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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:18 am 
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I SWEAR I WILL ACTUALLY DO THIS AT SOME POINT.

I'm gonna reserve the next 20 or so posts so that I can start making myself do this. I'll hide them, but please don't post here for a couple minutes, on the off-chance that someone's actually here right now.

Overview of Ossia
Teth, the Isle of Faces, home of Ossia's Gargoyles
Qelan, the Isle of Winds, home of Ossia's Djinn
Blackrock, the Isle of Death, home of Ossia's Trolls
Kemil, the Isle of Mares, home of Ossia's Centaurs
Korrath, the Isle of Packs, home of Ossia's Wolves
Telimar, the Isle of Arbors, home of Ossia's Dryads
Milor, the Isle of Flames, home to Ossia's Elementals
Epala, the Isle of Shadows, home to Ossia's Fae
Chirom, the Isle of Caves, home to Ossia's Bats
Dragonroost, the Isle of Fangs, home of Ossia's Lizards
A History of the Council of Ossia
A Journey Through the Tidepoint Seal
Planar Events
Physical Descriptions
Various Non-Narrative Detail Work
A Guide to Ossia's Ships
Geography

:duel:

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I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


Last edited by razorborne on Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:09 am, edited 18 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:18 am 
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Ossia is a world submerged.

long ago, Ossia was like any other plane. sprawling jungles, wide expanses, cities, kingdoms, everything. then one day, the Flood began. the waters began to rise rapidly. no one knew where from, but kings and peasants alike fled their homes for higher and higher ground. life was pushed quickly to the highest points on the plane as the waters rose and rose, and as they did grew toxic, killing the life that had once thrived beneath its waves. it consumed everything, until the peaks of the highest mountains were all that stood above the sea. and then... it stopped. just as suddenly as it had begun. what was once a thriving landscape was now a single archipelago surrounded by the Infinite Sea, as inhospitable as it was wide. the few survivors who had managed the climb clung to their new homes and, as life so often does, began to rebuild.

over millennia, the denizens of Ossia built their islands in their own images, building their homes alongside their societies. from the imposing Teth, to the mysterious Epala, and the lush Telimar, the survivors carried on. some sought to understand the cause of the Flood, but none could. the water must have come from somewhere, they reasoned, but where could you store enough water to drown the world? and so as time went by they lost interest in that quest, and in time most records of the Flood were lost. all that remained was the Sea.

The archipelago is spread far apart, and with toxic waters punishing any failed attempts at seafaring with certain death, the people of Ossia were content to remain on their own Isles. While some Isles could see others in the distance, it quickly became accepted wisdom that those lands could not be reached, and the civilizations grew for millennia in utter isolation. and then something odd happened. a boat washed ashore on Dragonroost. soon after, others arrived on the other islands. suddenly, the tribes of Ossia were not bound to their own shores. the first contacts between them were as short as they were bloody. in time the Isles learned to respect each other's martial prowess, and the long Ossian war began in full. at the time of writing the conflict has persisted for close to three decades, and who knows how much longer it may last?

:duel:

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I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


Last edited by razorborne on Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:18 am 
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Teth
The Isle of Faces

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Teth is a fortress. a towering, perfectly circular pillar rising from the sea. it is home to the precise, meticulous Gargoyles. the dominant feature of the Isle is the Slatefall, a mile-high cliff encompassing Teth. it is a sheer surface, smoothed by eons of work by tireless sculptors, and none but the Gargoyles have the skill and endurance to climb it: instead, invasion forces targeting Teth have attempted to ram through it and carve out paths to the top from the inside. so far none have succeeded. the Slatefall is decorated with massive Gargoyle faces watching silently over the waves, and it is from these that the Isle of Faces takes its name.

at the top of the Slatefall sits the Warden's Watch, a set of 512 evenly spaced perches manned at all times by tireless Farwatchers, mirroring the watch the stone faces keep. the Watch is set up so that each perch is just on the edge of hearing the next one, so an alarm from one point can quickly spread across the entire Isle. the Gargoyles neither eat nor sleep and they do not grow bored, making the Farwatchers perfect sentinels. they are led by Obsidius, an ancient Farwatcher whose eyes were marred by a Centaur invasion force.

"Led", however, is perhaps too strong a term. Teth is a clockwork society. each Gargoyle knows its place, knows its duty, and is bound to the service of Teth. this inherent obligation comes from Teth's best-kept secret: Gargoyles do not die, they are merely recycled. where most species have blood, Gargoyles have two substances that pump through their veins: Petram Vitae is the force that animates them, bringing life to their stone forms, while Petram Memoriam carries the ancestral memory of all Gargoyles. each new-crafted Gargoyle enters the world with millennia of knowledge and experience. this is a closely guarded secret: it is an unquestioned truth among the Gargoyles that this information cannot fall into the hands of others.

Gargoyle bodies do not repair themselves. as a Gargoyle ages, it gathers scratches, scars, and other pieces of damage to show its years. as the scars accumulate, elder Gargoyles ascend to the rank of Grotesque. while again the term "leader" is insufficient to convey the nature of Tethian society, it is not entirely inappropriate to apply to the Grotesques: they are the greatest among equals, and are deferred to by younger Gargoyles with less personal experience. eventually, though, a Grotesque is considered to have gained too much wisdom to continue withholding, and voluntarily sacrifices itself to pass its knowledge on to all future generations of Gargoyles. this process takes place at the Brooding Pit, a deep trench in the very center of the Isle, where Grotesques and recovered soldiers are stripped apart, their Petram Vitae and Petram Memoriam reclaimed by the Stonecrafters in order to imbue the next generation with life and wisdom. while it's not much, over a lifetime, Gargoyles do wind up creating slightly more of the Petram Vitae and Memoriam than they were created with through lithobiological processes, so Gargoyle populations can grow over time, but the loss of even a single body does great damage to that growth.

this dramatic risk, coupled with the Gargoyles' predilection for precision, has given rise to a military strategy of very carefully planned assassinations and targeted strikes that has come to be known as the Long Plan. at the head of the Long Plan is the captain of Teth's navy, Basilian. relatively young but impossibly sharp, Basilian is a masterful strategist, turning tides of battles no one else know will occur with precise strikes that lesser minds would see as completely unrelated. Basilian is the epitome of the Gargoyle ideal, an emotionless machine running on pure, unfiltered duty. it feels nothing for those it hurts, and it serves Teth with an almost disturbing success rate.

Teth has long understood, though, that while its clockwork mechanisms work within its borders, that other Isles need a face to associate with them, that they wouldn't understand the nature of the Petram Memoriam linking all Gargoyles together. as such, at the start of the war they chose the Grotesque Pumik to represent them in foreign affairs. while the Long Plan keeps war far from Teth, Pumik has strived to organize leaders of the other Isles to unite and push for peace, to end the war. it has brought together influential people from all the other Isles to form the Council of Ossia, and between the ten of them they have been working to manipulate their Isles to bring about a resolution. each brings a different set of skills and a different perspective to the table, and each works to control and rally their Isle.

however, as the war grew worse, the Grotesques have lost patience with Pumik's experiment. chief among them is Obsidius, who has long opposed the idea of others on Teth and has finally begun to voice its concerns publicly. Obsidius favors eradication, destroying all life on Ossia besides the Gargoyles, and given its control of the Farwatchers and its influence over the Stonecrafters that view holds considerable strength. simultaneously, more and more of the council have been cut off from contact, leaving the whole plan in shambles. Pumik, however, has not given up, and will push for this peace until the day it returns to the Brooding Pit.

:duel:

_________________
I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


Last edited by razorborne on Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:56 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:19 am 
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Qelan
The Isle of Winds

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Qelan can barely be called an Isle. in truth, it is its own archipelago of small islands, but they are close enough together that they developed as a single society, and the Djinn who inhabit it commute easily between them riding on Qelan's infamous winds. it is believed that at one point it was a single peak like the rest of the Isles but was broken down by the Djinn for resources until the water came through. the truth of this, however, has been lost to history.

the Djinn are a fickle, ruthless people. they are inherently curious, always seeking out new experiences and new toys, with no qualms about using extreme violence to get them. but as quickly as they acquire new things, they grow weary of them, discarding them for the next trinket to cross their path. in this way, priceless treasures float around the Isle, as each Djinn takes its turn, then discards it. after long enough, these objects inevitably make their way to the Cave of Dreams, located on one of the larger islands of Qelan. the Cave is the final receptacle of items no one cares about anymore, and it contains near-impossible riches. while young Djinn are often enamored by it, adults almost never visit, as they've seen most everything the Cave has to offer.

the Djinn's proclivity for violent theft has made them distinguished pirates in the Ossian war. they raid indiscriminately, attacking any ship that crosses their paths in the hopes of new spoils. their own ships are often small and simple, as large groups of Djinn rarely tend to get along well, and they rarely have the time or patience to build elaborate crafts anyway. a few larger ships have been built over the years to serve protection should large fleets arrive at Qelan's door, but they sit unused at the Port of Winds, Qelan's only seaport. the Port of Winds sits at the terminus of a major wind corridor known to the Djinn as the Deathwinds, which is one of the primary routes for quickly traversing the Isle. while there are many claimants to the title of greatest pirate of Qelan, most Djinn would agree that it belongs to Temik Wildsong, captain of The Wildsong, who claims to have successfully raided all 9 of the other Isles, a claim that has never been challenged to his face. Temik selects new crews for every mission, as he quickly grows bored of his companions, and positions on his ship are highly coveted by the Djinn.

while many Djinn have taken to piracy, others prefer experience over objects, and given the nature of the Djinn, that experience tends to be violent. these Djinn are usually less inclined to travel forth, as there is a general belief that Djinn are the best combatants, so why bother looking elsewhere? they are happy, of course, to fight other species who come to raid the Isle, and they serve, albeit by accident, as Qelan's chief defensive force, but mostly they fight each other, often to the death. among these, the most feared name is unambiguously Mesik the Emblazoned, a massive Djinn covered in tattoos of magical fire. her body count is unknown, but probably in the hundreds. many Djinn, even the fiercest warriors, will often try to avoid her, but as far as anyone has observed, she cannot be stopped. recently, having effectively conquered the Djinn, she left Qelan, taking residence on Temik's ship, to seek out adversaries worth her time.

all this leaves out perhaps the most fascinating of the Djinn, a small sect known as the Frigid. led by Mil'Tar the Cold, the Frigid are an ancient order of mercenaries who served for generations as arbiters in disputes among the Djinn, albeit arbiters more concerned with which side has the better offer than which side is right. the Frigid make their home on Alqin, an island also known as The Seat of Death. Alqin features a fissure into an underwater glacier, and the Frigid lived within the ice.

that is, until recently. Mil'Tar despises his people being used for inter-Isle combat, sending them far from their home, and has joined forces with the Council of Ossia in an attempt to bring about an end to the war. he began refusing contracts on other Isles, and demanded more and more compensation to engage. this betrayal has made the Frigid a target for warrior Djinn looking to prove themselves, and Alqin has come under siege. in an act of desperation, the Frigid struck through and seized the Cave of Wonders, a more defensible position, to keep them safe until they can shepherd their people by force into peace. while there, Mil'Tar stumbled upon an ancient relic known as the Wheel of Winds, which revealed to him the cosmic danger that Ossia faces. however, trapped inside the Cave, he has no way of getting warning to his fellow Council members, or anyone else for that matter, and is forced to watch impotently as Ossia begins to collapse.

:duel:

_________________
I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


Last edited by razorborne on Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:24 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:19 am 
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Blackrock
The Isle of Death

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Blackrock is a land of excess. the remnants of a massive volcanic crater, Blackrock is abundant beyond all reasonable measure, and its people, the trolls, have grown accustomed to decadence. that plethora of resources, coupled with its massive size and central location in the archipelago, has made Blackrock the prize jewel of most Isles' military strategies, and its shores are constantly under siege by any number of adversaries, a situation the trolls have no issue with. Despite being by far the largest Isle, Blackrock is also the least populous, as the trolls are intensely solitary creatures and each stakes out a massive territory for itself. the borders of these territories shift with their owners' strength, and many a battle has been fought over land disputes.

Blackrock is surrounded on all sides by a dark, craggy rim of stone known as the Blackridge. the Blackridge is all that separates the Isle from the deadly waters surrounding it: most of Blackrock is actually below sea level. few trolls live in the Blackridge full-time. before the war, it was only the weak and infirm, banished from their territories in the thick jungles to the outer rim, but now that ships assault Blackrock's shores on a daily basis, many more able-bodied trolls have moved out to fight, if not for their home then at least for fun. chief among them, organizing Blackrock's defense as best she can, is the folk hero Orgoth Stonebow.

Orgoth is a master craftswoman, and early in the war took to building massive weapons in the Blackridge to ward off invaders. While she was gone, a rival claimed her territory, so she decided to remain in the Blackridge permanently, the first troll warrior to do so. she committed her life to protecting her home, maintaining the weapons across the ridge and warding off enemies with the massive stone bow from which she takes her honorific. her dedication has made her a legend even to the most selfish trolls, and the rival who stole her territory has been... removed, but she prefers to stay in the Blackridge for the time being.

another warrior of renown among the trolls is Barile, Brawl Champion. Barile is a born survivor and a reluctant leader, but he was one of the few trolls considered for the Council of Ossia, and he eventually accepted. for years he maintained an arena-like copse in his territory known as Barile's Expanse, where he hosted massive tournaments for his fellow trolls. they were ruleless, bloody affairs, but they served a deeper purpose: Barile was attempting to craft an army, to harness and unite Blackrock's greatest warriors to take control of the Isle by force and subdue its warmongering with the rest of the archipelago. however, his plans took too long to complete, and with the wolves entering the fray most of the youth have left behind his play warfare for a taste of the real thing. Barile has been left without an army and without a means of contacting his allies in the Council, and out of desperation has joined Orgoth's defense force to attempt to convert a new army to his cause.

the trolls practice a dark, naturalistic form of faith. they have deep respect for the land even as they pillage it. many of their ceremonies involve painting themselves with tar in sacred patterns called Tarlines. this tar bubbles up constantly from the Cauldron Pits, a series of pools dotting the Isle. the Pits are places of incredible mystic power, and most are located within the territories of the greatest druids on the Isle. the druids and shamans of Blackrock possess a deep connection to the Isle and wield powerful dark magic.

unambiguously the greatest druid alive on Blackrock today is Borrogrove, Stoneskin Channeler. Borrogrove controls a territory of about a square mile, protecting it with powerful wards. it contains the largest Cauldron Pit on the Isle, as well as a few smaller ones. while the trolls are fiercely individualistic and would never submit to rule, an outside observer could be forgiven for mistaking Borrogrove for the Isle's king. the trolls treat him with deference and fear, and when he calls for war, his people follow, though each will tell you they do so only because they themselves chose to.

:duel:

_________________
I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


Last edited by razorborne on Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:38 am, edited 10 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:19 am 
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Kemil
The Isle of Mares

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Kemil is an open expanse, home to the warlike Centaurs. Kemil's dominant feature is the massive Redgrass Plain that covers most of the Isle. the grass on it grows a natural shade of pale red, which some speculate is to hide the blood spilt. the Redgrass is near perfectly flat, and the keen-eyed Centaurs can see for miles across it. it is dotted with small watering holes and clusters of foliage, and these are guarded very closely by the Centaurs who control them for their water and wood.

Centaurs are very territorial and fiercely loyal. each herd claims an area of the Redgrass, and while those borders change every day a wise Centaur is always aware of them. Kemil is a matriarchal society: each herd is led by its strongest mare, and there are very few males in positions of any real power. the largest herd on Kemil is led by Saurim the Cloudfoot, and numbers in the tens of thousands. Saurim long dominated the Redgrass, running down smaller herds for fun, but as the war rose her interests were pulled elsewhere, and she has taken most of her herd to the sea to combat the other Isles. she commands Kemil's war effort, and under her they have become possibly the most feared fleet in all of Ossia.

herd membership fluctuates wildly. when a Herdmare is seen as weak and undeserving of command, a strong mare may lead others to break away, forming a new herd, in a custom known as a Disbanding. while Centaurs are prideful, Herdmares are taught to be practical and may let them go even if they could stop them, to avoid further losses. to avoid Disbandings, Herdmares are careful to always present strength, leading to much inter-herd combat.

on the flip side, when one herd defeats another, it is customary to absorb the survivors, in a custom known as a Reclaiming. the Herdmare of the defeated herd is put to death, but others are welcomed into the fold. sometimes, though, survivors break with tradition, refusing the Reclaiming and fleeing the herd. these become the Herdless, and they are constantly hunted as open and vulnerable targets to any herd looking for a skirmish. the Herdless tend to work together, forming networks spanning the Isle to try to keep each other safe.

a major citadel for the Herdless is the Ringpeaks, in the southwest of Kemil. while the Centaurs are nomadic by nature, about a thousand Herdless have settled down in the Ringpeaks, even building some permanent structures. it's an easily defensible point that most herds don't see as worth it, but it lacks any resources or food, so Herdless parties must venture forth frequently to gather supplies. while the Herdless have no true leader, many defer to Stollik Arrowhoof, a former Herdmare whose herd was eradicated by Saurim's many years ago. she fled the death ascribed to her by tradition, and has since organized the Herdless of the Ringpeaks to defend themselves against encroachment. Stollik seeks to get her people off the Isle, and has joined with the Council of Ossia to find them a new home, but in recent days the Ringpeaks have come under siege and she has been cut off from her contacts.

the only other permanent structure on Kemil is their religious center, known only as the Temple. it needs no other name, as no other such places exist on the Isle of Mares. monks of the Temple are selected at birth and raised in the order. in addition, bright young mares who may be capable of succeeding their Herdmares are left at the Temple to study in a custom known as Spiritsearch, taught to temper the rage that burns inside them with spirituality and reason. the Temple is also considered a safe meeting ground, as violence within its walls is forbidden, and as such is the location of Herdmeets, gatherings of the Herdmares from across the Isle to discuss concerns that affect them all. once an obscure option for dealing with overly dangerous herds, the Herdmeet has become a frequent war room for the Centaurs' ongoing invasion.

the Temple is led by its high priestess, Kogoth Thundertrail. Kogoth is a radical voice, and even among her people her hatred for the Herdless is extreme. she views the Temple's role as paramount, a single thread holding back her people from utter savagery, and she holds the traditions of her people vital to their survival. the Herdless represent a rejection of those traditions, a departure from the ways that, to Kogoth's mind, have allowed her people a modicum of civilization, and she has long advocated destroying them to send a message that Kemil's ways will not be forgotten, and recently she has managed to gather the forces to lay siege to the Ringpeaks, making an example of Stollik and her people.

:duel:

_________________
I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


Last edited by razorborne on Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:53 am, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:20 am 
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Korrath
The Isle of Packs

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Korrath is the last bastion of peace on Ossia. located far from the center of the archipelago, it holds little strategic value, and as the home of a race of scholarly, shamanic Wolves, it has shown little interest in the war. but as the tides of battle rise, that stance is slowly changing, drawing out the savage nature that lies beneath the tranquil surface.

Korrath is an informal sopharchy, led by its wisest members. each pack is centered around such a leader, known as a Mourner. prospective Mourners are chosen from a young age, and spend their youth wandering from pack to pack, studying with as many Mourners as possible until they feel they are ready to set out on their own. there is no rite of succession on Korrath: when a Mourner dies, their pack dissipates and each member is free to find a new pack of their choosing.

when a Mourner dies, their body is interred at Mourner's Mount, the largest of a range of hills known collectively as the Calling Hills. Mourner's Mount is also where the Chosen depart from their final pack, setting off on their own to lead their people. this duality, with new leaders taking leave from the old, is essential to lupine spiritual practices. the wolves practice ancestral worship through quiet reflection. waterfalls are an especially spiritual place to them, a place of individual tranquility. waterfalls are never approached as a pack, only individually.

Korrath is a temperate landscape, covered intermittently with forests and open grass. the largest forest by far is the Whisperwood, which covers almost a quarter of the Isle extending from the north-west shore. the Whisperwood are dotted with secluded waterfalls, which are important places of quiet contemplation to the Wolves. many of Korrath's largest packs inhabit the Whisperwood, until recently including its largest, that of the venerable Mourner Jestopher the Wisefang.

Jestopher, also called the Lord of the Whisperwood, was in a nearly literal sense the heart of Korrath. absolutely ancient by wolf standards, Jestopher was one of the few living wolves to remember a time before the war. he was a staunch advocate for peace at any cost, bringing his massive philosophical weight to bear to tether Korrath's fleets to their own shores. over time that goal became harder and harder as more Mourners turned to the call for war, but up until his death Jestopher managed to restrain his people.

after his death, though, that collapsed quickly under the harsh realities of the war. leading the charge to battle is a young wolf named Milovic the Bolt, commander of the Sea Pack, Korrath's naval fleet. Milovic has opposed Jestopher for years, pushing for preemptive strikes and aggressive actions to ward off foes, but was always held at bay by the calming force of the Wisefang. instead, Milovic spent all those years scouting and planning, and when Jestopher fell Milovic was there, primed and ready to bring the archipelago to its knees. Korrath joining the war in full completely changed the field of battle, and the other Isles have yet to figure out how to adapt to Milovic's rapid, brutal tactics.

all this leaves out one crucial figure behind the scenes of Korrath: the recluse sage, Kolif the Blind. Kolif is no Mourner and she keeps no pack, but she is widely regarded as the wisest wolf on the Isle. she lives in isolation at the Blind Falls, a cave near the edge of the Whisperwood with a small waterfall inside. Kolif remains in her cave at all times, offering spiritual guidance to those who seek it. when the Council of Ossia was hunting for an ally on Korrath, it first looked at Jestopher, but quickly realized that Kolif was the right choice. she lacked Jestopher's influence, but at the time Korrath showed no interest in war and her guidance would be utterly invaluable. Kolif was the second recruit, after Tenel. as the years went by, though, she began to take Jestopher's calming presence for granted, not watching events on her own Isle as they slowly turned toward chaos, and with his death she has been left blindsided and incapable of reigning in Milovic and the howl for war.

:duel:

_________________
I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


Last edited by razorborne on Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:52 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:20 am 
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Telimar
The Isle of Arbors

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Telimar is a forest from shore to shore. its trees are carefully maintained by the Dryads who live there, shaped into intricate networks of intertwined woods. Telimar has trees of all different sorts. it's believed that the Dryads carried seeds with them of trees from all across the old Ossia as the Flood began, but no one really knows for sure. the Isle is supplied with clean water from the Wanderhub, which feeds a massive irrigation network known as the Wandervein.

to the north on Telimar lies the Blackened Forest. in the early days of the war, a gang of Trolls laid siege to the Isle, hoping to capture it quickly for its resources and positioning, and though they were repelled they burned through a huge swath of the forest in the process. though some have pushed to regrow it, and over time the forest has begun to creep back, Telimar's leaders have largely chosen to leave the scar as a harsh reminder of Ossia's new reality.

Dryads share a deep bond with their trees. while the exact nature of their mating is unclear, it is known that their young gestate within a tree, forming a connection with it that persists for their entire life. this tree, known in the Dryad tongue as their Home Tree, is a place of retreat and sanctity to that Dryad, and it is considered monstrous to spawn a new Dryad in a tree still occupied by another, although how this is avoided is, again, unclear to the outside observer. however, while the two are deeply connected, each can live without the other. a Dryad's death opens up their Home Tree to new life, and a Home Tree's death, while mentally and emotionally devastating, does not kill the Dryad inhabiting it. a Dryad can never re-bond, though: once their tree has fallen, they are homeless forever.

Dryad society runs on a complex, intertwined web of Orders, each run by a Council of around three to five leaders. each Order serves a specific need and operates autonomously within its domain. it is often said that on Telimar there are as many Orders as there are trees, though counting either is a daunting task indeed. most Dryads serve many Orders. they have one they're most drawn to, but in their downtime from that Order, they'll participate in others' activities, helping Telimar in whatever ways they can.

while the total list of Orders is far too long to recount, known major Orders include the Nightwalkers, responsible for maintaining a healthy insect population, the Tillers, architects who plan out and execute large-scale infrastructure like the Wandervein, the Leafbenders, who trim the tallest trees so sunlight can reach all the foliage below, the Dovecatchers, artists who sculpt complex philosophical sceneries out of branches and leaves, Dewdrinkers, philosophers who ponder existence, Murmurers, who oversee funeral preparations for dead Dryads, Rotgardeners, who oversee funeral preperations for dead trees, Heartcaps, who tend the funguses, Bowerlings, who create impermanent art pieces in the ground to be discovered and quickly washed away, the Branchcasters, who build Telimar's fleets and its weapons from the wood of the forest, the Vinechildren, who string up complex defenses around Telimar's shores, and the Reapers, who maintain Telimar's soil.

dotting Telimar are a network of groves, maintained by the Order of Acolytes. these groves are meeting places for the various Councils, and each has a name. grandest of the groves is Lightgrove, which sits near the center of the Isle and is the meeting place of the Acolytes, as well as grounds for meetings between the various Orders. the Acolyte Council hold much sway in Telimar's politics, and since the admission of Meili to the Council, they have moved slowly but surely towards advocating war. Meili points to the Blackened Forest as a rallying cry, demanding penance for the blight on the Isle of Arbors. while at first the Council resisted, she has since managed to sway most of them to her way of thinking.

opposed to Meili's push is Tenel, eldest on the Council of Sophisticates. the Sophisticates carry the daunting task of speaking for Telimar's trees, and as the voice of half the Isle's population, they too are very influential. Tenel also points to the Blackened Grove, but where Meili uses it as a banner, he uses it as a caution. that, he argues, is the cost of war. the trees do not want war. war has brought them nothing but suffering. Tenel was the first person approached by Pumik to form the Council of Ossia, and the two are still in close contact. as members of two of Ossia's longest-lived species, they are very patient, and have spent long hours seeking a way to bring Telimar, and all of Ossia, back from the brink. so far nothing has worked, but for the sake of the trees Tenel will not give up.

and lastly, we come to the most dreaded of the Dryad Orders, the Desecrators. Desecrators, unlike other Dryads, serve only one Order. they have no other allegiance but the defense of Telimar, and they are brutally efficient at it. as part of joining the Order, each Desecrator must chop down their Home Tree. this separates them from their individual needs and binds them exclusively to the service of all Telimar. the mental trauma also breaks down their appreciation of many more nuanced things, turning them into single-minded near-automaton warriors with nothing to lose. perhaps the most feared of the Desecrators is the Council member Kimil, the former Nightwalker who personally sailed to Blackrock after the events of the Blackened Forest and slaughtered five prominent Troll warriors, dragging their corpses back to Telimar to hang as a warning against further encroachment.

:duel:

_________________
I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
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Last edited by razorborne on Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:15 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:20 am 
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Milor
The Isle of Flames

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Milor is an enigma. home to the incomprehensible Worldkin, the Isle is shrouded in mystery. to begin, no one but the Worldkin has ever breached its shores, nor even set eyes on them. the entire Isle is surrounded by an enormous wall of flame, the Veil of Milor. the Veil is the second tallest object on Ossia, after the Slatefall on Teth. it floats on the water, flames erupting from waves in inexplicable fashion, shielding the rest of the Isle from observation.

moving to the Isle itself, the dominant feature is the Worldscape. an ever-shifting, chaotic terrain, the Worldscape changes shape with each Worldkin passing over it. where now there is a river, in a matter of minutes could be a mountain, a tornado, or even an inferno. the only constant is the massive, six-sided diamond structure in the middle: everything else is turmoil.

that diamond structure is the Crystalline Chamber, seat of power to the Voice of the World. the Voice is the incarnation of the Worldkin, fractured into six facets, each the nexus of their own breed. the Worldkin exist in a paradoxical state of pluralistic singularity: each Worldkin is all Worldkin at once, and each is its own entity as well. while the facets of the Voice never leave the Chamber, they are simultaneously everywhere their own breeds go. every Wavekin is the Soul of Waves. for this reason, the concept of a singular Worldkin is incoherent: all Worldkin are plural beings, composite individuals.

unlike the rest of the races, the Worldkin are not truly of Ossia. they were formed by the creator of the Tidepoint Seal millennia ago, to serve as its ageless, undying protectors. they have watched over the world and the Seal, keeping it safe from tampering. Vella's incursion slipped by them until it was perhaps too late, but the Voice was formed with a single purpose and it will not relent until it has achieved that goal.

each facet of the Voice can be thought of simultaneously as its own entity, arguing its view, and a portion of a consciousness reconciling opposing interests. first is the Soul of Waves, sovereign of the patient but unyielding Wavekin. they are the Voice's cold, rational mind. the Wavekin are the only creatures capable of surviving in Ossia's seas. they have taken a long view of events: the Seal must be maintained or there will be no Ossia. the other races stand between them and securing the Seal pieces. therefore the other races must be removed. life will return, they argue, but only if there is still a world to return it to. Wavekin appear as eddies, tidepools, and vortexes.

next is the Breath of Wind, sovereign of the wandering Windkin. they are the Voice's conscience, but even they cannot argue against the Soul of Waves. the Windkin are perhaps the kindest of the Worldkin, and have grown fond of the other races in their time flying above the world. they do what they can to minimize casualties, but they will kill those they have no choice but to kill, so that the rest may survive. Windkin appear as coalescent breezes and small tornadoes.

third is the Heart of Flames, sovereign of the chaotic, violent Flamekin. they are the Voice's impulse, and they have no interest in long schemes or diplomacy. since the war began, the Flamekin have taken to the Seas, becoming Milor's primary sailors and its first line of defense. Flamekin appear as balls of flame or embers.

fourth is the Hand of Gold, sovereign of the mysterious Goldkin. they are the Voice's subconscious, unknown even to the greater whole. unbeknownst to the others, the Hand of Gold sold out Ossia, exposing the secrets of the Seal to Vella in exchange for safe passage to another world once her machinations are complete. the Hand pushes the Voice to war, subtly prodding its fellow Worldkin to more aggressive action to hasten Vella's plans. Goldkin appear as amorphous, shapeshifting pools of metal. despite the name, not all of them are gold. Silver, Iron, and Bronze Goldkin have been seen.

fifth is the Mind of Earth, sovereign of the canny Earthkin. they are the Voice's wisdom, preaching caution and diplomacy. the Earthkin have a carefully cultivated image of simpleness and tranquility, but beneath that veneer lies a sharp mind and the speed of an avalanche. the Mind has long worked with the Council of Ossia, although the Voice has recently discovered their actions and has cut off their contact with their offland allies. Earthkin appear as mobile piles of stone tumbling over each other, or as clouds of floating dirt and gravel.

and last is the Song of Light, sovereign of the vigilant Lightkin. they are the Voice's self-defense. while Milor protects the Seal, the Lightkin protect Milor. while the Flamekin are Milor's first line, the Lightkin are its last. they don't concern themselves far with the needs of the Seal: That's the others' jobs. Lightkin appear as sizzling masses of electric power.

:duel:

_________________
I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


Last edited by razorborne on Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:03 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:21 am 
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Epala
The Isle of Shadows

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Epala is a realm of shadows. its landscape is divided into two portions: the Canopy above and the Greylands below. the Canopy sits above the trees, open to the sun. a few pixies have adopted it as their home, but most Fae avoid it, flitting up only for transit purposes, as it is significantly easier to navigate. most life on Epala takes place in the teeming Greylands, a monotonous expanse of swamps, marshes, and bogs shielded entirely from the sun's light by the dense foliage above.

Epala is home to many different kinds of faefolk, united in most's eyes under the blanket term Fae. there are true faeries, pixies, leprechauns, brownies, sprites, and many others who together form the complex ecosystem of Epala. they share a diminutive size, making the Isle by far the most populous on the archipelago. the landscape of Epala is dotted with leprechaun cairns, small stone buildings along the edges of the bogs that serve as homes for some of the Fae, although many sleep in the open. at the heart of Epala, the Canopy opens, creating a single island of light in the darkness of the Greylands. here sits the Great Cairn, both meeting ground and graveyard for Epala's ruling body, the Bounded Court.

Epala is a deeply political culture, built on subtle machinations and meticulous plans. entrance to the Court is by invitation of a third of current members, sewing political maneuvering into their very system. membership to the Court is for life, although how long that life lasts depends on which enemies you make. while the Court has no official position of leadership, none among the Fae are foolish enough to believe it has no leaders. until recently, the unquestioned ruler of the Bounded Court and, by extension, all of Epala was a leprechaun druid named Kiber the Stout. Kiber's magic grants him a deep connection to the bogs of the Greylands, and it is said that he sees all that occurs within it.

however, recent events have cast Kiber's rule into doubt. while to those outside the Court he still appears to be in charge, most within the Court recognize the ascension of Simi, Shadowsword Harrier. Simi was once a great warrior, serving as one of Epala's finest assassins. she is renowned as the first fae to slay a troll. however, in her prime, she found that she couldn't accomplish her political goals, as many were too afraid to give her power. she had received an invitation to the Court, but could not rise higher. to that end, she began faking a decline, transforming herself over years into an old, frail has-been, letting her adversaries think her best days were behind her while she quietly maneuvered supporters into key positions in Epalan society. by the time Kiber and the rest of the Court saw her plans for what they were it was too late, and Simi has seized control, taking command of Epala's network of assassins and spies.

but another force is at play in the Ossian landscape. Dwimmek the Farsighted, self-styled Queen of the Canopy, has joined forces with the Council of Ossia, and has been negotiating trade arrangements to lure the Fae toward peace. Dwimmek is positioning herself to control all trade on and off the Isle of Shadows, and that sort of economic power would give her great influence over the Court. up to now she has been subtle, slowly bringing in goods to use as bribes and presents, but as time goes she ramps up her activities, slowly bringing the Fae to a position of economic dominance in the archipelago. the Council hopes that this will temper the Fae's war efforts, and that their mercantile prowess will help calm the strife across the Isles.

:duel:

_________________
I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


Last edited by razorborne on Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:04 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:21 am 
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Chirom
The Isle of Caves

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Chirom is an underground labyrinth. the smallest Isle by surface area, Chirom is dotted with entrances to a vast expanse of caves underneath. even the bats who live there don't know for sure how far down the caves go, and some say they go down forever. the caves near the top have been shaped and worn by millenia of use by their inhabitants, but as you go deeper the caves are practically untouched. below it all lies the Great Deep, areas never explored within living memory. it is said that the lower caves of Chirom hold the secrets to the catastrophic Flood that swept Ossia, and in a way they may be correct.

the bats of Chirom are actually two genetically distinct species: the Blackwings and the Whitewings. the Blackwings are larger, slower, and more aggressive, and have taken on the role of Chirom's primary soldiers. Blackwings have enormous wingspans and never stop growing. the elder, larger ones have been said to block the sun with their passing. the Whitewings are smaller, quicker, and perhaps even more dangerous. they replace their comrades' strength with a razor-sharp cunning. in the time before the war, the Whitewings spent much of their time in the lower caves, but now they have largely abandoned it to join the war effort.

while the two species are genetically different, they are capable of interbreeding, creating sterile, flightless hybrids known as the Unspoken. the Unspoken are a slave class, born to serve their masters unflinchingly and unquestioningly. it is considered improper for Unspoken to serve their parents, so they are generally cast out as soon as they are born, left to be taken and broken by whichever purebred comes to claim them.

Chirom is a dictatorial diarchy, led by two rulers, one of each purebred species, together known as the Masters of Screams. whenever one Master dies, both are deposed, and a grand melee is held on the surface to determine new leaders. the current Masters are Kilmek of the Blackwings and Chilik of the Whitewings, though appointments to Mastery do not tend to last long. they rule from the chambers of the Coal Thrones, an ornately carved room with two thrones facing each other. Unspoken are not allowed within these chambers under any circumstances.

however, the grip the Masters have held on Chirom for so long is fading, though they have yet to notice. aided by the Council of Ossia, an Unspoken named Piker the Low has begun building a resistance. after faking his death to escape his owners, Piker fled to the lower caves, taking residences in abandoned buildings known as Echo Stations carved into the walls by Whitewings before the war. Piker's movement, known as the Undersociety, has tendrils all across the Isle, with Unspoken clamoring for freedom and respect. so far they bide their time, waiting for the right time to strike. Piker fears the bloodbath that will occur if he acts too soon, but he knows that every day he waits is another day his fellow Unspoken are beaten, abused, and killed.

:duel:

_________________
I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


Last edited by razorborne on Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:16 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:21 am 
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Dragonroost
The Isle of Fangs

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Dragonroost is a tropical paradise, covered in lush rainforests and pristine pools. it is home to the Lizards, a race of benign explorers with an innate sense of child-like wonder. it's often said that every Lizard has seen the whole of the Isle by the age of 10, and after that they wander freely. while Lizards enjoying hunting their insect food, there are also small farms set up around the Isle so that no wandering Lizard ever goes hungry.

this idyllic landscape is interrupted by one feature, the massive Mount Draconem. dominating the terrain of northeastern Dragonroost, Draconem is a large volcano whose regular eruptions are the basis for the Lizards' time keeping. recent eruptions have been more violent than in the past, though no one really knows why. far from a danger, though, Draconem is just another exciting opportunity for the Lizards, and climbing to the top during an eruption is considered an important rite of passage that every Lizard must pass. some even return more than once, making a race of the thing to see who can beat the lava fastest. perhaps the greatest summiteer alive today is Sselik the Quicktongue, who claims hundreds of climbs beneath his belt and has never missed an eruption. Sselik is also a vocal advocate of aggression, and between eruptions he spends his time organizing patrols of the shores by makeshift militia.

besides Draconem, the most recognizable feature of Dragonroost is the Beastwell, a large, shallow freshwater lake that sits near the south edge of the Isle. the Beastwell is a popular community meeting place, where Lizards gather to tell tales and trade ideas. when it comes to stories, Lizards have a... casual relationship with the truth. some stories are wholly fabricated, others merely dramatically embellished. some, if they're impressive enough, are actually true. the Lizards don't mind this: they seek entertainment and experience, not wisdom and truth.

one of the Lizards' favorite storytellers is Narrin Swiftpad, Ossia's very first sailor. when the first boat arrived at Dragonroost's shores, Narrin was there, and he jumped in with no hesitation, pushing off to great adventures. he has thousands of stories, all of which he insists are true. he has seen the edge of the world, he says, where the water drains off into the void beyond. he has seen great sea monsters far from the Archipelago, even encountered far away Isles with strange people whose exact features seem to change with every telling. he has spoken to gods, ghosts, and beings from other worlds, all of whom seem to share a curiously similar view of life with the Lizards themselves. whenever Narrin returns to Dragonroost it is an event, and the Beastwell's shores are packed with listeners to his questionable tales.

but all this tranquility does not come without cost. Dragonroost is surrounded by some of the most aggressive Isles in the archipelago, and someone has to keep them safe. that job falls to Kiir the Oneblade, captain of the Fangbow and admiral of the Dragonroost navy. a long-time friend of Narrin's, she and her crews have taken on the unenviable role of interface with the real world. they face the harsh realities of the war, fighting tirelessly to keep it from Dragonroost's vulnerable shores. the shipwrights of Dragonroost are the best on the archipelago, and the Lizard fleet is excellently trained, but they face the combined onslaught of Kemil and Chirom daily, and slowly their forces are crumbling. Kiir has asked Narrin to remain with her for now, to inspire the sailors and combat low morale, and having him around has certainly helped, but still she watches her grasp on the situation slipping away by inches.

Kiir takes her title from her missing arm, which she lost in combat with a Centaur crew early in the war. in close combat, Lizards often prefer to use two short, curved daggers, but her injury has reduced her to a single blade. however, she is still an incredibly skilled fighter, and along with her crew, the Fangbow is perhaps the most dangerous ship on Ossia. Kiir has long allied herself with the Council of Ossia, and as such has trained her navy to use non-lethal force when possible and turn attackers away rather than sinking them, but as the war worsens this philosophy has weakened drastically. she no longer speaks to the rest of the Council, too consumed with keeping her home safe, and her mercy has faded into violent desperation. Dragonroost is losing its innocence, and that loss is even creeping to its shores, where Sselik's patrols grow stronger and harder every day. it is not clear anymore if the Dragonroost Kiir and so many others fought to save will still exist after the war.

:duel:

_________________
I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


Last edited by razorborne on Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:44 am, edited 9 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:22 am 
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The Council of Ossia
(you should read the other write-ups first, this assumes you already have)


the Council of Ossia is a secret network of diplomats and leaders working to try to bring an end to the war. They have been working together behind the scenes for fifteen years trying to steer their Isles toward some form of peace, and though they have yet to succeed they continue their efforts.

the Council is the brainchild of Pumik, the ambassador of Teth. Pumik worked with Basilian to craft a strategy to bring leaders from all ten Isles on board, and they spent years constructing it. Teth is a clockwork machine and thus needs little work from the Council: Pumik's word is fact in foreign affairs, so the gargoyles haven't even considered refusing. some argue against it, but none would contradict Pumik with direct action. the gargoyles are also the only species who all know about the Council, as there was no reason to keep their machinations secret.

the first outsider the gargoyles approached was Tenel of the dryads. dryad society is built on Orders, Councils, and hierarchies, and as another of the longest living species, as well as one of the most peaceful, the gargoyles felt they could trust them. Tenel is perhaps the only creature as invested in the Council as Pumik is: the two have spent many long nights debating and planning. like Teth, Telimar needs little work. there are loud cries for aggression, but Tenel's position as speaker for the trees gives him great power in quelling those calls, and most of Telimar's military action is retaliatory. if war could be kept from the Dryads, it seemed, the Dryads could be kept from war.

continuing with the safest bets, the third recruit was Kolif the Blind, the wolf sage. Pumik and Basilian had planned to approach Jestopher, the leading voice of peace, but Tenel convinced them otherwise. Jestopher's interests lay not in ending the war but in keeping Korrath out, and Kolif's wisdom would be invaluable. there was consideration of approaching both, but Kolif herself dissuaded that: Jestopher's rhetoric was powerful because it was pure. Kolif believed that introducing ulterior motives to Jestopher's pleas would weaken them, and that the best way to keep Korrath peaceful was to hide the Council from the Wisefang and let his calming presence remain naive.

the last Isle they knew they could trust was Dragonroost, and the choice for recruitment was clear: the admiral of their navy, Kiir the Oneblade. Kiir mixed the innocence of Dragonroost with the pragmatism of the war, and getting her to join would mean pulling the Lizards' navy back to their shores to defend instead of provoking more battles. Kiir readily agreed, and has since been keeping her fleets as close to home as possible.

after that, things got much trickier. the four members were doing what they could, but they needed the more warlike cultures to join in order to truly stand a chance. the Fae couldn't be trusted, the Worldkin couldn't be understood, and the rest were going to be hard to persuade. and so began the long wait. for over a year the fledgling Council waited, watching and planning, until suddenly, out of nowhere, Kiir was approached by the Mind of Earth, asking to join. it remains unclear how news of the top-secret Council reached the Isle of Flames, but given that they had no idea how to recruit from Milor otherwise, the members were quick to accept.

after that they began looking for groups within the other Isles that might be more sympathetic to their pleas, and they finally found one in the Herdless settlement in the Ringpeaks on Kemil. Stollik Arrowhoof, a former Herdmare, had helped build a life for her people there away from the violence of the Redgrass, and she readily accepted the Council's offers of assistance. while she was in no position to influence Kemil's politics on a large scale, she was a natural leader, and helped rally the Herdless into their own fighting force. she hasn't been able to do much yet, but she is prepared to lead her people should the time come, and she gave the Council a precarious foothold on the Isle of Mares.

from there they turned to Qelan, and with it the Frigid. the ancient assassins were unlike any other djinn, and it seemed possible, just possible, that they might be willing to aid in, if not stopping the djinn's violence, at least turning it inward again. after long debate and a lot of bribery, they were able to convince Mil'Tar to join them, and he began refusing jobs against other Isles, both weakening the djinn's military strength and creating a villain within their own borders to draw them home. the Frigid have become hated among the djinn, and many great warriors have come to test their might against the keepers of Alqin.

and then there were three Isles left. cracking Blackrock or Chirom seemed impossible, a task that would need one of the sharpest political minds in all Ossia, and the keepers of those minds all lived in one place: Epala. it was time, the Council agreed, to speak to the Fae. even acquiring intel on the Court was a daunting task. Kiir managed to capture a few Fae sailors, and through the combined efforts of Basilian and Mil'Tar, the Council "convinced" them to provide the necessary information. from there it was a matter of determining the right target. it was clear that they would only have one shot: if they approached the wrong person first, their entire plan would be ruined. they reviewed all the available options, before finally settling on the trader Kitwik. Kitwik was a merchant long before she was a fighter, and her desire for trade seemed like the closest they could find to a need for peace. reaching out was, again, troublesome, but the Mind of Earth was able to get close enough to convey the message, and thankfully for the future of Ossia, Kitwik agreed. the Council has since been supplying her with goods from other Isle to bribe her fellow Nobles, blunting the call for war with bribery and greed.

with that accomplished and their tendrils stretching across almost all the archipelago, the Council turned its sights to Blackrock, and Kitwik began scouting. it would be hard, she agreed. Borrogrove's influence ran deep, and his calls for war echoed across the Isle of Death, but there were a few who did not fear him, a few who could be persuaded. after carefully weighing her options, Kitwik settled on Barile. Orgoth was also considered, and would have been an easier mark, but Kitwik believed she would have been unwilling to lead, and Blackrock needed a strong hand. Kitwik spent months slowly softening Barile, flitting into his territory to bring gifts and warnings of incoming strikes, before finally opening up about the Council. by the time she got around to asking, the troll was thoroughly convinced, and the Council had its ninth member. Barile began trying to insert himself into positions of leadership, to rally the Isle behind him and challenge Borrogrove, and while he hasn't been very successful yet, he has been persistent.

and so the goal was in sight. if they could just get Chirom, they would have agents across the archipelago. but as long as the bats weren't brought to heel there could be no peace. Barile suggested uniting the other nine and just wiping out the bats by force, a plan that some of the others, including Mil'Tar and Kiir, supported, but Pumik refused. but how were they going to get through? the Masters would never join. Mil'Tar offered to assassinate Kilmek so that a new melee would be held and they could get their allies in as the new Masters, but it became clear quickly that none of the purebreds who were strong enough to claim that title would help them. in desperation, Kitwik finally suggested the Unspoken.

it would take a huge feat of social engineering, but Kitwik was confident that, with her help and the help of the rest of the Council, the Unspoken could be convinced to rise up and overthrow the Masters entirely, taking control of Chirom. other members were quick to poke holes in the plan, reminding her that the Unspoken were broken and beaten into servitude from birth, and that even if they took over, the hybrids were sterile and the next generation of purebreds would reclaim their thrones, but no one had any better ideas, and if they could time it just right, Kitwik insisted that they could bring peace long enough to end the war, and after that... well, after that would be the future's problem. all that remained was finding the right leader for the cause, and after a few failed attempts, Basilian delivered them Piker.

since that time, it has been over a decade. the passing of time saw Kitwik's demise, but not before she passed her plans on to her daughter and protege, Dwimmek the Farsighted. all the Council have worked in secret on their missions, and things were coming together finally, and then... and then Jestopher died, and the house of cards collapsed. Kolif had been taking his presence for granted, and was unprepared to stop Milovic. Korrath entering the war in full completely changed the shape of the game, throwing wrenches into every gear imaginable. the bats responded in kind, growing more antagonistic, prompting the Desecrators of Telimar to lash out further. losses in centaur fleets gave Kogoth the ammo she needed to lead a full-on assault of the Ringpeaks, cutting Stollik off from contact with the Council, as well as from food and water. while the rising war pulled Kiber's attention from the Court, Simi was able to usurp his power, driving the Fae fleets further into the fray. the increased aggression has turned much of Teth against Pumik's failing plan, it has forced Kiir to abandon the Council in order to focus solely on defending her home, and it has pulled the rug from under Barile's army as the youth of Blackrock get a taste for true combat. in a desperate attempt to contain the situation, the Mind of Earth accidentally revealed its allegiance to the rest of the Voice, and has been cut off from contact by its compatriots. only Mil'Tar remains on track, and that track has trapped him and the rest of the Frigid in the Cave of Dreams with no means of reaching out to the Council about the dark secrets uncovered within. and all the while Piker waits with a rebellion in his talons, unable to strike for fear of what comes next. and every day the Undersociety grows more complacent in him, more convinced that Piker alone can solve all their problems, less willing to fight. the lofty dreams of the Council are crumbling, along with the rest of Ossia, and all because one wolf had to die.

:duel:

_________________
I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


Last edited by razorborne on Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:38 am, edited 11 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:22 am 
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The Tidepoint Seal


many of Ossia's greatest sages have long debated why the Flood came. it puzzled generations of thinkers, until most cultures forgot. to this day, Teth seeks to unravel the mystery, but all these philosophers were asking the wrong question. what none thought to ask until Vella Voss was why the Flood stopped. and to answer that, we must go a long way back in time.

the details of the Flood are lost to the fog of history. even the Gargoyles rarely think on it. what is known, at least to Vella, is that an ancient planeswalker took pity on the drowning world. as the waters rose, this walker moved quickly, crafting a powerful seal to hold back the tides from the peaks of the mountains that would form the last Ossian archipelago. most ground had been lost, but they poured every ounce of their power into preserving what little land and life they could still save. this work, this grand, world-saving enchantment, was the Tidepoint Seal. it binds the Isles together to this day, and through all their combined might, it holds the waters at bay.

let us take a journey through the Seal. we begin on Qelan, deep within the Cave of Dreams. down here in the shadows, we find the Wheel of Winds, the power source of the Seal. the Wheel turns slowly as pure mana flows through it, drawing power from the world and the surrounding treasures to keep the Seal strong. the Wheel is covered in carvings in ancient Qelanian, recounting tales none have told for eons, in a place no one thought to look.

now we leave Qelan, following ancient conduits of power. these channels are maintained by the Greenvine, a complex network of vines hidden within the branches of Telimar. the Greenvine provides structure to the Seal, guiding its signals where they need to go. it reshapes itself into a model of the world around it, redirecting paths as needed. it guides our mana from the Wheel of Winds to its next destination on Blackrock.

or rather, underneath Blackrock, to an ancient stone known as the Tarcor. the Tarcor is the beating heart of the Seal, and it directs the mana to wherever it needs to go, along more Greenvine channels. the tar that fills the Cauldron Pits is a byproduct of the Tarcor's function, and it is fortunate that the trolls are so eager to use it. from here, each bit of mana takes on its own purpose, and our journey splits its path.

the first place we look is Teth. floating deep in the Memoriam pools of the Brooding Pit, we find the intricate diamond lattice of the Crystalmind. the Crystalmind orchestrates the Seal, directing the Wheel's inputs, the Greenvine's channels, the Tarcor's distribution, and the functions of all the coming parts. its commands are carried on finer strands also maintained by the Greenvine. the Crystalmind moves slowly, but through its care the Seal has stayed stable for thousands of years.

the Crystalmind receives information from multiple sources. the first is the Whisperstone, a large boulder dotted with gemstones that sits within the Whisperwood on Korrath. the Whisperstone watches and listens to the world, assuring all runs smoothly for the Seal. it watches the waves, the air, and the people of Ossia, relaying that information to the Crystalmind for processing. because it isn't hidden like the rest of the seal, the Whisperstone is a known site to the wolves, and is a sacred spot, though they do not know its true purpose.

the other input comes from Kemil and the Rojan, a network of tiny, crimson orbs spread throughout the Redgrass. while the Whisperstone looks out, the Rojan looks in, monitoring the Seal for disturbance. the Rojan watches for damage to the Seal's parts, as well as outside intrusion. when the Dryads accidentally trim the Greenvine, it is the Rojan that steps in and directs its mending. when the Wheel of Winds begins to wear down, it is the Rojan that channels the energy to repair it.

the Seal has a few protection mechanisms as well. the first are its enforcers, the Voice of the World. the Worldkin were created by the planeswalker who made the Seal, to protect it in their absence. the Crystalline Chamber itself is attached to the Greenvine's network, drawing power in to manifest the raw elemental strength of Milor. the Voice respond quickly to threats and shut down any intrusion. they are entirely singleminded in their goals: Ossia lives, at whatever cost.

but if the Voice cannot save them, another defense exists on Epala. buried beneath the Great Cairn at the heart of the Isle of Shadows lies the Arahi, a distress beacon to summon extraplanar aid in times of great need, set to call to the Seal's creator should their assistance be required again.

but all this leaves aside perhaps the most essential piece of the Seal, The Echoes. the Echoes are a series of carving far down in the Great Deep of Chirom, and sitting at the lowest dry point in all Ossia, they serve as the anchor that holds down the tide. this is where most of the Seal's mana goes: the Echoes are the muscle that keeps the world alive, and restraining all that water takes a massive amount of power. the Echoes release some of that power as sound, the sound of whispering, and it is from that that they take their name.

but no matter where our particular bit of mana was pumped, it is spent and its waste energy travels back along the Greenvine channels to the Tarcor once again. its journey is almost done, but we still have one last stop. from here, the Tarcor pumps it out to Dragonroost. inside the lava pools of Draconem lies the Oss Draconus, a massive bone of a long-dead beast, and this bone serves as the final vent for the Seal. it builds up the waste energy until it can contain no more, then empties itself into the lava, leading to an eruption.

and so ends our mana's journey. through delicate balance and cunning sorcery, this Seal has kept Ossia safe for over two and a half millennia. but what lies in store for Ossia's future? that... that remains to be determined.

:duel:

_________________
I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


Last edited by razorborne on Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:17 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:22 am 
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Planar Events


forty years ago, Ossia was visited by the shapeshifter Vella Voss. she spent time masquerading as the Laughing Dragon, the trickster spirit of Mount Draconem in lizardfolk lore, and found herself fascinated by the world and its history. an entire plane, drowned in a flood that could not have come from anywhere. what had caused it? why had these species survived? and, most important of all, why had it stopped?

it was that last question that proved to be the beginning of Ossia's demise. Vella began her investigation, spending years seeking to understand the nature of the plane's salvation, until she finally found a loose thread. Milor. the Isle didn't make sense. the others were the tops of mountains, but Milor did not exist beneath the waves. it couldn't be natural, and with that one lead Vella began to unravel the whole thing. taking the form of a Wavekin, she began to explore the mysterious Isle, but she was quickly discovered by the Hand of Gold.

the Worldkin, of course, knew planeswalkers. they were the progeny of one. so when Vella claimed to be a god the Hand saw through her lie, but they remained intrigued. Vella spun tales of her investigation, and claimed she had a way to undo the Flood, to drain Ossia and restore its lands. but she would need assistance. she would need information. in exchange, she promised, when the Worldkin were no longer needed, she could take the Hand away, show it the multiverse. in truth, they took very little persuading, and soon Vella knew all about the Seal.

the next step was to examine the pieces. through her shapeshifting, Vella was able to infiltrate each of the Isles, and she spent years gaining a deep familiarity with each piece. she learned the Seal like the back of her hand, followed the paths of the Greenvine, studied the carvings of the Echoes, watched the intricate workings of the Crystalmind. when she was sure she knew exactly what she was doing, she began to send the boats.

the people of Ossia had long feared the sea, and for good reason. Vella knew only one species would accept the call to be the first on the waves, and her first vessels were sent to Dragonroost. once they had accepted, the djinn were next, who rose to the call in order to attack the hapless lizards. from there the bats, then the centaurs, then the fae, then the trolls. the dryads followed, then the gargoyles. the Worldkin built their own: they had always been able to, they just had no reason. and finally, long after the War had begun, the wolves got theirs.

the boats were a distraction: Vella needed to work on the Seal, and she needed no one to be watching. the first hurdle was the Seal's defenses. the Voice had been resolved: the Hand of Gold was keeping them off her back. but the Rojan would be more difficult. she would need to convince it that her modifications weren't dangerous, that she could be trusted. again, the Hand proved invaluable here, working with her to circumvent the Rojan, but the process still took years, slowly modifying it one piece at a time, so it never noticed the shift.

from there, she began reshaping the rest of the Seal. she added sigils to the Echoes, redirected the Greenvine's channels, and reinforced the Wheel of Winds. slowly but surely, it began to take her intended shape, and all the while the war raged on, keeping the plane's people from looking too closely at what she was doing. and then... she waited. waited for the time to be right. waited for the war to reach just the right point. waited for a pause in aggression with an imminent collapse. waited for a lull with fangs.

when that time came, she finally reached out to Ulrexes. she'd had dealings with the ancient necromancer before, and with a tale of ancient magic capable of holding back a planar tide, it wasn't hard to lure the power-hungry planeswalker to Ossia. but Vella had no intention of sharing. no, her motive was vengeance. when first they'd met, one of Ulrexes's schemes accidentally exposed her in one of her planar pranks. she'd had to kill a lot of people to cover her tracks, and though she'd worked with Ulrexes many times since then, she'd never truly forgiven him for ruining her fun. the necromancer was too strong to assault head-on, but finally, after many, many years, she had a weapon that was even stronger.

when the opportunity presented itself, she lured Ulrexes down to the Echoes and activated her spells, binding him deep within Chirom where no one would ever find him. now she had to move quickly. there was little time before the world would see what was going on, would move to stop her. she took control of the Crystalmind and began overloading the Seal with power, twisting its channels in an attempt to collapse the plane, removing Ossia from the Multiverse entirely.

but she had missed one detail: the Arahi. Vella had tried to silence it, but with the sudden flood of mana it awoke and began calling out into the void. it screamed out to a savior long since gone, but it did not scream in vain. fortunately for Ossia, other 'walkers heard and responded to the call, following the thread back to its source. unfortunately for Ossia, the first to arrive was Narissa Enshar.

Narissa has no interest in saving the world. Narissa cares only for herself, seeking powerful, ancient magic in order to heal herself, to once again become whole. and so she has arrived in Vella's playground, set to steal her toys. breaking the Seal would release Ulrexes, spoiling Vella's plans and leaving her with a very angry necromancer to contend with. but what it won't do is rescue Ossia. if the Seal is broken, the waters will once again rise. the world and all of its people will drown.

And this is where we stand. Ulrexes bound deep within the Seal while Vella and Narissa face off, each desperate to be the one who kills Ossia. and its people are left oblivious, fighting wars they won't live long enough to win.

:duel:

_________________
I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


Last edited by razorborne on Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:43 am, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:23 am 
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Physical Descriptions


Gargoyles

most older gargoyles take on a pretty similar form, that of an androgynous humanoid, slightly below 6 feet tall, with hands and feet taking a slightly taloned shape. any gargoyle crafted before the war should look somewhat like this. ones crafted during, though, are much more varied. there are Oculists, whose heads are ringed in eyes. Anima, shaped after vicious animals from eons past. some have their arms replaced with serrated stone blades. others are walking fortresses, massive, titanic sculptures designed to absorb unfathomable punishment. whatever role is needed, the Stonecrafters can build.

as mentioned before, gargoyle bodies do not heal. the older and more involved in battle a gargoyle is, the more scratched and scarred they are.

Djinn

the djinn resemble large humans from the waist up, except for in skin tone: djinn tend to be blue, purple, and red, though rarely some are black, green, or orange. in all cases these colorations are fairly dark. from the waist down, where their legs should be, they trail into mist. while height is hard to define in that case, from the top of their head to the ground tends to be around 6 feet for adults. many djinn bear tattoos, either scarred into their skin with a blade or etched with magical fire.

Trolls

Ossia's trolls resemble Pratchett's: massive humanoids with stony skin. this skin has led some to speculate that they are related to the Gargoyles, but that appears unlikely. adult trolls tend to grow over 8 feet tall, with some Druids standing up to 9 and a half. they tend to have a broad build. they are incredibly muscular, but also surprisingly fast for their mass. troll teeth resemble diamonds, and their eyes resemble jewels. trolls often paint themselves with sacred tar, and moss grows on them. troll skin is very hard to pierce: it is more likely that an injury will be visible as a dent. trolls often wear loincloths.

Centaurs

centaurs resemble horses, but with a humanoid upper body growing where their head should be. the hair from their lower body continues onto their upper body. they tend to be brown, though some whites and reds exist. the skin underneath, if it's exposed, is a kind of waxy pinkish white. females grow a little over 7 feet tall, about 4 feet of which is horse, and males are about 4-6 inches shorter. centaur children do not drink milk, so centaurs do not have breasts.

Wolves

the wolves look much like earth wolves: about 2 and a half feet tall and between 4 and 5 feet long, with males growing perhaps an inch or two longer on average. their coats vary in color, but browns, greys, and pale yellows are the most common. the only major physical difference, besides their ability to speak, is that over the millennia they have developed more flexible paws, including the ability to flip one toe around to serve as a makeshift opposable thumb, which has allowed them to develop tools, though most of these tools are designed for use with their much more powerful jaw muscles instead.

Dryads

dryads have wooden skin, with leaves growing out to absorb sunlight. they often wrap themselves in vines. while dryads have socially distinct genders, there are no major physical differences between them, and properly identifying the gender of a dryad is incredibly difficult for offlanders. Dryads tend to be slim, and are often about 5 and a half feet tall. their colorations tend to match those of their Home Tree, and given the diversity of the Isle's forests, that means a broad spectrum of colors and patterns. their skin isn't barky: it resembles more the living wood beneath the bark.

Worldkin

the Worldkin are described in their entry. they take the forms of elemental forces. they are not anthropomorphic: depictions of them may include faces if necessary, but many of them do not even have that.

Fae

as in most other things, Fae appearance varies widely by species. they tend to range in height from 2 to 6 inches tall, and are generally viewable as dark, angry versions of their terran counterparts. some, like the pixies, may present an idyllic aesthetic as part of their game, while others like the leprechauns are much more rugged.

Bats

Blackwings grow for their entire lives, ending puberty around 6 feet and growing often over 7 by the time they die. they are large, muscular figures with hard, almost chitinous red skin and jet-black wings. their faces resemble a mix between a bat and a boar, with large, pointed ears. in addition to their wings they have a pair of arms and a pair of legs, each ending in vicious, black talons. some Blackwings grow so large over the course of their lives that their wings can no longer support them, and they are forced to become ground troops. these are known as Deathdealers.

Whitewings, by comparison are much wirier, and stop growing when they reach adulthood, usually settling around 4 feet tall. their skin is a leathery white in adulthood, but as children it is a soft pink. their faces are more traditionally bat-like. they have short legs and no arms: instead their wings end in hand-like claws. their talons are white, but usually stained with blood.

Unspoken look like halfbreeds. they have ashen grey skin and beady eyes. they grow around 4 and a half feet tall. their arms resemble the wiry wings of the Whitewings, but they have no actual wing structure. they also have a pair of knobs on their backs, where the Blackwings' wings would grow. many have other deformities as well, and tend to be marked with scars. they tend to be slightly more muscular than the Whitewings, but significantly less than the Blackwings.

Lizards

lizards resemble large, bipedal newts. they have somewhat longer legs so they can stand upright, and longer arms to manipulate objects. their heads area also slightly less flat, more positioned to face forward while standing, but they can also lie flat on their bellies comfortably. they come in a rainbow of colors, with blues, yellows, pinks, oranges, and greens being most common, though all of them share an un-colored white belly. they're also one of the few species on Ossia that wears actual clothes, generally wearing vests and shorts designed around their tails, as well as goofy sailors' hats. this is more out of an enjoyment for accessory than it is modesty, though. lizards view their clothing as just another way to express themselves.

:duel:

_________________
I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


Last edited by razorborne on Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:50 am, edited 13 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:23 am 
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Various Non-Narrative Detail Work

typical lifespans:
  • Gargoyles: Gargoyles don't die naturally, but tend to return themselves to the Brooding Pit for reprocessing after about 150-200 years. Gargoyles have no childhood.
  • Djinn: very few Djinn live long enough to die of natural causes, but they can theoretically live around 60-70 years. their childhood and adolescence lasts about 8.
  • Trolls: Trolls tend to live about 40-50 years, although their Shamans live longer, sometimes up to 65. their childhood and adolescence lasts 15 years.
  • Centaurs: male Centaurs live about 30-40 years, females about 5 years longer. their childhood and adolescence lasts 7 years.
  • Wolves: Wolves live about 20-30 years. their childhood and adolescence lasts 10-12.
  • Dryads: Dryads can live up to around 100 years. their childhood and adolescence lasts 20-25.
  • Worldkin: the Worldkin are birthless and deathless.
  • Fae: Fae lifespans vary widely by subspecies. some last as short as 10, some can live into their 40s or 50s.
  • Bats: Blackwings tend to live 40-50 years, Whitewings 30-40. for the Unspoken, 20 years is relatively long. like the Djinn, Bats rarely die of natural causes. Bats mature quickly: across all species childhood and adolescence is about 3 years long. they also don't really grow old: the weak are prey on Chirom so bats tend to stay young and vital until they die.
  • Lizards: Lizards live around 50-60 years. their childhood and adolescence varies from 15-20 years.

diets:
  • Gargoyles: Gargoyles do not eat.
  • Djinn: Djinn are carnivores and eat whatever meat they can get their hands on, including each other and other intelligent species. they particularly enjoy lizard meat. they don't tend to view this as cruel, just repurposing. Djinn consume a lot less than one would expect beings of their size to, though.
  • Trolls: Trolls are literal omnivores. they primarily eat wood, tar, dirt, and rocks. they don't eat other trolls and tend to avoid other intelligent species unless necessary.
  • Centaurs: Centaurs are vegetarians, eating grass, leaves, and other plant life that grows on Kemil.
  • Wolves: Wolves eat fish, rabbits, and other small prey.
  • Dryads: Dryads photosynthesize.
  • Worldkin: Worldkin are sustained by magic.
  • Fae: the Fae eat funguses and tiny microbial life that grows in the bogs of Epala.
  • Bats: Bats, like Djinn, eat other intelligent species, although they do it more as a show of dominance than a primary diet. they also hunt various cave-dwelling prey at home, including various breeds of non-anthropomorphic bats. Bats prefer to eat still-living creatures.
  • Lizards: Lizards eat insects. there are insect nests maintained all over Dragonroost so that a hungry Lizard never has far to go for food. Lizard ships include a hive room full of insect colonies.

population estimates:
  • Gargoyles: 200,000
  • Djinn: 1,500,000
  • Trolls: 100,000
  • Centaurs: 1,000,000, in about two thousand herds.
  • Wolves: 1,000,000, in about twenty-five thousand packs.
  • Dryads: 500,000
  • Worldkin: depends how you measure.
  • Fae: at least 25,000,000, possibly quite a bit more.
  • Bats: about 400,000 each of Blackwings and Whitewings, roughly 750,000 Unspoken.
  • Lizards: 1,500,000

mating and childrearing:
  • Gargoyles: Gargoyles have no children and no concept of mating or romance.
  • Djinn: Djinn romance is fast, dirty, and often polyamorous. children are left to roam Qelan on their own, but there is a general agreement among the Djinn that they shouldn't be hurt.
  • Trolls: Trolls tend not to socialize, and reproduce very rarely. generally this happens fairly late in life, when two older neighboring Trolls are having trouble holding their territory. they form an alliance, consolidate their land, and if they happen to have the right equipment, they'll often reproduce. in these cases, the child is raised by the parents and left the territory once they die. the other major source of Troll children are powerful druids who reproduce more prolifically in order to pass on their power. these children are generally left out on their own from a very young age, and only the strongest of them survive.
  • Centaurs: courtship is fluid among the Centaurs, although it is forbidden across herds. but within a herd, any two Centaurs may choose to mate on any given day. pregnancy is fast with Centaurs, as a long pregnancy could take their strongest warriors out of combat for far too long. children are born within a couple months of conception. taking care of the younger children is the responsibility of the older children, and once a Centaur reaches fighting age they are almost never involved in childrearing. from around 3, Centaurs who show promise as potential herdmares are left to study at the Temple, while potential Monks in its service are volunteered at birth by the herdmare to win the Temple's favor.
  • Wolves: wolves mate for life, typically partnering with another around their early teens. children are generally raised by their parents, with assistance from the pack as a whole, unless they are Chosen to become Mourners. in that case they spend their childhood drifting from pack to pack as wards of the Mourners.
  • Dryads: Dryads seem to demonstrate an interest in romance, love, and companionship, but they reproduce asexually. Dryad children are raised by their Home Tree, although they usually know their parent.
  • Worldkin: yeah no.
  • Fae: the details vary from species to species, but Fae mating is always political, with each partner seeking to position themselves better through use of the other. this is commonly accepted. childrearing also varies widely between species, but family is generally viewed as a way to continue your influence in death, so most Fae are at least somewhat invested in their children.
  • Bats: purebreds are generally monogamous within their species, but mate freely across species. Bats reproduce in litters of roughly 10 children. purebred children generally stay with the parents for the first couple years, though they aren't particularly cared for, just proximate. Unspoken children are cast out immediately, to be claimed and trained by whoever finds them first. the Unspoken are not allowed to socialize, but some romances have formed among the Undersociety.
  • Lizards: lizard society features many different types of romances, with the general view that whatever consenting adults want to do is acceptable. children are generally viewed as the responsibility of the entire Isle. they start exploring the Isle as soon as they can walk, and from there everyone keeps an eye out for them to make sure they remain safe and happy.

naming:
  • Gargoyles: like everything else, Gargoyle names are recycled. each Gargoyle is assigned a name from the available list of previous names, and when that Gargoyle dies their name is returned to the list. this is typically done in a last-in-first-out fashion, so there are many names not heard since the Flood, waiting to be used again.
  • Djinn: Djinn do not have names for the first 8 years of their life. on their 8th birthday, they pick their own name.
  • Trolls: Troll names are given at birth, by the mother.
  • Centaurs: Centaurs all take the surname of their herdmare. when a new herdmare disbands from her old herd, she claims a new surname as well. sometimes these take the form of an honorific, such as with Saurim the Cloudfoot, but her herd still uses it as a regular name.
  • Wolves: Wolf names are given at birth, by the pack's Mourner. wolves do not have surnames. they generally acquire honorifics along the course of their life, but it is very poor form to assign such a title to yourself or to use one that has been given to you.
  • Dryads: Dryads are born knowing their own names.
  • Worldkin: Worldkin have no names.
  • Fae: Fae names are assigned at birth, but names are considered fluid and it is not uncommon for a non-Noble Fae to change their name. those on the Court rarely change because they have too much recognition attached to their name. some Fae species have surnames, but they are very rarely used, replaced by self-assigned honorifics and titles.
  • Bats: Bat names are assigned to purebreds at birth by their parents. they do not have surnames. Unspoken do not officially have names. they assign names to each other in order to better converse, but they are harshly punished if they are caught using them by the purebreds.
  • Lizards: Lizard names are assigned at birth by their parents.

:duel:

_________________
I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


Last edited by razorborne on Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:53 am, edited 15 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:23 am 
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Ships


Teth

Teth's ships are magically propelled stone. most crafts are made for crews of 2-4 people to perform late-night raids. a few larger vessels exist for naval combat, and also to serve as mobile command posts for Teth's military operations. Teth also has submarines, although due to pressure they can't go very deep without breaking so they can't be used to explore the land below.

  • The Sculptor, flagship of the fleet, captained by Basilian. largest ship in the fleet.
  • The Masked Grotesque, another command ship. captained by Orichaum. the Masked Grotesque is currently stationed near Teth to serve as a liaison between the homeland and further-reaching command ships.
  • The Occulist: Basilian and Orichaum's former ship, captained at the time by Pegma. still in commission but with a completely different crew.
  • The Whisperer: former flagship, captained by Diamyre. sank.

Qelan

Qelan's ships are little more than rafts with low walls to keep the deadly waves out. some have ragged sails but they are mostly propelled by oar, as the winds around Qelan are too unpredictable and chaotic to navigate.

  • The Wildsong, captained by Temik Wildsong. large by Qelanian standards, the Wildsong resembles a large canoe in shape. it has functional sails, and has a rotating crew of 5-6 additional djinn.
  • The Seascreamer, captained by Eztar Seascreamer, a single-person wilding raft. the Seascreamer is one of the fastest rafts in the fleet.

Blackrock

Blackrock's ships come in two basic flavors: Rammers, makeshift, cobbled-together runners designed to smash into other ships repeatedly, and Dreadnoughts, massive floating fortresses armed with siege weapons and tarflingers. both combine wood, metal, and stone to reinforce their hulls and make themselves practically unsinkable. troll ships don't have captains, as most trolls respond poorly to authority. troll ships are propelled by massive oars.

  • Boulderdown, the fleet's oldest rammer. Boulderdown has been in commission for almost a decade, although almost every part of it has been replaced multiple times.
  • The Titan, the fleet's first Dreadnought. the Titan was the first ship to arrive on Blackrock. it was built by Vella, and has served, unsinkable, for the entire span of the war.
  • The Tardrinker, a relatively new Dreadnought. the Tardrinker is small for its class, but armed to the teeth with tarlaunchers.

Kemil

Kemil's ships are generally fast and small. their primary vessels are Harriers, which carry two Centaurs: one to run the ship and the other to shoot at anything in sight. they also have Raiders, which are slightly larger versions of the same basic principle. finally, they have a limited set of troop carriers, designed to quickly move in and land, capable of carrying over a hundred Centaurs but not set up well to bring their marksmanship to bear. Kemil's ships are propelled by sails.

  • The Cloudfoot's Barge, captained by Saurim the Cloudfoot. this is one of the largest troop carriers in the fleet, and serves as a mobile war room when it's not practical to return to the Temple.
  • The Burning Arrow, captained by Vendra Cloudfoot, one of Saurim's most trusted lieutenants. the Burning Arrow is a raider that sails beside the Barge, often as its vanguard.

Korrath

Korrath's ships are perhaps the most classic warships on Ossia, resembling small galleons with usually 20-30 crew. they're designed to be worked primarily by jaw, and are propelled by sails.

  • The Claw of the Sea, captained by Milovic the Bolt. fastest warship in the fleet.
  • The Whispering Fang, captained by Izolde the Renouncer. the crew of the Fang scares even Milovic, and they are called in only when they are truly necessary.

Telimar

Telimar's ships are carved whole from dead trees so that they may serve their home in death. they range from small canoes to massive, gnarled behemoths. each one is unique: there are no ship classes, the Branchcasters decide for each tree how best to utilize its form. larger ships often contain living saplings as well. dryad ships are propelled by oars with a little help from magic.

  • Arbor's Light, captained by Inthril of the Sophisticates. Arbor's Light is a small craft with a bush growing on the bow, and serves as Telimar's chief diplomatic ferry, often used by Tenel.
  • Arbor's Fury, captained by Kimil, Ashbark Desecrator. Arbor's Fury is a medium-sized ship cut into segments such that it can separate into three smaller crafts if need be. the three are joined by vines. when separated, the middle section remains Arbor's Fury and the other two become Arbor's Hand and Arbor's Blade.
  • The Child of Vines, captained by Deima of the Vinechildren. the Child of Vines is a large warship that patrols the waters around Telimar.

Milor

Milor's ships, like the Isle and its people, are impossible. their design varies by species. the Wavekin and Windkin need no ships, though they will often congregate into massive whirlpools or tornados to engage in combat. Flamekin ships are perfectly round bowls with roaring flames in the middle. Earthkin ships are simply massive, unshaped boulders that float through magical power. Goldkin ships are mimicries of other Isles' ships but in shimmering metals. Lightkin ships are towering stormclouds rising up from the sea.

  • The Flameheart, flagship of the Heart of Flames
  • The Gathering Storm, flagship of the Song of Light
  • The Skipping Stone, flagship of the Mind of Earth
  • The Shimmering Dreadnought, flagship of the Hand of Gold, a silvery copy of The Titan

Epala

Epalan ships are, of course, tiny. they are built mostly of leaves and sticks, reinforced with druidic magic, which somehow seems to keep the waves out. they tend to carry only a few Fae, but the fleet is huge in numbers. each member of the Bounded Court has their own vessel and commands their own fleet of at least thousands more. due to their small size their ships employ a combination of sails and oars for propulsion.

  • The Queen of the Canopy, captained by Dwimmek the Farsighted. a trade ship, the Queen is large for a Fae ship so that it can more effectively transport goods between Isles.
  • The Twilight Flower, captained by Simi, Shortsword Harrier. the Flower is a two-person craft, and is designed to be stealthy and fast.

Chirom

Chirom's ships are generally small for their capacity: at any given time a large portion of the transported troops will be in the air, keeping watch. bat ships are generally slow and clunky, as the bats never bothered to developed good boatmaking skills. they are generally lashed together from the remains of ships from other Isles, as Chirom has few resources with which to make its own, and are propelled by whatever they can find, although if oars are necessary they are worked by the Unspoken. they received some whole boats from Vella like the other Isles, but those are long gone.

  • The Bloody Talon, captained by Kilmek Blackwing. the Talon is a fairly large warship cobbled together from the remains of a dreadnought, a wolf galleon, and three different lizard ships.
  • The Goredriver, captained by Chilik Whitewing. the Goredriver is smaller, mostly the remains of a wilding raft reinforced with bits of a gargoyle stoneship. until recently it remained at home most of the time, but Chilik has grown more aggressive and with her comes the Goredriver.

Dragonroost

Dragonroost's ships are the finest in Ossia. they are the fastest, the sturdiest, and the best-constructed. lizards took to boatcraft very early on, and their natural propensity for taking things apart to understand them has made them experts. they often attempt to recreate the ships of other Isles, and as a result their fleet is incredibly diverse. they are almost exclusively propelled by sails, though, except for their single-occupant rowboats.

  • The Fangbow, flagship of the Dragonroost fleet, captained by Kiir the Oneblade. the Fangbow is massive, with a crew compliment of over a hundred lizards. its signature red, green, and blue sails are a beacon of hope to a battered people.
  • The Laughing Dragon, captained by Qint Lavaflow. the Laughing Dragon was an experimental design, a large multi-hulled craft. it proved successful, and many more like it have since been commissioned.
  • The Swiftpad, captained by Narrin Swiftpad. the first boat in Ossia, a single-person rowboat. currently beached while Narrin serves on the Fangbow.

:duel:

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Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
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Last edited by razorborne on Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:14 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:24 am 
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Geography


Ossia is laid out roughly like a backwards Q, with 8 of the Isles in a loose circle, then Blackrock in the middle and Korrath off to the southwest. to the north of Blackrock lies Qelan, then going clockwise Milor is northeast, Kemil is east, Dragonroost is southeast, Chirom is south, Telimar is southwest, Epala is west, and Teth is northwest. (these are all approximate.) the equatorial line runs somewhat south of the center, so the warmest Isles are Dragonroost and Telimar, followed by Blackrock, Epala, and Kemil, then Chirom, then Korrath, Teth, and, to an extent, Milor, though the Isle of Flames doesn't have remotely normal weather. last is Qelan, the coldest of the Isles.

rough map


:duel:

_________________
I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


Last edited by razorborne on Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:32 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:24 am 
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Language In Ossia


Gargoyles

Gargoyles speak a language called Tethi, a highly compact language designed to communicate as much information as possible as quickly as they can. it is a tonal language, with five unique registers facilitated by the Gargoyles' mechanical precision, and many words with multiple, context-unique definitions. written Tethi also uses context-dependent symbology to collapse meanings more efficiently. Gargoyles, however, are gifted polyglots, and have the added bonus of a shared ancestral memory that contains primitive versions of most Ossian tongues, so most Gargoyles have had very little problem adapting and learning other languages since the beginning of the war.

Djinn

the language of the Djinn is Qelanian, though perhaps it is better thought of as a language family. Qelanian changes quickly, and while most Djinn can understand each other, if they don't normally interact then communication becomes somewhat of a guessing game. the Frigid tend to retain structure more, speaking what is generally known as Old Qelanian but even that adapts over time so that they can continue to interact with the rest of the Isle. most non-Frigid Djinn don't know how to read.

Trolls

there are two languages on Blackrock: Kol'Terr, the Tongue of Stone, and Kol'Dun, the Tongue of Tar. Kol'Terr is spoken by the common people, and is how most Trolls communicate. Kol'Dun is reserved for druidic rites and privileged conversations between shamans. there is no written form of Kol'Dun.

Centaurs

the Centaurs speak a language called Kemilar. the structure of Kemilar is viewed as in important part of Centaur culture, and as such its rules and vocabulary are officially controlled by the Temple. as such, it changes much slower than most languages on Ossia.

Wolves

the Wolves speak Korr, which incorporates growls and more normal speech sounds and is thus difficult for non-Wolf people to speak.

Dryads

the Dryads speak Telimethral, a beautiful language with sing-song speech patterns and built-in poetic meter.

Worldkin

the Worldkin are capable of understanding and producing all Ossia's languages. the Voice of the World speak a language called Milorein amongst themselves, but no one but them is aware of what that even sounds like, let alone its structure and vocabulary.

Fae

there are many languages on Epala, mostly differentiated by species. some of the major ones include the Sprites' Gustai, the Pixies' Pixietongue, and the Leprechauns' Bogag, but there are many more. most Fae know how to speak many of these languages. when speaking across species, which language you use is a means of positioning oneself: you use their language to show respect and your own to show dominance. it is not uncommon to see two Fae carrying on a conversation in two different languages, each trying to position themselves as dominant or submissive. when you want to communicate that you consider the listener your peer, you use the generalized language of Epalai, which most of the Court's business is conducted in. Epalai is also used to communicate with offlanders, although more often than not Fae learn the other Isles' languages for ease of communication.

Bats

the Bats speak Chirakk. there is no formal writing system for Chirakk, so when information needs to be stored the involved parties usually agree upon a pictographic representation. this makes generalized records difficult, and much of Chirom's history has been lost for this. with Pumik's aid, the Undersociety has developed a consistent alphabet through which they can leave simple notes and messages to one another.

Lizards

Lizards speak Dracoleth, literally the Dragon's Tongue.

Linguistic Development since the War

early on in the war, very little communication was possible. various pidgins formed over time, but by and large no one was talking to each other. three main societies had the linguistic capacity to quickly learn other languages: the Gargoyles, the Fae, and the Worldkin, who were able to start conversations with other Isles much sooner because of it. the Djinn were the first dominant military force, so there became value to many in learning Qelanian, but the quickly shifting nature of the language made it ineffective as a general language. fortunately, as other Isles began to organize better, the Djinn faded from dominance, leaving the Centaurs as the reigning power. Kemilar's rigid structure allowed it to become somewhat of a lingua franca, and today most denizens of Ossia know at least conversational Kemilar, even if they can't read or write it. while most Isles still prefer their own tongue, and when another shared language exists it is often used, Kemilar allows the disparate Isles to communicate. Isles that are closer to each other also often know their neighbors' languages, though that is far from universal.

:duel:

_________________
I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


Last edited by razorborne on Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:17 am, edited 5 times in total.

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