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My Fantasy RPG World, Feedback and Ideas appreciated

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Scalenex, May 17, 2019.

  1. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    The D&D forum I was using doesn't like reading my giant blocks of text so I thought I'd turn to my L-O friends for advice.

    I have working on a project off and on for years now. Originally the setting was intended to be a setting for playing 3.5 D&D, maybe 2nd edition. Then I eventually opted to try to make own game system. A hybrid of D&D and White Wolf's d10 system I call D&D10.

    After a year of tinkering with my system I actually started running a game. Basically I'm testing the mechanics. The player characters are wandering the frontier of a small nation, responding to villages in distress. Very Monster of the Week, but it's a good way to test my combat system. X needs to be stronger, Y needs to be nerfed, that kind of thing.

    The goal is to make a medium magic setting. Magic is fairly common and well known but it's not as crazy powerful as it is in traditional D&D game. No massive storms of fire, no bringing back the dead,

    But I want to branch into an actual long term story fairly soon and it's based on what a player said.

    One of my stories involved two villages that were paying yearly tribute to a local tribe of orcs in order to be left alone. An agent provacteur stole the tribute and tried to frame the villagers as having stolen the other village's tribute in order to watch the bloodbath. The PCs thwarted the villain and got the tribute back. One of the players said "Isn't this village part of a nation, the army should protect them from orcs."

    So I can have the PCs wander the wilderness fighting Monsters of the Week for a while but eventually I want them them to go to the capital and try to shore up the struggling nation of Fumaya.

    I have literally over a 100 pages of material on the creation of the world, the gods, the priesthoods, and metaphysics, but I have very little concrete information on the actual people of the world.

    The nine deities are collectively called "the Nine." Each of the Nine embodies one of the nine alignments from D&D 2nd and 3rd ed. They briefly united to overthrow their tyranically progentior god, Turoch, who was trying to eat them and the whole univerese. The progentior god died and his spiritual corpse because a nightmare realm called the Void that spawns Lovecraftian monsters that assail the world from the north and south pole. They don't have agendas like the four Chaos gods of WHF, they just want to eradicate all living things and consume all souls. Collectively they are scary enough that the Good and Evil gods will put asside their differences to contain them.

    Hallisan is Lawful Good. He is male. He is the god of metal working and mining, just war, chivalry, honor, the Father of Dwarfs, the patron of hard work, defender of the weak. His official Dominion over nature is the minerals of the earth. His Gift to mortals is metalworking. His priests and priestesses are nicknamed Guardians or Valor, or simply the Guaridans.

    Mera is Neutral Good. She is female. She is the god of the hearth, the sea, drinking water, family, peace, the Mother of Gnomes, the patron of medicine, and a lover of mercy. Her official Dominion over nature is water. Her Gift to mortals is control over fire. Her priests and priestesses are nicknamed Tenders of the Sacred Hearth, or simply the Tenders.

    Zarthus is Chaotic Good. He is male. He is the god of the moon, revenge, art, music, celebration, finding hidden things, freedom, the adopted father of bastards and half-breeds, and self reliance. His official Dominion over nature is the moon. His Gift to mortals is music. His priests and priestesses are nicknamed the Lanterns.

    Khemra is Lawful Neutral. She is female. She is the goddess of history, law, writing, knowledge, tradition, the sun, she is the writer of the Compact, the agreement that got the Nine to work together in the first place. Her official Dominion over nature is the sun. Her Gift to mortals is writing. Her priests and preistesses are nicknamed the Keepers of the Way, or just the Keepers.

    Korus is True Neutral. He is male. He is god of ecosystem, animals, plants, agriculture, prophecy, mediation. His official dominon over nature is the balance of plants and animals. His Gift to mortals is agriculture. His priests and priestesses are called Stewards. The Stewards are split between two factions that rarely work together. The Stewards of the Dominion are nature loving druids and the Stewards of the Gift are civilization loving friends of the farmer.

    Nami is Chaotic Neutral. She is female. She is the goddess of weather, madness, prophecy, alcohol, arson, inspiration, and freedom. Her official dominion is over nature is the weather. Her Gift to mortals is free will. She was the first deity that gave a Gift to mortals. After she gave free will to mortals and they could choose who to worship, the other deities gave their own Gifts as a form of bribery to win worshippers. Her priests and preistesses are nicknamed Rovers on the Wind, or just Rovers. Even the rare cleric that doesn't like traveling is still called a Rover.

    Phidas is Lawful Evil. He is male. He is the god of commerce, the protector against the Void, the father of goblins, master of contracts, and the one who lets food grow underground without the sun. His dominion over nature is the mystic Barrier that keeps the Void at bay. His Gift to mortals is the concept of currency. His priests and priestess are nicknamed the Masks of Phidas or simply Masks because their vestments always involve masks in honor of the god himself who hides his ruined face with a silver mask.

    Greymoria is Neutral Evil. She is female. She is the goddess of arcane magic, the mother of monsters, the mistress of poisons, the patroness of the undead. She is the most feared deity because she curses or sends monsters at mortals who don't love her enough. This causes her to be loved less, prompting more retaliation. Her Dominion over nature is the regulation of wild magic. Her Gift to mortals is wizardry. Her priests and priestesses are nicknamed the Children of the Dark Mother, or simply the Children.

    Maylar is Chaotic Evil. He is male. He is the god of darwinism, hunting, animal husbandry, disease, decay, low warfare, the Father of Orcs (though Nami helped). His Dominion over nature is disease and decay. His Gift to mortals is hunting and animal husbandry (he wanted mortals to associate killing with survival). His priests and priestessa re nicknamed the Testers of Strength or simply the Testers.

    Most mortals in my world are polythestic and worship all nine of the Nine, though they usually have a favorite deity.



    My basic concept is that Fumaya is possibly the unluckiest human nation in my world. They are a small nation of hardy simple folk that happen to be the buffer zone between far stronger nations.

    To the west is Meckelorn, a traditional Dwarf nation (I have two non-traditional Dwarf nations but this one is pretty recognizeable, axes, hammers, beer, inexplicable Scottish accents, dislike of arcane magic, etc).

    To the was they border the Wood Elf nation. I tried not to steal too much from WHF but my elves are split into three fairly similar elf nations. They are not as extreme as the Wood Elves of WHF. They like their privacy, but they don't view every single outsider entering their territory as an act of war. They exchange ambassadors with nearby nations and they have have a right of passage loosely based on the Amish Rumspringa. When an elf becomes and adult, he or she typically takes a short rumpspringa (20-40 years) where they leave their home forests and explore the outside world, then they come back home and probably never leave the forests again. Unless they were outcasts or outsiders in their own land, then the elves never come from their rumspringas.

    To south is the powerful human nation of Swynfaredia. Swynfaredia is noteworthy in that all their nobility have herditary magical abilities which they use to cement their power. They have gone through periods of strife and civil war and periods of expansion. Right now the queen (or king, I haven't decided yet) is eying Fumaya as a potential conquest. Her vassals are getting uppity and an external foe would redirect their energy to something productive. Swynfaredia hasn't done anything overtly hostile yet but their soldiers have been making lots of minor violations of territory near the border just to be petty and to test Fumaya's reaction.

    To the north is wilderness. Orc and human barbiarian tribes dwell plus assorted monsters. The raiders to the north have been largely given a free rein because most of the army is making preparations for a Swynfaredian invasion of the south.

    The king, King Henryk who is in early twenties, inherited the throne very recently from his father the previous king. The previous king was wasteful and now Fumaya's coffers are empty. King Henryk is a good man but he is not especially cunning or ruthless. He's not stupid and realizes that both his northern and southern borders are under threat, but he is very reluctant to raise taxes believing the people are already shouldering the biggest burden they can handle. He is relucantant to take a loan because the only institution capable of loaning large sums of money to a king is the Church of Phidas which has a well-deserved reputation for insinuating advisors into the courts of their debtors and turning kings into toothless paper tigers run in proxy by their debt holders.

    To free up funds, King Henryk cut back on royal frivolaties. Troubadors, tournaments, hunting trips, and the like. He also laid off his royal staff. Problem is many of these laid off staffers are bitter about losing their job and many of them intimately know the inner workings of the court. Which courtiers are vulnerable to bribes and blackmail, which guards are prone to falling asleep on the job, all sorts of stuff.

    I figure most of these malcontents ended up selling what they know to the fantasy medieval equivalent of the Mafia (though I probably need to come up with a better name than Fantasy Mafia). I am leaning towards to giving the Mafia don supernatural powers, thinking of making him/her a doppleganger.

    This is where I'm not kind of stuck. I need to create some interesting characters, and I need to come up with some interesting dirt for these malcontents to have. What schemes would the mafia use to fleece Fumaya?

    King Henryk has a very small parcel of land that he can tax and raise soldiers from. Mostly he has to rely on scuttage and levies from his vassals. I also want to channel the spirit of Game of Thrones seasons 1-6 to create some interesting noble characters.


    The goal is to create a sandbox where the players characters can bust heads, play politics, or play detective. I think my playing group will lean towards politial solutions. One of the two active players created a very socially oriented character that holds a high ranking in the Priesthood of Khemra. Another player is a jack of all trades elf on Rumspringa of noble birth. Between the two of them, they can probably get an audience with almost any noble or priest they want.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  2. Scolenex
    Temple Guard

    Scolenex Well-Known Member

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    Scalenex is getting likes but no suggestions.

    Let's get the ball rolling. Make the king a panda as well as all nine deities. That will fix everything.
     
  3. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
    Skink Priest

    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Well-Known Member

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    Would they be experts at Kung Fu? ;)

    In all seriousness, I'm very interested in all this - I'm creating my own Fantasy world too as part of the novel series I am writing, and I intend to work on a rank-and-flank battle game in the style of Fantasy and Kings of War.

    How about you include a Lizardfolk kingdom in there somewhere? I'm not fully up to speed on D&D lore, but I do know Lizardfolk are a playable faction although they don't get much screen time in D&D lore. This could be a chance for the lizards to be front and centre (certainly reptilian humanoids do play a notable part in my fantasy realm). I'll leave it to you to make up names and stuff, but certainly having a Lizardfolk-ruled nation would increase the diversity of the world's populace by a long way.
     
    Warden likes this.
  4. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I thought about it, but I'm not sure if D&D style Lizardfolk would fit into my world. Which is called Scarterras for now, but at some point I should pick a name tha isn't supsiciously close to something DC has copywrighted.

    Anyway, a big rule in my world is that if something exists, it needs to have a purpose in it.

    Going back to the kung fu. A big thing in D&D 3.0 and 3.5 is the Monk class. Very badass fighters in unarmed combat. They are required to be Lawful. A friend ran a D&D game and kept monks as the same but required them to be Chaotic. The way we figured, to have a class of people who devote that much time and effort to learning how to fight without weapons, a group of people needs three things 1) a lot of time on their hands 2) a lot of dangerous external threats and 3) no access to conventional weapons. Thus, in his world, monks learn to fight that way because their people were enslaved and not allowed weapons. They learned to fight without weapons to free themselves.

    My world doesn't have a society that needs to defend themselves but is barred from using weapons. Thus I don't have monks.

    Gnomes and halflings fill basically the same role in most settings. I decided I don't need both. So I took out halflings and kept gnomes (I like gnomes).

    I don't see what purpose Lizardfolk would serve that other races don't already do. I did put a lot of backstory and detail in Kobolds which are the next best thing. Also, I don't want my grand life as the most beloved moderator on Lustria-Online to overshadow every other thing I do.

    I might make Lizardfolk an extinct race.

    My world has a lot of extinct races. Dragons used to rule the world (the gods owed them a favor for helping overthrow their progentior) until the First Unmaking happened killed 95% of all mortals (tens of thousands of elementals running amok). Then the gods created Elves to rule the world until the Second Unmaking killed 95% of all mortals again (tens of thousands of soul hungry demons).

    It might be fun to theme a dungeon out of a lost jungle temple created by a forgotten race.


    But I'm currently building a dungeon, I'm trying to populate a small beleagered nation with interesting characters and semi-realistic noble houses. I figure most kingdoms would be originally founded by an extremely successful adventuring party. One member becomes the first king or queen and the other party members become the first counts or dukes.

    If a new noble house is created, it is probably the result of a badass adventurer or group of adventurers performing a great service for the royal family (or seizing so much naked power that they are given a noble title to placte them and forestall a coup).

    What I'm not sure of is what these noble houses would look like many generations after their blood soaked creation.
     
  5. Warden
    OldBlood

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    I really like the world here. First thing I want to see is what the general map looks like. Ideas that I see right now in order to start fleshing out the individual kingdoms and generating NPCs and character motivations:

    I really like this idea. If your game starts in this area, they have a huge number of potential options (and conflicts) to explore. This is why I would love to see a map (even if it is super basic) to flesh out what the major (or minor) cities in this tiny buffer zone look like, where do the tribes/clans/opposing kingdoms operate in, what do the major routes through the buffer zones look like, key strategic points to fall back to during an invasion by a larger neighbor, etc.

    What are the flavors of the other two dwarf nations by chance? What do they mainly trade in? Gold? Jade? Metals or gems? Do they hate orcs/elves in this world and are allied with men, or the other way around?

    Cool idea. I would love to see the heraldry of these three elf nations. One for a different season? (Spring, Summer, and Autumn kingdoms, with legends of a long lost "winter" kingdom perhaps, that is now actually a hidden kingdom of ice zombies waiting to take over the world.... :D)

    I think the Rumspringa has a lot of potential for getting some elf NPC characters out there. Other than exploration, what would they be trying to do when they are out and about in the world? Acting as guides for travelers? Hunters or poachers possibly? Maybe searching for long-lost Elven artifacts? Or maybe something to do with the arts; making songs/stories as travelling Bards to bring back news and legends of the outside world back to their home territories, as sort of a long-range news reporter?

    I think this idea of the nobility having magic powers you can make some real money. I would divide up the nobility across various powerful families, each one having a monopoly on a specific "lore" of magic (fire, ice, wind, or whatever lores D&D uses) and use that as a baseline to not only give them powers, but also give a starting point to determine what kind of character these nobles have. Also the magicians who practice necromancy are probably secret vampires.

    Would love to see some heraldry on these guys too... :cool:

    Again, heraldry! More specifically, some bright colored tatoos to mark different tribes. Grab a tribal name generator and smash out some awesome names:
    • Bitter Wing Horde
    • Ash Hill Tribe
    • Burned Ear Clan
    • Dark Fish Tribe
    • Mute Hunt Tribe
    • this one was funny: "Miracle Mammoth Tribe"
    • Grim Witch Warriors
    • Poison Island Horde
    • And my favorite for a goblin tribe that I posted on another lore thread a while ago: da Toad Lickas

    These will add numerous competing factions to draw from, and offer tons of minor character possibilities to any humans migrating down alone through the buffer state. Or give the migrating human tribals some more flavor, as they are actually fleeing an even more terrible foe coming down from the far north...
     
  6. Warden
    OldBlood

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    The Magic Mafia has some potential (never mind that is actually a thing...), but I agree that name doesn't work. Maybe something sinister, like "the Cabal?" I like the idea of a doppleganger, able to change forms, but maybe there are more than just one of them? If only the boss has that power that is one thing, maybe it is an entire clan of dopplegangers; the old fat boss who runs the operation, and a smattering of doppleganger minions who are spread throughout the land doing his business. Kind of like the changelings in DS9 when they tried to take over the Federation and disrupt the Klingon alliance. In this setting, maybe the dopplegangers are trying to make money in a chaotic environment by trying to bring the kingdom into war with someone they can easily manipulate (the dwarfs perhaps? They might not be able to see through the magical disguises).

    The mafia should be running schemes that normally would be illegal in the kingdom. Maybe they are smuggling dwarf weapons to the barbarians up north (illegally giving weapons to the king's enemies). Maybe they are trading in forbidden Elf magic artifacts and selling them to the noble magician houses to the south (again, trading with the king's enemies). It would make sense to me that illicit organizations would want to use such a strategic (and weak) location like a buffer state surrounded by bigger foes to conduct business and make a huge profit.

    Also they probably sell drugs too (like psychedelic goblin mushrooms or something). Look up the "green gang" and Big Eared Tu from Shanghai just prior to WWII and the Japanese invasion. They were responsible for nearly all the opium smuggling going into China, and made a fortune while simultaneously wielding tremendous power (and had a major network of infiltration within the Chinese national government at the time). If nothing else, maybe the Green Gang is a cohort of goblins (lead by their owned maniacal Big Eared Tu) who are running a major operation just under the king's radar.

    For more political shenanigans, the mafia could be operating on behalf of the magical noble houses of the Swynfaredia kingdom, in an attempt to gain control of some of the castles/lands along the border, extending their own power at the expense of the king of the buffer state. This could be a prelude to eventual annexation.

    Again I would love to see a map. I assume the king of the buffer state has a capitol, but who owns the other castles in the surrounding area? His brothers? Maybe a rebellious uncle or cousin (possibly one who has been acting erratic of late, and is actually a doppleganger)? A senile old friend who is under the spell of a mafia wizard? Maybe one of the kingdoms is falling apart due to rampant gobbo mushroom use, and the players have to go break up the gang of mushroom smugglers.




    ...I kinda went over board on these ideas, but I really want to see a map now! Have you made one yet or are you open to having one drawn by a newly converted fan of the lore?
     
  7. Warden
    OldBlood

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    Oh no.

    I found your worldbuilding link. I made a quick map to sort out the lore and have dived down this rabbit hole.
     
  8. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I kind of forgotten about that thread because few people responded to it. Also when I wrote that thread my goal was to make a setting for 3.5. Now I opted to make my own RPG system and create something a little less epic scaled than 3.5

    Most of the fluff there holds, but I completely threw out the map. Then I made a new map and threw out that map. The third map burned down, fell over and then sank into the swamp.

    If you private message me your email address, I can send you the CURRENT version of my fluff and game system if you truly want to read 200 pages of it. I did put in navigation panes for ease of reading.


    I'm not a particualrly deft hand at map drawing, but I do have some maps. I don't have reliable access to a scanner but I could bug a friend or go to the copy store and spend a $1 so I can post my rough draft maps.

    I'm very open to this because you are pretty damn good at making maps, I drew a map and then scrapped it and started over four or five times, so I'm not emotionally attached to my map. but hold off until I can figure out how to show you my rough drafts.

    Another thing, I cannot make up my mind on is scale. At the moment the world has about half the surface area of Earth but I've toyed with make it bigger or smaller.

    The world is not flat and it's not a globe. It's a cylinder. The north and south poles are literally gateways to the Void. The Nine erected a mystic wall called the Barrier to keep the Void from devouring all life but it's not imperemable. The Void passively leeches heat. That's why it's colder near the poles and warmer near the equator. It's just science!

    The barrier gets weaker on the annivesary of the Nine's Rebellion against Turoch (roughly coinciding with the Winter Solstice) and the Nine shore it up the rest of the peak, peaking around the Summer Solstice so that is why we have the season. More science.

    I'm a big fan of Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. A non-fiction book about how technological and agriculural innovations spread. Based on Professor Diamond's theories I opted to make the world oriented east to west rather than north to south.

    All water used to be freshwater but when Turoch the Progenitor was slain, his blood turned to salt as it spilled over the world. Mera, the protector goddess and the goddess of water made sure to shield large bodies of freshwater to nourish the world that came after.

    In the First Age, Scarterras was a giant megacontinent like Pangea though it was a lot more uniform than Pangea. The center was a slighly higher elevation than the exterior. A giant freshwater lake was elevated in the center and many rivers flowed down in every direction to the salt water sea. A dragon queen tried to use sorcery to seize control of the central lake so she could control everyone's access to fresh water, but her spell botched and she instead woken up the planet's elemental core.

    It's basic science that all life and all matter is made up of fire, earth, water, and air and the purest source of elemnental energy is in the core of the planet. This woke up tens of thousands of elementals that ran amok. Earth and water elementals battling each other en masse split the pangea like continent into smaller land masses as their elements fought for dominance.

    The biggest land mass was in the north, creatively named Colassia. During the Second Unmaking, a party of epic wizards drew on unprecedented magic to destroy a Demon Lord and this split Colassia into two continents. East Colassia and West Colassia which are separated by a very narrow strait of water, generally called The Demon Strait.

    Because I cannot focus on the entire world at once, most of the fluff I developed is for East Collasia.

    Short version.

    Mondert: Mondert has a joint governement two kings and two councils of elders ruling them, one human, one dwarf. They are fairly geographically isolated. Dwarves do most of the mining and metal work, but both human and dwarf alike live primarily by fishing and tropical agriculture. They assimilated with human culture so much they are barely recognizeable as dwarfs (though they kept the beards).

    -Most Mondarian Dwarfs have never seen an orc. Orcs are basically a distant legend.
    -Mondarians distrust elves because the nearest elves happen to be the Dark Elves who are unabashed slavers.
    -They get along amazingly well with humans. They are actually pretty gregarious with any other group who approaches them politely.

    Meckelorn: Meckelorn has a near absolute monarch that's power if partially checked by clan elders.

    -Meckelorn Dwarves loathe Orcs with a passion and would like to see them wiped out. Orcs nearly destroyed Meckelorn centuries ago.
    -Meckelorn doesn't have warm relations with the Wood Elves, but both sides believe that good fences make good neighbors, so they rarely fight. Wood Elves are welcome to visit on Rumspringas though most Wood Elves find underground realms uninviting and rarely stay long.
    -Mecklorners will trade with Humans but they do so reluctantly. Humans view them as abrasive and rude in general. A few hardliners have not forgotten that small numbers of humans aided the orcs that attacked thier homeland and would prefer not to deal with humans at all.

    Stahlheim: Stahlheim has a hereditary king that regularly has to make concessions to influential clan leaders and wealthy guildmasters.

    -Stahlheim Dwarves view Orcs as enemies, though they view them as a individual threat, not a existential threat to their way of life.
    -Most of Stahlheim's contact with elves is with the Elven Empire. Imperial Elves are viewed as stodgy and hardnosed which is something Dwarves can relate to. Relations are not warm, but they have a good working relationship. Stahlheimers generally dislike the sea and the Elven Empire has the largest merchant fleet in the world, so elves are good trading partners.
    -Most Dwarves would rather spend their times working in a forge or a mine. Thanks to being able to trade metal goods to humans for large quantities of food stuffs, most Dwarfs get their wish. Thus they like trading with humans

    Detailed History and Culture
    Origin from the Great Stone: Nearly all Dwarves agree they were formed out of stone and given life by Hallsian though opinions differ on what purpose Hallisan had in mind. The most common story told by Dwarves is that Hallisan saw the Second Unmaking coming and wanted a race to stauchly defend the mountains and the Underdark. A lot of non-Dwarves state that if Hallisan saw the Second Unmaking coming, he should have done a lot more. While they certainly believe defending the mineral wealth of the world from threats was a factor, Hallisan probably just wanted a race close to his ideals. Almost every one of the Nine had created a paragon race of worshipper for themselves by this point in history except for Hallisan.

    The Great Stone is the central holy relic to Dwarf culture and religion. The Great Stone is believed to be the very rock that the first Dwarves emerged from. Not only does the Great Stone have religious and symbolic significant, but it also amplifies divine spellcasting nearby. More importantly it greatly increases the fertility of underground fungi and plants within miles, making the area around the Great Stone the most habitable place in all the Underdark.

    Second Age History: A few elves took offense at this new race of demi-elves emerging, but elves were never especially fond of mountains but by that point, the Elven kingdoms would covetously hold onto any land they could. The elves had the numbers to utterly crush the upstart dwarves, but when the dwarves emerged the elves were already in decline. Hallisan was not the most commonly worshipped of the Nine by the Second Age elves, but he had some followers who were able to run interference on behalf of the dwarfs. Relationships between the newly emerged dwarves and the nearest elven nations were rough but they managed to at least avoid full scale war. The dwarves claimed much of the land around the Great Stone and christened their new nation Mecklorn.

    Surviving the Second Unmaking: The dwarves were expecting a full scale attack by the elves and had been building up fortifications and stockpiling food and weapons. While the elves never invaded, the dwarves war preparations helped them against the Void Demons. Nevertheless, the Void Demons brought low many older stronger nations.

    Meckelorn survived largely because Hallisan intervened. All the Nine intervened where and when they could to help mortals that found their favor but they couldn’t save everyone. Hallisan bent nearly all his effort towards helping the dwarven people. Many dwarf favored souls were born at this time and many spirit minions of Hallisan arrived to reinforce the dwarves’ defenses.

    Hallisan worship was far more common among Second Age elves than among Third Age elves. Some elven historians believe that the precipitous drop in Hallisan worship among modern elves is because Hallisan left his non-dwarven worshippers out to dry. This is not something they usually have the guts to say around Guardians.

    Dwarf historians estimate over half of the dwarf population died during the Second Unmaking. While the loss was horrific, the dwarfs emerged from the Second Unmaking with fewer losses than nearly every other mortal race. Not only this, but their royal line was unbroken and most of the clan leadership was intact so the Dwarfs did not have to reinvent their governments the way the surviving elves did.

    Early Third Age History: Meckelorn rebuilt its structures and population as the newly arrived humans debuted. Relationships between Meckelorn and the emerging human nations were peaceful, but not very warm. Relations with the Wood Elves of Loren were even frostier but at the very least the two groups understood the others desire for privacy and isolation.

    As Meckelorn grew to an even larger population than they had before the Unmaking, they began trading with humans even establishing a small colony in the southern mountains of West Colassia to help facilitate this. This colony was known as Stahlheim.

    The Rule of Krnnic the Brash: Meckelorn’s kings were generally wise and fair until a greedy dwarf known as Kronnic the Brash, ascended to the throne. Kronnic was disliked both within and without his own nation. He raised taxes greatly and wasted money on selfish pursuits. He threatened war with neighboring nations over the slightest provocations.

    Many of his subjects wanted to crown his much more level-headed younger brother, Monderious. Mondarious refused stating that to break the rules of succession would irreparably harm the Dwarf people for centuries to come. Despite his public refusal, Monderious faced at least one nearly successful assassination attempt believed to be the work of his jealous brother.

    Monderious chose self-exile. He left with a small contingent of core supporters. The exiles sailed Scarterras for over ten years before settling on a chain of volcanic islands and befriending the local tribes of humans there eventually formalizing their friendship into the joint human-dwarven nation of Mondert. Monderious’ people then essentially removed themselves from dwarven history. It wasn’t until centuries later that anyone in Meckelorn was even aware that Mondarious’ exiles had survived, much less formed a new nation.

    Meckelorn declined under the leadership of Kronnic. His son was if anything worse eventually being murdered with poison in his ale. Officially he was killed by a goblin assassin but many speculate that one of his own subjects likely did the deed. Kronnic’s grandson Arrarin took the throne but not come of age yet. The young monarch was ill prepared to face the challenges to come. He was not ready for Mordock.

    Mordock the Scourge of Dwarves: Mordock was both a half-orc warrior and a sorcerer who managed to use flattery, bribery, intimidation and naked force to unite most of the orc and human barbarian tribes of West Colassia under his banner. In addition to these warriors, Mordock is said to have won the loyalty of three dragons and even rode a dragon into battle. Mordock’s army also included goblins and giants. His coalition conquered the tiny northern nations of humanity and then turned his sights on Meckelorn.

    Mordock is said to have had Greymoria’s blessing. Whether or not he truly had her blessing, Greymoria had nursed a grudge against the dwarven people since their inception for shunning her and for shunning arcane magic. Greymoria created Derro to plague the Dwarves and chose the moment of Mordock’s attack to unleash them. Whether or not Mordock actually conspired with the Derro directly, the Derro did choose (or were ordered) to strike at Meckelorn en masse from below while Mordock’s army attacked them from outside.

    A combination of war casualties and assassinations left most of the royal family dead. Meckelorn ended with a contested throne between two shirttail relatives of the pre-war king. The contention had more to do with policies than bloodlines.

    One royal contender, wanted to liberate Meckelorn as soon as possible and regrouped militant survivors in minor fortresses that were once on the frontier of Meckelorn. They began a guerilla war campaign to reclaim the Great Stone and the surrounding areas.

    The other royal contender wanted to rebuild for several years elsewhere then attack once total victory could be assured. He and his followers took refuge in the formerly unimportant colony of Stahlheim. Effectively this created two dwarven nations: Meckelorn and Stahlheim.

    Liberation of the Great Stone into Today: Meckelorn’s declined slowly while Stahlheim’s population swelled, much to the consternation of all Dwarves, Mordock died peacefully in his sleep at a ripe old age. Mordock’s grand alliance did not survive long past his death and the Meckelorn Dwarves were able to slowly take their lands back bit by bit though losses continued. Once they had a sizeable portion of their original kingdom back, Meckelorn’s stopped shrinking at managed to stabilize despite their continuing losses.

    Much of Mecklorn’s continuing war losses were in failed attempts to liberate the Great Stone. At one point while Meckelorn’s army was licking their wounds from a particularly bloody failure, Stahlheim finally mobilized an offensive army and managed to recapture the Great Stone. The Dwarves of Meckelorn wanted to reestablish their capital around the Great Stone, but Stahlheim refused to yield it. The two dwarven nation faced the prospect of war over their holiest site.

    Stahlheim had the larger population and greater riches, but Meckelorn was geographically right on the Great Stone’s doorstep and didn’t have to march their soldiers hundreds of miles to the objective. Due to the intervention of nearly every dwarf priest representing most of the Nine, the dwarves agreed not to profane the Great Stone with dwarf’s shedding Dwarf blood.

    The Great Stone and the temple around it was declared its own nation, at least on paper. Neither Stahlheim or Meckelorn technically have jurisdiction over the Great Stone. Meckelorn agreed to give Stahlheim pilgrims (and the rare Monderian pilgrims) full access to the Temple of the Great Stone. Both nations would contribute soldiers to guard it.

    The agreement is in place, but Stahlheimers and Mecklorners do not get along particularly well. While it’s very rare for Stahlheimers and Meckelorners to fight beyond the scale of a bar brawl, relations between Dwarves of the two nations are…frosty. They are still bitter about the divide of control over the Great Stone today. The Meckelorn Dwarves detest that the Stahlheimers ran away for centuries then came back at the last minute to claim the spoils of victory. The Stahlheimers look down on the Meckelorn Dwarves for needlessly throwing away Dwarven lives to fight for every inch of land rather than retreat and regroup. In their view, the Stahlheimers won the Meckelorners’ war for them, then the ingrates tried to muscle them out.

    Many humans quietly joke that Stahlhemiers and Meckelorners hate each other because they are so alike. Culturally separated by thousands of miles and thousands of years, Mondarian dwarves are very different from their cousins in Western Colassia. Paradoxically though, they tend to get along well with their distant cousins. It is so rare for a Mondarian to visit the dwarf homelands or a mainlander dwarf to sail to Mondert that such meetings are cause for a celebration not suspicion.

    Organization of the Three Dwarven Nations: It is widely held that Meckelorn is where traditional dwarves hail from, Stahlheim has picked up a small number of human practices and Mondert has picked up a lot of human practices.

    Meckelorn is very isolationist and is generally unwelcome to non-dwarf visitors, even if they bear valuable goods for trade. Stahlheim doesn’t let in many non-dwarf permanent residents but they rely on trade. They rely on nearby human nations to provide most of their food in exchange for metal goods. Mondert is a joint human-dwarven nation with humans and dwarves integrated together at every level of society.

    Mecelorners are especially fond of fighting warhammer and battle axes. Some Stahlheimers favor warhammers and axes but many utilize swords and polearms when they feel they are more advantageous. Monderian dwarves find warhammer and battle axes inconvenient for their canoes. In fact the biggest thing separating Monderian dwarves from their cousins is their love of the sea.

    All three Dwarf kingdoms are headed by kings, the crown always passing to the eldest direct male heir. Meckelorn has a feudal system its lands are divided into lands ruled by hereditary Lords who all pledge fealty to the king. Stahlheim also has a king, but below him are guild heads rather than feudal lords. Land parcels are held by families which sometimes but not always overlaps with guilds. Stahlheim’s king wields less absolute power than Meckelorn and he has to occasionally bend to the wealthier guild leaders. Monderia’s king is expected to lead his people in times of war, but he is mostly a ceremonial figure in times of peace. The Moderian clan elders run most of the day-to-day operations of the small nation. Also the Mondarians have a second human king, as human council of elders that is considered parallel and equal to the dwarf king and dwarf council.

    Religion: Most dwarves view Hallisan as their preeminent deity, very few dwarves refuse to worship Hallisan entirely. Mecklorn Dwarves venerate the other six deities but not very deeply. It’s not common to see many priests dedicated to gods other than Hallisan. Stahlheim has a plurality of Hallisan priests, but Phidas, Khemra, and Mera has a fair number of Stahlheim priests. Monderian Dwarves venerate Mera and Hallisan on equal footing with Korus close behind.

    Dwarf Outsiders: Dwarves who do not fit in well with their own people for whatever reason find that they can find work as soldiers, adventurers stonemasons, smiths, engineers, or mining supervisors almost anywhere, so oddball Dwarves show up working for humans or other races around the world.

    Not every dwarf you see outside their homelands is an outsider or an outlaw. Many choose to work a few decades in non-dwarven lands to make their fortunes, then they return to their homelands with all the wealth they saved. This is a common practice for single men to gain wealth to attract a good match at home.

    While not removed from Dwarf society entirely, Stahlheim and Meckleorn herdsmen and the military scouts their culture periodically breeds are considered mavericks by their own people even though the service they provide is invaluable, providing both food and defense. To be fair though, a lot of dwarves who choose these professions find their own society somewhat stifling and choose to live primarily in the wilderness for the relative freedom it provides.

    The continents of Penarchia and East Colassia both have extensive mineral rich mountain ranges with no dwarf settlements. A lot of dwarfs think there should be dwarves in every mountain range on Scarterras but relatively few dwarves are volunteering to be part of a mass emigration movement. They still have not recovered their population loss since the time of Mordock.

    I have literally given no though to Elven heraldry until now. I don't think seasons would be a good fit. Note, the three elf groups do not like each other, but they are so far apart geographically that they couldn't make war on each other even if they wanted to.

    Elven kingdoms used to cover the entire world. When the Second Unmaking happened, Void Demons tried to consume all mortal souls and 90-99% of the elf population was slain. The three modern Elf nations diverged from each other based on their strategy for surviving the Second Unmaking.

    The Grey Elves, who now call themselves the Elven Empire, used to be a tiny nation with no real clout but their tiny was an island on the equater so they were last in line to be attacked by demons. They faced the fewest demons and had the most time to prepare. They survived with their nation and government pretty much intact.

    They are first and foremost a naval power. Presumably their heradry would be based around powerful sea creatures.


    The Wood Elves surivived the Second Unmaking by making alliances with magical forest creatures and the Fair Folk (which admittedly are not near as developed as I wish at this point). They retained these alliances into the Third Age. Their new nation is called Loren until I come up with something more original.

    Presumably their heraldry would involve unicorns, satyrs and other fae creatures fo the forest.


    The Dark Elves survived the Second Unmaking by promising their lives and souls to the goddess Greymoria. Their new nation of Kahdisteria is the only place where Greymoria worship is mainstream.

    Presumably their heradly would involve whatever Greymoria's sacred animals are or involve mystic sigils. I have yet to assign sacred animals.


    So far I introduced an elven minstrel on Rumspringa but my Elf PC wants to hide his true identity and is pretending to be a commoner. It came off awkwardly and he didn't make a good impression on her. She thought he was overly simple.

    Since Fumaya borders Loren, I can probably throw in all sorts of Wood Elves. They are probably the number one Rumspringa destination in the world.

    This concept was originally borrowed/stolen from my friend's D&D campaign though I changed the name from Discermercordia (very metal name) to Swynfaredia (which I based off the Welsh word for magic). In D&D many if not most sorcerers are the descendants of human-dragon pairings. D&D is very big about color coded dragons. Discermercordia was founded by the half-dragon offspring of ten dragons. One of each type. Blue, White, Red, Green, Black, Gold, Silver, Copper, Bronze, and Brass.

    My world does not have color-coded Dragons but I'm planning to use the same basic idea. The noble houses each claim descent from a half-dragon ancestor and their heraldry is based on the supposed dragon progenitor of thier line.

    I have not gone as far to figure out what these Dragons were like. The founding of Swynfaredia is so long ago that the stories they tell of their draconic ancestors are probably filled with innacuracies and embellishments.

    Developing the finer details is a work in progress but the short version is 90% of the noble's children used to be born with hereditary sorcery. Now it's below 50%. They have a very complicated set of succession laws because nobles without sorcery cannot inherit titles or land but they still want to find the most direct heir they can.

    At this point the noble families are intermarried so tightly that it's a fools errand to split up houses based on magical affinity.

    I'm still working on vampires but I do have a secret vampire concept I'm fairly proud of. The nation of Uskala is ruled by a king that doesn't seem to age. He is never seen during the day and banned mirrors from his palace. Rumor is young women who are summoned to his bed chambers are never seen again.

    Secretly....HE'S A DRAGON.

    At the dawn of the Third Age he tried to squash the burgeoning human race and reinstate a new age of Dragons. As punishment for his hubris the Nine (or at least one of the Nine) opted to trap in him in a human body. He is trying to find a magical way to reverse his curse and become a Dragon again but he needed lots of resources to do it, so he usurped a small city state. Then he conquered the neighboring city state. He annexed enough neigbhors that he now rules one of the world's most powerful Human nations...and he is ashamed that is power is based on Human politics.

    He doesn't age, and doesn't want anyone to figure out what he really is, so he created a ruse that he is really a vampire pretending to be a human. It's also handy that is would-be assassins come at hm with silver and garlic which is worthless against him.

    The reason why I am leaning towards one doppleganger is that the PC group is fairly small and doesn't have a magical means to expose the doppleganger. They have to rely on mundane detective work. If I have a small army of dopplegangers that would be unfairly steamrolling the players.

    Fluffwise, dopplegangers are loathe to expose themselves. Some of them collaberated with Void Demons during the Second Unmaking so its not uncommon that people will kill dopplegangers just for what they are.

    These are good ideas.

    I am a big fan of three faction sides. I figure the mafia would not mind profiteering with the Swynfaredians but they want to toe the line. They want Fumaya to be weak but they don't want Fumaya to be destroyed. The Swynfaredians are pretty harsh on criminals and the mafia would not want to exist directly under their thumb.

    These are exactly the blanks I'm trying to fill are. Who are the other nobles?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  9. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
    Skink Priest

    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Well-Known Member

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    To be fair, that thread was made long before I joined, so I've only just had a look at it (and also like-bombed it). I'm honestly all for everything you're doing here, especially as you're now designing an RPG system of your own rather than just making an alternative setting for D&D.

    Would anyone object if I started making a similar thread for my own fantasy world in General Chat, now that you've inspired me to do just that?

    The interesting thing is, when creating my realm, I did the exact opposite and thought of what all the nations and races were first, and haven't thought much about the whole creation and development business, but this will give me the chance to bounce such stuff off you all and see what you think.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
    Scalenex and Warden like this.
  10. Warden
    OldBlood

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    I shall send it to you. I like what little I have seen from the setting so far.

    I usually just take a pic with my phone and upload directly from there.

    I would love to try and make one, but I don't want to stomp on what you have tried to make before.

    Very unique world shape idea. Also in reading through some of your older lore on the gods, I like how you have basically made up your own greek-inspired family deity squabble!

    So in your maps the "top" of the map is the east? That is interesting.

    Love the dwarf stuff, especially that first group with a human/dwarf hybrid culture. I am wondering why neither side has become dominant over the other in that culture though (aka, humans becoming slaves of the dwarfs in order to grow food, or dwarfs becoming slaves of humans in order to make them mine stuff). Will need to read that entire spoiler next.



    I usually start with heraldry when I create worlds, its how I organize the factions in my mind. I like what is written here too, I agree that a new name for the forest is a good idea (make it more unique). Maybe some more names of Welsh origin?


    I like the name basis, and the idea of lineages based on dragons. I have the old monster manual, I will have to look up what all the old dragon types were for (I assume Red was fire, but that's all I remember).

    The inheritance laws would be neat to see too.



    :wideyed: Awesome. I like it. So much room for conspiracies to be unraveled.




    Makes sense to me, more than one would be a difficult task to topple. That will also make the doppleganger that much more mysterious.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2019
  11. Warden
    OldBlood

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    Makes sense, I really like this idea for a starting point:

    If Fumaya was originally formed by a long-forgotten adventure party from the kingdom of Swynfaredia, the kingdom in its current state would explore what would happen after they took over, and I assume several centuries down the line. Probably some half-dwarves/half-elves who are the descendants of the original adventurers. Like you said, the king is probably a descendant of the original ruler.

    How much time do you think has passed since Fumaya may have been founded? Something within recent memory, say two-or-three generations? Or a more distant past, maybe ten?
     
  12. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I'd be a hypocrite if I said I can post my RPG world but you cannot. I would be happy to read what you post and try to offer some constructive criticism.

    From what I can tell. Almost every fantasy writer starts with the people and nations and then tacks gods on to it. That's why fantasy gods often don't make a lot of sense. I took the opposite route because I wanted as much of the world to make sense as I could.
     
  13. Warden
    OldBlood

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    @Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl I would also love to see it. Reading the history behind fantasy worlds is always fun.
     
  14. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I didn't mean that literally. Eurasia is oriented east to west. Africa and the Americas are oriented north to south.

    That's important because that means if you can travel many thousands of miles and still be in the same latitude, you can plant the same crops over a massive area.

    If you travel a few hundred miles and the climate is radically different, then farming cannot spread as fast.

    That is one of the reasons that agriculture became more widespread in Eurasia than the Americas and it is one of the reasons why Incan conquistadors didn't sail to Spain and hold the king of Spain for ransom.
     
  15. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    How do you figure that? I always thought that the BIG reason the Mayas didn’t sail East and conquer Spain or bits of Africa was that they were 20,000 years behind. (Or Eurasia was 20 or 30,000 years ahead.)

    A secondary reason would be the wind circulation and storm patterns in the Atlantic (and Gulf of Mexico and Carribean).

    ~~~~~~~~

    Back on topic:

    NameMage is an excellent little name generating app. Here is a screenshot.

    093263C7-F878-4A50-BA48-ED2851D27C2D.jpeg

    I dunno if you have an Apple device to run it on (?) but maybe that would help a little.

    You can read more about it (and it’s sister products) here:
    http://www.mapmage.com/namemage.html
     
  16. DeathBringer125
    Troglodon

    DeathBringer125 Well-Known Member

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    You could possibly have a former Royal house worker or something become sort of like Edwin Vancleef from world of Warcraft. Look him up to get how his lore worked but basically he lost his job and made an organization called the Defias Brotherhood to oppose the king.
     
  17. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I'll give it a look.

    I'm thinking at least three or four hundred years for most of them.

    After a long time with no response I finally got some gold from the Order of the Stick forums.

    Noble Houses I came up with so far

    So the names are consistent, I pulled all the names from a baby naming guide for ethnic Polish names. The houses are from English to Polish translated words that I then proceed to mangle.

    Since “Swynfaredia” is based on some mangled Welsh, I am going to give Swynfaredians ethnic Welsh names.

    I use baby name sites so much that Google ad sense sometimes gives me maternity commercials.

    I tried to keep these guidelines in mind.

    House Polnoc

    House Polnoc is a lesser house, but it’s on the front lines. Generations ago, Polnoc, the Bear, was a knight of great strength and courage. This giant of a man led an army which drove back a massive orc invasion into northern Fumaya roughly a century ago. The king rewarded his valor by granting him a noble title and dominion over Fumaya’s northern most lands. House Polnoc took the Bear as their sigil. It was expected that Polnoc would tame Fumaya’s northern most and wildest province. This also represents the last time Fumaya expanded territory.

    His great grandson, Obrect, is the current head of the house. He’s an old man, but he still has not outgrown his unfortunate nickname “Obrect the Cub.” He is not an imposing leader of men nor is he a courageous warrior. Lord Obrect is not the man needed to rule Fumaya’s least fertile and most exposed province.

    Obrect outlived all his sons and most of his daughters. Some to disease, one to suicide some on expeditions where they never came back. Obrect’s heir is his seven year old grandson. Losing so many children broke his heart and arguably his mind. He is worthless as a protector to the commoners in his lands because he has a siege mentality. Terrified of losing his remaining family members, his troops almost never leave his castle unless they are going to get supplies.


    House Zimoz

    House Zimoz is up north, but not quite as exposed as House Polnoc. House Zimoz still has to deal with less fertile land and being relatively exposed to attacks from creatures beyond the edge of the map. Their heraldry is a Silverwood Tree (aka a silvery pine tree). Their house was one of the first houses established by the first kind of Fumaya hundreds of years ago. Their house founder was a skilled ranger, and Silverwood trees are the most value and stately trees. Silverwood has many valuable, first and foremost Silverwood is solid to corporeal creatures, but that’s neither here nor there. Just because they took it as their house symbol doesn’t mean they have much Silverwood.

    Their leader Lord Cezerary is a competent leader genuinely concerned for the welfare of his people. His troops are some of the busiest in Fumaya patrolling the lands and they are equipped with the best weapons and armor available. Cezerary is generous in giving rewards to adventurers who solve problems in his realm.

    He is good at managing his realm’s resources but he still has to take out loans to keep this up. He owes the Masks of Phidas quite a sum. This galls him. He used to be a devotee of Hallisan, but since the Guardians pulled all their warriors and spell-casters out of his realm to defend against an imaginary invasion from Swynfaredia, maybe a new priestly ally is called for. He is pretty unhappy with the lack of support from the southern lords as well.

    He doesn’t realize that his son, Andrzej, is taking his father’s prejudices much farther. He and some of his most trusted men have been disguising themselves as masked bandits and staging raids on southern lords in order to steal gold to pay the Masks off with, especially House Frymar. That’s technically treason against the realm even though it’s for a good cause.

    The mafia is investigating the actions of these extremely well combat trained, very well informed bandits. If they find out who is behind it, the best Andrej can hope for is expensive blackmail.

    House Frymar

    House Frymar is one of the original founding houses of Fumaya. Their sigil is a red owl. I don’t have a story for this, I just think a red owl sounds cool. Apart from the king and the capital, the lands of House Frymar are arguably the most central to the country. That means if the Swynfaredians invade from the south or orcs invade from the north, House Frymar will be the last land to face an attack on their own lands.

    The current head of the house, Lord Nanda, is a shrewd and greedy businessman. His house has made a lot of money acting as a middleman between the Dwarves and the Wood Elves. The Dwarves and Elves don’t like talking to each other, but they are willing to trade with humans. By acting as middleman and taking a modest percentage of each transaction, Lord Nanda is the richest lord in Fumaya.

    Lord Frymar has not lifted a finger to help his fellow lords in the north nor his fellow lords in the south. He has no friends and the other lords would love to see misfortune befall him. It has, but it’s subtle. The mafia’s is muscling into Frymar’s racket of underground trade so Lord Frymar is the strongest voice for being tough on crime for purely mercenary reasons.

    Lord Frymar’s parents were….fertile. Frymar had lots of younger brothers and sisters who had zero chance of inheriting any lands or getting a big dowry for a prestigious marriage. Most of these “extra” children were sent to the Church of Hallisan. A lot of Guardians bear the Frymar family name. This is not an asset for Nanda. In the echo chamber of Hallisan’s noble and selfless values the holy Frymars have convinced themselves that their brother/uncle is a disgrace to the family name.

    House Wiern

    House Wiern is one of the original founding houses of Fumaya when the first king bestowed titles on all his old adventuring buddies. House Wiern’s sigil is a griffin, because why not? House Wiern is the most influential southern house. Their farmlands are the most fertile and their current house head, Lord Garland is the father-in-law to the king and grandfather of the rightful heir. Pretty naturally, Lord Garland is very strong supporter of the king.

    Lord Garland’s top priority is to defend the nation against Swynfaredian aggression. He is trying to save a nest egg of emergency funds and he’s vigorously drilling his soldiers. He feels guilty about leaving the north high and dry, but he rationalizes that this is a reasonable action given the circumstances.

    He is so fixated on his daughter, the queen, that he has neglected his other children to an extent figuring that they are adults that can take of themselves. His second eldest son, Lord Tacitus believes that Fumaya cannot possibly fight off Swynfaredia and is quietly putting out feelers to make a deal with the Swynfaredians. Since he’s not a sorcerer he cannot hold a noble title in Swynfaredia but he could still get a cushy government job. A daughter of one his father’s vassals and a cousin of Lord Tacitus, Lady Pallavi, is a budding sorcerer and this is as of yet not widely known. She is not of marrying age yet, but Tacitus doesn’t believe Swynfaredia is invading tomorrow. He has maneuvered to adopt her as a fosterling.

    Felicja is Garland’s youngest daughter. After her older, prettier, oh so perfect sister was betrothed to the Crown Prince years ago, Felicja went into a deep rebellious phase which she never grew out of. It got so bad that she joined the Decadents, an insidious Maylar cult made up of jaded rich people. They inflict egregious atrocities on the lower classes for the perverse thrill it gives them, then they use their wealth and privilege to avoid detection and punishment.

    I might throw some lesser foibles upon Garland’s other children. Bohdan is the eldest son and heir apparent. I should probably give him sort of flaw that his father is blind to, but given how Garland views his children through a political lens, Bohdan probably faces much more scrutiny than his evil siblings.


    House Linijka

    This the King Henryk’s house. We can make the sigil a blazing arrow. Why not say their distant ancestor was a great archer. Sounds good.

    King Henryk’s father was a selfish wasteful man who cleaned out the royal treasury built up by three generations of thrift. As mentioned before, King Henryk is a kind man who does not want to overtax is commoners, so to free up funds he cut back on royal luxuries and fired a lot of his staff. This barely made a dent in his budgetary woes. He grew up on tales of how duplicitous the masks of Phdias can be and they are the only person or group that he has access that he can borrow money from except in theory the dwarven nation of Stahlheim, and the dwarf king said no.

    Some of his staff are bitter and they are selling secrets to enemies of the Crown. The doppleganger who runs the local mafia has enough insider information that he walk into any room of royal castle anytime he wants because he knows which servants to impersonate and how to imitate their personality and foibles. He doesn’t like to impersonate a lowly servant all the time, so he’s paid a lot of human servants bribes for regular information and guards bribed to look the other way. None of these servants on the take suspect that they are working for a doppleganger.

    I might throw a Swynfaredian spy into the royal court, but I want to keep it at one or two spies in at most, instead of a small army of spies, so I want to be careful with that.

    The young king has a three year old daughter and a one year old son who is the crown prince. He has no brothers in line for the crown, most of his siblings are bastards. Henryk’s late father was lecherous and didn’t care for Henryk’s mother much (the queen mother is still alive). If the king died without an heir, his elderly uncles would inherit the crown. This uncle in question is not the regicidal type nor are his sons, most of whom joined the Church of Khemra or Hallisan which is generally pro-status quo as a rule, but there are some third parties that wouldn’t mind a dynastic shift.

    Henryk tries to be polite and fair to his bastard half-siblings, but at least a few of them are bitter about not being true-born and willing to act against him.

    I’m open to suggestions if Henryk needs a character flaw in addition to his mild naiveté. Also, if anyone has any ideas for fleshing out his half-sibling, cousins, or uncles, I’d be open to hear it.


    I think I have a good cast here. I feel like I should add another major vassal house or two but they don’t have to be as politically important as the three I listed above.


    At some point I need to develop Swynfaredian noble houses, at least those noble houses that are trying to meddle in Fumaya. Except for House Polnoc, each of the aforementioned houses have lesser noble houses answering to them but I think it would be overkill to develop these lesser houses unless the PCs decide to set up permanent shop somewhere, in which case, yes I should figure out who rules the lands they live in.


    Clergy Characters that Might Get Involved

    Hallisan’s Guardians

    Hallisan’s priesthood has more spell-casters and competent fighters in Fumaya than the rest of the Nine’s priesthoods. They have chapels in every sizeable town and they fall under the auspices of single temple in Fumaya’s capital.

    Revered Mother Aleksandra Frymar is the head of the Church of Hallisan in Fumaya. She believes Swynfaredia is the greatest threat and has redeployed all her most powerful spell-casters and warriors to the southern border to reinforce the army. She is unlikely to change her mind unless the north falls under a full scale invasion from orcs or she can get some sort of airtight assurance that the Swynfaredians are not coming.

    If the PCs visit a chapel or temple away from the border they will find pleasant and helpful non-spellcasting priests that could provide useful local information to anyone who seems interesting in solving problems but they cannot really fight their way out of a paper bag.

    If the PCs go digging they will find that a lot of the mid ranking priests and holy warriors under Aleksandra would rather be up north fighting orcs and monsters rather than standing guard against an invasion which may or may not actually manifest, but they aren’t going to disobey orders from their superior without a very good reason.

    Phidas’ Masks

    The Church of Phidas only has one temple in Fumaya which is in the capital. Another temple is under construction in Fumaya’s second largest city. The Masks run an organized circuit so traveling priests visit smaller towns and villages regularly and make sure the various Phidas shrines are well kept and Phidas is well thought of throughout the land.

    Hubert is the Royal Mask of Fumaya, meaning he is the primary liason between the royal court and the priesthood of Phidas. Royal Mask a very prestigious position, but not in Fumaya. King Henryk and Hubert make a public show of friendship during Phidas’ major holidays but the other 363 days of the year, Hubert is not welcome in court.

    Hubert considered plotting regicide, but he figures if the king dies a mysterious death, Hubert will be the primary suspect, so he’s playing it cool for now.

    The priestess Danuta is the highest ranking Mask in Fumaya. She isn’t aiming for Phidas to get a voice in the royal court. She is aiming for Phidas to get a voice in the next generation’s royal court. In Fumaya, most feudal lords who highborn children who are highly unlikely to inherit titles and land get oblated to the priesthood of Khemra or Hallisan. Phidas’ priesthood has zero highborn Masks. Danuta figures if she can enough nobles in the next generation of Masks, the next generation of kings will have to accept Masks in court. She is aiming to ensnare lesser nobles with monetary debts and use that leverage to be able to educate their children.

    I might throw in a third Mask that is conspiring with Swynfaredia but I’m not sure yet.


    Mera’s Tenders

    Mera’s priesthood has more priests and temples than any other priesthood in Fumaya, but most of their priests and priestesses are not spell-casters.

    Beslyfle the gnome, is the highest ranking Tender in Fumaya. She believes that the Tenders will be in a position to help more people if they stay apolitical. If the Tenders start to take sides, she fears they will lose their freedom of movement. She is carefully coordinating a network of healers, both spell-casters and mundane healers to help those in need around Fumaya.

    Rank in the priesthood of Mera is based more on seniority than power, Vadik is the most powerful spell-caster amongst the Tenders. He is also a sympathizer to the near-heretical Paladins faction. The Paladins believe that Mera’s priests can better protect the people if they seize power and issue tight controls. Vadik personally believes that being apolitical will only lead to more suffering but he’s willing to accept that things need to get worse before they can get better. The more people suffer, the more Tenders he can sway to his cause. Then with most of the priesthood of Mera behind him, they can ride in at Fumaya’s hour of greatest need and be the saviors of the nation.

    Khemra’s Keepers

    The Keepers do not have a lot of members in Fumaya but their highest ranked priest, Udom, is a primary advisor to the king. Udom is splitting his time between running the main temple and advising the king which is a lot of work for a man of his advanced age. He is fairly cautious and thoughtful, which is usually a good things but the current situation calls for more quick decisions and boldness.

    Zarthus’ Lanterns

    Zarthus boasts a few fairly modest temple in Fumaya’s capital and larger towns. The Lanterns here are primarily patrons of the arts which is admittedly hard to do in a nation short on gold and beset by many difficulties. They do not begrudge the nobles for withholding patronage of the arts as long as they redirect their gold to help the people in some way.

    Rab the half-elf, is the most powerful Lantern in Fumaya. His adventuring party has been traveling Fumaya’s north trying to help the beleaguered people there. He is toying with the idea of the north seceding from Fumaya. If the southerners are not going to support the north, the north shouldn’t be supplying the south taxes and soldiers.

    A lot of nobles avoid having children during Zarthus’ zodiac year because sometimes Zarthus’ favored souls pop up in the families of nobles who have zero sympathy for Zarthus’ values. Arial is one of them. She is a daughter of a Swynfaredian noble house. She is watching the situation in Fumaya carefully. She doesn’t wish an invasion about Fumaya, but she views Swynfaredian nobles as horrible oppressors. If and when Swynfaredia invades Fumaya, she plans to sabotage the Swynfaredians from the inside.

    Korus’ Stewards

    The Stewards of the Dominion care next to nothing about which nation claims which land or what the criminal element is doing. They are unlikely to lift a finger unless one of the political factions in Fumaya despoiling nature on a large scale. They do have a high opinion of Wood Elves. If the Wood Elves choose to back one of the factions, the Stewards of the Dominion may follow. I do not have any specific character ideas for Stewards of the Dominion.

    The Stewards of the Gift are common in Fumaya. They are allies to all responsible farmers and because Fumaya is has an agrarian economy, Stewards are well respected. The problem is they are pretty apolitical and unlikely to use their influence. I’m thinking to make sure the Stewards aren’t a boring monolith of neutrality that if the PCs ask the high ranking priests for help and turn down, some eager wide-eyed acolytes will follow the PCs out and volunteer to help either fight monsters or fight crime.

    Hahn is the head of the Korus temple in the capital, a member of Korus’ unofficial faction known as the Urban Stewards. He has no magical powers but he is an intelligent and well-spoken man who is a respected mediator in disputes between the merchant classes. If he could be swayed to intervene in problems he could

    Brynn is a Swynfaredian by birth but she spent most of her life in Fumaya and considers herself a Fumayan. She is the most powerful spell-caster affiliated with Korus in the area. She runs a large temple in a small village that acts as a school where most young recruits to the Stewards begin their training.


    Maylar’s Testers

    Maylar’s priests are rarely well organized and they are hard to pigeonhole. Maylar has a temple in the capital. The rest of the country has to make due with shrines if even that.

    Ujarek is the head priest in the capital, sort of. He would much rather sleep under the sky than sleep under a temple roof. He spends as much of his time in the wilderness as possible. He gathers regents for healing potions and scrolls. He mainly visits the capital to make potions and scrolls which one of his acolytes sells. Right now, his best customer is the local mafia.

    “That which does not kill you makes you stronger” is an adage Maylar’s faithful love to recite. Maylar’s faithful frequently commit horrible acts in the name of making people strong. Ujarek does not. Ujarek is a member of the Shepherds, the most benign faction in Maylar’s priesthood. They don’t attack people just for fun. Over the years, more mainstream Testers have mistaken Ujarek’s non-malicious attitude for weakness. Ujarek buried them all.

    He has much respect for Fumayans in the north. Life is hard there, so the people are strong. When visiting the north he’ll heal people for free. In the south, they got to pay lots of money for his help. If Swynfaredia invades and the southern Fumayans fight off the assault they’ll earn Ujarek’s respect. If not, oh well the strong thrive and the weak die.

    He could be a potential ally to the PCs but the last Maylar priest they met tried to murder them (after trying to destroy two villages by hiding the tribute the villagers were supposed to pay off the local orcs with), so they are unlikely to try. Ujarek actually sold that priest scrolls, but he won’t hold a grudge if he finds out. That guy was a fool.

    Greymoria’s Children

    Greymoria’s clergy are seldom welcome in civilized lands. Fumaya does not have a strong arcane tradition so they would have little to hold the Children’s interest.

    In most cases, if a nation is faltering like Fumaya is the Children will just watch and laugh or kick them while they are down. Swynfaredia is home to the largest concentration of a heretical faction within Greymoria’s priesthood. This faction preaches that those born with arcane power are superior to those who gain arcane magic through study or pacts.

    If Swynfaredia invades, this might lure some more mainstream Children out of the woodwork to try to prevent Swynfaredia from getting any stronger, but I don’t have any specific character ideas.

    Nami’s Rovers

    Per their name, most Rovers don’t lay down roots. Nami has only a small number of temples in Fumaya. These temples are waystations for traveling Rovers. Rovers show up to lead Fumayans in celebration of Nami’s holy days then they tend to leave without giving Fumaya much more thought.

    I don’t have any specific character ideas for Rovers at this time. I am thinking of keeping the Rovers as an emergency deus ex machina. If the PCs are really struggling I could have a Rover show up and help them out. A lot of Rovers value the common good and many Rovers view Swynfaredia as a force of oppression. If the PCs are doing especially well I can have a Rover show up and sabotage their efforts just because one of my PCs is a high ranking priest of Khemra who happens to be Nami’s greatest rival.
     
  18. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    Interesting concept: the heat leaching bit. Is the shape actually a straight sided cylinder (?) or some sort of curved partial toroid?
     
  19. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Since I don't have advanced spatial reasoning skills, it's a straight sided cylinder also I can fold a paper map of the world into a cylinder.
     
  20. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    I ask because that has implications for what the Ocean would look like to a ship at Sea, or the view from a tall peak on a clear day.
     

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