Friday, July 30, 2010

History of Martapa VI

After the War of the Gods was a chaotic period as Wizards vied for power vacuums and new empires begin to rise.

The Kingdom of Tridon rose once again in power with the Twelve Houses returning to the edicts of Peter. Of course about 3,000 years later they fall again because Human memory is short, but in the mean time the world sees a resurgence of Knightly virtues and academic achievements. Roads and relations are repaired and the High King once again vital.

The Wizard Shaniko's apprentices form an alliance which they name the Black Wizards of Shaniko. They rise in power over the next three thousand years, bringing Ogres and Minoutars to work as their shock troops. Their true goal is to return their Lord God to the Mortal Plane where the predecessor was unable to.

In Ariella the Empire of Ariella is started on its path of greatness. A small group of survivors of Shaniko's harsh rule group together, electing a young man who's mind for strategy is unsurpassed as Empire. The Empire grows in such leaps in bounds in three thousand years that nearly 2/3's of Ariella comes under the rule of the Empire of Ariella.
Monday: For a change of pace let's talk about possible "classes" on Monday, starting with Knights of Tridon

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

History of Martapa V

The Time of the Chosen is the actual time setting of my original foray into my world of Martapa. This crude writing period in my life gave birth to my world, and I have to at least acknowledge it for that small aspect, even if the story itself never is seen by anyone but me.

So around 6000 AC a group of four youth, two Knights, a thief and a half-elven Clan Warrior set forth to save the world. Their births are ordained by the Gods themselves and magical items are created by Targon and Taniger just for them to defeat Shaniko and stop Kahalla from taking over the world. Eric Calabay and Richard Goldenstern are my Knights in training. Through out this part in my world's history they strive to uphold the virtues of Knighthood which had slipped because of the war with Shaniko and take over their Houses since they are last surviving scions of Calabay and Varanath. Jared Swiftarrow, or Mouse to his friends, is a thief who helps the Knights on their path and in the end becomes the perfect Knight. Amber Blackwolf is my half-elven Clan Warrior charged with protecting Richard and struggling with her half-elven ancestry.

They are brought together by Master Mage Ukiah, who has been blessed by the Gods with extreme long life and is the human father of Amber. He knows what must happen and unwillingly sacrifices his daughter, he believes, to Targon's will.

They have to gather the Gift of the Gods to stop the Wizard Shaniko from bringing Kahalla to Mortal Plane where he could destroy the Gods. (If the Gods are summoned through the Gate they are at full power, but if brought there by other means or they go on their own their power is weak and Kahalla could have destroyed them.) In the end they do stop Shaniko, bringing the Gift to Stormvale where they summon the Gods through the Gate and the God Kahalla is banished to the Void.

So a bit on the Gate of the Gods. To summon the Gods a Gate has to be made between the Mortal and Immortal Planes. To do so the Gift draws a bit from eight Gate Dragons or the "Chosen" who are to weild the Gift to call upon the Gate. When my four Chosen use the Gate there is only one dragon in all of Martapa, Fire Flash, so new dragons are created by taking part of each of the Chosen's souls to create new ones. Then the eight dragons, including Fire Flash, are used to create the Gate. The Gate Dragons are not harmed, but they are unable to do anything until the Gate is finally created.

This period becomes known as the War of the Gods and after is marked as Post Avatar (PA), though not all histories stop at 6004 AC. For those who don't roleplay regularly an Avatar is the mortal shell of a God when they are on the Mortal Plane. And dragons return to the world, Fire Flash and his mate, Elemental Storm leading them.
Tomorrow: Martapa after the War of the Gods

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

History of Martapa IV

The Wizard Wars happened around 3382 AC, after years and decades of wizards rising in power. This is sort of misnomer for not only are wizards fighting wizards, but mages are also fending off their darker counterparts at the time. Wizards were building cabals to consolidate power. Some of the groups were called Order of the Raven, the Dark Alliance, Kahalla's Children, and Rising Dark. All of these groups were competing for dominance to not only rule over all wizards, but the world of Martapa as well. After all, the only good thing about power is to rule over other people, at least in their eyes.

The mages were fighting valiantly against all sects so as to keep the Balance in line. Some power groups of mages at the time were Targon's Lance, Mages of Light, and the Balance. The most powerful group of mages was from the Mage College named Dragon's Fire. The college was about learning magic, but it also had a very strong militaristic wing as well.

The wars went on for nearly a quarter of a decade and ended in a small, unnamed village in eastern Taina where a large contingent of the Wizards literally blew themselves up with so much powerful magic unleashed in one area. Many mages were lost as well, but their numbers were small compared to those of the Wizards which were lost.

One of the wizards who escaped was an elf who returned to her home in Qalataqa She blended into society and had children, and they had children until one of her descendants who was not a Warrior fell in love with a Wolf Warrior. When I get to the Warrior history and workings I will explain why a Warrior could not have or beget an unsanctioned child. But needless to say, a child was conceived several thousand years after the wars and when the child was born the wizard returned to her dark ways, teaching her descendant to use the dark magicks. This was the beginnings of my antagonist in my original series (which will never see the light of day if I don't rip them apart first). So the Wizard Wars, though long before the setting of my first series is a vital turning point in my world's history.
Tomorrow: The Time of the Chosen

Monday, July 26, 2010

History of Martapa Part III

So after the Ogre/Human Wars ended civilization became more prevalent everywhere on Martapa. One of the biggest civilizations to begin to grow is the human one and it balloons with Peter Thorson. In 1982 AC Peter and his friends begin their trek from the small village of Stormvale to the east side of the Tsalagi Mountains to see the world. This trek shapes Peter and his friends who eventually unite the humans of Taina under the banner of Tridon.

Peter and four friends left Stormvale and came upon the atrocities the ogres were still perpetrating upon the human population in the city of Last Stand. It was here five, untrained young men freed a city from their Ogre masters and gained followers who would all become the Leaders of the first Houses of Tridon. One was a half-elf named Pathfinder who taught the boys and their new friends how to fight and how to plan battles.

They and their growing army fought their way across eastern Taina until they came to the eastern sea, where they were about to push the remaining ogres literally over a cliff to their deaths. But Peter stopped the mass death, saying that the light needs the dark to survive and they couldn't rid the world of darkness. So they spared the remaining Ogres, much the chagrin of many.

Catiana saw this act which kept with her Balance and came before the mortals of Peter's army. She crowned him High King of the northern humans and presented him with the Gift of the Gods. The Gift was meant to open a gate for the Gods to come directly to the Mortal Plane with their full powers if the need arose. Peter made a temple to all the Gods to hold the Gift in Stormvale, which he took as his capital, and began the Knights of Tridon. These Knights were to protect the weak, the kingdom, and the virtues of the Balance. Anyone could become a Knight in his age, since there was no nobility. Later on it became a title of nobility only.

When Peter died in 2051 AC his kingdom was secure and the Major Houses were established.

Roleplaying Tip of the Week: Bring them in young. My children love playing board games and we've now hooked them on Hackmaster which we do once or twice a month. There are many roleplayers who now have kids and want to share their love for the hobby. Start small with board games and work in short sessions of roleplaying with simple rules (don't sweat the rules either). Then they, too, will learn to love the art of roleplaying!
Tomorrow: Wizard Wars

Friday, July 23, 2010

History of Martapa, Part II

The chaos period has little recorded history, though bits and pieces of it do show up from time to time when people come upon some old tomb or structure. During this period the mortals are sorting out their cultures, coming to grips with who they are, and finding magic. Despite Targon being one of the three founding Gods, it was decided mortals had to discover how to use magic, not be created knowing how. This is why some races can not cast magic while others excel.

The Wood Elves and Ancient Elves are very steeped in magic and took to using magic quickly. Ogres never came close to using the stuff, though every once and awhile an ogre is born who is capable, if taught, to use magic. The only major development during this time would be the Kingdom Janesh. A small string of islands far off the east coast of what now is the Empire of Areilla a group of humans and elves settled to live in peace. They excelled in engineering and magic and it is during this time they rise to their heights. I will explain more about them when I go indepth into each races histories. As a side note, this was my nod to a friend and his favorite culture, Japanese. I had none of this sort of stuff when I started writing about my world, but he convinced me, even if they were only a side note, they had to be in there.

This period ended with the Ogre/Humans wars. The Humans were sick of being bullied by Ogres who wanted their land and wanted to enslave them, so they beat them back to mostly the eastern side of Tiana in the north (which is where the wars occurred). The Elves did not participate, which angered the humans who looked upon the neutral Elves as cowards. It caused a lot friction between the two races despite them not competing.
Monday: The Time of Peter

Thursday, July 22, 2010

History of Martapa, Part I

So in the beginning (to start with a cliche) Catiana, Sarjon, and Targon appeared in the vastness of space. It is said that even they do not know for sure where they came from but when they became aware they decided to create a world they could nurture and shape by their will. But they were lonely and created the other six major Gods. As they brought together the ethers of space to create Martapa, the Gods mingled and created the Lesser Gods, who then helped shape the beginnings of the world.

They populated the world with wonderful plants and animals then decided they wanted intelligent beings to populate the world. Dragons are the most powerful and loved of the intelligent creatures, the messengers of the Gods. Next the Ancient Elves came in their lovely rock homes high in the clouds, followed by Elves, Humans, Akicitias, and Dwarves. The rest of the races came after in their many different shapes and homes. Some where loved by certain Gods more then others, while humans are cared for by all the Gods.

All the races were in the beginnings stages of culture and language at this time, some progressing faster then others. The Gods allowed each race to find their way while watching to see who they would like to guide.
Tomorrow: The Chaos Period

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

History of Martapa

I'm not sure how indepth most authors go in fleshing out their world, but I have delved in deep. I've had nearly 17 years to think on this world and its grown as I have. So to start out my history section of Martapa here is a rough timeline:

Sarjon, Catiana, and Targon create Martapa.
Light Birth/Dark Birth: The other Major Gods are brought forth.
Last Birth: The Minor Gods are brought forth.
Year 1: Creatures and plants are created.
Year 3: Dragons, Elves, Dwarves, Humans, and magical creatures are created.
Year 5: Ogres and other humanoids created.
Year 5 to 10,000 DC (During Chaos): Chaos reigned, no social structure of significance except the predecessors of the Tayke culture. The humans spread from the northern continent to the southern continent. The elves are driven to the northern regions and mountain regions of the northern continent, while still roaming free in the southern continent. Ogres infest any dark place and try to capture the human and elven lands. The humans retaliate by sending armies against the ogres. The war lasts for two centuries.
1 AC (After Chaos): Ogre/Human War ends
903 AC: Mahatalo and his Akicitia arrive in the north.
933 AC: Veo Sun Star is born.
1000 AC Wolf Clan Created, Veo Sunstar is the first Leader.
1500 AC: Other Warrior Clans are created by Targon.
1982 AC: Peter Thorson and his friends begin their trek to see all of Martapa and eventually create the Kingdom of Tridon.
2000 AC: Time of Peter, First High King presented with the Gift of the Gods.
2051 AC: High King Peter dies.
2100 AC: Noble Houses are first created. Most are accomplished Knights of the family who have earned their title of Lord through battle or died and were not in line for the Leadership of the House.
3382 AC: Wizard Wars Begin
3407 AC: Wizard Wars End.
5653 AC: Rumors of an unsanctioned birth of a Wolf Warrior/common cross whose power is great. (Warriors, which I will get to later, were not allowed to have children unless allowed).
5657 AC: Master Mage Ukiah is born.
5800 AC: The decline of the elves and they begin to go into seclusion.
5809 AC: The last known dragon dies.
5900 AC: Wizard Shaniko takes the Dwarven Islands. Most of the Ancient elves are killed by Shaniko on the Dwarven Islands.
5907 AC: The Mage School, Dragon's Fire, falls to Shaniko's minions.
5986 AC: Goldenstern House Falls
6002 AC: Calabay House Falls, Dyani Blackwolf dies.
6003 AC: The Chosen are brought together (This was the premise of my first set of books).
6004 AC: The Clash of the Avatars, later known as the War of the Gods, is concluded at Stormvale.
0 PA (Post Avatar): The world begins anew after the War of the Gods. Scholars now mark the years as Post Avatar. This distinction does not spread quickly and many places have years that count past 6004 AC.
32 PA: The dragon Elemental Storm, Fire Flash's mate and fellow Gate Dragon, is lost in the Tsalagi Mountains to Black Wizards. Fire Flash abandons his post at Varanath Keep and begins his search for her, vowing to kill all Black Wizards which fall into his path.
2500 PA; The remaining Gate Dragons go into seclusion, their young and young's offspring soon following. Dragons are not seen again by mortal begins except on rare occasions, mostly to aid House Calabay, Varanath and Eton.
3000 PA: The Twelve Houses begin squabbling amongst themselves for power. The High King becomes a puppet. The ideals of Peter are forgotten.
3075 PA: The Mercneary Wars begin.
3186 PA: The Last High King is murdered on the battlefield near Landshire by Sebastion Blackthorne.
3197 PA: The Mercenary Wars End.
3200 PA: Noshi Blue Crystal, Sebastion Blackthorne, and Miyaca Snowbird retake Varanath from the Wizard Mathanos. Houses are still in disarray and few remain true to Peters ideals. (This was a story I worked on as well, and do hope to go back to since these characters have small parts in my High King's Sword series).
3211 PA: Noshi creates the Crystal Brigade. These Knights are true to Peter's word and soon several of the nobler of the Major Houses begin sending her recruits to learn the values of being a Knight.
3240 PA: House Calabay, Goldleaf, Varanath, and Pathfinder sign a treaty of non-aggression. They vow to aid any of these Houses if the need arises, not overtax the other Houses' merchants, and to send Knights to fill the ranks of the Crystal Brigade that patrol the Tsalagi Mountains to keep the Black Wizards of Shaniko out of Tridon.
3251 PA: (Current time) The High King's Sword (Tarkil, Krom, Kenna, Duncan, Guthlaf, and Elly) regain the Staff of Veo and help crown the first High King in 65 years and the first true High king to believe in the ideals of Peter in nearly 300 years.

So clearly this is not a full time line, but we will flesh it out more as we go through the history of all Martapa.
Tomorrow: History of Martapa Part II

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dragons of Martapa

Dragons are the oldest of the monsterous intelligent races. They were created by Sarjon and Catiana and are the symbols of justice. At least that is what they should be. Dragons are huge beings, as long in body as 20 draft horses, with tails and wingspans to match. They come with or without horns, in many colors and differ in attitudes as much as any human might. But because they are so large they have the ability to shape shift into any other humanoid or animal form they wish. This is painful and melds what ever equipment they have on them into their body.

Dragons can breath fire, are immune to most magic, can cast magic in limited amounts and obviously they can fly. They help those who would maintain the Balance, though there are some dragons who go their own way. (This is why the SHOULD NOT be used as a player character race...they would very much unbalance your campaign.)

They live in caves and amass large amounts of treasure, though most of the treasure is really just presents from mortal friends they made through the years, which may or may not be worth a lot later on. They love to collect magic the most, for magic facinates all dragons.

They mate for life with an undying sense of love for said mate. They clutch every fifty or so years, with four to five dozen eggs laid at a time. They live with their children for nearly two decades, then those who survive find their own lairs. (Survival rate is not good, so that is the reason for so many eggs). They are in all senses immortal, though they can die from accidents and attacks just like any other being.

Dragons were lost to the mortal realm a few decades before the War of the Gods. When the Chosen were searching for the pieces of the Gift of the Gods they came upon Fire Flash, a baby dragon Targon, God of Magic, saved from the last dragon clutch hatched. A little known fact is that eight dragons are needed to open the Gate of the Gods. So the remaining seven dragons were created by the Gift of the Gods by ripping a part of the souls of the Chosen from them. These dragons, the Gate Dragons, began the dragons of Martapa once more.

Dragons do not care for evil, but they will maintain the Balance by doing the will of the Gods. They are head strong, though, and may go there own way, or think their own ways on occassion.
Tomorrow: Time Line for Martapa and the start of the history of Martapa

Monday, July 19, 2010

Skiegs of Martapa

Skiegs are equivalent to most goblin races in most roleplaying genres, at least in appearance. They are around three feet in height, are green with bulbous noses, large ears and stubby fingers. They dress in fine clothing, carry daggers or short swords, and have sparse, black hair. Men usually wear the hair short, woman as long as they can. They speak in cultured tones and are exceptionally smart. Often they are engineers or accountants, depending where they are. There are skiegs who are ruled by ogres who don't seem to be as bright, but have learned not to appear smarter then their masters.

Skiegs have numerous offspring, but the family is very close. Usually a clan of skiegs are all related in one way or another, the women usually moving to their husband's clan when marriage occurs. They live for about forty years, having six to a dozen children. Children are raised to think, but are also trained with small arms to protect themselves.

When not bullied by ogres they live in small farm villages with blacksmiths and workshops. Though not as talented as minotaurs and dwarves with blacksmithing, they are very crafty and have created a lot of conveniences which magic can not do. They live mostly in the eastern part of Taina and the southern part of Ariella.

To use them as a character race I would take a base monster goblin race and give a bonus to Intelligence and Wisdom, but take from Strength and Constitution. They make good thieves, mages, and priests. Also if you have a class in your system which is good at tinkering, these would be a good race for this. If engineering is a skill/proficiency give them to Skiegs for free. If you do this, though, weapon proficiency/skills should cost double, since they use their brains more then their bronze.

They don't really get along with any of the races, but they don't go out of their way to avoid other races, except, perhaps ogres.
Roleplaying Tip of the Week: Try different systems. It doesn't mean you have to do the new system on a long term basis, but it spices things up. There might be some neat idea you pick up from this new system or you even may find a better way to balance some skill or spell in your favorite system with a simple house rule. Happy Roleplaying!
Tomorrow: Dragons (A race in my world, but SHOULD NOT be used as a character race)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ogres of Martapa

My ogres are huge creatures close to seven foot tall and shoulders to match. Their skin is green in color, ranging from light to super dark green. Hair is black and rarely a different color. Their eyes are small, almost beady and usually black in color, (brown is not unheard of). They are very strong, able to lift twice their body weight without breaking a sweat. Even the young are incredibly strong and thus deadly. Their noses are bulbous, their jaw and brow jutting out just a bit. Their ears are tapered, not unlike elves, but large.

They wear simple clothes if they make such items themselves, usually made out of leather and cloth (sometimes mixed). Sometimes their clothes are of better quality if they have been made for them by other races. They scavenge weapons and armor pieces, so they never match unless the ogre in question has been hired by some other race for protection.

Their language is halting and they do not have a written language. They have little technical ability (not much above your average cave man) so they usually use sledges or rickety carts to move things unless they have stolen a cart or wagon. Same goes for much of the other things humans would take for granted.

Ogres breed like rabbits. Once one is born the next one is in the oven. Because of this, though, they have shorter life spans, maybe forty years if they are lucky. There is no family structure. The male takes no part in raising the children, though he'll take credit if his son does something impressive, and often rival males might come into a camp and kill the offspring and steal the women.

Half breeds are common in high ogre concentrated areas. Ogres like to raid farms for females and usually some sort of offspring occurs. Depending on which set of genes influences the child they can be nearly as big as the ogres and dumb as a post. Or they can be more human in appearance and at least of average intelligence. If you players want to play a half-ogre make them first decide which side they look more like, then give them either high strength an constitution (though one step less then a full ogre) or the corresponding high stat for the other race. Similarly give them the low stats of the same race (though one step less then the corresponding race).

They live in mud and grass huts in crude villages with wooden fences. They keep wolves for pets. They do not plant crops but hunt and raid.

To use as a character race I would give a bonus to Strength and Constitution and give a big hit to Intellect, Wisdom, and Charisma. Give them spear proficiency for free. Languages cost twice as much. I would think twice before allowing this as a character race. One, they are an evil race, and two, they are very strong and could overbalance your campaign.

They do not get along with any of the other races, but bully everyone. They usually keep skiegs (my version of goblins) as slaves.
Roleplaying Tip of the Week: Make sure your characters are balanced. It's never fun for the other players if one person has all the perks. If you give something to one character (or take away something at the beginning of creation) be prepared to do it for or to all your characters. It makes it more fun for everyone if everybody is playing on the same level.
Monday: Skiegs (Due to Cub Scout Day Camp....please save me...I will be taking a break from blogging this week. We'll pick up next Monday with what I think is the last of my races.)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Minotuars of Martapa

In my "High King's Sword" series the minotaurs start off as bad guys but turn to the light, as it may be, in the end because of Elly, one of my main characters and her actions. To be honest, I hated the minotaurs being bad guys, because I made them to be honorable, but their redemption makes for a good plot twist.

So minotaurs stand around six and half foot tall (so they would be of the same height as Akicitia), are broad at the shoulders and very fury. They bare a cow head, males having large horns, females having small ones. They have cloven hooves and legs which are jointed like the back legs of a cow. Their fur color and patterns can vary just as widely as real cattle, so be creative. To add character I would also pick the direction and conditions of the minotaur's horns.

They wear clothes similar to humans since they are around humans so much (not always to their benefit). The prefer two handed axes or swords, but single handed weapons and shields are not unheard of. Minotaurs are a people of their word and once their word is given it is a deal which will be followed through on. Unfortunately, for the last three thousand years or so they have been used, and used badly, by the Black Wizards of Shaniko and the other races dislike and out right hate them. They are codependent upon the Wizards because they have given up so many aspects of an agricultural life to train in the martial.

Minotaurs have a single child about every five years after they come of age and they have the average life span of around sixty years. Families are very patriarchal, but women have important rolls in society as well. (If you haven't noticed I have a very sexist free world here, for some reason. Not to say there aren't pockets of sexism...) Houses usually have only a single family in them as well as any apprentices.

Blacksmithing is very important and blacksmiths are revered by the minotaurs, and their skills are only rivalled by the dwarves. To harm a blacksmith is a heinous crime. Same goes for healers. Healing is usually a female dominated career and blacksmithing is usually a male career, though either sex can do either.

Minotaurs are so adapted to serving a certain sect of humans they have adopted alot of their city lay outs and thus live in very orderly cities of wooden and stone buildings.

Most roleplaying games have minotaurs as monsters so I would looks to Dragonlance, perhaps for stats unless they have ways to adapt your monsters. Baring this I would give them an appropriate bonus to Strength and Constitution, but a minus to Intellect and Charisma. Do what you think is appropriate. I would also give the option of taking blacksmithing for free but if they do that they lose the ability to specialize in a weapon if that is an option in your game. Because they are around humans so much they should receive the High King's Speech (human speech) for free.

Minotaurs are not trusted by the humans of Tridon, the Elves, the dwarves, or the Ancient Elves. The Akicitia, though they do not like them, will trust them because they are honorable and because of their mutual hatred of the ogres.
Monday: Ogres

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Half-Elves of Martapa

So like many roleplaying systems or story worlds I have half elves. One of my main characters in my original series was a half-elf, scared to say she was, but proud as hell her mother gave her the blood. The same can be said of any half elf in my setting.

Half-elves are normally a human/elf cross, but they can be of any race crossed with an elf. In truth, there are other races which could cross, but this would be the most likely. (I elude to half-ogres a lot in my stories, but I would be careful about allowing such characters into your campaign). They can look human, elf, or a mixture of both. Normally their ears are slightly tapered, but can look round like a humans as well. Hair color can range wildly, since elves have such outlandish hair colors like purple or silver and humans have black and brown, as well as blond. Here is where we get tricky. Some humans have red hair, but elves of only the Sunstar line can have red hair, thus half elves can only have red hair if they're of the Sunstar line. (I will explain this all when I get to history of Martapa, I promise). Eyes can also range, though human colors usually dominate. Eyes are slightly almond shape, but not as big as elves.

They grow up in similar manner as their parents, depending on whether the couple lives in a human village or an elven village. Even though this is a mixture of human and elven DNA, if the woman is elven, she will still only a have a few children. Clothing will also depend on where and which culture the child is raised in.

Half-elves are looked upon with pity and fear in elven circles, while curiosity and hatred in humans. On an individual basis, people can get along with half-elves just fine, but as a whole elves pity half-elves because they will not live as long as themselves and will not harbor the magic they do. Humans envy them for their longer lives and use of magic, but are also curious about them. Half-elves find themselves often ignored or alone.

If you are to change them from normal half-elves in your campaign I would let them pick one good stat from their elven parent and one from their human parent, and then pick one bad stat from each. If they grow up with elves they are able to use bows well. If they grow up with humans they are often good at speaking many languages.
Tomorrow: Minotaurs

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Tsula of Martapa

So my Tsula (pronounced jew-lah) are more of a lark race, then one I planned on every using. My Clan Warriors (which I promise to get to soon) all have very intelligent mounts of one form another (giant lions, unicorns, on and so forth). So my southern Clan Warriors didn't have one. I thought, hey, centaurs would be cool, but who wants normal centaurs. So my "centaurs" are goat centaurs, with goat bodies, human torso, and a goat head, with curly horns and everything. Their coat color varies, but are usually on the sandy colors or blacks, so they blend into their plains home. Horns vary in length and curves, which both men and woman have, though the woman's are smaller.

They travel in small herds, one male with several females and their get. A lot of their culture is similar to horse herds, where the males are run off when they reach a certain age. There are bachelor herds and the males only hold herd leadership as long as they are able to fight. The females usually stay with their heard their whole life unless their herd gets too big and the herd is split.

The Tsula were originally created by Dasa, but she didn't take care of her creations and Targon has taken to watching over them, thus why they are associated with the Clan Warriors. They are nomadic and are grazers. They use the spear well, along with the shortbow. Swords are used, but harder to use well.

Good classes for them would be warriors for the males, clerics or mages for the females. Barbarians are also a good choice if you have that option. I would give additional Constitution and Strength, but take from Dexterity and Charisma. There run speed should be the same as a riding horse for movement. They speak their own tongue and rarely know the High King's Tongue. If they are associated with a Clan Warrior, they would know elven. They should also be given a trample attack if your campaign world would allow such a thing for monsters.

The Tsula keep to themselves and are wary of strangers. They know little of the outside world beyond their herds, but they are willing to listen to what is going on. They may do nothing about it, but they will listen.
Tomorrow: Half-Elves

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Akicitia of Martapa

The Akicitia (a Lakotah word for police, I seem to remember) are the lion men of the plains. They are bipedal and have the body of person and the head of a lion, covered in fur and baring a tail. The men have thick manes, the woman baring a sprout of hair at the base of the neck which they allow to grow long and usually braid. They stand about six and half feet on average and are good sprinters. Their colors vary from white, to tan, to sandy brown, even black. Solid colors are most common, though some have stripes like a zebra might, but they are rare. Mane color is usually a little lighter then the rest of their body, but can be the same color or a different color all together. They have retractable claws, so an Akicitia is always armed.

The Akicitia are a long lived race, living thousands of years, but they only have a cub about every century and they don't always survive to adult hood. Because they live so long they are considered adults at a much older age, though around the age of two decades they are allowed to be on their own and take part in hunts, they just aren't allowed to make decisions for their own lives until they reach the century mark.

Of all my races, the Akicitia are the most honorable. Their word is their bond and they do not lie. It is not their way to lie and they find the act reprehensible. This small trait causes my Akicitia, Krom, and thus his friends, problems, but makes for fun situations to write about!

Their tribes live in villages much like the natives of Kenya. (If you haven't seen these compounds they are cool, with wooden palisades and everything!). And I would picture them in the same kind of surrounding as in Kenya, the open plains with the neat trees and the same kind of animals. The village is ruled by a group of elders who have proven themselves through the centuries as fair, level headed, and good leaders of the hunt. Families live in large, circular huts made of native material, though strong and cool in the summers which get very hot.

They wear open toed boots or sandals (because they have claws on their feet as well), leather pants which are died and painted with fanciful designs or made from cloth. The woman wear a top which simply crosses across their chest with two pieces of fabric or leather. Elders wear cloth robes decorated to represent their lives. They decorate their manes with bones, beads and feather, usually representing something important in their life. Spears are the most common weapons, but short swords, daggers and bows are common as well.

Some classes I would suggest are barbarians, warriors, even paladins which may need to be tweaked a bit. Healers are well revered amongst their culture, but are rare. Magic is not used save for some elders. I would give a bonus to Strength and Constitution, but Wisdom and Intellect should take a hit. A would give a bonus to spears or bows, and tracking should be free. Oh, and give a bonus if they can sense a scent. They have an excellent sense of smell.

They get along with all races as individuals, they do not judge a person on their race, but they are at odds with the Empire of Ariella because of their slavery. They understand the balance, but do not like the Dark Gods or those who harm the weak, the young, or the unarmed.
Tomorrow: The Tsula

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ancient Elves of Martapa

So for me, this was more of an add in at the last moment which became pivotal later on in both the series I should hide away from the public and the one I'd like to some day publish. It was on a lark, really. My GM in college said "No, you can't play a winged elf" after he got the elf book for Dungeons and Dragons and there was the winged elf staring at me, begging to be played. So instead of being upset, I added a new race to my world. Now before you get the wrong idea, I did not poach them from Dungeons and Dragons, the concept maybe, but not the race. The idea of flying elves is nothing new, but that supplement just spurred me into motion.

So my winged, or Ancient Elves, or the oldest of all the mortal races. Thus the Ancient attached to their name. They live for several thousand years, tend to be soft spoken and graceful. They stand around five foot and a half (so slightly taller then my wood elves) and can be from pale skinned to ebony black. Their wings, which appear to be soft angel wings, can range from silver to black, and this usually depends on family lineage (genetics :D ). Their wings are as tall as they are and their wings span is twice their height. Their ears are tapered, their bodies lithe and they weigh 3/4 of what an wood elf weighs. They fly because of magic, not physics, so don't try and figure it out, it's fantasy after all :D

Ancient Elves are the keepers of magic. They know more about magic and it's use then even the Humans of Tayke. Everything in their aeries are magically touched from light stones to the paintings which cover their home. There are powerful magic users amongst the Ancient Elves and many are very sought after healers. They also have made bonds with the giant gryphons which share their home and fly with them on patrols.

This elves have maybe three or four children in a life time and thus are very protective of them, childhood not ending, really, until the child is close to 100 years old. A single family will live a small niche in the aerie and everyone uses the common spaces for other activities. This is a monarch society, where either there is a queen or a king, sex doesn't really matter on station. Castes do, however, play a part in their society. The speak Ancient Elven and most speak the High King's tongue, as well.

So as I alluded to earlier in the time of my High King Series, there are no Ancient Elves. They died out sometime in the past for a reason no one knows (cough...cough...I'll work on it). But they left behind one truly important part of history, how to use the Gift of the Gods. In the Temple of the Gods is how to use the Gift of call the Gods to the mortal plane written in Ancient Elven. Of course, with the Ancient Elves being dead and gone for a while, well wouldn't it be just so handy for the Gods in need if some old farmer knew how to read it? Thus, though not present in my story, they are sort of pivotal to my story arc. If you want to have Ancient Elves in your campaign I would set your campaign before the time of the Chosen, which would also give you all the original Houses such as Tayke.

The classes I would suggest would be mage, cleric, or ranger. I have a class of Gryphon Riders, but these are the elite who protect the King and Queen so I wouldn't allow your players to be one of these on a whim, since they would have access to a Gryphon. I would give a plus to Intellect and perhaps Agility (but you could argue their wings make them less agile) and take away from Strength and Constitution. If your campaign requires a flying feat/proficiency they should get it for free, though you could restrict their flight capabilities. Spears are a favorite weapon of the Ancient Elves, so you might offer this up as a freebie as well.

In general the Ancient Elves stick to themselves and let the outside world be as it is (thus why High King Peter put the directions of the Gift of the Gods in Ancient Elven so not everybody in the world would know how to do it). They find everyone else as children and will treat them accordingly, even if said person is a three hundred year old dwarf and the Ancient Elf is merely a dozen decades old.

Roleplaying Tip of the Week: Read. Oh, are you crazy, you are asking? No, just I find myself in a situation now that I find it hard to read a much as I use to, so I bring this to the forefront. It doesn't matter what you read, it may be not even in the genre you are roleplaying, but you could find a nugget of information from anywhere. And those magazines which have nothing to do with your genre might give you an inspiration as well. Take the Knights of the Dinnertable. They are a comic/magazine which makes fun of gamers, by gamers, for gamers. But in the back they have good articles to help you with your roleplaying. They have one article "Bait and Tackle" where they give small adventure hooks. Well mostly they are for fantasy, but who said you can't use said bar room brawl adventure in a space adventure? Read!
Tomorrow: Akicitia

Friday, July 2, 2010

Wood Elves of Martapa

There have been many different types of elves in fantasy history. You have the Lord of the Ring Elves who are tall, lithe, and have small ears. There are the Elfquest elves who are quite short and have large ears. Then there are the World of Warcraft elves who are tall, lithe, and need their ears trimmed a bit. They are everything from mystic to just people with pointy ears. I'd like to think my elves are on the mystic side, with just some pointy ears.

Wood Elves stand around five foot in height (though they can be taller) with ears which taper. Hair color can range from white to purple, brown to black and everything in between, with one exception. Only the elves of the Sunstar line have red hair (this is something I will get into in the history side of explanations so bare with me). Eye color also range, usually matching hair color, though not always especially for the odd colors like white or red.

Now there are two major subsets of Wood Elves: The northern and the southern. The northern are more pale skinned and do, actually live in the woods. The southern elves are black skinned and live more in the open plains and foothills. The only difference in the subsets is the skin color, nothing else.

Wood Elves are steeped in the lore of nature as well as magic and prove to be powerful mages and observant scouts. Their clothes are leather or silk (depending if they work mostly in the out of doors or if they are scholars) or a mixture of both. Most, but not all, elves know how to use bows and often they can speak more then one language. (So let me add here most Dwarves speak dwarvish and the common, human tongue of High King's Speech). The men grow no beards and both women and men wear their hair somewhat long, woman longer then the men. Intricate braids and pony tails are common decorations in one's hair.

Family size is small, usually only two or three children in their long lifetimes which can last a millennium. They live in homes upon the ground amongst the trees or high in tree branches if in the north, in the south they like homes which are burrowed into the ground or hillside.

Some possible classes for your campaign world would be fighters, rangers, mages, clerics, and bards. They would also be eligible for a class of my own making: Clan Warrior, a special kind of fighter/mage/cleric I will explain later. Elves should be given a free language and the option of the bow or a second free language they can read or write. I would give a bonus to Agility, Charisma, and Intellect, but take from Constitution and Strength if your want to tweak them from your stock elf. Elves tend to worship Targon, Wesa, and Iktomi, though other Gods are worshiped as well.

Elves, in general, look at humans in disdain, thinking them too young and inexperienced (though not all elves feel this way). Dwarves are two gruff for their tastes and Akicitia are very honorable.
Monday: Ancient Elves