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God of tragedy-
While they are the celestial god of tragedy, they are not the one that causes it or is the embodiment of it. (Those are disaster, bad luck and ill-will respectively.) They are more the embodiment of the emotions and aftermath of said tragedy. The embodiment of the effect and not the cause.
They watch over the families and friends of those who are effected as well as the area's effected. On top of this they guide those beings who are powerful enough to retain themselves in the after life to the aether.
They do not do this for those who died of natural causes such as sickness or old age, only external factors. If the sickness or age were the result of curse or poison they would be there though.
They do not like churches being built to them, or people worshiping them exclusively. They ask that the worshipers simply make sure these events are not forgotten and that graves, shrines, and areas of tribute are upkeep.
They never manifest in front of the living, but they do show themselves to the dead. They are often described as a shapely figure, in lavender silk robes who is wearing a hood and veil. If a mortal creature can see as the dead do, they see them as a glowing white light. While they never manifest to the living, they are there and can affect the world around them.
Other gods and goddess often joke that if there was an apocalypse they would be the handyman, as they often repair small areas, reforest areas and perform small miracles after an event. None which would totally undo the events, but those that help that part of the world get back up on it's feet so to speak.
Heat cloaks - Mundane enchanted item :
Heat cloaks are popular in colder temperatures are are common due to them being easy to make, and great enchantment practice for those just learning enchanting. The cloaks tend to be long and sometimes double as blankets. They produce heat within the cloak are warm the area they surround up to around 70 or 80 degrees on average.
Darker colors are common for them,though that's more a matter of choice than anything else. They are very popular with mimics, who may wear them or simple turn them inside out and keep it within itself.
edited 17th Feb '12 12:33:51 AM by Vyctorian
I'd kick him too. And I'm male.
Those sound more like a class of beings -akin to angels and demons- than a specific god. Still, I like the concept. In fact I can think of a couple of scenarios involving them already:
We just need a specific name for them now. ...Which I suck at coming up with. Your turn fellas.
Bean nighe. Scottish for "washer woman," referring to the Washers at the Ford.
Um, and how do you pronounce that?
edited 17th Feb '12 4:17:48 PM by Sijo
ETA: As you can see, I posted another, slightly more up to date summary of the setting. Expect me to be working on quite a bit today, as I feel great for some reason.
edited 18th Feb '12 12:54:44 PM by Exelixi
Setting name: Domhain Sceal, the closest approximation for "land of tropes" in Irish.
Origin of the Universe and Life: The Universe has always been around; it ostensibly was never "created." Spirits and mortal life-forms evolved independently from the earth and the Aether. Gods didn't create the mortal races; rather, they were created by the mortal races, specifically, the collective conscious thoughts of huge numbers of living beings impacting the Aether.
The Setting: There are two major parts to the setting. The Spine, or the New Lands, a huge continent that stretches from pole to pole, boasting every biome imaginable somewhere, and the Old Lands, also called the Broken Continent, a large island chain from which most societies originate.
Magic: A great energy from the time of creation is what powers magic, but it seems to be declining, which has even the gods worried (in fact, it is just becoming latent.)
The energy runs across the world in leylines; powerful nodes are under high demand.
Various disciplines of the use of magic have formed; there are the Wizards, who study magic like mathematicians or physicists, Mystics (including Witches and Warlocks) who can best be described as "magic lawyers," manipulating the laws of the universe to their benefit and wresting power from great spirits or the gods themselves, and Sorcerers, whose veins burn with raw, untamed magic tied to and released by their emotions.
Races: Most familiar fantasy races exist here, along with a few not-so-familiar; each of the "standard" races is still recognisable, but different enough to make a new experience. A major point of the project is to prevent complete homogeny within the races; all Dwarves are not, in fact, the same, nor are any two members of any other race.
Gods: Two sorts, very different in origin and nature, not that those foolish mortals can tell: Celestials, who are Anthropomorphic Personifications of living beings' desires and beliefs, and Terrestrials, Physical Gods who are formerly-mortal beings who somehow rose to godhood. Note that each god is unique, and has his/her/its own ideas about being worshiped.
Technology: Mid-1700s with a significant Steampunk element. Flintlock weapons exist alongside wizards swinging staves, horse-drawn carriage riders occasionally catch glimpses of flying cities, and armies of silver clockwork golems rest underneath magical castles.
Themes: Colonisation and exploration. The New Lands are filled with wondrous and never-before-seen creates, environments, and artifacts, rich with untapped Ley Lines, and fraught with danger.
Magic Versus Technology. The undisputed superiority of magicians over common troops and even trained warriors is becoming, well, disputed. With the advent of technologies such as flintlock weaponry and cannons allowing footsoldiers and musketeers to rival their abilities on the battlefield, and constant innovations replacing enchantments in cities, magicians struggle to avoid being rendered obsolete.
The Nature of Good and Evil: Things aren't quite so clear cut in Sceal as they are in many settings. There are very few things that are evil for evil's sake. The question of whether you ae truly fighting the good fight is always in the air when what exactly constitutes good is always under questioning.
edited 18th Feb '12 5:46:10 PM by Exelixi
Thanks, Exel! You saved me a lot of work there! :) I've already linked the summation above to the Main Page.
We can use it to develop our ideas. For example, could the Broken Continent have once been an *actual* continent, shattered by some epic event? The battle between The Champion of the Gods and the Dark Mage, perhaps?
Also: what exactly do you mean with the last theme?
edited 18th Feb '12 1:30:31 PM by Sijo
That one's rather abstract, and you only see it if you're looking for it (which may mean that I'm hallucinating it.)
For instance, the Champion of the Gods. He fought for all humanoids under the banner of all gods to defeat the wizard which only wanted power for himself. Hrod does his best to ensure that his (self-admittedly sometimes atrocious) deeds serve society as a whole. The denizens of Racna have given up their traditional lifestyle to keep the clans tightly-knit.
This is really a thing you see in a lot of non-grimdark fantasy works. The antagonists only care about themselves or their direct loved ones, but the protagonists fight for a better world for everyone.
Join us next installment for a shitload of information on Orcs!
edited 18th Feb '12 2:15:07 PM by Exelixi
The Five Orcish Societies
There are five major groups of Orcs: the four extant Clans, and the city of Racna. Racna has already been covered to some extent; as such, this section will deal with the Clans.
The Painted, as they are called by non-native Orcologists (in Orcish, [German BLUE]), are the second-largest of the Clans. They are a pure meritocracy, scoffing at the concepts of "class" and "heritage." In that vein, rather than last names, they have epithets based on their greatest deed, IE, Dall the Drakerider or Hoenheim the Bard.
The name of the clan is derived from the bright indigo tattoos on their skin. Each great deed a member of the tribe has performed entitles them to a tattoo representing that deed. As such, a clansorc with only three tattoos is not a very notable person, but one with seventeen is widely recognised and universally respected.
The task of verifying great deeds and implementing the tattoos signifying them falls to those of a particular occupation outsiders call the Painters. Becoming a Painter is an achievement in itself, as it requires rigorous study and great skill. The tattoo of a Painter is a diamond shape with two diagonal lines bisecting the figure and each other.
Because of the nature of the society and the markings, most Painted orcs do not hold one position within the clan for life. Instead, they endeavour to master- not just learn enough to get by, but truly master, as the markings for the two are not the same- as many skills and professions as they can handle.
Boasting, as you can imagine, is not something that exists in this clan, and they look upon it with disdain.
Rulership of the clan is based on what is needed. Being in charge of something is a very temporary thing (though it does confer a tattoo of leadership) and is based upon the needs of the clan. If the clan is at war, the leaders will be the most (quite literally) decorated warriors. In times of famine, agricultural experts. Lately, a large concern of the clan has been intersocietal relations with non-orcs, and, as such, most of the current governing body are diplomats.
The current leaders of the Painted Clan are as such:
Goblins in Painted society are watched over by the Wardens, who care for them as best they can until they become orcs, at which point they give the new orcs their first tattoo and a basic education (which takes significantly less time than it does to educate the children of other races, as orcs are both able to grasp concepts very quickly and can rationalise their goblin memories).
It is not unheard of for orcs of other clans and non-orcs to receive tattoos, and it is considered a great honour on part of the Clan and the outsider receiving the ink. One of the quickest ways for explorers to obtain a good standing with the Painted is to do something impressive and receive a tattoo for it.
The Departed is a clan which earned its name on account of nearly half of its members leaving with a fleet of Black Empire galleons for the Old Lands. If you see an orc on the Broken Continent, it is likely a member of the Departed or a descendant thereof. The Departed used to be the largest clan in the Spine; these days, however, they are the smallest. Those who stayed behind have largely abandoned their nomadic lifestyle and live in and around Racna, for ease of communication with their expatriate brethren.
It is generally understood that most of the orcs living in the Broken Continent are not permanent residents, but, rather, doing the same thing there that Old Land explorers are doing in the Spine. Most will return at some point in their lives, barring serious complication. Some half-orcs return with their orc parents as well, but in quite small numbers.
Those Departed who remain in Racna are led by the scholar Olav Heimdall, who collects the notes taken by exploring orcs, extracts any useful information, and places his own notes and the firsthand accounts of the other orcs in Racna's great library.
"The Wild" is a bit of a misnomer, bestowed only because they interact the least with both explorers and other clans. It is a highly spiritual group, and most members are shamans or druids in some capacity. They seek enlightenment, here expressed by a oneness between the self and other life- though how exactly this is to be achieved varies from clansman to clansman. The tribe has no official leaders as such, though the more wise members do their best to teach the others.
Though the relative isolation of the clan means that they do not encounter outsiders much, when they do, they welcome those who wish to learn with open arms- after all, what is a human but an orc in a different skin?
The Wild were the original creators of the various wayside monasteries dotting the Spine's forests, and still make up the bulk of the management and residence of said establishments, although the monastery-dwellers are considered clanless for the most part, much as the citizenry of Racna.
The Wild treat their goblins with a fondness that almost approaches reverence, believing their innocent minds to be more in synch with the wilderness than those of fully-grown orcs.
It is believed by some who study divinity that the clan as a whole is on the verge of ascending into hive-like Terrestrial God. Possible evidence for this includes the startling number of ghosts the clan members leave behind.
The Marchers are driven by and dedicated to a purpose. They seek to expand territory, make innovations, and all in all further the standard of living for their clan and the others. They remain nomadic only in a certain sense, as about a quarter of the population lives in towns and small cities while the rest continue to settle new territory. Many explorers are unnerved or outright scared by the Marchers' rapid development, which threatens to catch them up with the Broken Lands within a century.
Any orc may join a Marcher settlement or convoy, in standing with one of their major goals, namely, to unite all orcs under one banner. Additionally, and also related to said purpose, the Marchers have great presence in both Racna and in the form of envoys to other clans.
The clan were not always this way; in fact, they only experienced a major paradigm shift with the ascension of King Erik, who was granted the proverbial throne at age sixteen and is now sixty-four. He currently seeks a new heir to carry on his ideals, oddly enough specifically looking for a member of a different clan to show his people that the goal of orc unification is not impossible.
There exists a large problem in the crossbreeding of Orcs and Humans. Namely, Orcs do not lactate, but Half-Orcs require milk. This does not pose an issue with the children of a male Orc and a female Human, but for the opposite situation, it can be quite challenging. The only known solution is to simply find a nursing surrogate. Friy of the Painted Clan is known to have several human women in her employ to help care for her children; in return, all their needs are provided for. While most orcs are not influential or wealthy enough to afford quite the same arrangement, something similar is usually worked out, frequently involving one or more relatives of the human parent.
Half-Orcs do not experience a Goblin stage; rather, when born, they appear almost entirely human, albeit with a slight green or orange pigment to their skin. They develop somewhat more slowly than other human children, part of the reason why orcs are believed to be stupid, and experience a drastic adolescent phase, during which most of their orc qualities manifest. Fully grown Half-Orcs are on average taller than other humans, though not quite as broad as their Orc ancestors, and their skin is coloured much as an Orc's but quite a bit paler. As human skin darkens as it is exposed to ultraviolet rays, so do Half-Orcs gain a more robust colour from being out in the sun. Their tusks are not nearly as pronounced as a pure Orc's, sometimes not even protruding past their lips, and because of this they are able to speak the languages of non-orcs without any noticeable speech impediments. Half-Orc hide, while thicker than that of other humanoids, is not nearly as dense or rough as a pure Orc's, and, thus, Half-Orc adventurers and fighters wear armour as other humanoids do.
The children of a Half-Orc and a pure Orc, Hobgoblins are a rare anomaly. They have the mental capacity greater than other Goblins', and do not experience metamorphosis, instead steadily growing larger and more intelligent until adulthood. Hobgoblins cannot breed with Orcs, or with most Humans, but can have children with Half-Orcs, which will develop much as any Half-Orc child.
edited 18th Feb '12 3:04:41 PM by Exelixi
I think what you mean is that our setting is a bit more complicated than just typical Good versus Evil. Oh those are there to be sure, but there's moral latitude eg. Hrod may be a Lich but he seems more of an Well-Intentioned Extremist than your standard cackling villain. Make no mistake, I'm firmly in "The Good Guys Should Always Win" camp, but complex characters and situations that cannot just be dealt with violence are usually the best ones for stories.
Comments on all that tomorrow after I've rested my brain.
edited 18th Feb '12 5:42:58 PM by Sijo
I like it but I thought we were avoiding the whole Half-Human Hybrid thing.
Should have clarified, perhaps. Orcs can only breed with other Orcs and Humans, as Human genetics are already variable enough to accept Orc DNA. If an Orc tried to have kids with, say, an Elf, it wouldn't work.
ETA: Orc blood doesn't mix with the blood of other pure races very well because Orcs are, in fact, not mammals, at least not entirely. Half-Orcs, though, are for all intents and purposes like any other human.
edited 19th Feb '12 10:34:52 AM by Exelixi
May be some Beast-Folk who could, and Beast-Folk can breed with other Beast-Folk and can breed with other mammalian humanoid which ends up with Orc is the Humanoid gene pool.
Curious since Orc have such thick hide does that mean a non-orc getting a tattoo would double as a test of endurance, or did they make special tools for those with weaker skin?
A little of both. Some Painters have made thinner tools; others haven't.
It be a cruel if not somewhat funny twist if surviving a tattoo with the normal orc tools, warranted a second tattoo.
edited 19th Feb '12 1:47:13 PM by Vyctorian
Sample Cultures #2
The Kaijujujiin and the Oni
They haunt the very woods of the Meikyuu Forest, feared or revered by the 'civilized' Meikese people. The Oni are Ogres and Kaijujujiin are Anima Elfs. They have had intermittent periods of war and peace, and during both inbreeding has placed traits of one into the other. The Oni are red or blue and from the Kaijujujiin have horns that appear on a portion of their population, and the Kaijujujiin have much more variation between different tribes but all of them inherited from the Oni great size. One, the Gosajajira tribe, are towering grey skinned people with wolf like feet but scaled skin with spines running down their back, who specialize in a magic wielding a mystical tinted flame.
The Oni operate in huge familial groups while Kaijujujiin prefer to work alone and often fight if they meet one another. The Anima Elf ability to speak with animals has lent to the Kaijujujiin to them taming the dire beasts that roam the magic forest. The creed of both cultures looks upon the civilized people as either enemies to be attacked or just avoided, but some take to protection a section of land or group of people instead.
((The Kaijujujiin are Kaiju monster people with giant monster pets for giant monster battles))
Anima Elfs with wings instead of arms, beaks on their faces, a pair of long feather for ears and a feathered bottom half. They are flying gypsies, pulling through the sky either whatever they can carry on their person or caravans of hot airs balloons pulled by winged beasts they use the Anima Elf gift of animal speech to tame. The Harpy culture have a higher turn out of bandits but those that turn to such are ran out and many have fled to the outskirts of the Meikyuu forest, taming killer hawks to insist them in armed robbery, becoming menaces of the Meikese people called Tengu. Although their are some close knit families of Harpies, their are loners who only keep the company of animals and the Tengu are nearly always loners, betraying the strong independent nature of their parent culture.
The Korknomortese and the Miajalzian
The Two Houses of Korknomortor and Miajalzix that co-rule vast swathes of the forest under Emperor Hrod's blessing are representative of the common cultural bounds of the Mortal Dwarfs and Anima Elfs. The fact that the two houses hate each other has less to do with how different those cultures are and more to do with an old ass grudge. Actually Korknomortese and Miajalzian people -As they are called after the ruling houses- cross marry and appreciate each other a great deal for their difference. Korknomortese society is bound by a rigid cast system, where the Gifts the run in Mortal Dwarves tends to run truer in individual clans, binding them to a cast suitable for their Gift. Those born with a different Gift then their clan will be married into a more appropriate clan. Those that marry outside their race have the official designation of Outcasts, but are looked more upon like shaman in some culture, whose segregation gives him an almost mystical but unenviable status as he creates new Gifts by interaction with others genes. These new Gifts will assuredly return to Korknomortese to create new clans and new casts. The Miajalzian, being Anima Elfs, have such variable genes that they are a rich source of new Gifts and their independent nature is seen as useful testing ground for applications of Gifts in other environments.
The Miajalzian are one of the most home bound Anima Elf cultures but even they are filled with a wanderlust that compels them to leave home and travel abroad. They also have an obsession with breeding as Korkomortese do although not amongst themselves. They are masters of animal husbandry, using some of the ancient magic and technology that made their race in the first place to make new fantastic animals. When they travel abroad, their expected to bring home an interesting specimen whose aspects may be transplanted or manipulated. The fact that Korkomortese use them as interesting specimens to breed as the Miajalzian do to animals they find humorous rather then insulting.
The Korknomortor Clan represents the ruling class and they are so because the Gift does not true, but strong, each of them has a different Gift that exists at its strongest. The Miajalzian Family are similarly Gifted. It comes when the two were allies who interbreed frequently and Miajalzian used genetic manipulation to guarantee the Gifts to come strong.
The Machine Empire
A plague against the Black Empire, and the rest of the world, a culture of xenophobic racist expansionist Mortal Dwarves. Like the Korkomortese, they have a cast system based around Gifts. They don't have clans, children are taken from their parents and used as slave labor until their Gift emerges. Or they die. Then they are placed into an appropriate Cast. Those who's Gift lends themselves to creating things go to the cast that is both the Artisan and Ruling class both, where they create equipment for their other casts to wage eternal war with the surface world in the name of the their Machine God.
Their mythology state that the Machine God created them, the Mortal Dwarves, using a great machine to create more perfect race destine to rule the world, giving them the Gifts. The see how the Korkomortese and other have given the Gifts to inferior races to be abomination and they will wipe them all off the map.
Note, however, you can resubmit the forest, and the Oni are solid enough that they do not need to be a subspecies of something else.
I don't particularly like the Kaiwhatever though.
edited 19th Feb '12 4:51:23 PM by Exelixi
Hm, someone else said it wasn't rejected.
And I proposed Ogres earlier and I'm providing a sample culture.
Remember thine contract, mortal. Thou shalt avoid more races until later.
Hm. We need to get a conclusive, satisfying take on ghosts. We discussed them earlier, but never got to any conclusions. Should they be magical imprints of consciousnesses? Souls kept from the Æther by powerful magic or emotion? Something else? More than one of those, frequently confused and conflated by the peasantry?
I didn't say the Forest was not rejected, only that I could not remember if it was. Let's look it up OK?
I also don't remember there being no Ogres.
OK, first of all I'm a *strong* believer in sentient beings having souls, not for religious reasons but because it would be monstrously unfair if they didn't. So even if we agree that ghosts aren't the "real" person but a psychic imprint of sorts (this actually seems to fit some Japanese myths as seen in the movie The Grudge) I want to state that souls exist in DS. Not going to demand it but consider it my official vote on the subject.
Now, since the Aether is such a major element of the setting I'd say that psychic imprints definitely have to exist in Sceal. They can also exist along true ghosts, thought those should only happen if the dead person was a wizard, was under a curse, died on a ley node, etc; just dying with something left to do (including revenge) should not be enough to get your soul to manifest in the physical plane- wouldn't the world be full of ghosts then? (This has always been a peeve of mine with ghost stories.)
I'm forgetting something... oh yeah STILL haven't read your Orc stuff, Exel (or Goa's Japanese stuff either) sorry I've been way too busy this weekend (doing home improvements.) You know I like to read and consider things well before I give my vote on them. But I'll do it ASAP honest.
edited 20th Feb '12 7:35:59 AM by Sijo
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