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Basic Setting Details

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1 Basic Setting Details on Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:59 am

The year is 1066.

The dreams of great kingdoms and grand empires died in the fires of the Deflagration War over a century ago.  Now, it is era of might makes right; where powerful warlords and charismatic individuals carve out the land to forge their own fiefdoms.  The cultural arts are dead and the sciences are solely dedicated to gaining dominance on the battlefield.  Alliances are made and broken on whims, and the fortunes of even the mightiest houses can shift in an instant.  But history coils on, much like the great god-serpent that lays upon the land.

In the lands of the old Uklan Empire war still rages more ferociously than almost anywhere else in the world.  Able-bodied men are ripped from the arms of their grieving wives and mothers to be thrown in tumultuous campaigns against their neighbors.  All in the name of uncaring nobles.  But five generations of unrelenting conflict have taken their toll on the lower class of society.  Echoes of possible revolt permeate the land.

TERRITORY

The lands of Uklan are for the most part safe from their neighbors.  The core territories have the body of the god-serpent blocking external aggression.  To the east is the Silver Coast bordering the Drakon Sea.  The northern border is sharply defined by the Aniketos Wall that separates the nation of Laventino from the rest of the world.

Over a third of the land is cultivatable and rich for farming.  The terrain itself is a mix of mountains, hills, forests, and swamps.  Numerous lakes dot the regions with rivers and other watersheds connecting them together and to the prominent coastline to the east.  Only in the eastern, and northern, territories are there a lot of open plains with the central areas having some.

SOCIETY
At the top of the social strata are the Bern.  Above them would be a Slang, but no one has had that title for a century.  The Hardwin below them are nobles who own no land; if they do but serve under a Bern then they have the title of Arn (Korn if they control fertile agricultural land).

Below the nobility are the clergy.  They have a formal education (something that isn’t guaranteed for nobility) and can read and write.  They serve as advisors for the nobility or become part of the Church of Set (Leviathan as others call it).  If they are the rare few who can utilize magic then they are called a Zauber (a highly prized position).

Next come the warriors and smids.  These are the people who train extensively in the arts of fighting.  Some are mercenaries selling their skills to the various Arns and Berns.  The smids are the blacksmiths who handcraft the weapons and armor or operate the forges that mass produce the tools of war.

After that are the marks.  They transport and sell the goods across the land.  Their prominence in society fell after the collapse of the kingdoms.  Merchant guilds (in the places they still exist) are largely informal organizations instead of the dynastic powers they were a century prior.

At the lowest are the workers.  They do everything else not covered.

CULTURE
The only major religion is Setith (worship of the god-serpent).  Other beliefs are still around despite the attempts of the Church of Set to extinguish them (principally the belief of Archiphot, the Light Emperor).  During the Deflagration War the church shattered and evolved into different denominations with different systems of worship.  It all depends on the Bern and what their denomination is.  Most bow to the Church of Set, and mostly because of the political power it can bring them.

Castles are status symbols for those who can afford to build them, the bigger and fancier the better.  They are houses for the ruling elite as much as fortifications, so their interiors are lavishly decorated in bright vibrant colors.  If the house is rich enough then a chapel will be built in the castle and will be even more an ostentatious display.

Martial skill is the most highly prized for the ruler to have.  It is seen as a great honor to kill a bear or drake (of any kind) during a hunt, and anyone who kills them will usually try to wear the pelt of the creature as a display of their feat.

Snakes are considered to be holy creatures so the consumption of them is taboo.  The exception being on sacred holidays where a priest can bless the meal.  During such times snake eggs are a delicacy that only the nobility and clergy are allowed to dine on.  Consumption of any part of Set is heretical, but is still done during times of great famine.  It might be allowed under that circumstance but the peasant caught doing so is still getting hung.

The houses of the Inner areas view themselves as the only true heirs of their culture.  Coastal houses are seen as nothing more than greedy merchants with no semblance of honor.  Houses who live ‘over the snake’ and ‘under the wall’ to the north are looked down upon as uncouth (akin to hillbillies and rednecks).  The two houses who live across the Drakon Sea (and still technically part of Uklan) are held in distasteful regard, little better than the foreign barbarians.

TECHNOLOGY
Steel is a commonplace metal, and has been for under a century now.  Concrete is also common but has to be made on site if it is used for buildings.  For those too poor (or living in areas without the necessary materials) to get concrete stone is the next best option for construction.

Plains and hilly areas (without forests) are littered with immensely tall deep-drilling platforms.  They dig stuff out of the ground like salt, natural gas, etc.  Areas along rivers and streams have their skylines dominated by giant paddlewheels that power automated forges or granaries.  Cranes worked by teams of oxen or horses are used in the construction of engineering works.  Roads built by the deceased empire still exist in some areas but are probably in desperate need of repair.

Plate armor does exist but is incredibly expensive to produce, limiting it to only the upper crust of society.  Polearms and two-handed swords are available but not used by a lot of people.

The preferred armament for armies are a spear and shield (with either a sword or dagger for a sidearm).  The most common types of protection for armies is scale armor (or brigandine) over gambeson.  Chain is available but people prefer scale over it for religious reasons.  For those well off, they can give their men a suit of flexi-chain (or scale-chain) which is a suit of vertical metal scales built into a shirt of chain mail.  Houses in the north have access to mirror-plate (a sheet of plate covering the abdomens sewn into a shirt of chain).

FLAGS
Green is the flag of surrender.  You acquiesce your lands to the conquering enemy.  Under certain circumstances it is not viewed as cowardice, but some people will still think that.

White is the flag of peace.  It is flown when one army wishes to counsel and hold terms with their enemy, or send a messenger.  Taboo to kill anyone who comes under truce; doing so results in having a reputation of ‘staining the white’.

Red is the flag of death.  Rarely used, and for good reason; it tells everyone you are fighting the battle to the death.

Black is the flag of imminent danger.  It comes up when the koth draw near, and they are such a danger that major battles have been halted because both sides needed to band together to end a koth rampage.  Betraying a party under the black flag is something only the most foolish of people would do; if done so then a coalition of others (even the worst of enemies) is formed to immediately stomp the offending party out of existence.

Important Note wrote:This is not the House Creation thread; that is coming in the next few days.  This is solely meant for addressing the setting in general.  The map (once I finished making it) will also be put here.

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2 Re: Basic Setting Details on Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:07 pm

TECHNOLOGY ADDENDUM
Crossbows do exist but are deemed illegal by the Church of Set.  Doesn’t stop mercenaries from using them (seeing as how they are often employed by the Church).

Steam power is used solely for siege cannons.  They are large, cumbersome, expensive, and slow to fire.  But they are powerful.  Ammo shot out of them are stone balls, weight of them depends on the muzzle size of the cannon.  Any innovations that would have been made regarding steam stalled (or were destroyed) a century ago.

The use of rubber is becoming popular on coastlines around the Drakon Sea.  So far uses include waterproofing, shoes, and sports balls.  Accompanying rubber are heels for shoes.

Blackpowder is known about, but only in the hands of two powers; the warring yuan-ti powers on the other side of the Drakon Sea and Laventino to the north.  It has been used as a propellant for arrows, and as an igniter for flamethrowers; only Laventino has shown the ability to utilize it for explosives.

The flamethrower design is shrunk down to handheld proportions and the gas replaced with other compounds; usually poisons to be sprayed into the faces of charging people or animals.

Paper making is easy enough to do, but making copies of written works is a slow and tedious process.  All working printing presses were destroyed over a century ago.  How the tauber are able to replicate the process is unknown.

SAPIENT SPECIES
Humans kinda obvious.

Braen are a subspecies of humans.  Nobody is sure about their origins or how they came to be the way they are.  Physical appearance is that of a taller human with rocky spikes protruding from their clavicles.  Hardy and stronger than regular humans, they are often drafted into being the heavy infantry backbone of an army.

Dwarves are a stout and hardy bunch.  Like Braen they are often employed for physical labor.  They are more technical-minded so they are helpful in making a new innovation.

Draklings are as small as dwarves, but lack the physical conditioning.  They tend towards business opportunities or joining the clergy.  The only areas they live in, regarding Uklan lands, is the Silver Coast.

Gnolls are big ferocious upright dog-humanoids.  They tend to be more aggressive than humans which leads them to being great front-line troops.

Minotaurs are as tall as the Braen at minimum.  Few of them live in Uklan.

Yuan-Ti are snake humanoids from across the Drakon Sea.  They are deemed heretical by the church and any that enter lands under the influence of the sea are to killed immediately.

Harichu are an all-female race.  Their origins unknown as well as their method of breeding.  Any taken by them are never seen again.  They have made enemies out of everyone with their pirate raids and slave runs.  Any who enter Uklan territory is to be killed immediately.

SAPIENT RIGHTS
Woman in Uklan enjoy a lot of rights that women elsewhere do not.  There are a few jobs they are not allowed into; manual labor and anything with a definitive risk of death.  Noble women are required to learn how to fight while women born to warrior families can learn how to fight.  Women are heavily discouraged from joining the army or leading them into battle.  Skilled women can become smids, but it is a rare sight.

By judgment of the Church of Set homosexuals do not have any rights.  Any caught in such an act are to be publicly killed as soon as possible.

TECHNOLOGY ADDENDUM 2: VEHICLES
Suspension systems are a common occurrence and all but the poorest of people have carts with them.

Personal carts, akin to wheelchairs, are available and cheap for those with impaired legs.  They move by pulling on one or two ropes that turn a pulley and series of gears.

Spring-driven carts were coming into their own before the Deflagration War.  They provide motive power from two wound-up heavy springs.  Max range is 160 miles and they can reach a top speed of 32 miles per hour.  Wind-driven carts are rarer and much harder to use, but reach higher speeds.

Ships plow the sea with either sails or paddlewheels.  Uklan designs prefer flat-bottom keels for their ability to transition from the open sea to narrow, and sometimes shallow, rivers.

Personal gliders are a luxury for only the richest of nobility living in Snakeway. Parachutes are a common item for the same region, and are constructed of multiple layers of silk.

MAGIC
Magic is a more subtle affair.  It is unnoticeable except to those who can use it or were trained to feel it.  It can make more people feel weaker, slower, or panicky; or stronger, faster, or more bold.  It can rob groups of their morale or help to bolster it.  Others can attack the minds of their opponents while shielding their own.  The most unscrupulous of tauber can dominate the minds of others; the longer people are dominated in such a manner the less they are able to function without it.

Magic is fueled by the blood, or life force, of the practitioner.  There are ways around it; either sucking the blood out of other people to fuel the spell or to drain a mana crystal of its energy.

The more overt or flashy stuff people think of as ‘magic’ can only be accomplished by using an elemental crystal.  There are eight varieties of them in all; stone, water, fire, air, dark, life, lightning, and light.  The most common in Uklan is stone and life.  Nobody knows why or how this things came to exist or where their power comes from.  What is known is that the crystals are shattered; people who possess such a shard are intrinsically drawn to the other pieces if they come close to another.  The bearers are then drawn into a battle, the winner claiming both shards.  Rumors and myths exists of what happens when a person possesses a complete crystal, but if any records existed of an occurrence they were all destroyed.



Last edited by SilverDragonRed on Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:32 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Added Vehicle Technology and Magic; Added Gliders and Parachutes)

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3 Re: Basic Setting Details on Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:36 pm

I'm immediately curious what the koth are.


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4 Re: Basic Setting Details on Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:59 am

I'm curious about the god-serpent, the koth, and why Yuan-ti are deemed heretical by their simple nature, considering the religion. Hmm.

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5 Re: Basic Setting Details on Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:08 am

So are we going to pick from that list of races or can we make something up?

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6 Re: Basic Setting Details on Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:52 am

Those are the species who play a major part in society/culture. There are others, but they mostly live far away.

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7 Re: Basic Setting Details on Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:09 pm

so i can have a female ruler that nice, sad thing about the church of set may have to bribe them and has anyone try to capture a Harichu

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8 Re: Basic Setting Details on Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:42 pm

Rough map of the the nation.


Here are the regions.

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9 Re: Basic Setting Details on Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:41 pm

The square under the W of Wyvern Peaks.  That's around where Geirmund is.

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10 Re: Basic Setting Details on Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:53 pm

for me underneath the V in storm valley

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11 Re: Basic Setting Details on Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:52 pm

The square below "S" in Wyvern Peaks. That's where Skyreach Citadel and Varvol is at.

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12 Re: Basic Setting Details on Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:56 pm

Large island in the sea south of the Slaangu coast on the second map, tip of the island is where the capitol town and major port is.

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13 Re: Basic Setting Details on Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:51 am

I can give you the northern island, the southern one is harichu territory.

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14 Re: Basic Setting Details on Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:39 pm

Sure

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