Sunday, April 26, 2015

Dromites of the Broken World

For most of their history, Dromites were of a single, unified hive mind. This great hive mind operated as if each individual dromite was simply an insignificant part of the greater whole of itself. However, when their hive city collapsed during the breaking, killing so many of them, the weakened Hive mind imbued individuality to the Dromites, and changed their life and breeding cycles.

Dromite society is a new creation, but a unique one. Dromites are asexual, being neither female nor male, except in the case of the Hive Queen and Hive Consorts. In this situation, rituals are performed that grant gender and reproductive capabilities. The royal couple form a council with the leaders of each caste of dromites within each of the newly established Hive cities. These councils rule for 10 years, and after this time the king and queen retire, another ritual removing their gender characteristics, and a new royal couple is selected. The only limit on the amount of royal couples that can be created is that a large number of Dromite's in the city necessary to provide the background psionic energy to sustain the transformation. At this stage, only 5 Hive cities are large enough to allow a royal couple, but they work together to monito their populations, and decide if and when a sixth city can be founded.

Despite their communal living arrangements and breeding requirements, fully a quarter of Dromites strike out from the Wastes that they call home, and learn from other races. They usually return home to their Hive cities at some point, where they are welcomed with open arms.

The caste of a Dromite is easily recognized by the coloration of the carapace: red for Fire Caste, pale blue for Ice Caste, white for Voice Caste, and green for Glimmer Caste. The skin of the dromite not covered by chitin ranges from a pale white to a dark tan. Dromites have faceted eyes which often shine with a psionic energy, and large antennae that constantly quiver. Their small mouths are devoid of external mandibles, but when eating, small internal mandibles are used to help eat. Dromites have three fingers and a thumb, each covered in a pointed carapace, with the same for their four toes.

Dromites are not as long lived as other races, but are an incredibly fecund race. Each queen can lay 1 or 2 eggs a day, and a Dromite is mature within 10 years. Dromites are raised by broodwardens, and as their carapace hardens and reveals their caste, they are sent to learn from family units. Family units are 2-7 Dromites that live communally and have formed close bonds, more than friendship alone.

Adulthood: 10 years
Middle age: 25 years
Old: 35 years
Venerable: 50 Years
Maximum age +2d4 years

A Note on Names Dromites have no gender, and thus their names are not divided between male and female. Generally, a dromite has a personal name, a caste name, and a homestead name - typically a hive city.
Personal Names Niks, Rask, Sask, Neksak, Leksa, Heneks, Seleks, Seksa, Aksa, Olak, Leik, Svek, Hakkor.
Caste Names Fire, Glimmer, Ice, Shatter, Thunder, Flash, Lightning, Sunspark, Icespear, Stormstrike.

  • +2 Charisma, +2 Dexterity, –2 Strength: Dromites are self-willed go-getters and naturally agile, but are weaker due to their small size.
  • Insectoid Blood: Dromites are of the humanoid (insectoid) subtype.
  • Small: Dromites are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
  • Slow Speed: Dromites have a base speed of 20 feet.
  • Chitin: Dromites receive a +1 natural armor bonus and one of the following kinds of energy resistance of their choice at creation: cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5, or sonic 5. This choice is permanent and stacks with any future energy resistance gained through other effects.
  • Naturally Psionic: Dromites gain the Wild Talent feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. If a dromite takes levels in a psionic class, he instead gains the Psionic Talent feat.
  • Dromite Psionics: Dromites gain the following psi-like ability: 1/day—energy ray. A dromite always deals the kind of energy damage that its chitin has resistance to (for example, a dromite who has resistance to cold 5 deals cold damage with its energy ray). The manifester level for this effect is equal to 1/2 the dromite's level (minimum 1st).
  • Scent (Ex): This special quality allows a dromite to detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell. Dromites with the scent ability can identify familiar odors just as humans do familiar sights. Dromites can detect opponents within 30 feet by sense of smell. If the opponent is upwind, the range increases to 60 feet; if downwind, it drops to 15 feet. Strong scents, such as smoke or rotting garbage, can be detected at twice the ranges noted above. Overpowering scents, such as skunk musk or troglodyte stench, can be detected at triple normal range. When a dromite detects a scent, the exact location of the source is not revealed—only its presence somewhere within range. The dromite can take a move action to note the direction of the scent. When the dromite is within 5 feet of the source, it pinpoints the source's location.
    A dromite with the scent ability can follow tracks by smell, making a Wisdom (or Survival) check to find or follow a track. The typical DC for a fresh trail is 10 (no matter what kind of surface holds the scent). This DC increases or decreases depending on how strong the quarry's odor is, the number of creatures, and the age of the trail. For each hour that the trail is cold, the DC increases by 2. The ability otherwise follows the rules for the Survival skill. Dromites tracking by scent ignore the effects of surface conditions and poor visibility.
  • Compound Eyes: Dromites receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
  • Psionic Aptitude: When a dromite takes a level in a favored class, it can choose to gain an additional power point instead of a hit point or skill point.
  • Languages: Dromites begin play speaking Common, as prior to the breaking they were of a single mind and had no need for language, they have had to adopt the human common language.
  • Maenads of the Broken World

    Maenad are a race born of divine rage and pain. Their emotional states are akin to a tempest, even as they struggle to retain an outward faƧade of calm. Small in number, they breed true with themselves and sometimes with humans. any children born of a Human-Maenad pairing have an equal chance of being a member of either parent race. There are no Half-Maenads, as one parentage is dominant.

    When the god of arcane magic, Uthirian, committed suicide, his spellstorm ripped through his followers battling in Northire. The arcane practitioners lost their magic, and were infected with insanity and rage. It also slightly changed their physical bodies, making the typical Northiran ethnic build more solid and taller. When they calmed, their former enemies found that their memories were gone, but that their former arcane potential had left a void filled naturally by psionics.

    Maenad culture is incredibly similar to old Northiran with a few differences. Maenad's can appear stilted and formal to some other races, and many consider them a little too reserved. This is a cultural adaptation to the raging emotions inside them, as they speak and act in such away to make their intentions perfectly clear and logical to prevent causing offense.

    Maenad's have spread out, but are still more common in areas formerly held by Northire. They are also common in Maryx, secretly holding the reigns through a network of psionic thrallherds controlling from behind the scenes.

    Wilders are especially common amongst Maenad psionic characters, as the emotional release is appealing to many of them.

  • +2 to one ability score: Maenads gain a +2 bonus to one ability score chosen at creation, to represent their varied nature.
  • Medium: Maenads are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Maenads have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Naturally Psionic: Maenads gain the Wild Talent feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. If a maenad takes levels in a psionic class, he instead gains the Psionic Talent feat.
  • Maenad Psionics: Maenad gain the following psi-like ability. 1/day—energy ray. A maenad can deal only sonic damage with this ability. It is accompanied by a tremendous scream of rage. The manifester level is equal to 1/2 Hit Dice (minimum 1st). The DC for this power is equal to 10 + the power's level + the maenad's Charisma modifier.
  • Sonic Affinity: Maenads add a +1 to the DC of any spell or power with the sonic descriptor.
  • Outburst: Maenads can dampen their mental processes for an increase in raw power called an outburst. As a result, they take a -2 penalty to Intelligence and Wisdom but gain a +2 bonus to Strength. The character must spend one power point at the beginning of each round during an outburst and may stop an outburst at any time.
  • Inner Rage: Maenads are able to rage one additional round per day should they have the rage ability and they gain an additional round per day every odd character level. In addition to using these rounds for rage, maenads may use them to fuel their outburst, instead of power points.
  • Psionic Aptitude: When a maenad takes a level in a favored class, he can choose to gain an additional power point instead of a hit point or skill point.
  •  Calming Training: Maened gain a +2 racial bonus to Autohypnosis tests, and a +1 bonus to will saves that effect their emotional states.
  • Weapon Familiarity: Maenads are proficient with flails. Maenads treat any weapon with the word “maenad” in the name as a martial weapon rather than an exotic one.
  • Languages: Maenads begin play speaking Common and Maenad.
  • Saturday, April 25, 2015

    Ophiduans of the Broken World

    The most ancient of races, the Ophiduans are a society that has existed for untold millennia, going through multiple rises and falls. The current Ophiduan empires of Sytheros and Sytheria are considered parts of the 7th age of Ophiduans. Ophiduan's worry that their race is now in a terminal decline, though some believe they are merely at the lowest nadir of their cycle of destruction and restoration.

    Society is a ruthless meritocracy. Those that show use and power rise to the top, and those that fail are shunted to the lowest rungs. Ophiduan children are raised communally by brood-keepers, and the concept of family is alien to them, making them highly individualistic. However, they are not necessarily cruel, believing that anyone can turn their lives around with dedication and opportunity.

    Sytheria and Sytheros are closely aligned, though Sytheros has a more aggressive bent than Sytheria, and Sytheria a more diplomatic outlook. There is tension, but no real bad blood between the two nations, as they prefer to deal with each other than any other nation.

    Ophiduan obsession with success and self improvement coupled with their tenuous position as a race, has made some Ophiduans incredibly bitter towards other races. There is a small, but not insignificant faction that blames humanity for the breaking, and speaks of a glorious war of genocide. Most Ophiduans see this as ridiculous and unrealistic, but many younger Ophiduans have a sympathetic ear.

    Sisthassian is a sibilant language that many non-ophiduans find difficult to master, as tone and length of sounds vary wildly in tense and structure. Also, the language uses vocal clicks that are hard to duplicate without Ophiduan vocal cords.

    Ophiduans are a long lived, but slow breeding race. The typical Ophiduan matures quickly, reaching adulthood at approximately 25 years of age, but they age slowly once mature, staying vital for much longer than any other race. Ophiduans can also fall into a deep torpor for close to a decade, ageing the equivalent of one year physically during this time. It is not unheard of for Ophiduans to reach 4 centuries of age.

    Physical Description Reptilian scales cover the ophiduans' hairless bodies, and their yellow, slitted eyes and sharp teeth give them a striking appearance. They stand tall, often a head above most humans, but are typically slimmer than humans, being lithe in build. Ophiduans have no ears, and their ridged brows are often what define their face. Most ophiduans are green-scaled, but there are those of blue, purple, black, or yellow in tone, a trait which is often passed along to progeny. The only common color among all ophiduans is the dull grey of their stomachs, which reflects their common ancestry.

    Male Names Mixal, Xiphoter, Maxev, Ioxua, Iaxot, Nixokas, Antax, Tanix, Tyxor, Kraxan.

    Female Names Azlei, Iezi, Sazari, Krizani, Emizi, Samazi, Amazi, Kazeri, Mezan, Kriza.

    Ageing table:

    Adult: 25 years
    Middle age: 200 years
    Old age: 300 years
    Venerable: 350 years
    Maximum: 350 + D%

  • +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, –2 Charisma: Ophiduans are lithe, quick, and intuitive, but cold in demeanor and monstrous in appearance.
  • Reptilian Blood: Ophiduans are of the humanoid (reptilian) subtype
  • Medium: Ophiduans are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Ophiduans have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Scaled Hide: An ophiduan's skin is hardened scales and grants the character a +1 natural armor bonus to AC.
  • Naturally Psionic: Ophiduans gain the Wild Talent feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. If an ophiduan takes levels in a psionic class, he instead gains the Psionic Talent feat.
  • Serpent's Bite (Ps): Once per day, an ophiduan can alter his jaws, gaining a bite attack that deals 1d8 points of damage, plus an extra 1d8 points of damage per fve character levels beyond 1st. This effect lasts for 1 minute. The manifester level is equal to the ophiduan's level.
  • Darkvision: Ophiduans can see in the dark up to 60 feet due to heat sensing pits along their jawlines and psionic senses.
  • Poison Resistant: Ophiduans gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison.
  • Psionic Aptitude: When an ophiduan takes a level in a favored class, he can choose to gain an additional power point instead of a hit point or skill point.
  • Weapon Familiarity: Ophiduans treat any weapon with the word “ophiduan” in the name as a martial weapon rather than an exotic one.
  • Languages: Ophiduans begin play speaking Common and Ophiduan.

  • Elves of the Broken World

    Elves were an unimportant race, never high in number, and politically isolated. However, they escaped the breaking relatively unharmed, and are now growing in power in their region. Whilst not as xenophobic as the Dwarves they were isolationist, but are now beginning to spread out into the world.

    Elven culture is best described as three allied subcultures.

    The most numerous is the Quesaran, those that live in cities and settlements around and on the lower sections of their central mountain range. These Elves are the most welcoming to outsiders, and openly curious, but cautious.

    The Ilthunwe are those elven tribes that live deep in the Ilthun forest which surrounds the central mountain range. They consider themselves wardens of this sacred wood, and have a deeply connected druidic tradtion. They are distrustful of outsiders, but will guide them through the woods to the lands of the Quesarans.

    High on the peaks of the mountain ranges in secluded monastaries live the Ascetics, the most psionically talented and least numerous of the elven people. They welcome outsiders to study with them towards psionic enlightenment.

  • Ability Score Racial Traits: Elves are nimble, both in body and mind, but their form is frail. They gain +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, and –2 Constitution.
  • Size: Elves are Medium creatures and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Type: Elves are Humanoids with the elf subtype.
  • Base Speed: Elves have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Languages: Elves begin play speaking Common and Elven.
  • Elven Immunities: Elves are immune to natural diseases and gain a +2 racial saving throw bonus against Telepathy powers and effects.
  • Keen Senses: Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
  • Weapon Familiarity: Elves are proficient with longbows (including composite longbows), longswords, rapiers, and shortbows (including composite shortbows), and treat any weapon with the word “elven” in its name as a martial weapon.
  • Low-Light Vision: Elves can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
  • Elven Training: Choice of:
  • Elven Psionics: Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Manifester level checks made to overcome power resistance. In addition, elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Psicraft skill checks made to identify the properties of psionic items.
  •  OR
  •  Elven Druidism: Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance. In addition, elves receive a +2 racial bonus on knowledge: Nature.
  •  OR
  •  Silent Hunter: Elves are renowned for their subtlety and skill. Elves with this racial trait reduce the penalty for using Stealth while moving by 5 and can make Stealth checks while running at a –20 penalty (this number includes the penalty reduction from this racial trait).
  •  OR
  •  Graceful: Elves are renowned for their grace and fluid movements. Elves with this racial trait gain a +2 racial bonus on Acrobatics and Perform (dance) skill checks.

  • Flavour changes:

    Elven lifespan is comparable to humans.
    Elven culture has existed around the same time as human culture.
    Elves sleep and dream.

    Dwarves of the Broken World

    Dwarves lived for centuries behind their insurmountable walls of stone and magic. However, during the breaking, the Hungering ripped through their populace, turning many of them into slavering undead creatures, forcing them into a wide diaspora as they fled their homelands.

    Now, Dwarves have integrated into all other societies as traders, merchants and craftsmen. Dwarven culture is torn between those that have settled into their new enclaves (Dokari), those that wander and trade (Vetakis), and those that try to fully integrate into their new societies (Imbrukar).

    The Dokari consider themselves "True Dwarves" and attempt to keep old traditions of isolation, family loyalty and clan culture. Though they deal with outsiders, they resist integrating fully into their new cultures, trying to keep their culture alive.

    The Vetakis are the wandering traders, and their caravan trains are renowned for security and reliability. Each caravan train is almost a clan unto itself, and each has their own unique traditions and quirks.

    "Imbrukar" began as a pejorative slur for those dwarves who abandoned the old ways. Now many such dwarves use the term with pride.

    The three subcultures intermarry often, and are not fixed absolutely.

  • Ability Score Racial Traits: Dwarves are both tough and wise, but also a bit reserved. They gain +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, and –2 Charisma.
  • Size: Dwarves are Medium creatures and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Type: Dwarves are humanoids with the dwarf subtype.
  • Base Speed: (Slow and Steady) Dwarves have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
  • Languages: Dwarves begin play speaking Common and Dwarven.
  • Defensive Training: Dwarves gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the undead type.
  • Hardy: Dwarves gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison, psionics, and psi-like abilities.
  • Stability: Dwarves gain a +4 racial bonus to their Combat Maneuver Defense when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt while standing on the ground.
  • Lorekeeper: Dwarves keep extensive records about their history and the world around them. Dwarves with this racial trait receive a +2 racial bonus on Knowledge (history) checks that pertain to dwarves or their enemies. They can make such skill checks untrained.
  • Mercantile: Dwarves gain +2 bonus to appraise checks and diplomacy checks during any negotiations involving the exchange of goods or services.
  • Sense Undead: Dwarves can sense undead up to 60 feet with a successful perception check The DC is equal to 10+ creature CR+ Creature Cha bonus. A successful check denotes the presence of undead, but not specific location. This is an immediate action check, with no activation required. A psionic dwarven character can spend one Power point to try to pinpoint the creature at a -5 to the check.
  • Hatred: Dwarves gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against creatures of the Undead subtype because of their special training against these foes.
  • Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves are proficient with battleaxes, heavy picks, and warhammers, and treat any weapon with the word “dwarven” in its name as a martial weapon.

  • Human Ethnicities

    So, after 2 weeks of no updates, it is time to kick off Races, starting with humans.

    Humans are the most populous of all the races on the continent, and are also the most diverse. Even in the lands of the Elves and Ophiduans, Humans are not too uncommon. However, Humans are also the most politically fractious race, seeing themselves separated by national borders and ideologies more than any other race.

    Humans fall broadly into 6 different ethnicities. These are described by traditional area and physicality below, as well as stereotypes associated by others.

    Deeram: Short, blonde/light hair tones, pale skin tones with blue to green eye colour being common. Traditionally from  central to central-northern areas. Deeram folk are traditionally seen as calm and level headed types.

    Shenite: Short, pale skin, curled or wavy dark hair and dark eyes. Traditionally from western and north-western areas. Often perceived as imperious, and many consider themselves the prime human race.

    Terichlan: Lean, average height, dusky skin tone, no facial hair with dark hair tones and angular features. geographically separated from most of humanity for so long in Terichticlan. This ethnicity is often the source of many strange rumours.

    Erfanic: Powerfully built, varying pale to olive skin tones with reddish brown hair hues. Found mostly in eastern and north-eastern areas. Often considered brutish and blunt.

    Wastile: Dark skin tones, straight black hair and medium heights and builds. Wastile have a reputation as liars and shrewd negotiators. usually found in Bax and the fringes of the Wastes.

    Northiran: Powerfully built, with varied hair hues and thick hair. Skin tones are usually on the darker end of medium and tan easily. This ethnicity is seen as either docile or imperious depending on social class.

    The different ethnicities have no racial modifiers or abilities to differentiate themselves, but will have access to slightly different ancestry traits, and possibly even feats. Human ethnicities are mostly for character development and flavour, as well as showing a diversity in the race with the largest population.

    This is a flexible and by no means final list, and I may add some at a later date.

    Sunday, April 12, 2015

    Political landscape 200(ish) years post breaking

    So here is the working post apocalypse world.

    Isle of dreams: This island off the Western coast was part of the Astorina Imperium until it was swallowed into the raging cyclone. With the cyclone finally beginning to abate and move, the isle was freed again, revealing a hardy people that had survived in the eye.

    Hastrix: Hastrix took the opportunity to move against the Astorina Imperium following the Breaking, and now controls the northern edge of the Imperium. (Language: Hastran, Imperial. Culture: Hastran/Imperial. Government: Monarchy)

    Broken Horn: Another former holding of Astorina, the 2nd great peninsula is now an island, self governed by a council of those still faithful to the gods. It is isolated both geographically and politically from the rest of the continent now. The council, and the people, are of the belief that turning back to the gods will heal the world.(Language: Imperial. Culture:Eclectic. Government: Theocracy)

    The Astorina Imperium: Despite crippling setbacks, the empire still survives, ruled by the Astori. Much of it's former glory and power has faded, and the population still suffers the occasional outbreak of the rotting. Many Noble families have seceded, forcing the Astori to elevate ruthless mercantile families to noble status. There is also now a parliament to advise the Emperor, though both the imperial and parliamentary factions wield equal power in an uneasy alliance. (Language: Imperial. Culture: Imperial. Government: Constitutional Monarchy)

    Lize: Once the Anchored Duchy, a former duke proclaimed himself Duke-Admiral after cowing other surviving duchies and absorbing them. Lize still commands the most powerful navy in the world, and tests the water's and borders of its neighbours constantly. (Language: Imperial. Culture: Aexen. Government: Monarchy)

    The Kingdom of Zynos: When the nation of Zynos was cleft in twain by the gods, millions died and were misplaced. the survivors and the military forces claimed lands traditionally held by the southern Bule and northern Zene and has survived, although barely. (Language: Zynan Culture: Zynan. Government: Monarchy)

    Republic of Mynar: Mynar was also cleft in twain by the gods, but the area that was taken was sparsely populated woodlands. Mynar has continued as a democracy, and has slowly claimed lands abandoned by the abandonment of Zynos.

    Caliphate of Bax: When the Breaking was over, Bax was in a strong position. Much of its military remained, and it occupied lands held by Kile and southern Zene. However, within 2 decades of the breaking, the 4 oases that provided the lifeblood in the desert turned salty and poisoned, forcing them to abandon lands as the wastes began to expand. The Caliphate holds none of its former holdings, and the ruling caliphs contend with a disloyal populace. Culture: Baxish/ Aexen. Language: Arasac/Imperial. Government: Allied Monarchies)

    Unbroken Duchy of Nove: Nove claims itself the sole remaining "true Duchy", having claimed no extra lands or cowed any other duchy. Many families of dukes deposed or conquered survive here, dreaming of one day reforming the duchies again. But Nove is a dying nation, with the crater to the north, the stronger nations of Astorina to the west and Bax to the east. But worst, the wastes to the south, which every year creep in, taking more lands, threatening to wipe Nove off the map forever.(Language: Imperial. Culture: Aexen. Government: Monarchic Oligarchy)

    The Salt Marshes: After the huge Tsunami shattered most of Sytheria to the north-east, the waters receded, leaving salty marshlands now ruled by Lizardfolk; degenerate cousins of the Ophiduans.

    Sytheros: The lands of western Sytheria had long held dissenting tribes of Ophiduans of a more aggressive bent. After the Tsunami, Sytheros broke away from Sytheria and formed an independent nation of Ophiduans. These Ophiduans see the breaking as the fault of humanity, and still harbour great anger in regards to it. Sytheros considers itself an ally to Sytheria, but is still fiercely independent. (Language Sisthassian. Culture: Ophiduan. Government: Meritocracy)

    Sytheria: Now controlling less than a quarter of the land it used to, the nation of Sytheria consists of the last great jungle that the Ophiduans call home. The ophiduans now research ways to increase their reproduction rates to try to recover before they are outbred by the younger races. (Language Sisthassian. Culture: Ophiduan. Government: Meritocracy)

    Quesaras: During the breaking, the Elves suffered the least, and have cautiously expanded their borders to the north and south.

    Umbractlan: Having put their priest-kings to death after the Breaking, the survivors of Tecnocticlan fled from the eternal night to the land that still received daylight, as well as the shadowy strip of twilight. IT is now ruled by a psionic council from the walled city of Penumbricht.(Language: Honichtic. Culture: Kerichtic. Government: Psionocracy)

    The Hordelands:  this barren and unhospitable wilderness houses tribes of goblinoids and other monsters. No unifying form of government exists in this wild land.
    The Hungering Lands: Formerly Thehn, these lands are filled with the remnants of Dwarven culture and glory, as well as the Hungering, zombie-like dwarves that occasionally push into the neighbouring wastes and nations, searching for new flesh to consume and increase their numbers.

    True Maryx: The new nation is made up of the free Hobgoblins that remain of Maryx. They viciously oppose Maryx, and defend their borders from incursions from the Hungering. (Language: Goblin. Culture: Hobgoblin. Government: Dictatorship.)

    Maryx: To the untrained eye, it would appear that the Maenad are a servitor race to the Hobgoblins in Maryx. However, the Maened are the true power, controlling with subtle psionic manipulation and Thrallherders. (Language: Goblin/Northiran. Culture: Hobgoblin/Northir. Government: Dictatorship/Psionocracy.)

    The Reborn Lands: After the raging volcano began to calm, it left behind rich fertile volcanic soil in what was the edge of south-western Northire, as well as new lands risen from the sea floor. The Maened, Humans, Dwarves and Elves of this land work in concert to reseed the lands here with lush forests and farmlands. The ash fields still dominate the centre of their lands, but each year the volcano quiets a little more, ceding new lands to this new nation. (Language: No official. Culture: No official. Government: Council.)

    Northire: This western nation is all that remains of old Northire. The arcane has been replaced by the psionic, but in many respects follows the old Northiran concept of the gifted controlling the populace through forced ignorance. (Culture: Northirian. Language: Northir. Government: Psionocracy.)

    Dorial: After the Imperial Mesa was broken, the Eastern side seceded from the Astorina Imperium. The nobles secluded themselves from the rest of the empire to prevent the Rotting from touching their estates. Dorial vigorously defends its borders, and has a strict population limit, banishing those it has no use for. (Language: Imperial. Culture: Imperial. Government: Monarchic council.)

    The Wastes: After the collapse of the Hive city, the surviving Dromite, now imbued with individuality, founded 5 new hive cities, so that no disaster could wipe them out again. The wastes expands it's border's every year, as more land is consumed by the dunes.

    Sunday, April 5, 2015

    The Breaking

    So, I guess it is finally time to discuss the actual events of the breaking.

    This also gives name to what the deities become: Echo gods. Shades of the former power they once wielded, and desperate to regain their former glory.

    After Kile falls, the altars are destroyed and the King of Zynos declares himself God-king, the weakened and wounded gods put aside all previous differences, and decide that mortals need to be punished; both the faithless for turning from them, and the faithful for failing them.

    First, Tavost imbued all other deities with his power of justice and retribution, filling them with righteous fury. Tavost became the first Echo god, sacrificing himself in the name of the justice he felt the world deserved.

    As a test, Vanur focused his will on the twin mountains in the Hordelands known as the Fangs. With divine fury, he shears the top off the two mountains, and throws the rubble high and allows it to land indiscriminately. Few mortals outside the monstrous and savage races of the Hordelands are aware this happens.

    Seeing his success, many deities imbue some portion of their strength in Vanur, making him the strongest, but not sole, instrument of their vengeance. In order, Vanur:

    • Creates a tsunami of immense power and strikes down the nation of Sytheria. the wave recedes, leaving broken lands that form into islands and swampy bayous over the years. Of the survivors, some slowly regress to lizardfolk, but true ophiduans further inland survive.
    • Gouges the very earth of Zynos, clearing the mountains and great gorge from the northern sea to the inner crystal lake, shattering Zynos' strength and slaughtering millions. Salt water rushes to the fresh water of the crystal lake, squickly poisoning the waters.
    • Cracks the large stone mesa in the heart of Astorina that holds estates for the most powerful families.
    • Forms a powerful cyclone off the coast of Astorina that still exists several centuries later, battering and reforming the coast, and cutting the Isle of Dreams off from the mainland.
    • Collapses the hive city of the Dromite Hive mind.
    • Pulls forth a mighty volcano from the sea bed off the south western coast of Northire.
    Dharaka has her vengeance next, and Curses the dwarves, untouched by the war, but never true worshippers. The Hungering strikes, turning many into ravenous undead, and the curse can pass from a simple bite. The dwarves, unprepared, at first try to fight against their own people, but the tide turns so quickly that less than 1 in 5 dwarves finally escapes their walled nation as refugees to the north and south. The Dwarven Diaspora begins.

    Dharaka also curses the lands of Astorina with a hideous rotting curse. Entire villages are wiped out in days, and cities become ghostly vestiges of themselves as funery pyres burn nigh and day to try to halt the spread of the Rotting.

    Reytare weakens foundation stones around the world, and great buildings and palaces begin to topple under their own weight. He also releases many automatons to their own free will and imbues them with murderous rage.

    Harichtlan, who was worshipped solely in his sun aspect in Kerichticlan, cloaks most of the nation in eternal night by the formation of a new small moon. The other moon he knocks off it's orbit, making tides unpredictable. The sun beats hotter in summer now and colder in winter, making seasons harsher.

     Garneae and Ithiriae work in concert. Crops and livestock begin to perish, and their fertility is much reduced, whereas the wilds are imbued with fecundity. Many of the most dangerous beasts are gifted with dangerous mutations, as are the most innocuous of creatures.

    Martov, with her iron sword, takes the fallen armour and weapons of the ages and imbues them with power and rage, sending them out on slaughtering rampages against the world.

    Sularin, in a strange twist, made himself mortal, and went down to the world and is never heard of again.

    Uthirian, driven made with loss and rage, commits suicide, causing arcane magic to go wild and to cause insanity amongst all the arcane practitioners of the world. Powerful Ether storms rip across northire, his pain and rage infecting some of his remaining followers, changing them as their minds break.

    Last of all the gods, Nishtia, who was mother to all others, looked down at the world and saw that through all the horror, the mortals were still fighting. She saw armies marching through Yole, and decided that it had to end. She pulled a stone from her glittering heaven, and with all her rage and pain, struck the earth with it, destroying Yole, and all that fought within its borders.

    Thus, the world was broken.

    Saturday, April 4, 2015

    The Gods

    So, before I go into detail as to the events of the Breaking itself, I thought I would give some context by showing a list of the main deities. Again, this is not a complete list set in stone, but rather a general idea of where my ideas sit.

    I will expand on all of the deities later at a separate date.

    Vanur, God of the Elements.
    Portfolio: The four elements, storms, natural disasters, the weather.
    Domains: Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Destruction, Weather.

    Dharaka, Dark Goddess.
    Portfolio: Death, Disease, Decay, Funerals and Insanity.
    Domains: Death, Chaos, Madness, Darkness, Repose.

    Nishtia, Goddess of the heavens.
    Portfolio: The sky, the stars, the inky void, prophecy.
    Domains: Darkness, Void, Knowledge, Magic, Prophecy.

    Harichtlan, God of the Sun and Moon.
    Portfolio: The sun and moon, protection and trickery
    Domains: Sun, Moon, Protection, Glory, Trickery.

    Tavost, God of justice.
    Portfolio: Justice, revenge, the law, community, the passage of time, royalty
    Domains: Retribution, community, Time, Royalty.

    Garneae, Goddess of the Harvest.
    Portfolio: Harvests, community, farm animals, growth, protection and healing
    Domains: Plant, Animal, Healing, Protection, Community

    Sularin, God of Rivers, lakes and travel.
    Portfolio: Rivers, lakes, Travellers
    Domains: Travel, Water, Charm, Liberation.

    Martov, Goddess of war.
    Portfolio: War.
    Domains: War, Destruction, Luck, Strength

    Reytare, God of craft.
    Portfolio: Craft and creation, Cities, Language
    Domains: Artifice, Magic, Community, Rune.

    Uthiriun, God of Magic.
    Portfolio: Magic, knowledge and learning,
    Domains: Magic, Knowledge, Destruction, Protection.

    Ithiriae, Goddess of the wilds.
    Portfolio: Forests, the wilds, wild animals and plants, the seasons, loneliness.
    Domains: Plant, Animal, Healing, Time, Renewal.

    If you have any suggestions for other deities, or changes to these ones, then please let me know.

    The events that led to the breaking.

    So, I have come up with a rough idea of the series of events that led up to the gods breaking the world. Please be aware that this is VERY rough in terms of narrative and concepts at this stage. I am not 100% happy with it as yet, but I thought I would show it for now.

    I haven't come up with a clear timeline as yet, but from the birth of Delan, to the breaking itself is about 40ish years.

    • Delan is born, a rare naturally psionic human.
    • once an adult, he traels to Sytheria and learns psionic techniques from the Ophiduans. He quickly masters them, and moves on.
    • Delan travels to Quesaras, and founds an ascetic psionic path that some elves follow to this day.
    • Travels on to Kerichticlan. Delan witnesses the fear that the people live under, as well as the horrific sacrificial rituals. He intervenes in one sacrifice, killing a priest of the Sun deity. As he frees the sacrifices, one of them who was a true believer grievously wounds him, and he barely escapes with his life. He learns that even those that suffer under the clergy can defend it.
    • as he recovers, he travels on through the hordelands and sees the savagery that many of the "lesser" races are reduced to. He teaches a few goblins some basic psionic techniques.
    • Travels to the Dwarven lands in disguise. He admires the dwarven focus on clan and family, but dislikes their xenophobia. He reveals himself, and is summarily tossed from the height of the wall into the desert of the Wastes.
    • Delan wanders the wastes, coming into telepathic contact with the Dromite Hive-mind. Curious, the Hive-mind invites him into the hive, and for 5 years they test each other and push each other to greater heights of psionic development, sharing techniques and testing ideas. Delan is intrigued by the fact that although the Hive-mind is intangible and powerful, it does not think of itself as a god, rather a sum of all its parts. They part on good terms when Delan surpasses the hive mind, both having increased in power.
    • Delan travels south into Northire. He finds the methods of the Magocracy distasteful, and sees their arcane power as a crutch. He gathers idealistic followers and leads a small rebellion, but it is quickly crushed, and he barely escapes with his life.
    • Delan decides that magic is a crutch of weak minds, and is used to oppress, whereas the Ophiduans and Dromite Hive-mind live peacefully. In desperation, he begins to Mind Seed middling mages, replacing them with personality copies of himself. He leaves these mind seeds to continue his work, and begins to travel the world again.
    • Delan travels around the continent. Any time he sees oppression, he violently opposes it, resorting to Mind seeding dozens of people in each nation. Unfortunately, he targets many priests, until the gods themselves begin to take notice. Many common folk begin to see this new movement in a positive light.
    • In a series of visions, the gods decree Delan and his followers to be heretics and to be put to death.
    • Open rebellion breaks out in northern Kile, as a priest begins to cleanse entire villages with divine fire. The rebellion is quickly squashed, and the Duchess Dorothea, a priestess, declares a crusade. Many clerics see this as a sign, and all over the world, cleansings begin. Some priests are horrified, and turn away from their religions and become disciples of Delan, giving up holy secrets.
    • Kile, having declared open war on "heretics" attacks the Caliphate of Bax, as well as the Duchy of Yole, which it sees as dens of vice and heresy. The duchies fall into civil war as they begin to take sides in this conflict.
    • Northire becomes an open battlefield of arcane/psionic warfare as the common folk are freely given training in psionics by the followers of Delan.
    • Astorina attempts incursions into the Duchies from the east in the name of "Regional Stability". Sensing weakness in the duchies and the expansionist desires of Astorina, Zynos begins similar conflicts in the west.
    • The duchies of Bule and Zene appeal for aid from the Republic of Mynar. The Mynarese have enough reasons to fear an empowered Zynos that they begin to invade southern Zynos to split the conflict along another front. They also send skirmishers along the western border to resist any incursions from Kile.
    • Despite their Sun Deity directly ordering aid to Kile via divine missives, the arrogant Priest-Kings of Kerichticlan decide that their own power base needs to be consolidated, and ignore the decree and declare neutrality. They know that their deity needs their support as much as they need his.
    • Kile begins to falter as its resources run dry and it is besieged on all fronts.
    • A faction of Ophiduans begin to join with Delan, leaning his new psionic techniques. This influx of highly trained psionics further empowers the freedom fighting movements that further destabilise the nations in conflict.
    • Northire further destabilises as the Arcane faction uses increasingly more violent methods against their own population, whilst the Psionics utilise hit and run tactics against vulnerable targets.
    • The Heirophants in Kile beseech their gods for direct divine aid, promising to turn the world into a theocracy dedicated to their glory. Having lost many followers and feeling their power waning slightly, the gods imbue great power into their heirophants, making them walking Avatars of divine power. Kile begins to turn the tide back.
    • Delan travels to the Cathedral divine and enters into combat with the Heirophants. The battle is long and destroys sacred altar, but the Heirophants are victorious, slaughtering Delan and decaring that all his followers shall be destroyed.
    • A week later, Delan's gambit pays off, as each hierophant falls to the mind seed implanted by his sacrifice, cutting off the flow of divine power, weakening the gods considerably and strengthening the revolutions around the world.
    • Kile falls as the armies of Zynos march in. The king travels to the Cathedral Divine, shattering all the altars and crowning himself the God-King of Thenaria in an act of hubris.
    So there is the basic timeline of events. At this stage it is just a rough draft, and I would REALLY like some feedback in terms of any suggestions or requests for clarification. So let me know any in the comments below.

    Wednesday, April 1, 2015

    Culture Overview: Pre-Breaking

    So, after having roughly hand drawn some maps, I have a basic idea of what the world looked like before the breaking. I then drew borders and started coming up with ideas for different nations and states. So, going from the most North-western and spiralling around, here is an overview of the continent of Thenaria (working title only) prior to the Deity War (working title). These are all just small bites of what is to be developed

    To save time, just assume any names are working titles for now.

    Hastrix: Freshly independent form the Astorina Imperium, this small nation consists of one of the two peninsulas called "The Horns of the world", as well as some small adjoining islands. Having been conquered centuries ago by the Imperium, they never truly cowed. They once again broke free, and have heavily fortified their borders. The dominant language is Hastran, but Imperial is still spoken by almost all the population. (Language: Hastran, Imperial. Culture: Hastran. Government: Monarchy)

    The Astorina Imperium: Once the dominant nation of the continent, the cradle of human civilisation, the Imperium has been in a state of decay and decline for centuries. Now, whilst still powerful, they have lost half of their former territories as successor nations have been birthed from wars of secession. Ruled for over a millennium by the Astori Royal Family, the empire is ordered and ruled by tradition. Their language, Imperial, is the dominant human tongue. (Language: Imperial. Culture: Imperial. Government: Absolute Monarchy)

    The Unified Duchies of Aexe: A grouping of united but independant Duchies. A civil war between two Astori heirs centuries ago gave birth to two separate empires. When the heir, Aexe, that controlled these lands was looking at inheritance, he split the nation between his 8 sons and daughters, naming each Duchy after them. A high Duke or Duchess is elected for a 10 year term from amongst the rulers of each Duchy. (Language: Imperial. Culture: Aexen. Government: Monarchic Oligarchy)

    The Duchies are:
    The Serene Duchy of Yole: The central duchy is bordered on all sides by others, and has never been involved in any conflict. Resource poor, but culturally rich, its main export is art and culture.

    The Glittering Duchy of Seme: The largest and north,western Duchy is known for its valuable gold fields in the northern hills and the crystal blue waters of lake Seme.

    The Anchored Duchy of Lize: This north eastern Duchy has the most highly trained and well supplied navy in the world. Its people are well known for being grounded and sensible.

    The Iron Duchy of Bule: This eastern Duchy holds the Bule mountains, rich in iron and other useful ores, and gems. Bule successfully stopped the expansion of the neighbouring kingdom of Zynos 40 years before.

    The Verdant Duchy of Zene: Containing the Forest of Zene, and bordered by the Neyrwood forest, this Eastern Duchy exports Lumber and wood products throughout the continent.

    The Divine Duchy of Kile: Founded by the most pious of Aexe's children, this south eastern Duchy has many glorious cathedrals, none of which are more wondrous than the Cathedral Divine, Which has shrines and holy relics from all deities worshipped by humans.

    The Unbroken Duchy of Nove: Over the centuries, this south western Duchy has successfully resisted any and all attempts of aggression from the neighbouring Astorina Imperium and the Caliphate of Bax. The Duchie practises mandatory conscription for all citizens for a term of no less than 3 years, making the nation a formidable force.

    The Uniting Duchy of Dake: Containing the city of Highseat, the chair of the United Duchies, this Duchy was founded by the eldest son of Aexe, who took the smallest duchy to show he believed in a united, but independent set of states.

    The Kingdom of Zynos: A nation that can trace its origins as far back as Astorina, this nation is made of lands ceded by the Ophiduans millennia ago. The Dozanyi Mountain range, and the Gorge of Zozun dominate the centre of this nation. The Zynos are an insular people, and prefer to keep contact with other nations to a minimum. (Language: Zynan Culture: Zynan. Government: Monarchy)

    Sytheria: The Ophiduans maintain that once, the entire continent was Sytheria. But over several millenia, they have ceded more and more lands to other more fecund and shorter lived races. Sytheria is now a large nation of tropical jungles in the north western corner of Thenaria, and is even more insular than neighbouring Zynos. (Language Sisthassian. Culture: Ophiduan. Government: Meritocracy)

    Republic of Mynar: This fledgeling nation broke away from Zynos just over a century ago, and is experimenting with a new form of government, Democracy. Only human land owners have the vote, and elections are held every 7 years to form a council. Recently, Councillors have started to band together into ideological alliances, bringing some level of stability to the Council. (Language: Zynan. Culture: Zynan. Government: Democracy)

    Quesaras: The homeland of the elves, it mostly consists of the towering Quesar mountains and the surrounding forest on the western side of the continent between Sytheria and Tecnocticlan. Though the elves have never been expansionists, they fiercely defend their borders.

    Tecnocticlan: This south-eastern nation is a strict Theocracy dedicated to Numar the Sun god. The humans here are in constant fear o being selected for "Ascension", which is a form of ritual sacrifice where the organs are removed magically, leaving the husk to rot in the sun. (Language: Honichtic. Culture: Tecnichtic. Government: Theocracy.)

    The Hordelands:  this barren and unhospitable wilderness houses tribes of goblinoids and other monsters. No unifying form of government exists in this wild land.

    Thehn: Also known as "The walled lands of the Dwarves", this nation is surrounded on all sides by high and unassailable dwarven walls. Inside, the dwarves live in insular clans that hold grudges for centuries for even the most minor of slights. Outsiders are not welcome, and are thrown over the tops of the wall to their deaths. (Culture: Dwarven. Language: Dwarven. Government: Loosely aligned Clans.)

    Army of Maryx: Once the most westerly part of the hordelands, this fledgeling nation of Hobgoblins is expansionist and ruthless. However, with the walled lands of Thehn to the north and the powerful Empire of Northire to the west, chances for expansion are limited. It is ruled by a chief, who rules by right of combat. (Culture: Horde. Language: Goblin. Government: Military Dictatorship.

    Arcane Empire of Northire: A large empire spreading over the south-western continent, this nation was once a vassal to the Astorina imperium, but is now self governing again. It is ruled by mages, and arcane power is the only way to advance in this society. Mages wield such power here, that slaughtering a "mundane" is not illegal. Though sparsely populated, its arcane might allows it to defend its borders. (Culture: Northirian. Language: Northir. Government: Magocracy.

    The Wastes: A large desert on the central south western section of the continent, no nation claims it as part of its domain, except for a northern section which falls under the dominion of the Caliphate of Bax. The Dromite Hive city is contained deep in the inhospitable dunes, and the Dromite hive mind is happy to be left as warden of the wastes.

    Caliphate of Bax: The four great oases in the northern part of the wastes have allowed this small nation of humans to survive. It is a dual culture of desert nomads and walled cities ruled by Caliphs. Though there is no central or unified government, the Caliphs tend to lend support to each other in times of need. (Culture: Baxish. Language: Arasac. Government: Allied Monarchies and tribes)

    So there it is, a VERY brief overview of the continent of Thenaria PRE-breaking. These will be expanded in future, but this is a good starting point.

    At some point, I hope to upload more complete beta versions of the maps i have created as well.