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TNES VI - The Mythopoeia


Le Pétit Prince
Jun 2, 2005
In the desert
You're still here? After all this time? I suppose that shows a certain brand of dedication. Not exactly edifying, but it's...something. Well, if you're certain you really want to do this...

Hello, and welcome to TNES VI.

Recently, I’ve found myself in Africa, which has been an interesting experience. At various points in time, between visiting hospitals or working on research, I have found myself with a lot of time to think. And I have also found myself with a 5kbps internet connection, if that, which makes me realize that a lot of the success of early NESing is from the fact that our connections were too crappy to do anything else besides make forum posts. But I digress. Time to put down the PS4 controller, cancel your Netflix account, neglect your loved ones, and play a real man’s game. Or woman’s, but, well. The goal of TNES VI is to be a lightweight, narrative-centered game that will tell a fun, mysterious, and magical story. Yes, yes, I know I've tanked countless NESes before, but when I track the moment of supreme disillusionment leading to the abandonment of every NES, it always occurred in updating stats or fiddling with a map, not working on the story. So we will try to do less fiddling, and more burning of Rome. Or however that goes.

Introduction (please read):

For a long time, I have wanted to do a mythological-style NES. However, I’ve realized that mythology NESes, (or GodNESes, as they were often called before the Great Departure) failed to integrate the political and the mystical in the way that, say, Beowulf, Mononoke-hime or the Iliad did. They are either primarily stories about the cosmic struggle in which lesser mortals only play a peripheral role, or they are traditional political NESes that have myths and magic tacked on as a likely fictional appendage to be discarded when empires have developed more sophisticated reasons to slaughter one another. (With some notable exceptions; here’s looking at you, OTP.)

This is neither of those. This is a game in which gods, magical beings, and humans have co-existed from the unknown beginning. It may not always be that way, but it is that way now. You, as the player, have the ability to be one of three things: A God, an Empire, or a Hero. Perhaps you are the type of person that simply loves to seek out new experiences without regard for the feelings of people around you. You would be a perfect God. Perhaps you are the sort who seeks to control everything in your life, out of fear of what will happen when you lose it. You would be a wonderful Empire. Perhaps you suffer from the dangerous mental delusion that your individual choices are capable of changing anything in the world. Welcome to being a Hero.

Over the course of the game, you may switch between roles on a whim, or show a monomaniacal obsession with just one. Don’t worry, either way you can blame it on your mother.

To reiterate, the thing that I believe the GodNESes and the political NESes lacked in crafting a true mythopoeia is that all of the great myths of our own cultures, be they Shinto or Semitic or Greek, had a confluence of all three things simultaneously: Empire, god, and hero cast into a shifting landscape of dark magic and adventure. And so, it will be for TNES.

There is something of a "central story" which I have provided, a serviceable big bad if you will, but much of the world is empty following a great cataclysm that scoured much of the world and killed off many of its old gods. You are free to tie into and evolve this larger story as you please, or mostly ignore it; there are many isolated corners of the world for you to do as you please. Nonetheless, it would make me very happy to see you collaborating with one another, and also murdering each other. All emotions are valid in the mythopoeia, and you must experience them all in order to feel true catharsis. Just remember, if you can dream it, you can do it! But that doesn't mean you should.

The Rules:

Because this is also a game and not simply a story, I will implement two rules: A distribution of two types of points, Magic and Civilization, and an effective little rock-paper-scissors system to guide the conflicts, which is as follows:

Gods are most effective at bringing down Empires. Empires are most effective at bringing down Heroes, and Heroes are most effective at bringing down Gods.

Not to say that there aren't exceptions.

At the beginning of the game, you will claim one of the three possible roles. You will get 5 points distributed across the 2 categories to spend or bank as you see fit in your first turn. You will then generate at least one new point a turn, and probably more, if you do something neat and/or I feel generous.

God: A great supernatural being. The font of magic power. These are creators, destroyers, beings that are beyond physical constraints. Their boons and curses are as capricious as they are merciless, or they are so perfectly merciful that they are self-sacrificial beyond all rationality. They do not adhere to your world, mortal. How could you understand them? It does not need to call itself a god. You will know what it is, because you will feel it in your blood.

(Choice 1: 0 points civilization, 5 points magic) (Choice 2: 1 point civilization, 4 points magic)

(NOTE: Importantly, gods in this NES are not ‘Frosty, God of Winter’. Don’t try it. Gods are complex beings. They may have a portfolio of powers, or their power may be completely uncategorizable. But they are fundamentally mystical. They are not superheroes. We do have those, though.)

Empire: The civilized world. Technology, rulership, law, wealth, and caste. A frequently human enterprise, although not inherently so. Empires often have unhealthy symbiotic relationships with gods and heroes; they worship them, and occasionally are ruled by them. But it is an uneasy alliance. Empires cannot exist without rules, and gods and heroes are beyond rules. The prayers and praises that empires whisper to gods and heroes, are they chains? (They are.) But only Empires can offer safety, and most people crave this. That is why they exist.

(Choice 1: 5 points civilization, 0 points magic) (Choice 2: 4 points civilization, 1 point magic)

(NOTE: An Empire refers to any type of civilization. You need not be large, or even imperialistic, to qualify. But come on, this is a NES. We know you will be.)

Hero: The intermediary between our world and the world of gods and magic. Humans or other mortals touched by magic, or gods touched by humanity. These are inherently wandering beings, ranging from warrior to hierophant to artist to courtesan. They are often touched by a quest that defines or consumes them. Heroes can be produced by gods or empires, but so often they arise at the fringes of the world. Heroes, however, having one foot in each world, are inherently unpredictable. They bring ends and beginnings; heroes are forces of change.

(Choice 1: 3 points civilization, 2 points magic) (Choice 2: 2 points civilization, 3 points magic)

(NOTE: Heroes usually spawn from an existing Empire or God. You can work with another player, but you do not necessarily need their consent to do this if the relationship is adversarial. Heroes can ‘belong’ to Empires or Gods, but they can also be free agents. You can control heroes as another faction, but can you, really?)

Each turn, you will generate magic and/or civilization points, depending on your nature and actions. You can then spend your magic and civilization points to do great things. You can also use any holdings (people, artifacts, etc.) and Heroes you have gathered. Writing stories or worldbuilding will generate bonus points. It is incredibly beneficial if you just name and describe things; I will give bonus points to people who do this a lot.

The cost of points is halved when used against one’s “natural” foe – God vs. empire, empire vs. hero, hero vs. god.

You may store points out of greed, or use them defensively to foil your foes, that is, if you choose to be ruled by fear. But isn’t that also a kind of death?

Here are some things you can do with your points:


1 magic point: The memory of a distant god.
1 magic point: The making of a prophecy. (Careful.)
1 magic point: The occasional favor of a cohort of magical beings.
2 magic points: The creation of a magical artifact.
2 magic points: The enlistment of a race of magical servants.
2 magic points: A caste of magicians, to obtain through esoterica what they may not through might.
2 magic points: The destruction of a mundane mass of foes or their homes.
3 magic points: The birth of a demi-god, or a Hero.
3 magic points: The casting of a great blessing or a great curse.
3 magic points: The breaking or making of a great feature of the world.
3 magic points: Try to wound a god; perhaps if you are lucky it will break them. Or unlucky.
4 magic points: The birth of a god, or a new race of magical beings.
4 magic points: The breaking of an empire.
5 magic points: Attempt a deicide.
6 magic points: Wreak a great and lasting change on the bones of truth.
7 magic points: Complete the prophecy.


1 civilization point: A court, guards, weapons, a village, farms, a tribe. Trappings, workings, makings.
1 civilization point: Diplomacies and emissaries, spies and intelligence.
1 civilization point: Enjoy life! (Sometimes it helps.)
2 civilization points: A city, a modest castle, or a network of towns.
2 civilization points: An ideology or religion that people may not forget after you are gone.
2 civilization points: A new innovation, well aren’t you clever.
2 civilization points: Raise an army, or an elite band.
2 civilization points: Create a new caste of specialists in your society.
3 civilization points: A tributary or alliance with neighbors that brings them into your system, for now.
3 civilization points: A humbling sign of obeisance that placates gods or rivals enough to keep you around.
3 civilization points: The execution of a mortal, or semi-mortal, foe.
3 civilization points: The production of a great ruler, leader, prophet, genius, or Hero.
4 civilization points: Something truly wondrous: A hundred ships, a glorious legion, a towering fortress. A reasonable kingdom.
5 civilization points: An empire of glories.
6 civilization points: To dare that which mortals should not.
7 civilization points: Make a gambit for world empire, to bring the very gods to their knees.
7 civilization points: Apotheosis.

Note: You can also do things that aren’t listed here; tell me what it is and I’ll give you an appropriate cost.

Alright, I think that is it. As I mentioned, the rules are simple and flexible, and this is really about the story that we tell together. You're welcome to switch between roles and try new things as the game continues.

The Players, such as they are:

Lord Iggy: The Moiety of Haadulf / Wheel of Leaves
thomasberubeg: Iphu / The Dreamers
Jehoshua: Elaadi / The Court of Summer
Shadowbound: High Kingdom of Carns
The Meanest Guest: Shadur / Kotzal / Servants of the Moon
inthesomeday: Tribes of the Oshkum
Danwar: The Republic of Sommos
Seon: Emanon, The Boundary
ork: Those of the Stag
azale: Wokiko's Empire
terrance: The Maelish Queendom / Hm.
jackalgull: City-State of Xtri

The Updates, Your Desperate Nourishment:

Update 0 - The Swallowed Past
Update 1 - The Unremembered Sea
Update 2 - The Bonfire of Spring

Update 3 - The Tyranny of Land
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Update 0 - The Swallowed Past

"Regrets are illuminations come too late." -Joseph Campbell

In the beginning, there was a garden. Or an oasis. Or a great tree that stretched to touch the heavens. Or an unending sea. An unending plain. Or there was nothing. There was a wager. There was a crawling chaos. There was one god. There were two gods, light and darkness, always. The gods have always been uncountable. There are no gods. The universe has always existed, we have always lived in this forest, this desert, this valley. What will be the truth has yet to be made the truth, and yet all these things, are true. If you make them so. But what was true is true no longer.

Nonetheless…this is the world as we have it, now. Perhaps it is not enough for you? Then you may make more world. But perhaps that says more about you than the world. Perhaps you do not like the mountains. Perhaps you would like to break the mountains? Oh ho. Such things have been tried.

I speak of Azzatar, the Amethyst, the heart of the world, who sits within her indigo-hued mountain, which she is. Her bones are all the mountains and the land.

Below her, the river Dakh slides lugubriously across the reeds. Giant crocodiles with ruby eyes lurk there. How do they see? It cannot be said. The Empire of Anis-Natar, of the twin siblings who are perpetually children on the cusp of puberty, who are the bifurcated twin children of Azzatar and also Azzatar, rule over the Empire in their own name, their mother-selves. It is a tense reign, for the people fear them calling upon their mother, lest they become her. It is said that the day that Anis has her first blood and Natar knows his first lust, on that day the siblings will unite and the world will end, the waters of the Dakh will flow backwards, and the mountains themselves will fall. This is how it is known that such things have been tried. For this reason, the empire devotes much of its energy to keeping the children entertained.

Even so, every six years it rains amethysts over the temples, and every two, wine, and this is enough to satisfy the people to tend the priest-gardens, mine and drive endless lowing herds of beasts to the dust-packed mazeways of great Arisaras and Rhut, beneath the temples of the purple and the orange, so great that they block out the sun. It is good that the goddess stays in her mountain, for she has killed her parents and all of her siblings in order to become the world. The story is already over, but it is not a story that is allowed to be told, under threat of harsh punishment. And no, you cannot whisper it. The orange-eyes will come first, and the lions second.

But if one ignores the caprice of the siblings and the banning of certain tales, the marids and the lion priests, scholar-bureaucrats descended from their ilk, are quite capable of inscribing laws of only middling cruelty in papyrus and clay. And if you are not a rebel, then your eyes are not made to bleed fire by the marids and the beings they call. Afrakt, it is said, is bound to supply the empire with endless fire. Because he was once the goddess’ husband. It is best not to pry, truly. Fire is the Empire’s greatest export, in peace and war. In return it cries for food, wood, and slaves.

Beyond the Dakh and its tributaries, there are plenty of small gods in desert hiding. Tribes in caves, praying to their own hope, perhaps, rather than any that their exile-gods grant them. Wandering rival caravan-towns who bludgeon each other with exceptional cruelty for control of the most precious vial of their lost mother’s blood, not that they have the courage to use it. And other such things. And further, further even, perhaps there is a chirping jungle. If that is of interest. It is a pitiful state of affairs, awaiting a prophet, a messiah, a returned exile. But it is probably hopeless. Long is the list of those who have been cast down by great Anis-Natar and their undying servants.

Still, what has been forgotten?

North of the mountains, in the deepest valleys beyond the reach (or at least, the present notice) of the Amethyst, well, that is not a place that is truly known, nor meant to be known. There are no roads there, no oxen-drawn carts, no buildings of brick and stone. It is a place of strange tribes, with names like Naami and Kurom. Such names are unpronounceable by proper people, and for that reason the only humans here are exiles, cursed to crouch in the shadows of the forest, or in the trees themselves, and hunt those that do not hunt them. Yet, they are happy. Who can say why? Perhaps there is a certain peace in knowing that even if it is not your land, it is someone’s.

Here, the rains that never pass Azzatar and the melting of countless glacial reaches pound north down the mountainsides in fierce rapids, forming waterfall torrents vast enough to create worlds of unending mist beneath the sullen damp branches of giant pines. Then they calm, and broaden, into a world of vast lakes, where the only sky the rare human child will ever see is the thin strip of blue above the great river, where the boughs of the trees do not quite meet. The lakes themselves, the humans do not chance.

There are gods there, if they can be called that, things which lurk beneath the glassy surface and hold courts of otherworldly beings. Wars rage and river kingdoms rise and fall without ever becoming known to the forest above. In the forest, wild godlings are content to endlessly play and process through butterfly-laden sward and ride giant swans down the rivers, thinking only of their immediate pleasure, and not the far greater pleasure which comes from slavery, incense, and graven idols. But such is innocence. They are not experienced, as are the sun-seared lands of the south. Their worlds are still young and full of dancing, and love has not yet learned to be selfish.

But of course, it is a good place for hunters, and the predators are innocent of the wrongness of their cruelty as well. Beings will stalk on empty mooned nights which are not truly beings at all, but the whispering of the wind through the valley which becomes a hunger that takes the shape of a doe, except the doe is night black, with eyes that are pupil-less globes as red as cherries, and if they lay upon you, then you are lost. It is a shame you walked outside on such a night.

There is much to be done in such a virgin world.

And towards the rising sun, the east most, past these charmed forests, there are islands. And ah, the sea, which gives rise to so many dreams. (With the exception of the gill-caste, who speak in sign language, it is forbidden in Anis-Natar to discuss the sea. It is believed that to become the mountain and make her husband fire, Azzatar was forced to sacrifice her memory of the sea. This is likely why it remains, and why it is illegal to remind her. It would be inconvenient for everyone if she tried to burn the sea again.)

The forests of the east are not thick enough to shade monsters for long, and so it has become a natural place for mortal beings. Kinglets like tide pools, many of them worshipping the same gods with different names. What is not known in the South is that the eating of the world was not complete, for who could contain such sorrow? Little pantheons are gathering like bubbles in a bath of soap, as stone towers rise and shallow ships ply trades, and grapes are held up to the sun to grow supported by sticks as feeble as their kingdoms.

Flotsam of the long-lost end of the southern wars and the swallowing of the past, humans are moving here, to the concern of the locals. The lithe, seal-skinned udyn consider the rumors of triremes from their mist-covered rocks, and dolphins and kelp spirits look curiously at their shallow wakes. These sorts of beings will eat humans that fall into the water, but not out of spite so much as custom. And there are mysterious others, to be sure, in the coastal mountains.

The gods have spoken to the hero, and her name is perhaps Sen, or his name is perhaps Telannes, or perhaps these are both rude and dangerous mistranslations. And so, s/he journeys north, or south, or east, accompanied by an entourage of memorable allies, to settle the forested isle, or beautiful bay, or the hidden valley, or the mountain hermitage, only to find the new land full of enemies, wondrous spirits, and great challenges natural and spiritual to overcome. Or simply dies and is forgotten. It isn’t truly my decision.

Or perhaps you have another saga in mind? Perhaps you wish to know what lies across the sea, across the mountains, or beyond the desert? I cannot tell you. But as I said, if you are willing to bear the burden of the world, make it. We will entertain this. For a time.

Notes on Clime:

Southern, Deep Green: Jungle.
Medium, Southern Green: Subtropical paradise.
Yellow: Desert. (of course.)
Tan: Plains. Suitable for droving and riding.
Medium, Eastern Green: Temperate forest, suitable for clearance and farming.
Northern Deep Green: Boreal and other old growth forest. Chilly.
Gray: Montane and/or glacial.
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Those who dwell in the South


Azzatar, the Amethyst
Magic: 8
Civ: 0
Holdings: The Land, The Fire, The Swallowed Past


The Empire of Anis-Natar
Magic: 5
Civ: 6
Heroes: Afrakt Ghul, The Fire (6/1), The Despot Children (3/1)*
Holdings: 7 orange-eyed legions, 17 marids, 151 part-marid lion-priests, the Jeweled Dakh, the Slave Cities
Cities: Arisaras, Rhut, Darail
*A prophecy has been made

The City of Xtri
Magic: 0
Civ: 3
Cities: Xtaita
Holdings: Favor of the sea-dragon, green-scaled armor like the sea, 1 band of dragon-warriors

Heroes (independent):

An orphaned girl [5/2]

Those who dwell in the North*

*A prophecy is complete, oh woe.


Magic: 5
Civ: 4
Heroes: Hyric, broken prince of Naiounes (4/2), Yava (3/1)
Holdings: Perhaps 2,100 zemmi, seventy-six naiounes, the Great Hold of Amno, the Well of Nightmares, a serious wound*, the whispering curse, the unabating mists**, dread parentage
*A cost of 4 points to dispel
**A cost of 3 points to dispel

The Fisher-King
Magic: 3
Civ: 3
Holdings: 2 companies of silverfinned guards, Voice of the Torrent

Magic: 7
Civ: 0
Holdings: Hatred.


The Moon-Country of Kurom
Magic: 2
Civ: 3
Holdings: The gibbering moon-priests, Castle Orthier

The Tribe of Yztrau
Magic: 2
Civ: 1
Holdings: Forbearance of the four forces

Heroes (independent):

Nastya the Silent (1/1) [A grievous wound]

Those who dwell in the East


Magic: 2
Civ: 1
Heroes: Aeledan, King of the Children (4/2)
Holdings: The Great Glades, perhaps two thousand Aerenath, a dancing and bounteous court
*A prophecy has been made

The Ring of Leaves
Magic: 0
Civ: 3
Holdings: 259 green-priests and many faithful, an uncertain but prolific lineage

Emanon, the Boundary
Magic: 2
Civ: 2
Heroes: Arrupos the Golden (1/3)
Holdings: A shard, lent. A subject city-state. Prominence elsewhere. The Shining Law.

If You Don’t Stop, I’m Calling The Guards!
Magic: 4
Civ: 4
Holdings: Well aren’t you making quite the mess.


The Second Circle
Magic: 2
Civ: 3
Heroes: Halogund (2/2)
Holdings: The memory of Gahad.

The High Kingdom of the Carns
Magic: 1
Civ: 3
Heroes: Tanguyix, High King of Carns (1/1), “Maithlin” (2/4) [The edge of being, Maelis Twice-Queen {0/2}, Taevic (-1/1)], Yann (0/1)
Cities: Dunmael
Holdings: Regalia of Arthmaelix, The Hornéd Fleet, the Torcwenn, the Staredour Order

The Tribes of Oshkum
Magic: 2
Civ: 3
Heroes: Prophet-Prince Golmorod (4/3)
Holdings: A great horde of horses*
*A prophecy is complete

The “Kingdom” of the Maelish
Magic: 0
Civ: 2
Heroes: “King” Atami (1/2)
Holdings: The feeble regard of the Mimish, above-average arts and crafts.

The Republic of Sommos*
Magic: 2
Civ: 3
Cities: Sommos proper, Enaios
Holdings: 2 armies of law blades, reformed civil administration, the Hexic Pantheon, the Great Walls of Sommos
*A prophecy has been made

Magic: 2
Civ: 1
Heroes: Alai (4/2) [The mind of the Dreamer, Jemmi {a grievous wound} (1/0)], A certain smith (1/3)*
Holdings: 26 awakened dreamers, the Lake of Stars, weapons that sing

*A prophecy has been made.

Wokiko’s Empire
Magic: 3
Civ: 3
Heroes: The Wokiko Emperor (4/1)*
Holdings: Servitude of the Four Peoples, An army of the living, an army of the dead
*A prophecy is complete.

The Udyn Tribes
Magic: 2
Civ: 1
Heroes: Hakta Longswimmer (2/2)

Heroes (independent):

T’namar, Foremost of Lions (4/4) (marid)
Nathrom, the Serpent-Ram, (3/0)

Those who dwell in the Past

Ktse, Daughter of Spring
Magic: 0 (dead)
Civilization: 0
Holdings: ??????

Haadulf, Prophet of Spring
Magic: 0 (dead)
Civilization: 0
Holdings: The Flower Font of Arisaras

Vyndra, the Mad Huntress
Magic: 0 (dead)
Civilization: 0
Holdings: Love of a serpent ram

The slaughtered stag
Magic: 0 (dead, again)
Civilization: 0
Holdings: Broken temples and covenants

A red-eyed black doe of the northern valleys
Magic: 0 (dead)
Civ: 0
Holdings: Comeuppance.

Salap Scarab Skin
Magic: 0 (dead)
Civ: 0
Holdings: Redemption.

The Doormaker
Magic: -2
Civilization: 0
Holdings: Services in transgression, a growing boy

We are Flaming Dragon!
Magic: 3
Civilization: 0
Holdings: The praise of Xtaita
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Creatures Beyond Mortal Ken:

Marid – A being of questing flame given human flesh by ancient spell. Their slave-king is Afrakt Ghul, the Fire, bound god and ex-husband of Azzatar. Both Afrakt and his marids have coupled with humans, and their descendants are the lion-priests, and more distantly, the orange-eyes. Their half and quarter-blood children, the lion-priests, hold the leashes of their parents. Marids are inherently rebellious beings, and only those who are of them can wield their power. In addition to their destructive power, they are known for being able to see extremely long distances. They take both male and female forms. It is rumored there were once wild marids, but the Seventeen have been bound to the Empire's service for over five hundred years.

Orange Eyes – Humans with a small portion of marid ancestry. They serve as the warrior caste of Anis-Natar, commanding common slave soldiers or operating together in elite units. They can endure long marches with little water, and many can work modest magics of fire. They train rigorously to restrain their hot-headed nature enough to hold formations. They are carefully watched by the purple cult.

Gill-Caste – Hairless amphibians descended from humans, with no mouths but gill-slits that filter oxygen. Their green skin allows them to make their own food from the intense sunlight of the South. Even so, daylight is not enough, they must sleep in wet chambers with an ever-burning flame to continue to photosynthesize at night. That they quickly starve without special care makes them a low risk of rebellion. They hunt seafood and shellfish from the Past for the Empire, protecting it from heresy, and also tow river-boats for a small fee. They speak in sign language and seem content with their lives, but who knows.

Khed: There are some benefits to living in the Empire. Khed (or khedim, if there are multiple) are little foliots, glims or kimlings as they might call them in parts of the East. Tiny magical servants with primitive minds. In other parts of the world this would be an extravagance entitled only to magicians or shamans, but in Anis-Natar, magic has advanced highly, and the common people can easily afford such conveniences, mass-bound by lower-ranked priests and sold by the bucketful. The endless supply of magical fire allows even the weakest mage to create such things with borrowed power.

They have many forms, from little flames and clay dolls to jeweled scarabs. Usually they are made of fire or rock, but the gill-caste are known to employ salamanders. They can carry messages or small parcels, run errands, and larger groups can do cleaning or housework. In an empire where amethysts are more common than water, it is not uncommon to see a team of them, facets shining with bind-signs, working together to heave a matron's robe across a washboard in the jeweled Dakh.

T’namar Half-Marid – Afrakt Ghul coupled with a human long ago, and this half-human demigod herself coupled with a marid, bearing T’namar. His demigod mother joined a rebellion against her father Afrakt several centuries ago, leading to her father killing her. The infant T’namar was lost in the struggle, and grew up in a human family before gaining the attention of the lion-priesthood. He was then adopted as a surrogate son by Afrakt, his long-lost grandfather. Needless to say, it is a complex relationship. He is a wily old creature, and prefers diplomacy to war, but his flame-spells can even surpass his divine grandfather's in complexity, if not in power. He is now Hierophant and leader of the orange cult and the chief commander of the Anis-Natari legions.

Afrakt Ghul – He is the father of marids, and a dark, old, powerful thing. His frightening visage is seen in door-knockers across the Empire, and on the walls of the fire-domes of the orange cult, whose temples are only dwarfed by that of the purple in ludicrous grandeur. His descendants among the mortals are Anis-Natar's soldiers and warrior priests (although not its rulers, for the priests of the purple cult are always chosen from orphans and prisoners).

The Ghul, they say, is called that because he was once a god, but is now only a beast. But he is known by other names: Afrakt, and simply the Fire. It is known that he was a god, and yet claims to be one no longer. Yet the being that he is now is mighty enough, still, to be called god-like. His form is usually around eight-feet tall, with cloven hooves, and long, tall horns jutting backwards behind his head. And yet these are all but affectations, for the body of him, the hooves, the black 'fur' that sweeps across his form, the horns, are all made of roiling, black smoke. The illusion of skin ever-roils, slightly. The maw that opens, opens unto a blue furnace, and the eyes are two rents of bright orange heat in the roiling smoke of his skull. Unlike a marid, he is an unbound beast, loose and flowing. Still, though, he manages to wear clothing over his smokeform, typically an orange cloak and a red body wrap. But if he is angered, these affectations quickly burn away.

Afrakt's fire is linked to his rage. The angrier he becomes, the hotter the core of his body burns, the more the smokeform tears away. The fire at his heart is virtually boundless; people have reported it growing as large as a city, as a mountain, although perhaps these are simply tales. Only a few now live who have seen Afrakt's fire truly unbound. The orange cult says that Afrakt and Azzatar were the first gods to walk the earth, that joined, they were the molten flame before all things, and she was the land that eventually cooled from their conjoined body. The first era was his, the second hers. All the lesser beings of this world, they claim, are their children.

Regardless, Afrakt is very, very old, and remembers certain things that all but he and Azzatar have forgotten. As for why he simply acts as Azzatar's dog, her chief enforcer, well, there is a simple answer for that: He loves her, still. And what wouldn't you destroy for love?

Udyn – Long, curve-backed, otter-like beings who can stand and fight upright but prefer to lie on their backs and to swim. They prefer to live on islands close to the water and are not well-suited for long overland journeys, but they live and sleep on land in caves and rock huts. Their diet is mostly seafood, but they also eat kelp, birds, and the occasional human. Their civilization has fire and stone tools and weapons, mostly spears and slings. They are stronger than the average man, but their traditional culture is declining in the face of superior human technology and competition. They mostly venerate the kelp-spirits, a culture hero adventurer named Nukir, and a water goddess named Laka who rules currents and whirlpools. Individual tribes also have venerated shaman-ancestors who take upon the guise and power of notable sea-creatures as guardian spirits.

Giant-Oracles (Kadano, Cadain) – These rumored beings live atop great mountain peaks in the East, mostly across the Past. It is said that they are extremely solitary creatures because of the plague of memories that killed off most of their kind. Not much is known of them in this age.

Eyohoi – The pack-hunting terror birds of the central plains, north of the Empire and south of the squabbling humans on the seacoast. Eyohoi are large, dangerously fast carnivorous flightless birds, slightly larger than ostriches, with colors ranging from dun to bright gold to camouflage them in the long grasses. Their wickedly sharp scythe-beaks snap forward on long necks of stiff protective feathers to slice the jugulars of their prey in one swift motion. Few have gotten close enough to the eyohoi to study their culture, such as it is; but it seems they have primitive language. They have been heard singing from a distance, especially around births and deaths, and they often bury their dead under piles of rocks. They also can throw rocks to wound or distract prey, standing on one claw to do so. They defend their fuzzy, golden chicks with ferocious intensity; the best thing to do if you stumble upon a nest is run.

Myrtgs – Slow, giant, peaceful bottom-dwellers that live upon the rocky sea-beds of the North, and occasionally the northern East. The complete shape of a myrtg is not known, but they are mostly composed of their massive limbs, partly covered in sea moss with whom they live in a symbiotic relationship. Myrtgs are too large to have proper brains, but gradually wander towards proper temperatures and signs of food, which they dredge from the silt of the sea-bed. They often feast on whale-corpses, but in thin times their moss-colonies provide them sustenance, especially during the long cold winter. In return, they lift the sea-moss to the surface to warm and photosynthesize in the sun, and this is how most mortals observe them, as their massive limbs break the surface like temporary reefs. Myrtgs are believed to be immortal and never stop growing, but when one gets too big for the available resources in the region, a few of its limbs break off and migrate into a new area.

Ktse – Come now, not all things are meant to be written. Do you wish to bring the Empire down upon my head?
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There is a ring of leaves that spins, as fast as the years, as slow as the instants, growing, yellowing, withering, and growing again. It first whispered into my ears when I was a young child, before I could remember, though I could not understand it then.

The wheel visited me in the deep of the night, though I was never sure whether I was wakeful or dreaming, and it visited me in the bright of the sun, when I was not sure whether I had dozed off for the midday rest.

Haadulf is the name given to me by my mother, as is the custom among our people. As an even son, it fell to me to travel with my father's moiety when I could walk a day alone. I saw the wheel many times as we traveled in our gathering expeditions. Slowly, I began to understand its intents and secret language.

There were seeds that I collected, of plants that I found in the wild. The green wheel directed me to them, and in my dreams I understood their secrets. My father was a man open to my flights of fancy, and thus humoured my stories and permitted me to take some of our collection for the wheel's purposes.

More and more often, the ring of leaves imparted on me lore of the secrets of these plants. Their hungers and thirsts, their desires, their hidden potentials. Rumours spread among my group, across both our moieties, of the young boy who the green spirit spoke to. The spare words became a buzz when, in the years following, rich growths of plantlife appeared where I had conducted my work.

I was still a child as the learned elders of the Gahadi brought me, clad in symbols of the ring's anointment, into their councils. Our stories told of those who had been spoken to by the spirits, but we lived in a silent age- while there had been times when many such people lived, I was the first one to exist in generations. Understanding the need of my elders, aunties, uncles, nuncles, naunties, cousins, cross-cousins, and siblings even and odd, I shared to them what the green wheel had shared with me, for it had never imparted to me a desire for secrecy or privacy.

Thus, in the coming years, as I grew steadily in stature, my people thrived. The wheel's knowledge brought us food in abundance. The neighbouring peoples came to us with avarice, and we shared with them our abundance, so that they might leave sated. In my tenth year, the Mohabef came and demanded not food, but myself. My people were prepared to defend me, but I did not want to see blood shed on my behalf. I left my home with them, and departed from the close kinship of my family for the first time.
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It that Dreams

If it has a name, it has forgotten it.

It has a body, it assumes. Or a Corpse, lying in a tomb somewhere. It’s thoughts have rested on the matter, occasionally, when it has glimpsed a wisp of a dream. Rested for a moment on the thought of finding itself, but no idea remains long in its consciousness before being replaced by another.

What it knows is the present. Or, what it thinks is the present, though it understands that it is a present filtered through the minds of millions of dreamers. It has glimpsed the same city a hundred times, a thousand times, and every time it was different.

If it had a purpose, it has forgotten it.

It has things that it likes. The taste of a great symphony, the smell of a beautiful face, the soft feel of a delicious meal, the sight of true love.

It has things that it does not like. The stench of suffering, the discordant tones of a lost love, the bitterness of jealousy, the sharpness of death.

And so, where it finds it, it takes a bit of the good, and gives it to those who are trapped in the bad. A dying child’s wounds close up, and a parent knows peace. A recent widower finds his wife cooking their favorite meal in the kitchen. A king lives a life of humble simplicity.

It is not alone in this realm, it knows.

There is a counterpart. A being that is his equal, his opposite. They have never met, but it has found traces in the dreams it flits through. Flashes of darkness, tentacles writhing, oppressive evil. Through the dreams, through the dreamers, it knows it’s his bitter enemy’s name. Nightmare.

It often wonders, for a short moment, whether It is not Nightmare. Whether Nightmare is itself awake instead of sleeping, or sleeping instead of awake.

It has travelled for as long as it can remember.

But in that time, it has never seen what it does now. A door, or a window, or a portal, or a well. Something that should not be. Something that has been allowing dreams to leak, a drip at a time, from it’s world into that of the living. A hole through which it could pass, if it wished. A tear in the veil that could allow it to live all the things it has only lived secondhand.

For a moment it quivers. It pauses. And it extends a... hand...?
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It was in the east.

The rivers flowed to the sea wending through the great green like a python languidly slithering towards its prey.

The fisherman cast his net, sweat clinging to his brow as he hauled great schools of fish on to his flimsy vessel.

And in the forest

In the deepest deep of the ancient woods where only the greatest of hunters dares to tread and where long forgotten things yet dwelt

There was silence.


For here lay the sleeping god

The god who dwells in the wood and who whispers in the silence

Whose dreams ripple across the firmament and rumble through the earth.

the trees and the beast sing in his dreams

The blood of beasts is poured out to his name.

Elaadi they named him

and he stirred.

Foul fate! I curse the gods as they curse me,
Widow'd as I am at ten and nine years
with a small son of only three summers.

Do you hear it? The deep funeral dirge
Sung by mine late husband's own dear brothers.
It echoes across the misty water
Concealing their joy at his sudden death.
For as he was king, soon one of them shall
wear an antler'd crown and give rings in fief.

No place for I to honor my late love,
my lord, my husband, father of my son.
No place for women in the sacred rites.
Lucky am I, mother of a young child
that I do not join the funeral boat.

All that I am worth is my precious son,
who his uncles would sooner die bandon'd.
For, as now, no wee babe can rule the Carns,
fierce folk that rule this land 'tween sun and shade.

But a babe stays small but a blink of eye,
as a small gust becomes a great storm
and a wayward spark becomes inferno.
Shall he be king, in his time and manhood?

If lives. If his uncles do not snuff him,
if he is swift as a coursing river,
if he has the force of a great typhoon,
and with all the strength of a raging fire.

Then, in time, he may be king. Like father.

Yes, this is good. It pleases us. You are confirmed in these roles:

Lord_Iggy: Haadulf (Hero, Delta Moieties)
thomas_berubeg: a yet nameless, longing dream (God)
Jehoshua: Elaadi of the waking forest (God)
Shadowbound: Maelis, Widow-Queen of the Carns (Hero, unless you would rather play the Carns as an Empire)

Shadow, that is the last Mulan reference you get before your skin is peeled. Even so, I enjoyed all of your declarations. You may now choose and spend your initial 5 points, publically or in a private message. If you happen to be bound to the fabric of reality, it would be a good idea to show me where.

Did you know that time is a blunt hammer? Four days remain until it strikes. At that time we will hear its first ringing blow on the edifice of the swallowed past. Ten years’ worth. That is to say, the deadline is Wednesday. My, you do not have very much time at all.

I would say we need a few more sacrif- I mean players. Tell your friends, or your enemies, depending on what you have planned.
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The Sleeping God stirs in his rest, yet is not yet awoken to walk the waking world and not yet truly asleep either. His dreams distort the manifold realities and ripple outward from the hidden place in the eastern forest, hidden whisperings calling out to those with the wisdom and the gift to hear. For here, wherein the sea reaches even to the foot of mountains that scrape the firmament and the strange Udyni ply the myriad islands bobbing hither and yon between the land and water therein feasting of fish and men alike, does a gods awakening draw near. And the world falls silent.

The dream of a god is no passing thing, and so it is for the sleeping god which the river-men call Elaadi, and others call the green spirit, the dreamer and a thousand other names though the god knows neither name nor time himself, only the sweetness of life's sorrows and the shoots that herald the coming spring. The very forest is filled with his presence and filled with vibrant life and abiding shadow. Life lives, and dies. Time passes, and the once hospitable woods become filled with beauty and terror alike. Great trees roiling like waves of a great sea and creatures so fair to behold that men weep at their passing shadows, yet a beauty which does not abide those who sing songs out of tune with the song of its sleeping master, for no aberrant chorus can rouse the god before the appointed time. Only those who forswear the axe and live in harmonious accord to the dreaming of the god may endure long in this place.

And the god dreams and remembers. Remembers that of ages long past and of things that are and are yet to come to pass. He remembers the time before the race of mortals trod upon the sacred earth and called forth stranger and yet familiar gods unto the mortal plane, and of the trembling that disturbed his rest.


Spoiler :
4 magic points - Creation of the Sacred Forest - The influence of the Sleeping God [that the human tribes of the four rivers call Elaadi] affects the eastern forests from the mountains to the sea even unto the islands of the farthest east. The land grows wilder and more vibrant, filled with abundant and beautiful creatures and great trees bearing blessings of many kinds, and yet being filled with nameless terrors who are not necessarily amenable to mortal activities that disturb the dreams of the god. The forests obtain a numinous quality and "presence" of its own so to speak and those who travel hither can do nought but tremble with nameless awe and terror when they set foot within the woods.

1 magic point - banked.
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If you came upon the village, you would be confused. The gates are open, though it is night, and the guards are asleep. They are slumped at their posts, as if they had not a worry in the world.

You might then have tried to find their captain, to complain. After all, how can a village be safe if its keepers are asleep at the post? How can you expect to sell your goods if there’s the fear of wild animals and worse even at it’s heart?

You would likely feel a bit of concern when, upon finding the guard barracks, one sees that all the guards are asleep at their post.

And then, all at once, the silence over the village becomes oppressive. It is night, true, and you should expect silence, to a degree, but this is unnatural. It hits you, then, that the only sound is the whisper of wind, and, maybe, MAYBE, somewhere, something else?

You run through the village in ever increasing panic. Everywhere, you find people, animals, asleep. A milkmaid leaning facefirst into her cow, who himself is gently snoring. A crowd of carousing people, asleep mid-toast, a pool of beer where their hands fell. A pious horde asleep at their pews, while the father snores a thunderous sermon.

It is more than you can bear. You lead the donkey carrying all of your goods away from the village. The night is dangerous, true, but the next village should only be an hour’s hard ride away. You’ll tell them what you found, and they’ll send help. They have wizards, probably, and whatever fell sorcery was laid upon this village, you are sure they can break... with you far away.

But you get to the next village, a much larger one than the first, and you despair. It is the same scene.

Everyone is asleep.



You can hear, somewhere, the crying of a baby. Concern and fear war within you. What kind of child would still be awake when nothing else is? But your fear is beaten, you can’t leave a child alone in potential danger.

You follow your ears to the village square. It is still dark, but the moon shines bright, and you can see clearly.

The crying comes from a bundle of rags at the foot of the mausoleum. Your eyes must still be adjusting: For a moment, the bundle of rags looks like nothing more than a hole in the very fabric of reality, and then it looks like a hunched old man, but, as you get closer, you see that it is a baby, wrapped up in soft cloth. Your trained eye see that they are of fine make, but, more importantly, you see the baby.

It is a boy, with nice tanned skin and curled black hair. He looks up at you with the strangest eyes: One is pale blue, the other is pitch black. You flinch away at the unnaturalness.

And then he smiles at you, and it all melts away. This will be the son you never had. He will grow big and strong and healthy. You will teach him numbers and letters and he will learn the trade, and together you will build the biggest, best, trade empire the world has seen.

Spoiler :

The emergence of the unnamed God sends the entirety of the kingdom to sleep for eighteen years. At the end of that time, they wake, unchanged from when they fell asleep, but confused. Each had lived rich and fulfilling lives in their dreams, and reality now seems a bit warmer. (3 magic point)

Some of these dreamers have become something a bit more, or a bit less, than human. Always a bit of their soul remains in the dreamland, and so will that of their children. They slip effortlessly into sleep, they breathe and eat dreams, and have some measure of ability over those others. Nobody knows why they were chosen, or if they were chosen, of it was a happy accident that has given these folks ability. (1 magic points) They come together, over time. They find each other, one at a time, and gather, and talk, and realize that there was a common element in all the dreams in that 18 years. There is a parent, a mother, a father, and a child, a son, a daughter, a niece, a nephew, with eyes of blue and black. They wonder who this is, and why this is, and resolve to find this being. (1 civilization points)

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A star unlooked for, falling now, bathed in burning light. Few notice as it passes bound earthward on its course. This is by design, and so it takes the lonely path. Such eyes that chance upon it simply refuse to see, an old forgotten instinct to protect the mind beneath. It falls on snow - silently - no ears around to hear.

An ancient curse has come, a fragment of the cataclysm of night’s first unfurling. It is SHADUR, those grim remains; God made twisted, torn and low. On a cold and icy plain, a black pillar risen up. A tall monolith engraved with a thousand thousand faces, expressions writ both with anguish and with rapture. It whispers now in sibilant tongue, chill night winds wrapping it around - a biddable conveyance - carrying words far and wide to worm beneath the dreams of men. Their hearts are weak and fallible, and so easily seduced.

The listless and the damned, the sorrowful and the weak. All fall gently back into SHADUR’S embrace, and now with purpose they are content.

A man rises in the morning from his rest, but there is something wrong behind the eyes, a sickly tilted smile on the mouth. He sees not his wife and son, hears not their words of love and concern, and so he walks calmly and away. SHADUR is here.

A woman drowns her daughters in the stream one day without knowing why, the faces of her babes turned blue. Here too is SHADUR.

The children of the village all vanished in the night, their trail leading deep into the trackless woods, called ever onward by silent siren song. You need not look for reason, for it is SHADUR.

These haunts are no longer men, no, not quite. They are zemmi, and they are drawn ever northward. They leave strange signs in the depths of the wilderness. Rocks carved as glowering faces, bones to hang from trees in line, bundled feathers tied up with grasses left circled in a field. These are harbingers, some say. But of an end, or a beginning?

Spoiler :
the Whispering Wind - 3 Magic Points - a voice that whispers wickedly, revenge without surcease. The zemmi come unto its power, a curse upon mankind.

a Memory of Night - 1 Magic Point - A conflagration when darkness came.

Reserves: 1 Magic Point
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First there is fire, and heat, then there is water. First Colcoletzl is not, then He is.
He swims to learn the home he has been given - the vast and beautiful sea and he loves it with the ferocity of an exploding volcano. Everything is so beautiful!
And so for hundreds upon hundreds of years, Colcoleztl swam learning every inch of his domain. But it was a lonely life. And he heard from the chittering of the fish folk about a new and dangerous and foolhardy creature - humans. Humans who had the power even to kill a god.
This gave Colcoleztl pause. He had never defined what he is to himself, he had simply known that he was the biggest predator in the ocean - immortal unchanging and unchallengeable - a predator among predators. But God, is that what he is? And so he felt drawn by loneliness and curiosity to learn about humans.
He crashed upon the shore near where the Xtri live and created a volcano. This volcano was magnificient surely an excellent present to these humans? And the volcano spewed and spewed forth magma and ash for days on end, nearly destroying the Xtri people.
Colcoletzl gazed dejectedly upon his work and returned to the sea.
But the volcano he had sent forth had been a boon to the Xtri in one way - the volcanic ash made the soil of the Xtri nutrient rich and able to sustain more crops than ever before.

God: Colcoleztl, a sea dragon born from an exploding underwater volcano
(I've never played an NES before but this looks really fun. I think I'll give it a shot.)

All around the planet, Gods, Heroes, and Men compete, war, and slaughter one another. Followers of Gods follow them blindly to their deaths. Self-proclaimed Heroes seek to put an end to these Gods but are often just as evil. Mortal armies clash against each other, seeking fame, glory, and conquest. All around, there is turmoil and chaos.

One Republic rises.

The sound of drumbeats ring across the world. Armies stand ready to do their bloody business. Heroes stand ready to reenact their endless struggle with Gods. Gods look upon the mortal realm with contempt for its peoples and for those who would dare challenge them.

One Republic leads.

The great Prophecy among realms of man speaks thus:
"In the time of greatest bloodshed

In the time of darkest war

One Republic shall bring peace

One Republic shall end war

This Republic shall rule all

And part the darkness so long as it stands

But should this glorious empire Fall

Darkness shall forever rule the Lands."

The flag of Terres. The gold wreath and white stripe represent the victory and peace promised by the Prophecy, the red bar represents glory and sacrifice, and the blue represents cities and prosperity.

A great city stands among the northern Human former tribes, establishing dominion over the peoples it rules. Its name is Sommos.1
Ever since the last king of the city was banished, the Republic of Sommos had expanded and united the Human tribes, disbanding old tribal structures and establishing new sub-councils who send elected representatives to the City itself. Culture flourishes within Sommos and what is perhaps the world's greatest legal code was forged by this republic. (2 Civilization points.) Peace and prosperity flourish within the Republic, but multiple councilors call for the expansion of the city once more into the neighboring uncivilized tribes.

Spoiler :

A picture of the city of Terres. This particular area is rather rugged, but most of it is rather flat - but that does not diminish its splendor.

Sommos does not have a state religion other than the great Prophecy (1 Magic point) - all Citizens must accept it, but if they do, they may worship as they please. This makes conquest by Sommos perhaps one of the better options for a tribe to choose - they know that should they submit, they can trade their autonomy for peace and prosperity. However, the barbarians of the neighboring peoples might need some convincing to join Sommos - and the Republic stands ready to do so with its mighty armies. (2 Civilization points.)

The people of Sommos heavily look down upon slavery, and it is abolished entirely within the city itself. In addition, more conservative members of the Great Council view the Gods with scorn and contempt, as puppetmasters playing with the peoples and empires of the world as playthings and not sentient beings. However, these people are but a minority in the Council as the rest do not wish to anger the myriad dieties of the world. However, this may still put them at odds with them...

The Terres language is unique and, at times, hard to understand. Below is a helpful guide to translating Terres text.

1: Sommos is the name used by the Republic itself, but most foreign powers call it Terres due to a translation failure. General dislike of Terres by foreign kingdoms and empires cause Terres to be the predominant term used by foreign powers.
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The Obsidian God, the Warlord, the Lightbringer, King of Swords, Enamon. The Lord whose domain is the Edge.

God is not named after the title of the warlord. The title is named after the God.

The Obsidian God lords over the dominion of the Edge and Divisions: the phenomenon in which one thing is divided into many parts, or redefined through a pointed object.

He was there when the first child was divided from its mother's womb. He was there when the first head was divided from its body. He was there when the first empire was born from the crucible of fire and blades. He was there when the first mapmaker divided the continent into nations. He was there when the first stones of the first temple was divided from the mountain. He will be there at the end, when the last life is divided from its corpse.

In the ancient days, the Warlord cleaved the world in two, splitting the land from the sky. This was the first division.

He carved lines into the earth that became the river and seas. He carved apart the stones and dirt into continents and mountains. This was the second, third, and fourth divisions.

The Warlord is the Lord of Edges. He does not merely cut or divide. His edges define and redefine the world, creating new things from the old. Those who follow in his footsteps and take up the blade to redefine the world in blood and division become Warlord in turn.

When the first kingdoms and empires arose, they consecrated their borders defined through blood and sacrifice in the Warlord's name, and there he resides.

In times immemorial, the Warlord waged endless campaigns against the other gods, only to be betrayed in his moment of need by the Doormaker. In frustration, the warlord smashed his blade against the earth, carving a great gap in the earth that became the Bay of Past. A shard of his great sword was left in the wake of destruction, still trembling in rage after so many years.

This piece of Death (again, the word is named after the blade, not the other way around) still remains to be found.

(Create magical artifact, 2 Magic Point)

Meanwhile the Doormaker continues to wage her war against the Warlord in order to claim dominion over Boundaries.

(Create Demigod, 3 magic points).
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Thanks, Seon. I may need to make a few adjustments to fit into the backstory, but I'm quite pleased with these. The Warlord, however; even if he's meant to be the personification of war, I'd prefer some sort of local name for consistency. I also think I need to hear a bit more about Doormaker.
Thanks, Seon. I may need to make a few adjustments to fit into the backstory, but I'm quite pleased with these. The Warlord, however; even if he's meant to be the personification of war, I'd prefer some sort of local name for consistency. I also think I need to hear a bit more about Doormaker.

He is not, in fact, a personification of war. He is the personification of borders, boundaries, and sharp definitions.

He uses his blade to carve the world, creating new definitions through divisions rather than pure creation. War is simply the most common and most powerful ways for humans to do this, but really, his precept does not necessarily require violence.

If a group of humans decide that the other tribe living up on that hill are douches, and tell them that they can't cross this stream to the former's territory, that will be a manifestation of the Warlord's precept just as much if said humans decided to go club everyone on the hill to death. The former redefines the stream as a Border and serves to define the two group of humans as being Separate. The latter drives the border into chaos of jagged, but nevertheless very clear lines defined by men and blood shed.

Anyone who follows in his footsteps, taking up arms or pen to redefine the world into sharper edges take on his name and title: Warlord. His clients are warlords, conquerors, xenophobes, technocrats, philosophers, and ideologues.

He has a very complicated relationship with the Doormaker, a lesser but rather wily demi-goddess, and is constantly feuding with her for the dominion of Boundaries. The Doormaker is a ward that he picked up during his campaigns in eons immemorial. As her name suggests, she is the maker of doors, and her dominion is Entry and Gateways.

Her dominion implicitly accepts the existence of sharp boundaries, but also serves to undermine it by allowing passage from one side to the other.
Just to warn you, I am probably going to be very averse to the Warlord due to Terres' bubbling antitheist tendencies and using conquest to put an end to borders and war as opposed to expanding them. I imagine that any Warlordist empires will most likely be very much in conflict with Terres.

If you're ok with this, then so am I, I guess.
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