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Lord Agragax Presents: The Fantasy Realm of Escalonia

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl, May 19, 2019.

  1. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
    Skink Priest

    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Well-Known Member

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    For a couple of years now, I've been thinking and working on my own fantasy setting for both a series of novels I have been writing and also a rank-and-flank mass combat wargame like Warhammer Fantasy and Kings of War. After being inspired by @Scalenex's brainstorming threads made to discuss his own fantasy realm for an RPG he was thinking of designing, I have decided to follow suit and present my creation here to garner reactions from the general fantasy-loving public.

    So without further ado, I present to you all the realm of Escalonia!

    Part One: Escalonian Geography and Inhabitants
    Escalonia itself is a giant supercontinent, surrounded by oceans on all sides. Indeed Escalonia covers so much of the surface of its planet that almost every environment imaginable can be found in some region of it - it is so vast that the different areas of the continent vary wildly in climate despite all being part of the same landmass.
    At the very middle is the Central Lake, a huge body of fresh water that in many ways is more like a large inland sea, and from this lake flow four wide tidal rivers, one in each direction of the compass, all the way to the sea. These four rivers effectively divide the supercontinent into quadrants, and have often been used to establish natural borders between nations.

    The Western River is the calmest and with the slowest current of them all, slowly meandering from side to side like a sidewinder serpent as it nourishes the temperate grasslands of that side of the continent.

    The Northern River is the wildest and most unpredictable, as slow-flowing as its western brother one minute, almost as merciless and angry as the ocean it feeds the next, as if it were constantly objecting to having to flow through the colder northern half of Escalonia.

    The Eastern River is shallow and sickly compared to its brethren, for in the east of Escalonia the climate is drier and more arid, and thus the Eastern River is party to the least rain.

    The Southern River is the most abundant with life, for it flows through Escalonia's hotter southern regions, and such warm temperatures and the moist environment around this river encourage vast quantities of wildlife to make their home in and around it.

    Quarter 1: The Northwest
    Escalonia's north-western quadrant has the dishonour of possessing both the cold climate of the northern half of the continent and the heavier rainfall that inhabitants of the western side have to endure - the further north and west you go, the worse it gets - as well as playing host to several ranges of steep, rocky mountains. Indeed, the very north of the area is also prone to especially strong winds, meaning few trees last long up there before they are blown over, leaving a vast stretch of near-empty highlands with little in the ways of shelter. Here, only the meanest and most aggressive have any hope of surviving - humans did once eke out a living in this hill country, but they have since been driven out by a more violent yet similarly intelligent species, the Felinids of Suri, a sadistic and cruel race of feline humanoids that actively enjoys torturing and killing prisoners merely for their whims of pleasure (largely based on how cats are the one creature other than humans that kill for the fun of it - had to have a convincing evil non-human race somewhere).

    Further south, the climate becomes (slightly) more accommodating, even to the point where the odd few trees can be seen and the coarse heather is replaced with patches of well-nourished green grass. However, the terrain is still pock-marked with the foothills of the two mountain ranges sandwiching the area, the Grey Mountains to the south and the Shrieking Crags to the north, and it is very rare for any building to be constructed upon a completely flat piece of ground. This hilly landscape makes up the kingdom of the Dwarfs of Wodristan, the most powerful Dwarf nation in Escalonia. While sharing the origins of the other Dwarf kingdoms in the east side of the Northwest quadrant, Wodristan is by far the most advanced, having largely abandoned the traditional axes, hammers and shields of their bretheren in favour of a more disciplined strategy featuring serried ranks of Pike Guard supported by smaller units of musketeers on the flanks. Additionally the Dwarfs of Wodristan are the only Dwarfs to be unafraid of regularly riding short, stout ponies, and have developed entire cavalry regiments to support the slow-moving bodies of their armies (I've thought of the Dwarfs of Wodristan as being styled around the armies of the English Civil War, with their distinctive rock-paper-scissors kind of unit roster - pikemen beats cavalry beats musketeers beats pikemen).

    The other, smaller Dwarf kingdoms are all found in the south-east region of the Northwest quadrant. Although described as kingdoms, these nations are little more than family-based clans, and where the Wodristan Dwarfs have largely distanced themselves from this way of life, thereby allowing their kingdom to have expanded so much, the Dwarfs of these clans have resolutely maintained to remain in the past. Here the Dwarf culture has existed as it has done for millennia, with inter-clan grudges being settled with axe and hammer and notable quantities of beer being swigged when half-time comes round. Due to their proximity to the shores of the Central Lake, many of these Dwarf clans have constructed notable trade and military fleets, and use these to compete with both each other and other races to try and seize the monopoly on various commodities. Their cousins in Wodristan refer to these smaller Dwarf factions as Wodristan's Feifdoms, and indeed often prompt clan leaders to pay tributes to Wodristan as if they were part of Wodristan's own territory, but in return Wodristan have always done their best to help protect their cousins' beleaguered holds from the wicked Felinids and the mad Cultists of Necromancy, as good Dwarfs should, and thus the two Dwarf groups maintain a friendly relationship despite their differing cultures (you guessed it, these are the more traditional Dwarfs we know and love).

    The Grey Mountains are the currently established border between Wodristan and the neighbouring kingdom of Calderon, in the more temperate grasslands surrounding the Western River with the majority of its territory in the Southwest quadrant. This ancient nation has been built on an alliance between humans, the reptilian Lizardkin and the kingdom of Tarkalia, the latter a smaller kingdom within Calderon ruled by the humanoid otters who founded it and evolved on the banks of the Western River. The northern border of Tarkalia is on the other side of the Grey Mountains from Wodristan, and while the human rulers of the wider kingdom of Calderon have tried to enforce peace with the Dwarfs, there remain an ongoing feud between the Tarkalians and Wodristan. Both desire for the whole mountain range to be entirely within their own borders, and defend their border fortresses aggressively against any approach made by the other to claim it. However, neither of them are ignorant of the fact that the Grey Mountains themselves are home to their own tribes of humans, who have developed their own strongholds deep within the mountains. Aggressive and warlike, these peoples will accept rulership from neither Calderon or Wodristan, and launch raids against both to steal resources and preserve their own cultures (I thought of having a Viking-type human faction represent a neutral party in the wars between Calderon and Wodristan who know the mountainous terrain better than either - Calderon will be explained in greater detail in the Southwest Quadrant section).

    In the north-eastern part of the quadrant, the land is drier, although just as cold as the highland territory of the Felinids, and the inhabitants here are similarly hostile to others. There were many coniferous trees in this part of the continent, but the vast majority of them are dead. This was due to no natural event, but the meddling actions of the corrupt and decadent Howardi dynasty, the craven monarchs of Upravania. Humans they may be, but their people are unlike any of the other human kingdoms of Escalonia, for Upravania is the one faction that openly encourages the practice of the religion of Necromancy, which has been banned in all the other kingdoms for hundreds of years, on pane of death. Depravity, lawlessness and chaos perpetrate Upravania, for it has become an unholy sanctuary for all those who have ever secretly practiced the art of raising the dead, and they do so without restriction to satisfy their every whim. Nobles populate their grand houses with the awoken skeletons of the long-deceased as their servants, while unquiet spirits freely prey upon any who are not Necromancers themselves. All manner of profanities occur within alleyways, alcoves and back gardens, and gruesome rituals are performed openly in the streets, for the Howardi have no objection to allowing the dead to be party to the acts of the living, or vice versa. Like the savage Felinids who are their neighbours to the west, the extended Howardi family send out raiding parties of babbling cultist militia and remorseless undead legions to capture new souls to experiment on - indeed the Felinids and Necromancers often target each other just as much as others for abduction campaigns (This faction is another of the three main evil nations at the point in time where the stories start - they're the horde army that can spam large numbers of lightly armoured, stark-raving-mad death cultists and legion upon legion of skeletons, ghosts and other hideous undead stuff).

    I haven't that much time to post stuff yet so my initial posts will be quite small, but stay tuned for more in the coming days.
     
  2. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
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    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Well-Known Member

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    Quarter 2: The Southwest

    The Southwestern Quadrant is notably warmer than the northwest while retaining its high precipitation, resulting in more and more foliage springing up across the landscape the further south and west one travels. Indeed the southernmost reaches of this quadrant play host to vast swathes of tropical rainforest abundant with life both hostile and benign. While the sweltering climate of this area of the supercontinent is deemed far too stifling for many of the humanoid groups further north, this jungle does play host to its own nations and tribes, some of which rely upon the constant heat simply to survive. One of these is the Serpentines, a race of humanoid snakes who dwell in the south-east of the Quadrant. Deep within ancient stone temples, these lithe creatures constantly practice their skills in blade-oriented martial arts, duelling both artificial opponents and each other in their determination to master the sword. As a result, Serpentines are truly unnerving foes in battle, for although they largely eschew armour, they have little need of it as their lightning reflexes and uncanny skill at parrying and deflecting the clumsy attacks of their enemies serve them far better. Even in the rare circumstance a Serpentine is robbed or disarmed of his weapon, he is far from defenceless, as all of their kind, like their smaller cousins, are equipped with needle-sharp fangs that deliver a toxic venom. Such skills combined with their natural subtlety not only make Serpentines lethal fighters, but also ruthlessly-effective assassins and saboteurs - while the Serpentine Masters’ Council has forbidden any of their kind to use their talents for such nefarious purposes, there are many Serpentines willing to sell their deadly services to those who can afford them (As you can probably tell, the Serpentines are based largely on the Yuan-Ti from D&D, but I have intended them to have more of a Central American culture rather than Chinese).

    While reptilian species like the Serpentines do thrive in the jungles of the Southwestern Quadrant, there is also a group of the ever-adaptable and resourceful humans that has established its own culture revolving around the bounties of the rainforests - the nation of Xathustan. Having a tanned complexion in comparison to the peoples further north, the Xastustese migrated to the jungles over a millennium ago, and have developed into a thriving people. Although seen as primitive by many other nations because of their preference to wielding stone-tipped clubs and fighting on foot, the Xastustese have developed their own complex culture with a monarchy, extensive judicial system and organised townships. In battle the Xastustese are often aided by their neighbours, the Coacans, who inhabit the only mountain range in the jungles. The Coacans have a very similar culture and religion to Xastustan, and the main way in which the two peoples can be told apart is their size. Whereas the people of Xastustan range from around five feet to five feet six inches in height, the people of the Coacan Mountains rarely exceed four feet, as it is said that the Coacans shrank with every generation to more easily survive the thinner air experienced at the altitudes in which they live. The Coacans also have mastered the ability to tame many of the large mountain beasts such as the Altothere, which they use to assist them in manual labour and carry them into battle, providing a heavier-hitting contingent that has impressed many a Xastustese warchief (When I thought of having a jungle-dwelling human faction based upon the Aztecs and Incas as part of the Southwest Quadrant, I thought it would be fun to style their army roster around aggressive Aztec-type close combat infantry supported by smaller Macchu Picchu Inca-type cousins mounted on huge monsters - much like the Lizardmen in Warhammer Fantasy. I imagine these will be @Warden's favourite factions).

    The one other race that inhabits the jungles of the extreme Southwest is the Medusae, who share much of the territory owned by Xastustan. While Medusae predominantly resemble human women, their most distinguishing feature is that they have nests of writhing serpents in place of hair, the visible symbol of the blessings given by the Serpent Goddess in a ritual that their fanatical cultists, the Amazons, must undergo in order to become Medusae themselves. The other blessings an Amazon receives on becoming a Medusa, which cannot be seen but are subsequently demonstrated effortlessly in battle, are an agility and strength beyond that of an ordinary woman, and an immunity to most poisons and venoms. The former tends to encourage Medusae to look down upon the males of all species as simple and cumbersome, for a Medusa’s newfound powers allow her to demonstrate similar strength with heightened agility and dexterity. The latter is especially helpful in the first few weeks after the transformation process, as a Medusa’s newfound snake companions are initially not always too impressed at having been magically transplanted into a human’s scalp. While many women, from Xastustan and beyond, join the Amazon movement in the hope of becoming one of these elite Medusa warriors, the ritual undergone to become a Medusa is not without risk, for if the Serpent Goddess believes the individual in question is unworthy of Medusahood, or even if she is simply in a bad mood, she will instead transform the Amazon into a Gorgon, a mindless, feral, scaled parody of what she aspired to become that constantly seeks to fill an eternal hunger (Obviously based upon the Greek legends of Medusa and the Amazons, the Medusae are intended to be a Chaotic neutral faction, to use the D&D term, that is made up of lightly-armoured close combat fighters of varying skill).

    As one progresses further north, the rainforest becomes less dense, but still provides a consistently warm climate - this area is the southern border to the land of Calderon. The jungles here are home to the Lizardkin, primeval reptilian warriors that live in a patchwork of tribes each named after a particular evolutionary trait that their members possess (the Redcrest tribe, for example, have tall scarlet crests that flatten or straighten based on mood, while the Silversword tribe are the only tribe that is particularly gifted in the art of metalworking). These tribes have become less openly hostile to each other in more recent years, and have developed a greater ability to cooperate if needs must, but the various Lizardkin peoples are still reluctant to intermingle with each other too often. Generally wary and suspicious of outsiders, Lizardkin mostly keep themselves to themselves, but will reliably serve the lords of Calderon, the only human group to have shown them a great deal of respect, in battles around their jungle territories. Lizardkin males are extremely strong, with powerful limbs and jaws and thick, tough scales that render them immune to much external pain, while females are thinner and more slender, with smoother scales and a more athletic physique. Lizardkin tribal society is patriarchal at its core, with one of the oldest, most experienced warriors in the tribe being pronounced Lizardlord of the tribe for the duration of his remaining lifetime, and has an extremely strict set of laws - even those who have committed the minor offence of stealing a piece of fruit from a stall will often be faced with exile from their tribe and being cast out of their village to wander the jungle alone, the fear of such a punishment alone being one of the reasons why the Lizardkin are a race that is rarely motivated to commit crimes. Many of these wrongdoers perish away from the protection of their fellow Lizardkin, whether eaten by jungle predators, dying of starvation or victim to some form of fatal accident, but those strong and lucky enough to survive have been said to discover a new life for themselves - within the depths of many of the tropical caves in the northern areas of the Southwest Quadrant rainforest dwell communities of Troglodytes, reptilian creatures that have developed a culture and lifestyle all their own, but are undeniably former Lizardkin exiled from their tribes. Lizardkin are capable of evolving relatively rapidly to suit new environments, and if an exile manages to find a cave network to live in, they will undergo numerous changes within several months - their skin with lose its colour and their eyesight becomes weaker due to the darkness of the caves, webbing develops between their claws and their spines with the need to survive in an environment full of pools and rivers, and their gait shifts from bipedal to quadrupedal movement to weave between the many rocks in their new home. Intolerant of sunlight and resigned to eking out a new life in the caverns, Troglodytes rarely leave their new haunts, and are thus deemed largely as a myth by the mainstream rainforest-dwelling Lizardkin (I wanted my take on humanoid lizards to have cultural similarities to D&D Lizardfolk, but remain physically similar to Warhammer Saurus, with some cultural aspects that are unique in my fantasy world).

    Towards the central regions of Escalonia, and in the northernmost reaches of the Southwest Quadrant, the jungles recede as the climate become cooler, giving way to swathes of green, temperate grassland and forests of deciduous trees kept nourished by the damper conditions in the west of the supercontinent. This fertile land makes up the heart of Calderon, one of the oldest nations in Escalonia. Formed several millennia ago through the unification of many warring tribes, Calderon has become a centre of culture home to some of the most skilled craftsmen of all, rivalling the Elven kingdoms in its ability to produce items of quality to trade with its neighbours. From delicately-woven gold rings to patterned swords worthy of gods, Calderon has built up good relations with all neighbouring lands through not only their pursuit of peace, but also the trading of such magnificent treasures. Despite this outward exterior of tolerance and generosity, Calderon’s old warrior culture still acts as its strong beating heart - the core of its armies consist of warriors who are brave and courageous albeit a little undisciplined, supported by fast-moving chariot squadrons, heavily-armoured elite infantry and the mighty Wyvern Riders that soar over the kingdom to seek out and eliminate any threat. Calderon is governed principally by a ruling Lord whose family will preside over the kingdom until it is no longer able to provide an heir to the throne. After the last Lord of this family dies, a new dynasty is then elected from the ruling houses of the twelve tribes that were unified to form Calderon by the Druid Council, who also have to be consulted by the current ruler before decisions affecting the kingdom can be implemented. Furthermore, since Calderon formed alliances with the kingdom of Tarkalia and the Lizardkin tribes so that they have become client kingdoms, it was decreed that the ruling Lord must discuss any matters concerning these peoples with their respective leaders as well and send appropriate assistance where necessary, for Lizardkin and Tarkalians were given equal rights as part of these agreements due to the long-lasting friendship between the three powers, in return for their loyalty and assistance in matters affecting Calderon alone. As a result, the alliance has allowed these three powers to form a united front that any outsider would have to be both immensely brave and extremely foolish to challenge (As you can probably tell, I’ve based Calderon upon what Celtic Britain might have become if the tribes had been somehow united, whether by the Druids, who were independent of tribe and class, or by one particular tribe conquering/amalgamating the others into itself, as might have happened if the Romans not invaded).

    The third of the nations that make up the Calderon alliance is the kingdom of Tarkalia, whose borders lie around the banks of the revered Western River, from where its inhabitants evolved from the large bipedal piscivore Gigantolutra and where their creator god resides. Most unusually, these humanoid otters construct their buildings on wooden platforms that rise up out of the river waters on thick wooden stilts, and have constructed entire towns out of such structures in the middle of the river, connected by bridges to the banks either side. In addition, many Tarkalians have set up fish-farms around some of the river’s many meanders, diverting some of the river water into pools where they raise their prize fish - it is estimated that around ninety percent of all the freshwater fish consumed in Calderon comes from Tarkalian-owned farms and sold by Tarkalian fishmongers - and the few Tarkalian communities on the west coast (mainly on either side of the Western River’s delta) are well-known for their proficiency in procuring and preparing a variety of fish caught at sea. As well as their especially lofty build (the average Tarkalian is around seven to eight feet tall), many of those who have never met a Tarkalian before are intimidated by the strong natural stench they give off - like all mustelids, a Tarkalian has a profound natural odour that, alongside their largely fish-based cuisine, can prove offensive to the nostrils of outsiders. However, this is redeemed by their especially jovial and welcoming personalities, for even the lowliest Tarkalian will happily invite a visitor to pull up a chair in time to taste a bowl of freshly-prepared fish stew or a slice of roast venison. Indeed the majority of those Tarkalians who don’t catch fish for a living instead tend to the vast herds of large deer that have been domesticated by their kind in the way humans have domesticated horses - harts are raised to serve as the indomitable mounts of the royal Stag Knights, while hinds are commonplace as beasts of burden when they are not raising fawns. As a result Tarkalians see it as a waste to slaughter perfectly healthy animals when they could be used for carrying out any number of different jobs, and it is only when the deer die of old age, sickness or battle wounds that they are served up on families’ platters - to a human this meat would be seen as too tough and gristly, but Tarkalians have far sharper teeth, normally used for crunching through fishbones and scales, but also highly suitable for chewing such thick venison with ease. In battle, Tarkalian armies are very often outnumbered by their opponents, but they make up for this with their great ferocity and courage - even unarmed, a Tarkalian is a fearsome opponent that can kill a man with a single bite to the neck, and when equipped with the heavy axes, round shields and chainmail armour their people so often use in combat, they are some of the most individually powerful combatants in the known world (The Tarkalians were actually the very first unique race I devised, long before I even planned to write a novel series that in part featured them. I first thought of them when I was about 10 after reading Tarka the Otter - hence the name - and was inspired to develop my own culture of humanoid otters. They are similar in some ways to the otters in Brian Jacques’ Redwall series, but the Tarkalians have been given a lot of Anglo-Saxon and Celtic cultural aspects and fight a lot more brutally, with massive axes and other formidable equipment).

    To the east of Calderon lies the famed land of Esworo, the realm of chivalry, where mighty knights defend the weak and smite the wicked, supported loyally by their dutiful foot-slogging retainers. First formed in retaliation to the ever-increasing violence inflicted by warriors from lands beyond the Southern River, Esworo has developed a culture oriented around warfare out of pure necessity - to this day it is ruled not by a king or chieftain of pre-determined royal blood, but by a Knightmaster, a knight from one of the many established Orders who, in the eyes of the majority of others, is deemed worthy of his position in charge of the land. This is principally decided at the end of a colossal tournament that lasts for an entire week, where all the knights in the land participate in contest after contest and the ordinary people ultimately vote democratically on who should claim the title. Chivalry, loyalty, humility and bravery are the most sought-after qualities in a potential Knightmaster by regulation, and only those with the purest of virtues ever stand a chance of capturing the crowd’s attention - in this way Esworo has been able to escape many of the troubles faced by other factions when undesirable rulers come to the throne, for any corrupt, decadent or miserly individuals are likely to be easily recognised during the tournament and voted out by the masses. To become a knight of Esworo, an aspirant can be from any family and any trade, but they have to show certain qualities that advocate them as being worthy of the position in the eyes of existing knights, such as being skilled in horsemanship and having expertise in combat. Those who are accepted by a particular Order begin their life as a squire, usually for the individual knight who approved of their application (knights without squires of their own are often referred to as Searchers because of this, for one of their tasks is to seek out and train adolescents found to be worthy of service in their Order), and perform duties alongside their masters for at least a decade as their training, so that they gain experience of what it is to be a knight on the job. When the squire’s master believes they are ready, he will apply for them to take part in the next Squires’ Challenge, a yearly tournament specifically designed to test the mettle of those close to becoming a knight to see if they are ready to bear the responsibility on their own. Those who are successful are knighted, and are obliged to serve the Order of their master until death, while those who fail may choose to continue to serve with their existing master or attempt to join another Order, in which case a new master is assigned to their tutelage. In some cases squires may have participated in the Squires’ Challenge many times but have never succeeded to knighthood, resulting in them living most of their life as their master’s squire. These men, often called Attendants, are also effectively serving their Order, albeit having to do so under the guidance of their master, but unlike knights they are given the freedom to retire whenever they wish, for they are not full members of the Order and can never be given the right to recruit squires of their own - indeed this is generally forced upon them if their masters die before they do. Because of Esworo’s chivalric culture, their armies principally consist of powerful heavy cavalry as the knights of the various Orders lead from the front, but they are often accompanied by infantry in the form of Men-at-Arms (commoners from the local villages given a shield, basic armour and weapons and taught the basics of how to fight), longbowmen, crossbowmen and even retired Attendants, who take up their swords and the heraldry of their masters to support the normally less reliable foot contingents with their veteran combat skills (As you can probably guess, Esworo is largely my own version of Bretonnia, as everyone likes knights, although probably a less grimdark version as the commoners are at least treated like human beings in Esworo).
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
    Warden, Ritual, Scalenex and 2 others like this.
  3. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
    Skink Priest

    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Well-Known Member

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    Reserved for Southeast Quadrant
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  4. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
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    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Well-Known Member

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  5. Scalenex
    OldBlood

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Obviously you need some gods.

    Your rivers have a lot of character. You should have a god or goddess embody each river. Or if you want to have lots of gods, each river could be represented by a god and a goddess (brother and sister or husband and wife) or each river could have it's own family or pantheon that is sometimes allying with, sometimes rivals with the other river families.

    Ancient Greek mythology has a sky god and earth goddess as a married couple that started spawning most of the gods to follow. Ancient Egyptian mythology has a sky goddess and an Earth god that did the same thing. The Earth and Sky having children is a very common in pantheons across the world but in your case, I think one of the Primordial Parents of All Creation should be your central lake that feeds the rivers.

    There is also a mythological precedent for an All-Father or All-Mother to create children without a mate, so your central lake might not have a spouse. If the Lake is married, the likely candidates would be the Earth or the Sky. The Earth makes sense because rivers are water that cuts through the Earth, but I do like the idea of the Lake being tied to the sky because rain could literally be Tears of the Goddess or Tears for the Goddess.

    And because the rivers have strong personalities and the lake seems to have a fairly passive personality, the god or goddess of the lake should probably not be a major active force in the present day. S/he can be semi-retired, asleep, imprisoned, or dead. Exactly what happened to your Lake deity will set the tone for your world.

    Sky and Lake had fallen in love. Lake wanted to kiss the beautiful sky but he could not reach her. The best he could was reflect her beauty on his surface when he laid still. Eventually their friend cloud intervene. "I can take you to visit Sky, at least in part" he said. Cloud took up a portion of Lake up to Sky. When they finally touche for the first time, Sky cried tears of joys which rained down upon the land nourishing it and creating life.

    If the malicious Sky lusted after Lake's power so he could have clouds and rain and the Sky had no scruples. Sky raped Lake. Lake bleeds and her blood feeds the four rivers which are also her children.

    Whatever the mood and theme I can come up with a mating story that should fit this.

    Also, you probably want to figure out if you want lots of gods or a relatively few.

    My friend @eron12 created a world. He's not L-O much but maybe we can talk him posting it. We both kind of created our worlds back with AOL Instant Messenger was cool and we bounce ideas off each other. He had a homework assignment to create a fictional pantheon for theology class. Needless to say he got an A. Very different from mine. His universe, the gods are generally on the same side. One idea he had that I would definitely use if I was going for a larger pantheon is the first generation of gods embodied basic aspects of nature like Light and Time while the second generation of gods embodied more human things like Agriculture.

    I toyed with something like that myself and had some rough concepts for second generation gods. For instance, I was going to have Khemra the sun goddess and Phidas the earth god have a son or daughter that was a deity of volcanoes. Their kid was going to be a brat who demanded live sacrifices to be thrown into volanoes. But ultimately I decided I'd rather keep the cast of gods relatively small.

    One very common thing in fantasy worlds is to give every race, every nation their own god. This called henotheism, and in a lot of ways this was pretty close to what much of human history, or at least Western History looked like before the Roman Empire.

    I never liked that D&D split the difference, they gave gnomes a god, kobolds a god, goblins a god, orcs a god, elves a god, humans a gazillion gods. That always bugged me. In my world I wanted everyone to have the same gods though it's not a problem if most or every group has their own god as long there's a lgoical explanation or consistency.

    Another way to split gods is by regions. That's what the universe of Order of the Stick uses. The Northern gods have a pantheon, the southern gods have a pantheon, the eastern gods have a pantheon, the western gods were wiped out. In that universe gods have a lot of rigid rules on what they can or cannot due and their ability to act outside their "home" region is limited.

    Since your world is split into four roughly equal quarters, a regional pantheon system makes a degree of sense.


    EDIT: Also, mortals becoming gods. That has a huge impact on the feel and theme of a setting. In a world where lots of gods are actually elevated mortals that implies that the actions of mortals in general are super important. In a world where that never happens, then the actions of mortals doesn't matter.

    In eron12's world the Fire deity tried to rebel against the other gods. He only had one ally, the Light god. The Light god was also the god of knowledge and everything that was to be. He knew the Fire god's rebellion would fail, but he joined anyway because knew he would join the Fire god's rebellion. He died in the rebellion and his corpse because the stars in the night sky which clever astologers can try to divine the future from because the Light god knew everything. His greatest secret died with him, a secret he kept from all the other gods. There is no free will. While people seem to make their own decisions their choices are all the direct result of what happened before them.

    I don't see mortals rising up to godhood in that universe, unless they were predestined to of course.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  6. Sreeves
    Razordon

    Sreeves Well-Known Member

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    Awesome, can't wait to read some more!
     
  7. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
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    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Well-Known Member

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    I've just experienced a complete knee-jerk from my computer - I had spent a lot of yesterday and today drafting out my post edit for the Southwest quadrant stuff. I had left my computer to do something else that I needed to do and now that I've come back and awoken it from sleep mode, it somehow deleted the whole bloody draft, probably by refreshing the page, leaving me with very little motivation to do it all again :mad: (I didn't want to edit it paragraph by paragraph as that would ruin the effect produced by revealing it all at once)
     
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  8. Sreeves
    Razordon

    Sreeves Well-Known Member

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    That totally sucks! Maybe you should do it on a external thing such as google docs or word, I believe that may stop the problem
     
  9. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
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    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Well-Known Member

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    I've decided to start work on it again on a Google Doc tomorrow. I imagine it won't be finished for a couple of days though
     
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  10. Sreeves
    Razordon

    Sreeves Well-Known Member

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    Good luck, It's awesome to see you're not giving up. May I suggest using Thesaurus.com, I found it useful when writing lore. it can spice up the vocab and make it less repetitive.
     
  11. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
    Skink Priest

    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Well-Known Member

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    The Southwest Quadrant initial lore stuff is up, finally - next I'll be working on the Southeast Quadrant lore.
     
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  12. Scalenex
    OldBlood

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Good stuff, but please break up your large blocks of text into smaller paragraphs to make reading easier.

    Check this out.

    I guess it's fantasy, but I keep thinking back to Guns, Germs, and Steel. There are about a half a dozen things a species needs to be susceptable to domestication and if only one of these traits is not there they cannot be domesticated.

    Zebras are pretty similar to horses but they could not be domesticated because they are stubborn and bite very hard. Zebras injure more zoo keepers than any other animals.

    Cheetahs have the temperment to be tamed in the same manner of wolves, but they don't breed well in captivity (because the mating ritual involves the male chasing the female over a very long distance to ensure their offspring will be fast too).

    In the case of deer, deer hate to be confined. If you put a deer in a closed pen they will often beat themselves to death against the walls trying to escape. You need to either make these deer different or come up with a stable-less system of domestication.

    South Park beat you to it ;) But your otters seem better, Science be praised!

    [​IMG]
     
  13. pendrake
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    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    Just feed them.

    They domesticate real fast, people get warned not to do this, but deer cheerfully become friends if food is being passed out.

    Read up on real world reindeer herders. Deer are just boxed lunches of deer meat wandering around wishing they had it easier than foraging before someone or something turns them into venison.
     
  14. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
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    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Well-Known Member

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    Redwall beat me to it long before South Park (plus I’ve never seen South Park so I didn’t know):
    [​IMG]

    Regardless, Tarkalians are a lot more fearsome in combat than either of these examples (big axes in the hands of 7-8 foot tall humanoid otters that also reek something both strong and horrible to humans), so it’s probably a good job that they are good guys...

    I can confirm this - there’s a wildlife park near me that has an enclosure with gaps in the fences so that the deer can walk around quite freely (within a larger sealed enclosure so they can’t escape completely) and they are often so tame that I’ve seen them walk up to people quite happily and try and nibble their clothes. I imagine as @pendrake says if the Tarkalians gave them plenty of food and protection from predators, they would become tame enough to ride pretty quickly.

    Also this is fantasy - doesn’t have to be based completely on realism.

    I’ve just been inspired to make some lore changes...
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
  15. Scalenex
    OldBlood

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Shadiversity never covered Felinids or anything like it.

    I tried to think about how a Felinid would logically fight. They could have claws or teeth. That would be devestating to an unarmored human, but their claws and teeth would risk breakage against an armored human. Broken teeth is a real problem for lions and other real world great cats.

    Furry hides are generally better at resisting cuts and blunt trauma than say human skin, but not a whole lot. I would rather have metal armor than a furry hide. One of the most unique thing about humans other than our intelligence is our ability to cool ourselve through sweat. Felinids would probably overheat in metal armor unless you gave them a humanlike ability to remain cool which require magic if they are furry.

    In a way, Felinids would be disadvantaged when fighting armored human soldiers unless you made them naturally stronger or faster.

    I'm not sure about speed, but it wouldn't hurt to give Felinds catlike reflexes. Realistically this would let them dual wield weapons superior to humans and demi-humans though if they are not capable of wearing armor, they are probably going to want to carry big shields. Historically, lots of real world humans have managed to fight successfully without armor provided they have shields.

    I don't see any reason why a Felinid would be better or worse than a human at ranged combat though they might have better night vision. That wouldn't let them outshoot humans on a clear day.

    To my knowledge, every real world feline from humble housecat to mighty lion attempts to use stealth before attacking. At the extreme end, leopards are primary stalkers, lions rely on their brute strength, and cheetahs rely on thier speed.

    Felinids live in the northwest which is cold and wet. The two great cats that live in cold and wet areas today are cougars and lynxes. Both of these predators rely on stealth, especially lynxes which unlike cougars cannot outfight very many things.

    Felinids should probably be especially good at stealth. Their padded feet can naturally muffle their foot steps. In addition, they could culturally value stealth. I'm thinking about how the Ancient Spartans underfed young boys, so that boys would have to steal food from the adults. If the boys were caught stealing food they were beaten, not because stealing was wrong but because they were not cunning enough. If they are as cruel as you say, I can easily imagine Felinids doing this to their young.


    Apart from these things, I think Felinids would mostly want to use the same weapons and tactics that humans use.
     
  16. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
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    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Well-Known Member

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    I meant when describing the Serpentines - Shadiversity's video on Snake men inspired me to think more about how my Serpentines would fight and their cultural basis.

    On the subject of Felinids, I had certainly had stealth and scare tactics predominantly in mind when designing the Felinids' army roster (predominantly lightly-armoured but fast moving melee troops with high Fear values and a multitude of attacks), and certainly having catlike reflexes would help them a great deal in lightning assaults - this cpuld be represented by them having the ability to strike first against most opponents. Indeed I envisioned the Felinids' fighting style to be akin to the Picts who had a similar homeland (an especially cold and wet ancient Scotland) - leaping out to backstab and savage the rear ranks of enemy armies before using their reflexes to scatter back into the pine forests before their enemies could react.

    I like that idea of cultural similarities between the Felinids and the Spartans as well, although because they're unlikely to use heavy armour, I can't really see them doing a phalanx - cats are energetic things when hunting, so I more imagine them leaping forward, yowling their heads off to terrify the living nargle-fodder out of the enemy and stabbing them in the back before jumping back to avoid the returning counter-attack. However, I do have a Greek-inspired faction planned, although they are in the Northeast Quadrant.

    I'll include some stuff on proposed army lists in detail at some point (generally what the units are, what they look like, how skilled they are e.t.c), but I'm still working on the outline lore and creation myths at the moment.
     
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  17. Scalenex
    OldBlood

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Are you thinking two handed axes, or one handed axes? Axe and shield would be pretty brutal combining strong offense and defense but a two handed axe would be redundant. You have a really strong attack from someone who is already strong. Axes are slow for second attacks or blocking.

    With their size and strength, Tarkalians would have a solid chance of breaking shields and piercing armor with even one handed axes. Or they could swing down and bash helmets giving their foes concussions. If they want a two handed weapon, they would probably want a pole weapon for more reach or a great sword for more striking distance.

    If I were fighting a giant otter, I would go for the legs. Given how tall they are, it would be moderately difficult for a Tarkalian to defend his legs against a human. Idealy the Tarkalian would want a kite shield or something similar to counter that.

    Tarkalians in formation would be nasty with polearms. They already have a naturally longer reach then humans. With polearms, it would near impossible for humans to close the distance in melee unless they are mounted.

    With Tarkalians size and lanky limbs they would be able to fight with longbows with more potent draws than humans.
     
  18. pendrake
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    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    1) How did you arrive at (derive?) the name Escalonia? Reminds me of the word “escalate” + “Estonia“ + “Estalia“.

    2) Felinids: wander around the internet and read up on everything to do with “Kzinti”. Hard Sci-Fi author Larry Niven has thoroughly explored the idea of Tiger-like bipeds; learn from the best.
     
  19. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
    Skink Priest

    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Well-Known Member

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    I had devised 5 main infantry units for the Tarkalians by the time of writing:
    Fyrdsmen: Basic Tarkalian infantry with single-handed axes, large round shields and wearing a helmet and quilted clothing.
    Huscarls: Tarkalian Heavy Infantry with long double-handed axes and chainmail armour
    Bailiffs: Tarkalian missile troops with longbows, quilted clothing and a single-handed axe. While they are missile troops, their natural strength and ferocity still make them dangerous in melee.
    Royal Phalangites: Bodyguards of the king with chainmail, smaller shields and long pikes
    Irregulars: Tarkalian citizens levied from nearby villages - again, they’re only armed with fishmongers’ knives, meat cleavers, woodcutters’ axes e.t.c, but they’re still dangerous to man-sized creatures or smaller.

    It came from one of my mother’s climbing plants, although subsequent research found that it had 2 ls in its name (although I liked it with one l for the purpose of naming my fantasy world, so I kept it as it was).

    My Felinids are more like the regular house cat given evil savage form rather than tigers, but thanks anyway, I’ll still look at that.
     
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  20. pendrake
    Skar-Veteran

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    So they are only 20 pounds o_O instead of 350 pounds? (Because Kzinti and Tigers = same weight class.)
     

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