Friday, September 5, 2014

The Center Cannot Hold: Kainen, Ocrid, and Doom

Kainen, the Silent Power
The word Ocrid often is used to describe the ninth human tribe and the continent they occupy.  However, this name is the same as the Ithic explorer who was the first from the Maru Sea region to come to their lands.  Ocrid discovered them, then reported their existence to the rest of the world.

When Ith and Ainesian powers tried to colonize Ocrid, they were driven off by an ancient power.  It was enough to discourage any further attempts at the time- then the Revolution Wars happened, distracting the nations of the Maru Sea from looking at the "new" continent for some time.  The Nation of Kainen took this as a sign that foreigners would be leaving their soil alone, and they refocused their efforts at stemming the problems the foreigners had caused.  Disease ran rampant among them, and new traders kept appearing, bringing new animals and wonders that threw the rulers of Kainen into crisis after crisis.

Kainen is an ancient nation, whose origins date back to the first invasion of the Ursyklon.  The lonely continent they took for a home used to be the epicenter of the Aboleth's power on Orphos.  The Kainen, who take their name from the first Ursyklon Ranger, chose to keep a vigil over the festering land the Aboleth had experimented on.  The Kainen maintain the potent magicks that keep the Aboleth imprisoned, even though the secrets of how those magicks were created have long been lost.

The Nation of Kainen is a nation of frontiers.  The Ursyklon rule over vast tribes and clans of Ocridese, who fight over stretches of territories in ancient traditions most other humans could never recognize.  Kainen is also home to bizarre creations of the Aboleth, herbal wonders unknown in the Maru Sea, and vast wealth of untapped resources most in the Maru Sea would gladly fight for.

The Zan.
A race of tiny and diminitive humanoids, these creatures are descended from Aboleth experiments on humans.  Why the Aboleth sought to create such tiny creatures baffled most Kainen.  The Zan possess great powers tied to magic, capable of manipulating abjuration magicks innately.  Some Kainen wonder if the Zan were intended to act as some sort of new weapon for the Aboleth, shutting down elemental assaults of the Ursyklon.  The Zan enjoy the protections of the Kainen, seeing the recent plagues among the humans of Kainen as a potential for growth of their own kind.
A few Zan even are curious about journeying outside Kainen, eager to see the world that the foreigners came from.

The Flowerfolk.
Sentient beings born of plants, the Flowerfolk were spawned by the Aboleth, first as a shadow assault.  They struck at the Ursyklon using the same nature magic the Ursyklon relied on for war.  The Aboleth's creations betrayed them, and the long-lived flowerfolk these days work with the Kainen.  Their coastal villages are ancient, many of them so old that they remember the day they first choose to help the Ursyklon.  Plants, and not animals, the Flowerfolk are easily offended by the misuse of any plant, finding the burning of wood or gardening disgusting.  They come into frequent conflict with the Humans in Kainen.  The Ursyklon have long kept the two races from going to outright war.  But recent years are making the Ursyklon of Kainen less and less able to keep back the conflict.

The Feyborn.
Generations of awakened animals and druid-monitored breeding has created vast villages of talking, intelligent animals in Kainen.  These animals are born as intelligent as any human.  The work for the greater cause of the Kainen, often providing the numbers the Kainen need.
The Feyborn worry for their Ursyklon friends.  After Ocrid arrived, new crises keep pushing back the power of the Kainen, making the Feyborn animals more and more concerned on the long-term ramifications.  They wonder if maybe they too, should look abroad for opportunities in case the Kainen fall.

The Aether-Blooded.
A few of the Ather-Blooded fled to Kainen long ago, seeking a land removed from enemies and temptation.  Some of these aid the Kainen, using their immortality and knowledge to help the Ursyklons fight the many horrors of their land.  Other Aether-Blooded however, feed slowly off some of the old magicks keeping the Aboleths and their ancient technology back.  These Aether-Blooded aid the Aboleth, understanding fully the consequences.  To them, the Aboleth are a chance to get back at more ancient enemies, to strike at the Ursyklon and the other Aether-Blooded who manipulate and control the powers to the east.

The Kainen.
The Ursyklon of Kainen have always been few.  Even though theirs is a silent and strong nation, they have a dark secret.  The Aboleth long ago began a campaign of disease assaults on them.  Generations of Ursyklon have died in childbirth on their continent, too close to the Aboleth to avoid their bio-crafted assaults.
Worse still are the wilder, savage races the Kainen can't control.  Crafted by the Aboleth, Lizardfolk and other horrors attack their settlements regularly.  Now with their human tribes falling to outsider diseases, the Kainen grow desperate.  The Wolf Mother can aid them, but not enough to stave off the end.  Instead, a new generation of Kainen journey west, heeding the call of Shraxes, determined to have the Caged One grant them the wish they so desperately need answered.

*****

Ok.  Now for something complete different.  Mostly musing, this is stuff I'll probably never use in Crux.  Here is my American frontier analog for the setting, with a strong dash of cthonic siege going on.  The Kainen are failing to keep the ancient war machines of the Aboleth at bay- which might herald a resurgence in the Ursyklon's ancient foes.

Thanks for reading.   Comments are welcome.  Good ideas are praised, bad ideas ignored and great ideas stolen outright.  See you around the bend.