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Encyclopedia of the "Daughter of Krypta" Series

 
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Noman



Joined: 28 Jun 2005
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 PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:10 pm    Post subject: Encyclopedia of the "Daughter of Krypta" Series Reply with quote Back to top

Places

ThistleWood:

Overview: This small village is the original home of Lydith, Talos, Megan, Tomas, and Sharielle. The economy is primarily based on agriculture, but other secondary economic activities, such as woodcutting or carpentry, bolster the wealth of the village. The population of ThistleWood is approximately 650 in the village borders, with well over a thousand more people living in the surrounding farms and houses.

History: Thistlewood was founded in K.A. 1358, during the "making of kingdoms" (see History of Ardania for details), making Thistlewood one of the newer villages in Ardania's history. People still speak of their "enterprising forefathers" and how they conquered the land with their plows and hoes. It is likely that shepherds and nomads roamed the land that is now ThistleWood for well over a thousand years, long before the village was officially founded.

People:

People of northern Ardanian stock live in Thistlewood, along with a small number of immigrants who came down from the northern reaches. The village and its surrounding areas are 100% human, with no minorities of any non-human race. The majority of people are either farmers or herders, and almost everyone keeps a small garden. There are also lumberjacks, a few smiths, and an inn-keeper.

The richest man in the town is the tax collector, who also writes up an annual report on the economy of the town. Lately, things have not been going as well for all citizens as they once did (see economy for details.)
The life expectancy for most citizens of Thistlewood is about average for Ardania: about 50 years (which is quite long considering the lack of modern medicine and sanitation, as magic partially replaces this.)
Although most people get enough food to eat, the problem is that there is an insufficient variety of food for most people. What one person mainly eats is determined by what profession he or she is in. for example, a wheat farmer would mostly eat bread, and sell what he could not eat, or a dairy farmer would have access to much milk and cheese, but not much else. In relation to most Ardania, the citizens of ThistleWood are not too badly off.

Economy:

The economy of Thistlewood is almost entirely based on agriculture. Main crops include wheat, corn, barley, oats, and beans. Secondary products include poultry, eggs, hay, dairy, fruits and vegetables, and root crops. Most years, an annual surplus is reported. Animals products are also important, with sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, horses, oxen, and cattle being raised. Products from these animals include wool, leather, beef, milk, and mutton, along with their manual labor.

Beside farming and raising animals, a few other major ecomomic activities take place. Of these, milling grain into flour is important. There is a windmill on one of the highest hills near the edge of the village which provides flour to the local bakers. Other economic activities include, but are not limited too, wood cutting, shoemaking, tanning (the worst job in ThistleWood, as the tanner goes to outhouses to collect ammonia for his work), brewing ale (in one small brew house), whitesmithing (working with non-ferrous metals such as tin or pewter), and blacksmithing (working with iron, steel, or another ferrous metal.)

The most pressing economic issue is the fact that ThistleWood is slowly becoming a sharecroppers society. Large tracts of farmland and grazing land have come under the ownership of a few powerful landlords, one of which is the village's tax collector. This has led to hardship for many of the smaller farmers who cannot compete with the larger estates that are being formed by the landlords.

There are only about a dozen full-time merchants in ThistleWood, as most people who sell goods are farmers who cart thier goods into market
straight from the fields. The few shops that do exist are gathered around the village square. The square consists of an open area with a well at its center, with shops surrounding the open space, as well as an area for common grazing grounds for animals. Also in the square is an area for a stockade, where criminals who have committed minor crimes are punished. There are also a few houses next to the square, including that of the tax-collector.

Overall, Thistlewood is a small village, with a small economy to match.


Conclusion: ThistleWood is a small village, but it should be noted that some of the finest young heroes that Ardania has ever seen have come from the village, such as Lydith, Talos, or Megan. It remains to be seen exactly what it is that makes such a small village generate so many notable indivduals for its small size and casual conditions.

Deepen Dale:

Overview: Deepen Dale is a thriving trading town of about 7,400 people, plus several thousand more who live around the city in nearby towns, farms, and villages. The economy is based on trading and making of goods by skilled artisand and craftsman, such as pottery and carpentry.

History: Not long ago, Deepen Dale was a small town of no more than about 1,200 people, with an economy based on agriculture. Since the opening up of new trade routes to the kingdoms of Meridia, Burman, Va'en, and Kosinth, the town's economy has flourished. Few could have predicted that this town, founded in 1231 K.A. would become the trading center for the surrounding region. The fact that Deepen Dale has flourished is even more amazing when one consides that the town was nearly wiped out by a drought in 1441 K.A.
Today, Deepen Dale is one of the fastest growing towns in all of Ardania.

People:

Given its vast and flourishing trade, it is no surprise at all that Deepen Dale have a large diversity of people. Humans make up the dominant group, with about 70% of the population. Elves make up another 15%, and the remaining 15% is made up of dwarves, gnomes, and even a few goblins and other peoples.

Unlike the more egilitarian villages in the surrounding region, where most people are landed farmers (although landlords are starting to consolidate large estates), the society of Deepen Dale is quite stratified. At the top are the big merchants who run trading companies. Below them are the landowers in the town who own estates in the countryside and own houses and inns in Deepen Dale itself. It should be noted that the big merchants also own large tracts of land; they just keep their estates as back-up in case their mercantile ventures get into trouble.
Below the wealthiest two classes oif merchants and landlords are the middle classes of professionals and artisans. These people include scribes, smiths, potters, bakers, brewers, butchers, and medium sized merchants, as well as many other professions. In addition to independent workers, some people work as part of a guild, such as the shoemaker's guild, or the order of the smithy.
Under the middle class there is the working class of people who are just above the poverty line. These people include small shop owners and minor innkeepers, apprentices, peddlers, lumberjacks, hunters, fishers (who catch fish in the nearby rivers), and minor famers (who live near the town, rather than in it, along with the hunters and fishers.)
Finally, there is the lower class, which includes, among other undesirable jobs, streetcleaners, gravediggers, beggars, manual laborers, tenant farmers, failed merchants, and criminals.

Economy:

Many, many goods are traded through the town of Deepen Dale. These goods include, but are certainly not limited to: Grains, metals, furs, wood, wines and related products (especially sour wine), meats (usually dried), livestock, leather, dye, salt, wool, clay, amber, pottery and cloth.

One of the features of Deepen Dale's economy is the concentration of wealth in the upper classes. This has put strain on the lower and middle classes, as they get an ever smaller piece of and ever larger economy. Currently, the rate of economic growth is such that the income of all classes is rising, but when compared to the new wealth of the upper classes, the rise in wealth of the middle and lower classes is slow, and wages for the working class are nearly stagnant. If there should ever be an economic slowdown or a recession, it will be felt very hard on the middle and lower classes. This is a cause for concern.

The reason for Deepen Dale's success is its location; one can easily trade with the newly absorbed treaty kingdoms (see the four kingdoms above) which have autonomy, but bow down to the king of Ardania as their ruler.
Deepen Dale is also fortunate to be built on a major road, leading to several major cities in the proximity of the Hellfire mountains. From Deepen Dale, one can easily reach such cities as Basille or Necrosellum.
This has attracted many travelers and with them come much commerce.

The economic prognosis for Deepen Dale is good, and it appears that it will continue to be so for many years.

Conclusion: Deepen Dale is one of the fastest-paced towns in all Ardania. Although it cannot be compared to the great cities in terms of absolute wealth, its relative economic growth rate is quite high. This has made Deepen Dale an important trading center.

Necrosellum:

Overview:

Necrosellum is the capital of the worshippers of Krypta, and an important city. It has a population of 156,972 as of the most recent census. The economy is largely based on the temples to Krypta and on the convent of Krypta, where the priestesses train. Other major structures include the ancient palace where the governor resides, the Kryptan library, the ancient catacombs underneath the city, the largest mausoleum in Ardania,
the tomb of the founders of the city, the largest mortuary in Ardania and a temple to Fervus.

History:

To know the history of Necrosellum is to know the history of Krypta, as the two are inextricably linked. Necrosellum is one of the most historic cities in Ardania, having been founded in 642 K.A. by the followers of Krypta and (or so it is said) Krypta herself. Due to the start of the Necrolyte wars, the city of Necrosellum had to develop defenses early on, and build up quickly. In order to build the city defenses in time, creulty and forced labor were used, as well as using the undead as workers. Originally, over half a million worshippers of Krypta came to the area where Necrosellum would be.

Within 10 years, half of them would be dead, mostly due to the Necrolyte wars, and the other half were kept in a state of brutal slavery not seen since the time of the Serpent Empire. This cruelty has left the followers of Krypta, and indeed, Necrosellum itself, with a stigma of darkness and to most, evil.


One of the reasons for the Necrolyte wars was custody of the land where Krypta had once dwelled. It is a known fact that Krypta was once a Goddess of both life and death, and that she was injured in a battle with an unknown force. In order to recover, she, like her grandfather, Krolm, before her, rested for several years, filling the land that would become Necrosellum with her magic. Her rest would last from about K.A. 632 to K.A. 637, using her magic to sustain her mortal body. It is also believed that during this time, Krypta underwent a "dark sleep" similar to that of the vampires before they gain their undead status. It is believed that Krypta's magic accidentely affected some of the dead in a graveyard nearby. This may have created the first vampires, although the first "true" undead was the lich queen, the energy needed to have created vampires was there far earlier on, even if it could have taken years, even decades on end for the magic to have effect on what would later become the vampires.


During her resting time, the land developed an indelible link to Krypta. It became almost a part of her, as if it were a living extention of her body. When she woke up, she left the site of what would become Necrosellum and attracted a huge host of followers, revering her as a goddess of both light and dark. This duality would cease after Krypta had an unknown encounter somewhere in the northern reaches, in about K.A. 647. Exactly what had happened is known only by Krypta herself, but whatever happened, it turned Krypta into the goddess of death that we all know her as today. Some historians have suggested that a race of northmen so greatly angered Krypta, if indeed it was her, that she cast them out of their rich land and rose the Spires of Death. One piece of evidence for this are markings found on the spires that match those found on towers in Necrosellum. This is, however, only theory.

The above is relevant because when Krypta became dark, so did her city, and so did her followers. To the Necrolyte kings, life meant nothing. Everyone and everything was considered expendable. During the Necrolyte wars, the city of Necrosellum changed hands over fifty times. Each time the city changed hands, every sort of deprivation and crime there was broke loose in the city. Looting was rampant, and the poor masses of the city rioted with a fury unseen at any other time in Ardanian history.

In 670 K.A., Necrosellum was declared an "open city", with no allegiance to any particular Necrolyte king. Since custody of the city had been one of the primary goals of the Necrolyte wars (along with how to worship Krypta), the wars lost much of their purpose. After 670 K.A. no Necrolyte king could force his will on the city, even with violence. It was then that the entire city stood up as one, and rejected every outside ruler. This made fighting in other areas even more violent, as the Necrolyte kings realized that no one could rule the city. The last Necrolyte king to attempt to rule necrosellum was in K.A. 677. Two years later, the Necrolyte wars came to an end when the other lords of Ardania, fearful of the spread of the violence and sickened by the horrors of the wars, stepped in and put a stop to them.

Ironically, Necrosellum was seen as a city of life for many. Its massive walls offered protection from the Necrolyte wars. The only time Necrosellum was dangerous were the times that the city fell to a Necrolyte lord, and even then, order was restored in no more than a week, even with the horrid barbarities committed during the interlude (looting, murder, rape, vandalism, arson, etc.) In order to pay for the defenses, the taxes of Necrosellum were (and still are, to an extent) very high.

The period of recovery for Necrosellum was long and slow. It took hundreds of years for the city's population to pass 40,000. Furthermore, outside of the Kryptan magic, the land itself had very few natural resources. Food prices were high and so was unemployment. Then, in K.A. 1011, the elves moved in, bringing their money and expertise with them, giving Necrosellum its first strong middle class. Soon, elven shops, gambling halls, and lounges began opening up all over Necrosellum.

But not all was well. While the economy grew, most of the wealth stayed in the hands of a few, namely the rulers and the elves. There were not enough consumers among the general populace in Necrosellum for the elves to make much money, so the elves mainly sold their goods and services to the Priestesses. The arrival of the elves caused social problems as well. Many Necrosellite merchants were angered over the elven competition. The common citizens viewed the elves as unwanted competition for limited jobs. Still other citizens viewed the elves' hedonistic ways as a cultural theat to their way of life. The priestesses, however, appeciated the elven goods and services and continued to give them their patronage. The rulers of the city also appreciated the elves due to the extra tax revenue the elven businesses gave the city.

Still, the one factor which finally brought matters to a head was neither inequality or anger, but rather, it was crime. After an elven gang killed three prominent Necrosellite citizens in K.A. 1202, the Necrosellum citzens riots began. These riots did so much damage to the elven community that to this day, the elven presence in Necrosellum remains confined to just one neighborhood, in the area around Fervus street.

Today, Necrosellum is a moderate-sized city, one which most people tend to avoid due to its affiliation with Krypta.

People:

Most people in Necrosellum are worshippers of Krypta, or at least pay homage to her. The humans living there are mostly from the lands just south of the Hellfire mountains. The elves living there are from the south, many from the central plains. The convent of Krypta attracts young women from all over Ardania to be priestesses; mostly young women who have lost their way or have surrenedered to the seductive power of the darkness of Krypta. Nevertheless, there are those who are genuinely pious and loyal to Krypta; not just women who lust for power.

The class system in Necrosellum is very rigid, with little social mobility.
At the top, are the priestesses. While the priestesses don't actually rule the city, they do have an extreme amount of influence on the governor, who does run the city. Below the priestesses are the landlords, then the large merchants. Below them is the middle class, then the working class, and then the lower class. Most individuals fall into the lowest two classes.

Contrary to popular image, Necrosellum does not have undead walking everywhere in the streets. The undead are rarely seen outside of the temples and convent of Krypt (and other related structures.) Sometimes the undead may be called out to defend the city, or, in some rarer cases, to assist on a building project.

A major theme in Necrosellum is that of class differences. Many common people see the priestesses as greedy people who hoard large sums of gold, and then spend it on things that most other citizens could never afford. To some extent, this is true; some priestesses do amass large amounts of wealth acquired from war plunder, rewards, bounties, and donations. It is ironic that the priestesses, who are supposed to be disattatched from material things, often possess more of them than most people do (although the same cannot be said about initates or acolytes, who are priestesses in training.)

Economy: The economy of Necrosellum is largely based on the temples and convent of Krypta. As a result, most of the city's businesses depend on worshippers of Krypta for their livliehood. Many citizens of Necrosellum make their living off of goods and services provided to the priestesses. These goods include, but are not limited to: food, cloth, dyes (for making robes along with the cloth, wood products (staffs, firewood, etc), ink, paper/parchment, clay/pottery, metals, and glass.

Additionally, many citizens are hired as servants at the temples and
convent of Krypta. Many businesses also sell goods and services to religious pilgrims who come to Necrosellum. The Elves and a temple to Fervus also provide some economic stimulus.

It is a known fact that there is a criminal prescence in Necrosellum, just as there is in most major Ardanian cities. In the past, many criminals or
rogues, have been hired by the rulers of Necrosellum to serve as inexpensive mercenaries. To this day a rogues guild still stands; even though it is officially a "mercenary's guild", most people know that criminals operate there. This has had a negative impact on the economy of Necrosellum, as the high crime rate makes life difficuly for merchants,
traders, artisans, travelers, anyone who is out in a bad part of the city, or anyone who is traveling the streets at night. As a result, most of Necrosellum shuts down after dusk, and, economically, the city "dies", only to be "reborn" again in the day.

The reason why the city is said not to be "asleep" at night is that the very nature of the city changes after dusk, in that criminals, beggars, vagrents, and the rest of the poor come out and infest the city the way maggots infest a corpse. While crime is indeed a major problem in Necrosellum, it should be noted that crime is nowhere near the levels of
Centuria (see Centuria for details.)

Necrosellum's trade depends on a series of four main roads leading into and out from the city. Each of the city's four gates has a road leading to the center of the city, where the governor's palace is located. Each of the roads has a gate on each end in Necrosellum, one in the wall gate, another in the palace gate. Most legal trade is conducted in market places on and near the four main roads. Because of their massive length and width, most merchants travel exclusively along the main roads. All other roads in Necrosellum are very narrow, and often dangerous. Another attractive feature of the main roads is the fact that they are fully paved, while most other roads are made of dirt, partially paved, made from cobblestone, or were at one time paved but very badly eroded and no longer fully paved. If the four roads were to be destroyed, taken, captured, or in any way made unreliable, the economy of Necrosellum would soon collapse.

Conclusion: Necrosellum is known for one thing; that it is the city of Krypta. All other facts are secondary to this fact. Other, smaller influences include the criminals, the Elves, and the temple to Fervus.

Centuria:

Overview: Centuria is a city of about 75,000 people, with a large and powerful criminal prescence. About a third of the city's population is
Elven, and as a result, there are many elven lounges and gambling halls, including one of the largest gambling halls in all of Ardania. Centuria is a known center for many illegal activities, including smuggling, blackmail, extortion, and trade in banned items. Items smuggled into Centuria include intoxicating liquids, illicit plant items, poisons, products from poached animals, stolen goods, certain illegal items of dark magic, and, most terrible of all, people smuggled into slavery (which is illegal in Ardania.)

History: Centuria was founded many years ago in the eastern regions of Ardania, long before the kingdom's northern expansion. At the time of its founding in 1103 K.A. , Centuria was an isolated settlement in the center of an agricultural area, hence its name Centuria. When the new road was built in 1126 K.A., all of this changed. For the first time, new immigrants began to arrive, and in large numbers. Many of them could not find fertile tracts of arable land, and were thus forced to give up hopes of becoming farmers. Many would-be farmers ended up in the city itself, making the population grow rapidly.

Most of these displaced people could not find a job in the town. In order to survive, many of these unskilled workers turned to crime, as they mostly did not have the skills to become merchants, craftsmen, or artisans. To complicate matters further, elves began to arrive in Centuria starting in 1131 K.A., bringing with them a new culture of decadence which infected the entire city. By 1174 K.A., Centuria had become the center of crime in eastern Ardania, with the inaguration of the largest gambling hall in the eastern half of the country. Many criminal guilds set up operations in Centuria, such as the White Orchid guild, the Crimson hand guild, and the
Ardanian Avengers (a group that hates non-human races and turns to crime in order to fund their "war" against "non-human invaders".) In addition, there are many small gangs in the city, some of which breach race lines to include elves, humans, goblins, dwarves, gnomes, and even a few trolls (although this is rare.)

No recent history of Centuria is complete without mentioning the recurring
guild wars which often threaten to overwhelm the city. While small gangs fight each other on a regular basis in Centuria, large guild conflicts are rarer occurances. Often, these conflicts are fought over territory in the city and surrounding countryside. Things at stake include control over farms, elven lounges, inns, gambling halls, shops ( for the protection money that the merchants pay), and tunnels (for smuggling in goods and people unnoticed.)

To this day, Centuria has had several major guild wars, with the possibility of more happening in the near future. Today, Centuria is a dangerous place, and it is inadvisable for most citizens to go there.

People: When Centuria was founded, its people consisted mainly of eastern Ardanian stock. When the road came in, people from all corners of Ardania, including elves and other non-humans, arrived in massive numbers, and in so doing, dramatically altered the demographics of Centuria.

There is a dual class system in Centuria, which is based both on wealth and on one's status in the world of the Rogues. At the bottom of both class scales are those who have no money or status in the guilds. These people include beggars, vagrants, and those low-ranking rogues who have been expelled from a guild. If one is expelled from a guild, it means that the protection that the guild provided is gone, and as a result, guildless rogues will either join another guild, or be killed by criminals from a gang or guild.

Above the lowest of the low, we have the penniless who are associated with a guild, and who at least have a means of protection, and possibly, money (which would make them rise in rank.) These people include spies who gather information on other guilds, under the guise of being a harmless beggar. This group also includes those who play the dangerous game of acting as a secret-seller who goes around to each guild, selling information about other guilds, while having each guild that it goes to think that he is working for them. If caught, such people are always put to death in a horrible way, as to discourage others from being secret-sellers as well. Some of the lowest occupations in Centuria include, but are not limited to: Grave digging, "gong farming" (a nice term for removing manure from the street), manual laboring, and petty theft (if one considers crime to be a job.)

Moving up the social ladder, we have two kinds of lower class merchants and artisans. The lower of these two has no positive connection with the guilds, and is forced to pay protection money with no benfits other than not having thier shops looted and burned. The higher of these two pays protection money, and gives a percentage of thier profits to the rogues in order to pay them to destroy the merchants' competition. Some occupations of this class include: Cooks, potters, mill workers, farmers,
gardeners, and standard rogues (if crime is considered to be a job.)

Above these are the middle-class members of Centurian society. Once again, we have a higher and lower division; between those who benefit from thier alignment with the rogues, and those who suffer at the hands of the rogues. The occupations of the Centurian middle-class include, but are not limited to: Blacksmiths, carpenters, masons, bakers, flectchers, coopers, brewers, vinters, doctors, scribes, poleturners, falconers, and higher-level merchants. Also included here are rogues with some influence, such as mid-level rogue bosses, and direct servants of the rogue leaders. Such crimals get preferential treatment from the leader of the rogue guild.

Finally, on the top of the social ladder, we have the rich of Centuria, ALL of which are associated with rogues in some way. If one Centurian plutocrat (rich person) does not associate him or herself with at least one rogues guild at any time, they run the risk of having themselves and their heirs killed, and their lands taken by the rogues in a guild war. As a result, there are currently no living Centuriam plutocrats who are living who don't associate with the rogues. If one were to come again, then he or she would be assasinated, and his or her property would be fought over by the guilds in a free-for all conflict, with everything the plutocrat owned being up for grabs.

At the very top of the social scale are the guild lords of Centuria. While many guild lords don't actually live in the city, every major criminal organization in Ardania has a presence in Centuria. The social structure of the city is very harsh and dangerous, and no one is safe, least of all the guild lords, who live under constant fear of being killed by their rogue enemies, the forces of the king or Ardania, or by their own men, who might be paid off by a richer guild lord. As a result, every guild lord in Centuria always want to become richer than the others. It is this greed that makes the situation perpetually unstable in the social climate of the city of Centuria.

Economy: The economy of Centuria is quite rich, and does not find itself to be bound by the laws of Ardania. As a result, every sort of good or service that one can imagine can probably be found in the city. Some notable goods that are traded include, but are not limited to: silks, wines, dyes, spices, wool, cloth, porcelin, and illicit substances. Every aspect of Centuria's economy has been penetrated by the rogues, and crime infects everything in the city. Merchants regularly pay protection money, average citizens often find themselves doing jobs for the rogues, and rich people are expected to be associated with the criminals of the city.

Before the criminals moved in, Centuria was a trading center for agricultural goods. Now, Centuria produces many goods, but at the cost of its innocence.

Conclusion: Centuria is a crime-infested city with many diverse people and trades. No aspect of life goes untouched by crime, so no one is ever truly safe in Centuria.

Basille:

Overview: Basille is the fabled city of Dauros, where Paladins go to train and prepare for their lives of devotion to Dauros. The city is run by the monks of Dauros, of which there are many orders, the most famous being the ones who take an oath of silence and wield potent combat magic.

The population of Basille varies from year to year, and is dependent upon the number of Paladins, Monks, pilgrims, and other worshippers of Dauros
that are in the city at any one time. The population of Basille is also dependent on the number of new recruits can be found for paladins and monks each year. As of the most recent count, 258,819 people were living in Basille, with at least 120,000 more coming in for training, pilgrimage, or trade. This number is about the average for the city at any one time.

History: Basille is one of the most storied cities in Ardania. Legend has it that Dauros himself selected the site of Basille, and blessed the land. It is said that the powers of Dauros are stronger here than anywhere else in the entire world.
Basille was founded in K.A. 635. The entire city was planned out ahead of time, with the designs calling for temples, marketplaces, roads, gardens, libraries, and a grand palace. Basille continued to grow for many years. To this day, it has the distinction of being one of the few Ardanian cities never to fall under attack.



Factions

The Worshippers of Krypta

Followers: Priestesses, Acolytes, Initiates, Dark Warriors, Lazari, Skeleton Warriors, and civilian adherents of the faith.

Numbers: Over 20,000 Priestesses, Acolytes, and Initiates; exact number is unknown (not counting the Inner Sect), over 10,000 Dark Warriors, with more being trained, and a variable number of undead, depending on how many the priestesses have summoned at any one time. There is also at least one Lazari, Karn, and perhaps others, but this is as of yet unconfirmed. Additionally, there are about 1 million civilian followers of the faith, but due to the social stigma that being a worshipper of Krypta holds, these numbers are innacurate, and there many be as many as another million worshippers in hiding, for two million in total.

Capital: Necrosellum (population: 156, 972, not including undead or non-citizens.)

History: The followers of Krypta have a long and rich history, starting with the proclamation of the new gods by Makkat the mad in 631 K.A., worship of Krypta has taken root in the eastern regions of Ardania near the Hellfire mountains.
The most important events in Kryptan history include the founding of Necrosellum and the Necrolyte wars. Necrosellum was founded in 642 K.A., the year that Makkat was killed and his crusade ended. In that year, the first Necrolyte war began, when a pair of Necromancer kings started a war which grew out of religous differences on how to worship Krypta and how to wield her power.
The slaughter was terrible. While the rest of Ardania advanced and prospered, the Eastern Provinces bordering the Hellfire mountains
experienced such violence that civilization itself nearly collapsed, after 37 years of intermittant warfare. Eventually, the other lords of Ardania stepped in and put an end to the confilct in 679 K.A., and made the followers of Krypta to make a new vow; to never again allow men to use Krypta's magic, for it was men who had started the conflict. Since almost all of Krypta's followers were men at the time, this had the effect of virtually outlawing the religion entirely.
For 51 years, major worship of Krypta had ceased. Most followers of the death goddess were driven into hiding, where they had to practice their dark arts in secret shrines and altars. Some of these altars were taken over from abandoned shrines to Lunord. Others were orignal construction. Still others were taken or copied from the shrines that Dryads build in the forest. During this 51 year period, the followers of all other major religons kept a close eye out for Kryptan magic, and some nobles made worship of Krypta a crime, often (ironically) punishable by death if caught using dark magic. Necrosellum became an abandoned ruin, inhabited only by vagrant, looters, and criminals.
Then, in 730 K.A., the tide of fortune changed. A massive minotaur attack left much of the kingdom at risk of damage or destruction. In order to save the eastern provinces, the lords of Ardania put out a call for anyone who could stem the dark tide of invading minotaurs. In the end, it was the then illegal followers of Krypta who turned to course of the battle against the minotaurs, killing their leader, and decimating their forces in the battle of Volencia.

From this point on, this, the first day of winter of the year 730 K.A. , the worshippers of Krypta would be allowed, but only if women could wield thier magic, and only under very specific circumstances. To this day, if anyone who isn't a priestess is caught using Kryptan magic, the punishment can be quite harsh, as only the Priestesses know how to wield the magic that most other countries would ban outright.

At first, there were few problems. An order of Priestesses was formed in order to place strict rules on the magic of Krypta to prevent it from being loosed on the land. The congregation was not originally centered in Necrosellum, but rather, in the hidden fortress of the high preistess. It was here that tragedy struck, as the first, and then greatest of all priestesses turned herself into a lich, and proclamied herself the lich queen. This dread event happened in the year 941 K.A.

Since then, the order has been centered at Necrosellum. These days, there is no true high priestess, although that role is filled by the convent mother.

Followers:

Priestesses: Every priestess wears a red robe and wields a staff in order to help her focus her power. Beside the robe, priestesses also wear light shoes or sandals, and wear a shirt and pants, tunic, or leotard. At the insistance of Krypta, they never wear armor. Most priestesses wear white make-up on their faces for religous purposes. Initiates look similar to priestesses save for shorter robes. Acolytes have robes which are longer than those of an initiate, but shorter than those of a priestess.

Practices of the priestesses: Every morning, the priestesses, acolytes, and initaties wake up before dawn for an early devotional to Krtpta. Then, a very light breakfast is eaten at dawn. From there, the acolytes and initiates attend classes, while the full priestesses go about their personal business, pray to Krypta, meditate, or persue bounties for the king, if one has been offered, such as bounties on criminals, enemies, monsters, even wild animals. At about midday, lunch, the largest meal of the day, is eaten, then the priestesses, acolytes, and initaites return to their regular tasks. Later, a light dinner is eaten, after which the priestesses, acolytes, and initiates retire to their rooms.
One interesting thing to note is that unlike most other religious order in Ardania, there are no specific dietary requirements for priestesses. Another thing to note is that orthodoxy (right beliefs) is not considered to be nearly as important as orthopracxy (right actions), and the practices of the priestesses varies from temple to temple, even though the standard practices are set by the convent of Krpyta in Necrosellum.
As a result, other religious orders consider the priestesses to be impious and even materialist. Some go as far to call them hedonistic. All of these accusations are incorrect, biased, and just plain wrong. All orders of Krpyta are (at least ideally), frugal, plain, and require much devotion, time, and energy. The one thing that is a point of contention is the Kryptan's stance on attatchment. In order to maintain cohesion in the order, one is to ideally have no attetchment to anything or anyone else but the order of Krypta and the people within the order. This attatchment also includes one's self, as the power of Krypta is in one's body, not one's soul (such as the adepts or paladins.)
This means that when a follower of Kypta dies, her power is gone, and so is her prescence in the world. Because of this, some followers of Krypta have tried to defy death by becoming undead. This has lead to the rise of the Lich Queen, who, in her quest to keep her power, became attatched to her body and forsake her soul. Ironically, although she was considered to be a great evil by the rest of the priestesses (save for the inner sect), the Lich Queen was, in her own vile way, trying to express an old Kryptan ideal; by worshipping death, she proved her own fear of it, and used her fear and anger to try to get herself more power. This lead to the evil that we all knew as the Lich Queen, and the darkest magic Ardania has ever seen.


Dark Warriors: These fearsome male followers of Krypta wear heavy plate mail armor that is colored black, and use a large, double-bladed axe as their weapon. They also wear a helmet, gauntlets, boots, and wield a knife as a back-up weapon should they ever be unable to use their axe.

Undead: The skeletons of Krypta's forces are stripped of any skin or organs, in order to prevent decay by bacteria, and as a result, infectious diseases from being spread to the priestesses. The skeleton warrior typically wield a sword or a mace, as well as a shield. Some skeleton warriors also have a helmet, or even some chain or plate armor.
The Lazari, on the other hand, wear huge suits of full plate mail armor, and wield massive swords. The difference between a skeleton and a Lazari is easy to see.


The Worshippers of Lunord

Followers: Adepts, students, disciples, civilian adherents of the faith.

Numbers: About 50,000 adepts, students, and disciples of Lunord. There
are also about 5 million followers of Lunord, about as many as there are followers of Dauros. It should be noted that there are more followers of Lunord than Helia, as the recovery of the Holy Chalice of Lunord created a revival of religious faith for Lunord's followers, whereas the continued absecence of Helia's sun orb hinders her temples' prospects for expansion.

Capital: Garuta (population: 508, 571). Technically, the city is known as New Garuta, with the remains of the old city of Garuta being on a smaller set of hills and vallies. No one lives in the ruins of the original city of Garuta, although people often visit the site. Today, New Garuta is built into and and top of several mountains, but there is still some of the city that is built on lower ground on a river and a plain.

New Garuta has a huge number of defensive sturctures, most of which are the largest of their kind in all Ardania. First, the city is built into and on top of several mountains, making any attack a very difficult prospect. Second, the city has several layers of walls, each one with square and round towers, arrow slits, crellenations, murder holes, and hoardings. Every tower is equippped with some kind of siege defense, be it a precise and deadly ballista, to a mangonael capable of showering a battlefield in deadly stones, or just some soldiers with bows and crossbows. Soldiers also have the option of throwing stones, boiling water/boiling oil/hot liquid metal, or flaming logs onto their opponents.


Also, Garuta has dozens of watchtowers, nearby, thousands of patrolling adepts, ten small forts around the city, six hill forts inside the city walls, the castle of the city's governor, a citadel on a nearby river where one of the king's navies is kept, a series of wizards and sorcerers guilds/abodes/towers, and a mountain citidel on the highest point of the entire city, which is considered by many to be the safest place in all Ardania.

Garuta also contains temples to every god save Helia, with the largest and most numerous temples obviously being those to Lunord. The second-highest and first-holiest place in the city is the central temple of Lunord. It was here that Makkat the Mad was struck by lightning, and where he recieved Lunord's holy chalice (see the history of Ardania for details.) Today, the Chalice is not kept in the temple at all, but rather, it is kept in a special vault that acts as a shrine for the Chalice in the mountain citadel. For more details, see the section on the city of Garuta.

History: Lunord's followers constitute one of the oldest religious groups in Ardania, being older than all but two religions; equally as old as worship of Helia, and younger than worship of Krolm. The original date of the beggining of Lunord worship is unknown, but it predates the year K.A. 1, as one of Lunord's worshippers, Kyra Rundersnark, started to record the years long after she had become a follower of Lunord.

The capital of the Lunord worshippers, Garuta, was founded before the kingdom age started. The city's location on hilltops was chosen to provide protection from enemies. This had the practical result of limiting the city's land area and forcing the inhabitants of Garuta to build up, rather than out.

As the city developed, the Garutans developed much of Ardania's systems of writing, music, literature, poetry, mathematics, science, philosophy, religion, trade, architecture, and law. Furthermore, Garuta became a center of early Ardanian theater, with emphasis on drama and tragedy. Additionally, systems of chivalry, morality, and an ethical code of conduct were developed in Garuta. Other developments from Garuta include philisophical rationalism, education, martial arts, and sewer systems. These things were developed between K.A. 1 to about K.A. 300. This time was known as the golden age of Garuta.

But the golden age could not last forever. Eventually, Garuta and its opponent city, Rendishire, city of Helia, would come into conflict in several wars, the largest by far being the ten thousand arrows war. But the wars were not the cause of the end of the golden age; rather, they were the symptom of it.

By K.A. 300, Garuta had grown very powerful indeed. Several dozen cities paid annual tribute to Garuta and Garuta indirectly controlled dozens more. Huge swaths of land were owned by wealthy Garutan citzens, and many peasants were displaced from their old farms. Also, by 300 K.A., Krolm had regained consciousness in his path to recovery, and the ways of the Barbarians again seemed to be viable. Given this, many chose the leave the rational, thinking, ethical culture of Lunord, and give in to their fear, anger, hatred, and lusts, and return to the emotional ways of Krolm.

At the same time, many people deserted the temples of Helia to join Krolm, not because of their evil (Helia's religion is at least as emotional and violent as Krolm's), but because of their jealousy, for Rendishire had become a super-stratified slave-owning society. Desertions from both cities had created a new class of Krolm worshippers that had not existed before, for until K.A. 300, belief in Krolm's ways had nearly died out, with many going as far to say that Krolm was dead. Now, for the first time, the worship of Krolm's children had major competition.

Before K.A. 300, Garuta's government was run by a representative council headed by the lord of Garuta. The Garutans had overthrown their king before the city was even a year old, so the leader
was not called a king. After K.A. 300, the lord of Garuta was given more powers in order to resist the rising tide of Krolm worshippers and to bring cities that wanted to leave Garuta's empire back into the fold. At first, this was successful; the Garutans were able to keep their empire and suppress the barbarians. The Garutans even added other cities and towns to their realm, stretching their influence even farther.

The problems was that Garuta was stretched too thin. At its peak, Garuta controlled much of northeastern Ardania, including parts of the northern reaches, even Krolm's anvil, which was an ancient battlefield sacred to barbarians. All it would take to stretch the empire past the breaking point was a major war with another great power. This power would come in the form of Rendishire, which was also building its own empire that covered Ardania as far south as the northern central plains.


When the Ten Thousand Arrows war broke out in K.A. 412, more and more power was given to the lord of Garuta, under the name of security and safety. After more than 80 years, the tyranny of the rulers of both Rendishire and Garuta was too much for the followers of Krolm to take, and they (angry at being conquered, subjugated, and used as pawns by Rendishire and Garuta), rebelled against their masters, starting the Six Winter's war.

The Six Winter's war was an unmitigated disaster for the followers of both Lunord and Helia; Both Garuta and Rendishire were burned to the ground, both the holy chalice of Lunord and the Sun Orb of Helia were lost, and the followers of Krolm dragged Ardania back to an age of barbarity, and in some cases, outright savagery.

The next few centuries were dark times, and it looked as if the worship of Lunord might die out altogether. By K.A. 500, every city-state had been destroyed, most temples had been torn down, and civilization was on the brink. Over the next 100 years, Ardania would witness the rise
and fall of the three monster kingdoms.

First, when the Goblins attacked, many Ardanian factions rose up to stop them, especially the barbarians. Much of what was left of northern Ardania was pillaged by the Goblins, and the adepts, protectors of civilization, could do little to stop them. Second was the serpent empire of Scrylia. This dark force nearly conquered all of Ardania, save for a few pockets in the south and west. Fortunately, Scyclia's medusae troops and harpies rebelled against her. Upon the start of the rebellion, her dragons and drakes left her, and her army and empire collapsed upon itself. During this dark time, the order of the adepts went into hiding. The members made a pledge to stay hidden until the day when Lunord's chalice was at last uncoverd, as that would be the sign of the rebirth of civilization.

The third theat to Ardania was that of the Witch King. Here, the power of Lunord came in and saved the day when the Witch King grew attatched to Lunord's chalice, which he had stumbled onto. Before long, Ardania's greatest hero and nominal first king, Sydrian, used the power of the chalice to inspire the people of Ardania and to restore hope to the country.

Shortly after Sydrian's victory over the Witch King, he gave control of the country to his daughter Rallia, who was only a young woman at the time, but very smart and capable. One of the first things the adepts did was to approach her and try to get some influence in the kingdom from her. The reasoning for this was that since her father, Sydrian, was born in the city of Thallis, which was under control of Garuta,
that she would also be subject to the order's rulings. Rallia, however, was
too smart to be manipulated like this, and denied to adepts more influence than what they already had. She also pointed out that Thallis was officially allied to Garuta, not under its control.

Rallia herself was born in land that was once under Garutan control, but the adepts did not bring that point up. Still, the adepts were poised to take control of much of Ardania, by force if necessary. In order to avert a conflict, Rallia abandoned all claims to the land on which the old Garutan empire once stood. Other city-states and kingdoms also broke of from what was called "Ardania" at the time, and soon Rallia's kingdom was no longer the guiding light of the country. Still, Rallia did introduce the court standards used by the Sydrian line of monarchs today.

Soon after reclaming their land, the Garutans set about building a new Garuta, far greater than the last. The city would not be built on the hills or valleys of the past, but rather the city itself was built right into and on top of the mountains that overlooked to old city of Garuta. The project took 157 years to complete, but the city of New Garuta (often just called "Garuta") was finally finished in K.A. 757.

Before the city was even finished, however, a major problem maniested itself in the form of Makkat the Mad. Makkat the mad was formerly known as Makkat the Wise. He was an adept who was struck by
lightening and given the holy chalice of by Lunord himself. Lunord wanted Makkat to spread the word about the new gods Dauros, Agrela, Fervus, and Krypta. These new gods were the children of Helia and Lunord, and Lunord wanted his new children to be worshipped in his stead.

Lunord's dream of his children ruling quickly turned into a nightmare. Makkat and his men launched an 11 year crusade which saw much violence in religious citcles and too much bloodshed. While Dauros and Agrela seemed to be good, promising deities, Krypta and Fervus acted quite negatively. Fervus was concerned with chaos and destruction, and his followers became a burden to Ardanian society. Krypta became self-centered and emotional, and her power became corrupted (see the history of Necrosellum for details.) To this day, the adepts still disown Makkat.

When Lunord and Helia (Helia also wanted her children to worshipped) saw what had happened, and saw that there were still many people still loyal to them, both of the deities decided that they should still accept the worship of their followers and be worshipped alongside their children and father, Krolm. Since then, worship of Lunord has become stronger than ever, and a representative democratic system still runs Garuta on the city level. The worship of Lunord is one of the oldest religions and ways of life in all Ardania, and shows no sign of going away.

Today, worship of Lunord is one of the fastest-growing religions in Ardania. It appeals to so many people because of its emphasis on learning, logic, reason, and hope, which, with the coming of greater learning and enlightenment in Ardania, is now accepted above superstition and bias. Unlike all other religions, blind faith is not required, and for this reason, the followers of Lunord are more philosophers than worshippers. Now, as Ardania faces new challenges an obstacles, the followers of Lunord are ready to handle the difficulties and the opportunities of the future in years to come.


Last edited by Noman on Sat Oct 01, 2005 10:20 am; edited 10 times in total
 
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Noman



Joined: 28 Jun 2005
Posts: 32

 PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Magic and religion

Magic categories:

Wizardry: Considered by many to be the most powerful and diverse form of magic, wizardry is magic powered by one's intellect, will, and power from within (as opposed to power from without, such as divinity.) The nature of wizardry spells is the more diverse than any other except for sorcery. Wizardy is considered to be a magical science by many, due to its exact, specific nature. Wizardry is far more common in Ardania than sorcery is, due to the fact that it is easier to control.

Sorcery: Magic that is similar to wizardry but is conducted with the force of one's imagination, , emotions, will, and creativity. Sorcery is more like an art than a science. Unlike wizardry, sorcery is neither exact nor specific. Instead, it is more creative, but less focused. Also, the primary source for sorcery is ethereal. Wizarary gets more of its power from astral sources (although both wizardry and sorcery use both astral and ethereal sources of power.)

Alchemy: Considered by some to be "lesser magic", alchemy is the manipulation of elements and natural forces via magical means. Most often, this magical manipulation comes in the form of elixers, powers, potions, and other such magical concotions. But alchemy can take the form of spells. It should be noted that alchemy gets its power from external sources in nature, as opposed to having one's own astral or ethereal energies be used. Alchemy is popular among those who wish to learn magic quickly, as anyone of reasonalble intelligence should be able to follow directions for making a magical potion.
Take note that elemental magic is another name for alchemy, and that when one hears about earth magic, air magic, water magic, and fire magic, it is really just focusing on different aspect of alchemy, even though other forms of magic can use elements in them, pure elemental magic is only in the realm of alchemy.

Divinity: A very often used source of magic, divinity is the use of the magic that a diety grants his or her followers. The nature of this power varies with what kind of diety is worshipped. Some dieties grant healing and restoring power, such as Agrela. Others grant elemental powers, such as Fervus. Unlike most other forms of magic, intelligence is not nearly as important as piety in divinity, as one's devotion to one's diety plays a factor in how much magic one can wield. There are also a few divisions within Divinity. First, worship of elemental gods or spirits is referred to as Shamanism, which worships the seen, powerful, physical things in nature. Second, we have Mysticism, which focuses on powers unseen, and yet, is not foucesed on enlightenment. Third, we have the unnamed category of divinity which seems to focus less on divinity worship and more on one's own soul and its enlightenment. An example of this kind of divinity would be that of the Lunordians.

Blood magic: A very rare and dangerous form of magic,
blood magic is focused in the physical powers to be found in one's body. This form of magic is very crude and can only work as long as there is a constant supply of suitable blood for the magic spells. In Ardania, this kind of magic is only widely practiced by the Kryptans, and even then, only under great amounts of suspicion. Blood magic is often used to create terribly dangerous creatures, or to summon demons. Some rare forms of blood magic even mix with necromancy in order to enhance the powers of the undead. Blood magic is clearly one of the most dangerous forms of magic ever devised, due to its association with demons, ritual sacrifice, and an attatchment to crude physical matter. Blood magic is also known as Sangremancy.

Necromancy: Magic of and about the dead. Spells in this catagory revolve around killing, raising the dead, and draining life. This form of magic should not be confused with blood magic, as no blood is needed for necromancy, even though there are some spells which overlap into the catagories of both necromancy and blood magic. Necromany is the magic of the priestesses, along with the powers of Krypta (divinity), and the animal blood sacrifices that are given at Krypta's altars (a form of blood magic.) It should be noted that necromancy is not particularly favored by at least 90 % of the general populace of Ardania. Necromancy should not be confused with blood magic.

Vivomancy: Magic that is concerned with the life, health, and the maintainence of the two. In Ardania, Vivomancy is mostly practiced by the Healers of Agrela. Unsurprisingly, the spells revolve around healing, curing, and resurrecting. This magic is the seeming opposite of Necromancy (death magic), but the two are more similar than they appear to be. First, both Vivomancy and Necromancy are concerned with the same energy. Second, this energy is the force of life itself. Since the powers of death come from life (as all things that are dead once lived), and since life has its own energy, the ultimate power of life is stronger than that of death.

Enchantment: This very common form of magic involves adding a magical field or resonance to an object, person, or place. The magic can have various effects, from making the object harder to break, to making the object able to enable its user to cast a magic spell. Enchantment is a very popular form of magic for mages of all kinds to use, as it is simple in concept, ususually is fast to use, and is mostly performed under controlled circumstances. The dark side to enchantment is the curse, which is simply and enchantment which harms the person, place, or object it is cast on. Enchantments casts by divinities and those who wield divine magic (see divinity) are known as blessings.

Channeling: Channeling is a rare form of magic in which
an outside force is channeled through the mage and used to create a variety of spells. Channelers absorb energy from their surroundings and any energy directed towards them. They then channel the energy for their own purposes. Take note that moving energy from one place to another is not the same as channeling. With channeling, the energy has to come to the mage, not be taken from the mage's victims (such as the victims of a Kryptan life draining spell.) Channeling is very rare in Ardania.


Conjuration: Conjuration involves manipulation of magic to create (or conjure) creatures to serve the mage. Creatures conjured are created by the spell, not merely moved from one place to another, like summoning. Conjured creatures include elementals, spirits, and ghosts, just to name a few. The most dangerous creatures ever to be conjured in Ardania are the Black Phantoms.

Summoning: Summoning is the magic which calls magical creatures to serve the mage. Unlike conjuration, the creatures summoned must first exist in their present form, and not be created by the conjurer. Creatures summoned tend to be organic, rather than spiritual or elemental. Summoning a spiritual creature is known as evocation.

Thaumaturgy: Magic which focuses on manipulation of essences, both organic and inorganic in origin. Often, this magic is combined with either enchantment, necromancy, or blood magic to create spells of even greater power. Mostly, the spells focus on cheating the nature of the elements. As such, this magic is viewed as a sort of an "anti-alchemy", for instead of manipulating the elements, thaumaturgy seeks to warp them. Thaumaturgy is rare in Ardania.

Psionics: Magic that focuses on the powers of the mind. Such abilities of Psionic magic include the ability of mind reading, emotion manipulation, projection of thoughts, and extrasensory abilities. Psionic magic is also capable of hurting creatures with mind stabs and psi whips, among other attacks. Some psionic spells can induce fear, insanity, even cerebral hemmoraging. Users of psionic magic are called psionics, but may also be called telepaths if they can read other's mind, or they may be called empaths if they can sense one's emotions.

Teratogeny: Perhpas the most unstable magic of all, Teratogeny (literally "monster creation" in Greek) has conjured the most horrorific creatures Ardania has ever seen. Among the creatures that teratogenitors have conjured, the Abomination is definitely the most terrible. Other monsters that may have been created using teratogeny include rust spitters, flowering strangleweeds, and possibly even wendigo.
Teratogeny is unique among all magics for one reason; it is the only magic which is based on the combination of other magics. Teratogeny bears similarity to thaumaturgy in its creation of unnatural elements, resembles blood magic in that it involves manipulation of bodily life force, and is like enchantment in that it adds magic to the creatures it creates.



Kryptan magic and religion: Kryptan magic is a form of divine and necromantic magic which revolves around the dead. Its use in Ardania is highly controversial due to its unnatural practices. Even more controversial is the fact that this form of magic is perfectly legal in Ardania (although only for trained members of the Temple of Krypta.) Most other countries would ban this magic outright, and punish known users of this form of magic with
imprisonment, torture, or execution.
Kryptan magic is unique in all Ardania, for it is the only magic that is completely derived from the casters' body. It is also the only magic in which heredity is much more important than ability. For example, a priestess with power in her body due to her mother being a priestess would always be more powerful than a priestess whose grandmother was also a priestess. This leads to an elitist point of view which revolves around who's family blood is the "purest."
To make matters worse, the Kryptans have a tendency to equate power with moral standing. This means that a machivellian priestess with great power is considered to be morally higher than a kind priestess with
moderate power. This lack of morals is an atypical factor in a religion. One thing that the Kryptans do have an ethical code.
Against the expectations of outsiders, the Kryptans are quite frugal. They believe in practicality and disattatchment to material possessions. However, this disattatchment does not extend as far as many of the other religions. For example, the Lunordian religion calls for disattatchment from oneself as well as disattachment from material possessions. While both religions allow material posssessions, hoarding them is considered to be immoral.

Magic categories: Divinity, Necromancy, Blood Magic.

Lunordian Magic and religion: The magic of Lunord focuses on the powers of the unseen. Things such as air, wind, and the soul are not seen by one's eyes, and yet we all know them to exist. As such, the worship of Lunord is one of hope and belief in things that we cannot see, for even in the dark, there is still hope; just because we cannot see the hope, dosen't mean that it dosen't exist.
In order to prove that such things can be hoped for, the Lunordians have developed advanced systems of logic and reason. The "faith" in Lunord is more accurately described as trust in logic and reason to provide a truthful picture of reality. The main reason why this rational system has not become more popular is that it requires people to think and question, rather than to believe and obey.
Sadly, most people in the world would rather think with their emotions and biases, rather than think with their rationality and intellect.
Many people are afraid that if they start to question, that somehow the gods will get angry, or that they will be ostracized from the community. Often, these fears are correct in that the less enlightened members of a community tend to attack the ones who think freely.
But the Lunordians are past such biases. As such, they have developed advanced systems of magic to aid them. Much of this magic focuses on manipulating the winds, speeding up the adepts, and using magic to teleport.

Magic categories: Wizardry, Enchantment, Alchemy, Divinity.


Last edited by Noman on Tue Oct 18, 2005 9:00 pm; edited 17 times in total
 
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Noman



Joined: 28 Jun 2005
Posts: 32

 PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Characters

Major Characters:

Stat guide:

Strength: How much one can lift/press.

0: Inanimate/crippled (dead bodies, rocks, etc.)

1: Sub-human strength (mouse, frog, etc.)

2: Low human strength (Lydith, Karyn, etc.)

3: Normal human strength (Kievan, Megan, etc.)

4: High human strength (Tomas, Gameth, etc.)

5: Top human strength (Talos, Gameth many years ago.)

6+: Superhuman strength (Karn, Boot-strap Finnigus)

Magic Power: How powerful the effects of one's magic are.

0: None (Kievan, Malvon, etc.)

1: Low (Typical Priestess initiate, wizard apprentice, etc.)

2: Moderate (Typical adept, Typical acolyte, etc.)

3: High (Talos, Typical Priestess, etc.)

4: Very high (Sister Shadowlife, Mother Darkfriend, etc.)

5: Extreme (Witch King, Liche Queen, etc.)

6+: Godlike (Lydith, Krypta, etc.)

Speed: How fast one is.

0: None (dead body, stick, etc.)

1: Low (Animated skeleton, zombie, etc.)

2: Moderate (Lydth, Karyn, etc.)

3: Above average (Tomas, Kievan, etc.)

4: Fast (Yellow Sky, Giant Spider, etc.)

5: Very fast (Harpy, Roc, etc.)

6+: Superhuman speed (Talos, any adept, etc.)

Endurance/Stamina: How much one can exert oneself before tiring.

0: None (rocks, sticks, etc.)

1: Very low (Lydith using full power, etc.)

2: Low (Lydith, Karyn, etc.)

3: Average (Megan, Kievan, etc.)

4: Above average (Daedra, Yellow sky, etc.)

5: High (Tomas, Gameth, etc.)

6+: Peak human to superhuman (Talos, any adept, etc.)

Intelligence: How smart one is.

0: None (Zombies, animates skeletons, etc.)


1: Low (Typical peasants, uneducated people, etc.)

2: Average (Sharille, Kievan, etc.)

3: Above average (Lydith, Karyn, etc.)

4: High (Tomas, Daedra, etc.)

5: Very high/Enlightened (Talos, Mother Darkfriend, etc.)

6+: Genius to godlike (Krypta, Dauros, etc.)

Constitution: How much damage one can take.

0: Immaterial/special (Ghosts, spirits, etc.)

1: Vulnerable (house cats, small dogs, etc.)

2: Fragile (Lydith, Karyn, etc.)

3: Normal (Daedra, Kievan, etc.)

4: High (Tomas, Gameth)

5: Very High (Talos, Boot-strap Finnigus)

6+: Superhuman to virtually indestuctable (Karn, Rock Golem)

Lydith:

Occupation: Acolyte of Krypta.

Powers/Abilities: Kryptan magic. Note that her powers are much more than anyone realizes and that her magic is like unto that of a minor goddess.
Examples of her power include the ability to raise the dead, to drain life out of her enemies, to seize control of undead creatures, to rapidly decay organic material, and to talk to the undead.

Source of powers: Kryptan power in her body, especially in her blood.

Height: 5 feet, 3 inches.

Weight: 101 pounds.

Eye Color: Brown.

Skin Color: Pale white.

Hair length/color: Shoulder-length and colored black.

Known relatives: Tomas(father), Lydia(mother, deceased, body used as vessel by a lich.) Also, Sister Daedra (one of Lydia's close friends) is considered to be an "aunt" by Lydith, despite the lack of biological relationship.

Strength level: Lydith possess the strength of a human teenage girl of her build who engages in minimal exercise.

Physical defects/injuries/ilnesses: Nothing serious; occasional back pain.

Typical garments: Red acolyte robe with hood, leotard, sandals/light shoes.

History: Lydith is the daughter of Lydia the priestess and Tomas the
Rogue (known to some as Tomas the Taker.) She was raised in the small village of Thistlewood. Her father had taken the job of woodcutter, and Lydith helped him in some ways, although he never got her an axe so
that she could help him.

Later, her mother, Lydia, left for as of yet undisclosed reasons.
Lydith grew attatched to her mother's friend Daedra, whom she refers to as "Aunt Daedra." As time went by, Lydith met some friends, such as Megan, and some enemies, such as Sharille. Eventually, Megan offered to take Lydith to become a paladin with her at Basille, but Lydith's family history prevented that.

As such, Lydith went off to Necrosellum to become a priestess.
There she met a new friend, Karyn, and learned the ways of Krypta. Over time, she was attacked by the Inner Sect. If not for the help of Sir Gameth Ironside the warrior and Yellow Sky the cultist, she surely would have been lost to the Inner Sect's machinations.

But Lydith did not leave the battle unscathed. She was shocked by the horrible discovery that the leader of the inner sect was using her mother's body. Since then, Lydith has been at Necrosellum, where she is continuing her studies of Krypta.

Special Note: Lydith is a "Daughter of Krypta" and as such has far more power than an ordinary priestess. She does not yet know the extent of her power. Her full power is enough to depopulate whole cities, making her quite possibly the most powerful person in Ardania.

Basic stats:

Strength: 2

Magic power: 6+

Speed: 2

Endurance/Stamina: 2

Intelligence: 3

Constitution: 2



Sir Gameth Ironside:

Occupation: Warrior.

Powers/Abilities: Skill with a sword, dagger, axe, and shield. He is also a skilled hand-to-hand combatant.

Height: 5 feet, 10 inches.

Weight: 152 pounds.

Eye color: Blue.

Skin Color: White.

Hair length/color: Short and colored brown with streaks of grey.

Known relatives: None.

Strength level: Gameth posesses the strength of an older human man of his build who engages in intensive exercise.

Physical defects/injuries/illnesses: None.

Typical garments: Full suit of steel armor, helmet, metal guantlets, metal boots, triangular shield, harness underneath the armor, long steel sword, and scabbard.

History: Sir Gameth Ironside is an official warrior of Ardania. The warriors of Ardania are a semi-knightly order which focuses on defending the country of Ardania. To this end, the warriors act as paid mercenaries for the King of Ardania, and have sworn an oath to protect the healers of Ardania, whom most Ardanians consider to be the epitome of goodness.

Gameth is slightely different. Instead of being the average, Agrela-loving warrior, he has chosen to be part of the garrison in Necrosellum instead. In the past, Gameth has been on adventures with Lydia and Daedra, sometimes going off to patrol the southern borders of Ardania, and to fight the "snake spawn" (medusae.)

Recently, Gameth has met Lydith. His first encounter with her was in the trading town of Deepen Dale, where he subdued a man who hated Krypta's worshippers. Gameth has also assisted Lydith in her fight against the Inner Sect, and accompanied her when she met the Lich that was in Lydia's body.

Now, Gameth is poised to lead a force of warriors and warriors of discord against a goblin hoard. His warriors will be assigned to protect the priestesses, and to attack the goblin hoard in close combat. The problem is that most of the fighters at Gameth's command will be warriors of discord, and as such, will be very hard to command and organize. Also, there are very few regular warriors at Gameth's command. It seems that Gameth will need a third group of fighters to help win the battle.

Basic stats:


Strength: 4

Magic power: 0

Speed: 2

Endurance/Stamina: 5

Intelligence: 3

Constitution: 4


Yellow sky:

Occupation: Cultist of Fervus

Powers/abilities: Fervan magic. The magic that is wielded by the cultist of Fervus is quite diverse. Examples of this magic include the ability to charm animals, blend in with one's surroundings, trap enemies in vines or other plant material, the ability to heal oneself or others using a magic spell, the ability to cast illusions, and the ability to transform into animals (mostly hellbears.) Yellow sky is also skilled at throwing daggers and planting poisionous plants. Later, he uses the posionous resin from his plants to posion his daggers, making them more dangerous.

Source of powers: Fervan magic in both his body and soul.

Height: 5 feet, 3 inches.

Weight: 127 pounds.

Eye color: Green.

Skin color: White.

Hair length/color: Short and colored black.

Known relatives: None.

Strength level: Yellow Sky posesses the strength of a human man of his build who engages in regular exercise.

Physical defects/injuries/illnesses: None.

Typical garments: A cultist mask in the shape of a fox's face, loinclothes, sometimes a green cloak. He may also adorn any number of other garments, due to his unpredictablility as a cultist.

History: Little is known about the history of the cultist named Yellow Sky. Information about his past comes from a large variety of sometimes less than reliable sources: eyewitness accounts, random gossip, wild speculation, and a magic crystal ball. Still, what is known about him is that he met Lydith in Necrosellum, where he was a cultist in the local temple to Fervus. Later, he helped Lydith and Gameth in their struggles against the Inner Sect.

At the end of the last battle with the Inner Sect, Yellow Sky and his three surviving charmed spiders escaped from the fray intact. It is unknown what became of him and his spiders.

Basic Stats:


Strength: 3

Magic power: 3

Speed: 4

Endurance/Stamina: 4

Intelligence: 3

Constitution: 3

Tomas:

Occupation: For many years, Tomas was a hitman. Then, when his daughter Lydith was born, he abandoned crime to become a woodcutter in Thistlewood. Recently, Tomas has returned to his criminal roots in order to fight the Inner Sect.

Powers/abilties: Tomas is a master hitman, and an excellent shot with his gnomish-made crossbow. Additionally, Tomas is skilled at sneaking, stealing, fighting in melee combat, and he is a master of deception. Tomas also has skills when fighting with knives and to a lesser extent, swords. Also, Tomas is a skilled woodcutter who knows the ways of the forest well. Tomas has no magic powers.

Height: 5 feet, 11 inches

Weight: 151 pounds.

Eye color: Brown.

Skin color: White.

Hair length/color: Short and colored brown.

Known relatives: Lydith (daughter), Lydia (wife, deceased; body used as vessel by a lich.)

Strength level: Tomas possesses the strength of a human man of his build who engages in intensive exercise.





Minor Characters:

Sharielle: Sharielle is the greedy daughter of the tax collector of Thistlewood. She is currently a Paladin squire who has been undergoing training in the city of Basille. Lydith and Sharielle were rivals back in Thistlewood, and they still don't like each other to this day.

"Sir" Byron: The owner of the estate on which Talos originally worked. His full name is Alastor Byron. He insists on being called "sir" due to the fact that one of his ancestors was a low-key knight. Byron has a very high opinion of himself, and thinks himself to be a great noble, despite the fact that he only has a dozen sharecroppers on his farm, and collects rent from a half dozen other farms.


Last edited by Noman on Mon Oct 31, 2005 7:22 pm; edited 4 times in total
 
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Noman



Joined: 28 Jun 2005
Posts: 32

 PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2005 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Geographic Regions

Central Plains: The Central Plains are one of Ardania's foremost agricultural regions. Much trade is conducted across the open, flat land, and many major roads cross the vast plains. The central plains are sacred to no one god, and as such, followers of all gods are to found on the plains. Crops grown on the Central Plains include but are not limited to: wheat, corn, oats, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, barley, rye, hops, sorghum, and beans.

Fertile Plains: The Fertile Plains are, per square kilometer, the most productive farmlands in all of Ardania. It was fortunate for the sovereign that the baron who owned much of these lands sold them for only 150 heads of cattle. This was so because the land was coveted by so many invaders. Among these invaders were goblins, dwarves, elves, minotaurs, the undead, rock golems, and even Dirgo the cyclops.
Fortunately, the invaders were defeated long ago and the fertile plains are one of the pillars of the Ardanian economy.

Northern Reaches: The Northern Reaches are the coldest, and one of the wildest places in all Ardania. For such a seemingly desolate land, there are many, many things of value in the Northern Reaches. Valuable items that come from the Northern Reaches includa but are not limited to: gold, silver, amber, iron, furs, wood, mithril, lead, tin, stone, leather, meat, ivory (from walruses), fish, whale oil, gems, copper, and limited amounts of grains, vegetables, and fruits.
Additionally, the Northern Reaches are the home to both the dwarves,
an elven enclave, and many barbarian (Krolm-worshipping) tribes. Important places in the Northern Reaches include but are not limited to: Krolm's Anvil, the valley of Gur-Mechina, D'tar Mordin, and the promised land of the far north, where the inhabitants angered their diety so much that she cast them out and raised the spires of death in order to prevent their return.


Last edited by Noman on Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:03 pm; edited 2 times in total
 
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Noman



Joined: 28 Jun 2005
Posts: 32

 PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2005 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Buildings, Structures, and Specific Locations

Lydith's House: Back in Thistlewood, Lydith lived in a small wooden house. This house was nothing fancy; it had a porch, small kitchen, two bedrooms, and a living room that is connected to the kitchen. The house is fairly dark, with little sun being able to penetrate the rooms. Lydith and her father Tomas once painted the house together, and Lydia used to live there. Time has wrought many changes, and with them, many sorrows. The house is currently unoccupied, with Lydia's body being taken by the Inner Sect, Lydith training to be a priestess in Necrosellum, and Tomas out on his own quest with Kievan.

The Wailing Wind inn: Unlike most Ardanian inns, the keeper of the Wailing Wind inn does not prefer visitors and strangers. The only reason he keeps the inn is because he inheirited it from his father. The conditions in the inn are quite below average.


The Convent of Krypta: The Convent of Krypta is the central place for training priestesses. It is located in the city of Necrosellum. Two important locations are within the Convent itself. First, the library of Krypta contains
Ardania's largest repository of knowledge about Necromancy. Second, the Convent Vaults contain Ardania's largest cache of items of Necromantic magic. Because of this, most of Ardania's citzens prefer not to speak of the convent, or for that matter, of Necroseullum in general.
 
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