Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Careers of the South: Nashir Cavalry

Nashir Cavalry (Lemurian Career)

Standard Skills
Conceal, Drive, Endurance, Evade, Locale, Ride; Combat Style (Nashir Cavalry)

Professional Skills
Craft (Animal Husbandry), Healing (Horses), Lore (Horse Breeds), Lore (Strategy & Tactics), Navigation, Survival, Track

Combat Style: Nashir Cavalry (Professional Style)
Recurve bow, javelin, broad sword, mace, hatchet

Nashir Mounted Archery (Benefit)
This style allows the cavalryman to ignore the skill cap placed upon ranged combat rolls by the Ride skill. In addition, when using a ranged weapon, mounted or on foot, the cavalryman may shift a random hit location to an adjoining body location.

Units of Nashir Cavalry are the mobile backbone of any Lemurian fighting force. Using horses bred from those few brought over from doomed Lemuria, these highly trained units are faster, more agile, and able to disrupt enemy formations from a distance with deadly, pinpoint accuracy. Used to open ranging through steppe and desert in their lost lands across the world ocean, Nashir cavalry have also adapted well to the mountainous, rocky terrain common throughout Stygia and the Southern Reach.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cults of Asturia: St. Vacuna, the Golden Shield

The Cult of St. Vacuna, the Golden Shield
The patron saint of victory, sacrifice, and protection in the Solian Creed, St. Vacuna was once a noted bodyguard of the third Vanoran Witch-King, Marcian the Reclaimer. It was she who issued the witch-king's personal challenges on the battlefield; kept him alive during his headlong charges into the fray of a large battle; and died in battle taking a blow meant for the witch-king during the old Vanoran wars for the North. Once very popular amongst the Asturian legions, it has lost its favor and prominence since the rise of the Black Sun cult. Before battle, Asturian soldiers dedicated to the cult will hurl a flaming spear at the enemy lines and bellow "Ad Vacuna! Ad Vacuna! Ad Vacuna!" in Old Vanoran as an offering to the saint for her favor.

Lay Members
Standard Skills: Brawn, Willpower
Professional Skills: Combat Style (Asturian Legionnaire), Devotion, Exhort
Folk Magic: Alarm, Bladesharp, Demoralise, Firearrow, Fireblade, Protection

Initiates, Acolytes, Heroes, and Priests
Initiate Miracles: Aegis, Fortify, Shield
Acolyte Miracles: Clear Skies, Consecrate, Sunspear
Hero/Priest Miracle: Rejuvenate
Gift: Sanctuary (Heroes/Priests Only)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Vanoran Sites: The Portico of Borea

The tiled floor mosaic map of the world in the Portico of Borea.
In Regio.IX.Overlook about four hundred feet east of the Via Lata, in a semi-ruined neighborhood called the Campus Tullius, stands the Portico of Borea. Recently discovered again by delvers operating under the auspices of the Diggers College, this ruined double columned portico was supposedly built as a monument to the world-striding power of the Sixth Vanoran Witch-King, Sextus Tullius Incantator, known chiefly as the Servator ("To be loved or feared is immaterial; one only needs to be obeyed.")

Although much of the Portico has fallen or been looted for building stone through the years, its crown jewel remains somewhat intact: a 75x50 foot tiled floor mosaic that displays an ancient but complete map of the continent of Borea. Despite being outdated in its details, the great floor map remains an astounding work of art that will perhaps again serve as a focal point for Overlook regio once delvers have reclaimed the area from ruin.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cultures of the South: Lemurian

Lemurian (Civilized Culture)

Standard Skills
Deceit, Endurance, Influence, Insight, Locale, Perception, Sing

Combat Style: Lemurian Alubari (urban commoners)
As a recent refugee community, Lemurians have worked hard to develop and maintain basic fighting skills throughout the lower orders (alubari), who are trained with short spear, dagger, hatchet, and sling. [Cultural Style - Lower]


Combat Style: Lemurian Pahi (urban elites)
Primarily fights with short spear and hoplite shield; also trained in mace, akinaka short sword, dagger, javelin, sling, and short bow. [Cultural Style - Upper]

Defensive Fighting (Benefit)
When parrying a blow during combat, a Lemurian pahi's weapon is considered one step higher in size.

Professional Skills
Craft (any), Commerce, Language (any), Literacy, Lore (any), Musicianship, Streetwise, Teach

Far across the world ocean was once a mysterious land of ancient cities, fertile river valleys, and arid deserts, the true name of which was unknown by those in Borea or simply forgotten to time. Vanorans called it Lemuria and spoke tall tales of demon lizard shibboleths and gods in living form ruling the land from great temple platforms in its cities. Older than Vanor, more ancient than Stygia, more antique perhaps than even Hyperborea and Atlantis, Lemuria was a primordial land -- the Garden of the Sun -- known only to those who could see into the Deep.

And then, within the living memory of only the most wizened elder, a great calamity befell Lemuria, and the land was gone.

But not its people.

The first refugees to Borea came as but a trickle, isolated landings in great sailing ships whose passengers carried statues of their gods and lamented the coming of Nibiru. Soon, a great flood of humanity swept across Borea, spreading throughout the southern lands of the continent from east to west. A proud people brought low by disaster, the arriving Lemurians were not content to remain as refugees and castoffs in a foreign land, and they soon turned their attentions to carving new homes into the face of the land.

Today, Lemurian communities are found throughout the South, both in Stygia and along the Central Coast. In some lands, they are a useful but distrusted minority, using their past learning and cultural knowledge as a currency to buy new stations from the old elites. In others, however, they have become lords and conquerers themselves. As armies prepare to clash across the South, Lemurians watch the preparations warily. They will not lose all they have regained so easily. The Doom will not befall them again.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cultures of the South: Stygian

Stygian (Civilized Culture)

Standard Skills
Athletics, Boating, Dance, Deceit, Influence, Locale, Willpower

Combat Style: Stygian Soldier 
[Cultural Style] Primarily fights with two weapons, mixing and matching Stygian shamshir sword (scimitar), sagaris axe (one-handed battle axe), broad sword, shortspear; also trained with recurve bow, dagger, hatchet, and target shields.

Sweeping Strike (Benefit)
When dual wielding two weapons, a Stygian soldier can use a sweeping attack to push aside an enemy's defenses and immediately follow-up with another attack, as per the Flurry Special Effect. The follow-up attack must be with a different weapon than the triggering attack. Two weapons only.

Professional Skills
Bureaucracy, Commerce, Courtesy, Craft (any), Language (any), Lore (any), Musicianship, Seamanship

In the deep, distant past, Stygians were nomads and herders traveling a grass sea in a land far across the world ocean. But then that ended. They gave up their kumis, their goats, and their tent cities; built ships and learned the stars; and became nomads of the sea. That was then.

In the distant past, Stygian wayfarers made their first landings along the southwest coast of Borea, seeking plunder and good fortune. Instead, they found homes and bountiful resources, and soon the Stygian people drove their tent spikes deep into new, untamed earth. From this seed grew a great Empire, strong of ship and sail, dominant in commerce and trade, fierce in honor and pride. It spread north and east along the Borean coast, leaving its mighty stamp upon the world. And then the Witch-Kings of Vanor, covetous of all the western lands, descended on Stygia, bringing fire and war, and bent it under their yoke. That was then.

Today, the southwestern Borean coast contains the scattered seeds of Stygian hegemony, rich, discordant cities ancient in culture and distrustful of each other. Although the Vanoran boot is long removed, the scars of dominion remain, as no new Stygian Empire has thus been able to reemerge. Instead, new, hungry wolves prowl through the region: Atlantean wayfarers, dead Asturian legions, Lemurian refugees. The drums of war sound in the south, and it will be Stygian cities that will burn.

(This is something related to the War in the North campaign being run by my friend and co-blogger Rich Forest, which he has been writing about over on his Superhero Necromancer blog and will presumably link to here when he has the time. However, this is also related to a possible campaign I may run after War in the North is over, simply titled War in the South. There will be more coming. Enjoy!)