Difference between revisions of "Almanac"
|Line 92:||Line 92:|
Revision as of 15:45, 17 February 2012
- 1 The Forge
- 2 History
- 3 Astrology
- 4 Cosmology
- 5 Technology
- 6 Language
- 7 Economy
- 8 Good and Evil
The Forge is a primal realm 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 planes 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 there were dragons who 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 dragons slept the Ilthids gained power. In the first age Ilthids walked the surface of the world and nurtured the elves and dwarves as pets. The other races, namely the Hoblings, also grew and throughout Asmythe all 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 dragons attempted to correct the actions of the Ilthids on the races of Asmythe, especially the elves and dwarves. For a 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 feed and heal them. Each empire was guided by a different family of dragons and the empires reflected the personality of those families.
Near the end of the second era the humans and goblins appeared and they too built empires, though their power was insignificant in comparison to the elven and dwaven empires. The appearance of the humans and goblins remains a mystery for there is no record of them anywhere in pre-history; some say they have come from outside Asmythe, from another plane.
The Second Era ended when conflict erupted between the elven and dwarven empires. Fueled by the eternals they destroyed each other and all other civilizations. In the cataclysm the dragon eternal Aureus fell; the first and only dragon to die in all the history of the world. The dragons diminished and promised never again to meddle in the affairs of the world.
The Third Era - The Age of Anarchy
The first to recover from the cataclysm were the goblins who harnessed the power of the outsiders and built anew on the ruins of the empires. Within a few centuries they held dominion over most of the world.
The Third Era ended when humans, strengthened by godly power, were able to build settlements capable of holding back the goblin hoards.
The Fourth Era - The Age of Spirits
In the Fourth Era Asmythe is scattered with nations of each race engaged in holy wars with each other. Although humans were the first to use the power of the gods the other races quickly learned to access the power of the cosmos and began rebuilding their own nations. 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.
Asmythe is just one world in an infinite sea of alternate realities, called "planes of existence". Everything that can exist does, somewhere in the infinite planes. All planes exist simultaneously everywhere but can not be seen or touched.
Surrounding and separating the planes is the AEther, a substance or energy that does not truly exist but is somehow strong enough to prevent the planes from touching each other and makes it difficult for creatures of the planes to move between them.
Creatures from the planes are commonly called "outsiders".
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 - The standard language of all Empire 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.
- Empire Common - The Empire uses the Draconic alphabet to represent words in the common language.
- Dwarven - Written language of the dwarven empire.
- Elven - Written language of the elven empire.
These languages originate on another plane of thought and are impossible to read, write, or speak without magical assistance. With training a person can learn to recognize the characteristics of the language, decipher basic meanings, and even communicate with creatures who speak the language fluently; but doing so without magical assistance can be dangerous and is always unreliable. 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 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" planes.
- Abyssal - The language of demons and eternals native to the "lower" planes.
- 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 backed by the House of Hugo.
Good and Evil
"Good" and "evil" are but thoughts and actions brought into existence by the creatures Asmythe and of the planes. 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.