Character Creation.   Posted by Grimm.Group: 0
 GM, 6 posts
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 05:42
Character Creation
Outsiders and Getting to Nonestica:

"There's no place like home..."

Anyone who travels to Nonestica from the “normal” world is usually referred to as an Outsider or a “Slipper” in Oz slang. These "Slippers" or Outsiders generally arrive following strange occurrences or events, usually involving powerful environmental forces like tornadoes or hurricanes. Often there is a defect or weakness in the spatial dimensions in a particular area (such as found in the Bermuda Triangle and in a place called Kansas) and a powerful environmental force can temporarily breach the divide and teleport an object or person into the dimension occupied by Oz (and all Nonestica). Depending on the power involved and the size of the breach, anything from a flower to an ocean liner might possibly pass through.

The only other "known" way to enter Nonestica is by way of Wonderland's mysterious Hall of Doors. The barrier between worlds is thinner in some places than others, and it is here that portals allowing beings from either world to physically cross over can be found. The Hall of Doors is a large hallway with a red-tiled floor and wood-paneled walls, lit by oil lamps hung from the ceiling. Doors of all shapes and sizes are arrayed around the hallway with curtains and wall hangings interspersed among them. A single three-legged table made completely of glass is the only furniture in the hall. Many of the doors in the hall lead to other places in Nonestica and the normal world, although the keys to most are long lost or forgotten.

Of shocking note to some Outsiders is the fact that Time (ahem excuse me I mean time) does not seem to be a factor in when they arrive in Nonestica. A 1920's gangster, a Victorian era explorer, a Roman Centurion, and a modern college student could all find themselves transported differently and arrive in the same clearing at the same time.

Returning home is another matter altogether however. Rumors have arisen of pirates sailing the Endless Sea past the Edge of the World might be possible for the desperate to return to whence they came. Yet so far no one has been brave enough to attempt such a dive into the abyss of Davy Jones' locker.

Of coarse magic and flying by way of Fairy Dust or perhaps hot air balloon is the preferred means of the well to do Outsider to return to their homes. How long they have been gone is up to the whims of Fate though (or Time himself, if he is in a good mood.) Just ask Rip Van Winkle.

The six Tribes of men:

The five tribes to settle in Oz have had far less exposure to the Emerald’s energy than the native Fae. However, some distinctive physical differences have developed between the groups. It is believed that the Emerald’s power amplifies traits that are already present.
Therefore any slight differences between the groups (such as height, skin color, intelligence, dexterity) have been magnified over a short time by the Emerald’s power.

The Five Oz tribes are: the Munchkins, Quadlings, Winkies, Pastorians, & Gilkins.

The sixth "tribe" are the various humans of the other kingdoms of Nonestica. Splintered from Oz by the Deadly Desert they have developed in new and different ways over the centuries.

Skin and hair tone varies immensely in these humans, as does size and shape of features, to extremes not found in the "normal" world. It is not unusual to encounter persons who look like they could have walked right out of a children’s nursery-rhyme book, or an editorial cartoon from a London magazine.  If it were the "normal" world, their appearances might be disturbing or even terrifying.

Even persons whose features would be considered comely have a certain unearthly and unsettling quality to them.

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:50, Thu 27 Apr 2017.

 GM, 7 posts
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 05:52
Character Creation
“Animals” and “animals” (Lions and Tigers and Bears):

There are two types of beasts in Nonestica. Those that are sentient and can speak are referred to as BeastMen and also “Animals” (with a capital “A”) while those who still retain the original lower intelligence of their kind are called “animals” (with a lower case “a”). There are also a few rare cases that fall between the two extremes and have characteristics of both (Toto, aka “Patch”, being an example).

It is unknown as to why some animals never attain sentience while others do. The Beast-Men can still communicate with their lower brothers and sisters of the same type but not with other types (i.e. Lion-Men can talk to lions but not with hawks). However, the lower animals still only have “animal” intelligence and can only answer and understand the Beast-Men about as well as a very well trained pet.

The Beast-Men of Nonestica are a diverse group of Animals that have evolved from their lower brethren.  They are each very different in personality and traits and have settled all four corners of the land.  The one thing they have in common is that Beast-Men are always tribal in nature.  Beast-Men of one group of Animals are called a Caste. For example, the Cat Caste would include Lion-Men, Panther-Men, Cheetah-Men, etc.  Each Caste has Tribes and each Tribe is led by a Prince or Princess, a tradition taken from their ancient friends, the Fae. A King rules over each Caste and the King is always appointed by a collective of elders called the Body with representatives from the many Tribes within that Caste.

For hundreds of years, many of the Castes warred with one another over land territories and resources.  Glinda the Good, a direct descendant of Lurline and the ancient Fae, helped the many Castes form the Spirit Compact, a document that created jurisdictional borders and peace between the Castes.  Though there were always some who could not allow the old blood feuds go, the Spirit Compact held until the rein of the wicked sister witches of the East and West. Seeking power, some Tribes seceded from the Compact and allied themselves with the powerful witches.

When the great witch slayer, Dorothy Gale, freed the people from their grasp, Glinda and her cousin Skywin helped reunite the Tribes and the Spirit Compact was rewritten to include a new Body or Representatives called the Spirit Council, made up of Beast-Men from all of the different Castes. The new Compact also provisioned a High King elected by the Spirit Council to rule over all the Castes.  The first High King elected was Blacktail the Brave, King of the Lion-Men and friend to Dorothy.

Though many Castes still hold old grudges and may not be very friendly with one another, under Blacktail’s leadership, the Castes have enjoyed peace for over a century.

On the whole, Animals prefer the company of their own kind: that is to say, other Animals, rather than a specific type thereof. They tend to congregate in small villages where many species of Animal live together. Exception do exist but prejudice from humans can make such a life uncomfortable for the adventuring Animal.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:57, Thu 27 Apr 2017.

 GM, 8 posts
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 06:14
Character Creation
Of Tin-men & Straw-men The Clockworks & Patchworks of Nonestica:

The original Tin-Man and Scarecrow were unique in Oz when Dorothy first showed up. The Tin-Man was originally a Munchkin woodsman but was turned into a mechanical man by Jacob Ku-Klip in order to save his life after a curse from the Wicked Witch of the East made him chop off his own body parts. The origin of the Scarecrow was a bit more obscure. Later, Ku-Klip was forced into hiding to continue his work on creating life and became simply known as Jacob the Tinkerer.

Since then, living Patchworks and Clockworks with their own unique souls have started wandering the land. It is also well known throughout Oz that all of Jacob’s creations have kind and good souls. However, since the conquest of Oz by Ozymandias II, new “men” have been seen throughout Oz. The new Tin-Men are mostly heartless automaton soldiers in the Oz Corps, void of any personality or soul.

The Card soldiers of the House of Cards in Wonderland are clockworks designed like playing cards, averaging some four feet tall. All cards of an extended “pack” have identical designs upon their backs, while their front sides bear symbols appropriate to their suit and rank. Originally, there was but one pack, subservient to the Queen of Hearts. However the other suits of the House of Cards each acquired their own pack some time in the past from unknown sources. The clockwork card soldiers are all unthinkingly loyal to their suites and the House of Cards of Wonderland. Their largest rivals are each other and the Chessmen of the Checkerboard Lands.

The Powder of Life has also been known to bring mundane objects to... well life. However the Powder itself is extremely rare and can only be crafted by powerful Fae or magic users.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:57, Thu 27 Apr 2017.

 GM, 9 posts
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 06:49
Character Creation
Nomes, Fae, and other Magical Creatures:

A half century ago the Nome King of Northwestern Nonestica led several invasions into the Land of Oz. They were eventually repulsed by Ozma’s forces but with great loss of life on both sides. When the Nome King was captured following the final battle his army collapsed. Many worked their way back through the tunnel they had used to invade with under the Deadly Desert. However, a large group defected and were left behind. Most of these ex-invaders have slowly integrated into Oz society though there are many Kinfolk who will still have nothing to do with them. Nomes are generally underground dwelling miners. Most of the ones in Oz defected from the army of the Nome King after he invaded Oz about 50 years ago.

Plants (hereafter denoted with a capital “P,” as opposed to mere plants), are sapient. They are intelligent and aware of their own existence. Plants appear quite delicate and fragile, tottering around on their thin root-like legs, their slender bodies swaying from side to side, and their leaves curling in all directions. However, the fibrous nature of their plant bodies makes them surprisingly resilient, and they have long since evolved to stand up to quite amazing forces. That said, the Plants are generally slow and not physically strong, though there are always exceptions. Like the Treants of the Dark Woods.

The Fae (sometimes referred to as Faeries) are an ancient, immortal race (they cannot die of old age but can be killed) who flew the winds between the wild places of Nonestica long before any other humans discovered the magical realm. The Fae are divided between their two Courts, the Summer (Seelie) and Winter (Unseelie).

The Summer Court represents what people see as the benevolent side of the Fae. The fae of this court are generally considered more polite or mannered, albeit they are still very capable of cruelty. The Summer Court has free reign over summer solstice and spring equinox months, and are strongest during that time. Needless to say, the fae of this court are frivolous, venereal, hot-headed and what have you. They are the epitome of summer. They revere the great Fae Lurline as a goddess.

The Winter Court represents what people see as the malevolent side of the Fae. The fae of this court frown upon humans. They're more inclined to talk about their open cruelty. The Winter Court has free reign over winter solstice and autumn equinox months, and are strongest during that time. By and by, the fae of this court are sensible, chilled, dark, baleful, and what have you. They are the epitome of winter and still resent the lose they suffered in the defeat of the Dragon by the traitor Fae Lurline.

Many other creatures of myth and legend wander the lands of Nonestica drawn by the power of the Emerald and fleeing the persecution of the humans of the mundane world. Trolls hide under bridges. Giants build castles in the mountains far from humans. Elementals roam the wild places. And dragons slumber beneath the mountains.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:59, Thu 27 Apr 2017.

 GM, 10 posts
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 07:24
Character Creation
Witches & Wizards, Fae, Technomancers, Alchemists, and Minstrels:

"Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?"-Glinda the Good to Dorothy

There are many forms of magic in Nonestica. The Fae are the most in tune with the magic of the Emerald. They can draw arcane power already absorbed from it into the land itself. They do not directly draw energy from the Emerald but rather recycle the energy already released.

Witches and Wizards (aka Sorceresses & Sorcerers) draw their power directly from the Emerald. Their power may be affected by distance from the Emerald or by its current strength. The only exception are the four Cardinal Witches of Oz. These four have powers that directly challenge even the most powerful Fae.

A Technomancer powers his strange scientific devices with arcane energy. They usually draw the energy directly from the Emerald but they then store it in batteries or crystals. Alchemists grind up crystals and use them to create powerful potions and concoctions while Minstrels attempt to generate musical harmony with the arcane through the use of music.

Wonderland's "Nonsense Magic":

Hatter: "Do you know why they call me 'Hatter'?"
Alice: "Because you wear a hat?
Hatter: "...No."

Haberdashery is but an example of a brand of “nonsense magic” found in Wonderland, practiced by natives unaware that they’re practicing “magic” at all. They are mad after all.

This particular variety is exclusive to hatters of Wonderland. Slight variations on this basic idea may be found amongst other Wonderland craftsmen (e.g., a skilled Seamstress or Tailor who quickly stitches together an entire outfit to dress up, and can make a dress/suit for any occasion).  The effects are much the same, requiring appropriate tools and materials to perform, but with trappings more appropriate to the particular profession.

All magic of this type involves conjuring things from or putting things into hats—and so it cannot be performed if the caster is without headgear of some sort. (Given some fabric, tools and time, a Haberdasher can make his own hats; however, if captured by someone aware of his abilities, he might be denied that option.)For Haberdashers with other trappings (such as the example of the Seamstress or Tailor above), essential tools of the trade are required in lieu of hats.

Ordinary-looking food and drink in Nonestica sometimes has magical properties. All a hero needs to do to activate its power is to take an action to consume it. If the Magic Foodstuff was prepared by a cook (or more specifically, a Gourmancer), then the Cooking roll used to make it determines the effect of its power.

The last form of nonsense magic is the most peculiar. The Church of Alice. Some individuals of Wonderland believe that Alice was a goddess and created the realm from the power of her imagination. Although scoffed at by those who know better, this belief nevertheless gives these individuals the power to cast "miracles". Such powers have trappings associated with sensible Victorian life as Alice saw it a hundred years ago.

Despite multiple schisms and holy wars, The Church of Alice has prospered and now has chapels in most villages and cathedrals in all cities of Wonderland. Since the “Shan’t!” iconoclasm, Chessmen adherents generally hold to an orthodox, literal view of the scriptures, while Cards and Animals tend to take a more reformed view. A small yet fanatical sect of Tweedles preaches The Fourth Coming of Alice.

The Church is outlawed within Oz by decree of the Lurline priesthood (all witches) and any Wonderlandian caught practicing it's tenants is exiled to the desert (instant death by turning into sand). Other kingdoms often take a dim view of Wonderlandian's madness spreading into their lands as well and have driven the priests back to their own kingdom.

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:20, Thu 27 Apr 2017.

 GM, 12 posts
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 08:25
Character Creation
"All are welcome in Wonderland! Until the Queen screams off with your head."

Relations between Oz, Wonderland, and the other Kingdoms:

All Oz natives consider Wonderlandians to be at best eccentric if not totally mad. And they are not far off. Merchants from the House of Diamonds were not uncommon sights in Winkie and Gilkin countries. A free trade of magic gemstones to Wonderland from Oz for exotic foodstuffs and other goods were common. Facilitated by the House of Diamond's sand ships.

The Nome King's Invasion, aided by the Red Queen of Heart's Card soldiers and Chessmen Knights, had strained relations between Oz and Wonderland. This remained so until the Warlord of Oz brokered his deal with the Queen of Spades.

This dark pact brought together an alliance that threatened to overthrow the Red Queen of Hearts and shifted the balance of power in the House of Cards. No longer is the Red Queen with her combined Card and Chessman armies the most powerful. House Diamond has chosen to stay out of the conflict. House Clubs has simply supported the strongest militarily as they always do.

Now with the combined armies of House Spades, House Clubs and the backing of the Warlord of Oz the Queen of Spades is poised to conquer all of Wonderland. Fearful of her power, the Queen of Hearts has considered an alliance with her cousin the White Queen of House Whitehall in the Chesslands. However she has never been kind to the White Chessmen.

Rumors abound in Oz that the Warlord himself may take the Queen of Spades as his wife. A scandal of terrible proportions to the Oz nobility. Yet such a move could solidify the Warlord as the greatest ruler in Nonestica since Ozmandious himself.

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:43, Thu 27 Apr 2017.