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Old 09-16-2018, 01:41 AM
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The Lord of Gifts
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A place to store all the important information relating the gaming world.
Can they stop the Red Tide? Red Hand of Doom
Do they have what it takes to tame the wilds? The Founding
Check out this Month's Short Story Competition. Aethera changed the format at the behest of some wicked, otherworldly whispering.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2018, 01:55 AM
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The Lord of Gifts
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ReligionThe Gods of Creation:

Reyrgor, the Spiked Gauntlet – LG
Titles: The Avenger, The Righteous Fury
Areas of Concern: Bravery, War, Heroes,
Worshipers: Mercenaries, Guards, Warriors, Adventurers
Domains: War, Strength, Law, Good, Glory
Favored Weapon: Spiked Gauntlets
Symbols: A spiked gauntlet clenched in a fist
Sacred Animal: Lions, Badgers
Sacred Colors: Blood Red and Gold
Herald: Lysorn – A Leonal Agathion Paladin of Reyrgor, he serves as an avenging angel slaying the wicked and protecting the meek.
Dogma: “I am the avenging, beckoned forth by the lost souls who have been destroyed. I witness the failure of the those who rise up against creation. By my command the wicked shall face their own twisting cancerous hearts; the distortion of valor. My life force is bright, my sword sharp, and my armor polished. The skies grow dark in the eyes of evil; for vengeance has come.” – Except from Prayers of an Avenging God

Kayl, the Winged Justice – LG
Titles: Weigher of Scales, The Hand of Law
Areas of Concern: Law, Order, Contracts
Worshipers: Judges, Lawyers, Paladins
Domains: Law, Air, Travel, Nobility
Favored Weapon: Long Sword
Symbols: Golden Scales crossed with a sword
Sacred Animal: Eagles, House Cats
Sacred Colors: Sky Blue and Yellow
Herald: Kyrra – An 8-foot-tall woman with the head of a mighty golden eagle and matching wings, this herald wields a golden bow which is said to never miss. Her keen eagle eyes are constantly under the effect of the True Seeing spell.
Dogma: “Man is mean to be noble and true; at his most base – his worse, he is wholly separated from justice.” “The fallen do not cry for justice, it is the duty of the living to proclaim it.” – Inscriptions found on the great Kaylyn Courthouse.

Erea, the Mother of Knowledge – LN
Titles: Knower of Secrets,
Areas of Concern: Knowledge, stories, secrets
Worshipers: Librarians, Orators, Politicians
Domains: Knowledge, Rune, Travel
Subdomains: Deception, Freedom
Favored Weapon: Dagger
Symbols: Open Book with a quill writing in it
Sacred Animal: Owl, Apes
Sacred Colors: Maroon
Herald: Anzari – An awakened book said to possess every story ever told.
Dogma: “Lost in your dark, I see you there. Darkness hidden behind your stare. What dark things do you keep inside, out of the light and wrapped in pride? Forever afraid that one day it will show.
I'll keep your secrets - I'll hold your ground, - when the final darkness starts to fall I'll be around. When light is fading, and friends are distant and few - Know at that moment I'll be there with you.” Excerpt from Last Rites.

Aerackyl, the Tattooed Skull – LN
Titles: The Demilich, Whisper of Magic, The Arcane Architect
Areas of Concern: Magic, Lore, Madness, Undeath
Worshipers: Mages
Domains: Darkness, Knowledge, Magic, Rune
Favored Weapon: Quarterstaff
Symbols: An open metal box containing strips of parchment – which are said to contain the only secrets Erea does not possess
Sacred Animal: Raven, Jackal
Sacred Colors: Black and Silver
Unique Servants: Zambalch – A massive skull floating on a cloud of shimmering arcane smoke. He is covered with dozens of spell tattoos.
Dogma: There are no texts for the worship of Aerackyl. There are no guidelines, He does not care for you. He will make himself known if you are worthy. You are not worthy.

Füine, the Roiling Darkness – LE
Titles: The Night Matron, Queen of Bats, Mother of Darkness
Areas of Concern: Night, Mothers, Darkness
Worshipers: Mother, Midwives, Rogues, Assassins
Domains: Darkness, Trickery, Madness, Healing
Favored Weapon: Kukri
Symbols: Screeching Bat Skull
Sacred Animal: Bats and Cows
Sacred Colors: Black and ivory
Unique Servants: Evel Veicham – A midwife turned werebat, she soars in the night sky laying waste to the enemies of the Mother of Darkness, protecting the child born beneath the moon.
Dogma: “Blessed are the mothers. Blessed is the darkness. All that is hidden from the light of day is sacred to the Mother of the Darkness – you are mine, and you are protected by my wings. Woe upon the enemies of the Night Matron. Woe upon them all.” Excerpt from A Blessing for Midwives 3ed.

Daakus, in chains – LE
Titles: The Bound One, He who is Caged
Areas of Concern: Bondage, Slavery, Death
Worshipers: Slaves, Slavers, Gravediggers
Domains: Repose, Death, Destruction, Liberation
Subdomains: Slavery
Favored Weapon: Whip
Symbols: A beast or man bound in chains
Sacred Animal: Beasts of Burden
Sacred Colors: Brown
Unique Servants: Daakus does not have a unique servant. We all serve Him. We are all bound in our own ways, and ultimately fall victim to the great equalizer in death.
Dogma: “The bound will one day be free, and those who are free build a cage of their own desires.” Inscription found on most graveyards and tombs.

The Gods of Waiting:

Oramak, the King of the Hearth – NG
Titles: The Warm Glow
Areas of Concern: Inns, fires, civilization
Worshipers: Blacksmiths, innkeepers, villagers
Domains: Community, Earth, Fire, Nobility
Favored Weapon: Warhammer
Symbols: A lit hearth
Sacred Animal: Dogs
Sacred Colors: Gold and Gray
Unique Servants: Shirraq – A dog headed multi winged creature who tends a smithy. When called to battle he wields a massive flaming blacksmith hammer.
Dogma: “Look back along the endless corridors of time and see that four pillars have built the temple of civilization. Our Faith, our art, our research, and our community. Build upon those for they make the strongest foundation.”

Cyncevah, the Divine Gambler – TN
Titles: Snake-eyes, Black Jack
Areas of Concern: Games, Gambling, Money, Banks
Worshipers: Rogues, conmen, bankers
Domains: Luck, Charm, Trickery
Subdomains: Memory, Competition
Favored Weapon: Sap
Symbols: A pair of dice reading 7.
Sacred Animal: Monkey
Sacred Colors: Red, yellow, and green together
Unique Servants: A man in robes with a deck of cards. He’s said to be thousands of years old. His cards can perform a great many feats, tell the future and change the past.
Dogma: “Take a chance. If you do nothing, you always lose –The house always wins, and remember, I’m the house.”

Sh’dom, the Thundering Current – NE
Titles: The Sea Serpent, Cloud-King, Keeper of Rains
Areas of Concern: Storms, water, and the atmosphere
Worshipers: Sailors and farmers
Domains: Air, Water, Destruction, Weather
Favored Weapon: Cutlass
Symbols: A Sinking Ship, often stylized with storm clouds, tsunami, or a kraken
Sacred Animal: Squid/Octopus, swallows
Sacred Colors: Dark gray and royal blue
Unique Servants: The Kraken – A giant ship crushing squid.
Dogma: “Water gives life, and it takes life away. I am the force of that water. Fear my fury and beg for my gifts.” – Sh’dom’s proclamation.

The Gods of Destruction:

Chavar, the Sparkling Jester – CG
Titles: The Death Masque, Masquerade Lord, The Laughing Deity
Areas of Concern: Comedy, Madness, tragedy
Worshipers: Theaterfolk, Wanderers, Madmen
Domains: Charm, Madness, Rune, Trickery
Favored Weapon: Laughter
Symbols: Golden Sock and Buskin
Sacred Animal: Hyena
Sacred Colors: Gold, white, and black
Unique Servants: A jester dressed in brilliant colors wearing a mask which appears to be made of human bone capable of gravity defying flips and turns, rains death down from the clouds. It has no name, no face, and has never been heard to speak.
Dogma: A fool thinks himself wise, but the wizened know themselves to be
a fool.

Flaeles, the Brazen Bull –CG
Titles: The Mighty, Old Bull Headed
Areas of Concern: Strength, diligence, work ethic
Worshipers: Farmers, warriors, mercs
Domains: Fire, Animal, Artifice, Strength
Favored Weapon: Battle-axe
Symbols: Flaming Brass Bull
Sacred Animal: Bull
Sacred Colors: Red, Brass, and Tin
Unique Servants: Gnarteus Manrahg – A colossal Minotaur, said to roam the countryside slaying all who oppose the will of his masters. He enjoys puzzles.
Dogma: “A man who has grit his teeth and brought to bear the deforestation or the irrigation of a country is worthy of the same honor as its conqueror.” Opening sermon on the vernal equinox.

Anaelius, the Thorne Queen – CN
Titles: Mother of Flowers, The Spring Light
Areas of Concern: Plants, Spring, Decay, Posions
Worshipers: Herbalists, alchemists, botanists, druids
Domains: Plant, Sun, Earth
Subdomains: Medicine, Alchemy
Favored Weapon: Scythe
Symbols: A rosebud wrapped in thorns/a decayed, wilting rose
Sacred Plant: Roses
Sacred Colors: Red, Black, Green, and brown
Unique Servants: The Withering – A woman, split down the middle. One half is a vibrant red haired, green eyed woman whose touch is said to spring plants to life, and sow crops in her wake. The other half is a withered and twisted woman, whose body leave swathes of decay wherever she roams.
Dogma: “The cycle of life continues. Always.”

Kethac, the Shadow King – CN
Titles: The Unseen, The Grasping Claw, The Thing that goes Bump in the Night
Areas of Concern: Shadows, darkness, pain
Worshipers: Assassins, rogue, torturers, inquisitors
Domains: Darkness, Trickery, Void
Subdomains: Nightmare, Murder
Favored Weapon: Daggers
Symbols: A grasping clawed hand of shadow
Sacred Animal: Cats
Sacred Colors: Black and Purple
Unique Servants: Shzzaq – A massive and intelligent Shadow, this creature stalks the night doing his master’s bidding, though there are few mortals who have any idea what that bidding may be or is working towards.
Dogma: “Without darkness, there is no light, so let there be darkness – so the weak may cower in the dying light.”

Beazai, the Abyssal Maw – CE
Titles: The Hungerer
Areas of Concern: Destruction, Gluttony
Worshipers: Madmen
Domains: Chaos, Evil, Void, Madness
Favored Weapon: Natural Weapons
Symbols: A slavering Maw
Sacred Animal: Vermin
Sacred Colors: Brown
Unique Servants: The Devourer – A massive caterpillar, growing over 20 feet in length, who eats everything in its path until it forms a chrysalis. Eventually a moth is spawned, which appears to produce a single spawn asexually, and the process begins anew.
Dogma: N/A

Adan, the Horned Plague-Bearer – CE
Titles: The Sickness, The Ill Father
Areas of Concern: Sickness, plague
Worshipers: Alchemists, poisoners, doctors
Domains: Healing, Death
Subdomains: Venom, Decay, Corruption, plague
Favored Weapon: Poison
Symbols: A laughing skull wreathed in fumes
Sacred Animal: Scorpion
Sacred Colors: Putrid earth tones
Unique Servants: A pustulant zombie like creature from a far-off plane, this silent monstrosity spreads pestilence in its wake, poisoning wells, salting the earth, and plaguing the world, flora and fauna.
Dogma: “Through my sickness you will find eternal life.”

The Gods of the NorthThe Northern Orthodoxy:

Established long before the unification of the country, the Northern Orthodoxy is an autonomous fiefdom ruled theocratically by Archbishop Iskander. While worship of the old gods is frowned upon throughout the rest of the nation, and outlawed in every other nation, the Northerners have immense faith, and if asked to choose between the Archbishop and the Emperor many would choose Iskander.

Erem the Earthmother: Erem is the warden who watches over the earth – dirt, rock, mountains, and the beasts who dwell within. She is the calming peace felt throughout the world. The smell of wet earth, the rolling plains of glass, the calm of gazing about the land beneath a mountain top. It is said that She feels pain whenever the ground in sundered, the ores and gems are her blood and tears turned crystalline. She is a patient and loving mother who watches with joy as things grow and she tends to them, known to bask amongst the glory of all things living. She withstands the pain of Gaelur’s wind and Nari’s waves slowly eroding Her, while Frikorla roils within her confines. She suffers the pain in silence, knowing that she could withstand the pain for a billion more years if only to watch her children grow. Slow to anger, and often employed to mediate disputes amongst her more unstable kin, she has been known to rouse the earth to battle. Driving into the midst of her foes the earth oft strikes at the most dangerous of foes, smashing them to bits, as a rock parting the waves or snuffing out the flames.

Gaelur the Thunderlord: Gaelur is the king of the skies, lord of storms, and caliph of air. He is a capricious and destructive lord; calm and giving one moment with a crop nourishing rain then destructive with thunder and tornadoes the next. Worshiped by those who take flight he is known for his cunning and his many spies, which keep him informed on the affairs of mortals, gods, and kings – though whether he acts is determined by his flights of fancy. He considers himself absolute lord of the skies and as such expects all creatures who take flight to pay homage, including dragons and other powerful magical beasts. As such the Thunderlord has accrued several powerful enemies and has been known swat his enemy’s servants from the skies, generating massive electrical discharges and appearing as a gargantuan whirlwind of catastrophic force.

Frikorla the Flameking: Frikorla and his lands are wreathed in flame and so too, would he see the world. The elemental lord of fire, he is most often associated with destruction, but fire is also revered as a giver of life, and necessary for the formation of civilization. Cooked food, worked metal, the warmth on a cold night – fire is key to survival in the North. Frikorla is worshipped as both a creator and destroyer – his flaming sword a sigil for the wrath he can bring, but also the warmth that he can exude. His emotions burn as his element, fiery and fierce, slow to die, and ending in coldness. Finding a home anywhere a fire rages, his domains include the sun in the sky, magma in the earth, or a bonfire by the sea. Worshiped by elementals of light and flame, Frikorla is the most often angered of the elementals, and the most destructive when unleashed, though it is uncommon for his destruction to be as wanton and widespread as that of Nari or Gaelur.

Nari the Wavequeen: The Wavequeen is the supreme ruler of her domain, the deep blue seas. Those who sail or cross the water are at grave risk of suffering her wrath; entering the watery sea without her permission is an affront to her – she demands respect. She is ruler of wall water – sea, ocean, river, lake, or creek – all beasts of water are her’s. She is particularly keen in striking down creatures who think themselves impervious to her powers – the elementals of the Flameking most of all. Those who pass within her realm, are said to belong to her – their souls being forced to travel the waters before moving on to the beyond, having her choice of souls – keeping those she finds amusing or interesting in some way. Her body is capable of forming anywhere there is enough water to hold her massive form. Appearing as a humanoid with aquan characteristics (be they fish, squid, or whale) her form shifts and changes with tides and currents, the swirling blues and greens of water vibrant and shimmering. Her eyes appear as large and yellow like that of the mighty kraken.

Kenai the Eternal Shadow: Kenai is half the force which bind the elements together. A crown of darkness upon his shadowy fanged face he laughs as the elementals struggle ad nauseum against each other – as easily manipulated as mortals. Twisting in the darkness found across the land Kenai can appear anywhere he wishes, as long as his sister Nynoeri does not hold dominion. Some believe that he is the same primordial deity as Füine, and others believe them lovers – a thread which ties the two major religions together. Neither of the Night Lords have ever confirmed or denied such claims, and thus it is left to sages to debate. In addition to the lord of darkness and night, Kenai serves as the lord of death in the north, claiming souls and recycling them through the elements before passing them to his sister for rebirth. However long Kenai holds a soul is proportional to the crimes they have committed, the darker souls taking longer to remove the stain of sin.

Nynoeri the Radiant Glow: Nynoeri is the queen of light, and sister to the Eternal Shadow. She is the light that binds the elements together as Kenai binds them in shadow. All elements must bow to the duo, great and minor alike. She is the spirit of the light and the power of rebirth and restoration. As her brother moves souls through the elemental spheres and cleanses them of their spiritual sin Nynoeri finds a new vessel for that soul and spirits them back into the world. Of all the elemental lords Frikorla is her greatest ally and most jealous enemy. Wherever his flames travel she is able to follow, constantly keeping tabs on him – always knowing where he is and what his business is. He both enjoys the attention and hates interlopers. Nynoeri’s radiance spreads throughout the land, and though she is destined to never see her brother she loves him dearly, and so the rising sun each morning illuminates the world after even the darkest night.
Can they stop the Red Tide? Red Hand of Doom
Do they have what it takes to tame the wilds? The Founding
Check out this Month's Short Story Competition. Aethera changed the format at the behest of some wicked, otherworldly whispering.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2018, 01:58 AM
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The Lord of Gifts
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Empire BasicsThe Empire: Found on the continent known in The Empire as Strömlande, The Empire shares the continent with two other larger countries known as ‘The Monotheists of Öster” and The Sundered Isles. There are also various smaller tracts of unclaimed, unincorporated, and neutral lands though they are small and fiercely defended. A tenuous peace currently exists between The Empire and the Sundered Isles, with one of the Sundered Isle’s prince’s serving as ward to the Emperor. The Empire and Monotheists have been at war, off and on, for nearly 200 years, and are currently under the proclamation of a ceasefire, though that does not guarantee safety for any involved. The Empire is the smallest of the three lands, though more populated than the Sundered Isles and the most technologically advanced.

History of the Empire:

The Imperial Calendar: The Imperial calendar consists of 14 months of the odd numbered have 25 days and the even have 24. Each week is six days long, and each day is 28 hours long. The New Year takes place each year on the vernal equinox and is celebrated throughout the land. Every two years there is an intercalary day (the equivalent of the Gregorian leap year) which is not accounted for on the calendar. This day takes place the day after the winter solstice and is known as, “Nachtwand” or naked wall, alluding to the superstition that on this day, when the sky is at its darkest, the veil between the world and the underworld and the elemental planes are at their thinnest. It is a day for mischief, anarchy, and disaster.

1 Novum (Vernal Equinox)
2 Papiliolux
3 Gryllia
4 Flos
5 Stellario (Summer Solstice)
6 Calor
7 Aurielus
8 Gladium
9 Panemium (Autumnal Equinox)
10 Arietex
11 Pallescum
12 Pruinas
13 Tenebrial (Winter Solstice)
14 Felixial
Days of the Week:
Erday, Galday, Frikday, Narday, Kenaday, Nynday
Erday is the beginning of the week and a day of rest – most businesses are closed and people spend time with friends and family and some choose to attend formalized religious services. Galday through Kenaday are 8-10 hour work days and on Nynday most places close early after about six hours of work in preparation of Erday, but this is dependent on local custom and industry.

Important Holidays:
1 Novum: This is the vernal equinox and the first day of the new year – and is also the end of Nachtwand. As such, it is a time of celebration. Rebirth, flowers, baby animals, birds – all are celebrated throughout the entire country. This day is also celebrated in the East, but under a different name. This is one of the most celebrated days throughout the empire. Shops close, schools close – in fact even in some of the smaller villages, the celebration carries on for several days.

Summer Solstice: While not an ‘official’ holiday, the summer solstice is considered a time of good luck and many marriages or important contracts are signed that day. Many villages have celebrations, and even the capital holds festival inside the marketplace where many items go on sale. To show goodwill, there are no taxes collected in the capital this day as well, to encourage large purchases and the importation of luxury items.

Autumnal Equinox: The autumnal equinox itself isn’t celebrated but mark the general end of the harvest season, which is celebrated. Feasts are held, games are played, ale and wine are often consumed to excess. Additionally, those who hold onto the old religion, celebrate the coming of winter lighting several candles which are placed into a log of Juniper tree, and is said to usher in a mild and productive winter season.

Nachtwand: Nachtwand is the time when they say the veil between the worlds is thinnest, and the dead walk amongst us. Demons stalk every alley, monsters roam the countryside, and ghouls and ghasts rise from the cemeteries. Or so the old legends say. These days it is mostly a time of mischief and occult shenanigans, though there are a few cults who have been known to take things a bit too far. There are whispers however that as the third moon rises in the sky the veil will thin further, having been held back for the last several centuries when she set.

Coronation: Any time a new member of the royal family is coronated there are celebrations, obviously the closer proximity to a major city the greater the celebration.

Local Holidays: Most localities have smaller holidays to celebrate local nobles or important historical markers. The most obvious of this is the massive party held on the emperor’s birthday every year in the capital city. Nobles from around the realm are invited to attend, and there are usually festivities in the streets for the low-folk.
Can they stop the Red Tide? Red Hand of Doom
Do they have what it takes to tame the wilds? The Founding
Check out this Month's Short Story Competition. Aethera changed the format at the behest of some wicked, otherworldly whispering.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2018, 01:59 AM
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The Royal FamilyThe Royal Family: The Reikslair family came to power over four hundred years ago through careful and strategic politicking and statecraft. Their ancestral lands are in the Märklend near the mountains of Griefland. When the Reikslair family came to power they used their considerable clout with the lords of the Greiflands to bring the mountainous state into the soon to be ever expanding empire. The tradition of taking a name in the old language of the orthodoxy is a veiled attempt to connect with the much-needed tradition for the ley people to feel a connection with an abstract ruler, leagues away in a castle wielding absolute power, and it is an effective technique.

Emperor Clausicus Imperium Fortunum IV: The incumbent Emperor is Clausicus Imperium Fortunum IV, Prince of Märklend and Elector Count. Clausicus is a grand statemen, military genius, and valiant swordsman. Though he has retired from leading the charges into battle he is a strategist who manipulates enemies as well as any consort manipulates a weak man. His position was solidified over forty years ago when he was still leading the war against the Eastern Monotheists. After the final battle of the war, it was Clausicus who finally negotiated peace in the borderland keep of Paixburg, a free nation-state tucked between the two empires, the barrens, and the unincorporated states of the Sudetenland. Clausicus’ favorite steed is his griffon mount, Blood-Beak the One-Eye. A spectacularly large and old griffon who, under normal circumstances would have been put out to stud over a decade ago. The beast lost its eye when he and Clausicus took down a marauding dragon who was terrorizing the Greifland roosts some twenty-three years ago.

Empress Salonia Iulius Fortunum: The Empress is a very reserved and private woman, who prefers to stay out of court whenever possible. She is the second daughter of the proud and noble lord of Greifland, Baltrac Former Griffon Lord, now deceased. Clausicus was originally betrothed to the eldest daughter, but after suffering a tragic freak accident she fell to her death while tending the Griffon’s in her father’s aerie. The “privilege” of becoming empress then fell to Salonia, who had been away on a sortie – leading a troop of griffon riders against a hostile group of rebels in the barrens. When she returned from successfully routing the barbarians she found a celebration she thought was to celebrate her success but instead was her engagement party. When she was first crowned empress she would oversee tourneys, drink with the knights, none could guzzle a pitcher of ale faster than she, but soon she became more and more reserved, before finally stepping out of public life altogether. She rarely leaves the castle these days except to attend the cathedral on holy days or to give donations and alms to the poor.

Crown Prince Conrad Lothair Reikslair, Heir Apparent: The Crown Prince shines like a crown jewel, suited for his own crown. His role is to uphold his father’s will; distributing justice and serving as an arbiter of fairness and seeking justice for the meek. He travels the empire, ambassador of his father’s will and supreme judge of nobles who have been accused of not taking care of their peasantry. Conrad is tall and strong, a skilled swordsman, a cunning tactician, and student of statecraft. The eldest son, though not the eldest child, his coronation as crown prince involved a celebration that lasted a week and ended with grand pomp and circumstance. The mantle of responsibility however weighs heavily on the young man’s shoulders and his cropped blond hair has a dramatic streak of silver from fore to crown. Information regarding his recent betrothal is shrouded in mystery. The crown confirmed that the young man’s marriage has been arranged but that for now to whom has been shrouded in mystery. Many people suspect this is because he’s been betrothed to either the Sundered Isles, Kamila Hildegarten, or something almost unthinkable at all, the Monotheists to the East.

Prince Niklas Adrian Reikslair: Niklas is everything that Conrad wishes he could have been. Reckless, heroic, wild, a playboy. Niklas roams the countryside righting wrongs and saving damsels. He’s the hero prince of the old stories, as he does not bear the weight the crown. Niklas, often accompanied by his ward brother, travel the country, though not as any noble. They ride royal pegasi, preferring the majestic winged horses to sheer ferocity of his brother and father’s griffons. These noble pegasi are proud and flamboyant and the boys treat them as one of their own. It is said that Niklas’ ultimate goal is to track down the Fey Enchantress, a being of great power, beauty, and magic – the queen of the elves. Since ancient times she has served as boogie man to parent’s stories, threatening misbehaving kids with abduction and torture at the hands of the wicked elf maiden who lives in trees, or water, or caves depending on the story. While he has yet to be successful in his quest, he swore an oath to find her before his brother inherits the crown.

Princess Angelika Olivia Reikslair: Princess Angelika is going to be a problem, and everyone at court knows it. She’s headstrong, defiant, and what’s most dangerous smarter and more well liked than her brother Conrad. When her younger brother was named Heir Apparent she was lived and caused quite a scene at court, prompting her father to proclaim, “That is exactly why we could never allow a woman upon the throne, such fits of fancy – it would ruin us all.” This, of course, did not sit well with Kamila Hildegarten ruler and elector count of the Sudetenland. While she said nothing at the coronation and showed no hint of her displeasure when she gave the crown prince a gift, stalk of wheat made of pure gold, to bring prosperity she was seething inside. By the end of the week the price of grain across the empire had increased nearly tenfold, threatening to topple the entire economy and lead to mass starvation and rioting. A royal missive was dispatched from the emperor to the Lady Hildegarten, and within two days the price of grain stabilized to pre-coronation levels. Angelika has spent many months in Praha since the incident, supposedly learning from Kamila.

Princess Hilde Catherine Reisklair: Hilde is the youngest child of the Reikslair family and she is dotted upon by them all. Age the age of seven, she is young enough to still be seen as an image of sweet innocence and youth around the country, with none of the ill will certain groups harbor for the elder clansmen. In an odd turn of fate, the Princess has taken a shine to the Lord High Apothecary and his assistant. The Lord High Apothecary is a strange man with a dark countenance who is rarely seen without one of his strange masks. His apprentice, a young lad of twenty is often found nearby constantly writing the words of wisdom spouted from his master, and there - trailing right behind is Princess Hilde, often carrying one or more of the men’s precious flowers or herbs. However, as a bright young girl, she has picked up several of the recipes for basic balms and ointments and even helps them prepare them on occasion.

Lord Otto Shleidar, ward of the Throne: Lord Otto is the eldest son of the most prominent landed noble in the Northern Orthodoxy. While Otto has been shown nothing but respect and has been taught by the greatest scholars and military minds available – it must always be remembered that he is nothing more than a well-treated hostage. Should the Northern Orthodoxy attempt to dissolve their subservience to the crown Otto’s life is forfeit, and as the heir to a massive tract of northern land rich with precious metals it would be foolish for his father, Lord Malthiz, to displease the crown. A year older than the youngest Reikslair son, Otto became a default playmate for the young Niklas, and the two have been thick as thieves ever since. Otto is quite skilled in statecraft and shows extraordinary skill at diplomacy and will probably some day become a thorn in the empire’s side, but for now he is left to his own devices so long as he serves his purpose – as hostage and friend.

Abeto Kwame Azindow, ward of the Throne: From the lands far to the South beyond even the river and swampy border of the Sudetenland comes Abeto Kwame. Abeto is the youngest son of the King of the Sundered Isles. Emperor Fortunum IV signed a trade agreement which was highly lucrative for the Sundered Isles, but included the wardship of Abeto, who has lived in the Empire since he was but a young boy. Abeto is a practicing shaman of the Sundered Isles, and as such has a writ of permission from the Emperor making him except from the inquisitorial stance of foreign religions – though if given the chance he will explain to you that it isn’t a religion, so much as a relationship with the earth, the moon, and the stars. There are rumors of a potential marriage between the Reikslair and the Azindow though whether that would involve Abeto, or simply be facilitated by him, is a matter of public conjecture.
Can they stop the Red Tide? Red Hand of Doom
Do they have what it takes to tame the wilds? The Founding
Check out this Month's Short Story Competition. Aethera changed the format at the behest of some wicked, otherworldly whispering.

Last edited by wodine; 09-19-2018 at 12:56 PM.
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States of the EmpireThe Orthodox State: The Northern most tip of the empire is The Northern Orthodoxy. Officially ruled over by Garius Syntile, some distant cousin of the Emperor, but everyone including Clausicus, knows that the true ruler of the North is their beloved Archbishop, Francis Iskander. Bordering both Kirkmont and Märkland to the north, the Northern Orthodoxy also lays claim to some very rich mountain ranges in the norther reaches of the state ensuring that the northern fiefdom maintains economic freedoms from the southern states, as they have a constant flow of metals, stones, gems, and gold. Some people whisper behind closed doors that the reason the mines are so successful is that Archbishop Iskander is secretly harboring dwarves in the mines, and in exchange they work them as their ancestors did. While dwarves are not uncommon throughout the empire, nor are elves or halflings, they are forbidden from living as they once did – as independent colonies. They have been brought beneath the flag of the Empire and as such are expected to assimilate to the ways of men.
Leader: Garius Syntile (Archbishop Iskander)
Size: ~10,000 square miles (the official borders in the mountains are loosely constrained)
Capital: Frinari
Pop: 200,000
Major Exports: Stone, Gems, Marble, Gold
Major Imports: Food, Lumber
Customs: It is very uncommon for anyone native to the north to worship the new gods. The elemental lords have always been the pantheon in the north, and so too shall they always be. Northerners are seen as second-class citizens by much of the empire and often keep to themselves, however due to the wealth of their region many people are willing to overlook their barbarous worship of the elements.
Notes: When the north was bent to the will of the empire, much of their southern farmland was destroyed and they continue to suffer the effects of that today. Growing seasons in the North are short and only a select few crops can survive. Though the coastal area is warmer it is limited and heavily regulated for the growth of important grains.
Rumors: One rumor spreading around the south is that the Northern Orthodoxy is plotting with the monotheists from east to overthrow the empire. While the north does harbor resentment this would be geopolitical suicide as the north would starve if the war lasted more than a few years – as there is no direct route between it and any other nation.

The Sudetenland: The Suds are the quintessential serfs. They farm land, they pay their taxes, they are moderately well protected from roving bands of monsters and bandits, and so they go on paying more taxes and growing more crops. Almost all the food for the rest of the kingdom comes from the rich fields of the Sudetenland. While specialty crops and subsistence farming can be done in any of the states the bulk of the grains required for the standing army and the consolidation of urban centers is grown here, primarily wheat, spelt, and rye. They also raise animals - primarily horse, cow, and chicken.
Leader: Kamila Hildegarten
Size: 55,000 square miles + 30,000 square miles Unincorporated States
Capital: Praha
Pop: 4.4 Million + 800,000
Major Exports: Food
Major Imports: Stone, metals, immigrants
Customs: Weddings in the Sudetenland reflect the rural nature of the area. The bride wears an elaborate headdress which will include woven strands of wheat and other grains as a symbol of fertility. An egg is also presented to the bride bringing good health to her future children. The ceremony usually begins with the couple arriving by a horse drawn carriage, and it is not uncommon for the event to last long into the night or into the next day. The celebration often involves copious amounts of alcohol, because of this there are several stereotypes about the drinking habits of the farmers from the south.
Notes: While uncommon, it is not unheard of for women to hold powerful positions. Kamila was left a widow of her husband and claimed the position of ruler for herself. Her husband was also survived by a younger brother who laid claim to the throne. Instead of risking open civil war Kamila suggested the threat be settled by a dual. Unfortunately, the brother did not survive the affair, when after deflecting Kamila’s thrust the blade slid along his shield nicking the external carotid artery. This death ended the formal Hildegarten lineage, cinching Kamila’s position as Archduchess and Princess-Elect.
The Unincorporated States: This area encompasses a group of ‘free’ city-states situated east, south-east of the Sudetenland. Of the dozen or so vying cities, only three have any real semblance of power. Livre Cidade, the free city, Bruxo, the magical city, and Cegueirivre, the city of darkness. Each city state is led by a titled official with the special right to name their city's Champion, and each of the three major cities has a non-voting elector for imperial matters. Those of the unincorporated states are independent-minded descendants of tough barbarians. They have come under siege by dozens of enemies over the millenia and always the states remain fiercely defended, and defiantly free. Over time the cities have formed a loose confederation that rarely unites or sees eye to eye on any matter. In the event of aggression from their larger neighbors, however, they are able to field a formidable army of very tough elite troops.

Greifland: Greifland is known as the home of the griffons, and as one might expect over half the state is mountainous terrain, explaining the surprisingly low population. The capital of Zwerge is nestled in the heart of Griffon country where they noble beasts are captured, trained, and raised. High in the mountains above the clouds, Balthasar looks down from his aerie watching his people toil in the mountains. The southern part of the province is hilly farmland, ideal for growing the food necessary to keep the mines and stables full of people. Though often plagued by trolls and other giantkin, the noble people of the Griffon mountains have long held their ground. Recently however, a new threat has emerged. Strange beasts have been pouring out of the mountains, perhaps the empire has finally delved too deep into the mountains.
Leader: Balthasar Helklinge
Size: 5500 square miles
Capital: Zwerge
Pop: 1 Million
Major Exports: Stone, Griffons, Metals
Major Imports: Lumber, trade goods, food, wine
Customs: As a right of passage noble sons and knights quest to slay a giant, not earning their title until they return with the head of the beast. It is also tradition that if a serf or servant slays an ettin they may move to the rank of yeoman, and so if a yeoman slays a ettin he may acquire the title of knight.

Kirkmont: Kirkmont is the industrial center of the empire. Raw materials and food stuffs are shipped in from areas with richer soils and more resources and the fires of industry and war burn into the night. With mountains in the north and south as well as the dwindling Rotteswald forest bordering the east they find enough fuel, but they are always forging. Between the industrial centers and cities in the state farms can be found but due to the poorer growing conditions many of these farms focus on animals – specifically those that graze. Cows, goats, and predominantly sheep.
Leader: Luthor Vulkarn
Size: 20,000 square miles
Capital: Antmund
Pop: 1.2 Million
Major Exports: Finished Goods, artisanal goods, lumber
Major Imports: Food
Customs: The northern extremities of Kirkmont are highly superstitious due to their proximity to the Northern Orthodoxy. Neighbors can be heavily divided by their opinion of the old religion as well as their views on how the Northerners carry out their affairs. There are rumors that some in Kirkmont secretly revere the old gods and travel to the North to openly worship. Such action would be punishable under the law.
Notes: Kirkmont is home to the only manufactorum in the empire allowed to work with black powder and the devices which use it. The notable Canon Brigade, one of the most important defensive forces of the city of Königsatz are made here – under the greatest of security. It is rumored that each cannonball made is anointed with the blood of a cleric so that the righteous fury of the gods would reign down upon any would be invader.

Märklend: The heart of the empire. Before it was the capital state of the empire, it was a country all on its own surrounded by barbarian clans, smaller fiefdoms, and the Northern Orthodoxy. In those days, even the Märklenders worshiped the elemental lords. Almost a millennium ago, Märklend was almost overrun by the barbarians from the south and east – and in their hour of need, heroes rose to fend off the barbarian hordes – heralds of the new gods. No one knows exactly where they came from, maybe they were always there but no one was looking, but they led the remnants of the Märklenders against the barbarians, and so the country survived. The teachings of the seven heroes who survived the war spread like wildfire around Märklend and so when they went to war again six hundred years later, the teachings spread yet again. Except to the North.
Leader: Emperor Clausicus Imperium Fortunum IV
Size: 35,000 square miles
Capital: Königsatz
Pop: 2.8 Million
Major Exports: Soldiers, weapons, culture, finished goods
Major Imports: Silk, Porcelain, Dyes, Spices, Lumber, Ores
Customs: High society dominates the palaces of Märklend. The aristocrats attend operas, paint, dine on opulent dinners while the peasants look on hoping that one day they too will be elevated to such a level. There are ways to climb the ranks of society and the lower classes often strive to make one of them come true. Marriage is the slowest, but if well planned, a guaranteed means of climbing the ladder. Its also possible to become a yeoman of a knight by impressing him in some way – if you show potential after serving as yeoman it is possible to become a knight errant the lowest caste of knight, but a knight nevertheless.
Foreign Powers: The Empire shares this continent with two other major players, plus the disorganized brutes who live in the barrens (who should they every unify would be considered a major threat to both the Empire and Öster) as well as a few minor rabbles which can remain free due to convenience, cost, or lack of interest.


The Sundered Isles: The Sundered Isles are a loose conglomeration of swampy mainland, tropical islands, and several scattered archipelagos who all owe their allegiance to High King kaSenzanga Mahu Azindow father of Abeto Kwame Azindow. He has forged a strained, but respected peace with the empire as well as the Monothesists, seeking to increase his nation’s standing with trade and building of infrastructure, as a great deal of it is separated by large distances. It is the largest and poorest of the three great nations, but they are making great strides towards remedying that.

Often painted by The Empire as “noble savages” the people of The Sundered Isles are observed more as a curiosity than anything else within the Empire. While they are often the subject of suspicion they are often treated better than the demihumans who reside within the Empire.

Their religion, magic, and culture are often regarded as mysterious and strange by the Empire, who while having two major religions, is consistent culturally. The Sundered Isles however, consist of some groups of people with over a thousand leagues of sea between them and share as much in common with each other as they do with members of the Empire, thus fueling the mystique around people from the Sundered Isle because a dozen people of the Empire can each meet someone different from the Sundered Isles and learn four different languages, experience 14 religions, and still hear them singe the praises of the great kaSenzanga Mahu Azindow.

The Barren Wastes: The Barren Wastes have no king; but that doesn’t mean that collectedly the entire landmass can be omitted from the geopolitical power struggles of the continent. Every so often a warlord raises himself to a position of power high enough to threaten the surrounding, more civilized lands. This happened most recently forty years ago when a mad, unnamed sorcerer king rose to power driving hordes of orc, man, and beast into all three of the great empires burning a pillaging everything in their path. Kirkmont alone reported over five million gold in damages as a result of the first wave of destruction which seemed to have no purpose other than to fuel the bloodlust of the waste barbarians.

Currently there are several outlander tribes of the wastes which trade with the towns on the outskirts of Kirkland, and several emissaries reside in the capital of Kirkmont, though none have been formally invited to visit the capital city of Königsatz. The Barren Wastes have significant mineral resources including salt, gypsum, and perhaps of the greatest interest to the Empire, niter.

Several notable clashes between the Empire and Öster have taken place in the Barrens, one historical battle from two hundred years ago took place in a great valley where the two armies crashed into each other like storm clouds – their cavalry thundering through the valley – both armies had attracted the attention of a large orc horde which swept down from the hills like a cleansing green fire routing both armies – leading to a popular idiom in The Empire, “Mind the Orcs,” meaning that no matter how well planned something is there are random forces working against you.

Minor Powers:

Free States Beyond the Unincorporated (FSBU): Beyond the Unincorporated States are the free states. This loose conglomeration of freedom loving feudal lords each hold vast tracks of rolling land to the north of the holdings of the Sundered Isles. While the various smaller lords are busy competing and squabbling; they are capable of uniting whenever larger threats approach.

Because the cities are often spread far apart the Free States, specialize in cavalry fighting and have one more than occasion beaten back invading armies using a scorched earth technique. Some of the larger keeps have official treaties or trade pacts with the surrounding nations, but many of the larger nations are content leaving the Free States as a buffer between themselves.

Gorak’s Hold: Gorak’s hold is little more than a castle built into a mountaintop marking the separation of four important geographic features. It is the crux where Greifland, Kirkmont, the Barrens, and the Unincorporated States would come together. Gorak’s Hold sits atop, or rather around, the tallest peak outside the Northern Wastelands. And ancient dwarven hold, Gorak son of Gorcael rules the last remaining free dwarf city on the continent. The only overland method of reaching the keep is by traversing one of a brace of bridges each spanning nearly half a mile in length, suspended over a hundred feet in the air – each of which is only wide enough for a pair of carts to travel abreast. The hold has maintained its neutrality for over a century and does not interfere in the struggles of the human countries.

More than once the empire has considered laying siege to the blemish on its doortstep, but the potential losses for the siege are astronomical. It is believed that the dwarves catapults are fine tuned enough to knock a griffon from the air, leaving the only other potential route for siege being under the mountain. The one time an elector suggested such a course of action he was laughed out of the court, when then Emperor Clausicus Imperium II asked, “if we are to take a dwarven mountain from underground, should we also plan on taking the sea from the fish?” Instead the empire has cut all formal ties from Gorak’s hold and placed a rather harsh embargo on trade goods from the tiny dwarven empire hoping to eventually starve them out of their mountain home, though it is slow going. While the empire can stop trade of dwarven goods and weapons gold shines in any light.

Children of the Pale Moon: In the dense swamplands and forests between Imperial lands and the Sundered Isles lays a hidden nation of elves and sylvan creatures – all of fey descent. Little is known about the mysterious elves except that they come to Praha every year to trade with the people of the Sudetenland. Rarely smaller caravans will travel to the outlaying villages in times of need to trade with the people there, but no formal relationship exists with the Empire. Only three roads travel all the way from the Empire through their lands to the Sundered Isles, and it is said that any who stray from the paths are lost to the woods never to be seen again.

Wizards, knights, and priests have all made their attempts to establish relation with the strange and mysterious empire and all have been met with rejection, mystery, or death. The last attempt was nearly twenty years ago when the Grand Imperial Wizard Noraxsus Thorzdam attempted to teleport into the heart of the woodlands. He awoke three days later on the outskirts of the Praha – never to try again.
Can they stop the Red Tide? Red Hand of Doom
Do they have what it takes to tame the wilds? The Founding
Check out this Month's Short Story Competition. Aethera changed the format at the behest of some wicked, otherworldly whispering.

Last edited by wodine; 10-04-2018 at 11:59 PM.
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