Dwarf in the Playground
Join Date: Mar 2006
The World of Two Moons [World and Villains]
Note: material presented here is not open game content. I'm simply looking for feedback on a couple of characters and the world concept.
Basic World Background
1. The world has two moons: the Blue Moon (a brilliantly shining blue orb, and also the source of magic), and the Butter Moon (a plain old moon; it's yellow).
2. The world is covered almost entirely in water, and the largest continent (Tubishan) is only about 1.5 times the size of Greenland.
3. There are three continents: a) Esoria--a southern continent with two major empires, Hemraena and Sartara, on opposite ends. b) Tubishan--a largely unexplored land in the far northeast, Sartara has set up a colony there. They are constantly harried by wyrms, one of the least intelligent and powerful, but most numerous, Dracons. 3) Theranis--a warm continent situated right on the equator. On its southern end is an (as of yet unnamed) small trading nation that has become incredibly powerful due to their advanced technologies; while in the north is a vast desert known as the Stone Sea. (This desert was formerly the Gulf of Theranis; it was accidentally petrified by the well-meaning sorcerer-in-training, Dagario.)
4. The world is protected by the World-Goddess, Gaia. Gaia is literally a conglomeration of every soul (of every living creature) on the planet, giving her the worship-name of "The Voice of All". However, the generally benevolent goddess has a tendency to become rather domineering when it comes to the fates of her Voices (mortal avatars).
5. The world's connection with the Blue Moon is the Moonstone, a crystal made of magic that is replenished yearly by the Moon itself.
6. Ten Draconic pseudo-deities exist out of time and space. They live off of the energy of the planet, and in return, protect it. The Dragon God of Time has died, while the fate of the Dragon God of Darkness is better left unmentioned.
1. Humans--due to the iron in their blood, they have more trouble with magic than any other race.
2. Dwarves--bizarre extraplanar green creatures more similar to goblins than the more common Nordic model
3. Fey--a race of blue-skinned people about half the height of humans, who have blue skin, red hair, and extraordinarily long ears. They live in the forest and are ruled over by the mysterious Faerie Queen. A little-known fact is that they were once human; when magic was brought to the world, they were accidently saturated in it and mutated, becoming beings of half-flesh and half pure magical power.
4. Elves--fey/human crossbreeds (but don't like to admite it); they do not have blue skin, but are still about a head and a half shorter than humans and have slightly elongated ears
5. Qats--a race of highly evolved and intelligent felines who fled to the Butter Moon prior to the takeover of the Dracons during the early history of the planet.
6. Dracons--a collective term referring to the draconic subspecies and the reclusive magical reptiles themselves.
An exceedingly common gift among humans, although there are certain people with extra magical power (Talents) and others with none at all (Untouched). The amount of magical power a person can use, on top of their inborn talents, is equal to the amount of energy a person would be able to exercise normally (think Eragon). You cannot kill yourself through exhaustion due to magic; if you are seriously injured, your body recognizes that magic is its least neccesary function, and so it is the first to be lost (meaning that if a spell would take all of your strength, you simply can't use it). There are six escalating types of magic-users. These are:
1. Mage--individuals who use their wills to sculpt raw arcane power from their bodies into magical effects. Very easy (almost all humans are mages, simply due to inborn talent), but often imprecise and slightly hamfisted.
2. Witch/warlock--individuals who create effects and items through the manipulation of other items. Potentially fairly powerful, but often expensive, due to the hard-to-locate nature of many items.
3. Wizard--individuals who use words (no special language; just any word that is meaningful to the caster) to describe effects that they would desire, and then shape power into those effects. Similar to magecraft, but much more precise and efficient; however, often requires the wizard to diligently study magical theory.
4. Summoner--individuals who call and bind other creatures to their will through the usage of witchcraft and wizardry. Summoning creatures can create effects far beyond what the caster would normally be able to accomplish (due to borrowing energy rather than using it), but it requires precise execution in order to stave off disaster.
5. Enchanter--individuals who create self-sustaining effects through highly skilled usage of witchcraft and wizardry. The creation of permanent effects is a highly desirable ability; however, it requires even more precision than wizardry, and enchanters often spend more time studying their spells to ensure that they work than actually using them.
6. Sorcerer--an epic spellcaster. Sorcerers are the people who are able to use all forms of magic in perfect tandem, creating spells that can alter the histories of entire worlds, or more. However, becoming a sorcerer requires an incredibly powerful magical heritage (even very few Talents ever manage to become sorcerers) combined with an utter devotion towards the craft.
1. Iron--Iron nullifies magic within a certain radius. However, it does not nullify the results of magic. So, for example, if a ball of magical fire passed through a space choked with iron filings, the fire would remain, but would no longer be magical. Since iron nullifies magic, fey (and, to a lesser extent, elves) avoid it, as it burns them.
2. Curum--A form of treated copper mass-produced and then sold at a premium by (the unnamed trade nation). Like copper, it is an exceptional conductor of heat, electricity, and magical energy. Unlike copper, it is unbelievably strong. Due to curum's strength and magically-friendly nature, most tools and weapons are made from it, thus explaining (the trade nation)'s vast coffers. Curum is seen by major magical artificers to be a "poor man's aquasteel".
3. Aquasteel--The strongest substance in the world. Aquasteel is a special form of non-ferrous steel imbued with the element of water, making it flexible, near-indestructible, an even better conductor than curum (and also giving it a beautiful Mediterrranean-blue semitransparent color). However, since it is impossible to melt aquasteel, it must be shaped magically. For this reason, and the difficulty associated with making it (every step must be done by hand), it is exorbitantly expensive. However, due to its nature as a fantastic conductor for energy of all types, it is prized by artificers.
(AAAAND now, the main attraction! This guy is my main villain, so enjoy!)
Dagario, the Devourer
Dagario was once human. Due to his vast magical powers (he was a Talent of sorcery), intellect, and utter selflessness, he was cast out from his island tribe. Not because they feared him, not because they hated him, but because they loved him. The young boy's utter benevolence and trust in strangers led him to accidentally betray the entire tribe to a band of seagoing marauders. Fortunately, his honesty alerted the tribe elders to his accidental misdeed, and they were forced to relocate. Although only a child of seven years, Dagario realized the nature of his accidental crime, and, halfway through the tribe's oversea escape, he devised a spell to get them to a place of safety. However, due to his naive nature, he specified a "place of safety" as "anywhere the attacking pirates weren't". Due to his vast powers, this ended up teleporting the entire ship about eight feet above the shore on a small island. Needless to say, the ship was dashed against the rocks, and several people died. The boy came to the tribe elders, crying, asking what he could do to help mend his crim. The elders saw that he genuinely wanted to help, and their hearts warmed to him. They decided to put him in the care of a kindly old sorcerer who lived on a nearby island, as they knew and trusted the man, and felt that this would be a good channel for the boy's talents. And so, after repairing the ship, the tribe dropped him off with the old sorcerer. Dagario tearfully waved his family and friends goodbye, promised to send them messages via magic, and began his new life.
...The sorcerer was a stern tutor, but not an unkind one, and under him, Dagario learned much. By the age of sixteen, his master decided that he was prepared to be tested to see if he was ready to become a full-fledged sorcerer. The test: to devise, record, and successfully enact, a great spell with the express intent of solving a problem in the world. Dagario smiled, and though back to his tribe. He eventually decided that it would have been much easier for them to flee from the pirates had there been some sort of overland transportation throughout the Gulf of Theranis. And so he began devising a great spell that would create a great, sky-scraping brige of stone from each major island in the Gulf to the shore. The spell required a device to channel the energy through; after all, Dagario reasoned, no mere human such as himself would ever be able to channel that much energy without his or her body turning into so much powdered ash. And so, every night, he poured the last of his remaining strength from the day's work into the device and collapsed into bed, exhausted. Eventually, the device had enough energy stored to cast the spell, and he began his work. Although the device focused and stored the energy, it did not regulate its safe release, and so Dagario had to retain the utmost concentration on the spell. Unfortunately, one of his magical messengers returned at the most inopportune moment bearing a message from his family. His concentration was broken, and the energy from the spell was released all at once, uncontrollably. Every drop of seawater in the entire Gulf was turned to sand. Needless to say, his master was furious.
...Upon his eighteenth year, Dagario was still striving to please his master, whose mind was beginning to go in his old age. However, he had came to realize that he desired something else, something that he had only dreamed of in passing, and had dismissed as something for someone else. He had read about this kind of feeling in a book before, but what was it? He decided that, from the descriptions in his readings, the best word for what he wanted was romance.
...But how would he get this dream? Even he himself realized that he was a danger to the rest of the world. Besides, he thought, even if I could get a woman to love me, how would I know that I wouldn't hurt her? Sure I could protect her, but what about the danger I pose? He spent months on this conundrum, cursing his fate for being a Talent, scorning his gifts. Finally, he decided to take the problem into his own hands.
...Dagario decided that, if he split his soul in two, created a woman's body, and gave half of the soul to it, he would eventually heal from the split, and he and his Celine (for that was what he decided to name her) would live together for the remainder of their natural lives. Fearing that his master would disapprove, he hid his studies, masking his constructions as a new means to contain malevolent spirits. Eventually, the spell was ready, and, as he cast it, he revealed it to his master, attempting to garner favor from his role model one last time. The great sorcerer was horrified, knowing that such a split would cause the soul to collapse, resulting in a being of pure emptiness. He tried to stop his pupil, but the young man's soul was already within the construct, and what he feared had come to pass: Dagario's consciousness was now encapsulated within the machine, and his soul had already collapsed.
...The master sorcerer wept, but knew that there was nothing to be done. He readied his most powerful spell of cleansing to destroy the fallen student...but even he had underestimated the power of his pupil. The machine shrugged off the devastating spell like drops of water, and the globe that was meant to contain the soul, now empty, hovered forth. Six enormous shards of blackened curum hovered up to the sphere, and began floating around it, taking a spiderweb of glowing red veins across the surface, and razor-sharp edges. All that Dagario knew at this time was hunger; hunger for his misguided dream, and and even greater hunger for that which he had lost. He let his hunger envelop the entire tower, probing, questing for something to consume...
...The old sorcerer tried to run from the pull, but it was too late. He felt a wrenching deep within his bosom, and a small, wispy white globe emerged. He reached out for it: it felt warm, but it was like trying to catch smoke on the breeze. The master's soul fell into the empty globe within the construct, becoming no more than a tiny white spark. He hungered...
...Years passed, and the fallen Dagario, now known as the Devourer, single-mindedly continued to seek to fill the gaping maw within his being. He amassed an army of those he had consumed, altered them, made them more powerful. He began rapidly taking territory, and a war begin: Dagario versus everyone else. Eventually, he took Coros, the crater in which the Moonstone lay, in southern Esoria. With it, he was able to power his greatest weapon: the Soulshifter, a device that created a spiritual black hole, centered on himself, allowing to absorb the lifeforce of Gaia Herself. However, the defenders of the world (now known as the Order of the Silver Shield) learned of this plan, and took shelter with the Qats on the Butter Moon. They returned, and the war continued, the Order slowly giving ground with each skirmish.
...Eventually, the Order formed a desperate plan: to retake Coros at all costs. They sent a wave of their most elite fighters, led by the famed Gared, to take the crater and destroy the Soulshifter. They succeeded in conquering the crater, but the Moonstone was nowhere to be found. After about a month of fruitless searching, it became apparent that Dagario had relocated the Stone to his fortress on the southeast.
...Meanwhile, the Dragon Gods of Time and Darkness were creating a plan to seal away the Devourer and saving the planet. During the Order's siege of Dagario's fortress, the two pseudo-deities appeared. The God of Time sacrificed all of his life energy to teleport every creature on the planet that was still alive four thousand years into the future, killing himself. After that, the God of Darkness wove a spell about himself and Dagario, forcing the fallen sorcerer within his own body. However, he paid a terrible price for this: his body disintegrated into a great mountain, in which there was an unreachable cave where Dagario was magically trapped. Additonally, as a last-ditch effort, Dagario devoured the Dragon God's soul, transforming his consciousness into a tiny bead of darkness that was slave to his every whim. This bead, known as the Dark Pearl, lay waiting in Coros...
...But it isn't over.
...The Dark Pearl has awoken. It has located its next prey, and has struck. The boy was, of course, a Talent, and although he was nowhere near Dagario's power, he was great in his own way. Strong of mind...Dagario was not able to consume him, and so unbalanced his soul instead, making use of the boy as a manipulated servant. And slowly, the boy amasses power for him...
Read, read, read, read the homebrew
Character design on villains is so much more fun.
"So you have no more fear? Then there's nothing left to threaten you with, is there? You are completely free."--V
"Concealed behind strong barriers the heart becomes ice."--Darwi Odrade