Sunday, August 24, 2014

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.