This thread is dedicated to another one of Paorou's ideas which he will soon abandon when he feels lazy. It's a high fantasy setting, which can be utilized with a modified new world of darkness system. __________________________________________________ The story of the World It is said that this world as built on the hull of a large boat. A ship, or more accurately, an ark the gods used to sail the stars. Some say that they sought safety from the chaos that created the universe... Some say that the gods fled a great war between gods much like themselves... Others say that their original world was lost, and they needed to find a new home. Regardless of their reasons, all the records say that the gods built their new home from the ship they travelled on. They set the boat on an eternal course around the sun - marking the first cycle of our world. The two sails, or wings, of the great vessel became the two moons of their new home. These moons were named Ashe, the resplendent home of diana, and Nerf, the cursed abode of Razilin. Then, they covered the vessel with mud and fresh water to create the conditions for life. As the first plants grew upon what was once a shining, metallic and lifeless hull, the gods named their new home "Oieach". This became the name of our world, and the elders postulate that this was also the name of the gods' old home. The gods bore children to populate this earth, and these children collectively took on the names of their parents. They became the different people of Oieach, and inherited the domains of their godly parents. The glittering spires that dotted myriad parts of the earth, as if reaching for the sun, belonged to the winged angels - the shining children of the glorious Asmodai. The great thriving cities, whose lights rivalled the twin moons at night, belonged to the beautiful lunarians - the blessed children of the moon goddess Diana. The secret observatories and strange temples in the great mountains, which glowed with eerie lights when the stars were alight, belonged to the secretive astropaths, the loyal children of the primordial powers known collectively as the Warp. The lush, mysterious forests and their bounty belonged to the hundred tribes of shapeshifters - the adaptable children of she-with-a-hundred-skins. The secluded meadows and verdant hills that dotted the west belonged to the courageous soulhearts - the adventurous children of the aloof god Pogu. The deserts of the southern fringe, fertile with the secrets of the earth and the weapons of the ancients, belonged to the skilled mercenaries - the cunning children of Raikar the god of war. The eastern end of the world, an accursed archipelago of eldritch storms and raving mystics, belonged to the mysterious sorcerers - the deviant children of the mad god Paru-zama. The frigid north, which forced it's inhabitants to a lifetime of hardship and survival, belonged to the hardy vikings - the strong children of Torsty the horned. Finally, the patient god of travel, Raury, saw that the others had taken all the land had to offer, depriving his children of homes and birthrights. This was part of his plan. He used this as an excuse to teach them the godly secrets of dreamweaving - the mystic art of forging connections. Thus, his children could be anywhere they wanted and could create bridges to places no one had ever been to before. Using this secret, they created the airships, which no other culture could effectively replicate. His children cast off the shackles that bound all other peoples to their culture, and were called the nomads, masters of their own fates. It is said that the Muse, the primordial feminine entity that represented the unknown, the creative and the intuitive, decided to stay her hand in handing out her birthrights to her children. However, she would empower certain personages in history, be it male and female to greater feats undreamed of before. These people were soon found out to be her children, and they would be collectively called the destined. No one knows how the destined come to be. They just appear at key points of history, frustrating and empowering others with their mere presence. As the great world-ship became more and more like the world is today, sailing on its eternal cycle - this movement became inherent in all living things. The mystic Cyclic Rings was a metaphysical part of all creatures of Oieach, representing the total sum of their existence. It is through this metaphysical circle that the gifts of the gods are made manifest - such as the magic of Paru-Zamans, the Ars Psyche of the soulhearts, the blessings of the lunarians, and the dreamweaving of the nomads, to name a few. The people believed that each ring was a part of the greater cycle of the entirety of Oieach, and returned to the great cycle upon the passing on of the physical body. Thus was the world of Oieach born. A world filled with ancient secrets, mysteries and adventure. The Different Peoples of Oieach Asmodain Angels, The winged children of Asmodai the Resplendent Heralds of the Sun and practitioners of Emulation It is said that before Oieach sailed around the sun in it's current state, the angelic god Asmodai saw that the sun's fires were uncontrolled and volatile. If the ship were to anchor itself around the sun's life giving rays, the danger of its fires burning the ship's wings [moons] was all too real. There was no other choice, as moving farther from the sun would bring an eternal winter for all on board the ship. Asmodai volunteered to tame the sun for the sake of everyone else, being confident in his own capabilities. Yet, the legends state that in truth, he was all too aware that even he was no match for the fury of the sun. Despite this, Asmodai stretched out his great wings, and flew towards the fiery inferno. All he bore were mystic reins made from the stuff of stars, in order to contain the sun's fury. As he suspected, his wings were caught aflame as he approached, and he lost control of his stinging appendages. He finally could not keep flight, and he plummeted into the core of the sun. Countless burns and boils covered his now bare flesh, and he saw the source of the fires. It was a beast of the sun - a fiery solar hound that bit all that approached. It's teeth were the jagged licks of flame that the sun sometimes produced, threatening to burn entire tracts of land. Asmodai jokingly named this hound 'Choppers' after its teeth, and set to subdue its bite. After an epic grappling match that was said to last aeons, the sun was suddenly snuffed out, as if it had lost it's vigor. At that moment, Asmodai returned to all on board, bearing scars, burns and wings of fire. He now possessed a halo of the sun's life-giving rays, and everyone knew at once of his victory. It is from this event that his title as "the Resplendent, the glorious, the shining" comes from. While there was celebration on board the ship, it did not last long. Asmodai revealed that he had merely knocked out the hound of he sun, for if he had truly killed or subdued it, the sun and his halo would cease their light. All on board would have to find another source of warmth. At that moment, the sun was once again bright and fierce. The solar hound's teeth once again began to lash out, and Asmodai had to wrestle it once more. His eternal struggle would only stop during an eclipse, when he has bound or knocked out the celestial hound. It is only then that he can step down from his abode and talk to mortals and celebrate with them - for such eclipses normally last for a day. However, this is always temporary as the hound finds a way out of his bindings, and Asmodai has to resume the battle. This is why his children build glittering spires that reach toward the sun. It is said that this is their attempt to join the fight, or to give him a place to rest in between the years of battle. They too, possess feathered wings like their progenitor, making them enviable in the eyes of others - even the nomads need 'fake wings' to fly. Even so, they will never be satisfied until they metaphorically reach the sun. Possibly to recieve wings of fire and a halo of glory. Until then, they are less than perfect and that just won't do. Physical theme/Looks The Asmodain ["from Asmodai"/"of Asmodai"] have one theme in common, "Angelic". They are those fair, tall figures with large wings on their back dressed in robes and celestial garments seen in most folkloric literature. However, 'fair' could mean different things for different people. Indeed, there are dark-skinned Asmodain, especially in hotter areas of Oieach; but they still retain the natural attractiveness of their progenitor. 'Fair' in this case means that they tend to be an attractive lot. [physically, at least] They tend to have long hair, [though some do cut their hair - it's not particularly of cultural importance to them] but beards and facial hair are almost unheard of in their kind. for this reason, people tend to believe that Asmodain have a sort of eternal youth thing going for them - which is far from the truth. Asmodain are long-lived, admittedly, living for about 120-150 years, and even longer if they've achieved the mantle of the sun. At about 60-70, however, that's the only time wrinkling and aging start to appear on their faces, but even then, they often age well. Their wings' feather color and texture can vary as much as their skin color, but each individual feather's shape hardly changes. If ever there is such a change, it is miniscule, but not enough to change it from a prescribed 'form'. for this reason, their wings may look different color-wise or feel different, but tend to be shaped the same. It tends to be arched near the base. [where the wings come out of the back] It can be as large as the Asmodain when folded, thus very difficult to hide. When fully unfolded, each wing is almost the length of a man standing sidewards. Asmodain do tend to dress in robes and loose clothing to denote their 'enlightenment' and being above such petty matters of the material world. They prefer to wear sandals. This is because they hardly travel on land and thus it is more comfortable. Asmodain prefer colors of royalty or dominion, such as purple, gold or red. In battle, the Asmodain shift to more practical wear... provided that they deem the enemy worthy of their full capabilities. Even then, the Asmodain tend to wear an amalgamation of leather bands or small pieces of metal, to maximize their speed in flight. This isn't the only reason, however - as their culture emphasizes the Angel's natural abilities and prowess rather than reliance on armor or weapons. However, Asmodain weapons are still as deadly as they are beautiful. They have a preference for making intricate, gilded swords, similar to their glittering towers. They often have miniature 'muses' on the hilt, or sometimes, entire miniature murals depicting Asmodain heroes of old, on the blade itself. However, these swords are not just for display - they are forged with a magical alloy called "Casephenite". The special forging process, which utilizes a specific aspect of the sun's rays, give blades a deadly luster - regardless of the color of other metals used. This method makes fragile looking pieces of art as effective as a no-nonsense bastard sword forged in the halls of Raikar. Such weapons are often nigh indestructible and very rare - they're only made when an asmodain requests one be made specifically for him/her. [to do this more than once in an Asmodain's lifetime is very rare] Thus, a casephenite weapon in the market very likely was stolen or looted from a fallen Asmodain, and can be unwieldy for it's new owner. [not to mention that mere possession of the sword can invoke the ire of other Asmodain] Culture/Personality trends It's all about being all that you can be. Everyone tries to become better or the best at whatever he chooses to be good at. Often than not, Asmodain want to be the best at everything. They want perfection. Anyone not giving hi all in becoming good at something, or constantly failing, has his wings removed literally - although this is rare. For this reason, they tend to be proud, arrogant pricks. [obviously unfinished] Special Abilities/Powers Basic flight - due to the wings of the Asmodain, they can fly as a natural moving action. However, not all asmodain have fully unlocked their potential of flight. This can be further bolstered by the path of emulating asmodai's Independence. There are also different flying styles, which can be purchased as merits. RULES STUFF: To fly in any direction[up/down/left/right/forward/back] simply calculate strength[or dexterity with a specific merit]+athletics times 2 as the number of yards they can cover in one turn at max speed. They can sustain weights equal to their Strength plus yada yada yada [unfinished] Emulation - The Asmodain dedicate their lives 'reaching for the sun' in the hopes that they too can become like Asmodai, the heroic ideal that they all strive to be. This isn't just a philosophy; such attempts to become as strong as Asmodai, to become as smart as Asmodai, to become as fast as Asmodai... literally manifest on the practitioner. For instance, an Asmodain emulating Vengeance might coat his sword in the divine flames of the sun itself, or an Asmodain emulating Glory might humble everyone with his mere presence. This ability that all Asmodain intrinsically possess is called 'Emulation' - meaning 'to copy', or 'to strive to be'. There are seven aspects of asmodai which his children constantly try to recreate within themselves. They usually have specific virtues, and sadly, vices which allow the full unlocking of a specific path's potential. This manifests when certain abilities in the path can only be utilized when a practitioner posseses specific virtues/vices. Vengeance - This path venerates Asmodai the righter of wrongs, calling down divine strength or the flames of the sun to burn opponents. it is tied to the virtue of justice and the vice of wrath Glory - This path venerates Asmodai the majestic victor, making the practitioner bend others to his will or bowing his opponents with his mere presence. It is tied to the virtue of Faith and the vice of Pride. Independence - This path venerates Asmodai the Unconquered, making the practitioner untouchable, or doubling his flight speed. It is tied to the virtue of temperance and the vice of sloth. Discovery - This path venerates Asmodai who parts the veil of ignarance, giving the practitioner preternatural senses or allowing him access to lore that he otherwise wouldn't have. It is tied to the virtue of Prudence and the vice of Greed. Harmony - This path venerates Asmodai as a bridge between different forces, allowing the practitioner to speak any tongue, or to protect oneself from hostile intentions. it is tied to the virtue of Hope and he vice of Lust. Martyrdom - This path venerates Asmodai's valiant sacrifice for the sake of all on Oieach, allowing the practitioner greater acts of heroism in exchange for his own safety, or the healing of others. It is tied to the virtue of charity and the vice of gluttony. Rigor - This path venerates Asmodai as the physical pinnacle of perfection, allowing the practitioner a massive muscle increase, or to gain flesh like steel. It is tied to the virtue of Fortitude and the vice of Envy. An Asmodain has starting dot in an emulation that is tied either to his virtue or his vice. If both are different emulations, then choose one of those to place the one dot in. The asmodain then has two more dots to place in another emulation or to bolster his first. Organizations/Factions The jacks of shades - this group are an unofficial policing faction within the Asmodain. Unlike others who are loathe to operate at night, this group operates in the darkness and the shadows. This gives them a rather bad reputation among the Asmodain as cowards and dishonorable folk. This mysterious group fights the enemies of the Asmodain despite this, believing that their enemies exist both outside and within. This is the reason for their existence and their methods. The emulations of those they seek to fill their ranks must possess martyrdom and vengeance. Stereotypes Paru-zamans - Deviants in body, deviants in soul. Lunarians - Those 'blessings' you possess are transient. What we seek are eternal. Soulhearts - Mediocrity is not 'heroism'. Paru-zamans Sorcerers, children of the mad king Paru-zama Guardians of the Storm Eye and masters of Kyriarchos It is said that discounting the accursed night-demon of Razilin and the hundred nephilim who fell from the heavens, no greater enemy exists in the world of Oieach than the mad god Paru-zama. It is postulated that Paru-zama is linked to the primordial chaos that forced the gods on their voyage, and that they imprisoned him in a chamber on the vessel that was vulnerable to the elements. Whatever the reason for doing so, all legends state that he was 'bound' in a chamber or a piece of land, and that he is unable to leave. Some say he grew mad as the the voyage continued. The 'sea' of the heavens flooded his chamber at certain points of the journey, and he was in constant danger of drowning. He could not sleep as the rain of stars burned him as they passed through a cosmic storm. When the gods reached their destination, however, they found him playing with the remnants of stars and cosmic energies like a child would a toy. Fearful of this new discovery, the gods decided to seperate him from the rest of the vessel. [which was by now, Oieach] They did so, by creating an ocean to seperate themselves from him. His chamber was now an underground prison, on a lone island in the middle of a great ocean. There, the mad king did not stop, and he continued to play with his little cosmic storm of stars and heavens. Some say he was already mad prior to the journey, and that is precisely why he was put into his mystic prison. Eventually, a great storm built up around the lone island that was his prison, one the other gods could not fathom. it was an eternal storm, never ceasing and never ending. Rain came down in droves, winds howled and tides changed in mere seconds. New islands were formed, and in an instant, sunk. Many whirlpools were formed in the newly made 'archipelago', making travel to and from the region even more dangerous. The gods began to worry when the storm began to grow in size, threatening coastal towns on the edge of the sea. They suspected it was the doing of the mad king, and created an expedition of heroic individuals to subdue him. A great fleet of ships was formed and watched over by the gods as they crossed the ocean. As soon as they entered the great storm however, the gods were stricken blind, mad and confused as ships traveled in circles and the howling winds began to resemble the screams of some horrible creature. Ships crashed into each other, brother turned against brother, and even the gods themselves were helpless in their mindless, frothing stupor. Yet, they were able to keep their sanity long enough to leave the accursed place. In a single night the great fleet was reduced to nothing but scattered flotilla. The entire fleet was reduced to a young female with elfin features, soon found out to be one of the 'destined' - the rare children of the Muse. The girl, whose name was lost to history, found her way into the depths of Paru-zama's eternal prison. There, she found the mad king - raging and cursing at unseen forces. She called his attention, and he haughtily ordered her to return his toy. the girl asked what toy he pertained to, and soon learned it was the storm outside, which devoured countless lives and ships. The girl then made fun of the mad king, who, in his frustration, taught her what is now known as the art of Kyriarchos. It is the greek word for 'ruling' - a mastery of the elements utilized by the Paru-zama sorcerers. He then told her to grab the storm outside, as if it were a ball, and bring it into his cell. At this level of her knowledge, she was aware that she could not handle the entirety of the storm alone. The girl, clever as she was, grabbed only a portion of the storm in her hands, and brought it before the mad king. The storm weakened as a result, and it stopped growing to a dangerous size. Paru-zama, in his madness, could not tell the difference. At first, was grateful to the girl and offered to teach her more of the 'eternal game'. He could not hear the storm raging outside or see that his toy was less shiny than usual. His only condition was that teaching took time and she had to stay if she wanted to learn. The girl agreed, and became the first master of kyriarchos. She soon learned that even hunger, age and time could be ruled in such a manner. She decided to live in the island under the tutelage of the mad king. As she grew older, she began to develop a mastery of the elements that soon rivaled the mad king. She became beautiful as well - and the mad king, in his loneliness, fell in love with her as an equal. Even if Paru Zama is portrayed as insane, he was manipulative and cunning. Paru-zama created a plan to lure his favorite student into his twisted form of intimacy. The mad king revealed that he could have undone his bindings and his cage if he wanted to, but chose to remain inside because of a supernal truth inherent in complete mastery of Kyriarchos. He told the woman that being bound in his cage gives him a greater sight and understanding than everyone else. He told her plainly, that his cage is magical - and that being bound gives one a wider perspective than one who takes his freedom for granted. The woman believed him, seeing as her understanding of kyriarchos allowed her to bend even the gigantic pillars that held up the great structure that contained him. What were mere iron bars which separated the mad king from her? She fell for the ruse, a very improbable one - and in her insatiable curiosity, asked to be let in. She herself opened the cage, and Paru-zama closed it behind her. The god then confessed his love to the woman, revealing that indeed, he could leave if he wanted to. Now that she's trapped in here with him, however, he felt no need to leave. The woman, shocked and betrayed, angrily tore out his eye as he god held her in his arms. The mad king covered the walls with his blood and tears spraying from his now empty socket, and he howled in despair. The woman, however, still could not escape her new mystical prison, no matter how potent her kyriarchos was. The despairing mad king, now truly insane, violently overpowered and ravaged her on that night. The next day, the mad king awoke to see his prison awash with his blood, tears [and on some accounts, fluids] as well as a hole through his mystic cage. The woman had escaped. He smashed the cage apart, the first time he ever truly attempted to do so - and went outside to see Oieach for the first time. He saw that his favorite toy, the storm, was still outside. The woman was attempting to calm it so that she may cross safely when he caught her. Enraged, the mad king took the portion she had given him hundreds of years before and hurled it at her. The ball took on a violent shape, a whirling mass of violent winds and crackling energy. It was then that the woman held out his eye, and used his own Kyriarchos against him. The spot which was supposed to be most violent, the center of the storm, became calm and peaceful. The storm clouds and deadly winds still surrounded this new 'Eye of the Storm' menacing all within. However, they could not enter her dominion, or harm the woman. It is said that at the end of this tragic tale, the woman, with tears in her eyes, threw the eye at the mad king's feet. She was then lifted by the Muse out of the cursed island. The mad king then angrily hurled his own eye into the sky, further empowering the protective spell cast by the woman earlier. Paru Zama then retreated back into his cage, and refused to show himself to oieach once more. This explains why all storms on Oieach have an eye, where everything is calm and peaceful - it is indelibly seared into the cycle of the world. it is said that a decade later, a young man and his twelve brothers and sisters descended into the tower. They found the almost bestial mad king, his hair flecked with blood, his remaining eye bloodshot; he was groveling in his own filth. The mad king would have torn them to pieces if not for the eldest brother's possession of the original storm eye. This event snapped the mad king back to his senses, and he questioned them about their mother's personage. The young man answered that he was Paru zama's son, as well as all his siblings, and asked that they come to live with him to learn about Kyriarchos. The mad king never got over his hatred and despair, and he never lost his cunning. He told them that the storm eye was integral in the use of kyriakos, and he needed the original to effectively demonstrate it. The eldest, however, was the wisest - he refused and said that the mad king could utilize kyriarchos just fine. The Mad king was enraged with this, and remembering that fateful night, he attacked them in a fit of blind rage. The eldest son's meager knowledge of the art could not protect him against the mad king's potency. Paru zama brutally scarred all his children or twisted them into hideous forms. When he finally came to, he saw what he had done to his own children. Distraught, he tore the original storm eye into pieces. The blood and gore of the eye immediately solidified into a large crystal wall. This red wall of blood blocked passage from his cell and the outside world. The mad king remained in his cell, and vowed never to leave his cell ever again. His children were still alive somehow, and Paru Zama was aware of this. His divine blood reinvigorated them enough, so that they felt no pain. They were each told to procure a shard of his bloody eye. He instructed them, from behind the wall of bloody crystal, in the use of kyriarchos, and how to save themselves from dying. These shards were called 'storm eyes'and he said that everyone who bears his blood has the right to take his own storm eye from this wall of crystallized blood. After the ordeal, the twelve children of Paru Zama emerged from the tunnel, and became the first people who bore his name. However, they could not undo the scars and the twisted mutations given to them by their mad father. Such was his anger and despair, that it had tainted their very blood. They decided to make their home on the accursed archipelago, where the storm constantly blows, and have become the master of kyriarchos - rule over the elements. Recently, the peoples of the mad king are divided, like his paradoxical personality. There are some who wish to mediate the sins of the father and the mother in order to ease their curse. Others hate him for what he has done, and think he deserves his own self-imposed exile. [others go to the extreme and say they should rid Oieach of his horror forever.] others do not mind the deformation or the scarring, believing the knowledge of kyriarchos is a worthy payment for their cursed forms. Physical theme/Looks The Paru-Zamans are known as the 'magicians', but they have another more unsavory name, the 'mutant'. Paru-zamans always have a flaw that sadly defines them, whether it be the scarring from the first time they take their storm eye from the wall of blood, to extra limbs or [the lack of] sensory organs. These deformations come in all sizes and have varied debilitating effects. it is said, however, that the greater the deformation, the stronger the kyriarchos potential of the bearer. No Paru-Zaman is free from this curse, not unless they're part of specific factions, or learn specific kyriarchos spells that allow them to cast off their curse - such things however, have a tremendous price. Freeing the self from this curse is rare for good reason, and most magicians will tell you that they'd rather live with it than without them. Beyond the physical deformity that they all share, the children of Paru-zama are as varied as the different peoples of Oieach. they can be tall, short, fair skinned, brown skinned, with a variety of facial features. However, they all distinctly bear a human physique - if ever they have fur, scales or a tail - it is due to their deformity. Even having elfin ears is considered a deformity [but a very minor one] even if the legendary mother of the people bore elfin form. The reason for this variety may be due to the true nature of Paru-Zama. Maybe, just possibly, he is the primordial chaos, a living Paradox made incarnate. For this reason, The key theme in Paru-zaman wear is secrecy or privacy. Paru-Zamans tend to wear heavy cloaks or capes to hide their deformities. in fact, they may even wear gloves or body suits under their cloak and hoods. They prefer the colors red, black and gold, although dark greens, blues and browns are becoming just as popular. Women may even wear veils in daily life. They wear their shards like amulets or jewelry, but are canny to keep it hidden in their robes. More paranoid magicians place their shard in books, bags, clocks and other accessories where their presence would not be as obvious. This is important, as the shard is essentially the Paru Zaman's life. Without this, their right to rule the elements is constantly questioned by the cycle of all things, and they are chastised more often. It is an irreplaceable part of the Paru-zaman way of life, as the wall of blood only ever sheds a storm eye for a person once in his lifetime. [there are rare cases of this rule being broken, especially involving the destined.] In war, the magicians hardly produce armor or battle gear, in all likelihood, they simply produce these via kyriarchos. Such magical armor and gear tends to be invisible to the eyes of their enemies, much like most of the magician's body. There are cases where the Paru-Zaman's deformity can be utilized as a weapon, or makeshift armor, and thus, it is revealed for all to see. This is only ever done when the Paru-Zaman is desperate and does not care of the social consequences afterwards. The only real 'forged' armor distinct to them is possessed by the cyclic kings/queens, those who have placed 'Zama' into their names to denote their mastery of kyriarchos. These men wear crowns made of gold and their storm eye shard set as the main gem - other gems may be added, but they are not necessary. These crowns allow the king to cast his spells with just a thought, and allow him to do so efficiently. Paru-zamans wield a variety of weapons, but prefer the dagger, the rod, the throwing disk, the cup and the mirror. These are more likely kyriarchos foci rather than actual weapons, [especially with regards to the cup] and more often than not, they are. However, 'weapon' and 'focus'are not mutually exclusive. [in the case of the cup, it may actually represent a greater danger than all others shown, especially in the paru-Zaman archipelago.] They act as a sort magical 'symbol', used to exert authority over the elements. [much like a badge] Such weapons are just the 'generic' idea of what to expect when paruzamans fight, but creative uses of he stranger foci have been seen. [such as a bladed mirror, a string of cups, using coins instead of throwing disks, etc.] The materials involved in such weapons also vary wildly, often depending on the 'symbolism' of the material used. Culture/Personality trends Don't ask/don't tell with regards to the mutations. Paranoia, deceit and manipulation abound amongst the organizations and even individual magicians. No one hears paruzama behind the wall of blood anymore, so spells and the use of kyriarchos is a master-student thing between an older magician and a younger one. they are kept as same-sex pairs because of the legend. [like that stopped anyone.] The older you are, the better your status regardless of actual competence. [but there are standards.] [obviously unfinished] Special abilities/Powers Deformity - All Paru-zamans have a deformity: from an ugly wart that doesn't go away, to a large arm growing on your back that's difficult to hide. The higher the dots representing the deformity, the more obvious/ugly [or in some cases, useful] your character's deformity is when revealed. having RULES SHIT: Select your deformity and stat as dots. Dots in deformity directly translate to social penalties, or debilitating penalties to certain actions. [such as disjointed legs grant penalties to running, for instance] They apply, however, as bonus points when getting new purviews for kyriarchos. However, these very same points can be used to gain natural weapons/armor merits linked to the deformity. Kyriarchos - A greek word that means 'ruling'. It is the ability of the mad king's children to 'rule' over aspects of reality. The art involves the magician channeling this command through his storm eye to make it seem 'legal', and then using symbols of power to appease the element involved. [Think of it as 'advertising'.] If successful, the magician uses the element to create the desired effect, and if he fails, the element simply does not obey. If kyriarchos were that easy, the paruzamans would be the most powerful people on Oieach, but alas, it is not - the cycle itsef may oppose them from time to time, chastising them for using false authority granted by a mad king. This happens normally when the user has a dramatic failure, but often happens when a spell is ill-prepared. [i.e. not all the required tools are present, using fire to create water, etc.] In such cases, it becomes obvious to the cycle that the magician has no real authority over the chosen element, and punishes it's user for it. NOTE: unlike world of Darkness, the setting is very high fantasy, so magic and sorcery are accepted norms. However, the cycle still punishes those that flaunt their power with no real right to do so. I will keep with the norm and call it 'vulgar' as well. Well prepared spells with all the correct symbols are called 'covert' - out of the cycle's notice. The elements involved are called 'Purviews'. All Paru-zamans have at least one purview, and normally dedicate their lives perfecting it. [or, getting other purviews] Purviews represent facets of the world that the magician commands to produce a desired effect. They are generally portrayed with dots or 'ranks'. Each dot represents what kinds of commands the magician can send to the elements involved. * - sense via the element [see through stone], know what is wrong with the element [know if someone messed with the water], change the element's shape/color. [make a tree produce red fruit instead of blue.], protect oneself from the element. [immunity to licks of fire.] ** - Protect oneself with the element [create an armor of stone], adjust the potency of the element [make fire hotter], move existing elements from one point to another[make winds go east when they normally go north], confer others with the element's senses. [show others how to see through rock] *** - make the element take a form it does not normally have [create a sword of fire], use the element as a weapon [rocks hurl themselves at opponents], change the state/size of an element [make water into ice], confer others with the element's protection. [create armor for your allies.] **** - Create the element out of nothing [conjure water], compel the element to make more complex forms [a dragon made out of lightning], Extinguish the element [make solid rock walls disappear], increase the potency of previous spells [if you were only able to hurl fireballs before, you can now create an inferno] ***** - There isn't much you can't do with regards to the element. This represents mastery over the element. To make kyriarchos for your character, select a purview - it can be anything generally seen in nature, from fire, ice, water, trees, etc. This is a general purview you have knowledge of, equivalent to one dot. Note that it cannot be an abstract idea such as time, space, war, violence, etc. Then, select a specific portion of that purview, or specific manifestations of that purview. For instance: earth - diamonds, water - rivers, wind - storms, etc. This is your specialty, and as long as you would cast a kyriarchos spell utilizing this specific trait, it is counted as being one dot higher than your general purview. You are then given another dot, to increase your existing purview, or to get another. You are also given another specialty, which you can apply to your first purview or the second. If you wish to gain more dots or more purviews, you must use points gained from the deformity ability. Note: Abstract ideas such as time, space, mind, emotions, love, etc. are not included because they are considered as 'advanced' kyriarchos learning. Normally, a Paru-zaman has to master his element before he can take on such concepts. The prescribed way of learning these is to join the different organization and factions within the Paru-zaman culture that specialize in certain concepts. Otherwise, the GM has final say over such matters. Organizations/Factions Bloodspinners - a cabal of paru zaman sorcerers said to trace its lineage back to his twin son/daughter Sanluz and Solluz. The two were said to each have lost one eye from their father's rampage. Despite this, they were one of his most loyal children who killed in his name - although the records say that they fell into madness just like him. They require that their members have the purview of blood or at least a specialty of blood. They prize paru zamans who are willing to use their own blood in their kyriarchos spells. Joining this organization grants access to abstract purviews such as life, violence and mind, to name a few. Order of Teknika - Barunabatto was one of the older sons of Paru zama, who was in charge of watching the wall of blood in days when conflict between the siblings was most rife. He overheard the mad king mumbling about a brother and of wondrous ships that sailed the stars, and curious, he paid attention. What he learned that night were secrets of the universe that the order of Teknika is not willing to reveal to those outside their order. The people in this organization are aloof and stoic, and joining them is a matter of earning their trust. Joining this organization grants access to abstract purviews such as time, space, and mind. it also grants access to element purviews that most people on Oieach have never heard of before - however, their nature is a secret only known to the order. The Eight-tailed, Eight-headed Serpent - There is a group within the Paru zaman culture which espouses a radical belief, that Paru Zama was not the only person imprisoned on the world ship of Oieach. This group worships another being of pure power called the Orochi, said to be somehow linked to Paru zama's original crime. Unlike the mad king, it has not fallen to madness, though it is considerably less potent. However, the secrets it teaches in exchange for liquor, festivals and maidens are definitely proof of it's ancient significance. Joining the organization allows one to see the secret location of the Orochi, who in turn can grant access to abstract purviews such as magnetism, spirit, and time. The Cult of Bread - an esoteric cult, but well known even to outsiders. They glorify bread and an aspect of Paru zama known as 'Skhone' the bread god. They teach Battle cuisine, and require that their members are both scholars and warriors. Joining this organization allows purchase of fighting style [battle cuisine], and abstract purviews such as cooking, death, and baking. Stereotypes Asmodain - They can fly and brag all they want. We can swat them out of the sky when we feel like it. Soulhearts - Stay in your hills and your safe homes - I don't want you telling me what to do. Lunarians - Easy come, easy go. Lunarians The beautiful, Those from Luna Ashe - Diana's moon The soul-partners of Oieach, recipients of Her Blessings. Originally, Oieach only had one moon, or one wing/sail, when it was still a god-ship that traversed the heavens. However, a demon named Razilin took the sail for himself and destroyed it, veering the ship off course. The ship of Oieach almost crashed into a celestial shoal, if not for a celestial maiden making herself known. This maiden was known as Diana, and she held a mirror in her hands that reflected light upon the god-ship. The gods looked upon where the rays fell, and saw the danger. They began to row away from it as a timely response. Thanks to the maiden's mirror, a crisis was averted. The gods asked her to join their voyage, for her help would be useful in navigating the heavenly oceans. She at first agreed, but saw that they no longer had sufficient room and board for her. The gods thought about this quandary, and turned to their broken sail. They then fought the demon Razilin, and stole his perch from him. They then covered him in the torn sail, and threw him overboard - but as luck would have it, a rope still bound him to the ship, and he followed them for the rest of the journey. this became Iwaku's second moon, Luna Nerf - the 'cursed' castle of demons. Now that the highest perch was freed, the goddess Diana was given the highest point of the ship as her new residence. She gracefully accepted and ascended to her new home. To thank the Oieach people for their hospitality, she unfurled a great cloth, a new sail/wing that would lead Oieach to the end of it's journey. Her mirror showed them the way, guiding them onwards. Her people have been treated with the same reverence as her. When she descended to the world the first time in her journey, she brought her children down to teach the Oieach people of her wisdom. To mark them as her own children, she gave them mystic blessings to help them make their way in the world. Her children would then use these blessings to make their wondrous glittering cities and beautiful monuments that seem to glorify her moon at night. Physical theme/Looks They can vary greatly, but they are not called 'the beautiful' for nothing. Tend to look attractive, regardless of height, body type, etc. Clothes tend to be elegant and fashionable. They give off an aura of being well-off and truly blessed. Culture/Personality trends It's all about sharing what you have, and expecting the same of others. Of course, everyone's blessed as far as they're concerned. However, they also have a need to protect their own assets. After all, if it runs out, what's there to share? Can become bad as they are viewed as being too materialistic, or too kind. Both extremes are very common. They tend to be very social creatures, due to blessings and the community culture. Special Abilities/Powers Mark of Diana - This isn't a physical mark, per se, but a sort of aura that surrounds the Lunarians, especially at night. It is said that they can loosen tongues and stop conflict just by talking or pleading their case. This can be called one of Diana's Blessings, but it seems that this is a pre-requisite for her actual gifts. RULES: You may utilize one of your cyclic ring points to reflexively activate the mark for one scene. You gain a bonus to your social rolls equal to your dots in Mark of Diana for that scene. In combat, duration is reduced to one turn. This ability is needed for the blessings. Blessings of the Moon Goddess - Only those with the mark of Diana may gain supernatural blessings from her directly. This could be anything, from treasures falling from the sky, to adjusting the light of the moon, to swaying others to your side with Diana's own voice. The blessings appear when the Mark of Diana goes active, but disappear when the duration is over. These blessings are always conveniently at the player's side. However, certain blessings can stay over even after the duration ends. RULES: These operate as 'bonus merits' that only appear when the mark goes active. For each dot you possess in Mark of Diana, you have two dots you can allocate to any number of merits [resources, fame, retainers, etc.] that aren't specific to other peoples/cultures. This list of merits can be changed in-between stories, but of course, at GM's discretion. To summon said blessings, one simply activates the mark, and reflexively rolls a social skill [player's choice] to beat the dots of the chosen merit/s [if combined into one summoning]. Succeeding means the player possesses the merit/s for the duration of the mark. Failing means that nothing happens, and they must try again next turn. To make such merits permanent, one must spend an additional cyclic ring point, then activate the mark of diana, and roll a social skill [player's choice] detailing how they gain their blessings as truly their own. The number of successes in said roll must overcome the dots of the merit. Succeeding this means you lose a Mark of Diana DOT, however. Failing means you just wasted a cyclic ring point. You can only gain one merit in this manner, per story. Organizations/Factions Luna Ashe Manor - led by lord Isabella, they are said to possess a manor on Luna Ashe, bought with their collective blessings and wisdom. This organization seeks to better and to improve the blessings and marks of diana on the community as a whole, to see what greater feats they can achieve. Stereotypes Paru-zamans - Your powers are nothing more than flashy displays of attention seeking. Our goddess provides for us. Asmodain - Why can't you ever be satisfied? Soulhearts - I can see why you'd want to get out of your quaint little hamlet. Come, I can show you the finer aspects of life. Soulhearts Pogu's children, Courageous folk of the god with three forms. Those on the path of heroes and artisans of the Ars Psyche Pogu is known as the god of three forms, and is one of the least understood progenitors of the Oieach pantheon. Other than the soulhearts who bear his oral tradition, not much of his history or the significance of his three forms are known. However, what is known about Pogu is that he served as a hero of sorts during the treacherous voyage of the gods through the heavens. His exploits involve battles with great demons and supernatural, titanic monsters that threatened every turn of the voyage. It is said that he was responsible for the capture of Paru-zama, and helped Asmodai in a great battle against star-eating horrors. He did many other great feats during the odyssey, and these are collected as a series of short stories amongst the epics of the other gods. However, one facet of his myth is still unexplained - the fact that after each of his travails, he is never spoken of. in each story, the gods have a problem that they can't solve, or a terror that even scares them. Pogu is there, ever-ready, and he takes care of the issue. After the heroic act is recorded, he is never spoken of again. Another strange aspect of the Pogu myth is that his looks and descriptions are not consistent. At one point,he is a young man with red hair and feline ears, with a green scarf around his neck. Yet, in another story, he is an older man with a different costume, wielding a different weapon. so far, there have been three distinct forms that scholars have specified, despite the wildly varying descriptions. It is as if Pogu is just a placeholder name for a heroic individual who assists the gods and solves problems even the gods themselves can't solve. The people who bear his name are as mysterious as their progenitor, but they are also known as courageous and heroic folk. They stay in the hills and solace of the verdant west - a peaceful refuge from the rest of the world. However, they are known to set out once in a while, to make a name for themselves. Many of these 'soulhearts' find their place in history as unsung heroes, shadowed by leaders, kings, and knights - but they're in the story, regardless. Physical theme/Looks They are generally portrayed as a short, lithe people. Their hair tends to be short as well, and they are known to have larger-than-average feet. They like to wear simple, comfortable clothes that can double as traveling clothes at any moment. Weapons take the form of key-shaped blades. Culture/Personality trends it's all about individuality and having names for oneself. They only really stay in their homes on the meadow when they are very young, or retired. They have an in-built wanderlust and a sort of death drive for adventure when they reach puberty. When they grow old, they tend to want to go home, and live the rest of their lives peacefully, boasting of their adventures to younger folk. Special Abilities/Powers Smaller stature - All of Pogu's children are of smaller stature than others. This isn't only in their height, however. They tend to have tightly packed muscle and sinew, thus giving them a slim body type. This may make them look more fragile, but it also confers on them an interesting set of advantages. Rules stuff - Size is 4 by default. However, you naturally give opponents a -1 penalty in attempts to attack you. [including grappling and shooting] You also gain an additional specialty linked to your slimness or smallness, such as spelunking, breaking out of bonds, etc. Ars Psyche - The true ability of all Pogu's children, is that they tap into their very souls to draw out supernatural effects. However, these effects are not as obviously supernatural as the Kyriarchos of the Paru Zamans, the blessings of the Lunarians, or the Dreamweaving of the Raury nomads. They tend to be feats of strength, or luck, or skill that give the Pogu an edge over others. - they may spend their cyclic ring points like willpower points, and may gain up to +6 dice for an action by using both. - they gain 'mystic' specialties linked to their attributes rather than specific skills. - They may gain mystic resistances for other skills at higher levels of Ars psyche. - They can 'risk' willpower like in Hunter: The Vigil. Organizations/Factions The Viridian Emerald - allied with certain Raury-nomads, they operate as a sort of sellsword organization, but tend to go for the underdogs. They have a checkered reputation to different individuals as a result. Stereotypes Paru-zamans - You can get meaningful power elsewhere; your practices aren't the only way. Asmodain - There is more to life than your narrow philosophy. Lunarians - Everything comes so easily to you, eh?