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Typical: no sooner do I start feeling better than I get a TON of work, which is why I'm so late. And it looks like I'll have even more for the weekend!! Better do what I have to do here ASAP:
First, results of last voting:
Up next, updating the main page accordingly.
Edit: Done. Thank goodness it was short!
...But now I need to post the NEXT ballot. -_- Tomorrow.
edited 26th Apr '12 7:56:19 AM by Sijo
Black Empire Facts #5.2
The Black Emperor, being the pinnacle of OCD control freakishness, adopted the Korkmortese clock. It is base 10, because everyone loves 10. It counts the approximate hours of the day and then the approximate hours of the night, so rather then 10 O'clock being midnight or noon, rather is is nearly dawn or dusk, of course their exists alternative versions that tilt the count five hours off to line it up the other way.
So, their are 20 hours in a day with 10 hours split between day and night (Or evening and morning). Each hours is 100 minutes long and each minute 100 seconds long. So being that a day of Domhain Sceal and Earth are the same length for the most part, their hours are a tad longer while their seconds are shorter. I calculate that their hours are 1.2 times longer and their seconds are .4 times the length of our own.
Since seconds according to this clock are so fast, the clock only actually ticks once every five seconds- or, to use the Earth equivalent, once every two seconds. Since this is an easier length of time to consciously count out, people, particularly people of lower stations, use ticks as counting units. This is the source of the expression "wait a tick."
edited 30th Apr '12 12:59:04 PM by Exelixi
Yes. And speaking of things that sound like they come from Exalted.
Path of Bodily Enlightenment
Magic is the power of the Aether and the Aether is the realm of the mind, so magic stems mostly from the mind. The Path of Bodily Enlightenment invites the Aether from ones Immaterial Mind to your Material Body. Supposedly, the discovery of the Path came after the rise of Mysticism but proceeded the power of proper Wizardry except perhaps Sorcery. Whereas Mysticism was made with tribal people, the Path coincided with the rise of the first nascent civilization.
The story goes that the first Walkers of the Path were a tribe that made themselves a town and towns that came together to make a city. Here, the warriors needed to be less vigilant, the mystics needed to exercise their knowledge less frequently. So came that the mystic watched the warriors drill in preparation for when they may need to become vigilant and noticed how their movements may mirror the natural flow of the world. So he asked of them if he may join them in their drills and they accepted in good humor. Soon the mystic felt first hand the entirety of his form come in line with the material and immaterial, his mind and body becoming a nigh perfect bridge between the two.
So it came that he shared his knowledge with the warrior whose body were already more in line then his and he opened the minds of those who wished it. Each found a different Trail of the Path resonated with them and they meditated upon the natural world to better find the enlightenment they desperately sought like words at the tip of their tongues.
So the Path of Bodily Enlightenment was made. It is the means by which most warriors fight, at least those who stand as legends. In modern times, the knowledge of at least the Material Trails is so disseminated among the world that even in the New Lands it is somehow found, either because it somehow spread (Or came from there) or that it's discovery was such a foregone conclusion that even independently the orcs and their native neighbors did so. Given that many claim that it was their ancestors that discovered the Path, this is possible.
While some Trails, that is the name for the divergent arts, are design around a practically naked warrior, bereft of armor and weapons, others are designed strictly with an equipped warrior in mind and others treat the whole affair as an optional choice to one degree or another.
The First Stretch: The Earthly Trails
In their meditation of the natural world, the First Walkers found that the mystical resonance found in body and mind imitating the natural gave them the power of these phenomenon. Animals, plants geographical features, meteorological happenings, etc. Later, things more to do with humanoid doings were done, such as the embrace of lovers, the movement of a working man, the bartering of two traders, etc. In this one will find the most Paths that still seemingly lack supernatural power even as they perform near impossible feat, so much even the practitioner may think they are not performing any kind of magic. Other are pretty blatantly supernatural in their power.
The Next Stretch: The Divine Trail
The making of the Next Stretch happened many generations later. A Terrestrial God made it, hence its name. From his perch, he could see the abstract connection that bound up material things and made a Trail to imitate this. It patently unclear what this was, who he was (Or if even a 'he' he was), some say whole weather systems, biospheres, ocean currents, humanoid economies, courtship rituals as a whole, the passing of age on a slowly dying person.
So the god created this Trail and found that he could teach it to mortals, only so long as they knew a Earthly Trail or two to give them the basis to understand this stuff. Here there are mundane seeming Trails to the outside observer but the practitioner will have trouble denying what he is doing is somehow based in reality. Also a lot more crazy crap too.
The Last Stretch: The Heavenly Trails
The end of the path, made by a Celestial God when she (Most accounts go with a female god on this one, but not all) manifested in the Material. What god this was is in debate but the tale says she taught this Trail to a favored Terrestrial God or Gods who themselves knew a Divine Trail or two and of course Earthly Trails and then he taught it to properly prepared mortals below them. This first Heavenly Trail would have been the god's defining concept played out through the body, as hard as that is to imagine. Since then, Celestial Gods passed down more, or Terrestrial Gods and even mortals came up with more.
Even here their are mundane seeming paths, but the observer senses a touch of something other to what he sees and the practitioner knows intrinsically what he does reaches beyond himself in a way. Those that are obviously supernatural are pretty insane looking.
They exist. That's about all I have to say there.
Are a pretty varied bunch. Their are Gifted of course, and Dedicated, and Blessed as well. Some seek Enlightenment and some simply have a particular inclination to a certain Trail.
Their are Magic Knights and Magic Monks and such that combine Wizardry (And/Or Sorcery) with the Paths to make a unique style of doing things all their own.
And Magicians, More
You also have 'Mudras', more commonly called 'Hand Sigils'. Pretty much a more keen reason for the wizard to be a finger waggler, as it is the Path writ small in the hands or sedately through simply body positioning to aid in magic casting.
Aaargh! So. Much. To. Catch. Up. To! And I still have a lot of work this week! But I promise I'll have the ballot ASAP!
Too Asian. /Western martial arts posturing
Damn! And I was trying to keep these things short! > <
(BTW, official request: I want to change the name of the Church of Truth to Brotherhood of Truth. Same concept, but avoids confusing it with a religion (though some of Sceal's people may do so anyway.)
Asian fighting styles are spiritual; western fighting styles are visceral. Sceal isn't a very wushu-samurai-whatever world.
Yes, really. With the exception of a few places, the things would be out of place; furthermore, they provide yet another reason why everything has to be all pretty and magic, instead of just a really skilled guy with a sword, a musket, and balls of titanium.
Well, it certainly doesn't invalidate that character concept. Hell, I specifically made mention of styles that aren't at all flashy.
And I could conceivably make a style base purely upon 'balls of steel'.
Edit: Also, we do have a character concept based on just being a guy with a sword and a musket, the Paragon Gifted or the Dedicated or etc. Some people may not have the mind set for walking the Path but do have the mind set to be a mundane murder machine.
edited 30th Apr '12 7:29:41 PM by God_of_Awesome
I'd argue both are compatible, and that Domhain doesn't come off to me as a western influence exclusive work. Especially considering how much non-western influence I've inserted into the setting, most of which without much of a fight.
edited 30th Apr '12 6:38:33 PM by Vyctorian
Here's the thing. The idea that a skilled martial artist would need much of anything beyond martial arts is irritating at best and ignorant at worst. Even in the age of automatic weapons, CQC is still being used to deadly effect. We've also established that magic isn't instantaneous; like a rifle, it is devastating, but it needs to be loaded or reloaded. Plus, guns. There are guns in this setting. Pretty effective ones, actually.
Remember, one of the themes is magic versus mundane. This would put the answer to the question "can vanilla mortal soldiers with dedication and skill match up to a supernatural" a very firm "no." And I simply cannot support that.
And then there is my personal experience as a boxer, MMA competitor, and HEMA fencer that martial arts that aim for a purpose beyond "kill the enemy" are inherently flawed.
Vyc, the Eastern influences you've worked in have been subtle enough to not throw off the atmosphere. Vaguely-Eastern countries and cultures is a different league from Magical Kung Fu Monks.
edited 30th Apr '12 6:42:28 PM by Exelixi
Sorry, Exe I'm with GOA on this one.
Exe, in my opinion it's the other way around- Sceal shouldn't have magic (or technology) that's too powerful. It disrupts the culture-clash setting if characters are walking one-man armies. Plus you can do wonderful things with subtle magic (curses for example.)
I DO agree that Eastern Monks have always felt like an ill fit in Western-type fantasy worlds, but since Sceal covers all cultural possibilities, I don't see why we couldn't have them here as well (just in the right places.)
And we already have People with "Gifts" so there ARE magic alternatives already in place.
Special Tactics Fighting
Some cannot do magic, or walk the Path or have a Gift*, but still bear within them undying Dedication and a capable mind and body. The things that they do are largely varied and situational but with them they have torn town the Gifts, the Walker, the Magician and Gods and they have been entirely mundane, material, in their nature. This person is called the Fighter.
*Their is the Gift of the Fighter Paragon
That is not to say it is the sole domain of the supernaturally challenged, but is the path available to those who for whatever reason or another eschew aetherial powers and have no mighty Gift* to launch into legend.
edited 13th Jun '12 11:39:23 PM by God_of_Awesome
Sijo: So we're in agreement, then, for the most part?
If we have eastern influenced cultures and countries then magical monks are no more out of place then magical knights.
I'm worried less about the atmosphere than the "strictly better than anything that isn't this" issue, at the moment.
If this is a thing, it needs to be an exclusive thing. You're either a magical Kung fu monk or a wizard, or a magical kung fu monk or a badass Musketeer.
That's a more understandable concern.
Domain Spells: Yes
Grog, God of Damnation: No
Wintermill Shipping and airships: Yes
Cammy : Yes
Ascended Gods: Yes
Proto Gods: yes
Nephilim (Subrace): Yes
Kerameikos, God of Fire, lava and volcanos: Yes
Aegaeus, God of water, and rain: Yes
Black Empire Facts #5 Zeledo, the Black Princess: Yes
Humorith, The celestial god of art, entertainment expression and appreciation of other expression: Yes
The Leanansidhe: Yes
The Pentagram And The States Of Matter: As a pagan, this is a little too close to home. No.
Patrisk Gan. . . That guy: Yes
Tomia Gin: Yes
Thryn, the Evening Star (Ascendant Celestial god): Yes
Astrourgists (magic): Yes
Imperial College: Yes
Ipera- Goddess of farmers, farming, and livestock: Yes
Matedism: Yes, quirky little things like this are fun.
Black Empire Facts #5.2 The Clock: Yes.
Addendum: ticks: Yes.
Path of Bodily Englightenment: As it is, no.
Name change from Church of Truth to Brotherhood of Truth: Yes.
So, has anyone else noticed how the focus on the Black Empire makes it its own little adventure setting? Not that I'm complaining, I like urban campaigns.
No, didn't like Special Tactics Fighting?
I don't feel the distinction needs to be made, there. Or if it is, something that clarifies how this works.
Actually, I think I'll write that up, as a blurb that will go next to the Themes section, beside "Magic Versus Mundane."
Ah, I feel it IS a distinction that needs to be made. It clarifies it as a viable option rather than just a lack of the other options.
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