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Tears of Taija: Short List of Important Demons

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Tears of Taija: Short List of Important Demons

Postby MDSnowman » Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:55 pm

Hey all,

I've always believed that M&M is my way to run the fantasy game of my dreams where players can play larger than life characters with powers that break the mold of everything you've come to expect for a fantasy setting.You want to play a Minotaur who can turn himself into stone? Go right ahead. You want to play a fallen Angel with a penache for firearms? I won't stop you. And if you want to play a plucky human swordsman in the same setting and have him go toe to toe with those two? Well that's the beauty of M&M isn't it.

As time goes by I'll be posting bits and peices of my campaign on this thread in order for other people to see it before I actually start a campaign using it. That way I can get input on rules, concepts, and other things.

This just in... we have a banner!
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The World
History of the World: Part 1
Nations of the Continent
Other Lands
A Primer of Hell
The Five: Religious Beliefs of the Cold Ones
Royalty of Darkon: Beleme
Royalty of Darkon: Saltash
Short List of Important Demons

Helene Disato... she's smarter than you
A Treatise on the Nature of Magic
Extra Planar Hijinks
Fear and Undeath in Rooksgate
Creating Life: It's not as fun as it sounds
A Brief History of Trolls
How to talk to Dragons

Races
Common Races: An Outline
Half-Breed Races: An Outline
Legendary Raves: An Outline
Monstrous Races: An Outline
Dwarves
Humans
Kryn
Orcs
Sidhe

Locales
Ghenna Prison
New Harpoon Point

Organizations
Organizations: Part 1
Organizations: Part 2
Organizations: Part 3
Organizations: Part 4
Organizations: Part 5
Organizations: Part 6
Organizations: Part 7
Organizations: Cult of the Nightlord
Organizations: Part 9
Organizations: The Tattered Legion
Organizations: The Carnival of Phantoms
Organizations: Part 12
Organizations: Part 13
Organizations: Part 14
Organizations: Part 15

Rules
Benefit: Status
Equipment
Magical Theory
Skills
Mounts
Sample Mounts
Special Materials
Troll Drones

Player Characters
Dugall Usher
Jade
Makhpia Sha
Lady Vai
Matuzack, The Unbound
Petra Wagner

Maps
Map of Darkon v 0.1 (by MDSnowman)
Map of Darkon v 0.3 (by Pandaman)

Miscellaneous
The Terror of Greymane Pass
The Squire's Revenge
Cadoc of the Blood Sword
The Impregnator
Helene Disato

Design Diaries
1: Inspiration
2: Looking back on The Chase
3: Hopes for Court of Blood
Last edited by MDSnowman on Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:13 pm, edited 73 times in total.
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Postby MDSnowman » Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:04 pm

History of the World: Part 1

They say when the first dawn broke over the world it was the goddess Taija looking for the first time upon our world. She distressed at what she saw, lifelessness, a world devoid of anything approaching what we know of today. So Taija drove her hand into the barren ground and found the heart of the world. She wrapped her hand around it and coaxed it to life. By the time she withdrew her hand the world was green and beautiful, with fields, trees, rivers, seas and mountains. On this green world were animals of all shapes and sizes all happily enjoying what Taija had created. She beheld the gapping maw where her arm had just been and bade for a tree to grow in that hole. A tree grew, and it grew tall, filling the hole and rising far into the sky, further than any mountain.

From that tree grew beings, like fruit, creatures able to think and to reason. Taija picked these fruit and the ones she liked she placed on the ground to live in her world, the ones she found fault with she destroyed. They would not sully her creation. With all of the fruit picked from the tree Taija stepped away from her creation and rested.

- Book of The Flame Bringer’s Warmth, Chapter 1


That is how The Goddess created the world, so say the priests. How long ago that was is anyone’s guess. The furthest back anyone has found written records is the time of the Ancients thousands of years ago. The Ancients supposedly discovered magic, as we know it today. They used that power to build a kingdom that stretched the world. Historians say that they eventually relied on that magic too much, and that it destroyed their race. No one agrees on what happened, some tell apocalyptic tales of magic spires plunging miles to the ground, others say that they simply forgot how to live daily life without having spells in their back pocket and were easy pickings to other creatures. In the end the result was the same, a massive power vacuum.

Into the vacuum rushed a strange race never recorded previously. These Trolls were strange creatures who picked up the pieces of the Ancients’ empires. They proved apt at magic, especially the dark destructive magic that the Ancients had always forbidden. While the Trolls lacked the sheer might of the Ancients they made up for it with tenacity and willingness to be absolutely brutal to their foes. The Trolls enslaved millions as they rebuilt the Ancients’ society in their own image. Those who escaped enslavement did so by running to the most remote places they could find. Such was the state of the world for an age.

Over those years the Trolls’ empire slowly grew encroaching on the hideaways of these people, who had generations ago, fled the Trolls’ onslaught. These primitive tribes fought tooth and nail against the invaders, but lost more ground (not to mention people) every year. Entire races were inching towards extinction or Enslavement by the Trolls.

What happened next has become legend. They say that a human traveler settled down with a tribe of barbaric humans in the far North. When the Trolls began to encroach their ancestral lands they fought, and unlike those before them they were winning. All stories name this traveler, who called himself Krauser, as the source of the barbarians’ success. He was a tactical genius and seemed to have combat and leadership skills that couldn’t be matched. He seemed to be one step ahead of the Trolls, by the time they attacked the region with overwhelming force Krauser had united all of local barbarian tribes, many of whom had been warring against one another for generations, to aid in the defense.

Even as Krauser pushed back the Trolls in the North they suffered setbacks from within. Slaves, trained secretly, were undermining the Trolls at home. These two forces served to chip away at the Trolls’ empire for years.

Many years of this reached a head. Krauser, the human barbarians, the slaves of the Troll Empire, and tribes of other races repressed by the Trolls for centuries all united against the Trolls. In what has been alternatively described as a glorious battle and a wholesale slaughter these combined forces sacked the capital of the Trolls’ empire. The presence of the slaves made it a simple proposition; they simply timed their uprising to match the attack on the capital city. With the center of their empire shattered the Trolls were isolated from one another, making them easy prey for those they had hunted for centuries. Within a decade Trolls were nearly extinct and were driven to some of the same remote corners of the world that they had forced others to.

Amidst the wreckage of the Trolls’ capital city the human barbarians rejoiced, and lauded Krauser for their salvation. Unwillingly the simple traveler became their king. They built a new Kingdom, Merithia, and humanity marched into the future with its head held high.

Now had time ended there it would have made for a perfect story, unfortunately time has a habit of bringing change. Sure, at first Merthia was a shining example to the entire world. King Krauser I established contact with as many different races and civilizations as possible. The respect for Merithia made alliances simple. Before long Merithia was a burgeoning Merithian empire, one maintained not by magic, but by diplomacy and respect. Each region ruled in their traditional manner, but most listened to the advice of King Krauser and his council even going so far as to ask for Merithian military aid in protecting their lands from various threats. Magic even made resurgence; humanity learned of the Ancients’ craft for the first time and began using it to reinforce their society. Of course even King Krauser could not live forever, he died and a world mourned.

From there things spiraled out of control. Military aid became control when conflicts threatened to rip nations apart. All the while subsequent kings distanced themselves from their non-human allies. The use of magic began to grow increasingly more wide spread. It culminated in the creation of a race of animal-men to act as slaves, a clever way of getting around laws set forth by Krauser I against slavery. And to top it off the success of the growing Merithian empire gave way to decadence amongst the people. Now this didn’t happen overnight. As a matter of fact it took damn near one thousand years to reach fruition.

The Merithian Empire’s last gasp of greatness came with the rule of Jerod IV. On a trip across the burning wastes to the lands of The Golden Sands he met a beautiful priestess of a local religion. He was smitten and he courted her openly, even going as far as to convert to the Priestess’ faith in a goddess called Taija instead of the ancestor worship prevalent in the Empire. By the time he returned from the East he and this Priestess, Heliosse, were wed. While most sources agree that Jerod was a mediocre ruler focused more on his own pleasures than effective rule of the empire, not unusual at that time, Heliosse was a wise woman who sought to heal the empire with a series of initiatives. The largest of which was placing the worship of Taija as the official state religion. While this caused friction with some, most people were not interested in the old faith and took up this new one without much trouble. Before long the Merithian Empire experienced a brief golden age of unity under the Empress Heliosse.

That didn’t stop the inevitable however; the outlying regions that had been ruled militarily for generations began to resent the lifestyle of their rulers, unrest in these regions went on in various places for decades. They almost always ended with the region regaining its own self-rule by driving out those loyal to the empire. Years of these conflicts weakened the military of the empire gravely, so much so that when unrest arose within their own core they were unable to fight it off. These dissidents, mostly hard line worshippers of the old ancestor spirits forced underground, rose against their own country and affected its eventual collapse. Of course they had the benefit of fighting against a corrupt government, a decadent populace, and a caste of magic users with little interest in actually helping.

One would expect that a new empire would rise to replace the old, but that was not the case. Those nations that had won their independence retained it, what remained of the Merithian Empire simply immigrated to new lands. There was a great sense of sadness at losing the great empire, but no one wished to recreate it. These nations evolved independently of one another wishing to have as little contact with the others as possible. The only thing these nations had in common was the Church of Taija, from its grand temple it still held a great deal of sway.

Two hundred and fifty years after the fall of the Merithian Empire the world is dark place, simply because so much fear exists. Nations fear one another, they fear their wilderness, and above all they fear Witches. Magic has been outlawed because of the evils it has unleashed upon the world, and those who show magical abilities, Witches, are ostracized, and often hunted.
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Postby Rene » Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:18 pm

I wish you were my GM. I'm sorta tired of medieval games where you has to play the equivalent of a "Level 1" character with no backstory.

Me and my friends played a cool game once that was more ancient history than medieval, with us playing as demigods and heroes of Greek Myth, but the game didn't last much more than 4 or 5 sessions.

That was the only "fantasy" game I played in that we were "great heroes", instead of just one more pack of beginners.
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Postby MDSnowman » Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:53 pm

Below are several "normal" races in the campaign setting. Players are in no way limited to these, but they give a nice outline of some of the politics of the campaign world. You'll also notice that there are no statistical elements yet, these are just brief outlines.

Common Races (An Outline):

Humans:
Far and away the most powerful race of sentient beings on the continent Humans rule the five Kingdoms that once made up the Merithian Empire. They are also the backbone of the Church of Taija, few other races being represented substantially in the church’s ranks.

Sidhe: These forest people seem, at first glance, little better than savages. The truth is that they have one of the oldest civilizations anywhere. However, the Sidhe are in dire straits these days. Those who have moved to the cities and embraced the worship of Taija, the Daoine Sidhe, have found themselves in demand because of their ancient knowledge, but those who have stubbornly stayed behind in the forest, the Lledrith Sidhe, are seen as little better than heretics for keeping their old ways alive.

Dwarves: Long ago the Dwarves ruled the mountainous regions of the continent, toiling in subterranean cities. They were the first race to smelt steel, they perfected the first fire arm, and even today they are the premiere inventors in the known world. However, the vast majority of Dwarves are currently either slaves to human masters, or forced to live in “Dwarven Quarters” racially segregated ghettos in many human cities. They are one of the few races besides humans that have significant numbers worshipping the goddess Taija however.

Orcs: If any race has been the victim of the Church of Taija’s policies’ it’s the Orcs. The Orcs have been desert and plains nomads for uncounted generations, and the Desert society that gave birth to the Church of Taija had long been openly hostile with the Orcish Nomads. So much so that Taija teaches that Orcs had been the original humans, and that their savage natures displeased her so she twisted them into their current form and discarded them. The Orcs take issue with this, and the centuries of attempted genocide stemming from this religious teaching, Orcs and Humans don’t get along.

Kryn: These races of Cat-like people were created by the ancient mages of the Merithian Empire in an effort to get around their laws against slavery. The Kryn became the slaves of the Merithian ruling class. They served in all manner of roles eventually giving rise to specific breeds on Kryn, each preferred for a different kind of service. However, when the empire began to fall apart the Kyrn rose up and slaughtered their masters, escaping the crumbling society en mass and taking to the sea where they founded their own island country. One hundred years ago the Kyrn returned offering their services as mercenaries. These Kyrn are dangerous combatants and work under their own rules.
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Postby MDSnowman » Sat Jun 28, 2008 8:32 am

Nations:

Dennigrad is a small Northern country in the mountains. The Dennigrad region was long known as the source of many of the greatest military minds of the old Empire. After the Empire those military minds turned to squabbling over their nation. After a protracted war one Captain Saavratine found himself on the top of the heap. He declared himself General and King. Ever since he, and his successors, have run Dennigrad as a military state. Centuries of warfare have turned this tiny nation into a power to be feared. They have also pioneered the majority of technological innovations since the fall of the empire due to the vast number of Dwarves living in their famed mining cities.

Beleme is a sprawling nation to the West. Of the nations left after the fall of the empire Beleme held fast to the old customs more than others. That is to say they have a very rigidly defined class system where the peasants work for the benefits of the nobles who run the nation on a day to day basis. Another thing that defines Beleme is their devotion to the church of Taija. While it’s the official religion of the entire continent it has an especially powerful presence in Beleme being almost as powerful as the noble class. As such Beleme has the harshest laws regarding the use of magic and punishment for Witches.

Limberry is a small nation bordering Beleme. It’s the cultural center of the entire continent. Art, music, literature, and opera, the majority of the continents high culture originated in Limberry. On top of that it is also the seat of the Church of the Great Dawn, Taija’s orthodox religious organization. From the halls of Grand Temple of Saint Heliosse religious policy is issued which has wide reaching influence all over the continent. By and large the church allows the nobles to run the nation, only taking direct control when the nobles come to an impasse or work against the church’s wide reaching interests.

Saltash is a sprawling nation in the Southeast of the continent. Saltash has an extremely warm climate in most portions, ranging from tropical jungles in the South, swamps in the center, and primeval forest in the North. Saltash is a dangerous place in many ways. The terrain is often unfriendly, civilization is sparse, and the Noble caste that rules the country are cut throat in maintaining control. That being said the region is also the continent’s center of learning, with its universities being as respected as those in Limberry, more so in many regards.

The Eastern Reaches is a blanket term for a collection of City States that dot the landscape from the Rune Wood South of Dennigrad to the Dragonspine Mountains bordering the Golden Sands beyond. By and large the City States trade amongst themselves, and occasionally battle. The Eastern Reaches would be irrelevant if it weren’t for the fact that these cities form the easiest route from the nations of the Golden Sands to the rest of the continent. As such each City State is focused, to a large degree, on trade, and defending their territory from Orcish Nomads.
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Postby MDSnowman » Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:16 am

Other Lands:

Far off of the Southern Coast of Saltash are the Hurricane Islands. In the old days of the Empire these islands used to serve as the home of the Elemental Scions who drew power from the winds. They were stamped out by the end of the Imperial era. Soon afterwards the Islands became the home of the Kyrn race as they left slavery and started their own culture. In many ways the culture of the Kyrn is built upon that of the Elemental Scions. However, the Kyrn are also wary of Outsiders and only allow a fixed number of foreign ships to land on their Islands in any given year.

Far to the west is the Land of the Golden Sands a seemingly endless expanse of desert that is home to ancient civilizations that have been thriving for thousands of years. Over the centuries they have traded many rare resources with the rest of the world. Perhaps their most famous export is the Goddess Taija whose faith dominates the Western Continent.

Travel far enough North and you’ll eventually reach The Bleak North. The Bleak North is a largely uninhabited land surrounded in mystery. It was believed that many of the old human barbarian tribes originated in these lands and migrated South when the weather became impossible to survive. Many have speculated at the type of treasures that may exist in the Bleak North. Explorations leave every decade or so in search for whatever there is to find, few ever return.
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Postby MDSnowman » Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:31 pm

Status:

Throughout the continent social status plays a large role in one’s day to day life. In some nations the classes are so rigidly separated that in some cases to engage in conversation with someone of higher status is a serious offense. Status can be purchased through use of the benefit feat. One doesn’t need to take the benefit feat to have a character from a certain caste, but in order to gain benefits during play from being a member of a certain caste one must have the feats. One must also realize that this scale works best for the human society most common in the campaign setting and applies to that society best. Orcish society would have different names for ranks, would be less rigidly defined, and would be less likely to be respected by humans.

Rank 0: Commoner / Tradesman / Merchant.The vast majority of humanity falls into this category. Depending on the nation they hail from this caste make their living toiling for the noble classes. Your average commoner sees little money in their lifetimes. Instead after they have given a share of their toils to the upper classes they barter the remainder to feed themselves, and their families. The majority of adventurers come from this particular caste as taking up a sword is a relatively easy way to make money and rise above the circumstances of their birth.

Rank 1: Knights / Priests / Lower Nobles This rank is populated by those men and women who make up the lowest orders of nobility. They wield little true political power on their own, instead enforcing order upon those below them. Any newly ordained Priest in the faith of Taija also falls within this category.

Rank 2: Landed Aristocrats. This nobles are, by and large distinguished by having control of large tracks of land that they are charged with maintaining in the name of their superiors. By and large those of Rank 1 (see above) serve these Aristocrats directly. This level is also appropriate to priests who control a sizable church with attached lands, usually city bishops and the like.

Rank 3: Lower Royalty. The name of this caste speaks for itself. People of this rank are at the top of the heap in their respective societies. They may be twentieth in line for the throne, but that still makes them due more respect than a Count or a Baron. Of course the lowest order of royalty are almost never in the immediate family of the high royalty. The downside is that the only way to become more powerful at this level is to wipe out large portions of one's old family.

Rank 4: High Royalty. These people are few and far between. You're in the immediate family of the ruling family of one country or another. Your word is law in most quarters and people tremble at your anger. This level also represents the Elder Priests of Taija as they only answer, in Theory, to the Voice of the Sun.

:arrow: These Benefit rules are updated to reflect rules from Warriors and Warlocks. As with W&W these feats provide a +2/+3/+4/+5 bonus on all social skill checks to impress locals in your own country.
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Postby JoshuaDunlow » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:45 am

Hey MD, awesome stuff you got here. Look forward to seeing more :D
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Postby MDSnowman » Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:23 am

JoshuaDunlow wrote:Hey MD, awesome stuff you got here. Look forward to seeing more :D

Thanks, I've been sitting on a lot of this for a while and decided to share it before I actually started to run anything in the campaign world.
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Postby JoshuaDunlow » Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:29 am

Always a good idea, i really enjoyed the concept of your Religious Background and the beginning of the world. I think i've heard of something like that long time back, but damn me if i can remember it now.
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Postby MDSnowman » Sun Jun 29, 2008 12:06 pm

JoshuaDunlow wrote:Always a good idea, i really enjoyed the concept of your Religious Background and the beginning of the world. I think i've heard of something like that long time back, but damn me if i can remember it now.

I pretty much ripped the intelligent races as fruit religious metaphor off from Legend of Dragoon.
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Postby MDSnowman » Sun Jun 29, 2008 1:59 pm

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Orcs:

Orcs are known for their ability to survive. Regardless of where you go in the world odds are there is at least a small tribe of Orcs clinging to existence. They are consummate hunters, cavalry men, and known for their brutal combat tactics. Most Orcs eschew living in settlements choosing instead to live in small nomadic groups carving out a life in a large geographical area.

Personality: Life is hard. You either learn to be harder or you die. This world view is born of the fact that wherever Orcs go they are often assumed to be monsters. When you can’t depend on anyone but your tribe you start to look at everyone else as an obstacle. Orcs are an extremely self sufficient people. Wherever a tribe roams the Orcs know how to survive, and to thrive. Orcs are not stupid, they know they have a fierce reputation and tend to take advantage of it when it suits them, playing the mindless beast when that’s what expected and preparing complex plans when their foes aren’t looking.

Physical Description: Orcs stand at an average of just under six feet tall and are very broad, most males weighing in the neighborhood of two hundred and twenty pounds. Women are only slightly shorter, but tend to weigh much less, being lither than the men. Orcs tend to have prominent lower jaws, and lower canines. Orcs are usually identified by their skin color, which seems to be a function of their natural environment. Within a generation of moving into a new region Orcs skin color changes to allow them to blend in better. Therefore Orcs on the continent are usually green skinned as they live in forests or the plains of the Eastern Reaches. However in The Golden Sands their skin is a deep tan color. Should one find a group of cave dwelling Orcs their skin would be black, white in the arctic and so on and so forth. Orcs dress mostly in hides, preferring to keep any armor light as to not load down their mounts. Orcs are considered adults after a rite of passage at the age of thirteen and an Orc who reaches the age of forty is considered an elder. Few, if any, Orcs live past the age of sixty.

Relations: Orcs are largely defined by their relationship with Humans. Old religious texts from the Golden Sands claim that Orcs were the original design for humanity, but when the Goddess saw their savageness she twisted their forms into their current shapes and discarded them assuming that they would die. The fact that they had the gall to survive is considered by many humans an insult to the Goddess. Whether this is true or not is anyone’s guess, but the result is the same. Humans and Orcs are antagonistic towards one another with most needing little provocation for violence to erupt. Orcs, however, are not entirely without friends. In the forests they are often allied with Lledrith Sidhe as they have common foes and life styles that resemble one another vaguely. Orcs have a cool, at best, view on Dwarves, and greatly respect the might of Krynish mercenaries.

Orcish Lands: Orcs do not have lands per se. Instead they choose a large rustic area and follow the local game throughout that area using the game to feed, cloth, and supply themselves with other necessities. If Orcs happen to live in an area with especially hostile humans they often supplement this hunter gather existence with small scale banditry as well. Wherever you find Orcs, however, you are also likely to find their preferred mounts, dire wolves, or in rare cases dire boars or great cats. Orcs are renowned for their riding skill and most treat their mount as a member of the family. The mount returns this devotion by fighting fiercely on their master’s behalf.

Religion: Orcish religion tends to be a mixture of totemic and ancestor worship. Each tribe worships various animal spirits holding one above the other as their tribal totem. Orcs will go to great lengths to appease the animal spirits. Each Orc is proclaimed, the tribe’s shaman, to have a particular animal spirit inside of them once they finish their childhood rite of passage. Furthermore the spirits of the deceased tribe members are said to watch over the tribe, protecting them from threats from the spirit world. Occasionally, instead of an animal spirit a young Orc will be proclaimed to have an ancestor spirit inside of them. Much is expected from those young ones. Orcish religious figures generally come in two varieties. The first are the Totemic Shaman who speak with the animal spirits, and in certain rare cases are able to call upon those spirits for aid. The second are the Ancestor Shaman. These are extremely rare and are considered to be conduits for the collective wisdom of an entire tribe. Some such Shaman have even been witnessed tapping into ancient knowledge they have no business knowing in order to protect their tribe.

Language: Orcs have a simple language where two letter sounds equal words. These words are often differentiated through emphasis on one letter or another making Orcish a surprisingly complex language for outsiders to learn. Orcs also have a written language, despite what many believe. In it a simple rune represents a word or idea. Several runes have multiple meaning which gives insight into the Orcish mindset. One of the most telling cases is that the Orcish rune for anger, vengeance, and deity are all the same. When one understands that Orcish religion doesn’t see the spirits they worship as gods, and their relationship with humans and their religion it’s easy to see how all three got lumped together.

Names: Orcs are granted a personal name upon birth but are not given a surname. This is in part because a young Orc is raised by the entire tribe, and also because they are given a surname upon finishing their rite of passage. The surname an Orc is given during their rite of passage always represents something unique about the Orc, either a feature, deed, or skill that they have displayed during their short life.

Tribal Names: Each Orcish tribe names itself after its tribal totem animal as well as some other feature; sometimes a color, a weapon, a type of attack, geographic feature, and the like.

Suggested Orcish Racial Traits:
Abilities: +2 Constitution
Skills: Ride 4, Survival 4
Powers: Feature 1 (Camouflage Skin; 1pp), Super Senses 1 (Scent, 1pp)

New Feature:
Camouflage Skin. A character with this feature picks a type of geographical terrain. When in that terrain, or something close to it they receive a +5 on all stealth checks.
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Postby Psistrike » Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:01 pm

Great stuff so far, MD. Can't wait to see more of this. Plus the first post with the ideas for characters, I hope to see some NPCs like those 3 examples. :D
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Postby MDSnowman » Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:41 pm

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Kryn:

When Krauser I took the throne as the King of what would become the Merthian Empire his first edict was that no intelligent being would make property of another. With one edict he’d told the entire world that though he had unseated the Troll’s Empire he would not replace him. Three hundred years of decaying morality later imperial magisters had begun experimenting with magic powerful enough to create a new species of intelligent creature. An enterprising wizard, with an eye for small print, hit upon an idea. This cat-like race, the Kryn, did not exist when Krauser I made his declaration, what more they were not divinely created. As such the great edict did not apply to them. The courts bought this argument and the Kryn officially became the slave race of the empire. When the empire crumbled the Kryn rose up against their masters, and started an exodus to the South. When they reached the shore they bought ships with their masters’ stolen riches and set sail across the Southern sea toward the Hurricane Islands. The Kryn were forgotten over the next hundred and fifty years until their ships reappeared in Saltashian ports. The Kryn had returned and began offering their service as mercenaries to interested parties throughout the continent. While Kryn are an increasingly common sight on the continent few, if any, have any idea about their closed society on the Hurricane Islands.

Personality: Family, Mercenary Clan, Race. These are the most important things, in order, to a Kryn. Every cub is taught in their cradle about where their people come from, and how they were used by the powers that be. By the time the cub can walk he, or she, knows that the only people they can trust are their family, their Mercenary clan, and other Kryn. This is so deeply ingrained that the greatest taboo a Kryn can commit is to kill another Kryn. When dealing with people who do not fall into their trusted circle Kryn are usually either cold, or in some cases just outright shy. When under contract Krynish mercenaries will stick to the letter of the contract unless it brings them into conflict with other Kryn. As such Krynish mercenary parties seldom leave home without a scribe trained specifically to negotiate contracts. When amongst those that they trust Kryn are much more open emotionally. They’re dedicated to being the best in whatever field they pursue, but few are so busy that they can’t take time out to play with some cubs. One thing anyone should know about dealing with Kryn is to never make a joke regarding their women. The fact that many Krynish women used to be bred as pleasure slaves makes the males very touchy on the subject.

Physical Description: When Kryn were first created their owners bred them into specific breeds for specific purposes. As such even today one can see a wide variety of cat-like features in Kryn. Some clearly have markings like a tiger or leopard, while others have manes like lions. Some have more bare skin than fur, other have human-like noses. One can usually tell a Kryn by the fact that they always have furry tails and oversized ears. Your average Kryn stands anywhere between five and seven feet tall, with weight varying just as much, a wide range, but understandable when you realize that the various “breeds” have only been mingling for a mere one hundred and fifty years. When not in battle Kryn favor wearing either light weight baggy clothing or intricate robes for those of higher rank. Kryn in the field wear armor that wits their role, practicality is always the goal.

Relations: Krynish relations with all races can best be described as business-like. If you stick to your end of the contract you can trust the Kryn, but don’t expect them to be your friends. Kyrn go out of their way to present this façade. If they can appear like they don’t have opinions it makes it easier for them to get work. The truth is that Kryn are always dubious of humans due to their shared history. They are fascinated by Dwarves and their myriad of strange inventions. The Sidhe bewilder them as they have no idea how to handle such an obviously magical race. And they have a great deal of respect for the family and tribal structure of Orcs, and their ferocity. An odd facet of Krynish relations with other races is that if a non-Kryn proves him or herself a close friend a Kryn may declare them honorary clan members, and other Kryn will respect the decision and treat relative strangers like clan mates.

Krynish Lands: Kryn hail from the Hurricane Islands, about four hundred miles off the Southern coast of Saltash. On the islands your average Kryn makes a simple living growing rice, fishing, or as craftsmen. There Kryn live in clans, collections of families, which double as mercenary companies. Each clan rules a given area and are responsible for training their members in whatever manner they deem best. Clans are encouraged to stay out of one another’s way in order to preserve harmony amongst the race. In the case of potential conflict the angry parties must plead their cases to the Warmaster of the Divine Sword Clan. This clan was the first established, and the only clan allowed to police the whole of the Hurricane Islands. The Warmaster, or High Warmaster as he’s often called, then arbitrates between the parties. The High Warmaster’s decisions in such cases are binding. The dirty secret of Krynish society is that The Hurricane Islands possess very little metal ore. They have not learned how to work the strange porous stone of the island into serviceable weapons like the Elemental Scions of Air that they inherited the islands from. As such the backbone of Krynish society is the training of warriors, assassins, bodyguards, and mercenaries who can go to work on the mainland and using their earning to purchase raw supplies to keep their society well equipped. As such many clans require every member, even a lowly fisherman, to have combat training. Despite this resource scarcity the Kryn have such an ingrained fear of outsiders that they only allow pre-approved foreign ships to dock in their cities, and only a fix number of times during the year.

Religion: The Kryn were never religious when they were enslaved. They were reminded constantly that they were created by mortal hands, not those of the divine. This continued until they reached the Hurricane Islands. There they found the lost civilization of the Elemental Scions of Air. These worshippers of the winds were supposedly powerful mages who sculpted their chosen element in an attempt to maintain balance in the world. Their enclave in the Hurricane Islands had been wiped out ten years before the Kryn’s arrival. The Kryn picked through the remains of the lost society and tried their best to emulate as much of it as possible. This included religion. As such the Kryn worship the four winds of the world. Since few Kryn spoke Auran much of their religious practice is intensely personal but there is an emphasis on freedom that seems to be almost universal. On occasion a Kryn will grasp the true teachings of the bygone Elemental Scions of Air and become a Wind Master; the name Kryn calls those who can control the wind with their will.

Language: The Krynish language is a combination of the form of the common tongue in use during the imperial era and the Auran tongue used by creatures and mortals especially in tune the element of air. They use the writing style of the old empire, though the differences are pronounced enough where those who can read the old language will have trouble with Krynish.

Names: Krynish given names are usually heavy on vowels and are almost always derived from Auran and the same in true of family names. Kryn often earn nicknames shortening their given names during their lives and allow only those closest to them to call them by such nicknames.

Clan Names: Clan names on the other hand are almost always easily translated into the common tongue. They are usually fearsome, and have colorful standards to go with them in order to make clan unique in the eyes of outsiders.

Suggested Krynish Racial Traits:
Abilities: +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity
Skills: Acrobatics 4, Intimidate 4, Notice 4, Search 4, Survival 4
Feats: All-Out Attack
Powers: Leaping 1 (1pp), Super Movement 1 (Wall Crawling; 2pp), Strike 1 (Power Feat: Mighty; 2pp), Super Senses 3 (Extended Sight, low Light Vision, Scent; 3pp)
Last edited by MDSnowman on Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:21 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Psistrike » Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:59 pm

A very interesting take on a cat-like race. Can't wait to see more of this setting, the more I read the more I wish to game in it.
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