Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Center Cannot Hold: Tengu Stats v1.o

Ok, moving on to the Tengu.  The most Chinese/Japanese/Tibetan culture in Crux, the Tengu also have a series of important taboos, including keeping secret their racial capacity for reincarnation.  Statistically Tengu have had very little altered about them; I still want to create some feats for them, but otherwise I feel satisfied with this attempt.
Them Birds got style too.  Prolly shouldn't
call 'em Birds.  Might be unsafe.

Immigrants from the other side of Orphos, Tengu keep secret their racial reincarnation.  They keep closed border, protecting their culture from outsider corruption.  Quiet and reserved, the Tengu often look for work in nations like Ith or Ainesia, despite negative stereotypes about them being thieves and villains.

Same stats as Tengu except below:
Shards of the Past: A tengu's past lives grant her bonuses on two particular skills.  A tengu chooses two skills- she gains a +2 racial bonus on both of these skills, and they are treated as class skill regardless of what class the Tengu takes.
Languages: Tengu begin play speaking Tengu and Tomish.
Glide: Some tengus can use their feathered arms and legs to glide. Tengus with this racial trait can make a DC 15 Fly check to fall safely from any height without taking falling damage, as if using feather fall. When falling safely, a tengu may make an additional DC 15 Fly check to glide, moving 5 feet laterally for every 20 feet he falls. This racial trait replaces gifted linguist.

Tengu Favored Classes
Unless listed below, Tengu Favored Class bonuses are the same as base Tengu.
Alchemist: Add +1/6 of a Alchemist's talent OR add +1/2 bonus to Fly and Acrobatics while under the effects of a mutagen.
Gunslinger: Add a +1/2 bonus on Acrobatics and Fly checks as long as the gunslinger has at least 1 grit point.
Investigator: Add +1/6 of a Investigator's Talent OR add +1/2 bonus on Stealth checks.
Ninja: Add a +1/2 bonus on Stealth checks.
Paladin: Add a +1/4 dodge bonus on Touch AC versus Firearms.
Rogue: Add a +1/2 bonus on Fly checks.
Slayer: Add a +1/4 bonus on weapon damage rolls made against the slayer's studied target.

Tengu Traits
These five traits reflect national origins of the Tengu, the first three representing Tengu born in the Jade Lands, while the last two reflect the large immigrant populations of Tengu in Crux itself.
Jade Emperor Loyalist (Lhen Nationality) You were born in a family loyal to the Imperial Family of Lhen, the Jade Emperor himself- who has ruled for eons in Lhen.  Your constant loyalty despite living among Gaijin grants you a +1 trait bonus on Will saving throws.
Honor Code of Mu (Mu Nationality) A Tengu from Mu, your word is your bond amongst other Tengu.  You gain a +2 trait bonus on Diplomacy checks made with other Tengu.  Anytime you use Intimidate against other Tengu, you roll twice and take the better of the two rolls.
Mystic Wind Acolyte (Rwengri-La Nationality) You've studied in one of the many mountain monasteries that dominate Rwengri-La, giving you a mystical insight.  At will, you can use the detect demon spell.
Aerie-Town Child (Crux Nationality) Born in Crux, you and your siblings only have your past-life memories of the Jade Lands.  You gain a +1 trait bonus on Fly checks and always treat Fly as a class skill.  Furthermore, whenever you make a Fly check, you roll twice and take the better of the two rolls.
Gone Crow (Crux Nationality) You've been converted and assimilated into one of the cultures of the Gaijin.  You've broken the taboos Tengu hold about the Gaijin, perhaps forcing you to be a pariah amongst all other Tengu.  You take a -4 penalty on all Diplomacy and Intimidate checks made against other Tengu, but you do gain a +1 trait bonus on Diplomacy checks made against non-Tengu.  You also gain 2 additional hit points, having become tougher in the face of shame from your own people.


Alright.  Another one down.  Gonna get more done soon.  Thanks for reading.  Comments welcome, suggestions are heeded.  Good ideas are praised, Bad ideas are ignored and Great ideas are stolen outright.  See yah around the bend.

The Center Cannot Hold: Human Stats and Traits v1.o

Continuing the plan to do stats for all the races in Crux, here are stat changes for humans, upping them to
around the 16 RP mark as well.  Instead of messing with humans' favored class bonuses, I've instead included traits for each of the human tribes I expect to show up in Crux.

Known for their current dominance over Orphos, Humanity defines itself by its sheer diversity.  Humans vary.  That is their one constant as a species.

Same Stats as Humans except for below:
Adaptable: Humans get a +2 bonus on the Physical Ability Score of their choice, then gain a +2 bonus on the Mental Ability Score of their choice.  This replaces the normal ability score choice for humans.
Heart: A Human selects one of the following abilities, to reflect their origins and nationality.  These are inherited traits.  This reflects a core diversity in Humans, as each of their tribes differ and are unique in their own way.

  • Heart of the Fields: Humans born in rural areas are used to hard labor. They gain a racial bonus equal to half their character level to any one Craft or Profession skill, and once per day they may ignore an effect that would cause them to become fatigued or exhausted.
  • Heart of the Mountains: Humans born in the mountains are skilled at negotiating heights and precipices. They gain a +2 racial bonus on Climb checks and Acrobatics checks to move on narrow surfaces and uneven ground. Furthermore, they are considered acclimated to the effects of high altitude. 
  • Heart of the Sea: Humans born near the sea are always drawn to it. They gain a +2 racial bonus on Profession (sailor) and Swim checks, and these are always class skills for them. They can hold their breath twice as long as normal, and spellcasters gain a +4 racial bonus on concentration checks when attempting to cast spells underwater. 
  • Heart of the Slums: Humans who eke out a life in a city's teeming slums must be quick and clever. They gain a +2 racial bonus on Sleight of Hand and Stealth checks, and a +4 racial bonus on Survival checks in urban and underground settings. In addition, they may roll twice when saving against disease, taking the better roll. 
  • Heart of the Snows: Humans born in chilly climes treat cold climates as one category less severe. They gain a +2 racial bonus on Fortitude saving throws against the effects of cold climates, on any check or saving throw to avoid slipping and falling, and to CMD against trip combat maneuvers. This bonus applies on Acrobatics and Climb checks made in slippery conditions.
  • Heart of the Streets: Humans from bustling cities are skilled with crowds. They gain a +1 racial bonus on Reflex saves and a +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class when adjacent to at least two other allies. Crowds do not count as difficult terrain for them. 
  • Heart of the Sun: Humans born in tropical climates treat hot climates as one category less severe. They also gain a +2 racial bonus on Fortitude saving throws against the effects of a hot climate, as well as against the poison and distraction ability of swarms and vermin.
  • Heart of the Wilderness: Humans raised in the wild learn the hard way that only the strong survive. They gain a racial bonus equal to half their character level on Survival checks. They also gain a +5 racial bonus on Constitution checks to stabilize when dying and add half their character level to their Constitution score when determining the negative hit point total necessary to kill them.

Languages: Starting languages for humans vary based on their nationality and ethnicity.  Select one of the following nationalities:

  • The Jarn: Jarn begin play speaking Jarnish, Borish and Ferrit.
  • The Salaro: Salaro begin play speaking Salish, Tomish* and Othish.
  • The Rosac: Rosaci begin play speaking Rani, Borish, Othish and Rosic.
  • The Ramelin: Ramelin begin play speaking Malic, Sorami and Tomish*.
  • The Jotnar: Jotnar begin play speaking Ferrit and Borish.
  • The Tomasi: Tomasi begin play speaking Tomish*, Othish and Salish.
  • The Soramese: Soramese begin play speaking Sorami and Malic. 
  • The Sabizi: Sabizi begin play speaking Sabi, Rani, Tomish*, and Othish.

*Tomish is the main language spoken by native Cruxites, a relic of Crux once being the center of the Tomasi Empire centuries ago.

Human Traits
Ironfolk Hunter (Jarn)  The Ironfolk once were well-known for their raids against Ainesia and Othebea, able to use prodigious strength and intimidation to take what they wanted.  Your strength score is considered 2 higher for determining your carrying capacity.  Whenever you roll for a Intimidate check, you roll twice and take the better of the two rolls.
Saltfolk Sailor (Salaro) The Salaro invented most human sailing techniques, and have spent centuries sailing the Maru Sea.  You gain a +1 trait bonus on Swim checks.  Whenever you roll for a swim check, you roll twice and take the better of the two rolls.
Rosefolk Seminary (Rosac) All Rosefolk are raised on the important books of the Church of the Twins, making them literate from a young age.  You gain a +1 trait bonus on Linguistics and always treat Linguistics as a class skill.  Whenever you roll for a Knowledge (Religion) check, you roll twice and take the better of the two rolls.
Sandfolk Trader (Ramelin) The Ramelin are excellent traders, often traveling through the world's deadliest deserts to sell their wares.  You gain a +2 trait bonus on saving throws against fire, heat stroke or dehydration.  Furthermore, whenever you roll for a Appraise check, you roll twice and take the better of the two rolls.
Icefolk Wanderer (Jotnar) The Jotnar are at home in the cold, and often wander the cold northern reaches beyond any nation's control.  You gain a +2 trait bonus on saving throws against cold or cold conditions.  Furthermore, whenever you roll for a Survival check, you roll twice and take the better of the two rolls.
Seafolk Arcanist (Tomasi) The Tomasi have ancient magical techniques that even their nonmagical descendants learned the secrets of.  You gain a +1 trait bonus on Use Magic Device and always treat Use Magic Device as a class skill.  Furthermore, whenever you roll for a Use Magic Device check, you roll twice and take the better of the two rolls.
Soramese Survivor (Soramese) Soramese tribes thrive off of hunting and being aware of their surroundings.  You gain a +1 trait bonus on Perception and always treat Perception as a class skill.  Furthermore, whenever you roll for a Perception check, you roll twice and take the better of the two rolls.
Greenfolk Nomad (Sabizi)  Traveling the world over, Greenfolk often are best known for their excellent performances, their caravans always bringing new entertainment to the lands they visit.  You gain a +1 trait bonus on the perform skill of your choice, and Perform is always a class skill for you.  Furthermore, whenever you roll for a Perform skill, you roll twice and take the better of the two rolls.


Welp.  That's another post.  Thanks for readin'.  I appreciate everybody who comes by and takes a look.  Feel free to leave a comment, I read all of them and try to give honest responses.  Good ideas are appreciated, Bad ideas ignored and Great ideas are stolen outright.  See yah next time.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Center Cannot Hold: Ursyklon Racial Traits v1.1

Here are the stats for Ursyklons, version 1.o.  Its still in the "see if this works" stage.  Races in Crux are 16 RP minimum, so I tried to upgrade Halflings in Ursyklons.  Opinions are welcome!

9/4/2014 Update: I realized that Halflings were a Dex race, and I don't think Ursyklons quite represent that.  I'm altering their stats to be a Con race, partly because Crux doesn't have a Con race, and because I think having a race that is both a plus in Con and Cha sounds interesting to me.  Constitution makes more sense because Ursyklons were once a prominent warrior race.  Theirs is a fierce feral kind of warfare, and part of it survives in them to this day.  So, they get a Con bump and lose their Dex bump in the process.  What do you think?  Do the Ursyklon as a race seem more Constitution or Dexterity to you?

The Ursyklon: Statistics (RP 16 I think)

The Ursyklons are a variant version of the Halfling race.  Note that the word Halfling is considered a racial slur by most Ursyklon.  They are unafraid to take it as an excuse to challenge one to a duel.

They once ruled the planet using druidic magics, having come to this world from interstellar space.  After they won their long war with the Aboleth, the Ursyklon conquered the nations of the world.  Eventually they fell from power, too spread out and too disparate to maintain their empires.  The Ursyklon forgot their greatest magics and technologies, keeping some traditions while losing the keys to secrets that once let them rule over star systems.

Physiology: Ursyklon stand at half the height of a human.  Their flesh is somewhat harder, their eyes more feral than a human's.  Their eyes look almost lupine.

Same Stats as Halfling except for below:
Ability Score: +2 Con, +2 Cha, -2 Str. Ursyklons are tougher than most races, with fierce strong personalities that are hard to keep repressed.  But they still are smaller than most races, making them not quite as strong as others.
Feral Skin: Ursyklon's skins are thicker than a humans- well worn with inborn calluses and scars from rough-housing as children.  All Ursyklon have a +1 racial bonus to their natural armor.
Natural-Born Survivors: Ursyklons grow up with a natural instinct for dangers, capable of resisting some follies that other races succumb to.  All Ursyklons have a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws.  This replaces the Halfling Luck trait.
Clan Totem: All Ursyklons are born into a clan, whose family totem dates back to when their noble race conquered worlds.  Each totem reveals that family's close ties to a particular kind of animal, as well as quirks that share after generations of caring for and honoring them.  All Ursyklons select one of the following clan totems to represent their family's particular totem:
  • Bat: Night-lovers, members of a Bat clan have darkvision 60 ft.  At will they can use Speak With Animals with any Bat, as a Druid of their character level. 
  • Bear: Into wrestling, members of a Bear clan all gain a +2 racial bonus on all CMB rolls when grappling.  At will  they can use Speak With Animals with any Bear, as a Druid of their character level. 
  • Eagle: Their eyes precise, members of a Eagle clan increase their racial bonus on perception to +4.  At will they can use Speak With Animals with any Eagle, as a Druid of their character level. 
  • Raven: Clever and knowledgeable, members of a Raven clan always treat Linguistics as class skill, have a +2 racial bonus on the knowledge skill of their choice, and begin play with one bonus starting language of their choice.  At will they can use Speak With Animals with any Raven or Crow, as a Druid of their character level. 
  • Stag:  Proud and noble, members of a Stag clan have a movement speed of 30 ft, not 20 ft.  At will  they can use Speak With Animals with any Elk or Deer, as a Druid of their character level. 
  • Tiger: Stealthy like cats, members of a Tiger (or any cat) clan always gain a +2 racial bonus on stealth checks.  At will they can use Speak With Animals with any Cat, as a Druid of their character level. 
  • Wolf:  Known for their practicality, members of a Wolf clan always gain a +2 racial bonus on Sense Motive checks.  At will they can use Speak with Animals with any Canine, as a Druid of their character level.

Ursyklon Favored Class Bonuses
Listed below are Ursyklon Favored Class Bonuses.  If a class isn't listed here, then the bonus for a Ursyklon is the same as a baseline halfling:
Bloodrager: Add +1/4 to Natural Armor or +1/2 Dodge Bonus to AC while Bloodraging.
*Greenrager Bonus: Add +1/4 to Natural Armor, Strength and Dexterity of animals summoned with summon nature's ally.
Barbarian: Add +1 to the bite damage from the Animal Fury rage power or +1/4 to Natural Armor.
Druid: Druid's Animal Companion gains +1/4 of an ability score increase or Add +1/4 to Natural Armor, Strength and Dexterity of animals summoned with summon nature's ally.
*Urzahadi Bonus: Add +1/4 to the Strength score, Dexterity score and Natural Armor of any animal form the Urzahadi wildshapes into.
Hunter: The Hunter's Animal Companion gains +1/4 of an ability score increase.
Ranger: Add a +1/4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against the ranger's favored enemies or add +1 to claw damage from the feat Aspect of the Beast.
Rogue: Add +1/2 to racial bonuses on Acrobatics and Stealth.

Ursyklon Traits
Forgot to include these... here we go!
Stormwood Valiant (Stormwood Ursyklon) Those in Stormwood live in rough mountains, used to centuries of quick reactions in the face of marauding Trolls and Ogres.  You gain a +1 trait bonus on Initiative rolls.  Furthermore, when you make Will Saving Throw to resist Fear, you roll twice and take the better result.
Gruudl Acolyte (Gruudl Ursyklon) You were raised in Crux, and spent many years near the ruins of the ancient Ursyklon city of Gruudl.  The dark corners and hidden dangers of Gruudl have honed your senses; you gain a +1 trait bonus on Acrobatics checks and always treat Acrobatics as a class skill.  Furthermore, when you make Acrobatics checks you roll twice and take the higher of the two rolls.
Child of a Seawolf (Ursyklon) Some Ursyklon clans devote themselves to keep an eye on their ancient enemies, never forgetting that what imprisons the Aboleth could fail and fall.  Weaker Aboleths and their creations often come to dry land to fuel the machinations of their masters.  Your parents were a Seawolf, and you grew up learning best how to fight the horrors the Aboleth unleash.  You gain a +1 trait bonus on attack and damage rolls made against aberrations (this stacks with any Favored Enemy or Studied Target bonuses you may have).  Furthermore, whenever making a Knowledge (Dungeoneering) or (Nature) roll about Aberrations, you roll twice and take the higher result.
Ursyklon Banker (Ithic Ursyklon) You've used your family's wealth to leverage power in a Ithic bank, creating more power and wealth for yourself with the service you've helped to provide.  You gain a +2 trait bonus on Profession (Banker) checks.  Furthermore, when you make Profession (Banker) checks, you roll twice and take the higher of the two rolls.
Feyborn Raised (Ursyklon) Your family has various Feyborn Animals it uses for servants.  These Feyborn raised you, and that has granted you more insight into how those kinds of animals think.   Select one kind of animal (like cats, rodents, canines, etc.)  With those kinds of animals, you gain a +2 trait bonus on Handle Animal checks.  Furthermore, when you make Handle Animal checks with those kinds of animals you roll twice and take the better of the two rolls.

Thanks for reading!  All comments get read, good ideas get praise while great ideas are stolen outright.  More race traits as I get my first wandering through them done.  See yah around the bend.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Center Cannot Hold: Orphos, the Stars and the Blacksun

The world Crux sits upon is named Orphos.  That name is taken after a ancient Salish word, based on the classical goddess the Salish called Orphasa the Flame.  The Ancient Salish believed her to be the mother of the world, her flames melting the frozen heart of the primordial Giant Skagnir.

Orphos has eight continents: Ainesia, Borealia, Necruxa, Shan, Rani, Antarolia, North Ocrid and South Ocrid.  Crux sits at the connecting straits between Ith and Ainesia, called the Sleeping Straits by some.

Orphos is, according to ancient Ursyklon lore, not a remarkable specimen of a world.  Although much of their technical specifics are now lost to us, the space-faring ancient Ursyklon viewed Orphos as an average world, comparing it to dozens of others that they and the aboleth fought over.  Orphos is the third planet to orbit the sun, it's own moon large enough to garner some folklore, albeit never enough to compare to the Blacksun. 

The Blacksun
Blacksun is the colloquial term for Hecastes.  Hecastes is not a star, but is a  gas giant that orbits much closer to the sun than Orphos.  Massive, Hecastes is made up mostly of purple, blue and black gases.  To the naked eye Hecastes looks like a shining black orb, like a second sun made of utter black.

The Blacksun is always visible in the day sky.  Sometimes it also can be seen at night.  It and the sun have been at the center of countless folklore all over Orphos.  Their twin orbs casts strength on storied faiths like the Church of the Twins or the ancient gods of Old Salira.  

When the Blacksun eclipses the sun, such times are known the Darkness.  The Darkness can trigger premature winters or worsen winters into almost year-long cold spells.  Darkness only lasts for six months at a time, and only happens once every two hundred years.  Darkness often comes and brings hard times to those who live on Orphos.  

The last Darkness to hit Orphos was almost a hundred and ninety years ago.  A new Darkness to expected, but the priests of the Machine have predicted it'll happen in five years, advising various nations to prepare.  The last such darkness coincided with an Othebean Crusade, a dark and cold affair that put Ith under Othebean control.

A Darkness only lasts a week or so, as Hecastes totally eclipses the sun during that period.  But the Blacksun will cause the sun to wax and wane during the year it passes.  Summers grow short, and autumn tends to arrival earlier.

The Constellations of Orphos
Thirteen constellations define the night skies of Orphos.  Old Salira identified each with one of their gods,
using them to divine futures.  The Saliran names stuck, at least along the Maru sea they did.

The Church of the Machine and the Esoterium Machina have identified many more constellations.  The Esoterium Machina recognizes power in the original thirteen, often citing various magical constructs that rely on them.  Some constellations and their position also enable some ancient rituals.  The Ursyklon and the Sundered Star both have favored aligned constellations, referring to ancient powers best summoned under the correct auspices.

Here are the constellations of Orphos:

  • The Mother
  • The Sleeping Giant
  • The Torch
  • The Twins
  • The Bottle
  • The Crown
  • The Flying Head
  • The Fat Goat
  • The Singing Cat
  • The Mountain
  • The River
  • The Scroll
  • The Doorway


Ok.  Another blog down.  Thanks for reading about Crux and the minutia I post up here.  All comments are welcome, good ideas praised and great ideas stolen outright.  See yah around the Net.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Center Cannot Hold: Maralda and Lahm 3

Previous Part (2)

8511 slowly explained to Lahm and I why she had been wandering the sewers.  She kept the details the
Cuz I can't afford to commission pics
of Maralda and Lahm yet.
vague.  She clearly was nervous, the result of spending all her time around people like Professor Maxmidan.  She'd been treated like a tool and nothing more.

She flinched every once and awhile too.  Each time she did, I could a little bit more smoulder in Lahm's devil-eyes.  The Tiefling boy I knew didn't like women of any kind- his boyfriends he kept away from me, something he didn't want to share.  He wasn't interested in 8511, although some get attracted to Androids that way, no, my friend's empathic streak made him sympathize so much he wanted to kill off all her enemies.  But when anyone wasn't treated right, Lahm's eyes would do that flicker.  It meant it pissed him off.

Lahm's a great guy, really he is.  Its great in a fight.  But when he gets angry...

"8511, we aren't going to punish you for coming back."  I told her carefully.  "Not everyone likes to punish Androids.  Sometimes we like to ask, you know what I mean?"

8511 nodded.  Lahm stewed quietly for a moment.  8511 looked nervously at Lahm's silent raging.  I thought I might try to stop her from thinking I was lying to her.  Hopefully I could get Lahm to help me keep her from screaming or something.  The last thing I needed was to be accused of stealing an Android from a Professor.

"Right Lahm?"  I asked him.

My Tiefling friend threw a rock.  His eyes glowed a bright red, highlighted by the emotion in his throat.  Although only a Rogue, I knew what his wrath and rage looked like.

He spun on me.  "He made her go alone.  Into the catacombs.  For what?  Something important?"

Lahm spat.

"Lahm, calm down."  I tried, uselessly to get him to listen and shut up for a moment.

"No, the crazy old bastard thinks the best thing to do to some innocent with no clue about the Catacombs is to send her after some stupid necklace.  Did she drop it at least?"  Lahm shook his head, kicking more pebbles off of Bellamy's Stair.  "Of course not.  Maxmidan probably expected her to die in the looking.  Cruel bastard.  Twins-damn him."

"Lahm."  I grabbed his arm.  "Shut up.  You're scaring her."

Lahm paused.  He looked down at me, then over to 8511.  The Android clutched tightly to her mirror.  Her eyes were wide in terror and tears.

Then the Android broke away from us running.

"Twins-damnit."  Lahm and I said in unison.  We sprinted after her, up Bellamy's Stair.

Next Part (4)


Thanks for reading.  Comments are asked for, but not necessary.  Even if you are just poppin' in to say hi, that's kewl.  Suggestions are considered, good ideas stolen, great ideas treated as though I had created them in the first place.  Maralda and Lahm is a short story set in Crux, the City of Curses, a rpg setting I've been homebrewing based on a wild mix of Napoleonic history and dark fantasy.  Hope you enjoyed it!

Find the Path: Armors and Guns

Armor, and Guns
Another set of design notes.  I know, I know.  More fiction is in the pipe too.  The last one seemed to garner some positive interest as well; I find myself liking Maralda, Lahm and 8511's little adventure.  Its nice to have some sort of fiction going on as I rant all over about Crux.

A friend wrote me about the choice of armor in Crux, which brings up an interesting point.  As a Napoleonic/Baroque/Jacksonian setting, plate mail and similar armor is going out in favor of less bulky, more efficient choices.   People should be stalking around in leather coats with holsters.  I want to encourage a more light armor setting and need to contend with firearms.  Since I'm going to go with Guns Everywhere rules, I need to write up some rules on it.

As a quick aside, I know that the Guns Everywhere rules includes Advanced Firearms, most of which are no where near the same tech level as Napoleon and all that.  I'm choosing to present the firearms in Orphos (the world Crux occupies) to be the result of a acceleration tech evolution, as the Church of the Machine has been developing and changing them without restrictions since they first invented them.  The logic of a faster than our world development means that revolvers and rifles should be around, but not necessarily cheap enough to be in common hands.  I think Guns Everywhere as written reflects that.  Back to the action.

How do I make it so my players don't die immediately to gunfire?  They are the ones who'll get hit the most often by the plethora of guns.  Here are my thoughts on a solution:

  • An shield quality I call Bulletproof.  Only shields can have it, and it lets a character add their shield bonus on their Touch AC vs Firearms (I am considering just making there be a "Gun AC" that might best suit it).  Bulletproof assumes that newer steel alloys have been developed that can be considered bulletproof, but are much heavier than prior variations.  I'd venture enough to suggest that Adamantine Shields could also gain this quality, but not armor (a conceit to the flavor I want and nothing more).
  • A feat I call Dodge Bullets.  Hint, it gives you a bonus to dodge bullets.  I think it'll grant a +2 dodge bonus and require Dodge, perhaps creating a new chain.  It also needs a better name.
  • I plan on multiplying the cost of most metal armors by 5 or 10.  They are harder to come by as most armorers have stopped working with metal armors outside of more experimental ideas, hence the higher cost.
  • Gunfight oriented environs.  I suspect I'll have to set up combat in scenes that contain good places for concealment, that provide cover of some sort.  I'll also have to design fights so that enemies utilize cover making elements more, enough that most gunfires have a sort of foggy feel to them I think.
  • And I'm going to give characters a static Defense bonus of some kind.  So far I'm leaning toward it being 1/2 level or perhaps tying it into BAB somehow.  I know this has been done before, I just want to have a nice set of simple solutions, not a single complex one.  I hope.  Anyway, its still in proto-beta thought at the moment.

That's the idea for Crux anyways.  I'll try and get to it in a article covering some of the tech and magic in Crux (which I've started but haven't gotten back to).

In other news, I'm still working on my ideas for ramping up the power of humans and other races to match my goal of a solid 16 RP.  Thus begins my efforts to tie rules to my craziness.  More to come, enjoy this for now.

Thanks for reading this.  All comments are read, all suggestions considered, and all good ideas stolen if not nailed down.  Please share and comment, I appreciate it.  I'll see you around, hopefully with more.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Center Cannot Hold: Ith's City-States

Crux and the Volcanic North
Settlements: Crux, Runeheart, Boilport

Crux is the largest city in the world, its metropolis large enough that it deserves its own region of its own.  It
predates Ith itself, both the nation and the ancient archmage.  It has been the capital of ancient empires.  It was built atop an ancient skull, of some long forgotten god.  Crux also sits atop the narrow sleeping straits, the entrance into the Maru sea.  It sits at the midpoint between all northern and southern trade.  It's banks serve all of the Four Powers.  North of Crux, on the sliver of the Ainesian continent Ith controls, is violent volcanoes, hot springs and pools.  Boilport sits near active geysers, some of the most active on all of Orphos.

Crux is also part of the new industrial heart of Ith.  It where Androids were first created and used en masse.  Its factories are still new, somewhat experimental, but have started to created dividends that might outmatch the textiles and logging economic might of the south.  Crux is also home to a variety of political radicals, all eager for a chance to prove their point.

The city wishes to continue to grow in power and dominance.  To many in the city of curses, Crux feels like it is at the center of some new age, ready to rush out and infect the rest of the world.  Some tend to forget its misbegotten poor, its protesting unsorcerous humans or scheming vampires when they see the shining magical wonders of the University unveiled from the Skullmount.

Athrid, Ithspan and the Maru Coast
Settlements: Athrid, Ithspan, Witch's Cove

The Maru Coast is where most of traditional Ith lies.  These cities were the ones to start the push for independence in the first place.  The homeland of the sorcerous, these cities also are the most populous, excepting for Crux of course.  They also are part of the breadbasket of Ith, their farmland providing cereal and livestock goods.  These farms also are one of the first places in Ith outside of Crux to have their own crews of Androids.

This region is also the most radical thinking of all of Ith.  Ideas from Othebea and Ainesia flood them constantly.  Most cities have local laws that grant some rights to the unsorcerous, even Athrid where the Senate convenes.  This part of Ith is eager to reform their government more, convinced that Ith could create a even better state without having to go as far as Krasnylang has in Ainesia.

To this end, these cities push for more and more federal power.  They want to remove some of the corruption of past governing practices.  A strong federal government could galvanize Ith, they say, and prepare it for any possible future conflicts with Ainesia or Othebea.  More than few warhawks from the cities see Othebea as a weak target, viewing the Rose Canal as a positive gain for them.  Others look across the ocean to Ocrid, suggesting the possibility of Ith doing some colonizing of its own.

Adais Silverune, President of Ith

Silverune first came to prominence when her regiment won the Battle of New Goodthorn during the Revolution Wars.  The victory came after the peace had been declared, but General Silverune garnered national popularity throughout Crux.  She killed the Knight Arthys Morningthorn in a duel, after he'd insulted her wife.  Her army was sent to defend Crux during the Revolution that ravaged Ainesia.  She took the towns of Boilport and Runeheart, defeated the local Ainesian militias and led to all the lands north of Crux becoming part of Ith.

Her victories in the war garnered her popularity enough that she won nomination for President.   She crusaded against tariffs and other strong federalizing forces the Ithic senate had been contemplating.  The South gave her complete support, followed by the Storm Coast.  She won in a landslide.  Her presidency has long been at conflict with Senator Maxmidan of Crux, as neither like each other at all.  Silverune has long opposed any form of a national bank, vetoing any charter trying to authorize it.

Her presidency is nearing its end, with the old, bitter and angry Silverune having defined her term as being bitterly against any strong federal legislation.  Her rise to power has signaled a spread of democracy among the less wealthy sorcerous, especially those in the South or Storm Coast who rely sorcery prohibitions to make a living.

The Swamps of the Storm Coast
Settlements: Runeport, Staffwood, Illvain

The western coast of Ith sits south of Crux, but with no hills or mountains to shield it from the storms that hit
it every year.  It has never grown populous.  But the people here are a hardy folk, who know how to get what they want from the sea.  It is also a land that long has remembered what its folk know is the true faith, not the lie the Church of the Twins tells.  The swampy folk of Illvain in particular remember the Sundered Star.  They keep an eye out for their long missing masters.  And they kill Halflings on sight.

The dark swamps are home to a Black Dragon, a ancient wyrm who enjoys the quiet peace of the swamps when the storms aren't thrashing it.  It slumbers in a ancient ruin that pre-dates the Ursyklon invasion of Orphos.  The massive temple depicts things with tentacles, eyes and incomprehensible languages.  In other parts of the Storm Coast, runaway undead serve Liches in remote estates that like their privacy.  One of the senators of the Storm Coast is one of those Liches, who claims to be a student of Ith and an unparalleled master of Necromancy.

The Inculti Vampires of Crux often keep a wary eye on the Swamps of the Storm Coast.  Some say the Inculti clan first originated in the dark swamps.  Ursyklons in Crux dislike the swamps.  More than a few Ursyklons knew someone who went into the Storm Coast and never returned.  They are many more ancient ruins in the Storm Coast, many Ursyklon, many Aboleth and others whose origins are mysteries.

Sideboard: Wax-Dancers
There are Androids in the Storm Coast too, but these ones all serve a mad lich who is eager to experiment on the very concept behind them.  Valtrane Verserune has modified a number of Androids, often in cruel ways.  Some of these Androids do escape, although Verserune doesn't seem to notice.  These Androids wander the swamps of the Storm Coast, using the strange alterations he created in them.  A few even make it back to other Androids, spreading the basics of Wax Dancing to more and more Androids.

Wax-Dancers are Androids whose wax outer shells, which are intended to look humanoid, are more fluid and alterable than normal wax.  Wax dancing lets an Android change their appearance- even hiding any sign of them being Androids.  Wax-Dancers can replicate the appearance of humanoids, changing their shape and bodies to disguise themselves perfectly.

No one knows if Verserune was the first to discover this, but his lectures on the subject in the University of Crux make it clear that any Android could be converted into a Wax-Dancer.  In fact, Verserune speculated that maybe ancient magi could've created their own Wax-Dancers, using them to influence and modify historical events.  Most scholar disagree with that testament, although Wax-Dancers remain very real.

The Southern Forests
Settlements: New Goodthorn, St. Thomas, Garcua

Most of the settlements in the south are new, created by Othebean efforts to send migrants to use them.  Ursyklon druids long tended to these groves, coming into conflict many times with the Othebean colonists.  These townships were the least willing to join in the drive for independence, and many Othebean loyalists drifted into the woods after the war to hide.  The Southern Forests have many of their own dangers as well, some of whom are considered fellow 'citizens.'

Anuazadii and her brood of Green Dragons claim entire stretches of wood.  A coven of Hags have long been elected Senators for the mostly human town of New Goodthorn for years now.  Ursyklon Rangers have long been granted a sort of constabulary status- asked to patrol the woods and keep it secure for Ithic interests.  Werewolves and their skinwalker children hide in the woods as well, forming tribes that stifle under the idea of any sort of foreign rule from Athrid.  Most distressing is the wealth these Werewolves have been uncovering in the forests, using their strength and power to provide for the logging needs of all Ith on a yearly basis.  The southern Ithic agricultural economy provides most of Ith's wealth in the current era, providing the basic materials for the textile factories in Crux and Ithspan.

Despite all their mutual distrust, most of the southern factions have learned in the past fifty years to work together.  Werewolves, humans, hags and even the green dragons have created dozens of plantations, most of which Urskylon Druids help to grow large.  Most have converted to the faith of the Wolf Mother, even more disliking having Athrid or any Northern Ith tell them what to do.  The South dislikes any talk of expanding citizenship, finding the idea of their unsorcerous humans, halflings and other workers being allowed to vote as dangerous to their way of life.  Androids have also started to make an appearance in the South, albeit slowly.


If you enjoyed this, please check out more on Crux in other posts or feel free to make a suggestion or comment.  I have a tip jar link at the side too, if you like things enough to want to drop a coin or two.  I'm not planning any sort of crowdfunded anythings, not yet, not for this blog anyway.  If you are interested in a good cause, I plan to help a friend get a new go on indiegogo.  I'll post information on that when I'm certain it'll be going.  Otherwise, thanks for reading.  All feedback only makes this thing stronger.

The Center Cannot Hold: The Oceans

The Oceans

"It is a Blasphemy against Reality.  The Urskylons stain reality with the foulness of feat and class, spell and concept.  We await our rise, our revenge against the Halfling wolfspawn.  They will pay for the crimes they've committed against the Truth of Reality.  We will unmake them.  
"The plague of classes and each little stain against the truth will be undone.
"The Void awaits us all.  Blessed are we, its true Heralds.  All prisons fail.  All walls fall.  All will be made true again.  We are the Aboleths.  We will Escape."
-Telepathic sent by anyone crossing into the Deep Sea.

The undersea nations have all become allies or fallen under the control of the four Great Powers, although they still remain most foreign frontier.  The nations listed here are all coastal and somewhat adapted to dealing with surface dwellers.  There are other nations, but their interactions with surface dwellers aren't as common.  If anything, they tend to be less willing to believe that surface dwellers even exist.

Some of these nations have borders that touch on the Deep Sea.  No one travels the Deep Sea on Orphos; it is a dark stain on every map.  It isn't a big mystery.  Everyone that sails the Deep Sea knows what it is: the Aboleths' Prison City.

Aboleths and Ursyklons warred with one another in a Intergalactic War millennia ago.  All Aboleths on Orphos were trapped by the Ursyklons in the Deep Sea.  The Aboleths lost their war, and their vast alien cities became their prison.  Immortal, most of these Aboleths have been trapped for centuries within the magical net of artifacts the Ursklons used to imprison them.

The Void, The Sundered Star and The Deep Sea
The Aboleths were the first to bring word of the Sundered Star to Orphos and the peoples they enslaved.  The Sundered Star taught of the Void and other mysteries, including a multitude of long forgotten gods and other things from beyond the stars.  To the Aboleth, reality has become tainted and poisoned by something never intended, a violation against what reality is supposed to be: Classes and Feats.

They worship the Void, the absence of the lie of Classes and the stain they bring onto reality.  So they also come to hunt and seek the annihilation of any sign of such things.  Out of pity, the Aboleth believe humans and other lesser races to be tainted by Classes.  They enslave them out of a belief that only through their guidance they might find the solace of the Void once more.

The Sea Coven (The Cecaelian Cities)
The Maru Sea is dominated by the Cecaelia's cities.  The half-octopi founded their own cities in a mirror of Ith.  They are ruled by their own oligarchy of Witches.  This coven considers itself part of Ith, but officially no other power recognizes that claim.  Ith does provide a great deal of administration to the Sea Coven, treating them as a territorial frontier.  The Sea Coven sends its own representatives to the Ithic Senate, but the Cecaelia are eager for the day that their cities are admitted as part of Ith itself.

Anuada (The Marid Sultanate)
Anuada is a vast southern sea, allied strongly with Maliph.  Sometimes considered its own Khanate, Anuada's Marids never formally joined the agreement that forms the basis of the Shah and his government.  The Marids help run the slave trade, often using a variety of servant races to acquire individuals for sale in the Maliph trade markets.  Some are taken from foreign vessels sailing through the Anuada Sea, others are taken from coastal villages.  The Sultan of Anuada is enamored of Shah Kalim, and spends a great deal of time trying to think of ways to arrange a political marriage, convinced one of his daughters could help him ascend into part of Maliph, perhaps even finding a way to earn the title of Shah himself one day.

The Piscals (The Sahuagin Kingdoms)
The Sahuagin control a good deal of the seas around Othebea.  But they are separated into a dozen smaller kingdoms.  Each kingdom's prince or king also is a vassal of the King of Othebea.  This old feudal agreement doesn't keep the Sahuagin from causing problems for anyone traveling their their turf.  Amongst the Piscals are also devout villages of Sea Giants who worship the Summer Rose.  Although ignored by Othebea most times, the Sea Giants often are asked to interfere for Othebea in Sahuagin matters.

The Patrizo Estates (Sea Vampire Lands)
The Sea Vampires, based on Crux, claim a good portion of ocean around the city as their own.  The races and peoples who live under this water recognize the Patrizo as a sort of liege lord.  Ith and the Patrizo ignore this fact at the moment.  Ainesia and Maliph also regard part of the Patrizo's claim as their own land.  It remains a tense political subject, one of several lines on a map all Four Great Powers disagree on.  The Patrizo estates also help harbor pirates and other criminals that plague trade routes passing all over the Anuada Ocean and Maru Sea.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Center Cannot Hold: Maralda and Lahm 2

Previous Part (1)

Lahm helped me to cross one of wider gap's in Bellamy's Stair.  The long narrow stair was the fastest back entrance onto the Skullmount.  It winded itself around the southernmost part of the Skull.  I knew the story about why it was called Bellamy's Stair, but neither Lahm nor 8511 wanted to hear it.

"What's the point if you already know it then?"  I pouted.  "Ruins the point of a story if you know the ending."

"Really?"  Lahm countered.  "How many times have you reread The Journey of the Roses then?"

"That's... That's not the same thing."  I stuck my tongue out at him.  I glanced back at 8511.  She kept her head down, trying not to meet my gaze.  She still clung tight to the mirror she'd come out of the sewers with.

"Hey, everything okay, Robot?"  I asked, giving her my best smirk.  No response- some Bard I am, I thought.

"It's alright to talk to us, 8511." Lahm added.  The red-eyed tiefling had genuine concern in his voice.  "We don't have a choice, you know, we have to return you back to your master.  Why were you down in the sewers?"

I cocked an eyebrow as we ascended up Bellamy's Stair.  Why had she been down there by herself?  Had she been trying to escape?

"I..." 8511 hesitated.  "I wasn't trying to runaway.  I was doing a job for Master Maxmidan."

I paused and thought for a moment.  I remembered being stuck like 8511 had been.  My Mother had always used her powers to control me, to keep me locked away like precious piece of jewelry.  I'd help trick others and I could always remember that bloody smell they left behind.  I let my Bardic skills take my own charming talents- never as strong as my mother's- and use them to leverage open the Android's emotions.
If someone claims that Androids don't have emotions, they're lying to you.  Androids feel.  Born as adults, they don't have enough experience to deal with them.  That made them easy marks to a little ok Bard like me.

"Tell us, 8511."  I put a hand on her shoulder.   "Maybe we can help you."

Next Part (3)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Center Cannot Hold: The Clans of Maliph

Ok, after a bit of delay, here are the clans of Maliph and their leaders and all that jazz.  Here's a bit on their interaction with Crux: most in Crux can't tell the difference.  Each clan is more like its own independent power, but Maliphi in Crux will feud and fight one another if they come from different enough clans.  Some clans are actively seeking out war; others are eager to keep trade strong.  Most outsiders can't easily tell them apart and often insult someone out of mistake.  There are also many other Clans in Maliph, these are just the most powerful five, and most easily known.

Maliphi Clans
Clan Dying Tree
Leader: Shah Karim Venomfire
Headquarters: Venomfire Mountains
Languages: Malic, Draconic, Tomish

Shah Karim Venomfire has made his fellow Khans very happy with his management, enough so to have held his position for the last three decades.  He is the current head of Clan Dying Tree, whose interests have always been of a mystical bent.  Karim (Karim being the short form of a much longer draconic name) himself is a Red Dragon born from the union of a Red from Ainesia and one of the many native Blue Dragons of the south.  Above average intelligence for even a Dragon, Karim's control of Venomfire has been noted as one of the best eras for the remote, mountain-bound clan.

The Venomfire Clan grows very rare desert spell and alchemical components, as well as gems of various types that arcane spellcasters find need of.  Still one of least populous of the Clans, Venomfire remains steadfast in Maliph using trade to dominate other nations.  Karim believes that Maliph is on the edge of a new golden age, and is very eager to open new avenues of trade with Ith.

Clan Windwalker
Leader: Sultan Hermesi the Windsong
Headquarters: Abd'Dust
Languages: Malic, Auran, Tomish, Soramese

Clan Windwalker controls the southernmost part of the Maliph coast, including a dozen smaller islands that connect with the jungles of Soram.  It is also home to its own savannah, dominated by massive crocodiles.  The city of Abd'Dust occupies all of its own island off the Maliphate coast.  Prior to Maliph, the area the Clan claims was home to a ancient culture that built its own massive pyramids, all depicting serpentfolk and couatls worshiping air spirits.  Hermesi is one such of those air spirits, who outlived the Serpentfolk who worshipped him.  They went extinct long before Maliph came to be a nation.

Hermesi controls Maliph's trade with Soram.  He coordinates and handles the slave trade from Soram, often using many of them for the grueling labor of refining sugar from sugar cane.  Clan Windwalker dislikes leaving their set of Isles, content with the current status quo.  However, Hermesi remembers past deeds of battle and conquest, as well as of peace.  Being a elder air elemental, he is sometimes tempted to leave, to 'avenge his fallen children,' as he puts it.  But something always manages to keep him from acting on such urges.  For the time being.

Clan Sleeping Lion
Leader: Khan Blackblood
Headquarters: Sandfire
Languages: Malic, Slyvan

Khan Blackblood wanders the deserts of northern Maliph, protecting villages in the north from raiders and other ravages.  She is a fire giant and a werelioness, and most of the Sleeping Lion Clan following her are werelions as well.  Adapted to the harshness of Northern Maliph, Sleeping Lion enjoys using strength to demonstrate a point.  They also ruthlessly slaughter hyenas and werehyenas, often Blackblood uses them as a context to destroy an entire caravan or village.

As Sleeping Lion controls most of the northern trade routes, it uses it to leverage a form of a protection racket for anyone trying to cross the Rruk Wastes.  Sleeping Lion dislikes most outsiders, believing that the greatest failure of Nephillim was that he didn't conquer all of the world.  Sleeping Lion pushes Karim constantly to go to war, to finally show Othebea or Soram who is dominant.  Karim and the other Khans keep rebuffing her, quick to use her anger to keep her from building a coalition powerful enough to start a war.

Clan Sun Rose
Leader: Khan Afra Dustbone
Headquarters: Ramlwind
Languages: Malic, Auran, Ignan, Old Tomish

Clan Sun Rose boasts with pride that it has one of the few only human of Khans, descended directly from Nephillim himself, ruling from atop the sacred mesa Akilahakram.  It is only here that the mystical flower called the sun rose grows, whose blossoms were central to the Oracle ways that Nephillim himself practiced.  Sun roses carry with them power of elemental beings far older than the faith of the Twins or the Wolf-Mother.  Properly prepared, sun rose tea grants oracular visions and mystic telepathic energy.  Like many other mystic spices in Maliph, it carries a steep price in foreign markets.

Afra Dustbone and the rest of Clan Sun Rose support Karim's vision of further trade expansion for Maliph as a whole.  However, Dustbone dislikes the emphasis on greed that the peace the trade won has carried with it.  She lives an ascetic life, firm in her conviction that Maliph needs to adapt some changes from Ainesia, including the abolition of slavery and more democratic government.  She is quiet to voice such opinions, but Clan Sun Rose provides sanctuary to many foreign revolutionaries eager to try and spread the Revolution into Maliph, as well as representatives of other, more controversial ideas.

Clan Scarred Pheonix 
Leader: Sultana Bast'ara the Young
Headquarters: Aswadsakhr
Languages: Malic, Riddlespeak, Old Tomish, Othish, Rosic

The Sphinx Sultana rules over Clan Scarred Pheonix, her eyes firmly fixed on the Othebean traders that visit her shores.  The city of Aswadsakhr is Maliph's major that deals in trade with Othebea.  Othebean ships always flock to the city's bazaars.  Bast'ara gives very little to the Othebeans, her opinion low of them despite her devout faith to the Summer Rose.  Her mother had been sent to Othebea as a ambassador, but was slaughtered in a misunderstanding.  Othebea paid reparations, and the incident happened long enough that no Othebean remembers it.  Bast'ara remembers.

Clan Scarred Pheonix has strong ties to the Twins, but its Native worship of the Summer Rose is more based on an interpretation of Flame, Fire and Youth: children are regarded as sacred, with the wisdom of youth placed above others.  The Sphinx's Palace is built atop a spring that flows out of a massive block of obsidian.  Holy to only people from Aswadsakhr, many Summer Rose faithful in the city claim that the water can halt or reverse aging, as a miracle from the Summer Rose herself.  Othebean representatives of the Church of the Twins try to cast the Aswadsakhr version of the Summer Rose as heretical, making it a ever-growing tense point between the two nations.

Sidebar: The Old Gods of Maliph
Prior the arrival of Malkith, the faiths in Maliph were far more dark, far more diverse.  Djinn and other outsiders had a myriad of worshippers.  Of these, the elemental Gods had the strongest hold.  Alien presences, these gods were more elemental than comprehensible.  Their temples and cults still exist in Maliph, but are unassociated with any specific Khanate.  Most of them find Witches and Oracles that speak for them.

Within Maliph these elemental Witches and Oracles are met with a variety of reactions.  The current Shah has tolerated and even embraced their particular services.  In years past, they had faced some aggression or torture out of superstitious fear.  They remain secretive, although they do perform magical services for the Khans when asked.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Center Cannot Hold: Ith, Sorcerous Republic

The United Sorcerous Republic of Ith

"United In Sorcery."
Alignment N
Capital Athrid
Ruler President Adais Silverune
Government Confederated Magocracy
Demonym Ithan
Adjective Ithic
Languages Tomish, Salish, Malic, Othish, Borish
Religions The University, The Twins, The Machine, Shraxes, Singer of the Song, Lupa

Ith sits at the center of the world, considered one of the four great powers through its arcane and technological innovations.  It is a homeland for anyone who practices sorcery, where the prerequisite for citizenship is magical ability, not appearance or class.  Ith controls the Sleeping Straits, one of the most important trade routes on world of Orphos.


The name of Ith predates the Tomasi Empire, back to the earliest known history of the cities of Crux, Ithspan and Athrid.  The Archmage Ith protected these three cities, carving out a enlightened kingdom and taking it away from Ursyklon control.  Ith's enlightened kingdom lasted for about a thousand years until the Tomasi empire conquered it.  To the south, Ith the Archmage went to war against the cannibalistic city of Rruk, creating a vast dry waste that has remained ever since.  No power claims these wastes, not even Maliph tries to maintain control over them.  It has remained a safe southern buffer for Ith ever since.

In remembrance, the Republic of Ith took his name as inspiration when they began their war of independence.

Othebea, Salira and the Tomasi founded their own colonies around Ith's cities.  These city-states took advantage of the southern coasts of the Maru Sea.  Vibrant, for centuries these minor city-states maintained a strong trade economy.  The Tomasi took control of all of them.

What is modern Ith formed the economic centerpiece of the Tomasi Empire.  The Tomasi emperors took Crux as their capital, tying their influence and power to the ancient Ursyklon's empire that once used Crux as their own capital.  When the Tomasi fell to corruption, decay and Dragons, arcane spell casters took over each city state.

Unlike modern Ith, these city-states didn't cooperate together.  Instead they feuded and warred with one another.  Wizards, witches and others fought duels, keeping an ongoing conflict wedged between them.  When Othebea and the Church of the Twins declared their crusades against the Ithic states, there was no resistance to stop their conquest of the region.

These crusades aimed at the irresponsible magic of the arcane spell casters of Ith.  Othebea instituted strict laws on the use of magic.  This included divine magic.  Sorcery was restricted, to prevent further crises borne of wizard duels or witch curses.  The Sundered Star Cult fought a vicious fight to the end, drawing down alien powers against Othebea's Crusaders.  Inevitably Othebea won, taking advantage of how divided each city-state was from the others.  Upon the fall of Crux, the Ithic Crusades were already over.

For more than two hundred years Othebea ruled over Ith.  Ith came to adopt Othebean laws, and most common Ithans adopted the Church of the Twins as their main faith.  But the arcane traditions of Ith- its historic ties to wizardy, the estorium machina, witchcraft and others- stifled.  They were forced to either hide or submit to severe government limitations on arcane spellcraft.  The passing of the Sorcery Tax was the final straw.

Magi of all kinds began to openly protest Othebean rule.  In Crux, a group of protesting Diviners were slaughtered by Othebean Crusaders, in a incident remembered as the Cruxite Massacre.  The Ithic City-States bonded together, and started the Revolution Wars.

The Treaty of Lutetia ended the Revolution Wars for Ith about fifty years ago.  The city-states formalized their nation through their own constitution.  Thus established was the first nation founded on sorcerous principles above all others.


As a representative republic, each Ithic city-state sends its own senators to the Ithic Senate to create and pass laws.  In order to elect senators of any kind, voting rights are restricted to only those who possess sorcerous ability.  Each city-state is represented by at least three senators, varying based on the population of the city-state in question.  Senators are elected once every three years, alternating from year to year to keep some form of continuity.

The senator comprises the legislative third of Ith's government.  There is the Presidency, the elected executive branch of Ith.  Ith severely limits the capacity of the executive.  Unlike Ainesia or Othebea, the presidency doesn't direct that much policy.  It shares more in common with Maliph in that regard.

The last part of the Ithic government are its courts, a secular mimicry of the same system that Othebea had used in Ith.  The courts counter and bicker points, never quite agreeing from one city-state to another on some cases, forcing those cases to be abitrated through the Senate in some cases.

Sidebar: Sorcery As Citizenship
Anyone with sorcerous powers can become a citizen of Ith.  Such citizenship can and often is awarded to monstrous individuals, including Aether-Blooded, Vampires, Dragons and others.  These individuals agree to abide by the terms of citizenship (accepting some forms of tax and agreeing to not prey on other citizens, etc) and in turn receive the same protections any citizen would get.  Ithic law protects them from predation, criminal activity against them, guarantees them the right to assemble, the right to worship as they please and the right of speech.

Othebea and Ainesia, both nations dealing with their own native monsters dislike Ith's choosing to award citizenship to what they regard as dangerous entities.  Maliph, whose own government has some monsters of its own, finds Ith's regard for only the sorcerous somewhat arrogant, although enlightened.

This does mean that sizable portion of the human, ursyklon and other populations in Ith have no citizenship.  Although Ith claims to have banned the slave trade (despite their treatment of Androids), the lower classes in Ith are those who lack some sorcerous ability.  In most places, this makes no significant difference.  In Crux, for example, most don't see much difference from citizenship and normal day-to-day activities.  Each City-State differs in its practice of Ithic Law, but most don't feel a serious need to try to reform or federalize it.


Ith is the the smallest of the Four Great Powers.  It controls most of the southern and western coasts of the Maru Sea, as well as the Sleeping Straits that control access to it.  To the south, Ith is bordered by the Gate Mountains and it is dominated with thick pine and redwood forests.  It separates Ith from the vast wastes that sit as a buffer between it and Maliph.  Most of northern Ith once was dominated by wetlands but now they have been drained and turned into acres of farmland.  Western Ith is often called the Storm Coast, its swamps struck repeatedly by hurricanes out of the Anuada Ocean.  Eastern Ith is dominated by scrubland, before hitting the Rose Canal that separates Ith from Othebea.

A part of Ith also controls the northern portion of the Sleeping Straits, a mountainous region dominated by still active volcanoes.  Throughout Ith are a variety of ruins of aware, especially Ursyklon and Tomasi.


Considering the region once was home to the Tomasi Empire, Tomasi humans make up the majority of humans in Ith.  But humans of every ethnicity can be found in Ith- all are arcane spellcasters attracted to Ith, drawn to its open nature in regard to magic.  Ith is also home to large, vibrant Ursyklon communities, some of whom remember the Tomasi purges committed against them.  Its monstrous community also has attracted and created whole neighborhoods of Dhampir, Tieflings and Skinwalkers.  It is a diverse nation, drawing on a large different number of peoples.


At the center of the world, Ith is dominated by the worship of all the major faiths, but especially The Twins, The Machine and the Singer of the Song.  The age of its cities hide darker cults as well, many of which still hide their more secret ways.  Given Ith's allowance of all kidns of worship, many cults and heresies take root in Ith.  This has led to a sort of blending of some faiths, creating odder and stranger heresies where one least expects them.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Crux Design Notes: Races and Such

Races and Traits in Crux
Time for a bit of a design diary rather than just more ranting and rambling about Crux.  I don't do this often enough, but hell, it feels like maybe I should explain a few future plans before I get to them.  I want to include Tieflings, Dhampr and Skinwalkers in Crux, alongside Halflings and Humans.  And I want all of them to be appealing racial choices.  Androids are also in there.  Of these races, so far Humans and Halflings are on the low end of the race point scale.

So I'm going to start modding races.  I'm not going to go wholesale and redesign them.  I'm going to set a nice number as a goal for races.  So far, it seems like 17 to 18 might be the right amount of wiggle room for the various kinds of folk I'll have run around in Crux.

I'm going to use the race builder to alter each race to match the flavor of Crux closer.  This is perhaps the biggest mechanical crunch thing I have to do for Crux.  The setting is intended to support almost all archetypes and variants of most pathfinder classes.  If someone wants to play a particular kind of Oracle, I'll know enough of the basics to explain that.

The Aethamir are the exception to that.  They are a entirely new race.  I haven't even figured out mechanics for the Aether-Blooded.  Its one of those challenge sort of things I guess.

That said, I think raising the power of each race to a parity seems suiting for Crux.  I although I see the power difference in Tiefling and Human in a somewhat academic way, I want to give underlying support to humans to reflect some personal ideas on Humanity as well.

I suspect I might have to go on a 'archetypes are from X' spree at some time.  But for now, I think I'm going to start adding mechanics to each race, giving them traits and favored class bonuses to reflect Crux as a setting.  More to come later, etc.

Well, that's it to this little post: going to work on race mechanics soon.  Not much else to it.  I'm also going to try and write up more fiction to balance out all this RPG writing I've been doing.  I'm interested in revisiting Maralda and Lahm, and their adventure with 8511.  Oh, yes, and I'm going to get to Ith soon enough.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Center Cannot Hold: The Immortal Khanates of Maliph

The Immortal Khanates of Maliph
Alignment LN
Capital Blacksakhr
Ruler Shah Karim Venomfire of the Dying Tree
Government Plutocratic Military Oligarchy
Demonym Maliphate, Maliphi
Adjective Maliphi
Languages Malic, Tomish, Auran, Ignan, Terran, Aquan
Religions The Twins, Shraxes, The Machine

South of Ith lie mountains, hot deserts and cold steppes.  The Khans and Sultans of Maliph control the spice and sugar trade, which has established plutocracies that rule.   It is a harsh land, whose people rely on faith, reason and cunning to survive.

In an age prior to the Tomasi empire's rise, most of Maliph was covered in thick jungle.  Only a set of mountains broke the jungles and forests.  The city of Rruk could be found deep in these jungles, a set of massive ziggurats used as a site for dark bloody rituals by an Aether-blooded and his cult.  Called Uron the Blooddrinker, he and the archmage Ith fought in a terrible duel, turning the jungle into vast deserts.  None of that jungle ever recovered; only sand, dunes and rock remains.

Ith left the ruined lands behind.  The Maliphate Tribes fended for themselves in the harsh terrain.  Generations would pass as they struggled to survive the new vast desert that had been carved out for them.  Various sultanates and city-states arose in the south.  These southern powers were keen to manipulate their northern kinsmen into constant war, often baiting them against roving tribes of monsters.  This changed with the rise of Alghar Nephillim of the Sun Rose Clan.  Nephillim was a half-giant, whose band nearly died after a raid in the Blacksakhr wastes.

Within a decade Nephillim united the northern Maliphate clans in a horde.  He had allies amongst giants, sphinxes and even a Aether-Blooded who joined his cause.  A band of skinwalkers and their Weretiger leader allied themselves with Nephillim, calling him their Khan as well.  Nephillim rode south, and sacked every southern city.  He slaughtered their leaders and established Khanates in his wake.  Nephillim established the position of Shah.

This wouldn't prevent years of infighting and civil war.  The Khanates never spent more than a decade in peace.  It wasn't until the city of Blacksakhr had been built and the wisdom of the Sphinx Ystara created the current system.  Dominated by trade over military conquest, each Khanate shared rule.  This balance of power has worked to keep Maliph stable over the last two centuries.

Maliph controls the spice and sugar trade, a fact that the other powers work to undo, with varying degrees of success.  Othebea and Maliph have gone to war numerous times over it.  Maliph uses slavery to obtain all of its sugar and spices, although the nature and form of it varies from Khanate to Khanate.  Most slavery in Maliph isn't chattel slavery, but instead freedom can be purchased rather easily.  Maliph still prides itself on its military hordes, many of whom who hired themselves out as mercenaries during the Revolution Wars in the north.

The immortal plutocracies of Maliph operate in a Byzantine set of bureaucracies, structured around the Khans themselves, who chose a ruling Shah from among their number.  The Shah rules for only a decade before another is selected.  Each khan has incredible autonomy, often only being restricted by the word or power of the Shah.  Each khan leads their own Khanate, holding territory and influence over one aspect of Maliph itself.

Most of the Khans are not human- immortal monsters of one kind or another that have managed to obtain control of their own Khanates.  Their clans vary greatly in how they are managed.  Mutual peace is maintain through the centuries old Covenant that Ystara had created in Blacksakhr.  The only problem with the old systems in Maliph is that they are slow to react to a crisis.  Nothing large or horrible has happened of late, but the Khans fear the spread of ideas like the Revolution amongst their people, potentially giving those who worship Shraxes a means to cause larger trouble.

Almost all of northern Maliph is dominated by a vast sandy desert.  With salt flats, canyons and a variety of petrified forests, this region has long been a harsh environment.  The various mountains in the region have long been mined out by prior civilizations, leaving barren wreckage scattered throughout.  Ancient cities and other ruins dot the landscape, but most Maliphi chose to not violate such places, believing it to be a violation of the tenants of the Black Rose to even step inside such places.

The various rivers and lakes of Maliph, to the south, provide for populous cities.  These cities serve as the mercantile center of Maliph, coordinating the spice, sugar and slave trades.  With river deltas, cooler climes and grassy steppes, southern Maliph has huge herds of all sorts of fauna not seen anywhere else in the world.  These cities are part of a trade network that often ends at Crux, bringing to that city wares from all over the southern part of the world.

Although a harsh land, the Maliphi human tribe has long adapted to it.  Sphinxes, lycanthropes of a desert kind (werelions, werehyenas and werecrocodiles to name a few), gnolls and giants all call the area home.  The land is also home to djinn and other elementals, drawn to the latent magic left over from ancient empires now long lost.  The Maliphi are used to all of these, sometimes being well known for being able to get so many different kinds of monsters to work together with them in communities.

Of course, any willingness to work with the likes of what other nations see as monsters has had always been controversial.  Othebea and Ainesian states have declared crusades against Maliph more than once during its long history, often out of insult at the site of a minotaur or some other bestial figure being allowed to be part of a community.

Maliph, quite like Othebea, holds the Twins in the highest regards.  Unlike Othebea, Maliph's exposure was at the hands of the Herald Malkith, a hound-headed celestial.  Malkith taught the importance of various taboos to the Twins, many of which the Maliph hold to, even if they don't consider themselves religious.  Maliphi, for example, do not eat pork or shellfish, nor do they tolerate the touch or exposure to the dead.  They always praise the Summer Rose at sunrise, and always praise the Black Rose at sunset.  Maliphi always are charitable to guests, always willing to provide food and time to complete strangers if asked.

There are no Ursyklon in Maliph.  None at all.  There are ruins of their empires from long ago.  Some Ursyklon journey south to see them, but most never trouble themselves to migrate into Maliph at all.  Ursyklon don't speak about the subject, but they seem to be fearful of the ground in Maliph, as though it were cursed or haunted.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Center Cannot Hold: Aether-Blooded and the Aethamir

Aether-Blooded (Original Concept by +Aaron Thomas)

Wizards are arrogant, and all of them will gladly explain how their class was the First class.  The first Chosen was a Wizard, who unlocked magic and power when they learned the first spell.  Wizards forget, often, however, that the very first wizards also became something else.  Unable to control the flow of primal energies, they committed a grievous error, and took power from the Aether they couldn't handle.  It tainted their bodies, cursing them with a tainted form of immortality.  Today, they are called the Aether-Blooded.

As civilization has grown through the countless years, the concentration of magic in most parts of the land has diminished greatly.  As a result, the well-being of the Aether-blooded has diminished as well.  Where once they were powerful and prosperous, most now live very short lives outcast from the rest of society by way of their condition.

Tied to the ebb and flow of the Aether, the Aether-Blooded live as outcasts.  They live in secret, trying to find any source of magic they can exploit without interference.  Aether-Blooded need magic to feed.  Most Aether-blooded are stricken with a need to "feed" on sources of magic they come across, just to keep them alive - similar to vampires' need to feed off of blood.  Without magic to devour, their forms wither but don't die.  The Aether won't let them.  Ravenous Aether-Blooded hunt down mages and anyone with sorcery, attacking out of hunger.  Other ambitious Aether-Blooded create cults, using their worshippers to gather magic items from which they can replenish their reserves.

In some areas where alchemy is prevalent, a few have found artificial ways to supplement the magic in their blood.  These few slow their degeneration almost completely, and realize a power similar to that of their ancestors.  They are the most powerful arcane spellcasters in the world - though they seldom use their power, for fear both of being hunted and of accelerating their degeneration.

Typical Aether-blooded are tall - reaching heights between 6 and 7 feet.  Their skin always carries a purplish hue, the few who have escaped their untimely end having skin that is much darker than their ravenous kin.  The ravenous tend to appear a very pale, almost ghost-like lavender.

In combat, an Aether-blooded hardly ever tries to evade a magic spell, no matter how powerful.  Rather, they throw themselves directly in the path of said spells, attempting to absorb the magical essence of that spell.  This makes them very dangerous opponents...especially in those who can turn spells on their casters in a more powerful reflection.  This is called "feedback" by most, and is the reason why Aether-blooded are seldom hunted by those with magical aptitude, but rather by those of martial classes.

Modern spellcasters, both arcane and divine, do not often know about the Aether-Blooded.  Even those aware of their existence remain unsure if Aether-Blooded still exist.  They are regarded as a mage's nightmare, something that is told to scare apprentices.  In Ith, stories are told about how an Aether-Blooded and the Archmage Ith clashed.  Another story is told of an Aether-Blooded in Crux, who slew an entire vampire clan in a act of vengeance for a insult a millennia before.  In Othebea, Witches and evil spellcasters are often mistaken to be called Aether-Blooded.  In Maliph, some claim the Aether-Blooded rule in secret, guiding the Khans and Sultans of the Wastes.

But what is known about the Aether-Blooded is that they work in secret, hunger for magic, and have been around for a very, very long time.

The Aether
This plane is the source of all magic, touched every time a spell is cast.  Wild, full of energy and unpredictable, it is coterminious with the prime material plane, and exists along with the other elemental planes.  Magic always draws from the Aether.  Some other planes have a weaker connection with the Aether than the prime material.  Some have stronger connections.
The Aether has the following traits:

  • Subjective Directional Gravity.
  • Erratic Time.  The energies of the Aether make time malleable here.  Sometimes travels find time flows faster in the Aether (1-33), 1 day passed in the Aether is only 1 round in the material.  Time sometimes flows normally (33-66).  Other times, time passes much slower (67-100), 1 round passing in the Aether is a day in the material.  
  • Highly Morphic.
  • Wild Magic.  The energies of the Aether cause spells to act differently, sometimes unpredictably.

The Children: Aethamir
Aethamir is a ancient word that means "Blood of my Blood."  To the Aether-Blooded, the Aethamir are their descendants.  Aethamir are often the children of Aether-Blooded, but are mortal with lives no longer than any human's lifespan.  The Aethamir are raised unaware of their pedigrees.  Often Aether-Blooded observe their children from afar, only interfering once they've reached adulthood.

Aethamir look human, except for purple flecks in their eyes.  Whenever they cast a spell, a Aethamir's skin flashes in color, looking purple or lavender as the spell is being cast.  It reverts back to normal color afterward.  Some notice, others just take it as another instance of magic being magic.

Aethamir inherit their parentage's talent for magic.  Not all Aethamir pursue classes or abilities that reflect magic, but the talent still is their for all of them.  Some Aethamir even find able mentors, who teach and guide them.  Even if these mentors are their parent in disguise, most Aethamir never learn about their heritage.  A few Aethamir are even raised like livestock for some Aether-Blooded- born and trained in magic in order to one day sate their parent's appetite.

Since Aethamir live as humans, they tend to follow human social mores and cultural identities.  There are no Aethamir communities.  Aethamir feel little attraction toward faiths of any kind, although many of them are drawn into the Faith of the University.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Center Cannot Hold: Ainesia Cuisine and Trade

Ainesian Cuisine & Trade
There are two common thoughts to Ainesian cuisine, the Northern versus the Southern.  In the north, stews and meatpies are favored, especially in hearty amounts with savory flavors.  Most folk favor a variety of slices of meat, using all parts of the animal.  Blood sausages and potatoes are common winter staples in the North as well.  Mead remains a favorite in the north, although new distilled drinks like Brandy have started to grow in popularity.

In Southern Ainesia, salt marshes and the bounty of the sea dominate meals.  Crustaceans of all kinds are used for meals, mixed with wildflower salads and much spices.  Salted fish soups are a staple of the summer for the south, whose fishermen sell their wares throughout the rest of Ainesia.  Some south Ainesia dishes use fish, long noodles and spicy flavors.  Coffee from Maliph has supplanted most alcoholic beverages in Southern Ainesia, often mixed with chocolate and chilis to create a local drink call Firebrew.

Ainesia trades well with textiles, heavy ores and salt.  What once were divided interests fighting over meager split resources, are now combined in their total sum of available resources.  Ainesia still lacks the means to provide any form of competition in naval trade or technological innovation when compared to Ith or Othebea.  It makes its wealth on its vast resources and mines.  It is this that Empress Krasnysang hopes to leverage into forward progress.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Center Cannot Hold: Ainesia, Revolutionary Empire

The People's Republics of Greater Ainesia
"Liberty, Equality, Solidarity."
Alignment CN
Capital Lutetia
Ruler Empress Elect Hana Krasnysang
Government Representative Totalitarian Socialist Republic
Demonym Ainesian
Adjective Ainesian
Languages Borish, Jarnish, Ferrit, Salish, Rosic, Tomish
Religions Revolution, The Machine, The Singer of the Song, The Wolf-Mother, The Twins

Ainesia is a new empire, molten hot from the fresh forges of revolution: many different feudal states welded together through revolution.  A new experiment, its neighboring powers look at it with trepidation- the Revolution assassinated countless leaders in its conquest of Ainesia, its reforms never favoring nobility, priests or the wealthy.  Ainesia looks at its borders and often others wonder if it plans to spread further or if it'll be content with what it has 'liberated' so far.


When Ith and Othebea's part of the Revolution Wars ended, the skirmishes in Ainesia continued to smoulder.  The Salira colonies that Othebea had given independence became a target of the various other kingdoms in Ainesia, each full of princes and kings eager to go to war to regain some of their faltering wealth.
This region had been feuding over scarce resources and political infighting for centuries long before.  Almost every kingdom, principality or grand duchy were ruled by the same royal family, whose blood had become spread through all the ruling houses of Ainesia's various states.  None of whom could agree to work together.  They fought and squabble over every inch of land.  And they used their people hard.  Very hard.

The Revolution Wars ignited a spark to a barrel of gunpowder.  Over the century prior, common folk were taught to read and to think, by the widely encouraged Church of the Machine.  Commoners came to see their own children take up classes they'd never thought possible, often because the education the Gear-Priests offered as part of the gunpowder and other wonders leaders bought from them.  In Salira, a land tied to many gods and faiths, a new source of faith had been found: The Revolution itself.

This lit Salira ablaze, and soon its few kings and government were burnt alive.  The Revolution didn't stop there, however.  Within days of overthrowing the newly independent state of Salira, its borders exploded with riotous mobs.  They swept into neighboring nations, sparking more and more of the Revolution's Fervor as they went.  Within days, the Revolution had taken hold.  The Revolution Wars weren't over.  No, Ainesia itself now was the central theatre.

The Revolution and those who followed it won the Revolution Wars thirty years ago, after two decades of bitter fighting.  The most brutal and harsh parts of Ainesia were annexed and added to the new, revolutionary government.  The tyrants were out of power, and now the people began to implement reforms.

But that peace didn't last for long.  Within a year, mobs began to execute their former rulers, publicly.  Clerics of the Revolution led progoms against members of the new government.  This began a dark cycle of terror that drove Ainesia to torture and execute more and more.  Hana Krasynsang, daughter of a minor knight in Salira as well as a lieutenant in the Revolutionary Militia, mounted a coup, slaying a sect of Clerics of the Revolution and imposing control over the situation.  Krasynsang took the title of Empress, and kept the reforms of the past.  The Revolution became restrained.

Today, Krasynsang remains in power.  There is fear among the other powers of whether or Ainesia wants to spread its Revolution further.  Ainesia remains peaceful, having secured trade relations with Ith and Maliph.  Othebea remains cold.  Ainesia is still looking inward, trying to repair and renovate their infrastructure, while its agents infiltrate and prepare for the next phase.


Perhaps hypocritical, the revolution installed a odd government in the aftermath of the Revolution Wars.  As governments kept breaking down into disarray and assassination, Ainesia recognized that it need a iron-hard force in its government, something to keep its own Revolution from driving it into civil war.  It has an elected monarchy, whose power is greatly restricted yet centralized and absolute enough to contain the ravages of the Revolution.

It was also a political gesture, restoring a semblance of old tradition while keeping all the reforms of the Revolution.  Of course, no committee of the party dreamt that up- it was all the work of Hana Krasnysang. Krasnysang took control of Ainesia's central governing party, using her talents as a minor noble allied with the revolution in her coup.  She established the position of Empress, and she ended the Revolution Wars.

Central to Ainesia's government are its councils, each representing their own interests.  Although Krasnysang has forced the councils to accept more than one governing parties, most Councils remain whole or partly Republican, the former single party in control.  These Councils send representatives to regional Soviets.  All of these elect those who represent each region in the supreme soviet, which acts as a semi-legislative body.  The Empress still must approve all laws, as well as enforce them.

The Supreme Soviet also selects all the members of the various bodies that run and operate Ainesia's government, including its direction over economic and political interests.  But because the Supreme Soviet only convenes once a year, most selection and management of these bodies falls under the purview of Empress.  Krasnysang rarely abuses her dictatoral level of powers, however.  She is clever to use lower functionaries as scapegoats, satsifying the urges of the Revolution while keeping Ainesia united together.


Ainesia is dominated by dozens of mountain ranges, broken up by river valleys and cold plains.  Its northern reaches are dominated by pine forests.  These mountains and rivers created the borders for most of Ainesia's nations, limiting their wars to their region and making conflicts harder to spread.  Southern Ainesia is dominated by salt marshes.  In the eastern steppes, weather keeps dry enough that parts of that region are as dry as deserts in Maliph or Soram.


Ainesia is huge, and its people are just as diverse as its big.  Most of each of the northern-most human tribes can be found there, the Jarn, the Salaro, the Tomasi, and the Jotnar.  A few of the fallen kingdoms and nations that form Ainesia were once Ursyklon ruled too.  Tieflings and Dhampir are common throughout Ainesia, the latter often because of much older Vampire clans that have ruled cities in Ainesia for centuries.  Of course, most of those clans are long gone- no one has seen that much of any of them, except for the Walridr who long ago fled into Crux.


The newest faith isn't centered around a deity, instead it is the Revolution.  A fervent faith born during Ainesis's part of the Revolution Wars, the Revolution continues to trigger riots and reforms in Ainesia.  Revolutionary faithful look for any sign of corruption or tyranny, often for an excuse to reignite older intrigues left over from the Revolution Wars.

Ainesia's Nations

Ainesia is still the name for the region the People's Republics occupies- its many people come from a variety of nations and states that spend centuries feuding, merging and dividing before Ainesia came along.  Here are the largest of those nations, and their lasting influence on Ainesia:


Alignment: NE
Soviet Capital: Neverstorm Castle
The Principality of Blakaxe is dominated by cold, fey-haunted woods in the northern reaches of Ainesia.  A cold, silent people, they had spent generations as little more than slaves, as serfdom in their land was cruel.  Blakaxi Witches joined the revolution first, many of whom were also daughters of the seeming immortal vampire Blakaxe himself.  It took the Revolution most of the Revolution Wars to slay Blackaxe.

Mostly Jarns, the cold folk of Blakaxe are practical and self sufficient.  They dislike the notion of government from Lutetia at all.  If anything, they believe that the Revolution has left them in a worst off position.  It seems that Blakaxe had been preventing ancient Fey lords and ladies from emerging during his tenure.  How he did so remains a mystery.  But nowadays, Blakaxi fear the night, when hunting horns can be heard as Fey look for fresh prey.


Alignment: CN
Soviet Capital: Krasnygrad
Birthplace of the Revolution and its faith, Salira's history stretches back much further than that.  The old gods of Mount Salir dominated the religious backbone of the region until more recent faiths over took it.  Salir has had a hand in the beginnings of many philosophies and faiths, as well as some scientific and magical ideas.  The Tomasian Empire used much of these as part of its rule over the region.  Ancient Salir's ruins decorate Salira's landscape.

Salira is almost religiously loyal to the party and to the Empress.  Their renaming of their capital to Krasnygrad is one sign of their blind loyalty to her.  Most Saliri also create the impression of other Ainesians to outsiders, which colors their view of Ainesia.  Outsiders come to think of it like Salira, full of diehard loyalists.  Saliri believe that the Revolution must spread, taking it upon themselves to engage in acts of terrorism throughout Ith and Othebea.


Alignment: LG
Soviet Capital: Krovhill
The Kingdom of Stormwood was a long time ally of Othebea.  One of the most eastern parts of Ainesia, it sat on the otherside of the mountains that divided Othebea and Ainesia.  Stormwood followed Othebea's stead, with its own sort of knights.  It also was ruled by ursyklons who'd converted to the Twins.  With very few humans as citizens, Stormwood was known for its very proud, very brave halfling champions.  Stormwood didn't last long, however, against the might that rose against it.  Othebea let Stormwood fall, although it remembers its neighbor.

Stormwood doesn't care for Ainesia and wants independence.  It dislikes the rule of the Empress.  Its memories of the Revolution Wars are dark and horrible.  It has deep scars, deep enough that there are a growing contingent of ursyklon that have converted to the Revolution to help make it happen.


Alignment: LE
Soviet Capital: Icegorod
Krasnifrost enjoys its peace.  The ice giants that once dominated it and served the will of the Ice Czar have been enslaved by the Revolution.  In centuries prior, Ice Giant enforcers would manage the serfs for the Ice Czar like they were cattle.  They were the most uneducated, the most mistreated people.  The Revolution took them, and they went berserk during their part of the war.  The Ice Giants now are slaves of the state, with the Soviet in Icegorod letting the people use them as tractors and beasts of burden.

Krasnifrost prefers the new order, albeit not as diehard as the Saliri do.  They work quietly, embracing their new education, studying at academies not unlike the University in Crux.  Krasnifrost works to create new machines for Ainesia, made from Ice Giant labor.  Some of which are intended for a new kind of war.


Alignment: N
Soviet Capital: Lutetia
Volkstorm surrendered peacefully during the Revolution Wars.  Its grand city of Lutetia embraced the revolution, deciding to help rather than face any sort of destruction.  Despite that, it still faced some harm, but the Empress has since acted to help them find some form of restitutioon.  Volkstorm had once been famous for its neutrality, often acting as a mediator between warring countries for centuries prior.  It still strives for some form of neutrality, although being part of Ainesia has put a damper on that.

It does not favor spreading the Revolution any further.  If anything, Volkstorm believes that Ainesia has the potential to build great things should it focus as hard as it did in the Revolution Wars.  It wants to inspire new great works, things that'll draw attention to Ainesia and make them eager to repeat the greatness they'd begun.