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Author Topic: Homebrew Fantasy Game Project - The Lore Thread  (Read 1960 times)

Offline Wargamer

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Homebrew Fantasy Game Project - The Lore Thread
« on: July 29, 2015, 03:33:58 PM »
Bear in mind this is going to be out of order, because I've not settled on how to best introduce the setting yet and so I just wanted to do some faction-related introductions instead.

Specifically, I wanted to introduce the first character of the setting - Draug the Wight Emperor!

The Imperial Legion
The Imperial Legion began in the south-east. After being driven from the city of Taras, the Vampires of Imperial Taras began a lengthy campaign to reclaim their home. For decades they attacked Taras and its lands, fighting running battles with the Tarasians in which both sides lost ground. While it was a simple enough matter for the Vampires to will new warriors to rise, the armies of Taras bought enough time to evacuate their people to their fortress capital in the mountains, and thus the Vampires had precious little blood to slake their thirst.

Driven to desperation by hunger, the last of the Imperial Vampires threw everything they had into a lengthy siege of Taras, but with each battle they were driven back from the city, and the people of Taras were quick to burn the bodies and lay their remains to rest in holy ground where they could not be raised. The undead army was drained, and then routed in a final, crushing defeat. The Vampires that survived fled back into the lowlands, and awaited death.

But Eidolon's curse could not be overcome by something as trivial as starvation, and so the Vampires perished, yet their souls remained bound to their bodies. They were forced to endure the unendurable as their bodies rotted away.The Vampires became Wights, and the ordeal drove most of them insane. Yet some survived with enough sanity to and force to will to seek to rebuild their tattered forces, and none sought this more than Draug, the Lord-General of the Imperial Cataphracts.

Draug gathered what forces he could and marched north. He soon came upon a Dwarven expedition seeking Taras and ambushed them, killing most of the Dwarfs and taking a few as prisoners to feed upon. When he discovered the blood of the living could no longer satisfy his hunger, nor restore his flesh, Draug flew into a rage and tore the remaining Dwarfs to pieces with his bare hands.

Soon after, Draug's forces came upon a farming commune guarded by Revenants. A small cell of Vampires had established a fiefdom, protecting their mortal charges in exchange for offerings of blood. Draug sent his own Revenants to lay siege to the Vampire's home while he and his undead Cataphracts rode down the farmers, slaying them to the last man, woman and child. Within a week the Vampires surrendered, but there would be no mercy from Draug. He ordered his lieutenants to crucify the prisoners, and Draug stood and watched as his victims perished from lack of blood and wasted away. After weeks of torment, Draug broke their wills and bound them to his service. Now armed with fresh vassals and newly raised corpse-soldiers, Draug continued his campaigns.

It wasn't long before the unholy butcher had developed a reputation among living and dead alike. The scarce survivors of his attacks spread the legend of the skeletal warrior shrouded in balefire and hell-bent on destroying the world. After four years of war, and having tripled the size of the Empire, Draug turned back to deal with one last struggle; the Dwarven fortress of Nidfel, which his fellow Wights had laid siege to for over two years without success. When Draug arrived he demanded all kneel and accept him as their leader, but few were willing to accept his rule. Enraged, Draug stormed west and hunted for a way to end the siege. He came upon a wizard cabal, and after a month of costly battle broke the mages and forced them to serve him. He promised them they would be spared if they aided him in conquering Nidfel, and the mortal wizards reluctantly agreed.

Returning to the siege, Draug's cabal spent days preparing spells to carry him and an elite team of Revenants up to the topmost ramparts. From there, the undead stormed down through the Dwarven fort, butchering every living thing inside over three days of relentless carnage. When the keep's doors swung open, few would question Draug's right to rule, and those who did were swiftly destroyed. Pausing only to cut the tongues from the heads of his wizards and hurl them into the dungeons to die, Draug sat upon the throne of the Dwarf King and declared himself both Emperor of the Wights, and General of the Legion.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2015, 06:54:07 PM by Wargamer »
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Offline Wargamer

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Re: Dead Lands - The Lore Thread
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2015, 05:03:44 PM »
RELIGION:

Eidolon - the Breath of Life: Eidolon is the God of Men and Dwarfs. Church scrolls claim that Eidolon made all the races with purpose. Elves were first, chosen to bring forth nature's bounty. Men were second, to tame nature and give purpose to the world. Dwarfs were last as craftsmen and keepers of history, tasked with preserving knowledge and producing masterworks for others to emulate. The Dwarfs disagree with Men on the order of creation and the particulars of each role, but both agree that Eidolon gave each race a gift in return for their labours. The Elves were given the gift of Magic, so that they may create effortlessly. To Men went the gift of innovation, so that they might adapt and thrive in all corners of the world. The Dwarfs were given the gift of long life, so they might accumulate wisdom and be seen as sages by the other races.

Eidolon sits in judgement over his creation. When an Elf, Man or Dwarf dies, their soul is brought before Eidolon and he weighs how they used the gift of life. Those who lived well and served their purpose are returned to the anima, the great soul of the world from which all other life springs, to enrich it and perhaps be born anew. Those who were unworthy are destroyed utterly; all that they were, all their deeds and accomplishments are torn from them and cast aside, leaving the raw essence to be reclaimed without the taint of sin.

Man and Dwarf interpret what Eidolon deems worthy slightly differently, though scholars argue this is not itself an issue. Men consider the traits of honour, integrity, bravery and courage to be worthy, and believe Eidolon will embrace those who uphold those ideals. Dwarfs, by contrast, prefer a view of personal excellence; all that matters is that you excel in the role you are given. Thus where a Man born as a farmer might aspire to become a great warrior, a Dwarven farmer would instead strive to simply be the best farmer he could be. This often leads Men to view Dwarfs as rather passive, especially combined with their long lives, while Dwarfs see Men as being perpetual children, wasting their entire lives trying to find their purpose when it is right in front of them.

What Eidolon expected of Elves is rarely discussed now. Few Men remember at all, and Dwarfs see it as irrelevant. Elves are damned, and their souls are no-longer welcome in Eidolon's presence.

Races

The Elves: Elves are widely believed to be the first race Eidolon breathed life into, and were created to bring forth lesser life and make the land bountiful. Little wonder then that the ancestral homelands of the Elves were often lush forests, or grassy plains that teemed with game. Eidolon blessed the Elves with magic, and they used it to reshape their kingdoms into glorious realms of elemental splendour. Buildings constructed of frozen fire, entire cities grown from mystical trees, palaces solid light and a hundred other wonders are said to have been made by the Elves in this golden age.

Yet the Elves were not content with their lot. For all their power, their lives were short. Where a Dwarf might live for centuries, an Elf was lucky to live just eighty years, and the study and mastery of magic was so intensive that only the old could claim true mastery of it, leaving them precious few years to enjoy their power. Thus, the Elven Mages began to pursue new ways to use their magic, and find a way to extent their lives beyond their natural limit.

When Eidolon saw this he was angered, and he made his anger known. Omens and dark portents were seen across the lands of all races, and they were heeded by Man and Dwarf, but not the Elves. This perhaps is what damned the Elvenkind, for as the Elven people were shunned by the Dwarfs and suddenly beset by holy wars with Men, the ordinary Elves turned to their Magi, who in turn became more desperate in their plundering of occult power.

At last, after many years, Eidolon's patience was spent. A blood-red moon crossed the sun, plunging the world into darkness, and in the shadow of the blood moon the Elves were cursed. Dead Elves burst from their graves, ghosts and spirits emerged from the ether within their domain, and the practitioners of forbidden magic were gripped with a terrible, unholy desire to feed upon the living, becoming the first of the Vampires. Thus did the Elven lands fall into chaos. Many nations were destroyed by the walking dead, or put to the sword by zealous invaders in the name of Eidolon, but a handful of cursed Elves escaped - enough to carry the curse to other lands and begin anew.

It was Men that the Vampires turned to next. Men, being adaptable, had within their lands a few wizards of their own, though none were equal to the skill of the Elves. The Vampires corrupted these individuals, and with their aid found means to transform Men into blood drinkers like themselves. Thus did the undead spread themselves across the world. Some were found and slain, but enough escaped notice to gain power and influence, and many of them dreamed of revenge for the suffering inflicted on them in years gone by.

In time, the Vampires returned to their forsaken lands, realms where the dead still did not rest easily. In exile they had mastered their craft, and gained the means to bend the dead to their will. They left again not in secret, but at the heads of armies to bring an unholy war to those who had attacked them. The history of these wars is long, bloody and often forgotten, for it was by all accounts the end of the world.

When the dust settled, the ancestral lands of Elf, Man and Dwarf alike belonged to the dead. The remains of these races that had not been corrupted or enslaved by their dark masters hid behind stout fortresses or in remote corners of the world, forever fearful of being hunted by the creatures of darkness.

The last of the Elves are by far the rarest of the races, and the least inclined to make contact with the outside world. Many have become fearful of magic, or even of their own natural talents to bring life. Yet they are dependent upon magic to survive, as they are outnumbered by the dead many thousands to one, and the living will destroy them just as surely given half a chance.

Eidolon's Curse hangs heavily on the Elves. They know that they are damned and that their lives are worthless to their creator, that there is no reward in the next world. Many wonder whether eternity as a cursed monster would be preferable to oblivion. Yet others believe their race may be redeemed, if only they could find a way to purge the Vampire and end the dominion of the dead. These Elves strive for the future, hoping that their sacrifice will redeem their descendents in the eyes of their God, and restore the order that has been lost.
I wrote a novel - Dreamscape: The Wanderer.. Available in paperback and pdf.

Quote from: Liberate the Warhammers
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Offline Narric

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Re: Dead Lands - The Lore Thread
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2015, 10:23:33 PM »
Some fantastic fluff their Wargy :3

Offline Wargamer

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Re: Homebrew Fantasy Game Project - The Lore Thread
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2015, 10:25:25 PM »
Races

The Dwarfs: Dwarfs are stout, hardly and long-lived people, renowned for their personal skill and great patience. A typical Dwarf will live for centuries, assuming accident, sickness or war doesn't claim them first, and a Dwarf is not considered to be old until well into the four-hundreds.

Dwarfs believe they were created by Eidolon to be keepers of knowledge and masters of their craft. As such, Dwarfs are highly respectful of their elders, who have lived longer and are thus both wiser and more talented at their work. This has led to the veneration of ancestors within most Dwarven societies, which in some cases eclipses worship of Eidolon.

There is very little social mobility in Dwarven culture. A Dwarf born to farmers is expected to be a farmer, a Dwarf born to soldiers is expected to be a soldier, and so on. A Dwarf earns respect from his peers not from his role in society, but for how well he performs in that role. The exception to this is the warrior caste, which by necessity has been expanded considerably.

Historically, Dwarfs built their cities on trade hubs and other centralised locations. They generally dwelt within Human lands, as they found the race of Men an excellent resource to exploit. The Dwarfs rarely get involved with the endless feuds and conflicts of their host nations, however; these wars rarely lasted more than a decade or so, and as such the Dwarfs were happy to dismiss them as temporary inconveniences.

Things changed quite alarmingly during the Age of the Dead. As holy wars and incursions of the dead broke out across the land, the Dwarfs generally responded with their trademark indifference. They dealt with Elven heresy by simply not trading with the Elves, which some Human nations took as a sign of collaboration. This led to wars between Man and Dwarf, and the destruction of several Dwarven cities and the loss of a great deal of the archived knowledge and technological wonders therein.

Despite being typically seen as miners and living in great mountain forces, neither of these things were true of most Dwarfs. Mining is a difficult and dangerous business, and as such Dwarfs generally paid Men, and rarely Elves, to mine for them. They were mine owners, not miners. Likewise, the great Dwarf Fortresses may have been built by the Dwarfs, but they were built at the behest of Human kings and warlords, many of whom did not open the gates to Dwarven refugees when the world fell apart.

For this reason, the Dwarfs suffered greatly during the Age of the Dead. Combined with their relative lack of adaptability and innovation, the Dwarfs were pushed close to extinction by the hordes of Revenants that swarmed across the land. But some did survive, either by becoming part of a Human commune or reaching one of the few Dwarf strongholds in the mountains.

Uniquely among the other races, excluding the dead ones, the Dwarfs still have people living among them who remember the old world. These venerable elders were a blessing for the Dwarfs, as they not only remembered things that might otherwise have been lost, they also helped maintain a burning sense of urgency within the Dwarf people, reminding their kin of why their race must adapt to this terrible new world.
I wrote a novel - Dreamscape: The Wanderer.. Available in paperback and pdf.

Quote from: Liberate the Warhammers
People who have no sense of Sportsmanship have NO PLACE designing any Gaming system

Offline The Man They Call Jayne

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Re: Homebrew Fantasy Game Project - The Lore Thread
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2015, 12:48:46 PM »
Huzzah, Dwarfs. They will solve this mild undead problem and then get back to work.
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