Monday, 12 December 2011

Deities of Solpertaine part One

Abarta loves upsetting anyone who seems too attached to an ordered life and a predictable routine. He urges his followers to bend every effort toward mastering the art of music. He also teaches that life is meant to be happy and entertaining, and the best jokes need a target to hang them on. The tables can turn on any trickster, and Abarta's followers should accept the laugh and appreciate the trick when it happens to them. Wine, Abarta says, is one of the joys of life, and the only thing better than making wine is drinking it. Avoid misery, temperance, and solemnity, for they are the greatest poisons to the soul.

Aeris expects her followers to uphold the highest ideals of wisdom, reason and purity. She expects her followers to fight in defence of home and state against outside enemies, and to be skilled in the arts of peace as well as war. Aeris was the first to teach mortals many of the civilised arts, she also created the olive tree as a gift to mortals. Aeris is warlike, but only in defence of things she believes are worth protecting, such as cities, towns and planted fields. She opposes the destructive rampages of her half-brother, Erythnul, whenever and however she can. Aeris is the sister of Isis and mother of Uller.

To Cennabine, victory is the only thing that matters. As such, she is a somewhat shallow being who thinks only of conflict and ultimate triumph. If a problem or situation can't be described in terms of conflict, with definite conditions for declaring victory, Cennabine considers it beneath her notice. However, as a lawful deity, she does not approve of deceit or subterfuge. Victory comes to the deserving: the brave, the noble and the forthright. A victory ignobly won is no victory at all. Cennabine appears as a tall winged woman, though she can take other forms.

Demeter guides the cycle of a family through the days, seasons, and years of life. Her obsession with dates and cycles makes her a patron of expectant mothers. She is shown as a grey-haired woman of faded beauty holding a basket of grain and a long scroll, with the objects being her holy symbol. She resents chaotic gods and any who would disrupt her work. A well-run farm and strong family both rely on the adherence to routines, an understanding of relationships, and the consequences of actions. Animals will not thrive unless they are cared for, fields cannot be planted unless they are prepared, and grain won't last through the winter unless rationing is kept. Spouses must respect each other, children must obey their parents, and parents should love and teach their children. Ignoring these commands leads to ruin. Clerics of Demeter coordinate groups of farmers so that everyone's crops are planted and harvested at the optimal time, mediate between warring family members, care for pregnant women, and officiate coming-of-age and marriage ceremonies. They enforce laws and punish lawbreakers where other officials are unavailable. Most city folk see them as emissaries of law because of their single-minded dedication in following their quarry to places far from home.

Erythnul is a brutal deity who delights in panic and slaughter. In civilised lands his followers (including evil fighters, barbarians and rogues) form small criminal cults. In savage lands evil barbarians, gnolls, bugbears, ogres and trolls commonly worship him. Erythnul admonishes his followers to shed blood for it's own sake, to covet what is not theirs, and to destroy anyone who would deny them anything. He further urges them to bring ugliness and strife to pleasant locales. To take something away from someone else – especially from a rival – is an exalted act in Erythnul's eyes. Foes who cannot be killed should be maimed, and that which cannot be stolen should be destroyed.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Human Races of Solpertaine

The Cilhadrai are the northernmost of the races of men and live along the coastlines of the Great Dragon Sea beneath the gaze of the Spine of the World. A wild and primal people, they have learned to live in the harsh climate and unforgiving temperament at the top of the world. Accomplished hunters and sailors, they live off the spoils of the land and sea and sometimes sail many leagues south to raid their neighbours and colonise the more pleasant lands of the Tuel or to trade with the cities of the Pomeraine. Cilhadrai settlements are mainly built from timber and rough stone and care is taken to blend in with the natural landscape, a trait taught to them from the Ljoiralfar who consider them their successors now that they are fading from this world. Names are based on physical features (Redhead, Bloodeye), deeds done (Giantkiller, Truebow) or with the affix son or dottir if they are the descendent of a great hero. The Cilhadrai language has no written form, all information is passed word of mouth and as such the culture has a great tradition of storytelling and song.

Favoured Classes :- Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Barbarian, Sorcerer

The Tuel are a hardy collection of tribes and nations that are highly adept at assimilating the many assaults that have been thrown at them over the centuries and making the cultural incursions part of their own society. From invasions by the Lysanden Empire to tribes pushed westwards by Eastlander raids and recently the southward colonisation by Cilharai groups, the Tuel have taken skills and knowledge from all and have become stronger for it. They are keen farmers and the many rivers that cross their territory keep the fields irrigated as well as providing a means of transport between the many villages and towns as well as supplying excellent fishing. Tuel religion is quite dour and that reflects the many hardships these people have been through, although celebrations and holy days are joyous, full of wild abandonment and a welcome release from the toils of the soil.

Favoured Classes :- Cleric, Fighter, Paladin, Rogue, Wizard, Druid

The Sulmaneesh people are spiritually tied to the lands in which they live by a complex set of codes and laws known as Al-Qadim. These laws can make them seem intimidating to outsiders but if a little time is taken to understand their ways then the warm and generous hosts they are will shine through. Builders of the first cities and creators of civilization, their peak is now long behind them although the advances they have made are still rippling across the world with discoveries in medicine, architecture and mathematics only recently influencing other cultures. Active traders, they provide links and trade routes north to the Cilhadrai, east all the way to the Empire of the Lotus and south to The Burning Lands, enriching themselves all the more not only with goods and valuables but with the knowledge of these far off lands.

Favoured Classes :- Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Bard

Reclusive and isolated at the far east of the continent, Eastlander culture has developed away from outside influences to become the most advanced and developed in the world today. The cities of the Empire of the Lotus maintain a strict discipline among it's populous which has led to the continuity needed to develop scientific and cultural advances, although rivalries amongst the noble houses sometimes erupts into open hostility and warfare. The emperor has to maintain a delicate juggling act with his courtiers while keeping the warrior tribes of the north at bay and also reducing damages done by rebel forces in the riverlands of the south. Religion revolves around the many aspects of Taiia, whose favours are either enjoyed or endured by all in this mysterious land, and whose help is certainly needed to face the dangers which burden them.
Favoured Classes :- Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Wizard, Monk

The Exiles arrived on this world 2,500 years ago after a magical schism on their home world allowed the forces of Chaos to flood in and devour all that laid before them. Only the advanced rituals of their arch-wizards allowed a few thousand to escape through the multiverse to settle in the warm plains of the south. Since then they have spread along the coast to the detriment of any nomadic clans of the Burning Ones who travelled through the newly claimed territory. Although highly courteous and polite among their own, the Exiles can display a deep strain of xenophobia to other races which can range from aloofness to outright racism and hostility. The courts of the south have sent agents to many corners of the world to seek favour either openly or secretly and suspicions are high, both towards the Exiles and from them to the other cultures of this alien world.

Favoured Classes :- Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, Bard, Sorcerer

The peoples of this culture are the great city and empire builders of modern times. From the days of the early city-states on the coast of the Great Central Sea to the re-emergence of the Holy Empire they have always tried to spread the glory of the Pomeraine to all they have come across in their ever increasing expansion. They are great rivals of the Sulmaneesh whose kingdoms and achievements they envy, and history is filled with the many wars these two peoples have fought against each other. They have also conquered many of the lands of the Tuel in the past and this has led to Sulmaneesh ideas being spread across this area of the world. They are now in a period of relative stability and conciliation, much to the relief of all of their close neighbours
Favoured Classes :- Cleric, Fighter, Paladin, Rogue, Wizard, Bard

Burning Ones
Across the heat soaked plains and wilderness of the south live the Burning Ones. They are usually nomadic or living in small towns and villages but sometimes a great leader will forge a kingdom in the midst of these unforgiving lands. They are experts at utilising whatever their lands can provide for them and are highly skilled at improvising and making use of available resources. The Burning Ones a hardy race, accepting of the fates dealt to themselves whilst maintaining a sense of humour about the capricious nature of the world. Religion is based around the worship of animal archetypes, natural features and the wisdom of the dead and this secret knowledge is closely guarded and never spoken of with explorers and diplomats from the far off lands of the north. The Burning Ones have no written language, but a strong oral and ritualistic tradition to pass on the knowledge of the past.

Favoured Classes :- Ranger, Barbarian, Druid, Sorcerer, Rogue, Bard

And So It Begins...

“Come on in, you look like you've travelled far. A disparate band of holy people, dabblers in the arcane arts, chancers and sell-swords I see. Warm yourselves by the fire and tell me what brings you out here on this rain-swept night. Some old tomb or ancient temple from the past, rumours of gold or evil stirring in dark lairs I'll wager. Well it's a big old world out there and glory and gold are there for the taking. New kingdoms are taking root, old empires are falling away or evolving into new forms, and the peasantry are always under threat from some quarter. There are many that could use a group such as yourselves. You will face difficult choices ahead; who to trust, who to serve and which roads to pursue. You will need to stick together to triumph in the face of overwhelming evil, that's one thing for certain. For however powerful you may become be sure that there is always someone (or thing) mightier than yourself, waiting in the darkness, to strike in that moment of weakness. The friendship that bonds you together can act as a shield against the troubles you will face, more powerful than any dweomer or suit of armour. You will need the wits and abilities of each of you to succeed against the challenges ahead, working in unison with a clear purpose. Many have passed who thought they could stand alone, many have turned to darkness who once had high ideals. Too many graves as the forces of evil rally and insinuate into every corner of the world. But don't let the ramblings of an old man put you off! Suzie, fetch a round of ales for our guests. It's going to be a long night.”