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Old 09-01-2017, 09:05 AM
Ethenil Ethenil is offline

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I sincerely apologize, yesterday was not a good day, and I was pretty pissed at everything.

I propose having the "Black Forest", which is a temporary name for a mysterious Schwartzwald with dark ents and dark elves, around eastern Frelherth. I think werewolves would fit really well with this.

Then, the ghost-run human nation could be in the original Spookyland, on the eastern shores, and their pirates focusing on eastern Xaxalin, going sometimes to Althesar (since long voyages may not be a particular issue for ghosts), and only occasionally interacting with Orcini pirates.

In that same Spookyland, could be these huge castles of vampires, while the feudal ones are actually somewhere on Xaxalin (preferably as north as possible), having begun originally as a colony of the northern ones in an effort to harvest humans, since the ghost-protected ones up north are harder to get to.

----------

Thoughts on merfolk:

- I'll edit the political map later to show how I envision their territories.

- I'm considering having the Ssetali (deep sea merfolk) be organized not into nations but into temples, located within trenches deep, deep down.

- The colony next to Rakshar is indeed far away. What I'm considering is making it having been a colony before, but now being its own state made of both Thassali (main-breed) and Ssetali (deepsea). They would still followed the prime directive of the merfolk people, and hold huge respect for the main Thassali emperor, but be independent. Now, I just need to find a reason for this colony to have existed, probably something they're after in Rakshar.

- I propose have not-Nordrassil on the northern Njorthos landmass, with the tips of its roots across those nearby continents.

Last edited by Ethenil; 09-01-2017 at 09:24 AM..
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  #552  
Old 09-01-2017, 10:25 AM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Originally Posted by Ethenil View Post
I sincerely apologize, yesterday was not a good day, and I was pretty pissed at everything.

I propose having the "Black Forest", which is a temporary name for a mysterious Schwartzwald with dark ents and dark elves, around eastern Frelherth. I think werewolves would fit really well with this.

Then, the ghost-run human nation could be in the original Spookyland, on the eastern shores, and their pirates focusing on eastern Xaxalin, going sometimes to Althesar (since long voyages may not be a particular issue for ghosts), and only occasionally interacting with Orcini pirates.

In that same Spookyland, could be these huge castles of vampires, while the feudal ones are actually somewhere on Xaxalin (preferably as north as possible), having begun originally as a colony of the northern ones in an effort to harvest humans, since the ghost-protected ones up north are harder to get to.

----------

Thoughts on merfolk:

- I'll edit the political map later to show how I envision their territories.

- I'm considering having the Ssetali (deep sea merfolk) be organized not into nations but into temples, located within trenches deep, deep down.

- The colony next to Rakshar is indeed far away. What I'm considering is making it having been a colony before, but now being its own state made of both Thassali (main-breed) and Ssetali (deepsea). They would still followed the prime directive of the merfolk people, and hold huge respect for the main Thassali emperor, but be independent. Now, I just need to find a reason for this colony to have existed, probably something they're after in Rakshar.

- I propose have not-Nordrassil on the northern Njorthos landmass, with the tips of its roots across those nearby continents.
1. No problem, my apologies for snapping at you, had a rough day yesterday as well.

2. Forest in Frelherth and Ghosts on the northern continent, with vamps to the north and invading/raiding Xaxalin and setting up Feudal places on it sounds good, allows for a bit of conflict.

3. Merfolk deep-sea temples sound cool. Could help keep away / keep dormant deep sea monsters.

4. As for what they're looking for in Rakshar we can talk with Gromak and see what might be there.

5. How do you feel about it having seeds that grow into large trees that transfer energy rather than direct roots?
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  #553  
Old 09-01-2017, 11:51 AM
Ethenil Ethenil is offline

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I mean, if everyone prefers these seeds, sure, but I think physical roots are more interesting.
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  #554  
Old 09-02-2017, 02:12 PM
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Alright, Mutters and me worked out the special Rakshar thing.

Essentially, in ancient times when there were still Primordials running around the world, some of them were in Rakshar and formed a Nature's Wrath kinda faction. They constructed a magical structure/weapon that could channel powerful life/nature magic into the land and it's inhabitants, keeping it healthy and growing while the world around was wrecked by the Gods-War. This structure is also the reason Rakshar's wild- and plantlife evolved into the crazy killing-machines they are today. Their ultimate goal was to use this weapon to let nature run rampant and cover the entire world in lush, dense jungles filled with killing-machines.

This ancient structure still lays hidden somewhere beneath Rakshar. Your Merfolk could've been sent by Nothogg to try and find/destroy this weapon, look for other weapons the Nature's Wrath faction cooked up in Rakshar etc.
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  #555  
Old 09-05-2017, 12:00 AM
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Random evening thoughts:


1. "The Faith of the Shepherd"- Not sure whether it'd be based primarily in Xaxalin or Althesar but I imagine it as a monotheistic religion present to some extent in both continents. It uses a ram as a symbol, primarily prominent among humans but I imagine some cyclops (mostly lowland tribes) and other races follow it too. Generally a benevolent (but perhaps overly paternalistic/patronizing?) religion that advocates humility and protecting/guiding those weaker than oneself. I imagine they'd be opposed to the Vampires moving in on Xaxalin and there'd be a neat mix of Vampires looking down on members of the faith as 'sheep' and paladins in Ram-Armor or rangers with Ram companions protecting their communities stubbornly all the same from them and Orcini raiders.


2. Still need a name for the Anuran religion ("The Eternal Song" perhaps?) but it generally revolves around a mother primordial based on the Surinam Toad, and a father primordial based on the Poison Arrow Frog. Lots of ritual significance to music and calling rain and thunder, but less so lightning, since legend has it their 'father' figure traded his lightning to another immortal in exchange for something. The legends vary on what this was though poison is most common. Their root belief that the world is one big ongoing song that everyone has a role in, and so they're generally peaceful as a result of the belief that when folks get along the song is harmonious and things stay good, while when people fight the song is discordant and things worsen. There's a lot of cultural emphasis on their sound based magic being used responsibly as a result.


3. "Argaia" is tentative name for old Cyclops empire, their religion would've been a mix of venerating their progenitors and the deities that created them*. Worship of those deities would likely have been shared by local humans that might've known them as the same beings but had their own names for them (ala the Rome/Greek split).

Eth had a neat idea about the Cyclops having a big Sauron-eye style tower (though it'd have been blue/silver and crystalline) in their capital, and seeing-stone type things in other settlements. I like the concept because it helps explain how they managed such a large empire and it can be balanced out by having them not able to produce new ones (or at least not ones of the same quality) since the originals are leftover divine relics.

*(though I'm thinking of taking a note from Greek myth and having the cyclops have been made by primordials but freed by deities from abusive rule, though this detail of not having been made by the deities directly would have been lost/forgotten by the time they started making their empire)


4. Dominion religion is syncretic. Initially when I pictured the Dominion I didn't see religion as a major force, but that's changed a bit. I still don't see it as an ORGANIZED force (There's no church congregations or anything), but spirit-casters are often community/military advisors and sometimes even leaders due to their role in supplementing the fight against the Lokusi and there's a faint degree of superstition in the general populace.

It rarely comes up since most spirits are more than willing to work with their casters but binding a spirit against its will is taboo for animals, and outright criminal for other Orcini (though of course, having been at war for 300 years or so, that doesn't mean it hasn't happened). With spirit casters, most spirits are former pets or friends / ancestors of their casters to begin with, since it's easier to work with spirits that are willing/friendly, and most Grutharin are quite dutiful and expect / look forward to aiding casters upon their death, it's something of an honor. Having not interacted with the spirits of other sapients in many years, the jury is out on exactly how they'd handle it, but most Grutharin would find binding the spirits of enemy sapients a distasteful admission of weakness at best (if you need the enemies ghosts to fight, does that mean you think they're stronger?), and outright reprehensible at worst (forcing people to betray their own is bad).

Sidenote: Dominion forces have bound spirits of all sorts of things, rats, wolves, vultures, etc... but Lokusi spirits are considered untameable, they ALWAYS go berserk. Once, using a six-caster setup, they managed to 'directly' control one, but it was exhausting for all the casters involved. It fuels the perception among the populace that while the Lokusi are 'animals' there's something wrong with them.


5. This is an important one. Circling back around to point 1. I've been thinking about what religions are among the nations in Xaxalin among the dwarves and humans, we've got the egyptian-inspired dwarves on the east coast but for the rest of the continent we've got a bit of Persian architecture in the central regions and along the dragonspine we've got mesomerican influence. I really feel like we need to nail down the concepts we want for these regions before we proceed since they still feel like they're in flux.

How do folks feel about my concept from the other day, that human (and maybe dwarf?) refugees / immigrants from Althesar moved to Xaxalin in ancient times due to pressure from the Argaia (cyclops) Empire and influenced the nations there to provide an explanation for why there are so many different architectural and cultural styles present on the supercontinent?



6. Brondheim's religions need some love. I imagine it's pretty big given that it consists of humans, Jotun, bearfolk, and selkie/walrus folk (maybe ice elves and dwarves? we really haven't nailed it down much tbh). Since Eth brought in Yggdrasil and we worked up the 9 planes concept, how about 9 'prominent' gods that are the main deities of Brondheim, with the understanding that they're all part of larger pantheons with other members that aren't as active/popular but are still worshiped or known regionally?


7. I realize it'll be a LONG while before we get to western Althesar since we've got a lot of other stuff going on, but I was thinking on how the cyclops empire's history ran and had a few more thoughts on the area. Atm I've got several ideas for Western Althesar.

Idea A is mostly grassland that tapers to jungle and mountains in the middle and then past the mountains is the 'hook' protrusion we've seen a few times in Eth's proposed sketches, which turns to desert/plateaus and then grassland.

Idea B is that it's got a 'wall' of mountains north of the hook and all the area past it is a mix of fertile jungle, and river valleys, that taper into swamps / grasslands.


-Either way eastern Althesar is more mediterranean overall but has some good grazing regions for the Lowland cyclops and centaurs herds, and human farming (grapes/wine sold to the highland cyclops?)

-Perhaps instead of hooking back towards Rakshar the 'hook' actually spikes out to the southwest towards Xaxalin? Either way I like the idea of several islands between the hook/spike and Rakshar.

-I'm thinking that while the Argaian empire eventually stretched from one end of Althesar to the other at its height, they never held anything on the proposed 'hook' section of Althesar due to four allied nations defending each other and the geography making it a pain in the ass to take. I'm still liking a West-African influence for this area paired with a benevolent chameleon dragon.
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  #556  
Old 09-05-2017, 08:54 AM
Ethenil Ethenil is offline

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That's all pretty good! What about the aven?
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  #557  
Old 09-05-2017, 04:12 PM
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That's all pretty good! What about the aven?
Still at the south pole with their Sholazar-esque mix of jungle and tundra biomes. Worship of the Phoenix-deity (which probably needs a proper name) and monitoring stellar movements still forms the basis of their society while they try to put their deity back together but since its pieces are scattered all over and some of them are in living-things (some of them Aven) that raises a number of theological issues for them.


Still feuding with their counterparts, I wanna call them... Skaralisk? Skarlisque? Skarlis? I dunno, they're scorpion-bird-basilisk things, reminiscent of the Skeksis, but I wanna steer clear of "Always Chaotic Evil" so I'm still deciding how best to handle them.
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  #558  
Old 09-05-2017, 04:44 PM
Ethenil Ethenil is offline

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Where do these basilisk-people live? They sound like they could fit Rakshar.
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  #559  
Old 09-09-2017, 09:55 AM
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Where do these basilisk-people live? They sound like they could fit Rakshar.
At the south pole, but more underground / under the ice.

They're the Skeksis to the Aven's Uru.
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  #560  
Old 09-09-2017, 03:05 PM
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At the south pole, but more underground / under the ice.

They're the Skeksis to the Aven's Uru.
I don't know what those are :/
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  #561  
Old 10-07-2017, 12:38 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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For funzies, broke down each chunk of Gruthar into D&D class concepts on the Fighter, Caster, Ranger triad.

Central Gruthar:

Fighters:
Spiritbearers: Barbarians which imbue their bodies with animal or elemental spirits
Skulldrummers: Spirited warriors that imbue their weapons and armor with ancestral spirits

Casters:
Wildsworn: Druid/Shaman mix not of the shapeshifting variety but casting using beast and elemental spirits
Nightpiercers: A kind of priest/mage that mingles ancestral magic with study of the stars

Rangers:
Beastsworn: Your typical beastmasters enhancing themselves and their pets with bestial spirit magic
Stormhowlers: Hunters that enhance spears and arrows with lightning and ice magic


Western Gruthar:

Fighters:
Firehearts: Soldiers using philosophy-based fire magic alongside their weapons in combat
Ironveins: Infantry that use metal-based casting to strengthen their bodies and disrupt enemy spells

Casters:
Torchbearers: Anti-Magic bard/mage, burns away enemy spells to aid allies or boost their own fire magic
Dustbringers: Destructive casters that mingle myriad elements through study to incinerate numerous foes at once

Rangers:
Ashknives: Scouts/spies, specialize in wielding blades and ash magic to keep themselves unnoticed
Ironfangs: Mechanists that use crossbows, firearms and experimental machines being made by the Dominion


Eastern Gruthar:

Fighters:
Warjaws: Warriors that supplement their physical strength with battle cries that channel the strength of their spirit
Swampguts: Berserkers that enhance themselves through drinking slime and potent chemical brews in battle

Casters:
Boneshakers: Mingle stone magics and their own spirits to crush foes and bolster allies
Slimeweavers: Use a mix of slime alchemy and magic, similar to witch doctor potions / brewing

Rangers:
Hack-Needlers: Combat Surgeons who use their knowledge of anatomy viciously
Wound-Singers: Hunters that use poison arrows and bolts that whistle, howl, scream, and maim in many ways


EDIT:


Trying to think of names and other details for the Minotaur nation in middle of Althesar.

Names: Modalm? Astroch? Huzarn?

History: Originally a pretty peaceful agricultural society waaay back when, they got SUPER HARSH after some early wars with humans and others over land disputes, and developed into a zealous military power living largely underground.* They did Dark Stuff like sacrificing people, enslaving dwarves, and eating folks, at their worst, though they've mellowed a tad in modern times (still keep some slaves but don't eat people or sacrifice them anymore).

They possibly burned down the original world tree of Althesar with cuttings / seeds of it being taken to the other regions of the continent to grow into new pseudo-world trees by expatriates, humans and other races. When they hit their worst they got into a nasty fight with the early Argaian Empire (the cyclops) after a minor border dispute erupts into... basically the burning of a major cyclops/human trade city.

I'm thinking the desert in Althesar used to be smaller prior to this war, where fire and lightning magic used by the Minotaur and Cyclops respectively ruined the landscape in the areas at the edges.


Religion: *Used to be a balanced selection of an Earth/Fire/Star cults, but during war the fire cult basically expanded to influence and warp their entire culture resulting in the brutal things they are.


Magic: A mix of Fire, Earth and "Star" magic, tied to their religion. Fire and Earth magic is generally focused on direct combat or enhancing their weapons / armor, while the star magic is more... esoteric. Their star casters can attack with the usual bolts of energy or make shields, but their 'specialty' is more in "distoring-warping" space. Making Escher-esque Labyrinth areas around their hidden cities and forts at their height, or making enemy projectiles suddenly change direction, etc.
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  #562  
Old 10-07-2017, 08:36 PM
Ethenil Ethenil is offline

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@Minotaur - their focus on fire and stars makes me think of the aven. Maybe we could connect them somehow?

@World Trees - I want to establish where they came from, how they work and what they do. Are they all seeds of a primordial World Tree? Is this parent tree the one on Njorthos or is it a sibling of the others? Do all these World Trees serve the function of opening gates to planes? Different planes? The same planes?
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Old 10-17-2017, 10:57 AM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Originally Posted by Ethenil View Post
@Minotaur - their focus on fire and stars makes me think of the aven. Maybe we could connect them somehow?

@World Trees - I want to establish where they came from, how they work and what they do. Are they all seeds of a primordial World Tree?

Is this parent tree the one on Njorthos or is it a sibling of the others?

Do all these World Trees serve the function of opening gates to planes? Different planes? The same planes?
1. I think it's more a case of convergent development.


2. I'm thinking there were myriad plant-primordials and several of them turned into trees as time passed as they settled down. They lose their mobility when they do this but I'm thinking the process is akin to 'enlightenment' for them.

I don't think there'd be just one parent tree, though I imagine seeds from them and cuttings from them have made large magic trees in other areas over time. Or been carved (or woven in the case of leaves) into magic items, etc...

I'm sure some connect to planes but no reason for all of them to do so, the magical traits for them vary by region. Some probably give eternal life or youth, others might enhance physical or magical abilities, etc...


EDIT:

Posting here too, how would all of you feel regarding a demon/fiend split?

I feel like I'm struggling with the demons design because I'm having trouble working out their... biology/cosmology borderlines, like whether their 'Sin' is a political affiliation or a biological one and what works best.

So rather than make a weird hybrid, it might be better to split them into two varieties


Also, for eventual D&D style play...

Thinking of breaking character creation down to...

Race/Subrace: Ability score bonus (+2, +1, -1), Size, Speed, 2 Biological traits
Ex: Orc (+2 Strength, +1 Constitution, -1 Wisdom, Intellect or Charisma, Orcish Strength) / Human (+2 Any, +1 Any, -1 Any, Human Spirit)

Background: Equipment Pack and and 1 Skill or Tool proficiency
Ex: Military (Explorer's pack, Athletics), Scholarly (Scholar's pack, Jewler's tools)

Class: Starting Weapons/Armor, 1 Skill, Class features and specializations
Ex: War-Cleric (Axe, Chainmail, Intimidation) / Abjuration-Wizard (Staff, Robe, Arcana)

Culture: Select 1 Feat, Language
Ex: Grutharin: Martial Adept / Orcish ; Merulosi: Historian / Trades-tongue
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