Player Additions to Arathia.   Posted by GM.Group: public
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Thu 22 Dec 2016
at 08:18
Player Additions to Arathia
Listed below are the creative and unique player additions to my game. I place them here, at the forefront, so that they can be properly recognized.
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Thu 29 Dec 2016
at 17:07
Player Additions to Arathia
Created by the player of Griswold Ortmann

The Helmets of the Rose

I don't think they would have any enemies.  They are effectively elevated beyond normal assessment.  The epitome of knighthood.  Maybe some people might not agree with their methods/their personalities, but the results speak for themselves.

So the position of a Rose is basically honorary, isn't it?  The 4 became Roses after the fact.  The Order was created for them.  So the 'tenants' are more likely all about being a symbol and a reflection of their achievements:

Inspire others
Defy the odds
Achieve the Impossible

The Spring Order

The Spring Order is about protection of the People.  About sanctuary and security.  Hearth and Home.  So I think they would have strained relations with Orders that encourage people to take risky action, whilst being friendly with those that strive either protect Krieghold's interests or dispose of its threats:

The Guardians of the Quill [They protect the people's interests]
The Custodians of the Coin [They reclaim our people]

The Ashen Order [They hurt innocents, but still save more lives than they ruin]

The Dragon Legion [Glory is their only concern]
The League of the Golden Thread [They encourage people to endanger themselves]

My thoughts here were basic.  Set the tenants in an order of priority.  Like the three laws for robots.  These are the actions a Spring Order Knight must do and the order they must do them in, to ensure the lowest number of casualties.

Defend the People [the immediate danger must be dealt with first]
Sure up their defences [you don't want the people dying whilst you are away]
Hunt the Predators [With the people safe for now, it is time to end the threat once and for all]

The Guardians of the Quill

I am not sure the Guardians of the Quill have many friends.  They seem like a very self-reliant force that is most interested in its own duty and their own legacy over others (that thing about a tome never being lost on their watch is probably a point of pride for them and a record they will do anything to keep):

The League of the Golden Thread [they encourage the gathering of knowledge - see below]
The Ashen Order [they are hunters of villains]

The Spring Order [Their actions do not affect us]
The Dragon Legion [Their actions do not affect us]
The League of the Golden Thread [Their actions do not affect us]

So I figured that the Tenants for the Guardians of the Quill revolved around their watchful duties and stopping thieves.

Remain Vigilant [standing guard all the time is boring.  don't get bored!  Also, anyone can be a thief.]
Perceive the Truth [Do not fall for lies.  "Do not judge books (people) by their covers"]
Punish without Mercy [I see this as a fairly recent adaption.  It might once have been 'deal with threats' or something.  But now the Order's pride has led to it being rewritten to something very merciless against anyone that dare besmirch their reputation]

The Dragon Legion

The Dragon Legion are driven and proactive.  They favour Orders and tenants that take action over those that hold back:

The Ashen Order [Better to act with cruelty than suffer the consequences of not acting at all]
The League of the Golden Thread [Being true to oneself means charging head on, right?]

The Guardians of the Quill [What's the point?  They don't do anything...]
The Spring Order [They take too long.  Chase your enemies down - don't give them a chance to regroup!]
The Custodians of the Coin [They ignore other, more immediate threats in the pursuit of own goals (which happen to be very dull)]

So I figured that the Tenants for the Dragon Legion would be simple-minded and action based:

Dragonrage: Strike First
Dragonfire: Strike Decisively
Dragonfear: Subjugate your Foes

The League of the Golden Thread

I see the league as being about encouraging adventure as, presumably, they are unable to operate outside of Krieghold.  Which can also be viewed as encouraging people to follow their dreams.

The Spring Order [They keep the children safe, allowing them to grow up and become adventurers!]
The Guardians of the Quill [They keep our discoveries safe for future generations.]

The Dragon Legion [They believe in the importance of passion, but believe in breaking their enemies, demoralising them and so stripping away their dreams.]
The Custodians of the Coin [They ensure that a few fallen adventurers are not forgotten, albeit inadvertently]

The Ashen Order [Too many fall to their heavy handed ways before having the opportunity to prove themselves]

Their tenants are about pushing people to have courage and begin their journey:

Promote belief. Never let doubt interfere with one's dreams.
Drive the first step. It is always the hardest.
Pave the way for others.  Immortalise discoveries for future generations.

The Ashen Order

I see the Ashen Order as being very Inquisitorial.  Interrogation is a tool and they dislike anyone that would stand in their way.

The League of the Golden Thread [They keep the people soft.  Soft people are easy to interrogate]
The Custodians of the Coin [They don't get in our way.  We don't get in theirs.]

The Guardians of the Quill [They keep the lore.  Hard for magic users to increase their knowledge and power.  But they keep the lore.  Stopping the Ashen Order from having access to everything that might need]

The Dragon Legion [Their fervor poses major risks to the Ashen Order's investigations.  Such as startling an witch into hiding before the Order could strike against her]

Since the Order was effectively destroyed before, their tenants should be vengeful and merciless:

Suspect Guilt [Everyone has something to hide]
Hound the Truth [If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  Everyone breaks eventually.]
Annihilate Corruption [Magic is power.  Power corrupts.  It spreads and takes route easily.  Ensure no trace escapes]

The Custodians of the Coin

Much like the Guardians of the Quill, I see the Custodians being very insular.  They don't care about others and regard their own agendas as being of the utmost priority.  Unlike the Quills though they are not prideful, but detached.  Jaded and cold.

The Guardians of the Quill [Their purity of purpose rivals our own]
The Ashen Order [Their purity of purpose rivals our own]

The Spring Order [We 'nothing' them.]
The League of the Golden Thread [We 'nothing' them.]

The Dragon Legion [They mess up the trails]

They are effectively trackers.  Drawing upon evidence to follow a trail and complete their mission.  So I made their tenants are about getting to the end of their journey and made them very, scientific, to show their single-mindedness in this.

Analyse. [A trail can be hard to spot and becomes harder to follow the less informed you are]
Theorise.  [When a trail ends, review your findings.  Draw the right conclusions to take you forward]
Capitalise. [Claim your objective]
 GM, 126 posts
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Sun 7 May 2017
at 06:31
Player Additions to Arathia
Created by the Player of Brimir

'Marquessa Vereniza Marionetti’s Academy of Fine Arts and Societal Scholarship', aka 'The Ladies' Academy', or colloquially 'The College of Sin'

Marquessa Vereniza’s Academy of Fine Arts and Societal Scholarship (henceforth ‘The Academy’) has moved steadily to prominence, despite mixed public opinion regarding its merit to the community. Some consider the establishment to be a paragon of educational institutions, accepting both high- and low-born students and striving to provide both a well-rounded education and independent social mobility. Others murmur about a hotbed of misandrist occultism, twisting the minds and corrupting the souls of innocent young girls. Whichever view carries more truth, the Academy invites fierce competition and its graduates have an unparalleled reputation as ladies of substance and refinement.

 Rumours on both sides suggest that the founder, Marquessa Vereniza Marionetti, makes it a point to visit all of her colleges at least once a year. This is an achievement rendered particularly noteworthy by the fact that the Marquessa has been doing so since the inception of the establishment over two hundred years ago (Marquessa Marionetti is known to have spent much time in the Kingdom of Dunnoth during her youth).

 Basic Academy curriculum covers etiquette, deportment and diplomacy; beyond this the ladies are encouraged to pursue their aptitudes be they inclined towards the arts or sciences, with the notable inclusion of both martial and arcane studies. Indeed, it is rare that a lady graduates from the Academy without some level of magical familiarity, although care is taken not to tread on the toes of such formal establishments such as the Obsidian Tower or the more hierarchical churches. As a part of their training the debutantes are required to attend social gatherings of status; for a fee, visiting dignitaries (or locals of note in need of a plus one without feeding the rumour mill) can enjoy the pleasure of a student’s company on formal occasions.

 Although places at Academy Colleges themselves are limited, several other charitable foundations are sponsored by the Academy; most of these offer lodging to ladies of any station (most commonly those of lower status) in exchange for labour under an apprenticeship or similar scheme. The fundamental purpose of these training houses being to provide refuge for women in disadvantaged circumstances, along with a basic education and the skills to support themselves (a journeyman placement system is employed, and those who do not find a placement generally work for the Academy in one capacity or another).
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Sun 4 Jun 2017
at 20:08
Player Additions to Arathia
Created by the Player of Kharash

It all starts with dragons. These are creatures of legend. They are common in stories and mighty tales, but no one has actually seen one in centuries. A few individuals may say they have met a dragon, but this is extremely rare (both because dragons are rare, more so because that individual survived the encounter). Most people that make these claims are seen as crazy by the general populace. The only thing that hints to the existence of dragons are ruins, old scripts and drawings, and of course the dragonborn.

The dragonborn in these times are a nomadic people. Save for a few, most of them have no idea of their origins and past within the dragon empire. They live in the moment, where their clan is the most important entity in their lives. These clans mostly contain dragonborn of the same color, as interbreeding is shunned, though not uncommon. Although these different colors, and heritages are present, they are unrelated to alignment. Simply because the true dragons aren't known. Traits from their ancestry may appear, but they're not as strong compared to true dragons. Red dragons for example may tend to more extreme ways, but in no way is their community evil. After all they're communities, which require most members to be cooperative in order to survive.

Dragonborn in different societies are very rare, as they normally stick to their clans. These dragonborn must have a special reason to be alone (such as abandonment, exile, etc.) These dragonborn do keep their strong sense of community, and will have strong ties to their new 'clans'. Although the common folk might be fearful of dragonborn, more knowledgeable people realize that dragonborn can be a valuable asset to whatever organization,  thanks to their strong sense of loyalty and drive to self-improvement.
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Thu 6 Jul 2017
at 08:27
Player Additions to Arathia
Created by the Player of Arizima

"We are the greatest warriors, natural philosophers, arcanists, and artists this world has ever seen.  You deny yourself Duat to join us, a servant to that greatness and to the perpetuity of our people's sovereignity.  The path ahead will be longer than you can imagine filled with countless joys and sorrows.  Serve your ambition and your people well however, and perhaps countless years from now you will find a prize greater than any you surrender this night." ~High Priestess Anekset of the Great House Karneka just before the beginning of the Lich's rite.

Dunnoth is a land shrouded in mystery to most that live outside it's borders.  Is it a beacon of civilization on the southern continent producing some of the greatest thinkers, arcanists, and warriors the world has ever known?  Or is it a mad decadent aristocracy ruled by the malevolent dead, filled with a thousand strains of heresy?  Ask the average citizen of the north or an unlucky soldier that's had to face the famed mercenary companies of Dunnoth on the field and they might say it's closer to the latter.  Ask a citizen of Dunnoth or a merchant taken with the great port of Sirai and you'll get a different answer.  Critic or defender though, no one can deny the advances in architecture, the medical sciences, or Dunnothi mathematics that benefit most across the known world.

The Great Port City of Sirai

Sirai is a coastal jewel located at the base of a river delta.  When most adventurous types think of Dunnoth Sirai probably springs to the mind first.  This is where the merchant ships and caravans from the world over come to meet and trade exotic goods from across the known world and beyond.  A traveler can get lost for days exploring the Grand Bazaar and smaller markets without even touching the great monuments, grand gardens, or the opulent theaters and gilded Opera Houses.  Exotic spices, dyes, and beautiful textiles stretch as far as they eye can see with anything else imaginable available with only the briefest search.  Beyond the markets closer to the homes of the Great Houses the University and Grand Library of Sirai can be found where the Great houses compete to claim themselves the patrons of the next artist, natural philosopher, or budding grand arcanist.  More than a few of these would be thinkers and creatives come from elsewhere around the world their ideas falling on deaf ears or being labelled heresy.  Here that hardly matters and the Siraite houses are more concerned with finding the next big thing.  Its a trend that's mostly benefited the people of Dunnoth but caused some friction outside their borders.

The people of Sirai are varied and come from all corners of the known world.  The majority still look traditionally Dunnothi though with complexions ranging from dusky to near charcoal wrapped in embroidered brilliantly colored silks and cottons.  The market places are a sea of orange, teal, blue, and black as the natives with a bit of coin to their name weave their way through the crowds.  Siraite's are often almost disarmingly friendly, eager to exchange ideas and news from across the world acclimated to a constant stream of strange people and customs trickling in and out of their city.  Its a fact that they're maybe too proud of.  Sirai revels in it's status as maybe the wealthiest and most certainly the most cosmopolitan city and as a city that's been able fight off jealous and fearful aggressors over the ages. It's people hold Set the strange and violent warrior god of all things not Dunnoth but still not quite Isfet above almost all others.  The yearly grand Festival celebrating the summer solstice is well known as one of grandest parties you can find in Dunnoth ending with a play set on Dunnoth's largest stage sponsored by one of the Great Houses depicting their god's victory over Apophis the world Encircler and his rescue of Ra.

At the top of the cities hierarchy the Great Houses led by the undying Matriarchs that have received the Lich's rite rule almost everything.  Riches work their way up from the merchants in their employ and protection to give the Great Houses the wealth needed to constantly one up each other with the next great public monument or next great discovery.  The nobility are expected to be well read and educated with at least a working understanding of arcanist and natural philosophy along with a solid foundation of the arts.  Those that go further and make their own new discoveries or that become artists themselves are especially prized and it's from those prospects that occasionally a promising new candidate is chosen for the rite.  On the darker side the feuding between the houses for more control of the markets can turn violent and if it's not common its not unheard of for smaller merchants and artisans to find themselves caught in the middle of a titanic struggle with little to no say in their fate.   To most in the city this is a small price to pay but that's not much consolation to those that end up caught in a power struggle between the walking dead and their houses.

The Soul of the Dunnothi

To the people of Dunnoth the soul isn't a single ephemeral concept that's always out of reach.  It's a concrete thing made up of five key aspects that can potentially be damaged or in terrible cases stripped away.

Ren:  The Ren is the name of one of the Dunnothi and their heritage.  Given and family name combine to give us identity, place, and purpose.

Ba:  What are we without our humanity?  Our warmth, our humor or that strange quirk of the lips?

Ib:  The heart is the seat of emotion.  Drive, ambition, and will can't exist without a heart to yearn for them.

Sheut:  The shadow is ever present and a reflection of who we are.  Without this constant companion could we truly even be called a person any more?

Ka:  There is a divine spark in us all that unifies the self.  Without the capacity to unify the sum of our parts we are less than nothing.

"Empty and broken the Hollowed stalk the streets.  Noses to the ground they notice something sweet.  The Hollowed found you and now they get to eat!" -Dunnothi Children's Rhyme

The Hollowed

The Dunnothi understanding of the soul has lead to a particularly creative and cruel punishment generally reserved for only the worst or most dangerous offenders in their society.  Just as a few powerful arcanists have developed techniques to carefully examine and bind each aspect of the soul in undeath a few others have figured out how to seize aspects of the Dunnothi soul and tear them from their host.  Traitors to the state, mad killers, individuals that knowningly threatened the fabric of society, and more rarely potentially dangerous wild arcanists have all had aspects of their self stripped away throughout the ages.  The result is simple.  The victim inevitably loses their vitality and their will to carry on becoming increasingly pale, withdrawn, and helpless until finally they lose even the will to breathe or to keep their heart beating.   Once the victim dies the true punishment begins.  With the aspects of their soul flung far and wide whatever remnants of the Dunnothi that remain are consigned to oblivion while the increasingly agitated pieces of their soul that can act lash out helplessly until they slowly fade away into nothingness.  More than a few spirits and shades have been suspected remnants of the Hollowed lashing out in a desperate attempt to get any taste of life they can manage before they slip away into nothingness.

In truth it's rare to see one of the Hollowed reach this inevitiable end.  Upon being sentenced the Hollowed are cast back out into the streets (with a geas for violent offenders) and forced to fend for themselves as untouchables in a society that fears and loathes them.  Rumors run rampant through the ranks of the common folk that the Hollowed hunt and feed on the souls of the living in a desperate attempt to stave off their own decline.  With no legal protections and a number of obvious signs for those that kknow what to look for (most commonly the lack of a reflection or shadow) most hollowed are killed by angry mobs before too long.  In spite of this rumor no traditional living Hollowed has ever been known to steal another's soul.

The Traitor House and the first of the Hollowed

The Hollowed have their roots in a conflict long since lost to living memory.  It started with a great blockade.  The young Empire of Krieghold sought to capture the great southern port of Sirai and beyond as many had before seeking to become masters of southern seas.  Unlike most other doomed invasions though the Kriegan's seemed to have the upper hand.  Their commanders seemed to act with a dazzling foresight and won key battles at land and at see soon encroaching on the Gates of Sirai itself.  The Siraite's prepared themselves for a lengthy siege but before long the gates were flung open and the invaders rushed for the city.  It soon became clear that the Siraite's had been betrayed by one of the Great Houses and one of the Savannah Queens herself.  Their queen had been promised rule over all Dunnoth in the name of the Empire, a rule free from the competition of her peers.  The house turned on the rest in a bloody battle that should  have spelled certain doom for the defenders.

What happened next isn't certain and is still hotly debated among scholars.  What is known is that the would be conquerors were routed and driven back into the sea and slaughtered almost to the last.  Many claim that the god Set himself summouned the storms of the desert, the sea, of locusts, and all the terrible beasts of Dunnoth to destroy the conquerors and would be usurpers of his own great temple city.  Others say that's ridiculous and claim that what followed was likely the combined arcane might of the Queens of Dunnoth united fully for one of the only times in history to exterminate the would be usurper and her allies.  Whatever happened the Queens of Dunnoth refuse to say.  What is known is that in the aftermath a new punishment was devised for the traitors that thought to sell the soul of the Dunnothi people for ultimate power.  The Traitor house was stricken from history with a mystic rite that erased the memory of their own name and all aspects of their souls were torn apart and flung to the farthest corners of the world before they were consigned to the desert to die.  The records claim that was the end of the traitor house but rumors persisted.  Common folklore in Dunnoth states that the house still lives preying on the souls of the living to ensure their own continued survival.  They swore an oath to a monstrosity of Isfet beyond the reach of any god and more malicious than even Apep the Sun-Eater.  The people whisper that one day they'll come back to claim their true prize and to bring madness down on the people of Dunnoth and every land beyond.

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:33, Fri 19 Jan 2018.