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Discussion in 'Character Database' started by Isokanumaki, May 8, 2014.
Viemera: Essence Saga
Seed. It is all around us, it is everywhere and in everything and everyone; the source of all life on this world. It is the very life force of the planet.
In the land of Viemera, humans have come to rely upon it as a source of power and the basis of all their advanced technology. It is believed by spiritual leaders that there is a large pool of Seed deep within the planet, and it is form this pool that life was first created and it is where the Seed arises from to touch everything on the planet. This is accepted as fact throughout Viemera by almost everyone. One fact that is based on science rather than faith, is that Seed can be transformed into a palpable form of energy, a substance called Essence. Humans have found a way to draw Seed from the planet, convert it into Essence, and store it in order to power cities and fuel technological development. From this process, many new technologies have been formed, from lighting to locomotion to guns that fire concentrated Essence, to industrial machines.
Unfortunately, this seemingly limitless and versatile power source comes with one major drawback; it relies on the existence of a single woman, born once every three generations. Without this woman, Seed lies dormant and inactive, unable to be converted to Essence and becoming essentially useless. On top of this, agricultural production seems to drop by about 20%.
This Woman is referred to as the ‘Goddess’ or ‘The Source’ and is protected under every law possible. There is also a grand Temple of the Goddess located somewhere in the mountains for the training and protection of the Goddess. If the Goddess dies, then the land suffers and the people must rely on the Essence already stored up in the factories as no more can be refined. The land must wait until the next Goddess is born and reaches her 16th birthday for her powers to emerge.
There is sometimes a “drought” where subsequent generations go without a goddess and there is not enough essence left to power their technology, resulting in a famine. This is the reason why alternate technologies are being explored and why many people use Low-Tech tools e.g. the City guards utilize Essence powered guns which fire a kind of green plasma (green being the neutral color of Essence) but also carry ordinary swords. It is these droughts that caused there to be varying technologies throughout Viemera, as if the 15th century Renaissance and early 19th century Industrial Revolution eras occurred simultaneously.
The Goddess has been noted to be able to do many strange and fantastic things, which many would term ‘magical’. However, it is a product of Seed, which is behind all great mysteries. The Goddess is not the only one who possesses paranormal powers; in fact, while uncommon it is not so rare to find many other individuals with fantastic powers, just to a lesser extent. There are people in Viemera born with a gift that manifests at the age of 16 for boys and 14 for girls.
These people are called Saturates because they have a higher saturation of seed in them than normal and their gift is two-fold: the first is the ability to directly convert the potential power of Seed into the refined power of Essence within their own bodies and even store a small amount for later use. The second is their unique ability to utilize Essence. Saturates are gifted with other special abilities and powers and can be placed into three distinct categories;
Summoners use the Seed around them, as well as the Essence stored within their body, to create physical creatures and simple objects; this is known as Summoning. These Saturates can only summon one creature that is specific to the Summoner, e.g. a Lion or a Troll, as well as a small or medium-sized object, e.g. a shield or a shovel. The creature that they summon is the same each time but will become more powerful and in most cases larger as they experience different things particularly through battle. Summoned objects appear crystalline in by its geometric shapes and deep purple or black glossy colors, but are actually metallic in nature and with strength similar to forged steel. These objects remain unchanged regarding size and strength no matter how often they are used.
The Summoner can un-summon their creature at any time and if it is injured when they do so, it will be fully healthy upon its return when it is next summoned. However, a Summoner uses a great deal of energy when using their ability so it is extremely taxing to un-summon then re-summon in succession; doing so leaves the person physically exhausted. The same effects apply to the summoned object, but to a much lesser extent.
If the Summoned creature is killed, the person who summoned it suffers from extreme levels of fatigue, leaving them on the brink of collapsing and in desperate need of rest. Additionally, when their creature is summoned again, it will revert to its younger version. This means that a Summoner must be extremely careful not to let their creature die. After a few days of meditation between the Creature and Summoner, it can quickly return to the size and strength it had before its demise.
A noted side effect associated with Summoners is animalistic social behavior. What this really is, is that as their Creatures grow more powerful they become more attuned with them; as a result the Summoners begin to take on subtle physical and personality traits of their summons. It is also this link between Summoner and Creature that allows them to communicate telepathically.
Users, after converting Seed to Essence within their bodies, can then change the properties of the Essence and expel it form their bodies, directing it’s flow as one form of energy or another; quite often as some sort of element, such as fire, light, sound, or ice. Each user can only use one form of energy element. Their power depends on the person casting it, but control over their element i.e. the ways in which they can change the flow and shape of the energy, simply comes down to practice and talent.
While all of the Saturates can prepare and store essence inside their body in advance, Users have an affinity for this and can store double or more essence than the other two types of Saturates, depending of course, on the power of the individual.
Manipulators have a talent, which shares a comparison with both Summoners and Users.
To a limited distance Manipulators can reach out and connect to the seed that is ever present in everything, and then bend it to their will, like the other two types of Saturates this power is usually specific to one type of manipulation e.g. telekinesis, mind manipulation, or even alter the limits of their own bodies (increased speed, strength, etc).
Manipulators are generally the most subtle of the three Saturates, given the nature of their talents they can evade more obvious attention and avoid the generally suspicion that Saturates are generally viewed with. Manipulators also require the least power to use their talents, still requiring the conversion of Essence to accommodate their abilities, but since they use the Seed that is in everything for their function, they do not need as much energy as Users or Summoners.
It is even possible to manipulate time for certain, incredibly rare Manipulators because Seed is present in the land of all Viemera through all time. However, those few who are gifted with this rare ability all end up insane because eventually, temptation will cause them to reach into a time in the far distant future when there is no Seed. This usually ends in instant death or if not, suicide of the unfortunate person.
The History of Viemera
Modern views of The Goddess, or The Source, stems from an era of oppression while Goddess Eraclea was in power. The term “Goddess” is used loosely in this sense, for she was more commonly referred to as Demon Eraclea. In the years that she was beginning to understand her abilities, a group of Saturates, known as The Order of Dio, had managed to corrupt the young girl and fuel her insatiable desire for power. It was that same order that protected Eraclea while her powers developed and grew to a point where she was all but immortal. At this point, around her late twenties, Eraclea had full understanding of her potential to mold the various forms of Seed to her will. As a result, the elements were at her beaconing, she had the ability to rip away a person’s life with a simple thought, and her connection with Essence made her nearly omniscient to her surroundings. After a few years, Eraclea’s corruption reached a point where not all the wealth and power in the world was enough to satisfy her lust; at this point, she desired to see people’s reaction to what she was capable of doing. The emotion of terror entertained her most of all.
Many people, even whole cities, suffered for her entertainment; what little humanity she had maintained up to that point was now gone. Eraclea became infamous for her insidious methods of torture, able to keep her target alive and conscious well past what the normal body could handle, sometimes for days until the body was physically unable to sustain the life force. It is understood that all forms of life felt nothing but fear and anger when regarding The Goddess. At this point of her life, she appointed herself as unquestionable ruler of Viemera with The Order of Dio as her personal advisors. Fortunately, for the masses, of all the gifts that The Goddesses possess, immortality is not one of them. Despite years of trying to manipulate Seed and Essence, she was unable to do anything aside from prolong her inevitable demise at the age of 172.
It was the months following Eraclea’s demise that most of the laws and customs regarding The Goddesses were set in place. The first, and foremost, law that was unanimously decided upon was that any person, or people, who attempt or conspire to corrupt a Goddess would be met with the death penalty. Once this law was set into place, the entire Order of Dio was hunted and exterminated until none remained, or at the very least driven so far underground that they dare not even insinuate their involvement. As a reminder to those 150 years of darkness, the calendar year was reset to 0A.E. (After Eraclea) on the day that she died to celebrate a new era of hope and freedom.
Geography and Culture
Tel Aruhn – This is the northern most continent with the capital being Veril and the cities of Cormir, Renrir, Swai, and Rurik. Aside from the planes in the center of the continent, most of the body mass is comprised of hilly and mountainous landscaping, thick with lush wilderness. Most of these people follow the Seedist way of life (see below), as such; they typically use alternative methods to provide power to their cities rather than using Essence refineries. Fortunately, the tectonic plate that the continent rests upon is unusually thin, allowing for excellent geothermal activity; so much so, that Tel Aruhn is renowned for its hot springs and vacation resorts. Cities are primarily built with simple materials, such as concrete, masonry, timber, and plaster. Steel and iron are primarily used in larger structures or for reinforcing and tools. Due to the energy required to manufacture large supplies of these materials, they are most commonly imported from Rothmor. The government of Tel Aruhn is an oligarchy in the form of a Senate. The Senate comprised of people who are of important stature and proper education as determined by the Senator whom they had replaced.
Rothmor – This is the southern continent with the capital being Gnisis. Citizens of Rothmor are very industrious and their use of Essence power plants enables their cities to grow rapidly and more densely. This readily available and massive supply of energy allows cities to be scattered throughout the continent no matter the terrain or climate. The continent has a variety of climates ranging from large planes to mountains and marshes. Citizens of Rothmor are more logical in thought as opposed to their more spiritual neighbors to the north. This way of life and dense populations cause an increase in crime rates and political corruption. Rothmor is a democratic nation where the public elects the political leader, his advising staff, and city officials.
Demora – This continent does not appear on any modern map, aside from the ruins of its once great capital, Fyr, and the peaks of its once mighty mountain range. In the beginning of Eraclea’s rule, people were outraged against her lust for power and control. As a result, Eraclea decided to put an end to the opposition with a single demonstration of her power. Within an hour, she had managed to submerge Demora deep below the ocean’s surface. After the chaos settled, its once towering mountain peaks struggled to see even the slightest hint of daylight through the depth of the water. Millions had died within a matter of minutes as the ocean overtook Demora’s lands. Those that were not swallowed by the raging tide were left to starve to death as they floated in the middle of the newly expanded ocean. That was the last day anybody was outright about their opposition against Eraclea. It wasn’t until the next Goddess came into power that the continent was raised closer to the surface of the water and these peaks once again felt air upon its surface, forming a strand of isles with on large land mass where the ruins of a once mighty city still stand. A majority of the continent still remains submerged to this day as a reminder of the destructive potential each Goddess has and a lesson to each successor how their actions have the potential to influence everything on the planet, for better or worse.
Technology has grown rapidly since Eraclea’s demise. Researchers and scientists have gained a better understanding of Seed and how to refine it into Essence, making it useful for humanity. Since the manufacturing of Essence relies on the existence of a Goddess, other (less efficient) tools and power sources are utilized to save the reserves during times of famine. The result of which means that there are several variations of technology ranging from simple man-powered devices, such as swords and pulleys, to high-tech machines, such as lasers and simple robotics. In large cities, especially those powered by Essence, these contradictions in technology is apparent through the integration of iron or steel with timber or stone in many things (i.e. buildings, roads, etc).
Cultures of Interest
Theria – Therians are the people who follow the religion of Theria. This religion views the Goddess, Saturates, and Essence technology as the defiance of nature’s laws and a perversion of God’s will. Therian extremists have been known to sabotage machinery powered by Essence and assassinate Saturates. Due to the laws set in place by both governments, even the most extreme of zealots will look upon the Goddess with scorn, but make no attempt to cause her harm. Followers of this religion can be found in small groupings throughout Viemera with the largest and most fanatic of which being located in the city of Cormir.
Seedists – Seedism is a personal belief and a way of life rather than a religion. These people look upon the Goddess and Saturates with reverence, but rebuke all forms of technology that uses man-refined Essence. These people see the Goddess and Saturates as guardians of the Seed and maintainers of the planet’s balance and order. Meanwhile, the societies that forcefully draw Seed from the planet and forcefully refine it into Essence are viewed as a threat to the natural balance and are assumed to be draining planet’s life force. This mentality is common among the citizens of Tel Aruhn.
Essence of the Fallen - PCs - NPCs
Essence of Extermination - PCs - NPCs
Essence of Redemption - PCs - NPCs
Essence of Deceit - PCs - NPCs
The year is 624A.E. and it has been six long years of famine. Essence reserves are running dangerously low, but hopes are high now that the planet is showing signs that hint to the next Goddess is coming of age. A majority of the population waits anxiously for her arrival, the several Goddesses following Eraclea had been everything the people of Viemera could hope for and have done well at restoring trust in their lineage. While they resided in their temple, they’ve done great deeds for humanity and strived to maintain order with the world. Despite this, there are still several who are untrusting; they understand that those preceding Goddesses have little to no influence over how the next will turn out and the risk of allowing a corrupted Goddess gaining power is too great.
The threat does not lie within the general population of Viemera, however; an organization has been planning for this day, the day that the new Goddess will come of age. For decades now, they have stuck to the shadows, avoiding every radar and agent that the government had monitoring for The Order of Dio, or any copycat organizations of its kind. All this time, they have been planning their moves and positioning themselves within society to ensure their plans come to fruition while nobody outside of its role were any the wiser to their presence or intentions. Whether they seek power, wealth, or chaos has yet to be revealed, but it is clear that the key to accomplishing their goals lies within the power of the Goddess.
World Map (After Essence of Redemption)
[b]Type:[/b] (Summoner, User, Manipulator)
[b]Type:[/b] (Summoner, User, Manipulator)
Viemera: Sprite Saga
Sprites are elemental spirits (earth, water, fire, wind, metal, and wood) that inhabit all aspects of Viemera. Some are small and cannot be seen, and others are powerful enough to manifest when called upon by their wielders. There also exist "Great Sprites," the most powerful and ancient of these spirits, by which Rothmorans swear and curse. They manifest as geographic formations of great elemental power, such as volcanoes and oceans, and are far more often restrained or provoked than explicitly commanded, and then only by crafters of exceptional strength. Many Rothmorans are unaware of the Great Sprites' actual existence, imagining them to be more mythic than real, but this disbelief is incorrect.
The Rothmoran people at the present day manifest personal sprites in their early childhood or adolescent years, and control them with their minds. They are used to aid them in whatever task undertaken from housework to combat. This sprite-based magic is accomplished in one of two forms. First, an Rothmoran may draw from the strength of their fury to increase their own. For example, earth crafters often draw physical might from the ground, through their sprites, to allow them to lift loads far too heavy for normal people, while wind crafters can increase their speed and metal crafters their endurance. The second form of crafting is to "manifest" a sprite. This involves the sprite taking a visible form, often the shape of an animal, though taking the shape of a human is not unheard of. Manifested sprites are necessary for the most powerful forms of crafting, including flight (wind crafting) and healing (water crafting).
Most Rothmorans display rudimentary ability in all areas of crafting, but are highly skilled in only one or two types. The ruling class and their offspring generally show considerable talent in all areas of crafting well beyond the capabilities of a typical person, indicating that heredity plays some role in crafting. Residents of large cities typically treat furies as generic entities while those in rural areas forge close personal bonds with specific sprites usually tied closely to particular natural landmarks.
Water - Used in healing, communicating over large distances, reading emotions, shape shifting, keeping a youthful appearance, and manipulating water; disrupted by fire.
Earth - Used to gain strength, tracking and hunting, manipulate the earth, calm animals, and inspire lust. A manifest earth fury can attack directly and can carry a crafter across ground as if on a raft. Earthcraft is necessary to travel swiftly on furycrafted roads throughout Alera. Earthcraft is disrupted when contact with the ground is lost.
Wood -Used in manipulating plants, tracking and for camouflage; used by archers to bend massive bows to allow arrows to fly further and faster, and to increase accuracy of arrows. Also used to instantly create wooden tools. Requires nearby wood or plant matter, living or dead, in order to use. Disrupted by surrounding the user with metal.
Fire - Used to control firelight to subliminally manipulate passionate feelings such as joy, anger, and fear; used to create and manipulate flames for either constructive or massively destructive purposes; can be used to create cold by extracting heat from an object; manifested fire furies may attack directly; the most powerful firecrafters can create white-hot spheres that vaporize anything within them and sear all objects within a large radius; disrupted by water.
Air - Used to fly, control the wind, and to increase speed and agility; Also able to bend air into a lens to see farther or into an echo chamber to allow voice communication without the need for watercrafting, however the effective range is much shorter; strong crafters may be able to bend the air to make objects or people seem invisible; can be used to manipulate the weather, including the creation of lightning. One blind wind crafter was said to be able to "see" by sense the currents of air in the room. Windcraft is disrupted by earth, particularly in the form of salt.
Metal - Used in sword play heavily as crafters can change the hardness of metal, allowing them to strike with diamond-hard blades. Combat can be totally in the dark as metalcrafters do not need light to sense nearby metal. Shields can also be made more flexible to absorb a greater amount of impact force than normal. Also used in forging weapons and other precise metal objects, and metalcrafters also have dramatically increased pain tolerance and physical endurance. Although they gain speed, accuracy and deadly ability in combat, metalcrafters do not become physically stronger, nor does metalcraft give them skills they have not learned, and they still require metal weapons/armor to make the most of their abilities. The most deadly swordmasters are those who augment their abilities with earth and wind also. Disrupted by wood.
Tel Aruhn (Aruhn)
The Aruhn are a silver-haired, pale-skinned people who reside on a continent connected to Rothmor via a land bridge. The Aruhn appear in many ways to simply be barbaric humans, but their culture and physiology show several key differences, including night vision and exceptional physical abilities. They are an aggressive race who routinely fight one another in small scale conflicts. The Aruhn bind themselves to another creature (such as a Wolf, Herdbane, Gargant, Horse, etc.) and call this creature their Totem (chala), gaining many of the creature's strengths and abilities; for example, the members of the Gargant clan have exceptional strength, while those of the Horse clan are faster than other Aruhn. They are also known for "partaking" in their fallen enemies, where they eat their adversaries (sometimes alive) in combat to gain their strength. It has not been shown whether this actually improves the physical abilities of a Aruhn or is merely superstition.
Their society is based upon several roaming tribes who unify based upon their chala. For example, Aruhn who have a wolf as their totem will naturally be part of the Wolf Clan, even if they were born from a differing clan. Bonding with a totem has more to do with personality than anything else; it is a link established once an Aruhn and animal of very similar personalities make eye contact. Once the bond has been made, there is nothing that can break it; not that either party would want to. It brings about it a deep sense of brotherhood between them, as though they had been born twins and established a close relationship since birth. They are as closer than their direct family members from that instant on. Those who don't understand their culture, specifically the Rothmorans, tend to skew it as a more "physically intimate" relationship, which is not the case.
It is common for tribes to have open conflict with one another. Though it is an act of proving their collective power (and by extension, authority), which stops once it has been determined. Very rarely do the conflicts actually progress to full extermination of the weaker clan. Each clan follows their own clanmaster, whom in turn follows the headmaster. The headmaster is the leader of the clan who has proven themselves superior than the others by trial either in a dual between headmasters or between the two clans as a whole.
They all follow a spiritual path that believes that everything is an important part of the whole. To summarize it as the circle of life is a gross under appreciation of this belief when it actually encompasses much more than the food cycle. It also incorporates the rolls each part, no matter how mundane, is part of the purpose of being that is just as crucial to the whole. It is this belief that inspires their disputes (which are settled by a trial between the conflicting pair) to be fought before "The One", or at high noon where the Sun can overlook the disagreement. It is a common misconception from outsiders that the Aruhn worship the Sun as their God when in actuality the Sun serves as a representative for the whole as an ambassador would for their respective nation.
The Furians are dark-haired, bronzed-skinned people who reside in the wastern-most continent. Little is known about them, except that they have a caste-like social hierarchy, are susceptible to political in-fighting, and are absolutely fierce warriors. There are several ranges (nations) upon Fyr that act independently from one another and often dispute in open conflicts. Most contact with the Furians is through Furian raids along the west coast of Rothmor. They are capable of some form of sorcery, which is fueled by the blood of living (or formerly living) intelligent beings.
* The warrior caste consists of the elite warriors. These professional soldiers are just that; their sole role in society is to hone their deadly arts. They are taller and stronger than the other castes and much more disciplined. As a result, they also take their honor very seriously and will not hesitate to fight to the death to defend it. They are issued military standard armor and weapons.
* The Maker caste is the farmers, the crafters of the Furian population. They are not very disciplined and pose a threat because of their numbers and sheer Furian strength. They are just as willing to go to battle as their warrior counterparts; though they are less skilled, they still have a decisive advantage in raw power over any single Rothmoran fighter. It is this caste whom the others seek for approval, which ultimately gives the most respected caste the closest thing to ruling authority. For without them, society as a whole could crumble since they are relied upon for the goods that sustains their nation.
* The Ritualist caste are the Furian spellcasters. They gain their power from the blood of intelligent creatures. Their abilities are precious to the Maker caste though their ability to heal injuries, cure disease, enrich harvests, bless family lines, among countless other roles. Furthermore, their magic can be used in more aggressive techniques that rival powerful Rothmoran crafters without being limited to specific elements. By extension, they are viewed upon as spiritual leaders by the Maker caste and usually have favor over the Warrior caste. As a result of the great benefits they could bring with their abilities, they typically exchange their services for claim over the blood of the individual seeking their aid. It is a contract where the Ritualist has the right to take any quantity of the individual's blood at any time, even if it would mean the individual's death. For that reason, the Warrior caste (who is almost always at ends with the Ritualist caste) would more often allow themselves to succumb to their wounds in the glory of battle than to be healed by Ritualist sorcery only to be bled out where they would find no honor in their death.
* The Hunters are the spies, scouts, and assassins of the Furians. They use short black lengths of chain, small javelins, and iron bars for throwing. These light weapons allow the hunters to sneak up on people. Unlike the other castes, they have no overt authority, remaining as pure covert operatives. They are considered to already be dead, having received their blood song (Furian form of last rites) when they became hunters. This belief not only makes them absolutely deadly, but it also allows them to disregard the concept of honor that inhibits the Warrior caste's actions.
Sprites of a New World - PCs - NPCs
*Stricken at this time due to spoilers*
Sprites of the Conquest - PCs - NPCs
Sprites of the Forgotten - PCs - NPCs
*Stricken at this time due to spoilers*