We have finally begun to make some progress again after the attack on Dawnstar Cathedral. Moving the operation to the City of Ash was not something I was looking forward to at first, but after several weeks, I'm beginning to understand why it has become a haven for criminals and cultists. With what we're working on, we should fit right in...
Destiny's End is a High Fantasy style rpg where players take the role resurrected mortals to fight an Immortal army of Demi-God like creatures. A mixture of several idea's and settings, instead of making an RPG based on the source material I decided to go with something that was amalgamation of the ideas to make something new. Mainly based on Kingdom's of Amalur which had a good concept, but terrible story and setting. With a touch of Dragon Age, Exalted, Changeling, Elder Scrolls, and Battle Chasers I plan to make it a bit more interesting than what the game had to offer.
Trials 46 through 52 ended in failure. The souls simply don't want to latch onto the flesh. We either end up making zombies, sometimes worse, or the subjects simply stay dead and the soul returns to The Well. With news from the frontlines in Alyern getting more desperate, I have begun to radically adjust the restrictions given to me by the Council. Tonight, we'll be trying again on Subject 53, this time with two souls...
Destiny's End takes place in the world of Ethoss. A world vastly different from our own, Ethoss is a singular continent surrounded by an Ocean. An ocean which dissipates into a phenomena known as the Mists. Surrounding the "World", is a large, dense mass of Mist that cannot be penetrated by light or magic. To enter the Mists is to leave this world, and only a handful have ever been able to make the trip back. The continent of Ethoss is assaulted sometimes with "Mist Storms", hurricane shaped storms that devastate the coastal regions of Ethoss. These storms leave behind traces of what lies beyond the Mists. Alien plants and animals that do not belong in the fairly normal Ethoss. Magical terrain, such as floating islands and Glaciers that do not melt. The greatest gift it leaves behind is Azoth, magical essence used to bolster the power of spells and artifacts. Without the Mist Storms, much of the magic in Ethoss simply would not exist.
Ethoss itself was not created, but discovered. The creatures beyond the Mist, the Old Ones and the Fae, discovered Ethoss through the Mists. Back then it was a land ravaged by the Storms from their chaotic home plane. A small group of Fae decided to help bring balance to the ravaged world. With their power of the magical chaos, they were able to heal the land and bring to it some semblance of life. Eons of time past, and soon the Fae began to find themselves transformed by their tillage. Unable to break apart from the world, they pledged themselves to it's protection. Over time plants, animals, and humans began to appear on the lone continent. The Fae watched these with curiosity, but did not interfere. However the primitive humans, on first seeing the Fae, began to worship them as Gods. This lead to the creation of the first Deities, as the aspects of the Human's worship further mutated the Fae, and gave them aspects that were not originally present. The Gods, created by Man, were bound to their prayers, and their iconography. Fearing what would happen to them should they allow Humans to continue worshiping more of them, the Fae created the Courts of Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring. Four distinct Nations, tied to the seasons that would present their own iconography and firmly entrench the Fae into a form they could dictate. The Courts also had the advantage of giving Nation to a race of gods, thus making humans less susceptible to worship what would now be seen as a separate race.
The Fae are beings of pure chaos, and thus they do not have a true form except the one they choose to take. This was true for millennia on Ethoss, until mankind showed up. Seeing the Fae as Gods, they began to worship them. While some Fae simply told them to stop and returned to the Forests, some chose to stay and relish in the adoration of the first tribes of men. This was their first mistake. See the emotional investment, and worship humanity put on these Fae was too powerful for the Fae to ignore over long periods of time. Eventually their minds began to warp, and their bodies began to change and get locked into a single form. A Fae who was worshiped as a War God, would be transformed into the iconic vision that tribe had of a War God. This transformation would give him a lot of power, and the worship of mortals also lent itself to this power. One horrible side effect from this was that if two Gods who were similar enough began to get worshipped as one in the same, they would meld together and cease to be separate beings. The Fae who were not worshiped feared this effect becoming widespread, and thus took measures to stop it before it got out of hand. In the current Age there are only around 13 Major Gods, but a couple dozen minor ones.
The races of Ethoss divide themselves into Nations, Kingdoms, and Empires just like any other fantasy setting. The difference here is that they all must contend with the common threat of the Mists. Any moment a sea Leviathan could swim through the Mists and destroy a small fishing village, or a Mist Storm can blow in leaving a Dragon made out of lava ready to rampage. The other difference is that they are all subject to Fate. The Fae feared what would happen if total chaos was allowed to reign in Ethoss for too long. They also didn't want to have to babysit it ever waking hour, so they created an Artifact that would monitor things for them. This Artifact, that has no physical form or location, is known as Fate. It weaves itself into the fabric of reality, assuring that each and every action taken by the sentient races of Ethoss, are accountable, and left to few divergences. This means that nearly every action someone takes is planned several steps in advanced. This allows Seers and Oracles to see into the future correctly, as well as let the Fae keep one foot ahead of the Mortal Races.
The Soul Hierarchy is beginning to take form. I believe, I have discovered three of the necessary components to bring life back into the dead. The Defining Soul, the Protective Soul, the Expressive Soul. I am still missing something. I pray to Irori every night that the answer comes to me soon. While our goal was to cheat death, I believe we have found something more...
Also known as Courtiers, True Elves, and Mistlings, were the first sentient race on Ethoss. Discovering the world from beyond the Mists, they descended down on the chaos ravaged land and brought order to it. Settling down after realizing they did not wish to leave, they began to allevate the lesser races of Ethoss. Shapeshifting, and magical talent are natural to the Fae, who do so as if it was breathing. There true power comes from their Immortality, which goes beyond power of aging. When a Fae is cut down, or violently slain, they do not die. After a time period, depending on their personal power and influence, their body will be recreated perfectly and with full memories. This process is not understood by the mortal races, but it seems to stem from the fact that they are not from this world. Some believe this trait stems from something written into Fate, since Fae seem to have no trouble killing each other in the rare occasions that they do.
Regions: Valefor Woods, Allabastra
Religion: None, but Reverence toward the Old Ones.
Appearance: Technically a Fae can appear as whatever they desire, but most seem content with appearing as a humanoid made of plant life in the aspect of their season. With the fall of the Spring and Autumn courts, Fae of the Summer and Winter courts take up those aspects, from changing leaves to budding flowers.
Also known as Light Elves, or Spring Elves. The Ljosalfar began as the Spring Court, and over many ages simply stood besides their fellow Courts. However, the desire that defined their court led them to mingle with the mortal races more than other Fae. This eventually lead to a crippling drive to feel what the mortals felt, and thus began the search for the path to transforming themselves. This lead to a magical ritual, that transformed them into the Ljosalfar. Now mortal they were susceptible to the laws of death, could now procreate, and finally could understand the effects of time. While some would call it a mistake, most of the Ljosalfar see it as a gift that they would not ever exchange. The Ljosalfar still retain an understanding of magic, and their culture is greatly influenced by their Fae culture. Both Elf races are long lived, a side-effect of their origins, and the oldest live for several centuries.
Regions: Alethela, Aimidia Island
Religion: None officially, but some Ljosalfar have been converted to the Pantheon.
Appearance: The skin and hair of the Light Elves take on vibrant colors. Blue skin, red hair, and eyes that sparkle with gold flakes. These vibrant colors spread into their clothing, as well as their city's decorations. Ljosalfar tend to grow taller than most humans. There ears are also longer than their Dark cousins.
Also known as Dark Elves, or Autumn Elves. The Dokkalfar are actually the descendants of the Autumn Court, who grew tired of the immortality of their Fae lives. Using the spell that turned the Spring Court into Ljosalfar, the Dokkalfar became mortal. Unlike the Ljosalfar, who try to adhere to their Fae heritage as close as mortals can, the Dokkalfar reject their Fae origin. Relishing in the strong emotions and temptations of mortal life, the Dark Elves are seen as decadent and corrupt by the other races of Ethoss. Not considered "Evil" by the other races, the Dark Elves just come across as reckless to those that do not understand that they are simply trying to celebrate life. That's not to say they can't get organized, and their nation of Rishir is one of the richest in the world.
Regions: Rishir, Nex
Religion: Calistria, Gorum, Nethys
Appearance: The skin and hair of Dark Elves take on earth tones. Pale skin and black hair, and eyes with large glossy iris. They prefer to wear functional clothing over decorative items, but that doesn't mean they won't indulge. They are usually smaller than humans, and their ears tapper straight up instead of toward the back.
Eldest of the human sub-races, and the one said to be the precursor to all human cultures. The Azlanti were raised from barbarism and trained in the ways of magic and culture by the Fae. Azlanti are strong-willed, confident, and organized in thought and deed. They love learning of any sort, whether practical or theoretical, and are able to easily adapt lessons from one field of study into another. They feel no shame in adopting the best attributes of another culture. For while they are proud of their heritage, they are even more proud of their ability to adjust to and dominate changing circumstances, which allows them to persevere even when others have given up a cause as hopeless.
Appearance: Their skin tone ranges from olive to pale white, and their dark hair ranges from deep brown or dark red to black. The Azlanti often have expressive brows and sharp features.
For Keleshites, glory is synonymous with their culture. A popular Keleshite phrase brags, “All the world is glass compared to the Keleshite’s diamond,” and this superior attitude often makes them difficult to deal with. The Kingdoms of Keleshtan stand as the greatest collection of human wealth, ingenuity, and culture. Support of art, industy, and science is considered the greatest of virtues, but their vanity could be their greatest sin.
Regions: Keleshtan, Nex, Makakam Desert
Religion: Pantheon, Zon-Kuthon
Appearance: Keleshites have uniformly black hair and brown or even slightly golden eyes. The men tend to grow beards. Their clothing ranges from gauzy silks to practical linen and cotton robes, with headdresses, veils, and turbans common
to keep sun and sand out of their hair and eyes. Gold and silver decorations are popular not just a Keleshite women, but also among the men, who encrust their weaponry and top their turbans with lavish displays of wealth.
Traders. Mercenaries. Wanderers. The human clans known as the Varani can be found throughout Ethoss, as much at home on the high seas as in the villages and outposts they inhabit. Though not as culturally refined as the Azlanti, the Varani have brought commerce and a degree of civilization to the wilds of Ethoss.
Regions: Valhav, Southern Depths, Mistwater Sea, Sea of Storms
Religion: Desna, Gorum, Gozreh, Rovagug
Appearance: The Varani have a reputation abroad for being strong, dumb, and quiet, as well as for having strange accents and wearing smelly furs. Most Varani are quite tall, with men starting at 6 feet and the women just a few inches shorter. Their skin is pale and their hair blond, light brown, or red. Both men and women wear their hair long and braided, though women’s braids tend to be more elaborate. Men usually wear beards.
With their warlike nature and proud traditions, this ethnic group is actually seven distinct cultures bound together in a shared history. While xenophobic toward non-Shoanti, the seven tribes— or “quahs”—respect one another’s rightful territory, and disputes are viewed as distasteful. However, when disagreements do occur, most Shoanti avoid waging war, settling for small raids or ritualized combat between elected champions to see who the spirits favor.
Regions: Shin Kak Nish, Calm Sea
Religion: Totem and Ancestor Worship
Appearance: Shoanti possess widely varying skin tones, from deeply tanned to dark brown. Hair is considered a dangerous weakness in hand-to-hand combat, so both men and women typically shave their heads, save for shamans and the elderly.
Twenty Souls. It takes twenty souls to bring a mortal back to life. I have identified five souls that create the paradigm for new life. These must come from specimens who possessed great acumen in life, not heroes per say, but men and women who stood above the crowds. The Defining Soul to give definition to the new life, preferably the soul of the body reanimated, but it does not need to be. The Protective Soul, to shield the new life from a quick death, taken from a life sacrificed for others. The Expressive Soul, so that the new life will have emotion, without it you would simply bring back a vessel that was neither living nor dead. The Understanding Soul, so our subjects don't wake up with the mind of a child, preferably someone who was intelligent in life. The Indulgent Soul, so our creations can have drives and needs, and the desire to live. Without all these, and 15 fetich souls to hold the life in place, the subject will either die, or come back as something less than living. We have had to dispose of a few of these abominations...
The Winter Court has declared war on the world of Mortals. Gallowglass, Usurper of the Ivory Throne, is the creator of the Tuatha Deohn, a faction of Winter Courtiers who believe in a radical new theology. Ethoss had done nothing but corrupt and mutate the Fae, while their numbers dwindles, the Mortals of this world thrived like cancer. The Spring and Autumn Court had fallen to this "disease", and the Winter Court was in danger as well. In order to prevent this from happening, the Tuatha Deohn must take to arms. Let the armies of the Winter Court wash over what the naive Fae had made and scourge it. Let it be remade as pure Chaos. The Winter Crusade went far better in the beginning than any Fae participating in or merely watching it expected. The crusaders exploded through magical gates from all sides of Ethoss in a fury, displaying every nightmare form of which humanity had ever conceived. They crashed headlong into the powerful armies of the humans and elf kingdoms. Neither as organized nor as powerful as the Winter Armies, and no one knew how to contend with the Fae's immortality.
The Summer Court has declared it's neutrality in this conflict, the Summer King fearing true death for his people if conflict between Fae every happened on a large scale. The Mythic Heroes of the Summer Court, immortal warriors who travel around the world helping mortals, rage against this decision. Some abandoning their duties to join Mortal armies. Unfortunately these few champions aren't enough to turn the tide, as the Winter Court has devoted all resources to the war now that Gallowglass is King.
The nations of Mankind and Elvish try to coordinate to hold of the Fae, but it's a losing war. An alchemist in Kaleshtan has been trying to supply the Mortal Forces with warriors on equal footing. His Well of Souls promises to return those who have died back to life, unfortunately he has not been able to perfect it...until today.
We're working on borrowed time now. I don't know how they found us, but their here! I am sending this message to the council, but I fear reinforcements will arrive too late. My only hope is to wake the remaining subjects up and smuggle them out of the city. I had hoped to run more tests, but time is not on our side. I can hear the fighting on the streets outside, the Winter Court is moving fast, must get as much of the paperwork I can. If I do not survive this, know that my creations are the turning point in this conflict. We sacrificed a lot into creating them, but they will succeed. I confided with a Fateweaver who I trust, he will have more detailed accounts of what went on down here.
Sincerely, Dr. Kobad
Player character's will play the Fateless Ones, mortals with supernatural powers born from having multiple souls. For those who played Exalted with me, they are sort of like the Exalted compared to regular humans, but not as "OVER 9000" as they are in Exalted. Fateless Ones lack complete memories, having fragments of all their past lives. Their personality is based on their Definitive Soul, but the other major Souls lend to other aspects of their personality. Power wise, a Fateless One is physically stronger, mentally smarter, and magically more gifted than normal humans. They can't be killed by mundane means, each one possessing a Phylactery that stores their souls should the body be injured enough for death. So long as the Phylactery is unharmed, the body will heal over time and the souls will return to it.
Fateless Ones gain their name by the fact that the laws of Fate that the Fae forced onto the world don't apply to them. Because of this, they can kill Fae permanently. Basically Fantasy super soldiers.