The patient goblin
This is world draft I have building for a while now and have decided to just post what I have written down for the community to take a gander and comment on.
It is rather long.
This is world draft I have building for a while now and have decided to just post what I have written down for the community to take a gander and comment on.
It is rather long.
The Witcher, Song of Ice and Fire, Lord of the Rings, Pathfinder Tabletop Game and Dungeons and Dragons, Dresden Files, Dragon Age,The Elder Scrolls and many more.
Backstory and Blurp *Prone to change*
113 years have passed since the War of the Wraithborn ended. It was a devastating and cataclysmic event of an unknown and mysterious foe that caused a 3 year war, a mysterious magical storm its harbinger. The Wraithborn were fuelled with magic of unknown and unheard of proportions. These proclaimed Wraithborn caused chaos and ruin to major settlements and fought entire armies to a standstill while only being a fraction of their enemy’s force. The Wraithborn however suddenly vanished even when they seemed to be at the wake of victory, fading without a trace and leaving behind confusion, mistrust and more chaos. It nearly caused more wars between the nations before they managed to avert it through treaties and truces but even after a century the chaos that the Wraithborn inflicted the world resonate both socially and magically. Even now rumours persist that they shall return to finish off what they started.
The realm now is filled with uncertainty. The king of Tenia, Athelan Reinhart, has only recently passed away and his rule befalls his son Athelstan, a man who has only seen 17 years on this earth and now all the responsibility falls on him to rule the famous nation and all the while banditry and piracy is getting worse. The fact that some believe that the current king is not even legitimate as King Reinhart died as an old man and he and his queen had trouble achieving heirs to the throne. Some say that the son was born of adultery despite the word of both the mother and the royal family’s trusted advisors.
While Tenia is embroiled in it politics, the two dwarven holds seem to be on the verge of another war. The two have never had an easy history to begin with but with the
The only possible good news that seems to be going around in the settlements of Cerdryn are sightings of winged creatures. Some say that they could be just wyverns but the claims of those who have seen them, mostly farmers and common guards but the rumours are getting more frequent and gaining more momentum. Hunters and people of faith are starting to test their luck and faith to catch a glimpse or more of the creature.
You find yourself in the city of Windemere, the trading city that is fortunate to be at the south eastern border of Tenia where series of rivers happen to twist and fork into the mainland and into other nations, making the city one of the most profitable trading hubs in all of Cerdryn and run by Baron Desol, one of the Royal Family’s most trusted honorguard but with its own dark histories and its loyalties sometimes brought up to question. The city hosts and embassy for peace time talks, guild halls, a large market square that is seemingly open every day and an impressive navy to protect itself from any invaders.
Who are you? Are you an elven mercenary hired to explore the wilds for the rumoured dragons? Are you a Trestan farmboy who seeks adventure and glory?
Cerdryn is a vast and magical world. The known realm of Cerdryn consists of the three known continents, the forests and plains of Ardern, The deserts and jungles of Vestien and the tundra of Anoth Wastes.
The magic of Cerdryn all comes from the Maelstrom, a metaphysical realm that those gifted with manipulated with magic can reach and let the energies flow into them to later on manipulate at their will. The Maelstrom itself is a chaotic realm, known as the maelstrom as it is the apt word that those who have looked onto it. The realm is a literal storm of energies that have been called by many names. Mana, ether, mojo, juju or the fuel, these names all represent the same thing which is what is used to fuel spells.
All living beings have something which is called a Rift. These Rifts are metaphysical tears on the veil that separates the worlds from the Maelstrom and those who are gifted with using magic can widen this tear and allow the energies to flow into them to be later manipulated. How they manipulate the magic all depends on their personality. Some are talented with the elemental magic of fire, others to manipulate the external senses and create illusions while others may actually be talented in binding magic in the physical world. It all depends on the person.
That is not to say magic is easy. It carries risks and costs. Almost all those who wish to cast spells efficiently the caster will require a focus to cast large spells. The most common focus that just about every officially trained spellcaster has used is a staff of wood as wood is more expandable and easily worked with. The staff is carved with runes by the caster for various different sorts of spells to make it the most versatile tool in the caster’s arsenal. Others also make smaller foci such as rods and wands for different types of spells, often offensive spells. Swords are sometimes also used as a magic focus though that leaves no room for other enchantments. A sword may also be a difficult focus to make as runes are sometimes deep so it is not always the most practical option.
Casting spells often require a verbal command which often is determined by what the caster has studied. When casters train they may learn commands and how the theory of a spell should work but they may cast a spell without necessarily studying them in a book but theorize themselves how a spell should work and assign that spell with a verbal command of their own which can be a certain inflection of an existing word or even a made up word. It is easier to cast a spell through a focus such a staff that has been crafted by the caster himself. A great help to stay focused with a spell is also to add hand and arm gestures and it isn’t uncommon that some casters channel their spells through a literal dance. Others even cast some spells through the tones of their instruments, casting spells to make their music divine and beautiful that softens the hardest of hearts.
Ritual magic is one of the safest magic to perform but the most time consuming. It is far easier to manage than straight forward magic and in a way rather more versatile but it is very time consuming and can go horribly wrong. Ritual magic often involve a circle. The circle may be drawn upon the earth with a stick or even using a carved ring of stone or metal but a ring it must be. To be efficient the cultural symbol of magic is drawn within the circle and the most common symbol as a five pointed star. The pentacle represents the four basic elements of the world and the spirit all within the circle that is mortal control, often the symbol of power and restraint within the spellcasting community. Ritual magic allows multiple casters to assist one another with a single spell such as summonings and affecting the weather. Advanced forms of ritualistic magic were such as majorly affecting the weather or even seeing into the unknown of the future. The latter of these rituals often have to do with prophecies, vague hints of the future through symbolism while seeing actual clear events often do not come true as they are seen, if at all.
Enchantments are spells that infuse an item or even a person with magic. The theory is that the caster draws out magic from his or her rift and lets it flow into the desired object and there to make a permanent spell. It is often used as rituals and requires both time and immense talent or cooperation to achieve as magic, when no longer in direct control of a caster, will soon scatter across the world. An object almost never has just a single enchantment either. An example would be if someone would want to enchant a blade to burn, the casters will have to not only make sure how the blade burns and how intensely but also need to make other spells so that the object will not be destroyed by the heat and even to make situational command words so that the sword does not burn constantly and that it may burn at a convenient time. Enchantments can easily fail and those who wish to purchase enchantments for their blades or to have a protective talisman will have to very wealthy if they wish to eat the next winter. However, the easiest and most often made enchantment is a focus enchantment which is used to create a magic focus which holds the least amount of risks as there isn’t much magic involved.
Body enchantments. The most complicated use of enchantments is to enchant a living being. The theory is that an inanimate object is still and calm, while the livings are a fluctuating storm. It is not impossible however and those who gain enchantments upon their limbs and body are often capable of extraordinary feats such as strength, speed, eyesight or foresight and durability. This is however an extremely dangerous operation. A failed enchantment can destroy an object which isn’t much of a sacrifice while a person will be lucky with a loss of a limb or death, depending on the form of an enchantment. Not many attempt this form of an enchantment but when they possess one, they may never have another. Oddly enough, never has a spellcaster been successful of gaining such enchantment.
Culture of magic
There are many different ways magic is practiced in the world of Cerdryn but they share similarities. Many have recognized how wooden staffs are useful for foci but how they practice magic in the world is quite different. There are separate establishments within the world that have their own ways of teaching magic. Most of these are more or less neutral in any conflict but each nation is slowly starting to establish their own dedicated schools and collages so the neutral places are becoming more like embassies or neutral ground for all while becoming obsolete.
Tower of Sorcery is an establishment between the borders of Sulstan and Tenia, tasked to educate those who are gifted in magic. They don’t necessarily educate them to become more powerful but to handle their powers and introduce them to the dangers that follow wizardry. Usually the apprenticeship starts at the age of just prior to puberty as that is often the age where the talent is apparent. Five years is often the time it takes for someone to know their limits and avoid from idly succumbing to the Maelstrom. After these five years, the apprentice may either strive to become greater or to return to his old life, safe in the knowledge of his limits and some modicum of power.
The tower does provide shelter to their apprentices and students but they care not for them to be idle. They must work for their stay; harvesting the local farms and aiding those who give provide food for the tower. Not only is it to assure that the tower remains stocked with supplies and is favoured by the locals.
The tower itself technically not just a tower but a whole keep. The tower is large however and was the home of a powerful sorcerer who first established the school. It has been reinforced with not just magical but practical defences as the keep was built around the tower to gain more defences. It is built at the side of a small mountain and the structure is literally carved from the mountain wall, allowing many floors to be established without fear of the structure coming down. It is guarded by combat ready Warlocks from the cabal that are not only there to protect from outside threats but also those within.
The tower was owned by a human sorcerer but with the help of his peers in the art turned his home into a place of learning where those who showed promise would be able to study and hone their skills. It is neutral if conflict was to arise between nations and would even serve as a place to meet for negotiations. It is reliant however of other nation’s support and there for if a conflict would come the students would have full freedom to return home without finishing their studies to either be safe with their families or to fight for their belief and nation. The establishment does not hold much loyalty to any one body of government and instead is there to only teach those in need so they may not succumb to the Aether.
The Warlock Cabal is an order that is concentrated in Tenia. They are loyal to the crown and act as spell slinging enforcers and warriors. They are also the ones that are tasked in hunting down renegade wizards and mages that violate laws and abuse their power over people. Warlocks are trained in offensive magic and armed with foci that are designed to channel quick and deadly spells, most common of which being fire. When someone decides to further study magic from the tower of sorcery or have a potent talent for offensive spells they will be taken to the Cabal. The true location of the cabal is kept a secret and the training is harsh.
The regalia of a warlock often consist of red and black robes and the emblem of the cabal, a black diamond with a red eye with a slitted yellow pupil. Light armour is also common amongst warlock such as leather, ringmail or even a breastplate, any sort of armour that won’t hinder much movement. Often they carry multiple rods and wands on their belts and some even carry weapon foci. They have more trained combatants than most other schools and those who carry staffs tend to make them as pole-arms or fit metal weights at each end to make them effective weapons.
The cabal is also under rather heavy scrutiny and criticism as it is a human centric order with other race members being the minority and that the overall loyalty of the cabal is under question by some as it is not only heavily populated by humans but formed by humans and their home base is suspected being in the largest human capitol. They are however branching out with branches of other races.
Enchanter’s Grove and The High Conservatory are two enchanting focused places of learning. The grove is located in the nation of Kravos which is the home of the elven folk. The grove is quite close to the nation of Fey as well, the birth place of the elves according to legends but now inaccessible due to a tragic circumstance. The High Conservatory on the other hand is bear the borders of Helfast and Besserad and formed by the dwarves of fast. The latter was formed due to the rather high animosity between the dwarven people of Hel Thoram and Gul Maldir. There are no Gul Maldir dwarves in the Conservatory but are welcomed with open arms to the Enchanter’s grove.
The Grove was first started by the elves and serves as a school for basic magic for elves but with the rise of the tower it focused more on enchanting as it is a difficult art but very valuable for any nation, army and any upstart noble with far too much coin and ideas of grandeur and heroics. The Grove is also close to the borders between Trestan and Kravos and there for it is a great location for dwarves to go and study enchanting though the dwarves of Gul Maldir is forming their own establishment for enchanting.
The Sidhe Concord
The Sidhe Concord was a large treaty to all magic users after a massive war involving necromancers raising hoards of undead minions from the grave to do battle with other nations. They were foiled by a united force of dwarves, elves and humans and at the behest of the elven magical hierarchy, a treaty that would further enforce spellcasters and make it utterly forbidden to practice under the pain of death. The Sidhe Concord is primarily enforced by the Warlock Cabal and in many cases they enforce it with extreme prejudice.
Other orders enforce the Concord and many hold it as an ironclad law. There are a number of knight orders and paladins take up the mission of ridding the world of foul practitioners of necromancy and mind bending. The Concord became very popular amongst the common folk even though there are many grey areas within it as the Cabal dabbles with both to be more effective at their duty.
The were-beasts of Cerdryn have been around for a long time, their precursors the fierce dire beasts of old. Many sought to harness their prowess and attributes and so they did. Hunters drove them out of their lands, killing them for their hide and bone, alchemist desiring their blood and organs. That is how they started to create the fierce were beasts.
There are ways to become a beast, through potions or ritual but the most preferred path is a mixture of both. The first ones to achieve lycanthropy were a tribe of humans at the shores of the Anoth south the great mountain walls. They used their primitive alchemy along with a winter new moon ritual. They used their already mastered berserker potion, adding the blood of the dire beasts and infused with ritual magic.
More potent than the previous potions, the consumer became infused with the strengths of the beast, taking upon the attributes of wild to become a greater tool of battle and to feast on the flesh and blood of their enemies. Upon the full moon which the ritual and potion was brewed the person in question goes through a change where they become more like the animals whose blood was used. The most common blood was that of the dire wolf and it is the most numerous species in Cerdryn and there for the most common in the creation of were beasts.
The were-beasts have many advantages. They have enhanced senses to become ferocious hunters, great strength and claws to become feared warriors and speed to hound down their enemies before tearing them apart. They do however become more aggressive, more prone to violence and often ill-suited to society and as spouses despite the intentions of the afflicted.
Lycanthropy can be cured on the other hand but it leaves its mark. Not all of it can be cured and the afflicted is permanently changed. Thicker hair, thick claws, fangs, beast like eyes, often flattened and sometimes even animal nose. They are often avoided however and especially when they are in the presence of alcohol. The cure consists of another potion and ritual to draw the spirit of the beast out. A failed ritual can cause a permanent beast state where they will attempt to murder and devour those around them.
Lycanthropes are often seen under the employ of mercenaries or even shock troops in armies. Those who are not found under such employ are not uncommonly lonely hermits and hunters, living on the borders of society.
Vampirism is mostly legends and stories within the world of Cerdryn but they were once a great force before. They were not numerous but they were immensely powerful, able to bend the wills of mortals and turn them into their thralls. The last commonly known highborn vampire was last slain over two millennia ago with no sign of any others. Their spawns however still survive but not by their doing.
Long ago, not long after the War of the Necromancers about 1200 years ago, a renegade faction of the Desol Family, a long living family line of noble heritage but questionable morality, managed to use their sorcery to subdue and capture one of the last remaining vampires. Despite their strengths, the undead blood suckers had many weaknesses such as light of the sun, silver weapons and alchemical remedies that men of faith and knowledge managed to concoct. These weaknesses were exploited as well and aided in the capture of the last vampire lord. The renegade Desol Family spent years studying the vampire, prying it of the secrets of its strengths, weaknesses and, most importantly, its immortality. The Desols craved the promise of eternal life and tried for years to create even better vampirism. Their first creations were abominations, deformed creatures that were soon burned. It took over 40 years of gruesome tests and experimentation using both alchemy and magic. They were however found by the rest of the Desol family who were highly against their actions. With a retinue of highly skilled warriors and warlocks, they set the site of their experimentation ablaze and killed whatever abominations that they could find.
The Desol avengers dealt with their traitor kin and what of their creations that they could find but some of those creations survived. These took the form of various mortal creatures that had something akin to the vampiric abilities of the lord but somehow watered down. They did not share the full subjugation abilities of their precursor nor the full potential strengths but they also do not share their full weaknesses either. The sun is a great irritation and can cause death on a clear summer day but some have the ability to use their blood fueled abilities to stave off this weakness. Attributes such as true love and faith hold no bounds to these breed of vampires unlike what their template did. They find garlic only an irritation such as poison ivy or a rash inducing allergy and many of the alchemical concoction do not hold sway over them either. Silver is somewhat as effective but just the mere touch, even with clothing, does not make their skin burst into flames as it did the vampire lords. Despite these lessened weaknesses they however do have a blood lust greater than that of the lords. They are more dependent on it and spend their blood fueled strengths like a carpenter using a sledgehammer to hammer in a small nail. They need blood but cannot afford to be recognized for their true nature. Not many survive after the eradication of the renegades but those who do are the most cunning which has always been the true strength of the vampire, pure-blooded or not. They know how to survive and keep themselves hidden and maybe even walk among the mortals of the world. They cannot risk infecting others which they need to do deliberately.
The modern vampire does not have visible physical features that define them, only what race they come from as well as the age that they were turned. Their fangs may grow or retract and they have small holes like syringes which they may inject euphoric liquid into their prey to keep them from struggle and actually enjoy being fed upon. This drug like liquid is thick like saliva and some vampires use it to coat their tongues to induce pleasures to make the victim more encouraged to be lenient prior to feeding. When a vampire is in the sun and is not using its strength to stave it off, it may look as if they are burning from the inside, the skin scorching slowly and blackening when it worsens. A starving vampire becomes paler as it grows hungrier, the fangs always prepared for feeding. Their urges become harder to fight until they have no choice in the matter. They also seem to visibly age by some decades depending on their physical age.
The true vampire lord is believed to be dead, part of the ashes that are long by now scattered across the land and under its dirt. However legends persist that the pureblooded vampires may still walk the earth, watchful of the world.
Non-sapient exists as foul beasts. They come in forms of large bat like creatures and cave dwelling monstrosities. These predate the Desol renegade experiments but are quite deadly. Daylight harms them and silver is deadly to their flesh but that should not undermine their strength, speed and senses as they are deadly predators of the night, to flee at the sight of them or killed if one possesses the ability to do so.
Humans were mostly focused in Ardeyrn though there are plenty in hotter climates of Vestien where the major settlements rarely interact with their northern neighbors and have an uneasy relationship with the far more dominant Besserad people and the remnant of their slave empire.
Elves are rather solitary compared to the other races of Cerdryn and are most concentrated in the forests of Ardeyrn and are rarely seen within Vestien. They are the longest lived race in Cerdryn however, living on average to 200 years of age. They are on average leaner and taller than humans but slightly shorter than orcs, standing on average half a foot over humans. They are usually fair of skin with a dark patch of skin on their lower backs. Along with pointy ears of various size they also possess tails similar to animals, the most common very similar to that of foxes. Some elves are born with multiple tails and those also possess a longer life span. It is generally accurate assumption that each extra tail adds twenty years.
There are elves known as “highborn” that grow antler like horns from their heads and live even longer than the average elf. They are born at random as far as the common folk believe and the longest highborn lifespan recorded was a thousand years.
Half elves are very rare as elves are generally incompatible with other races and their birth rate is also rather low compared to the other races.
These short and stout folk are usually on average 4.5 feet tall and there doesn’t seem to be a size difference between the sexes. They tend to have proportionally larger muscle mass than that of humans and also hair growth. Despite common belief among other races, females do not, on average, grow beards like their men but there are those who do and usually not as much as their males, mostly along the lines of thin side burns but there are those who have more. Dwarven men however do not find this feature unattractive and some even find it highly appealing. Common hair colours of dwarves are shades of brown and red and common eye colours are shades of grey and blue.
The dwarf culture has become a figurative backbone of metal and stone trade as their holds are rich with nearly all types of metals and the people themselves have mastered the art of crafting them into weapons, armour and precious objects. Their common magical items often consist of enchantments as lore suggests that they were the first to conceive to trap magic in the material world from the Nexus and bind it to an object or even a person.
Dwarves and humans are known to fall in love with one another and produce an offspring with ease. These vary from person to person though they generally favour the appearance of their mother and often times shorter than an average human though slightly taller than dwarves. Dwarf and Human offspring are very common in Ardern and a big part of human and dwarf society.
Goblins are a short and very young race. They rose up after as the ashes after the Maelstrom. Majority of them are found in the more forested regions of Vestien and in small settlements if not in major cities. Their skins come in shades of green and grey similar to orcs. Their facial features though are non-linear though common features are long noses, blunt claws and relatively sharp teeth, long pointy ears. They only grow less than 5 feet in height, on average shorter than dwarves and with far less muscle mass. They are far leaner, even so much as to be called scrawny by most standards. Their ways are rather tribal and patriarchal with male in the ironclad role of warriors and hunters and females as caretakers and healers. There are rare exceptions though in the society of goblins.
In recent history the goblins were merely a sub-sapient race, a primate level of intelligence barely able to construct tools. They are somewhat distrusted as a race of mischievous pocket pickers and thieves which isn’t all that unfounded as some goblins have a magpie like desire for shiny objects.
Goblin religion is strangely similar to that of orcs as they worship spirits of various animals and certain landmarks and depict them through totems.
There have been rumours of red skinned goblins in the swamps and jungles in the southern and uninhabited regions of Cerdryn, hidden and very dangerous.
The Drahmin are rather enigmatic race hailing from the Mist Isles. They are commonly known as the Mistfolk for that reason and not to mention that their pale skin. Their ears have three points giving them a fin-like quality though is no larger than that of a human’s ear. Their hair also come in light colours of platinum blondes and whites though they are known to colour their hairs in darker shades as dark hair colours are considered very attractive by Mistfolk society. Drahmin share the same height as humans though are somewhat leaner on average and have similarly proportioned faces so they aren’t that far different from humans.
Drahmin often decorate their pale skin with tattoos of various designs as they prize their artistic nature and is sometimes use it to depict their “destiny” or even station in society. Many also just treat their bodies like a canvas for master artists to use and covered neck to ankle in artistic depictions of various types.
The drahmin have a history of openly practicing now forbidden magic such as Necromancy and mind-control before the signing of the Sidhe Concord.
The Besseradi people are one of the oldest of Cerdryn in terms of their civilization. They tread the deserts. They are distantly related to the Drahmin and that is shown in their appearance. They have similar ears but they are on average shorter and stockier with denser muscles, more akin to human. Their skins are far darker than that of their cousins and are less prone to decorate their skins with ink. They are far more prone to pierce their skin and decorate themselves with precious metals and gems. Some go so far as to imbed a gem into their foreheads.
The besserad people have a history as slavers, conquering human settlements within Vestien and along the coasts of the northern regions before their sovereignty were toppled through a civil war regarding the reigning ruler. Their slave empire was drastically brought down to its knees. Their slaver culture took a blow and the future sovereign lessened it though it was never completely abolished. The human kingdom of Vestien practice slavery in all but in name.
*WIP*Beasts and Monsters
*WIP*Heroes of past glory
Wraith of Aether
Also known as Maelstrom Wraiths or just commonly known as Wraiths. They are not denizens of the material realm but originate in the center of mortal magic. They are enigmatic as no one has probably been able to study them and it is considered impossible for them to actually be able to enter the material world on their own and for a considerable amount of time. They only make their presence known when a spellcaster is drawing upon a vast amount of magical energy and when they find the caster they set upon him like a swarm of locusts.
The wraithborn were a mysterious group of people that were the cause of the infamous war 113 years ago. They numbered at an estimate few hundred from war reports of their battle. Those who survived a close encounter with them have reported that they were members of the other races but all had seemingly pale and scorched skin with cracks in them like burning embers. The cracks glowed with “unholy” azure fire and their eyes burned, literally burned, the same light. All reveled in the chaos that they caused and those that were gifted with magic have described them as “Wraith Like” which shook the various courts of spellcasters to the core. No wraithborn has been seen since nor has the process of how they came to such power been replicated but small and very secret sects of various spellcaster schools are still studying.
Realms and Nations *WIP*