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ImmacuNES III: Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Immaculate, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003
    NES is dead. Thanks for taking part.

    A Kharkushian Map of Barsaive

    courtesy of Vrutchen​


    Welcome to ImmacuNES III: Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy. Our NES takes place in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world of dwarves and elves, sorcerers and warriors. The setting is based on an amalgamation of the Fall From Heaven mod for Civilization 4 and a role-playing game from 1993 called Earthdawn.

    For years, the men, dwarves, gnomes, elves, orcs and trolls were forced to live in underground citadels known as kaers, while malevolent creatures from astral space, so terrible they could only be called Horrors, ravaged their world.

    The time of hiding has passed. Now, the people of the kaers have returned, and reclaimed their place in the world. The fight is not over. The Horrors still linger in this world -- in the cities and ruins lost during the Scourge. A corrupt Empire seeks to reclaim it's provinces, and leaders and nations with dark ambitions seek to set themselves up as the new power in the absence of the Empire.

    Players will sculpt nations from cities and ruralities, trade with one another, do battle with infantry, cavalry, archers, wizards, summoned wyverns and more. Their priests will call the will of the gods and their peasants shall revolt and open the city gates to the enemy. Their soldiers shall fall to arrows and disease. Their castles shall be crumbled by thrown rocks and mighty elementals and finally their leaders will be spitted on great pikes and roasted for an ork’s lunch. Hooray!
  2. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003
    in alphabetical order

    the Achatin: Kyzarc Fotjage
    the Baal: Blackbard
    the Bicormis Dwarves: NPC minor nation
    the Kharkush: Vruchten
    the Kraz-ke-Meka: Darksaber
    the Nozkam Legon: ?
    the Patria: NPC (not available for player adoption)
    the Palitanate: Seon
    the Pilseta: Charles Li
    the Scions of Twilight: hbar
    the Sjykalfar: Diamondeye
    the Tabba Ghut Clan: Northen Wolf
    the Throal kingdom: NPC (not available for player adoption)
    the Uld'ar Ekolite
    the Utilica: Merciary
    the White Elves: NPC minor nation
  3. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003
    Faction Design
    Spoiler :

    Each player must choose what race they will play. If you have a mixed population just choose one race and customize it towards the other.

    • Human
      +1 government and culture starting tech level
      all leaders gain +1 governance attribute
      growth cost is 1 (higher breeds slower, lower breeds faster)
    • Dwarves
      +1 metals and crafts starting tech modifier
      metals and crafts aptitude (20% tech discount)
      leaders have +1 health and +1 brain attributes
      default leaders require higher salaries
      growth cost is 1.9 (higher breeds slower, lower breeds faster)
    • Gnomes
      +1 metals and crafts starting tech modifier
      +1 scholarly starting tech modifier
      metals and crafts aptitude (10% tech discount)
      scholarly aptitude (20% tech discount)
      martial inaptitude (10% tech penalty)
      leaders have +2 brains, -1 trade, -1 martial attributes
      growth cost is 1.6 (higher breeds slower, lower breeds faster)
    • Elves
      +1 food and growth starting tech modifier
      +1 arcana or religion (player’s choice) starting tech modifier
      food and growth aptitude (10% tech discount)
      either arcana or religion tech aptitude (players choice) (10% tech discount)
      metals and crafts inaptitude (10% tech penalty)
      trade and exploration inaptitude (10% tech penalty)
      leaders have +1 culture, +1 government, +2 health, +1 brains, -1 trade, +1 arcana or religion
      default leaders require higher salaries
      growth cost is 2.7 (higher breeds slower, lower breeds faster)
    • Orcs
      +1 martial starting tech modifier
      metals and crafts aptitude (10% discount)
      martial tech aptitude (10% tech discount)
      scholarly tech inaptitude (10% tech penalty)
      arcana tech inaptitude (10% tech penalty)
      leaders have –1 health, -1 brains, martial +2
      growth cost is .7 (higher breeds slower, lower breeds faster)
    • Trolls
      +1 crafts and metals starting tech modifier
      +1 trade and exploration starting tech modifier
      +1 martial starting tech modifier
      crafts and metals aptitude (10% discount)
      trade and exploration aptitude (10% discount)
      food and growth tech inaptitude (10% penalty)
      leaders have +1 trade, +1 martial, +2 naval
      growth cost is 2.4 (higher breeds slower, lower breeds faster)
    Spoiler :
    You have 10 point with which you can customize your faction. Spend them on:

    • Bonus Starting Tech Ranks:
      For each different knowledge, add 1 rank for 1 customization point, 2 ranks for 2 customization points or 3 ranks for 4 customization points.
    • Tech Aptitude:
      Gain a 10% discount to the tech rate with one knowledge class for 4 points. Gain 20% discount to the tech rate for 8 points. You can’t get a 30% tech discount.
    • Tech Inaptitude
      Gain 2 points by taking a 10% tech penalty with a particular technology. You can only take this once in total. Period.
    • Bonus Racial Leadership Traits
      Add 1 point to any single attribute for all your leaders for 4 points. Cannot be taken more then once for any attribute.
    • Reduced Racial Leadership Traits
      Subtract 1 point from a single attribute for all your leaders to gain 3 points. Cannot be taken more then once. Period.
    • Cosmopolitan:
      You may hire soldiers not only from your own race, but from a second race additionally. So, you might have dwarven heavy infantry and elven archers if you wanted. Cost 1 point to access an additional race’s troops.
    • Bonus Leader
      Gain a second leader with basic racial stats for 2 points. This isn’t really worthwhile in of itself (except it will save you some salary costs) but combined with additional leader traits, can give you a second high-quality starting leader. Note that a second leader requires that you possess a ‘government and culture’ tech rank of 2 or higher so you might need to take a bonus starting tech rank.
    • Bonus Leader Traits
      Add 1 attribute point to any single attribute for 1 point, 2 attribute points for 3 customization points, or 3 for 5 points. If you have a second leader, you can use these points on either of your two leaders. If you want a character with ‘power’ (so if you designed a powerful wizard or something as one of your leaders), this is pretty much the only way to get it (except magic weapons)
    • Bonus military Division.
      Its about 1000 people. You can pick from light infantry, scouts or skirmishing troops. No cavalry bursting out of the kaers. Costs 1 customization point. You do get 2 divisions to start with so you aren’t completely without defense if you fail to use your points on this option.
    • Bonus Fancy Military Division
      Got an idea? Submit it and we’ll see how much it should cost.
    • Bonus Population
      No major diseases, horror break-ins? Great, maybe you got a big population. This is useful in the early game for more gold and research. Increase starting population by 1 for 1 point or by 2 for 3 points.
    • Bonus Worker
      Basically you have a bonus starting rurality ready to settle down and start producing. Normally a worker lets you set up a rurality (once it gets to its destination) only when you spend enough food and hammers alongside it, but this guy comes all ready to work with food and hammers and everything else. Costs 2 customization points.
    • Bonus Starting Food
      Gain 15 food per point spent. This could help you grow your city and ruralities quickly. Spend max of 3 points.
    • Bonus Starting Gold
      Gain 15 gold per point spent. Precious precious gold. Spend max of 3 points.

    Have fun. If you have other ideas, feel free to suggest them.
  4. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003

    The following is based largely on an amalgamation of the Fall From Heaven mod for Civilization 4 and a role-playing game from 1993 called Earthdawn.

    Angels and Gods
    Spoiler :

    It is said that in the beginning there was one god who made creation. Amongst his creations were the angels who became gods and who man calls ‘the passions’. These are:
    • Lugus- Angel of Light (Sun)
    • Sirona- Angel of Wisdom (Spirit)
    • Bhall- Angel of Fire (Fire)
    • Nantosuelta- Angel of Faith (Enchantment)
    • Nemed- Angel of Life (Life)
    • Amathaon- Angel of Fertility (Creation)
    • Junil- Angel of Justice (Law)
    • Arawn- Angel of Death (Death)
    • Oghma- Angel of Knowledge, who would become Angel of Forgetting, Oblivion and Secrets (Metamagic)
    • Danalin- Angel of the Water (Water)
    • Dagda- Angel of Balance (Force)
    • Kilmorph- Angel of the Earth (Earth)
    • Sucellus- Angel of Growth (Nature)
    • Tali- Angel of the Air (Air)
    • Camulos- Angel of Peace, who would become the Angel of War (Chaos)
    • Aeron- Angel of Strength, who would become the Angel of Rage (Body)
    • Ceridwen- Angel of the Stars, who would become the Angel of Knowledge, Gateways, Magic, and Horrors (Dimensional)
    • Mammon- Angel of Foresight, who would become the Angel of Greed (Mind)
    • Esus- Angel of Trust, who would become the Angel of Deception (Shadow)
    • Mulcarn- Angel of Ice, who would become the Angel of Winter (Winter)
    • Agares- Angel of Hope, who would become the Angel of Despair (Entropy)

    The Birth of Man
    Spoiler :

    The angels are said to have praised their creator who gave them the power of creation. They set about creating and when done there was a countless array of worlds and a nearly endless variety of life upon them. Each angel created a world of their own preference and all the angels contributed to a common world, called Errovus, which was their greatest creation.

    Amongst the creation of the angels the greatest was a collective work: man. Their creation, this cooperative effort, was, for most, their last. Scholars and theologians claim their powers of creation were recalled at this time, all but those of Agares, who, through cunning deceit stole the tools to continue creating for all time. Ultimately he created a world of black and gold where dreams, desire and worship centered on Agares alone. This world he named Nyx.

    Agares is said to have corrupted the angels Camulos, Aeron, Ceridwen, Mammon, Esus and Mulcarn, turning them from the unity of the angels, filling them with indignation towards their creator. The scholars say that this blasphemy was too much for the ‘one’ creator and all the angels were henceforth thrown from heaven.

    Sundered from heaven, the angels made their own creations, angels in their own right who would serve them and further their goals. Each, except Agares, also made an archangel.
    • Amathaon- Maponos the Young
    • Sucellus- Cernunnos
    • Bhall- Brigit the Shining
    • Kilmorph- Goibniu
    • Lugus- Baelious ("fortune")
    • Aeron- Odio (who was imprisoned by Kilmorph during the Age of Dragons)
    • Dagda- Cassiel
    • Mammon- Hastur, the Lord of Nightmares
    • Junil- Sabathiel
    • Oghma- Embarr ("imgination")
    • Camulos- The Avatar of Wrath
    • Nantosuelta- Splendor
    • Ceridwen- Kanna, Mistress of Pain
    • Sirona- Pelian the Suffering
    • Esus- Iaegus
    • Tali- Leucetious, Bringer of Storms
    • Arawn- Gyra and Basium, twins
    • Danalin- Condatis
    • Mulcarn- Taranis the Unchanging
    • Agares- None (until the later creation of Hyborem, Lord of Balors)
    The Age of Dragons
    Spoiler :

    Unable to overcome their differences, the angels, now called gods began to war across creation. Dragons, giants, great elementals and the gods themselves unleashed incredible magic and, with it, threatened to destroy creation. Mountains were created and destroyed; chasms and lakes were created like gaping scars.

    Sucellus, Danalin, Killmorph, Nantosuelta, Camulos and Mulcarn, instead of fighting over creation, sought to imprint their mark upon the greatest creation of errovus, man. The influence of Sucellus made the elves, Danalin, the Aifons, Killmorph, the dwarves, Nantosuelta, the gnomes, Camulos, the orcs, and Mulcarn, the trolls.

    The destruction wrought during this time was too great for creation to endure and so Dagda, with the aid of Arawn, Junil and Oghma, commanded the fighting to stop. A compact was forged and so too was the blade that represents that compact, the godslayer. As a result the gods are forced to withdraw from creation, their angels and servants trapped in the heavens.

    The days of the Age of Dragons were days of huge supernatural battles, powerful storms, earthquakes and volcanoes. Its heroes were brave men without the benefit of magic or knowledge who were little more than savages trying to survive in a world they didn’t understand and where death came strong and swift.

    The Age of Magic
    Spoiler :
    The war still continued but more subtly than before. Each of the gods sought to influence man and share their gifts with man, this was the rise of the first priests. Each of the angels began to teach their followers in different ways but the most powerful of these teachings came from Ceridwen. During the age of dragons, Ceridwen and her army of angels had invaded the heavens of Oghma, seeking the knowledge that was stored in this great vault. She was largely successful and stole many secrets but Oghma, in desperation, spread a magical mist throughout her heavenly library which had the effect of erasing the memory of anyone but her angels that braved them. This would have made Ceridwen’s angels forget their purpose there but Ceridwen was already the god of magic and gateways and stole her army away before they lost their memories.

    It was at this time that the Patrian empire arose. Its beginnings were humble; it was founded as a place of learning; its base built on the stolen tomes of Oghma provided to its rulers by the god Ceridwen. Patria was built on an island in the great Selestrean Sea and its greatest lord was Kylorin, a wise and popular ruler, loved by his people. When his wife betrays him, Kylorin considers suicide by jumping from the top of his palace. Ceridwen talks to him there, offering him another deal. She will give Kylorin eternal youth and have his wife be resurrected in a new form each time she dies so that he may find and remarry her without the memory of her betrayal. The price is that Kylorin will worship Cerdiwen and lead the Patrians according to her desires. He agrees.

    Cerdiwen gifts Kylorin with eternal youth and teaches him the greatest of magics. He becomes the first archmage and begins teaching other how to use magic to enforce his ever more corrupt rule over Patria. In a few generations his rule is absolute and vile. Sorcerers practice bizarre experiments, creating creatures like manticores, chimera and centaurs and rule the fiefdoms in their control as gods. Kylorin directly trains 21 students and puts each in charge of a separate magical school. These go on to train their own students and soon Patria becomes a formal mageocracy.

    As magic spreads throughout the land, those practicing it realize that the mana powering their spellcraft is a finite resource. Each new caster drawing upon the energies weakens the powers of others. Kylorin sees a threat to his abosolute rule in this and turns to his master, Ceridwen for assistance. Ceridwen in turn turns to the stolen tombs of Oghma and applies these secrets to her practice of summoning and gateways. She teaches her greatest student a bizarre and powerful ritual and soon Kylorin’s magics and those of his students and lords eclipses any they had known previously. Flying ships ply the airs above the sea of Selestrean seeking trade with the three major continents of Barsaive (still just feuding petty tribal kingdoms of men, dwarves, orcs and trolls at this time), Majellan (thriving elves, gnomish and dwarven tribes and kingdoms) and Landis (orcs and humans forming into larger trading nations and theocracies). The Patrian empire’s magic is unmatched by any and so too is it military might. It quickly becomes a center of knowledge and trade, its isolated islands drawing resources from across the globe. Kylorin, at this time, completes the ‘Eternal Library’, 150 years after receiving the first tombs from Oghma’s vault. The calendar of Patria as well as that used throughout modern Barsaive counts forward from this time.

    It is also at this time that the first signs of the Horrors begin to appear in the world. In the city of Segash, in the human-dominated lands of Landis, dark wraith-like spirits stalk the streets, driving men to violence against each other. For a year, in the city of Draoglin, in the ancient dwarfen kingdom of Khazak, every dwarf child shrivels and dies. Across the entire land that will one day be known as Barsaive, hordes of twisted, insect-like creatures are found nesting in isolated areas. In southern Barsaive, their infestation is so great that sworn enemies, orcs, dwarves, trolls and men find themselves working side by side to destroy the creatures. This time, known as The Burning, is the closest Barsaive comes to unfication prior to the arrival, en masse, of the Patrians in the Age of Chains.

    The greatest of Kylorin’s students is the archmage Perpentach, master of mind magic and servant of the god Mammon. He sees into the mind of his teacher Kylorin and realizes that the rituals he himself assisted his master in casting did more then amplify the magic of Errovus, it set a collision course between Errovus and lands beyond the astral plane, lands home to vile creations the world was coming to call ‘Horrors’. Ceridwen had circumvented the ‘compact’ by brining her heaven to Errovus.

    Perpentach realizes that his master has doomed the entire world to the Lady of Pain and secretly vows to reverse the ritual and usurp Kylorin’s rule. The lord of mind magic meets secretly with Kylorin’s other students and plans a coup against Kylorin’s rule. Kylorin learns of Perpentach’s plans when the student, Gastrisu, lord of metamagic, betrays the plan. Kylorin turns on Perpentach and would have defeated him by splitting his mind asunder but for Tamesis, lord of sun magic, who strikes at Kylorin with magical sun-fire and slays him.

    Kylorin’s students are divided and soon the Eternal Library, the islands of Patria and the provinces amongst the continents are turned into a battlefield as the students of Ceridwen’s servant turn upon each other. While some, such as Lagoth, lord of spirit, seek only to continue their studies in peace, others such as Carnivean, lord of chaos and Kezef, lord of body, lead Patria into a destructive and horrible civil war. Combined with the periodic invasions of Horrors across the three continents, this is a time when many independent nations arise from the splintered remains of Patria. The Bannor are perhaps the greatest of the human empires and rule much of Landis. The Lanun dwell on the northern shores of Landis and ply the Selestrean sea as nautical traders and pirates. The Malakim also share the continent of Landis and rule a nation of desert nomads and men of faith. The orc kingdom of Cara Fahd forms in eastern Landis and within a century establishes the first non-Patrian intercontinental colonies in south-western Barsaive. On Majellan, the gnomes form themselves into the nation of the Luchuirp and trade extensively with the dwarves of Khazad. Meanwhile in western Majellan, the great wood becomes the home of the elven court of Wyrm Wood. In Barsaive, while the trolls, orcs and human continue to compete and raid amongst each other as petty city-states and nomadic tribes (the greatest of which, the Hippus, quickly carve a large tribal confederacy from horse-back), the great dwarven kingdom of Throal begins to form deep in their mountain homes.

    Spoiler :

    As the war wages on, the mage Perpentach ignores the bloodshed around him and focuses on reversing Kylorin’s rituals. He soon learns that the heavens and planes, like the planets, orbit throughout what is known as astral space and that Kylorin’s ritual has set the distant heavens of Ceridwen and her archangel Kanna, Mistress of Pain, on a collision course with Errovus. Already the distant plane is speeding towards Errovus. As it does, the massive magical energies of the heavens of the goddess of magic and summoning begin entwining with the mana-lines of Errovus. Additionally, its inhabitants, the creatures known as Horrors are able to jump from their distant home to Errovus. The invasion has only barely begun. Perpentach learns that in less then 600 years the two planes will completely overlap and Errovus will be overrun by Ceridwen’s creations.

    Meanwhile, with battles raging all around them, the years tick by and Perpentach and a loyal cadre of elite archmages continue their efforts to understand Kylorin’s ritual. In the year 112 they are finally able to counter Kylorin’s ritual. Perpentach’s spells are able to prevent Ceridwen’s plane from colliding with Errovus but cannot undo the damage already done. The heavens of the queen of pain will not strike Errovus as it careens through astral space but it will certainly come very close, close enough for its inhabitants to pass freely from their home to Errovus for a period of almost 400 years before its momentum carries it beyond the reach of Errovus’s astral space.

    Perpentach realizes that the massive influx of horrors will destroy Errovus and all its people and continues his research through the tombs of Oghma so that he might discern a means of saving himself and creation. The tombs repeatedly refer to the ‘Book of Horrow’ but Perpentach does not find it amongst the Eternal Library and soon realizes that it must remain amongst the mind-stealing mists of Oghma’s vault. Calling upon the lord of greed, his lord Mammon, Perpentach launches a renewed assault on the vaults of the god of forgotten memories. The assault lasts generations and requires breeding special demonic forces from the captured angels of Oghma’s heavens. Finally in the year 201, Perpentach and his cadre return to Errovus with the ‘Book of Harrow’ (and Mammon’s forces manage to retrieve additional tombs from the once-god of knowledge for their own heavens).

    Perpentach’s return instantly ends the civil war as he unleashes the magics he has acquired from his studies upon the feuding students and their armies. His cadre, greatly strengthened by the effects of approaching heavens of Ceridwen upon their magic, instantly reassert their dominance over the mageocracy. Peace, Perpentach’s rule, and the strongest magicks the world had ever seen, lead to Patrian prosperity as trade and knowledge all pass through the thriving island empire. While Perpentach studies the Book of Harrow, Patria grows and grows. But the growth of Patria does not come without a price. Unable to support the enormous tasks of physical labor required to keep up with the swelling population and commerce, the Patrians must import workers from other lands. Patrian slavery begins with these laborers and soon true slavery is as common throughout Patria as the ocean breeze.

    As Patria grows, the land that will someday become Barsaive exists in near total ignorance. While most live as tribal horsemen or woodsmen fighting and warring amongst each other or as poor shepherds amongst snow-capped mountains, the only civilization to truly form are the dwarves of Throal. In the year 237, the Patrians finally return to Barsaive, their first since the civil wars. They first make contact with the humans near the city-state of Vivane and what will someday become Sky Point. From there Patrian representatives and ambassadors travel across Barsaive, making contact and trade alliances with every group they can find. This land, they discover, abounds with the natural and magical elements and materials the Patrians covet. The Patrian envoys promise a glittering future through trade to Barsaive’s city-states and tribes; dazzled by the prospect of Patrian riches, the local leaders sign agreements without reading between the lines.

    The arrival of the first Patrian trading fleet in 241 comes as a great surprise to Barsaive’s local powers. They had signed treaties and agreements with the Patrian envoys, but without any real understanding of the implications. The sight of dozens of Patrian airships drifting slowly through the air over their palaces, castles, and tents is a literal and symbolic blow to them. A new power had come to Barsaive now, and it was second to none.
  5. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003
    The Age of Elements
    Spoiler :

    In the year 262 Perpentach finally announces a means of defending against the mounting numbers of Horrors; he calls it the ‘Rites of Protection and Passage’. To date nothing has proven more effective at protecting against the horrors then a keen blade, an iron will and words of magic, but Perpentach promises more.

    Despite his brave words Perpentach’s solution was a grim one. He concluded that isolation from the Horrors is the only true means of protection against them. Because of their individual power and sheer, overwhelming numbers, direct confrontation with the Horrors would ultimately prove suicidal. To hide from the Horrors, Perpentach proposed to construct great underground fortresses. Dubbed kaers, these dwellings would protect their occupants against the Horrors on the theory that strong enough walls will keep out even the most physically powerful Horror. The natural, solid, earthen walls of the kaer would also provide protection against those Horrors that travel through astral space or by means as yet unknown. However, Perpentach warned that an earthen barrier might not be enough to withstand every Horror.
    Perpentach’s book also offered other means of protection. Cities could be shielded under domes woven of True Air. Kaers could be built beneath the sea and protected by True Water, and so on. Perpentach believed that the underground kaer would offer the strongest defense, though even it might be breached. To shore up the kaers’ defenses, Perpentach offered additional protections to defend against the Horrors on a primal level. Perpentach believed that magicians could learn to create wards and runes that would “call” to a Horror through magic. Once the Horror examined the rune, its mind would become caught in the magical web and mathematical maze of the rune’s construction. Because of the compact, the horrors must retain some small vestige of their consciousness and concentration amongst Ceridwen’s heavens. A rune entrapping its mind would break the Horror’s concentration and force the thing either to retreat or lose its grasp in this world and be flung back to the pit from whence it came. But Perpentach is no servant of Sirona, his lord is the passion of greed and the mage-ruler of Patria has no intention of giving away the keys to survival for a pretty please and thank-you.

    Despite the ever-increasing number of raids from beyond the astral veil, many dismiss Perpentach’s conclusions while others cannot take seriously a threat that will not truly come to fruition for almost 350 years.

    Patria, however, does not wait. The mighty, magic-rich island needs significant and, perhaps, extravagant protection against the Horrors. To this end, its leaders begin to collect vast quantities of the magical metal orichalcum. The Patrians begin striking favorable trade agreements in order to obtain large quantities of the rare material. No one can guess what manner of protection the Patrians wish to build that requires so much of that metal, but as long as they pay well for it, no one much cares.

    Orichalcum trade with Patria proves profitable for the rest of the world, despite the hue and cry of some deprived local magicians. It is so profitable that shipments become the target of bandits and raiders. Sixty years after Patria has begun its extensive importation of orichalcum, the trolls of the Twilight Peaks (northern Barsaive), called the crystal raiders, lead their ramshackle airships in a stunning long-distance raid against orichalcum stores being prepared for shipment to Patria. Other raids quickly follow suit as the crystal raiders hone their skill of raiding by air.

    Rather than band together for protection against the raiders, the lords and leaders of various lands take the raid as a signal to start their own plundering. The nation of Cara Fahd raid the Lanun; Throal is nearly overrun by marauding bands of orks; the Elven Court in Wyrm Wood fights Khazad dwarfs and their gnomish allies in a series of terrible battles. The wars last more than 40 years. Nations switch sides with a shift of the wind, migratory tribes become little more than mercenaries, and nobility plot against and betray their own kin. Only amongst the Malakim and Throal are the rightful rulers not, even temporarily, deposed. For the first 30 years, orichalcum and elemental mining and gathering operations are declared off-limits by unspoken agreement between these two kingdoms; both need the mines, and neither would profit from their destruction.

    As long as the flow of orichalcum and other magical elements remains steady, the Patrians care little about the war. As the Orichalcum Wars rage on, more and more Patrian mining vessels sail over Barsaive trading with the feuding kingdoms, city-states and tribes. They also mine elemental air amongst the clouds. The crystal raiders, having set off the Orichalcum Wars, sit back and watch them rage. Because the furious fighting has halted nearly all mining in the area, they make only the occasional supply raid. The Patrian air barges, however, offer them a target they cannot resist.

    The raiders strike quickly and often, plundering and looting the air barges. Patria warns that they will not tolerate further interference with the air mining operations. The Patrians begin protecting the air barges with warships, military airships. At first these ships are vedettes, air barges expanded and armored for war. The raiders thumb their noses at the Patrian war vessels; they continue attacking the convoys, using their faster, more maneuverable drakkar airships to escape back to the Twilight Peaks with their booty.

    The Patrians then begin protecting the mining convoys with kilas, sail-less, massive, floating stone citadels built specifically for war. Despite mounting losses, the raiders step up their attacks. The final straw for the Patrians comes after they lose a massive fleet of air barges, vedettes, and kilas to the raiders. Sixty days later, Perpentach reveals his nation’s true power.

    As morning comes, the clan-moots of the crystal raiders awaken to the sounds of alarm across the Twilight Peaks. Drifting towards the trolls’ home is the largest airship anyone has ever conceived of, let alone seen. Devoid of a true ship’s hull and sail, the vessel Victory is a massive shard of rock the size of a small city, propelled by raw magic in defiance of the laws of nature. The Patrians call this terrible machine of war a behemoth.

    A great battle ensues and the troll raiders are scattered, their children enslaved and their homes pillaged and burnt. With their victory, the Patrians prove they are a power to be reckoned with. No longer content to simply conduct trade and commerce subject to the whims of local lords, the Patrians use the Twilight Peaks battle to show the world what awaits those foolish enough to interfere with Patrian desires and aims.

    Shortly thereafter, in the year 482, Perpentach proclaims the resurgent Patrian empire and the lands of Barsaive a Patrian province, promising all those who swear loyalty to the empire protection from the ravages of the Orichalcum Wars, as well as first rights to new enchantments to defend against the Horrors. To enforce their power, the new Empire places a permanent Patrian military presence at Sky Point on the island of Vivane, declaring it the provincial capital of Barsaive. Dozens of smaller city-states and kingdoms quickly submit to Patria. More powerful kingdoms submit more slowly, but visits from the Patrian Navy prove persuasive.

    A fellow mage-scholar of Kylorin, the human Soqed Hozi, is named the first Overlord of Barsaive. Though Patria controls the province, Hozi sees the practical value of local administration and calls upon the dwarfs of nearby Throal to assist him. Throal, unwillingly allied to Patria out of need for enchantments against the Horrors, agrees.

    Through this administration, Throal mediates between the Patrians and Barsaive. The dwarfs provide a buffer between the governments of Barsaive and their Patrian overlords, defusing much of the tension between them. Also through this administration, Throal spreads and promotes the dwarf tongue as the trading language of Barsaive. For the first time in its history, citizens of various Barsaive regions can communicate with relative ease.

    A time of peace descends upon Barsaive, though rumours of war and strife continue to filter out of the other provinces. Patrian trade leads to a vertible diaspora of cultures and races across the world and soon gnomes, elves, dwarves, orcs, trolls and men can be found in great numbers amongst every land.

    Age of Shadow
    Spoiler :

    As the Scourge draws nearer, the kingdoms and cultures of the world prepare for the mass invasion of the Horrors. Some build small underground villages with protective wards woven from the roots of the plants above. The dwarfs of Throal hollow out most of an entire mountain, the largest in the kingdom, to build their kaer. Other cities, most notably those of the Bannor become fantastic citadels, with handwritten runic phrases carefully inscribed on every bit of masonry in the city. With each new report of a Horror, work becomes more frantic, ever more urgent. Fear and panic result in such a heavy spread of rumors that it becomes difficult to sort out the truth. Contact between cities, and between kingdoms, becomes erratic. Some cities become so fearful that they isolate themselves years before the actual Scourge begins.

    Throughout this time, the most reliable communications come from, or through, Patria. The Patrian Empire literally holds together the fabric of civilization until most of their client states are prepared.
    Patria’s demands for slaves greatly increase during this period. Life is cheap, so the demands are met. Rulers sometimes sell an entire town into slavery in order to obtain the Runes of Warding to protect two or three other towns. Throal and the Malakim balk at the increased demand for slaves and work furiously to pay Patria’s dear price with raw elements.

    Some nations reject Perpentach’s demands outright. Queen Alachia of Wyrm Wood, High Queen of the Elves, despises the Patrians for their use of slavery and for their political opposition to her rule. She commands that no elven nation, and no elf, follow the Patrian ways of protection. She presents an alternative in which elf Elementalists will use wood magics to weave the living plants of a forest into a kaer. The Horrors, she believes, will be unable to pass through living wood.

    Elven scholars outside Wyrm Wood, and it is said even some within, are aghast at the proposal. They believe that though the Patrian method is not foolproof, it would provide more effective protection against the Horrors. These magicians and scholars doubt that any wooden kaer could possibly withstand the savage physical punishment the Horrors would inflict upon it. Alachia, however, stands resolute. She vows that any elf who follows the Patrian way will be forever separated from all of elven culture. This threat, far from cowing the other elven nations, shatters the great cultural elven empire Alachia commanded, presumably forever.

    Word comes first from the elves of the faraway Northern-Eastern Kingdoms. As the elves most distant from the Court at Wyrm Wood, they feel the least amount of true loyalty to its ways. Though little is known of those Northern Kingdoms in Barsaive, their rejection of Alachia represents a severe blow to her power. Before she can react, Alachia receives word from other elven nations and city-states that they refuse to follow her. They wish the Court well, but they will not follow Alachia to what they believe to be certain death. Queen Alachia, in the end, does not formally declare these nations separate. Their refusal has bereft the Elven Court of much of its power, making any such declaration an empty gesture. Instead Alachia chooses to wait until after the Scourge when her continued existence can prove her wisdom. At her command, the elves of Wyrm Wood begin the construction of the wooden kaer.

    Age of the Scourge
    Spoiler :

    Scholars now place the beginning of the Scourge in the seven hundred and eighth year of the Calendar. The indicator for the beginning of the Scourge: the sealing up of Patria. As a center and focus of magical power, Patria is beset by the Horrors earlier and with greater severity than the rest of the world. Patria’s last words to her subject nations are wishes of luck and safety, and an affirmation of her power. Then, the great Dome of True Air and Fire that surrounds the island ignites and seals Patria off from the world.

    Though some other groups had previously sealed themselves off, the rest of the world sees the sealing of Patria as the last great sign that the Scourge is beginning. Horrors appear with increasing frequency and are becoming more than a match for local militia, constabulary, and brave adventurers.

    Within twenty years of the sealing of Patria, the rising tide of Horrors cuts off virtually all communication between kingdoms. Even astral space becomes too polluted to access. Mindless herds of destructive Horrors roam the land, consuming every scrap of life they can find. Other, more intelligent Horrors probe existing defenses, and batter their way through weaker ones. Still others infiltrate society and slip with the people into their kaers. They wait and reveal themselves, violently or subtly, after the kaer has been sealed.

    In Barsaive, the great powers of Throal and Sky Point, the Patrian provincial capital, brace themselves against the Horrors and remain open and accessible for as long as they can. Both provide shelter for refugees until the last possible moment. Throal’s kaer, though of Patrian design, includes additional mystical dwarf craftsmanship.

    In the years just before the Scourge, the dwarfs of Throal do not remain idle. Years of administering Barsaive under Patrian domination have taught them much. They know that during the projected time of the Scourge, four hundred years, much of society and culture will wither within the kaers. The Patrian plan prepared for every aspect of physical survival; they provided for magical plant nurturing, air and waste recirculation, and breeding cycles. However, the Patrians had neglected the less tangible things.

    To this end, the dwarfs created The Book of Tomorrow. In this book, they set down the history of Barsaive and Patria, the great tales of the day and others past. They wrote out the dwarf language in its entirety so that children in the kaers could learn to speak, read, and write a common tongue. The book told them how to rebuild their homes and lands once the Horrors had gone. The book told them how to use arts and crafts as a continuing sign that they were free from the influence of a Horror, for the dwarfs had learned that a person Horror-tainted could not create things of art and beauty. And most important, it told the dwarfs how to tell when the dark days of the Scourge were over.

    Across the world, cities and towns, villages and city-states lock themselves in underground fortresses in preparation for the worst. Centuries pass as the people within the kaers and citadels huddle in fear and gradually learn to cope, all the while longing for the touch of sunlight and the taste of clean air. The inhabitants of many kaers will not live to see the sun again. Horrors batter or guile their way into more kaers than anyone even in their darkest thoughts believed possible. Whole cities are lost to the Horrors, entire societies and civilizations gone forever.

    Four hundred years pass and those kaers that hold copies of the Throal Book of Tomorrow know the magic ritual that will tell them when they may safely re-enter the world. Those lacking this ritual must guess and hope. The magic itself is basic: a simple ball of True Earth is enchanted and placed over a dish of True Water. The magics of the ritual keep the ball suspended over the water. As the effect of Ceridwen’s heaven wanes, and the Horrors are forced to retreat, the ball of True Earth descends until it finally touches the True Water, and the two mix and neutralize each other.
    All across Barsaive, the people in the kaers watch the ball descend. Slowly, ever so slowly, generation after generation it drops toward the water. Finally, after 300 years, the ball stops falling, hanging an inch above the water. Shocked scholars and magicians watch in wonder and dread. It is too soon, by a hundred years, for the Scourge to have abated. And why had the ball stopped? No one knew the answer then, and no one knows to this day.

    A few years pass and the people in the kaers begin to believe that the ball will not descend any further. The doors of the kaers begin to open into a bright, sunlit world ravaged by the Horrors.

    It is the present.
  6. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003

    the world:
    Spoiler :

    the continent of Barsaive:

    the natural look
    Spoiler :

    the hex look
    Spoiler :

    Lowlands (pale lavendar) have a movement cost of 2, hills (pale purple) of 3, low mountains (darker purple) of 4, and high mountains (darkest purple) of 6. Coast (light blue) have a move cost of 3. Seas (darker blue) have a move cost of 5.

    Forest increase movement cost by 2. Deserts increase movement cost by 4. Arctic increases movement cost by 4.
  7. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003
    Spoiler :

    Terrain determines fertility, ore, defense and movement cost. These are the attributes of terrain.


    • Fertility

      This attribute feeds into the food production of farms and fisheries and the trade goods of plantations. It is greater in optimal conditions such as lowland grasslands with rivers and worst in high mountains of the arctic.
    • Ore

      This attributes feeds into the hammer production of mines and the trade good production of mines on precious minerals. It is optimal in low and high mountains and lowest in the lowlands. Ore is unaffected by vegetation.
    • Defense

      Only forts or other constructs will actually provide a defense attribute. Mountains, forests, rivers, even grassland may all provide a bonus to your unit’s combat in that hex but this will be based on the player’s orders and their use of the terrain
    • Movement Cost

      Different terrains will cost your armies different amounts of movement points to move through. Some units will be able to ignore part of this movement cost.

    Terrain has three descriptors. The first is the altitude. The second is vegetation and the third is special resources. In addition to these descriptors, terrain can be improved (see above, ruralities and cities).

    • Altitude

      A particular hex will only qualify as one type of altitude.
      • Lowlands

        Lowlands are colored the palest lavender, almost white on the map. They have a base fertility of 3, a base ore productivity of 1 and a base movement cost of 2.
      • Hills

        Hills are pale purple on the map. They have a base fertility of 2, a base ore production of 2 and a movement cost of 3.
      • Low Mountains

        Low mountains are darker purple on the map. They have a base fertility of 1, a base ore production of 3 and a movement cost of 4.
      • High Mountains

        High mountains are the darkest purple on the map. They have no fertility, a base ore production of 3 and a movement cost of 6.
      • Coast

        Coasts have no associated vegetation. They have a base fertility of 2.5 (up from the original rating of 2), produce zero ore and have a movement cost of 3.
      • Sea

        Seas also have no associated vegetation. They have a base fertility of 2 (up from the original rating of 1), produce zero ore and a have a movement cost of 5.
    • Vegetation

      A particular hex will only qualify as one type of terrain though it may contain elements of other types.

      • Grassland

        Grassland has limited forest (though smaller forests may exist within the hex). They have no effect on fertility, ore production or movement cost.
      • Forests

        Forests can either be the southern deciduous forests or the northern coniferous forests of the northern isles. The differentiation does not affect game stats. Forests increase movement costs increase by 2. There is no effect on ore production or fertility
      • Deserts

        Deserts reduce fertility by 3 and increase movement costs by 4. There is no effect on ore production.
      • Arctic

        Arctic reduces fertility by 3 and increase movement costs by 4. There is no effect on ore production.
    • Special Resources

      Unlike vegetation and altitude, a tile can have more then one resource. Most often one is a river.

      • Grains, Livestock, and Fish

        Grains, Livestock and Fish increase the fertility of the tile by 3.

        Once you get growth and food tech of 5 or more, you will automatically receive some information on food resources outside your cities' cultural reach.
      • Textiles, Spices, and Dye

        These special resources allow the construction of plantations. Without them there can be no plantation.

        Once you get trade and exploration tech of 5 or more, you will automatically receive some information on these resources outside your cities' cultural reach.
      • Industrial Resources

        These special resources increase ore production by 3.

        Once you get crafts adn metals tech of 5 or more, you will automatically receive some information on these resources outside your cities' cultural reach.
      • Precious Metals and Gems

        These special resources allow the production of trade goods in mines built here.

        Once you get trade and exploration tech of 5 or more, you will automatically receive some information on these resources outside your cities' cultural reach.
      • Rivers

        Rivers add 1 fertility and 1 ore production
  8. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003
    The Ruralities:
    Spoiler :

    If you’ve built an improvement on the hex and its not a city, then it’s a ruralality (also known as rural improvements).

    New Ruralities

    New ruralities can be built within the cultural reach of your cities by spending 10 hammers. If you lack hammers, you may substitute gold for hammers.

    New ruralities can be built outside your cultural reach only by colonists. Founding the rurality consumes the colonist. New ruralities built in this fashion cost 10 hammers. Missing hammers can be paid for in gold.

    Your city stats has a function called 'max associated ruralities'. That means no more then that many ruralities can be associated with the city. That DOESN'T MEAN you can't build more then that many ruralities. Keep building improvements; you need them to get the resources you need to keep growing. They just become independent ruralities (until your governance or city population increases and they can become associated with your city).


    A significant portion of your population will live in the countryside. Each rurality will have a population rating from 1 to approximately 3 or 4 depending on various factors. A rurarality not associated with a nearby city has a limit of 1 (think of this as a small farming colony or mining colony distant from the nucleus of the nation). A rurality associated with a city will have a population limited by the population of the city, its governance, its culture and its health.

    The population of the rurality will generate taxes. A rurality associated with a city will generate research. An independent rurality will not generate research. The population of a rurality will also increase the production of the rurality’s food, hammers, or trade goods.


    A rural improvement can either be independent and unassociated with a nearby city or can be associated with a city. A city will add a variety of multipliers to the production of the hex and make it more valuable then it otherwise would be. There is a limit to the number of rural improvements that can be associated with a city based on the city’s governance and population (see the city section).

    The maximum number of independent ruralities you can control is equal to twice your government and culture tech rank.


    Strike the earth!

    Your rural developments will produce food, trade goods and hammers. They also have a population and these will pay taxes (in gold).

    • Food:

      The grains you grow, the livestock you raise, the fish you catch are all used to feed your population. Some rural improvements will consume more food then they produce. For example, a mountain mine will produce no food and need to consume some small amount to sustain its population.
    • Trade Goods:

      Trade goods are sold at local markets or exported to the world’s markets through ships and caravans. Ultimately trade goods produce gold, precious, precious gold.
    • Hammers:
      (Production capacity is gone!) Hammers can be used by cities to help pay a variable percentage of the cost of any building or unit. Hammers not spent at the end of the turn disappear.
    • Gold:

      The gold produced from a rural development is purely a function of the population located there. Trade goods or improvements which generate trade goods do not inherently produce gold at the ‘rural hex’ level.

    Improvement Types

    Ruralities occur in one of six major types. Only one improvement can be built per hex.

    • Farms

      A farm can be built on any land hex that is not arctic or high mountain. It produces food. The output is related to your knowledge of the ‘food and growth’ technology as well as the basal fertility of the plot and the population of the rurality. Fertility is related to the type of hex. For example, a low mountain hex without fresh water will have a lower basal fertility than a lowland plain hex with a river running through it.

      A farm built on grain or livestock resources will produce additional food.
    • Plantations

      Plantations can only be built on appropriate resources such as dye, spice, or textiles. Spices and textiles occur uniquely on land hexes while a small minority of dye resources may occur on coastal hexes. Plantations produce trade goods, the quantity thereof not being dependent upon the basal fertility of the hex, the nation’s knowledge of ‘food and growth’ and ‘trade and exploration’ technologies and the population of the hex. Trade goods can be sold in local or international markets.
    • Fisheries

      Fisheries can only be built on coastal or sea hexes. Coastal hexes have a higher yield then sea hexes.
      Fisheries built on fish resources will produce additional food. Fishery food production is calculated like farm production.
    • Mines

      Mines can be built on any land hex. They will produce hammers which can be used to offset the cost of local developments. Their output is based on local ore productivity (being greater in mountains then in lowlands), the nation’s knowledge of ‘crafts and metals’ technology and the hex’s population.

      Mines built on industrial resources (like copper or iron) will produce additional hammers.
    • Commercial Mines.

      Commercial Mines can only be built on appropriate resources such as gems or gold. Commercial mines produce trade goods, the quantity thereof being not dependent upon the basal ore production of the hex, the nation’s knowledge of ‘crafts and metals’ and ‘trade and exploration’ technologies and the population of the hex. Trade goods can be sold in local or international markets.
    • Specials

      Forts and mana nodes.
      • Forts

        Starting Forts add 1 defense value to the hex (adding to the ‘quality’ of military units defending the hex). Like the other ruralities it costs 10 hammers to build. Its population will produce taxes and consume food but won’t produce resources.

        Forts with a population greater then one may be invested in to increase the defense modifier their provide. A starting fort with a population of 2 or greater can be invested in (20 hammers) to increase it defense to 3. A fort with a population of 3 or greater and a defense value of 2 can be invested in (for 30 hammers) to increase its defense value to 3. And so on...
      • Mana Nodes

        Once you can ‘detect’ mana nodes,
        • Rank 2 arcane knowledge lets you see mana nodes in your cultural borders.
        • Rank 5 arcane knowledge lets you see mana nodes within about 5-7 hexes of your cities.
        • Rank 8 arcane knowledge lets you see all mana nodes in Barsaive.
        you can tap the mana node (make it into a shadow mana node or death mana node or whatever) for a cost of 10 hammers.

        Mana nodes are very different from other types of improvements in that they can be built on city tiles and still produce mana.
  9. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003
    Spoiler :

    The city is the beating heart of any builder-type NES or strategy board game. Love your precious cities for without them you are nothing and I, the moderator, will laugh at your failure.

    Cities vary is size from 1 to approximately 9 or higher. Think of a size one city as a little village of 500 people out in the middle of nowhere and a size 9 city as a major metropolis of over a million or more souls. Populations pay taxes and, contrary to rural populations, generate research.

    The job of a city is primarily to focus local rural resource production. A grain mill will act as a multiplier for your food production. A foundry will act as a multiplier for your hammer production. A textile mill, dye shop or spicery (simply called a workshop here) will act as a multiplier for your trade good production.

    In addition to focusing domestic development, a city will produce culture, research, trade and military prowess. This is also the site for training new units.

    New Cities

    Cities can be captured in war.

    Cities can also be founded. A city cannot be founded inside the cultural reach of a rival nation’s cities. Cities can only be founded by colonists. Founding the city consumes the colonists. The cost to found a city is 50 hammers and 50 food. As in most things, gold can be substituted for hammers if hammers are lacking. Cites can be founded over multiple turns provided at least 10 hammers and 10 food are spent in the first turn of founding the city.

    Fresh Water and other resources

    Building next to a fresh water lake or on a river gives you +1 health (but prevents you from building an aqueduct city improvement).

    Building on livestock or grain gives +1 food. Building on commercial goods gives +1 trade goods and building on industrial resources gives +1 hammers.


    Cities can (and must) be governed (think of the total war series of video games). Governors will have traits that act like multipliers for local food, health, administration, gold, culture, research or military production. A bad governor can ruin a city. A good governor can turn a backwater hole into a competitive township and a competitive township into the gleaming gem of your empire.

    You have to govern your cities. But you can also have only so many leaders. And they may be governing other cities or commanding armies. If you can’t find a leader to govern your leader you must use your faction’s default leaders (which generally aren’t as good as specific leaders you develop and grow throughout the game and which usually also require a salary).

    Changing your leaders too often can cause problems, usually negatives to your governance attribute.


    Your population pays taxes (more with better governance, less with poor governance) and research (more with research improvements and higher ‘scholarly’ technology). Additionally your population is the basis from which you recruit your military units. You may recruit a number of units in a particular city equivalent to the square root of your city’s population. (round down) Population is directly linked to your ‘health’ attribute. Greater health makes growing your population cheaper. Poor health makes your cities rife for disease and famine and can lead to population loss. Lastly, the population of some races grows more slowly (costs more food to grow) then others.; that’s why elven cities are smaller then human or orcish ones (also because orcs raid elven cities and eat the elves!)

    Associated Ruralities

    The multipliers that a city produces to rural production are limited to specific associated ruralities. This is defined by the city’s culture, administration and population. Unassociated ruralities are independent and do not receive city modifiers.

    • Reach:

      An associated rurality can be no further then the square root of the city’s culture. This distance is measured in hexes.
    • Maximum Associated Ruralities

      The total number of associated ruralities that may ‘feed into’ a local city is the sum of its population and governance.


    Cities, like rural developments, produce and consume resources.

    • Food:

      The rural improvement’s grains, fish and livestock are imported to the associated city so that they may be milled or otherwise processed. Your mill improvements will help generate more food by adding a multiplier to the local food production.
    • Trade Goods:

      While trade goods can be produced by citie, this is also where they are converted into gold. Cities turn trade goods into gold, the value of which is dependent on their ‘trade attribute’, a function of their ports, trade fleets, markets, etc. Additionally, cities will often possess some sort of processing centre to increase the production of trade goods from associated ruralities.
    • Hammers:

      Again, everyone hated production capacity in previous incarnations of my games so they have been replaced with hammers (didn’t go with shields alas). Hammers produced in the local ruralities receive modifiers the same as food and trade goods. The effect thereof is a function of local foundries and smithies.
    • Gold:

      Populations produce gold from taxes. Trade and trade goods produce gold. Some improvements will generate or consume gold in specific fashions unique to the improvement.
    • Research:

      Much of your early research will be generated from your local population directly. Urban population, unlike rural population, will generate research point.. As you progress, the research you produce will become more and more dependent upon your libraries and universities. Good governors may be an excellent asset here.


    • Governance

      A city’s governance increases its tax income and the tax income of associated ruralaties. It also feeds into the maximum population your rurality improvements can reach and the total number of ruralities associated with a city. Low governance may lead to corruption and bad events relating to corruption.
    • Health

      Health is the main determinant of a city’s growth. A governor or improvements that increase the city’s health will allow it to grow at a much reduced food cost. Low health may spark disease spread.
    • Culture

      Culture defines how far the city’s influence reaches. It is important for not only defining if a particular hex can be associated with the city or not but in controlling the movement of military units and the loyalty of the local population. Culture is often difficult to directly define the exact game mechanics for but it will often affect the development of the game’s story. There is no ‘stability’ statistic in this NES and the culture plays the role of this statistic in many ways, at least at the local level.
    • Trade

      Trade is not the same as trade goods. Trade is a city (and national) attribute like culture or governance while trade goods are a resource like food, hammers or gold. Trade represents both domestic trade between your cities and foreign trade with friendly nations. Players will not be required to define specific trade routes- that’s a job for local merchants. The more trade you generate the more value you will receive for each trade good you produce. Trade in of itself will also generate income at a variety of improvements such as carnivals, markets, and ports.
    • Brains

      Brains operate like trade in that they will increase the value of the research produced by your population but will also feed directly into your production of research. Brains can be produced by improvements like libraries and universities.
    • Defense

      Palisades, walls, and similar improvements increase defense. They add their value directly to the quality of troops defending the city.
    • Martial

      Good generals placed in cities as governors generate martial. So too do improvements like barracks. Your martial directly increases the military quality of infantry, cavalry and archers recruited in the city or who arrive in the city from elsewhere and receive training at the city. The martial attribute also directly adds to the number of infantry, cavalry or archers that can be recruited in the city.
    • Naval

      The martial attribute for your navy. This is improved by good admirals and improvements like harbors and shipyards. It increases the quality of ships and increases your capacity to build ships in the city.
    • Piety

      The martial attribute for your priests. It is improved by buildings like temples.
    • Arcana

      The martial attribute for your mages. It is improved by buildings like a wizard’s tower.
  10. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003
    City Improvements:

    Various improvements are available to build in your cities. They require prerequisite knowledge in a variety of technologies and will cost you a set number of hammers to build. Like ruralities and cities, you can substitute gold for hammers if you need to.

    You’ll find that there are no buildings that have a prerequisite knowledge rank score above 6; that’s because the high-tech buildings should all be unique to the faction building them. So that’s where your unique buildings come in. I hope you have fun designing them; I know I’ll have a fund time hitting them with ‘random’ (mwah ha ha) events.

    The table below lists the requirements for the improvements you can build in the early and mid game.
    Spoiler :

    Spoiler :

    • Adept’s Study
      Arcana +1
    • Agora
      Trade +1, Governance +1
      Generates food based on trade city attribute
    • Almshouses
      Health +1, Governance +1
    • Aqueduct
      Health +1
      Cities built on a river cannot build aqueducts.
    • Barracks
      Martial +1, Naval +1, Piety +1, Arcana +1
    • Blacksmith
      Martial +1
      Produces hammers based on the number of mines associated with the city and the crafts and metals technology.
    • Caravanserai
      Trade +1
      Produces trade goods and research based on the trade attribute of the city.
    • Carnival
      Culture +1
      Produces gold based on local trade good production and the culture attribute.
    • City Hall
      Governance +1
    • Coliseum
      Culture +1
      Produces gold based on culture city attribute
    • Diviner’s Lodge
      Brains +1, Piety +1
    • Elder Council
      Governance +1, Brains +1
    • Epic Walls
      Culture +1, Defense +1
    • Foundry
      Produces hammers based on the number of mines associated with the city and the crafts and metals technology.
    • Garrison
      Defense +1, Martial +1
    • Grain Exchange
      Produces Gold Based on Food Production
    • Granary
      +1 Health
    • Grand Temple
      Culture +1, Piety +1
    • Infirmary
      Health +1
      Allows martial (biological) units to heal without spending the entire turn in the cultural radius of the city (so you can heal and move out or you can fight, withdraw and heal)
    • Library
      Brains +1
      Produces Research based on total city Brains attribute.
    • Lighthouse
      Produces food based on associated fishery rural improvements
    • Mage’s Tower
      +1 Arcana
    • Market
      +1 Trade
      Produces gold based on local trade good production and city trade attribute
    • Military Academy
      +1 Martial
      Produces reseach based martial and brains city attributes
    • Monument
      +1 Culture
    • Naval Academy
      +1 Naval
      Produces research based on naval and brains city attributes
    • Palisade
      +1 Defense
    • Port
      +1 Trade, +1 Naval
    • Shipyard
      +1 Naval
      Allows naval units to heal without spending the entire turn in the cultural radius of the city (so you can heal and move out or you can fight, withdraw and heal)
    • Stone Walls
      +1 Defense
    • Temple
      +1 Piety
    • University
      +1 Brains
      Produces research based on brains city attribute
    • Wizard’s Academy
      +1 Arcana
      Produces research based on brains and arcana city attribute.
    • Workshops
      Produces Trade goods based on rural plantations and commercial mines improvements
  11. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003
    Spoiler :

    Leaders can be used in two ways. They can serve as governors or they can serve as military leaders.

    Default leaders are always available and have basic racial stats. They also rquire payment. Specific leaders are more fun, can be given magic items, have names and can be customized. A major part of what I hope will be a fun experience with them is how they will develop and grow as the game progresses. They usually don’t require payment.

    Leaders represent more then just individuals (though they can represent individuals). They also represent organizations or even dynasties that might leadership within the community (and self-perpetuate). The ‘Grand Shaman’ may be a post filled by one individual after another but the post, the perpetuity of the apprentice and master relationship and the respect given to that post by the culture all combine to make the ‘Grand Shaman’, no matter who it actually might be, a character.


    A nation can have no more leaders then it does ranks in the ‘governance and culture’ technology. This does not include default leaders which are always available and are not included against the limit.


    • Salary

      This is the turn by turn payment the leader requires to remain with the player’s faction. It is a trait shared with units but not with cities. Not all leaders require a salary.
    • Power

      This is the individual power of the unit. It represents the leader’s capacity to fight individual battles (as opposed to commanding units as a general). Dragons would have high power but a little hobbit, no matter how good a general, would most probably have low power. A power value of zero is default. Almost all units will have a power of zero (the exception being some high-end summons or exotic creatures). A unit without power cannot face army units but a unit with power can.
    • Governance

      A leader operating as a governor will add its governance attribute to that of the city its governs. A general’s governance describes his or her capacity to organize non-military matters (logistics, etc).
    • Health

      A leader’s health attribute will add to the city’s when governing. As a military leader it provides very little benefit though it might if the army was struck by disease.
    • Culture

      A leader’s culture attribute represents much of their popularity. A governor with high culture will increase the culture of the city and a military leader with good culture will have more unit loyalty then one with poor culture.
    • Trade

      Good traders will increase the trade income of the city they govern. I can’t think of any obvious way that it would benefit a military commander but as the game progresses, we might find one… who knows?
    • Brains

      A leader’s brains will assist in research production when governing. Brains on a general will help them develop some interesting stratagems, allow more lateral thinking and a capacity to adjust to situations quickly.
    • Martial

      Good generals need good martial. The martial attribute of the general acts to greatly increase the effectiveness of the units under the leader’s command. A unit’s strength is based on its training, its experience and its commander’s ‘martial’ attribute. A governor with good martial will greatly increase the training of troops recruited in the city.
    • Naval

      Good admirals possess good naval. It greatly increases the strength of naval units under the admiral’s command. It functions in a manner similar to the leader’s martial when training and building new naval units.
    • Piety

      The martial attribute for your priests and religious units. Some units are affected by both martial and piety. Leaders with good piety may command divine magics to assist in battle just as priest units themselves might.
    • Arcana

      The martial attribute for your mages. Some units are affected by both martial and arcana. Leaders with good arcana may command arcane magics to assist in battle just as wizard units themselves might.

  12. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003

    There are eight knowledge technologies. They are

    • Food and Growth
    • Crafts and Metals
    • Trade and Exploration
    • Scholarly
    • Government and Culture
    • Military
    • Religion
    • Arcana

    You cannot trade technology.
  13. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003
    Spoiler :

    So you’ve built a little town or two; its time to go crush some skulls. Or maybe Seon’s armies are bearing down on you, its time to build some defense; I mean you don’t just want Seon to walk all over you do you?

    The Army

    Though this was the original rule, i now find myself (update 6) inclined to allow small changes in your army make up- like splitting armies and trading units. If you do this too much though i will impose penalties to reflect the destabilizing effect this is causing upon your armies and nation.


    Gotta love those leaders! Leaders command armies. If you don’t have enough leaders to command your armies, you can either consolidate them into a smaller number or have them commanded by a default leader (who will demand a salary and probably not serve you as well as an actual specific leader). If you can’t afford the salary, you can use Jim the stand in. Jim the stand-in costs nothing to hire but he reduces the movement of the army to zero and has martial, naval, piety and arcane attributes of -5. He’s also susceptible to bribery and assassins. Jim the stand in is not available as a governor. Poor Jim the stand-in.

    Removing a leader from an army is free but takes a whole turn during which the leader cannot move. Removing default leaders or Jim the stand-in does not take a turn.


    Your army movement is equal to the slowest unit in your army. You can use the difference in movement in your orders to set up picket scouts etc though if you are clever. Movement comes in ‘movement points’ which are spent on terrain (see the terrain guide and the map section- above). Please calculate movement in your orders for me or I’ll just estimate (low).

    If you have 1 movement point left you can always move. So if you spent 9 of your 10 movement points to move through those forests, you can still move into that towering mountain of ice this turn.

    Now one more thing, and this is really awesome! Your army can be anywhere within your city’s cultural reach (provided there is no blocking army or terrain) within one turn without using movement. So ‘slingshot’ around your cities for faster movement and to help you defend your homeland. If your trade and exporation knowledge rank is 4 or higher, this also includes moving over water within your cultural reach.


    Some units require pay in gold, food or hammers. Gold represents pay to professional soldiers. Food usually represents feeding large armies or their mounts. Hammers represents the blacksmiths, etc that are required to follow an army and maintain specialized equipment (like swords or heavy plate armour).

    Unit Types

    Units are either martial, naval, piety or arcane type. ‘Nuff said.

    Hiring Units

    New units will require a minimum gold payment, a minimum hammer payment (which can always be paid in gold if you lack hammers) and will require a minimum knowledge rank.

    New piety units require a temple or great temple somewhere throughout your many cities. New arcane units require a mana node of some sort.

    Upgrading Units

    You can upgrade a unit by spending the cost of hiring a new unit of that type. You can only upgrade units in cities. The new unit type keeps its old experience (or gains experience equal to the martial attribute of the city it is upgraded in).


    Not all racial troops are available to all factions. If you play a dwarven faction you can’t hire gnomish deer cavalry. The exception is those factions with the cosmopolitan trait (taken during faction creation). Each time you take that trait you can open up a new series of units based on whatever race you choose when you took ‘cosmopolitan’

    Unit Quality: Leadership, Faction Knowledge, Training and Experience

    Your unit’s relative martial attribute is based on the commanding leader’s martial (or naval or piety or arcana) attribute, their training (set when you build them in whatever city by the city’s related attribute (that’s why barracks are good)), their experience (which will grow as you use them), and your knowledge of the associated technology.

    But that trait doesn’t end all discussion. I mean if you have slingers with very high martial for whatever reason and the orcish cavalry just rampaged through their ranks, regardless of how low their martial is, chances are you are going to get crushed.

    Ultimately, unit composition, tactical applications, use of terrain, and order quality will have a huge role in the success or failure of your units. But that doesn’t mean unit quality is not important.


    Morale is a function of the leader’s culture attribute and their own quality (be it martial, naval, piety or arcana).

    Damaged Units

    Units are either whole or damaged. A damaged unit fights at half strength and half morale. Damaged units can be repaired for half their hire costs in any of your cities. A shipyard or infirmary will reduce these cost to 1/4 hire costs (as appropriate). Damaged units can be healed and redeployed in the same turn. A damaged unit can either move (homewards) and heal or heal and move out. It cannot move home, heal and move out in the same turn unless you have an infirmary or shipyard (as appropriate).

    Naval Combat

    Naval combat operates like land-based combat. If you want a warfleet you need to assign archers and other units to work in conjunction with your vessel.

    Naval Transport

    One oar-based vessel can carry two land-based units. One sail-based vessel can carry four land-based units. Leaders do not count towards this total but all other unit types count equally.
  14. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003
    Units: Martial

    Unit Table (unit tech requirements, costs, salary, movement)
    Spoiler :

    two problems with the table (i'll fix one day in the distant future no doubt):
    the basic light infantry spear and shield unit requires 0.5g/turn in maintenance, not 1g/turn
    mages requires 4 ranks in arcana, not in religion.

    Spoiler :

    Also called a worker, this unit will let you build ruralities or cities. all races.

    Spoiler :


    Scouts provide intel and prevent nasty ambushes. Their effectiveness is dependent upon your orders. Any race.

    Forest Rangers

    Specializing in maintaining stealth and launching devastating hit and run targets at as part of strategic (as opposed to tactical) placement, the forest rangers are hard to find in their woodland homes. An army made up entirely of forest rangers is very hard to find in the woods. Weapons vary but are typically similar to missile infantry. Gnomes, trolls and elves only.

    Mountain Rangers

    Same thing but for mountains. Dwarves, trolls, and orcs only.

    Spoiler :

    Slinger Skirmisher

    While a sling requires some small amount of training to use effectively, it is a cheap weapon that can quickly devastate a lightly-armored foe. Trolls do not typically use slings.

    Gnomish Slinger

    Famous for their slingers, gnomes are in a class of their own when it comes to this simple weapon. They are more mobile, stealthier and more accurate with these weapons then any others.


    Lightly armed and mobile, the javelin has good range and excellent armor penetrating capacity. They are also adept at staying out of range of heavier armored opponents. Dwarves and elves do not field Javelin-Skirmishers.

    Ax Skirmisher

    Again lightly armored and mobile, units armed with the throwing ax are meant to fire from a relatively short distance. Though not as penetrative as the javelin, the axe none-the-less cuts through lighter armour with ease. Dwarves, gnomes, humans and may hire ax skirmishers.

    Orcish Runner

    A class onto themselves, the orcish ax skirmisher fights in much looser formation and will often run through enemy units that are not maintained cohesively or running. The orcish ax skirmisher is trained in both sprinting and endurance running and are meant to close with the enemy quickly, fire off a few rounds of ax fire and either retreat or follow through with a routing charge.

    Shortbow Skirmisher

    Designed to fire at a much shorter distance then actual missile divisions, the archer skirmisher is designed to break up enemy cohesiveness as well as inflicting casualties. All races may hire this unit.

    Missile Units

    Spoiler :

    Light Missile Shortbow

    Easier to train and equip then the longbowmen, the shortbow archer is a more mobile unit with none-the-less good range and penetrative power. They do not wear significant armor. All races use shortbow archers.

    Elven Shortbow Archer

    A class unto themselves the elven shortbow archer receives significantly greater training in the use of this racial symbol. Meanwhile the weapons themselves are often constructed of much greater quality.

    Gnomish AtlAtl

    A uniquely gnomish weapon, the atlatl allows it wielder to fire javelins at greater range then simply throwing them.

    Light Missile: Longbow

    Requiring greater strength and pull, the longbow has significantly greater range and penetrative power then the shortbow. The light archer is not heavily armored and meant to avoid mêlée. Humans, orcs, elves and trolls use this weapon. Woe the poor gnome struck with a troll’s longbow missile.

    Elven Longbowmen

    Trained for decades, the elven longbowmen can hit a target at nearly 2400’ and fire up to 10 arrows per minute at closer ranges. The elven longbowman is feared by all and for good reason. They don’t hold up to cavalry charges very well however. Mwah ha ha ha!

    Light Missile: Light Crossbow

    Cheaper to train and equip then archers, the crossbowmen requires more investment in industrial production. The light version of the light crossbowmen maintains significant mobility. Elves and trolls do not train light crossbowmen.

    Medium Missile: Shortbow

    Return fire hurts. Medium-armored shortbowmen wear scale or chainmail. Their reduced mobility and greater costs usually means they are trained to defend themselves with either a sword or ax. All races can hire this unit.

    Medium Missile: Light Crossbow

    Its usually more common to put armour on a crossbowmen then an archer. Elves and trolls cannot hire this unit.

    Medium Missile: Heavy Crossbow

    Heavier weapons with a larger ‘bow’ arm result in greater penetrance and range (and slower reload time). The need to reload ‘against’ the ground necessitates a loss of mobility so it only makes sense to amour this relatively immobile unit. Elves and gnomes cannot use this unit type

    Dwarven Heavy Crossbow

    The dwarves are famous for their love of the crossbow as a missile weapon and their crossbowmen, especially heavy crossbowmen are some of the best in the world with superior training, superior weapons and superior armor then most.

    Medium Missile: Arbalest

    A massive weapon of steel, these windlass-pulled weapons can generate up to 5000 pounds of penetrative power and fire up to 2000 feet. It is an awesome weapon with regards to penetrative power and even the most heavily armored opponent can be struck by the bolts fired from this weapon. They are capable of only firing up to twice per minute however as reloading is a significant task. Medium-armored arbalests wear scale or chain mail. This weapon is available only to humans, orcs, dwarves and trolls.

    Troll Arbalest

    Known for their love of crossbows, the trolls of Barsaive have adopted their significant size and strength to the construction of an arbalest variant that can be reloaded much more quickly. Troll arbalest maintain much more mobility then their non-troll counterparts and reload much more quickly as well.

    Medium Missile: Hand Cannon

    The earliest gunpowder weapon available, the hand cannon has no firing mechanism- the gunner (or their assistant) must ignite the gunpowder directly. The gun is loud and produces a big flash; that’s about the best part of it. Cannoneers amour themselves with scale or chain mail to alleviate some of the disadvantages of using such an immobile weapon. Elves do not use this weapon but most other races will at least give it a go.

    Medium Missile: Arquebus

    A muzzle-loaded weapon fired by a matchlock mechanism the arquebus is a significant improvement over its predecessor the hand cannon. An arquebus has worse accuracy then a longbow but a faster rate of fire then the crossbow and a shorting learning curve then a longbow. Its also more powerful then most heavy crossbows (though not the arbalest). Like the hand cannon it is loud and bright and this can frighten horses and poorly trained soldiers. The arquebus is not used by elves.

    Heavy Missile: Longbow

    Occasionally the range and deadly accuracy of enemy longbows can only be bested by your own longbows and its time to increase defense to allow placement in the face of enemy return fire. That’s when equipping your longbowmen in plate armour and deploying stakes is a good idea. Only humans and elves make use of this unit.

    Heavy Missile: Heavy Crossbow

    The heavy crossbowmen is armored in heavy plate and can withstand significant return fire while firing his weapon. Their mobility is absolutely horrible. Elves and gnomes do not sue this unit.

    Heavy Missile: Arbalest

    The concept is the same as the heavy crossbowmen but the weapon is larger and even more immobile and slow. Only orcs, humans dwarves and trolls can use this unit type.

    Heavy Missile: Arquebuser

    Add plate amour to the arquebuser to withstand return fire and you gain a much more enduring (and immobile) unit. Elves do not use this unit type.


    Spoiler :

    Light Infantry: Spear

    Loose formation spearmen often levied from the most desperate or poorer classes. These men and women are trained to hold a line and little else. All races can hire this unit.

    Light Infantry: Formation Spear

    Unarmored spearmen relying on strong shields and expert discipline, their lack of heavy armor means they can be redeployed quickly or used to flank. They are excellent defensive infantry.. Use these units in a tactically defensive position. All race except dwarves can hire this unit.

    Light Infantry: Pike

    While shield and spear is a bristling shield wall of defense, the pikemen are a bristling wall of spear-points 5-6 deep. Pikemen do not use shields and their 14-21’ long pikes severely limit their maneuverability. Despite this, they are layer upon layer of thrusting points can very effectively prevent any enemy from closing on the unit. They are especially effective against cavalry. All races can use this unit.

    Gnomish Nimble Pike

    Gnomish pikemen are some of the best in the world. The shafts of their weapons are made from well-seasoned ash and the points high quality but very light steel. This means that despite the reduced strength of gnomes vis-à-vis other races, their pikes are longer. Longer pikes and smaller people using them means more pike points per area at longer range from the vulnerable little soldiers. Gnomish pikemen are expert at retaining unit cohesiveness in the face of sudden changes in formation or flanking attacks.

    Light Infantry: Ax and Shield

    Axes provide more cleaving power per swing then do swords but have less precision. They are best used against armored targets to make full use of their effectiveness. All races make use of the ax and shield light infantry but elves don’t talk about it much; its sort of looked upon badly by their mates with bows or swords.

    Light Infantry: Two-Handed Axes

    More cleaving power and no shield makes these units most effective against many forms of infantry and cavalry but very vulnerable to missile weapons.

    Dwarven and Orc Axe Beserkers

    Often associated with religious rites or animism, the beserkers are feared and respected both amongst the enemy and amongst their own kind. When in combat they enter into a trance-like fury of blood rage with little regard for their own safety or wounds. They typically fight in animal furs or otherwise without armor both to show their disregard for their own safety and to maintain mobility.

    Light Infantry: Sword and Buckler

    Unarmored and very lightly encumbered, the sword and buckler men are the epitome of agility over strength, speed over heavy steel. Their strength lies in fighting heavily encumbered units in un-maneuverable formations. Gnomes, elves, humans and trolls make use of this unit type.

    Light Infantry: Sword and Shield

    Variations on this unit exist but the unarmored (or lightly armored) swordsmen typically fights in loose formation making use of mobility and maneuverability to outmaneuver and flank dense enemy formations. All races make use of this unit type.

    Light Infantry: Two-handed Sword

    Without armor or shield, the two-handed swordsmen has very little protection against eithermêlée or missile weapons. Application of this unit can be tricky for this reason. Having said that, two-handed swords being swung by unencumbered troops, against the right opponent, can be devastating. Elves, humans and orcs make use of this weapon.

    Medium Infantry: Spear and Shield

    With scale or lamellar armor and a large heavy shield, these spearmen are equipped and trained to endure tiring front-line combat. Their training ensures they will remain in formation. They will hold a line and prevent a veritable defensive fortification in one direction. They are particularly vulnerable to flanking attacks.

    Medium Infantry: Pike

    The pikemen, unlike the spearmen, has no shield. His weapon, however, is much longer. Their training ensure they will stay in rigid formation with the pikes of every soldier behind and beside any one soldier providing protection. These are the ‘hedgehog’ formations so deadly to calvary. All races use this unit.

    Gnomish Armored Pike

    Similar to the gnomish nimble pike, the gnomish armored pike wears chain, scale or lamellar armor.

    Medium Infantry: Ax and Shield

    Specializing in anti-infantry duty, the axeman’s shield and scale or light plate armor makes him resistant to missiles and enemy swords. Their ax is well suited to cleaving enemy armor. The axemen typically fight in slightly looser formation then swordsmen. All races can make use of this unit.

    Dwarven Light Axemen

    Only scale armor? This is a dwarf’s ‘light’, all-purpose infantry. Their armor is much superior to the typical medium ax-wielding infantry though not as heavy as the dwarven heavy axemen (meaning they are much more mobile). They are trained to fight for extensive periods of time in much tighter formation then non-dwarven axemen and to rotate their lines to increase unit endurance. They are like dwarven roman legionaries.

    Medium Infantry: Two-Handed Axe

    A shock troop with some staying power, the two-handed axemen are armored in scale or lamellar but have no shield. While they are relatively vulnerable to many missile weapons, they are killer on most infantry. Use them to flank an occupied opponent, regardless of amour, for best effect. Humans, dwarves, orcs, and trolls make use of this unit.

    Orcish Shock Axe

    Retaining much of the temper and ferocity of the orcish ax beserker, the orcish shock axemen fight cohesively as a unit, combining ferocity and discipline into a frightening and lethal shock force.

    Medium Infantry: Loose Sword and Shield

    Armed with a larger slashing weapon and scale or lamellar armor, these men often protect themselves with a large circular shield. Think Gaelic swordsmen. All races use this unit.

    Medium Infantry: Formation Sword and Shield

    Armed with a shorter stabbing weapon and a much larger shield, these swordsmen are trained to fight in very tight formation, use their shields to form ‘turtle formations’ in the face of enemy missiles and to maneuver quickly. Think roman legionaries. All races but dwarves make use of this unit.

    Medium Infantry: Two-handed Sword

    Similar to two-handed ax medium infantry, the sword has more precision and less armor-cleaving power then the ax. Humans, orcs, and trolls make use of this unit.

    Heavy Infantry: Spear and Shield

    With heavy plate, a large shield and a well-crafted spear, these units are an immovable object. That’s bad for mobility but great for defensive formations. All races but elves make use of this unit.

    Heavy Infantry: Pike

    Same idea as lighter pikemen: Range is greater, mobility and maneuverability is slightly reduced, anti-cavalry capacity is greatly increased. Otherwise its similar to the heavy spear and shield infantry. All races but elves make use of this unit.

    Gnomish Plated Pike

    In heavy plate, these little soldiers are some of the best pikemen in the world; their pikes are also some of the best made. Longer pikes and smaller people using them means more pike points per area at longer range from the vulnerable little soldiers. Heavy armor reduces maneuverability but greatly increases protection. Gnomish pikemen are expert at retaining unit cohesiveness in the face of sudden changes in formation or flanking attacks.

    Heavy Infantry: Axe and Shield

    Another anti-infantry unit, the heavy plate provides better protection then lamellar or scale. Elves do not use this unit.

    Dwarven Heavy Axemen

    Trained to fight in tight regiments in a coordinated way, these massively armored, shield wielding axmen can be nigh impossible to dislodge. Think of them as ax-wielding dwarven legionnaires (but heavier)

    Heavy Infantry: Two-handed Axe

    Heavy plate and a large ax. These soldiers will quickly whittle through enemy infantry but do poorly when confronted with an enemy they cannot take down quickly. Humans, dwarves and orcs make use of this unit.

    Human Dismounted Knight

    With a heavy blade, a trusty shield and a suit of armour worth more then most men make in their lives, the dismounted knight is a formidable opponent who trains constantly and develops massive musculature able to lift impressive broadswords and cleave easily through entire limbs. Humans only.

    Missile Infantry

    Spoiler :

    Light Missile Infantry: Bow and Sword

    With only brigandine or heavy leather armor, this unit is capable of pelting the enemy from a distance with its shortbow or fighting effectively with a sword and buckler atmêlée range. They typically receive extensive training and fight as effectively as either shortbow archers or light infantry. Their lack of large shield or armor makes them vulnerable to enemy missile fire however. Human and elves only.

    Gnomish Sling and Spear
    Unarmored but sporting a medium shield, the shields of these units are specially designed to allow the spear to be ‘braced’ within it so that the pair can be carried on one shoulder while using the other hand to fire a sling. This unit has good distance defense (from the shield) but does more poorly in protracted mêlée.

    Light Missile Infantry: Hand Cannon and Spear
    The hand cannon’s slow rate of fire and more then occasional miss-fires often requires the wielder have a secondary weapon, in particular in the face of charging cavalry. The spear and hand cannon combination (along with some hardened leather or piece-mail lamellar) addresses this issue, to some degree. Elves do not use hand-cannons.

    Medium Missile Infantry: Bow and Sword
    Similar to the lighter form, this unit is armored with chain, scale or lamellar armor. Humans and elves only.

    Medium Missile Infantry: Crossbow and Axe

    Armed with a light crossbow, a sturdy hand ax, a small buckler and scale or lamellar armor, this unit is trained to fire on enemy formations from a distance but also fight in hand to hand when required. Elves and trolls do not train this unit.

    Troll Crossbow Infantry

    Whereas most races use a light crossbow for their missile infantry, trolls use a specially designed heavy crossbow capable of being reloaded like a light crossbow (by someone with a troll’s strength). These units are trained to remain mobile and even run for extended periods in their scale or chain armor. Except for greater penetrative power and range, this unit is identical to the one above.

    Spoiler :
    Animal Handler: Dogs

    Dogs can be taught to fight effectively in battle; they are especially good at pursuing fleeing opponents. A damaged unit will automatically recover next turn as the dogs breed and replenish themselves. Orcs and humans only.

    Dwarven Boar Handler

    Same idea as the dog handler but utilizes specially bred boars instead.

    Go ahead and suggest some more animal handler units you think would be appropriate.


    Spoiler :
    Light Cavalry: Lance, Sword, and Shield

    The lancer rides a swift unarmored horse and wears either hardened leather armor or none at all. He is armed with a long lance, a slashing sword and carries a shield. His maneuverability in open fields is unsurpassed. The lancer, if outrun or trapped, usually does poorly in protracted mêlée. Orcs, humans and elves employ this unit.

    Hippus Lancer

    Perhaps it is ingrained in their blood, perhaps it was fated for them, but occasionally a tribe of men will arise who possess unsurpassed skill in riding. These are men and women who learn to ride when others learn to walk. Who learn to strike an apple from post-top with a 10’ lance at a full gallop when others learn to drink, I mean really drink! These are the hippus lancers.

    Orc Lightning Calvary

    The orc lightning cavalry are armed and trained to close with an opponent quickly, demoralize or destroy him quickly and move on. They wear little or no armor (occasionally hardened leather), ride medium-sized horses, and wield a pair of hand axes. They are vulnerable to prolongedmêlée combat or missile fire but do very well against most other cavalry or loose formation troops.

    Gnome Deer Cavalry

    Unarmored and wielding only a mace, sword or ax, the gnome deer cavalry specialize in fighting in light or old-growth forests where the nimbleness of their mounts can really be brought to bare. Only gnomes.

    Medium Cavalry: Lance, Shield and Sword

    Both mount and rider wear chain or lamellar armor though the quantity thereof remains limited to maintain speed and maneuverability. These cavalry are designed for more protractedmêlée then their lighter counterparts but lack their speed. Only orcs, humans and elves.

    Orc Thunder Cavalry

    Riding heavier mounts clad in light chain or scale and themselves wearing scale, lamellar or chain, the orc thunder cavalry are designed for more protracted mêlée then the lightning cavalry. They wield a larger ax but also wear a shield for protection. Again, they are excellent anti-cavalry units but also more versatile for use against infantry.

    Dwarven Boar Cavalry

    Riding specially bred boars with massive tusks, the dwarven boar cavalry, though slow in comparison to the larger race’s horse cavalry, mount an unstoppable charge. Swinging maces or axes, clad in scale and sporting a shield, these units combine a fearsome initial charge with good staying power. Additionally, an unmounted boar will continue to fight.

    Heavy Cavalry: Lance, Sword and shield

    Orcs or humans wearing plate armor riding massive warhorse clad in piece-mail plate over chain or heavy scale barding, these men and women wield long heavy lances, carry a shield and can draw a sword for protractedmêlée. These units have tremendous protection and such great weight that their momentous charge is very hard to turn even by formation spear. Only orcs and humans.

    Heavy Dwarven Boar Cavalry

    A heavier version of the dwarven boar cavalry, these units wear plate armor for additional protection.


    The epitome of human mounted warfare, the knight trains from childhood to ride a horse, swing a sword and joust. His armor and weapons are impeccably maintained by companion squire. The knight wears heavy plate; his horse plate barding, his squire a tunic. Can fight dismounted when necessary. Humans only.

    Cavalry Skirmisher

    Spoiler :
    Cavalry Skirmisher: Javelin

    These light cavalry wear no armor and ride nimble horses. Their job is to throw javelins from just out of reach of the enemy, regroup and repeat. They can severely harass and demoralize an opponent who is not equipped to fight them properly. Javelins have good armor penetrance. Humans, elves and orcs only.

    Missile Cavalry

    Spoiler :
    Missile Cavalry: Short Bow

    Horse-archers! Human, orcs and elves only.

    Hippus Horse-Archers

    Better horse-archers! Trained from early childhood! Too cool! Humans only…

    Gnomish Deer-Mounted Slinger

    Armed with a mace or sword as a secondary weapon, these nimble-footed forest cavalry specialize in launching sling-stone raids. Cuteness +2.

    Cataphract Missile: Lance, Sword and Shortbow

    Mounting a scale-mail clad horse and wearing their own scale, the cataphract archer can withstand withering return fire, maintain range and even deliver a resounding charge with a lance when required.


    Spoiler :
    Siege Engineers

    Knowledge, muscle and mallet and saw can turn a pile of logs into a mangonel (crafts and metals 3) catapult (c and m 4), or trebuchet (c and m 6). Siege engineers sacrifice five movement to build their engines (and must have that much at least to sacrifice- you can’t just sacrifice the rest). Resultant engines have a move of 1. When they are not making siege engines, they can also work on temporary bridges or as sappers. Siege engineers get a bonus from their leader’s brains and marital combined (average) instead of just martial. Any race can use this unit.

    Dwarven or gnomish siege engineers

    Gnomes and dwarves only use 3 movement to make their siege engines.

    Units: Naval

    Oar Vessels

    One oar-powered vessel can carry 2 units (as a transport).

    Spoiler :


    Galleys are not armed with rams and primarily make use of their marines for combat. Used by all races.


    A galley sporting multiple decks of oarsmen and armed with a ram. All races make use of the penteconter.

    Sail Vessels

    One sail-powered vessel can carry four units (as a transport).

    Spoiler :

    Troll Drakkar

    A sail ship equipped with oars, this bi-directional ship is manned by some of the strongest, toughest and best trained sailors in the world. Excellent marines capable of ship to ship combat man the troll drakkar .

    Troll Bosse

    A much larger ship then the drakker, it operates in a similar manner but carries more marines or cargo.


    A single masted-ship with a square-rigged single sail. It does not allow sail into the wind but is built to be crewed by a small number of men. Fore and stern castles are added for added defense or to allow use as a warship (combined with archers and marines). All races can use this ship.


    Wikipedia says it’s a three or four-mased sailing ship with a high roudned stern and an aftcastleand a forecastle.


    A large, multi-decked sailing ship with excellent stability, reduced wind resistance and more maneuveribilty then the carrack. No cannons on this one though (even though historically galleons had cannons)

    Units: Pious

    Spoiler :


    Acolytes of any religion require a temple dedicated to that religion built somewhere within the empire. The max circle these casters can reach is 1.

    Spoiler :


    The max circle these casters can reach is 2.


    Nature magic based on piety; bonus: shape-changing. Requires nature mana and a temple dedicated to a religion for which this would be appropriate. Max circle is 2.

    Invent your own!

    Units: Arcane

    Spoiler :


    Requires a mana source. You can build a variety of adepts, each specialing in its own brand of magic. So you could have shadow adepts, sun adepts, fire adepts, etc. Adepts, like workers, can build mana nodes for 10 hammers. The max circle these casters can reach is 1.

    Spoiler :


    Requires a mana source. Like adepts, you have to say what kind you want. The max circle these casters can reach is 2.

    Invent your own!

  15. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003
    Faiths and Cults of Barsaive

    Church of the Runes

    Spoiler :
    The single largest organized religion amongst the people of Barsaive, the Church of the Runes is a faith dedicated to the earth goddess Killmorph and can trace its history to times prior to the scourge when much of the population of Barsaive, gnomes and dwarves in particular, followed this faith. Currently, it is very popular amongst the dwarves of Throal and active though certainly not popular amongst the Uld’ar (exported from the dwarves of Throal over the last 20 years), the Achatin (indigenous and surviving the scourge within the Achatin kaers, though in very small numbers) and the Nozkam Legon (having survived as part of their culture during the years of the scourge).

    Kilmorph is called Goddess of the Earth, but she is also known as the Goddess of the Harvest. In addition to presiding over the minerals she also presides over the season of autumn, and answers the prayers of farmers by making sure their harvests are plentiful if they have worked hard enough to deserve this bounty. At the heart of the sphere is the idea that hard work is a good thing and should be rewarded, while laziness is a serious vice that cannot be excused.

    The work that exemplified Kilmorph is generally skilled labor, crafts that are slowly honed though years of practice. Her faith thus teaches that society itself should develop in a similar manner. The Church of the Runes is a very classically conservative faith and oppose change or challenge to familiar ‘family values’ (such as the adultery of the Throalic King Varulus III).

    As Patria, patron nation of Mammon is the feared opposition of the Thoalic dwarves, so too is Kilmoprh’s main opposition is Mammon, God of Greed, and his hell is that most feared by the followers of this faith.

    Kilmorph's faith does not condone slavery for forced labor except maybe in payment for debts where the servitude is temporary and can be worked off. They favor apprenticeship, which could be seen as a sort of indentured servitude. It seems that part of the training of a Priest of the Runes to spend time as an apprentice in various other trades and that they may later be expected to fill in for these skilled craftsmen in times of need.

    Soldiers of Kilmorph are expected to make all their own weapons, armor, and equipment. Self sufficiency is a big deal.

    The principles of Amamulosh
    Spoiler :

    is based upon the believe that there are two opposing principles determining live. There is the female aspect, representing fertility, health and peace, and the male aspect representing strength, chaos and war. Both sides may have strongly different views upon the world, but they accept the other side as one essential part of the world.

    Though it is ONE religion and the followers believe in both aspects of live there are always two separate temples and the priest dedicate their live to one of them.
    There are the temples of Kharmulosh (Camulos) where the male priests sacrifice blood to the god of war and the temples of Amakush (Amathaon) where the female priests prey to the goddess of fertility.

    While the are priests and temples, there is not really a well organized body of church. But the principles of Amamulosh are interwoven into the social life and government of the kharkush.

    The highest priests are the “strongest son” and the “most fertile daughter”, leading the kharkush as commander-in-chief and domestic governor.

    Typical “side-occupation” of the priestesses of Amakush is healing, midwifery, farming and cooking, while the for the priests of Kharmulosh it is hunting, raiding, butchery and grilling.

    Tabba Ghut Cult of Aeron
    Spoiler :

    The first 3 sentences
    Before the 'Age of Magic' we never praised any of the gods. We never worshiped those who created us. But since then we have learned much.

    What made us Strong and Feared in the Past
    During the 'Age of Elements' our ancestors, led under tough hand of Fargon the Axebreaker, proved to the world, that we are the strongest troll clan ever. Our kinsmen were hired by the greatest airship builders, to fight on their ships, on land or wherever the battles commenced. Even in worst situations, our brethren continued to fight. Their will to fight and ability to IGNORE even fatal WOUNDS, PAIN, and magical effects was legendary. Some say it was tough skin of a troll or use of “forbidden magic” – but we know that it was, and still is, the skill is called “CONTROLLED RAGE” that is harnessed only by the Aeron Worshipers.

    During the 'Age of Shadow' our ancestors lend their hands to construct the kaers all over world. We were payed well. We knew how to build … we had strength to build … we were strong. We still have that knowledge, that might, that strength! Our clan was payed well for the work: Slaves with great knowledge, beautiful concubines, strong and healthy slaves.... we bought them all … Our ancestors had much gold, silver and many trade goods – everything that one could wish for we had. We know why – we, (like our ancestors), have UNBREAKABLE WILL and UNBELIEVABLE MIGHT. Skills that Aeron thought us to use properly.

    Slavery in the past
    Before, during and after the 'Age of Scourge' we learned to control our slaves – we put our law breakers into chains of slavery. Chains were released only for slaves who earned back their “dept” and were “worthy” to be released. These released slaves become known thralls – people who are not slaves but still have a dept to the Clan.

    Uses and why convert foreign slaves/thralls to Clan
    Many of the thralls payed their depts by teaching us. Some of them revealed us the MIGHT OF AERON and how it connects us all to clan and clan to us. Other taught us how to improve our government or personal lives. Some of them thought us to build traps. Most of the thralls never leave from our clan. They become proper clansmen and bought much honor to the clan. This is the sole proof that justifies, what our opponents call, “Evil slavery”.

    Slavery now and Hard Labor
    Slavery taught us how hard work can cure person. Even meanest criminal, laziest troll and meanest human can become valuable asset to clan, after their WILL IS CRUSHED and BODY IS WORN OUT. BLOOD AND HATRED – feelings what hard labor naturally causes, are only ways to REBUILD a being. After a day of hard work … resting in shacks, studying, practicing skills and settling a family cures the criminal mind. Rest after hard work, removes the hatred, the laziness and any criminal thoughts ... Eventually, the being starts to love hard work and hate criminal or similar 'weak' behavior. This is why work has to be respected … This is why work has to be hard. Be you slave, thrall, clan member, soldier or a elder if placed in front of HARD WORK we all are equal. Curing evil person, lazy person or a thief – no operation can do it, no magic can cure one without harming patient. But Work can do that and that is why WORK HAS TO BE RESPECTED.

    Our lives often demand sacrifices. SACRIFICES ARE ESSENTIAL to the life. Life is Clan. Single soldier saves tens to hundreds of lives with his sacrifice. Soldiers are strong, powerful, fearless. They are not afraid to sacrifice their own lives for the good of the clan. Soldiers are taught to CONTROL RAGE, they DIRECT RAGE TOWARDS ENEMY, they will not flee but fight until they bleed death and/or win. Soldiers will ALWAYS follow orders. Soldiers do what is good for the clan. And CLAN always does what is best for its members.

    Hate the weak but be merciful
    Everyone of us HATES our enemy. We DESPISE WEAK, if person can not fulfill his tasks nor find tasks he can complete, he is WORTHLESS. Worthless to the clan. Worthless as living being. Only way to cure such worthless being, is to force it into a "slave" status. Slaving those who are weak, who cannot defend themselves is not a crime – It's mercy. Slaving burned village villagers, means you save them from certain death and crimes they have committed against Clan (feeding enemy soldiers). You give them a chance to live, to become part of a Clan. And if they decide not to join with clan, Clan still benefits from the work they did. Aeron said that No wise troll leaves strong enemy alive, as alive enemy will attack the Clan.

    The Teachings
    Teachings teach us ....

    To live personal life: IGNORE PAIN and WOUNDS, CONTROL(and direct) RAGE. To have UNBREAKABLE WILL and UNBELIEVABLE MIGHT.

    To cure weaknesses: WILL OF WEAK IS CRUSHED and ITS BODY IS WORN OUT, so REBUILDING could take place. Together with BLOOD AND HATE - what HARD WORK naturally causes, criminal mind can be reshaped into proper mind - mind, what does not wish evil to others. No one is forced to become part of the Clan and hard work does not cure everyone, but most can be saved. And that is why WORK HAS TO BE RESPECTED.

    To be part of a strong Clan: SACRIFICES ARE ESSENTIAL - Single soldier life saves tens to hundreds of lives. Soldiers control their INNER RAGE and release it against enemy. They will not flee but fight until they bleed death and/or win. Soldiers will ALWAYS follow orders. Soldiers do what is good for the clan. And CLAN always does what is best for its members. One shall never BETRAY the clan and all means are allowed to save the clan. One should consider his/her/its actions as actions of clan members only show the strength or weakness of entire clan.

    How you should live: DESPISE THE WEAK as WEAK ARE WORTHLESS. One can show mercy, if it is good to the clan and slave weak ones – who have little to no chance to survive without our help. Work can cure even worst enemy, but one should not be mindless slaver – enemy of a clan is always a enemy. That means only SAVE those who cannot harm the clan as slaves, but would benefit from clan, while giving their benefits to the clan.

    "To kill... to burn... to rape ... to backstab ... to destroy... to enslave and imprison... to be unhonorable" - Those are NOT the teaching of Aeron. Aeron teachings … others say they are "evil" but they are not! Teachings of Aeron teach us to CONTROL our INTERNAL FEELINGS. They teach us to DIRECT OUR EMOTIONS and use them, when we most need them. Teachings of Aeron teach us to RESPECT THE HARD WORK AND DISREPECT those, who do not respect the hard work. Teachings of Aeron teach us to be merciful and survive in this harsh world.

    Teachings of Aeron say: You should always consider yourself as a diplomat of the Clan and ALWAYS ACT ONLY FOR THE GOOD OF THE CLAN. Your actions should never harm the Clan.

    Final sentence: Teachings of Aeron teach to CONTROL yourself and lead the clan towards the mountains of success.

    --- Quotes from ”Your First steps in faith” - Religious book dedicated to educate youth​

    Baal Cult of Agares
    Spoiler :

    From the Baal book of Agares.

    Despair in me. Those that know that no other God can offer despair as profound and lasting as mine, shall live knowing your afterlife shall be a golden paradise. What can any other promise you that will be beyond this? Turn from me and beware your lasting and lingering reward from me in the afterlife.

    A prayer to Agares.

    Let me know of no darkness more profound then you. May mine enemies drown in the depths of despair beyond their imagining. I beg that my steps remain in shadow and that their silence ten folds the misery of mine enemies waiting and anticipation. Let me cleave the hope others may hold dear to their heart and replace it with the anguish and despair that only you can bestow upon an unbeliever. May my arm grow stronger as it swings the blade of despair deep into the souls of our enemies. In His name we pray.

    The Cult of Agares

    The cult of Agares is one of darkness and despair. Typically followers accept the despair of their God knowing that it will not only harden them to it, but that it will be but a fraction of what can and will be visited upon non believers and those that turn from Him. The followers of Agares seem to revel in the misery of their enemies and pray for them to be swallowed in the dark maw of despair that is their God. Though they pray for their enemie’s downfall, they will also ask for aid from their God when despair becomes to great a factor in their life. As a follower of Agares, it behooves you to be in communion with your deity in order to continue to function and instill your God’s will upon others.

    The cult of Agares, while relatively small, has slowly spread across the land as the Baal exited their Kaer. People of different lands have slowly begun to see the benefits of being what they consider “immune” to the greater power of despair that comes for those that are non believers. It is not unknown during a battle for small groups of warriors to turn on their fellows in the hopes of seeking the favor of Agares. It has become important for generals seeking to oppose the followers of Agares to keep his troops from discussing the possible benefits of this God, or to ensure that their own Gods are forefront in their minds.

    The priesthood of Agares is composed of primarily women. While there are men within this organization, women seem to be in greater number and in higher positions in the hierarchy. The women do not take husbands, but it is quite common for them to take lovers and to bear children. These children are most often girl children. Reasons are unknown, other than it being believed that it is divine intervention. The girl children have two paths to them in their future. They can either join the priesthood if they have the magical spark needed to become a priestess, or they can join the black sisterhood. This is a group of women solely dedicated to assassination, poison, and other clandestine forms of combat. However, they are also very skilled fighters and can often be seen in amongst the men of the Baal during times of conflict, administrating their own forms of religiousness by introducing the enemy to their God personally in the afterlife.

    The boy children are more often then not accepted into the clan warrior societies. As each clan fights in a slightly different manner, they have many specific skills to master. There is no changing clan after the child has been accepted into the totem clan that is revealed by his mystic experience. Therefore, it is not unheard of for blood siblings to be in different clans, as they have found their totem creatures to be different during their totem quest. Boy children can alternatively, and yet rarely have an aptitude for magic. This leads them to a group known as the magi. The magi are practitioners of magic and are willing to embrace any form of the art so long as it empowers them and consequently the people of the Baal.

    The kobolds of the Baal are also followers of Agares. They have found kindred spirits with their humans when worshiping the God of despair. All hatchlings are raised as followers of their God, and at a suitable age, are also put through the spirit totem quest. They will then also become part of a clan and typically take up scouting or skirmisher duties when able.

    Utilican Cult of Aeron
    Spoiler :

    A sermon on Lust

    We humble beings gather here,
    To bask in your Perfection.
    To Pledge our one true Possession,
    In your name and for your glory.
    May you find us worthy of your Gifts.

    Guide us along the path to Perfection, responded the mass of worshipers kneeling in front of the priest.

    He looked out among the crowd with great disdain, so many meek and unworthy beings, so little faith. They would never be worthy of any Gifts let alone reach Perfection. He had devoted all of his life to the Flesh and has barely begun his journey. Perhaps starting these sheep along the path would prove him worthy of more Gifts. His body shivered at the thought of more Gifts. Either way it is his duty to spread His Perfection.

    “I have heard rumors of some of you have been giving yourselves completely to your own lust”, he paused letting those guilty squirm under his gaze,” I find it my duty as your guide along the path to warn you against this. To lose one’s self to the pleasures and lust will cause you to revert to something more like a beast than a man. And only Man may reach Perfection, this is what makes us unique, no superior to the beast.”

    “Yet as I warn you against over indulgence do not shy away from these urges. They are merely the callings of the Flesh telling you what you personally need to reach Perfection. They are no different than the pangs you feel when you have not eaten, and as you all know ignoring these pangs will cause your Flesh to wither and yet eat past what your body tells you and the Flesh will become useless. So too is it with these lust.”

    “On this note do not discriminate against your fellow men if their lust differ from your own even if you find them vile. Merely remember he may find yours equally foul in his eyes. All men are unique so too are his callings and path to Perfection. Now go forth upon your paths and may the Emperor guide you.”

    May he grant us strength.

    Scath Talamh & Scath Ion
    Spoiler :

    For over a century the one faith that has eclipsed all others in Achat is the Scath Talamh. Their Holy Trinity of the goddesses Kilmorph and Nantoseulta and the feminine aspect of Lord Esus has been the norm. Their faith has been almost alone in having no scions, no little side cults that would draw the faithful away. This has changed. With the coming of Glamdrin to our land and the massive influx of Blossoms of Mercy their is a massive power shift in the entire faith. The unity has shattered as ten thousand worshippers, almost a third of the church have declared that the Lady of Mercy is watching over us, that she is part of the trinity. Some call for the traditional Trinity to be changed, that Nantoseulta should be removed, while others call for the removal of Kilmorph. There is a very small but vocal minority calling for instead of the traditional trinity that their should be a double dichotomy, Shadow and Light with Esus and Sirona, and Magic and Mundane with Nantoseulta and Kilmorph.

    The two main sects of the Scath are the Talahm and the Ion. The Scath Talahm are the old guard and are still the majority, but just barely. They still worship the holy trinity of Esus, Kilmorph, and Nantoseulta. Their meetings, once shrouded in darkness and mystery, have become public affairs. The church’s original doctrine of secrecy and protection has slowly disappeared as years of peace and safety have eroded their meaning. If the church was as decisive and strong as it had been in the years after Emergence then they would likely still be in power by a sizable majority. As it is they’re rapidly losing the faithful to their rival sects, with barely half of the total worshippers.

    The Scath Ion is the largest minority, having about a third of the faithful in their ranks. They have removed Nantoseulta from their Trinity, placing Sirona in instead. They also have placed various saintlike figures as prophets for the goddesses. Glamdrin from before the Scourge is the champion of Kilmorph, his tireless efforts to unite the dwarves and gnomes and his sacrifice at the Battle of the Sealing both exemplify the virtues of Kilmorph. Sharad is seen as a saint of Esus, even though he has never shown even the slightest sign of subservience or worship to any of the gods. The Ionites can’t really explain why he’s a prophet, saying it just feels right. The Glamdrin of now is obviously a prophet of Sirona. I shouldn’t need to explain why. It is odd that all three of these so-called saints are male while all three goddesses are, well, female. It seems that the Ionite church has been influenced by the rash of female leaders in recent history.

    These two sects are currently in a wary cease-fire, not quite trusting the other but also not wanting to be the first to strike. Hopefully this tension will ease away in the next few years, but the way things are going now the Scath Talahm will likely make its move before the two churches will reconcile. They know how many of their followers are leaving.

    The White Hand
    Spoiler :
    From the Book of Winter-
    The Void collapsed into a thought, and that thought was the All Father, who awoke before all else was awoken. The All Father felt alone, and for an age of this world, the he whispered and sang to the earth and the stars and slowly drew them from their slumber and into being. And for Another Long Age, he wandered the earth, exploring by the light of the stars, teaching them to speak and listening to their song and conversation. And the All Father spoke to the earth. With time, the Earth grew lonely, and spoke to the All Father “Lord who created all, why must I be lonely. The stars above have countless companions, while I travel through the dark alone.” And the All Father saw that this was just, and wrought from the ice that covered the land all manner of Animals and plants, and the earth thanked him heartily. But, in time, the Earth grew discontent and asked again of the all father “These creatures and plants you have created are very well, but they are not truly my equals. I cannot converse with them, nor they with me.” And the All Father recognized the truth in this, and with great care, wrought from the ice and the snow a creature in his image, and, to make them truly the equals of the earth, he took a bit of the earth and a bit of his warmth and blew it into his creations.
    His creations awoke, and looked around, and gazed in askance at the All Father, and he spoke to them “Welcome, my children.”
    And they answered him, “Who are we? Why are we here?”
    The All father smiled, and knew that he had truly created the equals of the earth, for only a thinking creature is able to ask of itself. And he answered “You are Humankind, and your purpose is to discover why you exist.” For the All Father knew that he had not only created mankind for Earth’s companionship, but rather for a higher purpose.
    He pondered this for a year and a half, and in that Time Earth taught Mankind farming and how to use fire and how to build cities, but never was the All Father’s statement Forgotten.
    Yet, in that Age, mankind learned to use the heat and light from within the earth, and tamed it, building glorious cities and writing epics of all kinds and creating works of art which were as beautiful as the stars themselves. Indeed, some spoke that the stars had offered some of their light in the creation of these jewels. The Greatest of these were a pair of jewels, A globe of the brightest fire, which would keep all heated and lit, and a globe of the softest light, under which no evil could be perpetrated.
    Yet, Earth grew jealous and spiteful, believing that all it had wrought was it’s own, to do what it wished with. As the Ages passed, the Earth grew corrupted and twisted, seeking revenge on that which it had asked for. And, finally, in a great upheaval, the Earth declared war on Mankind. The Armies of Mankind were powerful and it’s weapons were of great magical strength, but in the end, they were all cast down, and, while they cast great scars in the Earth, it was far too powerful. Mankind was reduced to but a hundred survivors, and, in desperation, they pleaded the all father for help.
    And the All father came to their aid, but knew that the cost would be great. He Fashioned a score of Angelic Generals, Each more wise and beautiful than the last. The Greatest of These was named Agares, and it was he who fashioned the master plan with which to defeat Earth. And so, in a glorious final battle, the Angels led the hosts of the Stars to battle. And, so Earth was cast down and destroyed.
    And so Earth fell, to be eternally bound in silence. But as it fell, it spoke to the Angles, Cursing them. Yet they scoffed, believing themselves more powerful than any power they had cast down, and so, in this arrogance, the curse of Earth began to take hold, for the earth had lived as long as the All Father, and had learned some of the great secrets of existence, and no means could truly completely bind the greatest of Evils.
    Yet, Earth was reduced to nothing but a silent shadow of itself, on which mankind was able to live in safety and prosperity.
    Gratefully, mankind offered the Angels their greatest of treasures, which they named the Sun and the Moon, and offered to the angels dominion over each of the precepts which Earth had previously governed. In Return, the Angels swore to always protect mankind. And while they split the dominion of the earth between themselves, The All Father kept for himself that which was the most as the old time, before. As his own, he kept the ice and the snow and the eternal night when the stars may be heard to sing.
    And for another Age, All the Races of Mankind lived in peace with the Angels. Yet, in their arrogance, the curse of the earth was slowly working.
    And, one day, Agares, greatest of the Angels, sought the All Father, and asked of him why the power of creation was kept from the Angels. And the All Father spoke sadly, for he could foresee the strife that would happen. “You are not ready for it, my children.”
    But Agares only smiled coldly and answered “Very Well,” and went back to his companions, and led them in rebellion against the All Father. Yet they soon fell to bickering among themselves and war broke out amongst them.

    …And so the All Father appeared to Signud Raskarson and spoke to him “Why do you seek knowledge of that which is unsafe to you?” But Raskarson was a troll of the lineage of heroes, proud and fierce, and refused to accept the wisdom offered by The Old Man, and so he set out on a quest for answers. He left his land far behind, seeking, searching, until eventually he came across an old crone pulling a sled with four or five blocks of ice on it, which she would use to keep her meat fresh. Being a Noble soul, Raskarson spoke to the old woman “Grandmother let me carry that for you” and he did, lugging the ice to her home.
    The Old woman’s home was but a cave carved in the stone wall, but it was furnished richly, with curtains and a fire roaring in a hearth. She spoke to Raskarson “Stay here tonight, and tomorrow you will find what you seek.” Hearing wisdom in her words, Raskarson sat on the palet she had designated. She fed him richly, and he fell asleep in the warm glow of the fire.
    He was awoken the next morning by a bitingly cold wind, and looked around in shock. The furnishing of the cave had disappeared. There was no trace of the old woman, not even burn marks in the hallow that had served as a hearth. As he looked around the cave, he saw that the cave went much deeper than he had expected. He walked into the depths of the cave, through winding tunnels and over sharp precipices, until he came upon a room which shone with it’s own brilliance. Within this room a number of men and woman stood, each more beautiful than the last. Raskarson looked upon them in wonder, for he realized that he looked upon the lesser gods, the Children of the All Father, of the Winter, who had sprung forth from the Winter as all life does.
    He Gazed on them, and for a moment thought of the All Father in hatred and anger, anger that he had hidden these from Mankind. He walked towards the closest figure and looked more closely at it, peering down at it’s quickly moving hands, and saw with horror that this figure held the souls of many dead in it’s hands, counting them over and over, greedily eyeing the souls the others held. Horrified, he backed away, into another figure which paid him no mind, busy as it was building and tinkering, using the souls it had captured as fuel for it’s machines. And Raskarson realized that each and every figure in the room held souls, which it was using for it’s pleasure: One in the distance was torturing them, another watched in apathy as it’s souls drowned, another had lined up it’s souls in a line, and was beheading them one by one, reciting a list of crimes, another’s souls were burning with a deep and cruel flame. All around, similar scenes of Depravity and Sin were being repeated. Until Raskarson noticed, in the back, a last figure, which was doing nothing but watching it’s fellows with a smile. Then it turned, and spoke to Raskarson in s voice redolent with sadness “Despair, mortal, for this is what awaits you in death.”
    Raskaron’s courage failed him, and he ran from the chamber, into the arms of the All Father, who looked sadly into the room. “Sad, isn’t it? I created them to be perfect, but perfection does not last. Do you now understand why I didn’t want you to know?”
    “So it is true, then? That is what happens to the dead?”
    “To those who do not know the truth, death is a terror, for I cannot save those who do not save themselves first. Those I Save sit with me for eternity, unchanging, undying, uncorrupted, pure….”

    -Extract from the Book of Winter
  16. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003
    Piety and Arcana
    Spoiler :

    What would a fantasy NES be without magic?


    Piety describes the spells that comes from the gods and their archangels. Arcana describes the spells that come from the mana of Errovus.

    Power. Precious pure power!

    Within the classes of piety and arcane, spells are divided into three circles. The first circle is the minor cantrips that acolyte priests and apprentice mages cast. Second circle spells are spells that full-fledged pious priests and dedicated wizards cast. Third circle spells are extraordinary and very impressive. Some say there are circles above the third but surely this is not possible now that Ceridwen’s heavens have drifted away again. Surely?

    Your access to high circle magic is based on your total arcane or piety scores from your buildings and from your rank in the associated knowledge. It is also limited by the type of unit. Acolyte can never cast rank 2 or rank 3 spells regardless of the factions mastery of religion tech or the number of temples it commands across its empire.


    Your caster can cast a number of spells per turn equal to their piety or arcane attribute. For a military leader this is pretty obvious what it is but for a unit, it is a function of the leader commanding it, the knowledge rank of the appropriate technology, and its own experience.

    A military leader can cast spells (and should!). A governor cannot cast spells (they are applying their arcane or piety attribute towards strengthening the type of magic the faction’s units can cast). So, when placing units with high piety or arcane as governors or military leaders you have to balance the power you want to command vs. your access to it.

    Mana Types and Religions

    Each temple (or great temple) will be dedicated to a religion. Once you have built you first temple you can start hiring acolyte units dedicated to whatever religion that temple is dedicated to. That religion will have particular ‘magic’ works of divine piety associated with it. For example, the veil is not going to be going around healing people and the priests of sirona aren’t going to be spreading disease. So, when you build a piety unit, you have to state what religion it is dedicated to and then its spells will reflect that religion. Leaders should probably commit themselves to one god or religion if they have a piety attribute.

    For arcane casters, you’ll need to unlock mana before you can even cast the simplest cantrips. So sorry! Tapping mana is just the same as building a rurality. You spend 10 hammers on a raw mana source within your borders or 10 hammers and a colonist on a mana source outside your borders and you thereby convert it into a particular type of mana node (fire, water, sun, death, etc). To even be aware of where mana nodes are, you need to have rank 2 or higher arcane.

    • Rank 2 arcane knowledge lets you see mana nodes in your cultural borders.
    • Rank 5 arcane knowledge lets you see mana nodes within about 5-7 hexes of your cities.
    • Rank 8 arcane knowledge lets you see all mana nodes in Barsaive.

    Once you have mana tapped, you can start hiring apprentices, mages, wizards, etc. Each one is dedicated to a particular type of mana so you don’t actually build Mr. Wizard, you build Mr. Sun-Mana Wizard. (or whatever). Leaders do not suffer from this limitation and can cast magic from any mana source the faction controls. No, there is no benefit of buiding more then one type of mana node.

    What do spells do?

    Whatever you want. Write it up in your orders and if its too powerful I’ll just edit your orders as I see fit.
  17. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003
  18. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003
    reserved okay?
  19. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003
    Let me know about any omissions, broken links, misspelling, etc.

    Story Index​

    Last Flight of the Immaculate

    Mystery Lifeguard:

    Extract from the Book of Winter

    more book of winter


    An Unbroken Legacy

    Precious Teeth!

    The Tale of Chubba: Chapter One

    The tale of Chubba Chapter two: The staff

    The tale of Chubba Chapter three: The tent

    Blessed too much

    The second daughter

    The kharkusian faith


    Speech of Alastaïr The Healer

    Throal Entry on the Araïlumni

    The Enlightened Warrior

    Succellan Elegy/Martyr-ode

    Ode to Pilsetan Courage:

    A Time for Telling Tales


    In such little time

    The Sin of Ill Health

    A God in Chains


    Kyzarc Fotjage:

    Despair, Decisions, and Dark Deeds

    Querious Questions, Tongue Tied Tyrant, and Mutual Memories

    From Lack-witted Laymen to Silent Soldiers

    Past and Present


    Surly Sergeant, Dramatic Dream, and Malcontent Maiden

    Bothersome Brothers

    Proscient visions

    Big Band Brown

    A Decidedly Dark and Deadly Day

    Northen Wolf:

    Quotes from ”Your First steps in faith” - Religious book dedicated to educate youth

    Gormag's Choice

    Interesting events take place in this world

    The cure for infected

    Official threat evaluation and analysis - Tabba Ghut Clan part 2


    Armanis and the Emperor

    Palvius and Trolls


    The Kaer's Inscription


    An Edda for the Dead

    Sjörá and the horr'r

    Tinker'rs Faire

    The Queen and the Jester, Part 1


    A Tale of Silence and Thunder


    Law making in Palitnate.


    Cult of Mammon?

    Victory Candescence

    Fourth Wall


    New Managment

    Tourists guide to Krazian Culture

    Legend of the Machine


    The Serpent's Coils




    Tenants and philosophy of Airdriash'Mechzius, as clarified and elaborated by “Grand-Envoy of the Machine” Kheizra [No clan or lineage name given]

    Words One


    Rebirth of Baal

    Worship of Agares



    Nozkam Legon
    Thabba Ghut
    Scions of Twilight

    Thanks to Hbar and Northen Wolf for their assistance in tracking the stories.
  20. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003

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