Saturday, December 10, 2016

Princess of Glass and Fire

In the distant lands of the sun, where life is blood and fire, the astrologers of the day and the seers of fire have looked into the future and seen only darkness. A world consumed by an unknown danger, from a distant land. Hiding the relic of their people, they have sent their princess to warn the other nations across the waves of salt to warn the other peoples.

She is Citlalmina, a proud warrior from one of the more powerful tribes, sent with enchanted gifts to help her with this sacred quest. The first is the Tecuini, tattoos that span her short but powerful frame, dark red on her dark brown skin. They increase her might, making her stronger as blood is spilled upon her skin, be it from friend, foe, or the princess herself. Her second gift is an enchanted macuahuitl, said to have been taken from a god, which can shrink and grow at its owner’s will, becoming as small as a kitchen knife or large enough to lift sand dunes on its side, though it would also become too heavy for any mortal to lift.

This hopeful saviour of the world is young, and short of stature, but has proven herself in numerous battles, and has earned the right to fulfill this quest. Her clothing is mostly the thin, green robes she would wear in her arid homeland, with more maneuverable underclothes so that she can always be ready if attacked.

When dealing with a battle or a city, she has a very direct way of dealing with things, a tendency to ignore complications and take the clear solution, unless someone she trusts advises against it. Having crossed the great sea by herself, there’s no telling what she’ll find in this strange land, but perhaps she’ll find friends who can help her stop the unknown terror that’s coming.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Tribes of the Rialos

To the west lies a vast desert, such that no man can truly claim to have crossed it, though there are myths among the natives that the gods live beyond the sands. The peoples of Rialos aren’t a true nation, but rather a group of tribes with a fluid alliance, showing preference with who they choose to aid. The Rialos desert holds little to support large populations, but beneath the sands can be found great veins of metal and ore, and once the ancient temples full of ambrosia. With so few ready to become knights, the magic of this land is largely built into golems, which are essentially their armies and their currency, at least for the wealthy.

The majority of these golems are about human sized, known as knave class, with just enough intelligence and physical power to make them excellent slaves or decent soldiers. Smaller golems of goblin class are also used, but only somewhat rarely, as they can only perform very simple, easy tasks such as fetching a small object for their master, or unfold a rug. Even more rare are the knight class golems, equivalent in size to the majority of arcan armour, usually around four meters tall. These golems possess great strength and near-human intelligence, but without a soul their minds are strange and unknowable, and so they are only created with great caution as advisors or bodyguards for the wealthiest tribes.

Southern tribes of the Rialos are the most war torn, often embroiled in vicious battles with the powerful Omassan Empire, territory quickly changing hands between the hardy Rialos people and the island natives of Omassa. The eastern nation of Gillianos is likewise occupied battling the Empire, though they cannot be counted as allies to the Rialos tribes, and often end up in skirmishes whenever encountered.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The City of Masks

The city of masks lies secluded in the midst of a dense forest, and can only be found through a few paths, somewhat hidden amongst the trees and undergrowth. But what is remarkable about this place is that the people wear mask whenever in public, because exposing one’s face in public is seen as vulgar and uncouth. In the city, one’s mask is a symbol of status and position, and there are a wide variety of masks for every profession. Masks produced here are obviously quite advanced, some of the more expensive masks are said to be able to stay on without straps or holsters of any kind, perhaps kept in place by some sort of magic. Interestingly, the city is also home to many of the world’s greatest singers, despite an otherwise lack of musical culture, with no instruments known to have their origins there, though some of the greatest singers in the entire world were born and even remain there.

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Gates and the Towers

When one looks into one of the Gates, they are no longer human. They become a Witness, gifted with supernatural powers, command over the elements of their chosen god, though this power will burn at their mind and body.

There are three such Gates, at the top of each of the greatest towers in the world. The Heart of Light, crackling with holy power and eternally shining with blinding light, it is the center around which Ravi Shahar has been built, the greatest city in the known world, a place of everlasting day. A Witness of the Light is granted powers over light and darkness, metal, and even lightning.

The Fist of the Flame, the second Gate, eternally burning and roaring with a deafening flame, burns above Stahlturm. The walls of the tower are reinforced and thickened, and many layers of padding have been added by most residents to drown out the roar of the flaming god. A Witness of the Flame is given command of fire and ice, sound and movement.

The third and final Gate, the Maw of Shadows, the gate of crushing darkness, rests above Kagenoyama, burning its curse into the entire area. A Witness of the Dark is given dark powers over decay, weight, and curses themselves, but is certainly doomed to be cursed themselves, and to become like the twisted denizens of the swamp around the mountain.

No one knows where the Towers came from, or who built them. They have existed since long before men, and truly no one can understand the artifacts and demons that reside within them. Many of these artifacts are wonderful tools, like the Sacred Pools or the Eyes of Journey. Some are deadly weapons, like the Rods of Hatred, which twist anything targetted until it shatters into countless shards. But whatever must have built these towers, and these tools, must bee soon to return, surely?

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Arcan Age

Since the dawn of man, the first castles of stone and the first clothes of leather, there has been magic. But magic did not exist before. It could not have, for magic works strongest with humans. Humans can cast magic, and humans can be affected by magic. There is also a way to store magic without a human body, a substance that has long been known as Ambrosia. It takes the appearance of a thin, opaque liquid, which glows when imbued with magical energy.

Ambrosia was found deep underground, pillaged and harvested from caves, ruins, and underground temples, it was the key to enchanted items. One could infuse the fluid with magic, attach it to the item that was intended to gain magical properties, and it would often outlast even the creator. Like magic itself, enchantment works best on the humanoid form, requiring much more ambrosia to infuse non humanoid items, meaning that armour could be enchanted more easily than weapons or other items.

During the Age of Adventure, many heroes would delve underground to gather ambrosia and ancient artifacts, until the Lady Intalgo commissioned a suit of armour so large and thick that it was impossible for any human to move in, but enchanted it to be lighter and move with her body's motions. This sparked the discovery that larger suits of armour could be enchanted with more powerful than smaller ones, meaning that the larger one's armour was, the more powerful they could be.

With this discovery, the Arcan Age began, and the collecting of ambrosia from dungeons became trivial, and all known caves were explored and harvested within a year. The more ambrosia a kingdom had, the more powerful they would be. But with all ambrosia harvested from underground, there was only one way to obtain more; from other nations.

Suits are classed by size, and also by type. A knight class suit is roughly two to three times the size of a human, and are the most commonly owned by private nobles. The previous standard of armour, now known as a knave class, is more common as a golem, magically animated beings that are commonly used as slaves and symbols of status among desert nations, where raw materials are numerous and common, but human pilots are rarer to come by.

Goblin class is roughly half the size of a human, and are almost exclusively golems, dumber and weaker than their knave class counterparts, only used as minor personal servants, though there are few actual suits of goblin class, little more than holsters for ambrosia. There are also very few knight class golems, though they possess an alien, inhuman intelligence and great strength, meaning that only the most ambitious desert lords are willing to create them.

Beyond knight class, there are ogre class suits, much larger and requiring multiple people to command, used by the mountain kingdoms where all things are owned by the king. They have even built a scarce few giant class suits, which require no less than five users, working in perfect tandem. The teams for these suits must be trained together from birth, and so they are quite rare weapons of incredible power, used only in the most important battles.

This war has continued for years, with no sign of ceasing, and there are rumors of dark, twisted methods of drawing out ambrosia from human sacrifices, or suits that could even dwarf the giant class in size, though these rumors are unlikely, as such a thing would surely be impossible. The stars watch in silence as the kingdoms of men wage war for power, dying by the thousands so that others may kill their kings' enemies.