A lone figure rides up to the mountain fortress. At the gate, he dismounts and approaches. He is carrying a bundle, wrapped in cloth. At the gate, he unwraps it, revealing a sword in its scabbard. He lays the cloth on the ground and then slowly pulls the sword out. Placing the scabbard on the cloth, he goes to one knee and bows. He presents the sword to the fortress. It is his finest work.
Long minutes pass with nothing but the wind moving. His horse eyes the sawgrass but does not try to eat. Finally, he feels a nudge, like a gentle whisper. He rises, sheaves the sword and re-wraps it. He enters the fortress and walks until he comes to the centre of the courtyard. Here is a five-sized altar that represents the five aspects of the world. About it are various swords, weapons and armour. Looking about, he realizes that his work is as fine as any here. Reverently he places his offering by the altar. After a quiet prayer, he turns and leaves, never to return.
Alva Sorgia is an iron-age, fantasy GURPS world.
Being set in the iron age, it has many similarities and many difference to the typical medieval fantasy world. The iron age took place on our world from about 1500 BCE to 500 CE, depending on which the part of the world you are looking at. As such, it's about 1000 to 2500 years younger than the medieval settings we are most familiar with.
For example: although everyone professes to worship the gods, they do not directly pray to them. This is because they're too afraid to offend them. Instead, they would hire a professional, a priest, to say the prayers for them. If they prayed to anyone, it would be their own ancestors, reasoning that their forefathers would be more forgiving of an insult.
In GURPS terms, the technology level, TL, would be 2; the marvellous new material would be steel; the latest weapon of war, the crossbow; and the most advance mathematics, fractions.
With that in mind, welcome to the world of Alva Sorgia and may your stay be pleasant.
Races, Cultures, and Languages
There are 6 races in Alva Sorgia: the Alva (elves), the Stenfulk (dwarves), the Orphafulk (gnomes), the Goblins, the Orcs, and (of course) the Humans. Each has its own culture and language but they have adopted a trade language, Trade Tongue, derived from the human languages to speak to each other. All but the humans are xenophobic and limit the number of outsiders in their communities. Humans on the other hand, are more curious than wise and often have other races dwelling among them.
Trade is often done by barter as much as by coinage. Coinage is determined by the weight of precious metals with no importance to where the coins come from. Every trader and merchant has a scale for weighting coinage. If barter is used, food is the most common item traded. This is simply because everyone has to eat and food that does not spoil can be traded for other goods later. The most common metal for coinage is silver but the Stenfulk prefer to trade in gold.
The Alva and the Orphafulk do not practice slavery of any kind as they find it too repugnant.
Orcs and Goblins treat their slaves like possessions and do what they wish with them.
The Stenfulk treat their slaves like a fine horse. They expect hard work from them but will care for them if sick or injured, that's if they can be cured and put back to work. Otherwise, they are turned out for the gods to care for.
Humans are all over the place when it comes to slavery. Some detest it; some embrace it; but for the most part, a slave is treated like an indentured person. That is, the owner is entitled to the product of the slave's labour but does not own the slave. This is enforced by the priests who insist that even slaves must have one day each week to worship, though not always the same day. Since everyone is expected to make an offering to the temple and slaves often don't have any money, they make their offering through work. As such, the priest insist that the slave must be healthy enough to work and will criticize any owner that abuses his slaves too much. And if need be, the priests will withhold prayers for a bad owner until he reforms.
Main Page: Magic
Magic is extensively modified from the standard GURPS magic. The spell list of Mages is shorten but all the prerequisites except Magery have been removed. Two new profession are available: crafters and priests.
Crafters are divided into three sub-professions: herbalists, apothecaries, and alchemists. All of them create Mixtures, combinations of various substances to produce magical effects. Mixtures are not-yet-activated Elixirs. The state of the art has not progress enough so anyone knows how to produce an Elixirs that will remain active for longer than a few minutes. Because of this, Mixtures must be activated just before use. It is a matter of use it or lose it. In general, herbalists use plant material for their Mixtures; apothecaries use animal products (bugs, slugs, and worms); and alchemists use rare ores and minerals.
Priests worship the gods and preform prayers for others. They have a direct link to the spirit world. They are known by many names: priests, clerics, monks, shamans, witch doctor.
Character creation is standard GURPS.
Your character can have one and only one racial template. If you don't choose a template, you're human. As humans are the norm in GURPS, they don't require a template.
Characters can have one occupational template at age 20 and one additional one every 10 years thereafter. A character may have additional occupational training during each time period as an Unusual Background .
Characters can have one cultural template at age 10 and one additional one every 5 years thereafter. A character may have additional cultural exposure during each time period as an Unusual Background .
(At this time, there is one one culture, the human one. Others will appear later. Shawnhcorey 17:44, 3 July 2011 (UTC))