A World on the Brink of Disaster (Campaign Setting)   Posted by GM.Group: archive 0
GM
 GM, 1 post
 The Creator
 The Destroyer
Sat 8 Jun 2019
at 03:45
A World on the Brink of Disaster (Campaign Setting)

"Bascule sits atop the Gran Crevasse, the largest canyon in the world that is over a mile deep. One hundred years ago, Medical Mechanika - a large corporation from across the sea that holds a monopoly on Ars Magus technology - took the canyon from the tribes that lived there after a long bloody war. Afterwards they created a colony there, built on the back of enslaved natives. For generations now they have extracted the magical essence found deep beneath the Gran Crevasse, the magical ichor known as Anima. This substance is used to produce all of Medical Mechanika's magitech devices."

The World of Terminus
Terminus is divided into the two major landmasses, the New World and the Old World. The New World is a wild frontier to those who are used to the civilized lands in the East. To the Native Tribes, it is a land brimming with gifts from the Earth Mother. It may be harsh, but it is fair, and those who respect it can enjoy peaceful lives. The land surrounding the Gran Crevasse were once especially bountiful, surrounded by lush forests and fertile plains. Since the Anima extraction has begun, the land has turned sour. The plants wilt while the ground cracks. The older generation are aware of the blights spread, but Medical Mechanika claims this is simply apart of Terminus' natural cycle.

To the East of the Gran Crevasse is the Dead Sea, a shallow sea that has kept travel between the Old World and the New World difficult until recently. Beyond the Dead Sea is the Northern Abyss, an ocean that once teemed with enormous Leviathans. Discovery of Anima in their bodies caused a massive amount of over-fishing, that has lead to their near extinction. Beyond the ocean is the Old World, a large archipelago that is home to several nations.

Much smaller and colder than the New World, the Old World is home to a hardy and resourceful folk. For thousands of years they humbly toiled on the temperate highlands of the southern isles, and mined the black-slate mountains of the northern isles. Four hundred years ago, the discovery of Anima in the bellies of Leviathans changed the nations of the Old World forever. The breakthrough of Ars Magus technology brought a Golden Era upon the Old World. Thanks to the magically powered technology provided to them, the people of the Old World saw an increase in their quality of life. Unfortunately as time went on, natural resources began to decline. In order to maintain their Anima fueled Empire, several organizations began to look for alternative means.

Eventually some organizations like Medical Mechanika began to look at the New World, a landmass that had been known, but rarely traveled due to the danger. After discovering a massive source of Primal Anima in the heart of the land, Medical Mechanika began to exploit both the natives, and the hopeful colonists that journeyed across the world in hopes of a better life. This exploitation of both the the Planet and Mortals, has lead to the rise of the Elemental Scions; people empowered by Terminus to exact vengeance.


"Those who answer the Planet's Cry are gifted with incredible powers. Control over the elements, enhanced corporeal forms, and a natural understanding of Anima Manipulation. They can also perform feats of Magick that only the most powerful Nox Nyctores can replicate. It appears they also have the ability to discern our goals and motives, as they have successfully managed to setback our work countless times. While many on the Board of Directors believes it all to be tribal voodoo, or religous zealotry, I am here to set the record straight. There are those in this world empowered by some unknowable force, and their goal is the annihilation of Medical Mechanika."

The Elemental Scions
You have been chosen by the Planet to exact vengeance on those who exploit it's resources, and desecrate it's holy sites. While each Scion has their own reasons for fighting the spread of Magitech powered civilization, you are each bound by the Planet's Cry. They are equal parts paramilitary cult, ecological terrorist cell, and Planeteer (from Captain Planet).

Those who become Elemental Scions call the moment they became a Scion "Answering the Planet's Cry". This usually happens after you were somehow exposed to a deadly amount of unrefined Anima. Normally this kind of exposure should have killed you, but instead of dying you were embraced by the Spirit of the Planet. The Planet (which each Scion has their own name for), saw something within you that it liked. Maybe it was your empathy, or your drive, or perhaps even a form of insanity. Whatever it saw, it knew that you could be used to exact it's vengeance on those who are trying to bleed it dry. The Spirit of the Planet is not some benevolent Gaea like deity who wants balance between nature and man. The Spirit of the Planet is alien, eldritch, and unknowable. It considers the creatures draining it's lifeblood similar to mosquitoes, or a virus. It is empowering you guys to act as antibodies to cure it of this ailment. It wants you to destroy, and kill in it's name. It doesn't always choose paragons of society, it chooses those who have the will for this kind of work.

When creating your Scion, you should ask yourself these questions:
  • Why does your character fight for the Planet? Is it something noble, like for the restoration of the ecosystem? Or is it something selfish like revenge for what the corporations of the Old World have done to you?
  • What was your character before they answered the Cry? Are they a tribal native of the New World? A colonial indentured servant? A corporate employee who had a change of heart once they realized the damage they were causing?
  • What is your character willing to do to save Terminus? Civilization is built on the back of Anima Extraction. There are people with terminal illnesses that only live because of the Elixir of Life produced by Medical Mechanika. Is your character conflicted that in order to save the world, many innocents will have to die?


Main Theme: Mili - Rightfully

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:53, Mon 10 June 2019.

GM
 GM, 2 posts
 The Creator
 The Destroyer
Sat 8 Jun 2019
at 14:01
Lexicon



Lexicon
Here are some of the Terms that I believe need some explanation. I may update these terms in the future, but I will always notify players of new additions.

Alfar: A race of humanoids with elvish features. Prior to the New World Invasion, they lived a mostly peaceful existence in tribes scattered across the New World. Afterwards they have largely been exploited by the settlers, due to their natural tolerance to Anima exposure. They come in many different skin tones, but while the Alfar make distinctions between themselves, the Humans from the Old World do not. Called "Elves" by the humans, they are also frequently called the far more pejorative term "Demi-Human".

Anima: A magical ichor that flows beneath the crust of the Planet. Anima is blue in color, and when touched has a thick, viscous consistency. It is dangerous for Humans to handle without extensive protection. Due to this the refinement of Anima is usually left to non-humans. A stronger form known as Primal Anima was discovered in the New World that has a green color. Anima is the magical equivalent of oil in the setting, and powers all the magitech players will encounter. Anima is actually the lifeblood of the Planet, and it's

Ars Magus: A system of power created through the combination of magic and science. It was first developed by the Fraternity of Magick in the Old World, but has since become the backbone of civilization. Its more advanced form is called Ars Armegis, which are devices used to replicate low magic. Finally it's most powerful form are the Nox Nyctores, which can replicate Theurgy, and even Gifts. The difference between Ars Magus and spells, is that the former is produced from a device powered by Anima, while the later is produced by a spell-caster who is using their personal effort.

Bascule: The largest city in the New World. Bascule is a city-state built over the Gran Crevasse. It acts as a bridge across the canyon, as well as descends miles below to the canyon floor. Bascule is divided into districts called Tiers. A complex tram system connects the Tiers and makes travel between safer and faster. At the top are the richest citizens, while at the bottom are slaves working at the Anima Wells. Pictured to the right.

Bloody Years: A period marked by conflict between the Colonists and the Natives. During this time, Medical Mechanika implemented a policy of wiping out the Natives, as opposed to trying to pay them off or negotiate drilling rights. It came when the tribes of the Gran Crevasse refused to allow Medical Mechanika to create a mining operation. Tired of negotiating, the corporation hired mercenaries to kill the natives. This lead to many massacres, and even today the Alfar are still scarred by the conflict.

Blight: The withering of life around a World Wound. The extraction of Anima has harsh effects on the land around it. Plants die, and animals turn feral and act strangely. This effect is known as Blight. The Corporations who extract Anima, do not acknowledge Blight, claiming it is simply a byproduct of natural cycles. At best they claim Blight is a price worth paying for the gift Ars Magus has brought to the world.

Colonists: The term used for Humans and Dwarves who live in the New World. Many of them are largely exploited by the corporations who brought them over. Either through indentured servitude, or low wages. Some have managed to work their way out of debt, and buy land in the New World. Higher ranking members of Colonies aren't usually called colonists, as the term has grown to be somewhat of a derogatory name. They usually refer to themselves as Employees of their Corporation, or Administrators.

Dead Sea: A shallow sea off the coast of the New World. Normal ships can't navigate these waters well, which has lead to many ship graveyards forming on the edge of the Dead Sea. Within the Dead Sea exists a large coral reef that has formed above the water line. This natural wonder is revered by the coastal tribes of the New World. The decline of Terminus has lead to the Dead Sea absorbed by the Abyss, a phenomenon that has made sailing easier, but has lead to the decline of the coral reef.

Demi-Human: An insulting term for non-humans. Frequently used describe Reptites, but also used for Alfar, and sometimes rarely Dwarves.

Dwarves: A race of humanoids from the Old World. Dwarves originate from the Northern Isle of Myrkheim, a frozen mountainous land. There they toiled in their mountain fortresses, and developed an early from of Ars Magus known as Runecraft. Unlike Ars Magus that use machines to produce magick, Runes used empowered symbols to produce minor effects. The Dwarves would integrate with Humans over the course of many generations, but still suffer no small amount of discrimination. Dwarvish Colonists in the New World are usually specialists, and thus have greater fortune than Humans on average.

Earth Mother: Alfar name for the Spirit of the Planet. The Alfar worship the Earth Mother, or Titania, as a benevolent spirit that is the mother of all living beings. The Reptite acknowledge the Earth Mother as their creator, but do not venerate her in the same way as the Elves, instead favoring their Draconic Ancestors. The Dwarves once revered the Earth Mother, known as the World Heart, but few still follow the Old Ways in the modern age. Humans largely do not believe in the Earth Mother, calling it a savage deity of a primitive race. Many Colonists have been converted over the years though, as the Earth Mother is seen as a more personable goddess than humanity's Trinity.

Elemental Scions: People chosen by the Planet to carry out it's will. In the past only specific Alfar and Reptites were chosen to become Scions, but recently Humans and Dwarves have also become Scions. An Elemental Scion is empowered by the Spirit of Terminus to carry out a specific task, usually the healing of a World Wound. In order for a Scion to be made they must be exposed to a large amount of Anima. However, this can kill mortals. Because of this, Medical Mechanika has been unable to replicate the process to create their own, despite having captured multiple Scions.

Gran Crevasse: Once a Holy Site to the Alfar and Reptites in the New World, the Gran Crevasse has since become the site of the largest World Wound. A large natural vein of Primal Anima runs through the center of the Gran Crevasse. At the bottom it even solidifies in large crystals that are bursting with magical power. Prior to the arrival of Medical Mechanika, the Gran Crevasse was a paradise filled with natural wonder. Now it has become a Badland, desecrated by the Blight.

Golden Era: A period of history brought upon by mankind's discovery of Ars Magus. Noted as a time where sickness and hunger became less prevalent for the citizens of the Old World. The attempt to prolong the Golden Era despite it's ecological impact is the ongoing conflict in the setting. Many philosophers and researchers in the setting claim that the Golden Era ended a generation ago, and that we are currently on the knife edge of a great calamity.

Humans: A race originating from the lost Isle of the Old World, or possibly another planet entirely. Human origination legends say they come from a land called Midgard. They were forced to depart on a magical ship when their homeland was consumed by war/disaster. There have been many attempts to rediscover this ancient homeland, but no landmass matching the description of Midgard appears to exist. The Isle they first landed on they named Niflheim for the mists that shrouded it. From Niflheim they slowly spread out to all Isles of the Old World. Humans are hardy, resourceful, and inventive. They discovered Ars Magus, and have begun colonizing the New World. Their reliance on Anima to fuel their modern lifestyle has caused the quick decline of Terminus.

Leviathans: A species of massive aquatic creatures that dwell within the Abyss. The discovery of Anima in their bodies lead to over-fishing, and their near extinction. A small population still resides in the Winter Sea, but poachers still hunt them despite laws being passed forbidding it.

Magitech: An umbrella term for devices that apply Ars Magus principals to function. Most people in the world enjoy Municipal Magitech in their everyday life. Clean water, indoor climate control, and purified food and beverages. More advanced Magitech, like Armegis Weapons, and Nox Nyctores usually go by their proper terms.

Native Tribes: A collective term for the native races of the New World, those that have not yet been assimilated or enslaved. After the Bloody Years, Medical Mechanika made peace with the Alfar Clans, but over the years they have constantly broken the terms of that treaty. When one Clan can take no more, they are quickly wiped out as they stand alone against the invaders. The Reptite Tribes have not made peace, and constantly fight the Old Worlders. Because of this, they have been pushed into the inner territories of the New World, into the mountainous and desert regions. There they eek out a meager existence that is focused on survival.

The New World: A large super-continent located on Terminus' Southern Hemisphere. It was once home to only the Alfar and the Reptites. Now it is home to several colonies of Old World races. Much of the New World is still undiscovered, with new species of animals and plants still being found.

Northern Abyss: A great Ocean that encompasses the world. The Abyss is filled with with a myriad of aquatic life, but the most recognized are the Leviathans. The Old World, being a archipelago, has historically been devoted to sailing. On the seafloor of the Abyss, there is theorized to be a massive collection of Anima, even larger than the one found beneath the Gran Crevasse. There are rumors Medical Mechanika has begun development of a Ocean Drilling Base, to Extract this untapped reservoir.

The Old World: A large archipelago located on Terminus' Northern Hemisphere. It is highly developed, and overpopulation and pollution have become a major issue. It is why so many Old Worlders choose to move to the New World, hoping for a better life on the frontier. It is comprised of 4 greater isles, and dozens of smaller ones. The four great isles of the Old World are: Niflheim, Myrkheim, Vanaheim, and Helheim.

World Wound: A World Wound is a portion of land that has been Blighted substantially. This is usually due to the over extraction of Anima from beneath the Planet's surface. The symptoms of a World Wound are the loss of plant life, the erosion of soil leading to a "cracked" surface appearance, and inducing hostility in wildlife. The healing of World Wounds is a long process that requires Anima Extraction to be stopped completely. This is the true calling of the Elemental Scions.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:32, Thu 13 June 2019.

GM
 GM, 18 posts
 The Creator
 The Destroyer
Thu 13 Jun 2019
at 02:51
Bascule, The City of Bridges

The 1st Tier: Apex, Glasir's Grove
"We built her out of Glassteel and Orichalcum. When Medical Mechanika asked Ivaldi and Sons to plan out the greatest city in the world, we told em we'd need the greatest material. We laughed with each other, knowing it would take ten kings to buy enough to make a city out of, and waited for Medical Mechanika to lower their standards. We looked mighty stupid when they came back to us with the first shipment, along with the first installment of our pay. Said it would take twenty years to build, but we got it done in ten. Lizardfolk and Elves make good laborers all things considered..." - Memoirs of Sindri, Son of Ivaldi
Bascule's Theme: Wretched Weaponry

The New World Administration Bureau: Medical Mechanika HQ
WIP

Apex, Mythril Quarter, and The High Burrows: The Upper City
WIP


The 6th Tier: Midtown, The Gremlin Market
"Look I ain't saying what we sell here are knockoffs! If you wanna pay triple overhead for something the Big M's made in a fabrication house, be my guest! The tram back to the High Burrows is down on your left. Now if ya wanna buy what's basically the same thing, with maybe a few minor alterations, then you buy from me! Harvey Fenton ain't no conman, I sell functioning Armiger's at a far better price than those con artists upstairs! Same parts, same fabricators, just a few skipped steps here and there..." - Harvey Fenton, Counterfeit Magitech Trader 

The Under Burrows, Basalt Row, and Midtown: The Lower City
WIP

The Works, The Elven Ghetto, and Gas Slums: The Dark City
WIP


AREA 12: The Acheron Well, Refinement Plant
"First rule, don't speak in the Hometongue. The Lashers don't like it, makes them on edge. Also never bare fang or claw. Second rule, don't stare at light without goggles. Eyes will burn and bleed for days. Lashers won't take pity, will have to work through pain. Last rule, don't go near metal men, they don't lash, they kill." - Masargaka, Block 9S Supervisor

The Anima Wells
WIP

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:22, Thu 13 June 2019.