be a Elf voted into office from amongst the ruling families. His term would last until a time when he no longer felt able to rule*. The fall of Babylon occurred during the reign of King Augustus, the thirteenth Emperor of Babylon.
In Babylon everything was done in the name of the gods, so Babylon's King was also it's highest priest. The King had a duty to the people of the Empire, not just as the head of the Senate, but also as their spiritual leader. The King of Babylon was the mouth of the gods. His words were their words.
There have been many theories posed throughout the years into why the King first turned from the light, it is unlikely we shall ever know so instead this document will deal with the events that followed his initial betrayal.
The King of Babylon no longer wished to be the mouth of the gods, he wished for a mouth of his own. He knew of the legend concerning Unsando's death and in it he saw not a rumour, but a chance for godhood.
He gathered together his most loyal advisers and together they hunted through book and scroll for the location of Unsando's impact. Try as they might, the location eluded them. So rather than giving up, Augustus began to study the forbidden books of arcane lore hidden in vaults beneath the Great Library. These books had been captured from the various false religions the early Babylonians had encountered while ridding the world of villainy.
Aided by the forbidden arcane Augustus and his follows soon located and travelled to where Unsando fell. There they gathered up what they could of the now crystallised blood and began their journey back to Babylon.*
Once back in Babylon, The King began black research on the crystals and his fellow man alike. With the utter demise of it's leader's pureness so too did Babylon fall into a state of utter depravity. The King refused any council that his deeds were wrong, promising immortality to any men that aided him and great pleasure and riches to the Elves.
So it came to be that the King of Babylon finally found a way to unlock the power of divine blood. The night before the great ritual would begin he received a dream.
In that dream the gods warned him of the consequences his actions would have on the entire world. He saw great ranks of the deluded, worshipping at false alters, in much the way they did before the Crusade. He was shown the villainy of black rulers and witchcraft inherent in all things. He saw holy Kaig turned to barbaric butchery and the corruption rendered upon the Church of Babylon. Worst of all he bore witness to the ruins of his loved city.
Many men would have listened to these visions granted to him by Unsando herself, but the King of Babylon was not one of those men. He saw these visions as a feeble attempt by the gods to deny him his godhood.
The next morning when he and his cult, for lack of a better word, went to the ritual chamber they discovered the blood-crystals had been stolen. Worse still was the news that The Knights of Babylon had heard of his plans and that the Lord Knight, sir Bedivere, had been dispatched to slay him.
It would be two more years before sir Bedivere's army arrived at Babylon, but the King knew not, that by then it would be too late.
Augustus sent out his best spies and assassins to find the crystals, but he feared it would be too late. The gods were a most potent foe and against them how could he succeed? If he was to defeat the gods he would need celestial aid of his own.
Opening the Liber Vanum Divinus, a horrific catalogue of all the 'Other Gods' the Babylonian's had encountered whilst on Crusade, he called upon a [“Faceless and ameless God”. Augustus sold over not just his soul but also the fate of all the Empire. It was then that the Children of Unsando chose to leave Babylon.
This Other God gave Augustus the location of the blood crystals allowing him to commence the ritual. As the ritual began the very earth of Tropis rocked and began to be wrecked asunder by the True Gods. The gods of Tropis fell upon Babylon in all their divine fury. The sky was blacked by the wings of Angels and within an hour they had undone all the progress of the last five-thousand years*.
Joseph Godwin, or as he was more commonly known 'the black cat', was a thief and a master of his art. Or was until he met and wed the Elven priestess, Amari Lucina. She saw within him the simple man he really was, just trying to make a living in a world that was becoming increasingly more corrupt.
The gods had a plan for Joseph Godwin. It was he that stole away the Blood Crystals from the King of Babylon. For his trouble he was hunted down by the servants of Augustus. Amari was slain and Joseph's home, his daughter, all were taken away.
When Joseph died, after months of torture, he stood before Unsandee's throne and was told that the gods wished to reward him for his sacrifice. That he would have a single wish.
The laws of wishing do not allow for one who has died to be returned to life, so instead Joseph made his wish to be a much darker one. He wished for a chance for revenge. Unsando willing obliged and so the god Necarsis was born. The god of righteous vengeance.
Whether, or not, he achieved the vengeance he wanted is unknown, but whenever a man holds a blade to another, who has wrong him, Necarsis is looking over his shoulder. When a evil doer gets what is coming to him, it is Necarsis that has willed it so.*
In times long gone, the Knights of the Rose were named The Knights of Babylon and the order's three leaders were the three greatest Knights of their time*. Lord Bedivere was one of those Lord Knights at the time of Babylon's fall.
When Augustus refused Unsando's warnings she took them to two others, one of those was Lord Bedivere. She warned him that if not stopped, Augustus would destroy Babylon. She told him that he would need to confront Augustus, but being a goodly goddess she also warned him that the battle would claim Bedivere's life.
Bedivere was a noble Knight and he knew his oath was being tested. He knew that he would have to act fast, so defying the requirements of his Order he gathered together his knights and headed off to confront Augustus.
He did send off a warning to the rest of his order, but it never arrived, it was intercepted by a Sisterhood of Bast. They set a trap for Lord Bedivere, knowing the road he would have to take to reach Babylon.
While travelling through the Ghostwater Forest* his company came across a group of Elven maidens being assaulted by Orc bandits. Slaying the orcs, Bedivere came to the maiden's aid, rescuing what he thought were priestesses heading to Babylon.
The priestesses beseeched Lord Bedivere to let them travel with him, and despite the foul deed he was to commit by slaying the King of Babylon, he agreed. Had he not, some other monster on the road could have assaulted them. While travelling with him, the priestesses weaved their magic, slowly opening Bedivere's mind to their suggestions.
They suggested, after 'learning' of Bedivere's quest, that he travel to the far north. There he would find a portal to the Crypt of Lyzandred the Mad,* a mad Lich, who had collected the most powerful artefacts and magical items since as long as any could remember.
Bedivere was not a fool, he was more than willing to give up his life for his oath, but not if sacrifice was not needed. Yet he had not the time to fetch the sword, he would have to die for his Goddess. However, when he neared Babylon he discovered that the King's plans had been foiled, the blood-crystals had been stolen. He now had the time to fetch this sword the priestesses had spoke of.
Leading his Knights to the lands of Lord Pendragoon he set forth, across the sea to the far north. Battling across that frozen tundra he arrived at the portal, but not willing to risk the lives of any more of his Knight's, he entered the portal alone.
None know the exact events that took place inside that tomb, or the true length of time spent inside, but almost as soon as he entered he was seen walking out again, a claymore of black iron on his back and a aged look upon his face.
Lord Bedivere was a changed man. He told his men that visions had been revealed to him, that Lyzandred had shown him his death. That they would all die, betrayed by their own brother's. That Augustus' victory was guaranteed.
With their hearts low they took the long road back to Kaig. They looked upon the flaming ruins of Babylon and returned to their Castle in Vattarn – which had escaped the carnage surprisingly unharmed.
When the Knights of Rose went to Lord Bedivere asking for to aid, he refused them, telling them to inform their Lord Pendragoon that he had no care for their false order.
When such shocking news reached the ears of Lord Pendragoon he did as he must, he went to his old friend, Bedivere, and requested the return of his lands – lands which were only his while he served his oath.
Lord Bedivere refused, striking at Lord Pendragoon with the black iron claymore he had acquired from Lyzandred. Their battle was long and hard fought, but it was Lord Bedivere that stood victorious. Lord Pendragoon was forced to fall back, the wounds he suffered enough to fell any normal man but he.
The Knights of The Rose found their first great test in having to slay those they once called brother. Many refused to fight, but those that did never again spoke of what horrors they saw during the final hours of that siege. They put Lord Bedivere's castle to the flame and returned to Pendragoon.
Lord Pendragoon was said to have been kept awake at night by the wounds that Lord Bedivere's sword inflicted upon him, wounds that never truly healed so much so that even after his death, still they could be seen.
Lord Bedivere, on the other hand, returned to his castle with his Knights in tow. The Castle was rebuilt and once more inhabited, but this time not by the living. For when an Oath Breaker dies his soul is not permitted entry into the afterlife until he has repented for his sins; he is doomed to become one of the Undead. Still to this day, in Vattarn, Lord Bedivere and his Knights reside in Castle Ravenholm.
Babylon was not just the capital of the Empire, it was also a great city of art. Here musicians and artists, actors and poets, dancers and painters would all find their home. Octavia Lucina was one of those dancers.
Octavia was an extremely gifted dancer and actress. Her dances would each tell a historical tale, or legend. Whether it be one of the great Fabula Tragicum of ancient Babylonia, or one of the more modern Salto Comoediae, she would master it.
It was on the same night that Augustus refused his visions that Octavia received hers. She was preforming the great Salto Sacra Origo, the story of creation, when she was struck down with visions. She saw what may come and what had been, she even looked upon the face of the Goddess, for that she wept tears of blood.
When the vision passed, she discovered she was still in the playhouse. Her audience was of mixed opinion. Some were enraptured, others horrified, some confused, some brought to joyful tears. She later learned that while she was in the middle of her visions, she had continued her dance, performing such physical feats none in her audience had ever before seen – stranger still was how each of them could not agree on how her performance had actually appeared*.
This continued, the more Octavia danced the more she saw, but her body could only perform so much before it fell to the ground exhausted. She began to stop eating, stop appearing in public. Her visions tormented her, for no matter how hard she pushed herself she could not bring back that vision of the Goddess. All she could see were the many possible futures, and not never any of them ended. She had to know the ending.
It was only a matter of time before her closest friend, Cyriacus Lorentia, sought her out. He discovered that she had removed her very eyes in her pursuit to see more. It was time to see a priest, but he knew those in the Church of Babylon were as corrupt as the King himself, so instead he took her to the Children of Unsando. There amongst those that still followed the old ways of worship, those that had kept pure and right in the eyes of the gods, there he knew she would be accepted.
The Children of Unsando cared for Octavia and in return she danced for them, and told them of what she saw. Under the guidance of Octavia's visions they made plans for a great departure. They would leave Babylon before the darkness fell, they would travel to a promised land where they could follow the old ways of Ancient Babylonia as they were intended, not like the corrupt mockery the Church of Babylonia taught.
When the sky-fire fell upon Babylon, when the ground roared its anger and the animals tore at man's bare throat, when the gods unleashed their fury on the world. When all that happened, the Elves and Men who followed Octavia travelled north, by north-west, to a hidden island across the sea.
Safe, there, they were saved from the carnage that followed and formed the people we know today as The Shaline.*
When the fires of Babylon had faded there was only ashes and rubble left. The Elven survivor's fled to Blackthorn Forest where they constructed Eorne Mourne and the Humans were left to their own devices. The world fell back into the dark age the Babylonian's had brought it from.
As time passed the knowledge possessed on by Babylon was lost and instead Babylon turned into a whispered memory fading away until finally, today, it is a legend.
Of all the nations of the world, Kaig is the one that holds truest to the ways of old Babylon. It still holds the Thandosian gods in high regard and is led, if not officially, by the Church, much as Babylon was before it. Of the other nations, little is known. Beyond Zenulatsin and a few lands to the north, Kaig is rather ignorant of it's neighbours so whether or not any other civilisations survived intact after the Empire's fall we cannot accurately say.*
Reminders of The Past
Here and there reminders of our past can be found: The occasional ruined city, like that at found at Marn, or those found in the Morno swamp. Sometimes even artefacts can be found buried at the bottom of some old hero's tomb. These reminders are sadly few and far between, however.
There are two locations that may exist, but still await being found. The Great Library of Babylon was meant to be in Northern-Zenulatsin and the knowledge that could lie within its underground walls, might be enough for the right man to resurrect the Empire. The Last Temple of Set is often sought after, due to lore claiming it to hold the treasure of Babylon, however many believe that The Last Temple never existed and if it did, the gods would have destroyed it during The Fall.
Perhaps the greatest reminder of old Babylon, is the Dead City at Marn. That city was where the greatest rulers of Babylon were buried. And although badly damaged during the fall, what remains is easily as big as Praig. Marn's true size is concealed, as beneath the earth endless tunnels continue onwards in all directions. For years excavation teams have worked away trying to map Marn's Tunnels, but they are of such a size that it will take entire generations to map.
One breakthrough has recently occurred however: the entrance to possibly the largest tomb ever created: The Tomb of the first King of Babylon. Of all those who have braved the tomb, none have yet emerged.
The Other Gods
Without the Babylonians to combat them, the Other Gods began their entry into the world. For a while they succeeded, but thanks to the Shaline, they were banished back into the great darkness. Even today, alas, small pockets of fools can be found worshipping these unholy gods.
Three of the Other Gods are known to us: Amon're the Plague Master, Bast the Cat Mother and Set the Father of Snakes. Yet the Liber Vanum Divinu was a big book and it is highly likely that there are many other Other Gods we have yet faced, or that have their followers hidden amongst us watching from The Great Darkness and waiting for a time to strike openly.
* Some theologists believe that Thandos left this patch of blood deliberately, to allow Unsando to later be reborn, however the Theocracy deems this view heretical.
* Although technically the King would be an Emperor, the Elves were obsessed with Babylonia and the misuse of 'King' is a nod towards that great city.
* The Elves, at this point, still having their immortality.
* It is said that a single crystal was dropped on the return to Babylon, that it fell into a stream and many years later, after the fall, was drunk by the mother of Claran allowing Unsando's rebirth. This, of course, is deemed heresy and falsehood by the Theocracy.
* Some say that this carnage was a direct result of the spell Augustus cast, rather than being a celestial act. This the Theocracy deny, stating that any who believe the evils of magic to have such power is nothing more than a panic-monger. Those that support the theory counter the Theocratical argument, by mentioning how the gods cannot directly meddle in the affairs of man – they are executed as Heretics for their troubles.
* The lord of karma you could say.
* See 'The Knights of The Rose' for more details.
* Later renamed 'Falsewater Forest'.
* Book code 9580; Greyhawk, The Lost Tombs 2/3; The Crypt of Lyzandred the Mad.
* Historian's believe that the purer a member of the audience was, the more beautiful the dance appeared. So those who were the most corrupt could never understand why the dance they saw as a horrific and fear inducing twisting of Elven limb was described as a fluid congress of emotion and love.
* Just a thought really, it might be fun to RP some of the stories surrounding the fall of Babylon. A sort of exploration of the events in campaign form, much like how we intend to explore our character's backgrounds. Do my players have any thoughts on this?
* Historians place the destruction of Babylon at around 4729ya.
Posted 25 February 2009 - 05:56 PM
A non-essential look at the Dreamlands and the Fae that reside there.
“What can I tell you of the Fae? Nothing. I cannot tell you a single thing without it being a lie and a truth at the same time. The Fae are beings of lie and truth, of contradictions and of a foreign beauty.”
– A Human after visiting The Dreamlands.
I: de Animae.
I could spend an entire year telling you of the Fae and I would only have just touched the surface. It is truly impossible for me to inform you of all the intricacies of Fae life in such a short space as this, for it is a world full of contradictions and truths hidden between lies. No man can truly understand the Fae, for they are an alien force not of this world. From the Dreamlands they came and it is there that they belong. Just like how a dream cannot be explained once you have awoken, so too are the Fae impossible to explain logically.
The Fae were born when man first closed his eyes, when he first looked out into the shadows and dreamed of what may lie beyond, the Fae came to be. When man first told a tall tale, or stories of things that had never been, the Fae were born. The Fae are the children of man's imagination; existing through his belief and born from his desire for fantasy to become reality. The Fae are perhaps the purest animation of life that could ever exist, for they are innately connected to the imaginings of life. One cannot exist without the other.
There are many different types of Fae, each being as varied as the dreams they were born from. Some are beautiful, sweet and as good as dreams of hope; while others may be as dark, brooding and as hateful as the foul winter's night. All are Fae and all are different, with no two Fae ever being the same. There are many Courts of Fae, each with their own ruling family and a myriad of members. All Courts owe allegiance to one of the four Royal Courts however, although such allegiances are rather fleeting. The Fae are nothing if not spontaneous and whimsical.
The royal Courts are the Court of Dreams, the Seelie, the Court of Nightmares, the Unseelie, the Court of Summer, the Tylwyth Teg and the Court of Winter, the Aos Sí. All four Courts reside within their own region of the Dreamlands and are rarely seen by the others. All the courts operate by subtly – and occasionally not so subtly – altering man's world. Of the four courts, the Unseelie and the Seelie are the most prominent.
The Fae do not war amongst each other directly, such brutish and inelegant behaviour is not even favoured by those of the Unseelie Court. Instead their wars are taken to the lands of men. To a man Fae warfare would appear as a group of random, illogical actions with little thought or design behind them. To the Fae, however, each action will have long reaching consequences. But those consequences may not come to be until many years have passed, as the Fae do not just deal in today, as the mortals do, but tomorrow as well.
Man has long believed that the Fae possess the gift of future-sight. Thanks to that belief, the Fae can see into the future, but they are rarely inclined to share their knowledge with man. Instead they use this knowledge to further their own goals. The goals of the Seelie Court do benefit man, but only as a side affect, and it is in that same manner that the goals of the Unseelie hinder him. The Tylwyth Teg and Aos Sí are both courts of neutrality and as a result their goals may hinder, or benefit man as they see fit.
There are many stories of Fae kidnapping young children, or seducing husbands and wives alike. In the same manner that belief led to their future-sight, this belief came to be true of the Fae too. The Fae are creatures of emotion. A Wood Nymph may see a handsome man and be overcome by love (or lust) and the beauty of the Fae and their magical ways often leave a man defenceless against this seduction (many Fae don't have to use spells in their seductions, although to not is deemed less fun). On the same page as the above, the Fae love children, but they see that they will one day grow old and die to be a great tragedy. For a Fae to 'adopt' a child is seen amongst the Courts as a great event and a source of grand amusement all round. Life in the Dreamlands is not always games and laughter however and not all Fae adopt for benign reasons as we shall soon discover.
To say that the Fae do not understand the concepts of right and wrong would be a great misunderstanding, they surely understand the concepts, they just don't care much for them. To the Fae, right and wrong are mortal concepts and concerns and in that light the they are very selfish, caring only for themselves and their own goals. If a husband is taken from his wife by a beautiful Fae, the Fae will not care for the torments of his mortal woman, only for the enjoyment she garners from the man. If something benefits a Fae, the Fae will believe that it must be good, as they clearly benefit from it. As mentioned before, the goals of certain courts may benefit, or hinder man but this is rarely ever by design; the action only took place because it benefited the Fae.
II: Interactio Animae.
The Fae are timeless, but not immortal. There are as many different ways to destroy a Fae as there are Fae themselves, but many of those ways will only work for a single Fae. However, a number of laws have always proven true. Iron is bane to Fae, as are areas of null-magic. Stone may be used to bind a Fae, but only until the next full moon. Placing a magnet atop each window and door leading into your house will also stop the Fae from entering, but only if you place a pile of salt in the corners of each room. Please note that this will not banish any Fae already inside your house however, nor will it stop them leaving. If the Fae think you are going to employ any of the methods listed above, they will be greatly enraged, that spells danger for any mortal faced with that Fae.
Those dealing with the Fae should know of a number of social graces that must be adhered to. Failure to do so, may incite the Fae's anger and a angry Fae is not something any wise man should want before him: Firstly, no single member of Fae-kind wish to hear mortal mouths speak their name, even when among their own kind. Even if you learn of a Fae's true name do not use it, not even in jest. No one can truly say why the Fae are like this, they are certainly not like the Daemon, so no power will be gained over them by speaking their name, yet to hear it provokes only anger from them. Rather than use their real names, the Fae will often give each other nick-names such as 'Old One', or 'Little Leaf' and these nick-names generally reveal something of the Fae's true nature, so a Fae called 'Death Water' is obviously not one you want to stay around. Those dealing with the Fae, should always strive to learn their nick-names.
The Fae love offerings. If one wishes to please a Fae, or win their kindness, gifts are the way to go. Unlike mortals, the Fae favour their gifts based on how much they interest them. A strangely shaped stone is often worth more to a Fae than a boring sack of gold. This isn't to say that the Fae dislike receiving riches, many Fae enjoy the rich gifts they receive from love struck noblemen. Rather, if a gift is to be gold, they would prefer it to be a finely crafted goblet than a bag of coins.
The Fae adore respect above all things and the Unseelie are very prone to punishing bad manners. As a result, any mortal speaking with the Fae should be polite at all times. The Fae enjoy being referred to with kindly titles and even the darker Fae are prone to look more kindly on a man that chooses to name them 'Lord of Woods' over 'Master of Darkness'. As with many things concerning the Fae, creativity and imagination are rewarded and this certainly does not stop with title choosing. If you are to refer to a Fae by title, take some time over it's choosing. Try not to use clichéd words, or references, and try to remember that the more effort you put into the title's choosing, the more pleased the Fae will be with it. A Fae will always know exactly how much effort you have put into a task, as their omnipresence is seconded only by that of our Lord Thandos, so be very wary when lying to them. To a Fae, nothing will inspire insult quicker than a lie.
The Fae are creatures of innate truth and are therefore incapable of lying, as a result they hate it with a passion. This does not mean that they should be blindly trusted however, as they are fickle and fleeting creatures, prone to sudden bouts of spontaneity. While incapable of lying, the Fae will often seem incapable of telling the whole truth too, while this is, of course, not true it will often seem that way when you deal with the Fae.
A Fae will often be found dancing around the subject at hand, never truly leaving it, but always avoiding it's direct confrontation. Their words and ways are that of the trickster. The Fae will always twist the truth to better suit their own designs, only telling that which would best manipulate the listener towards their own goals. The best way to coax more information out of a Fae, is to try and second guess their designs; if a Fae thinks that you are not going in the direction they want you heading in, they will often offer more information to better turn you towards it. Those who would use this tactic should be warned however, as the Fae are not stupid beings, and many an adventurer has been caught out when their second guess is second guessed by the Fae they thought fooled. Try to remember that multiple backup plans are essential when dealing with the Fae.
III: Cohortis Animae.
As mentioned before, there are many Courts of Fae, but only four Royal Courts and it is those we shall now explore in more detail. A group of Fae are only a Court by the loosest definition, as many Fae are not social creatures. Therefore, as a result, it becomes very difficult for a mortal to even begin to guess, where one Court ends, and another begins -- The Fae of course, can tell at a glance, but that is no consolidation really.
To the Fae, a Court is simply a gathering of Fae that happen to roughly share the same outlook as it's other members. The Fae are never born into; nor are they ever without; nor are they ever denied entry into; a Court. When a Fae wishes to become a member of a Court, they simply are. This social concept may be difficult for a mortal to understand, but as mentioned numerous times before, the Fae are truly alien to us, and in many cases beyond our understanding.
The Seelie Court.
de Cohortis Somnium.
The Seelie Court, or the Court of Dreams, is composed of those Fey most beneficial towards humans. Although certainly not without the selfishness of all Fae, those of the Dream Court are more likely to seek mortals out for aid, greatly rewarding those mortals with gifts and Fae-Wine. The Seelie even warn mortals who have accidentally offended them, teaching them the error of their ways with harmless and temporary minor curses.
It is generally good luck to have a member of the Seelie Court nearby, especially if they are one of the 'little people'; those helpful Fae most at home mending shoes and doing housework for their unwitting hosts. Keeping a Bee's nest near your house is said to attract the honey loving Seelie, while at the same time repelling the Unseelie. It is terribly bad luck to lose one's bees.
Members of this Court are well known for their kindly ways and beautiful singing voices. There is at least one tale of a young knight who fell in love with a Seelie after hearing her sing to the moonlight. The Seelie are often intrigued by the mortals of the world, they are prone to stalking particularly interesting groups for as long as they remain interesting -- even if this might take the Seelie far from her usual home. As a result of this curiosity concerning mortals, the Seelie are the most commonly encountered Court of Fae. They are also the most inclined to fall in love with their mortal interests, although sadly, Fae-Mortal love often ends in tragedy.
As a rule, the Seelie are rather generous when it comes to rewarding the kindness of others. Many are the tales of hidden 'wood-wives' that reward farmers with good harvests each year for a deed committed long ago by their forefathers. Do not mistake all this kindness for weakness however, for the Seelie have very long memories and in the same way that they reward kindness, they punish cruelty. Many of the long-term curses placed on people by the Fae, are often brought on as a result of being cruel, or intentionally insulting, towards a member of this Court.
The most common time to encounter the Seelie, is during periods of twilight They are ruled over by a King and Queen, who reside within Falsewater Forest. The Seelie as a rule of thumb, generally enjoy freshly baked cakes and honey, they dislike pears.
The Unseelie Court.
de Cohortis Suppressio.
The Unseelie are the dark cousins of the Seelie and unlike the Seelie, these evil Fae have an unfavourable bent towards mortals. The Unseelie enjoy playing dark tricks and pranks on the mortals of the world, some of which can even prove fatal. The Unseelie hate the Seelie with a passion and are often inclined towards mean acts against their cousins. A number of unexplained and dire incidents have occurred over the years, and almost all of these came to be as a direct results of Unseelie activity.
The Unseelie have often worked with their allies, the gnomes, to take their war to the mortal world. But the Gnomes are not the only allies of the Unseelie, the Goblyns have aided them a number of times too. The Goblyns and Gnomes are nothing compared to the denizens of the Unseelie-ruled regions of the Dreamlands though. Those horridly twisted and malign creatures are born from the very nightmares of men. They go by many names; the Dholes; the Kadath; the Voonith and many others, including numerous tribes of horribly twisted humans.
The Unseelie have long cultivated tribes of humans, and it is in the Dreamlands that they reside, the prisoners of the Unseelie. Over time they become corrupted, twisted into creatures not at all true humans. Mortal man has long given them names such as 'Soul Suckers', or mistakenly called these contorted beings 'ghosts', but the truth is always the same: they were men once.
The Unseelie are great riddle-masters and conflict can sometimes be avoided with a hasty challenge. Be warned though, the Unseelie are not easily beaten and many times it is only through tricks of their own, that mortals can survive these contests. A mortal should always be wary of deals set forth by these Fae, as they are prone to change the contract, or worse; manipulate it to their own ends. Any deal a Unseelie is quick to accept, is one that should be avoided by their enemies.
Like the Seelie, the Unseelie are led by a King & Queen, who reside somewhere in Blackthorn Forest. Unlike the Seelie, the Unseelie hate honey and the smell is often enough to repel them as garlic does to Vampyres. The Unseelie enjoy buttered bread and iced buns, they are especially fond of oat biscuits.
The Tylwyth Teg.
de Cohortis Aestiva.
One of the two Courts of neutrality the Court of Tylwyth Teg, or 'The Fair People', is the court of Summer. The Tylwyth do not reside in the Dreamlands like their counterparts in the Court of Winter, nor can they be found at all times of the year. As their name might suggest, this court is only active during the summer months -- Although the scholar should be aware that spring was not recognized until a few years ago, so this Court is active during Spring too.
As the Tylwyth spend a lot of time in our world, they have forged 'Fairy Paths', connecting their homes to each other using The Dreamlands. As the Dreamlands exist outside of mortal boundaries, a Fae can walk onto one path and then off another travelling infinite distances within a few steps. Mortals have no control over The Dreamlands, so those that accidentally stumble onto these paths, can find themselves displaced through time, emerging years after (or sometimes even before) they even stepped foot onto the path, or worse, become lost in the Dreamlands forever.
Being displaced through time is not the only reason Mortal travellers should be wary of spending too long in the Dreamland. Many monsters lie beyond the Walls of Sleep, but even that is not the worst of things, for none may enter The Dreamlands without it changing them -- sometimes for the worse, others for the better.
Often these changes will be subtle and the mortal may never notice them, but other times the changes are more dramatic. Mortals who have escaped The Dreamlands have written of how the world began to be viewed in a new light, or how old friendships were suddenly worthless to them. Other examples include a change in hair colour, even some partial transformations into Fae. The longer a mortal spends in The Dreamlands, the more dramatic these changes will become.
In their role as a neutral Court, the Tylwyth Teg are neither for, nor against the mortals of our world. For the most part they are seen as being benevolent towards mankind, but are notorious baby thieves. Like all Fae, iron is bane to a member of this court; with that in mind it is a wise mother who sews a pair of scissors or a thimble into a baby's clothing.
Most Tylwyth are seen with bright, golden coloured hair with pale, freckled faces and covert those humans who share their looks. As mentioned in the paragraph above, the Tylwyth are infamous baby snatchers. They will visit a crib at night, under the guise of mocking birds and steal away the child. Often this child will be replaced with a block of living wood, taken from deep within the Dreamlands. These blocks of wood, mimic the human child acutely, but soon grow sickly and die. These 'children' are known as Changelings.
The Tylwyth do not just steal children, but also men and women too. Many a husband has returned home from his travels, to discover his fair haired wife has been replaced with a Changeling who refuses his advances. Women too, have often discovered too late, that on their wedding day their husbands were replaced with Changelings. This practice is in fact a long standing joke among the Tylwyth, who find the woman's confusion highly amusing. With such a joke however, the Tylwyth do have a tenancy to remove the Changeling husband when the mortal woman displays too much sorrow.
Wood is not the only material used to produce Changelings. Stones fed with Fae-wine, mixed with hair from the mortal child, will soon grow to take it's appearance. Stone-born Changelings do not die as quickly as the wood-born ones, so are usually used where it is intended that the original child will be returned at a later date. Changelings act in the same way as mortal children, but always have a certain oddness about them, or qualities that the original child did not possess. Changelings, like all Fae, are natural channellers of the arcane and develop this power at a much younger age than normal mortals.
Changelings can be identified by their unusual, or outlandish traits. Examples of these traits include malformed limbs, speech impediments, over eating, or a strangely poetic, or philosophical nature. Other less common traits include a brown, or sometimes green tint to the skin and hair; a dislike of clothing that often causes the child to discard of their shoes, or slip away for nude dances beneath the moon.
The Changeling are also said to possess hair that is "like a thorny bush, so tangled and knotted that no brush will pass through it's midsts unscaved, nor will any treatment tame it." The hair and nails of a Changeling child are also said to grow to unusual lengths and to rapidly grow back when cut. It is often written; "The wise man will identify a Changeling child by it's hair and nails. If you cut them both away and they return the next morning, the child is one of the Changeling"
Methods of returning a Changeling back to it's natural state, include drowning in the local well, and burning them before a pyre of Thandos. The above methods will not return the original baby to the world, but it will dispel the Changeling from the Mortals life. A Changeling can be put to sleep with a drink of mead mixed with egg yolk, while they cannot pass through a circle made out of egg shells.
During their active months the Tylwyth are led by the Queen of Summer, but during the seasons of the Aos Sí, she takes the King of Winter's place in the Dreamlands. Old lore tells that the Queen of Summer and the King of Winter were both human lovers, who fled when their village was attacked. Accidentally stumbling onto a Fairy Path, they became trapped in The Dreamlands.
For years they wandered lost there, until one day they came across an Unseelie gathering. They were saved by the King of the Seelie and in return, he requested a favour from them. The Tylwyth and Aos Sí were large Courts, but no one could decide on who should be their leaders. The Seelie King asked that the mortals become the leaders of each court, to which they agreed. When the Unseelie heard of this, they cursed the pair: As the summer and winter never meet, never again shall they.
The Aos Sí.
de Cohortis Hiemis.
The Aos Sí, like the Tylwyth Teg before them, are mostly benevolent towards mortals, but are certainly not beyond malign behaviour The Aos Sí are not like most Fae; where most have their closest ties with life and earthly matters, the Aos Sí hold their connections with death and the arcane. The Aos Sí are powerful arcanists, who have an exceptional control over The Dreamlands, able to mould it to their will much easier than other Fae.
Unlike most Fae, who can choose whether to dwell in The Dreamlands or our world at will, the Aos Sí may only enter our world during the colder seasons of Winter and Autumn. The Aos Sí are led by The King of Winter, who's legend was spoken of when we discussed the Tylwyth Teg. In the Dreamlands the Aos Sí are the primary architects and they are masters of their art.
The Aos Sí are unusual, for when they enter the world it is usually to Shepard lost spirits to the afterlife -- a number of those spirits have even become Aos Sí themselves. It is from their close relation with the dead, that the Aos Sí earned their name, who's literal meaning is the 'people of the mounds'. This is in reference to the mounds under which the ancient Babylonians were buried.
In The Dreamlands, the Aos Sí reside in underground mounds called, Sídhe (pronounced 'shee'). In appearance, a Sídh resembles closely the burial mounds of ancient Babylon, but inside they are comfortably furnished. The Aos Sí rarely invite visitors inside their Sídh and wanderers who accidentally stumble across them often return to find no trace of the Aos Sí ever having been there.
Care must be taken not to insult the Aos Sí as they are a sensitive folk, quick to anger. Often, during the Aos Sí Seasons, cautious mortals will place offerings of fresh cakes and milk to placate these Fae. The Aos Sí are mostly encountered during dawn and dusk, and are fierce defenders of what they see as their lands, or tree.
Contrary to what was stated earlier, a small number of Aos Sí can be encountered throughout the year. To be able to reside in our world throughout the year the Aos Sí must sacrifice their ability to ever again enter The Dreamlands. For a Fae, to be cut off from The Dreamlands is to have something within their very core snapped away. The Fae will feel empty, often this will lead to depression and eventual death. When a Fae dies, they become a part of the earth, often in a form similar to that which they chose while living. To avoid this fate, a Fae must find something to fill that void. To fill this void, the Aos Sí choose to watch over mortal families, or locations, guarding them with all their might.
Although rare, such commitment from the Fae is common enough to earn recognition among mortals. The Bean Sídhe is a generalisation for any Fae that appears as a woman to herald in the death of a mortal with her wail. This Fae is not to be confused with the Undead Banshee, although they do serve a similar purpose. While the Bean Sídhe heralds the death of a member of the family to which she is bound, a Banshee's wail means death to those that hear it. Another type of Bean Sídhe is the Bean Nighe. A Bean Nighe appears as an old, sad, washer-woman in mourning clothes, who when encountered, will appear beside a old stream washing the blood stained clothes, or armour of one who is soon to die. Unlike the Bean Sídhe who will just sob uncontrollably before fading away, the Bean Nighe will speak the name of he who is soon to die, but only if asked politely and presented with a gift. The Leanan Sídhe, is a Aos Sí who has chosen to leave the Dreamlands to be able to spend time with a mortal love.
Some Aos Sí, do not take mortal form when choosing to reside in our world. Instead they appear as animals, such as a cat, or dog. These 'Sith', as they are known, are often black with a white mark on their chest, or of an unusual size, whether that be larger, or smaller than usual. Often these animals will appear under usual circumstances, usually scratching at the door during the hours of dawn, or dusk. If treated well, these animals will live as long as their owner, but woe be on he that neglects a Sith animal. The Sith are not true animals, nor are they Fae, instead they are benevolent and intelligent creatures from The Dreamlands.
IV: Affectio Atque Animae.
As they are beings of imagination and not born in the literal sense, but simply coming to be, the Fae have no true form beyond that which they choose. This makes Fae the perfect shape shifter -- immune to magically enhanced senses and anti-polymorph wards -- and completely without boundary into what form they may take. There is one famous tale of a Fae taking the form of the Terrasque in 4997ya, to terrorise the city of Pyronis, the capital of Menta. All Fae are essentially hermaphrodites, able to change sex at will.
As people the Fae vary as much as we do. However, in the same way that they can change their appearance so to can they change their personality. This may be very hard for you to understand, but to the Fae, this change comes as naturally as breathing does to us. Although this may differ for some Fae, most choose to look, sound and act as creatures of beauty.
This combination of both beauty in appearance and character means that love between a mortal and Fae is often unavoidable. In most cases the mortals love will not be rejected by the Fae who, while being solitary beings, usually enjoy this kind of attention. This lack of rejection should not be mistaken for a returned affection, for in most cases this is not so; the Fae is simply going through the motions because it pleases him, or her. Almost all Fae love seducing mortals of either sex. Due to being whichever sex they choose at the time, all Fae are bisexual, however some do have a preferred sex both for themselves and their partners. Sometimes the Fae will feel affection for the mortal, although this is rare.
The Fae are not ones who do things in moderation and love is no different. If a Fae is in love, she is unable to love anything else. Fae love does not border on obsession, it is obsession; she will follow her love avidly, often stealing possessions (even locks of hair if the opportunity arises).
Due to a Fae's future-sight, she will usually fall in love with a mortal for reasons that have yet to even occur. Through Looking Glasses in The Dreamlands, she will watch her love, watching him pass through childhood and into adulthood. Sometimes she will enter our world in a variety of guises. A Mortal may later in life discover that his childhood friend, the family pet and his first kiss were all in reality the same person -- or rather Fae.
For most mortals such a level of affection is too much to cope with, and they eventually reject the Fae's amorous advances. Such rejection is always taken badly by the Fae in question. She may spend many years trying to win over the mortals heart, before depression and death finally take her.
Even those mortals that are able to cope with the Fae's clinging personality and obsessive desires are doomed. A mortal with a Fae lover is cursed with a much shorter lifespan. They will live much more successful and spirited lives thanks to the Fae's magic, but a human is not likely to pass thirty with a Fae lover. When a Fae falls in love with a human, the result is always tragedy.
You may question, why a being with future-sight willingly sets herself up for such pain. The Fae believe that "choice is an illusion, there is only destiny and destiny leaves no room for choice!" If a Fae's future-sight shows an event is going to occur, then to the Fae, it has already occurred
Fae and mortals can reproduce, but it is rare that a sexual liaison between a mortal and a Fae will result in an offspring; although this chance is higher for Nymphs of any variety, and for Humans due to their natural connection with the Fae. Unlike any other race, a Fae may only get pregnant if she wishes for such. Unlike most, Nymphs are the only variety of Fae that actively seek to breed with mortals with the specific goal of producing a child.
Should a Fae become pregnant, she will give birth to another Fae, or a mortal of any race as she sees fit. Despite all of this control, no Fae may become pregnant during the Winter months. The Fae may produce with animals, and due to their connection with nature and life, this action is not as unusual as you may think.
The duration of a Fae's pregnancy, will always be until the next springtime. When Spring arrives, the Fae will vanish to a secret location of her choosing, but one that is not apart of The Dreamlands. There she will birth the child and nurture it for the first three months of it's life. During those first three months the Fae becomes extremely protective of her privacy, and not even her lover is allowed near. A Fae encountered during this time is very dangerous and should be, if at all possible, avoided.
Once this initial three month period is over, the Fae will return with her child. If the child was also a Fae, she will now be fully matured, if not then the child will be as mature as any normal child of her race. All Fae feel the urge to reproduce at least once a year, but many ignore this urge. All Fae tend to produce at least one sentient child a century
There is a legend of a Fae in ancient Babylon, who accepted her lover's request for a son. When she finally returned from the deep forest with the child, it was revealed to be a Dwarven baby. The father was an elf. This the Fae apparently found terribly funny. Another practical joke mentioned in the tale, was for the Fae to transform in the middle of sexual intercourse. Often this would be into something repulsive to her partner, or something rather odd; such as a brick, or pigeon. Such is the nature of Fae.
Posted 26 February 2009 - 06:25 AM
A non-essential look at the Theocracy of Kaig; it's origins and methods.
"Faith and blasphemy are not so far removed in the hearts of men.
While one is loved, the other is hated, and death is the price of confusion."
-- Kaigian Heretic.
To find the origins of the Theocracy, we must turn our eyes back to the days of ancient Babylon. In those days the King of Babylon was not just a man of ruler-ship, but also the Empire's religious leader. The Church of Babylon was looked to by all, for religious and spiritual guidance. Although both this Church and the Senate were separate organisations, they were both led by the King of Babylon. It is commonly accepted that this is where the problem originated, as by the time of The Fall, the Church had become bloated and corrupt, involving it's self far too much in non-church matters.
When Babylon fell, many representatives of the Church were slain alongside those who resided within the capital. The collapse of the Empire led to great reforms across Kaig, with many of the land owners dead, or missing, those with power took whatever they could. Not all fell to pillaging the ruins and for a while the Empire did hold, but it's death was foretold by the Fae.
It is from this background that the first King of Kaig stepped forth. It would be a lie to say that the King was ordained by the gods, or any such nonsense. King Brutus Seius Kaig was not even royalty before The Fall, but he was a brilliant tactician and an artist at public speeches. His armies united Kaig in the same manner, as those of Babylon did before him. As great a tactician as he was, Brutus was faced with a difficult task. His population were divided, not just by national boundaries, but also by religion. In the many years since The Fall and the destruction of Babylon's Church, the populace of Kaig had turned back to false gods. Where the True Gods had abandoned them, they hoped these new gods would save them. To unite his people, he needed to first unite their hearts and so, Brutus set up the Church of Kaig.
Learning from the mistakes of the Empire, Brutus elected not to rule the Church himself, instead the Church was set up as a governing body, within the government. The Church would watch over Kaig from its monastery in Deckon, advising the King, but with no power over him; only having the deciding voice on Church matters. With the Church of Kaig converting the populace back to the worship of the True Gods, Brutus had the united Kaig he wished for. With a united country behind his back, Brutus turned his attentions to Zenulatsin.
While Kaig had escaped The Fall relatively civilised the northern-mainland, Zenulatsin, had not. Barbarian tribes and daemon worshippers ruled there, warring against each other and ravaging the land with their unclean, heretical hands. It had been some years since his conquering of Kaig, so King Brutus knew that if his country was going to survive, he would need a show of strength. Zenulatsin became that show of strength so in 4833ya, Brutus's army sailed from Praig to Zenulatsin. While he was away, the Prince Titus was given regency over Kaig. The Prince, is considered to be the man most responsible for the formation of the modern Theocracy.
While Brutus was a strong leader, Titus was not. Titus had no experience of leadership, which led to his easy manipulation by his Church advisers This manipulation led to him, in 4839ya, signing the de Conditio Fides; a contract that gave the Church of Kaig the right to own land, something Brutus had always wisely denied. With land ownership in mind, and a full coffer thanks to donations from Titus, the Church of Kaig began sending gifts to the disfranchised Knights of the Rose.
The Knights of The Rose were, at this time, facing difficulties. By opposing the with Zenulatsin they had lost face within the Kagian government and as an organisation that relied on boons from the court, this meant the knighthood was in dire need. The Church wanted an army, the Knight's needed a patron. For both organisations it was a match made in heaven. The already very religious members of the Knighthood, needed little persuading to take up the Church's cause. In return, the Church donated land and money to the Knighthood. Unlike in the day's of Babylon, these gifts of land were owned in full by the Knights who received them.
With a strong military force to back them, the Church turned to more illicit methods to gain the land they wanted. Landowners on their death beds were promised prominent places in the afterlife, but only if they donated their lands to the Church. The Prince Titus too, was persuaded to donate many of the royal hunting grounds to ensure the Church's support in matters of court.
When the King returned in 4848ya, after fifteen years of securing Kaigian lands in northern-Zenulatsin -- land that the modern Theocracy is currently losing -- he was furious to hear what Titus had done. Such was his anger that he took his sword and slew Titus without a word. When it was time to bury Titus, Brutus denounced his dead son, refusing him a nobleman's burial, shouting out; "Why is it that my own son has taken more from me, than any enemy army?". With a stroke of unintentional irony, Titus was buried in a charity cemetery owned by the Church.
When, in 4911ya the last King of Kaig, King Harold, died without a son. Kaig was faced with a large number of nobles all claiming succession to the throne. Despite the best attempts of the Church, the situation very quickly turned to war. A civil war is not anything any man should have to live through, but Kaig's lasted thirty years. This section of Kaig's history is well recorded, thanks to the Church's Historians and we can take a look at a few glances at what people had to say about that time:
"You speak of Civil Wars and of brother fighting brother? I say this to you; all wars are Civil Wars, for is there any war fought, that does not set children of Thandos against each other?"
"This [Civil War] was the greatest event to ever strike our noble land. For without it, would we have ever witnessed such bravery as Bree Hill, or Titan Valley? This war has show us the greatest qualities a man can ever wish for; bravery; faith; honour; and glory before all the gods."
"Know thy brother, the posters always proclaim. Well you must know thyself before you can know thy brother! In war we learn who we truly are. In this war we shall learn who our friends truly are."
With many lands stolen by the warring nobles and those that remained threatened, the Church decided to bring an end to the war. They oversaw the organisation of the Council of Kaig (on which they would of course have a pivotal vote) and in 4936ya peace once again returned to Kaig. This time under the guidance of what is today, informally known as The Theocracy of Kaig.
Each generation sees the emergence of a new Theocrat. As the leader of the Church, the Theocrat is a highly influential man chosen from amongst the greatest of the clergy. Throughout history there have been both good and bad Theocrats. Some have done great deeds for all of Kaig and elevated us to greater heights, while others have almost taken us back to the dark ages. Our current Theocrat, is Theocrat Alexander Steffans II and it is he we shall now discuss.
The Theocrat started life as the priest for a small village in northern Pendragoon. He did not see fame until after joining the adventuring group known today as Willi's Warriors. Under the captaincy of William Mortis'nathar, the future King of Dwarfdom, Steffans encountered many strange and fantastical things. It is believed that whilst battling against the Daemon King, Dah'kon, Steffans was shaped into the man he is today.
During that battle, Steffans was struck by Dah'Kon's mace and this unholy blow stripped Steffans of his mobility. Steffans was voted into the position of Theocrat, after the death of his predecessor during the siege of Pyronis in 4988ya and became the first disabled Theocrat. Steffans is a naturally gifted spokesman and it was his, cries urging the defenders of Pyronis onwards, that is said by Theocratical Historians, to have won the day.
"His [Steffan's] roars for bloodshed rang out across the plaza. He called for us to look inside ourselves; we could fight the Daemon now, or we could wait for him to come in. Either way we would die, but he made us look inside ourselves and decide whether we died like sickly babes, or like Kaigians with sword in hand and a prayer on our lips. We all, as one chose the latter, and thanks to his words; we won."
These days Steffans has proven to be perhaps unsuitable for the role of leadership he was given. He has made a number of decisions that have led to the death of a good many men. Both sponsoring the Inquisition's witch-hunts and ordering the Crusade against Zenulatsin were popular motions, but both have been costly to Kaig. The nobles have started to lose faith in the Theocrat's abilities, views the Dominiousian Rebellion and The Wings of Claran have certainly not helped. In this modern Kaig, the Theocrat needs a show of strength if he is to survive.
When he was chosen to become Theocrat, it was due to the victory over Dah'kon. Today, the Theocrat needs some new great enemy to emerge, so he can unite Kaig under his banner, otherwise the nobles may just do away with the Theocracy all together. A move that will not bode well for Kaig and will do far more harm than good. If the nobles are not kept in check by the Theocracy, then they are likely to return to warring amongst each other. That task is becoming more and more difficult, as their respect for the Theocracy lessons.
Posted 26 February 2009 - 07:57 AM
In Modern Kaigian:
"Lord of the earth, to you I cry;
Bring down pain, on the foes of my blade;
Let them know, of righteous fury;
Let them see, your glory in me;
So that they may, in death be free."
In Imperial Kaigian:
"De tellus creatoris ut thee corpus clamos;
Eporto jusum vulnero in de advorsarius meus gladius;
Sino id nosco de ira piissimus;
Sino id adspicio sublimitas decus in meus;
Proinde id possum ante mors consum libero."
An examination of the prayer.
The use of 'creatoris' in the introduction to this battle-prayer, shows the user's dedication and respect to Thandos. The later use of 'sublimitas' really adds to this feel; the speaker is admitting his place before Thandos and requesting, not demanding, that Thandos aid the him in battle. Unlike many battle prayers, this one asks for Thandos to free the foe from his heretical life, the prayer speaks almost as if the foe should want to die.
Posted 05 June 2009 - 05:03 PM
Young White Dragon, Mainettian
"Who dares, disturb Thranduul the Destroyer?"
-- Thranduul the Destroyer
Thranduul the Destroyer is the youngest of Cryothanix's brood – a elder White Dragon that resides somewhere in Mainett. While not the most prolific of The Ice-Queen's spawn, Thranduul has managed to secure his self a sizeable lair in the Faith Mountains (South-Western Mainett), where he is served by a loyal, but mixed, clan of orcs and goblins.
Thranduul is known to be in league with The Black Knight, an unknown figure that has led several raids on Outland villages throughout Menta. Thranduul is approximately 30-feet long, from head to tail, and well known for strafing his foes with his icy breath before descending for the attack. Thranduul can easily be identified by his missing right eye; lost in one of his many raids against Mainettian lands. In 5003ya, a bounty was placed on the head of Thranduul, a bounty of 120 silver pieces. The bounty remains unclaimed.
Posted 05 June 2009 - 05:26 PM
Of Frozen Scales
Of Golden Minds
Of Silver Wings
Scales of Infamy
Claran'nathar the Guardian (Silverscale)
Cryothanix the Ice-Queen (Whitescale)
Elrathruul the Sightless (Goldscale)
Illiani Dourana the Hoardless (Silver Half-Scale)
Irena Dourana the Heartscale (Silver Half-Scale)
Thranduul the Destroyer (Whitescale)
Posted 05 June 2009 - 06:20 PM
Great Silver Dragon, Pendragoonian
"Know this little one; between man and dragon there may be a peace, but man is short lived and that peace dies with him. His kin shall not be so kind."
– Claran'nathar the Guardian
Claran'nathar is old, she is very old indeed. Some whisper that she is almost as old as Elrathruul the Sightless. Ancestor to Illiani Dourana the Hoardless, she has made many marks on the world. When the Cleansing occurred during the beginning of the 49th century, it was Claran'nathar that led the silverscales native to Pendragoon from that noble land.
It was Claran'nathar that led the silver-charge against the forces of Dha'kon when they threatened the capital of Pendragoon, Silverwing. Throughout history Claran'nathar has made her mighty mark; she is indeed one of the greatest forces of good Kaig has seen in modern times.
The Cleansing took a great toll on Claran'nathar and with the death of much of her flight and of her human mate, she became a recluse. Her lair's location is generally unknown, although many suspect her to reside somewhere around the mountain range near the ruins of Kattash.
Claran'nathar can be identified by the lack of scales above her heart. During the cleansing Claran'nathar suffered a grievous wound and the scales covering her heart never fully grew back.
Claran'nathar is rumoured to have a breathtaking hoard, with many a relic amongst the gold, silver and gemstones. Amongst her hoard is said to be the Sword of Orion. A blade, enchanted long ago, the Sword of Orion has the ability to store mana so that a caster might draw from the weapon, rather than themselves.
Posted 05 June 2009 - 06:46 PM
Terrible White Dragon, Mainettian
“You are more clever than I thought, if a bit foolish. I find it surprising that you would choose to face a dragon in her own lair, especially knowing that she would take measures that ensure she can follow your progress. Still, you seem to be resourceful and highly intelligent. You therefore must realize that you stand no chance of defeating me, while I hold nearly every advantage. You have exhausted many of your spells and other magical resources, and yet you have not even faced your real enemy. Therefore, I offer you a deal, which I would certainly not recommend interpreting as a sign of weakness. Drop your weapons, your money, your magic, everything that is not actual clothing. Otherwise, I am perfectly willing to engage in combat with you. One way, you escape alive with my blessing, and the other – well, let's just say I haven't had a truly decent snack in a long while.”
– Cryothanix the Ice-Queen
Cryothanix is the most powerful dragon Kaig has ever encountered. A survivor of The Cleansing, the Ice-Queen and her brood have been a constant thorn in the side of all noble and good thinking citizens of Kaig.
It was Cryothanix that dealt the wound to Elrathruul that rendered her blind. It was Cryothanix that tore asunder the gates of Pyronis, so that Dha'kon's forces could swarm into the grand plaza. For the better part of the last one-thousand years, Cryothanix has thwarted all attempts on her life. Yet she has grown fat and complacent. Rarely now does she venture outside of her secret lair, instead she relies on her Kobold worshippers to bring her treasure and food.
Cryothanix is unlike any other whitescale that has walked the earth before. She is highly intelligent, wise and subtle. She thinks and schemes before throwing herself into conflict and never does she throw away that which might be used by, or against her. Any who think to confront Cryothanix is facing a battle they will never walk away from.
Cryothanix can be identified by her usually large skull, and the silver beard that runs from the sides of her draconic chin. Cryothanix in immensely proud of her beard and spends many hours away groom herself, or being groomed by her Kobold worshippers.
The exact location of Cryothanix's lair is a mystery. Many have been those who have followed her back to what is believed to be her lair, only to discover that no lair remains there. One fact it known; she always returns to the mountains after a raid and was once often sighted around the Dwarven Karrags – in fact it was the Dwarves who first encountered Cryothanix during the 38th century when she aided the goblins attacking the northern-most Karrags.
Posted 05 June 2009 - 07:30 PM
Ancient Gold Dragon, Penticanian
“The thing to remember about man, is that he is mortal. Keep this in mind, child, for they are dragon-seekers, bent on improbable rescues. Yet brush aside mankind's mask and you will find a being full of qualms and romantic terrors. He believes change is a threat, without realising that all things change and are changed.”
– Elrathruul the Sightless
With age comes great wisdom and Elrathruul the Sightless has both in surplus. The oldest of all dragons and the mother of many a flight, Elrathruul resides in Pentican, surrounded by tribes of humans; united under her banner. The barbarians worship her as a goddess and guard her from danger, while she in return weaves her magic and teaches them the knowledge she has gained over the centuries.
Long ago, Cryothanix led a goblin invasion of the northern-most Karrags. Despite the Dwarven distrust of Dragons – and their gold-lust – Elrathruul flew to their aid. During a duel with Cryothanix, Elrathruul received a brutal strike from Cryothanix's claws. A strike that robbed Elrathruul of her sight, and forcing her to teleport away and attempt to heal the wound she had received. Elrathruul is the only goldscale known to be residing on Kaig, her offspring and their flights having been destroyed, or fled during the cleansing. Unlike, Claran'nathar, Elrathruul does not hide from human contact, instead she embraces it, often receiving visitors from other lands to request the benefit of her wisdom.
Despite their direct descendant from Claran'nathar, her isolationism meant that Irena and Illiani Dourana were both raised and taught by Elrathruul. Elrathruul often spoke doubts concerning Illiani's quick-temper and stand-offish mannerisms, but Irena always made up for her brother's flaws with her kind and gentle ways.
Posted 05 June 2009 - 07:57 PM
Half-Silver Dragon, Mainettian
“I care not the cost, sister, Thranduul must die!”
– Illiani Dourana the Hoardless
A bitter, angry young half-dragon, Illiani's early life consisted of being shunned from place to place; or hunted by the superstitious people of Kaig. Obsessed with driving back those that would threaten his teacher, Elrathruul the Sightless, and reclusive ancestor, Claran'nathar the Guardian, Illiani will stop at nothing to ensure his goals are met.
Illiani is often seen travelling beneath a heavy robe with his more human-looking sister, Irena the Heartscale whom he adores utterly. By human standards it is hard to measure whether Illiani and his sister are a force of good, or evil: Illiani has mind only for draconic matters, mortal perils are not his concern.
Posted 05 June 2009 - 08:08 PM
Half-Silver Dragon, Mainettian
“If we sacrifice the humans to slay Thranduul, then our souls die with them...”
– Irena Dourana the Heartscale
If Illiani is a warrior, then his sister is a diplomat. Irena is Illiani's ever present conscience, twins the two of them are now inseparable. Yet it was not always this way. When their mother gave birth to twins she abandoned the ugly, twisted creature that was Illiani, while keeping the strangely beautiful Irena. As a result while Illiani was shunned, or hunted, Irena's human looks enabled her to pass through human society without difficulty.
By the time she came of age, Irena had began to learn of her true heritage and so sought out more of 'her kind'. Thus to Elrathruul the Sightless she went and soon met with her lost twin; Illiani. Now the two are defenders of the interests of good dragonkind; always on the hunt from darkscales, or those that would harm those they would protect.
Posted 26 June 2009 - 10:06 AM
Cursed by birth & damned by fate.
Name: Alexia Venator
Base Pace: 8
Base Parry: 6
Base Toughness: 5
Boating: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Riding: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Security: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Throwing: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Swimming: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Gaming: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Investigation: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Knowledge: 1d4 (-2)
Repair: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Streetwise: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Taunt: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Bravery: 1d4 (-1)
Intimidation: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Notice: 1d4 (+2)
Persuasion: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Mainettian Goblinoid (Illiterate)
Alertness: Not much gets by your hero. She’s very observant and perceptive, and adds +2 to her Notice rolls to hear, see, or otherwise sense the world around her.
Assault The character may ignore the multi-action penalty for firing a ranged weapon when moving. In addition she may now fire a ranged weapon when running (but will still suffer the multi-action penalty).
Broken Visions: Alexia has shown the ability to see broken visions of the future. Perhaps with time and the proper training she could learn to control this gift.
Eye For Terrain If you have a good eye for terrain you can quickly figure the best places to set an ambush, or the best routes to take that will avoid likely ambush locations. Your character has a talent for picking good defensive terrain. This Edge gives your character a +2 on Notice rolls to spot an ambush. When setting an ambush, you and all your allies have a +2 on their Stealth rolls to remain hidden.
Quick: Your character was born with lightning-fast reflexes and a cool head. Whenever you are roll a 10 or less for Initiative, you may re-roll until you get a result higher than 10. Level Headed characters make their additional roll and take the best before using this Edge.
Broken: Those who have been tainted by the Daemon are a broken people who cannot live to their full potential. All Daemon-Tainted must select a Major Hindrance at character creation, for which they will gain no bonus Build Points. This Hindrance will not count towards a character's maximum number of Hindrances.
Daemonic Tongue There is a natural understanding between those of Daemonic heritage. A language that has no origins, nor does it have any true spoken element; conversation exists in the mind. Barathri-as those of academic understanding have named it-is a language that just simply is. All Daemon-Tainted characters begin with the Barathri innate language. An innate language cannot be spoken, nor can it be written, yet oddly those who hear/read it can understand it to the fullest.
Daemon Resistance Daemonic entities come in many shapes and sizes. Very few Daemons are the same and it is this variety that gives the Daemon-Tainted character their most unpredictable weapon. All Daemon-Tainted characters begin with a single 2 point resistance to one element of their choice, excluding Bludgeoning, Slashing & Piercing. Up to 3 more elements may be chosen, but at the cost of either 2 more Minor Hindrances, or 2 Build Points each. Note that these Hindrances do not count towards a character's maximum.
Eyes of the Dark: All Daemon-Tainted possess Infravision, 60 ft. Infravision allows the character to see the heat given out by living creatures. Infravision is only active when the character wills it, however should sudden bright light contact the eyes of a character while Infravision is active they will be blinded for a round.
Evil Presence The children of Unsando cannot stand the Daemon. They feel uncomfortable around those with Daemonic blood and find their presence difficult to endure. Even those who have travelled with a Daemoniacally tainted being describe how they could never fully feel at ease around the person. All Daemon-Tainted characters begin with the Outsider Hindrance and will appear as being Evil to any spells that detect such. This Hindrance does not count towards a character's maximum number of Hindrances.
Hunted: The Theocracy of Kaig actively hunts the Witch; the Daemon and the Undead. Seeking out and destroying those who reveal unnatural, or unholy, tendencies. Unfortunately for a Daemoniacally Tainted individual this means they have been born to a life on the run-regardless of whether the taint was their fault or not. All Daemon-Tainted characters suffer from the 'Enemy (Major): Theocracy of Kaig' hindrance. This Hindrance does not count towards a character's maximum.
Inhuman Agility: Daemon-Tainted seem to move with inhuman flexibility. Part of this comes from the double-jointed nature of their bodies, but most of it stems from the Daemonic Taint flowing through their veins. They are, after all, not human. All Daemon-Tainted characters are double jointed and start with a base Agility of d6 rather than the d4 of humans.
Insane The mind of a Daemon-Tainted is a fragile one, easily broken and difficult to repair. All Daemon-Tainted characters begin with a Sanity Modifier of -1, instead of 0, and any test made to cure Sanity Modifiers from a Daemon-Tainted suffer a -2 penalty.
Naturally Lethal The hands and feet of a Daemon-Tainted end in very sharp claws. Daemon-Tainted characters deal 1d3+Strength damage in unarmed-melee, in addition, this damage is considered Lethal.
Unnatural Celerity The Daemon-Tainted naturally move with a speed not possessed by even the fastest human. The Daemon-Tainted start with a Base Pace of 8 and roll 1d10 when making a run action. This can be combined with the 'Fleet of Foot' Edge for a Base Pace of 10 and an addition 1d12 when making the Run action.
Unnatural Hunger: Alexia may only eat that which she herself has slain.
Clueless (Major): Your hero isn’t as aware of his world as most others. She suffers -2 to Knowledge tests.
Curious: It killed the cat, and it might kill you as well. Curious characters are easily dragged into any adventure. They have to check out everything and always want to know what’s behind a potential mystery.
Heartless: The character isn’t necessarily Bloodthirsty (though she might be), but she is willing to commit murder to further her own goals. She doesn’t take glee in killing but doesn’t let it stand in her way either.
Outsider:In the closed societies that make up for many of the locales in Kaig to be different is to be shunned. People are likely to raise prices on the Outsider, ignore pleas for help, and generally treat her as if he’s of a lower class than the rest of their society. In addition to the role-playing effects above, your hero’s Charisma suffers a -2 modifier among all but her own people.
Wanted (Major) – The Theocracy of Kaig: Your hero has committed some crime in his past and will be arrested if discovered by the authorities.
Wanted (Minor) – Unknown Cult: Your hero has committed some crime in his past and will be arrested if discovered by the authorities.
Weak Willed: The character is more a sheep than a shepherd, and is easily led astray. The character suffers a –2 to trait rolls when trying to oppose any arcane power and to Tests of Will.
Patched Hide Robe
Coverage: Body, Legs & Arms
Notes: Cannot be repaired, originally had protection +1
Patched Hide Hood
Notice Penalty: -1
Notes: Cannot be repaired, originally had protection +1
Blunt Iron Woodcutter's Axe
Damage: Strength + d8 - 1
Qualities: Parry-1, 2-hnd
Notes: Originally had Strength + d8 damage
Bone-Handled Woodman's Knife
Damage: Strength + d4 - 1
Notes: Valued at twice the normal price.
Damage: Strength + d3 - 1
Qualities: Parry-2, Small
Damage: Strength + d3 - 1
Qualities: Parry-2, Small
Fine Leather Gnomic Sling
Damage: Strength + d4 + 1
Qualities: Missile, 0-hnd
Fine Yew Longbow
Damage: d10 + d6
Qualities: d10 Pull, Missile, Crescent-Headed Arrows
Sling Bullets: 16
Crescent-Headed Arrows: 12
Fine Leather Quiver (Max Cap: 30)
Flint & Steel
Oiled Cloth (Tent Sized)
Old Worn Boots
Sir Ivan's Cloak
Spool of Thread
Wolf Fur Cloak
17 Mainettian Tin Coins
6 Mainettian Copper Coins
Posted 26 June 2009 - 10:23 AM
Bound by honour & blighted by deed.
Name: Sir Briar Moss of House Pendragoon
Race: Human (Pendragoonian)
Religion: Warrior Cult (Bjarndyr Bjorn Bera)
Base Pace: 6
Base Parry: 8
Base Toughness: 7 + 1
Boating: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Fighting: 1d12 (capped)
Security: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Shooting: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Stealth: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Throwing: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Climbing: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Swimming: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Gaming: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Investigation: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Streetwise: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Survival: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Taunt: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Tracking: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
Intimidation: 1d4-2 (unskilled)
First Strike: Moss is truly fearsome in combat. His quick reactions and combination of lightning fast blows make it hazardous for an enemy to approach. Once per turn Moss gets one free Fighting attack against a single enemy who moves adjacent to him. This automatically interrupts the opponent’s action, and does not cost the hero his action if he is on Hold or has not yet acted this round.
Brawny: Moss may be very large or perhaps just very fit. Either way, his bulk resists damage better than most. He adds +1 to his Toughness.
Guardian: Moss may assign himself to being a bodyguard or just devote to an individual. In either case he can jump in front of attacks intended for another. A guardian must take an action each time he selects a new person to guard. As long as the guardian stays within 1 square of the chosen person, any attack aimed at that person is automatically rolled against the guardian instead. The character receives a Luck Point each time he suffers a wound from such an attack during an encounter. If the guardian soaks the wound, he doesn’t get the Luck Point.
Moss knows the longsword like the back of his hand. When using a longsword, the character adds +1 to his Fighting skill rolls. A hero can take this Edge multiple times, applying it to a different weapon each time.
Able Minded Learners: Humans are among the most versatile races found on Kaig. As a result they gain an extra 2 Build Points at Character Creation.
Stoic: There is a legend in Pendragoon that features a brave native who spat in a Daemon's face rather than beg for mercy. While there is not proof to such a legend, none can doubt the bravery of those born of Pendragoonian stock. All Pendragoonians start with 1d6 in Bravery.
Amnesia (Major): One day Moss woke up and found he could not remember who you are, or what he had done. Moss cannot remember events before leaving Pendragoon
Disowned (Minor): Moss did something shameful or scandalous in the past, bringing shame or embarrassment on his House. As a result, he has been disowned. His House refuses to acknowledge him, and Moss’ starting funds were halved.
Loyal (Minor): Moss may not be a hero, but he’d give his life for his friends. He can never leave a man behind if there’s any chance at all he could help.
Trouble Magnet (Minor): Things never run smoothly for Moss, no matter how hard he tries. At least once per session, the GM should have trouble wander across the hero’s path. This might be someone who recognizes him while he’s trying to infiltrate Theocratical land, some enemy reinforcements joining a battle, or a terrible Aether Storm heading straight for his company.
Iron Rosaceum Venficium Cuirass, with Aketon
Iron Schynbalds, with Aketon and Goussets
The Companion Shield
Base: Heater Shield
Melee Protection: +2
Missile Protection: +1
Qualities: Unknown Enchantment
Damage: Strength + 2d6
Qualities: Hand & 1/2, 2-hnd
Damage: Strength + 2d4
Qualities: Parry-2, Hand & 1/2, 1-hnd
Exquisite Steel Anlace
Damage: Strength + d4 + 3
Bag of Caltrops
Change of Clothes (1)
Flasks of Oil (9)
Flint and Steel
Healers Kit (6 uses)
Silk Rope (50')
17 Mainettian Tin Coins
6 Mainettian Copper Coins
52 Mainettian Silver Coins
Posted 26 June 2009 - 10:59 AM
Trapped in a dream-eternal.
Name: Druce Braeden
Race: Fae-Touched Human
Spell Casting: d8
Shooting: d4-2 (untrained)
Throwing: d4-2 (untrained)
Notice: d4 - Notice Penalty
Fae Touched: As Druce becomes more and more like the Fae he serves he begins to gain their weaknesses. Druce suffers +5 damage from Cold Iron and cannot cast any spells while iron touches his flesh.
The Fae Gift: Thanks to the touch of the Fae, Druce is now somewhat physically weaker than when he first joined with our heroes; but he is also much more closely attuned with the powers of magic.
Mana: 20 points
Calm Beast Spirit: Druce can use this spell to calm those animals who would see him harm, even to the point of having them join his side for a while.
Changing the Dream: Druce can now focus the powers of the Hidden Sea alongside that of The Dreamlands to change the very physical and mental prowess of a mortal being.
Fae Kiss: This spell eases the wounds of Druce's companions and cleanses the area of evil for a short while.
Fae Horror: This spell causes the greatest fear's of those affected to rise up and assail them. It was used to great affect when our heroes first met Thranduul the Destroyer.
Torn Reinforced Ring Infantry Hauberk - Body
Notes: Originally +3 protection
Fine Reinforced Ring Infantry Hauberk - Arms
Fine Reinforced Ring Infantry Hauberk - Legs
Melee Protection: +2
Missile Protection: +2
Fine Silver Boar Spear
Damage: Strength + d6
Qualities: Parry-1, Shield Breach
2 Sacks, small
1 Sack, large
6 Pitons, Iron
Animal CompanionName: Miach
Race: Fae-Touched Dog
Level: 3 (waiting for level 4 adjustments)
Posted 26 June 2009 - 11:14 AM
A servant of two gods & a man of two-worlds.
Name: Father Ga'Elroth Elmida
Race: Half-Elven, Half-Human
Deities: Elont & Claran
Spell Casting: d6
Throwing: d4-4 (untrained)
Notice: d4 - Notice Penalty
Fae Touched: Due to the events in the dreamlands Ga'Elroth is no longer dedicated only to the god of war, Elont, but now also to the forbidden goddess of Rebirth; Claran.
Half-Elven: Due to Ga'Elroth's elven heritage he can see much further at night than any of his companions.
One-Eye: Ga'Elroth suffers a -2 penalty on all tasks involving depth perception.
Mana: 15 points
The Hammer of Elont: Ga'Elroth can cast this spell to summon into his hand a magical warhammer of varying power.
The Touch of Claran: This spell enables Ga'Elroth to heal the wounds of his fellows.
Turning: Ga'Elroth can focus the powers of Claran to force back evil creatures.
Worn Scale Infantry Hauberk - Body
Notes: Originally had +3 protection
Worn Scale Infantry Hauberk - Arms
Notes: Originally had +3 protection
Worn Scale Infantry Hauberk - Legs
Notes: Originally had +2 protection
Cracked Oak Targe
Melee Protection: +2
Missile Protection: -2
Notes:[ Originally had Melee Protection +3
The Cleansing Force
Damage: Strength + d8 + 1
Qualities: Undead+2, Parry-2, AP 2
Holy Symbol of Claran
Holy Symbol of Elont
Posted 26 June 2009 - 11:41 AM
Without a home and denied a birthright.
Name: Lt. Roland Lorentia of House Dominous
Race: Dominousian Human
Spell Casting: d6
Throwing: d4-2 (untrained)
Lock Picking: d6
Notice: d6 - Notice Penalty
Streetwise: d4 + Charisma
Forward The Charge: Once per round Roland may, as a Free Action, allow one of his companions to make a Spirit check to break out of the Shaken state.
Mana: 10 points
Detect/Conceal Arcana: This spell allows Roland to spy where magical presence lies, if reversed it allows his to conceal magical presences - useful for when he has to hide his own magical abilities.
Eagle's Speed: This spell allows Roland to increase the speed in which he, or one of his companions, moves. It can be very useful when fleeing powerful foes.
Flame Bolt: This offensive spell can create up to 4 bolts of varying power which promptly fly towards Roland's foes. It is seen used to great affect when saving Moss from the Wolves and when Thranduul the Destroyer was first encountered.
Guardian's Light: This passive spell summons forth a globe of light to hover over the target's head.
Fine Iron Mail Cavalry Hauberk - Body
Fine Iron Mail Cavalry Hauberk - Arms
Fine Iron Mail Cavalry Hauberk - Legs
Fine Iron Mail Coif
Notice Penalty: -2
The Awakener's Blade
Damage: Strength + 2d6 + 1
Qualities: Ench+1, Hand & 1/2, 2-hnd
Damage: Strength + 2d4 + 1
Qualities: Ench+1, Parry-2, Hand & 1/2, 1-hnd
Light Quarrels: 6
Astroframe™ leather backpack, with steel-frame
Flint & Steel
50-ft Rope, standard
35 Mainettian Tin Coins (0.0026 silver weight)
164 Mainettian Copper Coins (1.23 silver weight)
23 Mainettian Silver Coins (17.25 silver weight)
3 Mainettian Half-Gold Coins (112.5 silver weight)
Posted 05 July 2009 - 06:26 PM
Seeking a cure for a dreaming disease.
Name: Lady Carolynn of House Rainecourt
Race: Fairweathan Human
Deity: Claran & Apothecaria
Spell Casting: d8
Throwing: d4-2 (untrained)
Mana: 15 points
The Touch of Claran: This spell enables Carolyn to heal the wounds of her fellows.
The Wings of Faith: This spell surrounds Carolyn in a protective aura that makes her harder to successfully strike.
Old Coat of Iron Plates
The Rainecourt Legacy
Damage: Strength + d10 + 1 + 2 (cold based)
Qualities: IceElem+2, Reach 2, Parry-1, Trip+1, 2-hnd
Fine Silver Misericorde
Damage: Strength + d3 - 1
Qualities: Silver, AP 3, Parry-1
Notes: Worth double value.
Damage: Strength + 2d6
Qualities: Hand & 1/2, 2-hnd
Damage: Strength + 2d4
Qualities: Parry-2, Hand & 1/2, 1-hnd
Iron Ox Tongue Spear
Damage: Strength + d8 + 1
Qualities: Reach 2, Parry-1, Trip+1, 2-hnd
Holy Symbol of Apothecaria
20 Mainettian Tin Coins (0.0015 silver weight)
3 Mainettian Silver Coins (2.25 silver weight)
Banked Funds: 152 silver weight
Animal CompanionName: Tristan
Race: War-Trained Horse
Notice: d6 - Notice Penalty
Notice Penalty: -1
2-Man Leather Tent
3 Torches (15-ft. light radius, lasts 1 hour)
Flint & Steel
Small Iron Pot
50 ft. Light Rope
Medical Supplies (10-uses remain)
Mortar & Pestle
Mainettian Field Spider Antidote (3 doses)
Mainettian Cave Spider Antidote (3 doses)
Mainettian Rope Spider Antidote (2 doses)
Mainettian Field Snake Antidote (3 doses)
180 Mainettian Tin Coins (0.0135 silver weight)
268 Mainettian Copper Coins (2.01 silver weight)
90 Mainettian Silver Coins (67.5 silver weight)
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