So, I'm planning on throwing together a Fantasy Craft
one-shot in a few weeks which will hopefully be followed by a Fantasy Craft
ongoing (depending on if the one-shot generates interest, though the one-shot wouldn't continue directly into the ongoing).
For that purpose, I've been putting together a fantasy setting to fit the sort of game I'd like to run.
Here's what I have so far.
WARNING: I like to use existing cultures and their people/place names as dressing (here taking Russia, India, Inka, Teutonic, and a few others for inspiration), so if you see a language you recognize being horribly abused I apologize in advance... though if you have a suggested alternative name please feel free to say so. The Region
: HelgiaThe Era
: FeudalThe Map
: I'm basing it (roughly) on this - http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk199/MaskedBrute/CenterLands-848milesto4inches.pngYes, it is part of Canada turned upside down. What of it?The Magic
: Other than rumors of some exclusive schools back in the Empire, there are three ways to learn magic and each means a different school while presenting unique challenges.
An eastern 'Heretic' can teach you magic of the Prophet, Reaper, Seer types. The risk for them is going to be high, though, unless they have the protection of someone like a Prince... in which case it'll be expensive.
A Dascha [NOTE: Fire Brave/Elder Ogres], the descendants of the magic creatures that were the source of the the fallen Killte civilization's mystic might, hide among mortals or in the wilds even today. If you see through the disguise of one it must grant you one boon, and teaching Trickster, Channeler, and Preserver magics is something they can do. They might try to eat you afterwards, though, so be warned.
A Nerayan 'Smokeman' can teach Conjouror and Enchanter magic, but only to those that are members of their secret organization. Good luck, unless you were born into it.
Basically, Mages need to have something like this in their background and can only start out with one.The Divine
: I'm going to be including the Miracles quality as well, and each Alignment will be fully equipped to handle an appropriate Priest (though they may not be called that for some of them).The Species
: Humans are the primary option, however there is room for the occasional giant, cursed or beastly "man" (like an orc), legendary creature, and disguised being of folklore. Such figures will be presented as being walking legends, disbelieved by anyone with an education, and likely will be treated as freaks by the civilized or monsters by the superstitious depending on what we're dealing with.The Factions
:The Camlin Empire
- A major power to the East/North East of the region, the Empire is about 400 years old and is ruled by various monarchs who claim divine right as descendants of the Incarnate (a reincarnating messiah figure who they claim was born of the divine powers that created the world, and who others claim was a man who became divine through virtue).
Technically the powers of Helgia are aligned with the Empire's Enemy, the Kingdom of Lavena, but it's a distant relationship and the Empire has many representatives and traders in the area.The Volnwald-Ehrenke Commonwealth
- To the immediate North East of the Helgian city-states lies the Commonwealth. Formed just two hundred years ago by a handful of smaller states that had sworn allegiance to the King of Lavena, but had been cut off from their protector during its conflicts with the Empire, it was started after the various leaders realized how desperately they needed one another. With several months of heated bargaining and a few political marriages, a commonwealth "with the King as its President" was born.
By joining together under one banner they managed to hold off the Empire and eventually gain the support of at least most of the Helgian princes. Now there is a general peace, as the Commonwealth serves as a buffer while itself benefiting from exclusive control of overland eastern trade.
States: Norward, Iomhar, Renwyk, Haldis, HerwynThe Seven Princes
- There are seven cities of Helgia-proper. Compared to the Commonwealth and the Empire they are a bit backwards, but they have power of arms as well as a number of devious minds. Once there were more cities, but time and a massive invasion followed by a two hundred years of partial occupation have whittled it down to seven. The alliances and feuds between the various cities are tangled, going back over 500 years, leading to sporadic warfare and constant political maneuvering.
Currently two of the cities are in the midst of a major war, one is doing everything but declare open warfare on the last city still occupied by the Nerayan invaders, two are planning a marriage between their ruling families, and the other two are trying desperately to make sure the wedding never happens. That's not even mentioning the hired brigands disrupting trade, and various spies.
Cities: Lesta, Gayev, Elga, Jov, Peten, Kolenka, BrencisThe Virtuous
- The Virtue of the Incarnate is the predominate religion of the region, with those who teach of the Incarnate's many lives and the lessons found therein being called the Virtuous. Ostensibly there is no formal hierarchy, with only a Virtuous mentor's blessing being required to become one yourself, but over the centuries a recognizable structure has formed; Great Teachers choose who becomes a Teacher or a Searcher and sometimes declare certain lessons from the Incarnate's lives to be heresies, while only Teachers can make someone a Virtuous. Each region has its own Great Teacher; in Helgia each city has one, while the Commonwealth only recognizes the Great Teacher of Levena and the Emperor of Camlin is always the Empire's Great Teacher.
Searchers are those who look for the Incarnate in his current life; sometimes he (or she, though rarely enough it's not expected) becomes aware of who he is as a child, sometimes only moments before his death, but he is always in the world and when he does become aware the signs are unmistakable. In the past lucky or observant Virtuous were able to find him and help him discover who he is, and thus the Searchers were born.The Folk
- Also known as the Kinclaves, this is a broad term for the widely distributed association of local groups that operate on family alliances and blood debts that predate or run concurrent with the creation of the city states of Helgia. These are people who may never meet someone from the cities, or who deal with them frequently and aren't especially fond of the necessity. They consider themselves true Helgians, and as much as possible live by the rules they've known their whole lives, loyal to community and family over all else.
Easily dismissed as unorganized serfs, the Princes have learned that in certain areas the bonds of the Kinclaves create a powerful network they must either destroy in a costly expenditure or quietly compromise with. The Killte
- A small group of mountain-dwelling people whose ancestors were, a thousand years ago, the primary power of the region. Outside of a scattering of tiny villages they now have only four population centers to call home; one trading post in the foothills, two small towns among the ruins of grand cities, and one mostly-intact but half-deserted city in a high valley.
Every time they have attempted to expand or restore even a fraction of their power over the last five hundred years they have been crushed by some power or another, but they are learning to be patient.
Homes: Tambo Tohku, Matagua, Ayarmaca, Quenti KanshaThe Nerayan
- Most people in Helgia don't quite understand the Nerayan; they look and speak of themselves as if they were a culture of nothing but pirates, but they behave as if they are the local branch of an expanding empire. Three hundred years ago they turned from regular raiding of the North Western coast to a full-on invasion, taking land like it was free to all comers and laying claim to several major waterways. Though the Princes fought them constantly over two hundred years, they continued to gain more territory than they lost until the Commonwealth soldiers and a few disastrous storms turned the tide and drove them back.
Now they control a city on the very tip of the region as well as an island just off the coast, a toe-hold they refused to give up and which the Princes bargained to let them keep before the Commonwealth needed its armies back. That was a hundred years ago, and tensions have been high ever since... but the last time a Prince tried to test the treaty and siege the city an alarming number of ships appeared.
City: KrodhaAlignmentsThe Killte Way
Paths: Air, Earth, Magic
Skills: Athletics, Medicine, Sneak, Survival
Avatar: Predatory Giant Eagle
Opposed: The Oaths of Order, The NerayanThe Virtues
Paths: Beauty, Knowledge, Heroism
Skills: Investigate, Tactics, Resolve, Impress
Weapon: Long Staff
Avatar: Guardian Angel
Opposed: The Incarnate Families, The KinclaveThe Incarnate Families
- Of the Camlin Empire
Paths: Fortune, Secrets, Protection
Skills: Blend, Bluff, Intimidate, Impress
Weapon: Short Sword
Avatar: Alpha War Dog
Opposed: The Virtues, The CommonwealthThe Oaths of Order
- Of the Cities of Helgia
Paths: Metal, Order, Strength
Skills: Crafting, Haggle, Sense Motive, Blend
Weapon: Bastard Sword
Avatar: Alpha War Horse
Opposed: The Killte Way, The NerayanThe Kinclave
Priests: Depends. Elder, Grandfather/mother, Boss, Speaker, etc.
Paths: Life, Nature, Wilderness
Skills: Bluff, Medicine, Notice, Survival
Avatar: Alpha Grizzly Bear
Opposed: The Virtues, The CommonwealthThe Nerayan
Paths: Water, Travel, War
Skills: Athletics, Acrobatics, Notice, Tactics
Weapon: Sickle Sword
Avatar: Ancient Water Serpent
Opposed: The Oaths of Order, The Killte WayThe Commonwealth
Paths: Light, Deceit, Fire
Skills: Crafting, Investigate, Search, Sense Motive
Avatar: Alpha Elk
Opposed: The Incarnate Families, The KinclaveGeneral
- For those interest in more abstract Alignments, I'm going to have Good, Evil, Chaos, and Order as options.History
I have a very rough timeline that I haven't yet typed up (it's scribbled out on a legal pad), that I'll try to put together soon.Final Note
The Incarnate religion is, really, a combination of Christianity, Buddhism, the Virtues from the Ultima series, with the schismatic history of both Christianity and Islam thrown in for a dash of flavor. It's sort of crazy, but I think I love it.