I added some green color to the Barbariapedia
. Looks a lot more interesting, I think.
The Humanoid Narrative
I've been thinking that the setting really needs a kind of underlying narrative. The setting is intended to not have an actual story that shapes events, but there still needs to be something that the inhabitants use to make sense of their world and bringing order to it. And creating narratives seems to be in the nature of the human brain. Things don't just happen and people live from day to day. There are clearly defined factions that are each working towards some kind of goal, which is the reason why people build settlements, create armies, and work to gain power.
And so here is what I've got so far:
- In the Ancient Times, shie and naga build great castles in the world of mortals and kept mortals as slaves or forced them to hide in the wilderness.
- When the fey castles were abandoned the mortal races came from their hiding places and either discovered some of the fey knowledge or learned it from former slaves. With it, they could become more than cave men as they had always been before.
- The mortal races carved out their tiny strongholds which are surrounded by endless wilderness, that is full of dangerous monsters and spirits. Their warriors are constantly fighting and endless battle to keep the wilderness out and prevent their islands of civilization from disappearing.
- Also, there is a constant threat of demonic curruption, both from the Demons of the Void and from the Ancient Spirits of the Underworld. Even when the wilderness is kept at bay, the curruption can always take a hold in their own midst and consume the strongholds of civilization from the inside.
- Both the battle to keep the wilderness in check and to supress the taint of curruption are eternal. There is no enemy that can be defeated and bring permanent victory. It is the nature of the world itself, that forces the defenders of civilization to always fight on.
I think this is the core essence of what the entire setting is about. However, I'd like to use it as a starting point that can be expanded to add more facets to the greater picture. And here I'd really like to hear some of your ideas that come to your mind when reading this.
Underworld Cults Narrative
- Cults that worship the Ancients of the Underworld have a different view on the world: In their oppinion, the civilized strongholds are a futile attempt to fight the very nature of the world. It's a permanent battle that can't be won but very easily be lost. The spirits of the surface world can be powerful allies, but they also appear and disappear again and again over the eons. Instead, they turn to the spirits of the Underworld, which they believe to be eternal, having existed from the beginning of the world until it's eventual end. By worshiping the Ancients, the cultists hope to not neccessarily attain individual immortality, but for the mortal races to become part of the permanent constants of the world, impervious to the eternal changes and battles of the surface world.
- The world itself is only a temporary annomaly in the eternal existance of the Void. Material World pop into existance at random, remain chaotic and everchanging for some billion years, and then vanish again leaving no trace behind.
- However, during the existance of the Material Worlds, there are some limited ways for things to enter or leave it. If anything in the Matrial World is going to be relevant, it has to leave this temporary world and move to the void.
- Sorcerers seek out contact with the Void and its demons, as these interactions will still affect the Void even after the material world has vanished without a trace. It makes them part of something bigger and eternal, which can not be done within the confines of the material world.
- Many are primarily interested in the power over other mortals that can be gained from demonic energies, but in theory most warlock philosophy is based on the idea to make the short existance of the material world matter as much as possible for eternity.