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 Post subject: Jakkard [Plane][Open]
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 10:02 pm 
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Planeswalker's Guide to Jakkard
by the M:EM and F&S community
Status: Open :chaos:

Jakkard is the Expanded Multiverse's Wild West plane. Divided into two regions--the dense city of Verkell and the wasteland known as The Jakkard, the plane is experiencing a massive population shift as the citizens of Verkell move Wasteward in search of valuable mana crystals.

Centuries ago, an unknown event caused a massive disruption in the mana of Jakkard, with two major results. First, a strange kind of crystalline ceiling formed over the plane, making Planeswalking in and out impossible in all but one location. Not coincidentally, that location became the only major location on the plane capable of supporting life. Everywhere else, save for small areas protected by the leylines of pure mana that crisscross the plane, became a manaless waste that would drain the life from any being that touched the thirsty soil.

The result was a massive migration of refugees into Verkell as the waste spread, with countless civilizations and races being crushed together in limited space for over a century. The city became a pressure cooker of violence and internal strife, and just when everyone in the city seemed ready to open fire on whoever looked at them wrong, the crystal ceiling mysteriously began to crumble and mana flowed back into the Wastes. Quickly, it was discovered that the mana hadn't completely disappeared. Rather, it crystallized, leaving gems of pure, solidified magical power around the waste, ready for the taking.

With pistols in hand, and rail lines digging their way inexorably into the former wasteland, the people of Verkell set out to make their fortunes and find their freedom in the Jakkard.

BASIC INFORMATION

Jakkard is an open world designed to encourage the telling of tall tales and wild adventures. There are eight major races on Jakkard:

Foxes ( :w::u:)
Humans ( :w::u::b:)
Noggles ( :u::r:)
Nightstalkers ( :b:)
Minotaurs ( :b::r:)
Viashino ( :r::g:)
Snakefolk ( :g:)
Centaurs ( :g::w:)

Many of these races are placed on one side of the two major ideological conflicts on the plane:

Industrial Progress vs The Wilds (Blue vs Green)
and
Civilization vs Lawlessness (White vs Red)

Black remains neutral in these conflicts, happily picking whatever side will provide it with the most power, wealth, and amusement.

PLANESWALKERS

While the crystal ceiling has begun to crack, it is still in place and it may be difficult for a 'walker to escape the plane if they find themselves in the Waste surrounded by enemies.

Knowledge of the Planeswalkers, or Star People, was fairly widespread among Rattlers –the Jakkard snake-folk– before the land died. In the city, most of this knowledge has been suppressed along with other traditional beliefs by the ruling establishment, but Rattlers that survived by hibernating in the Wastes or lived on leyline nexus oases that could just barely survive a kind of walled-in existence within small valleys and the like still retain the knowledge. Some elders that hibernated might still recall personal encounters with Sky People... although their pre-Mending memories may not match reality anymore!

Angels and Demons know about 'walkers. Interestingly, this makes Angels complicit in the suppression of faith traditions that they knew weren't wrong, but which the foxfolk believed would be nexuses for civil unrest and class and race resistance.

TECHNOLOGY OF JAKKARD

Jakkard possesses some technology which is at a higher overall level than most planes in the multiverse, most notably guns and trains.

TRAINS

While initially steam powered, when the Waste opened up and mana crystals were discovered they were quickly adopted as the power source of choice, as they could be used to drive trains along rail lines built atop natural leylines. This magical form of transportation has helped push Wasteward expansion but it comes at a cost: trains sometimes slowly become affected in subtle ways by running on particular leylines, and at times seem almost to take on a life of their own. This is particularly worrying for people running trains on black mana leylines.

GUNS

Guns are largely produced by Noggles, and for the most part are mundane in nature, although their shapes often reflect the physiological needs of the different races of Jakkard. Occasionally, guns are augmented with mana crystals in various ways, and are used in ways similar to the artifacts of other planes, effectively shooting spells of various types at their targets. The crafting of such weapons is particularly difficult, however, and is therefore seldom done except for particularly wealthy buyers.

THE CITY OF VERKELL
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"Verkell was already a grand city at the time of the world's poisoning. It needed to be, for only a great city could support a class of scholars and scientists in turn capable of supporting a project that could bring about the end of a world.

It was not capable, however, of effectively supporting the refugees that flooded the last place where mana still flowed rich within the soil, nor were, frankly, its technocrats interested in the problem."
--Raleris the Loreweaver, Verkell: A History of Life Out of Balance

Verkell was the one remaining large bastion of life amidst the Waste, or The Jakkard. Already large at the beginning of the migration of refugees from the Waste, Verkell is currently a sizeable city with many of the same sorts of advances that the people of Ravnica have made to accommodate limited space and resources (tiered garden structures and so on). While the skyscrapers aren't as tall as Ravnica's spires, they climb many storeys above the cobbles and sprawl in all directions, save for occasional agricultural spaces. The upper crust of society can manage to establish some measure of space for itself, while the lower classes are grouped together in high-density slums riddled with poverty and violence. Throughout the city run trains and subways that have mostly emerged over the last few decades, taking up more space and adding to the noise and danger.

This has created a whole host of social problems that the Foxes of Verkell have tried to solve, with rapidly diminishing returns, through social engineering schemes. They are hampered frequently by fundamental contradictions in the way the different races, and subcultures within those races, interact. Even worse, their own ideology of cultural superiority defeats them at every turn. For example, their belief, founded in a general truth, that Rattlers are comfortable in close quarters has been taken to an extreme that justifies the hemming in of Rattlers in overpopulated slum districts. This policy of exclusion has in recent years come back to bite them as they tried to mitigate the often (literally) explosive interactions within Burrotown by encouraging a mingling between races that are no longer eager, after years of racial tension, to mingle.

The fact that so many are leaving the slums is at once a source of great relief and great panic among the leaders of society, as the resulting mass migration has taken problems out of the city but also depleted the workforce, including, dangerously, the Noggle mechanics that were responsible for designing and running many of the city's modern conveniences. The migration Wasteward has ultimately just generated a whole slew of new headaches for the ruling class, and while some of the pressure is off, the future is still very uncertain.

RACES

Falling into conflict across lines of Progress vs Wilderness, and Law vs Lawlessness, the races of Jakkard fall into broad archetypal roles that in some ways represent ideological differences. This is mixed with a complex history of oppression, uneasy compromise, brutality, and intermingled culture that transforms these archetypes into something more nuanced and contentious. The struggle between races in The Jakkard and in Verkell is mirrored by a struggle between Ordered Society, Community, Adaptability, Banditry, Drive, Wildness, and Greed.

FOXES

Foxes embody The Ordered Society. They're Civilization and Law, and they seek to turn the Wild into a cleaner, "better" Verkell. Foxfolk are often in high places in Verkell and would like nothing better than to see their city cleaned out. Although many of them have noble intentions, some of them simply find the huddled masses in Verkell to be most distasteful and are perfectly happy to send them off on expeditions into what was recently a life-sucking void. A few of them might even slide away from Law to become something we might call The Profiteer. They are the most accomplished mages of the plane, and are the most common users of magical weapons and high technology like the trains. This allowed them, early on, to attain a position of power in Verkell, which they have held on to since.

Foxes were the powerholders in Verkell from the beginning, and Verkell was, by and large, a Fox-majority city, despite the presence of other races. The were able to maintain order despite the steady increase in refugees and leveraged their existing hold over real estate in the city into a general political stranglehold on what had at that point transformed into a cramped city-state. While the races largely govern themselves, ultimately all are beholden to an elected council of foxes, and in the past the foxes have shown their willingness to crush the governing structures of other races to preserve order.

Foxes look down upon the other races to varying and complex degrees, and the order in which races appear in this guide roughly corresponds to the foxes' feelings about other races. Internally, foxes are divided along the lines of fur color. Red foxes make up the majority of society, and white foxes are treated with a strange mix of respect and condescension. Silver or white foxes are treated as worldly beyond their years from a young age, and while it is true that many rise to places of political power, fox society as a whole thinks little of the exploitation of white foxes. Much of their power is tenuous, and often comes at a heavy psychological price paid forward from a very young age.

CENTAURS

The Centaurs are The Community. These are the main lawkeepers of the plane, they're usually in the role of Sherriff or The Cavalry. They never liked the city much, and are glad to exit into the wilderness of the Jakkard. However, as a race they're inclined toward a bit more structure than some of the red races here, and tend to like being around other folks, leading them to generally fall into roles of protection and stewardship over the growing towns of the Jakkard. They typically get along with the Foxfolk, although they'll clash over issues of development, excessive mining, the building of trains on native-controlled leylines, and so on.

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The second most abundant race in Verkell at the beginning of the Waste's creation and expansion, Centaurs had long made their way in and out of the city, many living a semi-nomadic life of trade and adventure on the eastern plains. Their chivalric and still semi-feudal culture was quickly adopted by the foxes as a source of military order as the social and economic systems of Verkell strained under the influx of refugees, and eventually the formerly multifaceted society was integrated into Verkell as the Military Sheriff Order. While many centaurs still work what land is available in Verkell for agriculture, their former connection with nature has become strained as the low wages sustained by food production, due to the surplus Rattler and Viashino labor supply in that industry, and many centaurs now prefer to become Sheriffs, an occupation seen as a way out of the slums. The other appealing alternative is to work in the vineyards, a job still treated with the same reverence (and the same need) as it was centuries ago on the plains.

Initially the allies of the foxes, relationships became strained when the Kit Council mandated that horses--which needed more space to roam than the other major livestock animals in Verkell and provided little food or work value--should be mostly killed, and then allowed to go extinct over time. Centaurs, who viewed horses as a lingering emblem of the freedom of their former existence, are still deeply divided over the decision. Their already strained relationships with the violent and anti-authoritarian Minotaurs became toxic when many Centaurs refused to carry out the orders and Minotaurs, seeing a way to ingratiate themselves with the foxes, carried out the order on their own. Centaur society is thus strained from without and within--uncertain of their loyalties, caught in a bitter blood conflict with another race, and still unable to reconcile their chivalric respect for order with the actual impact of those orders.

HUMANS

Humans are The Adaptivity. They are the most common race on the plane, tending toward the Blue-White-Black end of the spectrum but found in all colors. They are the least easily defined race here. This rodent race seems to fit in everywhere, they can be found with the law, or outlaws.

Humans rank lower than foxes and even centaurs, but still occupy a middle ground in Verkell society, and some do rise to places of wealth and power equal to even high-ranked foxes. While humans came from all over the plane, and thus have diverse appearances and varied cultures, a substantial number lived alongside the Viashino and, while their societies are markedly different, they shared for many centuries a culture and religious system. Like the centaurs, this group of humans is divided over their complicity with fox social engineering plans. Whereas the viashino were largely forced to abandon their beliefs, humans willingly integrated and broke ties with their cultural neighbors in order to attain better positions within Verkell society. Viashino have not forgotten this betrayal, and neither have some humans who still pass down the traditions and preach resistance against the eradication of their culture.

MINOTAURS

Minotaurs are The Banditry. They were never comfortable in the rigid, class-based society of Verkell and their taste for destruction is now manifesting itself in the chaos of the frontier. They are the big bad outlaws, leading wild gangs of viashino. The foxes pay a nice bounty for a good pair of horns. Actual minotaur society is highly complex due to the individualistic nature of the culture, but they fall roughly into two camps: one seeks profit, the other seeks revenge on the strict culture and law of Verkell. This has allowed them to ally with the Viashino and Snakefolk, although it is obvious to nearly everyone that the Minotaurs are simply using the justified anger of the reptiles to fuel their campaign of violence.

They carve their horns and tattoo their skin in intricate patterns that give them some measure of sensitivity to leylines. This gave them a relatively worthy position within Verkell society, but they came to resent their status as walking dowsing rods, even more so now that other races have begun adopting (often haphazardly and without true knowledge) the designs of the Minotaurs.

Minotaur culture has always been rough and individualistic, and that has at turns served and thwarted fox ambitions for the city. Canny and willing to get their hands dirty, minotaurs have often been the enforcers used by foxes when centaurs show signs of balking. But minotaurs carried out those orders for their own strategic benefit and their benefit alone. There is no love lost between foxes and minotaurs, and were the winds to suddenly blow in a different direction, the guns of the minotaurs would assuredly point at their former masters. The common knowledge of this fact makes everyone a little trigger happy and serves to breed mistrust between the various races. The only race that minotaurs seem to respect are the nogs, which they view as something akin to younger siblings, brilliant but accident prone. The fact that nogs see nothing particularly troublesome about supplying minotaurs with various high-powered weaponry may have something to do with this relationship.

NOGS

Noggles are The Drive. They are the unquenchable obsession with the journey wasteward. Most individual nogs clash periodically in Verkell with the Foxfolk and Centaur lawkeepers, as they are interested in the civilizing power of technology, but not in control. Nogs are the main source of guns, both magic and mundane, to everyone--law and outlaw alike. They are the chaotic neutral power on the plane and are happy working with anyone that can keep the Law off their back. Therefore, they are on the wrong side of the law as often as they're on the right. This makes them a natural ally of the black-leaning races, but as many of those groups are also inclined toward the preservation of the wild, they sometimes find themselves in tight situations without a friend in sight.

A wild people, noggles were originally two distinct cultures from different parts of the world that came together on the road to Verkell and unified as one chaotic, loosely ordered society. Nogs are ironically one of the most stable cultures internally, having largely accepted contradiction and the presence of multiple perspectives as a simple fact of existence. While they largely keep to themselves, they largely fall under fox authority and while foxes don't particularly like nogs, and centaurs don't particularly trust them, they don't cause trouble en masse, at least. However, the old royal bloodline of the nogs still exists and with the Waste opening up, Verkell may wake up one morning to find that a whole chunk of the city and surrounding region is now under nog rule.

The Noggles of Burrotown were not desperate enough or embittered enough to flee the city immediately, as many viashino, rattlers, minotaurs, and humans did, but rumors slowly spread, based on an old folk tale, of Hierola, the City of Iron--a metal desperately needed and on the verge of running out in Verkell.

Eventually, that legend's dispersion reached critical mass. When the Noggles left, they left en masse, reportedly losing half the population overnight. Since then the population has stabilized again, but the remaining Nogs in the city may pack up and leave unexpectedly at any time.

NOGGLE ALE

The Noggles are actually members of two very different kingdoms and cultures that came together on the eve of the world's destruction, both migrating toward Verkell. One from a cooler archipelago region, one from a warmer mountainous region. One driven by fluid technologies, waterpumps, mills, &c., one driven by thermal energy, heat, and the manipulation of light beams.

At first, it seemed the cultures, with their different languages and different technologies, were bound for conflict. But the kings of these two nations met, and the legends say that though they could not speak each other's languages, they cautiously sat down to the negotiation table to try to understand one another. And, of course, each was served a tankard of their culture's finest spirit. And, naturally, each became curious of the other's drink.

Ten drinks later, the two mixed the spicy, violent drink of the mountains with the cool, melancholy drink of the islands.

Thus was born Noggle Ale.

When the two kingdoms arrived at Verkel a few weeks later, already beginning to speak in a strange pidgin tongue, the centaurs were already beginning to close the gates in a last desperate attempt (ultimately unnecessary) to block the spread of the wastes. No more races were to be admitted to the city. (This comes after, chronologically, the battle of Marigold Pass, which was the first gate closed to refugees).

When the Noggles produced an extremely large cannon, one of many new inventions built on that first night of drunken revel, the centaurs reconsidered their orders.

And that's the story of how Noggle Ale brought two kingdoms together and led to the creation of Burrotown and the salvation of thousands.

VIASHINO

The Viashino are The Independence--a dangerous powderkeg mix of The Isolation on one side and The Bandit on the other. Those that were awake through the centuries of drought and learned to live sparsely on the leylines, usually in very small oases of life where leylines meet in nexus crossings. These same leylines are now being mined, built upon, and stolen by the powerful citizens of Verkell. Their complex culture, built around and totally dependent upon the leylines, is threatened with annihilation by these settlers. Those who remained in Verkell were overworked and underrespected and have fled the city en masse in order to escape what is essentially indentured servitude.

Viashino culture has been systematically stomped into submission by Verkell authority, and what culture of theirs remains lingers because it has been adopted into the popular culture of Verkell, stripped of its roots. While centaurs may have balked and refused orders at various times, it is the viashino who reacted to the particular brutality of some orders with organized uprising--uprisings made up of many races, but ultimately driven by viashino tribal elders. The first of these was the uprising after the closing of Marigold Pass, which left thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of refugees stranded outside Verkell to die as the Waste encroached. Viashino elders rallied the refugees inside the walls and attempted to seize the gates but were turned back by volleys of shot developed a scant few months before by fox artificers based on the designs brought from the north by the nogs. The refugees outside the walls died as the Waste sucked the mana from the soil. A few decades later, another uprising broke out as refugees were pressganged into slave labor conditions in order to feed the overcrowded city, and several more followed over the course of the next few years.

The response from Verkell authorities was to round up and jail or execute most of the tribal elders, and to carry out an ambitious plan where viashino children were taken from their parents to large schools, often on opposite sides of the city, to be taught by fox and human teachers. This effectively, for a time at least, stopped any further rebellions.

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Now, moving into the Wastes, the viashino of Verkell are encountering members of their old tribes who remained on the leylines. They have a chance to reconnect to their lost traditions, but they are so scattered from their original cultural subgroups that it is difficult for many to discover what precisely their traditions once were. And they are often met with scorn by their Wastern siblings, and are seen as a harbinger for the Wasteward expansion that is now tearing up the land.

RATTLERS

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Snakefolk, also known as Rattlers and Cascavel, are The Wildness. They're good with mirage/enchantment magic, probably as a necessity of working with so little. Many rattlers stayed in the wild when the mana dried up, and they generally went into hibernation, hiding under the ground in crystal caves near leylines, waiting the return of the mana. Those who didn't were, like the Viashino, largely reduced to a subservient role, often used to tend to the large terraced orchards that sustained the city. Despite their vital role within the city, foxes and rattlers simply didn't get along, and they were generally kept out of important and high-paying jobs. Rattlers were--again, along with Viashino--the first to notice the returning mana. Those who stayed and those who returned have suffered an extreme clash of cultures due to their centuries of disconnect, but they agree on one thing: now that they have their freedom, the other races will have to take it from their cold, scaly hands.

While they face many of the same problems as the Viashino as they move Wasteward, the Rattlers, the Cascavel, were broken many years before their draconic cousins, before the Waste even reached the borders of Verkell. Coming to the outer domains of Verkell, the Rattlers sought to establish their own independent nation in the forested areas outside the city. They brought with them their revered sacred animals, the great Basilisks, who they lived symbiotically with, raising and protecting them from the deadly sounds of cockerel cries, which could for a time magically incapacitate the beasts, and in return gaining from them the scales, deadly spines, medicines, and countless other items that they depended upon for survival.

History is full of coincidences, cruel and stupid. Hen meat is beloved by foxes. When treaty negotiations between the Cascavel and Verkell broke down, the foxes had, easily at hand, a weapon capable of wiping out the greatest weapon of their enemies in one fell swoop. During a single night, an aerial assault by the foxes turned from a combat maneuver to a slaughter as the basilisks were incapacitated and systematically killed. Rattler culture was shattered in a single night, their single most important companion species driven to extinction with lightening speed. With their greatest weapon, and the source of their own traditional weapons, ripped from them, they had no choice but to surrender. Of all the races, rattlers suffer under the most irrational fear and hatred, and it is no wonder that when the wastes opened up, they fled the city en masse. With their traditions long abandoned, however, their relationship to the strange beasts of the wild, including the now wild and strong basilisks long dormant on the leylines, is uncertain and fraught with danger.

NIGHTSTALKERS

Nightstalkers are The Greed. Nightstalkers have haunted Verkell for a long time, and have rushed wasteward seemingly in order to remind those who flee the city that there is no escaping fear. They are the restless, malevolent souls of those who made pacts with demons, and although they come from all races, they share a similarly lanky, bony, jagged look. They are cruelty personified, and anything they can take, they will--your money, your land, your family, your Baloths, and, finally, your life. Once they have taken all they can, they simply move on to torment some other poor soul.

Nightstalkers are perhaps numerous and devilishly intelligent enough to be counted among the races of Verkell, but if so they unite all the other races in mutual fear and hatred of these entities of malevolent darkness.

FAUNA OF JAKKARD

ICONICS

DRAGONS are the red iconic creature of Jakkard. Dragons slept beneath the earth on leylines much as the Rattlers and some Vash did. Semi-intelligent and intensely greedy, dragons hoard mana crystals, precious metals, mechanical parts, and just about anything else reflective they can get their claws on. For this reason, they are treated as a dangerous nuisance by most settlers of the Waste. However, vash recognize them as distant relatives and will sometimes protect dragons or even use them in attacks on settlements and trains.

BASILISKS are the green iconic creatures of Jakkard. Raised as companion species by Rattlers, the basilisks of Verkell were killed in a purge by the foxes. Many survived on the leylines outside the city, however, in hibernation, and now awake, some far larger and more dangerous than before after centuries of sleep in an area of high magical concentration.

Jakkard basilisks can kill by sight as many other basiliks can, but they also sport backs of poisoned barbs which they can use to kill numerous opponents simultaneously by thrashing around in combat. These spines are used as arrowheads by Rattlers.

ANGELS are the white iconic creatures of Jakkard. Most, if not all, angels moved to the city with the rest of the population. Angels on Jakkard don't look quite like angels on other planes--rather than flashy, radiant being with visible wings, the angels of Jakkard look mostly like humans, save for steely eyes (literally--their eyes have a metallic sheen to them) and a poncho-like cloak that is, in fact, their wings wrapped around their bodies.

Angels fight generally for good, but their purpose was perverted in the pressure cooker of Verkell society as they were forced into a role of protecting a corrupt social order simply so that some measure of order might be preserved at all. They have since begun reverting to their preferred role: lone warriors for good, wandering the wild Waste.

DJINN are the blue iconic creatures of Jakkard. Like angels, djinn are humanoid in appearance save for a strange blue shade to their skin. Their eyes, in counterpoint to the steely gaze of the angels, is an otherworldly gold.

Djinn are attracted to games of chance and risky situations, reveling in extreme luck, good and bad alike. Unlike demons, who make deals, djinn make wagers, and while their price for failure is often great, the rewards are often highly valuable, albeit in unexpected and even strange ways.

DEMONS are the dark mirror to angels, wandering the world sowing discord and strife. They exist to tempt mortals with promises of power, leading them, more often than not, down a path that leads to ruin, self destruction, and final rebirth as Nightstalkers, the worldly manifestation of the blackened souls of sinners.

Demons appear humanoid but somewhat unearthly, often displaying red eyes, pointed teeth, and somewhat elongated features.

DOMESTICATED CRITTERS

There are several basic domesticated animals in Verkell. Acridians (red and green) and Leotau (white) serve as mounts, while Roosters and Celestial Cocks (blue and white) serve as food for foxes, and Baloths serve as food and raw material for everyone else.

Leotau tend to be used by the more upper class (foxes, some humans, a few minotaurs) whereas Acridians tend to be mounts for more low and working class (other humans, nogs just like them, rattlers don't use mounts really and neither do Centaurs).

Acridians, the lowly mounts, first domesticated by Viashino, are actually better suited to the environment than the highbred Leotau. There's something delightful about that reversal of fortunes. One of the interesting things about Acridians is that they're adept climbers, which makes them natural forest and mountain dwellers, and actually made them quite useful within the city of Verkell, whereas Leotau were kept as prize beasts (and there's probably been some genetic drift--snub nosed cute cancer ridden miniature Leotau and the like). Viashino leaving the city frequently leave on Acridianback, riding Wasteward over the walls of the city.

The nice thing about Baloths, of course, is that they're ravenous, which means that Verkell was able to continue using them for meat and clothing production while feeding them on varying levels of feed quality. The lowest rungs, of course, were given swill, with more choice diets reserved for high-grade baloth stock.

The pathologization of the Viashino insect-diet accompanied wider attempts already noted to stamp out "barbaric" customs among the scaled races. However, insect diet culture has still survived in the slums of Verkell, and even been adopted by some humans, due to the simple availability of smaller but fat-bodied cousins to Acridians that thrive in the packed city environment.

Now that the Waste has opened up, there are some attempts to domesticate the Aurochs that survived on isolated islands of life amid the sea of desolation.

Baloths are largely herded by Minotaurs, who are strong and violent enough to wrangle the big beasts. The greatest handling of livestock is thus done by beings part bull--in short, cow boys.

OTHER FEARSOME CRITTERS FROM THE JAKKARD
Red:
Devils, lizards, jackals, Wumpuses, Hodags (Acridians)

Green:
Very large bears, Wendigos, Wumpuses, Aurochs (Baloths, Acridians)

White:
Thunderbirds, Jackalopes, Squonks (Leotau, Celestial Cocks)

Blue:
Thunderbirds, Skinwalkers, Piasas (Roosters)

Black:
Skinwalkers, Demon Bears, Hide-Behinds, Celestial Stags



RESOURCES

THE CRYSTALS

The great impetus for movement Wasteward, mana crystals form when mana dries up and coalesces in the soil, often around leylines (although the strongest leylines remained flowing and did not completely crystallize). These crystals can be used as sources of raw magical power and are thus highly sought after. The relative ease, early on, of their procurement drove many into The Jakkard to seek their fortunes.

There are six types of mana crystal:

Luxite: White mana crystal.
Sangrite: Red mana crystal. Also known as Dragon's Bloodstone.
Verdedot: Green mana crystal.
Cielasine: Blue mana crystal.
Sombrax: Black mana crystal.
Aures: The golden crystal that forms where two lines overlap. Extremely rare. Finding one might very well get you killed. Most call these stones "Glitter Gold".

CLOTHING NOTES

Baloth leather is pretty common in clothing, particularly, interestingly, among the Mammalian races. Viashino and Rattlers are less comfortable wearing scales, and tend towards textiles and, in the case of Rattlers, feathers. Viashino are the cultural vector where a lot of the stereotypical "wild west" fashion entered the culture, despite their low status. It was adopted by the Minotaurs and Humans next and slowly spread to the other races. Foxes still stick to a slightly more refined coat-and-bushy-tails look, although there's a touch of an older fashion for sweeping robes from the days of old battlemage orders that influences their dress. The Viashino style is finally influencing even the Foxes, though, as more of them move Waste and come to realize that the high fashion of Verkell is a liability, practically and culturally, in the Wild Waste. So, Baloth leather is a commodity of growing value, as are the textiles favored by the "lesser" races.

FOOD NOTES

As described above, food in Verkell comes from a variety of sources--baloths and cockrells for most, augmented among poorer citizens by an insect diet, and filled out with produce grown in large orchard facilities within the city.

The most popular drinks by far are centaur wine and noggle ale.

There are several highly expensive and rare dishes that are eaten by both the old moneyed families of Verkell and those who just recently made their fortunes in the Waste:

  • Leg of baloth kid, served in a rich Centaur Wine sauce, preferably wine from before the gates of Verkell were closed, slow cooked in a bed of mixed Sangrite coals and Verdedot crystals.
  • Royal Basiliskbane Cockerell over squash pasta sprinkled with powdered angel feathers.
  • Hellfire Chocolate--cocoa mixed with hot pepper and actual demon horn.
  • Roast Dragon Marrowbone.

METALS

Iron is reaching the same status that rare earth metals in electronics are reaching on our world. Things aren't depleted yet, but in a few more decades the people of Verkell will be in trouble--or would have been if not for the opening of the Waste. It's less of a problem for most of the races than for the Noggles, who hold it in a certain degree of reverence. The biggest problem is that there just aren't that many mines in and around Verkell, and most of those are mostly depleted, so there's at the very least cause for concern, enough so that when people started to remember the stories their grandparents told about iron cities... well, obviously people got excited. And with the sudden spike in need due to the creation of rail lines into the Jakkard, the price is only going to go up.

While not at quite the level of still precious gold and silver, and certainly not at the level of mana crystals, an iron shipment into the city would be a choice target for train robbery.

In fact, there are rumors that a massive robbery occurred recently that broke what was previously a conspiracy to control iron shipment in and out of the city. Certainly, supplies have increased lately, bringing the price back down to slightly more manageable levels.


SLANG OF JAKKARD

Wizard seems like an awful fancy term. Wizards might be the right proper term, but out in the wastes, most wouldn't know a wizard from the [redacted] on their [redacted].

We call 'em Spellslingers out on the frontier. Now, just bout the only time people'll call em proper is the Lawmages. Which does some pert interestin' stuff cause you open that up, and we gots all sorts of specialties.

  • Hushers: A 'slinger what specializes in countermagic. Someone who undoes the work of others. Mostly either in blue or white way I figure it.
  • Stokers: These folk have an affinity for emotions. They can rile people up right well, sometimes make em so angry they forget themselves, but they also draw people from far n' wide, make em feel better bout themselves. Looking at red and white for them.
  • Hotshots: Y'know, the types whose guns spit a little extra fire...
  • Puppeteers: Mind magic ain't some most folk'll meddle with. I see lots of problems with those who go muckin' about in a fella's skull. Mostly blue and black.
  • Graverobber: Necromancer
  • Rumblers: Folk who can make the earth shake. Sleepin' dragons sure don't like them.
  • Thugs: These are not the kind you'd want to tangle with in a bar brawl. They swell up right fierce with a little green.

Then there are the magic guns and the folk who use, both of which are called Spellshots.

Star People: The Rattler/Viashino way of calling people Planeswalkers. Way I figure though, them civilized folk probably call em something a little different. "Star Walkers."

Some Racial Slang
Snakefolk: Rattlers
Noggles: Nogs
Viashino: Vash
Person of Jakkard: Jakk

Folk Sayings
Choke on a rope: A way of saying you hope a fellow gets hung, from a rope that is.
Boomstick: Any sufficiently powerful gun/cannon.
Fleashooter: A rifle or any other sufficiently accurate fire arm.
Sandman took 'im: They got lost and died in the desert.
Iron Ladder: Railway.
Crazy as Krell--What crazy like a fox means on other planes. Based on a story of a noggle who knew when to hang the rules and shoot first
Crazy like a fox--Kinda like crazy as Krell, but with Krell yer likely to end up dead... with a fox yer likely to end up with yer 'kridian, yer house, yer minin' plot, and yer wife all in the paws of yer worst enemy. And dead. Can't ferget that.
Old Smokey Got 'Im--Said when someone disappears into the night, or dies under mysterious and bloody circumstances. Named after a character who was so spooky he scared even the Nightstalkers, or so the story goes.
Smokeys--Cigars. Rare these days, but rumor has it there's a new supplier up in Verkell.
S/He's crossroad bound/headed for the crossroads--headed for a bad end. Sometimes literal--headed for the crossing of two or more leylines to make a deal with whatever's out there.
The Wild Wild Waste--the Jakkard. See also: going out Waste.
"Meeting a basilisk's eye": Getting into a situation you can't get out of.
Stare down a basilisk - Do the impossible/really difficult/ really freaking awesome.


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