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    Default Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.



    Crossroads: The New World
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    I had gained the summit of a commanding ridge, and, looking round with astonishing delight, beheld the ample plains, the beauteous tracts below.

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    Crossroads: The New World is a Pathfinder campaign setting, depicting a world very much like our own, where history has taken a turn from what we know and continued down a very different course. We pick up the thread of history in 1750 A.D. Ask yourself...
    • What would history have looked like if magic had existed, where spellcasters were as common as doctors?
    • What would have happened if China had already been colonizing the west coast when Columbus first made landfall on the east?
    • What would it be like if the Tuniit giants of Inuit myth had been real, and had absorbed the newly arrived Inuit, rather than being chased off? What if they did the same with the Vinland colonies?
    • How would the balance of power in the New World been different if the Mississippi merchant-city of Cahokia had thrived all the way into the 1700s?
    • What might have been if Hernán Cortés' illegal and unauthorized expedition in the land of the Mexica had ended in his death? What if the Aztec empire had never fallen to invasion, and instead grown larger and more powerful with the aid of newly-acquired firearm technology?


    Imagine a world where European wizards pit their magic against Aztec bloodcasters, where Chinese martial artists square off against Vinlandr berserkers, where native musketeers stand against rampaging monsters. Imagine a world which is at once intimately familiar and shocking in its strangeness.
    Imagine a world you may have known your entire life, yet never truly appreciated how wonderful, how strange, and how exciting it truly is.

    Imagine… a New World.

    -------------

    The year is 1750, and the continent we know as North America is roughly divided into five major empires, each trying to lay claim to the entire continent and all its bounty.
    On the eastern coast, Europeans are steadily expanding their colonies in the continent they call Columbia, each major power trying to edge the others out of what they see as their new land to conquer. European cultures and Native ones collide, creating unique and novel philosophies, technologies, and mystical techniques.
    In the center, between the Green Mountains and the Heaven-Touching Mountains, lies the great plains and the mighty Mississippi. On the river one can find Cahokia, the jewel of the continent, a thriving metropolis of trade and travel, where goods can be found from all five empires and even the lands beyond. The city commands the loyalty of dozens of tribes and groups through the middle of the continent, and subtly controls them to keep the borders strong against foreign expansion; collectively, Cahokia and its client-tribes are known as the Cahokian League.
    In the south, Aztatlan, the Aztec Empire, has expanded greatly over the past few hundred years, now controlling the vast majority of the sweltering jungles south of the Rio Grande. Despite intense internal strife in the wake of the European invasion attempt, the triple alliance has emerged stronger than ever, with the help of firearms and cannons, crafted with techniques extracted from the defeated Spaniards.
    In the north, the frozen lands are ruled by a confederacy of many cultures, united by intermarriage and treaties around the Tuniit, men with the blood of giants in their veins, a confederacy known as Tuniitaq. The arctic peoples dwell in a harsh, unforgiving land, one of extreme weather and stunning natural beauty. But as the populations grow, they begin to require more and more land to support their burgeoning population, and so they slowly expand southward, to warmer and more productive climes.
    On the west coast, from the great rainforests of the north and all the way south to the fringes of Aztatlan, the coastline is occupied by the nation of Fúsāng, the new realm of Ming dynasty, who fled their homeland as the Qing took over and slew their opposition. Jade Harbor is the seat of Fúsāng's power, situated in the welcoming embrace of what would be know and Vancouver Bay in our world.

    -----

    There a few specific points of divergence that make this setting what it is, and all of these differences can be traced back to one or more of these points.

    The first and most deeply-ingrained point of separation is the existence of magic in this world. Magic has always been present, and has been used by humans since prehistory. It is as much a part of the world as gravity or salt. Magic is found everywhere, though it’s stronger in some places and weaker in others. Spellcasters are relatively commonplace in the world, appearing about as frequently as doctors or priests. Chances are good that an average commoner would see one or two every few years, and many larger communities would have regular access to one or two.

    Chronologically, the first change regards Cahokia. In our timeline, the city was the largest population center on the continent until 1800, and boasted trade routes which connected it to much of the continent, even before the introduction of the horse. The city fell apart in the 1200s thanks to drought and deforestation, which eventually led to catastrophic floods and famine. In this timeline, however, druidic magic and spiritual intervention led to a continued rise in power, a rapid regrowth of the forests, and ever-increasing crop yields, allowing the city to thrive, even to the modern day. Over time they formed trade agreements with various tribes of the plains and the southeast, giving them a measure of control and access to trade even in distant lands. Now, it’s a multicultural hub, trading horses from Europeans for Chinese jade, and disseminating the secrets of gunpowder and muskets to their client tribes.

    In the north, the Dorset Culture were a group of paleo-Eskimo people who inhabited the shorelines of eastern Canada and Greenland. In our world, they fell into decline around 1000 CE, and were completely gone by 1500 CE, destroyed first by the changing climate of the time, then completely displaced by the Inuit somewhere around 1200-1250 CE. In the end, they were only remembered in Inuit myth as the Tuniit a race of, large, strong-bodied men who were easily scared away. In the crossroads setting, most of the Tuniit truly were giants, and when the Thule first contacted the Tuniit, instead of being chased away or slain, they made peaceful contact. They traded their tools for the Inuit tools, welcomed them into their communities, and many of their number intermarried. Now the resultant Tuniit had the technology to expand their territory inland, to provide food for themselves away from the oceans. Over many hundreds of years, they steadily grew in numbers and began to spread across the land, making new allies and offering trade and marriages to seal their friendships. Now they control almost all of what we know as Canada through a loose, informal confederacy of native groups known as Tuniitaq.

    The Chinese explorer Zheng He was, in our time, a great explorer who traveled widely through the pacific, south pacific, and the Indian Ocean, charting and contacting a great many new civilizations for the Ming emperor. Some believe he may have even landed in North America, though the truth of these statements is questionable. Eventually, the Ming cut off all major seagoing travel, to focus their resources inward. In our world, the explorer does make make landfall on the new world, and he comes back with tales of a land bursting with life, resources, furs, and primitive natives. In the first few years, the new world is a curiosity, a few adventurous travelers and colonists heading over, some logging the massive rainforests, other trapping furs, some setting up farms for Chinese traditional crops and exotic new world foods to ship back. When the Qing takeover the mainland of China, there is but one place left for loyalists to escape the executioner’s axe. Refugees flock to the new world, including the infant daughter of the emperor, the first empress of Fusang, and the last blood relative of the Ming. After a bit of conflict with the local Sasquatch populations, they eventually settled in as rulers of the vast coast.

    The Triple Alliance, or, as they are inaccurately known, the Aztec Empire, was a powerful civilization with great military might at the time of contact with Europeans. Hernán Cortés and a small contingent of Spanish soldiers ignored orders to return to Spain and made a move to conquer the Aztecs for their material wealth, with the help of a enormous force of rebellious groups, dissatisfied with the control of the Triple Alliance. In our world, Cortez and his force attacked Tenochtitlan, killed hundreds, took control of the palace, and puppeteered the king. In our timeline, the initial contact went much the same, until one pivotal point. Fleeing the city as a result of an uprising, Cortez was captured and held captive, waiting to be sacrificed. In our world, one of his lieutenants rescued him, giving his life in the process. In the world of crossroads, the lieutenant died before saving Cortez, and the leaderless force of Spaniards and natives was trapped, slaughtered, and the remainder captured and brought to the city for sacrifice. Some Spaniards were spared (temporarily) in exchange for their knowledge of metalworking, gunpowder, firearms, and cannons. Armed with this new knowledge, the Triple Alliance launched a bloody, expensive war of extermination against the Spaniards who remained on Mexico’s shoreline. There was a brief period of civil war, a great deal of combat, and eventually the Empire of Aztatlan was formed in earnest.
    Last edited by Admiral Squish; 2015-04-22 at 04:58 PM.
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    Current Projects:
    Crossroads: the New World: A pathfinder campaign setting about an alternate history of North America, where five empire collide in a magical land full of potential. On the road to publication!

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  2. - Top - End - #2
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    System Changes

    The world of Crossroads is very different from the pseudo-medieval fantasy world of the normal Pathfinder setting. New technology, different approaches to magic, and different rules of engagement require a few unusual or completely new rules to make the world feel right for the time period and the overall feel of the setting.

    Culture Subsystem
    As the vast majority of people in the crossroads world are humans, the culture system is a mechanical way to indicate the kind of upbringing your character experienced, the kind of skills they would learn through their childhood, the languages they would speak, and often, their genetic heritage. Some cultures have special options available to them, which is indicated by a [culture] tag on the material with the name of the culture(s) that can use it.
    Disclaimer: No system can possibly represent the entire depth and complexity of a single human society, let alone a whole continent of them. The Culture Subsystem is meant to represent commonalities, not universal abilities which every member of a culture possesses or has access to. If you feel that the Background Feats or Skills we selected don’t accurately represent a given culture, then please feel free to alter or disregard them entirely.

    Language Subsystem
    Learning a new language, particularly a very foreign one, is a significant hurdle in the real world, and the language subsystem expresses that, adding a range of different proficiency levels for speaking and understanding languages. There are hundreds of languages in the new world, and likely thousands of dialects. Being able to make yourself understood can be extremely important when traveling far and wide.

    Literacy
    The knowledge of reading and writing requires extensive training and practice to master, and so it is usually limited to the wealthy elite. But the potential rewards are great: literacy is a rare and powerful ability which allows one to communicate across large tracts of time and space, or even with people in completely different places at the same time.
    Literacy - the ability to read and write the languages a character speaks - is represented by one or more of a series of feats, many of which are specific to certain cultures, or groups of cultures.
    Unlike traditional D&D, literacy is NOT a prerequisite for taking levels in spellcasting classes; if a character comes from a non-literate background, they can still scribe spells and write “spellbooks” via non-linguistic methods, such as casting and rearranging glyph-stones, cutting notches in reeds or sticks, tying and retying knots in dreamcatchers, weaving or braiding textiles, creating ritual sand-paintings, rearranging the contents of a medicine-bag/bundle, etc.

    Value Points
    In the world of crossroads, there is no universal currency like gold coins or paper notes. Wealth is instead measured in value points, or VP, one VP being approximately equal to 1 GP in a standard pathfinder setting. Value points are an abstract notion, not a physical currency, which measure how much value your items hold. Every item is worth a quantity of VP, and items can be traded for other items of lesser or equal value. Value fluctuates, however, and some places will trade certain items for less or more, and some might not even accept certain kinds of items. you can also attempt to present your items as worth more than they are, as detailed in the post.

    Gear
    In the world of crossroads, magic items, weapons, and armor are very valuable and significantly more uncommon than in a traditional Pathfinder world. Much of the ‘required’ bonuses that most characters must have to function properly in combat, such deflection bonuses, are instead replaced with itemless bonuses. The itemless system is intended to replace approximately two thirds of a character’s wealth gained in treasure.


    Alignment
    Alignment has always been a challenging topic. The traditional two-axis alignment grid is still in place in the crossroads setting, but it’s not quite as straightforward here. almost every culture in this time frame has practices that the modern world would consider ‘evil’, and all of them believe they’re inherently good. Actions that are good to one person may be neutral, or even evil, in the eyes of another. As such, a character’s functional alignment depends on the point of view, both of themselves, and of others viewing them.

    Hero Points
    While using Hero Points are not strictly required for use of the crossroads setting, it is generally advised, as we feel it allows players to take a slightly more active role in their own fate, in a world where the difference between hero and failure can often come down to just one lucky moment. Also, the use of hero points encourages players to become more familiar with the setting to come up with their characters and play them appropriately.
    Characters can gain hero points (at the DM’s discretion) by obeying the taboos of their culture, even when doing so would be generally detrimental to their progress.
    Native characters can also use hero points to implore the help of the spirits in a time of need, and can add Call Spirits to the list of possible uses for hero points.
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    Call Spirits By spending one hero point as a standard action, the character can plead for a specific thing that is beyond their ability from the spirits, such as, ‘slay that man’, or ‘clear my path’. The spirits can respond with a single spell effect aimed at accomplishing the stated goal. The exact spell, and how it affects the goal, is up to the DM, but it cannot have a spell level higher than ½ the character’s level.


    Death
    In the crossroads setting, death and revival follows slightly different rules. When a living creature dies, its soul leaves the body and moves to the spirit world, which is described in detail below. While on the spirit world, the soul can choose to pass to the Beyond, a mysterious afterlife that no soul returns from, at any time. The soul can remain on the spirit world for a number of days equal to its hit dice, during which time it can be returned to the body. When this time limit runs out, it must make a will save (DC 20) or pass on immediately. If the soul remains on the spirit world after the time period, it becomes a permanent resident, and can no longer be revived. To be revived, a creature’s body must be recovered or recreated, then healed of all hit point damage and all ability damage: only then can the soul be called back to the body and returned to life. Some higher-level spells allow the entire process to be completed as a single action.

    Flight
    In the crossroads setting, there is no player-available flight, due to the obvious, immediate, and completely unpredictable changes that flight would make in areas of battle, travel, exploration, and dozens of other areas. There are no spells that grant flight on any spell lists in the crossroads world. There are animals and monsters that can fly and some may even be able to carry a human’s weight, but they are universally unsuitable for training or domestication, being either too unintelligent to follow commands, impossible to restrain or contain, or simply too aggressive and dangerous to work with.

    Magic
    Magic in the crossroads setting is significantly different than the magic of other worlds. For the most part, it works the same, but many spells are different, absent, or interact differently with the world. A full version of the modified spell lists will be described in the Player Options post, but there are a few overarching changes that those who use the system should be aware of.

    Teleportation
    The usual spells that allow characters to teleport instantly from one location to another one some extreme distance away do not exist in the crossroads setting, as they would dramatically alter a wide variety of areas. Instead, there are spots called ‘Links’, temporary places that can be opened by spellcasters to allow them (and relatively small numbers of travelers) to move through them to a set end-point. Links are one-way only, they only appear for relatively short periods of time, and they can sometimes drop you somewhere unexpected. Links are organized into networks known as ‘spirals’, which occupy distinct geographical areas, graphed around the central ‘nexus’ link by how easy they are to open, how frequently they appear, and how common they are. There’s only one nexus link in each spiral, which is the easiest to use and the most frequently activating, whereas there are a handful of ‘first ring’ links, which are slightly harder to use and slightly less often active. Links become more common, more difficult to use, and more infrequently active as the link’s ring number increases, until only the most powerful spellcasters can make use of 5th-ring links. Typically links open to some other point in the same spiral, though as the ring number increases, they are more likely to take you somewhere else.

    Communication
    Almost all long-distance instant communication spells have been removed, and there are no longer spells that allow you to freely communicate regardless of language barriers. Long-distance communication has a variety of implications on the world as a whole, allowing for news to travel instantly, commanders to change orders on the fly, and makes it impossible to intercept many of the most important messages. As such, they have too much potential to drastically alter the course of history, and have been removed. There are some spells that allow you to speak new languages for a certain period of time, or to communicate directly with another person without needing to speak, but being able to totally ignore language barriers makes first-contact situations much too easy
    Last edited by Admiral Squish; 2014-05-23 at 12:13 PM.
    My Homebrew
    Five-time champion of the GITP monster competition!

    Current Projects:
    Crossroads: the New World: A pathfinder campaign setting about an alternate history of North America, where five empire collide in a magical land full of potential. On the road to publication!

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    Player Options

    Cultures
    Spoiler: Culture List
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    Name Background Skills Background Feats Native Language Bonus Languages Taboos
    European (British) Appraise, Disable Device, Knowledge (Engineering), Linguistics, Profession (Sailor), Spellcraft Acadamae Graduate, Rapid Reload, Sword And Pistol English Dutch, French, Spanish Eating insects; Indecent exposure*
    European (Continental) Appraise, Handle Animal, Knowledge (Religion), Disable Device, Perform Academae Graduate, Caustic Slur, Dilettante, Duelist, Sword And Pistol, Taunt, Horse Master, Witty Feint Spanish or Français or Nederlands Cree, English, Inuktitut, Norsq, French, Maya, Mixtec,Pueblo, Spanish Making light of the Church; Eating insects; Indecent exposure*
    European (Frontier) Handle Animal, Knowledge (Nature), Ride, Survival, Swim any Native
    Han (Mainland) Acrobatics, Craft, Heal, Knowledge (History), Disable Device Expert Haggler, Mandarin Cantonese, Chinook Jargon
    Han (Frontier) Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledge (Nature), Survival, Swim Corsair, Crossbow Mastery, Dazzling Display, Expert Haggler, Gunsmithing, Jumper, Landing Roll, Martial Mastery, Rapid Reload, Spear Dancer, Storm-Lashed, Sure Footed Mandarin Chinook Jargon, Salish, Haida, Quillayute Disobeying the Confucian edicts of respect for elders and social superiors?
    Native (Arctic) Knowledge (Nature), Spellcraft, Survival, Swim Big Game Hunter, Endurance, Ironguts, Rugged Northerner, Runereader, Self-Sufficient, Toughness, Trapper’s Setup Adlet, Cree, Inuktitut, Norsq
    Native (Cahokian) Appraise, Bluff, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Linguistics, Sense Motive, Spellcraft Babble-Peddler, Cosmopolitan, Crossbow Mastery, Discerning Eye, Drive A Hard Bargain, Natural Charmer, Savvy Customer, Master of the Ledger Cahokian (Tradespeak) Algonquin, Apache, Choktaw, Comanche, Kiowa, Pawnee, Pueblo, Lakota Engaging in obviously unprofitable ventures.
    Native (California) Handle Animal, Knowledge (Nature), Profession (Farmer), Spellcraft, Swim
    Native (Caribbean) Knowledge (Nature), Spellcraft, Swim
    Native (Great Basin) Knowledge (Nature), Spellcraft, Survival Desert Dweller, Endurance, Knowledge (Nature), Toughness
    Native (Great Plains) Handle Animal, Knowledge (Nature), Ride, Survival, Spellcraft, Swim Big Game Hunter, Focused Shot, Horse Master, Indomitable Mount, Massed Charge, Mounted Onslaught, Mounted Archery, Saddle Shrieker Cahokian (Tradespeak)
    Native (Mammutcha) Handle Animal, Knowledge (Nature), Ride Big Game Hunter, Indomitable Mount, Mounted Onslaught, Mounted Archery Inuktitut, Mammutchadinne Eating mammut-flesh
    Native (Maya) Climb, Craft, Handle Animal, Stealth, Survival Calmecac Education, any Mayan any other Mayan, Español, Nahuatl Abusing a captive;
    Native (Mesoamerica) Knowledge (Nature), Survival, Stealth, Swim any Mayan, Nahuatl, Spanish
    Native (Mexica) Craft, Intimidate, Knowledge (Religion), Knowledge (Nobility), Profession (Farmer), Stealth, Spellcraft Bloodletting, Calmecac Education, Desert Dweller, Eagle Eyes, Jaguar Pounce, Rapid Grappler? Nahuatl Español, any Mayan, Mixtec, Pueblo, Tarascan Abusing a captive; Being drunk in public; Cutting down a living tree; Eating food that has been eaten from by a mouse; Stealing
    Native (Northeast) Climb, Diplomacy, Heal?, Knowledge (Nature), Stealth, Survival, Swim Crossbow Mastery,
    Native (Northwest Coast) Climb, Craft, Handle Canoe, Knowledge (Nature), Survival, Swim Corsair, Galley Slave
    Native (Plateau) Knowledge (Nature), Spellcraft
    Native (Southeast) Climb, Knowledge (Nature), Knowledge (Religion), Spellcraft, Swim Crossbow Mastery,
    Native (Southwest) Craft, Climb, Handle Animal, Knowledge (Nature), Ride, Survival Crossbow Mastery, Desert Dweller,
    Native (Subarctic) Craft, Handle Canoe, Knowledge (Nature), Survival, Stealth, Swim Endurance, Rugged Northerner, Self-Sufficient, Toughness, Trapper’s Setup
    Native (Vinlandr) Knowledge (Nature), Profession (Fisher, Hunter, Sailor, Hosekeeper), Survival (Cold, Forest, Water), Swim Canoe Mastery, Rugged Northerner, Norsq Tuniit, Inuktitut, Cree, Adlet Fighting dishonorably
    Slave Craft, Handle Animal, Profession (any), Sense Motive Careful Speaker, Endurance, Secret Signs, Toughness (as master) (as master)


    Races
    Spoiler: Race List
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    Name Description
    Base Races
    Touched Humans that have just a touch of something inhuman in them, be it spirit or monster.
    Taqriaqsuit Shadow-people, native to the Spirit World, who naturally straddle the barrier between the planes.
    Advanced Races
    Giantkin Enormous humanoids, men with the blood of giants in their veins.
    Húli Jīng (狐狸精) A race of fox like spirits with great powers of illusion.
    Inunnguaq Constructs of stone, cobbled into the shape of a human and brought to life with complex rune-magic.
    Little Folk A race of tiny fey that have lived hidden in the wilds across the world.
    Sasquatch Large, strong, and hairy human-like apes that live in small groups all across the world.
    Monstrous Races
    Mo-Swe Tauric moose-folk with a natural rage
    Coatl Feathered dragon-serpents of aztatlan with a deep connection to the spirits of the dead.


    Classes:
    Spoiler: New Classes
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    Name Status Description
    Warrior WIP A strength-focused melee class that applies strength to both combat and utility.
    Chosen WIP A spontaneous divine spellcaster, granted power and charged with a mission by a powerful spirit.
    Hunter Done A highly mobile, nature-oriented class. Uses a variety of tactics in combat for ranged and melee combat.
    Martial Artist WIP A master of the body, a melee combatant with a focus on unarmed fighting and mobility. Uses a variety of styles.
    Medicine Man WIP A non-spell using caster with a variety of rituals and dances.
    Priest Concept An unarmored divine caster who gains special traits based on the dogma they follow.
    Runecaster WIP A spellcaster that uses spell-like glyphs to create a very wide variety of effects.
    Warlock Done An untrained arcane spellcaster, uses very simple arcane magic.


    Spoiler: Official Classes
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    Note: These classes are the ones considered to be suitable to fit into the setting.
    Name Description
    Bard A musician and dabbler, who uses song to inspire allies.
    Druid A nature-oriented spellcaster with an animal companion with the power to change into animals.
    Gunslinger A gunman, a master of firearms, the most common type of soldier.
    Rogue A stealthy thief and assassin.
    Summoner An arcane spellcaster with a summoned companion.
    Witch An arcane spellcaster with a number of special hexes
    Wizard The classical arcane spellcaster, a student of tomes and spellbooks.


    Prestige Classes
    Spoiler: New Prestige Classes
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    Name Status Description
    Blood Priest Concept A divine caster that can empower or modify their spells using sacrificed blood or lives.
    Coureur Des Bois Concept A traveling hunter and explorer, perfectly at home in the wilds of the New World
    False Face Healer Concept A native healer, part of a great organization of healers that kept the plagues from destroying the natives.
    Nameless Concept Agents of Her Radiant Majesty who metaphorically die as they enter the service, becoming nameless agents with no fear of death.
    Scarred Monk Concept Arcane spellcasters under the control of the Church, named as they are for the hideous scars left by their self-flagellation.
    Skinwalker Rough Draft A native warrior with the power to don an animal's hide and take on aspects of the animal while wearing it.


    Spoiler: Official Classes
    Show
    [table="class: grid head"][tr][th]Name[/th][th]Description[/th][/tr]
    [tr][td]Arcane Trickster[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]Assassin[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]Chevalier[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]Dark Delver[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]Divine Assessor[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]Deep Sea Pirate[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]Duelist[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]Low Templar[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]Mammoth Rider[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]Master Spy[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]Pathfinder Chronicler[/td][td][/td][/tr]


    Skills
    Spoiler: New and Modified Skills
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    • Swim (Str; untrained) - New use, Canoeing, allows a character to maneuver personal watercraft over rivers, lakes, and oceans.
    • Heal (Wis; trained only) - A successful Heal check is necessary to diagnose any disease or condition before it can be healed or cured. Ranks in heal can also modify how effective a spellcaster's healing spells are.
    • Linguistics (Int; trained only) - the number of ranks invested in this skill determine the number of languages a character knows, and the ease with which he speaks them (see the Language Proficiency System for details).



    Feats
    Spoiler: New Feats
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    Name Description Prerequisites
    Born of Two Peoples A character with this feat has two cultures, and with a bit effort, can pass as either one as the situation demands. First level only; see text
    Drive a Hard Bargain When making a Bluff check to haggle, the character may roll twice and take the better result. Bluff 5 ranks
    Gift for Tongues Each skill point invested in Linguistics grants twice the usual amount of fluency (+2 instead of +1). First level only
    Literacy feats You can read and write, and gain other bonuses based on the manner of your education. see text for details
    Polyglot The character speaks 3 additional languages, beginning at the "intermediate" level. First level only
    Savvy Customer When making a Sense Motive check to haggle, the character may roll twice and take the better result. Sense Motive 5 ranks


    Equipment

    Spells

    Native Spell List
    European Spell List
    Asian Spell List

    Research and Inspirational Materials
    Last edited by Admiral Squish; 2015-06-26 at 09:35 AM.
    My Homebrew
    Five-time champion of the GITP monster competition!

    Current Projects:
    Crossroads: the New World: A pathfinder campaign setting about an alternate history of North America, where five empire collide in a magical land full of potential. On the road to publication!

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    Bestiary

    Animals of the Americas

    Classic Monsters (Under Construction)
    These are monsters from pathfinder that are considered suitable to be used in this setting, with a brief explanation of what needs to change to make them suitable.


    All new monsters are created by playgrounders, through the Call to Brew thread!
    Finished New Monsters
    Spoiler: Finished New Monsters
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    Native
    • Acheri (CR 3)- A spectral child, the remnants of a child who died of a disease, who seeks to spread their illness.
    • Agloolik (CR 5)- A tall, furry water monster, who protects seals and seal cubs, and will help respectful hunters catch food.
    • Akhlut (CR 4)- An enormous amphibious beast, part Orca and part Wolf, which hunts with advanced tactics.
    • Alebrijes (CR +1)- Chaotic animal-like creatures from the spirit world, with glaringly bright and contrasting colors.
    • A-Mi-Kuk (CR 7)- A huge, slimy-skinned monster, with four arms ending in human hands. The beast lives in the ocean, but it can burrow to inland lakes and walk on land.
    • Auvvik (CR 1/2)- An enormous caterpillar that feeds on blood to grow. Actually very friendly, and can make a good pet.
    • Az-I-Wu-Gum-Ki-Mukh-'Ti (CR 4)- A giant, black, scale-covered creature, with canine front legs and a smashing fish-tail.
    • Chenoo (CR 7)- Humans that committed a terrible crime and froze their heart, becoming undead monsters that grow as they eat people.
    • Cihuateotl (CR 12)- The spirits of women who died in childbirth, with skeletal faces and eagle claws.
    • Cipactli- Horrid mixtures of frog, fish, and crocodile, covered in dozens of hungry mouths. They dwell deep in swamps and eat anything they can fit in their mouths.
    • Disemboweler (CR 6)- A female monster that kills people who are alone at night, by whispering terrible jokes that make them laugh until their stomachs explode.
    • Fsti Capcaki (CR 7)- Tall, hairy, extremely strong forest-dwelling humanoid, wields heavy branches and tree trunks as weapons.
    • Flying Head (CR 2)- After a particularly violent demise, the head of the victim detaches and grows, becoming huge and winged.
    • Gaasyendietha- A huge, aquatic dragon that flies through the air on a trail of fire. Also known as a 'Meteor Dragon'.
    • Geldegwsets (CR 5)- giants that live in rivers and streams, known to be friendly to humans that are respectful.
    • Haakapaizizi (CR 15)- A massive giant that can take the form of a grasshopper.
    • Harvestmen- Monstrous long-legged arachnids.
    • Hokhoku- Enormous, terrifying ravens that feed on eyes and brains.
    • Horned Alligator (CR 4)- A mystic crocodile with single horn, which can be removed and made into various items.
    • Hvcko Capko (CR 9)- A foul beast with the head of a wolf, the tail of a horse, and large eyes. It smells awful, and carries diseases.
    • Indacinga (CR 20)- A enormous, terribly strong giant, which can tear houses or trees out of the ground
    • Ishigaq (CR 1/2)- Tiny humanoids so light they leave no footprints on the snow.
    • Kiwahkw- the undead form of a dark spellcaster, that can change size at will, release a terrible, killing scream, regrow from injuries. The stronger the spellcaster, the stronger the Kiwahkw.
    • Matlose (CR 5)- A black-furred humanoid that paralyzes its victims with a fearsome scream.
    • Obsidian Butterfly Swarm (CR 4)- A swarm of obsidian butterflies that leave bleeding wounds and shred fragile objects.
    • Paija (CR 5)- A grotesque, cannibalistic female, covered in hair, with a single legs that emerges from her lady parts. Her gaze can petrify her victims.
    • Siat (male) / Bapet (female) (CR 5)- The males capture children, and the females suckle them on poisonous milk. Only vulnerable to obsidian weapons.
    • Sisuitl (CR 14)- A massive, two-headed sea serpent with a false face in the middle of the body.
    • Skatene (CR 4)- An ogrelike woman who can turn into an owl and decapitates victims.
    • Spirit Beasts- Immensely powerful elemental creatures, blending of animal and element, bridges between the mortal and the spirit world.
    • Tah-Tah-Kle‘-Ah (CR 10)- An evil ogress who kidnaps children in a pitch-lined basket, and may capture hunters to marry them.
    • Tammatuyuq (CR 4)- A cannibal monster, who turns human to gain the trust of a mother with a young child, then stabs a straw through the soft spot and sucks out their brain.
    • Tizheruk (CR 10)- A huge, whale-like aquatic creature, that rams opponents with its enormous head.
    • Tsiatko (CR 3)- Very tall, thin humanoids that live high in the mountains and speak with whistles. They make corpses into paralytic powder.
    • Uncegila (CR 21)- A huge, all but unkillable monster, with almost-impenetrable adamantine scales. Swallows victims whole, but is vulnerable from within.
    • White Buffalo (CR 15)- Sacred animals and messengers of powerful spirits, with great magical powers that can speak the languages of men.
    • Xiuhcoatl- An enormous turquoise dragon serpent, wreathed in sapphire flames, commanded by the gods against those who displease them.
    • Yumilekax (CR 3)- A mystical deer with wooden horns, some even bearing a beehive among their antlers. A protector of the forests that's immune to arrows.


    Imported
    • Bì Xié (CR 9)- A winged, lion-like creature, a force of good whose presence alone wards off evil.
    • Black Shuck (CR 15)- A huge, black, undead hound, a portent of death, but it will occasionally escort travelers along dangerous roads or watch over children.
    • Clurichaun (CR 2)- A leprechaun who has been exposed to alcohol and transformed over years of abuse. Constantly drunk and surly, and raids cellars.
    • Feng Huang (CR 12)- A mystical pair of birds, male and female, whose presence is a portent of wealth and good fortune.
    • Lutin (CR 2)- A shape-shifting house-spirit, which can take the form of animals, move through air and earth, or turn invisible.
    • Nián Shòu (CR 16)- A large creature with a bull's body and a lion's head. It emerges from the sea on the Chinese new year to consume the Han people, but it can be repelled by the color red and loud noises.
    • Pixie, Garden- Tiny plant-like fey, imported to decorate European gardens, and became highly invasive.
    • Rhinemaiden (CR 6)- Seductive water spirits which hoard gold at the bottom of their rivers and pools.
    • Sin-you (CR 6)- A large creature, resembling a mix of lion and bull, with a singe stright horn. Attacks liars and the guilty.
    • Zhènniǎo (CR 5)- 'Poison-feather birds', green and purple birds with highly venomous talons and beaks, and a toxic contact poison on their feathers.


    Unfinished New Monsters
    Spoiler: Unfinished New Monsters
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    Native
    Anaye- A group of extremely powerful beings born to virgins who partook of unnatural practices. Most were destroyed. Remaining anaye include Hunger, Poverty, Old Age, and Cold.
    Auvekoejak- Mermaid-like creature with polar bear fur instead of scales.
    Dust Devil- Dead human spirits who temporarily return to the mortal world. If it spins clockwise, it’s a good spirit, if it spins counterclockwise, it is evil.
    Emogoalekc- Once human, turned partially into a sea monster when he threw himself into the sea to drown.
    Ewah- A demon that drives anyone who sees it insane, so there are no reports of what it looks like.
    Haietlik- flying serpents of electricity that often travel with thunderbirds.
    Hakulaq- A female monster that controls the weather. Her infant looks human and she sets him to float in a basket, such that kind-hearted people will rescue him. When they take him to shore, she appears and wipes out their village, claiming they stole her child.
    Hayicanako- A colossal woman who lives deep underground and supports the earth (somewhat like atlas). Earthquakes happen when she gets weak from hunger, and can be stopped by throwing meat into deep holes.
    Hinqumemen- A living lake that drowns victims, particularly when they try to take buckets of it away.
    Hoga- An enormous fish-like monster with pig ears, thick whiskers, and large tusks. It can change colors.
    Ikuutayuq- A female monster who kills victims at a ritual circle by drilling holes in them until they die.
    Imap Umassoursa- An enormous monster that looks like a floating island, and hunts by flipping boats and eating the drowned sailors.
    Inung- A spirit pest that enters the body of a living creature and lives there until they die. After death, it emerges as a flickering light.
    Inupasugjuk- Great arctic giants that live on the sea ice at the north pole and visit the mainland during winter when the sea ice is thick enough to support their weight.
    Jackalope- A rabbit with deer antlers and a pheasant’s tail.
    Jokao/Stonecoats- Men with stone skin and stone canes that eat people. Repelled by menstruating women.
    Kachina- Highly varied spirits representing embodiments of various things in the world, such as stones or insects or stars.
    Kaitorak- A powerful forest spirit. Twigs cut from the spirit still have much of it’s power.
    Katutajuk/Katyutayuuq/Katyn Tayuuq- A large head with stubby legs and arms. Devours everything, and is strong enough to burst through the walls of an igloo.
    Kaneakeluh- A great cosmic bird that first brought fire to men.
    Kashehotapolo- A man-deer that dwells in the forest, that runs so fast nobody has seen it clearly.
    Kawatilikalla- Wolves that can take off their skins and become humans.
    Kelok- A winged beast whose body explodes in flames.
    Kitzinackas- A friendly water serpent with supernatural power that can be invoked in rituals.
    Koguhpuk- Huge mammalian creatures that live underground because the sun will kill them. They only come to the surface during the long night in the depth of winter.
    Kolowisi- A horned water serpent with sharp fangs that can take the form of a baby.
    Kushtaka- Were-otters. Some stories paint them as cruel tricksters, other paint them as friendly and helpful. They may turn humans into kushtaka to save them from drowning.
    La Llorona- An ancient ghost that drowned her children before drowning herself. Appears around rivers and lakes all through mexico and drowns children that come too close.
    Lenapizka- An amphibious creature that lives in lakes.
    Mamagwasewug- Forest-dwelling fairy-like creatures that are two feet tall with fur on their faces. They sail stone canoes.
    Mi-Ni-Wa-Tu- A large mammalian creature with red fur, one eye, one forehead horn, and a spiked beaver’s tail that lives in rivers and swims very fast.
    Moogie- A lizard-like creature that lives in the Ozarks.
    Nagual- Humans with the power to shape shift into an animal related to their day of birth.
    Nalusa Falaya- A small shadow-creature that consumes the souls of the depressed.
    N-dam-keno-wet- A hybrid of fish and human (not a merman) who loves to molest women in the bath.
    Neglected Ancestral Spirit- The spirits of ancestors that chose to remain on the spirit world to guide their progeny and have since been neglected and twisted to evil.
    Nunyenunc- A giant predatory bird that grabs people and flies them off to it’s nest to be consumed.
    Ogopogo- 40-50 foot sea serpent that dwells in Okanagan lake.
    Old Man of the Mountain- An enormous stone giant slumbering, buried in a mountain.
    Onnoint- A giant horned snake that uses its magic horns to control the earth and crush enemies.
    Oshadagea- A great eagle that carries water through the air in a hollow on it’s back. Puts out fires and spreads dew.
    Paiyuk- A highly aggressive aquatic elk that hunts humans as it’s prey.
    Pal-Rai-Yuk- Bizzare creature with six pawed legs, two fox heads, three stomachs, three dorsal fins, Thick fur, a froglike tongue, a fish/whale like tail and a serrated ridge on it’s back.
    Palulukon- A powerful water serpent that can stop the earth’s spin and stop springs from flowing if people stop living in harmony with nature.
    Piasa- A huge, scaled, catlike creature with deerlike horns, a very long tail with a fish tail on the end, and red eyes.
    Pskegdemus- A female ghost that dwells in swamps. In some stories, it’s malevolent being, luring children to their demise. In others, it’s a tragic figure, having lost her own children she call out to children from loneliness.
    Quailertetang- A seal-man hybrid that serves Sedna, the sea goddess. It observes humans and reports on their wrongdoings.
    Quinametzin- The former residents of the world, extinguished by the god for failure to worship them. Giants large enough to move great blocks of stone by themselves.
    Raw Gums- A fearsome magician and cannibal, raw guns is a human transformed through his own evil magic and his diet of eating chiefs. He raises the bodies of the chiefs he eats as undead servants.
    Sa-Yin- A water monster that resembles a centaur.
    Sio Humis- Happy and friendly rain spirits.
    Skunk, Dire- Self-explanatory
    Snawfus- A pure white deer with plants and flowers gowing from it’s antlers. It’s hooves split into fingerlike digits, allowing it to climb and swing through the trees. It creates thunder, and blue clouds in autumn.
    Stcemqestcint- Humanlike creatures that wear nothing but buffalo skin and can turn into trees to hide. If you stare at one that’s hiding as a tree for a long time, it may become stuck as a tree.
    Stikini- A race of people able to turn into horned owls. At night they regurgitate their organs and turn into owls to enter the homes of their victims and steal their still-beating hearts. Once they turn back into humans, they re-swallow their organs. Owl-feathered arrows deal extra damage to them.
    Sundew, Giant- A giant predatory plant.
    Tcipitckaam- A crocodile-like sea serpent with a yellow horn projecting out of it’s forehead. It can turn into a handsome young man to lure women close to drown them.
    Teehooltsoodi- A massive otter with bull-like horns. It can control water and create floods.
    Teyu-Yagua- A reptile monster with seven dog heads that breath fire, and shiny skin. Very powerful, but calm and harmless.
    Thelgeth- Hairy, headless, man-eating creatures. Members of the Anaye family of monsters.
    Tlahuelpuchi- A human who develops the power to shape shift during puberty. They must suck the blood of infants. Females are more common, and more powerful, than males.
    Tlanuhwa- Great red-tailed hawks with great mystical power.
    Tsanahale- Resembling harpies, they have human female torsos with eagle-like wings and taloned legs.
    Ugjuknarpak- Enormous rodent with a prehensile tail and extremely hard-to-break skin. Capable of swimming.
    Wakandagi Pezi- A water serpent with deer antlers and hooves on it’s feet. It gets jealous when people swim in its waters, and shoots bombs of water to blow up canoes.
    Wasgo- Sea wolves, a sort of seal with a longer, more wolfish snout. They hunt in large packs to take down small whales, and may attack swimmers.
    Yagim- A fearsome sharklike creature, with a bright red body. It’s extremely bloodthirsty.

    Imported
    Baba Yaga- An evil old woman who flies in a cauldron and lives in a cottage that walks on chicken legs. A powerful witch.
    Gwyllion- A terrifyingly ugly female elf. You must be polite and kind or it will bring destruction on your home. Known to cause travelers to become lost.
    Hsigo- Noisy beasts, resembling monkeys with feathered arms that can unfold into wings. Good at throwing things.
    Jersey Devil- Human babies cursed while in the womb or during birth, they become horrible demonic creatures upon birth, with batlike wings, hooved feet, a goat’s head, and a forked tail.
    Jīn Chán- A red-eyed bullfrog with only one back leg and seven spots on it’s back. It’s attracted to gold and valuable materials.
    Le Nain Rouge- A French dwarf-spirit that came from Europe and now lives near Fort Detroit.
    Péng- An enormous creature that transforms from a fish to a bird and back.
    Penghou- A forest spirit with the body of a black dog with no tail, and the face of a man. Dwells in trees and escapes when the tree is cut down.
    Pixie, Feral- Garden pixies that have escaped and spread into the wild, becoming much wilder than their more tame cousins.
    Sinterklaas- Saint Nickolas, who has recently added a new world leg to his journey.
    Wittewijven- Undead spirits of wise women that haunt burial sites and sacred places, offering either help or harm to those who approach, depending on the nature of the spirit in question.
    Last edited by Admiral Squish; 2014-08-06 at 11:21 PM.
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    The Cahokian League


    The Cahokian League is a massive trade empire that stretches from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, from the Heaven-Touching Mountains in the west to the Green Mountains in the east. The tribes of the Great Plains, the Mississippi, and the woodlands of the southeast owe allegiance to the great city of Cahokia, the center of the league.

    Cahokia itself is a hereditary oligarchy with a mostly-rigid political caste structure. The city is ruled by a number of wealthy, powerful Mound Families, each with one appointed Mound Lord (though the position is not always held by a male) who sits on a council with the other Mound Lords. The families control the city’s trade by partially owning almost all the businesses in the city, collecting a cut of the profits from each. They also hold a great deal of the magic in the city, each boasting a large number of powerful wizards, priests, druids, and shamans. Each family competes with the others, but the council has authority over all, settling disputes between families and making decisions for the city as a whole, such as acts of war and major alliances. Below the mound families are city dwellers, skilled craftsmen, merchants, and spellcasters who are usually beholden to one mound family or another. And below them, there are the mound builders, commoners who live in small farming communities. Each such village has a small mound where a mound family keeps their troops and their tax-collector. These mounds trade hands through agreements or through violence, though the exact name of the people collecting their crops is of little importance to the mound builders. There’s little mobility through the castes, though sometimes a mound family will adopt a promising city-dweller, or a mound builder will catch the eye of a city dweller and become an apprentice.

    Outside the city, the politics are much simpler, decided on a tribal level, though each leader must give thorough consideration to the orders of the council, and the consequences for disobedience. Each client tribe swears to an agreement with Cahokia, trading their obedience to the city for highly beneficial trade arrangements and periodic gifts of supplies, horses, or weapons. The agreement is different for each tribe, but there are a few common points. The tribe must come to the defense of Cahokia or other client tribes when called upon, they cannot make war on other client tribes, and they cannot interfere with trade, though they can enforce the rules of it. Each tribe looks out for their own people and their own interests first, but many owe their livelihood to the city and will gladly follow their guidance. The strength of these bonds may be put to the test as the other four empires look toward the center of the continent for expansion.

    Playing in the Cahokian League
    The cahokian league is composed of many different tribes, many distinct cultures and groups coming together for a common goal.

    Most human characters from the cahokian league will fall into one of five cultures. Native (Cahokia), Native (Great Plains), Native (Northeastern), Native (Southeastern), and Native (Southwestern). The cultures each encompass many distinct tribes and groups, allowing for a great deal of variation between two characters, even if they both have the same culture.

    The cahokian league’s connection to tradition and strong natural-oriented lifestyle has made them the natural ally of the Little People, many of whom feel the invaders are upsetting the delicate balances they protect. Some remain independent of the humans entirely, and it’s important not to assume that all of them will be friendly.
    Though they’re still a very small minority, the Spirit-born are most common here, and are often regarded highly and viewed as a valuable part of the tribe. Many are venerated as links between humans and the spirits of the animals. Some are still outcasts, particularly ones born of a spirit whose animal is regarded as evil, or a bad omen by their tribe.
    Sasquatch can be found here and there through the cahokian league. Most are highly isolationist, resisting any attempts to contact them, either by fleeing or by killing anyone who gets too close to their homes. A small number, however, have come out of their self-imposed isolation enough to make friendly contact with some of the local tribes and perhaps even help out from time to time.

    Adventurers in the cahokian league come in every description and every class, with many variations of each. But the most common classes are Hunter, Shaman, Druid, and Medicine Man. Hunters perform a vital role in ensuring the survival of a tribe, and many skilled hunters turn those skills to more aggressive ends to great effect. Shamans are rather common as well, with most sizable tribal groups having a shaman on hand, perhaps even one elder and a handful of apprentices. Druids and medicine men are more rare, the devotion required for either requiring much more study and learning.

    The Cahokian League started at a dramatically less complicated level of technology than their foreign invaders, but they are rapidly closing the gap. Cahokia’s mound families tirelessly manufacture ironwood goods to fill the needs of the people, everything from simple tools and knives to the cahokian signature item, the ironwood musket. They also trade heavily with foreign groups like the french for firearms, gunpowder, and other advanced technology. They use their massive trade networks to disseminate this technology, at the right price, to their client tribes. Though some native technology is less advanced, that doesn’t make it any less effective. A bow and arrow is still a highly lethal weapon, and many hunters are amazingly skilled with them.

    Timeline (Very Rough)
    Spoiler: Timeline
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    • 600 CE: Cahokia is founded as a simple settlement
    • 900 CE: Mound-building begins at Cahokia and the city expands the reach of it’s trade.
    • 1200 CE: The city is a huge mound-building center, with thriving trade
    • 1300 CE: There is a large flood that ruins a sizable portion of the year’s maize crop, but quick action by the druids, shamans, and priests manages to save enough that the people can still be fed. Afterward, the city begins to take a more active spiritual role in replanting trees and maintaining good relations with the river and forest spirits.
    • 1400 CE: A skillful deal with a forest spirit develops into the first ironwood spell, which quickly makes cahokia an extremely popular trading partner. However, rather than allow the secret to get out freely, cahokia enters arrangements with customer tribes to keep the ironwood in friendly hands. This agreement is the precursor to the modern client tribe system.
    • 1541 Ce: Hernando De Soto arrives at the walls of cahokia with an army of disloyal natives and a battalion of spaniards, including mounted lancers. The battle initially goes the way of the spaniards, but when they try to light the palisade on fire, the native spellcasters cut loose and decimate the attacking force. The forces rally and the battle once again looks like it’s going to end poorly for cahokia, but one of the plains tribes arrives and the spaniards are crushed against the wall with magic pouring down on them.
    • 1542 CE: The rebuilding begins, and the traditional wooden palisade is replaced with an ironwood palisade. Client tribe relations are strengthened, formalizing into the form they’re currently known as, and the cahokians promise swift and brutal destruction of any foreign force that lands on their shorelines.
    • 1682 CE: Louisiana is founded by the french. The local mississippian tribes assault french landing parties, but the huge ships make them too big a threat to take down entirely. Stalemate is established.
    • 1714 CE: A permanent settlement has arisen on the mouth of the mississippi, and the cahokians are forced to respond. They sail down the mississippi in force, with gunships of their own and ironwood cannons as a show of force. The french don’t want to leave, but the cahokians don’t want a major war (it cuts into profits) so they enter negotiations with the governor of the area at the time.
    • 1718 CE: The city at the river’s mouth officially establishes a joint-ownership government. The Governor is married to the cousin of a Mound Lord and the two start to lead the city together, falling in love of the coming years. The two cultures begin to mix, until in the modern day the city’s main language is a creole of french and cahokian.


    Map


    Plot Hooks
    Spoiler: Plot Hooks
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    • One of the Mound-Dweller families has a druid son, who is almost strong enough to start producing ironwood muskets. The family doesn't want to risk him by sending him on a dangerous spirit quest, so they hire local talent to go to the spirit world and negotiate with a powerful nature spirit to grant him the power he needs.
    • The buffalo jump near Chimney Rock was used by the tribes of the Great Plains for thousands of years, before the introduction of horses allowed for more efficient hunting methods. The site is now used only for rituals in times of great need, to placate the Buffalo-Spirits when hunting is poor. Recently, a new Link has opened up on the site, but no one can find out where the Link leads, because a militant young Buffalo spirit-born warrior has gathered up a band of buffalo spirits with grievances against humans and camped out on the site to prevent humans from using it, either for buffalo spirit rituals or to utilize the Link. No one knows how long the Link will remain open, but with the warrior and his war-band guarding it, it seems unlikely that anyone will find out before it closes.
    • The patriarch of a prominent Mound-Dweller family is outraged: someone broke into his storage mound, and stole thousands of wampum worth of black powder. What's worse, the patriarch is pinning it on his greatest enemy, the head of another major Mound Lord family. Both sides are willing to pay handsomely to prove that the other party is responsible for the theft. But a thief who can carve through enchanted mounds with ease and steal many heavy barrels of powder without alerting the guards or tripping an alarm is certainly a force to be reckoned-with.
    • The local Algonquin lodge is in an uproar: a senior medicine man was smoking his peace pipe by himself, when an unknown spirit came down from the sky and destroyed him. Which spirit killed him? Why? And how can the tribe regain the blessing of the spirits?
    • A previously weak plains-tribe has suddenly acquired powerful weaponry, courtesy of a runaway Master Gunsmith from Fúsāng, who managed to escape across the Heaven-Touching Mountains with a cartload of enchanted firearms, crafted especially for the Imperial Guard. When he learned that his brother was to be executed for treason, he fled Fúsāng, taking his stock of enchanted weapons with him. One of the Mound Lords is willing to pay handsomely to have him retrieved and brought him safely to Cahokia. However, the Gunsmith is being pursued by Qing agents, and also by a group of British spellcasters with an unknown agenda.
    • The party passes through a village terrorized by a horde of skunks, which have come to the dangerous realization that humans fear them.
    • The titanic mother-bear of Sleeping Bear Dunes has been reawakened, and is ravaging the land in a frantic search for her long-dead cubs. Who can end her reign of terror, and send her safely back to sleep?


    Cahokian League Material


    NPCs
    Lord Many-Earrings, senior Mound Lord
    Standing Bird, his manservant/bodyguard
    Alligator Robe, pole-barge captain
    Last edited by Admiral Squish; 2014-04-29 at 11:36 PM.
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    Tuniitaq


    Tuniitaq is the land of giants and ice, a cold land, and a very large one. Tuniitaq’s southern border on the north edge of the great lakes then follows the edge of the pine forests across the continent all the way to the Heaven-touching mountains, then up along them until it reaches the shore of alasqa. From ocean to ocean, the land of tuniitaq is a beautiful but harsh land of long, cold winters, brief and beautiful summers, and pristine wilderness. Much of the land is shrouded in dense pine forests, woven through by the silvery ribbons of swift-running rivers and dotted with a great many lakes. the northernmost reaches of the mainland are devoid of trees, the sun too weak to support them there.

    Tuniitaq is a loosely-organized confederacy of many different peoples.Each group is entirely self-governed, and no one group has the power to control the decisions of another, but they can all call on the other groups for aid, and while there are occasionally raids and other unpleasantness, there is no large-scale war within the confederacy. These political ties are bound by intermarriage, often strategic arranged marriages between groups but also, choice marriages are encouraged with neighboring groups. The end result being that everyone has family in every other group, which makes it somewhat more challenging to go to war against them.

    The practice was started by the tuniit culture, who absorbed a wave of inuit who were ready to go to war against them by intermarrying, absorbing their technology and expanding their livable area dramatically. As the tuniit culture spread, they continued this practice with each new culture they came in contact with, until there were giants to be found among even the most distant groups. These giants serve as living examples of the connectivity of Tuniitaq, sometimes emerging from couples that both look perfectly normal, showing that every group in the north is bonded together with ties of family. These practices don’t seem to work with the europeans, who are too proud to allow their families to mingle, and will even go so far as to kill or abandon the giants that are born to keep the shame a secret.

    Playing in Tuniitaq
    Tuniitaq is made of many distinct tribes, but generally speaking the human groups fall into a handful of cultures. Native (Arctic) for those living north of the treeline and on the shoreline, Native (Subarctic) for those living in the dense pine forests, Native (Mammutcha) for the mammutcha people who live in a broad swath of forest down the middle of Tuniitaq, and Native (Vinlandr) for those living on the eastern coast who interbred with the norse settlers, establishing a stable mixed population and absorbing norse technology and writing. There’s a great deal of variation within these groups, but many of the broad strokes are very similar, particularly with the intermarriage that characterizes Tuniitaq.

    The most common non-human race in tuniitaq would be the tuniit, the giants. These towering humans are created from a genetic trait originating from actual giants that, long ago, freely bred with the tuniit people. Since they made contact with other cultures, the tuniit have spread this trait all through the empire, until there are giants to be found in nearly every tribe. In the tuniit territory, the giants even outnumber the humans by a slim margin. Innunquac are also created from the lands of tuniitaq, humanoid shapes formed from stone and brought to life through the complex runes scribed all across their surfaces, the flow of magic mimicking many human functions. Created as servants to runecasters, the innunguac are freed to live their own lives once their creator passes on. Spirit-born are not unheard of in tuniitaq, and can even be relatively common in places where the spirits of animals are highly revered.

    Adventurers in tuniitaq have many options for what sort of character they play. Most commonly, one can find Hunters, who have mastered techniques to kill game and put them to deadly use against other, more dangerous targets. Shamans and Medicine Men are common in the north, as the dangers of the climate can require supernatural assistance to overcome. Rune-casters can be found here and there, usually in larger settlements and trading posts, where learning to read and write is more accessible.

    Tuniitaq had something of a leg up on their southern neighbors when it comes to technology, due to the vinlandrs supplying the rest of the confederacy with limited quantities of iron. For the most part, however, their technology is the same as that found in the cahokian league. They trade with the Fusangren and the French for valuable technology such as firearms and cannons, and the supplies to process materials of their own, such as shears and wool spinners to turn tsawo into yarn or even thinner fibers to make proper fabric.

    Timeline (Very rough)
    Spoiler: Tuniitaq Timeline
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    ~1000 CE: A large number of mammoths leave Where We Do Not Hunt and spread into the territory south, establishing themselves once again.
    ~1100 CE: The people who will become the mammutcha, under the guidance of a mammoth spirit-born begin capturing and taming wild mammoths, taking the steps toward a proper domestication.
    ~1200 CE: Tuniit make contact with the western-moving Inuit. Initial contact is rough, but the tuniit eventually absorb the inuit over the next hundred years, gaining technology and gradually expanding their territory, absorbing or spreading into other populations they come into contact with.
    ~1300-1400 CE: The Vinland colony becomes separated from Iceland and falls apart, the survivors marrying into native groups of the area, merging into one mixed culture with metalworking, ship-building, and writing.
    ~1500 CE: First non-norse european contact in newfoundland, inhabited by vinlandrs. Initially it goes well, but when european ships start trying to overfish or edge out the vinland groups of the island, they respond violently.
    ~1600 CE: The mammut reach a state of full domestication, allowing the mammutcha to dramatically expand their territory southward.



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    [img][/img]


    Plot Hooks
    Spoiler: Plot Hooks
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    • Gold has recently been discovered near the western edge of Tuniitaq, in a rugged region known only as “Alasqa”. Claims to the find are disputed by the Tuniit and the Russians, but while the two sides argue over land-rights and prior usage, prospectors from Fúsāng are moving in to stake their own claims.
    • An entire nomadic fishing-community is being followed by an enormous polar bear. The beast swims up under them and breaks through the ice beneath the center of their igloo-cluster to attack them, no matter where they move. The beast continues to rise up and attack from beneath, even after they move their village onto solid land.
    • During the night, someone (or a group of someones) cut the tusks off of every mammoth in the village, without waking a single beast or alerting the sentries. The young men say it was an attack by an enemy tribe, meant to shame them, but the elders disagree: if the they wanted to sabotage the village, then why did they leave the mammoths alive?
    • A naked man comes running into the party’s camp, his feet cut and bloodied by miles of jagged ice, pursued by three enraged hunters. The hunters claim that the naked man raped their sister, and their family’s honor demands his blood in payment for his crimes. The naked man claims that the hunters’ family are ancient enemies of his own: these men lay in wait outside his brother’s tent until he and his brother had gone inside and stripped off their wet hunting clothes, and while they were waiting for his brother’s wife to dry their garments, the hunters stabbed their spears through the wall of the tent. His brother was killed, but they missed the naked man, who claims he barely escaped with his life. The hunters scream that his lying tongue will not save him from them this time. Which side do the players choose to believe?
    • The Tuniit have put out a call for warriors of all descriptions, summoning them together for a single purpose: the chicken-legged hut of an exiled Russian necromancer has traveled to the site of a long-dormant Link; the house has not moved for weeks, and it appears to be using the Link as part of a ritual of some sort. All attempts to chase the necromancer off have been rebuffed by the secretive Muscovite's undead minions. The Tuniit shamans foresee terrible calamity if the ritual is not stopped.


    Tuniitaq Material


    NPCs
    Kivioq the Hunter (Lv. 24 immortal human Hunter)
    Jean-Pierre Descomps dit Labadie (Lv. 10 human Voyageur)
    Brother LaForge (French missionary, lv. 4 human Cleric)
    Last edited by Admiral Squish; 2014-05-30 at 04:30 PM.
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    Aztatlan


    Aztatlan is a realm located far to the south, it’s northern border where the deserts end and the jungles begin, and continuing south all the way to where the land narrows, from shore to shore. The area is a complex political scene, with dozens of small nation-states and a few larger empires, each laying claim to various stretches of land and almost constantly at war with one-another. The triple alliance is the largest of these empires, controlling a large empire in the north of the region, including a long, narrow strip that follows the shoreline and the river the spaniards call the rio grande. Jungles and mountains make for a harsh land, but one that provides great rewards to those who can tame it. Huge, terraced pyramids thrust out of the forest, artificial mountains that allow powerful priests to be closer to the gods as they make grisly sacrifices and plead for favor.

    The triple alliance is mostly an alliance in name only, the group being dominated by the largest and strongest of the three cities that make it up, Tenochtitlan, ruled by the Mexica people. Politically, the city is a monarchy with a rigid caste system, nobles and priests above and commoners and soldiers below. There are a few ways to move up from commoner to noble, mostly through the military. A soldier that captures a certain number of soldiers for sacrifice rises up to become a noble. The priests have great political power in this empire, being the ones who feed the gods with blood to keep the sun from going out. Some of the most powerful and sanctified priests may undergo a ritual to be converted into deathless spiritual leaders, known as Amicqui.

    Beyond the triple alliance, the largest empire is mayatolli, the land of the maya. Not really a unified empire, mayatolli is the combined area controlled by dozens of independent mayan city-states that are just as likely to war on each other as they are to band together against an exterior threat. There are other smaller empires, including the Tzintzuntzan, the Mixtec, the Zapotek, Totonacapan, Huastecapan, and many other smaller tribes through the narrowest regions. Spain controls a sizable stretch around the area known as Panama, using it as a place to portage their ships to the pacific to trade up the west coast into Fusang, an area known as Castilla del Oro.

    Playing in Aztatlan
    Human characters most commonly belong to one of three cultures. Native (Mexica) characters are members of the triple alliance, the principal power in aztatlan. Native (Maya) characters hail from one of the dozens of mayan city-states throughout mayatolli, each fiercely independent. Native (Mesoamerica) characters belong to one of the many empires and smaller tribes that can be found all through aztatlan. It’s also easy enough to find European (Frontier) characters that hail from the region, spaniards that live in Castilla del Oro or one of the smaller spanish settlements along the coast.

    Adventurers in aztatlan come in many varieties. Gunslingers are rapidly becoming the main warriors of most empires, replacing the Brutes from the previous generations, though many still remain. Priests are very powerful in Aztatlan, both politically and mystically, and they can be found in numbers in almost any city in the region. Wizards are also more common than many other native areas, as the universal education of the triple alliance and the existence of a written language allow youngsters with arcane talent to be discovered and properly trained.

    Aztatlan has, by this point, mostly mastered the technologies of firearms, cannons, and metalworking, thanks to captured spaniards and a great deal of experimentation. Some empires are still forced to trade for them, often at high rates, from the europeans or the fusangren, but the triple alliance is manufacturing its own and arming its soldiers en masse, making them one of the most dangerous military forces in the region.

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    Map
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    Plot Hooks
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    • Aztec priests receive an incomprehensible directive from Huitzilopochtli, the god of the sun, commanding them to build him a temple “in the land where my eye never closes”. But such a place surely cannot exist in this world. Can it?
    • The party comes across an Aztec youth freezing to death in the Heaven-Touching Mountains, armed with only an atlatl and a bundle of spears. After taking him in and letting him warm up a bit, the boy explains what he’s doing so far from home. His father, the master of Tenochtitlan’s feather-workers guild, has been publicly disgraced. The boy heard his father saying drunkenly over a mug of pulque that the scandal has so ruined his reputation that only the creation of an unparalleled masterpiece of feather-working could save his business now: a robe made from the feathers of the fabled Thunderbird. Does the party agree to help the boy in his mad and dangerous quest, or do they counsel him to return to his father, who may not have been speaking literally, and is no doubt half-mad with worry for his missing son?
    • The High Priest of Quetzalcoatl has commissioned the greatest feather-robe in history, containing at least one feather from every species of bird which lives within the territory of Atzatlan. However, no hunter has been able to obtain a feather from one particular species: a small brown bird, mostly earthbound but a very fast runner, commonly known as “the road-running bird”.
    • Your party’s berserker discovers xocolātl; chaos and mayhem ensue.
    • A human village has recently been ravaged by a band of were-jaguars, but in their fear and haste to defend themselves they mistakenly retaliate against a nearby band of Tabaxi, inviting full-scale war.


    Aztatlan Material


    NPCs
    Seven-Crocodile, High Priest of Huitzilopochtli
    Three-Knife, captain of the Jaguar Knights
    Seven-Grass, captain of the Eagle Knights
    Eleven-Jaguar, prince of the Maya kingdom of B’alam
    Six-Deer Aznar y López, half-Spanish sorceress
    Last edited by Admiral Squish; 2014-09-01 at 04:26 PM.
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    Columbia


    The colonies of Columbia are the combined holdings of all the european powers in the new world. They range all up and down the eastern shore of the new world, from New France in the north, through New England all along the eastern shore, to New Spain in Florida, and the french-cahokian city at the mouth of Mississippi. The powers bicker and squabble over the various islands in the caribbean, too, each eager to exploit the isles for their own use. The terrain is mostly forested, with the Green Mountains running through the inland areas of the colonies. The shoreline is jagged, full of coves, bays and little islands that are perfect to house ports and ships.

    Politically, the colonies are divided by country, the governors and officials of each eager to keep what’s theirs out of the hands of their competitor countries. Governors are appointed by the monarchies back in England, serving until they step down or are replaced with some other appointed governor, depending on how they perform in the position. The governor is the authority in the colony, but most situations are well below their involvement, being managed by local mayors and police. But as the colonies become older and older and the native populations have more time to share their ideals, many of the colonists are becoming more dissatisfied with their lot in this arrangement, looking for more of a voice in their own government.

    The colonies are mostly small farming communities at the moment, growing various new world and old world crops, with techniques learned from natives. The larger cities are on the shores, being centers of trade and commerce with europe that allow them to support a more wealthy, literate, and land owning population. Natives dwell on the margins, some opposing the newcomers, others glad to share and trade with them for technology and goods they can’t make themselves, or things from faraway lands.

    Playing in Columbia
    Columbia has a number of cultures, both native and foreign. European (British) represents recent newcomers from england or those who live a largely european-style life in the cities or well-isolated towns. European (Continental) can indicate people who come from many different mainland european countries, french and spanish being the most common, but dutch, portuguese, and other european powers are not unheard of to be found in Columbia. European (Frontier) represents those living out in the frontier region, with more contact with the natives and a much more humble living standard. Native groups can be found all through the colonies. Native (Northeast) live up in the northern half of the Columbia region, while Native (Southeast)cover the southern mainland. The caribbean islands are filled with Native (Caribbean) cultures, though some of them have been drastically reduced in numbers by disease and violence from the european colonists.

    Columbia is very heavily human, the local authorities having a very dim view of ‘monsters’ and ‘devils’. That doesn’t mean that these areas are nonhuman free, but those who are must usually be at least a bit secretive to avoid attracting the attention of the authorities and the church. Witch-born are mostly exclusive to Columbia, hiding out under the radar of authorities. Those who are caught, regardless of their heritage, are usually either forced to flee or killed. Trollkin are also european in origin, their people being from those lands in the first place. There are a few bands of sasquatch to be found deep in the Green Mountains and the swamps of florida and louisiana, and some more aggressive little people will raid european settlements to try and drive them back into the sea.

    Adventurers in Columbia come in many shapes. The most common class is the gunslinger, usually militiamen or guards that take their skill with their weapons to the next level. Priests are common too, differing sects and orders to be found in different parts of Columbia. Those with magical talent often flee from the continent to the new world, for more freedom to practice their craft and to study the magical practices of the new world as Wizards. Voyageurs can be found in the north and some of the wilder places, and some laborers and drunkards may end up becoming Brutes.

    Columbia has a high technological level, with free and easy access to firearms, cannons, large, seagoing ships, clockwork, and similar. The only problem being that there are not yet that many places capable of building, fixing, and maintaining these more advanced technologies in large numbers, meaning most of the equipment must be shipped from europe itself.

    Timeline (Under construction)


    Map
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    Plot Hooks
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    • The governor of Jamestown Colony is suffering from a painful sickness which no wizard in Columbia can cure. But he has heard “rumours of an itinerant False Face, whose Powers and Skill are legendarie amongst the savages”. But because of his wandering nature, none but God and the False Face know in which village he will next appear. And even if he is located, will he agree to help the Governor? And if he does, at what price comes his aid?
    • A Scarred Monk, recently returned from a missionary work at a trading post in Aztlan, is stirring up unrest in the southern colonies. He has been travelling from town to town with a caged Quetzal, displaying it before horrified crowds as “proof-certain that the Aztekas do most wickedly mock our Lord and Saviour, worshipping as they do this hideous merging of sinful Man and Wicked Serpent.” If this treatment of a sacred Quetzal becomes known to Aztec authorities, it will surely be taken as an unforgivable blasphemy, and will mean war between the two empires. The Scarred Monk must be silenced (discreetly!), and the creature returned alive and unharmed to his native lands.
    • An abandoned cart with the markings of a Fúsāngese trader is found outside a moderate-sized colonial settlement. While the presence of the cart is itself a mystery, it is the cart’s contents that have attracted fearful attention: a wooden box covered in strange rectangular pieces of paper. Curious bystanders found it empty, with deep scratch marks crisscrossing its interior.
    • Rumor has it that a Scarred Monk has gone rogue from the Inquisition. He, along with a group of fanatical followers, are planning to bring down a Thunderbird and burn it alive, allowing the Monk to absorb its power. Not only is the idea of such a man with that much power terrifying, but killing a Thunderbird in such a disrespectful way could have catastrophic consequences in the Spirit World.
    • The players are called-upon by the Boston Port Authority to investigate the strange foreigners which have lately been passing through Customs in suspiciously large numbers. They arrive on ships from different countries, speak different languages, and wear wildly different clothing, but many of them seem to know each other, and they share a certain resemblance: the men all have large noses and bulky frames, but the women are all willowy and lovely. They arrive by ones and twos, but they only leave the city in wagon-trains of twenty or more, and always heading north, towards the mountains of New England.



    Columbia material


    NPCs
    Padre Costa (Scarred Monk)
    Benjamin Franklin (Alchemist, Natural Philosopher)
    Wades-In-The-Shallows (Iroquois Medicine Man)
    Young Master Washington (Lv. 3 Human Noble)
    Ollie Sigurdsen (Trollkin Revivalist cult-leader)
    Hawkeye, a.k.a The Deerslayer, a.k.a. Leatherstockings
    François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture (future slave-revolt general, age 7)
    Inky Jack (one-armed vodou priest)
    Prudence Whatley (Former slave-turned-revolutionary-and-evangelist)
    Last edited by Admiral Squish; 2014-05-07 at 06:06 PM.
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    Fúsāng


    Fúsāng is a beautiful land on the western coast. Officially, they claim all the lands between the Heaven-Touching Mountains and the western shoreline to be theirs, but in truth they are only slowly spreading inland, much of their power and population concentration located directly on the coastline. The land of Fúsāng starts in the north at the uppermost point of the temperate rainforest, in the shadow of the mountains dividing it from Alasqa. From there it extends all the way south to their trading post in Aztatlan, including the massive rainforests in the north, the arid, desert-like lands in the distant south, and everything in between.

    Politically, the realm of Fúsāng is ruled by Her Radiant Majesty the Empress, who rules from her capital city in Jade Harbor, at the southern end of the rainforest. The empress holds the legacy of the Ming dynasty in her veins, the direct descendant of the infant princess who was rescued from the Qing. She appoints governors to the various provinces of Fúsāng, each one centered in the largest cities of the realm, who rule by extension of her authority until replaced or relieved of duty. These governors then appoint leaders of the various cities and towns in their district, and report regularly to the Empress. Some of these governors are very powerful figures, others are posted in the remote reaches of the empire as more of a punishment than anything.

    From the outside, the empire looks very stable and peaceful, the only major outside forces threatening them being the distant Qing, and the relatively weak Haida. But the nation is a divided one. The people are divided amongst each other on many issues, and there are rebellious factions, pirates, corrupt officials, greedy black-market merchant families, uncooperative martial art schools, and a fundamental division around the simple question: What does Fúsāng do now? The Azure Dragon party wishes to make the new world their home forever, a new homeland in a rich and fertile land. The Gold Dragon party wishes to return to China’s mainland with an army, to take back the homeland they were exiled from.

    Playing in Fúsāng
    Fúsāng proper is made of only two cultures, but their region touches a great many native populations, and some less human ones. Han (Mainland) refers to characters who are either recently from China, or were raised in very traditional households in Fúsāng. Han (Frontier) refers to characters who live out in the more wild parts of the nation, where there’s less traditional influence on the daily life. There are many native groups in Fúsāng’s area, including Native (California), Native (Northwest Coast), Native (Great Basin), Native (Plateau), and Native (Southwest). All of these cultures have a good deal of variation within them, making Fúsāng one of the most diverse regions, culturally, though the Fúsāngrén don’t have a great track record for respecting cultures other than their own.

    Fúsāng is one of the few areas where a non human race has significant territory and their own distinct culture. The Sasu Qua’che, the Sasquatch culture of the northwest coast, are granted domain over the Great Forests to the north of Jade Harbor by imperial decree, as part of their agreement the the Empress to maintain the forests and oppose the enemies of the empire within it. Spirit-Born found in the main cities of the empire are usually killed at birth, but in the fringes of the settlements, they can be found, though their existence is generally hidden from outsiders to the community. Little people in the Heaven Touching Mountains have made it all but impossible for Fúsāngrén to make it across the barrier.

    Adventurers in Fúsāng come in many varieties. Gunslingers make up much of the military in the area, and it’s relatively easy to transfer from the service of the military to a freelance adventurer. Martial artists are relatively easy to find, there being schools devoted to teaching the various styles scattered through the eastern empire. Priests are easy enough to find, wandering monks doing good deeds all through the land, or in monasteries. Wizards are also easy to find, as the Qing paid special attention to wiping out the Ming dynasty’s spellcasting legacy, driving a great deal of practitioners across the sea to the new world. Sasu Qua’che make dangerous brutes, and they also have a great deal of shamans.

    The technology in Fúsāng is quite advanced, with many skilled craftsmen loyal to the old empire brought over during the expulsion from their homeland. Fúsāngrén gunsmiths and alchemists mix the most powerful gunpowder and carefully craft each rifle with skill and precision. Fúsāngrén shipwrights create masterful ships, marvels of engineering ranging from the titanic treasure ships, to swift and maneuverable riverboats. The only issue they face on technology is resources. Cut off from large-scale trade by hostile pirates and Haida raiders, Fúsāng must fend for itself with it comes to providing materials for its industries. Thankfully, the land is bountiful, but the trouble is getting the ores, the wood, the goods out of their hiding places and where they can be used. The existing industry can barely keep up with demand, and it doesn’t help they keep losing supply ships to raiders and pirates.

    Timeline (Under construction)


    Map (Under construction)


    Plot Hooks
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    • The Imperial Kitchen-Master has recently been unable to prepare any dishes which satisfy Her Radiant Majesty’s discerning palette. He believes that he may be able to please her with an entirely new dish, something which no one in Fúsāng has ever tasted before. He has recently heard a rumor that far to the north, the Tuniit maintain herds of enormous woolly elephants. He has tasted their preserved meat, and believes that if he could obtain a live mammoth, and slaughter it for Her Radiant Majesty’s table, he would finally have the ingredient he requires to truly express his creative genius.
    • The Radiant Throne has commissioned the First Grand Imperial Survey of the lands which lie to the east of the Heaven-Touching Mountains. Any Fúsāngese citizen with knowledge of these lands will be richly rewarded for imparting such knowledge to the Imperial Cartographers. Even greater compensation awaits any native of these lands who is willing to act as guide and translator to the Her Radiant Majesty’s Explorational Fellowship.
    • A Fúsāngese scholar, exploring the ruins of the vanished Anasazi, has disappeared mysteriously. Her Radiant Majesty is offering a sizable sum to anyone who can uncover what happened to him. The only clues left are in the final message he sent back, which spoke of how the temple was focused on the journey of Mars, and mentioned a single word encountered time and time again: Barsoom.


    Fúsāng Material


    NPCs
    Captain of the Nameless (i.e. Her Radiant Majesty's personal bodyguards)
    Many-Pearls, Chief of the richest tribe in Fúsāng
    Peach-Pit Ping, lv. 8 human Drunken Boxer (a jovial pot-wearing wanderer who plants peaches wherever he travels along the frontiers of Fúsāng; only he does this because he likes to drink peach liquor, not just because he likes to eat them).
    Longtooth (once a notorious Sasquatch bandit, he was eventually defeated by a powerful wu jen and forced to wear a Golden Headband of Obedience until he atones for his misdeeds)
    Last edited by Admiral Squish; 2014-05-10 at 03:38 PM.
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    The Spirit-World


    The Spirit World is a land beyond our mortal plane, the only other plane in the world of Crossroads. It is a strange and hard-to-navigate place, particularly to those who have never experienced the strangeness it offers. It is where the souls of the dead go when they pass on, or where the linger when they refuse to. It is the world of the spirits, the beings of myth and legend of the people on the mortal world. Nobody’s quite sure if the myths are born from the spirits, or if the spirits are born of the myths, and the spirits certainly aren’t in a hurry to find out. It is a mystical place, where powerful spirits and godly avatars walk in flesh, but reshape the world to their whims.

    The Spirit World is always there, on the other side of the veil, a reflection of the mortal world, but shaped by thoughts and beliefs. The collective belief of the people living in an area will actively alter the shape of the Spirit World around them. If they truly believe there is a being, or a place, in the world beyond this one, that belief will slowly make itself true. Every place on the material world exists as a spirit version on the Spirit World, but not every place on the Spirit World exists on the mortal world, these extra places inserted between real places, or sometimes existing on top of them, the two separated by nothing more than going around an obstacle in a different way, or by walking through a threshold backward.On top of such strangeness, the geography acts strangely there, two points sometimes being closer on the Spirit World than they are in reality, sometimes further apart. An important point to note is that going to the world in one place may be dramatically different than going to it in another place, the beliefs of those living there altering the landscape such that it’s almost it’s almost unrecognizable as the same plane.

    Planar Traits
    Physical Traits:
    • Objective directional gravity: Gravity works in strange ways on this plane, usually following the same rules as the material world, but sometimes shifting unexpectedly or behaving strangely in some places.
    • Erratic Time: Time on the Spirit World is a strange animal, sometimes moving faster, sometimes slower, seemingly at random. It averages out to about the same, but an unlucky traveler could spend a few minutes on the spirit world to find a week has passed on the mortal world, or may spend a week on a spiritual journey, only to find they’ve only been out of body for an hour or two. While on this plane, signs of time ar similarly unreliable, the sun rising or setting arbitrarily, the stars emerging while the sun’s still up, the moon roaming through a dozen phases, some not even possible, in the space of an hour.
    • Infinite Size: Every place on the mortal world has a spiritual mirror image, but there are infinitely more places to go on the spirit world than on the mortal one, some places occupying the same spo, merely accessed separately by going left around an obstacle rather than right or in some other, seemingly arbitrary way.
    • Divinely Morphic: The spirit world is affected by the actions of those on it the same way the mortal world is. However, many powerful spirits can alter the landscape dramatically with seemingly no effort on their part, particularly in certain parts under different domains. For example, an earth spirit may not be able to reshape the clouds, but may be powerful enough to raise a mountain.


    Visiting the Spirit World
    There are two distinct ways to access the spirit world.
    The first is through projection, separating your soul from your body and sending it to roam the plane for you. While on the spirit world in this way, you can move, act, and change things freely, but what you do on the spirit plane cannot come back with you and you cannot leave things behind. For example, retrieving an item from the spirit world, or delivering an item to it, would be impossible using this method, though you could slay a spirit or speak to an important spirit in this way. This method is also safer, as when your soul is reduced to 0 HP you instantly snap back to your body, unharmed but unconscious for one hour after the ordeal.
    The second is physical travel. You move bodily to the spirit world, bringing all your belongings and your body with you. This can be accomplished through the use of a natural portal, such as those found in certain caves, or by using a spell to shift yourself there. While on the plane in this way, you are physically, completely present, and can interact with the world and take or leave things as you desire. This method also allows you to travel through the plane, though such a prospect is unreliable without a proper guide.

    The Spirits
    There are many different kinds of spirits living on the spirit world. Native denizens of the spirit world are outsiders, beings made entirely of belief and the stuff of the spirit world itself. These spirits can be divided up into various groups.

    Spirits of Life: These are spirits of creatures that are alive, or have been alive as long as they continue to dwell in the minds of the world. The Named Animals fall under this category.
    Spirits of Herd These are the spirits of animals that are largely prey to other animals, like buffalo or mice.
    Spirits of Hunt These are the spirits of animals that are largely predators of other animals, like wolves or eagles.
    Spirits of Wood These are the spirits of plants of all sorts, such as trees or flowers.
    Spirits of Ancestors These spirits are human souls, converted into full outsiders after lingering on the spirit world.

    Spirits of Nature: These are spirits of fundamental forces and substances, the building blocks of the world, and they can be formed from anything. Some can even be formed of multiple elements.
    Spirits of Earth These are spirits of earth, stone, dirt, and metal.
    Spirits of Flame These are spirits of fire, heat, and the sun.
    Spirits of Sky These are spirits of air, wind, and weather.
    Spirits of Water These are spirits of oceans, rivers, and rain.

    Spirits of Soul These are spirits invented wholesale by the minds of humans to represent pure alignment, good, evil, law and chaos, or sometimes more than one at a time.
    Spirits of Evil These spirits take the form of demons, devils, and other monsters.
    Spirits of Good These spirits take the form of angels, celestials, and other sacred creatures.
    Spirits of Law These spirits take the form of constructs, machines, and insects.
    Spirits of Chaos These spirits take on shifting, fluid forms, like blobs, swarms, or pure energy.

    Playing in the Spirit World
    The spirit world does not have a human population, beyond the spirits of the ancestors, and they’ve forsaken their humanity. Still, spirits of the dead from every culture can be found here, wandering the reflection of the world they knew in life. Some are twisted into monsters by regret and sorrow, others, simply lingering to see the fruits of their labors. Others have long since their role in the tale of the world come to an end and are trapped, unable to move on any further.

    The most common non humans in the Spirit World are the shadow people, who easily outnumber the lingering dead. The shadow folk are born from beliefs, like all those born on the Spirit World, but they are born from beliefs about other humans. The shadow folk are the manifestation of human beliefs about themselves, their neighbors, about the populace of distant lands, made from stereotypes and misunderstandings, but just as often shaped by outside observance and undeserved flattery. These people are also a part of the Spirit World, and their understanding of it makes them seem all the stranger. The shadow folk inhabit lands over where their source material is to be found, but the spirits of the dead from that realm may find their shadows almost unrecognizable.

    Adventurers in the Spirit World world can be from anywhere, from any culture, from any time in history. Modern souls visit, but the spirits of the ancestors linger on, doing deeds and continuing their adventures in the afterlife. Some hold ancient traditions of combat, using primitive weapons or ancient techniques, others use more modern developments. Shadow folk behave similarly to their human counterparts, but often use slightly different techniques or abilities than them.

    Technology works the same on the Spirit World as it does in the material one… for the most part. Compasses usually work fine, but the shifting nature of the plane makes them poor tools for navigation, and they will sometimes spin uselessly in spirit places that don’t exist on the material world. A gun will fire normally most of the time, but powerful spirits can do things like stop the fire from reaching the powder, or bend the metal barrel, or conjure a gust of wind to deflect the shot. Even melee weapons are sometimes unreliable.

    Plot Hooks


    Spirit World Material


    NPCs
    Last edited by Admiral Squish; 2014-05-10 at 03:46 PM.
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    Beyond the New World
    World Map (not strictly accurate)

    While the New World is the center of Focus in the crossroads setting, it is not the only part of the world. There are many continents beyond it’s borders, and these each offer unique opportunities for players and DMs alike.

    Africa
    Africa is a massive continent across the sea from the new world, just south of europe. The land is enormous, with immense diversity throughout. In the north, the lands are mostly desert, containing one of the largest stretches of the hot desert in the world. On the western shore, there’s an enormous rainforest in the central region, teeming with life. Much of the area south of the desert is dominated by savannah, massive plains of rolling grasslands studded with the occasional tree. The weather here is largely dominated by the cycle of wet season and dry season. The summers are long, bakingly hot, and very dry, and the winters are cool, with heavy rainfall and a resurgence of life.

    Politically, africa is divided into many, many groups, some small empires, others independent tribes throughout the landscape. At the moment, there are perhaps a dozen or so european settlements on the shorelines where they trade with the natives for gold, ivory, exotic goods, and perhaps most importantly, slaves. Trading in slaves is a growing business of the time, with european colonies in the new world demanding increasing numbers of slaves as native slavery decreases, in favor of those captured from Africa. The traders offer european goods to the africans for slaves traded to the new world for goods that trade well for money and goods back in europe, which are then traded to the africans for more slaves.

    Asia
    Asia is the largest continent in the world, and has staggering diversity in its geography, climate, and cultures. It ranges from arctic and subarctic climates in the north, arid lands in the the center and the west, humid areas scattered throughout, down to subtropical and tropical climates in the southern areas. Vast, cold steppes, sweltering jungles, enormous deserts, looming mountains and picturesque plains and fields can all be found within the continent of asia.

    Politically, the landscape can be divided into a number of distinct regions. In the southwest is the middle east, a dry, desert-like land where the Ottoman empire, a strict monarchy, dominates much of the landscape, though they face increasing pressure as they begin to lose their grip on their lands. In the north is Russia, monarch empire that eagerly grows with each year, even expanding a very limited presence to the new world. In the center is China, under the rule of the Manchu people, the Qing dynasty. Their conquest drove the remnants of the Ming dynasty across the sea to take refuge in their new land of Fusang. In the south, India is trading hands between the declining Mughal Empire and the ascending Maratha Empire, the Mughal empire clinging desperately to what remains of its holdings. In the southeast, Islam is spreading through the various peoples of the land, and the Qing spread their influence into the region, claiming countries as vassal states. Off the eastern coast, one can find Japan, a mysterious land, shrouded from outside contact by an enormous, permanent wall of swirling wind that shatters any ship that dares to cross it.

    Australia
    The land of Australia is largely a mystery to the world beyond its shores. The dutch charted the coastline and declaring it ‘new holland’ a hundred years ago, but making no effort at colonization or inland mapping. Reports from sailors say that the land is a harsh place, full of fearsome giant monsters, venomous creatures, and strange cultural groups.

    Europe
    Europe is a diverse collection of nations, many wealthy and powerful, eager to spread their influence across the globe. In the northern reaches, the land can be subarctic, but the majority of the subcontinent is dominated by temperate forests, with broad-leafed trees, cold winters and warm summers. The Alps rise out of the continent, a ridge of snowcapped peaks that cross through many distinct countries. In the south, the Mediterranean’s warm waters and years of biological exchange around the sea have covered the southern shoreline of Europe with a distinct forest biome featuring olive trees.

    Politically, europe is highly divided. No less than five major powers squabble over the subcontinent, including the English with their islands in the north, the Dutch on the northern coast of the mainland, the Spanish who share a southeastern peninsula with the Portuguese, and the French, who control a very large country spanning sea to sea just next to Spain. These nations have been warring with one another since they were founded, sometimes openly warring, other times merely competing with each other in a rather blood-thirsty fashion. Most of the powers are Monarchies, ruled by kings or queens, and heavily influenced by word of the Church, their faith nearly ubiquitous on the continent, though England remains outside their command, despite the pressure from the Church.

    Brasilia
    The southern continent, known as Brasilia, is a dark land, a land of mystery and unknowns. The caribbean shore is dominated by a massive rainforest, fed by the largest river system in the world, the Amazon. The western shore is a narrow strip of land against the sea, pinned between the mighty Andes mountains and the Pacific ocean. Down the eastern shore, the tremendous rainforests fall away, replaced with smaller forests, grassland, and eventually, arid, rocky steppes.

    In 1530, the Portuguese landed at the mouth of the amazon and named the continent Brasilia, and began to colonize, enslaving massive chunks of the amazonian tribes in mines and plantations. Between the plagues the europeans brought and the horrific conditions the natives slaved under, nearly 90% of the natives used for slavery died, enough that mothers would cripple their children to spare them from their fate in the mines. The colony lasted for almost 50 years before the jungle threw them off. Survivors of the initial purge said it was as though the land itself had risen against them, with beasts, bugs, and plants turning against them in a nightmarish scenario that killed or drove out all the settlers. Sea serpents now nest along the deep water shelf, destroying any ship that comes too close to their lairs, making any attempts to retake Brasilia too dangerous and much, much too expensive. Those who get close to the shore without attracting the serpents report strange giant beasts patrolling the beaches.

    The eastern shore is not as unapproachable, but the interior proves every bit as enigmatic and impenetrable. The first ship to arrive found a regiment of soldiers and a priest waiting for them at their landing place, as though they knew they were coming. The priest greeted them, in the sailor’s language, and told them, very politely, to leave and return to a set place and time if they wished to trade. When they did, they found a trading post had sprung up since their last pass, and found traders willing to offer them silver and gold statues and sculptures for european technology, but also a battalion of soldiers standing by. Since then each visitor to any spot on the eastern the shores other than that trading post, finds themselves greeted by the same battalion and priest. If they obey peacefully, they get bountiful trade. Nobody’s quite sure what happens to the ones who don’t agree, but it can be assumed it’s not pleasant, since they are never seen again.
    Last edited by Admiral Squish; 2014-04-29 at 11:42 PM.
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    Canon Details

    This post will be used as a holding place, to store details and decisions made in the thread until they can be made or integrated into the main writeups for each section. Once a decision is initially made, it goes into unconfirmed details. Unconfirmed ideas will be brought up during the finishing process for each area, then reviewed in comparison to all other material, then put in confirmed details for the area until they can be edited into the finished version of the write-up.

    Unconfirmed Details
    The Cahokian League


    Tuniitaq


    Aztatlan


    Columbia


    Fusang


    The Spirit World


    Beyond the New World


    Confirmed Details
    The Cahokian League


    Tuniitaq


    Aztatlan


    Columbia


    Fusang


    The Spirit World


    Beyond the New World
    Last edited by Admiral Squish; 2014-04-29 at 11:43 PM.
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    Alright! And the new thread is officially open!

    So, to start us off with, here's some stuff that I came up with after the reformatting, when I realized just how much work I had to do.

    RACES:
    Spoiler: New
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    Tonal: A human with a closer-than-normal tie to his animal spirit guide. The tonal spirit is based on the day of birth, and provides a small bonus based on the exact type of animal it represents, but is largely the same, statistically. The tonal is an invisible, intangible spirit, visible to the tonal and to anyone who can see the invisible things or perceive spirits. The tonal spirit is sentient, with mental ability scores equal to human side’s. The spirit can fly, scout, communicate over distances, similar to a familiar. Feats allow one to modify the tonal spirit or increase it’s utility.
    Some feat ides:
    Allow tonal to possess you, gaining some animalistic traits, including natural weapons and possibly ability bonuses based on level
    Allow your tonal to radiate an aura of good luck/bad luck/other effects, affecting targets based on its location.
    Allow your tonal to merge with an animal companion or familiar for periods of time, granting the companion the tonal’s mental abilities, speech capacity, and any other effect the tonal possesses.

    Dragon-descended (Translated to Chinese?): Humans born with a greater share of the legendary dragon’s blood than most. These people have patches of scaly skin, unusually-colored eyes, and forked tongues. These individuals have an extra +2 to any ability (can’t double-up, though), +1 NA, Energy resist 5, maybe a breath weapon, and possibly a +2 to perception checks. Draconic feats allow one to enhance their dragon bloodline or apply draconic power to other areas, such as dragon spell casting.


    Spoiler: Reworked
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    Taqriaqsuit -> Shadow Folk, or Faceless: spirit-world denizens created by human beliefs about their own groups and about their neighbors. A shadowy, distorted version of the culture they’re based on, lacking details and much physical substance. The renaming is part of the process of de-specifying. They’re not just people who exist in the north, they’re wherever humans can be found, and go by many names, such as djinn.

    Tuniit -> Giant, or some better name. The confusion between the culture and the giants needs to be somewhat less confusing.

    Awwakkakule -> Little Folk: Broadening the range of them to include not just north american legends of little people, but European and worldwide ones, too. The little people have the cultures of the humans they live in the area of, but they have a few traits common to each ‘clan’ or ‘type’, including a few cultural traits, a magical ability, and some options of mystical ammo. The idea being, magic arrows are too dang common for there not to be some basis to them, so there’s a universal ability to allow them to charge projectiles, and a list of magic options that can be used, depending on which clan is involved. (for example, pixies could use sleep and forget arrows, but not poison or impact) There’s a bunch of research to be done, but it looks promising.

    Quetzal -> (word for vision/ghost/dream)Coatl. Full redesign, possibly forsaking the human head. The feathered snake body remains, but refocus attention onto the snakes as a connection between life and death. The telekinetic limbs become ghostly limbs, powered by cha instead of int. A special ability allowing them to call forth beings from the spirit world and project them into the mortal world, the ghostly form or head emerging from the serpent’s mouth. That might be a feat, but the focus is going to be on these guys as bridges between the mortal and the spirit world.


    CLASSES:
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    Hunter: Drop the tactical tracks idea and replace it with a modular list of tactics that allows you to pick and choose certain abilities to customize the hunter you have in mind. Skirmishing options, sneak attack options, beast master options, trap making options, driving/luring options, natural weapon options, and so on.

    Brute: Drop the ‘feral’ and ‘earthen’ paths for a single ‘mystic’ path. The mystic path is intentionally generic enough to relate to spirits, divine power, arcane ability, or other, and the feats of strength allow you to branch into any one of them, in any combination. Want to play a paladin with some feral abilites? Sure! Want to play a native warrior who fuses arcane and spiritual power? Go for it!

    Rough draft of the path:
    1st: Mystic strike: Standard action, single attack, attack gains a +1 bonus to attack/damage, +¼ levels.
    5th: Mystic ward: One-minute ritual in the morning to gain a +¼ level bonus to natural armor, which makes natural armor apply against magical and incorporeal touch attacks.
    9th: Mystic strength: Rounds/day, you can enhance your strength, +2/8 levels.
    13th: Mystic healing: 1/day/4 levels, heal self HP equal to (class level/4)d8+class level.
    17th: Mystic senses: You can see through illusions and falsehood, as with always-active true seeing (?)
    Last edited by Admiral Squish; 2014-04-29 at 11:58 PM.
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    A new thread, time for some new idea's.
    I worked on these for the last couple of days, but decided to wait on the new thread before posting them. Here they are:


    Polynesian Fleet Matriarchs:
    Spoiler
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    There are theories that say that Polynesians visited the coasts of south america. Why not incorporate this into the setting?
    Apparently sweet potato, wich is native to south america, has been carbon dated to around 1000ad at a Polynesian island and it is theorised they picked it up at around 700ad.
    Oh, and there are also theories that they visited Antartica, but i can't find anything about evidence for these theories.
    Anyway, we have the Link Spirals in this setting. Meaning that the distance between the Polynesian islands isn't that much of a problem anymore. And while the islands can support only small populations, with a Link Spiral they could get some more genetic diversity. And trade.

    So here's the idea: Polynesian traders appearing on the shores of Fusang, Aztlan and South America. The traders take a Link from various Polynesian islands to Easter Island. And from there take a Link to central or south Vespuccia. Or they use their boats.
    The Polynesians were matrilineal and matrilocal. So why not make a little contrast with the name 'Mound Lords' and name them Fleet Matriarchs.
    And if they maybe reached Antartica, we could have them trade penguin hides to the Vespuccians.

    Oh, and they aren't meant to be a fully fledged out culture, i think it's best to just make them into mysterious traders that appear from the seas that show up with various luxury items and them sail away again.
    We flesh out Easter Island since it's close to Vespuccia and because of the statues and keep it at that. No need to flesh out the other islands.



    Merlinic Order
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    The Merlinic rulebook has already been roughly scetched, but i have an idea for the Merlinic Order: Science!
    While church arcanists take a religious approach to magic, Links and the study of those things, the Merlinic wizards take a very scientific approach. They believe that magic and Links were created together with the world and that studying these things is like studying physics, it's a part of this world and shouldn't be studied together with theology.
    The church ties most of their arcane studies to religion and the studies are done by church officials or people tied to the church.
    Merlinic wizards found universities and discuss arcana out in the open, Church wizards discuss arcana at religious events or gatherings.

    Isaac Newton's occult studies
    Check out the link, people say about Newton that he 'wasn't the first scientist, he was the last magician'
    In Crossroads Isaac Newton was a Merlinic Wizard, and a powerfull one. He also did all of his work in physics and optics that made him famous in our world, but here he's more famous for his arcane work.

    The first circumnavigation was done by Ferdinand Magellan, as most people here probably know. But in this setting there's a second way of going around the world: the Link Spirals.
    So there should be somebody that did the first circumlinking. And if we go for a scientific Merlinic order, it should probably be one of them.
    And i have a great candidate for this: John Dee.

    Historically he was the occult advisor of Queen Elisabeth I. So like Newton he was very interested in the occult. And he was very interested in cartography and navigation. He was a friend of the famous cartographer Gerardus Mercator
    Last but not least between 1550 and 1570 he was an advisor to England's voyages of discovery.
    So he's great for the first circumlinking.

    It took Magellan's expedition 3 years to sail around the world.
    I think it's best to make John Dee's journey take longer. The Spirals are less reliable and predictable than a sea voyage (if you don't sink your boat that is).
    So maybe he's en route for about 4-6 years, sometimes backtracking if he screws up his calculations or predictions on where a Link will lead to.

    Other Merlinic wizards:
    Edward Kelley
    Thomas Norton the alchemist
    Thomas Charnock


    Phoenix Alembic
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    The phoenix was proposed for one of the spiritbeasts but later replaced by the Embermice. And with good reason, the Embermice are made of awesome.
    But the phoenix is still an interesting creature. And i think i have an idea for the phoenix.

    Let's go back in history first: the phoenix was a magical creature living around ancient Greece. In later centuries they migrated to other coastal area's of the Mediterranean. They were frequently spotted in the Roman empire. They were often sought out for their advice.
    Then the Romans started fidgetting with the Link system at the Pompeii Nexus. And the Phoenixes started giving them the advice to stop. They even showed up in Rome and flew into the Emperor's palace to talk to him. They were ignored.
    Then the Pompeii Nexus got destroyed, the hole in the Link Spiral started sucking the magic out of Eurasia.
    The phoenixes, who had all migrated to Italy because they knew something bad was going to come from fidgeting with the Spiral, flew to Pompeii. There they attempted to close the hole in the Spiral. All their attemts failed until in a last ditch effort they sacrificed themselves to ignite Vesuvius and cauterize the wound in the Spiral.

    While normally Phoenixes just arise from the ashes of it's predecessor, this didn't happen now. The hole in the Spiral sucked the energy they use to arise from them before they were able to ignite Vesuvius.
    So the ashes of all the phoenixes got thrown high up in the atmosphere by Vesuvius and from there they often flew around for years until eventually falling down on earth. Most in Europe, but those ashes now appear everywhere.

    After several centuries the church started experimenting with these ashes. And after a while they discovered they could use Alchemist's Fire to reignite the ashes of a phoenix.
    But the phoenixes that appeared from those ashes were small, weak, sickly and in constant pain. They were in their death throes but unable to die, stuck between reincarnating and dying.
    Only by putting them in an airtight container they would stop burning and become ashes again.
    But there was more that they discovered. Church inquisitors could use these phoenix ashes to replace burning a heretic to draw power. In fact, these ashes produced more power than a heretic. Some inquisitors were given a container with these ashes to take on a mission. They would poor a bottle of alchemist's fire on the ashes to ignite them, draw power from the sickly phoenix that appears from those ashes and once they're done they seal the container again and the ashes stop burning.

    In Europe all phoenix ashes are safely under church control and are only given out if it's really needed.
    But outside of Europe sometimes phoenix ashes are found as well. They're a lot less common, but it happens from time to time. And the church will do anything possible to obtain those ashes.
    The church considers those ashes to be holy relics.

    Mechanically this would be a powerfull item. Probably some nice stats that i can't think off because i'm absolutely terrible with mechanics.
    I'd like to call the item a 'Phoenix Alembic' because i can't think of anything better. I'm obviously open to suggestions.


    Great Library of Tlacopan
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    The Aztecs had writing. And a kind of paper. A huge amount of Aztec books was burned by catholic priests in the years following the conquest of Mesoamerica. To this day there are just a small amount of known Aztec codices.

    In Crossroads we have a chance to do something more interesting with all this.
    The Great Library of Tlacopan. The biggest library in the world, rivalled only by the Library of Alexandria. But you know, they burned that one down.
    It's contents are mostly Mexica codices, but in the last 2 centuries more and more European and Chinese books and manuscripts find their way into the library. The librarians take almost anything that is written down in, they don't care about religion or politics, they just care about books.
    They have a system that allows people to go through an index and that way find the book they're looking for. Or a book about the subject they're looking for.

    They will also let anybody into the library, provided they personally give a small blood sacrifice. And a small payment for maintenance. Hiring a guide to help you find the books you need is more expensive though. And it's almost impossible to navigate the library without a guide.
    This place has a massive amount of protective spells to make sure the books survive. Burning it down would be almost impossible. If you steal a book, that will make the librarians unleash their elite cadre of jaguar warriors to hunt you down and drag you back to the library.
    There you will be sacrificed and your spirit will be forced into serving the library for one year until it will be sent on to the sun. This service consists of 'harvesting' information from dangerous places wich will then be written down by the librarians and added to the library.
    It's a hard punishment, but people often try to steal books. There are codices here that are hundreds of years old and of immense value.

    Books in the Great Library of Tlacopan:
    List of Aztec codices
    List of Maya codices

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steckie View Post
    Great Library of Tlacopan
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    The Aztecs had writing. And a kind of paper. A huge amount of Aztec books was burned by catholic priests in the years following the conquest of Mesoamerica. To this day there are just a small amount of known Aztec codices.

    In Crossroads we have a chance to do something more interesting with all this.
    The Great Library of Tlacopan. The biggest library in the world, rivalled only by the Library of Alexandria. But you know, they burned that one down.
    It's contents are mostly Mexica codices, but in the last 2 centuries more and more European and Chinese books and manuscripts find their way into the library. The librarians take almost anything that is written down in, they don't care about religion or politics, they just care about books.
    They have a system that allows people to go through an index and that way find the book they're looking for. Or a book about the subject they're looking for.

    They will also let anybody into the library, provided they personally give a small blood sacrifice. And a small payment for maintenance. Hiring a guide to help you find the books you need is more expensive though. And it's almost impossible to navigate the library without a guide.
    This place has a massive amount of protective spells to make sure the books survive. Burning it down would be almost impossible. If you steal a book, that will make the librarians unleash their elite cadre of jaguar warriors to hunt you down and drag you back to the library.
    There you will be sacrificed and your spirit will be forced into serving the library for one year until it will be sent on to the sun. This service consists of 'harvesting' information from dangerous places wich will then be written down by the librarians and added to the library.
    It's a hard punishment, but people often try to steal books. There are codices here that are hundreds of years old and of immense value.

    Books in the Great Library of Tlacopan:
    List of Aztec codices
    List of Maya codices
    At the time that the Spanish arrived Aztecs didn't have a complete writing system. The Maya did, but the Aztec writing system at the time was pretty much limited to dates and numbers. So most of those Aztec codices are effectively picture books with dates and names*. I'm sure in the time since they could have improved their writing system though, either because of exchanges with Spanish missionaries or Mayans, or on their own.



    *People were often named for the day they were born.
    Quote Originally Posted by lt_murgen View Post
    Exploratory expeditions expeditiously expediting exploration would be epicurially equipped.

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    I wouldn't imagine that full on dragon-people would be a thing Fusang, if only because if they are not fond of Spirit Born than there would be little reason for them to said tolerate dragon-people in their midist. Spirit-Born who resemble dragon-people being born to the chinese settlers could be a thing, though, which could lead into in-universe debate on whether such children are blessings or curses from higher powers.


    Also, given that Fusang is nation immigrants, I would think it would be time to solidify information on the other asian nation who has the greatest chance for being involved in the Americas; Japan. I remember some talk about a possible internal purge of magical creatures and the possibility of pro-magical expats landing around Washington state. Given that it is the biggest naval power around that side of the ocean at that time, getting the details down would be nice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zabbarot View Post
    At the time that the Spanish arrived Aztecs didn't have a complete writing system. The Maya did, but the Aztec writing system at the time was pretty much limited to dates and numbers. So most of those Aztec codices are effectively picture books with dates and names*. I'm sure in the time since they could have improved their writing system though, either because of exchanges with Spanish missionaries or Mayans, or on their own.



    *People were often named for the day they were born.
    It's possible that the existence of Arcane magic and the Link Networks helped propagate/advance the development of writing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    It's possible that the existence of Arcane magic and the Link Networks helped propagate/advance the development of writing.
    Eh, I'd say it's debatable. I'm sure they would have writing by 1750 regardless of how they got it though so it won't matter too much. Though it is the difference between them adopting latin script or using their own logographs. There could even be some Chinese influence here to be honest.
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    Originally Posted by zabbarot
    At the time that the Spanish arrived Aztecs didn't have a complete writing system. The Maya did, but the Aztec writing system at the time was pretty much limited to dates and numbers.
    I'm not an expert here, but I had the impression their logographs were a little more capable than that. And I agree, advancing the timeline a couple of hundred years would certainly allow for the development of a more sophisticated system.

    Speaking of which, here's a question I'd asked near the end of the first thread, which was apparently overlooked: does Cahokia have its own script?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I'm not an expert here, but I had the impression their logographs were a little more capable than that. And I agree, advancing the timeline a couple of hundred years would certainly allow for the development of a more sophisticated system.

    Speaking of which, here's a question I'd asked near the end of the first thread, which was apparently overlooked: does Cahokia have its own script?
    The Aztec logographs really weren't. They were used for calenders, names, and accounting. All known codices are pictorial. If there were continuous texts none have been found. We do have Mayan codices that have continuous text, full sentences and such. The Aztecs basically invented the comic book which is cool in it's own right if you ask me.

    Cahokia to my knowledge did not have it's own script. Most of the North American native peoples had no writing systems until after European contact.
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    Oh, yes, I almost forgot to ask! what do you guys think of the new first posts? Do you think I did a good job with the nation writeups? Anything you think should be added/removed? Is it easier to read now?

    Polynesians
    Now that is interesting! I never heard about the potato thing.
    I like the idea, I will admit, but I'm just not certain how practical it is in the setting.
    Firstly, if you're gonna go for a halfway point across the ocean, hawaii would be the natural choice more than Easter island, but that's mostly semantics.
    Secondly, the pacific is freakin' huge. I don't know if just one spiral would cover it. And if it's more than one spiral, there's no way the link-route would sync up reliably enough that these traders could have a significant trading presence in the new world.
    Thirdly, if the polynesians can just jaunt across the sea, why can't any of the other pacific naval powers? I mean, if the polynesians have exclusive access to some manner of very active/reliable link, why wouldn't the chinese have seized it by now?

    Still, I think we can definitely do something with this.
    What if there were a link path that did sync up across the spirals? Say, twice a year, six months apart, that lets people cross from one side of the pacific to the other, first in one direction, then the other. So, you prepare and gather your goods as the link time comes close, you go over, you spread out and trade all across the shoreline, and get back to the arrival point six months later to head home.

    Also, idea that occurred to me that's too awesome not to mention: surf boards that can link. Enchanted boards that harness the power of the ocean. When used properly on a wave, the board charges up, and if you contact a link point while it's charged, pop, it takes you through.
    There was also a vague thing in my head about the tunnel of a big enough wave being a moving link.

    Merlinic Order
    YES.
    In a more rational tone, I definitely think this fits the setting. Perhaps they initially started as a 'mystic order' but as their studies got more and more traction, they gradually shifted from a more supernatural point of view to a more rational one. Magic is part of the world, after all, why wouldn't it work according to similar laws as, say, gravity?
    If we are to make newton more famous as a magician than a scientist, we should definitely figure out some specific spells or arcane theorem to attribute to him.

    As to circum-linking the world, I think such a task would require a great deal longer contact before it could be attempted. One would have to compare maps and charts from all across the world to determine which links would take you where, when they would open and how much power they would require to operate. You would have to convert measurements and distances through dozens of systems, compare star-charts from different cultures and different calender systems to ensure they open on the day you expect them to, and ensure clockwork precision of travel from one link to another at all corners of the globe.

    Phoenix
    Hmm... This is a pretty dang cool idea, but I don't really know. I mean... I could see such a thing for some very extreme scarred monks or inquisitors, perhaps, but I can't imagine that the majority of the church would be cool with intentionally torturing a good, innocent creature as a battery.

    The first part sounds pretty awesome, though, with the phoenixes being the ones to cauterize the link-break, and with the ashes being spread all over the world. Maybe there are a few phoenixes who survived who are desperately seeking out the ashes of their brothers, trying to piece together the ashes of each distinct phoenix until they're together enough to be reborn again.

    Library of Tlacopan
    Also a very cool idea. I'm not certain, though. As mentioned, the aztec didn't really have that much in the way of writing at the time. And beyond that, I don't really think the empire would be all that interested in collecting books. It's almost a theocracy, there's not that much they need to know from the word of foreigners about how the world works, they probably feel they already know everything they need to about the world and the gods through the priests.

    As to the developing aztec written language, I very much like this idea. the question is, how does it develop with these new influences? Do they adopt other symbols, do they steal system rules like 'one symbol one sound' or 'one symbol is a whole word', or maybe a mixture of the concepts? A full alphabet with word-symbols?

    Oh, another thing that I can't seem to find answer to: does the aztec school system teach reading and writing? They had universal education, albeit divided up (a girl's school, a common boy's school and a noble boy's school). Would they just teach it to nobles? Or would everyone get it? Or maybe just women?

    Dragon Descended
    The distinction to be drawn is that the spirit-born are the products of humans mating with animal spirits, whereas the dragon descendants are randomly-occurring. Plus, they're not new, either, they're attached to the whole 'bloodline of the dragon' thing the han claim, and have been happening in han groups all through history.
    you have a point, though. Perhaps it's a more subtle thing. Maybe... Ever seen American Dragon: Jake Long? Yes, yes, I know. But I kinda like the idea of being able to bring out and suppress draconic aspects. You look human, normally, though you may be a little more impressive or talented than other humans, but you can call out dragon parts/aspects to enhance those particular parts. Like, the feat Ear of the Dragon would give you a small, passive bonus to perception, but then you could activate it to gain blindsense out to a certain range and a larger bonus.

    Japan
    I breifly mentioned them in beyond the new world. The idea that was put forth was that the entire island was shrouded by a literal Kamikaze, a divine wind-wall, a permanent hurricane wall that splinters any ship that gets too close to the island.
    That does somewhat limit its involvement in the setting, though, so I am certainly welcome to suggestions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Polynesians
    Now that is interesting! I never heard about the potato thing.
    I like the idea, I will admit, but I'm just not certain how practical it is in the setting.
    Firstly, if you're gonna go for a halfway point across the ocean, hawaii would be the natural choice more than Easter island, but that's mostly semantics.
    Secondly, the pacific is freakin' huge. I don't know if just one spiral would cover it. And if it's more than one spiral, there's no way the link-route would sync up reliably enough that these traders could have a significant trading presence in the new world.
    Thirdly, if the polynesians can just jaunt across the sea, why can't any of the other pacific naval powers? I mean, if the polynesians have exclusive access to some manner of very active/reliable link, why wouldn't the chinese have seized it by now?
    1) Sure, Hawaii might sound better but i think Easter Island is a bit more mystical with those statues and all. And closer to Mainland Vespuccia.
    2) Maybe Easter Island is the Nexus? Besides, the pacific is huge but it only has a very small amount of land. And earlier we stated that Links appear on land only, maybe in shallow water or an underwater cave but that's it. So while that would be a huge Spiral if you measure it, it would actually be small if you compare landmasses.
    3) What other naval powers? Japan maybe. And China, but we already have Fusang to keep China out of Vespuccia.
    Other than that you have Dutch colonies in Indonesia, British colonies in India and Spanish in the Phillipines? I think?
    There's a few sultanates on Indonesia and several kingdoms in southeast Asia, both Muslim and Buddhist i think. No real contender as a naval power.
    With a Link system to unify them a bit more the Polynesians could fill that gap.


    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Also, idea that occurred to me that's too awesome not to mention: surf boards that can link. Enchanted boards that harness the power of the ocean. When used properly on a wave, the board charges up, and if you contact a link point while it's charged, pop, it takes you through.
    There was also a vague thing in my head about the tunnel of a big enough wave being a moving link.
    Eh, i don't know. The hole in the Mediterranean Spiral sucked away 20% if all magic in a few hours. That's a lot of energy, is there enough energy in the water to do something like that?
    Besides, if people can do that with a surfboard, what would happen if they were to apply that magic to a ship?

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Merlinic Order
    As to circum-linking the world, I think such a task would require a great deal longer contact before it could be attempted. One would have to compare maps and charts from all across the world to determine which links would take you where, when they would open and how much power they would require to operate. You would have to convert measurements and distances through dozens of systems, compare star-charts from different cultures and different calender systems to ensure they open on the day you expect them to, and ensure clockwork precision of travel from one link to another at all corners of the globe.
    Good point.
    That might even mean that nobody so far has succeeded in circum-linking the world. Wich is good, it fits with the exploration theme.

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Phoenix
    Hmm... This is a pretty dang cool idea, but I don't really know. I mean... I could see such a thing for some very extreme scarred monks or inquisitors, perhaps, but I can't imagine that the majority of the church would be cool with intentionally torturing a good, innocent creature as a battery.
    Hey, i never claimed that this was good or that people approved of the practice
    That's why the church collects these ashes, they're holy relics and only in times of great need will they be used. With a great deal of prayer to ask for forgiveness afterwards.

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    The first part sounds pretty awesome, though, with the phoenixes being the ones to cauterize the link-break, and with the ashes being spread all over the world. Maybe there are a few phoenixes who survived who are desperately seeking out the ashes of their brothers, trying to piece together the ashes of each distinct phoenix until they're together enough to be reborn again.
    I like it.
    But i also like the way i described phoenixes: stuck between reincarnation and death. They're simultaneously dying and reincarnating. And they're unable to start both processes without outside help. Without alchemist's fire they are unable to ignite their ashes. And without being cut of from air they are unable to die again.
    But i also like your version, so i'm a bit conflicted here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Library of Tlacopan
    Also a very cool idea. I'm not certain, though. As mentioned, the aztec didn't really have that much in the way of writing at the time. And beyond that, I don't really think the empire would be all that interested in collecting books. It's almost a theocracy, there's not that much they need to know from the word of foreigners about how the world works, they probably feel they already know everything they need to about the world and the gods through the priests.
    It's not the empire collecting the books, it's the librarians themselves.
    They probably started out as some sort of priests but evolved into gatherers of knowledge. They aren't supported or protected by the Triple Alliance, they just exist on their own. They make their own money and have their own (small) army to protect the books.
    And while they're not part of the government i expect them to have gotten some form of political power by 1750.

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    Originally Posted by zabbarot
    The Aztec logographs really weren't. They were used for calenders, names, and accounting. All known codices are pictorial.
    I've seen them described as such, but point taken about the pictorial codices.

    Originally Posted by zabbarot
    Cahokia to my knowledge did not have it's own script. Most of the North American native peoples had no writing systems until after European contact.
    Yes, I don't think any of the North American peoples (north of Mexico) had preColombian indigenous writing. I'm asking about Cahokia in the Crossroads setting, whether they've developed a script in their three hundred years of post-historical life.

    Probably should've said "Cahokian League" just to clarify that.

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    Polynesians

    1: This is true, but I don't know if the heads would have anything to do with links. Still, though, I'm not quite sold.

    2: I still don't know about Easter Island as the nexus. It's kind of a tiny, mostly-barren rock that's not even centrally located in the ocean. Besides that, if Pompeii was a great link-site due to a connection of earth, fire, and water, Hawaii fits that perfectly.

    3: I was referring to china, though now that I think about it... Probably could use it's own header. Aside from them, the British have a pretty good presence in India by now, I suspect they'd be able to take advantage of such a thing, were it a singular link.

    I propose: Hawaii is the nexus of a mid-pacific spiral, which includes Easter Island. There's not a lot of links on said spiral, and they usually don't do all that much. There's another spiral over the southeast asia area. Twice a year, a chain of three links opens up that can be taken advantage of. One takes you from one the phillipines to Fiji. Next takes you from Fiji to Easter Island. Next, from Easter Island to... Isabella Island? that's still like 500 miles off-shore from South America, though. Anyways, they can span out there pretty well, South America, Central America, even due north to Cali. Come back in six months with what you traded for, and do the reverse. Could the polynesians can do ships that can do 500 miles of open ocean travel?

    China's Navy
    Okay, here's something we're gonna have to discuss. Historically, china destroyed a huge portion of its seagoing navy after the Zheng He expedition, including a chunk of the shipyards and a great deal of the plans and blueprints.
    Now, obviously it didn't wipe out the whole navy or nobody would be in the new world, but we should probably address how much of a navy the Qing currently have. Did the Ming take everything as they left? Did the smash/burn/steal the stuff left behind? Did the Qing rebuild at all? Or did they just give up the whole 'ocean travel' fad after a while?

    Link-Boards
    You're probably right. Though, I would say, the mid-pacific spiral probably would have been spared the pompeii drain, it wasn't really connected to the old world network.
    If the mid-pacific spiral doesn't have much in the way of links, though, maybe the shoreline waters would be charged with leftover link power?
    I dunno, seems silly now. Maybe it's not about links at all, maybe the boards have carvings that make part of the wave follow the board? So, a skillful surfer could ride the board into the wave, charge it, then break off with his mini bonded wave and use it to push his board around the islands of Hawaii quickly, as long as he can keep his balance and ride it.
    I may be a little fixated on hawaii.

    Circum-linking
    Probably for the best. Heck, that would make a pretty awesome campaign! A built-in ticking clock, fortune and glory awaiting if they can make it, and they get to go all through the continent. If they fall behind they end up stranded wherever they are with almost no way to get home.

    Phoenixes
    I mean, agents of the inquisition make great baddies, but I like to think most of the Church organization is still mostly good, albeit perhaps guilty of doing nothing to stop the more extreme agents.

    Maybe we could combine them? Alchemist's fire will create a fused phoenix out of the parts represented by the ash, a twisted mockery of life that can't live and can't die as long as the alchemical fire burns. Pheonix fire, applied to a pile of phoenix ash will revive any phoenix that is wholly, or at least mostly, represented by the pile of ash, leaving the remainder that didn't belong to them. So, the phoenixes try to consolidate all the ash they possibly can, sweeping the thing with fire each time they merge some collections to see who makes it out, if any do. If they manage to collect all the ash in the world, the phoenixes would be reborn as a species. So, they're kinda not happy with the church for keeping it. The church keeps only a handful of these bottles, artifacts of great, but dark, power, under extremely tight control.

    Library of Tlacopan
    I just don't know. I like the idea, but I can't imagine them creating a full written language and gathering/writing enough books to create one of the great libraries of the world in just over 200 years.

    Cahokian Syllabary
    Oh, yes, we were working on something for Cahokia. The general idea was it started as a numerical notation for trade purposes, then developed into a simple pictogram thing that could be understood all through the league. Only nouns, though, this was originally just for trade purposes. Then, after European contact and a bit of exposure to the value of reading and writing, they developed a syllabary that could be used to write any native language. So, you have a universal pictogram and number system, then a syllabary where you'd be able to pronounce the word, but if you didn't know the language, it would be gibberish. Still, most tribes wouldn't have a very large reading population. Somebody was working on a rough sketch of the pictogram, if memory serves, but nothing really came of it.
    For example, if you were to take little bo peep...
    English Pictographs Picto+Syllabary
    Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,
    And doesn't know where to find them;
    Leave them alone, And they'll come home,
    Wagging their tails behind them
    (Female Child)(name) ... .... (Posessive) (Sheep)
    ... ...... .... (Place) .. .... (Sheep);
    ..... (Sheep) .... ... (Sheep).. .... (Home)
    ....... (sheep) (Tail). ...... (Sheep)
    (Female Child)Bo Peep has lost (Posessive) (Sheep)
    And doesn't know (Place) to find (Sheep);
    Leave (Sheep) alone, and (Sheep)'ll come (Home)
    Wagging (Sheep) (Tail)s behind (Sheep)
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    Originally Posted by Admiral Squish
    Could the polynesians [can do -?] ships that can do 500 miles of open ocean travel?
    If you're asking if they could reliably navigate 500 miles of open ocean, then yes, easily. The Polynesians could do 500 miles on a lark.

    Originally Posted by Admiral Squish
    I just don't know. I like the idea, but I can't imagine them creating a full written language and gathering/writing enough books to create one of the great libraries of the world in just over 200 years.
    Why ever not?

    "Just" 200 years?

    The Cherokee named Sequoyah, one of the greatest natural linguists in modern history, created a syllabary for the Cherokee language while he was completely illiterate. He recognized the power of the Roman alphabet and decided to create one for his own people. It took him twelve years, and it was so immediately successful that it's been in constant use by the Cherokee nation ever since.

    And he was one man, starting from scratch, working alone. Twelve years.

    In Korea, in 1443, King Sejong determined to create a new script for his country, and he set a group of scholars the task of phonological analysis of the Korean language. They developed new linguistic theories, studied the formation of Korean phonemes, and devised the script within three years; it was promulgated in 1446. The Hangul script is still used today.

    As for the gathering of books and the creation of a great library--two hundred years. That's a lot of time to scour the world.

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    Polynesians
    My main concern was not navigation, but more supplies. I know they've traveled great distances, but I always thought it was via island-hopping, as their ships don't really seem large enough to carry preserved food and fresh water enough for extremely long-distance trips. Research seems to indicate they do fine, however, though I can't find out exactly how... I mean, I know one could supplement one's stores with fish and rainwater, but it seems like that would be too unreliable of a supply to depend solely on them. Plus, smaller ships like those would seems particularly vulnerable to the giant storms of the pacific, but that doesn't appear to be a problem, but again, I'm not having much luck in the how...

    Library
    It wouldn't be that long if the people, as a whole, were eagerly seeking out more books on their travels to bring home. But aztatlan has no navy, no really significant long-distance travel, they would only be able get books brought by the europeans or the fusangren, and they don't even trade with them directly in most cases. Plus, it's not the whole nation looking either, it's this one library, which is mostly a charity. I doubt they take enough of a fee to exert significant economic pressure to encourage the traders to bring boatloads o' books. Plus, the librarians would also likely spend a great deal of their time and resources just properly recording things with the new writing system. Myths, stories, histories, religious beliefs, and so on.

    As to how long it takes to make a language, sure, it could be made in 5-10 years probably. But that's just writing it down. Depending on who they teach the reading and writing to in the schools, it would probably take another 10 years to get it into the heads of enough teachers to spread it all through the empire, then another 20-30 to raise a full generation of pupils who can read and write. From there the spread is geometric, but that's still a pretty good chunk of time.
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    Originally Posted by Admiral Squish
    My main concern was not navigation, but more supplies. I know they've traveled great distances, but I always thought it was via island-hopping, as their ships don't really seem large enough to carry preserved food and fresh water enough for extremely long-distance trips....
    Well, 500 miles isn't that long-distance in this context. With steady, respectable winds that's a long weekend trip. Pack some yams, throw a sea turtle in the back, do a little fishing off the side.

    Originally Posted by Admiral Squish
    As to how long it takes to make a language....
    Sequoyah published his Cherokee syllabary in 1821. Thousands of his people learned it almost immediately, and the first Cherokee-language newspaper was being printed by 1824. There was no need to wait a generation--adults learned it rapidly and willingly.

    The same happened with the Hangul script when it was promulgated in 1446. King Sejong intended it to be easily understood by the common people, and it was; the saying went that a wise man could learn it in a single morning, and a fool in ten days.

    Both of these scripts were consciously designed to fit the sounds of their respective languages, and they fit them like a glove. They were intended to be easy to learn and, especially in the case of Hangul, to be self-taught. There was no cumbersome, stratified universal education to get in the way--just motivation and diligence on the part of the adults who first learned these scripts.

    Originally Posted by Admiral Squish
    It wouldn't be that long if the people, as a whole, were eagerly seeking out more books on their travels to bring home.
    You realize this is a great character concept right here?

    I could see these librarians involved in just this sort of thing--directly sponsoring a number of intelligent, resourceful travelers to roam, explore, and bring back all manner of books from the far corners of the world. Some of the younger librarians might do this themselves, sort of a Mesoamerican Indiana Jones approach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Polynesians
    My main concern was not navigation, but more supplies. I know they've traveled great distances, but I always thought it was via island-hopping, as their ships don't really seem large enough to carry preserved food and fresh water enough for extremely long-distance trips. Research seems to indicate they do fine, however, though I can't find out exactly how... I mean, I know one could supplement one's stores with fish and rainwater, but it seems like that would be too unreliable of a supply to depend solely on them. Plus, smaller ships like those would seems particularly vulnerable to the giant storms of the pacific, but that doesn't appear to be a problem, but again, I'm not having much luck in the how...

    Library
    It wouldn't be that long if the people, as a whole, were eagerly seeking out more books on their travels to bring home. But aztatlan has no navy, no really significant long-distance travel, they would only be able get books brought by the europeans or the fusangren, and they don't even trade with them directly in most cases. Plus, it's not the whole nation looking either, it's this one library, which is mostly a charity. I doubt they take enough of a fee to exert significant economic pressure to encourage the traders to bring boatloads o' books. Plus, the librarians would also likely spend a great deal of their time and resources just properly recording things with the new writing system. Myths, stories, histories, religious beliefs, and so on.

    As to how long it takes to make a language, sure, it could be made in 5-10 years probably. But that's just writing it down. Depending on who they teach the reading and writing to in the schools, it would probably take another 10 years to get it into the heads of enough teachers to spread it all through the empire, then another 20-30 to raise a full generation of pupils who can read and write. From there the spread is geometric, but that's still a pretty good chunk of time.
    Don't forget the Amicqui, if an Amicqui supported the creation of the Library it could become a major undertaking.

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  29. - Top - End - #29
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Polynesians:

    A long weekend, you say? Math time! Research says Europeans sailing ships usually did about 4-6.5 knots. 5 knots is a little shy of 6 MPH, so we'll use that as an average base. Now, take into account that Magellan's ships encountered Polynesian ships, which were noted to be easily faster and more maneuverable. so, let's say 8 MPH for an average with good wind. 8 MPH x 24 hours is 194 miles in a day, if you sail for 24 hours a day, which is unlikely since the navigator has to be awake for them to say on course, and navigators were rare enough that they could apparently hold communities hostage if there was a drought (by making them pay through the nose for evacuation or aid from other islands). Assume six hours for sleep, and let's say another two a day for hours of bad wind, no wind, or progress lost to uncooperative currents. That means a journey of 500 miles would take about four days. Seems that checks out!
    But one should also account for that they would need to supply themselves with food and water as they went up and down the coasts, and anything they couldn't supply for the next six months would have to be bought out of what they get for their trade goods.

    Still, overall this is definitely looking more and more plausible. Astral navigation and no reliance of charts would make them much better-suited for link usage in distance travel than most.

    Library
    Really, that fast? *whistle*
    Okay, so they can definitely get the written language up and running. Probably properly widespread by... let's see. Chronologically, the language creation would probably have to start after they'd had a bit more peaceful contact with the europeans. Timeline says major trade with the Europeans only really began in 1600-1605. So, if we say they started on a language in about 1610, we could probably have it be widespread by 1620-25. That's 125 years to the current .
    Still, though I think it may be a little much to say they would end up with one of the great libraries of the world in that time frame. It would certainly be a very large library. They could probably get ahold of a printing press, either from the fusangren or the europeans, and modify it a bit to work with their new language (which we should totally come up with some details for), then use it to start really mass-printing 'aztec bibles', a written version of the practices and beliefs already in place, approved by the priests, and educational textbooks for the schools already in place, along with a few other select books. from there, the librarians start recording everything they can and putting it in tomes in the library. Whatever history they can get from the historians, or better yet the amicqui, accounts of battle and warfare from soldiers, so on, so forth, and then they start looking for copies of books from other places, from the fusangren and the europeans, carefully translated by library priests (Who may or may not be editing selectively).

    Also "It belongs in a library!" seems like a much lamer catch phrase than the original. But that does sound like a pretty awesome character.
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  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    There could also be some effort to record the knowledge of recently-created Amicqui Priests, as they get older and their gift of prophecy takes over, making them less and less lucid. Plus, countless texts recording an analyzing the prophecies of the eldest Amicqui Priests.
    Last edited by BRC; 2014-04-30 at 10:52 PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dsurion View Post
    I don't know if you've noticed, but pretty much everything BRC posts is full of awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by chiasaur11 View Post
    So, Astronaut, War Hero, or hideous Mantis Man, hop to it! The future of humanity is in your capable hands and or terrifying organic scythes.
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