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  • Locked thread
ZeeToo
Feb 20, 2008

I'm a kitty!





The world has broken apart. Made Gods and ancient theurges, wrathful angels and Uncreated Night, all have struggled over the wreck of Heaven, leaving behind lesser inheritor nations and broken Realms. But there is something new in the world. People, great or small, enlightened or mundane, have occasionally woken to divine might.


Four years ago, the man now called Butcher of Soldiers was the sole survivor of a great battle... where his force was outnumbered six-to-one. Three years ago, in deepest winter, Saint Clarice walked through a blizzard and healed a doomed, plague-wracked village. Two years ago, the infamously corrupt Carroway merchant family turned out into the street, weeping, confessing their misdeeds, inspired by an unknown vigilante. In the last year, reports have multiplied manyfold. The ancient ways of magic and tame supernatural aid have butted heads with these new heroes (or villains), with mixed reults, overturning ages of assumptions about what was safely unassailable.

Their puissance is unquestionable. Their wisdom is in doubt. Their struggles for dominance... well, one hopes those are overblown.

And, now, this destiny has come for you.




This is a discussion thread for a closed-recruitment Godbound game. We'll be creating PCs as normal for first level, but also the world as a part of it. Instead of Arcem, we'll make our own Realm, with its own nations and situations. I'm happy to keep the supernatural side of the setting (Heaven, Hell, Uncreated Night, theurgy, Made Gods, etc) unless people want a change, but a homebrew Realm more closely related to our PCs appeals to me.

The first round of discussion can be concepts for PCs, the world at large, and how the pantheon came together after their recent ascension, then move into initial scenario and situation.

Things to discuss:
What's the general technological/magical development of the world like?
What are the major nations of the Realm, and what are they like?
Who lives there? What interesting social structures do they exist in?
What sort of failures of celestial engines and natural problems exist in our world?
What sort of political and human-derived problems are foremost in people's minds?
How do the PCs connect to all the above?
What was the feeling and sight of becoming Godbound? Was it gradual or swift? Visually dramatic or wholly internal?


Mechanically, there's a few things I'd like to suggest and see what people think about it. First of all, experience: doesn't exist. You level solely by the gathering and spending of Dominion, and the party levels together. Deluxe Edition add-ons... nothing here really appeals to me except possibly Strifes, which I'm ready to be swayed on one direction or the other. Maybe also Divine Supremacy/Paradise rules, if it becomes relevant.

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Mitama
Feb 28, 2011



I haven't really thought about setting details yet, but my concept is a music-based witch.

The words would be Music (Z approved), Sorcery, and Sky and she basically flies around blasting lighting and thunder while seeking ancient magics and building dominions around herself. :D

My problem is that I don't really know yet what kind of place should I make to fit a concept like that. It should definitely be in a bad enough shape that it needs divine intervention of course, but otherwise...

EDIT: Z suggested "A world where people have mostly forgotten music, because singing summons up dark spirits if you do it wrong."

Which I actually like, it might be a consequence of failing celestial engines leaving an awful curse throughout the realm. I'm gonna work with that for now, but I'm still open to ideas.

Mitama fucked around with this message at Nov 25, 2016 around 02:41

Mitama
Feb 28, 2011



Also listening to Gorbash and Cirno on IRC, I had a dumb thought:

what if everyone took the Music word

ZeeToo
Feb 20, 2008

I'm a kitty!


Not so much a bunch of deities. More the fantasy Beatles.

Staticpulse
Nov 1, 2010

Herein I have explained the operation of the sun.


I don't have any thoughts on the world at the moment. I don't particularly lean toward any time period/technological era.

As for my character, I was thinking an ascetic monk. Words of Bow/Earth/Endurance. Haven't decided on Gifts yet.

As for her organization, I don't have a name, but I do have some thoughts on its history. Back when the world broke, a group of people decided to go live as hermits in the mountains and try to ignore all the crazy stuff going on in the world. Go back to the basics of living and such. Now, thousands of years later, their discipline has produced a Godbound. Now, they're starting to look outward from their insular community and trying to influence the world at large.

Or something like that, anyway.

Mitama
Feb 28, 2011




Virtuosa of the Moonlit Sky (Virtue, for short)

Even since the destruction of Heaven, its decaying engines have inflicted numerous curses upon the fallen realm. Many of them manifest as terrible beasts in the wilderness or weird, local distortions in reality that become the substance behind superstition and myth. Some of them, however, plague the realm in pervasive and insidious ways. The curse of music is one such malady.

For the people of this realm no longer remember music, at least not as an art. To perform music, to even sing a melody, without sanctified ritual or divine protection invites monsters from the Uncreated Night to enter the world. Only the most holy Church of Chorus knows the proper rites of protection, so they control the spellsingers and the ley-musicians, who in turn sway the hearts and minds of the world.

Needless to say, they look unkindly on those musicians outside of their reach.

So who, then, is this strange witch from the Forest of Silence? This unlicensed firebrand who shouldn't know anything more than just hedge magics and potion-making? Why do her songs not only resist the curse, but reach out to the people as if they've heard it so many times before? And what does she plan to do with such an incredible power?

Those that know the Virtuosa of the Moonlit Sky speak her name in reverence. They hear her songs of revolution and upheaval, her mission to oppose the Church of Chorus and their hold over music. And they will act on her will.

pre:
Stats:	Str:  8 (-1) [13]     HP:   8   Hrd: 15+ 
	Dex: 13 (+1)  [8]     AC:   6   Eva: 14+
	Con: 10 (+0) [11]   +Hit:  +1   Spr: 12+
	Int: 14 (+1)  [7]   Fray: 1d8
	Wis: 13 (+1)  [8]
	Cha: 18 (+3)  [3]

Powers: Word of Music
	• Passionate Crescendo
	Word of Sorcery
	• Adept of the Gate
	Word of Sky
	• Stormsword, Sapphire Wings, Voice of the Winds

Spells: Bright God's Cantacle
	Open the Night Road
	Seal of Regnal Dominion
	Beacon of Celestial Purity

Attack: Blast of sparkly lightning for +4 to hit, 1d10+3 damage

Goal: 	Lift the curse of music from the realm, becoming a witch-goddess in the process

Facts:	Youngest child of an ancient cult from the Forest of Silence
	Learned spellsinger and witch of hedge magics
	Wanted by the Church of Chorus over several city-states for unauthorized music

Mitama fucked around with this message at Nov 29, 2016 around 06:07

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



Chronicler Yue

Even before the fall of Heaven, the Sodality of Annals served as the guardians of knowledge and history, of the wisdom and folly of ages. The chaos since has only sharpened their resolve to ensure all that has been learned is remembered, and used wisely. Its Archivists swear never to seek power for themselves, merely advise, and to preserve what is left of the order of the world.

Every year, hundreds of hopeful children flock to the Proctorate in the shadow of the Citadel to take the Examination, in hopes that they will be brought into the Sodality. Though most who seek - and win - the honor are the youngest of noble families or the second children of rising merchants, every year there are some from the destitute peasantry who hope to place a child they cannot otherwise support. Yue was one such child. She was the first from such a background to be selected in nearly a decade.

Having selected her, the Sodality trained her to meet their own needs. Her initial training was as an archivist and historian. She drank in knowledge like it was water and she was dying of thirst. Yue was a star pupil in terms of seeking and retaining information, but struggled with the detached serenity expected of an Archivist. Her passion for knowledge was difficult to contain, as was her penchant for novel interpretations. Still, intense instruction and repeated discipline instilled at least a surface level of the expected disinterest.

In time her order recognized other talents in Yue. Her athletic prowess and indifference to personal danger was noted, and she was selected to become a Curator. These members were charged with defending the Archive and their fellow Archivists, armed with the accumulated mysteries of dozens of warrior societies. Secretly, they were also tasked with reining in those who would violate their oaths, and any who sought to steal knowledge from the Sodality.

It was this task that lead to Yue's downfall. Sent to eliminate the heretic Archivist Sparrow, Yue instead became her disciple. What good was knowledge locked away where it could help none? What use arts hidden from sight? How could they sit by when so many were in need of hope? In time Sparrow taught Yue the secrets of the Chronicle, a forbidden philosophy that charged Archivists with changing the world for the better, and bringing about a new realm with all the greatness of the lost one. The old woman was also instrumental in Yue ascending to become one of the godbound, though this in the end cost Sparrow her life. With the old woman's passing, Yue took up her cause in earnest.

Having assumed the forbidden title of Chronicler, Yue seeks heroes worthy of receiving the wisdom of ages, champions she can advise in their quest to better the world.

------------------

Yue tries to maintain an air of serene, calming wisdom, the guise of the inscrutable and unflappable sage. In fact she is deeply passionate about her cause, has a strong sense of justice, a child-like wonder in the face of knowledge - and can be a bit petty when slighted. Anyone who spends an extended amount of time with Yue finds this quickly overwhelms the personality she tries to project to others.

pre:
ATTRIBUTES                SAVING THROWS
   Str:   9 (+0) [12]         Hrd: 14+
   Dex:  18 (+3) [ 3]         Eva: 12+
   Con:  13 (+1) [ 8]         Spr: 13+
   Int:  16 (+2) [ 5]
   Wis:  12 (+0) [ 9]         HP: 9   AC: 0
   Cha:  16 (+2) [ 8]                 [Intrinsic]

WEAPONS
   Sword     Dex   +4   1d10+4
   Unarmed   Dex   +4   1d10+4
   Fray Die: 1d8	BAB: +1

WORDS AND GIFTS
   Alacrity
      • Walk Between the Rain
   Knowledge
      • The Best Laid Plans
      • The Unveiled Truth
      • Effort of the Word
   Sword
      • Contempt of Distance
      • Steel Without End
		
FACTS
   Destitute peasant girl turned archivist
   Curator, swordswoman-scholar trained in secret techniques
   Exile from the Sodality of Annals for consorting
      with the Chroniclers

GOAL
   Find a group of worthy heroes to guide in restoring
      the glory of the past and a more just world
		
RESOURCES
   Effort:     3
   Influence:  2
   Dominion:   0
   Wealth:     0
CURATOR LYCEUM
The Curators are warriors tasked with protecting the Sodality and its Archivists from outsiders who wish to prey upon them. Since Archivists are often guests of the powerful, the first line of defense is the law - to know fully what rights and protections they have, and how to force others to respect them. The second is influence - many archivists are socially inept due to their insular nature, so Curators learn to shield them from their own errors and leverage the influence of the powerful. But at third and last, the defense is martial - Curators are skilled warriors, with access to every art, technique, and style the Sodality has ever encountered and recorded.

Novice: Novices of the Curator Lyceum are trained to be experts in the legal codes of the successor states. They may treat this as a helpful Fact when knowing or arguing the law. They are also drilled to possess an encyclopedic knowledge of nobility and other politically important figures, and can recognize such unless the Curator is a total stranger to a land.

Docent: Full-fledged Curators are thoroughly versed in history and with the great works of literature, art, and music. In order to memorize this enormous canon Curators have to hone their memories as sharp as their blades; they have perfect recall of anything they've read or heard.

Rector: A senior Curator possesses mastery both of numerous secret martial techniques and the epics of their origins. By chanting the founding sagas and mantras Curators can inspire themselves to greatness of their own. As long as the chant continues, a critically wounded Curator can continue to act in battle. This chant takes up their move action for each round, but as long as it continues they can continue to act while at zero hit points. If injured or made to lose hit points in such a state, however, they will fall at the end of the next round, mortally wounded.

Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at Jan 6, 2017 around 05:05

Staticpulse
Nov 1, 2010

Herein I have explained the operation of the sun.



Abagai the Adaman

The folly of man had never been greater. The endless pursuit of power, wealth, and knowledge had led to a breaking point. The known universe began to unravel before their very eyes, bit by bit, as those who pushed the universe to its breaking point continued their pointless power struggles and creating their mad machines. A small group of like-minded people withdrew from the society and a world they saw as broken and beyond repair. They fled to a mountain range known for its metal deposits, the Iron Mountains, to live on their own terms and await what they saw as the inevitable end of the world.

But the end never came.

Through the generations, the group evolved out of their doomsday mentality, instead embracing a lifestyle that eschewed many of the conveniences of a modern day society. They lived without material things, living only on the power of the individual and the group. They refused contact with outside groups and kept to themselves. By refusing that which had caused the world such turmoil, they believed, perhaps they could find a way to fix it. If nothing else, they would not actively make the world worse.

And, perhaps, there was some sense in their logic. Through their meditations, their discipline, their inner strength, one of them attained a power beyond that of human. The people who had left the world to itself now had the power to influence it.

They had a chance to save it.

-----

When asked how she knew where the animals lived, she responded thus, "The earth's eyes are my eyes."

When asked how she could throw a rock across the horizon, she responded thus, "The earth's strength is my strength."

Having lived and known only the insular and tight-knit group of the hermits who live on Iron Mountain, Abagai is lacking when it comes to knowledge of the greater world and its societies. She is quite aware of her lack of knowledge and so she generally prefers not to speak. When she does, Abagai is blunt and to-the-point. She is humble and never one to highlight her accomplishments. Abagai much prefers actions to words and, as such, is generally not afraid to show her commitment to her cause or to demand as such from someone else.

code:
ATTRIBUTES                SAVING THROWS
   Str:  16 (+2) [5]         Hrd: 12+
   Dex:  15 (+1) [6]         Eva: 13+
   Con:  18 (+3) [3]         Spr: 14+
   Int:  12 (0) [9]
   Wis:  12 (0) [9]         HP: 11   AC: 3
   Cha:  16 (+3) [5]

WEAPONS
   Rock     Con   +4   1d10+3
  
   Fray Die: 1d8

WORDS AND GIFTS
   Bow
    • None Beyond Reach
    • Omnipresent Reach
   Earth
    • Jewel-Bright Eyes
    • Builder of Mountain Peaks
   Endurance
    • Body of Iron Will
        
FACTS
   Needs Nothing but the Clothes on Her Back
   Master Hunter of both the Mundane and the Wild
   Savior of the Iron Mountain Hermits

GOAL
   Create a church to spread and espouse the discipline of the Iron Mountain Hermitage
        
RESOURCES
   Effort:     2
   Influence:  2
   Dominion:   0
   Wealth:     0

ProfessorCirno
Feb 17, 2011
Be sure and check User's rap sheet they are very naughty!

Raoh



In the middle of the wastelands is a forest, tall and vibrant and beautiful. The people there praise a great tree that stands in the center of the village, who's fruit comes out thick and juicy. The trees are grown far apart, and there is much that grows cultivated between them, and the game in the forest is plentiful, and there are none who thirst or hunger.

The village trades much. There are many who need to cross the wasteland, and they have a surplus of food and water. The holiest amongst the village hide their faces with masks, for they believe their power is not theirs, but that of their tree of life - and so it is not themselves who should be glorified, but the forest itself. Many who travel to the village leave with members, with pouches filled with seeds, hoping to spread not only their beliefs but also their prosperity throughout the world. Their cult travels fast, and though not all appreciate their religion, most appreciate their practices of healing and giving.

One such traveler is simply named Raoh. He is highly regarded and held in close favor by the village's chief priestess, but other then that, little is known about him. They say he can commune directly with the Tree of Life. They say he possesses more power then anyone else in the village. They say...well. Many things.

Roah doesn't pay much attention to what they say. He has been a traveler most his life. He loves people, but always wants to meet and help more of them. He finds their beliefs and culture fascinating. He finds their tragedies heartbreaking, their victories triumphant. But mostly, he knows what the Tree of Life represents, and what it can do for everyone else.

People have spent a long time praying to gods who won't answer them.

They deserve better. They deserve to be answered.

All can be fed. All can be quenched. All can be given shelter. We just have to do it.

pre:
ATTRIBUTES		SAVING THROWS
   Str:  10 (+0) [11]	  Hrd: 12+
   Dex:  14 (+1) [ 7]	  Eva: 14+
   Con:  18 (+3) [ 3]	  Spr: 13+
   Int:  13 (+1) [ 8]	  
   Wis:  16 (+2) [ 5]	  AC: 6
   Cha:  13 (+1) [ 8]	  HP: 11

WEAPONS
   Magic  Wis +3  1d10+4


WORDS AND GIFTS
   Fertility
      • Seeds of Death
      • Touch of Green Restraint
      • Unending Abundance
   Health
      • Flesh Made True
      • Merciful gaze
   Sun
		
FACTS
   Greenspeaker of the plants
   Traveller amongst the lands, learner of the people's ways
   Second highest in the Cult of the Tree of Life

GOAL
   Become a new god to heal the world
		
RESOURCES
   Effort:     3
   Influence:  2
   Dominion:   0
   Wealth:     0

ProfessorCirno fucked around with this message at Dec 13, 2016 around 14:36

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


The village was still smoldering. The fighting - what little there had been - was well over, and the inhabitants that still lived had been herded to crossroads at the center, cajoled into lines.

Morning Tiger sat on an overturned cart and watched with a smile. The other brigands had left this village alone, since it had been so poor. What could be gained from robbing destitute farmers? Morning Tiger, though, was a clever man. Clever enough to know there was still something worth stealing even here.

He hopped down, tucking his thumbs into his belt as he walked in front of the lines of peasants alongside Bloody Eye Hari. "This one, that one... no, no, much too old." He stopped in front of a young man, grabbing him by the chin and turning his face back and forth. "He'll fetch a good price, eh, Tian? Pretty face like this, they'll be bidding each other up all day." As they laughed, Tiger suddenly felt a sharp pain in his shin.

"You leave him alone!" The little girl - the boy's sister, Tiger reasoned - glared up at him, hands balled up in fists and her smoke-darkened face screwed up in defiance, despite the streaks of tears down her cheeks. Tiger stared at her incredulously, then threw back his head in laughter. There was a nasty edge to it as his bandits joined in.

He was reaching for the hatchet in his belt when a clear voice cut through the noise. "The slaver may grow rich in gold, but grows ever poorer in dignity. So said Ignatius, in his Meditations on Common Morals."

The statement, the tone, were so out of place that everyone turned to look at the woman who had spoken. She was clad in vermilion travel cloak and fine clothes, a calm smile on her face as she walked up the road, her hands tucked into her sleeves.

Tiger turned to look at Hari, who simply shrugged in confusion. There was no accounting for mad women. Tiger tilted his head back to get a better look at the woman. "Seems to me the one with all the steel decides how much dignity he has." He waved at the woman with a come-hither gesture. "Come down here and we can talk it over, yes?"

"I see you may prefer Melii's Arguments of Power, then." The woman kept walking forward at a steady pace, passing the pickets watching the road without even glancing at them. Mad for certain. "You should remember what became of her."

Tiger frowned now, and thought of ordering her shot, but Hari put a hand on his shoulder. "She has a fine figure. Might be worth more than the rest combined." He nodded, rubbing his chin thoughtfully - and yelped in surprise as his other shin received a painful kick.

He rounded on the girl, hand raised - and suddenly the woman was there.

The cloak and hat were still fluttering to the ground where she had been. But she was here, in front of him, apparently not having bothered with the space between. And there was a sword in her hand. The guard dug painfully into his jaw, but it was the blade against his throat Tiger was concerned with, its point aimed at the earth. A single droplet of blood ran down its gleaming edge as Hari and the others took an involuntary step back.

The woman glanced at Tiger out of the corner of her eye, then looked back at Hari. Her expression was no longer serene. "Let me put it simply then. You will not lay a hand on this child." Tiger forced himself not to swallow, and looked imploringly at his lieutenant. She didn't meet his eye as she raised a hand to command the others.

The droplet of blood reached the tip of the sword, and hung there for a heartbeat.

ProfessorCirno
Feb 17, 2011
Be sure and check User's rap sheet they are very naughty!

This is a story with a sad ending, and it is one all the people fear to tell.

In that land, the rain did not fall.

The people survived off what scant water they could collect and trade for, and what little food scraps they could pull together. A forgotten and damned land where nobody should have lived in after heaven began to burn. Everyone who lived there did so in the embrace of despair.

One night a girl from the village found a seed, forgotten in the wastelands. When she returned to the village she made it her goal to grow the seed into a mighty tree to feed the village and return the land to prosperity. In a place where there wasn't even enough water to live off of, she gave up her own to help feed the seed, and soon a small sapling had grown. By now, the people of the village would look at her with scorn and call her a fool, speaking ill words of hate. Still she gave up her water, and now even more as the sapling was thirstier then the seed. People would try to step on the sapling or steal her water for themselves, and so she spent all her time protecting it as she prayed for it's health. Finally, it was too much. She collapsed. As she stared at the sapling, she sobbed, and asked why the gods fell silent, and why people could not hope.

This is a story with a happy ending, and it is one that all the people know.

One night a girl from the village found a seed, and a boy found the girl. When they returned to the village they made it their goal to grow the seed into a mighty tree to feed the village and return the land to prosperity. In a land where there wasn't even enough water to live off of, they gave up their own to help feed the seed, and soon a small sapling had grown. Together they could protect the sapling, and began to help the others in the village as well, buying droplets of water to keep the tree growing. Finally, it was too much. The girl collapsed. As she stared at the sapling, the boy cradled her in his arms, and before their eyes the people of the village came out and began feeding the sapling for them. They had been touched by their generosity and togetherness and wished to understand that feeling once again. The tree grew into the great Tree of Life, and fed the village with it's fruit, and quenched their thirsts. Soon, one tree became many, and the wasteland was no more.

This is a story with a bittersweet ending, and it is one that only one person knows.

The people gathered to donate water, a little bit at a time, to the tree. Every day they would give to the tree, which grew so slowly. They had found togetherness in the act, and the girl was redeemed. But the boy was still unhappy. The tree grew so slow, and he could see the light in the peoples' eyes begin to dim again. How long would this continue? How much water would it need? The gods remained silent. In time the sapling began to look like it would wilt, as the hot winds returned and water grew more scarce, and the tree grew thirstier. This was not the land for trees, people began to whisper. It was a wonderful hope, but reality is what it must be.

The boy refused, and he looked at the tree's death and he refused, and he looked at the barren land and he refused, and he looked at the people with despair in their hearts and he refused, and he looked at the death that surrounded him and he refused, and he looked to the sky, and past the sky, and into the heavens that lay broken and empty, and into the heart of the land that could not support life, and he refused, and the land listened. The girl sprinkles water over the land where the seed of hope sleeps. The warm fruit hanging down grow fat and quench the thirsts of the people. But the boy made it happen.

The boy knew of the girl's pure wishes. The boy wished: "Please, may these wishes be fulfilled."

This is not a story.

In that land, the rain did not fall.

But there was a great tree they named the Tree of Life; it's many fruits quenched the thirst of the people, and filled the land with more and more trees, and soon grass came too, until the land was no longer a wasteland. The feelings of one girl reached all the people, and the boy, and she was known as the holiest of holies, the priestess of the great Tree of Life. The feelings of the boy reached the earth and the land and the heavens and the tree, and he took on a mask. The feelings of the people reached each other, and built a community

Let our wishes blanket and feed all.

Let us return life to this land once more.

I will pray for this today.
I will pray for this tomorrow.
I will pray for this forever.
So long as we live.

ZeeToo
Feb 20, 2008

I'm a kitty!


So, a few other things I'd point out: we need some proper nouns. We need to figure out the name of the PC's immediate nation/location, as well as those surrounding them, and maybe the world at large could use a name.

Although backgrounds and stories may have hinted at some stuff, we may also want to be a little clearer on the local climate/terrain/weather patterns.

On the Discord chat, we also floated the idea of technology being slightly Legend of Korra/Nausicaδ in its feel. To my mind, that suggests that in the more advanced cities things have a Korra-style shininess to cool toys, but things look more weathered and a bit more organic a little further away.

We also should probably more explicitly define how the PCs know each other and what they're doing together to start.

But that's probably enough to get rolling after that!


e: Trix has suggested this as a starting map, with probable renaming of points of interest:

https://twitter.com/unchartedatlas/...956484205867009

ZeeToo fucked around with this message at Dec 15, 2016 around 05:55

Mitama
Feb 28, 2011



I'd also offer this one, if only because it would be easier to Photoshop.

ZeeToo
Feb 20, 2008

I'm a kitty!


So, here's my current take on our setting, as I try to accrete what people have pitched. Feel free to suggest changes, in whole or part.



The realm of Maercia is a slightly unusual one: at the Shattering, when the Former Empires fell, farsighted groups took to the background. They knew that their ancient arts were likely to twist or break, but they may still hold some of their former potential. So, as inheritor nations rose up from the ashes of the Last War, there were already organizations to support them, seemingly without any agenda of their own. The centuries since have seen the population settle into this as an expected way of life.

The Sodality of Annals, the Roadsmen, and more are known, and largely accepted... because they so rarely interfere with the plans of their political overlords, and some, like the Roadsmen, perform valuable services. The broad, flat, extensive roads and complicated canal locks of Maercia are the work of the Roadsmen, and much trade and travel is because of their work. Beyond the reach of the Roadsmen are the far places of the world, and it's here where stories occasionally bubble up of some great hero with secret knowledge and powers. Many a noble's tame wizard or wandering hero have come from the badlands surrounding the volcanic chain known as the Red Queen's Forge.

Maercia is split into many city-states. Each city-state has its own web of connections over weaker, handy city-states and owes something to larger, more distant ones, with small farming villages and fishing thorps on one end of that scale and the Six Great Cities at the other, owing little to each other save webs of influence and occasional wars.

Jibu is a caste-stratified, slave-holding state. It's the oldest of the inheritor city-states; the ruling Basileus or Basileia can claim an uninterrupted line of succession to Ancient Jibu, one of the Former Empires who were lost in the Shattering. Right to rule and many of the powers of office is invested in a mighty artifact known as the Orb of State. It's said that this is the still-beating heart of a Made God Jibu created for the Last War, but whether that is true or not, it rejects usurpers and grants its chosen rulers a variety of powers to call on.

Jibu's various nobles own most of the rest of the populace, who are required to stay with their lands and work, barring special dispensation. Only a small middle class persists outside of this. Large standing armies and an upper class that's good at keeping their oppression just barely this side of inciting rebellion have kept Jibu's system running, so far.

Kelos is a city founded by the one semi-successful slave rebellion out of Jibu, who fled and made peace with the nomads who had previously followed a seasonal path along the banks of their major rivers. Kelos became their permanent settlement, but the ability for the common man to move freely along their lands is still an important one to their culture. Their weight of arms is a counter-balance to Jibu, but few of their client nation-states are much more enamored of them. A Kelosian community is willing to accept travelers, but only if they integrate immediately.

Still, though, Kelos is known as a somewhat mystical place; low magic traditions are stronger here than anywhere else, as is a variety of religions. For as much as a community doesn't want to accept outsiders who believe something else, Kelosians are still willing to feel kinship with those from another town over who believe something very different.

Seafaring Nara is the merchant prince of the world, with their "coaler" ships moving from port to port with a speed overland travel just can't match. Although these wooden-hulled vessels are still mostly driven by sail, the fact that they can apply a coal-driven engine when needed is a large advantage. Nara has little central government; its trading clans operate on their own, in a winner-take-all fashion, meeting in council only to determine areas of responsibility, usually in the form of who gets trading rights in what area, or for what good, or both, in exchange for doing other duties like neutralizing pirates.

A Nara trading vessel is its own world; it carries craftsmen, accountants, armed men (for defense, only... of course), and as often as not the fully families of at least some of its crew. Nara are officially stringently adherent to their trade, and by and large this is true. All too many pirates or conmen use this reputation to trick prey into lowering their guard... and some Nara return the favor by sometimes pretending to be such impersonators.

The Forest of Silence contains the Tree of Life (Place 2 on the map, for both) in its north-western reaches. A place of truly towering great trees and improbably balanced outcrops of land, most of the Forest is home to rare few humans who've lived here for generations and... no other animal life. Spirits of animal dance phantasmal dances in the quietness, but rarely is anything but the natural noise of flowing water heard here. Or, at least, that's the official story. The Tree of Life is much more positively regarded; here is .

Maercia is lucky, all things considered. Its natural laws are more intact than some, though often in somewhat twisted form. The centuries since the Shattering have given the chance to redevelop some things, and adapt others to the modern theurgic and technical environment. In the more advanced cities, a gilded age is taking hold, as the ultra-rich install and take advantage of more advanced communications and even self-propelled "auto-wagons" that tend to be lavishly decorated. Outside of this, in the wilder areas where things are more run down or where ancient wonders might just be dug up and restored for the first time, things look far less pleasant, and take on more of a wretched pallor. Ancient Jibu and Old Yamatai did not go in for aesthetics.

In war, these nations field mostly infantry, some armed with melee weaponry such as pikes or axes and shields, some armed with their favorite missile weapons such as crossbows or slings. Cavalry, siege engines, and war mages of various calibers are far from unheard of, but rarely are seen as the backbone to a force. The most prized weapons are the "longarm sparks" of Ancient Jibu and Old Yamatai. Stocks of old longarm sparks still exist, as do a trickle of new creations, since the necessary low magic was rediscovered in the last few decades, but the slow-firing, muzzle-loading weapons seem oddly resistant to general use in the modern world. Making each function is a charm that seems to be completely unique to the individual weapon, with little overlap. In use, they emit a characteristic cloud of brilliant sparks as they throw their payload, which is usually cold iron inscribed with whatever curses the creator can manage. Very few of these are actually any more efficacious than mere words.

Of course, Maercia is unlucky in other ways. A Realm-wide curse, courtesy of a haywire celestial engine, cracks open reality when song or music is employed without care, and Uncreated Night can slip through these cracks. The Church of Chorus is the biggest and most pervasive religion across all the land, due to its consecrations providing the opportunity to enjoy these without fear. Naturally, the Chorus' doctrines revolve around community and togetherness, but on the downside they demand sacrifice and suborning the individual for something greater. The exact form of this can vary, but their command of such a broad range of human enjoyment means that the Chorus is often intimately intertwined with political rule. The upper boxes at a concert-mass hold the elite, who then meet with each other and a few of the Chorus for private devotions and less formal avenues for the elite to rub elbows and make arrangements.



Mitama, I went ahead and fleshed out "the Forest of Silence" based on... nothing but that name, the pic you linked me, and combining it with ProfessorCirno's Tree of Life.
Comrade Gorbash, it looks to me like you took Effort of the Word? I don't see it listed, though. Pick a Word you took it under! Also, with the release of the Ancalia book, we have knightly orders. Did you want to make your second fact give you access to one of the knightly orders' effects?
Staticpulse, wanted to check and make sure you're good with where the Iron Mountain Hermitage is implied to fit into the setting, given your goal.
ProfessorCirno, same thing I threw at Mitama. Combined two foresty bits. They can easily be perceived as "the same place" even if some distance of wilderness separates them, if the Forest of Silence is sufficiently menacing to enter. Or, if the Tree of Life is supposed to be ancient instead of Raoh's immediate backstory (I wasn't sure, and thought it was probably very recent), it could be the section of the Forest that's much more positively regarded and safe to enter, but is otherwise still just part of the Forest. The Tree of Life was the starting place, but the wild trees now have spread beyond it to the south-east and are less accepting.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


Updated, and yeah, I think that would be neat, though I still need to read up more on exactly how knightly orders work.

ZeeToo
Feb 20, 2008

I'm a kitty!


We should probably also figure out how the PCs know each other.

That would probably be enough to get us off the ground.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


Did up the Curators of the Sodality as an order, mostly by adjusting the flavor slightly for the Glorificant Order from the Ancalia book. I've added it to my sheet, but I'll post it here too for reference.

CURATOR LYCEUM

The Curators are warriors tasked with protecting the Sodality and its Archivists from outsiders who wish to prey upon them. Since Archivists are often guests of the powerful, the first line of defense is the law - to know fully what rights and protections they have, and how to force others to respect them. The second is influence - many archivists are socially inept due to their insular nature, so Curators learn to shield them from their own errors and leverage the influence of the powerful. But at third and last, the defense is martial - Curators are skilled warriors, with access to every art, technique, and style the Sodality has ever encountered and recorded.

Novice: Novices of the Curator Lyceum are trained to be experts in the legal codes of the successor states. They may treat this as a helpful Fact when knowing or arguing the law. They are also drilled to possess an encyclopedic knowledge of nobility and other politically important figures, and can recognize such unless the Curator is a total stranger to a land.

Docent: Full-fledged Curators are thoroughly versed in history and with the great works of literature, art, and music. In order to memorize this enormous canon Curators have to hone their memories as sharp as their blades; they have perfect recall of anything they've read or heard.

Rector: A senior Curator possesses mastery both of numerous secret martial techniques and the epics of their origins. By chanting the founding sagas and mantras Curators can inspire themselves to greatness of their own. As long as the chant continues, a critically wounded Curator can continue to act in battle. This chant takes up their move action for each round, but as long as it continues they can continue to act while at zero hit points. If injured or made to lose hit points in such a state, however, they will fall at the end of the next round, mortally wounded.

ProfessorCirno
Feb 17, 2011
Be sure and check User's rap sheet they are very naughty!

Haha, I probably went too far in making Raoh's own backstory kinda vague on a lot of things, including how long ago it was. Here's my general thought:

Pre-forest, it was a miserable wasteland. At some point in the timeline, a girl tries to revive it by planting a single seed she found. Raoh tries to help her. It nearly fails, she almost dies, and Roah becomes Godbound and conjoins with the tree, causing it to suddenly grow and a wave of general fertility to flood around, turning that part of the wasteland into a forest. He tries to hide his role in it and instead lets the massive tree take credit (though this ends up doing some wonky metaphysical things in how he and the tree interact; Raoh for all intents and purposes IS the tree, making him a traveling priest of...himself). Thus everyone thinks that love and hard work and care and etc will make the world a better place, upholding the girl's ideals, rather then knowing the truth - that she would've failed without Raoh's divine intervention. A fact he finds altogether too bitter and tries to forget/ignore.

I think it might be better to split the Tree of Life and it's forest from the Forest of Silence. There isn't a ton that combines them other then "forest," I guess?

If all this is too much and too bizarre, especially for level 1, I can scale pretty much all of it down hahahah.

As for how we'd know each other, I think Raoh would find Yue and Abagai admirable for using their powers to better the world in defiance of their respective orders, and would want to try to help Virtue, at least in the "lifting the curse" part. That said, we could just as easily end up just a band of Do-Gooders who crossed paths at a crossroads and decided traveling together was better then traveling alone!

ZeeToo
Feb 20, 2008

I'm a kitty!


Okay, the Tree of Life can just be to the north-west of the Forest of Silence and the terrain between them is arbitrarily sized and definitely unfriendly.

As far as going too far... I don't think so, no, as long as you're willing to have the Tree of Life be something that's currently still a bit uncertain. Without Influence/Dominion spent on it, the Tree is a potential source of drama, just like any other project a Godbound gets up to and then abandons. How long has it existed in its current state, though? Just a few years, or is this something that's been going on long enough that The Girl is more a figure out of legend than a currently active figure?

ProfessorCirno
Feb 17, 2011
Be sure and check User's rap sheet they are very naughty!

Definitely a figure of legend at this point. And that sounds fine!

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


As far as getting the group together, it occurred to me that Yue would literally go around collecting worthy heroes for her long term project of fixing the world. To that end, she'd be looking for people she'd heard of, chasing down urban legends and the like.

I can see how that would work pretty easily with Virtuosa, but less so with Raoh and especially Abagai. What sort of things would she be likely to hear? What sort of things might make her pick them to go find? Where would she find them and what would the meeting be like?

Additionally, of all of us, Virtuosa's goal of lifting the curse seems like the most obvious first step to pursue, so Yue would probably pitch that as their first task, unless someone has a different idea.

Staticpulse
Nov 1, 2010

Herein I have explained the operation of the sun.


As far as Abagai goes, she'll primarily be active in the areas near Iron Mountain, so according to the map that would be the Middle Kingdoms or Bruuth area. Whichever would work better for us really. As far as what others would hear about her, likely there would be rumors of a hermit or religious preacher performing miracles with stone and earth. Literally making walls and houses and other impossible feats. I imagine her preaching might go against the grain of what is usually practiced in the area, so it might become a rumor of interest for Yue.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.








Let me know if anything is misspelled or you want to switch art or anything. Particularly to ZeeToo for the GM header - I can change the subtitle as well.

Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at Jan 9, 2017 around 22:42

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ZeeToo
Feb 20, 2008

I'm a kitty!


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