Althanas is a unique fantasy roleplay setting called home by a collection of writers and their varied characters. It boasts a close-knit community, discussing anything from prospective storylines, art, world news, games, and more.
The site's most popular elements are its level system and workshop elements. Each character begins at Level 0, and must write to earn EXP for their level-ups. EXP is granted at the end of quests and battles by judging moderators based on the quality of the story and its writing. This is determined using a 100-point, ten category rubric that has been present, in one form or another, throughout the site's ten-year history.
In its current, and most popular, format, the rubric is divided into three super-categories - Story, including Continuity, Setting, and Pacing; Character, including Persona, Action, and Dialogue; and Writing Style, consisting of Mechanics, Technique, and Clarity - and the tenth category, Wild Card, which serves as a point of "judge's discretion" to represent facets of a particular story that do not get represented by the other categories.
At present, the known world of Althanas consists of eight major regions. Raiaera and Alerar are home primarily to the two elven peoples, the bardic-inclined elves of Raiaera, and the technologically-inclined dark elves of Alerar. Alerar is also home, in lesser part, to the dwarves of Kachuk, who are politically subservient to the dark elven king and his court. Salvar and Berevar make up the Northlands of the same continent, both being politically and technologically less advanced than their elven neighbors, and home to a thriving human majority. Salvar, until recently, was under the dual rule of the Church of the Ethereal Sway and the King, though the demon that was behind the Church has now been destroyed and its political power is shattered.
Players are, as well, encouraged to invent their own locations for adventure, and the less documented regions of the Tular Plains, the demonic Haidia, and the Istraloth archipelago are as well available for use and definition by the players.
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Althenas contains examples of:
- Absolute Xenophobe: Fallien is a desert nation that's described as being xenophobic to the extreme, not helped by their theocratic government.
- Civil War: The region Corone has a democratic government, though recently a civil war has broken out after the murder of a major political figure, considered by many to be a ploy by the rest of the government to implement martial law.
- First Town: Until recently, Scara Brae was treated as a "new players' zone," where low level characters could interact and get used to the fantasy setting without being caught up in the political waves of the rest of the world.
- Lost World: The most remote region is Dheathain, a lush jungle zone inhabited by the magically inclined faeries and the tribal draconians. The entire region is largely Celtic-inspired, and ruins of ancient civilizations litter the rainforests and swamps.
- Non-Combat EXP: Rather than characters gaining experience based solely on how well they fare in battle, they instead are awarded points by how well their authors are able to write them and their adventure.
- Standard Fantasy Setting: Scara Brae is the region that best fits the mold of a traditional fantasy setting, being a small and largely mountainous island ruled by feudal lords and a large merchant class.
- The Theocracy: Fallien is ruled by a very powerful church, which provides both religious and political leadership.
- Unobtainium: Fallien is the only place in the world that the strong and magically resistant cillu glass can be found, along with various other special glasses made from the scorched sand of the island.