THE WORLD.   Posted by The GM.Group: 0
The GM
 GM, 5 posts
Sun 9 Aug 2020
at 18:36
THE WORLD
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IF you wish to learn of the world, you may unwind this scroll down, and read farther below.
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IF, however, you wish to create the world more "from scratch," do NOT read on.

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Very well, then.


Even though you are reading this now, you will still help to describe the world to your companions. When you do so, draw from beyond the borders of that which is seen.


--To the northeast, lies the Great Road and The First City where many settle from their travels. None have traveled the Great Road to its easternmost point and few have traveled to its westernmost terminus on the border of The Great Sea and the Waters of the Underworld.

--Far to the north, there are warrior tribes who ride to battle upon akum, the great and terrible flightless birds, toothy of maw. In their mountains live tribes who ride the kurka, lizards of the sky. The skin of these people bear stripes, like those of a tiger.

--To the west is The Great City, in which you might find Shuat, the Deepest Well. It is a port to the azure sea, sailed by ships of stout bow and keen eye, crewed by people of the islands of Ilty, where their smooth and grey skin protects them from the sun and sea in which they live. Their villages and farms of seaweed stand in the clear, shallow water of their flooded islands. The people of many lands join them in their travels.

--Far away, someone builds an empire of iron. No name of iron is old. All are ugly. No people you know speaks its language.

--Beneath the firmament lie the Waters of the Underworld.

--Above the dome of the sky stretch the boundless waters of heaven. The sky of all places
you know looks down with its strong right eye of the sun and its weak left eye of the moon.



The Monolith, known only by that epithet, stands tall and alone in the desert. It rose at the first morning, a manifestation of the Waters of the Underworld reaching up to the Desert Sky, that the world might begin. It was once the Great Name of a people of the desert who could read all things in the many words inscribed thereupon in the Language of Names. It wishes to be known to all again, that all earthen-beings might know the wisdom of the Language of Names.



The Spear of Ludug was beaten from the teeth of Ashti, the legendary hero of bronze from the people of the volcano Unak. The Spear of Ludug wishes to find itself in the heart of she who wrenched the teeth from Ashti's bronze skull, and will aid any who promise such a thing. But it is a vengeful name, and will not take betrayal lightly.



Zikru was once a beautiful man, a poet of great skill. Drunk one night on a subtle wine, he boasted that his knowledge of the Language of Names was greater even than that of Ashlala, the Great Name of the People of the River Uklal.

Ashlala itself rose from the river, water gushing in cataracts down the reeds of its hair, its horns piercing the limb of the moon above, and demanded that Zikru persuade the mighty Great Name with his skilled tongue, or bow down and pledge himself to its service forever.

Zikru asked what Ashlala would offer should he so persuade the Great Name to spare him.

Ashlala’s words dripped with contempt: “I will make your tongue the greatest in all that floats above the Waters of the Underworld."

The poem Zikru composed moved Ashlala, indeed, coaxing tears of pearl from its many eyes. In shame, Ashlala fled the River Uklal and made good with its promise, saying, “You shall have a vision to see into the hearts of earthen-beings, and the tongue to move them.”

The people of the River Uklal, having already seen the horror of their Great Name, stood frozen as Zikru’s beautiful face erupted with a third eye, his smooth brown skin became thick and scaled, and his tongue, the treasure of his people, grew forked.

Zikru lives among them to this day, commanding them as a Great Name might, unable to cry for his own lost beauty.




The City of Guruk tells its future in the deaths of its gladiators. Each match is observed closely by oracles who tell from the splashes of blood whether the Queen may conceive this year; from the cries of pain of a victor whether the Northerners may raid again; from the pattern of intestines on the ground whether the barley might rise early.

The city’s four gladiatorial families, fecund with adopted slaves, grant the arena their purported offspring at each festival.

Amegh of the Family of Nur stands for three years now the champion of the Guruk. To aid in the foretelling of good fortune for the Family, Amegh fights with the bronze, double-leaf-bladed weapon, the Wind that Blows Both ways. He will, if the oracles decree it necessary, supplement the weapon with others, but it is the Wind that Blows Both Ways that finds its home in his palm and in the breast of his opponents.

In his dreams, and with the tongue of his trainer Nur Geshur, the ancient voice of the Sun of the Sky of the City of Guruk lends him purpose. It drives him to a truth written in
blood — a truth that ever further glorifies the future of those who believe they own
him.

Around his waist he wears the grimacing Face of the Sky, the harness of the champion of
the city.

But Amegh has interests beyond those best sought in the arena. He finds in his hands the fate of the city that enslaved him and drives him to kill and, eventually, to die.

He would seize that destiny for himself.



Lamat, hero of the city of Hu, flies forth on Paruk, the winged lizard she tamed in the northern mountains when she pursued a group of raiders to their home and forced them to swear fealty to the city of Hu. Lamat's mother, the oracle Lusarya, has charged her to voyage into the world and return with the head of the giant Ashya that she might build a temple dome of his skull. She flies far from the eyes of the sky of the city of Hu into lands unknown.




Two years have passed since Emakesh rounded the bend of Mother River to see the village of Adur Em burned to a smoldering cinder. He asked the boat — a simple canoe carven from the stout bowsprit of the warship whose stories you already know — to beach itself that he might look among the ashes for clue or treasure. What he found was much more than the fire-eaten remains of a village.

Within the crinkling charcoal of the town, he found a holocaust. The smoldering skeletons of its peaceful fishing inhabitants littered the town in heaps where the marauders had piled the bodies to denude them of valuables. Here, he found a bent leaf sword like those carried by the soldiery in the mighty City of Dur who now marched the length of the Mother River in search of cities to subdue. And there, lay a feather, such as those worn by their captains.

But why, he wondered, would such an army attack a village so small and peaceful as these fishers? He saw signs of battle given, but also that the village had expected no trouble; the everyday fish market still stood, its wares scattered and dirty. Flat loaves of bread and fruits littered the ground, as though morning shoppers had been taken unawares. It appeared that the militia of the town had roused itself hurriedly and incompletely, giving fight only briefly.

As Emakesh explored, though, he found one alive: an old woman who called herself “Lal,” her face smudged with greasy soot, one eye sealed shut with a wound, her clothes and hair burned away. “The name,” she said, “is true. The time for falsehoods has passed. They will save
me no more.”

Emakesh, moved, gave to her his true name, a long and lilting name in a language from far away; a name from a people whose every child learned the Language of Names that he had made his life’s study. “Promise me,” said Lal as she held out her open palm, wizened with age and crooked with recent violence “that you will preserve this flame.” In her hand danced a tiny spark, a fire no bigger than a failing light perched on the consumed wick of an oil lamp. “Its name is Shumal. It is the fire of the first sunrise. It has sustained our people since that first dawn, but now we are dead. Take it with you that it may light the way and another people may remember our name, now that we are gone.”

Emakesh nursed her through the night, speaking sternly with the evil names of suffering that sought to increase her misery in her final hours. They recoiled at his word, but in the morning, she was dead.

The flame spoke with the name of a small child in a small voice. “Will you protect me?” it asked in the Language of Names.

“If you protect my life, if you cook for me my meals, if you let me see in the darkness and burn those who would see me harmed, I will carry you in my hand and nurse you to health and see you safe in the hands of a people who will do you honor.”

The two agreed.

In the years since, the Dawn Flame has grown. Many now know the wonders of Shumal, from the City of Bhat to the northernmost port on the shore of the Sea of Loss. It now lives within an iron ring, stolen from the King of the City of Cloud, that Emakesh wears on his right hand. He has heard of a sea people who worship the dawn and now travels in his canoe to their port city of Daghra, that Shumal and he may part ways, the flame to be worshiped by a people who love it — a people to be forever indebted to Emakesh.



Burdu Adak, Long-As-An-Arm, was cast, forged, and ground by Nanam, called The Clever-Hand. He traded a promise of marriage to Uluk on the shores of the Waters of the Underworld for the copper, and stole tin from a Northerner who had carried it far on the Great Road as a tribute to the empire builder, Gash the Wielder of Bone.

But that is long in the past. Now Burdu Adak wishes to stop the spilling of blood by earthenbeings. It is old and tired, though its beauty is undiminished. It has cloven skulls for a thousand years and now wishes for the earthen-beings of the world to build gardens, to care for one another, and to make amends for the misery wrought with its fine edge.




Ahuj, as she’s known by Captain Kwajr’s brave crew, is friend to Djafaiya, the East Wind of the Sea. At a word from her lips, city gates discharge their duty to her by opening. Fair winds vacate the sails of their quarry and swell their own to overtake their prey. The Mighty City of Po invites her with gritted teeth and will see her unharmed in its rough streets and halls of intrigue.

She was borne by the great namedealer of the People of Hab, Iiyetueh — Iiyetueh, about whose traveling student you have read in this very library. The few who knew both are scattered to the winds, to turn the interests of the names of the world to their own or die at the whim of those they would control.

Captain Kwajr, Fury of the East Wind, holds Ahuj in high esteem and relies on her relations to the mighty names of the world. But she has, in return, promised to never constrain Ahuj’s freedom, and thus far has always returned from errands dictated by her own heart.

Ahuj wears in her hair many names indebted to her on strips of parchment and papyrus. On her head are strings of glass coins from the City of Fiiyah, as required of her by the city itself. Her face is dyed with indigo in the style of her people of Hab, though her people use henna, instead.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:37, Sun 09 Aug.