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Old 04-17-2020, 09:46 PM
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Collaborative Worldbuilding: Ethereal Lands

COLLABORATIVE WORLDBUILDING THREAD
THE ETHEREAL LANDS

Here's something I thought would be fun to try: we take a blank canvas of a world setting, anyone can contribute features or detail it it, and we see what we end up with.

Quick rules/guidelines:
  • Baseline for this world is general fantasy, but genre-bending is allowed - you could add in steampunk nations, esoteric lands where the laws of reality work differently, or whatever else you can create justifications for.
  • Anything is permissible, as long as it does not directly contradict what has been established before.
  • You may go large or small - create a region, a quaint little village, a single important NPC or location, or introduce an entire race to the world. Or something entirely different!
  • Wait for at least one other user to post before adding something new.
When listing your feature, include:
  • A name or descriptor, including how it fits in the world. Try to be specific about location, even if just 'on the west border of X nation'.
  • At least two unique facts about your addition. You may add more if you wish.
I'm no artist but I'll attempt regular sketches of what we create so that we have a visual frame of reference. If anyone wants to volunteer their own artistic expertise, it will be welcomed.

To get the ball rolling, here's a starter!

BOROS MAJORThe city of Boros Major lies on the Brackenridge coast.

It has dominion over other towns across the coast, designated 'Minor' in their names. The dominion is ruled by an oligarchy only interested in hoarding wealth, from tribute and trade.

The city is ancient, and bleeding with unknown temporal magic - one may walk down a laneway, and emerge three days later with no time having passed for them.
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HELP MAKE THE ETHEREAL LANDS!
RUNNING: OMEGA BLUE

Playing: After the Quake, Tenmen, Sky Realm, Ultraviolet Grasslands, Pirate King's Legacy
I've taken the Oath.

Last edited by HotsuSama; 04-30-2020 at 03:46 AM.
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Old 04-20-2020, 01:24 PM
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THE HOWLING GORGEThe overflow of magic that lazily trickled from the city for centuries grew to a whirling torrent down south, carving a great scar in its path deviding the land, giving birth to unspeakable creatures that roam the unclaimed forests and plains nearby.
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Old 04-23-2020, 08:52 AM
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ORPHAN POINTA rocky peninsula situated a small distance south of Boros Major, made near inaccessible from the inland by the Howling Gorge.

Once it was a popular launching point for hunts and research expeditions into the gorge, but most of those endeavours are abandoned with the increasing dangers of magic-blighted creatures.

The lone active settlement is a small fortified town named Carapace Minor. It is reliant upon its fishing industry and trade with Boros Major for its survival.
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HELP MAKE THE ETHEREAL LANDS!
RUNNING: OMEGA BLUE

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I've taken the Oath.
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Old 04-23-2020, 09:21 AM
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Port Carapace MinorThe port of Carapace Minor is the lifeline for the village. Since there are no trade connections or much value in the town, it's frequented by only those who trade with the small town itself and the fishermen who feed the townspeople. The port itself is sutiated a few hundred meters below Carapace Minor and the route between them is carved into the cliff that separates them, which makes Carapace Minor a great asset as a vantage point to overlook the waters. This might be the only reason why the dominion won't let it fall to the ever increasing number of creatures that wander near.
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Old 04-23-2020, 05:17 PM
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ooohhh, great idea!!

Festival of the devilfish Each year there is a festival held at the port of Carapace Minor. The families of the fishermen walk colourful paper lanterns in the shapes of giant fish through the streets, hoping to ward of the fabled 'devil fish'. This creature is said to be a huge magical fish monster who lives in the warm waters around the peninsular. The story goes that the monster was once a woman who lost her husband at sea. She went mad with despair and threw herself into the ocean where the evil water goddess Falishta-rah externalised her suffering and turned her into the monster. The light of the fish lanterns represents the light of the good water godess Falishta-asha, and the families carry them to ward off the devill fish and remind Falishta-rah that the fishermen and their families are under the good godess' protection
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Last edited by Wishkamon; 04-23-2020 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 04-23-2020, 05:49 PM
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Honestly i'm having way too much fun wiht this! I'll have to moderate myself

The Ashari Morning The morning after the Festival of the devilfish is important for the town as it is said that if the ever present fog is absent in the morning, the Festival of the devilfish has been successfull and the sea has been blessed by Falishta-asha. This is considered to be an Ashari Morning and every member of the town is expected to help carry as much of this blessed seawater up the Cliff and into the town as possible, where it's used to was the houses off and then it gets poured onto the earth in and around the small village to help ward off the blight stricken creatures for a while. Some say it's nothing but superstition and the protection comes from washing away the human smell but either way, it hasn't happened for a few years now.
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Old 04-23-2020, 10:01 PM
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Loving the momentum! And it feels like the setting is starting to tell its own stories, which is awesome.

I'll probably keep to geographical posts for the moment to broaden the possible landmarks a little, but by all means keep posting about Carapace Minor if you feel there's more to tell!

THE BROKEN THRONE / ZETHA cluster of tropical islands, several days' sail north-east of Orphan Point.

The local inhabitants call themselves the Zeth, and they maintain a quasi-feudal hegemony across the larger islands of the archipelago. These islands have their own tribe/clan councils, which all receive direction from a single 'monach' whose title roughly translates as 'Paragon'.

Local myth says that the Zeth once acted as servants to their resident god, Keppana. When the god grew dissatisfied (or bored), their departure fractured the once intact land of Zeth, creating the current island structure.
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HELP MAKE THE ETHEREAL LANDS!
RUNNING: OMEGA BLUE

Playing: After the Quake, Tenmen, Sky Realm, Ultraviolet Grasslands, Pirate King's Legacy
I've taken the Oath.

Last edited by HotsuSama; 04-23-2020 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 04-24-2020, 08:28 AM
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It feels like the things to write about are allready infinite I never would have guessed that world building can be such a fun collaborative effort.

The Timeless TreeAt the southern end, the Howling Gorge widens into a cliff lined lowland. It is rumored that in the center of it, there is a gigantic tree. The rumors are quite different from one another from this point on, and just about the only similarities between them are that it is in the eye of the whirling magical storm that is the culmination of all the magic that has flowed through the gorge over time, and the the name: The Timeless Tree.

The storm itself is widely feared as many people lost their minds trying to unravel the lowland's misteries. It is said that staring into the storm long enough, you might catch the gaze of something timeless staring back, the likes of which the human mind can not comprehend.
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Old 04-25-2020, 01:02 AM
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Strait of KeppanaLocated between Orphan point and the archipelago of The Broken Throne. This narrow body of water is treacherous to cross in the best of times. High winds fueld by the magical storm to the southwest and rocky outcroppings from the island chain make it dangerous.

The strait becomes un-navigable when the twin moons, Pluton and Bancon, align once every three months. The massive low tides around this lunar event cause small volcanic atolls to be exposed. For those adventurous enough, this also promises easy access to the many jagged shoals whose shipwrecks and mysteries are revealed.
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Old 04-25-2020, 05:17 PM
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Enstead MinorThe first major settlement north of Boros Major, along the Brackenridge Coast, is the rich, walled, merchant town of Enstead Minor. In the service of the oligarchs of Boros Major, it serves several functions: as a rest-stop, as a trading point for more superstitious merchants unwilling to travel to Boros Major, as a customs post for smaller trading ships and fishermen, and as a check-point to ensure those who have not paid their fair share in Boros Major are stopped before they can get beyond the reach of the oligarchs.

Enstead Minor's day-to-day affairs are managed by a council of local petit bourgeois merchants. A well-trained force of guardsmen (many of whom are former caravan guards and mercenaries), led by a lieutenant in the service of the oligarchs, carries out various duties in the town and the surrounding area.
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Old 04-26-2020, 07:51 AM
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The landscape's really coming together now! I'll have to look at getting something pictoral in my next post (unless there's someone with artistic proficiency here who'd like to volunteer?)

BRIGHTWOODThis forest covers much of the hilly ground west of the Howling Gorge.

The mana-blighted creatures definitely haunt the woods, but reports of their nature vary. Some accounts call them savage and monstrous beyond reckoning; others claim types of beasts made perceptive and keen by the magical afflictions, even attempting to build dwellings reminiscent of village hovels.

The northern rim of Brightwood is logged for lumber and other materials, and mages still attempt to venture deeper into the woods to find magically altered flora for experimentation. They often don't return.
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HELP MAKE THE ETHEREAL LANDS!
RUNNING: OMEGA BLUE

Playing: After the Quake, Tenmen, Sky Realm, Ultraviolet Grasslands, Pirate King's Legacy
I've taken the Oath.

Last edited by HotsuSama; 04-26-2020 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 04-26-2020, 01:29 PM
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Digging this idea. Sorry my artistic ability is non-existent, or I'd try to map it for you.

BRIGHTWOOD OAKA mutation of the standard oak tree found only in the forest of its namesake, Brightwood oaks yield highly valuable timber. Furniture crafted from this material holds a gorgeous sheen upon the whorls of wood grain clear enough to make out one's own refelection in, even without the use of lacquer. Unlike normal wood, Brightwood oak seems to never warp or twist over time, no matter how much temperature change or moisture it is exposed to.

Mages find that weapons and armor crafted from this wood always start out imbued with a random magical enchantment. Scholars theorize that the trees have somehow absorbed residual magical emanations from the Howling Gorge in the east to produce this wondrous effect. In any case, this characteristic causes Brightwood oak to be highly sought after by adventurers, despite the dangers of the mana-blighted monsters in the area.


EDIT: On second thought, let's make that one random low-grade enchantment. We don't want a bunch of low level bandits harassing people with vorpal clubs just because they got lucky and picked up the right stick in the woods!
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Last edited by Crimson; 04-27-2020 at 06:04 PM. Reason: Broke the economy lol
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Old 04-26-2020, 06:37 PM
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Engineer's Guild of Boros MajorThe Engineer's Guild of Boros Major is a powerful civilian group dedicated to keeping the city ticking over. Adept at exploiting its ancient magic, its agents and officers know every trick of the city and continually attempt to control the leakage of temporal magic through the creation of wonderful machines and contraptions, some more successful than others. The Engineer's Guild is housed in a seemingly-small guildhall, which has vast underground chambers for experimentation. The Guildmaster, Anan, is a famed inventor, although constant temporal anomalies mean he has spent far longer than a single lifetime in Boros Major.
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Old 04-27-2020, 04:34 PM
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hrrrmmm how about a race? Here's a bunch of friendly bird people trying to do good in the world

Race-Harpy One race, making up roughly 30% of the humanoid population, are a race of humanoid bird people who descended from desert tribes in the far north. They have horns on their heads under plush feathery hair, and beautiful bird-like wings and tails. They are known as great philosophers and warriors. ‘Harpy, Harpine, Desert-Folk, Bird-folk’

Geography- In the far south most bird-folk still live in nomadic tribes in the Desert of Seven Eyes, wandering with their herds. When two tribes meet they contest each other in the art of combat and philosophy, but live otherwise peaceful lives away from the toils of modern society. Some Harpy found that their journeys led them out of the desert and into the world of men, and these wanderers spread to almost every corner of the world.

Mentality- Most Harpine live by a strong ethical code which they will never stray from; guided by their intensely philosophical upbringings they follow their ideals wholeheartedly. They tend to be confident, forward and outgoing and they don't believe in mincing words. They are candid in all subjects; they often find it frustrating interacting with other races who don't always say exactly what they mean. They’re honest to the point of brutality, and can often come across as rude and arrogant. On top of this, they are usually very open about intimacy too, and find the notion of monogamy or specific orientations completely baffling. Needless to say the combination of their natural beauty and promiscuity means they have a reputation to be heartbreakers and home-wreckers. Those who are able to get beyond these stereotypes and befriend a Harpy will find them to be deeply caring and motivated individuals. Their natural intelligence and charisma often leads them into positions of power across the continent, as advisors to nobility or councilmen, though just as many choose to live quiet, self-sustaining lifestyles as they try to live out their lives to the best of their moral code.

Anatomy: Skin tones and feather patterns are a sure fire way to tell which tribe the Harpine originated from. Skin tones range from olive or dark brown and feather and hair patterns follow those of wild birds, most commonly birds of prey. Typically they tend to be very beautiful and exotic looking, generally lean and tall, and there is very little physical difference between males and females, with both tending towards androgyny. Traditional tribal clothing is a light sari or sarong, lots of gold jewelry

Despite their beautiful wings, most Harpine can't maintain prolonged flight like their ancestors. Few can achieve it with a great deal of daily training, but these tend to be people who stay in the desert and dedicate the time to it. Ordinarily Harpys can use their wings and tails to assist them with running, jumping and swiftly changing directions. They are a very fast and agile race, due in part to their hollow bones. These make them very light but also susceptible to heavy damage.

Their feet and lower legs resemble bird feet, and their hands, though more humanoid- have scales and claws. Up for 60% of their body may be covered in small downy feather

Religion: There are no deities or churches amongst the Harpine, although some tribes have adopted them from other religions. Generally they do not believe in life after death, believing instead that one must make the most of the rare gift of life by defining their own morals and living and dying by them. While these moral codes vary from person to person, a generalisation of the most common philosophy would be “Do good in the world”.
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Last edited by Wishkamon; 04-27-2020 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 04-27-2020, 06:33 PM
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BRACKENRIDGE TIDAL CAVESNot far from the city of Boros Major lies a series of naturally forming tidal caves. The dominion's ruling oligarchy have had several warning signs in several languages posted at each discovered cave entrance, forbidding entry into the caves. This is due to the fact that at high tide, the caves are invariably flooded with sea water, drowning a few unfortunate souls every year. Even those capable of breathing water, be it through natural or magical means, will be beaten to death in the cave's many twists and turns by the force of water. However, it is an open secret that the caves connect directly to Boros Major's sewers, so brave (or stupid) "runners" for the city's thriving black market frequently smuggle goods through the caves at low tide during their narrow window of opportunity. In response, Boros Major sends regular patrols along the coast, but there are abundant hiding places among the rocks of the Brackenridge, and guards can easily be bribed to look the other way...
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Last edited by Crimson; 04-27-2020 at 06:33 PM.
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