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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

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    Oct 2013
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    Post The Solstone Islands

    I've been working on this world for a while! I'm trying to achieve a vibe very different from a traditional fantasy setting! All feedback is appreciated!
    Introduction
    The sun demon roars as an obsidian arrow pierces through one of its scaly heads. It launches a burst of flame from both mouths at the culprit, an Outcast archer using her clawed feet and tail to hang from the jungle canopy above. The flames never get to her, because a small, orange-skinned gnome mage creates a wall of floating stones to block the blast. To make things worse for the beleaguered demon, a burly sandstone-skinned dwarven hunter just hacked off its left tail with a shark-tooth axe, and an Asherite seer is hanging from the beast’s feathery crest as he tries to free his favorite spear from its back. It’s been a rough day for the sun demon, but for an adventuring party on the Solstone Islands, it’s just another normal day on the job.

    The Solstone Islands are an isolated archipelago situated in the middle of the Great Western Sea on the world Allu. Located hundreds of miles away from any other land mass, these tropical islands were once the magical “laboratory” of an ancient civilization known as Luz. Their experiments with the magic of the Void led to the creation of many exotic, supernatural flora and fauna, and their ruins still dot the isles, full of lost arcane knowledge. The Solstone Islands consist of five larger isles, as well as a host of smaller atolls. The islands are so far from the other continents of Allu that they are nearly impossible to reach in a normal sailing vessel, and are practically unknown to the rest of Allu.

    There are seven peoples that inhabit the Solstones:
    • The Asherites - a nation of human refugees from a great magical disaster that was guided to the islands by supposedly-divine seers (humans)
    • The Endai - the magically-created, goblin-like former slaves of Luz; a race of orderly scholars and mages that have built on the ruins their creators left behind (gnomes)
    • The Far Traders - a mysterious race of blue-skinned, aquatic merchants said to live on floating villages out in the Great Western Sea; the Far Traders visit the archipelago's ports from time to time (tritons)
    • The Fellborn- a clan of giant hunters that look as if they were carved from the Redstand Valley itself; the Fellborn are the oldest surviving civilization on the Solstones and the only one native to the islands (dwarves)
    • The Midonai - a kingdom of battle-loving human seafarers whose ancestors shipwrecked there nearly three hundred and fifty years ago (humans)
    • The Outcasts - the half-human, half-Void demon survivors of the same magical disaster that the Asherites escaped; they fled too late and were magically altered by unleashed Void energy (tieflings)
    • The Skyborn - descendants of ancient peoples that were transformed by the magic of the Firmament; the Skyborn are magically-gifted wanderers that are found throughout the Solstones (elves)


    Island Map
    The northernmost island, Mantai, is the largest, and is home to a number of large settlements, including Sol, the archipelago’s oldest and largest city. At the far southern end of the Solstones lies Orihah, a dangerous and savage isle home to the wreckage of the ancient Luzani capital, as well as the magical monsters and artifacts that the Luz left behind. Between these two are three other inhabited islands, (Paranti, Caebrant, and Ramah) and a jagged, volcanic atoll called the Teeth. The Hanging Cays, a chain of islets suspended in the air, hover above the sea between Caebrant and and Ramah.
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    Mantai
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    Settlements:
    • Landfall
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    • Templehaven
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    • Sol
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    • Oro Town
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    • Tema
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      Tema began as a trading post, acting as a staging point for excursions into the Tikala Jungle and the last stop barges coming down the Kala River. The small Midonai settlement sits on the coast of Mantai at the mouth of the Kala River. Most of Tema’s inhabitants are Midonai fisherman, and the outrigger canoes produced in its shipyard are well-known in the Solstone Islands for their speed and maneuverability. There are also a few dragonborn and a handful of gnomes and other species that call the place home. Most of Tema’s buildings have thatched roofs and bamboo walls, but a few of the larger structures in Merchantside are made of stone.



      1. Kala River Arena acts as Tema’s principal gathering place. The small stadium surrounds a central dirt field where the entire village gathers frequently to watch Trials, wrestling matches, races, and more. Pala, the current village ruler, recently won the right to rule in a contest of song and strength, but her rival, a bitter man named Malaka, disputes her claim due to the fact that her husband, Whenua, judged the Trial.
      2. The Fishhook is a large inn right next to the docks in the Waterfront. The large wooden building has a thatched roof and is marked with a large barbed hook made of bone that hangs above its main entrance. It is frequented by Midonaic fishermen, traders, and the occasional dragonborn mercenary. The place is run by grizzled old Midonai man named Vitu.
      3. Workshop is the best of Tema’s shipyards, and produces some of the finest outriggers in the Solstones. Manau is an older Midonai woman who spends much of her time trading stories with the village storysinger and barking directions while her apprentices (two of whom are her sons, Ori and Bari) do the work, but make no mistake, she is a mastercraftswoman. Under her direction, the workshop’s apprentices turn out work of exceptional quality.
      4. Trading Post is a small, well-off trading company owned by gnomes of the Azaer family. They pay to bring goods down the river from Sol and the dragonborn tribes of the Kala River Valley and ship them out to other islands. They also equip expeditions into the jungle. Tikala Trading Post is an excellent place to purchase nearly any mundane equipment, although its prices are a little on the high side. Amara Azaer is in charge of the business. The young gnome woman is quite sharp and doesn’t miss an opportunity for profit.
      5. The Storysinger’s Sanctuary houses shrines to the Brother, Sister, and the patron Herald of the Midonai, Monai. Offerings of flowers, coins, and trophies surround the trio of simplistic stone statues that dominate the temple. The bamboo building is watched over by the village Storysinger, a man named Whenua, and his wife, the current ruler of Tema, Pala. Whenua is a capable spellcaster and healer.
    • Hardharbor
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    Locations:
    • Windswept Plains
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    • Lake Haven
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    • Redstand Mountains
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    • Kala River Valley
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    • River Lanu Highlands
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    Paranti
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    Settlements:
    • Pyre
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    Locations:
    • The Cairns
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    • Oldport Ruins
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    Caebrant
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    Settlements:
    • Journey's End
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      Two hundred years ago, a number of ships bearing the desperate survivors of a great magical disaster landed on the island of Caebrant. These outcasts, warped by Void magic into tieflings, founded Journey’s End. Over the centuries, the settlement has grown into a vibrant port town known for its music and festivities. Most of Journey’s end is comprised of wooden houses raised on stilts to escape high tide, though the oldest part of town, the Old District, is on a hill overlooking the sea and has many stone buildings as well. Journey’s End’s docks bustle with traders from all over the Solstone Islands, and its restaurants and bars are among the best in the archipelago. Visitors from all over the islands come for the tieflings’ seasonal festivals. On the southern edge of Journey’s End, an area called Greenorchard, many tropical fruits such as mangos, pineapples, and plantains are grown. In the center of the town, booths selling food and crafts fill the market square in front of Coldwater Hall, a large wooden building made of one of the ships that brought the tieflings to Caebrant.



      1. Merchant’s Row is home to a number of restaurants, bars, and other establishments that cater to sailors and visitors looking to party. The seaside boardwalk is brightly illuminated by lines of multicolored lanterns that hang overhead. Some of its more notable spots include the Devil’s Widow (a super spicy seafood restaurant run by the tiefling Bara), the Stormcrab (a salt-sprayed dive bar frequented by mercenaries and managed by a large Midonai man named Danu), and the Dock House (a guard post, often manned by a tiefling named Luca, that registers information about the ships that come and go and houses stolen contraband).
      2. The Mariner’s Rest is the largest and most well-known of Journey’s End’s inns. It is a large wooden building that is worn but well-kept and painted in vibrant colors. It is owned by a dwarf named Rymi.
      3. Temple of the Elder is one of the oldest buildings on the island. It is a gray stone building atop the hill of the Old District with a tower housing a brazier of Ever-Burning Flame that also serves as a lighthouse. The temple is a bit neglected, as the tieflings no longer put much faith in the Burning Lord. Its head priest is an old tiefling named Ben Amin.
      4. Coldwater Market is Journey’s End’s central square and, during the day, contains a few dozen brightly-colored carts selling all kinds of fruits, vegetables, and basic supplies. A Midonai named Molani imports all sorts of adventuring gear. There’s typically a musician or two somewhere in the square playing the marimba, and the Market fills with dancers on festival nights.
      5. Coldwater Hall houses the town guard and the town council’s meeting hall. Important decisions in Journey’s End are made by a town council of notable citizens, such as Levin Cobalt and Talma Koros, overseen by the Priest Ben Amin. The Hall is contained in an upturned wooden ship that brought the tieflings to Caebrant a few centuries ago and is decorated in colorful paint. The captain of the guard is an Asherite woman named Nikaia.
      6. Therin’s Warehouse is used by Tovias Therin, a wealthy human that set up shop in Journey’s End about a decade back. He uses it to house archaeological finds from the ruins of Luz, and brings in his own workers from another island.
      7. Mordecai’s Shop belongs to an aspiring tiefling scholar, Mordecai, who specializes in identifying the arcane, The young owner is always looking to learn more, and adds to his income by using spells like mending to help around town in order to purchase and study more arcane knowledge. His cluttered shop is housed in a narrow stone building in the Old District.
      8. The Old District Armory was the first forge built after Journey’s End was settled. It belongs to one of the most respected families in town, the Cobalts. The bronze armor and weapons made by the tiefling Levin Cobalt, who currently runs the smithy, are of high quality and have a distinct bluish tinge. His son, Adem, is preparing to marry Talya Koros.
      9. The Greenorchard Inn is the finest of Journey’s End’s guest houses. Owned by a dwarf named Khel and situated near the groves of fruit trees that give the district its name, the Inn attracts the most prestigious visitors to the town and provides the widest selection of wines and spirits from all over the archipelago.
      10. Manor is a large, brightly painted stilt house and the home of Talma Koros, a wealthy tiefling trader that owns a handful of merchant vessels, including one captained by her husband, Moash. She imports supplies and exports Journey’s End’s abundant fruits, fish, and spices to the rest of the Solstone Islands. Her daughter, Talya, is engaged to the blacksmith Adem.

    • Kalai
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    Locations:
    • Stormwall Sierra
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    Ramah
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    Settlements:
    • Ramos
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    Locations:
    • The Heart of the Island
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    Orihah
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    Settlements:
    • Lanternport
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    Locations:
    • Orihah Wilds
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    • The Wheel of Fire
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    • Luz
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    The Hanging Cays
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    The Teeth
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    Religions of Allu
    “There was the Void
    And in the darkness,
    A Brother and a Sister came to be.
    And the Sister wrought the Sky
    Of light and chaos and magic.
    And the Brother built the Earth
    Of stone and order and strength.
    And their realms met at Allu.”
    -Opening lines of The Book of the Path

    The Twin Gods
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    There are two gods known to the mortals of of Allu: the Brother and the Sister.
    • The Brother, Ur, is the god of earth, order, and physical might. He rules the plane of Earth, also known as the Fell.
    • The Sister, Ia, is the goddess of the sky, chaos, and magic. She presides over the plane of Sky, also known as the Firmament.


    Outside of those two realms, there is nothing but the Void, an endless sea of darkness. The world of Allu lies at the point in the Void where the Firmament meets the Fell. There are places in Allu where there are gaps between the Firmament and the Fell. In some cases, that means the powers of Earth or Sky are stronger there. In others, the Void seeps through. The raw energy of the Void warps things, creating unnatural terrors and impossible landscapes. Magicians can try to harness this great power, but they too must pay a cost.

    There are some who believe that, just as the Earth and Sky have gods, so must the Void. Perhaps the Void contains the creator of the gods themselves, an alien being of infinite power. It exists. It is called the Elder.

    In the Beginning
    The planes of Earth and Sky each held the firstborn race of their god. Deep within the Fell, the giants were crafted by Ur, and they shared his love of might and order. And high in the Firmament, Ia wrought her dragons, giving them powerful magic. The giants were the first to reach the world of Allu, the vibrant world that formed where then domains of the Twin Gods met, breaking through the surface and building a mighty empire of stone. But the dragons saw Abaddon, and were jealous, and went to war with the giants. Both races were nearly destroyed, and the new world burned. The few giants and dragons that still remain in Allu are mere shadows of their former glory.
    The Brother and Sister, overcome with grief at the loss of their firstborn children, performed one last great act of creation. Together, they filled Allu with life and created humans, who have a balance of order and chaos within them, and hold the potential for both might and magic.
    Then the gods retreated from Allu, and sent the Heralds to prevent another such destruction. These Heralds of the twin gods once walked among mortals on Allu, but those days are long gone. These powerful, semi-mortal beings were divine messengers; the Brother and Sister sent a single Herald to each primitive civilization at the dawn of humanity, each one created to act as a teacher and protector. Though the demi-god like Heralds abandoned the mortal races centuries ago, many still invoke their names, tell stories of their mighty works, and pray for their return. Each culture has different traditions and opinions about its own patron Herald. For example, the Midonai attribute their love of music and song to the teachings of their Herald, Monai.

    Worship
    Though the twin gods of Allu are known to its people, they do not intervene in the world anymore. All knowledge of the gods is taken from legends passed down from the days of the Heralds. Clerics and worshippers of the gods may draw on the gods’ power, but they do so through meditation and mental discipline, not divine intervention. These traditions teach that Allu is a "testing ground" for mortal spirits. Those that pass the “Great Trial” will, upon death, return to the plane of their chosen god as greater spirits with the chance to become demigods like the Heralds. Those that do not succeed in the "Great Trial" will revert back into lesser spirits and lose their chance to progress. The Heralds were sent to Allu by the Brother and Sister, and stayed there until they had sufficiently instructed the mortal races in righteousness, and then returned to the Firmament and Fell.
    Worship of the Twin Gods and their Heralds is not a very organized affair. Among the Midonai, storytelling is hugely important in the culture of the Midonai, as it preserves legends and knowledge of the gods. The Fellborn tie their worship of the Brother and the rest of the Heralds to their ancestors. They built elaborate tombs and believe that their ancestors have returned to the Void and can influence the gods to grant them blessings. The Skyborn send the smoke of burnt offerings and funeral pyres up into the Firmament for the Sister. Small symbolic acts are important to the people that believe in the Heralds. Midonai sailors often cast the dust of precious stones into the ocean with a plea to the Sister for good winds before a voyage, and Fellborn warriors usually carry an emblem of the Brother into battle to guide their spirits if they are slain.

    The Burning Lord
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    The Asherites (and their Outcast relatives) also believe in the Twin Gods and their Heralds, but they do not revere them. To the people of Asher, the Heralds were not the mighty guardians of mortality, but rather cruel tyrants. The Asherites worship another, higher god: the Elder, god of the Void and the Burning Lord. According to the Asherites, Allu was created by the Elder as a perfect new home for himself, and the human race which inhabited it was to be his servant. He sent the Heralds to prepare his creation for the arrival of its god, and to shape mortals into a race worthy of his presence. However, they failed. Instead of perfecting and elevating humanity into demigods like themselves, the Heralds became power-hungry and abandoned their mission, forgetting the Elder and teaching only of the lesser gods Ur and Ia. They set themselves up as the rulers of Allu for centuries, and mankind was not even aware of their true purpose and true creator… until the Elder spoke to them.
    The Seers of Asher
    Hundreds of years ago, on the plains of the distant continent of Seyr, the migratory nation known as the Asherites began to receive visions from a being that they named the Burning Lord. The people that he used as mouthpieces were thereafter connected to the Void and came to be called seers. Hundreds of people from the race of nomadic shepherds were shown the same message: “The Heralds have fallen from grace”. They were instructed to cast down the Heralds that had presided over the mortal races.
    In order to do so, the people of Asher were given a weapon capable of slaying even demigods: the Ever-Burning Flame. The Asherite seers were instructed to make ready a great stone brazier, which the Elder then filled with a floating blue flame of unquenchable Void magic. Any object placed within the Ever-Burning Flame gets ignited by Void fire, which neither spreads nor consumes the object. The Burning Lord promised his seers that the fire would burn only divine beings. He also gave the promise that, if they succeeded, they would be prepared to become his servants upon his arrival. Under the guidance of the seers, the entire people of Asher readied for battle.
    The Death of the Heralds
    Here, it must be re-stated that all of this is legend. The Ever-Burning flame remains, still burning in Templehaven, but the story of its purpose and divine origin is believed by some while others doubt. The Asherite faithful claim that, in the year called in the reckoning of the Endai 1 Before Luz, they went to battle against the Heralds, who amassed to face the Elder’s seers. The legends regarding that fateful day are numerous, and the deeds of the Asherite heroes that did battle against the messengers of the gods are immortalized in the Book of the Path. According to them, after great loss and the death of almost all of Asher’s seers, the Heralds were killed and their remains were cast into the Ever-Burning Flame. While that would explain the centuries-long absence of the demigods to the rest of the world, it is considered by other nations to be a blasphemous lie. For those peoples that worship the Heralds, the beliefs of the Asherites are a source of conflict.
    Worship
    The Burning Lord revealed to the few seers that survived the battle against the Heralds a moral code called the Path, a strict set of of commandments intended to prepare those who live it for servant-godhood in the Elder’s presence. Supposedly, the Heralds were supposed to have taught an older version of the Path to humanity hundreds of years before. Among the requirements of the Path are many burnt-offerings as reminders of the killing of the Heralds. It also commands followers of the Burning Lord to give offerings, recite prayers, and carry a carved stone in the form of the Ever-Burning Flame. These laws, as well as many other commandments directing moral conduct, were written in the Book of the Path and are read to the people by the seers.


    Magic
    The fabric of reality that makes up the world of Allu is a thing of broken threads and frayed knots. These “tears” in existence create openings into the Void, a plane containing an infinite and immense storm of magical energy. Some tears are natural; at times, the Void’s power tears its own way into reality, and warps objects or creatures. Others are created by mages: enterprising beings who seek to harness the magic of the Void.

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    Mages
    A small portion of the inhabitants of Allu is born with an innate awareness of the power around them, in the Void, Firmament, and Fell. These potential mages can feel rips in the tapestry of reality just as another being might feel a stone in his-or-her hand. Likewise, a mage is capable of ripping into the Void through a feat of willpower just as another may break a stone by a feat of strength. Among humans, mages are quite rare, but magically created races, such as the Endai and the Outcasts, have a near-universal awareness of the other planes. Though some mages choose to never develop their inherent magical abilities, others make it their life’s pursuit. A mage can hone his-or-her Firmament or Fell powers alone (a practice more common among Wild Mages), but apprenticeships are usually more effective and less dangerous. An aspiring mage may elect to use the powers of the planes through either rune magic or wild magic.
    Rune Magic
    In order to avoid the risks of being disintegrated by the raw energy of the Firmament or Fell due to a loss of focus while tearing into it, most mages use runes. A rune is an engraving capable of storing magical energy for a short time and channeling that energy into a specific effect (a spell) upon release. Rune magic requires patience and knowledge, but is quite versatile, as a studious rune mage should know runes or rune chains that can be used for a large variety of spells, mainly in manipulating energy or matter. The rune or rune chain carved into an object determines the form that the plane’s power will take when the spell is cast.
    The object into which a rune is carved is unimportant. Some cultures favor stone (the Endai), other bone (the Midonai), clay, or wood. A rune is charged when a mage rips into the Void with the rune in hand and directs the outgoing energy into it. This requires a great deal of focus, and, depending on the amount of energy required to realize the spell, make take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. More experienced rune mages can better control their chosen plane and thus charge runes more quickly. A mage casts a spell contained in a rune by again grasping it in his-or-her hand and using willpower to tear into the rune’s stored energy and not into the Void itself.
    Runes can be recharged after use, but magic is volatile. If a rune is left charged for too long, the magic within will burn through the object into which the rune is etched, letting the spell loose and destroying the object. Losing focus while charging a rune has the same effect.
    Despite their many other cultural differences, every civilization on Allu uses the same runes, which suggests that there must be a common source of rune knowledge. There are many legends about the origin of runes, in which they are typically regarded as connected to the divine: given by the Heralds, or stolen from the gods. While the more basic runes are widely known, others are closely guarded secrets, lost in the ruins of Luz, or yet unknown.
    Wild Magic
    The unleashing of unfettered magical energy, directed only to a limited degree by a mage’s willpower alone, is wild magic indeed. Though this use of the Void’s power is exceptionally potent, it is not as widely used as rune magic due to the grand risks that it presents. A mage that loses focus while opening a rift in reality leading to an energy storm will destroy his-or-herself and everything nearby. Additionally, failed or out-of-control wild magic can cause the Void to warp nearby beings into magical monsters (demons) or create permanent magic effects on nearby objects.
    Even with so many dangerous downsides, wild magic still appeals to some mages because of how powerful it is. It requires no preparation and no knowledge of runes; only strength of will is needed. It is not as versatile as rune magic, as it is nearly impossible to re-create a specific spell using wild magic, but the power to through blasts of Void lightning whenever you want is quite useful in combat. There are not many mages that choose to use wild magic, because its use asks for either a great measure of focus and willpower, or a ton of stupidity. Goblins love it.


    Peoples
    Originally, humans were the only intelligent mortal race on Allu, but Void magic has created a number of half-human or monstrous peoples. The Solstone Islands are the home of two human cultures (the Asherites and the Midonai), a race of magically-altered goblins called the Endai, and three races shaped by the magic of the planes (the Fellborn, the Outcasts, and the Skyborn). Another race, the enigmatic Far Traders, visits the archipelago from time to time.

    The Asherites (humans)
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    A nation of human refugees from a great magical disaster that was guided to the islands by supposedly-divine seers. They are united by their shared faith in an ancient god called the Burning Lord. They believe that their god communicates to them through seers, mages that are, on occasion, allowed to see into the Void and receive divine guidance. Many Asherites are shepherds, and they are known for their The Asherite capital is Landfall, and they hold Templehaven and Pyre as well.

    Culture equivalent: Greeks.

    The Endai (gnomes)
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    The magically-created, goblin-like former slaves of Luz; a race of orderly scholars and mages that have built on the ruins their creators left behind. The most distinctive feature of their physical appearance is the complex web of runes that runs across their orange skin in bright blue lines. These runes are a product of the efforts of the Mages of Luz to etch runes into goblins to create a more civilized and intelligent group of servants. These runes are deep blue most of the time; they glow an electric hue when gnomes use magic. Their home city is Sol, and they are also found in Oro Town.

    Culture equivalent: Mayans.

    Far Traders (tritons)
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    On rare occasions, strange ships manned by tritons bearing goods from all over Allu arrive at the ports of the Solstone Islands. Not much is known of these blue-skinned Far Traders, as few speak Common, but it is rumored that they live in floating wooden villages out in the Great Western Sea, fishing, diving, and sailing to far flung ports across the ocean. A handful of triton interpreters and merchants have settled in the islands’ largest ports.

    Culture equivalent: Unknown.

    Fellborn (dwarves)
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    The stone-men of the Solstones are clan of monster hunters that look as if they were carved from the Redstand Valley itself. They are the oldest surviving civilization on the Solstones. Contrary to popular belief, dwarves aren’t actually made of rock, they just look like it, so they can swim, but it is pretty difficult, so they tend to stay on their home island, Mantai. Most live in or near Hardharbor, but dwarven mercenaries clad in armor made of monster parts can be found throughout the Solstones. Also, they eat rocks.

    Culture equivalent: North African.

    The Midonai (humans)
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    A kingdom of battle-loving human seafarers whose ancestors shipwrecked there nearly three hundred and fifty years ago. Music is at the center of the culture of the Midonai. They sing and chant together as they sail, fight, and work. Midonai wear many small trophies to show their achievements. These colorful reminders are made of many materials, including shells, wood, feathers, and stone, and make the appearance of each Midonai unique. Their king rules from Ramos, and Tema and Kalai are their settlements as well.

    Culture equivalent: Polynesian.

    The Outcasts (tieflings)
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    The half-human, half-Void demon survivors of the same magical disaster that the Asherites escaped; they fled too late and were magically altered by unleashed Void energy. They are easily recognizable due to their large horns, tails, and brightly colored skin tones. Their heritage makes them naturally inclined to Void magic. Tieflings are known for their easygoing personality and love for celebrations and music, but Outcasts and the Asherites have a long-standing hatred for one another. Many of them live in Journey’s End, and they are also the most common race in Lanternport.

    Culture equivalent: Carribean.

    The Skyborn (elves)
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    Descendants of ancient peoples that were transformed by the magic of the Firmament; the elves, or skyborn, are rare, magically-gifted wanderers that are scattered throughout the Solstones. As beings touched by the wild magic of the Firmament, elves are nomads that go wherever the wind takes them, driven by wanderlust and a desire to seek new experiences. Their thin, wispy bodies, sun-tanned skin, feathery hair, and golden eyes make it seem as if they could drift away at a moment’s notice.

    Culture equivalent: Varies.
    Last edited by Sam113097; 2019-08-08 at 02:38 PM.
    Check out my setting, the Solstone Islands! Any advice is appreciated.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
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    Default Re: The Solstone Islands - WIP

    Are the Asherites and Midonai supposed to be humans? Their descriptions aren't as clear as the other two.
    The sun demon is different. The sun is usually associated with agriculture but it would be nice to see something different every once in a while. Now I have to read up on Pelor, the Burning Hate again.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: The Solstone Islands - WIP

    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    Are the Asherites and Midonai supposed to be humans? Their descriptions aren't as clear as the other two.
    The sun demon is different. The sun is usually associated with agriculture but it would be nice to see something different every once in a while. Now I have to read up on Pelor, the Burning Hate again.
    Yes, that's something I'll clear up as I add more. In Medea, humans are the original race, and demi-humans are the descendants of magically-altered humans. Speaking of magic, I've finished my first draft of Medea's magic system:

    Magic
    The fabric of reality that makes up the world of Medea is a thing of broken threads and frayed knots. These “tears” in existence create openings into the Tempest, a plane containing an infinite and immense storm of magical energy. Some tears are natural; at times, the Tempest’s power tears its own way into reality, and warps objects or creatures. Others are created by mages: enterprising beings who seek to harness the magic of the Tempest.
    Mages
    A small portion of the inhabitants of Medea is born with an innate awareness of the Tempest’s power. These potential mages can feel rips in the tapestry of reality just as another being might feel a stone in his-or-her hand. Likewise, a mage is capable of ripping into the Tempest through a feat of willpower just as another may break a stone by a feat of strength. Among humans, mages are quite rare, but magically created races, such as the Endai and the Outcasts, have a near-universal awareness of the Tempest. Though some mages choose to never develop their inherent magical abilities, others make it their life’s pursuit. A mage can hone his-or-her Tempest powers alone (a practice more common among Wild Mages), but apprenticeships are usually more effective and less dangerous. An aspiring mage may elect to use the tempest through either rune magic or wild magic.
    Rune Magic
    In order to avoid the risks of being disintegrated by the Tempest due to a loss of focus or distraction while tearing into it, most mage use runes. A rune is an engraving capable of storing Tempest energy for a short time and channeling that energy into a specific effect (a spell) upon release. Rune magic requires patience and knowledge, but is quite versatile, as a studious rune mage should know runes or rune chains that can be used for a large variety of spells, mainly in manipulating energy or matter. The rune or rune chain carved into an object determines the form that the Tempest’s power will take when the spell is cast.
    The object into which a rune is carved is unimportant. Some cultures favor stone (the Endai), other bone (the Midonai), clay, or wood. A rune is charged when a mage rips into the Tempest with the rune in hand and directs the outgoing energy into it. This requires a great deal of focus, and, depending on the amount of energy required to realize the spell, make take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. More experienced rune mages can better control the Tempest and thus charge runes more quickly. A mage casts a spell contained in a rune by again grasping it in his-or-her hand and using willpower to tear into the rune’s stored energy and not into the Tempest itself.
    Runes can be recharged after use, but Tempest energy is volatile and cannot be contained for longer than a day. If a rune is left charged for too long, the magic within will burn through the object into which the rune is etched, letting the spell loose and destroying the object. Losing focus while charging a rune has the same effect.
    Despite their many other cultural differences, every civilization on Medea uses the same runes, which suggests that there must be a common source of rune knowledge. There are many legends about the origin of runes, in which they are typically regarded as connected to the divine: given by, or stolen from, the gods. While the more basic runes are widely known, others are closely guarded secrets, lost in the ruins of Luz, or yet unknown.
    Wild Magic
    The unleashing of unfettered magical energy, directed only to a limited degree by a mage’s willpower alone, is wild magic indeed. Though this use of the Tempest’s power is exceptionally potent, it is not as widely used as rune magic due to the grand risks that it presents. A mage that loses focus while opening a rift in reality leading to an energy storm will destroy his-or-herself and everything nearby. Additionally, failed or out-of-control wild magic can cause the Tempest to warp nearby beings into magical monsters (demons) or create permanent Tempest magic effects on nearby objects.
    Even with so many dangerous downsides, wild magic still appeals to some mages because of how powerful it is. It requires no preparation and no knowledge of runes; only strength of will is needed. It is not as versatile as rune magic, as it is nearly impossible to re-create a specific spell using wild magic, but the power to through blasts of Tempest lightning whenever you want is quite useful in combat. There are not many mages that choose to use wild magic, because its use asks for either a great measure of focus and willpower, or a ton of stupidity. Goblins love it.
    Last edited by Sam113097; 2018-07-10 at 12:49 PM.
    Check out my setting, the Solstone Islands! Any advice is appreciated.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: The Solstone Islands - WIP

    One idea which stands out to me as a sailor is that the islands are difficult to reach by boats.

    Stone age humans were quite capable of building and using ocean-going boats. What they lacked was a reliable means of navigation. Once that was accomplished, the Polynesians conquered the Pacific all the way to Easter Island in boats made of rough-cut logs, natural fiber rope, and wicker.

    Boat technology is largely irrelevant in the exploration of oceans. The Hawai'ians claim to have done so on surfboards. What is needed is a method of recording where one has been that is sufficient to guide one on the trip back. You do not directly state that your navigation sciences are not advanced, and imply there is something keeping the tourists away.

    So, I present Cold Water Currents.

    Isolated islands and archipelagos often force deep currents up from below. This incidentally creates a gyre around the upwelling, torqued by corriolis force, these vast oceanic whirlpools can, if there is a large enough source current, cause every current in the upper layer of water to flow away from the islands. This can cause boats to sail around the gyre, even if their intent is to sail into its center. Until accurate current-maps have been drawn, this might be a blind spot in the map for quite a long time.

    A rare storm may shove sailing vessels against the wind to encounter the islands, but for the most part the strong currents of the gyre will shove boats away from the islands. Natives may not build oceangoing boats because those which sail out of the sight of land never return.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: The Solstone Islands - WIP

    I've finished the map and races, and I'm now working on towns and locations. Here's a tiefling port I have done!

    Journey's End
    Two hundred years ago, a number of ships bearing the desperate survivors of a great magical disaster landed on the island of Caebrant. These outcasts, warped by Void magic into tieflings, founded Journey’s End. Over the centuries, the settlement has grown into a vibrant port town known for its music and festivities. Most of Journey’s end is comprised of wooden houses raised on stilts to escape high tide, though the oldest part of town, the Old District, is on a hill overlooking the sea and has many stone buildings as well. Journey’s End’s docks bustle with traders from all over the Solstone Islands, and its restaurants and bars are among the best in the archipelago. Visitors from all over the islands come for the tieflings’ seasonal festivals. On the southern edge of Journey’s End, an area called Greenorchard, many tropical fruits such as mangos, pineapples, and plantains are grown. In the center of the town, booths selling food and crafts fill the market square in front of Coldwater Hall, a large wooden building made of one of the ships that brought the tieflings to Caebrant.

    Spoiler: TOWN MAP
    Show

    1. Merchant’s Row is home to a number of restaurants, bars, and other establishments that cater to sailors and visitors looking to party. The seaside boardwalk is brightly illuminated by lines of multicolored lanterns that hang overhead. Some of its more notable spots include the Devil’s Widow (a super spicy seafood restaurant run by the tiefling Bara), the Stormcrab (a salt-sprayed dive bar frequented by mercenaries and managed by a large Midonai man named Danu), and the Dock House (a guard post, often manned by a tiefling named Luca, that registers information about the ships that come and go and houses stolen contraband).
    2. The Mariner’s Rest is the largest and most well-known of Journey’s End’s inns. It is a large wooden building that is worn but well-kept and painted in vibrant colors. It is owned by a dwarf named Rymi.
    3. Temple of the Elder is one of the oldest buildings on the island. It is a gray stone building atop the hill of the Old District with a tower housing a brazier of Ever-Burning Flame that also serves as a lighthouse. The temple is a bit neglected, as the tieflings no longer put much faith in the Burning Lord. Its head priest is an old tiefling named Ben Amin.
    4. Coldwater Market is Journey’s End’s central square and, during the day, contains a few dozen brightly-colored carts selling all kinds of fruits, vegetables, and basic supplies. A Midonai named Molani imports all sorts of adventuring gear. There’s typically a musician or two somewhere in the square playing the marimba, and the Market fills with dancers on festival nights.
    5. Coldwater Hall houses the town guard and the town council’s meeting hall. Important decisions in Journey’s End are made by a town council of notable citizens, such as Levin Cobalt and Talma Koros, overseen by the Priest Ben Amin. The Hall is contained in an upturned wooden ship that brought the tieflings to Caebrant a few centuries ago and is decorated in colorful paint. The captain of the guard is an Asherite woman named Nikaia.
    6. Therin’s Warehouse is used by Tovias Therin, a wealthy human that set up shop in Journey’s End about a decade back. He uses it to house archaeological finds from the ruins of Luz, and brings in his own workers from another island.
    7. Mordecai’s Shop belongs to an aspiring tiefling scholar, Mordecai, who specializes in identifying the arcane, The young owner is always looking to learn more, and adds to his income by using spells like mending to help around town in order to purchase and study more arcane knowledge. His cluttered shop is housed in a narrow stone building in the Old District.
    8. The Old District Armory was the first forge built after Journey’s End was settled. It belongs to one of the most respected families in town, the Cobalts. The bronze armor and weapons made by the tiefling Levin Cobalt, who currently runs the smithy, are of high quality and have a distinct bluish tinge. His son, Adem, is preparing to marry Talya Koros.
    9. The Greenorchard Inn is the finest of Journey’s End’s guest houses. Owned by a dwarf named Khel and situated near the groves of fruit trees that give the district its name, the Inn attracts the most prestigious visitors to the town and provides the widest selection of wines and spirits from all over the archipelago.
    10. Manor is a large, brightly painted stilt house and the home of Talma Koros, a wealthy tiefling trader that owns a handful of merchant vessels, including one captained by her husband, Moash. She imports supplies and exports Journey’s End’s abundant fruits, fish, and spices to the rest of the Solstone Islands. Her daughter, Talya, is engaged to the blacksmith Adem.
    Check out my setting, the Solstone Islands! Any advice is appreciated.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: The Solstone Islands - WIP

    This is all really great. Keep it up!

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: The Solstone Islands - WIP

    Quote Originally Posted by Xuc Xac View Post
    This is all really great. Keep it up!
    Thank you! Right now, I'm trying to come up with factions and organizaions, but I'm really blanking on ideas. Any suggestions?
    Check out my setting, the Solstone Islands! Any advice is appreciated.

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