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
The map. Due to size restrictions, it is stored off-site. Here.
Dwarves are like they typically are in any High Fantasy setting. Short of stature, strong and bearded. They are exceptional miners and smiths, as well as skilled close-combat warriors. Lethal with axes and hammers. [ out of universe: Think Dwarves like in the Hobbit ]
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 switched places in this world. See the map.)
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.
Elves are long-lived forest dwellers. They typically live in harmony with nature, building their cities to adapt to it, where dwarves and humans change the world to fit themselves. Fond of plant-based foods. The greatest archers in the world are elven.
After Father Earth's Peace, elves were left with three settlements intact, all outside their ancient homeland of Alfarheim. The three are spread far apart within the forest of Djupskogr, each controlling a sector of its own, subjugated under the elven king, whose location is secret to all but his closest companions. There is a small settlements of elves within the forest of Alfarheim, but it is not of any notable size yet.
With the peace, tens of thousands of elves perished. Being as long-lived as they are, they have not yet truly recovered from that loss.
In the ruins of their other settlements there are now countless packs of trolls, stone-based lifeforms who do not take kindly to elves, men or especially dwarves. The elven higher nobility all blame the dwarves for the loss of Alfarheim, though they are unwilling to say exactly how the dwarves are responsible.
Elven commoners don't have that much in common with the nobles. They are closer to nature for one, and they don't mistrust humans the same way. In the borderlands, crossbreeding with humans is common, having occurred long before Father Earth's peace. Halfbreeds (and similar) have a mix of traits from their parent species. Elven commoners do on the other hand hate dwarvenkind, though not on the same pathological level as 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 Forndeilum are similar in most ways to the medieval humans of Earth. They are taller than elves/dwarves, but not as tall as earth's modern humans. They have professions natural to that time, many being farmers, blacksmiths and so forth.
Before the Peace, humans lived in virtually all the open regions of the world. Their kingdoms were many, and they fought each other often, even more than they fought with dwarves and elves. Their society is now feudal, with powerful nobles ruling over the weaker many. The further from the nobles' residences, the less effect their laws have.
Each of the four surviving kingdoms has its own set of nobles and its own royal family. Those rarely agree about much of anything. They still honor Father Earth's Peace, but some few don't feel there is enough incentive to maintain it. Most of those few were born after the peace broke out. While most humans trade with dwarves for countless goods, they would much rather not pay for the goods. Nobles don't trust anything even remotely elven.
Human commoners do not want war, but with the power of the nobles, they don't have much choice in the matter. For them, war means death and destruction, never reward, never honor.
Halfbreeds and their like are treated as scum by the nobles. Pureborn parents of half-breeds are treated worse than enemies, the are considered traitors to the species.
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.
This roleplay has three playable factions.
- Humans of Storvollr
- Elves of Digrlauf
- Dwarves of Salsteinn Hold
There may later be others opened up, but initially there will only be those three. All characters must fall in under one of these three.
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 a half-breed, 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.
Name: . . . . . . [ use common sense here. no copying names from well-known universes. no names like Bob or Jim ]
Age: . . . . . . [ see racial life span. young for an elf is far older than young for a human is. ]
Race: . . . . . . [ Dwarf, Elf, Human, halfbreed elf/human ]
Homeland: . . . . . . [ Specify where in the world your character originates. It could be a smaller town, a village or even a city. Ifoutside "your" kingdom, a good explanation in background is appropriate ]
Loyal to: . . . . . . [ Human king, dwarven king, elven king ]
Appearance: . . . . . . [ Some text wanted to describe character. You can add picture as well, but text would be nice. Height, build, hair, scars, ... ]
Class: . . . . . . [ pick something that makes sense. D&D has from our experience a decent choice of such, but you're not limited to those. ]
Skills: . . . . . . [ List good/bad skills. Not just combat skills. Examples: hand-to-hand, diplomacy, cooking, woodworking, ...]
Magic: . . . . . . [ Does your character wield any magic? is (s)he interested in learning more? explain. ]
Background: . . . . . . [ This area is one of the longer parts. Describe how your character became what (s)he is today. ]
Personality: . . . . . . [ What motivates him/her? Is (s)he violent and aggressive? calm? insidious? etc. Good/evil? ]
Equipment: . . . . . . [ What does your character carry about? Remember that it has to make sense. You can't carry half an armory for any length of time. ]
Relations: . . . . . . [ How does your character know others in the RP? ]
- Have fun.
- Do not even think about godmodding. It will go badly.
- Keep OoC stuff in appropriate thread. That would be this one.
- No one-liners. If you're conversing with someone, try to use PMs or such to plan longer conversation segments. Easier for everyone.
- Have fun.
- Be creative. The map has no villages or such listed. That doesn't mean they do not exist.
- If in doubt, ask. This goes for everything. It saves everyone trouble.
- Enjoy yourself.
- - - Updated - - -
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