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TBNES: Forging the Dawn, Redux

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by thomas.berubeg, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    The Dreaming:

    The Dreaming was the period of beginnings, when the world emerged from the froth of creation before splitting into two reflections. On one side was the mortal world, mundane but much more solid than the spirit world. On the the other was the spirit world, eternal, chaotic, and brighter in many ways than the mortal world. From one to the other flowed the Great River. In those days, the boundaries between the worlds was softer and travel between the two was easy. In fact, many had no knowledge that there were two world. Humanity and the five spirit families co-existed peacefully, and many would not have known that the world was in fact two. For uncounted millennia this peace existed, humanity prospered and nations and empires rose and fell. but beneath the surface, an insidious threat grew.

    The Nightmare:

    Since the beginning of time, the Spirits of Essence had ruled benevolently over the denizens of the spirit world, administering the chaos as much as it could be, and keeping the peace between often discordant spirits. Over time, however, the Great Spirits of Essence grew jealous of the powers of the other spirits, and began to believe that all power should reside within the dominion of Essence. This imbalance triggered a great war. Many great spirits were destroyed or subverted, their light lost from the world forever, and for a while, Essence ruled unchallenged. Man and spirit were enslaved, their very being changed and warped to reflect the unfathomable whims of their masters. But hope was not lost. Many spirits of the other families survived the purges, and many humans rebelled against their demonic masters. An alliance was forged and war, known as the waking, was waged. The Earth was scarred and many humans were physically changed by their alliance, gaining a closer affinity to a spirit family. Eventually, though, the war was won, the Great Spirits of Essence expelled from creation itself and their powers split amongst the remaining families. Perhaps the biggest scar of the war, however, was the sundering of the spirit world from the mortal world. Though travel between the two was still possible, difficult rituals and complex pacts were required, as opposed to the easy travel of the past.

    This is all the legendary past. The shattered world is slowly pulling itself back together, the disunited tribes of man and spiritkin clawing themselves up from the abyss amidst the shattered ruins of a mostly forgotten world.


    Applying:

    Forging The Dawn takes place a few generations after The Waking shattered the world and broke the people of the earth. Already, memory of the war has turned into legend, and the husks of the great cities are ascribed to ancient gods and not the works of men. In only a few more generations, the only ones who will know of the old world will be the shamans who still commune with the beings on the other side.

    As such, while I intend to accept as many players as I feel I can handle at any one time, there will be an application process wherein I hope that players can work together and with me to create cultures that fit the feel I hope to accomplish within the setting. Ultimately, I hope that we can work together to create a cohesive and interesting universe.

    To apply, simply fill out the below as completely as possible:

    In your application please remember that, for all intents and purposes, the beginning of the NES is the beginning of history. You people might have a long and storied past, but that’s all fading into legend as the Waking shattered cultures, sundered peoples, and left most dead. This is essentially a magical-post apocalyptic world (one which may well recover, but for now, is still a broken world.)
     
  2. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    Stats and Doing Things.:

    Stats will remain, until such time as I see fit, a simple affair detailing only in relative terms your military and economic might. The focus of this NES will be overarching cultural themes and affairs rather than the nitty-gritty numbers involved in what happens. As Lord of Elves put it in The Noisome Silence:
    Stats will look something like this:

    When sending orders, please remember that the initial turns of the NES will span centuries, if not more. Your orders should outline the direction you envision your culture moving. Realistically, most, if not all cultures, won’t survive beyond a few turns, but their descendants and legacy most certainly will.


    Magic

    Magic in the context of the sending orders is pretty vague. Most magic, aside for necromancy, is performed through the intermediary of Spirits, who agree to perform tasks for individuals or stats they feel a bond or duty to. In that light, almost anything is doable, so long as you can find and convince and appropriately powerful spirit, or one of the right domain, to act for you. This is very much a faustian bargain, though, as many spirits require some form of payment or promise to act in the mortal world.

    Spirits:

    Spirits exist in many different shapes and forms, but can be classified to a certain degree. While many may cross into reality from the Spirit World or back, only spirits with considerable power can do so at will.

    The weakest of spirits are called sparks, very simple entities generated by a concept or object in the physical world. When manifest, they tend to appear as motes of light of a color reminiscent of their origin: As such, fire sparks tend to appear as glowing motes, while a Joy spirit may appear as a multicolored flashes of light. These spirits are generally not intelligent, and dissipate with the end of their creative force. These spirits can only gain in power and intelligence by joining with, or consuming, like sparks (Or spark within the same family – A fire spirit can consume or join with a lightning spirit or love spirit, but can NOT absorb a water spirit. Sparks who manage to break this rule become very dangerous entities.) Sparks cannot travel into reality without being called by a Shaman.

    The entities known simply as spirits are generally associated with locations or concepts. Spirits tend to come into being by sparks congregating in great number becoming a single entity. These spirits run the gamut of consciousness and power from barely greater than a spark to immensely powerful. However, no matter how powerful these spirits are, they are unable to break the bonds that bind them. As such, no pain spirit can give up the opportunity to cause pain, nor can a hunger spirit resist consuming. As a rule, these spirits have individual names, have agendas, and can be bargained with or befriended. These spirits tend to look in some way like what they represent: An animate flame, a woodland animal, a shrouded figure. Spirits may generally cross into reality at will, but this requires much effort which most are only willing to expend under dire need or when a great anger spurs them.

    The highest class of spirits are known as Marids. These are spirits that have grown far beyond their purview. While there a limits to how they can use their power, these boundaries are usually infinitesimal compared to the power they wield, as most are so powerful and intelligent they can find all kinds of loopholes in their bans. Marids may cross boundaries in reality at will.

    Spoiler :


    All spirits belong to a spirit family, each with specific common attributes, though by no means common ideals or personalities. These families are associated with an element, and, after the waking, an aspect of Essence.

    • Afrit: Spirits of fire and intellect
    • Undine: Spirits of water and relations (charisma)
    • Djinn: Spirits of air and agility
    • Huaca: Spirits of Earth and strength
    • Aether: Spirits of essence, long since banished and their domain split between the other families.

    Mankind and the Spiritkin

    Humanity was dragged wholesale into The Waking without truly comprehending the enormity of the event. Nevertheless, many of the spirit families took populations of humans, either to protect them or to use them as soldiers in the war. Those human populations in close proximity to a spirit family were changed at a fundamental level by the spirits, and have since come to collectively be called Spiritkin, though they see themselves as different from each other as from common humans.

    Races:

    Spoiler :


    • Humans are still the most numerous of the known races.
    • Devas were used by Afrits and so are generally more intelligent but also more volatile than humans. Their skin varies from a light copper to a deep bronze or even red, depending on the area.
    • Huldras were humans taken in by Djinn, and thus are longer lived and are more agile than humans.
    • Nunnehi were patronized by Huacas and as such are stronger and squatter than baseline humans.
    • Loreley were humans who lived closely with undine. Generally very affable, Loreley tend towards lifestyles that favor nomadic traders and merchants. Their skin tends to blueish, with softly colored hair.
    • Dey were stolen by Aether spirits to use against the subjects of the other families. They appear insubstantial, as if a strong breeze could knock them over, but display a great strength. Generally hated and reviled for the sins of their fathers, Dey live in isolated communities in the far reaches of the earth, but sometimes the art of being swells their blood veins and the only way they can let the energy out is by doing something that is greater than anything else. Those who travel far tend to become wandering musicians, artists, thieves, and advisors to the highest kings.

    These are by no means the only races, but simply the more common ones: However, no known Non-human race has emerged from any spiritual contact but that during the nightmare.

    Within these racial boundaries (and often times spanning many) there are myriads of peoples, languages, cultures, and appearances. Not all will be stronger than humans, nor all Devas more intelligent.

    Souls and Death:

    There is an immense difference between the Soul of a mortal being and a spirit. A spirit is born of and grows from the environment around it, while a soul is a unique and special thing that only a mortal carries.

    In death, all souls flow through the great river to the Sea of Dreams, which is found between the spirit world and the mortal world. The Sea of Dreams is the ocean in which the worlds float, and made of the stuff of souls. It is pure and incorruptible.

    The great river has five cataracts, waterfalls that wash away aspects of mortality from the dead.

    The first cataract is Being, which washes away all the memories of the dead. Beyond that point, the souls of the dead will not recall anything from their life, though their personalities are intact.

    The Second is Water, and beyond it, souls lose the abilities to assert their will.

    The third is Air, and beyond it, souls, if brought back to Earth, must wear an artificial body of clay, dirt, and flesh.

    The Fourth Cataract is Fire, and passing through it strips a soul of the reasonings of mankind. Souls that have passed beyond Fire and brought back to earth are immensely powerful, immensely malevolent beings that can be bound to the will of a powerful mage, as they have little ability to reason.

    The fifth and final cataract is Earth, and it strips the soul of the strength that bound it to earth, and beyond it souls are pure and wash into the Sea of Dreams where they are eventually reborn.

    Entire aspects of magic revolve around speaking to and enslaving the souls of the dead before they reach the sea of dreams, but practitioners of necromancy are reviled and hated throughout most of the world. Some argue, however, that the essence of a person is not washed away, but rather carried somewhere different, and that with enough power, or will, or luck, one can contact the dead long after the soul has drifted beyond recognition.

    Spoiler :
     
  3. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    The World Around

    The Night Sky:

    The night sky is very different from the one that we are familiar with.

    A large moon travels the sky on a monthly cycle of approximately 30 days, and many have informally begun to keep track of it’s predictable cycles. Larger than the earth moon, it is known to have a strong effect on the tides of Eran’s oceans.

    Sharp eyed observers will see that the moon is accompanied by a dark shape, observable only because it blots out the stars behind it. Very rarely, the dark shape passes in front of the moon and can be determined to be a circle, smaller than the moon. It is said that the moon weeps when this body eclipses it.

    In the southern sky, though moving ever north as one travels south, a dark red cloud can be observed, seemingly reaching and grasping for the stars around it.

    Seven stars stand out from the rest for shining more brightly and for visibly traveling through the night sky, though their path appears erratic to the Eranbound observer.
     
  4. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    Map:






    Pale Blue: Glacier
    Grey: Tundra
    Turquoise: Taiga
    Dark Green: Marine West Coast
    Brown: Steppe
    Blueish Green: Continental Wet:
    Beige: Desert
    Orange: Semi-Arid
    Light blue: Mediterranean
    Yellow-green: Savannah
    Green: Humid Subtropical
    Hunter Green: Jungle
     
  5. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    Reserved
     
  6. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    Deserved
     
  7. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    I can often be found on #nes or IOTchat, and am more than happy to answer any and all questions.

    You may post.
     
  8. ork75

    ork75 Chieftain

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    Potentially interested in a human steppe culture near the northern mountains. App coming at some point soonish.
     
  9. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    OOC

    Subscription post - I don't know yet whether I'll join, currently I have no ideas yet :)
     
  10. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    In the desert
    It is a tragedy, born among the children of betrayal, to assume that the aether did not have our best interests at heart. The aether had vision greater than even the gods, and their crystal spires, now fallen, pierced sky and mortal heart like no other beauty.

    I give you three curses.

    Your betrayal of essence will not be forgotten.

    Your pleas for mercy will not be heard.

    Your souls will serve eternal in the Court of Arcael.


    ---

    Application soon.
     
  11. SouthernKing

    SouthernKing Secret Keeper

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    Location:
    Nashville
  12. Azale

    Azale Chieftain

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    Mitutu Ki
    Race: Nunnehi
    Location:



    Just beyond the Cleytra Pass lies the "Cellar of the Sand Devils" (Nempepata).

    Society: under construction
    Religion: under construction
    Economy: under construction
    Religion: under construction
    Country names: under construction
    Person names: under construction
    Place names: "Cellar of the Sand Hogs" (Defu), other variations on dwelling + associated flora/fauna/symbol. Polity is an association of semi-isolated desert settlements cooperating in raids against outlaying areas so they share a similar naming convention.
     
  13. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    This is where I want Arcael to start please!

    I imagine that this island and the bigger one to the west were originally one large island or even a landmass attached to the main continent, before they were SHATTERED. I mean the specifics are up to you, but there was definitely some shattering/flooding involved.
     
  14. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    Generally speaking, most people will be comfortably neolithic at the start, but not much beyond that.
     
  15. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

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    Can I play as a hidden tribe/nation/conglomerate of the Dey?
     
  16. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Terrance and I are already doing dey civs, so if we have this many it might make sense to make them a fairly widespread overlord race now coming into decline as human population rates increase.
     
  17. Terrance888

    Terrance888 Discord Reigns

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    I guess I should make (I feel premature) posts concerning my thoughts/themes/plans.

    I'm planning to do hidden Dey schools which focus on training themselves on the control of their essence, as well as the basic martial and magical arts. Similar to Shaolin temples. Upon reaching adulthood, a Dey has to make a choice: stay in the school and attempt to reach mastery via training, or leave to adventure and attempt to reach mastery via utilization. This choice of stay or leave is similar to in Amish communities where they choose whether to continue their current lifestyle or see what the world has to offer. Either path does not guarantee achievement of mastery, but even then, it's the journey which is more important. For either path, the achievement of mastery would allow them to form their own schools, often as a group of masters and their favored students. The Dey adventurers and their actions are considered not the responsibility of the schools, and so they do not feel compelled to support their activities or be punished for them.

    Spoiler hypotheticals :
    In the past: They could be persecuted dey or dey refugees, as well as adopted dey children who were shunned when they start manifesting their powers. They could be an Imperial Academy which jumped ship as the Aetheral empire/Council collapsed and went into hiding, using their martial traditions and discipline to maintain their isolation. They could be hermit/protest Dey who disapproved of the policies of the Council after the Aetheral Empire's fall gave them back their freedom, and their traditions help them control their heritage.

    In the future: They could become allied to a larger and more traditional state. They could also end up being puppet masters of such a state. This path has been joked as being a "Jedi" path. Depending on their traditions and the effectiveness of various movements and propaganda, they may serve as nuclei of a dey renaissance or reconstitution movement. They could become the impromptu protectors of nearby petty kingdoms, forming symbiotic relationships in which they are given food/gifts/tribute, which allows them to focus greater time into training and control. They could also become more open to non-Dey, becoming almost adventurer academies or "training from hell" destinations for future heroes. Finally, Schools which toned back their martial/magical training to self defense and focus more on philosophy, arcana, or other arts may grow to become more cultural centers.
     
  18. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    Yah, that makes sense, Thy.
     
  19. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Cleytra more like Cleyra amirite guys? No but seriously azale I found your people's theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSwCJ6wyKCw
     
  20. ork75

    ork75 Chieftain

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    WIP, obviously

    Culture name: Zhuozha
    Race: Human, although Devas, Huldras, or even potentially communities of a new race are all possible
    Location:
    Society:
    Religion: The Zhuozha have little in the way of formalized religion. However, what they do hold dear derives from two separate traditions. The first is based on the steppe environment in which they now live and the mountains of Lazhararo from which they came. This is the worship of the power of lightning and the storm, which the steppe affords no protection against. Ritual sacrifice is made to the gods of the sky and the elements by raising volunteers on tall poles while wearing metal helmets. In thunderstorms. Those who survive are thought to possess divine powers (the chosen of the gods), and given the way the world is… there may be some merit to this.
    The other part of Zhuozha faith practices revolves around their origins. They believe that an ancient race, more ancient than the spirits or the Dey or indeed the world, lives in a great ruined city in the mountains. They believe that this city was once theirs, and they were thrown out for… some reason. The main way in which this aspect of faith is reflected is the pilgrimage of the sick and old into the mountains. None return, but there are legends that tell of a great messiah coming from the highlands some day.
    Economy: The Zhuozha are primarily herders. Some farms exist around the biggest towns or occasional permanent settlement (mostly close to the peaks, as the altitude drops there is more herding). Horses and cows are the majority of the animals in the herds.
    Country names:
    Person Names: Nava
    Place names: Lazhararo, Lara, Mashoshe
     

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