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Arcanum

Discussion in 'Imperium OffTopicum' started by Tolina, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. Tolina

    Tolina trust the pillars with your s e c r e t s

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    10,491
    Location:
    Nightvale, US


    Hi. You probably have heard about this game, Arcanum, if you've been on IOTChat for more than five minutes. In case you haven't, however, and also decided to ignore the lore due to its wordiness, in resume, this is a game about magic and technology clashing in a fantasy world following the aftermath of a collapse of a world-spanning Elf empire that used magic to rule the world. There's more to it than that, but, of course, you can always read up on it.

    In any case, however, I'd like to welcome you to Arcanum! This game wouldn't have become reality without the help of the following people (in no particular order): Southern_King, Tyo Sonereal, Omega124, ThorvaldofLym, Crezth, Angst, Cived and Decamper, and Seon..., to be fair, most of IOTChat.

    And, of course. Ninjacow64 for agreeing to run this game alongside him. He wrote the whole ruleset and will do all the calculations whilist I'll be here and writing the updates.

    Joining the Game:

    To join the game, simply fill out this information about your nation. More detail about your nation would be appreciated, this form is simply the bare minimum we need to know at start.

    Nation Name: The name of your nation
    Capital Name: The name of your capital city
    Location of Capital and Borders: The location of your capital city, plus 2 more cities as well as the borders of your nation. Be reasonable with your border claims!
    Flag: Your flag
    Dominant Species: The dominant species of your nation. The species you choose will determine many things about your nation, including your starting Technology vs Magic meter.
    Minor Species: Minor species are species that, while not dominant, have a large presence in your starting city. You may take as many or as few minor species at game start, but for each one you take you start with a larger stability penalty. Trying to take a majority or all of the races at once is a one-way ticket to a civil war.
    Government: Your government type, you can choose from Hereditary/Appointed/Elective.
    Ruler Name: The name of your ruler. Stats will be randomly generated and slightly influenced by your starting post.
    Heir Name: The name of your heir. Stats will be randomly generated and influenced by your starting post.
    Names: Sample names that your nation uses.
    Background: Your nation's origins. How it works. Why it's like that. Basically, your history. The more details, the better.
    Religion: Not exactly needed per se, but a few sentences wouldn't be bad.

    Spoiler :



    Main Map


    Climate Map (subject to change. maybe.)

    Key
    Dark Bluish-Green: Tundra
    Light Bluish-Green: Taiga
    Light Green: Continental
    Dark Green: Tropical
    Orange: Semi-Arid
    Yellow: Arid
    Blue: Alpine



    You may post!
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
    Omega124 likes this.
  2. Tolina

    Tolina trust the pillars with your s e c r e t s

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    10,491
    Location:
    Nightvale, US


    RISE and FALL
    of the
    THEL IMPERIUM


    An Extensive Study into the Story of the Thelian Imperium, its Peoples, Religions and Rulers, and the Impact it has Left on the Society of Today

    by
    Monsieur Mathiel Arras.
    Published by the Albâtre Academy, on behalf of its most noble Archchancellor Pierre Jauffret

    Warmpeak, 1813 AE


    An Introduction



    Spoiler :

    Thel: a name that for different races is evocative of many different feelings. For dwarves, it is​
    their archenemy which forced them deep underground. For many Elves today, it is an etalon of what Elves must be, to what they must elevate themselves once more and to break free of what is perceived as being bound to the lesser races. Not that there is a lack of detractors who believe that the Thelians became decadent and callous, who never truly realised that the worst danger to the Thel Imperium was its very own rulers. To the orcs, their name is a grave insult, and the person who mentions them is in great danger if he does not leave quickly. More so if he or she is from Elvish descent. Even now, the memories of forced sterilisation inflicted upon those few Orcs who dared to dissent, are still very much alive. In contrast, Humans and Gnomes did not have such grave issues with the Thel Imperium. One could certainly say that they very quickly adapted to the changing conditions, and they never truly fell under the blows of Thel administration.1


    Nalore. Late period reproduction. Date unknown.

    [tab]But let us move on to the Thel Imperium itself. It had its humble beginnings in the Thelyana, on the Valien peninsula. A city called Nalore, was destined to become the capital of the world. From distant corners of world, ships would arrive and unload their cargo. Its school of mages and wizards would produce some of the finest spellcasters. Communities of every race and every religion existed, all to live ”l’yariah shyalh”2. The fruits of conquest bore their sweet juice in Nalore, and it seems that would never end.3

    [TAB]To this day, following the Collapse, many wonder: why did Thel grow so fast? After all, if it crumbled so easily, then why did it conquer the world? Part of this, is the false perception of the steadfast and near-immediate collapse of Thel that has been proselytized by many historians of different races. Truth is, of course, that this couldn’t be more false. A recent newspaper ran a story about a Thelian garrison in the isles of El-Thel Sea that still thought that the Thel Imperium still existed. It could be argued that it never truly collapsed. And, if I might daresay - it might never will. Thel will remain in our maps, in our numbers, in our vocabulary. Even in our coinage, as there are communities who still use antique Thelian coins! The Thel Imperium, much as we hate it, has left a memory that will not be erased for a millennium, perhaps not even two.


    Thelian Map of the World. Dated 1543 AE4

    [TAB]If we would begin tracing the reasons that led to Thel’s quick growth, we should begin with its spellcasters, that according to our sparse information from the period, had incredible abilities. Scattered writings that somehow survived the centuries tell us how terrified people were of things that today wouldn’t impress even the lowliest Mage Apprentice - fireballs, lightning from the skies…basically, today’s “beginner” spells were something else.

    [TAB]Furthermore, recent excavations near the (supposed) location of the Valien peninsula have drawn intriguing discoveries. It would appear that the raw mana discovered on-site has magical potential, far exceeding in quality the mana that is today available. Perhaps the most obvious way we felt its potential, was when our guards came back from their patrol, they had reported that some of their rifles fired with significant delay. More interestingly, a number of firearms even refused to fire at all, something that happens following a direct touch by an elf or a spellcaster of significant power.

    [TAB]So, capable spellcasters plus potent mana. This is one of the keys to solving Thel “mystery”, as some like to call it. But, if magic could be dispelled with simple electromagnetic devices, how did the Thel Imperium last out so long? After all, more and more evidence has been found that the Dwarves ‘supposedly’ had primitive Idrisium magnets5 500 years before the Collapse, plus many other technological marvels! Why they did not use them?

    [TAB]The answer to this question is rather simple: one of the most magic-intensive periods in the history of the world was occurring6, which meant that no Dwarven technology could ever possibly work at that time. Hence why, the Dwarves became insular and went underground - aboveground was simply uninhabitable for them due to the huge amount of mana fluctuating in the air, which, in large enough doses, can be actively dangerous to them.


    Artist's representation of the Ethereal Empress. Artist unknown.

    [TAB]Let us now move onto the society of Thel, which was admittedly, one of the larger reasons for which it had survived for so long. On the top, there is the Ethereal Empress - a female7 Elf of legend that supposedly ruled for the last 1600 years, bringing peace and prosperity. Truth is, we humans, do not actually know a whole lot about the Ethereal Empress - our knowledge is at best, minimal. One must note however, that in 800 AE, a noted change occurred in the way Thelians treated the Eternal Empress. From just being the custodian of the personification of Mana that is so prevalent in Elvish religious worship8, a new cult of veneration towards the Ethereal Empress began to take shape, as the pure representation of magic everywhere. More on that later, however.


    Typical attire for Ethereal Magisters. Court painter Ary’mas, 1573 AE.

    [TAB]As it is with every Empire, however, aristocracy must exist to assure its survival and sustainability. Of the highest order were the Ethereal9 Magistrates - Elven aristocrats with immense magical and political power that can make the ground boil, make the seas freeze, and in general, cause immense damage. Or immense prosperity. The point of this, however, is undoubtedly an attempt by the Ethereal Empress to consolidate its control over the more powerful spellcaster that lived within the Thel Imperium. Clearly, the Empress’s agenda was to not deal with spellcasters with Godlike powers to rising against you. So, the Ethereal Magistrates were born - a group of Elves with utmost loyalty to the Ethereal Empress. They weren’t seen outside Thel10, as they found the other two continents to be infested with the “lower” races that weren’t worthy of their respect. Unlike most aristocracy, they did not own any land; the influence that they yielded, however, was enormous, second perhaps only to the Ethereal Empress herself.

    [TAB]Where are they now? We do not know. Their estimates range from ~20 to hundreds, according to some chronicles. Elves can live for a very long time, about 300 years, even in the worst of circumstances. Life-extending magic can double, and in some cases, triple that amount. According, however, to my dear friend and an esteemed colleague in the world of academy, Mr. Aleister Howard, it is very likely that subsequent life-extending spells can cause a variety in disruptions in one’s mental health - ranging from dementia to violent schizophrenia.


    Same as the above. Athei.

    [TAB]Lower in the ladder, yet still quite influential (although, with far less magical potential) would be the landowning aristocracy, or the Athei. Most of them have titles resembling ours; it would be unneeded to list them now, however, due to their sheer amount. They also owned land outside Thel, although they usually preferred to give it out to local rulers in exchange for taxes, mostly due to their sheer size, as well as certain undesire to go outside the realm of Thel, plus the fact that the fact that, as all high-ranking Elves, they held bitter despisal for non-Elves. 11In comparison to the Ethereal Magistrates, however, the Athei are still much more open to other races, and there even exist scattered reports of human-elf marriage which, are however, by nature, short and usually, not repeated again with other non-Elf suitors.

    [TAB]Finally, on the bottom of the ruling scheme (but most numerous) would be the Demistrates - non-Elf aristocracy which ruled portions of the land given out by the Athei, where 75% of the taxes go towards the Athei, whilst the rest remained within the land so that the local ruler could improve it. Note that Demistrates today is used as a catch-all term - in fact, one doesn’t even need to own land to be part of this category, as it can also cover magistrates, local judges, and so on.


    Elvish Priest in the service of the Ethereal Empress. Date unknown.

    [TAB]Now that we have described (roughly, of course) the power structure of the Thel Imperium, let us move into the beliefs that these people held.12 The primary faith is, rather unsurprisingly, the worship of Mana. According to the The Book of At’isha, the Thelians were the blessed people, who had been anointed by Ishrama, the Mana itself in our mortal world, to use it for good and to spread the word abroad from one end to another.

    [TAB]Now this latter part has become quite the...contentious one, especially in the years following the Collapse. Several scholars have gone and said that, had it not been for religion, the Thel Imperium would have never existed as the world-conquering state we know today. Those certain people continue and say that the conquest of all nations under the sun would have never happened, had it not been for this particular tenet of their religion. To which, I’ll answer: this is the most patently fraudulent thing I have ever heard. It blatantly turns nearly 1600 years of history into a neat narrative about the evils of religion and how only by overthrowing it can one acquire enlightenment..

    [TAB]But history is never about neat narratives. It would have been so nice, if it was. I would not be writing this book, for an example, as everyone with half a brain would know what happened, why it happened, so on. Sadly, it is not. History, even in its more “clear-cut” episodes, remains a bloody mess in which different motives, ideals and a thousand manyfold things crash and collide. It is the historian’s job, to the best of his ability, to explain what happened.

    [TAB]As for the religion being the only and primary driver of Thelian conquests, just because a passage in their book claims they’re “destined” to do so, then I eagerly await for the Zel tribe in the deep Iridem jungles to begin their world conquest, as they hold the very same tenets that our dear friends believe that propelled the Thelians to world conquest.13


    Ascension to Godhood. Artist’s representation. Date unknown.

    [TAB]Back on the topic, however, we mentioned several pages earlier how religion changed in Thel. It would be more appropriate to call this a schism. What triggered it? Was it the death of the previous Empress, and the new candidate desiring to consolidate its control over the Imperium via a cult of personality? Of course, one could argue as well that it could be the same desire of the old Empress, a hunger for even more power, something so common for all races, especially if one holds so much power.14

    [TAB]An alternative hypothesis is that some kind of a grand cataclysm ravaged the lands, perhaps a volcano eruption or a drastic climate change. Mr. S. A Ferguson has published a recent work detailing this theory of his - his main sources being geological activity in some key places and historical chronicles detailing a “great hunger”. Naturally, these events led to people losing their faith in the old beliefs, and they sought reliance into something they can see and know for a fact that it exists.

    [TAB]Whatever the cause for this schism, it left lasting marks on Thelian society. Firstly, it created a division between city-dwellers and countryside population, as the former intensely worshipped the cult surrounding the Ethereal Empress, while the latter rejected it in its entirety. Why did that happen? It might be due to the fact that while there was a central goddess that represented and created Mana, Ishraema, She allowed for many local and beneficial mana spirits to exist freely. In the meantime, however, the personality cult demanded that all of the magic potential was solely for Empress. Abroad, thousands of monotheistic, polytheistic and so on religions and cults existed, some of them outright rejecting the authority of Ishraema... In other words, a mess that turned would soon turn even worse.

    [TAB]But, secondly, and perhaps more importantly, there was a change in the way magic was conducted. A new dogmatic teaching, pushed down from the Ethereal Empress, was now how all spellcasting had to be done in Thel. One Empress, one Way, one Mana. Such was its motto. It did not allow for any innovation, as, why would one spurn the One True Path? Inconceivable. Impossible. Infaillible. Those few fools who did try that were punished. Brutally. It also led to a general degradation of the skills that the Thelian spellcasters had, something that is still a contentious point amongst historians as to whether it was deliberate.


    Thelian inquisitor.

    [TAB]And, here, we approach the final point of this little introduction. The Collapse. The End. If the beginning of the Thel Imperium is hidden within mysteries, mistruths, lies and fabrications by both Thelians and their own detractors alike, then the collapse of Thel is even more shrouded in lies. There are so many talesfor every race, from the noble humans that built upon the Dwarven works to destroy the evil Thelians, to Dwarven fables about how the Thelians bathed in dwarf blood and the Paragons punished them for that, and then ending in the simple Orcish theory of “historical revenge”15

    [TAB]But most pervasive, most dangerous, the most sickening of them all is the theory of the Outies. Their belief is simple. It was ordained that the developed technological nations would triumph over the superstition of the magical nations. All of history, supposedly, is the inexorable march of select few chosen races to new and broader horizons, all brought by technology. It is ironic, indeed, that the supposed calm and objective people venerate and worship this new God they have created, but I am rambling. The point is, that this idea turns all historical figures into some sort of one-dimensional personas, who either oppose “progress” or help further “progress”.

    [TAB]What ended Thel? Well, it is a combination of multiple factors - many of which, still quite unclear to us - but I will do my best to explain what ended it.

    [TAB]One of the foremost reasons would be the Thelians themselves. As we have already mentioned, their dogmatic beliefs removed any hope for innovation within its spellcasters. Not to mention, of course, that while the cult of personality that was established did resolve the inner tensions running within the realm, it was at the cost of centralizing the Imperium to a fault.

    [TAB]The Athei soon became sycophantic aristocracy which, in their zeal and desire to secure the grace of the Empress, soon had forgotten all about their lands. Once some of the more ambitious Demistrates figured that out, they decided that they could stop paying the Athei, and rule as kings and queens and counts and such in their own right. The Athei didn’t notice that; or,when they did, it was too late. To make it even worse, they had became lazy and complacent. Gone were the days of glorious aristocracy that ruled the world and extracted revenue into the coffers of the Imperium. No, the amount of money that had build up within the treasuries of the Athei had made them deaf and blind. Someone, however, did notice. And they were going to act up.

    [TAB]The Ethereal Magistrates, until then, were at best, a cabal of spellcasters with ultimate power and incredible influence, yet they owned no lands. However, when the above was happening, they saw it as a perfect chance to change that. They began leading campaigns of “pacification” - always alone, and it seemed as if some kind of a demi-God had descended from the skies to punish them for their “sins”. Once they had gotten the land, however...An idea popped up within each and every Magistrate, that they could rule this, all alone. None of this Ethereal Empress nonsense.


    The Last Ball, by Claryan Pierson.

    [TAB]And the darkest period, the grand finale for the Thel Imperium had begun. Long gone were its best days over with even before this nascent crisis, but it had became so much worse. A civil war had begun, in which mighty magic was unleashed upon this world. But mana reserves were beginning to drain up. And then, the final mistake was done.

    [TAB]For centuries, one reason had kept up the dwarves deep underground and prevented all machinery, save for a select few machines, from functioning. The Veil of Ishrama, it was called, after the avatar of Mana in this world. Later on, and especially after the adoption of the cult of personality, it was shortened to just The Veil. It was what had kept the Imperium up for so long. It was a network of mana towers16 that emitted mana constantly, building up and preventing all but the most simple technology functioning.

    [TAB]So, it was ordered that these towers would cease working. In the end, the Imperium’s main foe, the Dwarves were extinct, no? And the humans are on their side, as they had been for centuries? So no need for the Veil, when a war for control was being waged over. They were wrong, of course.

    [TAB]The dwarves had always kept an eye for the aboveground, for that revenge had to be enacted, even if it is a millennium or two late. So when the Veil was gone, reports began soon resurfacing about Dwarves reappearing. With weapons. And anger that had waited for centuries. Of course, when the first battle between Thelians and Dwarves occurred in 1689 AE, the Imperium was...well, it was hardly an unified state. It was a nation ravaged by war and disease. Trade was impossible, as mad magic had raged over the oceans and freak storms were a daily occasion.


    Ready for fire.

    [TAB]An apocalyptic image, in any case. However, it was not quite end for the Imperium. Seeing this new threat, a temporary peace treaty between all the Magistrates was signed, under the blessing of the Empress. Coincidentally, that is the last confirmed record we have of her. Everything else is legends and myths. And even the treaty was rather limited; it wasn’t an unification of the old Imperium, but rather, the creation of three nascent Empires, for each continent. Of course, there was a provision stating that once one of the new Empires claimed victory, the Imperium would become one perfect whole once more, but considering past experiences, one would not be surprised that even in such a scenario, they would go back to bickering over land again.

    [TAB]The peace of Nalore may have increased the lifespan of the Imperium (or, rather, its inheritors), but it came too late. A grand coalition of orcs, humans and dwarves had already been formed, with one idea: to end the Thel Imperium, in all of its forms. Battles raged across the three continents, with seemingly no end in sight. So, it was decided to strike into the heart of the beast - a mighty navy was formed, with the purpose of capturing Nalore.

    [TAB]It had succeeded. On the way, many ships were sunk by magic, but for every ship, another three had come. Add to this the increasingly inefficient spellcasting of the Thelians, and you had a recipe for victory. Or so it had seemed…

    [TAB]The Battle of Nalore, 1727 AE, was a draw, at least, tactically. Magic and technology clashed there, and the forces involved were huge. Massive Dwarven magnets, made out of Idrisium, against the mighty mages. It was an epic battle, with an even more epic resolution. Man, Elf, Orc and Dwarf alike died in the massive explosion, caused by the sole might powers of technology versus magic clashing in an epic struggle.


    Dwarf soldier, once the battle was over.

    [TAB]Strategically, however, as well as politically, this was the end of the Thel Imperium. The resulting explosion sank down the entire peninsula upon which Nalore was built upon, taking down with it the entire city, alongside the Ethereal Empress and several Ethereal Magistrates (unconfirmed). Upon receiving the news, however, the remaining Magistrates supposedly entered some kind of religious frenzy, according to R’hall Hrad, the chronicler of the All-Conquering Campaign followed by “ennui” and then, suicide. However, this source being rather biased, we cannot tell with full confidence that this is really what happened.

    [TAB]In any case, however, this was the end of any and all power structures left by the Imperium. All Athei were found, and their treasures were seized (in fact, this nearly caused a giant rift within the coalition that would end it) by whoever managed to get their hands on them. The true fate of the Ethereal Magistrates is still unknown, mainly compounded from the fact that their total number was never quite fixed, and due to the fact that records about them after the battle of Nalore are strictly in the “tall tales” region. Perhaps only the Demistrates managed to avoid such fates, as some of them continued to rule. Some of them, of course, did not, and were brutally murdered by their own people. Most low-level Demistrates, however, continued to do their work, albeit under title, and perhaps under a different ruler.[/FONT][/SIZE]


    [TAB]And this would conclude our brief Introduction. Now, it is time to get into the meat of the story…

    CHAPTER ONE: BEGINNINGS OF THE THEL IMPERIUM






    __________________
    Spoiler :

    1. Except for any humans that desired to be spellcasters. According to the Thelian dogma, non-Elf spellcasters were degenerates, and it is every good citizen’s duty to report them, or, if they had the abilities, to end their miserable existence. Of course, that didn’t stop anyone from trying to become spellcasters, with predictable results.
    2. or in Common, ”the good life”
    3. Until it did. And when that happened, it sank down to the seas, taking down both friend and foe into the calm depths, where nobody will remember them. Maybe there they will seek and find peace with one another.
    4. After Establishment; i.e, the first written accords about the Ethereal Empress
    5. Not to mention that the “primitive Idrisium magnets”, a discovery that made headlines for many days, turned out to be a phony fabrication. Not before its creator had made several book deals, however.
    6. Deeper layers of the soil prove that, as trace amounts of mana have been discovered in regions which are not close to any actual mana deposits.
    7. We say “female”, but truth is, for all we know, it could be male, as well. Dwarven scholars, as well as some of the more conservative human scholars tend to use the term ”Ethereal Emperor” rather than ”Ethereal Empress”. This, however, is unfounded (perhaps created out of some sort of silly anger that a woman might or might have not ruled the world for about 800 years?), so we have instead opted out to use the latter term, coming from the ”Thelaeid”, from Thelgil, dated 900 AE. Furthermore, for an Elf that had welded such mighty magic, would such trivialities such as “gender” even truly apply? We may never know for sure.
    8. As anachronistic as that might sound. Unfortunately, this is a history book, and not a book of theology, so we shall not indulge this topic in further depth than it is necessary.
    9. Some people snicker at the Thelians and their obsession with eternity, but when an Elf says that, they mean it, especially if one is a potent spellcaster.
    10. The continent, not the state. A general note would be that when we speak of “Thel” we mean the continent, while we refer to the state as ‘the Thel Imperium”.
    11. Oddly enough, the Athei, alongside the other Elven nobility, did not exactly see non-Elves living in Thel in such a disparaging light, perhaps owing to the fact that they were conquered earlier on, and thus, considered “assimilated”.
    12. This, being merely an introductory part, we’ll only cover the state religion of the Thel Imperium (and, only at a glance). Furthermore, one should note that the Athei were in general fairly lenient when it comes to religion, adopting the old idea that as long as taxes come into the coffers and people don’t rebel against the central authority, one could worship whatever religion they want to. Unless, of course, said religion contains tenets that are deemed “anti-Thel”, in which case, one can expect only a massacre. Since this book, not being a work of theology, will cover the various religion’s effects on certain events in the Thel Imperium, but will not argue about their merits, and merely present them as they happened. For such a work, I would recommend the brilliant A. A Simmons’ Religions in the Thel Imperium: A Summary, which deals in great depth on that subject.
    13. And one could indeed criticise me that the two situations are entirely different; and he would be at least partially right, but not totally. The lands surrounding Nalore aren’t prime agricultural land, even after the magic applied to them (Mr. Arras is willing to go as far that it might have deteriorated the soil), and until its rise, Nalore was in a bit of a trading dead-end. [/I]
    14. Considering, however, the kind of torture that Thelians through the ages inflicted upon the Orcs, for being the “lowest of the low, foul beasts who must be purged and removed, for they are a blight upon the land”, as one anonymous Thelian chronicler says in bitter rage...not to mention, the kind of sick experiments conducted upon them. Forced sterilization, dissection upon a living Orc to see how it's body works as its life slowly goes away...Perhaps the most ugliest of them all would be the attempt of one Thelian caster to “cure away the Orcdom”, as he says in his own words, by stealing away Orcish children and trying to turn them “back” into Elves that they supposedly once were. All in all, one cannot truly blame the Orcs for having such intense belief that the time of Thelians one day would come.

    15. Far weaker than today’s mana towers used in almost all magic nations, but for their time, they managed to accomplish what they were created for. Furthermore, nobody had ever tried out siphoning the emitted from the towers mana, due to the dogmatism that was then ruling Thel, or those who did were...well, dealt with. In any case, the importance of the Veil’s towers cannot be understated, as they laid out the blueprints for the today’s magic towers.

     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
  3. Tolina

    Tolina trust the pillars with your s e c r e t s

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    10,491
    Location:
    Nightvale, US

    On the
    APPEARANCE and TRADITIONS
    of the
    PEOPLES of ARCANUM


    A relation of the characteristics and cultures
    of its many species as they evolved through time


    by

    Professor Iryana Mullwater
    &
    Doctor Christopher Pearson.

    Published by Charles Alberton, Ramford
    1811 AE



    [TAB]If one could claim anything about the races of Arcanum without attracting any sort of controversy, it is the pure diversity that exists. From humans, that dot every continent, to the "beastly" Orcs, who are not the evil barbarians that want to steal the beautiful maiden, but are just as intelligent as we are. The goal of our work is to bring clarity to our readers, for that during our travels we have discovered that this diversity is fundamentally misunderstood. All races seem to hold certain prejudices to each other. Some of them are deeply ingrained within said cultures - for an example, if you read a fantasy book, chances are you will find the good old stereotype about dwarves being miners and smiths, when many of them were writers, or even, painters!

    [TAB]But we are going off-topic. Before we continue, we must make one thing clear: no race is locked to a sole climate! In other words, forget all the clichés about happy little dwarves mining away in the mountains, or, even worse, Elves frolicking in forests "in commune with nature" as numerous authors claim. Indeed, one can find dwarves living in ravines, with no issue at all. In other words, the "magic" of the racial adaptability can overcome even the most severe of climates. Some, of course, like humans, are better at adapting, while some are better at just using their abilities to make a more comfortable living, like Elves and their magic or dwarves and their technology.

    [TAB]For the ease of our readers, we shall split each race's descriptions into the following categories:

    • Appearance: Self-explanatory; the way a race looks.
    • Value: A brief, admittedly, rather generalized attempt at making a summary of the most widely-spread beliefs existing within said race. Should be only taken as a frame, from which one, if dedicated enough to the topic, can expand infinitely upon it and receive the full picture.
    • Aptitude: Some races, however, do certain things better than others. This category reflects upon the certain things some races just are better at.

    [TAB]With that out of the way, we can now begin introducing the various races inhabiting Arcanum.

    HUMANS

    Spoiler :


    Our editors, Rand Jordan and his wife, Elaine Jordan. We thank them for allowing to use this drawing scribbled together by a friend of theirs.

    Appearance: Humans come in many shapes and forms. Their skin colour can range from lily white all the way to pitch black, depending on the climate the particular human has inhabited. The height and weight of most humans starts from 1.50m to 1.80m; 58 kilograms to 100 kilograms for men, and 1.40m to 1.80m; 43 kilograms to 84 kilograms for women. Both depending, of course, on nutrition and the general environment that a person has been raised in.

    The hair of a person can be in multiple colours - but red, brunette and blonde are usually dominating - and in different styles, especially for women. Eye colour has much more variation, especially considering that it can often change in many individuals, not to mention that some colours hold certain significance in the minds of humans, like for an example blue eyes are usually believed to be inherently "noble", or green eyes being "feral".

    The face itself is a testament to the adaptability that humans are so well-known for - depending on the climate, noses, cheekbones, even the jaws can come in different shapes and sizes. Sadly, for all the adaptability, humans have to pay a certain price for it - usually, they are frail and fragile, and tend to suffer from disabilities often, which, perhaps is not as crippling as would be to another race, considering their short lifespan in comparison to most races, clocking out only at about 75 years, and only in certain cases in well-developed countries.

    Values: Perhaps as a psychological reflection of Man's adaptability, but the main drive of humanity is their never-ending ambition. Indeed, the desire to be on a higher and higher position is why they were so easily integrated within the Thelian Imperium, as human bureaucrats soon became an invaluable tool in ruling distant territories and collecting taxes as smoothly as possible. Of course, once the wind swept differently and it became apparent that the Thelian Imperium is a rotting structure, so did Humans switch towards the Coalition.

    That is, of course, not to say that all ambition is evil or borne out of corruption and greed. Sometimes, it's just a desire to create something lasting. Eternal, even. It is perhaps ironic that the races with the shortest and longest life-spans (humans and elves, respectively) have such a lust for eternal monuments that would last through the ages - be it technology, art, or magic.

    Aptitude: As we have already mentioned, humanity always desires to leave something behind. It is essentially encoded within their minds. Perhaps the best way this manifests itself is in the creation of multiple progeny (often, from different women…), in a vain attempt to leave some sort of a legacy. But the promiscuity between man and woman amongst humans is not what is special.

    No, rather, it is the fact that many humans are willing to procreate with different races, resulting into the so-so called 'hybrid' races. The most prevalent combinations usually involve Elves, Orcs and Dwarfs. Usually, it happens after a long mission in a foreign land, where all of your colleagues are busy with work, and then you meet a fine gal/guy of another race and you are just so...entranced, after all that time.

    Of course, not all of those relationships are moonshine and love songs; indeed, many of the of the hybrids are not fruits of love, but rather, of rape.


    ELVES
    Spoiler :


    A newly wed Elven couple. 1801, Warmpeak. Shown with their permission.


    Appearance: Beauty. When someone thinks about Elves, this is one of the first things that comes to mind. Once that first impression goes away, however, once one thinks for a moment more upon it. Beauty, but with a layer of chillness. Perhaps that is amplified by the variating skin colours that Elves can take - from ivory white, all the way to the black of a starless night, which, of course, can change over the course of an Elf's long lifespan, but only if a long-lasting and radical change occurs in the environment that he or she currently inhabits.

    The height of an ordinary male Elf can range from 1.60m to 2m (1.60m~1.90 m for women), while the weight begins from 50 kilograms all the way to 70 kilograms (45kg~55kg for women), of course, depending on one's nutrition and general environment. Unlike humans, most Elves have very eclectic hair colours, which are quite impossible for the most humans, such as silvery white (which, usually, is not a sign for an elderly person amongst Elves), through dark blue, often closing into midnight blue, and then, of course, the always fashionable black. Unlike humans, hairstyles play a rather important role as an identifier within Elven society - long, unkempt hair is a sign of a tribal Elf, while elaborate hairstyles are tell-tale signs that the Elf in front of you has not left the city in a long time. The more elaborate, the more influential said Elf is.

    Like skin colour, the eye colour of an Elf is almost guaranteed to change over time, and the colour palette that they can take is about unlimited. Interestingly, however, unlike humans, most Elves rarely believe in that certain eye colours determine the character of a person; most likely due to the fact that over the years, eye colours can change multiple times, making it a poor way of judging someone.

    The faces of most Elves are soft and neat, ever-attractive for humans through the centuries, and of course, endeared with the characteristic pointy ears. Let this description of beauty and, indeed, vanity, fool you, however. Elves can hold much endurance and strength within their seemingly weak limbs, not to mention, their great agility. And with a life-span of nearly 150 years (without magical intervention), they have enough time to outlive their enemies and take vengeance upon their offspring.

    Values: A strive for perfection. Whether that is shaped by the Thelian Imperium's dogma that still lives on in the far corners of the mind of many Elves to this day, or perhaps something that is a natural part of their behaviour. In any case, however, an Elf's mission in life is to obtain some sort of perfection, a term whose definition usually differs from an Elf to Elf. Unlike human ambition, however, it is not just a desire to rise above your peer's rank or leave a great art work. No, perhaps this is one of the reasons people find Elves so arrogant: they want to create something that will be always perfect, even if it is not. And, considering their lengthy life-spans, they are more than willing to flaunt that fact.

    The image of the cold, calculating Elf spellcaster or a noble has been firmly cemented in the minds of most humans, however, usually that's the exception, not the case. Indeed, one could even easily say that they are more passionate than most humans, but this passion is usually hidden; shown only amongst those of their own kin and their closest friends, never shown to outsiders. To those few non-Elves that do get to experience it, however, they say that it is nothing like it on this world. A storm of emotions, pleasure...and, alas, in the end, pain from the loss of the non-Elf, as his/her (usually) shorter life-span eventually ends this beautiful relationship. All that remains from it is a half-Elf child, which lives in neither the human, nor in the Elf world.

    Aptitude: But even more important than the neverending search for perfection (although, certainly a way to manifest it…) is magic. Research has shown that the folklore trope of the mighty Elven spellcasters may have some truth to it. Nearly all Elves have more than double the usual Flux flowing through their veins, and they can harness the energy released from mana better than any race. Whether natural, or something that evolve over time as a way to survive, remains yet to be seen. In any case, another thing that sets out Elves as the prime spellcasting nation is how far some can go in their devotion for purer, better Magic. It is no surprise that the great minds of Magic are mostly Elves.



    ORCS
    Spoiler :


    An orcish father and his daughter. As surprising as it may seem, they did not eat the artist who drew this.


    Appearance: Orcs. One would indeed wonder why we are even bothering with this. Everyone has seen an orc, no? There's hundreds of depictions, but all the same - a brutish barbarian, wearing a fur cloth, and surrounded by burning ruins, often times, with a woman's corpse to really hammer the point home. It's unfortunate, but the fact is, that the amount of truthful and faithful to reality depictions of Orcs are depressingly few. Many of the most circulated depictions, especially the ones that are titled just BARBARIAN are usually made by people who have not even seen an orc, considering that the creatures depicted there look closer to bugbears than actual orcs!

    But let us get back on topic. Climate shapes the skin colour of most orcs; for an example, an olive-green skin means that the orc hails from the deep forests, while a light ochre showcases an orc that has been born in a desert environment. Finally, a grayish hue is a tell-tale sign of an orc that is living in the tundra.

    The height of a male Orc ranges from 160cm all the way to 215cm; on the other side, a female Orc's can be from 150cm to 205cm tall. As for weight, male Orcs usually begin at 80 kgs through 150 kgs, and one can be certain that in the latter case, it definitely is not excess fat; meanwhile, female Orcs start out at 60 kgs and end at 130 kgs, something that can of course increase during birth. Usually, the actual weight and height of an Orc is not only dependant on its gender; environment and upbringing also play a big role.

    Few races have so few in hair colour - while other races can boast at least three colours, Orcs seem to come only in two variants - redheads (for women) and brunettes (for men). That, however is made up with the fact that those two colours come in vastly different shades, which, curiously enough, are used to differentiate between different members of the Orc society. Not to mention the truly enormous amount of hairstyles existing within some communities; they can be truly a code which only their fellow peoples can decode, leaving it only a beautiful mystery to the rest of us.

    The faces of orcs are perhaps what strikes most people, and is perhaps why they are seen so unfavourably amongst humans. Unlike Elves, or, half-Elves, which are seen as the beauty standard, with their clean, nice faces, most Orcs have ragged, ugly faces. Not to mention that they are quick to obtain a number of scars on their faces, be it from fighting their own kind, or from scuffles with other races. Last but not least, the two front teeth that always come out of an Orc's mouth, which makes even the friendliest smile turn into something much more worrying.

    Most Orcs live up to 45-60 years, but death can come much earlier, considering the fact that violence can often be a daily part of life. Still, one should not make the mistake to believe that old Orcs are any weaker than their younger counterparts - indeed, older Orcs can be just as dangerous, and an elderly Orc commanding an army can easily fill the enemies with dread.

    Values: Defiance. This is what defines the Orc society now, and, quite possibly - forever. Ever since the Thelian conquest of the known world, perhaps the most disadvantaged race of them all was exactly the Orcish, as they got a treatment perhaps even worse than the one received by the Dwarfs, who managed to hide underground once it began plainly obvious the fate of those who remain up there. Unlike Dwarfs, however, Orcs could not afford the same thing; an Orc underground is a just very disoriented creature, who simply cannot thrive there.

    Hence why, all Orcs were always on the move. Always on guard. As time went on, that got worse, as the Thelians began hunting for small children, and sending out wizard parties to sterilize any Orcs they could find, perhaps as a warning to the rest...or, in any case, to make them feel ashamed of letting that happen. Interestingly, however, that made Orcs popular within certain circles of human society that were not quite on board with the Thelian government, perhaps out of sympathy, perhaps out of pragmatism. This had the effect of birthing the first half-Orcs, who are today still derided by both humans and Orcs alike, but are slowly making progress to break that veil of hatred.

    One would think, that once the Thel Imperium finally met its timely death, the defiance and hardships of Orcs would finally end. Alas, that is not the case. But, unlike Thelians, most Orcs realize that it is not pure, burning hatred that is their enemy today; rather, it is simply ignorance. It is why, there exists a burgeoning movement for restoration of the old culture, lost in the years of nomadic existence, so that Orcs can show that they are, indeed, civilized and not roaming barbarians seeking to rape and pillage. We wish them luck in their endeavour.

    Aptitude: An Orc is always ready to serve. To protect. Not to pillage and burn, of course, but when war comes upon an Orcish nation, you can expect that they would react quickly and swiftly as they can. Therefore, one should never underestimate the fighting abilities of Orcs; for all the recent talks of peace and understanding with other races, the blood, once it calls upon, it cannot be easily silenced. Furthermore, the Orcish armies have always one unit, one person that is ever-present - the Shamanist. Ages of tradition and magic art passed down from generations to generations allows him or her to disrupt the magic of even the most able casters, often with little difficulty. And never should assume that the Orcs are primal and reckless; indeed, they can show great cunning and a sense for when a new weapon can be truly useful or not.


    DWARVES
    Spoiler :


    Dwarf prospectors, staking their land.


    Appearance: Until approximately 150 years, not a whole lot was known about Dwarves. Indeed, most academic works on the races inhabiting Arcanum that come from that time period did not even acknowledge their existence, much less give any real details on their appearance. This, of course, is related to the fact that dwarfs were not seen on the surface, and the active Thelian efforts to remove any and all reports about the Dwarfs. With the collapse of the Imperium, however, the existence of Dwarves is now widely-accepted.

    Unlike most races, the skin colour is almost uniform across nearly all Dwarf communities - a very, very pale white, coming from the severe underexposure to the sun due to being forced underground for a prolonged period of time (at this point, the Dwarves themselves are not totally sure how long).

    Unfortunately, due to to the paranoia and irreverence that most Dwarves hold towards aboveground inhabitants, we cannot tell with complete precision how much they weight and much less how tall they really are. Not to mention that, in the Dwarf village we encountered, the lone thought of us measuring their wives was met with an almost hostile reaction, and we had to leave nearly immediately.

    Another curious thing is, unlike most races where dyed hair is at best frowned, and at worst, a sign of immaturity, in dwarven society, most miners are required to dye their hair and beards in bright colours (such as red, yellow, even purple), so as to be easily seen in the dark underground tunnels. The way to obtain it is very simple, by grinding Nesolite, a quartz-like mineral that can be usually found as shards floating through underground rivers. The resulting dust is then turned into usable dye, which also glows in the darkness as a distant beacon. Most Dwarf hairstyles are simple, and hair is just left to be flowing down to the ground, in some extreme cases.

    The face of a Dwarf is usually dominated by his/her beard, and is it a matter of pride to keep it as long as it is possible. It's not unusual to see colour patterns drawn over their beards as a method of showing off their rank; the brighter the colours, the higher the quality of the ochre used, thus, the more influence said Dwarf has upon his peers. Unfortunately, the signs on the beards themselves still remain a mysterious code to all non-Dwarves. Underneath the beards, however, something curious lies. As expected, the dwarves have paler skin, but their faces are far more sullen than it was otherwise expected.

    A Dwarf's lifespan is...also unknown, but it probably goes as far as 150 years, at best, especially considering the total inability of Dwarves to cast magic, which means no life-extending spells. However, considering that most Dwarves become miners, the chances of reaching such ripe old age are very low, due to the dangers lurking underground - gallery collapses, gas pockets...even your own co-workers, if gone long enough without seeing another Dwarf.

    Value: Responsibility. In theory, there is not an universal Dwarf Law (that we know of, anyway), and rather, a collection of many laws for each clan/mine or underground city existed. What however unites all of those laws is the concept of a responsibility for the actions of the individual - i.e, if a Dwarf's actions result into a net negative for his community, he or she will be punished.

    That is not just limited to the sphere of crime and punishment - it also expands to nearly all tenets of life, in place such as invention, where an inventor is obliged to make his damndest sure that none of his inventions harm another Dwarf who is part of the same community(perhaps unsurprisingly, that does not expand to non-Dwarves…) or introduce trends that would be disruptive for society. Of course, how that exactly is decided is unknown for us, humans, but a committee is surely involved within that. To give an example, a rifle that would fire faster but would jam faster and be prone to misfires would be struck down as unusable for the particular clan, but it would not be forbidden to trade it with another clan.

    Interestingly, while in day-to-day life, the principle of Responsibility is heavily-ingrained, when it comes to diplomacy between two Dwarf clans, one can see that it is quickly discarded in the name of pragmatism, which is one of the reasons that the designs for the steam engine which revolutionised this world managed to get out. So, to assume that Responsibility is an inflexible system that can be used to game Dwarves and obtain rare technologies would be a...foolish mistake, to say the least.

    Aptitude: As we already noted, the original steam engine is a Dwarf invention. It's not the sole invention that they have made, as rumours of giant, coal-fueled lines for mass production existing deep underground. All but rumours, but one cannot deny that the proficiency that the Dwarves manifest when it comes to industrial matters. Furthermore, most Dwarf industrialists also feel responsible to bring the best quality goods to the populace. Not to mention that the workers are beholden to make those goods as fast as possible.


    GNOMES
    Spoiler :


    Gnomish alchemists at work.


    Appearance: Of all races present on Arcanum, perhaps the shortest and most...unimpressive, at least, in the physical sense, would be the Gnomes. Indeed, they are not muscular as the Orcs or Dwarves, nor beautiful as Elves or even Humans. In other words, of all races, perhaps the Gnomish is the most ignored for no reason beyond their height. Whether that is "charming" in the wave of violence between various races on ancient history or a real, social problem, is all depending on whom you are talking to.

    Being city-dwellers, gnomes can have varying skin colours, depending on the city climate that they inhabit. Usually, however, they have whitish skin, as they spend a lot of time within their alchemical workshops and have a preference towards a more temperate climate in general. Of course, in more tropical and warm climates, most gnomes have a much darker tint than their temperate cousins.

    We have already established the obvious fact about the height of Gnomes. But just how short they are? Almost all gnomes, regardless of gender, tend to be within the range of 90cm up to 120cm, the latter making one a "giant" amongst a gnomish society! In addition to not being very tall, both male and female gnomes don't weight a whole lot, where mostly it starts from 16 kilograms to the "whopping" 19 kgs.

    Most gnomes do not keep long hair; even the female ones tend to keep a shorter hair, as it can often get in the way of alchemical experiments. Besides, said experiments often have a tendency of ruining your hair in multiple and unfortunate ways anyway, so having a long hair usually is not a good idea. What other races have in the way of hair styles, Gnomes have it in their traditional headwear, or the so-so called Aljins (as pictured above), which can be used as a signifier of one's social status within the Gnomish race. Eye colour shifts widely in most Gnomes, due to a special alchemical compound that can alter it, and it can be in multiple colours, which can carry a vast amount of information for those in the know. Not to mention it can be exported at a great price to those interested in it.

    Often, people mistakenly assume that Gnomish and Dwarven faces (especially with the relatively recent resurgence of Dwarves), thinking that they are the same. While similarities do exist, the centuries of divergent lifestyles have made Gnome faces more fat and pulpy, with thicker lips and a myriad other differences, which clearly differ them from Dwarves. Not to mention, that due to the alchemical experiments already mentioned, having a long beard reaching down to the floor is a rather bad idea if you are a Gnome.

    The lifespan of a Gnome is slightly higher than that of a human, clocking out at 80-90 years, although it varies, but most Gnomes make sure that they live in the best conditions possible. Gnome alchemists however usually have slightly lower lifespan - somewhere at 70-75, mostly due to the various alchemical compounds they inhale that can often lead to unfortunate side-effects later on.
    Values: Each Gnome cares for his own family. When a Gnome means family, however, usually a lot more expanded version is kept in mind than what we usually assume. A "normal" Gnomish family can have more than 2000 members! Each and every single of them work towards the greater good of the family. The ways to do so are a myriad, but two subsets remain ever so popular - alchemists and bankers. Of course, that is not to say that those are the only ways to support the Family, but rather, just the most popular.

    One of the unique arts that only Gnomes can truly master is the one of Alchemy. Broadly, it uses Flux to manipulate various chemical elements to do things that, in theory, they should be unable to do. Its grand quest was to turn lead into gold, or really, any other element into Gold, to achieve ultimate richness and prosperity for the Family of the said Gnome.

    Alas, that failed; as it turns out, the principles that normally allow various metals to transition into different metals did not work in the case of the Gold, a strange mystery that is yet to be revealed. In any case, however, Gnomish alchemists nowadays have focused more towards producing various eclectic hair dyes for various nations, or creating new and bizarre colour palettes for artists that want to be on the very cusp of avangardism.

    Bankers, on the other side, are smarter Gnomes who realised that chasing this foolish dream will not net them any real income, and will just make for a life full of misery. Instead, they had the bright idea, that with enough ingenuity, one CAN turn paper to gold. Indeed, Gnomes were the first bankers (not that they were not money lenders in the past), who took the chance of the Thel Imperium slowly collapsing into multiple states, that disavowed the Thelian currency and sought to create their own.

    And since the Gnomish moneylenders had a lot of money on hand, they decided cleverly to unite their capital, thus creating the first banks in Arcanum, some of which even today exist.

    Aptitude: Knowing Gnomish society, and its main unit, the over-extended Families, it would only make sense that as time goes, some of the Gnomes would prefer to keep the money for themselves, as opposed to sharing. To make sure that this does not happen, many Families applied various regulations that would make sure that every Gnome did their due. Once the Gnomes got their own states, many of those regulations were adopted within the tax code of said nations. Not to mention, that the Gnomes themselves knew plenty of loopholes, so when those tax codes were adapted, they ceased to exist no longer, leading to extract more money from the populace without also causing an open rebellion.​
     
  4. Tolina

    Tolina trust the pillars with your s e c r e t s

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    10,491
    Location:
    Nightvale, US
    R E S E R V E

    Elfs.
     
  5. Tolina

    Tolina trust the pillars with your s e c r e t s

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    10,491
    Location:
    Nightvale, US
    You see nothing here, but you'll be surprised. Soon.
     
  6. NinjaCow64

    NinjaCow64 The Continuation of the Dream Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    Messages:
    7,717
    Rules v1.12 (last updated 22/08/2016)

    Units and Buildings List

    Update List:

    Update Zero (1827):
    -Part 1/6 [Preface and Mathel]
    -Part 2/6 [North Rathel]
    -Part 3/6 [South Rathel]
    -Part 4/6 [Eastern Thel]
    -Part 5/6 [Western Thel]
    -Part 6/6 [Stats, Map & Misc.]

    Mid-Turn Events/Updates (1827-1830):
    -Search for Nalore
    -Issues of the Year 1
    -Issues of the Year 2
    -War Update

    Orders for this turn should be sent for Turn 1 and 1827-1830 and are due on the 27th of August.

    Orders Format:
    Spoiler :
    PM Title: Arcanum Orders - [Nation Name] - Turn [Turn Number] - [Year Numbers]

    Research: [Amount of mana/industry you are putting into research]

    Cities:

    New City [City Name]:
    [Image showing location of new city]

    (Copy the below format for every currently existing city)

    [City Name]:
    -Build [Number] of [Building Name] – Cost: [Total Cost of Those Buildings]
    -Build [Number] of [Building Name] – Cost: [Total Cost of Those Buildings]
    …
    (Copy that line for every type of building you wish to build)

    Characters:

    (Copy the below block for each new character you wish to generate. If you are feeling lazy you can get me to generate the names but there is a chance that they won’t match your nation’s cultural naming scheme as these things are hard)

    New Character:
    Name:
    Gender:
    Age: (remember older characters are better skilled but are more likely to die)
    Species:
    Gold on Administration Education: (Gold you are willing to spend on their administration stat)
    Gold on Charisma Education: (Gold you are willing to spend on their charisma stat)
    Gold on Strategy Education: (Gold you are willing to spend on their strategy stat)

    (Copy the below line for each appointment you wish to make. Disloyal characters may go against your orders!)
    -Appoint [Character Name] as [Role]

    Armies and Navies:

    (Copy the below format for every army and/or navy)

    [Army/Navy Name]:
    -Build [Number] of [Unit Name] – Cost: [Total Cost of Those Units]
    -Build [Number] of [Unit Name] – Cost: [Total Cost of Those Units]
    …
    (Copy that line for every type of unit you wish to build)


    Espionage:

    -Build [Number] of Spies – Cost: [Total Cost of Those Spies]
    -Direct [Number] of Spies to perform [Action Type] against [City Name]
    (Copy that line for every espionage action you wish to perform)

    Military Movement:

    [insert any war declarations, military movements, defence plans ect here]

    Problems:

    -Do [Action] in [City] to resolve [Problem]
    (Repeat this line for every problem that you wish to attempt solve this turn)

    Prisoners of War:

    -Set Prisoner of War policy to: [Normal Treatment/Excellent Treatment/Hard Labour/No Mercy]
    (Only do this if you actually have Prisoners of War)
    -[make a note here if you are releasing POWs or trying to integrate them into your society if a war has just finished]

    Miscallenous Spending and Orders:

    [insert any miscellaneous spending and orders here]

    Banking:

    Gold: [Amount Banked]
    Industry: [Amount Banked]
    Mana: [Amount Banked]
     
  7. Civ'ed

    Civ'ed I ain't gotta explain a thing

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    6,315
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Aberdonia et Banffia
    Nation Name: Federated Clans of the Southern Orcs
    Sab Qab Teb Tsev Neeg
    Capital Name: Dawb Xibtes
    Other cities: Hiav Txwv Nroog (blue city, controlled by the Qauv Dej), Sab Qaum Teb Lub Tsev (red city, controlled by the Qauv Hlau)
    Location of Capital and Borders:
    Spoiler :

    Flag: None as such. with each orc clan having its own pattern or Qauv, the Qauv of the respective clan is used.
    Dominant Species: Orcs
    Minor Species: Halforcs
    Government: Appointed
    Ruler Name: Three Bison Field or Peb Cov Nyuj Qus Teb
    Heir Name: Twenty Swords or Nees Nkaum Rab Ntaj

    A most concrete study of the Southern Orc Clans
    To understand a clan is to understand true madness. The language of these clans has developed almost entirely from the rest of the world, perhaps due to their unfavorable location. However, as foreign as the great Orc Clans may seem to a Thel observer, the Thel observer is equally foreign to them.

    In the south, Orcs divide themselves up into groupings known as Ntshav, which is generally taken to mean "clan" or "family". However, some motions have been made to suggest the word for family is entirely different. There are several Ntshav, each with it's own customs and role within the governance of the region.

    Each Ntshav has a certain woven pattern of geometric shapes and colors, known as a Qauv. These Qauv are used as seals, as flags, and even as simple decorative art.

    A list of major Ntshav with their Qauv and general position within the clans is mentioned below.

    • Tham - The Tham are leaders and diplomats within this society. The Qauv of the Tham is a triple Chevron in white with a background of black.
    • Hlawv - The Hlawv are farmers, miners, and menial laborers. The Qauv Hlawv is a pure red field dotted by white hexagons.
    • Dej - The Dej are traders and fishermen alike. The Qauv Dej is an oval and triangle, meant to represent a fish, in red over a blue field.
    • Yas - The Yas are the artists of a society focused very little on art. Most Qauv are produced by the Ntshav Yas. Paradoxically, their own Qauv is a solid green field - one of the simplest Qauv to reproduce.
    • Hlau - The Hlau are the metalworkers of the Clans. Responsible for trinkets and weaponry alike, the Hlau Qauv is a cross of gold over a silvery grey field.
    • Ntoo - The Ntoo are the builders of the society, ironically considering their relative nomadic status. The Qauv of the Ntoo is a Stylized Deer's head of Circles and Triangles, colored red, over a brown background.
     
  8. Mathalamus

    Mathalamus Emperor of Mathalia

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Messages:
    6,608
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Calgary.
    edited. not joining this game.
     
  9. SouthernKing

    SouthernKing crickety cricket

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Messages:
    6,891
    Location:
    Deva Loka
    The palindrome of a low-tier method of public transport
     
  10. Grandkhan

    Grandkhan Telvanni Master Wizard

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Messages:
    2,667
    Location:
    Inside a mushroom
    Nation Name: The Most Learned Union of Wizards and Spellcasters (based on the Isle of Eudamon)
    Capital Name: Thuranduil, Seat of the Conclave of Wizards
    Location of Capital and Borders: In orange, with Thuranduil marked in Red.

    Flag: N/A (apparently nobody makes cool flags for wizards that aren't clearly for existing IP)
    Dominant Species: Elves
    Minor Species: Humans
    Government: Elective
    Ruler Name: High Archmage Pyrethenes Socretheon
    Heir
    Name: Archmage Presumptive Pending Election Doraemon Luthantar
     
  11. christos200

    christos200 Never tell me the odds

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Messages:
    12,038
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    EU, Greece, Athens
    Nation Name: Kingdom of Cai
    Capital Name: Huangyang
    Location of Capital and Borders:

    Red is Huangyang, Yellow is Luoyang and Blue is Changyang.

    Spoiler :


    Flag:



    Dominant Species:
    Humans
    Minor Species: Elves
    Government: Hereditary
    Ruler Name: Bai Qi
    Heir Name: Jiang Wei
    Governor of Huangyang: Zhao Yun
    Governor of Luoyang: Guan Yu
    Governor of Changyang: Liu Bei
    Names: Male: Yang Kang, Guo Jing, Cai Rong, Linghu Chong. Female: Huang Rong, Mu Nianci, Diao Wei.
    Background:

    According to legend, the God of War Yuan Shao, due to his admiration of the generalship and fighting skills of a Warlord called Cao Cai, gave him command of the area of that is now known as 'Kingdom of Cai'. In reality, Cao Cai was a minor Warlord who had benefited from the collapse of the Thel Imperium and was able to carve out a Kingdom for himself in the late 1640's. His loose army of villagers, bandits and a few professional mercenaries defeated the local Magistrates and other Warlords and established a unified Kingdom. Those wars that led to the establishment of the Cai Kingdom have been dramatized in the influential "Romance of King Cao", a historical novel which details the rise of Cao Cai and how he unified the country, albeit adding fictional tales such as a tale about a general of Cao Cai, Zhao Yu, battling with ten thousand enemy warriors and defeating them on his own. The novel was written a century after Cao Cai's death (he died in 1663) and is considered the greatest Cai work of literature up to this date.

    Cao Cai's first act as King was to establish the 'Royal Examinations' in which the Kingdom's scholars would compete and the best of them would form the bureaucracy of the Kingdom. The examinations are still held every year and provide the Kingdom with well educated and able officials. Aside from scholars, Eunuchs also play an important role in the administration, taking up many important posts. Another tradition that has been maintained since the time of Cao Cai is that the King has to marry an Elf noblewoman. This rule was set up by Cao Cai in order to make sure that the Elves of the Kingdom, who form a considerable minority, do not feel excluded.

    The next great King of Cai was King Kang Xi who ruled 50 years after Cao Cai's death. Kang Xi became King in 1711 after killing his uncle Hu Jia, who had been ruling tyrannically as Regent since 1700. He then sent out an army to conquer new territories in the east which were under the control of the Wu Kingdom. The Cai army crushed the Wu army in the Battle of Guangdong and Wu King Qi Ai was killed in battle. The Wu Regent Ni Zha vowed to continue the fight and thanks to his brilliant strategies he pushed back the Cai army until King Kang Xi decided to take command of the Cai army in person. In order to fool Ni Zha, he spread rumors that he was inexperienced and a coward. In the Battle of Yanjing, Kang Xi faked a retreat and lured Ni Zha into a trap, annihilating the Wu army once and for all. He then proceeded to slaughter all inhabitants of Wu as revenge for the trouble they had given to him and resettled the territory with Cai people. Kang Xi then turned his army to the north and led it against the Qai Tribes. He defeated them and forced their Khans to submit to him. Kang Xi thus became known as "The Conqueror". In order to consolidate Cai power in the eastern region, he founded the city of Changyang.

    That was the last time the Cai Kingdom expanded. Since the death of Kang Xi, the Kingdom of Cai has, for the most part, been peaceful. However, the inhabitants distrust foreigners and view them with contempt and the Kings have followed an isolationist policy. The Cai people view themselves as the only civilized people and believe that their Kingdom is the center of civilization. All other peoples are Barbarians. The Cai Court does not recognize neighboring states and treats their rulers as if they were provincial governors of Cai, even conferring titles and salaries to them.

    The greatest peacetime King of Cai was King Qian Long. He ruled from 1754 to 1786. He was assisted in his rule by Grand Eunuch Li, a shrewd politician who frequently assassinated his political enemies and was the real power behind the throne. Qian Long's reign saw the construction of huge public projects, like irrigation projects and the construction of canals. In 1783, Qian Long grew fearful of Grand Eunuch Li and his authority, and decided to execute him and all his political allies. In his last years, he expanded the Palace and made it even grander.

    The 'Royal Palace' is a magnificent building that is almost a town of its own within the city of Huangyang. Many of the chambers are made out of pure gold and tall statues depicting dragons and tigers aim to impress those who enter the palace. The King, except for his Queen, also has a harem of hundreds of women (both elf and human), all young and the most beautiful in the realm. The palace also has the best chefs in the Kingdom who cook the most delicious dishes. All officials as well as anyone who meets the King are expected to kowtow thrice before him.

    The current King is Bai Qi. He is in his early forties and is a benevolent ruler who spends most of his time personally managing the affairs of the Kingdom. He is also a poet and has written several poems which mostly describe nature's beauty. His son, Jiang Wei, is in his twenties and has majestic and impressive looks. He is a great swordsman and studies extensively treatises on military strategy. Jiang Wei is also quite a noble man, ready to help anyone who is in need. His only flaw is that he is a womanizer, spending a lot of time with his concubines, and his father's strict discipline has not been able to correct this flaw.

    Religion: Shinji ("Worshiping of the Two Deities") is the dominant religion of the Kingdom of Cai. The people of Cai worship two Gods: the God of War Yuan Shao and the God of Peace Yang Liang. The mythology states that the two Gods are brothers and the ones who formed the World. The people offer fruits and wine to the Gods in Altars at least once a month to honor them. Shinji puts emphasis in filial piety and the respect for elders and the King. Aside from that, Shinji is a rather tolerant religion and does not put much restrictions on how its worshipers should behave.

    Culture: Cai people value calligraphy, poetry and painting. As the scholars form the bureaucracy of the Kingdom, they are of high social status and greatly honored even if they come from poor background. Calligraphy is the highest form of art and many Kings of Cai were renown for the calligraphic abilities. In the 'Chamber of Poetry' of the Palace hundreds of poems written in calligraphic way by past Kings are found.
     
  12. Decamper

    Decamper ..!

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,138
    Nation Name: The Receivers
    Capital Name: Bounty
    Location of Capital and Borders:
    Spoiler :
    Flag: TBD
    Dominant Species: Orcs
    Minor Species: Half-orcs
    Government: Appointed
    Ruler Name: Seventh of Grey Rock
    Heir Name: Twelfth of Black River
    Names: [number] of [place, usually colour/adjective + natural object]
    not to be a dignus but a credit for the map would be nice sorry thanks bye

    Description: The Receivers believe everything in all of Creation was created for them. Whether it be food, gold, or people, it is all for the Receivers' taking. They worship hedonism and over indulgence to sickening extremes, exemplified by their weekly holy day, The Consuming, in which they gorge and drink themselves into a stupor. When not pleasuring themselves with drink, food and flesh, they are slavers and conquerors, ever adding new goods, lands and bodies to their coffers.
     
  13. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,662
    Location:
    Not Lying through my teeth
    Name: The Resplendent Kingdom
    National Motto: The Three Pillars
    Capital Name: Novus Nalore
    Location:
    Note: Ignore Pax. I thought I needed 3 cities, not 2.

    Flag:
    Spoiler :

    Dominant Species: Elves
    Minor Species: Humans, Gnomes
    Government: Hereditary
    Ruler Name: Queen Ranunculus the Beloved:
    Blonde haired elven woman of tall stature, incredible magical powers, and intense blue eyes, the Beloved Queen of Novus Nalore has been the ruler of the city ever since the Grand Charter of Novus Nalore was written shortly after the Battle of Nalore. She is usually seen with long flowing hair adorned with flowers and keeps up with the most recent fashion of the city of Novus Nalore (although she appears to favor long flowing dresses adorned with flower motifs). She has been repeatedly described by others as being playful and naive--and indeed many foreign dignitaries have noted that she exhibits behaviors atypical of one in her position. It is known that she takes many, many lovers and shamelessly flirts with many dignitaries who have visited her in her parties. Many have also criticized her tendency towards lavish spending towards public festivals, art projects, and many public appearance among the citizenry of Novus Nalore. Nevertheless, the same qualities have endeared her among the population of Novus Nalore, who sing praises towards their Beloved Queen and her legendary kindness.

    There are many who suggest that her playful and flirtatious exterior is a carefully maintained front, and that she is a much more intelligent individual than she appears. Indeed, it seems difficult to believe that such a self-proclaimed wastrel could maintain a thriving kingdom for any length of time. There are rumors of mysterious clerks of the Beloved Queen carrying squirming sacks to the water's edge where the sacks are unceremoniously dumped into the water. Many counter that it's more likely that the Queen has effective ministers and advisors.

    Heir: Potentate Aegis is the legitimized bastard of Queen Ranunculus (first born of such) and the heir apparent. They have inherited the golden hair from their mother, but keeps their hair short (like that of a man). Unlike their mother, who prefers the flowing gowns adorned with flowers, the Potentate Aegis prefers the purple and back military uniform of the Royal Guardsman.

    Described by others as being intense and protective, Potentate Aegis is not as beloved as their mother, but nevertheless makes much public appearence. They appear to have inherited the flirtatious streak from their mother, although they do not seem particularly interested in taking it any further than friendly teasing. They are often not afraid to speak their mind, and have repeatedly gone against their mother in setting the policy of their city, advising military buildups and recommending a cut on the funding of artistic projects in favor of public works. The leaders and politicians of the city freely admit and praise the Potentate's role in the city, as their prudence and cynicism appear to be well balanced against Queen Ranunculus' unending idealism, keeping the city from going too far into the Queen's whims.

    Culture: The Resplendent Kingdom, at first glance, seems like an image out of a Dwarven streotypical book describing the decadence of the Thel Empire. Founded and run primarily by the ex Thel Imperial citizens, such misconception is rather common among those less knowledgeable about the city. Indeed, many commentators point towards the many lavish balls and festivals held in the city, as well as the unusual tolerance towards sexual freedom (the heir apparent, Potentate Aegis's, father is not even known--for the Queen has taken many, many lovers in her youth and has never bothered to determine the pedigree of her heir) is derided by many outsiders as being some depressing attempt towards holding onto the old glory of Thel.

    The differences between the old Thel Empire and the Resplendent Kingdom become apparent to any who have actually visited the city. The hedonistic tendency of the citizens are apparent--smell of cheap wine and drunks carousing together are one of the first things that any visitors to the city of Novus Nalore notes. The second thing that these people will note is that the drunks carousing together belong to all races--gnomes, elves, and humans all laugh and sing together within the city walls. Purple-uniformed members of the city guards that patrol the streets feature members of all races that comprise the city, and even the government officials and politicians of the city are not solely comprised of the Elven race.

    Much of this can be traced back to the city's three founding principles: Kindness, Understanding, and Tolerance, as represented in each dot in the Kingdom's Flag, as well as Queen Ranunculus. While the Queen's grasp on statecraft is admittedly poor, her unwavering idealism, magical ability, and legendary charisma have managed to unite the squabbling three races into one slightly cantankerous, whole. Racial tensions do still exist--racial slurs and mockery as well as the elven dominance of the regular military force still occur despite the Queen's best efforts.


    Perhaps the most interesting tidbit of culture of the Resplendent Kingdom is its magic. Freedom from Thel Empire's dogma have caused a flurry of excitement within the Resplendent Kingdom, each new mage seemingly competing with each other to see how unorthodox they can be from the Thel Imperial standards. Perhaps as a result, the Resplendent Kingdom is the home to the nascent schools of Magical Arts, where the mad artists constantly decorate the city with their new creations and continuously experiment with new ways of using magic to impart the most surprising impact. As a result, the city of Novus Nalore is a flash of color in the world, with bustling markets selling the latest creations of the artists and tailors to merchants from around the globe, hedonistic artists wearing the most scandalous of clothes carousing openly in the streets, and the Queen herself clapping wildly with pleasure at such spectacles. Indeed, the Queen has been very open with her support and endorsement of these schools of artistic endeavors, financing many theaters and studios within the city out of the royal treasury.


    Another interesting bit of lore of the Resplendent Kingdom is the Names. Names are of an odd cultural quality in the Resplendent Kingdom, as it is often considered rude or downright insulting to call each other by the True Name (lovers being the sole exception). As such, everyone in the Resplendent Kingdom keeps two sets of names: one true and other accepted titles and nicknames that refer to them. Names have political connotations within the society of the Resplendent Kingdom. All who call each other by certain names have specific agenda they wish to pursue. When people call the Queen Ranunculus, the Beloved Queen, they have a specific agenda of seeking her favor through flattery and reinforcing the Queen's self-conception as the Queen of the People, and etc.

    Aegis's Words on Names:For magi, names are inherently political. They’re the culmination of how you present yourself to the world - and they change in response to what people think of you. Your abilities. Your personality. Your deeds - particularly true in my case. Your name is your outward identity.

    People see me as Aegis, as some kind of hero, a bastion, a shield. As flattering as it is, I'm not sure if I can live up to the name. That doesn't mean I'm just going to give up and not try.

    My mother... she calls herself Buttercup. Ranunculae. It really holds no meaning other than being a flower. She chose that name for herself, you know, after she became the Queen. She feels like she NEEDS to be Ranunculae, a small and unnoticeable flower. She feels the need to be small and unimportant, in the grand scheme of things. Do not misunderstand--people do not call her Buttercup or Ranunculae to insult her. They do it because they feel it is in their agenda to humor her need to be unimportant.


    Background: Three group of refugees fleeing from the chaos of the Collapse expected the worst when they came together at the same stop: an old abandoned city at the mouth of the Bay of Tranquility. The gnomes and human groups, who arrived at the same time, stared warily at the large elven contingent who had arrived before them. They most certainly expected expulsion. At best, they expected the same treatment as they had received under the Thel Imperium, to be treated as a second class citizen and servants of the elven overlords. They were thus surprised when the Elves opened the old and decrepit gates to the once abandoned city and welcomed the refugees inside almost immediately, sharing what little remained of their resources freely with the humans and the gnomes.

    Mediocrity, the young leader of the elves, explained to the humans and the gnomes that they were Elves who had fled from the Thel Empire's conscription policy and the war. [section incomplete]

    Religion: All forms of worship and religion are legal by the Grand Charter of Novus Nalore, dating back to the first founding of the city by the three species of refugees from the Collapse. The most popular religion by far, however, is the old worship of Ishrama, mainly among the Elven majority of the City. Unlike the old days in the Thel Imperium, the government of the Resplendent Kingdom led by Queen Renunculus have refused to officially endorse any particular religion (although she is a known practicioner of the faith of Ishrama herself).

    The faith of Ishrama have changed much since the days of the Thel Imperium. The priesthood of the Resplendent Kingdom (possibly due to the Queen's influence) have renounced much of the practices associated with the old faith within the Empire. As a result, shrines of Ishrama are modest, peaceful place within the usually colorful city of Novus Nalore. Focus of the religion have shifted largely from dogmatic beliefs of the Imperial faith to those of selflessness and charity. Priests of the New Faith are usually found in the city of Nalore asking for donations for their temple, as well as providing lodging and healing services for the homeless and the less fortunate. Many adherents also spend many quiet and long hours meditating and studying within the soundproofed rooms of the temples, seeking and studying the secrets of Ishrama and Mana in peace.

    Another rapidly growing cult within the city of Novus Nalore is the personality cult of Queen Ranunculus. While never officially endorsed by the government, statues and small shrines of the Beloved Queen has been growing in numbers throughout the city. Queen Ranunculus has done nothing to discourage this development, even appearing to be flattered by the attention, much to the disapproval of the more sterner members of the Parliament of Novus Nalore. Potentate Aegis, the heir apparent, have repeatedly spoken out against the Cult of Ranunculus, dissuading the people that neither them nor their mother is deserving of the worship.

    The sole exception to the legalization and tolerance of all forms of worship appears to be anything to do with the Cult of Reason, defined in the 5th Amendment to the Grand Charter as all forms of subversive belief in Reason and Technology, due to its potential destabilizing influence upon the city of Novus Nalore. This amendment has been urged into acceptance by the Parliament and ratified by Potentate Aegis. This has been a point of tension between the loyalist faction of Queen Ranunculus and the Potentate Aegis. Queen Ranunculus have criticized the action as being a betrayal against the spirit of Kindness, Understanding, and Tolerance that the nation of Resplendent Kingdom have been founded upon. Potentate Aegis have repeatedly countered that the stability of the Kingdom's power is much more important than any naive ideals. Commentators and politicians have expressed concern that this may cause a rift within the Kingdom. Indeed, Queen Ranunculus have been increasingly wary of abdicating the throne out of fear that Aegis may overturn her work in encouraging multiculturalism within her kingdom, and Aegis have been increasingly expressing their annoyance towards what they perceive to be the Queen's lack of prudence and forethought in her decisions.

    Aegis's Notes on Religion: I feel as if I can never quite understand my mother. She despises the Thel Imperium as any other, and chose the name of a flower to fill her need to be unimportant. Yet it is clear to me that she loves attention more than I do. She glories in attention, and is flattered by these... cultists who sing praises to her everyday.

    It is honestly disappointing.



    Names/Titles: Mediocrity (Queen Ranunculae's original title during her leadership of the elven refugees)

    Simplicity

    Aegis

    Gladius

    Legbiter

    Primus

    The Captivating Princess

    Affectionate Confectioner

    Many-Names

    Crane

    Rose

    Red

    Mr. Wines

    Dauntless

    Implacable.

    etc etc.

    Note: Older, more 'official' characters in the Iridescent Kingdom tends to choose for themselves a name derived from (Latin) objects that describe themselves. Newer, younger characters in the Iridescent tends to choose for themselves a title derived from adjectives, plain english names of objects, or some other abstract concepts (such as Many-Names).

    .....................................

    Characters:

    Governor Legbiter (a childhood friend of the Captivating Princess and the ruler of Iria. Gnome)

    The Dauntless General (Also known affectionately as Daunt. Commander of the Royal Guard and the Marshal of the Iridescent Kingdom)

    Potentate Aegis (known affectionately as Eggsy by those who know them personally. Heir to the throne. Militant personality)

    Queen Ranunculus/Ranunculae (a pacifistic and aging queen of the Iridescent Kingdom, responsible for much of the Kingdom's liberal and friendly policies towards its neighbors. Rules from the crystal palace in Novus Nalore.).

    Governor Primus (an aging elf and a member of the governing council of of the Iridescent Kingdom, who currently rules the province of Astra. Rumored to be Aegis' father, as they both seem to have matching fiery temperament not found in the Queen. Somewhat discriminatory against non-Elves.)
     
  14. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama :)

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,439
    Gender:
    Male
    Would like to claim those islands in the central sea, sign up will be in after work
     
  15. Tolina

    Tolina trust the pillars with your s e c r e t s

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    10,491
    Location:
    Nightvale, US
    Right, that's been fixed.

    Great signups so far, but I'd like to ask for sliiiiightly bigger states. I'd say that the about the size of Christos/Decamper's would be a good starting point.

    Speaking of which, signups close at 4th of July

    Updated signup forms, btw. Added Background and Religion. Update as necessary.
     
  16. SouthernKing

    SouthernKing crickety cricket

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Messages:
    6,891
    Location:
    Deva Loka
    Nation Name: Sanga-jimai-koku ("State of Sanga-jimai [the Circle Islands]")
    Capital Name: Chandya-kena ("moonlight city") located on the south coast of the largest (second from east) island
    Second City Name: Sojin-kena ("east city") located on easternmost island
    Third City Name: Mina-kena ("west city") located on third from westernmost island
    Location of Capital and Borders:

    Flag: This
    Dominant Species: Elf
    Minor Species: Human, Half-Elf
    Government: Appointed
    Ruler Name: Nagakawa Runa
    Heir Name: Dibika Rani
    Governors: Kanta Jun, Jao Ranji, Narasima Jati
    Names: Naming convention is <family name> <personal name> like in RL East Asia

    Background: The so-called "Circle Islands" of Thel's far north had been called so in the local language because, as local legend had it, the arc they formed was part of a magical great circle (in other words, a ley line) laid out by some distant predecessor to the Thel Empire, whose power made even the great Thel. Nonetheless, by the time the Thel actually incorporated them, the Circle Islands were home to naught but some particularly enigmatic human and elf tribes whose origins were entirely unknown and whose strange mysticism puzzled even the most learned Thel scholars. In any case, when the Thel did arrive, the islands were quite easily pacified in the name of the Eternal Empress and incorporated effortlessly into the Thel administrative structure. The islanders, it turned out, had knowledge of how to magically desalinate water; and once the Thel engineers had figured this out, it enabled them to construct a large city in Nalore's image - the original Thel name is now lost to history, but the islands dubbed it "moonlight city," for thanks to the lamps, its inhabitants only seemed to live at night. The isles fast became a popular holiday destination for the empire's elite, and a popular muse for Thel poets and artists, who praised the isles' azure waters and health-giving air. Paradise, it was, or as close to it as possible in a world like this. The natives were incorporated into Thel society, and all seemed well.

    Even as religious strife and societal decay divided the Empire, the Moonlight City remained a bastion of relative peace in a stormy sea, free from warfare. But all was not well; even as the economy decayed, taxes kept ratcheting up, and despite local Inquisitors' best efforts, a myriad splinter or throwback cults emerged, and the natives' mysticism, once thought extinguished, made a comeback, even being practiced in shadowed alcoves by the city's people. Discontent began boiling to a breaking point. Then, one day in 1717 AE, the Thel government apparatus abruptly withdrew, for reasons that even then were not entirely clear. The inhabitants of this Moonlight City turned all round, with no guidance and no one to lead them. After several years of confusion and military rule, in 1719, a prominent local soldier, a male elf by the name of Bair Nilbogos, attempted to declare himself the local demistrates and establish an independent state, a "State of the Circle Islands." Of course, this endeavor was doomed from the start. Despite the support of the islands' remaining garrison, Nilbogos found himself in direct opposition to an assembly of local notaries, two from each district of the city and two from each village from the outlying islands, an assembly that wanted local rule and an end to Thel-esque despotism. For several years, Nilbogos attempted to govern in tandem with the assembly; but the assembly wanted control over the military, something Nilbogos was unwilling to give.

    By 1727, the situation had reached a breaking point. It was in that year that Nilbogos finally decided he'd had enough and forcibly dissolved the Circle Islands assembly, declaring martial law and seizing control of internal administration, in a final bid to establish himself as the isles' sole ruler. And Nilbogos almost succeeded, with one, glaring problem: instead of laying down, the assembly fled the Moonlight City and met in a meadow somewhere in the island's internal highlands. Popularly dubbed the "Mountaintop Assembly." It is said that they lived in there, in a compound guarded by sympathisers, for fourteen long years, fending off everything Nilbogos could possibly threw at them. Regardless of how true this story is, what is certain is that in 1741, Nilbogos' regime collapsed spectacularly. Simultaneously, the eastern city revolted; natives rose up both on the western isles and in the heart of the Moonlight City; and the Mountaintop Assembly launched an unprecedented assault on the Moonlight City. Within weeks, Nilbogos' own military had turned against him; he was overthrown, defenestrated, and replaced by his court magician, an elf named Luna Menandera, who quickly asked for terms.

    Nominally, Demistrates of the Circle Islands, a position Luna Menandera was allowed to retain, was to become an extremely constitutionally limited position, a figurehead of state who left the governance to the Speaker of the Assembly of the Circle Islands and his/her selected ministers. Alas, the Assembly, it turned out, proved little better at governing than the maligned Bair Nilbogos. For a little over a decade, it functioned, but gradually, the Assembly split into numerous factions, and to form a majority government, one had to cautiously build a fragile coalition of often warring factions. Between 1755 and 1785, there were no less than nineteen Speakers, the longest of whom lasted five years. One Speaker lasted half a day before he was voted out; another lasted three before she was assassinated. Corruption reached rampant levels, often taking the form of political machines whose leadership changed hands like a hot potato, and preventing any attempts at reforming the system. Ironically, it fell upon Demistrates Luna Menandera to provide stability to a system her surrender had created, something she was as successful as possible at, until, in 1785, she passed away, at a relatively young age for an elf, an occasion that has led to suspicions of poison and conspiracy.

    Luna Menandera was succeeded by her teenage daughter, named Luna Serpa, whose appointment was approved by the Assembly's voting blocs since it was thought she would be weak-willed and not as prone to meddling in the Assembly's affairs. They couldn't have been more wrong: Luna Serpa was nothing short of a genius, and a genius whose hatred of Assembly rule increased with every passing day.

    And then, in 1789, Luna Serpa vanished into the sea.

    With no successor, the Assembly convened to determine what to do. One of Luna Serpa's close friends, a prominent native hailing from one of the smaller islands who went by the Thel name of Irena Demetria, appealed to have herself set up as a regent of sources, in an effort to provide stability. All the political machines in the Assembly saw, however, was an opportunity to eliminate the Demistrates from government and assume total control. In astounding agreement, Irena was sidelined. Nonetheless, she built up her own support base, both amongst the public and amongst sympathetic MAs.

    And then, in 1792, two boys playing on a beach saw Luna Serpa rise from the waves. She returned to the Moonlight City with great fanfare and even greater mystery; no one could figure out how she had done it, and to make things even stranger, she seemed to refuse to speak Thel. Instead, she spoke in strange tongues which Irena Demetria quickly recognised as the language of her people, the natives, the Sanga-jana. She was invited back to the Moonlight City, where, as the story goes, she told an assembled crowd of commoners and pro-Irena MAs, for whom the speech was delightfully translated, both that she had resided in the seafloor court of the sea goddess Hara, a native eldritch deity. There, Luna Serpa, Hara had told her she was the earthly, mortal incarnation of Hara's daughter, the night goddess Naga, whose artistic form is that of a sea serpent crossing the night skies.

    Luna took the new, native name Nagakawa Runa - Luna, chalice of Naga - and reassumed her old place as Demistrates; thanks to Irena, her popular support, even with these strange revelations, was too much to ignore. She quickly began spreading esoteric native rituals, long ago suppressed by Thel inquistors, whose emphasis on equality, peace, love, harmony with nature, liberation of the mind, and use of mind-altering substances quickly spread across the entirety of the isles and made her even more popular amongst certain open-minded segments of society. However, much of the Assembly was quite rightfully alarmed by the whole situation, and in 1794, with the exception of Irena's faction, unanimously voted to exile Nagakawa Runa and abolish the position of Demistrates in perpetuity.

    This would become the worst mistake the Assembly would ever make.

    It lasted barely a year before a popular revolt and sympathetic elements of the military returned to the Moonlight City, entered the Assembly, and declared Nagakawa Runa the Eternal Empress of the Circle Islands - Sanga-jimai-maharani. She took this position, and quickly set about transforming the state, "dethelising" it, reverting everything to their native names and attempting to change every trace of Thel back to the native ways. There was little resistance; the commoners were now being showered with wealth, and who would stand up to a magnanimous demigodess?

    Irena was placed as Runa's second-in-command, the one who oversaw most of the actual day-to-day affairs of state and by some reckonings even more powerful than Runa, and in the theme of the day, she took her native name: Dipika Rani. The Assembly remains, but it is a shell of its former self, having been reduced to a consultative body, and Dibika Rani's faction has led it uninterrupted ever since then.

    Runa's rule is enlightened and continues to be popular, but once she dies, no one is quite sure what happens.

    Religion: Technically, religious freedom is guaranteed in Sanga-jimai; and, for the most part, this is respected. Sanga-jimai is home to a myriad cults to a myriad different gods, goddesses, and other divine things. However, the state's official cult, endorsed in all public documents and declarations, is that of Hara, with Nagakawa Runa treated as divine and the incarnation of the goddess Naga on this world. Nonetheless, religion is no barrier to work in the civil service or the court, and Nagakawa Runa, wishing to be known as a philosopher-empress, encourages religious and philosophical debate in her court.
     
  17. Ailedhoo

    Ailedhoo wonderer

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    7,603
    Nation Name: Attari Kingdom
    Capital Name: Satare
    Location of Capital and Borders:
    Flag: Your flag
    Dominant Species: technological aligned humans
    Minor Species: dwarf
    Government: Hereditary
    Ruler Name: Shah Samuel of House Attar
    Heir Name: Roshan Attar
    Background:to be done
    Religion: to be done
    Aim: to recreate the Aftabi Empire, forging the or Neo Aftabi Empire with Sameul as the Shahanshah or King of Kings.
     
  18. Kinich-Ahau

    Kinich-Ahau #JustGoomyThings

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,287
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Church
    Nation Name: Ngalák Mandate
    Capital Name: Äkim Ngalák (in magma red)
    Other Cities:
    • Othlest Olmul (in geyser white)
    • Migrur Istrath (in jade green)
    Location of Capital and Borders:
    Spoiler You want big claims? :

    Spoiler Uugh :

    Spoiler Old Claims :

    Spoiler Older Claims :

    Flag:
    Spoiler :

    Dominant Species: Dwarves
    Minor Species: Humans, Half-Elves
    Government: Appointed
    Ruler Name: Archpioneer Bërûl Duradegståk
    Heir Name: Pathfinder Cenäth Gïsstirzas
    Starting Governors:
    • Vukcas Ilasvukcas
    • Mezum Âgothakmesh
    • Dëm Rùkalkuthdêng
    Religion:
    Spoiler :
    Virastel, the worship of the volcano god Òrdirkôn, is the official religion of the Ngalák Mandate. According to Virastel mythology, shortly after the dwarves were driven underground for the first time, a group of wicked elves discovered the entrance to one of their tunnels and invaded with a war party, where they began a wholesale massacre of dwarves living near what is today Äkim Ngalák. The screaming of the dwarven children as they were slaughtered woke Òrdirkôn from his slumber deep under the mountain, and when he witnessed the atrocities the elves were committing, he was so consumed by his anger that he detonated himself; the air in his lungs became a black could of choking ash, his blood boiled into magma, his bones shattered and became a hail of pulverized rock. The invading elves were overwhelmed & consumed by the body of Òrdirkôn, but the dwarves were totally unharmed. Òrdirkôn reformed, and, overcome with compassion, he vowed to nurture the dwarven refugees as if they were his own children.

    He carved them a great city out of the living rock, taught them the secrets of Flamespore fungus cultivation, showed them how to clean & dress wounds, and, as a final act of love, removed his heart and replaced it with the dreams of his chosen people. This was to acclimatize the dwarves to his torridity, so that when he escorts them to his scorching palace at the center of the Earth at the end of their lives, they would be able to spend eternity in comfort rather than agony. He buried his old heart underneath Äkim Ngalák, where it still beats to this day, and this is why the volcano that overlooks the city continuously spews lava onto the surface.

    Òrdirkôn ruled the dwarves of Äkim Ngalák for five centuries, during which time the people where happy & healthy, and had almost forgotten their feud with the surface elves. However, they had begun to rely more & more upon their divine patron, and Òrdirkôn feared that he was stunting the growth of the dwarves. With a heavy heart, he informed his charges that he would retire to his fiery castle deep beneath the crust, and would not return to the surface or commune with living dwarves until his chosen people knew all that he knew; he swore that, once they did, he would return and retake control of Äkim Ngalák, and lead his people & their allies in the final battle where they would destroy all mana forever.

    Accordingly, Virastels highly value creativity & scientific advancement. The process of invention & discovery is held in the highest regard, and Virastel are quick to embrace new technologies. They seek to prove themselves worthy of Òrdirkôn's love by being as loyal & supportive of their family & friends as he was to them. Betrayal or corruption are their greatest sins, and Virastel believe that betraying someone who trusted them will cut off their dreams from Òrdirkôn, preventing them from building up sufficient heat tolerance; only an act of extreme penance can reconnect their dreams to Òrdirkôn and save them from an eternity of suffering.

    Death for Virastels in not sad or somber, but cause for celebration, for their departed is now in the company of their patron Òrdirkôn, and in the company of the greatest thinkers and artists of their history, not to mention any friends or family of the deceased who left this world before they did. The deceased's family & close friends make a trek to the nearest volcano and toss their loved one's most prized possessions into the lava, where, it is believed, they will sink to Òrdirkôn's palace and be of use to the deceased once more. Suicide is not particularly common among Virastel, but when a Virastel does make the decision to end their own life, those with the means almost invariably do so by tossing themselves into a volcano; suicidal Virastel who are too sick to travel or are otherwise prevented from reaching a source of magma tend to immolate themselves instead. Hanging or drowning oneself, or slitting of the wrists, is almost entirely unheard of.

    Background:
    Spoiler :
    The early history of the Ngalák Mandate is shrouded in mystery; archeological digs in & around Äkim Ngalák indicate that city is at least as old as the Virastel claim it to be, and may be even older, but can tell us little else; certainly some variant of the Virastel religion was practiced then, as primitive shrines to Òrdirkôn & faded holy texts in an extinct dialect of Ösir Âm* have been uncovered, but the methods used to carve the city out of snowflake obsidian, and why a people would cling to a city in the shadow of a volcano that was not only known to be active, but in the process of erupting, are entirely unknown**. The Virastel, of course, point to their holy books when questions about the early history of the Ngalák Mandate are asked; unsurprisingly, not-Virastel historians & academics tend to not take their accounts at face value, and theorize that the forgotten techniques used to carve out the city have been passed down from a pre-Thel dwarven civilization.

    The earliest recorded leader of Äkim Ngalák (that is agreed upon by both Virastel & non-Virastel) is Archpioneer Akmesh Ûlmushkutam, who is known to have led the city from 636 AE to his death in 659 AE. He discarded the old logographic system*** of recording Ösir Âm and devised an entirely new phonemic system, which has survived with relatively few alterations to the present day. He followed a now-dead branch of the Virastel faith which claimed the knowledge Òrdirkôn referred to in his orders was of a metaphysical nature, and could only be found though introspection, not experimentation; the peasants blamed his divisive policies for a plague of cave locusts that swept through the great caverns surrounding the city in 659 AE which decimated the flamespore crop, and he was forced to abdicate at the age of 61.

    The next leader of interest of Äkim Ngalák is Archpioneer Akur Lecadcenäth; prior to his taking up the mantle of Archpioneer, he was a wandering scholar who explored & mapped much of the labyrinthine tunnels beneath the Trasteme Mountains, eventually discovering a network of caverns filled with natural warm springs. After assuming leadership of Äkim Ngalák, he ordered the construction of a city around the warm springs, which he named Othlest Olmul. He ruled for 47 years, and historians generally refer to the state centered on Äkim Ngalák as the City-State of Äkim Ngalák (or just Äkim Ngalák) when referring to the pre-Lecadcenäth era, and as the Ngalák Mandate when referring to the post-Lecadcenäth era.

    Next we examine the rule of the ambitious Archpioneer Kuthdêng Thalalzutshosh; he dreamed of uniting the dwarves of the Trasteme Mountains under his rule and taking the fight to the elves of the surface, but his imperial desires dealt a blow the Ngalák Mandate took centuries to recover from****; his attempts to build artillery that could function despite the high level of ambient mana at the time led to the collapse of much of the tunnels that connected the Ngalák Mandate to the other dwarves of the Trastemes. The Ngalák Mandate only managed to survive the destruction of the underground trade networks by forging new trade relations with the independent human nomads of the Tarinar Lowlands.

    The Ngalák developed in isolation for the next several centuries, only managing to maintain a level of technology similar to the other dwarven states through trade with the humans & their fierce devotion to research, but still, much knowledge was lost in this period. The Ngalák Mandate did not reestablish contact with the other dwarves of the Trastemes until the reign of Archpioneer Mishthem Gegetanzish, who invented a device capable of safely clearing away the rubble blocking the caverns; his reign might have marked the beginning of a new wave of Ngalák colonization of the Trastemes, but not six months after contact was reestablished with the other dwarves, the Veil of Ishrama was taken down. Believing that his device was the last piece of knowledge required for Òrdirkôn’s return & that the fall of the veil marked the beginning of the end of days, he rallied the citizens of the Ngalák Mandate and joined the coalition opposing the Thel Empire.

    Mishthem Gegetanzish was at first utterly convinced that Òrdirkôn would soon rise from the fiery bowels of the earth to lead the coalition forces, but his allies did not believe him***** and adamantly refused to wait for titan of ash & magma to join them; only the fact that the Ngalák Mandate provided huge amount of troops for the struggle kept them from booting Mishthem Gegetanzish from his position as a leader in the coalition. As battle after battle was fought and Òrdirkôn showed no signs of return & the eldritch powers of the elves showed no signs of disappearing, Mishthem Gegetanzish was forced to conclude that he was mistaken. He led Ngalák forces into battle until the collapse of the Thel Imperium, and then resigned in favor of Nish Limârigër.

    Archpioneer Nish Limârigër was an idealist through & through; while much of the citizenry was exhausted from the fighting and several looked at the ravaged landscape- conspicuously absent of rampaging volcano gods- and asked themselves if the fighting was worth it and if Òrdirkôn would ever return to them, Archpioneer Nish Limârigër looked at the empty fields & depopulated cities & saw opportunity. When the average dwarf of the Ngalák Mandate looked at their coalition allies and saw only treachery & greed, and looked at the elf & half-elf refugees roaming the plains and saw only a hated enemy, Nish saw a people that could be incorporated into his state, a people with different strengths that he could take advantage of. He opened Äkim Ngalák to all, announcing that any who were willing to live honestly would be welcome there. His inclusive policies were widely opposed, and he narrowly escaped assassination several times, but after many, many years the seeds of prosperity he planted had finally matured & borne fruit, and as the younger generation grew up alongside the immigrants & took over politics, the xenophobia gradually faded into the background; it never disappeared, but it no longer had the power & appeal it once did. The final act of Nish Limârigër’s rule was to order the construction of a new city on the shores of the Arel Ocean. The nearby abandoned elven cities were torn down and used to construct a shining city called Migrur Istrath, which Nish hoped would become a new center of trade. He died peacefully in his sleep the day after the city was finished, believing that he had ushered in a golden age for the Ngalák Mandate.

    He was mistaken in his assessment, however. He selected his son as his successor, believing that the education he had provided the young man would fully prepare him for the task of running the state; his son, however, was good only at deception, and under his rule the Ngalák Mandate stagnated. His reign was only recently brought to an end when a mob overpowered his personal guard & stormed the palace at Äkim Ngalák, demanding his immediate resignation. Faced with the options of caving to their demands & losing power or refusing their demands & dying, the coward went with the option that would preserve his life. The mob forced him to officially disinherit his son, who he had planned to make his successor, and name the popular governor Bërûl Duradegståk heir in his place.

    Bërûl Duradegståk has now been Archpioneer for several years, and in that time has managed to reverse the damage the previous ruler did to the Ngalák Mandate. He still has his work cut out for him, though, especially if he wishes to lead his people to the dominant position in the world they so obviously deserve.

    *the official language of the Ngalák Mandate
    **Äkim Ngalák, the volcano for which the city is named, is a shield volcano that has been in a state of continuous effusive eruption for the entire recorded history of the Ngalák Mandate
    ***the old logographic system remains untranslated to this day
    ****it is perhaps fortunate that he failed as spectacularly as he did; with the Thel Empire at the height of its power & the Veil of Ishrama fully functioning, a united dwarven state would have stood no chance in war, and the Thel would have likely pursued the broken dwarven armies into the tunnels when Kuthdêng Thalalzutshosh inevitably lost
    *****Virastel had a large following in the Trasteme dwarves outside of the Ngalák Mandate prior to the collapse of the trading tunnels, but without access to the holy city of Äkim Ngalák the religion died out outside the Ngalák Mandate and all knowledge of it was forgotten

    Names: Given names in the Ngalák Mandate are unisex because I don't want to put effort into coming up with separate male & female names men & women are equal in the eyes of Òrdirkôn. They are composed of a given name, followed by a patronymic (for males) or a matronymic (for females), with the patro/matronymic being modified by an additional word. EX, a male dwarf with the given name Vukcas married to a female with the given name Zas have a son & a daughter with the given names Dëm and Nadak; the son's full name could be Dëm Almôshvukcas, and the daughter could be Nadak Giginzas.
    • Patro/Matronymic Modifiers:
      Spoiler :
      • Durad
      • Ûlmush
      • Lecad
      • Thalal
      • Geget
      • Limâr
      • Almôsh
      • Gigin
      • Kalal
      • Ilas
      • Salir
      • Sedil
      • Gòstang
      • Nashon
      • Rangab
      • Âgoth
      • Etnàr
      • Nguteg
      • Manthul
      • Rùkal
      • Kastol
      • Maskir
      • Ïssun
      • Gïsstir
      • Keng
    • Given Names:
      Spoiler :
      • Bërûl
      • Egståk
      • Akmesh
      • Kutam
      • Akur
      • Cenäth
      • Kuthdêng
      • Zutshosh
      • Mishthem
      • Anzish
      • Nish
      • Igër
      • Vukcas
      • Zas
      • Dëm
      • Nadak
      • Tölún
      • Shethel
      • Sodel
      • Ral
      • Mezum
      • Therleth
      • Stodir
      • Ziril
      • Kirun
      • Urist (this name is unusually common, to the point that it is not odd for ~1/5 of the people in a room be named Urist, and for ~1/3 of that group to be named Urist Somethingurist)
     
  19. Tolina

    Tolina trust the pillars with your s e c r e t s

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    10,491
    Location:
    Nightvale, US
    could you crop it and maybe make it closer to the coastline/drop the coastline?
     
  20. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,222
    Location:
    Within the realm of impossibility
    Nation Name: Jeromac
    Capital Name: Jerome
    Location of Capital and Borders:
    Spoiler :

    Flag: TBD
    Dominant Species: Dwarves
    Minor Species: humans, haf dwarves
    Government: Elective
    Ruler Name: Kandros Fir, a notorious imperialist, and union breaker
    Heir Name: Arturus Thorne, famous among common folk for his success in the sport of naked mud wrestling. The sight of his naked body all oiled up has inspired numerous erotic fanfiction, some that your grandmother has probably read. Hell, your grandmother has probably written some.
    Background: The people of Jerome will likely tell any outsider who asks that they've always lived there, that when the Imperium came knocking they stood up to the bullies and were left largely alone. Truthfully, they were driven into the mountains, barely surviving, but sharpening their weapons for a potential rematch. The cause to retake their homeland became almost a religious ideal, and when the grand alliance of races called for volunteers, dozens of good boys came from the Jeromac.

    Of course, most of their warriors focused exclusively on taking the city of Jerome back, and seeing as possession is nine tenths of the law when it comes to international diplomacy, everyone by and large let them have it. Those who did fight abroad were not as people initially thought, motivated by idealistic urges, but rather an understanding of one of the fundamental principles of dwarvenhood - sometimes the best bargaining chips are the ones you put in someone else's skull. From these campaigns far from home, they came back, their pockets bulging with loot, some say doubling their clans wealth. In the wake of the Imperium's defeat and reconquest of their homeland, the Dwarven clans who had previously inhabited these lands had to decide what to do with the new inhabitants.

    Their first answer was genocide. They soon eliminated the elves and half elves, (in a massacre that legends say turned the Jeromac river red with blood), but humans themselves were a stubborn lot, and the dwarves soon decided to adopt a more tolerant policy, where humans were free to live in Jeromac as second class citizens. Another looming questioning was one of self governance. Jeromac had been a kingdom ruled by a king, but when fleeing to the mountains the royal family had died. In the interrum the clans had ruled by a council of clan heads, heads that had been chosen by a vote among the upper echelons of the Dwarven clan society. Should the dwarves once again be ruled by a king in the old traditions, or had something good come out of their exile, and rule by clan was surely the way to go? In the end, the dwarves became a Republic, or more accurately, an oligarchy with the pretense of voting, even as the vote expanded to include all male dwarves.


    Into this scene steps Kandros Fir, the culmination of centuries of work for voting rights leading to the common dwarf getting the vote, promising a bright future for the Jeromac people. An imperialist through and through, he's written extensively on the topic including a work titled Imperialism and You: Free Labor and Free Markets.
    Religion: At first glance an observer might conclude that he Jeromac religion is "Greed is good" but upon closer inspection it seems the society has a fixation, almost an obsession, upon turning raw goods into material wealth.
     

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