Xal'noir was originally terraformed to be a prison planet; its limited resources made it useless for much else. At first, the galaxy's greatest criminals were scattered across the planet. The resulting culture that was created was by far expected. Many criminals never met another soul, but eventually some met and brought forth the planet's first native generation. Cultures were created, families were expanded. The planet became steampunk-meets-dark fantasy as gypsy customs, small town traditions and restricted innovations took hold of the people. The only form of government in existence was an organized militia called The Hand that policed the small planet, protecting many from the new criminals that were dropped off. It was a simple planet trying to meet the demands of its few million citizens.
The forces that rule this galaxy are unknown. Some speculate it is a pantheon of gods, others argue it is a single deity that recruits the most powerful spiritual entities to fight on its behalf. Irrelevant of speculation, the Proelium holds the truth. The time between Proelia is not a set amount; instead, the galaxy's governing force simply relocates the spiritually attuned into a single place when enough of those attuned are available. Few know the true nature of this competition, and those few are among the few that even know it exists. The true purpose of the Proelium is shrouded in mystery.
What is understood about this competition, however, is that thousands of spiritually-attuned, or Touched, individuals are bound to a Soul that becomes their spirit familiar, then made fight until a single individual is strong enough to ascend. The contestants of this competition claim that they are taken in their sleep, then awakened in a dream-like daze. They are told that their lives will never be the same, and that they will never return home. They are told they are Warlocks. Thousands of bright lights surround them until one stops, and they are told that this is their spirit. Their Wraith. They are told to fight to the death until only one of them is left standing. They then awaken in a new land, the planet chosen for the Proelium. This time, that planet is Xal'noir.
This is a real simple concept. Lots of ambiguity. I leave a lot of questions unanswered and a lot of doors open for interpretation. Gypsy cultures, dark fantasy, limited technology, steampunk - all of it for the Warlocks to explore, submerse themselves in and learn about. All of it, more importantly, for the roleplayers to use. At a time, I will roleplay the NPC's and setting as well as fill-in-the-blanks with what I feel like the roleplay should be. In terms of Xal'noir, I want the central theme to be the the cultural tension. The Mystical Gypsies (that may know of the Proelium to some degree, or themselves be Touched)
and their vagabond lifestyle, the more traditional settlers that live in small towns and the inventors that are often shunned by both other cultures. On lesser notes, there are the pioneers that still try to settle the farther reaches of Xal'noir, and of course there is The Hand, which often combines the power of Steampunk technology and the Mysticism of Gypsy magic. Just a lot of resources to work with and I don't mind them being used effectively.
Spiritualism in general consists of three components. The Spirit, The Familiar and the Vitum. The Spirit refers to the personal spiritual power of a Warlock. The Spirit has two primarily values and three subvalues for each value. The Visceral value of the Spirit includes the extra strength, agility and endurance that a Spirit has because of its Spiritual power. The Spiritual Value includes the reserves, control and potency of the Spiritual energy that a Spirit has and can use. The Familiar is much like the Spirit in that it has a Visceral and Spiritual Value, but uniquely has an ability. Each Wraith has a single ability that is normally unique to it in some way. The Vitum component represents the Spiritual Link. The Vitum has two values, the Link the Spirit has to the Spirit World and the Link the Spirit has to its Familiar. A Familiar will normally not have a link to the Spirit World without its Spirit. The Vitum itself is essentially the overall Spiritual power of a Spirit-Familiar combination.
The connection to the Spiritual World, and thus Vitum, can grow in many ways. If a Wraith and Warlock train consistently, they will always, albeit slowly, increase their own link and their link to the spiritual world around them. A quicker way is for a Wraith to consume the souls of others. As a Wraith grows more powerful from consumption, it also begins requiring more spiritual energy from the souls it consumes to gain anything. Moreover, the link between a Wraith and Warlock is rarely strengthened by consuming other soul. If a Wraith consumes another Wraith, often it will gain a quality or even the power (to a minor degree)
of the Wraith it consumed. Their are several ways the Vitum can be strengthened, and in doing so it will strengthen both the Spirit and Familiar. However, with training, how and who this Vitum strengthens is optional. This leaves many options for characters to grow in power and uniquely develop their Vitum.
Character templates will reflect the beginning of the roleplay, and nothing more. They merely solidify the starting point.