Welcome to the land of Forndeilum.
It is a land of great strife. Throughout its long history, there has been more war than peace. About forty years ago, a great natural cataclysm, brought on by Father Earth himself, brought an end to a thousand-year long time of general warfare. Tens of thousands perished in the span of a few weeks. Countless cities, ravaged by the war, were obliterated overnight.
The Elves blamed the Dwarves, The Dwarves blamed the Elves, and humans blamed each other. None of them dared to provoke Father Earth, so they all reluctantly agreed to a ceasefire. None of the nobles wanted peace, but it was rammed down their throats nonetheless.
Being of divine power, Father Earth did not truly comprehend the mortal species. The peace, being forced, was not bound to last. His children, the acid-spitting behemoths known commonly as dragons, claimed many locations throughout the world, sometimes enforcing the peace, but mostly spreading chaos.
You are a member of three main factions. You are either human, Dwarven or elven. Of late, tensions have been rising. Rulers of the various kingdoms have been salivating over their neighbors' territories and treasures. Some kings wish to redraw the borders. None dare yet engage in full-scale war, but border clashes between nobles' armed forces are frequent.
The nations and realms
In the ancient days, Dwarven holds could be found throughout all the great mountains of the world. As the thousand-year war progressed, many were lost or abandoned. Near the end of the war, only six of their holds remained. When Father Earth forced his peace down the collective throats of the mortal species, four of these six were ruined. All the other ruins were filled up with magma, sealed away for all eternity. Dragons claimed some of the surviving ruins, trolls the others.
Dwarvenkind split in half, each forming a kingdom around one of the two surviving holds.
Grarsteinn Hold to the northeast and Salsteinn Hold at the southern edges of the Svartsal mountains, near the middle of the continent. (Yes, east and west are opposite of each other in this world)
Being separated by great distance, the two Dwarven kingdoms do not interact often, occasionally trading, other times fighting over salvage from the few parts of the ruins accessible.
Dwarven society is clannish. Each clan specializes in one area of expertise, some being miners, others being smiths or artificers or traders. To humans, Dwarves are known to trade armors and weapons of superior make, as well as ores and gemstones. Once they have made a deal with a human, a dwarf will not go back on it, honor demands it be fulfilled.
That same honor has little to no meaning when it comes to elves. If you ask the average dwarf, the only good elf is a dead elf. Some extremist Dwarves are known to cook and eat elven flesh.
Life span: 210 years Average Height:[male] 130cm (4' 4'') [female] 125cm (4' 2'') Build: Can be lanky or thickly built. Most are bearded (including women). Weapons of choice: Hammers and axes. Favored food/drink: Meat and mead.
With the breakout of Father Earth's Peace, elves were somewhat luckier than Dwarves. They only lost half their settlements, though their once-glorious homeland of Alfarheim was all but laid in ruin. Tens of thousands of elves died in the process. Some few elves returned to that forest afterwards, but the society of their ancient homeland is all but gone. Most elves can be found in the the forest of Djupskogr, within one of the three surviving settlements there.
Trolls have taken over the ruins.
The elven kings blame the Dwarves for the loss of their ancient homeland, hating them deeply. They similarly mistrust humankind, finding them fickle and short-lived.
Elven commoners don't share the nobles' mistrust of humans. Especially not along the borders. They often trade with them, even breed with them. This crossbreeding has been occurring for countless generations, though only on a limited basis. The common folk simply want peace. Not even the common elves like Dwarves, though their dislike is not the pathological hatred of the nobles.
Life span: 340 years Average Height: [male] 157cm (5' 2'') [female] 150cm (5') Build: Generally lanky and lean. Not overly tall. Pointed ears (about 9-10cm long) Weapons of choice: Bows and arrows Favored food/drink: Mostly greens, though they also eat fish and rarely some meat. Water and some wine.
The humans of the world live in four fairly well-defined kingdoms. Before and during the war, they had more than twice that number of kingdoms, but the peace ruined many, even obliterated some entirely. The ruins of the old kingdoms are now inhabited by trolls, making it unwise to enter their ruined cities.
The kings and nobles of the four kingdoms rarely agree with each other, fighting over all sorts of things. They still honor Father Earth's Peace, though they chafe at the leash. They want the old days to return, when they ruled major parts of the world. They accept Dwarves, though they would much rather not pay for the treasures and goods they trade for. Elves are not to be trusted at all.
Human society is feudal, so though the human commoners, like the elven commoners, don't really want war, they often have little choice. However, the further from the cities, the less the commoners care about laws and regulations. All war means to them is death. There is no honor, no reward, only death and destruction.
Along the borders to the Eleven realms of Djupskogr, it is not unusual to see families of mixed ancestry, though these are considered worse than vermin by the nobles.
Life span: 76 years Average Height:[male] 172cm (5' 7'') [female] 165cm (5' 6'') Build: Generally muscular. Taller and heavier than elves. Round-eared (5-6cm long) Weapons of choice: swords and spears. Favored food/drink: Meat, greens, grains, fishes. Water, wine, some mead.
Fairly common among the border folk, those of mixed ancestry are viewed as something just above (or occasionally beneath) vermin by nobles of both species. Their parents are generally seen as traitors to the species by the same nobles. The common folk on the other hand don't really care for or against them. Halfbreeds generally have even less interest in war, as they would be forced to pick one parent over another (unless mixing of the blood is further back, as it occasionally is).
Life span: Depends on rough amount of elven/human blood in ancestry. 50-50 has lifespan of about 200 years. (function: (elf% + man%)/2 Average Height: [male] 160cm (5' 4'') [female] 150cm (5') Build: bulkier than elves, thinner than humans. Semi-pointed ears (7-8cm long) Weapons of choice: Bows and arrows, short swords. Favored food/drink: varies
Of the other species in the world, the most notable are trolls and dragons. Both rose to prominence with Father Earth's Peace. There several other species of monstrous creatures, but they lack all semblance of true sentience (ogres, marsh stalkers, great arachnids, etc)
Being of stone, Trolls kill all organic beings they come across. Their view of Dwarves is pure hatred. They can be found throughout mountains, within ruins and of course in caves. Though they are neither very smart nor very fast, they are extremely lethal up close. They are also very hard to kill, as most weapons don't bite into their stony bodies.
Dragons on the other hand are smart. Very smart. They are born with a mastery of tactics. They hate all the mortal species. With Father Earth's Peace, their kind rose to dominate many regions of the mountains, making it impossible for Dwarves to live within those regions. Beyond eating mortals, dragons are known to capture females of mortalkind, using them as breeders for their abominable dragonborn.
Dragonborn are monstrous, scaled humanoids. In the birthing process they tear their way out of their mother's womb, killing her and then devouring the flesh. Unlike the dragons, Dragonborn can venture into even smallest corridors of the lost Dwarven holds. They share their creators' hatred of all mortal species.
There will be three playable factions. If the RP lasts long enough, more may be opened up. It all depends on how the story goes. Some may even be closed down, if that fits the story best.
If you are human, you are a part of the human kingdom of Storvollr. You might be a commoner, or you could be an impoverished noble, far from the top. No matter which you are, you answer to higher authorities, be they greater nobles or the king himself. Your ancestors might be of the kingdom, or the could come from one of the others, that matters not. Your loyalty is, for better or worse, to the king of Storvollr.
To the north lies the Dwarven realm of Salsteinn Hold, while the elven kingdom of Djupskogr lies to the east. Your king does not trust the Dwarves entirely, coveting their treasures.
Equally, he deeply mistrusts the elves, wanting to cut down their forests for lumber.
Past the ruined and troll-infested Dwarfhold in the southernmost tip of the Svartsal mountains, lies the closest neighboring human kingdom, that of Austanvollr. Your king does not like them either.
Your king has tasked you to deal with his neighbors, one way or another.
If you are Elven, then you serve the nobles of the forest city of Digrlauf Tjaldvagnar and the king of Djupskogr. You might live within that self-same city, or you could be further out, near the fringes of the forest. Your rulers see enemies both to the north and to the west. To the southeast, there be monsters.
Your rulers wish their enemies, imagined or not, to be subtly punished. You are not to engage in open warfare, but you may kill your foes.
If you are Dwarven, then you live within the great Dwarven kingdom of Salsteinn Hold. It is not as magnificent as the ancient domain of dwarvenkind, but it is nonetheless rich. Your clan was once far more prosperous. The dwarven king is dying, he has no living heir, but must pick one or risk a clan war. As your chief has royal ambitions, but does not stand out among the other chieftains, he needs something done. That is where you come in. You are to make sure that your chief stands out among the others, raise your clan to its former glory and at the same time make sure that the much-hated elves do not interfere in all this. How you go about it is undetermined, but go about it you must. To make matters worse, several other chieftains have similar ambitions.
If you should happen to be of mixed (human-elf) ancestry, then you are sore out of luck. Neither of your parent peoples trust you. Yet you are perfectly positioned to understand them both. The common folk of the border lands, being your immediate ancestors, don't hate you the way the nobles do, but they don't have the power to protect you.
You must choose which people you believe in or find yourself isolated. The common folk of the border don't want war, but the nobles want it, though they dare not yet declare it.
Magic exists. It is a powerful tool, but it is not all-powerful. It is a force onto itself. It can accomplish what mundane acts cannot, but it can be treacherous, misfire or even backfire. If carefully managed, it will usually do as wanted.
Magic, like any other action, has a cost. The cost might be taken when you use it, after you use it, or even before you use it. For the most part, the cost comes in partial or complete exhaustion, but to expect it to behave one way is to set oneself up for disappointment.
All species can wield magic, but not all members of any of the mortal species. Because of its occasionally capricious nature, many fear magic and its wielders. This is also so because most people don't understand it. Some nobles consider wielding magic a crime.
Despite all the dangers, many of those with the aptitude choose to wield it, believing the rewards outweigh the risks.[/hider]
I'll be playing, as you know.
indeed we know.
If you'll have me, I'll try my hand.
I'll join in, if permitted.
so long as people don't drop out suddenly without warning, take part and can write clear enough for others to understand, then we see no reason to deny.
We'll wait for a few more before making OOC and such. With three factions it'll take a bit higher player count. (and redundancy is needed.)
any questions about it all?
What sort of characters are the ones interested in so far thinking of taking on?
I will most likely be playing either a human scout of sorts, or a human fighter.
seems pretty interesting o.O
That was part of the goal, ZayZe. Won't be much of an RP if it is boring, would it?
We're working on revising the map a bit, as well as planning more details for the OoC stage. Map changes are mostly cosmetic. Replacing the symbols with ones that arent as pixelated and moving a few settlements somewhat.