Crusade Chronicle: Reference Documents

Discussion in 'The Tavern (RP Discussion)' started by Blue_Jay, Oct 2, 2017.

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  1. Blue_Jay

    Blue_Jay Active Member

    Hello all. My name is Jay, and I'm the Dungeon Master of a Dungeons and Dragons game I'm planning to run hopefully soon. If you'll permit me, I'll use this space as a reference repository for all the lore and pertinent documents for the campaign. I've included below a small table of contents, and will gradually turn the entries into hypertext that will link to posts further in this topic. Please feel free to post and share your thoughts. But also, please try to refrain from deleting your posts, if possible, as I think that will mess up my hyperlinks. Thank you!

    I plan to continually update these references up until and during the time when we eventually start the campaign.

    Game Info

    Race Descriptions and Traits
    Map of Exordia (working title)
    Factions (wip)
    House Rules (wip)
    Lore
    Primer: Magic and Spellcraft
    The Aldaran Monasteries
    The Twilight Knight
    The Celestial Wars
    Primer: The Gods of Exordia
    The Whitefang
    The Druids of the Everwood
    Regions
    Landmarks and Settlements
    Highshore (wip)
    Capital City (wip)
    Hollow Peaks (wip)
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  2. Blue_Jay

    Blue_Jay Active Member

    [​IMG]

    Rabbit
    Rabbits may be small, but they are highly industrious and natural craftsmen. Most families are tight-knit and pass on techniques to their kin and children. Thus, many master several crafts by adulthood and continue to develop their skills from that point forward. It is said that they possess an almost supernatural connection to the earth, and, by extension, to the materials that they use. Some commune with rocks, steel, and woodwork, and understand at a fundamental level the workings and origins of a product. Thus, they make for the best artisans in the world. Most of the inhabitants of Midas are Rabbits. But they can also be found in parts of Falor and the Everwood.

    • +2 Int, +1 Dex
    • Small size
    • 25 movement speed
    • Burrower - 15 feet burrow speed
    • Lucky - re-roll all 1's.
    • Dungeoneering - Advantage and proficiency on ability checks to detect hazards in caves or subterranean area.
    • Nimble - Can move through spaces of larger creature.
    • Artisan - Gain proficiency with two artisan's tools.


    Rat
    A mean-spirited folk would assume the worst of rats before getting to know them. Sure they seem to have a natural talent for deception and trickery, and sure they thrive in dark cramped spaces. And so what if they travel in groups and tend to leave behind a trail of crime and confusion. Each ratfolk deserves a chance, to prove that they defy the stereotypes, that they can be upstanding citizens. Just be sure to guard your coin pouches, just in case... Ratfolk can be found all over Exordia. They mostly keep to urban areas, especially cities. A lot of them inhabit the Sapphire Isles.
    • +2 Dex, +1 Con
    • Small size
    • Resilience - Advantage on saves against poison and disease. Resistance to poison damage.
    • Naturally Stealthy - Can attempt to hide when obscured by larger creature.
    • Nimble Escape - Can use Hide or Disengage action as bonus action.
    • Dark Vision - 60 radius sight in darkness.
    • Deceptive - Gain proficiency in Deception Skill.

    Canine (dogs, wolves)

    The dog-folk can be found all over Exordia, making up much of the lower-class population in Falor, and much of the army troopers and guards in Midas (hence the affectionate term, Watchdogs). They don't possess a culture of their own, and vary widely in regards to appearance, temperament, and origin. But one commonality is that they tend to be extremely passionate about something or other. Where others would guard their emotions, dog-folk tend to wear it on their sleeve, such that one can immediately tell if they are anxious or happy or angry. This is why dog-folk make for good traveling companions--not just because they're loyal, but also because you can tell what they're thinking.
    • +1 in two ability scores (neither can be the score increased by sub-race).
    • Perceptive - Gain proficiency in Perception Skill.
    • Choose a sub-race
    Sub-race, Dog-folk
    • +2 Cha
    • Loyalty- Receive a free Inspiration Die each day, add this to ability checks and saves used for purpose of aiding a specific person or organization.
    • Versatility- Gain proficiency in one skill, language, tool, or musical instrument.
    Sub-race, Whitefang Hunter
    Marauders, stalkers, predators. These blue-eyed wolves hunt in the frozen wilderness. As packs, they function as a single unit, without any need to speak or express themselves. While their numbers are many, they are an unstoppable force.
    • +2 Dex
    • Pact Tactics- Advantage on attacks and grapples on enemy within range of ally.
    • Courageous- Advantage on save throws against fear when within 60 feet of ally.


    Feline (cats, leopards, etc)

    The felines of the Falorian Empire (or Luxals) tend to be majestic and powerful-looking individuals. No matter their station their dignity is without question. Many are determined, exceedingly prideful, and sometimes even haughty. For this reason most of them have a very methodical and strict means of conversing with one another, careful as to not inadvertently offend the other's sensibilities by insinuating one's superiority, at anything. But at the same time they use this conduct and other means to vie for elevated status among their peers. Many would consider this false gallantry pompous and self-serving, and they would be right in this. But among the high-born and even the low-born there is always a place for ambition. And none pursue this as well as the Luxals. Luxals can mostly be found in Falor, but also are known to inhabit settlements to the south.
    • +2 Dex
    • Natural Predator- Advantage on ability checks to track or find creature that has been encountered before.
    • Dark Vision - 60 radius sight in darkness.
    • Choose a sub-race.
    Sub-race, Luxal
    • +1 Str
    • Gain proficiency with longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow.
    • Hunter's Stride- 35 feet movement speed.
    • Ferocious- Proficiency in Intimidation.
    Sub-race, Umbral
    The main reason that Luxals have adopted their designation is to distinguish them from this enigmatic race, the Umbrals. No one knows where they come from, but many have noted they these people tend to excel at dark magics. They are slightly smaller, and longer ears, and are usually more slender than their Umbral counterparts, and they are distinctive in their their tails tend to split into two somewhere along the length, hence the slur "fork-tail".
    • +1 Cha
    • Whisper of the Night - Can understand and communicate with intelligent creatures so long as they are only addressing one another.
    • Night Magic- Learn dancing lights cantrip. At level three learn Faerie Fire (1/day). At level 5 learn Darkness (1/day). Charisma is spellcasting ability for these spells.
    Sub-race, Whitefang Scourge
    The Whitefang tribes are disorganized and undisciplined, but somehow they've managed to survive and function as a unit, relying on instinct and companionship. But legends tell of special creatures, green-eyed sabertooth tigers, who lived among them, using their superior intelligence and wit to master the sensibilities of whole tribes, becoming war lords and coordinating battles behind the scenes. No one has yet to confirm the existence of such creatures. But one thing is for sure: If they truely exist, then a single one of them presents a greater threat than an entire tribe.
    • +1 Int
    • Cantrip- Gain one cantrip from the Wizard spell list. Int is spellcaster ability.
    • Gain one extra language.
    • Cruelty- For as many times a day equal to the Intelligence modifier, when inflicting elemental damage on a creature, that creature gains vulnerability against that element type for the next 24 hours.


    Bear (brown, polar)
    The Ursan are humongous bearfolk with brown fur. But despite their fearsome size, most are exceedingly gentle. Many Ursan live in forests, thriving off of the land. It is said that their connection to the earth is so powerful that they can tame nature spirits and harness their power. Some would settle in cities and work as humble laborers. Very rarely do they take up arms, as most of them are pacifists. The notable exceptions are the Druids, who protect the forests, and the Aldaran monks, who... well, they also protect the forests. Most of them can be found in forests and in some villages.
    • +2 Con
    • Powerful Build- Count as one size larger for purpose of calculating carry/drag/push/pull/lift capacity. Also gain advantage to resist grapple checks.
    • Insulated- Resistance to cold damage. Advantage on saves versus cold weather.
    • Choose a sub-race
    Sub-race, Ursan
    • +1 Wis
    • Nature's Advocate- Able to speak to non-sentient plants and animals. Gain advantage on ability checks to improve disposition of these creatures.
    • Druidcraft- Able to use the cantrip Druidcraft.
    Sub-race, Whitefang Brute
    Polar bears are very rare. They can be found in the Northern Wastes. Red-eyed, towering, and often of ill-temper. As a part of whitefang clans, they make up for what they lack in subtlety and finesse with how they tend to excel at smashing and killing things to death. Also, they are sort of the polar opposite of Ursans (pun intended).
    • +2 Str
    • Gain proficiency with handaxe, battle axe, throwing hammer, and war hammer.
    • Gain proficiency with light and medium armor.
    • Terrifying Aspect- Gain proficiency with Intimidation. Have advantage with this skill against smaller creatures.


    Boar
    The boarfolk (also called orcs) are typically savage clans of barbarians and raiders that prey on villages and travelers. But not all boars are like this. Some are civilized and are committed to leading an honest life, a stark contrast to their primal brethren. Despite their efforts, however, it is hard to shake the stigma. The scars of past and recent history run too deep, at times, and many citizens are reluctant to accept them as part of society. This is why many boars have taken to adventuring, as they have little to loose in their efforts to prove themselves to society
    • +2 Str, +1 Con
    • Bestial Charge- When moving at least 10 feet, gain use of and proficiency in natural weapon that inflicts 1d6 bashing damage. May instead choose to gain advantage on attempt to knock down opponent.
    • Relentless Endurance- Once per long rest, when reduced to 0 hit points, may gain additional hit point and continue fighting.
    • Savage Attacks- One critical hit, reroll one damage from weapon and add result as additional damage.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
  3. Blue_Jay

    Blue_Jay Active Member

    The Kingdom of Midas

    Detail: A small monarchy located near the center of what is known of Exordia, between Falor and Arcadia.
    Environments: Grasslands, Woods, Hills
    Climate: Tropical with occasional rain in the summer, cold during winter.

    The following is an excerpt by Tilsby the Chronicler, written in the common language.

    "Long has the Kingdom stood against the trails of the ages. From blights to plagues to incursions. Even the armies of gods cannot fell the stout walls of Highshore, the seat of the crown. And long shall it prosper in ages to come.

    "At least, that's what I'd like to say. Midas is currently the oldest kingdom in Exordia, known to many as The Last Refuge. Having endured centuries of invasions, even while literally caught in the middle of a war between two of history's most powerful nations, Highshore stands as a beacon, a neutral power in the ensuing conflict but nonetheless defiant for its perseverance. King Midas would gladly give his own life to protect his people, would march at the head of his decidedly diminutive army. But it is largely due to the efforts of his champion, The Twilight Knight, that Midas has been spared the bulk of the war's hardship. The fabled hero, the latest of a legacy that spans dozens of generations, stands as the Kingdom's deterrent and its symbol of hope.

    "But recently she has gone missing. Many are starting to fear she has left us, having met her end in some unknown act of heroism. Without its champion, without the Sword of Dawn, there is no telling what will become of the kingdom.

    "But I digress. Enough with these troubles. Midas might be a small kingdom, but it is saturated with culture and light. From the coasts to the west to the mountains to the east, the land sprawls with farmlands and meadows. Midas may not have a lot of urban settlements, but it possesses some of the most prestigious institutions ever to exist: famous bakeries, an academy of liberal arts, the world's largest trade station! And best yet, the most ancient and most expansive library.

    "I might be biased, but there is just too much to love about this nation. And though the countryside and villages are quaint at best, the people are generous and peaceful. Mostly rabbits, many of whom, to my delight, don't startle at my appearance. And I mustn't forget the dutiful guards who patrol the roads--affectionately called Watchdogs because most of them are canines.

    "I fear that in recent times there aren't enough of them, though. The patrols, that is. Attacks on villages by raiders are increasing in frequency as of late, and the Crown is forced to invest more in the Adventurer's Guilds--not the best deterrent but a necessary measure. Yet there are more bad tidings: rumors of emboldened burglars, the appearances of monsters, whispers of black magics at work. Could this be due to the Champion's disappearance? Is darkness finally beginning to encroach upon the Last Refuge? After all these centuries?

    "Alas, my sober mind returns to dark places, especially in the absence of inspiration. I shall retire to the tavern at once. I will admit, that is another thing I love about Midas; both the Breweries and the ale are crafted by the best artisans in the entire world.

    --Tilsby"
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  4. Blue_Jay

    Blue_Jay Active Member

    Falor, the Holy Empire

    Detail: A massive Theocratic nation comprised of numerous autonomous provinces. It is situated south of the northern wastelands, mountains flanking all sides save for the south where the Kingdom of Midas lays.
    Environments: Planes, Mountains, Woods
    Climate: Frequent thunder storms during summer, very long and cold winters. Occasional snow storms.

    The following is an excerpt by Tilsby the Chronicler, written in the common language.

    "I will never understand how zeal so motivates civilized folk. Sure, the Empire continues to fuel and sustain a war it has instigated decades ago, one which has caused insurmountable grief to both sides and those caught in between, which the Holy Emperor could end at any time if he wishes it. I will never understand, and I fear that none yet know how much more will be scarified until either side has their fill.

    "But who am I to contemplate the sentiments of a living god. I digress.

    "I've spent a lot of time in Falor, and I must say that it isn't all doom and gloom like most claim. The Empire is comprised of a number of disparate settlements, provinces which were formally independent nations states before the empire appropriated them decades ago. Most were left with their respective cultures wholly intact, and were allowed to resume their customs and keep their holidays. I suppose the various lords in charge were smart enough not to infringe upon the peoples' personal freedoms--at least not too much.

    "Civilization is very much alive. There are many more towns than I might have suspected otherwise, and a startling number of citizens have taken to craftsmanship and literacy. Even those among the peasantry! And oftentimes I find that wandering from province to province is much like traveling across entirely different civilizations, such is their individuality!

    "Speaking of stratification, I noticed that this society sees a lot of that. A lot more than even I am used to, actually. The lords and ladies, the rich and powerful, those holding high stations in government; typically they can be found in the most fortified districts of cities, or in their manors. I can pick out a noble from a distance, can literally smell a high-borne from a mile away. Affluence of this sort carries a certain foul stench... I often wonder if this is how most regard me. More often than not the thought has brought me to shame.

    "The magnitude and manner of injustices I have witnessed in some of the towns defy words. The way the nobles treat their lessors. The way the lessors treat their nobles. I can literally write whole chronicles about the corruption I've witnessed, a volume for each province, a chapter for each face.

    "But none would dwarf the outrage of the greatest tragedy of all; The Holy Orthodox. Now I must strain myself to describe them in a way most would deem objective.

    "Falor is a theocracy. It's spiritual leaders comprises the government and they serve the patriarch of their faith, the Divine Emperor, Duran, The One True God. And they worship him like a god, because he indeed is a god. And many would dispute this fact and insist that the emperor is but a pretender. Unfortunately, having met him in person I can confirm with certainty that this is not the case and his claim to divinity is genuine. This is the same Emperor who has ruled over this nation (like a tyrant) for over six centuries.

    "I should know, I was there for his coronation.

    "His most loyal followers are part of an organization called the Orthodox. While they do not actively participate in the governance of the empire, they do carry out his will. In all things. Executions, assassinations, mass slaughters. Unspeakable atrocities. But in all honesty, I'm not sure if these people are merely greedy thugs desperate for power, or are genuinely faithful to their cause, seeking to impose their god's order upon the world. The most faithful call themselves 'the holy inquisitors.' I call them cultists. They have banned the worship of all other gods, and they prey upon those they suspect to be heretics. Even mystics. Even foreigners.

    "Now that I think of it, I should be careful where I write this, who I show this to.

    "But how could they know any better? They worship that monster as their god of light and order. In a different time he was known as the God of Desire, the patron deity of cutthroats and liars. Who better than a god of lies to con an entire nation into becoming his willing slaves.

    "And to think that at one time he was responsible for saving the world. ...At least, that's what legends say.

    --Tilsby"
     
  5. Blue_Jay

    Blue_Jay Active Member

    The Republic of Arcadia (Southern Wastes)

    Detail: A nation of magically interconnected city states, spread out amid a massive desert wasteland. It extends from the south of Midas to the southern reaches of Exordia and beyond.
    Environments: Sand Desert, Mountains.
    Climate: Arid all year round. Prolonged exposure to heat is hazardous to most creatures.

    The following is an excerpt by Tilsby the Chronicler, written in the common language.

    "I must credit the Arcadians for their boldness. Somehow they have managed to build a prosperous civilization amid a land so hostile that most seasoned wayfarers consider it suicide to travel there. And I don't believe that to be a hyperbole. Most of the desert remains uncharted, untamed, and largely uninhabitable. The daytime heat would cook you from the inside out, the unpredictable sand storms would rend your hide to the bone, and much of the landscape is so utterly devoid of character that one could wander, lost, for months and not wind up anywhere. The desert is but a mass grave full of centuries of overzealous, foolish souls have met their end here. Mostly to dehydration, though. Sometimes to being buried alive.

    "Worst yet, however, are the encounters with the few native inhabitants: Beasts and monsters of colossal scale, with boundless appetites. Some of them can even dwarf a warship. It is no wonder that so very few make the trek through this nightmarish place. There is, however, some incentive for the few brave and exceedingly lucky, as they would stumble upon such wondrous and ancient discoveries that it would even make one such as I blanch with envy.

    "More wondrous still are the cities of Arcadia. There are five that I know of, each built around a grandiose Mage Tower and protected from the elements by powerful sorceries. And each of these cities host the world's most profound and most powerful mystics and magic. The society here, composed almost entirely of fox-folk, value intellect and cunning and they have advanced to the point where spellcraft is a common commodity, and essential to their way of life. They use magic to travel between cities, without any need to traverse the perilous wastelands. They use it to communicate with one-another from afar. And they use it in their studies and labor, venturing to achieve the pinnacle of their craft and advance their civilization.

    "The nation is a meritocracy, ruled by the High Council and its representative, Oris the Prime Minister. So far as I know, there are no true nobles here. Each citizen is responsible for his own success and prosperity, which he attains through hard work and perseverance. But do not get the wrong idea, dear reader, for life in an Arcadian city isn't all rigor and tedium. In truth, much of an Arcadian's everyday life is adventure and discovery! The citizens delight in embracing all manner of lifestyles, often inclined on the extremes, from the most secular to the most spiritual, from ordinary to extraordinary. At first I had supposed that foxes were just that fickle, at various intervals content to drastically alter their worldviews and habits without so much as a second thought. But after a time I realized that this this too is an essential part of their culture; a cultivation of a versatile state of mind and spirit, constantly adapting to change and accepting new perspectives. This is a society where dreamers and skeptics exist in harmony, experimenting with new ideas and philosophies.

    But most importantly, this is a society that truly cherishes their freedom, in all things. Freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of expression. And they respect these freedoms and guard them fiercely. This is what allows them to coexist with one anther. Undoubted it is how they have managed to survive as a civilization for so long. And this is also why many of them seem to possess enormous talent for mysticism.

    "Due to there being a necessity for at least some mystic familiarity (I lost count of how many times I nearly hurt myself trying to prepare the scrolls that conjured my meals), most citizens are taught spellcraft at infancy, and some of them enroll into mage academies when they come of age. Most gain the necessary proficiency to be functional in this highly mystical society, but a few go on to become Arcadian Mages, the most esteemed status a citizen can possess. And I must admit, in terms of magnitude and potential, there is no arcane force north of the desert that can even hope to surpass a single one of these individuals.

    "Ah, the mages. Both great artists and great destroyers, one side of a war spanning decades. Theirs is a storied and very sad tale, and one which I have no room to recount in this missive. Indeed for all the times I found myself captivated by their creativity and valor, I regret that there are perhaps many more times that they have strayed from my grace.

    "I told you that the Arcadians are fiercely protective of their freedom. Well, this goes double for the Arcadian Mages, and in recent times this sentiment has taken to the extreme. Both this and the empire's antagonistic history is the reason why the mages see the entirety of Falor as an oppressive force in the world, to be excised from creation at all cost. But how could they think any different, when their ancestors were purged and chased into the dessert by that very same nation--by that very Emperor--only a few centuries ago. Arcadia may be a young nation, but they carried the scars of their oppression through the generations, even before the purges, even before the wars that spanned a new age, and beyond.

    "It is said that their grudge is eternal, the apparitions of murdered sorcerers terrorizing the descendants of their ancient foe. It is said that their looming towers mar the world with virulent sorceries, transforming the beasts of the land and the very land itself so that they turn on the innocent, civilized folk. It is said that they've purposely engineered many of the world's most ancient and terrifying monstrosities; golems, elementals, dragons. It is said that they are heretics that think of little else but the extermination of an entire civilization, all to settle an ancient grudge.

    "But I believe differently. Despite whatever truth these accounts might hold, I believe that the Arcandians can rise above the history they've endured. They will not perpetuate old mistakes. They mustn't.

    --Tilsby"
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  6. Blue_Jay

    Blue_Jay Active Member

    The Northern Wastes

    Detail: A frozen tundra that comprises much of northern Exordia. The region possesses few forests and mountains, but is mostly composed of vast stretches of valleys and plains, and plenty of frozen lakes. The land is littered with the ancient ruins of past civilizations.
    Environments: Tundra, Mountains.
    Climate: Very cold all year round, frequent snow storms. Occasional clear weather, where the aurora can be witnessed.

    The following is an excerpt by Lord Theon of Stonefast, also known as the Scourge of Death, written in the common language, recorded by Tilsby the Chronicler.

    "Oi, I already told you, old friend, the first round only grants you an audience. But I might be persuaded after a second round. And I'm not drinking alone this time.

    "Ah, there we are. Now then, you want to hear more about my homeland? Well, as it turns out, so does everyone else who's never been there! Most everyone who's not afraid to look me in the eye fancies a story. Many are even fool enough to dare a journey, expecting to return to cheers and prestige, with their hearts swollen with pride and their pockets swollen with rare gems and whatever else they manage to excavate. Romantics and scholars, mostly. Your sort of people.

    "Brazen fools like I was, even, once upon a time. I can still recall those long winters, when I could march for days at a time, swathed from head to toe in armaments and mud and some fool's guts. My prime has long since past, and now I fear that I am growin--You're writing this down? No no, just sto--

    "Now then, even a fool understands that the north is dangerous. It is called a wasteland for a reason! Life is sparse there, so there aren't many things to hunt. At least, there is hardly anything there that won't hunt you right back. And if you're one of those--heh--vegetarians I think they're called, you'd be hard pressed to forage anything that'll sustain you for long. I think there are some berry patches in some places. Some of those'll kill you. And the cold will freeze your spit before you can swallow. The nights are unbearable for most who aren't used to it. And those poor fur-less bastards. Yeah, you know what I mean. By now I bet you envy us mammals, don't you?

    "But actually, most likely you'll die from dehydration before you starve to death. Sure its possible to make water from the ice or collect it from the frozen lakes, which, of course, are bountiful. But you need fire for that. Fire attracts attention, the wrong kind of attention. The large and ravenous kind. And when you are out of oil, you need tinder for fire. There is plenty of wood, plenty of forest. A lot creatures down there are very protective of their forests, don't take kindly to you stealing their trees. And then you need something sharp what to cut the wood or cut the ice. Cutting into things tends to create a lot of noise. Noise draws an audience. You know where I'm going with this.

    "Not a whole lot of shelter down there, I'm afraid. Not if you don't know where to look. Hardly any civilization either; not the friendly sort, anyway. The giants--we call them 'behemoths'--are brutal and territorial. Don't speak much. Not with words, anyway. Not friendly, either. Solitary creatures, big as a cottage, attack most things that move. Then there are the... in your language it's 'barbarians'. Of course, you know we like to call ourselves 'Whitefang'. Gives us some sense of distinction, from you people. Civilized people, I mean. That, and we have white fur, or paint our vestments white and black, helps us blend with the snow, move unseen. And we like war, a lot. We fight among ourselves more than we fight the empire's soldiers. Mostly because those whelps don't provide a decent enough challenge. I imagine your Emperor's pissing his breeches every morn he wakes up to the realization that, untied, our tribes--yes, my former tribes, whatever--outnumber all of his armies ten to one. Imagine what would happen if all those warlords to the north finally stopped bickering, if they were bent to a single purpose?

    "I don't think you'd like it up there. Children are taught to fight by the time they can walk on their own. And there's none of these... these things, what do you call them? Masonry. Furniture. They live in tents, travel in packs, carry little in ways of amenities. They take what they need from the villages and tribes they conquer. They're nomads, hardly ever settle in one place for too long. That's a good away to get flanked and ambushed. You understand why I'm determined never to return, yes?

    "You know what, if your ridiculous creation myths hold true and that wilderness was actually the grand design of some old god--I forget the name I don't care--I'd bet you a kingdom that bastard knew that dreaded place would spawn the likes of us. Imagine it, a dark and cold realm that at every moment tests every single inch of your being. A struggle for every single heartbeat, a struggle for every drawn breath. A constant struggle for supremacy and survival. And through generations the Whitefang have risen to match those trials, mastering the land as they have mastered themselves. They know the migrations of their quarry, the straits of the mountains, the signs of the coming storms. From the time each of them are born, death is a constant companion, their relationship intimate, and nourishing.

    "Only a god can conceive of something so horrible. It is no wonder people fear me. ...Well, they used to. ...They ought to.

    "Worse yet are the undead, though. Nasty buggers. Well preserved, but not too many of them. Mostly keep to their crypts, so long as they aren't disturbed. And so long as there aren't any wights lurking about. Yes, wights. They're rare, intelligent, a single one of them can command a score of undead. Those folk down south are lucky they don't have any of those... Well, actually, I recall this one time--

    "Ah, but that's another story, and we've run out of ale. Fetch us another round.

    --Theon."
     
  7. Blue_Jay

    Blue_Jay Active Member

    The Everwood

    Detail: An endless forest teeming with wildlife. It comprises the entirety of Exordia's eastern frontier and beyond. Above the canopy, an impossibly large tree can be seen looming on the horizon.
    Environments: Dense forest, some wetlands.
    Climate: Tropical, humid in some places. Cool winters, occasional rain.

    The following is an excerpt by Tilsby the Chronicler, hastily scrawled in what vaguely resembles the common language.

    "Before I go on, I feel obligated to state the obvious. The Everwood is clearly a risky place to travel. Even moreso if one were to try to settle there. This is a refuge for all manner of beasts that prey on us people. And the woods are so dense that one can easily become lost for days. And there are poison bogs, quicksand, venomous insects and fruit, and the canopy is so dense that in most places it would conceal the night sky. Even I have a hard time finding my way in a realm of pitch black.

    "The Everwood becomes ever more treacherous the deeper you wander in. And, true to its name, it stretches forever into the horizon. Some even say it would cross over into the realm of the fae, but I digress.

    "The lesson here, dear reader, is that you should never travel into the Everwood without a guide. At the very least you must possess a working compass. I, and many others, were unfortunate enough to learn this lesson the hard way. Few are fortunate enough to survive that lesson.

    "Now that I've gotten that out of the way:

    "The Everwood is truly a wondrous and marvelous phenomenon! It's edge spans the east side of the chain of mountains that lie east of the Falor, and it is there that I have come across a number of settlements. Mostly frontier towns, some mining villages, and a few farms. But further in, with a bit of effort, one can discover such breathtaking sights. I found a flower bed that spanned an entire hill. I also spotted a waterfall whose surface shined like a mirror, spilling from a ravine high above. And the wildlife there take on such marvelous forms. I've discovered birds and butterflies that don't exist anywhere else in the world!

    "I will admit, my friends must had a hard time convincing me to return to this place. It is unfortunate but I have never shared their appreciation for nature, certainly not the way that people would expect when they see me. The wilderness, and being away from the comfort of enclosed spaces, makes me very anxious and uncomfortable. But I am indeed glad that I decided to return, and I am glad for this opportunity.

    "But also, the godberries helped a lot. I am mostly thankful for the constant supply of godberries. I do not believe that I would have coped if I were otherwise sober for this experience.

    "A lot of the (more civil) inhabitants are Ursan. That is the general name for bear-folk who make all of the forests across Exordia their home, and not just the Everwood. But some of my anthropologist peers believe that their ancestors might have all originated from the Everwood, and my recent discoveries lend some credence to those theories. But the ones here are particularly interesting. Sure, their powerful frames and sensibilities resemble most other bears that I've come to know, but the ones here are a lot more sophisticated than one would expect.

    "Well, they were all still shameless drunkards, but in my particular situation I couldn't complain.

    "I was brought to one of their settlements by one of my scholar friends; one who so happened to be Ursan, and who was also my sole provider of godberries and other such stress remedies. It was a modest village, not too far into the woods but quite difficult to find otherwise. The society there was deeply spiritual, the villagers believing themselves to possess a profound connection to the forest. Their elders communicated with the spirits, prayed for good weather and bountiful harvests. The villagers worked all day to forage food and carry on their daily chores. And every sunset they would congregate about a massive fire pit to celebrate and have a feast. The feasts were always a joy, but for some reason they mostly consisted of wine distilled from an assortment of berries.

    "My memories of those nights are fuzzy. The mornings too, actually.

    "Despite their formidable size, the ursa do not put a lot of effort into their defenses. They believe, ardently, that the forests will protect them from danger, along with the Druids--the forests mystical guardians. And I cannot help but believe them, as I have seen some incredible things during my time in the Everwood. Impossible things, even.

    "Although I fear that some most maybe all accounts might be tainted due to my elevated delirious altered state of mind during my time here. Perhaps I will venture to write a few fictions based around my more profound hallucinations: about the insect-like fae who conjured living trees in the middle of a misty grove. Or the robed Ursan monks whose swift and nimble movements defied both reason and their humongous bulk. Or perhaps even about a ancient, hidden kingdom.

    "But of course I won't. Not even a single soul would venture to read such nonsense. The godberries must have dulled my good senses, that I would even consider such a waste of time.

    "I had better go fetch some more, then.

    --Tilsby."
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
  8. Blue_Jay

    Blue_Jay Active Member

    Primer: Magic and Spellcraft

    The following is an excerpt by Tilsby the Chronicler, written in the common language.

    "I have witnessed a lot of quarrels among historians and theologists regarding the question of sorcery, and specifically in regards to that which exist in the realm of Exordia. How long as sorcery been around? Where does it come from? Is it evil? Now, I will not claim to have all the answers, but I would like to broadly address the topic here in this missive, both to inform and perhaps to open this subject up to broader discussions.

    "First, I shall firmly make this point: Magic does exist. Supernatural phenomenon is not very common on the mainland, in countries like Falor and Midas. Many of the citizens might go their entire lives without being exposed to such. And sure, a traveler might frequently encounter individuals who claim to be magicians or soothsayers. I suppose that forty-nine out of fifty of them are charlatans, or even worst they might actually believe that they possess mystical abilities when actually they do not. Many skeptics would point to these examples, citing them as irrefutable proof that the supernatural does not exist. But I would argue that just because you have not witnessed something, it does not mean that it isn't there.

    "Outside of Arcadia and the Everwood, sorcery would most commonly take the form of Relics. They are ancient devices, devised in civilizations so ancient that not even I possess a record of them. And relics are rare, and often powerful. And exceedingly valuable, but sometimes even dangerous. A commoner might not be able to tell a relic apart from a mundane object; at least until it starts glowing or setting things on fire. In recent times, though, the market on relics is starting to see a reemergence. On one hand, given the various calamities the war has wrought, all kingdoms are beginning to heavily invest in their adventurer communities once again. This means that there will undoubtedly be more tomb raiders, and more ancient secrets and treasures unearthed.

    "On the other hand, the corpse of an Arcadian Mage is literally a font of powerful relics. Scavengers would go to war with one another over whatever treasures they can loot from various battlefields--a terrible thing to witness, trust me. I imagine there are few civilizations left that can craft such devices.

    "And then there are the mages. I will not speak of the Arcadian Mages, as they are a category all their own. But true magicians north of Arcadia are even rarer. Alchemists do not count; their craft is almost entirely rooted in science, and magic and science very rarely intersect. The Falor Empire is particularly good about making that distinction. They employ researchers, alchemists, and surgeons in mass. But while magecraft is not exactly outlawed, in many communities it is not uncommon to hear of suspected magicians being victimized or treated as scapegoats. I'd like to say it is due to the war and the terrors that the Arcandian Mages have wrought, but I fear that this particular brand of prejudice is far, far older than just one war.

    "Magicians are tolerated more in Midas. Actually, King Midas himself has appointed an Arch Magus to be one of his closest advisors. One might also find one in an Adventurer's Guild if they look hard enough. It is typical for mages to gravitate towards that sort of crowd in order to finance their research. I know of a particularly unfortunate misguided necromancer who joined my guild, thinking he could achieve his ideals simply by unearthing the most powerful relics. He's young, still, so he will probably learn quick enough.

    "There are several different forms of magic as well. Artificing (or Runecraft) is the most common, as this his how relics are created. I've never met an Artificer before, but I know where a few exist, north of Falor. Then there is Magecraft, often divided into two disciplines--Black Magic and White Magic. Black Magic is typically used for warfare, and White Magic is rare, typically used to create. Together, these two sub-disciplines combine to form Arcana, the overarching school of magic that is practiced by all Arcadian Mages.

    "And then there is Primal Magic, or the 'first magic'. It it said that it is neither an art-form nor a true discipline, and this is the reason why most magicians cannot grasp it. I hear that Druids are granted this ability when they make their pacts with Mother Nature, the goddess. It would allow them to manipulate life, in all its forms. I've only seen this done a few times, and it is always a marvel.

    "Pact Magic is not too common any more. But it used to be a lot more prevalent, back before the age of Darus when the gods were more prominent. Just as it sounds, a magician is granted power and knowledge by some dubious entity, in exchange for something valuable--more often than not they trade their mortal soul. It used to be that these sorts of magicians were regarded with suspicion and fear. But these days, they are almost unheard of. Society is growing complacent... less superstitious. This is probably a good thing.

    "And lastly, there is the optimistic derivative of Pact Magic. I call it Sagecraft, the art of summoning into reality legendary heroes or historic events. I believe that this form of magic has fallen into obscurity over the ages. In fact, I think that I might be the only true Sage remaining.

    --Tilsby"
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
  9. BennyJackdaw

    BennyJackdaw Active Member

    You put a lot of thought and work into this, it seems. I'd actually like to RP with you in this world, but if we can, I'd really rather not use Discord or a chat webiste.
     
  10. Blue_Jay

    Blue_Jay Active Member

    Yes indeed! I appreciate the sentiment. But it'd be rather hard for me to run DnD game via play-by-post, and forum RPs are usually too slow paced for me.
     
  11. Blue_Jay

    Blue_Jay Active Member

    Primer: The Aldaran Monasteries

    The following is an excerpt by Tilsby the Chronicler, written in the common language.

    "Back when I was a student I was often made to transcribe scrolls collected from the monasteries across the region. This is perhaps why I become so bored and dreary whenever I enter such places as temples or cathedrals or chapels. They remind me of all the time I'd lost, burying my nose in a book. But I recall that there was one particular tradition that drew my attention: The Aldaran Martial Arts.

    "So, Aldar was a legendary warrior monk who had lived eons ago. I hesitate to say that he is a historical figure, as most of the accounts regarding him had been lost to history. But it is said that he had devoted his life to obtaining spiritual and physical perfection. He had mastered the techniques that his masters had taught him, and through further training and perseverance had achieved immortality. Centuries later, he would finally obtain enlightenment and would allow his spirit to ascend, abandoning his physical form.

    "His legacy would live on through his disciples and his teachings. Those lessons would then be passed down through generations, fractured, diluted, until eventually they form what is collectively known as the Aldaran Arts, a collection of the most prodigious fighting styles. But it is said that every style of combat ever conceived in the past age, from swordplay to tavern brawls, is actually some derivative of an ancient style of fighting that one man had invented in an age beyond history.

    "Aldar, the progenitor of *all* modern martial arts, a god in his own right.

    "Today there are only four monasteries remaining that are dedicated to the Aldaran Arts. Each one of them emphasizes a particular style of fighting and philosophy, and they are all secluded and secretive. Most importantly, they are very selective with regard to the pupils they choose. Unlike most guilds, they require no entry fee. They only demand that students devote the entirety of their bodies and souls to their craft. And then, after a student is trained to a certain level, they would be temporarily released from the monastery to undertake a sacred pilgrimage. Each pilgrim is tasked with visiting the three other monasteries across Exordia, and to learn from the masters there. And then they are to return home to their own masters, where they will be put to the final test. Passing the test means achieving the title of Master.

    "Failure could mean expulsion from the school, or for certain monasteries it could even mean certain death. Or so I've heard.

    "The Temple of the Falling Leaves (or the Forest Temple) is the most renowned of them all (or so says the monks I've interviewed, who were all from this temple). It is located somewhere in the Everwood, and apparently most or all of the students there are Ursan. It is hard to fathom that these supposedly peaceful behemoths would actually take up arms, but indeed the monks that I know are every bit as committed to peace and pacifism as you'd expect (and they are the only Ursan you will find who are disciplined enough to stay sober for more than a day at a time). This is reflected in their fighting style, the "Way of the Open Hand", which emphasizes non-lethal maneuvers.

    "The Temple of the Undulating Waves (or the Sea Temple) is probably the most notorious. Or at least that is the impression I received from those I interviewed. This temple is actually the home of the famed Shadow Stalkers, the realm's most dangerous assassins. It is located somewhere in the Sapphire Isles, and they are rumored to be under the employ of the nation of Arcadia, as well as some of Falor's most despicable nobles. Most of them are raccoons, apparently, and they are strategically deployed to combat zones and to some settlements to conduct high-profile assassinations. Given their unusual appearance, it is hard to imagine how they'd get around with hardly anyone noticing. But then I was told that they train in the "Way of the Shadow," and art that permits them to weave shadows and move about without being seen or heard. So it appears that come nightfall, these people can erase their presence in their entirety. This sounds like the stuff of nightmares.

    "The Temple of the Gentle Breeze (or the Heaven Temple) is lessor known. It is situated somewhere in the Northern Wastes, where it is said the temple is presided over by the renowned dragonewt, Zolken. Which is preposterous! Us cold-blooded creatures could not possibly survive such an environment, much less choose to remain their for long. That is, unless he indeed possesses a means to harness the very elements: the so-called "Way of the Four Elements.

    "The Temple of Smoldering Iron (or the Earth Temple) is located among the Hollow Peaks, just north-west of Falor. That area is extremely dangerous, guarded by the dreaded Badger Lords, beings who wield the power to sculpt mountains and decimate armies. I do not envy the pilgrim who has to journey there. But it is said that the temple beyond has its students practice the "Way of the Sword," and it is here that they learn to craft weapons imbued with special properties. I also hear that the Badger Lords tend to favor artisans, being artificers themselves. So perhaps they have some sort of compromise with the temples. My monk friends declined to comment on that regard.

    --Tilsby"
     
  12. Blue_Jay

    Blue_Jay Active Member

    [​IMG]

    The Twilight Knight: Aloe the Swordmaiden

    The following is an excerpt by Tilsby the Chronicler, written in the common language.

    "They say that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. But I think that none exemplify this sentiment more than Lady Aloe, a living legend. Over the last decade she has amassed a number of titles: The Swordmaiden, The Bringer of Dawn, The Hero of Highshore, and The Dragonslayer. But a year ago I've finally a chance to meet the young lady in person. From the rumors I've heard and from accounts from the King himself, I thought that I had a fairly good idea of what to expect.

    "It was quite a lovely surprise when all of my expectations were shattered.

    "Just so the reader is aware, legends have it that all incarnations of the Twilight Knight are the valiant warriors, chosen by the sacred Sword of Dawn. Most of them are depicted as majestic, tall, armored in elaborate armors, and riding powerful and exotic steeds. Theirs is an aspect of power and supremacy. It is said that the ground quakes for leagues wherever they tread, and that they can cut down a whole legion of foes with a single swipe of their mystical blade. It is said that their honor, nobility, and integrity is without question.

    "Now lets be clear, Lady Aloe is no lady, and technically she never has been. She is lowborn, and from her own account she was raised among criminals and outcasts. She is also a squirrel-maiden, her kind diminutive in size, and very slight of build. And she is definitely no warrior--she can barely even wield her own sword, much less wear a suit of armor. At if one were to look at her for the first time she would bare no resemblance to any sort of legendary hero, much less anyone of note. Her only distinctive quality is that she is a squirrel (which are rare in this realm) and that she also wears an embroidered sword on her back that is almost as tall as she is.

    "I knew all of this before meeting with her, so I expected a humble, reserved personality, and perhaps an exchange of philosophical discourse. And most of all, I wanted a good story for my chronicle! And for my folly, I was instead awarded a massive hangover that took me days to recover from. Apparently she keeps some rowdy company, and frequents taverns where adventurers dwell. And prefers only the strongest of drink, and likes to cheat at card games and get into fights, and befriends those same ruffians she cheated and spend time making fun of nobles behind their backs. Me, specifically. Apparently I am somewhat notorious in her circles.

    "But make no mistake, despite her shortcomings, no pun intended various quirks, she lives up to her legend. No, actually I daresay that she exceeds those legends and even those of her predecessors. Despite her title, she is no warrior. But she knows this and she has never tried to be one, instead preferring to leverage her cunning and quick judgement above all. Indeed her decisiveness has served to save the kingdom on many occasions. Also, it so happens that her most powerful weapon isn't the Sword of Dawn, one of the most powerful relics in the realm. Actually, it is the bonds and the lasting friendships she has forged on her journeys. She knows her own weaknesses, and she knows to lean on the strength of her companions when the need arises. And all of her alliances are built upon trust and respect, such that nobles, knights, and whole armies would literally go to war for her. And they know that she would willingly put herself on the front lines, risk any injury, and face any adversary to see that the realm is protected.

    "She is more than just The Twilight Knight. She is a trusted leader and a friend. And no magical sword can ever match such a power.

    --Tilsby"
     
  13. Blue_Jay

    Blue_Jay Active Member

    The Hollow Peaks

    Detail: A rugged chain of mountains to the northwest of Falor. They encircle a much larger mountain, rumored to be an active volcano.
    Environments: Mountains, Woods
    Climate: Cold all year round, except in the lands past the mountains which are tropical--perhaps due to the warmth given off by the volcano, or some other sort of phenomenon.

    The following is an excerpt by Lord Yolav Snowshoe, transcribed by Tilsby the Chronicler, written in the common language.

    "You've never been there? Good! Then don't go! Just don't! That place is awfully dreadful. Just dreadful. Oh Mr. Tilsby, you have no idea!

    "So you know how the government in Falor prevents passage into the mountains? Well there are roads into that place that their patrols dare not tread. Those are where the most heinous outlaws dwell. They prey upon travelers and sentries wander get too close or become lost. They are an organized band of deserters, escaped prisoners, delinquents, all led by that defamed knight! And they prowl the countryside by night, causing all manor of catastrophes. My group had to travel by day, both to avoid them and to keep careful watch for any raids. And even then we ended up being chased for days!

    "We finally reached the mountain trail and escaped into the caverns, and those scoundrels dare not follow us. And let me tell you, Mr. Tilsby, those caverns was by far the worst. Just the worst. Did you know that giant spiders like to dwell underground in caverns? Well they do! And they did! While we were making camp, they came under cover of shadow, lured and dragged several of my guards off into the darkness! And the stench is just too terrible! I could barely breathe, and I could barely see anything in front of me! You know my kind are more suited to hovels and caverns, but this place did not at all feel welcoming. I could not hear the earth speak to me. For the first time in my life the earth was just silent! And everything around, from the rocks to the fungus, just oozed with menace. And the fungai! Do not touch the fungai! They will melt your flesh from your bones! Oh, poor Mr. Donaly! He will never cook stew again.

    "Then we made our way out of the caverns, onto the main trail up the mountains where the patrols don't go, only to encounter the most dangerous threat yet; one of them. Those... badgers. They're the Badger Lords. They claimed those lands for their own, one lord for every peak. And the legends don't do them justice! The one that found us was clad head to toe in embroidered armor that shined as though it reflected light from another world. The hammer he wielded howled as he moved. I could hear it, though the others couldn't. It is said that these creatures can use those hammers to sculpt mountains. That's how they've kept intruders away for so long, by collapsing pieces of mountain on top of them! They've killed hundreds, indiscriminately and without any provocation.

    "Even the Emperor is afraid of them! He won't send any of his armies to fight them, because a single one of those badgers would destroy them or chase them off! I was sure we were going to die just then. I was absolutely positive! But there he stood, just in front of us, blocking our passage, his eyes shinning and red like blood, his cape swaying in a breeze that wasn't there. We should have been buried under a literal mountain of rock! We should have been blasted into dust! But clearly no such thing has occurred, because I am alive to tell the tale. This doesn't happen! No one meets one of these creatures face to face and live to tell about it! No one! It was all so frightening, I didn't know what I would do!

    "I don't remember what happened after that. I think I might have fainted. I... I tend to do that a lot. When I awoke I found that we had been escorted across the mountains, over to the other side. I don't know why? They couldn't tell me why the badger had spared us, because he didn't say anything the entire time, apparently! They tell me that perhaps he took pity on me and led us across. I didn't think it was possible. But then, there is a rumor that the Badger Lords favor artisans. They are.. what do you call them? Artificers. That is a sort of magical blacksmith, isn't it? I had learned woodcutting and tailoring from my uncle, but I found that I was more suited to trade-craft than owning a shop. Or being a noble's son. I was the closest thing to an artisan among our small group, but I can't imagine that the mountain lord had considered sparing us because of me.

    "Where Falor is dreadfully cold and windy, the place on the other side of the mountains was warm and abundant in forests. When I stepped outside it was as though I stepped into a whole other realm. I could feel the earth through my feet again--as in it spoke to me as loud as ever. It sounded happy! I don't know how to explain it, but it felts as though this land was more fertile and untamed than any land I've visited before, and I've been all over!

    "And then we finally reached--oh. I'm sorry, I had made a promise to not talk about the purpose of my journey there. But you see, Mr. Tilsby, there is a reason those badger guard the mountains. I am not entirely convinced that they aren't awful, spiteful creatures! But their intentions are noble, at least. I think.

    "I must go... Thank you for the tea, Mr. Tilsby. And be well!

    --Yolav Snowshoe"
     
  14. Blue_Jay

    Blue_Jay Active Member

    Primer: The Gods of Exordia

    The realm of Exordia has hundreds of dieties, some minor and some legendary. The following is a list of some of the more notable gods. These don't follow any particular pantheon. Players can feel free t make up their own:

    Valos, God of Valor: An imperious, angelic eagle-man with a plumage of blades and a steely gaze that could literally pierce the cosmos. It is said that his bravery and honor is unparalleled, that he has never lost a fair fight, and that he would never turn down a challenger. He had led the Hosts of Light during the Celestial War, and he advocates the tenant of seeking naught but glory and honor whenever and wherever possible. He is the patron deity of warriors and athletes. His preferred domains are Light and War.

    Wizen, God of Wizdom: A brooding and enigmatic goat-man with horns that take on elaborate shapes that are never quite the same whenever they are observed. He yearns to learn everything there is to know about the cosmos. It is said that his hunger for knowledge is so great that it has made a void of his soul. It is as though no matter what he does, no matter what atrocities committed, his works are will never stop until every single question, even the bared scrap of curiosity, is resolved to his satisfaction. Legends tell of how he would torment mortal souls for ages in order to realize the full spectrum of their emotions. He had led the Host of Darkness during the Celestial War. He is the patron deity of mages and academics. His preferred domains are Death and Knowledge.

    Darus, God of Desire: A regal lynx-man, garbed in the most lavish fabrics and jewels, and constantly surrounded by symbols of the highest station. He holds extravagant feasts for his daily meals, his army of servants are ever present, and his royal regalia are always within an arm’s reach. His greed truly knows no bounds, but neither does his cold, calculating intellect. At a glance he can discern one’s deepest desires. And he knows all the right words or the right circumstances to elicit compliance from even the most steadfast of adversaries. His subtle manipulations have been known to have engineered all manner of catastrophes, turning mortals against mortals and even gods against gods. He is currently the Emperor of Falor, and he aspires to bring the entire world under his rule. He is the patron deity of cutpurses, nobles, and liars. His preferred domains are Tempest and Trickery.

    Historia and Fortuna, Goddesses of Fate and Fortune: Twin sisters, although they do not take on a particular form, reflecting the invisible and fickle nature of their respective domains. These two are constantly at odds with one-another. Historia exists apart from time and has witnessed all events that have come to past and all that will come to past, simultaneously. Her domain is all of time, past and future, and she believes that the proper order is for history play out as fate dictates. Fortuna, on the other hand, vehemently opposes fate. Although she is as fickle as her sister, as willing to overlook catastrophes as she is inclined to intercede, she believes that the world ought not to be beholden to any single destiny, and would rather people be free to change their fate. Thus, for ages, the two have been in conflict, Historia upholding her order and Fortuna proliferating chaos. Historia is the patron deity of sages and historians. Fortuna is the patron deity of gamblers and adventurers. Their preferred domains are Knowledge and Tempest.

    Noran, God of Skepticism: Once upon a time there lived an atheist named Noran. Well, rather, he is still an atheist, but he was once a mortal, too. That, and also a prolific scholar. As a teacher, his students have gone on to become prominent generals, reputable wise men, and even kings. Everyone respected and acknowledge him; except on the subject on religion. And the man was stubborn! No matter what, no one could convince him that the gods truly existed. After all, he was a trained skeptic, a master of debate. He already doubted everything, so he would not budge on this subject. So then one day Celeb, the God of Celebration, happened to see Noran at a certain tavern, drinking alone. Knowing Noran’s reputation, Celeb approached him and made a bet that he could break the man out of his skepticism. Such was Celeb’s nature, to never turn down a game or a challenge that offered the prospect of triumph. So Noran agreed.
    Celeb argued that the world was much too wonderful to have been happenstance, so it must be by some intelligent design. Noran countered that the same could be said of a snowflake, yet its shape followed a logical, mathematical pattern that could be anticipated.
    Then Celeb argued that there are historical accounts of the presence of the gods, so it must be fact! Noran countered that the two of them would appear as gods to an ant if the latter choose to rationalize their existence as such.
    After much more debating, Celeb proclaimed that he himself was a god. When Noran asked for proof, Celeb demonstrated his divine powers. But Noran dismissed them as an illusionist’s trick.
    The night wore on, Celeb grew more and more insistent and Noran stubbornly maintained his stance. Celeb had even caused the night to stretch on for days, so that they could continue to argue while the rest of the patrons would celebrate in a ceaseless, drunken stupor. But even this escalation was not enough.
    Then Celeb had finally had enough. He proclaimed that he would finally prove to Noran the fact of the gods’ existence by making Noran one of their number. He would turn Noran into a god. And so, Noran had ascended to godhood that morning. And he was overcome with divine power and limitless potential. He felt his awareness expand such that he could fully comprehend everything that he saw before him, without question. With his new divine power, he needn’t ever doubt anything ever again, because he would be certain of everything.
    Hundreds of years later Celeb would encounter Noran in that same tavern. Remembering their bet, the coy Celeb had asked if Noran was finally convinced, already assured of the answer.
    And Noran replied that Celeb had simply spiked his drink that evening, and that Noran’s experiences in all this time had amounted to an elaborate hallucination that had deprived him of his senses. Another illusionist’s trick. This was hardly any proof.
    And thus Celeb had come to the realization that this was one game that he would never win, even if he spent an eternity arguing. For in actuality, Noran had never believed in anything whatsoever, much less the existence of the gods.
    Noran is the patron god of skeptics and scholars. His preferred domains are Knowledge and Light.

    Mother Nature: Those who do not follow a particular denomination to fuel their worship or divine magic often tend to draw from the spirits of nature, which are sometimes uniformly referred as “The Spirit”. Some chose to personify it, using terms such as Gaia, or Mother. Practitioners typically vary widely, from priests to commoners. The domains of this denomination tend to be Life and Nature.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017

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