Kalitharsis, The Scourged sands (Setting) Now with Map!
Kalitharsis, The Scourged sands (Age of the false Gods)
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Balgziva and surrounding lands
Many years ago a great cataclysm destroyed the world of Kalitharsis, scourging it of most life and collapsing most of the land into a mighty pit that surrounded all that was left. This event is known as the scourging and it is responsible for wiping most life from the face of the planet. That which was left was mostly desert and the survivors of the scourging were split, their faith in the Gods divided and their old loyalties destroyed. New empires and Kingdoms began to rise from the ashes of the old world, petty blood feuds between the races were put aside and new enemies were found. Most of the records and architecture of the old world were destroyed with the bulk of knowledge being salvaged from word of mouth. The exact cause of the Scourging is unknown but it is said to have occurred at the midst of a mighty war at the end of the age of magic. The Scourging seems to have cut man off from their God’s and caused the Earth to be saturated with magic. Though the exact cause was unknown there was an obvious scapegoat. The users of magic were quickly persecuted and practitioners killed, their studies and work destroyed. The blood lines with powerful innate magic were also persecuted and hunted, dragons and their ilk becoming creatures spoken of with malice and hate. What little magic survive is found in those who can keep it hidden or who study techniques that are forbidden by moral society. In the aftermath of the Scourging though the excessive magic in the land had many effects on its inhabitants. Some of these such as the increased Psionic potential of the people have been seen as good, others such as the abundancy of the undead have not.
History is generally referred to with the terms KBS (Kalitharsis before scourging) and KAS (Kalitharsis after the scourging)
The Old Ones
The four old ones are generally perceived to be the creators of the world and most likely the cosmos too. They are also generally perceived to be devoid of human feeling and lacking in pity, even Ageoth. How they came to be nobody knows and nor does anybody know what has become of them. It is unclear whether or not they created the True Gods or not but it is agreed that they created man alongside the other races (though which race was created first is a point of much contention). The four Old Ones were said to inhabit the Endless Plane of the Great Table, playing games with mortals as their pawns each seeking to beat the other three in keeping with the rules of their mighty divine game, rules that even Pyris is said to have been forced to follow. Some say that creation exists purely because the 4 desired it for their personal amusement, others claim that the game came about as a result of creation, the God’s realising its potential for their personal amusement.
-Ageoth (Good) Portrayed as a stern fatherly figure with a thick black beard and a mighty war hammer Ageoth is considered to be the originator of good in the Universe. Though he still manipulated mortals to his own ends in the game he often sought outcomes that showed benefit to his pieces in the long term. His symbol is a mighty hammer with a great eye at its head and an aura of light about it.
-Storgil (Evil) Portrayed as a crimson armoured figure with a long and wickedly crafted sword Storgil is considered the originator of Evil in the Universe. He was said to purposefully send his pieces into hopeless battles and sought outcomes that resulted in the greatest bloodshed. His symbol is a skull mounted upon a pike with a two headed snake that dangles out each eye socket.
-Pyris (Chaotic)Portrayed as a n ever burning flame that often wreathed a waraxe Pyris is considered the originator of Chaos in the Universe. Believed to seek battles resulting in massive destruction and seeking to burn the world and its inhabitants he is seen as a random destructive force of nature. His symbol is a four tiered flame of red, orange, yellow and blue from inside to outside.
-Juthas (Lawful)Portrayed as a stern yet beautiful woman with a mighty scythe in one hand and a longbow strapped across her back Juthas is considered the originator of Evil in the Universe. She was said to be a believer in fate and justice, adhering strictly to the rules and seeking vengeance for every wrong dealt to her pieces. Her symbol is a pair of scales with a diamond in one and a skull in the other.
The True Gods (also known as the false Gods)
The true God’s are believed to be younger than most of the great races, coming into existence after the games of the Old Ones were done. The 8 True Gods enforced order upon the world and introduced their divine magic into it. It is believed they set up the first cities and that progress was made due to their divine influence. To comment on the idea that they came about after the mortal races though is considered to be a blasphemy by many followers of the true Gods and the penalty for this is death within the city of the 7. The creation story behind the origin of the 8 is that a fight broke out amidst the four at the end of their final game, Juthas accusing Ageoth of cheating in order to try and win (the winner of this game is a matter of much contention amongst philosophers) and that in the fight the blood of the 4 mixed to form nine new Gods. It is said that one of these God’s now referred to as the Slain immediately claimed lordship of creation, but that Mayzol found his ideas so horrible that he instantly killed him with a sword of pure light. What became of the 4 is unknown and some go so far as to say that the 8 were simply fresh playing pieces for their games. Whether or not the 8 still live is as much a mystery as the fate of the 4 as their divine influence ceased after the Scourging. Some call the 8 false Gods and claim that they were slain in the scourging, others still refer to them as the true Gods and say that once the races have redeemed themselves for the horrors of the Scourging the God’s shall reveal themselves once more.
-Mayzol (LG) The Lord of the Gods-Mayzol is known as the just and the true. Defender of the Righteous and slayer of the wicked. As leader of the Gods he was said to lay down the laws of moral conduct for both men and deities. Creator of the Celestials he is seen as a kind and father like figure though he is said to have a powerful wrath and would smite the unjust. His symbol is similar to that of Juthas but the heavy scale is weighted with gold and the light with a feather. His weapon of choice is a spear.
-Terrator (TN) The Spirit of the Land- Sometimes called the quiet or the emotionless terrator is the giver of life and the keeper of the land. Appearing as a great spiritual animal (the exact shape dependant upon the environment) he is said to watch over all of creation, particularly the natural world. It is he who is believed to have given life to beings such as treants and given intelligence and magic to many animals such as Unicorns and griffons. His symbol is a mighty mountain wrapped by a great tree. His weapon of choice is the quaterstaff.
-Mothril (CN) The Eternal Trickster-Goddess of deceit and trickery Mothril enjoys tempting people from the path of righteousness for personal gain. Though not truly evil she is devoted to self satisfaction and greed. Appearing as an alluring woman with long silver hair robed in black she is said to have delighted in tempting mortal men and some even claim they are the descendants of her blood. Her symbol is a golden chalice. Her weapon of choice is the dagger.
-Quizwrax (LE) The Aberrant Lord/The Forsaken- the great Aberrant beast and Lord of insanity. His true shape spoken of in hushed whispers by deranged lunatics and his voice said to make men bleed to death if he spoke too long. Wiser than the Slain he evaded the Wrath of Mayzol, disappearing from his sight and claiming the Abberant races for his own. Promising them gifts of power they follow him both through fear, greed and respect. Even after the disappearance of the Gods many still secretly worship the Aberrant Lord for fear that he may return. His symbol is a mass of leathery green flesh with eyes and teeth jutting out of its surface. His weapon of choice is the flail.
-Kane (CG) The Huntsman-The great hunter Kane is said to appear as a man of bear like proportions with sharp teeth and long ragged hair. He is said to be wise and stelathy, silent and fast, strong and tireless. God of the hunt he created the Druidic tongue and taught his followers the skills of the great hunter. Often reputed to have crossed weapons with Terrator the two have different views on nature. Kane seeing that animals should be preserved yet also delighting in hunting them out of sport. Said to be willing to hunt any being in creation Kane is often prayed to before heading off into battle. His symbol is a bow notched with a 5 arrows. His weapon of choice is the bow.
-Reyor (NG) The Wandering healer-Taking the guise of a wandering priest, a medicine man or some other healing figure Reyor was said to wander the land performing miracles for those in need. Said to have a love of all living things he shed tears for the suffering and gave expecting nothing in return. Creator of many healing magics and alchemy he was a great benefactor to the races. His symbol is a gourd wrapped in medicinal leaves. His weapon of choice is the sap.
-Tharatoth (LN) The Sightless Judge-Goddess of justice she is said to have worked closely with Mayzol, implementing his laws and aiding in their creation. Dispationate and blind she is said to care only for the correct outcome and the upholding of justice, whereas Mayzol showed preferences to beings he considered as good. Tall and slender she wears a steel helm that hides her hair though shows her face. She wears bloodied bandages around her eyes and sees through the eyes of specially chosen examples of her patron animal, the lizard. Her symbol is similar to that of Juthas but the heavy scale is weighted with gold and the light with a feather. Her weapon of choice is the long sword.
-Banik (CE) The Burning Flame-Appearing as a green eyed apparition wreathed in flames Banik is said to have delighted in the power of the flame and its destructive uses. Seeking destruction he was wise enough not to tempt the wrath of Mayzol and kept his deeds secret or disguised, inciting wars and bloodshed in a discreet fashion so as to avoid detection. His symbol is a snake made of flame. His weapon of choice is the battle axe.
The new Faiths
Some people believe that in the absence of divine energy they should seek out alternate beliefs based upon the powers that appear to govern the world. Through the base elements that create all matter and energy they believe they can find the answers to the mysteries of life.
-The cult of Gold
Formed by the Red dragon Krade’Fulfoth, the cult of Gold rejects all concepts of good and evil and embraces the idea that the Universe is ruled by the power of coin. Fulfoth rejected the traditional view of Red dragons as evil beings and formed friendships between himself and both metallic and chromatic dragons. He formed the cult and played an active part in its protection and running before finally disappearing as he ventured into the mists across the edge. The cult exists to gain wealth, this wealth is collected by members and then given to the hoards of member dragons for protection. The dragons then give this wealth back to the members if they are in dire financial need or if they have a sound proposition for gaining further wealth through expense. The cult is generally frowned upon by society due to its apparent greed, its collaboration with dragons and its sometimes questionable business strategies.
-The watchers of the coming dark
The watchers are often judged by others to be evil due to their preoccupation with the end of times, and the belief that the end will soon arrive, the scourging simply being its first stage. In reality most members of the watchers are simply pacifists who see no point in trying to strive for anything when what seems to be a predetermined conclusion is so close upon them. A few however are more radical in their beliefs and so the group has gained a bad reputation. Some believe the coming dark is something they should actively try and cause, others believe that though it is inevitable they may be able to survive the coming dark through practices akin to gaining lichdom. These few individuals are responsible for the persecution of the entire group by people such as the Seekers.
-Believers of the mind
The believers in the mind have recognised the growing Psionic powers of the world and claim that through them they can create a better future. Many of them praise and revere Psionic power as a God of sorts and those that can use it as its priests. One of the fundamental beliefs of the Believers is that once Psionic power has finally reached its height it will then manifest as a supreme consciousness of the mind that unites all the people under one power that is equal to that of the Old Ones themselves.
The Wielders of destruction
The monsters of the world, those that many hold responsible for the scourging of the land are collectively referred to as the Wielders of destruction. Most people group the dragons, the aberrations of nature, the undead and the fey creatures as the Wielders though those of the forest of Otrian often exclude the fey creatures from this. These beings are held responsible by many humanoids for giving magic to the races and as a result of this causing the formation of the Great Desert. The relations between many humanoids and goblinoids have improved as a result of this with the two groups being united in their hatred of magic and those with the innate power over the arcane. The exact definition of a Wielder of Destruction is culturally relative, some remember the kindness of the Metallic dragons and so exclude them from the Wielders, others do not consider Warlocks or the practitioners of the petty magic (Bards and their ilk) as being Wielders. A few extreme radicals even go as far as to claim that the powers of the Mind are not exempt from blame as they only began manifesting in the aftermath of the Scourging, this coupled with the natural psionic powers of some of the Aberrants of nature is enough for some to claim the users of the minds are only the pawns in the Coming of the Dark.
The Order of Rathgan
Founded by Lord Artolias Rathgan the first in 1KAS the order of Rathgan is a society lead by the descendants of Artolias. A monarchy of sorts they do not claim divine mandate instead claiming right through example. Ruled over from the city of High Watch the order is dedicated to the eradication of threats to humanity and plays a crucial role in combating the horrors created by the scourging. Artolias was a high ranked soldier serving in the army of the Kingdom of Milweath at the time of the Scourging. In the aftermath he went about rounding up survivors and using his own expertise and the skills of those he recruited to build a future from the ashes of the past. Starting out as a Nomadic clan the Order finally settled down to build the city of High Watch under the reign of Calik Rathgan, designated Lord by his father who upon his death bed decided where the city should be built. The Order has since thrived throughout the ages, combating each threat it faces head on and valuing the skills of its people. Though their concepts of nobility are of a high importance the members of the order are promoted based upon merit as opposed to blood. It is far from uncommon for a person who is considered unworthy to be exiled from the nobility until they prove themselves, or for a common peasant to be promoted into the nobility for deeds of great heroism or bravery.
The Order is split into a series of ranks from highest to lowest these are...
-The Lord Rathgan. Head of the order and traditionally male (though there has in the past been a female Lord Rathgan) the Lordship has traditionally been descended via blood relation. The Lord Rathgan is in charge of the mobilisation and control of the order, his word is final but he is answerable to the Orders principles of justice and heroism, he is not above the law.
-Marshal. There are 5 marshals who comprise the Lord Rathgans council. They are in charge of the foot soldiers, mounted soldiers, Psionicly gifted, scouts and special intelligence. Each has some autonomy but is answerable to the Lord Rathgan and to the law.
-General. The honoured few who are given the rank of General not only have the duties of a major but also meet in war council with the Lord Rathgan and his marshals in times of ergency. They have much the same duties as a major simply to a larger extent.
-Major. A Major has several lieytenants beneath him and is given responsibility for the movement of many men in a time of war. He is expected to be a living example and extol the virtues of the Order.
-Lieutenant. Promising soldiers are recruited to the position of Lieutenant. They have greater responsibility and are given control over the actions of some of those below them, being allowed to lead expeditions and reconnaisance.
-Knight. Soldiers who show some promise are sometimes promoted to the position of knight. Unlike a Lieutenant Knights do not advance through the military order, instead being expected to travel far abroad to spread the Orders ideals and to combat evil. Occasionally people are given the position of Knight as a form of punishment.
-Soldier/Recruit. The bulk of the order is comprised of Soldiers and recruits. Men of varying military skill and experience, some little more than militia, all ready to fight for the order and draw their weapons at the slightest notice.
The Senate of Aol
The Senate of Aol is the governing body of the metropolis of Aol. Lead by the Sultan the senate consists of advisors and informants chosen by the Sultan. It is in charge of all law and policy in Aol and pays particular attention to taxes and trade. Aol has an army of trained soldiers and temporary volunteers at its disposal in case of war though these warriors are employed in roles as city guards, thugs, bodyguards and protecting trade caravans for most of the time. Built on the greatest and most prosperous stretch of the River Dor Aol is a major producer of goods and food. It has little concern for the outside world or for foreign politics instead driven by and thriving upon its own greed. Many a corrupt merchant can be found here getting away with their business and there is a highly profitable legalised assassins guild known as the Deaths Wind Hunters who have a monopoly on their business and help “police” the streets in return for their continued existence. Religion in Aol is mixed with no official faith but there is a relatively substantial temple of the Cult of Gold.
The Border Walkers
The Elite Kobold warriors of the Northern Sands. Walking the borders of their realm they are stationed across both the Northern and Southern edges of The Dry Flats, keeping a constant vigil for any threat that may be posed to their Empire. The Border Walkers are stationed far away from home and live off of their wits, living and dying by their Credo of “First to strike, last to fall” they set up ambushes and traps, using their knowledge of the land against their opponents. Though skilled at fighting in the desert sands they are also a force to be reckoned with in their burrows, falling back into winding cavern complexes should the fight turn against them, where they can kill of their opponents at their own leisure.
Though primarily concerned with the defence of their homelands the Border Walkers are also the Elite soldiers of the Northern Empires army and are often dispatched upon reconnaissance, assassinations, infiltrations and any other dangerous missions where their expertise may be required.
The Seekers of the Dawning Light
A faction that exists almost purely to oppose the beliefs of the watchers of the coming dark. While the watchers are a largely inactive group their beliefs in the end of times are feared by others and as such they have gained an unjust reputation for being evil doers. The Seekers are a highly active organisation who aim to destroy those who might threaten the world with the watchers being high up on their list of evil doers alongside those who believe in Quizwrax. An offshoot of those that follow the God Kane, the Seekers hunt down power for the betterment of the world and the continuation of moral society. Seekers are generally found either as wandering Knight errants who seek the death of evil doers, the finding of beneficial artefacts and lost magics and the aiding of those who are in trouble, or in small groups that lead hunts against the Aberrants, the dragons, the undead and the fey. Their sometimes brutal methods and warlike attitudes can be construed as morally dubious but they are strong believers in “the greater good” and the idea that the new world cannot flourish without the death of the old one and the death of the wielders of destruction.
The Edge Project
Carried out by scholars in the twin cities of Folgrave and Prospect the edge project is an effort being carried out by scholars of many races to investigate the edge and better understand the scourging. Largely inspired by the unfortunate disappearance of Krade'Fulfoth the edge project recieves much funding from the cult of gold. Most of those involved are volunteers but sometimes a worker has selfish alterior motives hoping to gain knowledge from the project that will give him great power over the rest of the world. Results are collected by various patrons of the project who generally have some special interest in what is sought to be unravelled. These results are from various areas of the edge outside the two cities areas (most importantly the North east and south western points of the continent but also special places such as the half city.
One of the first innately magical creatures created, the dragons were made by Pyris to wreak destruction upon the other God’s creations. Till their creation all other beings had been made for strength and power, generally savage in their design. The dragons however birthed a new age of creation were creatures were made with powerful magics that ran through their blood. It was however the Dragons themselves who gave magic to the humanoids of the world as gift of peace. The Dragons were adapted by each of the 4 to suit their own needs and so a wide variety of breeds began to emerge. They generally consider themselves above other creatures due to their heritage as the first wielders of magic but some are more helpful than others. The split between chromatic and metallic dragons has lead to many prejudices but in reality the Scourging has left both in much the same position. Those dragons that are left are treated with contempt and seen as wielders of destruction by most. In turn the dragons have come to live by the credo of “every creature for itself” though some (both chromatic and metallic extend an open claw to society and even have offspring with the other races (though these half dragons are often killed or shunned by society).
The fey races were generally gifted with innate magical qualities and are said to have originally been created by Ageoth. Though generally they keep out of the way of travellers those that survived the scourging are more violent than their predecessors, owing largely due to the persecution they have suffered from being branded as wielders of destruction. Though it was the dragons that gave the races magic it was the fey that were responsible for much of its spreading. Alongside this the scourging also wiped out most of their native lands and the vast majority of the fey now reside only in the forest. Though amiable to those native in the forest they have grown incredibly protective, guarding their realms from poachers and those that would do the forest harm.
Native to The Chaos Plane of the Elements it is believed that Elementals were the tool of the Old Ones and that each living race was forged from a combination of the four basic elementals. Depending upon the exact number and type it is said the God’s could form anything and that certain traits such as the fiery breath of a red dragon can be put down to them being made of one element more than any other. This has lead to speculation amongst philosophers as to whether there is a point upon The Chaos Plane of the Elements where a fifth element can be found, namely magic. Many dismiss this concept saying that magic was created from the four elements or from divine energy, others are less sceptical. Elementals vary in their intelligence but if found upon the material plane they are generally savage and violent due to the separation from their native home. Many find this quality makes them useful as guardians if correctly bound. Wild elementals that wander the world are generally believed to be either creatures that have escaped some magical imprisonment upon the material plane, or creatures that have inadvertently broken through the barriers of the planes due to the after effects of the scourging.
Made by Storgil the great Aberrants have existed longer than most other creatures. The first of his creations they were the earliest intelligent life and possessed knowledge long before the creation of the dragons or the awakening of the savage races. Though they only received their magics after the dragons the great aberrants longer existence has lead to them to see all else as vastly inferior to themselves. It is believed that Quizwrax took up the mantel of their God because he saw their amazing potential. He then went on to create many more species of Aberration which including those both vastly intelligent and grotesquely malformed. What role if any they played in the Scourging is unkown but they are seen as weilders of destruction and are hunted by society. Many of the great aberrants exist only in underground sanctuaries now, avoiding those that would kill them above ground.
The Undead are said to be the creations of Storgil and that the first necromancers were some of his pieces. How the wide variety within the undead come about is unknown but their large numbers at present is put down to the excessive quantities of magic that are said to lace the desert sands. It is believed that anybody who dies and sinks into the sands may someday rise out of them in some new form and so many people are cremated when their time has come. Of all the problems after the Scourging the undead are said to be one of the most prevalent and dangerous. Though there no longer seem to be truly great Liches or vampire Lords the sheer number of weaker varieties are a major threat to travellers. Typically an infestation starts when a moderate group of lesser undead from some past battle (generally skeletons or zombies) rise together and sit beneath the sands surface awaiting a passing creature. They slowly begin increasing their numbers as more and more caravans or lone travellers are taken surprise by them. Inevitably a group of more intelligent creatures (a ghoul or ghast perhaps) find the infestation or emerge from its victims and begin to use it as their feeding ground, adding to the numbers and incorporating strategy to it. The greatest fear on any travellers mind is that he should be sucked beneath the sand by the undead, never to be seen or heard of again until he should rise as that which killed him.
Animals, Plants and Vermin
The various creatures that inhabit the world yet lack any true intelligence or sentience. Their numbers dwindled after the Scourging with a great drop in variety, only those capable of surviving the harsh temperatures of the deserts thrived, the rest all died or became isolated in the few areas that could support them. Those intelligent plants that survive are generally restricted to the forest, the Treants being viciously protective of what little they have left. Other plants may grow in dark caverns or close to small bodies of water but in general only those acclimated to the desert have any hope of surviving. The same goes for animals too with horses having almost fallen out of real use.
The world is full of wondrous creatures, many violent or predatory but most content to let that which does not threaten them live. There are some exceptions to this of course with more intelligent beasts having malicous or other human natures, driven by greed, spite, or hatred for mankind they may actively seek out and attack human settlements for their own personal gain.
The constructs are the tools of man not of the Gods. The immortals never used these beings to current knowledge except possibly through the mortals themselves. Which of the races made the first construct is widely contested but it is generally put down to being the work of Gnomish curiosity. As time progressed different constructs were formed and new designs were developed though no constructs were ever developed that truly duplicated human emotions. The art of making constructs is nearly lost, largely due to the death of magic but still they are seen guarding major cities and in the possession of wealthy traders. Some say these are created by hidden magi cults, others say they are produced by powerful artifacts or dug up from the sand to serve anew. What is as good as fact though is that some of the eldest constructs are by far the mightiest. A truly ancient specimen was unearthed during the reign of Rathgan III that was colossal in size, had a thorny carapace and shell and a mighty lashing tail. It was indestructible and its reign of terror was only ended when Rathgan gave his life in tricking the creature over the edge. It has never been seen since.
What are the oozes and where do they come from? Some claim this insidious creatures were made by either Storgil or Quizwrax. Others are adamant that they were made by mortal wizards during the ages of magic. A few even claim that they are a new phenomenon resulting from the Scourging (the loss of most historical records making origins of anything hard to validate), perhaps different oozes were made by each of these explanations. Regardless of when they were brought into being the oozes are a foul life form that live only to eat and reproduce, showing no real cognitive powers whatsoever. Thankfully most oozes are restricted to subterranean environments and so pose little threat to the majority of society, their largely liquid bodies not taking well to the sand and the desert heat.
The Great Races
Dwarves-The Dwarves are a hardy and noble people. Hailing mainly from the mountains of The Parched Peaks (SW of Aol) and the Barrier Range (NW of Prospect). The Dwarves survived the Scourging through strong will and resilience. They have forged out two main mountain empires but other towns exists and a few even live in the mountains of the Northern Sands and dry flats. Though it is for their expertise in building underground settlements that they are bessed known some dwarves do venture out and adventure or settle down in the lands beyond their mountain peaks. Though founded and run by humans the city of high watch was largely built by dwarven skill and knowledge and as such the dwarves have a good relationship with the Order of Rathgan. To this day many dwarves live within the walls of High Watch. As well as their skill at stone carving the dwarves are also known for carrying ancient blood feuds. The dwarves of the Parched Peaks are in constant war with the Goblins and Orcs who dwell there whilst the Dwarves of the Barrier Range have an ongoing war with the troglodytes (Barrier Range Dwarves have a racial hatred of reptilian humanoids instead of Orcs and golbins as do High Watch Dwarves). Though many dwarves are welcomed by the southern society the Derro and Duergar of the sunless realms are shunned and despised.
The Dry Flats
The dry flats separate the Great Desert from the Northern sands. It is an area of barren cliffs, high rising plateaus and narrow chasms that wind from one end to the other. The two main routes from the south to the north are in the form of Havor’s Gultch, a curling passageway that moves between the cliffs. It is one of the few known routes but is within the breeding grounds of a number of deadly underground predators and often observed by the Border Watchers. The second route is up the Shade Water. Despite being a river (a valuable rarity) there is very little habitation on the banks of the Shade Water. It is largely rapids flowing southward and the cliffs that rise up either side of it are home to numerous deadly predators. Despite this it is commonly used as a passage North because the Border Watchers rarely come there. Those wishing to come this way generally follow the river banks to the point of origin at the Malice Falls and then scale the cliffs. From here they travel across the upper flats till they reach the Northern sands and then descend the cliff face back down.
The Forest of Otrian
The forest of Otrian is the last bastion of the woodlands against the desolate wastes of the desert. It is said that it survived the scourging only through the united efforts of the forest dwellers. The Elves, the Dragons and the fey are all said to have joined their magics in an effort to save the forest, sadly this has come at a cost. Most of the fey’s minds have been warped by the scourging as have many intelligent plants and animals, seeing the humanoids and goblinoids as the cause of the destruction. Some still retain their sanity though only to find themselves persecuted by outsiders as wielders of destruction. As the single greatest source of wood the forest is often subject to poaching of its resources by immoral people. Due to this it is policed by the remaining elves and their allies through a society known as the Otrian Oath Keepers. That is not to say the forest cannot look after itself though, those who fail to acquire a forged mark will be easy prey for any of the forests denizens. The forest itself is mainly dense foliage with a few small villages along the outskirts along with the city of Kanis through which the Oath Keepers rule. Kanis sits upon the River Dor Aol, its source being at the very centre of the forest where it flows down from Mt. Hothfra. At the base of the mountain is a large area of marshland where the waters spread out before forming a true stream. The marshland and swamp gradually gives way to the forest proper.
The Great Desert
The name for that which comprises most of the known world is the great desert. A plain of sand as far as they eye can see barren and devoid of life everywhere but those few areas where water can be found. The desert stretches far and wide only ending in a few places such as the edge and the dry flats as well as the great forest. The sand is saturated with the bodies of the dead and with raw magic, a potent and dangerous mix for any travellers. Major bodies of water are built around to the greatest extent and it is here that the bulk of the population is found in cities that stand upon rivers and larger oases. Smaller communities also exist, springing up around smaller lesser known oases, temporary bodies of waters and underground streams that bubble up to the surface in mountain sides along with the communities of raiders and nomads that wander the sands. It is said that the Scourging wiped all life off of the face of the desert along with civilisation, no buildings from the Pre Scourging era exist above the surface anymore but beneath it there is many a tomb and sunken city just waiting to be cracked open or discovered by a band of explorers.
The Shifting Sands
The shifting sands are a strange and disconcerting phenomena. An area of desert known not only for its large quantity of quicksand but also for its uncertain nature. Ruins of lost cities can be found here one day but are gone the next, rising and sinking out of the sand over night. There is no set route through it and no known community built within it and it is only crossed by adventurers and those with no other options available to them. Some say that the sands are simply more saturated with magic than elsewhere in the great Desert and the shifting ruins are either brought there from some other place, or created out of nothing. Few above ground ruins exist elsewhere in the desert and so the Shifting sands have attracted a number of would be historians and archaeologists over the years. Needless to say that like most over strange phenomenon that people go to investigate in the desert few who go there come back.
A great chasm that runs its length around the world. The edge is an enigma, its cause almost certainly being the scourging but its contents a complete enigma. A thick mist hangs in the air as far as the eye can see extending straight out and directly downwards. Numerous adventurers have travelled into the mists of the edge either flying directly out or seeking the bottom of the chasm. Those that return bring stories of endless mist as far as they travelled and unspeakable horrors that lurked in the darkness. Any who have travelled further have never returned.
The Sunless Realms
The Northern Sands
To the North of the Dry Flats is a second desert, not dissimilar to the Great desert. Much smaller in size and bordering the edge The Northern Sands are home to the Dragon peoples. Shunned by the rest of society due to their links with the dragons the collective Lizard peoples formed their own society here. Few dragons actually come here and even the Cult of Gold has little power in the Northern Sands, but those who are considered to be pariahs due to their heritage or their ancestors come here. The Kobolds, Troglodytes and other Lizard peoples live here (though Lizard men themselves are more at home in the forest of Otrian) and many a half dragon makes their way here eventually (though many fail to survive the journey). A few Yuan-Ti cults exist here but despite the influence of Draconic blood upon the society there are as few sorcerers as elsewhere. That is not to say they don’t exist but the majority fail to manifest any powers beyond that of a common bard. Only a handful of Sorcerers have ever been recorded as existing after the scourging, many of these then disappeared into the mists of the edge seeking the truth of the cataclysm.
The Material Plane
The world of the Scourged Sands. Its real dimensions, its exact contents? Nobody knows anymore. At one time it is believed to have been a prosperous world full of magic and life but now all that seems to be left in the aftermath of the scourging is the desert and the empty promises of the edge and the nights sky. There are stars above, perhaps other planets too according to astrologers. Maybe up there something more exists but who can say for sure.
The Ethereal Plane
Parallel to the material plane is the Ethereal plane. The land of ghosts and things somehow separate from the rest of reality. People sometimes travel there for various purposes including their own protection but anyone who goes there should be well prepared as a number of monsters roam its phantom wastes.
The Blasted Wastes of Perpetual Conflict
The Great table and the four planes of the departed are seemingly inaccessible by any means available to man. The Chaos of the elemental plane is so inhospitable it is questionable why anyone would go there. The ethereal plane and shadow plane are merely different aspects of the material. This has raised the question why have people developed planar transport? The answer seems to lie in the Blasted wastes. The Blasted wastes are a plane that is a constant war between the Archons, the devils and the demons alongside their allies. Numerous extra planar armies wage war on each other here and it is from here these beings are summoned to the material plane. Beyond war though it is believed that this plane holds the answers to the disappearance of the God’s. Many people have questioned its inhabitants on this subject but they are simply told that all they know is the endless war that every day grows no nearer to its end. This does not deter people though and still they venture into the war to try and find the answers to their questions.
The Shadow Plane
The realm of shadow is a dangerous place only tapped into by those seeking to gain access to forbidden magics and secrets long lost to the races of men. Some say the plane can be manipulated for faster travel but this holds great risks to any would be travellers. The plane of shadow is a twisted mockery of the material plane, bathed in perpetual twilight visitors can easily lose track of time inadvertantly spending much longer than they intended or falling prey to unnatural monstrosities whilst they sleep
The Endless Plane of the great table
It is said that there is a plane somewhere that is the home of the Gods. A mighty table of titanic proportions that sits within a temple of pillars and stone at the centre of a plane. Bar this central feature the rest of the plane is featureless with no towns, villages, cities or mountains. No forests or water, only scrub grass that stretches out for as far as the ye can see and goes on for eternity. Some people say this plane is really the material plane and that the table itself is actually the world, others say such a plane does not exist.
The Chaos Plane of the Elements
There is a place of chaotic uncertainty from which elementals are born. It is split into a number of sections and those that seek to summon forth elementals into the world have to be careful they chose the right section. In total there are nine known areas of the plane, one area for each base element, four areas where a pair of the elements collide, and the ninth area where all four elements clash together. Bar at the centre of the plane fire and water never meet, nor do earth and air. Due to the constantly shifting chaos of the plane these borders grow and shrink every second, the plane never staying quite the same size at any one time. It is a simple case to summon an elemental composed purely of one base element but once people try summoning elementals composed of multiple energies there is an increasing risk of summoning something unstable and unwanted.
The Four Planes of the Departed Souls
Nobody is sure what happens when you die, not even those who have been returned from death, but those that have come back speak of a plane of existence after this one. Overall four separate planes have been recorded as existing after life with the returned agreeing that this is true but disagreeing on the actual features of the planes themselves. As such it is of most peoples opinion that dependant upon how you live determines where you go, but where you go is not necessarily a punishment or reward as the features are unclear.
Knight of Rathgan
-Be accepted into the Border Walkers
-Craft (Trapmaking) 8 ranks
-Spot 4 ranks
-Survival 4 ranks
Skill Points 4+Intelligence modifier
Weapon Proficiencies: gain none
Armour proficiencies: gain none
Endurance feat at first level
Trap sense as a barbarian at 1st level increasing by 1 at 4th, 7th and 10th level. This ability stacks with that of the barbarian
Trap finding as the ability of a rogue, this ability does not improve the ability of a rogue who already has it.
Combat style. Chose one of the following styles. Melee or Ranged
Melee-At lvl1 you gain the Quick Draw feat, at lvl5 you may use weapon finesse to apply your dex modifier to any one handed weapon you are proficient with, at lvl10 you may perform a greater sneak attack once per day with a melee weapon. This sneak attack uses d8 in place of d6 and counts the opponent as being flanked so long as there is another ally threatening him.
Ranged-At lvl1 you gain the Rapid Reload feat, at lvl5 you may perform a ranged sneak attack from a distance of 45 ft, at lvl10 you may perform a greater sneak attack once per day with a melee weapon. This sneak attack uses d8 in place of d6 and counts the opponent as being flanked so long as there is another ally threatening him.
A border watcher of level two or more may play dead as a response to any damage that would drop them below 0 Hp. They are treated as though they had the Diehard feat but in addition to its regular abilities may drop to the ground, slowing their breathing and feigning death. By making an opposed bluff check to the opponents spot check they can appear dead. Their wounds grant +2 circumstance modifier to this check. If the Border Watcher makes any actions in this state they instantly fail their bluff check. Should the need arise a border watcher can make a sneak attack from this position, but suffers all the penalties associated with being prone.
Dune Runner. Border watchers of 4th level or higher suffer no movement penalties on any kind of sand and gain a 5ft move increase when in sandy environments
Door sense. A 5th level Border watcher can make a search check to find any secret door which they pass within 10ft of.
Sand stirrer. An 8th lvl border watcher gains an additional 5ft of movement speed in sandy environments. In addition to this they also gain a +2 bonus in sandy environments to trip checks and to attack rolls made from a flanking position. Furthermore a border watcher gains a 5ft burrow speed in sand (but no means of breathing underground). Typically this ability is used to submerge the individual in sand with only their head sticking out as they lie in ambush. This grants them +20 circumstance modifier to hide checks and total cover.
Re: Kalitharsis, The Scourged sands (Setting) WIP [PEACH]
Player Options Mark of the Otrian
A character born within the Otrian forest will likely have a mark of the Otrian. A special tattoo given to the forest dwellers at birth that offers them various protections. It cannot be removed by any form of magic and remains even if they are brought back to life via a true resurrection spell. The tattoo is generally placed upon the forehead though it may be placed elsewhere.
All Marks grant the following powers.
-Forest sense- The character can sense at will the presence of other bearers of the mark. They can detect the exact number of mark bearers and mark types within 120ft of themselves but not their location. They need not concentrate on this to do so but can turn it off at will if in a town or city where it may be a nuisance. This a Spell like ability.
-Guardian of the Forest the character radiates a calming aura that allows the denizens of the forest to know they are a friend. This grants a +2 circumstance bonus on all handle animal checks made within the forest. It also prevents most animals, plants and fey from attacking the bearer within the forest though particularly wild or angry specimens may chose to ignore the sign and attack anyway. Bearers of the mark only heal damage naturally if within the bounds of the forest or within 30ft of a tree. This is a Supernatural ability.
The different types of mark each have the following additional effects.
-Mark of the Tree A bearer of this mark gains a +2 bonus on climb checks and balance checks but suffers a -2 penalty on all swim checks.
-Mark of the Marshes A bearer of this mark gains a +2 bonus on Hide checks and Survival checks but suffers a -2 penalty on all climb checks.
-Mark of the River A bearer of this mark gains a +2 bonus on swim checks and move silently checks but suffers a -2 penalty on all tumble checks.
-Mark of the Sun A bearer of this mark gains a fire resistance of 5 but suffers a -2 penalty on all spot and search checks made in areas of poor illumination (e.g. dungeons or at night)
-Mark of the Moon A bearer of this mark gains dark vision to 30ft (or +30ft to their existing dark vision) but suffers from light sensitivity.
Magic Blooded Substitution levels
Magic Blooded Ability
Magic Blooded Ability
Magic Blooded Ability
Magic Blooded Ability
Magic Blooded Ability
Sometimes a child is born with raw magic in their veins. It is not inherited, it is not tame and it is considered a bad omen. Many magic blooded are killed at birth, the trait showing in some small fashion such as an unusual birthmark, strange eyes, or unnatural hair colour, or skin colour for their race.
A character may opt to be "magic blooded" at level 1. Being magic blooded confers the following abilities. Innate magical gift-Magic runs through your veins. You gain bard as a favoured class and the following skills are considered class skills Knowledge (arcana), Spellcraft, Use Magical Device. You also gain a +2 competence bonus to these skills. You cannot gain psionic abilities, if you have any natural psionic abilities these count as spell like abilities. Pariah-Magic blooded are outcastsmore so than even bards, as such they often develop poor social skills . They suffer a -4 penalty on all diplomacy, bluff and disguise checks but a +2 bonus on intimidate checks. They also suffer a -4 penalty to any perform, tumble, proffesion or other check made to earn money or influence a person who is prejudiced to Magic.
Magic blooded substitution levels may be taken so long as the character has at least as many class levels as they do magic blooded substitution levels (e.g. a Fighter 1/ Magic blooded 1 cannot take another substitution level till they gain a 2nd class level)
Magic Blooded Abilities
One of the following abilities may be taken at each level. Spell blooded-Select a lvl 1 spell from the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list or the Cleric spell list (non domain). You may cast this spell 3/day+1 per point of charisma modifier. Caster level=your Magic blooded level, Save DC is Charisma based. This is a spell like ability. (you may take this ability multiple times chosing different spells) Greater Spell blooded-Select a lvl 2 spell from the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list or the Cleric spell list (non domain). You may cast this spell 3/day+1 per point of charisma modifier. Caster level=your Magic blooded level+2, Save DC is Charisma based. This is a spell like ability. (this ability may only be taken bya spell blooded of lvl 3 or greater) (you may take this ability multiple times chosing different spells) Deep Spell blooded-Select a lvl 3 spell from the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list or the Cleric spell list (non domain). You may cast this spell 3/day+1 per point of charisma modifier. Caster level=your Magic blooded level+3, Save DC is Charisma based. This is a spell like ability. (this ability may only be taken bya spell blooded of lvl 5) Dire Spell blooded-Select a lvl 4 spell from the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list or the Cleric spell list (non domain). You may cast this spell 1/day. Caster level=your Magic blooded level+3, Save DC is Charisma based. This is a spell like ability. (this ability may only be taken bya spell blooded of lvl 5) True Spell blooded-Select a lvl 1 spell from the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list or the Cleric spell list (non domain). You may cast this spell at will. Caster level=your Magic blooded level+3, Save DC is Charisma based. This is a spell like ability. (this ability may only be taken bya spell blooded of lvl 5) One with the world-You are better attuned with the natural world. You heal ability damage and health at twice the normal rate. Armour of the Soul-You gain a +2 bonus on saves v spells/spell like abilities. Innate Caster-Spell blooded levels stack with levels another class you have levels in for determining caster level, spells per day and spells known. You must be able to cast divine or arcane spells with another class to take this ability. Blood of Power-Your caster level is considered two levels higher when casting arcane or divine spells or spell like abilities. (You must be at least lvl 4 to take this ability) Blood of Flame-You gain fire resistance 5 (you cannot take this ability if you already have blood of Ice, this ability may be taken multiple times each time increasing the resistance by 5) Blood of Ice-You gain cold resistance 5 (you cannot take this ability if you already have blood of Fire, this ability may be taken multiple times each time increasing the resistance by 5) Blood of Acid-You gain acid resistance 5 (you cannot take this ability if you already have blood of thunder, this ability may be taken multiple times each time increasing the resistance by 5) Blood of Thunder-You gain electricity resistance 5 (you cannot take this ability if you already have blood of Acid, this ability may be taken multiple times each time increasing the resistance by 5)
Re: Kalitharsis, The Scourged sands (Setting) WIP [PEACH]
Barbarians-Common to the Wilderness of the desert are barbarians. Wether they be savages, nomads or a tribal clan there are an abundance of Barbarians in the world who have chosen to make their own way in life instead of confininf themselves to the established cities. Some however do eventually find that either through the alure of adventure, gold or through tragic circumstances that force them to move, they end up working as hired thugs and bodyguards for the wealthier parts of society.
Bards-Those with the blood of dragons or some other arcane heritage become bards. Outcasts from society they hide their innate magical gifts in order to avoid persecution. There once was a time when the dragon blooded may well have been able to defeat any who opposed them but that was long ago. Now the bloodlines are so diluted that even those directly descended from the greatest dragons can still only master a few spells (for the purpose of qualifying for heritage feats bards count as sorcerers).
Clerics and Druids-The wildmen of the forest and the followers of the God's lost most of their powers after the Scourging, or possibly just before. It is not known why but the world was cut off from direct divine contact and nobody has heard directly from the Gods since the event. People still speak the druidic language and call upon the divine powers though but they can only muster enough energy for simple tasks of healing and protection, many who speak the secret language actually being Rangers and many in high ranked positions within the faiths being Paladins. The divine energy is out there... but men cannot contact it effectively (Rangers may select Druidic as a bonus language)
Fighters-If barbarians are the warriors of the wilds then Fighters are the warriors of civilization. More than the lowly warrior a fighter is a trained soldier who through a priviliged background or lucky chance has become more than just another hired sword and learned the ways of battle from a master. Some of course need no teacher and are simply naturally gifted but in the aftermath of the Scourging one thing a fighter can always rely on is that somebody will be willing to hire them.
Monks-Monks are a welcome sight to any village in the desert. Lone travellers who will fend off the current threat in exchange for a meal and a bed for the night, Monks are praised by the people for doing the work of whatever God they may believe in. Some particularly Religious Monks may even rise to a high ranked position of their clergy while others are content to wander the land helping those they meet and looking for a greater meaning in life.
Paladins-Of all the Paladins the most famous are thos of Rathgan. Zealous warriors who seek the destruction of evil, the righting of wrongs and the betterment of the people. Paladins are often viewed as the salvation of the sands in these cursed times. But a paladin's honour does not mean what it once did. Many take oaths that are more "liberal" than their peers would like, the most notable being the seekers of the dawning light. Others claim that a Paladin is nothing more than a sellsword who preaches justice while charging the poor for their services. (Paladins may be either Chaotic Good or Lawful Good, if they change their alignment they lose their powers)
Rangers-Wandering the forests of Otrian, walking the borders, leading trade parties and caravans across the desert. A rangers work is never done. The land is hostile, a fact that follows people wherever they go and so any who seek to move from one place to another will need a good guide. The same goes for defending a place or a patch of land from theives. A rangers tracking skills are invaluable as is their knowledge of plants and nature.
Rogues-The Order of Rathgan believes that only through the united effort of the world can these dark times be put behind us. The Cult of Gold on the other hand cliams that money is our salvation both in the present and the future. Rogues often consider themselves above the law. They may rob from the rich to give to the needy or just to keep for themselves. Rogues are an invaluable resource to any who would search for the lost treasures found in sealed tombs and ruins beneath the sands. Excellent infiltrators and spies they also find strong places in society and working for the governing bodies.
Wizards-It is Wizards who are blamed for the Scourging and all of them are now gone from the world as is most magic written down by the hand of man. Magic still fills the world but the means to control it is lost. the scourging destroyed most historical records and writing and with it took the knowledge of how to control magic. Perhaps somewhere there waits a tome that survived the disaster and waits for soembody to unravel its secrets, perhaps not.
Psions-Some view them as humanities saviours, others as no better than wizards. Regardless of what people think a Psions innate psychic powers allow many to rise to positions of power in their chosen field, their intelligence also being a great boon to this. Though they existed before the scourging the scourging itself awakened a great deal more Psionic potential amongst the survivors of the tragedy. Powerful Psions are often a rarity but small time Psions are far from being an uncommon resource, used by both civil law bodies, guards and also illigitimate businessmen.
Psychic Warriors-Some fighters find they have been gifted with psychic strength which they persue their development of in expense of their fighting skills. Psychic warriors find much the same employment as fighters either in mercenary, bodyguard or even pit fighting work. Their ability to manifest powers however grants them some appeal that regular fighters lack when it comes to finding employment and so their sword hands are rarely out of work.
Wilders-Unlike Psions Wilders are often feared in a similar manner to users of magic. While a Psion controls his power with intelligence and directed thought the Wilder's unpredictable nature leads many to associate them with the taboo of Sorcerery. A skilled Wilder though can easily pass themself off as a Psion but the social fears of some smaller communities still associate all manifestations with magic.
Warlocks and Shadowcasters-Practitioners of the dark magic these two forms of spellcaster call upon forces that survived the scourging. The warlocks bargain with demonic forces to gain power beyond the reach of most mortals while the Shadowcasters take their powers from a plane many would dare not tread. Both forms of magic are Taboo and generally outlawed yet both are still caried out, taught from master to student, fought against but never eradicated.
Swashbucklers-The life of a swashbuckler still holds appeal despite the absence of any great body of water. The charasmatic nature of these warriors is often a refreshing contrast to the bleak nature of the Sands and so these dashing, occasionally foolhardy, warriors are popular amongst the people as vigilantes, hired heros or wandering travellers who arrive in the nick of time to save the day.
Hexbaldes-Just as bards possess some sorcerous blood so do Hexblades. But whereas Bards often trace their ancestry to dragons, Hexblades often trace theres to demonic and infernal sources. Feared and despised these warriors are avoided at all costs. Often turning to lives of crime or becoming warlords and bandits a few still make an honest living through mercenary work for customers with fewer moral or social qualms.
Scouts-Scouts are a valuable resource in the desert and the forest just as rangers are. Moving ahead and locating danger areas, undead or bandits, a good scout can save a trade caravan much unnecessary danger. Many cravans or military expeditions have been lost, disappearing never to be heard of again, due to their leaders underestimating the value of a good scout.
Re: Kalitharsis, The Scourged sands (Setting) WIP [PEACH]
Ta Sol Ravoq
Situated to the East of the City of the Seven Ta Sol Ravoq is a forbidding place found in the valley of Life. Those headed Edgeward from the city must either take a detour around the valley or pass through it, inevitably having to cross the mighty ruins in doing so. The valley has a number of rivers running about it that meet at the centre of Ravoq and so the ground is fertile and can support plant life. Any attempts to settle the area though have ended in disaster with the settlers vanishing in the night leaving behind half finished houses or villages that haunt the valley. The ruin itslef is a metropolis of ancient stone buildings thought to have been wiped off the face of the land by the scourging only to emerge from the sands once more. They show no evidence of habitation but tunnels lead from this dead surface city into layers of catacombs beneath the surface. Some explorers find treasures of the past age here, others find death in forgotten traps left by the cities previous inhabitants, or, worse still, disappear into the night, snatched away by whatvere malicous force still inhabits the deepest depths of the ruins.
The ancient dragon ruins of Gecis are largely ignored by the populace of the Northern Sands who care little for the relics of their violent and greedy ancestors. No major communities exist around the ruins and so it is a ripe target for adventurers from the south who seek out fortune as they attempt to evade the watchful eyes that man the border. Like most architecture KBS there is little left of Gecis but beneath the collapsed entrances and half buried halls there lies a maze of tunnels and caverns. Thought to once be home to the largest community of dragons in the world its cavernous halls and wide passages make it clear that Gecis belonged to the dragons. Similarly the rich Sculptures and Iconography has strong implications of draconic presence but time has worn away the details and is hard to tell which species ruled the once proud cave complex. Most of the obvious loot has long since been stolen away and taken to Krade'Fulfoth I (whose rulers insist it to be theirs by inheritance) but hidden passages and deeper levels remain untouched and awaiting those who dare to delve deeper into the past. Of course this is not without risk. The dragons left many traps for their hoards, the natural denizens of the desert have also made the caves their homes and (worst of all) the departed spirits of the ruins former inhabitnats haunt the hallways, refilling their hoards with the loot of dead adventurers.
The ominous Shadehearst is an enigma. It rose one night from the desert sands and has remained there ever since. Just outside the area known as the shifting sands it has quickly become the site from which most expeditions to the rising ruins set forth from. Lacking any treasure of its own it would be easily overlooked where it not forth its unusual means of coming into the world and the glyphs and runes that adorn its stones. Shadehearst is comprised of a number of streets temples and small dwellings, many of which have walls inscribed in an ancient and long forgotten tongue that even the most scholarly of adventurers have been unable to decipher. Atop the tallest of its pyramid like temples is a large stone ring inscribed with glowing runes that give off strong magical and psionic emenations of an unkown nature. Due to the nature of the shifting sands and the mystery of the ruins themselves Shadehearst is not occupied though a trade camp has been set up just outside its limits.
The Half City
A site of special interest to the Edge project the half city is the only known ruin that sits right on the edge itself. Its name is derived from the fact that only half of it is believed to remain (explorers have found sewers, basements and cellars that all abruptly get cut off by the edge). Though it has no particularly interesting architecture or history (unlike say Gecis) it is still of interest due to its role as a part of the Scourging. Unfortunately it has frown increasingly hard to tell how much of the damage is a result of the scourging and how much has happenned since then but the fact that some of the buildings are almost entirely in tact raises many questions about the nature of the scourging and how it could ahnihalate one thing completely yet leave buildings so near by unscathed. There is no known settlement within the Half city as it is rife with undead.
Re: Kalitharsis, The Scourged sands (Setting) WIP [PEACH]
The city of the Seven
Divided into eight separate districts with a ninth area at the centre, the city of the seven is a mighty walled city of octagonal shape with powerful defences. The 7 major districts are each divided in turn into 3 minor districts, the outer most being the guard lines, the inner most being the wealthy and effluents’ homes and the in between section being that of the poorer citizens. This honeycomb of walls makes the city easier to defend against attack and also allows separate parts of the city to be quarantined should the need arise. Each of the seven major districts is dedicated to one of the seven accepted True God’s and has a number of shrines and temples to that god throughout its streets. The eighth was originally going to be dedicated to Quizwrax but the Council of the Elder Priests declared him to be a blasphemy and went about routing his followers from the city. Since then the eighth district has degenerated into slums, though its defensive structure remains. There is also a network of sewers that runs throughout the city carefully monitored and protected by traps. The central district is occupied by a great temple to the Gods and it is from here that the Council of the Elder Priests rules over the affairs of the city. The senior most member of each Gods clergy attends the Council alongside 3 valued priests who are elected to work alongside him. This has of course lead to questionable policies with each Elder Priest seeking the benefit of his own section of the city and as such the slums continue to remain slums. There is always four empty seats where the 8th districts representatives may sit but to do so would be to appear would be to acknowledge they followed Quizwrax who’s name is punishable by death if spoken, believed in or written within the confines of the city.
The nigh impenetrable city of Krade'Fulfoth is home to the headquarters of the Cult of Gold and to many of the worlds surviving dragons that have survived their bretherens slow descent into madness. It is believed that the city has the greatest concentration of material wealth in the world but much is kept within vaults deep underground and the sacred hoard itself is forbidden to be touched. Defend first by the salt basin, the large lifeless lake of water surrounding the cities island, and secondly by mighty unblemished stone walls, Krade'Fulfoth has never been invaded. Were its walls to be breached it is rumoured that the city has many mighty artifacts locked away in its vaults that could be brought to war in a time of need, not to mention the might of the cities dragon lords who rule from the aeries of the spire. Past the walls the city expands in all directions. Outwards there are the houses, military barracks, traders and such like who comprise the cities religously (and some mighty say wealth) inspired populace. Up and down rises the mighty spire that pierces the heart of the city. Atop it the Dragon Lords meet to discuss business prospects, politics and oppulence alongside the well ebing of the people and the expansion of the Religion. Down into the earth the spire is surrounded by a mighty chasm, numerous walkways connecting the walls to the spire itself. The hollowed out interior of the spire is a series of passages and staircases that allows access to the vaults that line the chasm walls, these include communal treasuries as well as the personal vaults and homes of the dragons themselves. The sacred hoard is found in the deepest depths of the pit. It is every belonging the dragon Krade'Fulfoth had within his hoard before he departed in search of the answers to his questions over the Edge. It is forbidden to be touched or looked upon, sealed and protected by untold wards, traps, guardians and defenses.
An obvious question about the city is "Why have all of the other people of the world never even attempted to invade it and kill the dragons lords?" The answer is threefold.
1-Its defenses are too great
2-There is no such unity within the world
3-If such a plan were ever made the united army would soon find every mercenary, assassin, sword for hire, bandit and neutral had been hired in the cities defence for a very hefty sum.
Sharadew is surrounded by large stone walls on all sides that are dotted with a multitude of arrow slits and reputedly a number of secret escape hatches. It has a single main entrance, a large wooden gate, that can only be opened from inside. This gate is operated by a series of large chains and pulleys and is closed at night with late visitors forced to use a small side door lead up to by a flight of narrow stone stairs. Unlike the cities of the south Sharadew has little skyline to speak of. Most of the upper buildings are barracks and training halls in addition to a few warehoused that are used by the market that occupies the upper town centre during the day time. The bulk of the city is built underground where the kobolds dig deep in their search for precious stones and minerals. beneath the city is everything from private enterprise, the trappers guild, the central command of the Border Watchers and even burrows for those that live here. New buildings are built in the spaces left by the mining efforts once the miners have cleared on to newer ground. Death is not uncommon here with attacks by underground predators, cave ins and the kobolds short life span and so there is no graveyard of such the dead instead being cremated. The city is run from a large building near the top of the mines (the mines being the name given to everything beneath the surface) called the temple of the scalykind. Here the council of elders meets to discuss politics, make laws and often bicker amongst themselves. No longer under the control of the dragons many elders often try to take on the role of the wyrm and a new wyrm generally orders further mines to be dug in his name.
The city of prospect is home to numerous scholars who have roles within the edge project and is twined with Folgrave. Other than them though the majority of the population is dwarven, coming from the Barrier Range that seperates Prospect from the rest of the world. It was founded so far from the mountains for two reasons. The first because it was built with the intention of studying the edge. The second so that the city dwellers could avoid the constant conflict that rages between the dwarves and the Troglodytes within the mountain range. The architecture is sometimes referred to as being too similar to that of the style favoured by Wizards. Many towers and workshops fill the city as a part of the scholars research. Unsurprisingly few visitors come to the city except for those seeking to escape the turmoil of the mountain wars and those who wish to study the edge. The city is not strictly under the control of any Government and so is instead ruled by a Council comprised of several elected officials
-The Leader of the Guard (typically a dwarf is assigned this position)
-The Trade Official (ambassador to the rest of the world this is often human but should there be a great need for wood an elf may be elected instead)
-The Chief Scholar (voted for by his fellows this is the most learned of those within the city)
-The home envoy (voted to represent Prospect in Folgrave. Typically has access to rare magical items for transport and communication)
-The foreign envoy (not elected in Prospect the foreign envoy is a Kobold from Folgrave carrying out the same function as the home envoy)
-The merchant leader (voted for by the businesses in the city he is in charge of local industry issues)
-The Prime Minister and the four side minsters (voted for by the people they look after other interests)
Folgrave's architecture is not typical of Kobolds due to the involvement by the edge project within the city. Instead of being formed of a mine network it has instead been dug out of the Earth with the intention on having access to the void of the edge itself. Many of the caves that form the city have large steel doors that open out into observation decks and platforms for viewing the edge. Folgrave is ruled directly from Sharadew but it is also influenced by politics in Prospect as well as high ranking members of The project. It is twined with prospect and has numerous scholars and 'scientists' within it. Above ground is mostly a defensive fortification that guards the entrances to the city itself, as well as further observation decks. There are a number of workshops within the city as well as underground springs and plantations. Adjoining cave networks are used for hunting but are guarded well. The city is cut off from the rest of the world by a series of trap filled labyrinthes between the city proper and the surface fortification. These can only be passed through with the help of a guide and as a result few people enter or leave the city. The lowest levels are off access to the public and their viewing platforms are behind doors of rare metals such as adamantium.
Balgziva is under no alliance to any of the various political factions south of the dry flats and has not been bar its first thirty years after it was founded long ago by the Order of Rathgan. Origionally set up as a military city to guard the passage from the north it remains so, acting as the primary supplier for the forts of Blackstone, built upon the western slopes of the path, Thevroth, built upon the eastern slopes and finally Daristock that lies at the centre of the entrance to the passage. Balgziva itself is perhaps one of the most well defended cities in all of Kalitharsis, with the exception of Krade'Fulfoth. Though it lacks the same defensive qualities of cities such as prospect, Highwatch or Folgrave it is built upon a steep hill with a honeycomb of walls and barricades, a single sturdy gate, and numerous seige weapons. It still functions as other cities but military tradition is strong in Balgziva and many grow up to join the army in holding back any invasion from the north. It is rumoured that the city has hidden tunnels running through its walls and foundations, known only to the most trusted of generals and used to harass the lines of any beseiger retreating back into the safety of the fort after each night time strike. It is not allied to any of the great powers as it has an ongoing treaty with them all. Each is expected to contribute to manning the garrison of Balgziva to defend against the mutual enemy in the north, but Balgziva will never ally itself in any war in the south.
A small town on the outskirts of the Northern sands Ferz is a trading post for those seeking refuge in the Northern realms or seeking to travel south. Often used as a meeting point for the Border Walkers it is often visited before they head off on long missions away from home. Built around a large oasis it has a steady supply of water and some crops though much food is gained from trade and hunting. Protected by clay walls it has its own personal town guard in addition to the protection of passing border walkers. Ruled over by a mayor it answers to the main powers of the north as opposed to being truly independant. Built to the east of the road coming out of Havor's Gultch it is generally feared to be the first target likely to be hit in the event of an invasion. As such between it and the main road is Fort Dust hollow. A motionless stone sentinel constantly equipped with a contingent of soldiers.
The first town on the Shade water Weyman has a divers population from a range of cultures. It welcomes all kind and trades in skins and cloths which it produces locally. Though lacking much farmable land it has enough to breed sheep and cows which form much of the diet but are mainly reared for their wool and hides. More like two towns than one most of the dwellings are built into the cliff face and water is gained by lowering buckets into the calmer areas of the rapids. The good supply of water allows the tannery business to thrive here and it is well known that the best leathers come from Weyman. Ruled over by a mayoral commity Weyman answers to the powers of Highwatch but is relatively independant due to its nearness to the dry flats
A part of the Empire ruled over from Highwatch Kapteb is just north upriver from the main city. Its main purpose is the protection of the large dam that prevents the lowlands around the mountain from flooding due to the seasonal changes of the river. More a fortress than a town Kapteb has a strong military presence and high stone walls with multiple levels to offer maximum protection to the controls of the floodgates. Despite being predominantly a military instillation it does have a civilian population as well and is home to numerous forges and smiths. It is also home to a training facility that specialises in teaching those with Psionic gifts how to use them in combative functions.
Located on a bend in the Dor Aol Shonsha is about halfway between the two capitals built upon the river banks. It is a small town under the senates control that is defended by mercaneries and militia. Shonsha is famous for two things. Its boats and its beer. Rafts take people both up and down the river allowing it to trade with both the forest dwellers and those ruled by the senate. It is protected by heavy stone fortifications and is home to numerous bars and taverns. As a result of this many adventuring parties are formed here. This is the origin of the phrase 'wont last two days out of Shonsha' a saying used to describe the typical group of young fools who leave their home town to seek adventure and excitement yet are woefully unprepared. Most of those who set out on a quest from Shonsha don't return and the wise leave the town by boat (the sands around the town being rumoured to be littered with the bodies of dead adventurers waiting to rise).