- 1 The Forge
- 2 History
- 3 Astrology
- 4 Cosmology
- 5 Technology
- 6 Language
- 7 Economy
- 8 Good and Evil
The Forge is the source of possibility and potential; neither good nor evil, neither ordered nor chaotic it is the source of all that has and every will be created. From the essence of this realm Asmythe and all the realms of existence were forged. The Forge is the source of all magic and the manifestation of thought and action.
In the beginning there was nothing but the Forge. From the Forge Asmythe took form and the Elder Dragons were guardians of the world. The Dragons gave the creatures of Asmythe thought and will and the greatest of these were the Ilthids. Then the Dragons slept.
The First Era - The Age Of Beasts
As the Elder Dragons slept the Ilthids gained power. In the first age Ilthids walked the surface of the world and nurtured the elves, dwarves and hoblings as pets. For fifty thousand years the races roamed the world in small nomadic tribes, herded by the Ilthids.
When the Dragons woke they saw the world was not as they left it. Some were angry, others pleased, but all were disappointed in the Ilthids who were banished deep underground forever.
The Second Era - The Age Of Dragons
The Elder Dragons formed councils to guide the races of Asmythe and lead the races into a new era of liberty and self-fulfillment. For ten thousand years the Dragons guided the elves to build a surface empire of magic, the dwarves to build an underground empire of machines, and the hoblings to nurture the world upon which they all lived. Each empire was guided by a different council of dragons and the empires reflected the personality of the Dragons.
The Second Era ended when conflict erupted between the elven and dwarven empires. Fueled by the Dragons they created a cataclysm that destroyed each all three civilizations. In the cataclysm the Dragon Aureus fell; the first and only Elder Dragon to die in all the history of the world. The Dragons withdrew and promised never again to meddle in the affairs of the world. The death of Aureus marks the counting of the years as kept by sages and historians.
At the time of the cataclysm humans and goblins appeared on Asmythe along with a host of other creatures fierce and fiendish. Among these are the drakes, the lesser dragons, which still inhabit Asmythe to this day. Many believe that the drakes are weapons created by the Elder Dragons to wage the war that created the cataclysm.
The Third Era - The Age of Anarchy
While the world was trying to recover from the cataclysm the humans forged an Empire on the isle of Altazar. The goblins rampaged across the world brutalizing all who stood in their way. The goblins harnessed the power of the outsiders to dominate the world and none could stand against them.
After a thousand and one years the Age of Anarchy finally ended when the human empire discovered the gods and with their power were able to build strongholds capable of holding back the goblin hoards.
The Current Era - The Age of Spirits
In the Fourth Era Asmythe is still recovering from the cataclysm. Although humans were the first to use the power of the gods the other races quickly learned of the cosmos as well. The world is scattered with nations of each race fighting to survive and regain their past glory. They engaged in wars with each other over land and doctrine. But the races of Asmythe are too scattered and weak to rebuild their empires, except for the humans who's Empire was never completely conquered during the third era.
This is the current era.
Circling Asmyth are three moons. The largest, Cylene, marks the seasons with its four cycles each year. Slightly smaller and much redder, Samlene, cycles every fourteen days; normal weeks are seven days. The third moon, a small dark body name Rolene, hard to see even when in full aspect, cycles every 17 days. Rolene first appeared near the end of the second era and is sometimes referred to as the "dark moon" or "blue moon".
By the empire calendar there are four weeks in a month, three months in a season, and four seasons in a year, for a total of 336 normal days per year. The spring months are Seeds, Clouds, and Flowers; following are the summer months of Stars, Golden, and Contest. The autumn months are Bells, Harvest, and Crowns; finally the winter months of Shields, Storms, and Silver. The new year is on the first day of Seeds. The weeks are Squire, Knight, Prince, and King progressing from the first week of the month to the end of the month. The first day of each week is set aside for worship and is generally a day of friendship and renewal.
Every ninety-eight years is the Time of Passing, alternating between midsummer and midwinter. This is when a great darkness falls on Asmyth bringing with it a great shaking of the land, heaving of the seas and other great disasters. In the skies a great dark body growing ever bigger heralds the coming of these baneful times; it is called The Destroyer.
Astrologers also mark the passing of three great lights that streak the sky at regular intervals over the years. There is one seen every 27 years that brings with it the passing of a great leader, one every 42 years that marks the birth of a great hero, and one seen only by a few every 150 years foretells the coming of the avatar of evil who will try to claim all of creation for itself. There are many other lights that pass through our skies that cannot be predicted; all bring with them an event of great significance.
See also: Regligions
Asmythe is just one world in an infinite sea of worlds, called "realms of existence" or "planes of existence". Everything that can exist does, somewhere in the infinite realms and they are all manifestations of the Forge.
Each realm is distinct and separate by means of the AEther, which is a substance or energy that does not truly exist but is ever-present and strong enough to prevent the realms from colliding with each other. At the center of the realms are the material realms, each material realm touches and is surrounded by many conceptual realm, and each conceptual reals is connected to many primal realms.
Any creature from another realm is called an "outsider". Most outsiders encountered are either eternals or creatures summoned through the AEther by magical means.
From the point of view of Asmythe, the continuum of realms is like an onion: it has layers. At the center is Asmythe and all the other material realms, realms that are each a world of living creatures and nations. All material realms exist simultaneously everywhere but can not be seen or touched except through the AEther. Each material realm is surrounded by many conceptual realms.
Beyond and encircling the material realms are the conceptual realms, which are realms of focused thought and substance such as the celestial and abyssal realms. Similar to the material realms, the conceptual realms exist simultaneous and overlapping to each other separated by the AEther.
Not all conceptual realms touch all material realms equally; from the perspective of a material realm some conceptual realms appear "thicker" and stronger than others. These differences are the primary factors which differentiates each material ream from the others.
Beyond and connected to the conceptual realms are the primal realms. The primal realms are realms of pure elements unhindered by thought or ego; barren of life, they exist only as substance from which all other realms are composed. Unlike the other realms the primal realms are arranged around the conceptual realms like the points on a star; each is a distinct "bubble" that is adjacent to but not does not overlap other primal realms.
During the second age the dwarven empire reached a level of technology almost equal to the industrial era of Earth. The dwarves understood physics and chemistry; they had magical machines capable of smelting and mixing metals, forging tools and parts with great precision, and clockwork golems capable of reproducing themselves.
But even these great machines were barely capable of holding back elven spells and proved inadequate at fending off the goblin hoards. In the fourth age almost all of that technology has been lost, as has the power of the elves, but artifacts remain and maybe someday those lost arts will be rediscovered.
During the first age language was as diverse as the people of Asmythe. Every tribe and region had it's own language and dialect. With the rise of the Empire and the Elven and Dwarven nations during the second age language became more unified. The goblin invasions of the third age created an even greater need for a common language that every race and nation could understand.
Literacy is not common among most nations; although it is taught in some schools most people don't go to school and/or don't use it in their daily lives so it is quickly forgotten. Generally only aristocrats, merchants, and scholars know how to read and write.
These are the most common languages of Asmythe. Every civilized nation uses one or more of these languages to conduct it's affairs. Hoblings never developed their own language, instead they usually take and use the language of the nearest friendly nation.
- Empire Common, "Codrix" - The standard language of all Empire human nations.
- Dwarven - The standard language of the dwarven nations.
- Elven - The standard language of the elven nations.
- Goblin - The standard language of the goblin nations.
These languages can be written, read, and understood without magical assistance. Goblins never developed their own written language and the other languages have changed so much over the ages that ancient texts, if they exist, may be difficult to decipher.
- Codrix - Codrix is the written language of the Empire and human nations.
- Dwarven - Written language of the dwarven empire.
- Elven - Written language of the elven empire.
These languages originate on another realm of thought and are impossible to read, write, or speak properly without magical assistance. With training a person can learn to decipher basic meanings and even communicate with creatures who speak the language fluently; but do so as a foreigner with a terrible accent. Arcane texts and spells use these languages, usually draconic, but knowledge of these languages is not required nor especially useful for wizards because magical assistance is still required to understand and use them.
- Draconic - The language of Dragons, fey, and other eternals native to Asmythe.
- Celestial - The language of celestials and eternals native to to the "upper" realms.
- Abyssal - The language of demons and eternals native to the "lower" realms.
- Elemental/Other - Each elemental and other outer place also has a native magical language but they are too many to list. Examples include Infernal, Aquan, Ignan, etc.
In addition to the civilized languages described above, many beasts and barbarian nations have their own language. Unlike the civilized languages these languages vary from region to region even among the same kind of beast. Orc spoken in the Far Verge is different from orc spoken in Erronia or the Homelands. Sometimes these differences are just a matter of dialect, sometimes they are so different that communication is impossible.
The most common coins are the ancient dwarven coins and the coins of the Empire.
The coins of the empire are ornate and difficult, but not impossible, to forge. They are, however, barely worth the cost of the base metals and the difficulty of mixing the proper metals into the correct molds, and the harsh penalties for forgeries, makes counterfeit coins fairly rare. In the outer reaches of the empire these coins are somewhat uncommon because of the fear of forgeries and the fact that they are more difficult to get than dwarven coins. In the heart of the empire these coins are the only legal tender; forgers are aggressively hunted and punishments are severe.
The dwarven coins are of extremely high quality; they are ornate and composed of complex alloys. Dwarven "silver" is not actually silver but some kind of aluminum alloy. The art of making dwarven coins has long been lost, making them much more valuable than their base metal and legal tender in most cities of Asmythe. In many of the outer reaches of the empire the dwarven coins are more common than empire coins.
Nearly all large transactions are conducted with bank notes, usually issued and backed by the House of Hugo or other large trading company.
There are many nations, who are not members of the Empire, who keep their own system of currency; but Empire and dwarven coins are common enough that they are usually accepted as legal tender even in those nations.
Good and Evil
"Good" and "evil" are but thoughts and actions brought into existence by the creatures Asmythe and of the realms. Good and evil are more primal even than the gods but they are still just manifestations from the Forge. Most creatures are neither good nor evil even when they have generous or destructive tendencies. Only creatures and beings close to the forge are powerful enough to embody the essence of good and evil.
Powers, abilities, and traits that specifically affect "good" or "evil" creatures only affect beings that:
- Have an alignment or nature that is specifically "good" or "evil" AND
- Have spells-casting or spell-like abilities OR
- Have supernatural or magical abilities
All other creatures, regardless of origin or nature, are not affected by spells or abilities that only affect "good" or "evil" creatures.