The King was a kind man. He laughed and wenched and hunted and feasted and never swore off any men from his table --nor any woman from his bed-- no matter what station in life they were. It was the Time of Dancing in the Arrendal Landmass, where the Great Summer would go on forever and the mouth of babes would be filled forever more with joy. The King was a good man. But now he is dead.
- In the Words of Aethor the Scholar, Grand Stewart of the Star Keep of the Royal Capital
The King was a dishonorable man. He laughed and wenched and hunted and feasted. He never swore off debts nor did he keep his Knights to their Code --no matter what station in life they were. It was the Time of Dissolution in the Starlands, where fools and children believed the Great Summer might never end. But I fear in my bones that winter is coming. The King was not a bad man. But now he is dead.
- In the Words of Baelor the Peasant Lord, a Man of Honor.
The King was a weak man. He laughed and wenched and hunted and feasted. His court was a damnable bed of luxury and not one of martial prowess. Men were not kept to their station in life. It was the Time of Debility in the Land of the Star Kings. The Great Summer is what we make of it. The King was a man. And now he is dead.
- In the Words of A Nameless Contender for the Elemental Throne
On the planet of Adonai, many moons travel past the edge of the galaxy, where a third of the planet knows nothing but darkness and another third nothing but the harsh and unceasing baking light of the sun, men in iron skin toil at their games of war, fighting for honor, for love, and above all wherein the Continent of Arrendal is concerned, for the Elemental Throne.
The last king, Rustan the Good has fallen dead, with ravens carrying word to all the Lords of The Realm. Dark Wings, Dark Words, as the scholars journeymen might say. No sooner was his body cold and utterings of dark treason and murder most foul hastily made that holdfasts were fortified and bannermen called to serve their liege lords. For every one of them in their ermine skins and their fine steel arms fancies themselves a true king. One who would not be scourged by Fire and Blood.
Yet they know not that events race beyond anyone's control. That the Long Night comes. That Cataclysm is on the Horizon.
It is the Era of the Shattered Stars.
Magic on Adonai
Magic on Adonai is a mystical thing that goes by many names and has been studied by many men. On the Arrendal landmass, where the Great Houses and Iron Men strive for the Elemental Throne, it goes by two names --the Stardance is what the hardfaced men of the North call it, whilst Southlings refer to it as the Stirring. Both have significance for the way in which this mystical energy functions on the planet.
The Stardance is a reference to the strange motions of the stars around the planet and the motions of the planet itself, which spins irregularly and is often covered in darkness. This has made some regions naturally bountiful but has condemned others to endless winter. More saliently, the pull and push of these stars and meteors and other celestial bodies leads to a waxing and waning of the Force for most practicioners on Adonai, who rely on blood magics, empowered relics, and the Stardance to access the powers of the Force on Adonai.
One such example would be the minor House Bhural's Bull Stance. Their adepts will hold their arms at an angle like a bull's horse, mimicking the stance of Mikhal, the Horned Lord, one of the constellations shining in the great Arrendal sky. The Stance grants superhuman strength for a period to the adept. It is worth noting that in theory, all adepts may learn the secrets of a House's Stardances, but that only those born in the moon of the House will be able to use it to its full effectiveness. Being born on a month other than that of your house automatically confers the status of bastard to any such child, no matter how trueborn.
The blood boiled and stirred in me. I beheld my opponent's body --smote in bloody ruin, his lobstered steel savaged by my Elysian blade, his hands still smoking from the magicks he attempted to wield against me. And then it happened. A luminous essence, like a gossamer neon white erupted from his carcass. It hovered there for a moment, glowing with portent. Insensible yet of what happened when a man died, being a mere boy of fifteen at the time, I raised my sword. It was no use. The white cloud enveloped me, and my flesh melted away for a moment. And then I saw... memories. Flashes of a babe laughing, of a woman crying out as I took her, and even of... death at the hands of a boy who looked like me. My opponent's memories. His skill with the stardance. His House was now mine. His essence mine. I could now access his secrets of the Stardance.
- Ser Ulder Frostfang on his first duel
When magic users encounter each other on Adonai and engage in their deadly arts, the victor will feel his blood stirring and his mind pulsate as he gains the powers and knowledge (of a sort) of his fallen opponent. There are limitations and downsides to this --the Cruel Lord Harridos of Phent could not destroy the house of his rival Ardas after taking the man's memories and found himself loving the man's heirs as his own. In the South where the tradition of dueling has been far more inculcated in the North with its silent ironwoods and forbidding winters, magic is thus known more by symptom than process.
Stars and Starstones
Stars and Starstones can have a great effect on the power of particular Houses as their power with magic increases and decreases. Clever Lords and warriors and even wealthy sellswords will often inlay their armor with fragments of this starstone or that to neutralize or greatly mitigate the effect of their enemy's powers. This, like all strategies, has its downsides.
In addition to the Stardancing and the Blood Magics (which require components and preparations and in some forms Witchcraft), the most common way in which the powers of the men and women of Adonai most often manifests itself in the manipulating of elements. The Elemental Throne itself harkens to this as Urdustan the Conqueror was said to be one of the few men who could manipulate all the elements. He carved his throne out of stone using his powers of the air and will, placed it on an earthen mound overlooking the Royal Court in the middle of the Great Palace and then ringed it with water which will forever stir so long as the Throne is filled. Two more elements were added towards the end. The Throne will scourge with Fire and Blood any unworthy pretenders who dare to sit on it. The less reverent (which is to say all of them when they can get away with it) peasants have coined the Elemental Throne the "Lordling Roaster" and the "Hot Arse Seat" but the more humorless king have outlawed such talk in times past.
Pretender kings and other usurpers have often contented themselves with standing still by the throne, and for this reason usurpers who manage to hang on are often called the Sorefoot Kings.
There are different elements and they are not entirely discrete in function (lightning for example can be actuated by other elements, and ice can be made by water and air) but generally the elements fall into an aegis of these four:
The yellow star of Adonai is said to wax and wane in some sort of mastership over the Firedancers of the planet. In times of sunflares or of closer orbit, the Fire essence increases. In times of relative darkness, it decreases. This is even mirrored in the cycle of night and day; whilst the power functions at all times of the day, at night it is greatly diminished relative to day. Firedancers or Conflagrationists as they are known in Arrendal, work through oxygen. They are capable of great feats, though on Arrendal, everything has a cost. Too liberal a use of the flame could deprive a Conflagrationist of the oxygen in his body. Arrendal name (common in noble families): Delbaeth.
Water is the essence of life, so it is said and so it is known. The moon controls the power of water on Adonai, and the Waterdancers of the planet are seldom more powerful than on the Wolfshead --the night of the full moon. Moisture may be drawn out of the air, but equal action and reaction dictates that this electrolytic reaction which agitates oxygen will do the same internally to one's body. Pressure reacts to pressure, and many an arrogant Quencher has burst his own organs like so many water balloons in their haste and hubris. Arrendal name (common in noble families): Merrow
On the Starplanet, the Mountainfeet Earthdancers are unique for not relying on the constellations for their power. In terms of raw strength and brute force, it is very hard to beat a dedicaded Mountainfoot. Yet they must always have a connection to the Earth, and while rock and stone are things that are hardly brittle, bone is. Far more than any other Stardance form, The Mountain's Pass, as the art is generally known, takes a great physical toll on one's body; the strain has been known to kill those not properly conditioned --and even many that are. Arrendal name common in Noble families. : Danaan.
Air is closely related mechanically to Fire and Water. The Windwalkers are fewer in number than the other forms and are often considered unlucky, though at least one noble house in Arrendal has this form as its bailiwick. Like all other forms, it has its advantages and disadvantages. Contact with the Earth tends to mitigate their power. Similar limitations in terms of conditioning and availability of atmosphere apply. Noble name: Soulth.
(All credit and content goes to Prospero. A talented writer from SWRP truly.)
Shattered Stars is an idea conjured up through the love of Game of Thrones/Fire and Ice and Star Wars. It also gives way to mechanics of managing a kingdom so to speak, but these said mechanics were never fully worked out. Individual characters are important as well as the Houses themselves, giving way to plenty of creativity to the interested writer. This roleplay can flourish with the help of many and has the capacity to become as large as we want it to. If anyone has experience with creating maps, then by all means, contact me immediately. With that said, give me your thoughts and interest and we'll see how this goes.