Valacia Campaign Notes

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Re: Valacia Campaign Notes

Postby silarion » 06 Dec 2012, 23:07

The Northern Kingdom: (Approx. 350,000)

Under the auspices of Forseth’s blessing, The Northern Kingdom has grown from a mere idea to a thriving metropolis. As if moved by some unseen impulse, people from all over Valacia –including most of the surviving population of Stelville and the Tuad nation – the Esterwall, and Vaedijhal immigrated. Wanderers even arrived from places far across Terrestia, some claiming to have done so on purpose; while others, bewildered, said that they were going about their daily business and suddenly were far from their homes, creating an extremely diverse kingdom.

Monopolizing the magic item trade from Vaedijhal and developing a sophisticated metallurgic and crated materials, the Northern Kingdom quickly became wealthy and prosperous. The combination of many different peoples from across Terrestina allows new advancements and materials to be made lost since ancient days. Architectural wonders and artistic masterpieces are created, leading to a new golden age whose effects spread across the continent. Soon with the help of the Eladrin and the Elves, airships and fleets carry northern goods far and wide.

Three major cities have grown in this overwhelmingly urban society

Capital City: Elfroad (pop. 150,000) Ruled by King Garron and Queen Ti-On Aamatiir.

A thriving city, Elfroad has grown into a thriving metropolis with the incorporation of much of the former population of Stelville. Enriched by the magic item trade, the city has become a haven for artists and magic craftspeople. Many of the buildings look as if they were grown from the ground, works of living stone of almost unsurpassed beauty. Even common workshops exhibit a utilitarian form that reflects some deep inner beauty.

A fortified city, the walls of Elfroad are grown from the earth and fused with the bedrock in a process discovered by an unlikely couple composed of an elf and a dwarf. Made of a single sheet of rock, its high towers soar above the plane and both mages and far sighted riflemen keep watch for the inevitable invasion. The garrison is well manned and extremely well trained by the Crown Prince, Jamis. Using newly improved firearms and advanced infantry techniques, they are prepared to both defend the city and march to war against the Necromancer when the time comes.

Architectural Wonders:

The Pantheon: Shortly after the rediscovery of the Titanomachy, the king commissioned a great temple be built to honor the gods. Drawing in artists from all over Terrestria, the building hearkens to an age long past, full of ancient holy relics. Rivaled in size only by the castle and the mage’s guild in the whole kingdom, the building consists of one large room with four sides, different gods arranged by alliances. Next to each shrine is a larger than life chair carved to represent each god’s domain. Strangely, it is impossible to sit in them.

The temple has become a microcosm of society, with different races and religious orders making pilgrimages to see not only the Titanomachy but also the place that is widely held to be the meeting place of the gods. Additionally, a semi-permanent sect of Kolos’ priests have taken up residence in front of the painting, claiming it as a holy relic of their god. The shrines are tended by a new holy order – the Dawnbringers – who make sure the proper rites are observed and keep pilgrims from different religions from fighting. Additionally, the order is charged with identifying persons of interest who enter the city, reporting directly to the King’s court.

The Castle, Watcher’s Haven: Built originally as a gatehouse to guard the southern road to Vaedijhal, Watcher’s Haven has grown from its humble origins to a fortified castle. From the central keep, tall walls, grown from the ground of a single stone surround both the Haven and the town. Four towering spires reveal the landscape for miles and provide a vantage point for the city’s highly trained mages and riflemen. On the central tower, a large jewel glints, from where it is said, the king keeps watch on the whole world.

The Army:

Relatively small (approx. 30,000) but extremely well trained, the main army of the Northern Kingdom maintains its garrison in Elfroad, though it is often on patrol. Focusing on superior weaponry and tactics as opposed to brute force, the soldiers of the Northern Kingdom use both firearms and small groups tactics to maintain battle readiness. Soldiers train for a number of different possible scenarios, including Fay, Necromancer, and Lower Planar incursions, in addition to traditional mortal warfare. Additionally, they have drilled in a maneuver designed to get small units through portals before they close, allowing for unsurpassed mobility through the kingdom’s network.

The core of the city’s defenses are physical and magical in nature. The army utilizes the most advanced and reliable of firearms, coupled with excellent officers and preparation. In addition to standard shot, it is known that the king maintains stores aimed to combat specific threat, including mountains of cold iron and electrum shot. In addition to his local forces, most of the royal family and high nobility are accomplished mages and are armed with new siege and tactical spells created by the king and his allies. Finally, it is said that the King has secured a great weapon of the ancient world from the clutches of the Necromancer.
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Re: Valacia Campaign Notes

Postby Iunnrais » 15 Jan 2013, 22:00

Quintessence

Quintessence is the fundamental energy of actual existence. All things are possible, but only things with quintessence are true and real. Beings known as gods, devils, and demons instinctivly utilize quintessence in its raw form as both food, and as power for their magic. Other beings, such as fae, are also known to utilize quintessence, but do not require it as gods do.

There are four types of safely collectable quintessence, plus a theoretical and unusable form. The three types are mostly utilized the same way, but are collected in very different manners.

Platonic Quintessence

Platonic Quintessence is not tangible in any real way, and is theoretical in nature. The theory is that Platonic Quintessence exists in some other state of being, and then coelesces naturally into what we call a dimension. Platonic Quintessence is thus the pre-reality reality that provides the dimensional framework for anything to even begin to contemplate to exist.

Resonance

Resonance is the "rawest" form of Quintessence that is safe to handle, and considered by mages to be the hardest to utilize properly. If Platonic Quintessence is the framework, Resonance is Quintessence that leaks out of that framework. Certain locations in reality are damaged, and through the wound, a form of quintessence leaks into the world.

This form of Resonance is dangerous to mortals, as it carries with it taint from the wound that allowed it to leak through. It can be utilized much as any other type, but can harm the gatherer in the process. The manner of harm depends on the nature of the wound.

However, reality wounds are not the only method of gaining resonance. Individuals in possession of large amounts of Quintessence are able to bestow it upon others via magical ritual, and this ritual converts the quintessence from whatever form it had been in previously, to resonance. The downside to quintessence in this form is that the ritual also binds the target to obedience. This geas can be dispelled by the recipient at any time, but only by giving up the quintessence.

As a side note, this same ritual is capable of bestowing quintessence upon objects, which can aid in the creation of Artifacts.

Faith and Glory

Faith and Glory can be considered to be "refined" Quintessence. The faction of immortal beings known as gods (as opposed to devils or demons) were against the idea of damaging the world they lived in merely to survive, and so created machines that slowly, carefully, and safely refine Platonic Quintessence into a form more usable. The machines were called "mortals", and the refined form of Quintessence, "Faith".

Faith is the initial gathering of Platonic Quintessence into the world, stored with the mortal. Faith is unfortunately not a usable form of quintessence*, nor is it transferable, and individuals are capable of storing only a very limited amount of Faith; any extra is simply not generated. The rate at which Platonic Quintessence is converted into Faith varies from individual to individual, lying on a bell curve. Those with exceptional faith are highly sought after by deities, because while Faith is not transferable, and can only be stored in very limited amounts, it can be refined further into Glory, which is by its nature transferable, easily stored by anyone with a mind, and safe.

Faith is converted into Glory via a number of mechanisms well known to gods, but tend to revolve around intense emotion. Once in Glory form, the refining mortal has no conscious volition for the Glory-- it will be transferred to the object of the emotion. It is theoretically possible for Glory to remain in the refining mortal, but this almost never happens.

Due to the nature of Faith and Glory, Glory is the measuring stick by which mages have learned to measure Quintessence at all. The maximum amount of Glory that can be transferred from one average individual at their peak of faith is 1 Unit Degree of Quintessence.

*Only one individual is known to have figured out how to utilize raw faith, known as Lord Vesk. In Saurivesk, whatever faith was stored within a mortal as he or she died is somehow transferred to Vesk in a usable form.

Power

Power is a degraded form of Quintessence. When an individual stores Glory or Resonance (or even Power) within them, a small percentage of this Quintessence can be gathered upon that individual's death, while the remaining quintessence simply dissipates, presumably returning to its Platonic state.

Uses of Quintessence

Devils, demons, and gods all require quintessence as sustenance, much as mortals require food and air. For a mortal, the simple possession of a sufficient amount of quintessence is enough to grant significant power. These people with such bounty are known as "Paragons" and "Epics".

However, the simplest usage of Quintessence is in making something real, such as splitting off a new timeline via the Etherial Realm. Any mortal with sufficient quintessence can attempt this via use of the various Etherial Gates located at strategic positions throughout Terrestria, and it does not require any special knowledge or study to do so. Simply attempting to make changes to the Etherial, or to exit via an Etherial Gate that you did not enter, will drain quintessence from the individual.

A parallel usage of Quintessence may be found in the Shadow Realm, where the changes are known as the art of Prophecy instead. Doing so is either so random as to be explosively dangerous, or requires years of dedicated study in the art, the basics of which are barely scratched at today.

As mentioned earlier, Quintessence may be utilized in the creation of magical artifacts, or even simply as ritual spell components.

Further uses of Quintessence exist, and the gods know more about its usage, but these uses are unknown to mortal wizards.
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Re: Valacia Campaign Notes

Postby Iunnrais » 29 Apr 2013, 16:26

The Kingdom of Flowers

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Re: Valacia Campaign Notes

Postby Iunnrais » 28 Jan 2014, 11:50

Olathakzil - The Dark Continent

Overview
Named for being the homeland of the Drow, Olathakzil is the western of the two southern hemisphere continents.

It is home to five primary regions--
  • The Halfling Principalities of Laima
  • The monster infested plains of Crohear
  • The Theocracy of Dianur
  • The Haunted Jungles of Adelese
  • The Frozen Wastes of Hazai-Nam

The Halfling Principality of Laima

Terrain
Laima is a humid subtropical penninsula country with shores bordering Diesin's Passage, the Fire Sea, and the Endis Straight. It consists of four topographical regions--
  • A mountain range known as Greymouth
    • featuring Blacktooth Peak, a tall mountain somehow devoid of snow
  • A large coastal forest region known as the Verdan Wood
  • A steppe scattered with large monolithic stone mesas, typically taller than they are wide
  • A fertile watershed and non-forested coastal region that is unfortunately too close to Crohear to be safe for farming
    • This fertile region is ruled by Marquesses instead of Baronesses, considered to be an honor to constantly defend against monstrous incursions

Government
  • Laima is a Matriarchal Militaristic confederation of fortified lands.
The region is loosely unified under the banner of a single Queen and her King-Consort, whose primary role in government is diplomacy between the individual principalities, and organizer of the Princesses during time of war. The Queen has no local authority, and no civil powers at all.

Each Princess is responsible for maintaining a significant military force in her region, and is expected to at least be a military tactician if not actually lead troops from the front. Contests and disputes between Principalities are not unheard of, but are typically discouraged by the Queen.

Fortress holdings, known as Holts, are run by lower ranks. Civil matters do not follow the Matriarchy, and are male run.

Titles in order of Rank
  • Queen
  • King-Consort
    • Princess
    • Prince
    • Prince Consort (civil rank only)
    • Court Princess (civil rank only)
      • Duchess
      • Duke
      • Earl (civil rank only)
        • Countess
        • Count
        • Vicount (civil rank only)
        • Vidame (civil rank only)
          • Marquess (aka, Vanguard Baroness)
          • Margrave (aka, Vanguard Baron)
          • Baroness
          • Baron
          • Lord (civil rank only)
          • Lady (civil rank only)
            • Knight

On Halflings...
The Book of Alura designates Halflings as the first mortals created by the gods, and a favorite of Alura, leading anthropologists from the Alden School of Historical Studies to classify halflings as "Proto-Humans" (a term considered offensive to actual Halflings). It goes on to say that halflings were designed with peace and harmony in mind, blessed with fertility and an innate knowledge of farming.

Typical height for a halfling is around 4 feet tall, but individuals may come to full adult size as low as 3 feet, and rarer individuals may reach up to 5 feet.

Local Wildlife
Laima is home to a native population of Green and Bronze dragons, who occasionally interfere with the halflings sufficiently for knights to have to engage in dragonslaying. The mountains are also home to White dragons, but they don't leave the mountains often enough to even be considered a nuisance, and are in fact considered to be beautiful and majestic in form by many halflings.

The plains of Laima are home to quite a bit of game, including Elk and Moose, supporting a substantial wolf population. The halflings have bred these wolves into domesticated Wargs, which both keep the wild wolves away from livestock, but also serve as mounts for the nobility.

Customs
Religion
  • Most of the pantheon is recognized and worshiped by Laiman Halflings, with a state recognized emphasis on Custos.
    • This emphasis on Custos leads to a tradition expecting Honor of their military and nobility.
  • Laiman Halflings respect, but keep their distance from Dianurian Priests.

City Structure
  • Holts are fortresses preferably carved into tall, narrow mesas that scatter the Laiman territory.
    • Surrounding the Holts are typically large fields where cattle, sheep, and other livestock are kept-- in addition to the primary steed of Laima, trained and carefully bred Wargs.
    • Agrarian farms are very rare and account for a very small portion of the Laiman diet.
  • Laima trades extensively with Owier Maekri and the Seafarers, from whom they obtain enchanted objects, particularly arms and armor.

Military
  • Laiman military is organized by its nobility, and relies primarily on mounted Knights, lowborn pikemen and archers, and a combination of seige engineers and battle wizards. Both male and female halflings can be found in all positions.
    • Halfling Knights typically ride Wargs instead of horses or ponies. These Wargs are extensively trained and bred, and come in as many breeds and levels of quality as horses.
    • Lowborn Halflings are still expected to engage in at least some military training, both men and women. The pike and shortbow are the most commonly trained weapons, but they are also expected to have some experience with sword and sheild or sword and dagger techniques. Lowborn Halflings are forbidden to ride Wargs, although they may raise and tend to them.
    • Halfling Seige Engineers are far more common than Halfling Wizards, but magical talent is not shunned in Laima. There are two small Wizard Schools (no mage guilds) that train aspirants in battle magic. Both schools teach a variety of battlefield magic, but one is more known for its explosive evocations, while the other tends to focus on terrain modification and occasionally will assist communities with more mundane issues.

History
Records are unclear, but Laiman tradition holds that in the dawn of mortal history, Halflings were nearly slaughtered to the man by Elves, during which time their military tradition formed. The military tradition became a bureaucratic institution during the Age of Peace, until the War of the Necromancer caused them to reinstate the positions of Queen and Princess to lead the Holts to war.

More recent history (within the past few millenia) has found conflicts with Eladris to be quite common. Even in times of "peace", incursions from Crohear are a regular (even seasonal) ocurrance, and a generation rarely goes by that a handful of Drow do not attempt to leave their jungles via Diesin's Passage.

Laima is the occasional ally of the Kingdom of Flowers during wars versus Eladrin. This alliance is typically shaky, as the Kingdom of Flowers finds Laima's reliance on enchanted weapons extremely distastful, and there has even been war between the nations in the past 300 years.

Notable Figures
  • Queen Nilna
    • Somehow officially recognized as an Epic by the gods, Queen Nilna nevertheless has never been seen directly in combat, and lacks any known magical talent. She is beloved by her people, and there has not been a civil war during the entire duration of her reign-- a feat nearly unheard of in Laiman history.
  • King Bonalas
    • King Bonalas became a renowned wizard during his reign, and has been officially denounced by the Kingdom of Flowers as an Enemy of All Existence. He regularly deals with assassins, but has been successful in repelling them all so far.
Iunnrais
 
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